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Category Archives: Freedom

What does freedom mean to you? – The Columbian

Posted: July 5, 2020 at 10:38 am

Clark County community members describe how an American ideal has been challenged, changed, confirmed

In this most unusual of years, Independence Day is different, too.

Wrapped in red, white and blue bunting, the holiday commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence. But 2020 has tested the concepts of freedom and responsibility like no other recent year. These themes play through the stories of both the coronavirus pandemic and the struggle against systemic racism.

We reached out to a group of community members and asked them what freedom means to them, and how their perceptions have been challenged, changed or confirmed.

What does freedom mean to you at this unique moment in history?

Craig Brown, Columbian editor

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Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian files

Co-director and producer of the documentary filmBuffalo Soldiers of the Pacific Northwest

Freedom for me is being able to go for a jog in the morning, or take my daughters for a walk, or drive to the store without worrying about being targeted by some cop or racist who doesnt know me or cant identify with me because were different.

Freedom is all about having the right to be different.

As a Black man living in a rural part of Clark County, I drive past a confederate flag every day and Im reminded of that lack of appreciation of my freedom.

Is freedom the fear of living in the shadow of someones hate? Is freedom feeling persecuted by those who cling to a past that held people who look like me as slaves? Is freedom the feeling that police target my skin color? Is freedom a president who says white supremacists are good people too? America was founded on a lie that all men are created equal.

More than any other race it has been Black people who have struggled to turn that lie into truth, although our country is pretty far from it right now. People who dont have freedom fight the hardest for it.

Still, I have hope that if we got to know our neighbors who are different from ourselves we would see them as a human beings first.

While my culture and dress may be different than yours, Im a father, a husband and a person.

But you should know that my Independence Day is Juneteenth.

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Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian files

Homeless advocate and peer housing support at CVAB (Community Voices Are Born)

As a child, I learned that America was the freest place on Earth. Anyone could be whatever they wanted, and opportunities were limitless if I put in the effort. I learned that our freedoms of speech, religion and so forth applied to everyone.

As a young adult, I was moved to tears reading Emma Lazarus poem The New Colossus while visiting the Statue of Liberty: Give me your tired, your poor/ Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free/ The wretched refuse of your teeming shore./ Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me .

I was proud of America. I felt fortunate to live in a place that valued and embodied traits like compassion, empathy and acceptance, and took care of its people while welcoming more in.

To be young again, right? Today, I dont see us taking care of our tired, poor and homeless. In fact, I watch unsheltered human beings be herded, like cattle, from one block to the next at the request of those with money, property, power or influence. Freedom seems to be enjoyed only by those able to pay for it. If someone must ask permission to do things needed to survive eat, sleep, use the restroom they are not free. Focusing on our own individual freedoms, autonomy and quality of life has made us angry, entitled, fearful, greedy, depressed and addicted. Weve caused our own suffering by not caring more for each other. We wont experience true freedom until the freedom of others doesnt threaten our own.

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Retired U.S. Army colonel, former Vancouver city councilorand Clark County First Citizen 2017

As a young boy I learned the meaning of our Fourth of July and the Declaration of Independence from my father, a career naval officer, and through participation in Cub Scouts.

Freedom for me, like many others in our country, is all about democracy, rights, liberty, opportunity and equality. More so, it is about the opportunity for prosperity and success, as well as upward mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work and commitment. My father, a product of the Great Depression and World War II, stressed the importance that nothing is given to you; you have to work hard for success. As such, our country is among the freest nations on earth; our citizens enjoy tremendous liberty thanks to the way our government was set up by the founders. A democracy is a government in which the people are able to choose our leaders. I followed my father with a career in the U. S. Army.

The Declaration of Independence states that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, including the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. African Americans and women were not considered equal then. Our Constitution and amendments address equality and fairness but there is much to be done especially in our legal system to bring all America, especially African Americans, to a level playing field. I am hopeful.

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La Center resident and president of Clark County Citizens United

Because I grew up in a military family, I know the sacrifices countless men, women and their families make. Thank you to all who serve and have served to defend our freedoms in this complex nation we call home. God bless and protect all our active military and veterans!

Ideal freedom is having the ability to choose and to be responsible for the way one feels, acts, reacts and lives ones life. As Americans, we confirm our freedoms when we salute the flag, sing our anthem, cast a vote and join others in celebrating Americas birth, July 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence defines us as free Americans with the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, with those rights secured by a government that derives its powers from the consent of the governed.

The Constitution embraces our spirit of ideal freedom. The First Amendment grants us the ability to express what we believe, on equal footing. Clark County Citizens United routinely exercises that right with every testimony submitted to the public record. County councilors recently had a packed hearing room full of peaceful equestrians voicing their concerns about infringements to their ideal freedoms.

Americans have shown we are willing to go to great lengths to defend our freedoms and express our beliefs. Our America is a work in progress and is always evolving toward a more ideal and perfect union.

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Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian

2020 Clark College graduate

The American ideal of freedom has to be dependent upon the opportunities that have been put in place to level the playing field so that each individual can rise to their full potential.

Since I came to the United States from Kenya in August 2018, I have grown intellectually and socially by making good use of the opportunities that I have had. Speaking of intellectual growth, the education system in the United States is world-class. I was amazed by Washingtons Running Start program that lets high school students take college courses toward an associate degree. That kind of opportunity does not exist in Kenya where I completed my high school education.

Although Im transferring to Washington State University, Clark College is home to me; I have built lasting friendships I will always cherish. While studying at Clark College, I had the honor of serving the students as the president of the student government. In this capacity, I had the privilege of meeting with honorable people who serve in politics and economic development.

Based on my experience, I would say that this is what the American ideal of freedom is like: You are given the opportunity to become who you want to be. And it does not stop there, life is like an onion, you peel each piece fresh and useful. Make good use of each piece and keep growing.

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Senior pastor, Love at the Cross Ministries in Washougal

I believe the ideal American freedom is when humanity is not judged by the color of our skin, but by our character.

American freedom is when people have the right to make choices, free of bias. When people have equal access to housing, food, education, employment, and health care rights granted based on a persons merit as a human and without judgment.

Does America achieve this now? No. However, I believe our country has started the journey to strive toward it.

The Black Lives Matter movement that was re-energized by the tragic death of George Floyd is sweeping our country and world. Black lives matter is really a message to humanity that equality improves all lives. An injustice for one is an injustice for all. Unity can fuel change. Love conquers hate. And respect for everyone resolves these issues.

I am so proud of my brothers and sisters who are peacefully demonstrating the message that all lives matter. Equality, justice, unity, love, and respect for all must be present today and must exist for all future generations.

When we reach this level of equality, justice, unity, love, and respect, we will have achieved freedom.

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Woodland resident and frequent Columbian letter writer

Our Founding Fathers chose an unsurpassed framework of government that is all about freedom.

Our free will is everything. Im not yet forced into an internment camp for practicing Christianity. I enjoy my First and Second Amendments along with We the people government.

Lately, however, anarchists are allowed to rule. Politicians, both left and right, just stand and watch these radicals destroy history, pillage and burn businesses.

We all have sin. But, to make this all work for the human race, we must possess forgiveness as well, and a little love.

I will always stand for my nations flag and forever kneel to God.

My thanks to all our military and law enforcement for standing in harms way that we can celebrate our independence from tyranny. I pray it is not our last.

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Clark County First Citizen 2020-21

The American ideal of freedom is being able to speak freely without persecution, being able to express yourself, live and love freely and without fear. But as a woman with brown skin, Im told I have to support certain movements. Im told I have to vote a certain way. But as an American, I know that I have the freedom to say what I want, believe what I choose, and vote for whomever and whatever I think is best.

Today were not doing a good job of fighting for or handing down the American ideal. In some ways it seems like freedom is losing these days. It may seem like freedom is being threatened in America, but in reality, freedom is on the move. The uprise of movements to call for a fundamental change in judicial, political and economic systems, the right to health care, safe affordable housing, clean air and water, self-expression and dignity demonstrate the American ideal of freedom.

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Vancouver Symphony Orchestra executive director

As I reflect on the idea of freedom, I am overwhelmed by gratitude for the opportunities that were bestowed upon me in my life. I was born in Ukraine, and have been fortunate enough to experience various cultures and customs while spending time in different parts of the world.

In these unprecedented, challenging times of great uncertainty, fear and anxiousness I cant help but think that the beautiful concepts that make up the American ideal of freedom liberty, equality, opportunity and human rights are now more relevant than ever before on a global scale. Wouldnt it be amazing if humans all over the globe could put aside their differences and work together to make the world a better place for everybody, regardless of geographical location, political affiliations or socioeconomic circumstances?

I had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the fall of the Iron Curtain, the destruction of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War. It was an incredible experience to see how people from all over the world came together to communicate and cooperate in spite of speaking different languages and having different backgrounds. As borders opened, a tremendously powerful force of creativity and collaboration was unleashed that allowed people to join forces in scientific, cultural and artistic endeavors.

It is my hope that in the aftermath of current tragic and challenging events we can all join our efforts and collectively find a path to a better and brighter future.

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Living legally married to her wife in downtown Vancouver

To me, in the midst of this disorienting moment in our nations history, freedom is to feel the relief and peace of not having to ask for freedoms others freely enjoy.

In 2012, my now wife and I knocked on doors and begged strangers to fill in a bubble on a mail-in ballot that would let us be legally married. It worked, and in 2013 we became a legal family in our state. Two years later, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and in an instant we were legally married across the country. All because Edie Windsor took her case to the nations highest court to ask for equal treatment under federal law to request freedom.

Today, though, so many more people in my world are sincerely and earnestly asking the question: What do others in America have to ASK for, that I have always received? Is it safety to breathe? Opportunity to study or to work? Or grace to be afforded the benefit of the doubt? What am I taking for granted that others are still begging for?

And Im hopeful, because its going to take all of us who are free to thrive in America to recognize what that freedom feels like. To listen when Black and Brown and LGBTQ Americans are begging to live with dignity. For access to health care. For safe working conditions.

And then to fight, together, for those fundamental freedoms to be felt by all. Without asking.

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What does freedom mean to you? - The Columbian

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Freedom means the liberty to choose love over hate – The Detroit News

Posted: at 10:38 am

Ronnie McBrayer, Keeping the Faith Published 12:00 a.m. ET July 4, 2020

Freedom: Its the quintessential American theme, celebrated coast to coast this Fourth of July weekend. A word always emphasized to be sure, but as a concept, freedom is not nearly as well understood or enjoyed. In fact, what we often call freedom is selfishness, a far cry from the ideal of independence or liberty.

One of the more severe warnings given in the New Testament by the Apostle Paul, centuries before Jefferson, Locke, or Hamilton, was this: Do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence. Paul knew that not everyone championing freedom was talking about the same thing.

He understood that if the claim to freedom became a privatized, individualistic, egocentric exercise in narcissism, the end result would only be biting, devouring, and destruction. The individual might win, but it would be at the expense of the greater community, and freedom would become something far less and unworthy of the name.

How tragically and accurately true Pauls warning rings today, two millennia later. We live in a society where demanding ones rights or vindication of ones agenda without regard for who those demands might hurt, is all the rage and I do mean rage. But thats not freedom. Its selfishness.

In a truly free society, each person must weigh the impact his or her actions will have on the community at large. If an action causes more misery than good, its not an act of freedom. And even if a person is free to take an action, and even if he or she might somehow benefit personally by that action, if it intentionally harms others, it is not a right. It is wrong.

Yes, freedom is your right to do what you think is right, but its not your right to harm others. Hurt yourself (if you choose), but not the community. As Paul added to his fierce warning: Use your freedom as an opportunity, through love, to serve one another. Where then does true freedom lead us? Ironically, back to servitude! We choose in freedom to either serve ourselves, or to serve our neighbors.

In the words of that radical Jacques Ellul: Christians are called to stand against every form of evil and oppression, to make people more aware, more free. Thus, we are liberated not for selfish reasons, but to live as servants to the world, to go everywhere bearing liberty.

That is always the choice put before any freedom loving community, and so long as service of the greater good prevails, that community will thrive. But when sacrificial, conciliatory service of others is replaced by stubborn, selfish, individualism then freedom is lost for all.

Liberty isnt about being an American, about democracy, or capitalism. Freedom is about choosing love. So, when you are released from the fear, greed, hate, resentment, and selfishness that keep your view of the world utterly shrunken, and you have nothing left but love to give for yourself, your neighbor, and your God then, and only then, are you free.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, blogger, speaker, and author of multiple books. Visit his website at http://www.ronniemcbrayer.org.

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Freedom means the liberty to choose love over hate - The Detroit News

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There is no ‘I’ in ‘We the People’ – CNN

Posted: at 10:38 am

It goes: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

They carried on with the collective spirit when they wrote the Constitution 13 years later and began it with the phrase "We the people ..."

The colonists chose this as their number one gripe about King George III: "He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good."

Funny thing. We're talking about what's necessary for the public good today, too.

They also complained that local governors had to wait for the King's OK to pass certain laws, but then the King was neglectful of their needs. He got in the way of their attempts at self-rule. He obstructed justice.

He put standing armies within the people, made the military independent of civilian power. Things get gory after that, with plundered seas, ravaged coasts, burnt towns and destroyed lives.

That's the kind of freedom that was on display when President Donald Trump celebrated the Fourth of July at Mount Rushmore on Friday night.

At the same time, the fact that actual, meaningful freedom has been granted to Americans on a sliding scale is no longer in doubt.

Still, the fact that the Declaration was written by a slave owner and signed by other slave owners should not wreck its importance, even as we begin again to recontextualize it through 244 years of often painful growth.

We're going to remain divided on many things, for a long time yet, but if we could just all unite on wearing face masks for a while to get this pandemic under control, we can get through this.

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There is no 'I' in 'We the People' - CNN

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Living In The U.S. Is ‘Shameful And Hopeful’: Americans Reflect On Freedom This Independence Day – Here And Now

Posted: at 10:38 am

This Fourth of July weekend, the United States is confronting unprecedented challenges.

A pandemic is raging. A reckoning on racism is boiling over. To mark this moment, Here & Now producers asked people across the country to define freedom and what it means to be American in 2020

Listening to them, it's both extremely hopeful and heartbreaking at the same time, hopeful because they're optimists, says historian and founding father expert Clay Jenkinson. They believe in the idea of America."

After listening to some of the interviews, he notes the immigrants who shared their thoughts have a greater commitment to the ideals of America compared to people who lived in the country their whole lives and take it for granted.

Many of the Americans who have been here for generations are disillusioned, jaded, cynical, feeling very angry and unsettled. I think this is one of the most important July Fourths of my lifetime, the 65-year-old says. We're at an inflection point and we need to really take this one seriously.

Bao Nguyen is a 36-year-old filmmaker living in Los Angeles, California.

This year, July 4th, it makes me think about what America is and what America can become and what America's promise is. My parents were Vietnamese war refugees who spent two weeks out at sea leaving Vietnam because they felt like they had no future in their former homeland. And I often think about them and their journey when I think about my own American journey in many ways, because without their journey, I wouldn't be here.

For me, America is so many things. It's not just the country. It's really this ever-evolving story. We continually help create what its identity is. And I think for the most part, freedom is a social contract. It's not something that's given. It's something that's earned in many ways, even in a place like America where people assume that it's given. We've earned our freedom through sacrifice, through bloodshed, through labor and toil of people who have been marginalized and underrepresented in all these communities today that are standing up. They have fought for this freedom and we continue to fight for this freedom. And I don't think we should take it for granted.

Lucie Hutchins is a mother, grandmother of three, wife and senior software engineer living in Down East Maine. Born and raised in Cameroon in West Africa, she came to the U.S. in 1997 and became a citizen in 2008.

As an American, I shall feel safe and protected within the American soil from any attack, military, terrorism or biological. In a country where freedom is the norm, I shall not fear to voice my opinion. My skin color, my religion or my sexual orientation should not predict what I can do, what I can achieve, or who I can become.

Living in America today is both shameful and hopeful. It is shameful to know that in a country with the biggest defense budget in the world, in a country with the best educational and research institutions, the mortality rate for COVID-19 is higher than it is in countries like South Korea. It is a shame that in a country where freedom is the norm, the likelihood of being mistreated, denied opportunities or even killed just because you are different is still high. Black Lives Matter is a wake-up call. I see the silent majority joining hands with the movement to demand change. I see hope.

Anthony Tamez-Pochel is a 21-year-old Cree, Lakota, Black activist living in Chicago. He serves as vice-chair of the Center for Native American Youth Advisory Board, co-president of Chi-Nations Youth Council and works for Chicagos 33rd Ward Alderman Rossana Rodriguez.

Freedom to me is something that communities of color and indigenous communities, you know, we're always working towards freedom. But we've never gained it yet. Right. But I think indigenous communities more relies on tribal sovereignty and the United States, you know, respecting that. To be an American, I don't think it really means anything to me because I'm part of these sovereign nations and I'm Black. So that part of me was forcefully brought over here. And so I wouldn't say that I necessarily celebrate the Fourth of July. I have the day off so I'm definitely going to use it as a time to rest and a time to sit back and recognize my role for both of my communities, my Black community and my native community.

Jon Rogers, 60, worked a coal miner and lives on a farm in Western Kentucky

The coronavirus has been very problematic, obviously, and people's nerves are on edge. And there was a very terrible thing that happened to a man by the police, who we trust. And it was terrible. We've got to come together as a nation and we can work through this. Our freedoms were given to us by generations before us. And it's our responsibility to protect those freedoms and hand it down to our children and our grandchildren. And we can do that without fighting among ourselves if you will. That's my opinion.

I lost both my parents Iast year. My father served in the military and he told me about freedoms. It's very important for us that have never served to understand what a gift we've been given. We just need to guard the freedoms that we have because freedom is the right to be able to live your lives like you want to. And we as parents need to make sure our children understand that.

Davon Goodwin works as a farmer and food hub manager. He lives in Laurinburg, North Carolina, with his wife, Kenya, and their children, 8-year-old Amir and 4-month-old Olivia.

I think for me honestly being a combat veteran, on one end freedom means protecting and serving this country. It's very honorable and I know I'm proud of my service. But then on the other end, being a young Black male in America, it doesn't seem as free. It just doesn't feel good. To me, what it means to be American is you should be able to dream. And I don't think it's monolithic. I don't think you can just all look at yourselves as being American. Even though we all live in the same country, we all don't get the same opportunities in the same country. Until we get change, I think a lot of these meanings that we hold as Americans, they don't mean the same anymore. They don't have that same feeling that we normally feel for Fourth of July and this holiday weekend. I don't feel that way.

This Fourth of July, I will be probably working. My wife's an E.R. nurse so she deals with COVID patients. So we're a little nervous but like I explain to everybody, just like when I was a soldier, what I signed up for. As a nurse, she signed up to serve, you know. And no matter what, that's your duty, even though in these hard times we have to kind of be very mindful of where we go or what we do. But at the same time, we can't stop living. I think the next six months will be definitely a defining point in America's history with the 2020 election coming up. Depending on how these last police brutality cases, how they play out, that will be another defining point, how we go forward as Americans.

Zohra Nasar is a 22-year-old student who also works as a medical scribe in Hyattsville, Maryland. She came to the U.S. from India four and half years ago.

As someone from India who's also Muslim, when I was growing up, I actually saw girls like right after they graduated high school, they had to get married. And they were never allowed to get an education and stuff. I never thought I would live like this right now in America alone. So for me, that is freedom to me. And being able to work towards my success without somebody dictating it, although I still am Indian so my parents do have a little control over my life, but that's freedom to me.

I still want to be a citizen because a huge part of my life, I built it here and I was able to actually do that because of the opportunities here. That's what I like about America. But at the same time, with all the racial injustice that we're witnessing right now, that is also a bit of a conflict. Because if I ever have my own children here and things like that, I have to carefully think about different situations for them too so I am conflicted on that. But I think here I would live a better life than I would live back home.

Kent Stephenson, 33, does dirt construction for a living in his home state of Texas.

Freedom is freedom. And I feel like everybody in the world has kind of lost the fact that, you know, freedom comes with opinions. We're all entitled to our opinions and in our own way, our opinions are correct. And everybody's kind of like lost the fact that their neighbor's opinion is right in a way, even though you don't agree with it. Everybody's kind of about biting back. That's just the biggest thing. We have freedom of speech. You have people saying everything and doing everything from all over and, you know, from riots and protests. And they're right in their way of it when you think of it from their side. And then you got people defending it and they're right from their side. It's like we got to learn to find that compromise between ourselves. I think as long as we all keep our faith in the right places, it's all going to come out and be right.

Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz represents Queens neighborhoods Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights in the New York State Assembly. She is the first Dreamer to get elected to the state legislature of New York.

For me, being American is about privilege. Not only the privilege of being able to vote, but the privilege of not having to worry about being separated from my mom because we have a little piece of paper that guarantees us certain constitutional rights. My mother and I came from Columbia when I was nine years old and for a very long time it was just her and I. Then my two sisters and my brother were born and we also had this beautiful baby niece who's two and a half, and she represents everything we fought so hard for the idea of having a future in the United States, of being able to have an education and being able to work. That is what my baby niece represents.

When I think of freedom, I think of what parents have given up to make sure that their kids can survive. And to me, that means the immigrant parents who fled countries of origin. To me, that means the Black and Brown parents who are going out every day now to protest, to make sure that their kids don't have to endure what they've endured. To me, freedom means the ability to have those opportunities and to fight for them.

On calling 2020 the year we couldnt breathe in an opinion piece

It begins with George Floyd, eight minutes and 46 seconds. But then I reflected that everyone who's been on a ventilator and there've been tens of thousands [who have] also said, I can't breathe. And I think it's worse than that. I think as a civilization, as a nation, we're having a hard time breathing. We're hunched over where we're frightened. We're worried about what's about to come. The discourse is so poisonous in some respects that we just can't step back, take a deep breath and enjoy the blessings of American liberty. And so I think we need to learn to breathe again. Each of us individually and as friends and as couples and as a culture.

But we also, I think, need to remember that [Thomas] Jefferson, even though, you know, he's a highly imperfect human being, a slaveholder, among other things, he launched that sentence: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.' And what I've been reflecting on this week is that if that didn't mean everything, then it meant nothing. In other words, if it means white males of a certain property base, then it's a meaningless statement. If you say all human beings are created equal, at some point you're going to have to step up to that ideal. And if you don't, you're just humbug.

On Thomas Jeffersons controversial legacy

I'm so disappointed in Jefferson. When I started doing [Jefferson impersonations] a couple of decades ago, he was riding high and he was almost regarded as an accidental slaveholder. And that was foolish. Now we know it's just the opposite end of the spectrum. That puts him into a very difficult position. He's a hypocrite and maybe a contemptible hypocrite. And there are people that just can't take him seriously anymore because how could you say that all human beings are created equal and then buy and sell them and somehow learn to live with that whopping contradiction? So this is a period in which Jefferson is really on the ropes. And I take it very personally because I love him, but I think that that sentence is much, much, much greater than Thomas Jefferson. And we need his principles, even if we're gonna give him a D minus or worse in his personal behavior. The biggest mistake we could make would be to jettison Jefferson and the Jeffersonian just because we've now realized that he was a highly imperfect man.

Ciku Theuri, Marcelle Hutchins, Emiko Tamagawa, Ashley Locke, Chris Bentleyand Francesca Paris produced this interview.Tinku Rayand Paris edited it for broadcast.Allison Haganadapted it for the web.

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Living In The U.S. Is 'Shameful And Hopeful': Americans Reflect On Freedom This Independence Day - Here And Now

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Column: The shifting politics of face masks: Whose freedom is it? – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Posted: at 10:38 am

Congressional Republicans put out a clear message last week: Face masks are OK. You should wear one.

The concerted effort, reluctantly joined by President Donald Trump, should ease the partisan tension, if not end it, over face masks in the battle to stem the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Hopefully, that will do the same for the larger philosophical struggle that frames the dispute, one that has been at the center of American culture and history since the nations founding individual choice and liberty vs. collective freedom and security.

Striking a balance in that constant conflict isnt easy, and sometimes is downright impossible. When its an either/or situation as it seems with wearing a face mask whose rights matter more?

