Happy Fourth!

It’s Independence Day in American, celebrating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress. I’d guess that Great Britain would be mourning that rupture today, as they lost citizens like Richard Feynman, Stevie Nicks, and Jonas Salk, as well as clam chowder, apple pie, biscuits, barbecue, and bourbon; but then they’d also be stuck with Donny Osmond, Jerry Springer, and Donald Trump.

Today’s a holiday, and even I am taking a bit of a break, so posting will be lighter. But here are some Fourth of July Kitties provide by Grania, who is not an American:

Cultural appropriation cat (double appropriation!):


A how-to celebrate guide for cats: 

If you’re Murican, what are you doing today?


  1. Frank Bath
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Have a happy Independence Day American folks. We Brits don’t begrudge the rupture, having got you started on the proper path we moved on to bless the rest of the world with our laws, language and funny ways. We’ll raise a pint to you in the pubs tonight. Cheers, well done, so far.

    • Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      Indeed – I’ve never met another Brit who still begrudges American Independence. Most of us wish you all well!

    • Pierluigi Ballabeni
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      To “bless the the rest of the world”. Are you kidding? 🙂

      • Posted July 4, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        To be fair, English does a good job as a lingua franca.

      • Frank Bath
        Posted July 4, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        I wax lyrical.

  2. Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Happy Independence Day!

  3. Filippo
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    “If you’re Murican, what are you doing today?”

    Staying away from the cacophonous Wal-Martian crowds and out of the heat.

    Contemplating the history of Native Americans, Africans and women in the U.S.

    Maybe listening to a bit of Donny Osmond. (I reasonably speculate that he resonated with Liberace’s “I cried all the way to the bank.”)

    • David Coxill
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Someone in the 70s told me that Osmosis was a ear complaint caused by listening to Puppy love without ear protection.

  4. Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    We are having some old friends over. I will cook chicken and steak on the bbq which has been in marinade since last night. Later we might set off a bunch of explosive fireworks and unfortunately scare the bejesus out of our d*g.

  5. Jonathan Dore
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    It’s an interesting counterfactual thought experiment to wonder how the British colonies south of Canada would have developed if they’d remained within the empire. The first thing that strikes me is that it’s unlikely they would have developed into a transcontinental nation since the middle and western thirds of the landmass were claimed by France and Spain respectively (the former in name only beyond the southern Mississippi valley, the latter as lightly populated colonies). As part of an anti-British strategic alliance Napoleon was quite happy to sell the middle third to the US — land that he, or any French ruler, would *never* have sold to the Brits. Forty-five years later, the US gained the Spanish third by military conquest — land that Britain would have been unlikely to think an economically worthwhile addition to the empire. On the other hand, even under a colonial system settlement pressure may have led to British American settlers taking control of both French and Spanish portions just as US American ones did. But that would likely have led to a political rupture between settlers and Britain eventually in any case, since the British government would have felt bound by its treaties with native powers not to allow the free-for-all settlement that eventually took place.

    No change as far as Canada is concerned in this scenario, since Britain already controlled the St Lawrence Valley, claimed most of the rest of Canada through the Hudson’s Bay Company (Rupert’s Land — all land draining into the Bay, which was west as far as the Rockies), and had already established a condominium with Spain on the west coast that quickly developed into de facto British control, eventually linking up with the HBC territories.

    • Posted July 4, 2017 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      If Britain hadn’t lost the colonies, I think the French (and possibly Spanish) lands in North America would have been considered fair game for conquest during the Napoleonic wars. It would have been a walkover too.

      The emancipation of the slaves would have gone differently. Slavery was abolished in British American territories in the 1830’s without a fight. However, if the slave owners had decided to secede, I think they would have been more successful against a power that was based on the other side of the Atlantic than against the Northern states.

      • Jonathan Dore
        Posted July 4, 2017 at 7:50 am | Permalink

        Good points!

  6. Posted July 4, 2017 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    I’d guess that Great Britain would be mourning that rupture today, as they lost citizens like Richard Feynman, Stevie Nicks, Jonas Salk, as well as clam chowder, apple pie, biscuits, barbecue, and bourbon

    All of those things are well known to a greater or lesser extent in Britain. We’ve always had biscuits and apple pie (and the superior apple crumble) and clam soup.

    Thanks to the open nature of modern science, we have been able to benefit from the work of Richard Feynman and Jonas Salk as much as Americans have, and of course Stevie Nicks did her best work whilst being in an originally British rock band, so you might argue you wouldn’t have her except for us. Same applies to Jimi Hendrix btw. OTOH, it might be possible to argue that Richard Feynman could not have been produced by the British education system,

    Also, we are mostly pretty pleased not to have your healthcare system or gun culture.

    I’d sneer at your politics and Trump, but I think we are in a more dismal and chaotic place than you at the moment.

  7. Randy schenck
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Most Americans do not give it a thought and believe we somehow defeated the British in the war for Independence. However, that idea is wrong on a couple of counts including considerable help from France, without which, we would never have succeeded. The other is that Britain basically packed up and left, similar to what the U.S did many years later in a place called Vietnam. So try not to blow off your fingers off while making noise today and maybe read a bit of American History.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Forget that second off. Too early.

  8. Christopher
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    I won’t be doing doodly-squat today, beyond reading a book on mimicry, having way too much coffee, and watching the birds. I’m not a fan of such a noisy, dirty, dangerous holiday. A few years ago, my idiot brother (along with two idiot friends) attempted to manufacture a bigger boom by cutting up and combining fireworks…while smoking… blew up the house, causing injury and mayhem. They, and the house , survived intact, mostly. Needless to say, I’m not a fan. Sooo, me, the dogs, and the birds will attempt to patiently wait out the stupidity that is shortly to commence.

    Cheers! And don’t be an idiot like my brother. Please.

  9. David Coxill
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Didn’t W S Churchill suggest a union between GB and the USA ?.

  10. rickflick
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    I find fireworks grotesque and boring. The neighbors started banging off a couple of nights ago and will continue intermittently for the rest of the summer. I find it almost as annoying as kids breaking the nap on my lawn.
    I’ll celebrate with a steak on the grill and a bottle of France’s finest(the inexpensive version). I may need hearing protection.

    • nicky
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      I’m a reformed firework maker: used to love to make mortars (they give the best ‘umbrellas’), but now I think it is a waste of time, money and effort, and quite polluting too, and hell for pets and other animals.
      Moreover, the Chinese (or even Germans) make it better and cheaper, I’d say.

  11. Conelrad
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    My plan involves some cultural appropriation, in particular, a pizza & India Pale Ale, while listening to 300-year-old German music. It’s great to be independent.

  12. Richard Jones
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    The British equivalent of Goldberg is W Heath Robinson.

  13. Posted July 4, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I plan to cautiously avoid the severely upset stomach that would result from listening to any speech that the president might give today.

  14. Kevin
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Jerry Springer and Donald Trump. I would love to have them in a Rocky Mountain Oysters eating contest.

  15. BJ
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Today, I’m having my parents, brother, sister (in-law), nieces, and nephews over for a swimming and BBQ partayyy. There will be lots of cultural appropriation, offensive jokes, and American pride.

    It will be as horrifying to a regressive as possible, but hey, we have a hell of a lot more fun! 🙂

  16. Glenda
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Hello to all Americans on this special day. Congratulations. Eat well and don’t blow your fingers off. Appreciation: give a thought to the leadership plus scientific and cultural advances you have provided the globe. Tomorrow roll up your sleeves and do all you can to improve your current political situation. Canadians are cheering for you.

  17. Carl Powers
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Today – a long walk and some gardening (until it gets too hot!) then blog reading and computer games. Oh, and a nap, definitely a nap.

  18. Posted July 4, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Today I’ll stay home out of the traffic. We almost always stay home on major holidays, since our flexible schedules let us travel when traffic is light. I’ll get some work done, rest, and waste considerable time on the Internet.

  19. bluemaas
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Haaaappy, Happy Birthday, A M E R I C A !

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YYzIWTE1L4 of

    m’Darlin’ Mr Waylon J, & my very favored
    patriotic song … … ever
    ” … … promise and then follow through”


    • bluemaas
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      LOVE me some L O T T A Mr Waylon ! R I P


  20. Phil Rounds
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    I’ll be watching my traditional Independence Day movie. It includes a speech you’ll never hear from the likes of Donald Trump.

    • Filippo
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      No doubt a lot of voices will be raised on high across “the fruited plain” singing “America the Beautiful.” I wonder how many of those renderings will include the verse exhorting

      “. . . God mend thine every flaw,
      Confirm thy soul
      In self-control
      Thy liberty in law.”

      (Also comes to mind Joe South’s song, “The Games People Play.”)

  21. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    “… what are you doing today?”

    Traveling – airfare is cheapest. They are evil.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      …. uhhhhhh uhhh

      Which gave me opportunity to read your FFRF article at long last! Very nice piece!

      Took pics of it, stashed it, was cleaning out pics on the plane and hey ho I wanted to finish that!

  22. Posted July 4, 2017 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    I once thought about whether or not I would have been a revolutionary in the American context. I think so …

    In any case, happy Independence Day from a fellow anti-monarchist 😉

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