This morning in the Raleigh News and Observer, a fine American named David Coulter has a letter to the editor that deserves wider publication. So at the risk of attracting the raptor-like attention of the N&O's copyright attorneys, here it is:
"At the July 4th celebration in downtown Raleigh, I was pleased to hear a reading of the Declaration of Independence. I couldn't believe my ears, though, when the reader came to the list of grievances against King George III and simply skipped over them, jumping to the end of the document. That list was important enough for those men to fight and die for; it should have been worth the few minutes of our time it would have taken to read. Perhaps he simply didn't want to subject us to complaints like:'For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury, for transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offenses ... for taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments.'
Maybe they were afraid it would ring a little too familiar in the America of our new King George, of Guantanamo and torture and 'enemy combatants' and the death of habeas corpus. It's a sad day in my country when we have to worry about 'patriotic' citizens being offended by the words of the Founding Fathers."