July 2008


Please excuse the alliteration, but I’m growing tired of the false media hype surrounding every move associated with Barak Obama. It’s become apparent that he doesn’t need to pay for marketing and publicity expenses for his campaign — he already has them for free in the form of the US print, broadcast and cable media outlets. This situation is inexcusable, and if I were John McCain I’d demand equal time!

Take for example all the hype surrounding Obama’s appearances before “mega” crowds during his presidential campaign. He has given speeches in front of ‘tens or hundreds of thousands’ of supporters according to the fawning news reports. But did any of you know that directly preceding his speeches were free rock concerts with free food provided to the attendees? And in Germany, free beer! Back in May, Obama spoke before a crowd estimated to be 75,000 people in Portland Oregon’s Waterfront Park. The media was abuzz with Obama’s apparent “rock star status.” They were at least half right because the opening act for Obama was a popular Portland-based rock band called the Decembrists. They gave a 45 minute free concert as the warm up act for Obama. It makes on wonder how many of the amped-up attendees came for the music and how many came to see Obama. I guess we’ll never know, but wouldn’t it have been nice to know the real situation so we could decide for ourselves?

To their credit, the only media outlet mentioning the Decembrists was the Portland Oregonian newspaper. However, nary a word appeared elsewhere in word or print. In fact, CNN trumpeted the rock star status line while the New York Times only mentioned unseasonably warm weather. No rock band, though.

The same omission of facts has accompanied Obama on his recent European excellent adventure. Few Americans are probably aware that a free rock concert, beer and food accompanied Obama’s speech in Berlin. Similar to what happened in Oregon, two extremely popular German music acts — Reggae artist Patrice followed by rock band Reamonn took the stage for an hour before Obama began speaking. Add in the freebie food and drink, and one has to wonder if it was a case of curiosity-, charisma- or entertainment-seeking by the German crowds. The only real fact that came through was “polite applause” by the German audience which by attendee accounts thinned considerably during Obama’s speech.

The omission of these facts by the news media is unforgivable. They are allegedly journalists, and it is incumbent upon them to report facts — even though these facts may not mesh up with their politics or beliefs. If the impartiality of the media breaks down, who are we to believe and trust in giving us the news? The news media can craft a story through omission as much as they can by inclusion of the salient facts. If the rock concert/rally aspect is simply omitted from the discussion, then Obama appears to be an incredible and unquestionable popular draw. If that fact is included in the stories, then the reader would naturally have to question whether it was Obama’s charisma or if it was entertainment-seeking crowds. Perhaps in truth it was a combination of both. Again, we’ll never know — but all I know is that we certainly are only fed the news that is crafted in an Obama-positive light.

I’m absolutely certainly that the media wanted to give a skewed impression of what has happened at these high attendance Obama rallies. They didn’t want to take any shine of their new political idol’s image. So they chose to omit facts, important facts, from their reportage of these events. This was done knowing that a large number of Americans TRUST these media outlets to provide them with unvarnished facts, and hopefully the truth, in their news reporting. This omission was wrong and it was abject dishonesty.

I hope that 2008 becomes a watershed year for the media. I hope it is the beginning of the end of the “in the bag” journalism that pervades the news media, and is ubiquitous in the mainstream broadcast news media. By conveniently leaving important facts out of news stories, the American people get only a part of the facts. And if these reporting deficiencies come to light, it only tarnishes and diminishes the standing of the news media who thought they were oh-so-clever in their biased/skewed reportage.

Think about this…without the rock concert facts included, the Obama speeches come off as some kind of religious-political experience, like the Sermon on the Mount. But if you add in the pre-speech entertainment (and food), then the Obama events look more the keynote speech at some national orthodontist’s convention. Does the latter qualify as a religious experience conducted by the “new political messiah”? Nah!

