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Government United Kingdom United States Politics

Spectral Imaging Reveals Jefferson Nixed 'Subjects' for 'Citizens' 360

Posted by timothy
from the this-is-cooler-than-unredacting-pdfs dept.
Jamie points out this excellent piece, well timed for America's Independence Day, that says spectrographic evidence has established that the one word Thomas Jefferson fully blotted out from an early draft of the Declaration of Independence was not "resident," or "patriot," but rather "subject." This, he replaced with "citizen."
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Spectral Imaging Reveals Jefferson Nixed 'Subjects' for 'Citizens'

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  • by linumax (910946) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @04:09PM (#32788122)
    Considering the mindset of the era, this actually is a good indicator of how Jefferson and other founding fathers understood that there was something wrong with the status quo and managed to change it.
  • Very interesting. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by doomcup (1756450) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @04:10PM (#32788124)
    If I recall correctly, they still considered themselves subjects of Britain that were being mistreated, but I can see why Jefferson changed it. It would be admitting that they were seceeding from a legitimate rule despite their grievances. And it's pretty cool how they found this too.
  • by Will Steinhelm (1822174) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @04:15PM (#32788152)
    The editing of the word "subject" emphasizes the founders care to make sure that the US government be of the people, that we should not be subject to any tyranny but rather citizens with representation. Good time of year for the reminder.
  • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by djupedal (584558) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @04:34PM (#32788248)
    Since the actual ability within the populace to write went missing years ago (image the Constitution as a tweet), and since today's culture may not know this, let me be reiterate that the document was 'drafted', meaning the author wrote and thought at the same time. It used to be a common practice to write a statement, and then to consider it in context with the expectation that changes were likely to occur. This doesn't mean he f'd up or someone was holding a gun to his head forcing him to change his mind.

    Thinking about what you write and why and how it should be cached for your audience used to be a worthwhile goal.
  • The Irony is.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tangential (266113) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @04:36PM (#32788256) Homepage
    Now we have made the transition from Citizens back to Subjects of our Federal Empire. In many cases we can't even travel within our own state's boundaries without having to present our identification and travel papers to a Federal Officer and get their permission to make the trip. We could probably solve the energy crisis if we could tap into the founding fathers continuous spinning in their graves....
  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @04:39PM (#32788282)
    ...And we still have the status quo today.

    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.

    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 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.

    Hm, sound like the immigration mess we have today?

    He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, and Amount and Payment of their Salaries.

    Hm, appointing unfair judges for life... Based on the will of ~0.000033667% of the people? Sound familiar?

    He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance.

    Sound familiar? DEA, Homeland Security, etc.?

    He has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislature.

    Well, thats a bit different now, because we seem to think that there can't be any times of peace so instead we have a standing army always and find new conflicts to fight.

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    Hm, people in the police force and the armed forces getting off easy for abuses of citizens, that of course has never happened in the USA... right?

    For cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the World:

    And today we have embargoes that not only harm our own citizens but keep some parts of the world in poverty because we disagree with their government... -cough- Cuba -cough-

    For imposing taxes on us without our Consent:

    Lets see, Ben Franklin estimated taxes in the colonies at around 12.5%... Today we have a 15% income tax at the realistic minimum (unless you are like a kid at a summer job or something then its only 10%) and up to 35% if you are successful at what you do! Plus, the income tax is actually unconstitutional! (Thats why they needed to pass a constitutional amendment for it to be in effect today)


    All the abuses of King George III on America are very similar to the abuses we suffer under our recent presidents and congresses.

  • by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @04:41PM (#32788290) Homepage Journal

    Well, I was going to say that with the Declaration, Jefferson DID change subjects into citizens, and I'm not talking about word replacement.

  • by jayveekay (735967) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @04:41PM (#32788292)

    How would history be different if the paragraph condemning the evil of slavery had been kept in the declaration, instead of being removed?

    From Wikipedia: "although Jefferson had included a paragraph in his initial draft that strongly indicted Britain's role in the slave trade, this was deleted from the final version"

  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Saturday July 03, 2010 @04:56PM (#32788388) Homepage Journal

    Besides - most people here aren't citizens, they're subjects of whatever country they are from.

    Most people who live in most countries are citizens rather than subjects. The use of the word "citizen" is hardly unique to the USA.

  • by insufflate10mg (1711356) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @04:56PM (#32788392)
    LOL, really? When has a "Federal Officer" ever stopped you as you were travelling within the state and asserted his authority to make you turn around and go home?
  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @05:04PM (#32788442) Homepage Journal

    Jefferson DID change white male subjects into citizens, and I'm not talking about word replacement.

    FTFY.

  • by Ron Bennett (14590) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @05:07PM (#32788452) Homepage

    And in recent times, citizens are referred to as "consumers"; those who don't consume, effectively don't exist.

    To digress a bit, but related to this topic, many organizations, instead of saying they offer programs / activities / education, now often just use the word "programming" - seems very Orwellian to me.

    Ron

  • by larry bagina (561269) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @05:22PM (#32788530) Journal
    in all fairness, there weren't many Japanese-Americans in 1776.
  • Re:Don't worry (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Abcd1234 (188840) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @05:24PM (#32788540) Homepage

    Then they can opt-out. The fact is *most* people *don't* have "religious objects or objects to the organ donation system itself", so why the hell should the law assume they do, particularly if it means more lives saved due to an increase in available organs?

  • by Volante3192 (953645) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @05:27PM (#32788564)

    And yet this does nothing to change Article 1, Section 8...

    If it wasn't income tax, it'd be something else, because the Constitution proper gives Congress the right to make and collect taxes.

    Honestly, it'd be one thing if Art. 1 Sec 8 didn't say anything, but people who keep picking nits about the 16th amendment make it sound like we wouldn't be taxed at all if it wasn't there, which is so off the mark it'd be laughable. Ok, fine, so we outlaw the income tax. Then what? I guess excise taxes and duties will have to go through the roof...they'll get passed on to us, the consumer, and we won't notice a single thing in the end except our paychecks will be larger...but so will our spending.

  • by CarpetShark (865376) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @05:31PM (#32788596)

    We're constantly being reminded that slashdot is no longer an 'American' site, as if we are somehow to blame for them coming here.

    No, you're just expected to be civilised, worldly hosts. Acting like the US is the only country that exists on the internet is like inviting people to your house for dinner, ignoring them, and watching TV.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 03, 2010 @05:31PM (#32788600)

    One huge difference between the abuses of King George III and President George 43 is the critical matter of representation.
    If you don't like current immigration policies, vote accordingly.
    Or better yet, run for office.

    The Founding Fathers of the United States of America did not guarantee its citizens a perfect government. They worked to guarantee a representative government. Humans aren't perfect, and bureaucracies of humans will always have their shortcomings. But its always better to suffer for your own insufficiencies than to suffer for the whims of others.

  • by countertrolling (1585477) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @05:31PM (#32788604) Journal

    ...our freedom and unity.

    Our what? We gave that up years ago as we timidly allow the government lead us into quagmire after quagmire and kowtow to corporate demands at the drop of a hat.

  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @05:32PM (#32788608) Homepage

    Much of what you said above takes things out of context or makes massive confusions about differences in scale. Let's look at two of them:

    He has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislature.

    Well, thats a bit different now, because we seem to think that there can't be any times of peace so instead we have a standing army always and find new conflicts to fight.

    You are missing the point here. The primary objection is "kept among us"- this is an objection to quartering soldiers in private homes (which was then not allowed by the Third Amendment).

    He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, and Amount and Payment of their Salaries.

    Hm, appointing unfair judges for life... Based on the will of ~0.000033667% of the people? Sound familiar?

    But that's not at all the same. The judges being objected to weren't appointed for life. They were appointed to serve at the pleasure of the King. That's a very different circumstance. Hence the phrasing " on his Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices."

    And of course almost all your objections ignore the fact that these events have all occurred with the consent of the legislator you voted for. That's very different then when things occur by an unelected monarch and a parliament which one can't vote.

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @05:34PM (#32788618)
    Right, because we all know how the north loved their Africans right? Everyone thought that the African race was inferior to the European races whether in the north, south, in Europe, etc. for quite some time.
  • by Tangential (266113) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @05:54PM (#32788688) Homepage
    They demand my 'papers' any time I arrived at the Atlanta airport to fly to Savannah or anywhere else in Georgia. If I fail to produce ID that satisfies the Federal Official, I don't travel.
  • by DaveAtFraud (460127) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @06:00PM (#32788712) Homepage Journal

    In our current society the most important label is "victim." Once you or your somewhat defined demographic group can achieve the official label of victim, the largess of the non-victims (also known as taxpayers) is yours for the grovelling. Keep in mind that both the lawmakers who bestow victimhood and the bureaucracy take their cut from what is extorted from the taxpayers as their part of the squeeze.

    BTW, this isn't limited to the United States. Lots of countries have made official victimhood the most desirable status one can aspire to. Unfortunately, their additional experience with leeching taxpayers to pay their victims has created a dearth of taxpayers. Funny how that happens.

    Cheers,
    Dave

  • by religious freak (1005821) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @06:06PM (#32788746)
    I really despise this type of hyperbole.

    When you compare something like a security checkpoint prior to plane boarding (which is what you're trying to refer to here, I assume?) to something like being a subject of your government, you really dilute the value of making such a comparison in the future.
  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @06:06PM (#32788748)
    That is a very dangerous mindset to have and a mindset that the founding fathers avoided like the plague. That is why we have the constitution (which is basically ignored which is why we have a government comparable to King George III which ignored the rights that colonists had as English citizens) to limit the government so it doesn't -matter- who is elected, in short the founding fathers had a version of the Debian Free Software Guidelines called the "tentacles of evil test"

    "The Tentacles of Evil test". Imagine that the author is hired by a large evil corporation and, now in their thrall, attempts to do the worst to the users of the program: to make their lives miserable, to make them stop using the program, to expose them to legal liability, to make the program non-free, to discover their secrets, etc. The same can happen to a corporation bought out by a larger corporation bent on destroying free software in order to maintain its monopoly and extend its evil empire. The license cannot allow even the author to take away the required freedoms.

    Only the founding fathers changed it a bit with limited government with the constitution basically saying:

    "The Tentacles of Evil test". Imagine that the people have voted in a dictator and, now that he/she is elected, attempts to do the worst to the citizens of the USA: to make their lives miserable, to make them stop using their freedoms, to expose them to domestic or foreign harm, to make the citizens non-free, to expose all citizen's secrets, etc. The same can happen to a government bought out by a corporation bent on destroying free software in order to maintain its monopoly and extend its evil empire. The constitution cannot allow even the government to take away the required freedoms.

    If you look at dictators, a -lot- of them were voted in, the constitution is designed to prevent a voted-in dictator from taking freedoms. Our rights are natural rights, they should never be voted away like you are suggesting.

  • Re:Don't worry (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @06:11PM (#32788772)
    Ok, because I'm really going to need my lungs, eyes, liver, heart, etc. after I'm DEAD? Look, I'm not sure what whacko belief you believe in, but once you are dead you don't breath, you don't think, your heart doesn't pump, your liver doesn't do anything other than rot.

    I'm a bit confused to what I need my organs for once I'm dead.
  • BTW, this isn't limited to the United States. Lots of countries have made official victimhood the most desirable status one can aspire to. Unfortunately, their additional experience with leeching taxpayers to pay their victims has created a dearth of taxpayers. Funny how that happens.

    If you're referring to welfare states, they are a lot closer to financial solvency than the US, which prides itself on its can-do, American dream, pull-youself-up-with-your-own-bootstraps anti-welfare spirit, but is saddled with debt unimaginable in a place like Finland or Sweden.

  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @06:25PM (#32788864)
    I'm not going to argue all of the points, either because I do agree with some, I'm simply uninformed, or I am apathetic. That said, I take issue with your characterization of the following ones.

    ...the Present King of Great-Britain...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.

    Hm, sound like the immigration mess we have today?

    Nope. There's a big difference between a foreign power limiting immigration to a region, and the people of that region limiting immigration to it. We enjoy the latter today. I wouldn't say it's anything like the former.

    He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance.

    Sound familiar? DEA, Homeland Security, etc.?

    When was the last time you had to feed or house a federal agent against your will? For that matter, when was the last time you had one "sent hither" to any place you lived to "harass" you?

    He has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislature.

    Well, thats a bit different now, because we seem to think that there can't be any times of peace so instead we have a standing army always and find new conflicts to fight.

    Again, there's a big difference between a foreign power placing their armies in your region (i.e. an occupation force) and your own armies stationed locally or deployed abroad. It's surprising that this isn't obvious to you.

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    Hm, people in the police force and the armed forces getting off easy for abuses of citizens, that of course has never happened in the USA... right?

    Happened? Yes. Let me ask you though: do you think there were more or less mock trials 100 years ago? 50 years ago? I'd say there's less today, a lot less, especially when you consider the South and just how things went down for a very long time. Sure, we're not perfect, but I'd say we've come a long way, and we're certainly better than we were at the time that document was written.

    For cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the World:

    And today we have embargoes that not only harm our own citizens but keep some parts of the world in poverty because we disagree with their government... -cough- Cuba -cough-

    Cuba is not being blockaded by us, as was the case back then with the colonies, nor are they prevented from trading with plenty of other countries. There's a big difference between cutting off trade with "all Parts of the World" and cutting off trade with those countries that refuse to trade with you.

  • FTFY.

    Oh, fuck off. It wasn't perfect, but it was a vast improvement over the status quo and we're trying to work out the rest. So our 234-year-old document didn't perfectly conform to your modern ideals - when was the last time you wrote code that lasted more than two centuries with less than 30 patches?

  • by selven (1556643) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @07:05PM (#32789080)

    And of course almost all your objections ignore the fact that these events have all occurred with the consent of the legislator you voted for. That's very different then when things occur by an unelected monarch and a parliament which one can't vote.

    The legislator I voted for? What if I voted against him and he still inflicted all the aforementioned infringements on freedom on me? There's nothing less wrong about having your rights taken away because 52% of the population like it that way than because one person likes it that way - your rights are gone either way. Democracy is supposed to prevent rights from being taken away in the first place, not to justify their removal.

  • Re:Don't worry (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 03, 2010 @07:24PM (#32789146)

    Nature performs its own desecration. It's called rot. Or incineration. Or consumption. Any way you choose, you will be "mutilated." The difference between them is time, a concept that loses all meaning without life.

  • Re:Don't worry (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nu1x (992092) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @07:44PM (#32789264)

    You assume default omni-directional compassion in a capitalist society where people not only jokingly, but some (many?) times actually, hate one another.

    I could kill my boss if it were legal and all that.

    Some people may be aesthetically displeased of a fat bastard they hate sporting their organs.

  • by otis wildflower (4889) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @08:15PM (#32789378) Homepage

    Most people who live in most countries are citizens rather than subjects.

    You're welcome.

  • Re:Don't worry (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Apple Acolyte (517892) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @08:58PM (#32789498)
    Some religions (like Judaism) teach the sanctity of even dead bodies. The concept is that the body belongs to G-d even after death. Autopsy and other forms of desecration of the body after death are not in line with those beliefs, and society should respect that fact. (Judaism also teaches that whatever happens to the body after death has an impact on the soul that came from it, which is why religious Jews don't do organ donation or cremation.)
  • by Reziac (43301) * on Saturday July 03, 2010 @09:10PM (#32789554) Homepage Journal

    "You should not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harm it would cause if improperly administered."
        -- Lyndon Johnson, 36th President of the U.S.

    "The world needs to be reminded that all human ills are not curable by legislation, and that quantity of statutory enactment and excess of government offer no substitute for quality of citizenship."
        -- Warren G. Harding

    "The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed."
        -- H. L. Mencken

    "Formerly, we suffered from crimes. Now, we suffer from laws."
        -- Tacitus

  • by Reziac (43301) * on Saturday July 03, 2010 @09:15PM (#32789570) Homepage Journal

    And as to the hoorah coming out of the pro-illegals in California, this was posted elswhere:

    ======
    WITH THE FUROR IN CALIFORNIA AND ELSEWHERE OVER THE ARIZONA LAW, IT BEHOOVES ME TO POINT OUT THE FOLLOWING FROM THE CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE.

    TO WIT:

    Section 834b in the California Penal Code:

    (a) Every law enforcement agency in California shall fully cooperate with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service regarding any person who is arrested if he or she is suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws. (b) With respect to any such person who is arrested, and suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws, every law enforcement agency shall do the following: (1) Attempt to verify the legal status of such person as a citizen of the United States, an alien lawfully admitted as a permanent resident, an alien lawfully admitted for a temporary period of time or as an alien who is present in the United States in violation of immigration laws. The verification process may include, but shall not be limited to, questioning the person regarding his or her date and place of birth, and entry into the United States, and demanding documentation to indicate his or her legal status. (2) Notify the person of his or her apparent status as an alien who is present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws and inform him or her that, apart from any criminal justice proceedings, he or she must either obtain legal status or leave the United States. (3) Notify the Attorney General of California and the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service of the apparent illegal status and provide any additional information that may be requested by any other public entity. (c) Any legislative, administrative, or other action by a city, county, or other legally authorized local governmental entity with jurisdictional boundaries, or by a law enforcement agency, to prevent or limit the cooperation required by subdivision (a) is expressly prohibited.
    =======

    Pot, kettle, hello??

