Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Where the Sidewalk Ends
by Shel Silverstein

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

God Bless America

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.
God bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home
God bless America, My home sweet home.

~Irving Berlin

November 6: Retirement

November 6

Retirement

852.
Joshua was now very old. The Lord said to him,
“You are very old, but there is still much land to be taken.”
–Joshua 13:1

853.
Here I am. If I have done anything wrong, accuse me now in the presence of the Lord and the king he has chosen. Have I taken anybody’s cow or anybody’s donkey? Have I cheated or oppressed anyone? Have I accepted a bribe from anyone? If I have done any of these things, I will pay back what I have taken.
–1 Samuel 12:3

854.
There was a very old prophet, a widow named Anna, daughter of Phanuel of the tribe of Asher. She had been married for only seven years and was now eighty-four years old. She never left the Temple; day and night she worshiped God, fasting and praying. That very same hour she arrived and gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were waiting for God to set Jerusalem free.
–Luke 2:36-38

 

The Help America Vote Act

The Help America Vote Act (Pub.L. 107-252), or HAVA, is a United States federal law which passed in the House 357-48 and 92-2 in the Senate[1] and was signed into law by President Bush on October 29, 2002.[2] Drafted (at least in part) in reaction to the controversy surrounding the 2000 U.S. presidential election, the goals of HAVA are:[3]
replace punchcard and lever-based voting systems;
create the Election Assistance Commission to assist in the administration of Federal elections; and
establish minimum election administration standards.
Almost two million ballots were disqualified in the 2000 election because they registered multiple votes or none when run through vote-counting machines.[4]
HAVA mandates that all states and localities upgrade many aspects of their election procedures, including their voting machines, registration processes and poll worker training. The specifics of implementation have been left up to each state, which allows for varying interpretations of the Federal law.

Franklin Pierce

Franklin Pierce (November 23, 1804 – October 8, 1869) was the 14th President of the United States (1853–1857) and is the only President from New Hampshire. Pierce was a Democrat and a “doughface” (a Northerner with Southern sympathies)[1] who served in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. Pierce took part in the Mexican-American War and became a brigadier general in the Army. His private law practice in his home state, New Hampshire, was so successful that he was offered several important positions, which he turned down. Later, he was nominated as the party’s candidate for president on the 49th ballot at the 1852 Democratic National Convention.[2] In the presidential election, Pierce and his running mate William R. King won by a landslide in the Electoral College. They defeated the Whig Party ticket of Winfield Scott and William A. Graham by a 50 percent to 44 percent margin in the popular vote and 254 to 42 in the electoral vote.
He made many friends, but he suffered tragedy in his personal life; all of his children died when young. As president, he made many divisive decisions which were widely criticized and earned him a reputation as one of the worst presidents in U.S. history. Pierce’s popularity in the Northern states declined sharply after he supported the Kansas–Nebraska Act, which replaced the Missouri Compromise and renewed debate over the expansion of slavery in the American West. Pierce’s credibility was further damaged when several of his diplomats issued the Ostend Manifesto. The historian David Potter concludes that the Ostend Manifesto and the Kansas-Nebraska Act were “the two great calamities of the Franklin Pierce administration…. Both brought down an avalanche of public criticism.”[3] More importantly, says Potter, they permanently discredited Manifest Destiny and “popular sovereignty” as political doctrines.
Abandoned by his party, Pierce was not renominated to run in the 1856 presidential election; he was replaced by James Buchanan as the Democratic candidate. After losing the Democratic nomination, Pierce continued his lifelong struggle with alcoholism and his marriage to Jane Means Appleton Pierce fell apart. His reputation was destroyed during the Civil War when he declared support for the Confederacy, and personal correspondence between Pierce and the Confederate President Jefferson Davis was leaked to the press. Pierce died in 1869 from cirrhosis of the liver.
Philip B. Kunhardt and Peter W. Kunhardt reflected the views of many historians when they wrote in The American President that Pierce was
“a good man who didn’t understand his own shortcomings. He was genuinely religious, he loved his wife, and he reshaped himself so that he could adapt to her ways and show her true affection. He was one of the most popular men in New Hampshire, polite and thoughtful, easy, and good at the political game, charming and fine and handsome. However, he has been criticized as timid and unable to cope with a changing America.”

The Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776)

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 harass 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 benefit 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 neighboring 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 complete 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 British 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.

— John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts:
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut:
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware:
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland:
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia:
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia:
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

 

Sudan Peace Act

The Sudan Peace Act (Pub.L. 107-245) is a United States federal law sponsored by Thomas Tancredo condemning Sudan for genocide. President George W. Bush signed the Act into law on October 21, 2002.
The Act was passed to facilitate a comprehensive solution to the Second Sudanese Civil War, and condemns violations of human rights on all sides of the conflict; the government’s human rights record; the slave trade; government use of militia and other forces to support slaving, including enslavement and slave trading; and aerial bombardment of civilian targets.
It authorized the U.S. Government to spend $100 million in the years 2003, 2004, and 2005 to assist the population in areas of Sudan outside Sudanese government control.
The U.S. President must certify within 6 months of enactment, and each 6 months thereafter, that the Sudan Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement are negotiating in good faith and that negotiations should continue. If the Sudanese government did not do so or if it interfered with humanitarian efforts, the Act authorized the President of the U.S. to seek a UN Security Council resolution for an arms embargo and to actively seek other financial and diplomatic methods to influence the conduct of the Sudanese Government. Various members of the U.S. Cabinet must report on a regular basis about any measures that U.S. federal departments takes to make the Sudanese Government comply with the measures in the Act.
The Act stated that the U.S. President should seek to end Sudanese veto power over and manipulation of United Nations humanitarian relief efforts carried out through Operation Lifeline Sudan, and that the U.S. administration should make contingency plans for relief through other channels.
The Act requires that the president should collect information about incidents which may constitute crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes, and other violations of international humanitarian law by all parties to the conflict. The Secretary of State must report every six months on the steps taken to collect information and on the information collected including any findings or determinations made by the State Department.

Mother of SEAL: “I believe that Obama murdered my son”

MOTHER OF SEAL: ‘I BELIEVE THAT OBAMA MURDERED MY SON’

By JEANETTE STEELE & NATHAN MAX • U-T

12:01 a.m., Nov. 2, 2012

A father and a mother used the word “murder.” A brother said he won’t second-guess decisions made in the heat of battle.

The families of three Americans killed in the Sept. 11 U.S. consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya, are offering widely different reactions to recent reports that U.S. personnel issued several requests for help that were turned down.

Patricia Smith, the mother of slain State Department employee Sean Patrick Smith, is now blaming President Barack Obama for her son’s death.

“I believe that Obama murdered my son,” she said Thursday from the living room of her Clairemont home. “I firmly believe this.”

Patricia Smith, who voted for Obama in 2008 at the insistence of her son, said reporting by Fox News is the basis for much of her belief that Obama is ultimately responsible for her son’s death. She said Sean, who went to Mission Bay High School but lived abroad, was a fervent supporter of the president.

Smith’s view echoes that of Charles Woods, father of Tyrone Woods, the 41-year-old former Navy SEAL from Imperial Beach who died fighting in Benghazi.

Charles Woods appeared on Fox News shows over the weekend to denounce decisions made by U.S. officials during the Libya attack.

“I’m a retired attorney, and I know that these actions legally do not constitute murder. But in my mind the people in the White House, all of them who have authority to send in reinforcements to prevent what they knew was going to be the death of my son, are guilty of murdering my son,” Woods said Sunday on Fox’s Sean Hannity show.

The older brother of Glen Doherty, a former Navy SEAL from Encinitas working as a U.S. security contractor, said Doherty and Tyrone Woods were part of the force that responded to the consulate attack.

“They rescued a bunch of people and brought them to the (consulate) annex, and then people defended the annex after Glen and Ty fell. All those people didn’t get overrun and wiped out. They had enough people to fight off that battle,” said Greg Doherty, who lives in Kensington in Northern California.

In that light, Doherty said the debate over needing more help doesn’t make sense to him, unless it might have been U.S. airstrikes against a mortar position used by attackers.

“But then you are getting into real specific strategy, and I don’t think it is civilians’ job to pick apart an actual battle and talk strategy, unless you are a general,” said Doherty, reached by telephone Thursday.

“It just seems like people are looking to direct their anger at Obama somehow.”

The debate about how the administration handled security for the Libya consulate is heating up in the week before the presidential election.

Despite that, Charles Woods, reached by U-T San Diego Thursday afternoon, said, “I don’t want this to become political and become dishonoring to Ty.”

He declined to answer any further questions.

The extended Navy SEAL community around San Diego is talking about the details of the Libya attacks.

***

Proverb
murder will out

a murderer will always be discovered.
(idiomatic) secrets or hidden crimes will eventually be exposed or discovered; nothing that is secret can remain a secret forever.