Tuesday, August 19, 2008
From Edmund Burke's Speech on Conciliation with America (1775):
Let the colonies always keep the idea of their civil rights associated with your government-they will cling and grapple to you, and no force under heaven will be of power to tear them from their allegiance. But let it be once understood that your government may be one thing and their privileges another, that these two things may exist without any mutual relation - the cement is gone, the cohesion is loosened, and everything hastens to decay and dissolution. As long as you have the wisdom to keep the sovereign authority of this country as the sanctuary of liberty, the sacred temple consecrated to our common faith, wherever the chosen race and sons of England worship freedom, they will turn their faces towards you. The more they multiply, the more friends you will have, the more ardently they love liberty, the more perfect will be their obedience. Slavery they can have anywhere. It is a weed that grows in every soil. They may have it from Spain, they may have it from Prussia. But until you become lost to all feeling of your true interest and your natural dignity, freedom they can have from none but you. This is the commodity of price, of which you have the monopoly. This is the true Act of Navigation, which binds to you the commerce of the -colonies, and through them secures to you the wealth of the world. Deny them this participation of freedom, and you break that sole bond which originally made, and must still preserve, the unity of the empire. Do not entertain so weak an imagination as that your registers and your bonds, your affidavits and your sufferances, your cockets and your clearances, are what form the great securities of your commerce. Do not dream that your Letters of office, and your instructions, and your suspending clauses are the things that hold together the great contexture of this mysterious whole. These things do not make your government. Dead instruments, passive tools as they are, it is the spirit of the English communion that gives all their life and efficacy to them. It is the spirit of the English constitution which, infused through the mighty mass, pervades, feeds, unites, invigorates, vivffles every part of the empire, even down to the minutest member.
Monday, August 18, 2008
From Russell Kirk's lecture The Case For and Against Natural Law (1993):
Objectively speaking, natural law, as a term of politics and jurisprudence, may be defined as a loosely knit body of rules of action prescribed by an authority superior to the state. These rules variously (according to the several differing schools of natural-law and natural rights speculation) are derived from divine commandment; from the nature of humankind; from abstract Reason; or from long experience of mankind in community. But natural law does not appertain to states and courts merely. For primarily it is a body of ethical perceptions or rules governing the life of the individual person, quite aside from politics and jurisprudence. When many persons ignore or flout the natural law for human beings, the consequences presently are ruinous -- as with the unnatural vices that result in the disease of AIDS, or with the ideological passions, defying the norm of justice, that have ravaged most nations since the First World War. The natural law should not be taken for graven Tables of Governance, to be followed to jot and tittle; appealed to in varying circumstances, the law of nature must be applied with high prudence. As Alessandro d'Entreves writes, "The lesson of natural law is in fact nothing but an assertion that law is a part of ethics." And, he concludes "The lesson of natural law [is] simply to remind the jurist of his own limitations.... This point where values and norms coincide, which is the ultimate origin of law and at the same time the beginning of moral life proper, is, I believe, what men for over two thousand years have indicated by the name of natural law." On the one hand, natural law must be distinguished from positive or statutory law, decreed by the state; on the other, from the "laws of nature" in a scientific sense -- that is, from propositions expressing the regular order of certain natural phenomena. Also natural law sometimes is confounded with assertions of "natural rights," which may or may not be founded upon classical and medieval concepts of natural law.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
"Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
"Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." -- President Calvin Coolidge
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
"Do you want to know if your Christianity is genuine? Here is the touchstone: Whom do you get along with? Who are those who criticize you? Who are those who do not accept you? Who are those who flatter you?" -- Oscar Romero of El Salvador, archbishop and martyr
Saturday, August 9, 2008
She's back, sitting by designation on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, and authoring that court's decision in the case of Turner v. City Council of Fredericksburg. The case involves municipal government regulations on public prayer at city council meetings. A must read. For what its worth, I think that the court's holding and reasoning are pretty good.
New EEOC regulations on religious liberty in the workplace are now posted on the EEOC's government website. Take a look at them here, and implement them if required! I find the material regarding the definition of religion to be quite interesting.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
If so, then you should check out the Textkit website. They have public domain Greek and Latin grammars, answer keys, and composition guides. Everything needed to learn Greek or Latin just a click away. And its free! Once I finish German, I will then begin either Greek or Latin (I would prefer Greek, but for professional reasons, Latin is probably a better choice).
Gentle breath of yours my sails Must fill, or else my project fails, Which was to please. Now I want Spirits to enforce, art to enchant; And my ending is despair, Unless I be reliev'd by prayer, Which pierces so that it assaults Mercy itself, and frees all faults. As you from crimes would pardon'd be, Let your indulgence set me free.--Prospero, The Tempest by William Shakespeare
Monday, August 4, 2008
Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits, and Are melted into air, into thin air: And like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd tow'rs, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on; and our little life Is rounded with a sleep.-- William Shakespeare, The Tempest