Independence Forever!


On a warm summer afternoon, June 30, 1826, nearly fifty years to the day of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, a small, informal delegation led by the Reverend George Whitney paid a visit to 90 year-old John Adams in his Quincy, Massachusetts home.  In four days the town would celebrate half a century of freedom from British rule.

Though the Founding Father was very old and feeble, and certainly unable to attend the ceremony, the delegation sought from him a toast to be read on his behalf.  Seated in his library, the former President gave them a simple phrase, “Independence forever!”  Astounded, the visitors asked if he might like to add something to his meager statement, to which Adams replied, “Not a word.”

What President Adams understood, that his visitors obviously did not, was that his toast was far from simple; it was a powerful declaration of American sovereignty.  Such a treasure was priceless and Adams had lived through the entire struggle to gain it.  He desired nothing more than to see the United States of America, a free and independent nation, endure throughout the ages. Continue reading

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The Return of Sedition


“The whole aim of practical politics,” wrote famed journalist H. L. Mencken, “is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

Truer words were never spoken, which begs important questions:  Will our “War on Terror” ever end?  Will our need for national security ever diminish?  Most likely not, as Washington is always on the lookout for more ways to protect us from our “enemies.”  As Vice President Biden told recent graduates at West Point, “Prepare for new threats.”

But new laws designed for our safety threaten to reach deeper and deeper into our private lives with more intrusive surveillance, as many in our government have taken to heart words attributed to Cicero, “In times of war, the law falls silent.” Continue reading