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Common Currency: Celebration of 'common cause' marred this year

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"A republic, if you can keep it!" so replied Benjamin Franklin to a bystander's query upon emerging from the cloistered confines of Independence Hall on the last day of the constitutional convention in Philadelphia in 1787.

Today, Franklin's famous admonition is often quoted by modern day politicians to warn against the peril of over concentration of power in a central government at the expense of individual liberty.

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