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Author Topic: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers:  (Read 216089 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #200 on: August 07, 2008, 06:48:49 AM »

"We should never despair, our Situation before has been unpromising
and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If
new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new Exertions and
proportion our Efforts to the exigency of the times."

-- George Washington (letter to Philip Schuyler, 7/15/1777)

Reference: Washington's Maxims, 16.
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« Reply #201 on: August 11, 2008, 06:28:37 AM »

"Whatever enables us to go to war, secures our peace."

-- Thomas Jefferson (letter to James Monroe, 24 October 1823)

Reference: Jeffersonian Cyclopedia, Foley (685); orignal The
Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Ford, ed., vol. 5 (198)
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« Reply #202 on: August 12, 2008, 10:09:20 AM »

"This gave me occasion to observe, that when Men are employ'd
they are best contented. For on the Days they work'd they were
good-natur'd and chearful; and with the consciousness of having
done a good Days work they spent the Evenings jollily; but on the
idle Days they were mutinous and quarrelsome, finding fault with
their Pork, the Bread, and in continual ill-humour."

-- Benjamin Franklin (Autobiography, 1771)

Reference: Franklin: Writings, Lemay, ed., Library of America
(1447)
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« Reply #203 on: August 13, 2008, 08:56:52 AM »

"Taxes should be continued by annual or biennial reeactments,
because a constant hold, by the nation, of the strings of
the public purse is a salutary restraint from which an honest
government ought not wish, nor a corrupt one to be permitted,
to be free."

-- Thomas Jefferson (letter to John Wayles Eppes, 24 June 1813)

Reference: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Library of Congress,
American Memory Collection
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« Reply #204 on: August 14, 2008, 05:37:44 AM »

The Patriot Post
Founders' Quote Daily

"If it be asked what is to restrain the House of Representatives
from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and
a particular class of the society? I answer, the genius of the
whole system, the nature of just and constitutional laws, and
above all the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people
of America, a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is
nourished by it."

-- James Madison (Federalist No. 57, 19 February 1788)

Reference: Madison, Federalist No. 57.

=============

By the way, a quick personal note:

When I first started this thread the ratio of reads to posts was rather low.  It warms my spirit to see the ration now around 45:1.

TAC,
Marc
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« Reply #205 on: August 15, 2008, 08:58:30 AM »

"I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in
which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In
that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution. And if that
is not the guide in expounding it, there may be no security "

-- James Madison (letter to Henry Lee, 25 June 1824)

Reference: Advice to my Country, Mattern, 34-35.
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« Reply #206 on: August 18, 2008, 07:57:15 AM »


"The hour is fast approaching, on which the Honor and Success of
this army, and the safety of our bleeding Country depend. Remember
officers and Soldiers, that you are Freemen, fighting for the
blessings of Liberty - that slavery will be your portion, and
that of your posterity, if you do not acquit yourselves like men."

-- George Washington (General Orders, 23 August 1776)

Reference: Maxims of George Washington, Schroeder, ed. (86)
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« Reply #207 on: August 19, 2008, 08:06:17 AM »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deism#Deism_in_the_United_States

A good place to begin with regards to an important strand of thought amongst our Founding Fathers.
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« Reply #208 on: August 20, 2008, 07:41:35 AM »

"One hundred and seventy-three despots would surely be as
oppressive as one."

-- James Madison (Federalist No. 48, 1 February 1788)

Reference: Madison, Federalist No. 48.
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« Reply #209 on: September 01, 2008, 10:17:26 AM »

========
"Work as if you were to live 100 Years, Pray as if you were to
die To-morrow."

-- Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard's Almanack, 1757)

Reference: Franklin: Writings, Lemay, ed., Library of America
(1290)
=============
"Cherish, therefore, the spirit of our people, and keep alive
their attention. Do not be too severe upon their errors, but
reclaim them by enlightening them."

-- Thomas Jefferson (letter to Edward Carrington, 16 January 1787)

Reference: Jefferson: Writings, Peterson ed., Library of America
(880)
=============
"At the establishment of our constitutions, the judiciary bodies
were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of
the government. Experience, however, soon showed in what way
they were to become the most dangerous; that the insufficiency
of the means provided for their removal gave them a freehold
and irresponsibility in office; that their decisions, seeming to
concern individual suitors only, pass silent and unheeded by the
public at large; that these decisions, nevertheless, become law
by precedent, sapping, by little and little, the foundations of
the constitution, and working its change by construction, before
any one has perceived that that invisible and helpless worm
has been busily employed in consuming its substance. In truth,
man is not made to be trusted for life, if secured against all
liability to account."

-- Thomas Jefferson (letter to Monsieur A. Coray, 31 October 1823)

Reference: respec. Quoted
=================

"Among the features peculiar to the political system of the United
States, is the perfect equality of rights which it secures to
every religious sect. "

-- James Madison (letter to Jacob de la Motta, August  1820)

Reference: Our Sacred Honor, Bennett, pg. 333


============

"I never expect to see a perfect work from imperfect man."

-- Alexander Hamilton (Federalist No. 85, 1788)

===========
"All good men wish the entire abolition of slavery, as soon as
it can take place with safety to the public, and for the lasting
good of the present wretched race of slaves.  The only possible
step that could be taken towards it by the convention was to fix
a period after which they should not be imported."

-- Oliver Ellsworth (The Landholder, 10 December 1787)

Reference: The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, Farrand,
ed., vol. 3 (165)
==============
"Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy,
and wise."

-- Benjamin Franklin (Advice to Young Tradesman, 1748)

Reference: Franklin: Writings, Lemay, Library of America (320)
=========

“The great principles of right and wrong are legible to every reader; to pursue them requires not the aid of many counselors. The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest.” —Thomas Jefferson

=============

THE GIPPER
“‘Trust me’ government asks that we concentrate our hopes and dreams on one man; that we trust him to do what’s best for us. My view of government places trust not in one person or one party, but in those values that transcend persons and parties. The trust is where it belongs—in the people. The responsibility to live up to that trust is where it belongs, in their elected leaders. That kind of relationship, between the people and their elected leaders, is a special kind of compact.” —Ronald Reagan


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« Reply #210 on: September 03, 2008, 08:54:10 AM »

"There is little need of commentary upon this clause. No man
can well doubt the propriety of placing a president of the
United States under the most solemn obligations to preserve,
protect, and defend the constitution. It is a suitable pledge of
his fidelity and responsibility to his country; and creates upon
his conscience a deep sense of duty, by an appeal, at once in the
presence of God and man, to the most sacred and solemn sanctions,
which can operate upon the human mind."

-- Joseph Story (Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833)

Reference: Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 545.
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« Reply #211 on: September 05, 2008, 08:43:34 AM »

"Now is the seedtime of continental union, faith and honor.
The least fracture now, will be like a name engraved with the point
of a pin on the tender rind of a young oak; the wound would enlarge
with the tree, and posterity read in it full grown characters."

