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On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress adopted a resolution submitted by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia.

“Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”

They drew a line in the sand.

Two days later, the Congress would approve the Declaration of Independence, and on Aug. 2, 1776, 56 delegates signed the document.

Looking back across more than 230 years of history, most Americans probably don’t grasp the magnitude of what the colonists did on that July day. By drawing a firm line in the sand and declaring independence, the Americans stood up and directly challenged the most powerful nation in the world.

They had to know it meant war.

They must have felt fear.

I wonder if their hands trembled ever so slightly as they grasped the quill and inked their name permanently on the parchment.

Drawing lines in the sand is not for the faint of heart.

The Declaration of Independence wasn’t the end of the story. It was the opening verse. America would endure eight years of war before she won her hard-fought independence and made the Declaration a reality.

Richard Stockton of New Jersey signed the Declaration of Independence. In November of 1776, loyalists drug him from his bed and turned him over to the British. He refused pledge obedience to King George the III and earn a pardon. He was shackled and treated as a common criminal.

George Walton of Georgia signed the Declaration of Independence. He suffered wounds during the Battle of Savannah in 1778, and the British took him prisoner.

John Witherspoon of New Jersey signed the Declaration of Independence. His eldest son, James Witherspoon, died in the Battle of Germantown in 1777.

The British captured three of the four signers from South Carolina during the siege of Charleston and forced them to endure terrible conditions as POWs. Many signers saw their homes burned down, their possessions confiscated,  their friends and family members killed.

They held that line in the sand at great cost.

On Nov. 6, 2012, voters in six states drew a line in the sand.

The citizens of Alabama, Montana and Wyoming told Washington D.C. that they refuse to acknowledge federal “authority” to mandate the purchase of health insurance, or force them into a national health care plan. Voters in Massachusetts told the feds that they don’t accept federal drug prohibitions and declared that they would make marijuana available for medical use, despite what some federal judges may think about it. And the people of Colorado and Washington took it a step further, decriminalizing pot and telling the feds to take their unconstitutional drug war someplace else.

Lines  in the sand.

Now the question becomes: will they hold those lines?

It won’t be easy.

The feds will crack down on pot smokers in Colorado and Washington. Will the states actively protect their citizens? Or will they just slither off in fear? Will they cave to some federal judge? Or will they back the will of the people?

The feds will try to set up their health care system in Alabama, Montana and Wyoming. Will state officials refuse to comply and work to stop them? Or will they bow down in obedience when the DC’vers threaten to withhold funding, or when the taxman comes a-callin’?

Lines in the sand aren’t for the faint of heart. Holding the line means confrontation. Stopping the encroachment of unconstitutional federal power will require states to exert their own power. Force must meet force, and that could mean fireworks. A vote means nothing unless the state officials back it up – and ultimately that means the people demanding action, even in the face of federal pushback.

Because the DC’vers WILL try to cross that line.

The Americans knew they couldn’t live long-term under the thumb of Great Britain. They also knew drawing a line in the sand meant sacrifice and even the possibility of failure. But they counted the cost and deemed liberty worth every penny. The refused to shrink back in fear and faced down the overwhelming power of Great Britain – and won.

If Americans don’t stand up and stop the encroachment of federal power now, the United States will ultimately collapse under the staggering weight of trillions of dollars of debt. The feds will continue to erode away the most basic civil liberties. The politicians will continue to wage war around the world.

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It must stop.


The people of the states have the moral and constitutional authority to stop unconstitutional acts. They have the right as the sovereign in the system to say, “No!” The people of Alabama, Montana, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Colorado and Washington did just that.

We’ve drawn some lines in the sand.

It’s time to count the cost and hold those lines.

“If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” — Samuel Adams

Mike Maharrey

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