Why I’m Seeking a New Independence Day

53 | By Shah Gilani

Independence Day is coming!

This year July 4th falls on a Wednesday, and, of course, America will be celebrating good old Independence Day.

That’s right, we’ll celebrate old Independence Day – that day in 1776 when we declared our freedom from oppression and went on to fight, win, and build the greatest country on earth. And we built it on the foundation of two of the most magnificent cornerstones ever to be laid in the history of nation-building: the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights.

So while we are looking forward to celebrating our old Independence Day, let’s not forget to keep looking for our New Independence Day.

Yeah, you know, the New Independence Day that’s coming, eventually, but just keeps getting further and further away in the meantime.

You don’t know what I’m talking about? Yeah you do.

If you’re anything like me, you don’t want to admit it, but you see it and you’re starting to get scared and probably a little angry. In my case, I’ll tell you, it’s a lot angry.

We believers in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are seeing their protections being eroded in the name of “freedom.”

We are seeing Congress after Congress and president after president aid and abet the dilution of our guaranteed freedoms. And they’re doing it by instilling fear in us, and telling us that they’re making us safer in an increasingly unsafe world and that they know what’s best for us and how to protect us.

They’re doing a lot of bad stuff we can’t even see. Like watching us.

Oh yeah, Big Brother is all grown up. He lives in our computers, on the Internet, across satellites and landlines, and through the pipes that deliver and send our voices and the personal data that makes up our lives. He’s there in the cameras that catch us in our cars, when we’re transacting private business with our banks, when we travel through every airport and mass transit hub. He’ll be following us with drones in our own neighborhoods soon (already).

But that’s all for our own good, you know.

That is, until you’re declared a “terrorist” or “terrorist sympathizer” by somebody who has the power to label you like can of soup gets labeled. Then you may get “renditioned” to some off-shore safe haven where it’s safe to torture you in the name of freedom.

But, of course, we can always speak up and change these things that we’re scared about, that we’re angry about. We can always protest because we have freedom of speech, right?

Oh, sorry, no, you didn’t get the memo, did you?

It’s about that First Amendment; you know the one that kind of goes like:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Yeah, that one. You know it. Well, start waving goodbye, because it’s being railroaded out of town, your town, my town, the “We the People’s” town – America.

I’m talking about the recently signed into law (in March) bill titled the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011.

No, it’s not an appropriations, pork-barrel, dole out to your friends and yourself some more taxpayer money kind of bill. And it’s not going to clean up old buildings and overgrown gardens around the Capitol.

It’s also known as H.R. 347 (HR as in House of Representatives), and it reconciled itself with Senate Bill 1794. It’s now the law of the land.

It makes it a federal offense to knowingly (and without authority) enter the White House grounds, or any building or grounds where the President or anyone under Secret Service protection will be visiting, or any such event restricted due to some national significance.

Here’s what’s especially nasty about it…

According to, “The law used to say that the person must have entered the area “knowingly’ and “willfully.’ HR 347, however, scrapped the “willfully,’ which essentially now renders it a crime to remain in a restricted area, even if you do not know that it’s illegal for you to be there.”

It’s being called the “anti-Occupy Bill.” It’s all about keeping us safe, you know. Well, maybe not us, but important folks. Folks like the President, the Vice-President, dead presidents, anybody that has Secret Service protection.

And a lot of folks can get Secret Service protection, don’t you know. And somehow the whole individuals-under-Secret-Service-protection thing morphed into buildings and events, too – events that are known as National Special Security Events.

You know, events like the Republican or Democratic National Conventions, the Super Bowl, and yes, even the Academy Awards (what? oh yeah, really, the Academy Awards).

Because these people, these buildings, these events are so important and shouldn’t be bothered or subject to, heaven forbid, legitimate protestors, or even a guy on a soapbox with a Bible reciting the Lord’s Prayer, the law, HR 347, says they can be arrested.

