Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Sunday, December 07, 2008
THIS IS PROBABLY A GOOD SIGN: “It’s no fiction: Scientific fact has usurped science fiction as TV’s favorite inspiration for prime-time story lines. And to keep everything on the up and up, show writers and producers are hiring scores of researchers and technical consultants to get the science straight.”
Nope. This kind of crap, and I mean that in all sincerity, has been going on for quite a while with no appreciable difference to the strength of the story line. Crap. Now instead of chasing the red herring or the McGuffey you have to sit still for the.... SCIENCE LECTURE!....no big deal just sit still and shut up and maybe, gods forbid, learn something already. House does a lot of this krapque so does CSI and others too numerous to mention are guilty as well. Big deal. So a weak story line is buttress by true SCIENCE lectures. Please. It was more fun when Scotty was screaming for the fluxcapacitor phasers reversal transducers.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
The economy in the tank and the usurper of the Constitution is waiting in the "office of the president elect" but just try to find a parking spot for some last minute shopping at the local Local Fred's Good Luck Grocery Store. Easier to buy the wining lotto ticket. The annual madness has begun and the malls are full. Happy Thanksgiving to all our brave men at sea and land all over the world. This what I am thankful for-that such great Marines are on guard securing the blessings of our "unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
During the battle, the designated marksman single handedly thwarted a company-sized enemy RPG and machinegun ambush by reportedly killing 20 enemy fighters with his devastatingly accurate precision fire. He selflessly exposed himself time and again to intense enemy fire during a critical point in the eight-hour battle for Shewan in order to kill any enemy combatants who attempted to engage or maneuver on the Marines in the kill zone. What made his actions even more impressive was the fact that he didn’t miss any shots, despite the enemies’ rounds impacting within a foot of his fighting position.
“I was in my own little world,” the young corporal said. “I wasn’t even aware of a lot of the rounds impacting near my position, because I was concentrating so hard on making sure my rounds were on target.”
The vicious attack that left the humvee destroyed and several of the Marines pinned down in the kill zone sparked an intense eight-hour battle as the platoon desperately fought to recover their comrades. After recovering the Marines trapped in the kill zone, another platoon sergeant personally led numerous attacks on enemy fortified positions while the platoon fought house to house and trench to trench in order to clear through the enemy ambush site.
“The biggest thing to take from that day is what Marines can accomplish when they’re given the opportunity to fight,” the sniper said. “A small group of Marines met a numerically superior force and embarrassed them in their own backyard. The insurgents told the townspeople that they were stronger than the Americans, and that day we showed them they were wrong.”
After calling for close-air support, the small group of Marines pushed forward and broke the enemies’ spirit as many of them dropped their weapons and fled the battlefield. At the end of the battle, the Marines had reduced an enemy stronghold, killed more than 50 insurgents and wounded several more.
“I didn’t realize how many bad guys there were until we had broken through the enemies’ lines and forced them to retreat. It was roughly 250 insurgents against 30 of us,” the corporal said. “It was a good day for the Marine Corps. We killed a lot of bad guys, and none of our guys were seriously injured.”
Break Even Point for a properly balanced budget according to the IMF:
- “Iran’s break-even price is $90 a barrel, and that is a big issue in Iran right now,” Khan said. Iraq has the highest break-even price in the region, according to the IMF figures.
Saudi Arabia needs crude prices to remain above $49 a barrel to avoid a fiscal deficit, a senior International Monetary Fund official has said.
- Kuwait’s break-even price is $33 a barrel
- Algeria needs $56 a barrel.
- Iraq $110.
- UAE $23.
What say we go for another round of the Happy Sword Dance?
- Kuwait $33
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
"THE WAR IS OVER AND WE WON:" Michael Yon just phoned from Baghdad, and reports that things are much better than he had expected, and he had expected things to be good. "There's nothing going on. I'm with the 10th Mountain Division, and about half of the guys I'm with haven't fired their weapons on this tour and they've been here eight months. And the place we're at, South Baghdad, used to be one of the worst places in Iraq. And now there's nothing going on. I've been walking my feet off and haven't seen anything."
RINO image by Jeff Johnson at Toasty Aroma.
Thanks to Jeff Johnson I am reminded, now that the annual running of the bull is over, that RINO Spotting season is upon us. First Up! The Arsenal with this little herd of duplicitous impersonator posers bearing their first offerings to their PC god:
H.R. 6257: Assault Weapons Ban Reauthorization Act of 2008
To reinstate the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act.
Rep. Mark Kirk [R-IL]
Cosponsors [as of 2008-11-07]
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen [R-FL]
Rep. Michael Ferguson [R-NJ]
Rep. Christopher Shays [R-CT]
Rep. Michael Castle [R-DE]
Did I mention that these Republicans are lower than whale dew?
Friday, November 14, 2008
On June 6, 1968, these Marines were aboard a CH-46A Sea Knight helicopter that was attempting an emergency extraction of elements of the 1st Battalion, 4th Regiment, 3rd Marine Division then fighting the NVA southwest of Khe Sanh. The helicopter was struck by ground fire and crashed, killing 12 of the 23 crewmen and passengers on board. All but four of the men who died were subsequently recovered and identified.
Between 1993 and 2005, joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), investigated the incident in Quang Tri Province, interviewed witnesses and surveyed the crash site three times. The team found a U.S. military boot fragment and wreckage consistent with that of a CH-46 helicopter.Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons in the identification of the remains.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
From the IBD, of course,
• Give a tax break to 95% of Americans.
• Restore Clinton-era tax rates on top income earners.
• "If you make under $250,000, you will not see your taxes increase by a single dime. Not your income taxes, not your payroll taxes, not your capital gains taxes. Nothing."
• Dramatically simplify tax filings so that millions of Americans will be able to do their taxes in less than five minutes.
• Give American businesses a $3,000 tax credit for every job they create in the U.S.
• Eliminate capital gains taxes for small business and startup companies.
• Eliminate income taxes for seniors making under $50,000.
• Expand the child and dependent care tax credit.
• Expand the earned income tax credit.
• Create a universal mortgage credit.
• Create a small business health tax credit.
• Provide a $500 "make work pay" tax credit to small businesses.
• Provide a $1,000 emergency energy rebate to families.
• Spend $15 billion a year on renewable sources of energy.
• Eliminate oil imports from the Middle East in 10 years.
• Increase fuel economy standards by 4% a year.
• Weatherize 1 million homes annually.
• Ensure that 10% of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012.
• Create 5 million green jobs.
• Implement a cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
• Get 1 million plug-in hybrids on the road by 2015.
• Sign a fair pay restoration act, which would overturn the Supreme Court's pay discrimination ruling.
• Sign into law an employee free choice act — aka card check — to make it easier for unions to organize.
• Make employers offer seven paid sick days per year.
• Increase the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2009.
• Remove troops from Iraq by the summer of 2010.
• Cut spending on unproven missile defense systems.
• No more homeless veterans.
• Stop spending $10 billion a month in Iraq.
• Finish the fight against Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaida terrorists.
• Work in a "bipartisan way to preserve Social Security for future generations."
• Impose a Social Security payroll tax on incomes above $250,000.
• Match 50% of retirement savings up to $1,000 for families earning less than $75,000.
• Demand higher standards and more accountability from our teachers.
• Go through the budget, line by line, ending programs we don't need and making the ones we do need work better and cost less.
• Slash earmarks.
• Lower health care costs for the typical family by $2,500 a year.
• Let the uninsured get the same kind of health insurance that members of Congress get.
• Stop insurance companies from discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.
• Spend $10 billion over five years on health care information technology.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Bobby Gene Kinkle, Robert Lee Sadler, Curtis Mitchell, Oswaldo Luis Miranda, Thomas Franklin Young, William A. Thorton, Donald Lee Baker, Archer Sanford-Vietnam 1967-68. Gregory Edward Macdonald, 6/25/03, B Company, 4TH LAR
Monday, November 10, 2008
Valerie Jarrett, the co-chair of Barack Obama's Transition Team, states unequivocally that POTUS-Elect Hussein will be ready to "RULE" from day one. 'RULE'!? Did Jack Burton miss something?
Valerie Jarrett:"given the daunting challenges that we face, it's important that president elect Obama is prepared to really take power and begin to rule day one."
Not ready to rock and roll, no, ready to rule. Hummm. Wrong. Jack Burton. Is. NOT! A . Subject.
Bravo 4 LAR Marines minus their War Pigs AKA as Riverines in Iraq.
Birthday Greetings from the CMC.
R 082000z OCT 08
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC CMC//
SUBJ/UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS BIRTHDAY MESSAGE - 10 NOVEMBER 2008//
POC/SSGT M. BELL/ADMIN CHIEF/UNIT:CMC STAFF GROUP/-
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1. DURING THE SUMMER OF 1982, IN THE WAKE OF A
PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE, MARINES WENT ASHORE AT BEIRUT, LEBANON.
FIFTEEN MONTHS LATER, ON 23 OCTOBER 1983, EXTREMISTS STRUCK THE
FIRST MAJOR BLOW AGAINST AMERICAN FORCES - STARTING THIS LONG WAR ON
TERRORISM. ON THAT SUNDAY MORNING, A SUICIDE BOMBER DROVE AN
EXPLOSIVE-LADEN TRUCK INTO THE HEADQUARTERS OF BATTALION LANDING
TEAM 1/8, DESTROYING THE BUILDING AND KILLING 241 MARINES AND
2. EXTREMISTS HAVE ATTACKED OUR NATION, AT HOME AND ABROAD,
NUMEROUS TIMES SINCE THAT FATEFUL DAY IN BEIRUT. THEIR AIM HAS
ALWAYS BEEN THE SAME - TO KILL AS MANY INNOCENT AMERICANS AS
POSSIBLE. THE ATTACKS OF 11 SEPTEMBER 2001 CHANGED OUR NATION
FOREVER, AND OUR PRESIDENT HAS RESOLVED THAT THIS NATION WILL NOT
STAND IDLE WHILE MURDEROUS TERRORISTS PLOT THEIR NEXT STRIKE.
MARINES WILL CONTINUE TO TAKE THE FIGHT TO THE ENEMY - HITTING THEM
ON THEIR OWN TURF, CRUSHING THEM WHEN THEY SHOW THEMSELVES, AND
FINDING THEM WHERE THEY HIDE.
3. ONLY A FEW AMERICANS CHOOSE THE DANGEROUS, BUT NECESSARY, WORK
OF FIGHTING OUR NATION'S ENEMIES. WHEN OUR CHAPTER OF HISTORY IS
WRITTEN, IT WILL BE A SAGA OF A SELFLESS GENERATION OF MARINES WHO
WERE WILLING TO STAND UP AND FIGHT FOR OUR NATION; TO DEFEND THOSE
WHO COULD NOT DEFEND THEMSELVES; TO THRIVE ON THE HARDSHIP AND
SACRIFICE EXPECTED OF AN ELITE WARRIOR CLASS; TO MARCH TO THE SOUND
OF THE GUNS; AND TO ABLY SHOULDER THE LEGACY OF THOSE MARINES WHO
HAVE GONE BEFORE.
4. ON OUR 233RD BIRTHDAY, FIRST REMEMBER THOSE WHO HAVE SERVED AND
THOSE "ANGELS" WHO HAVE FALLEN - OUR REPUTATION WAS BUILT ON THEIR
SACRIFICES. REMEMBER OUR FAMILIES; THEY ARE THE UNSUNG HEROES WHOSE
SUPPORT AND DEDICATION ALLOW US TO ANSWER OUR NATION'S CALL.
FINALLY, TO ALL MARINES AND SAILORS, KNOW THAT I AM PROUD OF YOU AND
WHAT YOU DO. YOUR SUCCESSES ON THE BATTLEFIELD HAVE ONLY ADDED TO
OUR ILLUSTRIOUS HISTORY. GENERAL VICTOR H. "BRUTE" KRULAK SAID IT
BEST WHEN HE WROTE, "... THE UNITED STATES DOES NOT NEED A MARINE
CORPS ... THE UNITED STATES WANTS A MARINE CORPS." YOUR ACTIONS, IN
IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN, AND ACROSS THE GLOBE, ARE AT THE CORE OF WHY
AMERICA LOVES HER MARINES.
5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARINES AND SEMPER FIDELIS! JAMES T. CONWAY,
GENERAL, U.S. MARINE CORPS, COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS//
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Plans are being made to promote a national holiday for Barack Obama, who will become the nation's 44th president when he takes the oath of office Jan. 20.
"Yes We Can" planning rallies will be at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. every Tuesday at the downtown McDonald's restaurant, 1100 Kansas Ave., until Jan. 13. The goals are to secure a national holiday in Obama's honor, to organize celebrations around his inauguration and to celebrate the 200th birthday of President Abraham Lincoln, who was born on Feb. 12 1809.
