In a few days, countless Americans will be taking patriotic music and patriotic mythology out of mothballs, the way they take their crazy aunt out of the attic to attend the annual family reunion.
There will be a flag flying from every vertical object in the land, as they "oooooo" and "ahhhhh" to the rockets' red glare, that never felt the shrapnel. They will be guzzling booze, stuffing themselves with greasy picnic food until they're puking red, white and blue.
A lot of them won't know what the hell they're supposed to be celebrating. They're just happy to have an extra day off.
We're supposed to be celebrating "independence," freedom, "liberty and justice for all."
We might as well be celebrating our virginity: we don't have that anymore, either.
Somebody once said "Those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it."
I can personally verify that this is true.
In the 8th grade I failed to study history and I was doomed to repeat it in summer school.
But apparently, I'm not the only dunce at the dance.
The new reichskinder?
Few if any seem to have any inkling of what happened in 1776, any more than they have a clue about what's happening right now.
If the founders of the United States of America were alive today, they'd be turning over in their graves.
Or maybe they'd grab that miniature flag you're waving right out of your hand, and SMACK that Star-Spangled Banner right out of your mouth.
The Declaration of Independence was ratified on July 4, 1776 – after the colonies had been at war with the kingdom of Great Britain for over a year (since Lexington-Concord April 1775). Nowhere in the document is the title, “Declaration of Independence.” Thomas Jefferson is considered the principal author.
The Declaration includes an indictment, listing the reasons for seeking independence – describing the King’s mistreatment of the colonials as “a long train of abuses and usurpations.” Let’s look at one or the cars on that train, and compare/contrast with our current situation, under the current government. Let the facts be submitted to a candid camera:
1776: He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
2016: There are so many government agencies regulating virtually every aspect of daily life, that it is practically impossible to sniff, scratch or spit without first obtaining permission from some bureaucrat – and paying the required fee, of course. You can’t own a dog, go fishing, drive a car, get married, buy a gun, give a haircut, or install a toilet without getting a license or permit. This is like buying a pencil for $5 -- but you have to pay extra for the lead.
1776: He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
2016: Let’s face it: we no longer have peace officers.
The police are indistinguishable in weapons, training, tactics and attitude, from soldiers. What we have is, in effect a standing army occupying the country, with or without the consent of our legislatures.
Those coats should be red.
1776: For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
2016: Quartering meant providing room and board for the occupying army, that is, giving soldiers shelter IN YOUR OWN HOME and feeding them from your table. You may not have police sleeping in your spare bedroom and joining you for dinner, but you certainly pay for their room and board with your taxes.
But there’s more to it than that.
Why did the King want his men put up in the colonists’ homes? Was there no room at the Holiday Inn? Was there no place to bivouac? Were tents that hard to come by? Were the King’s seasoned, professional troops too dainty to make do just camping out?
The purpose of quartering troops in homes was SURVEILLANCE.
The idea was to suppress dissent by have a watchful eye and ear ever-present. Even if the King’s men didn’t catch you doing or saying anything seditious, the chilling effect was just as good, You’d have to be very careful about what you said every moment, even if you weren’t involved in any plots against the Crown.
Today, the standing army doesn’t have to room and board in your home. Modern technology makes things a lot easier for them: they monitor your social media, read your emails, listen to your phone conversations, follow your movements with tracking devices in your car and cell phones, eavesdrop via your computer, your television; observe you by using drones, x-rays, infra-red.
It’s much more sophisticated than having a spy physically intruding, but it accomplishes the same thing, and for the same reason.
1776: For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
2016: Here’s where the rubber meets the road. Today police officers gun down innocent, unarmed citizens, shooting them in the back, shooting them multiple times -- enough times that it clearly evinces an intent to kill – and virtually NEVER stand trial for murder.
Redcoats "in fear for their lives."
The police always claim they acted “in fear for their lives” even when their victim is a frail old woman in a wheel chair, or a pre-teen girl.
For a citizen, the claim of “self-defense” is an affirmative defense. That is, the burden of proof is on the person claiming self-defense. The default assumption is murder unless you can prove that you REASONABLY feared an imminent threat of grave bodily injury or death.
But for police, it’s just the opposite. They alone enjoy a presumption of justification unless proved otherwise. And even with a dozen witnesses and videos that contradict the police officer’s story, it is only rarely proved otherwise. On those exceedingly rare occasions when an officer IS convicted of a crime, the penalty is a tiny fraction of that which a citizen would receive for the same offense.
Police Officer "in fear for his life," shoots unarmed, fleeing citizen in the back.
Police beat elderly citizens for jaywalking. They taser children for being unruly in school. They rape. They torture. They shoot people’s dogs on a whim. They strip search, body cavity search with NO evidence that the citizen has committed any crime whatsoever. They will brutalize a citizen on any pretext, and they will do it with obvious malice aforethought, and depraved lack of remorse afterward.
And for all these assaults, rapes, and murders the prosecutors and judges conspire with the police to ensure that the police are protected from punishment by a mock trial.
No charges for this cop, either.
The more things change, the more they stay the same, the French say.
The colonists tried reason, persuasion and protest.
They didn’t want to go to war if they didn’t have to.
But they had to.
Because when it becomes impossible to get justice by legal means, then it becomes imperative to get it by extra-legal means.
By whatever means necessary.
That’s something the founders understood.
And it’s high time we remembered it.
Colonists at Lexington providing British troops with a tutorial on liberty.
Liberty & Justice,