"Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and given him triumphal processions. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the new wonderful good society which shall now be Rome's, interpreted to mean more money, more ease, more security, and more living fatly at the expense of the industrious." --Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC)
is this quote amazing, or what?
It's another inauguration day for the people of these United States of America.
The quote -- I didn't find on my own; the best quotes always seem to come from a place I think of as Lady Liberty's fountain of youth and excellence in reformation @The Patriot Post.
Right now -- you still think history doesn't repeat itself? America is opting for "more money, more ease, more security, and more living fatly at the expense of the industrious."
For proof, all we need to do, is turn our attention to this inauguration of a second term of a man who stands for a stately arrogance of power and force under the guise of serving the American people.
And more than that -- the coincidence of this day falling upon the celebration of life of Martin Luther King makes a striking argument in the moment to give pause, taking full advantage of the juxtaposition of the two leaders. [Again, must give necessary commendations to The Patriot Post for its use of Star Parker's recollection of the "Letter from the Birmingham Jail" in a column for the Post, here]
As Star leaves things -- at the end of her essay titled, "Could Dr. King Have Given the Inaugural Benediction?" -- she poses two questions:
"Would the Rev. Dr. King be ejected from the stage of this president's inaugural if he called this law, produced by this administration, unjust?
Would there even have been a civil rights movement without the Christian values that today's left calls bigotry?"
Why the dilemma?
Because the Reverend Dr. King was a Christian man, and reverend. He lived with his Christianity leading the way. And oh, by the way, he was quite clear where he stood, and how to interpret life under the Constitution.
Parker plucks a profound understanding of the rule of law in America, through the lens of this leader for civil rights in America, found deep into the famous "Letter from the Birmingham Jail" -- dated April 16, 1963; it's rather long...read for yourself, here. This is it:
"Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law."
Are we really interacting with the Rule of Law as if it's still intimately connected with the moral law or the law of God?
I think not.
But this letter! I have never read it before; I am overwhelmed by it's sincerity of thought, it's explanation of action and inaction, both direct and indirect; I find myself thoroughly enthralled by the extent of Dr. King's deliberate pleas set in motion, the call for peaceful resolution, even as he laments the daily struggle to overcome the label of "extremist". He just seems so firm in faith...
"But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Was not Amos an extremist for justice: "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not Martin Luther an extremist: "Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God." And John Bunyan: "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience." And Abraham Lincoln: "This nation cannot survive half slave and half free." And Thomas Jefferson: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal ..." So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we viii be. We we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremist for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime---the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists."
I would venture to say that this nation cannot survive half slave and half free all over again; I might also second the motion, when King says, "so the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be."
I believe that by siding with the sort of extremism aligned with 'love, truth and goodness,' -- much like King, St. Paul, Martin Luther, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Jesus -- it may just be the only way we survive.
But since 'love and goodness' may be asking a wee bit too much from this imposter of a government acting under the Rule of Law for one day -- how about we begin with telling the truth.
Remember that press conference of last week?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, look, Chuck, there -- there are -- there’s a pretty straightforward way of doing this, and that is to set the debt ceiling aside, we pay our bills and then we have a vigorous debate about how we’re going to do further deficit reduction in a balanced way.
I keep in mind that, you know, what we’ve heard from some Republicans in both the House and the Senate is that they will only increase the debt ceiling by the amount of spending cuts that they’re able to push through. And in order to replace the automatic spending cut, the sequester, that’s $1.2 trillion. Say it takes another trillion (dollars) or trillion two to get us through one more year. They’d have to identify $2.5 trillion in cuts just to get the debt ceiling extended to next year -- 2.5 trillion (dollars).
They can’t even -- Congress has not been able to identify $1.2 trillion in cuts that they’re happy with, because these same Republicans say they don’t want to cut defense. They claim that they don’t want to gut Medicare or harm the vulnerable, but the truth of the matter is, is that you can’t meet their own criteria without drastically cutting Medicare or having an impact on Medicaid or affecting our defense spending. So the math just doesn’t add up.
Now, what -- here’s what would work. What would work would be for us to say, we’ve already done close to $2 trillion in deficit reduction, and if you add the interest that we won’t be paying because of less spending and increased revenue, it adds up to about $2.5 trillion.
The consensus is we need about $4 trillion to stabilize our debt and our deficit, which means we need about $1.5 trillion more. The package that I offered to Speaker Boehner before we -- before the new year would achieve that. We were actually fairly close in terms of arriving at that number.
So -- so if the goal is to make sure that we are being responsible about our debt and our deficit, if that’s the conversation we’re having, I’m happy to have that conversation. And by closing some additional loopholes through tax reform -- which Speaker Boehner has acknowledged can raise money in a sensible way -- and by doing some additional cuts, including making sure that we are reducing our health care spending, which is the main driver of our deficits, we can arrive at a package to get this thing done. I’m happy to have that conversation.
What I will not do is to have that negotiation with a gun at the head of the American people; the threat that unless we get our way, unless you gut Medicare or Medicaid or, you know, otherwise slash things that the American people don’t believe should be slashed, that we’re going to threaten to wreck the entire economy. That is not how historically this has been done. That’s not how we’re going to do it this time.
THIS WAS A President's ANSWER to a question. And correction -- he wasn't finished:
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Chuck, what I’m saying to you is that there is no simpler solution; no ready, credible solution other than Congress either give me the authority to raise the debt ceiling, or exercise the responsibility that they have kept for themselves and raise the debt ceiling, because this is about paying your bills.
Everybody -- everybody here understands this. I mean, this is not a complicated concept. You don’t go out to dinner and then, you know, eat all you want and then leave without paying the check. And if you do, you’re breaking the law.
And Congress is -- should think about it the same way that the American people do. You don’t -- now if -- if Congress wants to have a debate about maybe we shouldn’t go out to dinner next time, maybe we should go to a more modest restaurant, that’s fine. That -- that’s a debate that we should have. But you don’t -- you don’t say, in order for me to control my appetites, I’m going to not pay the people who are provided me services, people who already lent me the money. That -- that’s not -- that’s not showing any discipline. All that’s doing is not meeting your obligations. You can’t do that.
And -- and -- and -- and that’s not a credible way to run this government. We -- we’ve got to stop lurching from crisis to crisis to crisis when there’s this clear path ahead of us that simply requires some discipline, some responsibility and some compromise. That’s where we need to go. That’s how this needs to work.
All this from a president not operating from a budget for the last four years, with every intention of going through the next four doing the very same thing. [did you know, according to government protocol, every department simply continues to operate from the most current budget -- that being the budget authorizing all kinds of stimulus spending...And we wonder where the trillion dollar deficits are coming from...]
But I digress.
Today, the president spoke of the collective in a very big way...
"But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias. No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people. "
Read his full remarks here.
Still choking on this point -- "that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action." Going further along, we get to this fascinating interpretation:
"For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and forty years, and four hundred years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall."
wow. right. And even though this may sound totally absurd, I'm just gonna say it anyway -- me thinks a Barack Hussein Obama might have called Martin Luther King an extremist, too...for all the wrong reasons, of course. And may I be the first to ponder just who is substituting absolutes for principles, making a spectacle of office, and otherwise ridiculing opponents left and right, stifling the freedom for a full and fair debate?
More and more, the radicalized tactics of this presidency shine through -- contrary to popular belief and the inner workings of his own mind, he isn't really "happy to have that conversation" about anything. He looks upon any opposition as being extremists -- and has no patience for it; all he wants is a mushy, moderate middle that can be easily molded and transformed into a collective mindset he can control in every way.
But what we need more of is just the opposite.
What we need is more people standing up and speaking up for what is right -- morally -- under Natural Law -- in order to save the collective.
We all have a right to speak up -- even to act! -- 'knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that today's victories will be only partial...'
and, and, and knowing..... that, " 'that’s' not a credible way to run this government. We -- we’ve got to stop lurching from crisis to crisis to crisis when there’s this clear path ahead of us that simply requires some discipline, some responsibility and some compromise. That’s where we need to go. That’s how this needs to work."
The thing is -- the truth is -- rhetoric cuts, I mean, works, both ways.
Make it a Good Day, G