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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #250 on: November 10, 2008, 11:50:54 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, March 11, 1790
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« Reply #251 on: November 11, 2008, 09:59:43 AM »

"Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives."

—John Adams, letter to Benjamin Rush, April 18, 1808
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« Reply #252 on: November 12, 2008, 10:35:07 AM »

"It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn."

—George Washington, letter to the Legislature of Pennsylvania, September 5, 1789
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« Reply #253 on: November 12, 2008, 10:54:15 AM »

"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
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #254 on: November 13, 2008, 05:05:55 PM »

"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States."
-Noah Webster

To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.
Richard Henry Lee

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #255 on: November 14, 2008, 10:28:42 AM »

"Patriotism is as much a virtue as justice, and is as necessary for the support of societies as natural affection is for the support of families."

—Benjamin Rush, letter to His Fellow Countrymen: On Patriotism, October 20, 1773
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« Reply #256 on: November 14, 2008, 12:16:42 PM »

I support PatriotPost and hope you will too:
==============

Our sacred honor ... to support and defend
By Mark Alexander

In 1776, an extraordinary group of men signed a document that affirmed their God-given right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." By attaching their signatures to our great Declaration of Independence, they, in effect, were signing their potential death warrants.

Indeed, the last line of our Declaration reads, "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."

Many of these men, and many of their countrymen, the first generation of American Patriots, would die fighting for American liberty.

A decade later, their liberty having been won at great cost, our Founders further codified their independence and interdependence by instituting yet another historic document, our Constitution.

The Constitution specifies in Article VI, clause 3:

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution..."

Bound by Oath to support...

The Constitution also prescribes the following oath to be taken by the president-elect: "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Preserve, protect and defend...

Commissioned and enlisted military personnel are also required by statute to "solemnly swear, that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same...", though the officer's oath doesn't include any provision that they obey orders.

Against all enemies, foreign and domestic...

Notably, all these oaths mandate the preservation, protection, support and defense of our Constitution as ratified, not the so-called "living constitution" as amended by judicial activists populating what Thomas Jefferson predicted would become "the despotic branch."

While uniformed Americans serving our nation defend our Constitution with their lives, most elected officials debase it with all manner of extra-constitutional empowerment of the central government, not the least of which is the forced redistribution of income to benefit their constituency groups which, in turn, dutifully re-elect them.

Military service personnel who violate the Constitution are remanded for courts-martial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, while politicians who violate the Constitution are remanded for -- re-election.

On that note, the latest crop of Leftists on their way to Washington under the supervision of President-elect Barack Obama are destined to make a greater mockery of our Constitution than any administration in history. Clearly, Obama and his ilk have no history of honoring, or intention to honor, their oaths and, in fact, have no context for such honor.

A small cadre of liberals who believe themselves to be "patriots" have asked, "Can't I be a bona fide Patriot and support Barack Obama?"

In a word ... NO, unless in a state of solemn repentance.

In the spirit of charity, perhaps Obama supporters, who self-identify as patriots, are just grossly misinformed about our Constitution, our history and their own civic duty. Of course, they would likewise be grossly deluded about their identity, but perhaps the delusion is temporary.

I would suggest that Obama "patriots" are nothing more than "sunshine patriots," as Thomas Paine wrote, who "will in crisis, shrink from the service of his country."

At its core, the word "patriot" has direct lineage to those who fought for American independence and established our constitutional republic. That lineage has descended most directly through our history with those who have been entrusted "to support and defend" our Constitution -- more specifically, those who have been faithful to, and have abided by, that oath. As previously noted, by "our Constitution," I am referring to the United States Constitution, not the adulterated vestigial remains that liberals call "the living constitution."

I have taken oaths five times in the service of our country. But I did not have to take any oath to understand my obligations as a citizen "to support and defend" our Constitution.

So, does the title of "Patriot" apply to an individual who votes for a man who has not honored his public oaths of office previously, and has given no indication he intends to "bear true faith and allegiance to the same" as president -- a man who subscribes to the errant notion of a "living constitution" which, in his own words, "breaks free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution"?

No authentic Patriot would support those who violate their sacred oaths.

Unfortunately, in this most recent election, we saw even a handful of flag-rank military officers who have no more reverence for their oaths than Obama. However, they are the exception, not the rule.

Obama's mantra, "change," is a euphemism for constitutional abrogation -- an incremental encroachment on liberty until, at last, liberty is lost.

Our nation's second president, John Adams, warned, "A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever."

As for Obama's deception about his own patriotic pedigree, I commend the words of our nation's first president, George Washington: "Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism. ...[W]here is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation deserts the oaths...?"

Regarding the Presidential Oath of Office, Justice Joseph Story wrote: "[T]he duty imposed upon him to take care, that the laws be faithfully executed, follows out the strong injunctions of his oath of office, that he will 'preserve, protect, and defend the constitution.' The great object of the executive department is to accomplish this purpose." He wrote further that if the president does not honor his oath, his office "will be utterly worthless for ... the protection of rights; for the happiness, or good order, or safety of the people."

Of course, Barack Obama proposes to further constrain the rights of the people by advancing centralized government control of the economy by way of regulation and forced income redistribution, all in the name of "happiness, good order, and safety of the people," but in direct violation of his oath.

Quote of the week
"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." --Ronald Reagan

Legacy of the American Revolution
"It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn." --George Washington

Fellow Patriots, our 2008 Annual Fund campaign is under way. We raise almost 60 percent of our budget in the last two months of each year.

As you know, The Patriot is not sustained by any political, special interest or parent organization. Nor do we accept any online or e-mail advertising. Our operations and mission are funded by -- and depend entirely upon -- the voluntary financial support of American Patriots like YOU!

Thanks to you, our financial partners, The Patriot is now the most widely subscribed and distributed Internet-based conservative political journal. Indeed, your generosity and commitment have made it possible to offer The Patriot without a subscription fee to our military and mission-field readers, as well as collegiate readers -- the young people from whose ranks will come our next generation of leaders. We are also able to authorize the free redistribution and reprinting of our publication through various academic, media and political outlets and forums, thus reaching a very large audience.

"Thanks fellow Patriots for allowing us to reprint your commentary. It is rare, in today's publishing world, to find a first rate resource like The Patriot which permits its original content to be republished without charge. That policy certainly serves your mission, and ours." --State Family Policy Institute

Additionally, your donation will maintain some of the best research and advocacy resources on the Internet: PatriotPost.US, CollegiatePatriot.US, PatriotPetitions.US, Reagan2020.US (the most comprehensive tribute to Ronald Reagan on the Internet), and our Armed Forces outreach service Operation Shield of Strength.

As with other mission-based, donor-supported organizations, we raise most of our budget in the last two months of each year. As of this morning, we still must raise $299,325 before year's end.




If you have not already done so, please take a moment to support The Patriot's 2008 Annual Fund today with a secure online donation -- however large or small. If you prefer to support The Patriot by mail, please use our Donor Support Form.

Every dollar you contribute provides a free subscription for someone serving our nation, or a young person who will fill a family, community and national leadership role in the next generation!

I thank you for the honor and privilege of serving you as editor and publisher of The Patriot Post. On behalf of your Patriot Staff and National Advisory Committee, thank you and God bless you and your family.

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus, et Fidelis!
Mark Alexander
Publisher
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #257 on: November 17, 2008, 10:25:11 AM »

"No country upon earth ever had it more in its power to attain these blessings than United America. Wondrously strange, then, and much to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means and to depart from the road which Providence has pointed us to so plainly; I cannot believe it will ever come to pass."

—George Washington, letter to Benjamin Lincoln, June 29, 1788
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #258 on: November 18, 2008, 09:11:22 AM »

"The constitution of the United States is to receive a reasonable interpretation of its language, and its powers, keeping in view the objects and purposes, for which those powers were conferred. By a reasonable interpretation, we mean, that in case the words are susceptible of two different senses, the one strict, the other more enlarged, that should be adopted, which is most consonant with the apparent objects and intent of the Constitution."

—Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833
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« Reply #259 on: November 19, 2008, 07:49:26 AM »

"It is of great importance to set a resolution, not to be shaken, never to tell an untruth. There is no vice so mean, so pitiful, so contemptible; and he who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good disposition."

—Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August, 19 1785
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« Reply #260 on: November 20, 2008, 10:54:53 AM »

"It should be your care, therefore, and mine, to elevate the minds of our children and exalt their courage; to accelerate and animate their industry and activity; to excite in them an habitual contempt of meanness, abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity, and an ambition to excel in every capacity, faculty, and virtue. If we suffer their minds to grovel and creep in infancy, they will grovel all their lives."

—John Adams, Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, 1756
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« Reply #261 on: November 21, 2008, 07:43:59 AM »

"The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained."

—George Washington, First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789
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« Reply #262 on: November 24, 2008, 11:05:54 AM »

"The Hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations."

—George Washington, letter to Thomas Nelson, August 20, 1778
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« Reply #263 on: November 25, 2008, 07:46:38 AM »

'The Patriarch of Liberty'
Restoring Sam Adams to his rightful place among the founders

Michael C. Moynihan | November 25, 2008

When John Adams traveled to France in 1779 to confer with America's Revolutionary War allies, Parisians lamented that they would not be playing host to "the famous Adams." That title was reserved for the future president's cousin, the muckraking journalist turned zealous revolutionary, Samuel Adams.

So it is odd, then, that this Zelig of independence, present at virtually every revolutionary convulsion of early America, is now remembered mostly for lending his name to a popular brand of beer. As Ira Stoll observes in Samuel Adams: A Life, his engaging and hagiographic biography of this forgotten founding father, a name once synonymous with the American independence movement was "lost in the attic of history."

This is unfortunate, says Stoll, the former managing editor of The New York Sun, because it was Adams who acted as the "moral conscience of the American Revolution." Indeed, it was Adams who helped precipitate the revolutionary unrest, skillfully whipping up public sentiment against British attempts to tax his fellow colonists without allowing them parliamentary representation and, through his pseudonymous newspaper column, inflaming public passions following the Boston Massacre.

Adams was an early and unwavering supporter of separation from Britain, and totally uninterested in compromise or reconciliation with America's imperial masters. When King George III asked Thomas Hutchinson, the former colonial governor of Massachusetts, to provide intelligence on the situation in America, he singled out Adams as "the first that publically asserted the independency of the colonies." As a measure of Adams influence, Stoll points out that when England proffered a pardon for all citizens engaged in revolutionary activity in exchange for a cessation of violence, the only two Bostonians exempted from the deal were Adams and his friend John Hancock.

But Adams was not merely an agitator of mobs. The Massachusetts constitution (1779), which Adams "patiently navigated .ñ.ñ. through revision after revision, and then to ratification," enumerated the "natural, essential and unalienable rights" of "all men." And as Stoll notes, it not only provided the foundation upon which the federal constitution was built, but was later cited when state courts abolished slavery and legalized same-sex marriage.

Stoll argues that, for a man of his times, Adams possessed enlightened, if imperfect, views of slavery and religious liberty (excepting his fanatical anti-Catholicism), and understood that the foundation of a free society was the constitutional guarantee of private property rights. "Property rights, after all," Stoll writes, "were one of Adams's main arguments against taxation by the British." It was the one issue he stressed "almost as much as religious rights in arguing against Britain's treatment of the colonies."

But Christianity was the dominant theme of his writing. He argued strenuously that liberty and religion were inextricably linked, commenting that "whether America shall long preserve her freedom or not, will depend on her virtue" because once Americans "lose their virtue they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader."

But he could also be a moral scold; at times sounding like a proto-social conservative. Adams stridently campaigned against "theatrical entertainments," inveighing against the supposedly deleterious effects of horse racing, theater-going, dancing, card playing and salty language. The curbing of such "idle amusements" was necessary, he believed, to restore virtue and to preserve revolutionary gains.

Stoll offers not only a compelling portrait of an overlooked figure, but a crisp intellectual history of the American Revolution and its main players. And he reminds readers that it was John Adams who remarked upon his cousin's death that "Without the character of Samuel Adams, the true history of the American Revolution can never be written." With Samuel Adams: A Life, Stoll has succeeded in returning the man Thomas Jefferson called "the patriarch of liberty" to his proper place in the pantheon of great revolutionaries.

Michael C. Moynihan is an associate editor at reason. This article originally appeared at The New York Post.

http://www.reason.com/news/show/130256.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #264 on: November 25, 2008, 08:28:30 AM »

Nice find.
==========

"I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that 'all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.' To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of  Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, not longer susceptible of any definition."

—Thomas Jefferson (Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank, 15 February 1791)
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #265 on: December 02, 2008, 08:46:23 AM »

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." --Thomas Jefferson
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"I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that 'all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.' To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of  Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, not longer susceptible of any definition."

—Thomas Jefferson (Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank, 15 February 1791)

======

"It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage, and such only, as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe."

–James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance, 1785
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"Go on, then, in your generous enterprise with gratitude to Heaven for past success, and confidence of it in the future. For my own part, I ask no greater blessing than to share with you the common danger and common glory ... that these American States may never cease to be free and independent." --Samuel Adams

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Pilgrims Regress
By Mark Alexander

In the aftermath of a momentous election, an election sure to change the course of our nation, it is tempting to despair. On this Thanksgiving, though, let us resist that powerful temptation and instead take stock of the blessings of liberty.

President Ronald Reagan often cited the Pilgrims who celebrated the first Thanksgiving as our forebears who charted the path of American freedom. He made frequent reference to John Winthrop's "shining city upon a hill."

As Reagan explained, "The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we'd call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free."

Who were these "freedom men," and how did they eventually blaze the path of true liberty? They were Calvinist Protestants who rejected the institutional Church of England, believing that worshipping God must originate freely in the individual soul, without coercion. Suffering persecution and imprisonment in England for their beliefs, a group of these separatists fled to Holland in 1608. There, they found spiritual liberty in the midst of a disjointed economy that failed to provide adequate compensation for their labors, and a dissolute, degraded, corrupt culture that tempted their children to stray from faith.

Determined to protect their families from such spiritual and cultural dangers, the Pilgrims left Plymouth, England, on 6 September 1620, sailing for a new world that offered the promise of both civil and religious liberty. After an arduous journey, they dropped anchor off the coast of what is now Massachusetts.

On 11 December 1620, prior to disembarking at Plymouth Rock, they signed the Mayflower Compact, America's original document of civil government. It was the first to introduce self-government, and the foundation on which the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were built. Governor William Bradford described the Compact as "a combination ... that when they came a shore they would use their owne libertie; for none had power to command them."

Upon landing, the Pilgrims conducted a prayer service and quickly turned to building shelters. Under harrowing conditions, the colonists persisted through prayer and hard work, reaping a bountiful summer harvest. But their material prosperity soon evaporated, for the Pilgrims had erred in acquiescing to their European investors' demands for a financial arrangement holding all crops and property in common, in order to return an agreed-to half to their overseas backers.

By 1623, however, Plymouth Colony was near failure as a result of famine, blight and drought, as well as excessive taxation and what amounted to forced collectivization.

In desperation, the Pilgrims set a day for prayers of repentance; God answered, delivering a gentle rainfall by evening. Bradford's diary recounts how the colonists repented in action: "At length, after much debate of things, the Governor (with the advice of the chiefest amongst them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to go in the general way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number."

Property ownership and families freely laboring on their own behalf replaced the "common store," but only after their ill-advised experiment with communism nearly wiped out the entire settlement.

In their simple representative government, born out of dedication to religious freedom, the Pilgrims replaced the rule of men -- with its arbitrary justice administered capriciously at the whim of rulers who favor some at the expense of others -- with the rule of law, treating individuals equally. Yet even these "freedom men" strayed under straits. So could we, if we revert to materialistic government reliance instead of grateful obedience to God. Sadly, we're a long way down that path already.

Closing his farewell address in 1989, Ronald Reagan asked, "And how stands the city on this winter night?" Contemplating our blessings of liberty this Thanksgiving, nearly 20 years after President Reagan left office and 20 generations past the Pilgrims' experience, how stands the city on our watch?

===========

"It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors."

–George Washington, Thanksgiving Proclamation, 3 October 1789

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"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever."

--Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 18, 1781

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"Human nature itself is evermore an advocate for liberty. There is also in human nature a resentment of injury, and indignation against wrong. A love of truth and a veneration of virtue. These amiable passions, are the "latent spark"... If the people are capable of understanding, seeing and feeling the differences between true and false, right and wrong, virtue and vice, to what better principle can the friends of mankind apply than to the sense of this difference?"

--John Adams, the Novanglus, 1775
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"Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread." --Thomas Jefferson
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"The good Education of Youth has been esteemed by wise Men in all Ages, as the surest Foundation of the Happiness both of private Families and of Common-wealths. Almost all Governments have therefore made it a principal Object of their Attention, to establish and endow with proper Revenues, such Seminaries of Learning, as might supply the succeeding Age with Men qualified to serve the Publick with Honour to themselves, and to their Country."

--Benjamin Franklin, Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania, 1749
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #266 on: December 03, 2008, 06:59:43 AM »

"To cherish and stimulate the activity of the human mind, by multiplying the objects of enterprise, is not among the least considerable of the expedients, by which the wealth of a nation may be promoted."

--Alexander Hamilton, Report on Manufactures, December, 1791
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« Reply #267 on: December 03, 2008, 10:17:42 AM »

"I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection." --Thomas Paine
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« Reply #268 on: December 04, 2008, 11:02:06 AM »


"But with respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age, or within the term of 19 years."

--Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, 6 September 1789
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« Reply #269 on: December 04, 2008, 03:25:27 PM »

Reposting SB Mig's post on the Books thread:

The Trouble With Thomas Jefferson
The eloquent Founder's original sin

Damon W. Root | January 2009 Print Edition

The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family, by Annette Gordon-Reed, New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 800 pages, $35

In 1775 the English essayist and lexicographer Samuel Johnson wrote a spirited political pamphlet titled Taxation No Tyranny. His subject was the loud and increasingly aggressive rhetoric coming from the American colonies, where criticism of British economic policy was giving way to calls for popular revolution. “How is it,” Johnson retorted, “that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of Negroes?”

It’s still a good question. Perhaps no one illustrates the paradox better than Thomas Jefferson. The celebrated author of the Declaration of Independence, which famously declares that “all men are created equal” and are born with the inalienable rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” Jefferson was also a slaveholder, a man whose livelihood was rooted in the subjugation of hundreds of human beings, including members of his wife’s family and his own.

At the center of Jefferson’s tangled, frequently horrifying web of blood and bondage were two women: Elizabeth Hemings and her daughter Sarah, better known as Sally. Elizabeth, the daughter of an African slave and an English sea captain, was the slave mistress of a Virginia slave owner and broker named John Wayles. Sally Hemings was the youngest of their six children. Wayles also had children from his three marriages, including a daughter named Martha. Sally Hemings, in other words, was Martha Wayles’ half-sister. At her father’s death in 1773, Martha inherited his human property, including Elizabeth and Sally Hemings. In 1772 Martha married Thomas Jefferson. Thus the Hemingses came to Monticello.

In 1782 Martha died from complications after giving birth to her sixth child with Jefferson. Among those with him at her deathbed were Elizabeth and Sally Hemings, who then was 9 years old. Edmund Bacon, one of Jefferson’s overseers at Monticello, reported that as Martha lay dying she asked her husband not to remarry. “Holding her hand, Mr. Jefferson promised her solemnly that he would never marry again,” Bacon recalled. “And he never did.”

That doesn’t mean Jefferson became celibate. In 1789, while serving as U.S. envoy in Paris, he almost certainly began a four-decade-long relationship with his late wife’s half-sister. (In addition to the oral testimony of numerous Hemings family members, the evidence for their relationship includes DNA tests conducted in 1998 establishing that a Jefferson family male fathered Sally Hemings’ son Eston.) At this point Sally Hemings was 16.

It was an affair the historian Edmund S. Morgan has called a “monogamous spousal relationship.” In her extraordinary new book The Hemingses of Monticello, Annette Gordon-Reed, a professor of history at Rutgers University and a professor of law at New York Law School, uses a more specific term: concubine, which Virginia law defined at the time as a woman living with a man who was not her husband. If Sally Hemings were white, we might describe her relationship with Jefferson as a common-law marriage. But as Gordon-Reed reminds us, “Any black woman who lived with a white man could only have been his concubine. It was legally impossible to be anything else.”

This relationship apparently lasted until Jefferson’s death in 1826, by which time Hemings had given birth to seven of his children, four of whom survived into adulthood. In his will, Jefferson formally emancipated two of them, James Madison Hemings and Thomas Eston Hemings. The other two, William Beverly Hemings and Harriet Hemings, simply left Monticello on their own in the early 1820s to live—“pass”—as white. (All three males, it’s worth noting, were named after men Jefferson knew or admired, a common practice among Virginia’s planter elites.) Eight years after Jefferson’s death, his daughter Martha Randolph quietly freed Sally Hemings, who was then 53 years old. Why didn’t Jefferson emancipate her too? “Formally freeing Hemings,” Gordon-Reed observes, “while also emancipating two people obviously young enough to be their children, would have told the story of his life over the past thirty-eight years quite well.”

Among the many achievements of Gordon-Reed’s compelling, if slightly repetitive, book is her vivid illumination of these previously hidden lives. She persuasively argues that Hemings exacted a promise from Jefferson that proved no less momentous than the one he had granted his dying wife. In essence, 16-year-old Hemings, who was pregnant with Jefferson’s child and working as his domestic “servant” in Paris, chose to return to America with him, rather than remain in France, where she could have formally received her freedom. (By law any slave that set foot on French soil was automatically free.) She did so because Jefferson promised to emancipate her children when they became adults—a promise he kept. In exchange, she lived as his concubine. “Like other enslaved people when the all too rare chance presented itself,” Gordon-Reed writes, “Hemings seized her moment and used the knowledge of her rights to make a decision based upon what she thought was best for her as a woman, family member, and a potential mother in her specific circumstances.”

Jefferson apparently cared for Sally Hemings and their children, and he clearly treated members of her family (some of who were also his deceased wife’s family) with much consideration. Elizabeth Hemings, for instance, became something of a revered matriarch. Her sons Robert and James (brothers to Sally Hemings and Martha Jefferson) received instruction in the skilled trades of barbering and cooking, respectively.

Both were permitted to work for private wages, and both enjoyed relative freedom of movement outside of Monticello—so long as they came running at their master’s command, of course. “Despite their status on the law books,” Gordon-Reed writes, “Jefferson treated them, to a degree, as if they were lower-class white males.” Eventually, Jefferson freed them both.

But let’s not draw too rosy a picture. As part of the marriage settlement for his sister Anna, Jefferson handed over the slave Nancy Hemings (another of Elizabeth Hemings’ offspring, though not by John Wayles) and her two children. When Anna’s husband decided to sell these three slaves, Nancy Hemings implored Jefferson to buy them back so they could remain together as a family. Jefferson bought Nancy, an expert weaver, and her young daughter, but refused to buy her son. The family was split apart. “No matter how ‘close’ the Hemingses were to Jefferson, no matter that he viewed some of them in a different light and did not subject them to certain hardships,” Gordon-Reed writes, “their family remained a commodity that could be sold or exchanged at his will.”

Which brings us back to Samuel Johnson and his quip about slaveholders yelping for liberty. Does the fact that Thomas Jefferson owned slaves—probably including his own children—negate the wonderful things he wrote about inalienable rights in the Declaration of Independence? To put it another way, why should anyone listen to what Master Jefferson (or other slaveholding Founders) had to say about liberty and equality?

It’s important to remember that the idea of inalienable rights didn’t start or stop in the year 1776. The historian Gordon S. Wood, in his superb 1991 book The Radicalism of the American Revolution, argues that “to focus, as we are apt to do, on what the Revolution did not accomplish—highlighting and lamenting its failure to abolish slavery and change fundamentally the lot of women—is to miss the great significance of what it did accomplish.” In Wood’s view, by destroying monarchical rule and replacing it with republicanism, the American revolutionaries “made possible the anti-slavery and women’s rights movements of the nineteenth century and in fact all our current egalitarian thinking.” They upended “their societies as well as their governments…only they did not know—they could scarcely have imagined—how much of their society they would change.”

As evidence, consider two very different figures whose lives intersected with slavery in the 19th century: the abolitionist Frederick Douglass and the pro-slavery politician John C. Calhoun. An escaped slave and self-taught author and orator, Douglass understood better than most just how potent the Declaration’s promise of inalienable rights could be. “Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? That he is the rightful owner of his own body?” Douglass would demand of his mostly white audiences. “There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven that does not know that slavery is wrong for him.”

Calhoun, by contrast, believed the Declaration’s assertion that “all men are created equal” was “the most dangerous of all political error.” As he put it in an 1848 speech, “For a long time it lay dormant; but in the process of time it began to germinate, and produce its poisonous fruits.” This false notion of equality, Calhoun continued, “had strong hold on the mind of Mr. Jefferson…which caused him to take an utterly false view of the subordinate relation of the black to the white race in the South; and to hold, in consequence, that the former, though utterly unqualified to possess liberty, were as fully entitled to both liberty and equality as the latter.”

Think about what Calhoun is saying here. The idea that “all men are created equal” has slowly developed in the American consciousness, producing the “poisonous fruits” of the anti-slavery movement. Jefferson may or may not have intended such an outcome; he certainly did little actively to bring it about, though he did denounce slavery and its brutalizing impact on white society. But the libertarian ideas that inspired Jefferson, the ones coursing through the Declaration of Independence and later through the Constitution, nonetheless did bring it about. Douglass welcomed that result; Calhoun despised it.

That’s why Jefferson’s words matter. In spite of his despicable actions, he gave eloquent and resounding voice to the ideas that have been at the forefront of human liberty for hundreds of years. That members of the Hemings family may have heard such rhetoric while they lived in bondage further highlights the tragedy of their terrible situation. Thanks to Annette Gordon-Reed, these forgotten and silent individuals at least have the opportunity to register their own verdicts on this shameful period.

Damon W. Root is an associate editor of reason.
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« Reply #270 on: December 05, 2008, 12:07:59 PM »

"There is not a more important and fundamental principle in legislation, than that the ways and means ought always to face the public engagements; that our appropriations should ever go hand in hand with our promises. To say that the United States should be answerable for twenty-five millions of dollars without knowing whether the ways and means can be provided, and without knowing whether those who are to succeed us will think with us on the subject, would be rash and unjustifiable. Sir, in my opinion, it would be hazarding the public faith in a manner contrary to every idea of prudence."

--James Madison, Speech in Congress, 22 April 1790

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

Friday Digest — Vol. 08 No. 49
5 December 2008

THE FOUNDATION
"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

PATRIOT PERSPECTIVE
Stupid is as stupid does
By Mark Alexander

After the most recent presidential election, when, as you may recall, our once great nation exposed its collective flank -- unmitigated ignorance -- to the world, a reputable pollster, John Zogby, endeavored to determine how 66 million of us could be so profoundly stupid.

 We reported his findings in our "Non Compos Mentis" section two weeks ago, including, for example, that 56.1 percent of Obama supporters did not know his political career was launched by two former terrorists from the Weather Underground; that 57 percent did not know which political party controlled congress; that 72 percent did not know Joe Biden withdrew from a previous presidential campaign because of plagiarism in law school; and that 87 percent thought Sarah Palin said she could "see Russia from my house," even though that was "Saturday Night Live" comedian Tina Fey in a parody of Palin.

The Zogby polling was designed to determine how much influence the media had on shaping public opinion, and, thus, the outcome of the election. Of course, establishing that the political landscape would look very different if the media were neutral is filed under "keen sense of the obvious."

However, a report issued last week by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute is more relevant to understanding why Barack Obama received so much support from those between 18 and 30 years of age -- support that put him over the top.

For the last two years, ISI has assessed the civil literacy of young people at American colleges and universities, testing both students and faculty. The civics test included a cross section of multiple-choice questions about our system of government, history and free enterprise -- questions to assess the knowledge that all Americans should possess in order to understand their civic responsibility and make informed decisions in matters such as elections.

More than 14,000 freshmen and seniors at 50 schools nationwide were given the 60-question exam. More than 50 percent of freshmen and 54 percent of seniors failed the test. (So they get dumber?)

This year, ISI went beyond the "institutions of higher learning" to assess civic literacy across demographic groups. The 2008 civics quiz asked similar questions to those asked to college and university students in previous years, but also included questions about civic participation and policy issues. The results were then subjected to multivariate regression analysis in order to determine if college and university graduates had a higher civic IQ than the rest of society.

As you might expect, 71 percent of Americans failed the test, with an average score of 49. Educators did not fare much better, scoring an average of 55 percent. As the researchers noted, "Fewer than half of all Americans can name all three branches of government, a minimal requirement for understanding America's constitutional system."

College grads flunked, answering 57 percent of the questions correctly, compared to 44 percent for high school grads.

Less than 24 percent of those with college degrees knew that the First Amendment prohibits establishing an official religion for the United States. Further, only 54 percent can correctly identify the basic tenets of the free enterprise system.

Would you be shocked to know that elected officials have a lower civic IQ than the public they ostensibly serve? Indeed, these paragons of representative government answered just 44 percent of the questions correctly. Almost a third of elected officials could not identify "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" as the inalienable rights in our Declaration of Independence.

Our Founders, those venerable Patriots who signed our Declaration of Independence and codified the liberty that is declared in our Constitution, understood that liberty could not long survive an epidemic of ignorance.

According to George Washington: "The best means of forming a manly, virtuous, and happy people will be found in the right education of youth. Without this foundation, every other means, in my opinion, must fail."

John Adams wrote: "Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right, from the frame of their nature, to knowledge, as their great Creator, who does nothing in vain, has given them understandings, and a desire to know; but besides this, they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge; I mean, of the characters and conduct of their rulers. ... Wisdom and knowledge, as well as virtue, diffused generally among the body of the people, being necessary for the preservation of their rights and liberties..."

Thomas Jefferson insisted: "Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. ... If a nation expects to be ignorant -- and free -- in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."

James Madison agreed: "A people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives. ... What spectacle can be more edifying or more seasonable, than that of Liberty and Learning, each leaning on the other for their mutual & surest support?"

Today, however, it would seem that ignorance is not only blissful but virtuous.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2008, 01:28:18 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #271 on: December 05, 2008, 03:01:31 PM »

I would like to thank everyone who posts here.  This is one of my favorite threads and I look forward to the new posts.  Thank you for your efforts.
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« Reply #272 on: December 05, 2008, 05:24:04 PM »

RHL is my favorite Antifederalist, and one of the fellas who argued against a "select militia," favoring one formed of "the whole of the yeomanry" instead. This latter point is important as those who would disappear the Second Amendment by claiming its protections have devolved to the National Guard are ignoring the "select militia"--meaning a militia comprised of specifically appointed or empowered people rather that the citizenry as a whole--fears the Antifederalists not only clearly expressed but used to buttress arguments for a Bill of Rights.

Some Richard Henry Lee quotes follow:

A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves... and include all men capable of bearing arms. . . To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms... The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle.
Richard Henry Lee, Additional Letters From The Federal Farmer, 1788, at 169

No free government was ever founded, or ever preserved its liberty, without uniting the characters of the citizen and soldier in those destined for the defense of the state...such area well-regulated militia, composed of the freeholders, citizen and husbandman, who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen.
Richard Henry Lee, State Gazette (Charleston), September 8, 1788

To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them...
Richard Henry Lee, 1788, Additional Letters From The Federal Farmer 53, 1788

To say that a bad government must be established for fear of anarchy is really saying that we should kill ourselves for fear of dying.

The constitution ought to secure a genuine militia and guard against a select militia... all regulations tending to render this general militia useless and defenseless, by establishing select corps of militia, or distinct bodies of military men, not having permanent interests and attachments to the community ought to be avoided.
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« Reply #273 on: December 06, 2008, 08:14:09 AM »

Freki:

Thank you for your words, words which warm my heart. 

When I first started this thread, the number of "reads-per-post" (which tells me of the interest in a thread) was rather desultory, but over time it has risen to a ratio of over 60 RPP.   This number includes the time when the RPP was lower, so current RPP is even higher than that.

We share a belief in the profound importance of our American creed and the value of doing our part to see that it lives and is transmitted to the current and following generations!

TAC!
Marc
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« Reply #274 on: December 08, 2008, 11:00:13 AM »

"There is not a more important and fundamental principle in legislation, than that the ways and means ought always to face the public engagements; that our appropriations should ever go hand in hand with our promises. To say that the United States should be answerable for twenty-five millions of dollars without knowing whether the ways and means can be provided, and without knowing whether those who are to succeed us will think with us on the subject, would be rash and unjustifiable. Sir, in my opinion, it would be hazarding the public faith in a manner contrary to every idea of prudence."

--James Madison, Speech in Congress, 22 April 1790
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« Reply #275 on: December 09, 2008, 06:22:23 AM »

"The same prudence which in private life would forbid our paying our own money for unexplained projects, forbids it in the dispensation of the public moneys."

--Thomas Jefferson, letter to Shelton Gilliam, 19 June 1808
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« Reply #276 on: December 10, 2008, 08:59:23 AM »

"No pecuniary consideration is more urgent, than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt: on none can delay be more injurious, or an economy of time more valuable."

--George Washington, Message to the House of Representatives, 3 December 1793
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« Reply #277 on: December 11, 2008, 10:41:05 AM »

"No compact among men ... can be pronounced everlasting and inviolable, and if I may so express myself, that no Wall of words, that no mound of parchment can be so formed as to stand against the sweeping torrent of boundless ambition on the one side, aided by the sapping current of corrupted morals on the other."

--George Washington, draft of first Inaugural Address, April 1789
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« Reply #278 on: December 11, 2008, 02:06:27 PM »

 
My Fellow Patriots,

Of the American fight for liberty, George Washington wrote, "Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!" Indeed, it was, and it remains our noble cause. And we know, by virtue of your patronage, that you are standing with us on many frontlines in honor and defense of our nation's proud heritage and legacy of liberty.

Of those unwilling to enlist in this righteous cause, Samuel Adams said, "If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."

However, of those who did enlist, and have in generations since, Adams wrote, "It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men."

Though a minority we may be, we have never wavered in our endeavor to set brushfires of liberty.

From our humble beginnings in 1996, The Patriot Post is now the most widely read conservative political journal on the Internet. We reach millions of readers, and by extension, their families, friends and associates, and we do so at a cost of less than 25 cents per reader per year. Thousands of our readers repost our content on blogs, social networking sites and personal Web sites. High school teachers, and college and university professors use our content to teach their students, and many political and cultural organizations reprint our content in their publications.

On the other hand, the major print media outlets, which have commanded a stranglehold on public opinion for generations, are now suffering unprecedented reader attrition. Liberal standard-bearers like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun and other print dailies are losing ground to the "new media" -- that's us.

The Patriot's Annual Fund is donor supported so we can offer our publication free of charge to thousands of American military personnel, students and those in ministry or other professions with limited financial means.

We hear from these Patriot readers every day, and I would like to share a few of their recent comments:


"I forward The Patriot to all of my military colleagues here at CENTCOM and SOCOM. Many have become subscribers and have thanked me for alerting them to your website. The Patriot is an outstanding resource for right-thinking Patriots." --Macdill AFB

"I am a tenured professor at [a major university] and am teaching an Honors course on our national heritage. The Patriot is a very constructive source for alternative perspective to the liberal tripe that passes as 'intellectual discourse' in academia. Thank you!" --Los Angeles, California

"Patriots, I am a 'house church' coordinator in Beijing. I greatly appreciate The Patriot. Its message of liberty shines like a beacon for all of us here." --Beijing, China

Patriots, this is a call to arms. As we close out our books this year, we still must raise $153,787 in order to meet our budget. Please, support The Patriot's 2008 Annual Fund today, in accordance with your ability. (If you prefer to support us by mail, please use our printable donor form or print the donor information listed below.)




Publishing, like freedom, is not free. We employ editorial and technical managers, numerous part-time feature and content editors, and an indispensable research and analysis team. In addition, our Internet publishing efforts require a sizable investment beyond the human one; this includes robust and powerful hardware, custom software, office space, installations, maintenance and more. We also incur substantial legal, accounting and insurance costs.

Yet, our mission and operations budget is a small fraction of the expenses of other influential conservative organizations, primarily because our dedicated staff members are motivated by mission and not deterred by modest wages. (View our expense graphic here.)

If you have not already done so, please take a moment to support The Patriot today.

I thank you for the honor and privilege of serving you as editor and publisher of The Patriot. On behalf of your Patriot Staff and National Advisory Committee, thank you, and God bless you and your family this Christmas season.

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus, et Fidelis!

Mark Alexander,
Publisher, for the editors and staff

Note: Once your donation has been recorded, your e-mail address is removed from our appeal and update lists. However, when the year-end campaign is complete, we will send you a report.

Donor Guide:
Recommended Operation Support Levels:
Family Defender: $26 (50¢/week)
Frontline Patriot: $39 (75¢/week)
Company Command: $52 ($1/week)

Recommended Mission Support Levels:
Battalion Command: $100
Regiment Command: $250
Division Command: $500
Corps Command: $1,000

Send your contribution to:
The Patriot Annual Fund
PO Box 507
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Please make your check payable to "The Patriot Annual Fund," and please note your e-mail address on the memo line so we can credit your subscriber account, and so our publisher can thank you.

(Please pray on this and every day for our Patriot Armed Forces standing in harm's way around the world in defense of our liberty, and for the families awaiting their safe return.)
 
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« Reply #279 on: December 12, 2008, 11:53:37 AM »

"It is of great importance to set a resolution, not to be shaken, never to tell an untruth. There is no vice so mean, so pitiful, so contemptible; and he who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good disposition."

--Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, 19 August 1785
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« Reply #280 on: December 15, 2008, 10:32:44 AM »

"'Tis well."

--George Washington, last words, 14 December 1799
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« Reply #281 on: December 15, 2008, 12:55:11 PM »

BILL OF RIGHTS ANNIVERSARY
Today, 15 December, is the 217th anniversary of the adoption of the Bill of Rights, the first Ten Amendments to our Constitution, as ratified in 1791.

The Bill of Rights was inspired by three remarkable documents: John Locke's 1689 thesis, Two Treatises of Government, regarding the protection of "property" (in the Latin context, proprius, or one's own "life, liberty and estate"); in part from the Virginia Declaration of Rights authored by George Mason in 1776 as part of that state's Constitution; and, of course, in part from our Declaration of Independence authored by Thomas Jefferson.

Read in context, the Bill of Rights is both an affirmation of innate individual rights and a clear delineation on constraints upon the central government. As oft trampled and abused as the Bill of Rights is, Patriots should remain vigilant in the fight for our rights.
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« Reply #282 on: December 15, 2008, 12:56:22 PM »

Third post of day:

THE GIPPER
"The most dangerous myth is the demagoguery that business can be made to pay a larger share, thus relieving the individual. Politicians preaching this are either deliberately dishonest, or economically illiterate, and either one should scare us. Business doesn't pay taxes, and who better than business to make this message known? Only people pay taxes, and people pay as consumers every tax that is assessed against a business. Begin with the food and fiber raised in the farm, to the ore drilled in a mine, to the oil and gas from out of the ground, whatever it may be -- through the processing, through the manufacturing, on out to the retailer's license. If the tax cannot be included in the price of the product, no one along that line can stay in business." --Ronald Reagan
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« Reply #283 on: December 15, 2008, 08:42:30 PM »

 http://www.librarything.com/thingology/2008/12/libraries-of-early-america-project.php

 If you go the original page it will link to the libraries.
http://www.librarything.com/groups/PLEA

Libraries of Early America: Project Announcement
I've posted the following announcement on several rare book/library/American history listservs this morning as the official rollout of the Libraries of Early America project, an offshoot of the Legacy Libraries effort specifically for libraries created in America before c. 1825. Note: I've "blog-ified" the announcement here by adding additional links.

Have you ever wondered what books Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson had in their personal libraries? How about 18th-century Virginia musician Cuthbert Ogle, or four generations of Mather family members? Or the most active female book collector in Virginia during the colonial/early national period, Lady Jean Skipwith?

A new project will make it possible to search, compare and study these and other Libraries of Early America. Using the book-cataloging website LibraryThing.com, scholars from institutions around the country (including Monticello, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Boston Athenaeum, the Boston Public Library, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the American Philosophical Society and others) have begun the process of creating digital catalogs of early American book collections - the project covers anyone who lived in America and collected primarily before 1825.

Is your institution home to any personal library collections or library inventories/book lists? Have you run across early American library catalogs (manuscript or printed) in the course of your research? We have begun compiling a list of collections to be added and are happy to receive further submissions.

Also, if your institution's holdings include books from any of the personal libraries already completed or underway, we would be very interested to hear of them so that the records can be added to the database. While it will be impossible to catch every single book ever owned or read by these individuals, we intend to make these catalogs as complete as possible, so every title helps.

For more information, links, and so forth, please visit the Libraries of Early America group page. Feel free to ask any questions or offer any suggestions you have on the project, and if you'd like to volunteer, we'd love the assistance.
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« Reply #284 on: December 16, 2008, 05:10:04 AM »

"The virtues of men are of more consequence to society than their abilities; and for this reason, the heart should be cultivated with more assiduity than the head."

--Noah Webster, On the Education of Youth in America, 1788
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« Reply #285 on: December 16, 2008, 07:10:54 AM »

Woof All:

I added to the name of the thread this AM to reflect my sense that there is an American Creed.  It was articulated and defined by our Founding Fathers, but others since then have done so as well.  Its why I quote President Reagan here, and have quoted Martin Luther King here.  Note that the standard non-contemporaries of the FF must meet to belong here on this thread is a very high one indeed!

Before continuing, lets bring some light to the dark side of this.  There ARE certain thoughts and values which are part of being a true American-- and YES I am saying that if you don't, you aren't.  For example, a belief in the pursuit of happiness enabled by freedom of choice, informed by freedom of speech, made real by separation of church and state.  If you don't believe in these things, you are not a true American and if you work against them, you are no friend of mine.

The point however is not to exclude, the point is to find what it is that unites us.

I recognize that I take a risk here-- how rare!  cheesy  Know that I will be fairly ruthless in shutting down any tendencies to drift into the cats and dogs squabbles of the moment--  we look here for the deeper and abiding essence of things.  If the experience shows this to be a mistake, well then I will change my mind and revert the thread to its original definition.

Lets kick things off with something I ran across yesterday:
====================================

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=931696981298d010VgnVCM10000048f3d6a1RCRD
 
The oath of allegiance is:

"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."

In some cases, USCIS allows the oath to be taken without the clauses:

". . .that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by law. . .
=================

I wonder why it is, and whether it is sound, to allow the oath to be taken in less than its entirety , , ,

Marc
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« Reply #286 on: December 19, 2008, 09:48:52 AM »

"Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations."

--George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

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« Reply #287 on: December 24, 2008, 08:39:11 AM »

"I have often expressed my sentiments, that every man, conducting himself as a good citizen, and being accountable to God alone for his religious opinions, ought to be protected in worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience."

--George Washington, letter to the General Committee of the United Baptist Churches in Virginia, May 1789
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« Reply #288 on: December 25, 2008, 06:31:57 PM »

"Religion and good morals are the only solid foundation of public liberty and happiness."

--Samuel Adams, letter to John Trumbull, 16 October 1778
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« Reply #289 on: December 26, 2008, 07:00:26 AM »

"The constitution of the United States is to receive a reasonable interpretation of its language, and its powers, keeping in view the objects and purposes, for which those powers were conferred. By a reasonable interpretation, we mean, that in case the words are susceptible of two different senses, the one strict, the other more enlarged, that should be adopted, which is most consonant with the apparent objects and intent of the Constitution."

--Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #290 on: December 29, 2008, 12:16:25 PM »


"We have duties, for the discharge of which we are accountable to our Creator
and benefactor, which no human power can cancel. What those duties are, is
determinable by right reason, which may be, and is called, a well informed
conscience."

--Theophilus Parsons the Essex Result, 1778
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DougMacG
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« Reply #291 on: December 29, 2008, 01:06:56 PM »

I found this critique of Theodore Roosevel trelevant to the topic of the view of the founding fathers (and how we have strayed). 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123033881006136515.html

Theodore Roosevelt Was No Conservative
There's a reason he left the GOP to lead the Progressive Party.

By RONALD J. PESTRITTO

We know that Barack Obama and his allies identify themselves as "progressives," and that they aim to implement the big-government liberalism that originated in America's Progressive Era and was consummated in the New Deal. What remains a mystery is why some conservatives want to claim this progressive identity as their own -- particularly as it was manifested by Theodore Roosevelt.

The fact that conservative politicians such as John McCain and writers like William Kristol and Karl Rove are attracted to our 26th president is strange because, if we want to understand where in the American political tradition the idea of unlimited, redistributive government came from, we need look no further than to Roosevelt and others who shared his outlook.

Progressives of both parties, including Roosevelt, were the original big-government liberals. They understood full well that the greatest obstacle to their schemes of social justice and equality of material condition was the U.S. Constitution as it was originally written and understood: as creating a national government of limited, enumerated powers that was dedicated to securing the individual natural rights of its citizens, especially liberty of contract and private property.

It was the Republican TR, who insisted in his 1910 speech on the "New Nationalism" that there was a "general right of the community to regulate" the earning of income and use of private property "to whatever degree the public welfare may require it." He was at one here with Democrat Woodrow Wilson, who had in 1885 condemned Americans' respect for their Constitution as "blind worship," and suggested that his countrymen dedicate themselves to the Declaration of Independence by leaving out its "preface" -- i.e., the part of it that establishes the protection of equal natural rights as the permanent task of government.

In his "Autobiography," Roosevelt wrote that he "declined to adopt the view that what was imperatively necessary for the nation could not be done by the President unless he could find some specific authorization to do it." The national government, in TR's view, was not one of enumerated powers but of general powers, and the purpose of the Constitution was merely to state the narrow exceptions to that rule.

This is a view of government directly opposed by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 84. Hamilton explains there that the fundamental difference between a republican constitution and a monarchic one is that the latter reserves some liberty for the people by stating specific exceptions to the assumed general power of the crown, whereas the former assumes from the beginning that the power of the people is the general rule, and the power of the government the exception.

TR turns this on its head. In his New Nationalism speech he noted how, in aiming to use state power to bring about economic equality, the government should permit a man to earn and keep his property "only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community." The government itself of course would determine what represented a benefit to the community, and whether society would be better off if an individual's wealth was transferred to somebody else.

We can see the triumph of this outlook in progressive income taxation, which TR trumpeted in his speech (along with progressive estate taxes). We may also see this theory in action when a government seizes private property through eminent domain, transferring it to others in order to generate higher tax revenues -- a practice blessed by the Supreme Court in its notorious Kelo v. New London decision of 2005.

Some conservatives today are misled by the battle between TR and Wilson in the 1912 presidential election. But Wilson implemented most of TR's program once he took office in 1913, including a progressive income tax and the establishment of several regulatory agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #292 on: December 30, 2008, 08:44:31 AM »

The book "Liberal Fascism" (the author's name slips my mind at the moment) discusses TR at some length.  TR was McCain's idol/hero.  After McCain's terrible response to the market meltdown I'm finding it less upsetting that he lost.

Bush, McCain, and BO all were/are Keynesians and with the utter stupidity, vapidity, and disingenuity of how the story of the meltdown is being told (the market did it rolleyes tongue angry angry angry angry) it looks like we are set to repeat the same policy errors of FDR and with the same results of FDR and the Japanese's "lost decades".

Our cultural memory of what this country is about grows dimmer and dimmer.
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« Reply #293 on: December 30, 2008, 09:51:58 AM »

The book "Liberal Fascism" (the author's name slips my mind at the moment) discusses TR at some length. 



Jonathan Goldman, Lucianne's little boy.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #294 on: December 30, 2008, 09:54:51 AM »

Thank you.

Who is Lucianne?

Speaking of the American Creed, here's this:
==============================

By FOUAD AJAMI
The last of Samuel Huntington's books -- "Who Are We? The Challenges to America's National Identity," published four years ago -- may have been his most passionate work. It was like that with the celebrated Harvard political scientist, who died last week at 81. He was a man of diffidence and reserve, yet he was always caught up in the political storms of recent decades.

 
Zina Saunders"This book is shaped by my own identities as a patriot and a scholar," he wrote. "As a patriot I am deeply concerned about the unity and strength of my country as a society based on liberty, equality, law and individual rights." Huntington lived the life of his choice, neither seeking controversies, nor ducking them. "Who Are We?" had the signature of this great scholar -- the bold, sweeping assertions sustained by exacting details, and the engagement with the issues of the time.

He wrote in that book of the "American Creed," and of its erosion among the elites. Its key elements -- the English language, Christianity, religious commitment, English concepts of the rule of law, the responsibility of rulers, and the rights of individuals -- he said are derived from the "distinct Anglo-Protestant culture of the founding settlers of America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries."

Critics who branded the book as a work of undisguised nativism missed an essential point. Huntington observed that his was an "argument for the importance of Anglo-Protestant culture, not for the importance of Anglo-Protestant people." The success of this great republic, he said, had hitherto depended on the willingness of generations of Americans to honor the creed of the founding settlers and to shed their old affinities. But that willingness was being battered by globalization and multiculturalism, and by new waves of immigrants with no deep attachments to America's national identity. "The Stars and Stripes were at half-mast," he wrote in "Who Are We?", "and other flags flew higher on the flagpole of American identities."

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Three possible American futures beckoned, Huntington said: cosmopolitan, imperial and national. In the first, the world remakes America, and globalization and multiculturalism trump national identity. In the second, America remakes the world: Unchallenged by a rival superpower, America would attempt to reshape the world according to its values, taking to other shores its democratic norms and aspirations. In the third, America remains America: It resists the blandishments -- and falseness -- of cosmopolitanism, and reins in the imperial impulse.

Huntington made no secret of his own preference: an American nationalism "devoted to the preservation and enhancement of those qualities that have defined America since its founding." His stark sense of realism had no patience for the globalism of the Clinton era. The culture of "Davos Man" -- named for the watering hole of the global elite -- was disconnected from the call of home and hearth and national soil.

But he looked with a skeptical eye on the American expedition to Iraq, uneasy with those American conservatives who had come to believe in an "imperial" American mission. He foresaw frustration for this drive to democratize other lands. The American people would not sustain this project, he observed, and there was the "paradox of democracy": Democratic experiments often bring in their wake nationalistic populist movements (Latin America) or fundamentalist movements (Muslim countries). The world tempts power, and denies it. It is the Huntingtonian world; no false hopes and no redemption.

In the 1990s, when the Davos crowd and other believers in a borderless world reigned supreme, Huntington crossed over from the academy into global renown, with his "clash of civilizations" thesis. In an article first published in Foreign Affairs in 1993 (then expanded into a book), Huntington foresaw the shape of the post-Cold War world. The war of ideologies would yield to a civilizational struggle of soil and blood. It would be the West versus the eight civilizations dividing the rest -- Latin American, African, Islamic, Sinic, Hindu, Orthodox, Buddhist and Japanese.

In this civilizational struggle, Islam would emerge as the principal challenge to the West. "The relations between Islam and Christianity, both orthodox and Western, have often been stormy. Each has been the other's Other. The 20th-century conflict between liberal democracy and Marxist-Leninism is only a fleeting and superficial historical phenomenon compared to the continuing and deeply conflictual relation between Islam and Christianity."

He had assaulted the zeitgeist of the era. The world took notice, and his book was translated into 39 languages. Critics insisted that men want Sony, not soil. But on 9/11, young Arabs -- 19 of them -- would weigh in. They punctured the illusions of an era, and gave evidence of the truth of Huntington's vision. With his typical precision, he had written of a "youth bulge" unsettling Muslim societies, and young, radicalized Arabs, unhinged by modernity and unable to master it, emerging as the children of this radical age.

In Today's Opinion Journal
 

REVIEW & OUTLOOK

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TODAY'S COLUMNISTS

Global View: Hamas Know One Big Thing
– Bret StephensMain Street: New Jersey Is the Perfect Bad Example
– William McGurn

COMMENTARY

Samuel Huntington's Warning
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– Sally C. PipesThe FDA Is Killing Crohn's Patients
– Gideon J. Sofer
If I may be permitted a personal narrative: In 1993, I had written the lead critique in Foreign Affairs of his thesis. I admired his work but was unconvinced. My faith was invested in the order of states that the West itself built. The ways of the West had become the ways of the world, I argued, and the modernist consensus would hold in key Third-World countries like Egypt, India and Turkey. Fifteen years later, I was given a chance in the pages of The New York Times Book Review to acknowledge that I had erred and that Huntington had been correct all along.

A gracious letter came to me from Nancy Arkelyan Huntington, his wife of 51 years (her Armenian descent an irony lost on those who dubbed him a defender of nativism). He was in ill-health, suffering the aftermath of a small stroke. They were spending the winter at their summer house on Martha's Vineyard. She had read him my essay as he lay in bed. He was pleased with it: "He will be writing you himself shortly." Of course, he did not write, and knowing of his frail state I did not expect him to do so. He had been a source of great wisdom, an exemplar, and it had been an honor to write of him, and to know him in the regrettably small way I did.

We don't have his likes in the academy today. Political science, the field he devoted his working life to, has been in the main commandeered by a new generation. They are "rational choice" people who work with models and numbers and write arid, impenetrable jargon.

More importantly, nowadays in the academy and beyond, the patriotism that marked Samuel Huntington's life and work is derided, and the American Creed he upheld is thought to be the ideology of rubes and simpletons, the affliction of people clinging to old ways. The Davos men have perhaps won. No wonder the sorrow and the concern that ran through the work of Huntington's final years.

Mr. Ajami is professor of Middle East Studies at The Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies. He is also an adjunct research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.

 
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #295 on: December 30, 2008, 10:24:16 AM »

Quote
Who is Lucianne?

She is the federal employee who Monica Lewinsky took her tale of presidential trysts to.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #296 on: December 30, 2008, 10:31:26 AM »

"She is the federal employee who Monica Lewinsky took her tale of presidential trysts to."

"She is the federal employee to whom Monica Lewinsky took her tale of presidential trysts."  wink

I must be slow this morning , , , I am still not understanding. embarassed


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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #297 on: December 30, 2008, 02:20:53 PM »

I mispoke; Lewinsky talked to Linda Tripp, who confided in Goldberg. Per Wikipedia:

Clinton scandal

Goldberg met Linda Tripp in the early part of the Clinton administration while assisting an author writing a book on Vince Foster. Goldberg advised Tripp to record all her (Tripp's) conversations with Monica Lewinsky. [6] In New York, where Goldberg lived, such surreptitious recordings would not have been illegal, but they were illegal in Maryland, where Tripp lived. Goldberg also urged Tripp to take the tapes to Kenneth Starr and brought the tapes to the attention of people working on the Paula Jones case. [7] She started speaking to reporters about the tapes in the fall of 1997, notably to Michael Isikoff of Newsweek.[8]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucianne_Goldberg
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« Reply #298 on: December 31, 2008, 09:55:57 AM »

"The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position."

--George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #299 on: January 01, 2009, 05:56:21 AM »

 
"Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve."

--Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography, 1771
 
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