Cookie Consent

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Federalist 42

       The second class of powers lodged in the general government consist of those which regulate the intercourse with foreign nations, to wit:  to make treaties;  to send and receive ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls;  to define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;  to regulate foreign commerce, including a power to prohibit, after the year 1808, the importation of slaves, and to lay an intermediate duty of ten dollars per head, as a discouragement to such importations.
     This class of powers forms an obvious and essential branch of the federal administration.  If we are to be one nation in any respect, it clearly ought to be in respect to other nations.
      The powers to make treaties and to send and receive ambassadors speak their own propriety.  Both of them are comprised in the Articles of Confederation, with this difference only, that the former is disembarrassed by the plan of the convention, of an exception under which treaties might be substantially frustrated by regulations of the States;  and that a power of appointing and receiving 'other public ministers and consuls' is expressly and very properly added to the former provision concerning ambassadors.  The term ambassador, if taken strictly, as seems to be required by the second of the Articles of Confederation, comprehends the highest grade only of public ministers, and excludes the grades which the United States will be most likely to prefer, where foreign embassies may be necessary.  And under no latitude of construction will the term comprehend consuls.  Yet it has been found expedient, and has been the practice of Congress, to employ the inferior grades of public ministers and to seek and receive consuls.
       It is true that where treaties of commerce stipulate for the mutual appointment of consuls, whose functions are connected with commerce, the admission of foreign consuls may fall within the power of making commercial treaties;  and that where no such treaties exist, the mission of American consuls into foreign countries may perhaps be covered under the authority, given by the ninth Article of the Confederation, to appoint all such civil officers as may be necessary for managing the general affairs of the United States.  But the admission of consuls into the United States, where no previous treaty has stipulated it, seems to have been nowhere provided for.  A supply of the omission is one of the lesser instances in which the convention have improved on the model before them.  But the most minute provisions become important when they tend to obviate the necessity or the pretext for gradual and unobserved usurpations of power.  A list of the cases in which Congress have been betrayed, or forced by the defects of the Confederation, into violations not a little surprise those who have paid no attention to the subject;  and would be no inconsiderable argument in favor of the new Constitution, which seems to have provided no less studiously for the lesser than the more obvious and striking defects of the old.
       The power to define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas and offenses against the law of nations belongs with equal propriety to the general government, and is a still greater improvement on the Articles of Confederation.  These articles contain no provision for the case of offenses against the law of nations;  and consequently leave it in the power of any indiscreet member to embroil the Confederacy with foreign nations.  The provision of the federal articles on the subject of piracies and felonies extends no further than to the establishment of courts for the trial of these offenses.  The definition of piracies might, perhaps, without inconveniency, be left to the law of nations;  though a legislative definition of them is found in most municipal codes.  A definition of felonies on the high seas is evidently requisite.  Felony is a term of loose signification even in the common law of England;  and of various import in the statute law of that kingdom.  But neither the common nor the statute law of that, or of any other nation, ought to be a standard for the proceedings of this, unless previously made its own by legislative adoption.  The meaning of the term, as defined in the codes of the several States, would be as impracticable as the former would be a dishonorable and illegitimate guide.  It is not precisely the same in any two of the States;  and varies in each with every revision of its criminal laws.  For the sake of certainty and uniformity, therefore, the power of defining felonies in this case was in every respect necessary and proper. 
      The regulation of foreign commerce, having fallen within several views which have been taken of this subject, has been too fully discussed to need additional proofs here of its being properly submitted to the federal administration. 
       It were doubtless to be wished that the power of prohibiting the importation of slaves had not been postponed until the year 1808, or rather that it had been suffered to have immediate operation.  But it is not difficult to account either for this restriction on the general government, or for the manner in which the whole clause is expressed.  It ought to be considered as a great point gained in favor of humanity that a period of twenty years may terminate forever, within these States, a traffic which has so long and so loudly upbraided the barbarism of modern policy;  that within that period it will receive a considerable discouragement from the federal government, and may be totally abolished, by a concurrence of the few States which continue the unnatural traffic in the prohibitory example which has been given by so great a majority of the Union.  Happy would it be for the unfortunate Africans if an equal prospect lay before them of being redeemed from the oppressions of their European brethren.
       Attempts have been made to pervert this clause into an objection against the Constitution by representing it on one side as a criminal toleration of an illicit practice, and on another as calculated to prevent voluntary and beneficial emigrations from Europe to America.  I mention these misconstructions not with a view to give them an answer, for they deserve none, but as specimens of the manner and spirit in which some have thought fit to conduct the opposition to the proposed government.
      The powers included in the third class are those which provide for the harmony and proper intercourse among the States.
      Under this head might be included the particular restraints imposed on the authority of the States and certain powers of the judicial department;  for the former are reserved for a distinct class and the latter will be particularly examined when we arrive at the structure and organization of the government.  I shall confine myself to a cursory review of the remaining powers comprehended under this third description, to wit:  to regulate commerce among the several States and the Indian tribes;  to coin money, regulate the value thereof and of foreign coin and securities of the United States;  to fix the standard of weights and measures;  to establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws of bankruptcy;  to prescribe the manner in which the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of each State shall be proved, and the effect they shall have in other States;  and to establish post offices and post roads.
