Category Archives: Constitution

Justice Ginsburg Preferred South Africa’s Constitution To The US Constitution

Constitution, Individual Rights, Individualism Vs. Collectivism, Justice, Law, Political Philosophy, South-Africa

Justice Ginsburg Preferred South Africa’s Constitution To The US Constitution
By Ilana Mercer, February 17, 2012:

I would not look to the US constitution,” said US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in an interview with Al-Hayat TV. “If I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012, I might look at the constitution of South Africa, Canada … and the European Convention on Human Rights.”

Al-Hayat’s correspondent had solicited Ginsburg’s advice on drafting the Egyptian constitution.

Go easy on Ginsburg. She shares a disdain for America’s founding document with millions, maybe even a majority, of her countrymen. The US Constitution is flouted daily by the people’s representatives, and has been amended and reinterpreted to the point of no return.

The governing documents that excite Bader Ginsburg’s admiration are documents of positive rights. The American Constitution is by-and-large a charter of negative liberties, as President Obama once described it derisively.

A positive right is state-manufactured, usually at the behest of political majorities. Rights to a job, water, clothes, food, education and medical care are examples. Some of the European covenants canvassed by Bader consider “freely chosen” desirable work as a human right. Ditto adequate “rest and leisure.” Once these needs are recognized as rights, they become state-enforceable, legal claims against other, less-valued members of society (“the rich”). Someone who hasn’t had a vacation, or has not reached his career apogee, gets to collect on such claims.

In the case of natural rights—the only founding truths the nation’s fathers could have conceived of, given their classical liberal philosophical framework—the duty is merely a mitts-off duty. My right to life means you must not murder me. My right to liberty means you dare not enslave me. My right to property means you can’t take what’s mine—not 35 percent of it, or 15 percent. Nada. And you have no right to stop me from taking the necessary acquisitive action for my survival, so long as I, in turn, respect the same restrictions.

As an instantiation of a constitutional democracy governed in accordance with state-minted rights, take the new South Africa, where almost everyone knows someone who has been raped, robbed, hijacked, murdered, or all of the above, in violation of natural law.

Not that you’d know it, but the poor South Africans enjoy a constitutional right to live free of all forms of violence, “public” or “private” in origin. Section 12 of their progressive constitution guarantees the “Freedom and Security of the Person.” Clearly “progressive” doesn’t necessarily spell progress, as nowhere does this wordy but worthless document state whether South Africans may actually defend this most precious of rights. If anything, self-defense can be an offense in progressive South Africa. The law dictates that in the course of adjudicating cases of “private defense,” the right to life (the aggressor’s) and the right to property (the non-aggressor’s—whose life, by this “logic,” is not at stake) be properly balanced.

“Before you can act in self-defense,” remonstrates a representative of the indispensable South African Institute for Security Studies, “the attack against you should have commenced, or at least be imminent. For example, if the thief pulls out a firearm and aims in your direction, [only] then you would be justified in using lethal force to protect your life.”

Implicit in the right to life is the right to self-defense. A right that can’t be defended is a right in name only. Alas, in constitutional South Africa, natural rights are merely nominal.

The same document allows a good deal of mischief for the ostensible greater good. It even has a clause devoted to “Limitation of Rights.” Since some citizens are more equal than others under the law of this tormented land, redistributive “justice” in South Africa is a constitutional article of faith. It sanctions the expropriation of land from one citizen in order to give to another, in the name of “social justice.”

Knowing what you now know about the South African Constitution—what is it do you suppose Bader-Ginsburg dislikes about one of the greatest documents of political philosophy?

From all accounts, it is that the US Constitution is principally a charter of negative liberties. Arrived at through reason (or revelation), natural (or negative) liberties are the only authentic rights to which man can lay claim. LIFE, LIBERTY, AND PROPERTY: These are the sole rights of man. Congress doesn’t grant them; they exist irrespective of it.

One’s life, liberty and the products of one’s labor were not meant to be up for grabs by greedy majorities. Rights always give rise to binding obligations. There are no free contraceptives, Mr. Obama. If a woman has the right to contraceptives, someone has to work to supply her with this “right.” If one is constitutionally entitled to an education, somewhere, some poor sod will be roped into funding this manufactured entitlement.

More fundamentally, if in exercising a “right” one transgresses against another’s life, liberty and property—then the exercised right is no right, but a violation thereof. Because my right to acquire property doesn’t diminish your right to do the same, the right of private property constitutes a negative right. Negative rights are real (or natural) liberties, as they don’t conscript or enslave me in the fulfillment of your needs and desires, and vice versa.

Unless undertaken voluntarily, state-manufactured rights violate the individual’s real rights. Positive liberties—as trumpeted by Bader, Obama, and practically the whole DC Sodom and Gomorrah—are rejected outright in the natural law, followed by the Founders.

Now, the occupants of the Bench who compiled the South African, Canadian and European documents would argue that making some—”the rich” in the West, whites in a black-dominated democracy—supply others with work, water, clothes, contraceptives, food, education and medical care will increase overall liberty in society.

THAT WON’T WASH. Liberty is not an aggregate social project. Every individual has rights. And rights give rise to obligations between all decent men, including those in power. That men band in a collective called “government” doesn’t give them license to violate individual rights.

Rights, as our Founding Fathers conceived of them, are not claims to economic goods, but freedoms to act in the procurement of these goods. From the fact that most Americans, Egyptians or Russians want others to fund or subsidize their lives, it does not follow that they have such a right.

The Constitution Ginsburg, Obama and the DC Sodom and Gomorrah trash each and every day was designed to minimize political overreach, not mandate heaven on earth.

Justice Ginsburg Preferred South Africa’s Constitution To The US Constitution
©2012 ILANA MERCER
WND & RT
February 17

1807 Insurrection Act Was Good Enough For T. Jefferson. So, Bring It.

Constitution, Crime, Federalism, Foreign Policy, Founding Fathers, Law, States' Rights

Face it. The US Constitution is a dead letter. The American Constitutional scheme—federalism—exists only in as much as to allow outlaws within and without government to hurt the law-abiding.

No other than Thomas Jefferson, an august constitutional authority if ever there was one, passed the 1807 Insurrection Act.

“Jefferson, to his credit, says I’m not going to act unless the Constitution says I can act,” says Fea. “The Federalists take a much broader view of the Constitution. If the Constitution doesn’t outright condemn it, then it’s OK.”

Jefferson stuck to his principles and in December of 1806 asked Congress to pass a bill “authorising the emploiment of the land or Naval forces of the US. in cases of insurrection.” This legislation, known as the Insurrection Act, would take another three months to become law.

Do it, Mr. President. Better late than never. Quell these bloody riots. Some skulls need cracking.

It was early in June that POTUS promised to protect American life, liberty and property forsaken, by invoking the 1807 Insurrection Act. Oh yes, “There’s this long tradition of” deploying the military to protect only countries the US invades, so this would be a departure from the imperial tradition.

Now, amid the razzmatazz of the Republican National Conference (RNC), being floated again is the idea of invoking the Insurrection Act to perform the negative duties of saving American lives and livelihoods. “Idea”? It’s more like a constitutional obligation hitherto ignored.

The police, whose first duty is to uphold the negative rights of the citizens, appear to believe they serve not the citizens but local mob bosses like Seattle’s mayor, Jenny Durkan, and her crooked police chief, Carmen Best. The latter, who seems to worry more about the weave on her head and eyelashes than about the working people of the city, commanded her compliant and cowardly police officers to desert their posts and the people they swore to protect.

READ: “Bring In The Feds! Protection Of Natural Rights Trumps Federalism

NEW COLUMN: Bring In The Feds! Protection Of Natural Rights Trumps Federalism

Constitution, COVID-19, Crime, Criminal Injustice, Donald Trump, Federalism, Individual Rights, Natural Law, Paleolibertarianism, States' Rights

NEW COLUMN IS “Bring In The Feds! Protection Of Natural Rights Trumps Federalism.” It appeared on WND.COM and on the Unz Review. And is currently featured on American Greatness.

