IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

03 July, 2015 Posted by: REReader
It may be only July 3, but today is the start of our Independence Day weekend. And, as I point out every year

(yes, yes you do have to listen again, it's a TRADITION)

it used to be that on every Fourth of July, in every town square and large park and public gathering place in the United States, people would gather, and someone would get up and read out the Declaration of Independence*. It is now two hundred and thirty-nine years since that document was written, but its words still evoke all the courage and dignity and idealism and determination it took to make such a radical and irrevocable break with tradition and heritage and history. So before heading out to your barbecue or picnic or fireworks or whatever celebration you have planned, listen up:

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.

[...]

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.


So that's the why. Please take a minute or two to remember the people who did, quite literally, put their Lives and Fortunes and sacred Honors on the line--or as John Adams put it in a letter to Abigail, "the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration"--to make this a free and independent country. A safe and happy Independence Day to all!

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Oh, still here? Then have a Fanfare for the Common Man (because what could be more appropriate, really):




*The above is the abridged version of the Declaration--I left out the charges which the colonists leveled against King and Crown. That they actually leveled charges against King and Crown was, of course, among the most radical acts imaginable at the time. Go read the whole thing at the US Archives.
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Congratulations!

04 June, 2015 Posted by: REReader


From Jason's Twitter feed:

My wife is incredible. Here she is with our new baby girl, Hazel Lucia Castro!


For a beautiful photo of mother and (second) daughter, head over to Jason's Facebook page; likewise for another beauty of Jason and his two daughters.

Happy birthday, Hazel, and welcome to the world! The Copians send love and congratulations to Mandy, Jason, big sister Madeline, and the whole Castro clan.
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May 14--Paducah Symphony Sing-Off

26 May, 2015 Posted by: REReader
We had a Copian in the house at the Paducah Symphony Sing-Off on May 14, at which Jason performed as well as serving as one of the judges...so we have some photos!


Photo by jasonnnfan


Photo by jasonnnfan

AND there is a whole page of photos from the event at the Paducah Symphony Orchestra Facebook pages


Photo courtesy of Paducah Symphony Orchestra

There, that's a taste--be sure to click through and see the rest. And don't forget to check out our forums for more photos and other recap-y stuff!


Thanks for representing, jasonnnfan!
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On this Memorial Day weekend...

24 May, 2015 Posted by: REReader
It's great to have a long holiday weekend, isn't it? Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer; it's a day of big sales and parades and picnics and all Good Things. But on your way to that backyard barbecue, won't you please take a moment to remember those who stood and fell for our country?




So to the indifferent inquirer who asks why Memorial Day is still kept up we may answer, it celebrates and solemnly reaffirms from year to year a national act of enthusiasm and faith. It embodies in the most impressive form our belief that to act with enthusiasm and faith is the condition of acting greatly. To fight out a war, you must believe something and want something with all your might. So must you do to carry anything else to an end worth reaching. More than that, you must be willing to commit yourself to a course, perhaps a long and hard one, without being able to foresee exactly where you will come out. All that is required of you is that you should go somewhither as hard as ever you can. The rest belongs to fate. One may fall-at the beginning of the charge or at the top of the earthworks; but in no other way can he reach the rewards of victory.

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New Castro The Band Vlog!

20 May, 2015 Posted by: REReader
Listen carefully and you'll hear bits of two new songs in there...


Video by Castro The Band

I post this only for the sake of comprehensiveness, since I know you all are already subscribed to Castro The Band's YouTube Channel.

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You ARE subscribed, right?

...

Well, what's keeping you? Go subscribe!
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NEW MUSIC!!!!!

10 May, 2015 Posted by: REReader
Wanna hear the first single/video from Castro The Band? Here you go!:


Video by Castro the Band

You can see the vid full size over at their YouTube channel--and if you subscribe and turn on notifications (under "manage subscriptions," which is under that little list-y icon-y thing on the left next to the YouTube logo), you can find out about new videos as soon as they come online.

(Or you can wait and see them here, of course.)
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The first Vlog from Castro The Band!

07 May, 2015 Posted by: REReader
In the restrained title on YouTube, this is...

MAKING OUR FIRST MUSIC VIDEO!


Video by Castro The Band

If you've been following this space, you might have seen some of this before, but Do Not Miss--there's a sneak peak from the music video in there!

You'll also want to follow the band on Twitter.

...

That wasn't a question--go and follow!
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Follow this YouTube channel!

05 May, 2015 Posted by: REReader
From Jason's Facebook page:



As you may or may not know, I have been working on a new project with my brother and sister and I am VERY excited to announce that we now have a Youtube channel! We will be posting our FIRST blog next week, followed by a new music video of a song we wrote together. SUBSCRIBE NOW SO YOU DON"T MISS OUT!!! bit.ly/1bqCq9c


So you don't miss a thing, hop on over to their YouTube channel and subscribe.



Thanks for the heads-up, Jasonized and ArtTeacher!
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Did you see the 4th Annual Symphony Sing-Off under Events?

04 May, 2015 Posted by: REReader
Right over there in the right hand column...yes, that one!

Well, if you were wondering what that was all about, Jason is going to be a guest judge for the sing-off as well as performing a few songs. Hear more about it from the Executive Director of the Paducah Symphony over at WKMS's website (he talks about Jason's part of the evening at about 5:35).


Thanks for the find, beckyvee!

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Yep, we remember him!

02 May, 2015 Posted by: REReader


(In case you're interested, you can learn more about the All Things Possible Ministries here.)


Thanks for bringing this, Jasonized!
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