JOHN ADAMS LETTER TO BENJAMIN RUSH; 1811

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JOHN ADAMS LETTER TO BENJAMIN RUSH;

Quincy, 28 August, 1811.

Your letter of the 20th, my dear friend, has filled my eyes with tears, and, indurated stoic as I am, my heart with sensations unutterable by my tongue or pen; not the feelings of vanity, but the overwhelming sense of my own unworthiness of such a panegyric from such a friend. Like Louis the sixteenth, I said to myself, “Qu’est ce que fai fait pour le meriter?”
[What is done to deserve?]

Have I not been employed in mischief all my days? Did not the American revolution produce the French revolution? And did not the French revolution produce all the calamities and desolations to the human race and the whole globe ever since? I meant well, however. My conscience was clear as a crystal glass, without a scruple or a doubt. I was borne along by an irresistible sense of duty. God prospered our labors; and, awful, dreadful, and deplorable as the consequences have been, I cannot but hope that the ultimate good of the world, of the human race, and of our beloved country, is intended and will be accomplished by it. While I was in this reverie, I handed your letter to my brother Cranch, the postmaster, of eighty-five years of age, an Israelite indeed, who read it with great attention, and at length started up and exclaimed, ” I have known you sixty years, and I can bear testimony as a witness to every word your friend has said in this letter in your favor.” This completed my humiliation and confusion.

Your letter is the most serious and solemn one I ever received in my life. It has aroused and harrowed up my soul. I know not what to say in answer to it, or to do in consequence of it.

It is most certain that the end of my life cannot be remote. My eyes are constantly fixed upon it, according to the precept or advice of the ancient philosopher; and, if I am not in a total delusion, I daily behold and contemplate it without dismay.

If by dedicating all the rest of my days to the composition of such an address as you propose,(1) I could have any rational assurance of doing any real good to my fellow-citizens of United America, I would cheerfully lay aside all other occupations and amusements, and devote myself to it. But there are difficulties and embarrassments in the way, which to me, at present, appear insuperable.

The ” sensibility of the public mind,” which you anticipate at my decease, will not be so favorable to my memory as you seem to foresee. By the treatment I have received, and continue to receive, I should expect that a large majority of all parties would cordially rejoice to hear that my head was laid low.

I am surprised to read your opinion, that “my integrity has never been called in question, and that friends and enemies agree in believing me to be an honest man.” (2) If I am to judge by the newspapers and pamphlets that have been printed in America for twenty years past, I should think that both parties believed me the meanest villain in the world.

If they should not suspect me of sinning in the grave, they will charge me with selfishness and hypocrisy before my death, in preparing an address to move the passions of the people, and excite them to promote my children, and perhaps to make my son a king. Washington and Franklin could never do any thing but what was imputed to pure, disinterested patriotism; I never could do any thing but what was ascribed to sinister motives.

I agree with you in sentiment, that religion and virtue are the only foundations, not only of republicanism and of all free government, but of social felicity under all governments and in & all the combinations of human society. But if I should inculcate this doctrine in my will, I should be charged with hypocrisy and a desire to conciliate the good will of the clergy towards my family, as I was charged by Dr. Priestley and his friend Cooper, and by Quakers, Baptists, and I know not how many other sects, for instituting a national fast, for even common civility to the clergy, and for being a church-going animal.

If I should inculcate those “national, social, domestic, and religious virtues” you recommend, I should be suspected and charged with an hypocritical, machiavelian, jesuitical, pharisaical attempt to promote a national establishment of Presbyterianism in America; whereas I would as soon establish the Episcopal Church, and almost as soon the Catholic Church.

If I should inculcate “fidelity to the marriage bed,” it would be said that it proceeded from resentment to General Hamilton, and a malicious desire to hold up to posterity his libertinism. Others would say that it is only a vainglorious ostentation of my own continence. For among all the errors, follies, failings, vices, and crimes, which have been so plentifully imputed to me, I cannot recollect a single insinuation against me of any amorous intrigue, or irregular or immoral connection with woman, single or married, myself a bachelor or a married man.

If I should recommend the sanctification of the sabbath, like a divine, or even only a regular attendance on public worship, as a means of moral instruction and social improvement, like a philosopher or statesman, I should be charged with vain ostentation again, and a selfish desire to revive the remembrance of my own punctuality in this respect; for it is notorious enough that I have been a church-going animal1for seventy-six years, from the cradle. And this has been alleged as one proof of my hypocrisy.

Fifty-three years ago I was fired with a zeal, amounting to enthusiasm, against ardent spirits, the multiplication of taverns, retailers, and dram-shops, and tippling houses. Grieved to the heart to see the number of idlers, thieves, sots, and consumptive patients made for the physicians, in those infamous seminaries, I applied to the Court of Sessions, procured a committee of inspection and inquiry, reduced the number of licensed houses, &c. But I only acquired the reputation of a hypocrite and an ambitious demagogue by it. The number of licensed houses was soon reinstated; drams, grog, and sotting were not diminished, and remain to this day as deplorable as ever. You may as well preach to the Indians against rum as to our people. Little Turtle petitioned me to prohibit rum to be sold to his nation, for a very good reason; because he said I had lost three thousand of my Indian children in his nation in one year by it . Sermons, moral discourses, philosophical dissertations, medical advice, are all lost upon this subject . Nothing but making the commodity scarce and dear will have any effect; and your republican friend, and, I had almost said, mine, Jefferson, would not permit rum or whiskey to be taxed.

If I should then in my will, my dying legacy, my posthumous exhortation, call it what you will, recommend heavy, prohibitory taxes upon spirituous liquors, which I believe to be the only remedy against their deleterious qualities in society, every one of your brother republicans and nine tenths of the federalists would say that I was a canting Puritan, a profound hypocrite, setting up standards of morality, frugality, economy, temperance, simplicity, and sobriety, that I knew the age was incapable of.

Funds and banks (3)I never approved, or was satisfied with our funding system; it was founded in no consistent principle; it was contrived to enrich particular individuals at the public expense. Our whole banking system I ever abhorred, I continue to abhor, and shall die abhorring.

But I am not an enemy to funding systems. They are absolutely and indispensably necessary in the present state of the world. An attempt to annihilate or prevent them would be as romantic an adventure as any in Don Quixote or in Oberon. A national bank of deposit I believe to be wise, just, prudent, economical, and necessary. But every bank of discount, every bank by which interest is to be paid or profit of any kind made by the deponent, is downright corruption. It is taxing the public for the benefit and profit of individuals; it is worse than old tenor, continental currency, or any other paper money.

Now, Sir, if I should talk in this strain, after I am dead, you know the people of America would pronounce that I had died mad.

My opinion is, that a circulating medium of gold and silver only ought to be introduced and established; that a national bank of deposit only, with a branch in each State, should be allowed; that every bank in the Union ought to be annihilated, and every bank of discount prohibited to all eternity. Not one farthing of profit should ever be allowed on any money deposited in the bank. Now, my friend, if, in my posthumous sermon, exhortation, advice, address, or whatever you may call it, I should gravely deliver such a doctrine, nine tenths of republicans as well as federalists will think that I ought to have been consigned to your tranquillizing chair rather than permitted to write such extravagances. Franklin, Washington, Hamilton, and all our disinterested patriots and heroes, it will be said, have sanctioned paper money and banks, and who is this pedant and bigot of a John Adams, who, from the ground, sounds the tocsin against all our best men, when every body knows he never had any thing in view but his private interest from his birth to his death?

Free schools, and all schools, colleges, academies and seminaries of learning,(4)I can recommend from my heart; but I dare not say that a suffrage should never be permitted to a man who cannot read and write. What would become of the republic of France, if the lives, fortunes, character, of twenty-four millions and a half of men who can neither read nor write, should be at the absolute disposal of five hundred thousand who can read?

I am not qualified to write such an address. The style should be pure, elegant, eloquent, and pathetic in the highest degree. It should be revised, corrected, obliterated, interpolated,amended, transcribed twenty times, polished, refined, varnished, burnished. To all these employments and exercises I am a total stranger. To my sorrow, I have never copied, nor corrected, nor embellished. I understand it not. I never could write declamations, orations, or popular addresses.

If I could persuade my friend Rush, or my friend Jay, my friend Trumbull, or my friend Humphreys, or perhaps my friend Jefferson, to write such a thing for me, I know not why I might not transcribe it, as Washington did so often. Borrowed eloquence, if it contains as good stuff, is as good as own eloquence.

The example you recollect of Caesar’s will, is an awful warning. Posthumous addresses may be left by Caesar as well as Cato, Brutus, or Cicero, and will oftener, perhaps, be applauded, and make deeper impressions; establish empires easier than restore republics; promote tyranny sooner than liberty.

Your advice, my friend, flows from the piety, benevolence, and patriotism of your heart. I know of no man better qualified to write such an address than yourself. If you will try your hand at it and send me the result, I will consider it maturely. I will not promise to adopt it as my own, but I may make a better use of it than of any thing I could write.

My brother Cranch thinks you one of the best and one of the profoundest Christians. He prays me to present you his best compliments, and although he has not the honor nor the pleasure of a personal acquaintance, has the highest esteem for your character. He prays me to inclose a sermon, not for its own sake as much as for the appendix, which he asks you to read and give him your opinion of it. Will you show it to our friend Wharton, and get his opinion of it?

John Adams.

 

Footnotes:
1.” Suppose you avail yourself, while in health, of the sensibility which awaits the public mind to your character soon after your death, by leaving behind you a posthumous address to the citizens of the United States, in which shall be inculcated all those great national, social, domestic, and religious virtues, which alone can make a people free, great, and happy.” B. Rush to J. A.

 2. “You stand nearly alone in the history of our public men, in never having had your integrity called in question, or even suspected. Friends and enemies agree in believing you to be an honest man.” B. Ruth to J. A.

3. “In exposing the evils of funding systems and banks, summon all the fire of your genius, as it blazed forth on the 2d of July in the year 1776 upon the floor of Congress.” B. Rush to J. A.

 4. “The benefits of free schools should not be overlooked. Indeed, suffrage, in my opinion, should never be permitted to a man that could not write or read.” B. R. lo J. A.

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John Adams on the Death of George Washington

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REPLY TO THE ADDRESS OF THE SENATE, ON THE DEATH OF GEORGE WASHINGTON. 23 December, 1799.

Gentlemen Of The Senate,

I receive, with the most respectful and affectionate sentiments, in this impressive address, the obliging expressions of your regard for the loss our country has sustained in the death of her most esteemed, beloved, and admired citizen.

In the multitude of my thoughts and recollections on this melancholy event, you will permit me only to say, that I have seen him in the days of adversity, in some of the scenes of his deepest distress and most trying perplexities; I have also attended him in his highest elevation, and most prosperous felicity, with uniform admiration of his wisdom, moderation, and constancy.

Among all our original associates in that memorable league of the continent in 1774, which first expressed the sovereign will of a free nation in America, he was the only one remaining in the general government.

Although, with a constitution more enfeebled than his at an age when he thought it necessary to prepare for retirement, I feel myself alone, bereaved of my last brother, yet I derive a strong consolation from the unanimous disposition which appears, in all ages and classes, to mingle their sorrows with mine on this common calamity to the world.

The life of our Washington cannot suffer by a comparison with those of other countries who have been most celebrated and exalted by fame. The attributes and decorations of royalty could have only served to eclipse the majesty of those virtues which made him, from being a modest citizen, a more resplendent luminary. Misfortune, had he lived, could hereafter have sullied his glory only with those superficial minds, who, believing that characters and actions are marked by success alone, rarely deserve to enjoy it. Malice could never blast his honor, and envy made him a singular exception to her universal rule. For himself, he had lived enough to life and to glory. For his fellow-citizens, if their prayers could have been answered, he would have been immortal. For me, his departure is at a most unfortunate moment. Trusting, however, in the wise and righteous dominion of Providence over the passions of men, and the results of their counsels and actions, as well as over their lives, nothing remains for me but humble resignation.

His example is now complete, and it will teach wisdom and virtue to magistrates, citizens, and men, not only in the present age, but in future generations, as long as our history shall be read. If a Trajan found a Pliny, a Marcus Aurelius can never want biographers, eulogists, or historians.

John Adams.

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John Adams Letter To Benjamin Rush; 21 January, 1810

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John Adams Letter To Benjamin Rush; 21 January, 1810

Quincy, 21 January, 1810.

Learned, ingenious, benevolent, beneficent old friend of 1774! Thanks for “the light and truth,” as I used to call the Aurora, which you sent me. You may descend in a calm, but I have lived in a storm, and shall certainly die in one.(1)

I never asked my son any questions about the motives, designs, or objects of his mission to St. Petersburgh.(2) If I had been weak enough to ask, he would have been wise enough to be silent; for although a more dutiful and affectionate son is not in existence, he knows his obligations to his country and his trust are superior to all parental requests or injunctions. I know therefore no more of his errand than any other man. If he is appointed to be a Samson to tie the foxes’ tails together with a torch or firebrand between them, I know nothing of it. One thing I know, we ought to have had an ambassador there these thirty years; and we should have had it, if Congress had not been too complaisant to Vergennes. Mr. Dana was upon the point of being received, and had a solemn promise of a reception, when he was recalled. Under all the circumstances of those times, however, I cannot very severely blame Congress for this conduct, though I think it was an error. It is of great importance to us at present to know more than we do of the views, interests, and sentiments of all the northern powers. If we do not acquire more knowledge than we have, of the present and probable future state of Europe, we shall be hoodwinked and bubbled by the French and English.

Of Mr. Jackson, his talents, knowledge, manners, or morals, I know nothing, but am not unwilling to think favorably of them all. His conduct to our President and his minister is not, however, a letter of recommendation of his temper, policy, or discretion. His lady was an intimate acquaintance of my daughter, and consequently well known to both my sons at Berlin. Thomas speaks handsomely of her person and accomplishments.

I have not seen, but am impatient to see, Mr. Cheetham’s life of Mr. Paine. His political writings, I am singular enough to believe, have done more harm than his irreligious ones. He understood neither government nor religion. From a malignant heart he wrote virulent declamations, which ‘the enthusiastic fury of the times intimidated all men, even Mr. Burke, from answering as he ought. His deism, as it appears to me, has promoted rather than retarded the cause of revolution in America, and indeed in Europe. His billingsgate, stolen from Blount’s Oracles of Reason, from Bolingbroke, Voltaire, Bdrenger, &c., will never discredit Christianity, which will hold its ground in some degree as long as human nature shall have any thing moral or intellectual left in it. The Christian religion, as I understand it, is the brightness of the glory and the express portrait of the character of the eternal, self-existent, independent, benevolent, all powerful and all merciful creator, preserver, and father of the universe, the first good, first perfect, and first fair. It will last as long as the world. Neither savage nor civilized man, without a revelation, could ever have discovered or invented it. Ask me not, then, whether I am a Catholic or Protestant, Calvinist or Arminian. As far as they are Christians, I wish to be a fellow-disciple with them all.

Footnotes:
1 “I inclose a few numbers of the Aurora. Shall we descend in a calm or a storm to our graves?” B. Rush to J. A.

2 “We are told your son is gone to Petersburgh to put a torch to the flame of war, and that we are to be allies of France, and of all the powers on the Baltic, in it” B. R. to J. A.

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JOHN ADAMS TO THE GRAND JURORS OF THE COUNTY OF HAMPSHIRE, MASSACHUSETTS. 3 OCTOBER, 1798

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John Adams To The Grand Jurors Of The County Of Hampshire, Massachusetts.

3 October, 1798.

Gentlemen,

I have received with much pleasure your address of the 28th of September from Northampton.

The manifestations of your respect, approbation, and confidence are very flattering to me, and your determination to support the Constitution and laws of your country is honorable to yourselves. If a new order of things has commenced, it behooves us to be cautious, that it may not be for the worse. If the abuse of Christianity can be annihilated or diminished, and a more equitable enjoyment of the right of conscience introduced, it will be well; but this will not be accomplished by the abolition of Christianity and the introduction of Grecian mythology, or the worship of modern heroes or heroines, by erecting statues of idolatry to reason or virtue, to beauty or to taste. It is a serious problem to resolve, whether all the abuses of Christianity, even in the darkest ages, when the Pope deposed princes and laid nations under his interdict, were ever so bloody and cruel, ever bore down the independence of the human mind with such terror and intolerance, or taught doctrines which required such implicit credulity to believe, as the present reign of pretended philosophy in France.

John Adams.

 

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JOHN ADAMS TO THE GRAND JURY OF THE COUNTY OF DUTCHESS, NEW YORK. 22 SEPTEMBER, 1798

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John Adams To The Grand Jury Of The County Of Dutchess, New York. 22 September, 1798.

Gentlemen,

I have received and read with great pleasure your address of the 1st of September, which, in this kind of writing, with a few explanations, may be considered as a model of sense and spirit, as well as of taste and eloquence.

Is there any mode imaginable in which contempt of the understanding and feelings of a nation can be expressed with so much aggravation, as by affecting to treat the government of their choice as an usurpation?

If in some instances marks of disaffection have appeared in your State, it is indeed exceedingly to be regretted. If this has been owing to the influx of foreigners, of discontented characters, it ought to be a warning. If we glory in making our country an asylum for virtue in distress and for innocent industry, it behooves us to beware, that under this pretext it is not made a receptacle of malevolence and turbulence, for the outcasts of the universe.

The conduct of France must not disgrace the cause of free governments. With the tears and the blood of millions, she has demonstrated that a free government must be organized and adjusted with a strict attention to the nature of man, and the interests and passions of the various classes of which society is composed; but she has not made any rational apology for the advocates of despotic government. Society cannot exist without laws, and those laws must be executed. In nations that are populous, opulent, and powerful, the concurrent interests of great bodies of men operate very forcibly on their passions, break down the barriers of modesty, decency, and morality, and can be restrained only by force; but there are methods of combining the public force in such a manner as to restrain the most formidable combinations of interests, passions, imagination, and prejudice, without recourse to despotic government. To these methods it is to be hoped the nations of Europe will have recourse, rather than to surrender all to military dictators or hereditary despots.

John Adams.

 

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JOHN ADAMS INAUGURAL SPEECH TO BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS, 4 March, 1797

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INAUGURAL SPEECH TO BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS, 4 March, 1797.

when it was first perceived, in early times, that no middle course for America remained between unlimited submission to a foreign legislature and a total independence of its claims, men of reflection were less apprehensive of danger from the formidable power of fleets and armies they must determine to resist, than from those contests and dissensions, which would certainly arise, concerning the forms of government to be instituted, over the whole, and over the parts of this extensive country. Relying, however, on the purity of their intentions, the justice of their cause, and the integrity and intelligence of the people, under an overruling Providence, [Divine Providence or Providence the founding fathers referred to on numerous occasions equals God's Governance, Will, Judgement, Foresight and Care]  which had so signally protected this country from the first, the representatives of this nation, then consisting of little more than half its present numbers, not only broke to pieces the chains which were forging, and the rod of iron that was lifted up, but frankly cut asunder the ties which had bound them, and launched into an ocean of uncertainty.

The zeal and ardor of the people during the revolutionary war, supplying the place of government, commanded a degree of order, sufficient at least for the temporary preservation of society. The confederation, which was early felt to be necessary, was prepared from the models of the Batavian and Helvetic confederacies, the only examples which remain, with any detail and precision, in history, and certainly the only ones which the people at large had ever considered. But, reflecting on the striking difference in so many particulars between this country and those where a courier may go from the seat of government to the frontier in a single day, it was then certainly foreseen by some, who assisted in Congress at the formation of it, that it could not be durable.

Negligence of its regulations, inattention to its recommendations, if not disobedience to its authority, not only in individuals but in States, soon appeared, with their melancholy consequences; universal languor, jealousies, rivalries of States; decline of navigation and commerce; discouragement of necessary manufactures; universal fall in the value of lands and their produce; contempt of public and private faith; loss of consideration and credit with foreign nations; and, at length, in discontents, animosities, combinations, partial conventions, and insurrection; threatening some great national calamity.

In this dangerous crisis the people of America were not abandoned by their usual good sense, presence of mind, resolution, or integrity. Measures were pursued to concert a plan to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty. The public disquisitions, discussions, and deliberations, issued in the present happy constitution of government .

Employed in the service of my country abroad, during the whole course of these transactions, I first saw the Constitution of the United States in a foreign country. Irritated by no literary altercation, animated by no public debate, heated by no party animosity, I read it with great satisfaction, as a result of good heads, prompted by good hearts; as an experiment better adapted to the genius, character, situation, and relations of this nation and country, than any which had ever been proposed or suggested. In its general principles and great outlines, it was conformable to such a system of government as I had ever most esteemed, and in some States, my own native State in particular, had contributed to establish. Claiming a right of suffrage in common with my fellow-citizens, in the adoption or rejection of a constitution, which was to rule me and my posterity as well as them and theirs, I did not hesitate to express my approbation of it on all occasions, in public and in private. It was not then nor has been since any objection to it, in my mind, that the Executive and Senate were not more permanent . Nor have I entertained a thought of promoting any alteration in it, but such as the people themselves, in the course of their experience, should see and feel to be necessary or expedient, and by their representatives in Congress and the State legislatures, according to the Constitution itself, adopt and ordain.

Returning to the bosom of my country, after a painful separation from it for ten years, I had the honor to be elected to a station under the new order of things, and I have repeatedly laid myself under the most serious obligations to support the Constitution. The operation of it has equalled the most sanguine expectations of its friends; and, from an habitual attention to it, satisfaction in its administration, and delight in its effect upon the peace, order, prosperity, and happiness of the nation, I have acquired an habitual attachment to it, and veneration for it.

What other form of government, indeed, can so well deserve our esteem and love?

There may be little solidity in an ancient idea, that congregations of men into cities and nations, are the most pleasing objects in the sight of superior intelligences; but this is very certain, that, to a benevolent human mind, there can be no spectacle presented by any nation, more pleasing, more noble, majestic, or august, than an assembly like that which has so often been seen in this and the other chamber of Congress; of a government, in which the executive authority, as well as that of all the branches of the legislature, are exercised by citizens selected at regular periods by their neighbors, to make and execute laws for the general good. Can any thing essential, any thing more than mere ornament and decoration, be added to this by robes or diamonds? Can authority be more amiable or respectable, when it descends from accidents or institutions established in remote antiquity, than when it springs fresh from the hearts and judgments of an honest and enlightened people? For it is the people only that are represented; it is their power and majesty that is reflected, and only for their good, in every legitimate government, under whatever form it may appear. The existence of such a government as ours, for any length of time, is a full proof of a general dissemination of knowledge and virtue throughout the whole body of the people. And what object of consideration, more pleasing than this, can be presented to the human mind? If national pride is ever justifiable or excusable, it is when it springs, not from power or riches, grandeur or glory, but from conviction of national innocence, information, and benevolence.

In the midst of these pleasing ideas, we should be unfaithful to ourselves, if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties, if any thing partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections. If an election is to be determined by a majority of a single vote, and that can be procured by a party, through artifice or corruption, the government may be the choice of a party, for its own ends, not of the nation, for the national good. If that solitary suffrage can be obtained by foreign nations, by flattery or menaces; by fraud or violence; by terror, intrigue, or venality; the government may not be the choice of the American people, but of foreign nations. It may be foreign nations who govern us, and not we, the people, who govern ourselves. And candid men will acknowledge, that, in such cases, choice would have little advantage to boast of over lot or chance.

Such is the amiable and interesting system of government (and such arc some of the abuses to which it may be exposed), which the people of America have exhibited, to the admiration and anxiety of the wise and virtuous of all nations, for eight years; under the administration of a citizen, who, by a long course of great actions regulated by prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude, conducting a people, inspired with the same virtues, and animated with the same ardent patriotism and love of liberty, to independence and peace, to increasing wealth and unexampled prosperity, has merited the gratitude of his fellow-citizens, commanded the highest praises of foreign nations, and secured immortal glory with posterity.

In that retirement which is his voluntary choice, may he long live to enjoy the delicious recollection of his services, the gratitude of mankind, the happy fruits of them to himself and the world, which are daily increasing, and that splendid prospect of the future fortunes of his country, which is opening from year to year! His name may be still a rampart, and the knowledge that he lives, a bulwark against all open or secret enemies of his country’s peace.

This example has been recommended to the imitation of his successors, by both Houses of Congress, and by the voice of the legislatures and the people throughout the nation.

"if a resolution to do justice, as far as may depend upon me, at 
all times, and to all nations, and maintain peace, friendship, and 
benevolence with all the world; if an unshaken confidence in the 
honor, spirit, and resources of the American people, on which I 
have so often hazarded my all, and never been deceived; if elevated 
ideas of the high destinies of this country, and of my own duties 
towards it, founded on a knowledge of the moral principles and 
intellectual improvements of the people, deeply engraven on my mind 
in early life, and not obscured, but exalted by experience and age; 
and with humble reverence I feel it my duty to add, if a veneration 
for the religion of a people, who profess and call themselves 
Christians, and a fixed resolution to consider a decent respect 
for Christianity among the best recommendations for the public 
service; — can enable me in any degree to comply with your wishes, 
it shall be my strenuous endeavor that this sagacious injunction 
of the two Houses shall not be without effect."

On this subject it might become me better to be silent, or to speak with diffidence; but, as something may be expected, the occasion, I hope, will be admitted as an apology, if I venture to say, that, if a preference upon principle of a free republican government, formed upon long and serious reflection, after a diligent and impartial inquiry after truth; if an attachment to the Constitution of the United States, and a conscientious determination to support it, until it shall be altered by the judgments and the wishes of the people, expressed in the mode prescribed in it; if a respectful attention to the constitutions of the individual States, and a constant caution and delicacy towards the State governments; if an equal and impartial regard to the rights, interests, honor, and happiness of all the States in the Union, without preference or regard to a northern or southern, eastern or western position, their various political opinions on essential points, or their personal attachments; if a love of virtuous men of all parties and denominations; if a love of science and letters, and a wish to patronize every rational effort to encourage schools, colleges, universities, academies, and every institution for propagating knowledge, virtue, and religion among all classes of the people, not only for their benign influence on the happiness of life in all its stages and classes and of society in all its forms, but as the only means of preserving our constitution from its natural enemies, the spirit of sophistry, the spirit of party, the spirit of intrigue, profligacy, and corruption, and the pestilence of foreign influence, which is the angel of destruction to elective governments; if a love of equal laws, of justice and humanity, in the interior administration; if an inclination to improve agriculture, commerce, and manufactures for necessity, convenience, and defence; if a spirit of equity and humanity towards the aboriginal nations of America, and a disposition to meliorate their condition by inclining them to be more friendly to us, and our citizens to be more friendly to them; if an inflexible determination to maintain peace and inviolable faith with all nations, and that system of neutrality and impartiality among the belligerent powers of Europe, which has been adopted by the government, and so solemnly sanctioned by both Houses of Congress, and applauded by the legislatures of the States and the public opinion, until it shall be otherwise ordained by Congress; if a personal esteem for the French nation, formed in a residence of seven years chiefly among them, and a sincere desire to preserve the friendship which has been so much for the honor and interest of both nations; if, while the conscious honor and integrity of the people of America, and the internal sentiment of their own power and energies must be preserved, an earnest endeavor to investigate every just cause, and remove every colorable pretence of complaint; if an intention to pursue, by amicable negotiation, a reparation for the injuries that have been committed on the commerce of our fellow-citizens by whatever nation, and (if success cannot be obtained) to lay the facts before the legislature, that they may consider what further measures the honor and interest of the government and its constituents demand; if a resolution to do justice, as far as may depend upon me, at all times, and to all nations, and maintain peace, friendship, and benevolence with all the world; if an unshaken confidence in the honor, spirit, and resources of the American people, on which I have so often hazarded my all, and never been deceived; if elevated ideas of the high destinies of this country, and of my own duties towards it, founded on a knowledge of the moral principles and intellectual improvements of the people, deeply engraven on my mind in early life, and not obscured, but exalted by experience and age; and with humble reverence I feel it my duty to add, if a veneration for the religion of a people, who profess and call themselves Christians, and a fixed resolution to consider a decent respect for Christianity among the best recommendations for the public service; — can enable me in any degree to comply with your wishes, it shall be my strenuous endeavor that this sagacious injunction of the two Houses shall not be without effect.

With this great example before me, with the sense and spirit, the faith and honor, the duty and interest of the same American people, pledged to support the Constitution. of the United States, 1 entertain no doubt of its continuance in all its energy; and my mind is prepared without hesitation, to lay myself under the most solemn obligations to support it to the utmost of my power.

And may that Being, who is supreme over all, the patron of order, the fountain of justice, and the protector, in all ages of the world, of virtuous liberty, continue his blessing upon this nation and its government, and give it all possible success and duration, consistent with the ends of his providence!

John Adams.

Posted in Education, Founders, Greatest American Speeches, John Adams, Misc about Jesus/God, Revolutionary War History, Signers of the Declaration of Independence, Tea Party Truth, Uncategorized, US History | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

To The Officers Of The First Brigade Of The Third Division Of The Militia Of Massachusetts: John Adams

TheEducatorIgnorantSelfSeeking

John Adams; To The Officers Of The First Brigade Of The Third Division Of The Militia Of Massachusetts.

11 October, 1798.

Gentlemen,

I have received from Major-General Hull and Brigadier General Walker your unanimous address from Lexington, animated with a martial spirit, and expressed with a military dignity becoming your character and the memorable plains on which it was adopted.

While our country remains untainted with the principles and manners which are now producing desolation in so many parts of the world; while she continues sincere, and incapable of insidious and impious policy, we shall have the strongest reason to rejoice in the local destination assigned us by Providence. But should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation while it is practicing iniquity and extravagance, and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candor, frankness, and sincerity, while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world; because we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

An address from the officers commanding two thousand eight hundred men, consisting of such substantial citizens as are able and willing at their own expense completely to arm and clothe themselves in handsome uniforms, does honor to that division of the militia which has done so much honor to its country.

Oaths in this country are as yet universally considered as sacred obligations. That which you have taken and so solemnly repeated on that venerable spot, is an. ample pledge of your sincerity and devotion to your country and its government.

John Adams

Posted in 1st Amendment, Advice to young people: From the Masters, Constitution, Education, Founders, John Adams, Leadership, Misc about Jesus/God, Revolutionary War History, Sacred Honor, Signers of the Declaration of Independence, Tea Party Truth, Uncategorized, US History | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Greatest Domestic Terrorist Organization in America is the Federal Government

TheEducatorIgnorantSelfSeeking

“On every unauthoritative exercise of power by the legislature must the people rise in rebellion or their silence be construed into a surrender of that power.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

The federal government has become the greatest domestic terrorist organization, and the greatest threat to peace and happiness in America. The continuing slide towards a police state we see in America today, is on a trajectory that cannot be sustained for long among a free people. With the militarization of the various governmental agencies in the federal government and the nations police forces, it should be obvious to anyone the federal government has ceased to work for the best interests of the citizenry or the nation.

1stAmendmentArea

"Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin 
by subduing the freeness of speech." Benjamin Franklin 
Written when he was 16.

When you have instances where a tortoise takes precedent over American lives and lively hoods, it is unsustainable against the bulwark of our freedoms. There are many instances like this, including but not limited to:

Farmers in California being denied the water they need to grow produce for the nation because of a smelt. Ranchers in various parts of the country being denied the right to graze their cattle on public lands, or being fined for cleaning out a water course to allow for the free flow of water. Builders being denied the right to build what they choose to build, on land they own. Home owners being denied the right to even catch rain in a barrel that flows from the roof of the houses they own. It is nothing short of tyranny designed to cause terror among the domestic population and is therefore domestic terrorism.

When you have a pipeline that would benefit the nation and citizenry being denied the needed permits through numerous studies, studies that find no harm would come from the same, yet the federal government through it’s domestic terrorist arm the EPA continues to deny the permits. When this same government imposes regulations that are so egregious they cause numerous business and job losses in coal country. It is nothing short of domestic terror and government abuse of the citizenry.

When you have the IRS, FEC, OSHA, FBI, DoJ and numerous other domestic terrorist agencies of the federal government targeting their political opponents. When you have the NSA doing nonstop surveillance and spying on the American people. It is nothing short of domestic terror, and designed to cause fear among the citizenry.

When you have members of the Government Oversight Committee coordinating with the IRS and other agencies in that same targeting of conservative groups, and other members of Congress and the Whitehouse calling on the IRS to do that targeting. It is nothing short of domestic terror and designed to cause a chilling effect on those who would speak against them.

When you have the Whitehouse take punitive measures against the American people during the most recent government shutdown: i.e. Closing the WWII Memorial to veterans, the ocean to fisherman, highway scenic overlooks, and the national parks to the American public who paid for those parks with their tax dollars and numerous other punitive and adolescent measures designed to make the American people call on Congress to cave to the Whitehouse demands. It is nothing short of domestic terror and reflect more the actions of a third world dictator, than those of an American president who should reflect the values of the American citizenry.

DanielWebsterQuotesPatriotism

When you have members of the TSA, created by the George W. Bush administration; committing lewd and lascivious sexual acts on the general public and given sanction to do so by the federal government. It is nothing short of domestic terror and designed to condition the citizenry to surrender more and more of their liberties under the guise of protecting them.

When you have a federal government, who will turn the full weight of it’s power against the citizens, and do nothing about the influx of law breakers through our porous southern border. It is indeed nothing short of terror and has no place in America, the Land of the Free.

When The same federal government kills cattle because a rancher loses his appeals to the federal courts that are stacked against him (Clive Bundy) and doesn’t pay the fines imposed upon him. This same government refuses to pay the millions awarded to another rancher (Wayne Hage) who took it upon himself to learn the law because of his fathers 20 year dispute with the federal government, and in so doing allowed him to prevail in his legal disputes against that same government, it is nothing short of domestic government tyranny and abuse of power.

When you have the federal government printing and pumping money into the stock market to buoy the numbers so the economy seems to be doing better than we average American’s know it to be. When the actions of the federal governmental policies devaluing the dollar to such an extent it causes prices, not only on luxuries to skyrocket, but also the basic staples and needs of human life, such as groceries, electricity, and fuel to double and triple in the years since Obama became president, it is nothing short of domestic terror, which does only harm to the tranquility and peace of the citizenry.

When you have the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families team up with Boston Children’s Hospital to kidnap a child from Connecticut and keep her from her family as they did, and continue to do with Justina Pelletier, and the court imposes a gag order to keep the Pelletier from speaking about it. That is not indicative of American values, those are more like tactics of a despot who denies the rights of parents and families,  It is nothing short of government abuse of power and domestic terror. It is also an indication of what America has in store for her with Obamacare, since Obamacare was designed by the same people who designed the Massachusetts healthcare system.

EdmundBurkeQuotesLibertyCorruption

I could spend all day making a list and providing links to various instances of domestic terror by the federal government, however I think enough Americans are beginning to see them in their personal lives that I do not need to do so.

It is indeed time for the nation to stand up against the biggest bullies in America and take back our country from the federal government and the people who support this same tyrannical terroristic organization. Congress is not blameless in this growing domestic terrorism by the government. For it was they who created the monster, and it is they who can pass legislation or resend legislation that has led to the abuse by the monster they created. It would be wise from what we are seeing today for the House of Representatives and the United States Senate to fix the alphabet agency soup they created before the people rise up against the same, due to the lack of action on the part of Congress, the Supreme Court and the President to reign in the government we pay for through our tax dollars.

I encourage and invite you all to add to the list in the comments below…

One last message before I sign off: Attention Government Employees and Officials: YOU are our hirelings, servants, and employees, NOT our parents, rulers, or lords and We the people are NOT your Customers!

We the People are the Ruler’s in America! We the People ARE the Last Word, NOT the Legislator, NOT the Supreme Court, NOT the President. When We Stand Together, our Hirelings have no choice but to Listen!

UPDATE: Bundy Ranch: Harry Reid doesn’t want Americans to get away with breaking laws, but if illegal aliens break the law; he gives them citizenship! Forget about the GOP’s so called war on women, so-called by democrats to distract. Think of the federal governments war on us ALL!

Also see:What Measures are actually taken by wicked and desperate Ministers to ruin and enslave their Country
Freedom of Speech the Same is Inseparable From Public Liberty: Cato Letter No. 15
Of Rebellion: Observations on the Boston Port-Bill by John Q. Adams 1774
Extract from Hyperion by “The Patriot” Josiah Quincy Jr., 1768
Appeal to the People Concerning the Heavy Hand of Government
The Reason Behind Low Congressional Approval Ratings “Far Too Long”
The Democrats Assault on the First Amendment in America
Sensible According to the Democrats
A System That Breeds Contempt In Its Children
The Consequence of Bad Legal Precedent in American Legislation
The Powers of Congress; House of Representatives and the Senate: Constitution Article I
The Powers of the Executive Branch i.e. the President: Constitution Article II
Weird Weather in the United States evidence of Climate Change?
A WARNING TO AMERICANS by John Dickinson 1732-1808
GRIEVANCES OF THE COLONISTS TO THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT by Richard Henry Lee 1775
Posted in 1st Amendment, 2nd Amendment, Constitution, Leadership, Leftist culture in America, Political Opinion, Tea Party Truth, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oversight Committees IRS Targeting Investigation Malfeasance

No wonder Democrat Minority Leader (Rep Elijah Cummings) in the House Oversight Committee Has Fought So Hard and Viciously to Impede the Oversights Committees Investigation into the IRS Targeting Tea Party, Religious, Jewish, and Conservative Organizations.

IRS“House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell E. Issa on Wednesday accused his Democratic counterpart, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, of colluding with the IRS to attack one of the tea party groups that was targeted by the tax agency for intrusive scrutiny and long delays.

Mr. Issa and five other top Republicans said they just last week were given emails showing Mr. Cummings sought information from the IRS about True the Vote, a conservative tax-exempt organization that drew the ire of liberals for pushing states to eliminate potentially bogus names from their voter rolls.”

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/9/issa-irs-coordinated-dems-attack-tea-party-group/

Keep in mind North Carolina officials found over 36,000 cases of Voter Fraud just in their State during the 2012 election cycle. This should be one of the Greatest Crimes in America. Dealt the most severe punishment for it undermines the very bedrock of our Republic. When a person commits voter fraud, they are not only robbing each individual who votes, they are robbing our Republic of the very democratic principles of its founding.

Excerpt from page two of above linked story: “Sixty years ago, Joe McCarthy tried — and failed — to hold an American citizen in contempt after she professed her innocence and asserted her rights under the Fifth Amendment. I reject Chairman Issa’s attempts to re-create our committee in Joe McCarthy’s image, and I object to his effort to drag us back to that shameful era in which Congress tried to strip away the constitutional rights of American citizens under the bright lights of hearings that had nothing to do with responsible oversight and everything to do with the most dishonorable kind of partisan politics,” Mr. Cummings said.

This is pretty rich coming from Cummings who has done everything he can to impede the Oversights committees investigation into the IRS stripping away True American Citizens Rights. A government employee is the government, they are not an American citizen. If an American business person gives up their Constitutional Rights when entering into public commerce, then an American who enters into public service give up those same rights when entering that same service!

Here are the documents about Democrat Rep Cummings’  interactions with the IRS about a targeted conservative organization: True The Vote

Keep in mind hundreds of Progressive, Liberal, Democrat 501c Organizations have been politically active for decades. See it was just fine with the Democrats when it was only their side who took advantage of these tax-exempt organizations. These include to name a few:
Fierce;
Moveon.org;
Voto Latino;
Labor Unions;
Planned Parenthood;
The Ruckus Society;
Brennan Center for Justice;
The New World Foundation;
Americans United for Change;
The Black Alliance for Just Immigration;
Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND);

It is only when organizations who are opposed to the Democrats and in fact to dome extent the leadership in the GOP that the 501 organizations suddenly need revision and fixing by Congress to reign in their political activity. Democrats do this all the time, they create legislation they take advantage of, then when their opposition takes advantage of the same. They then want to revise those rules, or repeal the legislation to keep the opposition from doing the same. Democrats, liberals and progressives truly are the biggest hypocrites in America.

Here are just a few of those average hard working Americans targeted by the IRS

Posted in 1st Amendment, Constitution, Leftist culture in America, Political Opinion, Tea Party Truth, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Wonderful Love of the Father

FatherSonI recently joined a Bible Discussion group and someone asked a very profound question today in it, I must share, along with my response to it, because I think it would be of benefit to others.

Brother Pete (last name withheld so he doesn’t suffer the abuse I sometimes get for my beliefs and being public with them); he asked the following question:

“I’ve prayed many prayers and shed many tears. I’ve read some of these books in the bible until I thought the words were gonna fall off. Am I really willing to go where he leads? What if he wants to humble me, bruise me, crush me or rearrange my life? What if he chooses to tear down everything I thought I was?”

He added the following scripture as reference:

Isaiah 57:15 KJV
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

My response follows:

Speaking personally; the Lord Jesus spent at least four years deconstructing my life and showing me I wasn’t the person I thought I was. Since that time, He has spent it building me into the person He wants me to be. It can be rough at times, even with as much as I love Him, I do not always feel the love, I should always have for Him. In these times I stand on His promises and resolute in the fact, He is indeed making me into that vessel He wishes to use, and trust in His inestimable mercy and grace to continue to work in me, and through me to bring out that which is best, for I know He indeed knows what is best and knows how best to make me into that which pleases Him. For indeed! It pleases me to please Him, and I want to be the best me I can be!

The Lord can be a hard taskmaster, many times I see (in me) hate, rebellion, and many other completely undesirable qualities, rising up in me when He is working on me. Indeed, many times, my will gets in the way and I suffer for it. I would however, expect nothing less. God is my father, I expect Him to chastise me, correct me, and show me when I am wrong. It’s never pleasant in the sense that I like it. However as I said on my Facebook TL and Twitter TL just within the last week. “Even though the Lord chastises me and corrects me when I am wrong or I have done wrong, I rejoice, for I know He does so in righteousness

I rejoice because not only does it prove to me His righteousness, it also proves that everything else in His word is true, and there is nothing as Paul said; that can separate us from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus. Not how I feel, not how I think, not what I do. Even though I do not always have the right attitude or spirit when He is dealing with me. I know He does so, because He loves me and He knows I love Him and want my life to be what He chooses (again He knows best) and I do not believe that He expects me to always have the right spirit. Indeed; we are all born with that adamic spirit and nature. So I rest assured in the fact if I endure to the end, I will be saved.

Many times I see Him doing something or making me face something unpleasant to bring out those things that are undesirable in me, in order for me to see them and work on them. As David requested to be shown in him what was evil, so do I! I don’t ask for it to be easy, I ask for it to be complete, for I want to be completely saved.

So not only if I endure to the end of this life, and keep the faith, I also know that if I endure to the end His correction and chastisement when I am wrong, do wrong, or have something in me that is wrong, keeping that same faith. I know that He in the same spirit of a loving Father will comfort me, lift me up and help me when that correction and chastisement is finished. It is not just a matter of enduring through life, but enduring through each test, trial, and persecution.

That being said. The Lord is the most loving, complete, tender, merciful, gracious and beautiful love. He is unimaginably kind, good and uncondemning. He is beautiful in all His make-up. All I have to do to see His mercy is look at life and nature. To look at the things He created, and not see His love, is next to impossible for me. He is everything I have ever desired, He is everything I have ever needed, and He put up with many years of me denying Him, refusing Him, and persecuting Him. I cannot complain, for He has shown me more unwarranted love, mercy and kindness, than I have ever known in my life. He is indeed good and would never hurt us, it is only our disobedience and wills, that cause us not to be able to see, and feel that love at all times in our lives. As the song says, if we never had a problem, we wouldn’t know He can solve them.

He has taught me even to be careful of my words, for I will answer for every one of them. Even when joking around I must always be mindful of Him. That being said though, He is never too hard, He is never unkind, He is always loving, gentle, and conscious of our faults, infirmities, and weaknesses, and mindful of them when He corrects us, in anyway or anything. Indeed; His loving kindness has no end, and understanding this is key to being able to stand in the day of judgement. Jesus did not come into the world to condemn, but to save. We must be ever mindful of this, it says the way of the transgressor is hard therefore if I am suffering, it is because I am transgressing, and it is up to me to correct that, with His help, loving tenderness and kindness.

I must add that when the Lord is finished chastising me, and, I do not get it near as much as I deserve. Most of the time the Lord is overwhelming me with His love, which by the way I tend to see in everything. I see His love in His correction, in History, in every flower, creature, each one of His creations, in all things I see His love, tenderness and guiding hand. So do not think He is in anyway hard, it can just be hard on us at times, because of how we take it. Most of the time when I take it hard and fight against it, it is because my own misunderstanding of the work He is trying to do. Thus the statement I make that I want nothing more than to get me out of the way of the work, He is trying to do. The Lord never ceases to overwhelm me with His love in every aspect of my life!

Indeed! I see that love in our own nations founding documents:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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 of 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.

Those words and that spirit were born and nourished in England and our fathers carried them to the ends of the earth. They’re our inheritance from the past, our legacy to the future! That’s why we’re here, to defend them, to the Glorification of He who inspired them, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

“What the ark was to Israel the ballot should be to the American people, and their love of liberty should act like a divine presence to palsy the hand that profanes it.” ~ Rev. R. A. Holland

The Bible can inspire you, lift you up, empower you, make you feel on top of the world. Yet, it can also condemn you, shame you, chastise you, reprove you, and correct you.

Thus Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Posted in Education, Family, Holidays, Leadership, Misc about Jesus/God, Relationships, Sacred Honor, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A System That Breeds Contempt In Its Children

SpringBreakRiotWe see in the Spring Break riot in CA what happens when a school system that teaches children from their inception to despise the nation of their birth. When a school system teaches children to so despise the nation of their birth, it not only breeds contempt for the nation, it also breeds contempt for the law, and the very system and people who taught them that contempt. Just wait until they learn how they have been so completely lied to about the history of their country, then we will see that system pulled down around those who forced that contempt upon them, around the ears of those responsible.

You are hereby forewarned politicians, courts, and national education system, including the Government bureaucracy, the NEA, Department of education and so called liberal progressives, who are nothing but leftist tyrannical malcontents who have such disgust for themselves, they can see no good in the nation that has blessed them with its existence.

Posted in 1st Amendment, Education, Leftist culture in America, Political Opinion, Tea Party Truth, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Democrats Assault on the First Amendment in America

Due to the Supreme Court’s failure to address an issue concerning the Rights of Conscience and Religious Liberty today, and the growing trend among the Fascist Leftist to silence those they disagree with the following is appropriate:

If an American businessman surrenders their Rights as an individual when entering business, then government workers surrender their Rights as individuals when they enter the Public Service, therefore they who are indeed the government since they are part of that government cannot invoke the 5th Amendment as we see with Lois Lerner. The Constitution was written and made the Supreme Law of the Land to Protect individuals and citizens from the government, not the government from the people. It is past time for the abuse of our Rights and the promotion of government who was given no Rights to end!

I try hard to be respectful and tolerant of others, leftists, especially the ones in the LBGT community are making that almost impossible

I’ll have to give Mitch a thumbs up on this one

McConnell: Growing threats to our First Amendment rights
Today, (Friday, June 15, 2012) Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell spoke at the American Enterprise Institute on the growing threats to our First Amendment rights. Rather than editing or filtering his comments, his extensive remarks are provided:

One of the things that has always distinguished Americans as a people is the eagerness with which they’ve organized around issues and causes they believe in. As Alexis de Tocqueville put it more than a century and a half ago, “In no country in the world has the principle of association been more successfully used or applied to a greater multitude of objects than in America.”

And yet today, this principle faces a grave external threat. The danger comes from a political movement that’s uncomfortable with the idea of groups it doesn’t like speaking freely, and from an administration that has shown an alarming willingness itself to use the powers of government to silence these groups.

This dangerous alliance threatens the character of America. And that’s why it is critically important for all conservatives — and indeed all Americans — to stand up and unite in defense of the freedom to organize around the causes we believe in, and against any effort that would constrain our ability to do so.

The bulwark of this freedom is the First Amendment. And defending it is what I’d like to talk about today.

It’s hard to imagine a more broadly accepted proposition than the fact that Americans are free, above all else, to speak their minds openly and freely, without fear of punishment or reprisal from government authorities. Human nature being what it is, however, I think we would all have to admit that there will always be a temptation, particularly among those in power, to muffle one’s critics.

But for politicians in this country, it is a temptation always to be resisted. Because any inclination to do so would demonstrate a deeply misguided notion of our proper place in a government that was established, as the preamble to the Constitution makes clear, by the people. For the framers, the highest form of speech, the form of speech most needful of absolute protection, is political speech, particularly at those moments of national decision we call elections.

In other places, at other times, those in authority may have asserted a right to limit speech. But not here. In this country, the government simply does not have the authority. This point was so obvious to the founders that the primary author of the Federalist Papers could suggest that the Bill of Rights was not only unnecessary, but dangerous, since by identifying the things that government can’t do, it might lead some to think that whatever wasn’t listed was fair game.

And, of course, Hamilton was dead on to fear that future governments would attempt to assume powers they were never intended to have. And it’s precisely for this reason that we should all be glad he lost this particular debate, and that the Bill of Rights survived.

Without it, we’d have far less to point to in defending the principles of our founding. And over the past few years, Americans have needed all the help they can get.

Now, for many of us in this room, the constitutional debates we’ve been engaged in over the past few years have been deeply encouraging. They’ve revealed a broad appreciation of our founding principles and a capacity for civic engagement that some had feared was in decline. For me personally, they’ve also provided strong validation of a fight I’ve waged for nearly three decades against those within the government who would micromanage political speech.

At times, this fight has compelled me to take positions that weren’t exactly popular. Opposing a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning was not a popular position in Kentucky, I assure you. My views on so-called campaign finance reform were far from universal, even within my own party. And with very rare exceptions, the media has been merciless.

But as the years have gone by, many of the early critics have begun to come around. And it’s my firm conviction that in the years ahead, I’ll prevail. Since McConnell v. FEC, I’ve filed six amicus briefs in subsequent court battles, with a seventh in the works. But all I’ll really need to win is all I’ve ever needed in this fight: and that’s the 45 words of the First Amendment, and the determination to see their true meaning vindicated.

It’s the same approach that millions of other citizens have taken in battling this administration’s attempts to assume powers it simply does not have under the Constitution. And I’m confident that they’ll be vindicated too. Every one of these fights is winnable, as long as we all keep at it.

But I think that precisely because we’ve been fighting on so many fronts, it’s easy to overlook the growing severity of certain individual threats, including the threat to speech. We see instances of it here and there, but engaged as we are in so many other battles, we risk losing sight of the size and scope of this one. So if you’ll allow me, I’d like to spend a few moments just running through some of what we’ve seen. And then I’ll lay out the stakes as I see them.

The attacks on speech are legion. Perhaps the most prominent is the so-called DISCLOSE Act.

This is the Democrats’ legislative response to Citizens United, in which the Supreme Court correctly ruled that Congress may not ban political speech based on the identity of the speaker. The DISCLOSE Act aims to get around this ruling by compelling certain targeted groups to disclose the names of their donors, while excluding others, such as unions, from doing the same.

Now, to most people the idea of disclosure sounds perfectly reasonable. And throughout my career, I too have consistently called for the full and timely disclosure of all contributions to candidates and parties. But what we’re talking about here is entirely different. What this bill calls for is government-compelled disclosure of contributions to all grassroots groups, which is far more dangerous than its proponents are willing to admit.

Because if disclosure is forced upon some but not all, it’s not an act of good government, it’s a political weapon. And that’s precisely what those who are pushing this legislation have in mind. This is nothing less than an effort by the government itself to exposes its critics to harassment and intimidation, either by government authorities or through third-party allies. And that should concern every one of us.

Those pushing the DISCLOSE Act have a simple view: if the Supreme Court is no longer willing to limit the speech of those who oppose their agenda, they’ll find other ways to do it.

You’ve all heard about the Idaho businessman who’s become a personal target of the President for speaking out on behalf of candidates and causes the President opposes. Shortly after being publicly singled out by the President’s campaign, people were digging through his divorce records, cable television hosts were going after him on air, and bloggers were harassing his kids.

Charles and David Koch have become household names, not for the tens of thousands of people they employ, not for their generosity to charity, and not for building up one of the most successful private corporations on the planet; but because of their forceful and unapologetic promotion and defense of capitalism.

In return for their decades of work, one of the President’s top aides exposed them to public scrutiny by insinuating that they’d done something shady on their taxes. And earlier this year, the President’s own campaign manager sent a mass email to the campaign’s supporters, notifying them of a Koch-backed event, presumably to incite just the kind of mob that showed up.

The results have been predictable. The Koch brothers, along with Koch employees, have had their lives threatened, received hundreds of obscenity-laced hate messages, and been harassed by left-wing groups. One e-mail carried a typical message. It read: “Choose your expiration date.”

If the President of the United States opposed these kinds of tactics, all he’d have to do is condemn them. Instead, he’s joined the effort.

President Obama has publicly accused the Koch’s of being part of a, quote, “corporate takeover of our Democracy,” whatever that means. And not only did his campaign publish a list of eight private citizens it regards as enemies — an actual old-school enemies list — it recently doubled down on the effort when some began to call these thuggish tactics into question.

None of this should be surprising for a former community organizer who told a radio audience shortly before the 2010 mid-term election that Latino voters should vote with the idea of punishing their enemies and rewarding their friends. But all of it should be surprising to a former community organizer who happens to be President.

What’s more, the tactics I’m describing extend well beyond the campaign headquarters in Chicago. To an extent not seen since the Nixon administration, they extend deep into the administration itself.

News reports suggest that top White House officials have long participated in a weekly conference call with a left-wing organization in Washington whose stated purpose is to track conservative media voices, seize on potentially offensive content, and then use it to mount corporate intimidation campaigns aimed at driving these voices clear out of the public square.

Earlier this year, dozens of Tea Party-affiliated groups across the country learned what it was like to draw the attention of the speech police when they received a lengthy questionnaire from the IRS demanding attendance lists, meeting transcripts, and donor information. One of the group’s leaders described the situation this way: “[groups like ours] either drown … in unnecessary paper work … or you survive, and give them everything they want, only to be hung.”

The head of one national advocacy group has released documents which show that his group’s confidential IRS information found its way into the hands of a staunch critic on the Left who also happens to be a co-chairman of President Obama’s re-election committee. The only way this information could have been made public is if someone leaked it from inside the IRS.

And just last week we learned of an IRS decision revoking the tax-exempt status of small political nonprofit groups that undoubtedly foreshadows an effort to do the same to bigger groups on the Right that the Obama Administration regards as a threat to its campaign.

Those who have the resources and the will to fight these things should be commended. Those who don’t should be able to count on our support. But let’s be very clear: no individual or group in this country should have to face harassment or intimidation, or incur crippling expenses, defending themselves against their own government, simply because that government doesn’t like the message they’re advocating.

One person who grasps this issue better than most is Justice Clarence Thomas. And if you haven’t read Justice Thomas’s partial dissent in Citizens United, I highly recommend it. His opinion reminds us that the courts have found the chilling effect of harassment and intimidation on free speech can actually run afoul of the First Amendment.

This is why the FEC has exempted the Socialist Worker’s Party from any public disclosure since 1979. As long as they’re able to show that disclosure has led to harassment, the FEC has been happy to exempt them on First Amendment grounds. As the Court put it in Buckley, “the evidence offered need show only a reasonable probability that the compelled disclosure of a party’s contributors’ names will subject them to threats, harassment, or reprisals, from either government officials or private parties.”

The Court used similar reasoning when it told the state of Alabama back in 1958 that it couldn’t compel the NAACP to reveal the names and addresses of its members. In NAACP v. Alabama, the Court found that compelling disclosure of affiliation with groups that are engaged in advocacy infringed upon the freedom of people to associate with whatever group they like and violated their First Amendment rights.

All of this explains why Justice Thomas thought the majority opinion in Citizens United didn’t go far enough. Citing recent accounts of people who’ve been blackmailed, threatened, and targeted for retaliation for speaking out on various political issues over the past couple of years, he said the Court failed to acknowledge their constitutional significance.

Among others examples, Justice Thomas cites the case of a Los Angeles woman who was forced to resign from a job she’d held for 26 years managing a family-owned restaurant because protesters kept showing up at the restaurant shouting “shame on you” at customers. According to press reports, the police had to show up in riot gear one night just to quell the mob.

The woman’s supposed crime: writing a $100 check in support of California’s Prop 8.

Justice Thomas goes on to note that the advent of the Internet has made these tactics even easier to pull off, and thus increases the likelihood that the public will be discouraged from participating in the political process. It’s a point that’s underscored by recent news reports of a tactic known as Swatting, something Andrew Breitbart raised the alarm about in one of his final interviews.

Here’s how it works. Somebody who knows how to hack into phones calls 911, ostensibly from your phone, and tells the police they just killed somebody. Within minutes, the local SWAT team shows up at your house, guns drawn, helicopters swirling overhead. And while this tactic is clearly criminal and should be prosecuted aggressively, the goal is equally reprehensible – namely to scare people who’ve dared to speak, write, or otherwise support a cause that the Swatters don’t like.

Justice Thomas pretty well sums up my own sentiments on tactics like this in the closing paragraph of his opinion in Citizens United: “I cannot endorse a view of the First Amendment,” he wrote, “that subjects citizens of this nation to death threats, ruined careers, damaged or defaced property, or pre-emptive and threatening warning letters as the prices for engaging in core political speech, the primary object of First Amendment protection.”

Now, what Justice Thomas is describing here — the harassment and intimidation by private citizens of those who choose to participate in the political process — is deplorable. But I think we would all have to admit that it’s of a different order of magnitude from the government itself facilitating or encouraging these things … or the government using its own powers to harass or intimidate those who participate in the political process. And that’s precisely what we’ve seen.

Fortunately, Republicans have been alert to these dangers. One of the most important things we did in the past few years was to block passage of DISCLOSE. But the assaults keep coming.

Democrats in the House and Senate recently proposed the so-called “People’s Rights Amendment”, which basically repeals the First Amendment. And just this week, citing Citizens United, the President’s top political advisor, David Axelrod, told an audience in Manhattan that, quote, “When we win, we will use whatever tools are out there, including a constitutional amendment, to turn [it] back.”

This, my friends, is all you need to know about this administration’s view of free speech. The courts have said that Congress doesn’t have the authority to muzzle political speech. So the President himself will seek to go around it by attempting to change the First Amendment.

Amending the First Amendment for the first time in history would be the ultimate act of radicalism.

And yet these are not the only ways the administration is aiming to restrict speech. In a standard tactic of the Left, what they haven’t been able to achieve through the courts or Congress, they’re already attempting to achieve through regulations.

Over at the FEC, the Democrat commissioners are pushing a rule to compel third-party groups to reveal their donors. They’re deadlocked at the moment, with all three Republican commissioners standing strong. But this effort isn’t limited to the FEC.

The FCC just finalized a rule requiring broadcasters to list the names of any groups that pay for, or want to pay for, television ads online. The National Association of Broadcasters is fighting back right now in court.

Last year, the SEC proposed a rule requiring shareholder approval or disclosure of political activities. And under pressure from left wing groups, many companies have already included the question on their proxy statements.

During the health care debate, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a gag order on Humana and other private health insurers, saying they can’t inform seniors about what Obamacare meant for them. More recently, HHS spent $20 million in taxpayer money to promote Obamacare. So they’re stifling speech that’s critical of the bill, even as they tell taxpayers they’ve got to foot the bill for the administration’s own efforts to promote it.

And it’s not just the agencies.

Over at the White House, the President’s lawyers recently circulated a draft executive order that would have required anyone bidding for a government contract to disclose political donations, including those of affiliates and subsidiaries, officers and directors in excess of $5,000. The message of the order was clear: if you want a government contract, you better support our causes, or at least keep your mouth shut when it comes to the causes we oppose.

It’s the same message that an administration official sent last week when asked about Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s relationship with the administration after he had the nerve to speak his mind about the President’s attacks on private equity. “He’s dead to us,” he said.

My own view has always been that if you can’t convince people of the wisdom of your policies, then you should come up with some better arguments. But for all its vaunted tolerance, the political Left has consistently demonstrated a militant intolerance for dissent. Sadly, a growing number of people on the Left, and now within government itself, appear to have concluded that they can’t win on the merits. So they’ve resorted to bullying and intimidation instead. And the potential consequences are grave.

Which brings me to another point.

It should go without saying that the political Left has always faced an uphill climb in a country in which there are two self-identified conservatives for every self-identified liberal. America is not Western Europe. In order to succeed in this environment, liberals have generally resorted to one of the three tactics I’ve already identified: obscuring their true intent, pursuing through regulation and the courts what they can’t through legislation, or muzzling their critics.

But there’s another element to these efforts that’s less widely understood, but that I believe is essential to understanding why it is that liberals have been working so hard to regulate political speech over the past four decades. It involves the great assumption behind all of their campaign finance efforts: that the collision of private interests with politics is somehow inherently corrupting.

This is the great untested premise behind all these efforts to regulate political speech. And few people stop to think of just how radical it is. Because whether it’s the public financing of campaigns, or the attempt to impose limits on the political speech of any business or group that doesn’t happen to own a newspaper or a news studio, what all these efforts have in common is a deep suspicion of the private sphere.

All these efforts are for the purpose of limiting the ability of those engaged in private enterprises – or certain disfavored private groups or associations – to influence the direction of our country by participating in the electoral process. The goal is to hermetically seal off Congress from anyone engaged in the private economy or in certain kinds of advocacy, for that matter, outside the public sector.

And the assumption behind all these proposals is the same assumption that appears to underlie this President’s economic and regulatory policies; that anyone who makes a profit is either cheating their customers, mistreating their employees, or both. Their motives are impure, those who interact with them are somehow duped, and therefore they’re not entitled to the full protections of the First Amendment.

For those who hold this view, the legislative Holy Grail has always been taxpayer-funded campaigns. If the advocates of this approach had their way, government would control how much is spent on elections, and how it’s directed, courtesy of the taxpayer.

But the question is, who would have sway over the politicians then?

With private interests pushed to the sidelines, the only voices lawmakers could be expected to respond to would be the self-appointed tribunes of the public interest. Private interests would end up with minimal influence on the direction of public policy, and the odds of people running toward public sector solutions would increase dramatically.

If you write the rules of the game, it’s easier to win the game — especially for incumbent politicians, I would add. And that’s what the so-called reform crowd has always had in mind.

Now, it’s important to remember that one of the things that makes effective the harassment and intimidation tactics I’ve described is their selectivity. There aren’t exactly a lot of folks running to the ramparts to defend oil company executives and hedge fund managers. But we all need to understand something: the minute we allow ourselves to be convinced that some people stand outside the protections of the First Amendment, we’re all in trouble.

These rights don’t exist to protect what’s popular. They exist precisely to protect what isn’t. That’s why it’s a mistake to view the recent HHS mandate as merely a “Catholic” issue. And that’s why it’s a mistake to view the attacks we’ve seen on “millionaires and billionaires” as outside our concern. Because it always starts somewhere; and the moment we stop caring about who’s being targeted is the moment we’re all at risk.

If we don’t protect unpopular speech, no speech is safe.

If we don’t protect unpopular expressions of belief, then no belief is safe.

Let people support whomever they want as much as they want to, and let the best man or woman win. Then government could finally get out of the business of divvying up speech rights that it has no authority to confer. That’s what the founders intended. In my view, no one who values our freedoms should accept anything less.

As the Court put it in Buckley: “The concept that government may restrict the speech of some elements of our society in order to enhance the relative voice of others is wholly foreign to the First Amendment, which was designed to secure the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources, and to assure unfettered interchange of ideas for the bringing about of political and social changes desired by the people.”

Campaign contributions are speech, and in case anybody thinks unlimited contributions are a bad idea, or somehow far-fetched, just look across the Potomac to Virginia, which imposes no restrictions on contributions whatsoever. Last I checked, elected officials in Virginia are no more prone to scandal than officials in states that impose contribution limits.

And corporations are no more taking over politics there than they are anywhere else. Indeed, for all the talk after the Citizens United ruling about the corporate takeover of politics, not a single Fortune 100 company contributed a penny to the eight Super PACs that supported the Republican primary candidates. And that includes Big Oil, Wall Street banks, and health insurers — the three corporate bogeymen that President Obama himself warned us about in the wake of the Court’s ruling.

Here’s my larger point.

One of the traditional strengths of the conservative movement has always been its great diversity. We don’t all agree on everything. But my message to you today is there are certain principles that should always unite us: and one of them is the inviolability of the First Amendment. And that’s why we’ve all got to unite against these tactics, wherever we see them. If you see these things, speak up. Call out the offenders. Get ready for the criticism. And fight back.

For me, that’s meant a very long-battle against efforts to constrain political speech. It may not be the most glamorous issue out there. And it didn’t make me any friends on any editorial boards that aren’t run by Paul Gigot. But a great freedom is at stake. And having been in this fight for a long time, I can tell you this: when you’ve got an administration that’s willing to throw core constitutional protections out the window for the sake of an election, we’re in very dangerous territory indeed.

This may not be the fight that brought you to Washington. But it may very well be the one that keeps you from achieving your goals. Especially if you’re a conservative, your ability to speak out on behalf of that cause is very much at stake right now. But as I said at the outset, this isn’t just a conservative fight. It affects all of us. Because everyone in this room, liberal or conservative, is engaged in what they regard as very important battle of ideas. And the First Amendment makes all of that possible. If we lose the right to speak, we’ve lost these battles before they’ve even been waged.

I know that as November draws near, some of those running for office will feel the need to choose their battles. There will be a very strong temptation, particularly among conservatives, to take this particular issue off the table, to make concessions. My advice is to resist the temptation. Because, as I’ve said, everything we’re fighting for is contingent on our ability to speak our minds.

And so my plea to you is this: unite. Send a message to the next generation of leaders, whatever their stripe, that the First Amendment is something about which there can be no compromise. We may not win every fight, but we can at least guarantee we’ll always have a place in the debate. And in the end, I’m confident, the best ideas will always win out.

After all, that’s how free markets work. Whether it’s a market for goods or, the market of ideas, the best product will win in the end. And no American should ever be afraid of that.

As Oliver Wendell Holmes put it nearly a century ago, “The best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market”

And the best defense of this truth we have is still found in that sweeping command: “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech.”

Thank you.

Source of transcript ARRA News Service by Dr. Bill Smith

Posted in 1st Amendment, Constitution, Greatest American Speeches, Leftist culture in America, Political Opinion, Tea Party Truth, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Sensible According to the Democrats

TheEducatorIgnorantSelfSeekingSo according to the Democrats the lives lost at Benghazi are not important because they were diplomats and they knew the risk.

The 100,000+ lives lost in Syria before the chemical attack were not as important as the 100′s of lives lost in the chemical attack.

The lives of the hundred children in the Syria chemical attack were only important because they were killed by chemicals instead of IED’s

The children killed at Sandy Hook and other schools were only important because they were outside their mothers womb

It’s okay that Muslims kill and terrorize Christians but it is not okay for anyone to say anything against Islam

It’s okay to put a crucifix in a bottle of pee and call it art, but it is not okay to depict Mohammed in a cartoon.

It is okay to persecute all Christians because of a few, yet it is not okay to paint Islam with a broad brush of hate filled rhetoric taught in Mosques

It is okay to maim and stone women in the name of Islam, honor killings, and Sharia law, but it is not okay for a Christian man to assume the traditional male role as head of the house in a family.

Sure,,,it all makes sense,,,doesn’t it?

Posted in How I feel about Leftists, Leftist culture in America, Political Opinion, Tea Party Truth, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Reason Behind Low Congressional Approval Ratings “Far Too Long”

facebook-dislike-1It’s easy to see why the Congress of the United States have such low approval ratings. Our elected officials in Congress seem to be inept and clueless in regards to the American people and their plight. While you have bi-partisan bickering going on over issues that are only important to those in Washington D.C. and their political aspirations, the Federal Government and the bureaucracies that it involves are escaping unharmed and unaccountable for the abuse they have meted out to the citizenry for far too long, under far too many presidential administrations.

See also: The Greatest Domestic Terrorist Organization in America is the Federal Government

Barack Obama is not the first president to preside over the alphabet soup agencies that go to make up the federal bureaucracy, he is only the latest in a long line of them since at least Richard Nixon, a republican who was also a progressive. I would argue it was long before his time as president that it started, but since he presided over the institution of the EPA, I will begin with him.

I’m not going to go into a long list or details about the individual instances of this abuse, most of you that care about it and pay attention know the many stories, those of you who don’t, the stories are easily found on the internet through search engines and on youtube. I will mention some of the latest such as the NSA spying, the IRS targeting of conservatives, the EPA abuses that happen on a regular basis, the case of Justina Pelletier in Massachusetts, the Fast and Furious scandal that took place during two presidential administrations, the list is long and it is growing by leaps and bounds under the current administration.

It is clear that Congress has failed for far too long to address the abuses by the federal government and the bureaucracy has gotten far too out of hand. It’s members it seems, have been involved in the bureaucracy far too long, to be effective in their representation of the people’s and liberties interests. If this Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate cannot refrain from only having bi-partisan agreement on issues, laws and regulations that only do further harm to the American people and their liberties, then it is time we the people replace them all with those, who still have more than just a foothold in the communities they are elected to serve!

It is time for Congress to get off their fancy derrieres, put aside their politics and bickering, and get back to the work we the people have elected them to do. They need to not only reign in the alphabet soup agencies, that go to make up the federal bureaucracy, they need to eliminate them. They are the monsters of Congress’s creation, and it is up to Congress to correct the mistakes of their past. It is time they repeal these regulations, and pass laws that outright ban these agencies from making more, the more regulations they create, the more onerous they become, and it leads the agencies involved to abuse their power with more and more impunity and aggression towards the citizens, Congress people are elected to represent. It is time for the malfeasance and abuse of power to end!

See also: Appeal to the People Concerning the Heavy Hand of Government
The heavy hand of government has become completely unacceptable in the US, Barack Obama likes to lecture US about American Values. He and his Whitehouse’s administration of the Federal Government are the antithesis and in Direct Opposition to everything our Constitution and the … Continue reading

The Greatest Domestic Terrorist Organization in America is the Federal Government

The federal government has become the greatest domestic terrorist organization, and the greatest threat to peace and happiness in America. The continuing slide towards a police state we see in America today, is on a trajectory that cannot be … Continue reading

 

Posted in Constitution, Leadership, Political Opinion, Tea Party Truth, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

An In-Depth look at the Founders and Slavery

The Patriot Brotherhood:

Great piece on Slavery and the Founding Fathers of the United States

Originally posted on The Bottom Line:

If Liberal Progressives had their way, the Founding Fathers would not be men to be looked up to and revered. If they had their way, the Founders would be viewed as just a bunch of old, White, racist slave-holders who couldn’t care less about abolishing slavery in the United States; after all, if they cared, why didn’t they just abolish it? This view of our Founders is simply incorrect, and malicious to boot; but sadly, even some Conservatives have bought into the narrative.

In reality, (most of) the Founding Fathers were fiercely anti-slavery, although this is almost never taught in classrooms today; that is why this piece is set on setting the record straight on the Founders and slavery, and it will do so by using their own words to show the abhorrence they had for the institution, and explaining the difficulties that they faced at the time.

The Founders…

View original 10,659 more words

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DEEP-SEA FISHING

AncientMarinerDEEP-SEA FISHING A. H. F. FISCHER, D.D., Phoenixville, Pa.
Launch out into the deep.—Luke 5: 4.

THE accounts we have of the Master are but a very small portion of the things which he did. One biographer [John the Apostle] even states that if all were recorded the world itself could not contain the books [this is because Jesus was the first of God's creation]. And yet there are no gaps in that comparatively short life. It moves along in perfect smoothness from start to finish. Now on what principle did the Spirit guide the sacred writers to omit what was not necessary to give us a succinct life and its work! On what principle did Christ enter the boat and tell certain men to fish where they had toiled all night and caught nothing, to go out into deeper waters, with such marvelous results! On what principle does Christ come into the life of tired disappointed men and fill them with encouragement and cheer! On the principle that he always does the right thing at the needed time. The early Church Fathers greatly emphasized the account of the miraculous draught of fishes. They said this story must never be allowed to die out, because it brings out one of the most encouraging lessons in human experience, viz., to work where we have failed and there meet success. It is a parable of the abiding influence of Christ in the world. Whenever you say to a man who is despondent, who feels he has been defeated, who has lost his grip and thinks everyone has deserted him and he has not a friend in the world, when you say to such a man, “Try again,” a sort of miracle of God occurs. New life and hope and energy enter the man and he faces defeat with a determination that means victory. Now the gospel is the voice of God to disheartened men. It says, get up and try again, there is a new fortune to be won where the old one was lost, a victory to be scored where our defeat was recorded. It comes to a man when depressed and tells him to take heart again.

This lake was a great place for fish. These men made their living catching fish and supplying the many surrounding towns with the product of their industry. They were accustomed to fish at night, for the fish then drew near the shore to feed. But they had a very unsuccessful night of it, a water-haul every time, and they had given it up and were drying their nets on the beach when Jesus appeared on the scene. A great crowd was there, and using Simon’s boat as a pulpit, he preached to them. Then, as if to reward him for the use of his improvised pulpit, he told Simon to launch out into the deep and let down his nets for a draught. Tired and disheartened with the night’s failure, Simon said, “Master, we have toiled all night and taken nothing, nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.” And the haul was so tremendous that the net broke, and they had to call another boat, and the catch almost swamped both of them. That is the story.

But what good is there in a fish story? First this. Our Lord sent these men back to the very waters where they had failed; sent these discouraged fishermen to cast their nets in the same place where they had been working all night and caught nothing. So God sends us not to other places or other work, but where failure faced us. Now the business of these men was to know when and where to fish. They were experts, and doubtless they expected to be successful just where they failed. Christ might have said, you failed where you were, now let us go to another place, let us try our luck there. And the disciples might have added, yes, we have fished at the wrong place, we must go to other waters. For the tendency of the human heart is to give a materialistic interpretation to all life’s successes and failures. This or that was the cause of the success or the failure, leaving God out of the question altogether. We can imagine a man saying, if I could only go off to some new place every time I get discouraged trying again would be a much easier thing: if I could be somebody else, or go somewhere else, or do something else, it might not be hard to have fresh faith and courage. We can imagine a preacher saying, if I had only gone to China or the Philippines, or to some other field of labor, or if I would connect myself with some other denomination, perhaps I would be more successful in my work. If I would leave my profession and go into business, or as the case may be, leave my business and prepare for some profession, I might find my real place in life. But the Master knows best. It is the same old net in the same old pond for most of us. The old temptations are to be overcome, the old faults to be conquered, the old trials and discouragements before which we failed yesterday to be faced again today. Yes, the old things will be there, the people, some of whom we almost hated and with whom it was so hard to get along— the same people will be there. And back to them Christ sends us. We must win success where we are if we win it at all, and it is the Master himself, who, after all these toil-filled disheartening efforts that we call failures, bids us try again. George Eliot once said that the ethics of Jesus were too effeminate, that they did not appeal to the heroic, and consequently the teachings of Christ made weak men. But what could be more heroic than the life of the apostles! We read how once the disciples put up a good fight. Peter and the other apostle when imprisoned and charged that they should no longer teach in Christ’s name, replied, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” Peter, the same man who in the presence of some of these people denied with an oath that he knew the Christ, now defends him, and with imprisonment and perhaps death staring him in the face, boldly advocates his Master’s cause. And with what effect on the people? They perceived that these men had been with Jesus. They saw the firmness and the rock-like character of Jesus speaking out through them. That is the iron hand beneath the silken glove of the gospel.

Peter, the denier, the failure, goes back among the men before whom he failed, where he had proved to be a coward, and there shows himself a man of courage and unquestionable bravery. The ethics of Jesus too effeminate! Not when it transforms men like that and sends them back amidst old scenes, old failures, to face old enemies, and friends who proved treacherous, amongst old and adverse conditions, and there to make good, there to wrest victory out of former defeats. This is the nature of the gospel. Christ did not promise us anything else, but a life of battle, but it was to be accompanied by its compensating conquests. The nature of the gospel is to make man face difficulties until he is crucified with Christ; until he bears in his body all through life the marks of the Lord Jesus. He set his face like a flint steadfastly toward Jerusalem, his Calvary, but his place of victory, where before he could not do many mighty works: victory out of defeat. So the disciples went back to the lake again.

But it was Christ who sent them back. The followers of Christ should always remember, that, as soldiers, they are under orders. Whatever their work, and wherever their place may be, they are under the great Commander. Back of the disciples’ order was Christ. It is he whom they must obey. Nothing can be really failure which is obedience to his command; and some bright morning the great draught of reward will come. Worry does no good. It does not make the burden lighter, the road shorter, or the duty easier. The sensible thing to do is to face the fact that is discouraging or hard, and under Christ’s command go right on. He was a wise traveler who when his horse died, said, “I must walk now,” and trudged on with cheerful energy. A good many people would have sat down beside the dead horse and spent hours in worry. Happiness, content, and success at last; all doubts answered; all dark places lighted up; heaven begun here: this is the reward of obeying and loving Christ. In this world disappointment and tribulation; yes, but good cheer in spite of them.

And then though Jesus sent the disciples bark to the same waters, he sent them more deeply into them. “Launch out into the deep,” was the command. So men are to go back, but to plunge more deeply and earnestly into their work. It is what men keep back from Christ that is the cause of most of their trouble and the lack of their spiritual growth. The young man was willing to memorize and keep a few commandments, but he failed utterly in not consecrating himself and all he had. We consecrate only a part of our life. We give the Lord only a mite of our time and substance, an hour Sunday morning or evening, as is convenient, and a painfully small offering, reserving all the rest for self, and thus we rob God. Christ gave all. O, the depth of the riches of his grace which he has bestowed upon us! It is our shallow way of doing great things that is the torture. Shallow plowing produces scant crops. Plow deeply if you would have a rich and nourishing soil. There is a shallow way of serving Christ for the emoluments of the service, or to minister to our pride, or to have social standing, not rendering him our homage from the deep principle and motive of lore. Many a man presents the gospel in a shallow way because of a consciousness of his own inefficiency. Those in Corinth thought Paul was not rhetorical enough, not verbose enough, he did not “orate.” They thought his speech contemptible, and it disturbed Paul. He felt his weakness and thought some other might do better. But in the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians he breaks away from all this and finds himself; finds the heart of all service, the true motive in consecration. He shows that there can be no complete consecration of all the powers of body, soul, and mind unless love be the strong under flowing current. If we were as anxious to be good men and women as we are to be good preachers, good teachers, good business men, good house-keepers and home-makers, we must go more deeply into self and into Christ.

A man was riding in a trolley car one day and he became very much interested in watching the movements of the motorman. Sometimes the car would run forty miles an hour, and then twenty, then ten, and then stand still. But he saw no corresponding motion on the part of the motorman. They were using the third rail system. So he went to the motorman and said, “I have been watching you for some time, and have noticed the variations of speed, but I cannot see how it is done.” The motorman replied, “When I lift up this lever the speed slackens; when I press down it goes; when I press half we skid the live rail. I just keep above it and the car runs by its own momentum.”

There are many professed Christians who just skid the third rail, the rail that furnishes the power. They work or run by their own momentum, as they feel or when they want to. They do not press down on Christ, the source of all spiritual power, the great dynamic of religious activity. And that is the reason there is so little enthusiasm and fire and activity and loyalty in Christian work to-day. Why is it that so many persons are victims of the tuberculosis germ? It is because they do not breathe deeply enough and there is so little lung or chest expansion. So many lung-cells are not used at all; and hence, not being strengthened, they are susceptible or subject to any and every microbe that floats in the air. Breathe deeply, that is the law of health physically. Launch out into the deep, that is the law of health and success spiritually.

And note too, that when Jesus sent the disciples out into deeper waters, he went back with them. Take Christ with you wherever you go. Take him as your silent Partner in every business, and your life’s work will never spell failure. Jesus never sends a man into deeper water, or calls to him for a fuller consecration, without going with him. “Lo, I am with you always,” will turn any apparent failure into success.

There is a story told of a Scottish minister, a man of delicate constitution, one of those peculiarly sensitively organized creatures who have the poetic insight and the prophetic vision, who see farther and deeper than others, a man who of God can do finer things than we of coarser fibre. As a student in college in taking his evening strolls he felt that he could never walk beyond a given point. He could not bring himself to pass it. At that point his energy seemed to fail him. One day he told it all in confidence to his dearest friend. The friend said, “Give me your arm; lean hard on me,” and leaning on that arm he walked past the point in victory. We are going back to our work again on the morrow, and what will we make of it—success or failure!

Back to the same old round of duty, to meet the same old faces, to do the same dull tasks of yesterday, to the same place where perhaps we failed yesterday. But if we are working along the line of duty, if we are engaged in the work for which we are adapted, then that is Christ’s call to us for deeper consecration, for a more thorough application of all our powers. Let us remember that we are under orders, that Christ goes with us, and he who works daily and hourly under the inspiration and consciousness of the divine presence and divine help will never go down, will never wholly fail, but will be crowned with victory at last. Over such a life the divine hand will write “Success” in golden letters when he sums up life’s total. “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.” To strive with God is to succeed.

He cast his net at morn where fishers toiled,
At eve he drew it empty to the shore;
He took the diver’s plunge into the sea
But thence, within his hand no pearl he bore.
He ran a race but never reached his goal;
He sped an arrow but he missed his aim;
He slept at last beneath a simple stone
With no achievements carved about his name.
Men called it failure; but for my own part
I dare not use that word; for what if Heaven
Shall question,—ere its judgments shall be read,
Not, “Hast thou won!” but only, “Hast Thou striven!”

Source: The Homiletic Review – Volume 82 published 1921
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AMERICAN FOUNDATIONS

DeMint_QuoteAMERICAN FOUNDATIONS
The Rev. ARTHUR J. PENNELL, New Haven, Conn.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God.—Matt. 6: 33.

A QUESTION often arises in the minds of men whether this country is a Christian country! The status of a notion is determined by its ideals. Ideals are found in the highest aspirations and noblest ambitions of a nation’s leaders. The artist of whatever school is judged not by his first operation in the dusting of the canvas, nor by the mixing of the colors for the dubbing, nor by the first effort of his brush; a Raphael is supreme because of his Madonna. So the test of a people is to be found in their highest conception of conduct as portrayed through life and transmitted by printed page or word of mouth to posterity.

In the days preceding the printing press, man was educated in the deeds of heroism through the minstrel, thereafter by copied pages of historic accomplishments. Now through the utilization of the minerals of the earth and the harnessing of the vapors a power-driven writer presents for man’s perusal and careful study the achievements of men and nations. History is the record of the world’s noblest, and the meridian splendor of the achievement by man was when the sublime manifestation of character was exhibited to mankind through Jesus Christ.

We are brought, therefore, to the conclusion that we can estimate the ideals of a nation by its heroes—those supermen, who in the strain and stress of life’s performances stood unabashed and unafraid before every element which sought to destroy the God-germ within them. Every nation has its heroes: a Kossuth, a Garibaldi, a Napoleon, a Cromwell, a Washington or a Lincoln, a King Albert, or n Foch; but these are, so to speak, limited heroes. The world needs one who transcends limitations, who« country has no physical confines, whose nationality is lost in its broad universalism. Such is the Christ. The record of his life is the newer portion of the world’s greatest historical record now extant—the New Testament—indissolubly bound up with that other volume which in combination forms the Guide Book for human destiny. It if herein that men have ever found their ideals. It is interesting, herewith, to note, that this book, which is the basic foundation of all Christian institutions, the hope of all Christ believing souls, the inspiration of all Jesus inclined mortals, was chosen for use in the recent inauguration of a new President because in the days of yesterday’s great American utilized this time-honored volume by turning to its pages and with sincerity of heart and nobility of purpose pledged himself thereon to preserve the Constitution and to uphold the laws of this youthful republic. Surely, if apostolic succession was ever fulfilled, it was on March fourth last—when the mantle of the first American fell upon the new President, the spirit of our immortal Lincoln and the beauty of the martyred McKinley were recalled in the simple ceremony of the inauguration of the twenty-ninth President of the United States of America. Foundations, whether individual or national, to be lasting must go down deep into the past and be linked to the great minds of by-gone days. The Bible opened before that great gathering in Washington was the book which had been consecrated by the taking of the oath of office by the “Father of hi« country” and carried in procession at the unveiling of that monument which like a noble character towers to the skies. It was the heritage of that people of whom we are compelled to think when the word America is pronounced.

One cannot talk of “American Foundations” without recalling the struggles of the Puritan Fathers, who with their Pilgrim associates fought out the battles of religious freedom, shackled the usurping powers of overbearing government, and “with a heart for any fate” journeyed forth “seeking first the kingdom of God” to launch their project of government where, unmolested by governmental edicts and churchly intolerance, man might live and thrive.

In their native land laws were enacted, limitations were placed, punishments were meted out, restrictive measures were enforced, until the soul of God-fearing man was trammeled, religion became a mockery, and will was but a machine. Hope kept alive in these heroic souls the thought of a newer and a brighter day. Each morning’s sun dawned upon a day of more oppressive measures and firmer determination to wipe out those obnoxious people whose wills were their own. Fleeing their own country, they waited with patience in a land of friends, and for eleven years passed their time in strengthening their organization. Unlike the Huguenots who had fled to Germany, they never contemplated the losing of their individuality or of being absorbed by their surroundings. It was this desire to maintain their separate existence which impelled them to journey to lands practically unknown. At home there was no freedom, abroad there would be no separateness; migration was their only hope.

Westward this band of Pilgrims wended their way, oblivious of dangers, fearless of terrors, undaunted by hardship. These heroes of early American life were buoyed up in their distress with the thoughts of such as Andrew Melville who, on being called in question for a statement made in a public address in which he had alluded to King James VI as “God’s silly vassal,” replied, “I tell you, sir, there are two kingdoms and two kings in Scotland. There is Christ Jesus the King, and his kingdom in the Kirk,[Kirk refers to the Church] whose subject James VI is, and of whose kingdom he is not a king, nor a lord, nor a head, but a member.” And back of Melville was a people fully aroused to the conviction that there is an eternal law of God which kings no less than the meanest subject must obey. This kind grows only on the tree of Bible knowledge and religious freedom. Thus we see that the primal foundation of America is the Bible, for it was this book with these principles which the Pilgrims brought, which they utilized until they welded them into the very fiber of the nation’s life.

A second foundation of the American republic is education. Wherever the Bible is found as an open book there also will be found education for the people. Spiritual and intellectual death stalk in those lands where the Bible is closed. Those heroes of Americanism, realizing that freedom can not survive in ignorance, established America’s two greatest institutions at the same time and place. Wherever the meeting house was erected there also was the school house; and in the early days of this nation’s history most colleges and schools of learning could trace their beginnings to the inspiration of the Church. Wisely our early fathers emphasized the value and importance of mental development. The citizen of to-morrow is the student of to-day. Education enables us through reading and study to utilize the values of the past. Napoleon once said, “Show me a family of readers and I will show you the rulers of the world.” The effect of educational advance has not been confined to the little experiment in free government, but has extended its influence to the uttermost parts of the earth. Through the influence of those far-seeing heroes, penetrating into nations of different ideals, Western education has caused democracy to find lodgment even in lands hitherto uncongenial to it, and to-day the principles of our forefathers are seen in economic life and governmental reform throughout the world. So long as the institutions of learning maintain their proper position in the life of our country, the ideals of the fathers and the principles of our republic can never be lost to mankind.

A third foundation of this republic is equal opportunity. This question has ever been prominent in our history. This foundation was bought for American humanity as dearly as any privilege enjoyed by the human race. If 1776 saw the struggle for the conviction that “divine right” of government resides in the average citizen, we may as truly say that 1861-65 saw the struggle to make plain that in this republic the success of the individual does not depend upon the ability of the few to enslave the many, but that “the laborer is worthy of his hire,” and that no laborer is worthy to be hired unless he has ample opportunity to become all that is possible for him to be. As an institution, then, a false foundation was removed from under the structure of our heritage, and after reconstructing our building in harmony with those higher views, we set forth again upon the course of national life. Again in 1898 we declared to the world that the principles we held must be respected within the radius of our possibilities. The unlimited invitation which has been extended to the world’s oppressed has resulted in the gathering together within our borders of peoples whose ideals and principles are as distantly removed from ours as is the atmosphere of the frozen Arctic from the oppressive heat of the equatorial regions. This strange admixture of alien ideals with American foundations has resulted in much unrest and social disturbance. It has stirred up strife where only the peaceful waters of a summer sea had flowed. It has sometimes turned the honest workman into an avaricious traveler or into a guerrilla of social warfare and a destroyer of national industry.

At first glimpse one may possibly find in himself a feeling of pessimism; but think carefully! The foundations of this great nation are deeply rooted and well founded. When he who has been chosen by the multitude of bis fellows exercising their prerogative as citizens and voters in a land of democratic ideals steps forward to take his solemn obligation of service and to vow before God and men his determination to conserve the interests of the people; when with head bared and hand uplifted he stands before the open Bible, the basis of our Constitution, the inspiration of our fathers, the book of life’s principles; when with solemnity and with sincerity the chief executive—with no further ceremony, no pomp and splendor, no pretension or spirit of arrogance, but “with singlemindedness of purpose and humility of spirit—implores the favor and guidance of God, and can say with these, “I am unafraid and confidently face the future”—then Americans all, with one chief executive, one God, one confident hope, can rally, and imploring this same God of our American heritage, found in this open Bible of our inheritance, educated in and through our educational systems, strongly intrenched in the belief of opportunity for all, and, reiterating the injunctions of the past to the present and future, can pledge ourselves ever to uphold those ideals which were written into our life by Washington. We may resolve that the spirit of Lincoln shall ever live in us, and slavery of no race or color shall exist wherever the American flag shall fly; that ignorance shall never encircle the mind of our youth; that the Bible, which has been the spring of education, the spur to freedom of the individual, and has shown the highway to God in man’s search for the higher spirituality, shall ever be in this land an open book.

Source: The Homiletic Review – Volume 82 published 1921

 

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Etiquette of the National Emblem i.e. Flag

Patch_these-colors-dont-run-us-flagEtiquette of the Stars and Stripes, i.e. The American Flag

Code Drafted by Representatives of Sixty-eight Organizations of National Scope Under Lead of American Legion.

National Flag Represents a Living Country and is Itself Considered a Living Thing

On Flag Day, June 14, 1923, representatives of 68 organizations, including the Bureau of Education, met in Washington for a conference, called by and conducted under the auspices of the American Legion, to draft an authentic code of flag etiquette. President Harding opened the conference with an address, which was followed by addresses by Theodore Roosevelt, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, John J. Tigert, United States Commissioner of Education, and others.

The code drafted by that conference is presented here. Although those rules have no official Government sanction, they represent the authoritative opinion of the principal patriotic bodies of the United States and of Army and Navy experts, and are binding on all of the organizations which took part in the gathering. School officers and teachers will find the rules worth calling to the notice of school pupils and citizens generally.

These rules have been published in a booklet by the Service Star Legion, and is for sale by that organization. The cautions on the use of the flag have been published in poster form, suitable for displaying in classrooms. Further information may be had from Mrs. William T. Davies, chairman of national patriotic education, 117 North Fourth Street, Martins Ferry, Ohio.

Fundamental Rules of Heraldry Observed

There are certain fundamental rules of heraldry which, if understood generally, would indicate the proper method of displaying the flag. The matter becomes a very simple one if it is kept in mind that the national flag represents the living country and is itself considered as a living thing. The union [white stars on a field of blue] of the flag is the honor point; the right arm is the sword arm, and therefore the point of danger and hence the place of honor.

1. The flag should be displayed only from sunrise to sunset, or between such hours as may be designated by proper authority. It should be displayed on National and State holidays and on historic and special occasions. The flag should always be hoisted briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously.

2. When carried in a procession with another flag or flags, the flag of the United States should be either on the marching right, i. e., the flag’s own right, or when there is a line of other flags the flag of the United States may be in front of the center of that line.

3. When displayed with another flag against a wall from crossed staffs, the flag of the United States should be on the right, the flag’s own right, and its staff should be in front of the staff of the other flag.

4. When a number of flags are grouped and displayed from staffs, the flag of the United States should be in the center or at the highest point of the group.

National Flag Above All Others

5. When flags of States or cities or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard with the flag of the United States. the national flag should always be at the peak. When flown from adjacent staffs the Hag of the United States should be hoisted first. No flag or pennant should be placed above or to the right of the flag of the United States.

6. When flags of two or more nations are displayed they should be flown from separate staffs of the same height and the flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.

7. When the flag is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from the window sill, balcony, or front of building, the union of the flag should go clear to the head of the staff unless the flag is at half staff.

8. When the flag of the United States is displayed in a manner other than by being flown from a staff it should be displayed flat, whether indoors or out. When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag’s own right, i. e., to the observer’s left. When displayed in a window it should be displayed the same way, that is, with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street. When festoons, rosettes, or drapings of blue, white, and red are desired, bunting should be used, but never the flag.

Union to North or East

9. When displayed over the middle of the street, as between buildings, the flag of the United States should be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east-and-west street or to the east in a northand-south street.

10. When used on a speaker’s platform, the flag should be displayed above and behind the speaker. It should never be used to cover the speaker’s desk nor to drape over the front of the platform. If flown from a staff it should be on the speaker’s right.

11. When used in unveiling a statue or monument, the flag should not be allowed to fall to the ground but should be carried aloft to wave out, forming a distinctive feature during the remainder of the ceremony.

12. When flown at half-staff, the flag is first hoisted to the peak and then lowered to the half-staff position, but before lowering the flag for the day it is raised again to the peak. On Memorial Day, May 30, the flag is displayed at half-staff from sunrise until noon and at full staff from noon until sunset, for the Nation lives and the flag is a symbol of the living Nation.

13. When used to cover a casket the flag should be placed so that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave nor allowed to touch the ground. The casket should be carried foot first.

14. When the flag is displayed in church it should be from a staff placed on the congregation’s right as they face the clergyman. The service flag, the State flag, or other flags should be at the left of the congregation. If in the chancel, the flag of the United States should be placed on the clergyman’s right as he faces the congregation and other flags on his left.

15. When the flag is in such a condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display it should not be cast aside or used in any way that might be viewed as disrespectful to the national colors, but should be destroyed as a whole, privately, preferably by burning or by some other method in harmony with the reverence and respect we owe to the emblem representing our country.

Cautions

1. Do not permit disrespect to be shown to the flag of the United States.

2. Do not dip the flag of the United States to any person or anything. The regimental colors, State flag, organization or institutional flag will render this honor.

3. Do not display the flag of the United States with the union down except as a signal of distress.

4. Do not place any other flag or pennant above or to the right of the flag of the United States.

5. Do not let the flag of the United States touch the ground or trail in the water.

6. Do not place any object or emblem of any kind on or above the flag of the United States.

7. Do not use the flag as drapery in any form whatever. Use bunting of blue, white, and red.

8. Do not fasten the flag in such manner as will permit it to be easily torn.

9. Do not drape the flag over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle, or of a railroad train or boat. When the flag is displayed on a motor car, the staff should be affixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the radiator cap.

10. Do not display the flag on a float in a parade except from a staff.

11. Do not use the flag as a covering for a ceiling.

12. Do not use the flag as a portion of a costume or of an athletic uniform. Do not embroider it upon cushions or handkerchiefs or print it on paper napkins or boxes.

13. Do not put lettering of any kind upon the flag.

14. Do not use the flag in any form of advertising nor fasten an advertising sign to a pole from which the flag of the United States is flying.

15. Do not display, use, or store the flag in such a manner as will permit it to be easily soiled or damaged.

Proper Use of Bunting

[Bunting: patriotic and festive decorations made from such cloth, or from paper, usually in the form of draperies, wide streamers, etc., in the colors of the national flag.]

Bunting of the national colors should be used for covering a speaker’s desk, draping over the front of a platform, and for decoration in general. Bunting should be arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below.

Salute to the Flag

During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when the flag is passing in a parade or in a review, all persons present should face the flag, stand at attention, and salute. Those present in uniform should render the right-hand salute. When not in uniform, men should remove the headdress with the right hand and hold it at the left shoulder.. Women should salute by placing the right hand over the heart. The salute to the flag in the moving column is rendered at the moment the Hug parses.

When the national anthem is played those present in uniform should salute at the first note of the anthem, retaining this position until the last note of the anthem. When not in uniform, men should remove the headdress and hold it as in the salute to the flag. Women should render the salute as to the flag. When there is no flag displayed, all should face toward the music.

 

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Weird Weather in the United States evidence of Climate Change?

SnowFREAKS OF NATURE IN THE U.S.

History now and then repeats itself in respect to long cold winters, as that through which we have recently passed. Several such winters are remembered in the annals of our State, and some far more rigorous than it was. In the winter of 1842-3, snow fell to the depth of two feet or more, and remained on the ground for many weeks, with the temperature ranging from 10 to 38 degrees below zero. For duration and continued cold it exceeded the famous “winter of the deep snow,” that of 1830-31. On the other hand, many strangely mild winters have been experienced in this latitude—that of 1889-90, as an instance, when, in January, snakes emerged from their hibernation, insects flitted about in the sunshine and farmers plowed up their old meadows.

But the most notable natural phenomena are the sporadic freaks very seldom, if ever, repeated. Of this class was the singular “dark day,” during the Revolutionary war. The sky was clear and the sun was not eclipsed by interposition of the moon; but the total obscuration of light— throughout the United States—commencing in the morning of May 19th, 1780—continued until the next morning. The sun shining brightly early in the day, seemed to set prematurely. The birds ceased their songs and disappeared in the woods; the barn-yard fowls flew up to their roosts; candles were lighted in the houses and all out-door work was suspended. The true cause of that mysterious darkness has never been satisfactorily explained. In this class of capricious processes of nature may be mentioned the “hurricanes” that in pioneer times swept with terrific force over the country—particularly in the southern portion of this State, leaving their course marked by streaks of prostrated trees, through the timbered regions, as if purposely cleared for railroad tracks. They are now, as “cyclones” or “tornadoes,” well understood, but none the less dreadful or dreaded. The earthquake of 1811-12 was another freakish caper of nature, fortunately not repeated, to the same extent, in this locality; but leaving us no assurance that it may not again occur. The appalling drout of 1820 that wilted and withered all vegetation and lowered the Mississippi so that at Alton, a man on horseback forded it; and the fearful overflows of 1844 which enabled a large steamboat to cross the American Bottom, starting from Main street in St. Louis, to the Illinois bluffs, are marked instances of the instability of our whimsical climate.

The most wonderful of all the sportive eccentricities of nature seen here—and not since repeated, but often described—was the “falling stars” in 1833. A short time after midnight on the morning of Nov. 13th of that year the display commenced. Myriads of meteors, igniting on coming in contact with the atmosphere, fell like a fiery snow storm, lighting the night with a weird brilliancy and continued until extinguished by the stronger light of the risen sun. A memorable meteorological freak was the “Cold Tuesday,” Dec. 20, 1836. A warm rain had fallen all day until about 2 o’clock in the afternoon, when a black cloud was seen in the northwest swiftly approaching, propelled by a piercing cold wind; within an hour the temperature fell 78 degrees—to 18 below zero—at once freezing solid the mud and water, and forming ice on the Illinois river thick enough to catch and hold the canoes of fishermen before they could reach the shore. But, perhaps, not since the glacial epoch, has the great ice sheet or sleet, of November, 1881, been paralleled in this State. The entire surface of the earth was literally encased in ice from one to three inches in thickness. Trees and shrubbery were broken and crushed by its weight; ice-coated twigs were cut weighing 20 pounds, that denuded [stripped] of the ice, weighed barely one pound.

One of the worst weather freaks of recent times—still remembered by many—was the “Big Frost” of 1863. July had been unusually warm, but as August advanced, the nights became quite cool, until on Sunday morning, the 23rd, the thermometer here registered but 27 degrees above zero, and frost covered the ground like snow. Its destruction of garden and field products was general and well nigh complete. Late corn was ruined or fit only for cow feed; sweet potatoes and melons were killed and Irish potatoes badly damaged, and, in some localities, peaches and apples almost mature were frozen on the trees.

The early settlers of southern Illinois raised sufficient tobacco and cotton for their domestic consumption and castor beans enough for export. Those crops—very sensitive to the action of frost—have been entirely abandoned in this State since the “Big Frost” of 1863. But that event, the “Cold Tuesday,” the “Great Sleet” and occasional winters of unusual severity, are only exceptional atmospheric freaks, of no value as proof that the climate has undergone any permanent change of average mean temperature since the first European settlement of this country.

Excerpt: Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Volume 5: By Illinois State Historical Society 1913
See also: CLIMATE CHANGE: UNITED STATES NOTICES OF REMARKABLY COLD WINTERS
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The Funeral Scene at Arlington for those Sailors killed on the U.S.S. Maine

USSMaine

Source:history.navy.mil

In 1898 the USS Maine was sent to Cuba to guard American interests there due to rebellion by the Cubans against their Spanish rulers. It arrived in Havana January 25, on the evening of February 15, the harbor was lit by a massive explosion that ripped through the forward section of Maine as five tons of powder for the ship’s guns detonated. Destroying the forward third of the ship, Maine sank into the harbor. There have been different theories as to what caused the explosion that sank the ship.

LAST HONORS TO THE VICTIMS OF THE MAINE

On March 23, 1912, the American nation wrote the final chapter of the tragedy of the old battleship Maine, and paid its tribute to the heroes who were sacrificed on the altar of patriotism fourteen years ago. With a wealth of sentiment, the bones of sixty-seven unidentified dead resurrected from the harbor of Havana, were consigned by a reverent republic to the sacred soil of Arlington national cemetery to be mingled with the dust of the country’s hallowed dead.

President Taft and his cabinet, both houses of congress and all the other officials of the government set aside the day and did homage to the dead.

Before the services at the graves, a solemn service was held on the south front of the state, war and navy buildings. This was attended by the president and vice president and other officials and members of congress.

One by one the army gun caissons bearing the bones of the dead, in thirty-four caskets, rolled up to the plot in the cemetery and the president and every one in his party and the great crowd uncovered. From across the open chasms of upturned earth came the dirges from the marine band. A field of flowers upon the new turned sod told of the reverence in which the dead were held. Thousands who thronged the streets of the national capital when the funeral cortege made its solemn way through the streets, uncovered their heads when the coffins came and so remained until the procession had passed.

An enormous throng had gathered at the south front of the state, war and navy building when the procession reached there. The coffins had been removed from the scout cruiser Birmingham at the navy yard at noon amid much ceremony. Through crowd-lined streets they were escorted to the scene of the first ceremonial. Hushed silence paid its tribute throughout the progress of two miles.

President Taft occupied a chair in the center of the esplanade. On his right the Cuban minister sat throughout the services, an interested auditor, on his left was Rear Admiral Charles D. Sigsbee, who was captain of the Maine, and Rear Admiral Wainwright, who was executive officer of the ill-fated ship. Both bowed their heads when Father Chidwick, chaplain of the old Maine, recounted the scenes that attended the destruction of the vessel. Chaplain Chidwick spoke from a full heart. His eyes were wet when he began.

“For the aid of a new people and the advancement and glory of our own country,” he said, “these heroes gave up their lives—this sacrifice that we see before us was made. To-day we thank God we sent forth our soldiers, not with vengeance in their hearts, but with the feeling of humanity and justice, to right the wrong.

“We have placed no responsibility for the tragedy, and thank God for that. We wish everything good for the nation with which we now are at peace, and whose prosperity we desire. Nevertheless, the ship was an altar, and the men who perished, a sacrifice.”

A sharp patter of hail fell when President Taft, bareheaded, walked to the front of the platform. He did not try to shield himself from the storm and waved aside the proffer of an umbrella. The great crowd of citizens, hedged in by the military, heard him in respectful silence.

When the president had concluded, Right Rev. W. F. Anderson pronounced the benediction, the artillerymen on their horses saluting. The crowd was uncovered. This ended the exercises in the city.

The long line of cavalry, artillery, infantry, seamen and marines marched the six miles from Washington to the Virginia burying ground to the strains of dirges and slow-timed funeral marches. Along the way, a silence more impressive than cheers, greeted them.

One by one the coffins were lifted by reverent hands from the gun carriages and borne to the open graves, on a rain swept hill overlooking the Potomac river. In the center of the waiting graves stood the old anchor of the Maine. Its iron shank bore a plate inscribed:

“U. S. S. Maine, blown up Feb. 15, 1898. Here lie the remains of 163 men of the Maine’s crew, brought from Havana, Cuba, and re-interred at Arlington, Dec. 20, 1899.

The bones of the unidentified heroes to-day were consigned to earth with those whose names were known.

As each casket was lowered into the earth, one of the “jackies” who bore it remained at the head of the grave with the star spangled union jack in his hands, its trailing end covering the coffin beneath. As grave after grave received its dead, the squadron of silent sentinels increased.

Eventually the entire plot was studded with sailors standing bareheaded in the rain.

When the last casket had been lowered and the flowers, almost knee deep beside the graves, had been arranged, Chaplain Bayard read the Episcopal service for the dead.

He was followed by Maurice Simmons, commander-in-chief of the United Spanish War Veterans, who paid a high tribute to the loyalty and sacrifice of the dead. Three members of the order came forward and took up their places beside the open graves. The first cast upon the coffin a sprig of evergreen, emblematic of the undying love a country owes its defenders and the affection comrades feel for their memory.

The second veteran placed upon the casket a white rose, which he declared was indicative of the life hereafter of those who died in defense of the flag. The third placed a small United States flag beside the other symbols.

The bands played a dirge, a squad of soldiers fired a salute, and a navy bugler sounded the melancholy melody of “taps.” Then followed a national salute from the guns of the fort, and the ceremonies were ended.

Source: Illinois State Historical Society – 1913

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