Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
Schoolchildren learn of the crucial and timely role played by France in the American victory over King George III’s redcoats. The personification of the invaluable Gallic assistance to the American cause of liberty is none other than the Marquis de Lafayette.
According to documents obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request, in the days just prior to his assassination, President John F. Kennedy asked the CIA to provide him with classified documents about UFOs.
The story is set out in two letters written by Kennedy to the director of the CIA asking for information about the spy agency’s file on alien activity.
On this day 161 years ago, famed orator Daniel Webster delivered one of the most memorable speeches of his remarkable career.
Standing to address the Senate in support of the Compromise of 1850, the congressional effort led by Henry Clay and Stephen Douglas to resolve the issues propelling the United States toward a civil war, Daniel Webster delivered a three-and-a-half hour address wherein he described himself “not as a Massachusetts man, nor as a Northern man but as an American....”
In the art and science of perfumery, it is understood that a precise admixture of the right oils makes the perfect perfume. The master perfumer selects the desired smells from the palette of aromas known as head chords, heart chords, and base chords. Once chosen, the skilled composer harmonizes these raw notes of odor into a seductive olfactory symphony.
Long ago scholars identified the arches and loops of John Locke’s fingerprints on the writings of James Madison. Evidence of this influence is often noted in Madison’s espousal of Lockean liberalism in the arguments set forth in the Federalist, particularly Federalist, No. 51. That Madison benefited from Locke’s analysis of the machine of government and its relationship to the virtue of a people is indisputable, but to describe all Madisonian philosophy as some sort of diluted mimicry of Lockean principles is lazy and incorrect. Madison, it has been said, was a “profoundly original thinker” and “no mere follower of the philosophers.” The design of this article, however, is not to expose the originality of Madison’s thinking; rather it is to note how in regard to his view of religious toleration (a term Madison despised as being, as Thomas Paine said, “not the opposite of intolerance, but the counterfeit of it. Both are despotisms. The one assumes to itself the right of withholding liberty of conscience, the other of granting it.”)
As a requirement of modern life, we contract others to do things for us that naturally lie within our own power. Someone builds our house, for example. We cede that bit of our natural right to a contractor over whom we exercise some level of ongoing oversight.
A Google search of the word “treason” reveals most of the results use the word in context of applying the label to President Obama’s program of nationalizing significant sectors of the American economy. There was a time in our nation’s history, however, when one of our finest patriot fathers is said to have waved the saber of “treason” in the face of the world’s most powerful monarch. And, in return, his fellow Burgesses exclaimed that the patriot was committing treason. That brave (some would say, given the circumstances, reckless) man was the incomparable Patrick Henry.
Of George Wythe, his former tutor and mentor, Thomas Jefferson once wrote: “No man ever left behind him a character more venerated than George Wythe. His virtue was of the purest tint; his integrity inflexible, and his justice exact; of warm patriotism, and devoted as he was to liberty and the natural and equal rights of man, he might truly be called the Cato of his country.”