Saturday, September 26, 2015

Bullying Migrants or Bonafide Refugees?

By now, it must be painfully obvious to all but the willfully ignorant or ideologically disabled that the flood of Muslim migrants into Europe is the result of a terribly flawed US foreign policy in the Middle East over the past 6-7 years. That said, per international agreements what are we in the West supposed to do?

First and foremost, since these migrants haven't been properly interviewed by the UNHCR to determine if they meet the internationally accepted definition of "refugee", it is unclear if these people are, in fact, refugees at all. Second, if, owing to a "well-founded fear of persecution", a person flees his country of origin into a neighboring country, the UNHCR is, per international agreements, tasked with the responsibility of interviewing, vetting, housing, feeding and providing for their medical needs until a third country offers them a firm resettlement opportunity. (Note: not even a UN-approved refugee has the option to choose to which country s/he will emigrate. In fact, should a refugee refuse a legitimate resettlement offer from a third country--whether it be the refugee's first choice or not--s/he is automatically disqualified from resettlement anywhere.) Third, prior to a third country's offering a resettlement opportunity, the refugees in question must be interviewed yet again by that country, and prior to final approval each refugee must undergo a thorough medical and security screening as well. Fourth, so long as the conditions in the first country of asylum to which the refugee has fled remains safe and accepting of the refugee's temporary presence, or until it is determined that they are not refugees, they may remain there (under UN auspices) until such time that a firm offer of resettlement is forthcoming or until conditions in their country of origin permit them to safely and voluntarily repatriate to their home. The first asylum county may also offer the inducement of local integration, though that is not all that common. (Note: in no case can a UNHCR-approved refugee be forcibly repatriated to his country of origin if doing so jeopardizes the refugee's safety.)

Thus, before trying to sensibly deal with this current flood of displaced persons from the ME and the Subcontinent, it must FIRST be determined IF the persons in question are, in fact, and per international protocols, refugees! Tragically, for this wave of migrants, this simply hasn't been done by either the UN or the West! In short, we have no idea with whom we are dealing. None!

What we see today are thousands of people (overwhelmingly young males, by the way) forcibly entering neighboring countries and aggressively gate-crashing their way to those countries which most appeal to them as choice resettlement sites, e.g. Germany. Kinda' like a disorderly "black Friday" swarm of shoppers at the local shopping center.  Folks, this is completely at odds with the way refugee resettlement is--per international agreements--intended to work. The behavior of this unruly influx of unvetted migrants into Europe today smacks of bullying, a far cry from those "huddled masses yearning to be free" for whom we should all have compassion.

Finally, there is absolutely no reason why these migrants--temporary sojourners, displaced persons, asylum seekers, whatever--should be resettled in Europe or the United States. There's really no need for such a massive and essentially unregulated resettlement undertaking by the West. Why? From a financial, geographical and cultural standpoint, the Gulf States, admittedly not known for their compassion and generosity toward their fellow Sunni and Shiite Muslims, are more than fully capable of housing, feeding, clothing, educating and medically caring for these displaced persons until they are able to safely return to their homelands in the ME and the Subcontinent. The problem is no one in the Administration or in Congress is convincingly advocating for this much more sensible solution. Why? Because Obama has ZERO influence, trust and leverage with these, our fallen away and disenchanted Gulf State "allies".

So, should the US of A go ahead and resettle improperly interviewed or hastily screened Muslim refugees from the ME or from any other corner of the world? Duh. NO! More precisely, for national security and economic reasons, I strongly recommend an emergency moratorium on the resettlement of Muslim refugees/migrants/displaced persons in the United States. We can continue to generously help them while they are safely housed in perfectly habitable refugee camps in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States.

Finally, the way the American government as well as the Europeans have dealt with this "crisis" is so bone-headed, insane and knee-jerk as to be downright mind-boggling. So much for enlightened leadership.

