As I've mentioned at least a couple of times recently, I've been reading Paul Sperry's explosive book, Infiltration, How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington.
I highlight the subtitle here because I want to emphasize it; I want you to take a moment and think about the implications, if Sperry is right, of what this means for the United States, our internal security, or the lack thereof. And I'm not talking about what it appears to mean just on the surface. I'm talking about what it means at the depths; what this means for loyal Americans who understand the dangers inherent to granting Muslims equal protection under the first amendment, of which, Islam, by its very nature and its teachings, cannot abide either religious provision established therein...
The obvious question is, if Islam is subversive and hostile to the religious provisions of the first amendment - both the establishment, and the free exercise provisions - not to mention the rest of the first amendment, the whole of the bill or righs, and of the whole of the U.S. Constitution, then what in the name of all that is good and holy are we doing allowing liberals and Muslims to determine how these provisions are to be applied in the case of Muslims?
But before I get too far off topic here, let me get back to Sperry's book and the reason for which I mention it here again...
In addition to corroborating what Raymond Ibrahim says, recently discussed at VFR, concerning the non-translated messages Muslim operatives direct to one-another, as opposed to those they direct to the United States and Western nations, Sperry also reveals that many of these documents go untranslated because of Muslim subversives we have working within the FBI and the Pentagon.
It seems as though shortly following the events of 911, the FBI and the U.S. government were in such a rush to hire Arabic speaking translators, that they abandoned standard hiring and security protocols, opting rather to take their chances -putting national security at risk- by quickly filling these positions with Muslims recommended by such questionable groups as CAIR. In fact, not only did the government, according to Sperry, seek the assistance of questionable Muslim groups to fill these positions, they actually hired them in preference to Arabic speaking Jews who had also applied for the positions. According to Sperry, not one of the dozens of Arabic speaking Jewish applicants was ever hired. Instead, all positions were filled by Muslims.
But here again, it is the implications of these revelations that I'm most interested in. With the Patriot Act in mind, and going beyond the obvious implications as to how these internal spies and operatives are in positions which allow them to conduct espionage operations right under the government's nose, consider the fact that they're also in a position and empowered to conduct their own undercover sting operations against the loyal citizens of this country, particularly those who, as I said before, understand the incompatible nature of Islam and seek to expose it. In other words, those who these Islamists find to be threatening to their purposes.
Mull that over for awhile. And yes, I'm taking Sperry's book with me on my trip, during which time I hope to finish it. But there's sure to be another upcoming post on this, so y'all stay tuned.
Friday, September 28, 2007
As I've mentioned at least a couple of times recently, I've been reading Paul Sperry's explosive book, Infiltration, How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington.
You should be informed that I'll be away from the computer for the next several days, beginning later this morning. I probably will not be back home before Tuesday of next week.
In the meantime, and if you've not already begun to think about it, do make your recommendations concerning your favorite, or what you consider to be the best traditionalist conservative immigration blog posts. I've already chosen several that I consider to be very good, and put them in the right sidebar. If any of them are unfamiliar to you, do click on the links and read them. Perhaps those that are unfamiliar to you, once read, will help to remind you of others you've read in the past.
I'll be checking in sporadically while away, so it's important that you keep these recommendations coming in. As I've said before, I'm still very new to the blogosphere, and you can see by my blogroll that I'm a little slow to expand my horizons. Speaking of which, please don't be annoyed if I haven't added your blog to my blogroll yet. It does not necessarily mean that I'm not going to add you at a future date. I'm still barely getting to know a lot of you out there. And I simply do not want to add your blog to my blogroll until I've had a chance to get to know you better. Whether Webster's is listed on your blogroll is really immaterial to me. If I think your blog should be listed here at Webster's, it'll be added eventually, count on it.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
I mentioned several days ago that I get Don Wildmon's AFA newsletter via email. Also, I mentioned that any concern or objection that I raise with Wildmon's positions, among others, is generally ignored...
Here is a case in point, not of my raising a concern (which I long since gave up on with these Christian organizations), but of my disagreeing with a a position taken by these groups.
Specifically? I have no desire to save social security for my children and grandchildren, I want to save my children and grandchildren from social security. I don't have a problem with social security per se. What I do have a problem with is entrusting it to the federal government, as well as the involuntary nature of the social security system.
And what the h*ll is Newt doing among this group anyway???
From a story brought to us by the folks at CitizenLink, both the House and the Senate have failed to acquire enough votes to override President Bush's promised veto of a Defense spending bill containing a hate crimes amendment passed by both houses:
"The president is not going to agree to this social legislation on the Defense Authorization Bill," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told The Associated Press. "This bill will get vetoed."
The full story is entered below...
Senate Passes Dangerous Hate-Crimes Amendment
by Jennifer Mesko, associate editor
Democrats don't have enough votes to override a promised veto.
Democrats passed a hate-crimes measure today, but failed to collect enough votes to override a pledged presidential veto. The amendment, which would create a new federal class of crime based on "actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity," is attached to a Defense spending bill.
Five Republican senators who voted in favor of hate-crimes legislation in 2004 switched their votes today and opposed the measure. They are: Sens. Lamar Alexander, Tenn.; Robert Bennett, Utah; John Ensign, Nev.; and Lisa Murkowski and Ted Stevens, both of Alaska.
"The president is not going to agree to this social legislation on the Defense Authorization Bill," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told The Associated Press. "This bill will get vetoed."
The Democrat-controlled House passed similar legislation as a stand-alone bill earlier this year, and also fell short of the needed votes to override a veto.
In debate on the Senate floor, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., again tried to tie hate crimes to terrorism: "This is about the morality of our country, our values of our country, and that is directly tied in to what our men and women are doing overseas in resisting terrorism and fighting for the values here at home."
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., fought back: "What are we trying to accomplish here?" he asked. "Do we want to protect the Defense policy matters in this bill that actually matter to our forces in the field, or do we want to debate political and social issues on this measure?"
An alternative amendment by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, also passed. It calls for study of hate crimes.
(Note: This post has been slightly expanded.)
In an article in the Nashua Telegraph, the utter irrationality of some liberal New Hampshire lawmakers comes through loud and clear. Their proposal, H.B. 404, according to the story, would:
"prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies from enforcing federal immigration laws." "This bill would prevent law enforcement personnel from going after suspected terrorists who are also illegal immigrants."
So, are we to take it that state and local law enforcement personnel in New Hampshire would not be prevented by this bill from going after suspected terrorists who are also "legal" immigrants; that it would only prevent them from going after terrorist immigrants of the "illegal" variety? *rolls eyes*
The article further goes on to say that:
"Congressman Tancredo's assertion that bills like HB 404 would be "aiding and abetting" people to break the law. HB 404 would be "a pretty clear violation of the federal law," as Congressman Tancredo stated, and is unmistakably counter to the spirit, if not the letter, of the law."
Contrast New Hampshire's H.B. 404 with Oklahoma's H.B. 1804, and you can see with perfect clarity the absolute opposite nature of the spirit, as well as the letter of the two bills...
With regard to the latter, it would merely empower state and local law enforcement agencies to do what the federal government has proved itself incapable and/or unwilling to do, to enforce federal immigration provisions, and only with regard to illegal immigrants. As to the former, this bill would further encourage and empower illegal aliens to continue to violate federal law, as well as to encourage, empower, and provide safe haven for illegal terrorist subversives to operate unmolested in this country. We all know the difference between crimes of omission and crimes of commission. I leave it to you to decide which category of crime this faction of the N.H. legislature would have its state engaging in.
It is, therefore, the grandest of ironies that Oklahoma's immigration law will be challenged as unconstitutional in the federal courts. And by the way, you want to talk about a term that gets kicked around way too much by both sides, the constant appeal to this term, unconstitutional, literally wears me out sometimes.
Since this is the first official full day of Webster's Immigration Awareness Period, let me start it out by pointing you in the direction of a discussion (perhaps still ongoing) over at VFR where Lawrence Auster asks, Is it wrong for me to talk about race?...
I should say at the outset that my purpose during this open-ended period is not to fixate on the immigration question, but to take special notice of it in the days leading up to and immediately following the events scheduled for October 1st on the steps of my State Capitol, and which I intend to be in attendance.
Second, you have undoubtedly noted that I already have this VFR entry referenced under Webster's Recommended (Immigration Related) Blogposts. But I wanted to put together a few thoughts on the discussion as I see it in a separate entry of my own. I have indeed been paying close attention to the discussion as it has progressed.
From my view, and as I said in my comments to the entry, I think the correspondent who raised the initial question about Auster's supposed "fixation" on race, is reasoning from effect to cause, or, a better way of putting it might be that he reasons bassackwards, which is pretty common these days. Also, it should be noted that whenever people engage in this kind of bassackwards, effect to cause, reasoning, they generally tend to adhere to an equally bassackwards - external to internal - approach which has people being more shaped by their environment, than their environment being shaped by people. And once more, consistent with the general reasoning process of such folks, it also involves a part to whole, rather than a whole to part methodology.
In other words, a person's, or a group's internal character doesn't matter any more than race matters to this correspondent, though I'm sure he'd argue otherwise. What he seems to be arguing, in a roundabout sort of way, is that a people such as the Mexicans only display uniquely Mexican characteristics because of their Mexican environment; they do not shape their environment, their environment shapes them. Put them in a more favorable environment and they will automatically throw off their former tendencies, shaped as they were by the poor environment they found themselves in formerly, and will adopt in their place the superior qualities of Western culture, shaped as they are by their environment. Our environment will not be reshaped by their large presence among us because, as this correspondent reasons, people don't shape their environment, their environment shapes people.
