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Unwavering Lady Liberty

January 19, 2011 - LLee Janssen
The past few weeks have not been ideal when it comes to venturing out, what with cold temperatures, some very windy days and the usual wintery mix of snow and ice and slush.

But it hasn't daunted Lady Liberty from her mission, standing along Hepburn Street waving at passing motorists despite what may be falling from the sky.

Day in, day out, she's been there.

Sure, this Lady Liberty is trying to attract business to a tax service there in the Hepburn Street Plaza, yet somehow she conjures images of the real Statue of Liberty welcoming to our shores the refugees of the world.

Liberty. Freedom. That for which we Americans fight, live and dream.

Liberty was the name of John Hancock's ship that he used to run rum to these shores before the Revolutionary War was fought. I recently saw a show on the History Channel that was eye opening to this 21st Century gal. Some eight years before the start of the war, the British blew up the Liberty, seeking to put a stop to those who would not pay taxes on their alcohol. Does that shed light on why his signature was so big on the Declaration of Independence?

Seems we fought a war to get away from taxation without representation. Then we needed to pay for that war, so what did we do? We taxed the same alcohol for which taxation fueled our drive for the freedom to get away from those who would repress us through their levying of taxes.

From rumrunners to moonshiners and revenuers, the story remained pretty much the same: Our nation enacted laws and looked to see where it could find more revenue to finance its spending. We passed laws and simultaneously looked for ways to get around those laws, a cycle that continues to this day with the old "Just don't get caught" attitude. Get caught and you pay the fine. Don't get caught and nobody blinks.

And when we don't like the laws, we look for new representation — witness the past few years and the rise of the modern-day Tea Party in America. But the question remain: Will those representatives — will our government — every truly do right by We the People?

The amazing thing about We the People is that We don't give up. We keep plodding along, trying to get it right, trying to find solutions to our ails, hoping those We elect will be the public servants We desire and not just another member of the Party looking to further his or her own selfish interests.

Meanwhile, Lady Liberty stands in the harbor, offering refuge to those who come her way, despite the rain, the sleet, the snow and the winds. And our own Lady Liberty likely will be out on Hepburn Street again tomorrow, regardless of the weather, trying to attract business (that is the American way!) and perhaps reminding us how fortunate we are to live in a land where the dream is still the ultimate possibility.


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