Celebrating The Fourth Of July
"Whatever comes out of these gates, we'll stand a better chance of
survival if we work together." Maximus, from the movie 'Gladiator'
July 4, 2005
I hope that you have a very enjoyable Fourth of July as we come together today to celebrate our nation's birthday.
The quote by Maximus holds a lot of meaning as it relates to this time in our nation. To put his quote in current perspective, we stand a better chance of survival if we work together to end this unconstitutional (undeclared) war in Iraq.
The American people have given our President one year of 'probation.' Congress must immediately get its act together and clean up the mess before it is too late.
There are two great liberty-seekers who have written outstanding articles related to our nation's founding principles. Jacob Hornberger, the President of the Future of Freedom Foundation, wrote an outstanding piece titled 'Celebrating the Fourth of July .'
Closer to home and heart in today's world is an article written by Cindy Sheehan, 'Still Not Worth It. ' Cindy's son was a great young man who fell for our country in Iraq . Cindy's article will make you rethink the reality of being in Iraq and our patriotism. You will find both articles below.
I hope you will enjoy and share these articles. Again, have an outstanding Fourth of July and remember the wise words of our founding fathers.
Rachel Lea Hunter
Candidate for North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice
Guess Who's Coming to Help MJ This September!
Celebrating the Fourth of July
by Jacob G. Hornberger
July 4, 2003
Let's not mince words: The "freedom" that Americans celebrate today is opposite to the freedom that Americans celebrated on, say, July 4, 1890.
Think about it: In 1890, Americans were celebrating a way of life in which there was no income tax, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, drug war, gun control, or immigration controls. There were virtually no economic regulations, mandatory government schooling (public schooling), or welfare. There was neither foreign aid nor involvement in wars thousands of miles away. There was no paper money or monetary central planning. Americans and foreigners alike enjoyed the rights of habeas corpus and due process of law.
That is what it once meant to be an American. That is once it once meant to be free. That is the freedom that Americans were celebrating on Independence Day, 1890.
That unusual society was the logical consequence of the central idea that motivated the English colonists living in America to take up arms against their own government. While the Declaration of Independence cited numerous reasons for their decision to revolt, what was different about that document was its expression of the most revolutionary principle ever enunciated in a political document: that the source of people's rights is God, not government. It is impossible to overstate the significance of that simple but profound truth.
Throughout history, people have meekly accepted the notion that their lives, liberties, and property were nothing more than privileges bestowed upon them by the state. Given that mindset, it is not surprising that people never questioned the power of political rulers to arbitrarily arrest and punish them, regulate their peaceful activity, confiscate their property, or conscript them for war.
Each person has been endowed by our Creator with certain talents and abilities, which he has the right to employ, especially in the economic marketplace, in order to sustain and improve his life. He has the right to enter into mutually beneficial exchanges with others and to accumulate the fruits of those exchanges. He has the right to decide for himself what to do with the fruits of his earnings - spend, save, invest, hoard, donate, or even destroy them.
Thus, it makes perfect sense that Americans in 1890 were celebrating a way of life in which there were few or no occupational-licensure laws, economic regulations, income tax, welfare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public schooling, immigration controls, drug laws, or gun control.
Today, "freedom" in America entails a way of life in which people cannot enter into businesses, professions, or occupations without the permission of the political authorities. If one doesn't receive that permission, he doesn't engage in that line of work, plain and simple.
Today, the income of the American people is unconditionally subject to the power of the federal government. Sometimes they're nice and tax us less; sometimes they're not so nice and tax us more. But make no mistake about it: by having the power to set the percentage of the income tax, the federal government now has ultimate control over how much of people's earnings they will be permitted to keep.
The government power to regulate economic activity is once again a given, resulting even in the criminal prosecution of some of the country's most successful economic entrepreneurs.
In the name of political "goodness" and "charity," the government now has the power to take money from one person in order to give it to another person.
Today, Americans celebrate the "freedom" to be taken care of and controlled by a powerful paternalistic government ... the "freedom" to have their lives, economic activities, and fortunes subject to omnipotent government control ... the "freedom" to be made into "good" and "compassionate" people through the coercive welfare apparatus of government.
