For the past few days I have thought about the phrase “conceived in liberty”. At first I thought it might have been used in the Declaration of Independence. I checked out that document. It was not there. Then I thought the phrase might be part of the pledge of allegiance. I checked. It wasn’t there. Finally, I googled the phrase “conceived in liberty”. Turns out it was used by Abraham Lincoln in the first line of the Gettysburg Address. “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” In his next sentence Lincoln states: “Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.” Our country, so conceived and dedicated, survived the civil war. Unfortunately, it appears not to have survived the sociopaths in the Republican and Democratic parties, who continue to serve only the needs of those who can afford to make hefty campaign contributions. I went to DePauw University, a small liberal arts college in Greencastle, Indiana from 1967 until 1971. I remember back then discussing in a classroom why liberty, without the economic resources to exercise it, was not freedom at all. The example which we discussed so many years ago was that a person’s right to travel was meaningless if he could not afford to travel. While I mentally understood the … Continue Reading
It has been said that one of the virtues of law is “predictability”. Through gardening I have observed that nature’s laws are far more predictable than those made by humans. If you nurture plants they will grow. As a lawyer I have observed that the consequences of following the laws made by humans are not predictable. Sometimes people will be punished if they do not follow the law. If you are rich, you will be likely be rewarded when you break laws that increase your profits. Especially, if you are former clients of the Attorney General deemed “too big to fail.” Nature is not always fair. But it is predictable and it is not corrupt.