Of Rights and Needs

The gun confiscation people (who want us to believe that they simply want ‘common-sense gun regulation’) make a lot of noise about what we need. In the first place, they haven’t a clue what living in the middle of Nebraska is like, let alone Alaska, but they think one size fits all legislation is just fine. They’re wrong of course.

But that is not the real point. The Constitution and especially The Bill of Rights is the American guarantee of the freedom and the sovereignty of the people and no one else.

It harks back to Jefferson’s words in the Declaration of Independence:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

As we all know the Declaration is not law, I like to call it a mission statement. That mission is to create a country of free people, who can say and do as they please without fear of the government. The Consitution and the Bill of Rights were written to secure these rights through time.

Shortly after the Constitutional Convention, Pennsylvania called a convention to consider it, including whether it needed a Bill of Rights appended. John Smilie warned:

“Congress may give us a select militia which will, in fact, be a standing army-or Congress, afraid of a general militia, may say there shall be no militia at all. When a select militia is formed; the people in general may be disarmed.”

Carrying this point forward Tenche Coxe a prolific writer on the Consitution and the rights of Americans wrote this:

The power of the sword, say the minority of Pennsylvania, is in the hands of Congress. My friends and countrymen, it is not so, for THE POWERS OF THE SWORD ARE IN THE HANDS OF THE YEOMANRY OF AMERICA FROM SIXTEEN TO SIXTY.  The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the militia? are they not ourselves. Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American. What clause in the state or federal constitution hath given away that important right…. The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.

In short, the Founder’s would have had, in fact, did have, no problem with the citizens’ possession of any and all military weapons. Remember the most advanced weapons of the day were the Pennsylvania rifle, the Brown Bess musket, and bronze smoothbore howitzers, all of which are to this day unregulated.

And yes, this argument does indicate that the National Firearms Act of 1937 is unconstitutional (this is where the licensing of fully automatic weapons and some other devices came in). As the Supreme Court originally ruled only to be pressured by the Roosevelt administration’s court-packing scheme.

You see we are not talking here of needs, we are talking of the rights of a free citizenry, and what may suffice to keep it free.

An interesting note is that Coxe served in a subcabinet role in the Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison administrations. In Jefferson’s administration, you will recall that this was during the Napoleonic Wars, he was responsible for military procurement. In that capacity he wrote to the President:

The free people of these states may be estimated at five millions. The men able to bear arms may be computed at one million. It is respectfully believed and it is most anxiously suggested that measures for the immediate acquisition by purchase, importation and manufacture of muskets, rifles and pistols to arm our one million of effective free men … should be taken into consideration.

I suspect many of us have seen this meme lately

The Founder’s, including the founder of the Democrat Party emphatically, say “YES!

 

Hong Kong, Updated

The protests in Hong Kong continue, and in fact increase, the airport was shut down by them earlier this week, even as Chinese forces gather on the border. It is a dangerous time to be a Hong Konger. They fight for the same thing we fought Britain for long ago, and the same things that have underlaid almost every one of our wars. The Star-Spangled Banner and our anthem have joined with the flag of the Royal Colony of Hong Kong and the British Union Flag to mark the protestors. It is something we should be proud of.

I suspect most of us are, this is the sign of the world the Anglosphere has built. Not all that long ago, in 1941, if you were free, English was your native language, and yes, Hong Kong was amongst us, although they would soon be occupied by Imperial Japan. I think they learned the lesson.

But we were the first, the original revolutionaries, who continue the revolution, the keepers of the flame that illuminate the City on the Hill, and guides all who would be free. But as we have learned that doesn’t mean that the US can make everyone free, we have certainly learned that lesson to our cost in the last twenty years. It truly is as Secretary of State John Quincy Adams said back in 1821:

Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause, by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.

But still, our sympathy and perhaps some measure of our nonmilitary power should be engaged here. These people understand the dream, from its founding. Their original cause was an extradition treaty that would have found them in front of Chinese kangaroo courts. How different from that is this:

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

or

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

Or even this:

No freemen shall be taken or imprisoned or disseised or exiled or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him nor send upon him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.

That is article 39 of Magna Charta, dating from 1215, part of the ultimate bedrock of individual freedom for America as it is for all Anglophone countries

So yes, we should be supporting the Hong Kongers, although I do not think we should get ourselves into a war with China over it. There are, of course, other means. And we should use them. Dr. Nikolai G. Wenzel writes in Law and Liberty:

But this afternoon, things are different.  I’m joining my former student and her friends for a protest in support of liberty in Hong Kong.  When I first heard of the troubles in Hong Kong, I initially thought I’d play it safe. This was not my fight, and there wasn’t much I could do.  I would teach my classes and stay away from demonstrations.  But I was faced with a moral choice. Hong Kong has a tradition of rule of law, Hong Kong is a land of liberty, Hong Kong has become a second home.

I had reached out to my former student for our annual dinner in the Fragrant Harbor – we’ll call her V (for obvious reasons, I will not share her identity).  We made dinner plans. She also invited me to a protest.  At first, I wasn’t sure.  What if facial recognition technology led to a lost work visa for next year’s class?  What if I found myself detained during the march, and missed my class the next day?  I was embarrassed at my first reaction.  I have been teaching liberty and preaching the gospel according to Hayek for the past decade.  Yet, presented with an opportunity to support true freedom fighters, I found myself balking, and thinking of admittedly bourgeois consideration. However, these are the very same bourgeois considerations Hong Kongers want to defend:  life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  So what if I lose my visa for next year.  So what if I miss a class because I am briefly detained by the police.  These people are fighting – desperately – for their lost liberties.  So I decided to march, and set aside my petty worries.

When Hong Kong was handed from the UK to China in 1997, the agreement included basic legal and political guarantees.  First, Hong Kong would not be swallowed into the People’s Republic of China, but administered as a Special Administrative Region (SAR), under the policy of “one country, two systems.”  Second, the rights of the people of Hong Kong would be guaranteed under a Basic Law, which includes democracy, rule of law, and individual rights.

Keep reading, and yes, I admire him. It takes guts to put our butts where our mouth is, and more of us should be making noise about this. The Hong Kongers are right to use American and British symbols in their fight. As we have seen this has been our battle since before the days of King John.

And you know, we hear much about the evils of British and US colonialism, here is portrayed the other side, that you will not hear in the media or the schools, or from the Democrats (or Labour), this is also about how we taught the world what it is to be a free man, and many of them learned the lesson well.

God bless and keep Hong Kong free.

The Wednesday Compendium

Richard Gere visited that refugee ship that the Italians are preventing form landing its passengers (good for them, in my opinion). Weasel Zippers tells us this.

He [Gere] compared the political situation in Italy, where League leader and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has repeatedly refused requests by migrant ships to dock, to that of the U.S. administration of Donald Trump.

“We have our problems with refugees coming from Honduras, Salavador, Nicaragua, Mexico… It’s very similar to what you are going through here,” he said, accusing politicians in both Italy and the United States of demonising migrants.

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini came very close to winning the internet with his response.

“Given this generous millionaire is voicing concern for the fate of the Open Arms migrants, we thank him: he can take back to Hollywood, on his private plane, all the people aboard and support them in his villas. Thank you Richard!” he said in a statement.

Well done, Minister Salvini. Sounds like something we’ve all thought, and perhaps said, more than once, doesn’t it?


National Security Advisor John Bolton is currently in London, talking to the British about Brexit and how it will affect our relationship. According to Guido, he said this:

He makes clear the US would “enthusiastically” support the UK if it left with no deal:

“If that is the decision of the British government, we will support it enthusiastically. That is the message I am bringing: we are with you. Britain’s success in successfully exiting the EU is a statement about democratic rule and constitutional government that is important for Britain but for the US too.”

Which is exactly what I’ve wanted ever since British Independence Day back on  23 June 2016. That it has taken over three years to finally get to this point makes it clear that Theresa May was the worst Prime Minister since at least Lord North.  As somebody said, Lord North only lost America, Theresa May did her best to lose Britain itself. Thank God for Boris Johnson, and may he steer a proper course back to independence. Somebody, back in some dangerous time, signaled, “England expects that every man will do his duty” Nothing much has changed in that regard since 23 October 1805.

This is part of the reason it is so important. From Mr. Bolton.

“The fashion in the European Union when the people vote the wrong way from the way the elites want to go, is make the peasants vote again and again until they get it right.”

