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July 4th 2006: Lady Liberty, America & her Fleeting Visions

FPF-fwd: Jim Kirwan | 04.07.2006 09:44 | French CPE uprising 2006 | Analysis | Globalisation | Social Struggles | World

One of the best writers, observing the fast deterioration, the horrible change and slow death of 'Lady Liberty', is American author and artist Jim Kirwan.

FPF-intro: Twenty years ago today - On July 4, 1986, America threw a birthday party for the 'Statue of Liberty' that will not soon be forgotten. With a golden sunset glowing in the background, President Ronald Reagan declared: "We are the keepers of the flame of liberty; we hold it high for the world to see.*

Later that day, the president pressed a button that sent a laser beam across the water toward the statue. Slowly, dramatically, majestically, a light show unveiled Liberty and her new torch, and the most spectacular fireworks show America had ever seen exploded across the sky. With an entire nation watching - along with 1.5 billion television viewers around the world.

When the statue was unveiled - October 28th 1886, a public holiday - Wall Street was the only area of the city working that day. Dignitaries from both nations were in abundant attendance. Representing America were President Grover Cleveland and members of his cabinet, as well as the governor of New York and his staff. The French ambassador attended, accompanied by the French Committee.

And, most ironically, members of some of America's wealthiest families - the same families who had not contributed a single cent to the statue's pedestal - now jockeyed for seats of prominence." - [end quote - Url.:]

That same year, 1986, when President Ronald Reagan declared: "We are the keepers of the flame of liberty; we hold it high for the world to see." - NO publicity for instance was given to John Stockwell, the former CIA Station Chief in Angola, working for then Director of the CIA, George Bush, who said and wrote a book about it: ''How 6 million People Were killed in CIA secret wars against Third World countries.''

And that was only the African part of the American made global Holocaust, at present a.k.a. the 'US War of Terror'. That all of course happens backstage of 'the American Dream', but now the façade of Hollywood's, their compliant collaborating massmedia, and the US managers 'Truman Show' is burning.*

America & her Fleeting Visions


Walking back through the various rooms of her once spacious apartments, one is haunted by what remains of her earliest beginnings. The building so simply grand, was built by slaves over the blood of a native population that had known her for millennia - only to be exterminated for their intimate knowledge of this place. The rooms are all empty now, especially those where Freedom or even Justice once resided. Amid the dust of decades it seems that all is lost, and yet, something‚s still there in that gossamer illusion of a dream that seems to breathe new life into history‚s contributions to her legacy.

Who is she now? Who was she all those years ago when this nation used her for its bed? She has been called 'America the Beautiful', and she was the envy of many in the wider world. Her promise was unparalleled and her gifts to those who lived on her seemed endless. She became a symbol for many, an ideal that had a very brief existence on what became the blood-soaked shores of a new and frequently conflicted nation.

Some say she gave birth to the ideal of Liberty but that term implies responsibility so this concept as a gift, was shortened to the much more enchanting idea of pure Freedom: a 'freedom' that rapidly became the 'freedom to' rather than the more cumbersome 'freedom - from' things like intolerance and tyranny. The seasons passed and she remained, diminished in so many ways, yet the idea of America continued to spread visions far and wide. But natural endurance was no match for this 'progress' that has been paving her for decades now, ever since the motor-car took over as the motivating symbol for the steel and glass and mechanistic grandeur that allowed Americans to become perhaps the most mobile people anywhere.

That was when she began to die.

The French observed the wonders of America and her fledgling nation states and sent a gift to the young country. It was finished in 1886 and it stands in New York Harbor, as the embodiment of the American Promise; that statue is Lady Liberty, but she is frequently confused with America, which was just fine with most of those who noticed. It‚s very interesting that one can trace the lives of these metaphorical concepts almost as one; yet they are very different. America is the place; the actual land that‚s part of two continents but it‚s also the vision which that land inspired. Freedom for its part is the embodiment of an ancient ideal that was meant to hint at what was possible for the new nation to obtain. Together these two metaphors share a third concept that has also been fighting for survival for as long as people have tired to live together - that would be Justice and the laws that flow from her. Together these three make a powerful argument for a way of life unparalleled, but only for those who are awake and involved in what is needed for all of this to remain viable.

