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Monday, July 12, 2010

Judge Andrew Napolitano v. Lou Dobbs on rights and illegal immigration

(UPDATE: Someone purporting to be Lou Dobbs chimes in in the comments. Do please take a look to see why I, and some early commenters, raised his ire.)

Who knew Lou Dobbs was a positivist?

Judge Andrew Napolitano, whose show "Freedom Watch" on Fox News is eminently watchable, asked Dobbs a few tough questions. What piqued my interest was Napolitano's persistent insistence that the rights and liberties Americans enjoy are the birthright of human beings in virtue of their humanity, rather than something they get because a bunch of politicians got together and decided to write it down on a piece of paper.

Dobbs agreed that foreigners are just as human as Americans are, but wasn't entirely sure what to make of Napolitano's claims about natural law. Maybe he was just confused about the distinction between the descriptive and the normative, between what is and what ought to be.

Maybe Dobbs takes issue with the preamble of the Declaration of Independence, which claims that all men are created equal (and not just American men), and that governments are instituted for the purpose of protecting individual rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

It's interesting to note a little piece of trivia: The U.S. Constitution prohibits only two types of private action (everything else is a restriction on what the government can do. So please stop arguing that illegal immigrants, or foreigners in general, are not protected by the Constitution in the U.S. They most decidedly are, since the Constitution addresses itself to what the U.S. government is permitted to do within its jurisdiction). Those two actions? Individuals in the U.S. cannot own slaves (thirteenth amendment), and, for a time anyways, they had to put up with prohibition (eighteenth amendment). Happily, the latter was repealed. So, really, there's now only one thing in the Constitution addressing itself to what Americans can't do.

Getting back on track: the feisty exchange between Napolitano and Dobbs is especially interesting in the wake of two state legislatures openly considering Arizona's SB 1070 law, which makes it okay for police officers to ask foreigny-looking types for their papieren. Surprisingly, two Florida legislators (William Snyder and Mike Bennett, both Republican) are busy drafting a bill. Unsurprisingly, and unfortunately so, Mississippi is thinking of following suit as well:

Posted by P.M. Jaworski on July 12, 2010 in American History, Libertarianism, U.S. politics | Permalink | Comments (62)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Excerpt from Ric Dolphin's latest posting...

Back home with our scotches, waiting for the last year of the decade to dawn, my brothers-in-law and I considered how the Zeroes or the Oughts - or whatever this decade will be called - will be remembered. What will define it in people's memories? Probably terrorism and its offshoots: 9/11 and the aftermath, the War on Terror, Homeland Security, the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan ... the Great Satan squaring off against the Lions of Islam.

It will doubtlessly be a more definable decade than the 1990s. None of us could figure out the defining characteristic of those final ten years of the 20th century. Most other decades seemed to have had vivid identities - the roaring Twenties, the Dirty Thirties, the wartime Forties, the prosperous, grey-flannel Fifties, the hippy-dippy Sixties, the Me-generation 1970s, the Greedy 1980s. But what were the 1990s? Grant suggested The Internet Decade, but then dismissed the idea because the Internet really didn't become commonplace until the current decade. Ditto cellphones. So although true that the digital communications revolution started in the 1990s, I don't think you can say it defined them. The final decade of the millennium should have something to define it. Maybe its lack of identity defines it. The Lost Decade? I welcome your thoughts.

As for the prospects going into 2009, your guess is as good as mine. The economic predictions are so dire it could happen that the recession helps define the decade, along with the terror stuff. Decade of  Woe?  Regarding the financial meltdown, there is a perverse part of me that says, Bring it on. Let's see what a real Depression is like. Give us the kind of privations with which to bore our grandkids that our grandparents bored us with. Hey, Ma, we cain't afford meat this month. Let's fry up the dawg...

To read more of Dolphin's blog, click here

Posted by Ric Dolphin on January 12, 2009 in Aboriginal Issues, American History, Canadian Politics, Current Affairs, Economic freedom, Humour, Media, Television, U.S. politics | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ric Dolphin Writes Again

Although loath to use another of those horrible words  concocted by the geeks  who, sadly, have inherited the world, there seems to be no avoiding it. I now have a "blog" which I shall endeavor to update at least every Monday and which you are invited to visit at, ricdolphin.com
Be aware that, unlike when I wrote for Western Standard magazine, I am not being  censored for language. I am also not specifically writing about politics, although the subject may be broached on occasion.  Be assured, however, that I shall never  use "blog" as  a verb.

Posted by Ric Dolphin on July 9, 2008 in Aboriginal Issues, American History, Books, Canadian Conservative Politics, Canadian History, Canadian Politics, Canadian Provincial Politics, Crime, Current Affairs, Film, Humour, International Affairs, International Politics, Media, Military, Municipal Politics, Religion, Science, Television, Trade, Travel, Web/Tech, Weblogs, Western Standard, WS Radio, WStv | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Friday, July 04, 2008

Lorne Gunter reflects on American Independence Day

Statue_of_liberty640_10It takes a mob to build a nation.

In his reflection on American Independence Day, National Post columnist Lorne Gunter explains how an uneducated and politically inexperienced populous, with only an instinct for liberty, created America.

Of course, Madison, Jefferson, Mason, Hamilton, Adams and other great minds of the Revolution were there to help out.

Read Lorne Gunter’s Western Standard column here.

Posted by Matthew Johnston on July 4, 2008 in American History | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Warren Kinsella reflects on American Independence Day

Statue_of_liberty640_9Warren Kinsella loves America, just not the gun rights and economic liberty. Hmm.

Here he is in his own words:

I am a One-World-Government, secular humanist, censorious Satanic leftie who gets around in a black helicopter.

But I also love America, and Americans.

As a card-carrying bleeding-heart liberal, I oppose the war in Iraq. I think it's crazy to allow crazy people such easy access to guns. And I think George W. Bush is worse than crazy – I believe he's a dangerous crazy person.

Find a comfortable place to sit, pour yourself a drink (you may want to wait until noon if you’re not Stampeding) and read this Western Standard exclusive here.

Posted by Matthew Johnston on July 4, 2008 in American History | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Paul McKeever reflects on American Independence Day

Statue_of_liberty640_8 In Paul McKeever’s reflection on American Independence Day, the Freedom Party leader writes:

At least three important ideas facilitated the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence. The first was that man has a rational faculty which he must choose to use if he is to obtain the knowledge upon which his survival depends. The second was that man’s highest purpose in life is to achieve his own happiness. The third was that it is ethically right to pursue one's own happiness by acting in accordance with the rational conclusions of one's own mind.

Read more about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in this Western Standard exclusive here.

Posted by Matthew Johnston on July 4, 2008 in American History | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Joseph Ben-Ami reflects on American Independence Day

Statue_of_liberty640_7In Joseph Ben-Ami’s reflection on American Independence Day, he writes:

The 4th of July is an opportunity, therefore, not just to celebrate the birth of a great nation, but also to reflect on what the world would be like today if those champions of freedom had not come together in Philadelphia and pledged themselves to one another and their noble cause. And when I do, two words come to mind:

Thank you.

And thank you, Joseph.

Read this Western Standard exclusive by Joseph Ben-Ami here.

Posted by Matthew Johnston on July 4, 2008 in American History | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Gerry Nicholls reflects on American Independence Day

Statue_of_liberty640_6In Gerry Nicholls’ reflection on American Independence Day, the former Loyalist and one of Canada’s best political minds had this to say:

Whereas other famous revolutions were all about using the powers of the State to create some sort of socially engineered utopia, the American Revolution was simply about government leaving people alone.

What a wonderful idea.

Agreed. And for more wonderful ideas, read this Western Standard exclusive by Nicholls' here.

Posted by Matthew Johnston on July 4, 2008 in American History | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Michael Munger reflects on American Independence Day

Statue_of_liberty640_5In Michael Munger’s reflection on American Independence Day, the professor of political science writes:

On this American Independence Day, I am proud to reflect for a moment on America, and what it has meant to those of us who care deeply about liberty and responsibility. The American dream is simple, at its core. If you work hard, you will succeed. And hard work multiplied by merit will bring you success beyond your wildest dreams. In spite of all its flaws, all its taxes and regulations, America itself is still, 232 years after the founding, the greatest human invention for producing wealth that the world has ever seen.

Long live American capitalism!

Read Dr. Munger’s exclusive Western Standard column here.

Posted by Matthew Johnston on July 4, 2008 in American History | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Steven Horwitz reflects on American Independence Day

Statue_of_liberty640_4 In Steven Horwitz’s reflection on American Independence Day, the professor of economics writes:

As those of us in the U.S. celebrate our 232nd birthday, we will hear many folks comment on how the 4th of July celebrates freedom and democracy. Indeed it does, but too often the kinds of freedoms that the day celebrates and that are enshrined in the Declaration of Independence are too narrowly focused on those associated with participation in the democratic process. Yes, we were subject to the British monarchy and we were unable to make many of our own governing decisions ourselves. But merely replacing a king with tyrannical majority rule would have enhanced our individual freedom precious little. The really radical message of the Declaration, and what the 4th of July should really be celebrating, is its message of individual freedom and the need to protect our rights from tyrannical governments, no matter how democratic.

Now that’s an idea worth celebrating!

Read Dr. Horwitz’s entire Western Standard exclusive here.

Posted by Matthew Johnston on July 4, 2008 in American History | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Grant Brown reflects on American Independence Day

Statue_of_liberty640_3 In Grant Brown’s reflection on American Independence Day, he writes:

Thus one of the main rallying cries for American independence was: "No taxation without representation!" (Central and Eastern Canada ended up with most of the American colonials–the Loyalists–who evidently didn't mind paying onerous taxes to an unrepresentative government. That legacy probably helps explain why Ontario and the Maritimes still send tax-and-spend Liberals or Red Tories to Ottawa to plunder the West with NEPs and carbon taxes–while resisting parliamentary reforms that would give the West closer to proportionate representation.)

While the principle of "no taxation without representation" is now considered an essential part of any democracy, Western governments have failed to apply the principle consistently, according to Brown:

Future generations pay taxes without representation whenever governments indulge in deficit financing for lengthy periods of time, or create unfunded liabilities. The baby boomers who voted themselves the Canada (or Quebec) pension plan and universal health care are really making their children and grandchildren pay for it. The principle of "no taxation without representation," applied consistently, would entail balanced budget legislation–indeed, a constitutional requirement that governments balance budgets, at least within their term in office.

While considering the need for another Boston Tea Party, read Dr. Brown’s Western Standard column here.

Posted by Matthew Johnston on July 4, 2008 in American History | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack