Monday, July 03, 2006

July 3rd., 1776 -- 2006

Tomorrow is July 4th which, as everybody who paid attention in class knows, is Independence Day. It’s the holiday commemorating the Signing of the Declaration of Independence 230 years ago – not on the 4th of course, but the 3rd, which is today.

They signed the Declaration 230 years ago and several of the signers made statements as they signed. John Hancock famously quipped that he wrote in large letters so, “King George could read it without using his glasses” and good old Ben Franklin made the grim pun, “From now on we either hang together or we hang together”.

And thus began the Revolutionary War or more properly the War of Independence, the confirmation that the insurrections which had already started were now directed with the clear intention of seeking independence from the Crown of England.

Two hundred and thirty years and once again we have a George-who-would-be-king and who also makes signing statements – hundreds, actually, statements wherein he bluntly says that he considers the law-making powers of Congress to be advisory and that as Executive he will follow them – or not – as he sees fit.

I wrote Revolutionary War just above, because the American Revolution had already taken place during the preceding fifteen years, seeded by earlier events going back a century and more, at least to King Philip's War.

What the American Revolution brought forth was the crystallization of a number ideas many of which are contained in the Declaration – that all are equal as human beings and have basic rights which are not to be arbitrarily abrogated, that we are to be governed by laws made human beings in common and not by kings and popes and preachers and priests or tyrants of any shape or shade.

I remember a TV commentator I saw as a kid (Walter Winchell?) who would take off his glasses at the end of reading the news, look into the camera and say, “Mr. and Mrs. America…” and then editorialize on something in the news.

Dear hearts, the Crazy Bird is taking off his glasses right now and he says, “Mr. and Ms. America, we are in deep trouble and all too few understand the nature of the trouble.”

“We are heading towards a constitutional crisis which could make the Secession 165 years ago look like a birthday party hosted by Ronald McDonald. The hyperbole may seem over the top, but the consequences one could think of just off-hand could be catastrophic, in fact Apocalyptic, not only for America, but the rest of the world.

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