Independence is a choice you make

Americans should decide whether to follow in Founding Fathers' footsteps

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They chose danger and uncertainty over safety and certitude. And they did it with all their hearts and souls.

With eyes wide open and jaws clenched, they jumped over the cliff. But they did it arm-in-arm.

When this nation's founders pledged to each other "our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor" on July 4, 1776, they chose -- at ultimate risk -- independence and freedom. And they were willing to fight and die for it.

Today, our firecrackers and sparklers are but faint symbols of our forebears' willingness to sacrifice everything for that independence and freedom they handed to us.

Even given the luxuries of today's existence -- or perhaps because of them -- we don't seem to have the courage to make the same choice: to trust our fates to Providence and our own industriousness and ingenuity. Americans today appear to be inviting dependence instead: the "sure thing" of government bailouts and benefits, and a growing list of "rights" without responsibilities.

Many of us seem to think this country guarantees happiness, rather than the pursuit of it, rather than the blank slate of endless opportunity. So we increasingly look to politicians for succor and courts for outcomes. We harvest the rotting fruit of misspent lives, and then gleefully run to daytime television to squeal profanely on it. We have grown fat upon the land and upon the sugary drinks, and in order to do so have mortgaged not just our children's inheritances, but their future paychecks as well. We have taken John F. Kennedy's admonition to "ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country," and turned it precariously on its head.

Given every advantage our predecessors paid so dearly to provide, we are choosing extravagance over thrift, turpitude over virtue, hubris over humility, dependence over independence.

Could present-day Americans have forged the mettle to rebel against the tyranny of the crown? How can you look around and even imagine it?

God help us, if we deserve it.

But first, we must help ourselves.

The first thing to do is to divorce ourselves from the notion that dependence is just a lifestyle choice.

Then we need to renew the spirit of the founders: the pluck of individual liberty, of self-reliance -- of independence. We must walk arm-in-arm as the founders did, but without our hands out to the sovereign. We must rid ourselves of the immoral addiction of pilfering future Americans' resources so we may live cushier lives.

We may never re-create the grit of our founders, who gambled it all to throw off an armed and entrenched authoritarianism. But we don't have to. We can follow their tracks through a much more hospitable pass: the way of ballots instead of bullets.

Independence is a choice you make.

Will it be ours?

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TheFederalist
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TheFederalist 07/04/10 - 02:47 am
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Committed! John Hancock and

Committed! John Hancock and the other signers of the Declaration of Independence took a great risk when they wrote their names on that founding document. Because they were still under British rule, writing the Declaration was considered an act of treason, and many of the signers were severely punished for their participation in the writing of the Declaration. Some of the signers were killed, many were robbed of all their possessions, and even the families of the signers were persecuted for generations after the Declaration of Independence was issued. However, they were all absolutely committed to the concept of liberty, so they were more than willing to risk everything. How committed to that concept are we today? I wonder.

orgpsych
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orgpsych 07/04/10 - 03:11 am
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There are those who post here

There are those who post here with whom I disagree. There are some with whom I disagree a great deal. There are also some that I just don't like based on the things they say, regardless of their opinion. However, I wouldn't change their presence here one bit.

The right to have and express an opinion whether it is popular with the majority of the crowd present is a right that is still too absent in this world. We have it and that is one of our greatest strengths.

I and countless others have defended everyone here's right to speak their mind and say their piece, including my own. That this right, freedom of speech and freedom of expression, should cause such controversy in our society is sad, but that, too, is part of what makes this right so very important.

Happy Fourth of July, everyone. Freedom isn't free. Please don't take it for granted. That includes denying that freedom ... especially the right of free speech ... to others.

Things have changed here and I haven't had much time to visit this forum these past several weeks. Still, I am proud to be part of the great American debate. Sometimes my comments move others. Sometimes the comments of others move me. In the end that makes us all stronger and, I hope, better people and better Americans.

Again, Happy Fourth of July to all.

grouse
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grouse 07/04/10 - 04:50 am
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The Chronicle seems to have a
Unpublished

The Chronicle seems to have a very low opinion of Americans...

Riverman1
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Riverman1 07/04/10 - 05:44 am
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Imagine what it was like

Imagine what it was like during that time to see over 300 British war ships show up in New York. That would be like the giant spaceship in Close Encounters of the Third Kind coming over the city. Yet, the patriots were resolute in their determination to do what Thomas Paine said in Common Sense: "We have it in our power to begin the world anew...America shall make a stand, not for herself alone, but for the world."

They jumped off that cliff, arm in arm, fell into the ocean and sank down into the dark depths together. When it appeared all was lost, the current of freedom grabbed them and propelled them to the surface where they gasped for air at Valley Forge. They were tossed from the white caps of one wave to another until finally they were returned to the shore of a free country never seen before in the history of the world.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 07/04/10 - 07:16 am
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When are United States

When are United States government and American consumers going to declare independence and freedom from our addiction to oil? I'm not just talking about dependence on foreign oil. I'm talking about our addiction to oil in general.

KSL
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KSL 07/04/10 - 07:19 am
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What fuel does you car run

What fuel does you car run on, Cain?

KSL
126246
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KSL 07/04/10 - 07:20 am
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Do you have any plastics in

Do you have any plastics in your house? Do you have a viable substitute at this point?

KSL
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KSL 07/04/10 - 07:20 am
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Something made from

Something made from bi-products of trees perhaps?

confederate american
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confederate american 07/04/10 - 08:16 am
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Show them the black flag and

Show them the black flag and give them the bayonet.

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 07/04/10 - 08:33 am
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KSL....he means he wants

KSL....he means he wants everyone ELSE to declare independence. Full of criticism, but no guts to do anything about anything..........except complain.

chascush
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chascush 07/04/10 - 08:32 am
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We need to stand together in

We need to stand together in Nov. We have to stop the idiots in Washington. Hussein told us what he wants to do. “Fundamentally change this country”

OnlyinAgs
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OnlyinAgs 07/04/10 - 08:49 am
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I can't believe Obama's name

I can't believe Obama's name isn't mentioned in this editorial, we all know if it was there would be about 200 post by now 90% mostly from those who hate him. Wait I think they still are saying it's his policies right. *wink wink*

corgimom
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corgimom 07/04/10 - 09:29 am
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JRHC, by all means, you lead

JRHC, by all means, you lead the way.

KSL
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KSL 07/04/10 - 09:41 am
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How is the band going to get

How is the band going to get to it's venues?

KSL
126246
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KSL 07/04/10 - 09:43 am
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Only the lonely, please go

Only the lonely, please go away.

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 07/04/10 - 09:47 am
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OnlyinAgs.....why is it when

OnlyinAgs.....why is it when people give you specific reasons that they don't like Obama's policies that you claim that they just hate him? Has it not occurred to you that we would hate the policies no matter who was implementing them?

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 07/04/10 - 09:48 am
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Better turn off that computer

Better turn off that computer that's in a plastic case, Cain......I would hate for people to think you are a hypocrite.

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 07/04/10 - 09:49 am
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KSL....you are being

KSL....you are being sickeningly self sufficient! LOL

dichotomy
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dichotomy 07/04/10 - 10:03 am
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JRHC, when there are things

JRHC, when there are things out that that actually work and don't do more harm than oil. Show me environmental studies of the mass deployment of solar panels or windmill farms. Not that we could deploy enough of them to generate enough electricity anyway. And you will never run and 18 wheeler on a battery and solar panel or rechargeable batteries. You act like we do not want to use less oil. But speak the truth for once. Admit that the techonology is not there and probably will not be there for decades. We cannot kill our world's existing economy on something that MIGHT be feasible in 50 years. The "oilless" technology we have today is pretty feeble. A car that only goes 40 miles before the battery dies is pretty useless to 99.9% of Americans. Greenie weenie propoganda about houses run by solar panels always seem to fail to mention the cost of installing the system, coninuous replacement of batteries, and fail to point out the fact that you cannot provide enough power to run air conditioners or heat pumps unless you are also connected to "the grid". The fact is that the technology for is not there, won't be there for decades, and may never be there. If viable technology was out there somebody would be manufacturing it and selling the hell out of it. The only thing out there that works today is nuclear power for the generation of electricity and the same people who keep hollering about oil dependence are they ones who do everything they can to block nuclear power plants. Hypocrites!

sjgraci
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sjgraci 07/04/10 - 10:36 am
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The chronicle is insane.

The chronicle is insane.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 07/04/10 - 10:44 am
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Conservation is the first

Conservation is the first step toward energy independence.

The U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are largely about access to and control of oil and natural gas resources.

American foreign policy speaks of its liberal agenda for the world, but always succumbs to the realpolitik of America’s national interests. The liberal rhetoric can not be practiced in the face of America’s immediate and short-term security concerns. The end result has been, and continues to be, that people around the world perceive a gross hypocrisy in America’s foreign policy.

The most stunning and quite recent example of this kind of foreign policy contradiction came in the 2006 State of the Union address, when President Bush scolded the American people on TV. He scolded us when he said “America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world.” The administration was telling us that our problems in the Middle East were our fault; our endless consumption of oil is the problem. Blaming the American people for their addiction to oil is like blaming a drug addict for his addiction without mentioning of the peddler or the cartel that supplies the drugs.

President Bush "forgot" to tell the American people that their addiction was aided and abetted by decades of foreign policies that have enabled that addiction. Those foreign policies were the extensions of an immense and highly integrated program to get Americans to consume vast amounts of energy as a means to grow the economy through energy consumption rather then through innovation and productive activity:

big cars

separating people from their jobs by isolating them in the distant suburbs

abandoning efficient rail travel in favor of inefficient air travel

endless highway projects

obscene consumerism

subsidized home ownership

mass indoctrination that guarantees our dependence on consumption instead innovation

President Bush diagnosed the problem correctly in substance and in form, but our political leadership refuses to admit that no state is completely immune to its addiction to oil. A state made utterly dependent on vast quantities of oil opens itself to the most bizarre conceptions of itself, and the most fantastic, ludicrous and comical foreign adventures.

The American addiction to oil, made artificially high through government programs and policies, is one of the most dangerous diseases our country has ever faced. It may completely undo us.

The war that George Bush never launched was a war against these contradictions and hypocrisies, a war that every administration all the way back to Harry Truman never waged. This is what is partially at the root of America’s foreign policy failures today.

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 07/04/10 - 10:41 am
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Wow...he found a way to rant

Wow...he found a way to rant against the war. Can't change a one trick pony.

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 07/04/10 - 10:44 am
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I sure hope if the band makes

I sure hope if the band makes it big, they don't sell tshirts and the like at their concerts.........wouldn't want to fuel the "obscene consumerism." What a hypocrite.

chascush
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chascush 07/04/10 - 10:57 am
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OnlyinAgs , “I can't believe

OnlyinAgs , “I can't believe Obama's name isn't mentioned in this editorial, we all know if it was there would be about 200 post by now 90% mostly from those who hate him.”
You can think what ever makes you happy. But we hate Hussein’s policies not him. I hate the fact that he wants to, “Fundamentally change this country”. The fact is I feel very sorry for him. He had a very troubled childhood. He was deserted by his father then dragged around by his mother to Indonesia and then had to live with his grandparents. He should have received therapy when he was young but it seems the only therapy he received was from Frank Marshall Davis his communist mentor when he was a teenager.
Maybe it is not too late to receive help if he will admit he has a serious problem.

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 07/04/10 - 11:09 am
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I wonder how many solar

I wonder how many solar panels Cain has on his house. How big is his wind turbine? Has he run his A/C this summer? How far can he haul his daughter's sound equipment in his pedal powered car? Do I sense a hypocrite?

KSL
126246
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KSL 07/04/10 - 04:01 pm
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Happy Independence Day to

Happy Independence Day to all, especially to Tigger and family.

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 07/04/10 - 04:05 pm
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Thanks KSL....I'll be

Thanks KSL....I'll be starting my charcoal without the use of petroleum products! LOL

raging rasta
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raging rasta 07/04/10 - 04:27 pm
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Tigger and Randolph, as much

Tigger and Randolph, as much as I like the ranting and raving there, is no simple solution to getting rid of the petroleum products and finding cleaner and environmentally friendly products. "Going green" isn't all that easy especially, if you're not a self sufficient person living off the grid, (which I take that Randolph is not because he still has a computer and internet service), I'm sure Randolph commits to saving our planet just as much as the next guy or tigger, and although sad to say, we all enjoy something fully until it is all gone. You'll probably get your solar powered car when the oil well runs dry.

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 07/04/10 - 04:29 pm
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raging...I'd get a solar

raging...I'd get a solar powered care NOW if it was viable.

raging rasta
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raging rasta 07/04/10 - 04:34 pm
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Tigger... I would too. Let's

Tigger... I would too. Let's hope that well dries up quick huh??? In all seriousness though we simply just don't have resources cheap and efficient enough for the public to use that can replace petroleum products and the products that use them. Like I said, going green isn't easy.

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