Sunday, July 26, 2015

Lord Shelburne, Part Two

       "Such was the man selected by George the Third as his champion against the Venetian party, after the termination of the American War.  The prosecution of that war they had violently opposed, though it had originated in their own policy.  First minister in the House of Lords, Shelburne entrusted the lead in the House of Commons to his Chancellor of the Exchequer, the youthful Pitt.  The administration was brief, but it was not inglorious.  It obtained peace, and, for the first time since the Revolution, introduced into modern debate the legitimate principles on which commerce should be conducted.  It fell before the famous Coalition with which 'the Great Revolution families' commenced their fiercest and their last contention for the patrician government of royal England.
       In the heat of that great strife, the king, in the second hazardous exercise of his prerogative, entrusted the perilous command to Pitt.  Why Lord Shelburne on that occasion was set aside, will perhaps always remain a mysterious passage of our political history, nor have we space on the present occasion to attempt to penetrate its motives.  Perhaps the monarch, with a sense of the rising sympathies of his people, was prescient of the magic power of youth in touching the heart of a nation. Yet it would not be an unprofitable speculation, if for a moment we paused to consider what might have been the consequences to our country if Mr. Pitt had been content for a season again to lead the Commons under Lord Shelburne, and to have secured for England the unrivalled knowledge and dexterity of that statesman in the conduct of our affairs during the confounding fortunes of the French Revolution.  Lord Shelburne was the only English minister competent to the task;  he was the only public man who had the previous knowledge requisite to form accurate conclusions on such a conjuncture;  his remaining speeches on the subject attest the amplitude of his knowledge and the accuracy of his views;  and in the rout of Jena, or the agony of Austerlitz, one cannot refrain from picturing the shade of Shelburne haunting the Cabinet of Pitt, as the ghost of Canning is said occasionally to linger about the Speaker's chair, and smile sarcastically on the conscientious mediocrities who pilfered his hard-earned honours."  Benjamin Disraeli, Sybil,p.16-17 (Wordsworth ed.)

Lord Shelburne, Part One

      " It could no longer be concealed that, by virtue of a plausible phrase, power had been transferred from the Crown to a Parliament, the members of which were appointed by an extremely limited and exclusive class, who owned no responsibility to the country, who debated and voted in secret, and who were regularly paid by the small knot of great families that by this machinery had secured the permanent possession of the king's treasury.  Whiggism was putrescent in the nostrils of the nation;  we were probably on the eve of a bloodless yet important revolution;  when Rockingham, a virtuous magnifico, alarmed and disgusted, resolved to revive something of the pristine purity and high-toned energy of the old Whig connection, appealed to his 'new generation' from a degenerate age, arrayed under his banner the generous youth of the Whig families, and was fortunate to enlist in the service the supreme genius of Edmund Burke.

       No sooner had a young and dissolute noble{J.S. Fox}, who, with some of the aspirations of a Caesar, oftener realised the conduct of a Catiline, appeared on the stage, and after some inglorious tergiversation adopted their colours, than they transferred to him the command which had been won by wisdom and genius, vindicated by unrivalled knowledge and adorned by accomplished eloquence.  When the hour arrived for the triumph which he had prepared, he was not even admitted into the Cabinet, virtually presided over by his graceless pupil, and who, in the profuse suggestions of his teeming converse, had found the principles and the information which were among the chief claims to public confidence of Mr. Fox.

       To understand Mr. Pitt, one must understand one of the suppressed characters of English history, and that is Lord Shelburne.  When the fine genius of the injured Bolingbroke, the only peer of his period who was educated, and proscribed by the oligarchy because they were afraid of his eloquence, 'the glory of his order and the shame,' shut out from Parliament, found vent in those writings which recalled to the English people the inherent blessings of their old free monarchy, and painted in immortal hues his picture of a patriot king, the spirit that he raised at length touched the heart of Carteret, born a Whig, yet sceptical of the advantages of that patrician constitution which made the Duke of Newcastle, the most incompetent of men, but the chosen leader of the Venetian party, virtually sovereign of England.  Lord Carteret had many brilliant qualities:  he was undaunted, enterprising, eloquent;  had considerable knowledge of continental politics, was a great linguist, a master of public law;  and though he failed in his premature effort to terminate the dogeship of George the Second, he succeeded in maintaining a considerable though secondary position in public life.  The young Shelburne married his daughter.  Of him it is singular we know less than of his father-in-law, yet from the scattered traits some idea may be formed of the ablest and most accomplished minister of the eighteenth century.  Lord Shelburne, influenced probably by the example and the traditionary precepts of his eminent father-in-law, appears early to have held himself aloof from the patrician connection, and entered public life as the follower of Bute in the first great effort of George the Third to rescue the sovereignty from what Lord Chatham called 'the Great Revolution families.'  He became in time a member of Lord Chatham's last administration;  one of the strangest and most unsuccessful efforts to aid the grandson of George the Second in his struggle for political emancipation.  Lord Shelburne adopted from the first the Bolingbroke system;  a real royalty, in lieu of the chief magistracy;  a permanent alliance with France, instead of the Whig scheme of viewing in that power the natural enemy of England;  and, above all, a plan of commercial freedom, the germ of which may be found in the long-maligned negotiations of Utrecht, but which, in the instance of Lord Shelburne, were soon in time matured by all the economical science of Europe, in which he was a proficient.  Lord Shelburne seems to have been of a reserved and somewhat astute disposition:  deep and adroit, he was however brave and firm.  His knowledge was extensive and even profound.  He was a great linguist;  he pursued both literary and scientific investigations;  his house was frequented by men of letters, especially those distinguished by their political abilities or economical attainments.  He maintained the most extensive private correspondence of any public man of his time.  The earliest and most authentic information reached him from all Courts and quarters of Europe;  and it was a common phrase, that the minister of the day sent to him often for the important information which the Cabinet could not itself command.  Lord Shelburne was the first great minister who comprehended the rising importance of the middle class, and foresaw in its future power a bulwark for the throne against 'the Great Revolution families.'  Of his qualities in council we have no record;  there is reason to believe that his administrative ability was conspicuous;  his speeches prove that, if not supreme, he was eminent, in the art of parliamentary disputation, while they show on all the questions discussed a richness and variety of information, with which the speeches of no statesman of that age except Mr. Burke can compare." Benjamin Disraeli, Sybil, Pgs. 13, 14,15-16. (Wordsworth ed.)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Death Cult

       Now that it has come to light that not only does Planned Parenthood sell abortions, they sell body parts, the morally deficient among us are either ignoring the revelations or making banal excuses for the eugenic organization.
       Has Citizen Kane (i.e.--Donald Trump), who we are all told is so conservative, so much as mentioned this disgusting practice?  In spite of the fraud's non-position on harvesting fetal body parts, fellow reality-show star Sarah Palin calls him a "hero."  Trump is a hero for pandering to those who are hysterical about illegal immigrants?
       Bowling-for-abortion CNN host Sally Kohn complains that these complaints about the Margaret Sanger cult are the result of "patriarchy" and "white supremacy."   Let me get this straight:  75% of black pregnancies end in abortion, but those who object to this statistic are white supremacists?  I know that Atlantic magazine thinks that pro-lifers are racist, but it still beggars my mind how reducing the black population is pro-black.  Is it simply that racism is the favorite cri de coeur of CNN, or does Sally Kohn actually believe such an outrageous claim?  It is often hard to discern, in this age of sound bites and Twitter accounts, whether people are in earnest when they say things, or whether they simply need attention from an easily distracted public.
       It was something of a scandal a few years ago when a mortician and a dentist ran a scam selling bone and tissue from dead bodies for use in plastic surgery.  At least the victims of that scam were already dead.  Profiting from death not once, but twice, looks morally abominable to those with a sense for such things.  Sally Kohn just sees feminism and non-racism.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Price? No man can say!

    In the classic 1940 Orson Welles movie "Citizen Kane", a fictionalized life of William Randolph Hearst, the main character Charles Foster Kane inherits a massive fortune.  Kane uses this fortune to become a crusading newspaperman.  Kane runs for office, even though he has no political principles.  He romances beautiful women, one of whom he has the bad judgment to try to make an opera singer with his money, even though she has no talent.  Kane spends a lifetime unsuccessfully trying to buy himself happiness, always failing because he has no real identity.
        If Donald Trump is anything, he is a real-life Charles Foster Kane.  He is a man with enormous wealth, which he has put to no good use.  He is a chronic womanizer (remember Bill Clinton?).  He has a record of being a Democratic supporter and abortion rights advocate, which he now seems to have conveniently forgotten.  And as savvy an observer as Michael Savage actually supports this buffoon because now he says he opposes illegal immigration?  Trump should go back to building Xanadu for himself, because the man has no business in politics.
       Update:  Assclown Donald Trump insults the service of Senator John McCain by suggesting that draft-dodging (which is what the Donald did) is better service than being tortured by Communists for five years.  Citizen Kane just keeps getting worse.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Protecting Atavism

       Estase has a theory about why the Obama administration is reluctant to damage the Daesh (ISIS/ISIL).  1)  Obama's best friend in the region is Erdogan of Turkey.  Erdogan is the most likely beneficiary of a new caliphate.  2) Obama was supportive of rebels fighting Bashir al-Assad three years ago.  These rebels are what we now know as ISIS. 3) Under Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton deliberately destabilized the governments of both Egypt, under Hosni Mubarak, and Libya, under Muammar Khadafi.  Obama and Clinton, however, have avoided responsibility for the chaos that has engulfed both countries in the absence of Mubarak and Khadafi.  What's more, Estase read a book on the Yugoslav civil war in the 90s that pointed out that Khadafi was a voice for moderation on the part of Muslims in Yugoslavia, a voice that, unfortunately, was ignored.  The one-time backer of terrorism had apparently mellowed with age, which is probably why he was a target for politicians looking to strengthen the hand of radical Islam.  The Benghazi debacle was a modest price to pay for helping the Daesh.
      In the wake of the Tunesia attack, Obama tried to prevent military action by the United Kingdom against the Daesh.  Is there any more telling evidence that Obama strengthened this group?  When Egypt and Jordan attacked ISIS, Obama opposed that action, too.  At the risk of being called a conspiracy theorist, why would a group of premodern butchers find a protecting hand in the White House?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Cokie Roberts Praises King's Bench

   Hat tip to Grabien.

       The Supreme Court is for our inability to self-govern, says Coked-Up Cokie Roberts.  The pundit says that the court exists "to take over from" the democratic process.  Because, you know, democracy just doesn't work fast enough for Ms. Roberts.
        Many of us realized that the Court of King's Bench can justify any ruling when we studied Griswold v. Connecticut/Roe v. Wade.  I mean, when the black-letter Constitution counts for absolutely nothing, what can't the King's Bench find a right to?  Abortion--just invent a Right to Privacy.  Gay Marriage--just say that everyone has a Constitutional right to do most anything they feel like.  It isn't about law.  It's about politics.  Ms. Roberts admits the same.  And if the electorate aren't advanced enough to get it done, do it by Praetorian Edict.  Because democracy, it just doesn't work fast enough!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

History Repeats Itself

       A favorite joke of the 30s:
       God goes to a psychiatrist's office.  God says, "You've got to help me, Doc.  I think I'm Franklin Delano Roosevelt."

Monday, June 01, 2015

Reverse Confederacy

       Confederalism is a type of government that associates a group of states under a government that is only as powerful as the member states wish.  The system of government established by the Articles of Confederation was a confederal government.  The Constitution of 1787 created something different:  a Federal government.  A Federal government consists of a group of states sovereign in most matters, but superintended by a general government that exercises supreme power over a few matters--namely, foreign policy and national defense.  The American Civil War was a struggle between confederal government and federal government.  The Confederate states basically believed that the Articles of Confederation should have remained the founding law of the United States.
       What the modern U.S. government has become is a reverse confederacy.  The Federal government is assumed sovereign in every area of government, and the states are often treated as mere proxies of the Federal government.  States are treated as tools of the Federal government.  Federal laws often dictate what tax revenue generated by the states will be spent on.