July 4th, in my opinion, is the defining moment in American History, and is my most revered “holiday”. My first “experience” on BVBL was as “John Locke”, for he is the real father of “natural law”, which gave us this most powerful statement of freedom and democracy, “all men are created equal. ” The Declaration of Independence, although not considered a “legal” document, is the very soul and conscience of our Democracy. I am guided by those simple, yet awe inspiring words. It was a revolution not only in deed, but in thought, and I honor my forefathers for their bravery and wisdom on July 4th.

In one vibrant paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson managed to compress both a résumé of American constitutional theory that justified the struggle for independence and a précis of a revolutionary, republican theory of government. “All men are created equal”; they enjoy “unalienable Rights” (this repudiated arguments by Thomas Hobbes and William Blackstone that people surrender their natural rights when they leave the state of nature); these rights include “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (a liberal and literary improvement on John Locke’s triad of life, liberty, and property); governments exist to protect those rights; governments are created by “the consent of the governed” (the compact theory); the people retain the right “to alter or to abolish” government when it violates its ends, “and to institute new Government” to secure the people’s “Safety and Happiness” (the commonwealth theory). In their totality, these concepts provided a comprehensive statement of popular sovereignty.

full text http://www.answers.com/topic/the-declaration-of-independence

85 thoughts on “July 4th, the Soul of a Nation is Born

  1. This is what July 4th is about. God Bless Freedom. Speak Truth to Power. Mad Props to my boy Ron Paul:

  2. Blog Freely while you still can…

    By the 4th of July next year, some of us may be labeled as homegrown terrorists.

    The Thought Police are gathering their strength…

    …are you?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIOSAkX4pfY&feature=related

  3. Casual Observer

    Interesting observation: We live way out in the county and, while I’m very well aware of Greg L, HSM and the sign up at 9500 Liberty, my husband is not, and all he knows of Greg and HSM are the snippets I’ve shared with him while we’ve watched some of the BOCS meetings on television. It’s not that he’s apathetic, but his community service involves issues other than illegal immigration, and he’s not in a position to take a public stand for or against for or against certain issues before the BOCS. Let’s just say that, while he has been keenly interested in the adoption and implementation the Resolution, he has not been able to pay much attention to Greg L and his brethren. 🙂

    Usually we stay home and watch the NYC and DC fireworks on television, but we happened to be in Manassas doing errands this afternoon and my husband suggested we stay in town and watch the fireworks with our youngest child. So we parked and headed over to the Manassas Museum. En route, we stopped at the PWC Dems booth and picked up Warner stickers (they were all out of Obama), and chatted with them a bit. As we turned to leave I noticed out of the corner of my eye a poster that read “What Part of Illegal Don’t You Understand?”, saw Greg hovering about and realized we were in front of a HSM booth. Such a happy bunch, they are. Anyway, my husband asked what all the “anti-immigration propaganda” was all about, and what the heck HSM meant? I brought him up to date as best I could (while staying well clear of the group — last thing I wanted was somebody slapping an HSM sticker on my little one), and then we came to the end of the street — and found ourselves standing right in front of the 9500 Liberty sign. Again, my husband knows NOTHING about that sign, nor does my youngest daughter, who was with us. So my husband stops, starts reading it, and I begin with a “brief history of the sign,” and all the outrage that’s resulted. We didn’t have time to read it all, but we noticed that there were hundreds of people walking in the area, none of whom seemed even the least bit dismayed by the sign. Some people glanced at it, but nobody looked angry or outraged. I’m guessing this was the first time many of those people had seen the sign, and most of those had never heard of it before. And even seeing the sign, I have to think the majority had any idea of the debate that sign has caused. As we started to head over to the museum lawn, DH commented that he thought the free speech the sign represented is a message well suited for the Fourth of July. He noticed that the sign was festooned with small American flags in honor of the holiday, and he appreciated the patriotic message.

    We found our spots on the lawn, got thoroughly soaked, and completely enjoyed the fireworks. 🙂 As we headed back to the car, we decided to avoid the teeming masses and stay on Liberty Street toward our car on the other side of Sudley Rd.
    This meant we passed Mr. F’s sign again, only now it was lit up against the evening sky, and Mr. F was chatting quite happily with people — interested in the sign and its message, I suppose. I asked DH, who by now had read the whole message, what he thought. He responded that he could certainly understand the history behind it, even if he probably didn’t agree with some of the language Mr. F chose to use. But, he said, it’s Mr. F’s sign, his property, and his free speech, and that was just fine with him. I got the sense most people who saw the sign tonight reached similar conclusions.

    So that was our encounter with the sign at 9500 Liberty.

  4. Red Dawn

    Casual Observer,

    That was BEAUTIFUL and TRUTHFUL!

    I agree with your observation of your DH, that TRULY everyone is walking around with NO clue to the on going debate but just a handful of us.

    I find YOUR comments to be MY pass to jump out of this debate and focus more on other things, such as life :)….. Just kidding in a sense but REALLY, I am being serious. My time dedicated to all of this, has been fun but the fun runs out when you try, try, try again and do not see the change.

    The ONLY change that I can see, is within MYSELF. I have learned so much and I hope that I have left a trail of giggles, tears and cheers in return, oh hell a couple of WTF’s would be good too 🙂

    You have given me the best opportunity to say good bye to the blogging at the request of my family and friends, they want ME back ( God bless them, do they REALLY miss me that much?, LOL)

    Seriously, it is TIME to move on.

    Bless all of you that stay and continue..( this shit sound like a suicide letter, huh???? NOT!!!!!!!!!! ) LOL, and IF I do, end up dead….don’t discount the conspiracy theories, LOL!!!!! I would want to know who and WHY they did it!!! lol 🙂 I had to throw that giggle in there as I did like to know about some of the truth in those things 🙂

    I will just leave you with this song 🙂

  5. Casual, thanks for the decription of yesterday! So glad I didn’t run into the the HSM booth. They must have left by the time we got there. We did get to see the sign “fresh fudge” next to a streak of horse manure, however. I will leave it up to you what part you want to laugh at.

  6. Elena

    Casual,
    thank you for your recap, it’s nice to hear he prespective from someone not “consumed’ in this issue like your DH.

  7. Cindy B

    If you want to do more than just debate, take part in a webinar being hosted by the Center for Voter Deliberation of No Va (www.cvdnva.org) on July 9 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm.

    You will be one of more than a handful of people who are working together to plan study circles in Prince William.

    The purpose of Study Circles is to help a community find ways for all kinds of people to think, talk and work together to solve problems. The public school system in Montgomery County has had over 84 study circles, and their case study is on the CVDNVA website.

    This fall the Center plans to convene one or two pilot circles, of up to twenty people each, for an afternoon on one or more Saturdays in October. The goal for the pilot circle(s) will be to attract a diverse group of Prince William County participants, i.e., to include people who have concerns about the problems of immigration from the immigrant and non-immigrant sides, and who seek a way to discuss and do something about those problems.

    So either register for the webinar if you’d like to be in on the planning, or go to the website to leave an e-mail that you’d like to be in the pilot study circles in the fall. The more diverse the viewpoints, the more valuable the study circles will be.

  8. Elena

    Thank you Cindy B.

    We will put up a thread abou this!

  9. Moon-howler

    Cindy b,

    Thank you very much. What keeps these forums from becoming packed with HSM members? Are there cut offs? Can groups only get so large? Please come back and remind us when the time gets closer. What a great idea.

  10. Elvis

    http://citizentom.wordpress.com/2007/10/14/those-who-love-more-than-thou/

    interesting post and I’ll have to say that I totally agree, everything he said rings very, very true.

  11. Moon-howler

    So Citizen Tom finally admits it is all about money. Seems to me that for those businesses that try to save a buck, it is all about money. Citizen Tom thinks we shouldn’t have to support ‘those people.’ Therefore, all of this discussion is about the almight dollar and not wanting to pay for it.

  12. Lucky Duck

    Come on Elvis, you drag out a nine month old letter to the editor to take a shot at Elena? I’ve learned to expect better arguments from you. I am disappointed to say the least.

  13. Poor Richard

    Casual,
    Please keep in mind that many see the Sign as a land use issue and not
    one focused on free speech. What code and zoning control does a local
    jurisdiction have under the law? The courts will soon decide.
    This may well set a precedent where a Nazi and/or other racist hate group
    could put up a same size sign in another part of the community. Then what?
    Part of what we celebrate on July 4th is that everyone is equal
    under the law — those we agree with AND those we don’t.
    Glad you and your family enjoyed the fireworks in Manassas. Please
    come again – hopefully, the weather will be better next time.

  14. Elena

    Elvis,
    I am very proud of that letter, clearly demonstrating my position on this issue from the very begining. When I look back on those days, the rhetoric and demonization of latino’s was all too common, and by the way, still is being propogated to this day. I have never suggested that people concerned about illegal immigration did not have rights to their opinions. Since you want to look at old letters of mine, read this one too.

    P.S. Thank you Lucky Duck.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/14/AR2007091402564.html

    Letters To the Editor
    Sunday, September 16, 2007; Page PW02

    Don’t Turn a Blind Eye To Immigration Backlash

    ——————————————————————————–

    As a former middle school counselor in the Baileys Crossroads area, I am very familiar with the challenges that immigrant families — legal and illegal — and especially their children face in adapting to life in the United States. By and large, like all immigrants before them, the vast majority want nothing more than to achieve and contribute to the American dream

    I am a mother raising two young children in Prince William County, blessed to be a stay-at-home mom. I find myself greatly concerned about how the local political reaction to illegal immigration is affecting the environment in which my children are growing up.

    Recently, several members of the Board of County Supervisors sponsored a controversial resolution to combat illegal immigration in the area. Supervisor John T. Stirrup Jr. (R-Gainesville) and Chairman Corey A. Stewart (R-At Large) are entitled to their opinions about illegal immigration, but they are not entitled to turn a blind eye to the actions that certain hate organizations are taking in conjunction with their opinions, specifically the Ku Klux Klan.

    Recently, there have been reports on activity by the Klan in some neighborhoods, distributing anti-immigrant material. Instead of perhaps moderating their position on illegal immigration, the supervisors instead denied there was any connection between the two issues.

    “I’m really disturbed that he would try to make such a stupid connection,” Stewart said about one news story.

    “There’s a lot of things that happen in life, that may happen in the same time frame that may not necessarily be related to each other,” Stirrup said. “I don’t really think that there’s a relationship between the two.”

    To deny the connection of the immigration resolution and the KKK appearance is to deny reality.

    “If any one single issue or trend can be credited with reenergizing the Klan, it is the debate over immigration in America,” said Deborah M. Lauter, civil rights director of the Anti-Defamation League. “Klan groups have witnessed a surprising and troubling resurgence by exploiting fears of an immigration explosion, and the debate over immigration has, in turn, helped to fuel an increase in Klan activity, with new groups sprouting in parts of the country that have not seen much activity.”

    The Southern Poverty Law Center has reported the following: “Energized by the rancorous national debate on immigration and increasingly successful at penetrating mainstream political discourse, hate groups in America continued to grow in number in 2006, rising 5% over the year before to 844 groups.

    “That increase translated into a 40% jump in the number of groups since 2000, when there were 602 hate groups operating in America, according to research [by the center’s Intelligence Project]. Much of the expansion has been driven by hate groups’ exploitation of the issue of illegal immigration, which many Americans see as a pressing concern.”

    What disappoints me most is the direction my board of supervisors is taking this county, a direction that leads to nowhere but increased hate and division. What we need are voices of innovation, of new ideas, solutions that can take into account the totality of the illegal immigration dilemma before this county and country.

    If we do not begin to solve this problem in a realistic and humane way, we will continue to see an upsurge of hate while not addressing the issue of illegal immigration in a comprehensive manner.

    Elena Schlossberg-Kunkel

    Haymarket

  15. Emma

    rod2155, 4. July 2008, 17:09
    I did not mean to offend all the older people, Emma has been collectively on me throughout many threads on this blog the past couple days about me being “a little boy” and therefore having no valid opinion, I just gave her a reminder of her mortality, but I admit it was a little mean, it’s a knee jerk reaction after being bullied so much of my life. As I warned her on another thread, I use my words to disarm people, and sometimes they can hurt…(and come back to haunt me)

    I didn’t catch this yesterday, Rod, sorry. How about a truce? If I take the time to needle you a little, it’s because your opinions interest me, even if I think they are completely out there (just ask Mackie). I wasn’t offended at all.

    Ok, time to hobble over to the kitchen to find my reading glasses….

  16. elena

    Rod and Emma,
    The mom in me wants to say, “I am so proud of both of you for working this issue out”, but I won’t 😉

  17. Elena, love that letter! Nicely stated!!

    I’ve been blog-dialoging with Citizen Tom and find him very interesting. We don’t agree on some things, but he is a good writer, reasonable and respectful, all positive qualities for maintaining meaningful discussion. Yes, he is concerned with business and seems to fear “socialism,” this notion that we are trying to feed the whole world and not take care of our own. It’s a valid concern, but hate groups and dysfunctional domestic policy are bigger threats at the moment, IMHO.

    One more note: Citizen Tom is a party member, which I am not, so that makes the interacting even more interesting to me. Party members are a different “breed” (not to use an animal metaphor….I just can’t think of another way to say it).

  18. Elena

    Thank you KG! I agree with everything you have shared about Citizen Tom. I think, like the rest of us, struggle with the idea of fairness and reality. We can’t feed the whole world, that is true, but we must also be humane in our decision as a nation.

  19. Censored bybvbl

    Ok, time to hobble over to the kitchen to find my reading glasses….

    Haha, Emma, they’re probably in the kitchen next to the jar opener all of us old gals keep handy…

  20. Firedancer

    Moon-howler, I can’t believe Mrs. Krutis has been banished from bvbl. If anything, she gave them something to react to. Are there any sane voices left over there??

  21. Moon-howler

    fIREDANCER, This will be a short answer. TurnPWblue still posts there periodically, Big Dog, and a couple of former city employees. Other than that, to put it succinctly: NO

  22. Emma

    Censored, I can’t even find the jar opener..

  23. Moon-howler

    Emma, me either but…you know those rubber mat things that you put down to keep things from sliding? Works perfectly as a jar opener. Just get a roll of it and slice off what you need. When you loose it, chop off some more.

  24. Emma

    I have some of those…somewhere around here 🙂

  25. Moon-howler

    Ah the tricks of the elderly, Emma. What was that I read somewhere….Age and treachery will overcome youth and inexperience every time.

  26. I’m sorry Emma, my mom grounded me today, but maybe we can come out play tomorrow.

    (oddly enough I was a rather cautious child and rarely got grounded or spanked, I guess I’m making up for all those lost years of being a wimp)

  27. Juturna

    There is nothing wrong with a bit o’ bickering. I find it fun to follow, sometimes educational and finally blessedly free of censorship. Carry on!

  28. I always got grounded for everything. Every little thing….

    BTW, rubber gloves work just as well as jar openers.

    But my husband is the best. He has “strangler hands.”

  29. Boy that last comment would really make anyone wonder about me, eh?

  30. Moon-howler

    kgotthardt,

    yea but…they cover your hands and are rubber gloves!! EWWWWWWWWWW

    Emma,

    Do you know where the orange crystal light is sold already bottled other than at costco? Help!!!

    Back to Kgott, I am resisting commenting about the strangler hands….

  31. Emma

    Moon-howler, no, I don’t know who sells the already bottled stuff besides Costco. I’ve only ever gotten the powdered–used to enjoy the premade stuff from a dispenser at my old job. And I hate having to buy a whole flat of something I like, because I have very little storage.

    kg, I have a feeling there is a LOT we don’t know about you 😉

  32. Leila

    I am getting so curious about this Crystal Light business that I may have to give up my Diet Pepsi jones and try the pricier stuff.

    Meanwhile, there was an interesting article in today’s NYT: “Employers Fight Tough Measures on Immigration.”

    See the online front page at NYT.com

  33. Leila

    Wow. I just tried to post a link and it didn’t appear. I didn’t think that just one link was a probem!

  34. Moon-howler

    Leila,

    I think it is inconsistently schizo! Email Alanna for help.

  35. Whahahahahahaha! I lead a secret life with my husband…we mug people for Crystal Light…..YOU might be next!

    (Okay, the truth…..I call him “strangler hands” because he has a really strong grip and can open about any jar or bottle. Comes in “handy” with wrenches, clippers, that kind of thing. Sorry it’s not as interesting as it sounds, but I’d have many a broken bottle if it weren’t for him!)

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