April 30, 2008
"[W]hen all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another."
-- Thomas Jefferson, 1821 - letter to Charles Hammond
This is what we need in a Commander-in-Chief
Bush blows up at an incredibly naive and argumentative question posed by a member of our oh-so-professional press corps. Ignore the blow up, though, and just listen to what he has to say. The man understands very well what we're up against; and does a good job, though with little eloquence, of explaining what that is.
Too bad he can't run for a third term. I'm not sure any of the presidential candidates really understand the sacrifices that are required of this nation, and its leadership, to rid this world of the islamofascist threat.
Frankly, I don't think most of us Americans fully understand that, either. I guess we just want to get back to watching our "reality" shows, so we can't be bothered by real-world realities.
April 29, 2008
"Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread."
-- Thomas Jefferson, 1821 - Autobiography
April 28, 2008
"Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom."
-- John Adams (Defense of the Constitutions, 1787)
April 27, 2008
"Let the American youth never forget, that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors; and capacity, if wisely improved, and faithfully guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings of life, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, property, religion, and independence."
-- Joseph Story (Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833)
April 26, 2008
"The convention have done well, therefore, in so disposing of the power of making treaties, that although the President must, in forming them, act by the advice and consent of the Senate, yet he will be able to manage the business of intelligence in such a manner as prudence may suggest."
-- John Jay (Federalist No. 64, 7 March 1788)
So, how has it been for you?
It seems that our Democrat-controlled Congress has had a lot to do with our skyrocketing energy and food prices.
Wasn't it two years ago that then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi vowed, if her party took over Congress, to cut energy prices — especially gasoline?
"Democrats have a common-sense plan to help bring down skyrocketing gas prices by cracking down on price-gouging; rolling back the billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies, tax breaks and royalty relief given to big oil and gas companies; and increasing production of alternative fuels," Pelosi wrote back in April 2006, as part of her efforts to convince Americans to elect Democrats.
How's that working for you? As the chart below shows, the cost of energy — measured by the price of West Texas Intermediate crude — is up more than 70%.
Under Pelosi's "common-sense plan," Congress has achieved nothing. Actually, less than nothing, considering that what little has been done has hurt, rather than helped the U.S. to become more self-sufficient. This year alone, we'll spend $431 billion to buy 3.7 billion barrels of imported oil to run our economy. And in so doing, we are enriching some of the world's most unsavory regimes.
The irony in all of this is that we have over a trillion barrels of oil, in the form of oil shales, in the Rocky Mountains -- along with billions of barrels of oil in Alaska and offshore reserves. We have billions of tons of coal. We have the best nuclear power technology in the world. All off-limits thanks to our Democrat-led government.
Would someone please explain to me again why we elected these bozos into power?
April 25, 2008
"The regular distribution of power into distinct departments; the introduction of legislative balances and checks; the institution of courts composed of judges holding their offices during good behavior; the representation of the people in the legislature by deputies of their own election... They are means, and powerful means, by which the excellences of republican govenrment may be retained and its imperfections lessened or avoided."
-- Alexander Hamilton (Federalist No. 9, 1787)
Aboard the "T.R."
The article, 24 Hours on the 'Big Stick',by P.J. O'Rourke, brought back a lot of memories.
Landing on an aircraft carrier is...To begin with, you travel out to the carrier on a powerful, compact, and chunky aircraft--a weight-lifter version of a regional airline turboprop. This is a C-2 Greyhound, named after the wrong dog. C-2 Flying Pit Bull is more like it. In fact what everyone calls the C-2 is the "COD." This is an acronym for "Curling the hair Of Dumb reporters," although they tell you it stands for "Carrier Onboard Delivery."
There is only one window in the freight/passenger compartment, and you're nowhere near it. Your seat faces aft. Cabin lighting and noise insulation are absent. The heater is from the parts bin at the Plymouth factory in 1950. You sit reversed in cold, dark cacophony while the airplane maneuvers for what euphemistically is called a "landing." The nearest land is 150 miles away. And the plane doesn't land; its tailhook snags a cable on the carrier deck. The effect is of being strapped to an armchair and dropped backwards off a balcony onto a patio. There is a fleeting moment of unconsciousness. This is a good thing, as is being far from the window, because what happens next is that the COD reels the hooked cable out the entire length of the carrier deck until a big, fat nothing is between you and a plunge in the ocean, should the hook, cable, or pilot's judgment snap. Then, miraculously, you're still alive.
Landing on an aircraft carrier was the most fun I'd ever had with my trousers on. And the 24 hours that I spent aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt--the "Big Stick"--were an equally unalloyed pleasure. I love big, moving machinery. And machinery doesn't get any bigger, or more moving, than a U.S.-flagged nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that's longer than the Empire State Building is tall and possesses four acres of flight deck. This four acres, if it were a nation, would have the fifth or sixth largest airforce in the world--86 fixed wing aircraft plus helicopters.
I, too, was a rider on the "T.R." (that was what it was referred to by it's crew the two times I sailed with her in the 90's). The COD experience is all that he describes, and more. I personally found the recoveries (landings) on the carrier quite a bit more exciting than the launches. They were more like controlled crashes. The pilots actually go to full throttle prior to "trapping" (catching a cable with the landing hook) in case the aircraft misses all four cables and goes over the side of the ship. At full throttle the plane has a chance to remain airborne and not fall into the sea.
As I remember it, the carrier has seven decks down from the hangar deck (not the flight deck as stated in the article), and 10 levels up from there. The hangar deck was considered the main deck on a carrier.
The article also puts some things into context regarding John McCain, who piloted aircraft during flight operations on board carriers. And he advances some interesting arguments that favor McCain's life experiences -- over those of the two Democrat contenders -- as better preparing him for the White House.
Ignore the partisanship, though, and just enjoy Mr. O'Rourke's vivid descriptions of his day on board the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
April 24, 2008
"Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other. The divine law, as discovered by reason and the moral sense, forms an essential part of both."
-- James Wilson
Ice age imminent?
Boy, this would really ruin Al Gore's day, wouldn't it?
THE scariest photo I have seen on the internet is www.spaceweather.com, where you will find a real-time image of the sun from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, located in deep space at the equilibrium point between solar and terrestrial gravity.
What is scary about the picture is that there is only one tiny sunspot.
Disconcerting as it may be to true believers in global warming, the average temperature on Earth has remained steady or slowly declined during the past decade, despite the continued increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, and now the global temperature is falling precipitously.
All four agencies that track Earth's temperature (the Hadley Climate Research Unit in Britain, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, the Christy group at the University of Alabama, and Remote Sensing Systems Inc in California) report that it cooled by about 0.7C in 2007. This is the fastest temperature change in the instrumental record and it puts us back where we were in 1930. If the temperature does not soon recover, we will have to conclude that global warming is over.
There is also plenty of anecdotal evidence that 2007 was exceptionally cold. It snowed in Baghdad for the first time in centuries, the winter in China was simply terrible and the extent of Antarctic sea ice in the austral winter was the greatest on record since James Cook discovered the place in 1770.
It is generally not possible to draw conclusions about climatic trends from events in a single year, so I would normally dismiss this cold snap as transient, pending what happens in the next few years.
This is where SOHO comes in. The sunspot number follows a cycle of somewhat variable length, averaging 11 years. The most recent minimum was in March last year. The new cycle, No.24, was supposed to start soon after that, with a gradual build-up in sunspot numbers.
It didn't happen. . .
Global cooling or the onset of an ice age here on Earth is not some crackpot theory, but is well within the bounds of possibility. Indeed, there is a wealth of geological data to show that widespread glaciation is the normal condition of our planet.
Go read the rest.
April 23, 2008
"For I agree with you that there is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents."
