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Gibson writes: "A just government's authority is only legitimate with the consent of the governed. And whenever any form of government becomes too corrupt to truly represent the people whom it has been elected to govern, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government if they so choose."

US Constitution. (photo: file)
US Constitution. (photo: file)



The 21st Century Declaration of Independence

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

04 July 13

 

A living document, to be amended, revised, and published by July 4th, 2013

e, the human race, are riding along the wave of revolution against greed, injustice, hatred, and oppression that has swept across the globe over the past two years. Countries around the world have begun to cast off the shackles that a few have put on the majority of humanity. In the United States, citizens of all walks of life have tried to stop this tyrannical oligarchy from continuing their class war on humanity as a whole. Despite our best efforts, we have been treated with disdain and brutality by the government of the United States and those associated with it.

Our reason for writing this document is a struggle against the moneyed corporate, military, and political powers not unlike the struggle faced by Thomas Jefferson when rebelling against the crown in 1776. The tyranny we face today, however, is global. The people of Iceland, Spain, the UK, Greece, Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey, Brazil, Portugal, Bulgaria and others are all rising up against corporate-owned governments that work in the interests of the few rather than for the good of all.

In the course of human events, it is often necessary for the people to dissolve the political and economic bands which have endeavored to enslave them, and gather as one to devise a new, just political system that works for all those who must live within it. A decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that we should declare our grievances for all who are affected by the monumental decisions that are to be made as one people.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all persons are created equal, that they along with nature are endowed with unalienable rights from the very beginning of their existence, of which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To secure these rights for all, regardless of race, class, gender, ethnic background, abilities and limitations, sexual orientation or political ideology, the people must form a government that is capable of holding their nation’s political and economic powers accountable. A just government’s authority is only legitimate with the consent of the governed. And whenever any form of government becomes too corrupt to truly represent the people whom it has been elected to govern, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government if they so choose. A truly representative government must lay its foundation on just principles, and only wield its authority in ways in which it will be most likely to improve upon the safety and happiness of all people.

That being said, an established government should not be changed for light and transient causes. Human history has shown that while all political and economic systems will inevitably come with imperfections and have aspects that are not agreed upon by a full consensus of the people, to hastily abolish a political system to which a great majority of the people are accustomed is unwieldy and likely to create more problems than it would solve. But when a long train of human rights violations, violations of the natural world, and outright redistribution of wealth and resources from the poor and impoverished to the wealthy and privileged power elite are regularly forced upon the people, it is the people’s right to throw off such government and firmly establish new sets of rules to check abuses by political and financial powers. The people have, for too long, politely tolerated such abuses and are now called together out of necessity to right the wrongs that beset us. The history of the present Congress, Executive Branch, and Supreme Court is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all of which project an absolute Tyranny over all fifty United States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

  • They have ignored and breached long-established fundamental rights bestowed upon the people in the U.S. Constitution, most notably our First Amendment rights to Free Speech, Free Assembly, and a Free Press.

  • They have established habitual breaches of our Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure, as evidenced in the National Security Agency's warrantless monitoring of all citizens' emails, calls, texts and social media.

  • They have intentionally disenfranchised people of color through wage theft and discrimination in the workplace, attacks on voting rights, and excessive, unprovoked brutality at the hands of law enforcement, as seen in the stop-and-frisk policy of the New York Police Department and frequent abuses of power by various other law enforcement agencies.

  • They have deemed 9 of themselves "Supreme" and used this arbitrary label to strip disenfranchised Americans of their right to vote, enabling states wishing to further disenfranchise those groups with unfair and discriminatory laws to do so.

  • The country's highest court has ruled in favor of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – the chief lobbying firm for multinational corporations – moreso than at any other point since the 1940s. This has resulted in the steady chipping away of workers' rights and domination of our food supply, conducted by judges with ties to the corporate world.

  • They have breached our fundamental rights to a speedy and fair trial by jury, as evidenced in the case of Private First Class Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, and other political activists and whistleblowers.

  • They have shown utter contempt for the right of Habeus Corpus, as evidenced in the indefinite detention language included in the passage of the 2012 and 2013 National Defense Authorization Acts, the existence of the Guantanamo Bay prison facility, CIA-sanctioned “black sites” where unlawful torture of political prisoners is conducted in foreign jurisdictions, among other facilities known and unknown to the people.

  • They have allowed the unprecedented concentration of wealth into the hands of a minute fraction of the population, despite longer working hours imposed on workers, stagnant wages, and record profits enjoyed by those who own at the expense of those who create.

  • They have recklessly plundered funds for Social Security, repeatedly attempted to undermine necessary health care programs, and attacked the Constitutionally authorized U.S. Postal Service, which the people have spent their whole lives supporting, under the false guise of financial prudence. Meanwhile, they exempt the lavish tax subsidies and tax breaks lobbied for by their campaign contributors.

  • They have halted all passage of laws through unprecedented partisan obstruction, slowing necessary governmental functions to a standstill in their failure to compromise on even the most basic legislative tasks. The few laws they do allow to pass intended to do good for the public or hold criminal enterprises accountable, have been riddled with loopholes and exemptions at the behest of corporate lobbyists, allowing evildoers to escape unscathed.

  • They have refused to pass laws that aimed to protect large swaths of natural resources and a stable climate, which are essential to the survival of the planet and the continuation of the human species.

  • They have ensured that successful political campaigns must be funded by millions of dollars from wealthy corporations averse to being held accountable for wrongdoing. This process has compromised their positions as representatives of the people who elected them to serve, and converted them into puppet representatives of their corporate masters.

  • They have allowed excessively unfair gerrymandering of districts to favor their own partisan ideology, which makes their political ouster impossible in spite of widespread discontent among the people of the district.

  • They have used their vast surveillance infrastructure to treat nonviolent dissenters as terrorism suspects while letting actual terrorism suspects run free.

  • They have trod upon the sovereignty of indigenous people both domestically and internationally, pillaged their resources for profit, and neglected to provide them with even the most basic of services while simultaneously refusing to share the benefits of the wealth they’ve generated on those oppressed people’s behalf.

  • They have made a mockery of the judicial system, corrupting it to the point where justices work openly for the benefit of a privileged few in the corporate and financial halls of power.

  • They have turned cabinet, executive, and judicial appointments into political payoffs for privileged friends and campaign donors, establishing a precedent of allowing only the most corrupt to serve on the judicial bench or at the top of regulatory agencies.

  • They have erected a sweeping surveillance structure, a vast prison system, and an oppressive police state, whose key purpose has become to excessively monitor and violently suppress political dissent, as well as imprison nonviolent political activists, financed by tax dollars of taxpayers who have not consented to the authority of such agencies.

  • They have acceded to the moneyed interests of the military-industrial complex, creating war not out of the necessity to protect the continued existence of the nation, but to fund the insatiable greed of the for-profit arms industry.

  • They have breached the Constitution’s requirements for war, allowing war to be outsourced to privately-owned and operated mercenary agencies and conducted under a veil of secrecy, conducting extrajudicial assassinations of citizens whom they have deemed enemies of the state without affording them their right to a trial under the necessary and lawful presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

  • They have allowed the military to be unaccountable to civil powers and to operate independently of oversight or regulation.

  • They have allowed unaccountable private corporations to assume powers previously only afforded to accountable public institutions, such as prisons, schools, and law enforcement.

  • They have allowed the monopolization of our food supply by a select few corporate conglomerates, without requiring due care for the health of the people affected by the foods they produce, and they have gone so far as to exempt them from laws and regulations that apply to other businesses and institutions.

  • They have prolonged and exacerbated the enslavement of the people by debt, which has currently become the norm for attaining an education required for a career, or for receiving treatment for even the most basic of ailments, injuries and sicknesses.

  • They have allowed banks to create fraudulent mortgage agreements for millions of homeowners, and to forcibly and violently evict those families from their homes while escaping all governmental accountability and oversight all for the sake of unchecked and untaxed profit.

  • They have allowed control of our nation’s currency to fall into the hands of a select few private central bankers, who are unaccountable to all rules and regulations that normally apply to other government agencies.

  • They have corrupted regulatory agencies through prolonging and encouraging a revolving door culture between corporate suites and government, allowing executives of corporations to serve as official regulators of the same corporations from which they came.

  • They have refused implementation of contemporary replacements for outdated and unsustainable sources of energy, transportation, and other public infrastructure, putting the health and safety of the people and the planet at tremendous risk.

  • They have allowed for the dangerous monopolization of our media by corporate entities, corrupting democracy by suppressing information necessary for the education of the people.

  • They have enabled the corporate takeover of our healthcare system, allowing the pain, injury, sickness and suffering of the people to be commodities from which corporations can profit without effective regulatory oversight.

  • They have repeatedly interfered with women's rights to have access to birth control as well as safe reproductive health options. Further, they have continued to stand in the way of true equality for all women whether through gainful employment opportunities, financial parity with male counterparts, family and maternity medical leave accessibility, or justice for themselves and their children at the family court level.

  • They have refused the right of workers to collectively organize and bargain for fairer wages, working conditions and hours, while simultaneously crushing their efforts to form unions aimed at accomplishing those goals.

  • They have enabled the oppression of undocumented workers by legislating reckless free-trade agreements that exempt corporate entities from necessary regulations, creating an environment where those entities exploit the labor of their workers while simultaneously rendering workers incapable of speaking out for fear of deportation.

  • They have established the rule of money, patriarchy, ableism and white male supremacy, in spite of a population that is becoming increasingly more diverse, and ignored the demands of the people for a government more representative of the poor and middle class, women, people of color, and persons with disabilities.

In the face of continued and constant oppression, we have lobbied peacefully through all necessary channels, whether through writing, calling, emailing, circulating and delivering petitions, or nonviolent street demonstrations. And despite our best efforts to be heard through all aforementioned channels, our cries for justice have only been met with the boot and the handcuff, and have not reached the eyes and ears of our elected officials. For these reasons, we deem our elected officials to be tyrants, no longer fit to govern.

We have, for a time, been attempting to make our voices heard through all available channels. When the corporate-owned media largely ignored our efforts, we established our own media to amplify our efforts to be heard. We have repeatedly visited our halls of government and met face-to-face with those elected to represent us. We have made films and documentaries seen by millions, written countless articles for publication in mainstream and alternative media sources, and exhausted all available means to make our demands heard loud and clear by those in power.

These calls for justice have fallen on deaf ears beholden not to the needs and wishes of their constituents, but to the orders of their campaign contributors. For these reasons, we deem it necessary to abolish this current government through the constitutionally-granted mechanism outlined in Article V of the U.S. Constitution and to address our grievances by forming a new sovereignty which we will, through our own unmolested will and consent, grant legitimacy.

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 fifty United States and its Territories, solemnly publish and declare, That these United States are, and of right are absolved from all governance by the 113th Congress, the Supreme Court, and the administration of Barack Obama, and that all political connection between them and the states ought to be totally dissolved.

As citizens of these United States, We acknowledge the fact that a two-thirds numerical threshold is required in Congress to call for an Article V Convention under Article V of the U.S. Constitution. In our capacity as oppressed and exploited citizens, we demand that Congress call an Article V Convention to order, with the explicit purpose of addressing the aforementioned charges and establishing true and final accountability to Us, the People. Barring such action, we regard the current government to be illegitimate, choose to live our lives free of coercion from it, and advocate for its dissolution. We call on our fellow citizens to do the same. For the support of this Declaration we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our Honor.


Carl Gibson, 26, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin. You can contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and follow him on twitter at @uncutCG.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

 

Comments   

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+55 # DPM 2013-07-04 07:19
How do we move on this? Petition to congress regarding Article V?
 
 
+3 # Douglas Jack 2013-07-06 05:07
From the USA's beginning Constitutional Convention, these complaints are guaranteed to repeat themselves because of the colonial processes involved. Our ancestors came over here as refugees from a war-economy destroyed biospheres in Europe & then worldwide. Today we are only repeating this pattern & have learned nothing. In this 21st Century Declaration of Independence, Carl Gibson is only repeating these dysfunctional processes without understanding fundamental principles & practices of human relations, economy & governance nor respecting the long sovereignty here.

The 1st Nations here, being 'indigenous' (Latin 'self-generatin g') & welcoming in their own constitution, recognizing our plight, invited us as refugees, to join their nations & confederacies & enjoy the massive abundance which they had created for themselves over 10s of 1000s of years. The laws & customs of the Turtle Island confederacies are based in community cultures of female - male partnership, intergeneration al collaboration, abundant polyculture-orc hards & a fractal / meme organization of society with empowerment of the individual in critical mass domestic Economic Democracy. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/relational-economy/8-economic-democracy

The original treaty of welcome is the Two Row Wampum, enabling the refugees to live together & to respect the laws & customs of this place. The refugees violated this welcoming pact & created ceaseless war upon the sovereign nations here.
 
 
+3 # Douglas Jack 2013-07-06 05:36
While the intention of Carl Gibson & others here is to establish 'democracy' (Greek 'power-of-the-p eople') it is important to recognize that the processes being proposed are colonial, based in adversarial relations to the existing system. This desire to quickly replace rather than recognize the human elements from which the present system arose & to transform the best elements in a step-by-step process, are tragic for the lack of cultural detail. Lack of detail leads to conflict & destruction of existing societies as well as the quickly destroyed biosphere which supports us.

Humanity's worldwide 'indigenous' (Latin 'self-generatin g') ancestors & descendants understand colonialization 's repeating paradox & design societies in inter-disciplin ary, inter-generatio n, female-male, inclusive welcome holistically. Europe's indigenous Celtic peoples before the violence of 1000s of years of Babylon, Greek, Roman invasions, organized as indigenous peoples do worldwide with a set of 'economic' (Greek 'oikos' = 'home') 'fractals' ('repeating constructs or patterns') or 'memes' ('life & culture based patterns').

Memes are building blocks of human culture described in the Indigenous Circle of Life. Indigene Community realizing this colonial imperial patterns of both acquiescence to the status quo & violent revolution is committed to the compilation of humanity's indigenous heritage for abundance. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/home/indigenous-circle-of-life
 
 
+3 # Douglas Jack 2013-07-06 06:48
CULTURAL VS INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE
There's a tendency to want to change 'Politics' ('Workings of the many') from the top down. Humanity's indigenous ancestors realize that change can only be achieved from the bottom up, called 'Organizing from the Tree-roots' decentralized in deep, concerted, specialized economic collaboration. 'Organizing from the Grassroots' is shallow, divided, weak & to satisfaction of the Grim Reaper.

Mohandas Gandhi organized with India's tradition of 'Swaraj' (Hindi = 'self-sufficien cy'). Realizing that Britain had implanted itself as a parasite designed to continuously & hierarchically, feed off of India's human & physical resources. Colonialization is based in people & ecology destroying practices, Swaraj invites all to hark to their 'indigenous' (Latin 'self-generatin g') 'economic' (Greek 'oikos' = 'home') essential-servi ce traditions for food (polycultures), shelter (collective village & Ashram), thread (Spinning Wheel flag of India), Clothing (Sari etc.), Salt (from the sea) etc.

Swaraj satisfied livelihood locally & took profit out of foreign 'exogenous' (L. 'other-generate d') economies, rebuilding Indian corporations from within. In indigenous tradition Gandhi reminded governors, "Regard human labour as more even than money & you have an untapped & inexhaustible source of income, which ever increases with use". Satyagraha (H 'truth-search) provided communication. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/structure/2-satyagraha
 
 
+42 # wantrealdemocracy 2013-07-04 08:04
I don't think that to call for amending the Constitution is enough. We must demand a Constitutional Convention to re write the whole thing. The work of writing a new Constitution must be one taken on by all the people. There must be discussion of what the people want the government be. We must have direct democracy. Trusting our 'representative s' to vote for us, without requirements that they heed our advice, has proven to not be possible. We must demand that our elected officials will facilitate the participation of all constituents and heed their voice before that official may vote in our name.

We must demand that all bodies that represent the people as a whole be gender balanced. All costs of political campaigns must be paid with public funds. Our government shall not be put up for sale as it is now.
 
 
+53 # michelle 2013-07-04 08:05
We need to print this out and start distributing it to folks.
 
 
+38 # michelle 2013-07-04 09:08
Just printed it and it runs 6 pages (helvetica, size 12). I'm taking it to the 4th of July block party and just like 1776, let's see who will step up and sign it. If I get enough signatures, I'm sending it on to my representative. I hope it will provoke some discussion since we are multi-partisan collection of people. I think there will agreement on some of the points but we'll see.
 
 
+46 # Barkingcarpet 2013-07-04 08:18
Agreed entirely. Our system is so corrupt and based on individual empire and dollar profit, and leaving only lifeless and toxic wastelands where once living diverse communities have every "right" to continue living, unmolested by human hubris and greed.
It is time for Tikkun, and rebuilding the fabric of Nature and diverse ecosystems, while dismantling insane egosystems of greed and corruption.
 
 
+31 # Doubter 2013-07-04 08:59
"..it is the people’s right to throw off such government and firmly establish new sets of rules to check abuses by political and financial powers. The people have, for too long, politely tolerated such abuses and are now called together out of necessity to right the wrongs that beset us."
NECESSITY is the most pertinent word here.
 
 
+18 # Glen 2013-07-04 09:01
DPM's question is pertinent to the issue: How do we move on this? How does a citizenry organize, fight government, corporations, the military, the CIA, U.S. allies, the extremely wealthy and powerful, and so many others, in order to set right the decimation of the U.S.?

Caring individuals, who have paid attention over the years know exactly what the problems are, but good luck making those changes.
 
 
+17 # Kathymoi 2013-07-04 14:17
We are hemmed in by the powers you named, and they have been meeting together and planning together, quite privately, in think tanks and chambers of commerce, for maybe 100 years. We, the people, are only catching on to the plan now, in its end stage. It is not going to be easy to change things now, as you said.
 
 
+6 # NOMINAE 2013-07-07 07:05
Quoting Glen:
.....How do we move on this? How does a citizenry organize, fight government, corporations, the military, the CIA, U.S. allies,....?


The powers now in place have been patiently enacting this takeover since at least 1980.

In the Revolution, we had to take on the overpowering might of the World's Strongest Navy. If we hadn't had help from the French Navy, and French troops on the ground, we could never have prevailed. Good thing the French were at war with England at the time. "The enemy of my enemy .... etc".

Another way.

Now the biggest power we face is that of the U.S. Military machine itself, and all of the shadow militaries such as Blackwater et. al. and the militarized police forces that taxpayers have paid to create.

Revolutionary force of arms has been anticipated by the takeover artists, and has been pretty effectively "neutralized". That's why they don't *have* to care about "pop-gun" Second Amendment stuff.

I take heart from the re-imagining of our Society from the ground up by organizations such as OWS Worldwide, whereby we don't have to "whip" the Banksters *or* the military, but simply walk away from their rotten structures to participate in other structures that *DO* work, leaving the Banksters, the Corporations and their militaries standing there with their "guns" in their hands.

Another way.

There has been much progress here already. Check the applicable websites. We are *not* powerless.
 
 
+33 # RMDC 2013-07-04 09:04
If you are going to declare independence, you'd better be willing to fight for it. Power never concedes anything without a struggle. Those who declare independence will never be the ones to initiate violent struggle but the oppressors will use violence from the very start. The fight will be one of self-defense for the independence movement but it will take a great deal of struggle and violence to eventually win.

I'm not sure americans are willing to declare independence. It was tried in the 60s and early 70s, and the force of the US regime powerfully destroyed the revolutionary movements.

I agree that independence from the fascist that now run the world is the most needed thing.
 
 
+9 # Kathymoi 2013-07-04 14:20
We need to try harder, first, to organize and to change the situation from within the system of government that we have. We the people don't want a war with the US military, which is what we would have if we attempted to declare independence from it. We need to try more, to get the majority of the people on the same page. That's the first next step.
 
 
+16 # hwgoldson 2013-07-04 09:05
Ofcourse there is the question of whether any government can long exist without becoming the slave of the rich and powerful. Never the less, perhaps a start is to become advocates of a multi party system wherein all candidates for public office are afforded equal exposure in the public media.
 
 
+18 # Kathymoi 2013-07-04 14:31
Yes. And, I think it has to be clear that one person does not an executive branch make. I think it is meaningless to vote for a president. A person running for office can say anything, promise anything. Look at what we've got.
In my opinion, we need a whole group of people to run for the executive branch together. The way our constitution is worded at this time, we'd need one of them to say he/she was running for president and the rest of the group would be the cabinet, advisors, heads of staff, heads of different areas of concern. We need to know who all of those people are -in advance- before we vote for someone who is running for president. We need Naom Chomsky, Bill McKibben, Chris Hedges, Al Gore, maybe Elizabeth Warren if she is for real, the guy who wrote this statement, Marshall Rosenburg, people with track records, people whose actions, words and money have all been publicly known and consistent for a long time, and some young people from Occupy who have been consistent and brave in their short life so far. We can't vote in the dark for a politician, no matter what he/she promises. It will take a huge group of people truly willing to work openly and honestly with the public to change the power structure. And I fear for all of their lives in the process because I believe the structure that is in place stops at nothing to keep its power in place. Car accidents, drone strikes, sting operations, false arrests, charges of treason ... lock downs of whole cities...
 
 
+3 # Erdajean 2013-07-05 16:49
Kathy. hjstory proves you absolutely right. If we look back at the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and see the terrible things that happened to many of them in retribution, there's no way to take this action without tremendous courage.
Next thing up -- who WILL do it?
Yes, some will. Next, who will guard their backs? We may be about to see....
 
 
+9 # PaineRad 2013-07-05 08:17
I think you have hit upon the crux of the problem. One cannot create a democratic republic that truly represents the people unless it also preserves the economic freedom of the people. The only way to achieve that is to prevent wealth from concentrating anywhere. That means preventing anything outside of the people from getting too big.

Government creates or accedes to operating rules that determine the size, purpose, durability, accountability and responsibility of all entities operating in the political, social and economic spheres. It is our duty to ensure that We the People establish clear boundaries beyond which no thing and no one may go to hoard economic and/or political power.
 
 
-1 # Depressionborn 2013-07-07 15:42
Re: PaineRad,
"Government creates or accedes"

What's wrong with equality under law.

Government could go fly a kite, creating or acceding to nothing much of anything; we would all have your economic freedom.
 
 
+28 # motamanx 2013-07-04 09:27
This article needs a far larger audience. Everyone who reads it should forward it to everyone they know. And those who receive it should do the same. Then perhaps we'll see if this country is still a viable entity.
 
 
+9 # Kathymoi 2013-07-04 14:33
And there's the rub. Communication and then agreement. "The people" are all in the same boat, but we don't all want to row together to a cleaner shore. There is a lot of difference of opinion, and very strong feelings and a lot of ignorance among us.
 
 
0 # Joeconserve 2013-07-04 10:34
The process to accomidate Gibson's concerns is a simple one. It's called a Constitutional Amendment. All he has to do is convince the appropriate number of states to agree to the changes he advocates. He is already relying on a few amendments now to make his case so he should know how it works.

Unfortunately, he could miss out on his 15 minutes of fame as he tries to convince a couple hundred million people that the rule of law does not apply in his case. But, that's the chance you take when you go through the proper channels of a government of the people, for the people and by the people.

I suggest he read the book, "The Kindly Ones," by Jonathan Littell as a probable outcome for his efforts.
 
 
+3 # DPM 2013-07-05 07:41
Replace "He" with "US". Sounds as though many are so comfortable with what is happening, they would risk nothing to change it. Go quietly to slaughter, cattle.
 
 
0 # Depressionborn 2013-07-08 06:53
Come on Joe, If voting could change anything, it would be illegal.
 
 
+9 # moafu@yahoo.com 2013-07-04 10:59
AGREED.

NOW, HOW DOES ONE PERSUADE A MEMBER OF CONGRESS TO RESTRICT HIMSELF OR HERSELF IN PRIVILEGES ?
 
 
+10 # Joeconserve 2013-07-04 12:28
It's called voting them in or out.
 
 
+17 # tswhiskers 2013-07-04 11:05
This new Declaration is certainly a definitive list of grievances that should be publicly made known to all branches of the U.S. Govt. Given the strength of the U.S. military though, war is not really a viable option against the entire govt. If this document is to work toward opening the eyes of those who are truly in power, it will require the support of the vast majority of the population and members of the media as well. I suspect that until cynicism and arrogance are done away with in the Congress and the presidency, we will not have a people's govt.; those now in govt. are too comfortable and too ensconced in their positions, their perks, their good ol' buddy systems and their corruption generally and will give up none of it readily. The enforcement of this new Declaration would require years of work and monomaniacal dedication on the part of a relative few as was the case in 1775. It would test the character of this nation as little else has since then. I would love to see it happen. I would fervently support it, but I could do little else that would be useful. Do we still have enough men and women of this kind of supreme courage? Occupy was only a glimmer of what is needed. This may become the ultimate question in the U.S. of the 21st. century.
 
 
+1 # jky1291 2013-07-07 10:07
Carefully reading the Declaration of Independence one realizes that after 237 years we are right back where we started, but worse off because the enemy is firmly entrenched on the banks of the Potomac River instead of on the opposite side of the Atlantic Ocean. Anyone objectively observing the last 30 years realizes that we are on the verge of becoming Syria, with the government's authorization to deploy our own military against our citizens who have the audacity to exercise their Constitutional freedoms of speech, the press, and the right to assemble, while the government violates the Constitutional prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures without search warrants based on probable cause. While I suspect the 2012 election was our last chance to challenge the total usurpation of power of all three branches of government by the wealthy and foreign interests through the U. S. Chamber of Commerce's representation of multinational corporations, further corruption of the peoples' electoral mandates will clearly replicate the conditions that precipitated the American Revolution leading to the creation of this nation, and again indicating the necessity for corrective actions in order to prevent full establishment of the Fourth Reich.
 
 
+14 # wrknight 2013-07-04 13:20
"In the United States, citizens of all walks of life have tried to stop this tyrannical oligarchy from continuing their class war on humanity as a whole." -- Unfortunately, the citizens didn't try very hard. For most, Monday night football and reality TV are more important than monitoring the actions of elected officials, thinking critically and voting intelligently.

If the citizens spent 10% as much time reviewing and assessing the records of the politicians as they did watching TV, and if they had voted intelligently, none of this shit would have happened.

It is not too late to halt the corporate takeover of our government and restore it to the people. All it takes is an informed and proactive electorate. But will it happen?

Anyone placing any bets?
 
 
+13 # geraldom 2013-07-04 13:43
The only way we can achieve the change implied in the article is to have our military honor their oath to uphold and protect the tenets of our Constitution and our Bill of Rights rather than the tyrannical government and their tyrannical and unconstitutiona l laws that have been passed and continue to be passed at both the state and national levels.

The only reason that the Morsi government in Egypt lost its legitimacy and its power is because the Egyptian military intervened, but that will never happen here in the United States. Our military has been too well trained and too well brainwashed into protecting the rich and the powerful, the so-called 1% rather than our Constitution and our Bill of Rights.

Many of our soldiers who came back from these illegal wars of aggression in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, just to mention a few, the big wars, have learned the hard way and unfortunately too late what our government has become, not a democracy as our so-called political representatives love to espouse to us, but a dictatorship for the common man in this country. The only democracy that exists in this country is for the 1%, the very rich and the very powerful.
 
 
+11 # Walter J Smith 2013-07-04 20:03
First, revising and rewriting and adopting a new national COMPACT is not the same thing as "amending the Constitution." The Declaration of Independence is NOT a part of the Constitution. It is a vision statement, a mission statement, an articulation of ideals and long-term vision.

The Constitution is like a corporate (yes, government is a corporation) building. When the structure is no longer adequate to meet your collective needs, you either radically alter the structure to fit these needs (Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams, et. al., did have a shooting war in their midst; we have a cyber war in ours; the needs are radically different).

So let's correct this document and circulate it, or circulate it now and also work on amending it.

For example, what do we do with this: "In the course of human events, it is often necessary for the people to dissolve the political and economic bands which have endeavored to enslave them, and gather as one to devise a new, just political system that works for all those who must live within it."? How/when/where/ why do we "gather as one to devise a new, just political system that works for us all?

We don't. We gather as neighbors, in thousands of neighborhoods, deliberate compassionately , and build the momentum at the local level, then the state level, then the national level.

This is a lot of work. This arm-chair blogosphere will not accomplish this alone.
 
 
+5 # Inspired Citizen 2013-07-05 03:56
This is going to amount to dust. Without a sustained multi-ethnic, multi-racial, trans-ideologic al effort by millions, not just hundreds of OWS anarchists, this will go nowhere. That won't happen because the middle class is eating well.
 
 
+2 # DPM 2013-07-05 07:43
"Inspired"?
 
 
+4 # NOMINAE 2013-07-07 07:37
Quoting Inspired Citizen:
This is going to amount to dust. Without a sustained multi-ethnic, multi-racial, trans-ideological effort by millions, not just hundreds of OWS anarchists, this will go nowhere. That won't happen because the middle class is eating well.


Interesting. Upon what grounds have you determined that all members of OWS are anarchists ?

OWS beat the pants off of the Red Cross and FEMA when it came to organizing and addressing the *real* needs of the people during Hurricane Sandy. Talking about how they "can't do it", even as they ARE doing "it", says more about the commenter than about OWS.

It's always easy to lift your leg upon things about which you may be less than well informed. There is only one remedy for that.

And, BTW, the middle class is NOT "eating well" thanks to the rapacious efforts of Monsanto and a corrupt FDA. And even those unaware of how poorly they are eating will *not* be "eating well" for very long to come !

OWS world wide is also working on a complete restructuring of what Societies mean, and how they can be structured into the future to include, and benefit all. They have started, wisely, with attempting to restructure financial systems. They are using the present Bank of North Dakota as a model.

They can't do it alone. This constitutional "rewrite" may not fly, but that doesn't mean that nothing will.

Your comments are usually quite well-thought-th rough.
Thank you for your contributions.
 
 
0 # charsjcca 2013-07-05 06:11
The Tea Baggers and Progressives need to hold a Labor Day Convention in 2013 and every year thereafter.
 
 
+6 # Linda L. Schreiber 2013-07-05 09:37
We need to rehire the conscientious government workers to excelled based on merit, those whose jobs were taken away by privatization. The corporate takeover of government jobs has allowed the corporations to take over our government. Speaking from experience. These pirating privateers are call Beltway Bandits. Everyone in DC knows who they are too!
 
 
+6 # sdjoe 2013-07-05 10:46
I would be afraid of an Article V Convention. What's to stop the big money people from completely taking over.
 
 
+1 # Erdajean 2013-07-05 12:14
Oh, God. There we have it. "I would be afraid...."

I am with Carl's new declaration every step of the way. But among my largely "liberal," hyper-educated personal community there are about as many who will cringe and do nothing as there are who will come forward to regain freedom.

AND -- there are some who will fight US to keep us from ever fighting our oppressors. Their key words are always,
"You CAN'T."

Sorry, slugs. Oh yes we WILL.
 
 
+9 # michelle 2013-07-05 13:35
I'm with you on this point. A Constitutional Convention would finish us. The monied interests would write a document that benefited themselves while tossing crumbs to the religious right in the hopes religious law would keep the rest of us in line. If our representative can't represent/fight for the people now, why would anyone believe they would stand up to the plutocrats and corporatists when it came to rewriting the Constitution.

We are now a lawless people and not because of the people's behavior. We have no governing body anymore. We are at the mercy of the lawless corporations. We cannot rely on Congress and the Supreme Court is just an arm of the Republican party. We have no fourth estate to warn the people and 'investigative journalism' is now an oxymoron. When the VRA decision came down from the Supreme Court, Texas changed the voting system in minutes. Did Texas have advance notice? We'll never know and no journalist will attempt to find out.
 
 
+2 # barbaratodish 2013-07-05 23:01
I am grateful that I CAN still leave this country, work in a foreign land and still receive my benefits. Oops, wait a minute, will I, like Edward Snowden also have my passport revoked?
 
 
+5 # rzielkowski 2013-07-06 05:35
John Hancock, one of the wealthiest of our founding fathers, put his life on the line for the revolution and challenged other colonists to do the same. Here is a quote from an oration he gave right after the Boston Massacre. This message is as important today as it was then: "Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed, by the soft arts of luxury and effeminacy, into the pit digged for your destruction. Despise the glare of wealth. That people who pay greater respect to a wealthy villain than to an honest, upright man in poverty almost desire to be enslaved; they plainly show that wealth, however it may be acquired, is, in their esteem, to be preferred to virtue."
 
 
+1 # barbaratodish 2013-07-06 11:48
Quoting rzielkowski:
John Hancock, one of the wealthiest of our founding fathers, put his life on the line for the revolution and challenged other colonists to do the same. Here is a quote from an oration he gave right after the Boston Massacre. This message is as important today as it was then: "Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed, by the soft arts of luxury and effeminacy, into the pit digged for your destruction. Despise the glare of wealth. That people who pay greater respect to a wealthy villain than to an honest, upright man in poverty almost desire to be enslaved; they plainly show that wealth, however it may be acquired, is, in their esteem, to be preferred to virtue."

Yes: "(T)he soft arts of luxury and effeminacy..." have replaced the "hard" realities of life and death issues. Seems like almost all men are, or are becoming, metrosexuals, because most people have zip, zero hope for alternatives to rat race competition. instead of, or in addition to competition consciousness we all need cooperation consciousness. unfortunately most have become hopeless for an eternal perspective of love, cooperation, etc., consciousness and so have defaultedon having and/or being ANY consciousness at all. In default mode, most people especially those with chilren, have "handed over" their consciousness to their little legacies and are, for all intents and purposes ALREADY as if dead!
 
 
+5 # rzielkowski 2013-07-06 12:57
I love what you've written. You clearly understand the message. The next significant revolution must be a revolution of human consciousness itself, in which Yang and Yin resume their balance in human nature. Is it possible for Radical Honesty, Humility, and Generosity to displace Lying, Pride, and Greed? Is that the right question?
 
 
+1 # barbaratodish 2013-07-07 14:55
Quoting rzielkowski:
I love what you've written. You clearly understand the message. The next significant revolution must be a revolution of human consciousness itself, in which Yang and Yin resume their balance in human nature. Is it possible for Radical Honesty, Humility, and Generosity to displace Lying, Pride, and Greed? Is that the right question?

Thanks for replying. We need to offer the 1%, etc., something better than whatever $, fame, and power can BUY and/or we need to have them see that all the $, fame and power in the world will still make them defensive, of their $, fame and power! lol We need to somehow make the 1% and all others, too, aware that without allowing their innate cooperative consciousness to emerge, they are on an, at best, submerged level of anti-consciousn ess! How to show that a consciousness of cooperation is real life, love, laughter, etc., is what I am trying to do and it's how I am trying to live. Google Barbara Todish if you are interested and you will find my books, and/or email me at btodish@kean.edu and/or at btodish@verizon.net
 
 
+3 # rzielkowski 2013-07-08 08:21
Barbara, I just spent the last hour listening to your interview with Denis Rancourt: http://trainradio.blogspot.com/2011/06/barbara-todish-banned-from-academia-and.html

It is so refreshing to hear someone (you) addressing the roots (in the soil, under the surface) while most other good people are primarily arguing about which branches to prune next. You remind me of a spazzy female J.Krishnamurti. Going forward, look for my emails. I appreciate your attention and insights.-Rob
 
 
0 # barbaratodish 2013-07-08 19:36
Quoting rzielkowski:
Barbara, I just spent the last hour listening to your interview with Denis Rancourt: http://trainradio.blogspot.com/2011/06/barbara-todish-banned-from-academia-and.html

It is so refreshing to hear someone (you) addressing the roots (in the soil, under the surface) while most other good people are primarily arguing about which branches to prune next. You remind me of a spazzy female J.Krishnamurti. Going forward, look for my emails. I appreciate your attention and insights.-Rob

Thank you so much!
 
 
+2 # rzielkowski 2013-07-08 08:24
Can we offer them Love?
 
 
0 # barbaratodish 2013-07-08 20:03
Quoting rzielkowski:
Can we offer them Love?

Of course we can. We can "OFFER" love cooperation consciousness EXPERIENCES to the 1% and to everyone, a perspective of limitlessness eternity instead of, or even in addition to, limited cooperation and limited love "PEFORMANCES". How to do so is, perhaps, to be, as much as is possible, on a level of cooperation consciousness instead of, or in addition to, a competitive (ego and drama) anti and/or vicarious type of PRACTICE) "consciousness" . This means risking the ambiguity of anxiety, Perhaps it's even close to freedom from judgment, judgment that is the illusion of control through money, fame and power constructed identities. BEING, instead of HAVING consciousness as much as is possible, is, for me, almost like transcending identity altogether, and sometimes it is almost like vivid dreaming because I rely on intuitive (almost) self communication. It's like "dancing on the edge of a pin"( and it's difficult to be graceful, sometimes lol). Like the lyrics by Jessie J in her song "Price Tag":

"It's not about the money, money, money
We Don't want your money, money money,
We just want the world to dance,
Forget about the price tag..."

I look forward to your emails btodish@kean.edu and/or btodish@verizon.net
 
 
+2 # AUCHMANNOCH 2013-07-06 07:09
That's a damning list and I hope for your sake and the rest of the worlds sake that you can somehow sort it out and get representatives that serve all the people and not just a few, and representatives who quit bullying the world.

It is this kind of behaviour that heralds the fall of Empires and their elites.
 
 
+1 # NOMINAE 2013-07-07 07:44
Quoting AUCHMANNOCH:

It is this kind of behaviour that heralds the fall of Empires and their elites.


Well, it really IS about "that time" ! None of this is taking place by accident. Cause and effect, Karma, call it what you will.......
 
 
0 # silverbullet 2013-07-06 07:34
Great column. However, my reading of Article V is that either 2/3 of both houses of Congress can write and pass a proposed amendment for ratification by 3/4 of the states OR 2/3 of the the states can call a convention to write the amendment which would also require 3/4 of the states to ratify before it became the 28th Amendment. These are independent pathways- if Congress doesn't write it then the States can call a convention to write it. In either case 3/4 of the state legislatures or state conventions must pass it for ratification, and Congress can decide which of these modes of ratification is to be used. There is more discussion on our Texans United To Amend website.
 
 
+1 # steve@hvchronic.com 2013-07-07 10:23
That's a lovely document, full of great ideas and concepts that probably won't see the light of day beyond this website. In order to have even a shred of a chance to effect change of this sort, you need to drum up revolution-leve l anger among the sheep of this nation. Good luck with that. Here's a new American anthem designed to help:
https://soundcloud.com/biff-thuringer/to-america
 
 
0 # Depressionborn 2013-07-07 11:01
Seventy-two killed resisting gun confiscation in Boston!

Boston – National Guard units seeking to confiscate a cache of recently banned assault weapons were ambushed by elements of a Para-military extremist faction. Military and law enforcement sources estimate that 72 were killed and more than 200 injured before government forces were compelled to withdraw.
Speaking after the clash, Massachusetts Governor Thomas Gage declared that the extremist faction, which was made up of local citizens, has links to the radical right-wing tax protest movement.

Gage blamed the extremists for recent incidents of vandalism directed against internal revenue offices. The governor, who described the group’s organizers as “criminals,” issued an executive order authorizing the summary arrest of any individual who has interfered with the government’s efforts to secure law and order.
The military raid on the extremist arsenal followed wide-spread refusal by the local citizenry to turn over recently outlawed assault weapons.
Gage issued a ban on military-style assault weapons and ammunition earlier in the week. This decision followed a meeting in early this month between government and military leaders at which the governor authorized the forcible confiscation of illegal arms.
One government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, pointed out that “none of these people would have been killed had the extremists obeyed the law and turned over their weapons voluntarily.”
 
 
0 # Malcolm 2013-07-10 06:49
That was in 1776!
 
 
0 # Depressionborn 2013-07-10 10:01
Yep Malcom, it surly was.

The king you see was a tyrant. (It was really a tea party tax revolt as King Geo wanted his war money back.)
 
 
+2 # Depressionborn 2013-07-07 11:02
cont.

Government troops initially succeeded in confiscating a large supply of outlawed weapons and ammunition. However, troops attempting to seize arms and ammunition in Lexington met with resistance from heavily-armed extremists who had been tipped off regarding the government’s plans.
During a tense standoff in the Lexington town park, National Guard Colonel Francis Smith, commander of the government operation, ordered the armed group to surrender and return to their homes. The impasse was broken by a single shot, which was reportedly fired by one of the right-wing extremists.
Eight civilians were killed in the ensuing exchange.
Ironically, the local citizenry blamed government forces rather than the extremists for the civilian deaths. Before order could be restored, armed citizens from surrounding areas had descended upon the guard units. Colonel Smith, finding his forces over matched by the armed mob, ordered a retreat.
Governor Gage has called upon citizens to support the state/national joint task force in its effort to restore law and order. The governor also demanded the surrender of those responsible for planning and leading the attack against the government troops.



.
 
 
0 # Douglas Jack 2013-07-08 17:41
Depressionborn, If only the racist, sexist, genocidal, ecologically destructive United States of Apartheid-Ameri ca had any veracity to it. In the end those without love, respect & integrity for all in the world, will be remembered for their ungrateful & destructive selves. 10s of 1000s of years of 1st Nation cultivation of abundant Polyculture Orchards cut down in spite & ignorance, rivers & lakes dried up, animals extinct, toxic garbage dumps, nuclear waste & invasions of hundreds of countries for resource control over centuries within a permanent culture of war. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/design/1-indigenous-welcome-orchard-food-production-efficiencies

The welcome 1st Nations gave to European refugees was violated & bespoiled by goons, the careful balance of 1st Nation Economic Democracy replaced by those subservient to hierarchy, the creation of the Finance-Media-M ilitary-Industr ial-Complex from day one, the burning of witches, all energized by hates. Many of the commenters here would like to relive that time & never learn kindness & respect from history. Do you believe in a right & responsibility to bare arms as your history seems to concentrate upon? https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/home/9-right-to-bare-arms
 
 
+1 # Willy 2013-07-08 12:44
Much of Jefferson's original was the assertion of rights the colonists firmly believed were ALREADY in their possession but his argument for them is actually weak, yet the sense of outrage is strong. The outrages on the people today are far greater than in 1776, but this document, as a mere listing of technicalities, is less convincing than Jefferson's because
 
 
0 # Depressionborn 2013-07-09 01:29
Douglas Jack. Great question, thanks.

My beliefs:

1) The right to keep and bear, (the Second), is not a responsibility, nor is it a goal, it is a right, a condition protecting the First, (the big First guaranteeing freedoms). As long as people are willing to fight to keep arms the First is safe and we will continue to be self-governing. (Ultimately government is power-only one bully at a time is allowable you know.) The second is not necessary until it is lost. Despots disarm the people.

2) We have no "responsibiliti es". We are responsible to God. He expects us to act responsibly.

3) Government cannot be trusted.

4) Privileges are not rights. Privilege is given and can be taken. Rights are sacred. Tyrants hate rights. (The Second is simply a canary in a coal mine.)


My "concentration" you inquired about is morality, a belief no one has a right to impose on another's life or property; that we should be responsible to keep our word. Nothing more, nothing less.

Ps. Otherwise:
I agree with your comments. Things are a mess. The cause of it all and the fix is likely another story. No doubt it is going to be worse than what you wrote.

In any case, good luck. We here are going to go Gault.
 
 
0 # Douglas Jack 2013-07-11 03:45
Depressionborn,
1) Actually in the link given on the Right-to-Bare-A rms it refers to the right to embrace & love those around us with 'unencumbered' ('bare' not 'bear') arms, to use our arms positively for building needed infrastructure of human livelihood & not to be burdened by steel & fear.
2) Our world-sourced economy & money involves all the billions of us working simultaneously. We are inter-dependent . Our livelihood is presently based in most people working for cents per hour while we live as a nuclear armed nation imposing our advantage.
3) I agree with you that Government as it is presently structured cannot be trusted. When we learn about humanity's 'indigenous' ancestry, we find the original 'cyber' ('steersman') meaning based in 'Economic Democracy' with political democracy as a subset. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/relational-economy/8-economic-democracy
4) While the 2nd is a fear-based imposition (none of the imposed genocidally achieved Declaration or Constitution has status) of a colonial people who have illegally usurped the sovereignty of 1st Nations & Confederacies here (the only valid laws & customs here).
I agree with you about keeping our word, however within context of humanity's 'indigenous' law worldwide. Those of Celtic origin have indigenous law in harmony with abundance, long lives, well-being & love.

Does "go Gault" refer to John Galt's Pledge? Thanks for telling me but Galt is mostly out of alignment with life.
 
 
0 # Depressionborn 2013-07-09 11:06
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. Source – The Declaration of Independence
 
 
0 # mrminorchord 2014-01-29 19:53
I am personally opposed to an implementation of a direct democracy on the federal level. I am also opposed to a rewriting of the US Constitution. First of all, a rewriting of the Constitution would be an undertaking of highly educated people, with an understanding of philosophy and political science. Because of the focus on being a productive part of the economy, it is rare to find someone with a higher education in philosophy or political science. However, writing a new frame of government that further weakened the federal government and put a bigger weight on democracy at the local level would be helpful, but a direct constitutional change may destroy the sovreignty of the states.
 

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