Protesting is now a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

Am I oversimplifying the law, a little bit? Yes. But it’s not a stretch at all to recognize that any time someone is under Secret Service protection, even passing through anywhere, in a building, at an event, or technically on the street walking, protestors can be arrested, yes, totally indiscriminately.

And the “protestor” who may not even be protesting, but just a persona non grata in the eyes of someone who labels them such, doesn’t even have to “willfully” know they’re even in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The law has been around the Capitol mostly as a kind of “trespass” law. But again, its recent expansion included taking out the word “willfully” from what used to be: “that protestors can be prosecuted if they enter the area willfully and knowingly.”

So, now you can enter some place knowingly, but not willfully? As if you ever enter anywhere unknowingly. That’s easy to prove. Imagine:

“Mr. Gilani, did you knowingly enter the place?”


“Oh, you mean, Mr. Gilani, that you didn’t knowingly place one foot in front of the other to get into that area?”

“Well, of course I knowingly place one foot in front of the other; that’s how I walk, idiot.”

“Ah-HA, then you admit knowingly entering the area!”

And as for the “willfully” thing, now no one has to prove anyone did anything willfully. There is no burden of proof. That’s a neat little trick, for our own safety, you know.

Representative Justin Amash (R-Mich.) explained the change by saying: “The bill expands current law to make it a crime to enter or remain in an area where an official is visiting even if the person does not know it’s illegal to be in that area and has no reason to suspect its illegal.”

Michael Mahaffey, communications director for Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), the man responsible for introducing the bill to the House, pooh-poohed civil liberties issues by saying that the protests against H.R. 347 are, “a whole lot of kerfuffle over nothing. This (HR 347) doesn’t affect anyone’s right to protest anywhere at any time. Ever.” Mahaffey said, “…right now it’s not a federal violation to jump the fence and run across the White House lawn, this bill makes it a federal violation.”

Wow, the ability to quell protests and free speech is being likened to an idiot running across the White House lawn; that just says it all. Now I get it, and I feel safer, don’t you?

All sarcasm aside, I hope you have a great Independence Day holiday.

And in all seriousness, I hope you keep fighting the good fight with me for a New Independence Day when we can be free of the tyranny of successive Congresses and presidents who would enslave us for their own ends, like eventually running this country into the ground.

Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights. We did it before, and now it’s time again.


53 Responses to Why I’m Seeking a New Independence Day

  1. Louise Cave says:

    As a retired publisher of hard-copy, not emails, I compliment you again on the way you write. That spoonful of sugar, or vinegar!, stirred into the text makes your financial columns unique and very readable. And I agree that our rights are being skillfully eroded!

  2. mart says:

    thank’s Shah. i just happened to read on Stalin’s legislation in the 20s and 30s. what’s happening now in this country bears an uncanny resemblance.

  3. F. Brown says:


    Another one bites the dust, and the majority of the citizens of our great country will continue to snooze while the remainder of their freedoms are stripped away! I applaud your work to inform us of what we would rather not admit is true, but the writings on the wall. PREPARE for the WORST and HOPE for the BEST! Keep on keeping on, Shah!

  4. James Tompkins says:

    Shah, Get up, stand up for your rights? What have you been smoking? I love your insights and particularly your recent revelations concerning the mismanagement of the global economy. I always thought of you as a conservative, business minded commentator. I think that there is a trace of a radical, sixties, open minded, caring person. I’m presently in Cambodia, where the people basically have no rights and it’s not a stretch to see that your great country is adopting some of the tactics used here to keep the people down while the government does as it pleases. Happy Independence Day to you and don’t give up the fight.

  5. PBeck says:

    “And we built it on the foundation of two of the most magnificent cornerstones ever to be laid in the history of nation-building: the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights.”

    This is why this country continues to slide and is no longer the great country it once was – we’ve forgotten what the founders knew “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. ”

    Our foundation & cornerstone once was our Creator & our Lord. Our rights were given by God, not government. No one was above the law. All were held accountable to God’s Laws.

