Retired USMC Lt. Colonel RJ Wiedemann is credited, incorrectly, with this quote on political correctness:
“Political correctness is a doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by the mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”
Colonel Wiedemann stated in 2009 that the quote was not his but actually a result of a contest at Texas A&M University. Research conducted by yours truly was unable to find the name of the author of the quote, but did find it to be the 2007 winner of a an annual contest by the university.
Other than the absolute humor of the quote itself, you are probably wondering by now why you have read this far. Before I launch tirade, I felt it important that:
a) I not take credit for the quote – I’m really not that witty;
b) readers were informed where the quote originated; and
c) the quote have some time to sink in to those that have never heard said quote before.
In my opinion, this may be one of the most witty quotes ever penned. Given the approach of which it humorously ties together inaccurate liberal-think with our modern media, one would reason it had to have been written by a cantankerous old military officer rather than a college student.
One of the shining components of the PC culture is profiling, or the lack thereof. To say that one is shamefully politically incorrect to profile another human being is analogous to telling a person not to use their ability to reason. For example, imagine a circle of five divergent people utopically holding hands and singing kumbaya. Work with me here. One is an elderly black woman raising her two grand kids, another is an Hispanic auto worker with a wife and three kids, a third is a computer programmer wearing a LGBT shirt, the fourth is a middle-aged divorced female reporter, and the last is an angry looking, 20-something, swarthy young man wearing a kameez (long shirt), hijab (turban) and a backpack. This would seem to be a classic collection of "desirables" in…liberal-think. All of a sudden, the sound of a timer goes off within the circle, the type associated with a bomb. In the last few moments of their lives, who do you think they realize brought the bomb to the party? My point is, at some point, reason, or common sense, must take over in order to save your life, although hopefully not that late.
To say one does not mentally profile is deceitful. Just like some other human experiences, everybody profiles, but some just don't admit it. If I told you not to think of a zebra, what are you going to think of? It doesn’t take an expensive scientific study, at taxpayer expense, to realize that profiling is an automatic human response of survival, also known as fight or flight. In simpler days it was also be called common sense.
But common sense has become a casualty, for many, of political correctness. Due to the PC culture, God has been removed from schools, the American flag from houses, bathrooms classifications have been blurred, people can enter the country illegally, small businesses, such as bakeries, cannot decide who to serve, and even certain words have been banned, to use as a few examples. (So much for “sticks and stones…”) The list has gotten endless.
This is because the Left started out eating an elephant in the most effective way possible – one bite at a time, circa 1985 according to research. And since the country was doing well, nobody noticed, and those that did, didn’t say much. And then some on the Right joined in. And gradually, over time, already deteriorating social values and standards were either completely obliterated or turned upside down. Abetted by Hollywood, a dishonest government, and a media intent on selling news in as salacious manner as possible, laws and taboo’s were soon enforced on those that would speak out over actions that seemed unscrupulous, dishonorable, amoral, or just plain weird.
No longer is it politically correct to remark that the king has no clothes. Speaking of clothes, in my research for this blog I learned that the library computers in San Francisco have privacy screens. This allows perverts, if I am allowed to use that word, to exercise their “right” to watch pornography without children being exposed to it (no pun intended). Think about that – at taxpayer expense, someone is accommodated a computer and privacy screen to watch porn in public. Do you suppose free Kleenex is also included?
Ever heard of a hate-crime? What the hell is a "hate-crime?" Why does adding the the word "hate" to the term make the crime any more heinous? If someone commits a crime on me and the same crime on you, but it is labeled a hate crime committed against me, are you somehow less of a victim? Is your pistol-whipping less painful? Is your house easier to repaint than mine? A crime is a crime, regardless of who is the victim.
