Since Oct 28, 1999

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Americans DO NOT WANT freedom or liberty, because Americans DO NOT WANT the responsibility that comes with it.

Instead, we want everyone else or, in some cases, FedGov to take the responsibility that is incumbent upon us to take. And then we are left scratching our heads, and proposing even more dangerous “solutions” to the problem at hand.

I’ll give an example: Article V. As you know, Article V was given to us by the Founders as just one tool to combat Federal overreach. But I have to question, how did we allow that overreach in the first place? That’s an easy answer: We got comfortable. We got complacent. We amassed our toys and our homes & properties and cars and big screen TV’s and we celebrated as we moved up the corporate ladder and, as life began to get more comfortable, we began to get more complacent, slowly giving up so many smaller freedoms, all in the name of ‘security’, or rather, the ability to secure all those “things” we amassed and which make us comfortable and “happy” in life.

There’s a saying that we all know very well: “Freedom isn’t free.” The problem is, when we hear that phrase, we instinctively think of the brave men & women in uniform. But the fact is, that phrase applies to us - average civilians - just as much as it applies to the military. We are REQUIRED, as participants in the “Great American Experiment”, to make many different sacrifices every day.

Now, I’m not talking about sacrificing a cup of Starbucks to drop a few bucks in the donation bucket for the latest cancer-ALS-MS-Savethebabies fundraising drive. I’m talking real sacrifices, that honor the legacy of the Founders, like not being so concerned about getting the next iPhone or the latest tablet. Sacrifices such as realizing that the more you are in debt, the more you susceptible you are to being enslaved, and understanding that the more property and toys and ‘things’ you own, the more can be taken away from you, should you step outside the lines set by the “powers that be”.

I’m reminded of Stephen Hopkins, a signer of the Declaration from Rhode Island. If you look at his signature on the Declaration, you’ll see that his hand was shaking fairly bad as he signed it. The story goes that, after signing and seeing his signature in such rough shape, Hopkins turned to his cohorts and stated, “My hand trembles, but my heart does not.” What an example of courage he set for all of us! And yet, what have we done with it? Today, our hands tremble with excitement as we sign the latest mortgage or loan documents for the latest toys or the newest car or the new, bigger, better curved big screen TV! All the while, we are signing away our freedom, little by little.

One of the main points by Article V supporters today is that we need term limits, and we MUST HAVE them written into law! Once again, another prime example of giving up our personal responsibility to ourselves and our posterity, and expecting FedGov to take over that responsibility. The fact is, however, that instituting legal term limits not only transfers more responsibility to Government, but it also has the unintended (at least I believe it is unintended) consequence of stifling free speech. We, as voters, already have the ability to institute term limits. We have that ability every single election day, when we get to step into that booth and exercise our own rights to free speech by voting. Of course, others also have that ability, and their speech very well may override ours and a candidate not of our liking may very get elected. Look at obola! Just because we don’t like it, doesn’t mean we have the right to stifle other voter’s rights to free speech. And yet, here we are (the so-called freedom loving patriot Conservatives), calling to do that very thing. Seems to me we might as well be fighting to end the 1st Amendment, while we’re at it!

The same could also be said about campaign contributions. Dinesh D’souza had every right to give as much money as he wanted to any candidate he so chooses. Most of us here were outraged when he was arrested for so-called crimes under campaign finance laws, and yet, here we are, attempting to further restrict the free speech of those whose political values are vastly different from our own. As I’ve said in the past, the worst double standard in the “Conservative” movement is the one that illustrates that Conservatives ARE, in fact, supporters of big government, so long as it’s THEIR big government.

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.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

The statement above holds the secret to freedom: “Governments are instituted...deriving their just powers from the CONSENT of the governed.” How powerful is that, and what, exactly, does it mean?

I remember many moons ago, a family member of mine sued his employer for withholding his taxes from his paycheck every couple weeks. His basis was that, because paying taxes, according to the tax law itself, was voluntary, he should be able to ‘opt out’ of withholding. The court ruled against him, stating that, because he chose to participate in the employment system, he CONSENTED to a ‘voluntary’ withholding. If he did not like having taxes withheld, he was free to excuse himself from the system - he was free to “Go Galt”, if you like. And so he did. He paid off his debt, downsized his own personal holdings and went mostly off grid, supporting himself with a cash based home business.

Of course, that didn’t happen overnight, and it required a great deal of sacrifice on his part. For instance, his family was accustomed to having good money, news cars, a gorgeous and slightly obnoxious home and all the toys and goodies, most of which went away when he decided to ‘opt out’. Was it worth it? “I’d do it all over again, given the chance.” he tells me, when we get to talking. “Freedom isn’t free, dware.”

I’ve said it many, many times here on FR: When it comes right down to it, the ills we face as a Country today are not obola’s fault. They are not the Democrat’s fault. They are not the Republican’s fault. In truth, we have no one to blame but ourselves. We CONSENT to a corrupt tax system each time we file our taxes. We CONSENT to a bankrupt financial system every time we spend or accept an FRN. We CONSENT to the destruction of our 2nd Amendment rights every time we walk into a gun store and submit to an Unconstitutional background check.

So, does this mean I am advocating that everyone quit their jobs and live off the public dole? Absolutely not. I AM, however, advocating that the more people who “Go Galt”, the more impact it will have on these corrupt, criminal enterprises operating under the guise of “government”. To ‘Go Galt’, however, requires great sacrifice that, due to our current levels of comfort & complacency, we are entirely UNWILLING to make those sacrifices. And yet somehow, we are the “patriots” of today’s freedom movement. Wigger please.

Freedom isn’t free and, in the words of another uncle, albeit it fictional in this case: “With great power comes great responsibility”.

The sooner we start living up to our own responsibilities to freedom, to liberty and to our posterity, the sooner we will find our way back to the America that once was.

"If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

The Courage to Sacrifice

Years after the War for Independence, Washington himself remarked several times about being surprised that the British didn't find them on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware. After all, the British simply needed to follow the trail of blood in the snow from the bare, frostbitten and bleeding feet of the ill-equipped Continental soldiers as they marched.

Despite the fact that the Continental Army was losing to the British at every turn, despite the lack of pay, little food and other supplies, despite the blizzard conditions facing the soldiers on long marches, the fact was that Washington and his men maintained their courage in the face of certain death: if the British didn't take them out, the brutal weather, disease, starvation and many other nefarious fates awaited them. Private Joseph Plump Martin, in his own memoirs, recorded:

"The army was now not only starved, but naked. The greatest part were not only shirtless and barefoot, but destitute of all other clothing, especially blankets." (Source: "Nathanael Greene: A Biography of the American Revolution", Gerald M. Carbone, Author

Martin himself resorted to scavenging a little raw cowhide from which he fashioned a crude set of moccasins that worked "while they lasted". While the rough hide scratched and gnawed at his ankles and caused him great pain when walking, Martin recognized that his only other alternative was to go barefoot "as hundreds of my companions had to, till they might be tracked by their blood upon the rough, frozen ground."

The sacrifice wasn't just limited to the militiamen and soldiers fighting for the Continental cause. The first to experience the sacrifice that comes with freedom (Freedom isn't free) included those that made the ultimate decision to part ways with the British crown. The Signers of the Declaration of Independence, all 56, were varied in their backgrounds, status and professions, yet each one of them felt the sting of rebellion against tyranny.

They pledges their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor and, in most cases, delivered with horrifying results:

George Walton of Georgia was wounded and captured in 1778 leading his state’s militia in the defense of his hometown of Savannah.

Thirty-year-old Thomas Heyward, Jr. of South Carolina signed the declaration at the great displeasure of his father, who was sympathetic to the king and told Thomas he would likely hang for the act. The two men resolved their differences before the elder Heyward died the next year. Two years later, Thomas, along with fellow South Carolina signers Edward Rutledge and Arthur Middleton, were taken prisoner in the siege of Charleston and held nearly a year to the war’s end.

Richard Stockton of New Jersey had his home overrun by the British invasion. He managed to get his family to safety, but he was captured, specifically because he signed the Declaration of Independence. He remained imprisoned for years, the last half year of which he nearly starved and froze to death. In battered health, he was released and returned to his home to find that all his furniture, crops, and livestock were taken or destroyed, and his library—one of the colony’s best—was burned.

John Witherspoon of New Jersey, an active clergyman and president of the College of New Jersey (later to become Princeton), shut down and evacuated the school when British troops invaded the area. He spent most of the rest of his life rebuilding the college. Witherspoon also lost his son James in the battle of Germantown.

Thomas McKean of Delaware led an army the day after signing the declaration to help George Washington in the defense of New York City and narrowly escaped with his life from cannon fire. In the next year he was on the run from the British, having to move his family five times.

John Hart of New Jersey was also pursued by the British. His property was invaded and looted. Two of his young children fled to relatives’ homes nearby, and Hart himself took refuge where he could in the surrounding woods and in nearby caves. He returned to his home a few months later, and a few years after that he offered the fields surrounding his property as an encampment to Washington and 12,000 troops.

Lewis Morris of New York lost almost all of his property and wealth in the war, much of it within just two months of signing the Declaration of Independence. He served as a brigadier general during the war and spent nearly all his post-war days working to rebuild his property and farmlands. His frail wife was imprisoned by the British and never recovered her health.

Philip Livingston of New York was forced from residence to residence by the British armies. His first two homes became a British barracks and hospital, and the other two homes were burned to the ground. In addition to the properties he lost to the enemy, he sold several others to support the colonial war effort, and died suddenly in 1778 before he could rebuild.

Lyman Hall, on the advice of General Washington, took his wife and son and fled his Georgia home for Connecticut, where he remained for two years until the war’s end. He returned to his property in Georgia, but he had lost most of what he had.

Carter Braxton of Virginia invested a large amount of his wealth in the revolutionary effort, as well as the shipping and privateering industry, which furnished the war effort with supplies. The debt that he incurred forced him to leave his estate and move to a smaller home.

Robert Morris of Pennsylvania surpassed all when it came to putting up his personal fortunes to support the war effort. Before any country or major bank was willing to extend credit to the fledgling United States, Morris was there. The $10,000 that he loaned the new government supplied Washington’s desperate troops, who went on to defeat the British at Trenton. Like Braxton, he also supported the shipping industry that delivered provisions to the soldiers and citizens. Morris never recovered his pre-war wealth, but his investment helped turn the tide of war in favor of the Americans and helped established the United States as a nation. (Source: "The Courage of America's Founding Fathers")

Thousands of men & women across political spectrum's and various walks of life sacrificed so much - some gave all - which begs the question, where did the courage to sacrifice so much come from? For answers, I once again turn to Washington himself:

“I am sure that never was a people, who had more reason to acknowledge a Divine interposition in their affairs, than those of the United States; and I should be pained to believe that they have forgotten that agency, which was so often manifested during our Revolution, or that they failed to consider the omnipotence of that God who is alone able to protect them.” - George Washington

In a nutshell, Washington, along with his rag-tag group of soldiers that comprised the Continental Army, were believers. They weren't necessarily all Christians, but each held a high regard for Divinity and the rights endowed them by their Creator. They had faith, too, that they were indeed on the side of God, or rather that God was on their side, because they had faith that they were doing the "right thing" - what God Himself wanted them to do. As Washington stated:

"Make sure you are doing what God wants you to do---then do it with all your strength."