Bolton, like many in the Trump administration, is an ideological supporter of Brexit as well as a pragmatic one. Remainers can complain all they like but it’s not a bad thing to have in your closest ally at this moment in time…

There are a lot of Americans (including me) who think that way, and some 16.7 million Britons as well.


Over at American Thinker, Eileen F. Toplansky wants to know why blacks are relinquishing their birthright. It’s a good question. Here is some of her article.

The Democrat Party knows only one way to reach the Black population in this country. They race-bait; they lie; they foment change that never actually helps Black people. They engage in covert racism against the very people they claim to want to help.

Cities that are Democratically-controlled have an abysmal record of assisting Black citizens. Yet, when election time comes around, the Democrats swoop in with their promises only to leave when the television cameras cease running.

She then talks about The Freedmen’s Bureau established in the War Department during Reconstruction.

On April 19, 1866, former slaves Benjamin Berry Manson and Sarah Ann Benton White received an official marriage certificate from the Freedmen’s Bureau, officially known as the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands.

The Wilson County, Tennessee couple had lived as slave man and wife since October 28, 1843, and for the first time in more than two decades their marriage had finally received legal recognition. The Freedmen’s Bureau — established in the War Department by an act of Congress on March 3, 1865 … provided freed people with food and clothing, medical attention, employment, support for education, help with military claims, and a host of other socially related services — including assisting ex-slave couples in formalizing marriages they had entered into during slavery.

For the Mansons — who had lived intermittently on separate farms — the marriage certificate issued by the Freedmen’s Bureau was more than a document ‘legally’ sealing the sacred bonds of holy matrimony. Listing the names and ages of 9 of their 16 children, it was for them a symbol of freedom and the long-held hope that they and their children would one day live free as a family in the same household.

Benjamin and Sarah Manson were not alone in their quest to put their slave marriage on a legal footing. When freedom came, tens of thousands of former slave men and women — some seeking to marry for the first time and others attempting to solemnize long-standing relationships — sought help from Union Army clergy, provost marshals, northern missionaries, and the Freedmen’s Bureau.

We don’t talk enough about how we tried to help the former slaves and accomplished quite a lot.

Regarding education, how is it that so many black students are not excelling in school?  Frederick Douglass innately understood that slavery and education are incompatible because ignorance is one way slave-owners kept their slaves manageable.  Why aren’t black students demanding that they be taught the basics and not a slew of left-wing indoctrination meant to divide people and keep them down?

While no one is in actual iron chains, the Democratic Party keeps black people manageable because they have been denied the tools to succeed in reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic.  If you can barely read, you are ripe for the indoctrination and emotional angst the Democrats whip up.  If you are praised when you speak street talk in an effort to avoid appearing educated, what kind of gift is that?  If Democrats — now diehard leftists — use “white privilege” arguments in order to lure in naïve black students, these students have become useful tools to the left-wing Democratic Party.

As Thomas Sowell has written, “[d]uring the half century following the Civil War, an estimated $57 million was contributed from the North to educate black students in the South and blacks themselves contributed an additional $24 million.  But the Southern states dragged their feet on creating schools — and especially high schools — for black children.”

In fact, it was the Southern Democrats who were determined not to let black children realize their full potential.

Read it all. She is completely, thoroughly, and unequivocally correct. It’s a shame that Johnson and his heirs have so suborned the blacks that they actually do believe that their oppressors are their friends. I suspect than when the scales drop from their eyes, there will be hell to pay. I hope it comes soon because the longer it takes, the worse it will be, both for them now and for us all later.

Not for nothing did President Kennedy say:

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

And that applies to all three stories we have here today.

A Cold Civil War?

Ugh!

I very much fear that J. J. Sefton’s Morning Report at Ace’s yesterday is spot on.

Good morning, kids. A commenter, whose name I apologize for not remembering, remarked yesterday evening (paraphrasing) “we wake up, have bacon and eggs, send the kids to school, walk the dog, go to work, come home and everything seems just fine, and then we turn on the internet to find out we’re on the verge of civil war.” Well, that is exactly right. Unfortunately both parts of that observation are indeed happening and they are not in the least contradictory. At the risk of repeating myself from yesterday, in 2016 we the people elected Trump to stop the madness of the 100-year project to fundamentally destroy the nation as founded, and for that mortal sin, we are witnessing the reaction to that rejection by the Democrat-Left-Media-Globalist-Deep State Complex. The question is, is it their death rattle (to the extent that the underlying evil that infects their core beliefs can ever be killed off) or the hours before an imminent banzai charge?

Whatever it is, there is no doubt that the ramping up of violent rhetoric and the concomitant violence it has engendered since Trump was elected and arguably going further back into the Obama eight-year reign of error can be 100% laid at the feet of the Left. And by that I mean its political and media leadership. From typical smear tactics and mere lying to the never-before treasonous abuse of the instrumentalities of government to overthrow this president and undo a legal election, everything they have used to thwart this President’s legal ascension to the office has failed, and spectacularly so. The horrific shootings in Texas and Ohio have now sent them over the edge, both in terms of a new tack in attempting to take him down by pimping him as the leader of some mythical “white supremacist” movement and conveniently as yet another pretext to destroy the Second Amendment. And the GOP-e, true to form, is reverting to its usual position of curling up into a ball and letting the left stomp all over it. More on that in a bit.

Rush Limbaugh has been saying for the past three years that regarding Trump, this is what fighting back in the rhetorical sense looks like. It’s not pretty, (although his Tweets and retorts are glorious after decades of Republicans just taking their lumps) but it sure as hell is effective. With the media now denuded of the ability to take him down and what there was of its credibility in tatters, and the Democrat Party completely off the rails in terms of anything remotely resembling sane policy proposals or reasoned criticism of their opponents, they can collectively do one of two things: Admit defeat and enter into a period of introspection and reform, or hit the accelerator into “Ludicrous Speed.” Guess which one they’ll choose.

Keep reading.

This has gone beyond the point of disagreement, and since we know how unlawful the Democrats have become, any so-called ‘Red Flag Laws’ or pretty much anything else, are now beyond the pale. In an environment of lawful enforcement, they might be a fair idea, with careful drafting, but as it is today, if they are not misused on day one they will be on day two. So the answer is no. And for me, at least, this is a must. If the President supports such a thing, he loses my support.

Somebody yesterday said we are in the opening stages of a cold civil war. I fear they are correct, but this will not be like the first with maneuvering armies and battles lost and won, this will be a partisan war on both sides.

It’s the worst prospect in the world for the end of the United States, but avoiding reality does no good at all.

Children’s Crusade and Fascist Idiots

From the Colonel:

You look at the Democratic debaters and you despair. It’s a hackneyed collection of motley mediocrities that includes, among other things, an unrepentant crusty commie, an ersatz squaw, a golddigging narc, a handsy grandpa, a furry, and a New Age weirdo who unironically channels Oddball from Kelly’s Heroes.

To quote the gender fluidity pioneers of Twisted Sister, America, if that’s your best, your best won’t do.

Now, we’re supposed to ignore their undeniable lousiness because we’re in a crisis. The crisis appears to be that our elite has been denied total power via the defeat of Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit, but that’s not how they sell it. It’s a crisis of rampant bigotry. It’s a crisis of foreigners not being subsidized by Americans. It’s a crisis of the weather maybe being different in a century. But these crises share one thing in common: only the liberal elite can save us.

Well, there is a crisis, but not the one they are pushing. The looming existential challenge we face is not the failure to appease some angry climate goddess but, rather, the frivolous priorities of these bored beneficiaries of the bounty of Western civilization. They got handed a world of peace and prosperity unparalleled in human history and instead of appreciating and protecting it they want to toss it all away. Why? Precisely because they got handed it. The dummies who make up our elite don’t value the society they inherited because think this is the natural state of man – that all this just sort of happened and that it will go on just sort of happening forever no matter how much they undermine its foundations.

But it won’t.

Let’s start with the most basic problem, which is that the undistinguished members of our ruling caste hate the people they presume to rule over. It’s not a matter of simply regarding the proles as uncouth and vulgar and not our sort of people. It’s hate. Bitter, clingy hate. And our elite feels no obligation to the people who make their cushy lives possible. A functioning ruling class at least tries to rule; ours finds that too much work and instead focuses on Chardonnay and condescension.