Speaking of a hate-crime, in this age of political correctness, hyphenated words have become commonplace to set people or descriptions aside, as if that makes them/it somehow protected or even special in some way. If you have a special hyphenated label, how are you supposed to meld into this country? As you may recall, America was once said to be the “great melting pot,” allowing immigrants to assimilate into the United States, which thus became the envy of the world. At least that was the history I learned before the PC police got to the text books and altered history to their satisfaction.
I might be all over the board here, but that is also how you eat that elephant. And it is how political correctness got such a strong toehold, fanned out across the country to the point now where it suppresses thought and free speech in what is supposed to be the greatest and most free country in the history of the world. Just to write this post I erased words and whole sentences, concerned about potential backlash of upsetting somebody’s feelings...or me getting arrested. It took me longer to write this blog than the last four combined. Each word had to be reviewed and rethought. As a testament to how PC is driven, or least encouraged, from those “at the top”, it even occurred to me that I would not have felt nearly as comfortable writing this blog if Obama was still President.
In the end, what is the difference between political correctness and McCarthyism? The goals are undoubtedly similar.
Steve Chapman is a regular opinion writer for the Chicago Tribune-Examiner. He claims to be a Libertarian, leaning neither right or left. His columns appear every Thursday and Sunday in the Trib-Examiner. Not being creative enough to come up with anything positive, his columns are nearly always to pound on President Trump. (Eventually he will have to get around to complaining about Trump's breathing.) In other words, he believes us folks that voted for Trump are stupid. On occasion I have emailed him to tell him why he is misdirected, copying the "Letters to the Editor" department. Rarely do I get a response from Mr. Chapman and the left leaning Tribune-Examiner never publishes my rebuttals. What follows is my latest, and probably last, email to him.
Your useless twice weekly editorial floggings of President Trump have gotten old and border on hysteria. As you have seen fit to not write anything positive or redeeming about Mr. Trump you appear to be nothing more than another whiny sore loser, content with the poisonous stench that has emanated from Washington politicians and the complicit media. Given the Tribune's liberal bent, one would surmise it offers you job security, but certainly calls into question your claims of being Libertarian, as well as your integrity.
Perhaps your energies would be better spent attacking the slime in Springfield...an effort that might actually benefit the people of Illinois.
One could say I have truck oil for blood. I’ve been immersed in this profession my entire life. I had three summer jobs outside our trucking business. The first was as a stock boy in a convenience store where I spent a little time stocking shelves and the rest hiding in the back room listening to WLS radio. The other two were as a laborer for a truck-trailer repair facility and a fuel jockey at a truckstop. Those were in addition to working at the family firm.
Rather than attend college, I drove a truck for a couple years, primarily hauling steel to various nuclear reactors being built around Illinois. Why just Illinois? Because my mother didn’t want me to be an over-the-road trucker like my father and grandfather before me. Seems they might have picked up some bad habits she preferred were not exposed to me. Dad went along with her request, only so that I was around during the weekend to repair truck tires.
My reason for boring you with this spiel is to establish that, after 60 years around the business, 44 years working in every imaginable position in the industry, I just might know a little bit about transporting objects from point A to point B…despite what some people might tell you. And I can assure you, driving a truck is not rocket science.
But, neither is the job/career you, the reader, chose either. If you are reading this and are a rocket scientist, then you have my apologies and utter amazement that you are reading this. If not, please let me explain.
Truck driving is an honorable profession, and a vital link to this country’s success. Without truckers, America comes to a grinding halt. Consider your local Wal Mart with nothing on its shelves. Or without shelves. Everything in that building, including the materials that made the building, got there on a truck. Some of the most intelligent, generous, hard-working people I ever met, drove a truck in order to support his/her family. I wrote a pretty darn good novel in 2010 about a trucker that graphically details the life. (Still sitting on some of those books in case one is interested.)
Did you know there are 3.5 million truckers in the US, and contrary to popular opinion, are not all sitting in front of you on the expressway? The government allows them to drive eleven hours per day. Conversely, an 85-year-old man can barrel down the Interstate in his Cadillac at 80 miles per hour for as many hours he can manage between nature-call stops. Therefore, regardless of being paid by the hour or the mile, a driver’s pay is capped. You, on the other hand, can volunteer for over-time, or get a second job at night to supplement your income. It’s pretty hard for a driver to do that when he lives in Chicago but has run out of hours for his work day in Pittsburgh!
Speaking of running out of hours in Pittsburgh, while you are at home eating dinner, or engrossed watching T-ball games, dozing in your easy chair in front of the tube, or sleeping in your own comfy bed, there is the little matter of that driver still stuck in Pittsburgh. No trucking company can afford to put all their drivers up at the Marriott for the night, nor would Mr. Marriott want the truck parked on his pristine lot, so most drivers go to a truckstop. Ever been in a truckstop? How much time you want to spend there? If, and that is a big if, the driver can get a parking spot, she can “bed down” for the night. Yep, there is a national problem with truck parking availability too. She can then take a number for the privilege of getting in a public shower, grabbing a fast-food item for dinner, all before heading back out to the truck for the evening. This was after driving 550 miles on pot-hole ridden Interstates, dodging four-wheeler's who are upset a truck has the audacity to be in their way.
I’ve spoken often of this before, but I was reminded again this past Monday morning. As I drove by our warehouse on the way to work, I noticed four non-company trucks in the docks and another truck waiting to get in. I also observed a couple of forklift drivers taking a break. This is not to chastise our forklift operators, as they probably did not know any better, but consider the entire scenario – what’s called a paradigm shift.
The trucks in the dock came from Bowling Green KY, 360 miles away. To be there at our dock at 9:00 AM required to have driven seven hours early Monday morning, thus leaving around 2:00 AM, or have driven here the day before, a Sunday. The goal of most truckers is to get unloaded early in the morning so as to be able to reload in the afternoon…hopefully towards home. Recall that the government is only going to allow the driver to operate four more hours that day, so they won’t get home that night…even if they battle the elements, and you in traffic, to get the reload. Many shippers stop loading early in the afternoon, so it is usually a close call, and one that determines a driver’s outcome of where he/she winds up for the night, as well as income for the week. In other words, time is of the essence.
Conversely, after having a leisurely Sunday off with their families, our forklift drivers started work Monday morning somewhere around 7:00 AM with coffee, yawns and scratches. There is usually not that many trucks at once to unload in the mornings, nor for the rest of the day for that matter. Traffic through the warehouse is usually steady, but rarely backed up. There is a second shift as well to pick up the slack.
Knowing our forklift drivers, who are good men, had they known about what I have described in this post, I have every reason to believe they would have delayed their break until the “rush” was over. But they didn’t know and perhaps that is my fault. Neither, probably did you.
I’m sure you all have thoughts of some trucker who cut you off or didn’t smell so good, but just like the Osmond’s crooned in 1970, “One bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch, girl!” Truckers too have unreasonable bosses, bills, families at home, and a government riding herd on them even more so that you do. So, next time, please give ‘em some slack.
Now…try to get that song out of your head!
Like me, are you suffering from a malady called Russian overdose? (In my case, it’s not vodka!) Did you see Sean Spicer was caught with a bottle of Russian dressing the other day! I’m so sick and tired of being sick and tired about news stories concerning Russia. Good God, every day the news channels, particularly the cable news networks, spend the day spewing out a steady stream of Russian collusion news stories about somebody, anybody, in the Trump administration. The radio talk shows opine about it too, non-stop. Just about the time you think it has finally died down, out slips another one, manufactured and leaked from somewhere deep in the bowels of the cesspool that is Washington DC. I know more about Putin now than I do three of my four kids.
One could expect this from the Communist News Network, formerly known as CNN. CNN has to beat it to death, it bet heavily on Clinton, lost, and now is trying to justify their existence. They and their cronies (MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC) spew a steady stream of Trump’s alleged collusion with the Russians to steal Hillary’s coronation, while totally overlooking Bill and Hillary’s exploits. FOX is every bit as guilty at running ad nauseum with the Russian theme, although they cover what the others are saying, then add their own interpretation of why the others are probably wrong. The result – total saturation…to the point that nobody outside of Washington DC and New York cares anymore. This is how bad it has gotten - I’m a news/political junkie and I don’t care anymore! Phil Collins song, “I Don’t Care Anymore” runs through my head whenever Russia comes up. Recall the refrain:
“You know I don't care anymore!
Don't care no more! No more, no more, no more
Don't care, no more, no more, no more, no more, no more, no more, no more
No more, no more, no more, no more, no more, no more.”
For those of you who believe Russia somehow affected our election, do you realize it has become so convoluted that there will be nothing come from it anyway? There usually isn’t with these types of conspiracies. It’s all become nervous energy – doing absolutely nothing useful – so why continue to waste interest? I say this knowing full well my words are written here in stone, totally fearless of something slipping out later. Actually, I know there will be something come out later, even after the current sensational and salacious scandal involving Trump Jr and some Russian bimbo dies down, that will put the news networks back in a frenzy. It’s probably Tiffany Trump’s turn in the barrel next – not much has been said about her yet. After that, they will have to resort to in-laws.
Democratic Congressman will hold more sanctimonious hearings and make threats, and the in-majority Republican Congressman will do nothing, terrified that something will backfire on them and affect their cushy jobs. Oh, Gowdy will put the fear of God in everyone, but in the end, nothing will come of his threats.
The result is absolutely nothing is getting done in Congress that is worth squat. And we are paying dearly for this inaction - Obamacare reform (or better yet – repeal), personal income taxes, corporate taxes, infrastructure, and illegal immigration – all items we voted for Trump to change, are going disregarded. For the record, I don't understand why Trump and the GOP don't just let Obamacare implode on its own, as it will do shortly. Why touch a dead skunk?
While I am on this tirade, let it be known that I personally am weary of watching those old dinosaurs in Congress getting their mugs on television, rambling on about the evils of what they hallucinate is a Trump-Putin tag-team. In a sane world, people like Pelosi and Waters would be in an insane asylum, McCain and Feinstein would be sitting in wheel chair in the dank hallways of some retirement home drooling on their shirt, the Clinton's would be in a jail cell (together if there is a God), and Durbin, Graham and Schumer would be getting beat up in an alley every day just for being aggravating whiny twat-waffles.
Did you notice that none of these Congressional clowns can give a speech without a little clique surrounding them, staring at the back of the speakers head, smug look on their face, and nodding their heads in unison, as if they are a collection of bobble-heads in the bed of an old pick-up driving traveling across a pot-hole ridden Interstate 80? The spokespersons are evidently so insecure in their ramblings they have to have a small posse of pinheads and lapdogs standing next to them.
Are you also as exhausted by these never-ending Senate hearings? Every joker on those panels, while calling each other “honorable” and “esteemed,” unleashes a torrent on the evils of the other party, pontificating interminably while reading like 3rd-graders from scripts that some young intern wrote for them. It’s all made-for-TV drama for the benefit of the news networks and getting absolutely nothing done in the process. There is nothing honorable or esteemed about the whole process, folks. In fact, it’s all quite reprehensible.
You realize this is all by design, don’t you? It’s a way to derail the Trump Train from draining the swamp.
If you have the misfortune to live in Illinois, you know that our elected legislators have finally gotten around to passing a budget. This was after other more important matters, such as renaming a section of an Interstate, and ironically part of a toll road, after Obama. (Think about that.)
We underlings in Illinois haven’t had a budget for two to three years, depending on who is doing the reporting. Our budget hasn’t balanced in sixteen (16) years! The bond rating is teetering on collapsing into junk status, ranking us last in the country. Government pensions are unfunded…to the tune of about $250 billion…with a “b!” The budget passed both the Illinois House and Senate, naturally right at the last possible hour before the deadline, then went to Governor Rauner. As promised, he vetoed it, and sent it back for another round of gamesmanship and guffaws...at our expense. At that point, the veto was majestically over-ridden with fifteen “Republicans” voting for the budget, allowing Democrats with upcoming elections to vote “nay.” Come election time, those Dems can stand up, pound their chests, and say to the voters that they voted NO! to raising your taxes.
The result was a tax increase on all of us schmucks that live here, raising revenues for Illinois by $5 billion. The extra money will come from a 32% personal income tax hike hefted upon us, which is now 4.95% (at least it’s not the 5% tax it was just a few years ago)! The corporate rate was also increased by 1.75%, up to 7%, which is sure to have an effect on business decisions to move here. The new budget is still short about $15 billion…again, with a “b,” just to pay outstanding bills. (They plan on borrowing some more.) The interest alone on that $15 billion is $800 million! Virtually nothing was cut from the budget, and the reports of what pork was packed in have not been confirmed yet. No mention was made of anything like term limits either, which the Governor wanted. The end result - if you have a $50,000 per year job, this plot on the part of our state legislators to stick their hand in your pocket cost you another $600 per year for the privilege of living here. Remember that when you are paying your outrageous property taxes.
Illinois ranks near the bottom for just about anything that matters – highest property taxes, bond rating, foreclosures, unemployment, government employees with six and seven figure pensions, pension double-dippers, people fleeing the state, workers compensation abuse, shoddy roads, the list goes on and on. It has gotten so bad, Lottery officials, fearing the state would be unable to pay up, pulled the Powerball and Mega Millions games from Illinoisans until a budget was passed, costing the state another $4 million in revenues. We Illinoisans have become the laughing stock of the nation. One Tribune pundit went so far as to suggest Illinois government be abolished and the state divided up by neighboring states – not such a bad idea really. Kankakee Indiana has a nice sound to it. After all, the Kankakee River starts in Indiana.
If Illinois were a business with these types of financial issues, heads would roll. This mess is unsustainable, folks. Illinois has led the nation in mass exodus of businesses and citizens for the last three years in a row. As our governors don’t seem to remain in office long, it would be illogical to place the blame for our mess entirely at their feet. Would it not be reasonable then to look deeper into the quagmire in Springfield to see who or what group might be the problem? Who is in charge of this insane asylum?
It could be said that the problem is none other than the poster child for term limits, Michael J. Madigan. A 46-year member of the Illinois House, the 75-year-old has been the Speaker for 32 years. He represents the 22nd District, a ward of 109,000 people surrounding Midway Airport. Madigan is a founder and senior partner at the law firm of Madigan and Getzendanner, specializing in corporate real estate property tax appeals, and represents clients such as the John Hancock Center and the Prudential Plaza.
Mr. Madigan’s family and close acquaintances hold significant positions in the state. His daughter, Lisa, is the Illinois Attorney General, and has been at that post 14+ years. Wife Shirley is chairman of the Illinois Arts Council, allowing contact with some of the state’s most influential people. His son-in-law, Jordan Matyas, is a chief lobbyist for the Regional Transportation Authority. Joe Berrios, a close associate, is the Assessor of Cook County, obviously a position involved primarily with real estate matters. With such individuals forming an inner circle, whose positions allow their combined influence to be woven through the very fabric of Illinois, and impacting our daily lives, how can such control be good for us?
You can’t make this stuff up folks! And it is us, the people with homes, land, businesses, and/or families that live here that are being shaken down for living in Illinois. This is no longer the “Land of Lincoln,” it is now the “Land of Schmucks!” Just like those poor souls living in the slaughterhouse that is the south side of Chicago, my fellow schmucks, we deserve better than what we have representing us in Springfield.
Or, perhaps we are getting exactly what we deserve.
Realizing there probably won't be much interest generated in today's blog, I feel compelled anyway to submit for your review a critique on a recent concert venture. It was more interesting than my golf game on Sunday.
Me, the Misses, and a couple of friends went to see Dead & Co. at Wrigley Field last Saturday night, July 1. They now call themselves Dead & Co., but they are the remnants of the original Grateful Dead. We saw them at Alpine in Wisconsin last year too, so it might be said we have become “deadheads.” Well, that might be said of me as it appears the Misses kind of tags along, probably just for my delightful company. Anyway, what appears below is my assessment, from what can be remembered, of the experience.
First off, our tickets were on the field. That means we got to sit right on Wrigley Field. That in itself was an experience, sitting in front of the old scoreboard. Upon entering, we were within reaching distance of touching the fabled ivy on the outfield walls, although the constabulary was keeping a watchful out to make sure nobody dared to touch. Additionally, to get to our seats, we walked through the brand-new bullpen under the left-field bleachers.
If you have never been to a “Dead” concert, people-watching is half the fun. It is better than the “People of Walmart” photo’s that trek across the internet. The official “deadheads,” those that travel with the band frequently, and bathe infrequently, are a sight to behold. Before the show, they sell their wares, such as ugly tie-died T-shirts, carpets that appear to have been stolen, dirty scarves and hats, cheap trinkets, or anything they can think of to turn a buck, some of it, I suppose, even legal. They seem to travel in pairs, often the only distinction between them is one is bearded and the other isn’t. Then, once the show starts, they go into some sort of mystical zone, more than likely herbically induced, based on the aroma wafting around the park, stand in one spot and dance like nobody is watching.
Unlike the poor vagabonds known as “deadheads,” the production of a Dead and Co. concert is a professionally produced, fine-tuned running machine. Even though the song sets may never be the same from night to night, the shows have the appearance of being well-thought out far in advance in order to derive maximum profit. No stone is left unturned in an attempt to separate you from your money. You could even bid on a specially produced Epiphone guitar, beautifully painted to commemorate the Wrigley Field concert venue and signed by all the members of the band. Starting bid was only $18,000! Supposedly, that money is going to “charity,” which is some sort of “Get Out the Vote” program for the Left.
As always, the music was superb. John Mayer, filling in for the late Jerry Garcia, does a brilliant job, not only playing the guitar in Mayer-like-fashion, but when required, can even sound like Garcia himself. It has been my experience with Mayer that his vocal ability is weak as a solo artist, an opinion my son will argue heatedly with, but his guitar talents adds a layer to the show not seen since Garcia himself was standing there twenty years ago. (He may even be a better axe man - he is that good!) At 40 years old, he also supplies energy needed for the show, as he is 30 years younger than the original members.
Founding member, Bob Weir (70) shoulders a great deal of the vocal duties, as does former Allman Brothers Band bassist Oteil Burbridge. This takes vocal burden off Mayer, allowing him to play, and in my opinion, better guitar. The other two remaining founding members, Bill Kreutzmann (71) and Micky Hart (74), both on drums were solid as usual, including an interesting ten-minute percussion solo. The highlight of the evening, in my humble opinion, was the musical “battle” between Mayer’s guitar and Jeff Chimenti playing electric piano. The finale was a song called Sunshine Daydream, that was capped off by an awesome fireworks display.
If I had a criticism, other than the damn people who stand in front of you, it would be their annoying insistence of playing the songs Dark Star in the first set and Space in the second. (They sound like one annoying track!) I normally skip past these songs when listening to the Dead, but sitting at a concert, there is no fast-forward button to mash. With an extremely slow pace and combined with outer-space noises, the experience becomes boring and they lost interest from the crowd. Heck, even the six old stoners sitting in front of me actually sat down for a spell.
The thing is, folks, Grateful Dead music is an acquired taste, and it is helpful to have experience with it to truly enjoy their shows. If you are not familiar with their music, or you don’t care for jams and soaring solos, then the “Dead” is probably not going to be your cup of tea. They often extend songs long past the length of the recording studio’s – so much in fact that Conan O’Brian quipped in 2015 – “The Grateful Dead are coming out with an 80-disc live box set. No word on which song it will be.” (I always loved that joke and was looking for a place to put it.)
To my knowledge, there are no more shows scheduled for 2017. They performed 20 shows at 15 venues and Wrigley was their last stop. If you have ever considered seeing the Dead, you would do well to see them, should they do another “Fare thee well” tour. As the remaining three original members are past 70, Father Time is catching up to them and like it or not, they are going to "Fade Away."
This Tuesday, July 4th, will be our country’s 241st birthday. (It also means 2017 is already half over. Jeez, where has it gone already and what is the hurry?) Independence Day, as it is known, is an annual American tradition...a time for beer, picnics, more beer, BBQ, additional beer, and fireworks nationwide, as well as some recurrent beer ingestion. Just outside my office in Kankakee, one is usually able to see fireworks from about four different sources, not including the illegal kind shot off by the kid just up the road, who will more than likely be making a visit to the emergency room later in the evening.
Considering the fact that we live in the greatest country that has ever existed in the history of mankind, during a technological and industrial era that is absolutely breathtaking in scope, I sometimes question if we really celebrate our great nation’s birthday properly, or give suitable homage to the convergence of forces that put this country in motion. Somewhere along the line this day seems to have become just another holiday, day off for many, and excuse to overindulge.
How many people know that:
* July 4th is a day to commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, declaring ourselves a separate nation from Great Britain?
* That Congress actually voted and approved the Declaration on July 2nd, 1776, not the 4th? John Adams wrote his wife on July 3rd, 1776 to let her know that henceforth, July 2nd would be a national holiday. (He would later die on July 4th in 1801.)
* The Declaration of Independence was not completely signed by all until August 2, 1776?
* It was Richard Henry Lee of Virginia who first proposed the Declaration of Independence, although it was Thomas Jefferson who wrote the basic document? (Thomas Jefferson would later die on July 4th in 1826!)
* Bristol Rhode Island has the distinction of holding the longest continuous Independence Day celebration, dating back to 1785 - 232 years!
* The Declaration was adopted by Congress at Independence Hall in Philadelphia PA, not Washington DC.
* "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" from the Declaration, is considered one of the best-known sentences in the English language, containing perhaps the most compelling words in American history.
*Abraham Lincoln considered the Declaration to be the foundation to his political philosophy and argued that the Declaration is a statement of principles through which the US Constitution should be interpreted.
In an earlier blog, I marveled at the sheer fortitude and intellect of the individuals who cobbled together this nation at a time when they didn't have the rudimentary skills for proper hygiene. I went so far as to question some sort of divine intervention. And I truly believe that - there had to have been some sort of help to create this nation that has lasted an incredible 241 years!
I still choke up during a well sung National Anthem. Who can forget Whitney Houston's belting out our Anthem so beautifully before Super Bowl XXV in 1991, an edition that went platinum, the first time the National Anthem cracked the Top 10 by any artist. A Jim Cornelius' version of our Anthem, with a soldier and an elderly veteran beside him before a Blackhawks hockey game, will bring goose bumps to me every time, and I bet it does to you too. A military fly over, such as was seen at our local hero, Col. Jim Kassler's Memorial, or at a pro football game, is an such an amazing experience as waves of nationalism course though your body. (Don't get me started on Colin Kapernick or some schmuck that won't remove his hat!) I realize that I may be a little over zealous in my patriotism, although I have to wonder if one can be over passionate at such a subject.
So, on the 241st Independence Day, I would ask you, my friends, to pause to reflect on those that created this nation, and those that served, particularly those that gave all to ensure we are the greatest nation on Earth. Here's some help...
"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."