Sunday, August 30, 2009

Do Not Let History Pass You By

In these most unsettling of times, there is a temptation to sit back and let the course of history pass us by. But then you will regret it. The bard of all time, Mr. Shakespeare, presented us how bitter it might be in his famous St. Crispin’s Day speech in Henry V:

"We few, we happy few,
We band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother . . .
And gentlemen in England now abed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day."

Don't let history pass you by, and regret you did not join the battles engaged today.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Boris Yeltsin and the Spirit of Liberty

Photo source:

On August 20, 1991 Boris Yeltsin stood on the turret of a tank and made history.  In June of that year, he had been elected as the Russia's president in the first free election in Russian history. 

When the old guard of the totalitarian and communist Soviet Union realized that they were losing their grip on power, they reacted by trying to suffocate the nascent democratic government in Russia.  Yeltsin would have none of it, climbed on the tank, and made a booming speech in defense of liberty.  The old guard cracked, and soon would the Soviet Union.

Thankfully Americans are not facing down tanks in the streets.  But that does not mean we can't learn from Yeltsin.  We need to be vigilant too. For far too long Americans have been complacent about the need to defend their liberties and to be engaged in the political process.  Although we may not need to climb a tank, we ought to step up to defend our freedom - we will have no one to blame but ourselves it slips from our grasp.

For more on the importance of defending our liberty, visit

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Protests are American - Despite What Pelosi Thinks

The Associated Press reported today that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of California and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland have complained about Americans loudly protesting at town meetings organized by congressmen during their summer recess. In particular, they have asserted that the protestors are "simply un-American."

Putting aside the substance of the health care debate, perhaps the Speaker and the Majority Leader ought to refresh themselves on the First Amendment to the Constitution, which states that "Congress shall pass no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech . . . or the right to peacefully assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Just in case they become upset about this post, they should also note that the First Amendment also prohibits abridgment of the freedom of press.

In any event, the Founding Fathers would likely be appalled by the notion that vigorous protests - yes, even those that are rude, obnoxious, and interfere with the orchestrated plans of government officials - is "un-American." Founding Fathers Samuel Adams, John Adams, Joseph Warren, and others of the Boston resistance did much more than disrupt a meeting or two.

Indeed, the Founders fought against British encroachments of the unalienable rights of the people, and explained in the Declaration of Independence that resistance to oppression was not only a right, but a duty, of Americans.

For more on our Founding First Principles and unalienable rights, see