Monday, February 9, 2009

Quote from the Federalist

Lately I have been reading through The Federalist Papers. The other day I came across some great quotes from Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 8 first published Tuesday, November 20, 1787:

Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates. The violent destruction of life and property incident to war, the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. To be more safe, they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free.
And further...

The perpetual menacings of danger oblige the government to be always prepared to repel it; its armies must be numerous enough for instant defense. The continual necessity for their services enhances the importance of the soldier, and proportionably degrades the condition of the citizen. The military state becomes elevated above the civil. The inhabitants of territories, often the theatre of war, are unavoidably subjected to frequent infringements on their rights, which serve to weaken their sense of those rights; and by degrees the people are brought to consider the soldiery not only as their protectors, but as their superiors. The transition from this disposition to that of considering them masters, is neither remote nor difficult; but it is very difficult to prevail upon a people under such impressions, to make a bold or effectual resistance to usurpations supported by the military power.
The entire paper can be read here. These are thoughts that made me pause and think. Are we willing to be less free in order to be safe? Are we elevating the military state above the civil? Alexander Hamilton seemed to be seeing far into the future when he penned these words.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Advanced Presspot Techniques from Coffeegeek

This video demonstrates some presspot techniques that I haven't tried before but might be worth a shot. Pulling the grounds off before pressing will make for easier cleanup if nothing else.