The judge’s lie 9

The liar was not just a judge, but the Chief Justice of the United States.

The lie was not just a lie, but a bad, bald, whopper of a lie.

Kurt Schlichter, the witty and passionately conservative columnist, writes about it at Townhall:

Call it an “aspirational lie”, the kind of lie that an establishment-type tells you that is manifestly, obviously, what-the-hell-are-you-kidding-me false, but he/she/xe tells it to you anyway because he/she/xe really really really wants it to be true and because he/she/xe does not want to admit that his/her/xir institution is broken.

Take Justice John Roberts’s astonishingly untrue statement from last week:

We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them. That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.

Every word of this is blatantly false …

The worst part is how transparently false it is, how indisputably and insultingly incorrect it is, how in-your-face-daring-you-to-not-burst-into-laughter wrong it is. Didn’t we just have a national mudwrestling match over a justice Donald Trump appointed? Was it because everyone was really concerned about [Brett] Kavanaugh’s high school antics, or was it the fact that he would be a Trump judge? Are liberal weirdos offering Ruth Bader Ginsberg their ribs for transplantation because there is no such thing as a Clinton judge?

Everyone knows the truth. What’s the first thing every single client ever asks me when we get a new federal case in?

Who appointed the judge?

Duh. Because it does matter, more than anything else, and everyone knows it matters more than anything else. Wishing doesn’t make it not so. The judge’s political origin is the threshold factor in knowing how the case will likely go – not law, not evidence, but the preexisting political preferences of the guy in the robe. In every political case, you can know the result with about 90% certainty based on the judge. …

This is why the Founders, in their amazing wisdom, created a system where the people indirectly appoint the judiciary via their elected executive and representatives. Judges are still supposed to strive toward neutrality and adherence to the law, but human nature is what it is. At least when the judges represent the views of the people who appointed them, they indirectly reflect our views. That can be a feature, not a bug – but only when it does not extend to utterly ignoring the law, which it does today.

So, it’s just not true that judges are fungible. Who appointed them matters, period. But John Roberts and his establishment ilk want it to be true, so darn it, they’re going to keep saying it in the hope that someday it becomes true through sheer force of repetition. …

Roberts utters this utter nonsense because he places the stability and prestige of the institution he has been charged with managing above all else, which is exactly wrong and will have exactly the opposite effect that he intends in the long run.

The geeks giddy at Justice Roberts’ ill-advised finger-wagging thought this would put Trump in his place. But Trump’s place is at the vanguard of the backlash against the baloney the elite keeps feeding us about its own alleged disinterested, competent stewardship of our institutions.

Everyone sees that these Obama and Clinton judges are creating a special kind of law, Trump Law, where different standards apply because he is not one of the in-crowd, and because he represents the interests of the Normals, not the elite. Every other president has broad powers over immigration, but not the one we just elected. Why? Because the judges who so rule don’t like the way he is exercising his power.

That’s literally it. You parse away all the fluff and dross, and the rationale behind all these rulings is that Trump isn’t pursuing policies the judges personally approve of so his acts are somehow unconstitutional for reasons and because.

That’s not how things are supposed to work, but that’s how things do work today – and it’s indisputable that it correlates with who appointed the offending judges. That’s what John Roberts should be focusing on, the utter failure of his beloved institution to perform its duties at even the minimal standard of dedication to the principles it supposedly enshrines and from which it derives its deteriorating legitimacy. 

Instead of speaking the painful truth, Chief Justice Roberts chose to attack the one guy who was telling it like every single one of us knows it is. Instead of calling on his robed solons to do the hard work of applying the law and not their personal policy preferences, Chief Justice Roberts compounded the problem that is undermining the judiciary.

The lie cannot but harm the reputation of the Supreme Court, bring it into disrespect.

Kurt Schlichter sees the harm as very severe. He concludes with a flourish that may be extravagant, but it underlines the seriousness of what has happened: a Supreme Court justice – the Chief Justice himself! – made a public statement that is manifestly false in a display of extremely bad judgement.

John Roberts thinks pushing pretty falsehoods is going to save his institution. He’s wrong. His aspirational lie and his sadly all-too-typical elite refusal to confront the bitter reality that his institution has utterly failed to do its job will do exponentially more damage to the judiciary than a million Donald Trumps ever could.

A million Donald Trumps is an indigestible concept. All we need is one Donald Trump, and we are lucky to have one.

Now that even the Supreme Court has let us down, and the House of Representatives has fallen to the fearsome, raving Democrats, what or who do we have to save us from decline into serfdom and impoverishment?

At least for a time we have President Trump.

Posted under Law, United States, US Constitution by Jillian Becker on Monday, November 26, 2018

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Patriotism versus Nationalism? 4

Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, declares himself to be a patriot.

But not a nationalist.

“Patriotism,” he says, “is the opposite of nationalism.”

To his mind, patriotism is good, nationalism is bad.

He emphatically expresses his own patriotism, saying at various times:

Long live the Republic, long live France.

France is back.

France is a strong, wealthy country.

Our language, history, and civilization shine out across every continent.

I bring the spirit of French conquest.

He believes that France has reason to be proud – but not the French.

Not those who incarnate “the spirit of French conquest”.

For the French to be proud of being French would be nationalism. And nationalism is bad for two reasons:

First, because not just the indigenous French live in France.

Second, because France is only one of the 28 countries in the European Union.

If you are a citizen of one of those countries, you can like the country you live in, you can be proud of it. That makes you a patriot. Good. But you may not like it better than the other 27 countries. If you do, you are a nationalist. Bad.

Macron declares:

We are a continent of refugees, and if you say we can’t integrate refugees, that’s not consistent with our values, even if borders cannot be wide open. 

I want to be the president of all the people of France, for the patriots facing the threat of nationalism.

My responsibility will be to unite all the women and men ready to take on the tremendous challenges which are waiting for us, and to act.

He wants to unite them because very many of them – indigenous French citizens of France – still want France to be their country, not a country of refugees. They do not want the millions of (mainly Muslim) immigrants from the weak, poor Third World coming to live among them not to become French, but to benefit from the freedom and wealth  – which the French have attained through long centuries with their blood, sweat and tears – while keeping their own languages and customs, and even their own law. 

Those whose patriotism nationalism is expressed like that – the conservatives, the political Right – are Macron’s bad people.

The Left calls them “bigots”, “xenophobes”, “Islamophobes”, “Nazis”.

Macron calls himself a man of the Left, though not a socialist:

I am not a socialist.

I am from the Left, but I am happy to work with people from the Right.

Provided that the Right will accept the sharing of their country with multitudes of foreigners.

Macron saw his task as getting the nationalists to accept those multitudes. He called it “reforming” France.

We have no choice but to reform this country. I am not just a liberal movement. I come from the progressive Left. I am trying to refresh and counter the system.

To “refresh and counter”. A contradiction, yes.  Macron’s politics are bundles of contradictions.

On further thought, he was not sure that “reform” is the right word for what he believes he has to do. To “reform” France would be too local a project. Too … nationalistic. The French, all of them, have not only to accept that they must share their country with hostile foreigners – and be generous to them, and adapt their own ways to the foreigners’ because the foreigners are not interested in adapting to the ways of the French – they must fundamentally change from being French to being Europeans.

But wait! Even that is too self-serving, too vain and arrogant – still tainted with the stain of a kind of nationalism. As France is not better than the other 27 countries of the European Union, so Europe is not better than the rest of the world. (With one exception, which we’ll come to.)

It would not be enough merely to reform France into a different kind of country, changed from a nation-state into a constituent state of a United Europe. Not enough because France  needs to be much more changed, to have its Frenchness so eradicated that it will be transformed into just one geographical area named “France” among hundreds of other geographical areas in a United World.  

Macron announced:

I am for a progressive world. I do not propose to reform France; I propose to transform it at its deepest level.

That is “globalism”. It is the goal of the “progressives” – the Left – everywhere.

The Left has always understood that for their dream of a communist utopia to work, human nature must be fundamentally changed. Changed “at its deepest level”.

In fact, of course, Europe is not “a continent of refugees”. At least not until very recently. Now Macron and his fellow European Union leaders are trying to make it so by importing multitudes from Asia and Africa. Until that began to happen, the countries of Europe were largely homogeneous.

The country whose population is a mixture, is the United States of America. The American nation is the one that does not define itself in terms of origin and descent, or by subjection to king or chieftain, or by adherence to a particular religion. It is a nation of many peoples bound into one by a Constitution. It’s existence is the greatest political achievement of humankind. Those Americans who are aware of this have great cause to be proud of their country. Cause to be patriots. To be nationalists. Their nationalism is not a narrow arrogance. It is an achievement. And its present leader, President Donald Trump, is a proud patriot, a self-declared nationalist who puts the interests of his own country first, who wants it to be a great force and example for promoting freedom in the world. A country tolerant of all religions. With all its citizens equal before the law.

And it is this country, this leader, this patriotism, this nationalism that Emmanuel Macron and his fellow European globalists despise!

Within America, the Left, the “progressives” do not like their country the way it is. They are  trying, furiously and violently, to change it. Insurrectionist organizations, many of them financed by the multibillionaire George Soros, are fighting by all means, including treasonous conspiracy inside the agencies of the state, to unseat the president, align the country with globalist Europe. Also to abolish borders and admit as many immigrants from the poor, weak Third World as desire to come and benefit from the freedom and wealth of the US, while keeping their own languages and customs, and even their own law. 

George Soros collaborated with the Nazis in his youth, when his native Hungary was under occupation by the German Third Reich. He is a Jew who helped the Nazis kill Hungarian Jews. He calls one or a group of his organizations the Open Society Foundations. His “open society” ideal is a socialist – which is to say a closed – society. When Karl Popper praised the “open society” he meant a conservative, capitalist, free enterprise society within the nation-state. So George Soros, whether ingenuously out of misunderstanding, or disingenuously and ironically, is misusing the label by sticking it on the collectivist system he works treacherously in many countries to instate.

Opposition to this Nazi-assisting, communist sympathizing, promoter of civil chaos is deplored by President Macron. He has not only embraced the Soros idea of an open society (“I am for an open society,” he states plainly), he also accuses those who denounce Soros of “anti-Semitism”. (Which recalls the classic example of “chutzpah”: the murderer of father and mother pleading for mercy at his trial on the grounds that he’s an orphan.)

When Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, Emmanuel Macron courted him. The first state banquet given by the Trump administration was in his honor. On television news one could watch the slight figure of Macron scampering about to claim a place beside the dominating figure of Trump when photographs of NATO or European or world leaders were being taken.

But he reformed his fascination. As President Trump is a self-declared nationalist who likes the nation-state and insists on firm borders, Macron came to perceive him as the enemy. The enemy of globalism.

Breitbart reports:

French President Emmanuel Macron denounced nationalism during an Armistice Day centennial observance in Paris on Sunday.

“Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism: Nationalism is treason,” Macron said …

Macron spoke in front of world leaders including President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“If we think our interests may only come first and we don’t care for others, it is a treason of our values, a betrayal of all moral values,” he said. “We must remember this.”

Macron said that the moral values of France helped them fight for the future of their country.

He praised the world leaders that formed the first League of Nations, after World War I.

“They imagined the first international corporation, the dismantling of empires, and redefined borders, and dreamed at the time of a union, a political union of Europe,” Macron said.

The League of Nations! A horrible organization, brainchild of President Woodrow Wilson although his own country, the United States, never joined it. It was the precursor to the even more horrible United Nations. But Macron likes international bodies. He believes they keep peace between nations. The League, for all its imagining, did not keep peace between nations. World War Two broke out despite its being there. And the United Nations has not succeeded in keeping peace anywhere. It is a hopelessly corrupt organization. As is also the European Union. 

Oh, but for all his fondness for internationl bodies, for a United States of Europe, for open borders, Macron does not wish to be called a globalist.    

In an interview with CNN, Macron continued his condemnation of nationalism but was hesitant to claim the “globalist” label.

He doesn’t find it easy to say why. Perhaps because a lot of untransformed French voters understand that the Great Political Argument is now between Globalists and Nationalists and are on the side of the Nationalists.

“I would say I’m a patriot,” he said, but added: “I’m not a believer in a sort of globalism without any differentiation. I think it doesn’t — it’s very inconsistent, and it’s extremely — it makes our people very nervous. But I’m not a nationalist, which is very different for me from being a patriot.”

Trumpism triumphant? 2

Has the Kavanaugh affair united the Republican Party behind President Trump?

And if so, will it now defeat the ever more berserk Left?

Of the Republican reaction to the tactics of the Democrats opposing the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court, Gavin Wax writes at Western Journal:

The silver lining in this disgusting spectacle is a unified GOP moving forward with the singular goal of crushing the left. The line in the sand has been drawn, and there is no turning back. Even the most stubborn Trump haters of the right see that now. The Kavanaugh hearing will be a seminal movement in this fractured era of politics, and if the GOP can muster the courage to get ferocious with their contemptible enemies, it can be the turning point toward Making America Great Again.

He sees the affair as a vindication of President Trump’s leadership. It’s not only the Kavanaugh victory that proves the Trumpian way is the right way, but it provides the moment for full realization:

Anyone watching intently during the Obama years could see what was forming on the left, but it has reached critical mass due to Trump’s meteoric success. People who do not closely follow politics are seeing what the left is really all about aside from that flowery veneer of tolerance and diversity. The average blue-collar supporter of Trump has their eyes wide open, never to be closed again. This is a once-in-a-lifetime moment that we have to capitalize upon while there is still time.

No turning back” for the GOP?  Never again will the average blue-collar worker believe the Democratic Party serves his interests?  Never again will the Republicans allow the Left an inch if by any means they can be stopped?

Well, it still depends on whether Republicans can “muster the courage to get ferocious”.

The writer hopes that “the most stubborn Trump haters of the right” see now how good is President Trump’s leadership is.

He hopes that certain Republican commentators who were against Donald Trump’s presidency have been brought by the Kavanaugh affair to see the light. They ought to have been, but he is not certain that they were:

Commentators like Erick Erickson, David French and John Podhoretz have to be realizing that Trump’s approach is vindicated. They can bemoan Trump for swatting the hornet’s nest and stirring up the left, but the communist threat is coming to destroy the lives of anyone who is to the right of Karl Marx. If you are white, Christian, conservative or a male (just one of these attributes is enough), they will target you and your family with a heinous smear campaign, and that will just be the beginning. Trumpism is currently the only viable alternative to the Orwellian machinations of the left.

How many  Congressional Republicans formerly antagonistic to, or unenthusiastic about, Donald Trump have come round to his side because of the Kavanaugh affair?

A new eclectic coalition of surprising allies has coalesced around the president.

The most vociferous defender of Kavanaugh during Thursday’s hearings was arguably South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. Graham ran for president in 2016 largely as a wet blanket attempting to cool the Trump revolution but has come around in years since. Trump has also been able to hatch out solid working relationships with Mitch McConnell, Orrin Hatch, Rand Paul, Tom Cotton, and Mark Meadows — an interesting cross-section of political leaders. …. A coalition that seemed inconceivable just last year.

Some have been left behind — like now deceased former Sen. John McCain whose vendetta with Trump became personal, soon-to-be-gone Sens. Bob Corker and Jeff Flake who staked their careers on opposing Trump’s rise in the GOP, and Reps. Justin Amash and Walter Jones who went from constitutional heroes to pariahs over their stubborn opposition to the president — but the overwhelming consensus of the Republican Party is firmly behind Trump. Kavanaugh’s railroading has only strengthened Trump’s power over his constituency, and this party unity will be needed for what is to come.

If Kavanaugh’s confirmation was the convincing achievement, still it must be noted that Kavanaugh was not himself unwanted by Never Trumpers. The victory was not exactly a victory for Trumpism as such. Kavanaugh was “an establishment supported candidate”. 

In what may have been a fortuitous coincidence or was perhaps another example of 4-D chess, Trump picked an establishment supported candidate in Brett Kavanaugh as his second proposed Supreme Court nominee.

In fact, some Trump supporters did not consider Kavanaugh conservative enough:

Although some of Trump’s die-hard supporters were tepid on the pick at first, the attacks from the left quickly solidified him into a hero.

But –

He had the full-fledged support of the NeverTrump right from the outset because of his closeness to President George W. Bush …

So let’s enquire: what do Never Trumpers on the Right themselves have to say about warming to the president’s leadership?

What is the National Review saying?

The editor-in-chief of National Review, Rich Lowry, does not count himself a Never Trumper; but his colleagues, Ramesh Ponnuru, Jonah Goldberg, Bill Kristol and Stephen Hayes, firmly and sternly do.

Or have done.

Until now? Until the victory of President Trump, the Senate Republicans, and the new Supreme Court Justice himself, won the fierce and prolonged battle to get Justice Kavanaugh’s appointment confirmed?

It seems there has been a change of mind.

Significantly, the authorship of this National Review article is attributed to “The Editors”:

After one of the most intense political fights of the last two decades, Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has become Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh of the United States Supreme Court. This is a good thing for the integrity of our Constitution, for elementary American norms, and for the long-term health of our political institutions.

Justice Kavanaugh has demonstrated throughout his career a firm adherence to a constitutionalist jurisprudence; indeed, that was the root of the opposition to him. He will undoubtedly stay true to this approach, which has guided him during his years on the D.C. Circuit and is evident in black-and-white in his hundreds of opinions. All of this was pushed to the side, though, in the final frenzy to destroy and defeat him. …

Judge Kavanaugh was not “on trial” in a formal sense. But that fact in no way undermines the practices and norms that mark formal trials. Presumption of innocence and an insistence on corroborating evidence are integral parts of our system because they work. Had the Democratic party prevailed in its attempt to set them aside, the precedent would have been disastrous.

Throughout this saga, the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee maintained that their job was to investigate credible charges of wrongdoing and to determine whether they could be verified. Shamefully, their counterparts exhibited no such interest. It was unclear whether Judge Kavanaugh’s record was being examined for rape or for rudeness, for drinking or for defensiveness, for temperament or for truth. At times the lack of focus took on a Stalinist quality: “He did it,” Kavanaugh’s accusers insisted day in, day out, “but even if he didn’t, the vehemence with which he denied it is itself disqualifying.”

It is a testament to the fortitude of the Republican party that these conceits were rejected in the end. Donald Trump had the good sense to pick Kavanaugh, and then the determination to stick by him. …

In America we do not sacrifice individuals on the altar of collective guilt, and we do not entertain that illiberal alchemy by which “nobody can corroborate this” becomes “he did it and must pay”. When the Senate met yesterday to put a bow on this squalid affair, there remained as much evidence for Judge Kavanaugh’s unfitness as there had been on the day was nominated: none. To have rejected him despite this, [Senator Susan] Collins observed, would be to have abandoned “fundamental legal principles”.

The Senate refused to do so. The Justice prevailed, and so did justice.

The praise of Donald Trump for his “good sense” in picking Brett Kavanaugh, and his “determination” in sticking to his choice, does imply that “The Editors” of National Review, as a body, now approve of the president.

What then lies ahead?

Back to Gavin Wax who writes that “Trumpism is the only way forward”:

What is left of the Buckleyites thought that they and the “sane voices in the room” on the left could sweep this Trump embarrassment under the rug and head back to the politics of the past. That delusion is no longer tenable. The inmates run the asylum on the left, and every denizen must submit to every ridiculous trope regarding gender, sex, race, etc. or face the social consequences. Because groupthink is their default preset, nobody can speak up against this institutional insanity without getting cannibalized by the jackals. …

But –

The left is never going to capitulate. They have gone too far to stop now. They will only escalate things drastically from this point forward. They will repeat any lie — no matter how absurd, cruel or disgusting it may be — to stop Trump and his supporters. Anyone who believes in the Constitution, the rule of law, due process, and the presumption of innocence is a racist Nazi guilty of sexual assault. This is the future that we will live in if the left is successful, and it is probably worse than what Orwell envisioned in “1984″.

Remember, the left has many institutional advantages that are difficult to overcome. The demographic realities are on their side. The cultural downslide has already reached epidemic proportions. We cannot expect another Trump to come along and move things forward if he is ultimately stopped. This may be our final stand, and we have to move ever more boldly as a result. Trump has taught us that we have to be willing to fight as ruthlessly as the left in order to win.

If the Republican Party now fully accepts President Trump’s leadership; if Republicans at last have the stomach for a fight, or better still an appetite for it; if they engage the fight and if they win it, then the Kavanaugh hearing will have been “a seminal movement in this fractured era of politics” and a turning-point.

Now for the ferocious battle.

The rape of justice 4

Posted under Leftism, Progressivism, United States, US Constitution by Jillian Becker on Friday, October 5, 2018

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President Trump conducts a vast chorus 7

President Trump addresses one of his ENORMOUS rallies – this time at Southaven, MS on October 2, 2018. The enthusiastic happy crowd cheers and cheers.

The video is long. Too long, we thought, if you start at the beginning.

The president enters the arena at the 2 hour mark.

Highlights: he accurately calls the Democrats “the Party of Crime” and pours scorn on certain members of it. “Really evil people,” he says they are, and gives their names.

He starts praising Brett Kavanaugh, and deprecating the dishonest people trying to prevent his confirmation as a Justice of the Supreme Court, round the 2.12.20 mark. The crowd chants, “We want Kavanaugh,” from about 2.12.50.

The president speaks until 3.17.20.

For a little extra entertainment, go on watching after he finishes to see and hear those delightful political commentators Diamond and Silk. They passionately defend Kavanaugh and castigate his accusers.

Supplemental to that video, here’s a snip from another, featuring Trump the actor.

Hilarious.

 

The false claims of leftist humanism 22

We seldom argue with atheists of the Left. We seldom argue with the Left. We find the attempt to be, almost always, a nugatory exercise. Leftism is a religion, and religions are not to be argued with. Faith and Reason exclude each other.

A religion need not have a god in it. Atheists on the Left can and do reason against the existence of a deity, but not against the doctrines of collectivist ideology such as: the community must be organized; the economy must be planned; the purpose of government is to control and direct the lives of the people to serve the general interest.

This time we make an exception. We raise arguments with certain statements that seem reasonable, but are not, because – we want to demonstrate – they are premised on dogma.

We quote an article from Patheos Friendly Atheist, a Humanist website. As far as we can discover, all self-named humanists and all Humanist organizations are on the Left (although there is nothing about Humanism as such that makes Leftism logically necessary to it). Patheos is no exception.

Patheos Friendly Atheist’s most frequent columnist, Hemant Mehtawrites:

Here’s a really important development in the world of organized atheist activism.

On Thursday [July 19, 2018], the American Humanist Association launched what they’re calling the Humanist Legal Society.

I’d call it the atheist equivalent of the conservative Federalist Society: A way to identify, bring together, and support those in the legal professional who are dedicated to maintaining church/state separation, science-based evidence, civil rights (especially for marginalized people), and ethics in government.

You know… all the things conservatives no longer give a damn about.

The statements we have stressed in bold provide us with an opportunity to make clear how the issues we are concerned about, the values we hold, and the judgments we make according to the information we acquire, are opposed to the issues, values, and judgment of Hermant Mehta, the Humanist Legal Society, and the Left in general.

1.”The atheist equivalent of the conservative Federalist Society

To start with, he does not, or they do not, really mean “the atheist equivalent”. The Federalist Society is not a god-concerned institution. What is meant is a “leftist-humanist equivalent”.

So what is the Federalist Society?

This is what the members of the Federalist Society say about themselves under the heading,

Our Purpose

Law schools and the legal profession are currently strongly dominated by a form of orthodox liberal ideology which advocates a centralized and uniform society. While some members of the academic community have dissented from these views, by and large they are taught simultaneously with (and indeed as if they were) the law.

The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order. It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.  The Society seeks both to promote an awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities.

This entails reordering priorities within the legal system to place a premium on individual liberty, traditional values, and the rule of law.  It also requires restoring the recognition of the importance of these norms among lawyers, judges, law students and professors.  In working to achieve these goals, the Society has created a conservative and libertarian intellectual network that extends to all levels of the legal community.

The first paragraph makes it perfectly clear that the Federalist Society opposes “a centralized and uniform society”.

The second and third paragraphs provide a summary of certain core conservative principles: “that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be”; that individual liberty is a prime value, along with “traditional values, and the rule of law”. The Federalist Society works to restore “the recognition of the importance of these norms among lawyers, judges, law students and professors.” To this end it has “created a conservative and libertarian intellectual network” in the world of the legal profession.

Plainly, this new association is intent on reinforcing the very “orthodox liberal ideology” that the Federal Society exists to overcome.

The Humanist Legal Society’s purpose is to defend “a centralized and uniform society” that does not believe in the state’s prime duty to preserve individual freedom, traditional values and the rule of law. It would hold that the duty of the judiciary is to say what the law should be, not what it is. It would exist to preserve all that the Federalist Society finds wrong with “the current state of the legal order”. There is no equivalence between the cause of individual freedom protected by the rule of law and the cause of collectivist state-dictatorship. The Humanist Legal Society might be called the “counterpart” of the Federalist Society, but not its “equivalent”.

2. “All the things conservatives no longer give a damn about”

2.1″Church-state separation”

Conservatives want the Constitution to be preserved intact. They want no variation of the First Amendment, the separation of church and state clause. So to say that “conservatives no longer  give a damn about church-state separation” is a lie.

2.2 “Science-based evidence”

Mehta may be referring here to the belief among Christians, many of whom are also conservatives, in Bible literalism, and their rejection of evolution. But Bible literalism, or any variety of Creationism, is not a core principle of conservatism.

What is also probably being referred to here is the widespread skepticism among conservatives that climate change is caused – dangerously – in our time by human activity. We are unwilling to go over the arguments as to why we conservatives are skeptical about it, but they can be found easily. One of our own posts revealing the vicious motivation behind the Anthropological Global Warming (AGW) movement, The real enemy is humanity itself, may be found here.

The Left maintains that the science of AGW is “settled”. That in itself is an unscientific statement. It is a dogmatic statement.

All real science is ardently encouraged by most conservatives. American conservatives are delighted that NASA is returning to the exploration of space under President Trump’s leadership, after Obama had told the space agency to concentrate on outreach to Muslims!

Furthermore, as gathered by the Heritage Foundation …

Conventional wisdom holds that it’s conservatives who are anti-scientific morons, and liberals who are devotees of reason, science, and evidence. But as the The Chapman University Survey on American Fears reveals, that accusation is based on nothing but prejudice.

As The Washington Post summarizes it, “Democrats were slightly, and in some cases significantly more likely than Republicans to believe in paranormal phenomena.” From fortune telling to astrology, liberals live in a world of spirits. At least belief in Bigfoot is bipartisan. 

The Chapman study shouldn’t surprise anyone. A 2011 Pew Research Center study similarly found that liberals were more likely than conservatives to believe in the evil eye, spiritual energy, reincarnation, communication with the dead, and of course fortune tellers and ghosts.

2.3 “Civil rights”

Since President Trump was elected, the civil rights of his supporters have been violently interfered with by  militant organizations of the Left. Instance are numerous, but one of the most egregious was the violent action of masked ANTIFA thugs at Berkeley on February 1, 2017. There are no such violent militant organizations on the conservative Right interfering with anyone’s civil rights.

Towards the end of the article “letting the government dictate what a woman can do with her body”  – meaning her “right” to abort a child she has conceived – is raised, probably  to be understood as a civil rights issue. The Left consistently refuses to allow that when there is another body inside a woman, the law has to extend its protection to that other, helpless, human being.

2.4″Marginalized people”

The Left is obsessed with race and sex. What matters about you, according to Leftist ideology – propounded continually by ever-more-lefty Democrats – is your race, your descent, your ethnicity, your sex and sexual proclivity. Not your individual worth, your talents, your achievements. And they like to pretend that women, non-whites, and those classed as  “LGBT”, are “marginalized” in the United States.

American women are the most privileged class of person that has ever existed in the history of humankind.

And in fact, far from it being “LGBT” persons, it is white men and the sexually normal who are marginalized wherever the Politically Correct and the Social Justice Warriors have power – notably in the academies.

As for blacks – it is ironic and outrageous that Democrats should virtue-signal themselves as the champions of blacks. Democrats whose party defended slavery and segregation; Democrats who  launched and exclusively manned the KKK; who passed the Jim Crow laws; who consistently opposed every effort the Republicans made to give equal rights to blacks! A black woman professor, Carol Swain, explains in this video how that was really the case. And now it is the Democratic Party that insists on the humiliating policy of affirmative action, based on the notion that blacks cannot compete unless whites (and Asians) are handicapped!

2.5 “Ethics in government”

The Left makes wild unsubstantiated accusations against President Trump of every kind of moral offense from his being given two scoops of ice-cream when everyone else was only given one, to his being a “racist” and a “sexist”, and even a “traitor” for meeting with Vladimir Putin and not throwing the Russian leader’s crimes in his face. Meanwhile, in a manifestation of deliberate amnesia, the Left ignores the indisputable fact that the Obama administration was deeply morally disgraceful, guilty over and over again of scandalous turpitude. Its inaction over the appalling events in Benghazi on 9/11/12, to recall just one of the scandals, marks Obama’s terms in office as a period of ethical baseness hard to outmatch in the history of the United States. And how ethical was it to give permission to the hostile regime of Iran to build a nuclear arsenal in a few years’ time?

Mehta quotes:

“Many lawyers approach the world and the law from a humanist standpoint, but there is a need for them to have a way of organizing professionally as a group,” said the Society’s president, David Codell, a nationally recognized constitutional litigator who has served as counsel in many major cases involving LGBT rights. “The Humanist Legal Society will give humanist lawyers solidarity and resources that will make a difference.”

No. It is against the iniquitous Left, with its religious intolerance, its betrayal of science, its denial of civil rights to everyone it disagrees with, its marginalization of whites, and its lack of moral responsibility, that lawyers, judges, law students and professors need to band together. And fortunately they have done so, in the Federalist Society.

USA! USA! USA! 3

We wish all our readers, wherever they are, a Very Happy American Independence Day! 

The creation of the United States of America has been good for the whole world.

Twice in the 20th. century, America saved Europe and the world from conquest by evil men obsessed with evil ideas.

The excellent Bruce Bawer writing about this, concludes his article with these passages, in which he recognizes that once again America – not by arms this time but by inspiration – is a source of salvation to Europeans who are threatened again with conquest by evil men with evil ideas: the followers of Muhammad, the warring tribes of Islam.

America may once again help save the Old World. But there’s another contribution that America is clearly making on that front. In President Donald Trump, millions of Western Europeans see a leader who, to a greater extent than the overwhelming majority of politicians on either side of the pond, says it like it is, keeps his promises, and puts his own nation’s citizens first.

Almost every major country in Western Europe is run by Hillary types – establishment hacks who don’t mean a thing they say, who view ordinary citizens as deplorables, and who think that those deplorables should keep their opinions to themselves. Look, for example, at Merkel’s pathological effort to play guardian angel to armies of Muslim thugs – and her utter indifference to the impact of her actions on her own people. Look at the British political class’s appallingly tepid response to grooming gangs – and their obsessive hatred of Tommy Robinson. Look at the cynical attempts by Dutch courts, which mollycoddle Muslim malefactors, to destroy Geert Wilders. Look at the leaders of Finland and Ireland who, apparently more eager to please their EU masters than serve their own people, call for increased Muslim immigration and insist, quite insanely, that it “enriches our cultures and societies”.  

After only a year and a half in power, Donald Trump has already done a great deal for America. But he has also done something crucially significant for Europe: he has opened the eyes of Western Europeans to the possibility of giving their mediocre, pusillanimous, appeasement-happy leaders the bum’s rush and replacing them with strong, smart, genuinely patriotic men and women who might still manage to deliver their continent from evil. Yes, America First, by all means – but that very slogan, that very sentiment, is emboldening people all over Western Europe to raise their own voices to say “France First!” “Germany First!” “Sweden First!” We may yet hope that Western Europe’s salvation is at hand – and if it is, the people of these devastated countries may once again have America to thank for it. 

We heartily concur.

How the DOJ and the FBI abused their powers in support of crooked Hillary Clinton 24

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence today made public a committee memo with information on abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Chairman Nunes issued the following statement:

The Committee has discovered serious violations of the public trust, and the American people have a right to know when officials in crucial institutions are abusing their authority for political purposes. Our intelligence and law enforcement agencies exist to defend the American people, not to be exploited to target one group on behalf of another. It is my hope that the Committee’s actions will shine a light on this alarming series of events so we can make reforms that allow the American people to have full faith and confidence in their governing institutions.

 

January 18, 2018

To: HPSCI Majority Members

From: HPSCI Majority Staff

Subject: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Abuses at the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Purpose

This memorandum provides Members an update on significant facts relating to the Committee’s ongoing investigation into the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and their use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) during the 2016 presidential election cycle. Our findings, which are detailed below, 1) raise concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain DOJ and FBI interactions with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), and 2) represent a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses related to the FISA process.

Investigation Update

On October 21, 2016, DOJ and FBI sought and received a FISA probable cause order (not under Title VII) authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from the FISC. Page is a U.S. citizen who served as a volunteer advisor to the Trump presidential campaign. Consistent with requirements under FISA, the application had to be first certified by the Director or Deputy Director of the FBI. It then required the approval of the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General (DAG), or the Senate-confirmed Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division.

The FBI and DOJ obtained one initial FISA warrant targeting Carter Page and three FISA renewals from the FISC. As required by statute (50 U.S.C. §,1805(d)(l)), a FISA order on an American citizen must be renewed by the FISC every 90 days and each renewal requires a separate finding of probable cause. Then-Director James Comey signed three FISA applications in question on behalf of the FBI, and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one. Then-DAG Sally Yates, then-Acting DAG Dana Boente, and DAG Rod Rosenstein each signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of DOJ.

Due to the sensitive nature of foreign intelligence activity, FISA submissions (including renewals) before the FISC are classified. As such, the public’s confidence in the integrity of the FISA process depends on the court’s ability to hold the government to the highest standard—particularly as it relates to surveillance of American citizens. However, the FISC’s rigor in protecting the rights of Americans, which is reinforced by 90-day renewals of surveillance orders, is necessarily dependent on the government’s production to the court of all material and relevant facts. This should include information potentially favorable to the target of the FISA application that is known by the government. In the case of Carter Page, the government had at least four independent opportunities before the FISC to accurately provide an accounting of the relevant facts. However, our findings indicate that, as described below, material and relevant information was omitted.

1) The “dossier” compiled by Christopher Steele (Steele dossier) on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign formed an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application. Steele was a longtime FBI source who was paid over $160,000 by the DNC and Clinton campaign, via the law firm Perkins Coie and research firm Fusion GPS, to obtain derogatory information on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.

  1. a) Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials.
  2. b) The initial FISA application notes Steele was working for a named U.S. person, but does not name Fusion GPS and principal Glenn Simpson, who was paid by a U.S. law firm (Perkins Coie) representing the DNC (even though it was known by DOJ at the time that political actors were involved with the Steele dossier). The application does not mention Steele was ultimately working on behalf of—and paid by—the DNC and Clinton campaign, or that the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information.

2) The Carter Page FISA application also cited extensively a September 23, 2016, Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff, which focuses on Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow. This article does not corroborate the Steele dossier because it is derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News. The Page FISA application incorrectly assesses that Steele did not directly provide information to Yahoo News. Steele has admitted in British court filings that he met with Yahoo News—and several other outlets—in September 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS. Perkins Coie was aware of Steele’s initial media contacts because they hosted at least one meeting in Washington D.C. in 2016 with Steele and Fusion GPS where this matter was discussed.

  1. a) Steele was suspended and then terminated as an FBI source for what the FBI defines as the most serious of violations—an unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI in an October 30, 2016, Mother Jones article by David Corn. Steele should have been terminated for his previous undisclosed contacts with Yahoo and other outlets in September—before the Page application was submitted to the FISC in October—but Steele improperly concealed from and lied to the FBI about those contacts.
  2. b) Steele’s numerous encounters with the media violated the cardinal rule of source handling—maintaining confidentiality—and demonstrated that Steele had become a less than reliable source for the FBI.

3) Before and after Steele was terminated as a source, he maintained contact with DOJ via then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, a senior DOJ official who worked closely with Deputy Attorneys General Yates and later Rosenstein. Shortly after the election, the FBI began interviewing Ohr, documenting his communications with Steele. For example, in September 2016, Steele admitted to Ohr his feelings against then-candidate Trump when Steele said he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.” This clear evidence of Steele’s bias was recorded by Ohr at the time and subsequently in official FBI files—but not reflected in any of the Page FISA applications.

  1. a) During this same time period, Ohr’s wife was employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump. Ohr later provided the FBI with all of his wife’s opposition research, paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign via Fusion GPS. The Ohrs’ relationship with Steele and Fusion GPS was inexplicably concealed from the FISC.

4) According to the head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division, Assistant Director Bill Priestap, corroboration of the Steele dossier was in its “infancy” at the time of the initial Page FISA application. After Steele was terminated, a source validation report conducted by an independent unit within FBI assessed Steele’s reporting as only minimally corroborated. Yet, in early January 2017, Director Comey briefed President-elect Trump on a summary of the Steele dossier, even though it was—according to his June 2017 testimony—“salacious and unverified.” While the FISA application relied on Steele’s past record of credible reporting on other unrelated matters, it ignored or concealed his anti-Trump financial and ideological motivations. Furthermore, Deputy Director McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information.

5) The Page FISA application also mentions information regarding fellow Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, but there is no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy between Page and Papadopoulos. The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok. Strzok was reassigned by the Special Counsel’s Office to FBI Human Resources for improper text messages with his mistress, FBI Attorney Lisa Page (no known relation to Carter Page), where they both demonstrated a clear bias against Trump and in favor of Clinton, whom Strzok had also investigated. The Strzok/Lisa Page texts also reflect extensive discussions about the investigation, orchestrating leaks to the media, and include a meeting with Deputy Director McCabe to discuss an “insurance” policy against President Trump’s election.

The investigation into the alleged ties to Russia of presidential candidate Donald Trump by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, is itself the poisoned fruit of the poisoned tree, and anything it finds is also poisoned. So will it be called off?

Are the FISA court judges to be held to account for accepting a fraudulent case for the surveillance of a US citizen?

Is there a constitutional crisis as a result of this dirty conspiracy entered into by top law-enforcement agents?

Rights or Liberty? 26

Which would you rather be able truthfully to claim:

“I have a right to …”

or

“I am free to …” ?

There has been some discussion in the comments section of our post The Colossus … and the enriching of America (29 January, 2018) about whether government is necessary for the protection of a citizen’s rights or the protection of his liberty. I say, for the protection of his liberty. That is what defines “a free country”. In the United States of America, there are certain “rights” granted in law that are themselves protective of the individual’s freedom. The ultimate aim of the Founders in granting those rights was the protection of liberty.

*

Freedom is not a state of nature but an artifact of civilization

– Friedrich Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty, Chapter Four.

To be for freedom to do what one wants to do is not to be for unbounded liberty. (I use the words “liberty” and “freedom” interchangeably, as they are synonyms.)

What then are the bounds of liberty?

Ideally, my liberty is limited by nothing except everyone else’s liberty.

Sane, sober, sensible self-interest tells me that if I don’t want to be bonked on the nose by my neighbor, I would do well not to bonk him on his nose. But I cannot trust everyone else – or even myself – to be always sane, sober, and sensible.

If I live in a time and place when and where I have to fear continually that I will very likely be assaulted, injured, killed, and that the things I have acquired to sustain my existence, comfort, safety, and pleasure may be forcefully taken from me, I am not free. I am constrained to be perpetually on my guard against attack. I must never venture abroad unarmed. I must carry my possessions with me or stay with them. I am burdened with anxiety. I am severely hampered.

But if my freedom is protected by law and the apparatus of law-enforcement – police, judicial courts, prisons, gallows – I can take the safety of my person and my things for granted, and go lightly about my business among my fellow citizens. (Which is not to argue that it’s unnecessary to insure my house and its contents, or register my intellectual property. These are, it is true, private protections taken on by personal choice, but available to me only in a society governed by the rule of law.)

The city-states of ancient Greece embodied the idea of a society made up of people from many different countries, nations and tribes, all governed by the same rule of law. Your willingness to obey the law made you a worthy citizen, regardless of what region of the earth you derived from. The idea that people of many different nations could melt together into one nation ruled by law (“e pluribus unum”) was lost and forgotten for centuries and was not applied again until the eighteenth century with the founding of the United States of America.

However, the idea of a nation governed by the rule of law rather than by a monarch, re-emerged earlier than that, in England, with the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215. By signing it, King John conceded the principle: “Be you ever so high, the law is above you.” It was intended to be a “charter of liberties”, not a bestowal of “rights” on his subjects or on any one class of his subjects such as the barons. Clause 60 declared: “all the customs and liberties which we have granted to our own men shall be observed by all of our men, both lay and clerk [cleric], to their own men”. In other words, just as the king pledged liberty to the barons, so the barons, by the same token (the Charter) pledged liberty to their tenants.

Magna Carta affirmed the vital principle of freedom under the law. Clause 39 of the Charter said: ‘no free man shall be imprisoned or deprived of his lands except by judgement of his peers or by the law of the land’.  Clause 40 said: ‘To no one shall we sell, delay or deny right or justice’ (“right” in the sense of what is right, not “a right”).  Before Magna Carta, the king had been able to do pretty well whatever he liked – and did.  After the making of the charter of liberties, the king was as firmly subject to the law as everyone else.

(It is true that the monarchs of England nevertheless went on for centuries having too much arbitrary power. But it would be a mistake to believe that the continuing existence of an English monarch now means that the people are not as free as the American people. [The British have recently become less free, but not for that reason.] Since the Glorious Revolution of 1688, when William of Orange and his wife Mary became the constitutional monarchs of the United Kingdom, the reigning king or queen is the nominal and ceremonial head of state, not the power of the state. The present Queen has no choice but to sign the acts of law that Parliament passes. The people are “subjects” in name only.)

A free country is one in which the people are free to do anything that is not specifically prohibited by law. Most of its laws proscribe rather than prescribe. They say you must not do this and that, such as murder, steal, perjure yourself. While there  are some that say you must do – for instance, the laws of the fisc: you must pay your taxes – the fewer “must” laws there are, the freer the people.

Now let us suppose that legislators decide that the law should specify everything you may do. Those would be your rights. It would be an infinitely long list, never exhaustive. So the enterprise would be impossible.

Does that mean that there can be no such thing as a “right” granted by law? No, it does not mean that. The law, and only the law, can grant a right. Even if one believes in a god, and makes the claim that the god bestowed certain rights on every human being ever born – the right to life, say – it would be meaningless if it were not recognized as a right, and protected, by the law.

Only the law can grant a right. The rights the laws of a free country can grant are very few. And there is a danger in granting any: that some governments, having granted a few, may claim that what those few permit you is all that you are permitted.

Why can governments only grant a few rights? Because no one can have a right that puts an obligation on someone else.

That is why it is nonsense to speak of a “right” to health care; a “right” to an education, a “right” to a house, a “right” to a minimum income, a “right” to equality of pay; a “right” to social security; a “right” to an abortion; a “right” to contraception; a “right” to a sex-change operation; or, the crowning stupidity, a “right not to be offended”. That takes away the essential freedom on which all the rest depend – the freedom to speak. And it is in itself a deeply offensive notion.

If your “right” compels the labor of someone else, it is not a “right” but a privilege – and what is worse, the indefensible privilege of the parasite.

What of your “unalienable”[1] rights named in the Declaration of Independence as “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”? They do not put an obligation on someone else, so aren’t they good rights? You are declared to be endowed with them by your “Creator”, “Nature’s God” – which is a way of saying that they are yours simply because you exist. And many there are who believe that because they exist, they have a right to exist.

If you believe that God or Nature granted you the right to live, to be free, and to pursue happiness, you may also believe that God or Nature will protect those rights of yours. But in fact Nature guarantees you nothing. You have no natural rights. You can call them natural, you can call them God-given, but unless they are recognized and supported by the law, you may find that they are not dependable.

So what rights can the law grant – and sufficiently protect to make the granting of them more than just the wistful thought of a somnolent parliament?

These: The right to speak freely. The right to a trial if you are accused of breaking the law. The right to safeguard yourself, your property, your reputation. They are among the rights granted by the US Constitution in the first ten amendments (the Bill of Rights), and all of them can be, and are, protected by the law. By protecting them, the law – or say the government – is protecting your freedom.

That is what the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are all about: realizing the idea on which the USA was founded – the idea of liberty.

 

Jillian Becker   January 31, 2018

 

[1] “Unalienable” means the same as “inalienable”: that which cannot be taken away.

To celebrate liberty 1

The American Revolution was against the Crown; against George III; against England, but not against the English tradition.

Thomas Jefferson would not recognize the “collective mentality of contemporary Americans” as being “in any meaningful way” what he thought of as “American”.

So writes the Libertarian columnist Ilana Mercer at Townhall. She goes on to say:

The Jeffersonian mind was that of an avowed Whig — an American Whig whose roots were in the English Whig political philosophy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Come to think of it, Jefferson would not recognize [contemporary] England as the home of the Whigs in whose writings colonial Americans were steeped — John Locke, Algernon Sidney, Paul Rapin, Thomas Gordon and others.

The essence of this “pattern of ideas and attitudes,” almost completely lost today, explains David N. Mayer in The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson, was a view of government as an inherent threat to liberty and the necessity for eternal vigilance.

Indeed, especially adamant was Jefferson about the imperative “to be watchful of those in power”,  a watchfulness another Whig philosopher explained thus: “Considering what sort of Creature Man is, it is scarce possible to put him under too many Restraints, when he is possessed of great Power.”

“As Jefferson saw it,” expounds Mayer, “the Whig, zealously guarding liberty, was suspicious of the use of government power,” and assumed “not only that government power was inherently dangerous to individual liberty but also that, as Jefferson put it, ‘the natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground’.”

For this reason, the philosophy of government articulated by Jefferson in the Declaration radically shifted sovereignty from parliament to the people.

“Equality” did not mean to Jefferson what it means to the mind of most  American political leaders now:

By “all men are created equal,” moreover, Jefferson, who also wrote in praise of a “Natural Aristocracy”, was certainly not implying that all men were similarly endowed. Or, that they were naturally entitled to healthcare, education, a decent wage, amnesty, or entry into the country he and the Constitution makers bequeathed.

Rather, Jefferson was affirming the natural right of “all men” to be secure in their enjoyment of their “life, liberty and possessions”.

But Jefferson’s muse for the “American Mind” is even older.

Notwithstanding the claims of the “multicultural noise machine”, the Whig tradition is undeniably Anglo-Saxon.

Our Founding Fathers’ political philosophy originated with their Saxon forefathers

With the Declaration, Jefferson told Henry Lee in 1825, he was also protesting England’s violation of her own ancient tradition of natural rights.

As Jefferson saw it, the Colonies were upholding a tradition the Crown had abrogated.

Philosophical purist that he was, moreover, Jefferson considered the Norman Conquest to have tainted this English tradition with the taint of feudalism. “To the Whig historian,” writes Mayer, “the whole of English constitutional history since the Conquest was the story of a perpetual claim kept up by the English nation for a restoration of Saxon laws and the ancient rights guaranteed by those laws.”

If Jefferson begrudged the malign influence of the Normans on the natural law he so cherished, imagine how he’d view America’s contemporary cultural and political conquistadors — be they from Latin America, the Arabian Peninsula, and beyond — whose customs preclude natural rights and natural reason!

Naturally, Jefferson never entertained the folly that he was of immigrant stock. He considered the English settlers of America courageous conquerors, much like his Saxon forebears, to whom he compared them. To Jefferson, early Americans were the contemporary carriers of the Anglo-Saxon project.

The settlers spilt their own blood “in acquiring lands for their settlement”, he wrote with pride in A Summary View of the Rights of British America. “For themselves they fought, for themselves they conquered, and for themselves alone they have right to hold.” Thus, they were “entitled to govern those lands and themselves”.

Like it or not, Thomas Jefferson, author of The Declaration, was sired and inspired by the Anglo-Saxon tradition.

We wish all lovers of liberty a jubilant Independence Day!

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