Friday, July 3, 2009

John to Abigail...

On July 3, 1776, John Adams wrote this letter to Abigail Adams (his wife):

Had a Declaration of Independency been made seven Months ago, it would have been attended with many great and glorious Effects . . . . We might before this Hour, have formed Alliances with foreign States. -- We should have mastered Quebec and been in Possession of Canada .... You will perhaps wonder, how such a Declaration would have influenced our Affairs, in Canada, but if I could write with Freedom I could easily convince you, that it would, and explain to you the manner how. -- Many Gentlemen in high Stations and of great Influence have been duped, by the ministerial Bubble of Commissioners to treat .... And in real, sincere Expectation of this effort Event, which they so fondly wished, they have been slow and languid, in promoting Measures for the Reduction of that Province. Others there are in the Colonies who really wished that our Enterprise in Canada would be defeated, that the Colonies might be brought into Danger and Distress between two Fires, and be thus induced to submit. Others really wished to defeat the Expedition to Canada, lest the Conquest of it, should elevate the Minds of the People too much to hearken to those Terms of Reconciliation which they believed would be offered Us. These jarring Views, Wishes and Designs, occasioned an opposition to many salutary Measures, which were proposed for the Support of that Expedition, and caused Obstructions, Embarrassments and studied Delays, which have finally, lost Us the Province.

All these Causes however in Conjunction would not have disappointed Us, if it had not been for a Misfortune, which could not be foreseen, and perhaps could not have been prevented, I mean the Prevalence of the small Pox among our Troops .... This fatal Pestilence compleated our Destruction. -- It is a Frown of Providence upon Us, which We ought to lay to heart.

But on the other Hand, the Delay of this Declaration to this Time, has many great Advantages attending it. -- The Hopes of Reconciliation, which were fondly entertained by Multitudes of honest and well meaning tho weak and mistaken People, have been gradually and at last totally extinguished. -- Time has been given for the whole People, maturely to consider the great Question of Independence and to ripen their judgments, dissipate their Fears, and allure their Hopes, by discussing it in News Papers and Pamphletts, by debating it, in Assemblies, Conventions, Committees of Safety and Inspection, in Town and County Meetings, as well as in private Conversations, so that the whole People in every Colony of the 13, have now adopted it, as their own Act. -- This will cement the Union, and avoid those Heats and perhaps Convulsions which might have been occasioned, by such a Declaration Six Months ago.

But the Day is past. The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.

I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. -- I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. -- Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.

John got the date wrong – we celebrate July 4th, when the Declaration of Indepdence was issued – but everything else still fits.

If John could somehow be transported to see the current Union and its history, I wonder what he'd think of it? There's much I'm sure he'd be proud of. I'm equally sure he'd be appalled at the degree to which the modern U.S. intrudes upon its citizens. The rate of taxation would astonish him – it far exceeds the tax levels that formed part of the motivation behind the original revolution.

But it would be most interesting to hear his overall “take” on the situation...

On Astrology...

Astrology is a blatantly inexplicable waste of time. Its proponents fall into two categories: informed, soulless charlatans who profit from hoodwinking gullible people, and ignorant putzes who cannot fathom the single digit arithmetic necessary to understand why astrology could not possibly work. It’s a 1970s-era fantasy clung to by the simple-minded who cannot possibly admit that the complexity of their own, boring lives has now exceeded their ability to figure it out for themselves, and as a result they need to blame their self-inflicted misfortunes on imaginary mind powers radiated from space. Astrologers and the people who believe in it are caught up in a mindless fantasy world of spells and crystals. The only difference between astrologers and the dorks who dress up in Hobbit costumes whacking each other with foam swords is that the latter group is smart enough to know, at the end of the day, they really aren’t Middle Earth characters. Grow the foxtrot up, put a brain back in your head, and face up to the fact that you and only you alone are responsible for your life, already.
What he said.

The 2012 Pelosi GTxi SS/RT Sport Edition...

Iowahawk improves an already great parody: