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Declaration of Independence - Take a minute or two, and read it

By Andrew Pollack on 07/03/2008 at 10:46 PM EDT

Were it not for the events leading to, and following from this document; we in this part of the world would be speaking English, would be disliked by the French, and would...oh, heck, just read the thing. It's a great work.

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

A DECLARATION

By the REPRESENTATIVES of the

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

IN GENERAL CONGRESS ASSEMBLED


When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds 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 to 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 meantime 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 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 legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to 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 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 offenses:

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 in 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, burned 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 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.

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

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

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

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton


There are  - loading -  comments....

re: Declaration of Independence - Take a minute or two, and read itBy Bob Balaban on 07/04/2008 at 12:20 AM EDT
Heck, half the things they found distasteful about King George III are being
done to us all over again by Dubbya & pals, only worse.
In in a few months...By Andrew Pollack on 07/04/2008 at 12:30 AM EDT
...we get to see the ultimate "Fuck You Clown!" and remove the current batch of
idiots, to exchange them with another batch who will screw up different things,
but hopefully neither as quickly nor as badly.
Is that what the Government still belives?By Ian Randall on 07/04/2008 at 12:24 AM EDT
Yes I agree that these are wonderful words and beautifully articulate the
guiding principles followed by the Founding Fathers.

But I wonder sometimes if the current Bush administration has followed these
same principles and values when they invaded Afghanistan, waged war against a
people who posed no direct and present threat to the peace and security of the
USA. Then rounded up, detained and tortured many foreign nationals that they
found in Afganistan, not because of what they actually did but what they
thought and what they believed in.

Then these foreign nationals were transported (some after a brief visit to some
torture camps in Europe and Egypt) to a legally ambiguous location in Cuba and
have remained incarcerated since then without trial or the rights that most
Americans citizens take for granted.

It appears that not ALL men are created equal.

The greatness of a people is not measured by their words but by their actions.
I wonder how the Founding Fathers would have viewed this situation?
I think they'd have been at least proud...By Andrew Pollack on 07/04/2008 at 12:28 AM EDT
...that in a few months, we shall hold a general election and by the will of
our own population remove the one and elect another. That's something which
in their day was as yet largely unheard of. The peaceful transition of power
from one head of state to another in succession is a gift we cannot appreciate
enough.
Forward a copy of this document to....By Ian Randall on 07/04/2008 at 12:49 AM EDT
Perhaps you should forward a copy of this document to Prime Minister Robert
Mugabe in Zimbabwe.

He seems to need some sound advice on governance and democratic values.
re: Is that what the Government still belives?By Nathan T. Freeman on 07/04/2008 at 07:53 AM EDT
"I wonder how the Founding Fathers would have viewed this situation?"

Most of the guys at the bottom of the signature list would have said "screw you
guys, we're going home" and withdrawn from the union.

When their descendants tried that almost a century later, it didn't work out
very well. But the concept was pretty similar.

The loss of the right to secession, while seeming necessary to achieve the
great moral good of freeing southern slaves en masse, forever destroyed the
independent strength of the individual states. It offered up a degree of power
to the central federal authority that virtually guaranteed the US would be at
war once per generation for the next two hundred years.

I imagine George W. Bush thinks of himself as a modern Abraham Lincoln --
sending America's sons to die in order dispatch a great evil.

It would be unsurprising to the signers of the Declaration, I think, that such
a concentration of power would warp the thinking of the person who wielded it.
Just look at what happened to George III.
re: Is that what the Government still belives?By Dwight Wilbanks on 07/04/2008 at 03:13 PM EDT
I had not thought of the civil war in that way before, but, it makes sense. We
like to look back at the revolutionary war times and the start of the country
with starry eyes with awe of their infallibility. What they meant by "all men
are created equal" was white land owning men (and not women). This somehow
impacts my view of their infallibility in my mind.

