In Debt to Jefferson

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Thomas Jefferson has been something of a controversial figure in the founding of the United States, giving rise to mixed opinions. Even mine. He was wise, even prescient, in many of his writings. But he was also intensely political, and given to rather underhanded tactics in dealing with his political enemies. On balance, I still give him high marks, while aware of the deficits. But speaking of deficits… […]

Framing

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From a discussion on Citizen Tom’s blog on the forms of government, I wrote a bit on of how the US Constitution was inspired and framed: There are conceptual hints in Scripture and remarks by Jesus on what forms of government are disfavored, but the Framers took inspiration from Aristotle. Many Enlightenment thinkers tended to downplay Aristotle, though the re-discovery of his works is one of the factors leading to the Enlightenment. But many of the Framers read Aristotle directly as well as earlier writers he inspired including Locke and de Montesquieu… […]

States

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“Life in these United States,” an old Readers Digest humor feature, had many amusing stories. Like this one:

The teacher in one of our local grade schools was showing a copy of the Declaration of Independence to her pupils. It passed from desk to desk and finally to Luigi, a first-generation American. The boy studied […]

Thank You to Veterans

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War is terrible; it is a sad to realize that sometimes it is necessary. Knowing which ones are necessary is a crucial art, a skill at which some national leaders have shown deficiency.

A long time ago, a strong feeling of patriotism and the honors and approbation heaped upon veterans caused many to join, thinking […]

Eugenics

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Margaret Sanger has been in the news recently. And on Citizen Tom’s blog (which has a Virginia conservative focus) I commented to another Virginian who suggested that “her ideas on eugenics are ignored and disregarded because they are pure, racially motivated looniness.” I don’t think that’s true; the ideas are currently out of favor, and […]

Iran-Contra

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I’m seeing a lot of leftists defending Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama by attacking Ronald Reagan. A typical parry goes “What about your boy Reagan who negotiated with terrorists?”

The first thing I’d observe about this is that…

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Fiorina and Islam

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It’s interesting to see the attacks on Carly Fiorina. Fiorina does indeed have some genuine weaknesses, but those are generally ignored by the attackers, who focus on two topics: Her speech that included remarks about Islam, two weeks after the 9/11 attacks, and her corporate leadership of Hewlett-Packard, where she was brought in just before […]

America the Disdained

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This article in Salon yesterday was one of several that I saw filled with disdain for America, its people, and its history. But the writer (Andrew O’Hehir) did seem to have some semi-affectionate humor for Fourth of July picnic foods. Interestingly, the author describes a common error in looking at history, then proceeds to write an entire article filled to brim with it. I’ve grouped some phrases from the article into categories. They are no longer in the original order as a result (although the order within categories is preserved. I’ll start with the author’s description of his own error: […]

Happy Independence Day

I hope that each and every one of you is having a happy Fourth of July. The “happy” part of that is significant, and I sincerely hope that you have the skill and the circumstances to achieve it. Skill? Yes. Thomas Jefferson, the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, wrote one of the most oft-quoted lines in history describing unalienable rights including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Someone suggested to me today that: […]

John Adams

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A mention of John Adams on Citizen Tom’s forum got me thinking a bit about history.

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