Friday, July 4, 2008

liberty matters

July 4th Weekend

this year marks 232 years since our founding fathers gave us our national birth certificate – The Declaration of Independence.  we continue to be the longest ongoing constitutional republic in the history of the world.  blessings such as these are not by chance or accidental.  they are blessings of God.


have you ever wondered what happened to those 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence? 

five signers were captured by the british as traitors and tortured before they died.  twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.  two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured.  nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.  they all signed and they all pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. 

what kind of men were they?

twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.  eleven were merchants.  nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means and well educated.  but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing that the penalty would be death if they were captured.  here are some individual stories:

carter braxton of virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

thomas mckeam was so hounded by the british that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. he served in the congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. his possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward. 

vandals or soldiers looted the properties of dillery, hall, clymer, walton, gwinnett, heyward, ruttledge, and middleton.

at the battle of yorktown, thomas nelson, jr., noted that the british general cornwallis had taken over the nelson home for his headquarters. he quietly urged general george washington to open fire. the home was destroyed, and nelson died bankrupt.

francis lewis had his home and properties destroyed. the enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

john hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. their 13 children fled for their lives. his fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. for more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. a few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.

norris and livingston suffered similar fates.

such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. these were not wild eyed insurgents.  they were soft-spoken family men of means and education. they had security but they valued liberty more. and the price they paid was steep.

the sacrifices made by our extraordinary early leaders were at great personal risk, as they struggled to unite a young nation.  read the Declaration of Independence this weekend.  it laid down the foundation for the US Constitution, endorsing the fundamental principles of freedom and liberty we still uphold to this day.

it all began at Lexington Green


Lexington Green in Massachusetts, was the first official conflict of the American Revolutionary War.  captain parker and his militiamen faced the british army on the spot.  “stand your ground.  don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here” were the captain’s immortal words to his men on the 19th of April in 1775.


one of the best visual depictions of  the American Revolutionary War is the movie “The Patriot.”  turn up the sound and cheer loudly at the end!

alt :

the price paid for liberty in blood and treasure is high and painful.  but the return is priceless:  freedom to live and thrive and pursue happiness as we choose.  as always, a thank you to those who have served and those who serve today.

be inspired.  happy 4th of july!

ps   one of my cotillion sisters, cassandra, wrote an incredible love letter to america over at her blog.  please go read it.

Posted by zoey in 16:40:00 | Permalink | Comments (5)

Monday, June 9, 2008

al-khaiwani: imprisoning free speech

freedom is never free — ever.  sometimes it costs up to six years of hard labor in a yemeni prison.

you will remember many of us have been blogging about abdul karim al-khaiwani, who has been awaiting sentencing by the government of yemen.  and now we know. 

yemen is a country with little or no regard for human rights, democratic principles, and freedom for their people.  they actively suppress journalists like al-khawani who seek to uncover and promote truth. 

here’s a partial report from jane novak who has been leading the blogging charge:

This from the same court that finds it legal and even admirable when Yemenis murder Iraqis in Iraq. But writing about the Yemeni civilians suffering during Ali Mohsen’s personal jihad in Sa’ada is punishable by six years in jail.

Every journalist in Yemen is much less free now. And so is the world.

“Among those sentenced to jail was Abdul Kareem al-Khaiwani, editor of al-Shura newspaper, who is accused of supporting al-Houthi rebellion in Sa’ada because photos of the fighting in Saada were found with him….

Also he interviewed some of the rebels, ergo he is trying to overthrow the state, as opposed to engaging in normal journalistic practices.”

there has been some real truth to come of this whole al-khaiwani’s ordeal:

At least no one believes the Yemeni regime anymore. The government has been totally discredited on both the “partner in the war on Terror” and the “emerging democracy” fronts. Its pretty clear they are a mafia like tyranny that is more loyal to bin Laden than to the West with no respect for civil rights.

and we can only imagine what this fine yemeni journalist will go through for the next six years.  this has a chilling effect to any progress made toward democratic principles and freedom of speech in places like yemen.  they wanted him dead but for jane’s vigilence, her incredible blogging, and her tireless advocacy. 

Posted by zoey in 18:14:14 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

freedom: priceless

Memorial Day 2008

the irish brigade memorial at gettysburg.  solemn. poignant. fitting. 

an excerpt from the Gettysburg Address:

“The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. 

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1965.  our 16th presdent of the United States.

this vid is set to eric clapton’s “tears in heaven.”  we remember with great gratitude all those who served and gave their lives so that this great land could be free.  and we pray for the families across the country who grieve this weekend for the loss of their dear one.

alt :

all for liberty.

Rolling Thunder came to DC this weekend for it’s 21st run on behalf of POW-MIA’s and veterans issues.  they were 350,000 strong!  they even made President Bush an honorary member.

jonn lilyea of this ain’t hell took incredible pictures of the event and wrote a terrific narrative.  please go check them out here

and finally because of my personal attachment to the Marines, one of the most moving vids around regarding the sacrifice of the american soldier and their family,  is trace adkins’ “arlington.”

alt :

sacred ground — honor, courage, sacrifice.

Posted by zoey in 16:04:04 | Permalink | Comments (8)

Friday, February 22, 2008

freedom’s dance party!

alt :
isn’t this fun?  it’s great to have a president, though so attacked here at home, that can have such fun a continent away.   just one of the many reasons i like president bush! 

in places where freedom is taken for granted, our president and our troops are not received with joy.  but in places like africa where liberty is still longed for and prized, the story is really quite different.  people who have lived under the jackboot of tyranny do not see a swaggering cowboy, a frat boy, a stutterer, a war monger… rather they see someone very different.  a stalwart defender of freedoms.  and they dance.  and he dances with them.

and just because its friday…

here’s one of my favorite pics of 43 just because i know the looney left wingers hate it so.  :P

oh lovely.  another “incredible” vid…  yikes.

kennedy esta loca en la cabeza!


Posted by zoey in 17:55:02 | Permalink | Comments (7)