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Three quotes for the Fourth

These quotes came in this morning via email from the outstanding

I don’t agree with all the sentiments, and alas I don’t believe the speakers or writers of the words always agreed with themselves, either. Two of them were, after all, politicians and one of them made government bigger and meaner than it already was. Still … Happy Independence (what’s left of it) Day.


“No other theory is adequate to explain or comprehend the Declaration of Independence. It is the product of the spiritual insight of the people. We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first. Unless we cling to that, all our material prosperity, overwhelming though it may appear, will turn to a barren sceptre in our grasp. If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it. We must not sink into a pagan materialism. We must cultivate the reverence which they had for the things that are holy. We must follow the spiritual and moral leadership which they showed. We must keep replenished, that they may glow with a more compelling flame, the altar fires before which they worshiped.”
— Calvin Coolidge
(1872-1933) 30th US President

“Let the Fourth of July always be a reminder that here in this land, for the first time, it was decided that man is born with certain God-given rights; that government is only a convenience created and managed by the people, with no powers of its own except those voluntarily granted to it by the people. We sometimes forget that great truth, and we never should. Happy Fourth of July.”
— Ronald Reagan
(1911-2004) 40th US President
Source: Independence Day, 1981

“Every culture and every religion of what we call the civilized world carries, in one form or another, a mythos or story about a time in the past or future when humans lived or will live in peace and harmony. Whether it’s referred to as Valhalla or Eden, Shambala or ‘A Thousand Years of Peace,’ the Satya Yuga or Jannat, stories of past or coming times of paradise go hand-in-hand with hierarchical cultures. Such prophecies were clearly in the minds of America’s Founders when they first discussed integrating Greek ideas of democracy, Roman notions of a republic, Masonic utopian ideals, and the Iroquois Federation’s constitutionally organized egalitarian society, which was known to Jefferson, Washington, Adams, and Franklin. The creation of the United States of America brought into the world a dramatic new experiment in how people could live together in a modern state.”
— Thom Hartmann
Source: Unequal Protection: The rise of corporate dominance and theft of human rights, by Thom Hartmann



  1. Terry
    Terry July 4, 2019 10:48 am

    Every now and then I submit this letter to the editor of the local rag (I’ve too much respect for English to call it a “newspaper”).

    Another year, another round of Fourth of July celebrations and speechfests.

    I, for one, have had enough of spending this holiday listening to talk about soldiers and sacrifice and democracy and the nation’s birthday and being a beacon to the world and all that. We do that on Flag Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Patriots Day, Armed Forces Day, V-E Day, V-J Day, Pearl Harbor day, etc. On the Fourth, can’t we instead make a bigger deal about the fact that this is the anniversary of the beginning of the overthrow of a government that had gotten arrogant, intrusive, and just generally too big for its britches?

    Wouldn’t it be terrific if, every July, millions of people got together to remind the political class in Washington, Nashville, and all the other centers of government that “We did it once (twice, if you count the South’s attempted secession) and by God we’ll do it again if you don’t straighten up NOW”? Instead of waving little American flags, everybody could tie a rope around the neck of a little effigy of his most despised politician and twirl it around. Each parade could have a few floats on which they had mock tar-‘n-featherings of selected politicians.

    This change of emphasis would be good for us and good for the politicians and bureaucrats too, don’t y’all think?

  2. Comrade X
    Comrade X July 4, 2019 7:30 pm

    From one of my favorite founders, and he was a founder IMHO or maybe the soul of some of our founders;

    “I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.” Thomas Paine

  3. Pat
    Pat July 5, 2019 5:58 am

    Yeah, Happy Independence Day!

    Tanks and a show of might in Washington – shades of Soviet Russia, China, Castro’s Cuba…

    Will the Washington Monument (Tiananmen Square) be next year?

  4. Val E. Forge
    Val E. Forge July 5, 2019 9:36 am


    Your idea has merit.

  5. Claire
    Claire July 5, 2019 11:52 am

    Terry. Wonderful letter. I love it, especially the part about twirling the little effigies around.

  6. Noah Body
    Noah Body July 5, 2019 12:36 pm

    Terry: do they print the letter? I am guessing they don’t.

  7. Terry
    Terry July 5, 2019 12:43 pm

    Yeah, they have. It’s been a while since I last submitted it. New editor in charge. Maybe I’ll give him a shot for next week’s issue.

  8. Terry
    Terry July 13, 2019 7:23 am

    I gave it a shot. He didn’t print it. Or acknowledge it.

  9. Claire
    Claire July 16, 2019 12:51 pm

    Thanks for the try, anyhow, Terry. It was a good piece.

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