Saturday, September 18, 2004

The Declaration of Independence, its true meaning.

All things taken out of context lose their meaning.

The Declaration of Independence, was just that, (a declaration of independence), in effect a declaration of war to King George of England.

To determine the meaning of those words they must be put back into context.

The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies
In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

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.

The time has come for England and the American Colonies to part ways. We believe that this is our given right and decency requires that we give our reasons for this 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.

We say these things are self explanatory, no man is set in status above another in the eyes of the Creator. Our Creator has given us Rights that can not be taken away and among others 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,

Government should be instituted to protect those Rights and that government derives its power from 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 [George III] 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.

Whenever any government becomes abusive of its power or tyrannical, it is the right of the governed to overthrow it and form a new government that will carry out its duty and respect their Rights. These thirteen Colonies have suffered under the despotism of King George long enough detailed by the following list of grievances.
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 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 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 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 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, burnt 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 insurrections amongst 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.

We have petitioned King George at every step and he has refused to acknowledge our petitions with anything other than more of the same. That makes him unfit to rule 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 have spoken to our British friends and family and asked them to intervene on our behalf, to no avail, so now we must treat them as we would the subjects of any other nation.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

It is a breath taking document which signaled the start of a world wide revolution that continues to this day. The idea that government should only rule by consent of the governed was as foreign to that world of 1776 as a jet fighter.

And each signer of that document effectively cut his ties with England and signed his own death warrant.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

It's the same old song

Boston Globe
(1984 Senate race)
"War and Peace" was Kerry's campaign theme, but the emphasis was mostly on peace. War, however, specifically the Vietnam War, may have saved his candidacy in the primary.[...]

Shannon was smarting from Kerry's taunts that the congressman had reversed himself, voting first for and later against the MX missile system. A week before the primary, Shannon tried to turn the table, contrasting his own U-turn on the MX to Kerry's change of heart on the Vietnam War.

"If you felt that strongly about the war, you would not have gone," Shannon said during a televised debate. "I was very proud that you changed your mind."

But two nights later, in another debate, Kerry jacked up the issue to another level.

"You impugn the service of veterans in that war by saying they are somehow dopes or wrong for going," he said.

Shannon refused to yield.

"John, you know that dog won't hunt," he said. "I don't owe anybody an apology."

A band of Vietnam vets, all Kerry men, then wheeled into action. "There was a kind of raw, gut instinct, and the campaign acted on it the way you wouldn't today," said longtime Kerry strategist John Marttila, meaning there was no polling data as a guide.

Vietnam veterans began shadowing Shannon in the primary campaign's final days, traveling around the state, "looking for ways to pick fights," Marttila said.

"But this was not fake stuff. John's bona fides had been called into question, and these guys had gone to Vietnam. It was powerful material," Marttila recalled.

With help from the vets, who called themselves "the dog hunters," Kerry stopped Shannon cold. His athletic stamina and what one campaign staffer called "laser-like focus" became major assets in the frenzied final days as he outworked the field.

The finish was memorable. Kerry's field organization pulled him over the top. He lost Lowell and Middlesex County by big margins, but beat Shannon in Boston and most other major cities. Kerry's statewide margin was paper thin, only 24,529 votes, or 3.1 percent, out of 790,000 cast.

I think this is profound. Kerry seems to be using a tactic he has used in the past with proven results. The problem for him this time is, another group of Vietnam Vets is taking him to task. He thought that 30 years would insulate him. He has polished it up a little and changed the message and his "dog hunters" have become his "band of brothers".

I have heard John O'Neill hint that this has also happened in his other Senate races complete with, "the dog hunters,".
Who were/are these "dog hunters"?
Where were they recruited?
Who paid their expenses, and did they get paid "more" than expenses?

One more question:

Given John Kerry's record, including his and other (veterans?) testimony before congress in the, "Winter Soldier", investigations and the fact that many of those that testified lied about their service and some (apparently) were not Vietnam Veterans, or Veterans at all.

Were these, "dog hunters", Veterans at all or were they some more of John Kerry's true band of brothers? (That would be a bunch of liars and traitors!)

If I had the resources, I would love to investigate this!