This is a great article from The DailySignal.com. The Magna Carta is a sort of precursor to the later American experiment. The current American leaders and all of us in general could learn a lot about the pursuit of liberty through the seperation of powers from the study of the Magna Carta
With the president and Congress out of town, Washington, D.C. is very quiet during the holidays, without the long lines one normally sees at museums and capitol attractions. So it was a good time last week to take my family to see a wonderful exhibit at the Library of Congress, jointly sponsored by the Federalist Society, of one of the only four existing manuscript copies of the 1215 Magna Carta signed by King John at Runnymede.
On June 15, we will celebrate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, one of the most consequential documents in the history of the law and liberty. It was the basis for establishing the principles that led to the many rights that we take almost for granted today. These include due process of law, the right to a jury trial, freedom from unlawful imprisonment, and the theory of representative government.
While Magna Carta only secured the rights of the barons and “freemen,” as the exhibit carefully explains, “this medieval charter, through centuries of interpretation and controversy, became an enduring symbol of liberty and the rule of law.”
It really is amazing as one walks through the exhibit and reads the translations of certain parts of Magna Carta, to see the principles being outlined that have become such an accepted part of our rule of law 800 years later. For example, Chapter 39 provides no freeman will be seized, dispossessed of his property, or harmed except “by the law of the land,” a phrase that eventually became “due process of law.” This very concept is incorporated in both the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution, which guarantee that no “freeman” in America can be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”
Chapter 39 of Magna Carta guaranteed that no freeman can be punished without “the lawful judgment of his peers.” This principle is the basis for our concept of the right to a trial by jury, which is guaranteed in Article III of the Constitution, as well as the Seventh Amendment.
Magna Carta also guaranteed immunity from illegal imprisonment. This principle led directly to the development of the concept of habeas corpus, the right to sue the government to force it “to produce the body,” an individual who has been illegally imprisoned without due process of law. This was so important that it was incorporated into Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution, which provides that “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.”
Most importantly, Magna Carta established the principle of the rule of law and checks on the power of the king (the executive in modern parlance). In other words, the concept integral to our own republic that no man is above the law, not even the president. Chapter 61 of Magna Carta stipulated that 25 barons would be selected to ensure that King John complied with the terms of the charter and if he violated the terms, they had the authority to “distrain” the king (seize his properties) until he complied. That principle became a “symbol of the supremacy of the law over the will of the king.”
King Edward I’s 1297 reaffirmation of Magna Carta (a copy of which is on display at the National Archives) said that any act of the king violating the charter “should be undone and holden for naught.” This fundamental principle was incorporated into the entire structure of our system of government as outlined in the checks and balances inherent in the Articles of the Constitution. And what King Edward I said must be done is exactly what the Supreme Court of the United States does when the president exceeds his authority, as evidenced by its recent decision in National Labor Relations Board v. Canning,in which the Court held that President Obama’s recess appointments to the NLRB were unconstitutional. Thus, the president’s action was “undone and holden for naught.”
Two of the people in Washington who might learn the most from visiting this exhibit and its explanation of the importance of the rule of law and the limits on the power of the executive are President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder. Unfortunately, as two of my Heritage Foundation colleagues explain in a recent paper, “abusive, unlawful, and even potentially unconstitutional unilateral action has been a hallmark of the Obama Administration.”
The exhibit at the Library of Congress displays the Lincoln Cathedral Magna Carta, which has been in the possession of the Lincoln Cathedral literally since its issuance in 1215, a concept a little hard for Americans in our relatively new country to quite comprehend.
Another excellent talk from Joe Rigney. This time he talks about the subject of his book Live Like a Narnian. Click the video and listen in and journey through Lewis’ Wardrobe to learn how we can become better disciples of Jesus Christ
Live Like a Narnian: Christian Discipleship in C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles
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Really good sermon from a couple of Sundays ago. Joe Rigney shows how everything that we humans do is an extension of the first job ever given to the first man, Adam, that of faithfully naming. Also Rigney shows how if we go about it unfaithfully how evil corruption can set in. Listen in. Click the video below for the page that will give you more video and audio options
August 3, 2014
Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”—Genesis 2:18–23
This is a really good point that Brian Thomas is making here. I find the No True Scotsman debate fallacy similar to the Straw Man debate fallacy only the No True Scotsman fallacy is much more subtle.
The Straw Man tactic is to incorrectly characterize or provide a misconception of your opponents position, setting up the straw man, and then proceed to knock down that straw man or attack that false conception. For more precise definition click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man . I am not saying that Bill Nye used this tactic but I think he, more subtly, used the No True Scotsman fallacy as Brian Thomas points out. Both tactic fallacies shows in a real honest debate that the arguer, the one feeling the need to use such tactics actually feels deeply threatened by his opponents point of view.
Nye vs. Ham Debate: No True Scotsman by Brian Thomas, M.S.
A surprisingly large number of people—some three million—watched live online February 4 as debaters discussed the topic “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?” Ken Ham took the affirmative position while “Science Guy” Bill Nye took the negative. During the debate, Nye’s use of a certain fallacy was soon evident, and viewers should beware of this tactic because of the subtle way it can skew perception.
Each time Nye contrasted “Ken Ham’s creation model” of a young world with “us in the scientific community,” he committed the “no true Scotsman” fallacy. Astrophysicist Dr. Jason Lisle wrote in Discerning Truth that this fallacy is committed “when an arguer defines a term in a biased way to protect his argument from rebuttals.”1
The informal fallacy’s name comes from an imaginary conversation in which a Scotsman claims that no Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge. A bystander replies that he, too, is from Scotland but does put sugar on his porridge. The first Scotsman rejoins, “Well, notrue Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge.”
What did he do? He essentially redefined the word Scotsman to insulate his argument against virtually any example that refutes it.
The fact that Ham presented specific examples of fully credentialed scientists who adopted the Bible’s creation account of history had no effect on Nye, who continued to insist that scientists are evolutionists—by definition. The “Science Guy” insulated his assertion from scrutiny by defining “scientific” to suit his needs.
The common general definition of science includes observing, measuring, and interpreting natural processes. But Nye’s definition of true science seems to involve observing, measuring, and interpreting natural processes only according to evolutionary tenets.
Nye was wrong to assume that no real scientist could ever hold the creation model, since scores of real scientists have and do. This is amply demonstrated in books like In Six Days: Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation and The Genesis Files, containing 22 interviews with Ph.D. scientists who ascribe to Ham’s creation model and tell their stories.2,3 And of course, early creation scientists forged the paths of each of today’s major scientific branches of inquiry, like Isaac Newton’s physics,4 Matthew Maury’s oceanography, Louis Pasteur’s immunology,5 Michael Faraday’s electromagnetism,6 and George Carver’s agriculture.7,8 Are we to believe that Newton and Pasteur were not real scientists?
Apparently, facts like these do not matter to someone who is so fully committed to the false idea that real scientists only believe in evolution that he is more than willing to adjust the very definition of scientist to preserve his argument.
The fictional Scotsman who actually does put sugar on his porridge was willing to present and perhaps even demonstrate his case. In the same way, a minority of true scientists are willing and prepared to make their cases for biblical and scientific creation. Why would anyone even feel the need to protect their anti-creation definition of scientist with a “no true Scotsman” fallacy unless the evidence for recent creation that believing scientists are prepared to present constitutes a real threat?
This is really poignant interview that occurred decades ago but today we seem to be losing the wisdom here of Milton Friedman or of the founding fathers for that matter… Originally posted on TheBlaze.com on Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 1:19 PM CST
On radio this morning, Glenn played a portion of a 1979 interview between Phil Donahue and Milton Friedman, in which Friedman offered a very well-articulated argument in favor of minimizing the role of government in a free market system as a means of creating political and social freedom. It is Friedman’s eloquent delivery of what could be considered a complex theme that Glenn was most concerned with.
“[We have to be] more than alert and knowledgeable,” Glenn said. “We have to be able to explain to our fellow citizens what raises our eyebrows, what makes us even more alert, and what we have found in our knowledge… Milton Friedman did a great segment on the Donohue show years ago on greed. Listen to what he said.”
Watch Friedman and Donahue debate the power of greed:
“That is a beat-down of everything that’s being said right now,” Glenn said. “[But] nobody is articulating it that way. He asks the question: Where in the world does greed not rule?”
What makes Friedman’s delivery so unique is his ability to discuss harsh realities, while holding fast to his principles. Considering the lack of honesty in our world today, Glenn questioned why Friedman is often characterized as a villain.
“Nobody is talking about real world stuff. Nobody is saying the truths that need to be spoken. He spoke truth,” Glenn concluded. “It was clear. It wasn’t about politics. It was about basic principles. Milton Friedman should be the most popular guy on every campus because this guy is talking truth…”
The U.S. government has just passed a new law entitled “The Affordable CAR Act” declaring that every citizen MUST purchase a new car by April, 2014.
These ‘affordable’ cars will cost an average of $54,000-$155,000 each. This does not include taxes, tags, registration, fuel, maintenance, or repair costs.
This law has been passed because, until now, typically only wealthy and financially responsible people have been able to purchase cars. This new law ensures that every American can now have an ‘affordable’ car of their own, because everyone is ‘entitled’ to a new car. If you purchase your car before the end of the year, you will receive four ‘free’ tires (does not include mounting).
In order to make sure everyone purchases an ‘affordable car,’ the cost of owning a car will increase on average of 250-400% per year. This way, wealthy people will pay more for something that other people don’t want or can’t afford to maintain. But, to be fair, people who can’t afford to maintain their car will be regularly fined and children (under the age of 26) can use their parents car(s) to drive until they turn 27, after which date they must purchase their own car.
If you already have a car, you can keep yours (not really). If you don’t want or don’t need a car, you are required to buy one anyhow. If you refuse to buy one or can’t afford one, you will be regularly fined $800 until you purchase one, or face imprisonment. If you cannot (or don’t want to) purchase an ‘affordable car’ from a private business, you can buy a starter car from the U. S. government ‘affordable car exchange.’ Such a car will have the basic necessities and will only cost ‘slightly more’ than a similar car purchased from a private business. Plus, since your tax dollars will subsidize the purchase of a car from the U. S. government’s ‘affordable car exchange,’ it will appear that you are getting a good deal.
Failure to use the car will also result in fines. People living in areas with no access to roads are not exempt. Pre-existing conditions such as age, motion sickness, experience, knowledge, nor lack of desire are not acceptable excuses for not using your car.
A government review board will decide everything, including when, where, how often, and for what purposes you can use your car, along with how many people can ride in your car. The board will also determine if one is too old or healthy enough to be able to use their car, and will also decide if your car has out lived its usefulness or if you must purchase specific accessories like spinning rims or a newer and more expensive car.
Those that can afford luxury cars will be required to do so … it’s only fair. The government will also decide the color for each car. Failure to comply with these rules will result in fines and possible imprisonment.
Government officials are exempt from this new law. If they want a car, they and their families can obtain cars free at the expense of tax payers. This includes lifetime maintenance and automatic adjustments for fuel charges.
Unions, bankers, and mega companies with large political affiliations ($$$), Muslims and Amish are also exempt.
This video, Wealth Inequality in America is painful to watch because it makes me realize that the thinking behind it is far too prevalent in our society today. Also equally painful is that many who come across it and see these ideas perhaps for the first time are probably going to buy into it, and actually believe that we should adopt a socialist form of government. Very sad.
I disagree with the whole premise of this video. This study assumes a false premise that all of America’s wealth is nothing but a huge horde of cash, a huge pile of wealth that everyone is sitting on and that this pile of wealth is distributed very unequally, therefore we should all adopt socialism so that this pile of wealth will be distributed equitably. Wonderful socialism that includes, in the name of fairness and angelic, pure intentions; so therefore we are going to break into private homes and businesses and seize parts of their giant horde of the people that are in the upper 20% and then help distribute it among the lower classes, and then your benevolent government will only skim a portion of these seizures to pay for expenses of course (and maybe just a little more…wink, wink)–but I digress. The socialist people that created this video wrongly believe that economics is a zero sum game; that if one American or group of Americans succeed in acquiring more wealth that means that someone else or some other group of Americans are losing their wealth. But this line of thinking is truly a foolish way to think about how economic distribution works.
If you take for example the “Parable of the Bags of Gold” (or the “Parable of the Talents” but the NIV says “Bags of Gold”). Read Matt 25:14-30. http://www.bible.com/bible/111/mat.25.14-30.niv (click on a blank area on the side of that web page) This study in this video above assumes that every person in America acts like that third servant and just buries and sits on what they have and that therefore the upper 20% or upper 1% acquired their horde unjustly. But this study does not take into account how economics truly works or how free enterprise or the capitalist system works. America’s wealth hinges on the actions of the 1st and 2nd servants in the parable. America’s wealth is dynamic and in a constant state of flux through investments and the buying and selling of goods and services and especially through creativity and the innovations that constantly improve those goods and services. The constant drive to make a better mousetrap so to speak. Steve Jobs used to say, regarding his and Apple’s constant creativity and innovations, “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”
But if you try and equal things out as the makers of the video suggest, if you try and apply socialism even in just little bits, history has shown many times that that takes away the drive to make a better mousetrap, it takes away innovation and creativity and therefore it also ultimately takes away the wealth. The very thing that you wanted to distribute equally in the first place. If a socialist system is adopted it puts everyone in equal misery and equal poverty and we will not only lose the upper 20% or upper 1% but instead we will create a small fraction of a fraction of 1% that will end up as the ruling class and the only ones that have any kind of wealth and power. And this wealth and power of the ruling class is truly gained on the backs of the poor, what socialists wrongly tell you that all wealth is. Ultimately if we lose the top 1% shown in the video then we truly lose the most innovative and most creative among us, we lose people like Henry Ford, Sam McLaughlin, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and even people like Earl Bakken. Earl is the guy that founded Medtronic where I work. Oh and incidentally if it weren’t for the innovations of Earl Bakken and his company Medtronic not only would many tens of thousands of people like me not have a means to provide for our families but also many lives would have been much shorter on this earth, among their loved ones due to the lack of Earl’s and Medtronic’s medical breakthroughs. But unfortunately many people just see Earl as some rich fat cat living it up in Hawaii.
The makers of this video above should have ultimately been with me and my family last Sunday morning as there was a great sermon at Bethlehem Baptist Church. Joe Rigney, author of Live Like A Narnian (more info on him here: http://bethlehemcollegeandseminary.org/index.php/academics/faculty/joseph-rigney) preached a great sermon titled “Winning the War Against Envy and Rivalry” When that sermon is available online I may post it on my blog, it was that good. I truly think that when socialists decry the injustice of economics I think that this is all due to the dangerous sin of envy on their part, and all the sins that go along with envy (You would know what I am talking about if you were to just listen to that sermon. That was a great sermon, by the way, among many things we learned the subtle yet important differences between jealousy, covetousness and envy–but I digress again).
We all also must realize that everything ultimately is not our own. Everything we have is on loan from the Master, the God of the universe. An important lesson from the Parable of the Bags of Gold and other parables, namely the “Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard,” and also many other passages in the Bible (see other parts of Matthew about the Widow’s Offering or the passage about not letting you left hand know what your right one is doing), anyway one important lesson is that we must not worry about who has what, or how much that person has or how little I have or how much more that person earns and in general how unfair life is. Everyone must realize that in real life, just like in the parables that the Master is coming back soon and each of us must give an account of what we did with our horde, our time and resources, lets not waste our lives, or our horde, in the envy of others.
***P.S. Here is that really good sermon I mention above: Part 1: http://willemdax.tumblr.com/post/67307834951/winning-the-war-against-envy-and-rivalry ***
***P.P.S. Here is Part 2: http://willemdax.tumblr.com/post/67596474565/learning-to-love-the-dance-of-grace-this-is ***
****P.P.P.S. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KENaWXPmBr0 <—This video is a direct response to Wealth Inequality in America video above.