Posts Tagged ‘Freedom’

Regretting Lost Freedom

November 8, 2012

REGRETTING LOST FREEDOM

PEOPLE have lost their freedom from time to time down thru the long centuries. But they have never failed to regret that loss and to strive to regain liberty.

The world has changed, the editors of “Das Reich,” a Berlin newspaper, seems to believe. For this paper is urging the people of the Netherlands and of Scandinavia to “cease regretting their lost freedom and be glad to join the German Reich …”

People are stubborn about things like that. They may be conquered. They may be held down by military occupation. They may be denied freedom.

But the longing for lost freedom is something that is not so easily removed as a pair of tonsils. It lies down deep in man, out of reach of the surgeon’s knife — or even of the bayonet.

Lima News (Lima, Ohio) Nov 5, 1940

Our Constitution: Beacon Light Of Human Liberty

September 17, 2012

Our Constitution Is Beacon Light Of Human Liberty

Today is the 153rd anniversary of signing of the Constitution of the United States. On this day in `1787, some thirty odd members of the Constitutional Convention, sitting in Philadelphia, affixed their signatures to the document with which few, if any of them were satisfied, but which they believed was the best upon which the majority could agree.

Even George Washington, who presided over the meeting, was dubious as to whether the constitution would be adopted by the thirteen states; and even if adopted, he had little faith in its permanence.

How much better the makers of the constitution wrought then they themselves anticipated!

Today there exists not an instrument of government anywhere which is more strongly entrenched in the affections of the people; nor is there one which gives so much promise of enduring in a world in flux and revolution.

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The document was born out of a great national crisis.

The thirteen colonies successfully had won their political independence from Great Britain, but they had failed utterly to achieve national unity. On the contrary, the drift was steadily toward disunion, civil war and anarchy.

The Articles of Confederation made what national government there was both feeble, incompetent and futile.

A few of the more far sighted among the leaders — Washington, Madison, Hamilton and Franklin, among others — saw the imperative necessity for action if the country were to be saved, and thus it was that the governors of twelve states were prevailed upon to appoint delegates to consider revision of the Articles of Confederation.

That was their instructions.

But happily for us the delegates voted to disregard these instructions and drew up an entirely new constitution for the United States.

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Nor is it fair to those who wrote the constitution to say that their prevailing temper was conservative — that the aim they had in view was not only to secure the unity of the country, but to assure the security of property as well.

Perhaps the frankest statement as to this prevailing view came from Roger Sherman, who said:

The people should have as little to do as may be with the government.

Thus it was that when the constitution was completed some twenty delegates refused to sign it and it was denounced by such famed patriots as Patrick Henry and old Sam Adams as “a rich man’s document.”

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This fear of the dangers of “mob government” or too much control by the “masses” is evident to even the casual student of the work of the convention.

The president was not to be chosen by the people, neither were the senators. To select the former an electoral college was set up, which theoretically was to be composed of the best men in each state who in turn would meet and choose with deliberation and care the man best suited to be president. Of course, it only worked that way in the first two elections. But senators continued to be named by the state legislatures until after the turn of the present century.

The president’s power was curbed by provisions that all treaties should be subject to the test of a two thirds vote of the senate, while all appointments were made subject to senate confirmation.

The president, however, could put a check on both houses of congress through the veto power, while wide but deliberately vague authority was given to a powerful judiciary appointed for life.

Moreover, in the original draft there was no Bill of Rights, no protection for freedom of speech, the practice of religion and the press.

It was Thomas Jefferson who refused to give his support to the constitution unless a pledge were given that the Bill of Rights would be incorporated as soon as possible after the new government was established, which was done.

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The constitution has proved its worth through the years. It has provided security for property, but also has safeguarded human rights. Today it is the beacon light of freedom in a world over much of which has spread the darkness of totalitarianism.

It is the hope of Democracy in a world where despots sneer at popular government as decadent and hopeless.

As we ourselves sustain and support the constitution we shall prove these despots to be liars and frauds; and thus hasten the day when the ideals of liberty which it enshrines shall once more become the common heritage of humanity.

Fresno Bee Republican (Fresno, California) Sep 17, 1940

Liberty Fetes Constitution

September 17, 2012

The Constitution — America’s Gibraltar

Fresno Bee Republican (Fresno, California) Sep 17, 1937

Constitution Adopted September 17, 1787

A Rock Foundation

Hamilton Daily News Journal (Hamilton, Ohio) Sep 17, 1937

Have you ever seen the Statue of Liberty’s torch ablaze before? Then just look how the smoke pours from it above. The occasion was the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution. Army and Navy color guards join to present the colors on the parapet of the statue’s pedestal, Bedloe’s Island, New York harbor.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Se[ 17, 1937

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Taking as his theme the history of the Constitution, the attacks which have been made upon it and the security it provides the American people, Associate Justice John A. Matthews, principal speaker at yesterday’s Kiwanis meeting said that while the communist party boasts of 500,00 members in this country, an even greater threat to liberty is being made by “intelligent demagogues.”

He cited as an example of the latter, Jay Franklin, author of several “leftist” books and regarded in some circles as a leader in socialistic government tendencies. He referred in particular to a statement attributed to Franklin that the Constitution had been framed by a group of “old farmers.”

Greatest of Time

“As a matter of fact,” the speaker said, “the Constitution was written by the greatest students of government ever gathered together at one time.” In the group were college presidents, ambassadors, governors, members of the Continental congress and others who had proved themselves the most brilliant men of their times.

The average age of this group, he said, was 42 years refuting the implication and “doddering old timers” were responsible for the document.

Swinging into a brief discussion of the Supreme court, over which wide spread discussion has rested because of the president’s plan to pack it, Judge Matthews asserted that unfavorable comment about fire-to-four decisions of the court was unfounded.

Two Favorable

“Actually,” he said, “until the time for the Supreme court furor last winter only three of nine New Deal decisions were by a five-to-four decision. And of these three, two were favorable to the government.”

Generally, Kiwanis voted his talk one of the most interesting of the year.

The speaker was introduced by Warren Batch, program chairman. Musical entertainment included two vocal solos by Mrs. Dorothy Statler, accompanied at the piano by Mrs. Pearl Johnson.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Sep 14, 1937

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Lower the Net?

Abilene Morning News (Abilene, Texas) Feb 17, 1937

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Previous Constitution Day posts:

What You Should Know About Our Constitution

Preserving Our Constitution

Constitution Day 1922 – Study the Constitution

Across the Path of Popular Impatience

Constitution Proclamation

The New Deal and the Constitution

Progressive Economics: Dealt from a Pack Thumbed by Kings, Despots and Tyrants

The U.S. Constitution: Wet or Dry

A Constitution Day Thought

Herbert Hoover’s Poignant Duty

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 For the Portsmouth Times.

NOTA BENE.

A KING once said, “I am the State;”
Did his assertion make it true?
Another heard the words, “Too late!”
As from his land and throne he flew.

One ruler, in our own fair land,
Sets up his will as all in all;
A greater issues his command,
Liberty’s Goddess to enthral.

When “Constitution” is prefixed “Un-”
And ended by a small “A.L.,”
Are laws illegal, all but one?
And that the law which would compel?

What follows, then? Have we no laws?
No Constitution to uphold?
Judge for yourselves, ye who can draw
Prophetic truth from histories old.

X. ENTRIC.
PORTSMOUTH, O., Nov. 27th, 1862.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Dec 6, 1862

Our Liberty and Ourselves

August 21, 2012

OUR LIBERTY AND OURSELVES

HUMAN LIBERTY is not a gift of God but a social achievement. Pitifully few people ever enjoyed the freedoms we know. And far fewer enjoy freedom now than ten years ago. In fact, we cannot be certain there will be any human liberty in the world at all in the next few years. Over a dozen constitutions of a quality similar to ours have been tossed on the bonfire lit by recent tyranny. What comfortable guarantee have we that our own constitution will survive another 150 years, or even the next 10 years.

Freedom has come only to those people who hated tyranny enough to shatter it at whatever cost. Their children will retain that freedom only if they act in a united way to repel at whatever cost any force which would attack it. We cannot call Washington and his heroes back to defend in our day the freedom they established while we applaud from the sidelines.

There must be a heroic quality in us as there was in them.

But some Americans are already complaining about the disappearance of luxury items from the market. We hear voices protesting the silk stocking shortage. Let them recall the bleeding feet at Valley Forge. Others object to gasoline rationing, no white-wall tires next year, fewer new cars. If we preserve our liberties with the sacrifices as trivial as these, we will be unbelievably lucky.

Mason City Glob Gazette (Mason City, Iowa) Aug 22, 1941

George Washington at Valley Forge

Not Yet! The Spirit of Liberty Still Survives

June 15, 2012

Image from RightWingStuff

ADDRESS

DELIVERED ON JULY 4, 1863, AT PADUCAH, KY., TO THE CITIZENS, AND THE 111TH REG. ILL. VOL.

BY JAMES BASSETT, ESQ.
[excerpt]

Fellow citizens! God intended us as one consolidated and great people, our physical geography so teaches. Whence our seaboard along the Atlantic, the Mexican Gulf and the Pacific, whence our lakes; whence our arterial rivers and our boundless plains, but to teach the lesson, that from the Pacific to the Atlantic, and from the sunny Mexican Gulf to frigid Canada, we are to be one people, having a grand mission of liberty, which is the exponent of Christianity, the only great idea of liberty to man promulgated by God.

Are you prepared to give up that great mission — to resign nationality — to serve under aristocratic or kingly rule, under the iron sceptre of despotism — to cease to be freemen — to give up the memory of the past — and instead of being citizens of the great nation of the United States, become, it may be, members of some small confederacy, as one has said become citizens not of the United States, whose flag is respected in every land, but become citizens of what? of a small American nation, whose flag, the Palmetto, or some other ensign, steals into the harbour of some ancient nationality, and when asked about, the answer be, it is the flag of one of the obscure republics of America. Are you prepared I ask to blot out the past, despise the future? I rather think you will adopt the sentiment of the Representative poet of American W.C. Bryant, and say “Not Yet”

“Oh! country, marvel of the earth,
Oh realm to sudden greatness grown,
The age that gloried in thy birth,
Shall it behold thee overthrown?
Shall traitors lay that greatness low?
No, Land of Hope and blessing, No!

And we who wear thy glorious name
Shall we, like cravens, stand apart,
When those whom thou hast trusted, aim
The death-blow at thy generous heart?
Forth goes the battle cry, and lo
Hosts rise in harness, shouting No!

And they who founded, in our land
The power that rules from sea to sea,
Bled they in vain, or vainly planned
To leave their country great and free!
Their sleeping ashes, from below,
Send up the thrilling murmur, No!

Knit they the gentle ties which long
These sister States were proud to wear,
And forged the kindly links so strong
For idle hands in sport to tear,
For scornful hands aside to throw?
No, by our fathers’ memory, No!

Our humming marts, our iron ways,
Our wind tossed woods on mountain crest,
The hoarse Atlantic, with its bays,
The calm, broad Ocean of the West,
And Mississippi’s torrent flow,
And loud Niagara, answer, No!

For now behold, the arm that gave
The victory in our fathers’ day,
Strong, as of old, to guard and save,
That mighty arm, which none can stay–
On clouds above, and fields below,
Writes in men’s sight, the answer, No!”

How glorious is Liberty! It is a perennial flower, ever blooming, ever fresh. Let the conqueror, the tyrant wrap the world in flames, so that the blood of millions can not quench them, the Spirit of Liberty still survives, and grows stronger and stronger, while the oppression dwindles and dies. And the tree of American liberty planted by Washington, and nurtured by the blood of the patriots in 1776, whose branches have so spread as to encircle this whole continent, and towered so high as to be seen by all the nations, shall spread wider, and rise higher and higher; so that the Eagle of Liberty perched on its topmost bough shall glory in freedom, and the desponding of every nation find shelter under its kindly branches. That tree which is like the tree in the amaranthine bowers of Paradise whose leaves are for the healing of the nations; shall never be uprooted from the soil of free America, of these United States.

Centralia Sentinel (Centralia, Illinois) Jul 26, 1863

We Can’t Surrender Now!

June 15, 2012

WE CAN’T SURRENDER NOW.

The struggle was too fierce and long,
The cost in lives too dear —
Not yet forgotten are the braves
Who had no thought of fear;
They could not see the old flag torn,
From Freedom’s hallowed brow,
Nor can we lose what they bequeathed —
We can’t surrender now!

While Hope is strong within the breast
Of every freeman true —
While Union’s symbol proudly floats
Its red and white and blue —
While God is just, and Might o’er Right
No victory will allow,
We will be true to Liberty —
We can’t surrender now!

Then ask us not to vote for those
Who held our brave boys back,
When onward came the Union foes
With desolating track;
We cannot blot the record fair
Of Freedom’s holy vow,
We cannot dim Truth’s sacred light —
We can’t surrender now!

The Grand Traverse Herald (Traverse City, Michigan) Oct 29, 1868

“Well, Jericho Didn’t Last Forever.”

June 12, 2012

Image from National Archives

25 Years Ago Today:

BERLIN (AP) — Standing under iron-gray skies at the Berlin Wall dividing East and West, President Reagan on Friday challenged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev — if he truly seeks peace, prosperity and liberalization — to “come here to this gate … tear down this wall.”

Reagan’s emotional declaration that “there is only one Berlin,” spoken in German, was greeted with roars of approval from more than 20,000 flag-waving spectators, and was carried by loudspeakers to several hundred East Berliners trying to listen from beyond the Brandenburg Gate, on the other side of the concrete and barbed wire barricade.

“This wall will fall,” Reagan declared in the speech, broadcast to Eastern Europe as well as Western Europe and North America. “For it cannot withstand faith. It cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom.”

The president and Nancy Reagan returned to the White House at 9:45 p.m. EDT, where the family dog, Rex, scampered out the door to greet them. Mrs. Reagan scooped the spaniel up in her arms and carried him inside.

Nearing the end of a 10-day, 10,135-mile journey that took him to Venice for the annual economic summit of seven major industrial democracies, the president challenged Gorbachev to extend his liberalizing domestic policy of “glasnost” to ending East-West divisions symbolized by the Berlin Wall.

Accompanied by West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Reagan stood behind a bulletproof glass shield on a raised platform and gazed over the wall at the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag, the former German parliament building. The two leaders stood directly opposite an East German guard tower.

Asked by reporters if he thought Gorbachev would accept his challenge to tear down the wall, Reagan replied, “Well, Jericho didn’t last forever.”

The Gettysburg Times (Gettsyburg, Pennsylvania) Jun 13, 1987

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Previous Posts – Ronald Reagan:

Presidents’ Day Feature: Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan to the Rescue

Happy 100th Birthday, Mr. President

Assassination Attempt – 1981

Wrong Rules the Land, and Waiting Justice Sleeps

May 21, 2012

Image from Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub

MEN

God give us men! A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith, and ready hands;
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office can not buy;
Men who possess opinion and a will;
MEN WHO HAVE HONOR — MEN WHO WILL NOT LIE;
Men who can stand before a demagogue,
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking;
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty and in private thinking —
For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds,
Mingle in selfish strife, Lo! FREEDOM weeps,
Wrong rules the land, and waiting JUSTICE sleeps.

Richland County Observer (Richland Center, Wisconsin) Apr 1, 1856

Burial Ground

December 16, 2011

All that lie beneath the markers
Did not long survive the rigors
And the hardships of the climate
Of that Communistic region

Where they miserably perished.
But the headstones in that graveyard
Are a lesson to the people
Of all freedom loving nations.

Rochester Evening Journal (Rochester, New York) Dec 24, 1934

NOW – 100 Years Ago

December 31, 2010

Now.

“Unto the day, the day,”
Tomorrow ne’er appears.
Live NOW, and put aside
Your dreams, your foolish fears.

“Unto the day, the day,”
NOW is the time to give
Of faith, and hope, and charity —
NOW is the time to live.

— Ethelind Lord in the Nautilus

Milford Mail (Milford, Iowa) Jan 5, 1911

Title: Unity, Volume 49
Authors: Unity Tract Society, Unity School of Christianity, Harry Houdini Collection (Library of Congress)
Publisher: Unity Tract Society, 1918
Page 525