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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 [George III] 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...
Prayforgeorgewbush.com is a non-denominational, non-partisan ministry dedicated to lifting up President George W. Bush in Prayer as he serves this country as President of the United States. For over two years, God-fearing Americans have gathered to lift up the man whom God has placed in the office of the Presidency (Romans 13:1 "Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God."-HCSB™). During this time of national triumph and tragedy, we have seen God work in marvelous ways in the life our our country and its president.
Lileks can really paint a picture:
Right now we're approaching the second tent pole of summer, the Fourth; it's the time of the year when the night is punctuated by tentative fireworks. One firecracker. Just one. One long screech of a bottle rocket. Just one. People are testing them out, unable to wait for the real thing, but unable to spoil it as well. Somewhere ten blocks away a guy thinks "well, just one to get me in the mood." He carefully unwinds the fuse from the braid, takes it outside, lights it with his Winston and tosses it in the gutter. Bang. Dogs for a mile sit up and feel their sphincters loosen.
I love the Fourth. Meat and flags and gunpowder and a late night with friends. The apogee of summertime contentment. If you get the Fourth right, nothing that came before matters and everything that comes afterwards will do just fine. And if it rains? You've two months of summer to spend.
Meat and flags and gunpowder. Bully!
Try this quiz. Sample question:
1. In what city did the Continental Congress take place?
A. Trenton B. Philadelphia C. Pittsburgh D. New York
As predicted, Mel Gibson and his movie "The Passion" have indeed come under attack; this time from the Anti-Defamation League. Excerpt,
Although Gibson insisted last month that "neither I nor my film are anti-Semitic," the Anti-Defamation League said last week that it has "serious concerns" about Gibson's forthcoming movie, "The Passion." In its June 24 statement, the ADL praised an 18-page report prepared by an ad hoc group of nine Catholic and Jewish scholars who, the ADL said, "unanimously agreed that the screenplay reviewed was replete with objectionable elements that would promote anti-Semitism."
Gary Aldrich making good sense today:
Independence Day reminds us what good people we really are, and how well off we are. The Fourth of July sets the scene and paves the way for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. These two documents mirror the philosophy that forms the foundation for our Declaration of Independence. Reading this Declaration gives us both guidance and inspiration.
For example, it says that "all men are created equal" and that, "they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights." Webster's Dictionary defines unalienable as "not capable of being repudiated; absolute."
Doncha think it's a tad early for this:
Pleased with the performance of Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, the Bush administration is considering a resumption of direct aid to the Palestinian Authority -- with a big boost to help strengthen its security forces.
And the Understatement of the Year Award goes to:
...The decision to circumvent Arafat in providing aid was based on a slowly developed judgment that he is an inadequate leader and that U.S. assistance was being diverted.
Thirty-five years of terrorism. Yeah, I'd say that was a slowly developed judgement. Funny, it took us 35+ years to determine that Arafat was a terrorist and we shouldn't deal with him and yet, Abbas manages to
halt eliminate stop reduce terror for a few hours and now we're his buddy. Makes us look kinda desperate, huh?
News from Israel:
Israel Radio correspondent Nissim Keinan reported this morning that Israeli security sources say wanted Palestinian terrorists were travelling on the main north-south Gaza Strip highway within hours after the IDF dropped restrictions as part of the IDF withdrawal. These security sources say they expect terrorists and weapons to move freely on the highway under the new arrangement.
Keinan also reported four Palestinian attacks overnight in the Gaza Strip despite the declared "hudna" under which the Palestinians were not to attack. Under the "hudna" concept, the Palestinians do not shoot as they amass weapons to use when they decide that ending the "hudna" serves their interests.
My goodness. Terrorists behaving like terrorists. Should we be surprised?
Whenever you hear that we're not spending enough on education, think about stories like this. I don't think this is an isolated case.
In one of his first official acts as new chief of the cash-strapped Oakland public schools, Randy Ward has turned off 500 district cell phones used by employees and others who were chatting their way to $750,000 a year.
From the driver who delivers the milk to nearly all 100 principals, so many district employees were issued cell phones under the prior administration that when Ward asked for a list, just 200 phones could be matched up with individuals.
At least it sounds as though Mr. Ward has some common sense, but he'll be up against groundswell of teachers, administrators, bureaucrats who now believe that a free cell phone is an entitlement.
I, along with many, thought Dennis Miller was terrible on Monday Night Football. Although he knows a lot about the game, his jokes and interjections were just too forced. But here's a format that should better suit him. Excerpt,
Folks, it has hit the fan in California, but luckily there will probably be no power later this summer in California to run the fan with. And you know something else? The California-Mexico border is now leakier than Mark Geragos (search) on a diuretic drip. I remember thinking that the other day as I observed a traffic jam in the illegal alien lane of the San Diego freeway.
Next stop -- simply put, it seems like a no-brainer to me and I think most of you, we need to kill all the terrorists before they can kill us. And you know something? If the phrase war on terror violates your delicate sensibilities, you're just going to have to buck it up and think of it as preemptive health care, OK?
Well, quite frankly, I've always imagined my God would have a driver. You know, I think the real reason the ozone is shredding is because we now make everybody step outside to smoke. And by the way, I want to say thank you to all smokers in this country, because without you, we wouldn't have funding for any social programs.
Tropical Storm Bill Comes Ashore
TROPICAL STORM BILL FORECAST/ADVISORY NUMBER 5 NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL032003 1500Z MON JUN 30 2003
A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FROM INTRACOASTAL CITY LOUISIANA EASTWARD TO MORGAN CITY LOUISIANA.
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM EAST OF HIGH ISLAND TEXAS TO PASCAGOULA MISSISSIPPI.
TROPICAL STORM CENTER LOCATED NEAR 28.8N 91.5W AT 30/1500Z POSITION ACCURATE WITHIN 45 NM
PRESENT MOVEMENT TOWARD THE NORTH OR 360 DEGREES AT 12 KT
ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE 1002 MB
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS 50 KT WITH GUSTS TO 60 KT.
50 KT....... 0NE 100SE 0SW 0NW.
34 KT.......125NE 125SE 25SW 75NW.
12 FT SEAS..150NE 150SE 50SW 100NW.
WINDS AND SEAS VARY GREATLY IN EACH QUADRANT. RADII IN NAUTICAL MILES ARE THE LARGEST RADII EXPECTED ANYWHERE IN THAT QUADRANT.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INITIAL 30/1500Z 28.8N 91.5W 50 KT
12HR VT 01/0000Z 30.5N 91.5W 40 KT...INLAND
24HR VT 01/1200Z 32.7N 90.5W 30 KT...INLAND
36HR VT 02/0000Z 34.6N 88.7W 20 KT...INLAND
48HR VT 02/1200Z 36.0N 86.0W 20 KT...INLAND
72HR VT 03/1200Z 36.5N 80.5W 20 KT...INLAND
Tropical Storm Bill
TROPICAL STORM BILL FORECAST/ADVISORY NUMBER 4 NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL032003 0900Z MON JUN 30 2003
A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FROM INTRACOASTAL CITY LOUISIANA EASTWARD TO MORGAN CITY LOUISIANA. A HURRICANE WATCH MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 36 HOURS.
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM EAST OF HIGH ISLAND TEXAS TO PASCAGOULA MISSISSIPPI. A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS.
TROPICAL STORM CENTER LOCATED NEAR 27.6N 91.6W AT 30/0900Z POSITION ACCURATE WITHIN 45 NM
PRESENT MOVEMENT TOWARD THE NORTH OR 350 DEGREES AT 12 KT
ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE 1007 MB MAX SUSTAINED WINDS 45 KT WITH GUSTS TO 55 KT. 34 KT.......125NE 125SE 25SW 90NW. 12 FT SEAS..150NE 150SE 50SW 100NW. WINDS AND SEAS VARY GREATLY IN EACH QUADRANT. RADII IN NAUTICAL MILES ARE THE LARGEST RADII EXPECTED ANYWHERE IN THAT QUADRANT.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INITIAL 30/0900Z 27.6N 91.6W 45 KT
12HR VT 30/1800Z 29.2N 91.7W 60 KT
24HR VT 01/0600Z 32.0N 91.0W 25 KT...INLAND
36HR VT 01/1800Z 34.0N 89.0W 20 KT...REMNANT LOW
48HR VT 02/0600Z 35.0N 86.0W 20 KT...REMNANT LOW
72HR VT 03/0600Z 36.0N 80.0W 20 KT...REMNANT LOW
Check out this article from WaPo regarding the financial crisis in California. A quick check shows that the word "Republican" was used 10 times. The word "GOP" was used twice. Meanwhile "Democrat(ic)" was used only five times (one in a picture caption). Now this may not seem extraordinary, except for these simple facts: the California House is controlled by Democrats, the California Senate is controlled by Democrats and the California Governer is a Democrat. But then, Democratic mismanagement really isn't the problem:
As in many other states, the shortfall is largely the result of the national economic downturn -- which has been especially severe in Silicon Valley, an engine of California's $1.3 trillion economy. Soaring health care costs for the poor and new expenses for homeland security are other contributing factors. Republicans here also contend that Davis, who was narrowly elected to a second term in November, has spent recklessly while in office and relied on accounting gimmicks to balance the budget last year.
Here's the take from the North County Times which states that it' not primarily the result of an economic downturn, it's the result of runaway spending. Excerpt,
No, the problem was caused in part by the economic downturn and associated softening of state revenues. But it was compounded by officials' refusal to acknowledge that the enormous growth of the late 1990s was over and by the reluctance of policymakers to restructure spending accordingly, a regional economic expert says...
...According to the state controller's office, 230,369 workers were on the payroll at the end of 2002 ---- 22,359 more than the 208,010 at the conclusion of 1998. That's 11 percent growth in the state bureaucracy in four years. Also in four years, total general fund spending has increased by 38 percent ---- even with emergency midyear cuts...
...The problem is many parts of the budget are on autopilot. The state expanded programs during the boom days. And, under existing laws, spending on them increases automatically year to year as enrollment swells and the cost of living rises. The governor and lawmakers, to date, have refrained from permanently downsizing programs or substantially trimming staff.
In short, while families and businesses cut back in response to the soft economy, the state balks at living within its means. And there is no sign Sacramento is going to start doing so anytime soon.