To mark Independence Day 2010 at Civil Beat, we asked for essays about how we should think of independence today. Energy self-reliance? Food sustainability? Native Hawaiian sovereignty? Individual freedom?

We received essays from the three candidates for governor and a number of others. We thank them all for their contributions. This is the place to discuss the ideas they raised, 234 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, with its memorable words:

“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.”

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