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Posts Tagged ‘Declaration of Independence’

This 4th of July, The American Catholic has put into words, ever so eloquently, the true meaning of the day.  http://the-american-catholic.com/2010/07/04/time-god-and-the-declaration-of-independence/  A happy 4th of July to all.

“We are destined for Eternity but in this life we live in Time, which consists of the temporal trinity of past, present and future.   The present consists of an often confusing series of disparate events, while the future is a deep mystery to us all.  When we recall the past we try to make sense of it all, giving order in our mind and our recollections to what has happened to us individually and collectively.

When we look back at the events leading up to the Declaration of Independence from our vantage point of 234 years in the future, everything seems neat and orderly, an old story that we recall from school, books, television and films.  Perhaps to some of us it seems a bit trite and boring.  Such was not the way it all appeared to the Founding Fathers.  For them it was their present, and a chaotic present it must have seemed.  On July 3, 1776 the day before the Declaration was adopted by the Continental Congress, a huge British army of some 30,000 men, all regular troops and superbly equipped, began landing on Staten Island.  To oppose them, Washington could only gather together an army of 10,000, many of them untrained militia.  In the ensuing campaign, Washington’s army would be beaten time and again, often coming close to destruction.  The British would seize New York City, holding it until the end of the war in 1783.  So it went throughout the Revolution, with the patriots fighting an uphill battle against the mightiest empire since the fall of Rome.  At the end of the war, Washington made this observation:

“A contemplation of the compleat attainment (at a period earlier than could have been expected) of the object for which we contended against so formidable a power cannot but inspire us with astonishment and gratitude. The disadvantageous circumstances on our part, under which the war was undertaken, can never be forgotten. The singular interpositions of Providence in our feeble condition were such, as could scarcely escape the attention of the most unobserving; while the unparalleled perseverance of the Armies of the U States, through almost every possible suffering and discouragement for the space of eight long years, was little short of a standing miracle.”

Such statements as that made by Washington, that the Americans relied upon God in their hour of peril, were not rare in the Revolution.  This was symbolized in the “An Appeal to Heaven” flags frequently used by Americans during the Revolution:

One of the reasons we study the past is to help guide our footsteps as we proceed into that unknown land, the future.  The Revolution of course is a prime example that the future is always a product of what we do in the present.  The Declaration is a brilliant statement of why the Americans were fighting.  It would have just been another forgotten piece of paper, however, without the endless efforts of the patriots who fought a lopsided war to make the Independence proclaimed in the Declaration a reality.  The patriots realized however that if they depended only upon their own efforts, they labored in vain.  During the war petitions to God were unceasing, including a Proclamation of the Continental Congress in 1777 which called for a national day of prayer on December 18th:

It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive powers of these United States, to set apart Thursday, the 18th day of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise; that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor; and that together with their sincere acknowledgments and offerings, they may join the penitent confession of their manifold sins, whereby they had forfeited every favor, and their humble and earnest supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance; that it may please him graciously to afford his blessings on the governments of these states respectively, and prosper the public council of the whole; to inspire our commanders both by land and sea, and all under them, with that wisdom and fortitude which may render them fit instruments, under the providence of Almighty God, to secure for these United States the greatest of all blessings, independence and peace; that it may please him to prosper the trade and manufactures of the people and the labor of the husbandman, that our land may yield its increase; to take schools and seminaries of education, so necessary for cultivating the principles of true liberty, virtue and piety, under his nurturing hand, and to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.

Men who are struggling in the present to build a future, do well always to seek the assistance of God who reigns for Eternity.  John Adams saw it that way when he wrote to his wife Abigail after the resolution declaring America independent was passed by the Continental Congress on July 2, 1776:

But the Day is past. The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.

 I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

God Bless America.

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How can anyone figure out The Heath care Reform Bill when people can’t even figure out the Tax Code?

Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, is irked that nearly 100,000 civilian federal employees owe the IRS $962 million in back taxes. He thinks they should pay up or be fired.   Chaffetz has introduced a bill that calls for the federal government to “ferret out” civilian employees who have “seriously delinquent tax debt” and prevent the hiring of other tax delinquents.  More than 3 percent of the 2.8 million federal civilian employees owed the Treasury unpaid federal income taxes in 2008, according to the IRS. If you include retirees and military service members, the numbers go from nearly 100,000 up to 276,000 current or former workers who owe $3 billion in taxes.  Writes,  http://thewere42.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/tax-scam-uncle-sam-you-oughta-be-fired-says-utah-rep-chaffetz/

How many pages of tax code are there?

Title 26 contains all the Federal IRS CODE.
Title 26 contains 20 Volumes.
All 20 volumes contain a total of 14,872 pages of tax code.
All 20 volumes weight in at 35 Pounds 
All 20 volumes cost $1,080.00

Obtained from the GPO- Government Printing Office, as of April 1st 2009, 14,872 pages of tax code.  It is over 24 times longer than the King James version of the Bible at 608 pages. Over 11 times longer than War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy-1296 pages.  It’s 20 volumes are about 5 feet thick! Laying the pages end to end it would be over 2.5 miles  The average reader would take 31 days of non stop reading to read all of the tax codes.

How many pages in the Health Care Reform Bill?

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4th of July parades, fireworks and a Tea Party prevent the usual rant on world affairs.   Wonderfully written from the Graceport blog:

“I think I was in Junior High when I really read the poem that had become our National Anthem. The first stanza is dripping with imagery that pierces my heart. Imagine for a moment Francis Scott Key was standing before you asking the questions which have echoed through the decades. Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight, or the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? And the rocket’s red glare; the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say, does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave over the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Forgive me for being what some may consider sappy, but for me the final question – the one I have put in red – is the one I ask myself when the fireworks are exploding in the sky. Fireworks are, after all, our reenactment of that fateful battle (and the other battles that have secured our freedom) which inspired this timeless this poem.

Martin Luther King, Jr., called the Declaration of Independence a Promissory Note. Every Fourth, while the “ramparts are gallantly streaming” I am humbled by the realization that I am a beneficiary of that Promise. I am humbled by the sacrifice of the people who daily get up and defend what that Star-Spangled-Banner represents. I understand our Nation is polarized right now. We have ideological differences that create deep chasms where reconciliation and understanding have gone to die. Yet, I still cling to the Promise that we have “unalienable rights endowed to us by our Creator.” I hold on to the objective penned in the Preamble of the Constitution, which states: “We the People, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our prosperity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” What a mission statement!

This Fourth of July is the 233rd anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It isn’t more spectacular than last years’ Fourth. It isn’t less important than next years’ Fourth. It is amazingly wonderful every year because this experiment we call the United States of America is amazingly wonderful. So, when you are watching fireworks this year, in between the ooohs and aaahs, perhaps you will consider what those explosions in the sky represent. And, as the National Anthem is being sung and that last question asks if the flag still waves, perhaps you will be inclined to answer with resounding glee, “You bet it does!”

Reposted from  http://graceport.blogspot.com/2009/06/oh-say-can-you-see.html

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