The Locker Room

July 4, 2009

'Freedom is slavery,' circa 2009

Posted by Jon Sanders at 2:52 PM

Pres. Obama gives his "July 4" address (he, too, persists in giving it the "Cinco de Mayo" treatment instead of calling the holiday by its proper name, Independence Day) in which — true to form — he attempts to portray the subjugation of individuals even more to state power as right in line with the independence the Founders fought for:

We are facing an array of challenges on a scale unseen in our time. We are waging two wars. We are battling a deep recession. And our economy – and our nation itself – are endangered by festering problems we have kicked down the road for far too long: spiraling health care costs; inadequate schools; and a dependence on foreign oil.

Meeting these extraordinary challenges will require an extraordinary effort on the part of every American. And that is an effort we cannot defer any longer.

Now is the time to lay a new foundation for growth and prosperity. Now is the time to revamp our education system, demand more from teachers, parents, and students alike, and build schools that prepare every child in America to outcompete any worker in the world.

Now is the time to reform an unsustainable health care system that is imposing crushing costs on families, businesses, large and small, and state and federal budgets. We need to protect what works, fix what’s broken, and bring down costs for all Americans. No more talk. No more delay. Health care reform must happen this year.

And now is the time to meet our energy challenge – one of the greatest challenges we have ever confronted as a people or as a planet. For the sake of our economy and our children, we must build on the historic bill passed by the House of Representatives, and make clean energy the profitable kind of energy so that we can end our dependence on foreign oil and reclaim America’s future.

These are some of the challenges that our generation has been called to meet. And yet, there are those who would have us try what has already failed; who would defend the status quo. They argue that our health care system is fine the way it is and that a clean energy economy can wait. They say we are trying to do too much, that we are moving too quickly, and that we all ought to just take a deep breath and scale back our goals.

These naysayers have short memories. They forget that we, as a people, did not get here by standing pat in a time of change. We did not get here by doing what was easy. That is not how a cluster of 13 colonies became the United States of America.

We are not a people who fear the future. We are a people who make it. And on this July 4th, we need to summon that spirit once more. We need to summon the same spirit that inhabited Independence Hall two hundred and thirty-three years ago today.

It's not going to work. You can call your freedom-destroying statism many things, give it whatever euphemism you want, but not even "sort of God" can honestly say that the spirit of liberty is upheld by enslaving people to the power of government.

Own up to the fact, Mr. President, that the Declaration of Independence does mention your kind of government when it denounces King George. Consider especially this part:

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat our their substance

I agree with Obama in that last statement. From this Independence Day forward, we need to summon the same spirit that inhabited Independence Hall two hundred and thirty-three years ago today. We need to summon that spirit to kick out those who would grow government on our backs, destroy our opportunities, eat out our substance, harass us with multitudes of new regulations and swarms of czars, and to our faces call it freedom and progress. Sic semper tyrannis.

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Happy Independence Day!

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 09:13 AM

"It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment, — Independence now and Independence forever."

Daniel Webster
Eulogy on Adams and Jefferson
Aug. 2, 1826

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Issues with Apex?

Posted by Rick Henderson at 08:45 AM

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

The N&O's Triangle Politics column writes up JLF's N.C. Transparency Initiative by noting that officials in Apex seem a bit nonplussed they got a "D."

Town Manager Bruce Radford said the documents would have been made available to the organization had it asked for them.

"We run quite a transparent operation," Radford assured Triangle Politics. "We'd be happy to give that information to anybody who came today. ... To my knowledge, we have never denied a request for any public information."

Well, at least not since last month.

Town officials, including Radford, sat on public planning documents related to a massive real-estate project that could add 20,000 residents and more than double the town's tax base -- despite e-mail, telephone and in-person requests for the documents under the Freedom of Information Act.

Apex finally released the documents, several days after they were submitted, and a couple of hours after town officials hosted a back-slapping news conference with the developer.

A big goal of the Transparency Initiative is to push government agencies to make information available online, on demand, to anybody who's interested in it; given current technology, citizens shouldn't have to ask "Mother, may I?" to get the most basic public documents.

Looks as if the transparency site is already holding some folks accountable (or, at a minimum, making them uncomfortable).

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