Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Independence Day

Oh yeah! Duh!!!

Those things I'd been bitching about (like separation of powers and habeas corpus) weren't just goofs that the framers of the Constitution threw in just for the fun of it, any more than the bill of rights was.

Can you imagine ... Ben Franklin takes a bong hit and says "Hey I got an idea: freedom of religion." And Thomas Jefferson "Dude. Excellent."

Nope. In fact, all that stuff in there got there because a real live guy was screwing people over in this land of ours and they were sick of it. So they made this list of stuff that guy was doing wrong and said "Hey man, this shit is outta control. Screw it and screw you. We're outta here."

That's an abridged version of the Declaration of Independence.

NPR broadcasts a recording of their reporters reading the real thing every year on the 4th and every year I cry when they play it.

Here are a few excerpts that have hit me hard lately:

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

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 affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury

Later they wrote the Constitution specifically keep other real live guys from doing the same thing that other guy did.

In other words, my kvetching isn't about fear of a slippery slope or a slipnslide or even a soapy sidewalk.

That shit really happened. And some smart dudes in wigs designed a system of government that is supposed to keep it from happening again.

It's all there, folks, in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. These are not just pieces of parchment or historical documents. Right there in black and beige is how we define tyranny and everything we need to run a government that protects us from it.


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