Monday Morning Ramblings
“… the present ministry [King George], being instigated by the devil and led by their wicked and corrupt hearers have a design to take away our liberties and properties, and to enslave us forever.”
— 1774, some farmers in Farmington Connecticut
Who said, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”?
Isn’t it great how the US government can spy on us all, and most Americans will respond with a yawn and a sleepy, “What time’s American Idol on?” It’s just another step toward OrwellWorld, where the proles are kept compliant and complacent, where thinking is a crime, and where demanding one’s rights results in becoming ‘unpersons’ – expunged from the memory of the machines and the people.
Why? Because too many Americans are more willing to fight for a Wii than fight for the liberties guaranteed us by the Constitution. Because too many Americans agree with Nebraska bed-wetter Pat Roberts’ pronouncement, “You don’t have civil liberties if you’re dead.” Because too many Americans agree that the Military Commissions Act is a good idea. Because too many Americans ignore their own history in favor of the current shiny object dangled in front of them. “Oh, look! Britney Spears’ sex tape!!” “Paris Hilton Eats Paste!” “TomKat’s kid adopted by Angelina and Brad!”
Face it – we’re a nation with ADD. Our attention span is smaller than a gnat’s ass. Americans simply don’t give a sh*t unless something threatens them personally – their job, their family, their SUV.
Who cares about the words of Patrick Henry, when Survivor is on?
“Why stand we here idle? Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
— Patrick Henry – Speech in Virginia Convention March 1775
Who cares about the struggles of the Continental Congress and the patriots of the Revolution when the latest, greatest episode of Lost begins?
Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War. They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. What kind of men were they?
Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.
Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags. Thomas McKeam [sic] was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.
Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.
At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr. noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.
John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later, he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.
Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild-eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. [emphasis mine]
This isn’t about right-wing or left-wing ideologies, except that the right-wingers seem to be the ones driving the “Fear and Terror and 9/11” bandwagon. This is about the institutionalized destruction of our nation’s foundation. This is a fight all Americans should join because a freedom taken from one of us is freedom taken from all of us.
George Bush and his misAdministration are laying waste to our civil rights. They defend illegal wire-tapping and torture and illegal detentions and extraordinary renditions because we have to give up some of our freedoms in order to be protected from those who ‘hate us for our freedoms’.
Be grateful this George wasn’t in charge of the War on England. Maybe someone should teach him about General John Stark, a Revolutionary War hero, whose words became the motto of the State of New Hampshire:
The motto was part of a volunteer toast which General Stark sent to his wartime comrades, in which he declined an invitation to head up a 32nd anniversary reunion of the 1777 Battle of Bennington in Vermont, because of poor health.
The toast said in full: “Live Free Or Die; Death Is Not The Worst of Evils.” [emphasis mine]
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