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Monday, June 19, 2006

"An elective despotism was not the government we fought for; but one in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among the several bodies of magistracy as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others." —James Madison

"There are in fact four very significant stumbling blocks in the way of grasping the truth, which hinder every man however learned, and scarcely allow anyone to win a clear title to wisdom, namely, the example of weak and unworthy authority, longstanding custom, the feeling of the ignorant crowd, and the hiding of our own ignorance while making a display of our apparent knowledge." —Roger Bacon

"A man may have to die for our country: but no man must, in any exclusive sense, live for his country. He who surrenders himself without reservation to the temporal claims of a nation, or a party, or a class is rendering to Caesar that which, of all things, most emphatically belongs to God: himself." —C. S. Lewis

"[I]n commemorating fatherhood, we're also expressing a basic truth about America. What does fatherhood mean today in America? I guess the same as it always has. Fatherhood can sometimes be walking the floor at midnight with a baby that can't sleep. More likely, fatherhood is repairing a bicycle wheel for the umpteenth time, knowing that it won't last the afternoon. Fatherhood is guiding a youth through the wilderness of adolescence toward adulthood. Fatherhood is holding tight when all seems to be falling apart; and it's letting go when it is time to part. Fatherhood is long hours at the blast furnace or in the fields, behind the wheel or in front of a computer screen, working a 12-hour shift or doing a 6-month tour of duty. It's giving one's all, from the break of day to its end, on the job, in the house, but most of all in the heart." —Ronald Reagan

"James Madison is given most of the credit for the idea of divided sovereignty, which is sometimes referred to as federalism or states' rights. The fundamental idea was that governmental power was to be highly decentralized, with limited functions delegated to the central government, acting as the agent of the citizens of the states. In theory, the central government was to use that power to protect the lives, liberties, and property of the citizens of the states. More importantly, as enshrined in the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, the citizens and the states were to be able to check or prohibit the tyrannical proclivities of the central government. Petty local tyrannies are bad enough, but everyone understood that the biggest danger to freedom was a centralized state, which was always considered to be the wolf at the door of liberty. The American Revolution was a war of secession against just such a state." —Thomas DiLorenzo

"Beginning in the 1960s, liberalism, once the home of many deep thinkers, began to substitute feeling for thought and descended into superficiality. One-word put-downs of opponents' ideas and motives were substituted for thoughtful rebuttal. Though liberals regard themselves as intellectual—their views, after all, are those of nearly all university professors—liberal thought has almost died. Instead of feeling the need to thoughtfully consider an idea, most liberal minds today work on automatic. One-word reactions to most issues are the liberal norm... Here is a list of terms liberals apply to virtually every idea or action with which they differ: Racist, Sexist, Homophobic, Islamophobic, Imperialist, Bigoted, Intolerant. And here is the list of one-word descriptions of what liberals are for: Peace, Fairness, Tolerance, The poor, The disenfranchised, The environment. These two lists serve contemporary liberals in at least three ways. First, they attack the motives of non-liberals and thereby morally dismiss the non-liberal person. Second, these words make it easy to be a liberal—essentially all one needs to do is to memorize this brief list and apply the right term to any idea or policy... Third, they make the liberal feel good about himself—by opposing conservative ideas and policies, he is automatically opposing racism, bigotry, imperialism, etc. Examples could fill a book." —Dennis Prager

"[W]e live in something close to the best of times, with record worldwide economic growth and at a low point in armed conflict in the world. Yet Americans are in a sour mood, a mood that may be explained by the lack of a sense of history. The military struggle in Iraq (2,473 U.S. military deaths) is spoken of in as dire terms as Vietnam (58,219), Korea (54,246) or World War II (405,399). We bemoan the cruel injustice of $3 a gallon for gas in a country where three quarters of people classified as poor have air conditioning and microwave ovens. We complain about a tide of immigration that is, per U.S. resident, running at one third the rate of 99 years ago." —Michael Barone

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