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On the evening of Dec. 16, 1773, some 7,000 angry colonists gathered in and about Old South Church, near Boston Harbor. As they milled around and waited, they were addressed by Samuel Adams, Josiah Quincy and several other recognized leaders.
Out in the harbor, three British ships lay at anchor, loaded to the railings with bales and chests of tea from the East India Company, a large British trading company. The ships were the Dartmouth, the Eleanor and the Beaver, and between them they carried 343 chests of excellent Indian tea valued at about 18,000 English pounds.
The American colonists had reached the tipping point in their resentment of “taxation without representation,” the oppressive and crippling burdens placed on all American enterprise and industry, as the British crown sought to keep these rambunctious colonists under its privileged thumb.
The situation resembled the biblical account of the Pharaoh’s orders to his Israelite slaves to “keep making the bricks for our buildings – but gather your own wood and straw, and pick up the pace, or feel your slavemaster’s whips!”
Although the industrious colonists had found the ways to import tea directly from Holland – with no taxation – the British, with their soldiers and appointed governors, had absolutely forbidden that trade. They declared that the colonists must buy their tea from only the British, and they would pay the tax, no matter how much they protested.
So it was that late in the evening, Samuel Adams gave the appointed signal, “This meeting can do nothing more to save the country” (from inevitable conflict), and 40 or 50 men disguised as Indians, followed by at least 1,000 others, rushed to the wharf and boarded the unguarded ships. Working almost silently for three hours, they took hatchets to the chests and threw all the tea into the harbor.
These men all knew what they were doing and what the result would be. This was a declaration of sheer defiance of the British sovereign, and they had counted the cost. In days following, the great majority of the colonists rallied to their support.
They would be free. The colonies would legislate their own rules and levy their own taxes, in independent and majority decisions. Whatever the price, they would secure liberty for themselves and the generations to come. This was America.
What is America now? And what is it becoming for our future generations?
A wildly irresponsible Congress, acting complicitly with greedy mortgage brokers and bankers, have plunged our economy into crisis. In panic, and in hastily scrambled together proposals, two administrations – one Republican and the other Democrat – have steamrolled legislation that rips from the pockets of bewildered and frightened citizens 750 billion dollars of “bailout” funds, half of it rushed into the palms of bankers and brokers with no restrictions or directions about how it was to be used. The thought was, apparently, that the very ones who caused the collapse would act responsibly to correct it. Quickly, we found out that the banks and lending companies were using the money to shore up their own accounts, and not lending to anybody!
While the citizens were starting to demand accountability, a new administration took over Washington. But with most of the previous hierarchy of both houses of Congress still in place and calling the shots – and over strenuous objections from now-motivated Republicans – the new Democrat regime forced an additional 787 billion dollar “economic stimulus” plan on a dazed, helpless citizenry.
Our president and his Congress insisted this emergency measure had to be enacted immediately to keep the whole country from going bankrupt. He swore the “stimulus plan” would contain no “pork,” no pet projects of the entrenched representatives, that all these billions would go directly into construction projects that would create millions of new jobs and pour billions into the paychecks of struggling middle-Americans.
Ignoring the angry protests of millions of citizens who absolutely did not want to be saddled with over a trillion dollars of new debt, payable “down the road” with freshly printed paper money backed by empty promises, the plan was railroaded through, approved by legislators of both parties who admitted – apparently along with the president himself – that they hadn’t even read all its 700 to 1,000 pages!
Surprise, surprise! Upon closer inspection, it was discovered that Nancy Pelosi had hidden a $30 million dollar program to save some salt mice from possible extinction in the “stimulus” package. Day after day, other similar programs, amounting to billions of taxpayer expense – programs that would contribute nothing to new jobs or paycheck stimulus – were revealed. In a too familiar fashion, legislators were stashing cherished personal projects into a massive debt that you and I and our grandchildren will have to pay.
And as conservative voices were clamoring to remove billions in self-serving and non-emergency programs, President Obama announced his proposed longer-term agenda that would saddle Americans with a $3.6 trillion budget! And as we saw on television, he sounded like one of the British kings, or the Egyptian pharaoh, as he said ominously, “I know that right now, some conservative leaders are mobilizing for a fight over my plans. Well, I’ve got news for them – so am I.”
A startling arrogance, unseen during the long campaign, sprang from the lips of a man who’d been the novice president for less than six weeks. Just three days into his new job, he’d signed an executive order providing $120 million for international “family planning” (i.e. abortion providing) organizations; and his new secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, announced a pledge of more than $900 million for Palestinian relief, somehow placing on all Americans the responsibility of repairing the damage suffered in Gaza as Israel defended herself against Hamas rockets!
Further, he has pledged, as one of his first moves, to reinstate the so-called “Fairness Doctrine,” whose purpose is to throttle conservative dissent in the media.
Fellow citizen, how does all this sound to you? Have you approved all this, even had a voice in the decisions? I haven’t – I don’t approve any of it, and I don’t like it!
Take some heart, though. There is a modern-day Samuel Adams who is mobilizing dissent and counter-action as you read this. His name is Grover Norquist, and his Americans for Tax Reform are the aroused and determined “Indians” mobilizing and leading grass-roots power (you and me and our neighbors) to demand our constitutional right to have the final say about where our tax dollars go, and what kind of long-term, impossible debt we’ll accept! Please go to the website, read what the plans and objectives and strategies are – and enlist for the war party.
We are being taxed without representation. We cannot allow a president and legislature to bail themselves and their friends out by signing our names to trillions of dollars in debt!
It’s time for the tea party to start – right now.