I can only hope that their lack of fealty to etchics and high journalistic standards come home to roost for them. Similarly, I hope that the Obama campaign has some explaining to do with regards to their free pass treatment by the media. After all, how do we know that the emperor has no clothes if the news media conspires to re-clothe him time and time again?

I really don’t mean it…but in this atmosphere of nanny-state mandates and laws to “protect” the apparently dumb citizens, it probably won’t be long before a majority of Americans are saying those words.

Take for example the new law in California as of July 25, 2008 which bans trans-fat use in restaurant foods. According to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: “Today we are taking a strong step toward creating a healthier future for California.” You see, trans-fats have become food enemy #1 due to their purported health risks.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe trans fats are bad food additives as they are linked to heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. But I also believe that the government has no place in our lives determining what we can or can’t do, eat or think. California’s new law may have been well intentioned, but it should have been a law of citizen education (about the dangers of trans fats) and about requiring restaurants to reveal their presence and quantity in the food they serve, rather than an outright ban. I think that states are doing the right thing when they ban the sale of trans fat-laden foods to kids at school…because kids aren’t able to make informed decisions regarding the foods they eat. But when it comes to adults, we’re all big boys and girls, and ostensibly capable of making decisions for ourselves. We don’t need the government stepping in and making decisions for us or limiting our choices in the free market of commerce and ideas.

I stay away from trans fats like they were radioactive. My wife and I actually read the “nutrition facts” labels on the food we buy. If the product is to come to our house, it best say “0 g” of trans fat (or in the case of a tasty, indulgent treat, a VERY low number). Otherwise, the product goes back to the shelf. And that’s the way it should be — informed consumers making informed decisions.

The same should go for the restaurant dining experience. The amount of “stuff” contained in the offerings should be available for perusal by the prospective consumer. If the restaurant is using quality ingredients then they should have nothing to fear. The nutrition facts are just more information allowing the customer to make a better informed decision on what they’re going to eat. This becomes more relevant because more people are eating out more frequently and receiving more calories and fats from their restaurant dining experiences. I would think quality restaurants with nothing to hide would be clamoring to get this information on their menus to give themselves a quantifiable competitive advantage!

But whether a particular restaurant chooses to use trans fats in their food preparation should be their choice. And if they do use them, then they should be rewarded or punished for their use by discerning, educated, savvy diners.

Otherwise one has to wonder where this government “nannyism” will end? How much freedom and liberty are we willing to give up one tiny cut at a time in order for us to be “safe” or “healthy” or “secure”? I don’t have those answers, but I do know that the government doesn’t either. And I know that they will keep on mandating and legislating for our alleged benefit until we all cry out in unison, in strong unwaivering voices, “NO MORE!”

This week’s overseas trip by Barak Obama was termed a fact-finding mission by his campaign. It represented an opportunity to give him the foreign relations/policy credentials that he never had. Given the fact that every nightly news anchor from the three major broadcast networks and those from CNN and MSDNC (oops, I meant MSNBC) have tagged along to watch their presumptive presidential choice get some overseas chops, this trip has become so much more. It’s become a showcase for Obama. It’s all Obama, all the time!

But who knew that this Obama road trip would turn into a beatification of the junior senator from Illinois? In fact, the kid gloves treatment given to him by the shamelessly fawning media troupe is beyond ridiculous: They’re elevating this hack to god status with every word they breathlessly report or with every print word that they embellish or opine upon. They hang on every word he says and recount his prescience as though it was the first time the words he used were spoken in that order! He can do no wrong, and if he does…they won’t hear of it!

For example, Obama claims his Iraq policy was right on the money, except he didn’t account for the buy-in of the different factions in Iraqi society and the cooperation/cessation of belligerence by splinter groups like Al Sadr’s Mahdi Army which lead to a more pacific situation in today’s Iraq. For Obama, the surge didn’t work, per se. It wasn’t responsible for the remarkable turn around in events in Iraq. It was the coincidental cooperation of all the Iraqis and their disarming that achieved the present success that we see in Iraq.

What?

Obama is trying to have his cake and eat it too. He can claim to be right about the surge, compliment the US troops for the extraordinary job that they’ve done and congratulate the Iraqis for the strides that they’ve made. Using this strategy, he wins no matter what he says. And, most importantly, he doesn’t have to acknowledge the truth right before his eyes — that the surge worked and that President Bush and Sen. McCain were right all along.

I don’t call that Obama being right. I call that him being WRONG. Wrong in so many ways it isn’t funny: Wrong in ways that he can’t explain away if a serious journalist were to take him to task on the issue. But rather than tease out the extent of his incorrectness and foreign policy ineptitude, the media aids and abets the perception that this guy is presidential material. They seem to be doing a great job at sweeping any of his weaknesses or blatantly wrong policy proclamations under the news rug. Then they recast his policies and opinions in a way to make him not wrong, but certainly more right than his opponent, Republican Senator John McCain. And Obama’s “policies” are certainly far superior to those of the much-discredited President George W. Bush. But for those who follow the news, that is de rigueur behavior by the mainstream media — they hate George Bush with an ardence and irrationality that borders on mania. This happens even though the President’s policies (like the surge) have actually worked and that the surge policy policy was endorsed from the outset by John McCain.

Obama used the faction cooperation angle regarding the progress in Iraq because it serves to diminish the real value of the surge. He’s using it as a classic wedge. See, Obama has been opposed to the surge from day one (regardless of his recent claims) and he is also a strict adherent to a firm, fixed timetable for troop withdrawal from Iraq. So if he can undermine the success of the surge, somehow, with clever words or by working the truth, then he looks that much better. And if that happens, it diminishes John McCain’s standing. But who ever said that the truth has any place in presidential politics? It certainly doesn’t have a place of high standing in the Obama campaign given his bending of the truth like a pretzel.

Senator Obama claims to be the agent of change in this presidential election. As time goes by, I’m inclined to agree, but not for the reasons you might think. I guarantee that he won’t bring structural, institutional change to Washington, DC. His spine is far too weak and his shoulders too narrow to be the agent of that change. Instead, it will be a Democratic pork-barrel pig-pile if he wins the election. In spite of his claims otherwise, it will be business as usual: In fact, it will be big business for the Democrat “haves” and their supporters. But I’m sure that the majority of Americans will vote for this guy because of his claims of “change.” Change he is incapable of delivering, ever.

Because the only change this over-reacher is capable of is his mind.

The answer is when they are women being ordained as priests, like the three women who were “ordained” in Boston this past weekend. The local print and TV media were all in a tizzy about this event, which they promoted as ‘women being ordained in the Roman Catholic Church.’ There were numerous interviews with the women during the past week regarding their upcoming rites. However, the media were less than forthright or clear about the simple fact that this was NOT a Catholic ordination ceremony.

There was no Catholic bishop officiating the ordinations for these women (2 were ordained priest and one a deacon). The event wasn’t even held in a Catholic church — rather the event was held in a multi-denominational Protestant church, with the holy orders being conferred by an outlaw member of the ersatz Catholic clergy. And the icing on the cake was the fact that once they had been “ordained”, these women were subject to instant excommunication from the Church.

Some ordination, huh?

Listen, I wish I were many things that I’m not nor that I could ever be due to circumstances beyond my control. In fact, realistically, I can’t be more things than I can be! However, for those associations, professions and convictions which are controlled by another entity, I would not presume that I can elbow my way into the fold by simply stating that “I am a…” or by participating in a faux rite of initiation. I’m fine with that fact, and there are plenty of other things that I can do with my life from which I can derive joy and meaning.

This is what those three women did on a recent hot, humid Sunday in Boston. They said “I am…a Catholic priest”…yet they defied almost 2,000 years of rules, traditions and service by having taken matters into their own hands. it was less an attempt at joining the genuine clergy than it was a very public swipe at a Church rule with which they disagree.

Well, my 12 years of Catholic schooling and lifetime of Catholic belief makes me beg to differ with these women. They are NOT priests; at least under the definition of genuine, established Catholicism. They might be perfectly fine and suited as Protestant clergy, but they just aren’t nor can they ever be Roman Catholic priests. The rules don’t let them — plain and simple. perhaps some day in the future the Church will reconsider this policy and allow women priests to be ordained. Who knows? Unfortunately for these three women, such a rule doesn’t exist today. As a result, they are outlaws and outcasts of the Church they so badly wish to serve.

It is time for a reality check for these women: A time for them to face up to the facts. It is also a time when they stop insulting and denigrating the beliefs of the faithful in and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.

And, oh yeah, it’s time that the news media got their story straight. It might have been a controversial, hot button topic with which to tease the potential news viewers. But it was not true, and served to reveal the local Boston media as viewer-grubbing whores who care less about veracity than they do about “pseudo-accurate” sensationalism. I got the definite impression that the media was trying to shame the Church hierarchy to reconsider the tradition of male-only ordination by publicizing this story in the manner which they chose. The news stories were heavy on sympathy for the women and enthusiasm for their coming ordinations. But the stories were light on the facts about what constitutes a valid ordination in the Church or some on-camera or quoted commentary from someone in the hierarchy of the Diocese of Boston.

The media didn’t distinguish itself with its reporting of this story. Their reportage reeked of feelings and political correctness rather than facts and reality, and put MY Church in a bad light as a result.

And to their eternal discredit, shame on them…

Madam Speaker

Ah, the euphemisms just pile up when I think about this week’s comments made by Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi regarding President Bush:

“The Pot Calling The Kettle Black”

“Consider The Source”

“Sticks And Stones May Break My Bones, But Names Will Never Hurt Me”

“To Be Insulted By You Is To Be Garlanded With Lilies”

Etc.

Just to refresh our memories, Madam Speaker distinguished herself by ripping into President Bush during an interview with Wolf Blitzer aired Thursday, July 17th on CNN:

“You know, God bless him, bless his heart, president of the United States, a total failure, losing all credibility with the American people on the economy, on the war, on energy, you name the subject,” Pelosi replied. She then tsk-tsked Bush for “challenging Congress when we are trying to sweep up after his mess over and over and over again.”

Well, this invective is coming from the mouth of the woman whose crowning jewel in her legislative agenda as House Speaker has been to outlaw the 100 Watt incandescent light bulb.

Good for you, Nancy!

Really…the Democrats have raised Bill Clinton’s “politics of personal destruction” to a new, almost intergalactic, level. Speaker Pelosi has the gall to say that everything that the president has done is a failure, yet her legislative success rate is poor and her legislative efficiency is glacial at best. I guess given the nature of this person, what were we to expect. Does this comment signal the the gloves are off and that she (and the Democratic party) have abandoned the Marquis of Queensbury rules when it comes to presidential politics.

See, the Democrats are going to great lengths to associate John McCain with a president whom they have vilified and demeaned for the past eight years. It isn’t an accident that the President’s approval ratings are as low as they are given the treatment he’s been given in perfect unison by the Democrats and the mainstream media. They want us to believe that a John McCain presidency would be in essence a third Bush term. This is the red meat diet that they’ve been feeding the true believers and lefty moonbats at the Daily Kos and at the Huffington Post blog sites. And this is the subliminal message being broadcast to the general populace.

If Madam “I Can’t Get a Meaningful Appropriations Bill Passed Under My Leadership” can’t help Obama win by hook, she’s going to do it by crook! And if by crook means shedding the decorum and dignity of past Speakers by going full-bore ad hominem against the president, then I guess so be it. What has she got to lose?

I’ll tell you what’s at stake for her — her credibility (whatever that is!) and the Congress’ remaining approval rating are at stake. She should be extremely cautious with her vitriol because although the President has an approval rating somewhere below sea level (approximately 28%), the approval rating of the Congress is near the center of the Earth, at 16%. I believe the military strategist Sun Tzu advocated attacking from a position of known power and strength. It seems though that Ms. Pelosi is either not a Tzu adherent or a very poor strategist. Because if she were, she would have kept her trap shut in regards to this latest attack on the President.

I’m a firm believer in “what comes around, goes around” and “you reap what you sew.” I think Ms. Pelosi will have some ‘splaining to do regarding her dismal legislative leadership record in the not-too-distant future. Present day voters and future historians won’t be as kind as the bum-kissing mainstream media and party big-wig types are to her now. And I think that her association and support will hurt and not help the presidential aspirations of Barak Obama. And frankly, in my opinion, that can’t be a bad thing.

The American people deserve better than this insipid repartee from their Congressional leaders (I include the always tactful Harry Reid, President of the Senate in this as well) when there are so many important topics requiring urgent legislative attention. We tend to get the best representation that we deserve.

Given the likes of Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid in their present positions it begs the question: What the hell did we do to deserve these two?

In a recent news story from Associated Press Writer Andrew Welsh-Huggins titled “Bill Clinton warns of growing polarization,” we learn of the scope of former President Clinton’s talents at observing human nature. Since Hillary’s ouster from the Democratic presidential horse race, it seems that Bill has a lot of time on his hands to read and to speak at political functions.

In his story, Mr. Welsh-Huggins relates that the former president is speaking before an assembly of the nation’s governors (including 11 Democrats who by the way supported Obama in the presidential primary) and relating that America is becoming increasingly polarized in our politics, among other things. Clinton used statistics from the book “The Big Sort” by Bill Bishop to further his claims. He observed how voting outcomes have changed drastically since the Ford/Carter years, with more counties selecting a candidate by a larger margin in the last presidential election.

His capstone observation was “We were sorting ourselves out by choosing to live with people that we agree with.”

My observation is “Well, hell yes!” Certainly intelligent, discerning people are going to seek out like-minded compatriots. This is what exemplifies a traditional community. In the past, people with common beliefs, goals and ethos’s would congregate together to enjoy the positive benefits of such an arrangement. Why would you subject yourself to constant bickering over political differences when you could live in relative harmony with other like-minded individuals? Why would one choose divisiveness over agreement? Isn’t this what Tönnies had in mind when he conceived the ideas of Gemeinschaft (community) and Gesellschaft (society)? And, isn’t that why we have immigration in the first place? People from other countries observe our collective national ethos and decide that they want to participate: They want to join in our society and become contributing members. Or at least that’s the way it should be.

Clinton’s observation is symptomatic of the problems created by decades of Democratically-induced programs and legislation that have been foisted upon our nation. At the heart of his statement, Clinton is somehow repulsed by the prospect of free men exercising free will, and choosing free associations with others. This free association doesn’t smack of government-based social tinkering, where quotas must be filled and guidelines must be met. Living in communities with like-minded compatriots means that we, not the government, have chosen our life’s path and our lifestyles. This fact obviously doesn’t sit well with the former president.

To Clinton, like most of the rest of his party, it isn’t a good situation unless the government plays a controlling part in the outcome. See, the “Nanny State” must tell us what to think, how to act, who to associate with and how to vote.

Clinton further bolsters his argument with his closing comments by reminding the assembled governors that we face many of the issues and problems that faced President Teddy Roosevelt about a century ago, including inequalities between the rich and poor, immigration and energy policy. He observed that if those issues are dealt with, “We’re about to go into the most exciting period of human history,” Clinton said.

“If we don’t, in the words of President Roosevelt, dark will be the future,” he said. “I’m betting on light – I hope you are, too.”

To Clinton and his ideological ilk, our social conduct is a light and dark issue. If we exert free will and eschew the mandates or guidelines of the government, then we are somehow evil or defective. Government has, and must have, all the answers. How can proto-socialist legislators possibly let the free and open markets of commerce and ideas solve, for example, the energy problem that currently plagues us? Well-intentioned legislators with pure-at-heart interests (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) must have a better solution than free men with free wills and native intelligence.

Former President Clinton, without ever speaking a word to the effect, obviously has a Utopian vision of America where conformance is valued over individuality…where “harmony” and numerical quotas are valued more than community and ethical standards…and where Americans are measured not by their tenacious adherence to their closest-held beliefs but by their grudging acceptance of government-based consensus.

To me, the recent political polarization is symptomatic of an enormous problem with today’s American society, the 900 pound gorilla in the room as it were. It reflects a struggle between forces who would have the government solve every problem whether it be climatological, social, economic or moral and those folks who see the place of the government as an enforcer of laws which guarantee all men equality, justice, freedom and liberty. This is a good struggle, and it is indeed a struggle of light versus dark. It is worthy of the good fight!!

The darkness that we struggle with affects the free will of men, and further seeks to confine their lives and actions to government-mandated behavior, and an abandonment of Constitutionally-guaranteed rights and liberties for the sake of harmony and good feelings. In contrast, the light, I feel, is represented by a strict adherence to our Constitution, and the belief in the vitality and goodness of free human will over any law that a government may capriciously enact for its citizens own “good” or for some greater social good.

Hopefully, this this is the light-dark struggle that Bill Clinton was alluding to in his speech. Fortunately, there hasn’t been enough legislation, nor will there ever be, to force me think so!

God bless you Tony…and may he share his steadying grace with your family.

I was doing my usual presidential campaign watch recently and I’ve noticed that Barak Obama is tacking hard to the right trying to reach the political center. Although I think it’s an impossibility for someone like him — an almost socialist, he’s doing his damnedest to recast his image as “moderate.”

I can’t buy this notion that “Sen. Most Liberal” can suddenly have a presidential campaign epiphany and start to see things in a more conservative light. In fact, I’ve always seen him as an empty suit, and devoid of any political nuance. And this now “perpendicular journey” that he’s taking from his far-left, home base position just makes me see a veritable black hole of political principles every time I look at the guy. His principles void isn’t very subtle, and I would think that even his supporters might want to be a little concerned, as the Barak Obama who spewed fiery, left-seeking rhetoric in the Democratic primary isn’t the same Barak Obama we have today. The former Obama was trying to outdo the socialism and socialist programs of another true believer, Hillary Clinton. The latter Obama has an urgent need to find common ground with the majority of Americans who find little in common with the primary Obama.

I think that we’re not done witnessing the machinations of the empty suit candidate looking for a proper occupant for his expensive menswear. But he must exhibit caution…and he has to walk a fine line. Because although he may be “Senator Socrates” in front of his friend and ally, the teleprompter, he is “Senator Deer In The Headlights” when he has to answer questions or make comments extemporaneously, as he would have to with many more flips and flops of his political positions. This isn’t a bad thing, as it will help others to see the startling emptiness of his suit. And who knows, maybe there will be a meltdown or two to recalibrate this man who is getting more cocky and smug with each passing day.

Unlike trying to get people to recognize that the “emperor has no clothes”, they need to be shown that the media’s darling presidential candidate has the suit, there’s just no one of substance to occupy it.

gluttony is allowed on your birthday!

As long as you show your manners and act lady-like! However, sharing is not encouraged…

When the 4th of July rolls around, my mind turns to Patrick Henry because of his prominent role and voice in our quest for independence as a young country. Please indulge my reproduction of his famous speech containing those even more famous words “…give me liberty or give me death!”

March 23, 1775

Patrick Henry“No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the house. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the house is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at the truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the numbers of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst, and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received?

Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation.

There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free–if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending–if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained–we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us! They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength but irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace–but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry

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