I've worked directly with refugees nearly all of my adult life both here and abroad, so I'm NOT saying don't help needy refugees. I'm  all for that. But, what I AM saying is to help legitimate refugees in an orderly, intelligent and professional manner so that our own security and economic interests are properly safeguarded as well. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

"Birthright Citizenship": Politics vs Rule of Law

We’ve all heard the stats: currently, only the United States grants birthright citizenship to illegal aliens and 8% of babies born in the US are so-called “anchor babies” born of illegal aliens. In and of itself, this doesn’t constitute a crisis, but, for many of us, it does illustrate how far we’ve strayed from the Constitution.

Like all babies, “anchor babies” too are sweet and cuddly, and deserving of mother’s love and society’s protection. But automatically conferring citizenship on babies of illegal aliens is an ideologically-motivated perversion not only of internationally accepted legal norms, but, much more importantly, of the Constitution itself.

By nimbly mischaracterizing the motives of birthright citizenship opponents, many in the media and blogosphere—to include attorneys who should know better-- have irresponsibly misrepresented the framers’ intent and have reduced the level of discourse on this legitimate constitutional issue to that of ad hominem, race-baiting, specious legal citations, contrived legal justifications, and mindless pandering. Shamelessly seeking ideological and political supremacy, to these people the Constitution and the rule of law mean absolutely nothing. And for a nation which once prided itself as being a “nation of laws”, that is inexcusable.

During an interview with Mr. Trump last night, what annoyed me greatly was Bill O'Reilly's characteristically bombastic--and wholly erroneous--claim that "the 14th Amendment says that any person born on US soil is a US Citizen. Period".  Poppycock! He couldn't have carefully read the amendment at all to reach this specious conclusion. And the fact that even Judge Napolitano, a Libertarian jurist, a few days earlier asserted this revisionist and ignorant view is nothing short of bewildering and troubling.  But, this does underscore just how flawed and fallible jurists and seemingly bright, well-informed talking heads really are.

That said, for my own edification I decided to take the time to again review the actual words of the 14th’s framers, pertinent case law and the opinions of jurists and legal scholars on both sides of the question to determine the truth in this matter.

Here are my findings and conclusions:

First, while researching pertinent materials, I soon discovered that understanding the clear intent and meaning of the 14th Amendment was much simpler than anticipated. In fact, the meaning of the 14th was surprisingly straightforward. Lesson learned: if one simply abandons one’s ideological blinders for a moment and commit to an honest effort to objectively review a constitutional issue, clarity is nearly always one’s reward.

It also became apparent that from a strictly Constitutional standpoint, and despite many assertions to the contrary from both the left and the right, a constitutional amendment is NOT needed to deny US Citizenship to anchor babies of illegal entrants. In short, I was unable to find ANY convincing constitutional evidence that so-called anchor babies can legitimately and automatically acquire U.S citizenship. Thus, a simple act of Congress--and most certainly NOT an amendment to the Constitution—to clarify the original intent and meaning of the 14th Amendment is all that is really needed to resolve this issue once and for all.

Toward this end, introduced on April 2nd, 2009, and co-sponsored by 93 congressmen, inclusive of one lonely Democratic supporter, Mississippi’s Gene Taylor, HR 1868 (Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009) intended to amend section 301 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide that a person born in the US is “subject to the jurisdiction” of the US for citizenship purposes if the person is born in the US of parents, one of whom is: 1) a US citizen or national; 2) a lawful permanent resident alien who resides in the US; or 3) an alien performing military service in the US Armed Forces.” And if one simply reviews the original meaning of the 14th Amendment one can easily see that there was absolutely nothing at all revolutionary about this bill's language. In any event, the bill failed.

Intended to protect the rights of emancipated Negroes, the 14th Amendment specifically provided that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside.”

And as I very quickly learned, of central importance in this statement is the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof”, something birthright citizenship proponents have consistently and very conveniently ignored.

To begin, Sen. Jacob Howard of Michigan, co-author of the 14th Amendment, expressly asserted that “this will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers.” And it is in this plain-spoken construction birthright proponents somehow discover ambiguity or a totally different meaning. Amazing!
Under Section 1992 of the US Revised Statutes, the same Congress which adopted the 14th Amendment confirmed that “all persons born in the United States who are not aliens, excluding Indians not taxed, are declared to be citizens of the United States.”

In 1873, the US Atty Gen ruled the word “jurisdiction” under the Fourteenth Amendment to mean the absolute and complete jurisdiction. Aliens, among whom are persons born here and naturalized abroad, dwelling or being in this country, are subject to the jurisdiction of the US but only to a limited extent. Political and military rights do not pertain to them.”

Sen. Trumbell noted during the drafting of the 14th Amendment that it was the amendment’s goal to “make citizens of everybody born in the US who owe allegiance to the US,” and if “the negro or white man belonged to a foreign government he would not be a citizen.”

On March 1, 1866, Rep. James Wilson of Iowa, House Judiciary Committee, added that “we must depend on the general law relating to subjects and citizens recognized by all nations for a definition, and that must lead us to conclude that every person born in the US is a natural-born citizen of such States, except that of children born on our soil (jus soli) to temporary sojourners or representatives of foreign governments.” This statement served to nicely clarify Sen. Howard’s construction above.

John Bingham, framer of the 14th Amendment’s first section, stated that Sec. 1992 of the Revised Statutes meant “every human being born within the jurisdiction of the US of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of the Constitution itself, a natural born citizen.”

And if we reach way back to our founders in search of a definition of citizens of a foreign power, Thomas Jefferson said “Aliens are the subjects of a foreign power.”

To a man, among the framers the premise behind “within the jurisdiction thereof” was that all children born to parents who owed no foreign allegiance were to be citizens of the US; thus, not only must a child be born on US soil (jus soli) but born of parents whose complete allegiance is to the US.

Subsequently, Sen. Howard further explained that “only thru expatriation, which could be accomplished thru law alone, and not thru any immigrant acting on his own outside the law—and certainly not by any act of birth alone—could an alien become a citizen.” This, of course, would mean that the alien/sojourner would need to affirmatively renounce his allegiance to his/her country of origin before s/he could be considered completely within the jurisdiction of the US.

Sen. Howard also stated the following: “…the word 'jurisdiction', as here employed, ought to be construed so as to imply a full and complete jurisdiction on the part of the US, coextensive in all respects with the constitutional power of the US, whether exercised by Congress, the executive, or the judiciary; that is to say, the same jurisdiction in extent and quality as applies to every citizen of the US now.” In effect, he was saying that an alien may, by treaty arrangements with his country of origin, avail himself of the protection of the US, much as sojourning US citizens in the alien’s country of origin would avail themselves of that country’s protection, but that an alien's physical presence in the US alone would not render him/her under the "complete jurisdiction" of the US. Simple enough.

The rationale behind not granting automatic citizenship can be easily illustrated by the fact that Indians could not be subject to the jurisdiction of the US because the US dealt with them through treaties. By logical extension, aliens sojourning in the US are extended privileges and protections by virtue of treaties in force with their countries of origin, much as American citizens are granted similar rights and privileges—but not citizenship--when sojourning in those countries. Logically, therefore, only if an alien voluntarily and affirmatively renounces his citizenship and expresses an intent to swear allegiance to the US may the alien, through operation of law (a formal naturalization process) be granted US citizenship. Thus, in a nutshell, since neither children of tourists/sojourners nor of diplomats born in the US can be US citizens, children of illegal entrants cannot be lawfully granted the privilege of US citizenship.

