Category Archives: America

Whodunit? Who “Meddled” With Our American Democracy? (Part 2)

America, Conservatism, Constitution, Democracy, Government, Russia, States' Rights

THE NEW COLUMN is “Whodunit? Who “Meddled” With Our American Democracy?” (Part 2). The unabridged version is on WND.com. A slightly abridged version is on Townhall.com:

Not a day goes by when the liberal media don’t telegraph to the world that a “Trumpocracy” is destroying American democracy. Conspicuous by its absence is a pesky fact: Ours was never a country conceived as a democracy.

To arrive at a democracy, we Americans destroyed a republic.

One of the ways in which the republic was destroyed was through the slow sundering of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution. The 10th was meant to guarantee constitutional devolution of power.

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The de facto demise of the 10th has resulted in “constitutional” consolidation.

Fair enough, but is that enough? A perceptive Townhall.com reader was having none of it.

In response to “Whodunit? Who ‘Meddled’ With Our American Democracy” (Part 1), the reader upbraided this writer:

“Anyone who quotes the 10th Amendment, but not the 14th Amendment that supplanted it cannot be taken seriously.”

In other words, to advance the erosion of the 10th in explaining who did our republic in, without mentioning the 14th: this was an omission on the writer’s part.

The reader is admirably correct about Incorporation-Doctrine centralization.

Not even conservative constitutional originalists are willing to concede that the 14th Amendment and the attendant Incorporation Doctrine have obliterated the Constitution’s federal scheme, as expressed in the once-impregnable 10th Amendment.

What does this mean?

You know the drill but are always surprised anew by it. Voters pass a law under which a plurality wishes to live in a locality. Along comes a U.S. district judge and voids the law, citing a violation of the 14th’s Equal Protection Clause.

For example: Voters elect to prohibit local government from sanctioning gay marriage. A U.S. district judge voids voter-approved law for violating the 14th’s Equal Protection Clause.

These periodical contretemps around gay marriage, or the legal duty of private property owners to cater these events, are perfectly proper judicial activism. It flows from the 14th Amendment.

If the Bill of Rights was intended to place strict limits on federal power and protect individual and locality from the national government—the 14th Amendment effectively defeated that purpose by placing the power to enforce the Bill of Rights in federal hands, where it was never intended to be.

Put differently, matters previously subject to state jurisdiction have been pulled into the orbit of a judiciary. Yet not even conservative constitutional originalists are willing to cop to this constitutional fait accompli.

The gist of it: Jeffersonian constitutional thought is no longer in the Constitution; its revival unlikely. ….

Into the Cannibal's Pot
Order columnist Ilana Mercer’s polemical work, “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa”


 

… READ THE REST:  THE NEW COLUMN is “Whodunit? Who “Meddled” With Our American Democracy?” (Part 2). The unabridged version is on WND.com. A slightly abridged version is on Townhall.com.

Asia: Turning Exotic Species Into Meals, Pets And Snake Oil Potions

America, Asia, Culture, Environmentalism & Animal Rights, Ethics, The West

It’s a tragic truth, but wild life will go the way of Western culture. By that I mean that when the West is no longer; wild life, now on the wane, will likely die out, too.

“Asia’s appetite for endangered species is” insatiable, warns The Economist.

In Indonesia, if not for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), “an American NGO, which helps bring half of all cases of wildlife crime to court,” there would be no convictions and hence no deterrent to the orgiastic culling, poaching, trafficking:

… The Indonesian island straddles the boundary between Asiatic and Australian species—and boasts an extraordinary number of species found nowhere else. But the market also symbolises how Asia’s amazing biodiversity is under threat. Most of the species on sale in Tomohon have seen populations crash because of overhunting (habitat destruction has played a part too). Fewer than 6,000 crested macaques now inhabit the forests. The cuscus hangs on by its fingertips—or its curling, prehensile tail. …

… Trade in wild birds is supposedly circumscribed. Yet the ferries are crammed with them: Indonesian soldiers returning from a tour in Papua typically pack a few wild cockatoos or lories to sell. One in five urban households in Indonesia keeps birds. Bitung feeds Java’s huge bird markets. The port is also a shipment point on a bird-smuggling route to the Philippines and then to China, Taiwan, even Europe. Crooked officials enable the racket. …

… As for the tiger, in China and Vietnam its bones and penis feature in traditional medicine, while tiger fangs and claws are emblems of status and power. Fewer than 4,000 tigers survive in the wild. The pressure from poachers is severe, especially in India. The parts of over 1,700 tigers have been seized since 2000. …

…  Owing to Asian demand for horns, the number of rhinos poached in South Africa leapt from 13 in 2007 to 1,028 last year. The new frontline is South America. A jaguar’s four fangs, ten claws, pelt and genitalia sell for $20,000 in Asia. Between 2013 and 2016 authorities in Bolivia seized 380 jaguar fangs.

South Africa auctions permits to hunt a few rhinos each year, with the proceeds supposed to fund conservation. This has provided cover for poachers. One Thai smuggler used prostitutes to pose as legal trophy hunters; the dead beasts’ horns ended up in Asia. Schemes to farm animals, which some said would undercut incentives to poach, have proved equally harmful. Lion parts from South African farms are sold in Asia as a cheaper substitute for tiger, or passed off as tiger—either way, stimulating demand. The farming of tigers in China, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam provides cover for the trafficking of wild tiger parts. Meanwhile, wild animals retain their cachet—consumers of rhino horn believe the wild rhino grazes only on medicinal plants.

THE REST: “Asia’s appetite for endangered species is relentless.”

Texas Vs. The Pacific Coast: Explaining The Yankee Mindset

America, Environmentalism & Animal Rights, Fascism, History, Left-Liberalism, Pop-Culture, Pseudo-history, States' Rights, The South

NEW COLUMN IS “Texas Vs. The Pacific Coast: Explaining The Yankee Mindset.”
A slightly abridged version is now on Townhall.com.

Unabridged, “Texas Vs. The Pacific Coast” appears on Unz Review, WND.com, Constitution.com, and other discerning outlets.

Excerpt:

I recently traveled to Texas to speak about South Africa, at the Free Speech Forum of  the Texas A & M University.

To travel from the Pacific Northwest all the way to College Station, Texas, without experiencing more of the “Lone Star State” was not an option.

So, after driving from Austin eastward to College Station (where I was hosted by two exceptional young, Southern gentlemen), I headed south-west to San Antonio. There I lingered long enough to conclude:

The Republic of Texas is a civilization apart.

Ordinary Texans—from my brief travels—tend to be sunny, kind and warmhearted. Not once did I encounter rude on my Texas junket.

On the Pacific Coast, however, kindness and congeniality don’t come naturally. State-of-Washington-statists are generally aloof, opprobrious, insular. And, frankly, dour.

Southern historian Dr. Clyde N. Wilson tells of receiving “a package containing a chamber pot labeled ‘Robert E. Lee’s Soup Tureen.'”

It came from … Portland, Maine.

Unkind cuts are an everyday occurrence around here, where the busybody mentality prevails.

Stand still long enough, and they’ll tell you how to live. They’ll even give chase to deliver that “corrective” sermon. A helmeted cyclist once chased me down along a suburban running trail.

My sin? I had fed the poor juncos in the dead of winter. (Still do. Bite me, you bully.)

Having caught up with me, SS Cyclist got on his soap box and in my face about my unforgivable, rule-bending. Wasn’t I familiar with the laws governing his pristine environmental utopia?

Didn’t I know that only the fittest deserved to survive? That’s the natural world, according to these ruthless, radical progressive puritans.

Yes, mea culpa for having an exceedingly soft spot for God’s plucky little creatures.

When a Washington statist gets wind of your core beliefs—why, even if your use of the English language irks His Highness—he will take it upon himself to fix your “flaws,” try to make you over in his sorry image.

For the distinct cluster of characteristics just described, Dr.  Wilson aforementioned uses the term Yankee. …

… READ THE REST. The column is  “Texas Vs. The Pacific Coast: Explaining The Yankee Mindset”.

Or, unabridged. 

Oh, Clyde Wilson adds this: “Telling other people not to feed God’s creatures according to some supposed scientific official plan is simply fascism.”

UPDATE II (5/8/018): ‘Howdy’: Back From Speaking To The Texas A&M Free Speech Forum About South Africa

America, Conservatism, Education, Etiquette, Free Speech, History, Ilana Mercer, Law, South-Africa

Has absence made the heart grow fonder? I hope so.

I’m back from speaking about South Africa at the Free Speech Forum of  the Texas A&M University, on the College Station campus.

A remarkable young man, the president of the Texas A&M Free Speech Forum, invited me to speak for reasons that astounded and gave hope.

The Forum, I was told, doesn’t seek out the conservative/libertarian speakers, who’re usually invited on campus by “the established, libertarian/conservative/republican groups.”

You know. That boilerplate content.

“It is not our place to host them,” I was emphatically informed by one so young.

“Rather, we provide a platform for those who would not be invited otherwise by these established libertarian/conservative/republican group.”

Check.

I was further told that the Texas A&M Free Speech Forum criteria are “whether one is an expert in his or her field.”

Oh! So what the hosts had in mind was not a power-point, low-information presentation, with lots of gory images and a few recycled facts, harvested from one or two online posts!

OMG!

Your history in the country as well as your seminal work, “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America from Post-Apartheid South Africa,” make you, in particular, stand out as the most qualified figure to present on the topic [of South Africa], in addition to specific requests to host you personally.

Imagine! A forum seeking thinkers who’re not part of the popular speakers’ circuit!

Here were young men who understood that those voices making the most noise about conservative freedom of speech denied were not necessarily the ones truly marginalized.

Having been given this opportunity, I aimed to provide a backdrop—the analytical foundation, if you will—for what’s unfolding in my birthplace of South Africa.

From land confiscation to the ethnic cleansing of the waning minority—I tried to explain why what’s happening in South Africa was baked into the political cake; was predictable, and was, to a large degree, the doing of the West.

The concept of white privilege was woven in as well.

To travel all the way to College Station, Texas, and not experience more of the “Lone Star State” was not an option. After driving from Austin eastward to College Station, we headed south-west to San Antonio, where we stayed for two days. Then it was a long drive back to Austin.

Other than the weather (brutal), Texas is a civilization apart. I live in a state in which the Yankee, busybody mentality dominates, as friend Professor Clyde Wilson would say. People are unfriendly, opprobrious, stuck-up, and, frankly, boring.

They tell you how to live. If they get wind of your beliefs—why, even if your use of the English language makes them uneasy—they will take it upon themselves to fix your flaws; to read you the riot act. Make you more “manageable.” More like them.

While civility and congeniality are generally not part of the Yankee repertoire; ordinary Texans, on the other hand—and from my brief experience—tend to be sunny, kind and warmhearted. I did not encounter rude.

As for telling you how to live; how do you like this sign? It’s from the ladies’ bathroom in  a Caldwell diner.

With two impeccably mannered, young gentlemen, who organized EVERYTHING:

Before.

The San Antonio River Walk is teaming with adorable, brazen birds. It sports zero barriers to protect the brats (people mind their kids):

The Alamo garden:

More later.

UPDATED (5/7/018):
Everybody was down with the birds scavenging leftovers. A restaurant put up a memorial to its resident duck, whose neck had been wrung by, as they put it, scumbag, human trash, homeless riffraff. In Washington State we have only honorifics for such scumbags .

Chapel at Mission Concepción, San Antonio:

This specter formed part of my address/lecture:

‘Indigenisation’ of the law:

UPDATE II (5/8): Jack Kerwick has as hopeful an encounter as I had. We discuss.