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Happy Independence Day! I'm sitting here writing this while hearing… - Nite Mirror [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Nite Mirror

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[Jul. 5th, 2002|12:23 am]
Nite Mirror
[Current Music |A Conversation with Thomas Jefferson]

Happy Independence Day!

I'm sitting here writing this while hearing my neighbors shooting off fireworks. Each 4th of July with the firecrackers popping and the bigger ones booming I hear in them the echoes of the muskets and cannons of the Revolutionary War. This year is no different.

I heard one news report that said this Independence Day after the events back in September Americans are more reflective. Actually, I wasn't until I heard that. This year the holiday snuck up on me. It seems there were less firecrackers going off in the weeks before than I have noticed in past years.

Anyway, as you can see below I am listening to a CD which WGN put out a few years back where a Thomas Jefferson impersonator answers questions put to him as that founding father would have probable answered them. Clay Jenkinson does a good job answering impromptu questions as Jefferson might well have answered them.

But I'm rambling again. I set down to write something reflective on my nation, and put this CD on for inspiration. The problem is I am rather ambivalent toward the Government of the United States. The nation; my nation; no, I am not ambivalent toward. I can be as patriotic as anyone.

Perhaps the problem I am having is "reflecting" is a very general term. Right now on the CD Jefferson is saying how Americans are no longer self-sufficient. We rely too much on goods we need to buy from others. That this world is much more what Alexander Hamilton would have wanted than what he would have. Now I may (or may not) be a descendent of Mr. Hamilton, but from what I know with a few exceptions I prefer Jefferson's ideals.

Roughly speaking, Jefferson wanted the people to be voices of a chorus. Hamilton thought the people's opinions could not be trusted and should have others speak on their behalf with little or no consultation at all.

Again I am going off on a tangent I would rather not travel down. So it is time to move back a bit again. Reflections on this day ... This day, with the sounds of fireworks echoing a disguised remembrance of a war. The nation was born out of revolution. We seem to forget that fact.

The average citizen, myself included, is lethargic. A "sleeping bear" as a WWII Japanese General referred to us, and warned that attacking Pearl Harbor would wake up that bear. 9/11 woke us up somewhat. The task Pres. Bush has is keeping us awake.

Well, I think that is enough reflection.

Hmm, maybe I should end this with something Jefferson wrote:

The Declaration of Independence of The 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 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 invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States;
for that purpose obstructing the Laws of 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 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 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 of 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.

Nor have We been wanting in attention 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 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.
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: tom_vroom
2002-07-05 04:33 pm (UTC)

Posts of consequence

May I just say, that in your case, posting the Declaration of Independence on July 4th shows an insane amount of class. I truly enjoyed it, some of it went over my head, but I still enjoyed the read. Thanks.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nitemirror
2002-07-06 03:12 pm (UTC)

Re: Posts of consequence

I'm glad you enjoyed it. The insane part I've been called before (ask any of my friends). ;-)

The class part is new though.

Thanks.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)