A Cynical Look On Government Tea

No, not in the literal sense--symbolically.
On April 15th, 2009 there will take place a "National Tax Day Tea Party"
The primary goals are to protest wasteful government spending in all of its forms, including bailouts, and of course the fact that the government is dramatically raising taxes in order to do so.

A Cynical Look will give various updates on the National Tax Day Tea Party which is set to start taking place in a few hours from now.

Don't Tread On Me
Undoubtedly the Gadsden flag will be seen widely, so I would like to explain what it is in this post.

The idea for the flag was actually inspired by a political cartoon drawn by Benjamin Franklin that may be familiar.

The individual pieces of the snake were representative of the colonies at the time. The general idea was that if all of the colonies did not come work together during the French Indian wars to face their threat, they would die.

Later on the Gadsden was all over the place-- on money, uniform buttons, and flags.

In December 1775, "An American Guesser" anonymously wrote to the Pennsylvania Journal:
Many scholars now agree that this is actually Benjamin Franklin explaining the Gadsden symbol.
(Copies of this letter can be found all over the internet-- and now here also)
"I observed on one of the drums belonging to the marines now raising, there was painted a Rattle-Snake, with this modest motto under it, 'Don't tread on me.' As I know it is the custom to have some device on the arms of every country, I supposed this may have been intended for the arms of America."
This anonymous writer, having "nothing to do with public affairs" and "in order to divert an idle hour," speculated on why a snake might be chosen as a symbol for America.
First, it occurred to him that "the Rattle-Snake is found in no other quarter of the world besides America."
The rattlesnake also has sharp eyes, and "may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance." Furthermore,
"She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage. ... she never wounds 'till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of treading on her."
"I confess I was wholly at a loss what to make of the rattles, 'till I went back and counted them and found them just thirteen, exactly the number of the Colonies united in America; and I recollected too that this was the only part of the Snake which increased in numbers. ...
"'Tis curious and amazing to observe how distinct and independent of each other the rattles of this animal are, and yet how firmly they are united together, so as never to be separated but by breaking them to pieces. One of those rattles singly, is incapable of producing sound, but the ringing of thirteen together, is sufficient to alarm the boldest man living."
Franklin, of course, is also known for opposing the use of an eagle -- "a bird of bad moral character" -- as a national symbol.


godelleb said...

That is nice stuff. I never knew those things. As for taxes, it's kind of interesting that of all the money I will make this year, only this week have I started earning it for myself instead of for the government. Of course with the tax changes in store, that time line will be more in the government's favor starting next year and for far down the road.

If anyone seriously studies the government's budget they would become astonished. The bulk of the money is spent in hand outs. Most of the largest payouts go to government entities that should instead be privatized. Large portions go to states for projects that impact the states directly rather than the country's infrastructure as should be intended. Government spending is out of control and taxes go hand in hand with that. They need to change the system as was initially intended.

Mr. Sam said...

I wonder how many different "Social Awareness Workers" salaries your taxes help pay for.