Anyways, back to the meaning of July 4th for my kids.
I was watching all the fireworks outside with my kids, and my 8 year old daughter asked me to explain what was Independence day all about. I gave her the story about colonial settlers under British rule and how we united with help to fight off the Brits and finally won our independence for the right to self rule. And when I told her that this is when our founding fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence, and she asked me what was that? I did not remember most of the words, but incredibly my wife did and we utter some of those magic words together. I told her that when I was a kid and read those words, I thought that they were the most beautifully written words I had ever read. And I told her that the meaning and values of that document was why I love America so much; this was the country that taught me what it meant to be equal and fair, good and just. But I also told her that half of it is no longer true, and my son, a typical Nintendo kid, interjected: "You mean, like Bush." I did not even have to reply or convince him, somehow he already knew. In a way I should be glad that even my kids can see what is going on, but somehow I actually felt sad. Sad because they don't know the full weight and tremendous implications of those words written so long ago. Sad because they don't realize the power of words and the actions they can generate; and those specific words were so powerful that countless men have willingly died through the eons in their fleeting attempt to manifest and live out those words and its ideals. And sad because I grew up in a world full of idealistic ideas and enthusiasm, teaching us to not only help and improve ourselves, but all of humanity and mankind as well. Reaching the moon and back was just a small sampling of things to come. I am what I am is because of these words and it makes me sad to realize that my kids will not have these words and the absolute belief and trust in those very words (inscribed by our founding fathers) to guide and instill in them a sense of justice and equality. They know the world is not fair and they will never expect it to be fair. I have always hoped the world will be so, but I can no longer say this with a straight face to my kids that the world will be this way when they grow up or if it will ever even get any closer to those ideals; just like the moon is no longer feasible to travel to anymore, there is easy money to be made elsewhere subjugating the people of this planet.
After reading the Declaration of Independence at this site: http://www.law.indiana.edu/uslawdocs/declaration.html, it struck me that I was wrong in telling my daughter that half of it was no longer true. I actually thought that most of it is no longer true. For brevity, skipping the preamble and just going through the grievances, I saw many justifiable grievances then that equally apply to now, the year 2006. Just read them for yourselves and see how many of them our government is guilty of or in the process of taking those very same rights away. I will mark the ones I feel they are guilty of.
Guilty: He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
Guilty: He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
Guilty: He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
Guilty: He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
Guilty: He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
Guilty: He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
Guilty: He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
Guilty: He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the consent of our legislatures.
Guilty: He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
Guilty: He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
Guilty: For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
Guilty: For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
Guilty: For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
Guilty: For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighboring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
Guilty: For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
Guilty: For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
Guilty: He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
Guilty: He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
Guilty: He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
Guilty: He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
Ok that is enough for Independence day, and be sure to chech out all the political games at http://zenwire.com