Hope and Change

Wake up, America!

This is the church you can’t see

h/t moonbat.

Equality for All

I Vow To Vote No on Prop 8, a statewide ballot initiative that is intending to amend the California constitution to ban marriage for gay and lesbian couples. Gay and lesbian couples deserve the same fundamental freedoms that all Californians enjoy. I hereby Vow To Vote No on any constitutional amendment that stands in the way of equality for all.

Take the Vow.

So much for that

AP (bill me):

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says “mental distress” should not qualify as a justification for late-term abortions, a key distinction not embraced by many supporters of abortion rights.

In an interview this week with “Relevant,” a Christian magazine, Obama said prohibitions on late-term abortions must contain “a strict, well defined exception for the health of the mother.”

Obama then added: “Now, I don’t think that ‘mental distress’ qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term.”

So much for mental health parity.

Guess he doesn’t need progressive votes.

h/t Melissa McEwan.

Update (July 5): Barack Obama refines his statement, but now confuses late-term with so-called “partial-birth” abortion. I think he needs to be better educated about this issue. (h/t Jeff Fecke):

Reporter: You said that mental distress shouldn’t be a reason for late-term abortion?

Obama: “My only point is this — historically I have been a strong believer in a women’s right to choose with her doctor, her pastor and her family. And it is…I have consistently been saying that you have to have a health exception on many significant restrictions or bans on abortions including late-term abortions.

In the past there has been some fear on the part of people who, not only people who are anti-abortion, but people who may be in the middle, that that means that if a woman just doesn’t feel good then that is an exception. That’s never been the case.

I don’t think that is how it has been interpreted. My only point is that in an area like partial-birth abortion having a mental, having a health exception can be defined rigorously. It can be defined through physical health, It can be defined by serious clinical mental-health diseases. It is not just a matter of feeling blue. I don’t think that’s how pro-choice folks have interpreted it. I don’t think that’s how the courts have interpreted it and I think that’s important to emphasize and understand.

FYI

Senator Obama – Please Vote NO on Telecom Immunity – Get FISA Right is now the group with the most members on Barack Obama’s website.

Update (July 3): Barack Obama replies:

I want to take this opportunity to speak directly to those of you who oppose my decision to support the FISA compromise.

This was not an easy call for me. I know that the FISA bill that passed the House is far from perfect. I wouldn’t have drafted the legislation like this, and it does not resolve all of the concerns that we have about President Bush’s abuse of executive power. It grants retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that may have violated the law by cooperating with the Bush Administration’s program of warrantless wiretapping. This potentially weakens the deterrent effect of the law and removes an important tool for the American people to demand accountability for past abuses. That’s why I support striking Title II from the bill, and will work with Chris Dodd, Jeff Bingaman and others in an effort to remove this provision in the Senate. Read the rest of this entry »

Unity pony

A fine start to the election

NYTimes (h/t Josh Marshall):

WASHINGTON — The presidential campaigns of Senators Barack Obama and John McCain on Sunday rejected an invitation for a town-hall-style meeting in Manhattan that had been proposed by ABC News and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York.

* * *

Bill Burton, a spokesman for the Obama campaign said, “Both campaigns have indicated that any additional appearances will be open to all networks for broadcast on TV or Internet like the presidential commission debates rather than sponsored by a single network or news organization.”

Tucker Bounds, a spokesman for the McCain campaign, echoed that sentiment, saying, “Both campaigns agree the town hall meetings will be open to press but not sponsored or moderated by the press.

Barack star visits Portland

Obama in Portland

75,000 people.

h/t Creature.

Barack Obama does not let Republican liars tarnish him

h/t Creature.

Who will win in Pennsylvania?

Barack Obama for President of the United States of America

Iowa caucuses

Just a note. I withdraw all endorsements. Figure it out.

