Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Founding Fathers ... Signers of the Declaration of Independence
John Trumbull's painting depicting the drafting committee of the Declaration of Independence
Interesting facts about the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence! Twenty-four were lawyers / jurists.
Eleven were merchants.
Nine were farmers and large plantation owners.
Five 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 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War. They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
And while many know of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, John Adams, and other famous signers . . . here is what happened to several of the lesser known ones...
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 McKean 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.
Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Rutledge, and Middleton had their properties looted by vandals or soldiers.
Thomas Nelson Jr., at the battle of Yorktown, 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 or war hungry . . . They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged . . .
"For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."
So, every July 4th . . . take a moment to silently remember these first USA patriots for doing what was needed, regardless of consequences to themselves . . . And do the same for all of the heroes who have followed them, as their noble efforts allow us to continue to celebrate Independence Day as it was meant to be!
Freedom is priceless . . . as its costs are the lives given valiantly to have it!
A speech by a founding father.
Speech About the Declaration of Independence
(Before the Continental Congress - August 1, 1776)
WE ARE now on this continent, to the astonishment of the world, three millions of souls united in one cause. We have large armies, well disciplined and appointed, with commanders inferior to none in military skill, and superior in activity and zeal. We are furnished with arsenals and stores beyond our most sanguine expectations, and foreign nations are waiting to crown our success by their alliances. There are instances of, I would say, an almost astonishing Providence in our favor; our success has staggered our enemies, and almost given faith to infidels; so we may truly say it is not our own arm which has saved us.
The hand of Heaven appears to have led us on to be, perhaps, humble instruments and means in the great providential dispensation, which is completing. We have fled from the political Sodom; let us not look back, lest we perish and become a monument of infamy and derision to the world. For can we ever expect more unanimity and a better preparation for defense; more infatuation of counsel among our enemies, and more valor and zeal among ourselves? The same force and resistance, which are sufficient to procure us our liberties will secure us a glorious independence and support us in the dignity of free, imperial states. We cannot suppose that our opposition has made a corrupt and dissipated nation more friendly to America, or created in them a greater respect for the rights of mankind. We can therefore expect a restoration and establishment of our privileges, and a compensation for the injuries we have received, from their want of power, from their fears, and not from their virtues. The unanimity and valor, which will effect an honorable peace, can render a future contest for our liberties unnecessary. He who has strength to chain down the wolf is a madman if he let him loose without drawing his teeth and paring his nails.
We have no other alternative than independence, or the most ignominious and galling servitude. The legions of our enemies thicken on our plains; desolation and death mark their bloody career; whilst the mangled corpses of our countrymen seem to cry out to us as a voice from Heaven.
Our union is now complete; our constitution composed, established, and approved. You are now the guardians of your own liberties. We may justly address you, as the decemviri did the Romans, and say: "Nothing that we propose can pass into a law without your consent. Be yourselves, O Americans, the authors of those laws on which your happiness depends."
You have now in the field armies sufficient to repel the whole force of your enemies and their base and mercenary auxiliaries. The hearts of your soldiers beat high with the spirit of freedom; they are animated with the justice of their cause, and while they grasp their swords can look up to Heaven for assistance. Your adversaries are composed of wretches who laugh at the rights of humanity, who turn religion into derision, and would, for higher wages, direct their swords against their leaders or their country. Go on, then, in your generous enterprise, with gratitude to Heaven for past, success, and confidence of it in the future. For my own part, I ask no greater blessing than to share with you the common danger and common glory. If I have a wish dearer to my soul than that my ashes may be mingled with those of a Warren and a Montgomery, it is that these American States may never cease to be free and independent.
Samuel Adams served in the Continental Congress and was governor of Massachusetts from 1794 to 1797. He was also the second cousin of John Adams, second President of the USA.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Obama's true colors are showing more and more with his latest actions towards Israel and her leadership during the Gaza terrorist invasion. His lack of knowledge of Israel/America history and obvious connection with Hamas and his ever appearing Radical Muslim beliefs are exposing him more and more to the American people as the sleeper cell terrorist that he is and hopefully his actions will awaken the citizens to move to impeach him. Let us revisit the long history of our country and Israel's friendship as featured in the Israeli Embassy materials.
"It is our pleasure to introduce to you the first edition of Israel and the United States: Friends, Partners, Allies, a publication of the Embassy of Israel in Washington, D.C. The strength of the relationship between Israel and the United States is a testament to our friendship, partnership and alliance. The friendship between Israel and the United States runs deep-shared values, economic partnership, strategic cooperation, humanitarian assistance and cultural ties.
Only eleven minutes after Israel declared its independence in 1948, President Harry Truman recognized the new Jewish State. Since this time, all the leaders of the United States have expressed their support for the State of Israel, and the people of both countries have continually nurtured, promoted and developed their shared values and interests.
The goal of this publication is to celebrate the relationship between Israel and the United States. We hope you use this information as a starting point for further study about the State of Israel. Websites listed throughout the chapters will guide you to more in-depth information about each of these themes.
The unique and special relationship between Israel and the United States is multifaceted, heartfelt and strong. Our partnership is bound to expand and progress in the years to come.
President Harry Truman
"I had faith in Israel before it was established, I have in it now. I believe it has a glorious future before it - not just another sovereign nation, but as an embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization."
President Dwight Eisenhower
"Our forces saved the remnant of the Jewish people of Europe for a new life and a new hope in the reborn land of Israel. Along with all men of good will, I salute the young state and wish it well."
President John F. Kennedy
"Israel was not created in order to disappear-Israel will endure and flourish. It is the child of hope and home of the brave. It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success. It carries the shield of democracy and it honors the sword of freedom."
President Lyndon Johnson
"Our society is illuminated by the spiritual insights of the Hebrew prophets. American and Israel have a common love of human freedom, and they have a common faith in a democratic way of life."
President Richard Nixon
"Americans admire a people who can scratch a desert and produce a garden. The Israelis have shown qualities that Americans identify with: guts, patriotism, idealism, a passion for freedom. I have seen it. I know. I believe that."
President Gerald Ford
"Americans and Israelis have both been inspired by moral aims. Indeed, my commitment to the security and to the future of Israel is based upon basic morality as well as enlightened self-interest. Our role in supporting Israel honors our own heritage."
President Jimmy Carter
"The survival of Israel is not a political issue, it is a moral imperative. That is my deeply held belief and it is the belief that is shared by the vast majority of the American people... a strong secure Israel is not just in Israel's interest. It's in the interest of the United States and in the interest of the entire free world."
President Ronald Reagan
"For the people of Israel and America are historic partners in the global quest for human dignity and freedom. We will always remain at each other's side."
President George H.W. Bush
"The United States and Israel have enjoyed a friendship built on mutual respect and commitment to democratic principles. Our continuing search for peace in the Middle East begins with a recognition that the ties uniting our two countries can never be broken."
President Bill Clinton
"America and Israel share a special bond. Our relationship is unique among all nations. Like America, Israel is a strong democracy, a symbol of freedom, and an oasis of liberty, a home to the oppressed and persecuted."
President George W. Bush
"We will speak up for our principles and we will stand up for our friends in the world. And one of our most important friends is the State of Israel... My administration will be steadfast in supporting Israel against terrorism and violence, and in seeking the peace for which all Israelis pray."
Israel and the United States are both democracies that hold liberty in the highest regard. Moreover, Israel is the sole democracy in the Middle East. In our respective regions and throughout the world, we are examples of the democratic values of peace, freedom, and justice.
As democracies, both Israel and the United States are committed to freedom, equality and tolerance for all people regardless of religion, race or gender. Freedoms of conscience, speech, assembly and press are embedded in the fabric of both American and Israeli society.
While Israel was established as a homeland for the Jewish people, Israeli society is a mosaic of many peoples including Jews, Arabs, Druze and Circassians. All Israeli citizens enjoy full and equal rights.
The alliance between Israel and the United States will always endure because it is built upon a solid foundation of shared democratic values.
