Dave’s Rant – Onward Christian Soldiers

Onward Christian Soldiers

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It’s time to revisit a topic as old as the Republic itself. A battle for the soul of the Republic is heating up. It isn’t a new battle, it isn’t an unforeseen battle, and it isn’t a moral battle. As with most battles, both sides wallow in the gutter of self-indulgence while claiming the moral high ground. That battle, of course, is between a group who call themselves the “Christian Right” and who call themselves the “Christian Left.”

Firstly, let’s get something straight. There is no “Christian Right” and “Christian Left” in Christ’s Kingdom. Those are terms for political entities, certainly not for Christian entities. Both these entities believe that Jefferson’s “wall of separation between church and state” was only created to keep the other guy’s “Christianity” out of the government. Their own brand of “Christianity” is just the cat’s meow and as such, ought to be the law of the land. Each can back that up with the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Balderdash!

If you are a Christian, you are a follower of Christ. You may call yourself a Christian and not be so. You may call yourself a Christian because you were raised going to church once, or twice, or more per week and that’s just the way you do it now. You may call yourself a Christian because you have been told you are the citizen of a “Christian Nation” and that makes you a Christian. You may even call yourself a Christian because you take communion and say confession at all the right times. But, those acts do not make you a follower of Christ and, therefore, don’t make you a Christian.

If you are a Christian; you know that abortion is wrong, you know that men having sex with men and women having sex with women is wrong, that people having sex with dogs is wrong. You know that taking the name of God in vain is wrong and that worshiping any other deity is wrong. You also know that disrespecting your mother and father are wrong and that putting them in a home because they are inconvenient to your lifestyle is wrong. That divorce is wrong and that having sex outside the marriage bed is wrong. Whether you label yourself Christian Right or Christian Left, if you are a Christian, you know these things to be wrong. Now, those of you who claim the “Left”; tell me, which of these wrongs belong in the law? Are you a follower of Christ, or are you just another one of those “Magic Christians?” There is no Christian Left, only Christian or not Christian.

Likewise, if you are Christian you know that it is wrong not to feed the hungry, to heal the sick, and to shelter the homeless. You know it is wrong to fail to care for the widows and orphans, to reach out to the harlots and lepers, and to sup with the tax collectors and Pharisees alike. If you are a Christian you know that Christianity is a social thing, and that your responsibility knows no bounds when it comes to ministering to those less fortunate and, yes, even less holy. Whether you label yourself Christian Right or Christian Left, you know these tasks to be the duty of the Christian as a follower of Christ. So tell me, those of you on the “Right”; how is it that you get to decide that those things you think to be “godly” get to be law, but feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and sheltering the homeless isn’t quite Christ like enough to make the grade? Are you a follower of Christ, or just another of those “Magic Christians?” There is no Christian Right, only Christian or not Christian.

As for me, I leave it to you on the Christian Left and Christian Right to point your fingers at the other in your claims that they aren’t “really Christians.” I leave your abortion, your adultery, your parents, and your dealings with the homeless, sick, and poor between you and Jesus Christ. I will keep you both out of my government as long as I can.

To you on the Left who want to make this a Christian nation by forcing Christian and non-Christian alike to give to the charities you deem appropriate through force of the tax system and you on the Right who want to make this a Christian nation by forcing the select morals that you think important on Christian and non-Christian alike I say this. If you would all worry a little less about making this a Christian nation and worry a little more about making this a nation of Christians two benefits would be derived. We’d have no more poor, homeless, and uncared for sick, no more abortions, gay marriages, or neglected aged; and you’d be a follower of Christ.

I’d like to claim all these ideas and words as my own. But; brother and sister Christian; if you know your Word as well as you know your Constitution, you know I can’t.

Dave’s Rant – Con Con: Bring it on

Bring it on!! Lots and lots of talk has been tossed around about a Constitutional Convention, Con Con, Article 5 Convention, whatever you want to call it. Many of my closest friends and allies disagree with me on this issue. Many fear what they call a runaway convention, where socialists and their media redecorate the entire nation to suit their ends. I consider that next to impossible. This isn’t a history lesson or lecture on the Constitution. If you haven’t a clue what we are talking about, either go back to your American Idol episode or read Article V of the Constitution of the United States.

Face it, right or left, your worst fears are unfolding now. Little by little this “living” document is being decapitated by presidents, legislators, and Chief Justices of the Supreme Court who just don’t care about (or in some cases just don’t understand) the Constitution of The United States of America. I see a Constitutional Convention, culminating in not a single amendment being accepted, as the quickest way out of that mess.

My colleagues on the right would love a chance to introduce some amendments that would federalize abortion, marriage definitions, and school prayer. My colleagues on the left would love to introduce amendments that would give everyone a right to medical care, federalize abortion and marriage definitions, and restrict guns. Here, in the libertarian center; we’d settle for a balanced budget, a fairer tax system that eliminates government corruption, and a repeal of the 16th and 17th amendments.

