Saturday, July 4, 2015

Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776

In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
A DECLARATION By the REPRESENTATIVES of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, In GENERAL CONGRESS assembled.

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 abolish it, and to institute a 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 Amount and Payment of their Salaries.

He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance.

He has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislature.

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 in 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 Powers 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 and 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 among 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 British 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 the 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 the divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Signed by Order and in Behalf of the Congress,
JOHN HANCOCK, President.

Attest. CHARLES THOMSON, Secretary.


Friday, July 3, 2015

Seared Music: Ray Charles - "America The Beautiful"


...say whatever you want about our Republic, but you have to admit: America's best days are still ahead of it...

Pin The Tail On The Donkey: The Racist History Of The Democrat Party

Quoting: The Dems want to pin the Confederate Flag, KKK, Great Depression, urban decay, and harsh marriage laws on the GOP... pin the tale on the Donkey instead!

....remind me again which party's the racist one? Oh, that's right: it was the Democrat Party!

Oregon Bakers Ordered To Pay $135k For Discriminating Same-Sex Couple

I've said it before and I'll say it again...everyone has a right to their beliefs, but if you operate a business, you do not get to discriminate against people in the public sphere based on their sexual orientation...period, end of story.
PORTLAND, Ore. — Owners of a Portland-area bakery that denied service to a same-sex couple must pay $135,000 in damages, the Bureau of Labor and Industries has ruled. The damages are for emotional suffering caused by Sweet Cakes by Melissa, which two years ago refused to bake a wedding cake for Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer.
A 2007 Oregon law protects the rights of LGBT people in employment, housing and public accommodations. It provides an exemption for religious organizations, but the agency ruled that exemption does not allow private businesses to discriminate against potential customers.
“This case is not about a wedding cake or a marriage. It is about a business’s refusal to serve someone because of their sexual orientation. Under Oregon law, that is illegal,” Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian said in the final order. In April, an administrative law judge proposed the same damages.
The bakers said their refusal to bake for the lesbian couple was prompted by religious beliefs. The case has been cited in the national debate over religious freedom and discrimination against gays.
Bakery owners Aaron and Melissa Klein closed their Gresham store in 2013 and operate the business from home. They can still file an appeal with the Oregon Court of Appeals.
One of the Kleins’ attorneys, Anna Harmon, criticized the order, saying it was a case of “an overpowered elected official using his position to root out thought and speech with which he personally disagrees.” (LGBTQ Nation)
With all due respect, Ms. Harmon, this was a case where your clients refused to serve someone for no other reason than the individuals' sexual orientation and they got busted for it.

Founder's Quote, 3 July 2015

Let the thirteen States, bound together in a strict and indissoluble Union, concur in erecting one great American system, superior to the control of all transatlantic force or influence, and able to dictate the terms of the connection between the old and the new world! - Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 11 — 1787

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Seared Music: Joe Walsh - "Rocky Mountain Way"

...as much as I like Godsmack's cover of this song, the original is still way better...

George Takei: Supreme Ct. Justice Clarence Thomas "A Clown In Blackface" & "A "Disgrace To America"

Over the years, I've lost count of how many times I've disagreed with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on issue after issue...but as long as I can remember, even though I was a lefty liberal for nearly 2 decades - certainly for most of Thomas' time on the High Court - most of the criticisms' and invectives that I've heard leveled towards the man were towards his opinions in various cases, along with the conflicts of interests (or supposed conflicts) due to the conservative work of his wife, Ginni Thomas....but I can't think of a time when someone used a racial invective towards the man.

Until now.

The more I read former Star Trek actor George Takei's disgraceful comments towards Justice Thomas, the more I can't help but think - besides the thought that we're both members of the gay community - is "Sir, with all due respect, who the hell died and made you arbiter of political thought in this country?"

