Friday, July 1, 2011

In Congress, July 4, 1776.

The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

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
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
John Hancock

Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross

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

Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery

Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott

New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

Thursday, June 30, 2011

When a man changes the sheets.

My husband called me on my cell to report that he had gotten ointment on the sheets, had washed them, they were in the washing machine and he put clean sheets on the bed.  That's a great thing except for the fact that currently, I only have one three season set of sheets.  I was wondering what he had done.  I came home.  I reached under the covers and found it.


It's going to be 90 F tomorrow.  I'm just going to hang the sheets on the line, give them a quick flip and all will be well.  He tried and he gets boy points for that. 

Smiles in my day:
-  Hubs trying to make good on the sheets. 
-  Mike teaching K- how to play solitaire on his iPhone.  He sat with her for about an hour while I folded laundry that had been hung to dry and watered the flowers.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tales from the Trenches: Different places, similar circumstances.

Last Wednesday, I had to run to DSW to return the pair of Keen Mary Jane's I bought.  Sadly, they were ill fitting and just had to go back.  It was the last day for me to be able to return them for a refund, so I had to scoot-a-loot. 

I cleared the last major intersection, was looking to see which drive I needed to enter to go to the store and I heard a crash.  That crash was right next to me.  I had to tromp on the gas to avoid being hit by flying debris.  I cleared the accident scene, looked in my rear view mirror to see if people had stopped and whatnot and they hadn't.  It was at this point that I turned the RAV around in the middle of the road, blocked off the two turn lanes (the accident had moved to take up both lanes) and flipped my hazards on.  I made sure to pad the accident scene by about 10-15 feet and I went to check on those involved. 

I'm glad to say that while it took me a minute or two to snap the one woman out of the shaking shock thing she was in, I got everyone moving from their vehicles (all were fine) and off to the gas station to sit on a curb while we awaited emergency services to arrive.  One of the Office Max employees came out to join me in my efforts in calming people down, evaluating injuries (we may have had a tweaked wrist, but nothing else.)  While we were doing a body part inventory, people started moving left of center around the accident, while going towards a major intersection while going the complete wrong way.  "Someone needs to direct traffic," says Office Max girl.  I put my traffic directing hat on and moved out to do that.  Thankfully, that was my task for a few moments before the police arrived.  I told him, "You do this so much better than me!"  He laughed.  I informed him that I couldn't provide a witness statement, as I didn't see the accident happen, just while things were in progress.  Since the vehicles were still where they were left to rest, it was pretty clear who did what. 

I left there surprised that no one stopped.  Not everyone is able bodied.  Not everyone is that person.  I get that.  Some people will have kids, places to go . . . but no one stopped but me.  I'm not saying that as a pat on my own back.  I don't mean that at all.  Office Max lady came out, but there were folks who drove through and by the accident as it happened.  Personally, I couldn't leave without knowing that the people were okay. 

Then comes to my mind the accident that K- and I were in.  In contrast to the story above where it was a high-end, busy shopping area, our accident occurred in a low-middle to lower income, mostly residential/county park area.  People stopped.  People came out of their houses.  The park was first on the scene.  It ended up being a previous co-worker of Hubs, so he scooped me up and plunked me into his truck.  People were genuinely concerned about us, particularly when they saw me scoop my then 4 year old out of the back seat, and one couple offered up their deck lid for me to give K- a more complete check. 

We felt loved. 

Is the public reaction that I encountered between the two stories purely because of location, or has the public turned so callous that they don't have the time to check in on their fellow man? 

Thoughts?  As always, honesty and polite debate always welcome. 

Smiles in my day:
-  K- and Hubs visited "the beach."  Now, we are in Ohio and beach options are very limited.  They went to Mentor Headlands, hiked the rocks to the lighthouse, played in the sand and flopped around in the water.  They had a grand time.
-  While sitting on the porch this evening as K- and E- rode around on their scooters, I watched a Cooper's Hawk fly down and pounce on a bird.  Their was an explosion of feathers, a talon massage of sorts, then up, up and away the hawk went with dinner.  It was wonderful to watch! Nature is truly fascinating.

Have a great day!

Monday, June 27, 2011

"Doh, CHUCK!"

Chuck, in case any of you wonder, is the resident chipmunk that has lived here for a few years.  Chuck knows us and has made a happy tunnel under our back yard that he scoodles in and out of all year.  We consider Chuck just a regular ole member of the family.  Now then, with family members, you get irritated from time to time.

That is where K- is at with Chuck.

It seems as though Chuck runs through the yard in the middle of the night and with the tiniest of axes, he chop, chop, chops down all of the sunflowers that K- is trying to grow.  K- started out with something like 12 or 16.  She now has one left. 

We've noticed the sunflowers getting the chop for a few weeks now.  One by one, we would find the top part of the sunflower cast off to the side.  When K- finally got down to the last one, I heard her grumbling when she found it, "Doh, CHUCK!"  Oh, I can't tell you how that made me giggle. 

I thought that I raised him better than that, though.

We've managed to keep that last one going.  How have we done it?  Well, I cut the top and bottom off of a Powerade bottle and put a guard over the remaining sunflower.  "But Chuck could dig from the bottom or jump in from the top."  "Yes, but we can only do what we can do."

Chuck, or his extended family, has decided that my marigolds are nothing but extremely delicious.  They've eaten all of them in my front beds.  The beetles are starting, so what the chipmunks aren't getting, it seems that the beetles are making up for it. 

The plight of organic gardening.  People, critters and bugs feel extremely at home here.  That's generally a good thing.  I'm proud of K- for taking the sunflower bit in stride, though.  I've told her that we are planting at Chuck's house and it is a risk we take.  Still, if we can preserve that last one, we would be happy!

I wrote this and banked it late last week.  Since then, the guard is working AND! we have one more sunflower from the second planting coming up.  I have given it a Powerade guard, too. 

Chuck was running around the yard today as I weeded out the beds, moved some plants around and planted replacements.  (A little tiny mom and pop down the street sells flowers.  They had them clearanced and I bought a flat of zinnias for $5.00 and 4 pepper plants for $2.00.)  Now then, as Chuck has maintained that the backyard is his home, Mona the Mole has moved in up front.  Mona was shuffling around as I was weeding.  I was watching the mulch heave as she searched out her insect meal.  There was a centipede (at least that's what I think it was) that went running from the hole and Mona was soon to follow.  She didn't seem bothered that I was there.  Keep in mind that this was going on all of maybe two feet away from me.  While keeping a lookout for Mona, I had to make sure that I didn't behead any little frogs on my weeding adventure.   It seems that the neighbor's tadpoles have turned into frogs and have, in a biblical fashion, come in a plague-type wave across the street to our organically kept creature home.  They've got a very fat buddy living under the Yew in the back.  I nearly skewered him with the Garden Claw.  Yikes!  Then the Chicken Run bit from Babs runs through my mind, "My life flashed before me eyes.  It wasn't that excitin'."  Keep in mind, I may have that quote off just a tad.  He sat there for a minute like, "Um, I've come here because you offer a loving home where I won't spontaneously grow a third eye.  Now, if you could keep your garden tools to yourself, I will keep on about my business here."  I apologized and moved on.  Poor guy. 

With that, I have a little girl waiting to go on a trip about the 'hood on her scooter.  She's become pretty proficient with that thing and has now started trying to do ballet moves on it while flying down the sidewalk.  Thank goodness that she's pretty good for keeping an eye out for piles of dog poo or lifts in the walk that may be in her path.  Either one could be rather messy.  Ewww.

So, with that, my smiles are that:
-  We survived another year of VBS.
-  My beds are weeded.
-  I finally have pepper plants and didn't pay a small fortune for them.
-  The sun is out and the lawn has dried enough so that Hubs could mow it. 
-  Laundry was dried on the line today.
-  Great neighbors that love to have our kid come to hang out at their house.  The boys were falling all over her.  They made her lunch and they picnicked at the table out back.  They played Uno and Legos.  How they love her.  They brought a necklace back from Las Vegas for her with a piece of rice in it that says, "We love you, K!"  And how they do. 

Must scooter on.  Have a great day!

ETA:  Hubs reports that we do not have a mole in our front yard, but rather a shrew.  A name.  Hmmm.  Susie.  We'll call her Susie.