Well here we are celebrating the second consecutive 4th of July in a very ununited state of affairs. Yes, it really bothers us. We love the communities we cover with Conejo Valley Lifestyle and Malibu to Palisades Lifestyle. We are ready to celebrate the 4th of July and our country with family, food, fireworks, flags waving, parades, speeches about the glory of being American, while at the same time our fellow Americans and our supposed leaders are tearing us apart.

Has the extreme freedom of the digital universe opened up Pandora’s Box and let loose all of the pent up frustrations and dysfunction that old technology kept hidden? Are we free to attack each other on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and other digital platforms and not take responsibility for the poison that spews forth? Sticks and stone hurt, but so do words filled with hatred and lies. Tell a lie often and loud enough and it becomes the truth to many people. Just ask some politicians. They are quite good at it.

I am a Vietnam War era veteran. I served during a time when our country started to not value patriotism. It began to lose its value because of a very divisive war. Since then I have read a great deal about how we were lied to with impunity to justify that war. Nevertheless, I will forgive and hold onto the values that actually did make America great. Those values are represented in the Statue of Liberty around whom fireworks are burst with hardly any thought of what it all really means. Time is getting short to revisit those values. We need to embrace them and reunite.