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Archive for November, 2009

On the morning of June, 28th, 1782, Dr. Franklin, out of concern over the impasse at which the Constitutional Convention found itself, was recognized by the the President of the Convention, George Washington, and rose to deliver the following proposal: 

Mr. President—The slow progress we have made, after four or five weeks’ close attendance and continual reasoning with each other—our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many nays as yeas—is, methinks, a melancholy proof of the imperfection of human understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of government, and examined the different forms of those republics which, having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution, now no longer exist. And we have viewed modern states all round Europe, but find none of their consititutions suitable to our circumstances.
In this situation of this assembly, groping as it were, in thedark 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 were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers 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 writings, 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 become a reproach and by-word down to future ages. And, what is worse, mankind may hereafter, from this unfortunate circumstance, 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 blessings 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.  

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A few months back, I participated in a discussion with a few other people at another site regarding whether or not the Constitution is a Christian document. To my surprise, the one person in the discussion who I thought would object to the idea actually affirmed that he agreed, although when asked for an example, he demurred. Things happened, as they always do, and the duties of meatspace soon drew me away from this discussion in the electronic ether.

Yesterday, we went to my in-laws house for dinner. After dinner, I went for a walk, and upon my return, retired to the living room. I thumbed through my copy of ‘The 5000 Year Leap’, which I received as a birthday present. When I went to set it down, I saw a copy of this on the side table:

I have always enjoyed reading David Barton’s work. He does a better job than most in documenting his sources, and this booklet was no different, with 13 of its 51 pages being citations, in 8 point text where the rest of the book is published in 12 point.

One of the discussion in it that caught my eye was his contention that our Constitution has been the most successful one ever drafted. And that political scientists had conducted a ten-year project to determine where the Founders had obtained their specific ideas for the Constitution. A study of over 15,000 separate writings from about that same time period were reviewed, with a focus on the political sources quoted at about the same time as the founding of the American government. 3,154 quotations were isolated and when the researchers traced the original sources of these quotes, they discovered that the single most cited authority was the Bible, over 34% of the time, and four times as much as the next cited source.

Barton then went on to point out that the idea of separation of powers had been acknowledged by Washington and Hamilton to have been inspired by Jeremiah 17:9, which records also show had been a primary sermon topic in this ‘Founding Era’.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? KJV’[All citations below will be to the King James Version.]

Other examples included:

Article I, Section 8 “To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization” and Leviticus 19:34 “But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.”

Article II, Section 1 “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President;” and Deuteronomy 17:15  “Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.”

Article III, Section 3 ” No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.” and Deuteronomy 17:5 “At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.”

Article III, Section 3  ” The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.” and Ezekiel 18:20 “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”

The concept of republicanism as set forth in Article IV, Section 4 “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”  , and Exodus 18:21 “Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:”, which was cited by Noah Webster, the founder responsible for that Article of the Constitution, and affirmed by George Washington and John Jay.

The concept of three branches of government, mirrors that presented in Isaiah 33:22 “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.”

While there are certainly those who will want to argue that this is all apropos of nothing, it helps to understand that this country has Christian roots, something that modern-day dissenters love to deny as a means to hide their thinly veiled contempt for Christianity, or their attempts to argue that it is no different from other religions, and certainly not a legitimate basis to continue upholding laws they wish to rebel against.

I have long maintained that the world is like a raging sea, and our society a small open boat upon its surface; storms frequently rage across the face of these waters, giving new meaning to the term “tempest-tossed”.  Christianity has been the anchor, helping us to hold our position in a sheltered harbor, and the line attached to it is the law.

For quite sometime now, Christians have allowed themselves to be chased from the public square, from the legislature floor, out of fear that they will be labeled “intolerant” by the new high priests of society, the politically correct.  The politically correct believe that the only sin is to offend, and that one can be offended by being confronted for having sinned.  The faithful followers of this new religion, a creature of Religious Humanism, spawned in the 1930s, keep gleefully hacking away at these anchor lines, and the farther the boat drifts from its anchorage, the more people listen as these “bringers of the new” (who actually bring the old and reject the new ) and their claims like “See!  There is absolutely no reason for that law at all!”  and these same people bob their heads in agreement, and then wonder why society is disintegrating, and why we as a nation do so many things that no simply make no sense.  And in a world where so many lack the grounding in the real TRUTH in the Bible, that used to be, quite literally elementary [Pay particular attention to the entries under 1787, 1802, and 1844, the last especially for those who want to declare the issue settled by Stare Decisis.], this really is a mystery to too many of the masses, who know, instinctively, that something is wrong, but can never quite identify it.  When you deliberately cut away your anchor lines, and set yourself adrift, then it is easy to first divorce the reason for the law from the law, and then to reject the law itself.

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The older I get, the more I appreciate Thanksgiving.  Maybe it’s because it is uniquely American.  Yes, I know Canada has a Thanksgiving Day, too, but what comes to mind when you think of Thanksgiving?  That’s right.  Pilgrims.  And not Pilgrims with that signature lilt in the voice, ending sentences in “Eh?” But what I also enjoy is this holiday’s Christian roots, and the irony of lefties enjoying the holiday without serious consideration to what this holiday is really about.  A time of reflection and giving thanks to God for the extraordinary providence he has bestowed upon us.What’s that you say?  Only a rube would express thanks to God?  Only a superstitious idiot would do such a thing?  Yeah.  Those Founding Fathers were real idiots, weren’t they?  Case in point?  Noted foolish Christianist and tyrant, George Washington:

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A Proclamation  

 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 favour; 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 PUBLICK THANSGIVING 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 TWENTY-SIXTH 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 favours 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 publick 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 wife, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto 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 third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.  
(signed) G. Washington  
 

Why, the unmitigated gall!  A sitting U.S. President having the nerve to invoke God in his official capacity as President!  Didn’t he know that The Constitution contains a “wall of separation between church and state”?   Actually, no.  He didn’t, because the Constitution contains no such thing.  And the private letter of Thomas Jefferson’s from which this  false doctrine was later transplanted into the Constitution by the Court in the twentieth century wasn’t yet written.  Jefferson, that noted author of this fabled Constitutional premise , was not even in the country at the time the Constitution was written, as he was serving as the nation’s Minister to France.

This is a time of year for reflection and giving thanks.  I’m thankful for my family, both the one I was born with, and the one I chose.

I’m thankful for the Providence God has bestowed in my life, and the Providence that he has bestowed on our nation.

I’m thankful for second chances, and the fact that we can still abandon the insanity that a reckless minority and our elected officials are inexplicably wedded to, and determined to force us into.

And yes, I will be taking some time over this Holiday on my knees and in audience with the very same Creator that the Father of our country sought in times of adversity and times of plenty.  Why don’t you join me?

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I had an afternoon to ponder some of the implications of Francis W. Porretto’s post at Eternity Road  (Wastrels: A Sunday Rumination) this morning.  And I started to feel depressed.  I think he’s right.  Right about the decline of America, and right to peg it to a lack of trust.  I started to think about what that means.

There are very few relationships that can recover from a lack of trust, and the situation is only exacerbated when you start considering how it is that much harder when the lack of trust exists in our relationships with our elected officials, too.

Trust between parent and child can be restored, when both are willing to work on it, and enough time is spent.  Trust between spouses can often be restored, although it requires genuine contrition and more work than many people are willing to put into it.  But the common feature to the restoration of trust in important relationships is time, and time is something that people who have been paying attention generally are not willing to give politicians.  For politicians, time is insulation.  It is enough time to make a fortune.  It is enough time to consolidate power.  It is enough time to let the electorate forget when you put someone else’s interests before their own, or at least enough time to toss the silly peasants who were foolish enough to elect you a bone on a regular enough basis that their selective amnesia will forgive your transgressions and cumulative compromises.  Time allows a politician to get comfortable enough to change his or her priorities.

So how else do we let them earn our trust?  Term limits?  While it may help to limit the damage they can do by keeping them from contracting beltwayitis, they will be leaving office because they are being compelled to do so.  Perhaps the best idea I have heard says “Use technology and require them all to stay in their districts, rather than go to D.C.”

It has the virtue of simplicity, but there are days when I wonder if anything is going to turn this train around.  I know that there are plenty of people who know that something is not right, and there are many, many more who can look at the decline and see it for what it is, but has there ever been a civilization that managed to stay or even reverse a decline?  I really don’t know.

In the early 1950s, wiseacre and all-around smart guy Issac Asimov wrote a trilogy of books about the decline of a galactic empire and the small group of farsighted people who managed to fool that empire’s ruling elite into banishing it to the outer rim, where it could preserve and advance mankind’s knowledge, and make the inevitable dark ages that would follow the fall of empire eminently shorter than it otherwise might be. Of course, they also had the benefit of interstellar travel, and a theory of mathematics that helped them to predict what human civilization was going to do at key points in the future, and how to keep it all from falling apart.

I’m not looking for such an easy answer.  I live here, and my kids will have to live here.  Leaving isn’t an option.  Yet when I see my fellow countrymen eager to give up more and more of their inherent and god-given power to a government that has proved continually that it simply isn’t capable of repaying that trust, simply because we no longer trust each other, I don’t have really stretch my imagination in order to contemplate a country where I may one day be considered a rebel because I refuse to yield the God-given freedom that better men than I risked everything to give to we, their posterity.  I wonder how those who were paying attention in 1859 and 1860 felt.  And in many ways, I feel deeply for the good men who, with sorrow in their hearts, made the decision to serve the South, not because they thought that slavery was a good and noble institution, but because they believed that the federal government kept trying to exercise power over their lives that was not granted to it.  And there are still moments when I realize that I’m looking for our version of Hari Seldon.

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America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” -Alexis de Tocqueville

Did you know that no developed country approaches American [charitable] giving?  It’s true.  In comparison to the rest of the developed world, we are without a doubt the most generous with our own money.  Though mocked mercilessly at the time, Bush Sr. was expressing a truth with his “Thousand Points of Light” speech, and I think he might have been a little humbled to lead a nation of people who so faithfully and unceremoniously freely give of their own wealth to others, without compulsion. This is a conundrum to the left, in both its leaders and its talking heads, who with that frightening liberal predictability, can look right at an issue, and yet get it completely wrong. 

Forcing me to give my money to government, which will then take out its carrying charges, before redistributing it to others in a manner that creates a creeping dependency in those who accept, is not giving, and is not part of my duty as a Christian.  In fact, at no point in his life did Christ rely on the largess of the government, nor did he by example use the government to do good works.  His example was clear.  Such goodness, and genuine human kindness came through his hands, and those of his disciples and followers.  And yet, our government stands on the cusp of betraying every ideal on which it was founded, under the ostensible belief that it is doing good.

Our charitable donations say great things about us.  Americans care.  Americans pay attention to where our money is going.  charitable Americans expect more than the need to give the same thing to the same people all the time.  We want to give the hand up, and not the hand out.

However, this Congress and Administration don’t want you to have that choice.  Whether it is supporting policies that are sinking the dollar, or a $700 Billion stimulus Bill that has failed to stop the consistent rise of unemployment, and has been defended with outright false data about jobs “saved or created”, or the favoring of a Cap & Tax Bill that would necessarily raise each and every American family’s energy bill, or a push for government-mandated health insurance that would raise taxes on employers and fine individuals who fail to purchase a government-approved insurance plan up to $25,000.00, it seems government is invading every aspect of our lives, and in order to pay for the onerous intervention, its many tentacles will choke the life from the economy.

In the face of such an onslaught, many Americans will simply have no choice.  They will not have the money to give to the charities they would choose, and instead will have to use the paltry sums the ever-expanding leviathan will leave to them.  And it’s already starting to happen.

There is really nothing more to be said.  The current crop of leaders in Washington have decided to trade our money and our freedoms for power.  And with so many in the grip of that insatiable lust for power, they have become blind to the fact that their actions can only lead to a place of diminishing returns.  Producers can only produce so much.  You can only be so hostile to the hands that feed you before the gravy train stops.  You can only drain so much blood before the corpse is empty. 

Yet the current predicament is an object lesson on  liberal thinking. Don’t encourage self-reliance.  Don’t produce, or allow those that do to do so.  There will always be “the other guy” to pay the bill.  And even as things are in an obvious decline, they will continue to dine well on the labors of others…right up to the moment when their check bounces, when their card is declined, and for the very last of them, when the pitchfork and torch wielding mobs are on their lawns.  It is a frightfully self-centered and short-sighted strategy, and it will ruin this nation.  To deliberately choose to steal the freedom and choices of others is evil, and it is not the “Hope” and “Change” that real Americans were looking for.

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America is just the country that shows how all the written guarantees in the world for freedom are no protection against tyranny and oppression of the worst kind. There the politician has come to be looked upon as the very scum of society.”  -  Peter Kropotkin

Successful … politicians are insecure and intimidated men. They advance politically only as they placate, appease, bribe, seduce, bamboozle or otherwise manage to manipulate the demanding and threatening elements in their constituencies.” - Walter J. Lippmann

Well, the oblivious and arrogant beltway bandits will get to pursue their curious desire to take over yet another sector of our economy.  And the most innovative and effective health care system in the world will be sacrificed on the altar of “fairness”, along with the Constitution, and its limits on Congressional power, including its new found right to compel me to pay for something individual to me.  And all it took was a measly $300 Million Dollars.

The Congressional Budget Office priced the so-called FMAP fix for Louisiana at $100 million, but Landrieu said she expects it will bring $300 million or more in Medicaid funding to the state.

Way to go, Mary!  I guess the country and the economy don’t matter, ’cause you got yours.  Who knew that you could make more on your back figuratively rather than literally? And the 48 percenters who’s children may very well end up cursing your name?  I guess that’s all part of the necessary cost of hope and change, right?
 
I’d like to think that we can replace every last one of these overreaching, sticky-fingered thieves in 2010.  The real question is will enough voters still understand, or have the unknowingly enslaved entitlement classes swelled their ranks to the point where nasty doings will be required to re-establish the notions of personal responsibility and private property in this nation? 
 

A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman, of the next generation.”  – Eubie

What is a minority? The chosen heroes of this earth have been in a minority. There is not a social, political, or religious privilege that you enjoy today that was not bought for you by the blood and tears and patient suffering of the minority. It is the minority that have stood in the van of every moral conflict, and achieved all that is noble in the history of the world.” – John B. Gough

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http://www.gwumc.edu/hspi/old/PTTF_ProceedingsReport_05.19.09.pdf

Page 29, right hand column, 8th name.

I guess he got a bang out of the transition.

Can I question their priorities if I can’t question their patriotism?

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A lot of people are concerned these days for the future of our country.   The left is concerned that they won’t be able to act fast enough to bring their new utopian vision to fruition; the right is concerned that if the left has their way, we will no longer be America.  If you have read my rants and observations for very long, you know which side I stand on.  It is so easy to get lost in the minutiae, ‘the health-care crisis’, global warming, etc.,  that it is easy to forget that it is really very simple.

It  all comes down to this simple equation:

Either the Constitution means what it says, or it doesn’t.

We the people are either the final arbiters of what it says and more importantly, what limitations it places on government, or we aren’t.

If the answer to either of those propositions is negative, than all freedom is an illusion.

 If the answer to both of those propositions is positive, then we each have a choice to make, because if it hasn’t become clear to you yet, you should know that ‘the government’, those tasked to rule within the confines of the law set forth in the Constitution, is now largely a mix of conniving schemers who will ignore it when they can no longer twist it to meet their ends, and ignoramuses, who have no idea what it says and cannot contemplate a limitation on their ultimate aims and powers, both intent on centralizing their power without regard to the cost or the damage they leave in their wake.

Part of the reason that we find ourselves in the predicament we’re in today is because the schemers deftly distracted us, and because we ourselves comforted ourselves with the idea that someone was going to “take care of it”, and nothing would be expected of us…we who understood what was going on, and quietly abdicated our duty to become involved and take our turn preserving and defending the republic not just against its enemies, but from a creeping lack of character that allowed such craven calculation to run its course, and make corruption commonplace.

Reagan, the last great defender of the American Ideal, is dead. His armor lies empty, his sword rusting, and all because those who know the chorus refuse to sing out. The sweep of the wind and the furtive movements of the spoilers are the dominant features of our political landscape because we have allowed those without moral guidance to makes us ashamed of our own. Such is our sorrow, and we will have to complete the bitter harvest from the salted earth before we can begin anew.

Just something to consider as the Senate considers bills that would fundamentally change our concept of freedom and liberty moving forward.

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PRESIDENTIAL: Befitting a president, especially the office of the President of the United States: criticized the candidate for not looking presidential.

PETULANT:  Contemptuous in speech or behavior.

Former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura secretly visited Fort Hood last night and spent “considerable time” consoling those who were wounded in Thursday’s shooting spree, Fox News has learned.

The Bushes entered and departed the sprawling military facility in secret, having told the base commander they did not want press coverage of their visit, a source told Fox News. 

The couple was described as “deeply concerned” about military families on Fort Hood after Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan allegedly opened fire on soldiers and civilians, killing 13 and wounding 38.

Contrast with the pre-heathcare takeover vote pep talk given by the Great Uniter:

Mr. Obama, during his private pep talk to Democrats, recognized Mr. Owens election and then posed a question to the other lawmakers. According to Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, who supports the health care bill, the president asked, “Does anybody think that the teabag, anti-government people are going to support them if they bring down health care? All it will do is confuse and dispirit” Democratic voters “and it will encourage the extremists.”

Bonus word:

Character:  moral or ethical quality: a man of fine, honorable character;  qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity: It takes character to face up to a bully.

Feel free to use them in a sentence today.

 

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Nice to see that our Homeland Security Secretary has continued her tradition of successful threat identification.

The U.S. Homeland Security secretary says she is working to prevent a possible wave of anti-Muslim sentiment after the shootings at Fort Hood in Texas.

Janet Napolitano says her agency is working with groups across the United States to try to deflect any backlash against American Muslims following Thursday’s rampage by Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a Muslim who reportedly expressed growing dismay over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Heaven forefend we might actually look at the people who have been at war with us for almost 40 years as a threat.  What else are they going to do, kill more innocents and the unarmed?

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