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jefferson

Tripolitan War
History/Politics

A Lesson From The Tripolitan War

In the west, people tend to have short memories. Typically this isn’t a problem because most lapses in memory tend to be centered around the mundane: Where you left your car keys, picking up the dry-cleaning, the date of your third cousin’s wedding to the Shriner who resembles Dwight Yoakam, only uglier – if you can imagine that. With any luck you’ll find your keys, get to the dry-cleaner, and, hopefully, you chose something more becoming to wear to the nuptial ceremony than a leisure suit. These things are easily understood and forgiven, if not completely relatable. The leisure suit… Not so much. It’s the bigger things we forget that are less understandable. Entire wars are said to have been lost to the sands of time. Less notable than the Korean War is the Tripolitan War which was declared against the United States some two hundred and sixteen years ago. Angered by President Thomas Jefferson’s refusal to pay ransom in exchange for captured merchant vessels, Yusuf Pasha declared war… Keep Reading

Philosophy/Politics

Following In The Footsteps Of The Founding Fathers

Frankly, unless one is an anti-government anarchist at one end of the great ideological divide, or a totalitarian fascist on the other, it is always a matter of degree as to how much we have in common. Moreover, most persons’ rhetoric is more purist and extremist than where they stand in reality. There is a theory that says that rhetoric and semantics trends toward extremism, so that the great irony of pulling away from philosophical absolutes (embracing a relativist culture that puts opinion over truth) is that we veer away from diversity and pluralism and closer to divisive demagoguery on the left and the right in our civic politics. Part of the difficulty in comparing the Founding Fathers’ positions with our own is the fact that we differ so much from them on a wide variety of religious, political, and cultural matters. Of course, “the Law of Nature and of Nature’s God,” as Jefferson very carefully wrote in the Declaration of Independence, is by definition an unchanging absolute. Today,… Keep Reading

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