But no matter how he tries to defend himself against this view, his words have already revealed his true attitude, which is internal. His attitude is basically spelled out this way, that ten million Mexicans can come to the United States all in one shot, and in the absence of multiculturalism, they are already well equipped to adopt the American way of life, our culture, and so on, and to become, in the place of whites, and as we pass the torch to them, the new traditionalist conservatives who will carry on Western culture as we become displaced by them.
Once again, this is bassackwards thinking. If these Mexican migrants were already equipped to do this, they would have already done so in their own country. There would be no reason for them, existence of multiculturalism or not, to bring their culture with them if they held no attachment to it. Yes, there are always going to be a few; a relatively insignificant percentage of foreigners, Mexicans or whomever, who possess the internal characteristics needed to adopt Western culture. But as Auster rightly notes, large numbers of them are going to carry with them their own cultural identity in preference to Western culture, by the aid of multiculturalism, not because of it.
Now, we should not fail to recognize, no matter how uncomfortable it is for us, that things have deteriorated progressively and steadily as we've allowed more and more immigrants into this country. In other words, as the white majority in America has been steadily eroding, so too has the moral and cultural underpinnings of this nation been eroding. Like I said, it may not be comfortable to speak of it in those terms, but it is what it is. These occurances have not happened in isolation of one-another.
Furthermore, whenever someone engages in the process of part to whole methodology, as this correspondent does, the whole picture is distorted to the point that it is very unclear to the mind's eye. And as bad as I hate to be the bearer of bad news to this individual, it is Westerners, predominately whites, who have discovered, realized and developed whole to part methodology.
Whole to Part methodology, simply stated, teaches this: That you start with a whole view (not to be confused with a complete view) before you begin breaking it down to its individual parts; that the individual parts only have meaning and are understandable as they fit into the whole picture, not the other way around. For instance, one cannot fully appreciate the design of the continent of Africa, one of the continents of nature, unless he understands the design of the whole earth and what its purpose is. Likewise, one cannot fully appreciate the design of the continent of Europe, one of the continents of history, and its peculiar structure, extensive coastline, and so on and so forth, unless he first has a good idea of the whole picture of the earth and its purpose. But I digress.
The point I'm trying to make here is that whole groups of people have specific and identifiable racial and cultural qualities unique to themselves. If they did not we would not have ways of discerning these peculiarities and identifying them as qualities unique to Mexicans, or to the Chinese, or to whomever. Individuals are to be, and can only be understood properly as they form a part of the overall racial and cultural makeup of the race and people to which they belong. To take an individual of a given race and to define the race by that individual is, as I said, bassackwards. Though there are exceptions, the general rule is this, an individual is to be defined by his race and his culture. And if his race and culture are found to be incompatible with our own, then what service are we doing him or his culture in inviting him here where the conflicting worldviews must at some point clash?
The question seems to be this, does multiculturalism have the power to resolve the conflicts that naturally arise between different racial and cultural groups? Or is multiculturalism, aiding and abetting the invasion of Western nations as it is, simply going to, at length, intensify them to the point of a global and racial conflict of epic proportions? The question, moreover, is is it wrong for Auster not to talk about race?
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I am hereby declaring ... the next several days, maybe even weeks, to be "Webster's (open-ended) Immigration Awareness Period." With the upcoming events in this State I've already discussed thoroughly here and here, it should be obvious why I'm doing this. You will note that I've made some changes to the recommended blogposts section, adding three immigration related posts from VFR, Katie's Dad, and one from Webster's. I'll add some more later, probably one or two from VA's, and etc., the purpose being, during this period, to offer in that section a majority of immigration related blogposts from traditionalist conservative blogs.
If any of you know of some others out there that I should put up during the aforementioned Immigration Awareness Period, even if it is one of your own that I've missed or I've forgotten about, please let me know.
End of initial post.
(Update: Lawrence Auster has done me a big favor in posting my invitation letter to Tancredo's staff (which I managed to get through the proverbial back door at Tancredo's website), slightly edited, in a full VFR entry to itself. Thanks go out to Mr. Auster.)
Back on August 8th, I put up this important blog post concerning the battle about to ensue over Oklahoma's "toughest immigration legislation in the nation." For more information on what's scheduled to happen on October 1st, one month prior to the actual enactment of Oklahoma's new immigration legislation, as well as what the new law actually entails, please read the post linked above...
I was over at Tancredo's website earlier, and I wondered whether Mr. Tancredo would be available, and/or, interested in attending an event such as the one scheduled October 1st on the steps of the Capitol in Oklahoma City. On the home page of Tom's Presidential Campaign Website, I noticed two links one can click on to invite Tom to an event. So I wrote up a letter of invitation and tried to send it. But after several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to put this blog post up concerning the matter.
Now, I'll continue to try to use the official method for making Congressman Tancredo aware of, and to invite him to this event. But as for now while there seems to be some trouble with the remote server not responding to my message,...
I hereby post Webster's formal Invitation to Tom Tancredo to be in attendance and speak at the scheduled demonstration to be held at the date and place mentioned above. Traditionalist Conservative Oklahomans would be honored to have you, Sir. And as the event scheduled is obviously intended to make a public showing of the beginnings of the downfall of Oklahoma's new law, and thereby to discourage other States from defending themselves against unlawful incursions of illegal invaders, following my state's lead, your presence at this event is of national, not just state and local import.
There you have it.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
VA has another nice post up today that she's calling "Those outlawed emotions, again." VA makes some good points that need to be made, and that I'd like to discuss here in a more lengthy entry. But for now I'd like to focus on one statement VA makes in her post...
"I have to return again to Yeats's line, 'The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.' Our enemies, whether they are Latinos with revanchist intentions, or Moslems with jihad, fast or slow, in mind, ARE full of passionate intensity, while too many Americans are still in a state of denial or else they have emotionally and spiritually been disarmed. That must change, otherwise we are outclassed and overwhelmed."
This brings to mind something I recently read in Paul Sperry's book, "Infiltration, How Muslim Spies and Subversives have Penetrated Washington." Mr. Sperry bemoans the fact, and rightly so in my opinion, that we Americans do not know our enemy well. In this case, of course, Sperry is concentrating on our enemy, Islamism.
Mr. Sperry writes:
"We are fighting a spiritual seduction we have yet to fully grasp and comprehend, hung up as we are on measuring the dreams and happiness of others against our own dreams and happiness...A virtual taboo exists in official circles about Islam's role in terrorism. It is treated as if it comes out of the blue, as if there is no religious pattern. According to the president, we are fighting "evil-doers" and "a bunch of cold-blooded killers." To hear him and the FBI director, terrorism is generic, not Islamic." (emphasis mine)
"The first rule of war is know your enemy. You cannot defeat it if you do not know what motivates it.
Yet shockingly few FBI supervisors running counterterrorism cases have ever picked up a copy of the Quran to read it, let alone study it. "Supervisors don't study the Quran. They don't do any independent analysis," says former FBI special agent, John Vincent..."When you're fighting terrorism, you have to know how they think," adds Vincent...
Unfortunately, the enemy knows us better than we know it. The al-Qaida training manual quotes an old Muslim general: "The nation that wants to achieve victory over its enemy must know that enemy very well." The Islamic terrorists have studied our system inside and out, and they know its weaknesses and how to exploit them. They know about our open society, our civil liberties, our heavy ethnic mix, and our lax immigration enforcement all too well."
(I'll be adding more to this post later.)
(Update: In connection with Hermes's entry, be sure to read the VFR entry on the subject, and particularly Mark J's comments.)
Over at Wise Man's Heart, Hermes has [finally! ;)] put up another great post. I recommend that you go read it, as well as the lengthy comments he's gotten to the post. All of it is good. Some of it is a little more negative than my personal attitude generally will abide, but it's all good, as I said, and well worth the read.
But I'd like to focus my attention on one aspect Hermes brings out in the post, and to ask Hermes (or anyone else who has the answer) one of those politically incorrect questions that many of us seem to shy away from asking...
First of all, let me say that I do admit a little disappointment at going to Hermes's blog and finding that no new entry has been added in awhile. But why? Because of the quality of his posts. In other words, Hermes, I'm learning quickly that the quality of your posts makes it well worth my while to check your blog for new entries on a regular basis.
Now, I have to ask the politically incorrect question. Hermes mentions that he and his fellow medical students were required to take an IQ exam prior to being admitted to medical school. The question is this: Do you know whether the standards with regard to the IQ exam are different concerning "minorities?" For instance, when I was in the Air Force years ago, I learned from two female co-workers (an African American, and a Cuban American) that the grade requirements for acceptance into officer's training school were lower for them than they were for me, based, of course, on their minority status.
This knowledge precipitated a heated exchange between myself and the ladies mentioned wherein the bottom of their argument was that this policy was acceptable because they didn't have the same educational opportunities that I had growing up. My response to this nonsense was simply this: If you think I had more "educational" opportunities than you had growing up, you are sadly mistaken and deluded. Indeed, and as I further argued, what they were saying in actuality was that it was they, not I, who had more educational advantages given them (not earned), and those perceived advantages for them would follow them around for the rest of their lives. But the higher point was that by lowering the standards for entry into officer's training school, this could do nothing but lower the overall quality of the leadership of the U.S. Military, which, of course, results in a sub-par military; at very least a sub-par officer corps.
Now, I don't recall whether the conversation ever got around to discovering whether this disparity in standards (one reason for this is because the conversation got cut short when accusations of bigotry and racism were carelessly cast about concerning another co-worker who was arguing the same points I was, just a little more forcefully, and who was called before the commander who ultimately determined that there would be no more talk of different standards applying to different groups) applied to different groups carried over into the actual grading of achievement once a minority applicant was actually admitted by a lower standard, but it seems to me that to be consistent in the lowering of such standards, that this would have to be the case, or the final outcome.
So once again, the question is this: Do any of you know whether different IQ requirements, and/or, different grading standards are applied within the medical field to applicants and students enjoying "minority" status? Quality in the medical field is superior to quantity of minority applicants accepted. And you can quote me on that.
As I recently explained to my gymnast daughter (who has shown a capacity for making most of the requirements of the next level, albeit somewhat inconsistently at this point), who wants to advance to the next level so badly she can taste it, and has expressed that she hopes her instructors will move her up: "Your instructors don't determine when you advance; you determine when you advance, and don't you ever forget it." The point being this, that irregardless of what she achieves or doesn't achieve in gymnastics or anything else, I don't want her ever thinking her achievements based in anything other than a combination of God-given talents and hard work on her part in developing those talents. I certainly will never encourage such an attitude in any of my children. And those of you that do, or will, should be ashamed of yourselves! And you can quote me on that as well.
Over at Brave New World Watch, John Savage has put up another interesting entry concerning legislating morality. One thing I've argued ... forever it seems, is that everyone, irregardless of how often or how vehemently they deny it, has an inseparable personal bond to legislating morality...
I've argued this position in any number of ways, stating it in a variety of terms. In fact, if I recall correctly, one of the first things my brothers and I over at the AFB (the orginal three of us) discussed was this idea of legislating morality, or, that all laws are founded on a moral perspective, someone's moral perspective. My argument today is essentially the same as it was then: that all legislation can be reduced to a moral foundation whether it's coming from liberals, conservative, libertarians, or any of their offshoots. Why? Because we're all human beings, which is to say "moral" beings.
But I think there's an underlying principle that needs to be brought out here. And it is basically this:
Someone who denies that they wish to legislate on a moral basis, and there are many of them across party lines, is almost irrelevant to any cause seeking to set things aright. Until one embraces this fundamental truth, they are simply living a lie, and there is no basis for a truth-seeker to give any credence to what they say.
From my view, I have a lot more respect for someone who admits a fondness and attachment to legislating morality, even someone whose morality I disagree with. At least that person is honest about his intentions. I appreciate honesty in anyone, particularly concerning one's motives, even those I have differences with.
Dishonesty about one's attachment to legislating morality betrays a person's ill-intentions, whatever party he aligns himself with. On the other hand, we have to recognize that some folks are not necessarily dishonest about legislating morality as much as they are misguided about it. But in either case, dishonesty or misguidedness, someone who denies an attachment to legislating morality while at the same moment appealing to a moral perspective as the foundation of his position, warrants little attention.
If people are incapable of separating their morality from their politics (and I firmly believe this is the case) then what good is it to any cause to claim an "amoral" position? And by the way, I think the term "amoral" is an altogether illegitimate term insofar as it defines a person's actual position on a given subject. All the term is good for, in my view, is to show where a person claims to be on a given subject, not where he actually is. In other words, you can bet your bottom dollar every time that an individual holds a moral position, in spite of the fact that he claims a position of moral neutrality. In fact, many times this claim of moral neutrality betrays a sense in the individual claiming it, of holding the moral high ground. Which sort of defeats the purpose, don't ya know.
Monday, September 24, 2007
In case some of you missed reading the VFR entry, The Islamist Penetration of America that We are doing nothing to Prevent, posted early yesterday and now buried beneath several other posts, do click on the link provided and read the important entry.
End of initial entry.
Paul Sperry is the author of the book "Infiltration, How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington". I mentioned a while back that I had purchased a copy of Mr. Sperry's 2005 book at a local Christian bookstore.
Though I've not yet read the book in its entirety (I've been reading it in conjunction with several other volumes), I ran across Sperry's website, SperryFiles.com, while reading through the afterword of the book. Posted below is a sample Q & A from the Front Page interview conducted with Mr. Sperry, posted on Sperry's website linked above...
Sample Q & A:
FP: Islamism extinguishes women's rights, gay rights, minority rights and all democratic rights one could imagine. These are supposed to be at the core of leftist values. Why is the Left having a love affair with an entity that extinguishes everything that it supposedly holds dear?
Sperry: Because they want to continue worshiping at the altar of cultural diversity. The Left has never met a culture or religion it didn't like, no matter how extreme, violent or anathema to our way of life, even one that uses the civil liberties the Left holds dear against us to gain a bigger foothold in our culture with the hopes of one day denying us those same liberties. Islamists secretly want to Islamize America, which as you say would extinguish women's rights, gay rights, minority rights and the rights of all minority religions to flourish like we're letting Islam flourish right now. And even faced with the threat of another mass-scale attack, the lefties would rather protect their claim to the mantle of tolerance for tolerance sake than their own country. But it's not just the left that won't wake up to the threat. Republican Paul Findley wrote a book about Islam that reads like an endless love letter. Two of the Muslim leaders he lionizes on the cover—Alamoudi and Sami al-Arian—are now behind bars on terror charges! (Findley told me he only regrets putting Alamoudi, a confessed terror conspirator, on the cover.) Then there's GOP operative Grover Norquist, an agent of influence for Islamists in Washington, as I detail in Infiltration and support through several alarming documents posted on sperryfiles.com. Because he's best pals with Karl Rove, he's getting to place bad people in the White House, DHS, the Transportation Department, and other key sensitive agencies in the war on terror. And he and his partner—Palestinian activist and former Alamoudi deputy Khaled Saffuri—are getting the president to legitimize Islam by placing pro-Islam political messages in his speeches. Bush is the first president to mention "mosques" and the "Quran" in inaugural addresses. The stated goal of their Islamic Institute, which got seed money from Alamoudi, is to promote Muslim activists to positions of power.
The entire interview is posted on Sperry's website which is linked above.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
And I have to point you in the direction of Vanishing American where she puts up a nice entry on whether 'good people,' because of their 'goodness' are resigned to doing nothing.
In my comment to the entry I quote the familiar refrain (probably more familiar to traditionalists than most) which basically states that "There is nothing so absurd than when something it repeated often enough, people begin to believe it." It applies to VA's post in a way that I bring out in my comments.
Also, VA points out in the post that "evil" can sometimes mean an absence of real good. I believe this is precisely what evil is; that the only thing real between the two, good and evil, is good.
(By the way, I have an answer for the question raised in this post title. But I'm hoping some of you will offer your own opinion. I'll share my answer later.)
John Savage has a very correct post up this morning concerning the nature of Christian leadership coalitions to take neoconservative postions on the different and various issues facing the nation.
You need to read John's entry because mine is going to view the subject from something of a different angle...
Particularly, John speaks of the "Forgotten Americans Coalition," consisting of various big-name leaders within the Christian political movement, Pat Robertson of CBN, Don Wildmon of AFA, et al.
With regard to Wildmon, I get his AFA newsletter, and as I said in my comments to John's post, I tend to disagree with Wildmon's approach more than I agree with it. But Wildmon is a good example of another problem I have with these groups in that they pay no mind, in my experience, to concerns with their policies offered them of their readers.
Indeed, I personally have had much more success, by a long shot even, raising concerns with elected officials at the State and national levels of government than with these organizations and their policies. I could give you numerous examples of what I'm talking about, but suffice it to say that if I express a concern, or numerous concerns, with one of my U.S. Senators for example, most of the time I can count on the fact that their office, someone in their office, is going to respond to my concerns, and in a very detailed fashion. In other words, they're going to respond most of the time, by my experience, in a fashion something like this: "here's the concern you raise with this issue; and this is how I would answer you..."
In contrast, I've raised numerous concerns with numbers of these organizations before, and generally speaking I can expect to get no response from them. If I do happen to get an occasional response, it's one of those kinds of replies you'd expect to get from your elected officials, i.e., "Thank you for your interest in this issue. Your opinion is very important to me ... Would you consider supporting my campaign for re-election with a generous love offering. The Lord will bless you." lol
But seriously, I would like to know whether any of you have had the same kinds of experiences. Or is it just me that these Christian organizations are ignoring? I finally just gave up on expressing concerns with these groups. What's the point?
(Update: This entry has been expanded from its original.)
Look at Lawrence Auster's interesting answer to Fjordman who asks whether Separationism is a practical strategy for dealing with Islam in an age of globalization...
"Of course it's a viable policy, if there is agreement on its necessity.
There are four ways that Muslims can enter non-Muslim countries: illegal immigration, legal immigration, temporary visits for travel/business, and military invasion.
People say we can't stop illegal immigration. That is of course false. The means are all there, we just have to put them into effect. Obviously we also have control over legal immigration. Limited travel and temporary sojourns for business and diplomatic purposes can be allowed.
Any individual country has the power to do all three of these things. Therefore, separationism simply requires that all non-Muslim countries do these three things.
As for military invasion, we and other countries generally have the ability to repel military invasions. Furthermore, a plank of Separationism is the location of permanent military bases at the margins of the Muslim world and the swift destruction of any dangerous Muslim regime. If a Muslim country invades a non-Muslim neighbor, the regime ruling that country will be eliminated.
Now the response will be: "All non-Muslim countries on earth cooperating in the same policy to contain and isolate Islam? Impossible!" At this moment it seems impossible. But the first thing to remember is that we don't have to wait for all countries to defend themselves before we start to defend ourselves. Suppose, for the sake of discussion, that the United States passed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution (recently posted at VFR) that, echoing the language of the Thirteenth Amendment which outlawed slavery, would outlaw the practice of Islam in the United States. Other countries would follow our example, one by one, until the rejection of Islam, something previously considered inconceivable, became a broad consensus in the non-Islamic world."
Of particular interest to me is LA's concluding paragraph. When I first read it I said to myself, exactly!, this is precisely what I'm saying in defense of Constitutionally Consistent, or, State and local control of immigration policy here in the United States. One or a few states determine they don't have to, nor are they going to wait on all the states (or the fed) to protect them before they start defending themselves, and etc.
Of course, as with Auster's reply to Fjordman, what I say concerning the viability of such an internal U.S. immigration policy is predicated upon the idea of there being "agreement on its necessity."
Be sure to check out this article over at VFR since Mr. Auster has expanded it to include my comments to the entry, AND, more importantly, where he adds a link, beneath my comments, to a VFR article from 2006 where a good discussion ensued. This is the kind of clear thinking which we must get to in order to deal rightly with these kinds of situations.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Y'know, I got to thinking that with the recent loading problems a friend was kind enough to point out, that there's a good object lesson here, and it has to do with the proper way government should function. Bear with me here, as I attempt to illustrate this...
What we had was a situation where the decision making function of government, which, in this case resides in me, had proved wanting to a degree. The executive function, which resides in CTO, had done its job well according to the plan of the decision-maker, myself. The remaining function of government, the judicial, or, the function of judging whether the plan and the execution thereof was working as originally intended (this function in this case is possessed primarily of you, the reader, by the way), raised awareness with the legislative power (me) that there was a problem which might be more extensive in nature.
On that, a quick investigation was done into the matter, CTO was informed of the nature of the problem and the new guidelines for the plan to fix it. Now it's up to the readership, in the absence of my noticing a problem brewing myself, to make me aware of a problem they're/you're experiencing. Whereupon I'll enter upon the same procedures as before, and the whole process continues; all the functions of government, possessed of different individuals, working together as a unified whole.
And what's best of all? No-one is trying to horn in on the proper role of the others. Nor did the basic structure of the blog undergo any alterations. As simplified an example as this seems, it is at bottom exactly the way the departments of government should function, in their individual, and their unified capacities. :)
(Note: We've done some troubleshooting and made some necessary changes to the blog which I explain in the additional paragraph.)
I just received an email message from a friend who complains that Webster's is extremely slow to load, and he believes it is because the layout is too complicated. Since I've experienced this problem myself with Webster's, as opposed to most other blogs I frequent, I think this friend is probably right. However, I was assuming that it is chiefly because I am on dial-up that I experience this problem.
How does Webster's load for the rest of you? I may need to do something about this if it is a big problem. In fact, I see at sitemeter that many visits to the blog are registered as zero time. I wonder if this loading problem might be a factor in that?
Ok, here's what we've done so far. We've temporarily disabled the Table of Contents feature, while we try to figure out how to make it load differently. I don't know how many of you use this feature, or whether it has been useful to any of you, but it has been a pretty useful feature for me so I'd like to have it back if the bugs can be worked out of it. This seems to have been the main culprit regarding the loading issues. Also, the music has been removed for good. This too was causing a delay in loading, but nowhere near what the ToC was causing. If any of you have any more suggestions, or if you continue to experience difficulties with loading, or whatever, please let me know so I can work on correcting it. Thanks.
(Note: I may not get around to adding the excerpts I promised to this entry until in the morning.)
The European Mindset 1492: The Crescent or the Cross?
That's the title of chapter three of a book I have in my possession, which I purchased around the year 1994 I think. The book is written by John Eidsmoe, and is entitled Columbus and Cortez, Conquerors for Christ...
Incidentally, years ago I was given a number of tracts which my great grandfather, whom dad and I were both named after, had developed as apologetic materials for the local Christian church he had founded. While I won't delve into the content of these tracts generally, there was one in particular which I found then to be quite interesting, and quite illuminating. This particular tract (and if I can locate a copy of it I will add the contents to this post) dealt with the discovery of the New World by Columbus, up through the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. In other words, it recognized the hand of Providence in America's founding, tracing back in the chain of events, Columbus's discovery of the New World, and beyond. This used to be a common theme in educational circles, The Chain of Christianity Moving Westward.
The reason I mention this tract is because at the time I was given a copy by one of my relatives, the tract itself had already been removed from the body of tracts offered by the church in question to its members, and its visitors. In fact, I was in my early twenties when I first realized that such a tract existed, authored by my Great Grandfather, and I was raised in this church. So, if the tract was offered while I grew up in the church, I never knew anything of it. I suspect it was not.
And here is the point of this post. Like the church I was raised in, the national memory of the actual historical events which surrounded Columbus's discovery of a route to the West Indies has been all but erased. And this is a sad, as well as a dangerous fact. In Eidsmoe's book, chapter three, he lays out the threat that Christian nations were facing at the time of Columbus's voyage, the threat of Islam. Most traditionalists are knowledgable of this imminent danger, I'm sure, but I would still like to post excerpts from chapter three of the book below this initial entry later on...
I note that in the second paragraph, I make the statement that "this used to be a common theme in educational circles..." I'm mindful that this may be somewhat confusing for some of you, given that it is written in the context of a religious tract formerly offered by the church of my youth, especially those of you who are unfamiliar with my understanding of what an "educational institution" is. Therefore, I want to clarify the meaning of this statement by defining educational institutions as I mean it.
By educational institutions, I understand that there are three primary institutions tasked with educating, or sharing knowledge, with those under their care or supervision, the home, the church, and the formal schools. By this understanding of education, and the institutions tasked with providing it, one is more equipped to determine, for instance, what has gone wrong (or right) with one or the other group of people, whether you divide them as states, or local communities, or by race, or whatever. An example of this would be something like what is the cause of the disparity between group A's high divorce rate, and group B's comparative low divorce rate. If you look at the three primary educational institutions from whence both groups invariably, and to one degree or the other, derive the bulk of their educations, you will find, again invariably, that in the case of the one, one or more aspects of his/her education has a more positive/negative influence than it/they do for his counterpart. If the three primary educational institutions all tend to agree in some particular, or in some general way for one group, as opposed to, on the other hand, a noticable disagreement between them for the other group, then this serves to explain many of the differences that we see between the two groups. Also, this will account for certain trends that we notice where the gap between the two groups seems to be closing in favor of group A's or group B's philosophy. This is what I mean in paragraph two by "educational circles." There are three of them, and they're always in operation whether, for instance, one attends church on a regular basis or not, and etc.
The excerpts I promised are coming, but there's a further delay which I won't get into here. My apologies.
Okay, maybe I'm citing too many of Auster's entries lately, but I simply could not pass on this one because it discusses one of my pet peeves...
I certainly don't agree with, nor do I like the idea of taxing one class of people for the purpose of eliminating self-esteem issues of another class of people, which seems to be the idea here. But I'm mainly concerned with the false concept that outward appearances determine the level of one's internal self-esteem. That seems to be at the bottom here.
I've run into this problem numerous times within my own circle, and it's a fairly conservative circle by comparison. And my advice or counsel is always to be careful about entertaining the liberal bassackwards philosophy that says the external leads to the internal. Why is this my advice to those who ask it in one way or the other? Because, as I explain to them over and over (but this usually falls on deaf ears), invariably you will find that ultimately self-esteem is not enhanced, nor self-esteem issues eliminated by external means. It is the internal that leads to the external. One's self-esteem is not determined by the way one looks, but by the way one acts; by the content of one's character, to borrow from MLK.
Ultimately self-esteem is destroyed by this idea of enhancing one's features to increase self-esteem, not the other way around.
Lawrence Auster has an enlightening entry up this morning wherein he exposes the self-defeating nature of Amir Taheri's argument which lends an air of legitimacy to political entities in the mideast, Hezbollah, Hamas, et al. Norman Podhoretz invokes the authority of Taheri, citing him in his (Podhoretz's) new book where Taheri says that the popular election of these groups in the mideast is, in spite of all indications on the surface, a positive occurance since it establishes the higher principle that political legitimacy is dependent on democratic elections.
Though the names Podhoretz and Taheri are of fairly recent recognition to me, their reasoning is most certainly not...
In my comments to this article, I attempt to show the true nature of the respective arguments, and what actually lies beneath the surface of this irresponsible position, building upon what Auster exposes in the intial entry. Mr. Auster has kindly replied to my comments, identifying my second paragraph as being most consistent with the message these gentlemen are attmpting to convey:
Wait a minute! Let me get this straight.
Podhoretz is invoking Taheri in defense of his own position, where Taheri is basically lending credence to the fallacy that popular elections legitimize islamist terrorist political power and activities; that popular elections, in and of themselves, legitimizes...whatever it touches? This is based itself on an illegitimate, or a false premise, that popular elections conducted whenever, wherever, and by whomever they are engaged, equals legitimacy automatically. If the premise is false, how can the conclusion be otherwise?
I'll give them both the benefit of the doubt and assume that what they intend is that by establishing the universal principle of popular electoral legitimacy, that eventually the seed, planted as it is in "good ground," will grow into a tree producing the kind of fruit that [we] desire, popular defeat of terrorists in the mideast. But upon what basis do they come to this wildly irresponsible conclusion? Upon what historical evidence do they rely to show that democratic elections, once initiated, eventually produce the desired results necessarily? Assuming this is what they mean.
Furthermore, it being a main staple of liberalism to encourage and reward folks for bad behavior and bad choices, this position betrays their liberal undergirdings, which, of course, further undermines their position."
The point being, of course, that Podhoretz is engaging in a logical fallacy, quite common to liberalism. He begins with a false premise, thus ending with a false conclusion. And as the abjectly liberal philosophy goes, everyone gets a trophy for simply playing the game. It doesn't matter how well they play the game, or whether they play it according to a given set of rules or standards. Everyone is still rewarded, and entitled to be rewarded, with a trophy for simply participating.
Bad behavior and wrong choices are equally rewarded, under the liberal philosophy, with good behavior and good choices, thus undermining what would appear to be the goal. It is antithetical to liberalism to withhold the trophy simply because the participant neglects his responsibilities, behaving irresponsibly in his participation, if a liberal is even discerning enough to make the distinction. The most important thing to a liberal is not how you play the game, but rather that you play the game. Eventually, according to a liberal, and as long as we reward the players for playing, they'll learn to play by the rules and everyone will live happily ever after, in peace and perfect harmony, any evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.
That, in a nutshell, is the insanity of liberalism.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Here's a story brought to us from the folks over at CitizenLink. It seems like the Maryland judiciary consists of a number of judges who believe that their opinions supersede the acts of the State legislature, and that they can overturn Maryland State law whenever they deem it to be unconstitutional.
Now, I don't know how this law was passed; whether it was passed by the legislature of the State of Mayland, or by popular referendum, or whatever; I simply do not know the internal workings of the State of Maryland. But whenever you've got a situation where the judiciary believes itself to be the final lawmaking body within a State, or the nation, for that matter, you don't need a constitutional amendment to protect the law from the legislature. What you need is a convention to redefine the boundaries of the respective powers of government, and to whom, and under what conditions, you are delegating and entrusting those powers, with punishments for the violation thereof.
For the 100th entry to this blog, I've decided to do a little self critique on the efforts put forth to date. It's not by any means an exhaustive critique, nor is it intended to be one. But it serves well enough, I think, to illustrate where I think this blog can make some vast improvements...
First, I got off to a bit of a slow start. Having never operated a personal blog, all of my previous blogging efforts had been restricted to what little I'd done over at the AFB. In my first post here at Webster's, A New AF-Blogoventure, I explain to some extent what the idea behind having personal blogs entailed, and why the idea came to me to begin with. The truth is that I had, just prior to Webster's coming online, broken out of my shell and had begun to discover the Traditionalist Conservative blogging hemisphere.
That discovery, coupled with the fact that I usually have a lot to say on a variety of subjects that the AFB doesn't necessarily lend itself to, convinced me that a personal blog would be a good outlet for expressing those ideas and opinions more frequently, and for getting to know some of the other traditionalists who were already out there, and who had already become pretty well established as far as the blogosphere goes. Indeed, I had been living in such a bubble that I was not even aware of the traditionalist blogging movement. So much so that VFR had even escaped my radar.
The content of this blog is nowhere near where I'd like it to be as yet. So far it is not well defined, nor has it lived up to its billing as explicated in the blog description section. It is still the primary mission of this blog, as was announced from the beginning, to propagate and advance the ideas of Balanced Government which developed over at the AFB. It is, in short, to advance the concepts of returning to a national-federal structure of government overall, as the founders originally designed the framework of this government.
The process begins with the presupposition that something has gone seriously awry; that that something is reducible to a singular primary cause from which all other posthumous causes are really effects of either the primary first cause, or effects of some other secondary cause, which itself is an effect of some other cause. In other words, it recognizes the cause-effect relationship, and seeks to explain the conditions under which we now live thereby.
As I've said one way or the other so many times, what is evident on the surface is just that, surface scum. Examining this surface material should give us some insight into what lies beneath. And what lies beneath the surface is vastly more important than what is on the surface. The surface material only has value as it relates to and instructs us on the true nature of the underlying material.
But the key to it all is that we have to realize and own that the surface material itself is merely indicative of what is at the core. As long as we're treating the symptom and not the disease, we will ever continue to take more steps backwards than forward steps. It is my firm conviction indeed, that hopelessness is a well placed emotion whenever our whole approach to a given problem involves the process of attempting to limit the effects by dealing only with the effects and not the cause.
I hereby make the following commitment. From this day forward I will make a conscious effort to get to the heart of the matter on anything, any subject for which I choose to discuss on this blog. Recognizing my own limitations, I already know full well that I shall fail in this endeavor on numerous future occasions. But I hope that with my off-blog extra-curriculars, conversations and consultations with other traditionalist thinkers, the incorporation of more study and reflection, and etc., I will meet the requirements of this commitment to a fuller extent than has thus far been shown. In the meantime, I hope you'll bear with me as I continue to dust off my brain so that I can see things a little more clearly, and seeing them more clearly, thereby being equipped to express them more clearly. That is my commitment; that is the task before me. It is the very reason that I'm currently re-visiting so many volumes of material concurrently, and as we speak.
I appreciate everyone's patience, and I hope to make this blog better as time goes on.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
When I said in my last entry that it was a departing entry, what I meant to say was that it was the last entry for the day as I would be indisposed the rest of the day Friday. I did not mean that I was departing for good, or for the next four or five days, or indefinately, as my lengthy absence may have suggested to some of you. No; I suspect this blog, irregardless of how popular it is or isn't, becomes or doesn't become, will remain up for quite some time to come...
And besides, this entry is my 99th entry since first starting this blog. There's no way I would ever stop short of posting the 100th. Speaking of which, I reckon I should post something special for the century post at Web's, but at the moment I still haven't come up with anything that seems just right. Notwithstanding that fact, the 100th post will definately be posted by tomorrow morning.
I do owe y'all an explanation for my absence, however. First, I've been busy with other pressing items. Second, I've been experiencing some real problems with my remote server. In fact, I could not even get online most of the day today. Third, I've been working on several things relevant to this blog behind the scenes. Today, as a matter of fact, I had a nice lengthy phone conversation with my fellow AFBer, Mike Tams, wherein we discussed several items of import related to the AFB, and to this blog, and to Balanced/Constitutional government in general -- how do we get there? I appreciate Mike's willingness to hear me out on the number of points I raised, as well as his kind words, which were very encouraging. If you ever get the chance to talk to Mike over the phone, here's my advice: jump on it!
Otherwise, there are a few additional items here at Web's that some of you may or may not have noticed already. 1. I've added The Maritime Sentry blog to my blogroll. The founding father quotes over there, which it seems they put up on a daily basis, are great! Second, I've added yet another article to my Select VFR Articles section in the left sidebar. To my Links of Interest section, I've added a link to the Federalist Papers (Thanks for the suggestion, John!), as well as a link to the Federalist Patriot's Historic Documents page. One last item of note is that I've changed "Webster's Featured Entries" to Webster's Recommended Blog Posts so that I could add to that list entries from other blogs which I frequent. This idea I borrowed from John Savage over at BNWW, with his blessing. I'll be adding soon a section entitled Select AFB Posts as well, so be on the lookout for that.
Y'all look for the "century post" in the morning. I'll try to come up with something worthwhile.
Friday, September 14, 2007
This is going to be a very short and departing entry wherein I leave the question to you in hopes that you'll express your opinion in the comments section.
My opinion is no opinion. By chance and chance alone, I had turned on the television last night just as the President was about to go on. I watched and listened to the speech for a few minutes before I dozed off to sleep. I was pretty tired to begin with, so I don't recall much of what the President said, if anything substantive at all.
I will point you the way of The Maritime Sentry blog, however, where D. Roman has posted Mike Huckabee's press release on the President's speech. With that I leave you to offer an opinion.
The question has come up about whether a State in this Union has the right to create and enforce its own internal immigration laws, and I think this begs an answer...
I have my own view of the subject, of course, and this view of mine is liable to come out at some point along the way. Indeed, it has come out before elsewhere, but I'd like to discuss the topic here at Web's.
I'm definately not one of those "roll over and just take it, that's the way it is" kind of fellows, which is probably fairly obvious to some of you. So, when someone says to me that my State, for instance, cannot defend itself against an invasion by illegals because federal law prohibits it, I don't necessarily just accept that. I can give you a prime example here...
I recently sent an email to one of my State legislators (young fella, seems nice enough'n'all) asking whether he and the legislature were preparing to battle for our State's new immigration law. In reply he basically informed me that "the Legislature has done all it can do in crafting the law, now it's up to the courts to determine whether it'll stand." To me, this legislator has already conceded defeat. He is saying that we (the State Legislature) may suspect that the federal government has abdicated its responsibility, and if our suspicions are correct, then we have the authority to take up the slack for our citizens.
But who determines whether the State legislature's suspicions about the fed are correct? Apparently the fed, according to this legislator.
Now, I don't know whether this is the general position among the members of our State legislature. Since this individual is a democrat, and our State Congress is majority Republican, I would venture a loose guess that it's probably not the general view shared by the majority, at least not to the extent that this legislator seems to hold the view. But I certainly could be wrong.
