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Thanks to Kerry Jackson for his blog post on

This quotation is not in "Bartlett's" nor in any other book of quotations, as far as we know. But it should be. It's from one Becky Gerritson, testifying before Congress as a victim of a government gone too far.

"I am not here as a serf or vassal. I am not begging my lords for mercy. I'm a born-free American woman, wife, mother and citizen. And I'm telling my government that you've forgotten your place. It's not your responsibility to look out for my well-being, and to monitor my speech. It's not your right to assert an agenda. Your post, the post that you occupy, exists to preserve American liberty. You've sworn to perform that duty. And you have faltered."

This "born-free" citizen was testifying in 2013 in a downright Jeffersonian manner over the harassment her group, the Wetumpka Tea Party, was getting from the IRS as it applied for a tax-exempt status. Her words are some of the most powerful and righteous ever spoken anywhere at any time.

Surely "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations" could get rid of some of the rubbish it added in its 18th edition to make room in its next edition for Gerritson's comment.

Have Madonna, Michael Moore or Jon Stewart, all added in the most recent edition, ever said anything worth remembering?

If they have, the words have value only in reminding us how shallow and irrelevant that much — probably most — of our discourse has become.

Thanks to American Digest for posting the video and transcript and thanks to Maggie's Farm for reminding us of this piece of history that should never be forgotten.

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