Jim Demint on Rights Without Natural Law, and more

CiceroKnollerMedJim Demint is a familiar name to most of us, former Senator and now head of Heritage. Recently he had something to say about unalienable rights, here’s some of it.

While musing on the writings of author and philosopher G.K. Chesterton in his personal notebook, a young John F. Kennedy wrote, “Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason why it was put up.” Fences hold things in we want to keep close, and protect us from things we want to keep out. But Chesterton and JFK were not making a point about physical fences. They were speaking of the ideas, principles, and institutions that surround the things that make life worth living, and protect us from threats to those things we value and love.

This is the sort of fence we are currently “taking down” in America. Since its inception, America has been surrounded and protected by a unique set of ideas that created the strongest, most prosperous, most secure and compassionate land of opportunity that has ever existed. These ideas were considered by America’s founders to be “self-evident” because they were based on the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” (from the first sentence of the Declaration of Independence).

Generations of Americans have lived in security and freedom because our leaders have generally been faithful to the belief that nature’s God, the Creator, imbued all people with unalienable rights, including the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The second sentence of the Declaration is all based on the assumption of what we call natural law:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

via You Have No Rights Without Natural Law

He goes on a bit and he is correct.

In the meantime, Laurence W Maher was writing in The Spectator about ‘hate speech’,

Will we live to see anything to match the suddenness, the scale and the ferocity of the eruption of hatred and loathing directed by the global know-it-alls at the 17.5 million Britons who, when invited to express their democratic wishes, had the temerity to vote in favour of the UK leaving the EU? Those envious, uneducated, ignorant, poor fools simply don’t understand: Inclusion rules OK!

Some Australians share the horror of the know-it-alls. The prescriptions of some of them reflect the (post)modern curse of abstractionitis. There are taboo ideas. We are told which words we must or must not use. They insist that ‘debate’ is bad. We must always ‘engage’ one another in ‘conversation’ (provided it is ‘meaningful’). We must be ‘inclusive’ and ‘respectful’ and otherwise comply with many other abstract multicultural pieties. We must tremble and wring our hands in timidity if we are exposed to anything remotely ‘divisive’ or ‘unsafe’.

This prescriptive school of democratic correctness is backed up by the legally enforceable censorious command of the Australian Human Rights Commission that we worship at the high altar of difference and diversity. A word search of the AHRC online archive demonstrates that the word ‘dissent’ is not part of its vocabulary. Its motto is ‘everyone, everywhere, everyday’. (The online anagram generator produced ‘evade or eye envy or nervy eye’). In truth, the AHRC is exhorting Australians to think and speak according to a simple rule – diversity in everything, EXCEPT OPINION OK!

via Ironic triumph of hate speech

Strikes me as pretty much diametrically opposite. And that marks the reason why Demint (and I) see it as a problem. As many including George Orwell demonstrated there is no real freedom without free speech. Has it perhaps been abused to cover trash as art and such things? Perhaps, but art is in the eye of the beholder, and like the old legal saying that it is better to release 1000 guilty men than convict one innocent man. That holds here, as well. And that is one of the things about America and Americans, we understand that the right to free speech is exactly consonant with the right to offend.

Demint ends with this, which is fairly obviously true as well.

Politicians will not rebuild the fence of natural law. It must be rebuilt by individuals, families, churches, schools, businesses, and volunteer organizations. It will only be rebuilt by We the People if we have the courage to tie our rights back to an eternal natural order.

Hillary, Comey, and the Rule of Law

imagesAnd so it happened, as I said it would, Hillary Clinton will not be indicted. Well, I thought it pretty obvious that the Obama administration would not indict the Democratic nominee, pretty much no matter how strong the evidence. Here is FBI director James Comey’s statement on the matter.

I like so many others, see it as 1:) a gross miscarriage of justice, and 2:) the breakdown of the Rule of Law, specifically of equality under the law. My view of its ramifications is very well stated by Kurt Schlichter in Town Hall.

Sometimes in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another. It is high time to declare our personal independence from any remnant of obligation to those who have spit upon the rule of law. We owe them nothing – not respect, not loyalty, not obedience.

