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Happy Fourth of July, America 
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Post Happy Fourth of July, America
Posting the Declaration is a Heinlein Forum tradition, so I thought I'd do it here as well.

Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
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 shown 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 invasions from without and convulsions
within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose
obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others
to encourage their migration 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 harass 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 offenses;

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring 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, burned our towns, and destroyed
the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete
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 insurrection among us, and has endeavored 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 our 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 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.


[Signed by] JOHN HANCOCK [President]


New Hampshire
JOSIAH BARTLETT,
WM. WHIPPLE,
MATTHEW THORNTON.

Massachusetts Bay
SAML. ADAMS,
JOHN ADAMS,
ROBT. TREAT PAINE,
ELBRIDGE GERRY

Rhode Island
STEP. HOPKINS,
WILLIAM ELLERY.

Connecticut
ROGER SHERMAN,
SAM'EL HUNTINGTON,
WM. WILLIAMS,
OLIVER WOLCOTT.

New York
WM. FLOYD,
PHIL. LIVINGSTON,
FRANS. LEWIS,
LEWIS MORRIS.

New Jersey
RICHD. STOCKTON,
JNO. WITHERSPOON,
FRAS. HOPKINSON,
JOHN HART,
ABRA. CLARK.

Pennsylvania
ROBT. MORRIS
BENJAMIN RUSH,
BENJA. FRANKLIN,
JOHN MORTON,
GEO. CLYMER,
JAS. SMITH,
GEO. TAYLOR,
JAMES WILSON,
GEO. ROSS.

Delaware
CAESAR RODNEY,
GEO. READ,
THO. M'KEAN.

Maryland
SAMUEL CHASE,
WM. PACA,
THOS. STONE,
CHARLES CARROLL of Carrollton.

Virginia
GEORGE WYTHE,
RICHARD HENRY LEE,
TH. JEFFERSON,
BENJA. HARRISON,
THS. NELSON, JR.,
FRANCIS LIGHTFOOT LEE,
CARTER BRAXTON.

North Carolina
WM. HOOPER,
JOSEPH HEWES,
JOHN PENN.

South Carolina
EDWARD RUTLEDGE,
THOS. HAYWARD, JUNR.,
THOMAS LYNCH, JUNR.,
ARTHUR MIDDLETON.

Georgia
BUTTON GWINNETT,
LYMAN HALL,
GEO. WALTON.

NOTE.-Mr. Ferdinand Jefferson, Keeper of the Rolls in the Department of State,
at Washington, says: " The names of the signers are spelt above as in the facsimile
of the original, but the punctuation of them is not always the same; neither
do the names of the States appear in the facsimile of the original. The names
of the signers of each State are grouped together in the facsimile of the original,
except the name of Matthew Thornton, which follows that of Oliver Wolcott."-Revised
Statutes of the United States, 2d edition, 1878, p. 6.


Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:20 am
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Posts: 238
Post Re: Happy Fourth of July, America
Perhaps, to this we could add the Bill of Rights:

Article I

After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred representatives, nor less than one representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of representatives shall amount to two hundred; after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than two hundred representatives, nor more than one representative for every fifty thousand persons.

Article II
No law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

Article III
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Article IV
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Article V
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Article VI
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Article VII
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Article VIII
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Article IX
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Article X
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Article XI
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Article XII
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


respectfully

Nick


Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:35 am
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Post Re: Happy Fourth of July, America
If I may be forgiven "plagiarizing myself," this might be the right time and place to re-publish an old post of mine, from another BBS.

____

The July 4th holiday, as currently celebrated, doesn't seem to have the same gravitas that I recall from my youth. Are the ideals of the American Revolutionaries, which once galvanized a continent, still discussed, still debated? Or are those ideals considered empty slogans... if they are considered at all.

As the Russian-born Ayn Rand put it: “The political philosophy of America’s Founding Fathers is so thoroughly buried under decades of statist misrepresentations on one side and empty lip-service on the other, that it has to be re-discovered, not ritualistically repeated. It has to be rescued from the shameful barnacles of platitudes now hiding it.”

Perhaps today is good day to reflect on the ideas from which America was made. So just what did America's Founding Fathers say?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

“I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” Jefferson

“He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.” Paine

“The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but only to have the law of nature for his rule..” S. Adams

“That government is best which governs least.” Jefferson

“Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.” Paine

“That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.” G. Mason, June 12, 1776

“Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and the principle of spending money, to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.” Jefferson

“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force! Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master...” Washington

“Among the natural rights of the Colonists are these: First, a right to life; Secondly, to liberty; Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can.” S. Adams

“A great part of that order which reigns among mankind is not the effect of government. It had its order in the principles of society, and the natural constitution of man. It existed prior to government, and would exist if the formality of government was abolished.... Common interest regulates [society’s] concerns, and forms their laws.... In fine, society performs for itself almost everything which is ascribed to government.” Paine

“For upwards of two years after the commencement of the American war, and a longer period in several of the American states, there were no established forms of government. The old governments had been abolished, and the country was too much occupied in defense to employ its attention in establishing new governments; yet, during this interval, order and harmony were preserved.... The instant formal government is abolished, society begins to act. A general association takes place, and common interest produces common security.” Paine

“But how often is the natural propensity to society disturbed or destroyed by the operations of government! When the later, instead of being engrafted upon the principles of the former, assumes to exist for itself, and acts by partialities of favor and oppression, it becomes the cause of the mischiefs it ought to prevent.” Paine


+++++++++++++++++++


Two final thoughts, not from Founders, but pertinent.

“You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence. “
-- Charles A. Beard

"Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible." T.E. Lawrence

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Perhaps every day is a good day to reflect on the ideas from which America was made. Have a glorious birthday, America.

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"...the man who ... taught me to argue with the accepted version." ~ Samuel R. Delany


Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:51 pm
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Post Re: Happy Fourth of July, America
JT: Independence Day Thoughts: I have heard that there is a forum where you are not free to lurk! Where active participation is not only encouraged, but required for membership.
As for me: I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it! Or to Not Say anything, as the case may be ;-)

Ed


Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:49 am
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Post Re: Happy Fourth of July, America
Glad to see you here, finally, Ed. I hope the new digs take off and we drag plenty more HF cobbers here.


Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:42 am
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Post Re: Happy Fourth of July, America
Thanks for the Declaration and other Founding materials. Always good to keep reminding ourselves.

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Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:52 am
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Post Re: Happy Fourth of July, America
Not to be, like, a Commie or unpatriotic or anything, but if you study the Declaration and its history, it has some, um, inaccuracies. But propaganda has always had its own rules. :mrgreen:

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Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:02 am
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Post Re: Happy Fourth of July, America
Indeed. The inaccuracies are themselves a good guide to what Jefferson and others who wrote and adopted the Declaration of Independence thought and believed at the time. I think they did a decent job of representing the material facts myself. ;-)

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Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:37 pm
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Post Re: Happy Fourth of July, America
Er, no, they knew they were misrepresenting things, as fomenting revolutionistas often do.

The item that comes to mind is about the Brits "stirring insurrection among the natives" - to the contrary, the British administrators had largely made peace with the tribes and were controlling things, while it was settlers and colonialists who were agitating trouble, mostly for expansionist reasons. But it played better to blame George.


Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:11 pm
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Post Re: Happy Fourth of July, America
Shades of Professor de la Paz -- or the other way around, I suppose... but I was more aware of the Prof than the founding fathers for a number of years.
He's one of my heroes. Not afraid to break the rules when necessary -- or gladly pay the price for same. So many forget that part of the price was loss of 'sacred honor'.

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Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:44 pm
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