Monday Brief

Remembering a Great Patriot

Apr. 29, 2013

The Foundation

“I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.” –Thomas Paine

Inspiration

James Monroe

“Sunday, April 28, mark[ed] the 255th anniversary of President James Monroe’s birth in 1758. … How have we let this great patriot become a forgotten man? Monroe’s military service alone made him a hero. When he was 18 and newly matriculated at William and Mary College, and the Second Continental Congress proclaimed the Declaration of Independence, he suspended his education to enlist in the Virginia infantry. … Monroe and his fellow Virginia sharpshooters repelled a British advance, marking the first time in the War for Independence that Americans had whooped the British, forcing the redcoats to turn tail and run for their lives. Monroe played a key role in Washington’s famous 1776 Christmas night sortie across the Delaware River. The teenaged Monroe was the co-leader, with one of Washington’s cousins, of an advance party of 50 that had crossed the river ahead of the rest of Washington’s troops, and then captured the two strategically placed cannons that defended the Hessian military camp outside of Trenton. Though seriously wounded by a musket shot, Monroe stood his ground, repelling repeated Hessian attempts to recapture the big guns, thereby saving many American lives (including, possibly, Washington’s), and thereby making that indispensable, resounding victory possible. … The amazing life story of James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States, would not be complete without mentioning that he passed from this world on the Fourth of July, 1831 – five years to the day after his fellow presidents Adams and Jefferson. What a fitting conclusion to the life of a principled patriot who gave his whole adult life to serving his country and upholding our most noble ideals.” –professor Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson

Government

“[I]f [the Marketplace Fairness Act] bill becomes law, fairness goes up in smoke. Online merchants would become revenue collectors for every sales-tax jurisdiction in America – an estimated 9,600 of them, each with its quirks and quiddities. No longer would Internet retailers based in Massachusetts be liable only for sales taxes owed to Massachusetts. They would have to calculate and remit taxes owed to Tennessee and California and Wyoming and New Jersey, charging different levies for different customers, and somehow keeping up with the ever-shifting kaleidoscope of sales-tax rates, definitions, exemptions, and deadlines. Yet the owner of the brick-and-mortar shop around the corner would go on as before, charging only a single tax rate and remitting taxes to only a single state. … There’s a crucial reason why merchants can only be required to collect taxes for states in which they are physically present: Anything else would be taxation without representation. States must not be allowed to reach beyond their borders, imposing tax obligations on retailers who had no vote or voice in creating those obligations, no political recourse, no opportunity to be heard. Against such unfairness, Americans once fought a revolution. A craving for revenue is no reason to forget that.” –columnist Jeff Jacoby

Read Mark Alexander’s column, “The e-Tax Scam.”

Reader Comments

“Regarding the Marketplace Fairness Act, the powers-that-be obviously don’t think about those of us who have to drive 50+ miles to get any selection at all. Please, contact your Senator and Representative to oppose this bill.” –farmgirl in Minnesota

“Besides an arrogant, greedy display of power and a disregard for our rights, the Marketplace Fairness Act is just another step on the road to this nation’s demise. My wife and I are elderly with health problems. Using the Internet is a necessary convenience for us. We’re not trying to dodge any taxes, but using a resource that makes our lives easier.” –EC in Kentucky

“It is not often that I disagree with Mark Alexander, but I must on the Marketplace Fairness Act. Since Internet businesses started, I have wondered why they have not been responsible for charging sales tax like other businesses. I’ve always felt it has provided them with an unfair advantage compared to their 'brick and mortar’ competitors. This has shown favoritism to one business model over another and has driven sales away from brick and mortar businesses. A truly conservative viewpoint would wish for a level playing field. We may agree that taxes are too high and should be reduced. But that is a different issue than creating a level playing field for businesses to compete.” –Kurt in Plano, Texas

“The Marketplace Fairness Act actually makes a difficult situation worse. Instead of leveling the playing field, small players will now have a tremendous burden to deal with nearly 10,000 taxing districts – a brick ‘n’ mortar only has to deal with one. Another way to realize just how dangerous this is, is to realize who is pushing for this – the big corporate players for Internet sales, namely the likes of Amazon and Walmart. This is a crony capitalist move to squelch competition. Also, as an online merchant, I have no problem with collecting sales tax as I currently do for purchases from inside my state. But I do object to this regulatory monstrosity. This will shut many of us smaller places down.” –Phil in Tatum, NM

Essential Liberty

“It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when we have to rely on the Russians for intelligence about terrorists in our own backyards. Who’ll try to help us next time, the North Koreans? There will be a next time. Everyone knows Boston was not a one-off. Other terror cells we don’t know anything about yet are living among us and they’re radicalized and trained to hurt us – and they will. America has millions of soft targets. … [I]t was humiliating to watch a proud city be shut down and terrorized for more than 24 hours, its people cowering and ‘sheltering in place’ because of two punks with pistols and a couple of homemade pipe bombs. Paul Revere and his fellow patriots would have been ashamed to see so many Americans afraid to even go outdoors. It’s doubtful, but maybe some of the die-hard liberals of Boston – and the rest of the country – learned a lesson from what played out so dramatically on their streets and our TVs. Two weeks ago everyone on TV was talking or crying about the need for tougher gun control because of what happened at Newtown. Now, after Boston, everyone is talking about how we all need a gun at home to protect ourselves.” –columnist Michael Reagan

Re: The Left

“New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says that in light of the Boston Marathon bombing, our interpretation of the Constitution will ‘have to change.’ … More frightening than his statement is the nagging fact that the public has not risen up in opposition to his declaration. … Long ago much of the country changed its interpretation of the Constitution. To many now, it simply means what they want it to mean, not what it actually says. Limits have been ignored, federalism evaded, wealth seized and redistributed, property confiscated, private affairs invaded and businesses subjugated. … Bloomberg’s explanation is that he merely wants to protect Americans from a ‘very dangerous world’ where ‘we know there are people who want to take away our freedoms.’ Freedoms, Mr. Mayor, such as the choice of soft drink size, the voluntary and peaceful intake of salt and trans fats, or the right to own firearms? Maybe there are enemies out there who want to take away our freedoms. But clearly, and sadly, we have political leaders who want to do the same thing. Seems like terrorists win either way.” –Investor’s Business Daily

The Gipper

“The difference between the path toward greater freedom or bigger government is the difference between success and failure; between opportunity and coercion; between faith in a glorious future and fear of mediocrity and despair; between respecting people as adults, each with a spark of greatness, and treating them as helpless children to be forever dependent; between a drab, materialistic world where Big Brother rules by promises to special interest groups, and a world of adventure where everyday people set their sights on impossible dreams, distant stars, and the Kingdom of God.” –Ronald Reagan

Insight

“The reason this country continues its drift toward socialism and big nanny government is because too many people vote in the expectation of getting something for nothing, not because they have a concern for what is good for the country. A better educated electorate might change the reason many persons vote.” –American political consultant Lyn Nofziger (1924-2006)

Opinion in Brief

“It is not certain that the Assad regime [in Syria] has used chemical weapons. … Let’s assume Assad did it. This would not change the underlying problem: Assad’s opposition is rife with assorted Islamic supremacists and jihadists. These include elements of al-Qaeda, the organization with which we are at war, and whose ardent pursuit of chemical and biological weapons has not only been noted but formally alleged in indictments for years. I am not saying we have no friends in the opposition. But, as in Egypt, they are a weak part of an opposition led by Muslim supremacists who hate the West. That is not going to change, no matter what weapons Assad uses. … There is no evidence in Syria, any more than there was in Egypt or Libya, that there was, at any point, a thriving, pro-American faction that was capable of taking the lead against the dictatorial regime. The most virulent opposition to the Assad regime has, for decades, been the Islamic supremacists – the Muslim Brotherhood and its allied violent jihadists. There is no void. This is the dynamic in the Muslim Middle East: You rationalize U.S. aid and sacrifice by telling yourself you are only helping the good guys, and then, once the regime is toppled, it turns out there aren’t enough good guys – so you end up with the Muslim Brotherhood. If Assad is replaced by the Muslim Brotherhood, that is not progress for America.” –National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy

For the Record

“Instead of helping America, our immigration policies are designed to help other countries solve their internal problems by shipping their losers to us. The problem isn’t just illegal immigration. … During the three years from 2010 through 2012, immigrants have committed about a dozen mass murders in this country, not including the 9/11 attack. The mass murderers were from Afghanistan, South Korea, Vietnam, Haiti, South Africa, Ethiopia and Mexico. None were from Canada or Western Europe. … Meanwhile, our government officials just keep singing the praises of ‘diversity,’ while expressly excluding skilled immigrants who might be less inclined to become ‘disaffected’ and lash out by killing Americans. In response to the shooting at Fort Hood, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. said: ‘As horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.’ On ‘Fox News Sunday’ this week, former CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden said of the Boston bombing suspects, ‘We welcome these kinds of folks coming to the United States who want to be contributing American citizens.’ Unless, that is, they have a college degree and bright prospects. Those immigrants are prohibited.” –columnist Ann Coulter

Culture

“The trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, facing the death penalty for the deaths of four infants and one woman in his clinic, is over. America has moved on. It’s exactly what the pro-abortion contingent wants. They want Gosnell out of the news because they want abortion out of the news. … Since Roe v Wade, we’ve given birth to a new materialistic culture of narcissism where reverence for life itself is gone. Life has become a commodity and people use each other as cavalierly as they destroy innocent young life. As our reverence for life has diminished, so has our reverence for the institutions that surround and support it. … In 1965, seven years before Roe v Wade, less then 10 percent of American babies were born to unwed mothers – 24 percent to unwed black women and 3.1 percent to unwed white women. As of 2010, this was up to 41 percent of our babies born to unwed mothers – 73 percent to black women and 29 percent to white women. Sixty percent of our out-of-wedlock births are to women in their 20’s. Soon, as our resources diminish to care for our growing aging population, we will start dealing with our elderly as we do our unborn. But if everything is meaningless, who cares?” –columnist Star Parker

The Last Word

“So a new USA Today poll showed that only 49% favor Congress passing a new gun control law. So, as James Taranto pointed out, if we take Obama’s claims at face value (and who would doubt his integrity?), then we’ve had a 41 point drop in support for background checks in five days. Wow, they really just face planted on this issue. … It’s pointless to stop a criminal from getting a gun once; you have to stop him every time. And you can’t. Trying to keep criminals from getting guns is pointless. And if you do that by disarming law abiding citizens, it’s also evil. If you want to prevent gun violence, work on the assumption the criminals already have guns. Pass laws aimed only at criminals like tougher sentences for any crime involving a gun. And make sure citizens can be armed so that being a violent criminal is a very dangerous thing. And get rid of the idiotic ‘Gun Free School Zone’ signs that basically say nothing but ‘here is a great place for a mass shooting.’ These are the only logical options available. If your emotions keep you from seeing the logic, you need to excuse yourself from this issue because you’re unable to think straight on it.” –humorist Frank J. Fleming

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team