Friday, July 2, 2010




On June 7, 1776, a delegate to the Continental Congress, offered the following resolution:

"Resolved, 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." - Richard Henry Lee

Less than a month later, on July 2, 1776, twelve of the thirteen original colonies voted in agreement with Lee’s resolution. Only New York abstained.

Two days after that, a not so insignificant document, principally authored by the man who would become our country's third president, was approved by the members of the Continental Congress. It was called our ...

Declaration of Independence

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 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.

And in case you’re wondering why we celebrate it with so much show. Consider the following excerpt from a letter written by the man who became our Country's second president, to his wife Abigail, in noting the importance of the colonies independence:

“It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” - John Adams


Thursday, July 1, 2010


From the website:

A number of years ago, my eldest daughter gave me a gift that still hangs on the wall of my office. She gave it to me, thinking I was going to be a writer. In the interest of transparency, I have to admit that the reason she thought I was going to be a writer was because I was always telling my family that, well, I’m going to be a writer.

Of course, at the time she gave me that gift, I was actually struggling with being a writer. This, despite having earned awards for writing (newspaper stuff) and poetry, and having had a business that included ad and copy writing among its services.

Anyway, I thought I would share with you, her gift to me …

“writing is the process one follows to learn what is already known deep within:

it sharpens the spirit, disciplines the mind and leads to solutions.

in the spaces between words and solitude observe what happens when words and silence meet.

words matter.

pay attention.

write to learn what you know.”

The author is Mary Anne Radmacher. And yes, it is copyrighted.

I’ve never met the woman, but I really like her writing and her artistic rendition of what she writes.

Her stuff can be found at:

Wednesday, June 30, 2010



I recently had to buy a bottle of ketchup and I must admit that I don’t pay particular attention to what’s on the label. Front or Back. But because of a tv commercial I saw only a few days before, I did notice the label this time.

It was Heinz new label. The one without the pickle. The one with the tomato.

Supposedly it’s big news to some people, but I doubt if most people really care.

One thing, however, did stand out. Their tagline: “Grown Not Made®.”

Of course, they’re talking about their tomatoes. Surprise! They grow theirs.

Not surprised? Me either.

Hello? Heinz? Are you kidding me? You grow your tomatoes?

Ummmm. Doesn’t everybody?

So I spent a few minutes googling ketchup. And I was right. Of those manufacturers who use tomatoes in their ketchup, they all use grown tomatoes. I couldn’t find a single example of a ketchup maker who used ungrown tomatoes. Not one. (Although I will admit that I didn’t check out all 16 Million search results for ketchup, so if anyone knows of a manufacturer who is using ungrown tomatoes, please feel free to correct me.)

So there I stood in the condiments aisle. Staring at the “new” label.

I was stunned with lack of surprise, and shocked by the revelation of nothing new. Imagine that. Tomatoes grown, not made.

Now had they revealed that, for example, “Soylent Green is people,” that would have been worth the hoopla.

But something like, “Hey everybody, we’re spending millions and millions of dollars to let you know that when we make our ketchup, we’re using tomatoes that are grown,” just isn’t worth the attention.

And yet, here I am, giving it more unneeded attention.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Writer's Note: The above picture is NOT the person referred to in the posting.

As I was going into my local Home Depot, I recognized a former co-worker of mine when we were both executives at the headquarters of a national company. He was a step above me, with the usual step-above perks and pay as well. He wasn’t exactly a nice guy and he treated those beneath him rather poorly. And I didn’t like him.

I suffered the fate of so many others a few years ago and got downsized out of my job. He didn’t, and in fact continued to get more and more perks and pay.

He looked at me and then quickly looked away. As if he was hoping that I hadn’t seen him and wouldn’t want to engage in some catch-up conversation.

As curious as I was to find out what had happened during the ensuing years, I walked past him without acknowledgement.

Still, I couldn’t help but wonder what had brought a man from the halls of big executives to the carts of big box stores.

That’s right. He was now the humble employee of Home Depot whose duties, among others I presume, included corralling the shopping carts left in the parking lot.

I wanted to know how he went from making a $250,000 plus, a year to probably a tenth of that per year.

I wanted to know how it felt to go from wearing imported Italian leather shoes to wearing well-worn and dirty New Balance tennis shoes.

And I particularly wanted to know why I felt badly for him. I thought I would have gloated, at least a little. After all, he was a “bad” man. Yet here I was, feeling somewhat sorry for him. I didn’t want to, but I did.

I expected that I would have felt some sort of cosmic justice in what had happened to him. The gentleman (and I use the word with pejorative sarcasm) in question used to poop on those in the barrels below him. Now he was at the bottom of the proverbial barrel.

But there was no gloating. No sense of cosmic justice. No “attaboy” to the universe.

Simply genuine concern for him, and his family.

Usually when people say, “How the mighty have fallen,” they do so with a sardonic glee.

When I caught myself thinking the same thing, it was with understanding and compassion.

Maybe all that Bible study and prayer I’ve gone through lately has had a positive effect.

Maybe the need to feel somehow avenged isn’t as important as it was in my younger days.

Maybe somewhere along the way, I chose to reprieve rather than to reproach.

Maybe I’ve just grown a bit older and wiser.

“We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.”

George Bernard Shaw

Monday, June 28, 2010


Your Monday Morning Chuckle.