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Friday, March 4, 2016

Donald Trump And The Politics Of Nihilism

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Let me just offer a bit of opinion and thought to those who offer up fraud, theft, and waste as the great budgetary savings avenue that will save our nation from default. I can not stress this enough. This is the world's stupidest argument ever proffered up by anyone, at any other time, in all of America's political discourse. It is the politically intellectual equivalent to mental retardation. Last night was of course the first time I've heard it offered as a budgetary savings device by a Republican candidate for the Presidency. That would be of course, one Donald J. Trump. This my fellow gentle snow flakes, is one freakishly huge red flag.

Let's honestly ask ourselves a few questions here. Can any of you remember a time when we sent our elected officials to Washington because they promised us a bureau of fraud, theft, and waste? Are we all incapable of remembering that Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama had all promised to save the country money by eliminating, or at least reducing to a great extent, fraud, theft, and waste? With all of that previous savings garnered by reducing or eliminating fraud, theft and waste, how is it possible that there remains a $300 Billion bonanza type savings for the American taxpayer available in this nefarious line item to be found within our budgetary woes? Is there not someone currently attempting to tamp down fraud, theft, and waste, like our federal law enforcement professionals for example? I think you get by now where I am going with this.

Make no mistake about it, when someone offers up this particular bit of genius in order to convince us that they have a plan to pay for what ever budget busting freebies will be included as a piece of their brand of populism, it is nothing short of intellectual laziness. It is a lie, and one designed to soothe the gullible into believing that life itself carries no consequences for idiocy. Until we learn the hard economic lesson that price and cost are not the same thing, that there is no way to permanently stop economic pain, only ways to delay it, which inevitably magnifies its effects upon us the longer such delays take place, and that there are no magic answers, only trade offs between cost and benefit, we will have doomed ourselves to suffer the fate of every other society in history who has discovered that bad decisions can and often do include societal collapse as one of those consequences.

As I mentioned previously, highlighting this particular item as a means to pay for populism has, up until now at least, been reserved for usage by Democrats, and had only been bought by the intellectually lazy, who use only emotion to determine their vote. Seeing it offered by anyone in a Republican debate has only shown me that my choice to refrain from supporting Donald Trump, under any circumstance, is the right move for me. Honestly though, it's merely the very tip of an enormous iceberg. There is so much more to Donald Trump and my objection to him as a Presidential candidate.

For me, it's all about political considerations, and while it is true that I have offered up some pretty insulting personal attacks upon Mr. Trump in the past, that was me allowing my own emotions run away with me. I'll try not to do that today. In that effort however, I should also like to point out that those who have accused me, and justifiably so, of ad hominem attacks against Candidate Trump, have very noticeably overlooked his own bizarre practice of that very same sin. He has pantomimed Ben Carson wielding a knife, called him a child molester, pointed out for reporters how Carly Fiorina is just not pretty enough to be President, declaring that Americans would never vote for a face that looked like that, called Ted Cruz a liar for replaying old Donald Trump videos highlighting some of Donald's current policy positions, commented on how much Marco Rubio sweats and done an impersonation of Rubio drinking water on camera by tossing water on his audience. That's only some of the more bizarre antics to be witnessed at Donald's Town Hall events. I find it somewhat interesting that Donald's supporters hold the voting public that openly states they do not like Donald to a much higher standard than their preferred candidate to hold our nation's highest office. I can't make a joke about Donald's ridiculous orange spray tan complete with raccoon white eyes, but he can declare that Marco Rubio applies his stage makeup with a trowel and Carly Fiorina is just too ugly for anyone in America to actually like her. Perhaps there is a double standard at work here.

Side Note:
My life is now complete, as I have witnessed a Presidential front runner brag about the size of his penis to open a Presidential Debate. If that doesn't speak to the state of affairs regarding our national political scene, nothing does.

