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.
— Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
than 200 years, those words were the simple, poetic, common
background of our American experience. We memorized them in school,
accepted them as self-evident, and got on with our American lives.
after 1776, "Men" became "men and women of all races;" our "Creator"
was generally accepted to be either a personal God, the Life-force,
or a kind of evolutionary order; and the phrase "Life, Liberty and
the pursuit of Happiness" continued to throb in the pulses of our
American souls. Despite wars, economic downturns, political
silliness or corruption, all was well with the United States of
America because we all knew "who we are."
of us look at each other and ask, "Who the heck are you and what
have you done with my country?"
week I wrote about health insurance instead of the proposed new
energy tax bill because the "Obama health-care plan" seemed more
imminent. However, on June 24 ABC ran a disorganized news special
from the White House during which the president couldn't answer any
questions, rambling off into vague, general statements that never
did tell us if the plan will have a public component or levy new
taxes on health insurance policies. When Sen. Judd Gregg, the one
token Republican presence, was asked by a reporter about President
Obama's plan, he said, accurately, "There is no plan."
Meanwhile, the "cap-and-trade" energy bill, which wasn't supposed to
come up in the House until after the July 4 holiday recess, was
rushed to the floor last Friday.
Republicans kept demanding that there be a copy of the "energy tax"
bill in the House chamber during the debate, forcing Massachusetts
Congressman Ed Markey to insist that since the 1,300-page bill had
been on the Internet for several hours, that should be good enough
for an informed vote.
Republicans brought a paper copy to the microphone, it became
obvious why Obama and the Democratic leaders were trying to rush it
through without analysis. House Minority Leader John Boehner read
sections aloud, informing the members about some of its provisions.
sample of what I heard him read about only the real-estate section:
appraisers will have to go to school to learn to value buildings
based on their energy efficiency. You will need to fill out an
environmental survey before you sell your home and modernize it,
energy-wise, before the sale. Banks must give their customers an
energy analysis of the bank building so consumers can decide if they
want to give that bank their business depending on whether it's
"green" enough (of course this will eventually apply to all
favorite: When a potential buyer applies to Fannie Mae or Freddie
Mac, he can adjust his annual income by the presumed potential
savings of any energy improvements. Say your income is $40,000. You
can add the annual savings from having an energy-saver water heater,
increasing your "income" to say $40,200 for the purposes of getting
making this up. Apparently no one has learned anything from what
went wrong with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans last year.
majority of House members enthusiastically voted for the bill they
hadn't read, approving federal control over those aspects of our
economy that use fuel — which is all of them.
To save the planet, of course.
what? From global warming. Make that global cooling. What the heck,
from climate change, whichever way it's going.
least, could we do what Charlie Baker suggests?
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care CEO, a former Swampscott selectmen and
potential Republican candidate for governor in 2010, was discussing
the commonwealth's health insurance law at a Marblehead Republican
Town Committee function last weekend. He said the mistake that was
made by Massachusetts politicians was to pass a giant,
solve-it-all-tomorrow proposal instead of addressing the issue one
bite at a time, over several years, so we can learn as we go.
and Congress are taking the same wrong, overreaching approach with
national health insurance and the national energy bill. We got to
where we are today slowly, incrementally, and should move forward to
address problems the same way.
us cares about Mother Earth, but only some people care about using
her to enhance the power, size and revenues of government, its
politicians and bureaucrats. We need a clean environment for Life,
and we need limited government for Liberty, which we need for any
chance at Happiness for ourselves and our descendants.
of offspring: My son the liberal who lives in Nevada, gave me a
year's membership in the Sierra Club, complete with a polar-bear
puppet, for Mother's Day. For his birthday this week, I sent a
campaign contribution to Sharron Angle, who is challenging Majority
Leader Harry Reid for his Nevada U.S. Senate seat next year.
birthday, kiddo, and a happy ongoing Independence Day to us all.