Fourth of July Fireworks

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My varmint loving terrier-terror dogs hate the Fourth of July holiday. Fireworks are not one of their favorite things. Speaking of Rogers and Hammerstein here in Covid California most if not all of the public July 4th celebrations have been officially cancelled. According to His Nuisance, historical celebrations are not approved protest marches.

It appears it is fine to attempt to reconstruct US history and no longer necessary to remember or, God Forbid, celebrate our history. Funny thing. No doubt. The holiday will remain a paid one for all state workers?

The fireworks thing has gone from bad to worse this year. Seems as though many of my rowdier neighbors have decided they will host their own personal fireworks displays for the entire week.
I guess they noticed the PD and FD gear up a bit more on July 3rd and July 4th.
Are these the people who watch all the cat videos on YouTube? Someone must.

We have a bunch of protests, riots, and systematic looting. Two weeks later we have a spike in Covid cases? Now we have a new Covid crisis where we don’t? Am I missing something?

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Boom. Bang. Bang.

I happily live in an “ethnically diverse”, blue-collar neighborhood on the proverbial south-side of the tracks. Bang Bang caliber noises in the night may mean a variety of disturbing things around here.

One summer night a few years ago, we had actual masked store robbers flee through the yard after they made a very bad, wrong turn during their getaway. Brilliant. They demonstrated the better part of valor immediately when they jumped the fence. They quickly hopped back out of our yard and the mighty grasps of our resident terror dogs. The varmint lovers were disappointed and somewhat chagrined as dogs can be. The sheepish Bad Boys did their job…If fireworks had been involved - not so much. Spineless curs says it all.

Occasionally, the neighborhood’s noisy night may involve ambulances, fire trucks, and flashing police lights. You know the drill. The normal order of arrival here seems noteworthy.
The 911 vehicles arrive.
Rarely do the folks in them ever leave the vehicles until the police and their guns arrive.

Since it always seems to happen, one can assume this is policy.

“Ok. Bob.
We have a disturbed person with a knife killing family members in there.
SWUHCMART (Social Worker Urban Household Crisis Management Action Response Team) is about 30 minutes out.
Sorry. You know it is a government holiday.
They’re all a bit delayed trying to leave the agency BBQ down at Government Center.
The Mayor is honoring them all with the city’s first Diversity and Sustainability Medals today.
Do we go in now and try to rescue the wounded?
Bob, you are right about the official policy and the union contract rules.
But there’s a kid bleeding out on the front porch.”

The SWUHCMART agency is pronounced Sooh Smart.  Cute huh?
Their logo is the iconic clenched fist crushing a human brain with lightning bolts shooting out.
No animal brains were employed producing the agency logo.
The agency disavows any associations implied or assumed with violence and hate and has no relationships to prior police agencies, police unions, or the military.
The agency is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The agency will not hire any persons with previous Criminal Justice education, conflict resolution experience, or military experience of any kind.

This July 4th

Here’s the real crazy making. What I describe above in satire has already happened in many major metros in the US before this July 4th weekend in 2020. I merely played with the names and employed a small bit of hyperbole. The same bad policy making decisions and government by accusation underly actions taken in most urban environments in the latter half of the 20th century and our current one.

You pay us in votes. Those allow us to be paid handsomely to generally spout spin and nonsense. Why are you surprised we want to reroute funds to people who believe us and pay little or no attention to actual problems. We have a state-of-the-art website to handle complaints.

Symptoms of Disease

Most pandemics in world history have almost all included periods of serious rioting and rampant looting.
When Acts of God occur, human chaos comes with the territory.
The Red Summer of 1919 after the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1917- 1919 comes to mind.
Frankly, it is almost impossible to find exceptions.
Human fear is a great motivator for further bad human behavior and mob violence.

Did any political leadership anywhere that you recall ever bother to publicly mention this impending potential “post traumatic” effect in the last few months?
I’d guess no one wanted to give anyone bad ideas?
Like most of the crime problems are the fault of people with good ideas?

I’d quote Disraeli, but the Boomer people might think I mean a Cream rock album. The Strange Brew is the chain of causalities. Eheh.

Conspiracy theories aside, obviously some students of activist history planned for it and/or are all too willing to take advantage of the common rioting and looting periods for personal political and financial gain.

Government By Accusation

The Shouts of the Accuser are nothing more than sound and fury signifying nothing. All sorts of allusions and literary references there if you catch my drift.

Governance by Accusation cannot and demonstrably does not work except to congeal power into the hands of the wicked. Its roots are spiritually inhuman to the core and morally corrupt by any wholesome measure or definition.

This is particularly true when those accusations portend to reveal and rest upon the unknowable intentions of others.

Why We Celebrate the Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence is not a list of accusations as has been falsely ascribed by some in the current political morass. Nothing new about people trying to do that. The truth of the matter may be even more disturbing.

Our Declaration is not a call to or for activist violence, but a declaration for the more righteous behavior required for all governments of all men to aspire to and for in the future.

Almost all the signers were thoughtful prosperous men with substantial families, businesses, and fortunes they put at ultimate risk of life and loss for a something they believed to be more worthy than themselves. The liberty they talked about was an existing demonstrated freedom to govern themselves. This is quite the opposite of the desire to destroy the lives and property of others for political and financial gain.

Most of them already had power and means aplenty. Each had little to gain and much more to lose by putting their necks in the hangman’s noose. Yet, they did. Most of them did suffer the serious consequences for their actions. Only two signers ever became President. The two Presidents both died on July 4, 1826. They both argued until that day about whether to celebrate on that particular day.

Contrary to popular educational myth the signers did not pursue some vague falsehood or future governmental architectural fantasy but a substantial and real form of successful and albeit painful form of government with which they were already all too familiar. The American colonies were already self-governed with legislative governments to one degree or another. Local government autonomy and local accountability and taxation were the substantive issues of the moment.

It is telling that our first two political parties were the Federalist Party and the Anti-Federalist or Democrat-Republican Party. If that appears confusing, it should not be.

The Federalists contended that the Constitution did not require what we now call the Bill of Rights because those specific powers were not a federal power and thus those rights were already in the hands of the State governments and importantly the people themselves. The Anti-Federalists called for a Bill of Rights to be formally amended to the Constitution to guarantee the constraint of powers of the federal government.

Many people these days would be totally surprised by the first States to threaten and act to succeed from the United States and why.

The signers certainly were not protesting for anything like the modern twisted term - social justice.
John Adams had defended the British militia men who fired on angry mob of colonial protestors in Boston.
Jefferson had defended the June 1769 Anti-Inoculation smallpox rioters even though Jefferson supported and had personally employed the practice of smallpox inoculation himself.

Putrid politics and pandemics seem to go together.

It would be safe (but politically incorrect) to say that almost all the signers would ascribe to some variation of the belief that citizenship and the right to vote were something everyone made by the Creator had the right to earn.

“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.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

An unalienable right to vote (and many other dubious postmodern proclaimed rights) is demonstrably absent both here and in the Constitution intentionally. The concept that a supernumerary federal government might define who could participate in the governments of the individual States and/or local governments was understandably abhorrent to most, if not all, delegates.

Those same forms of usurpation of unrepresented political power are exactly what they are Declaring their Independence from and for good reason.

Skin in the Game

Both an investment in local property and public testimonies of personal character were deemed by all to be important and vital to the necessary self-interest required in all democratic governmental processes in the proposed government.

Why? These not so simple tests were known and proven to work historically. In all States the right to vote could be taken away if a citizen was found guilty by a jury of their peers to be a felon. The complimentary act of Pardon existed to restore the right if deemed appropriate.

A 4Th of July celebration was/is historically and commonly a political event. Most suffrage and other US historical political movements employed the day as such hoping to attach their cause to the Declaration of Independence itself by mere association.

This on-going July 4th political theatre is one significant reason why it took almost a century (June 28, 1870) for Independence Day to become an official federal holiday approved by Congress and signed by the President. Arguably that event only occurred because the other three popular holidays New Year’s Day, Christmas, and Thanksgiving were also included.

Once a year everyone should read and hear the entire Declaration of Independence

Testimony is what the day is there for.

The Declaration of Independence is a notice from a delegated legislative body to the British government. This is not a list of activist demands. The actual list of offenses in the Declaration is telling and often avoided by the political plagiarists. This is a sure sign of sin and spin you might say.

All the listed offenses concern actions deemed by that legislature to be improper and usurpations of the powers over their existing fellow citizens and their existing colonial governments in which they were active participants.

The Liberty they declare is the Liberty to govern themselves responsibly. The Tyrannies expressed are arbitrary acts of power towards their existing citizens and their existing colonial governments.

The signers are representative delegates of the 13 separate colonial governments together informing the King’s government they were now together founding a new standing governmental authority separate from his own.

Each person who signed this declaration signed for a thought out legislative, governmental, and religious reasons. More than one of the 56 signing delegates was not the official lead delegate from their respective State. The signing delegates had to both be chosen and to volunteer. Some signed for others which is very disconcerting when you consider the consequences.

Technically, the colonists were already in an active war with the British Empire since April 19, 1775. This wasn’t a riot. American militia troops had already besieged the British army in Boston.

This Continental Congress had an army of their own. There were 13 more being assembled to make the point. The Continental Army was formed over a year earlier on June 14, 1775 by the same Second Continental Congress. Since I’m named after either the second or first US Army veteran commissioned on that day (depending on the story you want to believe) that is easy for me to remember. Washington arrived in Boston to take command of the American militia forces on July 3, 1775.

The Articles of Confederation were ratified by the States on Nov 15, 1777. This effectively legalized the Continental Congress as a very limited national government.

It took the Continental Army 6 ½ years from April 1775 until the British surrender at Yorktown on Oct 19, 1781 to make the point a reality in practice. Many colonists considered that surrender day in October to be independence day for many years and celebrated it as such.

The United Kingdom officially recognized American independence by signing the Treaty of Paris of 1783 signed on Sept 3, 1783.

The Constitutional Convention began on May 25, 1787 to fix the problems with the Articles of Confederation.

The Constitution (without the Bill of Rights) officially replaced the Articles of Confederation on March 4, 1789.

Washington took the oath of office as the first US President on April 30, 1789 – 7 ½ years after the victory at Yorktown and 14 years after becoming the commander of the Continental Army.

The last State ratified the Constitution on May 29, 1790 notably after the US already had established the United States constitutional republic as a government with a President, Congress, Senate, and Supreme Court.

The Bill of Rights – the first 10 Constitutional amendments were officially ratified by the required majority of States by Dec. 15, 1791. Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Georgia did not officially ratify the initial 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights until 150 years later in 1939.

The Rest of the Story

I attempted to draw careful attention to the long time scales involved and the apparent and inconsistencies frequently glossed over in many modern American Revolutionary narratives.

The tradition of the July 4th weekend began long before the Declaration of Independence as both political protest (you might bury or hang the King or other interested parties in effigy), local political celebrations, and/or both.

The Continental Congress delegates picked the weekend for the Declaration of Independence on purpose and not by chance.

My namesake was the only person ever officially allowed armed into the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, and Congress. That fact alone speaks volumes as to the nature and heated passions of the long winded and prolonged political debates involved.

The entire July 4th story is indeed a lot like an unplanned fireworks display with the whole rowdy neighborhood involved like it or not.

Boom. Bang. Bang
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