It is a "freedom" that has created a mindset of socialistic dependency among the people, while destroying the self-reliance and "can-do" spirit that characterized our ancestors. It is a mindset that cannot imagine people actually surviving and prospering without the welfare assistance of government.
It is a "freedom" by which government has once again been placed in the sovereign and supreme position in its relationship to the individual and in which the individual has once again been relegated to a subservient role.
We should also not forget that the "freedom" that Americans today celebrate also includes the federal government's newly assumed power to seize anyone anywhere in the world, including here at home, and jail or execute him without due process of law.
On July 4, 1776 , a small band of radical English colonists expressed an idea of liberty that shook the political foundations of the world. What better way to celebrate the Fourth of July, 2003, than to pledge our lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to its restoration?
Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. .
Still Not Worth It
by Cindy Sheehan
Last January, I was bumped from the Larry King Live show for an appearance by the soon to be proven innocent Michael Jackson. I was going to be on the program to answer the question: Did I feel my son's murder in Iraq was "worth it" after the "free" elections in the war torn country on January 30th. I wrote an article then called: "Not Worth It."
I never thought I would be invited back on as a guest after I pretty much burned the Larry King bridge with my article. However, to my astonishment, I was invited to be a guest on June 28th. I was asked to be on the broadcast in order to give my impressions and rebuttal to George's speech on Iraq that he delivered in front of the less than enthusiastic (what the White House spin doctors call: respectful) troops at Ft. Bragg, NC.
I felt like I was in Bizarro World as I heard George speak about 9/11 five times and mention terrorism 31 times, even though these rationales for war have been disproved repeatedly. I think George thinks that since we believed him once about terrorism vis-à-vis Iraq , that we must therefore be gullible enough to believe him this time. I don't know, and I am not a professional pundit, but my theory is he might have mentioned 9/11 to manipulate our emotions and maybe even frighten us a little again?
The thing that struck me when I was watching that vacuous man giving his hollow speech was the fact that he could have always replaced the word "terrorists" with the phrase: "my moronic and callous foreign policies" For example, when he said that terrorists spread death and destruction on the streets of Baghdad and kill innocent people, he could have just as easily said: "My moronic and callous foreign policies spread death and destruction on the streets of Baghdad and kill innocent people." When he said that we need to stop terrorists from toppling governments in the region, he could have just as easily said: "We need to stop my moronic and callous foreign policies from toppling governments in the region." People have characterized the speech-lite in many ways, but if I had to pick a few words to describe it, I would say: "Hypocritical, manipulative, condescending, meaningless drivel."
I sat through an entire hour in the CNN studio in DC hearing not one person say that the invasion was a mistake and if it was a mistake, then our troops should be brought home immediately. Even the "Democratic" Senators (Kerry and Bayh) on the program just gave their recipes for "success" in Iraq , which did not include any exit strategies. The guest host for that hour was Bob Costas and he asked one guest, Sen. John McCain, an intriguing question: "If you could push Button One and have an eventual wonderful outcome in Iraq, or if you could push Button Two and never have had it happen, which one would you pick?" Of course, Sen. McCain chose Button One. He hasn't had a loved one killed in this enormous tragedy of a war, nor does he have a loved one in harm's way. It has not affected him personally one bit. What skin is it off McCain's nose if our troops remain for a highly unlikely rosy outcome at the cost of thousands of more lives? I would push the button that would bring back my son, Casey, and the tens of thousands of other victims who have been killed for nothing but outright lies and bald-faced betrayals. I would push the button that would give Iraq back its power, water, and infrastructure.
My absolute favorite guest of the evening was Sen. John Warner, powerful chair of the Senate Armed Disservices Committee. Of course, he fell in lockstep behind his Führer and praised the speech and how, although we have "all" paid a terrible price for this invasion and occupation, bringing freedom and democracy to the Iraqi people is worth all the sacrifices that the world is making. I sat in the Green Room with Sen. Warner's entourage. I wondered (even out loud) what price they have paid for our administration's misdeeds in Iraq . They all looked like happy, well-fed, well-dressed, well-educated, and well-hydrated Americans. They looked to me like they had plenty of electricity to blow-dry their hair and charge their cell phones and laptops. They looked like they had quite a nice supply of clean drinking water and fresh food. I sincerely doubt if any of them had a loved one ripped from their lives by a car bomb, IED, or bullet in an ambush. I wondered who the "we" was that John Warner spoke of. I spoke with John Warner after his interview and told him unless he was prepared to sacrifice even a good night's sleep over this senseless and criminal war, then he should work on ending it, not prolonging the carnage. He told me that I was "entitled to my opinion," but he would respectfully have to disagree with me. That was awfully Constitutional of him!
