The 4th of July is when Americans celebrate our independence and remember the core tenets of our republic:

– Dedication to the truths that 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;

– Forming a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity;

– Re-dedicating ourselves to the proposition that ALL men are created equal;

– Continuing to work on being the one place on earth where people will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I sincerely hope that nobody thinks we have achieved all of this. Indeed, it probably isn’t humanly possible to fully achieve all of this. That is why we must remember and re-dedicate ourselves to what we as one nation, united, strive to achieve, what we all strive to be. It is the vision of us at our best.

It is the reason why so many other people around the world look to us with hope. This weekend, we should contemplate these words, from one hundred and fifty eight years ago:

Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass, will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation. We say we are for the Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to save the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it. We — even we here — hold the power, and bear the responsibility. In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free — honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.

July 4th, Independence Day, is the day we do–or at least we SHOULD–remember all of this, re-dedicate ourselves to the never-ending work of striving towards all of this, celebrate what we have achieved, contemplate what we have left to do.

Then go off, eat BBQ (if you want to), drink beer (if you want to), and shoot off fireworks (if you want to).

A Declaration

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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,

— That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

— Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

A Note For Shutdown Proponents

Especially governors, and other state officials who are dragging their feet on opening up their economies:

Where do you think your salaries come from?

Since some of you have succumbed to a particularly bad case of Precautionary Principle, I’ll tell you:

They come from businesses and people working.

You know, those businesses and people you’re either preventing from opening and working, or those that you’re putting some degree of artificial, onerous restrictions on, and thus restricting those businesses’ and those people’s ability to earn income.

Your salaries, your office, your employees, your 3- and 4- week annual leave benefits, your retirement pension–all of those come directly from the very people and businesses you’re preventing from earning as much money as they possibly can.

How do you imagine that will work out for you? You think your pals in D.C. will swoop in and bail you out?

Where do you think THEIR money comes from? Where do you think the sainted Dr. Fauci’s salary and position comes from?

Dr. Fauci, where do YOU think the funding for your salary and position comes from.

Open it up. Now.

That Which is Seen, and That Which is Unseen

One of the most profound essays in human history was written in July, 1850 by Frederic Bastiat. In it, he discusses the dangers of the human tendency to react strongly to what we see right in front of our eyes, without stopping to consider what might be happening beyond our immediate perception.

Ever since the pandemic started, I’ve often thought about this. The raw numbers of those tested, those infected, those hospitalized, those who have died, are easy to see. The knee-jerk reactions, “social distancing,” “lockdowns,” and mandating the shutdown of most of society, have far-reaching and disastrous effects, but those effects are not as easy to see.

At first, anyway.

But as people are dying because of the virus, people are also dying, people’s lives are being damaged and destroyed, because of the knee-jerk reaction to the virus. Lip service is given to balancing those two opposite poles, but that lip service always runs into the hideous “Precautionary Principle” — “If we save just one life . . .” That sounds noble and wise. Most of the human evils we encounter result from somebody, somewhere, deciding that something is noble and wise.

That Which is Seen, and That Which Is Unseen

In the department of economy, an act, a habit, an institution, a law, gives birth not only to an effect, but to a series of effects. Of these effects, the first only is immediate; it manifests itself simultaneously with its cause — it is seen. The others unfold in succession — they are not seen: it is well for us, if they are foreseen. Between a good and a bad economist this constitutes the whole difference — the one takes account of the visible effect; the other takes account both of the effects which are seen, and also of those which it is necessary to foresee. Now this difference is enormous, for it almost always happens that when the immediate consequence is favourable, the ultimate consequences are fatal, and the converse. Hence it follows that the bad economist pursues a small present good, which will be followed by a great evil to come, while the true economist pursues a great good to come, — at the risk of a small present evil.

In fact, it is the same in the science of health, arts, and in that of morals. It often happens, that the sweeter the first fruit of a habit is, the more bitter are the consequences. Take, for example, debauchery, idleness, prodigality. When, therefore, a man absorbed in the effect which is seen has not yet learned to discern those which are not seen, he gives way to fatal habits, not only by inclination, but by calculation.

This explains the fatally grievous condition of mankind. Ignorance surrounds its cradle: then its actions are determined by their first consequences, the only ones which, in its first stage, it can see. It is only in the long run that it learns to take account of the others. It has to learn this lesson from two very different masters — experience and foresight. Experience teaches effectually, but brutally. It makes us acquainted with all the effects of an action, by causing us to feel them; and we cannot fail to finish by knowing that fire burns, if we have burned ourselves. For this rough teacher, I should like, if possible, to substitute a more gentle one. I mean Foresight. For this purpose I shall examine the consequences of certain economical phenomena, by placing in opposition to each other those which are seen, and those which are not seen.

The Oath

“I do solemnly swear, that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, so help me God.”

Recent events have revealed that there ARE domestic enemies of the Constitution.

Will those who have taken the oath honor it?

This nation, and the entire world, is frighteningly close to finding out.


This just in: An Update!

2,330 published (not counting this one), 701 left in draft to be (minimally) edited before publishing.

And now, a bear standing on a log:

A Bear On A Log

This is kind of a notification (or warning, if you will) that actual, real, NEW content will be coming to Soon. Well, soon-ish.