Actor George Takei called Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas “a clown in blackface sitting there on the Supreme Court.” In an interview with FOX 10 Phoenix, Takei, best known as Capt. Sulu on “Star Trek,” said Thomas “gets me angry. He doesn’t belong there.”
Takei is openly gay, and Justice Thomas wrote in dissent of the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of gay marriage. As part of that dissent, Justice Thomas wrote “human dignity cannot be taken away by the government. Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them.”
Takei took issue with the judge's opinion. “And for him to say, slaves have dignity, I mean, doesn’t he know that slaves were in chains? That they were whipped on the back?”
Takei added: “My parents lost everything that they worked for, in the middle of their lives, in their 30’s. His business, my father’s business, our home, our freedom and we’re supposed to call that dignified? Marched out of our homes at gun point. I mean, this man does not belong on the Supreme Court. He is an embarrassment. He is a disgrace to America.” (Fox News)
"A clown in blackface?" If that's not the very definition of a racist comment, what the hell is? Given the history of blackface in America, to call a black man - and a distinguished individual at that - "a clown in blackface" is to show an arrogance, a holier-than-thou attitude that is frankly sickening and frankly disgusting to hear, especially from someone whose parents were interned by the U.S. government during World War II, an act that was equally as disgusting as any in American history...

...yet, odds are, he'll get a pass from society because he's a well-spoken member of the Gay Activist Wing of the Deluded Left. All I can say here is this (borrowing Joseph Welch's famous quote): Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

Founder's Quote, 2 July 2015

Born in other countries, yet believing you could be happy in this, our laws acknowledge, as they should do, your right to join us in society, conforming, as I doubt not you will do, to our established rules. That these rules shall be as equal as prudential considerations will admit, will certainly be the aim of our legislatures, general and particular. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Hugh White — 1801

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Seared Music: Beck - "Dreams"

.....is it just me or is Beck another one of those artists that gets royally screwed by the powers-that-be w/in the music world?

Stupid Selfies: Is The Millennial Generation Screwed?

Quoting: Klavan & Whittle have a serious... ok not so serious... discussion about whether the Millennial Generation is screwed, with all the cat videos and selfies!

I'm of two minds here...on the one hand, given some of the millennials' concerns at times, I'd be tempted to say yes. On the other hand, I suspect every generation has thought that of future generations, so...as the song goes, "Only time will tell..."

Founder's Quote, 1 July 2015

If it be asked what is to restrain the House of Representatives from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and a particular class of the society? I answer, the genius of the whole system, the nature of just and constitutional laws, and above all the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America, a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it. - James Madison, Federalist No. 57 — 1788

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Seared Music: Charlie Daniels Band - "In America"

after today's performance by the USWNT versus Germany in today's Women's World Cup semifinal, this was the first song that popped into my mind...

Liberal Lunacy

...enough said.

Founder's Quote, 30 June 2015

History affords us many instances of the ruin of states, by the prosecution of measures ill suited to the temper and genius of their people. The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy... These measures never fail to create great and violent jealousies and animosities between the people favored and the people oppressed; whence a total separation of affections, interests, political obligations, and all manner of connections, by which the whole state is weakened. - Benjamin Franklin, Emblematical Representations

Monday, June 29, 2015

Seared Music: Triumph - "Fight The Good Fight"

Even though it might be easy for many of us to sit back and bask in the glow of Friday's SCOTUS ruling on same-sex marriage, it would be wise for us to remember the worlds of journalist Michaelango Signorile when he reminds us that the fight for true equality isn't over yet...

Rand Paul: Mass Incarceration Is The New Jim Crow

Quoting: Senator Rand Paul said Thursday that Bill and Hillary Clinton are “proud” to have presided “over the incarceration of a whole generation of young black men” in comments singling out mass incarceration as “the new Jim Crow.” Paul is an advocate for making changes to the criminal justice system and has co-sponsored legislation with Democratic Sen. Cory Booker to help keep nonviolent criminal offenders out of prison.

“And so Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, they were all proud to do this,” said Paul. “But now that I’ve been speaking out and saying that mass incarceration is the new Jim Crow, now all of a sudden the Clintons are saying, ‘oh wait a minute, we are going to be back on the other side of this issue right now.’”

Say whatever you want about Rand Paul, but given him credit for willing to tackle issues and ideas that the average Republican might shrink from for fear of being labeled "soft" on crime...now, whether this helps us make inroads with minority communities is another story entirely, but it can't hurt to make the effort.

Founder's Quote, 29 June 2015

If there is a form of government, then, whose principle and foundation is virtue, will not every sober man acknowledge it better calculated to promote the general happiness than any other form? - John Adams, Thoughts on Government — 1776