Due Process of Law, #4: America’s Founding – The Capstone of the Age of Enlightenment

Declaration of Independence presented to 2nd Continental Congress 6-28-1776

1818 painting by John Trumbull
First draft of the Declaration of Independence being presented to the Second Continental Congress

By Jeff Rutherford

[Part 1 was called “Can a Law be Unlawful?”]
[Part 2 was called “What Makes a Government’s Actions Legit?”]
[Part 3 was called “Cicero and Aquinas Preserved Aristotle’s Flame”]

This series has been tracing the lineage of the concept of Due Process of Law from the dawn of the notion of individualism in ancient Greece, through the Roman Republic and Empire, the Dark Ages, the feudalism of Medieval Europe, and into Europe’s Age of Enlightenment.  Now Part 4 describes how these centuries of philosophical seeds migrated across the Atlantic and took root in the American colonies, forming the political basis for the American Revolution and influencing the structure of the American Republic.

Origins of American Constitutionalism - Donald LutzIn 1988, University of Houston political science professor Donald Lutz’ book The Origins of American Constitutionalism contained the results of a 10-year study of historic political writings during the American Founding era – 1760 to 1805.  The study identified and counted Continue reading

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Left and Right Worldviews on the Iran Deal

Obama and NetanyahuIntro by Jeff Rutherford

Twice recently I have shown Dr. Thomas Sowell’s side-by-side comparison of the Left’s vs. Right’s conflicting instincts about how best to maintain international peace.  Continue reading

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Rare Earth Elements: How the U.S. Shoots Itself in the Foot

The Ed - icon sizeContributed by Ed

Being an engineer, I love to talk about rare earth elements (REEs).  I can be very chatty about the magic of their F orbitals, what it means to their quantum mechanical properties, and so forth.  I have done that to my poor, long suffering wife of 38 years, and after she snaps out of her tech induced trance she quickly changes the subject to one that she knows something about.  Still, if you look around the house, rare earths abound in the Continue reading

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Due Process of Law, #3: Cicero and St. Thomas Aquinas Preserved Aristotle’s Flame

Statue in Aristotle Park StagiraStatue in Aristotle’s Park at Stagira, Greece
(photo credit)

By Jeff Rutherford

[Part 1 was called “Can a Law be Unlawful?”]
[Part 2 was called “What Makes a Government’s Actions Legit?”]

As I try to plow this field of the history of Western political and legal philosophy, learning as I go, a newfound friend and fellow originalist blogger – Keith DeHavelle – recently pointed out a rich patch of ground I missed a ways back.

In Part 2, I was short-sighted in leaping over the important contributions to the development of individualism from two men:  Roman philosopher, lawyer and orator Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) and Italian philosopher and theologian St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274).  So I paused to put in some learnin’ time.

These fascinating men bridged the centuries from Continue reading

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DeHavelle.com: “Natural Law, Natural Allies”

Aristotle - Avoiding Criticism(graphic credit)

By Keith DeHavelle, 6/19/2015
Reblogged from DeHavelle.com

Natural Law, Natural Allies

From time to time, I mention in these writings that I am non-religious. This has always been true of me; I am not a “converted” or “lapsed” or “apostate” anything. But many of my fellow conservatives are indeed deeply religious, and sometimes express disbelief or even disdain that a non-theist could support American conservative beliefs.

I have written elsewhere about the separation of church and state; to me, this should not be a large bone of contention. The point that seems to come up frequently involves the phrase “inalienable rights” in the Declaration of Independence and how it is to be understood.

Natural Law

A key element of the difference has to do with this famous line in the Declaration of Independence: Continue reading

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Laughing With George Younce – Side By Side

The Cathedrals in 1976 - George Younce far right

(photo credit)

George Younce (1930 – 2005) was a bass vocalist in a Southern Gospel group called The Cathedrals (far right in the above 1976 photo).  He was a very charismatic southern gentleman, with a great Continue reading

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Investor’s Business Daily: “The High Cost of Less Freedom”

W Michael Cox on Economic Freedom at IBD(photo credit)

Economic Freedom Made America Rich – But It’s Falling

By W. Michael Cox and Richard Alm
Investor’s Business Daily, 6/12/2015

Do Americans face a future of living standards that don’t grow as fast as they once did or, worse yet, even decline? Previous generations might have scoffed at the question. Becoming better off in terms of consumption per capita was something of a birthright, the result of decades of progress that put Americans at the top of the heap with average spending of $32,000 a year.

But the long-established optimism has faded in recent years — and we have only ourselves to blame. The country has strayed from the economic model that created a consumer cornucopia. We’re living above our means, one of a mere handful of countries with diminishing prospects Continue reading

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