-- Thomas Jefferson (letter to John Adams, 28 October 1813)
April 22, 2008
"It is an unquestionable truth, that the body of the people in every country desire sincerely its prosperity. But it is equally unquestionable that they do not possess the discernment and stability necessary for systematic government. To deny that they are frequently led into the grossest of errors, by misinformation and passion, would be a flattery which their own good sense must despise."
-- Alexander Hamilton (speech to the Ratifying Convention of New York, June 1788)
Fourteen years after the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement was signed, President Bush, Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's meeting in New Orleans this week is a vivid testimony to NAFTA's success. The three leaders, ironing out their differences peaceably, provide a beacon to the region about the benefits of mutual economic growth.
They all have something big to show for it. The U.S. economy is now 50% greater than it was in 1994. Mexico's GDP is 46% bigger and Canada's is up 54% since joining the world's largest free trade zone, where total trade now stands at nearly $1 trillion, three times what it was before the deal was struck.
As for Americans, NAFTA puts between $140 and $720 more income into the pockets of the average family of four each year, while tariff-scrapping has cut taxes another $210.
Mexican and Canadian incomes have risen comparably, with Mexico reporting the highest per capita income in Latin America.
With such a result from just dropping tariffs and leveling the investment playing field, it is little wonder that 10 other countries in the hemisphere want the same free trade benefits.
Yet free trade is under fire from many places, ranging from know-nothing populists to Big Labor bosses who see a threat to their privileges, all the way down to the newly emerging leftist states in Latin America that seek to end the private sector altogether.
Since 1994, when NAFTA was signed, the US has lost 2.9 million manufacturing jobs. During that same time, a total of 4.9 million other jobs (attributed to NAFTA) have been created in this country.
I wish Reid, Pelosi, Obama, and Clinton would explain to me how NAFTA has been bad for this country. The truth is, they cannot. Not rationally, anyway. So they just screech about how we've lost more than 2 million jobs since NAFTA was signed.
Evidently, they slept through their economics classes in college.
April 21, 2008
"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 Law of Nature and 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."
The Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776
On 21 April of every year, Aggies around the world take time out to observe Aggie Muster in honor of those Aggies who have passed away since last April.
"Muster is the most solemn and sacred of all Aggie traditions, but it is a time of joy and happy remembrance. Those who have gone before us are those whose lives have touched ours. May we do the same for those who come after us. May we expect no less of ourselves."
-Dr. E. Dean Gage '65
The Muster ceremony on campus will be provided via streaming video here, at the KAMU website, at 7 PM CDT.
Hamas may have noticed, for in an interview with World Net Daily and WABC-New York radio's John Batchelor, Ahmed Yousef, Hamas' top political adviser in the Gaza Strip, gave Barack Obama a swooning endorsement.
"We like Mr. Obama, and we hope that he will win the election," Yousef said. "I do believe (Obama) is like John Kennedy, a great man with great principle. And he has a vision to change America, to (put) it in a position to lead the world community, but not with humiliation and arrogance."
Obama's vision is to cut and run in Iraq and seek peace in our time by appeasing Iran, a state sponsor of terror, and terrorist organizations such as Hamas. Yousef may think Obama is another JFK, but what he wants is not a return to Camelot.
April 20, 2008
"[T]here is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of [slavery]."
-- George Washington (letter to Robert Morris, 12 April 1786)
April 19, 2008
"If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be if without it?"
-- Benjamin Franklin (to Thomas Paine, Date Unknown)
April 18, 2008
"May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us in all our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy. "
-- George Washington (letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, August 1790)
April 17, 2008
"If we move in mass, be it ever so circuitously, we shall attain our object; but if we break into squads, everyone pursuing the path he thinks most direct, we become an easy conquest to those who can now barely hold us in check."
-- Thomas Jefferson (letter to William Duane, 1811)
As it turns out, Basra is not the disaster that American media was trying to paint it three weeks ago. In fact, life in Basra was improved by the Maliki crackdown. Here's an excerpt from a report by Agence France Presse:
Three weeks after Iraqi troops swarmed into the southern city of Basra to take on armed militiamen who had overrun the streets, many residents say they feel safer and that their lives have improved. The fierce fighting which marked the first week of Operation Sawlat al-Fursan (Charge of the Knights) has given way to slower, more focused house-by-house searches by Iraqi troops, which led on Monday to the freeing of an abducted British journalist. Residents say the streets have been cleared of gunmen, markets have reopened, basic services have been resumed and a measure of normality has returned to the oil-rich city. The port of Umm Qasr is in the hands of the Iraqi forces who wrested control of the facility from Shiite militiamen, and according to the British military it is operational once again.
Why isn't our American media reporting this?
[Via Hot Air.]
April 16, 2008
"Religion and good morals are the only solid foundation of public liberty and happiness."
-- Samuel Adams (letter to John Trumbull, 16 October 1778)
Reflections on marriage
Janice Shaw Crouse shares her thoughts with the reader about why marriage is so important to us as individuals, and as a society.
More and more these days, it seems like the attitude of the younger generation is "Why marriage?" It's a good question, and I think the answer lies in part because the romantic ideal is still that a man and a woman will fall in love, get married, have a family and grow old together.
What is more delightful than seeing the growing oneness of a married couple learning to connect with each other in a dozen different ways? Sometimes it shows up in their humorous exchanges, other times simply in the way they glance at each other; one thing I especially enjoy seeing is when a couple manages to coordinate things despite little being said, a little like dancers or skaters who know each other's moves by heart. Whether married five years or 20, the telltale signs of connectedness sparkle as they share the joys of life or glow warmly in the way they support one another in the hard places. Also, it is gratifying to see the ever-growing sureness of one another as couples deepen in their understanding, affection and acceptance of each other.
Go read the whole thing . . . you won't regret it.
April 15, 2008
Fallujah, then and now
Michael Totten has an excellent article in City Journal about the tremendous progress, and problems, that mark the meanest city in Iraq.
Fallujah is strange, sullen, wild-eyed, badass, and just plain mean,” writes Bing West in his 2005 war chronicle No True Glory. “Fallujans don’t like strangers, which includes anyone not homebred. Wear lipstick or Western-style long hair, sip a beer or listen to an American CD, and you risk the whip or a beating.” Fallujah has been Iraq’s bad-boy city since at least the time of the British in Mesopotamia; even then, travelers were warned to stay out. More recently, Saddam Hussein recruited some of his regime’s most ruthless officers from Fallujah. Even though it was a quieter city than most in Iraq after the American invasion in 2003, with less looting than in Baghdad and a staunchly pro-American mayor, the Americans should have known that Fallujah was trouble.
But they didn’t, and so they were unprepared when a rogues’ gallery of Islamists, Baathists, and garden-variety malcontents made the city the launching pad for an Iraqi insurgency. The Fallujans who embraced the insurgency were foolhardy, too: had they looked at what similarly-minded Islamist totalitarians had done to Afghanistan, they would have known what hell awaited them at the insurgents’ hands. General David Petraeus’s radical transformation of counterinsurgency tactics has come at just the right time: the overwhelming majority of Fallujans, deciding that America is the lesser of evils, have now aligned themselves with the Marines and the American-backed city government.
The insurgency arose in Fallujah before spreading to the rest of the country. Perhaps it is fitting, then, that the insurgents—now on the run elsewhere in Iraq—were first beaten here in the City of Mosques.
Mr. Totten provides a balanced picture with both encouraging and discouraging elements, but ends with a realistically positive outlook about the future of this city in Anbar.
Go read the whole thing.
"Strive to be the greatest man in your country, and you may be disappointed. Strive to be the best and you may succeed: he may well win the race that runs by himself."
-- Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard's Almanack, 1747)
April 14, 2008
"We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
-- Benjamin Franklin (at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776)
April 13, 2008
"To restore... harmony,... to render us again one people acting as one nation should be the object of every man really a patriot."
-- Thomas Jefferson (letter to Thomas McKean, 1801)
April 12, 2008
"If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify."
-- Alexander Hamilton (Federalist No. 33, 3 January 1788)
The party of fools
It seems that Nancy Pelosi is having another stupidity week in Congress. She effectively killed the trade agreement with Columbia for purely political reasons.
The Democratic Party's protectionist make-over was completed yesterday, when Nancy Pelosi decided to kill the Colombia free trade agreement. Her objections had nothing to do with the evidence and everything to do with politics, but this was an act of particular bad faith. It will damage the economic and security interests of the U.S. while trashing our best ally in Latin America.
The Colombia trade pact was signed in 2006 and renegotiated last year to accommodate Democratic demands for tougher labor and environmental standards. Even after more than 250 consultations with Democrats, and further concessions, including promises to spend more on domestic unemployment insurance, the deal remained stalled in Congress. Apparently the problem was that Democrats kept getting their way.
So on Monday, President Bush submitted the bill to Congress over liberal protests, which, under a bargain between Congress and the White House for trade promotion authority, mandated an up-or-down vote within 90 days. Today Ms. Pelosi will make an ex post facto change to House rules to avoid the required vote, withdrawing from the timetable and thus relegating the Colombia deal to a perhaps permanent limbo.
Those national Democrats aren't the sharpest pencils in the box, are they?
April 11, 2008
"In the supposed state of nature, all men are equally bound by the laws of nature, or to speak more properly, the laws of the Creator."
-- Samuel Adams (letter to the Legislature of Massachusetts, 17 January 1794)
Senator John Cornyn (R, TX), was present for Gen. Petraeus and Amb. Croker's testimonies to Senate Armed Services Committee about progress in Iraq. The testimony was balanced, but generally positive. Unfortunately, it seems that many Democrats in attendance had already decided not to listen to the good news.
The political pressure from far-left fringe groups like MoveOn.org is extremely important in Democratic politics. So some Democrats try to justify their calls for withdrawal with no real regard for the consequences. Sen. Barack Obama, for example, wondered aloud at the hearing why we can’t just leave Iraq in a “messy, sloppy status quo.”
There are two problems with this approach. It forsakes our only real option in the war on terror — winning. And it demonstrates a fundamental disregard for what happens next — what we face in the region and the world if we don’t win that war.
We all want to bring our troops home — there is no disagreement over that goal. The question is whether they will return after defeating the threat, or whether they’ll return to an America that is less safe and more vulnerable to another terrorist attack.
If we give up too soon, according to Petraeus and Crocker, Iraq would become a breeding ground for terrorists, much like Afghanistan before 9/11. Last month, Osama bin Laden declared Iraq would be a “perfect” base for al-Qaeda. But thanks to our volunteer military, we now have al Qaeda on the run, as Gen. Petraeus declared: “We have our teeth into the jugular, and we need to keep it there.”
Yes, the cost in blood and treasure is high. But the cost would be far greater should America again face another terrorist assault on our civilian population. This is a difficult mission. But as we maintain and fortify the gains we have made, Tuesday’s hearing was an opportunity to bring our broader goals into clearer focus.
Questions from the other side of the aisle about the Iraqi government’s work toward meeting the benchmarks were noticeably absent from the hearings. Instead, the air was filled with rhetoric about the financial costs and a blind need for withdrawal. Perhaps there is no longer suspension of disbelief in progress.
Too many people have stopped listening, and have determined that Iraq must be a failure for the United States, no matter the long-term costs. They insist on taking a short-term view, dismissing radical Islamic terrorism as an irritant instead of a deadly threat.
As we digest the testimony of Petraeus and Crocker and mark the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime five years ago today, we must remember that freedom is never free. We owe to the American people, and to our troops serving on the front lines — especially those who have made the supreme sacrifice — the political courage to see this mission through.
The incredibly naive and petulant behavior of our Democrat national leaders is breathtaking! It boggles my mind that they can ignore reality even as that reality, in the form of Islamic terrorism, if allowed to florish, threatens our liberty -- if not our very existence.
I'm embarrassed to admit that I used to be one . . .
Liberals in America are often wrong . . . but they're never in doubt.
April 10, 2008
"With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live as slaves."
-- John Dickinson and Thomas Jefferson, 1775 - Declaration of the Cause and Necessity of Taking up Arms
“I say that the Second Amendment is, in order of importance, the first amendment. It is America’s First Freedom, the one right that protects all the others.” —Charlton Heston
“If you talk about race, it does not make you a racist. If you see distinctions between the genders, it does not make you a sexist. If you think critically about a denomination, it does not make you anti-religion. If you accept but don’t celebrate homosexuality, it does not make you a homophobe.” —Charlton Heston
“As I have stood in the crosshairs of those who target Second Amendment freedoms, I’ve realized that firearms are not the only issue. No, it’s much, much bigger than that. I’ve come to understand that a cultural war is raging across our land, in which, with Orwellian fervor, certain acceptable thoughts and speech are mandated.” —Charlton Heston
“I’d rather play a senator than be one.” —Charlton Heston
April 09, 2008
"Each State, in ratifying the Constitution, is considered as a sovereign body, independent of all others, and only to be bound by its own voluntary act. In this relation, then, the new Constitution will, if established, be a FEDERAL, and not a NATIONAL constitution."
-- James Madison (Federalist No. 39, 1788)
For news that's a little closer to Iraq and a LOT closer to reality, go check out IraqStatusReport.com.
I recommend it highly.
Objectivity in reporting
Ed Driscoll at Silicon Graffiti compares and contrasts the reporting on two similar situations involving elderly veterans.
April 08, 2008
"The great desiderata are a free representation and mutual checks. When these are obtained, all our apprehensions of the extent of powers are unjust and imaginary."
-- Alexander Hamilton (Speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, June 1788)
Support our troops
By signing an online thank you card to General Petraeus.
Star Trek: The Original Series is now online
In it's entirety! The first show of the first season is The Man Trap.
April 07, 2008
"I own myself the friend to a very free system of commerce, and hold it as a truth, that commercial shackles are generally unjust, oppressive and impolitic - it is also a truth, that if industry and labour are left to take their own course, they will generally be directed to those objects which are the most productive, and this in a more certain and direct manner than the wisdom of the most enlightened legislature could point out."
-- James Madison (speech to the Congress, 9 April 1789)
April 06, 2008
"It is very imprudent to deprive America of any of her privileges. If her commerce and friendship are of any importance to you, they are to be had on no other terms than leaving her in the full enjoyment of her rights."
-- Benjamin Franklin, Political Observations
"It is an object of vast magnitude that systems of education should be adopted and pursued which may not only diffuse a knowledge of the sciences but may implant in the minds of the American youth the principles of virtue and of liberty and inspire them with just and liberal ideas of government and with an inviolable attachment to their own country."
-- Noah Webster, 1790 - On Education of Youth in America
April 04, 2008
"Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country."
-- Noah Webster, 1788 - On the Education of Youth in America
April 03, 2008
"In the formation of our constitution the wisdom of all ages is collected--the legislators [of] antiquity are consulted, as well as the opinions and interests of the millions who are concerned. It short, it is an empire of reason."
-- Noah Webster, 1787 - An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution
April 02, 2008
"In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate - look to his character...."
-- Noah Webster, 1789 - Letters to a Young Gentleman Commencing His Education
April 01, 2008
"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States."
-- Noah Webster, 1787 - An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution