4th of July Zombies – Americans Don’t Know Why We Celebrate Fourth of July! – YouTube

The Declaration of Independence is the founding document of the American political tradition. It articulates the fundamental ideas that form the American nation: All men are created free and equal and possess the same inherent, natural rights. Legitimate governments must therefore be based on the consent of the governed and must exist “to secure these rights.”

As a practical matter, the Declaration of Independence announced to the world the unanimous decision of the thirteen American colonies to separate themselves from Great Britain. But its true revolutionary significance—then as well as now—is the declaration of a new basis of political legitimacy in the sovereignty of the people. The Americans’ final appeal was not to any man-made decree or evolving spirit but to rights inherently possessed by all men. These rights are found in eternal “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” As such, the Declaration’s meaning transcends the particulars of time and circumstances.

The circumstances of the Declaration’s writing make us appreciate its exceptionalist claims even more. The war against Britain had been raging for more than two years when the Continental Congress, following a resolution of Richard Henry Lee on June 7, 1776, appointed a committee to explore the independence of the colonies from Great Britain. John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston turned to their colleague Thomas Jefferson to draft a formal declaration which they then submitted, with few corrections, to Congress. On July 2 Congress voted for independence and proceeded to debate the wording of the Declaration, which was, with the notable deletion of Jefferson’s vehement condemnation of slavery, unanimously approved on the evening of July 4. Every Fourth of July, America celebrates not the actual act of independence (proclaimed on July 2) but rather the public proclamation of the principles behind the act…

Source: The Declaration of Independence

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Declaration of Independence – American Revolution – HISTORY.com

When armed conflict between bands of American colonists and British soldiers began in April 1775, the Americans were ostensibly fighting only for their rights as subjects of the British crown. By the following summer, with the Revolutionary War in full swing, the movement for independence from Britain had grown, and delegates of the Continental Congress were faced with a vote on the issue. In mid-June 1776, a five-man committee including Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin was tasked with drafting a formal statement of the colonies’ intentions. The Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence–written largely by Jefferson–in Philadelphia on July 4, a date now celebrated as the birth of American independence…

Source: Declaration of Independence – American Revolution – HISTORY.com

THE UNANIMOUS DECLARATION OF THE THIRTEEN UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

United_States_Declaration_of_Independence (signing)

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 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 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 of 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 harass 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 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 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 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 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 Bri tain, 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. 

JOHN HANCOCK, President

Attested, CHARLES THOMSON, Secretary 

New Hampshire: JOSIAH BARTLETT, WILLIAM WHIPPLE, MATTHEW THORNTON
Massachusetts-Bay: SAMUEL ADAMS, JOHN ADAMS, ROBERT TREAT PAINE, ELBRIDGE GERRY
Rhode Island: STEPHEN HOPKINS, WILLIAM ELLERY
Connecticut: ROGER SHERMAN, SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, WILLIAM WILLIAMS, OLIVER WOLCOTT
Georgia: BUTTON GWINNETT, LYMAN HALL, GEO. WALTON
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.
New York: WILLIAM FLOYD, PHILIP LIVINGSTON, FRANCIS LEWIS, LEWIS MORRIS
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 M’KEAN
North Carolina: WILLIAM HOOPER, JOSEPH HEWES, JOHN PENN
South Carolina: EDWARD RUTLEDGE, THOMAS HEYWARD, JR., THOMAS LYNCH, JR., ARTHUR MIDDLETON
N
ew Jersey: RICHARD STOCKTON, JOHN WITHERSPOON, FRANCIS HOPKINS, JOHN HART, ABRAHAM CLARK

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Snowden’s Global Revolution: 1 Year of Revelations

Thursday marks a year since NSA employee Edward Snowden leaked classified documents on America’s world-spanning espionage programme, engulfing everyone from a US citizen to a foreign president. RT’s Marina Portnaya looks back at the revelations.

“The greatest fear that I have regarding the outcome for America, of these disclosures, is that nothing will change” – Edward Snowden

GMO Labeling Bill Voted Down In Senate

The United States Senate decided again Thursday that it simply does not want to let states tell people whether or not they are eating genetically modified food.

The Senate voted overwhelmingly — 71 to 27 — against an amendment to the sweeping farm bill, squashing a measure that would not have required labeling of genetically modified organisms, but merely would have let states decide if they wanted to require such labeling.

“The concept we’re talking about today is a fairly commonsense and non-radical idea,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the sponsor of the amendment, said shortly before the vote. “All over the world, in the European Union, in many other countries around the world, dozens and dozens of countries, people are able to look at the food that they are buying and determine through labeling whether or not that product contains genetically modified organisms.”

Sanders has noted that more than 3,000 ingredients are required to be labeled, but genetically modified ingredients are not part of that list. His state and Connecticut have passed laws to require such labeling, but Sanders said local leaders fear that large biotech corporations such as Monsanto could sue the states on the grounds that they are preempting federal authority. He said his bill would make clear that states can do what they want on the issue… via GMO Labeling Bill Voted Down In Senate

Priorities USA

The Obama administration believes in freedom of the press — just not freedom of speech for people who might talk to the press.

via Priorities USA – The Daily Show with Jon Stewart – 05/23/13 – Video Clip | Comedy Central.

Obama’s speech: He’s just like Bush in pushing the limits of executive power

In his speech today about the future of American counterterrorism operations, President Obama said that he will order drone strikes less frequently and redouble efforts to transfer some detainees out of Guantánamo. He suggested a more focused approach to terrorist threats in light of the diminished capacity of al-Qaida. Yet he also maintained the administration’s long-standing legal approach. The speech thus may well confirm the view among Obama’s civil libertarian critics that he is the most lawless executive since, um, George Bush. They are right to see the continuity from one president to the next, but they are wrong to believe that Obama has violated the law.

I have discussed the legal basis of the war on terror before. The 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, updated in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, gives the president war powers against al-Qaida. War powers include the power to kill, to capture, to detain, to interrogate, to engage in surveillance. These powers have been further confirmed and regulated by Congress in numerous other statutes, and approved by the courts.

Critics argue that the Obama administration violated the rights of the Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen killed by drones in Yemen, by failing to capture him and give him a trial. But the Constitution does not require trials for enemy combatants, not even Americans. The Obama administration has actually gone beyond its predecessors by stating that it will not engage in targeted killings of Americans overseas unless they pose an imminent threat and cannot be captured. (Note, however, that imminent does not mean what the dictionary says.) The administration has also recognized the drone killings of three other Americans who were not targeted but wandered into the line of fire. No law prohibits such accidental deaths unless they were the result of extreme carelessness or indifference to the lives of civilians… via Obama’s speech: He’s just like Bush in pushing the limits of executive power. – Slate Magazine

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