Like the United States, Israel is in large part a nation of immigrants. Israel has welcomed newcomers inspired by Zionism, the Jewish national liberation movement. Zionism is an expression of the Jewish yearning to live in their historical homeland, the Land of Israel. The largest numbers of immigrants have come to Israel from countries in the Middle East and Europe where Jews have been persecuted.
The United States has played a special role in assisting Israel with the complex task of absorbing and assimilating masses of immigrants in short periods of time. Soon after Israel's War of Independence, President Truman offered $135 million in loans to help Israel cope with the arrival of thousands of refugees from the Holocaust. Within the first three years of Israel's establishment, the number of immigrants more than doubled the Jewish population of the country.
Mass immigrations have continued throughout Israeli history. Since 1989, Israel absorbed approximately one million Jews from the former Soviet Union. The United States worked with Israel to bring Jews from Arab countries, Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union to Israel, and has assisted in their absorption into Israeli society.
The cornerstone of the vibrant U.S.-Israel economic relationship is the 1985 Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the first FTA ever signed by the United States. Over the last 20 years the FTA has enabled a sevenfold expansion of bilateral trade. Israel has become one of the largest trading partners of the U.S. in the Middle East and Israel's prime export destination is the United States. The Israeli and American economies share common commitments to a free market, competitiveness, active support of international trade liberalization and of the multilateral trading system. There is constant dialogue between the governments of Israel and the United States to upgrade their economic relationship and to ensure a continued prosperous partnership.
Several regional America-Israel Chambers of Commerce exist to facilitate expansion by Israeli and merican companies into each other's markets. American companies such as Motorola, IBM, Microsoft and Intel chose Israel to establish major R&D centers. Remarkably, Israel has more companies listed on the NASDAQ than any country outside North America.
Fostering the Growth of High Technology
An astonishing 70% of Israel's exports are in the high-tech sector. Per capita, Israel has more high-tech startups, scientists, engineers, civilian research and development spending, venture capital investments and patents registered in the United States than any other country in the world.
Additionally, with one of the world's best educated and most entrepreneurial workforces, Israel is well placed to be a global technological leader for decades to come.
There are a variety of foundations dedicated to developing cooperation between Israel and the United States. The Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD), the U.S.-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD) and the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) are three foundations that generate mutually beneficial cooperation in industrial research and development, technological innovation, agriculture and scientific research.
BARD has funded over 870 research projects in locations throughout most of the fifty states. The estimated dollar benefits to the United States of ten BARD projects will total $440 million through the year 2010. BIRD supports approximately fifteen projects annually in the field of R&D with a total investment of around $11 million per year. BSF has supported nearly 4000 cooperative research programs and many BSF grantees have gone on to win prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize
The U.S. and Israel are engaged in extensive strategic, political and military cooperation. This cooperation is broad and includes American aid, intelligence sharing, joint military exercises, and a mutual commitment to defending democracy. American military aid to Israel comes in different forms, including grants, special project allocations and loans. Approximately 75% of this aid is spent in the United States, providing American jobs, buttressing the American defense industry, and generating economic growth.
Memorandum of Understanding
to address threats to security in the Middle East, including joint military exercises and readiness activities, cooperation in defense trade and access to maintenance facilities. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding marked the beginning of close security cooperation and coordination between the American and Israeli governments. Comprehensive cooperation between Israel and the United States on security issues became official in 1981 when Israel's Defense Minister Ariel Sharon and American Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger signed a Memorandum of Understanding that recognized "the common bonds of friendship between the United States and Israel and builds on the mutual security relationship that exists between the two nations." The memorandum called for several measures.
Arrow Missile System
One facet of the U.S.-Israel strategic relationship is the joint development of the Arrow Anti-Ballistic Missile Program. Designed to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles, the Arrow is the most advanced missile defense system in the world. The development is funded by both Israel and the United States. Not only does the Arrow protect Israel, it has also provided the U.S. the research and experience necessary to develop additional defensive weapons systems.
In April 1996, President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Shimon Peres signed the U.S.-Israel Counter-terrorism Accord. The two countries agreed to further cooperation in information sharing, training, investigations, research and development and policymaking.
At the federal, state and local levels there is close Israeli-American cooperation on Homeland Security. Israel was one of the first countries to cooperate with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in developing initiatives to enhance homeland security. In this framework, there are many areas of partnership, including preparedness and protection of travel and trade. American and Israeli law enforcement officers and Homeland Security officials regularly meet in both countries to study counter-terrorism techniques and new ideas regarding intelligence gathering and threat prevention.
In December 2005, the United States and Israel signed an agreement to begin a joint effort to detect the smuggling of nuclear and other radioactive material by installing special equipment in Haifa, Israel's busiest seaport. This effort is part of a nonproliferation program of the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration that works with foreign partners to detect, deter, and interdict illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive materials.
The Israel Space Agency (ISA) was established in 1983 to support space-related research in areas such as electronics, computers, electro-optics and imaging techniques.
Israel is one of only eight countries in the world to develop, produce and launch its own satellites. In addition, Israel has developed powerful rockets and initiated important space-related research projects. Israeli scientists have participated in NASA projects and both countries have benefited from cooperative research.
hen NASA launched the space shuttle Columbia on January 16, 2003, the seven crewmembers.
on board included the first Israeli astronaut, Col. Ilan Ramon. Ramon conducted several Israeli-designed experiments during the sixteen day mission, including the Mediterranean Israeli Dust Experiment, studying desert dust as a crucial factor of global warming. He took many photos over Israel using an Israeli camera specially designed for the mission.
After a successful two-week mission, the Space Shuttle Columbia tragically exploded over Texas during re-entry, killing all the crew members. Despite this tragedy, Israel and the United States intend to continue to work together to expand the frontiers of science.
The American Red Cross and Magen David Adom
Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel's first aid and disaster relief organization, finally became a full member of the International Red Cross in June 2006, after 58 years of rejection. MDA was not accepted because it uses the Star of David as its symbol, which was not recognized by the Geneva Conventions.
American support for MDA's inclusion came from a number of U.S. Presidents and many members of the U.S. Congress. This issue was a top priority of the American Red Cross as they advocated tirelessly on MDA's behalf. To protest MDA's rejection, the American Red Cross withheld dues to the International Red Cross for seven years (a total of $42 million).
MDA's admission was based on the adoption of a third neutral international symbol, the "Red Crystal." MDA will be allowed to use the Star of David when operating in Israel, while in foreign countries, the Star of David will be placed inside the Red Crystal.
MDA has served in crisis spots around the world alongside the American Red Cross and other international bodies, bringing emergency relief to victims of natural disasters, terror attacks and other tragedies. MDA shares its expertise with the international community- including cutting edge technologies, life saving methods in mass casualty events, and scientific innovations.
With the long-standing Jewish belief in the primacy of education, it is not surprising that education in Israel is a fundamental value recognized as the key to the future. As in America, Israeli education is built on strong values: love of the land and the principles of liberty and tolerance.
Israel's workforce is one of the most highly educated in the world, with 24% of Israel's workforce holding university degrees. Israel has eight universities, over fifty undergraduate and graduate colleges, many art and design schools and research institutions. Taking advantage of Israel's excellent research and study opportunities, an average of 1500 American college students study in Israel each year. Additionally, many Israeli students come to America to study at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Partnerships between American and Israeli universities are very common, enabling the two countries to share their knowledge, brainpower, and research capabilities.
Many Israeli universities collaborate with American universities on research. These partnerships have led to great advances in science and technology, as well as Nobel Prizes for Israeli and American scholars. In 2005 Israeli Professor Robert J. Aumann from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem shared the Nobel Prize in Economics with American Professor Thomas C. Schelling for their joint research on game theory analysis.
Since 1956, the United States-Israel Educational Foundation has awarded over 2500 Fulbright scholarships to both Americans and Israelis. Fulbright Post-Doctoral Fellow Israeli ProfessorAaron Ciechanover conducted groundbreaking research on the protein ubiquitin, a key to curing many deadly diseases. In 2004, Ciechanover, fellow Israeli Avram Hershko and American Irwin Rose, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their mutual collaboration on this research.
This is just a fraction folks. I urge you to write the Israeli Embassy and show your support as an American. Let them know that Obama does not represent you. Support Israel and fight Terrorism.