Railsplitters, Tailors, and Government Bureaus

Speaking of the CFPB, this is interesting, from The Federalist.

Although the Reconstruction Era has gotten more mainstream attention lately, to most Americans the Andrew Johnson administration is still a part of the dusty past. The CFPB dispute is, as David Harsanyi explained earlier this week, about which employee has the right to occupy the office of CFPB director. So did the dispute that led to Johnson’s impeachment and near-conviction. Only in that case, the office in question was of much greater importance: secretary of war.

In the days following the Civil War, the secretary of war (a predecessor to the secretary of defense, but without jurisdiction over the navy) occupied an important position in domestic politics, as his job included presiding over the reconstruction of the conquered Confederacy. After Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, his successor, Johnson, seemed to be in accord with Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and the Republican-dominated Congress on how to accomplish this.

Things soon changed. Johnson returned to his pre-war Democratic Party loyalty and worked to re-admit the Southern states to the Union quickly, with no other changes than a de jure abolition of slavery. Stanton and congressional leaders saw their task as larger, and wanted to ensure greater equality for the former slaves in fact as well as in law. As Johnson gradually replaced Lincoln appointees in the cabinet, Stanton was increasingly the only voice in the administration for a vigorous scheme of occupying and rebuilding in the South.

Stanton’s allies in Congress worked to protect him by passing the Tenure of Office Act in 1867. The act decreed that any officer appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate could not be removed by the president unless the Senate approved. Johnson saw the act for what it was—a curtailment of executive power—and vetoed it, but Congress overrode the veto and the bill became a law. The president no longer had control over his own appointees.

Johnson initially acted in accordance with the law and suspended Stanton while Congress was in recess, selecting Commanding General Ulysses S. Grant to serve as acting secretary in his stead. Stanton went along with this, as Grant was closer to congressional Republicans in his views than to Johnson. When the recess ended, the Senate refused to concur in Stanton’s removal, and Grant returned the office to him. Then Johnson declared the Tenure of Office Act unconstitutional and said Stanton’s removal was valid. He appointed Maj. Gen. Lorenzo Thomas to the “vacancy” and instructed him to report to the War Department for work.

Stanton refused to accept Thomas’s appointment and declined to yield the office. Thomas took the office across the hall, and both men declared themselves the true secretary of war. Stanton retained the keys to the office and did not leave the room, eating and sleeping there for months to prevent Thomas from seizing it.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives voted articles of impeachment against Johnson, specifically for his open violation of the law, but more generally for his obstruction of Congress’s plans for Reconstruction. The Senate fell one vote short of conviction, and Johnson remained in the White House. With Grant nominated for president and Johnson on the way out, Stanton gave up the fight and relinquished the office.

Rule Without Consequences

The stakes of the fight over the CFPB directorship are far lower, but the precedents of the Stanton-Thomas affair provide a guideline for how the current quarrel should proceed, both legally and politically.

The Tenure of Office Act of 1867 and the Dodd-Frank Act, which created the CFPB, both aim at the same result: removing the power from the president to control members of his administration. The Tenure of Office Act’s authors were concerned with keeping Johnson from overturning Lincoln’s legacy. Dodd-Frank’s authors had a wider goal in mind: removing politics from government. This fits the general progressive belief that we would be better governed by unelected technocrats than by politicians who must take popular opinion into account.

It is a strange take on a republic, and at odds with the Founding Fathers’ opinions. They knew that the government would contain officers who wished to trample the people’s rights. It has been true of every government, elected or unelected, since mankind emerged from the state of nature. The government of the people, by the people, and for the people acknowledges that the people in question are all flawed. As James Madison famously wrote in Federalist 51:

If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.

Do read it all.

And, in fine, that was much of the point of the Constitution, to throw sand in the gears of the government.  The founders knew, even better than we do, the cry of the American to his government, “Leave me alone!”. After all they fought a war, against the greatest empire of the age for that very reason. But as long as men (and women) seek personal advantage from government (and that is until Christ returns) the vigilance of the citizens will always be required.

Ronnie was absolutely right about the most feared words in the language, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help”.

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Beobachte den Osten; the German Outlook

FILE PHOTO: REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo

Yesterday, we talked about the British, through the eyes of Katie Hopkins, one of the best spokespeople for the people like us amongst the cousins. But what about the Germans? They are an even bigger economy and the mainstay of the EU, yet Mütti Merkel cannot seem to form a government, in fact, her problems parallel those of Mrs. May, and speak to why Hillary! failed so badly. All three countries (and France, as well) have specific problems but there are also commonalities. Much of this comes from PowerLine but also from where Steve sourced his: The New York Review of Books. Timothy Garton Ash writes in It’s the Kultur, Stupid this…

[L]ike all contemporary populisms, the German version exhibits both generic and specific features. In common with other populisms, it denounces the current elites (Alteliten in AfD-speak) and established parties (Altparteien) while speaking in the name of the Volk, a word that, with its double meaning of people and ethno-culturally defined nation, actually best captures what Trump and Le Pen mean when they say “the people.” In Angst für Deutschland, her vividly reported book about the party, Melanie Amann, a journalist at the weekly news magazine Der Spiegel, notes how some of its activists have appropriated the slogan of the East German protests against Communist rule in 1989: Wir sind das Volk—We are the people. Like other populists, Germany’s attack the mainstream media (Lügenpresse, the “lying press”) while making effective use of social media. On the eve of the election, the Alternative had some 362,000 Facebook followers, compared with the Social Democrats’ 169,000 and just 154,000 for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

Its criticism of globalization is familiar, as is its angry and self-congratulatory denunciation of political correctness. Typical of all European populisms is a negative attitude toward the EU in general and the euro in particular. The Alternative started life in 2013 as an anti-euro party. Although overall German support for the EU is still very strong, a poll conducted for the Bertelsmann foundation in the summer of 2017 found that 50 percent of those respondents who identified themselves as on the “right” (carefully distinguished from the “center-right”) would vote for Germany to leave the EU, if Germans were offered a Brexit-style in-or-out referendum. This is a remarkable finding. Unlike Brexit, Germexit would be the end of the European Union.

Yep, that is remarkable, 50% of the right in Germany would vote to exit the EU. But I don’t think that is the main takeaway here. I think the main takeaway here is that so many of its supporters come from the former GDR, the old Deutschedemokratischerepublik, or East Germany. Like the Poles, the Czechs, and the other east Europeans, they know how socialism works (or doesn’t) and they aren’t buying into it again. We Americans have always fought off the worst effects, and the British some of them, but the east ended up with the very worst, subject to the Soviet Union and they haven’t forgotten. I’m guessing that in Germany like the rest, the kids simply can’t (or won’t) believe what their parents and grandparents tell them, but it is all true, in all its grim majesty.

In Germany, I think it worse because teaching much of any real history about the Nazi era is mostly verboten, much as if we didn’t teach FDR’s presidency.

Unlike in Britain and America, economic factors play only a small part here. It’s not just that Germany as a whole is doing well economically. In a 2016 poll, four out of five AfD voters described their personal economic situation as “good” or “very good.” This is not a party of the economically “left behind.” It gathers the discontented from every walk of life, but those who predominate in its ranks are educated, middle-class men. A leading CDU politician told me that the angry protest letters he gets from defectors to the Alternative will typically be from a doctor, businessman, lawyer, or professor. This strong presence of the educated upper middle class distinguishes German populism from many other populisms.

Among the leaders of the party, they are visibly represented by its other designated “leading candidate,” Alexander Gauland, a seventy-six-year-old former CDUfunctionary who almost invariably wears a check-patterned tweedy jacket and dark green tie. He is one of those elderly conservative gents who look so English that you know they must be German. Then there is Beatrix von Storch, a shrill and tiresome minor aristocrat with neoliberal, Hayekian intellectual pretensions. (Her maternal grandfather was Hitler’s finance minister—but we are not responsible for our grandfathers.) As for Alice Weidel: this former Goldman Sachs and Allianz asset manager, white, blonde, always neatly turned out in business attire, lives just across the border in Switzerland, in a same-sex relationship with a Swiss filmmaker of Sinhalese heritage and two adopted sons. These are not the German equivalent of the American rust belt manual worker, or of what is known in England, with liberal condescension, as “white van man.” (The van is white as well as the man.)

Here he is blinded by his own prejudices. In my experience, neither the rust belt manual worker nor ‘the white van man’ is typical, the support for Brexit and Trump extends far beyond these illiberal stereotypes, and the blindness of our so-called ‘betters’ is one of the main reasons they are losing. In fact, I find that they are exactly parallel, the most productive parts of society are the ones most frustrated by the dangerous silliness of the elites, who have rarely had a real-world job.

In any case, an interesting pair of articles. And something rare, an encouraging report from the continent.

Once again, America, partnering with England, shows Europe what freedom looks like and how to achieve it. Perhaps we will be able to say, with William Pitt the Younger:

[B]ut Europe is not to be saved by any single man. England has saved herself by her exertions, and will, as I trust, save Europe by her example.

Beobachte den Osten

Katie Hopkins

My British friends tell me things, as I do them, most of them pseudonymously, for good and sufficient reason. Some Brits have heroically said these things under their own name in public and a few write them. Katie Hopkins is one. And she has paid the price and no doubt will in the future. That is what happens to truth-tellers in countries that are becoming less free.

But this is what almost all my friends say, it is the truth as a lot of the cousins see it, and like Katie, they see America as the great hope, the keeper of the flame, for she is right, all across Europe the reaction is building,

This is from the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s 2017 Restoration Weekend. The event was held Nov. 16th-19th at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. This speech cost her her job with The Daily Mail, truth-telling has a high price sometimes. Unusually for here, the transcript follows the video. It’s important guys, this is the central issue of the day.


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/243803644″>Katie Hopkins: Get Furious and Fight Back</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user15333690″>DHFC</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Katie Hopkins: Hello. Thank you very much for having me here. It’s such a pleasure to be – I don’t know – amongst people that are prepared to fight for their country, and I really appreciate the opportunity to be here. A couple things I should clear up, really, before I start. First up, I’m not Milo, and neither, slightly more offensively, am I Milo’s mother, and also, for the record, some people on the Democratic side of things say that I’m a crap Ellen DeGeneres. I’m not her either. Actually, I’m not even gay. I just have short hair. Those are two different things. I am a straight, white, conservative female with one husband and three children under 13, and where I come from, back in Blighty, that virtually makes me an endangered species. I’m on the extinctions list, the list of animals that are due for extinction. I’m up there with the black rhino, and he has an advantage because he’s black. Black lives matter, people.