For me, it has never been about the Republican Party. It has been about free market economics and a federal government limited in its scope by the principles set forth in the Constitution. I just happened to vote most often for Republicans because more often than not, they at least professed to hold those same beliefs. Yes, I got burned on more than one occasion, but by and large, if anyone ever did hold up their end of the bargain, and actually did reform government and help to decentralized political power back to the states and the people as a whole, it was invariably a Republican who had done this. Yes, George H.W. Bush did nominate David Souter to the Supreme Court, but he also nominated Clarence Thomas. Yes, George W. Bush did nominate John Roberts to the Supreme Court, but he also gave us Samuel Alito. No one is ever going to match our political wish list 100% in agreement with our view of the perfect pol., but why does that mean that we'll hold out for someone who's not even going to be close. In our zeal to hold out for Reagan' ghost, we're suddenly being asked to accept a candidate who could be Bill Clinton's political clone. I'm sorry, I just can't jump aboard that particular bandwagon, no matter how expanded the GOP tent may become as a result. My goal is diametrically opposed to everything Donald Trump stands for, regardless of which letter he's decided to append to the back of his name this week.

He's openly stated that everything he's claimed as his current position to date is open for negotiation, that he's a deal maker. I am vehemently against deal making for the sake of making deals. I do not view gridlock as a problem with our current political system, I view it as a perk, included in our Constitution by the Founding Fathers, designed to prevent us from doing something stupid in a hurry, like passing Obamacare. Man, if only we had gridlock available to us in 2009. We could have prevented Dodd Frank as well. He's openly stated that he will seek to pass laws intended to infringe upon our First Amendment Rights, and before anyone jumps upon the checks and balances platform to tell me I shouldn't worry about things he legally will be prevented from doing, Citizens United was only decided correctly by a 5 to 4 vote, and Donald if he wins will get to choose a few Justices in the future. He's for single payer, as part of his repeal and replace strategy, which is flat out Marxism masquerading as social justice. His pro Second Amendment stance changed again, just last night, but is also negotiable as a part of some other deal to be made, according to Donald's own description of his ever evolving positions. His belief in tariffs are a direct assault upon the operation of a free market, and interestingly enough, are somewhat in opposition to how he himself conducts his personal business. He's continually hired foreign workers with the precise visa rules as those he professes to oppose, and done this as recently as this past summer. He's hired illegal immigrants to build his buildings. He's imported all of his campaign swag from the same Chinese that he notices we have a damaging trade deficit with. He has openly stated that he views eminent domain for private use by people with greater means to be economic progress, and not a violation of individual property rights, which he views as non-existent I guess. All belongs to the state, with winners and loses to be based upon the crony system, that he has given his full throated endorsement to, and in fact openly brags as to how well he's played that system. When pressed on this issue, he brings up hospitals, roads, and rail lines in one of the most sickening examples of moral equivalence I've ever seen.

We could parse this even further, but again, we should all get the point by now. When someone tells me that Trump is better than Hillary at least, I have two answers for them. One, how have we come to a place in our political decision making where we insist upon setting the bar that low? Is that the best we want for ourselves really? Someone better than Hillary? Next, what evidence do you have that he'll be any different, politically speaking, than what another Clinton Presidency would bring. We heard that said about John McCain and about Mitt Romney. People mistakenly ascribed that moniker to Bob Dole, and yet, I could have gone on for hours detailing all of the very specific places where their policies, decisions, and results would have been substantially different. Between Donald and Hillary, there is no way anyone can honestly show a consistent and verifiable difference in position, agenda, or principle. The only difference is that this year, Donald Trump has decided that it's politically expedient to sport the R after his name, rather than the D.

So why on Earth is he so admired by his supporters, who judging by most of what I read from them online, borders on the thin line between fervency and psychosis? As far as I can tell, when you strip away all of the excess wood, it comes down to anger, anger at supporting a Republican Party that has almost with a malice driven by purposeful contempt, governed expressly against the clearly stated will of those who have loyally and diligently voted them into office for at least 50 years. The Republican Party has billed itself as the party of Reagan, the party of limited governance, the party of original interpretation of the Constitution, the party of fiscal conservatism, and has almost without fail, not only not delivered on that promise to us at each and every opportunity, but has made it a point to insult us while stabbing us in the back, when it wasn't an election year.

For the GOP Leadership:

John Boehner summed it up best upon stepping down from his Speakership. He said, "My first job as speaker is to protect the institution." Let that sink in for a moment. That, Republican Party Leadership is the precise reason for the predicament in which you find yourselves, and I have zero sympathy for you. This is more about political nihilism than anything else. Trump's supporters love the fact that they are inflicting upon the party leadership precisely what the party leadership fears the most. How long did you idiots think you could get away with openly engaging in warfare against your own voting base and not experience any consequences as a result? It really does not matter to Trump's supporters that he represents everything the conservative movement has stood against forever, he's hurting you, and that's what they want.

The conservative movement gave you the House in 2010, as a reaction to the Obama Admin overreach. You repaid them by ignoring completely the voters who sent you to our nation's capitol. You caved on every budget deal, every debt extension, every spending bill, every proposed law. In 2014, we gave you the Senate, and the same thing happened. You have not, even though you'd expressly promised to do so, and in fact campaigned aggressively on it, opposed anything that this President wished to inflict upon our nation. So, after decades of being told that when Democrats win elections, those elections have consequences, and that when Republicans win elections, they don't, your base constituency is getting sick of the whole exercise. Enjoy you bowl full of Donald Trump. You deserve it. Unfortunately, it appears as though I may have to eat it as well.

Either Donald Trump will win and the conservative movement will one day soon realize that there's no place to call home anymore, and form their own party, or he'll lose and work to destroy the party from the outside. You made your bed, now lie in it. Either way, I've never really liked our nation being limited to only two major political parties anyhow. Bring it on!

Monday, September 28, 2015

John Boehner, What Ever Else He Is, Perfectly Embodies What's Wrong With The GOP

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

I'm going to start this one off with the money quote, at least as I see it. It is provided to us via the New York Times, so take it with the usual I smell Bull Spit grain of salt one usually thinks of when referring to a newspaper repeatedly caught lying over many decades now.

The Article:

Here's The New York Times' Boehner Write Up.

The Quote:

“My first job as speaker is to protect the institution,” Mr. Boehner said.

My suspicion is that you've already seen my problem with this, but I'll plod along anyhow. Full and fair disclosure here. I was dead wrong about Mr. Boehner, and I freely admit it. I defended him, and when he became speaker, I told everyone, and even scolded a few people, to give him a chance to do the right thing. He did not. John Boehner spent his entire tenure as our House Speaker, surrendering on each key issue to come up. So complete was his unbridled capitulation, that Barack Obama and Harry Reid managed to move their growing list of demands too far to the left for the comfort of their own caucus. Daily, John Boehner was heralded as a great man, confidant, and negotiating partner by the man who's agenda those of us who made it possible for Boehner's Speakership wished stopped in the first place. "It's not John's fault," our President would lecture us, "it's just that he has those darned conservatives in his caucus that we Democrats don't have to contend with. Otherwise, we would have passed this continuing resolution complete with zero limitation upon spending and borrowing, without any sort of struggle or even debate, long ago."

Boehner's assertion that his primary duty is to protect the very institution that voters very clearly elected him to reform shows a dangerous cognitive dissonance that is all too evident within the GOP. We sent you there Speaker Dolt, with the sole intention that you'd decentralize power and return it back to the people preferably, and failing that the States. Your primary duty Mr. Boehner, was to represent your Hamilton County Constituents. Your secondary duty was to the constituents of any Congress Critter who voted for you to be their House Speaker. your last priority should have been to protect the very beast of an institution all who voted for you wish to see slayed. That you didn't recognize this is precisely the reason why your caucus forced you out.

Good riddance to bad rubbish. Mitch McConnell, I hope you've taken note. I hope you'll begin adjusting your behavior accordingly. Failing that, I hope that the same train John Boehner didn't see coming, runs you down as well. So far, this year has been wasted. We're down to 50 vetoes or bust.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Simulator Reconstructions For 9/11 Flights With ATC Recordings Synced.

It's time once again to debunk the 9/11 fantasists. Here are the Black Box flight simulations for all four flights on that day, with synchronized ATC recordings. It may take you a moment or two to get used to the dialect of English that these professionals who keep us safe in the air use, but it's well worth that effort. One thing that you will undoubtedly notice is the chaos which led us all to many of the misconceptions which came out of that morning. It should also disabuse anyone with two functioning grey cells of the notion and oft repeated fallacy that none of the black boxes were retrieved.

American Flight 11

United Flight 175

American Flight 77

United Flight 93

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Help Us Trumpiwankenobi, You're Our Only Hope!

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Apologies to Doriangrey, who's line I've borrowed for my headline. I find it to be as prescient today as it was when he originally wrote it, almost exactly four years ago.

From the headline, you may have guessed that I'm not a fan of, "The Donald." If you've guessed that, you'd be wrong. I am a fan of, "The Donald." I'm just not a fan of the prospect that we may actually see a, "Nominee Donald," or worse yet, a, "President Donald." I'll watch the spectacle of rats eating each other and drowning their brethren to jump off a sinking ship otherwise known as, "The Apprentice," any chance I get. Donald Trump, beyond anything else you say about him is that perfect example of a brash over sized ego on steroids combined with the complete inability to have that ego tested, which we all love seeing displayed in others. From the 50 horsepower hair, to the constant proclamations about how great he is, in case you've forgotten, Donald Trump is that perfect example of how wonderful our nation is, and truly how grand are our opportunities to achieve what ever we desire to achieve. More to the point, how wonderful it is to live in a country and be a fan of someone while not really liking their politics.

One of my major problems with, "The Donald," currently is the trite fact that his politics come no where near matching his rhetoric. He is not a Conservative, nor a slightly right of center moderate, nor even a slightly left of center moderate. Donald Trump, up until 2009 anyhow, has always been a full blown Socialist in the finest tradition of crony Socialists, residing somewhere in the political neighborhood of George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, and Thomas Steyer. He constantly called for increasing marginal tax rates, socialized healthcare schemes, gun control, cessation of First Amendment Rights, increasing the scope and authority of the federal behemoth through agency regulation and strengthening, and just about everything we on the right side of the aisle have always been against. He was a huge Hillary supporter in 2008 prior to it becoming obvious that she would lose the nomination, at which point he climbed on board the wagon belonging to the GOP's version of Hillary, John McCain. He endorsed Al Gore, John Kerry, and before that Bill Clinton. He was a huge money bundle guy for Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, among plenty of other leftists. And no, he did not spread it out evenly to those on the other side. Still believe that he's one of us? If so, I hear that the Brooklyn Bridge is for sale, by some New York Real Estate mogul with a 50 horsepower comb over, professionally colored to appear reddish.

Now I get the anger that we've not seen the fight from the Palooka Party to the degree that we need them to fight, but that's also a function of politics, and is as much our fault as it is theirs. So, in part, before you start burning Mitch McConnell and John Boehner in effigy, take a good hard long look in the mirror. In fact, here's a bit of wisdom that I read at Hot Air yesterday that I believe to be one of the hardest truths that we need to own up to.

The comments below saying that there’s no reason to vote for Republicans are pretty amusing, considering the context of this story. It was the “why bother to vote for Romney” crowd that gave us a second Obama term. It was the Republicans who turned out to vote in Wisconsin that reformed PEUs, controlled the budget, and will get rid of the GAB and John Doe investigations. The same commenters keep showing up to peddle the same despair in thread after thread based largely on the fact that things didn’t change enough after people didn’t show up to vote in 2012 and left us with Obama in charge of the executive branch, and wonder why Republicans in Congress can’t just change everything overnight. Wisconsin shows what can happen when Republicans and conservatives actually show up.

Read the full article here.

I too find it amusing, at least I would were I not about to cry, that somehow, Donald Trump is our conservative hero today, despite his past of being solidly on the left of every issue. Scott Walker among others is now considered to be a squishy establishment guy who's a big government mole of some sort, despite his solid record of achieving real small government reform, in a solidly bluer than blue state. The same could be said for Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, and even, dare I say it, Jeb, the guy I don't want to win, Bush.

I don't know how the idea got itself into anybody's head that winning one election cycle in 2014, or two out of three if we travel back in time to 2010, would be that magic bullet that righted our ship. It's a real shame that anyone would have the expectation, that magically, after those victories, we'd just be granted our way by the enemy camp still in control of the Executive Branch. Barack Obama has not exactly been conciliatory in defeat, (unlike his two predecessors, who both were.) We got into this mess politically, as in losing several election cycles by huge margins, and winning multiple election cycles will be the only way out. This road is hard and no matter how discouraged and pissed we get, anger alone is not an argument, nor is anger alone particularly helpful.

"The Donald," is more of an idea, a blank canvas upon which the aspirations and hopes of conservatives lost in the electoral wilderness paint what they want to see, rather than what the reality will give us should he actually succeed in his secondary goal. I say secondary, because I personally believe that he's pulling a Perot here, shilling for the second Clinton to seek the Presidency just like Ross did for Billy Jeff. Yes he's burning a lot of bridges for now, but hey, like he constantly reminds us, he has $9 Billion to throw around, and if Hillary takes up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue again, he'll be paid back in spades a plenty. We're talking enough cabbage to make him forget all about those burned bridges to soon be replaced with newer more expensive ones. Remember, "The Donald," is one of the best at playing the crony capitalist game, perhaps even the best. If there were a Cooperstown for successfully greasing palms, Donald and his 50 horsepower comb over would most certainly be be enshrined within its infamous walls.

Do we really want to trust our hopes of cleaning up the crony system and the task of, "making America great again," to someone who's greatest accomplishment to date has been rising to the top of that Constitution destroying system through being one of our greatest cronies? I'm sure that Mr. Trump has a keen mind in terms of building and conducting his business, but he's also had a lot of favorable help from those who've had their palms greased by him along the way. While I do believe it's true that those who perform acts of public malfeasance are more culpable for cronyism than are the practitioners of private malfeasance, that in no way means that I believe that the latter should be excused for their part in all of this. Donald Trump, who has spent a lifetime learning the art of telling people what they want to hear, rather than what they need to hear, will solve nothing if elected, other than how find new and improved ways to make the world a better place for Donald Trump.

Now, let us take a look at the elephant in the room. The immigration debate, which is far more complex than, "The Donald's," carefully chosen sound bytes, or building a big fence, or granting amnesty to any already here who have proven beyond all doubt that our sovereignty or national law are meaningless to them. First things first. "The Donald," way back in the ancient year known as 2008, declared that amnesty for all aliens living here illegally was an imperative, and in fact, he repeated that position in 2012 as well. Hearing him suddenly pounce on this current position he's taken tells me that Donald Trump has no moral center, no core belief system, no reverence for Americans or America, nor even the belief that anyone here besides, "The Donald," possesses an adult memory. Trump what ever else he is, is a demagogue. He has learned to play on our emotions in order to further his own cause.

I can agree that there are criminals emigrating here illegally from the Latino countries. I can agree that we must and should, before anything else is decided upon, deport all, and I repeat all, who flouted our national laws and sovereignty by coming here without signing the guest book on the way in. I believe that we should secure our borders period. (Which by the way does not include a silly fence that will do nothing more than add 15 minutes of travel time to those seeking to gain entrance into our nation illegally. Securing our borders means, if we want that effort to be successful, hiring, training and deploying thousands of agents to patrol the border and physically repel, by violent force if necessary, any who attempt to penetrate our territory.) My problem with Trump's assessment of the situation is in his characterization of our main problem coming from our Latino neighbors. Yes, some of them are incorrigible degenerates, doubtless sent here by a governments sick of dealing with their own messes, and in some cases, members of criminal organizations who have zero respect for any human life outside of their own cartels. But the vast majority of those fleeing to our country are fleeing to what they believe will be a better life for them and their families. People vote most honestly with their feet. People of all stripes wish to be where life will be best for them, which means more often than not, coming to live here in America.