-- Thomas Paine (Common Sense, 1776)

Reference: Paine: Collected Writings, Foner ed., Library of America
(21)

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« Reply #212 on: September 11, 2008, 10:23:01 AM »


"Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations,
entangling alliances with none."

-- Thomas Jefferson (First Inaugural Address, 4 March 1801)

Reference: Inauguration Addresses of the Presidents
===============
"How could a readiness for war in time of peace be safely
prohibited, unless we could prohibit, in like manner, the
preparations and establishments of every hostile nation?"

-- James Madison (Federalist No. 41, 1788)

Reference: The Federalist
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« Reply #213 on: September 12, 2008, 10:50:43 AM »

"Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance
that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said
to be certain, except death and taxes."

-- Benjamin Franklin (letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, 13 November
1789)

Reference: The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Begelow, ed., vol. 12
(161)

=================
"Finally, there seem to be but three Ways for a Nation to acquire
Wealth. The first is by War as the Romans did in plundering their
conquered Neighbours. This is Robbery. The second by Commerce
which is generally Cheating. The third by Agriculture the only
honest Way; wherein Man receives a real Increase of the Seed
thrown into the Ground, in a kind of continual Miracle wrought by
the Hand of God in his favour, as a Reward for his innocent Life,
and virtuous Industry."

-- Benjamin Franklin (Positions to be Examined, 4 April 1769)

Reference: Franklin Collected Works, Lemay, ed., 645.
============

"In a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can
readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be
said to reign as in a state of nature."

-- James Madison (Federalist No. 52, 8 February 1788)

Reference: Madison, Federalist No. 52.
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« Reply #214 on: September 15, 2008, 11:06:04 AM »


"Conscience is the most sacred of all property. "

-- James Madison (essay on Property, 29 March 1792)

Reference: Madison: Writings, Rakove, ed., Library of America (516)
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« Reply #215 on: September 16, 2008, 08:28:30 AM »

"The freedom and happiness of man...[are] the sole objects of
all legitimate government."

-- Thomas Jefferson (letter to Thaddeus Kosciusko, 1810)

Reference: The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Lipscomb and Bergh,
eds., 12:369.
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« Reply #216 on: September 17, 2008, 09:45:21 AM »


"[T]he present Constitution is the standard to which we are to
cling. Under its banners, bona fide must we combat our political
foes - rejecting all changes but through the channel itself
provides for amendments."

-- Alexander Hamilton (letter to James Bayard, April 1802)

Reference: Selected Writings and Speeches of Alexander Hamilton,
Frisch, ed. (511)
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« Reply #217 on: September 18, 2008, 11:18:06 AM »


"The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent
and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all
Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation
of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of
conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment."

-- George Washington (Address to the Members of the Volunteer
Association of Ireland, 2 December 1783)

Reference: George Washington, Address to the Members of the
Volunteer Association of Ireland, December 2, 1783.
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« Reply #218 on: September 19, 2008, 10:54:04 AM »


"The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to
the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most
erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection,
rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled
to, and ought to enjoy."

-- Benjamin Franklin (Emblematical Representations, Circa 1774)

Reference: The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Sparks, ed. (457)
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« Reply #219 on: September 22, 2008, 05:37:15 AM »


"I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."

-- Nathan Hale (before being hanged by the British, 22 September
1776)

Reference: The Spirit of `Seventy-Six, Commager and Morris (476);
original General William Hull, Campbell (37-38)
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« Reply #220 on: September 22, 2008, 12:06:10 PM »

“The character that takes command in moments of crucial choices has already been determined by a thousand other choices made earlier in seemingly unimportant moments. It has been determined by all the ‘little’ choices of years past—by all those times when the voice of conscience was at war with the voice of temptation, [which was] whispering the lie that ‘it really doesn’t matter.’ It has been determined by all the day-to-day decisions made when life seemed easy and crises seemed far away—the decision that, piece by piece, bit by bit, developed habits of discipline or of laziness; habits of self-sacrifice or self-indulgence; habits of duty and honor and integrity—or dishonor and shame.” —Ronald Reagan

================

God, we're told, chooses the foolish to confound the wise, and the wise men who guided America's founding -- James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Marshall and Gouverneur Morris, among others -- were, to a man, confounded by Luther Martin. They were mistaken to take their obstreperous opponent lightly, however, though foolish he could be.

 In "Forgotten Founder, Drunken Prophet," a short and engaging biography of Luther Martin (1748-1826), Bill Kauffman shows us a sot, a quarrelsome bore, a butcher of the English language, an outspoken abolitionist who himself owned slaves -- and a man who advanced opinions at the Constitutional Convention that desperately needed to be heard.

The Maryland lawyer, and the state's attorney general, was the Constitutional Convention's "least honored delegate," Mr. Kauffman says. This relatively low esteem Mr. Kauffman attributes to Martin's relentless defense of the Articles of Confederation, under which, we should remember, the states, though "united" during the Revolutionary War, nevertheless retained their autonomy and independence. Martin's efforts to prevent a more centralized form of government surely made him his share of enemies at the Convention, though his slovenly habits, argumentative nature and blabbermouth tendencies surely played a role, too. Had Martin been tactful and succinct, his warnings might well have received the serious consideration they deserved.

The Anti-Federalists have long been portrayed as bumpkins who, in their provincialism, refused to admit the superiority of the Constitution and the new nation's potential for greatness. The portrayal is often unfair, and it is to Mr. Kauffman's credit that he has undertaken to give the dissenters their due. Martin, George Mason and Patrick Henry -- easily the intellectual equals of their more celebrated opponents -- raised serious arguments against the Constitution. In case after case, as Mr. Kauffman demonstrates, their dire predictions proved warranted.

Forgotten Founder, Drunken Prophet
By Bill Kauffman
(ISI Books, 202 pages, $25)
The Constitution would relegate the states to a subordinate status, the Anti-Federalists argued. It would thereby prove to be a threat to liberty, by denying states the freedom to govern their own affairs and by imposing laws and obligations that the states themselves would otherwise reject. The Constitution did not safeguard civil liberties either, the anti- Federalists charged; a Bill of Rights would be required to correct the flaw. The Constitution's "general welfare" clause, they said, could open the door to almost any activity that the national government wished to involve itself in -- as indeed it did.

When Martin was raising the alarm about such dangers, he was at his reckless best. In November 1787, in a speech to the Maryland House of Delegates, he assailed the Constitutional Convention not only for what it was attempting to do but for how it was going about the job. He broke the pledge to secrecy under which the convention had met and informed the Maryland legislators that the Framers -- already regarded with reverence -- had wantonly violated their instructions to meet "for the sole and express purpose of revising" the Articles of Confederation.

Instead, convention delegates had taken it upon themselves to make a fresh start by creating an entirely new system of government. To Martin, such an effort was akin to launching a coup d'état. George Washington and Benjamin Franklin had given their "hearty concurrence" to this mischief, Martin declared, but we should not "suffer our eyes to be so far dazzled by the splendor of names, as to run blindfolded into what may be our destruction."

Maryland largely ignored Martin's warnings. In April 1788, it voted to ratify the Constitution, the seventh state to do so, though on condition that a Bill of Rights be added. In June, when New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify, the required threshold had been reached, and the new Constitution took effect. Three years later, the first 10 amendments were added.

Martin's energetic opposition to the Constitution, though ultimately futile, was nevertheless the capstone of a peculiar career. Before then, he had been an increasingly important force in Maryland and the new nation. After, he seems to have stalled. His later life, while reasonably productive, was not happy. Just 40 years old when defeated by the Constitution's ratification, Martin served for decades on the Maryland bar and bench. In 1818, he represented the losing side in the landmark case of McCulloch v. Maryland, in which the state attempted to impose a tax on the notes of banks not chartered in Maryland. The state lost, further strengthening the power of the federal government that Martin had sought to restrain.

Martin also continued to drink heavily, sinking into bankruptcy and madness. By the mid-1820s he was subsisting on a special tax imposed on Maryland lawyers solely for his personal support. Eventually he was taken in by Aaron Burr, whom he had defended at the disgraced ex-vice president's 1807 trial for treason. By this time, an irrational detestation of Thomas Jefferson, his one-time decentralist ally, led Martin to embrace the Federalist Party, in apparent repudiation of everything he had argued for so strenuously. He was buried in New York City, evidently in an unmarked grave.

Mr. Kauffman tells this harrowing tale with a proper recognition of its farcical elements. He is a rollicksome stylist, though some readers may find his tone a tad too jokey at times. But throughout Mr. Kauffman shows a sympathetic regard for his subject. An appreciation of Luther Martin is perhaps overdue; a respect for the Anti-Federalists certainly is. Both ends are well served by this entertaining and instructive work.

Mr. Crawford is the author of "Twilight at Monticello: The Final Years of Thomas Jefferson."
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« Reply #221 on: September 23, 2008, 09:54:56 AM »

"The belief in a God All Powerful wise and good, is so essential
to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man,
that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many
sources nor adapted with too much solicitude to the different
characters and capacities impressed with it."

-- James Madison (letter to Frederick Beasley, 20 November 1825)

Reference: Writings of Madison, Hunt, ed., vol. 9 (230)
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« Reply #222 on: September 27, 2008, 04:38:40 PM »

Not Yours To Give

Col. David Crockett
US Representative from Tennessee

Originally published in "The Life of Colonel David Crockett,"
by Edward Sylvester Ellis.

One day in the House of Representatives a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in its support. The Speaker was just about to put the question when Crockett arose:

"Mr. Speaker--I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the sufferings of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has not the power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him.

"Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks."

He took his seat. Nobody replied. The bill was put upon its passage, and, instead of passing unanimously, as was generally supposed, and as, no doubt, it would, but for that speech, it received but few votes, and, of course, was lost.

Later, when asked by a friend why he had opposed the appropriation, Crockett gave this explanation:

"Several years ago I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some other members of Congress, when our attention was attracted by a great light over in Georgetown. It was evidently a large fire. We jumped into a hack and drove over as fast as we could. In spite of all that could be done, many houses were burned and many families made houseless, and, besides, some of them had lost all but the clothes they had on. The weather was very cold, and when I saw so many women and children suffering, I felt that something ought to be done for them. The next morning a bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We put aside all other business and rushed it through as soon as it could be done.

"The next summer, when it began to be time to think about election, I concluded I would take a scout around among the boys of my district. I had no opposition there, but, as the election was some time off, I did not know what might turn up. When riding one day in a part of my district in which I was more of a stranger than any other, I saw a man in a field plowing and coming toward the road. I gauged my gait so that we should meet as he came to the fence. As he came up, I spoke to the man. He replied politely, but, as I thought, rather coldly.

"I began: 'Well, friend, I am one of those unfortunate beings called
candidates, and---‘


"Yes I know you; you are Colonel Crockett. I have seen you once before, and voted for you the last time you were elected. I suppose you are out electioneering now, but you had better not waste your time or mine, I shall not vote for you again."

"This was a sockdolager...I begged him to tell me what was the matter.
" ’Well, Colonel, it is hardly worth-while to waste time or words upon it. I do not see how it can be mended, but you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in the honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me. But I beg your pardon for expressing it in that way. I did not intend to avail myself of the privilege of the constituent to speak plainly to a candidate for the purpose of insulting or wounding you. I intend by it only to say that your understanding of the Constitution is very different from mine; and I will say to you what, but for my rudeness, I should not have said, that I believe you to be honest.
…But an understanding of the Constitution different from mine I cannot overlook, because the Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the more honest he is.'

" 'I admit the truth of all you say, but there must be some mistake about it, for I do not remember that I gave any vote last winter upon any constitutional question.’
“ ‘No, Colonel, there’s no mistake. Though I live in the backwoods and seldom go from home, I take the papers from Washington and read very carefully all the proceedings of Congress. My papers say that last winter you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some sufferers by a fire in Georgetown. Is that true?’

" ‘Well, my friend; I may as well own up. You have got me there. But certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours should give the insignificant sum of $20,000 to relieve its suffering women and children, particularly with a full and overflowing Treasury, and I am sure, if you had been there, you would have done just as I did.'

" ‘It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by a tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means. What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the government. So you see, that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he. If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000. If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other. 'No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. If twice as many houses had been burned in this county as in Georgetown, neither you nor any other member of Congress would have thought of appropriating a dollar for our relief. There are about two hundred and forty members of Congress. If they had shown their sympathy for the sufferers by contributing each one week's pay, it would have made over $13,000. There are plenty of wealthy men in and around Washington who could have given $20,000 without depriving themselves of even a luxury of life.' "The congressmen chose to keep their own money, which, if reports be true, some of them spend not very creditably; and the people about Washington, no doubt, applauded you for relieving them from the necessity of giving by giving what was not yours to give. The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution.'
----------
" 'So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people. I have no doubt you acted honestly, but that does not make it any better, except as far as you are personally concerned, and you see that I cannot vote for you.'

"I tell you I felt streaked. I saw if I should have opposition, and this man should go to talking, he would set others to talking, and in that district I was a gone fawn-skin. I could not answer him, and the fact is, I was so fully convinced that he was right, I did not want to. But I must satisfy him, and I said to him:

" ‘Well, my friend, you hit the nail upon the head when you said I had not sense enough to understand the Constitution. I intended to be guided by it, and thought I had studied it fully. I have heard many speeches in Congress about the powers of Congress, but what you have said here at your plow has got more hard, sound sense in it than all the fine speeches I ever heard. If I had ever taken the view of it that you have, I would have put my head into the fire before I would have given that vote; and if you will forgive me and vote for me again, if I ever vote for another unconstitutional law I wish I may be shot.'

"He laughingly replied; 'Yes, Colonel, you have sworn to that once before, but I will trust you again upon one condition. You say that youare convinced that your vote was wrong. Your acknowledgment of it will do more good than beating you for it. If, as you go around the district, you will tell people about this vote, and that you are satisfied it was wrong, I will not only vote for you, but will do what I can to keep down opposition, and, perhaps, I may exert some little influence in that way.'

" ‘If I don't’, said I, 'I wish I may be shot; and to convince you that I am in earnest in what I say I will come back this way in a week or ten days, and if you will get up a gathering of the people, I will make a speech to them. Get up a barbecue, and I will pay for it.'

" ‘No, Colonel, we are not rich people in this section, but we have plenty of provisions to contribute for a barbecue, and some to spare for those who have none. The push of crops will be over in a few days, and we can then afford a day for a barbecue. This is Thursday; I will see to getting it up on Saturday week. Come to my house on Friday, and we will go together, and I promise you a very respectable crowd to see and hear you.’

" 'Well, I will be here. But one thing more before I say good-bye. I must know your name.’

" 'My name is Bunce.'

" 'Not Horatio Bunce?'

" 'Yes.’

" 'Well, Mr. Bunce, I never saw you before, though you say you have seen me, but I know you very well. I am glad I have met you, and very proud that I may hope to have you for my friend.'

"It was one of the luckiest hits of my life that I met him. He mingled but little with the public, but was widely known for his remarkable intelligence and incorruptible integrity, and for a heart brimful and running over with kindness and benevolence, which showed themselves not only in words but in acts. He was the oracle of the whole country around him, and his fame had extended far beyond the circle of his immediate acquaintance. Though I had never met him, before, I had heard much of him, and but for this meeting it is very likely I should have had opposition, and had been beaten. One thing is very certain, no man could now stand up in that district under such a vote.

"At the appointed time I was at his house, having told our conversation to every crowd I had met, and to every man I stayed all night with, and I found that it gave the people an interest and a confidence in me stronger than I had ever seen manifested before.

"Though I was considerably fatigued when I reached his house, and, under ordinary circumstances, should have gone early to bed, I kept him up until midnight, talking about the principles and affairs of government, and got more real, true knowledge of them than I had got all my life before.

"I have known and seen much of him since, for I respect him - no, that is not the word - I reverence and love him more than any living man, and I go to see him two or three times every year; and I will tell you, sir, if every one who professes to be a Christian lived and acted and enjoyed it as he does, the religion of Christ would take the world by storm.

"But to return to my story. The next morning we went to the barbecue, and, to my surprise, found about a thousand men there. I met a good many whom I had not known before, and they and my friend introduced me around until I had got pretty well acquainted - at least, they all knew me.

"In due time notice was given that I would speak to them. They gathered up around a stand that had been erected. I opened my speech by saying:

" ‘Fellow-citizens - I present myself before you today feeling like a new man. My eyes have lately been opened to truths which ignorance or prejudice, or both, had heretofore hidden from my view. I feel that I can today offer you the ability to render you more valuable service than I have ever been able to render before. I am here today more for the purpose of acknowledging my error than to seek your votes. That I should make this acknowledgment is due to myself as well as to you. Whether you will vote for me is a matter for your consideration only.’"

"I went on to tell them about the fire and my vote for the appropriation and then told them why I was satisfied it was wrong. I closed by saying:

" ‘And now, fellow-citizens, it remains only for me to tell you that the most of the speech you have listened to with so much interest was simply a repetition of the arguments by which your neighbor, Mr. Bunce, convinced me of my error.

" ‘It is the best speech I ever made in my life, but he is entitled to the
credit for it. And now I hope he is satisfied with his convert and that he will get up here and tell you so.'

"He came upon the stand and said:

" ‘Fellow-citizens - It affords me great pleasure to comply with the request of Colonel Crockett. I have always considered him a thoroughly honest man, and I am satisfied that he will faithfully perform all that he has promised you today.'

"He went down, and there went up from that crowd such a shout for Davy Crockett as his name never called forth before.'

"I am not much given to tears, but I was taken with a choking then and felt some big drops rolling down my cheeks. And I tell you now that the remembrance of those few words spoken by such a man, and the honest, hearty shout they produced, is worth more to me than all the honors I have received and all the reputation I have ever made, or ever shall make, as a member of Congress.'

"Now, sir," concluded Crockett, "you know why I made that speech yesterday.

"There is one thing now to which I will call your attention. You remember that I proposed to give a week's pay. There are in that House many very wealthy men - men who think nothing of spending a week's pay, or a dozen of them, for a dinner or a wine party when they have something to accomplish by it. Some of those same men made beautiful speeches upon the great debt of gratitude which the country owed the deceased--a debt which could not be paid by money--and the insignificance and worthlessness of money, particularly so insignificant a sum as $10,000, when weighed against the honor of the nation. Yet not one of them responded to my proposition. Money with them is nothing but trash when it is to come out of the people. But it is the one great thing for which most of them are striving, and many of them sacrifice honor, integrity, and justice to obtain it."
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« Reply #223 on: October 01, 2008, 07:30:49 AM »

I've been travelling a lot.  I'm glad to be home and begin catching up:
================

"The greatest good we can do our country is to heal its party
divisions and make them one people."

-- Thomas Jefferson (letter to John Dickinson, 23 July 1801)

Reference: The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Ford Edition, vol. 8
(76)

======
“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” —Thomas Jefferson
=========
"It is important also to consider, that the surest means of
avoiding war is to be prepared for it in peace."

-- Joseph Story (Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833)

Reference: Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 415.
=========
"I am principled against this kind of traffic in the human
species...and to disperse the families I have an aversion."

-- George Washington (letter to Robert Lewis, 18 August 1799)

Reference: Washington's Maxims, 159.
============
“Every new regulation concerning commerce or revenue; or in any manner affecting the value of the different species of property, presents a new harvest to those who watch the change and can trace its consequences; a harvest reared not by themselves but by the toils and cares of the great body of their fellow citizens. This is a state of things in which it may be said with some truth that laws are made for the few not for the many.” —James Madison
==========
"Our own Country's Honor, all call upon us for a vigorous
and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall
become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon
the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being,
in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great
and noble Actions - The Eyes of all our Countrymen are now upon
us, and we shall have their blessings, and praises, if happily
we are the instruments of saving them from the Tyranny mediated
against them. Let us therefore animate and encourage each other,
and shew the whole world, that a Freeman contending for Liberty
on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth."

-- George Washington (General Orders, 2 July 1776)

Reference: Washington, General Orders, July 2, 1776.
==========
“If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy.” —Thomas Jefferson

“I believe that the people you and I represent are ready to chart a new course. They look to us to meet the great challenge, to reach beyond the commonplace and not fall short for lack of creativity or courage... We can restore our economic strength and build opportunities like none we’ve ever had before. As Carl Sandburg said, all we need to begin with is a dream that we can do better than before. All we need to have is faith, and that dream will come true. All we need to do is act, and the time for action is now.” —Ronald Reagan

==========

"I trust that the proposed Constitution afford a genuine specimen
of representative government and republican government; and that
it will answer, in an eminent degree, all the beneficial purposes
of society."

-- Alexander Hamilton (speech to the New York Ratifying Convention,
June 1788)

Reference: The Works of Alexander Hamilton, Henry Cabot Lodge,
ed., II, 30.
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« Reply #224 on: October 03, 2008, 02:29:13 PM »

"For the same reason that the members of the State legislatures
will be unlikely to attach themselves sufficiently to national
objects, the members of the federal legislature will be likely
to attach themselves too much to local objects."

-- James Madison (Federalist No. 46, 1 February 1788)

Reference: Madison, Federalist No. 46
==================

"No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can
any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffusd and Virtue is
preservd. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant,
and debauchd in their Manners, they will sink under their own
weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders."

-- Samuel Adams (letter to James Warren, 4 November 1775)

Reference: Our Sacred Honor, Bennett (261)
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« Reply #225 on: October 06, 2008, 07:56:42 AM »

Benjamin Franklin: "If a man empties his purse into his head, no
one can take it from him."
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« Reply #226 on: October 07, 2008, 08:03:35 AM »


"Tis folly in one Nation to look for disinterested favors from
another; that it must pay with a portion of its Independence
for whatever it may accept under that character; that by such
acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given
equivalents for nominal favours and yet of being reproached with
ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than
to expect, or calculate upon real favours from Nation to Nation.
'Tis an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride
ought to discard."

-- George Washington (Farewell Address, 19 September 1796)

Reference: Washington's Maxims, 71.
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« Reply #227 on: October 08, 2008, 07:45:02 AM »


"Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire from the
great theatre of Action; and bidding an Affectionate farewell to
this August body under whose orders I have so long acted, I here
offer my commission, and take my leave of all the employments of
public life."

-- George Washington (Address to Congress on Resigning his
Commission, 23 December 1783)

Reference: George Washington: A Collection, W.B. Allen, ed. (273)
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« Reply #228 on: October 09, 2008, 09:49:05 AM »


"We established however some, although not all its
[self-government] important principles . The constitutions of most
of our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people;
that they may exercise it by themselves, in all cases to which they
think themselves competent, (as in electing their functionaries
executive and legislative, and deciding by a jury of themselves,
in all judiciary cases in which any fact is involved,) or they
may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it
is their right and duty to be at all times armed."

-- Thomas Jefferson (letter to John Cartwright, 1824)

Reference: The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Memorial Edition,
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« Reply #229 on: October 10, 2008, 08:28:35 AM »

"[D]emocracy will soon degenerate into an anarchy, such an anarchy
that every man will do what is right in his own eyes and no man's
life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure, and every
one of these will soon mould itself into a system of subordination
of all the moral virtues and intellectual abilities, all the powers
of wealth, beauty, wit and science, to the wanton pleasures, the
capricious will, and the execrable cruelty of one or a very few."

-- John Adams (An Essay on Man's Lust for Power, 29 August 1763)

Reference: Original Intent, Barton (338); original The Papers of
John Adams, Taylor, ed., vol. 1 (83)

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« Reply #230 on: October 14, 2008, 07:57:45 AM »

"That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a
well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people trained
to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free state;
that standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty,
and therefore ought to be avoided, as far as the circumstances
and protection of the community will admit; and that, in all
cases, the military should be under strict subordination to,
and governed by, the civil power."

Recommended Bill of Rights from the Virginia Ratifying Convention,
27 June 1778

Reference: The Debates of the Several State..., Elliot, vol. 3
(659)
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« Reply #231 on: October 14, 2008, 05:45:12 PM »

"Duty is ours, results are God's."
John Quincy Adams
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« Reply #232 on: October 16, 2008, 07:55:26 AM »

"[T]he policy or advantage of [immigration] taking place in
a body (I mean the settling of them in a body) may be much
questioned; for, by so doing, they retain the Language, habits
and principles (good or bad) which they bring with them. Whereas
by an intermixture with our people, they, or their descendants,
get assimilated to our customs, measures and laws: in a word,
soon become one people."

-- George Washington (letter to John Adams, 15 November 1794)

Reference: The Writings of George Washington from the Original
Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799, Fitzpatrick, Ed., vol. 34 (American
Memory Co
==============
"States, like individuals, who observe their engagements, are
respected and trusted: while the reverse is the fate of those
who pursue an opposite conduct."

-- Alexander Hamilton (Report on Public Credit, 9 January 1790)

Reference: The Reports of Alexander Hamilton, Cooke, ed. (3)
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« Reply #233 on: October 17, 2008, 07:08:04 AM »

"There are certain social principles in human nature, from
which we may draw the most solid conclusions with respect to the
conduct of individuals and of communities. We love our families
more than our neighbors; we love our neighbors more than our
countrymen in general. The human affections, like solar heat,
lose their intensity as they depart from the centre... On these
principles, the attachment of the individual will be first and
for ever secured by the State governments. They will be a mutual
protection and support."

-- Alexander Hamilton (speech at the New York Ratifying Convention,
June 1788)

Reference: The Works of Alexander Hamilton, Henry Cabot Lodge,
ed., II, 70.
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« Reply #234 on: October 20, 2008, 12:59:18 PM »

"There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the
people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than
by violent and sudden usurpations."

-- James Madison (speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention,
16 June 1788)

Reference: Bartlett's Quotations (352)
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« Reply #235 on: October 20, 2008, 06:04:24 PM »

"To preserve [the] independence [of the people,] we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between  economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses, and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes, have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account, but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816. ME 15:39

"There [is a measure] which if not taken we are undone...[It is] to cease borrowing money and to pay off the national debt. If this cannot be done without dismissing the army and putting the ships out of commission, haul them up high and dry and reduce the army to the lowest point at which it was ever established. There does not exist an engine so corruptive of the government and so demoralizing of the nation as a public debt. It will bring on us more ruin at home than all the enemies from abroad against whom this army and navy are to protect us." --Thomas Jefferson to Nathaniel Macon, 1821. (*) FE 10:193
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« Reply #236 on: October 21, 2008, 07:02:34 AM »

Good to see someone else contributing to this thread SB  smiley


"In America, no other distinction between man and man had ever
been known but that of persons in office exercising powers by
authority of the laws, and private individuals.  Among these last,
the poorest laborer stood on equal ground with the wealthiest
millionaire, and generally on a more favored one whenever their
rights seem to jar."

-- Thomas Jefferson (Answers to de Meusnier Questions, 1786)

Reference: The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Lipscomb and Bergh,
eds.,  17:8.
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« Reply #237 on: October 21, 2008, 10:55:42 AM »

He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.
Thomas Paine, Dissertation on First Principles of Government, December 23, 1791

If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute.
Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791

As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights. Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.
James Madison, National Gazette Essay, March 27, 1792
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« Reply #238 on: October 22, 2008, 10:37:28 AM »

"But ambitious encroachments of the federal government, on the
authority of the State governments, would not excite the opposition
of a single State, or of a few States only. They would be signals
of general alarm... But what degree of madness could ever drive
the federal government to such an extremity."

-- James Madison (Federalist No. 46, 29 January 1788)

Reference: The Federalist
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« Reply #239 on: October 23, 2008, 11:33:20 AM »


"Wish not so much to live long as to live well."

-- Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746)

Reference: Franklin: Writings, Lemay, Library of America (1209)
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« Reply #240 on: October 23, 2008, 02:55:36 PM »

Some of you may have noticed the presence in this thread of President Reagan.  It is because I think him as having added genuinely and at a profound level, added to the DNA of the American creed.

Although there are areas of MLK's thinking which do not belong in this thread (and ones with which I disagree in whole or part are posted, I will delete them  cheesy ) there most certainly are areas of his thinking that do, so, for the first time here, Martin Luther King.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy."

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
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« Reply #241 on: October 24, 2008, 09:01:19 AM »


"That wise Men have in all Ages thought Government necessary
for the Good of Mankind; and, that wise Governments have always
thought Religion necessary for the well ordering and well-being
of Society, and accordingly have been ever careful to encourage
and protect the Ministers of it, paying them the highest publick
Honours, that their Doctrines might thereby meet with the greater
Respect among the common People."

-- Benjamin Franklin (On that Odd Letter of the Drum, April 1730)

Reference: Franklin Collected Writings, Lemay, ed., 148
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« Reply #242 on: October 27, 2008, 09:43:25 AM »

"The most important consequence of marriage is, that the husband
and the wife become in law only one person...  Upon this principle
of union, almost all the other legal consequences of marriage
depend.  This principle, sublime and refined, deserves to be
viewed and examined on every side."

-- James Wilson (Of the Natural Rights of Individuals, 1792)

Reference: The Works of James Wilson, Andrews, ed., vol. 1 (324)
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« Reply #243 on: October 28, 2008, 05:15:18 AM »

"A good government implies two things; first, fidelity to the
objects of the government; secondly, a knowledge of the means,
by which those objects can be best attained."

-- Joseph Story (Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833)

Reference: Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 206
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« Reply #244 on: October 29, 2008, 10:12:06 AM »

"The republican is the only form of government which is not
eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind."

-- Thomas Jefferson (Letter to William Hunter, 11 March 1790)

Reference: Bartlett's; check LOA edition
=============
“It is an unquestionable truth, that the body of the people in every country desire sincerely its prosperity. But it is equally unquestionable that they do not possess the discernment and stability necessary for systematic government. To deny that they are frequently led into the grossest of errors, by misinformation and passion, would be a flattery which their own good sense must despise.” —Alexander Hamilton
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« Reply #245 on: October 30, 2008, 06:38:22 AM »

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men,
undergo the fatigues of supporting it."

-- Thomas Paine (The Crisis, no. 4, 11 September 1777)

Reference: resp. quoted
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« Reply #246 on: November 05, 2008, 08:47:55 AM »

"Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm."
--James Madison, Federalist No. 10

========


"I acknowledge, in the ordinary course of government, that the
exposition of the laws and Constitution devolves upon the judicial.
But I beg to know upon what principle it can be contended that
any one department draws from the Constitution greater powers
than another in marking out the limits of the powers of the
several departments."

-- James Madison (speech in the Congress of the United States,
17 June 1789)

Reference: Original Intent, Barton (264); original The Debates
and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States, vol. 1 (520)
========
"Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual -- or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country." --Samuel Adams
========

"Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the
consent of the governed."

Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776

Reference: The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Memorial Edition), Lipscomb and
Bergh, eds., 1:29.
=============

"We should never despair, our Situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new Exertions and proportion our Efforts to the exigency of the times." --George Washington
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« Reply #247 on: November 06, 2008, 05:17:41 AM »

"Let the American youth never forget, that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors; and capacity, if wisely improved, and faithfully guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings of life, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, property, religion, and independence."
—Joseph Story (Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833)

Reference: Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 718.

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« Reply #248 on: November 06, 2008, 11:34:32 AM »

Program Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, we take pride in presenting a thoughtful address by Ronald Reagan. Mr. Reagan:

Reagan: Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you and good evening. The sponsor has been identified, but unlike most television programs, the performer hasn't been provided with a script. As a matter of fact, I have been permitted to choose my own words and discuss my own ideas regarding the choice that we face in the next few weeks.

I have spent most of my life as a Democrat. I recently have seen fit to follow another course. I believe that the issues confronting us cross party lines. Now, one side in this campaign has been telling us that the issues of this election are the maintenance of peace and prosperity. The line has been used, "We've never had it so good."

But I have an uncomfortable feeling that this prosperity isn't something on which we can base our hopes for the future. No nation in history has ever survived a tax burden that reached a third of its national income. Today, 37 cents out of every dollar earned in this country is the tax collector's share, and yet our government continues to spend 17 million dollars a day more than the government takes in. We haven't balanced our budget 28 out of the last 34 years. We've raised our debt limit three times in the last twelve months, and now our national debt is one and a half times bigger than all the combined debts of all the nations of the world. We have 15 billion dollars in gold in our treasury; we don't own an ounce. Foreign dollar claims are 27.3 billion dollars. And we've just had announced that the dollar of 1939 will now purchase 45 cents in its total value.

As for the peace that we would preserve, I wonder who among us would like to approach the wife or mother whose husband or son has died in South Vietnam and ask them if they think this is a peace that should be maintained indefinitely. Do they mean peace, or do they mean we just want to be left in peace? There can be no real peace while one American is dying some place in the world for the rest of us. We're at war with the most dangerous enemy that has ever faced mankind in his long climb from the swamp to the stars, and it's been said if we lose that war, and in so doing lose this way of freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening. Well I think it's time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that were intended for us by the Founding Fathers.

Not too long ago, two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, "We don't know how lucky we are." And the Cuban stopped and said, "How lucky you are? I had someplace to escape to." And in that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.

And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people, is still the newest and the most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man.

This is the issue of this election: whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I'd like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There's only an up or down: [up] man's old -- old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.

In this vote-harvesting time, they use terms like the "Great Society," or as we were told a few days ago by the President, we must accept a greater government activity in the affairs of the people. But they've been a little more explicit in the past and among themselves; and all of the things I now will quote have appeared in print. These are not Republican accusations. For example, they have voices that say, "The cold war will end through our acceptance of a not undemocratic socialism." Another voice says, "The profit motive has become outmoded. It must be replaced by the incentives of the welfare state." Or, "Our traditional system of individual freedom is incapable of solving the complex problems of the 20th century." Senator Fulbright has said at Stanford University that the Constitution is outmoded. He referred to the President as "our moral teacher and our leader," and he says he is "hobbled in his task by the restrictions of power imposed on him by this antiquated document." He must "be freed," so that he "can do for us" what he knows "is best." And Senator Clark of Pennsylvania, another articulate spokesman, defines liberalism as "meeting the material needs of the masses through the full power of centralized government."

Well, I, for one, resent it when a representative of the people refers to you and me, the free men and women of this country, as "the masses." This is a term we haven't applied to ourselves in America. But beyond that, "the full power of centralized government" -- this was the very thing the Founding Fathers sought to minimize. They knew that governments don't control things. A government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they know when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. They also knew, those Founding Fathers, that outside of its legitimate functions, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector of the economy.

Now, we have no better example of this than government's involvement in the farm economy over the last 30 years. Since 1955, the cost of this program has nearly doubled. One-fourth of farming in America is responsible for 85% of the farm surplus. Three-fourths of farming is out on the free market and has known a 21% increase in the per capita consumption of all its produce. You see, that one-fourth of farming -- that's regulated and controlled by the federal government. In the last three years we've spent 43 dollars in the feed grain program for every dollar bushel of corn we don't grow.

Senator Humphrey last week charged that Barry Goldwater, as President, would seek to eliminate farmers. He should do his homework a little better, because he'll find out that we've had a decline of 5 million in the farm population under these government programs. He'll also find that the Democratic administration has sought to get from Congress [an] extension of the farm program to include that three-fourths that is now free. He'll find that they've also asked for the right to imprison farmers who wouldn't keep books as prescribed by the federal government. The Secretary of Agriculture asked for the right to seize farms through condemnation and resell them to other individuals. And contained in that same program was a provision that would have allowed the federal government to remove 2 million farmers from the soil.

At the same time, there's been an increase in the Department of Agriculture employees. There's now one for every 30 farms in the United States, and still they can't tell us how 66 shiploads of grain headed for Austria disappeared without a trace and Billie Sol Estes never left shore.

Every responsible farmer and farm organization has repeatedly asked the government to free the farm economy, but how -- who are farmers to know what's best for them? The wheat farmers voted against a wheat program. The government passed it anyway. Now the price of bread goes up; the price of wheat to the farmer goes down.

Meanwhile, back in the city, under urban renewal the assault on freedom carries on. Private property rights [are] so diluted that public interest is almost anything a few government planners decide it should be. In a program that takes from the needy and gives to the greedy, we see such spectacles as in Cleveland, Ohio, a million-and-a-half-dollar building completed only three years ago must be destroyed to make way for what government officials call a "more compatible use of the land." The President tells us he's now going to start building public housing units in the thousands, where heretofore we've only built them in the hundreds. But FHA [Federal Housing Authority] and the Veterans Administration tell us they have 120,000 housing units they've taken back through mortgage foreclosure. For three decades, we've sought to solve the problems of unemployment through government planning, and the more the plans fail, the more the planners plan. The latest is the Area Redevelopment Agency.

They've just declared Rice County, Kansas, a depressed area. Rice County, Kansas, has two hundred oil wells, and the 14,000 people there have over 30 million dollars on deposit in personal savings in their banks. And when the government tells you you're depressed, lie down and be depressed.

We have so many people who can't see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one. So they're going to solve all the problems of human misery through government and government planning. Well, now, if government planning and welfare had the answer -- and they've had almost 30 years of it -- shouldn't we expect government to read the score to us once in a while? Shouldn't they be telling us about the decline each year in the number of people needing help? The reduction in the need for public housing?

But the reverse is true. Each year the need grows greater; the program grows greater. We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry each night. Well that was probably true. They were all on a diet. But now we're told that 9.3 million families in this country are poverty-stricken on the basis of earning less than 3,000 dollars a year. Welfare spending [is] 10 times greater than in the dark depths of the Depression. We're spending 45 billion dollars on welfare. Now do a little arithmetic, and you'll find that if we divided the 45 billion dollars up equally among those 9 million poor families, we'd be able to give each family 4,600 dollars a year. And this added to their present income should eliminate poverty. Direct aid to the poor, however, is only running only about 600 dollars per family. It would seem that someplace there must be some overhead.

Now -- so now we declare "war on poverty," or "You, too, can be a Bobby Baker." Now do they honestly expect us to believe that if we add 1 billion dollars to the 45 billion we're spending, one more program to the 30-odd we have -- and remember, this new program doesn't replace any, it just duplicates existing programs -- do they believe that poverty is suddenly going to disappear by magic? Well, in all fairness I should explain there is one part of the new program that isn't duplicated. This is the youth feature. We're now going to solve the dropout problem, juvenile delinquency, by reinstituting something like the old CCC camps [Civilian Conservation Corps], and we're going to put our young people in these camps. But again we do some arithmetic, and we find that we're going to spend each year just on room and board for each young person we help 4,700 dollars a year. We can send them to Harvard for 2,700! Course, don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting Harvard is the answer to juvenile delinquency.

But seriously, what are we doing to those we seek to help? Not too long ago, a judge called me here in Los Angeles. He told me of a young woman who'd come before him for a divorce. She had six children, was pregnant with her seventh. Under his questioning, she revealed her husband was a laborer earning 250 dollars a month. She wanted a divorce to get an 80 dollar raise. She's eligible for 330 dollars a month in the Aid to Dependent Children Program. She got the idea from two women in her neighborhood who'd already done that very thing.

Yet anytime you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, we're denounced as being against their humanitarian goals. They say we're always "against" things -- we're never "for" anything.

Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so.

Now -- we're for a provision that destitution should not follow unemployment by reason of old age, and to that end we've accepted Social Security as a step toward meeting the problem.

But we're against those entrusted with this program when they practice deception regarding its fiscal shortcomings, when they charge that any criticism of the program means that we want to end payments to those people who depend on them for a livelihood. They've called it "insurance" to us in a hundred million pieces of literature. But then they appeared before the Supreme Court and they testified it was a welfare program. They only use the term "insurance" to sell it to the people. And they said Social Security dues are a tax for the general use of the government, and the government has used that tax. There is no fund, because Robert Byers, the actuarial head, appeared before a congressional committee and admitted that Social Security as of this moment is 298 billion dollars in the hole. But he said there should be no cause for worry because as long as they have the power to tax, they could always take away from the people whatever they needed to bail them out of trouble. And they're doing just that.

A young man, 21 years of age, working at an average salary -- his Social Security contribution would, in the open market, buy him an insurance policy that would guarantee 220 dollars a month at age 65. The government promises 127. He could live it up until he's 31 and then take out a policy that would pay more than Social Security. Now are we so lacking in business sense that we can't put this program on a sound basis, so that people who do require those payments will find they can get them when they're due -- that the cupboard isn't bare?

Barry Goldwater thinks we can.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #249 on: November 06, 2008, 11:35:30 AM »

Part Two

At the same time, can't we introduce voluntary features that would permit a citizen who can do better on his own to be excused upon presentation of evidence that he had made provision for the non-earning years? Should we not allow a widow with children to work, and not lose the benefits supposedly paid for by her deceased husband? Shouldn't you and I be allowed to declare who our beneficiaries will be under this program, which we cannot do? I think we're for telling our senior citizens that no one in this country should be denied medical care because of a lack of funds. But I think we're against forcing all citizens, regardless of need, into a compulsory government program, especially when we have such examples, as was announced last week, when France admitted that their Medicare program is now bankrupt. They've come to the end of the road.

In addition, was Barry Goldwater so irresponsible when he suggested that our government give up its program of deliberate, planned inflation, so that when you do get your Social Security pension, a dollar will buy a dollar's worth, and not 45 cents worth?

I think we're for an international organization, where the nations of the world can seek peace. But I think we're against subordinating American interests to an organization that has become so structurally unsound that today you can muster a two-thirds vote on the floor of the General Assembly among nations that represent less than 10 percent of the world's population. I think we're against the hypocrisy of assailing our allies because here and there they cling to a colony, while we engage in a conspiracy of silence and never open our mouths about the millions of people enslaved in the Soviet colonies in the satellite nations.

I think we're for aiding our allies by sharing of our material blessings with those nations which share in our fundamental beliefs, but we're against doling out money government to government, creating bureaucracy, if not socialism, all over the world. We set out to help 19 countries. We're helping 107. We've spent 146 billion dollars. With that money, we bought a 2 million dollar yacht for Haile Selassie. We bought dress suits for Greek undertakers, extra wives for Kenya[n] government officials. We bought a thousand TV sets for a place where they have no electricity. In the last six years, 52 nations have bought 7 billion dollars worth of our gold, and all 52 are receiving foreign aid from this country.

No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. So, governments' programs, once launched, never disappear.

Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth.

Federal employees -- federal employees number two and a half million; and federal, state, and local, one out of six of the nation's work force employed by government. These proliferating bureaus with their thousands of regulations have cost us many of our constitutional safeguards. How many of us realize that today federal agents can invade a man's property without a warrant? They can impose a fine without a formal hearing, let alone a trial by jury? And they can seize and sell his property at auction to enforce the payment of that fine. In Chico County, Arkansas, James Wier over-planted his rice allotment. The government obtained a 17,000 dollar judgment. And a U.S. marshal sold his 960-acre farm at auction. The government said it was necessary as a warning to others to make the system work.

Last February 19th at the University of Minnesota, Norman Thomas, six-times candidate for President on the Socialist Party ticket, said, "If Barry Goldwater became President, he would stop the advance of socialism in the United States." I think that's exactly what he will do.

But as a former Democrat, I can tell you Norman Thomas isn't the only man who has drawn this parallel to socialism with the present administration, because back in 1936, Mr. Democrat himself, Al Smith, the great American, came before the American people and charged that the leadership of his Party was taking the Party of Jefferson, Jackson, and Cleveland down the road under the banners of Marx, Lenin, and Stalin. And he walked away from his Party, and he never returned til the day he died -- because to this day, the leadership of that Party has been taking that Party, that honorable Party, down the road in the image of the labor Socialist Party of England.

Now it doesn't require expropriation or confiscation of private property or business to impose socialism on a people. What does it mean whether you hold the deed to the -- or the title to your business or property if the government holds the power of life and death over that business or property? And such machinery already exists. The government can find some charge to bring against any concern it chooses to prosecute. Every businessman has his own tale of harassment. Somewhere a perversion has taken place. Our natural, unalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation of government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment.

Our Democratic opponents seem unwilling to debate these issues. They want to make you and I believe that this is a contest between two men -- that we're to choose just between two personalities.

Well what of this man that they would destroy -- and in destroying, they would destroy that which he represents, the ideas that you and I hold dear? Is he the brash and shallow and trigger-happy man they say he is? Well I've been privileged to know him "when." I knew him long before he ever dreamed of trying for high office, and I can tell you personally I've never known a man in my life I believed so incapable of doing a dishonest or dishonorable thing.

This is a man who, in his own business before he entered politics, instituted a profit-sharing plan before unions had ever thought of it. He put in health and medical insurance for all his employees. He took 50 percent of the profits before taxes and set up a retirement program, a pension plan for all his employees. He sent monthly checks for life to an employee who was ill and couldn't work. He provides nursing care for the children of mothers who work in the stores. When Mexico was ravaged by the floods in the Rio Grande, he climbed in his airplane and flew medicine and supplies down there.

An ex-GI told me how he met him. It was the week before Christmas during the Korean War, and he was at the Los Angeles airport trying to get a ride home to Arizona for Christmas. And he said that [there were] a lot of servicemen there and no seats available on the planes. And then a voice came over the loudspeaker and said, "Any men in uniform wanting a ride to Arizona, go to runway such-and-such," and they went down there, and there was a fellow named Barry Goldwater sitting in his plane. Every day in those weeks before Christmas, all day long, he'd load up the plane, fly it to Arizona, fly them to their homes, fly back over to get another load.

During the hectic split-second timing of a campaign, this is a man who took time out to sit beside an old friend who was dying of cancer. His campaign managers were understandably impatient, but he said, "There aren't many left who care what happens to her. I'd like her to know I care." This is a man who said to his 19-year-old son, "There is no foundation like the rock of honesty and fairness, and when you begin to build your life on that rock, with the cement of the faith in God that you have, then you have a real start." This is not a man who could carelessly send other people's sons to war. And that is the issue of this campaign that makes all the other problems I've discussed academic, unless we realize we're in a war that must be won.



Those who would trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state have told us they have a utopian solution of peace without victory. They call their policy "accommodation." And they say if we'll only avoid any direct confrontation with the enemy, he'll forget his evil ways and learn to love us. All who oppose them are indicted as warmongers. They say we offer simple answers to complex problems. Well, perhaps there is a simple answer -- not an easy answer -- but simple: If you and I have the courage to tell our elected officials that we want our national policy based on what we know in our hearts is morally right.

We cannot buy our security, our freedom from the threat of the bomb by committing an immorality so great as saying to a billion human beings now enslaved behind the Iron Curtain, "Give up your dreams of freedom because to save our own skins, we're willing to make a deal with your slave masters." Alexander Hamilton said, "A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one." Now let's set the record straight. There's no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there's only one guaranteed way you can have peace -- and you can have it in the next second -- surrender.

Admittedly, there's a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson of history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face -- that their policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight or surrender. If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, eventually we have to face the final demand -- the ultimatum. And what then -- when Nikita Khrushchev has told his people he knows what our answer will be? He has told them that we're retreating under the pressure of the Cold War, and someday when the time comes to deliver the final ultimatum, our surrender will be voluntary, because by that time we will have been weakened from within spiritually, morally, and economically. He believes this because from our side he's heard voices pleading for "peace at any price" or "better Red than dead," or as one commentator put it, he'd rather "live on his knees than die on his feet." And therein lies the road to war, because those voices don't speak for the rest of us.

You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin -- just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard 'round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn't die in vain. Where, then, is the road to peace? Well it's a simple answer after all.

You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, "There is a price we will not pay." "There is a point beyond which they must not advance." And this -- this is the meaning in the phrase of Barry Goldwater's "peace through strength." Winston Churchill said, "The destiny of man is not measured by material computations. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we're spirits -- not animals." And he said, "There's something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty."

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.

We'll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we'll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.

We will keep in mind and remember that Barry Goldwater has faith in us. He has faith that you and I have the ability and the dignity and the right to make our own decisions and determine our own destiny.

Thank you very much.
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