A Declaration ... of the People's Plight ...


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" Drafted by Thomas Jefferson

between June 11 and June 28, 1776,

the Declaration of Independence is at once



the nation's most cherished symbol of liberty

and Jefferson's most enduring monument.



...
Here, in exalted and unforgettable phrases,

Jefferson expressed the convictions

in the minds and hearts of the American people
.




The political philosophy of the Declaration was not new;



its ideals of individual liberty

had already been expressed by John Locke

and the Continental philosophers.



What Jefferson did was to summarize this philosophy

in "self-evident truths"



and set forth a list of grievances

against the King



in order to justify before the world

the breaking of ties between the colonies

and the mother country. "



Source: The Charters of Freedom website.



The Declaration of Independence:

A Transcription



(emphasis and line formatting added)



=========================



" 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.



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 harrass 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 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 Brittish 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.
"



=========================



The 56 signatures on the Declaration

appear in the positions indicated:



Column 1



Georgia:

   Button Gwinnett

   Lyman Hall

   George Walton



Column 2



North Carolina:


   William Hooper

   Joseph Hewes

   John Penn



South Carolina:

   Edward Rutledge

   Thomas Heyward, Jr.

   Thomas Lynch, Jr.

   Arthur Middleton



Column 3



Massachusetts:

   John Hancock

   Maryland:

   Samuel Chase

   William Paca

   Thomas Stone

   Charles Carroll of Carrollton



Virginia:

   George Wythe

   Richard Henry Lee

   Thomas Jefferson

   Benjamin Harrison

   Thomas Nelson, Jr.

   Francis Lightfoot Lee

   Carter Braxton



Column 4




Pennsylvania:

   Robert Morris

   Benjamin Rush

   Benjamin Franklin

   John Morton

   George Clymer

   James Smith

   George Taylor

   James Wilson

   George Ross



Delaware:

   Caesar Rodney

   George Read

   Thomas McKean



Column 5



New York:

   William Floyd

   Philip Livingston

   Francis Lewis

   Lewis Morris



New Jersey:

   Richard Stockton

   John Witherspoon

   Francis Hopkinson

   John Hart

   Abraham Clark



Column 6



New Hampshire:

   Josiah Bartlett

   William Whipple



Massachusetts:

   Samuel Adams

   John Adams

   Robert Treat Paine

   Elbridge Gerry



Rhode Island:

   Stephen Hopkins

   William Ellery



Connecticut:

   Roger Sherman

   Samuel Huntington

   William Williams

   Oliver Wolcott



New Hampshire:

   Matthew Thornton



http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html







======= [ End of the unanimous Declaration ] =======





History holds many Lessons ...

which are all too often forgotten,

in our modern way of life.



Our Freedoms, were not gained, however,

as easily, as we have given them up

in recent years ...



Those who do not learn the Lessons of History,

are destined to repeat its struggles ...



Find the Cost of Freedom -- (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)





Hopefully those lessons will be taken to heart,

so that, we will not have to re-learn them, often ...


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The Restless Consumer - Neil Young

The Restless Consumer Lyrics

http://www.sing365.com/music/Lyric.nsf/The-Restless-Consumer-lyrics-Neil-Young/EC326E23B030BA224825717700276447

The people have heard the news
The people have spoken
You may not like what they said
But they weren't jokin'

Way out on the desert sands
Lies a desperate lover
They call her the "Queen of Oil"
So much to discover

Don't need no ad machine
Telling me what I need
Don't need no Madison Avenue War
Don't need no more boxes I can see

Covered in flags but I can't see them on TV

Don't need no more lies
Don't need no more lies
Don't need no more lies
Don't need no more lies

The restless consumer flies
Around the world each day
With such an appetite for taste and grace

People from around the world
Need someone to listen
We're starving and dying from our disease
We need your medicine
How do you pay for war
And leave us dyin' ?
When you could do so much more
You're not even tryin'

Don't need no TV ad
Tellin' me how sick I am
Don't want to know how many people are like me
Don't need no dizziness
Don't need no nausea
Don't need no side effects like diarrhea or sexual death

Don't need no more lies
Don't need no more lies
Don't need no more lies
Don't need no more lies

The restless consumer lies
Asleep in her hotel
With such an appetite
For anything that sells

A hundred voices from a hundred lands
Need someone to listen
People are dying here and there
They don't see the world the way you do
There's no mission accomplished here
Just death to thousands

A hundred voices from a hundred lands
Cry out in unison

Don't need no terror squad
Don't want no damned Jihad
Blowin' themselves away in my hood
But we don't talk to them
So we don't learn from them
Hate don't negotiate with Good

Don't need no more lies
Don't need no more lies
Don't need no more lies
Don't need no more lies

The restless consumer flies
Around the world each day
With such an appetite for efficiency
And pace...

------
and another anthem from Neil Young

Back in the days of "Shock and Awe" ...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWWcx3vUSww

Lest we never forget ...