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Happy Independence Day !

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.

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July 4, 2011 at 9:09 am

In Kind Contributions

It seems as though we’re always hearing about rockstars like Springsteen, Heart, Tom Petty and others getting offended when mean old republicans use their big hits in their campaigns and it always makes for big headlines until the republicans stop.  However these same rockstars of yesteryear never seem bothered when democrats use their catchy tunes.
Why isn’t this considered an “in kind” contribution to the democrats?
They are certainly quick to use copyright law to protect the financial value of these songs, so they can’t argue that their use in a political campaign isn’t valuable.
Same thing should apply when an actor makes an ad or even an appearance at a fundraiser. 
Why isn’t this considered an “in kind” contribution to the democrats?
Somebody call the IRS.

June 28, 2011 at 11:42 am

Just back from the Indy Blogmeet

I had a great time:  good food, interesting conversations and great friends.

Bobbi took a couple of pictures that will probably show up on her blog.

Tam handed out copies of Concealed Carry magazine.

Old Grouch and Joanna were there.

And I met Don from Push the Pull Door (now added to sidebar).

We discussed the stuff from Star Trek that bugged us (technobabble, captain leading away teams, etc), and the guy sitting next to me (I’m sorry, but I’m terrible with names) answered my biggest gripe.

In the original series, a Phaser type I could completely vaporize a human being.  So how come the bad guys could hide behind rocks?  TNG and DS9 were atrocious about this.  I remember a DS9 episode where Sisco and crew are using phaser rifles, but they can’t hit the bad guys (Dominion?  Cardassions?) because they were hiding behind some big rocks!

Dude!  Vaporize the rock!

Well, my blog companion pointed out that they probably were bound by the 24th century Assault Weapons Ban.  That’s why the phasers are underpowered, don’t have sights (mechanical or optical) and have lousy ergonomics.

After all, Star Fleet is based out of San Francisco.

February 27, 2011 at 10:42 pm

What a crowd!

Just got back from the Indy 1500 Gun  & Knife Show.  In 20 years, I have never seen such a crowd.  The line to get in stretched from the doors to the corner of the building and halfway down the side.  They kept the line moving, so the wait was only about 25 minutes.

The crowd inside was shoulder to shoulder.  I have to say, gun owners are the nicest people on earth.  I lost track of the number of “excuse me”, “sorry”, “pardon me”, etc. after about 10 minutes.  Biker types, farmers, rapper wannabes, average joes, and families – a cross section of America.  I felt sorry for the little kids since they were trapped in a traveling forest of denim and camo.

I spent 2 1/2 hours moving as quickly as I could, skipping tables of clothes and memorabilia, focusing on a list of four objectives:  a pistol caliber carbine, soft-sided pistol cases, Crimson Trace grips and reloading supplies.

First objective –  I found 3 possibilities:

a new Beretta CX4 Storm carbine in 40 S&W for $699.  Not a bad price since they list for about $900. I found only the one in the entire show.

a used Ruger Police Carbine in 40 S&W for $495.   Private seller dispensing with his collection.  Ruger quit making these a few years ago.

a used Marlin Camp Carbine in 9 mm for $350.  Marlin no longer makes these either, but this one was in rough shape.

Second objective – I can get soft-sided pistol cases cheaper online, even including shipping charges.

Third objective – I found Crimson Trace laser grips for little Pelosi for $165.

Fourth objective – Primers are cheaper at Plainfield Shooting Supplies, powder was priced about the same as Gander Mountain and bullets are cheaper online.

So what did I buy?

While I really like the look of the Beretta Storm, the feel of the gun was nothing special.  The nice thing about the Storm is that it shares magazines with the Beretta PX4 Pistol.  So I wandered around until I found a couple of those to try.  Eh, no thanks – I’ll stick with the XD.

So I came home with the Ruger PC4.

** not my actual purchase.  I found this picture on an auction site via Google.

Now if only the weather will warm up so I can try it out.

January 15, 2011 at 5:41 pm 3 comments

Belated Memorial Day Post

I spent the weekend suffering from my worst allergy attack in years and as a result, spent very little time on-line.  After posting the Shrek review below, I realized that I did not post anything in remembrance of those that have given their lives for the freedom I and my family enjoy.

In Springfield, Missouri, is a National Cemetery that dates back to the Civil War.  I have been told (though I haven’t verified) that the Springfield National Cemetery is the only National Cemetery in the country that contains both Union and Confederate soldiers.

In the past, the graves of these soldiers were decorated with their respective battle flags on Memorial Day.  In the 1970’s and 1980’s, this practice became very controversial and I believe it was discontinued.

The cemetery has expanded over the years to include veterans of every other military conflict this country has endured.  My grandfather was buried there as a veteran of World War 1.  I have two uncles interned there as veterans of Vietnam.

God has blessed this nation with such men and women.

May it always be so.

June 2, 2010 at 12:11 am 1 comment

Hard to Be Humble

Last week, I complimented a coworker after he helped me with one of my assignments.  He laughed it off and said, “It’s hard to be humble.”

I asked if he liked that song.  He’d seen it as part of a TV commercial and hadn’t realized it was a real song.  I happened to have it on my iPod (I have eclectic tastes.  I also have Gregorian chants).

He liked it, he really liked it (Hey Mikey!).

Here it is on youtube.

February 15, 2010 at 8:00 am 1 comment

Veteran’s Day 2009

11_47_8---US-Flag_web

To all Veterans of the United States Armed Forces:

Thank you.

You have my gratitude and heartfelt prayers.

Arlington Tomb Of Unknowns

November 11, 2009 at 8:28 am

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