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At this year’s annual conference of the African Professional Hunters Association held at the 2017 Safari Club International Convention, a participant expressed the opinion that after the Cecil incident the world “will not tolerate unethical behavior.” My blood pressure rocketed to 190 over 120!
I said I disagreed with that statement and explained why. I said that there is no “world” in any coherent meaningful sense of the word, especially as it applies to hunting. Thus, it follows that there is no world opinion on what the world will and will not tolerate, not only pertaining to hunting but pertaining to any human behavior. No consistent measurement enables anyone to judge what the world will and will not tolerate.
I went on to say that the world is incapable of distinguishing ethical from unethical behavior, and has no interest in trying to make the distinction, particularly as it applies to hunting.
World Opinion is Morally Bankrupt
I don’t want to tip toe into the world’s politics but I am compelled to write that the world’s grotesque horrors and obscenities of human behavior, well-known to all of us, are ignored, evaded, suppressed and not universally condemned. They are all tolerated. What the world will tolerate, thus, is morally meaningless.
The assertion that the world will not tolerate unethical hunting behavior is not supported by any evidence. To the contrary, the world is drenched in unethical animal killing—poaching, absurd hunting bans and trophy bans and trade bans that kill substantial numbers of animals —which is not only tolerated but paradoxically supported by powerful organizations and governments. Particularly regarding the iconic big game—lions, elephants, black rhino, leopards—legal hunting kills relatively few. Legal hunting, does, however, provide millions of dollars for local populations, anti-poaching support and habitat development.
The Cecil situation did not prove the world will not tolerate unethical behavior. To the contrary, Cecil proved with exquisite unarguable clarity that the world willfully refuses to differentiate between ethical and unethical hunting and tolerates all of them.
Let’s analyze the concepts of world opinion and what the world will tolerate in the specific context of Cecil. I won’t rehash all the details of Dr. Palmer’s hunt but mention a few key facts: the hunt was legal; Cecil was not induced or drawn out of the Hwange Park; no legal significance attached to the fact the lion was collared; Cecil was an aged lion and no longer reproduced; the hunt raised a lot of money for local populations and for conservation.
The world did not wait until these facts were determined and publicized. Rather, agenda-driven people instantly promoted and disseminated lies. We may recall Winston Churchill’s astute comment that a lie will travel half way around the world before the truth gets out of bed. That was certainly the case with Cecil. But the world and its opinion, such as they were, responded to these lies with the enthusiastic intensity of burning heretics at the stake. A dishonest narrative constructed by anti-hunting forces went viral. Truth did not matter; facts did not matter; reality did not matter. Driven by a delicious smug ignorance, with no interest in attempting to discern the truth, aspects of world opinion responded venomously like a viper’s strike.
The Cecil situation demonstrated conclusively that the anti-hunting hysteria it generated was not based on evidence or truth. Drenched comfortably in ignorance, world opinion, such as it was, willingly was seduced by a simplistic notion of the hunting ecology. Seeing things simplistically facilitated a passion bordering, in some instances, on the fanatical. Passion and moral smugness create a toxic stew when one knows nothing.
Given what the world tolerates generally, as articulated through international institutions, and the cascade of constraints it imposes on legal hunting specifically, we may justifiably draw several conclusions about the morality and consistency of world opinion and the moral weight of what the world tolerates. The world tolerates barbarity and often condemns moral behavior. Often the world vilely makes a moral equivalence between the aggressor and the victim. Thus, world opinion is morally meaningless. World opinion is often morally bankrupt. The Cecil situation proves those conclusions.
Cecil and the Weaponizing of "World Opinion"
How does the world articulate what it does and does not tolerate? Who decides? How sanctimonious to say, “I am the arbiter of what the world tolerates!” Nice work if you can get it! If we are to judge the moral competence of the world based on the actions and pronouncements of the United Nations and the European Union, a strong argument can be made that the world is morally deficient.
“World opinion” is a mythical creature, like the tooth fairy. It can mean anything the speaker wants it to mean. Like pretzel dough, it can be twisted into any shape. Here’s the key point: this ambiguity is the source of its power. Anyone can make the accusation no matter the facts. Yet, the rhetoric, the accusation, that the world will not tolerate unethical hunting, is powerful. How intimidating to charge that the world is against you! Not every person has the mental agility and knowledge to effectively fight back. Indeed, the accuser is counting on the inability to refute his attack.
The accusation that world opinion is against you is not an offer to discuss and debate the proposition. It is a rhetorical device used to shut you up; to prevent discussion; to make you submit to the abstraction that the world will not tolerate certain kinds of hunting although no facts are provided to support the accusation. Thus, saying the world will not tolerate a Cecil-type hunt or the black rhino hunt created under the auspices of the Dallas Safari Club, as examples, weaponizes the phrase. It transforms the concept of world opinion into a tool for attacking. I make it clear that the person at APHA did not have that intent. He was expressing what others would likely suggest.
What Can We Do?
First, we must reject any notion that the world will be reasonable or will be informed when it comes to certain types of hunting. Such thinking is delusional. Segments of the world have their own agendas. Many factors influence what the world seems to tolerate regarding hunting, among them cowardice, a perverse ideology, greed, corruption, narcissism, moral smugness and condescension toward indigenous populations. Ethical hunting and prudent responsible game management are, regrettably, not the most powerful factors that influence what the world appears to tolerate. Here is my key point: any tendency of our hunting communities to conform to and appease this abstraction of what the world will tolerate will lead to hunting’s destruction.
Second, we must develop the skill to analyze the ethical and factual content of the accusatory rhetoric—what is world opinion? How do you identify it? —and use that analysis to refute the accusation.
Third, it is vital that we fight back; that the hunting community not allow the aggressive anti-hunters to frame the issue as us against the world and thereby enable it to capture the moral high ground. Hunters have the moral high ground.
Fourth, we must, at least, we should, grasp the reality that we are in the persuasion business as much as we are hunters and advocates for hunting. We must understand that truth is meaningless unless someone is persuaded that truth has meaning. We must understand that facts do not advance themselves. Arguments do not compel on their own. We must, therefor, persuade.
Finally, we must persuade the vast majority that the values and actions of the hunter, including hunting Cecil, is, in fact, in harmony with their opinions. We can do so because it is true.
Michael Sabbeth is a lawyer and writer in Denver, Colorado. See his book The Good, The Bad & The Difference: How to Talk with Children About Values. Available at Amazon.com http://tinyurl.com/c5flmmuNow available as a Kindle EBook.
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A first grader was suspended from Stratton Meadows Elementary School in Colorado for pointing his fingers in the shape of a gun. https://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/03/04/first-grader-suspended-for-pointing-fingers-in-shape-of-gun-parents-say-punishment-seems-extreme/A second-grader was suspended from school for chewing his strawberry-filled pastry into the shape of a gun. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/anne-arundel-second-grader-suspended-for-chewing-his-pastry-into-the-shape-of-a-gun/2013/03/04/44c4bbcc-84c4-11e2-98a3-b3db6b9ac586_story.html
A tenth-grader in Maine was suspended for bringing a water gun to school. http://www.teaparty.org/tenth-grader-suspended-yellow-water-pistol-39748/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=social
A five-year-old girl was suspended from Southeast Elementary in Brighton, Colorado for bringing a plastic bubble gun to school. http://bearingarms.com/jenn-j/2016/05/17/5-year-old-girl-suspended-bringing-plastic-bubble-gun-school/?utm_source=thdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl&newsletterad=
See generally “7 Kids Who Were Punished By Schools For Using Imaginary Guns,” http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2013/10/01/7-kids-who-were-punished-by-schools-for-using-imaginary-guns-n1713777?utm_source=thdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nlThe article references third-grade students who were suspended for shooting an Airsoft gun on the private property of one of the students.
Most recently, as described in NRA-ILA 5-12-2017 article, F Stands for Fail,
https://www.nraila.org/articles/20170512/f-stands-for-fail-7th-grader-likes-toy-gun-photo-on-instragram-gets-suspended-from-schoolZachary Bowlin, a seventh-grader at Edgewood Middle School in Trenton, Ohio, was suspended from school for ‘liking’ on Instagram on his home computer a photo of an Airsoft gun. (How the school learned of this ‘like’ on a private computer has not been made knows, as far as I can tell) The article states: “One, gun control advocates are positively and unshakeable, fixated –not just on taking your guns—but on making the very ideas of a gun a thoughtcrime.” The author is correct. Please read the complete NRA article.
I treat the Instagram suspension case as representative of this suspension group and, therefore, analyze it to make several general observations and conclusions. Defending the suspension of the student, the paradoxically-named Russ Fussnecker, Superintendent of Edgewood City Schools, referenced the school’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy.
I recently published an article illuminating the gross immorality of the ‘zero tolerance’ policy. See How Could This Happen Here? The Tales of Two Schools, http://kidsethicsbook.com/happen-here/The appeal to public safety—a threat to other students—was the same rationale asserted by the Anne Arundel County school to justify the suspension of the 7-year-old for chewing a piece of pastry into a shape the school deemed to look like a handgun.
Fussnecker admitted that the suspension was based solely on the photo and that Bowlin was suspended before any investigation was conducted. Fussnecker then made three assertions worth noting. One, that ‘liking’ the post of the Airsoft gun on social media “indicated potential school violence.” Two, "When you're dealing with school districts nowadays and there are pictures of guns, regardless of the kind of gun it is, it's a gun." Three, “that any social media threat will be taken serious [sic] including those who ‘like’ the post when it potentially endangers the health and safety of students or adversely affects the educational process.”
Each of the three assertions is false. ‘Liking’ the Airsoft gun does not indicate potential school violence. Pictures of objects that look like guns do not transform them into guns. Bowlin’s ‘liking’ the post did not potentially endanger the health and safety of students or adversely affect the educational process, whatever that means.
What does a rational reader make of this situation? First, we note that Fussnecker ruthlessly used the logical fallacy of the strawman argument to justify the suspension. He created a false target, a false narrative—that photos endanger students—and then claimed the suspension increased safety and reduced danger. Anyone with a brain more advanced than a Pet Rock knows Fussnecker’s justifications were nonsense and deceitful. No rational person could accept his assertions as credible. If Fussnecker believed his words, then we have a glaring insight into the moral corruption of his intellect and character. Whether he believed his own words, his justification for the suspension illuminates a reptilian predatory opportunism to hurt a child.
The NRA article states: “Three, their activities have nothing to do with public safety (or reality, most cases) and instead spring from a pathological impulse to assert their will and ideology over others.” This is the first time I have seen a major pro-gun periodical use the term “pathological” to describe the anti-gun advocates. It’s about time! I have used the word ‘pathological’ in this context in my lectures for over a year. I have also used the term “pathological altruism,” which, to my knowledge, was coined by the brilliant writer and researcher, Barbara Oakley. In her book, Cold-Blooded Kindness, Oakley writes:
But, as polymath science fiction writer David Brin observes, this feeling of certainty can feel so good that it can sometimes become an addiction. We can see this addiction first hand in self-righteous people, who are keen to wallow in the wonderful feeling that they are right and their “opponents are deeply, despicably wrong.
IDEAS HAVE CONSEQUENCES
Ideas have consequences. Policies have consequences. Students learn lessons from suspensions based on absurd and dishonest equating of pop tarts or bubble guns or hand gestures with dangerous firearms.
What lessons do the children learn? They learn their teachers and administrators lie and that they possess no moral or intellectual judgment. The meta message is that the educators, the people entrusted to teach them to be useful adults, will use lies to advance an ideology although it hurts children. The children learn, also, that educators that use lies to hurt them regarding guns can use lies to hurt them in other areas: what books to find acceptable; what people to find acceptable; what thoughts to find acceptable and that dissent can be punished.
The administration creates artificial constructs to subvert reality. The administrators and teachers carefully orchestrate an environment that is toxic to education; toxic to reason and toxic to individual liberty. The children learn that truth, logic and reason, indeed, knowledge itself, can be dismembered by these ideological guillotines. The children then adjust their thinking, their opinions and their actions to comply and submit. No decent person treats young children this way. Tyrannical ideologues do.
The parents as well as the children learn another message: that as a practical matter, they are helpless against the juggernaut of the bureaucratic State. Sometimes, should a parent have the backbone to fight back, the bureaucracy retaliates with intimidating visits from social services intimating the removal of the child from the family.
THE PURPOSE OF AN EDUCATION IS TO LEARN TO FIGHT EVIL
Dennis Prager, the brilliant author and radio host, asserts that the “most fundamental duty of an educated human being is to learn to fight evil. Now the students are taught that fighting is evil.” Rather than learning to stand up to evil, students are now taught to fight carbon emissions, advocate for $15.00-an-hour wages and to enable boys to go into girls’ restrooms.
The implications of this ideology are profoundly destructive. Think through this message from the schools: that even a harmless simulacrum of a gun is so evil, that it so inexorably leads to violence and immorality, that merely holding one’s hands in a certain way or chewing on a pastry or looking at a photo of a gun in the privacy of one’s own home leads to an immediate suspension.
Further, the uncritical generalization that fighting is evil boasts an insidious nihilism. When would fighting be evil? Only when the fight is not for a moral or virtuous purpose. But the schools make no such distinction. All fighting is evil. We have seen that these suspensions are not based on a realistic assessment of safety. They are based on this perverse ideology.
Note the perverse logic here: if all fighting is evil, and if guns represent fighting, then the belief is legitimized that guns can never be used to help fight for any cause because nothing is worth fighting for: not one’s family, not one’s self, not one’s country, not one’s beliefs, not for liberty or against fascism. The overarching message is ‘Give up!’ because your value and the value of your beliefs are insignificant compared to the value of the ideology.
Of course, such a nihilistic ideology is a joyous gift to those who want to kill or subjugate you. This pernicious ideology weakens children—all people, of course—and makes them vulnerable to intimidation and control by every aggressor. When fighting is evil, evil always wins. Failure to understand this message will accelerate our suicide.
But the teachers and administrators know all this. That’s the point: they are not ignorant or naïve. They are not stupid. They know their ideology weakens people and they know weak intimidated people are easier to control. Therefore, I amend the astute comment in the NRA-ILA press release about the administrators by adding that their pathological impulse to assert their will and their ideology over others is just the starting point. More dangerous, they have a pathological impulse to destroy children and undermine their moral fiber and their sense of self. They destroy souls.
All of this is particularly disturbing because it is occurring in a uniquely precarious moment in our culture when organized Orwellian-named ‘antifa’ fascists are, among others, and without resistance, subverting individual liberty and advocating violence against our society. More than in generations, we need fighters to protect civilization. We need to fight evil.
I confess I am plagued by a larger question: How did a society of once free-born Americans come to allow such reprehensible apparatchiks to tyrannize our children?
Michael Sabbeth is a lawyer, writer, lecturer and consultant in Denver, Colorado. Please see his book, The Good, The Bad & The Difference: How to Talk with Children About Values, available at Amazon.com http://tinyurl.com/c5flmmu
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New York Packet
Friday, March 14, 1788
To the People of the State of New York:
I PROCEED now to trace the real characters of the proposed Executive, as they are marked out in the plan of the convention. This will serve to place in a strong light the unfairness of the representations which have been made in regard to it.
The first thing which strikes our attention is, that the executive authority, with few exceptions, is to be vested in a single magistrate. This will scarcely, however, be considered as a point upon which any comparison can be grounded; for if, in this particular, there be a resemblance to the king of Great Britain, there is not less a resemblance to the Grand Seignior, to the khan of Tartary, to the Man of the Seven Mountains, or to the governor of New York.
That magistrate is to be elected for four years; and is to be re-eligible as often as the people of the United States shall think him worthy of their confidence. In these circumstances there is a total dissimilitude between him and a king of Great Britain, who is an hereditary monarch, possessing the crown as a patrimony descendible to his heirs forever; but there is a close analogy between him and a governor of New York, who is elected for three years, and is re-eligible without limitation or intermission. If we consider how much less time would be requisite for establishing a dangerous influence in a single State, than for establishing a like influence throughout the United States, we must conclude that a duration of four years for the Chief Magistrate of the Union is a degree of permanency far less to be dreaded in that office, than a duration of three years for a corresponding office in a single State.
The President of the United States would be liable to be impeached, tried, and, upon conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors, removed from office; and would afterwards be liable to prosecution and punishment in the ordinary course of law. The person of the king of Great Britain is sacred and inviolable; there is no constitutional tribunal to which he is amenable; no punishment to which he can be subjected without involving the crisis of a national revolution. In this delicate and important circumstance of personal responsibility, the President of Confederated America would stand upon no better ground than a governor of New York, and upon worse ground than the governors of Maryland and Delaware.
The President of the United States is to have power to return a bill, which shall have passed the two branches of the legislature, for reconsideration; and the bill so returned is to become a law, if, upon that reconsideration, it be approved by two thirds of both houses. The king of Great Britain, on his part, has an absolute negative upon the acts of the two houses of Parliament. The disuse of that power for a considerable time past does not affect the reality of its existence; and is to be ascribed wholly to the crown's having found the means of substituting influence to authority, or the art of gaining a majority in one or the other of the two houses, to the necessity of exerting a prerogative which could seldom be exerted without hazarding some degree of national agitation. The qualified negative of the President differs widely from this absolute negative of the British sovereign; and tallies exactly with the revisionary authority of the council of revision of this State, of which the governor is a constituent part. In this respect the power of the President would exceed that of the governor of New York, because the former would possess, singly, what the latter shares with the chancellor and judges; but it would be precisely the same with that of the governor of Massachusetts, whose constitution, as to this article, seems to have been the original from which the convention have copied.
The President is to be the "commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several States, when called into the actual service of the United States. He is to have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment; to recommend to the consideration of Congress such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; to convene, on extraordinary occasions, both houses of the legislature, or either of them, and, in case of disagreement between them with respect to the time of adjournment, to adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper; to take care that the laws be faithfully executed; and to commission all officers of the United States." In most of these particulars, the power of the President will resemble equally that of the king of Great Britain and of the governor of New York. The most material points of difference are these: -- First. The President will have only the occasional command of such part of the militia of the nation as by legislative provision may be called into the actual service of the Union. The king of Great Britain and the governor of New York have at all times the entire command of all the militia within their several jurisdictions. In this article, therefore, the power of the President would be inferior to that of either the monarch or the governor. Second. The President is to be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States. In this respect his authority would be nominally the same with that of the king of Great Britain, but in substance much inferior to it. It would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces, as first General and admiral of the Confederacy; while that of the British king extends to the declaring of war and to the raising and regulating of fleets and armies -- all which, by the Constitution under consideration, would appertain to the legislature.1 The governor of New York, on the other hand, is by the constitution of the State vested only with the command of its militia and navy. But the constitutions of several of the States expressly declare their governors to be commanders-in-chief, as well of the army as navy; and it may well be a question, whether those of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, in particular, do not, in this instance, confer larger powers upon their respective governors, than could be claimed by a President of the United States. Third. The power of the President, in respect to pardons, would extend to all cases, except those of impeachment. The governor of New York may pardon in all cases, even in those of impeachment, except for treason and murder. Is not the power of the governor, in this article, on a calculation of political consequences, greater than that of the President? All conspiracies and plots against the government, which have not been matured into actual treason, may be screened from punishment of every kind, by the interposition of the prerogative of pardoning. If a governor of New York, therefore, should be at the head of any such conspiracy, until the design had been ripened into actual hostility he could insure his accomplices and adherents an entire impunity. A President of the Union, on the other hand, though he may even pardon treason, when prosecuted in the ordinary course of law, could shelter no offender, in any degree, from the effects of impeachment and conviction. Would not the prospect of a total indemnity for all the preliminary steps be a greater temptation to undertake and persevere in an enterprise against the public liberty, than the mere prospect of an exemption from death and confiscation, if the final execution of the design, upon an actual appeal to arms, should miscarry? Would this last expectation have any influence at all, when the probability was computed, that the person who was to afford that exemption might himself be involved in the consequences of the measure, and might be incapacitated by his agency in it from affording the desired impunity? The better to judge of this matter, it will be necessary to recollect, that, by the proposed Constitution, the offense of treason is limited "to levying war upon the United States, and adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort"; and that by the laws of New York it is confined within similar bounds. Fourth. The President can only adjourn the national legislature in the single case of disagreement about the time of adjournment. The British monarch may prorogue or even dissolve the Parliament. The governor of New York may also prorogue the legislature of this State for a limited time; a power which, in certain situations, may be employed to very important purposes.
The President is to have power, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the senators present concur. The king of Great Britain is the sole and absolute representative of the nation in all foreign transactions. He can of his own accord make treaties of peace, commerce, alliance, and of every other description. It has been insinuated, that his authority in this respect is not conclusive, and that his conventions with foreign powers are subject to the revision, and stand in need of the ratification, of Parliament. But I believe this doctrine was never heard of, until it was broached upon the present occasion. Every jurist2 of that kingdom, and every other man acquainted with its Constitution, knows, as an established fact, that the prerogative of making treaties exists in the crown in its utomst plentitude; and that the compacts entered into by the royal authority have the most complete legal validity and perfection, independent of any other sanction. The Parliament, it is true, is sometimes seen employing itself in altering the existing laws to conform them to the stipulations in a new treaty; and this may have possibly given birth to the imagination, that its co-operation was necessary to the obligatory efficacy of the treaty. But this parliamentary interposition proceeds from a different cause: from the necessity of adjusting a most artificial and intricate system of revenue and commercial laws, to the changes made in them by the operation of the treaty; and of adapting new provisions and precautions to the new state of things, to keep the machine from running into disorder. In this respect, therefore, there is no comparison between the intended power of the President and the actual power of the British sovereign. The one can perform alone what the other can do only with the concurrence of a branch of the legislature. It must be admitted, that, in this instance, the power of the federal Executive would exceed that of any State Executive. But this arises naturally from the sovereign power which relates to treaties. If the Confederacy were to be dissolved, it would become a question, whether the Executives of the several States were not solely invested with that delicate and important prerogative.
The President is also to be authorized to receive ambassadors and other public ministers. This, though it has been a rich theme of declamation, is more a matter of dignity than of authority. It is a circumstance which will be without consequence in the administration of the government; and it was far more convenient that it should be arranged in this manner, than that there should be a necessity of convening the legislature, or one of its branches, upon every arrival of a foreign minister, though it were merely to take the place of a departed predecessor.
The President is to nominate, and, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to appoint ambassadors and other public ministers, judges of the Supreme Court, and in general all officers of the United States established by law, and whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by the Constitution. The king of Great Britain is emphatically and truly styled the fountain of honor. He not only appoints to all offices, but can create offices. He can confer titles of nobility at pleasure; and has the disposal of an immense number of church preferments. There is evidently a great inferiority in the power of the President, in this particular, to that of the British king; nor is it equal to that of the governor of New York, if we are to interpret the meaning of the constitution of the State by the practice which has obtained under it. The power of appointment is with us lodged in a council, composed of the governor and four members of the Senate, chosen by the Assembly. The governor claims, and has frequently exercised, the right of nomination, and is entitled to a casting vote in the appointment. If he really has the right of nominating, his authority is in this respect equal to that of the President, and exceeds it in the article of the casting vote. In the national government, if the Senate should be divided, no appointment could be made; in the government of New York, if the council should be divided, the governor can turn the scale, and confirm his own nomination.3 If we compare the publicity which must necessarily attend the mode of appointment by the President and an entire branch of the national legislature, with the privacy in the mode of appointment by the governor of New York, closeted in a secret apartment with at most four, and frequently with only two persons; and if we at the same time consider how much more easy it must be to influence the small number of which a council of appointment consists, than the considerable number of which the national Senate would consist, we cannot hesitate to pronounce that the power of the chief magistrate of this State, in the disposition of offices, must, in practice, be greatly superior to that of the Chief Magistrate of the Union.
Hence it appears that, except as to the concurrent authority of the President in the article of treaties, it would be difficult to determine whether that magistrate would, in the aggregate, possess more or less power than the Governor of New York. And it appears yet more unequivocally, that there is no pretense for the parallel which has been attempted between him and the king of Great Britain. But to render the contrast in this respect still more striking, it may be of use to throw the principal circumstances of dissimilitude into a closer group.
The President of the United States would be an officer elected by the people for four years; the king of Great Britain is a perpetual and hereditary prince. The one would be amenable to personal punishment and disgrace; the person of the other is sacred and inviolable. The one would have a qualified negative upon the acts of the legislative body; the other has an absolute negative. The one would have a right to command the military and naval forces of the nation; the other, in addition to this right, possesses that of declaring war, and of raising and regulating fleets and armies by his own authority. The one would have a concurrent power with a branch of the legislature in the formation of treaties; the other is the sole possessor of the power of making treaties. The one would have a like concurrent authority in appointing to offices; the other is the sole author of all appointments. The one can confer no privileges whatever; the other can make denizens of aliens, noblemen of commoners; can erect corporations with all the rights incident to corporate bodies. The one can prescribe no rules concerning the commerce or currency of the nation; the other is in several respects the arbiter of commerce, and in this capacity can establish markets and fairs, can regulate weights and measures, can lay embargoes for a limited time, can coin money, can authorize or prohibit the circulation of foreign coin. The one has no particle of spiritual jurisdiction; the other is the supreme head and governor of the national church! What answer shall we give to those who would persuade us that things so unlike resemble each other? The same that ought to be given to those who tell us that a government, the whole power of which would be in the hands of the elective and periodical servants of the people, is an aristocracy, a monarchy, and a despotism.
1. A writer in a Pennsylvania paper, under the signature of TAMONY, has asserted that the king of Great Britain oweshis prerogative as commander-in-chief to an annual mutiny bill. The truth is, on the contrary, that his prerogative, in this respect, is immenmorial, and was only disputed, "contrary to all reason and precedent," as Blackstone vol. i., page 262, expresses it, by the Long Parliament of Charles I. but by the statute the 13th of Charles II., chap. 6, it was declared to be in the king alone, for that the sole supreme government and command of the militia within his Majesty's realms and dominions, and of all forces by sea and land, and of all forts and places of strength, EVER WAS AND IS the undoubted right of his Majesty and his royal predecessors, kings and queens of England, and that both or either house of Parliament cannot nor ought to pretend to the same.
3. Candor, however, demands an acknowledgment that I do not think the claim of the governor to a right of nomination well founded. Yet it is always justifiable to reason from the practice of a government, till its propriety has been constitutionally questioned. And independent of this claim, when we take into view the other considerations, and pursue them through all their consequences, we shall be inclined to draw much the same conclusion.
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Earlier this year, ATF rule 41F was entered into the Federal Register, which significantly changes the transfer of items regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA) and, perhaps most importantly, several things regarding suppressors.
Rule 41F, which will take effect July 13, is determined to shake things up, but it’s not all bad news. In fact, one of the most significant changes to celebrate with the new rule is the removal of the Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) sign-off on NFA applications. Previously, applicants for NFA items (suppressors, short-barreled rifles, fully automatic firearms, etc.) were required to obtain a certification from a CLEO. This, many gun owners and advocates argued, allowed officials to arbitrarily deny Americans from owning NFA items.
Now, the new rule only mandates applicants to notify CLEO’s instead.
“For the first time in 82 years, local law enforcement will no longer have de facto veto power over any NFA applications,” said Knox Williams, President and Executive Director of the American Suppressor Association. “While their inclusion in the process made sense in 1934, before background checks, or even computers existed, the removal of this antiquated measure from the NFA process is a major victory for the suppressor and NFA communities.”
Rule 41F is not all rainbows and cherries, however; it does include several frustrating changes that could impact you. For example, the ATF itself estimates that NFA wait times could double once the rule change goes into effect. This is due mostly to the rule change around fingerprinting for trusts and corporations. Yes, two fingerprint cards, as well as a passport photo of each person listed on a trust, are going to be required going forward after July 13, 2016 each time you want to purchase a NFA item under the Trust.
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By Kevin D. Williamson — March 17, 2016http://www.nationalreview.com/article/432899/merrick-garland-moderate-activist-too-activist-constitution
Merrick Garland, the appellate judge whom President Barack Obama has nominated to the Supreme Court, is a “moderate.” Of that we are assured by all the best people writing in all the usual venues: USA Today, Politico, the Los Angeles Times.
A moderate what?
The question may be in this instance a purely intellectual one. Garland could be the second coming of Solomon, and Mitch McConnell and his Republican colleagues would be looking to leave him locked up in the Senate basement until after the presidential elections, after which President Cruz might choose a better candidate; President Clinton, a much worse one (which would probably result in the lame-duck Senate working to confirm Garland); or President Trump, the devil knows what. The immediate case against advancing Garland’s nomination has nothing to do with Garland and everything to do with the Senate rousing itself to do its constitutional duty and check President Obama’s executive imperialism with such tools as it has at its disposal.
Carrie Severino and others have argued here that Garland is no judicial moderate, that he is a quiet left-wing activist well disposed to political efforts to undermine the Second Amendment. On that question, I defer judgment to our experts. But there is another question we ought to consider, which is whether there is any such thing as a judicial moderate.
If the expanse of your political imagination is roughly the dimensions of the New York Times, that may seem an absurd question. We hear all the time about “moderates” and “extremists” in the nation’s courts. A great deal of huffing and puffing, which no doubt dishevels the pages of a nearby copy of The Economist, insists upon the virtue and the needfulness of such moderation.
But the fundamental question that we must ask about Supreme Court nominees — all nominees to all benches, in fact — is not one of degree, which is the sort of question that the criterion of “moderateness” would apply. Instead, it is an either/or question: Does the law say what it means and mean what it says, or are judges empowered to graft private notions of justice from their own souls onto the law and the Constitution?
Antonin Scalia understood that this was a yes-or-no proposition, and they hated him for it.
It is a testament to the corruption of the Supreme Court that there is never any question about how any of the so-called liberals on the Court — who are anything but liberal — will vote on any given question. Elena Kagan swore up and down during her confirmation hearings that there was no constitutional right to gay marriage — it was the usual exercise in Democratic taqiyya. But no serious person ever doubted for a second that she would discover one lurking in the penumbras the second she had a lifetime appointment and the power to substitute her own will for the content of the Constitution.
A judge isn’t a little bit of an activist any more than a person suffers from a little bit of cancer. Activism is activism, and cancer is cancer. There are better and worse cancers to have, to be sure, but you either have cancer or you don’t. Which is not to say that there will not be honest disagreements among justices about the meaning of a particular constitutional provision or how a statute should be construed. But the party-line character of the Supreme Court shows us the institution’s true nature: It is, effectively, a super-legislature, not a court. That the party-line character is lopsided, with a few conservatives still using Scalia’s Stupid But Constitutional stamp while the so-called liberals operate as a unit, is of course relevant; but the attention that is paid to the ratio of progressives to conservatives on the Court fails to account for the fact that this should not matter.
It should not matter — if the law were the law. If the law is whatever our black-robed secular clerics say it is, then it does matter what sort of political views justices hold. And if it matters what sort of political views justices hold, then the Supreme Court is not a court, but something else.
Conservatives should not accept an extreme left-wing judicial activist. They should not accept an extreme right-wing judicial activist, if there were such a thing. They should not accept a moderate judicial activist, for the same reason that they would not shoot themselves in the foot with a firearm of moderate caliber. Litmus tests may be in bad odor with our self-proclaimed sophisticates, but here one is very much in order: The law is the law is the law, and it isn’t anything else. Those who believe otherwise do not belong on the Supreme Court any more than moderate phrenologists belong on medical-school faculties or moderate foxes should be assigned guard duty at the henhouse.
If the best that can be said of Garland is that he would do only moderate violence to the Constitution, then that is a complete and whole case against confirming him, or even considering his confirmation.— Kevin D. Williamson is National Review’s roving correspondent.
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Daniel Xu +
Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism recently made its stance on hunting very clear when it announced that it officially opposed any kind of hunting ban in the country. Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, said that about 5,000 hunters visit the country annually. These hunters are instrumental in providing the necessary funds to protect conserved land such as game reserves, national parks, and communal conservancies. It is estimated that about 44 percent of Namibia’s total land area is made up of land under some form of conservation.
“Since Independence, Namibia has adopted legislations and policies aimed at promoting wildlife as a sustainable form of land use,” Shifeta told the . “As a result of such efforts the wildlife populations have increased drastically and distribution range has expanded inside and outside national parks. Innovative policies and legislations underpin the conservation of wildlife in Namibia.”
There has been a recent upswing in calls for hunting bans in African nations. This became especially noticeable after the killing of Cecil, a famous black-maned lion in Zimbabwe, by American hunter Walter Palmer. Although the Zimbabwe government later cleared Palmer of all charges, the controversy generated by the hunt was enough to cause to ban the transport of hunting trophies. Activists also urged government officials across Africa to close their borders to hunters.
However, officials say that these activists fail to acknowledge the beneficial impact that hunters can have. Visiting hunters not only provide a economic impact, but they also provide the much-needed funds to manage national parks, pay wardens’ wages, and to protect the very animals they hunt.
Last month, one of Zimbabwe’s largest wildlife reserves announced that it is seeking to up to 200 lions after a decline in hunters. As the park is in the same country where Cecil was harvested, it generated some discussion on not only the long-term benefits of having hunters, but short-term benefits as well. Benefits such as managing game animals. For reserves like the Bubye Valley Conservancy, culling animals with hired sharpshooters or wardens would mean the loss of funds. Funds that could go towards maintaining the reserve or protecting the lions from poachers. In the end, the reserve clarified that it will mostly likely donate the lions to another reserve, but is having difficulty finding homes for all its surplus lions.
“I wish we could give about 200 of our lions away to ease the overpopulation,” Blondie Leathem, the conservancy’s general manager, told the . “If anyone knows of a suitable habitat for them where they will not land up in human conflict, or in wildlife areas where they will not be beaten up because of existing prides, please let us know and help us raise the money to move them.”
Historically, the lion population in the reserve was managed partially by hunters, many of which stopped coming to Zimbabwe following the Cecil controversy. Namibia’s hunting industry has also experienced controversy of its own. In 2014, American hunter Corey Knowlton paid $350,000 for a rare permit to hunt black rhinos. The Namibian government offers five black rhino hunts each year, and they are generally regarded as among the world’s rarest hunting opportunities. Funds raised from the rhino hunts not only go back into rhino conservation, but overflow into other projects as well.
“Cabinet directed the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to actively campaign against any attempt to ban or restrict hunting and the export of wildlife products from Namibia,” Tweya said.