General Washington speaks with a confidant in Philadelphia.
Clickenzee to Embiggen!
"Truly Ms. Stars," said the General, "I value these conversations moreso than you can ever imagine. Congress is useless, my aids are sycophants, Lafyette, while effective, smells of a persistant, strange and moldy cheese which I cannot abide. Your suggestion that I work over the Christmas break in Trenton is one that I will take to heart. Thank you again. Until fortune returns me to Philadelphia, madam....."
One of our July 4th traditions here in the Stars/Cassidy household is a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence, usually performed by some mixture of actor friends and whoever else is around. It's actually a very interesting document.
If your takeaway about the 4th of July is "beer", you're on par with everyone and you're probably ok.
If your takeaway is "some guys didn't want to pay taxes" you're obviously trying to rise slightly above "beer" and should probably read the Declaration of Independence. If you have, you'll know taxes don't really have very much to do with it at all. You don't have to read the whole thing, but I submit to you the list of grievances outlined in the Declaration, that you may temper the ordinary festivities of the weekend with the thought of burning towns, garrisons, political murder, the dissolution of local legislators, and the number of other things that rose above Taxation without Representation.
- 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 of 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 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 benefit 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 states
- 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.
Have a swell weekend!
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