4th of July Reflections: Freedom is Not for the Faint-Hearted

 

“How do they do that?” I asked to no one in particular.  I was driving across Massachusetts yesterday.  While reveling in the lush beauty of the countryside and listening to Ray Charles sing America The Beautiful, I tried to imagine how it must have looked to inhabitants of the state, having won their independence from Great Britain, to emerge as free people.  How boundless the possibilities must have seemed to those who had risked everything for their freedom, and won a victory that went directly against the strong tide of history where man is subjugated by other men.  How open the world must have seemed to these people, the only boundaries being those of the imagination.  But that didn’t answer the question immediately at hand, which was, …how the heck do those little bushes grow straight up out of the giant rocks on the hillside?  I mean, it was all I could do to stay in my lane while staring at those stupid boulders with stuff growing out of them!  

But nature has unyielding determination, as did the people of Massachusetts who jealously guarded their liberty, becoming the 6th state to ratify the Constitution, on February 6, 1788, and the first state whose ratification included a list of proposed amendments to further protect against federal encroachment.  The state that would become infamous as a breeding ground of evangelists for bigger government, listed as its first suggested amendment; “That it be explicitly declared that all powers not expressly delegated by the aforesaid Constitution are reserved to the several states, to be by them exercised.”   

How far we’ve come.  How far, exactly?  Compare some of the grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence, whose signing we commemorate, with recent news items:  

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

Obama Administration decides not to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act.

Obama Announces Dramatic Immigration Policy Change:  “The election-year move amounts to President Barack Obama’s administration essentially enacting a version of the Dream Act, legislation that Congress has been deadlocked on for years.” 

“Catholic Institutions Join Effort to Stop Obamacare’s Religious Liberty Violation”

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.

“The Department of Justice filed a formal lawsuit against the state of Florida to head off the state’s plan to purge ineligible voters from its rolls.”

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

Obama unilaterally declares Senate to be in recess, with no Constitutional authority, and makes recess appointments to positions requiring Senate consent.  

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

“Justice Department Shields Holder from Prosecution After Contempt Vote”

“US in Contempt Over Gulf Drill Ban, Judge Rules,” reads the headline.  US District Judge Martin Feldman wrote, “Such dismissive conduct, viewed in tandem with the re-imposition of a second blanket and substantively identical moratorium, and in light of the national importance of this case, provide this court with clear and convincing evidence of the government’s contempt.”

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

Despite the refusal of the people’s representatives to pass a Cap and Trade law, the Obama Administration’s EPA is implementing same, costing jobs and doing enormous damage to the coal industry. 

Obamacare adds at least 159 new government agencies, and 16,500 new IRS agents.

“State Agent Tells Preschooler She Can’t Eat Home-packed Lunch”

Tombstone, Arizona:  “The National Forest Service refuses to allow repair crews to use heavy equipment because of an endangered Mexican Spotted Owl. Using only hand tools, crews may not be able to repair the pipeline in time to cause Tombstone to run out of water…”

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies, without the Consent of our legislatures. 

“When the EPA Swat Team comes a knocking'”

“Police Raid Rawesome Foods, Dump Raw Milk”

“Environmental Enforcement Leaves Musicians in Fear”

“Why Is The Federal Government Raiding Organic Farmers With SWAT Teams?”

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:

“Justice Ginsburg Backs Value of Foreign Law”

“Supreme Court Citing More Foreign Cases”

“Florida Judge OK’s Sharia Law to be Used in U.S. Court Case”

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

President Obama:  …”[F]or us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase.”  

“Individual Mandate in Obamacare is Constitutional – Penalty Is A Tax” 

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

“Arizona has moved to protect its sovereignty—not in contradiction of federal law, but in complete compliance with it. The laws under challenge here do not extend or revise federal immigration restrictions, but merely enforce those restrictions more effectively. If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign State. …”  Justice Antonin Scalia

“Homeland Security Cancels Arizona Immigration Enforcement Agreements” 

Had enough yet?  And just what is the federal government doing with all this newfound power?  For starters, it’s teaching Border Patrol agents that when confronted with an “active shooter,” (that is, a rogue shooter in a public place such as a mall for instance) they have three options:  1) Run.  2) Hide  3) As a last resort, confront the shooter by throwing things at him (things such as chairs, shoes, anything but bullets).   Not to worry, though.  The feds may be losing their infernal minds, but what little local authority remains is being used wisely, so all is quiet on the local front, right?  Too quiet, actually because the town of Depoe Bay, Oregon, for example, has cancelled it’s 4th of July fireworks display under pressure from federal wildlife managers (do the animals have to file taxes too?) who maintain that the bombs bursting in air will rattle the sea birds.  

