- "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." -- George Washington.
- "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other." -- John Adams.
- "Duty is ours, results are God's." -- John Quincy Adams.
- "In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free - honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just - a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless." -- Abraham Lincoln.
- "The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten." -- Calvin Coolidge.
- "The men who create power make an indispensable contribution to the Nation’s greatness, but the men who question power make a contribution just as indispensable, especially when that questioning is disinterested, for they determine whether we use power or power uses us." -- John F. Kennedy.
- "Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have." -- Ronald Reagan.
- "America has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests and teach us what it means to be citizens." -- George W. Bush.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Today is the commemoration of the birthday of the father of our country and first president of the United States under our current Constitution, George Washington. An overview of this civic holiday may be found here and here. Washington was born on February 22, 1732, and it the traditional celebration of his holiday was held on the 22nd of February until 1971 when the holiday was moved to the third Monday of the month. In some states this holiday is called Presidents' Day, and commemorates not only Washington's birthday, but also Lincoln's. As a federal holiday, however, the day is reserved to commemorate the birth of George Washington. Interestingly enough, Washington was not the first President of the United States. The first President of the United States, elected in 1781 under the Articles of Confederation (our country's first Constitution) was John Hanson. There were eight presidents of the United States prior to Washington, all of whom served one year terms of office under the original Articles of Confederation. A list of these presidents may be found here. Washington was the first president under our current Constitutution, enacted in 1789. Some of my favorite quotes by U.S. presidents are the following, starting with Washington, of course:
Friday, February 13, 2009
According to this post over at the SCOTUSblog website, the Supreme Court released a statement today that Justice Ginsburg's pancreatic cancer appears not to have metastasized. Hopefully, the good news will just keep coming for her, and she will soon make a full and speedy recovery. UPDATE: the AP is running a story on Ginsburg's good news, available here.
Monday, February 9, 2009
"It belongs to the nature of law to serve a supreme purpose that is ultimate in the respective order"
Man acts for an end. Hence every action has an immediate goal. It is evident, however, that the immediate end, e.g., writing, is subordinated as a means to a higher end, e.g., the communication of thoughts. Ever wider investigation brings to light an ultimate end, to which the subordinate ends are related as to a final cause. Their relation to the final end is that which is common to them all. It belongs to the nature of law to serve a supreme purpose that is ultimate in the respective order. The purpose or end is a creative element in law and right. The final end of all human action and at the same time the principle of such action is felicitas, happiness. But universality belongs to this end: it is the common good of all who strive for it. To that extent law is directed to the common good in the general sense, from which it receives the property of universality. Law is thus a general norm of reason which directs the actions of free man to the common good, not to a private or particular good. This may not be restricted to the general welfare of the state, although this is its foremost application, but holds good for every higher community with an end of its own, in particular for the Church and the international community, but also for the family and the larger kindred-group.-- Heinrich Rommen, The Natural Law.