Category Archives: founding fathers

What a Liberal Does on the Fourth of July

I think this sums it up pretty well

By Dan Bimrose,Founder, LiberalFix.com
Post @ Huffingtonpost.com
6/30/11

For certain elements of society the word liberal has become interchangeable with such words as communist, socialist and fascist.

While liberals such as myself choose to associate themselves with such historic figures as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, those same elements of society would suggest that each of us tree hugging “ne-er do wells” have a secret room with a secret wall painted red and devoted to displaying pictures of Hitler, Mussolini and Lenin.

On a day when we should all celebrate our nation and some of us recount historically accurate stories of our nation’s birth, there are members of society who find it difficult to imagine that it would be possible for self-styled liberals, progressives and Democrats to find cause for celebration on the Fourth of July.

This all too common charge that those like us are unpatriotic and un-American is an allegation that I take great umbrage with.

By definition conservatives and liberals do not think alike and that is just fine. The idea, however, that liberals are unpatriotic is absurd. Those who say such things are guilty of one of two things, they are either ignorant or they are lying with the intent of influencing your opinion so that it more closely represents their opinion.

Liberals do find it difficult to stomach the assertion that our founding fathers believed that there is an inherit bias toward discrimination in the documents and actions produced by those very same founding fathers.

I will allow that the 3/5 compromise which allowed for slaves to be counted as 3/5 of a white man for the purpose of determining a states representation in Congress, and the lack of a provision guaranteeing women the right to vote were monumental fails in regards to discrimination. The need to compromise to achieve a bigger goal allowed for these fails to exist.

Time, acquired wisdom, and progress would eventually fix these wrongs. Liberals respect, honor and cherish the Constitution as an evolving document capable of being changed when we as a nation are ready for change.

We believe that the founders had it right when they said in the Declaration of Independence, “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.” We believe this to be the very worthy intent of our founding fathers.

We acknowledge conservatives love the Constitution as well. Well, they love certain parts of the Constitution. Different conservative groups would love to repeal a variety of amendments including the 8th, the 14th, the 16th, the 17th, the 19th and possibly the 26th amendment.

Liberals do believe that children born in the inner city or poverty stricken rural areas deserve the same access to health care as blue bloods spending the holiday on Martha’s Vineyard. We are not unpatriotic because we believe this. Perhaps you could call us compassionate, but not unpatriotic.

We understand that we pass on more to our children than just budgets and balance sheets. We also pass on the environment and the planet to our children and grandchildren. Regardless of whether or not we feel that global warming is real or a myth we still value clean water and clean air.

We may not appreciate the wars we are currently fighting in the Middle East, but we love and respect our soldiers. After all they are our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, wives and husbands.

We believe that teachers, policeman and firefighters should be paid and paid well due to their value and service to our community.

We believe that all of our children deserve libraries, gym class, and the opportunity to star in their school play.

We believe our country is great because we are a melting pot, not in spite of it. We value diversity. This is the American Way. This was the American dream.

We pay our taxes, but think that the wealthiest amongst us and the most profitable industries can share in bearing a little extra burden to fix our government’s mistakes.

We believe that our senior citizens are people who have served our countries and their families well. They deserve not just our respect, but the ability to retire with the reasonable assurance that their health needs and financial needs will be met.

No, we do not agree with everything and most of the time we do not agree with anything, but it is not necessary to call each other unpatriotic or un-American. Liberals do not think conservatives are evil, we just think they are wrong. Perhaps some of the name calling conservatives out there will learn that liberals are Americans too.

What will I be doing this 4th of July?

More than likely my children will wake me up early so that we can go to the local parade, but before we leave for the parade I will hang our flag outside.

I am assuming and hoping the day will be filled with at least two Italian sausages smothered in onions, one elephant ear, and multiple lemon shake-ups. At the parade I will shake hands with a few elected officials, but reserve my support and encouragement for those politicians that are Democrats. In my part of Indiana, they need all the help they can get.