In 1867, George Yeaman, American Minister to Denmark, in his highly respected treatise on allegiance and citizenship and for whom the framers had great respect, asserted that “the idea of a double allegiance and citizenship united in the same person, and having reference to two separate, independent, and sovereign nations or governments, is simply an impossibility.” Thus, dual citizenship was also a no-no. (Take note, BHO.)

P. A. Madison, a modern day master of constitutional analysis, points out that “since illegal aliens are unlawfully in the US, their native country has a proper and primary claim of allegiance on the child. Thus, the completeness of their allegiance to the US is impaired, which therefore precludes automatic citizenship.” Slam dunk obvious, I’d say.

Also, Rep. Aaron Sargent, a representative from California during the Naturalization Act of 1870 debates, said the 14th Amendment’s citizenship clause was not a de-facto right for aliens to obtain citizenship. Significantly, none of his contemporaries disputed that assertion.

Adding to this mix, here is a little case law since the 14th’s ratification.

In the Slaughterhouse Cases(1873), the Supreme Court observed that the 14th Amendment overturned the Dred Scott decision by making all persons born within the United States and subject to its jurisdiction, citizens of the US; the ruling went on to point out “that [the 14th Amendment’s] main purpose was to establish the citizenship of the Negro” and that “the phrase ‘subject to its jurisdiction’ was intended to exclude from its operation children of ministers, consuls, AND citizens or subjects of foreign states born within the United States", thus reinforcing Sen. Howard’s construction above. So, since they cannot be subject to US jurisdiction, children of citizens of foreign sovereignties and children of foreign ministers/consuls/ambassadors cannot be lawfully considered US Citizens. Makes perfect sense.

Then, in Elk v Wilkins (1884), the Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment did not even confer citizenship on Indians—because they were subject to tribal jurisdiction, not U.S. jurisdiction. In effect, the court essentially stated that the status of the parents determines the citizenship of the childand not merely the fortuitous birth of that child on American soil. (Note: not until the Citizens Act of 1924 was U S citizenship granted to American Indians. As with many whimsical court rulings over the years, I was unable to understand the legal grounding for this reversal. Thus, it would seem that judicial arbitrariness is not an affliction peculiar to modern day American courts alone.)

In US v Wong Kim Ark (1889), the courts held that children born in the US of parents of foreign descent who, at the time of the child’s birth are subjects of a foreign power but who have a permanent domicile and residence in the US and are carrying on business in the US, and are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity under a foreign power, and are not members of foreign forces in hostile occupation of US territory, become a citizen of the US at the time of birth. As expressed in the minority opinion, this decision violated the 14th Amendment. But, in any case, how many new illegal aliens have permanent domiciles in the US and how many of them are carrying on business in the US at the moment of their child's birth on US soil? I suspect precious few. (Note: at least these parents weren't gate-crashers; unlike illegal entrants, they were "known to the government"; thus, legally present. However, per Sen. Howard's definition of "jurisdiction" above, like illegal entrants they were not under the "complete jurisdiction" of the US. Thus, the ruling was a capricious and revisionist judicial contrivance. Nothing more.)

In Steel v Citizens for a Better Environment (1998), the court stated that “jurisdiction is a word of many, too many, meanings.” Au contraire! As can be clearly seen above, Sen. Trumbell and, yes, Sen. Howard, 14th Amendment co-authors, had long ago provided an unambiguous definition by declaring that “the provision is, that all persons born in the United States, and ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof’’, are citizens. That means ‘subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof. What do we mean by ‘complete jurisdiction thereof'? Not owing allegiance to anybody else. That is what it means.” And this from the framers' themselves! (Clearly, majority jurists in the Steel v Citizens court didn’t bother to research the framers’ clear intent and meaning. And one must wonder if a neophyte, such as I, can easily deduce original meaning, why can't trained jurists? Could it be incompetence or do political agendas get in the way of constitutional law?)

Despite the clear meaning and intent of the 14th's framers, we fast forward to the somewhat enigmatic ruling in US ex rel. Hintopoulis v Shaughnessy (1982), which some bloggers and others have used to justify birthright citizenship. In that case, and out of whole cloth, somewhere in the ruling it asserted, almost unconsciously/unwittingly, that although a child born in the US to two illegal aliens was a US Citizen (????) that, nonetheless, “suspending the alien parents’ deportation based upon “the accident of birth in the US of their son would be to deprive others, who are patiently awaiting visas…” Thus, since the glancing allusion to the legality of birthright citizenship, though gratuitous—and erroneous—appeared in the text of this suspension of deportation decision, birthright proponents often blithely and excitedly cite this case to substantiate the legality of birthright citizenship. Grabbing at straws, I'd say.

Then, true to activist form, in Plyler v Doe (1982) the court, apparently without access to or proper reliance on the 14th framers’ erudition and written words, mysteriously ruled 5-4 that there is “no plausible distinction” with respect to “jurisdiction” between resident aliens who entered the country lawfully and those resident aliens who entered unlawfully. Wowee! Clearly a yawning violation of the framers’ clear meaning and intent. Seems judicial activism was as alive and well in 1982 as it is today.

To me, these two rulings which capriciously and arrogantly turned Thomas Jefferson and the framers of the 14th on their heads are clearly unlawful at worst, convenient contrivances at best.

When I explained all this on-line to an attorney who is also a strong proponent of birthright citizenship, this was her reply: “I disagree with your interpretation of the phrase ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof'. The first rule of statutory construction is that we don’t look to the drafters’ intent if the words are plain and unambiguous…If the drafters meant to include some allegiance test, they would have. They didn’t.” That sort of revisionism, gobbledegook, willful ignorance and dishonesty is, folks, what this country is up against. My rejoinder was civil, but to the point: “It wasn’t MY lowly interpretation. It was the framers’ interpretation. But, ignore original intent and meaning? A living constitution is like having no constitution at all. We can merely make it up as we go along and continue to hand-off an increasingly irrelevant document to the next generation. While I sincerely hope this isn’t what you have in mind, at this juncture I can see there’s really nothing more to discuss with you on this or any other constitutional issues. How very sad.”

Finally, based upon what I now understand, we must be faithful to the 14th Amendment framers’ clear intent and meaning—surely a tall order with so many political activists, globalists and social engineers infesting our courts these days. In the case of "birthright citizenship", Congress is constitutionally empowered, this per Art I Sec 8, to re-assert the original meaning of the the 14th Amendment, and that's precisely what it should do.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

States Yield Sovereign Authority to Federal Judiciary

To protest yet another round of invasive, heavy-handed "climate warming" regulations, fifteen States are suing the feds in FEDERAL court. Huh? Does anyone see something terribly flawed with that approach? Anyone?

WHY OH WHY OH WHY do States routinely appeal to the FEDERAL judiciary when a FEDERAL entity violates their sovereignty and constitutional authority? Why do States still cling to the self-destructive, delusional belief that the FEDERAL judicial oligarchy will somehow equitably defend State interests from FEDERAL excess and lawlessness? WHY?

Think about it: if you had a property dispute with your neighbor, would you rely on your neighbor's attorney to represent your interests? Not if you have one operational brain cell left in your head!

EPA's latest round of draconian and unscientific "global warming" regulations is yet another clear case of FEDERAL overreach on steroids. If leaders in these States possessed even a modicum of principle and mettle, they would summarily invoke their 10th Amendment authority by NULLIFYING these damnably unconstitutional EPA rulings. After all is said and done, a State's primary responsibility is to protect its citizens' liberty and well-being.

What the hell is wrong with these guys? Are they so accustomed to enslavement and federal hand-outs they are afraid to defend their sovereign interests from FEDERAL encroachment? Of course, that question is rhetorical. The unsettling truth is their needless obsequiousness has become habitual. (It appears that the awful effects of the so-called "civil war" which, among other things, reduced States to mere appendages of an unbridled central authority in DC, are still plaguing us.)

