This Modern Age

Archive for the ‘Conservative Thought’ Category

Elegant Freedom

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My wife loves Laura Ingalls Wilder.  My girls (4 and 5 years old) get a strong dose of Mrs. Wilder everyday and I pray that it sticks in their souls.

In Little Town on the Prarie Laura offers the following observation about freedom on the Fourth of July: 

…Laura stood stock still. Suddenly she had a completely new thought.  The Declaration and the song (My Country, ’tis of Thee) came together in her mind, and she thought: God is America’s king.

She thought: Americans won’t obey any king on earth.  Americans are free.  That means they have to obey their own consciences.  No king bosses Pa; he has to boss himself.  Why (she thought), when I am a little older, Pa and Ma will stop telling me what to do, and there isn’t anyone else who has a right to give me orders.  I will have to make myself be good.

Her whole mind seemed to lighten up by that thought.  This is what it means to be free.  It means, you have to be good. ‘Our father’s God, author of liberty-‘ The laws of Nature and of Nature’s God endow you with a right to life and liberty.  Then you have to keep the laws of God, for God’s law is the only thing that gives you a right to be free.

Laura had no time to think any further….

 

Carrie, Laura, Grace

The Ingalls Family: Seated from left: Ma (Caroline), Pa (Charles), Mary, Standing from left: Carrie, Laura, Grace

Written by thismodernage

July 29, 2008 at 3:08 am

Around the Horn…

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The Pew Research survey was released on July 18.  Despite Obama’s push for evangelical votes and the support he has gained evangelicals like Tony Campolo, he is polling in line with Sen. John Kerry and below Vice President Al Gore.  Any theories on why?  For the full report, click here.

Pew Research on Evangelical Votes

I’ve found a lot of arguments over the years actually boil down to economics.  Unfortunately, people are willing to say so much about it when they understand so little.  Dr. Walter Williams offers a great primer via his weekly column.  Learn and enjoy…  Actually, you can print these all out, staple them together, read them and get a better economics education than 95% of the living world. 

Rasmussen reports that 49% of voters believe reporters will try to help Barack Obama win the presidency.  Odd, who would have ever guessed? 

Click Picture for Full Report on Media Research Center Report on Media Bias

Click image for Full Report

Congress Shall Have Power…

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In an election year there are all sorts of arguments about how problems should be solved (healthcare, welfare, crime, foreign affairs, etc…).  However, it is rare to find people discuss the actual purposes of the United States government at the same time.  For most voters, it seems like the government has simply become a magical Santa Claus that simply grants wishes for people who want “good things.”  As a simple refresher I have posted Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution.  PS – The word ‘education’ is not found anywhere in the Constitution…

 

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Written by thismodernage

July 22, 2008 at 3:02 pm

Bastille Day: Outsourced French Bashing (a day late)

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I know, I know… There hasn’t been anything new here for days! 

Thankfully, my faithful commenters have kept lively – go take sides before I do… (I haven’t even had time to read and respond to comments). 

I’m also crushed that I missed blogging on Bastille Day.  For some great French bashing… err, I mean historical commentary, enjoy reading Jonah Goldberg on Bastille Day specifically and the French in general:

 

 

 

  1. Adhering to Al Bundy’s immortal fatwah, ‘It is good to hate the French.‘”
  2. The French Revolution was a disgusting affair of tyrannical ego, greed and power-lust, made all the worse because it took a good idea and corrupted it, like making a BMW into a low-rider.
  3. “Top Ten Reasons to Hate the French.”
  4. “Nothing did more to grant legitimacy to the idea that modern and enlightened thinking could excuse killing, razing, burning, torturing, and social leveling for utopian or “progressive” ends than the French Revolution.”
  5. “Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, all admired the French Revolution and found within it precedents for their own contributions to world history (though most of them found the American Revolution utterly useless).”

Until I have more time on Wednesday night or Thursday…

PS – Oh, and if you are wondering about Tim Carney and/or St. John’s College (I know you’re out there), feel free to contact me – I’ll give you the low down.

Written by thismodernage

July 16, 2008 at 12:19 am

What Is the Fourth of July?

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I want to share one of my favorite readings on the founding of our country.  It was offered and originally delivered by Rush Limbaugh, Jr. – father of current talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, III (Congrads on the new contract!). 

These men knew what they risked. The penalty for treason was death by hanging. And remember: a great British fleet was already at anchor in New York Harbor.

They were sober men. There were no dreamy-eyed intellectuals or draft card burners here. They were far from hot-eyed fanatics, yammering for an explosion.

They simply asked for the status quo. It was change they resisted. It was equality with the mother country they desired. It was taxation with representation they sought. They were all conservatives, yet they rebelled.

It was principle, not property, that had brought these men to Philadelphia. Two of them became presidents of the United States. Seven of them became state governors. One died in office as vice president of the United States. Several would go on to be U.S. Senators….

Of those 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence, nine died of wounds or hardships during the war. Five were captured and imprisoned, in each case with brutal treatment. Several lost wives, sons or entire families. One lost his 13 children. Two wives were brutally treated. All were at one time or another the victims of manhunts and driven from their homes.

Twelve signers had their homes completely burned.

Seventeen lost everything they owned. Yet not one defected or went back on his pledged word. Their honor, and the nation they sacrificed so much to create is still intact.

And, finally, there is the New Jersey Signer, Abraham Clark.

He gave two sons to the officer corps in the Revolutionary Army. They were captured and sent to that infamous British prison hulk afloat in New York Harbor known as the hell ship “Jersey,” where 11,000 American captives were to die. The younger Clarks were treated with a special brutality because of their father.

One was put in solitary and given no food. With the end almost in sight with the war almost won, no one could have blamed Abraham Clark for acceding to the British request when they offered him his sons’ lives if he would recant and come out for the King and Parliament. The utter despair in this man’s heart, the anguish in his very soul, must reach out to each and one of us down through 200 years with the answer: “No.”

For the complete speech, click here or here.

Happy Fourth of July!

On Discussion – A Quick Detour

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Most of the points I have made in support of my argument are not such as I can confidently assert; but that the belief in the duty of inquiring after what we do not know will make us better, braver and less helpless than the notion that there is not even a possibility of discovering what we do not knkow, nor any duty of inquiring after it – this is a point for which I am determined to do battle, so far as I am able, both in word and deed.

Plato, Meno 86B

Written by thismodernage

July 3, 2008 at 4:03 pm

Kennedy v. Louisiana: Justice Kennedy

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The death penalty is not a proportional punishment for the rape of a child.

          Justice Anthony Kennedy

Thank you to Justice Kennedy for framing the embodiment of judicial activism in your majority decision of Kennedy v. Louisiana.  It is not the Supreme Court’s stated job to decide what is and is not proportional.  Anyone is welcome to double check me on that one. 

Justice Kennedy – The question that was put to you is whether the death penalty is Constitutional or not.  Instead, you decided to rule on the “the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society”.  Really?  So, now the Supreme Court is going to be our societal arbitrator for decency? 

So, we are now a more decent and mature society because we will not impose capital punishment on an individual guilty of child rape (click the link for a description of the committed crime), to quote Justice Alito in the dissent, “no matter how young the child, no matter how many times the child is raped, no matter how many children the perpetrator rapes, no matter how sadistic the crime, no matter how much physical or psychological trauma is inflicted, and no matter how heinous the perpetrator’s prior criminal record may be?”