Time to reflect on independence

By WALTER PATTERSON GUEST COLUMNIST,

Today we celebrate Independence Day, the day the colonies declared themselves free of the English. 

Great men like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and a host of other patriots risked their lives and their fortunes to declare that Americans were no longer subject to the tyrannical rule of King George. 

Ever yone of these patriots knew in his heart that this one decision might cost him his life, yet he made it anyway. 

Liberty meant more to these great men than living under the boot of a King who was three thousand miles away.

The United States of America has come a long way since July 4, 1776. 

We are now fifty states, states that include Alaska and Hawaii. 

This great experiment that our founding fathers started has bestowed the greatest standard of living on Americans in the history of the world. 

No place on earth is there the freedom or the ability to start out at the bottom and climb as far as our talents and hard work will take us. 

Nowhere on earth can an ordinary citizen start out broke and through ingenuity and hard work become a millionaire.

But our way of life is under attack from “progressives” who want to upend our system and implement a socialist state. 

Their thinking is that everyone should be equal. 

It doesn’t seem to dawn on these progressives that it is wrong to take money or property from a man or woman because they are successful. 

To a progressive, the word ”profit” is a four letter word. 

If a citizen goes into business to make a profit, then he or she is immoral, and if they become successful, then their money or property should be confiscated for the common good. 

How sick are these “Crazy” Bernie Sanders - Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren types?

Which brings me to the point of land ownership.  “The federal government owns about 28 percent of the land in the United States.  This is about 640 million acres.”

What in the name of all that’s good is the United States doing with this land? 

Why do our representatives lust for even more land to place under the thumb of the federal government? 

There is some land, Yellowstone National Park, that has been set aside for tourists to visit. 

Yellowstone is indeed a beautiful place, but below its beauty lies one of the most dangerous super volcanoes in the world.  When this super volcano explodes, and it will, it has the potential of destroying half of life in America. 

Scientists tell us that about every 600,000 years, this volcano erupts with devastating results. 

Unfortunately, we have already put 600,000 years on the books, so this beautiful piece of property could go at any time. 

As far as I’m concerned, the government can have this volcano.

But there is other property that the federal government has claimed but has no right to. 

The property should be sold off to Americans for ranches, mineral exploration, development or simply for nature - according to the wishes of the land owner.

The federal government pays a huge amount of money to maintain some of this property, and in some cases, the maintenance is non-existent.  Some of the most devastating fires have occurred on government land in the West for the simple reason that environmentalists would not allow fire prevention measures to be taken.

It amazes me that our citizens have allowed the federal government to acquire 640 million acres of land.

Did you know that the federal government owns 84.9 percent of the land in Nevada?

Alaska had the most federal land with 223.8 million acres.  Tree-hugging environmentalists have made a federal park out of Alaska, and this is not only immoral, but it prevents Americans from having access to lands that could be developed for things other than polar bears and wolves. 

How stupid have we become?

In Mississippi, the federal government owns 1,546,433 acres of land. Why?  Most people in our state never utilize this land for anything - not even hunting or fishing.  Local ownership could do better!

President Trump is correct. 

The United States owns too much land, land that the American people could use to make a living. 

Private ownership beats a bureaucracy every time.  It is past time for the federal government to divest itself of lands that rightly belong to the citizens of the United States.

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