Just as I was beginning to warm up to Vladimir Putin and the new emerging "democracy" in the Russian Federation (which like a phoenix rose out of the ashes of the communist Soviet Union), the Russian President and his minions in the Ukraine invade the Crimean peninsula and threaten to foment a second cold war! Who is Putin trying to imitate?
Georg Hegel (1770-1831), the father of dialectical idealism, which Karl Marx transmogrified as Marxist dialectical materialism, lamented that what we do learn from history is that man does not learn its lessons!
The need for reducing gun violence is discussed along with the necessity for citizens to assume some responsibility for protecting themselves, their families, and their property from criminal elements because the police cannot physically be everywhere to protect us all of the time. The problem of sensationalization of gun crimes by the media, multiple shootings by deranged individuals, accidents with firearms, suicide rates, and children with guns are discussed.
The role of gun violence and street crime in the United States and the world is currently a subject of great debate among national and international organizations, including the United Nations. Because the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the individual right of American citizens to own private firearms, availability of firearms is greater in the U.S. than the rest of the world, except perhaps in Israel and Switzerland.
The term "liberal" originally stemmed from the human quest for free inquiry and the study of the liberal arts. Aristotle explained that the greatest pleasure a free man could possess is to have the economic means to indulge himself in the study of nature, books, science (philosophy) — and the liberals arts, rather than to be forced to labor endlessly with no free time for leisure and the contemplation of life.
"One death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic," said Joseph Stalin (1879-1953). It is estimated that between 20 to 40 million people, mostly Russians, were killed by Stalin during his dictatorship (1924-1953). Stalin, the Soviet dictator, not only exterminated purported "enemies of the peoples" but also liquidated almost the entire slate of communist Bolshevik leaders, who had been his and Lenin's friends during the Russian Revolution of 1917.
The "Right" versus "Left" convenient but capricious political arrangement came from the seating position of delegates to the National Assembly during the French Revolution, but it is at times a confusing concept and too often subject to media and academic bias and even misinformation. I have found it easier to have a political spectrum based on degrees of government control.
No free man shall be taken or imprisoned or dispossessed, or outlawed, or banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him, nor send upon him, except by the legal judgement of his peers or by the law of the land.
Magna Carta, par. 39
No More Wacos --- What's Wrong With Federal Law Enforcement and How to Fix It
Et domus sua cuique est tutissimum refugium.
Sir Edward Coke (1552-1634)
The Legacy of Revolutions
Thirty-six years ago after a harrowing ordeal at sea, Miguel A. Faria, Jr., escaped from Cuba with his father and found a new home in the United States. Cuba's loss was America's gain. A consummate historian, Dr. Faria here applies himself with gusto, using a treasure-trove of inside information to tell his personal odyssey and to reveal the true story of the Cuban Revolution and its sell-out to communism. Especially noteworthy are the unknown stories of the Cuban patriots who fought Castro's communist regime.
Much of the recent discussion among both Democrat and Republican members of Congress regarding the need to lift the travel ban and end the U.S. embargo of Cuba has revolved around the possibility of selling millions of dollars in agricultural products to Cuba. These politicians conveniently forget that the Castro brothers are dictators of the old, unreformed Stalinist variety, who have, in fact, devastated and desolated a once beautiful and prosperous island.
In the summer of 1787, as the Founders, led by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, concluded the drafting of the momentous Constitution of these United States, a Philadelphia lady at the steps of Independence Hall, asked, "Mr [Ben] Franklin, what kind of government have you given us?" He retorted, "a Republic, ma'am if you can keep it."
This biography of Robespierre, The Incorruptible, reads like a spellbinding novel, only that this book recounts more than the life of Robespierre. It graphically describes the horrors of the French Revolution and gives us vivid descriptions of all of the main participants in that orgy of blood, horror and death.
This would have been one amongst the books Maximilien Robespierre would have chosen as an acceptable biography of himself, according him his rightful place in history. It is disturbing that so many readers of this book expressing their views in Amazon.com praise this idealized biography, once again reinterpreting the career of this authoritarian despot, who systematically guillotined those who did not share his sterile, cold-as-steel view of the world.
This book, in compelling narrative, makes is clear that the French Revolution actually began not with the clamor of the common people but with the blue-blooded aristocracy and the high clergy of the ancien régime who had been enamored with the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the views of the enlightenment (i.e., convincingly demonstrated in the Assembly of Notables convened in February 1787).
We have seen that the French Revolution did not give the French people a true constitutional republic extending to its citizens the natural rights of man to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The French Revolution wanted to go beyond that and create a utopia of happiness, misunderstanding liberty and adding fraternity and equality to the brew. Forced fraternity and equality were proven to be and remain mutually exclusive from individual liberty.
The Incorruptible, Maximilien Robespierre, the Voice of Reason, did not give the French people a Republic of Virtue but a bloody reign of terror incited by mob rule, and the descent into barbarism with the mass killings of men, women, and children by their own government, not because of their deeds or misdeeds, or any real crimes, but because of their birth, opinions, and associations -- or simply, for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
July 14 is Bastille Day, a national holiday in France that commemorates 215 years from the day a Parisian mob stormed the "infamous" prison and commenced the upheaval of the French Revolution. The collapse of Soviet communism should not deter the invocation of the dreadful legacy of the French Revolution, the same revolution that a century later inspired the even bloodier Russian Revolution and its communist aftermath.
The Brave Girondins
Even though politicians and some historians in both America and Europe have likened the French and American Revolutions, these two landmark events of world history were as dissimilar as the men who forged them.
In his State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush proposed the formation of a USA Freedom Corps, calling for every American "to commit at least two years 4,000 hours over the rest of your lifetime to the service of your neighbors and your nation."
This will require 80 hours per year for every adult American. On Jan. 29, 2002, at another function, Bush further explained the concept and gave a pitch for the "volunteer" program that will require $560 million from taxpayers by 2003.
As stated in the subtitle of "The Seven Myths of Gun Control," the former editor of Front Page Magazine, Richard Poe, successfully reclaims "the Truth about Guns, Crime, and the Second Amendment" in this magnificent book. With logical arguments and factual information, he rebuts what he identifies as the seven most important myths underpinning gun control and their assumptions.