HERE ARE SOME words to ponder as we pause to celebrate this year’s Independence Day. While things have changed dramatically in recent years, some things never change.

“I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people and for the people, whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a Republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect Union, one and inseparable; established upon these principals of freedom, equality, justice and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.

“I therefore believe it is my duty to my Country to love it; to support its Constitution; to obey its laws; to respect its flag; and to defend it against all enemies.”

That’s “The American Creed,” written in 1917, by William Tyler Page, an employee of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., as an entry in a writing contest shortly after the United States entered World War I.

The judges selected Page’s entry out of thousands because, in 100 words, he gave “the best summary of the political faith of America.”

Page incorporated passages and phrases from the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution and Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Congress officially adopted the creed April 13, 1918, 100 years ago.

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HAVE YOU ever stopped to think that maybe we’re looking at the immigration issue facing America from the wrong angle?

It seems we have millions of native-born people living in America who don’t like the freedoms, the rules that we have. They break the laws, game the system, commit crimes, don’t take responsibility for their actions, avail themselves of our generosity and generally reap the benefits that our system offers while testing our patience.

With very little effort, they could leave America for greener pastures, but they would never do that because most other countries wouldn’t put up with their entitlement attitude and behavior.

On the other hand, millions of immigrants come here with nothing. They quietly work long hours, long days doing hard, dirty work, often risking their safety. They live away from their families, often in substandard facilities, just for the opportunity that some day they can experience the American dream.

Maybe we should take stock of the situation? Shouldn’t we welcome those hard-working immigrants and give the boot to a like number of the unproductive, unappreciative ones among us?

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I READ an article recently that makes an argument that America is at a historic turning point. Can our country survive when it is so divided? We’ve been at a crossroads as a nation before and we’ve always been able to carry on. When will our differences lead to a crisis?

American history shows a pattern that repeats itself every 50 years. The last 50-year period ended in the 1960s, so we’re at the crisis point now. In this 50-year cycle, our leaders screw things up so bad that we need to stop what we’re doing and fix things before we can proceed.

Some days, it feels like everything is broken and needs attention. Politicians over the years have made promises that can’t be kept. Entitlements are unsustainable. We must deal with our annual budget deficits and slow the growth of the national debt.

The question remains. Do we have the willpower, the commitment and leaders with the backbone to tackle the issues? The problems have no easy solutions. They will take sacrifices from all age groups and income classes. There is no other choice, the problems shouldn’t be kicked down the road.

The world has changed so much from the way it was in the 1960s. Many people today question our resolve to fix the problems. Are we willing to reboot, to renegotiate the promises and programs that people have become dependent upon?

What will happen if we don’t?

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WHAT’S GOING on here?

The concept that all people in America should be treated equally is being challenged in the legal courts and in the courts of public opinion, and it seems our government is arguing against the concept.

The liberals and progressives are saying “If all people are being treated equally then, some are being discriminated against.”

In affirmative action cases, minority groups contend they cannot be treated equally. They need special considerations to be treated fairly. With logic like that, it’s no wonder we’re in the mess we’re in.