Thursday, July 30, 2009



She was christened, and got underway
Her bright new sails and shiny brass gleaming
In the morning sunlight's bright gleaming day
She made her way out toward the horizon
As proud onlookers cheered her departure
Unblemished, she proudly plied smooth waters
She accustomed herself to being at sea
Experiencing, feeling, and learning

Waves building as the sea deepened beneath
Her bow slicing through waves with confidence
Sails billowing as she catches the breeze
Jib set proudly, her mainmast strong and tall
Sturdy hull tightly planked, shiny new decks
Now starting to be covered with bow-spray
As she makes her way toward fathoms deeper

Whitecaps breaking on top of larger swells
Storm clouds building gusts lashing her topsails
Wood creaking now plunging into large waves
Rain falling making vision difficult
She reduces sail and speed for safety
And quarters the sea to lessen the blow
A sail tears and is brought down from the mast
Her roll and yaw increasing mightily

Her lines tight against the belaying pins
A small paint chip here, a small cracked plank there
She maintains strength against the storm's strong blows
Lightning flashes in the sky, thunder rolls
Water runs down her hatch into the hold
Her confidence waning as she holds on
She assesses her damage and maintains
Steady on course through the brunt she makes wake

Light filters through the clouds and brings her hope
The huge waves begin to subside slowly
Giving way to slow rollers, lighter wind
She re-furls her full cloths to improve speed
Making good time again as she passes
Beautiful islands and lovely seashores
She makes port, sliding gently into slip
Lines tied off, decks scrubbed and repairs made

Ah the safety of port and the ease of
Being behind breakwaters and jetties
No large waves, no deep water, no strong wind
Can hurt her as long as she's in harbor
Barnacles attach, worms bore and moss grows
On her once shiny hull, she sits safely
Though and quietly with the others there
This is the life she thinks, no waves are here

She watches others come and go bravely
In from and out to the deep blue sea
Are they thinking straight she now asks herself
And then realizes that she too yearns
For the offshore breeze and for the ocean
She is a ship after all, not a dock
She loves the beautiful islands and waves
She yearns now to be free to sail her sea

The comfort of harbor was nice and safe
But how can a ship stay there all her life
How can she fulfill her life's destiny
What beautiful adventures and sights missed
What other ships might she meet and share love
And her hopes and desires and dreams with them
How can she reach her horizon from here
She is a ship, and her lines now come off

In the morning sunlight's bright gleaming day
She makes her way out toward her horizon
As proud onlookers cheer her departure
Experienced and proud, she plies the waves
She knows what it is like to be at sea
Experiencing, feeling and learning
She sees beautiful islands and beaches
As she heads toward her destined horizon


Tuesday, July 28, 2009



A little girl became lost and scared in the
woods of life.
As time went by, the woods became darker
deeper and scarier
She couldn't find her way back to her home
or to herself.
She wandered her eyes blurry with tears
and longing.
The girl was brave and she forged on through
the woods alone.
She met many people in the dense, dark woods
who walked with her.
But none could help her find her way back to
her home, herself.
Time passed and she forgot how to get back to
where she came from.
Sometimes, thorns would scratch her as she walked
by rose bushes.
Small trickles of blood would run from these wounds
that stung her.
After more time, she didn't notice the dark, the fear,
or the stings.
She only understood their presence, their existence,
but not hers.
Periodically, she would ask directions for any way
out of the woods.
But the answers she received all pointed different and
conflicting directions.
When one day, she saw a twinkle of light in the form
of words written.
At first she dismissed them, she had seen words before
with no help.
But these words kept urging, trying, loving and helping
the lost girl.
After listening for a short while, the light grew brighter
and she could see.
Another direction became apparent, it's glow ahead
becoming brighter.
The girls spotted a clearing, sky through the woods
peered blue.
The sound of waves greeted her as she approached
the light.
Salt air filled her senses and the cry of seabirds fell
upon her ears.
A feeling of safety washed over her as the waves did on the
now visible beach.
Standing at the water's edge was a seafarer, offering her His
scarred hand.

And for the moment, what she had sought became much
less important.
Who she had become now made sense and comforted
the girl.
After all this time, was it possible that it wasn't home she
was seeking?
Maybe, just maybe, the journey wasn't for naught, it was
rather a path.
To what she was meant to find, and who she was now meant
to be.
God's love light radiated as she approached the man and
the beach.
Could it be that instead of herself she sough, God had her
find Him?
Her sojourn had indeed prepared her for the impossibility
of return.
Had it paved her way to the sea, the light, to God and
possibly Him?
The search had been so hard, because she had been looking
in the wrong place.
It wasn't herself, or her past, or her childhood and freedom
she was seeking.
Perhaps she reasoned, that it was this all along which she had
been meant to find.
Their hands touched, and as their eyes met across the space
of moments.
She knew then, that at least of what she had been seeking
she had found.
She also knew that what she still was meant to find, would be
made easier, by Him




I'm a fisherman and seafaring man
I've had many lines to tend in my life
There are lines which we untie at the dock
So we can leave the safety of the port
There are lines fastening sail to rigging
We use lines on the compass to guide us
Latitude lines and the longitude lines
Are on our maps to show us our location

Lines are trolled and drifted with baits and hooks
These are the true fishing lines of our trade
Lines of debarkation mark our exit
From our country's water to the high seas
Our ship, has lines to mark it's areas
One can be amidships, or on the bow
One can be on port side or on starboard
And you can also be abaft the beam

Using rope lines on deck is marlinspike
Sextants have lines to measure the sun with
Against lines on the clock and horizon
Running chart lines to find underwater
Structure invisible from the surface
Anchor line holds our ship in place at sea
Fuel and water lines serve our engines
In port, spring lines keep us centered in slip

But even though I am well versed in lines
I now find myself with a whole new set
Of lines for which I must concern myself
For it is love lines of which I now speak
She has lines I must tend to and care for
There is a line she has drawn for herself
A line she wishes to cross to find and be free
Of life line bonds she has submitted to

She has lines on her cheeks where the tears flow
It is my job to cause the happy ones
And indeed my job to dry the sad ones
She had lines that kept her from saying words
Words I desperately wanted to hear
But we have now thrown that line off the ship
And "I love you" is free to sail to me
Causing my own tears to make lines on me

I tend carefully to the lines I write her
Each line turning into a pretty verse
Which when she reads I pray she will be pleased
Then her smile will make those pretty smile lines
By the eyes which have read my simple lines
The line between me and her has faded
The line that ties me to her has strengthened
Lines form the word we and toward it we move

I'm a fisherman and seafaring man
I've had many lines to tend in my life
But I now tend the lines God intended
Her lines. I will remove them, care for them
Dry them, cause them, cross them, share them, love them
Until lines woven into us create
Strong fabric from which we will make our sails
To sail into the line of our horizon

Monday, July 27, 2009



One can feel the rain's pending arrival
The wind changes, strengthens and is gusty
Clouds obscure the sun and bright sky with gray
Colors fade, sun rays briefly peer through them
Pretty sunlit hues now hide behind clouds
They just peer from behind dark barriers
Winking and shining to show their presence

Misty and fine drops begin to moisten
Slowly making it difficult to see
Caution is the watchword when proceeding
Lest we lose traction and slip and injure
It comes time for shelter, and the closeness
Offered at hand and in hand we allow
The rainstorm to come in earnest to us
Large moist drops in earnest are now falling

The sound of the rainstorm, though familiar
Now ushers in the thunder and lightning
Bright flashes are followed by deep rumbling
Causing us to hold tight against the storm
All is wet now, without care or concern
Large drops running down to moisten us both
By their sheer volume they cleanse and purge us
Washing dirt, dust and things unclean away

We gladly now accept the rain torrent
Letting it rend things left here by times past
Cleaning windows and improving our sight
Freshening our lives with healing waters
Making everything seem new and clean
As the rainstorm now behind us settles
With improved vision, we see things anew
Strengthened now by enduring the deluge

Although we can now safely come outside
We might choose to remain held close within
So as to see each other more clearly
Our love is now deepened and purified
By sharing the shelter and comforting
Surviving, knowing that next time we're here
To dry away the waters of the storm
Which fell, not from the sky, but from her eyes


Sunday, July 26, 2009



It is time for my helm watch, my wheel time
She's not my ship, but responds to my touch
When I take hold, I still feel other warmth
From another's hands upon her steering
He has skills as I but dissimilar
He is the master and the commander
I am privileged to touch her at all
But when I do she seems so very mine

Although I have no claim to my wheel time
When I relinquish her it hurts my heart
And I long for my return to her helm
When at it, I feel no real fear with her
The sinking sun melts in golden stream
O'er shoulders of the beautiful horizon
Meandering with twinkling greens blinking
Over beautiful soft swells I now traverse

I steer in the unknown on my wheel time
I look toward the fading dark horizon
I know my time alone with her is short
I treasure the moments of my night watch
The sky lights with bright stars through her canvas
And they twinkle and reflect off of her
As if they were a million nice fireflies
In the shape of dippers, bears and crosses

I wonder if she likes it, my wheel time
I wonder if she feels the kindred thrill
I wonder if her beautiful riggings tremble
I wonder is this her favorite time of day
I wonder if she knows that it is mine
I wonder does she feel sting of release
I wonder is there anticipation
I wonder does she love the helm watch mine


Saturday, July 18, 2009



It had been a dreary week with clouds obscuring
our light, and grayness subduing pretty color.
The shades of bright beautiful hues not showing
instead drab dull pastels somber in their pallor.

Making our moods and thoughts dank, somber and dreary
as we moved through our lives missing light's life glow.
When our thoughts turned they turned ever wrongly
to other dank, angry, sadness grind filled with woe.

Pray tell what is missing now, that was just recently
here that stopped this darkness and brightened life so?
When this warm glow lightened our lives filled with glee
no anger, sadness, angst or stresses did we know.

Then, the sun came out, bright yellows, hues of gold
warmth, safety and happiness returned to the we.
Twas that tingly, lovely color filled day we fortold
to ourselves and promised us we would again see.

The beautiful beams and rays of light did through
the clouds dark and bleak blanket of color deploy.
Brightening her eyes the fine, happy bright sunlight
lifted the we from the dank and filled us with joy.

Thursday, July 9, 2009



One day, the father of a very wealthy family took their son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live.They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of whatwould be considered a very poor family.On their return from their trip, the father asked his son,'How was the trip?''

It was great, Dad.''

Did you see how poor people live?' the father asked.

'Oh yeah,' said the son.'So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip' asked the father.

The son answered:'I saw that we have one dog and they had the four.'

We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden andthey have a creek that has no end..

We have imported lanterns in our garden andthey have the stars at night.

Our patio reaches to the front yard andthey have the whole horizon.

We have a small piece of land to live on andthey have fields that go beyond our sight.

We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.

We buy our food, but they grow theirs.

We have walls around our property to protect us,they have friends to protect them.

'The boy's father was speechless.

Then his son added, 'Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are.'

(I wish I could attribute this beautiful story, I can't seem to find it's author. If anyone knows, please contact me and I will post it, so they might be recognized. Gene)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

BUSTING THE TWO PARTY SYSTEM - first in the series "Re-Engagement"

Fellow Citizens,
This will be the first of a series of articles I am going to write concerning the re-engagement and education of our citizens of our political process. I am going to tackle the subject of party politics today. I must confess my views on this subject are cynical, skeptical, distrustful and disillusioned. I believe that above all this is job one to stop the unravelling of our republic, so I begin here.

We have become a nation of disengaged, apathetic, spoiled, uninformed and irresponsible citizens. I profess to you now folks that if the United States were a nightclub, this would be last call. If we don't become cognizant of our current situation, I think we may well let our republic slip. That would waste every drop of blood our forefathers spilled, every line of ink on our Declaration of Independance and Constitution and tear this beatiful dream from the grasp of our posterity. This is indeed how gravitous this situation is.

One vehicle for our disengagement and apathy is our current party political system. Laziness dictates this. Generally speaking, we have lost the capability of independent thought. Our stances on anything, parrot a paticular ideology, usually an absolute ididotic one, because we have no idea what the idea is we are parroting. What we do know is, that someone popular, whether it be a politician, friend or commercial said it. That is good enough for us and thus, we rubber stamp it. We aren't going to break a sweat to research a topic or candidate, even though with today's technology, it's a breeze and at our fingertips. One political commercial that makes us laugh or cry or angry and we're on board. Rhetoric rules and propaganda prolifica denominates.

Those too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber. ~Plato

An election is coming. Universal peace is declared, and the foxes have a sincere
interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry.

~George Eliot, Felix Holt

Truth is not determined by majority vote.

~Doug Gwyn

Thus by aligning themselves with a these mantras or people, or dare I say any established political party these days, they thereby allow themselves to disengage brain (were it engaged initially) and let these candidates/parties/peer groups etc. think for them These said entities are ready and willing to do it of course.This is a manifestation of the deep affliction our republic suffers at the hand of these dogmatic morons and purveyors of entropy. Engagement of the citizenry, return of independent thought and the war against apathy, are uphill battles we, as ones who want drastic change must face.

Every two years the American politics industry fills the airwaves with the most virulent, currilous, wall-to-wall character assassination of nearly every political practitioner in the country - and then declares itself puzzled that America has lost trust in its politicians.

~Charles Krauthammer

The problem with political jokes is they get elected.

~Henry Cate, VII

The Democrats seem to be basically nicer people, but they have demonstrated time and again that they have the management skills of celery. They're the kind of people who'd stop to help change a flat, but would somehow manage to set your car on fire. I would be reluctant to entrust them with a Cuisinart, let alone the economy. The Republicans, on the other hand, would know how to fix your tire, but they wouldn't bother to stop because they'd want to be on time for Ugly Pants Night at the country club.

~Dave Barry

I propose we stat by busting party politics. If we know someone who is a staunch party supporter, ask them why. They will probably say "because the Republicans/Democrats are idiots (but you choose the pejorative)". This begs another question. So you are telling me essentially you are against the Democrats/Republicans, not for your party? By this we can use rhetoric for our country and not against it. Rhetorical questions though will probably upset these folks pretty quick due to the fact they won't be able to answer many of them. But friends, educate gently and with understanding and kindness, thereby setting a good example to emulate. One which I guarantee will be contrary to the nearly intolerable dogma of either party these days. Granted there are more than two parties, but for sake of brevity and clarity, let's concentrate on those two.

All of us who are concerned for peace and triumph of reason and justice must be keenly aware how small an influence reason and honest good will exert upon events in the political field.

~Albert Einstein

Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right.

~H.L. Mencken

Take our politicians: they're a bunch of yo-yos. The presidency is now a cross between a popularity contest and a high school debate, with an encyclopedia of cliches the first prize.

~Saul Bellow

Another way we can begin to bust party politics will be to end straight ticket voting if it is allowed in your state. I have never liked that pernicious idea. This moronic concept takes laziness and disengagement to a new level. We need to share ideas concerning ending this. Perhaps a group and in grassroots local movements. Also, following this premise I believe that no candidate should have a party by their names on the ballot. Let's work on this friends.

Our cause is noble, and it is difficult for me at least to keep a civil tongue in my head. We must stop the divisivenes and come together as Americans to stop the decimation of of our republic. By a gentle and kind approach, caring for our fellow Americans and our republic in the process, we will win.


Democracy or Republic

Democracy or Republic

I find myself answering this question more and more these days. Hopefully this will suffice and I can now copy and paste a link and more thoroughly and accurately answer this very important question.

The United States is, indeed, a republic, not a democracy. Accurately defined, a democracy is a form of government in which the people decide policy matters directly--through town hall meetings or by voting on ballot initiatives and referendums. A republic, on the other hand, is a system in which the people choose representatives who, in turn, make policy decisions on their behalf. The Framers of the Constitution were altogether fearful of pure democracy. Everything they read and studied taught them that pure democracies "have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths".

By popular usage, however, the word "democracy" come to mean a form of government in which the government derives its power from the people and is accountable to them for the use of that power. In this sense the United States might accurately be called a democracy. However, there are examples of "pure democracy" at work in the United States today that would probably trouble the Framers of the Constitution if they were still alive to see them. Many states allow for policy questions to be decided directly by the people by voting on ballot initiatives or referendums. (Initiatives originate with, or are initiated by, the people while referendums originate with, or are referred to the people by, a state's legislative body.) That the Constitution does not provide for national ballot initiatives or referendums is indicative of the Framers' opposition to such mechanisms. They were not confident that the people had the time, wisdom or level-headedness to make complex decisions, such as those that are often presented on ballots on election day.

Writing of the merits of a republican or representative form of government, James Madison observed that one of the most important differences between a democracy and a republic is "the delegation of the government [in a republic] to a small number of citizens elected by the rest." The primary effect of such a scheme, Madison continued,was to:

". . . refine and enlarge the public views by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations. Under such a regulation it may well happen that the public voice, pronounced by the representatives of the people, will be more consonant to the public good than if pronounced by the people themselves, convened for the same purpose."

Later, Madison elaborated on the importance of "refining and enlarging the public views" through a scheme of representation:

"There are particular moments in public affairs when the people, stimulated by some irregular passion, or some illicit advantage, or misled by the artful misrepresentations of interested men, may call for measures which they themselves will afterwards be most ready to lament and condemn. In these critical moments, how salutary will be the interference of some temperate and respectable body of citizens, in order to check the misguided career and to suspend the blow meditated by the people against themselves, until reason, justice and truth can regain their authority over the public mind."

In the strictest sense of the word, the system of government established by the Constitution was never intended to be a "democracy." This is evident not only in the wording of the Pledge of Allegiance but in the Constitution itself which declares that "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government" (Article IV, Section 4). Moreover, the scheme of representation and the various mechanisms for selecting Representatives established by the Constitution were clearly intended to produce a republic, not a democracy.

To the extent that the United States of America has moved away from its republican roots and become more "democratic," it has strayed from the intentions of the Constitution's authors. Whether or not the trend toward more direct democracy would be smiled upon by the Framers depends on the answer to another question. Are the American people today sufficiently better informed and otherwise equipped to be wise and prudent democratic citizens than were American citizens in the late 1700s? By all accounts, the answer to this second question is an emphatic "no."

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Holy Spirit as I Understand It

Let me preface this by stating the obvious - I am not a Biblical scholar. These are simply my very humble beliefs and understandings I wish to share with all of you. My beliefs and understandings are certainly non-sequitur on this subject as they are on almost everything. Also non-traditional are my ways of expressing said held beliefs. I hope you might understand and give me a little latitude and non-conventionalism that I may express myself in the only way I know.

The best analogy I can come up with for my understanding of the Holy Spirit is a "Prime Mover" and sustainer. I think we can infer from many Bible texts that it is an undercarriage of strength and the emotion that endears us to faith and gives us our appreciation and thankfulness of God's mercy and grace, A manifestation of God's love in the form of our feelings. As the third part of the Holy Trinity.

In the Old Testament the Hebrew word (ruwach, pronounced roo'-akh) was used when talking about the Spirit. This word literally means wind. In the New Testament the Greek word (pneuma, pronounced pnyoo'-mah) was used which means the breath or a breeze. We can literally think of the Holy Spirit as “the breath of God”. This to me is analogous to the air we breathe. It is all around us all the time and we live from it's infusion into our bodies. So I believe it is with the Holy Spirit. It is around us all the time, our faith and relationship to God live form it's infusion into our lives.

Matthew 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out
of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit
of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

As an artist and writer, I constantly look for inspiration as a catalyst for my creativity. When we feel moved by a beautiful sunset, when we wonder over the delicate beauty of a flower, or any of our Lord's miracles of creation, it instills within us a warm feeling of love and appreciation. It is that emotion we artists look for when needing that special something which we can transmit to others by a visual, verbal or mental medium. Oftentimes, we use all 3 and when we can, that is when we have truly achieved great creativity. I think we can look at the Spirit as that feeling in us about our faith and the Spirit as what keeps our love with our Lord strong and present in our mind.

I also believe because at the end God will be experienced as a spirit of insight, said Isaiah. That probably the Spirit turns to individuals of unusual insight in this day. The Spirit turns to us artists, among others. The creative arts can be a powerful vehicle of the Spirit. we are often ignored by the public, we artist operate at the frontier of consciousness. I think my goal as an artist is to strike a responsive chord, by which we can sharpen human sensitivities, we can evoke the deepest longings of the heart, and we can reveal that which is hidden by using the subliminal language of shape, color and form. Whether it be shape, color and form of a particular medium, or if it be of the spoken and written word. At its most sublime, the creative process is a vehicle of tremendous spiritual power. At times we artists, when we return from the proverbial, literal or metaphorical mountaintop, are able to tell what we have seen in more colorful and easily envision-able words. I've found that all too often the arts become the exclusive avocation of the rich, as works of art are bartered in the marketplace, becoming slick symbols of status instead of sublime signals of the Spirit.

I also think that the Holy Spirit is the abiding relationship and constant presence we should feel with God that facilitates our interactions with Him. When one is strong in the spirit, there is no need to profess that verbally. The spirit should shine from each of us within whom it rests. Just as Jesus taught His followers not to use their spirituality to call attention to themselves as the priests of that time (and now) were known to do. He prayed in private. He specifically withdrew to a solitary place to avoid being distracted by others. We can follow His example by designating a quiet space for ourselves and schedule it at a time that we are less apt to be bothered by family, friends, and other distractions. It is during this time we can best utilize the Holy Spirit due to our undivided attention and comfortable knowledge of privacy. When we talk to a loved one about subjects completely private, we do not do so in public or loudly so that it can be seen by all, thereby ending it's private nature and that part of our private relationship with our loved one. The intrinsic value of that private relationship with our Lord is indeed the Holy Spirit at work.

Although this is off central subject, it brings into the conversation my aversion to prayer circles, prayer for a specific request by deacons, elders, or you choose the pronoun in front of a congregation. I believe it belittles individual prayer in the mind of the prayed for individual as well as conveys, (in my humble opinion) some sort of non-existent authority on these individuals. And I also see it as a bit pretentious. Premise here being maintaining a focus on God as the main idea, so that we can hear Him speak to us in return without a third party in the loop. This allows our faith to be strengthened individually as it should be using the Holy Spirit, not an earthly practice or ritual.One shouldn't feel that a prayer said in front of a congregation by a deacon, elder, etc. etc. should be heard any more louder or clearer than one prayed individually. Jesus didn't teach it. I don't do it. I don't however, brgrudge anyone who feels blessed by either giving or receiving said public prayer as long as their intentions are pure and they are at peace with God about it. Once again, only my belief and opinion, not a chastation.

I believe another analogy might be made as that of the Holy Spirit being the conduit through which the Love of our Father, our Redeemer and us are inextricably linked. The medium by which he transmits His love to us and the power which enables, strengthens and sustains our faith and our relationship with Him.

God Bless All,

Friday, July 3, 2009

Abuses and Usurpations From The Declaration of Independence, How Many Apply Today?

13 Currently Applicable Abuses and Usurpations

On this, the day prior to our Independence Day, I read from the Declaration of Independence to see if any of the 27 grievances our forefathers mentioned in this document might apply today. Although one could construe some of the others as partially applicable, dependening on the perception of the reader, I believe 13 to be either directly, or at the very least perceptively, pertinent and timely. I have listed these here. In this context we can here replace "He" with "They". Let us also remind ourselves, we the people are not blameless in the current situation. By our disengagement, apathy, cowardice and laziness we have harmed our republic. Now it is time to come to attention and become engaged, concerned, brave and tireless in our work at preservation of our republic. This we owe to our forefathers and to our posterity.

"-- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain --
that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that
government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from
the earth."~Abraham Lincoln

— 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. —

1. He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

2. He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amountand payment of their salaries.

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

4.He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of ourlegislatures. He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

5.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:

6.For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

7.For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they shouldcommit on the Inhabitants of these States:

8.For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

9.For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

10.For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

11.For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

12.For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentallythe Forms of our Governments:

13.For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

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.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


July 4, 1776 – Fifty Six Patriots - signed a document that would change not only the course of their lives but many future generations. These men knew that what they were doing would be considered treason, and if the act of Independence failed that history would remember them as traitors. Fortunately, they possessed the courage, vision and resolve it took to put their names, and their and their families lives on the line. Literally and metaphorically.

We must now "highly resolve" that these courageous acts not go unappreciated, or their value discounted. And that this nation "that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."


The Declaration of

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 securethese
rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving
their justpowers 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 Governmentslong established should not be changed for light
and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn
that mankind are more disposed to suer, while evils are
suerable 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 osuch Government,
and to provide newGuards for their future security.

Bill of Rights

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging
the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the
people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the
government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a
free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms,
shall not be infringed.

Amendment III
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house,
without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in
a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses,
papers, and eects, against unreasonable searches and
seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue,
but upon probable cause, supported by oath or armation,
and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the
persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise
infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a
grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval
forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of
war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the
same oense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor
shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness
against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property,
without due process of law; nor shall private property be
taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right
to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state
and district wherein the crime shall have been committed,
which district shall have been previously ascertained by law,
and to be informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him;
to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his
favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall
exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be
preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise
reexamined in any court of the United States, than
according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive nes
imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inicted.

Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall
not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by thepeople.

Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the
Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved
to the states respectively, or to the people.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

'The Masters Touch" - A poem by Carol Uneva Rickman

"The Master's Touch"

I love to step outside my door
And feel the gentle breeze -
See birds and squirrels and butterflies
Cavorting through the trees.

Some branches, majestically high,
Are stretching toward the sky,
While grass, beneath, hugs tight the ground,
Letting life pass it by.

The ants are ever busy
In their mounds of sandy red,
While mosquitoes and gnats and such
Fly circles 'round my head.

The skies of blue,
With clouds of white and various hues of gray,
Become a splendid pink and red
At dawn and dusk each day.

Raindrops sprinkle ever so lightly,
Warmly, in the breeze,
Or pour, in torrents,
Challenging even the strongest trees.

Man never made a seed
That makes a baby sapling grow,
Or formed the tiny crystals
In a freshly glistening snow.

Nor does he have control
Of earthquakes, hurricanes and such.
Think, daily, of the magnitude
Of the dear Master's touch

That calms the winds.
The seas obey His omnipresent call.
He is, of course, without a doubt,
The Master of it all.

- C. Uneva Rickman