An excerpt:

… The police, whose first duty is to uphold the negative rights of the citizens, appear to believe they serve not the citizens but local mob bosses like Seattle’s mayor, Jenny Durkan, and her crooked police chief, Carmen Best. The latter, who seems to worry more about the weave on her head and eyelashes than about the working people of the city, commanded her compliant and cowardly police officers to desert their posts and the people they swore to protect.

Another Black Lives Matter stooge—all-round coward and oath-of-office violator—is Paul Pazen, police chief of Denver, Colorado. He stands complicit in standing down so as to enable the violent attack on author and activist Michelle Malkin.

Ms. Malkin, the scrappiest, bravest woman in America, was physically assaulted at a “Back the Blue” rally, in Denver, Colorado, on July 21. Police were present all right. They watched on as a bulldyke with a baton advanced on a little Braveheart of a lady, who screamed her lungs out in fury, not in fear.

But the boys in blue for whom Michelle stood up, stood down.

Inspired by scenes of wanton destruction openly enabled by elected authorities and their private militia—the police—Chris Cuomo of CNN minted a new phrase for the kind of “peaceful protesters,” who physically struck the diminutive Ms. Malkin and are destroying structures across the country: “Inequality riots.”

“Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto”: Another morally corrupt celebrity, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat from New York, has made the Jean Valjean Argument from Bread: Rioters are hungry. Indeed, there are some “heartbreaking videos of starving New Yorkers stealing bread from … a Chanel flagship store on Fifth Avenue.”

The same scenes played out in thousands of cities across the country. Worst of all have been Portland, in Oregon, and Seattle in Washington State.

So, finally, President Trump has sent in the cavalry. The president launched “Operation Legend.” “Announcing a surge of federal law enforcement in American communities plagued by violent crime,” Trump added that he had “no choice but to get involved.”

This paleolibertarian supports the president’s belated defensive actions to launch a counter-terrorism operation with the aim of crushing a violent insurrection against law-abiding America.

It is essential to take back the streets, and to quit misnaming a repulsive specter that is neither democratic nor peaceful.

Upholding rights to life, liberty and property is a government’s primary—some would say only—duty.

Belatedly, and in furtherance of the violation of individual rights, Democrats frequently rediscover American federalism. (In fairness, to promote their political agenda, Republicans are as opportunistic about deferring to the division-of-power bequeathed by the Founders. Rather than mandate facemasks to save people from dying and killing others; Republicans have left local leaders to supervise the killing fields of COVID.)

The reason the president’s domestic counter-terrorism operation is warranted is because the people’s rights to life, liberty and property are being systematically violated.

And natural rights antedate the state apparatus. Federalism is an excellent principle, but it is not a religion. …

... READ THE REST.  NEW COLUMN IS “Bring In The Feds! Protection Of Natural Rights Trumps Federalism.” It appeared on WND.COM and on the Unz Review. And is currently featured on American Greatness.

 

Andrew Sullivan Forgets How He ALSO Once Policed Uniformity. Iraq, Andrew?

America, Argument, Bush, Conflict, Constitution, Free Speech, Iraq

What Andrew Sullivan, a fine essayist, says in this one paragraph of his latest piece, “Is There Still Room For Debate?,” is profound. It concerns the manner in which adherence to ideology is policed in America (and it is):

In America, of course, with the First Amendment, this is impossible. But perhaps for that very reason, Americans have always been good at policing uniformity by and among themselves. The puritanical streak of shaming and stigmatizing and threatening runs deep. This is the country of extraordinary political and cultural freedom, but it is also the country of religious fanaticism, moral panics, and crusades against vice. It’s the country of The Scarlet Letter and Prohibition and the Hollywood blacklist and the Lavender Scare. The kind of stifling, suffocating, and nerve-racking atmosphere that Havel evokes is chillingly recognizable in American history and increasingly in the American present.

The new orthodoxy — what the writer Wesley Yang has described as the “successor ideology” to liberalism — seems to be rooted in what journalist Wesley Lowery calls “moral clarity.” He told Times media columnist Ben Smith this week that journalism needs to be rebuilt around that moral clarity, which means ending its attempt to see all sides of a story, when there is only one, and dropping even an attempt at objectivity (however unattainable that ideal might be). And what is the foundational belief of such moral clarity? That America is systemically racist, and a white-supremacist project from the start,

Funny thing, however: I well remember, early in the 2000s, how Mr. Sullivan, together with the likes of David Frum (see my “Frum’s Flim-Flam” ), scolded and almost silenced those who objected to the invasion of Iraq. Well, I was certainly exiled from polite political company, around about then.

From my “PUNDITS, HEAL THYSELVES!” (May 29, 2004):

Thomas Friedman, Christopher Hitchens (undeniably a writer of considerable flair and originality), George Will and Tucker Carlson (both of whom seem to have conveniently recanted at the eleventh hour), Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, Mark Steyn, Max Boot, John Podhoretz, Andrew Sullivan – they all grabbed the administration’s bluff and ran with it. Like the good Trotskyites many of them were, once they tasted blood, they writhed like sharks. Compounding their scent-impaired bloodhound act was their utter ignorance of geopolitical realities – they insisted our soldiers would be greeted with blooms and bonbons and that an Iraqi democracy would rise from the torrid sands of Mesopotamia.
Their innumerable errors and flagrant hubris did not prevent the neoconservatives from managing to marginalize their competitors on the Right: the intrepid Pat Buchanan and his American Conservative; the quixotic Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. of LewRockwell.com, and Antiwar.com. (Plus this column, of course). Unfortunately for America, there hasn’t been a horror in Iraq that these prescients did not foretell well in advance.

Confess, Clinton; Say You’re Sorry, Sullivan” (2007):

Senator Hillary Clinton and neoconservative blogger Andrew Sullivan share more than a belief that “Jesus, Mohamed, and Socrates are part of the same search for truth.” They’re both Christians who won’t confess to their sins.

Both were enthusiastic supporters of Bush’s invasion of Iraq, turned scathing and sanctimonious critics of the war. Neither has quite come clean. Both ought to prostrate themselves before those they’ve bamboozled, those they’ve helped indirectly kill, and whichever deity they worship. (The Jesus-Mohamed-and-Socrates profanity, incidentally, was imparted by Sullivan, during a remarkably rude interview he gave Hugh Hewitt. The gay activist-cum-philosopher king was insolent; Hewitt took it .)

I won’t bore you with the hackneyed war hoaxes Sullivan once spewed, only to say that there was not an occurrence he didn’t trace back to Iraq: anthrax, September 11, and too few gays in the military—you name it; Iraq was behind it. Without minimizing the role of politicians like Clinton, who signed the marching orders, neoconservative pundits like Sullivan provided the intellectual edifice for the war, also inspiring impressionable young men and women to sacrifice their lives and limbs to the insatiable Iraq Moloch.

The latest policed orthodoxy Sullivan expounds on and wishes to be able to debate openly is, “That America is systemically racist, and a white-supremacist project from the start, that, as Lowery put it in The Atlantic, ‘the justice system — in fact, the entire American experiment — was from its inception designed to perpetuate racial inequality.”

Obviously incorrect.

Another of those Big Lies guarded across the spectrum, left and right, are the lies about America’s mandate around the world, borne of its exceptionalism: The Big Lies undergirding the destruction of Iraq (supported by Republicans like Sullivan) and Libya (brought about by Democrats like Hillary Clinton).

These are typical American truisms which need shattering, too. Mr. Sullivan, in his defense, did apologize for his role in the destruction of Iraq (after the fact).

* Image courtesy John @John89325183