Saturday, November 1, 2008

The declaration of independence

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 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 benefit 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 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 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.

What does this mean? Let us look at the terms, 'Inalienable'. This term was written several times as 'unalienable', an older spelling far more common at the time.. inalienable though, means that the people cannot be separated from them, they do not come from the hands of government, nor from the hands of men, but from something innate, something precious, something powerful that cannot be taken away.. the very spirit of liberty itself, the very state of humanity.

Our 'civil rights' as we see them today, are actually inalienable rights, guaranteed by the constitution not to be trodden upon, recognized within the bill of rights, as part of that constitutional agreement, for all men, rich or poor, free man, or felon. There is a civil process to remove these rights for a time, but only for a time, and it is only by our assent, our inaction, our ignorance that they can be removed from us... and then we can take them back again, at any time.

The secret to the Bill of Rights was that there was to be no sanction for exercising those rights. People point to the second amendment as being only for the militia... but what was the militia? If we look at the statements of Madison, the bills of the time, the militia was every able-bodied citizen capable of taking up arms in the defense of himself, his community, or his country.

What was the purpose of the militia? To prevent the very things which were above listed, to prevent the military from ever growing so powerful, the federal government from ever growing so powerful, as to threaten and destroy the rights of the people again.

How then, can this be simply a state militia? If it be the national guard, how could the milita pre-exist the creation of said guard? If it be the army, how could the militia pre-exist the nation? Most do not realize the definition of militia was changed in the 1903 Dick Act, creating the National Guard.

If the purpose was simply for the state to have a national guard, then how can the Federal Government federalize them, and thus deny the states their militia? if that be the argument, the Federal Government cannot mandate to the National Guard at all.... but they do.

Let us look deeper, perhaps, at the nature of the problem. It was recognized that, over time, any force of law would create impositions upon the rights of the people. Those impositions would require some means of recognition, and the Bill of Rights was instituted to, not just limit the Federal Government, but to show a warning upon the things to watch out for when the government was moving toward tyranny.

The writ of Habeas Corpus was particularly important. THe right to a local trial by the jury of your peers, with nullification of the law, and a timely trial, was equally important. Freedom from government searches and seizures was a necessity. The right to speak, the right to worship, the right to associate, the right to assemble, all were written as preexisting rights, guaranteed not to be infringed upon via the criminal code.

But how many of these aspects of the Declaration of Independence are we in violation of today? How many still apply? Most of them do.. the names have changed, the natures have changed, but does the government not ship, once again, people off with a mock trial, or no trial at all, to places inconvenient for their defense? Does it not create debts that must be paid for out of our taxes, in clear opposition ot the will of the people? And the senate and house sit idle, figureheads for all their gruff bluster.

Do they not protect their own against conviction? Do they not protect themselves against the same follies which the citizens of the several states are charged, convicted, and imprisoned for?

How nobly they stand, in their whited sepulchers... how their robes shine and sparkle, hiding the corruption that lies beneath.

if what I write is treason.. if what I write is criminal, then it is a crime I gladly commit. It is a crime for which I pay gladly. And if what I say is treason, then long live the patriots, for there is no country that would make the truth treason that I would be subject to.

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