Happy Birthday Baby…..

Or maybe I should say we have a come a long way baby. Either way I am sure I am not politically correct but then again it is not the first time. I am getting studious on this the Fourth of July,2012.In between sips of my vodka and diet tonic, I am reading the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States Of America. Just like Georgetown.

As for the Declaration you really have to picture beautiful downtown Philly on a hot summer’s day in 1776. Everybody in the Northeast is screaming today because the power has been out for a few days. Can you imagine being cooped up for several days in a small meeting room with your buddies dressed in stockings and wool coats? NO A/C. No fans. Some shower. Some don’t.

A  most striking fact is that these insolent subjects of the king were actually quite religious. Speaking of Divine Providence and The Supreme Creator during their Dear John letter to King George you kind of wonder how we have gotten so secular? I am not saying we should all be one religion but when we quote “life liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” theology does seem to play a role from the very beginning.

Reading further the king doesn’t seem that heinous but on a few points he really struck a nerve. The boys and girls in DC better watch out or TTG might submit a new declaration for your ratification.

Now the Constitution is actually quite amazing first for its simplicity but secondly for its duration. These guys were good. They were to the point and readable. It is intriguing as some of the amendments followed they became more circumspect and verbose. Probably had more lawyers involved.

I like that no title of nobility shall be conferred. But if that is so why do we call Newt, Mr. Speaker and good old slick Willie, Mr. President long after the fact? We do the same for judges, senators and mayors. As a matter of fact I don’t know why doctors always insist their full title be put on their golf bag or locker. You know good old Ted Kenny is located right next to Dr. Bruno Von Lipshitz. Who cares?

The road to amendment is both long and arduous and it should be. For this reason how in God’s name did they get everyone to agree on the Volstead Act which became the 18th amendment in 1919? It did allow for “medicinal whiskey” which why Uncle Louie to this day gets smashed getting himself better on the demon rum. They didn’t repeal it until 1933. By that time Al Capone and other notables had gotten rich. It was time

All my meandering aside they both are really fascinating documents. There really is no provision for healthcare but there is the “promote the general welfare.” One of the bitches with the king was that he threw up too many barriers to immigration. Sound familiar? It provides for the approval by Congress of treaties, judges and ambassadors. But this was meant as a check and balance not a political ploy. It speaks of free exercise of religion but does not say that exercise has to be behind closed doors.

Long and short is that you can read into them any definition you want. That is why we have a Supreme Court and constitutional lawyers. But let’s not get so far afield that we can’t also rely on our own common sense. Let’s spend as much time on the spirit of the law as we do on the letter.

I ask Washington to stop playing games. Those originals did not foresee representatives staying for 20,30,40 years. They did not make provision for entrance of big money in a government “by the people and for the people.” They weren’t bickering. They were trying to get a country started and moving in the right direction.They were young and naïve but it seemed to work.

Let’s say Happy Birthday Baby and hope we are just getting our second wind. We have so much going for us. Let’s not blow it. I don’t need Uncle Sam as a new hospice patient. He has been battered and beaten but he has a lot of fight in him.  Let’s get him back to health. All of us.

As Always

Ted The Great

Factoids:

Betsy Ross was commissioned to sew the first American flag in May or June before the Declaration on July 4,1776

The Liberty Bell was rung to gather all the citizens of Philadelphia to hear the official reading of the Declaration. There was no Weather Channel but I think we can assume it was hot. Damn hot!

Both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on July 4,1826 exactly fifty years after the signing.

The origin of Uncle Sam probably began in 1812, when Samuel Wilson was a meat packer who provided meat to the US Army. The meat shipments were stamped with the initials, U.S. Someone joked that the initials stood for “Uncle Sam”. This joke eventually led to the idea of Uncle Sam symbolizing the United States government.

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