Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present Generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good Use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it. 

(Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 26 April 1777 [electronic edition]. Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society.

Make good use of it, indeed. I hope this has been a joyous Independence Day for you!


Ellen writes about the life issues at Leaven for the Loaf. 

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Today we celebrate the birth of our nation and our own independence at a time when the enemies of both are feverishly active in our republic.  For 242 years our nation has been a beacon lighting the way for all the peoples of this blue planet.  The appearance of our republic has been imitated, but its substance has never duplicated.  Many nation have constitutions, most aren’t worth the parchment they are written on.  Only one other nation holds that its peoples happiness is an important goal.  That is just an obvious difference that you can share with children before tonight’s fireworks.

The core of our republic is that from its founding the primary focus has been on the individual, most other nations focus on groups and group interests.  When our republic has been at its best we have stood up for the individual, when we have been at our worst we have treated people only as a member of a group.   Our crowning achievement is that we welcome new members into our republic and advance together better than any other any other group on earth. That is the “how” of Americas greatness.  The “why” goes back to the pursuit of happiness.

Happiness is an intensely personal concept and a mercurial goal.  We have it as a foundation of our republic.  This more than anything else has inspired people to come here and be a part of the grand experiment.  The pursuit of  happiness is at the same time selfish and noble.  The pursuit of happiness motivates people to try new things and create what has only been dreamed of  before.   The pursuit of happiness brought us to the moon.  It is the power that energizes our economy.  It is what keeps us together, and it can make us move apart.

Since individuals are the focus of our republic, it is true that only individuals can be its saviors.  But it take an individual able to bare up under the burden of that individuality.

“Cautious, careful people, always casting about
to preserve their reputation and social standing,
never can bring about a reform.  Those who are really
in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing
in the world’s estimation, and publicly and privately,
in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised
and persecuted ideas and their advocates,
and bear the consequences…”

– Susan B Anthony​​​​​​​ (1820-1906)

As many times before our republic needs men and women to express the individuality and pursue happiness to defend our republic.  It can’t be done by people that have given up on being happy, but by those that are actively pursuing happiness because they want more.  It doesn’t take 51% of us, but just a few people.  I have ever confidence that there are more than enough of us here now.  Here and there stepping up when it is easier to step back.  Easy isn’t happy.   Which is why easy isn’t in our founding documents or our national character.

Happy Independence Day to all of you, and every one you love, and all Americans everywhere!

Matt O’Brien
President:  Worcester Tea Party

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One of the reasons why I enjoy conducting interviews is the amount I learn but occasionally such knowledge comes at the price of some startling revelations. I had such a moment in the latest interview in my “Interviews with Immigrants” series.

A week ago Tuesday I spoke to Maria, a woman in her late 40 to early 50’s (you didn’t REALLY expect me to ask her age did you?) she something that delighted me, then shocked me, then really brought the Sarah Sanders/Maxine Waters business into focus.

I asked her when she decided to move to the US, she answered talking about visiting her sister in Leominster Ma back in 2003. She was sitting by a pond/lake seeing some young boys and men around and suddenly realized that she felt completely safe, even around these strangers. She had no worries about being robbed, attacked, shot or worse and decided. “This is where I want to live.”

There was joy in her face when she said it which I took a great pleasure and pride it.  This is exactly what the 4th of July is all about…

…but then a bell rang in my head concerning something I had noticed at work for a while.  The Spanish-speaking women when coming from or going to break routinely interlocked their arms with the woman walking next to them. I always thought it looked rather odd, but when Maria brought up her feelings of safety it suddenly clicked that it might be a habit developed for safety from the days before they came here.

I asked both Maria and Christian, our 20-year-old translator about it and they confirmed this was routinely done by woman as a necessary safety measure both in her home country of the Dominican Republic and in Puerto Rico where he was from.

To me the implication of this was horrifying. but it was consistent with three interviews I conducted with people from Iraq, El Salvador and now the Dominican Republic.  In each case women and men commented on the idea of feeling safe here in America compared to their home countries.

This safety in everyday life was a precious thing to them and a powerful draw of America, but I and millions like me took it as the normal state of events, something to be taken for granted.

And that’s when the full horror of the Sanders/Waters business hit me.

We have people on the left, for the sake of winning a few political points and virtue signaling,  putting this safety at risk by trying to expel those they disagree with politically from places of public accommodation and encouraging others to threaten and harass such people both in public and at their homes.

These are tactics that invite a response. I guarantee you well armed Trump voters aren’t going to let themselves or their families get threatened, hurt or killed so Democrats can feel better about themselves or score points with their base. Nor is it likely once Democrats regain power (as they eventually will) that said well armed Trump votes will give those who demanded their harassment a pass in public spaces.  Once this happens it will go from being a fringe to becoming the norm and the ability to go to a shop, eat at a restaurant or even sit at home is safety as a matter of course will become a memory.

This is what fools are throwing away for the sake of anti-Trump obsession and once that safety that you’ve been taking for granted for your entire life, the safety that brought Maria, Alvin and Hanna such joy is gone, it will be hard to get it back.

We still have time to stop this before it happens but I fear they will not realize what they’ve lost till it’s long gone.

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