    • mart says:

      Not really. Remember the people who signed this owned slaves. THe rights have always been only to some. Also notice the phrasing “the pursuit of Happiness” is what is allowed however the actual Happiness is not really a right….they knew how to word it.

  6. terry berrman says:

    the advent of internet communication makes it a secret weapon in the fight you have described and it can and will be a leathal weapon if used properly to those who render the bill of rights and the constitution to be comic books.Each day more of us are awakened to the crass tyranny of government bureacrats who use the rule of law as their own club to beat people into submission and compliance with policies and regulations that they have no idea exsisted.Congressional watchdogs are sleeping and their bones are being stolen by crafty politicans who attach amendments to necessary legislation to sneak it through and let it become law with out the general public even knowing it.The beginning rule was to be right and just in your life and dealings and all would be well.we now have several rights and jusyts depending who has the money and who is in power.The problem is that there are too many lavers between the elected represenatives that we are supposed to be able to hold accountable and they voters who put them there.Lifetime Bueraucrats appointed by both parties remain in office and interpret policy as they see fit,and impliment policy as they deem necessary
    to comply with that which they say is the will of the people.without commiting murder or high value scandal that can be publisized in national media they just remain with their 6 hour workdays and Wednesday golf tee times and three martini lunches with the secretary they are too old and tired to chase around the desk.
    my new independence day is my refuseal to participate in their plans and rules.And the market that controls so much of the infrastructure and direction is part of the problem.But wait,there soon will be a time for those thinkers and manipulators to be in the bread lines with the rest of us and their ability to steal will be rewarded with nothing.That will have to work with their hands and really produce their own subsistance.hahaha

  7. Laura Clarke says:

    I admire your courage to speak the truth about what is sadly happening to our civil liberties and the economy. Keep it up!

  8. El says:

    I am not going to subscribe to anything when I don’t know the cost, no matter how intrusive the presentation.

  9. terry berrman says:

    by the way i enjoy your post daily and maybe i will share my bread with you when we meet in the breadline

  10. Reiko Yokota says:

    Your cogent comments today is another ‘wake-up’ call for we citizens who still believe the USA to be our sacred ‘recipe’ for freedom. This newly revised version of this bill is a rather large shovel with which we continue to be buried under.

    This is a New Independence Day, month, year and forward for all. WE must not allow the sacrifice of our forebearers to be trampled by the current mindset who interpret our Constitution as a ‘fluid’ document.

  11. Dave Webb says:

    What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Funny how old sayings have new meanings in the modern age.
    The very senators that impose these laws on us will someday live to regret it.
    These people will have to live with the same rules they implement eventually. “Well, it could never apply to me because we wrote immunity into the law.” Really?
    Got bad news, that rule is only one law away from being thrown off the books.
    The other problem is courts. Your laws are only as good as the court system is willing to enforce. Corruption in the interpretation of the law throws it into a whole new ball game. This has happened time and time again with various “inconvenient laws”.
    Even if you have laws in plain English, they are subject to interpretation.
    Lawyers cost enormous amounts of money. So the law only applies to those who are able to enforce it with charges and lawyers. Nothing keeps the local authorities from ignoring a law because it is inconvenient until someone brings money to a lawyer and makes them enforce the laws.
    We end up with two sets of laws. One for the rich and one for the rest of us.
    The move towards Nazi laws has been coming for a long time. Now it is going to effect the goose. It is only a matter of time.

  12. ROGER KAMM says:


  13. Taika says:

    This one makes me VERY angry despite the fact that I live far from America (and in one of the least corruputed countries in the world, Finland).

    If I rememeber correctly it also says somewhere in constitution. something along the lines that people have a right, and in fact should (around every 20 years and more often if neccessary), replace the goverment by means of REVOLUTION. While now it has been made a crime to protest, or occupy (no wonder they had to pass that law in the name of “protection”..), it is still legal to replace the government (and the laws that has been recently passed) by starting a revolution. Protesting basicly means you occupy some area (or building or event) and say “hey, we are not happy with how things are handled”…while revolution means you overpower your opponet by using FORCE. I am starting to feel that there is little hope for the people of America to change things by “peaceful rebellion”. Do I misinterprate things with my limited english ?


