An uneasy Fourth

On anniversary of our independence, can we retain our unity?

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An ominous cloud had to hang in the air on July 4, 1776.

Delegates to the Second Continental Congress, after all, had essentially declared war on one of history’s greatest powers.

In language that should inspire us all, they concluded their Declaration of Independence in fateful, foreboding verbiage: “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

They had no way of knowing how it would turn out. They had to know each one of them had prepared his own noose, should Great Britain get the best of them. They knew they could lose their money and possessions, their freedom and even their lives. But they knew, too, they could hold onto their sacred honor throughout.

They risked everything to create this country.

Today, 236 years later, another ominous fog has descended on America.

While we celebrate America’s birthday with cookouts and fireworks and a day of leisure, there’s a nagging sense of alarm in many of our hearts.

The nation our founders bet their lives on is being squandered. Its solvency is at risk from our insatiable appetite for comfort and security, and from the power-lust of a ruling elite that has learned well how to enslave us with our own coin.

As for independence, we have odd notions of it these days. We’ve never been more dependent on government – ours and anyone else’s willing to loan us the 40 cents of every dollar our government spends. The U.S. Supreme Court just ruled that the federal government can tax anything for any reason – including to bend us to its will.

“Freedom,” President Ronald Reagan famously warned, “is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

And where is our sense of unity? Have we really pledged “our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor” to each
other, the way our forebears did? If so, it barely shows. We’ve rarely been more divided or divisive.

Most of the qualities that made this country what it is – liberty, limited government, self-reliance, honor, faith – seem to be ebbing all at once. Can a nation that survived secession and civil war outlive its own intemperance and indulgence? Are we that strong anymore?

“In all my years of living in this great nation,” reader Terrence Bedell wrote in Sunday’s Chronicle, “I have never been as concerned for the direction in which it is heading as I am at this moment.”

You speak for many, Mr. Bedell. Not since the months following 9-11 has there been such an unease mixing with gunpowder and barbecue in the Fourth of July air.

We do still have that republic born on July 4, 1776. It’s still an open question as to whether we can keep it.

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fedex227
11187
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fedex227 07/03/12 - 11:12 pm
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Such an uplifting editorial in honor of this 4th of July.
Unpublished

Don't think I'll be inviting the ACES to my 4th of July barbecue. Talk about a bunch of killjoys.

Riverman1
84225
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Riverman1 07/03/12 - 11:31 pm
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An ominous feeling

An ominous feeling. What is this apprehension? I feel it, too. I drove through the country yesterday coming back from an uncle’s viewing at the funeral home in Branchville late as it turned dark. There’s fear and uncertainty with closed down businesses in the towns from Branchville, Bamberg, Denmark, Blackville and Williston to Augusta. A fork in the highway is ahead.

ultrarnr
914
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ultrarnr 07/03/12 - 11:39 pm
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Fork in the highway
Unpublished

If there is a fork in the highway why not pick it up?

Riverman1
84225
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Riverman1 07/03/12 - 11:58 pm
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Fell For My Euphemism

Fell for my euphemism, did you. Substitute the other word for fork and you got it. Get Obama out of the road.

faithson
5158
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faithson 07/04/12 - 01:14 am
6
10
armagedon

This religious attitude of end times the editorial board finds in our present day politics is a consequence of intransigence on the part of fringe political groups and the likes of partisan editorial boards, this paper being a prime example.

joe hill
9
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joe hill 07/04/12 - 02:49 am
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12
unease, gunpowder, barbecue

Sounds like a recipe for a lynching. Is that what the ACES is proposing? Is that what Riverman1 is proposing with his comment about getting Obama out of the road? Get a grip folks, it's a health care plan. Like medicare. Did the world end when we got medicare? Y'all need to lighten up a bit and stop wishing for the demise of our country. Seriously.

Riverman1
84225
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Riverman1 07/04/12 - 06:38 am
10
4
Joe Hill

Well, you see, Joe Hill when I comment in a serious matter, the libs up the thread yuk, yuk it up. "Fork in the highway, pick it up" and all that. So when I turn it around on them, they get all indignant that I'm disrespecting Obama. Heaven forbid, I'd do something like that. Yuk, yuk.

The fact is, it's an excellent editorial that catches my mood and the mood of the country perfectly. This is a BIG election. We can win or lose the game with this one.

gaflyboy
4852
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gaflyboy 07/04/12 - 07:14 am
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Well said ACES

It's amazing that so few can see what is happening. I'm afraid that the fork in the road is not ahead, but behind us. The timing is right to turn around and get back on the right road ... but will we? From the comments I'm reading here, it's doubtful.

oldfella
620
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oldfella 07/04/12 - 07:39 am
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1
Great editorial IMO

Not being a very political person (Conservative, but not married to any one party) my filters aren't looking for political angles. So putting that aside, it is a scary time, brought along by every one of us! Let's say our economy does tank. It's our ATTITUDES and mindset that will do us in. I feel our country (as a whole) has gotten fat, lazy, spoiled and self indulgent. We were mentally tougher back then all through the many years. We could weather war, economic travesty, and every other curveball thrown that all societies must and will face from time-to-time.
We all need to take a look in the mirror and do a gut check so we don't squander the great opportunities (across the board, not just material things) we have in our hands.

overburdened_taxpayer
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overburdened_taxpayer 07/04/12 - 07:40 am
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Remember this from your Civics Class?

