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Archive for January, 2008

I Love That…

…when I heard Christie today mention, “Oh. It’s snowing again,” that the responses I immediately heard from around the house were, in order:

Lincoln (2): “God did it.”

Karsten (5): “Be thou on the earth.”

Haddon (4): “I’m going to go stand on what God made.”

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OK.  I’m raising my hand acknowledging that I’m not going to refuse to cash this potential tax relief check that President Bush is recommending.  I think government hand-outs are unconstitutional and that charity is instead the duty of the private citizen.  But I don’t think that’s what this is.

In fact, I’m going to pretend that this is a refund for some of the money that I’ve been plugging into my local public school system through my property taxes.  The common school hasn’t quite eradicated all the crime like Horace Mann envisioned it would.

Leave a comment.  Tell us how are you going to spend your returned $1,600?

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Are we a republic or a democracy?

- Walter E. Williams / World Net Daily – A Minority View / January 2005

We often hear the claim that our nation is a democracy. That wasn’t the vision of the founders. They saw democracy as another form of tyranny. If we’ve become a democracy, I guarantee you that the founders would be deeply disappointed by our betrayal of their vision. The founders intended, and laid out the ground rules, for our nation to be a republic.

The word “democracy” appears nowhere in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution – two most fundamental documents of our nation. Instead of a democracy, the Constitution’s Article IV, Section 4, guarantees “to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.” Moreover, let’s ask ourselves: Does our pledge of allegiance to the flag say to “the democracy for which it stands,” or does it say to “the republic for which it stands”? Or do we sing “The Battle Hymn of the Democracy” or “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”?

So what’s the difference between republican and democratic forms of government? John Adams captured the essence of the difference when he said, “You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments; rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; rights derived from the Great Legislator of the Universe.” Nothing in our Constitution suggests that government is a grantor of rights. Instead, government is a protector of rights.

In recognition that it’s Congress that poses the greatest threat to our liberties, the framers used negative phrases against Congress throughout the Constitution such as: shall not abridge, infringe, deny, disparage, and shall not be violated, nor be denied. In a republican form of government, there is rule of law. All citizens, including government officials, are accountable to the same laws. Government power is limited and decentralized through a system of checks and balances. Government intervenes in civil society to protect its citizens against force and fraud but does not intervene in the cases of peaceable, voluntary exchange.

Contrast the framers’ vision of a republic with that of a democracy. In a democracy, the majority rules either directly or through its elected representatives. As in a monarchy, the law is whatever the government determines it to be. Laws do not represent reason. They represent power. The restraint is upon the individual instead of government. Unlike that envisioned under a republican form of government, rights are seen as privileges and permissions that are granted by government and can be rescinded by government.

(more…)

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I eagerly wait.

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George Marsden at the end of his biography on Jonathan Edwards…

“In the Edwardses’ world, the meaning of life was found in intense loves, including earthly loves.”

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E.B. Browning…

“God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame.”

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