Wednesday, July 04, 2012

United Stash of America

patriotic-web

It's Independence Day in the United States of America, which means it's a day for reading and remembering the beautiful, immortal words of Thomas Jefferson.

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.

The full text of the Declaration of Independence is here.

(Note that there is at present no list of exceptions regarding who exactly is entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Let's try to keep it that way.)

54 comments:

Kate said...

"Let's try to keep it that way."

Indeed!

Anonymous said...

Happy Fourth, Franklin! And yes, let's try to keep it that way. ♥

MadTatter said...

Amen, amen, and amen!!!!!!!

Alyson said...

Well said.

kmkat said...

Hear, hear. (Too bad Jefferson didn't get his anti-slavery bit in. Or maybe that was the Constitution.)

Roxie said...

Um, it does say, "all men," but I feel just as equal and entitled as anyone who can pee standing up.

Anonymous said...

I agree!
Metta

witchboi said...

United Stash of America tickles me I love a good pun.

Susan (and SmokeyBlue in spirit) said...

I'm with you.

Anonymous, too said...

If only the current crop of Republicans had actually ready the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. . .

Happy 4th to you and yours.

(And Roxie, I'm sure you can pee standing up, but I understand it can be a bit messier.)

Pretty Knitty said...

Well said. :-)

=Tamar said...

Back then, the word "men" included
all humankind including women (at
least in NJ it did).

And including the less-frequent
variations of DNA, such as
intersex individuals (recently
said to comprise as many as
10% of live births).

Yay for no exclusions!

Anonymous said...

The "all men" clause does make me feel a bit grumpy, since I lack the Y chromosome. Also, it is humbling to remember that people of color, regardless of their gender, were excluded. Fortunately, we've come a long way from those bad old days!

TLK

karen alho said...

Hurrah!

Phyllis said...

Well put, Franklin!

knitmearchive said...

Exactly.

Slip, Knit... Meditate said...

But...just a question..if this about equality..and equal rights....why is it that in some States gay people can't get married...for me as a European this is confusing to me..and please don't think that I want offend anyone...I just don't understand..

Evalyn said...

"all men" is what it says. How is than not specific? It says nothing about women, which is the only other choice in the matter. I don't hold with what is understood to be understood about the use of male gender because too often it really does make a difference. Men, for instance, dind't need a law to let them vote, or legislation to allow access to birth control. As much as I love the founding fathers - who were all men as far as I know - their words are gender specific, and that is the only update needed.

TerryKnits said...

I can't help but think that we (USA citizens) are missing the point of very important wording in the Declaration of Independence:

"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."

Margaret said...

Would it therefore follow that not allowing gay marriage is unconstitutional ? surely marriage can be classed as "the pursuit of happiness"

That Liberal Pro-Choice Feminist said...

@slipknitmeditate Currently there Are 9 states that allow gay marriage. There are 26 states that allow you to marry your first cousin, some under certain circumstances. That gives you a bit of an idea of the current conservative mood of the country.

Right now, the Republican party is very set against gay marriage. Part of that is the large and powerful Christian religious right, and part of it is just the Republicans. D : < The Democrats are not powerful enough to get it through without the Republicans AND speaking out in favor of gay marriage as a politician can be a political death sentence,

So, yes, we have equality for all. Except gay people. Because the Republicans are convinced that gay marriage will ring about the apocalypse, bestiality, and a return of the Dark Ages. Note: they said the same things about interracial marriage. We all see how that went.

Judy said...

Interesting conversation! Thanks, everyone.

I don't have a gripe with people 200 years ago saying "all men" when it was commonly understood to include women (even though there were practices then which excluded women from all kinds of things. That was then, this is now.) But I do have a BIG GRIPE with people today who seem to think that men are more deserving of power than women are. Look where that has gotten us over the past 200 years -- not all good.

Slip, Knit, Meditate asked about federal law vs. the power of the states to legislate. The constitution gives states the power to legislate matters that are not reserved to the federal government, with the result that state laws on many topics vary a lot from state to state. Sometimes it's charming, but a lot of time it's confusing and difficult. It probably won't be within my lifetime that the U.S. constitution is amended to allow same-sex couples to marry, but those of us who want to see it happen are chipping away at the state laws state-by-state, and having some pretty good success. I believe the tide is definitely turning in our favor.

Happy Fourth And Beyond, everyone!

Liz said...

I think the old UK legal term "the male shall embrace the female" (which means when it says "he" it means "s/he") is both entirely weird and entirely correct in this context...

Gotta love a nation with this sort of stuff written down.

Cara said...

Um.... Could I please trouble you to consider putting this graphic on something on your cafepress site? Pretty pretty please? I'll send a cold front to Chicago? :)

Kimberly Sorokiwsky said...

I wish your blog had a LOVE button to click, many times as I read it (as with this latest entry) I have nothing insightful to add, but in my heart I recognize a Kindred Spirit. :)

Liz said...

So glad I discovered your blog today after reading the latest Knitty. Here in Canada, our original constitution (the British North America Act, an Act of the British Parliament) invoked the goals of "peace, order, and good government", so much less exuberant than "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness", don't you think?

Hilary M Jones said...

Dear Panopticon

I'm writing to fellow knitters to share a song and stopmotion video about knitting.
It's called "The Knitter's Curse" and you can watch it on YouTube here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiUcx3ZHpUs&feature=plcp

If you enjoy it, do share it.

Yours in wool :o)
Hilary
The Savoy Ballroom

Yvonne said...

Well said, Franklin!

Joan said...

(but where is Harry?)

Diane said...

I'm standing right beside you.

Peggy said...

People always say "men" means "women" too, and perhaps linguistically it did, but the signers of the Declaration probably did not mean to include women or people of color in this statement. How many of them were women or people of color? How many of them owned women or people of color?

TuesdayFortnite said...

Hi Franklin, thought you'd be amused to discover that your blog is now classified as 'Criminal Activity' by our firewall and blocked from work.

I guess the server found the 'prison' post ;-)

Made me laugh this morning anyway!

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Why you don't like it beats me. I'll take it over football any day.

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