About krad418

Author, editor, anthologist, musician, podcaster, black belt, curator, and all-around hoopy frood. Farscape comics writer, multifaceted Star Trek writer/editor, Boogie Knights percussionist, Scattered Earth contributor, voice of Todd Rage, author of the Dragon Precinct and SCPD novel series, and a whole lot less.

why we celebrate Independence Day

“We hold these truths to be self-evident,” they said, “that all men are created equal.” Strange as it may seem, that was the first time in history that anyone had ever bothered to write that down.
—President Bartlet,
The West Wing

4July

The Declaration of Independence

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

    • He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
    • He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
    • He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
    • He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
    • He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
    • He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
    • He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
    • He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
    • He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
    • He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
    • He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
    • He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
    • He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
    • For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
    • For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
    • For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
    • For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
    • For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
    • For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
    • For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
    • For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
    • For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
    • He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
    • He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
    • He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
    • He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
    He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Georgia:
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton
Massachusetts:
John Hancock
Maryland:
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Delaware:
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Massachusetts:
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Connecticut:
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

 

KRAD COVID reading #39c: “-30-” Part 3

Back in 2011, Steven Savile invited me, along with Jordan Ellinger, Jason Fischer, and Alex Black, to contribute to a four-part series called Viral, which tied into current events involving the war on terror, inoculations in Third World countries, and other fun stuff. The four novelettes were published in spring 2012. My contribution was entitled “-30-,” about a journalist who gets what may be the story of a lifetime, assuming he lives long enough to write it.

Here’s the third and final part of that story. Part 1 was was Monday, and Part 2 was Wednesday. Check it out! And please subscribe to the channel!

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “The Swarm”

voyager-rewatch-series-header

The EMH sings opera, loses his memory, and meets his maker. Plus Voyager encounters nasty aliens, prompting Janeway to violate all the principles she said she’d follow for no compellingly good reason. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch is overwhelmed by “The Swarm.”

An excerpt:

At least the EMH plot is fun for a while, because Robert Picardo is always awesome, so two Robert Picardos is twice the awesome! From singing opera while wearing a ridiculous wig to his heartbreaking loss of memory to the even snottier Zimmerman, Picardo is superb throughout. On top of that, Jennifer Lien puts in a fantastic performance, as Kes argues vehemently and passionately for the EMH’s rights as a person. She was the first one on board to treat the doctor as a person rather than a computer program, and she values his friendship too much to just let him be reset without a fight.

midweek music: “Stimela”

During the Graceland tour, one of the songs that Hugh Masekela performed was “Stimela,” the story of the coal train to Johannesburg that brought poorly paid workers to their mining jobs. It’s a powerful version of a powerful song about the exploitation of black workers by white bosses.

KRAD COVID reading #39b: “-30-” Part 2

Back in 2011, Steven Savile invited me, along with Jordan Ellinger, Jason Fischer, and Alex Black, to contribute to a four-part series called Viral, which tied into current events involving the war on terror, inoculations in Third World countries, and other fun stuff. The four novelettes were published in spring 2012. My contribution was entitled “-30-,” about a journalist who gets what may be the story of a lifetime, assuming he lives long enough to write it.

Here’s Part 2. Part 1 was was Monday, with Part 3 to come on Friday. Check it out! And please subscribe to the channel!

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “The Chute”

voyager-rewatch-series-header

It’s The Inevitable Our Heroes Are Trapped In An Alien Prison episode, and it’s not all that and a bag of chips, but the stuff back on Voyager with Janeway trying to track her people down is superb. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch tries not to fall down “The Chute.”

An excerpt:

This one doesn’t really rise above the pack to stand out much. Indeed, it has less oomph than it might, because whatever pathos might be generated by Kim and Paris being forced to be extra-violent and nasty to survive is ruined by the presence of the clamp. This isn’t Kim having to tap into his violent side in order to survive, this is his violent side being forced on him by technology.

As a result, the scenes in the prison lose their bite, because everyone’s mean and nasty and ugly and rotten in this prison, so it doesn’t give us a chance to illuminate Paris or Kim’s character, it just shows them being artificially nastier than before. Yawn.

Monday music: “Township Jive”

In 1986, Paul Simon released Graceland, several songs from which used South African musicians and South African musical styles. When he went on tour to support the album, he had a backup band made up almost entirely of South African musicians (led by the great Ray Phiri on guitar), and also brought along singer Miriam Makeeba, trumpeter Hugh Masekela, and a cappella masters Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Here’s how they opened their shows, with a great folk song called Township Jive that featured, well, everybody…..

KRAD COVID reading #39a: “-30-” Part 1

Back in 2011, Steven Savile invited me, along with Jordan Ellinger, Jason Fischer, and Alex Black, to contribute to a four-part series called Viral, which tied into current events involving the war on terror, inoculations in Third World countries, and other fun stuff. My contribution was entitled “-30-,” about a journalist who gets what may be the story of a lifetime, assuming he lives long enough to write it.

Here’s Part 1, with Parts 2 and 3 to come on Wednesday and Friday. Check it out! And please subscribe to the channel!