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It's the Fourth of July. What does Independence Day mean to you? How do you reflect upon the last 229 years of American history? What does 1776 mean to 2005?
Eight years ago today.
(Well, ok, the article would be from eight years ago tomorrow, bu it's about eight years ago today.)
is the URL to a great Washington Post piece titled
On the Fourth, Nothing Is More American Than Thinking Independently
There is an excellent quote:
And not the rah-rah, politicized, you're-either-with-us-or-you're-against-us, lock-step kind of freedom either (call that "freedom fries" freedom) but the kind that allows -- no, make that celebrates -- dissent. Sure, the Fourth is America's birthday, but while everyone is invited, we're not all expected to show up at the same party.
This is something to remember not only about Republicans, but about the next time one person really admires a potential Democratic candidate and another person says "Well, if they don't agree with us on........".
I'd rather have (and have campaigned for such people in the past) an elected official who engages in dialogue who I have argued with from time to time, than one who pleases some group but doesn't seem interested in those with another point of view.
After all, there is a big difference between "I am doing what I think is right" and "YOU should believe what I think is right".
The first is a person of conscience, the second is a bully. I'll take the first person anytime, even if we disagree on a major issue.
So, President b!X, whatever happened to the Millenium Cafe?
What happened to the Millennium Cafe is simple: After two years, I realized I didn't know what I was doing trying to run a business.
Just a point of reflection on the anniversary of the start of our independence -
When we finally got our constitional government going after the war, we elected a congress made up of 26 Senators and 65 House members, for a total of 91 representatives. The population of the new United States was then about 3 million.
The population of Oregon now is 3 million give or take, and our State Legislature has 90 members. So our access to our State Senator and House member is roughly like it was with our Federal folks back at the founding of this Country.
Since then the population has grown a hundred times over, give or take. The number of people elected to Congress has grown about by a multiple of about 5. Roughly (this ain't statistics class folks!), our degree of access to our Federal elected officals, or degree of dilution of representation, is a factor of 20 since the founding of our constitution. E.g. we have 1/20th the access to our elected officials as a percentage of population.
This is an issue, but one I have no answer for. I believe these simple facts underlie a lot of what is going on. There isn't time for our elected officials to really listen to everyone about everything, and one easy way to sort it out is to listen to money. We feel more distant from our elected officials, therefore we trust them less, therefore anti-government talk has more traction - because it can't be countered with the trust that results from having a level of personal relationship. Impersonal government does not leave one satisfied.
Well, enough heavy thoughts. Time to pull a lawn chair up into the front yard and watch the fireworks over the rimrock above Prineville. Our fireworks are again sponsored by our garbage company, with advertising help from our cable TV company, which brings me the Internet connection I'm using to write this message. Ah, America!
Maybe the fireworks will start a grass fire on the hillside this year, and we can have some real excitement watching the fire crew put it out (happens about every 3rd year). Ah, the thrill of rural life!
It means freedom is not free. It means we have an obligation to change a government that does not perpetuate what the founding fathers envisioned, a government "of the people, by the people and for the people", one that truly believes that we are all endowed with certain inalienable rights, chief of among these are "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Gregor, I think you are right. Here are a couple of quotes from our Founding Fathers. Be careful what you wish for.
n the words of Sam Adams, "If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."
In the words of John Adams, "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
Jeff Mapes, Oregonian
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