Update: As Washinton Examiner’s Philip Wegmann reports, U.Va. President Teresa Sullivan acknowledged the protest against her quotation of Jefferson in a statement released Monday. She rejected the idea, however, that quotation is tantamount to endorsement of Jefferson’s shortcomings.
“In my message last week, I agreed with Mr. Jefferson’s words expressing the idea that U.Va. students would help to lead our republic,” Sullivan said in a statement posted on the university’s website. “He believed that 200 years ago, and I believe it today.”
On this day, 273 year ago, one of America’s most visionary founding fathers – Thomas Jefferson – was born. To celebrate his birthday, we are sharing a small sample of some of his most prophetic quotes which are perhaps more relevant today than they have ever been in the history of the United States.
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will, within the limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’; because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.
On banks as the biggest threat to liberty – Thomas Jefferson letter to John Taylor, May 28, 1816
If the American People ever allow the banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers occupied. The issuing power of money should be taken from the bankers and restored to Congress and the people to whom it belongs. I sincerely believe the banking institutions having the issuing power of money are more dangerous to liberty than standing armies.
– How To Dismantle the American Empire (Ludwig von Mises Institute, Feb 11, 2014):
This selection is from chapter 7 of Laurence Vance’s War, Empire, and the Military: Essays on the Follies of War and U.S. Foreign Policy, now available in the Mises Store.
The WikiLeaks revelations have shined a light on the dark nature of U.S. foreign policy, including, as Eric Margolis recently described it: “Washington’s heavy-handed treatment of friends and foes alike, its bullying, use of diplomats as junior-grade spies, narrow-minded views, and snide remarks about world leaders.”
As much as I, an American, hate to say it, U.S. foreign policy is actually much worse. It is aggressive, reckless, belligerent, and meddling. It sanctions the destabilization and overthrow of governments, the assassination of leaders, the destruction of industry and infrastructure, the backing of military coups, death squads, and drug traffickers, and imperialism under the guise of humanitarianism. It supports corrupt and tyrannical governments and brutal sanctions and embargoes. It results in discord, strife, hatred, and terrorism toward the United States.
– Thomas Jefferson’s Quran (Opinion Maker, Oct 3, 2013):
Thomas Jefferson’s Quran: How Islam Shaped the Founders
by R.B. Bernstein
What role did Islam have in shaping the Founders’ views on religion? A new book argues that to understand the debate over church and state, we need to look to their views on Muslims, writes R.B. Bernstein.
One of the nastiest aspects of modern culture wars is the controversy raging over the place of Islam and Muslims in Western society. Too many Americans say things about Islam and Muslims that would horrify and offend them if they heard such things said about Christianity or Judaism, Christians or Jews. Unfortunately, those people won’t open Denise A. Spellberg’s Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam and the Founders. This enlightening book might cause them to rethink what they’re saying.
Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an examines the intersection during the nation’s founding era of two contentious themes in the culture wars—the relationship of Islam to America, and the proper relationship between church and state. The story that it tells ought to be familiar to most Americans, and is familiar to historians of the nation’s founding. And yet, by using Islam as her book’s touchstone, Spellberg brings illuminating freshness to an oft-told tale.
Spellberg, associate professor of history and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, seeks to understand the role of Islam in the American struggle to protect religious liberty. She asks how Muslims and their religion fit into eighteenth-century Americans’ models of religious freedom. While conceding that many Americans in that era viewed Islam with suspicion, classifying Muslims as dangerous and unworthy of inclusion within the American experiment, she also shows that such leading figures as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington spurned exclusionary arguments, arguing that America should be open to Muslim citizens, office-holders, and even presidents. Spellberg’s point is that, contrary to those today who would dismiss Islam and Muslims as essentially and irretrievably alien to the American experiment and its religious mix, key figures in the era of the nation’s founding argued that that American church-state calculus both could and should make room for Islam and for believing Muslims.
As Spellberg argues with compelling force, the conventional understanding of defining religion’s role in the nation’s public life has at its core a sharp divide between acceptable beliefs (members of most Protestant Christian denominations) and the unacceptable “other.” Many Protestant Americans, for example, disdained the Roman Catholic Church because of their memories of the bitter religious wars of the Protestant Reformation. Further, Pennsylvania’s constitution and laws allowed voting, sitting on juries, and holding office only to those who professed a belief in the divine inspiration of the Old and New Testaments.
By contrast, Thomas Jefferson, a central figure in Spellberg’s book, had a strong, lifelong commitment to religious liberty. Jefferson rejected toleration, the alternative perspective and one embraced by John Locke and John Adams, as grounded on the idea that a religious majority has a right to impose its will on a religious minority, but chooses to be tolerant for reasons of benevolence. Religious liberty, Jefferson argued, denies the majority any right to coerce a dissenting minority, even one hostile to religion. Jefferson rejected using government power to coerce religious belief and practice because it would create a nation of tyrants and hypocrites, as it is impossible to force someone to believe against the promptings of his conscience. Jefferson embraced religious liberty and separation of church and state to protect the individual human mind and the secular political realm from the corrupting alliance of church and state. His political ally James Madison, echoing Roger Williams, the seventeenth-century Baptist religious leader and founder of Rhode Island, added that separation of church and state also would protect the garden of the church from a corrupting alliance with the wilderness of the secular world.
@Amazon.com: Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam and the Founders Price: $17.10
Ranged against separation was a view of church-state relations teaching that government could accommodate religion and need not be neutral between the cause of religion in general and that of irreligion or atheism. Adherents of this view included Samuel Adams, Roger Sherman, and Patrick Henry. The ongoing struggle between these two points of view has shaped and continues to shape American religious history and the law of church and state under the U.S. Constitution.
Spellberg adds to this familiar story well a valuable and unfamiliar twist, introducing Islam as a focal-point of American thought and argument. Were Muslims to be excluded from America? Was Islam antithetical to American ideas of religious freedom and openness of citizenship?
Spellberg begins her answers to these questions by analyzing Europeans’ and Americans’ negative and positive images of Islam between the mid-sixteenth century and the eighteenth century. For example, the French jurist and philosophe Charles Louis Secondat, baron de Montesquieu, made Muslim diplomats the viewpoint characters of his pathbreaking satirical novel The Persian Letters, which presented European laws, institutions, manners, and morals from an “outsider” Muslim perspective. Yet many Europeans and Americans, seeing Muslims as perennial adversaries of Christianity from the Crusades, insisted that Muslims had no claim to religious liberty because of their supposed hostility to the idea of liberty. Turning from a general overview to focus on Jefferson, Spellberg devotes the core of her book to examining his seemingly antithetical views with regard to Islam and its believers. Though Jefferson was a harsh critic of Islam as a religion (as he was of all Abrahamic religions) and of the hostage-taking and ransom-seeking practices of Muslim states in the Mediterranean (the “Barbary Pirates,” against whom he unsuccessfully tried to organize a Euro-American naval alliance), he also was a staunch advocate of religious freedom even for those falling outside the conventional spectrum of Protestant Christian believers, including Catholics, Jews,and Muslims. Jefferson’s views differed from those of his friend and diplomatic colleague John Adams, who dismissed Jefferson’s quest for an alliance against the Barbary states as unrealistic and who rejected the inclusion of Muslims within an evolving American definition of religious freedom.
– The Declaration of Independence (Liberty Blitzkrieg, July 4, 2013):
In case it’s been a while…
The Unanimous Declaration of the
Thirteen United States of AmericaIn Congress, July 4, 1776
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
Before you start growing your own hemp plants it is worthwhile to read up on the history of hemp growing in the US. At one time it was legal. Not only was it legal, the law required the growing of it.
According to the book Healthy Oils, hemp is another word for the plant Cannabis sativa L. Marijuana comes from this same plant genus – as does cauliflower and broccoli. However, the strains used in consumer and industrial products contain only a negligible amount of the intoxicating substance delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Thus industrial grade hemp is not marijuana. Yet, since the 1950’s the growing of hemp has been effectively prohibited.
Introduction: Jesse Ventura is the former Independent Governor of Minnesota. He is also a former U.S. Navy SEAL, professional wrestler, movie actor, a visiting fellow at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and the New York Times bestselling author of five books. He is currently the host and executive producer of TruTV’s Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura. He has a reputation as the ultimate non-partisan truth-seeker; he has no qualms about questioning authority. Daily Bell: Thanks for sitting down with us. You’ve written another very interesting book, “63 Documents the Government Doesn’t Want You To Read.” Tell us about it.
Jesse Ventura: This is a book I collaborated on with Dick Russell, and I would like to give him the credit for doing all the research. That’s why we make a good team. I just don’t have the patience to do the research he does. It was our publisher, SkyHorse – it was their idea to do this book. Dick and I started searching for these documents, which are all documents released by the US government. WikiLeaks started releasing information right before we started, so naturally we used some of their stuff too. We started by going back to World War II, and we picked out 63 documents that we thought were very important. We choose 63 because that was the same year that President John F. Kennedy was murdered. That was when everything went bad. If you can murder the president and get away with it, you can do anything.
Daily Bell: Do you use original sources?
Jesse Ventura: Absolutely. The documents are original, not opinion. We reprinted the documents, so the reader has the ability to read all of them.
Daily Bell: What was the most shocking thing you learned.
Smoking it does destroy the brain, BUT …
(Watch the video “Hemp For Victory below.”)
They say marijuana is dangerous. Pot is not harmful to the human body or mind. Marijuana does not pose a threat to the general public. Marijuana is very much a danger to the oil companies, alcohol, tobacco industries and a large number of chemical corporations. Big businesses, with plenty of dollars and influence, have suppressed the truth from the people. The truth is, if marijuana was utilized for its vast array of commercial products, it would create an industrial atomic bomb! The super rich have conspired to spread misinformation about the plant that, if used properly, would ruin their companies.
Where did the word ‘marijuana’ come from? In the mid 1930s, the M-word was created to tarnish the good image and phenomenal history of the hemp plant – as you will read. The facts cited here, with references, are generally verifiable in the Encyclopedia Britannica which was printed on hemp paper for 150 years :
1) All schoolbooks were made from hemp or flax paper until the 1880s. (Jack Frazier. Hemp Paper Reconsidered. 1974.)
2) It was legal to pay taxes with hemp in America from 1631 until the early 1800s. (LA Times. Aug. 12, 1981.)
3) Refusing to grow hemp in America during the 17th and 18th centuries was against the law! You could be jailed in Virginia for refusing to grow hemp from 1763 to 1769 (G. M. Herdon. Hemp in Colonial Virginia).
4) George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers grew hemp. (Washington and Jefferson Diaries. Jefferson smuggled hemp seeds from China to France then to America.)
5) Benjamin Franklin owned one of the first paper mills in America, and it processed hemp. Also, the War of 1812 was fought over hemp. Napoleon wanted to cut off Moscow’s export to England. (Jack Herer. Emperor Wears No Clothes.)
6) For thousands of years, 90% of all ships’ sails and rope were made from hemp. The word ‘canvas’ is Dutch for cannabis. (Webster’s New World Dictionary.)
7) 80% of all textiles, fabrics, clothes, linen, drapes, bed sheets, etc., were made from hemp until the 1820s, with the introduction of the cotton gin.
8) The first Bibles, maps, charts, Betsy Ross’s flag, the first drafts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were made from hemp. (U.S. Government Archives.)
9) The first crop grown in many states was hemp. 1850 was a peak year for Kentucky producing 40,000 tons. Hemp was the largest cash crop until the 20th century. (State Archives.)
10) Oldest known records of hemp farming go back 5000 years in China, although hemp industrialization probably goes back to ancient Egypt.
Must-read! Watch also the short video.
– CIA Director Reveals Spec Ops Report: US Needs Hit Squads, ‘Manhunting Agency’:
(Take a close look at the commentary and add it to the following article.)
Look in any textbook or encyclopedia and compare US policy (not rhetoric) to the definitions of fascism and constitutional republic. I’ll explain it here, but check my work. If at the end of your consideration, you agree that the United States of America is now a fascist state, please speak-up about it. Also, consider the policy requests at the end of the article.
Please read this article like a prima facie legal argument; that means unless you can refute the facts, they stand as our best understanding of the issue. Here, if you can’t refute the evidence that the US is now a fascist state, then accept this as your best understanding. As time passes, if evidence is brought forward to further the case for fascism or refute it, your comprehensive understanding improves. Here we go:
The definition of “fascism” has some academic variance, but is essentially collusion among corporatocracy, authoritarian government, and controlled media and education. This “leadership” is only possible with a nationalistic public accepting policies of war, empire, and limited civil and political rights.
“Constitutional republic” is a political philosophy of limited government, separated powers with checks and balances to ensure the federal government’s power stays limited within the Constitution, protected civil liberties, and elected representatives responsible to the people who retain the most political power. In the US we also embrace inalienable rights of the Declaration of Independence, and creative independence to cooperatively compete for our nation’s best ideas to move forward and be rewarded.
The United States was structured as a constitutional republic. Before we consider the US present condition, let us contextualize our concern from the nation’s Founders’ grave admonishments and doubts as to Americans’ ability to retain it. If you honor America at all, give their most serious warnings your full attention for the next 1,000 words spanning from Ben Franklin to Abraham Lincoln.
On September 18, 1787, just after signing the US Constitution, Benjamin Franklin met with members of the press. He was asked what kind of government America would have. Franklin: “A republic, if you can keep it.” In his speech to the Constitutional Convention, Franklin admonished: “This [U.S. Constitution] is likely to be administered for a course of years and then end in despotism… when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.” The Quotable Founding Fathers, pg. 39