Happy 231st Birthday America

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday, and if you have a chance take a look at the Declaration of Independence. It’s really a remarkable document for a few reasons. The first of these is the simple boldness of a group of colonists who declared that they could declare this. Political philosophers of the time were beginning to talk about how rights of men (and women we can say now) came not from the king, but from God, and that these rights are “self evident.” That’s fine to write about in the abstract, but the group in Philadelphia that summer were putting their lives on the line for this. The second is that the grievances against George III are listed. In light of President Bush it would be good to review a few of these:

  • 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.
  • For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury
  • For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

Enough said.

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