The short of it is that this spineless State reaction is symptomatic of a constitutional system in total foundational collapse. To believe we now live in a constitutional republic is utterly delusional.

What State dares to stand up to Leviathan and help restore constitutional? Who among us will finally stand up and stop this insanity and tyranny?!?!?!?!?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Trump: Just What the Doctor Ordered

Opinerlog Editorial, Democrat-Chronicle, 08/11/15

I may not care for the guy's style, or lack thereof, but I do like what Trump is doing. He's shaking up the self-absorbed political and media establishment and, hopefully, encouraging more candid, unscripted discussions of the serious issues facing us as a people and a nation. And, who knows: perhaps that's precisely what his intention is, and absolutely nothing more.

No, he won't be president. For me anyway, he's simply not "presidential timber".

That said, his roiling the political stew is precisely what we disengaged, sleep-walking Americans so sorely need. We must be shaken from our collective stupor or accept our fundamental transformation into spineless, politically correct, cowering subjects of the Ruling Class.

In the final analysis, "The Donald" can do no harm, and might actually encourage more Americans to re-focus their attention on the political process, thus averting our current slide toward national suicide.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Judicial Tyranny Must be Resisted

Our Founders shaped a remedy for judicial tyranny, and we ignore it at our peril.

Entirely justified by the 9th and 10th Amendments, a surefire and sensible solution to judicial overreach is STATE NULLIFICATION, an action which constitutionally renders a judicial ruling  "null, void and of no legal effect" within the sovereign territory of a nullifying State. However, the efficacy of this perfectly legitimate remedy relies upon the existence of State leaders with spine and principle.

In the longer term, expedited passage of a constitutional amendment which would enable a majority of State legislatures to overrule ANY supreme court ruling within 6 months of issuance must be initiated either by Congress or, per Art V of the Constitution, by the States themselves. This, of course, would constitute a permanent means of checkmating a runaway judicial oligarchy.

But, alas, will either of these prudential actions be taken? No. Why? Most Americans and nearly all their political "leaders", both at the State and federal level,  are spineless, unprincipled, disengaged and ignorant of their constitutional rights and duties.

So, what shall clear-eyed Patriots do to remedy this tyranny in order to restore constitutional order? Both Natural Law and our Founders are crystal-clear on this point: it is our Right and Duty to appropriately resist. Vested in the People themselves and condoned by our Founders, Civil Disobedience, Rebellion and Secession are perfectly legitimate and sacrosanct remedies to tyranny.

I believe we have breached that tipping point. 

Friday, June 26, 2015


Looks like our invincibly arrogant Supreme Court is on a Progressive roll--a veritable steamroller of errant and overreaching Delphic rulings quite at odds with our Constitution.

On the heels of the Court's outrageous ruling yesterday on Obamacare, here it goes again by "ruling" that same-sex marriage is a "constitutional right". Huh? Constitutional right? This ruling is much more than mystifying; it is subversive.

While the same-sex ruling was entirely predictable--no less so than the Obamacare, aka SCOTUScare, ruling yesterday--I am no less stunned by this judicial quackery and lawlessness.

Thinking I may have missed something along the way, this morning I carefully re-read my copy of the Constitution, and for the life of me I couldn't find marriage of any kind defined as a "constitutional right". Nowhere! In fact, marriage isn't even mentioned in the text.

Per the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, any power not specifically/expressly delegated by the States to the federal government remains with the States and the People. Thus, defining marriage is a State power and same-sex marriage is constitutional ONLY if the individual State and its citizenry says it is. This isn't rocket science, folks. It's  the law. And the obscene misapplication of the 14th Amendment's ""equal protection" clause yet again cannot nullify the authority of the 9th and 10th Amendments. Only a constitutional amendment can do that.

Just what Constitution are these Progressive judicial oligarchs reading? Have they even read the Constitution? And, if so, do they at all regard the US Constitution as the supreme law of the land? Obviously not. Clearly, Judicial Supremacy has virtually supplanted Constitutional Supremacy. And therein lies the seed of our self-destruction.

Wouldn't it be splendid--indeed, principled and courageous--were the States to exercise their lawful authority by NULLIFYING this outrageous judicial usurpation of State sovereignty? Without spine and political courage at the State level, the US Constitution is, without question, D-E-A-D and this "constitutional republic" but an illusion.

Until this judicial tyranny is stopped, what precious remains of this tattered constitutional republic will be relegated to the dustbin of history.

I do not see a good end to this lawlessness. As to a remedy, let our Founders be our guide ...
"Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact—and the furthest extension one can even imagine—of the Court’s claimed power to create...liberties...that the Consti­tution and its Amendments neglect to mention. This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected commit­tee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extrav­agant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most im­portant liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves." Justice Anthony Scalia, June 26, 2015, regarding the same-sex SCOTUS ruling.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Charleston: a Beacon of Civility

When the awful news of the Charleston massacre was televised, I immediately contacted my nephew, a fellow New Yorker, who has a winter home in the heart of Charleston.

Having visited Charleston, the "holy city", for the first time last year, I was extremely impressed by the charm and placidity of the city and the grace, amiability and propriety of the Charlestonians themselves. Frankly, I lamented my return to New York State following that most pleasant of visits. Charleston is a very special place, indeed. 

When the awful news of the Charleston church massacre was televised, I immediately sent the following text to my nephew who was at his summer home in upstate New York:

"When I visit you again in Charleston this winter, let's be sure to check out the church where the massacre occurred. By the way, because Charleston folks have class and dignity I am not worried about Ferguson or Baltimore-like insanity and turmoil in the wake of this monstrous shooting no matter how much inciting by the likes of racist dividers Sharpton and Obama. For the first time in a very long time, the country will vividly see how a civilized American city behaves in a disaster. Charleston will prove to be a beacon of civility and Christianity." My nephew promptly agreed.

And so it has been. 

And, by the way, this dopey caterwauling about taking down the Confederate Flag in Charleston is obscenely stupid, insulting and short-sighted. If we are to rid ourselves of flags which remind us of the evils of slavery, then EVERY flag flown in the United States since 1776 must be eliminated as well. Under those banners, and under the protection of union law, slavery flourished.

Let's hope Charlestonians do not succumb to this insipid and mindless demand to take down their state flag. For me, the Confederate Flag is an honorable reminder of the pre-eminence of federalism and the inherent right of a State to break from any union which would abridge its constitutional sovereignty. The flag is also a tribute to those hundreds of thousands of Southern patriots--which include blacks as well--who selflessly and heroically gave their lives in defense of their independence. These patriots' sacrifices should never be forgotten or impugned. They are no less heroic than those thousands of Union soldiers who gave their lives to impose an "indivisible union" upon the country and to end slavery in the Confederate States of America.

Postscript: Under pressure, Gov. Haley folded on June 23rd. To maintain "unity" and "harmony, she has called for the removal of the Confederate Flag from the capitol in Columbia.  Pavlovian, to say the least. Yank their chain, and good people will blindly yield. Of course, removing the flag won't solve the problem of racist terrorism, which is anything but widespread in any case. But no matter. And further gun control won't prevent such massacres in the future, but that won't matter either. The utopians and big government types will continue to use human tragedies to coldly advance their political agendas and to strengthen their political control over our lives. Mindless political correctness--blaming inanimate symbols for our woes instead of the causes for those woes--triumphs yet again. Flags aren't racist, no more than guns are racist. I'm afraid the country has become hopelessly insane, a situation which pleases only those who wish to dominate us. Good thing Dylann Roof wasn't sporting an American Flag which, by the way, is already under relentless siege by the America-haters on the left.