Open insurrection

There is a strong argument to be made the Trump Administration could declare both California and Illinois to be in a state of insurrection and respond with the authority such a condition conveys:

Mark the date April 1, 2018, April Fool’s Day, as the day Civil War 2.0 began. On that day, the State of California began to automatically register illegal aliens who have driver licenses to vote. This new law immunizes illegals against any state criminal penalty for registering and voting.

And in Chicago:

Municipal ID cards that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is launching for undocumented immigrants and others will be a valid form of identification for people both registering to vote and voting in Chicago, according to a letter aldermen received…

Article 4, Section 4 of the Constitution requires the Federal government to “guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion…”  The facilitation by Gov. Jerry Brown of California and Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel of illegal immigrants settling and voting in the United States undermines our republican form of government and constitutes an invasion (even if unarmed).  U.S. citizens in California and Chicago have seen and continue to see their voices diluted by interlopers on U.S. soil – and they are not alone in suffering that loss.

It’s abundantly clear we have State and local leaders engaging in a slow-motion insurrection by demographics, by which they mean to fundamentally transform the United States.  They aren’t even pretending to hide it anymore, either.  As I write this, more than 1,200 additional invaders continue to move north through Mexico, bringing yet another very public challenge to U.S. sovereignty and authority.  No doubt the Democrats and media (but I repeat myself…) will do all they can to facilitate these people’s entry into the country.  After all, Democrats can’t even be bothered to do background checks of their own information technologists!

THIS. MUST. STOP.

The President is not able, on his own, to fully address these issues, and the GOPe has shown little interest in aiding him in Congress.  The American people — the legally valid American people — must demand the following of their Congresscritters:

  • As recommended in the first link in this post, refuse to seat any Senator or Congressman elected from California and Illinois until the programs above are terminated and the voting rolls confirmed by the Department of Justice to be purged of illegal aliens.
  • Authorize suspension or repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act in a manner that allows U.S. military forces to patrol the nation’s borders and detain/process individuals attempting to cross it illegally.  While it is understandable the Act is intended to prevent abuse of martial law, it unnecessarily prevents the military from performing its fundamental purpose: the defense of the United States.  Using the military for this primary purpose would free up manpower/resources of Homeland Security (Immigration/Customs Enforcement and Border Patrol) to seek out, detain and deport more illegal aliens already within the United States.
  • Explicitly declare via Congressional resolution that all “sanctuary State/city” policies as null and void usurpations of Federal authority under the Constitution, and direct the Department of Justice to begin arrests and legal proceedings against any State/local official found to be willfully aiding illegal immigrants in avoiding detection and deportation.
  • Institute serious penalties for repeatedly entering the U.S. without authorization.  It is ridiculous that so many illegal immigrants are arrested for serious crimes after multiple reentries into the U.S.  As I’ve suggested before, all illegal immigrants should have complete biometric profiles entered into federal records before deportation.  Upon a second offense, a distinctive tattoo should be placed on their hand or forearm.  And upon a third offense, they should be subject to the death penalty as invaders.  Yes, these are harsh and unyielding standards.  Kicking the can this far down the road leaves little room for half-measures, however.

To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln (who himself was paraphrasing scripture), this nation cannot much longer endure half Constitutionalist and half defiant fifth column.  Liberals are counting on the power they’ve already achieved through decades of demographic manipulation and undermining of immigration law.  But there are still enough concerned traditional Americans (of all ethnicities) to have elected Trump.  If we cannot muster the willpower and Federal resolve to take the measures above it will not be much longer, I fear, before the Union will be dissolved of irreconcilable differences.  The only question at that point will be whether the divorce will be amicable or contested.

History shows the latter to be a tragically expensive option.  That is why serious brakes need to be applied now, via strong Federal responses to the provocations above.

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Strong words rooted in history

But meaningless unless backed by equally strong action:

The morning after the Trump administration sued California over its immigration policies, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions Wednesday appeared in downtown Sacramento to say states cannot defy the federal government when it comes to immigration

“A refusal to apprehend and deport those, especially the criminal element, effectively rejects all immigration law and creates an open borders system,” Sessions declared. “Open borders is a radical, irrational idea that cannot be accepted.