For your consideration

California Cannabis Hemp & Health Initiative 2008
AN ACT TO AMEND THE HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE OF CALIFORNIA:

I. Add Section 11362.6 to the Health and Safety Code of California, any laws or policies to the contrary notwithstanding:

1. No person, individual, or corporate entity shall be arrested or prosecuted, be denied any right or privilege, nor be subject to any criminal or civil penalties for the possession, cultivation, transportation, distribution, or consumption of cannabis hemp marijuana, including:
(a) Cannabis hemp industrial products.
(b) Cannabis hemp medicinal preparations.
(c) Cannabis hemp nutritional products.
(d) Cannabis hemp religious and spiritual products.
(e) Cannabis hemp recreational and euphoric use and products.

2. Definition of terms:
(a) The terms “cannabis hemp” and “cannabis hemp marijuana” mean the natural, non-genetically modified plant hemp, cannabis, marihuana, marijuana, cannabis sativa L, cannabis Americana, cannabis chinensis, cannabis indica, cannabis ruderalis, cannabis sativa, or any variety of cannabis, including any derivative, concentrate, extract, flower, leaf, particle, preparation, resin, root, salt, seed, stalk, stem, or any product thereof.
(b) The term “cannabis hemp industrial products” means all products made from cannabis hemp that are not designed or intended for human consumption, including, but not limited to: clothing, building materials, paper, fiber, fuel, lubricants, plastics, paint, seed for cultivation, animal feed, veterinary medicine, oil, or any other product that is not designed for internal human consumption; as well as cannabis hemp plants used for crop rotation, erosion control, pest control, weed control, or any other horticultural or environmental purposes, for example, the reversal of the Greenhouse Effect and toxic soil reclamation.
(c) The term “cannabis hemp medicinal preparations” means all products made from cannabis hemp that are designed, intended, or used for human consumption for the treatment of any human disease or condition, for pain relief, or for any healing purpose, including but not limited to the treatment or relief of: Alzheimer’s and pre-Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, arthritis, asthma, cramps, epilepsy, glaucoma, migraine, multiple sclerosis, nausea, premenstrual syndrome, side effects of cancer chemotherapy, fibromyalgia, sickle cell anemia, spasticity, spinal injury, stress, easement of post-traumatic stress disorder, Tourette syndrome, attention deficit disorder, immunodeficiency, wasting syndrome from AIDS or anorexia; use as an antibiotic, antibacterial, anti-viral, or anti-emetic; as a healing agent, or as an adjunct to any medical or herbal treatment. Mental conditions not limited to bipolar, depression, attention deficit disorder, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, shall be conditions considered for medical use.
(d) The term “cannabis hemp nutritional products” means cannabis hemp for consumption by humans and animals as food, including but not limited to: seed, seed protein, seed oil, essential fatty acids, seed cake, dietary fiber, or any preparation or extract thereof.
(e) The term “cannabis hemp euphoric products” means cannabis hemp intended for personal recreational or religious use, other than cannabis hemp industrial products, cannabis hemp medicinal preparations, or cannabis hemp nutritional products.
(f) The term “personal use” means the internal consumption of cannabis hemp by people 21 years of age or older for any relaxational, meditative, religious, spiritual, recreational, or other purpose other than sale.
(g) The term “commercial production” means the production of cannabis hemp products for sale or profit under the conditions of these provisions.

3. Industrial cannabis hemp farmers, manufacturers, processors, and distributors shall not be subject to any special zoning requirement, licensing fee, or tax that is excessive, discriminatory, or prohibitive.

4. Cannabis hemp medicinal preparations are hereby restored to the list of available medicines in California. Licensed physicians shall not be penalized for, nor restricted from, prescribing or recommending cannabis hemp for medical purposes to any patient, regardless of age. No tax shall be applied to prescribed cannabis hemp medicinal preparations. Medical research shall be encouraged. No recommending physician shall be subject to any professional licensing review or hearing as a result of recommending or approving medical use of cannabis hemp marijuana.

5. Personal use of cannabis hemp euphoric products.
(a) No permit, license, or tax shall be required for the non-commercial cultivation, transportation, distribution, or consumption of cannabis hemp.
(b) Testing for inactive and/or inert residual cannabis metabolites shall not be required for employment or insurance, nor be considered in determining employment, other impairment, or intoxication.
(c) When a person falls within the conditions of these exceptions, the offense laws do not apply and only the exception laws apply.

6. Use of cannabis hemp products for religious or spiritual purposes shall be considered an inalienable right; and shall be protected by the full force of the State and Federal Constitutions.

7. Commerce in cannabis hemp euphoric products shall be limited to adults, 21 years of age and older, and shall be regulated in a manner analogous to California’s wine industry model. For the purpose of distinguishing personal from commercial production, 99 flowering female plants and 12 pounds of dried, cured cannabis hemp flowers, bud, not leaf, produced per adult, 21 years of age and older, per year shall be considered as being for personal use.

8. The manufacture, marketing, distribution, or sales between adults of equipment or accessories designed to assist in the planting, cultivation, harvesting, curing, processing, packaging, storage, analysis, consumption, or transportation of cannabis hemp plants, industrial cannabis hemp products, cannabis hemp medicinal preparations, cannabis hemp nutritional products, cannabis hemp euphoric products, or any cannabis hemp product shall not be prohibited.

9. No California law enforcement personnel or funds shall be used to assist or aid and abet in the enforcement of Federal cannabis hemp marijuana laws involving acts which are hereby no longer illegal in the State of California.

10. Any person who threatens the enjoyment of these provisions is guilty of a misdemeanor. The maximum penalties and fines of a misdemeanor may be imposed.

II. Repeal, delete, and expunge any and all existing statutory laws that conflict with the provisions of this initiative.

1. Enactment of this initiative shall include: amnesty, immediate release from prison, jail, parole, and probation, and clearing, expungement, and deletion of all criminal records for all persons currently charged with, or convicted of any non-violent cannabis hemp marijuana offenses included in this initiative which are hereby no longer illegal in the State of California. People who fall within this category that triggered an original sentence are included within this provision.

2. Within 60 days of the passage of this Act, the Attorney General shall develop and distribute a one-page application, providing for the destruction of all cannabis hemp marijuana criminal records in California for any such offense covered by this Act. Such forms shall be distributed to district and city attorneys and made available at all police departments in the State to persons hereby affected. Upon filing such form with any Superior Court and a payment of a fee of $10.00, the Court shall liberally construe these provisions to benefit the defendant in furtherance of the amnesty and dismissal provision of this section. Upon the Court’s ruling under this provision the arrest record shall be set aside and be destroyed. Such persons may then truthfully state that they have never been arrested or convicted of any cannabis hemp marijuana related offense which is hereby no longer illegal in the State of California. This shall be deemed to be a finding of factual innocence under California Penal Code Section 851.8 et seq.

III. The legislature is authorized upon thorough investigation, to enact legislation using reasonable standards to:

1. License concessionary establishments to distribute cannabis hemp euphoric products in a manner analogous to California’s wine industry model. Sufficient community outlets shall be licensed to provide reasonable commercial access to persons of legal age, so as to discourage and prevent the misuse of, and illicit traffic in, such products. Any license or permit fee required by the State for commercial production, distribution or use shall not exceed $1,000.00.

2. Place an excise tax on commercial sale of cannabis hemp euphoric products, analogous to California’s wine industry model, so long as no excise tax or combination of excise taxes shall exceed $10.00 per ounce.

3. Determine an acceptable and uniform standard of impairment based on performance testing, to restrict persons impaired by cannabis hemp euphoric products from operating a motor vehicle or heavy machinery, or otherwise engaging in conduct that may affect public safety.

4. Regulate the personal use of cannabis hemp euphoric products in enclosed and/or restricted public places.

IV. Pursuant to the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, the people of California hereby repudiate and challenge Federal cannabis hemp marijuana prohibitions that conflict with this Act.

V. Severability: If any provision of this Act, or the application of any such provision to any person or circumstance, shall be held invalid by any court, the remainder of this Act, to the extent it can be given effect, or the application of such provisions to persons or circumstances other than those as to which it is held invalid, shall not be affected thereby, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.

VI. Construction: If any rival or conflicting initiative regulating any matter addressed by this act receives the higher affirmative vote, then all non-conflicting parts shall become operative.

VII. Purpose of Act: This Act is an exercise of the police powers of the State for the protection of the safety, welfare, health, and peace of the people and the environment of the State, to protect the industrial and medicinal uses of cannabis hemp, to eliminate the unlicensed and unlawful cultivation, selling, and dispensing of cannabis hemp; and to encourage temperance in the consumption of cannabis hemp euphoric products. It is hereby declared that the subject matter of this Act involves, in the highest degree, the ecological, economic, social, and moral well-being and safety of the State and of all its people. All provisions of this Act shall be liberally construed for the accomplishment of these purposes: to respect human rights, to promote tolerance, and to end cannabis hemp prohibition.

Jack Herer
Eddy Lepp
George Clayton Johnson
Phyllis Vonderscher
Ronnie Lee Smith
Michael S. Jolson
Seeva Marie Cherms

I am that I am, and so are we all

Dennis Kucinich upholds the Constitution

Donna Edwards for Congress

Please consider supporting excellent primary challengers to incumbent Democratic members of Congress.

h/t Glenn Greenwald, who wrote today on the dreadful Dianne Feinstein.

An allegedly intelligent replacement for Gonzales who holds the very same theories of executive supremacy (i.e., monarchism)

Russ Feingold (h/t Josh Marshall @ TPM):

I will vote against the nomination of Judge Mukasey to be the next Attorney General. This was a difficult decision, as Judge Mukasey has many impressive qualities. He is intelligent and experienced and appears to understand the need to depoliticize the Department of Justice and restore its credibility and reputation.

At this point in our history, however, the country also needs an Attorney General who will tell the President that he cannot ignore the laws passed by Congress. Unfortunately, Judge Mukasey was unwilling to reject the extreme and dangerous theories of executive power that this administration has put forward.

The nation’s top law enforcement officer must be able to stand up to a chief executive who thinks he is above the law. The rule of law is too important to our country’s history and to its future to compromise on that bedrock principle.

Related posts:

2007 Weblog Awards

Message to John Edwards

Cannabis prohibition sends the wrong message to children; it teaches them that it is better to drink alcohol or smoke tobacco, when we know that cannabis is safer. We should encourage children to wait until they are adults to make adult decisions with adult consequences, but we should educate them with honesty. Teaching them falsehoods about cannabis sends the wrong message to children; it teaches them not to trust us when we tell them the very serious dangers of drugs like heroin or cocaine. Criminal punishments for adult possession and use of cannabis teach our children that their government is unjust.

Recommended reading

Barbara O’Brien @ The Mahablog on the current slate of Democratic candidates.

My own thoughts are similar to hers on this as far as the nomination; as for the general election I would not cast a vote for Hillary Clinton.

Worth reading

Len Hart endorses Mike Gravel.

A real Democrat running for president

Are US military generals now shrinking violets?

Mustang Bobby @ Shakesville:

By the way, in all of this, I haven’t heard a word of outrage or a tearful plea for mercy from General Petraeus himself. I’m pretty sure that he didn’t get to be a general in the United States Army by letting a schoolyard name-calling taunt get to him.

Watch MSNBC coverage of George Bush trying to be offended on behalf of his toady:

As for the Democratic members of the senate who voted with the idiots to condemn the first amendment, wake up.

Related post:

Obama To End Federal Medical Marijuana Raids; Democratic Candidates Now Unanimous

MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE — In his first public statement on the subject, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama pledged to end medical marijuana raids in the 12 states that have medical marijuana laws Tuesday at a campaign event during a Nashua Pride minor league baseball game.

The Illinois senator’s statement means all eight Democratic candidates have now voiced support for the 12 states with medical marijuana laws. Republican candidates Rep. Ron Paul (Texas), Rep. Tom Tancredo (Colo.) and former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson have all vowed to end medical marijuana raids as well.

On Friday, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who signed legislation in April making his the 12th medical marijuana state, wrote to President Bush asking him to end federal raids in medical marijuana states.

“Respected physicians and government officials should not fear going to jail for acting compassionately and caring for our most vulnerable citizens,” Richardson wrote. “Nor should those most vulnerable of citizens fear their government because they take the medicine they need.”

Obama’s pledge came as a response to a question from Nashua resident and Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana volunteer Scott Turner, who asked the senator what he would do to stop the federal government from putting seriously ill people like Turner in prison in states where medical marijuana is legal.

“I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users,” Obama said. “It’s not a good use of our resources.”

“For the first time in history, the leaders of one of our nation’s major parties have unanimously called for an end to the federal prosecution of medical marijuana patients,” GSMM campaign manager Stuart Cooper, from Manchester, said. “New Hampshire voters and medical professionals effectively sent a clear message that we would not support a candidate who would arrest – rather than protect – our nation’s most seriously ill citizens. Compassion and reason are finally overcoming politics and propaganda.”

Federal intrusion into medical marijuana states has been on the rise this summer, with DEA raids taking place in several counties in California and Oregon. Recently, the DEA also began threatening landlords who lease space to medical marijuana dispensaries – legal under state law – with seizure of their property, a move condemned in a Los Angeles Times editorial as “a deplorable new bullying tactic.”

Based in Manchester, New Hampshire, Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana is a grassroots coalition of New Hampshire patients, medical professionals and activists. GSMM is organizing during the New Hampshire presidential primary campaign to raise awareness of the need for federal action to protect medical marijuana patients. For further information, please see: http://www.GraniteStaters.com

Via.

Just a quick note

Debra Bowen is restoring honest elections to California. Thank you.

What happened in Florida 2000, and why?

Update: BradBlog has replacement video.

John Edwards addresses bloggers

We, the people here, don’t want a war.

Hat-tip Len Hart.

Paper ballots suitable for manual audit, brilliant!

Rush Holt’s Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007

Requires the voting system to require the use of or produce an individual, durable, voter-verified paper ballot of the voter’s vote, created by or made available for inspection and verification by the voter before the voter’s vote is cast and counted. Requires the voting system to provide the voter with an opportunity to correct any system-made error in the voter-verified paper ballot before it is permanently preserved.

Requires each ballot produced to be: (1) suitable for a manual audit equivalent to that of a paper ballot voting system; and (2) counted by hand in any recount or audit conducted with respect to any federal election.

Sounds good to me.

Hat-tip to driftglass.

It’s not who votes, it’s who counts the votes that counts

WaPo:

A California judge is likely to order a Berkeley city initiative back on the ballot because of local officials’ mishandling of electronic voting machine data, a public-interest lawyer arguing the case said Friday.

In a preliminary ruling Thursday, Judge Winifred Smith of the Alameda County Superior Court indicated she would nullify the defeat of a medical marijuana proposal in Berkeley in 2004 and order the measure put back on the ballot in a later election. A hearing on Friday morning in advance of a final ruling brought out nothing that indicated Smith would deviate from her preliminary decision, said attorney Gregory Luke, who is representing Americans for Safe Access. The medical-marijuana advocacy group is suing the county, assisted by the technology rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The case points to the dangers of electronic voting systems, which make it harder to ensure fair elections, Luke said. Electronic voting machines have been widely adopted in the U.S. since the disputed presidential election of 2000. Laws in California and some other states now require paper records of all votes, but the California law wasn’t in place for the Berkeley election.

Blogger for Congress

Mixter writes (h/t Shakes):

So, I’m going to issue this challenge to my readers and fellow bloggers: If you think this liberal Democrat should give Mr. Ryan a run for his money, I’d like you to spread the word. Political bloggers blog because they want to be catalysts for political change and spread their messages through the internets; so, let’s use this medium for all it’s worth! Link this post to every lefty blog you read. Link to this post in a bulletin with your MySpace accounts. E-mail a link to this post to all your friends, families and acquaintances who still believes there’s some hope left for this country and for the way of life we once knew. If we, as bloggers, readers of blogs, and citizens of this nation can make a difference on the netroots level, then by golly, let’s do it!

I pledge to you that I will run against Paul Ryan as a Democrat (no third party — I have faith that we can win our party back as well as our country) if together we can drum up enough interest and commitment, because let’s face it — I haven’t the bank account or the power to do it on my own.

Are we up to the challenge?

Mixter

Michele (Micki) Watters
East Troy, Wisconsin

mixter_64 [AT] yahoo [DOT] com

Update: Never mind.

Affairs of the nation

Liberty @ Corrente via Athenae @ First Draft:

I know I should not write on politics, but this hits me where I live. I was talking with a friend about his affair with a married woman whose husband is assigned away from the US. It is a sad story, and it is one I have heard mirrored many times. It is one with all the other stories that, like mad cats drawn from the same sack, scratch and claw at us. So forgive me being weak, and writing on a topic that should be forbidden to anyone who must by profession be faceless, blank and without core or surface soul. Forgive me for saying this.

Come home America, come home.

It is time to come home from distant wars against fictions and phantoms. It is time to come home to your wives who miss you, to your children who need you, to your families that feel the pain of missing souls.

It is time to come home America, home to the cities that have been flooded, the forests left untended, the fields left untilled. It is time to come home America, to the work left undone, the minds left unschooled. It is time to come America, to the home you did not leave behind, because no home ever lasts if left unrepaired.

It is time to come home America, and when you do, you will ask how you ever let that home be put into hands such as the ones that now have it. You will wonder at how they ever seemed to be giants, and on the back of which ant the cameras were mounted to make them look that way.

It is time America to come home. Home to the words which we written on parchment, printed on paper, but engraved on hearts and minds, with stylus of firearms, and ink mixed of blood and gunpowder: “when it becomes destructive to these ends… to alter or abolish it.”

Look at the man who wields the seal of 13 arrows and 13 stars, of 13 leaves and 13 olives, of 13 stripes and countless hopes and dreams. Ask yourself a single question: is he worthy of placing your sons lives in his hands? Hands that have signed so many laws unjust, unwise and unAmerican. Hands which have rubber stamped commands from other unelected. Ask yourself if his words are to be trusted, coming from the same mouth that has spat out so many of us on to the ground.

I have spent my life studying ruins, and I feel this home becoming one. I have spent my life studying kings, and know their portraits by heart. And in history’s wake I feel, I know and must believe because without this belief there is no hope in me: that all the crosses of gold and silver crowns, must in history’s turn be struck down. But I am not the one to do it, I can only call to you, who are still across the sea, or buried in your own affairs, to look up, and see. See that we are losing our America, from mountains blasted for blacker coal, to roads that crack and creak, to nursing wards for veterans that stink and reek, to schools that are dour and bleak.

Come home America, while there is yet time, let not the sands cover us, nor the waters wash us away. It is not out there that our freedom lives, but here. It is not a Vatican in Baghdad that we must build, but a shining city on hill which we must rebuild, our golden domes pealing, our silver stars tarnished, our private places violated by rude disruption, for an adventure we did not wish, nor want. Let dead caesars have their triumphs, let forgotten pharaohs have their obelisks. Let emperors have their might tombs, let them have them, one and all their arcs and boulevards.

Ask your son, your daughter, your wife, your lover. Each will tell you what I say here. “I don’t know why were are there, I just want you home.”

To our public servants I can only ask: “What do you think we changed the government for? We demanded only a few simple things. End the flow of corruption, end the war, and end the reign of error.” You have voted for another year for corruption to flow, already. You have not voted to end the war, yet. You have said that you will not act to remove those who have committed hight crimes and misdemeanors, ever. We sent you once to Washington, we can send you right back home again if you forget why we sent you there.

I don’t know what else to say, it is an old story, of Ulysses coming home, and cleaning the house of suitors that sought to suck the blood and treasure from his house and steal his wife. To servants who had forgotten their duties, and to all the animals save two that had forgotten his scent. He came home and bent his bow and slew the suitors on sight. But to bend his bow, the great hero first, had to come home.

Please, please, please. It is time to set right what has gone so horribly wrong.

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 of 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.

Georgia:
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton
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
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
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark
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

Who is like God?

Namasté.

Resign or be impeached, there is no other choice.

Heroic high school seniors deliver a message to George Bush

Presidential Scholars tell him to stop committing crimes against humanity:

The students had been invited to the East Room to hear the president speak about his effort to win congressional reauthorization of his education law known as No Child Left Behind.

The handwritten letter said the students “believe we have a responsibility to voice our convictions.”

“We do not want America to represent torture. We urge you to do all in your power to stop violations of the human rights of detainees, to cease illegal renditions, and to apply the Geneva Convention to all detainees, including those designated enemy combatants,” the letter said.

The designation as a Presidential Scholar is one of the nation’s highest honors for graduating high school students. Each year the program selects one male and one female student from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Americans living abroad, 15 at-large students, and up to 20 students in the arts on the basis of outstanding scholarship, service, leadership and creativity.

Hat-tip MEC.

With musical accompaniment

Daniel Larison of Eunomia:

Newsweek’s latest poll has some interesting numbers. Keeping in mind how little polls mean and how relatively unreliable polls of merely registered voters are, the poll shows that the four named Republican candidates continue to lose against the three named Democratic candidates, no matter the matchup.

It’s a pretty comprehensive poll and I recommend you check it out. Bottom line numbers indicate that unless something expected happens, the Republican party does not have a viable candidate for president in 2008.

Inoculate, impeach, and remove. Don’t wait until 2008.

Not endorsed.

Mike Gravel is a decent man. He should not be president, but he should be respected.

Hat-tip to Melissa McEwan.

June 9, City Hall, San Jose, California, USA

Click image to enlarge.

Hat-tip George at skippy the bush kangaroo.

Related post:

John Edwards for President

Finally!:

Asked by a crowd member if he would continue the Bush administration practice of conducting raids against those who use marijuana for medicinal purposes, Edwards said he would not. In those states where voters had approved medicinal marijuana, he said he would honor the democratic process.

Related post:

(And it turns out, we share a birthday.)

Correction: His birthday is the day before mine.

The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

Still the best writer on these internet tubes

Withdraw, now.

Iowa poll of likely caucus-goers (hat-tip Andrew Sullivan):

Do you favor a withdrawal of all United States military from Iraq within the next six months? (Republicans Only)
Yes 54%
No 37%
Undecided 9%

Do you favor a withdrawal of all United States military from Iraq within the next six months? (Democrats Only)
Yes 81%
No 5%
Undecided 14%

Even “reasonable conservatives” forget the first half of the second amendment

Jon Swift has an idea:

It is the Second Amendment that makes our country free. A Global Second Amendment would make the world free. Nuclear proliferation could be the key to making the world safe for democratic proliferation.

We’d have to accept a Nuclear Regulatory Body, being necessary to the security of a free World.

Related posts:

Democrats: End the war or your party. Your choice.

Do not pass a funding bill that does not end the war.

Related post:

Update: A special comment from Keith Olbermann (hat-tip Melissa McEwan):

Het Meest onnodige Gebruik van het Woord “Belgium” in een Ernstige Campagne

Dank Xsociate (en Babelfish).

Ron Paul for the Republican nomination

The only decent man running, however wrong he may be in my opinion. He is honest, even if mistaken.

Hat-tip Alex Hammer.

Related post:

Update: More from Melissa McEwan.

Tuesday night movie

Congress has exclusive authority to issue letters of marque and reprisal

“Congress owes it to the American people to take down the curtain of secrecy surrounding these shadow forces that often act in the name and on the payroll of the people of this country.”

Hat-tip Cookie Jill.

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