The 4th of July
A Special Holiday Collaboration by Gazette Columnists B. Bea Sharper and Tiger Tom–Their First Collaboration Ever
Facts You May Not Know About Signers of the Declaration of Independence
by B. Bee Sharper
Number of men who signed the Declaration of Independence: 56.
Number of these who were captured by the British as traitors and tortured before they died: 5.
Number who had their homes pillaged and burned: 12.
Number who died from wounds from the Revolutionary War: 9.
Number who had sons killed or captured while serving in the Revolutionary Army: 4.
Number who were lawyers or jurists: 24.
Number who were farmers and wealthy plantation owners: 9.
Number who were merchants: 11.
Number who had a lot to lose when they stuck their their necks out by signing a treasonous document directed against their own government: 56.
Safe Patriotism, or Stuff They Didn’t Tell You About The Declaration of Independence in School
by Tiger Tom
Most American-style people, I have noticed, think that the 4th of July was invented so people can shoot off some firecrackers, or watch some “professionals” shoot off some firecrackers for them (which is what I, Tiger Tom, often refer to as “safe fireworksing”). Or they go to some lake or other and get baked . Or they get drunk, or they go to a baseball game, The real patriots might even get drunk and go to a baseball game. Or they sit at home and watch other people getting drunk at a baseball game on television (which is what I, Tiger Tom, often refer to as “safe baseballing”).
Usually here in Denton, Texas, the local newspaper trots out its good old editorial about how lucky we are to live in the land of the free and prints up some old pictures from its files that show kids playing in lawn sprinklers in the good old summertime and others of families participating in safe fireworksing or getting baked. They always print a heartwarming letter to the editor from the local Budweiser dealer about how patriotic it is to drink beer on the 4th of July. Beer, according to Budweiser Bill, is a great American tradition and all the guys in wigs who signed the Declaration were big beer drinkers who knew when to say when, which is what he says he wants us to do. (I, Tiger Tom, do not believe this for a minute. He does not tell us that if all the drunks started saying when, the Budweiser company would last about as long as a cherry popsickle in the fiery furnace into which Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego were cast. But that, of course, is another story which I, Tiger Tom, will one day tell you under the title “The Alcohol Industry’s Nasty Little Secret”.)
Another thing that I, Tiger Tom, have noticed about Americans is that when they get really steamed up about some great social injustice (like the high price of gasoline–I mean, somereally important issue like that), they get all pissed off and fire off an email letter, or more usually forward an email letter written by some organization, then they sit back and patriotically have a Budweiser and forget about the whole thing. They don’t put themselves at a lot of risk or go to a lot of trouble. And this is what I, Tiger Tom, call “safe patriotism.”
|“The Evil Doers hate us for our clean water.”–Dick Cheney.Model 77–“The World’s Greatest $77 Water Filter.”|
Now, for the guys in wigs who signed the Declaration, safe patriotism did not exist. These were all guys who had a lot to lose. Their money, their families, their asses.. Some of them got their houses burned down and some of them were captured and tortured and killed. Some of them lost sons. One guy, John Hart, lost his wife and 13 children and had to live hiding in forests and caves. He finally died from exhaustion. Another guy named Thomas McKeam had to keep his family in hiding and the British took away all his property. He lived and died in poverty. Thomas Nelson asked George Washington to destroy his home so the British could not use it as their headquarters. He was forced into bankruptcy. A rich man from Virginia named Thomas Braxton who signed the Declaration had his ships destroyed by the British navy and had to sell his home to pay his debts. He died in rags.
The biggest misunderstanding that Americans seem to have about the Revolutionary War is that it was really a Civil War. People think it was the Americans vs. the British. It wasn’t. It was a bunch of British guys telling their own government to get screwed. The revolt was not against a foreign government; it was against their own government. They were guys telling their own government they weren’t going to obey its laws. Sort of what the guys at Waco did, when you come to think of it.
I, Tiger Tom, say it is time we do some serious considering about the sacrifices these guys made and the principles they stood for. And I, Tiger Tom, say it’s time we seriously kick some political ass and get rid of the greedy jerks that our one party system has spawned and put us in some representatives who respect the principles expressed in the Declaration of Independence. We enjoy greater liberty than anyone on earth, but our liberties are shrinking. We need to stick our necks out a little to protect them.
I, Tiger Tom, say that patriotism, real patriotism, like real sex, is never safe. And I, Tiger Tom, also say that although Budweiser Bill should be cast into the fiery furnace along with Shadrack et al. and roasted until his liver pops out, I, Tiger Tom, will defend his right to say any slimy, self-serving thing about Independence Day that he wants to.