Celebrating our nation's independence whilst our freedoms are being systematically taken away by a government far more oppressive than the one the founding fathers rose up against in revolution, is ironic, to say the least. However, when our friends at the Pollinator Project invited us to march in the parade, I thought it would be fun for the girls to don their bee and butterfly costumes again and join in the festivities.
So into the throngs we went, scrambling to find parking and barely making it to the rendezvous point before the parade started. It was a frantic morning for me, as I had, earlier in the week, scheduled a meeting around the same time that day, forgetting all about the 4th of July. At least I was able to see the girls marching with the other Pollinator folks, many of whom were also dressed up and dancing about, promoting the Pollinator Project and celebrating Ashland's recent accomplishment of becoming a Bee City.
I missed most of the rest of the parade so I could have my meeting, but I re-connected with the girls afterwards and we had a lovely day in the park, where we ran into several different friends. Booths had been set up all along the main drag of Lithia Park, and children were everywhere. A man who makes wooden swords and toy bows and arrows was raking it in that day, playing the role of the master at arms. My girls got bows and arrows, and several of their friends got wooden swords, and into the forest they went, like a company of mercenaries.
Had any of the globalist oligarchs passed through the forest that day, I'm sure this merry band could have reclaimed plenty of stolen wealth for the people, but none of our foes were about, so instead they played imagination games and sparred with their toys.
I am not usually the sort of activist to makes signs and go to protests, but for some reason, I felt compelled to make a poster for that day, feeling as though I might as well call into question this notion of freedom that everyone was celebrating. It turned out that I didn't really get much opportunity display it, but I did get into a few conversations, including with some guys selling lemonade and sodas to raise money for the high school band.
I asked if they had a permit to be vending, congratulating them when I learned they indeed did not. I then launched into an impromptu talk about voluntaryism and the illegitimacy of governance by force. They humored me in listening, but I dare say they had a good laugh about the crazy guy with the sloppily drawn poster after I left. Still, I bet they won't forget that encounter.
Another thing to note about that day was the conversation I had with Lila, my youngest, after two F14s went screaming over the parade route. "What are those jets?" she asked.
"Those are used to kill people," I said.
"Don't they know that it's bad to kill people?" she asked.
"No, I guess they don't," I said. I know the conversation stuck with her, because several days later she brought it up again, reiterating that the people who fly those jets don't know that it's bad to kill people. It would seem that if my three year old daughter can grasp this relatively simple truth, that an educated society of grown adults should be able to get it as well, but alas, people seem to be more concerned about electing the next figurehead than challenging the legitimacy of a system that uses jets and bombs to kill people for no good reason.
Let me be clear about one thing: I very much appreciate the freedoms I do have. I am not unaware that most people on the planet live a much harder, much more oppressed life than I do. I am thankful for the blessed life I lead, and I do my best to focus on gratitude and love. Still, it is folly to ignore the erosion of our rights. Our country is in serious trouble, and I cannot simply wave a flag and cheer when our war jets go screaming by, because I believe we all have a responsibility to stand up to the criminal factions that have taken over our government. Not everybody is ready to make a stand, but at the very least, I ask of you, ready yourselves in your heart. Seek the courage to face the truth, even when it is scary. Begin to ask yourself, if it is in fact true that we are being governed by mass murdering criminals, what is the appropriate response?
I don't have all the answers, I simply wish to encourage conversation, as well as serious introspection. I believe we can get through this and restore our freedoms, otherwise I wouldn't even be bothering with this kind of work. But it's not going to be easy, so we must support each other and stand together. Let's be compassionate towards those with whom we disagree, and even when feel that they are very wrong.
As my friend Derrick Broze puts it, you are beautiful, you are powerful, you are free.