edschweppe: (vote at your own risk)
Donald Trump was not who I was expecting to win election as the next President of the United States.

...

At the moment, I have nothing else to say.
edschweppe: (vote at your own risk)
I've been posting this sort of message on other social media; now it's LJ/DW's turn.

If you are a US citizen and have already voted in this year's election, thank you!

If you are a US citizen and have not already voted in this year's election, today's the day! Get out there and VOTE!

If you are not a US citizen, please accept my apologies on behalf of my fellow citizens for the mess we've been making. Things should get better shortly.
edschweppe: (vote at your own risk)
Well, that wasn't nearly as much of a train wreck as I feared. That's the good news...

1) Big point: Trump refused, point blank, to say he'd accept the results of the election. Instead, he'll keep us "in suspense"

2) Trump keeps dodging hard questions (such as Roe v. Wade), and kept interrupting both Clinton and the moderator (Chris Wallace). Clinton was much more willing to actually answer the question being asked before pivoting away to whichever talking point she was working on.

3) Trump claimed that the stories about him groping women had been debunked; funny, I hadn't heard anything like that.

4) Apparently, it's all Clinton's fault that Trump moved jobs overseas and used Chinese steel to build his buildings. Also, everything that's gone badly in Iraq and Syria is her fault.

5) Neither candidate bit when Wallace asked if they'd consider an entitlement "grand bargain" of tax hikes and benefit cuts. Good for them.

Trump didn't suffer an obvious meltdown (although he still had the sniffles), so that's sort of a win for him; Clinton got her points across, so that's sort of a win for her. For me, the big question is going to be whether Trump can keep from blowing up over the various digs Clinton got in on him.
edschweppe: (vote at your own risk)
The "town hall" debate is over ("only" ran 7 minutes late, better than commuter rail!). Some quick thoughts:

1) Both Trump and Clinton kept going over their allotted time and kept interrupting each other and the moderators. (I didn't have a counter running, but I'm pretty sure Trump did far more interrupting that Clinton did.)

2) Lots of Trump dodging questions and giving vague answers. Also, lots of Trump complaining that the moderators don't interrupt Clinton.

3) Anderson Cooper was at least able to get Trump to say that he hadn't paid federal income taxes; when asked if he could say for how long, Trump replied "no I can't".

4) Apparently, Trump and his running mate (Mike Pence) "don't talk" - at least, not about Syria.

5) Trump pushed Bengazhi and email scandals; I guess he thinks they haven't been addressed enough over the last several years.

It will be interesting to see what the fact-checkers come up with, since Trump flat-out denied saying things he's on record as saying.
edschweppe: (vote at your own risk)
Well, that wasn't nearly as a mess as last week's Trump/Clinton debate, but tonight's debate between Tim Kaine and Mike Pence didn't really add much to my knowledge about either man. One thing I did learn is that both men have sons in the USMC.

A few things I did note:

1) Pence clearly was having trouble handling the criticism of Trump; at least six times Kaine asked Pence to defend some particular thing Trump had said and every time Pence changed the subject.

2) I think Kaine did a better job of speaking in general; Pence kept repeating ObamaCare, "War on Coal," "weak and feckless" phrases as if they were magic.

3) Pence twice tried to refer to Russian president Vladimir Putin as a "small man"; Kaine used that to bring up how Trump had praised Putin, had his cronies running his campaign, etc. Similarly, when Pence tried to bring up Clinton Foundation and "pay-to-play", Kaine used that to segue into comparison with Trump Foundation; CF is higher-rated that American Red Cross, TF made illegal campaign contributions. (Missed a chance to needle Pence on Trump's fundraising emails to European MPs, alas.)

3) Moderator Elaine Quijano kept things moving along, but both Pence and Kaine talked all over her time and time again. (That said, neither man was throwing Trump-like tantrums, and they usually apologized when called out for interrupting.)

Overall, I doubt this debate was a disaster for the Trump campaign, but it certainly wasn't a great success for them. Considering that there's only a month before the election, this debate has to count as a Clinton/Kaine win.

Now to see what the "professional" pundits think ...
edschweppe: (vote at your own risk)
Quick thoughts before I go and see what the commentariat thinks:
1) No surprise that Clinton had facts at her command; also no surprise that Trump had stump speech lines down
2) Trump got clearly rattled every time Clinton brought up specifics about his wealth, business, etc.
3) Trump constantly interrupted both Clinton and moderator (Lester Holt)
4) Particularly towards the end, the moderator did a good job of brushing aside Trump's attempts to change the subject and re-asked the questions Trump was avoiding (e.g., "presidential look", accepting outcome of election)
5) Trump was constantly scowling; Clinton showed a range of emotions, including a couple of "oh, goody" moments when Trump had said something particularly factless.