      The defect of power in the existing Confederacy to regulate the commerce between its several members is in the number of these which have been clearly pointed out by experience.  To the proofs and remarks which former papers have brought into view on this subject, it may be added that without this supplemental provision, the great and essential power of regulating foreign commerce would have been incomplete and ineffectual.  A very material object of this power was the relief of the States which import and export through the States from the improper contributions levied on them by the latter.  Were these at liberty to regulate the trade between State and State, it must be forseen that ways would be found out to load the articles of import and export, during the passage through their jurisdiction, with duties which would fall on the makers of the latter and the consumers of the former.  We may be assured by past experience that such a practice would be introduced by future contrivances;  and both by that and a common knowledge of human affairs that it would nourish unceasing animosities and not improbably terminate in serious interruptions of the public tranquility.  To those who do not view the question through the medium of passion or of interest, the desire of the commercial States to collect, in any form, an indirect revenue from their uncommercial neighbors must appear not less impolitic than it is unfair;  since it would stimulate the injured party by resentment as well as interest to resort to less convenient channels for their foreign trade.  But the mild voice of reason, pleading the cause of an enlarged and permanent interest, is but too often drowned, before public bodies as well as individuals, by the clamors of an impatient avidity for immediate and immoderate gain. 
      The necessity of a superintending authority over the reciprocal trade of confederated States has been illustrated by other examples as well as our own.  In Switzerland, where the Union is so very slight, each canton is obliged to allow to merchandises a passage through its jurisdiction into other cantons, without an augmentation of the tolls.  In Germany it is a law of the empire that the princes and states shall not lay tolls or customs on bridges, rivers, or passages, without the consent of the emperor and the diet;  though it appears from a quotation in an antecedent paper that the practice in this, as in many other instances in that confederacy, has not followed the law, and has produced there the mischiefs which have been forseen here.  Among the restraints imposed by the Union of the Netherlands on its members, one is that they shall not establish imposts disadvantageous to their neighbors without the general permission.
       The regulation of commerce with the Indian tribes is very properly unfettered from two limitations in the Articles of Confederation, which render the provision obscure and contradictory.  The power is there restrained to Indians, not members of any of the States, and is not to violate or infringe the legislative right of any State within its own limits.  What description of Indians are to be deemed members of a State is not yet settled, and has been a question of frequent perplexity and contention in the federal councils.  And how the trade with Indians, though not members of a State, yet reading within its legislative jurisdiction can be regulated by an external authority, without so far intruding on the internal rights of legislation, is absolutely incomprehensible.  This is not the only case in which the Articles of Confederation have inconsiderately endeavored to accomplish impossibilities;  to reconcile a partial sovereignty in the Union, with complete sovereignty in the Union, with complete sovereignty in the States;  to subvert a mathematical axiom by taking away a part and letting the whole remain.
      All that need be remarked on the power to coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, is that by providing for this last case, the Constitution has supplied a material omission in the Articles of Confederation.  The authority of the existing Congress is restrained to the regulation of coin struck by their own authority, or that of the respective States.  It must be seen at once that the proposed uniformity in the value of the current coin might be destroyed by subjecting that of foreign coin to the different regulations of the different States.
      The punishment of counterfeiting the public securities, as well as the current coin, is submitted of course to that authority which is to secure the value of both.
      The regulation of weights and measures is transferred from the Articles of Confederation, and is founded on like considerations with the preceeding power of regulating coin.
      The dissimilarity in the rules of naturalization has long been remarked as a fault in our system, and as laying a foundation for intricate and delicate questions.  In the fourth article of the Confederation, it is declared 'that the free inhabitants of each of these States, paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from justice excepted, shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several States;  and the people of each State shall, in every other, enjoy all the privileges of trade and commerce,' etc.  There is a confusion of language here which is remarkable.  Why the terms free inhabitants are used in one part of the article, free citizens in another, and people in another, or what was meant by superadding to 'all privileges and immunities of free citizens,' 'all the privileges of trade and commerce,' cannot easily be determined.  It seems to be a construction scarcely avoidable, however, that those who come under the denomination of free inhabitants of a State, although not citizens of such State, are entitled, in every other State, to all the privileges of free citizens of the latter;  that is, to greater privileges than they may be entitled to in their own State:  so that it may be in the power of a particular State, or rather every State is laid under a necessity not only to confer the rights of citizenship in other States upon any whom it may allow to become inhabitants within its jurisdiction.  But wer an exposition of the term 'inhabitants' to be admitted which would confine the stipulated privileges to citizens alone, the difficulty is diminished only, not removed.  The very improper power would still be retained by each State of naturalizing aliens in every other State.  In one State, residence for a short term confirms all the rights of citizenship:  in another, qualifications of greater importance are required.  An alien, therefore, legally incapacitated for certain rights in the latter, may, by previous residence only in the former, elude his incapacity;  and thus the law of one State be preposterously rendered paramount to the law of another, within the jurisdiction of the other.  We owe it to mere casualty that very serious embarrassments on this subject have been hitherto escaped.  By the laws of several States, certain descriptions of aliens, who had rendered themselves obnoxious, were laid under interdicts inconsistent not only with the rights of citizenship, but with the privileges of residence.  What would have been the consequence if such persons, by residence or otherwise, had acquired the character of citizens under the laws of another State, and then asserted their rights as such, both to residence and citizenship, within the State proscribing them?  Whatever the legal consequences might have been, the other consequences would probably have resulted of too serious a nature not to be provided against.  The new Constitution has accordingly, with great propriety, made provision against them, and all others preceeding from the defect of the Confederation on this head, by authorizing the general government to establish a uniform rule of naturalization throughout the United States.
      The power of establishing uniform laws of bankruptcy is so intimately connected with the regulation of commerce, and will prevent so many frauds where the parties or their property may lie or be removed into different States, that the expediency of it seems not likely to be drawn into question.
      The power of prescribing by general laws the manner in which the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of each State shall be proved, and the effect they shall have in other States, is an evident and valuable improvement on the clause relating to this subject in the Articles of Confederation.  The meaning of the latter is extremely indeterminate, and can be of little importance under any interpretation which it will bear.  The power here established may be rendered a very convenient instrument of justice, and be particularly beneficial on the borders of contiguous States, where the effects liable to justice may be suddenly and secretly translated in any stage of the process within a foreign jurisdiction. 
       The power of establishing post roads must, in every view, be a harmless power and may, perhaps, by judicious management become productive of great public conveniency.  Nothing which tends to facilitate the intercourse between the States can be deemed unworthy of the public care." 

Let No Man Distinguish Himself

"There is a passage in Heraclitus, the natural philosopher, relating to Hermadorus, the leading citizen of Ephesus, where he says that the whole body of the Ephesians ought to be put to death, because, when they drove Hermodorus  out of their community, they used this language:  'Let no single man among us distinguish himself above the rest;  but if any such appear, let hem live elsewhere and amongst other men.'"  Cicero, Tusculan Disputations Book V Paragraph 36 (J.E. King trans.)

       The problem with modern America is that we have gone from being a society that discriminated for stupid reasons, to a society that cannot discriminate for good reasons.  The result is that Americans are now being told that it is bigoted to oppose gay marriage, unpatriotic to oppose high taxes, and sexist to resist abortion.  The result is an extreme and unthinking equality.  The oddball used to be a source of American ingenuity-- think Steve Jobs or Thomas Edison.  The new America will steamroll the oddball, or force him to conform to the standards provided by omnipotent government.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Profiles in Asshattery

      "The misgivings about {Ambassador to Britain Joseph} Kennedy could not be conveyed safely to Prime Minister Chamberlain, who was impressed by reports of German invincibility.  The Ambassador had even brought Charles Lindburgh to London with frightening stories of Germany's overwhelming superiority in air power.  Chamberlain listened.  The Czech Minister in London, Jan Masaryk, recorded that Kennedy assured him there was no question of his country being 'cut up or sold out,' just before German tanks moved into the rest of Czechoslovakia in March 1939.  The New York Post reported that Kennedy was identified with 'the Germanophile clique' and sprinkled his conversations with anti-Roosevelt, defeatist, and profascist comments.  The Post reprinted an article by the London writer Claud Cockburn:' Kennedy goes so far as to insinuate that the democratic policy of the United States is a Jewish production.'
      Kennedy's performance seemed incredible.  Yet much of what he saw and heard in England led him to suppose that the leadership was sympathetic to German aspirations.  Even Japan's incursions into China were treated understandingly.  The London Times ran a letter on its editorial page explaining a Japanese raid on a Shanghai suburb:  'Such loss of life as has occured among the Chinese civilian population (many of whom were soldiers in disguise) has been unavoidable or accidental, and, we are convinced, is regretted by no one more than the Japanese.'
       Kennedy had domestic political reasons, too, for taking the line he did.  'He owes his position to the fact that he represents a Catholic, Irish, anti-English group in America which must not be offended if President Roosevelt is to be re-elected in November,' Stephenson noted.  'Mr. Kennedy therefore must exhibit the attitudes of the East Coast Irish, and isolationist groups loosely termed America Firsters.'

      The latest peace offer had originated in Rome while the German Ambassador was enciphering the last piece of information to leak from the U.S. Embassy in London:  Roosevelt's frank explanation of his difficulty in letting Churchill have the forty or fifty antiquated destroyers.  Stephenson now argued forcibly for the secure and co-ordinated intelligence alliance that would bring together those who opposed Nazism, no matter what their nationality, using the Tyler Kent investigation to make his case.  Ambassador Kennedy had been cleared of any responsibility for the leak, and Senate committees on Military Affairs put him in the same category as {Lord} Halifax.  That testimony was given shortly before Stephenson's first flying visit to Washington.  In it, Kennedy was emphatic that Nazi Germany could not be beaten.  He had recorded his view that Churchill was scheming and unscrupulous and 'willing to blow up the American Embassy and say it was the Germans, if that would get the Americans in.'"  A Man Called Intrepid, by William Stevenson pgs 87-88 and 96-97

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Satanic Abortion Murder

          The funeral of Pearl Bryan was held at Greencastle, Ind., and the services were spoken over a headless corpse.  While the relatives were in the vault there was a meeting of the young and middle-aged men of the city, and it was said later that some twenty-five or thirty of these pledged themselves to each other to avenge the girl's death if the murderers were not hanged by the law.  The organization thus formed is said to be regarded simply as the nucleus of a larger one which will take the law into its own hands if Scott Jackson, Alonzo Walling and Wm. Wood escape the extreme penalty in the Cincinatti courts.
       The morning of Saturday, Feb. 1 {1896} there was found at Fort Thomas, Ky., the headless corpse of a young woman.  For a time, identification was impossible.  But inquiry was being made for Pearl Bryan, a Greencastle girl, who had left her home with the avowed purpose of visiting a friend at Indianapolis.  She was accompanied to the train by Wm. Wood, son of a Methodist minister, and went to Indianapolis, stopping there only between trains.  She then went on to Cincinatti.  Nothing was thought of her temporary absence from home;  but when the time came for her return, and she came not, the family began to wonder.  Then came the account of finding the headless body of a woman near Cincinatti, and the announcement that the corpse wore shoes that had been purchased from Louis & Hays, of Greencastle.  After that identification was quick and certain, and investigation led to the arrest of the three men named.  Jackson and Walling were students at the Ohio Dental College at Cincinatti.  They and Wood are said to have been intimate with the girl.  But a maze of contradictory confessions by all of them has made impossible the fixing of direct responsibility:  and thus confusion is complicated by the assertion of Lulu May Hollingsworth, of Indianapolis, a friend of Pearl's.
       In the series of confessions Jackson says Walling carried the woman's head in a valise to the Covington suspension bridge, and he believes Walling threw it into the river, or he may have taken it to his home at Hamilton and thrown it from the Miami bridge at that place.  Jackson says he did not go with Walling on the trips.  On the contrary Walling says Jackson buried the head in a sandbar in the Ohio river opposite Dayton, Ky., or dropped it in the sewer on Richmond street, Cincinatti.  Each affirms the belief that the other administered a fatal drug to produce a criminal operation, and neither confesses knowledge of time or place of decapitation of the corpse.  Each charges young Wood, of Greencastle, with responsibility for the girl's condition, and Jackson says he was the medium through whom Wood was to remit $50 to Walling for performing the operation.  On the other hand, young Wood denies his responsibility, but admits knowledge of the girl's predicament, because Jackson, who was responsible for it, told him of it.  He says the only part he took in the matter was to advise Pearl to undergo an operation.
       To make the matter more unintelligible, Lulu May Hollingsworth, of Indianapolis, who was arrested, suspected of complicity in the murder, said:  "I shall be able to clear Jackson.  He is responsible for Miss Bryan's condition, but he was not responsible for her death.  I don't think, either, that Wood had anything to do with this case.  I became interested in the girl because I had once known her and chanced to meet her at the Union station.  She told me what had happened, and said Jackson was to blame.  When I told her what drugs to get she said. . . and die there and then so as to throw suspicion upon Jackson and get him into difficulty." 
       Miss Hollingsworth afterward said she administered the fatal drugs at the request of Miss Bryan.  The police discredit this.  Miss Hollingsworth is regarded as a notoriety seeker.  She once figured in an elopement from Terre Haute.
        Cincinatti police found Jackson's bloody coat in a sewer. Jackson claims that Walling wore his clothing on the night of the murder.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Double Standards

The following quote from a poster calling herself Sadie Vacantist on the quidnunc "The Hermaneutic of Continuity" was so good Estase decided to post it here.

"I am watching (not listening to) Andrew Marr on his Sunday morning show before I set off to Mass.  He is interviewing Peter Townshend who presumably has something to plug.  They are all smiles (I have the sound turned down).

Remember this is within a week of the {pedophile Jimmy} Saville story, so where's Esther Rantzen?

If the BBC rides out this storm, they will be back attacking the Catholic Church within a month.  Believe me."

Sunday, March 03, 2013

A Character

  "A Bird, who mongst his other sins
    Had liv'd among the Jacobins,
    Tho' like a kitten amid Rats
    Or callow Tit in Nest of Bats
     He much abhorr'd all Democrats,
    Yet natheless stood in ill report
     Of wishing ill to Church and Court--
     Tho' he'd nor claw nor tooth nor sting--
      And learnt to pipe, God Save the King;
     Tho' each day did new feathers bring,
      All swore, he had but a leathern Wing--
     Nor polish'd wing nor feathered Tail
      Nor down-clad Thigh would aught avail--
      And tho' being tame, devoid of gall
      He civilly assur'd them all
      ' A Bird am I of Phoebus' Breed,
        And on the Sunflower cling and feed.
        My name, good Sirs! is Thomas Tit!'
      The Bats would have hail'd him Brother Cit,
      Or, at the farthest, Cousin German.
      At length the matter to determine
     He publicly disowned the vermin,
      He spared the Mouse, he praised the Owl
      But Bats were neither Flesh or Fowl.
      Blood-sucking Vampires, Harpy, Gouls,
      Came in full clatter from his throat,--
      Till his old Nest-mates chang'd their Note
      To Hireling, Traitor, and Turn-Coat--
      A base Apostate that had sold
      His very teeth and claws for Gold--
      And then his feathers!  smokes the jest.
      A tit indeed!  Aye, Tit for Tat
      With Places and Title, Brother Bat,
      We soon shall see how well he'll play
      Count Goldfinch or Sir Judas Jay!

      Alas poor Bird!  and ill-bestarr'd.
      Or rather let us say, poor Bard!
      And henceforth quit the Allegoric
       With Metaphor and Simile
      For simple facts and style historic--
      Alas, poor Bard!  no gold had he.
      Behind another's team he stept
      And plough'd and sowed, while others reapt;
      The work was his, but theirs the play.
      Sic vos non vobis,his whole story.
      Besides, whate'er he writ or said
      Came from his heart as well as head,
      And tho' he never left in lurch
      His King, his Country, or his Church,
      Twas but to humour his own cynical
      Contempt of doctrines Jacobinical,
      To his own Conscience only hearty
      Twas but by chance he served the party,
      The self-same things had said and writ
      Had Pitt been Fox and Fox been Pitt,
      Content his own applause to win
      Would never dash thro' thick and thin
      And he can make, so say the wise,
      No claim who makes no sacrifice--
      And bard still less;  what claim had he
      Who swore, it vex'd his soul to see
      So grand a Cause, so proud a realm
      With Goose and Goody at the Helm,
      Who long ago had fall'n asunder
      But for their Rival's baser blunders,
      The Coward Whine and Frenchified
      Slaver and Slang of th' other side--

      Thus, his own whim his only bribe,
      Our bard pursued his old A B C;
      Contented if he could subscribe
      In fullest sense his name, Estase
      (Tis Punic Greek, for He hath stood)
      --Whate'er the men, the cause was good--
      And therefore with a right good will
      Poor fool!  he fought their battles still.
      Tush!  squeaked the Bats;  --a mere bravado
      To whitewash that base renegado;
      Tis plain unless you're blind or mad,
      His conscience for the bays he barters;
      As true it is--as true as said--
      These circlets of green baize he had--
      But then, alas!  they were his garters!

      Ah silly Bard!  unfed, untended,
      His Lamp but glimmer'd in its socket:
      He liv'd, unhonour'd and unfriended
      With scarce a penny in his pocket:
      Nay, tho' he hid it from the Many,
      With scarce a pocket for his penny."

Samuel Taylor Coleridge