James Fuqua's Law Jokes
Declaration of Independence
August 10, 1776
Mr. Thomas Jefferson c/o The Continental Congress Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Dear Mr. Jefferson:
We have read your "Declaration of Independence" with great interest. Certainly, it represents a considerable undertaking, and many of your statements do merit serious consideration.
Unfortunately, the Declaration as a whole fails to meet recently adopted specifications for proposals to the Crown; so we must return the document to you for further refinement. The questions which follow might assist you in your process of revision:
In your opening paragraph you use the phrase "the Laws of Nature and Nature's God."
In the same paragraph you refer to the "Opinions of Mankind."
- What are these laws ?
- In what way are they the criteria on which you base your central arguments?
- Please document with citations from the recent literature.
You hold certain truths to be "self-evident." Could you please elaborate? If they are as evident as you claim, then it should not be difficult for you to locate the appropriate supporting statistics.
- Whose polling data are you using? Without specific evidence, it seems to us the "Opinions of Mankind" are a matter of opinion.
"Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" seem to be the goals of your proposal. These are not measurable goals. If you were to say that among these are:
- the ability to sustain an average life expectancy in six of the 13 colonies of at least 55 years; and/or
- to enable newspapers in the colonies to print news without outside interference; and/or
- to raise the average income of the colonists by 10 percent in the next 10 years for example, these could be measurable goals.
You state 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 a new Government...."
Your description of the existing situation is quite extensive. Such a long list of grievances should precede the statement of goals, not follow it. Your problem statement needs improvement.
- Have you weighed this assertion against all the alternatives?
- What are the trade-off considerations?
Your strategy for achieving your goal is not developed at all. You state that the colonies "ought to be Free and Independent States," and that they are "Absolved from All Allegiance to the British Crown."
We have found that a little foresight in these areas helps to prevent careless errors later on. How cost-effective are your strategies?
- Who or what must change to achieve this objective?
- In what way must they change?
- What specific steps will you take to overcome the resistance?
- How long will it take?
You must include an evaluation design. We have been requiring this since Queen Anne's War.
- Who among the list of signatories will be responsible for implementing your strategy?
- Who conceived it?
- Who provided the theoretical research?
- Who will constitute the advisory committee? Please submit an organization chart and qualifications of the principal investigators.
Please submit all necessary diagrams, an activity chart, proposed time line (w/at least 3 options), itemized budget, and manpower utilization matrix.
- What impact will your problem have? Your failure to include any assessment of this inspires little confidence in the long-range prospects of your undertaking.
We hope that these comments prove useful in revising your "Declaration of Independence" in accordance with all TQM procedures.
We welcome the submission of your revised proposal. Our due date for this unsolicited proposal is September 30, 1776. Ten copies with original signatures will be required.
Sir Thomas Moore
Total Quality Management
Analyst to the British Crown
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