How many people know that today is not the birthday of our nation in terms of the war of Independence, nor the day on which peace was achieved, free of British rule?
Rather, it was the day that a handful of brave men stood and affixed signatures to a document we call The Declaration of Independence.
I wish to quote it, in full, and annotate it in the context of the present day.
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.
It is only fair to tell people why you are driven to tell the present government to “Go to Hell“, and challenge them that should they refuse to let you be in peace, you will, if necessary, endeavor to send them to Hell before they do so to you.
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.
It was held that you are not entitled to happiness — only its pursuit. That is, there is no guarantee of success in human endeavors. Indeed, it is often the attempt that is as rewarding, or nearly so, as the achievement itself.
— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
Government has no power that the people do not consent to. Any such taking of power by government is illegitimate.
— 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.
Should government take powers without consent of the governed the people have the right to rise and alter or abolish that government, through peaceful means if possible, but through force if necessary.
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.
Men and women are, for the most part, unwilling to commit to the most-serious of change and its potential consequence. This is a good thing and aligns with the best outcomes for the people in the general sense.
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.
It is not just the right of the people to rise and demand that government cease abusive practices, it is the duty of the people to do so.
— 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.
Gee, where have we seen this of late? Barclays anyone? Rigging LIBOR is just part of it. Despite claims that “Nobody committed any crimes” (ala Gary Johnson and President Obama) the fact of the matter is that the government has jailed people for rigging the price of cardboard boxes! Yet banksters have laundered money for drug cartels, ripped off each and every resident in an entire county (Jefferson County), committed hundreds of thousands of admitted counts of perjury with robosigned and otherwise defective affidavits and assignments knowingly presented to courts (which, incidentally, they’re still doing in that they’re presenting affidavits claiming that a particular entity owns a given mortgage while fully aware that they don’t) and now, it turns out, they riggedthe largest interest-rate market base used in worldwide commerce, in concert and intentionally so as to skim off profits from their derivative contracts.
The common word for most of this, under any rational examination, is RACKETEERING. RICO is a law that was put in place to bust gangsters who conspired among themselves and with others to rig various contracts and steal from people on a pretty-much continual basis.
But when banks do it nobody will jail them.
And incidentally, Barclays has suggested that The Fed knew the banks were rigging LIBOR and did nothing about it. This means that under any reasonable interpretation of the law, if this is true then The Fed was complicit and therefore the institution and those within it should be held personally and corporately to criminal account.
Or how about GlaxoSmithKline, which was just fined $3 billion for a long-running scam in which it both promoted drugs off-label and failed to report safety data that put people at risk?
I note that $3 billion is less than 3% of GSK’s market capitalization and under 7% of one year’s revenue. Despite pleading guilty to criminal charges not one individual has been charged or imprisoned and the firm can, and will, simply add the cost of the fines to the price of its products, forcing you, the patient, to pay for its criminal conduct.
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.
You mean like Obamacare?
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.
What need of a Representative House (or Senate, in this case) when you simply ignore the constitutional requirements thereof (specifically, to pass a budget)?
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.
Ditto. Oh, as for those invasions, what of the TSA’s invasions of the people?
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.
Who needs to be naturalized? In the US you need only steal your way into America and under Obama you can then steal from everyone else — forever! Oh, and lest you think this is just a Democrat problem, you’re wrong. The Republicans won’t put a stop to this crap either, and neither will Gary Johnson, allegedly-Libertarian, who thinks it’s just fine that 20 million people began their life in the United States by committing a criminal act as their very first act upon entry to the country!
What a nice standard we set for expected behavior (and we then are surprised when thuggery becomes, for many, a way of life?)
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.
What the hell happened with Roberts? I don’t recall anyone (yet) suggesting articles of Impeachment for him, although he damn well ought to be for his torture of the Constitution in upholding PPACA.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
You mean like the TSA?
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
You mean like the Drug Warriors who have raided state-licensed and approved marijuana dispensaries?
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
Not yet….. I don’t think, anyway.
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:
“What is the UN” for $200 Alex.
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 benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
Oh, gee, the list here is too long to compile in a reasonable form. NDAA, The Patriot Act, PPACA, TARP and on and on and on.
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:
What is forcing States to assent to everything from driver license requirements (e.g. REAL ID) to drinking ages (21) to the former “double nickel” speed limit?
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
See above, plus PPACA.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
You mean like raiding the wrong house, which can and occasionally has resulted in the cops shooting innocent people?
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.
Yeah, the people said 300:1 NO to TARP. John McCain and Obama, along with Congress, said this to the 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.
So let’s see….
Theft and fraud en-masse, at a scale dwarfing all other crime by citizens, committed by banksters and other corporate interests, including drug companies.
Intentional and admitted criminal conduct by both in multiple cases, including criminal conduct that has caused death and severe injury.
Intentional concealment by government of unlawful activity (“Gunwalker”) that also has led to death of innocent citizens and peace officers.
Sexual assaults on a daily basis of persons doing nothing more than attempting to travel, without articulable suspicion or probable cause (the TSA.)
and much more (like we need more?)
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.
Hmmmm…. not yet.
And, I hope, not necessary.
But on this 4th Day of July, 2012, let us all remember exactly how America was born. Tax rates that were one tenthof today’s, along with usurpations and abuses that were trivial compared to that suffered by the people of this nation today on a daily basis.
Yet those usurpations of 1776, truly trivial in scope and oppression compared to that which we suffer today, led the people to rise and demand that government cease and desist, and when it refused, they took arms and expelled that government, replacing it with one of their own design.
In 1776 nobody was imprisoned for consuming (or growing) a plant.
In 1776 nobody had their breasts and genitals groped simply because they attempted to travel within the boundaries of what was to become The United States.
In 1776 nobody questioned your right to ride a horse or operate a carriage for your own personal conveyance upon the roads of the day.
In 1776 you decided when to pay a doctor, and you were never compelled to pay for someone else’s attendance by a physician or stay in a hospital.
In 1776 government did not routinely protect the firms responsible for more than one quarter of all gross domestic product from ruin and personal imprisonment of their officers and employees when they committed gross offenses of theft, fraud and even caused death among the population.
In 1776 nobody needed a permit to fashion, sell, or possess a firearm.
In 1776 nobody needed permission to speak, or to assemble upon the public square.
In 1776 nobody was forced to pay someone else’s debts to which they had not consented or were related to.
Finally, in 1776, free of all of these usurpations of today, the American middle class was alive and well, and our nation-to-be enjoyed a standard of living that, on a comparable basis, was arguably the best in the world. Free enterprise provided true upward mobility for anyone of sufficient desire, wealth was for the most part yours to keep once lawfully acquired with tax rates a tiny fraction of what is assessed today, the right to protect oneself and one’s family was unquestioned and the right to personal travel using the means common to the day on an unfettered basis formed a key part of the mobility and vitality of our nation-to-be’s people and business ventures.
Lacking all of the technological marvels of the day and having none of the modern conveniences and knowledge of science, medicine and industry, we were far more free, far more prosperous on a comparable basis and actually had a reason to look forward to the next morning with more, rather than less, freedom in our future.
So as you gather around the BBQ, play on your boats and drink beer with your friends on this 4th of July, please take the time to contemplate what life was really like in 1776, what it is really like today, and why you, I, and everyone else continue to consent to the abuses and usurpations that are shoved down our throats by the thugs in both industry and government.
Perhaps that will add a bit of sobriety to your celebration.