Hollow Holiday

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July 4, 2011, felt hollow, like celebrating the birthday of someone deceased.

Independence Day celebrates the birth of an idea: that people create governments and empower them, not the other way around.

Do we still believe that?

st louis tea party

Yes, I still believe that.  Morally, at least.  And you probably do, too. 

Does America still believe that government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed?  Or do we, as a nation, believe that government has a monopoly on liberty and dispenses it at its will?

As Harvard University pointed out, people who vote for the Democrat party no longer believe what the founders believed.  The Democratic party believes that the federal government owns liberty; you and I must apply for our freedoms. There is no guarantee. 

Do you realize how profound that is?

Once upon a time, we learned that both parties wanted the same end via different means. But that’s no longer true. Now, one party and many independents still believe that people are bigger than government.  But our government is in the hands of politicians, bureaucrats, and unions who believe that we are their servants.

At some point, majority or minority becomes irrelevant.  A dictatorial or oligarchical tyranny won’t allow a mere majority to end its rule. 

How close are we to that grim eventuality?  Or have we crossed the line?

On August 4, 2011, St. Louis Tea Party Coalition will rally in Kiener Plaza for the third time.  We come together in celebration of Calvin Coolidge’s inauguration, the USS Nautilus’s first voyage under the North Pole, and Christopher Columbus’s launch for the New World which all occurred on August 3.  It’s also Barack Obama’s birthday.

Our mission is to restore the meaning of Independence Day.  Our purpose is to re-energize the idea of liberty in our land.  Our plan is to hold a Tea Party in abject defiance of Barack Obama’s power trip.

You won’t be alone.

Please forward the link to this message to 10 of your friends.

Thank You, Harvard

Reading Time: 2 minutes

A Harvard study recently concluded that attending American Independence Day celebrations could turn kids into Republicans.

Harvard-logos-2

The reason 4th of July creates Republicans has nothing to do with patriotism and everything to do with education.  Here’s why:

  • On July 4th, we celebrate the Declaration of Independence, not the founding of the United States.  (That would come with the passage of the Constitution thirteen years later). 
  • July 4th events teach kids—in an environment free from teacher-union propaganda—the reasons we broke from England.
  • July 4th celebrates philosophical and moral principles that establish an empowering, liberating chain of thoughts:
  • All political power resides with individual people;
  • People may voluntarily join with other people to make governments;
  • Governments have no authority except what the people, the governed, permit;
  • No person has the right to coerce another person to act
  • No government may exist with the consent of the governed;
  • People have the unalienable right to dismantle any government they choose.

Imagine, now, that you’re a fourteen year old. Your mother just made you change clothes from something you wanted to wear to something she wants you to wear. Worse, your parents are making you go to a stupid 4th of July parade when all of your friends are going swimming.

At this hot, sticky, stupid parade, a father a few feet away explains the Declaration of Independence float to a boy perched on the man’s shoulders.

“England believed that God gave us kings or queens who ruled over everyone else. Americans believe that God created people equally and that all of us rule only over ourselves.  The Declaration of Independence explained to the king of England and to the American people that we would no longer tolerate being ruled by a dictator.  We’re each going to make our own decisions about how to live.”

Take a moment this weekend to thank Harvard. They have demonstrated that conversations about liberty, freedom, individual responsibility, and equality inspire people to vote a particular way.

And those who live in ignorance of liberty, freedom, individual responsibility, and equality vote Democrat.

Related: Meditate on This: SimpleStrategies.me

Meditate on This, Why Don’t You?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I was 18 and a college freshman. It was a Tuesday night in October. My 1970 Chevy Impala felt wide open in the fifty-degree air and the smell of freshly fallen leaves.

I drove through Forest Park feeling the rhythm of the yellow street lights as I moved between light and dark. "Memory" from Cats came on the radio. I lit a Camel (no filter).

I was free.

parkatnight

In America, we often think of independence as a collective thing. That’s bassackwards, isn’t it?

Independence is individual.

July 4th is Independence Day–the day we celebrate breaking free from Britain.  We broke from a nation, as a nation. The collective celebration makes sense.