I will conclude the day by watching the local fireworks display right before rushing home to put the kids in the tub so I can clean off the cotton candy that has become caked on their faces. With any luck I will not have to get out the tweezers to remove a roasted peanut from my youngest daughter’s ear.

We will go straight from the tub to the bedroom where we will sing songs and the kids will say their prayers before being tucked in and given strict orders to “sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite”.

So what do liberals do on the 4th of July?

Pretty much the same thing everyone else does.

Happy 4th of July and God Bless America.

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Filed under 4th of July, Conservatives, Democrats, founding fathers, liberalfix.com, Liberals, Republicans, The Huffington Post, US Constitution

>Congress Passes Socialized Medicine and Mandates Health Insurance -In 1798

>By now everyone must know that the Republicans in Congress voted to repeal the health care law by a vote of 245-189, mostly along party lines (3 Dems defected and voted for repeal).

The reasons given for this push for repeal are many, from being to costly and a jobs killer to being unconstitutional and not what the founding fathers of our country would have intended when they drafted the Constitution.

While many of the reasons for repealing the health care law may or may not have a modicum of truth behind them, the one reason that does not is addressed in a blog entry by Rick Unger of Forbes.com, who found that our founding fathers in the 5th Congress did believe in the benefits of health care and mandated that governmental marine hospitals be constructed and funded by privately employed sailors who would be require to purchase health care insurance.
The law was signed by then President John Adams.


The ink was barely dry on the PPACA when the first of many lawsuits to block the mandated health insurance provisions of the law was filed in a Florida District Court.

The pleadings, in part, read –

The Constitution nowhere authorizes the United States to mandate, either directly or under threat of penalty, that all citizens and legal residents have qualifying health care coverage.

State of Florida, et al. vs. HHS

It turns out, the Founding Fathers would beg to disagree.

In July of 1798, Congress passed – and President John Adams signed – “An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen.” The law authorized the creation of a government operated marine hospital service and mandated that privately employed sailors be required to purchase health care insurance.

Keep in mind that the 5th Congress did not really need to struggle over the intentions of the drafters of the Constitutions in creating this Act as many of its members were the drafters of the Constitution.

And when the Bill came to the desk of President John Adams for signature, I think it’s safe to assume that the man in that chair had a pretty good grasp on what the framers had in mind.

Here’s how it happened.

During the early years of our union, the nation’s leaders realized that foreign trade would be essential to the young country’s ability to create a viable economy. To make it work, they relied on the nation’s private merchant ships – and the sailors that made them go – to be the instruments of this trade.

The problem was that a merchant mariner’s job was a difficult and dangerous undertaking in those days. Sailors were constantly hurting themselves, picking up weird tropical diseases, etc.

The troublesome reductions in manpower caused by back strains, twisted ankles and strange diseases often left a ship’s captain without enough sailors to get underway – a problem both bad for business and a strain on the nation’s economy.

But those were the days when members of Congress still used their collective heads to solve problems – not create them.

Realizing that a healthy maritime workforce was essential to the ability of our private merchant ships to engage in foreign trade, Congress and the President resolved to do something about it.

Enter “An Act for The Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen”.

I encourage you to read the law as, in those days, legislation was short, to the point and fairly easy to understand.

The law did a number of fascinating things.

First, it created the Marine Hospital Service, a series of hospitals built and operated by the federal government to treat injured and ailing privately employed sailors. This government provided healthcare service was to be paid for by a mandatory tax on the maritime sailors (a little more than 1% of a sailor’s wages), the same to be withheld from a sailor’s pay and turned over to the government by the ship’s owner. The payment of this tax for health care was not optional. If a sailor wanted to work, he had to pay up.

This is pretty much how it works today in the European nations that conduct socialized medical programs for its citizens – although 1% of wages doesn’t quite cut it any longer.

