I mourn...

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posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 12:43 PM
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Once upon a time, many years ago, I made a conscious decision that there were simply too many holidays, combined with an ever-increasing cost of complying with societal holiday expectations. I chose two holidays out of the year that I wished to really honor: the first was Christmas, the celebration of the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and thus the celebration of freedom from spiritual condemnation, and the second was the 4th of July, the day we (the USA) celebrate our freedom from physical tyranny. That is not to say I didn't observe Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, etc... it meant that I did not care about all the hoopla and commercialism that was growing up around them.

It was a practical decision. I was celebrating freedom, and on holidays that occurred with some regularity, July and December.

I said back then that there were only two periods during a year when I would not work: the period of Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day, and after 6:00 PM on the 4th of July. Sundays? Fine. Nights? Fine. Weekends? No problem. But those two time periods were mine, and not for sale at any price.

Today is Sunday, the 4th of July. Once I would have been busily preparing for the most massive display of fireworks in this county. I used to spend hours upon hours timing fuses and assembling boards of commercial-grade fireworks to shoot off. I spent hundreds of dollars on them, had a few hundred pounds of prime sirloin steak, gallons of baked beans, a few gross of deviled eggs, and at least one full untapped keg of beer.

Even making it private and invitation-only, I had more publicity than the free show put on by the surrounding cities.

Today I sit here at my workbench, typing furiously on this computer. There are no fireworks, no steak, no trimmings, and no beer.

Once I cared about a celebration of physical freedom. Today I do not. That freedom is slowly being sucked out of this country, and to make it worse, it is happening not in a face-to-face confrontation, but in a slow insidious crawl fueled in large part by those very people who claim to adore freedom!

That is a bold statement. Allow me to explain:

At one time, the United States was a group of small states, sparsely populated, with limited means. They banded together and established a society which they believed would work for the betterment of all. This was written down in the United States Constitution, and those principles allowed this country to grow into the single greatest superpower the world had ever seen. I outline some of those principles here:
  • That every man (person) is created equal, and it is then up to them as to how they wish to use that equality.

  • That the basic rights of mankind are not given by any government, but are inherent (i.e. "endowed by their Creator").

  • That government is but a necessary evil, and as such should be kept to the minimum necessary to a functioning society.

  • That the best way to keep government in check is through public knowledge of its operations and public ability to speak out against it and resist tyranny by force where necessary.

  • That people are the purpose of government, not that government is the purpose of people.

  • That a society, when left alone, will find ways to provide for itself and its people; government, when allowed, will find ways to provide for itself at the expense of the people.

  • That people should be able to change their course in life, to better themselves above the class levels they found themselves born into, to associate with those they choose to associate with, as their own talents and desires and tenacity allows.

  • That ownership of property is one of those basic rights which no government can take away, as property is the fruits of the individual's labor.

This has been called collectively "The American Dream".

This is directly responsible for the advances in technology and the high levels of comfort we enjoy today. This morning, as I awoke in a contemplative frame of mind, I made a mental list of some of these advances we take for granted today:
  • The bed I woke up in was soft.
  • I had warm blankets should I get cold during the night.
  • There was a nice cold Mountain Dew sitting beside me (thanks to my wonderful wife!).
  • A fan was blowing air across me to keep me from getting hot.
  • I had clean, well-fitting, comfortable clothes to put on.
  • Those clothes were cleaned by a machine I own that made rubbing them rougnly across a washbard unecessary.
  • I had a TV to turn on on a whim to watch a few minutes of entertainment.
  • I could turn it on from a comfortable seat without moving more than my thumb.
  • On that TV, I have satelite cable signal... meaning I have hundreds of channels to choose from to find something I want to watch at that moment.
  • If I were hungry, I had a refrigerator, a microwave oven, a convection oven, an electric can opener, and several other small appliances to keep my food safe and to prepare it faster and easier.
  • Many people have a central air conditioning system to protect them from weather fluctuations.
  • I have electric lights, which allow me to do things any time of day or night with the flip of a switch.
  • I have electricity which powers all these things and is available whenever I want it.
  • I have a telephone, from which I can call anywhere in the world. I can call anywhere in the nation for free.
  • I have in my pocket a cellular phone, which gives me that same convenience anywhere I wish to go.
  • I lit a cigarette using a BiC lighter... I have a ready source of fire available at the flick of a thumb.
  • I have a pocketknife that gives me the ability to cut anything that needs to be cut at a moment's notice. The blade is high-tempered surgical steel, which means it rarely needs sharpening.
  • Outside there sits a car... instant personal transportation anywhere I wish to go, in air-conditioned comfort.
  • In that car, as well as in my home and shop, I can listen to music any time I wish, whatever genre I wish, and if I have the CDs, whatever song I wish.
  • I have computers with Internet access. I can type papers, calculate equations, create drawings, paint artwork, or simply send messages back and forth across the globe in real time.

    I can share my thoughts with millions of people simply by clicking a button.
  • As I walked through the yard, I realized that I have machinery that makes it much easier to keep high grass and those weeds from blocking my path.
  • I have a chainsaw should I need to remove trees, clear heavy brush, cut firewood, or cut fence posts.
  • Sitting unused in my yard is an old basketball goal and a swingset... in their youth, my children could enjoy themselves playing basketball or swinging.
  • There is plenty of food in my house.
  • Out here in my shop I have power tools, to make any work I do easier, faster, and more accurate.
  • The shop itself was built using dimensional lumber. I didn't have to run logs through a sawmill blade, then plane them down and cut to length. I simply bought studs.
  • The windows here and in my house are designed to keep out rain, filter UV light rays, and hold in heat or cold. And to beat that, they slide to allow for fresh air to come in.
  • My home and shop are insulated, making it easier and more efficient to heat or cool them.

I have all of these things and advantages, and many more I have probably overlooked, because I live in the United States. I have had the ability to learn skills and to gain knowledge, and I have had the ability to choose what I wished to do with my life. As a consequence of that, and as a consequence of my own actions and decisions, I have the life I both desired and deserved. I have no one to blame for my shortcomings but myself, but also I have no one to credit for my successes but myself.

And as I sit here, I am unemployed. I have been either un-employed or under-employed for the last year and a half. I am the poor at this time in my life, and yet, compared to other places, I am wealthy beyond imagination. Because I was born under in capitalistic United States of America.

Today, this system is under attack. Today, one's basic needs, and even one's desires, are considered to be 'rights', to be supplied on a silver platter by others. The system which allowed the construction of huge factories, plentiful food and goods, and plentiful jobs, is being choked by regulation, taxation, and public opinion. Companies which give jobs are inherently 'evil', and governments which slow or stop progress are considered the best solutions to this 'evil'. Hard work is considered cruel and unusual punishment, and the ability or desire to succeed is a violation of some never before considered societal justice. Success is met with suspicion and scorn, while failure merits reward.

Capitalism is skewed. Those who have succeeded are punished. Those who provide for others are derided. A cup of hot coffee spilled in one's lap by oneself brings settlements in court that dwarf the average person's lifetime earnings, all in some misguided attempt to 'rectify' the 'evils' that this Capitalism has heaped upon us. I hear more and more how 'Capitalism has failed!', yet those who cry such quickly explain these failures as how social programs have failed to provide as promised.

Our education system is in the throes of despair... children are being taught more and more about the social mores of those in authority over them, and less and less about math, science, history, reading, or comprehension. Those who wish to perform 'hands-on' work, such as the tradesmen who built the country we live in and enjoy today, are scorned while those who provide nothing of value to society, the lifelong students, the 'professional' demonstrators, the politicians, are exalted as shining examples of achievement. Correct answers take a back seat to building self-esteem. Achievement toward a productive future is secondary to achievement toward indoctrination into socialistic ideals.

Soldiers fighting the wars they are asked to fight are held to peacetime laws while embroiled in wartime combat. Their service, their sacrifice, their pain is scorned as criminal. Those they fight against, those who would harm us, are held to no standards whatsoever. Those who fought in wars long past, who helped to secure the rights and way of life we enjoy today, are regularly dismissed as 'savage brutes' whose tenacity and determination are no longer needed nor revered.

Freedom of speech has been perverted into freedom to be heard. Cries of censorship abound over inabilities to adequately present a message, while true expressions, incuding certain words themselves irregardless of the meaning behind them are turned into a societal taboo.

Freedom of religion has been perverted and twisted into freedom from religion, violating the very tenet that it set. Those who disagree with the majority of society are ridiculed, while ridicule of the actually ridiculous misunderstandings of a sub-culture is unthinkable. Talking to someone is considered a heinous crime if the talk is religious, and a protected right if not.

"Innocent until proven guilty" has become "Innocent unless thought to be guilty". And it is now supported by law, as property is regularly seized without any conviction, sometimes without even an indictment.

Illegal acts are accepted with open arms, and those who cry against such are held to be criminals instead.

Amidst all this destruction of our way of life, the same way of life that supported generations of people in a standard of living never before seen on the planet, we have companies running amok, taking from the people what they will in order to further their own desires, using the same government that was instituted as a protector of the ideals our Founding Fathers held as abettors in their crimes against the people.

And the cry of the people? More, more, MORE!

...

No. Today I will shoot no fireworks. I will grill no steaks. There is little left to celebrate.

But there is hope. There is hope that the people will one day realize what they have lost, and why they have lost it. There is hope that the ills of this once-great country can be overcome. There is hope that the next generation can realize, before it's too late, that our future is indeed in their hands, and the answers they seek are clear to see if one looks at history.

"Hope springs eternal in the human breast."

May that quote never be proven wrong.

Happy Independence Day.



TheRedneck


[edit on 7/4/2010 by TheRedneck]




posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 12:55 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


i feel ya, friend!

thanks for that eloquent expression that many of us can identify with, and in so doing, mourn with you.

and with the mourning, i share your hope, too!

Happy Fourth of July to you and yours.


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posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 01:12 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Redneck, i totally agree with you, and I made a similar decision a few years ago. I still celebrate every holiday, but my life has changed dramatically.

Now, I truely "celebrate." I quit my $100k/year job, gave up my nice new pickup and my house, and I took a state government job.

I quit buying presents and gifts and plastic stuff, and I started living with what I have. I moved my entire family into a large home with my parents, and rented the upstairs to a grad student. I ride a cheap motorcycle to save gas and have no car payment. My wife quit working so we don't pay daycare.

NOW, on all major holidays, Labor, memorial, 4th, Fathers, Mothers, Thanksgiving, Xmas, new Years, Birthdays, and most weekends in general, you will find me surrounded by family and friends around the pool, barbequeing, listening to music, and enjoying the time that I am allotted by making personal connections, getting some sun, and spending quality time with all of my loved ones. I learned how to "CELEBRATE" correctly, and I stopped wasting money on things I didn't need. I stopped being so selfish to try and buy myself happiness. I "gave up" and I decided to enjoy life at all costs. I have a 3 year old and a 2 year old, and a bunch of niedces and nephews, and they all get to play together, they all get to enjoy their childhoods, because I decided to "give up" all the things that were not important.

At Christmas, we don't look forward to presents, we look forward to food and festivity. If anybody buys me a father's day or christmas, or birthday gift, it comes in the form of beer or meat or propane! We live together, we play together, and if we die tomorow, we know that we did all we could today!

HAPPY 4TH, I AM ON MY WAY OUTSIDE TO START THE GRILL!!

DON'T STOP CELEBRTING, JUST STOP 'CONSUMING' AND BEGIN ENJOYING THOSE THINGS MONEY CAN'T BUY!!



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 01:29 PM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

We've come so far from independence that we are heading into tyranny. I believe restoration is the best way to celebrate the 4th. So maybe by the 4th of next July we will have restored what was given to us.

We were given a Republic, no we must see if we can keep it.


As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.




[edit on 4-7-2010 by projectvxn]



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 01:51 PM
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I mourn those that sleep in life until they die in their sleep.

I don't envy the pain that anyone experiences after waking up to the real world.

True freedom is coming and it us to the like-minded to nurture those newborns when the time comes.

I love you guys. Hold your head up. The burden is too much alone but together we will carry this weight.

Peace



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 02:15 PM
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Hey Redneck,

I hear ya my Redneck Brother. This country is going to hell in a handcart, and the current administration and assorted goons are pushing it faster and faster. If I had one wish it would be to back the countrys mental attitude back to the way it was in the late 40's and 50's. I admit, I don't know first hand what it was like back then, I was born in the mid-70's, but I remember my Grandparents and my parents talking about how it "use to be". The people you lived by were not strangers, but neighbors and friends. People helped each other out, without thought about what they will get in return. The country just seemed to be in a better place. Then we seemed to be taken over by administration after administration that just seemed to out to see what they could rape this country and people for. I weep for the future of this country, and for the fact that I have a 2 year old that will inhearit this mess and have to try to make it better, but at the same time I hold out hope that the up-comming generations will iron out our mistakes, and hopefully return us to a simpler time.

I do celebrate the 4th as a way to say thanks to our forefathers for fighting for our "perfect" country, and the "american way of life", and as a way for me to remind my child, as well as my neices and nephew, that if you want the way of life that the old-timers (as they call them) enjoyed, then they will need to fight for it as well.

In the imortal words of a famous Redneck: Git-R-Done!!!!



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 04:09 PM
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Must be nice to be sitting at home in air conditioning on the 4th. I'm sitting at work today and every holiday. Just so happens the AC unit died on us as well. Unfortunately our department is on the way out, so we are not deemed important enough to fix the AC on a holiday. Come to think of it, my wife is also working today, in a store that is "Going Green" which means here in 97 degree heat they keep the AC at a nice brisk 90. Riding in a car with AC would be nice as well, unfortunately we have to share a car without AC.

To the guy that gave up the 100k a year job, that sickens me. I can't even begin to understand the thought process that went into that. I guess some of us don't quite have the luxury to give up a very well paying job, buy a huge house and spend all of our free time with friends and family. Some of us barely scrape by as it is with a quarter of that salary, the dream of owning a house or car made in the last 20 years is pretty much dead.

I don't expect everything to be handed to me, I work my ass off for what little I have. I know full well I am better off than many in this world, having lived overseas I have seen what it's like for them. On my way to work today I passed by a pan handler begging for money on the off ramp. He says to me "Hey, smile it's the 4th of July" and all I could think was, what does anyone have to smile about today.

Sorry for the little rant, I am not in a very good mood today. The lack of AC and 97 degree heat kinda does that to some people. Oh that and having 20 bucks to last the rest of the week.



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 04:26 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Indeed. This 4th of July marked for me an end of calling myself an American and a beginning of calling myself a Stoic Roman. I can no longer feel a connection to my nation. It's an obstruction more than a highway to freedom. I have stopped feeling free, and feel like a person lucky that the government does not hate me.

I feel like I am in a softer, gentler, Nazi Germany.



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 04:42 PM
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Though there is a border between us....your feelings could easily apply here as well.
I have never celebrated July 1 as a holiday.
Redneck..there are not enough applauses on this whole damn site, for what you deserve for writing that post.
It's what we take for granted that needs to be celebrated, and never forgotten.



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 05:14 PM
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Wow - what a well thought out, relevant post.

I'll be forwarding this link, and I'm not even American !



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 05:27 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Very good post.

I don't know what more I could add.



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 05:32 PM
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I mourn to see so many of us suffering...

I also mourn to see the diagnosis of this suffering.

It is ironic that the pinnacles of our American success and business use their freedom to capitalize, by utilizing communist labor. Without compunction or reservation we fund our own demise using the tenets of freedom, our business model is geared to make a few wealthy by making poverty the baseline for meaningful competition. Junk creation is THE most lucrative field, Junk sales maintain the quality of life and quality of life is dependent on junk - freedom expressed as double speak embodied.

The south has been devastated by implementing a freedom of practice, in the pursuit of freedom of production, yet the cost of this capitalist venture and its woes will be socialized. In the name of free business, individual enterprise gets HOT COFFEE POURED INTO EVERYONES LAP. Contrary to the OP, a lifetime of potential earning will be lucky to be thrown a fraction of a decade for receiving a LAP FULL OF COFFEE.

Then to continue the on, this COFFEE WILL create illness abound and the creators of this COFFEE party, who followed the gospel of freedom, will deny the BURNS that this COFFEE has created. In turn this will distribute/socialized the cost of illness their actions and COFFEE have initiated. This socialist extravaganza was set into motion as an expression of enterprise, business, weak governing, lax over sight and freedom of choice.

Nobody intervened, imposed and everyone gets their share of coffee, I mourn; freedom means we are all expected to bath in hot coffee, to maintain our freedom to bath in hot coffee.



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 05:44 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


I felt like celebrating my dependency on Corporations. Even for all of our technological advances I do not have the knowledge to take care of myself without some kind of a middle man to help me along. I cannot grow my own food, or build my own home, or make my own clothes, or tend to the basic necessities of my life. Instead I rely on others to do it for me, and that is the most basic tyranny that we are faced with today.

My father before me, and his father did not have the knowledge to pass on to me how to take care of myself. They merely showed me who would give me my fish to feed me for a day.

We should be fighting for our independence against Corporations. So one day with a blend of technology and knowledge we can pass on to our children all the know-how they could need to take care of themselves without relying on someone else.

That is liberty.


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posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 05:53 PM
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Originally posted by piddles
wah wah wah i can't have my big party cuz obama is office, because our civil liberties totally weren't being taken from us beforehand.




It seems like in every thread such as this there is always at least one person who manages to miss the entire point of what is being said.


Congratulations.



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 05:53 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


DON'T STOP CELEBRTING, JUST STOP 'CONSUMING' AND BEGIN ENJOYING THOSE THINGS MONEY CAN'T BUY!!

Well said thats what I do these days I stopped consuming the things I dont need



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 05:59 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Can't understand why you call yourself a redneck. Your post is the best "read" I've stumbled upon in quite sometime. Even those that proclaim their education.

That was an a amazing post.



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 06:07 PM
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Sorry you're bummed out, but I lost you at "lord and savior".

Hope you have a better Labor Day!



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 06:10 PM
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S & F for you Redneck!!

Well said . . . undeniable truth about our country these days.

However, I'm taking the opposite tact. It's a day to teach the young and remind those who have forgotten why this day matters. Although, I will be doing that far less elequently than you have here.

Cheers to you sir!!


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posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 06:25 PM
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As usual the predictablitity of ATS never dissappoints. Oh this country is going to hell in a handbasket. It was so much better way back when......

Way back when IS the HELL IN THE HANDBASKET.

I am GRATEFUL to live in teh US this day and age.

I have an overwhelming selection of free or cheap museums, theaters,science centers and aquariums to go too.

If my child gets sick, there are 24 hour pharmacies and urgent care centers that I can take him too in the middle of the night, 15 minutes away.

I am grateful that I get to choose my spouse, and choose to leave him if I want too.


People cry about rights being taken away, and quickly forget what they have been given.

I am GRATEFUL, that my child doesn't h ave to drop out of school at 9 years old to work at a sweatshop for 60 hours a weeks you can have those stain free clothes on your back. We did it then, they are still doing it now all over the world.
child labor

I am GRATEFUL, that even in poverty, my husband doesn't have to make the decision to take a job that will kill him in three years to make sure we get provided for ,for just one more till I am widowed.

the wido maker's drill


I am grateful people are no longer hung for something stupid like stealing a horse or gold, and that you get a trial at all.

the hanging tree

I am grateful that I can go to a pool and it is clean and has a lifeguard.

I am grateful that I can fly in a plane and know that it is as safe as can be for 10,000 metal tubes being in the sky at any given moment.

I am grateful there is no longer a draft.

I am grateful that you are no longer killed for the color of your skin. People try, but it isn't mae easy for you these days.

slave sales


Yea, those were the good ol days.

Like when we used to kill those pesky Indians too.

Hell, I am grateful for epidurals and percocet.

I am sure as hell grateful that I am not this woman:and 18 year old mother leaving behind 3 babies because she bled out and the midwives had to carry her over a 30 mintues to find a dr who declared her dead on arrival and walked away.


This is suffering:





If you are sitting here at a computer complaing that we are suffering, you have no right. Because if you are sitting a computer typing messages, you are clothed, have an education, safe, and not starving. You should be ashamed of yourself.

People get so wrapped up in what they don't have that they forget what it could be like.

If the US and Canada are so freakign horrible, go ahead and live in India, the Congo, the Sudan, and tell me you won't come back with PTSD and crying like a little girl. You will either come back crying like a little girl or you will come back a desensitized monster that creates those problems. Either way you lose.

I am happy there are protections in place to keep these things from happening, and I will be glad to contribute to that for every child, not just my own.

People want to quote Jesus, well Jesus loves all his children, not just the ones who are fortunate enough to be wealthy.





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