Monday, July 1, 2013

Welcome to the ViewPoint - July 2013

With apologies to Martha and the Vandellas, "We are having a Heat Wave".  Sheesh, 127 degrees in Death Valley, 117 in Las Vegas.  Here in my home of Dallas a couple of days ago, 108.  You'd think it was summer or something.  Well,  get inside, turn up the AC and grab something cold to drink, because it sure beats being outside and cooking.  For those of you who have to work outside this time of year, you have my deepest sympathies.  Stay hydrated and safe. 

Anyway, welcome to the ViewPoint for July of 2013. We have a holiday coming up this week and I hope everyone has a good time watching the fireworks, having a picnic, taking in a ball game, or just hanging out with friends and family.

This 4th of July holiday is a reminder of what happened so long ago in the halls of a building in Philadelphia, on the farmlands around Yorktown, Bunker Hill and cities such as Boston and New York.  The birth of a nation under conflict could have gone many different ways.  We could have moved into another form of monarchy or worse, a theocracy.  But we didn't.  The people who risked their lives and became traitors to the British Crown had a different idea about what a country should be.  Born in Greece, refined by philosophers such as John Locke, the idea of a constitutional democracy with its power derived by the people it serves was an experiment that took hold and to the good fortune of all of us who live in this country today, still serves us pretty well.

We have two articles today that speak about our country and its system of government.  As most know, recent revelations about the National Security Agency's surveillance tactics have come to light and they are troubling.  What do we really want our government to do in the name of "keeping us safe"?  That question is an important one and we should continue to discuss our points of view in this complicated and very disconcerting issue.  Written by our regular contributor, Bill Holmes,  "Who's Winning?" delivers some perspective that is thought provoking.

Our second post for this month is another example of our system of government at work.  On June 26th, 2013, the US Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and by virtue of that decision, removed the Federal Government's discrimination against same-sex couples who are married in states that recognize marriage equality. 

I think these two articles highlight the brilliance of the founders who delivered the architecture of our system of government.   The checks and balances instilled by Madison, Adams, Franklin, Jefferson, and many others have served us well to this day and I hope as we celebrate this 4th of July and those to come, we can continue with the idea born in Philadelphia so many years ago.

Enjoy this month's issue and as always, join the conversation.

Dennis Sherrard

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