Look at those wish lists for just a moment while I remind you of a favorite theory of mine. There is little difference between the “left” and the “right”. Neither wants less government, both only want their government. But bring it on! A good friend of mine said recently, when this topic was the topic of discussion, that if 3/4 of the states agree to either theocracy or socialism, we are lost anyway. And, in my estimation, you won’t find a riper time in our history for coalescing a 3/4 majority of states that will agree with states’ rights and less federal government.

For my dear friends on the left side of the aisle I have this advice. You still live in the United States of America. We still have a Constitution. If you want an Affordable Health Care Act, if you want to make every state recognize same-sex marriage, if you want to make your labor union the fourth branch of government, if you want to restrict guns; do it right. The method for doing this is not by perverting or circumventing the Constitution, it is by changing it. Bring it on!

For my dear friends on the right side of politics I say this. You also still live in the United States of America; a country dedicated to states rights, individual liberty, and freedom of and from your religion. If you want to ban abortion, if you want to define marriage, if you want a federally sponsored religion in your federally funded school, if you want the second amendment to be law for all states; do it right. The method for doing this is defined in Article 5 of the Constitution. Bring it on!

I vote for less government, for fiscal responsibility, for a solid definition of my state’s sovereignty, and for a return to three branches of government. I am betting that at this point in history I can get 3/4 of the states and you cannot. Bring it on!

Dave’s Rant – 4 Days In July

On July 1, 1776 at approximately 10 o’clock in a meeting of the Second Continental Congress, one of the greatest ventures in human history began. The Honorable Richard Henry Lee, a delegate to that Congress from the state of Virginia, rose and made the following motion.

Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

On July 3, 1776, John Adams wrote in a letter to his wife, “Yesterday the greatest Question was decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater perhaps, never was or will be decided among Men. A Resolution was passed without one dissenting Colony “that these united Colonies, are, and of right ought to be free and independent States, and as such, they have, and of Right ought to have full Power to make War, conclude Peace, establish Commerce, and to do all the other Acts and Things, which other States may rightfully do.” You will see in a few days a Declaration setting forth the Causes, which have impell’d Us to this mighty Revolution, and the Reasons which will justify it, in the Sight of God and Man. A Plan of Confederation will be taken up in a few days.”

And on July 4, the Declaration of Independence was signed. One of the fifty-six signers of that declaration was the Honorable John Witherspoon, a delegate to the Second Congress from New Jersey. Dr Witherspoon, a minister and devout patriot, is quoted “a republic once equally poised, must either preserve its virtue or lose its liberty, and by some tumultuous revolution, either return to its first principles, or assume a more unhappy form.

In three days centered around the vote by the Second Continental Congress on July 2, the greatest nation in the history of the world was born.

236 years and 6 generations after a group of 56 patriots charted a course to a nation free of dependence on state, the great (x4) granddaughter of the Honorable John Witherspoon, Reese Witherspoon, acts as the lead shill for AARP in advising us that, in order to achieve some social justice, we need to accept the fact that we are all dependent on that same state. Now, I am not one to say that any person needs to mirror the opinions of their ancestors, but, how do we come from a public figure who favors independence to one directly descended who longs for total dependence in a matter of 6 generations?

Fortunately, the Honorable John Witherspoon and his colleagues gave us something just as valuable as our liberty. Through blood and tears, they bestowed upon us a system that allows for Mr. Witherspoon’s “tumultuous revolution” to return to our first principles in a method free of bloodshed. It will not, I fear, be free of pain. But that revolution is at the polls; and it is time.

So, on this date, July 2, 1776; a nation of liberty and independence was born. Let us today be:

Resolved: That the people of these United States are, and ought to be, free and independent. That the States of the Union, while desirous of unity, strength, and brotherhood, are free and independent states sovereign to no power other than themselves and the agreements between the states, constituted and resolved by those states in that brotherhood. That no state or union of states has any power not derived from the people; and that the people may not delegate to those states or to the Union of States any power they do not first possess. So be it resolved, July 2, 2012.

For another great historical look at July 2, 1776, see the post by my friend Jonathan Albert LaBrie in his blog The Courant.

Dave’s Daily Rant – Hush Hush Sweet Liberty – 6/6/11

On Tuesday, June 5; the voters of Springfield Missouri voted no on a question whether or not to repeal the citywide smoking ban. In April 2011, the city had voted in a close election to institute a virtual ban on smoking anywhere in the city but in your home or your car. Within a year of introducing that ban, businesses had closed, people had become disgruntled, and the ban was shown to have been a failure – not enforced by many and not enjoyed by most. The fores of One Air Alliance, a national socialist movement, had come to town with big talk about health and safety. They presented bogus studies from cities that had, to one extent or another, instituted a smoking ban that made pie-in-the-sky promises about how this would HELP business. It turned out to be as bogus a claim as opponents of the original ban claimed it would be. So now, One Air Alliance comes back to town with their hundreds of thousands of dollars, their arguments about health and safety, and their assertions that the closed businesses just closed (many after decades of highly successful operations) within a year of the smoking ban just because….

The vote wasn’t even close. 12,390 to keep the smoking ban and 7,046 to repeal it. The excuses, reasons, and praises are coming from the two campaigns this morning of course. The smoking ban proponents outspent us, the smoking ban proponents were outside special interests with large ground forces, that the special election was inconvenient. It really all boils down to three reasons this liberty issue was lost.

