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2447.000 sotd: 20080704: An American Composer blog
The Fourth of July. What does it mean? What does freedom mean?

I think freedom and liberty promise to provide two great
opportunities to people. One is that they can be audacious. The
other is that they can live with integrity. All the inventiveness
and creativity of America seems to spring from those two sources.
When the US leads, you see integrity and audacity both on display.
That is perhaps why America always has the quality of being young.
Because youth inevitable seeks integrity and is naturally audacious.

Acting with integrity and audacity is fundamental to self-reliance.

And like many people, Emerson's essays were an enlightenment in my
youth and still are today. Tthe essays were both audacious and
espoused a deep integrity. Something I did not see on much display
as a young person. Emerson's essays helped awaken me to the
possibility that you can actually MAKE a better life as an act of
integrity and audacity.

I'm sure today we will hear about how freedom requires sacrifice.
I've never quite believed that. My experience tells me that a
commitment to integrity and audacity require sacrifice. Freedom and

liberty are the fruits of that labor.

The Declaration of Independence was an act of audacity and a profound

act of personal integrity for the signatories.

When I think about our current political leaders, I think about how
easily they abandoned their oaths to defend and support the
Constitution. And I wonder, how did we get here? How did we get
to a place where the President, the Vice-President, and the bulk of
the Congress and Senate abandoned Habeas Corpus with almost no

The constitution in Article one, Section nine states:
"The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended,
unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may
require it."

And I wonder, if you or I took an oath to defend and support the
Constitution, would you so easily ignore this one clause? What kind
of integrity is required to abandon Habeas Corpus? Or is that just
audacity on display? This president is certainly audacious. And he

certainly pays lip service to freedom. But freedom is also freedom
of conscience. Freedom of conscience is about integrity.

I don't see that in our current political and media environment,
where legislators don't even read the bills they vote on.

As an example: Did you know the United States just removed Nelson
Mandela off the terrorist watch list?

What is so insidious is not that Mandela should be on the list. He
SHOULD! He is a known terrorist. He worked with the ANC in violent
conflict against apartheid rule in South Africa. What is insidious,
is that it's an EMBARRASSMENT he is on the list. Not that the list
itself is the problem.

And here is the rub: George Washington was a terrorist. Why isn't
he on the list?

When will integrity come back to America? Only when each of us
insists on it. We allow the media, the media elite, the celebrity,
the pundit, the critic, the politician to disparage acts of
integrity. The naive sensibility of honesty is so easily ridiculed
by the media or political insider -- the honest questions are so
easily glossed over by the "expert". That is where the real danger
lies. Each time we lose or sacrifice or ignore integrity we
sacrifice our freedom.

Audacity, that is not tempered by integrity becomes hubris and
perhaps tyranny.

Company III 1:50 Adele Anthony-Ulster Orchestra-Takuo Yuasa =
Glass Violin Concerto 9/6/06 10:45 AM 7/4/08 11:47 AM Classical =
3 192
kbps 2.6 MB



ps. My favorite founding father is Benjamin Franklin. He had
integrity and audacity in great measure.

03 Company III.mp3

2011-05-28 19:47:48

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