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!

 

Another New Plant

How about some good news, especially for Americans, but also for those who like freedom, and who might even like cheap energy. President Trump spoke last week at the new Royal Dutch Shell’s Pennsylvania Petrochemical Complex in Monaca, Pennsylvania. If I understand what is going on here, Shell will buy (pretty cheap) ethane from the oil fields in the area (mostly fracked fields). And then they turn it into polyethylene which is the base for many of the plastics we use for so much. Shell says this about it…

“From the phone in your pocket to the pillow you sleep on, the essentials of everyday life depend on the raw chemicals that go to make them. As global population and incomes rise, one giant chemicals plant has found ways to step up production to meet growing demand for these items.”

And that’s an American plant – in Beaver County Pennsylvania – which has been depressed ever since the steel mills closed, is now roaring back. It’s about time, and while the plan preceded the Trump administration, the confidence, and the regulatory red tape cutting, without causing environmental damage, to bring it online is down to the Trump administration.

Master Resource did a good job of excerpting the speech, here’s part of that.

  • And when the wind stops blowing, it doesn’t make any difference, does it? Unlike those big windmills that destroy everybody’s property values, kill all the birds. Someday, the environmentalists are going to tell us what’s going on with that.
  • And then, all of a sudden, it stops; the wind and the televisions go off. And your wives and husbands say, “Darling, I want to watch Donald Trump on television tonight.” “But the wind stopped blowing and I can’t watch. There’s no electricity in the house, darling.” No, we love natural gas and we love a lot of other things, too….

Or the wind blows too hard, as the United Kingdom found out last week when a steam plant went offline without warning and the grid could not maintain frequency control, and tripped off, leaving much of England in the dark. At least, this time, it was in the summer, might be more significant when it happens in the winter, and it will. To continue:

  • With your help, we’re not only unleashing American energy, we’re restoring the glory of American manufacturing, and we are reclaiming our noble heritage as a nation of builders again. A nation of builders.
  • When completed, this facility will transform abundant natural gas — and we have a lot of it — fracked from Pennsylvania wells, which they never would have allowed you to take if I weren’t President. If my opponent won … I guess you would have stopped long ago….
  • But I was talking to Gretchen [Watkins of Shell North America]. They would have never gotten the approvals to do what’s needed to fuel these plants. That wouldn’t have been good. So, probably, they wouldn’t have started. But if they would have started, it would have stopped.
  • But they put it into plastic through a process known as “cracking.” That raw material will then be shipped all over the country and all over the world to be fashioned into more products stamped with that very beautiful phrase: “Made in the USA.” … Beautiful. […]
  • Pennsylvania miners. Do we love our miners? (Applause.) They lit up our towns and powered our industries. And Pennsylvania factory workers made the American brand into the universal symbol of excellence all around the world — all over. [,,,]
  • With your help, we’re not only unleashing American energy, we’re restoring the glory of American manufacturing, and we are reclaiming our noble heritage as a nation of builders again. A nation of builders. […]
  • And other radical plans to wipe out our coal. That’s what they want. They want to wipe out our oil. They want to wipe out our natural gas industries, while allowing other countries to steal our jobs.
  • Virtually every leading Democrat has vowed to eliminate fossil fuels, obliterating millions of American jobs, devastating communities, and bankrupting factories, families, and senior citizens all across this region.
  • And, by the way, this is only fuel that has the power for plants. When you have to steam up and you have to fuel up on these giant plants, these giant generators, these giant electrical factories, you need what you’re doing. You need this. It’s got the power. The other doesn’t have the power; certainly not yet. Probably never will. […]
  • And that’s why we’re pursuing a future not only of energy independence — but not just words. You know, you’ve been hearing “energy independence” for years and years, and you’d hear it. We have real independence. But what we want now is not independence; we want American energy dominance. Dominance

There’s quite a bit more, even in excerpts at the linked article. But the story is one we have said before, America is back, Jack, and again it’s wearing its seven league steel-toed boots.

Great for us and its good for the world too, as should be obvious to all

Here is the video of the speech.

Monday Videos

Ok, gang, there’s a dead skunk in the middle of the road to rational thought, and traffic is backed up. So you get this.

 

Yep, I giggled a bit

I used to work with these guys. Yeah, I was lucky to get home!

Banned in Britain!

Why? I haven’t a clue, I guess I’m not woke enough.

and

 

This, however, is not banned, as far as I know!

Well, I was reading a pretty good article yesterday about why in some cars the dipstick is going away. The one in the engine, not the one behind the wheel. Actually a good an interesting article, and it’s here. A shame really, but the whole discussion got distracted…

Weekly Funnies, Fredo Reappears

And so, Chris Cuomo thinks being called Fredo is a racial slur, personally, I think anybody stupid enough to think so is typecast as a Fredo, but then when I look in my mirror, I don’t see a useless propagandist for the CPUSA. His mileage no doubt varies.

Not to mention starting conspiracy theories

Funny, just the other day on our Hong Kong update, Scoop and I were discussing this in comments.

 

 

White privilege, right here

I. am. Booot.

Another move towards world dominance. Yay!

Who’s a good boy?

And, of course

And so another week of silliness, mostly unintentional, somebody will be just as stupid next week, depend on it.

Of Guns and Men

So  Alicia Colon wrote about guns on American Thinker yesterday. It’s actually pretty good. So read it.

If there were ever a survey asking gun owners why they buy guns, I’d wager the majority of them would say that it basically is for protection. The Second Amendment was not written for hunters but for the people’s self-protection, including protection from tyranny. The first thing smart dictators do is remove guns from registered owners.

Well, yeah, but even hunting can be seen as an act of independence, protection against hunger itself. And any act of independence is anathema to those who would rule us.

Hunter Lovell in the Washington Examiner:

The South Carolina senator made the comments to reporters aboard Air Force One that he maintains an AR-15 in case “there’s a hurricane, a natural disaster, no power, no cops, no anything.”

His remarks were first revealed by Voice of America on Twitter. A reporter then asked him to clarify if he meant the semiautomatic rifle was for looters.

“Yeah, people, they’re not going to come to the AR-15 home,” Graham responded. “Well, I think if you show up on the porch with an AR-15, they’ll probably go down the street.”

One of the survivors of the awful El Paso massacre, Christopher Grant, a black man, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that he was surprised his mother didn’t have her gun with her : “I ran towards my mother to try and shield her. And I’m like ‘mom.’ Cause my mom is a gun-wielding grandma. She carries a snub-nose Smith and Wesson, 38 special with a built in scope in it — everywhere she goes.”

This was probably not something CNN wanted to report while visiting survivors in hospital. Why did this black woman carry a gun? For protection, of course.

It still has not occurred to the Left that gun laws only impact the law-abiding. Criminals break these laws all the time but politicians continue to ignore the fact that good people with guns prevent more mass shootings than gun-free zones. In fact, gun-free zones only place targets on the backs of the innocent humans there.

I think they know it well, and there are plenty of reporters who are capable of reporting it. But it will never happen. When we say “It doesn’t fit the narrative”, what we really mean is that the Dem, the left generally, and the press ( Yes, I repeat my self, they are all the same insidious block) will never report this, it will reduce dependency on them. The blacks aren’t the only slaves on the plantation, after all. And nothing is more liberating than the heft of a loaded gun in your hand, no longer a slave, you become a man or woman who has at least something to say about your future.

You know, in thinking about it, this may be part of the cause of these mass shootings, we have emasculated boys in our culture, maybe this is a perverted (because of the lack of father figures) grasp at agency over their life. Hard to say, and I’m no social scientist. But I know this when I pick up a gun, just like for me when I pick up a pair of Kleins, or a screwdriver, or meter, I become not some random opinionated guy on the internet, but an expert, a guy that knows how to do it, and more to the point, how not to do it.

I think somebody said this sometime, if they didn’t, they should have, and now I did.

We form our tools, and then they form us.

That is true whether it is a  screwdriver, a truck, a rifle, an MBT, or anything else. But tools are objective, they do not know good from evil, they can form either, that’s on us. And we are failing.

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.

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