"President Abraham Lincoln, an incredible communicator, was known during the Civil War to attend a church not far from the White House on Wednesday nights. The preacher, Dr. Gurley, allowed the president to sit in the pastor’s study with the door open to the chancel so he could listen to the sermon without having to interact with the crowd.
One Wednesday evening as Lincoln and a companion walked back to the White House after the sermon, the president’s companion asked, “What did you think of tonight’s sermon?”
“Well,” Lincoln responded, “it was brilliantly conceived, biblical, relevant, and well presented.”
“So, it was a great sermon?”
“No,” Lincoln replied. “It failed. It failed because Dr. Gurley did not ask us to do something great.” ...
--- Story recounted in the book, 'Everyone Communicates, Few Connect,' by John Maxwell
What the Democrats are doing with the Kavanaugh nomination is shameless and despicable. And the Republican response is pathetic and feckless.
All of which misses the real point.
Brett Kavanaugh thinks that ours is a system of, and I quote, "absolute vertical stare decisis."
Allow me to translate that. Kavanaugh is a judicial supremacist. He believes that we live in a judicial oligarchy, instead of a constitutional republic. He thinks that the courts make our laws, when, in fact, the Constitution grants law-making power only to the legislative branch. He thinks that all officers of government, even in the other branches, are subservient to the Supreme Court and its immoral, unconstitutional opinions, instead of duty-bound by their own oaths of office to support and defend the Constitution.
Brett Kavanaugh is unqualifed for any high public office, not because of unprovable charges about things he may or may not have done in high school more than three decades ago, but because he has no real understanding of the moral basis of the law, the real requirements of the Constitution, or the proper role of the branch of government in which he serves, and aspires to serve at the highest level.
Carefully consider the wise words of warning below from Hamilton, Jefferson, and Lincoln:
"The Executive not only dispenses the honors, but holds the sword of the community. The legislature not only commands the purse, but prescribes the rules by which the duties and rights of every citizen are to be regulated. The judiciary, on the contrary, has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society; and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments. This simple view of the matter suggests several important consequences. It proves incontestably, that the judiciary is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power." -- Alexander Hamilton, Federalist #78
“Nothing in the Constitution has given them [the federal judges] a right to decide for the Executive, more than to the Executive to decide for them. . . . The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves, in their own sphere of action, but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.” -- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Abigail Adams, September 11, 1804
“Our Constitution . . . intending to establish three departments, co-ordinate and independent that they might check and balance one another, it has given—according to this opinion to one of them alone the right to prescribe rules for the government of others; and to that one, too, which is unelected by and independent of the nation. . . . The Constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please.” -- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Judge Spencer Roane, Sept. 6, 1819
“You seem . . . to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so . . . and their power [is] the more dangerous, as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots.” -- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Jarvis, Sept. 28, 1820
"At the establishment of our constitutions, the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the government." -- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to A. Coray, October 31, 1823
“…The candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the government, upon vital questions, affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made, in ordinary litigation between parties, in personal actions, the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having, to that extent, practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.” -- Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address
"He who would not offend cannot be trusted."
-- Thomas Paine
-- Thomas Paine
"But there is one principle which pervades all the institutions of this country, and which must always operate as an obstacle to the granting of favors to new comers.
This is a land, not of privileges, but of equal rights.
Privileges are granted by European sovereigns to particular classes of individuals, for purposes of general policy; but the general impression here is that privileges granted to one denomination of people, can very seldom be discriminated from erosions of the rights of others.
Emigrants from Germany, therefore, or from elsewhere, coming here, are not to expect favors from the governments. They are to expect, if they choose to become citizens, equal rights with those of the natives of the country. They are to expect, if affluent, to possess the means of making their property productive, with moderation, and with safety;—if indigent, but industrious, honest and frugal, the means of obtaining easy and comfortable subsistence for themselves and their families.
They come to a life of independence, but to a life of labor—and, if they cannot accommodate themselves to the character, moral, political, and physical, of this country, with all its compensating balances of good and evil, the Atlantic is always open to them, to return to the land of their nativity and their fathers."
-- John Quincy Adams
"I scarcely need to refer to the fact that the Houses of Congress, and so as I know the state legislatures, open their daily sessions with prayer.
The foundation of our independence and our Government rests upon basic religious convictions.
Back of the authority of our laws is the authority of the Supreme Judge of the World, to whom we still appeal for their final justification..."
All liberty is individual liberty...
The principle of equality is recognized. It follows inevitably from belief in the brotherhood of man through the fatherhood of God.
When once the right of the individual to liberty and equality is admitted, there is no escape from the conclusion that he alone is entitled to the rewards of his own industry...
It seems to me perfectly plain that the authority of law, the right to equality, liberty and property, under American institutions, have for their foundation reverence for God.
If we could imagine that to be swept away, these institutions of our American government could not long survive."
-- President Calvin Coolidge
"Whatever strikes at the root of Christianity, tends manifestly to the dissolution of civil government."
- James Kent, Chief Justice of the New York Supreme Court
"We contend that for a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."
-- Winston Churchill
You can count those of us here at Life and Liberty as a "NO" on the Kavanaugh nomination to the Supreme Court.
Judge Kavanaugh is clearly a judicial supremacist who thinks judges make our laws, and that judicial precedent takes precedence over his oath to establish justice and support and defend the Constitution.
"These communities [the Fathers of the Republic], by their representatives in old Independence Hall, said to the whole world of men: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'
"This was their majestic interpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of the Creator to his creatures.
"Yes, gentlemen, to all his creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on and degraded, and imbruted by its fellows. They grasped not only the whole race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide their children, and their children's children, and the countless myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages.
"Wise statesmen as they were, they knew the tendency of prosperity to breed tyrants, and so they established these great self-evident truths, that when in the distant future some man, some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that none but rich men, or none but white men, or none but Anglo-Saxon white men, were entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew the battle which their fathers began, so that truth and justice and mercy and all the humane and Christian virtues might not be extinguished from the land; so that no man would hereafter dare to limit and circumscribe the great principles on which the temple of liberty was being built.
"Now, my countrymen, if you have been taught doctrines conflicting with the great landmarks of the Declaration of Independence; if you have listened to suggestions which would take away from its grandeur and mutilate the fair symmetry of its proportions; if you have been inclined to believe that all men are not created equal in those inalienable rights enumerated by our chart of liberty, let me entreat you to come back. Return to the fountain whose waters spring close by the blood of the Revolution. Think nothing of me — take no thought for the political fate of any man whomsoever — but come back to the truths that are in the Declaration of Independence. You may do anything with me you choose, if you will but heed these sacred principles. You may not only defeat me for the Senate, but you may take me and put me to death. While pretending no indifference to earthly honors, I do claim to be actuated in this contest by something higher than an anxiety for office. I charge you to drop every paltry and insignificant thought for any man's success. It is nothing; I am nothing; Judge Douglas is nothing. But do not destroy that immortal emblem of Humanity — the Declaration of American Independence."
-- Abraham Lincoln, speech in Lewiston, Illinois, August 17, 1858, four days before his first historic debate with Stephen A. Douglas, Printed in the Chicago Press and Tribune.
“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God … anarchy and tyranny commence. Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist.”
-- John Adams
“There remains the one standard that has not yet been universally used, namely, the choosing of candidates on moral grounds. A nation always gets the kind of politicians it deserves. When our moral standards are different, our legislation will be different. As long as the decent people refuse to believe that morality must manifest itself in every sphere of human activity, including the political, they will not meet the challenge of Marxism. Contemporary history proves that modern political leaders, devoid of a moral inspiration and relying solely on a mass basis (might makes right), proves ineffectual in time of crisis."
-- Fulton Sheen, “COMMUNISM and the CONSCIENCE of the WEST” -1948
"No country upon earth ever had it more in its power to attain these blessings than United America. Wondrously strange, then, and much to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means and to depart from the road which Providence has pointed us to so plainly; I cannot believe it will ever come to pass."
-- George Washington, letter to Benjamin Lincoln, 1788
"Our liberty depends on our education, our laws, and habits...It is founded on morals and religion, whose authority reigns in the heart, and on the influence all these produce on public opinion before that opinion governs rulers."
-- Fisher Ames
"If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power.
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower
"Without God, there could be no American form of Government, nor an American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first -- the most basic -- expression of Americanism. Thus the Founding Fathers saw it, and thus, with God's help, it will continue to be."
-- President Dwight D. Eisenhower, from remarks recorded for the "Back-to-God" Program of the American Legion, 2/20/55
Poland has a clever president. They have long wanted more of the American military in their country, as security against their neighbors to the east. But all they've been able to get to date is a few thousand troops rotating in and out.
So, Poland's president, Andrzej Duda, has proposed to finance and build a facility for American troops called "Fort Trump," in order to ramp up the U.S. presence there. President Trump is, of course, "considering the proposal." And I can tell you from reading around the web where Trump supporters hang out, they think this is a grand idea.
Now, if a real case can be made that this is in our national interest, that's one thing. But we shouldn't be setting our national defense policy based on stroked egos. It's just plain crazy to say otherwise.
There is a little sticking point, however.
From Fox News:
"A 1997 NATO-Russia agreement technically forbids U.S. or NATO troops from being permanently based in former Warsaw Pact countries, including Poland. Over the summer, the U.S. ambassador to NATO told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” that the Trump administration was considering the move anyway. "
Read the rest of the story at the Fox website ....
by Niv Elis
Weeks before the midterm elections, conservatives in the House are gaining little traction on fiscal issues as Congress passed one spending bill after another in bipartisan votes.
It's a significant shift from the last few years, when the House Freedom Caucus often threw a wrench into appropriations plans with demands to cut mandatory spending and advance other conservative priorities.
“It’s a little bit frustrating right now,” said Rep. Mark Walker, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the largest GOP caucus in the House.
Walker issued a warning last week that some RSC members may vote against a package of spending bills the House is due to consider when it returns to session. The package includes defense and labor appropriations, and a continuing resolution to keep the parts of the government not yet funded by spending bills running past Oct. 1.
But Walker admits that he and other RSC members opposed to the package would seem to have little hope in blocking it.
The package passed in the Senate on Tuesday in an overwhelming 93-7 vote. In the House, an earlier package of spending bills passed in a 377-20 just last week, with both Democrats and Republicans backing it.
“I don’t know that conservatives have a whole lot of leverage here, so I haven’t given it as much thought as I have given to other things, because most of the Democrats will vote for this and smile very big,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.
Read this story at thehill.com ...
by Raul Bedard
Nearly half of the residents in the nation’s five biggest cities do not speak English at home, choosing instead their native language, according to the latest Census Bureau data that details the impact of a decade of soft immigration policies.
Overall, a record 67 million do not speak English at home, said the bureau. That is nearly double in 27 years.
In its just-released analysis of the Census data, the Center for Immigration Studies said, “As a share of the population, 21.8 percent of U.S. residents speak a foreign language at home — roughly double the 11 percent in 1980.”
The Center added, “In America's five largest cities, 48 percent of residents now speak a language other than English at home. In New York City and Houston it is 49 percent; in Los Angeles it is 59 percent; in Chicago it is 36 percent; and in Phoenix it is 38 percent.”
Read more at washingtonexaminer.com ...
"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 is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other."
-- John Adams
"Conscience is the most sacred of all property."
-- James Madison
"I say, the earth belongs to each of these generations during its course, fully and in its own right. The second generation receives it clear of the debts and incumbrances of the first, the third of the second, and so on. For if the first could charge it with a debt, then the earth would belong to the dead and not to the living generation. Then, no generation can contract debts greater than may be paid during the course of its own existence."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to James Madison (6 September 1789) ME 7:455, Papers 15:393.
"Let us enter on this important business under the idea that we are Christians on whom the eyes of the world are now turned… [L]et us earnestly call and beseech Him, for Christ’s sake, to preside in our councils. . . . We can only depend on the all powerful influence of the Spirit of God, Whose Divine aid and assistance it becomes us as a Christian people most devoutly to implore. Therefore I move that some minister of the Gospel be requested to attend this Congress every morning . . . in order to open the meeting with prayer.
For nearly half a century have I anxiously and critically studied that invaluable treasure [the Bible]; and I still scarcely ever take it up that I do not find something new – that I do not receive some valuable addition to my stock of knowledge or perceive some instructive fact never observed before. In short, were you to ask me to recommend the most valuable book in the world, I should fix on the Bible as the most instructive both to the wise and ignorant. Were you to ask me for one affording the most rational and pleasing entertainment to the inquiring mind, I should repeat, it is the Bible; and should you renew the inquiry for the best philosophy or the most interesting history, I should still urge you to look into your Bible. I would make it, in short, the Alpha and Omega of knowledge."
-- Elias Boudinot, President of Congress; Signed The Peace Treaty to End The American Revolution; First Attorney Admitted to The U. S. Supreme Court Bar; framer of the Bill of Rights; Director of the U. S. Mint
"Assenting to the "self-evident truth" maintained in the American Declaration of Independence, "that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights -- among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," I shall strenuously contend for the immediate enfranchisement of our slave population. In Park-street Church, on the Fourth of July, 1829, in an address on slavery, I unreflectingly assented to the popluar but pernicious doctrine of gradual abolition. I seize this opportunity to make a full and unequivocal recantation, and thus publicly to ask pardon of my God, of my country, and of my brethren the poor slaves, for having uttered a sentiment so full of timidity, injustice and absurdity. A similar recantation, from my pen, was published in the Genius of Universal Emancipation at Baltimore, in September, 1829. My conscience in now satisfied.
I am aware, that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire, to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hand of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; -- but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest -- I will not equivocate -- I will not excuse -- I will not retreat a single inch -- AND I WILL BE HEARD. The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal, and to hasten the resurrection of the dead.
It is pretended, that I am retarding the cause of emancipation by the coarseness of my invective, and the precipitancy of my measures. The charge is not true. On this question my influence, -- humble as it is, -- is felt at this moment to a considerable extent, and shall be felt in coming years -- not perniciously, but beneficially -- not as a curse, but as a blessing; and posterity will bear testimony that I was right. I desire to thank God, that he enables me to disregard "the fear of man which bringeth a snare," and to speak his truth in its simplicity and power. And here I close with this fresh dedication:
Oppression! I have seen thee, face to face,
And met thy cruel eye and cloudy brow;
But thy soul-withering glance I fear not now --
For dread to prouder feelings doth give place
Of deep abhorrence! Scorning the disgrace
Of slavish knees that at thy footstool bow,
I also kneel -- but with far other vow
Do hail thee and thy hord of hirelings base: --
I swear, while life-blood warms my throbbing veins,
Still to oppose and thwart, with heart and hand,
Thy brutalising sway -- till Afric's chains
Are burst, and Freedom rules the rescued land, --
Trampling Oppression and his iron rod:
Such is the vow I take -- SO HELP ME GOD!"
-- William Lloyd Garrison, The Liberator, January 1, 1831
“We are perpetually being told that what is wanted is a strong man who will do things. What is really wanted is a strong man who will undo things; and that will be the real test of strength.”
-- G.K. Chesterton
"Too many Christians in this country have forgotten what true leadership even looks like. Instead of being God's flock, LED by shepherds who deserve their trust, who truly care for their well-being, they're being DRIVEN, COERCED, BLUDGEONED, into the political chute by a bunch of unprincipled, uncaring, brutal, Republican cowboys. With hardly a bleat of protest."
-- Tom Hoefling, September 18, 2012
Published by Siena Hoefling