“Here is nothing new nor aught unproven,” say the Trumpets,
“Many feet have worn it and the road is old indeed.
“It is the King—the King we schooled aforetime !”
(Trumpets in the marshes—in the eyot at Runnymede!)
“Here is neither haste, nor hate, nor anger,” peal the Trumpets,
“Pardon for his penitence or pity for his fall.
“It is the King!”—inexorable Trumpets—
(Trumpets round the scaffold at the dawning by Whitehall!)
. . . . .
“He hath veiled the Crown and hid the Sceptre,” warn the Trumpets,
“He hath changed the fashion of the lies that cloak his will.
“Hard die the Kings—ah hard—dooms hard!” declare the Trumpets,
Trumpets at the gang-plank where the brawling troop-decks fill!
Ancient and Unteachable, abide—abide the Trumpets!
Once again the Trumpets, for the shuddering ground-swell brings
Clamour over ocean of the harsh, pursuing Trumpets—
Trumpets of the Vanguard that have sworn no truce with Kings!
All we have of freedom, all we use or know—
This our fathers bought for us long and long ago.
Ancient Right unnoticed as the breath we draw—
Leave to live by no man’s leave, underneath the Law.
Lance and torch and tumult, steel and grey-goose wing
Wrenched it, inch and ell and all, slowly from the King.
Till our fathers ‘stablished, after bloody years,
How our King is one with us, first among his peers.
So they bought us freedom—not at little cost
Wherefore must we watch the King, lest our gain be lost,
Over all things certain, this is sure indeed,
Suffer not the old King: for we know the breed. Continue reading
In Federalist 69 Alexander Hamilton responded to the criticism that the Presidency under the proposed Constitution established an elective monarchy which would be a perpetual threat to American liberties:
Hence it appears that, except as to the concurrent authority of the President in the article of treaties, it would be difficult to determine whether that magistrate would, in the aggregate, possess more or less power than the Governor of New York. And it appears yet more unequivocally, that there is no pretense for the parallel which has been attempted between him and the king of Great Britain. But to render the contrast in this respect still more striking, it may be of use to throw the principal circumstances of dissimilitude into a closer group.
The President of the United States would be an officer elected by the people for four years; the king of Great Britain is a perpetual and hereditary prince. The one would be amenable to personal punishment and disgrace; the person of the other is sacred and inviolable. The one would have a qualified negative upon the acts of the legislative body; the other has an absolute negative. The one would have a right to command the military and naval forces of the nation; the other, in addition to this right, possesses that of declaring war, and of raising and regulating fleets and armies by his own authority. The one would have a concurrent power with a branch of the legislature in the formation of treaties; the other is the sole possessor of the power of making treaties. The one would have a like concurrent authority in appointing to offices; the other is the sole author of all appointments. The one can confer no privileges whatever; the other can make denizens of aliens, noblemen of commoners; can erect corporations with all the rights incident to corporate bodies. The one can prescribe no rules concerning the commerce or currency of the nation; the other is in several respects the arbiter of commerce, and in this capacity can establish markets and fairs, can regulate weights and measures, can lay embargoes for a limited time, can coin money, can authorize or prohibit the circulation of foreign coin. The one has no particle of spiritual jurisdiction; the other is the supreme head and governor of the national church! What answer shall we give to those who would persuade us that things so unlike resemble each other? The same that ought to be given to those who tell us that a government, the whole power of which would be in the hands of the elective and periodical servants of the people, is an aristocracy, a monarchy, and a despotism.
One can only imagine what Mr. Hamilton and the other Founding Fathers would make of this:
According to a senior Democrat familiar with the plans, Obama will announce on Thursday that he is providing temporary protections to up to 5 million undocumented immigrants. His orders will make up to 4 million undocumented immigrants eligible for temporary protective status and provide relief to another 1 million through other means. Continue reading
I admit to some puzzlement as to why the Church in this country is so stridently in favor of illegal immigration. The Church in America being in favor of legal immigration I can understand, with so many Catholics tracing their ancestry to the waves of immigrants from Europe in the 19th and early 20th century. But until the day before yesterday in historical terms the Church was never in favor of illegal immigration. I think much of it tends to be that many of the powers that be within the Church in this country tend to favor the political left in most contexts. They are embarrassed that fights over abortion, gay marriage and religious liberty aligns the Church with political conservatives. Being in favor of illegal immigration allows these clerics to align with political forces they find much more congenial. Jack Cashill at The American Thinker gives us a case in point:
Motives, however, are rarely as simple as money. On the question of the church’s motives, one local Catholic explained how the noisy “peace and justice” cliques within the church seized a new opportunity to lure the Church leftward. As she explained, these cliques were attempting to negate the rightward drift of practicing Catholics on life issues by elevating workers’ rights to a comparable status. In the 2000 election, she noted, they tried the same tactic with the death penalty.
The problem for the P&J crowd is that the Catholic Church considers abortion “always morally evil” — “murder” in fact — but has no official position on immigration, legal or otherwise. One can read all four gospels and every encyclical ever written without encountering a single “undocumented immigrant” swimming across the River Jordan. Serious Catholics treat the hierarchy’s showy preference for immigration issues over life issues as some sort of Job-like test of their fidelity.
I had absolutely no intention of saying anything at the press conference. But with the woman’s lucid argument still resonating in my head, I could not resist the urge to inject a note of realism into the Q & A happy talk that followed the speeches.
The Bishop looked at me as if I had just peed on his shoe. “What are you talking about?” he scoffed. As respectful as I try to be to my Catholic clergy, I did not appreciate the public dissing. “Let me tell you what I mean,” I answered and elaborated in more detail what I had already said.
I had expected the other reporters to give me the evil eye, but they did not. My question seemed to remind them of the role that reporters used to play, “Bishop,” said the next fellow. “You keep saying that the Church is supporting immigration. Isn’t this really about illegal immigration?” I did not have time to listen to the answer. I had a 12 o’clock appointment across town, and I had already spent $9.00 on parking.
A few months later the unions repaid the Catholic Church for its support in a way that left me feeling much more insightful than I actually am. The Los Angeles Times summarized the issue succinctly enough: “California’s leading union organization, bucking organized labor’s long-standing neutrality on the issue of abortion, is for the first time taking a strong stand in favor of abortion rights.”
Specifically, the union asked its 2.1 million members to reject Proposition 85. This initiative would merely have required abortionists to honor the standards of ear-piercers and aspirin dispensers and get parents’ permission before going to work on their daughters.
Spearheading the union assault on parental rights was none other than Dolores Huerta, star of the press conference I had attended at the Cathedral. As the Times noted, Huerta, “a Roman Catholic,” had persuaded a pro-choice group to put its many interns to work passing out pro-abortion propaganda to the union delegates before the vote was taken. The union support proved crucial in defeating Prop 85 by a narrow 53 to 47 margin.
Said Tod Tamberg, an Archdiocesan spokesman, “It doesn’t preclude us from working together on those areas where we do share common concerns.” The “it” in question is the union’s decision to sanction what the church considers to be murder. In the battle for the Hispanic soul, the Church hierarchy had already surrendered, and God only knows why. Continue reading
Sister Mary Ann Walsh, press flack for the Catholic Bishops of our country, has written a column entitled Busloads of turned back immigrants, an image of shame, in which she attacks all Americans foolish enough to think that the immigration laws of our country should be respected. Go here to read it. Here is her column with my commentary:
Sometimes a picture says it all.
Consider the 1963 picture of fire hoses and snarling police dogs in Birmingham, Ala., used against African-American students protesting racial segregation. Surely not our civil servants at their best.
Yep, Sister, we get it. Those who do not agree with you on immigration are racist bigots.
Or the 1972 picture of the little girl in North Vietnam running terrified and naked with burning skin after South Vietnamese planes accidentally dropped napalm on Trang Bang, which had been occupied by North Vietnamese troops. The world then saw how war could hurt children.
I think the world already understood that Sister. Kim Phuc, the girl in the picture, tired of being used as a symbol by the Communists, converted to Christianity, and later was granted asylum by Canada.
“Now, in 2014, we see citizens of Murrieta, Calif., turning back buses of women and children headed for a federal processing center, a day after Mayor Alan Long told them to let the government know they opposed its decision to move recent undocumented immigrants to the local Border Patrol station.”
Undocumented immigrants? Do you mean illegal aliens Sister?
The first two images helped turn the tide when they awakened U.S. citizens to a shameful tragedy. We know the aftermath. The U.S. Congress 50 years ago passed civil rights legislation to guarantee basic human and equal rights for minorities that civil rights workers fought (and some died) for. We pulled out of Vietnam, a war we could not win.
The persecution of the Catholic Church in Vietnam, the million put in Communist re-education camps, the summary execution by the Communists of at least 100,000, the 900,000 boat people, do you regard that Sister as an acceptable result of the American people “awakening to a tragedy”? I think for some people the year will always be 1968. Judging from the “social justice advocacy” page of Sister Mary Ann Walsh’s order, go here to view it, I’d say that their views have been frozen in amber since that time.
We now await a moral conscience moment in the welcoming of children and others escaping the violence in such countries as Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Parents and children from these countries have made the difficult decision to leave their homes and have endured dangerous journeys to cross the U.S.-Mexican border. They risk it because the possible horrors of the treacherous migration, such as trafficking, abuse and even death in the desert, still look better than possible death by gang violence at home.
Actually Sister, I agree with you that we await a moral conscience moment, but I think that was provided by the American protestors, sick at the mass violation of their immigration laws, with the active collusion of their government. The ills of Central America will not be cured by the parents of Central America paying $12,000.00 a head to Coyotes who then transit Mexico by bribing Mexican officials, with kids in tow subject to every type of exploitation. This farce came about because the Obama administration sent a signal south of the border that they were no longer going to face the enforcement of the immigration laws. Now the Catholic Church in this country, that has faced persecution from the Obama administration, joyfully links arms with this same administration in giving a one fingered salute to every American who believes in the rule of law in regard to immigration. Continue reading
Democrat Alex Sink, champion of the working man and woman, let slip one of the main motivating factors behind immigration “reform”: access to cheap labor.
Florida Democratic congressional candidate Alex Sink said immigration reform was important at a Tuesday debate because, without it, it would be difficult for employers to find people to clean hotel rooms and do landscaping.
“Immigration reform is important in our country,” she said. “We have a lot of employers over on the beaches that rely upon workers and especially in this high-growth environment, where are you going to get people to work to clean our hotel rooms or do our landscaping? We don’t need to put those employers in a position of hiring undocumented and illegal workers.” Continue reading
Usually forgotten in the debates over illegal immigration is the class aspect. A good example of this is why the House GOP leadership embraced amnesty yesterday. For Democrats an embrace of amnesty is obvious: more Democrat voters down the road based on current voting patterns. The reason why Republicans would agree to such a plan brings out the class dimension.
I can only imagine the amount of money the Chamber of Commerce and other pro-illegal alien groups must be throwing at the House GOP leadership for them to embrace amnesty, a policy hated by almost all rank and file Republicans. Go here to read about the plan proffered by the GOP leadership which is barely disguised amnesty for illegal aliens. The desire of many businesses for a continuing stream of illegal aliens from south of the border, drawn by the lure of eventual legalization, as occurred with the 1986 amnesty, is a betrayal of our own native workers at a time of high unemployment. Senator Jeff Sessions (R.AL) explains this largely ignored aspect of the immigration debate:
Once again, we have the same recycled talking points—crafted, it would appear, with the help of the same consultants and special interests. Each time, the talking points are followed by legislation that fails to match the promises—legislation that, at bottom, ensures only the amnesty and not the enforcement. The leadership talking points look like an attempted repackaging of the tired Gang-of-Eight-style formula that has been proposed, rejected, and re-proposed for years. It is no surprise then that Senator Schumer and former Speaker Pelosi are so encouraged by these developments. But while Democrat leaders and interest groups appear satisfied, this document was not voted upon by the GOP conference and clearly does not represent the consensus of Republican members. Is it not time we pushed aside the stale proposals stitched together in concert with the same lobbyists, and asked what is in the best interests of the hardworking American citizen—and the nation?
In three fundamental respects, the House leaders’ emerging immigration proposal appears to resemble the Senate plan: it provides the initial grant of amnesty before enforcement; it would surge the already unprecedented level of legal lesser-skilled immigration to the U.S. that is reducing wages and increasing unemployment; and it would offer eventual citizenship to a large number of illegal immigrants and visa overstays.
Rank-and-file House Republicans are the last line of defense for working Americans. Now is the time for rank-and-file House Republicans to claim the leadership mantle and to say, firmly: our goal is to transition millions of struggling Americans from welfare and joblessness to work and rising wages. The President has not only dismantled enforcement but has delivered for a small group of special interests and CEOs by forcing through the Senate legislation that drastically surges the future flow of new immigrant workers competing against unemployed Americans. There is a reason why these increases are never mentioned in the slick ads and radio spots: the American people reject them. Americans earning under $30,000 prefer a reduction to an increase in current record immigration levels by a 3-1 margin. Republicans have the chance to be the one party giving voice to the real-world concerns of the everyday worker whose wages have been flat or falling for more than 10 years.
House leaders should support—not ignore—the immigration officers pleading for help. They should stand with—not against—unemployed American workers. And they should expose—not join—the President’s campaign to pass an immigration plan that will hollow out our shrinking middle class. Continue reading
The horrific mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya by Somali Islamic terrorists continues to unfold:
Bomb disposal experts with sniffer dogs were yesterday painstakingly combing the part of the building still standing for explosives before clearing forensic officers, police and troops to search for bodies. Continue reading
1500 words. I promise.
Now that my obnoxious and pretentious title has grabbed your attention…
On my facebook profile, I give a reason why I am a populist, perhaps the main objective reason. It reads:
“In times such as these, the instincts of the people are based in healthy life drives and survival instincts, while those of the intellectuals are rooted in increasingly irrational spiritual disorders.”
So before I get to why I am a populist, I want to make clear up front that I am not an unconditional populist. That is why I say, “in times such as these.” By that I mean, among other things, that there are times during which I would not be a populist. I don’t hold the view that social elites are always and everywhere wrong – with the American founders, I would much like to see a “natural aristocracy” of talent (which the Church was too, by the way in the Middle Ages – where do you think all of the second and third sons of the nobility or the bright peasants who couldn’t rise by other means went?).
This might be a good discussion to have here. Comments are open.