  14. alex b says:

    wow, serious fighting talk, as the truth is sometimes. i´m registered with yourselves for finance and really never expected stuff like this which is ON THE NAIL, maybe you will give the devil..sorry, the FED a good grilling sometime ( heyup Ron Paul)!!! p.s i don´t even live in the u.s but follow policy as it affects ALL the rest of the world. respect alexb

  15. Darcy says:

    So when exactly will the American people start to stand up? To me it already seems to be too late. Here in Canada, we are moving to the same controls. But it is alot of homework to seek out the actions to take to alleviate oneself from this oppression.

  16. A.J. says:

    So how do we come together? Can we all see that the most important issues are really the same for tea party-ers and occupiers alike… at least those of us (them) that aren’t bought off infiltrators and raging idealogues…

    Please G-d, I hope so!

  17. rod says:

    I’m from canada , but, but those things are happening here too. I’m average joe, your right , it’s time people , we have to stand up for are rights that were written by are fore fathers, keep it going mr. shaw. thx for your courage

  18. Don Halligan says:

    Mr. Gilani, as a Canadian with family & friends living in the US, I am constantly amazed at just how far off-track its governments (federal & state)have gone. Regretably, as highlighted by you, it only continues to get worse. Keep up the great work & insightful articles, regardless of subject.

    However, our current Conservative federal government under prime minister Stephen Harper, is close behind; undoubtedly copying or joining in with the US, on many of these intrusions. Sadly, most people give it little heed, or laugh it off. As they say, ignorance is bliss (NOT).

    Recently, our federal government attempted to slip through a Bill, that would allow them to not only photograph, but also listen in & record private conversations of the public & employees at border crossings & airports. Canada has “privacy laws” that would require that Bill first being reviewed by a federal Privacv Commissioner. The government attempted to slip it through, but leaks made it public; therefore, they have held up their Bill, pending the Commissioners review. Nice try guys!

    You may have heard of students’ protests in Montreal, Quebec, regarding the provincial government’s increase in university tuitions. The increases were not significant; however, police crackdowns on student protests, has now turned the issue away from tuition fees, to one of peoples’ rights to peaceful protest. The provincial government will probably lose in the next Quebec election. So it should be.

  19. Jared says:

    Who can you trust? If big brother is watching and he always is with our tax dollars. So we have given big brother everything they need money wise to take away our freedom. We are all part of it and the only way to stop it is to just stop. Stop everything, shut it down for as long as it takes, but no one will do it. Their addicted to the American’t Sceam. Just stop being a slave to money.

  20. genie737 says:

    To top it all off this bunch in the WH as well as the Federal Justice have the audacity to tell us that AZ has no legal right to ask for ID cards from possible illegal aliens. Talk about giving us the royal shaft…this is what Obama calls transparency. Don’t anyone dare to question the satanic king’s agenda.

  21. Rose says:

    I hope people wake up soon. I believe as you do, that the people of this nation need to get up and stand up for their rights. But many people that I speak to, like family and friends, say there is nothing to stand up for. They say we are freer than any other nation on earth and that I am concerned about nothing. So I wonder, will anybody join us in our fight to gain back our independence? Or is their faith in government, to take care of them, so strong that they will bow to it? I, for one will not bow. Thank you for your insights. I feel less lonely, knowing there are other people who are like minded.

  22. Michael says:

    On my first day in criminal law class I 1960 we discussed “mens rea” , ‘the ”guilty mind, which is the old common law idea that to be guilty of a crime you had to known that you were committing a wrongful act. It is not surprising that, having no respect for the constitution, our legislators have no respect for our most ancient rights.

  23. Thomas Kroger says:

    Yup. I always knew it was only a matter of time, after the passage of the infamous and propagandistically-named “Patriot” Act. There was nothing patriotic about this infamous piece of legislation, and Newt Gingrich, who authored it, should be torn, limb-from-limb. And the sickening little gang of crypto-fascists, now headed by Obummer, and including Hillary Clinton, should be next in line after Newt’s remains are fed to dogs.


