Some Favorite Quotes

Several years ago, when I signed on to Facebook—a relationship that is tenuous, given their proclivities toward anti-liberty positions and actions—I posted a list of favorite quotes that have stood the test of time and life-change in me.  These quotes, while far from all-inclusive (I have many others too), encapsulate my worldview quite well.  Given the potential ephemerality of both Facebook and my presence therein, and their obvious recent burying of users’ favorite quotes from ready viewing, I reproduce them here, for posterity. 

[As I have noted here before, I do not accept “friend” requests from people I do not know, unless they come highly recommended by someone I trust.]

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” — Jesus Christ

“Men became scientific because they expected law in nature, and they expected law in nature because they believed in a Legislator.” — CS Lewis

The chief aim of all investigations of the external world should be to discover the rational order which has been imposed on it by God, and which he revealed to us in the language of mathematics.” — Johannes Kepler

“The laws of nature are written by the hand of God in the language of mathematics.” — Galileo

“There cannot be an essential conflict between being a scientist and having faith in God.” — John Lennox

“Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.” — Ronald Reagan

“It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.” — George Washington

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” — John Adams

I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse.” — Florence Nightingale

“When you say there’s too much evil in this world you assume there’s good. When you assume there’s good, you assume there’s such a thing as a moral law on the basis of which to differentiate between good and evil. But if you assume a moral law, you must posit a moral Law Giver, but that’s Who you’re trying to disprove and not prove. Because if there’s no moral Law Giver, there’s no moral law. If there’s no moral law, there’s no good. If there’s no good, there’s no evil.” — Ravi Zacharias

“Screw ambiguity. Perversion and corruption masquerade as ambiguity. I don’t like ambiguity. I don’t trust ambiguity.” — John Wayne

Nothing is more obstinate than a fashionable consensus. ” — Margaret Thatcher

“Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right. ” — Abraham Lincoln

“Moral courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men.” — Gen. George S. Patton

“Because of the neglect of history in our educational system, most people have no idea how many of the great American fortunes were created by people who were born and raised in worse poverty than the average welfare-recipient today.
— Thomas Sowell

I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the US Congress.” — Ronald Reagan

I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.” — Abraham Lincoln

The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.” – Sun Tzu

Don’t hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft. ” — Theodore Roosevelt

“How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg. ” — Abraham Lincoln

It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first. ” — Ronald Reagan

“Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike. ” — Theodore Roosevelt

Scattershooting 181203

Scattershooting while wondering what happened to respect for the Constitution precisely as it was literally written…

NEIL TYSON SEXUAL MISCONDUCT ALLEGATIONS: Famous astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson has been accused of sexual misconduct. Did it happen? I don’t know and you don’t either. Still, as he noted in his eloquent and dignified response, even if the majority of the accused are guilty, some are not, and due process is needed. I’ll add, ALL accused in this nation are Constitutionally entitled to due process. The lynch mob of social-media opinion is unhelpful. Yes, I am aware of the overtones of the latter sentence, and yes, I state it deliberately, because it applies to these situations, as it did to Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh.

False accusations also do happen. The Duke Lacrosse and UVA Rolling Stone events are high-profile examples, and thousands more men (including at least two I know) have been accused falsely. Was Tyson? Or is he just lying in an eloquent and dignified manner? Again, you don’t know and neither do I. Other hot takes here that I’ve seen on Twitter include patently irrational ones to the effect of, “He’s guilty, because all men are to some extent”, “Believe her no matter what” and the dangerous and hypocritical, “Even if he’s innocent, the sacrifice of innocent men is worth it if it means justice in the end.” So instead of rushing to conclusions (were you in those rooms?), why don’t we be *mature* about this, avoid hot takes and “instapundit” reactions, evaluate credibility with facts, logic and reason (not emotion), and wait until more actual evidence arises, one way or another.

PLAYOFF-BOUND SOONERS AGAIN: Beating the Whorns is a great occasion whenever it can happen, but especially in the Big 12 (-3) Championship game in JerryWorld. As Lincoln Riley rightly noted, OU earned the final playoff spot by beating every team on the schedule (including the one to which they had a close loss earlier). If other teams’ fans want to complain, my answer is straightforward: don’t get blown out by Purdue (tOSU) nor lose twice, including by 20+ to LSU (UGa). That said, as in the last two playoff appearances, and despite an insanely good offense led by the sort of dual-threat dynamo at QB that historically has given Saban defenses fits, expectations are tempered by a lack of defensive skill and talent that an occasional big turnover play only can cover so much. Yes, most of this defense’s problems are related to lack of talent. That is not going to go away in one month. Until OU recruits taller, stronger, stickier defensive backs, and gets back to bringing in powerful, disruptive interior defensive linemen in the Tommie Harris and Gerald McCoy modes, who can generate upfield pressure and collapse the pocket, improved coaching or scheming (which aren’t that evident yet) are only going to go so far. So we have no pass rush at all, and the secondary is undersized and easily confused. A high-scoring playoff loss is in OUr future, but regardless, it has been a fun and exciting season, one to remember well regardless of playoff results.

PUBLICITY STUNTS in the SOCIAL-MEDIA ERA: Hey kiddos, the screen-capture below represents an outstanding example of what we know as a publicity stunt, as well as people falling for it. This is an activity designed to portray an image via social media, a form of passive-aggressive psychological manipulation. They’re crooks, but not dummies. They knew this would be filmed and propagated. Scanning Twitter responses and retweets, I see plenty of suckers for this false “commoner” schtick, despite the fabulous wealth and dubious history of both of these individuals. “No security”? That’s crap too. Bet your life savings there’s undercover Secret Service seated very near, since one of the passengers is an ex-President.

Our 41st President, George H.W. Bush, has passed on, and now is reunited with his bride of 73 years, Barbara. He is the only person I’ve met who ever was President. Then-Vice-President Bush visited an “at risk” youth job fair I was attending in Dallas in 1985, and I shook his hand and had a brief conversation. I was there seeking part-time summer work opportunities, and he was pleasant, congenial and seemed genuinely curious about my aspirations. I later didn’t agree with some of his presidential decisions; nevertheless, my admiration of him was and remains large. I don’t regret voting for him twice, especially given the alternatives, and thoroughly enjoyed my visit to his interesting and insightful library and museum in College Station. Few ever served this greatest of nations so long and honorably, from before the Japanese shot his plane down in the Pacific theater of WW2 to his successful fight to get Nixon out of office, loyal service to the great Ronald Reagan, to his post-presidential charitable works. Bush was a good man who fought for his nation in battle and inside the Beltway…and a statesman the likes of whom we haven’t seen in the presidency since. Much respect…

Example of Leftist Anti-Freedom Tactics

The First Amendment does not say “except” or “unless”. In fact it exists specifically to protect peaceful assembly and controversial and offensive speech from governmental intrusion.

After school, on a public (key word there, public) sidewalk next to the Downington STEM Academy in PA, Christian teen siblings Lauren and Connor Haines held signs protesting abortion, including one with a picture of a dead aborted baby, while peacefully discussing the issue with passersby. Their assistant principal Dr. Zach Ruff came out harassing, threatening and cussing them, while using his large girth to stand in front and impede viewing of their message.

The school authority’s message: “You can go to hell where they are, too. They’re not children. They’re cells. … I’m as gay as the day is long and twice as sunny. I don’t give a f*** what Jesus tells me about what I should and should not be doing. … You do not have my permission to speak and engage. You are harassing public school students, and I will call the police if you don’t shut up.”

Full 18-minute video:

During his assault on the First Amendment, the self-described “twice as sunny” principal (under PA law) assaulted Connor too, by getting within inches of his face and trying to rip a sign from him. That’s not all. Following the assistant principal’s pathetic example of bullying and threats, other students and parents (!) engaged in mob-scale harassment by sending Connor, Lauren and their families hundreds of messages, some profane.

These are the tactics of oppressors and anti-freedom mobs, folks: herd-mentality threats, intimidation, and authoritarian bullying.

Fortunately, this time, by eliciting legal aid from legal-defense nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom (one I am proud to support tangibly), the good guys courageously prevailed over hateful authoritarian bullies. Ultimately the school had to apologize and acknowledge the violated First Amendment freedoms of Lauren and Connor, the vice principal was suspended, then resigned, and Lauren and Connor are free as they should be to exercise their free-expressive rights on public property.

Unfortunately it doesn’t end there. This is but a microcosm of public-school and college incidents of First Amendment violation all across the nation, hundreds of them and adding up yearly. With his PhD and “educational” background, Ruff very well could get a job elsewhere around students, where the same bigoted anti-Christian bullying can begin anew. And he’s far, far, far from the only one with that mentality. Protectors of freedom must be vigilant and call out the destroyers of freedom at every turn in this era of hate and intolerance of peaceful dissent.

You see, freedom is our greatest earthly gift and is God-ordained. Support and protect it, even when people freely express things that bother or offend you. No question, I wholly endorse and approve of Connor and Lauren’s message, and defend their right to say it. Even as an open and unapologetic social and fiscal conservative, I also am a governmental libertarian to the core, and defend the right of those peacefully expressing messages I don’t approve, to do so in the public arena…yes, even left-wing messages! Freedom is for all, not just liberals, conservatives or “moderates” (whatever that is…seems everybody from far left to far right thinks he/she is a moderate). This includes artistic freedom from the vicious viceroys of political correctness.

I fully am using my freedom of expression to post this…and folks, it has been happening for decades and is not going to stop. I have my ideals, opinions, and biases as well. I absolutely do preferentially post instances of left-wing violations of freedom, in large part to counter the intense bias of most mass media against the right, and against Christians. So be it. As long as I breathe, and as long as the left violates others’ rights (anymore, a given) there’s plenty more where this came from. Deal with it.

Don’t like my expressions of free speech, or others’? Ignore it, or argue non-violently. Don’t weaponize authority to squash others’ God-given and Constitutionally codified right to free expression! If you do, expect a well-earned backlash in support of freedom, and expect to lose — ideologically for starters, and in court if necessary.

Want to fight ideas you disapprove? Use facts, reason, logic, and levelheaded, rational counter-argument. Never threats, intimidation, bullying, or violence! And yes, that applies from the President (hardly a role model here) right on down to some spiteful vice principal, and ultimately, you and me.

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