In fact the threat against me has become a little bit more real of late. I’ve been kind of under attack myself, I suppose, as so many of us have. Only last week a lovely lady called Madihah; if I got that wrong, I don’t apologize, and her partner – they’re British, of course; they were in court and they were found guilty of conspiring to commit acts of terror against citizens of the UK, one of which was to decapitate me. Yes. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Miss Islamic Extremist 2017 had been romancing a jihadi, and as her wedding gift, she wanted my head on a plate. I was at the top of her list because I am the biggest bitch in Britain. Yes, I am. She bought him a hunting knife. She bought him a plastic dummy to practice his stabbing skills on, and they chatted about the glorious day on WhatsApp, and in a rare example of the British police actually doing the job they’ve been paid for, instead of placating the Muslim mafia or police in my Twitter, she has been found guilty and sent down. All right. She is going down and she better get used to that in the slammer that she’s been sent to.

And I live to fight another day, and so here I am, and my message to you resonates with what the boys were saying. I was thinking they’re a bit like the three wise monkeys, those guys, aren’t they? Except they do hear it, they do see it, and they do say it, so thank God for them; but my message is simple. Do not let this great country become the United Kingdom. Do not allow America to fall as Europe has fallen. Look at us, let us be a warning; be better than us. I’ve watched my country fall apart and I want to warn others before they let their country do the same, and believe me, I love my country. I’m not quick to talk it down. I was sponsored through university by the Intelligence Corps. I passed out of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to serve my country as an army officer. We went in as a troop of 32 girls; we came out as 8 more-or-less men. Oh yeah. It’s still there, but doesn’t work that much. And I wanted to become the first female general, but my epilepsy put paid to that. It’s why I have short hair too, actually, but it brought me to the media, and so my fight goes on, and this fight is real.

The UK today is a place few of us recognize. I get letters and emails – really upsetting ones – from 60- and 70-year-olds struggling to make sense of the country they love. Like my mom and dad; they ask me, “Has the world gone mad? How is this all going to end up? Where does this stop?” Some of them email me to say that they’re glad they’re old because they will be gone soon, and they won’t have to wait for the time they see their country fall. These are hard messages to read, and they’re really hard messages to respond to, and believe me, I am wary of painting too depressing a picture. I have not come here to be part of the fear. I have not come here to talk my country down or to fail to see the good in Britain, but there are some blunt truths I believe it is my duty to tell. You are more likely to be raped in London than in New York. You are more likely to be attacked with acid from a guy on a moped in East London than in Islamabad, and when it comes to terror, the head of the UK MI5 said the risk is now impossible to contain or to control.

Seven police officers in Muslim-controlled areas of the UK email me and alleged that the local imam at the mosque is in charge of selecting the police officers he will allow to police his neighborhood. In a relentless program of appeasement by the establishment, they continually seem to put the lives of jihadi and the Muslim mafia ahead of the lives of our own daughters, and in the latest recruitment round for the police, white British males were excluded from the day’s coaching in how to pass the recruitment day. If you were white and male, you could not go. If you were gay or ethnic or black or any other minority, then you could apply, and I have nothing against those people, but in the UK, discrimination against whites is institutionalized and systemic. I applied for a place for my husband just to see if he could get through. He’s a male, vaguely, and he’s white, and they said no; but without a minority card to play or a race card, you have no grounds for redress anymore in our country.

The UK is now formed of two distinct territories. There is Londonistan and there is the rest of the UK, London and the rest of the UK. If you took Britain and stand it on its side, it is very much a baby America. London is Clinton. London is California, the bad bits, and all the good bits I see are here today. London is Bill de Blasio’s New York, and he’s an utter cockwomble if ever I met one. He may be tall, but he is the smallest man I know. And then there is a better place; there is a place called the rest of the UK. There is a place where hard-working Brits want to do a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay. They want to look after their families. They want to love their country. They’ll fight for their country. They support Trump. They voted Brexit. Occasionally we want to have a barbeque with our families, but we can’t because it never stops bloody raining. That is a good place and it’s the place where I come from. It’s the place where I put my lovely husband, it’s the place I put my children, and it’s the place that I live in. I live in a place called the rest of the UK, and here people have grown weary about speaking out because it’s just not worth the hassle.

There is mass silencing of the thoughts of Brexiteers, of us deplorables, considered racist or stupid or wrong. We’re browbeaten into shutting up, but they’re still there, and there’s a quiet rumble of discontent at the state of Londonistan, and that quiet rumble is getting louder. Our win for Brexit was just like your win for Trump, which I went on CNN and called a week before it happened, and that went really well; and when we stand together, our voices are a low rumble that becomes an almighty thunder and our voices are heard. The quiet rumblings turn into a roar, and we’re not alone. Across Poland, Italy, Austria, Germany, the voices of the discontented are rising up to reject the globalist agenda of the people that are managing the decline of Europe and letting us fall.

Sebastian Kurz’s People’s Party, he is also better-looking than the Canadian Justin Trudeau, so take that, you lame-ass piece of crap. The German AFD, the huge parade of patriots in Poland recently in support of national pride; you can feel the determination of the people that I talk to. I can feel the possibilities. There is hope. We do not have to watch our country fall and there is action we can all take. There’s three things I’d quickly like to run through, if I may.

Firstly, most importantly, the same as the guys were saying, we must reject the narrative, resist the narrative. Just become someone said it and they’re wearing a uniform or a badge does not make it true. When we’re scared, a strong narrative can be reassuring, like when we’re little and bad things happen and you run and you tell your teacher, and so, too, after terror. We look around for someone in a uniform to tell us what to do. These days in the UK, they say run, hide, tell. My grandad fought in the war. These were not orders that he would recognize, and in the quiet calm of our streets, when the threat is neutralized and yet another terrorist is taken down, the media machine goes into action, and it’s terrifying to observe. We stand united; we are not cowed; the terrorists will never win – repeated over and over by the Muslim mayor, by the Prime Minister, by the chief of police – the mantra of multicultural acceptance, the same script, everything the same time every time. We stand united; we are not cowed; we stand shoulder-to-shoulder, and the media run around with their cameras showing people drinking cups of tea like that’s going to solve the problem.

The real truth is not this fabrication. We do not stand united. Our daughters were left crumpled on the sidewalk. Some lost limbs, some under a truck, like the images you had of those bikes strewn on the cycle path in New York of the Argentinians. We do not carry on as normal. Mothers and fathers are burying their daughters. A boy I know wrote to me – he’s learning to use his legs again after they were blown apart at the Manchester attack. He does not carry on as normal. Others seem to carry on as normal because what’s the alternative? What – hiding in your home? Is that defeat? It’s not normal to build walls on bridges of rings of steel around Christmas markets. If this is terror losing, I would hate to see terror win. Enough of the candle lights. Enough of your hashtags. Enough of your heart-shaped gestures at the sky. Enough of turning the Eiffel Tower lights on and off. I’m epileptic; flashing lights don’t do me any favor whatsoever. I wrote all this, you know, in a column of mine online. I write for dailymail.com and I went on Tucker Carlson. He did his best confused face, and I’m like Tucker quit that. Tucker, you’re my mate; you do not have to put on a confused face just because we’re on telly; and for the crime of this column, I was reported to the British Metropolitan Police for a hate crime and inciting violence against Muslims. We can reject the narrative.

Two, we can commit to arm ourselves, not just with the help of the NRA. Sadly, in the UK, we don’t have that luxury of the Second Amendment. Our police on our streets are armed with the equivalent of a Clorox spray and a Band-Aid. Some even have a letter from their mum excusing them from games. But we can arm ourselves with information, information that we find closest to the source – not information fed through the liberal filters of Google or the California fruit loops at Facebook. We must look for our own truths. I spent 48 hours in the migrant camp at Calais in France – it’s called the jungle; quite appropriate, seems to me – where African migrants masquerading as children and asylum seekers fought their way through teargas and steel fencing to break into the trucks crossing over from France to Dover, to sneak into the UK. My photographer was lynched. His camera was stolen, his wallet taken. He was beaten up and he went home because he was badly beaten, actually. I had my arm dislocated. They came for us with steel bars. We were put in the back of a van and taken out of the camp to safety.

I went back in the next day. I was told to cover up by the charity workers there, the do-gooders, the Democrats, those types. They told me to cover up my shoulders because it was offensive to the Muslim men. So I stripped off, and they didn’t like my tiny tits much better either. I met a lady with a little boy, and I was trying to find this quieter story, real women, real problems, and so her little boy – it was the first child I’d seen in camp, and she invited me into her little caravan thing, and it turns out her little boy was in fact a little girl, except she dressed him as a boy so that at night the migrant men wouldn’t come and try and steal him from her, and I learned a big lesson as well. I was naive. Migrants don’t come for a new life and leave their old life behind; they bring them with them. All the old conflicts from back home; the Eritreans hate the Somalis, who hate the Afghanis, who don’t speak to the Libyans, and they’re still fighting. They come. They do not start a new life. They bring the conflicts from back home.

I spent 48 hours in the cab of a large haulage truck because I wanted to understand the dangers of this crossing people were making. I always said one day someone will die making this crossing because our truckers are at risk. British truckers’ lives are at risk, and indeed one has since died, and I had my eyes opened once more. These entire truck stops run by the mafia, movements of migrants ticketed, organized, controlled, lucrative. Officers at the port pay to turn a blind eye to the migrants crossing. It is much more systematic than we imagine. I traveled to Libya to the coast of Southern Italy to join the migrants crossing over from the Med. You’ll know that there’s charity boats, Save the Children; just because they call themselves Save the Children, it doesn’t mean that they are. It is virtually a ferry service, and to be completely honest with you for transparency, I would rather it was a ferry service. Hundreds of thousands of migrant men, fully aware of their rights, given places in local hotels to stay, given 35 euros a day, a sum that locals themselves don’t earn, and when I carried on my journey and talked to these men in these hotels, they were blockading the road in the local village in Southern Italy because their Wi-Fi was too slow. The rice that they were served was too soft, and they were protesting their rights. These are the people that come.

I met with a woman on the tarmac at the side of the road in the heat, and she looked ill. She said she was poorly. She was there to service the drivers as they passed. She was trafficked for this life, and these do-gooders, remember, think they are saving lives. They are not saving lives. They are destroying lives while they are pretending to do good, and I walked the suburbs of no-go Sweden because Trump said Sweden has fallen, and the media crucified him for that. They mocked him relentlessly. I can confirm, firsthand, Sweden has fallen. An elderly woman grabbed me. She had only Arabic for language. She grabbed me by both arms; wrong hair, wrong face, wrong face, wrong place; she was worried for me. She’s a kind lady. I was the only white woman, the only woman, the only white in the whole of the area of Sweden that I was in, where people no longer go, and she was worried for my safety. No‑go Sweden has fallen to the migrants, and the Somalis still battle the Eritreans, who still battle the Afghanis, just like they did in the camp at Calais, and once I was there, two hand grenades were found just in a bin outside the police station, and a week later a Muslim took a truck and rammed it into pedestrians in the shopping arcade, as you will recall. One was an 11-year-old girl. It’s a curious thing, you know, how the bodies of our daughters slain by Islamist terror never make the front pages of any of the press.

I interviewed a girl who lived in the forgotten suburbs because it was all she could afford. She can’t go out at night. She dare not leave her home. She was burgled, but the police couldn’t come because their cars were looted and torched. She said she’s no longer allowed to carry pepper spray to defend herself because a girl that was attacked by a gang of Muslim men accidentally pepper sprayed the wrong guy and was prosecuted for GBH. Sat in the darkness of her home; she wouldn’t even allow me to take a picture of her face for the camera for fear of reprisals by Swedish feminists, who support the migrant men at all costs. In the game of Top Trumps, the victim edition, if you are a migrant, you win every time.

Swedish feminists – in fact, feminists as a whole – have never been more disappointing. I fail to see how they support women, and I met the head of the toughest fire station in Sweden, who was exceptionally good-looking – I’m just going to say that – but once I moved over on that point, he was now putting a bigger fence around the station to stop migrants vandalizing the engine, the fire engines, and to stop them coming in and stealing the cutting equipment which they like to steal. I asked him whether walls like this were our future, and he looked at me really strangely. He was surprised. He said no, it’s too late for that. We no longer build walls to keep people out. Going forward, we will build walls to keep the people that we love in, and that – it still gives me the shivers now, actually – and these are my truths. These come straight from the mouths of men and women who live this stuff every day, no filter, no lens, no censorship, no Google ranking, no New York Times, and the next stop for me, I want to go and join the white farmers of South Africa who are being systematically cleansed from the country by blacks there, and this way, we find our own truths.

If we can resist the narrative, if we can, just by speaking to people we know, doctors, nurses, teachers, people in the street, people that have got problems, we can find our own truths. We will have the story of the people who will have the power, and then finally, the third arm of this thing is that we have to have the moral courage to fight. We have to somehow find the strength to withstand the constant attacks that we face, and Trump is the Jedi master at this game. I love him. I know what it’s like to be ostracized by friends who don’t like our opinions. People can be unkind. The media can be merciless, but we all need to find the moral courage to stand strong.

I have battles of my own, of course. I’ve got the pocket-size Muslim mayor of Londonistan, who’s about as useful as a chocolate teapot. There is a ruder version, which involves a penis-favored lollipop, but I thought that wasn’t correct for today. I have a Muslim mayor that I cannot stand. He spent 1.7 million pounds on an online hate police force to police my Twitter feed. I’ve been arrested for my writing. I was interviewed under caution by the major crime and homicide command for a column in a newspaper, and I was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service for my commentary on life because a complaint was made by the Society for Black Lawyers. I look forward to meeting the “Society for White Lawyers” one day.

My family are reported to Social Services on a fairly regular basis. People hope that they can take my children from me and that will silence me. The last time Social Services rang and said they’d had a complaint, I said but my children are at home and my husband just made them a prawn salad because prawns are quite posh in my family, and the guy said that doesn’t really help. No, it doesn’t, and vexatious litigation, of course, is never far from my door, but I’m not complaining. There is no self-pity. I’ve put myself out there; I have to suck it up. If I don’t like it, I can get home, sit on my sofa, shut up and become a vegan, and that is not going to happen.

But resistance is key, and when we come under attack, we need to make like an arrowhead and feel the criticism falling from your sides. You know I get a lot of emails from 16, 17-year-olds who feel like they have no voice in school anymore. They can’t say if they’re a Brexit supporter or if they’re one of the members of Gays for Trump. They can’t speak out, and I say to them, make like you’re diving into a swimming pool. Feel the water coming off your sides. Imagine that’s the criticism falling off you, and keep moving forward. We can keep moving forward. The liberals who reject Brexit or try to discredit Trump, they gave birth to our determination to succeed. They are Frankenstein and we are their monster, and we are big and we are bad and we are coming for them. They are right to be afraid.

We can do this. Yes, we can. If only I was black, that would work so much better. We can commit to refuse the narrative. We can commit to arm ourselves with our truths, with no liberal filter, and we can commit to have the moral courage under attack to keep moving forward. This is our time. Do not become like Britain. Get furious and fight back. Thank you very much.

Giving Thanks, National Review Style

Reuters photo: Carlos Barria

Interesting article the other day from the ‘Never Trumpers’ at National Review. Apparently, they managed a dose of reality! Enjoy!

This Thanksgiving, Americans in general — and free-market conservatives in particular — have plenty for which to be grateful. And much of it would be absent had the White House’s current occupant not become president on November 8, 2016.

The day after Donald J. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, Princeton University economist Paul Krugman called Trump’s victory “the mother of all adverse effects.” He predicted “very probably . . . a global recession, with no end in sight.”

• The Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 all hit record highs on Tuesday. The Wilshire 5000 Index calculates that some $3.4 trillion in new wealth has been created since President Trump’s inauguration and $5.4 trillion since his election. Fueled by the reality of deregulation, expectations of lower taxes, and a new tone in Washington that applauds free enterprise rather than excoriate it, the economy is on fire.

• Atop the second quarter’s 3.1 percent increase in real GDP, and 3.0 in 3Q, the New York Federal Reserve Bank predicts that 4Q output will expand by 3.8 percent. This far outpaces the feeble average-annual GDP growth rate of 1.5 percent on President Obama’s watch. Meanwhile, the IMF expects global GDP to rise by 3.5 percent this year. So much for a Trump-inspired “global recession.”

• Unemployment is at 4.1 percent, a 17-year low. New unemployment claims in September were at their most modest since 1974. Goldman Sachs on November 20 “lowered our unemployment rate forecast to 3.7 percent by end-2018 and 3.5 percent by end-2019.” According to the Wall Street powerhouse’s chief economist Jan Hatzius, “Such a scenario would take the U.S. labor market into territory almost never seen outside of a major wartime mobilization.”

• American companies have been expanding operations here rather than shipping jobs overseas. Corning, for instance, announced a $500 million investment in new U.S. production, launching 1,000 positions.

• Foreign firms have been unveiling facilities and creating jobs in America. Insourcing is now a thing. Taiwan’s Foxconn will spend $10 billion on a new Wisconsin electronics plant with 3,000 new employees. During Trump’s recent visit to China, Beijing agreed to invest $84 billionin new energy projects in West Virginia.

• If the Senate cooperates, Santa Claus will deliver $1.5 trillion in tax cuts, including a dream-come-true 43 percent reduction in corporate taxes, from a 35 percent rate to 20 percent, well below the global average of 22.5 percent. This major blow for international competitiveness should turbocharge the economy even further.

• Obamacare remains alive, alas, largely due to the flaccid leadership of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R., Ky.) and his inability to control a handful of Republican prima donnas. (As of November 2, the House had passed 394 bills; 308 of them — 78 percent — are moldering in McConnell’s inbox.) However, the GOP may make Obamacare voluntary. Junking the individual mandate will emancipate Americans from this unprecedented attack on our freedom and, as an added bonus, make $318 billion available for deeper tax cuts.

• U.S. energy production is on the upswing. After languishing under Obama, the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines are under construction. Jobs to be created: 42,000.

• Obama’s War on Coal is gone with the wind.

• Trump wisely extricated America from the bogus Paris “global-warming” deal.

• Obama’s “Clean Power Plan,” a $993 billion act of economic self-sabotage, now rots — with Communism — atop the ash heap of history.

• For every new regulation that Trump has imposed, 16 have been erased.

• The FCC has begun to dismantle Obama’s “Net Neutrality” takeover of the Internet, which functioned marvelously, thank you, before his needless e-power-grab.

• Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch is on the bench, along with 13 constitutionalist lower-court judges. At this stage in Obama’s presidency, the Senate had confirmed just seven of his district- and circuit-court nominees.

And more, much more. Nice to see it put together, and even nicer to see it in NR, which has spent most of the last year denying reality. There are going to be problems, but these kinds of problems, well, I’d always preferred dealing with problems caused by success rather than those that one gets when one shoots himself in the foot.

Have a Good Sunday!

The American Way

(Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

Here we talk across the pond a good bit, and one of the things we notice is how different we and the cousins are in our relationship with weapons, guns yes, but even edged weapons. It goes back far into our history and has shaped the development of both countries. In a surprisingly good article, The Washington Post delved into it a bit.

This essay is based in part on Nicholas J. Johnson, David B. Kopel, George A. Mocsary & Michael P. O’Shea, “Firearms Law and the Second Amendment: Regulation, Rights, and Policy,” 2nd edition (Aspen Pub. 2017).

It is widely agreed that the United States has an exceptional gun culture. Although Great Britain is America’s “mother country,” the two nations have very different arms cultures. Why so? Historically, two reasons were especially important in the early colonial period:

1. The practical differences between conditions in America and in Great Britain.
2. The influence of American Indians.

What today is called “American gun culture” is founded on American Indian arms culture. The convergence of Europeans and American Indians produced a new, hybrid arms culture. Although that culture has changed over the centuries, we can still find in 21st century arms culture the influence of the Anglo-Indian convergence along the 17th century Atlantic seaboard.

The English

Let’s start with the English immigrants, who began settling in Virginia in 1607 and in New England in the 1620s.

In England, there was no written, express guarantee of a right to arms until 1689, when Parliament enacted the English Bill of Rights. In America, arms rights were recognized in the Virginia Charter of 1606 and by the New England Charter of 1620. Geographically, the two charters covered all the future English colonies in what would become the United States of America. According to the charters, the colonists had the perpetual right to import arms, ammunition and other goods for their “Defence or otherwise.”

The Virginians and New Englanders also had an express guarantee of the right to use their arms at ‘‘all times forever hereafter, for their several Defences,’’ to “encounter, expulse, repel and resist’’ anyone who attempted ‘‘the Hurt, Detriment, or Annoyance of the said several Colonies or Plantations.’’ In practice, the colonists’ right of self-defense against invaders and criminals would need to be exercised through the collective action of the colonists, there being no British army anywhere near.

As history turned out, the willingness of Americans to be subjects of the British crown ended when the crown began violating its guarantees of American arms rights. The American Revolution began when Americans used their firearms to resist house-to-house gun and powder confiscation at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. The attempted confiscation was part of a royal plan to disarm America, set in motion by King George III’s October 1774 embargo on the shipment of firearms and gunpowder to America. (By that point, Americans considered their arms rights to have been guaranteed by the 1689 Bill of Rights, because the 1606 and 1620 charters had long since been replaced.) […]

Yes, there were other reasons for the Revolution, but the spark in the magazine was the raid on Lexington and Concord. But America even then was different, first, there were the Indians.