Come to think of it, sea birds aren’t the only ones frightened of the rockets red glare.  Channeling his inner sea bird, Bill Press recently expressed his misgivings about our National Anthem, saying, “I mean when you think about it, it’s bombs bursting in air rocket’s red glare it’s all kinds of, you know a lot of national anthems are that way, all kinds of military jargon and the land there’s only phrase ‘the land of the free’ which is kind of nice and ‘the home of the brave?’  I don’t know.”   I do, Bill.  Were it not the home of the brave, it wouldn’t be the land of the free, and for that you may thank the people who dispatch the bombs and the rockets.  

Surveying the above list, however, and knowing that many more items could be added to it, the question arises; is this still the land of the free?   Regretfully, I don’t think so. Would any of the states who ratified the Constitution have done so had they known that the federal government would prohibit them from defending their own borders?  Would Massachusetts have ratified it if they had known that the first amendment they proposed, which later became the 10th Amendment, would become meaningless? Would the people who fought and bled in the American Revolution have joined the union knowing that an American President would later issue one dictate after another in direct contravention of the law of the land, the law which he took an oath to uphold?   Would Abraham Lincoln have preferred to destroy his Bible rather than see a future President desecrate it by placing his hand on it to take an oath that he had no intention of upholding?  Are we worthy heirs of liberty purchased with the blood of generations of patriots? 

The hour is late, and the moment urgent.  Moderates didn’t risk their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor by signing the Declaration of Independence.  The men who signed that document went, as they say, “all in.”   The weak of heart didn’t storm the beaches at Normandy.   There was no compromise at Iwa Jima.  Liberty isn’t cheap, and can be lost much more easily than earned.   Do we have the heart to reclaim liberty in America?  The answer lies in the heart of the free man, if there are enough of us left.   Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness, …these are the gifts of “Nature’s God,” and nature has unyielding determination.  

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Gretchen
    Tom Roberts: I’m an ex-pat Brit , and consider myself very lucky to live here, but…..since you’re all celebrating getting rid of us today, I can’t resist making the following observation. There are 7 former British colonies in the top 10 of the Heritage Foundation index of economic freedom. (Actually 8 if you count Ireland, but never mind…).

    The USA is ranked 10th.

    I have great admiration for the Founders, but I do sometimes wonder why they bothered.  · 5 hours ago

    There is no question that the founding of a free and soon-to-become-great nation was made possible by a thousand or so  years of British history. Thanks for the heritage and happy to have you along for our celebration (or is it a wake?).

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Member
    @

    If your doctor is an ObamaRobertscare leftist will you change doctors? Might be a place to start.

    http://www.varight.com/news/my-doctor-is-a-flaming-pro-obamacare-liberal-time-to-change-doctors/

    http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/secondhandsmoke/2012/07/02/neglected-patient-calls-police-for-water-dies-in-uk/

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Member
    @RonSelander

    Another great article, Dave. Thank you!

    I pray that all who read it will share your resolve, and will never allow themselves to become faint-hearted.

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Bulldawg

    And what was their response?

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @DaveCarter
    Matthew Lawrence: And what was their response? · 1 minute ago

    The shrubs?  I couldn’t get a word out of them.  

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Bulldawg

    No. Those upon whom such egregious burdens had been cast.

    • #6
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    @withmewhereIam

    Thanks Dave! You’re one of the reasons I joined this site. It may be cliched to say, but keep on truckin’, buddy!

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Inactive
    @ChristmasBeard

    So at what point do Americans go for their muskets and say “enough”? Or are we going to sit like frogs in a pot waiting to boil? What would it take?

    • #8
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    @Bulldawg

    That is my point. Should we not begin to think about separating from this monstrosity that has been wrought? Why be married to those who hate and abhor the very things you believe and upon which you frame your life?

    • #9
  10. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @DaveCarter
    Matthew Lawrence: No. Those upon whom such egregious burdens had been cast. · 8 minutes ago

    Could be fatigue on my part, but I’m perplexed.  I’ve got a long list of egregious burdens above, along with lots of questions, and lots of people both past and present.   If you could narrow the focus of your question a bit, it would help because I’m genuinely unsure of the point you’re working toward.  

