…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.
Alright, everyone can go back to sleep, now, because that document pre-dates the US of A anyway, so it’s largely irrelevant and anyway, there’s fireworks and BBQ later. And there’s an election coming; I’m sure all this will get resolved.
…Last I checked, on just the federal level, the US code stretches over 50 volumes and 23,000 pages. They can’t even count the number of federal criminal offenses, but some estimates range from 3,000 to 4,500.
Federal criminal statutes have multiplied to such an extent that it has become increasingly difficult to count them.
As a result of the increase, federal prisons now house more than 200,000 inmates, eight times the number 30 years ago, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports. And more people are in criminal jeopardy, often unwittingly, since increasingly the new laws do not have an intent requirement.
A U.S. Justice Department spokeswoman tells the Wall Street Journal that the number of federal criminal laws can’t be quantified. Studies have put the number at more than 3,000 and at 4,500.
…In other news, are you aware that the “Land of the Free” is the world’s top jailer? Not only do we have more people behind bars in absolute numbers, but we incarcerate at a higher rate than any other.
Based on the latest figures from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the Drug War Chronicle estimates that more than 530,000 people were behind bars for drug offenses in the U.S. at the end of last year. Drug offenders accounted for about 25 percent of jail inmates, 21 percent of state prison inmates, and 55 percent of federal prison inmates. The total number of people behind bars was about 2.3 million, an all-time record, giving the U.S. an incarceration rate of 724 per 100,000–the highest in the world, according to the Chronicle, which says we even beat out China this time.
Oh, well. Enjoy your holiday anyway, I guess.
In closing, a few quotes from one of those radicals, cited above.
The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits.
When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.
God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty…. And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
That was TJ.