Think seriously about independence
Though Independence Day has passed, I think it should fill our thoughts more than one special day of the year. But even on that one day, it seems that little substantive and objective thought is given to the concepts of independence, freedom and liberty.
Namely, we think we're as free today as at the close of the 19th century.
The Oxford-English Dictionary defines independence as "exemption from external control or support," while freedom and liberty share similar definitions of "Exemption or freedom from arbitrary, despotic, or autocratic rule or control." I wonder how many took some time out of their celebrating to contemplate those definitions.
It seems an interesting coincidence that I chose the time prior to 1900 to compare with today, since that year marks the halfway point of our national existence. It's precisely this night-and-day difference between the two periods that I wish people would dwell on more.
We became complacent and unguarded toward our freedom and exchanged it for the seeming security of having the federal state take care of us, like a parent that never dies, via myriad entitlement programs. Simultaneously, we are suffering more arbitrary and autocratic control through forceful taxation, regulation and worse.
But it isn't brute force that will effectively conquer a people; it's getting them into a condition of extreme material and psychological dependence on their government that will. Look at Western Europe, for example. They are an enslaved people and don't even know it. We are not that far behind them, either. Avoiding their fate is going to take our recognizing that acute dependency is a naturally destructive condition, and having the will to get out of it. But it will take time. Realistically, I'd say 100-175 years. Perhaps longer.
GOP shouldn't just help out the wealthy
Republicans like Rep. Richard Hanna, R-Barneveld, are refusing to pass a middle-class tax break unless the wealthy get a payoff.
We've let the Republicans extend the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy before, but we're smarter now, we're hurting more now.
It's time for the Republican lies, like "the wealthy are the job creators" and "stock market schemes are too complicated to regulate," to stop and for a tax break for the middle class and a big tax increase for the highest bracket earners to be put in place.
How about a little fairness in our tax structure and a start to Republican representatives representing the people who voted for them, not just the ones who lobbied them?