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[VIDEO] History: Ronald Reagan’s 1986 Independence Day Speech

My fellow Americans:

In a few moments the celebration will begin here in New York Harbor. It’s going to be quite a show. I was just looking over the preparations and thinking about a saying that we had back in Hollywood about never doing a scene with kids or animals because they’d steal the scene every time. So, you can rest assured I wouldn’t even think about trying to compete with a fireworks display, especially on the Fourth of July.

My remarks tonight will be brief, but it’s worth remembering that all the celebration of this day is rooted in history. It’s recorded that shortly after the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia celebrations took place throughout the land, and many of the former Colonists — they were just starting to call themselves Americans — set off cannons and marched in fife and drum parades.

What a contrast with the sober scene that had taken place a short time earlier in Independence Hall. Fifty-six men came forward to sign the parchment. It was noted at the time that they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honors. And that was more than rhetoric; each of those men knew the penalty for high treason to the Crown. “We must all hang together,” Benjamin Franklin said, “or, assuredly, we will all hang separately.” And John Hancock, it is said, wrote his signature in large script so King George could see it without his spectacles. They were brave. They stayed brave through all the bloodshed of the coming years. Their courage created a nation built on a universal claim to human dignity, on the proposition that every man, woman, and child had a right to a future of freedom.

For just a moment, let us listen to the words again: “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.” Last night when we rededicated Miss Liberty and relit her torch, we reflected on all the millions who came here in search of the dream of freedom inaugurated in Independence Hall. We reflected, too, on their courage in coming great distances and settling in a foreign land and then passing on to their children and their children’s children the hope symbolized in this statue here just behind us: the hope that is America. It is a hope that someday every people and every nation of the world will know the blessings of liberty.

And it’s the hope of millions all around the world. In the last few years, I’ve spoken at Westminster to the mother of Parliaments; at Versailles, where French kings and world leaders have made war and peace. I’ve been to the Vatican in Rome, the Imperial Palace in Japan, and the ancient city of Beijing. I’ve seen the beaches of Normandy and stood again with those boys of Pointe du Hoc, who long ago scaled the heights, and with, at that time, Lisa Zanatta Henn, who was at Omaha Beach for the father she loved, the father who had once dreamed of seeing again the place where he and so many brave others had landed on D-day. But he had died before he could make that trip, and she made it for him. “And, Dad,” she had said, “I’ll always be proud.”

And I’ve seen the successors to these brave men, the young Americans in uniform all over the world, young Americans like you here tonight who man the mighty U.S.S. Kennedy and the Iowa and other ships of the line. I can assure you, you out there who are listening, that these young are like their fathers and their grandfathers, just as willing, just as brave. And we can be just as proud. But our prayer tonight is that the call for their courage will never come. And that it’s important for us, too, to be brave; not so much the bravery of the battlefield, I mean the bravery of brotherhood.

All through our history, our Presidents and leaders have spoken of national unity and warned us that the real obstacle to moving forward the boundaries of freedom, the only permanent danger to the hope that is America, comes from within. It’s easy enough to dismiss this as a kind of familiar exhortation. Yet the truth is that even two of our greatest Founding Fathers, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, once learned this lesson late in life. They’d worked so closely together in Philadelphia for independence. But once that was gained and a government was formed, something called partisan politics began to get in the way. After a bitter and divisive campaign, Jefferson defeated Adams for the Presidency in 1800. And the night before Jefferson’s inauguration, Adams slipped away to Boston, disappointed, brokenhearted, and bitter.

For years their estrangement lasted. But then when both had retired, Jefferson at 68 to Monticello and Adams at 76 to Quincy, they began through their letters to speak again to each other. Letters that discussed almost every conceivable subject: gardening, horseback riding, even sneezing as a cure for hiccups; but other subjects as well: the loss of loved ones, the mystery of grief and sorrow, the importance of religion, and of course the last thoughts, the final hopes of two old men, two great patriarchs, for the country that they had helped to found and loved so deeply. “It carries me back,” Jefferson wrote about correspondence with his cosigner of the Declaration of Independence, “to the times when, beset with difficulties and dangers, we were fellow laborers in the same cause, struggling for what is most valuable to man, his right to self-government. Laboring always at the same oar, with some wave ever ahead threatening to overwhelm us and yet passing harmless . . . we rowed through the storm with heart and hand . . . .” It was their last gift to us, this lesson in brotherhood, in tolerance for each other, this insight into America’s strength as a nation. And when both died on the same day within hours of each other, that date was July 4th, 50 years exactly after that first gift to us, the Declaration of Independence. Read the rest of this entry »

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[VIDEO] Emanuel Snaps at Politico Reporter for Revealing His Plans to Vacation in Cuba

Celebrities Visit "Late Show With David Letterman" - September 9, 2013

Apparently, the two had discussed Emanuel’s plans to go to Cuba backstage before the event, but Allen spilled the beans with this question.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel became angry with Politico reporter Mike Allen on Wednesday for revealing his vacation plans during a Playbook Breakfast event.