“There is no nullification. There is no secession,” Sessions said. “Federal law is ‘the supreme law of the land.’ I would invite any doubters to Gettysburg, and to the graves of John C. Calhoun and Abraham Lincoln.”

The invocation of John C. Calhoun and nullification is particularly appropriate.  Calhoun’s South Carolina in 1832 claimed the power to “nullify” a hated Federal tariff by simply refusing to collect it within the State’s borders.  The president at the time, Andrew Jackson, was emphatic about Federal supremacy within its Constitutional sphere.  At his behest, Congress passed the Force Act, essentially giving Jackson the power to use military force if necessary to compel compliance and collection of duties.  It never reached that point, in no small part because of Henry Clay’s gifted statesmanship in Congress.  But the situation emphasized the power struggle over Federal versus State prerogatives nearly two decades before Southerners fired on Ft. Sumter.

One interesting aspect of the “Nullification Crisis” was that it pitted a sitting president (Jackson) against his own vice-president (Calhoun).  Two years prior to the crisis this conflict had been made apparent at the 1830 Jefferson Day dinner.  The president, aiming a barb at Calhoun and signaling his waning support for Southern arguments about States’ rights, toasted “Our Union; it must be preserved.”

Calhoun shot back: “The Union, next to our liberty most dear.  May we all remember that it can only be preserved by respecting the rights of the States, and distributing equally the benefits and burdens of the Union.”

What, you thought today’s political divisions were unprecedented?  Hardly.

Here’s the point of the history brief: the immigration confrontation flips the usual situation where “conservatives” advocate the 10th Amendment’s reservation of power to the States while “liberals” seek to use Federal supremacy in everything — the better to force change they likely could not through the electoral process.  As recently as the Obama administration Arizona attempted to strengthen border security, only to be sued by the Feds for stepping into an area of Federal supremacy.

Now the shoe’s on the other foot, with the parties in power reversed.  Arizona allegedly couldn’t strengthen its border security beyond the Federal level of enforcement, but California can loosen it?  While both sides are guilty of putting power over principle, it’s both more obvious and dangerous with the sudden liberal embrace of claiming exceptions to Federal power.  The same leftist groups who argued before Federal judges in 2016 that North Carolina couldn’t ban confused men from women’s restrooms is now arguing California can have its own foreign policy in the area of immigration.  Okay…

Here’s what California and Calhoun have in common (besides both being Democrats, but I digress…): both were/are Constitutionally wrong.  Some readers may be surprised to see me write that, because Constitutionally I am a strict constructionist who interprets (in keeping with the 10th Amendment) the document as a constraint on Federal power, and am generally sympathetic to defending States’ rights.  That said, if the document expressly gives the Feds a particular power, there’s no arguing it.  In the case of Calhoun’s fight against tariffs, Article 1, Section 8 (*) of the Constitution clearly grants Congress the power to levy taxes, duties, imposts and excises, provided they are uniform throughout all States.

The Constitution does not contain the word “immigration,” but in the same section cited above grants Congress the power to establish a uniform rule of naturalization.  This means States and cities have no authority to establish “sanctuaries” where illegal immigrants are given the same privileges as citizens.  Those local authorities who do so are in defiance of the Constitution, and have abrogated any oath they took to support and uphold it.  They should be held appropriately accountable for that.

Because the “sanctuary” concept has become so trendy in Leftist circles, the Trump administration now faces widespread defiance of Federal authority.  Trump is sometimes compared to Jackson (faulty personality and all).  One wonders whether he will rely solely on the courts, where your mileage varies considerably concerning Constitutional interpretation, or whether he will follow Jackson’s more direct approach.  Or, for that matter, President Lincoln’s:

WHEREAS the laws of the United States have been, for some time past, and now are opposed, and the execution thereof obstructed, in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in the marshals by law. (emphasis added)

Now, therefore, I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States, in virtue of the power in me vested by the Constitution and the laws, have thought fit to call forth, and hereby do call forth, the militia of the several States of the Union, to the aggregate number of seventy-five thousand, in order to suppress said combinations, and to cause the laws to be duly executed…

It’s a simple thing to substitute  California, Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon and Vermont for the list of States in the first quoted paragraph above, and have the declaration apply to the issue of whether or not the United States can control its borders without local interference.