And, not that it should matter, but Trump had a pretty obvious case of the sniffles and kept on reaching for his water glass.

I doubt this causes either side to lose their partisans, but I also doubt Trump convinced anyone not already a true believer to support him. Clinton may well pick up some undecideds.
edschweppe: (shadow unit)
According to the Huffington Post:
In 2007, the FBI published fake Associated Press articles and impersonated an AP reporter in emails meant to help unmask a hoaxer who was sending bomb threats to a high school in Washington state. But the agency didn’t do a particularly credible job, even failing to follow AP Style.


The full OIG report is here.

Solomon Todd would not have made such a rookie mistake.
edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
While futzing around on YouTube, I found this neat little Star Wars/Hamilton crossover:
(embed behind cut) )
Direct link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtkKf9o_jnc
edschweppe: Myself in a black suit and black bow tie (me in bow tie)
I spent the last few days at MidAmeriCon II, the 74th World Science Fiction Convention, held this year in Kansas City, Missouri (barely across the river from Kansas City, Kansas). Overall, I had a good time. I got to reconnect with old friends, see some interesting panels, attend my first WSFS Business Meeting (like a New England Open Town Meeting, but with less bitching about the school budget), and attend my first in-person Hugo Awards ceremony.

Ideally, I wouldn't have needed as much cave time as I did, but overall I had a great time. Getting into a Twitter exchange with John Scalzi on the flight into Kansas City was a blast (starts here). Meeting [personal profile] stardreamer (aka [livejournal.com profile] starcat_jewel) for the first time face-to-face was a definite highlight. Another, very pleasant, surprise was to learn that I'd been Tuckerized by Aliette de Bodard in her story "A Hundred and Seventy Storms" in the latest issue of Uncanny Magazine. (I'd known I was going to be Tuckerized, because that was the level at which I'd supported Uncanny's Year 2 Kickstarter, but I didn't know when or by whom.)

Of course, I got back to Logan Airport only to find my car had a dead battery, but they're used to that sort of thing and got me on my way with a jumpstart.
edschweppe: (vote at your own risk)
Yep, still important. Perhaps especially this electoral season.

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.

(Transcript from http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html)
edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
Happy Canada Day [1] to my friends and neighbors north of the border, who continue to demonstrate exquisite good taste by celebrating their national holiday upon my own personal natal day.

I'm particularly happy this year, as said friends and neighbors appear to have the sanest government in the English-speaking world ...

[1] Pour saluer la fête du Canada en français, appuyez sur 2.
edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
Yes, I took many pictures during my recent trip to Transylvania.
Yes, I got back a week ago.
Yes, it's taken a long time for me to get those pictures onto the Web.

But here they are, on Flikr:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskvSBjBp
edschweppe: (can't take it any more)
But not necessarily in a good way. Thus sayeth NOAA:
Statewide Average Temperature Ranks, December 2015-February 2016, Period 1895-2016; showing that all six New England states had their record highest average temperature

The December-February average temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 36.8°F, 4.6°F above the 20th century average, surpassing the previous record of 36.5°F set in 1999/2000. The exceptionally warm December boosted the contiguous U.S. winter temperature. The February temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 39.5°F, 5.7°F above the 20th century average, ranking as the seventh warmest on record and warmest since 2000.
Forty-six states across the contiguous U.S. had a winter temperature that was above average. Much-above average winter temperatures were observed across the West, Great Plains, Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast. Each of the six New England states had a winter temperature that was record warm.
Alaska had its second warmest December-February with a statewide temperature of 14.2°F, 10.6°F above average. Several locations across Alaska were record warm including Barrow and King Salmon, while Anchorage and Juneau had their second warmest December-February.
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/summary-info/national/201602

But, of course, certain political factions are convinced there's no such thing as climate change.

I voted!

Mar. 1st, 2016 07:14 pm
edschweppe: (vote at your own risk)
Despite the best efforts of the MBTA to delay my train home, not to mention my town having moved my precinct's polling place to an elementary school with totally inadequate parking for the purpose, I made it in time to vote in today's Presidential primary election.

Frankly, I'll be happy with either Hilary Clinton or Bernie Sanders as President. I voted for Clinton mostly for tactical reasons, figuring that there cannot possibly be any undiscovered dirt left to be dug up on her. Sanders hasn't been in the national spotlight nearly as long; if there is any muck to be flung at him, it'll be flung for the first time during the general election campaign.

It was tempting to cross over to the Republican side to vote against Donald Trump and Ted Cruz - but there wasn't anybody to vote for on that ballot. (Or, at least, nobody I'd want as President.)

The poll workers said turnout was pretty good. The vote-counting machine was showing just over a thousand ballots, which would be not at all bad for just my precinct - OTOH, if that was supposed to be three precincts worth, I wouldn't be as impressed. (Last I checked, there are around 2200 or so voters per precinct here.)
edschweppe: (vote at your own risk)
If you live in one of the Super Tuesday states - or anywhere else where the polls are open today, for that matter - remember:

Democracy is dangerous.

Vote anyway.
edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
According to the National Weather Service, the temperature in Boston at 4AM this morning was -9F, breaking the old record by five degrees, and the coldest reading at that location since 1957.

Tonight's forecast low temperature in my town: -13F.
Tuesday's forecast high temperature in my town: 52F.

That's a sixty=five degree Fahrenheit swing in less than 48 hours. Even by New England's (in)famous wait-a-minute-weather standards, that's extraordinary.
edschweppe: (snowpocalypse)
The Bangor, Maine police have some good advice for folks not used to major snowstorms (hi, USA mid-Atlantic states!):

1. Don't panic. It's just frozen rain. It does go away so don't try to move too much at one time.
2. Don't shovel too early and don't wait too long. Pace yourself. Go out every few hours and move a little at a time. It can hurt your back, arms and legs. You always wonder why we all walk funny. It is not because of the clam chowder.
3. Heart attacks in big snow storms are rather common. Help out your neighbor who is older, out of shape or that has known health problems. Helping them move some snow (better yet, let your offspring do it) is better than calling EMS while you are doing CPR. Seriously.

The full list is on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10153904589291079&id=227432866078
edschweppe: (keep calm garcia)
... to a bomb-squad robot in the wild:
BOSTON (CBS) – An area of Atlantic Ave. in Boston was shut down as bomb technicians blew up a suspicious suitcase left by an unknown man next to a Homeland Security vehicle.

The suitcase could be seen Friday morning on the ground next to a police SUV on Atlantic Ave.

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said the bag was left by an unidentified man who then quickly left the area. Police say the man is not a suspect, but they want to talk to him about why he left the suitcase behind.

A bomb robot picked the item up and carried it across the street. A short time later the suitcase was blown up on the side of the road.

Evans said that when technicians used an x-ray to look inside the suitcase, wires and a power source could be seen.

Police do not believe there were any explosive items inside, but decided to do a controlled detonation.


http://boston.cbslocal.com/2015/12/04/boston-atlantic-ave-suspicious-package-suitcase-seaport-boulevard/?cid=twitter_cbsboston

FYI, this is literally across the street from my Current Paying Gig. That "controlled detonation" was pretty loud; fortunately, apart from traffic backups, no lasting damage appears to have happened.
edschweppe: (vote at your own risk)
Today is Election Day in much of the US, although not for me personally.

However, if you happen to have the chance to cast a ballot today, please do so, no matter how well or how ill your politics and mine happen to match up.
edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
This morning there was frost on my windshield, for the first time this season.

That's not the bad omen.

The bad omen was the fact that the train two trains ahead of mine this morning ... died. In the single-track stretch (at South Acton station, in fact). Which meant that the train immediately ahead of mine had to tie onto the dead train and push it all the way into North Station. Which also meant that my train was stuck behind this mess all the way in. Which meant my train was an hour late this morning. Just to make matters worse, the train before the dead train also had mechanical problems and ran about twenty minutes late. And the train I rode home departed North Station four minutes late (although they were able to make up the time en route).

Keolis (the private outfit contracted to run the MBTA's commuter rail) rather spectacularly failed to handle this past winter's record snowfall; there was a five-week stretch where two-thirds of the trains I rode were late. Supposedly they spent the summer fixing old locomotives, leasing spare locomotives, and loading up on spare parts. But if the equipment can't handle cold weather now, we're doomed come January.
edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
My knee surgery (to repair a ruptured quadriceps tendon) was one year ago today.

I'm almost back to where I was before rupturing the tendon, as far as leg strength and mobility are concerned. My knee isn't quite at full strength (especially when nearly fully extended), so walking on uneven terrain can still be an adventure. On the other hand, with the help of a pair of trekking poles I successfully hiked the two-mile main trail through the town forest this afternoon. (Typical Massachusetts forest trail: granite ledges, exposed tree roots, and random rocks left over from the last glaciation. Not great footing, in other words.)