Increasingly, research has shown the simple act of wearing a facial covering when coming into contact with other people saves lives and helps the economy. The pendulum has long swung in favor of wearing masks. And while polls have shown growing majorities of both Democrats and Republicans doing so, there continues to be a sizable gap between the two, with the latter less enthusiastic.

Not wearing a mask is seen as a political statement for many an individual symbol of opposition to perceived overbearing government edicts. That was a dominant narrative in the media when protesters were rebelling against earlier stay-at-home orders and business closures.

Sometimes it appears theres not such deep thinking behind the choice, but more of a devil-may-care attitude, unaware of or ignoring what may be best for the greater good.

As the coronavirus spread has become worse, concern and anger among the larger populace notably including front-line health care workers have come to the fore.

Terry Taylor, patient care manager at Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vistas intensive care unit, has little patience with people who say requiring them to wear face masks infringes on their personal rights.

Wearing a mask, I think, is a minimal ask of anybody, Taylor told Paul Sisson of The San Diego Union-Tribune. Its a violation of human rights to expose somebody who is not going to be able to survive this COVID.

Perhaps this new bipartisan support behind the overwhelming consensus of health experts that wearing masks is essential will cause the pendulum to swing farther in that direction that, and the unfortunate fact that young people, who initially were relatively unaffected by the virus, are now becoming ill in alarming numbers.

It would be nice if the motivation driving this shift was solely concern for the publics health and welfare, but theres more to it than that.

While many Republicans have taken the coronavirus seriously from the start, others exhibited indifference or worse, seemingly taking comfort that it was a regional matter that didnt affect their political territory very much. This is when Democratic strongholds such as New York City and other major cities were being hit hard by the disease.

That, of course, has changed dramatically, as Politico noted last week:

On the pandemics first peak in early April, the states that voted for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton accounted for 67 percent of new Covid-19 cases. For the newest peak, which were still climbing, the states that voted for President Donald Trump have an even larger share: They accounted for 73 percent of new cases on June 28.

Then Goldman-Sachs released a study concluding that a national face mask mandate could help the United States avoid a 5 percent drop in gross domestic product without suffering the public health consequences of a viral resurgence, according to The Observer.

Greater use of masks would allow businesses to open more rapidly and recoup more losses from the shutdown.

Economists for the investment bank figured that a national mandate would increase the percentage of people who wear face coverings by 15 percent, The Observer reported, and reduce the daily growth rate of COVID-19 cases from the current 1.6 percent to 0.6 percent.

Trump has not suggested a national mandate is in the cards, but publicly has changed his view on facial coverings.

Im all for masks, he said on Wednesday, adding that he has worn one occasionally. ". . . I sort of liked the way I looked. It was OK.

The public has not yet seen the president wearing a mask, however. Republican lawmakers have urged him to do so, saying that would encourage more people to wear them as well.

Trump, whose stewardship of the economy has been central to his re-election campaign, no doubt knows what Goldman-Sachs had to say.

About two dozen states have some form of a mask mandate. On Thursday, Republican stronghold Texas instituted a mask requirement in most counties as coronavirus cases continued to spike throughout the state.

Above all of those considerations should be this: Wearing masks saves lives. Various research has shown that. As of Friday, nearly 130,000 people had died in the U.S. from COVID-19.

A coronavirus model created by the University of Washington says 33,000 lives could be saved by Oct. 1 if 95 percent of the U.S. population wore face masks in public. Current projections suggest more than 179,000 people could die from COVID-19 by then. University researchers say that would fall to 146,000 with near-universal mask-wearing.

Those are big political, economic and life-saving numbers. Even if theyre off a bit, they make it difficult to continue arguing against wearing a mask.

Increasingly, masks are being compared with automobile seat belts, which became mandatory in cars in the late 1960s, and in subsequent years all states except New Hampshire required their use. At the outset, many people adamantly resisted, contending it was an infringement on their rights.

The rate of seat-belt use now hovers at just over 90 percent, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Agency.

In 2017 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 14,955 lives and could have saved an additional 2,549 people if they had been wearing seat belts, NHTSA says.

The consequences of not wearing, or improperly wearing, a seat belt are clear.

Some advocates for facial coverings have been making this argument: Like masks, seat belts dont guarantee your safety, but give you much better odds of surviving an accident or avoiding more serious injury.

One big difference: Masks also help protect other people.

Tweet of the Week

Goes to Kasie Hunt (@kasie), NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent.

Bars. Bars are really not good. Dr. Anthony Fauci

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Column: The shifting politics of face masks: Whose freedom is it? - The San Diego Union-Tribune

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Triathletes return to a race course at the Freedom Springs Triathlon in Marianna – WMBB – mypanhandle.com

Posted: at 10:38 am

MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB) More than 200 triathletes raced at the 2020 Freedom Springs Triathlon at Blue Springs County Recreation Area in Marianna.

I had six races for this year, but everything has been canceled except this one so, very excited, said triathlete Brent Moody.

The race had to be canceled last year as the park was being repaired after Hurricane Michael. Race director, Olga Cemore, was determined to have the Independence Day event happen this year.

We have to respect whats going on, but we have to live, Cemore said.

Race organizers put several practices into place to ensure proper safety measures were met during the triathlon. There were individual water stations, sanitizing stations and wash stations. The athletes also started the event one at a time as oppose to a group swim.

The race offered what they called a rona wave for anyone who wanted to add more distance between themselves and other racers.

All athletes wore a timing chip, so they had a chance to win no matter when they crossed the start line.

If someone wanted to be all the way in the back away from everyone they certainly had that option, Cemore said.

Finishers medals were picked up individually by the athletes as oppose to having volunteers place them around the triathletes necks. The awards ceremony could be heard all throughout the park to ensure social distancing measures remained in place following the race.

Racers said it was great to be back around other athletes.

When you are with people at a race, you up your level no matter what, said triathlete and Panama City Beach resident, David Shearon.

Triathletes said they werent concerned for their safety during the sprint triathlon.

I feel like its a safe place to be, were all outdoors and were all out here because we want to be here, said triathlete, Mindi Straw.

Cemore said she was happy the event could still be held on the 4th of July.

I came from a country that doesnt have all the freedoms that people here do and 4th of July should be celebrated, Cemore said.

Roger Hagues of Georgia came in first place with a time of 52:43.

Panama City Beach triathlete David Shearon placed fifth with a time of 56:18. He said it was great to be back with his community of racers.

Hopefully things will calm down and well have more triatholans to race in, Shearon said.

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Triathletes return to a race course at the Freedom Springs Triathlon in Marianna - WMBB - mypanhandle.com

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Freedom isn’t free – Odessa American

Posted: at 10:38 am

OA logo 2 wide

Posted: Sunday, July 5, 2020 6:00 am

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Freedom isnt free Suzanne Valla,Odessa Odessa American

Governor Abbott made the right call in requiring face masks in public places. If Texans had been more diligent in following recommendations, this mandate most likely would not have been necessary. Texans like to say how much we cherish the freedom to make our own decisions, but there is an old saying, Freedom isnt free. When our freedom is putting doctors, nurses, health care workers, grocery store employees and other retail workers and their families at risk, then they are paying for our freedom to not wear a mask. Who could blame them all for walking off the job?

Thanks to Councilwoman Mari Willis for having the courage to vote to approve the ordinance requiring face masks at the recent Odessa City Council meeting. Whose freedom was it to not wear a mask that caused the death of her friend? I will not fault the rest of the council for failing to approve what I thought was a no brainer since, much to my chagrin, I was not there to voice my opinion and there seemed to be no support for the measure.

Covad has closed businesses, put people out of work, closed schools, shut down churches, put stress on families, and caused the price of oil which drives our economy to be at an all-time low. And now it is filling up our hospitals. There will be businesses that cannot survive another shutdown. God gave us all a brain and He intends for us to use it. Are we showing love to our fellow Odessans when we refuse to wear masks and do our own small part in stopping this devastating disease? The Bible tells us that if we have not love, we are just a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. PLEASE ODESSA, lets show the rest of Texas we are a city of love for one another and not just a clanging cymbal.

Posted in Letters To Editor on Sunday, July 5, 2020 6:00 am. | Tags: Letter

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Power glider crash cause power disruption in Town of Freedom – WeAreGreenBay.com

Posted: at 10:38 am

OUTAGAMIE, Wis. (WFRV) The Town of Freedom faced disruption of power after a pair of power gliders struck a power line and crashed in a farm field on Saturday night.

According to the Outagamie County Sheriffs Office, deputies responded at around 8 p.m. to the area of N3800 Weyers Road in the Town of Freedom for a report of a power glider that had struck a power line and crashed in a farm field.

Upon deputies arrival, it was determined the power glider was operated by an adult man with an adult woman passenger, who are both from the Freedom area.

Officials said the operator of the power glider was not injured and the passenger was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Deputies believe the power to the immediate area was disrupted due to the crash. WE Energies is said to have responded to the scene to restore power.

The Outagamie County Sheriffs Office was assisted at the scene by Gold Cross Ambulance.

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Hong Kong’s security law could have a chilling effect on press freedom – CNN

Posted: at 10:38 am

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While some tycoons publicly endorse the law, others criticize it for undermining the city's standing as a financial hub. u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/will-ripley" target="_blank">CNN's Will Ripeyu003c/a> reports.","descriptionText":"Despite human rights and activist opposition to the u003ca href="https://edition.cnn.com/2020/06/29/china/hong-kong-national-security-law-passed-intl-hnk/index.html" target="_blank">newly promulgated Hong Kong u003c/a>national security legislation, the business world has mixed reactions to it. While some tycoons publicly endorse the law, others criticize it for undermining the city's standing as a financial hub. u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/will-ripley" target="_blank">CNN's Will Ripeyu003c/a> reports."},{"title":"Are Chinese shoppers ready to spend? 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CNN's Kristi Lu Stout reports.","descriptionText":"As Beijing moves to tighten its grip on Hong Kong, the United States may soon terminate its special economic and trading relationship with the territory. 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CNN's Kristie Lu Stout reports.","descriptionText":"Stanley Ho, a billionaire businessman who made his fortune in Macao's gambling industry, has died aged 98 in Hong Kong according to his family. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout reports."},{"title":"Here's how China is trying to control the Covid-19 narrative","duration":"03:59","sourceName":"CNN Business","sourceLink":"","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2020/05/15/china-coronavirus-narrative-hadas-gold-lon-orig.cnn-business/index.xml","videoId":"business/2020/05/15/china-coronavirus-narrative-hadas-gold-lon-orig.cnn-business","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200505112238-china-ppe-cargo-leipzig-0427-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2020/05/15/china-coronavirus-narrative-hadas-gold-lon-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-china/","description":"The narrative around the coronavirus can be complicated. Now experts say governments are deliberately deepening the confusion.","descriptionText":"The narrative around the coronavirus can be complicated. Now experts say governments are deliberately deepening the confusion."},{"title":"Small businesses suffer despite lifting lockdown in Wuhan","duration":"03:18","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2020/04/24/china-small-business-coronavirus-aftermath-culver-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"business/2020/04/24/china-small-business-coronavirus-aftermath-culver-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200424120930-wuhan-business-after-lockdown-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2020/04/24/china-small-business-coronavirus-aftermath-culver-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/business-china/","description":"Although Wuhan has reopened after a 76-day lockdown, small businesses in the original epicenter of Covid-19 are far from recovered. u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/david-culver" target="_blank">CNN's David Culveru003c/a> speaks to one restaurant owner who is struggling to get financial relief. ","descriptionText":"Although Wuhan has reopened after a 76-day lockdown, small businesses in the original epicenter of Covid-19 are far from recovered. u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/david-culver" target="_blank">CNN's David Culveru003c/a> speaks to one restaurant owner who is struggling to get financial relief. "},{"title":"The moral dilemma of doing business in China, explained","duration":"02:50","sourceName":"CNN Business","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com/business","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2019/11/08/china-influence-on-american-companies-orig.cnn-business/index.xml","videoId":"business/2019/11/08/china-influence-on-american-companies-orig.cnn-business","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181016143937-101618-china-tech-companies-gfx-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2019/11/08/china-influence-on-american-companies-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-china/","description":"From airlines to the NBA, CNN's Christine Romans explains why American companies often end up compromising on moral positions to appease China.","descriptionText":"From airlines to the NBA, CNN's Christine Romans explains why American companies often end up compromising on moral positions to appease China."},{"title":"China censors a lot, from Winnie the Pooh to the NBA","duration":"01:56","sourceName":"CNN Business","sourceLink":"","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2019/10/08/china-media-censorship-nba-orig.cnn-business/index.xml","videoId":"business/2019/10/08/china-media-censorship-nba-orig.cnn-business","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200219163815-01-china-beijing-1902-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2019/10/08/china-media-censorship-nba-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-china/","description":"China's censorship laws are decisive and broad, and they include everything from Winnie the Pooh to the NBA.","descriptionText":"China's censorship laws are decisive and broad, and they include everything from Winnie the Pooh to the NBA."},{"title":"The trade war's latest victim: Manufacturing","duration":"02:37","sourceName":"CNN Business","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com/business","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2019/09/05/manufacturing-trade-war-orig.cnn-business/index.xml","videoId":"business/2019/09/05/manufacturing-trade-war-orig.cnn-business","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180717103755-gfx-trade-war-trump-usa-china-cracked-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2019/09/05/manufacturing-trade-war-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-china/","description":"For the first time in 3 years, ISM readings signal that the manufacturing sector has contracted. CNN Business's Christine Romans explains what that means amidst the US/China trade war.","descriptionText":"For the first time in 3 years, ISM readings signal that the manufacturing sector has contracted. CNN Business's Christine Romans explains what that means amidst the US/China trade war."},{"title":"Huawei launches operating system as a hedge in trade war","duration":"02:15","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/tech/2019/08/09/huawei-launches-new-harmony-operating-system-rivers-sot-first-move.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"tech/2019/08/09/huawei-launches-new-harmony-operating-system-rivers-sot-first-move.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190809085340-04-huawei-harmony-os-0809-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/tech/2019/08/09/huawei-launches-new-harmony-operating-system-rivers-sot-first-move.cnn/video/playlists/business-china/","description":"Huawei has finally unveiled its Harmony operating system, a move that could help shield the smartphone maker from the escalating US-China trade war. CNN's Matt Rivers reports.","descriptionText":"Huawei has finally unveiled its Harmony operating system, a move that could help shield the smartphone maker from the escalating US-China trade war. CNN's Matt Rivers reports."},{"title":"Huawei and 5G: What's at stake ","duration":"01:32","sourceName":"CNN Business","sourceLink":"","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2019/05/30/huawei-5g-china-us-ban.cnn-business/index.xml","videoId":"business/2019/05/30/huawei-5g-china-us-ban.cnn-business","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190530140747-huawei-exhibition-hall-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2019/05/30/huawei-5g-china-us-ban.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-china/","description":"CNN gets access to Huawei's 5G exhibition hall and takes a look at how the trade blacklist threatens the rollout of the ultra-fast network. ","descriptionText":"CNN gets access to Huawei's 5G exhibition hall and takes a look at how the trade blacklist threatens the rollout of the ultra-fast network. "},{"title":"How Jack Ma changed China","duration":"03:02","sourceName":"CNN Business","sourceLink":"","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2018/09/27/jack-ma-alibaba.cnn-business/index.xml","videoId":"business/2018/09/27/jack-ma-alibaba.cnn-business","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180918053804-01-jack-ma-0917-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2018/09/27/jack-ma-alibaba.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-china/","description":"Jack Ma has become arguably the most public face of China's internet boom since he started e-commerce giant Alibaba 19 years ago.","descriptionText":"Jack Ma has become arguably the most public face of China's internet boom since he started e-commerce giant Alibaba 19 years ago."},{"title":"Why American fast food chains will do anything to win in China","duration":"01:43","sourceName":"CNN Business","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com/business","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2019/02/28/american-fast-food-china.cnn-business/index.xml","videoId":"business/2019/02/28/american-fast-food-china.cnn-business","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190228144427-kfc-china-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2019/02/28/american-fast-food-china.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-china/","description":"US fast food giants like KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell are using high tech, unique ingredients and upscale restaurants to win over the Chinese market.","descriptionText":"US fast food giants like KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell are using high tech, unique ingredients and upscale restaurants to win over the Chinese market."},{"title":"This is China's answer to the electric car","duration":"02:25","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2018/11/22/electric-vehicle-tesla-chinese-competitors-innovate-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"business/2018/11/22/electric-vehicle-tesla-chinese-competitors-innovate-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181122022750-innovate-shenzhen-byd-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2018/11/22/electric-vehicle-tesla-chinese-competitors-innovate-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/business-china/","description":"In the race to dominate the global electric vehicle market, you might think that Tesla is leading the pack. But CNN's u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/matt-rivers" target="_blank">Matt Riversu003c/a> reports several Chinese competitors are catching up - if not already ahead. ","descriptionText":"In the race to dominate the global electric vehicle market, you might think that Tesla is leading the pack. But CNN's u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/matt-rivers" target="_blank">Matt Riversu003c/a> reports several Chinese competitors are catching up - if not already ahead. 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CNN's Kristi Lu Stout reports.","descriptionText":"As Beijing moves to tighten its grip on Hong Kong, the United States may soon terminate its special economic and trading relationship with the territory. CNN's Kristi Lu Stout reports."},{"title":"Remembering the life of Stanley Ho, Macao's 'godfather of gambling'","duration":"02:41","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"us.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2020/05/26/stanley-ho-gambling-macao-hong-kong-obit-lu-stout-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"business/2020/05/26/stanley-ho-gambling-macao-hong-kong-obit-lu-stout-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200526094933-stanley-ho-obit-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2020/05/26/stanley-ho-gambling-macao-hong-kong-obit-lu-stout-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/business-china/","description":"Stanley Ho, a billionaire businessman who made his fortune in Macao's gambling industry, has died aged 98 in Hong Kong according to his family. 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Now experts say governments are deliberately deepening the confusion.","descriptionText":"The narrative around the coronavirus can be complicated. Now experts say governments are deliberately deepening the confusion."},{"title":"Small businesses suffer despite lifting lockdown in Wuhan","duration":"03:18","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2020/04/24/china-small-business-coronavirus-aftermath-culver-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"business/2020/04/24/china-small-business-coronavirus-aftermath-culver-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200424120930-wuhan-business-after-lockdown-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2020/04/24/china-small-business-coronavirus-aftermath-culver-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/business-china/","description":"Although Wuhan has reopened after a 76-day lockdown, small businesses in the original epicenter of Covid-19 are far from recovered. u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/david-culver" target="_blank">CNN's David Culveru003c/a> speaks to one restaurant owner who is struggling to get financial relief. ","descriptionText":"Although Wuhan has reopened after a 76-day lockdown, small businesses in the original epicenter of Covid-19 are far from recovered. u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/david-culver" target="_blank">CNN's David Culveru003c/a> speaks to one restaurant owner who is struggling to get financial relief. "},{"title":"The moral dilemma of doing business in China, explained","duration":"02:50","sourceName":"CNN Business","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com/business","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2019/11/08/china-influence-on-american-companies-orig.cnn-business/index.xml","videoId":"business/2019/11/08/china-influence-on-american-companies-orig.cnn-business","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181016143937-101618-china-tech-companies-gfx-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2019/11/08/china-influence-on-american-companies-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-china/","description":"From airlines to the NBA, CNN's Christine Romans explains why American companies often end up compromising on moral positions to appease China.","descriptionText":"From airlines to the NBA, CNN's Christine Romans explains why American companies often end up compromising on moral positions to appease China."},{"title":"China censors a lot, from Winnie the Pooh to the NBA","duration":"01:56","sourceName":"CNN Business","sourceLink":"","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2019/10/08/china-media-censorship-nba-orig.cnn-business/index.xml","videoId":"business/2019/10/08/china-media-censorship-nba-orig.cnn-business","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200219163815-01-china-beijing-1902-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2019/10/08/china-media-censorship-nba-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-china/","description":"China's censorship laws are decisive and broad, and they include everything from Winnie the Pooh to the NBA.","descriptionText":"China's censorship laws are decisive and broad, and they include everything from Winnie the Pooh to the NBA."},{"title":"The trade war's latest victim: Manufacturing","duration":"02:37","sourceName":"CNN Business","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com/business","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2019/09/05/manufacturing-trade-war-orig.cnn-business/index.xml","videoId":"business/2019/09/05/manufacturing-trade-war-orig.cnn-business","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180717103755-gfx-trade-war-trump-usa-china-cracked-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2019/09/05/manufacturing-trade-war-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-china/","description":"For the first time in 3 years, ISM readings signal that the manufacturing sector has contracted. CNN Business's Christine Romans explains what that means amidst the US/China trade war.","descriptionText":"For the first time in 3 years, ISM readings signal that the manufacturing sector has contracted. CNN Business's Christine Romans explains what that means amidst the US/China trade war."},{"title":"Huawei launches operating system as a hedge in trade war","duration":"02:15","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/tech/2019/08/09/huawei-launches-new-harmony-operating-system-rivers-sot-first-move.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"tech/2019/08/09/huawei-launches-new-harmony-operating-system-rivers-sot-first-move.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190809085340-04-huawei-harmony-os-0809-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/tech/2019/08/09/huawei-launches-new-harmony-operating-system-rivers-sot-first-move.cnn/video/playlists/business-china/","description":"Huawei has finally unveiled its Harmony operating system, a move that could help shield the smartphone maker from the escalating US-China trade war. CNN's Matt Rivers reports.","descriptionText":"Huawei has finally unveiled its Harmony operating system, a move that could help shield the smartphone maker from the escalating US-China trade war. CNN's Matt Rivers reports."},{"title":"Huawei and 5G: What's at stake ","duration":"01:32","sourceName":"CNN Business","sourceLink":"","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2019/05/30/huawei-5g-china-us-ban.cnn-business/index.xml","videoId":"business/2019/05/30/huawei-5g-china-us-ban.cnn-business","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190530140747-huawei-exhibition-hall-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2019/05/30/huawei-5g-china-us-ban.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-china/","description":"CNN gets access to Huawei's 5G exhibition hall and takes a look at how the trade blacklist threatens the rollout of the ultra-fast network. 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Hong Kong's security law could have a chilling effect on press freedom - CNN

Posted in Freedom | Comments Off on Hong Kong’s security law could have a chilling effect on press freedom – CNN

Homeownership is the greatest kind of freedom and it should be for all – Inman

Posted: at 10:38 am

With the overwhelming effects of the pandemic and the racial injustices people are facing and fighting every single day, one common need is emphasized now more than ever: the American dream.

In these trying times, its important to remember what matters most equality. Now more than ever, Americans are tasked with the challenge to speak up, get our opinions heard and spread an important message about equal opportunity.

On this Fourth of July, perhaps we ought to look back at how we got here in the first place. Originally, it was just a dream, then a manifesto, and later, a declaration. The U.S. Declaration of Independence states:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Natures God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

How is it that we often gloss over one of the most important declarations in our nations history? Let these words sink in for a minute. All men created equal. Unalienable rights. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Isnt that what we all aspire to achieve? I would like to think so.

Between the overwhelming effects of the pandemic to the injustices that many of us face and fight against every single day, one thing remains the American dream.

Last year, I wrote about the American dream and its ties to homeownership. It still rings true today, perhaps even more so, as our very livelihood and personal freedoms are being challenged on the world stage.

No matter how bleak it gets, I still believe in the greater good, in the power of equality and in the strength that comes from aspiring to achieve the very basis of the American dream. This of course leads me to an iconic speech by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. that I am often reminded of, particularly as we near this Fourth of July.

I say to you today, my friends, though, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal

This dream is not only rooted in equality but in the most basic of human needs the freedom to earn a wage, to vote, to own a home. The American dream is not dead. Its alive and well. And if we continue to work together from a place of peace and justice for all, impactful change will come.

Until then, we must continue to fight the good fight. We must listen. We must demonstrate our commitment to making the world a better place.

As stewards of homeownership, we are called upon to ensure that every American, regardless of race, color, gender or creed, has the opportunity to pursue that most essential part of the American dream. Because homeownership is and always will be one of the greatest freedoms of all.

Troy Palmquist is the founder and broker ofThe Addressin Southern California. Follow him onFacebook,or connect with him onLinkedIn.

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Homeownership is the greatest kind of freedom and it should be for all - Inman

Posted in Freedom | Comments Off on Homeownership is the greatest kind of freedom and it should be for all – Inman

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