The law was not only the first time the United States created a socialized medical program (The Marine Hospital Service) but was also the first to mandate that privately employed citizens be legally required to make payments to pay for health care services. Upon passage of the law, ships were no longer permitted to sail in and out of our ports if the health care tax had not been collected by the ship owners and paid over to the government – thus the creation of the first payroll tax in our nation’s history.

When a sick or injured sailor needed medical assistance, the government would confirm that his payments had been collected and turned over by his employer and would then give the sailor a voucher entitling him to admission to the hospital where he would be treated for whatever ailed him.

While a few of the healthcare facilities accepting the government voucher were privately operated, the majority of the treatment was given out at the federal maritime hospitals that were built and operated by the government in the nation’s largest ports.

As the nation grew and expanded, the system was also expanded to cover sailors working the private vessels sailing the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.

The program eventually became the Public Health Service, a government operated health service that exists to this day under the supervision of the Surgeon General.

So much for the claim that “The Constitution nowhere authorizes the United States to mandate, either directly or under threat of penalty….”

As for Congress’ understanding of the limits of the Constitution at the time the Act was passed, it is worth noting that Thomas Jefferson was the President of the Senate during the 5th Congress while Jonathan Dayton, the youngest man to sign the United States Constitution, was the Speaker of the House.

While I’m sure a number of readers are scratching their heads in the effort to find the distinction between the circumstances of 1798 and today, I think you’ll find it difficult.

Yes, the law at that time required only merchant sailors to purchase health care coverage. Thus, one could argue that nobody was forcing anyone to become a merchant sailor and, therefore, they were not required to purchase health care coverage unless they chose to pursue a career at sea.

However, this is no different than what we are looking at today.

Each of us has the option to turn down employment that would require us to purchase private health insurance under the health care reform law.

Would that be practical? Of course not – just as it would have been impractical for a man seeking employment as a merchant sailor in 1798 to turn down a job on a ship because he would be required by law to purchase health care coverage.

What’s more, a constitutional challenge to the legality of mandated health care cannot exist based on the number of people who are required to purchase the coverage – it must necessarily be based on whether any American can be so required.

Clearly, the nation’s founders serving in the 5th Congress, and there were many of them, believed that mandated health insurance coverage was permitted within the limits established by our Constitution.

The moral to the story is that the political right-wing has to stop pretending they have the blessings of the Founding Fathers as their excuse to oppose whatever this president has to offer.

History makes it abundantly clear that they do not.

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Filed under Forbes.com, founding fathers, heath care reform, John Adams, Rick Unger, socialized medicine

>The Tea Partiers’ Historical Fictions

>I found this article at Consortiumnews.com, it puts into perspective the historical differnce between todays “Tea Party” movement and what the “Sons of Liberty” patriots of 1773 were trying to accomplish when they throw 90,000 pounds of tea into Boston Harbor:

By Jada Thacker-

Like all “good Americans,” today’s Tea Partiers believe the destruction of the tea was a patriotic act in noble defiance of an unfair tax by a tyrannical government. This, however, is not exactly true, nor was that act of protest much of a precedent for today’s political disruptions.

Beyond the fact that both Tea Parties – then and now – were organized as hell-raising events, this is where the similarity ends.

Current Tea Partiers protest government, which they swear by-God threatens the existence of the private enterprise system they hold dear. The Tea Partiers of old, on the other hand, were not protesting an existential threat to private enterprise so much as an economic threat posed by one.

It was not government tea they threw overboard, after all. It happened to belong to a private enterprise known as the British East India Company.

The Tea Act imposed by the English parliament in 1773 did not make tea less affordable, nor did it even raise a new tax. It merely extended a three-penny tea duty, imposed six years previously as part of the Townshend Duties.

When these taxes, excepting that on tea, were repealed, colonists continued to boycott English tea, buying smuggled Dutch tea instead. What the Tea Act did do, however, was to endow the East India Company with a legal monopoly on the colonial tea trade.

By allowing the East India Company to bypass English middlemen, its tea, even with the three-penny tax, would now be cheaper than the Dutch tea, and it would be legal. By some accounts, it even tasted better.

The colonists were not being forced to buy English tea. Indeed, they had been boycotting it for years. And certainly it would be a stretch to claim that an unsold heap of tea posed a threat to anybody’s liberty.

Why then would anyone risk destroying the valuable cargo of a politically well-connected business entity? Was this a manifestation of political idealism? Or was it actually a preemptive economic strike against a private enterprise – a transnational corporation, in fact – that had the audacity to try to make a buck at the expense of American smugglers?

This is hardly textbook-heroic stuff.

Maybe that is why the term “Boston Tea Party” did not enter the American lexicon until 1834 – three generations after the act of vandalism it was invented to glorify.

Now, nine generations having passed since the festive “Tea Party” label was invented, modern Americans can safely imagine – without a single good reason to do so – that the destruction of the tea was somehow patriotic.

This is the fictive legacy that today’s Tea Partiers rush to embrace, while failing utterly to grasp the significance of what happened that winter night in Boston Harbor.

By passing the Tea Act, the English government was not attempting “to socialize” the British Empire “with tax and regulatory policies,” which, Tea Partiers now insist, is the ulterior motive behind the actions of the Obama administration toward the U.S. economy.

On the contrary, parliament essentially was acting as an agent on the behalf of a privately-owned corporation by endowing it with a trade monopoly in disregard of the interests of its American subjects. Certainly the obvious analogy cannot be hard to draw in these days of taxpayer-funded bailouts of privately-owned corporations.

But by clamoring that “government is the problem,” Tea Partiers remain deaf to the crucial message that government is only a mechanism that can be put to use by those who control it…..

…To this, the modern Tea Party-goer replies: “Government is the problem.” And they wave their “Don’t Tread on Me” flags, depicting their own government as their oppressor, not a foreign empire and its mercantile entities, like the East India Company.

They demand that the American people re-embrace the Republic of the sacred Founders – having forgotten that the original Republic embraced chattel slavery, indentured servitude, debtor prisons, and the disenfranchisement of the majority of the population.

They insist Americans peruse the Federalist Papers that parsed out the intent of our constitutionally-limited government – having forgotten it was the Federalist Party of Washington, Hamilton and Adams that not only objected to the Bill of Rights, but passed the first law in United States history making free speech illegal.

They fancy themselves as tax protesters in the tradition of the Patriot Fathers – having forgotten it was the “Father of Our Country,” George Washington, who not only signed the first unfair tax bill into law, but who personally rode at the head of an armed multitude bent on hanging any and all Americans who dared protest paying whatever tax their new “limited government” demanded.

Today’s Tea Partiers may flatter themselves as constituting the last of the true-blue patriots, protectors of Natural Law, defenders of the Faith, lovers of Liberty, and the last best hope of man on Earth. But they are not. And neither were the guys who dumped the tea into Boston Harbor.

The Tea Party-goers are instead perverse and pathetic caricatures of King Lud. Having no stocking frames to wreck, these American Luddites are tilting at government windmills, as if mindlessly vandalizing the mechanisms of power would stop the wind from blowing.

You can read the full article >>>Here

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Filed under Boston Harbor, consortiumnews.com, East India Company, founding fathers, George Washington, Industrial revolution, Luddites, Sons of Liberty, Tea Party, tea tax

Happy Independence Day

The Fourth of July is a day that is usually a time when families get together for sunshine hot dogs, fun, and fireworks. Every American regardless of race, sex, income, and political party celebrates the day that the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, spurring the start of the American Revolution.

Like many other national holidays, the meaning can often be lost in the festivities. And so it is up to each of us to, in the words of Jefferson, “Educate and inform the whole mass of the people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”

The American system of government, with the Founding Father’s emphasis on “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” has inspired almost every country in the world to rise up and take control of their own destiny. Constitutional Republics have spread throughout Europe, and just this year fellow freedom fighters as far away as Iran and as near to us as Honduras are standing up for their own independence much like our Founding Fathers did more than two centuries ago.

