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 Hero Comes Home

Hi guys. *waves sheepishly*. 🙂 I’ve been having trouble most of the week with my digestive tract, and at least for me, it tends to screw badly with my sleep schedule, and so yesterday, I forced myself to stay awake. Well, today is the perhaps inevitable result, So this won’t be a complex post! 🙂


I suspect most of you have seen this, but it won’t hurt any of us to see it again.

Jackson Proskow, a Canadian journalist had an unusual experience this week, at Dallas Love Field. Let him tell it.

This week, the long flight home took me from the devastating shooting in El Paso, Texas, to Washington, D.C., with a layover in Dallas.

Jackson Proskow

@JProskowGlobal

I’m at the airport in Dallas, waiting for my flight home to DC from El Paso, and something incredible is happening.

50.4K people are talking about this

Dallas became the place where the weight of the world seemed to melt away — the place where the good outweighed the bad for the first time in days.

When we arrived at our gate at Dallas’ Love Field, I noticed a few camera crews waiting. I didn’t think much of it. Perhaps they were waiting for a politician or a newsmaker.

A few minutes later, a gate agent from Southwest Airlines appeared and started handing out American flags.

Then came the announcement over the P.A. system. A gate agent, his voice cracking, told us about the very special arrival we were about to witness.

Jackson Proskow

@JProskowGlobal

I’m at the airport in Dallas, waiting for my flight home to DC from El Paso, and something incredible is happening.

Jackson Proskow

@JProskowGlobal

Our incoming plane is carrying the remains of an American pilot shot down over Vietnam in 1967. His remains were only recently recovered and identified and brought back to the US.

4,961 people are talking about this

Our inbound plane from Oakland was carrying the remains of an American airman, Col. Roy Knight Jr., who was shot down in combat during the Vietnam War in 1967.

Colonel Knight was a Sandy, flying the very last propellor propelled Air For aircraft, the Skyraider, on search and rescue missions, to try and save his fellow airmen. He held the Air Force Cross, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, and six air medals. Nothing ordinary about this hero at all, and yet, amongst the “Sandys” nothing unusual either. Some of the best amongst us.

So Love Field and Southwest Airlines did it right. The water arch from the big Oshkosh fire vehicles, the appropriate pomp and circumstance, the little flags and pretty much rapt attention on the concourse, even solemn TSA employees.

But there was a bit off difference when then Captain Knight left for Udorn AB, he left from Love Field, and amongst those saying goodbye was his five-year-old son, who would not see his dad again. Well sort of, that son of Colonel Knight’s commanded the Southwest Fight that brought him home to Love Field.

Welcome Home, Colonel. We’ve missed you.

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.

Speaking of Mass Shootings

And so, everybody is flapping their jaws about El Paso and Dayton. In fact, I’m going to a bit as well. But here is a caveat. Second City Cop tells us that two definitionally mass shootings happened in Chicago’s 010 Police District (on the west side) resulting in 14 shot, and this.

A West Side hospital [The superb Mt. Sanai] was forced to stop accepting patients on the tail end of a violent weekend that has left 47 people been shot, four fatally, across the city.

Saturday night, resources were stretched to the breaking point as officers responded to multiple shootings in Chicago’s 10th Police District, which includes West Side neighborhoods such as Lawndale, Douglas Park and Homan Square. The shootings all occurred within a three hour period, resulting in 17 people injured and at least one dead.

So, why the Hell do these people not count? Could it be because they are black and shot by blacks, in a Democratic city that doesn’t give two F***s about their citizens, as long as they vote as they’re told, long after they’re dead, even? They probably prefer that, dead people don’t talk back.

My reading would indicate that many of these gunfights (and they are far worse, and more random than anything in the ‘Wild West’ was) are most often battles between drug-selling gangs, whose members are often the only male influence on young boys in these neighborhoods. The result of the ‘War on Poverty” all those years ago.

Now about the other two.

Paul Mirengoff at PowerLine says this:

In the case of El Paso, the murderer’s writings are anti-immigrant, but also apparently socialist in some respects. In the case of Dayton, the writings reportedly are avowedly socialist, anti-Trump, pro-Elizabeth Warren, and sympathetic to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Who cares? These are deeply disturbed, evil men. Their political views deserve no attention.

In short, crazy people are dangerous. Duh! This too, though:

The underlying cause is mental disturbance, the same phenomenon that’s causing high suicide rates. Why the seeming epidemic of mental disturbance? I don’t know for sure.

I suspect, though, that the breakdown of the family is one important factor. Another, probably related to the first, is a decline in religious faith.

I also suspect that rapid technological change and the increasing complexity of American life are contributors. One technological change seems very likely to be playing a part — the rise of the internet and social media.

Those may well be factors, but I think the best thinking on this comes from England, specifically Peter Hitchen’s Mail on Sunday column.

…crucial facts do not come to light for long months, even years,  after these events – if they ever do. In my experience, police all over the world are sublimely uninterested (in Britain actively uninterested|) in the drug use of the perpetrators of such crimes, and often only stumble across them by accident.

But there are some features of the El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, killings on which I will comment.  As usual, the reporting concentrates upon the horror of the crimes, as it must. But it is then swiftly followed by editorialising about guns and gun control of the usual sort, which neglects to wonder whether, as mass gun ownership is not new in the USA, but dates back to the foundation of the country, whereas these sort of rampage killings only really began about 50 years ago, and have been growing more common in the past five years,  the free availability of guns alone can be blamed for these incidents.

But in this case there is also quite a lot about the supposed ‘right-wing extremism’ of one of the two accused, the alleged El Paso killer Patrick Crusius.  (Not the other killer though, see below) I have discussed the significance of such affiliations here in long posts on the Jo Cox murder here https://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2019/04/my-reply-to-the-secret-barrister-.html

I would also draw readers’ attention to what I wrote about the Charlottesville killer, Fields, two years ago (the caveat still very much applies ) https://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2017/08/on-the-miserable-events-in-charlottesville-virginia.html

My questions, as to what might have caused Fields to become mentally ill enough to be rejected by the US Army in the first place, were not innocent. I stick by my belief that, if you find a mentally-ill young person in the modern world, you will almost certainly find a current or former marijuana user.  But this grows harder to establish definitively, as police in many jurisdictions long ago gave up even cautions or diversion programmes for those found in possession of marijuana, and are not interested in probing it now. In fact they are positively uninterested, because the connection makes their abandonment of law-enforcement look foolish. So while five or ten years ago their drug abuse might have been recorded, it is not now.

More than a year after his crime, in November 2018, the range of drugs (potentially amphetamines, ‘anti-anxiety’ medication and SSRIs) , which Fields may have been legally taking, possibly all at once, was briefly revealed at his trial: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/james-alex-fields-trial-deadly-charlottesville-white-nationalist-rally-set-n939991 The key pasage reads : ‘Fields later told a judge he is being treated for bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression and ADHD.’

‘Treated’, of course, means ‘given drugs’.

Do read it all because I think Mr. Hitchens is spot on the reason why. The more we know about drugs, the scarier they get, legal or illegal. And other than the surrender of most teachers, would you like to know the biggest difference now from when I went to school? That’s right, other than a couple losers who smoked Marijuana, nobody was doing drugs. Quite a difference.

 

Note that R.S. McCain also has some very good thoughts, here.

And Mary Brett wrote the best article I’ve read in years (likely ever) on the effects of marijuana (the British call it Cannabis) on The Conservative Woman.

 

 

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