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

(We may have to do it again folks.)

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 07/04/12 - 07:59 am
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8
Yes, I remember it. You might

Yes, I remember it. You might also remember that it's not part of the law of the US. Try using the Constitution.

TruthJusticeFaithHope
220
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TruthJusticeFaithHope 07/04/12 - 08:07 am
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Excellent Editorial Piece

Thank you for capturing the current feeling among thoughtful and concerned citizens ... Mike Ryan, Joe Hotchkiss and the others did an
excellent job on this. Thank you. Enjoy your freedoms folks, they
may be short lived without a resurgence of unity and bipartisanship.

dichotomy
33098
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dichotomy 07/04/12 - 08:24 am
10
6
"We do still have that

"We do still have that republic born on July 4, 1776"

Well, half of us do. The other half seems to be loyal to a foreign king.

Just heard a guy on TV say we used to be a "can do" nation and now we are a nation of "what can you do for me". The "what can you do for me" crowd don't realize that, just like Greece, it's all lining up to come crashing down around them. Currently 70% of the federal budget goes to individual assistance programs. That is not sustainable. The Obama administration is running TV ads that say "c'mon down and get your free food stamps". We may still technically have a Republic, but it ain't the one born on July 4, 1776.

carcraft
25984
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carcraft 07/04/12 - 08:30 am
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Quick Question for Obama

Quick Question for Obama supporters (and in all fairness) "How long can we sustain the deficits we are running?" Obama has added more to the deficits in 4 years than Bush did in 8. So please tell me how much longer Obama can continue this spending spree and how does Obama plan to stop ? Here in the CSRA several K marts are being closed. Manufacturing shrank for the first time in 3 years http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/07/02/us-manufacturing-shrinks-for-first-... .

carcraft
25984
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carcraft 07/04/12 - 08:31 am
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0
Geat editorial, went out to

Geat editorial! I went out to the fire works at Fort Gordon, excellet job also!

InChristLove
22473
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InChristLove 07/04/12 - 08:55 am
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Great editorial! After

Great editorial! After reading this I wondered why is this election so different than all the rest I have been through. The answer I came up with is that in all the Presidential elections I have been through, there have been Presidents I didn't agree with some of the decisions they have made but they have always genuinely cared about this country and the American people. We may have been divided on what we wanted but never divided as a people.

With President Obama, although he appears to give some what they want, he has divided the American people on a personal level. I compare it to a parent giving a child ice cream. It appears that the parent is giving the child what he wants, and the child is happy for a while. But when you discover that child has diabetese, then what that parent gives that child seems distructive and although the child is happy now, he won't be happy for long once the effect of that decision starts to take hold.

I just don't see the patriotic respect and the genuine care for the American people as in the past. Just my observation and opinion, you don't have to agree with it.

Gage Creed
17277
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Gage Creed 07/04/12 - 09:31 am
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Amazing how some drape

Amazing how some drape themselves in the constitution, yet have no issue with slaughtering it for their own sacrificial pet projects.

DuhJudge
206
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DuhJudge 07/04/12 - 10:12 am
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0
Everyone should read the

Everyone should read the Declaration of Independence today. The Constitution is a compromise that would never inspire a nation to evolve. The Declaration is a promise that was worth dying for then, and when necessary, worth dying for now. One is law and the other is determination.

harley_52
23465
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harley_52 07/04/12 - 10:35 am
6
3
A Superb Editorial

The Chronicle's Editorials are almost always excellent, but this one is among the best. It reminds us what Independence Day is all about and what our forefathers sacrificed to win it. Now it has been squandered and morphed in many ways so that some aspects of our Republic are more akin to dictatorial socialism than the political, social, and economic freedom our fathers fought and died to achieve.

And the Editorial is correct that there is a feeling of "uneasiness" in the air. A certain apprehension that's hard to describe. Many of us know we're headed down a path that will lead us over a cliff if we don't alter our course. We see what's happening, but we feel somewhat powerless to stop it. We know we're up against an ideological machine that abhors the very freedoms our fathers died for and wants to replace them with political and economic systems that have failed every time and everywhere history has seen them in place.

I am deeply troubled by the recent Supreme Court decision, but I think I see an aspect of the decision that may end up saving the Republic in the long run.

The Editorial says "The U.S. Supreme Court just ruled that the federal government can tax anything for any reason – including to bend us to its will." While that may be true, each and every "tax" must be approved by both houses of Congress and signed by the President. And each and every "tax" so approved can be disapproved in same manner and by the same process.

We elect our leaders. Every two years we elect a new set of U.S. Representatives and one third of the Senators. Every four years we elect a President and a Vice President. I said "WE ELECT." It's up to US to elect the politicians we want in office. If we don't we're part of the problem, not part of the solution.