This is America’s lasting legacy. Before 1776, only two Constitutional Republics even attempted to bring any form of freedom and liberty to mankind: The Greek and Roman Empires. But the people of these great nations became apathetic, not realizing, as John F. Kennedy wisely warned, “Complacency is the jailer of freedom.”

So, while the Fourth of July has become a day of festivities (celebrating if nothing else, a day by the pool or at the beach), what Americans really are observing is the fact that a relative handful of courageous citizens lit a flame of liberty and installed a form of government that has governed over unprecedented prosperity and individual liberty. And even today, “the glow from that fire can truly light the world.”

Bill Wilson – The Daily Grind

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Filed under 4th of July, Declaration of Independence, founding fathers, Indepence Day, Thomas Jefferson

Hillary Clinton Constitutionally Ineligible to Serve as Secretary of State??

According to Judical Watch’s president Tom Fitton, Hilliary Clinton is constitutionally ineligible to serve as President elect Obama’s Secretary of State.

In a blog posting on the Hill’s Congressional Blog, Fitton  states:
 “…According to the “Emoluments” or “Eligibility” Clause of the United States Constitution, no member of Congress can be appointed to an office that has benefited from a salary increase during the time that Senator or Representative served in Congress. A January 2008 Executive Order signed by President Bush during Hillary Clinton’s current Senate term increased the salary for Secretary of State, thereby rendering Senator Clinton ineligible for the position.

(Specifically, Article I, section 6 of the U.S. Constitution provides “No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time.” The provision is seen by most as designed by our Founding Fathers to protect against corruption.)…”

Now wouldn’t that be a kick in the teeth for the Clinton’s. 
It doesn’t seem right that no one involved in the decision to appoint Hillary as Secretary of State was aware of this provision in  the constitution, or maybe Obama’s people knew all along about it and decided to appoint her anyway to see if anyone would pick up on it. If no said anything then great, Hillary was appeased for her support during the general election, but if this little secret was exposed then the Obama camp can say “Oh well, sorry Hillary” and be seen as not wanting Hillary Clinton involved in the Obama administration.
We’ll have to keep an eye on this.  

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Filed under Barack Obama, Eligibility Clause, founding fathers, Hillary Clinton, Judical Watch, Secretary of State, Tom Fitton, US Constitution

>Hillary Clinton Constitutionally Ineligible to Serve as Secretary of State??

>According to Judical Watch’s president Tom Fitton, Hilliary Clinton is constitutionally ineligible to serve as President elect Obama’s Secretary of State.

In a blog posting on the Hill’s Congressional Blog, Fitton  states:
 “…According to the “Emoluments” or “Eligibility” Clause of the United States Constitution, no member of Congress can be appointed to an office that has benefited from a salary increase during the time that Senator or Representative served in Congress. A January 2008 Executive Order signed by President Bush during Hillary Clinton’s current Senate term increased the salary for Secretary of State, thereby rendering Senator Clinton ineligible for the position.

(Specifically, Article I, section 6 of the U.S. Constitution provides “No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time.” The provision is seen by most as designed by our Founding Fathers to protect against corruption.)…”

Now wouldn’t that be a kick in the teeth for the Clinton’s. 
It doesn’t seem right that no one involved in the decision to appoint Hillary as Secretary of State was aware of this provision in  the constitution, or maybe Obama’s people knew all along about it and decided to appoint her anyway to see if anyone would pick up on it. If no said anything then great, Hillary was appeased for her support during the general election, but if this little secret was exposed then the Obama camp can say “Oh well, sorry Hillary” and be seen as not wanting Hillary Clinton involved in the Obama administration.
We’ll have to keep an eye on this.  

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Filed under Barack Obama, Eligibility Clause, founding fathers, Hillary Clinton, Judical Watch, Secretary of State, Tom Fitton, US Constitution