>Independence Day

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“I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” -James Madison

With the weekend’s celebrations lingering in your thoughts, consider your personal level of dependence. Broaden the scope of your understanding beyond political dependence: the laws, officials, civil servants, and military that legitimately preserve nationwide freedoms.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=fitmedia-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0743226720&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrIf you lost your job, how long could you survive on what you have saved? If you get downsized, are you emotionally willing to downsize your lifestyle?

If you have a sudden health issue, do you have the insurance to cover it? Would you still be covered if you lost your job? What about if your insurance company suddenly changes its policy unfavorably? Can you cover the expense from savings?

Consider your debts, subscriptions, and contracts. Can you live without the material goods and services they provide? Do any of them help you pay for the others?

There are a thousand ways in which we become dependent on external systems. Economically, we take support in times of trouble, then conveniently fail fail to give back when things go well. We become increasingly dependent on large institutions to take responsibility for our problems, then become so used to the services that we demand more for less without thought for consequences.

The system encourages us to behave like children—emotionally lusting after material desires. The more they succeed in dumbing us down, the easier we are sold on hype!

Independence is not a choice, but a series of choices. It is created by a spirit of self-sufficiency and a giving heart. There must be sacrifice in times of strife for there to be victory at the end.

FEATURED MEDIA: 1776 – David McCullough gives an enrapturing account of the events of that historic year, beginning with what I feel is a fair treatment of the situation on both sides. He tells of the splendor and good character of George III, and of the many loyalists who resided in the colonies at the time. He also extols the virtues of George Washington, who had just taken command of the then nameless “rabble” which barely constituted an army.

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"I wish we had a Problem-Solver Party because we have very big problems that need solving. And I think a lot of our attention is addressed to the wrong problems."
- David McCullough, author: 1776
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"I know no safe repository of the ultimate power of society but people. And if we think them not enlightened enough, the remedy is not to take the power from them, but to inform them by education."
- Thomas Jefferson
"Fathers and mothers have lost the idea that the highest aspiration they might have for their children is for them to be wise--as priests, prophets or philosophers are wise. Specialized competence and success are all that they can imagine."
- Allan Bloom, author: The Closing of the American Mind
"He that walketh with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed."
(Proverbs 13:20)
"If you are not a thinking man, to what purpose are you a man at all."

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge
"I learn a lot from TV. Everytime someone turns one on, I go in the other room and read a book."
- Groucho Marx, comedian: Duck Soup
"There are two freedoms - the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought."
- Charles Kingsley

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