Tuesday, July 03, 2007

From the Patriot Post: Independence Day

This was so good, I had to re-post it in its entirety, from the Patriot Post:

Our Lives, our Fortunes, our sacred Honor

Our nation began with these stirring words in the Declaration of Independence: “When in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” Now, 231 years later, they still ring true.

We may envision the Founders as rash, rowdy rebels. Not so. Already accomplished in fields of endeavor, they were settled in character and reputation. They deemed their decision necessary, and their first thought was of “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind.” They were men of purpose and principle, who well understood the peril of choosing to declare independence from Great Britain. Dr. Benjamin Rush wrote to John Adams, “Do you recollect the pensive and awful silence which pervaded the House when we were called up, one after another, to the table of the President of Congress to subscribe to what was believed by many at that time to be our death warrants?”

The Founders reasoned that the colonials were compelled to the separation, outlining a detailed list of particulars describing the King of Great Britain’s “long train of abuses and usurpations” that could end only in an intended “absolute despotism” and “establishment of absolute tyranny over these states.” They appealed that the free citizens they represented therefore had both a right and a duty “to alter their former systems of government” and “to provide new guards for their future security.”

They further explained, “In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.” They had been patient, measured and restrained in responding to the incursions on their freedoms but could be so no longer.

The central passage of the Declaration’s opening is the document’s most famous, suggesting the form of government truly fit for a free people: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

The Founders sought liberty, not license—rather than a loosening of restraints, a freedom to pursue right. The objective was citizens’ safety and happiness, later called “the common defense,” “the general welfare,” and the “blessings of liberty.” The mottos of the American Revolution were “No King but King Jesus!” and “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.”

Given their experiences with a leader who had violated the laws supposed to control his own conduct as much as theirs, the Founders sought to avoid the instability of democracy or of oligarchy, in which one or a handful of people can overturn the foundations by a simple vote or decree. Fisher Ames warned, “The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness which the ambitious call, and ignorant believe to be liberty.” John Witherspoon referred to pure democracy as “very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage.” The Founders ultimately chose a constitutional democratic republic—based on the foundation of the reliable rule of law, responsive to the people’s “consent of the governed” through representation of the citizens, predicated on the virtue of the people.

The colonists came to these shores with a learned tradition of liberty, and this new land offered a manner of living that further taught freedom. Our performance in upholding this heritage is mixed. We are divided as a nation, no longer pressing toward unity and allegiance to shared principles. Facile commentary lauds comity as the antidote for what the Founders derided as faction, applauding the elitist establishment fetish for bipartisanship. But they are exactly wrong. Indeed, bipartisanship today is more akin to factionalism than are those adhering to the two major political parties out of principle.

There remains one crucial question: What are we willing to risk to salvage the heritage our Founders handed down to us? Our warriors in the field have demonstrated that they stand in the direct line from our Patriot Founders—prepared to sacrifice all in service. Many activist citizens gave time, effort and resources to turn aside the Senate’s recent attempts to foist a dangerous change in immigration laws on the nation. But the United States as a nation is not as secure as at its tenuous beginnings.

The signers of the Declaration concluded their treatise, “We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States... And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” Do we citizens, inheritors of the Republic bequeathed us, still stand ready to hazard even half so much?

Quote of the week
“A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.” —Samuel Adams

I highly recommend subscribing. These fellas are true patriots, true Americans. It's good to know we have some of them remaining.

Catholics Against Rudy to launch on Independence Day

H/T to Pro Ecclesia, saw this site linked on his blog:

Some quotes from the soon-to-be-launched site:

On the Fourth of July, 37-year-old Steve Dillard will launch a national web site called . . . .

Dillard, a convert to Catholicism, was also a vocal critic of John Kerry in the 2004 presidential campaign. That's why he's going after Rudy Giuliani, who has had only limited success among Southern evangelicals because of the thrice-married candidate's support of abortion rights, and his statements in favor of civil unions for gay couples. 'We need to tend to our own house. And we need to hold Republicans to the same standard that we did John Kerry,' Dillard said recently. Many social conservatives are worried that a Giuliani victory in the Republican race for the White House would be followed by a decline in the party's emphasis on core issues that have rallied Christian conservatives to the GOP side since the early 1980s. '[Giuliani]is emblematic of a coming — or already existing — rift in the Republican party,' Dillard said."

The Catholic Report: Steve Dillard Formerly Of The Southern Appeal Blog Now Has His Catholics Against Rudy Website Up And Running

Steve was on MSNBC with Chris Matthews and subsequently sent me and other Catholic bloggers an e-mail discussing his strategy and campaign. As I stated in my book, I can't fathom the former NYC mayor winning the GOP nomination and winning the general election, because the Pro Life Movement would bolt. It is very sad that Rudy has so many ledership gifts but just can't seem to translate them to his views on life or his personal relationships. As I indicated here some months ago, one writer on the National Review website said, "hey if he can be that rude to his wife imagine the fear of God he could put into foreign leaders or bureaucrats." This is hardly the direction we need to go right now or at any time."

I was originally gung ho with the idea of Rudy at the helm, based on the way he handled himself after 9-11. Then I discovered his position on abortion (he supports it), gay unions (he supports them), open borders (he supported them as mayor of NYC). He's definitely a RINO, a dhimmicrat in disguise. No, thanks. Rudy and McCain should switch parties and join their real base.

Columbus Dispatch: 'America overestimates terrorist threat'

I was outraged this morning, reading an article in the Op-Ed page of the Columbus Fishwrap, I mean the Dispatch. It's no secret that America's current fourth estate tends to lean toward the dark side by a wide margin (9-1, in a recent poll), but this column was ridiculous!

The basic assertion of this opinion piece is that Americans are pansies because we haven't suffered a 'real' war here, that Europe is tougher because they endured Nazi bombing in WWII and have endured terrorism since the 1940's. There are also assertions in the article 'the invasion of Iraq really had nothing to do with fighting terrorism,' yet another slam on Dubya, and that potential presidential candidate Fred Thompson, among others, is over-estimating the global war on terror. All democratic party, and islamists, talking points.

What this moron doesn't get, is that we are the United States, the most powerful, most properous country in recorded history, for a reason. We're not afraid of terrorists (except for the democrats). We wouldn't just lie down and take it, like the Europeans, if there was bombing going on here. We would find ways to fight back. Unless, of course, we had the current congress.

I suspect we may just be tested by the islamists in this fashion before it's all over. We underestimated the islamist threat before 9-11, and we are still underestimating it. And this idiot believes we are over-estimating it.

Read it. And respond. Let the management and editors at the Dispatch know how upset you are. Send your comments to letters@dispatch.com, and to the author at 76312.1476@compuserve.com.

Gwynne Dyer: America overestimates terrorist threats while Europe deals with them
Tuesday, July 3, 2007 3:22 AM
By Gwynne Dyer

As terrorists go, last week's attacks featured The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight. One of the would-be London bombers drove erratically down Haymarket St. -- presumably affected by the fumes from the gas cylinders and gasoline containers that were the heart of his makeshift car-bomb -- before crashing into a garbage bin, getting out and running away. Another parked his explosives-packed car illegally, so it was towed away. The third attack was at Glasgow airport on the following day, but nobody was hurt except one of the attackers, who set himself on fire.

More-competent terrorists might have killed dozens of people, but it's safe to say that this incident will be taken more seriously in the United States than it is in Britain or anywhere else in Europe. An occasional terrorist attack is one of the costs of doing business in the modern world. You just have to bring a sense of proportion to the problem, as people in Europe do in general.

Most major European countries already had been through some sort of terrorist crisis well before the current fashion for "Islamist" terrorism: the IRA in Britain, the OAS in France, ETA in Spain, the Baader-Meinhof Gang in Germany, the Red Brigades and their neofascist counterparts in Italy. Most European cities also were heavily bombed in a real war within living memory, which definitely puts terrorist attacks into a less-impressive category. So most Europeans do not obsess about terrorist attacks. They know that they are likelier to win the lottery than to be hurt by terrorists.

Russians also are pretty cool about the occasional terrorist attacks linked to the war in Chechnya, and Indians are positively heroic in their refusal (most of the time) to be panicked by terrorist attacks that have taken more lives in India than all the attacks in the West since terrorist techniques first became widespread in the 1960s. In almost all of these countries, despite the efforts of some governments to persuade the population that terrorism is an existential threat of enormous size, the vast majority of the people don't believe it.

Whereas in the United States, most people do believe it. A majority of Americans finally have figured out that the invasion of Iraq really had nothing to do with fighting terrorism, but they certainly have not understood that terrorism itself is only a minor threat. "We have a threat out there like we've never faced before," said actor, former senator and potential presidential candidate Fred Thompson last month. "I don't think the (American people) realize that this has been something that's been going on for a few hundred years, and our enemies have another 100-year plan," Thompson continued. "Whether it's Madrid, whether it's London, whether it's places that most people have never heard of, they're methodically going around trying to undermine our allies and attack people in conventional ways, while they try to develop nonconventional ways, and get their hands on a nuclear capability, and ultimately to see a mushroom cloud over an American city."

There has been only one major terrorist attack in the United States since the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, and that one, on 9/11, is almost six years in the past. So how have Americans been persuaded that their duty and their destiny in the 21st century is to lead the world in a titanic, globe-spanning "long war" against terrorism?

Inexperience is one reason: American cities never have been bombed in war, so Americans have no standard of comparison that would shrink terrorism to its true importance in the scale of threats that face any modern society. But the other is relentless official propaganda: the Bush administration has built its whole brand around the "war on terror" since 2001, so the threat must continue to be seen as huge and universal.

Ridiculous as it sounds to outsiders, Americans regularly are told that their survival as a free society depends on beating the "terrorists." They should treat those who say such things as fools or deliberate liars, but they don't. So the manipulators of public opinion in the White House and the more-compliant sectors of the U.S. media will give bigger play to the British bombings-that-weren't than Britain's own government and media have, and they will get away with it.

Gwynne Dyer is a London-based independent journalist whose articles are published in 45 countries.

I'm not sure what bothers me more: the fact that this defeatist moron is being publishing in the United States at all, or the fact that the Dispatch printed it the day before we celebrate our Independence from tyranny.

Nice work, Dispatch. Is it any wonder the blogosphere and talk radio are prospering, while newspapers and television are faltering?

We don't want to hear this crap any more!