Thursday, October 30, 2008

Stop Obama’s Spreading the Wealth

This letter to Obama by an American businessman shows exactly why Obama must be stopped at all costs. The ideas of “spreading the wealth” is a profoundly wicked one. It is nothing more than a way for the ruling class to buy votes and prevent others from displacing them at the top of the heap.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Gold Standard The Solution to Our Financial Crises

In the panic that has surrounded the present crisis, the best, most honest, and easiest way to save the financial system, a return to the gold standard, has been forgotten.

The problem with the banking system at present is a lack of capital and liquidity due to the bad lending practices encouraged, and in some cases required by the federal government. With their asset prices falling, the banks are on the verge of bankruptcy.

This is a problem for all of us. If banks fail, our money in the banks will go down with them, lending will dry up and the economy will grind to a halt, millions of people will be out of work. So we have to save the banking system, but at the same time we don’t want to reward them for the part of the crises that is their fault. We want to insure that the American people can get to the money in their checking accounts.

There is a way to do this. The Federal Government, holds about 260 million ounces of gold most of which was stolen from the banking system as an emergency measure during the great depression. I propose that the gold held by the Federal Government be returned to the people it was taken from, the people and banking system of the United States.

Under my proposal, gold would be declared money of the United States at the rate of $15,000 an ounce. Then 70 percent of the gold reserves of the United States would be transferred to banks in proportion to the dollar amount of the their checking accounts, sweep accounts, and retail money funds.

However this transfer would come with strings. First the banks would be required to maintain 100% gold reserves against their checking accounts, sweep accounts, and retail money fund accounts. They would be required to pay out gold on any withdrawal from any of the forgoing types of accounts when the amount of the withdrawal exceeded $500.

The rest of the gold reserve of the United States would be used to produce, a gold, silver, and copper coinage for the United States. This would be used first to redeem all of the outstanding notes of the federal reserve and the token coinage as it now exists and to pay off as much as possible of the federal debt.

The result of this would be a banking system which could not default on its payments to depositors, though savings account holders and CD holders would have risk, but the strengthening of the books of the banks would secure most of these obligations. It would end the current crises without cost to the taxpayers of the republic. It would end the possibility of such crises in the future because it would end the fractional reserve system that introduces great instability into our otherwise healthy economic system.

I will no doubt be denounced as a “gold bug” for proposing this, but it is the paper bugs of wall street and the federal government that have brought us to this crises. It is gold that can lead us out.

The above is inspired by the work of the economist George Reisman.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

In honor of the dead of 9/11

On the anniversary of 9/11 I am going to make a proposal that I believe will help our nation and take the first steps towards making it a reality. I believe that it is time to stop accepting the educational status quo where by to many student get a mediocre education.

I believe that we as people totally separate from the state should commit ourselves, before this century is over, to providing a private education to every student. This goal will be difficult to achieve, but no other has a greater chance to revolutionize our society, leading to a freer and more prosperous commonwealth.

I am today founding a non profit organization to achieve this goal. This organization, the Privately Run Education for Every Child Trust, (PREFECT) will work to set up scholarship funds, encourage the founding of new private and parochial schools, help home schooling parents and in every possible way to advance the cause of a private education for every child.

PREFECT will work with teachers, students, parents and communities to build schools that meet their needs. I do not want this to be a political organization, I am willing to work with people across the political spectrum and from many different faiths or philosophies to advance this cause. I believe that teacher collectively run schools, private for profit schools, parochial schools, and the traditional private non profit schools are all part of the solution to our education problem.

I invite all those who want to build a new and better system of education for our children to join me in this cause.

I can be reached at

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Why Russia Should be Condemned

Russia should be condemned as the sole aggressor in the War with Georgia. There are three reasons for this: first it is the Russian’s own legal position; second the events of the cyber war show that Russia was the aggressor; and the events of the Russian invasion of Georgia imply it.

Russia does not maintain diplomatic relations with the soi-disant republic of South Ossetia. This is because South Ossetia is part of the internationally recognized territory of the Republic of Georgia. Thus for Russia to send its army into South Ossetia is to commit on its own terms an act of war against Georgia. Further it is an openly acknowledged fact that Russia was funding the armed forces of the sometimes republic of South Ossetia. Under the Convention for the Definition of Aggression, it is an act of war to “commit any of the following actions: (5) Provision of support to armed bands formed in its territory which have invaded the territory of another State, or refusal, notwithstanding the request of the invaded State, to take, in its own territory, all the measures in its power to deprive those bands of all assistance or protection.”

Furthermore, the Russian’s made the first attack in the cyber war which is part of the present conflict. On July 20, an attack was made on the websight of the President of Georgia from a Russian site that had been involved in the previous 2007 cyber war in Estonia.

Thirdly, look at the time table. Aside from the cyber war, the first actions of the war were the clashes between Georgian and South Ossetian forces starting on Aug 1. Starting on Aug. 3 the soi-disant republic of South Ossetia, 90 percent of whos supporters are also citizens of Russia, began evacuating its supporters to Russia. On the evening of Aug. 7 after its offer of a ceasefire were rejected, the Georgian government began operations to bring South Ossetia under Georgian control. The next day, Aug. 8 the Russian forces began crossing into Georgia. Over the next three days the Georgian forces were driven back as the Russian’s used its armored and airborne forces to drive deep into Georgia. The Russians also made unprovoked navel attacks on the Georgian Navy and launched attacks on civilian targets in Georgia.

Acording to the Russians they only decided to act when Georgia launched its attack on the night of Aug. 7, but less than 18 hours later they were able to launch a three division combined arms attack on Georgia. They also claim that they sortied the notoriously harbor bound Russian navy in a similarly short period of time. Anyone who believes that load of malarkey should contact me at once. I have bridge to sell you, cash only and in small bills.

The Western Powers must stand together to stop this piece of undisguised aggression. Any moon bat who things that the U.S. actions against Iraq were illegal and thus provide excuse to Russia should read my post on the legality of the Iraq war here.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

HRC Humor

Sometimes the only thing to do with assholes is to mock the bastards and hope they get embarrassed and stop . Since I am not a Canadian, that is the only thing I can do to help, hence the following.

How can you identify an Canadian comedian? He is the one in a black and white striped shirt.

What do you call a person charged before a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal? Guilty.

Why did so many Poles move to Canada? They thought the Human Rights Commission would protect them.

Why are HRC members convinced Canada is an institutionally racist, sexist, homophobic etc. country? Look at how many Canadians are still laughing.

What do you call a member of a Canadian Human Rights Commission? Comrade Commissioner.

How can you tell a Canadian Journalist is telling the Truth? He has been hauled before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

What is the proper style when addressing Richard Warman? Gauleiter.

How can you identify a member of Anti Racist Action? Their brown shirts.

How many Canadian Human Rights Commissioners does it take to Screw in a light bulb? Ive you vink vat is vunny you are comink with us!

How can you identify a Canadian evangelical minister? His lips aren’t moving.

Why did Canada form the HRC’s independent of the court system? Because
there are some things even most lawyers just won’t do,

Why would Richard Warman have been spared by the SS in the death camps? Professional curtsy.

What is the only food eaten by complainants to the Canadian Human Rights Commission? Chicken!

Why did a Canadian Chicken cross the boarder? It wanted to crow.

What do you call a bus full of HRC members going off a cliff? A good start.

What do you call the empty seats? A damn shame.

How can you tell that all other evidence to the contrary Richard Warman and his PC police friends actually do have a sense of humor? Look at what they named the Human Rights Commissions.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

On being a Gentleman

The Question has arisen on the Monarchist, what qualities make a gentleman. I want to weigh in on this. While I enjoyed some of the Chaps postings by Bolingbrook, the problem is that it focuses on the least central part of being a gentleman, the part that is culturally contingent. That is to say that while a gentleman today should take pride in how he wears his tweeds or seersucker suit and how he mixes a Bronx Cocktail (much better than a dry martini), an Athenian gentleman would take pride in how he wore his toga and how he mixed wine and water in a krator during the symposium. Dressing well and in a manner appropriate for the occasion is part of being a gentleman, but it is not the major part.

In my view the essence of being a gentleman is striving to achieve what Aristotle called Eudemonia or human flourishing. A gentleman cultivates in himself the virtues, primary virtues such as rationality, secondary virtues such as justice and courage, and tertiary virtues such as liberality and charity.

Thus for me a gentleman is a thinking man who has a productive vocation (even if he doesn’t need the money and doesn’t earn any from his work). He conducts his business and his life on the principal of justice. He is morally ambitious striving to better himself when he falls short of his ideals. He has integrity and courage. He is generous within the structure of his means, but not beyond them. He has taken the trouble to learn how to defend both himself and his society. In short, he takes pride in himself, because he has made sure to be morally worthy of it.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I am posting that which follows is in response to the post on the monarchist by David Byers who seems to be very confused about the nature of Monarchy, Democracy, and Republicanism. The material is from my projected work A Crowned Republic or The True Principals of Constitutional Monarchy Rightly Expounded With An Inquiry Into The British Constitution, It Current Failings and How to Fix Them.


Section 1 The Three Classical Forms

The division of governments into three forms depending upon who wields the supreme authority of the state, one, a few, or many, is so familiar to those who have studied the ancient and modern writers upon government that I shall touch upon it only briefly here.

When one holds the supreme authority of the state it is known by different names as the governance is well or ill. When a one rules lightly, with the consent of his subjects, following the ancient laws and customs, with courts that administer justice impartially, and using honors to stimulate his subjects to greater exertions upon behalf of the state, this is known as monarchy. When one rules by terror, with no law but his own will, and no means to command his subjects but terror and money, this is known as tyranny.

When the supreme authority of the state is wielded by a few of the most prominent citizens it is known differently as they wield their power. When they wield their authority with modesty and moderation, binding themselves by the same laws which they impose on the whole people, stimulating the people to greater exertion by patriotic zeal and the prospect of earned wealth, this is aristocracy. If however the few abrogate to themselves special privileges that ought to belong to the state by putting themselves above the law, by plundering the public treasury, and when they control the people and one another by terror as with the lions mouth at Venice, this is oligarchy.

When the whole people either directly or by their representatives are the supreme authority in the state, this is known by different names as the authority is used wisely or badly. When the people are ruled by virtue and use their authority to promote the common happiness saving to every man his rights, this is known as democracy. When the people use their authority to promote the interest of one faction at the expense of another casting aside the rights of each citizen to his life, liberty, and property, this is known as ochlocracy or mob rule.

Section 2 Republicanism

It was observed by the ancients that their was a tendency of each of the pure forms to denigrate from its more noble form into its corrupted form, because there was nothing to check the will of the rulers be they one, a few, or many.
They also observed that there was a tendency for the three pure forms to follow one another in a regular order. Suppose a monarchy was set up, as such usually are, by a popular war leader. After a time, certainly after a few generations, this monarchy will denigrate into a tyranny. When this becomes to oppressive to be suffered, the bravest will lead the people to over though the tyrant. These will then likely set themselves up to rule as an aristocracy. At first they may rule well, but in time they will become vain and will denigrate into an oligarchy which will be beset by factions. In the course of the factional fighting, one of the factions will likely turn to the people for support. When such a faction win, they will be obliged to give power to the people who supported them, thus a democracy is born. At first this rules well, but in time this form too is corrupted. The ancients believed that eventually a strong leader would arise who would promise to restore order and would become king and the cycle would start over.

Now it is observable that this is not an absolute law. Some of the Swiss Cantons for example evolved from democracy to aristocracy. That there is such a tendency however is well illustrated by the evolution of the soviet state, of which I shall have more to say later.

Because of this observation that the better forms tended to denigrate into corrupted forms, because there was nothing to check the will of the rulers, it came to be accepted that a form of government was needed that would check their will.

The ancients concluded that the way to best check the authority of the rulers was to mix the three basic forms, monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy. Thus in a republic the monarch, the aristocracy, and the people would have the powers of the state shared out between them. Each would be a check on the others.

This is of course the classic form of the British constitution. The Monarch held the executive power, had a negative on the legislative power, and appointed the judges. The House of Lords had a part of the legislative power, formed the supreme judicial tribunal, and it members had influence in local government. The people elected the members of the House of Commons who held part of the legislative power. The people held part of the executive power by participation in grand juries and coroners juries, held part of the judicial power by participation in trial juries, and participated in local government.

Section 3 Democratic Republicanism

In addition to this classical form of republicanism wich is now usually called constitutional monarchism, there have many attempts, some successful ,to build a lasting state on the form of the one, the few, and the many but with all officers drawn from among the people at large.

For example the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the oldest written constitution still in effect (adopted 1780 though many times amended), gives the Governor the executive authority with the advice of his council, gives the governor a negative over legislation though this is maybe over come by a two thirds vote of both houses of the legislature. The governor has the right to nominate judges with the advice and consent of his council. The General Court, composed of the House of Representatives and Senate have the legislative power subject to the governor’s negative. The Senate seats were apportioned according to tax receipts and the House seats according to population. The Supreme Judicial Court and the lesser courts wield the judicial power.

The Government of the United States has a similar arrangement with the President as chief magistrate, nominator of judges, and with a veto over legislation. Congress is bicameral and chosen by significantly different electorates. The judicial power is wielded by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Most republics since the American Revolution have tried to achieve some form of democratic republic with mixed success. In principal the idea is a good one, by giving the different office holders different incentives, it is hoped that they will act to check one another. However, the problem with Democratic Republicanism is the same thing which makes it appeal so strongly to democrats, every office is filled directly or indirectly by election or by appointment by elected officials.

Therefore in the end, the performance of a Democratic Republic depends on the virtue of the people. A well written constitution may delay the corruption of a republic if it is venerated, defended and relied upon for political principals by the people. However the concentration of all power in the people tends towards the corruption of the state.

Section 4 Democratic Constitutional Monarchy

A development of Constitutional Monarchy that has become predominate over the last 150 years is Democratic Constitutional Monarchy. This variant on Constitutional Monarchism is distinguished by the triumph of the democratic branch over the monarchical and aristocratic elements of the state.

In the United Kingdom for example, the executive power has been totally taken over by the democratic branch of Parliament. The Monarch’s negative over legislation has become dormant through lack of use. The Aristocratic Branch of the state has atrophied, its powers slowly stripped away and at the last, many of its members stripped of office for no good reason. The courts are still free of excessive interference by the democratic branch, but the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty has meant that the courts ability to act a check on the legislature has become a nullity.

This form is in essence, the decay of a constitutional monarchy into at best an ill designed democratic republic as in most of the crown commonwealth or at worst an out right democracy as in most of the Scandinavian states.

I hope that both Mr.Bayers and the other readers of this blog may find some small degree of edification on the difference between Monarchism, Democracy, and Republicanism in the above. This may all so explain why I can without contradiction proclaim as the circumstances dictate Long Live The Republic! and God Save The Queen!

Friday, July 04, 2008

July 4, 2008

Today is the 232nd anniversary of the issuance of the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress. It was on that day that the legal basis for American state was established by the words of the operative clause, “that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do.”

Now given that the purpose of this blog is the closer union of the Anglosphere states, one might think I believe that this day was a great tragedy . However, I look at it as part of the political evolution of the Anglosphere. Just as Magna Charta, the model parliament, the petition of right, the civil war, the glorious revolution, the bill of rights, and the great reform acts, are a part of the story of the development of the free institutions of the Anglosphere, so to are the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the U.S. Bill of Rights.

In fact, today marks the beginning of the Anglo sphere as something distinct from the British nation.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

In English There is No City Named Pair-ee

There is a city in English named Paris, but not one pronounced Pair-ee. Likewise there is no country in English called Deutschland, but there is a country called Germany.

My point is that I am getting sick of hearing on the radio and reading on the net about an alleged city named Yangon in an alleged country named Myanmar In the English tongue these are known as Rangoon and Burma respectively.

Now some might ask if I am not being narrow minded and parochial. After all, they might argue, it is their country and they can name their cities whatever they like. I agree they have every right to name their cities what ever they like in Burmese, because it is their country. However English is our language and they do not have a right to change it.

This is not just about English, it is true of other languages as well. For example in Spanish there is no city called New York, but there is a city called Nueva York. In French there is no city called London, but there is one called Londres. In Latin there is no city called York, but there is a city call Eboracum.

Granted that if the Burmese people rather than a dictatorship wanted to change the name of their country, then perhaps we could butcher the new name into English and stop calling it Burma, though we might not. But the idea that we should change the English Language for a bunch of third world tin pot dictators is beyond absurd.

A proper use of the English language ought to be a requirement for journalists who report in the English tongue. American reporters who are assigned overseas ought to have the backbone not to pander to the wishes of a military dictatorship.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Freedom and Culture

I was inspired to write this by a wonderful post by Connie du Toit titled Something to Live and Die For where she argues that freedom is not enough, that our society must have a commitment to high culture. I agree with this unreservedly and encourage people to read the whole article. However I have a few reservations about Mrs. Du Toit piece which I want to explore.

Let me say that a few reservations does not mean I think she is wrong about her general thesis. She is dead right. It is not enough to simply have material abundance, as conscious entities the spiritual is as real for us as the material.

What worries me is that she seems to be falling into the trap of the mind body dichotomy which has plagued our culture. It is no more to be desired that we have high culture but no material wealth, than that we have wealth but no high culture. In fact our material wealth is the necessary precondition for a widespread high culture. One of the glories of our civilization is that a line worker in a factory or a farmer have the material means to become educated and to fulfill an educated taste for literature and great works of art. Our shame is that many of our fellow citizens have not used that opportunity to better themselves intellectually, but instead have only striven for material consumption.

On a related topic that Mrs. Du Toit did not discuss but that Albert Jay Nock does in his essay which she links to, “The Disadvantages of Being Educated.” That is the prejudice against athletics in education. This is a manifestation of the mind body dichotomy. I believe that athletics and outdoor activities such hiking or hunting are essential to a liberal education at least for men and probably for both sexes.

Secondly I think it is important to distinguish between beauty and art. Art is a means of communication. It has a vocabulary and grammar. If a work of alleged art does not communicate with the viewer then either the viewer is uneducated or the artist is no good. This is the part of art that can be objectively judged without reference to either values or subjective ideas of beauty.

Something can be ugly as sin and technically be good art. For example I hate Jackson Polick’s work. It is dreadful. I once was dragged to an exhibit of his work at MoMA. It literally gave me a headache. I would not willingly subject myself to his work in mass again. However this does not mean that he was a bad artist. It is clear from his early work that he could create art that communicated. It is clear from his later work that he had good color sense. Thus he either became lazy or he is communicating something by means of his splattered paint. If he is trying to convey something it must be either, a) I am avant guard and have no respect for my viewers, b) the world is chaos, or c) communication is impossible.

An example of a better work is Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire Tugged to Her Last Berth to be Broken. The subject of this painting is a great sailing ship being towed by a small steam tugboat. The sun is setting over the water infusing the painting with reds and golds. The clouds scatter the light and give the painting an ethereal quality. Only the sailing ship and the tug seem fully real. Even the sailing ship painted in whites and golds has a washed out or faded quality. The reflections on the water only emphases the sold reality of the tug and the half faded quality of the sailing ship. A sunset is the end of the day and by extension is a symbol of endings. We might thus deduce that this painting is about the passing of the great age of sail and its replacement by steam power. Of course the title of the painting helps with this understanding. The ship is being tugged to her last berth to be broken. That is to torn apart and have some of the parts thrown away and others put to a new use. The fact that the painting is of HMS Temeraire shows that the painting was a general statement, because she had led the van of the second British column at Trafalgar. Her being towed to the breakers was a symbol of the passing of the age of sail.

Since Turner’s work is easily understood by the educated viewer, while polic leave us scratching our head and wondering what he meant, Turner is the better artist. That is his work communicates better. That does not necessarily mean that he has a better message or that his work is more beautiful, though to my mind it is and he does.

Like the ability to communicate, the values an artist tries to convey can at least in principal be objectively judged. Values are those things that we act for the sake of, that is we act to achieve them. As my favorite living science fiction writer wrote, “His mother had often said, When you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action. She had emphasized the corollary of this axiom even more vehemently: when you desired a consequence you had damned well better take the action that would create it.” Since life and flourishing is the only logical final end, all values can in principal be judged in relation to the achievement of that end.

Thus of the three ways to evaluate a work of art, two of them can be judged objectively. The third, subjective ideas of beauty is real, but fairly limited. Much of what people think is subjective beauty is in my judgment usually low order value issues or minor communications issues that cumulatively make the work unattractive to the viewer. However, the question that came up in Ms. du Toit’s blog regarding the Piss Christ, is an excellent example of a work where absent the title, the work would be highly ambiguous.

The work in itself conveys little it is an image of a crucifix with a golden glow around it and a brownish yellow background. What does this mean? I am not sure but it could be a reference to the mystery of the crucifixion or the glory of god. However the title adds knowledge, piss is an extremely crude term for urine. The title makes the work a slap in the face, the worst form of empatour la bourgeois. But suppose instead it had no title or suppose if had the title “Christ through the product of his creation.” Is it beautiful in itself? That would depend on what message the viewer though was being conveyed and how well he thought it was being conveyed. Personally I think it is interesting, but not beautiful.

A good example of subjective beauty is music. Why do we find some noises beautiful and others dreadful? Now sometimes it is the message in lyrics that we find dreadful, but that is not the whole story. One can disagree with the message of the lyrics and still find it beautiful and one can agree with the lyrics and find it dreadful. I am not a Christian, but I find this rendition of Oh little Town of Bethlehem absurdly beautiful. The fact that rationally I do not believe in the historically of the birth of Christ or the reality of God is completely irrelevant. Indeed it is music like this that brings me half way to believing.

In sum, art and beauty are not the same thing and we should be wary of the mind body dichotomy, but Mrs. Du Toit’s is a wonderful and rewarding post.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Lying and Jury Nullification

Patterico has gone after Radley Balko for complaining about questions during voir dire that are meant to entrap potential jurors so that if they exercise their right nullify they will be guilty of perjury.

Patterico says that these questions are perfectly ok and that the real problem is people lying during voir dire. He gets very self righteous about this. I have a question for him if he was under oath in a German court in the 30s or 40s and he was asked a question that would have reveled that he was a Jew or a member of the resistance would he feel obliged to tell the truth? Would he tell the truth or is he a “liar.”

It is instructive that Patterico, like the legal profession as a whole, uses the legal French term voir dire for the process of eliminating jurors that the state and defense find inconvenient. This is because the English term for this process, jury packing, is perhaps to revealing.

Patterico cites one recent case by the California Supreme Court saying that jury nullification is bad. This opinion as Patterico quotes it does not cite precedent, only a law review journal article. He claims that this opinion is “the law” and that those who believe in jury nullification are subverting the rule of law. He claims that nullification is a power but not a right.

In fact jury nullification is a lawful power. The real precedent is clear and the exact opposite of the opinion of Patterico and the California Supreme Court. In one of the few jury trials before the supreme court in 1794 John Jay first Chief Justice of the United States instructed the jury as follows.

“It may not be amiss, here, Gentlemen, to remind you of the good old rule, that on questions of fact, it is the province of the jury, on questions of law, it is the province of the court to decide. But it must be observed that by the same law, which recognizes this reasonable distribution of jurisdiction, you have nevertheless a right to take upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy. On this, and on every other occasion, however, we have no doubt, you will pay the respect, which is due to the opinion of the court: For, as on the one hand, it is presumed, that juries are the best judges of facts; it is, on the other hand, presumable, that the court are the best judges of law. But still both objects are lawfully, within your power of decision.” Georgia v. Brailsford, 3 U.S. 1, 4 (1794)

This was not some fantasy of the Chief justice and a small majority of the court. Though the early court was notorious for adhering to the old English practice of each judge giving his opinion seriatim, the Chief Justice told the jury, “It is fortunate on the present, as it must be on every occasion, to find the opinion of the court unanimous: We entertain no diversity of sentiment; and we have experienced no difficulty in uniting in the charge, which is my province to deliver.” Id. In other words this is the opinion of the unanimous court.

The context within which this charge was given to the jury is even more revealing. The foregoing was not obiter dictum. According to the Chief Justice’s charge “The facts comprehended in the case, are agreed; the only point that remains, is to settle what is the law of the land arising from those facts; and on that point, it is proper, that the opinion of the court should be given.” Id. In other words there was no question of facr to put to the jury, only an uncompounded question of law, thus it was necessary for the court to consider the jury‘s power in coming to its instructions.

Nor does this opinion stand alone. In 1916 the Alabama Supreme Court held,
“One of the most valuable rights of a trial by jury in criminal cases, and that which distinguishes the right from that in civil cases, is the right of the jury to render a general verdict; that is, to say, "guilty" or "not guilty," no matter what the witnesses may say as to the evidence, nor what the judge may say as to the law. Of course the jury ought no more to arbitrarily disregard the instructions of the judge than they ought to arbitrarily disregard the testimony of witnesses; but they can do both, and ought to do so, when both are founded on, or are in, error. Jurors are not bound to follow what a witness says as to the facts, nor what the judge says as to the law; the two being only agencies to aid them in arriving at a "true saying," a verdict.” Warren v. State, 197 Ala. 313, 331 (Ala. 1916)

In 1849 the Vermont Supreme Court held,

“ From the earliest date, the supreme court, while they held jury trials in bank, were, as I have always understood, in the habit in criminal cases of charging juries, that they were rightfully the judges of the law as well as the facts; and I think the same has since been the general practice by the judges of the supreme court at nisi prius. The question in regard to the right of the jury was also incidentally before the supreme court in 1829, upon a charge of one of the judges at nisi prius, which it was contended, on the part of the respondent, was to be construed as having denied such right. It was conceded in the argument, that if the charge were liable to such construction, it could not be supported. The charge was held unobjectionable in that respect; but PRENTISS, J., in delivering the opinion of the court, remarks upon the question as follows:--"There is no doubt, the jury are judges of the law as well the fact. This is the true principle of the common law, and it is peculiarly applicable to a free government where it is unquestionably both wise and fit, that the people should retain in their own hands as much of the administration of justice as is consistent with the regular and orderly dispensation of it, and the security of persons and property. This power the people exercise in criminal cases, in the persons of jurors, selected from among themselves from time to time as occasion may require; and while the power thus retained by them furnishes the most effectual security against the possible exercise of arbitrary power by the judges, it affords the best protection to innocence." State v. Wilkinson, 2 Vt. 480. This opinion of a former chief justice of this state, of acknowledged legal ability and integrity, must be justly entitled to high consideration by this court.” State v. Croteau, 23 Vt. 14, 19-20 (Vt. 1849)

In 1841 the Maine Supreme Court held,

“But the presiding Judge erred, in determining that in criminal cases, the jury are not the judges of the law as well as the fact. Both are involved in the issue, they are called upon to try; and the better opinion very clearly is, that the law and the fact are equally submitted to their determination. It is doubtless their duty to decide according to law; and as discreet men, they must be aware, that the best advice they can get upon this point, is from the Court. But if they believe they can be justified in deciding differently, they have a right to take upon themselves that responsibility.” State v. Snow, 18 Me. 346, 348 (Me. 1841)

I could go on in this vain for hours, case after case. There is simply no doubt that at the time of the founding the jury had the right to decide fact and law. Perhaps Patterico believes in a “living constitution” in which case he may disregard the vast precedent against his position and embrace the attempt by courts during the last hundred years to subvert the jury system. The fact is however that this is not defending the rule of law, it is subverting BOTH the constitution and the rule of law.

To return to the question which began this argument, what should people do when they are being subject to the jury packing process by a judge, prosecutor, and defense attorney who are colluding to allow the judge to act Ultra Vires. If a truthful answer would help the judge in his usurpation of authority not granted to him by the constitution, then it is to his own conscience that each venireman must have resort.

I will say that my own behavior in the past has been to evade the question for as long as possible, usually by answering the letter, but not the spirit of the question for as long as possible. When I am pinned down by a question, I then try and answer fully so as to explain the right of jury nullification in a loud tone of voice so as to poison the whole venire pool. I am thus resisting to the largest possible extent the judges attempted usurpation and fulfilling my responsibility as a citizen to uphold and defend the laws and constitution of the republic. (Warning this often gets one threatened with contempt of court)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Three Cheers For A Warrior Prince

Having been without a connection to the internet over the last few days, I was overjoyed to hear that HRH Prince Henry of Wales has been serving with the British Army on the North West Frontier. I had been very disappointed when he was denied the chance to serve with his Regiment in Mesopotamia. Actually I was foaming at the mouth calling the Minister of Defense unprintable names.

I am glad to realize that the MOD was actually being clever rather than pusillanimous. I am even more glad that Prince Henry has been able to do the job for which he signed up. Judging from the interviews I have seen of him he is very happy to have been able to do so.

There has been a lot of talk about how putting the Prince on the front line is irresponsible. This is nonsense. Granted that the enemy would love to kill or capture him, but that is something that should have been thought of before he was accepted into the royal army. He was accepted and should now be allowed to take his chances. Furthermore, his importance is being over blown, he is not the King of England, he is a subject of the Queen. The Prince at least realizes this and wants to serve his Queen and Country.

The Prince is an inspiration to us all. Three Cheers for Prince Henry!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Australia Day

To all my readers down under, if I have any, I hope you all have a great Australia Day.

Friday, January 25, 2008

God, Gold, and Giggles Two Anglosphere Books

Brief Reviews of Spud by John van de Ruit and God and Gold by Walter Russell Mead

Taking the more serious of these two book first, W.R. Mead’s interesting new book “God and Gold” which traces the assent of the Anglo-American world system. Mead’s who’s previous book “Special Providence” which traced out four competing traditions in American foreign policy in this book looks at the deeper roots of the success of the maritime empire increasingly known as the Anglosphere.

Mead takes especial note of the religious traditions of the English speaking people, concentrating on the so called Anglican compromise between the supremacy of the bible and the supremacy of tradition in church affairs mediating between them with, not reason, but reasonableness or commonsense.

He also discusses the more proximate causes of the Anglosphere’s success, a group of strategies which he cleverly names “the protocalls of the elders of Greenwich.” While he misses several important points, not least the importance of commodity money to a stable and growing economy, in general this is an interesting and informative book.

The second book is a first novel by South African author John van de Ruit about a boy nicknamed Spud (because he has no hair to cover his spuds) during his first year at an all boys boarding school in South Africa (from comments on the net the school Spud is attending is a thin fictionalization of Michaelhouse of which van de Ruit is an Old Boy)

This book is firstly and most importantly side splittingly funny. Take for example the following, which needs the explanation that The Guv is Spud’s English teacher and Rambo is the nickname of one of his class mates.

“Wednesday, 26th January

“06:40 The Guv instructed the class that lesbian writers are to be taken with a pinch of salt. He says they are all “frustrated sex-crazed rug munchers with under arm fur” and we should therefore dismiss the work of women called Woolf, Renault, and Agatha Christy.

“Rambo asked him if we should study Shakespeare sine he was a pillow biter. The Guv then accused Rambo of being homophobic and said he had nothing against dykes and poofs. He even confessed that he wouldn’t mind giving Martina Navratilova a jolly good rogering.”

Secondly this book is a must read for every one who went to an all boys boarding school and has fond memories of the experience. It brings vividly to life the experience of an all male environment, both the good: the camaraderie, freedom to be a boy, and the sense of adventure and the bad: the pack mentality, the farting and other uncouth behavior.

Third and related to the previous this book is a tribute to boys and a relief from the anti boy prejudice all to often seen in our culture today. The boys in this book are drawn true to life. While they have their crudities and faults, they are (with a few memorable exceptions) not brutes. Spud is a boy of reason, sensitivity, and passion as well as a good cricket and rugby player.

Lastly I want to mention that readers should not be turned off by the fact the book is being marketed to a young adult market in the United States. The book will no doubt be enjoyed by younger readers, it was written for an adult audience as the humor cited tends to demonstrate.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Day For Thanksgiving

In the ongoing rush of events many of them disheartening, it is easy to forget how much we have to be thankful for. Today we can remember with gratitude the life of the late, the Right Honorable Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill Knight of the Garter, Order of Merit, Companion of Honor, Fellow of the Royal Society, Privy Counselor, Privy Counselor for Canada, twice Prime Minister, Leader of the House of Commons, Chancellor of the Exchequer, the first ever Minister of Defense, twice First Lord of the Admiralty, Secretary of State for War, Secretary of State for Air, Minister of Munitions, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Home Secretary, President of the Board of Trade, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, Elder Brother of Trinity House, Chancellor of the University of Bristol, Father of the House of Commons, Nobel Laureate for Literature, first Honorary Citizen of the United States, etc.

Today is the 42nd anniversary of the death of this great leader of our people. Among his many achievements is one that touches the heart of this blog, his four volume “A History of the English Speaking People” which is one of the first self consciously Anglospherist works. He also wrote multi volume histories of the First and Second World Wars and multi volume biographies of the First Duke of Marlboro his distant ancestor and Lord Randolph Churhill, his father. He was also a great painter aswell as a member of that most British of all professions, a practical inventor.

He was born 30 November, 1874 at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, the home of his fathers, the first son of Lord Randolph Churchill and Jennie Jerome. He was a graduate of Harrow and the Royal Military College Sandhurst. He served in India with the 4th (Queen’s Own) Hussars and fought on the Northwest Frontier. He charged with the 21st Lancers at Omdurman, the last real cavalry charge of the British Army. He served with the South African Light House during the Second Boer War. He was elected to parliament for the first time in 1899 and sat almost without interruption through the reign of six monarchs. He joined the cabinet for the first time in 1908. During the First World War he served with the Royal Scots Fusiliers commanding the 6th battalion (territorial army) on the Western Front. He held all of the important offices open to a commoner and refused elevation to the peerage as the Duke of London. He died 24 January, 1965 and after a state funeral was laid to rest in the graveyard of St. Martin Church, Bladon a short drive from where he was born. May his memory endure as long as our people.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Beautiful Anglosphere Tradition

While by no means exclusive to the Anglosphere, the tradition of choirs of men and boys has remained strong in the church of England. The practice of Cathedrals or large church’s having schools to educate the choirboys continues in some parts of the Anglosphere.

Here are some interesting documentaries that I found on you tube after I heard this wonderful rendition of the 50th Psalm by the King’s College Choir. A documentary about the King’s College choir is here, here, here, and here. A documentary of the St. Paul’s choristers is here, here, here, here, and here. A documentary about St. Thomas Choir School is here, here, here, and here.