December 30, 2007
"There exists in the economy and course of nature, an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy, and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity; since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained."
-- George Washington (First Inaugural Address, 1789)
December 29, 2007
"In observations on this subject, we hear the legislature mentioned as the people's representatives. The distinction, intimated by concealed implication, through probably, not avowed upon reflection, is, that the executive and judicial powers are not connected with the people by a relation so strong or near or dear. But is high time that we should chastise our prejudices; and that we should look upon the different parts of government with a just and impartial eye."
-- James Wilson (Lectures on Law, 1791)
December 26, 2007
"This country and this people seem to have been made for each other, and it appears as if it was the design of Providence that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren, united to each other by the strongest of ties, should never be split into a number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties."
-- John Jay (Federalist No. 2)
The Mom Song
This is a very clever three minute summary of a mom's day.
December 21, 2007
"I give my signature to many Bills with which my Judgment is at variance.... From the Nature of the Constitution, I must approve all parts of a Bill, or reject it in total. To do the latter can only be Justified upon the clear and obvious grounds of propriety; and I never had such confidence in my own faculty of judging as to be over tenacious of the opinions I may have imbibed in doubtful cases."
-- George Washington (letter to Edmund Pendleton, 23 September
December 20, 2007
"The good Education of Youth has been esteemed by wise Men in all Ages, as the surest Foundation of the Happiness both of private Families and of Common-wealths. Almost all Governments have therefore made it a principal Object of their Attention, to establish and endow with proper Revenues, such Seminaries of Learning, as might supply the succeeding Age with Men qualified to serve the Publick with Honour to themselves, and to their Country."
-- Benjamin Franklin (Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania, 1749)
December 19, 2007
"The history of ancient and modern republics had taught them that many of the evils which those republics suffered arose from the want of a certain balance, and that mutual control indispensable to a wise administration. They were convinced that popular assemblies are frequently misguided by ignorance, by sudden impulses, and the intrigues of ambitious men; and that some firm barrier against these operations was necessary. They, therefore, instituted your Senate."
-- Alexander Hamilton (speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, June 1788)
December 17, 2007
"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 (Federalist No. 58, 1788)
December 16, 2007
"Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure."
-- Thomas Jefferson (letter to William Johnson, 1823)
December 15, 2007
"Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks-no form of government can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea, if there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men. So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them."
-- James Madison (speech at the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 20 June 1788)
December 14, 2007
"I hope some future day will bring me the happiness of seeing my family again collected under our own roof, happy in ourselves and blessed in each other."
-- Abigail Adams, 1784 - letter to John Adams
December 13, 2007
"What is it that affectionate parents require of their Children; for all their care, anxiety, and toil on their accounts? Only that they would be wise and virtuous, Benevolent and kind."
-- Abigail Adams, 1783 - letter to John Quincy Adams
December 12, 2007
"As on the one hand, the necessity for borrowing in particular emergencies cannot be doubted, so on the other, it is equally evident that to be able to borrow upon good terms, it is essential that the credit of a nation should be well established."
-- Alexander Hamilton (Report on Public Credit, 9 January 1790)
December 11, 2007
"[T]he importance of piety and religion; of industry and frugality; of prudence, economy, regularity and an even government; all ... are essential to the well-being of a family."
-- Samuel Adams, 1780 - letter to Thomas Wells
December 10, 2007
"The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families. . . . How is it possible that Children can have any just Sense of the sacred Obligations of Morality or Religion if, from their earliest Infancy, they learn their Mothers live in habitual Infidelity to their fathers, and their fathers in as constant Infidelity to their Mothers?"
-- John Adams, 1778 - Diary
December 09, 2007
"My ardent desire is, and my aim has been...to comply strictly with all our engagements foreign and domestic; but to keep the U States free from political connections with every other Country. To see that they may be independent of all, and under the influence of none. In a word, I want an American character, that the powers of Europe may be convinced we act for ourselves and not for others; this, in my judgment, is the only way to be respected abroad and happy at home."
-- George Washington (letter to Partick Henry, 9 October 1775)
December 08, 2007
"I am persuaded that a firm union is as necessary to perpetuate our liberties as it is to make us respectable; and experience will probably prove that the National Government will be as natural a guardian of our freedom as the State Legislatures."
-- Alexander Hamilton (speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, June 1788)
December 07, 2007
"Give up money, give up fame, give up science, give the earth itself and all it contains rather than do an immoral act. And never suppose that in any possible situation, or under any circumstances, it is best for you to do a dishonorable thing, however slightly so it may appear to you... From the practice of the purest virtue, you may be assured you will derive the most sublime comforts in every moment of life, and in the moment of death."
-- Thomas Jefferson (letter to Peter Carr, 19 August 1785)
Stick to your guns, Mr. President!
President Bush and Congress had a showdown on taxes this week, and Congress blinked first.
For a supposed lame duck, President Bush has managed to shield the country from the Democratic Congress' price of new taxes to stop the alternative minimum tax. Standing for principle works wonders.
[. . .]
The result is that everyone — from House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus to top Republicans — now agrees that legislation to stop the AMT from assaulting tens of millions of people is a sure thing this year.
God bless the man. At least he has principles that he sticks to . . . unlike many of those spineless wonders on Capitol Hill.
December 06, 2007
"[T]he great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachment of the others."
-- James Madison (Federalist No. 10, 23 November 1787)
December 05, 2007
"It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors."
-- George Washington (Thanksgiving Proclamation, 3 October 1789)
December 04, 2007
"To grant that there is a supreme intelligence who rules the world and has established laws to regulate the actions of his creatures; and still to assert that man, in a state of nature, may be considered as perfectly free from all restraints of law and government, appears to a common understanding altogether irreconcilable. Good and wise men, in all ages, have embraced a very dissimilar theory. They have supposed that the deity, from the relations we stand in to himself and to each other, has constituted an eternal and immutable law, which is indispensably obligatory upon all mankind, prior to any human institution whatever. This is what is called the law of nature....Upon this law depend the natural rights of mankind."
-- Alexander Hamilton
December 03, 2007
"The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If `Thou shalt not covet' and `Thou shalt not steal' were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free."
-- John Adams, 1787 - A Defense of the American Constitutions
December 02, 2007
"I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain."
-- John Adams, 1780 - letter to Abigail Adams
Advent begins today
The Church Year begins with ADVENT, a season of preparation for the Lord’s coming. The season consists of the four Sundays before Christmas. Advent derives from the Latin adventus, which means ‘coming’. The season proclaims the coming of the Christ - whose birth we prepare to celebrate once again, who comes continually in Word and Spirit, and whose return in final victory we anticipate. Each year Advent calls the community of faith to prepare for these comings; historically, the season was marked by fasts for preparation.
The liturgical colour for this season is purple symbolising penitance and preparation.
As we prepare ourselves to celebrate the birth of God's Son, we strive to put aside the busyness and distractions of this physical world in order to focus better on the spiritual world of our Father.