Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

As ol’ Robbo made his way into the heart of Your Nation’s Capital this morning, he couldn’t help noticing that the security measures for this year’s Fourth of July celebrations had already started to be put in place.  The National Mall was absolutely swathed in chain-link fences and concrete barriers.

It struck me as ironic that the celebration of a holiday purported to be dedicated to the spirit of freedom and independence should involve turning the heart of Your Nation’s Capital into an open-air detention center.  Of course, what I saw was simply the hardware.  I can’t imagine the effect of these positions being fully manned by armed personnel, because I have no intention of being within miles of the place during the actual festivities.

If you detect a whiff of cynicism here, you aren’t far wrong because, mulling on the metaphoric value of this observation, it further struck me to wonder why on earth, given the current state of things, we even bother to celebrate the holiday any longer.   Sure, the fireworks and the cannon and the Sousa musick are all swell, but we seem to have forgotten the underlying values that they are supposed to be celebrating.