Given how divided we are as a nation, I have no doubt such a declaration would precede the same kind of national tragedy that Lincoln’s did.  It’s not the outcome I’d want, but reality has a way of disregarding our personal desires.   More than at any time since 1865, Americans need to rediscover how easy it is to read their own Constitution, and understand what policies are and are not acceptable under it.  That document used to be a unifying force in our national fabric.  Our current collective ignorance of it is a significant contributor to the political climate in which we find ourselves.

The tinder is very dry, and matches abound.  Pray for the best but prepare accordingly.

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(*) on a lighter note, I should point out I’ve long thought it funny that Article 1, Section 8 spells out the powers of Congress, while fans of the TV show M*A*S*H will recall the Army’s version of “section 8” refers to discharges due to mental unfitness.  Make of that what you will.

Where does this stop?

It seems the defining characteristic of many, if not most Americans today is the ability to be offended at the drop of a hat.  As sledgehammers and chisels remove all signs of The Late Unpleasantness from public view, the president recently asked what should be an obvious question: where does this stop?  Do we now shroud Washington and Jefferson because their accomplishments are tainted by having been slaveholders?  Do we remove statues of Christopher Columbus because his voyage helped trigger an epidemic that decimated Native Americans?  Even Ol’ Abe is apparently not safe from the rampaging mobs.

Perhaps most importantly, can we even allow people who happen to be an Asian named Robert Lee to broadcast a sports game for ESPN?

The decision to remove an Asian-American announcer named Robert Lee from calling University of Virginia’s home opener — “simply because of the coincidence of his name,” as ESPN inexplicably admits — unsurprisingly lit up the Internet with outrage, jokes and memes…

In its mock-worthy statement, ESPN laments, “It’s a shame that this is even a topic of conversation and we regret that who calls play-by-play for a football game has become an issue.”

Un-be-lievable.  It’s not just Lee, either.  These crazed activists are literally saying “and the horse you rode in on…”

Over at the University of Southern California, activists are taking issue with the school’s mascot, a horse named Traveler. The mascot, according to his official bio, is “a symbol of ancient Troy. Its rider, with costume and sword, is a symbol of a Trojan warrior.”

So what’s the problem? Robert E. Lee’s horse was also named Traveller — spelled differently, but unacceptable nonetheless.  (emphasis added)

If it pains people so much to be here, where the history of the United States is all around them, perhaps we should encourage them to leave instead of tearing down our national monuments.  African-Americans caught defacing the nation’s history (including either side of the Civil War) should be assumed to identify as African, not American, and deported accordingly.  (See what I did there?)  White liberals caught in the same activity should be asked what country they think is more just, then stripped of their citizenship and given a one-way ticket there.

As a society we’ve allowed the temper tantrums to go on long enough.  Baby needs to learn there are consequences to flinging poo everywhere.

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Selective historical airbrushing

The City of New Orleans is busy purging itself of Confederate statues, since these offend the tender sensibilities of today’s historically illiterate crybullies.  But if they’re determined to remove all vestiges of monuments to people who ever held racist sentiments, there’s work waiting for them in Washington, D.C.:

Lincoln white copy

It’s true Lincoln desired the limitation and eventual extinction of slavery, but it was not for this reason he went to war on his fellow Americans in 1861.  He made this very clear:

My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.   – Letter to Horace Greeley, 1862

Yes, that previously voluntary Union that was becoming compulsory with no escape during Lincoln’s reign.  “Reign” is too exaggerated, you say?  Look closely again at the monument built to his memory.  Look at the front of the armrests.  They very closely resemble this, the Roman fasces — a symbol of authority in ancient Rome later adopted by Benito Mussolini and his flock of blackshirts… known as the fascists.  All they lack is the axe, but that does not diminish in any way the power unleashed by Lincoln in his War Against the States.  (It’s worth noting the Speaker of the House is flanked by the same imagery — with the axes as well.)  Certainly, today’s America more closely resembles the Imperial Rome of Caligula than the Republic that was swallowed up by Julius Caesar.

So if we’re going to demolish any memory of white supremacy or unConstitutional exercises of power, the Lincoln memorial has to go as well.