If we fail to do our part we get what we deserve and that's why the Chief Justice's ruling may have been a godsend.

fedex227
11187
Points
fedex227 07/04/12 - 10:58 am
4
7
"The Chronicle's Editorials are almost always excellent ...
Unpublished

but this one is among the best."

Are you kidding? Every other editorial is the same. Did this one make you 'more' afraid than the others?

harley_52
23465
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harley_52 07/04/12 - 11:01 am
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0
No...

...I'm not kidding and NO, I'm not afraid.

Any other questions?

InChristLove
22473
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InChristLove 07/04/12 - 11:08 am
3
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LOL Harley_52! Plainly put.

LOL Harley_52! Plainly put.

JRC2024
8888
Points
JRC2024 07/04/12 - 11:31 am
3
3
Excellent article and now go

Excellent article and now go to the polls this election cycle and vote out all the socialist politicians. I doubt that will happen because the give me crowd will never vote them out- if they even vote. I worry about the ability of those being born today to direct their lives with so much intervention by government edicts and rules..

carcraft
25984
Points
carcraft 07/04/12 - 11:45 am
4
2
Fedex227 ask this question

Fedex227 Iask this question earlier, can you answer it. Quick Question for Obama supporters (and in all fairness) "How long can we sustain the deficits we are running?" Obama has added more to the deficits in 4 years than Bush did in 8. So please tell me how much longer Obama can continue this spending spree and how does Obama plan to stop ?

KSL
130090
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KSL 07/04/12 - 01:09 pm
3
2
Great question, carcraft.

Great question, carcraft.

ultrarnr
914
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ultrarnr 07/04/12 - 01:32 pm
3
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Important Election
Unpublished

I agree. It is an important election. That is why every one of us regardless of which end of the political spectrum we are on should get out and campaign for the candidates that we support. Go door to door and explain what we believe in.

carcraft
25984
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carcraft 07/04/12 - 01:35 pm
4
1
Happy fourth of July all! I

Happy fourth of July all! I am going to try to kep asking these questions in a kind way, I don't understand how people seem to think Obama deserves another term. Obama bashed Bush the whole time he ran for office. Obama himself promised to cut the deficit in half. In three years the economy still titers onthe edge of a second recession and Obama has created more deficit in four years than Bush did in 8! Can these Obama supporters answer a simple question?

harley_52
23465
Points
harley_52 07/04/12 - 02:31 pm
1
2
The Answer is "NO"....

"Can these Obama supporters answer a simple question?"

Apparently not.

Many of them don't understand the difference between "deficit" and "debt."

The best most of them can do in answer to any "difficult" question is to respond "it's all Bush's fault." They think this must be the correct answer because it's all they hear from the current Administration.

I've concluded it's an absolute waste of time trying to reason with these folks, or to explain the realities of life. They live in a different world. They live in a world where mushy, emotion-driven idealism replaces reality and practicality. A world where "wouldn't it be nice" is more important than "what is."

I hate to say it carcraft, but I think you're wasting your time waiting for a rational, thoughtful response to your question.

specsta
6505
Points
specsta 07/04/12 - 03:08 pm
3
1
The True Reason To Sound The Alarm

There is cause for alarm.

The wealthy-greedy, the corporations, the conservatives, and those blinded by their own selfishness, are spiraling this country into the greatest divide between the rich and the poor that this nation has ever seen.

This greed-manifested chasm is so great, the wealthy-greedy are completely unable to intelligently grasp the concept that there are people in this country who are hungry, sick, and homeless. They blame these poor folks for their own sorry lot in life - conveniently forgetting that their own privileges of wealth were generated by family inheritance, access to advanced education, or even because of their access to social groups composed of bankers, lawyers, and high-authority figures.

The poor man can't walk into a bank and expect to receive a loan to start a business, while the rich can have a deal sealed via a 30-second phone conversation. The poor man might be arrested for just standing on a public sidewalk for "loitering", while the rich man would get a friendly wave from the local police. The poor man must decide between buying medicine for his illness or eating a meal, while the rich man decides between the $400 bottle of Chteau Margaux 1995 or the $700 bottle of Chteau Latour Pauillac 1990, to compliment his evening meal.

It has become a crime to be poor in America. Ushered in by Ronald Reagan and his 'voodoo" economics of the trickle-down theory (which in reality is a trickle-up theory, with the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer, often on the backs of cheaply-paid labor), the non-stop assaults on the poor can only be described as heartless and God-less.

Yes, there is cause for unease. But not because of taxes or healthcare or any other political agenda - there is cause for unease because this country has turned its back on the least fortunate. When the rich are worshiped and the poor are ridiculed and abused, there will come a time when God says "that's enough"...

justthefacts
22047
Points
justthefacts 07/04/12 - 03:28 pm
2
0
Easy Choice

I always go for Chteau Latour Pauillac 1990. The Chteau Margaux 1995 is too fruity.

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