“Well, first of all, thanks for telling everybody what I’m going to do with my family. You just had a private conversation with me, and now you decide to make that public. I really don’t appreciate that. I really don’t…I’m expressing to you now publicly my displeasure.”

Apparently, the two had discussed Emanuel’s plans to go to Cuba backstage before the event, but Allen spilled the beans with this question.

“Headed these holidays to Cuba, why?” Allen asked.

[Read the full story here, at the Washington Free Beacon]

“Well, first of all, thanks for telling everybody what I’m going to do with my family,” he said. “You just had a private conversation with me, and now you decide to make that public. I really don’t appreciate that. I really don’t … I’m expressing to you now publicly my displeasure.”

Emanuel went on to explain that he and his wife like to take their children on various cultural experiences….(read more)

Source: Washington Free Beacon


Hillary: How To Party Like It’s 1938

In The Wall Street Journal, Alan Reynolds says Hillary Clinton parties like it’s 1938—her capital-gains tax proposal has been tried before, by Franklin Roosevelt, with disastrous results….(read more)

Source: WSJ


Federal Government Fails At So Much, So Often

US_Capitol_Building_at_Night_Washington_DC

Most Americans think that the federal government is incompetent and wasteful. What causes all the failures? A new study from Cato scholar Chris Edwards examines views on government failure, and outlines five key sources of federal failure. Edwards concludes that the only way to substantially reduce failure is to downsize the federal government: “Political and bureaucratic incentives and the huge size of the federal government are causing endemic failure. The causes of federal failure are deeply structural, and they will not be solved by appointing more competent officials or putting a different party in charge.”

Why the Federal Government Fails,” by Chris Edwards


iOS Developer Faigy Mayer Jumps 20 Stories To Her Death From NYC Rooftop

faigy-mayer-leapt-to-death-230-fifth-avenue-nyc-lead

Faigy grew up in Williamsburg as part of a Hasidic Jew community, but rebelled against her religious upbringing

Alyssa Norwin writes:

…Faigy Mayer, a new resident of Brooklyn, tragically died after jumping 20 stories off the top of 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar in New York City on July 20. The horrifying incident took place while the bar was hosting a corporate party.

“Besides being in the process of developing an app for ex-Hasidics to navigate New York City, she also took part in a 2012 documentary called ‘Inside Hasidism’, in which she discusses her decision not to follow her parents’ strict beliefs, which led to them kicking her out.”

It’s unknown if Faigy, who worked as an iOS developer at Appton, was attending the event, but she was spotted running through the crowd before jumping over the wall. “They closed off the section where she jumped from,” one eyewitness told the New York Post. “I think a lot of people up there had zero clue what was going on.”

NYPost

Indeed, many who were hanging out at the bar continued to drink and carry on with their evenings, unaware of the chaos taking place below. As of now, police believe Faigy jumped deliberately, however, with just a 4-foot ledge around the outside of the roof, the environment could be deemed a bit unsafe when drinking is involved.

With unprecedented access, National Geographic introduces you to the passionately orthodox community of Hasidic Judaism. Some of the people who share their stories include a revered Hasidic rabbi challenging what it means to be spiritual in the modern world, a young man raised Catholic now attending a Hasidic yeshiva in Brooklyn, and a young Hasidic woman taking her first steps to leave this tightly knit community and live a secular life in Manhattan.

Faigy grew up in Williamsburg as part of a Hasidic Jew community, but rebelled against her religious upbringing, according to The Daily Mail. Read the rest of this entry »


Is American Government in Decay?

LEONARDO DiCAPRIO as Cobb and ELLEN PAGE as Ariadne in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ sci-fi action film “INCEPTION,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Francis Fukuyama and other critics misinterpret democratic messiness as existential crisis.

Adam White writes: The ink was barely dry on the new Constitution, and Benjamin Franklin had just left his fellow Framers behind in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, when a woman accosted him on the street and asked, “What type of government have you delegates given us?”

franklin-stretch

“A republic, madam,” Franklin purportedly answered, “if you can keep it.”

