The Pen is Mightier than the Empire!

I just wanted to wish everyone a happy and reflective Independence Day.

We often forget the extreme bravery it took for those 56 colonists to sign the Declaration of Independence and tell the most powerful man in the world;

“Take your British Empire and stuff it! – Oh, and by the way, King George, here’s my name, you know where I live.”

British Troops hunted many of the signers down and tortured them to force them to renounce their pledge. Not one of them renounced their conviction to liberty or the commitment of their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to the cause of freedom, even though for some it was a horrible death.

Before the Declaration, everyone who was living on Earth or had ever lived did so at the pleasure and under the tyrannical yoke of a King, Potentate, Dictator, Emperor, Pope, or other “Men” who granted rights to their subjects and solely decided how the masses lived, and how they died.

America, as declared on July 4th 1776, broke with that worldwide, centuries-old practice of oppression by declaring the radical notion that people had the right to be free. In today’s terms, the Declaration instilled a “firewall” into the human program, namely the idea that rights come from above, be it God, the Supreme Judge of the world, the creator, the Laws of Nature, and of Nature’s God or whatever else you hold it to be, but not, repeat NOT, another man or men. And no man or group of men can take those natural-born rights away from any human.

This year, it is crucial for all of us to reflect on our Declaration’s firewall and the message our Nation was founded on.

“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.”


Here follows a list of the First Americans. They who mutually pledged to each other their Lives, their Fortunes, and their sacred Honor.

FYI, the youngest was Edward Rutledge, 26, and the eldest Benjamin Franklin, 80.

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton 
North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr. Arthur Middleton 
Massachusetts: John Hancock 
Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton 
Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross 
Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean 
NewYork: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris 
New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark 
New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
Massachusetts: Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry 
Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery 
Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott 

Those who do not learn from the past are destined to….

USA - CIRCA 1970 Landing of the PilgrimsMost people don’t realize that the Bill of Rights is actually the foundation of capitalism, and that capitalism was the remedy for the early socialism that was codified in the Mayflower Compact – which totally didn’t work and nearly wiped out America in it’s first generation. It sounded great in theory but when it got down to the guys in the buckle hats and shoes, it didn’t work because they didn’t work. Nobody did anything. It was the “Let the next guy do it” syndrome and, of course, the next guy was saying the same thing so nothing ever happened. And the Native Americans had to come to the rescue of these “do nothings!”

So in terms of socialism, America can say “Been there, done that.”

William Bradford, the governor of the Plymouth Colony, quickly found out that when everything was shared -from responsibilities to rewards-  and outcomes were assured, no one, who could do more, did more, because they wouldn’t get more for their extra effort, and people who didn’t do anything still got something, so it quickly devolved down to no one doing anything.

It was truly atrophy of the economic muscle.

Although Socialism feeds our emotional needs and seems less threatening than other forms of government, it lacks certain dynamics of basic Economics which renew and refresh the consumption of resources and labor. In short, human behavior erodes the self-sustainability of Socialism. So as an English Prime Minister once said, “The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” – or corn!  Although, in the early colonial days it wasn’t called ‘Economics’, it was called survival. This flaw in the self-sustaining dynamism was revealed. At the basic level Economics is survival. Today we can no longer appreciate that because our existence has been layered by the advancement of our society till it becomes like the pea under a pile of mattresses. We are so far away from our last meal, so far away from the last shelter, so far from last resort, that we don’t feel it or fear it. We now regard economics as an intellectual endeavor. But when we had a bushel of corn and 500 people, economics suddenly was survival. So the math (economics) of a bushel of corn to feed the 500 people became an economic formula of life and death.

It’s hard in this modern day, when the poorest American enjoys a higher standard of living than 75% of the 7 billion souls on Earth, to even imagine the scarcity of the basics, the essentials, the imperatives that challenged our forefathers. We are so blessed now that we would never, ever, appreciate the subtleties, realities and hardships of the founding of this nation. Yet, the reason for the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, the reason why the Articles of Confederation were totally inadequate and why socialism crushed the spirit, are all etched into those documents with the watermarks of poverty, death, sacrifice and nobility of our early nation. I fear these underlying reasons will never again be fully understood by American’s today who have not been challenged in the basics.  In a way, I see a cycle. One that is coming around, that by losing sight of our founding, we condemn ourselves to return to the conditions which created the tyrannical political environment which fomented revolution in the first place.

The question is, if our economic system falters, by either excessive debt, excessive spending, excessive cutting or excessive taxes, will the average American feel the pain of the founders? Will they seek the same freedoms all over again, strike outgainst tyranny, re-establish the individual as inviolate and fight a war to free themselves? Or will they avoid all that by just dusting off the Bill of Rights and the Constitution they already have and reading them.