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Timesless words wisdom from George Washington on his 282nd birthday

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Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, 8:57 p.m.

In our continuing contrarian effort to refuse to conform to the federal government's long-standing practice of disrespecting the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington by honoring all presidents on “Presidents Day,” we commend for your thoughtful review some timeless words of wisdom from Mr. Washington, the Father of Our Country, on this, his 282nd birthday:

• From a letter to Elbridge Gerry (Jan. 29, 1780): “There is nothing so likely to produce peace as to be well prepared to meet an enemy.”

• From a letter to Marquis de Lafayette (June 10, 1792): “The just medium cannot be expected to be found in a moment, the first vibrations always go to the extremes, and cool reason, which can alone establish a permanent and equal government, is as little to be expected in the tumults of popular commotion, as an attention to the liberties of the people is to be found in the dark divan of a despotic tyrant.”

• From a letter to Congress (Dec. 3, 1793): “No pecuniary consideration is more urgent, than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt: on none can delay be more injurious, or an economy of time more valuable.”

• From Washington's Farewell Address (Sept. 19, 1796): “The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, 'till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all.”

Ah, yes — words by which to live and, of course, govern.

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