Where Are The Wise Men?

President Calvin Coolidge on the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence gave a speech on July 4, 1926. This is an excerpt from his wise words and really does speak to the times we live in.

“About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.”~~President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, 1926

You nailed it, President Coolidge.

H/T to PowerLineBlog

He Said What?

The following statement is from Andy Stern in a recent  interview with Ezra Klein at the Washington Post.  He is referring to the Democrats and the discussion is about health care reform.

“There’s the feeling that there hasn’t been enough accountability, that we’re (the unions?) being taken for granted. If careers, rather than issues, drive the decision making, then we need to make ourselves more involved in these people’s career planning (emphasis mine).”—Andy Stern, president of SEIU.

Read the whole column here.

Since the election of Barack Obama as president we have seen Mr. Stern become a regular visitor to the White House and the unions getting sweetheart deals and first rights in the government takeover of GM while stockholders who by law were to get first rights have been brushed aside.  One can only wonder what Stern might mean by his statement.  The agenda of leftist progressives like Andy Stern does not bode well for the freedom of anyone in America.

The Founders’ Formula for “Calculated” Compassion

I am reading the 5000 Year Leap, Principles of Freedom 101.  Awesome book…I highly recommend it to everyone!  Ya’ know…I’ve been away from high school and any consistent study of history for a long time.  I find this book to be totally refreshing as well as an in depth study of the Founders of our nation with their great patience, wisdom, and foresight in putting our government in place.  The colonies took 60 ballots to try to reach consensus on just how to properly elect the president of the United States.  That tells me a lot…but I digress…

Let me share a bit of the wisdom from this book…first the words of Benjamin Franklin and then from the authors of The 5000 Year Leap:

To relieve the misfortunes of our fellow creatures is concurring with the Deity; it is godlike; but, if we provide encouragement for laziness, and support for  folly, may we not be found fighting aginst the order of God and Nature, which perhaps has appointed want and misery as the proper punishments for, and cautions against, as well as necessary consequences of, idleness and extravagance?  Whenever we attempt to amend the scheme of Providence, and to interfere with the government of the world, we had need be very circumspect, lest we do more harm than good.

Nearly all of the Founders seem to have acquired deep convictions that assisting those in need had to be done through means which might be called “calculated” compassion.  Highlights from their writings suggest the following:

1.  Do not help the needy completely.  Merely help them to help themselves.

2.  Give the poor the satisfaction of “earned achievement” instead of rewarding them without achievement.

3.  Allow the poor to climb the “appreciation ladder”–from tents to cabins, cabins to cottages, cottages to comfortable houses.

4.  Where emergency help is provided, do not prolong it to the point where it becomes habitual.

5.  Strictly enforce the scale of “fixed responsibility”.  The first and foremost level of responsibility is with the individual himself; the second level is the family; then the church; next the community; finally the county, and in a disaster or emergency, the state.  Under no circumstances is the federal government to become involved in public welfare.  The Founders felt it would corrupt the government and also the poor.  No Constitutional authority exists for the federal government to participate in charity or welfare.—The 5000 Year Leap

My, how far we’ve strayed…

Excerpt From the Declaration…

“…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. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. ..–Declaration of Independence

Are we there yet?

Look at Honduras…they didn’t put up with it from their president.  And look at the people striking for freedom in Iran.  Examples for us?

Personal Responsibility…

I’m going to break my anonymity.

I used to belong to Al-Anon.  It doesn’t really matter why I was there; let’s just say I was perfectly qualified to be there…and that’s a good thing.  The reason I’m telling you this is because at the end of every meeting after the prayer was said…we always said in unison, “It works if you work it”.   Al-Anon has spiritual principles, the same ones as AA does.   A few of these are taking responsibility, admitting your own inability, taking your own moral inventory and not someone else’s, asking forgiveness, seeking wisdom in relationship with God, etc. The principles work, if you work them.  And they will work for anyone, no matter their station in life.  The Bible has principles that work…if you work them.  It doesn’t just land on you.

I think the principles our country was founded on, freedom of the individual, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, free enterprise, the laws of the Constitution, also work and always have, but they require something, just like the Al-Anon program.  The principles are like a road map, showing you the way to get somewhere.  But you won’t get there if you just sit staring at the road map…you have to get in the car and go where the map says to go. You have to do something.

I look at the quote on my sidebar by John Adams about the Constitution,

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.—-John Adams, and I wonder why it (the Constitution) is not working.  I think I know the answer…because no one in authority who is supposed to, is working it. They are not consulting the principles, the roadmap, or whatever one chooses to call it.  They are not consulting the law and following it.  They are doing what they want to do. According to John Adams, only a moral and religious people could live under our Constitution because they would be the only ones who could uphold it.  Those who wish to throw off restraint, those who do not care to live by principles cannot live by the Constitution.  That is why we are seeing so much corruption, so much breaking of the laws of the land going on in our government.  Those who are lawless cannot live by the law. They are morally corrupt.

For instance, Senator Robert Byrd has written a letter to the president that his appointment of all of the czars who are allowed to bypass Congress and who are accountable to no one but the president is unconstitutional.  Our president claims to be a scholar of the Constitution.  Do we really believe he doesn’t know this?   His recent firing of an independent Inspector General in violation of the law which he himself as a senator had supported is another instance of lawlessness. I could go on, but I won’t.

So for all of you out there who are waiting and looking for someone to come rescue YOU from some consequence of your dumb choices, for those of you who think government is the answer to all of your problems, I feel profoundly sorry for you, for you live in a make-believe world with the mindset of the looters and the haters of Atlas Shrugged.  You have traded in your power as a human being to succeed with all of the talents and abilities that God has given you.  You now support the looting and demoralizing of the people who work and think and use their abilities to make their own lives (and yours too) better.  (In AA, it’s called taking the easier, softer way.) And to those who might still be attempting to “save” the aforementioned ones, I say, “Get out of the way and let them fail” because once they fail, they as well as all of us have a chance to keep our country the land of the free.  In Al-Anon and AA we called that “hitting bottom”.  And once a person hits bottom, the only way left is up.  I say let it come.

From Newt’s Lips…

“Where There is No Religion, There Will Be No Morals”

On this question, the American Founders were explicit: Virtue is a necessary pre-condition for democracy, and religion is a necessary pre-condition for virtue. In his Farewell Address, George Washington famously said that “reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” Benjamin Rush said simply, “Where there is no religion, there will be no morals.”——-from Newt Gingrich letter, 12/30/2008

This is the wisdom of two of our founding fathers, men who had experienced enough of life in the Old World to know that there must be a better way.  They were men willing to take risks to start a new country, with principles of religious freedom and  laws guaranteeing the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to all men who were endowed by their Creator with these certain unalienable rights.  Can you imagine the responsibility of that?  Starting a new country…setting up a new government…writing new laws?  Virtue is a necessary pre-condition for democracy, because virtue guarantees that the rights of others will be respected.  “Democracy” puts it into laws, but virtue sees and causes the enforcement of those laws for the good of all.

Lately we seem to be calling wrong, right, and right, wrong.  We see this in the belittling of Christians who believe the Bible and say that abortion is murder and homosexuality is an abomination to God.  These beliefs are based on what the Bible says regarding these issues.  The people didn’t make it up, they are merely siding with the God of the bible, agreeing that God really does know what is best.  There are groups wanting to create new “rights”, such as the right for two people of the same sex to marry.  What about bi-sexual people?  Can they “marry”?  What about other groups that deviate from the traditional definition?  What will you tell them? Once the definition of marriage that has been around from the beginning of time is broken down, where do we stop?  Some days when I get up, I am surprised that we still care about crime, even blue collar crime like what Illinois Governor Blagoevich has been accused of. I rejoice in it, but I’m still surprised.  I really was amazed at the reaction of Washington to it because I’m sure there are many of them who are guilty of so many similar criminal actions themselves.

I believe that what goes around comes around…and with interest.  That too is from the bible.  It is a spiritual law and operates whether anyone believes it or not.  And where does virtue come from?  How do we know what is right and wrong?  There is a conscience in the heart of man that talks to him.  Again, the bible also tells us what is right and wrong.  There are other religious books out there probably worthy of mention, but I am not a reader of those, so I cannot recommend them.

In our world today we see a “pushing” at the boundary lines of traditional right and wrong as well as the laws of our nation.  People are throwing off restraint in greater numbers.  In the 1960’s there was a mass movement…tune in and drop out..if it feels good do it.  I’m sure none of us would deliberately train our children this way.

We are a nation that believes in freedom.  We are free to live as we please, as long as we do not harm others.  But that freedom has a price.  A price was paid to achieve it at the founding of our nation.  A price is paid to maintain it every time its principles are challenged.  A price will be required to keep it today.  The principles of freedom are being challenged in our country more than I have ever seen in my short years of life on this earth.  There is a high price to pay for living right…and an even  higher price to pay for living badly.  Which will our nation choose?  I know what I choose.  What do you choose?

I love what Newt said about virtue in the paragraph above…it does take virtue to maintain a democracy, because you have to be interested in living right and caring about other people. My sidebar has a quote from John Adams…”Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”  There is a loud and pushy far left who aren’t interested in virtue and morals.  They aren’t interested in religion and democracy. They wish to turn over our foundations and make America into something completely different.  They hate our country the way it is.  My invitation to them is…they are welcome to go live somewhere else if they hate what we have.  But America needs to stay America the great, the beautiful.  If America is so bad, why are so many people wanting to come live here, even illegally?  I think the truth is, America is not bad; it’s not like these far left say.  America has given and still gives other nations hope and help.  There’s a reason for our greatness and it is our foundations, the vision and wisdom of the great men who founded our country. I believe  God was with them and I believe God helped them set up our system of government.  America stays great because its people are willing to sacrifice to keep it great.  Our country and its system of government has been good to us.  Let’s not let the far left trash our Constitution, our country and our way of life.