America still breathes, but her highways are heavily constricted, just as her waters have been poisoned by industrial-grade toxics, and her air has been polluted by a thousand thoughtless acts all the way from corporate crimes against the land to thoughtless individuals who have taken her for granted. There is beauty still in the remoteness of her vastness, but even these are being targeted for timber mining or all that drilling that has begun to kill what still remains of her, beneath the sagging weight of so many self-absorbed and ultra-hurried people and their oh-so-necessary enterprises that seem to fail to notice what they choose to kill, just to make their way into the crush of what we call 'the country'.

Freedom is another matter all together and one that has eluded so many societies of the human race, since before the beginnings of recorded time: Ironically the native populations that were slaughtered here; had far more freedom than did those who killed them with such ignorance, in arrogance and rage. Freedom‚s favors can not be given, they must be earned - and there is a huge price to be paid by those who say they want to know her qualities. Yet too many still forget that Freedom is not an academic concept; she‚s a bloody part of the entire history of human beings and one that has changed very little since she was first understood. Many nations celebrate her gifts, but very few attain even a small portion of what she offers - because she is no idle concept - her very life depends on the shedding of blood just to attract her attention, and even more blood is needed just to retain what was earned by those strong enough to seek her out. Consequently Freedom‚s just a statue now in New York Harbor - part of the rest of our moldering past that is rotting in these twilight years of corruption and national decay. Like the American 'Liberty Bell' with its famous crack; Liberty‚s years, and Freedom‚s 'Moment in the Sun' are definitely coming to a close. (3)


When 'Closing Time' arrives the survivors will find Justice on that floor where millions will have died. Raped so often and beaten beyond all possibility of recognition - she will be just one more casualty in the on-going wars against humanity - but she will definitely be missed for the clarity that she once brought to those struggling peoples of many lands and places.(2)

Leaving the deserted rooms where Americans once thought she lived, it can be clarifying to take a flight above this ancient continent, to see what so many have so blithely assumed for all these all-too-busy years. The nation was begun by family farms and millions of smaller businesses that thrived in the warrens that became the cities and that brought the hustle and the life to inner cities that once teemed with basic commerce. Between the necessities and the living and the dying, there was much to recommend that way of life. Then as de-segregation began to enter city life, many of the too-well-off along with the deeply disenchanted began to leave the cities to create their own little bubbles that are still called 'burbs.' This changed the country-side, and began to fill the empty lands with concrete and slapped-together housing for the would-be-rich, and the 'me-first-me-only' crowds. This in turn created the demand for ever-greater ease in transportation, so more and more highways were carved into the earth to augment the vast trans-national system of Interstate Freeways. The system has now begun to seriously decay. The hubs that were the cities that once controls so much were largely been left to rot, when the slavishly employed moved out to the burbs, leaving the city‚s to the poor and to the angry and to the corporate backwater‚s where their toxic wastes could simply disappear.

The family farms began to disappear, either bought out by developers or agri-business, either way, the way of life continued to go the way of the horse and buggy. Small business, of the kind that built this nation was quietly absorbed into ever-larger corporate constructs who took it all, then chopped things up; swallowing the good stuff and dumping what was left. That‚s all down there on the ground, for all to see from 'up above'‚ The waste and the arrogance of building out, instead of up - and just leaving whatever can‚t be sold or used to rot wherever it might fall - as the people began to shed their stewardship of what they used to call their land.

Another thing that rivets one from 35,000 feet is the architecture of the Freeways that crisscross and divides the nation: Freeways that are desperately in need of major reconstruction. That project could reemploy the entire nation for at least ten years, and give the country back some of what makes mobility so attractive to so many. Instead Cheney-Bush are leasing the highway system in increments to other nations, to those who are in the business of turning them into toll roads - so much for the investments that taxpayers put into the highway system - that‚s a CRIME (but only if you care)!