Now, we should in no way encourage this behavior by repeating the mistake made in the 80's, when we deluded ourselves into believing that our elected political leaders would keep their words. We should however allow a more open immigration system to take root, where any who want to become a part of the American dream. assimilate to our language and culture, and are willing to work for it, do so. That means no welfare benefits, deportation for any who try to gain welfare benefits, and this is key, no preferential treatment for those who emigrate here from nations we're trying to bribe this week into some sort of trade deal, arms treaty, troop quartering deal, or anything else.

Our true problem with immigration is not the lack of PHD's interested in moving here, or an over abundance of low skilled laborers, but in the fact that we are preferentially bringing in a multitude of people who wish to topple our nation, destroy our culture, weaken our national resolve, and on top of that, granting them all sorts of goodies from the public largess for their trouble. This by the way is something, "The Donald," is very deftly dancing around, since he's always been on board with anything that coddles the Middle Eastern enemies of our nation. Those no interest guaranteed business loans which are never actually repaid by the way, granted to every Saudi, Syrian, Iraqi, Iranian, Yemeni, Egyptian, Somali, Quatari, or any other Shiite, Druze, Wahabi, or Suni, who wishes to open up a convenience store, Holiday Inn, Pizza Hut, or bar here in America, could just as easily be used to help citizens in those very same communities become entrepreneurs. Of course, that takes too long to say, would never be repeated on the evening news, and doesn't get the blood boiling quite as well as, "They took our jobs!"

Just because we on the right have been in the electoral desert for far too long does not mean that we need to drink the political equivalent of sand mistaken for water. Trump is popular because people believe that he's fighting back, and represents an angered populace tired of seeing the Constitution eroded as the once unassailable cornerstone of our national framework. The problem that I have with Trump is not the fact that he's learned how to jump out in front of a national sentiment that I share, but that I know he doesn't mean it. If you look beyond the empty platitudes, and see what he's said, as short as four years ago, on immigration especially, you'll realize that sincerity is not one of, "The Donald's," strong suits. Self promotion, self aggrandizement, and greasing palms are.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Happy Birthday America! I Pray We Get To See A Lot More.

While serving as President, Woodwrow Wilson, the second progressive to serve in that capacity, stated that in order to truly understand the Declaration of Independence, one should ignore everything but the enumerated grievances against King George. According to President Wilson, the enumerated grievances are the only piece of this document worth our attention. Of course, true to Leftist form, when this is done, the whole reference to natural law and our rights coming from God rather than from governmental authority will be tossed out, blocked from sight and thought. The entire premise that governments are constituted among men solely for the purpose of protecting these natural rights and for no other reason is swept away by Wilson's spurious claim. That is the nature of the political left. Allowing them to take root was a mistake of epic proportion. Allowing this weed any more growth is worse.

Here's the text from an email I received earlier this week. Please give it a read, and place it in the context of the last paragraph of our Declaration of Independence, which will follow. All of the Declaration of Independence is worth our rapt attention. Please read it, and understand it all. Celebrate the Fourth, remain safe, and always remember that our country, freedom, and fortunes are worth fighting for and protecting. God Bless America.

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men
who signed the Declaration of Independence? Their story. . .

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors,
and tortured before they died.

Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.

Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army;
another had two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or
hardships of the Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes,
and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.

Eleven were merchants.

Nine were farmers and large plantation owners;
men of means, well educated.

But they signed the Declaration of Independence
knowing full well that the penalty would be death if
they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and
trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the
British Navy. He sold his home and properties to
pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British
that he was forced to move his family almost constantly.
He served in the Congress without pay, and his family
was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him,
and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer,
Walton , Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that
the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson
home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General
George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed,
and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed.
The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying.
Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill
were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests
and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his
children vanished.

So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and
silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid.

Remember: freedom is never free!

I hope you will show your support by sending this to as many
people as you can, please. It's time we get the word out that patriotism
is NOT a sin, and the Fourth of July means more than beer,
picnics, and baseball games. True "reflection" is a part of this country's
greatness. Please be a participant.

Declaration of Independence

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.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Column 3
John Hancock
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton