Mark Olbert

Mark Olbert

This Independence Day comes at a disturbing time, with rights being trampled so that personal privileges can be maintained. Underpay people, denying them a decent life while enriching yourself. Require everyone to risk slaughter by madmen so you can protect yourself against imaginary threats. Take control over women’s bodies because they can’t be trusted to do what you think best.

But there is reason for hope. Because, while distorting our principles got us into this mess, those ideals also point the way out. If enough people exert themselves to get us back on track.

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(13) comments


The solution to our problems is equal opportunities, not socialist equal outcomes. Our constitution places the rights of individuals above the right of government, unlike most governments in the world. The hallmark of America is individual freedom. Our capitalistic system has done more to raise living standards in the world than any other system. Our constitution wisely provides checks and balances on the power of our Federal Government. We have become the greatest country on earth and the one most people choose to immigrate to. Americans are also the most giving of people in the world through private charities and foundations, and also have federal, state and local welfare systems that in total spend $8 tril/year to provide close to a medium income for most recipients. Our biggest danger is that leftist leaders seek to exploit our differences to empower themselves as authoritarian leaders. If history has taught anything it’s that there is no such thing as a benevolent authoritarian government. Long live America and our constitutional freedoms!


Mr. Kahl,

I am not sure if you get your news from Hannity and Carlson or if you have been out of the country for five years or both. Trump tried his best to use every aspect of the American government to benefit himself while fooling the gullible into believing he was helping the little guy. His four years in office were a total abuse of power for one purpose and one purpose only. That was to benefit the only thing he cares about, himself. Not his family, not the country, nothing but Donald J. Trump.

He made unqualified members of his family and his friends staff members in high positions so they could also reap the benefits of government supplied transportation and security so they could conduct private business under the guise of official government business. He spent months on his own golf courses while charging inflated rates to the Secret Service and others involved with security to fatten his own pocket. (In actuality that was probably some of the best tax payer money spent because while on the course he wasn’t ruining some part of America.) You said that our constitution provides checks and balances on the power of the Federal Government, something Trump disregarded regularly. He tried to use the judicial department to seek revenge on people he didn’t like as if they were his own police department. He cozied up to dictators around the world, especially his BFF, Vladimir, if for no other reason than to have a place to go when he is exiled. At the end of his four years of corruption he tried to overturn the election and the government to take over as self appointed dictator wannabe and despot. Your ending, “Long live America and our constitutional freedoms!” will only be possible if all involved in Trump’s inner circle of corrupt politicians, family, and supporters of his great lie are prevented from ever having a position of power in the government again.

Dirk van Ulden

Taffy - how many of your allegations do actually apply to Biden and his family? Have you been under a rock for the past 18 months?



I am guessing you are talking about Hunter and his payments from China and the Ukrainian oil deal. If so, that is pocket change compared to the multimillions taken in by the corrupt Trump clan, which they are still collecting.

Terence Y

It’s our friend Taffy, with, wait for it… another orange man bad rant. That’s par for the course. Yet Taffy appears to feel the dubious accomplishments by treasonous Biden in the form inflation not seen in 40 years, unlimited invaders from the south, complete surrender to the Taliban, becoming a global laughingstock, etc. are preferable to our great President Trump. You know Taffy’s shtick where he accuses others of living in a fantasy world? It turns out Taffy lives on Htrae. Have a great Fourth of July, Taffy!



I will have a nice 4th of July knowing that you are starting to see things in the real world. Your only reply is to deflect and change the subject, you did not refute any of the points I made. Every day more and more information is coming out about your great corrupt conman, Donald J Trump. Your orange man and his flock of minions will look good in their matching orange jumpsuits.

Once again have a great holiday and celebrate America, just remember to not drink and drive or hurt yourself playing with fireworks!!

Terence Y

Taffy, your only reply is to deflect and change the subject - you did not refute any of the points I made. Every day more and more information is coming out about what treasonous Biden’s America Last policies are doing to America. Of course in your land of Htrae, you’re probably gearing up for the foxhunt and polo match, followed by high tea and crumpets. When I return from vacation, let me know if reality hit and you join us back on Earth.


Ed, you write “The hallmark of America is individual freedom.” Agreed. That freedom should include every citizen the right to choose their own healthcare, especially women. It should include every child the freedom of going to school without the fear of being murdered with an assault weapon.

However, our greatest fear is not leftist leaders as you espouse. Rather our greatest fear is the loss of democracy under attack by the right to overturn our voting rights at every turn by attacking our Capitol, changing voting districts and voting rights, and gerrymandering areas to undermine majority rule.

Finally, our democracy will certainly suffer if justice is not served by application to all, if Trump and his minions are not brought to criminal trial for their attempts at a coup on 1/6. Justice must be blind, not exempted by the rich and powerful.

Tommy Tee

You mean the freedoms that SCOTUS has taken away, and will take away? Our biggest danger is the conservatives and extremist Supreme Court.

Terence Y

Thanks for your opinion Mr. Olbert. The American experiment is only in peril when we have people unwilling to follow our system of government, and our separation of powers and our system of federal and states’ rights. You are correct that righting the ship won’t be easy and we need everyone to think critically and objectively. Unfortunately, it’ll have to occur in the near future, after the shortage of critical thinking and objectivity regarding the recent Dobbs ruling has passed. Let’s see if critical thinking and objectivity show up when the next outrage du jour appears.


Yay Terence! And... I am always reminded that our unique balance of powers only works when all three branches, individuals, the press, and organizations of all shapes and sizes assert their rights and work for their rights diligently.



I am not sure if you have been drinking good American whiskey or if my meds have been playing games with my mind but I think I actually agree with you. If so it would be only the second time in year and a half. Have nice 4th of July weekend and celebrate America!!


Mayor Olbert - Thank you! So much history and food for thought packed into 800 or so words. One of the key things I learned from an amazing man who helped broker peace in Northern Ireland and continues to support peacemaking efforts around the world is that in order for there to be peace, people need to be able to see 'the other' in their futures. While I'm not a fan of the word "tolerance," in that I would rather celebrate and treasure people different from me, I can see where being able to tolerate someone is far better than not being able to see them in my future. So, as we head into July 4th, I'll do my best to monitor my thoughts, words, and actions, to remind myself that America is a grand experiment, only a few hundred years old, still having growing pains, and be grateful that most of the time, we get to use our words and our votes and our feet to work for what we want. Thank you for your words and work. Happy 4th to us all!

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