But we did not break free because of some philosophy about groups of people; our philosophy, embodied in the Declaration of Independence, is about the rights of individual human beings.

We do need other people. We are social animals. But we are free to associate, to work with, to help or ignore those we choose.  No human being has the just authority to force any of us to associate with any other.

Independence is about people.

We broke from England to experiment with governments of our own choosing.

Independence means that I have all I need to live my life as I see best, limited only by my intrusions into others’ lives.

On Independence Day weekend, think about that. Take five minutes to meditate on the word "independence" and its personal promise to you, not to the collective.

Independence is earned.

Then take a moment and think about the threats to our independence. They abound. Our families can stifle us. The corporations we work for bind us. The debts we take on chain us. And governments at all levels shackle our bodies, hearts, and minds.

In 1838, a young French aristocrat toured the United States and wrote about his impressions. Toward the end of this two-volume collection, Tocqueville wrote about despotism in America, should it ever return. It’s a sobering, staggering premonition. Here’s a tiny sample:

Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?

Happy 4th of July. And congratulations on your independence . . . if you can keep it.

<p><em><font size="1">Cross-posted from </font></em><a href="http://simplestrategies.me" target="_blank"><em><font size="1">SimpleStrategies.me</font></em></a>

Do You Follow Procedure?

Reading Time: 1

The tram cars are tiny, metal containers. Passengers–six to a car–sit cramped on molded plastic seats.  The air inside the cars is stale and hot. There is no air conditioning. 

Arch Tram Car

The trams take  you to the top of the 632 foot Gateway Arch in St. Louis.  The uncomfortable ride takes only a few minutes. 

Except when it doesn’t.

Sometimes things go wrong, as they did this week. Forty people were trapped for an hour. Temperatures rose to 110 degrees. 

According to reports, after about 40 minutes, Bi-State Development Agency, which operates the Arch, sent workers up the monument’s emergency staircase to bring bottled water to the prisioners. With the water came some fresh air and news about the problem. 

Several of the trapped people were hospitalized. Others were furious that Bi-State waited until the end of the ordeal to pay a personal visit to the cars. 

When asked why the transit agency waited so long, a spokeswoman answered, “We followed procedure.” 

Following procedure is the lamest excuse of a bureaucrat. It means, “I am too lazy to think; I am too selfish to act.”  

Just following procedure smacks of government, of protection, of security over decency. 

No one died in the Arch. That’s good. Even if someone had, no one would have been accountable. That’s because everyone followed procedure that were designed to protect Bi-State, not people.

 

Blame Machines

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Obama blames this for unemployment

Even though they became ubiquitous when he was an undergrad, Obama just now discovered that ATMs reduce foot traffic in banks.  Then again, they probably didn’t have the machines in the Kremlin where he spent his semester abroad.

But the twits are sure having a blast with the news (me included).

Exit question: you think ATMs and airport kiosks are preventing people from finding work?  Seriously?

Answer in the comments.

Join Americans for Prosperity and the K and N Patriots for a “Running on Empty” Rally

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Americans for Prosperity Foundation is stopping in O’Fallon on our Running On Empty Tour to give you a chance to send President Obama your gas bill and tell him to stop this runaway increase in gas prices.

Click Here to Register!

Since President Obama took office, gas prices have nearly doubled. The administration refuses to develop American energy sources…American energy sources that could help gas prices, electricity prices, and food prices come down.

  • What: AFP Foundation’s Running On Empty TourWhere: 3005 HWY K O’Fallon, MO (Across from Chevy’s)
  • When: Saturday, June 11th 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Why: To learn what executive actions the Administration can take to bring down fuel costs and bring stability to the market and send them your gas bill!

The event will include local and national speakers, food, and a chance to send President Obama your gas bill! We need you to help send the message that it is critical America develop energy sources that will help gas prices, electricity prices, and food prices come down.

Americans are running on empty and the administration needs to hear how regulations and restriction to domestic resources are affecting working families who rely on affordable energy to commute to work, go to school activities and shop for family groceries.