Think about it. If you are out driving at 3 a.m., do you stop at a stop sign when there’s no one coming? Of course you do. You don’t need a cop to be there to make you stop. You do it voluntarily because this is America and America is a country where obeying the law is the right thing to do because the law was justly made and is justly applied. Or it used to be.

The law mattered. It applied equally to everyone. We demanded that it did, all of us – politicians, the media, and regular citizens. Oh, there were mistakes and miscarriages of justice but they weren’t common and they weren’t celebrated – they were universally reviled. And, more importantly, they weren’t part and parcel of the ideology of one particular party. There was once a time where you could imagine a Democrat scandal where the media actually called for the head of the Democrat instead of deploying to cover it up.

People assumed that the law mattered, that the same rules applied to everyone. That duly enacted laws would be enforced equally until repealed. That the Constitution set the foundation and that its guarantees would be honored even if we disliked the result in a particular case. But that’s not our country today.

The idea of the rule of law today is a lie. There is no law. There is no justice. There are only lies.

Hillary Clinton is manifestly guilty of multiple felonies. Her fans deny it half-heartedly, but mostly out of habit – in the end, it’s fine with them if she’s a felon. They don’t care. It’s just some law. What’s the big deal? It doesn’t matter that anyone else would be in jail right now for doing a fraction of what she did. But the law is not important. Justice is not important.

via: You Owe Them Nothing – Not Respect, Not Loyalty, Not Obedience

And yet, it’s true, Comey is caught in the middle between very powerful forces, including his oath. John Hinderaker makes some valid points on this on the PowerlineBlog.

I don’t disagree with those who are disappointed that FBI Director James Comey more or less re-wrote federal law to avoid criminally prosecuting a leading contender for the presidency, four months before the election. On the other hand, I can’t really say that I blame him. It seems to me that Comey left the judgment on Hillary to be rendered by the American people. And he certainly made it clear what the FBI thinks of the Democrats’ nominee.

I agree with Roger Simon, who writes: “Did Comey Actually Destroy Hillary Clinton by ‘Exonerating’ Her?”

He may have let her off the hook legally, but personally he has left the putative Democratic candidate scarred almost beyond recognition.

By getting out in front of the Justice Department, the FBI director, speaking publicly in an admittedly unusual fashion, was able to frame the case in a manner that Attorney General Loretta Lynch in all probability never would have.

I think that is correct. […]

via: Can Hillary Survive?

You know, I think there is a lot of truth in that, as well. Trying to thread the needle in a very toxic situation is not easy. We all like to think we would do the honorable thing, and if the evidence shows that a crime was committed, we would ask the government to indict. But, these waters are definitely shark infested, and I suspect we are fooling ourselves if we think we would stick our neck out that far.

Say he did ask for an indictment, and then the Department of Justice Botched it, then it’s over, forever. The way it is now, it could possibly be revisited, and he did a reasonable job of putting the facts out there, before the American people. It may not be what Washington would have done, but it’s not a completely unreasonable thing to do, whatever I (and you) may think.

Frankly, I’m very glad that I don’t have to walk a mile in his shoes. Yes, he volunteered for the job, but how many of us see clearly enough to see this sort of maelstrom on the horizon. I don’t think there are any winners in this, not Hillary, not Comey, not Lynch, not Obama, and certainly not We, the People. Sometimes, life sucks for pretty much everyone.

Lawless America

I was watching the dramatisation of the Nuremberg Tribunal (the one with Alec Baldwin) last night, and it made me think.

First, with the immigration status, and such, how far is Germany again from the maelstrom that existed under Weimar? And what will happen this time? We know history doesn’t repeat, exactly, but it does rhyme. Something to think about, for us all.

But my stronger feeling was that America may be circling that same drain, for all the reasons that Bob Livingston writes of here. It doesn’t mean that it has to happen, or that it has to happen this way, but it means that we have a serious problem with this, and we’d best be thinking about a solution.

America is a nation of thousands if not millions of laws, yet it is a lawless nation.

A lawless nation is no nation at all. It is merely a Third-world backwater where those in power who lord over the people and abuse them for their own gain, for the gain of the bureaucrat class, and for the benefit of the banksters and the crony corporations who fund the charade elections every two or four years.

