July 4 - During a tourist trip to Russia, I had a bad experience with two "policemen" who tried to roust me for money. Fellow tourists intervened and they scampered off. But that incident just fed the paranoia that I had regarding the former Soviet Union and everything connected with it. When our flight landed at JFK, I almost imitated Pope John Paul and kissed the tarmac. Despite all our warts, we are blessed. Happy Fourth of July. May our behavior justify this gift of freedom.

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