I finally got on to speak for my 82 seconds (all the time Larry King Live could spare for the peace message) about how this war is a catastrophe and how we should bring the troops home and quit forcing the Iraqi people to pay for our government's hubris and quit forcing innocent children to suffer so we can allegedly fight terrorism somewhere besides America. How absolutely racist and immoral is it to take America 's battles to another land and make an entire country pay for the crimes of others? To me, this is blatant genocide. How dare we export our brand of flag-waving death and devastation to a people who have been through so much already? It wasn't bad enough that our sanctions killed tens of thousands of Iraqis before we even started an active aggression against them. Now we have to create confusion, chaos, and disorder there. How dare our president and Congress, and we Americans, allow this to continue?
After my brief advocacy for peace, my position was refuted by another Mom whose son was killed in Iraq in 2003 who said she "totally disagrees" with me and "feels sorry" for me. Well, you know what? I ache for her blindness and for the millions of sheeple who have had the wool pulled over their eyes by the bunch of hypocritical, bad shepherds who are running a disastrous herd over the world. I have distressing news for the Soccer Safety Moms and the NASCAR Dads who are such ardent supporters of this administration and war: Your grandchildren and children who will be entering Kindergarten this fall will be fighting George's endless war if he gets his way and is allowed to continue spreading the cancer of imperialism in the Middle-East. Donny Rumsfeld said we could be in Iraq for another dozen years. Does anybody think with all the billions of dollars that are being poured into constructing super-sized bases in Iraq that the war machine plans on relinquishing the cash-cow that is that poor, unfortunate land anytime soon? Think about it when you tuck your child into bed tonight.
I heard George and the Senators say that evening the sacrifices we as Americans have had to make for Iraq are "worth it." I really would like to know who has benefited and profited from Iraq and who has really had to sacrifice anything. I know it was "worth it" to Dick Cheney who was the CEO of Halliburton, (of no-bid contract fame) which has raped billions of dollars from our government, from the people of Iraq, and from our soldiers who are not getting what they need to survive in a combat zone. It is "worth it" to Black Water Security Co. who sends one-thousand-dollar-a-day mercenaries to Iraq , funded by the War Department. It is "worth it" to L. Paul Bremer who slunk out of Iraq with 8.8 BILLION dollars missing from the Provisional authority. It is also "worth it" to the other companies and individuals who have been enriched by feeding our children to the military industrial complex. By George, I think we have found the people who think this war is "worth it." But, is it worth it to George Bush who was counting on this unlawful and unprincipled aggression in Iraq to give him "political" capital? Instead, if poll numbers are any good indication, Americans are withdrawing their assent for George and they are withdrawing their consent for him to wage eternal war on humanity.
As I sat in the Green Room of CNN, I was saddened and troubled by George's call for us Americans to fly the flag proudly on the 4th to honor our troops. For one thing, the American flag is not a magical token that can bring armor to the troops who are still dying without the protection. The flag is not a faith healer that can restore limbs and eyesight to the ones who have been maimed forever. The flag is not a genie in a bottle that can blink her eyes and bring our children home from this horrible blunder that they are suffering for and being slaughtered for. But, as for me, I will never be able to celebrate another patriotic holiday without mourning what this nation has stolen from my family. I will never be able to look at an American flag without thinking of the uniform my son wore proudly that displayed that same symbol and the evil ones who desecrated and defiled the stars and stripes by lying us into the invasion of Iraq. No, Casey's sacrifice was not "worth it" and George needs to do more than wave his flag and manipulate our sense of patriotism. He needs to march his girls to a recruitment center and send them to Iraq to fight the terrorists that his moronic and callous foreign policies have recruited or he needs to wake up and smell the apple pie and bring our other sons and daughters home, now!
July 4, 2005Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan, KIA 04/04/04 She is co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace. Copyright © 2005 LewRockwell.com