So those thousands or millions of laws written “for our benefit” – at least that’s what we’re told each time another edict from the District of Criminals becomes “law” – are employed against us while those in power are given a pass on them. Beyond that, those in power make the laws arbitrary by enforcing them or not enforcing them on a whim.

Last week, Brandon Judd of the National Border Patrol Council told  a House Judiciary Committee that the Barack Obama Department of Homeland Security had instructed U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents to release illegal immigrants and no longer order them to appear at deportation hearings. The stand down order includes a requirement that the whereabouts of illegals not be tracked, the Washington Examiner reported.

Judd said the new policy was implemented because only about 40 percent of illegal aliens apprehended and given a Notice to Appear (NTA) before an immigration judge actually show up. The process became so farcical that Border Patrol agents began calling them Notices to Disappear.

So in order to avoid the embarrassment of admitting that 60 percent of all illegals apprehended fail to appear before an immigration judge as required, the DHS and the Attorneys from the Department of Just(us) decided that any illegals apprehended who had no felony convictions and who claim to have been in the U.S. since January 2014 are to be released without an NTA.

Judd further testified:

Not only do we release these individuals that by law are subject to removal proceedings, we do it without any means of tracking their whereabouts. Agents believe this exploitable policy was set in place because DHS was embarrassed at the sheer number of those who choose not to follow the law by showing up for their court appearances. In essence, we pull these persons out of the shadows and into the light just to release them right back to those same shadows from whence they came.

Let me give you an example from my sector in Montana. Several months ago we arrested an illegal alien with a felony domestic violence arrest from another state. He was released because his trial had not occurred and therefore had not been convicted. Mind you he had not been acquitted either but we had to let him go all the same.

Under the law he should have been set up for removal proceedings, but under the policy he was let go. And he was let go even though he first proved that he cared so little about our laws that he entered the United States illegally, and once here, he proved further disdain by getting arrested for a serious violent act against another. What did we teach him and everyone else he undoubtedly told about his experience? We taught him our laws mean very little, but policies mean everything.

via Lawless America – Personal Liberty®.

Answers? I’m not sure I have any, but until we define the problems that doesn’t matter, so let’s get to defining!

Cultural Tyrants

I wrote last week about how proud I am to be fellow citizens with the admirable citizens of Charleston, that post is here. Their reaction is pretty much what one would expect of American citizens and/or Christians, traditionally the same thing white or black. That anybody was surprised, says more about our current culture (very bad things) than anything else. Writing for The American Spectator magazine, Scott McKay has some thought as well.

Following the nine killed by 21-year-old ninth grade dropout and troglodyte Dylann Roof at the Mother Emanuel AME Church last week, the people of that venerable South Carolina city have given the nation one of our more inspiring spectacles — thousands gathering in prayer and demonstrating for unity and civility. Had the reaction of Charleston been the major story, the massacre — disgusting and tragic as it was — would have told us something good about the basic character of the American people.

Your author will go so far as to say Charleston’s reaction has told us something true, as well — about most of us, at least.

Unfortunately, most of us are not represented by our betters in politics, media and the cultural elite. Our ruling class missed the unity and healing in Charleston completely — so anxious were they to make Roof the epitome of the knuckle-dragging white Southerner (and Republican, at that, though there is no evidence of his membership in the GOP) and present a “teachable moment” to the American people who foolishly believe despite the presence of a black president that America has not fundamentally advanced on race since the bad old days of Jim Crow.

The left, including the President, instantly tried one more time their narrative on gun control, when America yawned in boredom in their faces, they decided that the Battle Flag of one of the most revered American armies, North or South, would be a more viable target. It is, mostly because that flag was defiled after the war and again in the 1960s for the racist purposes of the Democratic Party, and the founder of its terrorist arm, as well as some of it’s more modern members. there is a reason, why the left wants us to forget our history after all, and it is largely because of their place in it. But because it has been misused institutionally that flag is vulnerable, through no fault of its own. The same can validly be said for American history.

The Battle Flag is likely a poor choice for us to occupy that last trench, and yet at some point we are going to have to push back, or we will lose our America, its idealism, its history of trying to do the right thing, its belief that freedom is always better, and yes, its eternal optimism. So if not the Battle Flag, What? If not us, Who? If not now, When? America can never be defeated by an external enemy, neither can Christianity, both can be destroyed by a cancerous rot, and it appears to be metastasizing. To continue with Scott:

The preservation of Southern history, heritage, and culture might not seem like much of a cause to many of our readers, and that’s fine. But the same crowd howling about the racist rednecks in South Carolina and Mississippi is also demanding that students at UCLA not be taught that America is the land of opportunity, for that is also racist and thus offensive. At Cal-Berkeley, traditional American mantras about meritocracy or our country as a melting pot are now unacceptable. At Cal-Irvine the American flag itself is offensive. So are crosses on display in public places, or dogs or the smell of pork in Dearborn and Minneapolis. Or churches wishing to specialize in intersex weddings. Or “manspreading” males on New York subway trains.

This isn’t stopping at the Confederate flag. It accelerates with each victory the cultural Left achieves. And never, ever is there a price paid for its aggression.

At some point, the rest of us are going to have to exact that price. The stars and bars can go, and if Bedford Forrest, who may have been a singular cavalry officer but did, after all, serve as first Grand Wizard of the Democratic Party’s 19th-century terrorist arm, goes with it that’s not an unbearable loss to anyone’s heritage. But while we’re scrubbing the bad baggage from our culture, can we have a merciful end to the painfully stupid leftist obsession with cop-killing racists such as Mumia Abu Jamal, communist terrorists like Bill Ayers, and psychopathic Marxist white supremacists like Che Guevara? How about, as Victor Davis Hanson suggested, an end to racist Leftist institutions like the Congressional Black Caucus and La Raza? If we’re to crack down on the cultural cachet of the Old South, can we conduct a similar purge of the New Black Panthers?

Perhaps as a small token of exchange we could see a prosecution of Al Sharpton for his well-known tax evasion? Is that so awful a price?

A price must be exacted. The Left cannot be allowed its double standards and guilty pleasures on the way to unquestioned cultural dominance. If traditional America must perish under Alinsky’s Rule #4 (“Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules”), then so must the Left.

Continue reading: Cultural Tyrants | The American Spectator.

The time for the backlash is, I fear, drawing very near, and as we did on that construct of the Democratic Party, the Confederate States of America, it is likely that we will wreak a terrible vengeance on those who would destroy the very idea of America, or the dream that is America will end. And von Clausewitz did teach us, after all, that war is simply politics by another name.

King v. Burwell Pits Rule Of Law Against Rule By Decree

shutterstock_199125452-998x666In the next week, we are going to talk quite a lot about the “Rule of Law” as opposed to the prerogative power. here’s a foretaste of why it is so important.

[…] The president’s remarks come as the Supreme Court is preparing this month to decide King v. Burwell, a case that challenges whether the law ever actually authorized subsidies for health coverage paid out through federal exchanges. The details of Burwell reveal the degree to which the Obama administration’s handling of the ACA is ultimately at odds with ideals and aspirations that really are woven into the fabric of America: the rule of law and the separation of powers under the U.S. Constitution.

The ACA says plainly that subsidies may only be administered “through an Exchange established by the State.” But when it became clear that dozens of states were not going to create exchanges, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), at the behest of the White House, simply issued a rule saying that subsidies could flow through exchanges created and operated by the federal government.

The Obama Administration Embodies Will to Power

In other words, the challengers in King v. Burwell contend that the White House illegally authorized billions of dollars of taxes and spending, circumventing Congress and flouting the statutory text of the ACA by administrative decree. The accusation isn’t a stretch. After all, governing by decree has become commonplace in the Obama era—from the ACA’s many unauthorized delays, to the president’s executive order on immigration last year, to the State Department’s recent gun speech gag order.

Continue readin: King v. Burwell Pits Rule Of Law Against Rule By Decree.

Ahem: Bill Whittle & Louis XV

Sorry guys, my antihistamine keeps me from putting three coherent thoughts together, so here’s Bill Whittle and the comparisons between King Obama I and Louis XV,

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