Of course, I know better than to hold my breath, waiting for consistency from these little minds that have nothing better to do than tilt at Confederate windmills.

Digging up trouble

The hysteria over all things Confederate has reached new lows… literally:

The Memphis City Council unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday to move the remains of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife from Health Sciences Park.

They have been buried in a park on Union Avenue for 110 years.

Council members are also moving ahead with plans to remove the statue of Forrest, even looking at selling the statue to anyone who wants it.

It was bad enough when Apple bowed to the flood of emotion by banning Civil War-era games and apps that included the Confederate Battleflag (and we wonder why people don’t know their history?).  But it should give people great pause that the current edition of the Two Minutes Hate is now resulting in the exhumation of century-old graves!  That would be a rational response, though, and this is an emotion-driven crusade of cultural cleansing more appropriate to a Soviet society than it is to ours.  In the interest of adding some context to it all, let’s do a little more digging, shall we?  Because as long as we’re opening this can of worms, we may as well look in depth.  If the point of this mob exercise is to remove all traces of symbols tainted by racism, how about we look at one of the biggest symbols of the era: ol’ Honest Abe himself?

“Free them [black slaves] and make them politically and socially our equal?  My own feelings will not admit of this . . . .  We can not then make them equals.” (Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 2, page 256).  “There is a natural disgust in the minds of nearly all white people, to the idea of an indiscriminate amalgamation of the white and black races.” (CW, 2, 405).  “What I would most desire would be the separation of the white and black races.” (CW, 2, 521).  “I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races .  .  .  .  I, as well as Judge [Stephen] Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong, having the superior position.” (CW, 2, 16).

I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races . . . .  I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people.” (CW, 3, 145-146).  “I will to the very last stand by the law of this state [i.e., Illinois], which forbids the marrying of white people with Negroes.” (CW, 3, 146).  “Senator Douglas remarked . . . that . . . this government was made for the white people and not for Negroes.  Why, in point of fact, I think so too.” (CW, 2, 281).

If today’s battle cry is to tear down (or dig up) anything (or anyone) who is tainted by association with racism, then let’s take this to its logical conclusion and tear down the Lincoln Memorial!  (I know, one shouldn’t give idiots any further ideas, but I keep hoping hyperbole will lead to reason rather than excess.  And hey, if the suggestion were taken at least Southerners could feel they were being more equitably treated.)  In fact, let’s abolish the U.S. flag while we’re in the heat of passion and throwing things down the Memory Hole.  The Confederate banner flew over a slave nation for less than five years.  Old Glory flew over a slaveholding nation for EIGHTY-NINE!  (1776 until the ratification of the 13th Amendment in December 1865).  Even the highly celebrated Emancipation Proclamation should be judged and found wanting — after all, it only freed slaves in areas “still in rebellion against the Federal Government.”  In other words, only where Uncle Sam and Honest Abe couldn’t enforce it!  Slaves living in Unionist Kentucky, Delaware, Missouri — they remained in bondage throughout the war.  So tell me again how the war was all about abolition?

The South seceded in large part over fear the Federal government would restrict slavery in the territories and thus reduce its power within the Union.  That is undeniable, and yes, the Confederate cause will ever be soiled by its defense of slavery as an institution.  Lest we forget, though, racism was hardly confined to south of the Mason-Dixon line.  Conversely, the North fought for Union, with slavery a subsidiary consideration.  The North did NOT march off in 1861 under abolitionist war aims.  This is in the vein of that period of history, where federalism and small states were giving way to larger, centralized states in places like Germany and Italy.  The war was every bit as much about power and who would wield it at what level as it was about slavery itself.

So as long as we’re rethinking this period of history and rejecting notions that offend modern sensibilities, why not look at how the war resulted in a consolidated Federal Union with no checks on its power to interfere with individual citizens — the exact realization of many of the fears of the anti-Federalists?  As sick as many people are today with how Washington gets in our business, usually with negative results, isn’t it time to rethink THAT legacy of the 1860s as well?

Be wary about all this public excitement over old symbolism — when you start digging up the past, you never know where it could lead.  Old emotions, long dormant, are being stirred in many quarters.  Do we really want–or even need–to go here?

Or at this stage of our history can we be mature enough to simply let sleeping Confederates lie?