Once again, we ask our non-US readers to indulge us as we celebrate America’s Independence Day. Because of your Curmudgeon’s cosmic responsibilities, we are always asking ourselves: What can we do to make this a memorable occasion?
First, we must remind you that on this day a year ago, we posted some Earth-shaking news: Amazing Discovery: Eve’s Brassiere Is Found! And we also informed you that — as so often happens on this day — the Discoveroids disgraced themselves again by continuing their gruesome campaign of intellectual body-snatching and quote-mining, when they once more hijacked poor ol’ Thomas Jefferson and claimed him as one of their own — see Discoveroids Again Hijack the Fourth of July.
True to their nefarious tradition, they’ve done it again! This year’s hijacking attempt is On Independence Day, Recalling the Intelligent-Design Views of the Man Who Wrote the Declaration of Independence. It’s the same nonsense we discussed last year, so we won’t waste our time with it.
Instead, we shall follow our own tradition. We always take this occasion to load you up with a bunch of historical links, so we’ll do that once again. Here’s a link to the Declaration of Independence, plus the Articles of Confederation, which — except for a few tweaks — was also drafted in July of 1776, but it wasn’t ratified until 1781. Hey, no collection would be complete without Common Sense by Thomas Paine.
That stuff is about the Revolution. Then there was the often-neglected time when we had ten Presidents before George Washington — see President of the United States in Congress assembled. Finally we come to the Constitution.
Here’s the Federalist Papers — that splendid and still authoritative series of essays by the Constitution’s principal authors, who explain the meaning and purpose of its every clause. The website has a search feature at the bottom of the page. For some wholesome family amusement, invite someone over who insists that the nation was founded on religious principles. Encourage your friend to search through the entire thing for all the religious words he can think of, and then ponder the results.
There’s more where that came from — much more. It’s astounding what you can find at Primary Documents in American History (1763-1815). And you ought to be aware of this: Veto of federal public works bill by James Madison, because pork barrel spending is unconstitutional. Hey –it’s always handy to have a link to Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. Searchable!
We’re not expecting any news today, so it’s up to us to entertain ourselves. Therefore, we’re declaring another Intellectual Free-Fire Zone. As with all our free-fire zones, we’re open for the discussion of pretty much anything — science, politics, economics, whatever — as long as it’s tasteful and interesting. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But avoid flame-wars and beware of the profanity filters.
We now throw open the comments to you, dear reader. Have at it.
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