  24. Tony Plumstead says:

    that was a good speech, and covered all the clarity. from which i did not know. Thank you for keeping your F/B Family up to date.
    Best Regards

  25. H. Craig Bradley says:


    Well, maybe a conservative Federal elected official who is entitled to “secret service protection” will walk through one of those Occupy Wall Street encampments, giving the authorities a good reason to round-up all the occupiers and send them to the nearest Federal detention facility for processing. Then have them appear before a Federal judge in a Federal District Court for formal charging and pleading. A trial ??

    The President and many large city mayors would probably not want to do anything against illegal occupiers. However, a pesky reporter with Fox News and a cameraman would be game for Federal arrest if he went inside a Senator’s office building to conduct an unscheduled and unwanted interview (a.k.a. “ambush”).

    So, this ACT will muzzle the press, particularly those field reporters who like to “get in your face”. Next time, it will be more than just a big palm pushing your camera lens and then asking you to “please leave the premises immediately”. This new law will most likely be selectively used for political reprisals against specific individuals or representatives of certain organizations. Its enforcement will be up to guys like Attorney General Eric Holder. Comfortable with that ??

  26. Marge Wheatley says:

    What do you recommend????
    I said this ages ago, people are afraid to say anything …or do anything … exactly why the situations are the way they are. Public officials are not afraid…why should they be…..seems ANYTHING is acceptable to the citizens.
    Happy Holiday to all and more of the saame.
    A granny………

    • Marge Wheatley says:

      If you are really sincere, you will motivate people, to get busy and do something….votes are the only way we can change things….the leftist is taking over……it will be to late if W$E don’t get organized.
      HAPPY FOURTH……what happened to the unemployed, are they happy with the conditions,….guess people would sooner suffer, than get motivated.
      God bless our once beautyfull country.
      God bless you!

  27. Maylene Clearwater says:

    Would love to stand up for my rights. What are you doing specifically? And do you have any suggestions for how I can do so?

  28. tobewan says:

    Thanks for the alert & update. But I’m still waiting for the Lord’s Prayer “Thy Kingdom Come” to be fulfilled. Midst all the confusion in the world, it is the only sane and reasonable thing to pray and hope for.
    We need Divine intervention to straiten out all the mess we’ve created, and it’s getting worse. This time of trouble will lead to His intervention.
    Let us all pray for His Will to be done – Peace on Earth and Good Will toward men – all men – as it was promised. Trust in HIM is not misplaced.

  29. Jim Mohar says:

    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women) to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke – 1729-1797.

  30. Ray Jonas says:

    Thanks for the “heads up” on this one.
    Is there any organization that has the knowledge and resources to build a following? Too many voters think the Gov’t. can take care of them. They are voting for their own demise- and ours.

  31. john luby says:

    It seems you are blasting (R-fla) and (R-Mich) and I seem to remember you praising The Pres
    a while back. Is this a investing letter I paid for or a political soap box?
    At least (R-Fla ) and (R-MICH ) are american citizens!

  32. Tal Reid says:


    You are right on!

    And what about the new law that makes it illegal to speak againist the president? What happened to free speech also?

    The government is way too big and way too powerful.

    Our forefathers would roll over in their graves if they new how this country is run now. This is the very kind of government that they revolted againist.

  33. Floyd Coxe says:

    Shah,you are absolutely right. We must stand. The Tea Party is the answer and people like Freedom Works need to be supported. I’m ready to do my part. Please keep up the good fight. Floyd

  34. Skip Canevit says:

    The saddest part about this, if we try to do something–we can get labeled. The US is quickly becoming the “Land of the Controlled and the home of the uniformed.” Pathetic!

  35. Paul Knutson says:

    Thank you for yet another example of how so many issues are evolving towards the wrong direction. Now the Fed’s can lay their heavy hand virtually over any type of protest in a much wider and heavier way that simply the local police siting “Disturbing the peace”.
    “Land of the Free”, For the People, by the People”, it’s all becoming more and more of a joke.
    Then the question is:
    “Well then, how will changes be made in the future to correct this degeneration of rights and freedoms for the ‘People’?”
    History shows that the “Leaders” won’t start doing the right thing all of a sudden which leads to much more ugly methods of change.
    Couldn’t happen in the USA? Well, every situation has its breaking point.

  36. tom says:

    Hello Shah,
    I was unaware of this new violation of our Constitution, And I appreciate your pointing it out. There are so many issues and so much criticism today and I have been as critical as anyone, when I had an epiphany that it is my responsibility to create solutions to the myriad of problems I was observing. Especially in govt overstep. At first I thought, there is too much to tackle until I discovered a couple of patriot groups. Please check both of these sites out and then you will realize there are many like you who see the erosion and have decided to confront these issues. These are people who have taken an oath to the Constitution and have decided they will not adhere to the many laws passed that are in violation. Their oath is to the constitution only and they will not violate this oath. This takes real courage considering the govt, assumes when you take the oath you are swearing allegiance to the power structure and politicians. These folks are risking their jobs and future to uphold their oath.
    peopleagainst is their email address.
    After reviewing these 2 groups I hope you see the merit of their efforts and spread the word among your readers whom I would imagine would appreciate any effort to stop the erosion of our civil liberties and the spin that is attached to everyone of the govt. oversteps.

    I also suggest keeping an eye on Congress and make sure they don’t pass CISPA which is similar to SOPA and PIPA. These are internet censorship laws to give the govt more access to the internet and justify shutting down sites they deem as terrorist in nature.

    Tom Carey

  37. Don Fishgrab says:

    The law demanding that all religious colleges or institutions provide abortions or birth control is even more a violation of the right to free exercise of religion. Apparently No law means only those they don’t want.

    • mart says:

      yeah providing the option for birth control is a violation of ones right…
      you have the right to not use it.. how is that a violation of your right.
      when will you religious freaks get a brain and stop harping on how others need to live their lives…

      • finn says:

        All for your own safety! Sure, for if you don’t obey, something terrible will happen to you.

        Let’s not get too stuck on the US constitution, etc. “We the People” never signified the actual people, but the 13 states. The ordinary people was treated quite shabbily after the victory, which would have been very much uncertain without the help from the French.

        The voters? What is happening today has been going on for a long time; but if that’s the way the voters want it, isn’t even a dictatorship democratic?

  38. Dr. Jim says:

    cute. the reality is the Biggest Money owns the world, which includes their puppet private central banks. It”s called plutocracy, regardless of the political system touted. It loves any kind of war. it loves confusion (ours). It loves flowery words & massive lies. It loves terminally corrupt & ignorant gummit pawns & their “bankrupt” gummits. They love to lend money, above all to stupid gummits. They love that silly sixties rhetoric.

  39. eric taylor says:

    Our founding fathers garnered a lot of their constitutional philosophy
    from Europe, they were constantly shipping back and forth. It seems
    that the grand cycle of change has moved equality based democracy
    back to Europe, they call such democracy Socialism with a negative
    connotation here in the united states. Until you squeeze out the ideologist
    propaganda, and begin the move toward real cooperation and collaboration,
    little real reform will begin. Our politicians ignore the rest of the developed
    world and Canada on our nearest border, even when Canada does
    something better, like health care and education! The propaganda of
    extreme ideologist just blathers on in our era of media deregulation.

  40. Rapscallion says:

    When Shah Gilani and Matt Taibbi are running on the same ticket to bring our country back from the abyss….then… and only then…. will I leave my well protected abode to support a person(s) to be the decider of what I can or cannot do with my life.
    I know the above ticket will never happen, but I applaud both of you for keeping the light of enlightenment forever burning! You may not change anything , but at least I can prepare myself for the impending doom, instead of being just one of the sheeple that get sheared and fleeced.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *