We have depended on government for so much for so long that we as people have become less vigilant of our liberties. As long as the government provides largesse for the majority, the special interest lobbyists will succeed in continuing the redistribution of welfare programs that occupies most of Congress’s legislative time.
Representative Ron Paul, Speech in the House of Representatives, September 17, 1997
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Andrew’s Note: When President Abraham Lincoln uttered these words less than four months after the Battle of Gettysburg (at the consecration ceremony for the Gettysburg National Cemetery) it was still unclear whether the United States would survive as a single nation. From time to time I hear extreme voices calling not for individual, family or group preparedness, but for preparations for civil war. Patriots of every political stripe should renew their study of the horrors our Civil War and vow to never again let our disagreements result in armed confrontation on a national scale. Peaceful resolution of divergent views for the future course of our Republic will remain the most likely outcome if we, in Lincoln’s words remember that our nation was “conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist.
President John Adams
From my earliest childhood I have been toiling & wearing my heart out for other people, who took all I could do & suffer for them as no more than their just dues.
Senator John Randolph
…government should not be engaged in marriage at all.
Andrew’s Note: Congressman Amash is right…the only equitable solution that promotes freedom, freedom of action and freedom of belief is to get government out of the marriage business altogether. In addition, this approach would let us avoid a multi-year political battle that, in the end won’t make anyone happy and allow us to expend our energies on more productive pursuits like getting our economy back on track. I also like his pun.
Nothing will be quite the same in Boston or in America after Monday’s terrorist attack. Psychologically, the bombings bring terrorism to the streets of an American city, on a sunny Patriot’s Day, during a road race, the Boston Marathon.
The bombings mean that any street corner, in any American City, is vulnerable — that terror need not come from the sky, nor target iconic skyscrapers and national landmarks. It can target people where they gather just for fun, on any given day.
…Here is the irony: We are vulnerable, because we are free and strong.
On Monday, Boston and America joined cities like Jerusalem and nations like Ireland, which have long known that safety is relative, that the danger that comes from asserting the values we hold dear is omnipresent, that life itself is a gift that can be taken not only by cancer and heart disease, but by the disease of terrorism.
We are no more vulnerable today than yesterday, but we will feel more vulnerable, because we had no known hint of what was to befall us.
…With all our TSA security, with the Homeland Security Act, with the government nosing around in our emails and deploying drones at home and abroad, with the (nonsensical) talk in Washington about banning assault rifles or restricting access to ammunition, an 8-year-old boy was blown up Monday, two adults were blown up on Monday, and more than a hundred others were injured, some losing limbs.
Here is the irony: We are vulnerable, because we are free and strong. These qualities attract the ire of those who would have us shackled and weak, who are consumed by hatred for individual possibilities, rather than love for what a free person can dream about and strive for and accomplish.
Please tell your children this: We are attacked in America because we speak about and believe in the power of people to guide themselves through life, to make their own decisions, to think their own thoughts, to speak freely and to pursue their own happiness.
Tell them that as long as the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial and the Statue of Liberty grace our great land that those opposed to equality and freedom will always see us as enemies. Tell them that we must always be vigilant, but never afraid.
Tell them that we cannot be defeated, because the truth wins, every time. And we, in America, hold great truths to be self-evident.
Tell them that liberty is a marathon.
Dr. Keith Ablow via The pursuit of liberty is a marathon | Fox News
Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.
…We meet again at democracy’s great port of call. Every two years, at this hour, the Constitution brings a new order to this House. It is an interlude for reflection, a glimpse of old truths.
To our new members and their families, welcome. You are likely feeling awestruck right about now. History runs through here. And now you are among a select few to share in this privilege.
For those who are returning, who have walked these aisles before, maybe it’s time we feel awestruck again.
The way our founders envisioned it, the republic would be led by citizens who recognize that the blessing of governing ourselves requires that we give something of ourselves. Everything depended on this. So they made each other – and their successors – swear an oath of allegiance.
In a few moments, I will take this oath for the twelfth time as representative of the Eighth District of Ohio. It is word for word the same oath we all take.
Note that it makes no mention of party, faction, or title … contains no reference to agendas or platforms – only to the Constitution
The one addition we dare to make, as George Washington did at the first inaugural, is to invoke the assistance of our Heavenly Father.
This covenant makes us servants of posterity. It calls us to refuse the pull of passing interests and follow the fixed star of a more perfect union…
Speaker of the House John Boehner via FULL TEXT: Speaker Boehner Addresses the Opening Session of the 113th Congress | Speaker.gov.
To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
President Thomas Jefferson
Andrew’s Note: It’s almost as if President Jefferson forsaw the day when union membership and dues were required as a condition of employment (but not in all the States).
…it shall not be lawful to employ any part of the Army of the United States… for the purpose of executing the laws, except on such cases and under such circumstances as such employment of said force may be expressly authorized by the Constitution or by any act of Congress…
Posse Comitatus Act of 1878
The way our Constitution’s framers used the term, a right is something that exists simultaneously among people and imposes no obligation on another. For example, the right to free speech, or freedom to travel, is something we all simultaneously possess. My right to free speech or freedom to travel imposes no obligation upon another except that of non-interference. In other words, my exercising my right to speech or travel requires absolutely nothing from you and in no way diminishes any of your rights.
Contrast that vision of a right to so-called rights to medical care, food or decent housing, independent of whether a person can pay. Those are not rights in the sense that free speech and freedom of travel are rights. If it is said that a person has rights to medical care, food and housing, and has no means of paying, how does he enjoy them? There’s no Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy who provides them. You say, “The Congress provides for those rights.” Not quite. Congress does not have any resources of its very own. The only way Congress can give one American something is to first, through the use of intimidation, threats and coercion, take it from another American. So-called rights to medical care, food and decent housing impose an obligation on some other American who, through the tax code, must be denied his right to his earnings. In other words, when Congress gives one American a right to something he didn’t earn, it takes away the right of another American to something he did earn.
…we are in danger of forgetting that the Bill of Rights reflects experience with police excesses. It is not only under Nazi rule that police excesses are inimical to freedom. It is easy to make light of insistence on scrupulous regard for the safeguards of civil liberties when invoked on behalf of the unworthy. It is too easy. History bears testimony that by such disregard are the rights of liberty extinguished, heedlessly at first, then stealthily, and brazenly in the end.
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Felix Frankfurter in his dissent to Davis v. United States June 10, 1946
This is the sixth time we’ve released this data, and one trend has become clear: Government surveillance is on the rise.
Dorothy Chou, senior policy analyst at Google via Google: Surveillance ‘is on the rise’ – The Hill’s Hillicon Valley.