Happy Independence Day! But in your celebrations today, with all of the socializing, refreshments and fireworks, please also reflect on the fact that about 246 years ago today numbers of men put their future and safety at risk by signing an historic document that proclaimed that it is self-evident that all Men are created equal and are endowed with certain unalienable rights, among which are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Consistent with those thoughts, two wonderful and gifted friends and I believe in our country so much that we have taped 17 episodes of a show we call “Becoming America. America is a Perfect Idea. The United States of America is a Work in Progress.” We believe that this is as accurate a comment about our country as we are able to make. Each of the 17 episodes has as its theme one of the songs from a musical that two other friends of mine and I composed which is called Convention: the Birth of America, which depicts our nation’s Constitutional Convention of 1781. And each show features a learned, experienced and interesting guest to discuss the issues raised in the songs. We are proud of our show, and once it is being broadcasted I will let you know the details. Its central theme is taken from my research that each and every delegate to the Constitutional Convention believed that THE most important function of government is to protect our Liberties from being encroached upon by government. (The second-most important function is keeping us safe!)

During many of the 17 shows I ask our guests if they agree with me that we were a better country ten years ago than we were 40 years ago, and that we are a better country today than we were ten years ago. Only once did one of our guests, Dr. William B. Allen, who is a political science professor at Michigan State University, a constitutionalist and also happens to be African-American, respond that he was deeply sorry that I had asked him the question. Why? Because, with our increasing national climate of entitlements and victimization, he is now not so sure – and that the ultimate outcome will be up to our present younger generation. I regret to say that Dr. Allen might be right. Yes, truly our country has done some wrong things, such as slavery and then segregation, oppression of our Native Americans, reduced rights for women, the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II and more. But so have other countries done many wrong things, and at least we acknowledge ours and try to correct our wrongdoings. And, by the way, we also have selflessly done many deeply beneficial things for people in our country and all around the world. So we should also take that reality into account. Thus I openly celebrate the United States of America – every day. But particularly on July 4. So, once again, I wish you a Happy Independence Day!

Thought for the day: “Recently I have been telling people about the benefits of eating dried grapes. It’s called a program of raisin awareness.”

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President

Please feel free to listen to our radio show entitled All Rise! The Libertarian Way with Judge Jim Gray as we discuss timely issues and show how they will be addressed more beneficially by employing Libertarian values and approaches.  The series has concluded, but you can still hear any edition On Demand by going to https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/3883.  And, by the way, these 2 Paragraphs columns are now on my website at www.JudgeJImGray.com, Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at judgejimgray.wordpress.com  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty.  In addition, my new book with the same title as my radio show is now available at Amazon.com.   Please read and discuss it with your friends, and send in a review.