New 4th of July

The Trumpist Supreme Court celebrated the approach of the Fourth of July by telling the ugly truth about itself. This whole previous term, it had puzzled observers by avoiding stright-up decisions on the basics of American society. It OK’d Obamacare, said high-school students had the right to criticize their school.

But when it came to race and the levers of power in America, it did what it was appointed for. It gutted the remaining anti-racist, pro-democratic provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the crowning achievement of the Black-led Freedom Movement. It left standing new voting laws in Arizona (and similar laws already passed in other states) that had the clear effect of disfranchising Black, Latinx, and Native citizens when the Department of Justice could not prove the deliberate, out-front intention was racist. Those “new” laws were no different from the  Jim Crow poll tax, that barred Black voters without ever needing to say so.

So the Supreme Court joined the Senate and the Electoral College as not merely undemocratic but anti-democratic branches off the US government.

We need a new Fourth of July, a new  updating of those great words of Thomas Jefferson in his Preamble to the Declaration if we are ever to heal American from his actions as a slave-owner. If we are to save ourselves and the rest of  Humankind and Earth from deadly disasters that Hyperwealth – the Corporate Pharaohs that would rather have plagues destroy us than save every American, every human being.

Hyper-wealth, hyper-profit  -- more important than the hundreds of elders who died of heatstroke in Oregon and British Columbia last week; more importnat than the dead of Surfside because real-estate “developers” paid no attention as the rising salt sea-waters ate away their building’s foundations; more important than those who died of cold when the Texas energy grid failed while the energy-selling corporations made a “killing” as they charged outrageous prices for the energy they bothered to deliver  -- more important than tens of thousands more in every climate-related catastrophe.

And meanwhile, an Exxon Mobil lobbyist boasted on video how he “owned” Joe Manchin, the Senate’s crucial supporter of the filibuster that is preventing passage of Green laws as part of the crippled infrastructure bill. When the video went viral, the lobbyist “apologized”  -- not for his company’s vile politics, but for his letting the stinking cat out of the velvet bag.

See highlights of the video at

For the wholke story on NPR,

We need a new Fourth of July. We need something like my suggestions below– and then not just a Declaration but action to bring real democracy, real salvation of our common home, wounded Planet Earth. Our common home, ready to collapse into rubble and kill us because our Corporate Pharaohs would rather make billions than heal our planetary foundations.

 A New Fourth of July

We hold these truths to be self-evident, growing from the life-experience of all Humanity:

That all men and women and those beyond the binary are created equal, as distinctive strands of the great Web of life intertwined, and are through that interdependence endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights and responsibilities. That among these are –

  • Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,
  • The sharing of Beloved Community throughout our planet, growing through responsible relationships that embody, heal, and uphold that sacred web of life;
  • Peace among all peoples;
  • A life-sustaining, health-sustaining share of Earth’s abundance;
  • Honorable work with livable income, based on livable hours of work;
  • A rhythm of work and rest that frees time for family, neighborhood, citizenly involvement, and the spirit;
  • Self-government in political, economic, and cultural life, including public support for grass-roots co-ops, democratic elections to govern large corporations, and legislatures not controlled by wealth.


Governments, corporations, and other institutions that have a major impact on the lives of the people are founded solely to secure these rights and uphold these responsibilities, deriving their just powers from the consent of those they govern and whose lives they shape.

Whenever any of these forms of government fails to protect these rights and carry out these responsibilities, it is the right of the people – indeed, it is our duty -- to alter or abolish it, providing new forms of government to carry out these responsibilities. 

In the midst of the greatest crisis of our history since the Civil War --  and because Earth itself is in crisis, perhaps the worst -- the Supreme Court is anti-democratic; the Senate is not only undemocratic but anti-democratic; the Presidency because it depends on the undemocratic Electoral College hangs by a democratic hair; and the most powerful corporations in the world are anti-democratic.

Because our present forms of government do not protect our crucial rights, do not uphold these crucial responsibilities, the American people is obligated to undertake nonviolent action for needed change through elections, lobbying, free speech, free press, and free assembly in marches, strikes, boycotts, sit-ins, teach-ins, rallies, vigils, and prayer.

To the achievement of these goals, with the help of the Holy Interbreathing Spirit of all life, and through our covenant with each other, we pledge our commitment, our nonviolent action, and our sacred honor.   


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