Thomas Sowell on equal rights vs identity-group “rights”

Image may contain: 1 person, text

Thomas Sowell is an American economist and social theorist who is currently a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Attorney General William P. Barr’s Remarks to the Law School at the University of Notre Dame | Department of Justice

Image result for attorney general barr addressing notre dame law school

Source: Attorney General William P. Barr Delivers Remarks to the Law School and the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame | OPA | Department of Justice

“By and large, the Founding generation’s view of human nature was drawn from the classical Christian tradition. These practical statesmen understood that individuals, while having the potential for great good, also had the capacity for great evil.

“Men are subject to powerful passions and appetites, and, if unrestrained, are capable of ruthlessly riding roughshod over their neighbors and the community at large. No society can exist without some means for restraining individual rapacity…

“In short, in the Framers’ view, free government was only suitable and sustainable for a religious people – a people who recognized that there was a transcendent moral order antecedent to both the state and man-made law and who had the discipline to control themselves according to those enduring principles…

“The problem [in our contemporary society] is not that religion is being forced on others. The problem is that irreligion and secular values are being forced on people of faith…

“This is not decay; it is organized destruction. Secularists, and their allies among the “progressives,” have marshaled all the force of mass communications, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.

“We must be vigilant to resist efforts by the forces of secularization to drive religious viewpoints from the public square and to impinge upon the free exercise of our faith.

“I can assure you that, as long as I am Attorney General, the Department of Justice will be at the forefront of this effort, ready to fight for the most cherished of our liberties: the freedom to live according to our faith.”

This is absolutely magnificent. And these are only a few excerpts: read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest! I did not really have much of an opinion on Attorney General Barr prior to this speech; but now I admire him greatly. Well said, sir! Well said.

Gunston Hall Boxwoods | Abbeville Institute

Image may contain: plant, tree and outdoor
Gunston Hall, with its gardens, and boxwoods lining the walk down to the River. (From the linked article.)

The years when these boxwood sent their roots into the Virginia soil were the years the American republic took root on these shores.

Source: Gunston Hall Boxwoods | Abbeville Institute

“George Mason, like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, was happiest at home, either in the fields and woods, with a good book by the hearth, or entertaining neighbors and family. Living close to the soil, time was measured by the rhythms of nature. The flow of the seasons brought different activities: planting and harvesting, fishing and hunting, visiting neighbors in winter, and strolling through the gardens in summer. There was time for church, social gatherings, dances and parties, especially during the Christmas season. All took place in the community and around the home… Traditions ran deep, with kith and kin close by and entertainments mostly homemade.”

This would be my ideal life! I cannot conceive of a better. True, today we have advances like indoor plumbing, air conditioning (!), and advanced medicine (although the way it is organized, distributed, and administered has plenty of room for improvement); but was it really necessary to give up graciousness, in exchange for these benefits? I wonder, I truly do…

In any case:

“… for George Mason, home was Gunston Hall in Fairfax County, Virginia. … Mason and many of his contemporaries loved to experiment with plants and took pride in their gardens. Gunston Hall was noted for the beautiful English boxwood that lined the walk from the house to a beautiful view of the Potomac River…

“Visitors such as Washington, Jefferson, and other patriots, neighbors and family, walked down the garden paths, and guided by the boxwood, took in the vista of the distant Potomac River, the artery of trade in this region. As children played, talk of domestic concerns and the nature of American rights and liberties was heard on these grounds…

“Now the boxwood have fallen on hard times and the decision has been made to dig them up. Experts believe that at 230 years old, the plants may be at the end of their natural life. The boxwood was planted amidst such hope, as the Colonies won their independence, and went about the process of protecting their hard won liberties. Perhaps the boxwood just does not understand how a country with so much promise could go so far astray. Nor would George Mason.”

This is barely to scratch the surface of this excellent essay, which uses the boxwood of Gunston Hall as the backdrop for a tale of the rise and fall of the America our Founders intended: – ’tis a mere appetizer, to entice one to the feast. Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest! But this I will say, if the above is not sufficient enticement: might the imminent demise of Gunston Hall’s boxwood, beautiful as they have been for more than two centuries, be an emblem of the demise of other things, just as old – but things of much deeper import…? Again, I wonder!

The Civil War on America’s Horizon | The American Conservative

“You accuse us of overturning our patrie by rebellion, but it is you, who, subverting all principles of the religious and political order, were the first to proclaim that insurrection is the most sacred of duties.” — French Royalist rebel to the newly-installed Jacobin government in 1793

Source: The Civil War on America’s Horizon | The American Conservative

I disagree with the author of this piece’s knee-jerk anti-Trumpism, and more generally his assertion of what amounts to moral equivalency between the President’s supporters and America’s radical Left. But that doesn’t mean the essay’s depiction of the situation in which we find ourselves is wrong. Sadly!

But I like better the analysis of both the article and the situation it describes, from Clergy in Support of the 2nd Amendment, which posted a link to this article: Continue reading “The Civil War on America’s Horizon | The American Conservative”

That’s not who we are!

I am The Anglophilic Anglican. But I am also an American; and what goes on in the United States of America, for better or for worse – sadly, much of it “for worse,” these days – is obviously of considerable concern to me. And this, unfortunately, hits the matter pretty square-on!

https://external-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/safe_image.php?d=AQCZmYVIsOhNv2Es&w=476&h=249&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.conservativedailynews.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2019%2F07%2Fwho-we-are-dt-600-1200x630.jpg&cfs=1&upscale=1&fallback=news_d_placeholder_publisher&_nc_hash=AQDQ6z7V5jtIYQZ0

How Liberty Dies | Campaign for Liberty

Image result for campaign for liberty

Right now, the political class is rushing to do something – anything – to appease the cries of those who seek security over freedom… And in the process, destroying the very reason our nation was created.

Source: How Liberty Dies – Campaign for Liberty

Rahm Emanuel (in)famously said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste,” and few have taken that dictum to heart with more enthusiasm than Leftist gun grabbers.

In the aftermath of two mass shootings last weekend, one in El Paso, Texas, and the other in Dayton, Ohio, there is understandable angst and fear, even though overall firearms homicides have dropped dramatically in recent decades, and the risk of anyone in particular being involved in such an incident is extremely low – something like a 0.0000001 chance in any given year.

Still, the bodies had hardly been given a chance to cool before the Left was screaming and wringing their hands over the evils of gun violence, and the supposed “epidemic” of mass shootings… and of course finding ways to blame President Trump and his supporters for the incidents.

His supposedly “racist” and “inflammatory” rhetoric are being blamed for allegedly “fomenting hatred” and “encouraging violence” – ironically at the same time as a “satirical” film about “deplorables” (Trump supporters) being hunted down and killed is about to be released:

“A controversial movie about privileged vacationers hunting ‘deplorables’ for sport is ruffling feathers more than a month before its scheduled release and after tragic mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

“‘The Hunt’ is billed as a satire that follows wealthy thrill-seekers taking a private jet to a five-star resort where they embark on a ‘deeply rewarding’ expedition that involves hunting down and killing designated humans…

“‘The violent, R-rated film from producer Jason Blum’s Blumhouse follows a dozen MAGA types who wake up in a clearing and realize they are being stalked for sport by elite liberals,’ THR’s Kim Masters and Tatiana Siegel wrote. ‘It features guns blazing along with other ultra-violent killings as the elites pick off their prey.'”

This comes in the context of multiple physical and verbal assaults on Trump supporters and other conservatives, not to mention threats of violence against the President himself by high-profile figures in the political and “entertainment” realms. In addition, the Dayton shooter was a political Leftist himself – possibly the first Antifa mass shooter (though sadly, probably not the last).

Indeed, WaPo columnist Mark Thiessen has noted that “if Trump is responsible for El Paso” (a debatable proposition, but if it were granted for the sake of argument), “the Democrats are responsible for Dayton.”

But of course Trump and his supporters are the ones fomenting an atmosphere of violence, according to the dominant narrative…

In any case, among the gun control proposals which has found some support, not only in Congress but from the President (who should know better) is H.R. 838, the Threat Assessment, Prevention, and Safety (TAPS) Act. From the linked essay:

The TAPS Act would encourage law enforcement to give EVERYONE a personal threat assessment (adults and children) and single out those they deem as future threats. That information would then be used as a kind of Big Brother substitute to “stop dangerous individuals” before they can commit an act of violence…

… And use your own social media to do so.

As alluded to above, Benjamin Franklin once famously said,

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

This is an excellent article on a deeply disturbing and concerning subject: the “TAPS Act” (H.R. 838) would “red flag” people suspected of possibly being a risk for violent action due to their social media posts, and enable confiscation of their firearms: one of those things that sounds great, until somebody uses it against you. I shall not comment further on this cogent essay, but as I have often said, “read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest“!

It also includes links to contact the President, one’s Senators, and one’s Congressional Representative to urge them to oppose it. I have done so, and my letter to President Trump follows.


Dear Mr. President:

I have long been one of your stanch supporters. I deeply appreciate your love of this country, and I am grateful that you have stood up for U.S. interests against foreign adversaries like North Korea and Iran, unhelpful erstwhile allies like NATO and the EU, and invaders crossing our borders illegally. Now I am asking you to support the citizens of the United States and its precious Constitution by denying your support to the TAPS Act or any other gun control or Constitution-shredding bill resulting from last weekend’s tragedies.

The TAPS Act (H.R. 838) destroys virtually half of the Bill of Rights. It allows government bureaucrats to spy on Americans without a warrant (4th Amendment) and take away our gun rights (2nd Amendment), without our day in court, due process, or even us knowing about it (5th and 6th Amendments) until the police kick in the door. This is a statist, anti-liberty, and clearly unconstitutional scheme, and is not acceptable. I beg you to oppose this dangerous and un-American scheme, if you want my support and that of many other liberty-loving Americans in 2020.

Please do not allow fear, ignorance, and the greed of politicians to buy the support of their constituencies with ill-advised proposals that pander to that fear and ignorance to destroy what countless Americans have worked, fought (including my father, decorated for valor and wounded in action in WW II and an important part of our signals security in the hottest part of the Cold War), and died for, over more than two centuries.

You can do better, Mr. President. I know you can; and with all due respect, I expect you to do so if you want my continued support.

Thank you, Sir, and you remain in my prayers.

 

The Right to Bear Which Arms? – 2A Interpretation and the Federalist Papers | The Truth About Guns

The 2020 presidential campaigns have just begun, but on the issue of gun control, we’re already hearing a common refrain from numerous candidates: The Second Amendment does not protect anyone’s right to own, as they put it, “weapons of war”…

Source: The Right to Bear Which Arms? – 2A Interpretation and the Federalist Papers | The Truth About Guns

But of course, as the linked essay accurately points out, this point of view is absolutely and categorically incorrect. In fact, it is 180° false and wrong-headed. It is precisely ownership of “weapons of war” that the Second Amendment does protect! As Mark Houser, author of this essay, puts it,

“The Second Amendment unambiguously protects our right to own ‘weapons of war.’ That is, weapons suitable not just for sport, but for combat.

“Many people find this obvious. It’s hard to imagine what else the Second Amendment could possibly be intended to do. James Madison wrote the Second Amendment in the aftermath of a bloody war for independence from a tyrannical empire. The first shots of that war were fired to resist disarmament. Can anyone truly believe that Madison wrote the Second Amendment with, say, hunting or target shooting in mind? It’s a preposterous notion.”

And he also correctly notes that

“Gun control proponents are quick to point out that Madison and his contemporaries didn’t imagine the sort of weapons that exist today. That’s probably true, but it’s irrelevant to the question at hand.

“We don’t say that the First Amendment doesn’t apply to typed or online publications simply because the Framers did not imagine typewriters or the internet. We don’t say that the Fourth Amendment does not apply to search and surveillance capabilities that the Framers did not imagine, such as GPS tracking.”

The Anglophilic Anglican adds: although that will be next, if we lose the 2nd Amendment – the one that guarantees all the others. Or maybe the 1st Amendment will be the next victim. By that point, it hardly matters… At any rate, Houser continues:

“Technological development doesn’t change the fundamental nature of the rights that the Bill of Rights seeks to secure.”

Amen. Read the whole thing. It’s worth it. We need to understand these matters, and be clear about them when it comes to political discourse! For too long we have let the Left define the terms of the argument. That needs to change.