The Fourth of July is not the day the Constitution was signed or ratified.
It’s not even when the Bill of Rights (and with it the legitimacy of the Constitution) was ratified.
It has nothing–nothing–to do with self-congratulatory, chest-thumping military displays.
It has nothing to do with any sort of flag.
It has nothing to do with faithfulness or loyalty to your government.
In fact, if you read the document that the Fourth actually celebrates, you find some interesting things, including:
* This is about declaring that a people are ultimately independent from, and therefore above, their government.
* This is about declaring the right to revolt against a government that has stopped representing its people.
* This is about people willing to stand up and become military targets of their own government.
These folks were revolutionaries. They were secessionists. They were seditionists. No doubt King George considered them “terrorists” and “traitors”, guilty of “treason” toward the duly constituted authoritah of the time.
And we celebrate the Fourth of July today, not only because they stood up and said, “we’ve had enough of your abuses and are no longer subject to your rule”, but then had the moxie to fight back when George called them on it.
Think about that. These people opened fire on their own government, when said government came to take away their stockpiles of unlicensed, unregistered, long-range, (better than) military-style arms. They organized and fought a guerrilla insurrection rather than continue to endure a government that did not serve, reflect or benefit them. And, perhaps to the surprise of everyone including themselves, they prevailed.
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They say that Louis XIV had the inscription Ultima Ratio Regum cast into all the cannon of the French Army. It means "The Ultimate Argument of Kings," and that always struck me as one of the most honest and up-front things any ruler or would-be ruler ever said. "We can dress it up prettier than this, but when it comes down to the unvarnished truth this is what it's about: You'll do as I say or I'll send my goons to kill you."
I thought about that for a long time. If there's an ultimate argument, it seems only logical that there must be an ultimate answer. For years I thought the ultimate answer must be the bullets in my rifle, but it never seemed quite right. I've got bullets - he's got frigging Cannon Balls. I mean, if there were three hundred million rifles throwing bullets at him, then maybe. But we all know that's not going to happen. So if there's an ultimate answer to his ultimate argument, it sure as hell ain't bullets.
It finally came to me - and that's when I left the city, abandoned a goodly percentage of my goods, and gave all that was behind me a good, stiff Randian Shrug.
The ultimate answer to kings is not a bullet, but a belly laugh.
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Do you suffer from a lonely, unfulfilled, angst-driven existence? Do you often wish you could do something meaningful with your life, like end death or war or taxes, or maybe just read a really good book?
Then you need to buy the following novels immediately!
The Scroll of Jeremiah
The Last Faithful Man
Songs of Bad Men and Good