    • #10
  11. Profile Photo Inactive
    @wilberforge

    May the Spirit and convicition prevail. This country has never been for the faint of heart, efforts prevailed at the founding. Only with dedication and fortitude will it survive.

    Truth be told, under current burdens and obstacles, we face a larger and more duanting task than the earlier version we are so fond of.

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Member
    @Brasidas

    Outstanding post, Dave, especially for the 4th of July.  A keeper.  

    • #12
  13. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @DaveCarter
    ChristmasBeard: So at what point do Americans go for their muskets and say “enough”? Or are we going to sit like frogs in a pot waiting to boil? What would it take? · 9 minutes ago

    Matthew Lawrence: That is my point. Should we not begin to think about separating from this monstrosity that has been wrought? Why be married to those who hate and abhor the very things you believe and upon which you frame your life? · 1 minute ago

    Okay, now I get the point.  I think November is the crucial point here,…but it is the starting point.  If we’re able to throw the statists out of the White House and both branches of Congress, then the fight continues to keep those we elect faithful to their oath.  

    • #13
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    @MelFoil

    Patriot Guard Ride Captain, Portland, CT

    Image127.jpg

    • #14
  15. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Bulldawg

    Dave, I know I’m being pessimistic but November will just trade one set of statists for another. I see nothing in American history for the past 100 years that makes me think otherwise.

    • #15
  16. Profile Photo Inactive
    @withmewhereIam
    Tom Roberts: I’m an ex-pat Brit , and consider myself very lucky to live here, but…..since you’re all celebrating getting rid of us today, I can’t resist making the following observation. There are 7 former British colonies in the top 10 of the Heritage Foundation index of economic freedom. (Actually 8 if you count Ireland, but never mind…).

    The USA is ranked 10th.

    I have great admiration for the Founders, but I do sometimes wonder why they bothered.  · 8 hours ago

    Good question, Mr. Roberts. My first response is to quote Niall Ferguson’s Empire:

    Indeed, the Durham Report has a good claim to be the book that saved the Empire. For what it did was to acknowledge that the American colonists had been right…

    …What Durham called for in Canada was exactly what an earlier generation of British ministers had denied the American colonies:

    “a system of responsible government [such] as would give the people a real control over its own destinies.”

    I believe none of those other former colonies would have the freedom they now possess had the uppity American colonists not demanded their own independence.

    • #16
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    @DaveCarter
    Matthew Lawrence: Dave, I know I’m being pessimistic but November will just trade one set of statists for another. I see nothing in American history for the past 100 years that makes me think otherwise. · 3 minutes ago

    You may very well be right, Matthew,…I think the odds are against us.  But this country has been beating the odds from the time the Declaration was signed.   If it does all fall apart, it won’t be due to a lack of effort here.  

    • #17
  18. Profile Photo Inactive
    @withmewhereIam

    My second response, Mr. Roberts, is to say that economic freedoms are best protected by personal freedoms, such as the freedoms to worship and to speak one’s mind. The growth of “hate speech” laws in many former British colonies makes me think they are likelier to lose their economic freedoms, and America likelier to gain hers, than vice versa.

    It may be that this generation may be called upon to make the same sacrifices as the founding one before we gain back the full breadth of freedom for which they fought. I, for one, hope I am ready to sacrifice my life, fortune, and sacred honor for this land’s freedom.

    • #18
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    @JVoss
    Truly superb post Dave, as always.  To steal/paraphrase from a movie, America is advanced citizenship.  Not everyone can handle the responsibility and burden that is freedom.Have a safe and Happy Fourth everyone!
    • #19
  20. Profile Photo Inactive
    @CoolHand
    with me where I am: I, for one, hope I am ready to sacrifice my life, fortune, and sacred honor for this land’s freedom.

    Technically, you win wars by making the other guy sacrifice HIS life, fortune, and sacred honor.

    Just sayin’.

    If we gotta fight, it’s best to remember that dying is not the point.

    • #20
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    @Frithfan

    Excellent, Dave. Thank you so much. I will keep these points in mind as I do my annual reading of the Declaration later today.

    • #21
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    @AndreaRyan

    Hey Dave, one of the commenters on my Gateway Pundit post last night posted a link to your beautifully written essay for everyone to go read.  You’re not just a rock star on Ricochet.

    • #22
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    @torque

    Great post but keep the faith and stay the course for the big fight to November.

    Until then have a Happy 4th of July to you Dave and all at Ricochet. 

    • #23
  24. Profile Photo Inactive
    @TomRoberts

    I’m an ex-pat Brit , and consider myself very lucky to live here, but…..since you’re all celebrating getting rid of us today, I can’t resist making the following observation. There are 7 former British colonies in the top 10 of the Heritage Foundation index of economic freedom. (Actually 8 if you count Ireland, but never mind…).

    The USA is ranked 10th.

    I have great admiration for the Founders, but I do sometimes wonder why they bothered. 

    • #24
  25. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Valin
    Dave Carter

    ChristmasBeard: So at what point do Americans go for their muskets and say “enough”? Or are we going to sit like frogs in a pot waiting to boil? What would it take? · 9 minutes ago

    Matthew Lawrence: That is my point. Should we not begin to think about separating from this monstrosity that has been wrought? Why be married to those who hate and abhor the very things you believe and upon which you frame your life? · 1 minute ago

    Okay, now I get the point.  I think November is the crucial point here,…but it is the starting point.  If we’re able to throw the statists out of the White House and both branches of Congress, then the fight continues to keep those we elect faithful to their oath.   · 15 hours ago

    Only a starting point….and only if the GOP really means what it says.

    I’m not suggesting a 2nd or as some may say a 3rd revolution. I guess what I am saying is, it is our job to not only get them elected but also let them know we are dead serious.

    • #25
  26. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @DaveCarter
    Andrea Ryan: Hey Dave, one of the commenters on my Gateway Pundit post last night posted a link to your beautifully written essay for everyone to go read.  You’re not just a rock star on Ricochet. · 4 hours ago

    Thank ya kindly, Andrea!  Your Gateway article was superb, by the way.  Good information, and robustly presented.  Great work.  

    • #26
  27. Profile Photo Member
    @KeithSF
    Tom Roberts: since you’re all celebrating getting rid of us today, I can’t resist making the following observation. There are 7 former British colonies in the top 10 of the Heritage Foundation index of economic freedom.

    The USA is ranked 10th.

    I have great admiration for the Founders, but I do sometimes wonder why they bothered.  · 16 hours ago

    I’m inclined to think of our war of independence as being fought more specifically against King George. There are a number of writers and historians (maybe even Niall Ferguson is somewhere in there) who suggest that the American Revolution was not necessarily a rebuke of Britain but in fact a reaffirmation of British socio-political thought. In some ways, the signers of the declaration were asserting rights they believed all British Subjects held and understood. (consider Jefferson’s lament about the lack of British popular support for the revolution: “we might have been a free people together”).

    • #27
  28. Profile Photo Member
    @KeithSF
    Tom Roberts:  There are 7 former British colonies in the top 10 of the Heritage Foundation index of economic freedom. (Actually 8 if you count Ireland, but never mind…).

    The USA is ranked 10th.

    I think Heritage Foundation list shows just shows how impressive the Anglosphere is. Margaret Thatcher held that it was a great force for good in the world. People like James Delingpole and Daniel Hannan talk about the importance of strong ties between the English speaking nations.

    • #28
  29. Profile Photo Inactive
    @withmewhereIam
    CoolHand

    with me where I am: I, for one, hope I am ready to sacrifice my life, fortune, and sacred honor for this land’s freedom.

    Technically, you win wars by makingthe other guysacrificeHISlife, fortune, and sacred honor.

    Just sayin’.

    If we gotta fight, it’s best to remember that dying is not the point. · 6 hours ago

    I agree, CoolHand (or should I say Patton?) but I think the point is to be ready to do so. If I’m not mistaken, 1 or 2 signers of the Declaration of Independence died in British custody during the war, and some of the signers had British troops occupying their property at the time they signed, ensuring that they would (at least for the foreseeable future) lose their worldly wealth. 

    Ergo, the point isn’t to die, but to run the risk of death. Freedom is worth that risk.

    • #29
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    @jpark

    Thank you, Dave.

    And, I’m glad I wasn’t drinking coffee when I read about Bill Press “[c]hanneling his inner sea bird.”  The consequences for the computer might have been unfavorable.

    • #30

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