Archive for the ‘Independence Day’ Tag

Independence Day?   1 comment

So today is the day we set aside on our calendar to remember when our ancestors declared our country’s political independence from England. We holds parades, sand-castle building contests, fire works displays, concerts in the parks, and barbecues … lots and lots of barbecues.

But do we ever stop to think about what independence meant and whether we as a nation still exemplify that understanding?

Not really.

That’s obviously in the crap we take from our government. We all say we love freedom, but what freedom do we still have? I’m paying for health insurance regardless of whether in need it or not and paying extra so that people who have a lot of health conditions can pay less. Is that freedom? It doesn’t look like it to me. I’d rather spend that money on other things. If I could pay for catastrophic coverage (like I used to), I’d have a savings account again that I could use for medical expenses as needed or for buying a newer car before the one I have breaks down permanently. If that happens, I will have to incur several hundred dollars a month in payments because I haven’t got a savings account to use to buy a car with cash.

So, I lack basic freedom because in a town where you need to have a car to get around, I can’t afford to buy an affordable car because I’m forced to buy medical insurance I don’t need.

I have ZERO attachment to the Confederate flag. I grew up about as far from the south as you can grow and my great-grandfather was an abolitionist. Like many people I see it as a symbol of racism, but I’m willing to believe southerners I know (yes, Alaska has a lot of ex-pat southerners) who say they see it as a symbol of unbowed enthusiasm for states rights in the face of overwhelming tyranny. I know the acquaintance now driving around town with two of them streaming off the back of his truck is not a racist, so I’m assuming he’s doing it for another reason. Nostalgia, freedom of speech, a statement about states rights, a statement about liberty in general ….

But when I watched him drive by, two women behind me were talking in loud voices about how he ought to be arrested for his “racist” actions, as if they have forgotten that liberty means we all have a right to express opinions.

I stand with Fred Phelps in his refusal to be forced to participate in the pagan mating rituals of same-sex couples by sanctifying them through baking wedding cakes for them. We seem to have forgotten in this country that freedom of religion includes not forcing our neighbors to worship our god against their will. By forcing business owners like Mr. Phelps into catering to same-sex weddings, you are demanding that they kneel at a pagan altar. You may not see it that way, but that is the Biblical understanding of it. You are violating freedom of religion by insisting upon it.

I have very little use for the federal government. I can’t think of many things in this world that the federal government does that benefits me directly. Maybe the money it gives the State of Alaska for roads … but trust me, if the federal government quit doing that, the State of Alaska and the people who live here would figure out how to pay for them ourselves and we’d probably start building roads to the Scandanavian standards so they don’t fall apart every five years, which would reduce road costs in the long-run.

Right now, 25% of my income goes to the federal government for …???? That’s about 23% less liberty than our Founders had because they paid only excise taxes on the goods they purchased.

Like it or not, sooner or later, we will all of us have to pay a whole lot more in taxes because the federal government continues to spend like a drunken sailor. We’re $18 trillion in debt. We owe only a fraction of that to foreign entities, but if they ask for it back …. If we default on the debt owed to Americans, we bankrupt everybody’s retirement accounts. Yeah, so we lose freedom at one end by higher taxes to service the debt I didn’t ask the federal government to run up and then we lose freedom at the other end when they gut our retirement accounts. In the middle there is the increasing real inflation of food and fuel that is largely driven by our debt and the effects of quantitative easing (also known as printing fiat currency).

The freedom to spend the money you earn on what you want to spend it was well understood in the Founding generation. So how much liberty does the tax man take from you? Between the IRS, Social Security and medical insurance, I’m somewhere in the 40%, but people who make more money than me are up in the 60%.

So are we the land of the free anymore?

Perhaps we ought to look at the Declaration of Independence and ask ourselves:

Could we sign it today?

But of course, that’s the dirty little unspoken among us, right? We who celebrate that our ancestors seized their independence from the English know that the US government does not recognize our right to do the same from them.

THE Founding Document   Leave a comment

The Declaration of Independence is THE Founding document of America. It established the American colonies intention to separate from Great Britain for some very clear reasons. Some were universal reasons — natural rights and tyrannical government — while others were specific reasons — King George was the tyrant they were resisting. So, in honor of the 237th birthday of our country, I want to take a look at the Declaration of Independence and what it actually means. How many of us have actually ever read it?

___________________________________________________________________

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

 

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