by Tom Childs
"There were four of us children…They came to the door, there were strangers. They beat the floor with iron rods…and they tried to find where Dad had buried grain. They took our cow." The peasants on their collectives were still suspected of hoarding, and many households, like this one, were searched repeatedly for hidden stores. The hunger began after the last of the grain and butter had been taken, when the harvest for that year was gone. "We begged mother to feed us…We begged so hard. The youngest brother was crying, crying, and in the morning he died. My eldest brother, the one who was born in 1920, also died in the morning. They both lay there dead. Already three were lying there… Mother told the neighbors: already three of mine have died. And in two days, Father died. It was evening, Saturday. I slept so close to them, the dead…They came and took them, took them away from the village, to a pit."
--Merridale, Night of Stone, p. 171
There is an eerie and frightening present day tone to this extract from Catherine Merridale's tale of horror, which include many such emotionally wrenching images from the Stalinist era. Dark shadows lurking within her words suggest what could be happening at the Klamath Valley, Oregon or in Sandpoint, Idaho, and in Ohio, Montana and even in Alaska.
Whether it is for an alleged endangered species of sucker fish (not a native in the contested Klamath Valley reservoir) or for an alleged un-paid tax bill, our Government is showing frightening signs of just the same arrogance and dogmatic intolerance as George III of England in 1776. Or Josef Stalin throughout his tyrannical leadership of the Soviet Union. Or of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany. And for the same reasons. Contempt for mankind and a lust for untrammeled power.
No one reading these words needs to be reminded what is happening to our Second Amendment Rights, nor yet to the Fourth, Fifth, Ninth and Tenth Amendments. And what might have happened to our First Amendment Rights had the recent McCain/Feingold Campaign Finance Bill become law. In effect, as we all recognize, the very foundations of our American society are under a concerted attack, with the goal of vaporizing our Constitution, neutralizing the Bill of Rights and negating the fundamental principles enumerated in the Declaration of Independence.
Therefore on this Fourth of July, 2001, lest we forget, two hundred and twenty five years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, we should all remember not only the words of those timeless documents that celebrate mankind's emancipation from tyranny, but also the generations of patriots, soldiers, statesmen, and private individuals who in one fashion or another contributed to the cause of Freedom, Liberty and the country we all love.
But we should also be celebrating another very important group of Americans - those living today who have the guts to stand up and be counted as opposing the radical Left, who would destroy all that we have and are. Those men and women who risk their jobs and public standing in order to counter the bias from the media, and the lies from far too many politicians and educators.
We should be celebrating the existence of the numerous - and growing - list of websites on the internet whose sole purpose is to resist the calumny and duplicity of those who would convert our Land of the Free to the Home of the Knave. We must acknowledge the numerous Americans who tell it the way it is, as Fred Reed has been doing at FredOnEverything.net and Diane Alden on AldenChronicles.com, not to speak of the hosts at KeepAndBearArms.com, SierraTimes.com, TownHall.com and all of the many, mainly unpaid contributors on those and other such sites. These are the patriots who are standing up to the venal and the corrupt, for whom oaths of office are amusing interludes and duty has become a four-letter word.
The internet, in fact, has become a new battlefield on which we may call the faithful to arms to join the patriots who yet can fight. Indeed, as you all know, the battle has been joined, and we are calling up the reserves!
We are in a terminal phase of the contest begun in the Sixties between the adolescent, rebellious and elitist radicals such as Hillary Clinton, and those who believe in our Republic. The contempt for our concepts of Liberty and fundamental Rights exhibited by the Clintons, a great deal of the Democratic Party and too many Republicans has created a showdown. We are at a major inflexion point in our history, and we could lose everything that was won - almost overnight.
Lest we forget what the battle is for, it is for the America of Justices John Marshall, Joseph Story and Oliver Wendall Holmes. Great Justices who are increasingly witness to dilettantes occupying their once illustrious benches, handing down vacuous and politically motivated decisions that relegate our Constitution to the ash heap of history, and the Supreme Court to a PC sinecure for political hacks.
Therefore in America today - on the Fourth of July - and every day thereafter, we must remember the ringing words in the Declaration of Independence, lest we forget, and sink into the tyranny that even now approaches. Every man, woman and child must become familiar with the provisions of the Constitution, and the guarantees of the First Ten Amendments. In fact, they should be as indelibly graven upon our minds and hearts as should be the Ten Commandments, the nearly 4,000 year old Judeo/Christian basis for our American society. We must never forget that the Ten Commandments are not Suggestions, nor are our Bill of Rights Proposals. They are the Law.
They are statements of truth based upon an Anglo-Saxon legal evolution of six hundred years, acknowledging the underlying frailties and fallibilities of humanity that every generation, from the beginning of time, has witnessed. They represent a compendium of knowledge about our human condition, accrued over millennia, and distilled by the Founding Fathers into a timeless declaration for all men. These truths have been repeatedly demonstrated, since 1776, to be the most accurate and effective statement in history on who and what we are - and can be.
"Let the Fourth of July always be a reminder that here in this land, for the first time, it was decided that man is born with certain God-given rights; that government is only a convenience created and managed by the people, with no powers of its own except those voluntarily granted to it by the people. We sometimes forget that great truth, and we never should."
--Ronald Reagan, July, 1981
"The cause of America is, in a great measure, the cause of all mankind. Many circumstances have, and will arise, which are not local, but universal, and through which the principles of all lovers of mankind are affected, and in the event of which, their affections are interested. The laying a countryside desolate with fire and sword, declaring war against the natural rights of all mankind, and extirpating the defenders therof from the face of the earth, is the concern of every man to whom nature hath given the power of feeling; of which class, regardless of party censure, is THE AUTHOR."
--Thomas Paine, Introduction to Common Sense, Philadelphia, Feb. 14, 1776
And - T.W. Childs,
4th July, 2001