Monday, June 29, 2009
I've posted this over at the American Creation history blog on this point but thought my readers here might appreciate this little fact. The first publication to refer to Washington as the "Father of Our Country" was a German-American publication, written in German, that referred to Washington as the Landes Vater, literally "Land's Father." Sehr gut!
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Read them here. (Hat tip to Instapundit.) I've enjoyed Tolkien since I was a teenager -- although I am more a fan of the Hobbit and the Silmarillion than I am of the Lord of the Rings. Not that I don't like the Lord of the Rings, mind you. I do. But I prefer the other works more. One thing that I have appreciated about Tolkien as I have gotten older is his sense of tragedy in all of life -- the idea that our victories, however great they are, are transitory, and before us all is the great mystery of death. And it is our fear of death that often motivates us to do things that actually bring us even closer to death itself. The story of the Downfall of Numenor illustrates this, as does the story of the Rings of Power. Another thing that I appreciate about Tolkien's work is his celebration of the common and the simple amidst the high and the terrible and the mighty. His treatment of hobbits is a classic example of this.
Friday, June 12, 2009
On today's date in 1898 Filipino patriots met, read out a declaration of independence, and formally broke ties with Spain. Placing themselves under the protection of Divine Providence, the Filipino leaders cast off the "ominous yoke" of the Spanish Empire and declared a republic. This declaration was not recognized at the time, and control of the Philippines was transferred from Spain to the United States. The Americans had to fight a guerilla war against Filipino rebels who insisted on the independence of the Philippines. After a grinding conflict that lasted until 1913, American sovereignty over the Philippines was established. The fierce determination shown by the Filipino people to live in an independent nation convinced the American government that long-term colonization of the country was not a viable proposition. The United States soon established a policy of increasing self-rule for the Filipino people, eventually culminating in a formal end to American colonial control over the country on July 4, 1946 via the Treaty of Manila. On that date, the dream of independence begun by brave Filipino patriots at the close of the 19th century, became a reality. The Republic of the Philippines was born. In recognition of the sacrifice and vision of those first Filipino patriots, today's date is celebrated as Philippine Independence Day. I plan on celebrating this evening by raising a glass of fine San Miguel beer from Manila, in honor of the people and country of the Philippines. Update: on Saturday the local Filipino restaurant in Spokane, the Kusina Filipina, held a celebration for Philippines Independence Day. There was Filipino-style barbeque, lots of deserts, music and dancing. It was a great time, with a strong turnout of Filipinos and those with a connection to the Philippines. The highlight was some tnikling dancing by some very brave participants. Anyway, it was a wonderful evening, and a real celebration of the spirit and culture of the Filipino people. And there was some very good San Miguel dark beer there as well! So, I raised another glass in honor of the Republic of the Philippines! [Picture: national flag of the Republic of the Philippines.]
Damon Root says that the Supreme Court should hold that it does. His argument may be found here. Root's basic argument is that the 2nd Amendment is incorporated against the states via the 14th Amendment. I don't agree with him on that point -- I don't believe that the 2nd Amendment is or should be incorporated against the states for all the reasons set out in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision in National Rifle Association v. Chicago. However, Root's argument is well-worth reading in order to understand the arguments undergirding the pro-incorporation view.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Quote of the day. From of one my favorite founding fathers:
Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been and ever will be pursued until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit. In a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature, where the weaker individual is not secured against the violence of the stronger; and as, in the latter state, even the individuals are prompted, by the uncertainty of their condition, to submit to a government which may protect the weak as well as themselves; so, in the former state, will the more powerful factions or parties be gradually induced, by a like motive to wish for a government which will protect all parties, the weaker as well as the more powerful.Alexander Hamilton, American founding father (1755-1804).