This familiar tale makes a simple point: Franklin and his collaborators had succeeded in framing the new republic. To the extent that their creation might someday prove unsuccessful, it would be not their fault but rather the fault of the people. But does this story give Franklin and his fellow Framers too much
Fukuamacredit—and the people too little? Francis Fukuyama thinks so. That’s the ultimate warning of his recent book, Political Order and Political Decay, the second volume of his landmark two-part examination of political order.

The first part, The Origins of Political Order (2011), traced the history of political development from its pre-political origins in the state of nature—not Hobbes’s or Locke’s theoretical constructs but, quite literally, chimpanzees—to the late-eighteenth century’s American and French Revolutions. (See “The Dawn of Politics,” Spring 2011.) Looking not only to familiar Western sources of republican government but also to Chinese bureaucracy and Egypt’s Mamluk warrior class, among other Eastern contributions to modern state-building, Fukuyama examined three fundamental political institutions—the state, the rule of law, and notions of accountability—and how societies develop them over time.

But now, in Political Order and Political Decay, Fukuyama meditates on how things fall apart. Though “the American Revolution institutionalized democracy and the principle of democracy,” the American state two centuries later “is not working well, and its problems may be related to the fact that it is too institutionalized.” Decay’s closing chapters argue that the structure of American government, its checks and balances, has become a “vetocracy,” providing too many opportunities for special interests to prevent the government from enacting necessary and popular reforms.

[Read the full text here, at City Journal]

“Institutions are created to meet certain needs of society, such as making war, dealing with economic conflicts, and regulating social behavior,” Fukuyama writes. “But as recurring patterns of behavior, they can also grow rigid and fail to adapt when the circumstances that brought them into being in the first place
themselves change.” Worse still, such rigidity can be exacerbated by the elite classes’ misappropriation of state power for their own primary benefit. Those two
519rPZtYvuL._SL250_ dreaded forces—rigidity and elite self-dealing—are the sources of political “decay,” Fukuyama’s ultimate focus.

[Check out Francis Fukuyama‘s book “The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution” at Amazon.com]

His criticisms are harsh and substantive. Yet three significant problems underlie his analysis, weakening its force. While he calls for greater “autonomy” in federal agencies, his notions of “autonomy” and “expertise” seem flatly at odds with nearly a century’s worth of experience with the structure of federal agencies. More fundamentally, his narrow view of the Founding Fathers’ objectives prevents him from grappling seriously with the actual constitutional mechanisms that they created into law. And his disparagement of modern political stalemates manages to oversimplify, to the point of caricature, the policy debates that he cites as evidence of governmental decay. Read the rest of this entry »


American Revolution a ‘Monumental Mistake’

George-Washington

‘Blame America First’ Journalism Hits New Lows

“The very definition of Blame America First liberalism in the guise of ‘explanatory journalism.’ The U.S. never should have been created so it would be easier, 230 years or so later, for liberals to pass a carbon tax. How petty.”

Paul Bedard writes:

…written by Vox‘s Dylan Matthews and headlined: “3 reasons the American Revolution was a mistake.” …Matthews argues that had the colonies remained under British control, slavery would have been abolished earlier, government would be more proactive, and calls for a carbon tax would have passed with ease…

 “Save Harvard University the embarrassment and never again allow their graduates into journalism.”

— Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker

An excerpt:

American independence in 1776 was a monumental mistake. We should be mourning the fact that we left the United Kingdom, not cheering it…

Traveling throughout the United States of the 1830s, Alexis de Tocqueville pondered the question of just how funny Americans were before deeming us decidedly unfunny.

Alexis de Tocqueville

I’m reasonably confident a world in which the revolution never happened would be better than the one we live in now, for three main reasons: Slavery would’ve been abolished earlier, American Indians would’ve faced rampant persecution but not the outright ethnic cleansing Andrew Jackson and other American leaders perpetrated, and America would have a parliamentary system of government that makes policymaking easier….

millen-anguish

In the US, activists wanting to put a price on carbon emissions spent years trying to put together a coalition to make it happen, mobilizing sympathetic businesses and philanthropists and attempting to make bipartisan coalition — and they still failed to pass cap and trade, after millions of dollars and man hours. In the UK, the Conservative government decided it wanted a carbon tax.
Read the rest of this entry »


Sorry, Everyone, America Isn’t That Racist

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Read more…

The Federalist


[VIDEO] Vintage School House Rock: ‘Shot Heard Round the World’

Schoolhouse rock sings about the Revolutionary War! No more monarchy. Paul Revere announces the British are Coming!


ABC Drama ‘The Thirteen’ Rewrites American History

the-thirteen-revolutionary-war

Fourth of July might be all about fireworks and barbecues now, but what if the events of the Revolutionary War hadn’t ended in our favor? Read the rest of this entry »