Author Topic: Take 5 minutes to read the most powerful document ever  (Read 1687 times)

Offline colycat

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"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value."   T Paine

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Offline Two Wolves

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Re: Take 5 minutes to read the most powerful document ever
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2015, 11:05:45 PM »
Thanks Coly, what a great read. My absolute favorite part of the Declaration of Independence is where it says " 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".. To me this explains the human dynamic to a T.  Happy Independence Day----Two Wolves   :cool2:
« Last Edit: July 03, 2015, 12:38:00 AM by Two Wolves »
A moral compass provides a basis for making decisions; an action is good or bad, right or wrong when viewed in the light of the individual's moral bearing. If no moral compass exists for the individual, then decisions and actions are made on the basis of purely subjective thoughts. This leads to "If it makes me happy, or makes me feel good, or if it's something I simply want to do, then it is right and good."

Offline Fred

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Re: Take 5 minutes to read the most powerful document ever
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2015, 04:24:32 AM »

   I will echo Two Wolves, and add this one:

    "He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance."

     Was Jefferson talking about 1775, or was he looking ahead a couple hundert years? :)
"Ready to eat dirt and sweat bore solvent?" - Ask me how to become an RWVA volunteer!

      "...but he that stands it now, deserves the thanks of man and woman alike..."   Paine

     "If you can read this without a silly British accent, thank a Revolutionary War veteran" - Anon.

     "We have it in our power to begin the world over again" - Thomas Paine

     What about it, do-nothings? You heard the man, jump on in...

Offline colycat

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Re: Take 5 minutes to read the most powerful document ever
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2015, 10:33:18 AM »
I guess my favorite part and I think the most beautiful words ever written in a government document is

" 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, "
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value."   T Paine

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Offline Fred

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Re: Take 5 minutes to read the most powerful document ever
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2015, 12:35:22 PM »

      O0
"Ready to eat dirt and sweat bore solvent?" - Ask me how to become an RWVA volunteer!

      "...but he that stands it now, deserves the thanks of man and woman alike..."   Paine

     "If you can read this without a silly British accent, thank a Revolutionary War veteran" - Anon.

     "We have it in our power to begin the world over again" - Thomas Paine

     What about it, do-nothings? You heard the man, jump on in...

Offline StevenK

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Re: Take 5 minutes to read the most powerful document ever
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2015, 12:42:46 PM »
I am doing a public reading of this on the Newton Green at Newton NJ 10 AM.  I just decided to do it one year, and well...here we are in year 4 or 5.  I expect 250 people this year.

 
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Offline PHenry

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Re: Take 5 minutes to read the most powerful document ever
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2015, 04:28:41 PM »
"un-a-lien-able" is how I always say it to drive it home. I believe it were Franklin Farmer who said it that way once as he learnt it from SonofMartha that way. Invariably, someone kindly corrects my grammar which is a nice segway into explaining my purpose.

I found this years ago (below) - explains why Jefferson chose the term, which interestingly, is misspelled in his memorial.

Alienable vs. Inalienable vs. Unalienable
Colonel Dan, SASS# 24025 Life/Regulator

I get supremely irritated every time I hear so called experts, politicians and pundits refer to our constitutional rights as "inalienable." But I was shocked to my socks when I visited the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. (constructed under FDR in 1939-43) and saw the inscription on the wall which referenced the very same "inalienable rights"--a blatant misquoting of Jefferson's words from the Declaration of Independence! Why does this upset you Colonel? I'll tell you why. Words mean things and every word has distinct significance that conveys a concept or thought. Were it not so, Jefferson and the Founders wouldn't have gone to such great lengths in diligently writing the Declaration or the Constitution. Two documents they agonized over, argued about, debated on and nit picked to death before they had something on which they could reasonably agree. Even then, several delegates at the Constitutional Convention refused to sign because they still had lingering doubts about giving any government too much authority and power over the individual and the states. So let's take a close look at this whole thing and then you tell me how crazy I may be. Is this a distinction without a difference; a difference without a distinction; a crackpot idea from a crackpot old soldier or is there really some underlying significance here?

Thomas Jefferson was a genius of the first order. He was trained and educated in multiple disciplines but for the purpose of this essay I want to focus on his legal training--he was a lawyer and if any discipline is trained to parse words it's the law. Jefferson epitomized the phrase used by a good friend of mine, "precision of language for precision of thought" agonizing over the exact wording of his Declaration for days on end. He shut himself off from the world and dedicated himself totally to the task...writing, rewriting and re-rewriting, choosing each word with extreme care; his final words in the relevant paragraph were:

"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 to 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."

He chose "unalienable" for a very specific reason and given the beliefs upon which America was founded, it was the only word he could have used to convey the divine truth he was trying to capture. He rejected the words alienable and inalienable precisely describing our rights as unalienable. OK colonel, what's the difference?

To discuss this, I turned to the best legal mind I have ever had the honor to know for help in verifying my conclusions. Below is his response with legal references cited:

"Alienable constitutional rights" include the right to a trial by jury, to legal counsel, not to incriminate oneself, and related matters that may be waived whenever assertable if not asserted. Black's Law Dictionary 6th ed. p. 72. citing Weck v. District Court of the Second Judicial District 158 Colo 521, 408 Pac. 2d 987, 990.
"Inalienable rights" are rights which are not capable of being surrendered or transferred without the consent of the one possessing such rights, such as freedom of speech or religion, due process of law, or equal protection of the laws. Black's Law Dictionary 6th ed. p. 759 citing Morrison v. State (Mo App) 252 SW 2d 97, 101.
Unalienable rights are those which can never be abridged because they are so fundamental. Black's Law Dictionary 6th ed. p. 1523

What does this mean from my legal expert's viewpoint? I quote:

"Thus, if life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are alienable, then they are waived whenever they go unasserted. If they are inalienable, they cannot be taken without consent, but may be yielded by those preferring security or "political correctness." But if they are unalienable, then any taking is wrongful, and subject to reversal at the earliest expedient moment."
Now that we have the relevant legal points clearly defined, let's look at an old soldier's interpretation.

Unalienable rights are those bestowed on man by divine origin and can never be transferred, abridged or denied. We don't have the ability or authority to transfer those rights even if we wanted to because they were ascribed to human kind by the Creator of human kind and we have no right to abridge or abrogate divine rights which were bestowed on the whole of mankind by its Creator.

So why have we morphed our language into a seemingly innocuous transformation of "unalienable" into "inalienable" just as our "Republic" has morphed into a "democracy?"

Some say, albeit incorrectly, that they are synonymous but as you can see from Black's Law Dictionary, they are not the same. Black didn't think so and it's obvious neither did Jefferson. Many in our modern era however have made that slight of hand change which could prove to be significant. Why's that Colonel?

Study the wording again but with my emphasis on particular phrases added, "Inalienable rights" are rights which are not capable of being surrendered or transferred without the consent of the one possessing such rights. Now compare that to Unalienable rights: Unalienable rights are those which can never be abridged because they are so fundamental.

In other words, Inalienable rights can be transferred with the consent of the individual where as Unalienable rights cannot because they are bestowed by our Creator. If government can convince the individual that their rights can for whatever trumped up excuse such as national security or the general welfare, be transferred to the control of the state because they are "inalienable" they can take or reshape those rights at any time can they not? If however people clearly understood that their rights were unalienable and could not be surrendered or taken by any person, any agency, any governing official or governing body, they wouldn't be so quick to surrender to the will of any entity trying to usurp those rights.

Call me paranoid or call me a conspiracy theorist if you like--I've been called far worse but I say again, words mean things and Jefferson knew the meaning of those three terms and consciously selected "unalienable." Why? Because it best described and was the only way to describe the rights he referenced as being from the Creator where as alienable and inalienable most certainly do not.

Don't buy it? Look it up for yourself and then tell me what the significance of all this is or could be to you. In the end, I'm convinced you'll be just as incensed as I am when government or anyone describes your God-given rights as "INalienable" rather than "UNalienable."


Para ser Libre, un Hombre debe tener tres cosas. La Tierra, una Educacion, y un Fusil. Siempre, un Fusil!  Emiliano Zapata

Offline scuzzy

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Re: Take 5 minutes to read the most powerful document ever
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2015, 06:08:33 PM »
"un-a-lien-able" is how I always say it to drive it home. I believe it were Franklin Farmer who said it that way once as he learnt it from SonofMartha that way. Invariably, someone kindly corrects my grammar which is a nice segway into explaining my purpose.

Don't buy it? Look it up for yourself and then tell me what the significance of all this is or could be to you. In the end, I'm convinced you'll be just as incensed as I am when government or anyone describes your God-given rights as "INalienable" rather than "UNalienable."

That's correct. I remember all of that from back in the early 90's when I used to hang out with some para-legals who are the guys who actually do all the work for lawyers. That was back in the day when I would read the text of laws being passed.


"Alienable constitutional rights" include the right to a trial by jury, to legal counsel ....



And don't even get me started on the difference between Legal Counsel and an Attorney. Big difference. You'll not find legal counsel anymore but you can find Attorneys all over the place.

persona non grata

Offline BrotherBill3

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Re: Take 5 minutes to read the most powerful document ever
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2015, 06:21:18 PM »
"un-a-lien-able" is how I always say it to drive it home. I believe it were Franklin Farmer who said it that way once as he learnt it from SonofMartha that way. Invariably, someone kindly corrects my grammar which is a nice segway into explaining my purpose.

I found this years ago (below) - explains why Jefferson chose the term, which interestingly, is misspelled in his memorial.

Alienable vs. Inalienable vs. Unalienable
Colonel Dan, SASS# 24025 Life/Regulator

I get supremely irritated every time I hear so called experts, politicians and pundits refer to our constitutional rights as "inalienable." But I was shocked to my socks when I visited the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. (constructed under FDR in 1939-43) and saw the inscription on the wall which referenced the very same "inalienable rights"--a blatant misquoting of Jefferson's words from the Declaration of Independence! Why does this upset you Colonel? I'll tell you why. Words mean things and every word has distinct significance that conveys a concept or thought. Were it not so, Jefferson and the Founders wouldn't have gone to such great lengths in diligently writing the Declaration or the Constitution. Two documents they agonized over, argued about, debated on and nit picked to death before they had something on which they could reasonably agree. Even then, several delegates at the Constitutional Convention refused to sign because they still had lingering doubts about giving any government too much authority and power over the individual and the states. So let's take a close look at this whole thing and then you tell me how crazy I may be. Is this a distinction without a difference; a difference without a distinction; a crackpot idea from a crackpot old soldier or is there really some underlying significance here?

Thomas Jefferson was a genius of the first order. He was trained and educated in multiple disciplines but for the purpose of this essay I want to focus on his legal training--he was a lawyer and if any discipline is trained to parse words it's the law. Jefferson epitomized the phrase used by a good friend of mine, "precision of language for precision of thought" agonizing over the exact wording of his Declaration for days on end. He shut himself off from the world and dedicated himself totally to the task...writing, rewriting and re-rewriting, choosing each word with extreme care; his final words in the relevant paragraph were:

"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 to 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."

He chose "unalienable" for a very specific reason and given the beliefs upon which America was founded, it was the only word he could have used to convey the divine truth he was trying to capture. He rejected the words alienable and inalienable precisely describing our rights as unalienable. OK colonel, what's the difference?

To discuss this, I turned to the best legal mind I have ever had the honor to know for help in verifying my conclusions. Below is his response with legal references cited:

"Alienable constitutional rights" include the right to a trial by jury, to legal counsel, not to incriminate oneself, and related matters that may be waived whenever assertable if not asserted. Black's Law Dictionary 6th ed. p. 72. citing Weck v. District Court of the Second Judicial District 158 Colo 521, 408 Pac. 2d 987, 990.
"Inalienable rights" are rights which are not capable of being surrendered or transferred without the consent of the one possessing such rights, such as freedom of speech or religion, due process of law, or equal protection of the laws. Black's Law Dictionary 6th ed. p. 759 citing Morrison v. State (Mo App) 252 SW 2d 97, 101.
Unalienable rights are those which can never be abridged because they are so fundamental. Black's Law Dictionary 6th ed. p. 1523

What does this mean from my legal expert's viewpoint? I quote:

"Thus, if life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are alienable, then they are waived whenever they go unasserted. If they are inalienable, they cannot be taken without consent, but may be yielded by those preferring security or "political correctness." But if they are unalienable, then any taking is wrongful, and subject to reversal at the earliest expedient moment."
Now that we have the relevant legal points clearly defined, let's look at an old soldier's interpretation.

Unalienable rights are those bestowed on man by divine origin and can never be transferred, abridged or denied. We don't have the ability or authority to transfer those rights even if we wanted to because they were ascribed to human kind by the Creator of human kind and we have no right to abridge or abrogate divine rights which were bestowed on the whole of mankind by its Creator.

So why have we morphed our language into a seemingly innocuous transformation of "unalienable" into "inalienable" just as our "Republic" has morphed into a "democracy?"

Some say, albeit incorrectly, that they are synonymous but as you can see from Black's Law Dictionary, they are not the same. Black didn't think so and it's obvious neither did Jefferson. Many in our modern era however have made that slight of hand change which could prove to be significant. Why's that Colonel?

Study the wording again but with my emphasis on particular phrases added, "Inalienable rights" are rights which are not capable of being surrendered or transferred without the consent of the one possessing such rights. Now compare that to Unalienable rights: Unalienable rights are those which can never be abridged because they are so fundamental.

In other words, Inalienable rights can be transferred with the consent of the individual where as Unalienable rights cannot because they are bestowed by our Creator. If government can convince the individual that their rights can for whatever trumped up excuse such as national security or the general welfare, be transferred to the control of the state because they are "inalienable" they can take or reshape those rights at any time can they not? If however people clearly understood that their rights were unalienable and could not be surrendered or taken by any person, any agency, any governing official or governing body, they wouldn't be so quick to surrender to the will of any entity trying to usurp those rights.

Call me paranoid or call me a conspiracy theorist if you like--I've been called far worse but I say again, words mean things and Jefferson knew the meaning of those three terms and consciously selected "unalienable." Why? Because it best described and was the only way to describe the rights he referenced as being from the Creator where as alienable and inalienable most certainly do not.

Don't buy it? Look it up for yourself and then tell me what the significance of all this is or could be to you. In the end, I'm convinced you'll be just as incensed as I am when government or anyone describes your God-given rights as "INalienable" rather than "UNalienable."

This deserves to be QFT and shared to the wider world - Great piece ... any objections? look like credit is at the top? (I prefer to give that where and when I can.) - THANKS!

Offline malabar

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Re: Take 5 minutes to read the most powerful document ever
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2015, 01:44:38 AM »
I guess my favorite part and I think the most beautiful words ever written in a government document is

" 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, "

I'm with Coly. My favorite passage ever written.

tk
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Offline martin

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Re: Take 5 minutes to read the most powerful document ever
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2015, 06:48:36 PM »
I guess my favorite part and I think the most beautiful words ever written in a government document is

" 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, "

 O0 O0 O0 O0
Martin

Now the Lord is that Spirit:and where the Spirit of the Lord is,there is liberty. 2Corinthians 3:17

"We in America do not have a government by the majority-we have a government by the majority who participate....All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent"
-Thomas Jefferson