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Happy Birthday, America!

Back before fireworks and cookouts and beer and parades, Independence Day was about one thing, and one thing alone:

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, 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; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


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Comments (11)

Its sad but predictable how... (Below threshold)
epador:

Its sad but predictable how far astray our society has strayed, yet still there is a ray or two of, dare I say HOPE [damn Obama for bastardizing that noun into a verb in a thinly veiled imperative in Newspeak from Big Brother], in that reading these words some of us may be inspired yet to reshape our course to independence, not co-dependence.

Great post Jay.</p... (Below threshold)
dr lava:

Great post Jay.


And may I use my freedom to say, Fuck of epador have another Brawndo and a big ass taco.

Paragraph 2 flies right in ... (Below threshold)
JAP:

Paragraph 2 flies right in the face of the California jokesters in power. And D.C. for that matter.

"Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed-- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government,"

Unless of course You are governed by the Jerkinator and twosome Newsome, in which case who cares wether the huddled masses consent or not.

1215 soldiers, sailors, air... (Below threshold)
jdgjtr:

1215 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines reenlisted today in Iraq. Some people say they love their country; others prove it. Thank you, brothers and sisters.

Happy Independence Day, p... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:

Happy Independence Day, people.

I suggest that at some point during the day, all of you take a moment and give thanks to those who made this day possible.

As one gets older, the birt... (Below threshold)
epador:

As one gets older, the birthdays get to be more of a celebration of life and friends than a big party and present affair. Tacos and stimulant pop have nothing to do with it, nor does a cooling coprolite masquerading as magma extrusion. I'm going to celebrate with my family and a baseball game in Seattle. Go TIgers!

And thanks for the early post, JT. From Sea to Shining Sea a Happy Fourth for our nation. Kudos to our uniformed services. Humble pie for our elected officials. And real hope for our unenlightened citizens.

You got one point wrong, Ja... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

You got one point wrong, Jay. Beer predated our Independence. In fact, historians have been arguing for years which building was built first at Harvard; the chapel or the brewery.

The Fourth of July took on ... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

The Fourth of July took on new meaning for me many years ago when I shared the day with a friend visiting from Europe and he asked why I thought it was so special. Something came over me at that moment and the words to describe why poured forth in a torrent and made me realize even more than I had consciously thought in the past how special it really is.

None of us will ever be pri... (Below threshold)
OLDPUPPYMAX:

None of us will ever be privileged to read a more beautifully written document.

My thoughts on the 4th of J... (Below threshold)
sawb_23:

My thoughts on the 4th of July

Many years ago, men, less pampered than myself, took a most solemn vow. With both words and their signature, they started, knowingly, down a path that not only meant a true and just life, but one that could have just as easily meant in their death. They stood up against not only the tyranny of rule from afar, but tyranny within their every day lives. Yet they still took up this commitment. With the full understanding of its weight, and its consequence, they stood up for ideas that were to them very much self-evident. Yet, at the time, the same thoughts were so revolutionary that it could cost them their lives.

They toiled in secret. The wrote, then rewrote, then rewrote again a document whose ideals still stand the test of our times. A document that some have remembered, and some have forgotten. A document written with prose we are not accustomed to some 224 years later, but whose message still rings true today.

These men were our neighbors. Our friends. Our fathers. Our Loved ones. They were smart men. Just men. Men who understood the times in which they lived, yet left us a document that still stands the test of time. They saw absolutes, not nuance. They saw a life where people could be free, just, and proud.

These men lived in a time we could not possibly understand. Where soldiers could be quarters in our own houses. Where the local government could not act on the will of the people. Where the rule of law could be shaped at the whim of dictatorship. Where the standing army was above the people, not subordinate to the people. And where the government itself was above the people and not by the people.

We must remember the ideals in which this Declaration was composed. If not each year, every day we must remember this grand experiment that some though would fail. It is but through the sheer truth of its ideas that is has endured for so long. The ideals that all man shall be free in their quest for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, are ideas that we have all been taught.

Let us not forget them. Let us not only remember them by days market on a calendar. Let us live them. Each day.

Seattle comments:T... (Below threshold)
epador:

Seattle comments:

Tigers got whupped today. No echoes of "Love of the Game for Kenny Rogers.

No one dissed us for wearing Tiger paraphernalia. People all stood and sang the SSB at opening AND God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch.

Happy BIrthday America, and thank you sawb_23 too.





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