Search Results for: label/bryan adams

John Adams on America, Democracy, Morality, and More

John Adams brilliant insights on America, democracy, morality, and a wide range of issues and ideas deserve more attention than this almost forgotten – and recently rediscovered – Founding Father has sometimes received.

Our first vice president and second president was John Adams, who stepped out of the shadows of Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, and other Founding Fathers in the modern consciousness with the surprise bestselling biography by David McCullough and the HBO miniseries based on it.

Here are just a few quotes from the Massachusetts school teacher, lawyer, and politician – who went to Harvard to study for the ministry at his father’s encouragement – and the father of a political dynasty, including his son, John Quincy Adams, the 6th President of the United States. But just a warning. Of all the Founding Fathers, perhaps none was more of a curmudgeon than Adams.

I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in providence, for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.

In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.

No man who ever held the office of president would congratulate a friend on obtaining it.

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other.

Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.

There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.

Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people.

Be not intimidated… nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice.

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.

Contact Page

Snail Mail:

2000 Mallory Lane, Suite 130-229, Franklin, Tennessee 37067

Walking With God in America …

Anyone who doesn’t believe God has blessed America just needs to take a long walk and witness her beauty posits Ken Duncan, a world renowned Australian photographer, who visited all 50 states with his camera and notepad.

In the intro to his book, Walking With God In America, Duncan writes:
It might seem funny that although I am Australian, God has given me a real burden for America. No nation in the world has been more naturally blessed than the United States, and I believe God has done that so people will understand how much He cares for the nation. America’s faith in God is what had made it one of the greatest countries on earth, and faith is a beacon of hope for other struggling nations around the world.

From “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance (the phrase was upheld in 2004 by the Supreme Court 5-4 because Sandra Day O’Connor argued that the phrase is “meaningless” — “any religious freight the words may have been meant to carry has long since been lost”) to removing references to God in textbooks on American history, the place or name of God in America’s public square — literally — is an ongoing political and legal powder keg.

I’ll defer any attempts at an argument that maintaing liberty requires virtue — and virtue requires true religion, to John Adams:
We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

For now, I’ll leave debates on whether or Constitution intends for there to be freedom of religion or freedom from religion and follow Duncan’s simple advice to look for America’s spirit in her beauty!
Acknowledgments: Panographic photographs are (c) Ken Duncan and used by permission; all rights reserved. The quote from Sandra Day O’Connor and John Adams are from Rediscovering God In America by Newt Gingrich (Thomas Nelson).

Bestselling Books of 2012

2012 was a good year to sell books as an author if your last name was James or Collins.

The January 4, 2012, online of edition of Publishers Weekly provided a chart with three bestseller lists, all dominated at the top by Fifty Shades of Grey (E.L. James) and The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins).

Bestselling Books of 2012
Nielsen Bookscan Top 20
Amazon Kindle Top 20
Amazon Print Top 20
1. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (Vintage)
1. Fifty Shades of Greyby E.L. James (Vintage)
1. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (Vintage)
2. Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James (Vintage)
2. Fifty Shades Darkerby E.L. James (Vintage)
2. Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James (Vintage)
3. Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James (Vintage)
3. Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James (Vintage)
3. Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James (Vintage)
4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)1
4. The Hunger Gamesby Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
5. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
5. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
5. StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath (Gallup Press)
6. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
6. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
6. Fifty Shades Trilogy Box Set by E.L. James (Vintage)
7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney (Amulet Books)
7. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Crown)
7. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
8. No Easy Day by Mark Owen (Dutton)
8. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
8. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
9. Killing Kennedy by Bill O’Reilly (Henry Holt)
9. Bared to You by Sylvia Day (Berkley)
9. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney (Amulet Books)
10. Fifty Shades Trilogy Box Set by E.L. James (Vintage)
10. The Racketeer by John Grisham (Doubleday)
10. No Easy Day by Mark Owen (Dutton)
11. Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly (Henry Holt)
11. Reflected in You by Sylvia Day (Berkley)
11. The Hunger Games Trilogy Box Set by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
12. Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson)
12. The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central)
12. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Crown)
13. The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan (Hyperion)
13. Defending Jacob by William Landay (Delacorte)
13. The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan (Hyperion)
14. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Crown)
14. War Brides by Helen Bryan (AmazonEncore)
14. The Official SAT Study Guide, 2nd Edition by the College Board (The College Board)
15. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)2
15. A Game of Thronesby George R.R. Martin (Bantam)
15. A Song of Fire and Ice, Books 1–4 by George R.R. Martin (Bantam)
16. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)3
16. The Innocent by David Baldacci (Grand Central)
16. Killing Kennedy by Bill O’Reilly (Henry Holt)
17. The Hunger Games Triology Box Set by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
17. No Easy Day by Mark Owen (Dutton)
17. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (Amer. Psychological Assn.)
18. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (Little, Brown)
18. A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin (Bantam)
18. Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly (Henry Holt)
19. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney (Amulet Books)
19. 11/22/63 by Stephen King (Scribner)
19. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (Random House)
20. The Racketeer by John Grisham (Doubleday)
20. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Berkley)
20. Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander (Simon & Schuster)
Nielsen/BookScan (week ending Dec. 30, 2012)
Amazon Kindle (as of Dec. 31, 2012)
Amazon (as of Dec. 31, 2012)

George Washington On Politics and Virtue and Handguns

A happy and blessed 4th of July to you and America on its 233rd birthday.

On this fourth day of posting quotes it is only fitting to give George Washington the seat of honor. When Henry Lee delivered his funeral oration in 1799, he said of him, he was “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”

Yesterday we highlighted Lincoln, who held the union of a young nation together – at the cost of a Civil War – through force of will. Washington was the one who through force of will, personality, diplomacy, and talent kept the union from disintegrating before it started. After winning the Revolutionary War, Washington headed straight for his plantation in Mount Vernon to retire from public life. When King George III heard this, he said that if he would actually do that he was the greatest man who ever lived. And it seems to be the case that Washington really wasn’t interested in holding power, despite winning the presidency two terms.

His quotes, as well as those of Adams, Jefferson, and Lincoln from previous days, underscore the degree to which our nation was built on the premise that Freedom required good citizens – and that good citizens were those who practiced virtue and lived with integrity. A nice reminder for our day on this 4th. Enjoy!

While we are contending for our own liberty, we should be very cautious not to violate the rights of conscience in others, ever considering that God alone is the judge of the hearts of men, and to him only in this case they are answerable.

It is with pleasure I receive reproof, when reproof is due, because no person can be readier to accuse me, than I am to acknowledge an error, when I am guilty of one; nor more desirous of atoning for a crime, when I am sensible of having committed it.

I shall make it the most agreeable part of my duty to study merit, and Labour to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience.

Few men have virtue enough to withstand the highest bidder.

A people… who are possessed of the spirit of commerce, who see and who will pursue their advantages may achieve almost anything.

I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is the best policy.

However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

To contract new debts is not the way to pay old ones.

Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.

Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation. It is better be alone than in bad company.

Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all.

Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession.

Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples’ liberty’s teeth.

Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.

Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.

I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of slavery.

I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War.