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 03, 2010 @10:10PM (#32789736)

    Actually that's correct. White people didn't enslave blacks because they hated them. They did it because they saw that slave labor could make them rich. They started hating blacks *after* enslaving them, as a retroactive moral justification so they wouldn't have to admit they were willing to brutalize people for money.

  • Re:Don't worry (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 03, 2010 @10:38PM (#32789830)

    Because Doctors might not try do hard to save you if they know they can harvest your organs for cash.

  • by Volante3192 (953645) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @10:50PM (#32789876)

    That subject was turned into citizen is not too surprising.

    No, the surprising bit was that it was a pretty instantaneous change. You can't exactly write something in ink, give it a formal review and then erase what you want changed; you'd redraft it. With that timeline, the first draft, say, v0.1, would have 'subject' in it. They'd review it and replace it with 'citizen' in v0.2.

    But what happened here was 'subject' was down, in ink, erased (well...wiped off) and replaced with 'citizen' for the v0.1 release.

    That, IMO, makes it much more interesting than simply changes made throughout various drafts: it shows the thought process when it was being written, not after.

  • Re:Don't worry (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @11:02PM (#32789932) Homepage Journal

    Is it within the realm of possibility that some nobody might be allowed to die so that his organs can be harvested for a prominent somebody? Ever think of that? Well - people who trust politicians, celebrities, the wealthy, and all medical personnel would never think of this possibility. Of course, I might call such people "gullible", or "tools", or - well, you get the idea.

  • Re:Don't worry (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @11:05PM (#32789944) Homepage Journal

    Are there any citations to show that there is a real shortage of people on this planet? Maybe it would be good if we didn't save so many lives?

  • Re:Don't worry (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sabriel (134364) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @11:49PM (#32790114)

    It's not that you need your organs when you're dead, it's that other people want your organs and you becoming dead would be awfully convenient to that end.

    I'm on the voluntary donor registry myself, but my "whacko belief" is that our civilization isn't yet civilized enough to handle an opt-out scheme, let alone a mandatory one - and if it were we wouldn't need to!

  • Re:Don't worry (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Joe Tie. (567096) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @11:59PM (#32790140)
    Keep in mind where this is. A pretty huge amount of people actually do believe that they might need those lungs again. Personally, I think they're almost clinically insane. But that's people for you. So in denial about their own mortality that they'll look at a rotting corpse and think that he might take a turn for the better any day now.
  • by unity (1740) on Sunday July 04, 2010 @12:01AM (#32790144)
    Well, debt is what happens when you go around empire-building. How many wars are Finland and Sweden involved in? How many military bases worldwide do they have? We're building a billion dollar embassy in England, and the one in Iraq is bigger than the vatican. It isn't the "pull-youself-up-with-your-own-bootstraps anti-welfare spirit" that is killing the american dream. It is that our nations rulers also think they need to rule the world (both parties). All empires come to end; of course the US was never supposed to be an empire.
  • Re:Don't worry (Score:1, Insightful)

    by sumdumass (711423) on Sunday July 04, 2010 @01:33AM (#32790434) Journal

    Wow, I can't believe you asked that. Most people don't (that is Do Not) have any objections (religious or otherwise) when I ask to barrow their car for a day. If they normally don't care "why the hell should the law assume they do". I mean I shouldn't automatically be in trouble because I didn't ask to use your car, and who knows, you may be just like everyone one else I have asked and said you didn't mind, or you may be a prick and say no, especially seeing how you don't know me.

    Now it isn't just about religious objections. What about those people who think that if they are an organ donor that they won't save their life if they can harvest the organs? I mean it's not unheard of and the threat is even more real when you have death panels set up by the government to decide who is worthy of a life saving procedure or not. Especially when the president of the United States of America tells a person that her mom should have taken a pain pill instead of getting a life saving medical treatment that had extended her life by 5 years as of the time the question was asked.

  • by diamondmagic (877411) on Sunday July 04, 2010 @02:42AM (#32790620) Homepage

    I would agree that the Revolution wasn't about only about, or even started by, taxes, it was about so much more (Can you imagine the government forcing you to house and feed the military?). But which of the Framers were fighting for money and power? At best, maybe some of the southern delegates, maybe Hamilton - most all of them were passionately and honestly concerned for their own liberty (and therefore, by definition, everyone's). Documents like the Federalist and the constitutional convention debate notes are filled with these examples - one example that sticks out, Franklin argued public servants shouldn't receive a pay (New Hampshire today pays legislators $200/2 years). As for the Constitution, the ban on slave trade and the reduced representation that slave states got, free trade between states, limitations on taxes (wiped out by the 16th amendment), enumerations of specific powers the Federal government is limited to, and more.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 04, 2010 @03:03AM (#32790684)

    ... citizens stopped being 'subjects' in 1983, apparently.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Nationality_Act_1981 [wikipedia.org]

    You do realize that the UK still has a King/Queen, right?

  • by Garrett Fox (970174) on Sunday July 04, 2010 @04:16AM (#32790896) Homepage
    Actually no, they believe it has a meaning that should be obeyed, and that if you don't like it you should lawfully amend it rather than ignoring it and claiming unlimited power to do what you want.
  • Re:Don't worry (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jedi Alec (258881) on Sunday July 04, 2010 @04:53AM (#32790988)

    So what you are saying is that you don't think the US is as civilized as a good chunk of western europe? We've had opt-out donorship for quite a while now, and yet somehow our authoritation pinko commie cradle to grave goverments have yet to implement their "harvesting organs for fun and profit" programs.

    Fact of the matter is that most people can't be bothered to give it thought until the time when either they or one of their loved ones needs a donor organ. By making it opt-out the sheep/lazy folks(I fall into the latter category) don't have to give it any thought, and for those who consider it an issue there's the option to opt-out.

  • Re:Don't worry (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lga (172042) on Sunday July 04, 2010 @05:52AM (#32791134) Homepage Journal

    I think that anyone who either opts out, or doesn't opt in, to organ donation, should be last on the list to receive an organ should they need it.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Sunday July 04, 2010 @08:14AM (#32791542) Journal

    I guess we'll have to add this "doesn't properly cnesor documents" will have to be listed to the other UNFAIR criticisms modern idiots like to level against Thomas Jefferson.

    And yes I know you were just joking but I'm making a point - People level criticisms against Jefferson that, in his day and age, were considered acceptable behavior. Like not allowing women the vote, or only limited suffrage to property owners. People should be judged by their own culture not by 2010 US culture.

    For me, despite his character flaws, Jefferson still remains the best president we've ever had.
    I can only wish I was as wise, intelligent, and pro-liberty as he was.

  • Re:Don't worry (Score:2, Insightful)

    by uglyMood (322284) <dbryant@atomicdeathray.com> on Sunday July 04, 2010 @09:00AM (#32791684) Homepage
    Great idea; both logic and justice prevail. Of course it'll never happen because that would inconvenience selfish bastards, and selfish bastards must be appeased at every opportunity. This is truly a golden age for sociopaths. Not so much for the rest of us.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 04, 2010 @10:41AM (#32792020)

    Well the argument that it's your body is fairly strong one I think.

    Not in America; we still believe the government has the right to wage the drug war. Ergo, subjects' bodies belong to society, and any say they are given in the matter, is a privilege for which they should be grateful.

    Some minority might disagree with that, but 99% of the voters repeatedly confirm their deep conviction that people are the government's property, over and over and over again.

  • Re:Don't worry (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Sunday July 04, 2010 @01:40PM (#32792888) Journal

    "Compulsory" and "you can opt out" are mutually fucking exclusive, jackass.

    No matter how angry you get, your handwaving won't increase the soundness of your argument. It is compulsory to follow an opt out procedure if you don't want your organs to be harvested, therefore the organ donation system is compulsory. You must get involved with the system whether you want to or not.

    By contrast, "compulsory" and "opt in" are likely to be mutually exclusive because you can do nothing and find yourself facing no obligations. The system adds no compulsion.

    The NY donation system doesn't punish you for not being an organ donor.

    The NY donation system punishes you if you do not have the ability and opportunity to learn the donation system and take the time to follow the appropriate bureaucratic procedure to opt out. It does this by harvesting organs from your dead body without your consent.

    Similarly, you gave my sheep consent to graze on your lawn because you didn't sign the opt-out form on my desk and advertised in the appropriate basement.

    You, Sir, ought to start a business as a spammer. According to part 419 of the Universal Spam Code, it's moral if you put a genuine opt-out link at the bottom, rite?

  • by Lunzo (1065904) on Sunday July 04, 2010 @09:49PM (#32795370)
    That's what "+1 Insightful" is for.

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.

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