American Indians got nearly all of their protein from hunting. Although the Anglo-Americans (English in America) did hunt, they were not as dependent on hunting because the Anglo-Americans had cattle-raising and Atlantic fishing as fairly reliable protein sources.

Not surprisingly, the Indians were highly proficient with bows (as the English had been long before). They could shoot accurately at moving targets and could shoot while moving.

Indian warfare was very different from European warfare. Whereas European battles were usually known in advance to both sides, Indians fought primarily with surprise attacks and small-scale raids. The European infantryman was trained to be an automaton, absolutely obedient to his officers; he had to stay standing in line, reloading his matchlock, while lines of enemy soldiers fired at him. The Indians, however, extolled individual valor in combat. In battle, each man was his own commander. […]

Sounds kind of like us, even to this day, doesn’t it? What happened when they shoved up against each other?

But when push came to shove, possession was at least 9/10th of the law and possession was based on armed victory. None of this changed when Europeans began arriving in America. Indian territories, such as the lands of the Powhatan Confederation in Virginia, that had been conquered from  other Indians came under pressure from the Europeans. Warfare was endemic, with many shifting alliances between various colonies and various tribes.

Trade was also endemic. The Anglo-Americans had plenty of high-quality trade goods. For Indians, the most desired of these were firearms, right from the start of the early days in Virginia. (See Frederick Fausz’s “Fighting ‘Fire’ with Firearms: The Anglo-Powhatan Arms Race in Early Virginia.”) […]

Of course the colonial laws included mandatory participation in the militia by able-bodied males and mandatory personal arms ownership for such participation. That part of the story is well-known. But the colonial laws went further.

Many laws required firearms ownership by any head of a household, even if the head were not militia-eligible (e.g., the head of the household was a woman or an old man.) Heads of households had to ensure that there was at least one firearm for every male in the household age 16 or over. This included free servants and indentured servants. Some colonies required that when a male indentured servant completed his term of service, his “freedom dues” (goods given by the master, so that the former servant could live independently) had to include a firearm.

To encourage settlement, the Carolina colony (today, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia) induced immigration by offering immigrants freehold land ownership, along with strong guarantees of religious liberty. To receive the land grant, an immigrant had to bring six months worth of provisions to take care of his family while his farm was being cleared and cultivated. Also required: ‘‘provided always, that every man be armed with a good musket full bore, 10 pounds powder and 20 pounds of bullet.’’ […]

American legal history of the right to arms has always paid attention to English legal history, especially the 1689 English Bill of Rights. Sometimes, efforts have been made to draw one-to-one comparisons, to assume that English law and practice about the right to arms must have been fully transposed to America. To the contrary, Anglo-American arms culture began diverging from English arms culture starting in 1606 and continuing ever since. The different environmental conditions in America were one cause; another was the distance from London and the necessity that the colonists take care of themselves. Accomplishing the opposite of what the despotic Stuart monarchs were attempting to impose on England, the Anglo-Americans developed a culture of near-universal armament, with a preference for guns that were more reliable, easier to conceal, faster to shoot, and quicker to reload.

The American colonists of the 17th century moved away from the European model that civic virtue in use of firearms meant standing in line, blindly obeying your social superiors and shooting with minimal skill a gun you didn’t even own. The American model was responsible individual initiative, widespread personal ownership of high-quality arms and proficient accuracy. The divergence between English and American arms ideals was a cause and an effect of similar divergences in social and political life, including a broader electoral franchise and less rigid class distinctions in America compared with England.

The colonists’ new arms culture was profoundly influenced by Indian arms culture, which the colonists imitated in many respects. Perhaps this weekend you may practice precise riflery on a 200-yard range. Or you may take a defensive handgun class that trains you to make quick individual decisions under pressure. Whether or not you like American arms culture, you shouldn’t think of it as something that was brought across the Atlantic Ocean by European immigrants. It’s true that those immigrants brought the firearms. Yet those firearms were quickly integrated into an arms culture that had already existed in America for centuries and that would eventually become the arms culture of American of all races. That was the arms culture founded by the first Americans, the American Indians.

I think he may be on to something here, only Americans really understand how important it is, at least to us, to be self-sufficient in all things. It is a lot of the explanation for our weapons, yes, but also for our respect for the guy that can do almost anything acceptably well.

From the building trades, to fixing your own car, to growing your own food. We are a culture that holds high regard for the man (or woman) who is able to take care of him (or her) self. In fact, mostly we lionize such people, and we pretty much always have. It’s evident from our westering ways to our disdain for government to our way of making war.

It’s an American thing, and if you don’t understand it, you won’t understand us either. It’s also part of why we have changed the world, while totally mystifying a goodly share of it.

You remember this, right?

Thing is, this was made in 1970, by leftists, who thought they were making an anti-war film, a misjudgment for the ages, because whole generations of Americans found a hero in that film, who did it the American way.

 

Should The FBI Be Abolished?

Three lies for the price of one?

In The American Spectator yesterday, Steven Baldwin asked a controversial question. Should we abolish the FBI? I think he makes a pretty good case that we should. It’s a long article, and my excerpts will look like looney assertions, they aren’t, read the link. Let’s get going.

For the last few years, the media has been dominated by a number of sensational stories: that Trump colluded with Russia to influence the presidential election; that the Trump team was wiretapped by Obama intelligence officials; that Hillary used a private email server to transmit classified information; that Hillary and the DNC colluded with Russian sources to compile a dossier on Trump, and finally, that Russia acquired 20% of America’s uranium supply during the same time period $145 million miraculously appeared in the Clinton Foundation’s bank account. It all stinks to high heaven but it’s created a confusing array of facts that has bewildered most Americans. They all know something is seriously wrong with their country even if they can’t pinpoint exactly what the problem is.

But there is a common denominator in all these scandals or alleged scandals, and that would be the FBI and the actions they took or didn’t take. […]

On top of all that, former FBI director Robert Mueller — now Special Counsel — is investigating Trump for collusion with Russia when the evidence is now revealing that the only party that colluded with the Russians to influence the 2016 campaign was the Democratic Party. But Mueller doesn’t have the integrity to widen his investigation to cover the Clinton/GPS Fusion/Russian dossier scandal but instead is spending millions on investigating alleged crimes by former Trump campaign workers that occurred years ago and had nothing to do with Trump, Russian collusion, or the 2016 election.

Lastly, when Mueller was FBI Director, he served on the board of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), the agency that approved the sale of uranium to Russia by the Uranium One company only a short time after his own agency had arrested a Russian official attempting to bribe American uranium officials. But there is no record of Mueller warning his fellow CFIUS members about the illegal Russian efforts. It likewise begs logic to believe that Mueller knew nothing about the $145 million the Clinton Foundation received from Putin-connected sources shortly after the CFIUS vote. It is also inconceivable that Mueller, as FBI Director from 2001-2013, was not aware that the Clintons were using their foundation and Hillary’s Secretary of State position to operate a massive pay-to-play scam that went far beyond the Uranium One scandal. […]

However, it has become increasingly clear in recent years that this agency has become so politicized, so corrupt, and so large and bureaucratic that it may no longer be an effective agency. The time has come to discuss its abolition. […]

But note that the FBI did not come into existence until 132 years after the country declared its independence. This was because the founders never envisioned a federal role for law enforcement. It is not one of the “enumerated” duties of the federal government listed in the constitution.

There were reasons for that. Our founders were skeptical of a large federal government and, indeed, not even the “federalist” faction argued for a federal law enforcement role. The Constitution’s authors all assumed that most of the country’s governing would be carried out by state and local governments; the Federal government was created simply to take care of things that states were not well suited to do, such as maintaining a military, minting currency, and negotiating trade treaties. Indeed, for most of America’s first century, the highest law enforcement officer was the county sheriff.

Except for treason, the idea of federal crimes was not even mentioned in the Constitution. Our founders had a healthy fear of America turning into a tyrannical government such as those which existed all over the world at the time. They wanted to maximize freedom; hence the Bill of Rights. They assumed the creation of a federalized police force would make it far easier for the federal government to abuse the rights of its citizens.

Wise men, the founders. Consider

  • Prosecuting Opponents of World War 1.

  • COINTELPRO. This was the FBI’s covert internal security program in the 1950s and ’60s, created to “disrupt, misdirect, discredit, and neutralize” groups and individuals the government deemed to be enemies.

  • FBI Preparations for Martial Law.

  • The Ruby Ridge Murders.

  • The Waco Massacre.

  • Helping Bill Clinton Collect Dirt on his Enemies. Often referred to as “Filegate,” in 1993-94 […]

  • Project Megiddo. This was another shady FBI project, launched in 1999, created for the purpose of monitoring groups on the right […]

  • Use of Criminals as Undercover Agents.

  • Operation Vigilant Eagle. This FBI program initiated in 2009 targeted anti-government activists such as Tea Party activists and, alarmingly, veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars

  • Targeting Pro-Lifers. In 2010, The FBI held a joint training session on terrorism with Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation.

  • The IRS Scandal.

  • FBI Worked With the SPLC

  • Data Mining Innocent Americans.

  • Raids on Homes of Anti-Government Activists. Repeatedly, the FBI has raided homes on the flimsiest of evidence.

  • Fraudulent Forensics.

  • FBI High School Informer Network

  • The FBI Record on Fighting Terrorism. [Which is terrible]

And so many more.

Conservatives Should Quit Defending the FBI
The FBI has a long history of being used by various administrations to harass certain groups and individuals, or, conversely, to allow certain groups and individuals to commit crimes without fear of prosecution. The FBI is supposed to uphold the Constitution but instead has repeatedly violated the constitutional rights of Americans. This politicization has cost many Americans their lives and their freedoms. The abuse listed here is not comprehensive but it’s enough, one would think, to make conservatives think twice about defending this agency’s police state tactics.

This is what we are paying for. My recollection is that the reason J. Edgar Hoover got the name changed from the Bureau of Investigation was to shed the image of corruption which had grown up about it. He was, of course, a master of public relations (not to mention alleged blackmail). And so we were all sold this bill of goods that the G-men were a bunch of clean-cut, incorruptible, good guys. Maybe it was true once (I doubt it), it certainly is not anymore, as we have seen.

Much more at the link, but I think it is time to end this charade, as we should its cousin the Bureau of Alchohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, which should go back to being a convenience store, for us, not Mexican drug runners. Enough is quite a lot more than enough.

Time to end the charade.

 

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