From the vastness of the skies, looking down, one might swear that this is a place created just for vehicles - a place where peoples only purpose seems to be to service their machines. In the inner-cities it‚s no different; traffic is nothing but a gigantic parking lot while people scramble from the moving streams into those vertical mine shafts above ground that house their menial 'jobs'. There is little time that is not spent either going to or from the drudgery, and virtually no time at all to go on foot - in most locations. If you do not touch the earth from time to time, it's easy to forget the scent of freshly cut grass; and when one goes too long without those changes in the air that do not come from air-conditioning - then we can too easily forget the wonders of this land that has made so much possible for so many successive generations.


So many lives, so much to do and yet so little contact with the actual world that holds us in its grasp, and enables every dream to bring the promise of a possibility. That cannot be done from inside a vehicle, or by walking on the concrete (that‚s why they call them 'side' walks) after all. The life that once roamed the continent is no longer here, replaced by pets, in a volume that no one could have expected. ''That‚s progress'' they say, but it also means the death of many different kinds of dreams, because progress always takes its toll from whatever went before.

Finally there are the people themselves that inhabit this continent in all their marvelous profusion: Except that if you look closely so many seem overstuffed, under-inspired, and definitely far too preoccupied to spare a moment for anyone besides themselves. This too is called progress! So why has the population in the richest country in the world become so very, very violent? Video games contribute - but that‚s hardly the whole story. NO, it has to be about the disconnections between life in these United States and what we no longer teach or care about. Our laws, our way of life, even our place within the world is no longer understood by those who say they are Americans.

Far too many of the young know nothing now - nothing at all about things as simple as where their food comes from, or how to feed themselves. Manners, decency, ethics or even self-responsibility are as unfamiliar as a foreign language, for too many in this country now. American is not alone in falling victim to all this 'progress' in the world today: but because of the natural wealth that this land once had, we have an even greater responsibility to more than do our share - when it comes to leaving something of the wonder and beauty in the land - because money fluctuates, and can never come to be the ONLY thing that matters to any truly vibrant way of life.


Just another chance to steal some leisure in a nation that works 26 hours a day - just to stay alive? So what have we learned in the 230 years of our existence? Not much I fear, in fact it seems that we are going backward at light-speed in answer to some huge and loathsome sloth of caring, without even a semblance of regret! History tells us that those who fail to notice what is absolutely critical, for too long, shall not have to worry about the future because for them there will not be one. What America is doing is to replicate the mistakes of all previous empires - only faster, and with much less to gain from our excess.

People can make a difference, even at this late date - but only if they CARE! For instance, there‚s a small story that came out of the dust around 911 that might interest anyone still skeptical about the real reason for those 'attacks'. It‚s critical and pivotal, and speaks directly to how few Americans have even tried to 'connect-the-dots'. What‚s a story worth - against the horror of 911? You‚ll need to decide that one for yourself - because the price tag on this piece of information was $7 trillion dollars in U.S. taxpayer funds that was misappropriated by Pentagon accountants and "lost". (1)


1) Richard Andrew Grove and 9/11 - Url.:

2) Justice Delayed is Justice Denied - Url.:

3) Freedom Captured - Url.:

[and end]

FPF: President Ronald Reagan declared: "We are the keepers of the flame of liberty; we hold it high for the world to see. - US 'FLAME OF LIBERTY' - RELATED LINKS - Url.:

* The Meaning of the Truman Show - Url.:

* 6 Million killed by the CIA etc? - The Truman Show's burning façade - Information Clearing House - Video - Url.:

* FPF-COPYRIGHT NOTICE - In accordance with Title 17 U. S. C. Section 107 - any copyrighted work in this message is distributed by the Foreign Press Foundation under fair use, without profit or payment, to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the information. Url.:

Editor: Henk Ruyssenaars
The Netherlands


FPF-fwd: Jim Kirwan
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