First, and most importantly, we continue to allow this argument to be diluted with things that really have nothing to do with the issue. If this were a kingdom or a fiefdom, if America were some sort of oligarchy or dictatorship; then the argument that a decision that compromised the liberties of the few for the welfare of the many could be made. This is not. And we continue to allow that to occur. I heard only one argument on the radio, both in the advertising and on the radio talk shows. That argument was that this was bad for businesses. That is true, but it has nothing to do with the issue and allows the opposition to latch onto that non-issue and make arguments against it. Bad for business, unhealthy second-hand smoke, exposure of employees; all these arguments are moot. This  isn’t any of those places we discussed, it is the United States of America. And, alone still in this world, we maintain that the cornerstone of freedom is individual liberty, the inalienability of our natural rights, and the right to control ourselves and to exclusively control our own property as the fruits of our work.  And that is the single issue from which all arguments about these issues must start. We begin any discussion by assuming the exclusive rights recognized by the Constitution. That means every natural right is mine to exert as long as it does not deprive another of his/her natural rights. No man or woman has a natural right to shop in my specific store, to drink in my specific bar, to eat in my specific deli, or to wash in my particular laundromat. So, my liberty to state the conditions in my place of business does not infringe on the liberties of any human and I cannot justly be deprived of that liberty. This argument and this argument only is the one we need to make for the smoking ban and any other such law that seeks to deprive us of our liberty for some “social good.” By allowing the argument to become about health, or businesses closed, or employees we let people miss the real issue.

Secondly, we’ve lost sight of our priorities. We simply concede that for these small local issues, the voter turnout is going to be low. How quickly we have forgotten that politics works best when it works from the bottom up. No issues are more important to this nation and to the liberty that we enjoy that those that are local in scope and impact. We’ve become too wrapped in whether or not Romney is a good choice, how to beat Nixon, Obama, and McCaskill, and how to rectify the mess in Washington. While those things bear some thought, this vote was THE MOST important step toward declaring our independence from the tyranny that oppresses us than any this year.

Finally we just didn’t work hard enough! I include myself in that. I am unemployed and spend 6-8 hour a day looking for work, another 2-3 preparing for my radio show, 3-4 doing this kind of thing. I should have been spending the remaining 9-13 hours going door-to-door, passing out pamphlets, speaking anywhere I could find to speak. Do your own audit. I doubt that Patrick Henry and Benjamin Franklin slept much. I slept too much, as did we all. I heard only one commercial on one radio station, and it was off topic. I got no phone calls, no pamphlets, no knocks on my door from activists.

As long as you see this vote as having to do with cigarettes, health, employee rights, or closed businesses; you will continue to sleep away your liberty. Get all of it in perspective.

I hope we’ve learned a lesson. In the world around us, we see strides toward restored liberty. Wisconsin was a great victory. We see losses as well. New York and the 20 ounce soda comes to mind. We will choose which way our own cities, counties, and state go. The lanterns hang in the church tower and the enemy is coming. To arms patriots.

Daves’s Rant – Memorial Day is For Heroes – 5/28/12

At dawn on Memorial Day, flags of the United States of America greet the rising sun at half-staff. A grateful nation remembers and mourns those who have given their very lives in defense of the liberty we hold so dear. This liberty is truly a unique experience for any living citizen of the United States. And our remembrance of those who sacrificed their all for that freedom is necessary and proper. Proper because in order to value the full measure of the life we take so for granted, we must recall that this freedom is not, in fact, free. And necessary because in order to maintain that liberty, in order to continue to enjoy this freedom we take so for granted, we must recognize the price. We must appreciate the sacrifices. And we must honor the dead, for unless we do, we devalue our own liberty. And once devalued, it’s life is short.

I have no intention to be disrespectful to grandma, aunt Jo, or cousin David. But Memorial Day is not for them. Please choose a day that is most appropriate to remember your loved ones who have passed. Grandma’s birthday, or the day Aunt Jo passed on to the next world. Stop today and remember those who died to preserve your freedom.

I have no intention of disrespecting those who serve and have served. I am one of these. I am fortunate to still be alive as are millions. There is a day for those folks to accept your thanks and gratitude. November 11 every year we will pay homage to those who served, who stood on the wall, and who have delivered us from evil. Those who lived to tell the stories. This day is not for them.

You are free today because somewhere on an island in the Pacific, a jungle in Asia, a desert in Africa, or a forest in Europe; some man or woman whose name you don’t even know gave their life for you. On some battlefield, in some submarine or the bowels of some battleship, or in the air over central Europe a member of the greatest military in the history of the world delivered on the promise to risk it all so you might live free. Take time, pause, be still for just a moment and recall the sacrifices made for your barbecue. You owe them nothing less.

At noon on Memorial day, flags rise from the position of rememberance to full staff. Not in spite of, but because of these sacrifices, America lives free and proud. The land of the free and the home of the brave rises from the ashes of her many wars and tribulations to provide for this beleagured world a beacon of hope. God Bless America.

