Friday, July 06, 2007

Chalk up one for me

But "in dispute?" Please.

Published July 6, 2007*

The authenticity of a quote attributed to James Madison in a letter in the July 4 Voice of the People is in dispute.The Tribune regrets the errors.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

And in this despicable corner..

We have one of the lowest forms of corner inhabitants today. Not only is she criminally stupid, but she is also also criminally dishonest. First of all, the ridiculous rant from one Mildred A. Para of Evergreen Park:

July 4 is a celebration of a people who decided to take a bold step and declare independence from an ongoing, controlling government. Our founding fathers were a small group of men whose destiny was defined in 1776. They knew the personal danger that awaited them, but they persevered.When the Constitution was written some years later, James Madison, one of the leading authors of the document, had this to say: "We have staked the whole future of American civilization not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the 10 Commandments."

So simple, a wonderful blueprint for individual happiness and success. This was the engine that propelled America to become the beacon of liberty throughout the world. Our culture has now lost this sense of the moral code due, in part, to the loud voices that declare separation of church and state. And what has been the result of that slogan? Just listen to and read the headlines day after day, and to all the other sordid stories and TV programs in between.

Yes, folks, the reason we have societal problems today is because we have not quite completely embraced theocracy. The stupidity is bad enough, but Mildred, let me cue you in on a little secret. MADISON NEVER SAID ANY SUCH THING. It is in none of his papers, letters, accounts of his remarks or mentioned in any scholarly biography. It was made up out of whole cloth by the religious right freakshow, and it's been out there as a fraud for a long time (nice editorial work, Tribune staff.). Any high school senior in honors U.S. history would know it is bogus, as it is COMPLETELY out of character for Madison.

But then again, I doubt Mildred was in honors classes. Oh Mildred..

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Justice? Who serves more time?

Some Georges never change

Here are some of the abuses charged by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence:

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

Jefferson concluded, as should we:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

The British, they get it

From an editorial in today's Financial Times written by Gideon Rachman (maybe subs. required):

Ever since the Tube bombings of July 7 2005, we have been warned that further attacks are inevitable. Given the grisly array of possibilities - dirty bombs, truck bombs, even nuclear terrorism - the startling incompetence of the recent attacks has come as something of a relief. Setting yourself on fire and then punching a policeman, while shouting "Allah", is about as low-tech as it gets.
My brother-in-law observed, quite correctly, that while American coverage of what happened in Britain has been wall to wall, floor to ceiling, can't go ten feet without somebody asking, "Could a terrorist drive a flaming car through the window of my local Hallmark store and deprive me of the opportunity to purchase collectible holiday ornaments?" (Yes)

There was a great diary on Daily Kos to that effect the day of the incident. A car with gasoline, propane and nails isn't dangerous. A car with nails and, I dunno, Semtex or some other true explosive, now THAT is dangerous. And the fact that Britain hasn't had one for a while and the US hasn't had one for a while, either, despite the ever-widening reach of Skeletor and his band of merry men seems to point to something working somewhere.

A lot can happen in two weeks

On June 21, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a federal appeals court properly found that a sentence for false statements that fell within the federal sentencing guidelines was presumptively reasonable. Less than a fortnight later, the president calls the sentence of I. Lewis Libby, within the same guidelines, for the same crime, to be excessive.

Today's dictionary entry:

Rule of law (n) Government by law : adherence to due process of law

Monday, July 02, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

On this date, July 2, in 1776, the American colonies declared their independence from Great Britain. On that date, the Continental Congress adopted the resolution put forth by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia, 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.''

John Adams thought that this anniversary should be the one celebrated. However, we observe the day that the congress adopted the written DECLARATION, not the act of declaring independence itself (the document would not be signed until much later)

Below is what John Adams wrote to his wife. In his honor, you all have my permission to take the day off..

"The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. . . . It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."