Given that example, which is probably a pretty good measure of what State legislators believe across the country, on what principle do they found this belief?
The U.S. Constitution is deafeningly silent on the issue of immigration. In the original, Congress is given authority to establish a uniform rule of naturalization, Article I, Section 8. That being about the extent of what the constitution says concerning immigration, and that only by inference, it seems to me that we'd have to look elsewhere to determine whether what its silence seems to imply is in actuality the case.
Fortunately we're not left totally in the dark on the subject, or to our own devices in assuming that its relative silence on the subject means this, that, or the other. In Federalist #42, Madison discusses briefly what was intended by this phrase "The Congress shall have power...to establish a uniform rule of naturalization." Says he:
"The dissimilarity in the rules of naturalization has long been remarked as a fault in our system, and as laying a foundation for intricate and delicate questions. In the fourth article of the Confederation, it is declared ``that the FREE INHABITANTS of each of these States, paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from justice, excepted, shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of FREE CITIZENS in the several States; and THE PEOPLE of each State shall, in every other, enjoy all the privileges of trade and commerce,'' etc. There is a confusion of language here, which is remarkable. Why the terms FREE INHABITANTS are used in one part of the article, FREE CITIZENS in another, and PEOPLE in another; or what was meant by superadding to ``all privileges and immunities of free citizens,'' ``all the privileges of trade and commerce,'' cannot easily be determined. It seems to be a construction scarcely avoidable, however, that those who come under the denomination of FREE INHABITANTS of a State, although not citizens of such State, are entitled, in every other State, to all the privileges of FREE CITIZENS of the latter; that is, to greater privileges than they may be entitled to in their own State: so that it may be in the power of a particular State, or rather every State is laid under a necessity, not only to confer the rights of citizenship in other States upon any whom it may admit to such rights within itself, but upon any whom it may allow to become inhabitants within its jurisdiction. But were an exposition of the term ``inhabitants'' to be admitted which would confine the stipulated privileges to citizens alone, the difficulty is diminished only, not removed. The very improper power would still be retained by each State, of naturalizing aliens in every other State. In one State, residence for a short term confirms all the rights of citizenship: in another, qualifications of greater importance are required. An alien, therefore, legally incapacitated for certain rights in the latter, may, by previous residence only in the former, elude his incapacity; and thus the law of one State be preposterously rendered paramount to the law of another, within the jurisdiction of the other. We owe it to mere casualty, that very serious embarrassments on this subject have been hitherto escaped. By the laws of several States, certain descriptions of aliens, who had rendered themselves obnoxious, were laid under interdicts inconsistent not only with the rights of citizenship but with the privilege of residence. What would have been the consequence, if such persons, by residence or otherwise, had acquired the character of citizens under the laws of another State, and then asserted their rights as such, both to residence and citizenship, within the State proscribing them? Whatever the legal consequences might have been, other consequences would probably have resulted, of too serious a nature not to be provided against. The new Constitution has accordingly, with great propriety, made provision against them, and all others proceeding from the defect of the Confederation on this head, by authorizing the general government to establish a uniform rule of naturalization throughout the United States."
(More to come later)
Thursday, September 13, 2007
According to a BBC story released yesterday, Switzerland's Federal Commission on Racial Discrimination believes that the Swiss method of naturalizing citizens is racist and discriminatory, and must incur far-reaching changes. The full story is posted below...
An official report into the process of naturalisation in Switzerland says the current system is discriminatory and in many respects racist.
The report, from Switzerland's Federal Commission on Racial Discrimination, recommends far-reaching changes.
It criticises the practice of allowing members of a community to vote on an individual's citizenship application.
Muslims and people from the Balkans and Africa are the most likely to be rejected, the report points out.
Switzerland has Europe's toughest naturalisation laws. Foreigners must live for 12 years in a Swiss community before they can apply, and being born in Switzerland brings no right to citizenship.
Under the current system, foreigners apply through their local town or village.
They appear before a citizenship committee and answer questions about their desire to be Swiss. After that, they must often be approved by the entire voting community, in a secret ballot, or a show of hands. This practice, the report says, is particularly likely to be distorted by racial discrimination.
It cites the case of a disabled man originally from Kosovo. Although fulfilling all the legal criteria, his application for citizenship was rejected by his community on the grounds that his disability made him a burden on taxpayers, and that he was Muslim.
The report recommends that decisions on citizenship should be decided by an elected executive and not by the community as a whole. But such a move is likely to encounter stiff opposition.
Foreigners are a key issue in the run-up to Switzerland's general election next month.
The right-wing Swiss People's Party, currently leading in the opinion polls, claims Swiss communities have a democratic right to decide who can or cannot be Swiss.
My only question is this, doesn't any naturalization process imply discrimination? If it doesn't involve some level of discrimination, it's not a naturalization process at all is it? Interesting also that there's no "birthright" citizenship in Switzerland, not even for natives. I have to say, that's pretty appealing to me.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I received a message to my inbox from the Oklahoma GOP which informs me that Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani will be making two stops in Oklahoma this Friday. And that these events are FREE and OPEN to the public.
Go check out VFR's suggestion for what we should do about the Islamic plan to take over America, uncovered by the Justice Department.
I've said before, and I'll say again that fundamentally the threat of Islam on these shores comes down to a problem with our form of Government. The fact that our form of Government was fundamentally changed by the incorporation doctrine, where all power must ultimately reside in the central authority, is what gave rise to leftist liberalism, which in turn gave rise to the Islamic presence in this country...
However, short of an immediate "return to constitutional government," which is impractical, the United States is left vulnerable by the lawful presence of Islam in this country, due to its subversive doctrines and practices, and something has to be done about it.
Auster has offered an interesting solution to amend away the threat posed by this presence. If we could push such an amendment through, we may thereby be afforded an opportunity to concentrate our efforts on returning to constitutional, or, balanced government, soberly, reflectively, and free of the fear and subversive influence of Islam.
If the practice of the religion of Islam continues to be treated as a protected religion by the first amendment, meaning that it is equally protected with the religion of Christ, then the internal threat from Islam will continue to grow, and we will be left to fight both it, and the political doctrine most responsible for giving rise to it as itself a viable and growing political force in this country. The battle against leftist liberalism is itself difficult enough without our having to fight both it, and this political holy jihad subversively waged against us by adherents to the religion of Mohammed.
It's an interesting approach that deserves to be taken seriously.
In his autobiography Thomas Jefferson makes his case for Balanced Government.
But it is not by the consolidation, or concentration of powers, but by their distribution, that good government is effected. Were not this great country already divided into states, that division must be made, that each might do for itself what concerns itself directly, and what it can so much better do than a distant authority. Every state again is divided into counties, each to take care of what lies within its local bounds; each county again into townships or wards, to manage minuter details; and every ward into farms, to be governed each by its individual proprietor. Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread. It is by this partition of cares, descending in gradation from general to particular, that the mass of human affairs may be best managed for the good and prosperity of all. ...
In a letter to Justice William Johnson, Jefferson writes:
The capital and leading object of the constitution was to leave with the states all authorities which respected their own citizens only, and to transfer to the United States those which respected citizens of foreign or other States: to make us several as to ourselves, but one as to all others. (emphasis mine)...
On every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the time when the constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.
Can it be believed, that under the jealousies prevailing against the general government, at the adoption of the Constitution, the States meant to surrender the authority of preserving order, of enforcing moral duties and restraining vice, within their own territory?...Can any good be effected by taking from the States the moral rule of their citizens, and subordinating it to the general authority, or to one of their corporations, which may justify forcing the meaning of words, hunting after possible constructions, and hanging inference on inference, from heaven to earth, like Jacob's ladder? Such an intention was impossible, and such a licenteousness of construction and inference, if exercised by both governments, as may be done with equal right, would equally authorize both to claim all power, general and particular, and break up the foundations of the Union.
"The States supposed that by their ninth amendment, they had secured themselves against constructive powers..."(emphasis mine)
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
With the direction the postings here at Webster's have taken the last few days, with no small thanks going out to Mr. Auster of VFR, I'd like to begin a discussion on how to effect Balanced Government, as we over at the AFB would describe it, and a return to constitutional government, as Mr. Auster at VFR has described it...
Yes; essentially I think that the AFB's Balanced Government, and VFR's return to constitutional government, are the very same things stated differently. But how do we get there? This is the question I'd like to investigate, and I invite everyone to join into the conversation.
To begin the discussion, I will simply point to an aspect of Article V of the U.S. Constitution which I do not believe to be widely known among this citizenry. That aspect, or provision of Article V is what I termed several years ago for my own purposes, the state initiated method of amendment. That said, I would direct you to the text of Article V itself, as well as Federalist #85. And I will let you draw your own conclusions.
I will definately be adding to this post later. Stay tuned.
(Note: In addition to the VFR Article linked below, see also Austers entry from today, How to drive a stake into the heart of modern liberalism, which provides some background information on Auster's original proposal, as well as his recent amendments to it.)
I've mentioned before the Enumerated Powers Amendment proposal offered by the folks over at the Federalist Patriot, and some of the reasons for which I think it a good and a necessary amendment. And truly, I thought I'd never see an amendment proposal that is as good, or that could better that one.
