Friday, June 20, 2008


In the movie "1776" which I love, Dickinson cautions the Congress to reject Virginia's proposal on Independence because it "....reeks of Adams, Adams and more Adams!" Well that's ok by me. We need Adams wisdom more than ever lately.

"National defense is one of the cardinal duties of a statesman." John Adams

H/T Patriot Post


Stella said...

But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.
~~John Adams

Hope you're doing well. I'm beginning to suspect you're in the military. If so, I sincerely thank you for all you do.

BostonMaggie said...

Another great Adams quote. However, I do not see anything my government is doing (GITMO, Patriot Act, etc.) as posing any danger to my liberty or the US Constitution.

I am going well and hope you are as well. I am not now, nor have I ever been in the military. However, my dearest love is and soon my younger son will be.

Stella said...

Maggie, please convey my thanks and gratitude to both. My two brother-in-laws served: one is ex-Army who started a non-profit company, the other is a career military soldier.

I respectfully disagree about the PATRIOT act, as well as FISA, particularly the latest legislation. But of course you would expect me to do so.

BostonMaggie said...

I would expect you to disagree. My attitude is that the CINC's chief responsibilty is to keep me safe from outside threats. Everything internal can be worked on as long as we are free to do so. Bush is doing that. FISA is doing that. Like or not, the plain fact is that we haven't been attacked in 7 years. And no American has been adversely affected without a means of redress. What was the biggest story of the government overreaching with the Patriot Act? The Feds asked for some library for records and the library screamed and hollered. The system of checks and balances worked.

My son currently works as a youth counselor for the Boy's & Girl's Club and his ultimate goal after the service is to become a firefighter and to continue his connection with the Club.
My older son did a year with City Year and worked for a few years with mentally handicapped adults. He took some time off to have a hernia operation and consider going back to finish college. Their father was in the service for a while and active in several service organizations.

They were in their teens before they realized that not everyone did "beach clean-ups" and "can drives" and other service or charitable projects.

SB is career military, but finds time to be involved in service projects.

I am a big subscriber to the idea the "to whom much is given, much is required".

Stella said...

Maggie, I wholeheartedly subscribe to the same idea. One must take personal responsibility for making the world a better place.

My take is that FISA is a dangerous threat to our civil liberties. Even if a few people got their library records confiscated, at one time a sacrosanct privilege in our nation, that's a violation of privacy. I know that no constitutional amendment mentions personal privacy, but the Fourth Amendment implicitly guarantees that privilege.

My second Masters is an Library Science. Although I specialized in human computer interaction, but much coursework stressed that scrutiny of people's reading lists is a slippery slope to ending free speech. I can't imagine a better way to stifle the First Amendment than people to become afraid of reading, which diminishes their ability to articulate their thoughts. BTW, both Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi agreed to the FISA Amendment, so this isn't a conservative or liberal issue per se.

The idea that citizens know they are being scrutinized for book purchases and borrowing is a deterrent to learning. (Although to many, it wouldn't matter.) Despite my loyalty to my country, if I decide to educate myself by reading the Qu'ran or study Iran, does that subject me to scrutiny through federal databases conducting key word searching? If not, what would? Am I paranoid? And how would I know if I am or not?

Adams, himself, stated, The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing. That quote underscores my disagreement with FISA. In this regard, I see no positive outcome spying on American citizens' choice of books. FISA is one of the jaws of power to me.

You mention that we've had no attacks since Bush took office. Good thing, because this nation is in enormous trouble. Although I was not a huge Clinton supporter, I can counter that there were no attacks during his administration, either.

I am reminded that in 1992, Dick Cheney didn't want to attack Iraq.

If you get into the business of committing U.S. forces on the ground in Iraq, to occupy the place, my guess is I’d probably still have people there today instead of having been able to bring them home…The bottom line question for me was: How many additional American lives is Saddam Hussein worth? The answer: not very damn many.

Bravo to your sons. I was taught to volunteer, also, and I feel strongly that giving back to the community made me a better person. There's another commonality. I don't know how SB finds time to serve his country and give back to the community, but he's admirable.

Hope you don't mind me rattling on. I come here to exchange ideas, Maggie. I do subscribe to a similar idea as you: "God helps those who help themselves."

BostonMaggie said...

If I thought that FISA would infringe on essential liberties I would be out in the street, protesting. The point is that no one has had their library records siezed. No one should be cowering in fear and afraid to read. A few people acting on their own will try things and the system will slap them back down. Stella, you must know full well that no one is interested in what you and I read. It's only when it becomes part of a bigger investigation. I read al-Jezeera, al- Arabiya, etc. No one is looking for me (although my mother vehemently disagrees!) and I have no fear.

It is incorrect that there were no attacks during the Clinton administration. When I discuss attacks on American, I include Americans abroad and our interests abroad.
November, 1995 - bombing in KSA
June, 196 - Khobar Towers
August, 1998 - bombings of our embassies in Kenya & Tanzania
October 12, 2000 - USS Cole attacked in Yemen
That was the build-up to 9/11.

Cheney's assessment at the time was correct. It was not appropriate to attack Iraq in 1992. I wouldn't have agreed to that. The war in Iraq came at the end of all the other proper measures for dealing with that regime.