Also, the last year of walking as much as possible has had a pleasant side effect. When I first went to see my doctor about the knee (back when I thought it was only sprained), I weighed just shy of 275 pounds. Yesterday, at my regular physical, I was down to 255.
edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
Well, shit! Lookit what the National Weather Service has posted for my neck of the woods!
TORNADO WARNING
MAC017-027-041830-
/O.NEW.KBOX.TO.W.0008.150804T1807Z-150804T1830Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAUNTON MA
207 PM EDT TUE AUG 4 2015

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TAUNTON HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
  NORTHEASTERN WORCESTER COUNTY IN CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS...
  NORTH CENTRAL MIDDLESEX COUNTY IN NORTHEASTERN MASSACHUSETTS...

* UNTIL 230 PM EDT

* AT 206 PM EDT...DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM
  CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO. THIS DANGEROUS STORM WAS LOCATED
  OVER LEOMINSTER...AND WAS MOVING EAST AT 35 MPH.

* SOME LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
  LOWELL...LEOMINSTER...FITCHBURG...BILLERICA...CHELMSFORD...
  WESTFORD...ACTON...CONCORD...CLINTON...BEDFORD...TYNGSBOROUGH...
  GROTON...LUNENBURG...LITTLETON...LANCASTER...STERLING...AYER...
  SHIRLEY...STOW AND HARVARD.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW! DO NOT WAIT TO SEE THE TORNADO. GO TO A BASEMENT OR
INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A STURDY BUILDING...AWAY FROM
WINDOWS. IF IN A VEHICLE...A MOBILE HOME OR OUTDOORS...GET TO THE
CLOSEST SHELTER. PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.

&&

LAT...LON 4242 7177 4254 7183 4269 7140 4249 7127
TIME...MOT...LOC 1806Z 253DEG 42KT 4250 7173
$$

KJC




Hopefully this won't actually spawn any tornadoes. Because it would really suck to take the train home and not find a home there :-(.
edschweppe: (vote at your own risk)
This year's Hugo Award ballot is open. Last month, I started reading my way through the Hugo Awards voter's packet. Given the fact that so many of the nominees made it onto the ballot via the Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies slate nomination campaigns; given the fact that I despise slate nominations as a Hugo nominations tactic; and given how utterly infuriated I was at Vox Day's pushing his own press (Castalia House) so blatantly, I decided to vote for No Award above:
- any non-Puppy nominee that was not, in my opinion, at least good enough for a Hugo nomination in a "normal" year
- any Puppy nominee (apart from the Castalia House nominees) that was not, in my opinion, truly great
- any Castalia House nominee that was not, in my opinion, utterly and mind-blowingly excellent

And my votes go to ... An awful lot of No Award, alas.
cut for those who don't care )
edschweppe: (summer house)
As threatened promised earlier, I've put some of my photos from this year's Star Island trip up on Flickr:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/edmundschweppe/sets/72157655684432790
edschweppe: (summer house)
I'm back from another fun week on Star Island. Had some fun singing, had some fun dancing, had a lot of good food and some good conversation. I even had the chance to do a bit of photography and will hopefully have links in the near future.

And, unlike last year, I made it through without rupturing any tendons! (Star is wonderful for many things, but is not a fun place to find oneself suddenly on crutches.) My knee held up quite well, despite the seriously uneven terrain of the island (and my room being on the second floor of Gosport House, which meant many more stairs than I would have preferred).

Now it's time for laundry, grocery shopping, showers, and other bits of domesticity before returning to work on Monday ...
edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
The short answer: Yuck. Well-earned No Awards for all three categories (Short Story, Novelette, Novella).
The somewhat longer answer )

As things stand, none of this year's Short Story, Novelette or Novella nominees are worthy of a Hugo. Sadly.
edschweppe: (vote at your own risk)
Just a reminder of why the Fourth of July matters.
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.

(Transcript from http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html)
edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
And, finally, the last of the novellas!

Title: "The Plural of Helen of Troy"
Author: John C. Wright
Published in: The Book of Feasts and Seasons (Castalia House)
Slates: Rabid Puppies only
Trigger warnings: assisted suicide
cut for those who don't care )
edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
Title: "Pale Realms of Shade"
Author: John C. Wright
Published in: The Book of Feasts and Seasons (Castalia House)
Slates: Rabid Puppies only
Trigger warnings: assisted suicide (arguably)
cut for those who don't care )
edschweppe: Myself in a black suit and black bow tie (bow tie)
Joyeuse fête du Canada [1] à mes amis au nord de la frontière, qui continuent de démontrer délicieusement bon goût en célébrant leur fête nationale sur ce, mon jour natal.

[1] For Canada Day salutations in English, please press 2.

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edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
Edmund Schweppe

November 2016

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