I've looked back at the civil war as a right/wrong issue, but, like freedom of
speech, right/wrong does not and should not impact the ability of a self
governing people to say or do something. I consider the principals of the
South to be "wrong" in my value system (as most people today do), but, does
that mean that they should not be independent enough to go their own way and do
their own thing? Back in civil war times, I would have sided with the North,
but, looking back with hindsight, the issue is not so clear. The injustices
thrust upon black people was wrong, but, looking back is it also wrong of the
North to force their will and value system on the South?

I "LOVE" that my government built the interstate highway system, this is
something that would not have happened via the state governments. I also
believe that the US was more effective in WW2 as a nation, than of individual
states. But, here we are 50 years later with a similar issue of necessary
connectivity (internet) and our government it fully impotent to build or be
involved with the building of an infrastructure. On another hand, if the
government did not build the highways, would he have better train service
today? Would public transportation be more realistic here? Would we be more
independent of foreign oil and much less concerned about the freedom of the
Iraqi people?

I don't have the answers, but, its great food for thought.
re: Is that what the Government still belives?By Nathan T. Freeman on 07/05/2008 at 03:35 PM EDT
The interstate highway system, while a great boon in many ways, destroyed the
railroads. Union featherbedding and the nationalization of Amtrack didn't
help, but with the replacement of long-distance rail freight with freight
trucks, the demise was inevitable.

Think about it: track maintenance was always the single greatest expense of a
railroad, and suddenly teamsters has their track cost covered by the federal
government, as a massive subsidy.

Was it worth the cost? That's a tough thing to say. Personally, I tend to
want to error on the side of privatization, so because it was a federal
government project, I automatically think it wasn't worth it. Certainly the
system as a whole, particularly in light of it's lack of user fees, is a
massive subsidy to the shipping industry by the government.

And considering how much more fuel-efficient and ecologically sound rail
transport is, you have to wonder both about the effect on oil dependence and
the environment the interstate highway system has had.

Not to mention how much safer per passenger mile both rail and air transport is.

Leaves you rethinking whether it's an accomplishment, doesn't it? :-)
re: Is that what the Government still believes?By Timothy Briley on 07/08/2008 at 03:22 PM EDT
New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia explicitly retained the right to secede.
The others states didn't bother as they thought it understood:

"In his book Life of Webster Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge writes, 'It is safe to say
that there was not a man in the country, from Washington and Hamilton to
Clinton and Mason, who did not regard the new system as an experiment from
which each and every State had a right to peaceably withdraw.'"

IIRC, Jefferson Davis, president of the CSA, was never brought to trial out of
fears that the North's armed resistance to the South's withdrawal would be
found unconstitutional.

Even so. I think the entire world is better off. As far as the interstates are
concerned, some of the most important advances in technology are those which
save us time. The automobile on an interstate is to me the embodiment of that.
Declaration of Independence - A must read!By Ray Bilyk on 07/04/2008 at 10:24 AM EDT
I wonder how many candidates for President actually discuss and talk about the
Declaration of Independence and the Constitution...

I think there's only one...
re: Declaration of Independence - Take a minute or two, and read itBy Thomas Paine Redux (The Pamphleteer) on 02/08/2009 at 01:32 PM EST

----------------------------------------
EDITORS NOTE: I have temporarily removed this item while I verify the poster.
If it turns out to be a rational person and not an automated process or some
kind of statement, I will consider allowing it to remain -- probably as a link
rather than a multi-page post. Stay tuned....

----------------------------------------

2009 Re-Declaration of Independence ■

The Call for a National Referendum to Reinstate Government u201COf The People,
By The People, and For The Peopleu201D

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for the people of the
United States of America to dissolve the political bonds which have gone astray
in our national government in Washington D.C. to the detriment of the
un-entitled common folk, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the
separate and equal station to which the Congressional, Executive, and Judicial
branches of government have excluded themselves through secretive
insider-relationships, special interest payoffs, and favoritism despite blatant
disingenuous acts, 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 to 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 members of the general population
that do not control seats of power, inherited wealth, media stature, or legal
impunity; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their
former systems of government. The history of the present national government
leadership and obvious lobbying cronies is a history of repeated injuries and
usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute
tyranny over these members of the general population. To prove this, let facts
be submitted to a candid world.

