Masterchef US, Season 6, Episode 12: Family Dinner and Gnocchi Doom


Now that we are down to the top ten, the real battle commences. Up till now they could hide behind the weaker candidates. That is no longer possible. Now they all must put their best efforts forth or face elimination.

Each season has its family episode where members of the contestants family appear. They did the head fake in this episode making it appear that it was Gordon’s family. The cheftestants had to cook without knowing whom they were cooking for. They were divided into two teams: Derrick (Blue) and Claudia(Red). The challenge was straight forward: cook a family style meal. Team Blue was Christopher, Nick, Olivia,and Tommy. Team Red was Hetal, Katrina, Shelly and Stephen. Both planned ambitious meals but had to make corrections. Team Blue was going to serve two cheese dishes (salad and pasta) along with lamb and pie. It was pointed out this was a lot of cheese dishes so Olivia dumped the mozzarella and made a different dish. Team Red was going to cook whole chickens but that can take a while. Stephen (loudly) suggested that they split the chickens. Claudia agrees but get it into the oven soon!

The diners do not know who cooked what, just that they have two teams to judge from. The usual banter between the judges and family members commence but that is just filler until the plates arrive and they must taste the food. After they have tasted and family members are introduced (Derrick made an unfortunate expletive deleted word at seeing his mom), each diner revealed their choices when they opened their dinner wallet. It was a close vote and tied until the last card was revealed declaring red team the winner and safe from elimination. Leaving of course Team Blue to face the dreaded pressure test.

Nick, once more pulling from childhood memories of his mother and grandmother's cooking, creates a nearly perfect gnocchi dish. Photo: Fox
Nick, once more pulling from childhood memories of his mother and grandmother’s cooking, creates a nearly perfect gnocchi dish.
Photo: Fox

Gnocchi of Doom
Lovely things gnocchi. But they take finesse to make properly. Before that can get done, the judges decide to save one person–Derrick. He did a good job of leading his team but unfortunately the dessert station was the let down. Christopher has his moments but when he stumbles it is never a pretty sight. They have just twenty minutes to produce perfect gnocchi. No room for mistakes on this dish. You either do it right or not at all. Nick said he did this dish a lot growing up and it showed. He produced a very good batch that was praised. Olivia has only made the dish once before but it too got high marks compared to Nick’s. Tommy had a disaster and had to redo his dish. It looked bad but tasted okay. And Christopher. Well he flubbed this one. It was underseasoned and was just not that great. Christopher got some nastiness from Christina when he rolled his eyes during judging. You could tell this was it for him. And after the obligatory head fake where Tommy was told to say goodbye to Christopher, Tommy gets the save. Christopher got the chop. The guy has talent but needs some mentoring to get himself in better shape.

The surprise so far is Olivia. I admit early on I did not give her much of a chance. She struck me as pouty and cold. Yet she has shown some serious cooking skills and a decent leader in the kitchen once she had confidence in her abilities. Tonight showed how far she has come. Even if she leaves the kitchen without a title, I think she ought to pursue professional cooking. Perhaps one of the masterchefs will hire her (a number have gone to work for them to hone their skills).

The top nine continue on and next week it looks like flaming dishes are on the menu. Medics and a squad of firefighters are standing by.

Closing Thoughts
It goes without saying that when cooking, whether amateur or professional, you taste the food! It seems simple but many forget this simple task. Doing so avoids mistakes. My mother (may she rest in peace) once cooked a ambitious meal for us. It was a lovely looking pork chop dinner but when she was measuring out the pepper she put in way too much (a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon). She did not catch her mistake and well, you guessed it, the dinner went over like having hot peppers on a hot July day. Even our family dog, who normally would love the opportunity to eat a pork chop, would not eat it (he dropped out of his mouth!). The lesson she learned from that point on was to taste and watch her measuring. Now I tell you that funny family anecdote to make a point. It is easy to get comfortable and forget some basic techniques. Always taste your food to make sure it is exactly what you want it to be. And keep the sugar and salt bowls away from each other! Confusing the two can also produce a result you will be very ashamed you did not catch before serving the dish. Also bear in mind that criticism that is meant to help ought to be taken as it is given. Christopher never got the point into his head and the result was he was chopped.

Everyday Fancy: 65 Easy, Elegant Recipes for Meals, Snacks, Sweets, and Drinks from the Winner of MasterChef Season 5 on FOX

Happy Sunday-The Glory of Love by Peter Cetera (Karate Kid II)

Karate Kid II (1986) has Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) and Daniel (Ralph Macchio) going to Okinawa and facing several conflicts there. I actually liked this movie a bit more than the original. And it has a young Tamlyn Tomita in her first acting role. The main theme song for the movie is Peter Cetera’s The Glory of Love. It is sort of like a traditional romantic ballad with some interesting twists in its composition. I submit it for your Sunday enjoyment and wish everyone a pleasant day.

The Karate Kid Part II

Remembering the SS Eastland

SS Eastland circa 1911 Photo: public domain (Library of Congress)
SS Eastland circa 1911
Photo: public domain (Library of Congress)

On this date in 1915, the passenger ship SS Eastland rolled over while docked in the Chicago River. 844 passengers and crew were killed making it the largest loss of life from a shipwreck on the Great Lakes.

The SS Eastland was owned by St. Joseph-Chicago Steamship Company and was launched in May 1903 . Problems were discovered from the start. Design flaws made it top heavy and its center of gravity was too high. When lots of passengers congregated on top deck, the ship would list. While some modifications fixed issues, there were still listing problems. SS Eastland also achieved notoriety in August 1903 for a mutiny by the ships firemen. On 14 Aug, while traversing between Chicago to South Haven, Michigan some fireman refused to stoke the fires because they had not received their potatoes. The captain ordered the men arrested. Two firemen who did not participate in the mutiny had to stoke the fires until they docked. The six men were arrested by the police and later the captain was replaced.

Source:The Tacoma Times ( This image is now in public domain.
Source:The Tacoma Times (
This image is now in public domain.

On 24 Jul 1915 the Eastland and two other passenger steamers were chartered to take employees of Western Electric to a picnic in Michigan City, Indiana. For the workers, it was a major event since many did not take holidays. Boarding began at 0630 and by 0710, the ship had reached its capacity of 2,572. The ship was packed and passengers filled every possible place on the upper decks. The ship had already begun to list to port and the crew tried to balance the ship using the ballast tanks. That did not work. Numerous passengers passengers apparently rushed to the port side making it worse. At 0728, the ship lurched sharply to port and rolled over to rest on the river bottom twenty feet below the surface. Because so many were below decks to keep warm, they were trapped by the sudden rollover. Heavy furniture-pianos, bookcases, tables-crushed many inside.

The Kenosha responded immediately and came aside to allow those stranded on top to jump aboard. But for those trapped below, there was no rescue. The bodies were retrieved and taken to temporary morgues.

The president and three officers of St. Joseph-Chicago Steamship Company were indicted for manslaughter. The ship’s captain and engineer where charged with criminal carelessness as well. However during an extradition hearing (all six were in Michigan and had to be extradited to Illinois to stand trial) the federal judge believed there was not enough probable cause citing lack of evidence and refused to extradite. He further said the captain and engineer were merely doing their jobs.

Ironically because of the 1915 Seamen’s Act passed after Titanic’s demise, the additional weight of the lifeboats probably worsened the top-heavy issues of the ship.

A historical marker along the Chicago River marks the event. Plans are also underway to construct an outdoor exhibit where Eastland sank.

Eastland Goes Navy
The Eastland was raised and sold to the Illinois Naval Reserve and commissioned USS Wilmette . She was reconfigured as a gun boat and primarily used for training. Her only action came after the war when she was tasked with sinking a captured German U-Boat in 1921. Most of her career after that was training naval reservists. In 1941, her training duty was altered to train naval armed crews on merchant ships. Her most prestigious task was to take President Roosevelt and others to Whitefish Bay to plan war strategies in 1943. She was decommissioned in 1945 and sold for scrap in 1946.

1. SS Eastland (Wikipedia)
2. Eastland Memorial Society
3.Eastland Disaster Historical Society

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Masterchef US: Season 6, Episode 11: The Beef and The Tart


Ten cheftestants walk across a wide plain and meet the judges coming towards them in a truck driven by Christina. They have to cook for 101 cowboys and steak is for lunch. Hetal and Katrina pick each the others team and face off in a Western showdown. But Hetal’s team underwhelms sending them to the dreaded pressure test where they have to make a fruit tart.

This episode raises the question whether a vegetarian can lead a team to victory when the primary protein is meat. Not just any meat but cow is taboo for Hindus. How can one properly know if the dish is done right if you cannot taste it? You have to rely on what other people are telling you and that puts you at a disadvantage. For instance choosing which cut of beef to cook. Amazingly Hetal’s team (Olivia, Stephen, Shelly and Christopher)goes for the hangar steak leaving the strip for Katrina’s team(Claudia, Derrick, Tommy and Nick).

Both teams made the mistake of trying initially being fancy. These are cowboys (a generic term that also includes women these days). Cowboys are not sitting down to a fancy feast! They want a good meal and not something too upscale or fancy. Hetal’s team falls behind while Katrina’s cranks out the food. In the end the cowboys brand a wall red or blue as to which dish they liked. While Katrina’s team celebrates the win, Hetal’s team has to clean up both kitchens and face the dreaded pressure test.

Bake Me A Fruit Tart
Ah the fruit tart. A wonderful thing to behold unless you are cooking it in a timed competition with no room for error. Olivia gets a pass getting selected by the other team for the save putting Christopher, Hetal, Shelly, and Stephen into thunderdoom.*

The Scream (Edward Munch, 1893) Public Domain
The Scream (Edward Munch, 1893)
Public Domain

The Stephen Zone
I always thought Stephen was wound up kind of tight and this pressure test proved it. Reminded me of the famous scene in Network(1976)where Albert Finney’s character loses it. When he takes out his tart and sees the pastry is not quite right, he screams and ends up crying in the nearby pantry area. And during the test, when Gordon talks to him it is clear the pressure has really gotten to him. Straight jacket standing by!

Tart Imperfection
No one aced this pressure test but no one did so bad as to be tagged as the one being sent home. Hetal and Shelly were deemed the best two and saved. Which brings us to another…

Head Fake
Christopher and Stephen are in the bottom. Both had faults with their tarts: too much cream, a crust that could have been better, saggy presentation etc. Usually the judges are good about deciding who goes home. It looks for a moment that both will go home then Gordon calls a conference with the other judges resulting in a no decision. A no decision? They are both tied and they cannot make up their minds. Pardon me for not believing that for one minute. They have made decisions when there was only a slight technical issue. Obviously they did not want to send either home today so the top ten remains the top ten for another week. But that means next time it will be a double elimination.

  • Bits & Pieces
    Liked Shelly’s comments about Hetal’s team. She gives Nick away to the other team, does not eat meat, and gets Olivia who probably eats salads. So what kind of plan do we have?
  • Hetal’s comments as to who she sent to the other team was illuminating.
  • Derrick had a meltdown of his own while they were serving and Katrina had to give him a time out. Katrina knew how to handle her team while Hetal seemed unfocused.
  • Is it me or did Christina seem not so happy about driving the truck so the guys could stand up there looking quite pleased with themselves?

*Thunderdoom seems more appropriate then Thunderdome, an ampitheater of death in a Mad Max movie.

Weekly Titanic News

[Note-during the summer months I will only update Titanic news weekly unless it is something really big.]

running21. Titanic Half Marathon Panned As Shambles
Runners are not shy about telling when things are not done right. The Titanic Half and 10K Marathon was anything but well received by those who ran it. Complaints were aplenty: not well marked route, the half marathon was not really a half marathon, no first aid stations for runners after the race, one ambulance for the race, and probably the worst was not enough portable toilets. An investigation has been launched by the governing body.
Source: Organiser Defends Belfast’s Titanic Half Marathon Branded ‘A Shambles’ By Runners(14 Jul 2015,Belfast Telegraph)

2. Titanic Experience Cobh Seeking Stories From Those Who Migrated Away On White Star Ships
Many sons and daughters of the Emerald Isle left in the 1900’s and Titanic Experience in Cobh wants to hear their stories of travels on White Star ships. Cobh was a major departure point and their last look at Ireland as they sailed away usually forever. They are asking for relatives to share stories so they can be recorded. Local people are being asked to help as well with whatever they have as well. To submit a story or to obtain further information you can contact them via email at email stories@ They want to compile the stories for an exhibition in August.
Source: Cobh Centre Seeks Stories Of Exile From Queenstown(13 Jul 2015,Irish Examiner)*

Photo: The Spanish Titanic Foundation
Photo: The Spanish Titanic Foundation

3. Calling Columbo: Mystery Plaque Shows Up But Where Was It For So Many Years?
A Titanic commemorative plaque given to Lord Pirrie in 1912 ended up in Spain and now with the Spanish Titanic Foundation. The plaque is inscribed Titanic below the moniker “Queen of the Ocean” along with ships departures date. The story is that a British man in need of cash sold it to an art dealer in Barcelona, Spain. It was acquired by the dealer’s grandson who hung it in his home and recently loaned it to Spanish Titanic Foundation. The plaque had been in Pirrie’s office and then disappeared until 2003. All kinds of questions arise about its provenance as a result. One assumes they have authenticated it is the real plaque through forensic testing. There is also an open question as to how it came to be in the hands of some, as of yet unidentified, British citizen who decided to sell it for cash. Considering the popularity of Titanic, why was it sold to an art dealer in Barcelona when it could have commanded a much higher price at well known auction houses in the UK? Skeptics will wonder whether the reason is that the person selling it might have a hard time proving they had legal possession or that it might be a fake. The mystery continues.
Source: Long-Lost Plaque From The Titanic Turns Up In Spain After More Than A Century(10 Jul 2015,The Independent)

*Due to policy of demanding payment for links for Republic of Ireland newspapers, links are no longer provided.

Masterchef US Season 6, Episode 10: And Then There Were Ten

MasterChef_Logo_&_Wordmark.svg*The Mystery Box Challenge returns full of rice! As soon as our brave chefestants raise the box, a mountain of rice is revealed with a lot spilling on the floor. Getting them properly set up took a bit of stage magic (they are covered, turned over, a covering is pulled out, and you are ready to go) and of course we never see that they had to come in and clean it all up before they started cooking.

*Playing to your strengths is the best option here. Christopher’s pineapple boat looked cool. Derrick was displeased when his name was not called. Instead it was Hetal for her Indian dish and once again proved vegetarians know how to cook. Claudia did a take on a Mexican dish that was quite tasty and well received. Tommy topped them all with his jambalaya that his aunt made in a cast iron pan. It got rave reviews and earned him the win. There was a cheeky moment when Gordon said he wanted to wake up with Tommy, which brought laughter, until he corrected himself that he wanted to wake up in the morning after such a wonderful meal. Good save Gordon!

*Tommy has to decide which of the three food pairings to have his fellow cheftestants suffer through. The choices are peanut butter and jelly (Christina), ham and pineapple (Graham), and basil and tomato (Gordon). Tommy selects peanut butter and jelly, gets an automatic seat in the top ten, and gets to save two people. He can save one at the beginning and one at the end. He chooses Claudia but she declines because she wants to prove herself. Later she would tell Graham that if she failed it would haunt her. Fortunately that was not the case for her.

*So what do you do with peanut butter and jelly? Well you have to be smart about it. Dessert or savory dish? Some choose dessert and others a savory dish. The two winners show how you can do it in different ways. Hetal choose cookies while Katrina made a peanut satay and spring rolls with ponzu. Claudia did an encrusted pork chop that also was a great dish. Christopher made a tart that he thought was going to be panned. Christina though showed how good it was and complimented him. It was a real boost to his morale.


*Shelly Forgets Something Important
Several seasons back Dave Martinez won the Mystery Box Challenge and chose rice as the dish for the elimination. Then he did something amazingly stupid: he forgot the rice. He had to go begging from the other contestants. Though he got rice, the dish was panned especially by Joe. Shelly did not choose the ingredients but she knew the essentials were peanut butter and jelly. Oops. Big oops. So there she stands at her station with none of the core ingredients. Amazingly she manages to get them from others and proceeds to make spring rolls that visually are unappetizing and taste much worse.

*Sara, The Not So Good Baker
Sara, who is considered one of the top bakers on the show, botched it with her Peanut Butter and Jelly Tart with peanut butter pastry cream. The problem was that the peanut butter was folded into the pastry cream muting whatever flavor it might have added to the dish. To say Gordon was disappointed was an understatement. He pointed out it was the first dish he tasted that night in which did not taste peanut butter. She disagreed saying that to her it tasted like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Gordon roles his eyes at this and says there is no peanut butter in there. She says there is and Gordon dissects the dish and shows that hardly any peanut butter can be seen. It is possible she choose a very neutral peanut butter (one that is low in sugar and salt) that resulted in a diminished flavor profile. My guess is that she measured in too tiny an amount. The result was underwhelming. Graham is a bit less pointed but noted the tart shell was thick and undercooked that when you got the entire bite you did not get the peanut butter and jelly explosion in the mouth. Sara still defends by saying it was not bad. I think this is a case of both arrogance and complacency. She could not tell the defects because she believes her dishes are perfect.

*Shelly and Sara face the chop but the judges think Shelly has more to learn. Sara gets the chop and heads home.

The Standings

1. The Top
Katrina-She really excelled in this episode and showed some real cooking chops with her peanut satay and spring rolls dish. So she moves up from the bottom right to the top.
Hetal-Once again she showed her abilities both in the Mystery Box and Elimination challenges. She is really a serious contender for the top four and top two right now.
Tommy-He really brought it with his jambalaya. He may be known for fashion designs, but may have a second career with a restaurant. And his jambalaya recipe gets him national attention in the September issue of Family Circle.
Claudia-Anyone who can pull off a pork chop the way she did deserves being in the top tier.

2. The Middle
Christopher moves up from the wildcard position. He really made an impression with his tart.
Olivia & Stephen-We assume since that since their dishes were not shown in the elimination challenge they were acceptable though not exceptional enough to warrant their inclusion in the broadcast.
Derrick-He did nothing exceptional either in this episode.

3. The Bottom
Shelly took a major tumble this week. She really needs to step it up fast or end up out the door sooner rather than later.

4. Wildcard
This week the wildcard position goes to Nick. He choose the save so we will never know how his elimination dish would have fared. However if Tommy thought it looked bad, he was lucky to get the save.

Next week: Cattle call. Literally. Our brave cheftestants will be feeding a hungry group of cattle herders (otherwise known as cowboys). Lots of field work there and challenges galore. Will Hetal be able to lead a team to victory when the main ingredient on the menu will be meat? Will Stephen finally loose his mind needing a quiet space to relax?

Masterchef US, Season 6 Episode 9:Cooking The Ramsay Way

[Due to work and other things, I could not get to this until today.]

MasterChef_Logo_&_Wordmark.svg*This episode was all about Gordon Ramsay.  A few episodes ago we had a steak challenge in which he was the only judge. This episode was all about his famous Beef Wellington and scallop dish. Both are highly technical dishes and demonstrate who really is a cook or a chef at this point.

*The Mystery Box challenge was replaced by the Beef Wellington challenge. They sat in pairs in the dining room to eat it (except Hetal, who could not eat it and had to rely on Christopher to tell her about it). Then they cooked the Wellingtons and the dining pairs became teams and selected one to be tasted. Hetal was the surprise since her Wellington was judged very good (Christopher wisely did not submit his-too big and not good on the inside Wellington). Also a surprise was Derrick ending up on the bottom with Kerry, Katrina, and Nick who had inferior specimens.

*It became a Dreaded Pressure Test by having them all imitate a Ramsay scallop dish which he demonstrated. Katrina got flustered and was clearly out of her element but survived. So did Derrick. Nick did a great job and Gordon was clearly pleased. Sadly Kerry had timing issues and was missing many major components (he got the scallops done but mostly everything else never got on the plate despite being done). So Kerry got the chop and said adios.

The Top

The Middle

The Bottom


The promos for next episode indicate an early favorite could go but trick editing often can lead you astray. Rice is on the menu (lots of it that spills on the floor from the promos). And Gordon gets cheeky with Tommy.

Titanic Documentary: Titanic Real Story (2015)

The most up-to-date examination of the Titanic wreck site using modern forensic technology to understand more clearly what happened. Instead of just looking at a few sections, this expedition sought to map the entire site and learn new details. Many well known Titanic experts were involved along with a lot of other experts as well. This is certainly the most ambitious expedition to date. Enjoy!

Happy Independence Day

"4th-of-July-1819-Philadelphia-John-Lewis-Krimmel" by John Lewis Krimmel - Unknown. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -
4th-of-July-1819-Philadelphia-John-Lewis-Krimmel” by John Lewis Krimmel – Unknown. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

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 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 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

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

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

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

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

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

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

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

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Commentary on Titanic news and other related items.

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