You look back in history and the upper class at least showed up for the hard stuff. The Roman elite was out there on the battlefield with the peasants (that was after they allowed the mob into the army – for a long time only the patricians were allowed to fight). The British upper class was out there on the battlefield too. The elite used to acknowledge obligations to their lessers, and when they stopped doing that, things went sideways. When Flavius and the gang decided to let the barbarians handle the strenuous work of defending the Empire and chilled in the local vomitorium instead of hoofing it to battle the Parthians, Rome started falling. The British upper class doesn’t do anything harder today than ring up the local bobbies to demand the arrest of Twitter yobs who say mean things.

The American ruling class is garbage too. Did any of those 671 Democrats up on that stage ever seem to side with their own society?

Keep reading, he is, as usual spot on. Personally, I don’t care if you buy his books or not, but his diagnosis is correct.

And now they think we should join a children’s crusade led by a brain-damaged 16-year old whose own parents can’t be bothered to tell her to STFU and get back in school where you belong.

From The Federalist:

The heroine of the environmental movement is on her way. Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish celebrity protester, has finally figured out a way to bring her extremist message to the New World.

Thunberg, who has been the focus of adulatory coverage throughout Europe and in mainstream American outlets such as CNN, the New York Times, and a cover story in Time magazine, is a teenage sensation leading a movement of angry European children. Thunberg and her fans are demanding that their country’s governments act to stop global warming. What’s more, they are denouncing as sellouts even those who agree with their goal but are reluctant to adopt the extremist measures such as those Thunberg’s ally Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) put forward in the Green New Deal.

To promote her cause, Thunberg skipped school every Friday for the last year (she’ll be taking the 2019-20 school year off) and held a weekly vigil outside the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm. Reportedly, tens of thousands of fellow students have been following her lead to play hooky.

Given what a mess the left has made of schools, missing 20% may or may not be a big deal, but they surely could learn something somewhere.

Thunberg and her movement operate with some clear advantages. Since they are a children’s crusade, they are credited with the best possible motives and not asked to fully or coherently explain their goals or how they might be achieved without doing more harm than good. Their impatience with the business of democracy in which one must persuade people rather than merely issuing diktats is similarly depicted as evidence of their high ideals rather than ignorance or anti-democratic sentiments.

As for journalists who point out the flaws in these young people’s arguments, the inconsistency in their behavior, or ponder whether children should be skipping school to pursue a political agenda, progressives denounce them as bullies picking on nice kids. Politicians who have the temerity to push back even mildly against the lack of respect and common courtesy that Thunberg and her followers consistently demonstrate must expect a tidal wave of criticism for their so-called insensitivity.

Yeah, well, they can stick their nonsense and their totalitarian tendencies whee the sun don’t shine. This old world has rocked on pretty well without them for thousands of years, and I bet it will for a few more. If their countries are stupid enough to fall for this nonsense – well that’s their problem. Personally, I like to eat, jeep warm and cool, and ride in cars, and yes, even fly on occasion. If Momma Earth can’t handle that, well what’s the point anyway?

Yeah, I’ve had enough, somebody give the whole bunch a great big cup of STFU and turn the bloody children’s crusade back where they came from. I’m beginning to understand the Pied Piper better every day.

Suppressing Votes, Google Style

So, you think Google is harmless? I don’t care if you are conservative, liberal, or don’t know up from down, this is frightening stuff.

Now, remember, if Google was simply reminding people to vote, it would be mo big deal, it might even be a public service. But this is not what this is. This is a partisan get out the vote effort. That is bad enough, but that is not all.

 

Google (and most likely all the rest of these lowlifes) is also suppressing speech, but only that of right of center people as part of an intentional scheme to change votes.

We don’t usually get too excited about companies telling us what they think about the candidates, how an election can affect businesses is a valid consideration. But this is more like the phone company arbitrarily deciding that conservatives cannot dial out. See the difference? It’s a major one, and it is corrupting the process.

Here’s the whole hearing, even if you don’t watch the whole for almost two hours (which you should) at least watch Senator Cruz’s opening statement.

And do notice as the Google executive is sworn in, how the revolving door works, it’s a pretty neat treadmill if you can get on it.

 

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