Tuesday, August 9, 2011

We hold the fate of America

On the eve of his inauguration, Abraham Lincoln addressed Governor Oliver Morton and the citizens of Indiana with these telling words:

In all the trying positions in which I shall be placed, and doubtless I shall be placed in many trying ones, my reliance will be placed upon you and the people of the United States - and I wish you to remember now and forever, that it is your business, and not mine; that if the union of these States, and the liberties of this people, shall be lost, it is but little to any one man of fifty-two years of age, but a great deal to the thirty millions of people who inhabit these United States, and to their posterity in all coming time. It is your business to rise up and preserve the Union and liberty, for yourselves, and not for me. I desire that they shall be constitutionally preserved.

What say today's political class to this? It does not matter, what matters, as Lincoln remarked, is what we say - and do.

For more on Lincoln and our future, visit Patriot Week and America's Survival Guide.

Monday, August 8, 2011

America: Blessed by God

America: Blessed by God

George Washington perceptively commented in his First Inaugural Address:

"No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency..." 

Those that really know American history, no that this was no idle observation.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Rancor: The Price of Freedom & Self-Government

"we have builded up a form of self-government and a social system which is peculiarly our own. It differs essentially from all others in the world. It is the American system. It is just as definite and positive a political and social system as has ever been developed on earth." Herbert Hoover.

Although Hoover is not a particularly popular icon today, his understanding that America has a unique system - based on a foundation of self-government - is undeniably correct. In the words of the Declaration of Independence, America's system rests on the "consent of the governed." This consent is a key component of our First Principle of the Social Compact

This is why we allow protests - even those we despise; why we vote for our political leaders; why we allow initiatives, recalls, and referenda; and why public opinion is so important in public decision making. This is in striking contrast to many regimes on earth, where speech is oppressed; leaders are imposed; laws cannot be challenged; and public opinion is irrelevant.

We have been - and continue to face - a heated public dialogue (perhaps rancor is the better word) about many public issues, but it is the price we pay for our freedom.

For more about the Social Compact, visit America's Survival Guide and Patriot Week

Friday, August 5, 2011

Free Speech: Cherish, Don't Cheapen It

In his famous dissent in Abrams v United States, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. wrote that "the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes can be safely carried out.  That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution."

Patriot Week celebrates the First Principle of unalienable rights - and the freedom of speech and press are some of our most cherished unalienable rights.

Today, this sentiment seems to be accepted as law, but under assault in practice.  Too often political commentators engage in ad hominenattacks and character assassination.  The demonization of those on the other side of political disputes is so commonplace, that it hardly is noticed.

Stated another way, although freedom of speech and press are precious rights, they have been cheapened and weakened by today's corrosive atmosphere.  When is the last time we had a serious political debate invoking the higher principles - the better angels - of our nature?

But Justice Holmes is correct - it is the competition of ideas - in a free marketplace - in which the best public policy and ideas can be derived - and attacking the messengers does nothing but corrupt and denigrate the quality of the debate - to the detriment of all.

For more about Patriot Week, visit Patriot Week.  For more about our how our liberty is at risk, visit America's Survival Guide

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Education, Linchpin of Freedom

"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Charles Jarvis, 1820.
This sentiment expressed by Jefferson is as true today as it was at the dawn of our experiment in liberty. In light of the multitude of crises that are facing our nation, many have taken the attitude that only expert elites can save us from ourselves; and others question whether the people have the fortitude to preserve our freedoms. 

If such a attitudes and doubts have validity, it is because we as a nation have done such a poor job in educating ourselves about the foundation of our freedoms. As Jefferson explained, the solution is not shut the people out, but to ensure they are well grounded in our First Principles and history.  And only then can we expect that our freedoms will be sure.

For more on our educational crisis and how to combat it, see America's Survival Guide.  For more about Jefferson and our First Principles, visit Patriot Week.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

JFK: Rights from the Hand of God

In his Inaugural Address, John F. Kennedy eloquently explained America's First Principle of unalienable rights:

The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe - the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.

In all the clamor, passion, and heat of current politics, when is that last time we heard that sentiment?  Rarely if at all.  Yet, if we believe anything else, we are doomed to arbitrary whims of politicians to control our most fundamental rights.  This is not the American understanding.  JFK had it right.   Let's remember it or everything we believe in is at risk.

Monday, July 25, 2011

America: Land of Equality

In his seminal, A Defense of the American Constitutions, John Adams wrote:

"In every country we have found a variety of orders with very great distinction. In America there are different orders of offices, but none of men. Out of office, all men are the same species and of one blood; there is neither a greater nor lesser nobility."
Indeed, at the time of the American Revolution, America was alone in the world in rejecting nobility, hereditary advantages, and distinctions embedded in the law.  The Founders believed that "all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights . . . ." This great equality under the law allows those who prove their worth - through the "content of their character" as Martin Luther King Jr. would say - to excel regardless of their original station in life.  This is a First Principle that is worth remembering, cherishing, and fighting for.

For more about the First Principle of equality, visit www.PatriotWeek.org and Americas Survival Guide.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day President Washington

Considering that George Washington had no children, it seems a bit inappropriate to write about him on Father’s Day. However, there is a reason he is called the “Father of Our Country.” He is, in a very real sense, the father of all Americans.
Washington’s remarkable career is too lengthy to detail here, but I will focus on three major accomplishments. 

First, he successfully led the American military effort for independence. The American efforts were much more arduous - and miraculous - than we often give them credit. That the ragtag (literally) Continental Army and militia forces were able to beat the greatest military and naval force in the word is testament enough. But none of it would have possible without Washington.
Second, he reluctantly left retirement to preside over the Constitutional Convention. His was the steadying influence that gave the Convention the credibility it needed to successfully proceed, and his support ushered in the adoption of the Constitution - still the envy of the world.
Finally, he voluntary retired after two successful terms as President. This unprecedented act ensured that America would not devolve into a kingship or lifetime rule by the President.
In these ways, and in so many more, he bequeathed to us - an entire nation - our freedoms and liberties.  Happy Father’s Day President Washington.

For more about Washington visit Patriot Week and America's Survival Guide.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Committee Appointed; A Declaration To Be

On this date in 1776, the Second Continental Congress appointed a five member to draft a Declaration of Independence.  The Committee Members included Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson.  Adams explained to Jefferson why Jefferson was required to draft the Declaration of Independence: “Reason first – You are a Virginian, and a Virginian ought to appear at the head of this business. Reason second – I am obnoxious, suspected and unpopular. You are very much otherwise. Reason third – You can write ten times better than I can.” It was a fateful decision.

Adams was truly the leading Patriot to the independence, and was well known for his ego.  However, he knew his place - he had to submerge his personal feelings in favor of the greater cause of the Revolution.  He turned to Jefferson to carry the argument forward.Jefferson, who had become a famous author with a prior work, A Summary View  of the Rights of British America (1774), expressed the American sentiment in terms that would become perhaps the most famous words in world history.

For more about Jefferson and Adams, check out Patriot Week and America's Survival Guide.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"These united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states."

On this day, in 1776, Richard Henry Lee, a delegate to the Second Continental Congress, rose and moved to the Congress that "These united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states." The motion seconded by John Adams, and deferred for consideration.

Richard Henry Lee

A vote would eventually be taken on July 2, and the Second Continental Congress unanimously approved the resolution (New York abstaining).  Two days later, the Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.  A nation was born, tyranny was put aside, and the world would never be the same.

For the first time in human history, a nation was founded on ideals:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

Lets keep it alive by renewing the American Spirit!  For a couple of ways to do that, check out PatriotWeek.org and AmericaSurvivalGuide.com.

D-Day: Some things are worth dying for

Today marks the anniversary of DDay, which was the beginning of the end for the Nazi regime.  Thousands of brave Allied Forces stormed the beaches of France to liberate Europe from German oppression.

Many Americans lost the lives on that day to preserve liberty for Europe, America, and the world.  On D-Day, the Allies suffered approximately 10,000 casualties. The Battle of Normandy involved over 400,000 total casualties.  

On the 40th Anniversary of D-Day, Ronald Reagan addressed Americans who stormed the beaches and reflected:

It was the deep knowledge  and pray God we have not lost it that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.
You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One's country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.

Reagan was right.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Martha

Martha Washington was born on June 2, 1731 near Williamsburg, Virginia.  America's first First Lady distinguished herself long before by tending to the troops during the revolutionary war.  She supported her husband's efforts to defend the freedom of Americans even in the face of dire consequences to herself.  She wrote, "I think I am more like a state prisoner than anything else."  But she understood the importance of George's work when she reflected, "I cannot blame him for having acting according to his ideas of duty in obeying the voice of his country." Indeed.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day - Time to Renew the Spirit of America

The National Holiday Act of 1971 destroyed Memorial Day.  It did so by making it a floating day to ensure a 3 day weekend.  Memorial Day once served as solemn day to commemorate those who gave there last full measure of devotion to our republic.  Today it is an empty excuse for carpet and appliance sales.
We are the beneficiaries of hundreds of thousands of servicemen and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  Let us remember them, and let us renew our commitment to ensuring that that their sacrifices were not in vain. We need to deepen and renew the Spirit of America by defending our way of life, our Constitution, and our freedoms and liberties. 
I fear we will never reverse this trend of the commercialization of our civic calendar, which is why Patriot Week is so important.
We can honor our sacred dead by relearning our Founding First Principles and history, and ensuring that those in power do the same.
For more on our founding First Principles and history, visit:www.AmericasSurvivalGuide.com. for more Patriot Week, visit www.PatriotWeek.org.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Jonathan’s and Washington’s Example: A Few Make All the Difference

“Perhaps the Lord will help us, because it is no more difficult for the Lord to grant victory through a few than through many.” 1 Samuel 14:6. 
Jonathan, the son of King Saul, uttered these words to his armor-bearer as the two alone proceeded to attack a small enemy outpost.  Within a few minutes they had slain 20 enemies, and the outpost panicked.  That panic lead to a full scale retreat of large army that vastly outnumbered the Hebrew forces led by Jonathan and Saul.  Israel proceeded to gain an enormous victory over their enemies.
Jonathan's courage foreshadowed the courage of our Founding Fathers and other great Patriots who have led the fight for freedom and liberty here and across the globe.  The British Empire should have overwhelmed the ragtag army barely held together by Washington (the indispensable man), but by perseverance and divine intervention, we won our freedom.  Likewise, we survived other threats by holding fast and true to our ideals - and each other - in the face of adversity.
When someone tells you that "it can't be done," you are outnumbered - remember Jonathan, and the Founding Fathers - you will be in good company.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Freedom is Not Free

On the 175th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, President Harry Truman remarked:

Some things have not changed at all since 1776. For one thing, freedom is still expensive. It still costs money. It still costs blood. It still calls for courage and endurance, not only in soldiers, but in every man and woman who is free and how is determined to remain free.

Indeed, President Truman's words continue to ring true today.  The challenge of American liberty lies at our feet.  We are responsible for its preservation - or demise.  That's why efforts like Patriot Week are so vital.  But so are so many other efforts to preserve our liberty - the wars, the soldiers, the treasure, the teaching. For all those working so hard to preserve our republic - I salute you. For the rest of you, get it together or lose freedom's last best hope. Truman was right - it takes every man and woman to keep our freedom.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

"It is not the critic who counts. . . The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena . . . ."

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."
"Citizenship in a Republic,"
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Power: The True Test of Character

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln's statement is simply profound. Today, it has become nearly commonplace to learn  about how certain individuals have overcome adversity - be it broken homes, illness, job losses, poor schools, physical ailments, addictions, and other maladies.  Those people are rightfully applauded for becoming successful by overcoming their challenges.  They are exemplars and should be emulated.

What you don't read about often is about the men and women who wield power and decline to use or abuse it. Of course, too often we learn about abuses and corruptions of power.  Some such "leaders" are across the globe - witness North Korea, Cuba, Libya, and elsewhere; some are too close for comfort - witness Detroit's ex-mayor and the disgraced former governors of New York and Illinois.

What we should keep in mind - and they are indeed a vanishing breed - are the men and women who are given great power, and use it responsibly - or even more rarely - refuse to exercise it - to allow for liberty to flourish. 

America was founded on the premise of limited government - that men and women are endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights, and that the purpose of government is to protect those rights. We must remember that the power to do good is also the power to do evil. That sometimes the most courageous exercise of power is to refuse to wield it. That sometimes people must be allowed to go their own way; that the spark of freedom is in much having the ability to strive and fail than anything else. As Lincoln said, the true test of character is to see what one does - or does not do - with power.

Don't forget to visit Patriot Week

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Jamestown: The Spirit of America Sets Sail

Today marks the 404th anniversary of the departure of the Discovery, Godspeed, and Susan Constant to what eventually became Jamestown.  The 104 colonists that arrived in modern day Virginia eventually founded Jamestown -  the first permanent English settlement in North America.

Dr. Joseph Warren, a leading Patriot in Boston with John Adams, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock, eloquently explained what motivated the Jamestown and subsequent settlers:

Our fathers having nobly resolved never to wear the yoke of despotism, and seeing the European world, at the time, through indolence and cowardice, failing a prey to tyranny, bravely threw themselves upon the bosom of the ocean, determined to find a place in which they might enjoy their freedom, or perish in the glorious attempt. Approving heaven beheld the favourite ark dancing upon the waves, and graciously preserved it until the chosen families were brought in safety to these western regions.

As we know, the going at Jamestown was miserable, and many lost their lives.  Eventually, however, their persistence in the face of famine, disease, and clashes with Native Americans led to success and a thriving colony.

This spirit of determination for liberty eventually paved the way for the creation of the American republic.  We are now the ark of freedom for the world.  And we owe it to those who came before us to secure the ark for future generations.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Detroit: Important at the Founding and Important Today

"I took the liberty of suggesting the propriety . . . of paying particular attention to the French and other Settlers at Detroit . . . " George Washington (1783).

Washington's particular attention was a prophetic clarion call of the need to pay attention to Detroit.  It has often the harbinger of things to come.  Once a backwater fort, it became the arsenal of democracy and revolutionized the world with mass production. It built a middle class by giving the working class fair wages and working conditions, and established world class cultural institutions, schools, and universities.

Through its trials and tribulations, Detroit has become the symbol of all of what is right - and wrong - about America.  Today, much of it is crumbling. But its spirit is strong, and even a cursory glance at the city reveals that there are many signs of hope and renewal. New developments are springing up across the city, cultural institutions are adapting to new realities, new superior schools are operating, and pockets of urban vibrancy are on the upswing.

To help in these efforts, Patriot Week is launching its kick-off, and 10th anniversary commemoration of 9/11, at Detroit's Historic Fort Wayne - a magnificent 1840s era fort on the Detroit river. If in all its adversity Detroit can be the center of a renewal of the American spirit, then surely the rest of the nation can follow. What will save Detroit will save America.  Join Patriot Week and renew America.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Lost Art of Minding One's Own Business

When about to depart the presidency, Calvin Coolidge remarked, "Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business."  

Today such a remark would be so shocking to the political and media class that it would likely be headline news. With a 24 hour news cycle, blogs, webcasts, and press release frenzy, it seems that politicians are encouraged and expected to comment on every bit of news, culture, movies, game shows, sports, scandals, and the ravings of unbalanced celebrities. No wonder there seems to be so little time for the important things - like debts, deficits, and wars.

Coolidge's wisdom was profound - but lost today. Do your part - ignore the likes of Charlie Sheen - and force the political class to focus on what is really important - the enduring and long-term values, principles, and finances of the country. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Keep Swinging!

Keep Swinging (april 8)
Today marks the anniversary of Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth's home run record.  Hammerin' Hank reflected that "My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was to keep swinging."
Aaron's motto could accurately be dubbed America's motto. The American spirit has always included persistence, determination, and optimism in face of daunting odds. When we declared independence, it was against the greatest empire the world had ever seen. With a ragtag army, stationed on the outskirts of civilization, we were able to defeat the great military might of the British Empire.
We prevailed again in the War of 1812, survived the cataclysm of the Civil War, beat back German imperialism in WWI, and defeated Nazi Germany and imperial Japan in WWII. All the while, our future was not certain - but our determination to prevail was.
Today times are very tough - but with the right spirit, we have won in tougher times. We need to renew the American spirit - through efforts like Patriot Week  - to ensure we continue to win in the future.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Americans and Threats to America

"Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity and hardihood - the things that made America. The things that will destroy America are prosperity for any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life." President Theodore Roosevelt.

Although one might debate the words, the sentiments reflect enduring truths about America. America, after all, is as much an ideal as a place. Our founding First Principles - equality, unalienable rights, the Social Compact, the rule of law, limited government and the right to alter or abolish an oppressive government - are what bind us together. The virtues described by Teddy Roosevelt are the ways that those First Principles became realities - it takes courage to fight for freedom, it takes sincerity to believe in freedom, it takes honor to live for freedom. And the threats to our liberty mostly involve not putting first things first. Indeed, our liberty is most threatened when we put easy choices - or just ease of living - ahead of what really matters.

A quick look around puts shudders down my spine. How much time and energy, for example, has been wasted on Charlie Sheen? We should be focused on what really matters, not the trivial. Do your part, embrace the important and shun the trivial and banal.

Monday, April 4, 2011

King's Dream Lives On

Today marks the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr by James Earl Ray. Although many of us are too young to remember King while living, his legacy still burns brightly in the national consciousness. 

King bravely led the civil rights struggle for racial equality to new heights.  He reminded our nation that the First Principle of equality articulated in our Declaration of Independence - that "all men are created equal" - had not yet been fulfilled.  King's efforts led to the passage of historic civil rights acts that ensured racial equality in voting, employment, and public accommodations. 

Although he was slain, he remains a great inspiration to new generations of Americans. That is not to say that the struggle for equality has ended - we have much progress to go - but we should acknowledge with great reverence the sacrifices of the generations before us as we look forward to fulling the pledge of equality. 

In addition, King's life expresses what it is to be an American - to have the ability to assemble, speak, and publish freely about the issues of the day - and to challenge the government in its most basic policies.  In most nations in history - and many today (witness China, Burma, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Libya) - these basic unalienable rights have been and are denied by oppressive governments. 

These are the reasons, among other reasons, that Patriot Week celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. on September 15.  Join us at www.patriotweek.org

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Iran: We Ignore their Tyranny at Our Peril

While freedom swept Egypt, Iran's radical theological regime continued its tyrannical oppression of its own people.  In February thousands of protestors - clearly inspired by events in Egypt - took to the streets demanding reform. This was a brave move in light of Iran's previous crushing of street protests which resulted in the deaths of dozens and imprisonment of scores more.

So how did the Iranian government react?  Gholam Hooseein Mohseni Ejehi, spokesman for the judiciary and prosecutor, announced that "The judiciary will quickly and resolutely deal with major elements and those who violated public order and peace."  Meanwhile, legislators - members of the governing party - called for the execution of the colleagues - those, that is, who are in the opposition party.

Why is this important to Americans?  Because despite our apathy, Iran is the very embodiment of a regime based on First Principles exactly opposite of America's.  We believe in equality - Iran embodies inequality against women into its governing law.  We believe in the rule of law - Iran believes in the rule of the gun.  We believe in the Social Compact (i.e., consent of the governed) - Iran believes in oppression of the people.  We believe in limited government - Iran believes in totalitarianism.  We believe in the ability to alter or abolish an oppressive government - Iran believes in abolishing the opposition.

Iran is important because its civilization is ancient (the Persian empire), they are smart, they have a loyal following, they are developing nuclear weapons, they want to annihilate Israel, and they export terror.  They want the world to follow their model.  Unlike Egypt or Libya, Iran has a philosophical government based on radical Islam that appeals to those outside of its borders.  If that model is seen attractive and continues to spread, over the long-term, it will threaten Western civilization.  Remember, communism started in one country; so did republican government.  We need to show the world that Iran is simply one thing: evil; and that America's First Principles should inspire the world - not Iran's. Iran apparently has fallen down the list of American foreign policy perspectives - and we do this at our peril.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy Birthday President Reagan

Today mark's President Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday.  Although by no means perfect, Reagan's legacy shines brightly today. Perhaps his most enduring trait - and quite unique at the time - was his tireless optimism about America and our role on the world stage. When he took office, many thought that America's best days were behind us. The dominant political and media culture looked down upon America's accomplishments, and questioned our ability to be a force for good in the world. Reagan rejected that perspective, and boldly declared that America's best days were in the future and that the march of progress would mean that our values would eventually prevail across the globe.

We often forget that at the time, the USSR and communism was spreading, and many believed that socialism or communism was the wave of the future. Reagan steadfastly - and most charmingly - told us that communism would end up in the ash-heap of history. More quickly than anyone imagined, he was proven right.

Reagan also warned us in his farewell address that we could only survive as a free people if we educated our youth about America's Constitution and First Principles. This warning has yet to be heeded. As revealed in America's Survival Guide (americassurvivalguide.com) studies upon studies show that our youth are not being taught essential civics and history, and we are at grave risk of losing our liberties. As we rejoice in Reagan's success, lets dedicate ourselves to preserving his - and America's - legacy by renewing the spirit of America.  One way to do this is to participate in Patriot Week (patriotweek.org).

God Bless Reagan and God Bless America.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther King, Jr.: Champion of Equality & Justice

Martin Luther King, Jr. stated it more eloquently than anyone: "When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.".  Let's spend his holiday reflecting on those powerful sentiments and how we can fulfill that promissory note.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chief Justice Roberts' Statement on Shooting Death of Judge John Roll

United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts released the following statement on the murder of Judge Roll:

“The violence in Arizona today has senselessly taken five lives and inflicted tragic loss on dedicated public servants and their families. We in the judiciary have suffered the terrible loss of one of our own. Chief Judge John Roll was a wise jurist who selflessly served Arizona and the nation with great distinction, as attorney and judge, for more than 35 years. I express my deepest condolences to his wife Maureen and his children, as well as the other victims and their families. Chief Judge Roll’s death is a somber reminder of the importance of the rule of law and the sacrifices of those who work to secure it.”

I concur.

Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America”

Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America”

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Liberty Depends on Us

"Show me that age and country where the rights and liberties of the people were placed on the sole chance of their rulers being good men, without a consequent loss liberty."  Patrick Henry (1788).

James Madison put it another way - if men were angels, there would be no need for government - but since men are not angels, they need a government - but who is to watch the government?  We must.

The simple reality is that human history clearly bears out that, as Lord Acton stated, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  That is why we have a government of laws - established under a written Constitution - with certain protections for everyone - including tremendous checks on the power of the government.  Still, that is not enough.  The people must always guard their liberties, or the protections in the Constitution will be meaningless.  Americans, stay on guard - if you want to be free.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Need for Courage

In response to a corrupt plan to protect the Virginia speaker of the house for making personal loans with public money, Patrick Henry (then a brand new legislator) harked:   “What, sir? It is proposed then to reclaim the spendthrift from his dissipation and extravagance by filling his pockets with money?”  Henry has a great deal to teach us.

In particular, at the time, Henry's questioning was an affront to the elites of Virginia.  The speaker had made loans from the public treasury to his political allies in the House.  When losses mounted, they decided to create a public loan office to bail out the speaker.  Most would simply have looked the other way, but Henry would have none of it.

His effort failed, but Henry's bold questioning of the top political and social leader of his state not only gained Henry great allies, but it established his reputation as a courageous leader who put the public good first.  Later, Henry would would be the first to challenge the Stamp Act (i.e., taxation without representation), which eventually led to the American Revolution.

This is the leadership we need today.