Tag Archives: religion

Bottom Line: It’s About FREEDOM, Stupid!

San Diego – We are pretty much launched into the Campaign “Silly Season” leading up to the next Presidential election in 2012.  There will also be senatorial and congressional seats being contested.  Now we will be inundated by blather from politicians far more interested in keeping their cushy and powerful jobs than in doing what is best for the country.  The old jokes about lying and disingenuous politicians will once again be shown clearly to have a solid basis in fact and we will be called upon to make choices based on rhetoric customized for the moment and distractions tossed in the way to keep us from actually trying to separate bloviation from behavior and determining not what they SAY but what they are likely to DO based on what they likely BELIEVE.  That is, of course, IF, in fact, they believe in anything other than the importance of their keeping their job.

Some of those Red Herring distractions will actually refer to real issues but issues which are not life or culture threatening no matter how passionately some follow them.  I believe, however, that our country is facing a truly existential crisis and allowing these distractions is like Nero fiddling while Rome burned.

Some issues, of course, will be quite important but are usually couched in language so complex and purposefully obfuscatory as to make a thoughtful analysis nearly impossible in a country peopled by folks who predictably cannot pass a 5th grade equivalency test or a high school civics test and yet who line up to select our leadership and by extension, in our republican form of governmental structure, our direction for the next several years at least.

The people in those “people of WalMart” internet collections, the morons who derive self awarded macho points for bucking lines, the people at the retail counters who cannot even count change, and the survey takers who do not know what country we fought for our independence or when that happened, will go to the polls to determine directly and indirectly matters of national economic and security and educational issues.  Worse, many are gullible recipients of the latest class warfare tactics designed to scare the bejesus out of old folks and tug on our heartstrings to care for “the children” (insert sound of s sniffle) and the “less fortunate.”

For the most part they are all lies.  We are now being purposefully frightened by the President about Social Security as he blithely overlooks the law that separates it from the budget process and mandates its benefits be paid no matter what or until congress changes the law itself.  But already people have fallen for it and are in a state of panic.

And to muddy the waters entirely, each candidate is calling the other candidates liars and evil people out to bring chaos and mayhem on us all.  While all too often that is true, the problem is how do you know which is which?  For the brain dead true believer, is it simple: whose party is the candidate affiliated with?  Some look back to a time or even a single incident sponsored by a party that worked in their favor and forever after closed their minds and eyes to subsequent actions and were never, in the first place, willing to look more deeply into the likely or possible consequences, intended or not, of those actions on our country as a whole.

I think, though, that is the kind of one-dimensional, abjectly stupid non-thinking that has gotten us in the mess we are in.  So, in my opinion, we need a much simpler way of looking at the behaviors and words of those telling us they know best how we should lead our lives and spend our money.  I would, therefore, propose a single, specific criteria because it is the one that permeates ALL of the others and is, in fact, foundational to the individual and collective discourse on all political issues.  And that is this:

Where do they stand on F R E E D O M?

I’m not talking about “Freedom” in some abstract, philosophical sense, but instead real, tangible, viewable, actionable freedom for the individuals that make up the citizenship of this country. (And no, I do not think non-citizens share our rights just because they are standing on our shores.)  It is the core concept on which we were founded and the value that was our guiding principle for at least the first half of our existence as a country.

But it is being undermined and outright attacked on both overt and covert levels, and in one way or another by both parties.  And this coming election may be the one that most defines how we will pursue that concept of Freedom into the future.  One side wants to have the freedom for themselves to tell us what is best for us and keep us in line by making us dependent upon their largesse and good will.  I am virulently opposed to the attitude and philosophy that supports such an outlook because I think it is anathema to any construct of “Freedom.”  When we toss away our freedom we will have ceased to become Americans.

However, to achieve the type of Freedom envisioned in our Constitution and in the writing of our founders, we actually need to embrace several constituent freedoms so let’s take a look at them and also a look at interpreting how politicians really feel about them, not from their words but from their actions.

Economic Freedom

The foundational freedom that determines the types and even existence of our other freedoms is really financial/economic.  And the political question boils down to a very, very simple one:  Does your political leader want you have the unfettered freedom to apply your efforts and skills to earn (whatever is passing for money at the moment) to the extent those skills and efforts allow?

There are a few corollary questions as well.  if they institute the programs they seem to support, will you have the freedom to apply those skills and efforts toward EXPANDING your capabilities and therefore expanding your return?  Are you being offered the freedom to determine how YOU wish to apply the results of your own labor and skills?  Will you or they determine how much of your own labor you can keep and how much of your labor will be used to support those who do not wish to labor as you have?  Will they allow and encourage your own philanthropy or will they impose it on you to carry those who will happily take it rather than solve their own situations (and thereby become very loyal voting blocks for those doling out the goodies to them)?

The complete opposite of Freedom is dependency.  Too often people think power is a result of money, but that is not true and never has been.  Money can be, instead, a by-product of power (as well as the result of intelligence and hard work), but power itself derives exclusively from dependency.  Think about it; if I can make you dependent on me for something important to you then I have power over you.

Machiavelli knew this and so does every actual or want-to-be autocrat who ever lived.  So the very first question to ask yourself about a politician running for office is this, “Are they trying to convince me that I need to depend on them for something?”  Or are they promising to give you the tools to become dependent only on yourself?  If it is the former then run from them as fast as possible; freedom is attached only to the latter approach.

And how is this Freedom taken away?  Simple, as history has demonstrated over and over: destroy the currency and enhance the debt until only bankruptcy or hyper inflation can keep things afloat…for awhile.  And how does that find explanation in various political philosophies?  Socialism allows private ownership of the means of production but has the government control it; in essence tell the nominal owners how to run their businesses.  Communism takes it one small step further and nationalizes (by fiat or purchase) businesses so that the means of production are both owned and run by the government.

So ask yourself what all those unelected “Czars” are doing to the means of production and apply it to the goals of the various political philosophies and their attached economic theories and see for yourself what the underlying if unspoken goals really are.

Remember, a benign dictator is still a dictator.  Solon and Pericles of Greece were benevolent but were replaced by not so wonderful regimes.  Some of Rome’s Caesars did some good things to be sure, but is that slave-based, war and tribute-based, arena sated world one in which you would enjoy living?

Personal Behavior Freedom

The old joke was that conservatives wanted to control your life in the bed room and and liberals wanted to control your life in the board room.   But we were founded by thinkers who gave us a Constitution that said we were free to do almost anything that did not harm someone else.  So long as we did not endanger others we should be able to control our own lives in ANY room, especially in the privacy of our homes or within the confines of our own businesses. You have an “absolute”right to swing your arms but that right stops at the end of my nose.  You have “absolute” freedom of speech but are not allowed to yell, “FIRE!” in a crowded theater.  You have the “absolute” freedom to openly worship any deity you want but you may not force that belief on someone else nor can you do harm to them because of their beliefs. You have a right to own a weapon and defend yourself with it but you do not have a right to carry that use to the point of becoming the aggressor yourself once the threat is stopped. And on it goes, all getting to the same point: you can behave pretty much as you want so long as it does not cause harm to someone else.

Or so it was intended…

But that freedom has been eroded by people who believe they should be protected from being offended as well as from being hurt.  it has been eroded by people who think they need to be even protected from their own stupidity.  Anyone who supports that idea is diminishing personal freedom and trying to create the dependencies of those who are hiding from potential offense or need to be protected from their own failures and errors.  And in my opinion are, with that purpose, killing our country and our ideals of personal freedom which also entails the costs of those freedoms.  We were, like life, all about choices and consequences.  But now we are suffering from the tyranny of so many who want the government to protect them from their own choices and behavior.  My advice to them is simple: get a life or go elsewhere!

So where do your political idols stand on this freedom?  Look to their actions and if they are already in office, their votes.  Listen to their speeches yourself, read their books yourself and do not rely on how other people interpret them good or bad.

Personal Thought and Expression Freedom

Only in the most egregious dictatorships was thought the subject of control.  Orwellian horrors accompany every story, real or fantasy, of dictators who attempt to control thought.  And yet it is done every day by politicians who cajole you into thinking as they want you to think and into giving up your rights and abilities to think, analyze, and draw conclusions for yourself.  Those people control thought as much as any fictional “Big Brother” and given enough power will soon quit being subtle about it.

We see this every time some self anointed enlightened person suggest the people do not or cannot “get it” so have to be told what to think or, better yet, simply allow the politicians to do the thinking for them.  King Barrack told us this just this week over the budget/debt issues. The sad news is he has every reason to believe that and in fact is a major beneficiary of it.  But if you are tired of it and want to prove him and the other politicians relying on your ignorance of the situation du jour wrong, then it is all in your hands.  and all you have to do is start researching the data — it is out there and easy to find.

We are supposed to be a republic, a representational form of government.  Not a pure democracy but one in which we elect a subset of us to represent us and pass laws to our mutual and collective benefits.  So are they doing as you want or expected or as promised?  Are things getting better as they promised would happen or are they trying to tell you that if it seems worse then you are just not thinking about it correctly or clearly and they know better?

Personal Security Freedom

Are you feeling safe in your homes and person?  The constitution guarantees that.  But like all freedoms there are limitations: you can lose it by threatening the security of someone else.  As noted before we have the right of self defense but that right does not allow us to cross the line into becoming the aggressor ourselves.

Be very, very wary of any politician who asks you to trade freedom for security.  It is always a bad trade.  They are usually building dependencies.  if you are truly free you have the freedom to make yourself secure in a world where when seconds may count the police can be there in mere minutes…

Following the French Revolution, Robbespierre wrote a brilliant and impassioned essay showing how, for the good of the state and the security of the revolution, citizens needed to give up some freedoms.  THe result was the infamous “Reign of Terror” with people marched in full carts to Madame La Guillotine because they did not think in accordance to proscribed philosophies.  The National Socialist parties of Germany and Italy and the Communist parties of Russia and China routinely executed people wholesale for thinking wrongly.  do not for a moment think it can not happen here.  Already people can be ostracized or even fired for politically incorrect thinking.  There are not that many steps between firing and firing squad.

So where does your favorite politician stand on that issue based on actions not on rhetoric?  Do they attempt to stifle opposition, clamp down on dissenting voices all the time mouthing platitudes about free speech and intellectual freedom?

The Freedom to Fail

Several times I’ve mentioned the freedom to opt out — to fail — and pay the consequences.  It is only when that Freedom to Fail is alive and well that the other freedoms find any real motivation and reward and personal growth.  in a frightening way, Marx was right in some ways.  Human nature is such that human behavior rapidly reverts to its infantile attitudes of ego-centric world views after a fairly short period of being taken care of by the parent or State.  Democracy, and its underpinnings of capitalism, form a very fragile system maintained with difficulty only by the strong because it is under constant attack by the accumulated masses of the weak.

Freedom is so precious because we also have the freedom to kill it or toss it away.  Ronald Reagan said,

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free… for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.”

I personally believe we are headed in that awesome and horrible direction towards loosing freedom because our nature is such that too many soft sheets and safe nights have passed and we have forgotten, as a culture, what the lack of freedom was like, what it costs, and perhaps even, to some extent, what it means.

We seem to like and, if recent polls are correct, gravitate towards the public trough because we do not truly understand what we are giving up to get it.  We are soft, afraid, unwilling to stand for anything and so, as the song says, we then fall for anything in order to maintain the flow of goodies.  In short we are making ourselves dependent on people who have only their own interests at heart and neither ours nor the country’s apart from how it serves their own interests.  And that problem crosses party lines with ease.

Of course they would never phrase it like that because then we would all instantly “get it” and push back.  so rather, under the sweetest most patriotic rhetoric they lull us into granting them the powers that once were embodied in our own freedoms to think, do, and work for ourselves.  We are now facing upcoming choices that will have a direct effect on our retention of freedoms.  At this point we have gotten far off of the path of freedom but we can return to it with only some figurative bloodletting politically and some serious sacrifice by the citizens.  But if we continue to lose it, we will soon reach a point where it cannot be recovered except by action, if it can be recovered at all.  And then it will take what it took in the late 1700s; a real revolution.

Nothing could be more unsettling than that thought because no one ever knows how revolutions will turn out even if they are successful.  Our own revolution, which was really less a revolution than a war of independence, concluded with a virtually unique result in the world’s history of revolutions.  Without the leadership of those founding thinkers it is impossible to have high hopes that we could do it again.  We can maintain our freedoms easily at the voting booth.  But once lost, they can only be recovered by the same price that  gained them in the first place, blood; and by the same people: soldiers.

In 1970 Charles Province wrote a few lines that expressed it well.  (Historical note: his poem was submitted to  “Dear Abby” by a marine Chaplain who was given (but never claimed) credit for authoring it.)  No matter who really wrote it, the message is important and vital for us to understand, not only to give thanks in the right direction for our Freedoms but to understand what the price will be should we throw it away politically and then want to reclaim it.

It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

It is up to us now.  Time alone, and not very much of it, will tell if we are still strong enough or wise enough to reclaim the freedoms that once were ours.  if you want to retain freedom you will have to put some energy and time into it.  That is tough, but not nearly so tough as having to put your blood into it.

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Posted by on July 13, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Happy Birthday America

San Diego – On this day in 1776, some very brave individuals dipped their quill pens in an inkwell and signed their names to a document that was to alter the course of history not just for this country but for the world.  The values embodied in that writing were, for over 100 years, the values that motivated this nation and illuminated its character until it truly became the place symbolized by the lady with the torch in New York Harbor.

Those men had backbones of steel and pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to establish the land of the free and home of the brave.  Their words were immortal even if their bodies were not; and for that they should be grateful.  Because if they were still alive to see what we have done with their trust, a trust for which many of them actually gave their lives and fortunes, I think they would be appalled and profoundly saddened to see their political progeny with backbones of cornmeal mush.  John Adams wrote:

“Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.” 

If there is kindness in Heaven then Adams will not be allowed to look down.  As a nation we no longer truly understand the word ‘honor’, much less ‘sacred honor’.  I fear that in another 230-odd years into the future, if in fact we have that amount of time left, future historians will see this country as little more than a footnote in history as is Rome or Babylon to us.  Unless, that is, we quickly get our heads back on straight and our country back on course and away from the ruinous path we are now on.

Most of the celebrants today are simply out for a day off work and the chance to see some good fireworks displays where they are still allowed.  A recent survey showed that only about a 3rd of the people knew what year the Declaration of Independence was written, fewer still could name any of the signers,  a statistically insignificant number could recite any of the reasons for it, and an astonishingly low number, less than a quarter of them, knew from whom we were declaring independence.  And it gets worse,

We have so degenerated into partisan bickering that a recent Harvard study concluded that 4th of July events tended to benefit Republicans and gave no benefit to Democrats.  What???  We have a major party fielding candidates to lead the country who derive no benefit from remembrances of the date on which, for the first time, we defined this country as one which was, as noted in some of my previous posts, obsessed with freedom?  What does that say about them if it is true?  And if it is true why would anyone have any truck with them at all?

Well the reason seems to be that Marx was right after all:  people will get soft after awhile and forget the fire that was in the bellies of their elders and ancestors and come to a point where all they want from a government is to be taken care of.  And they will give up the freedoms for which those signers risked everything, so that the fruits of the labors of others will be used to carry them.

Don’t think so?  Another poll taken just a few months ago showed that for the first time ever, over half of the citizens wanted the government to partake in wealth redistribution and have the people willing to work provide the goodies for those who are not.  As a nation and culture, this country cannot survive that attitude which is anathema to everything — EVERYTHING — those signers believed in.

Rather than accept the founders’ own words about what they believed and tried to accomplish, our universities are filled with liberal professors who have reinvented them in the images of their own beliefs and ignored all of the carefully written documents and letters to the contrary.  Those teachers are, to use Lenin’s appraisal, “useful idiots.”  And students, who know only what they are taught and no longer seem willing to take the time or expend the effort to go researching and analyzing evidence on their own, swallow that poison in big single gulps.  Who needs a Jim Jones when we have a cadre of professors pouring the cultural Kool-Aid for them?

I have written before and offered quotes to show that the social and political philosophies of the founders following Locke and Burke and elegantly phrased by Washington, Jefferson, Madison and other are not what is too often taught in our schools and certainly not in mine.  I have pointed to their own writing to demonstrate what they REALLY intended with the Bill of Rights and how it was NOT even remotely close to what we modernly have come to assert.

Though I have not previously written about one of those revisionist topics, a news article today encourages me to do so.  It is now popular to try to contend that the founders were not religious people and certainly not Christian. Even our president, King Barrack, said we are not a Christian nation.  We have usurped the founding fathers’ awareness of religious abuses and consequent fear of a State Religion to declare they were not, themselves, religious and spiritual people.  But as explained by Benjamin Rush, one of the founders and our first Secretary of Education,

“The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty; and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments…. We profess to be republicans, and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government, that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity, by means of the Bible; for this divine book, above all others favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws.”

Much is made modernly of Jefferson’s religious thinking and many claims are even made that he was most likely an closet atheist.  It is true he held organized religions, especially those with a priestly caste that interfered in governments, in the lowest esteem.  But that is a different matter and in a letter to John Adams, discussing Calvin, with whom he disagreed, Jefferson wrote:

 “I can never join Calvin in addressing his god. He was indeed an Atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was Daemonism. If ever man worshipped a false god, he did.”

Undaunted, much is also made of the alleged fact that even George Washington said that the U.S. was in no way founded on Christianity (though actually that is a quote from Adams) and also on the unfortunate fact that some quotes to the contrary by him have been shown to be, themselves, utter fabrications.  Indeed he may be one of the most often misquoted people outside of Yogi Berra and Abe Lincoln.

But there are plenty of Washington’s real letters and recorded speeches to draw from and we need to put those real lines in context as Madison admonished when he wrote that such reinventions of what people believed came from separating their words from the environments in which they lived.  In presenting one of the most critically important issues in trying to interpret the words of those no longer around to clarify things for us, Madison prophetically warned us,

“Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.” 

The founders were fearful of a state religion and noted frequently the history of Henry VIII who made himself head of the Church of England.  But to separate church and state politically is a very different thing entirely from separating a culture’s reliance on foundational religious principles and values.  And we therefore need to accept that Washington also wrote:

“Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” and further “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”

Or let’s listen to John Adams…

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” 

I think we are now seeing the truth of that statement come true as we increasingly lose our moral compass as we throw away our religious values.  It is true that Adams railed against the abuses of religion throughout history and so fought long and hard to make sure the new country he was helping to found did not incorporate the co-founding of a State Religion.  But for himself and his own beliefs, he also wrote:

“But I must submit all my Hopes and Fears, to an overruling Providence, in which, unfashionable as the Faith may be, I firmly believe.” 

Alas, modern revisions and attempts to reinvent the founders’ beliefs and intentions didn’t start with the religious issue and has hardly stopped there.  The new interpretations, as i’ve pointed out now and then, extend to other matters as well. James Madison, who wrote in defense of the 2nd Amendment (and contrary to a retired City College professor who asserted to me that the 2nd Amendment was written to avoid the draft— which NO ONE back then was talking about since after the war they virtually disbanded the army entirely)…

“Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”

Our professors and liberal leaders have clearly done what Madison advised against above and have taken words apart from their historical context as they tried to reinterpret and reconnect the founders’ words with the professors’ own desires.  And as a result we are, in my opinion, getting the very government he feared would intrinsically follow: “…a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.”

Perhaps in part that is because we did not heed Madison’s other prescient warnings, such as…

“I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”

And elsewhere he noted.

“In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. … It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad. … It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.”

Madison also had something to say to those who believe it is the role of government to provide a common trough from which all might feed.

“The class of citizens who provide at once their own food and their own raiment, may be viewed as the most truly independent and happy.” 

So what is the point of all of this recitation?  Why have I here and in other posts tried to show what the founding fathers and the intellectual mentors they admired wrote and meant as contrasted with modern, and mostly liberal, attempts to claim otherwise?  The reason is simple and straightforward.

I believe the country those great mean defined and founded was the best thing that ever happened to the history of man’s attempts to form “…a more perfect union.”  Yes it has flaws but our Constitution also provides the means to correct them.  But, to the point, we cannot accurately asses their words and deeds without accurately understanding their true intentions and foundational beliefs.  If we try to make course corrections without that understanding we are almost guaranteed to make mistakes and in this world those could be culturally and nationally deadly.

Many of the same issues facing them are facing us.  The world has grown and evolved but in some fundamental ways not changed all that much.  And human nature, sadly, has not appeared to have changed at all.  Our modern world may provide additional solutions to those problems facing us, but if we cannot accurately understand what the real problems they were addressing with their solutions and simply try to attack the bottom line, our chances of lasting success are virtually nil as are the chances of not doing some damage to the good parts as well.

My fear therefore stems from the fact that I believe that as we as a nation, following mostly liberal thinking, have drawn further and further away from the principles laid down by the founders starting with that document signed on the first 4th of July,  Our nation has gone, as a result, from growth to decline.

I believe that if the liberal socialist ideals embraced by much of Europe, and profoundly held by our current president, continue to expand and control, then we are doomed.  Like every other time in human history socialist economics has been applied and failed, it will fail with us too. There have been no exceptions to that litany of failure and we will not be the first.

In fact the country and especially this state (California) are poster children for the proposition that Socialist/Keynesian economics will bring any followers to ruin.  I fear, along with John Adams, that,

“… a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”  And…

“Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.” 

I also believe that when we find ourselves adrift in terms of core values just as we are adrift economically; when we reach, as we seem to have started doing, the point where we refuse to discriminate between right and wrong and insist morality is an old and obsolete concept, then our national soul is a rotten as our national purse and we, of right, are laying the seeds of our own destruction. Again, in the words of John Adams,

“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a country. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” 

I sadly am increasingly of the belief that King Barrack knows his Adams well.   He is not very good with the sword, as we are seeing, but he is beyond excellent with debt.

So on this Fourth of July in 2011 I will be celebrating the birthday of what was, at one time, the greatest country on earth.  For those who feel that this celebration has no benefit to them then I would say you need to re-assess your thinking or seriously consider emigration to a country more in line with your beliefs.

You cannot have it both ways.  If you belong to the “blame America first” thinkers, and if, eventually, you get your way and we turn into another socialist country of the current European model, then we will simply have their problems (think Greece as the exemplar of that ideal) you will lose the good things you wanted to keep.

If, on the other hand, you help those like me turn the country back to what it was you may lose your place at the government trough because I would personally throw the trough away.  But with that comes a place of true freedom, a place where, for those willing to work for it, the pursuit of happiness can result in success to a level unachievable in those other places from which our immigrants have come.

And if you are an immigrant, legal or otherwise, please think about this: you came here to escape a place where you were treated poorly or had no hope of rising past the level you were in.  Why would you then want to turn us back into the place you came from?

So instead of turning your environment into little enclaves of “the old country,” do what our earlier immigrants did: buy into the hope and possibilities of this great land, buy into the words and meanings and values of the Declaration of Independence celebrated on this day, buy into the freedoms memorialized in our unique Constitution, and do all you can do to let us and help us grow and all you can do to keep us from slipping into the same approaches and attitudes and allegiances and corruptions that defined and described the places from which you came.

If we will only open our eyes and see it, there are benefits to us all from celebrating the birthday of the signing of our Declaration of Independence.


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Posted by on July 4, 2011 in Uncategorized


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De Tocqueville on American Culture, Religious Influence, & Devotion to Equality

San Diego – Much has been made by modern secular progressives and liberals that Americans, including our Founding Fathers, were never all that enthralled with religion per se or with Christianity specifically.  They cite the 1st Amendment as evidence and conveniently forget both the words per se and the annunciated reasons for it.  And they especially ignore that while it mandated that the government never establish a State Religion (which they claim demonstrates their antipathy to religion in general), it also specifically protected the fee expression of religion by the citizens.  Oops…

Modern liberal spokesmouths would have you believe that any association with Judeao-Christian core values was utterly coincidental and that, as King Barrack said, we owed as much to Muslim influences as to Christian or Jewish ones for our founding principles.  That is a little hard to square with the Koran’s directions relative to Jews and Christians that the good Muslim will convert them or “smite their necks” as was done to Daniel Pearl and those who followed him into the merciful clutches of their  righteous Muslim captors.

Yet, In spite of that, the current attacks on both Jewish and Christian traditions coupled with the open acceptance of Muslim traditions does not seem even the slightest bit contradictory to the sycophants fawning before his majesty.  No one notices or finds anything unusual when the National Day of Prayer, started by President Truman and observed for decades is ignored and that at the White House the observation is cancelled because it might offend some groups.  Who, for instance?  Perhaps the 50,000 Muslims that came for THEIR national Day of prayer held on Capital Hill in 2009.  They had no reason for concern since the King had already declared that we were not a Christian Nation.  Now tell me Reverend Wright did not have an influence here…

It is hard for us, the non-readers and politically naive in 2011, to know whether that assertion about the lack of religious influence in the past was true or not. The disciples of our anointed one seem to decide truth not on facts but upon His  Sacred Words from behind the prompter.  And for the others simply too lazy to check facts, that appearance of uncertainty is precisely what liberals hope you conclude because in that vacuum of self imposed ignorance it is easy for nearly any gibberish to be sucked in to fill the void.

But, unfortunately for them, there were lots of eye witnesses who wrote prodigiously about it, not to mention the volumes written by the founders themselves because, as they noted, they knew they were creating something very different and wanted to be sure people later could understand their intent.  The founders would be astonished that modern people wishing to claim ignorance of intent or wishing the intent to be different than what is was, insist no such documentation exists.  For that to be true all libraries would need to be burned to the ground.  Based on the unwillingness of his adulating followers or the adoring press to verify the pronouncements however, they might as well be.

Surely there must be a few who did their homework and discovered the disconnect between his assertions and reality.  No problem, the answer cannot by definition be that he is wrong so it must be that the founders themselves were too close to it and too biased to assess, objectively, how early newly minted American citizens felt and therefore could not speak accurately for themselves. OK, but there is another source often overlooked or ignored and he had no actions to support or personal decision to explain.  In fact, he was not even writing FOR an American audience.

In 1835 Alexis De Tocqueville major French political thinker and historian (1805-1859) published the first edition and volume of his famous work, “Democracy in America”.  His timing was unique and fortuitous; he visited us at a crucial crossroads in American History and worked to capture the essence of American culture and values developing as, after two wars to assure our political stability and freedom from European colonialism, we transitioned into something unknown in the rest of the world, a country virtually obsessed with the concepts of equality. He was a true liberal before the term was hijacked by modern progressives.  He believed in objective observations and gave little credence to the value of power derived through some sense of elitism or anointed authority.

He noted the irony of having northern States, where old concepts of aristocracy were dead or dying and the loss of hereditary wealth and power generated an obsession with the work ethic and equality of opportunity to become the test of value, and a collection of southern States where a landed aristocracy, kept in place like the patricians of Rome and Ancient Greece by a slave-based economy, held on to those aristocratic values and ideals though he saw them as doomed to failure.

But, getting back to the main point here, he also wrote clearly about the role that religion played in the thinking of Americans and below are some quotes to that effect as he discusses the relationships between religion and the broader national culture.

“Moreover, almost all the sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity, and Christian morality is everywhere the same. In the United States the sovereign authority is religious. There is no country in the whole world in which the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility, and of its conformity to human nature, than that its influence is most powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.

“The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other; and with them this conviction does not spring from that barren traditionary faith which seems to vegetate in the soul rather than to live.

“There are certain populations in Europe whose unbelief is only equaled by their ignorance and their debasement, while in America one of the freest and most enlightened nations in the world fulfills all the outward duties of religion with fervor.

“Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more did I perceive the great political consequences resulting from this state of things, to which I was unaccustomed. In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom pursuing courses diametrically opposed to each other; but in America I found that they were intimately united, and that they reigned in common over the same country.”

Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, (New York: A. S. Barnes & Co., 1851 ed.), pp. 331, 332, 335, 336-7, 337.

OK, let’s hear you spin those observations into assertions of secular deists only marginally attached to any religious values…

Also aware of the rise of socialistic philosophies in Europe he saw America as a great experimental testing ground and wrote of the “Political Consequences of the Social State of the Anglo-Americans” by comparing how European socialists and Americans dealt with the concept of equality in Volumes One, Part I, Chapter 3.  He not only recognized our great potential strengths, he also recognized our great potential weaknesses and the traps into which we might fall.

“But one also finds in the human heart a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to want to bring the strong down to their level, and which reduces men to preferring equality in servitude to inequality in freedom”

“…Furthermore, when citizens are all almost equal, it becomes difficult for them to defend their independence against the aggressions of power. As none of them is strong enough to fight alone with advantage, the only guarantee of liberty is for everyone to combine forces. But such a combination is not always in evidence.

“…“Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude”.

It appears we have fallen into most of those traps.  It is one thing to espouse a personal philosophy that prefers socialism, or secular humanism flowing from Rousseau and Godwin and Marx over the philosophy flowing from Locke and Burke and Jefferson.  Those are legitimate debates to be had.  But they need to be held based on facts not on wishes, and they need to be based on a history that corresponds to reality not on a re-written version that ignores inconvenient facts.

If one believes that religion per se is inherently negative and we, as a country, should turn away from such “superstitions” that is their right.  But it is disingenuous at best and openly deceitful to try to base such an argument on a fabricated history which claims that we NEVER were a religious culture or that the religious tenets of our culture flowed from anything other than Judaeo-Christian roots.

It was De Tocqueville who coined the phrase that “In every democracy the people get the government they deserve.”  if we continue to vote based not on historical realities or on easily verifiable truths but on concepts openly opposed to our long held values then we will get what we deserve but not something that will preserve the nation as we know it.

When we as a democracy, allow all three branches of government to ignore or de facto repeal our Constitution and then allow the media to abrogate its job of finding the truth in favor of supporting its own biases, then all that is left to us is our votes.  And when those votes are primarily cast by people who believe they are entitled to feed at the government trough, and who, as De Tocqueville noted above, “… want to bring the strong down to their level,” and who prefer, “equality in servitude to inequality in freedom”  then as I have said before,  we are truly doomed.

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Posted by on June 20, 2011 in Uncategorized


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