Liberating Europe

So, this week (and a busy one it’s been) has been the Supreme Court, the witchhunt, NATO, and Trump in the UK. They’re all related.

The Court comes down to Constitutional issues, all else is simply a screaming match. The American Spectator puts it well.

Lost is this kind of debate is what should be its proper focus: a debate over governmental structure. In short, we are increasingly losing sight of what our Constitution actually is.

Our federal Constitution is in form a governmental charter (as are state constitutions, but leave them aside here). The Framers of 1787 had studied history intently, and derived lessons from earlier efforts to form a just government, from ancient Greece and Rome to the Articles of Confederation.

Thus, its first three Articles divide powers into legislative, executive, and judicial. Legislators make laws; the executive administers and enforces them; and the judiciary interprets legal/policy terms, their application and (more controversially) in selected cases, their result.

The article is well worth reading.

What we have seen in the last hundred years is that the left, unable to do what they want legislatively, because of both votes and constitutional prohibitions, has taken to legislating from the bench, by nine non-elected robed figures. That is not what the founders envisioned, and the fight to return to that vision will continue.

The witchhunt is a last gasp (hopefully) effort by the elites, the Deep State, whatever term you prefer to continue to rule without reference to the people’s desire. It must be and is likely to be won, but it will be a hard and long slog.

It dovetails into NATO and Trump in Europe quite neatly. Daniel Greenfield explains.

Momentum, the anti-Semitic left-wing hate group, Stop the War’s Trotskyists, the UK version of the pro-Farrakhan racist Women’s March, and the freeloaders of the Trades Union Congress will be part of a London mob of an estimated 50,000 preparing to protest President Trump’s existence.

While the leftist mobs have been unleashed, pro-Trump protesters were leashed. A handful of supporters stood outside Blenheim Palace. One wore a clearly homemade “Britain Loves Trump” sign. The scrawled shapeless heart was in sharp contrast to the professionally designed and mass produced “Dump Trump” signs waved by grim-faced leftists on the verge of breaking into Labour’s, “The Red Flag.” […]

The anti-Trump marchers are a minority machine of massive lefty groups and internationally famous QUANGOs while the handful of pro-Trump supporters speak for a silent majority that is losing its country. And to them, Trump, like Brexit, represents the will of the people against the powerful elites.

The intersection between Trump and Brexit has always been a powerful one.

Brexit and Trump were both dismissed as marginal extremism by the media, but had the support of the people. The elites have struck back by accusing both Trump and Brexit of Russian conspiracy theories. The real sin of both the big ‘T’ and the big ‘B’ is that they reverse the leftist course of history which is meant to run away from nations and into mass borderless conglomerations like the EU or NAFTA.

As Prime Minister May stands accused of betraying Brexit, Trump’s visit is an unwelcome reminder that it is possible for leaders to listen to the people, instead of to the smart set and its media monarchies.

President Trump has been accused of attacking Europe by challenging the usefulness and legitimacy of outmoded international groupings like the EU and NATO. But he isn’t attacking Europe; he’s liberating it from its dogmas and bureaucracies, from red flag waving QUANGOs and mandatory government media.

The transatlantic relationship had fossilized into an arrangement where American firepower protected European socialism and the American economy financed European international organizations. The WTO, the IMF and the World Bank were built on the backs of American workers. The multi obsessions of Europe’s leftist elites were embraced by Democrats from FDR to JFK, from Clinton to Obama.

Europe got a free ride, but its individual nations, with the exception of Germany, lost out. Industries collapsed, jobs vanished and the welfare states only bred malaise and misery. By the time the wholesale Islamic invasion of Europe was underway, its working class cities and towns were even worse off than their American Rust Belt counterparts while their farmers had been reduced to tourist attractions.

The pro-Trump marchers come from the same working class as Tommy Robinson. They’re worlds away from the angry students working on degrees in ethnoecology and waving mass produced placards.  The two Britains that collided over Brexit are clashing once again over Trump. One is the borderless Britain of the QUANGO, the transnational red flag and the Muslim migrant. The other is fighting for its life.

Trump is a powerful symbol of people power. And that symbol raises fear and hope in the UK.

All of this is demonstrably true. And you know, the leftists in the streets of London looked just as foolish and childish as they do in the States. And for those of us who have conservative friends in the UK (and especially England), we are seeing the old pattern, the Midlands, the North, and the East are combining to start the process of Making Britain Great Again. This is the very combination that once upon a time, when America was merely a gleam in Freedom’s eye, toppled and executed a King of England and Scotland. One who thought his authority came from God, Himself. For the first time, it was demonstrated that the people are sovereign.

Will that happen again? No, HMQ has been very thoroughly defenestrated, and besides, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn she agrees with her people. But the political hacks would be wise to check six. They won’t though, they really do think they are the wave of the future. But they’re not, they are the bad old days, come back to haunt us.

Daniel Greenfield again:

 As Marine One flies over Britain while red-faced reds scream futile insults at the sky, carve obscene crop circles, and beat pots and pans in the street, they know that an unstoppable wave of change is breaking over Britain.

Despite what Bernie Sanders will tell you, socialism has failed in Europe. Its blight isn’t as obvious to American tourists as it is in Cuba, Venezuela or North Korea, but it has, to paraphrase Thatcher, taken the socialists of London, Berlin and Brussels longer to run out of other people’s money. […]

The European nation-state, once the backbone of western civilization, cannot rise again as long as it’s dependent on the United States. The cycle of dependency and loathing expressed at its best and worst between the US and the UK is dysfunctional and cannot last. Trump’s message is that it’s ending.

A nation cannot respect itself or respect others until it is independent of them. Brexit is the first step, but not the last, to the rebirth of the Britain whose new day will light a fresh blaze of national glories.

He’s right, spot on right. And once again, on that day, the Anglo-Saxon will still again have saved Europe.

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Telling England (and Europe) the Truth

Getty Pool

Well, the President is now in the UK, after lobbing some American truth grenades around in Brussels. They are needed, and he reflects, as usual, the view of the American on the street.

It is tiresome protecting people who disdain to protect themselves, let alone disregard their own vital interests to pander to corporatists and foreign powers. Yes, I am referring to the Nordstream pipeline whereby Germany spends many billions of dollars to import natural gas from Russia bypassing eastern Europe – which they, no less than the US, are pledged to defend. Although it is unclear how that will work with their seven operational aircraft, less than a hundred tanks, and less than 200,000 service people – less than the Weimar Republic was allowed.

It brings to mind an old American adage:

“We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.”

But really, why should we? Someone said the other day that if Europe was owned by Disney, the sign would say “Yesterdayland”. It’s pretty much true, Europe as we have known it is a dying continent. It may be beyond help. In population, in economics, and yes, in military force.

The UK too tends that way, but not as much. It retains a robust memory of what it once was, and once one gets away from London, is still is, in large part, the land we all knew.

But its politics are broken, even worse than ours were after Reagan and before Trump. Corbyn’s Labour Party, much like the US Democrats, was once the party of unionized labor, now its politics often make Stalin look conservative. It is anti everything that most of us think good, not to mention anti-Semitic and anti-British, and anti-American. But it has largely put a spoke in the wheel of British governance, not because of what it believes, so much as the fear of the party by everybody else.

The Conservatives have slipped to the left as well. Jess often commented that Maggie moved the so-called Overton window to the right, and she was right. No more. The Tories make the US Republican establishment look positively conservative. Nor does it help that many British cannot seem to tell the difference between corporatist and capitalist.

Earlier this week, we looked at the current Brexit deal (here). In short what it does is make the UK a colony of the European Union – the worst of all possible worlds. It means being subject to the rule of one of the most corrupt groups in the world, without even (an ineffectual) vote in the proceedings.

UKIP (The United Kingdom Independence Party) which was the main driver that brought about the Brexit vote, more or less dissolved upon victory, with its former leader Nigel Farage going into radio and such. It seems to have thought its job was done, and the Tory government would carry out the will of the people clearly expressed. That was so optimistic as to be delusional.

It is now quickly gaining members (and the Tories losing commensurately) as what the May government has done sinks in, but it may be too late. There are two ways to forcibly retire the May government. Michael St. George details them here. Both are fraught with uncertainty.

Into this self-created mess, Donald Trump flew yesterday, doing his truth-telling act. He told the Daily Sun, the last semi conservative paper in Britain, that the Brexit deal outlined in the white paper leaves the UK subject to the EU (thus the BRINO moniker: Brexit in name only) and as such we will have to negotiate with the EU rather than the UK. In other words, the promised US-UK trade deal will likely be off. The obvious truth, but it rocked the island.

The President also said that he, like many British themselves, used to love London, but now avoids it. Sensible, since the current mayor, Sadiq Khan is doing his very best to make it still another multicultural ‘third world shithole’. He makes diBlasio look reasonable.

While this was going on, he had a very nice dinner at Blenheim Palace, where Churchill was born, and the gift of the nation to Sir John Churchill, First Duke of Marlborough, perhaps the greatest British general since William the Marshal.

Today, he will meet the Queen, which I’d guess he will enjoy, and she just might as well. She’s met every American president since Truman, and some reports say is also a Brexiteer (although as befits her job, a quiet one).

There are protests, of course, in London, encouraged by the Mayor, which have prompted both the US and the Japanese Embassies to advise their nationals to maintain a low profile this weekend. Well justified, yesterday it was reported that the former UK ambassador to the US was badly beaten in the street. The police claim it was a simple robbery attempt.

What Britain needs is a leader that the people can rally around. I, like many others, do like like Jacob Rees-Mogg, but question whether he’s up to the task, or even able to see it in its full dimensions. Trump also said last night that he thinks Boris Johnson would make a great PM. Well, Trump is a pretty good judge, although ‘great’ seems a bit far over the bridge, but in any case, do the Tories have the guts to even try to solve this mess? I have my doubts.

So, today it will be off to Scotland and then on to meet Putin.

Jabberwocky and the Supreme Court

David Harsanyi recently noted in The Federalist that the Democrats don’t fear Brett Kavanaugh as much as they fear The Constitution. He is correct. And it is an existential threat to them.

Specifically,” prospective presidential candidate Kamala Harris argues, “as a replacement for Justice Anthony Kennedy, his nomination presents an existential threat to the health care of hundreds of millions of Americans.” Surely the former Attorney General of California comprehends that “health care” is not a constitutional right, but rather a policy concern whose contours are still being debated, and probably will be for decades, by lawmakers.

What Harris probably means is that Kavanaugh is an existential threat to the practice of forcing Americans to buy products in the private marketplace against their will.

And

Leading presidential contender Bernie Sanders, whose collectivist doctrine clashes directly with Constitution’s goal of restraining the state and empowering the individual, worried about “workers’ rights, health care, climate change, environmental protection and gun safety.” He should.

Kavanaugh, with Justice Neil Gorsuch, is a critic of Chevron deference, the practice that allows administrative agencies to ignore their charge and have free rein to interpret statutory authority in virtually any way they please. Few things undermine the socialist agenda more than limiting our regulatory agencies’ ability to lord over the economic decisions of Americans.

Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, another potential presidential hopeful, says Kavanaugh “can’t be trusted to safeguard rights for women, workers or to end the flow of corporate money to campaigns.” To “safeguard” the rights of women means keeping abortion legal on the federal level, without any genuine restrictions. While invented rights are sacramental, other precedents, like stopping the “flow of corporate money” – which is to say, the right of free expression codified by the Citizens United decision – should be conveniently discarded. There is absolutely no guiding principle to any of this other than political preference.

In Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll has Humpty Dumpty explain his use of words to us (and Alice) thusly…

‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’

Alice was too much puzzled to say anything; so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. ‘They’ve a temper, some of them — particularly verbs: they’re the proudest — adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs — however, I can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!’

And that is exactly what the left tries to do. But the Constitution’s words are very stubborn things and so are those of us who haven’t gone through the looking glass, and we keep insisting that words mean just what they say, as they always have, do, and always shall.

And that is exactly what we mean when we refer to originalism and textualism – words mean what they say. It is one of the main things that has made America different, the law is the law, and it is supposed to apply to everyone. And yes, you may have noticed that we have been having problems on that score lately, it is most definitely related.

And that is also why judges like Cavanaugh (and Gorsuch) and others like them, are so threatening to the Democrats. If the law is the law, the law is no longer what they desire, and if they have to obey it, well, they don’t find that fun. After all, Hillary probably does not think international orange is the most flattering color for her pantsuit.

All of this refers to the rule of law, and that is the basis that made “The West the Best”. It was best exercised in the US and the rest of the Anglosphere, and is the very reason why we have outstripped the rest of the world, in economics, in freedom, and in all the rest.

And yes, the United States Constitution is foundational to this all over the world, I can’t count the number of times that I have heard Englishmen and women (where the concepts of American law developed) quote our constitution.

It is something worth defending, and it shall be defended. And that is why Trump, since his election, has become very definitely: My President. And he would be, if he did nothing else.

 

POTUS, SCOTUS, and the Rule of Law

So tonight we’ll know who Trump’s second pick for the Supreme Court is. There is a list of twenty-five names if you’ve been comatose, and four of those are considered front-runners. They are Raymond Kethledge, Brett Kavanaugh, Thomas Hardiman, and Amy Coney Barrett. I’ve read a certain amount about each of them, and while my sentimental pick is Amy Coney Barrett, I don’t really care. They are, each and every one, an outstanding choice. None are really conservative, or liberal, all are originalist and textualist, which is as it should be.

Paul Mirengoff over at PowerLine says that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that two of them have fewer obvious problems in confirmation, and therefore he suggests either Kethledge or Hardiman. That is a valid opinion, it’s going to be a very noisy confirmation, and it would be very good to get it done by election day, and optimally by the Court’s next term, so what he thinks would be easier for him to ramrod through the Senate matters. It’s not the only consideration, but it is an important one, and with a field so bursting with talent, it matters.

McConnell reportedly believes that Barrett might encounter resistance from Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski because she is an outspoken social conservative who some observers believe may be more amenable than others on the short list to overturning Roe v. Wade.

Kavanaugh might present different challenges. His role in the George W. Bush administration and in the Ken Starr investigation has generated millions of pages of documents. Senate Democrats would demand to see every one them. This could stall the nomination, making it impossible to confirm Kavanaugh before the Supreme Court begins its next term and maybe before the mid-term elections.

So we’ll find out who the President wants tonight. We can already see what the left will bring to the battle: emotion and prejudice. Neither are valid. What is at stake here is the Republic, and the rule of law and all four of these eminent jurists have their heads on pretty straight.

Steve Chapman in Reason spoke to this point back in 2008.

One of the axioms of American democracy is that we are a government of laws, not of men. We are supposed to follow the requirements of our Constitution and statutes even when they yield results we don’t like—say, freeing a person who appears guilty.

In this format, it actually goes back to John Adams in the 1780 Massachusetts Constitution, but in reality, it is enshrined in Magna Charta, and in King Alfred the Great’s charter. It is one of the main reasons why the United States and (so far) the United Kingdom have remained free and built the modern world.

It’s a lovely feeling, isn’t it, to know that while careers are at stake, we can trust the president to make an excellent choice?

In a related thought, as I was listening to the anguish last night from Britain at the way HMG is attempting to sell out Brexit over the heads of the people (more perhaps later in the week on this) it struck me, as it often does, how lucky we are to have President Trump, untoward Tweets and all. We have a president who understands how to negotiate, how to take the people into his confidence, and other things. But above all, we have a President who puts country before party. Who is quite obviously an American patriot, who puts America first, and after the Obama regime, it is so very refreshing. I hope (and pray) the British can find someone to put Britain First.

1776, and a Travel Warning

 

 

 

 

 

And thus it started. If you haven’t seen the movie, do find it.

As Winston Churchill reflected on July fourth, 1918

“The Declaration of Independence is not only an American document. It follows on Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights as the third great title-deed on which the liberties of the English-speaking people are founded. By it we lost an Empire, but by it we also preserved an Empire. By applying its principles and learning its lesson we have maintained our communion with the powerful Commonwealths our children have established beyond the seas…We therefore join in perfect sincerity and simplicity with our American kith and kin in celebrating the auspicious and glorious anniversary of their nationhood.”

Charles Krauthammer

Well, Charles Krauthammer is gone, although, for many of us, he will never be forgotten. I’m lucky, in a sense, my life and interest has spanned the life of two of the most intellectual and persuasive conservatives in American history, Bill Buckley, and Charles Krauthammer. Not surprisingly I agreed with neither more than perhaps 80% of the time. Conservatism is, above all else, a philosophy of the individual, and each of us brings different things to the table.

What Buckley, and even more Krauthammer, brought was a broad understanding of American conservatism’s basis in philosophy: Jewish, Christian and enlightenment. All have their part, all are important, and each plays slightly differently in each of us.

Much of what Krauthammer brought, for me anyway, was even (maybe especially) when I disagreed with him was that he helped to clarify my thinking. In listening to his rational, logical thinking, the flaws in my own became clear. Not that this meant he changed my mind, sometimes he did, usually, I found (or invented) a flaw in his thinking. Thus he was a superb mentor for my thinking, even as so many of the younger people at Fox News say he was for them.

I think it interesting that the two best obituaries I found this morning are in the £ Daily Mail and the Jerusalem Post.

 From the Mail:

In 1984 he joined the Washington Post where his critical column awarded him the Commentary Pulitzer Prize in 1987.

Krauthammer was an influential voice among Republicans, through his syndicated column and his appearances on Fox News and elsewhere.

He was known for a dour expression, wry humor and sharp intellect.

In 2006, the Financial Times named him the most influential commentator in the United States.

Krauthammer gave mixed reviews to President Donald Trump, questioning his ‘loud and bombastic’ approach to the job and calling him a charlatan while praising actions such as withdrawing from the Paris climate accord and nominating Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

He had been a leading critic of President Barack Obama and what Krauthammer perceived as his ‘social democratic agenda,’ while supporting George W. Bush’s intervention in the Middle East.

Krauthammer also liked President Ronald Reagan’s stand against communism and popularized the term ‘Reagan Doctrine’ to describe it.

He had been married to his wife Robyn Krauthammer for 44 years and has a 32-year-old son, Daniel Krauthammer, who survive him. In his free time, Krauthammer enjoyed baseball and chess.

One of the more fascinating things to me is that he started as a speechwriter for Walter Mondale, and began writing for The Washington Post and The Atlantic, and found himself agreeing with Ronald Reagan more and more. Perhaps the greatest conservative convert of the greatest conservative convert who became president.

He, like, I was not enamored with President Trump during the primary season, not least because we had the strongest field since Lincoln ran alone. Neither of us thought Trump sounded like what a President should, a vulgarian at best. Yet both of us, when he won the nomination decided that he was preferable to the appalling Hillary Clinton, and while not enthusiastic, supported him. I wish we could know what he thought now. For myself, I think Trump has turned into the best conservative (not complete yet) conversion since the Gipper, himself, and may end up saving the Republic as we knew it, and Israel in the bargain.

The Post speaks of his support of Israel:

Krauthammer wrote in 2014 about “Kafkaesque ethical inversions” that make for Western criticism of Israel. “The world’s treatment of Israel is Orwellian, fueled by a mix of classic antisemitism, near-total historical ignorance and reflexive sympathy for the ostensible Third World underdog,” he wrote.

He understood that eruptions featuring Palestinian casualties (such as recent Hamas assaults on the Gaza border) were “depravity.”

“The whole point is to produce dead Palestinians for international television; to deliberately wage war so that your own people can be telegenically killed; indeed, moral and tactical insanity,” he said. “But it rests on a very rational premise. The whole point is to draw Israeli counter-fire; to produce dead Palestinians for international television, and to ultimately undermine support for Israel’s legitimacy and right to self-defense.”

In 2015, he repeatedly skewered then-president Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, calling it “the worst agreement in U.S. diplomatic history.”

To Obama, he wrote accusingly: “You set out to prevent proliferation and you trigger it. You set out to prevent an Iranian nuclear capability and you legitimize it. You set out to constrain the world’s greatest exporter of terror threatening every one of our allies in the Middle East and you’re on the verge of making it the region’s economic and military hegemon.”

Decidedly a voice that will be, already has been in fact, missed. One of the clearest we have ever produced. In some ways, it was people like Dr.Krauthammer that made Fox News, as well. I can remember in the early days, even through Gulf War 1, it was nearly unwatchable, even for a conservative. But as he and others built it, it has become by any measure the best American network for news, as opposed to propaganda. Perfect, of course not, but like the country, it is a work of man, not God, and it tries to improve. But there is no improving or replacing Krauthammer. We’ll simply have to muddle along with the words he has written to guide us.

The Mail quoted his farewell letter from a couple weeks ago:

‘I leave this life with no regrets,’ Krauthammer wrote in his farewell statement.

‘It was a wonderful life… I am sad to leave but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended.’

We should all be so fortunate.

Fair winds and following seas, Charles, rest in Peace.

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