Dave’s Rant – What REALLY Happened at GST – 5/18/2012

When is not telling the whole truth the same as telling a lie? When you try your best to make it look like Mitt Romney personally went to the payroll office at GST Steel and fired a bunch of steel workers. That’s when.

View this video. View it all and listen carefully. Now, there are issues with Mitt Romney as a Consitutional Conservative, but his connection with Bain is not one of them – and his connection with the closing of GST is non-existent. This video isn’t a stretch of the truth. It isn’t some group of people who misunderstand how capitalism works, or even who understand how capitalism works. It is a lie, plain and simple!

Firstly, Mitt Roney was gone from Bain Capital long before GST closed its doors. (Who was at Bain when GST went bankrupt? One person who was (and still is) there was Jnathan Levine. Levine currently is one of the big money bundlers for Obama.)

What exactly is Bain and how does this work? Bain Capital is a capital investment firm. A group of people who have money to invest look around for companies that show promise, but are close to bankruptcy due to poor management. Rather than invest their money in stocks and bonds, in foreign currencies, in buying politicians; these savvy investors buy these companies and turn them around. They bring companies back from the bankruptcy courts and into the productive, competitive marketplace. They SAVE companies, jobs, products, and brands. Sure, the investors make money. Sometimes a ton of money. But the “ton of money” investments are well-balanced by the investments that actually lose money! Enter GST Steel.

When Mitt Romney and Bain Capital came along, GST was $376 million in debt, making a product that was costing US manufacturers more to make than they could sell it for, and facing new EPA regulations and international competition that had the entire US Steel industry on the ropes. The company was 3 months from bankruptcy and the workers there were 3 months from unemployment. Bain looked at the company and decided they could save it. OOOPS! That assumption had to have imagined that the workers at this plant wanted their jobs saved. It must have assumed that for the workers, a job was better than no job. Huge mistake! When Bain capital went to these union employees with the balance sheets, showed them in no uncertain terms that the company was losing money and headed for closure, and showed them that they could all save their jobs by taking less money, the workers flatly refused (we aren’t sure whether the workers actually had a say in this refusal or if the union just flatly refused for them). Bain invested another $250 million to upgrade equipment (the equipment that they replaced is the equipment that the video claims fell into disrepair and that Bain stopped maintaining). They guessed that with the newer, more efficient equipment, they still had a chance of turning this around. With the $250 million, they also bought some other smaller steel works and merged them with GST, hoping to save the company by expanding product line. When this didn’t work (due to continued stress on the US Steel industry as whole and the continuing high demands of the union) Bain decided it was time to trim the payroll. Now, any business owner knows that the most controllable cost of doing business is payroll, and most go there first for cuts. After several alternative attempts to bring GST under control and make it profitable, Bain finally had to go there. However, they went there by offering to buy out anyone who would volunteer for early retirement. Nobody took. When GST management implemented some austerity measures to try to save the company (and some jobs) a 10 week strike ensued. So, eventually, Bain washed their hands and walked away from their GST investment. This is Bain’s fault? How many $250 million investments was Bain expected to make before finally deciding to stop throwing good money after bad? How many offers was Bain expected to make to workers in an effort to save the company (and their jobs). At some point, enough is enough.

If you doubt any of this, do two things. Google “what really happened at GST Steel” and read ALL of the first 3 pages of returns. Then google “How much did Bain make on GST” and read the first 3 pages of returns. Then google “Steel Dynamics” and read about how a company Bain turned around through worker cooperation is thriving in today’s competitive steel market.

About 50% of all Bain’s investment make money. About 50% LOSE money for the investors. If you mourn for the approximately 1500 folks at GST who refused to make a single sacrifice to save their own company (and jobs) and who had and held those jobs for 3 years beyond what they would have had not Bain come along then think for just one second about the workers at Staples, Accuride, Brookstone, Dominoes Pizza, Sealy (mattresses), Sports Authority, Artisan Entertainment, Burger King, Burlington Coat Factory, Clear Channel Communications, Dunkin’ Donuts, Toys “R” Us, Warner Music (google each name with Bain Capital in search); to name a very few. These success stories represent over a million people who should thank Bain Capital every day when they put food on the table for their families.

Yes folks, Bain Capital is capitalism. And is capitalism good? Well, compare it to the alternative. There exists in our country today another entity that risks its investors money in failing companies. Solyndra, Ener1, Abound Solar, Beacon Power, Evergreen Solar, are only a few of many companies this entity lost over 3 BILLION dollars of investment on when those companies went bankrupt or severely curtailed production. Thousand of workers are unemployed due to these poor investments. And, the BILLIONS this entity has lost forever do not represent private risk. These dollars are YOURS (and your grandchildrens). That, my friends, is Socialism. This election more than any in our history, take your pick!

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Dave’s Daily Rant – 1/16/12

Dave’s Daily Rant – 1/16/12

The Federalist #6 (Hamilton) in Today’s English

In our last three papers, we discussed the danger we face from foreign nations should we fail to be a united nation. Now I will talk about another, more alarming danger. That danger is the likelihood of tensions between the states themselves and from domestic factions within the states. We’ve already anticipated these to some extent, but we need to discuss this further.

A person would have to be delusional in their utopian dream to think that a divided America would not see frequent violent outbreaks. To advance an argument that no motive for such conflict exists is to forget the nature of man as ambitious, vindictive, and a plunderer. To expect any harmony between thirteen or four unconnected sovereign states would be to forget all of history.

There are countless reasons for hostility among nations. The lust for power, or a longing for dominance or importance, a desire for safety or equality are reasons constantly present in any society. At times, rivalries for markets between nations of commerce will arise. Sometimes, the reasons are more private, but no less dangerous. Leaders within communities will sometimes make war or mischief to further their own agendas. Sometimes a leader, a favorite of the people or the king will use the guise a public motive to advance through hostility their own self-advancement or their own goals.

The famous Pericles, at the cost of much of his countrymen’s blood and money, attacked and destroyed the Samnians at the behest of his courtesan. Later, he precipitated the Pelpennesian war with the Megarensians, another sovereign nation of Greece, over an offense he’d taken with the people there, or to avoid the charges he faced for his supposed complicity in Phidias theft of public funds or the more recent charges being drawn on him for looting the treasury of Athens; or any combination of these things. That long and expensive war brought about the end of the greatness of Athens.

Cardinal Wolsey, serving as prime minister to Henry VIII, saw Charles V as the stronger ally in helping him in his aspiration to become Pope. He let his ambition allow him to betray his allegiance to his monarch and precipitated a war between France and Britain, clearly against the interests and at the expense of the security of his own nation. Meanwhile, Charles V was using Wolsey’s own ambition and treachery to advance his own agenda of controlling all of Europe. The personal agenda of these two gentleman risked the safety and security of the entire continent.

The influence of the bigotry of one female, the petulance of another, and the cabals of yet a third over the policies and practices of a large part of Europe are so often gossiped about as to be already well known to all.

To show more examples at this time is no necessary. Anyone who has even a little knowledge of this history can draw many examples themselves. Anyone who has knowledge of human nature knows the reality of which we speak. Let’s look at an example of such an incident closer to home. If the personal agenda of Shays has not been seen through, is there any doubt Massachusetts would erupted into civil war.

Even with all this experience, there are people among us who would advocate the vision that we could have perpetual peace between the states even if they remain separate and sovereign. The beauty of Republics, they contend, is that they are peaceful. The spirit of commerce softens them and puts out the fires inside them that lead to tensions and wars. Republics of commerce, like ours, would never be disposed to waste their bounty over destructive rivalries. They would be governed by mutual respect and peaceful coexistence.

We ask those same people; Isn’t it true that the true interest of all nations is to live in peace and prosperity? If so, why haven’t they? Hasn’t it always been the case that the passions and interests of the moment have a more direct impact on the actions of humans than the general interests and overall interests? Have there been fewer wars in republics than in monarchies? Are not these republics managed by men just like monarchies? Don’t hatred, prejudice, rivalry, and desire for pillage affect common men as well as kings? Aren’t the masses frequently given to impulses of rage, resentment, jealousy, greed, and other unusual and violent dispositions? Isn’t it well known that they are swayed by the few individuals in whom they place their confidence; and aren’t these few subject to the same dispositions? Has commerce done anything about this other than change the objects of their wars? Isn’t the love of wealth as strong a factor in behavior as the love of power or glory? Aren’t there as many wars fought since the commercial age began for this wealth as were before fought for territory or power? Hasn’t the age of commerce provided just another source of war and tension? Let the human experience, our best guide to truth, be our guide when we answer these questions.

Sparta, Athens, Rome, and Carthage were all republics. Athens and Carthage were commercial enterprises. Weren’t they as engaged in wars, both offensive and defensive, as the monarchies that surrounded them? Sparta was nothing more than a well managed army. Rome was never satisfied with the amount of destruction and conquest she could muster.

Carthage, a commercial republic, waged the very war that brought about her own destruction. Hannibal invaded Italy to the very gates of Rome before Scipio retaliated right into the heart of Carthage and conquered them.

Later, Venice was an actor more than once in wars of conquest. Finally, the other Italian states and Pope Julius II joined forces to bring them down.

The Republics of Holland, finally overcome with the costs of their wars, were principals in many of the wars of Europe. They had furious wars with England over control of the seaways and were long and fierce opponents of Louis XIV.

In Britain, one branch of the government is representative of the people. They’ve been a commercial nation for ages. Few nations, though, have been more involved in wars than Britain. And many of those wars were precipitated from the people themselves.

There have been, I would say, almost as many wars precipitated by the people as by their kings. The cries of the people or the insistence of their representatives have on many occasions dragged a monarch into war, or extended that war well past the time the monarch would have wished and beyond the interest of that state. In a memorable struggle between Austria and Bourbon, it is known that the hatred of the British for the French combined with the ambition of one of their favorite representatives, kept that war hot long past the time that was good for the nation’s interest and against the wishes of the king himself.

These last two mentioned examples were examples of wars fought for purely commercial interests, either for the desire to replace or the fear of being replaced; or for the dominance over trade routes.

From these examples you can see what has happened in other countries whose situation resembles our own. Why, then, would we believe those who try to tell us there would be peace between our states if we remain separated? Have we not already seen the foolishness of believing that any society will escape these imperfections, weaknesses, and evils? Isn’t it time to awaken from the dream of Utopia, where we are delivered from evil by virtue and wisdom and adopt a government more in tune with reality?

Let us act based rather on the great depression we have sunk to in terms of our national dignity and treasury, the poor government which has already failed us, the revolt in parts of North Carolina, the disturbances in Pennsylavania, the outright rebellions in Massachusetts.

We are so far away from the utopia that those who try to lull us to sleep would propose. Discord between the states is a matter of human nature. A political axiom is and shall always be that vicinity and nearness of nations makes them natural enemies. Gabriel Bonnot de Mably said of this subject, “Neighboring nations are naturally enemies of each other unless their common weakness forces them to league in a confederate republic, and their constitution prevents the differences that neighborhood occasions, extinguishing that secret jealousy which disposes all states to aggrandize themselves at the expense of their neighbors.” This passage points out both the evil and the remedy.

Dave’s Daily Rant – 1/10/12

Dave’s Daily Rant – 1/10/12

The Federalist #5 (Jay) in Today’s English

In her letter to the Scotch Parliament on July 1, 1706, Queen Anne made some observations about the union then being proposed between Scotland and England. Here, I will present a couple of those observations for your consideration.

“An entire and perfect union will be the solid foundation of lasting peace: It will secure your religion, liberty, and property; remove the animosities amongst yourselves, and the jealousies and differences betwixt our two kingdoms. It must increase your strength, riches, and trade; and by this union the whole island, being joined in affection and free from all apprehensions of different interest, will be ENABLED TO RESIST ALL ITS ENEMIES.”

“We most earnestly recommend to you calmness and unanimity in this great and weighty affair, that the union may be brought to a happy conclusion, being the only EFFECTUAL way to secure our present and future happiness, and disappoint the designs of our and your enemies, who will doubtless, on this occasion, USE THEIR UTMOST ENDEAVORS TO PREVENT OR DELAY THIS UNION.”

We noted in our last paper that weakness and division within our nation would invite other nations to prey on us and that nothing would be better for our safety than a strong union and good government. We will talk of this some more.

The history of Great Britain is the one with which we are most familiar and so we will use it as an example. We can learn some lessons from this example without paying the dear cost they paid for these same lessons. It seems obvious that an island like Britain should be one nation, yet it was divided into three for a very long time. These three nations were constantly at war or embroiled in some conflict with each other. Even though they had a common interest with respect to the nations of continental Europe, their own petty jealousies and enmity kept in a state where they were most always more trouble to one another than aid and support to one another.

If we are divided into three or four nations, would not the same happen to us? Istead of being joined in brotherhood and free of worry for the individual interest of each state, envy and jealousy would soon consume us. Brotherhood and confidence would soon be replaced by a pursuit of the several individual interests. Like most nations with common borders, we’d either always be in dispute or always worried about that dispute.

Even the most optimistic advocates of this division into three or four nations cannot hope they would for long be equal. If it were possible to ever form them as equals, for how long would they be maintained so? Aside from the local circumstances that would elevate one above the other, different forms of government and policy would soon favor one over the other to some extent. Very soon any equality would cease to exist. It cannot be assumed that the same policies, prudence, and wisdom would guide all the states equally.

It will happen that one of these nations would rise to a political importance far above its neighbors. When that happens, these other nations will survey that superior with envy and in fear. This would surely lead to contemplations and policies designed to diminish the stature of their neighbor. Before long, the stronger neighbor would see these actions for what they are. The stronger neighbor would lose confidence in the weaker neighbors and become as unfriendly to them as they are to her. Whether outspoken or implied, distrust breeds distrust, and nothing erodes good will and becoming conduct faster than distrust.

Our northern states are strongest. And of the proposed confederacies, their locality will make it so that they stay that way and prosper most. When this occurs, the prosperity and strength of the north would have the same affect on the south and its view of the north as happened in the southern parts of Europe. At the same time, the northern states, by virtue of their strength, would be ever tempted to take what it could from the southern states.

Those of you who study history at all will surely see that a group of confederacies would not be friendly neighbors, but merely independent countries that shared a border. They would neither love nor trust one another. In fact, they would succumb to the very problems we’ve here discussed. That would place us exactly where the rest of the nations would like to see us, as strong only against one another.

For this reason alone, we can conclude that those who would have us divided, relying on alliances and friendship between several confederacies for our strength, are mistaken.

When did the separate confederacies of what are now Spain and Britain ever combine into such an alliance? The confederacies proposed for us will be independent nations. All will have their own interests foremost at heart. They will have different commerce and other dealings with foreign nations, so all their treaties will be naturally different. It is likely to happen that a foreign nation which the southern states happen to be at war is the very nation that the northern states wish to promote peace and friendship with. No alliance that promotes the interest of both parties in this circumstance would be easy to make, nor would it be exercised in good faith.

It’s far more likely, as happens in Europe, that neighboring states would act under the influence of opposite interests. It’s likely, given our proximity to each other as compared to that of Europe, that we’d feel more endangered by our neighboring states than by any European force. And then, of course, states would form alliances independently with European nations against those perceived dangers, rather than alliances among themselves against a foreign danger. Let’s not forget how much easier, in this instance, it is to get a foreign nation to come here to help us than it is to get them to leave once they are here. How many nations were conquered by Rome under the guise of Rome coming to their assistance and then taking over that government completely?

Let us be wise in our judgment then as to whether dividing ourselves up into any number of independent nations would tend to make us more or less secure.

Dave’s Daily Rant – 1/9/12

Dave’s Daily Rant – 1/9/12

The Federalist #4 (Jay) in Today’s English

Last time we talked about why our safety would be more readily protected by a union of states than by being separate states or by forming two or more smaller unions. We showed that just causes of war would be less frequent and, when they occurred, more easily rectified by the larger union than the smaller.

But our safety is not only dependent on us not giving excuse for just war against us. We must also be vigilant to not place ourselves in a position of attack or insult for unjust reasons. It is proven that there are unjust as well as just causes of war.

It is a fact, whatever we may think that says about human nature, that nations will start war whenever it seems to their advantage. Kings often make war with nothing to gain simply to advance a personal agenda. A thirst for glory, a personal insult, ambition, or private deals to support their friends or families have often been the cause of war. These and many other excuses have been used by rulers to start wars not always having to do with justice or the interest of their people. These reasons are generally reserved for kings, but there are other unjust reasons for war that grow out of the circumstances we find ourselves in.

We are competing with Britain and France in the fishing industry. And we provide their markets with fish less expensively than they themselves can, in spite of the taxes they place on their own fisheries and the import duties they impose on ours.

With them as well as other nations in Europe, we now compete for travel and trade. We are fooling ourselves if we think they are happy about this. Our markets cannot increase without theirs decreasing to some degree. It is in their best interest and will be their policy to restrain our trade, not to promote it.

In our trade with China and India we also interfere with many nations. We now provide ourselves with the goods they used to have a monopoly on selling us.

Any nations that have territories near us will be unhappy with our growing industry. The price and excellent service our merchants can provide will exceed what the wishes and policies of these nations can compete with and our proximity to their markets will give us advantage there.

Spain closes the Mississippi off to our trade on one side and Britain the Saint Lawrence on the other. Neither of them permits us access to the waterways between them and disallows our use of them for fair trade.

I could go into more detail and specifics on this, but it is easy enough to see that there are possibilities that jealousy and anxiety over us forming a union and competing for trade on these waterways would not be taken in stride by these nations.

We Americans can easily see that these circumstances provide ample incentive for war against us, and that, should the situation appear for that war to be taken there would be little to keep our adversaries from making that war appear justified. We are wise then in considering a unified nation not only to keep such situations from inviting war, but also to suppress war. Only in the strength, arms, and resources of a united nation can we display the strength needed to keep these forces at bay.

So, since the safety of the union would be in the interest of the union, it stands to reason that a good, unified government is better than several smaller governments, be they few or many.

The one strong central government will be able to draw the best men from any state they be in. It can have one uniform policy. It can protect its members together by harmonizing their interests and preventing wars through unity. When forming treaties, it can regard the interests and security of the whole body. It can apply the resources and power of the whole more efficiently than could several confederacies or states lacking the same unity of interest. It can organize the army under one commander, making their use more efficient than any number of separate governments could.

Imagine if the British army obeyed the government of Britain, the Scotch army the government of Scotland, and the Welsh army the government of Wales. If any one of them was invaded, would those three armies, whether they even agreed to form together, be able to operate together as efficiently as the army of Great Britain does now?

We hear much of the fleets of Britain. If we are wise, one day our fleets may be large and powerful enough to be so considered. But, if it were not for the one strong central government of Britain, its fleets would not be so great and would not be a school for great seamen. If not for the concerted efforts and finances of the single, unified authority, we’d not be talking about the great navies of Britain today. If they were instead, an English fleet, a Scotch fleet, a Welch fleet, and an Irish fleet; each independent of the other; they’d have long ago faded into insignificance.

Now consider our own case. Leave us divided into thirteen states, or three or four smaller confederacies. If one were attacked, would the others come rushing to rescue it? Or would they succumb to the false promises of neutrality? Would their love of peace make them timid in the face of expending their own blood and money for their neighbor’s security? Would they maybe even be a bit jealous of their neighbor and feel he might be needing of a bit of humiliation? Although none of these choices would be wise, they would certainly be natural. Consider Greece and many other countries throughout history who have succumbed to just such circumstances. It is not unlikely that what history has taught us about this subject would be repeated.

But let’s just say the several states or small groups were willing to defend their neighbor. How, and when, and in what proportion would this help arrive? Who will command the separate armies. Who will settle the dispute when peace arrives? Who will arbitrate the treaties and compel compliance? Many difficulties and inconveniences arise from a fractured union, while combining the whole into one unified body frees us from these difficulties and provides more strongly for the safety and security of the whole.

Whatever we decide, whether it be a strong, unified government or a number of confederacies or independent states, will be exactly what the world sees and will determine how it reacts to us. If they see our strength in a unified body, efficient and well administered; our trade prudently regulated; our military organized and disciplined; our resources and finances managed discretely; our credit re-established; our people free, contented and united; they will be more likely to seek our friendship than to provoke our anger. But, if they see us as ineffective together (each state doing right or wrong as it sees fit), or divided into three or four distinct and dysfunctional republics; one friend to Britain, another to France, another to Spain; played off against one another by these three, we would be a poor and pitiful sight in their eyes! We’d be liable to not only their contempt, but to their outrage. How soon would it become apparent that when a people or family so divide, it is almost always against themselves?

Dave’s Daily Rant – 1/2/12

Dave’s Daily Rant – 1/2/12

The Federalist #3 (Jay) in Today’s English

It is a commonly accepted notion that any nation as intelligent and well-informed as Americans does not often make a mistake when it comes to their national interest. When, on occasion, they do, they do not hold to that path for long. This notion is behind the great respect Americans have shown for maintaining and continuing a strong union under one central government with sufficient powers for all general and national purposes.

The more intently I examine this notion, the more convinced I become it is correct.

The primary concern, it seems, for those citizens who would prefer a union of states is their safety. The very word safety is applied to such a wide range of circumstances and ideas that it provides great range for those who wish to try to define it concretely.

In this paper, I will only consider safety to be the preservation of peace and the defense against dangers from foreign invaders and domestic insurrection. I will consider the danger from foreign aggression first.

The number of wars the world has seen and will see is directly proportional to the number of causes for war, whether they be justly or unjustly claimed. If this statement is true, it behooves us to examine whether just cause for war would of greater or lesser likelihood under a united America than if we were a loosely bound coalition of totally independent states. For, if our reasoning turns out that a united America gives less often just cause for war, it would also have to hold true that a united America has the best chance for peace and tranquility.

Just reasons for war usually revolve around violations of treaties or from direct attack. We have already formed treaties with six other nations, and all six of these are maritime; which gives them opportunity to harm us by breach of treaty or harm us physically. We also trade frequently with Portugal, Spain, and Britain. The latter two have colonies sovereign to them in our neighborhood.

It is, therefore, important to our peace that we carefully observe the laws of nations toward these powers. To me, it appears evident that that is best accomplished if we are united as one nation, rather than as separate states or as three or four separate confederacies.

Once we’ve established a united central government, the best talent in the country will rise and be selected to serve it. For states, this is not always the case. Local influences other than talent to do so frequently prevail in the election of administrators, legislators, justices at the state levels. At the national level, a broader reputation is needed to rise to leadership, so we can expect that that leadership will be wiser with respect to our unified dealings with other nations and will have the safety of the union uppermost in its reasoning.

Treaties and contracts between nations will always be interpreted and acted on consistently by a single central government. This is clearly not so if the same treaty or contract is interpreted and acted on by several independent state governments or courts. Too many different interests, local laws, and customs are involved. We cannot overestimate the wisdom of having these instruments interpreted and applied by one central government and court.

The motive to present loss or advantage will always tempt a local government to unfairly interpret or apply such a contract. This motive will be lessened at a central government, for the interest of the one or two states will not have an over-riding implication on its interpretation or actions. The case of our treaty with Britain is a perfect example.

Even if a state government could resist the temptation to unjustly interpret or apply the terms of a treaty, it may be unable to do so for the passion of the people – and if that passion is strong, may not be able to enforce a just action or punish those who act unjustly. A strong central government will be more able to do justice, either through correct application or from the power to punish violators and make things right.

So, as we have discussed, JUST causes of war through intentional or accidental violations of treaties and contracts between nations will be lessened by the one unified central government than by the several independent ones; and therefore provide for a greater degree of Safety for the people.

As to those just causes of war which result from a direct and unlawful attack on us, I contend we have far more protection again under a centralized form of government.

Violence which causes war is more often a result of a small part or community, rather than of a large body. Not a single war with the Indians has been started over a transgression by the federal government, even as weak as its cohesion of the Union is. But several such wars have been initiated by the actions of states, because they lack the intent or the ability to punish those of their state who provoke such hostilities. Many innocent lives have been lost due to our inappropriate actions within the states against the Indians.

Britain and Spain have borders with some of our states but not others. These bordering states would be most likely to have a problem that would cause them to sense their immediate danger or to see an interest of their own in directing violence or inciting a war with these nations. A central government uniting all the states in a common interest would best obviate this possibility.

But not only will it be less likely for a just war to ever begin with unity, the power of a unified central government will be able to more efficiently and quickly settle these matters should they arise. Men and states are proud, and slow to recognize and repair any mistakes they have made with respect to their dealings with other nations. A national government, when considering the interest of the whole, will be more able to wisely adjudicate these matters to successful conclusion.

And, it is well known, that settlement in these manners comes more readily from a strong, united nations than from weaker, smaller states or unions.

In 1685, the small state of Genoa offended Louis XIV. When they tried to ease the tension, he demanded that they send their chief magistrate and four of their Senators to France to ask his forgiveness and accept his terms. They, of course, had to submit to gain peace. Is there any way he could have demanded or expected any like humiliation be accepted by a power as great as Britain or Spain, or any other powerful nation?