Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Against the Narrative

#guns #2AM #teaparty #tcot .
Canadian border guards are griping because their federal government doesn't let them carry sidearms. Wait, according to the gun control advocates, having a handgun makes one more susceptible to violence... So why do these guys want firearms? And if the border guards, who are complaining that they are not armed while on joint operations with other police forces that are armed, think they are not safe - while surrounded by armed police - what about regular citizens who are always nearby when these operations take place?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pet Tales - Check Up On Your Vet

We took the Border Collie -Lab mix to the vet earlier this week for her annual checkup. She's going to be 10 on her next birthday and I asked them about her weight... Always ask questions about your pet when you visit the vet. They will rarely offer up information without prompting. In fact, I had the assistant in the exam room re-ask the questions the receptionist had asked in the lobby while we were waiting. In watching the assistant and the vet paw through the charts to ask the questions I could see that neither she or the vet had bothered to look at the answers we had given the receptionist.

Turns out she had dropped to about 52 pounds from the 60 she weighed on the last visit. Now, it is true that she has been exercising a lot more over the last several months now that she and the three year old 90 pound Lab are getting along and playing together. I also have not been giving the two dogs as many treats and we have been watching their food intake because the younger one has weight issues. But eight pounds is a bit much, even in a year.

The vet did blood and other tests which came back normal. Hopefully this weight loss is a natural thing. We'll take her back in three or so months to get re-checked and make sure. The moral of the story is two fold; you know your pet much better than the vet and their helpers, and you have to stay on top of them to make sure your pets get the treatment and examinations they need. The veterinarian service we use enjoys a top notch reputation here in Nashville, but I still had to prompt them to give my pet the care she needed.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Our Great Title is AMERICANS

First Published on 4 July 2008
Independence Day Reflections

One stirring recitation of our Declaration is the 2002 short documentary released by Declaration of Independence, Inc., hosted by Morgan Freeman and starring several notable actors including Mel Gibson, Micheal Douglas, Benicio Del Toro, Rene Zellweger, Whoopie Goldberg and others.
"Our citizenship in the United States is our national character. Our citizenship in any particular state is only our local distinction. By the latter we are known at home, by the former to the world. Our great title is AMERICANS" -- Thomas Paine

Another is the updated Fox Sports short (the original 2002 version is here) starring current and past players and coaches of the NFL and actors portraying Thomas Jefferson and other Declaration signers and from which the title of this post is taken.

The passion with which we Liberty loving Americans hold our land may be heard in the voice of Kate Smith singing Irving Berlin's great God Bless America. Also inspiring is Smith's performance and the cinematic production from This is the Army (1943). Look for a younger Ronald Reagan at the end of the clip.

In the news yesterday came the announcement that the childhood home of George Washington had been found that will provide more insight into the formative years of the Father of our Nation.

A book I just started reading is 1776 by David McCullogh. It begins with King George III's address to parliament
"I shall never forget what I felt...when I saw him brave all the dangers of the field and his important life hanging as if by a single hair with a thousand deaths flying all around him. Believe me, I thought not of myself." --A young officer on Washington's courage during the battle at Clarke's Farm

declaring America to be in rebellion and continues through the Christmas victories for Washington and his Army at Trenton and Princeton.

Washington and the other Founding Fathers started what has become an American tradition of service and sacrifice that continues today with our service men and women defending Liberty across the globe. Today is the anniversary of the birth of our great nation. Our great title is AMERICANS.



The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

hen 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 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 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 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 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.

— John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton