If Only Our Founders Could See Us Now - July 4 Perspective 
Dr. B. Cayenne Bird

Dr. B. Cayenne Bird is an ordained minister and a 37-year veteran op-ed journalist and publisher. She volunteers her time as founder and director of United for No Injustice, Oppression or Neglect UNION. The UNION is active in prison reform and criminal justice issues. She is a mother and grandmother and focuses on human rights and restorative justice. She is also the host of television series "Cayenne Common Sense" and publishes a daily online newsletter to subscribers. 

July 1, 2006

 I wrote this for my grandchildren Krystina, Trevor, Brandon and Marcus Maybe you'd like to share it with yours.

Why do we celebrate July 4 as a day of freedom and independence when those ideals went out with powdered wigs and dancing the minuet?

Most folks know that we aren't really celebrating idealistic notions such as "freedom","independence" and rights such as the pursuit of happiness. We are in love with the idea of an American dream which is about as real as Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.

Today, July 4 preparations for most consist of an almost religious devotion to the only reigning political party in America - the "buy-ocracy."

This is where most people think celebrating freedom means buying a bunch of stuff : Meat for a barbecue, a few sparklers for the kids, beer and coke in cans and bottles which forever pollute the environment and other empty acts of materialism.

This superficiality is clearly how we lost step to the fife's call to march for freedom. Through simple apathy and scrambling to earn a living, we have empowered special interest groups to have their way with our democracacy. We assumed they would do the right thing.

For four million families, the 4th means traveling to visit their loved ones at the nation's prisons to dine on spoiled food out of vending machines.

"Sorry you have to be in here forever" is a more common apology to our criminalized youth than we realize.

Is this freedom or is it imprisonment of our families?

I get indigestion each time I think of a recent Three Strikes case in California. A hungry man took food from a Catholic church where he was fed regularly. For this act of survival he was given a life sentence BY A JURY, even though the priest did not wish to press charges. He'll eat now - at a cost of about a million dollars to the taxpayers over his lifetime.

Would our founding fathers approve and call this an intelligent act of justice?

Why do we allow a very small class of moneyed lawyers-turned-politicians to steal our lives like so many stepping stones up their career ladder?

Wouldn't a more apt preamble begin with Of the Lawyers, By the Lawyers and For the Lawyers, none of whom resemble lawyers of olde?

In evaluating how our founders, all of them landed gentry, handled those who threatened their freedom, my first thoughts couldn't get past the way they just blew theBloody British to smithereens with their muskets and cannons. That's pretty much what their rebellious attitude boiled down to when the colonists decided they didn't want to be told what to do any longer. 

You can bet your Yankee Doodle Dandy that real patriots would invite almost all today's politicians to don red coats, and march around in an open field so they could be used for target practice. 

Their jaws would drop to the top of their buckled shoes at the sheer number of laws on the books. Not to mention how laws are enforced as the art of cronyism and payola with nary a protest from the citizenry.

Patriots handled it with gunpowder and ended most of thetransgressions against We, the People. No American from the 1700's would consider this radical behavior I'd imagine, but such vivid reality is difficult to portray to today's coddled children about the painful birth of our so-called system.

Certainly, actual patriots burned all the courtier presses to the ground.

No loyalist was allowed to own a newspaper.

Those journalists who reported only for the King or printed government press releases without investigation would be placedin stockades in the town square and labeled as village idiots, if they were allowed to live.

It was basic that no one would control their flow of information or represent the government when writing to the people! Today all we get is news about celebrities and fabricated pressreleases from the government. Do we really need a sports section when our liberties have been usurped? Let's get serious here!

Consider the tax increases and structural changes since their time. After bellowing for hours over the outrage of our cooperation with such a plan, would they not conspire to dump not only the tea, but all of Wall Street, into the Atlantic Ocean. 

The tax robbery alone would cause men like George Washington to take a hatchet to the Whitehouse and shatter all its symbolic statues in a fit of rage.

Would they not demand to know why we pay all those taxes and accept so little in return for our investment! And what American actually gave "consent" to the 15% increase in Social Security taxes!

Original patriots would look for a political party with some resemblance to theirs who respect the Constitution and all its attendant documents. Some might say that only the militias and Constitutionalists such as Libertarians value their first framework.

But, wait! That can't be right for these are the very same groups considered enemies of today's government. Is this not a contradiction in the original intent of how our system was designed?

Now, good patriots are persecuted for their beliefs and live two steps ahead of the posse for even questioning the Constitutional changes made without our vote. We allow it because for most people writing, showing up to important legislative hearings and recruiting others into voting lobbies is too demanding 

There is no doubt that we've had some progress. Today's women say - and mean, "give me liberty or give me death". They can vote, own property and choose whether or not they can afford to be a mother. But their sons are still snatched up to prison for crimes which aren't really crimes and used for slave labor in millions of instances.

Only half of the women in the U.S. who could vote actually do. Then they wonder why so much corruption and oppressions exists.

Such crimes as petty theft, possession of a plant and other minor infractions take their men away for life sentences. Or precious loved ones are held in deplorable conditions and returned to society much sicker than before they were seized. The human bondage industry is full blown nationwide with the silent assent of even those who have irreplaceable losses.

Our military teaches boys to kill for oil and other such "buy-ocracy" bounty, but executes them if they do it at the wrong place and the wrong time.

Confusing, is it not?

Thomas Jefferson's reaction to the presidential election in Florida would have required multiple kegs of gunpowder no doubt. The Supreme Court as a check and balance fizzled into being just another black robe cult of politicians and prosecutors long ago.

Maybe it's best to let sleeping patriots lie and spare them the heartache. But hope lies with each new generation and my hope lies with you, my beloved grandchildren.

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