However, Lawrence Auster from VFR has introduced me to an amendment proposal that may well outclass that of the EP Amendment. Now, I've put little reflection to Auster's amendment proposal to this point. So I'm not going to offer any reasons as yet for why I think this one may be a better proposal. Except to say that instead of going after judicial activists and judicial activism, as the EP amendment does, what Auster is proposing is to get to the very heart of the matter which tends to this kind of activism on the part of the federal judiciary. (I have mentioned that the final sentence in the EP amendment does bother me, and this is primarily why)
One thing that has, for a long time now, bothered me about the fourteenth amendment is that its language more or less lends itself to faulty interpretations, and thus to faulty and unauthorized applications. Berger's book, Government by Judiciary, which came highly recommended to me by Mr. Auster himself, deals specifically with the intent of the framers of the fourteenth amendment, which is very helpful to someone like myself who has seen some real problems with the fourteenth, but did not have the scholarly background to determine what the real intent of the framers actually was.
What Auster is suggesting in his amendment proposal, and in light of Berger's excellent scholarship, is that the language of the fourteenth be clarified so as to be consistent with what the framers intended by that language, not what meaning may be squeezed from the text, as Jefferson so aptly put it.
Here's the thing, I'm not endorsing Auster's amendment in this post. What I am endorsing, and emphatically so, is his willingness to explore ways of overcoming the evils we experience at the hands of the federal judiciary, via its long practice of ascribing meanings to certain phrases in the fourteenth which all the evidence shows was not originally intended by the framers of the amendment.
We all know the old adage "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." In this case of the fourteenth amendment, this seems to be strikingly appropriate and fitting. And I absolutely agree with Auster when he says that whether it is likely that we can effect such changes via such an amendment proposal, it is nevertheless vitally important that we discuss it. And I would add that it is vitally important that we discuss, or explore ways, or means, in which there is some real potential for reaching the goal of "returning to constitutional government." The AFB deals particularly with that.
Look for more to be added to this entry later. And in the meantime, go read Auster's proposal, and tell us what you think. As I understand it, this is still a work in progress. So if you can think of something that may be added or taken away, do not hesitate to let Auster know. But on just a little reflection from this end, it looks like he's got the makings of a very good amendment here. Indeed, this may well eventually make its way into the section here at Webster's, Select VFR Articles.
Monday, September 10, 2007
And I would be remiss if I did not throw a prop Hermes's way regarding his excellent entry, Freedom is slavery; increasing secularism is increasing theocracy.
My brothers over at the AFB and I have talked about this weird phenomenon before. Why is it that the less religious we become, the more the left wants to associate any mention of a return to a morally sane order, with what it perceives to be our wishing to establish a theocracy? And what makes them think that we could establish one even if that were our desire? I don't know how leftists define the term, but my definition suggests it's an impossibility outside the direct influence of God himself. By a correct definition of the term -God rule- what society has ever existed, with exception of the Israelites, that can in truth be denominated a theocracy? And please don't bore me with the conventional Roman example under Constantine's rule. Give me a break!
I should rather think that the secularists have made their secularism into a quasi-religious fanaticism. So essentially what they're vying for is a secularocracy. You want to cast about meaningless and arbitrarily defined terms, there ya go.
And by the way, this gets back to the main point of the post entered immediately beneath this one. Leftist perceptions are so utterly skewed by their view of the world that to put any serious stock in the idea that they can be relied upon to experience a timely perceptive revelation that their efforts have moved to the arena of counter-productivity, is to put our faith in a vain hope.
Savage has an interesting entry up where he post's an excerpt from Zippy Catholic's recent entry over at What's Wrong With the World.
I commented on an assertion attributed to Zippy wherein he basically says that as long as liberal perceptions are that their acting submissive to Islam is producing net gains to their ideology, then they'll continue to act dhimmi, but not a moment longer...
In my comment to the post I was really just being facetious. I think that if what we have to rely on from liberals in joining the fight with us against Islam is their perceptions to convince them that liberalism is incurring net losses due to their feigned dhimmitude, which is more or less what Zippy is suggesting, then we may as well write them off right here, right now. With friends like leftists, who needs enemies?
Zippy may be right when he asserts that there's nothing inherent to liberalism which would have them allying themselves with Islam, but has he considered well the implications of his very thoughts on the matter, i.e., that liberals are willing to shed the specious mask of dhimmitude not a moment sooner than their perceptions inform them that they've made all the advances for liberalism that their donning of the dhimmi mask is capable of allowing.
In other words, we're to trust that liberals (who aren't particularly rational, by the way) are going to finally wake up and smell the coffee, realizing (or perceiving) at that moment that Islam is all of a sudden more of a danger to their ideology and all the advances they've made with it, than traditional conservative Americanism is. Comforting thought.
P.S. I see that Auster has posted a lengthy comment to Savage's entry at the bottom of which he provides a couple of links to VFR articles on the subject. I would also recommend this VFR entry from a few days ago where Auster explains at length two likely scenarios which relate to this topic.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
(Note: This post has been expanded to include a couple of items which need to be addressed.)
Lawrence Auster over at VFR has put up an entry involving a discussion that he and I had yesterday concerning a VFR entry from 2006 he had sent me a link to in reply to a message I'd sent him regarding his entry Who and What rules America.
First of all, Note to Mr. Auster: I'm not a sponge! The "brief selection of VFR articles about liberalism" you sent me amounts to, by my calculations, 18 separate articles. It may be a "brief selection" by VFR standards, but it is not a "brief selection" by my standards! lol
Nah, just kidding y'all, I appreciate Auster's willingness to make me aware of, and provide me with the links to these articles. I've actually read several of them now. But to get to the point...
My question to Auster may be summed up in the final sentence of my initial correspondence with him on this topic where I ask:
"On what grounds did this child threaten and ultimately bring this lawsuit against his school?"
Mr. Auster's answer can be summed up in this sentence of his reply to me:
"Once you have turned schools into ideological battle grounds, you have fundamentally distorted them and the situation cannot be made right."
For a fuller understanding of the discussion as it took place, please click on the link to the VFR article, Should minors be allowed to sue their schools, even in a conservative cause?
Thanks to Mr. Auster for indulging me, and taking time to answer my question.
A couple of items I need to address:
First, Auster and I seem to be in complete agreement as to what the only real and lasting solution for the problem here identified is, namely, a return to constitutional government. But this begs for an explanation as to what constitutes, to our minds, constitutional government. If the only real solution is a return to constitutional government, then we need to define in some detail what such a return would ultimately mean, or look like, or involve. I have asked Mr. Auster whether he has ever dealt with this question in a more particular way, and he informs me that he has not dealt with the question beyond the general terms in which he expresses them in his answer to me.
I therefore appeal to Mr. Auster to consider putting his talents to this important task. Some of you already know that my fellow AFBers and I have been working on, and have developed some models of what a return to constitutional government would look like, as well as what we believe the effects would be. Indeed, the whole idea of Balanced Government follows this theme of returning to constitutional government. The authority for the idea, we derive from the founding fathers and their writings on the subject. Particularly, the Federalist Papers, Washington's Farewell Address, and even Mr. Jefferson has something to say in extreme preference to governmental balance. As to Jefferson's preference to Balanced Government, I'm planning on doing a full post on it later on. As to Washington's, I already have a post up dealing with that, though it is by no means his last word on the subject.
But again, recognizing, as I do, the talents of Mr. Auster, I can see where his exploring of this subject in more detail in an article specifically intended to deal with the subject of a return to constitutional government on that level, might have the potential for some very fruitful and productive dialogue.
Second, in one of my replies to Mr. Auster, posted in the comments to the article, I say that this seems to me to be a case of the unprincipled exception. Auster replies to that statement in bold, saying that he's not sure this is a case of the UE. I did reply to his expression of doubt, wherein I explained how that I had concluded this to be a case of the UE. My reply to Auster's doubt is entered below, and italicized:
By the way, my invoking of the unprincipled exception (which I saw that you had questioned in bold) was/is based on the very principles of the unprincipled exception itself as you've defined them, or as I understand them, which state in part that liberalism does not allow for a direct attack on the principles of liberalism. So we end up dealing with the effect, rather than the cause.
This affects the nature of our conversations and our dealing with the problems of liberalism in a variety of ways, one of which, to my mind, is the customizing of our language and our rhetoric so as not to offend people (conservatives included) who are more or less liberal. This can become excessive, or extreme, and the whole point of our challenge to liberalism can be, and often is, distorted thereby. Thus, the message being distorted, the effect of the message results in minimal gains to the conservative cause.
Auster replies that he expressed doubt because I was expressing it (the UE) in an unfamiliar way. That makes a lot of sense because I've been known to do this kind of thing before in order to save space and time, and it usually ends up being a mass of confusion. For an example of what I mean here, go to the comments section of the AFB post, Why Libertarians have it Wrong, and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about.
While my mind seems to be consumed with these kind of thoughts of late, I may as well ask you to go back and re-read my entry from a couple of days ago, Washington's Farewell Speech, wherein I have added some additional relevant links, and a few other thoughts on the matter.
I'll probably add some additional thoughts, as well as some additional links to this post later.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
VA has a great post up today concerning who are the top ten men of the millenia. I put up a comment just a few minutes ago where I displace one of VA's top ten with the name King James as one of my top ten, and my reasons why. Y'all go check it out and drop her a comment on who makes your top ten list.
Now, I have to go do some research to back up (or not) my assertions about the man responsible for the KJ version of the Holy Bible.
But what a great post!
Friday, September 7, 2007
(Note: This post has undergone some minor editing so as to include the link to the full speech from whence the excerpted portion posted below was taken. And also to add just a few more thoughts, and a couple more helpful links.)
Below is posted a long excerpt from Washington's Farewell Speech. Never dull reading for yours truly.
I have highlighted in bold text portions of the speech which struck me on this, the latest of the many times I've read it. I know that many of you would highlight other portions of the speech, and indeed it's hard to pick above others certain phrases to highlight. Nonetheless I've done so here as they relate in no small way to our current situation and how to go about fixing it.
Somewhere around the house here I have a copy of the speech which I printed from the computer wherein I broke the speech down into sub-headings and cross-referenced some of the principles I have highlighted in bold below with my copy of the Federalist Papers. I need to locate that copy, and/or, print off a new one and redo the work I so laboriously engaged way back when. I think I'd rather find the old one and see whether I need to add something, rather than retracing all of those steps. Not that retracing them doesn't have its advantages too.
And by the way, a great online resource for finding many relevant historical documents associated with the story of liberty, from the Magna Charta to the Mayflower Compact; from John Locke's Second Treatise on Government, to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and to Madison's Proposal for the Bill of Rights and beyond, is provided here.
One more link I would add is to an AFB post I did apparently back in October of '06, Expanding Upon the Concept of Balance. This entry, along with its sister post, Why libertarians have it wrong, though not particularly well done, nonetheless has relevancy in this context. The discussion that ensued upon both of these postings is in some ways more helpful than the actual entries themselves.
"The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now near to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquillity at home, your peace abroad, of your safety, of your prosperity, of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that from different causes and from different quarters much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth, as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned, and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.
For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together. The independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint councils and joint efforts, of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.
But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those which apply more immediately to your interest. Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the union of the whole.
The North, in an unrestrained intercourse with the South, protected by the equal laws of a common government, finds in the productions of the latter great additional resources of maritime and commercial enterprise and precious materials of manufacturing industry. The South, in the same intercourse, benefiting by the same agency of the North, sees its agriculture grow and its commerce expand, Turning partly into its own channels the sea men of the North, it finds its particular navigation invigorated; and while it contributes in different ways to nourish and increase the general mass of the national navigation, it looks forward to the protection of a maritime strength to which itself is unequally adapted. The East, in a like intercourse with the West, already finds, and in the progressive improvement of interior communications by land and water will more and more find, a valuable vent for the commodities which it brings from abroad or manufactures at home. The West derives from the East supplies requisite to its growth and comfort, and what is perhaps of still greater consequence, it must of necessity owe the secure enjoyment of indispensable outlets for its own productions to the weight, influence, and the future maritime strength of the Atlantic side of the Union, directed by an indissoluble community of interest as one nation. Any other tenure by which the West can hold this essential advantage, whether derived from its own separate strength or from an apostate and unnatural connection with any foreign power, must be intrinsically precarious.
While, then, every part of our country thus feels an immediate and particular interest in union, all the parts combined can not fail to find in the united mass of means and efforts greater strength, greater resource, proportionably greater security from external danger, a less frequent interruption of their peace by foreign nations, and what is of inestimable value, they must derive from union an exemption from those broils and wars between themselves which so frequently afflict neighboring countries not tied together by the same governments, which their own rivalships alone would be sufficient to produce, but which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues would stimulate and imbitter. Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. In this sense it is that your union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other.
These considerations speak a persuasive language to every reflecting and virtuous mind, and exhibit the continuance of the Union as a primary object of patriotic desire. Is there a doubt whether a common government can embrace so large a sphere? Let experience solve it. To listen to mere speculation in such a case were criminal. We are authorized to hope that a proper organization of the whole, with the auxiliary agency of governments for the respective subdivisions, will afford a happy issue to the experiment. It is well worth a fair and full experiment. With such powerful and obvious motives to union affecting all parts of our country, while experience shall not have demonstrated its impracticability, there will always be reason to distrust the patriotism of those who in any quarter may endeavor to weaken its bands.
In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union it occurs as matter of serious concern that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing the parties by geographical discriminations - Northern and Southern, Atlantic and Western - whence designing men may endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heartburnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection.
The inhabitants of our Western country have lately had a useful lesson on this head. They have seen in the negotiation by the executive and in the unanimous ratification by the Senate of the treaty with Spain, and in the universal satisfaction at that event throughout the United States, a decisive proof how unfounded were the suspicions propagated among them of a policy in the general government and in the Atlantic states unfriendly to their interests in regard to the Mississippi. They have been witnesses to the formation of 2 treaties - that with Great Britain and that with Spain - which secure to them everything they could desire in respect to our foreign relations toward confirming their prosperity. Will it not be their wisdom to rely for the preservation of these advantages on the union by which they were procured? Will they not henceforth be deaf to those advisers, if such there are, who would sever them from their brethren and connect them with aliens?
To the efficacy and permanency of your union a government for the whole is indispensable. No alliances, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute. They must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions which all alliances in all times have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved upon your first essay by the adoption of a Constitution of government better calculated than your former for an intimate union and for the efficacious management of your common concerns. This government, the off-spring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty.
The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the constitution which at any time exists 'til changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.
All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction; to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community, and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans, digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.
However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things to become potent engines by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people, and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.
Toward the preservation of your government and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect in the forms of the Constitution alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what can not be directly overthrown. In all the changes to which you may be invited remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments as of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country; the facility in changes upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion; and remember especially that for the efficient management of your common interests in a country so extensive as ours a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable. Liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian. It is, indeed, little else than a name where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of persons and property.
I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the state, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.
This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but in those of the popular form it is seen in its greatest rankness and is truly their worst enemy.
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual, and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation on the ruins of public liberty.
Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another; foments occasional riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passion. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.
There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government, and serve to keep live the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of monarchical cast patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party, but in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose; and there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.
It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those intrusted with its administration to confirm themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power and proneness to abuse it which predominates in the human heart is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositories, and constituting each the guardian of the public weal against invasions by others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern, some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. If in the opinion of the people the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates, but let there be no change by usurpation; for though this in one instance may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit which the use can at any time yield.
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness - these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule indeed extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric? Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.
As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it; avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear.
The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives; but it is necessary that public opinion should cooperate. To facilitate to them the performance of their duty it is essential that you should practically bear in mind that toward the payment of debts there must be revenue; that to have revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant; that the intrinsic embarrassment inseparable from the selection of the proper objects (which is always a choice of difficulties), ought to be a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the government in making it, and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue which the public exigencies may at any time dictate.
Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct, and can it be that good policy does not equally enjoin it? It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period a great nation to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt that in the course of time and things the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it? Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! Is it rendered possible by its vices?
In the execution of such a plan nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations and passionate attachments for others should be excluded, and that in place of them just and amicable feelings toward all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges toward another an habitual hatred or an habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur.
Hence frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation prompted by ill will and resentment sometimes impels to war the government contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject. At other times it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility, instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations has been the victim.
So, likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others, which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill will, and a disposition to retaliate in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld; and it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation) facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country without odium, sometimes even with popularity, gilding with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.
As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils! Such an attachment of a small or weak toward a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter. Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government, but that jealousy, to be useful, must be impartial, else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people to surrender their interests.
The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is, in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop.
Europe has a set of primary interests which to use have none or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics or the ordinary combination and collisions of her friendships or enmities.
Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people, under an efficient government, the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.
Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice?
It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world, so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense, but in my opinion it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.
Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.
Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest, but even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand, neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them, conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that by such acceptance it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.
In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish - that they will control the usual current of the passions or prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations, but if I may even flatter myself that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good - that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the impostures of pretended patriotism - this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare by which they have been dictated.
How far in the discharge of my official duties I have been guided by the principles which have been delineated the public records and other evidences of my conduct must witness to you and to the world. To myself, the assurance of my own conscience is that I have at least believed myself to be guided by them.
In relation to the still subsisting war in Europe my proclamation of [1793-04-22], is the index to my plan. Sanctioned by your approving voice and by that of your representatives in both Houses of Congress, the spirit of that measure has continually governed me, uninfluenced by any attempts to deter or divert me from it.
After deliberate examination, with the aid of the best lights I could obtain, I was well satisfied that our country, under all the circumstances of the case, had a right to take, and was bound in duty and interest to take a neutral position. Having taken it, I determined as far as should depend upon me to maintain it with moderation, perseverance, and firmness.
The considerations which respect the right to hold this conduct it is not necessary on this occasion to detail. I will only observe that, according to my understanding of the matter, that right, so far from being denied by any of the belligerent powers, has been virtually admitted by all.
The duty of holding a neutral conduct may be inferred, without anything more, from the obligation which justice and humanity impose on every nation, in cases in which it is free to act, to maintain inviolate the relations of peace and amity toward other nations.
The inducements of interest for observing that conduct will best be referred to your own reflections and experience. With me a predominant motive has been to endeavor to gain time to our country to settle and mature its recent institutions, and to progress without interruption to that degree of strength and consistency which is necessary to give it, humanly speaking, the command of its own fortunes.
Though in reviewing the incidents of my Administration I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence, and that, after 45 years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.
Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love toward it which is so natural to a man who views in it the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations, I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat in which I promise myself to realize without alloy the sweet enjoyment of partaking in the midst of my fellow citizens the benign influence of good laws under a free government - the ever-favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers."