Barack Obama’s been getting no end of grief about it — so what’s your definition of patriotism? In the run up to the holiday that is supposed to celebrate throwing off — not becoming — an empire, GRITtv hears from novelist Walter Mosley, Arab American educator Debbie Almontaser, 9-11 responder John Feal and a new citizen with a tense family tie to US empire — Harry Bishop (a cousin of Maurice, the toppled Grenadan leader.) This is not your standard July 4th Panel: Almontaser was unwillingly forced to resign her post at the Arab American school she’d founded (The Khalil Gibran Academy,) but she’s way softer on the US than Mosley… John Feal and Mosley propose a powerful way to mark the holiday this year. And the grief in Bishop’s voice is palpable. What’s become of US family values?

Also on today’s GRITtv, a free bike-ride in the shadow of Lady Liberty; a sneak peak at Reverend Billy’s new series: "The Last Televangelist," and this week’s documentary in progress is about the storm blown up over one company’s plan for wind power off Cape Cod. (GOT DOCS? Send a link to grittv@grittv.org.)

Finally, the STINGER IN THE TAIL. Can we yet say "Blood for Oil?" James Paul of the Global Policy Forum puts shocking flesh and numbers on the latest stories on US oil companies making Iraq policy, and he reveals that National Public Radio still refuses to air the Cassandra-commentary he recorded back in 2003. All that and, oh yes, who designed the war for oil? Paul cites obscure Australian documents that point to one man: Dick Cheney. WOT? GRITtv’s NOT breaking news?

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders, author, and host of RadioNation on Air America Radio, has built a reputation for courageous investigative journalism coupled with compassion and a sense of humor. In writing her last book, Blue Grit, she traveled the country reporting on grassroots success stories and broadcast live to over 150 radio stations from community centers in places including Helena, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Miami, Las Vegas, and Milwaukee. In her television appearances (Lou Dobbs, Larry King Live,) on radio and in her many books (including Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species) and articles (The Nation and others,) Flanders calls for a new politics of fairness, equality and citizen action. Articulating the human dimension of American communities in trouble, her programs have become destinations for those seeking the skills and the will to make a difference. Flanders is a regular contributor to the Nation Magazine and CNN. Before joining Air America, where she was part of the original lineup, and hosted “The Laura Flanders Show” for three years, Flanders was the founding host of the award-winning “Your Call” weekday mornings on public radio, KALW in the Bay Area and CounterSpin, the radio show of the mediawatch group, FAIR.

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