Sunday, November 29, 2009

Where Have you Gone George Washington

-By Warner Todd Huston

President's Day is coming up in just a few short months, but I don’t celebrate “President’s Day.” I celebrate the presidents individually, not the whole gaggle of them at once. These days, George Washington has been relegated to that “truth telling guy” to be seen on the one dollar bill and on TV commercials at the end of February or that guy lumped in with Lincoln on “President’s Day.” And that is a shame, indeed, for, without George Washington, our presidency and nation might have had a far different attitude.

But, what made Washington such a giant for our times as well as his? For one thing, he knew how to act in public.

Back in the 1700’s

In the year 1759 a man named William Robertson wrote a book called The History of Emperor Charles V, a book some claim was the standard after which modern historical study and writing has come to be patterned. Mr. Robertson, who became Principle of the University of Edinburgh in later years, introduced a salient point into the era of the Scottish Enlightenment. That idea was that "Politeness" in society would result in becoming a civilized nation. And it was a politeness perpetuated and spread through capitalism that was the best avenue to achieving that civilized level.

He wrote "In proportion as commerce made its way into the different countries of Europe they successively ... adopted those manners, which occupy and distinguish polished nations." So, as the theory goes, man by his very nature craves material possession and property. To get that property he must work for it with his best skills. To make use of these skills he must rely on neighbors to get supplies to employ such skills as well as to become customers for his skills. This leads man to act in a solicitous manner of his neighbors so that they will be disposed to employ him and his abilities. This "politeness" employed by the individual inculcates the action in society at large which, in turn, enlarges that field of involved persons to counties and then the country in general, neighboring countries and, ultimately, the world and the governments they create.

Yet, even before the intelligencia of Scotland waxed eloquent on the reasons and why-fors of commerce, civilization, and conduct religions had already realized that such concepts, if only on a personal level, simply made sense. As early as 1559 the French Jesuits has compiled a series of maxims to govern human interaction many based on the Bible’s teachings. These maxims became all the rage in the mid 1600's when they were spread throughout Europe.

So, with the theory of politeness in its various vestiges firmly entrenched in commerce and foreign and interpersonal relations it became obvious that one needed codes of conduct agreed upon by all to govern the rules of the game. This code of conduct became to be known as ethics in business and politics. In personal conduct it became known as etiquette. It is etiquette that underlies political ethics. Without etiquette, ethics struggles to exist. Unfortunately it is etiquette that seems to have died in modern society.


A few months ago I was walking through an itinerant book store, an empty store front temporarily rented by entrepreneurs who have bought returned books or close out books at cut-rate prices to sell cheaply to the public. In the history section I saw there the usual Clinton apologist books and Bush Hatemonger’s screeds that no one wanted, the dry collegiate studies of the fall of the Roman Empire and the coffee table compilation books that have recently fallen out of favor. Suddenly I spied a spare little book edited and commented upon by Richard Bookhiser called Rules of Civility, The 110 Precepts That Guided Our First President In War And Peace. This 90 page hardback book sported the price of only $4.00 so I picked it up.

I took it home and spent the few minutes it took to read the Rules that were said to have governed the life of George Washington and found myself wondering what the heck happened to civility in this country? What happened to the etiquette that, once upon a time, governed civil society?

Washington was the best of both worlds in a revolutionary leader. He was able to lead a rebellion as well as govern the new country after the rebellion succeeded, as Mr. Brookhiser points out in his forward. It was once remarked by a European diplomat's wife that Washington had, "perfect good breeding and a correct knowledge of even the etiquette of a court.” High praise, indeed, from a haughty European in the days when they were so sure the United States of America were doomed to ignominious failure.

Today many of the rules seem archaic as they laid out rules on how to eat in public, When to wear a hat and when not to, the correct posture and the like. But even in these seemingly pointless "rules" one gets the distinct impression that the training to be imparted by these precepts are meant to work from the personal to the interpersonal informing the whole man, not just the public man. A concept we seem to have totally lost in our day of "rights" and desires. We have come to an age where what we "want" supersedes good posture, delicate eating habits and proper dress. We tell ourselves we are more than what we wear or how good our table manners are and so we dispense with such “nonsense.” But is it nonsense? Do we give ourselves short shrift when we ignore such once common ideals of conduct in our arrogance? It might become obvious as we view how people treat each other in public, while we feel the palpable anger in the air as each person seems so sure that they are not getting the "respect" they deserve. But do they treat others with the same respect they are so sure they deserve in return?

As you read further into the rules you'll find a road map to polite social discourse and comportment that you will just know have been lost to society. Here are a few of them for the purpose of comparison to today’s standards:

22) Show not yourself glad at the misfortune of another though he were your enemy ... Be NICE, even when you win.

25) Superfluous compliment and all affectation of ceremony are to be avoided, yet where due they are not neglected ... Real ceremony is a matter of respect not an end in itself, as Mr. Brookhiser notes.

36) Artificers and persons of low degree ought not to use many ceremonies to lords or others of high degree, but respect and highly honor them, and those of high degree ought to treat them with affability and courtesy, without arrogancy .... At first sight this might tend to enrage today’s man yet when you truly look at it this rule commands everyone, both high and low, to treat people with good grace and respect something that seems sorely lacking today.

80) Be not tedious in discourse or in reading unless you find the company pleased therewith ... How many blow-hards do you find droning on about their theories and feelings today?( Hey wait a minute, don’t look at ME!)

81) Be not curious to know the affairs of others, neither approach those that speak in private ... Don't be a nosy gossip. That would erase most of TV and the newspapers report, I would imagine.

84) When your superiors talk to anybody hearken not, neither speak nor laugh ... of course that would presuppose we HAVE superiors these days. It seems everyone assumes that no one is their “better” these days.

89) Speak not of the absent for it is unjust.

109) Let your recreations be manful not sinful.

Naturally these are just a few examples but don't they all ring with a sense of delicacy, justice and common decency? Can you see how social discourse would improve with wide acceptance of such precepts? I would urge each of you to find this book or others like it and read General Washington's maxims. It can do nothing if not improve your life.

Let me close this with the last rule in the series. One that is definitely forgotten these days ...

110) Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.

So, as the new year begins, I want to say Happy birthday, sir, but where have you gone George Washington, indeed?

The price of a constitutionally illiterate electorate

Cross posted at The DaleyGator

Warner Todd Huston lays it out Be sure to read it all. Huston echoes my feelings on this.
The reasons that I could never get elected to any government position is the same reason why conservatives have a tough time getting elected and, if they end up elected, can’t govern in this era of the ill-educated voter. First I’ll lay out my main principles…

Leave me alone

Stop taxing me

Shove your regulations
That’s about it. Though there are complexities and nuance contained in them, these are the main tenets of modern conservatism simply put. And therein lies the problem. How can one get elected when his basic tenets are that government should do less, stay out of our lives, and mostly go unnoticed and unseen? In essence a conservative is saying: “Elect me and I’ll do nothing for you.” It’s a tough message to sell in a day when people have lost touch with the American principles that are contained in those very tenets.

Leave Me Alone

The true conservative American does not want welfare or government involvement in his daily life. A real American wants government to shut up about his kids, his education, his religion and his home and hearth. A real American wants the freedom to make his own way in life, to grab for the brass ring without government holding him back. A true American is a self-reliant, family centric being that simply wants his government to leave him alone. This means that government must also stay out of it when men fail, too, and a good conservative understands this.

Stop Taxing Me

A real American understands that some taxes are necessary but feels that the up to 60 percent of his income (depending on where you live) that is currently stolen by greedy government do-nothings is exorbitant. A true American does not want to pay for illegal aliens to get heart transplants, or mentally disturbed people to get sex changes, or for government to pay for infanticide. A real American also has some trouble seeing his hard earned tax dollars going to third world dictators as “aid.” And a real American really hates it when politicians and government placemen retire at age 50 to live on many times more money in government pensions than anyone in the private sector is ever likely to see. The waste, graft, and corruption in government is something that makes the average American wary of his government but makes a conservative sick to his stomach.

Shove Your Regulations

A true American does not want a government hack coming into his back yard to tell him how to build a shed and then charging him, perhaps, hundreds of dollars, for a “permit” for the privilege of building it. A real conservative has a problem with a government forcing itself on him at every turn charging him fees and licensing costs as he tries to start a business that will feed both his family and his employee’s families. A real conservative knows that NO business is “too big to fail,” nor should any ever be considered so.
These principles essentially mean that conservatives have expectations that the citizen tells government what to do, not the other way around, and that he wants the room to make his own way free from constant interference and nanny state hectoring.
Huston goes on to talk about when America cherished, REALLY, cherished our founding principles, and offers a solution. This blog is all about the things Huston writes about.

Retake the initiative in our schools. Get rid of the anti-American educational establishment. Bust the unions, fire the tenured professors, dump the false doctrines of “wymin’s” studies, stop pretending Marx is a worthy philosopher, and again teach our children why America is a great nation.

We can bring back our American first principles. But it won’t be easy and it won’t be quick. It also won’t happen with electing just one leader. It will take all of us as a movement to effect these changes to return us to our greatness. It will take all of us to defeat the moral relativism so firmly entrenched in our schools. It will take a concerted effort to defeat this anti-Americanism but it can be done.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Your Founding Quote of the Day

Jefferson had dozens of great quotes to choose from, and this particular quote seems very timely to me.

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 preserved 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, no longer susceptible of any definition. The incorporation of a bank, and the powers assumed by this bill (chartering the first Bank of the United States), have not, been delegated to the United States by the Constitution
Oh yes, very timely indeed. As Congress seeks to take over your health care, substitue health care for bank, and.....

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

George Washington's Thanksgiving proclamation

Via Saber Point

Whereas 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 favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness :”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted’ for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have show kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Meet George Mason

George Mason was one of the key voices in the Americam ideal of limited government and individual rights. He has been called the Father of the Second Ammendment, and his greatest contribution was drafting the Virginia Bill of Rights

But the most significant contribution Mason made to the fledgling state government was writing a constitution and bill of rights during a six week period in May and June of 1776. Mason's readings in history had convinced him that "there never was a government over a very extensive country without destroying the liberties of the people," and he sought to remedy that with a declaration of rights. A committee was assigned to do the writing, but except for Madison's insertion of stronger wording on freedom of religion, the words are entirely Mason's. Some of Mason's phrases appear in the U.S. Bill of Rights that passed 15 years later. The idea as well as the wording caught on, and by the end of 1776 five colonies had adopted declarations of rights, and by 1783 every state had some form of a bill of rights.
Mason's hand was clearly the guiding force behind this process. Edmund Pendleton, president of the Virginia Assembly, wrote to Jefferson, who was in Philadelphia working on the Declaration of Independence, that "the political cooks are busy in preparing the dish, and as Colonel Mason seems to have the ascendancy in the great work, I have sanguine hopes it will be framed so as to answer its end."

Edmund Randolph said that of all the plans being discussed, "those proposed by George Mason swallowed up all the rest." Nearly 50 years later, Jefferson added, "the fact is unquestionable that the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of Virginia were drawn originally by George Mason."

The Declaration of Rights was approved by the Assembly on June 12,1776, and 17 days later Mason had a final draft of the state constitution approved by that body. Although he remained in the legislature four more years and influenced nearly all major bills, Mason never made a more important contribution than authoring the first American document that limited the authority of governments and strengthened the rights of individuals.

By 1780, Mason felt the new government was on firm foundation and he could safely leave of fice. In that year, he remarried and retired to Gunston Hall, letting it be known that he would consider any effort to draft him back into the legislature as "an oppressive and unjust invasion of my personal liberty."

But Mason was too respected, important, and opinionated to stay retired. At first, he spoke out from Gunston Hall on certain issues. In particular, he felt that American debts to British merchants should be honored, as the Revolution had not been fought merely to elude creditors.

Since Gunston Hall was located on the road from Richmond to Philadelphia, leaders on the way from one capital to another began to stop and seek Mason's counsel. In 1783, when debate was going on over revising the Articles of Confederation, the wisest minds sought to involve Mason again. Jefferson wrote to Madison asking if he had stopped by Gunston Hall on his way home from the Continental Congress:

"You have seen G. M., I hope, and had much conversation with him. What are his sentiments on the amendment of our constitution? What amendments would he approve? Is he determined to sleep on, or will he rouse and be active?"

Madison replied,

"I took Colonel Mason in my way and had an evening's conversation with him . . . on the article of convention for revising our form of government, he was sound and ripe and I think would not decline participation in such a work."

Shortly afterward, Mason was part of a panel that negotiated a Potomac navigation agreement between Virginia and Maryland, which served as a sign that cooperation between states could be achieved and that Mason was ready to come out of retirement.
Mason was also a key player in drafting the Constitution, although he refused to sign it.

When the Constitutional Convention of 1787 was called, Mason agreed to go to Philadelphia as one of Virginia's delegates. He arrived on May 17, typically the last of his delegation to arrive, and lost no time in complaining. He had been in town less than two weeks when he wrote to his son that he had begun "to grow heartily tired of the etiquette and nonsense so fashionable in this city."

Yet for once Mason was impressed by his peers, writing that "America has certainly, upon this occasion, drawn forth her first characters." He was also impressed by the seriousness of the business at hand, noting that "the eyes of the United States are turned upon this assembly, . . . may God grant that we may be able to gratify them, by establishing a wise and just government."
Throughout the convention, Mason consistently spoke out in favor of the rights of individuals and the states as opposed to the federal government. He spoke out strongly against a 10- mile-square Federal district that ironically came to be located just a few miles from his home. Concerning the proposed District of Columbia, Mason said:

"This ten miles square may set at defiance the laws of the surrounding states and may . . . become the sanctuary of the blackest crimes! Here the federal courts are to sit . . . what sort of jury shall we have within the ten miles square? The immediate creatures of government!"

Mason also spoke out in favor of popular elections, unrestricted admission of new western states, and in favor of a three-part executive. As the summer wore on, compromises were reached on most major issues, but a growing Federalist consensus began to emerge. What finally turned Mason against the proceedings were decisions reached on a bill of rights and on slavery.
Although a lifelong slaveholder, Mason abhorred the institution, feeling that "every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant." He favored abolition as soon as it was economically feasible and wished to halt all future importation of slaves. However, a hasty compromise was worked out permitting the slave trade to continue for another 20 years.

This compromise upset Mason, and he wrote bitterly to Jefferson of
"the precipitate, and not to say indecent, manner in which the business was conducted, during the last week of the Convention, after the patrons of this new plan found they had a decided majority in their favor; which was attained by a compromise between the Eastern and the two Southern states to permit the latter to continue the importation of slaves for twenty odd years; a more favorite object with them than the liberty and happiness of the people."

For Mason, the last straw came on September 12,1787, when his proposal to include a bill of rights in the new Constitution was defeated 10 states to none. Not even Mason's offer to write an immediate version himself was enough to sway the delegates who were impatient to wrap up matters and go home. The convention also voted down Mason's proposal to hold a second convention, and Mason declared he could not support the final version. "Colonel Mason left Philadelphia in an exceeding ill humor indeed," Madison wrote to Jefferson, and Mason was not present when the other delegates signed on September 17.
Instead, Mason was one of the leaders in the fight against ratification of the new Constitution. He composed a three-page list of objections, and, after dutifully forwarding a copy to George Washington, published them in the Pennsylvania Packet on October 4. This publication served as a counter to the Federalist Papers that were written during the ratification fight.

Foremost among Mason's objections was that "there is no Declaration of Rights, and the laws of the general government being paramount to the laws and constitution of the several states, the Declaration of Rights in the separate states are no security." There were several other objections raised as well, but it was the lack of a bill of rights that was seized as a rallying point for the AntiFederalists.

Nine of the 13 states were needed for ratification, and the fight was a heated one in many states. One of the casualties was the friendship of Mason and Washington, as the latter bitterly referred to Mason as his "quondam friend." When the Virginia ratification convention began in June 1788, the AntiFederalist contingent was led by Mason and Patrick Henry. Among the supporters of the Constitution in the Virginia delegation were such luminaries as Madison, George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, John Tyler, Benjamin Harrison, and John Marshall, as well as Washington and Jefferson, who did not attend but were known supporters. After much emotional debate, Virginia ratified the Constitution by an 89-79 vote, four days after New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify.

After this defeat, Mason retired to Gunston Hall for the final time. He turned down a seat in the U.S. Senate, preferring as usual to offer advice from home. James Madison introduced a bill of rights that was essentially based on Mason's to the first session of Congress. Mason commented that "I have received much satisfaction from amendments to the federal Constitution that have lately passed . . . with two or three further amendments . . . I could cheerfully put my hand and heart to the new government."
Mason continued to offer advice to any who would stop by for it. Thomas Jefferson complimented him by saying, "whenever I pass your road I shall do myself the honor of turning into it." Jefferson visited Mason in late September of 1792, and found the Sage of Gunston Hall reconciled with himself on every issue except the slavery compromise. A week later, Mason died peacefully-to the end a man who hated politics but loved liberty.
What an incredible man Mason was, and very concerned with preserving our natural rights. Lord knows we could use men like him today. Men of principles, not politics.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Power to the people? Another Democrat lie

Democrats love to tell us that they are on the side of the working man, and they they are the party of the common folk. It is the Left who always shouts "power to the people!" If all of that rhetoric is accurate then explain why the Democrats are trying to shove a health care bill on us when 56% of the people oppose it.

Fifty-six percent (56%) now oppose President Obama and the Democrats health care reform bills. Thirty-eight percent approve of the legislation. This is the lowest support Rasmussen has recorded for Obamacare. Half of the polling was completed after the Senate vote. The support for health care reform was lower in that sample.
Just 38% of voters now favor the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s the lowest level of support measured for the plan in nearly two dozen tracking polls conducted since June.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% now oppose the plan.

Half the survey was conducted before the Senate voted late Saturday to begin debate on its version of the legislation. Support for the plan was slightly lower in the half of the survey conducted after the Senate vote.

Lower and lower all the time. In fact the more the people know, the less they like it! So, the next time a Democrat tells you that they are fighting for you...........

Cross posted at The DaleyGator

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What can Congress do?

We now know that the Senate will soon vote on a national health care plan. The House has passed their bill, the Senate will begin debate on their bill after the Thanksgiving break.

The most crucial focus of this debate should be simple. Is it constitutional? Yes, it is important to debate the impact on our economy, and our taxes, and on private insurance options. Will it lead to rationing? Will it deny care based on bureaucratic decision makers? Will it increase costs, waiting times, quality of care, etc. I would argue that this bill is disastrous on all of those fronts.

The main thing, though, is that we ought to demand that the Senate examine the constitutionality of such a bill BEFORE anything else. The Founders wrote our Constitution to set barriers that would prevent government from growing too large, and becoming a master of the people, rather than their servant.

I would argue that we are, as a nation, in deep peril because that founding set of rules, the Constitution, is being largely ignored by the Congress. They have forgotten it is there apparently. Certainly, if we are to endure as a nation that honors and protects the liberties our Founders knew we were endowed with, then we must insist that Congress obeys the Constitution. Without the Constitution, we are without hope. If the boundaries our Founders set for governmental power are not respected and followed then each of our liberties will, sooner or later, be sacrificed upon the altar of Statism.

So, what powers does the Constitution grant to Congress? Here is Article I Section 8 of our Constitution.
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

Now, I am sure that Reid and his ilk would tell us that the "general welfare" would include this health care bill. But, what would the Father of the Constitution say? Here are some words from James Madison, whom I dare say knows more about the Constitution than Reid.
With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.
Section 8 of our Constitution lists the various powers of Congress, you may read them at the link, and no, Senator Reid, there is no grounds for the action you are seeking to force upon our nation.

Our Founders were very careful to constrain, through the Constitution, the powers of government, they knew how quickly government would, if left unchecked, devour our natural rights. George Washington spoke of the danger of uncontrolled centralized power

Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.
Washington also made clear where the power should lie.
The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.
Thus it is our scared duty to ensure that Congress obeys the Constituition. If we fail, then our country will fail. Congress though, as well as our president, seems to have forgotten Washington's words. They have embarked on a course to secure all the power in their hands rather than in ours. They have forgotten where the source of our liberty lies. Consider Ben Franklin's words.
Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature
Hmmm, no mention of Congress, or the president there at all is there? Franklin was indeed a wise man. He not only knew the source of liberty, but the dangers of forgetting that source. Jefferson also was a wise man, he understood what could happen should government be unleashed from its constitutional restraints..
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 debt, 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 calling and our creeds...[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers... And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for[ another]... till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery... And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.
When we consider the multitude of new taxes and bureaucracies in the health care bill, we best heed Jefferson's warnings. And we must force our government to heed them as well. Liberty and governmetal power are in a constant struggle, let us resolve to ensure liberty prevails.

Cross-posted at The DaleyGator

Friday, November 20, 2009

More taxes, more government intrusion, less liberty

While looking for a quote today, I ran across these words from Thomas Paine, and immediately thought of all the new taxes contained in the Senate health care bill. All those new, punitive, confiscatory taxes.

Taxes on businesses, taxes on individuals, taxes on health care plans, taxes, and more taxes, all in the name of helping us. Those words from Paine are very telling when we consider the current course the Liberals are on.

Beware the greedy hand of government, thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry.

As I have often said, it is the government that is greedy, not Americans who want lower taxes. It is not greedy to want to keep the fruits of our labors. That is simply the very just desire to exercise one of our natural rights. Our government, which generally seems to demand more and more of OUR money, more and more of the fruits of our labors, never is sated by tax increases is it? No, it wants more, and more. The Senate health care bill is no different, except in its audacity. Rather than taking many small bites out of our wallets and liberties, this bill shows that the great beast is ravenous, and intends to take massive bites. Bites, that we, as a nation, cannot sustain and yet remain free.

The founding quote of the day

George Washington would not be a fan of Sarah Brady and the other anti-gun nuts.

Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence. The church, the plow, the prairie wagon, and citizen's firearms are indelibly related. From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable. Every corner of this land knows firearms, and more than 99 99/100 percent of them by their silence indicate they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference; they deserve a place with all that's good. When firearms go, all goes; we need them every hour.

I need add nothing to his words my friends.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The founding quote of the day

John Hancock may be best known for his signature on our Declaration of Independence, which he made so prominent to assure that it could be seen by King George.

There, I guess King George will be able to read that.

That statement is a great example of the fire and determination the Founders posessed. They risked everything they had to change the course of history. In doing so, they formed a nation that honored liberty. Now, it is our turn. Will we ensure that Pelosi, Obama, Reid and the rest, be able to read OUR signature on American history?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The founding quote of the day

Consider the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin. If there is one thing sorely lacking in out politicians today, it is wisdom. We all understand that freedom of speech, and of thought are on the hit list of the Left. Franklin, understood that liberty needs freedom of thought and of speech, if it is to endure. The Left today, understands that to implement their Marxist- Utopian standards, they must first crush these precious liberties. As you read this quote, understand that the warning Franklin gave us must be heeded.
Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech.
Friends, the left is working to cease thinking and to silence speech they disagree with. They desire ignorant, silent subjects, not liberty-loving Americans. Those who think, become wise, and will never embrace the evil ends of Marxist ideology. Nor will they be silent, or will they submit, or sacrifice their liberties. This is why the Left so desperately wishes to crush our dissent. What is at stake is our liberty, the liberty the Lord blessed us with. To reject that liberty, or to seek to deprive us of it are evil ends, and must never be tolerated!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

High taxes hurt economic opportunity

One of the key differences between Liberals and Conservatives is their tax policies. Liberals will tell you that higher taxes are necessary to help people, and will tell you also that higher taxes only ask the "richest" Americans to pay their "fair share".

Conservatives will tell you that those higher taxes hurt all Americans because they can discourage the richest Americans from investing, starting new businesses, hiring people, giving raises, etc.

So, who is right? Well, let us take a look at something Thomas Jefferson said.
A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement.
Now, it would seem that Jefferson, were he here today, would side with the Conservatives. Less regulation certainly is a Conservative ideal, and you could safely surmise that Jefferson would also agree that lower taxes would be part of leaving Americans free to regulate their own pursuits.

So, let us take Jefferson's words, and the Liberal and Conservative approaches and apply them to a story I found at Hot Air.
You don’t have to be a boxing fan to understand the uppercut that high state taxes gave to an opportunity for a big sports event in New York and New Jersey. Newsday reports on the decision by promoter Bob Arum to pursue a highly-sought bout between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather in Jerry Jones’ new football stadium in Texas instead of Yankee Stadium or the Meadowlands. What KO’d the East Coast? High state taxes:

It appears the Tax Man is about to do to Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. what Oscar de la Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto could not.

Namely, knock both of them out.

Out of New York, that is. And New Jersey, too. …

But last night, Arum dropped the hammer on the fight taking place anywhere east of the Mississippi River.

“No chance,” Arum said. “Nothing would please me more than to have it at Yankee Stadium, but the way the tax structure in New York is set up, it’s impossible.”
The answer is, no state taxes in Texas and a ton of them in New York and New Jersey. According to Arum, the fighters could lose more than $12 million in taxes if the fight takes place in New York and slightly less if it winds up in the Meadowlands.
Arum said that between New York State and city taxes and a tax levied on nonresident independent contractors performing in New York, the fighters - and the promoter - would lose 15 percent of all revenue generated by the bout.
"It's just not economically feasible to do events like that in New York,'' Arum said. "It's ridiculous, really.''

So, the high taxes in the Tri-State area caused the fight, which will have a big economic impact wherever it is held, to move to a location with LOWER TAXES? Hmmm, higher taxes drive a major sporting event from one state to one that is far less punitive financially to those putting it on? I think we can all do the math here can't we? And who gets hurt? Yes, those rich folks like Arum, but also everyone working in the local area hotels, restaurants, bars, etc. Not too mention the loss in sales tax revenue for the cities surrounding this event. Everyone loses with higher taxes, everyone!

Looks like Jefferson was right.

Why does Obama keep bowing?

Hmmm, maybe this explains it?

Your founding quote of the day

Comes to us from Alexander Hamilton. This quote ought to be read to Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and every other senator and representative that voted for the Pelosi health care bill despite the clear wishes of their constituents. This bill, is unconstitutional, there is no place in that document that authorizes Congress to force Americans to buy health insurance. When Pelosi was asked about jailing Americans who refuse to buy insurance, she said it was fair. Earlier, someone asked Pelosi where, in the Constitution, she found the authority to force Americans to purchase insurance. She replied "ridiculous" and refused to answer. The first question, about any legisation ought to be is is constitutional!

No legislative act contrary to the Constitution can be valid. To deny this would be to affirm that the deputy (agent) is greater than his principal; that the servant is above the master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people; that men, acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid. It is not to be supposed that the Constitution could intend to enable the representatives of the people to substitute their will to that of their constituents. A Constitution is, in fact, and must be regarded by judges as fundamental law. If there should happen to be a irreconcilable variance between the two, the Constitution is to be preferred to the statute.

Monday, November 16, 2009

In the Midst of Our Present Turmoil...

What Would Benjamin Franklin Do?

It seems as though modern Conservatives and Republicans are having a difficult time trying to find the limits and scope of our 'big tent.' 'Groping in the dark to find political truth' is nothing new.

In 1887, during the Constitutional Convention, the delegates were having similar disagreements. After several weeks of futile efforts, all hope of progress dimmed. Benjamin Franklin rose to address the Convention and its President, George Washington.
Mr. President:

The small progress we have made after four or five weeks close attendance and continual reasonings with each other-- our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ayes is, methinks, a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the human understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom since we have been running about in search of it...

In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights, to illuminate our understanding? In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we sere sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. To that kind Providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?

I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth-- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, sir, in the Sacred Writing, that "except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel: we shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and byword down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war, and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move-- that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessing on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service.
Franklin was one of the least religious of the Founders, but, nonetheless, this was his recommendation in the midst of turmoil.

What Would James Madison say to today's tax and spend Democrats?

Ah, the "common good" we hear those words, or at least words to that effect from the Democrats in Congress and the Senate. We hear it from our Democratic president too. We also hear a lot about "spreading the wealth". The Democrats claim that it is their duty to use tax dollars to help certain Americans. Of course those tax dollars are not found growing on a Magic Money Tree. No, they come out of every working American's paycheck.

So, how would one of our Founders feel about the government "redistributing our wealth" to make things more fair? Well, we could easily read a quote from James Madison, who is the Father of the Constitution. In other words, if there was one single historical authority to turn to, it would be him no?

OK, so did Madison ever mention Congress spending OUR money? Well yes, look at this nugget.
I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.
How about the man who penned the Declaration of Independence? Thomas Jefferson? How did he feel about taxes, and national debt?
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 debt, 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 calling and our creeds...[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers... And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for[ another]... till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery... And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.
Finally, consdider this quote from Benjamin Franklin. When Democrats begin their talk of spending the tax dollars they demand we pay to help us. Remember that a key element of liberty is being allowed to keep the money we earn. Remember that higher taxes, more government spending and regulation intrude on our abilities to enjoy the fruits of liberty. Remember, this quote when Nancy Pelosi starts telling us all that it is FAIR that Americans who choose not to have health insurance should be fined and even jailed!
Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.
That is the essence of American liberty, and our Constitution! We are not free because Nancy Pelosi, or any politician allows us to be. Freedom is not theirs to give, limit, or to take or regultate! Liberty is the natural state of mankind. The magic of our Founders, and of our Constitution is that they recognized that we are designed, created, with liberties that no man, no government may take away. Our Consitution does not grant any rights or liberties. It protects them. It protects them from the Nancy Pelosi's of this country. Never forget that!

Cross-posted at The DaleyGator

Today's founding quote

Just like yesterday, this comes from James Madison. Remember it the next time someone tries to tell you that America is a Democracy and not a Republic!

"Democracies have ever been

spectacles of turbulence and contention;

have ever been found incompatible

with personal security or the rights of property;

and have in general been as short in their lives
as they have been violent in their death."

Sunday, November 15, 2009


A fantastic video and post from the Blogprof

The biggest threat to liberty today is not China, or Russia, or communism. It is the monstrosity that the federal government has grown into. It needs to be starved back down to size. High time that states exercise their rights.
This is why remembering what the constitution says is so important to slowing down, maybe even stopping Obamunism. More information here!

Nullification: When a state ‘nullifies’ a federal law, it is proclaiming that the law in question is void and inoperative, or ‘non-effective,’ within the boundaries of that state; or, in other words, not a law as far as that state is concerned.

History of Nullification: While the media generally portrays nullification as being solely aligned with the efforts of the nullifiers of the South and the Civil War, this is certainly false, and reeks of misinformation. Nullification has a long history in the American tradition and has been invoked in support of free speech, in opposition to war and fugitive slave laws, and more. Read more on this history here.
In 1798, the legislatures of Virginia and Kentucky approved resolutions that affirmed the states’ right to resist federal encroachments on their powers. If the federal government has the exclusive right to judge the extent of its own powers, warned the resolutions’ authors (James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, respectively), it will continue to grow – regardless of elections, the separation of powers, and other much-touted limits on government power. The Virginia Resolutions spoke of the states’ right to “interpose” between the federal government and the people of the state; the Kentucky Resolutions (in a 1799 follow-up to the original resolutions) used the term “nullification” – the states, they said, could nullify unconstitutional federal laws.
Again, we should spare no efforts to actually use the Constitution and the clear intent of the founders to fight back the avalanche of Leftist legislation Pelosi an her ilk are preparing. Recall, it was Madison and Jefferson who argued the point in the Virginia and Kentucky Resoltions. Whether or not the Democrats, or RINOs wish to acknowledge it, the Founders believed in state sovereighnty.

Rachel Maddow, Constitutional Illiterate

The Blogprof brings a cute video that shows Rachel Maddow, while attempting to show how stupid Republicans are, shows how clueless she is! Way to go Rachel! And to think somone who wants to lecture us on the Constitution does not know it has a preamble?

Your Founding quote of the day!

Comes from James Madison. Imagine if our current "representatives" had this much wisdom.

It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?

Donald Douglas on the government wasting your tax dollars

And just what would the Founders say about this? $17 million to preserve the Billy Carter gas station?

Wonders never cease! From the Los Angeles Times, "Billy Carter's Old Gas Station: A National Monument?":
Should the American taxpayer foot the bill to enshrine the gas station run by the late Billy Carter -- the beer-swilling, wisecracking, self-professed redneck brother of our 39th president?

I think I can hear Madison rolling in his grave. Yes, I know, Liberals will play the Gerneral WElfare card here. But, Madison, had a word or two about that clause.
With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.
Lord, how we need a Madison right now.

"Core principles"?

Dede Scozzafava, who ran as a Republican, in New York's 23rd Congressional District, took money from the Rerpublican Party, then, upon leaving the race, endorsed the Democtrat, Bill Owens, is now lecturing Republicans on "core values". Stacy McCain writes about this incredible hypocrisy at the American Spectator.

Say Anything blog has the understatement of the year about Dede Scozzafava: "Her calls for unity seem a bit weak after she essentially stabbed Republicans in the back by backing the Democrat candidate." A bit weak, indeed:

Scozzafava continues playing the victim, claiming her conservative opponents engaged in "vicious" attacks. She displays a spectacular lack of self-awareness: "We need leadership that's going to make sure that the party is strong going forward and that independent voices are heard from all ranks of the party." Right -- Dede was anointed as the Republican nominee in NY23 by a cabal of GOP insiders, and now she whines about the need to listen to "independent voices."
Here is the video

Her arguments for an inclusion of "independent voices" is a common one today. The argument from the David Brooks, and Meghhan McCain's of the world is that the GOP must be a "big tent" party to survive and prosper.I do kot mind having a party that welcomes disagreement and debate over tactics, ideals etc. That is healthy. However, the fact is that the GOP just like the Democratic Party must stand for certain core principles, if it is to win elections.

Our Founders had disagreements over varying issues, yet, they remained united on their principles. Their most basic principles, liberty, small government which obeys the people, the right to own firearms, national sovereignty, the right to self-defense, freedom of speech, and religion, and the most basic ideal, that our rights come from God, and cannot be taken or restricted by man our politicians, are the same ideals that Conservatives espouse today.

In other words, you cannot talk about a "big tent" GOP at the same time you are supporting ideals that run counter to both Republican ideals and those of Washington, Jefferson, Masdison, Franklin, and the other Founders.

The Big Tenters, if they were to get their way, would render the GOP into a weak, idealess party. Dede Scozzafava, and those who support her version of Republicanism, should stop whining and accept that they just are NOT Republicans. Sorry, but if you support card check, "reasonable" restrictions on firearms, abortion, Obamacare, higher taxes, and other Liberal ideals, you are NOT A REPUBLICAN!

The GOP can only stop the massive "change" that the Democrats are intent on forcing on the American people if we are strong and united. The Marxist utopian ideals that Pelosi, Reid,Obama and the rest are pushing so deperately right now will, if enacted, forever alter this nation. What, you thought Obama was joking when he repeatedly spoke of "fuundamentally changing America"? The nation our Founders created is at stake, our liberties, the liberties that are ours at birth, are at stake. This is a fight for the future of America. If the Left wins, we will become a nation that is over-taxed, over-regulated, indebted to and dependent upon the government for everything, and a nation that has no liberty, and no hope that our dreams can be reached. In short, America will die, slowly, painfully, and tragically.

The Dede Scozzafava's of the world ARE part of that struggle, but, sorry Dede, you are on the wrong side of the fight. You are not someone who embraces the vision of the Founders. You are someone who, ultimately, embraces the vision that your "core principles" whatever they are this week, are superior, and should be forced on the American people, whether they like it or not!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

When, in the course of human events.....

The Founding Fathers did their duty, and a great nation was born. Now, let us, the American people, resolve to do our duty so that our Republic may survive. If we succeed, the liberties bestowed upon us by our Creator will endure. If we fail, then everything our Founders did is gone forever. We will either be free, or subjects. We will either be left alone to pursue our dreams, reach for our goals, and to secure and enjoy the fruits of our labors and talents, or, we will be forever yoked to an overbearing government that restricts our liberties.

This blog is dedicated to preserving liberty, restoring Constitutional government, and defeating those who would sacrifice our natural rights upon the altar of Marxism.