Wednesday, June 27, 2007

History Shock...Deprivation in America ?!

When there were more than eight million people in England and only about 1,750,000 in the Atlantic seaboard’s 13 original colonies on the North American continent, a test of wills came before a test of arms secured the liberties we now enjoy.

When, in London Parliament passed the Sugar Act which effectively prevented the Americans from buying Caribbean molasses from which the new Englanders distilled rum, and the Stamp Act which taxed everything except use of the privy, the unimaginable and unbelievable happened.

Flying in the face of a smug prediction in the English Parliament that "The colones will always be at one another’s throats"— tinkers, tailors, cabinetmakers and wealthy merchants joined forces in common cause for freedom and individual Liberty.

First, they formed the first chamber of commerce in New York City. Then, virtually unknown to one another, Thomas Paine in Virginia and Samuel Adams in the Massachusetts Bay colony (Boston) both came up with the same idea and the fact that it was revolutionary shocked British politicians to their entrails.

Boycott All English goods !!!

Unthinkable ! But it took hold and spawned the first great Republican Revolution in history.

Just about every citizen of every persuasion in each of the 13 states quit buying British goods.
Ladies did without tea, and consumed bitter brew of wildflower leaves. They made their own buttons, and bolts of British cloth faded and rotted on the shelves of stores. None was imported for years.

Funerals, usually outlandish and lavish even for the poor, were stripped of all the black clothing and drapery that depended on English imports and were limited to hymns and a sermon.

The boycott actually spawned a number of great American traditions in the manufacture of glass, cutlery, firearms and conveyances.

It was as if America in 1770 reached back to the Puritan ethic of 1630: Bradford, Winslow, et al.

And though it slowed for a year, when Parliament acted more nastily, the economic boycott finally stuck. It became habit. Preparation for war existence.

Self deprivation, from Savannah to Charleston, to Portsmouth, to New York, to Philadelphia, and Boston, became popular – indeed, heroic in proportion.
It prepared a people to engage in a struggle and for the weight of History’s greatest political experiment.

Now my question is:

Where is the love for freedom and personal liberty that pervaded those souls – less than 2 million – in our 300 million Americans of 2007 ?

"Is life so dear,eace so sweet that we should choose tyranny and terror?"

That was Patrick Henry’s query then. It should be our heartsearch now.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Three Glimmers.....

Some things actually brightened my weekend-and-Monday as I approach another birthday in the 80s.

The first thing was watching two United States senators, Trent Lott and Dianne Feinstein blame their own ineptitude on us, the peepul and what they called "talk radio".

These two usually articulate hustlers got their tongues caught in their bridgework and could only come up with a condescending view that the immigration legislation is "too complicated" for most people, and certainly too complicated to be correctly described by a talk radio host.

"Well simplify it, then, you arrogant ciphers! " Was my first reaction. "And admit you’ve been caught red-handed. By the Peepul and not the radio waves."


My next great pleasure came when the Supreme Court slapped a convicted drug seller upside the head and agreed that his "Bongs 4 Jesus" banner was sufficient grounds for his expulsion from high school when he was a senior in Juneau.

He is 23 now and has been convicted of selling dope. I’m sure the justices did not know about that. But it’s a good thing they are reinstating some principal control over student silliness that deteriorated during Vietnam era rulings.

And then there was another Supreme Court ruling that knocked out the stupid McCain-Feingold bar against corporations and unions and other entities advertising their political opinions within 30 days of an election.

That was a sinister insult to the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights and, like the scurvy thug in Sweetcreek, "needed killin’."

Maybe the basic tenets of Western civilization are creeping back into cogency. Selah !