We have been refused assent, enforcement, and decisive judgment to laws, the
most wholesome and necessary for the public good. We are deprived of government
protection and stewardship in our most dearly held principles of
self-sufficiency, pride, and personal integrity. Wrong-doers in all sectors of
the economy have accumulated vast wealth at the expense of the general
population, and little has been done to root them out and make them
accountable. Pardon for the expression here, but we need a government that will
u201Cfind them, kill them, skin them, cook them, and eat themu201D while
filling the voids and deficiencies with sound laws that are enforceable.
Arbitrage and profit-taking by those in positions of fiduciary responsibility
must be eliminated by assessing sufficient pecuniary weight to inherent
penalties that are designed to assure prevention. Without appearing to support
a u201CRobin Hoodu201D morality, the general members of the population wish to
embrace the simple concept of becoming a nation of u201Cgiversu201D, not
u201Ctakers,u201D and the government must represent our wish:

Congress has failed to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless
suspended in their operation till sufficient u201Cpork projectsu201D could be
added to buy essential votes for passage; and when so suspended, Congress has
utterly neglected to attend to them while the general population has suffered
and our future well-being has eroded. We need a new law passed by Congress that
requires unitary consideration of each proposed bill based strictly on the
merits and demerits of that bill, and without any additions or subtractions
that favor other interests. If a bill fails the test of goodness for the
welfare of the nation, then it must be abandoned or become a state issue.

Congress has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large
districts of people, unless those people would relinquish rights already
definitively provided for in the Constitution of the United States of America.
The premise of allowing the general population to maintain rights where no harm
is done to others has been lost, and interpretations are made on the basis of
current relationships with political dictators without regard for justice and
equality. Errant politicians, elected and appointed, have created errant
processes, and the resulting quagmire of power and influence serves no good
purpose for the electorate. We do not need to rewrite the Constitution or
subvert its intent; there is beauty in the structural form of democratic checks
and balances when functioning properly. We merely need to recognize the
timeless simplicity and straightforwardness of form outlined as in the
Constitution without interjecting the artificial entanglements in the world
today.

Congress has called together committees, sub-committees, panels of experts,
commissions, confirmation hearings, and endless secretive off-the-record
negotiation meetings at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the
general public domain and depository of their public records, for the sole
purpose of avoiding oversight, constructive input, and unobstructed fairness.
Only when fully prepared for media release, and after being dressed up and
packaged by spin-doctors, does the general population get an opportunity to
know the final result without regard for our need to understand what was
omitted, overlooked, or completely forgotten by those unknowledgeable and
uncaring lawmakers inclined to only protect their power and sense of
self-importance. We have been inundated with sugar-coated explanations for
failure; and fatigued into compliance with these measures. It is time to demand
a more open and accountable process of governance.

The Electoral College as provided for in the Constitution by Congress has
dissolved representative houses repeatedly by not allowing for proportional
allotment of electoral votes. Because the Constitution does not specify how the
statesu2019 electoral votes are to be distributed, each individual state has
decided how the distribution occurs. Almost all states utilize the u201Cwinner
take allu201D method based on a majority of the populous vote within the state.
The only exceptions that utilize the u201Cproportionalu201D method are Maine
and Nebraska, thus allowing the populous vote to directly affect the outcome of
the election. The u201Cwinner take allu201D method utilized by the remaining
forty-eight states effectively induces the national party candidates to only
wage campaigns in major u201Cwinner take allu201D states where a
disproportionate number of electoral votes can be won without regard for the
populous vote. As explained by Alexander Hamilton in The Federalist Papers
(#68) in 1788, the Founding Fathers intended the Electoral College to be a
protective device that would preclude the general population from being duped
by a tyrant, but they overlooked the need to specify the allocation method
within each state or simply considered it a u201Cstates rightsu201D issue. The
fallacy in this has culminated in silos of narrow opinion and pockets of undue
influence that fail to serve the common good. Instead of protecting the nation
from tyrants, use of the u201Cwinner take allu201D method of allocation has
resulted in the facilitation of private interest group activities by weighting
state electoral votes disproportionately, thereby making appeal to all of us as
a nation unnecessary. While upholding the original intent of the Founding
Fathers to protect the nation from tyrants, the Electoral College should be
modified by Congress to re-balance the electoral vote by both method of
distribution and demographic characteristics, thereby restoring to a greater
extent the voice of the general members of the population.

Congress has refused for a long time to enact adequate laws to promote a safe
public infrastructure. Instead, Congress chooses to withhold votes unless
padded with local projects for other more obscure purposes, most having little
or nothing to do with public services or for the common good. All laws related
to public infrastructure and public safety improvement must be isolated from
these leeching and denigrating diversions. In particular the nationu2019s
interstate highway system must be assured as a matter of national security. All
safety and infrastructure programs beyond this federal mandate should clearly
be relegated to states as state issues. All non-essential and wasteful federal
u201Cpork projectsu201D would thereby be explicitly barred from incorporation,
and the costly expenditures associated with these federal political dealings
would not grossly inflate the actual cost of the programs. This practice of
adding u201Cpork projectsu201D to underhandedly solicit sufficient votes for
proposed bills is in essence the prima facie refusal by Congress to cause
worthy projects 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 meantime exposed to all the dangers of Congressional
inaction from without, and convulsions within.

Congress has endeavored to over-complicate the national tax laws, ergo to
render the process of fair and equitable taxation almost impossible. As a
result, the Internal Revenue Service is enlarged to the point where
administration, assured compliance, and prosecution are now hopeless tasks.
This is further compounded by the appointment of in-group lobbyists to Cabinet
positions wherein even tax delinquents, cheaters, and liars are ushered into
positions of power through a tainted confirmation process. Those remiss in
paying their taxes simply apologize for failing to pay their own fair share and
place the blame on their accountants. The tax law clearly states that the
taxpayer is solely accountable, and accountants may only serve to help explain,
not represent. We apparently now have u201Cthe foxes guarding the
henhouses,u201D and the common good is not being served by knowledgeable and
impartial cabinet officials and departmental deputies and secretaries. The law
is being applied inequitably, by inequitable people. The news media have named
specific individuals and their specific transgressions, but despite public
recognition the confirmation hearings have affirmed multiple u201Cfelonsu201D
that committed tax evasion offenses mindful of the historical Elliot Ness era
when Al Capone actually went to jail for failure to pay his taxes. Although
forgiveness of this new batch of political appointees can be debated, do we
truly believe these individuals are worthy of or even capable of high-ranking
oversight responsibility for the welfare of the general members of the
population? We think not.

The Judiciary Branch itself has obstructed the administration of justice, by
liberally interpreting the laws of the land in myopic fashion tailored heavily
to the mores of the current era and with diminished regard for historical
precedents. Heavily stressing the subjective aspects of cases, the rules
outlined in cases are flavored with personal opinions of judges as influenced
by contemporaries, lobbyists, special interest groups, financial encumbrances,
and personal IOUs. The impartiality of the bench is now in question: Justices
leverage positions and manipulate compromise through ambiguous
behind-the-scenes chamber processes to garner supporting votes for decisions,
thus closely mirroring the abhorred practices of lobbyists on Capitol Hill. The
appointment of a Supreme Court Justice is for the lifetime of the judge with a
retirement package at full pay, presumably to ensure impartiality. This is only
pre-conditioned by a requirement to maintain u201Cgood behavioru201D as
outlined within the Constitution. Therein, however, is also provision for the
Senate to impeach federal judges on equivalently subjective terms, in addition
to outright breaches of legal good faith or legal infractions when convicted.
Although the check and balance is provided, intangible
u201Cback-scratchingu201D and interdependencies between the Congressional and
Judicial branches of government serve to render this counter-balance useless,
and actually promotes the use of undue influence to leverage political power
and alter political outcomes. Bad behavior on the part of a Justice may be
overlooked by Congress when specific favorable decisions are sought, and Court
decisions may be swayed to prevent passage of new or modified law. Yet again,
the general members of the population are powerless.

Congressional legislation purports to empower oversight authority and
enforcement actions by the Securities Exchange Commission for existing
financial instruments, but no provision is made for regulators to cope with the
ongoing introduction of new activities beyond the scope of regulation. Wall
Street financial firms have continued to create new, complex financial
instruments for investment that fall outside the purview of current regulatory
policies and underlying laws. Offerings of new forms of security instruments
should require an approval from the regulatory agency in advance, and the
agency must have the authority to introduce bills and propose new laws that
will properly administer the risks associated with these potentially leveraged
new forms of equity. Congress has, in effect, subverted its own power and
authority by placing u201Cblinders over the eyesu201D of the regulatory
agencies that are relied upon to protect the public interest. This is a major
issue of public safety insofar as the future welfare of a continuously aging
population needs to reduce risk and ensure adequate retirement funding. The
Wall Street bonus fiasco during this time of economic recession, massive
layoffs, and government bail-out is only the tip of the iceberg, and without
serious behavior modification the agile brokers and analysts will attempt to
selfishly stay ahead of the u201Cposseu201D at the expense of the investors.
This race to outpace the lawmakers must be anticipated and deterred.

The Executive Branch has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither
swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance. This
phenomenon equates to the caveat in private industry wherein there is only so
much money to go around based on the incomes of the populace, but the power to
legislate tax revenues causes the government to grow beyond economically
sustainable levels. Taxation levels should be established in a multi-year plan,
not a short-sighted, next-year-only plan. Regulatory agencies and offices are
established with commitments for the future, but federal government budgets are
allocated only for the following year. Resources are added, but never removed;
and tax revenues intended to support these commitments are never forecasted far
enough in advance to be adequately weighed in the initial decision to create
new government initiatives. The electoral process is even more ill-conceived
because u201Cpromiseu201D is the by-word even in the absence of any plan. The
size of government has therefore digressed to a u201Cwish,u201D with the
general members of the population assuming all the risk. Capital investment and
budgetary risks are not the sole invention of the private sector of industry,
and government must learn the ways of sound business practices to assure our
future.

Congress has abolished the military draft, and overlooked the need for mandated
public service that could benefit the general population. Lawmakers have thus
encouraged the youth of our country to pursue their own interests without
inhibition, giving the distinct impression that the nationu2019s ability to
wage war on foreign soil is the only reason to maintain a military force. Lest
we forget the benefits of the military draft, we must recognize the side
benefits of those who dissented, but provided alternative service to our
country for the good of the general populace. And, lest we forget, we must
remember the benefits of the jobs creation programs after the Great Depression
where the workforce was essentially conscripted out of economic hardship.
Currently we do not have in-place a dependable mechanism to direct and steer
the future of our country through its citizenry, yet benefits of the draft and
alternative service are right at our fingertips. Stimulation of the economy
could be readily effected via a well-managed program of alternative service,
and presently high levels of unemployment guarantee a sufficient pool of
talented and trainable workforce. Also, if the all-volunteer military system is
to succeed, there must be adequate provision for soldiers to gain meaningful
private enterprise employment after physical, mental, or aging challenges.
Ultimately, however, we must renew the draft in modified form, universally
requiring military or alternative service for the good of the general members
of the population. The caveat is to insure that those who are not conscripted
do not gain advantage over those who make the sacrifice. Most of all,
conscription into public service must be fair, equitable, and devoid of
influences and excuses. Everyone can do something constructive, and they should
do it for the good of the country.

Congress has failed to recognize that free enterprise has both a good side and
a bad side. The good side allows for globally competitive pricing and a
generally improved standard of living for the whole world. The bad side allows
for unregulated outsourcing and duty-free transactions wherein the spoils go to
executive management of private industry without regard for national welfare or
security. There are no adequate laws to protect shareholder rights, yet
investment in the future is the eternal basis for the free enterprise system.
The current global economic crisis has been created by u201Cgreedu201D of
individuals with decision-making power and no governmental accountability.
Bonuses are standard fare, even for non-performance, and the fa■ade of
restricted stock options gives the appearance that business looks to the long
term future and the investorsu2019 welfare. This illusory condition does not
reflect the true matter that executives are paid more within a single year than
the members of the general population earn over an entire lifetime of hard
work. Executives rotate into and out of one position after another with
impunity, and the hiring company forks over immediate compensation for those
restricted stock options that were presumably lost from the prior company. The
inside network of privileged executives is entangled with payoffs for those
complicit in the hiring and pay process, littered with inside information and
trading, fraught with schemes bent on fraud and deliberate deception, and
payments to those chartered with the responsibility for oversight. Although
these executives may at first glance appear to possess the requisite skills,
the u201Cafter-the-factu201D results clearly speak for themselves to the
contrary. Therefore, to attain parity, Congress must enact commensurate laws
that limit executive compensation to pay u201Cafter-the-factu201D based on
measured results, and disallow corporate hiring practices that compensate
executives for lost long-term compensation when changing companies.

Congress has ingrained the illusion of u201Cno tax increasesu201D in its media
image, but the evidence belies this claim. While specific tax rates may be
categorically maintained to continue the illusion, other category rates and
bases change to increase overall tax revenues. The dupe essentially increases
tax revenue from other sources unbeknownst to the general populace, and
proposed sources and uses of funds are unexposed to oversight in whole or in
part. If taxes are not being raised, then how do tax revenues continue to
increase and government gets infinitely bigger? The answer is that although the
individual rates may not change, other rates change at the same time new
taxable categories are introduced, additional items become taxable, and prices
rise. The net result is a higher tax base adjusted to the needs of the
governmental budget. Thereu2019s only so much money to go around, so why not
just admit the truth. The general populace is bearing the brunt of it all.
Congress should look for the solution in the form of flat tax rates to reduce
complexity and dilution of IRS efforts, and limit deductions and exemptions to
those that are truly good for the common people. To preclude the u201Cdead
handu201D effect of inherited wealth that is static and unavailable to the
economy, Congress must impose stricter limits, taxation schedules, and turnover
requirements on the broad variety of trust forms that perpetuate the isolation
of wealth in the hands of the privileged few. Conceptually this is not Marxian
Economics or even socialism; instead this is merely common-sense recognition of
taxable income and capital gains from non-liquid assets that fail to be
relevant to and supportive of an improved future state of our nation.

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, therefore, the general members of the population of the United States of
America, 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 the United States of America is,
and of right ought to be represented by a government that is empowered Of The
People, By The People, and For The People; that we are absolved from all
allegiance to the current government that neglects the welfare of the nation,
and that all political connection between the general members of the population
and the government, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as the
collective will of the general members of the population we declare that we
have the full power to retain the principles of democratic rule while
eliminating those individuals by nationwide referendum deemed unsuitable for
high-ranking public service in the interest of the people. 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.

Courtesy of:

Thomas Paine Redux ■ 2/3/2009

u201CThese are the times that try menu2019s soulsu201D u2013 Thomas Paine,
u201CThe American Crisisu201D Vol. 1, 1776

Thomas Paine Redux ■ is a pseudonym created by an anonymous writer. The purpose
is to place current national issues into an appropriate historical perspective
for the welfare of the nation.


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