At 7:30 a.m. on Inauguration Day, Obama Cake will be served at the downtown McDonald's, and a celebration is scheduled for 8 p.m. to midnight Jan. 20 at the Ramada Hotel and Convention Center, 420 S.E. 6th.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
MEACHAM: You know, they don’t let him out. And have you ever seen a victory speech where there was no one else on stage?
MEACHAM: No adoring wife, no cute kid. He is the messenger.
THOMAS: There is a slightly creepy cult of personality about all this. I mean, he’s such an admirable –
ROSE: Slightly. Creepy. Cult of personality.
ROSE: What’s slightly creepy about it?
THOMAS: It — it — it just makes me a little uneasy that he’s so singular. He’s clearly managing his own spectacle. He’s a deeply manipulative guy.
RUSH: Now, let me tell you what they’re saying that they’re not saying. We’ve seen this before. We have seen this creepy cult of personality. We have seen this singular, managing his own spectacle. We’ve seen this deeply manipulative guy. We saw this before. They are scared. They are not saying that, but I hear fear. Here’s the next bite. Charlie Rose continues here with a question.
ROSE: Watching him last night in that speech, he finishes –
ROSE: — and he sort of — it’s almost like he then ascends to look at the circumstance.
MEACHAM: He watches us watching him.
THOMAS: Watching him!
THOMAS: He does –
MEACHAM: It’s amazing.
ROSE: It is amazing.
THOMAS: He writes about this metaphor being a screen upon which Americans will project. He said they want of Barack Obama; I’m not sure I am Barack Obama.
THOMAS: He had — he has the self-awareness to know that this creature he’s designed isn’t necessarily a real person, and he’s self-aware enough –
RUSH: Ahhhh. Charlie Rose, light goes on, ahhhh. Self-aware enough to know that this creature he’s designed isn’t necessarily a real person.
That is fear. These guys are looking at Obama and they’ve seen him the exact way we have, all of this time. They only now after they think they got him into office are now starting to talk about their fears about how nobody knows anything about him, his resume is thin, he’s only written two books, and they’re autobiographies, we don’t know what other books he’s read. Yes, we do.
We don’t know anything about him. It’s creepy, never seen a victory speech with nobody on stage — what is this making fun of Biden, by the way?
Locking Biden in the bar so he doesn’t come out? Look at all they hid. Look at all that they refused to report.
They had plenty of chances to write editorials at Newsweek magazine, and they didn’t write one reflective of what they really saw and know and fear about Obama.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
TRANSCRIPT: If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court. I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it I’d be o.k. But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendancy to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.
I’m not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. You know, the institution just isn’t structured that way.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
By Huntley Brown
Dear Friends, A few months ago I was asked for my perspective on Obama, I sent out an email with a few points. With the election just around the corner I decided to complete my perspective. Those of you on my e-list have seen some of this before but it's worth repeating...
First I must say whoever wins the election will have my prayer support. Obama needs to be commended for his accomplishments but I need to explain why I will not be voting for him.
Many of my friends process their identity through their blackness. I process my identity through Christ. Being a Christian (a Christ follower) means He leads I follow. I can't dictate the terms He does because He is the leader.
I can't vote black because I am black; I have to vote Christian because that's who I am. Christian first, black second. Neither should anyone from the other ethnic groups vote because of ethnicity. 200 years from now I won't be asked if I was black or white. I will be asked if I knew Jesus and accepted Him as Lord and Savior.
In an election there are many issues to consider but when a society gets abortion, same-sex marriage, embryonic stem-cell research, human cloning to name a few, wrong economic concerns will soon not matter.
We need to follow Martin Luther King's words, don't judge someone by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I don't know
Obama so all I can go off is his voting record. His voting record earned him the title of the most liberal senator in the US Senate in 2007.
NATIONAL JOURNAL: Obama: Most Liberal Senator in 2007 (01/31/2008)
To beat Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton as the most liberal senator, takes some doing. Obama accomplished this feat in 2 short years. I wonder what would happen to America if he had four years to work with.
There is a reason Planned Parenthood gives him a 100% rating. There is a reason the homosexual community supports him. There is a reason Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Castro, Hamas etc. love him. There is a reason he said he would nominate liberal judges to the Supreme Court. There is a reason he voted against the infanticide bill. There is a reason he voted No on the constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. There is a reason he voted No on banning partial birth abortion. There is a reason he voted No on confirming Justices Roberts and Alito. These two judges are conservatives and they have since overturned partial birth abortion. The same practice Obama wanted to continue.
Let's take a look at the practice he wanted to continue
The 5 Step Partial Birth Abortion procedures:
A. Guided by ultrasound, the abortionist grabs the baby's leg with forceps. (Remember this is a live baby)
B. The baby's leg is pulled out into the birth canal.
C. The abortionist delivers the baby's entire body, except for the head.
D. The abortionist jams scissors into the baby's skull. The scissors are then opened to enlarge the hole.
E. The scissors are removed and a suction catheter is inserted. The child's brains are sucked out, causing the skull to collapse. The dead baby is then removed.
God help him. There is a reason Obama opposed the parental notification law.
Think about this: You can't give a kid an aspirin without parental notification but that same kid can have an abortion without parental notification. This is insane.
There is a reason he went to Jeremiah Wright's church for 20 years.
Obama tells us he has good judgment but he sat under Jeremiah Wright teaching for 20 years. Now he is condemning Wright's sermons. I wonder why now?
Obama said Jeremiah Wright led him to the Lord and discipled him. A disciple is one in training. Jesus told us in Matthew 28:19 - 20 "Go and make disciples of all nations." This means reproduce yourself. Teach people to think like you, walk like you; talk like you believe what you believe etc. The question I have is what did Jeremiah Wright teach him?
Would you support a White President who went to a church which has tenets that said they have a ...
1. Commitment to the White Community
2. Commitment to the White Family
3. Adherence to the White Work Ethic
4. Pledge to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available to the White Community.
5. Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting White Institutions
6. Pledge allegiance to all White leadership who espouse and embrace the White Value System
7. Personal commitment to embracement of the White Value System.
Would you support a President who went to a church like that?
Just change the word from white to black and you have the tenets of Obama's former church. If President Bush was a member of a church like this, he would be called a racist. Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton would have been marching outside.
This kind of church is a racist church. Obama did not wake up after 20 years and just discovered he went to a racist church. The church can't be about race. Jesus did not come for any particular race. He came for the whole world.
A church can't have a value system based on race. The churches value system has to be based on biblical mandate. It does not matter if itʼs a white church or a black church it's still wrong. Anyone from either race that attends a church like this would never get my vote.
Obama's former Pastor Jeremiah Wright is a disciple of liberal theologian James Cone, author of the 1970 book A Black Theology of Liberation. Cone once wrote: "Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him.
Cone is the man Obama's mentor looks up to. Does Obama believe this?
So what does all this mean for the nation?
In the past when the Lord brought someone with the beliefs of Obama to lead a nation it meant one thing - judgment.
Read 1 Samuel 8 when Israel asked for a king. First God says in 1 Samuel 1:9 "Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do."
Then God says
1 Samuel 1:18 " When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day." 19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. "No!" they said. "We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles." 21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the LORD. 22 The LORD answered, "Listen to them and give them a king."
Here is what we know for sure.
God is not schizophrenic
He would not tell one person to vote for Obama and one to vote for McCain. As the scripture says, a city divided against itself cannot stand, so obviously many people are not hearing from God.
Maybe I am the one not hearing but I know God does not change and Obama contradicts many things I read in scripture so I doubt it.
For all my friends who are voting for Obama can you really look God in the face and say; Father based on your word, I am voting for Obama even though I know he will continue the genocidal practice of partial birth abortion. He might have to nominate three or four Supreme Court justices, and I am sure he will be nominating liberal judges who will be making laws that are against you. I also know he will continue to push for homosexual rights, even though you destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for this. I know I can look the other way because of the economy.
I could not see Jesus agreeing with many of Obama's positions. Finally I have two questions for all my liberal friends.
Since we know someone's value system has to be placed on the nation,
1. Whose value system should be placed on the nation.
2. Who should determine that this is the right value system for the nation?
Blessings, Huntley Brown
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Joe has been taking a lot heat from the Old Media Members of the Dead Men Walking Press. Seems as he axed that one a simple question that exposed that ones tuckass so that even the blind could see his butt cleveage. Lordy. Maximus One ordered the pile on Big Joe cause ifn you can't beat them---smear'em. GO JOE!!!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 09, 2008
“Iran’s break-even price is $90 a barrel, and that is a big issue in Iran right now,” Khan said.
“If prices dip below $90 a barrel, and we have seen it touch $89 earlier this week, then they would have to tighten their public expenditure policy, and probably cut subsidies, which would be an issue for the government there – the public would not be content,” he said.
I just bet they won't. I'm pretty pissed myself at the yankee govt's bailout of Wall Street gamblers with my taxes myself until I started looking at the BIG picture.
So lets look at the break even marks AKA the point at which certain enablers and just-look-the-other-way govts start to suck wind and fiscal deficits:
In general, the less population you have to buy chow for-- the lower the price for a barrel of oil you can take and still balance the budget without a deficit. Time for a Guinness.
UPDATE:FT :"US crude oil futures dropped $1.75 to $87.15 a barrel after having hit a 10-month low of $86.50 a barrel on Wednesday. US crude oil futures dropped $1.75 to $87.15 a barrel after having hit a 10-month low of $86.50 a barrel on Wednesday. The Opec basket, a measure of the group’s oil prices, fell on Wednesday to $77.38 a barrel, below the $80 that some members of the cartel have suggested is their minimum price." Time for a meeting. On Nov. 18th OPEC will meet to consider how to pay their bills in view of the current tsunami meltdown. Timely.
Monday, October 06, 2008
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
"Science, Strategy and War The Strategic Theory of John Boyd" is now available in paperback for $37.95 from the publisher Routledge.That's a relief. I mean where the hell did Amazon get that $128.42 new and $105.00 used price.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
By Army Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service
Army Capt. Greg Ambrosia, executive officer of Company A and recipient of the Silver Star that Mullen awarded here, said he can attribute his leadership and confidence during such patrols to the lives he saved during one particular encounter with Taliban fighters on the night of Sept. 27.
Ambrosia and his men set up a makeshift outpost after a nighttime air assault into the valley. The troopers made contact with the enemy early the next morning, receiving a hail of rocket-propelled grenades and gunfire. But they couldn’t spot where exactly the attack was coming from, he said.
His basic function and responsibility was to radio information from the company commander in a nearby mounted element on the side of the mountain back to the battalion headquarters, he continued.
“We spotted an enemy scout and eventually made contact, but he was able to [disengage and communicate] our location to other fighters in the valley,” Ambrosia said.
Ambrosia’s element had a translator monitoring the enemy communication with a basic one-way radio. After the initial contact, it was quiet for about 45 minutes. The interpreter continued to monitor the radio, and Ambrosia learned that the scout was coordinating with other enemy fighters in the area to launch an attack, he explained.
Soon there were at least three enemy elements with three to five fighters each closing in on the platoon. So close, in fact, they were in hand-grenade range of his troops, he said.
“They were able to get to really close using the terrain,” he continued. “At one point, I started calling the vehicles in the valley to start shooting on our position, because the enemy was too close to call in artillery or mortar fire.”
“So we ended up having our guys shooting on our own position,” he continued.
Even though Ambrosia and his men maintained some safety behind a mound of rocks, the smoke from the mounted vehicle engulfed their position. He began call for aerial support from AH-64 Apache helicopters, he said.
Enemy radio traffic intercepted by Ambrosia’s interpreter let the paratroopers know the insurgents planned to overrun their position and take them hostage, but they were able to repel the attack, he said.
However, Ambrosia’s radio requests for Apaches to provide aerial support wouldn’t arrive for another 45 minutes, he added.
“That’s when it began to get really hairy,” he said. “The enemy was getting really close and using hand grenades.”
Ambrosia’s actions and direction of his men repelled the enemy fighters long enough for the helicopters to arrive. The modest captain said he doesn’t know exactly how many enemies were killed, but knows that two of his men were wounded. None were killed.
“I’m very thankful for that,” Ambrosia said.
“It has been a very dangerous time here,” Mullen told the troopers. “You’re almost home; it’s not far off, so stay focused and get home safe. I can’t say enough about how impressed and proud I am of what you’ve accomplished.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
- 12 pounds Moose Turds
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- Two beers
- Preheat oven to 375
- Shred turds into a large bowl, Add sugar, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Drink first beer. Mix well and dump in bottom crust. Dot top with 3 tablespoons butter mashed.
- On a cutting board, place packaged pie crust. With your KBar cut holes from the pie crust. Place over Moose Turd pie and seal with goodness and love.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove pie and baste with 3 tablespoons melted butter. Return to oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Pull out of oven and if you forgot to line oven with foil to hold spillovers---drink second beer.
(Deer, Wild Mustang or Bear may be substituted)
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Story by Cpl. Chadwick deBree"1st Lt. Brendan Mahoney, platoon commander, 3rd Platoon, Company G:
“The insurgents (ORCS) stole everything out of the pump house a couple of years ago,” said Mahoney. “They stripped it of all its wires and working parts and used them to make (improvised explosive devices) to use against us. Once the area’s security improved, we requested through our higher headquarters approval to fix it for the local people.”
The road was filled with impact craters from bombs, said Mahoney. Units had found approximately 30 IEDs along the road and were forced to travel around it using a make-shift road on the other side of a nearby canal where farmers raised crops.
“(The main road) was the last stand for the insurgency in the area,” said Mahoney. “The local population and Marines would bypass the road completely and drive through the fields, but now the road is a safe place.”
“We appreciate the efforts of the Marines and the Iraqi Police,” said Sheik Suyhal, a local sheik. “These farm areas, no one could use them because there was no water and people would drive through the fields, but the Marines now gave life to these farms and this area.”
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Ralph Peters--cuts thru the BS.
The Russians know that we know this was a setup. But Moscow's Big Lie propagandists still blame Georgia - even as Russian aircraft bomb Georgian homes and Russian troops seize the vital city of Gori in the country's heart. And Russian troops also grabbed the Georgian city of Zugdidi to the west - invading from Abkhazia on a second axis.
Make no mistake: Moscow intends to dismember Georgia.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Military intervention is out of the question. Economic sanctions, given Russia’s oil and Europe’s need for it, are a pipe dream. Diplomatic ostracism and moral stricture won’t even save face.
Instead, Europe — both western and eastern — along with the United States and the concerned former Soviet Republics need to sit down, conference, and plot exactly how these new democracies are to maintain their independence and autonomy in the next decade. Hopefully, they will reach the Franklinesque conclusion that “We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
Monday, August 11, 2008
President Bush Discusses Situation in Georgia
5:21 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: I just met with my national security team to discuss the situation in Georgia.
I am deeply concerned by reports that Russian troops have moved beyond the zone of conflict, attacked the Georgian town of Gori, and are threatening the Georgia's -- Georgia's capital of Tbilisi. There's evidence that Russian forces may soon begin bombing the civilian airport in the capital city.
If these reports are accurate, these Russian actions would represent a dramatic and brutal escalation of the conflict in Georgia. And these actions would be inconsistent with assurances we have received from Russia that its objectives were limited to restoring the status quo in South Ossetia that existed before fighting began on August the 6th.
It now appears that an effort may be underway to depose Russia's* duly elected government. Russia has invaded a sovereign neighboring state and threatens a democratic government elected by its people. Such an action is unacceptable in the 21st century.
The Georgian government has accepted the elements of a peace agreement that the Russian government previously said it would be willing to accept: an immediate cease-fire, the withdrawal of forces from the zone of conflict, a return to the military status quo as of August 6th, and a commitment to refrain from using force. There are representatives of the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe currently in Moscow seeking Russia's agreement to this peace plan.
Russia's government must respect Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty. The Russian government must reverse the course it appears to be on, and accept this peace agreement as a first step toward resolving this conflict.
Russia's actions this week have raised serious questions about its intentions in Georgia and the region. These actions have substantially damaged Russia's standing in the world. And these actions jeopardize Russians' relations -- Russia's relations with the United States and Europe. It is time for Russia to be true to its word and to act to end this crisis.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
"We hope that Russia will declare a ceasefire, as Georgia has already done, and this can be settled diplomatically," re: State Dept. flunkee. Yead right what ever. The stupid bear will be right with you just as soon as he finishes with these Georgia Peaches.
"We need to work together with Russia over a host of important issues, including Iran."O.k. sure. Pack your bags everybody. We are taking the bastion of democracy out on a guilt trip.
Dubya, eating an extra helping of fresh crow dew, has already expressed his sincere condolences with his yada yada "deeply concerned about the situation in Georgia" and that air strikes "far from the zone of conflict in South Ossetia" marked "a dangerous escalation in the crisis".Wow...really....no kiddin.
Jim Jeffrey, President Bush's deputy national security adviser, said that White House had told Russia: "If the disproportionate and dangerous escalation on the Russian side continues...this will have a significant long-term impact on U.S.-Russian relations." I bet that's really gonna scarce those kleptomaniacs. It's tough talk like this that keeps Big Nose Charlie and Guido Vanducci in line down in yards. Just last week I heard Big Nose say: " You tell that Rafael that if he doesn't stop encroaching our neighborhood this is going to have a significant long-term impact on the hood's relations." There you go. Bingo. Let it so be written. Let it so be done. What am I telling ya.
Ok. So does any of this bullshit remind anyone of that undergraduate class you took in European History. Anyone. Anyone. Bismarck, for example, fighting over little chicken shit size counties that England, France, or Austria, when push came to shove, really did not want to defend. Previous appointments and all that jazz. Those snooty Europeans can not squat anywhere in their little piece of shit country that does'nt scream out with "LESSONS TO BE LEARNED!" over and over and yet when Georgia wanted to be in the NATO club who but France and Germany just couldn't see it that way. Tut. Tut. Run along and play. Maybe later. Now there's a hoot for you...Napoleon and Bismarck and Adolf. oh yead.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Friday, August 08, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
MNF-Iraq-- Security progress in Iraq is unmistakable, Army Maj. Gen. Kevin Bergner said. Civilian deaths around the country were at their lowest point in three years, the general told reporters, adding that the reduction in violence is allowing the Iraqi government and the coalition to put in place projects that improve the quality of life in the country and create jobs for Iraqis.
The general said the security improvements are due in large part to growth in the size and capabilities of the Iraqi Security Forces, the gains in capabilities fueled by Coalition forces working in partnership with their Iraqi counterparts. The coalition and Iraqi surge has been effective, as Iraqi Security Forces have grown from some 400,000 to more than 560,000 members, and Coalition forces deployed five brigades to improve population security and conduct offensive operations, Bergner said.
Though al-Qaida in Iraq has been handled severely in the past year, no one is declaring victory, Bergner said. “It’s important to note that even with the progress being made against al-Qaida, they remain capable of high-profile attacks, and they continue to resort to barbaric tactics to inflict violence on the Iraqi people,” the general told reporters.
Iraqi and coalition operations continue to target al-Qaida in Iraq’s operational, financial and propaganda networks, and this also contributes to security success, he noted.
Recent operations have killed or captured 12 al-Qaida leaders, Bergner said, including leaders in Salahuddin province, in the city of Beiji and in the northern city of Mosul. The Iraqi and coalition allies also have crippled the financial networks in these areas and destroyed the propaganda cells in Baghdad, the general added.
In the south, Iraqi Soldiers and police are clearing criminal activity - illegal militias and criminal gangs - and finding and destroying weapons caches. Bergner said the Iraqi Security Forces in and around Amarah have found 600 rockets, 3,000 mortar rounds, 270 roadside bombs, 250 rocket-propelled grenades and more than 1,000 mines.
The last of the five U.S. brigades deployed for the surge in operations - the 3rd Infantry Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team - will return to Fort Stewart, Ga., by the end of this month. This is in addition to two Marines battalions and a Marine expeditionary unit that already have returned to their home bases.
The security progress made possible by the sacrifices of soldiers and Marines has had a carryover effect into other crucial areas, Bergner said. Yesterday, Iraqi officials laid the cornerstone for the Baghdad airport road revitalization project, he said. The $50 million project will repave the road, fund lighting and plant new trees. The airport road is known to U.S. servicemembers as Route Irish, and reporters once called it the “most dangerous road in Iraq.”
While there has been tremendous progress over the past year, much work remains, Bergner said. Neighboring countries are beginning to increase their support for the Iraqi government, he said, and Iraqi forces are becoming increasingly capable. The progress in the country “will also be sustained by the will of the Iraqi people and their capacity to carry on,” the general added.
Friday, July 04, 2008
Service members from all over Iraq gathered here today in the Al Faw Palace rotunda on Camp Victory, to re-enlist and celebrate America’s Independence Day.
All 1,215 servicemembers celebrated by raising their right hand and pledging to continue defending the ‘land of the free’ in what is the largest re-enlistment ceremony since the all-volunteer force began in 1973, according to the Multi-National Force – Iraq Command Sergeant Major, Command Sgt, Maj. Marvin L. Hill.
“Volunteering to continue to serve our nation, while deployed – is both noble and inspiring,” said Gen. David Petraeus, commanding general, Multi-National Force – Iraq. “It is, as award citations often state, in keeping with the finest traditions of our military services.”
Petraeus presided over the ceremony and led the airmen, Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers in their oath to defend their country against all enemies both foreign and domestic on this day of celebration of America winning its independence.
"We recognize the sacrifices they make and the sacrifices their families and communities make as they serve in Iraq," Hill said. “These servicemembers know the cost of war and they are still re-enlisting.”
All together, the servicemembers pledged more than 5,500 years of additional service to their country.
July 5, 1926
We meet to celebrate the birthday of America. The coming of a new life always excites our interest. Although we know in the case of the individual that it has been an infinite repetition reaching back beyond our vision, that only makes it the more wonderful. But how our interest and wonder increase when we behold the miracle of the birth of a new nation. It is to pay our tribute of reverence and respect to those who participated in such a mighty event that we annually observe the fourth day of July. Whatever may have been the impression created by the news which went out from this city on that summer day in 1776, there can be no doubt as to the estimate which is now placed upon it. At the end of 150 years the four corners of the earth unite in coming to Philadelphia as to a holy shrine in grateful acknowledgement of a service so great, which a few inspired men here rendered to humanity, that it is still the preeminent support of free government throughout the world.
Although a century and a half measured in comparison with the length of human experience is but a short time, yet measured in the life of governments and nations it ranks as a very respectable period. Certainly enough time has elapsed to demonstrate with a great deal of thoroughness the value of our institutions and their dependability as rules for the regulation of human conduct and the advancement of civilization. They have been in existence long enough to become very well seasoned. They have met, and met successfully, the test of experience.
It is not so much then for the purpose of undertaking to proclaim new theories and principles that this annual celebration is maintained, but rather to reaffirm and reestablish those old theories and principles which time and the unerring logic of events have demonstrated to be sound. Amid all the clash of conflicting interests, amid all the welter of partisan politics, every American can turn for solace and consolation to the Declaration of independence and the Constitution of the United States with the assurance and confidence that those two great charters of freedom and justice remain firm and unshaken. Whatever perils appear, whatever dangers threaten, the Nation remains secure in the knowledge that the ultimate application of the law of the land will provide an adequate defense and protection.
It is little wonder that people at home and abroad consider Independence Hall as hallowed ground and revere the Liberty Bell as a sacred relic. That pile of bricks and mortar, that mass of metal, might appear to the uninstructed as only the outgrown meeting place and the shattered bell of a former time, useless now because of more modern conveniences, but to those who know they have become consecrated by the use which men have made of them. They have long been identified with a great cause. They are the framework of a spiritual event. The world looks upon them, because of their associations of one hundred and fifty years ago, as it looks upon the Holy Land because of what took place there nineteen hundred years ago. Through use for a righteous purpose they have become sanctified.
It is not here necessary to examine in detail the causes which led to the American Revolution. In their immediate occasion they were largely economic. The colonists objected to the navigation laws which interfered with their trade, they denied the power of Parliament to impose taxes which they were obliged to pay, and they therefore resisted the royal governors and the royal forces which were sent to secure obedience to these laws. But the conviction is inescapable that a new civilization had come, a new spirit had arisen on this side of the Atlantic more advanced and more developed in its regard for the rights of the individual than that which characterized the Old World. Life in a new and open country had aspirations which could not be realized in any subordinate position. A separate establishment was ultimately inevitable. It had been decreed by the very laws of human nature. Man everywhere has an unconquerable desire to be the master of his own destiny.
We are obliged to conclude that the Declaration of Independence represented the movement of a people. It was not, of course, a movement from the top. Revolutions do not come from that direction. It was not without the support of many of the most respectable people in the Colonies, who were entitled to all the consideration that is given to breeding, education, and possessions. It had the support of another element of great significance and importance to which I shall later refer. But the preponderance of all those who occupied a position which took on the aspect of aristocracy did not approve of the Revolution and held toward it an attitude either of neutrality or open hostility. It was in no sense a rising of the oppressed and downtrodden. It brought no scum to the surface, for the reason that colonial society had developed no scum. The great body of the people were accustomed to privations, but they were free from depravity. If they had poverty, it was not of the hopeless kind that afflicts great cities, but the inspiring kind that marks the spirit of the pioneer. The American Revolution represented the informed and mature convictions of a great mass of independent, liberty-loving, God-fearing people who knew their rights, and possessed the courage to dare to maintain them.
The Continental Congress was not only composed of great men, but it represented a great people. While its members did not fail to exercise a remarkable leadership, they were equally observant of their representative capacity. They were industrious in encouraging their constituents to instruct them to support independence. But until such instructions were given they were inclined to withhold action.
While North Carolina has the honor of first authorizing its delegates to concur with other Colonies in declaring independence, it was quickly followed by South Carolina and Georgia, which also gave general instructions broad enough to include such action. But the first instructions which unconditionally directed its delegates to declare for independence came from the great Commonwealth of Virginia. These were immediately followed by Rhode Island and Massachusetts, while the other Colonies, with the exception of New York, soon adopted a like course.
This obedience of the delegates to the wishes of their constituents, which in some cases caused them to modify their previous positions, is a matter of great significance. It reveals an orderly process of government in the first place; but more than that, it demonstrates that the Declaration of Independence was the result of the seasoned and deliberate thought of the dominant portion of the people of the Colonies. Adopted after long discussion and as the result of the duly authorized expression of the preponderance of public opinion, it did not partake of dark intrigue or hidden conspiracy. It was well advised. It had about it nothing of the lawless and disordered nature of a riotous insurrection. It was maintained on a plane which rises above the ordinary conception of rebellion. It was in no sense a radical movement but took on the dignity of a resistance to illegal usurpations. It was conservative and represented the action of the colonists to maintain their constitutional rights which from time immemorial had been guaranteed to them under the law of the land.
When we come to examine the action of the Continental Congress in adopting the Declaration of Independence in the light of what was set out in that great document and in the light of succeeding events, we can not escape the conclusion that it had a much broader and deeper significance than a mere secession of territory and the establishment of a new nation. Events of that nature have been taking place since the dawn of history. One empire after another has arisen, only to crumble away as its constituent parts separated from each other and set up independent governments of their own. Such actions long ago became commonplace. They have occurred too often to hold the attention of the world and command the admiration and reverence of humanity. There is something beyond the establishment of a new nation, great as that event would be, in the Declaration of Independence which has ever since caused it to be regarded as one of the great charters that not only was to liberate America but was everywhere to ennoble humanity.
It was not because it was proposed to establish a new nation, but because it was proposed to establish a nation on new principles, that July 4, 1776, has come to be regarded as one of the greatest days in history. Great ideas do not burst upon the world unannounced. They are reached by a gradual development over a length of time usually proportionate to their importance. This is especially true of the principles laid down in the Declaration of Independence. Three very definite propositions were set out in its preamble regarding the nature of mankind and therefore of government. These were the doctrine that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that therefore the source of the just powers of government must be derived from the consent of the governed.
If no one is to be accounted as born into a superior station, if there is to be no ruling class, and if all possess rights which can neither be bartered away nor taken from them by any earthly power, it follows as a matter of course that the practical authority of the Government has to rest on the consent of the governed. While these principles were not altogether new in political action, and were very far from new in political speculation, they had never been assembled before and declared in such a combination. But remarkable as this may be, it is not the chief distinction of the Declaration of Independence. The importance of political speculation is not to be under-estimated, as I shall presently disclose. Until the idea is developed and the plan made there can be no action.
It was the fact that our Declaration of Independence containing these immortal truths was the political action of a duly authorized and constituted representative public body in its sovereign capacity, supported by the force of general opinion and by the armies of Washington already in the field, which makes it the most important civil document in the world. It was not only the principles declared, but the fact that therewith a new nation was born which was to be founded upon those principles and which from that time forth in its development has actually maintained those principles, that makes this pronouncement an incomparable event in the history of government. It was an assertion that a people had arisen determined to make every necessary sacrifice for the support of these truths and by their practical application bring the War of Independence to a successful conclusion and adopt the Constitution of the United States with all that it has meant to civilization.
The idea that the people have a right to choose their own rulers was not new in political history. It was the foundation of every popular attempt to depose an undesirable king. This right was set out with a good deal of detail by the Dutch when as early as July 26, 1581, they declared their independence of Philip of Spain. In their long struggle with the Stuarts the British people asserted the same principles, which finally culminated in the Bill of Rights deposing the last of that house and placing William and Mary on the throne. In each of these cases sovereignty through divine right was displaced by sovereignty through the consent of the people. Running through the same documents, though expressed in different terms, is the clear inference of inalienable rights. But we should search these charters in vain for an assertion of the doctrine of equality. This principle had not before appeared as an official political declaration of any nation. It was profoundly revolutionary. It is one of the corner stones of American institutions.
But if these truths to which the declaration refers have not before been adopted in their combined entirety by national authority, it is a fact that they had been long pondered and often expressed in political speculation. It is generally assumed that French thought had some effect upon our public mind during Revolutionary days. This may have been true. But the principles of our declaration had been under discussion in the Colonies for nearly two generations before the advent of the French political philosophy that characterized the middle of the eighteenth century. In fact, they come from an earlier date. A very positive echo of what the Dutch had done in 1581, and what the English were preparing to do, appears in the assertion of the Rev. Thomas Hooker of Connecticut as early as 1638, when he said in a sermon before the General Court that--
"The foundation of authority is laid in the free consent of the people"
"The choice of public magistrates belongs unto the people by God’s own allowance."
This doctrine found wide acceptance among the nonconformist clergy who later made up the Congregational Church. The great apostle of this movement was the Rev. John Wise, of Massachusetts. He was one of the leaders of the revolt against the royal governor Andros in 1687, for which he suffered imprisonment. He was a liberal in ecclesiastical controversies. He appears to have been familiar with the writings of the political scientist, Samuel Pufendorf, who was born in Saxony in 1632. Wise published a treatise, entitled "The Church’s Quarrel Espoused," in 1710, which was amplified in another publication in 1717. In it he dealt with the principles of civil government. His works were reprinted in 1772 and have been declared to have been nothing less than a textbook of liberty for our Revolutionary fathers.
While the written word was the foundation, it is apparent that the spoken word was the vehicle for convincing the people. This came with great force and wide range from the successors of Hooker and Wise, It was carried on with a missionary spirit which did not fail to reach the Scotch-Irish of North Carolina, showing its influence by significantly making that Colony the first to give instructions to its delegates looking to independence. This preaching reached the neighborhood of Thomas Jefferson, who acknowledged that his "best ideas of democracy" had been secured at church meetings.
That these ideas were prevalent in Virginia is further revealed by the Declaration of Rights, which was prepared by George Mason and presented to the general assembly on May 27, 1776. This document asserted popular sovereignty and inherent natural rights, but confined the doctrine of equality to the assertion that "All men are created equally free and independent." It can scarcely be imagined that Jefferson was unacquainted with what had been done in his own Commonwealth of Virginia when he took up the task of drafting the Declaration of Independence. But these thoughts can very largely be traced back to what John Wise was writing in 1710. He said, "Every man must be acknowledged equal to every man." Again, "The end of all good government is to cultivate humanity and promote the happiness of all and the good of every man in all his rights, his life, liberty, estate, honor, and so forth . . . ." And again, "For as they have a power every man in his natural state, so upon combination they can and do bequeath this power to others and settle it according as their united discretion shall determine." And still again, "Democracy is Christ’s government in church and state." Here was the doctrine of equality, popular sovereignty, and the substance of the theory of inalienable rights clearly asserted by Wise at the opening of the eighteenth century, just as we have the principle of the consent of the governed stated by Hooker as early as 1638.
When we take all these circumstances into consideration, it is but natural that the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence should open with a reference to Nature’s God and should close in the final paragraphs with an appeal to the Supreme Judge of the world and an assertion of a firm reliance on Divine Providence. Coming from these sources, having as it did this background, it is no wonder that Samuel Adams could say "The people seem to recognize this resolution as though it were a decree promulgated from heaven."
No one can examine this record and escape the conclusion that in the great outline of its principles the Declaration was the result of the religious teachings of the preceding period. The profound philosophy which Jonathan Edwards applied to theology, the popular preaching of George Whitefield, had aroused the thought and stirred the people of the Colonies in preparation for this great event. No doubt the speculations which had been going on in England, and especially on the Continent, lent their influence to the general sentiment of the times. Of course, the world is always influenced by all the experience and all the thought of the past. But when we come to a contemplation of the immediate conception of the principles of human relationship which went into the Declaration of Independence we are not required to extend our search beyond our own shores. They are found in the texts, the sermons, and the writings of the early colonial clergy who were earnestly undertaking to instruct their congregations in the great mystery of how to live. They preached equality because they believed in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. They justified freedom by the text that we are all created in the divine image, all partakers of the divine spirit.
Placing every man on a plane where he acknowledged no superiors, where no one possessed any right to rule over him, he must inevitably choose his own rulers through a system of self-government. This was their theory of democracy. In those days such doctrines would scarcely have been permitted to flourish and spread in any other country. This was the purpose which the fathers cherished. In order that they might have freedom to express these thoughts and opportunity to put them into action, whole congregations with their pastors had migrated to the colonies. These great truths were in the air that our people breathed. Whatever else we may say of it, the Declaration of Independence was profoundly American.
If this apprehension of the facts be correct, and the documentary evidence would appear to verify it, then certain conclusions are bound to follow. A spring will cease to flow if its source be dried up; a tree will wither if its roots be destroyed. In its main features the Declaration of Independence is a great spiritual document. It is a declaration not of material but of spiritual conceptions. Equality, liberty, popular sovereignty, the rights of man these are not elements which we can see and touch. They are ideals. They have their source and their roots in the religious convictions. They belong to the unseen world. Unless the faith of the American people in these religious convictions is to endure, the principles of our Declaration will perish. We can not continue to enjoy the result if we neglect and abandon the cause.
We are too prone to overlook another conclusion. Governments do not make ideals, but ideals make governments. This is both historically and logically true. Of course the government can help to sustain ideals and can create institutions through which they can be the better observed, but their source by their very nature is in the people. The people have to bear their own responsibilities. There is no method by which that burden can be shifted to the government. It is not the enactment, but the observance of laws, that creates the character of a nation.
About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.
In the development of its institutions America can fairly claim that it has remained true to the principles which were declared 150 years ago. In all the essentials we have achieved an equality which was never possessed by any other people. Even in the less important matter of material possessions we have secured a wider and wider distribution of wealth. The rights of the individual are held sacred and protected by constitutional guaranties, which even the Government itself is bound not to violate. If there is any one thing among us that is established beyond question, it is self-government--the right of the people to rule. If there is any failure in respect to any of these principles, it is because there is a failure on the part of individuals to observe them. We hold that the duly authorized expression of the will of the people has a divine sanction. But even in that we come back to the theory of John Wise that "Democracy is Christ’s government." The ultimate sanction of law rests on the righteous authority of the Almighty.
On an occasion like this a great temptation exists to present evidence of the practical success of our form of democratic republic at home and the ever-broadening acceptance it is securing abroad. Although these things are well known, their frequent consideration is an encouragement and an inspiration. But it is not results and effects so much as sources and causes that I believe it is even more necessary constantly to contemplate. Ours is a government of the people. It represents their will. Its officers may sometimes go astray, but that is not a reason for criticizing the principles of our institutions. The real heart of the American Government depends upon the heart of the people. It is from that source that we must look for all genuine reform. It is to that cause that we must ascribe all our results.
It was in the contemplation of these truths that the fathers made their declaration and adopted their Constitution. It was to establish a free government, which must not be permitted to degenerate into the unrestrained authority of a mere majority or the unbridled weight of a mere influential few. They undertook the balance these interests against each other and provide the three separate independent branches, the executive, the legislative, and the judicial departments of the Government, with checks against each other in order that neither one might encroach upon the other. These are our guaranties of liberty. As a result of these methods enterprise has been duly protected from confiscation, the people have been free from oppression, and there has been an ever-broadening and deepening of the humanities of life.
Under a system of popular government there will always be those who will seek for political preferment by clamoring for reform. While there is very little of this which is not sincere, there is a large portion that is not well informed. In my opinion very little of just criticism can attach to the theories and principles of our institutions. There is far more danger of harm than there is hope of good in any radical changes. We do need a better understanding and comprehension of them and a better knowledge of the foundations of government in general. Our forefathers came to certain conclusions and decided upon certain courses of action which have been a great blessing to the world. Before we can understand their conclusions we must go back and review the course which they followed. We must think the thoughts which they thought. Their intellectual life centered around the meeting-house. They were intent upon religious worship. While there were always among them men of deep learning, and later those who had comparatively large possessions, the mind of the people was not so much engrossed in how much they knew, or how much they had, as in how they were going to live. While scantily provided with other literature, there was a wide acquaintance with the Scriptures. Over a period as great as that which measures the existence of our independence they were subject to this discipline not only in their religious life and educational training, but also in their political thought. They were a people who came under the influence of a great spiritual development and acquired a great moral power.
No other theory is adequate to explain or comprehend the Declaration of Independence. It is the product of the spiritual insight of the people. We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first. Unless we cling to that, all our material prosperity, overwhelming though it may appear, will turn to a barren sceptre in our grasp. If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it. We must not sink into a pagan materialism. We must cultivate the reverence which they had for the things that are holy. We must follow the spiritual and moral leadership which they showed. We must keep replenished, that they may glow with a more compelling flame, the altar fires before which they worshiped.