Of Apolgies, Reparations and Black People in America

The United States House of Representatives just recently issued an official apology to African-Americans for the harm done them and their ancestors by slavery, segregation and discrimination. Barack Obama declares that words are not enough he wants to see “deeds”. As co- sponsor of a bill establishing a commission to consider cash reparations to all black people in America, it’s not much of a leap to anticipate what is to come if he is elected. Enough is enough! With all due respect I reject the entire notion of apologies and reparations.

Who would deny that slaves suffered inhumanely, yet from Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation forward, the slave’s ignominy has been a singular blessing for his progeny. Yes a blessing, for as a result of the “peculiar institution” the descendant of slavery is a citizen of The United States of America. Regardless of race or creed or heritage, to be born a United States citizen is an act of penultimate grace envied the world over.

Every African-American having slave blood coursing his veins, were it not for slavery, would likely be an African. To be born black in Africa is to be virtually condemned to a life “nasty, brutish and short”. In Rwanda and Uganda warring tribesmen have butchered more than a million souls. In Darfur, the Arab Muslims systematically attempt to eradicate the black population. Throughout black Africa, violence, corruption, starvation and sickness are the rule rather than the exception. Offer anyone $100,000 and a one way ticket to any African nation in return for his US passport and you will get few takers.

African-Americans are a remarkable blessing to America. What are we without the influence of black culture? African American artisans and craftsmen labored to build this nation. The blood of black men is shed for America in every corner of the world. Today’s African-American has striven mightily and suffered abominable indignities to achieve what he has. Should Barack Obama be elected in November it will represent the culmination of that struggle.

I would be a repugnant fool to imply the climb has not been difficult, unjust and sorrowful, yet we mustn’t forget that this struggle is of a piece with America itself from the original settlers of Jamestown Island to the Irish to the new Vietnamese immigrant.

This nation and its people owe nothing at all to African-Americans save the rights and liberties guaranteed all Americans. The misery or infamy endured by the black community at the hands of American society has been more than offset by the blessings and opportunity of being a part of that society

The Time of The Season no. 8

As if anyone could forget, Barack Obama keeps reminding us of his blackness, most recently pointing out that he does not look like the presidents appearing on our currency. For his part John McCain has kept his head - buried securely in the sand.

Time of the Season no.7

The philandering husband is roundly condemned for on Friday night, promising his mistress to soon divorce his wife while on Saturday morning assuring the little lady she is the only one. Isn’t that what Barack Obama is doing when he makes extravagant promises to the left in the Democrat primaries while for the general election, comforting the center with platitudes and pledges of moderation?


Hurricane Billy, my magnificent two year old grandson is visiting this week and we are having too much fun. This morning however, I was confronted by something very disturbing. While we were watching the Disney Channel waiting breakfast an animated segment called Safety Patrol came on. The Safety Patrol is comprised of two children wearing black uniforms and badges whose job is ostensibly keeping little ones safe. On this day the boy and girl were on day watch working Snack Patrol out of Playground Division. For the next eight or ten minutes the screen was filled with these two smarmy brats haranguing, harassing and busting other little dudes for eating chocolate, drinking pop and laying under shade trees playing video games. It seems as if there is nowhere a regular kid can hide from these carrot and celery pushing fascists.

Something must be done to stop this growing menace before every schoolyard in Amerika is overcome by little rats running round denouncing their chums for eating Ho Ho’s. Kids, if one day you are lying under a tree minding your own business playing MurderTon ,enjoying a double Reese Cup, with a 100 octane Dr.Pepper and one of these Jr. Jackboots hassles you. Tell him if he doesn’t get lost you’re your gonna shove the 16 ounce empty up his nose and kick his little Nazi butt right back to Uncle Adolph’s Happy House! We did it before, we can do it again.

What Happened to The United States?

On this day 232 years ago, thirteen British colonies asserted them each sovereign States and declared their independence from the English Crown. There was then no United States of America only thirteen distinct and independent nation-states. At the end of the bloody eight year war that perfected their declaration, these States sought to form a union that would offer each of them and all of them protection of the freedoms so preciously purchased. Finding the first attempt at a compact, The Articles of Confederation, insufficient the States sought “a more perfect union” and after much toil and strife brought forth in 1787 The Constitution of The United States of America.

The Constitution created a republic in which a limited common government would preside over a strictly enumerated set of powers leaving all other prerogatives to the sovereign States which had created it. Nothing in the document remotely suggested or anticipated the federal government should dominate as it does today. It was anathema to The Founders that the Union might one day become no longer a federation of sovereign States but rather a vast empire of quasi distinct provinces ruled by an all powerful central authority. As I write on this Independence Day, I am given to ponder; what happened to the United States?

Almost immediately upon its formation the national government began to claim powers it was not granted and that were prohibited to it. In 1798 the Federalist Party under President John Adams passed the Alien and Sedition Acts which permitted the central administration to arrest and imprison any alien [residing in any State] it deemed a threat to homeland security and made political speech in opposition to the sitting government a high federal crime. In response, Kentucky and Virginia passed resolutions [written by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison respectfully] condemning the acts and asserting the States to be the court of last resort on questions of constitutionality. These resolutions further affirmed the right of any State to veto [or nullify] an act of Congress if it thought the act to be un-constitutional and to make it nugatory within its own country. The offending acts were soon repealed and liberty restored.

Ironically Jefferson participated in what has proven a mortal wound to popular government. In 1803 Marbury v Madison, a historically meaningless dispute over the appointment of federal magistrates, the Supreme Court claimed – under color of no constitutional authority at all - sole ownership of The Constitution and thus to be first among the three “equal” branches of government - and the States - when it ruled that Jefferson’s Secretary of State James Madison had unlawfully refused to deliver an appointment to Mr. Marbury. Chief Justice John Marshall had been Secretary of State under Jefferson’s fierce political foe John Adams.

Here is the first merging of politics and the judiciary. Marshall cleverly avoided a direct clash with the executive branch by not ordering Madison to deliver the judgeship [which would have certainly been refused] instead merely offering what seemed at the time to be an innocuous opinion of law. Meanwhile the power of the Capitol grew at the expense of both liberty and the States.

The next usurpation of State authority occurred in 1819 and gravely wounded republican ideals. With McCulloch v Maryland, The Supreme Court set itself above even the Constitution when acting as exclusive judge of the acts of its sister branches, declared the Constitution to have assigned the national government broad “implied powers.” Powers that were nowhere enumerated or contemplated in the founding document. In McCulloch, the federal government, through a concurrence among the President, Congress and The Supreme Court eviscerated the 9th Amendment and kicked down the door Marshall had eased open in Marbury, permitting to itself virtually un-circumscribed powers, limited only by one’s interpretation of “implied.”

In 1831, President Andrew Jackson took actions which somewhat restored the balance of power between the States, Congress, The Presidency and The Supreme Court. In that year The Supreme Court barred the government of Georgia from removing the Cherokee from their tribal lands. Georgia ignored the ruling and President Jackson who had pushed through Congress, The Indian Removal Act of 1830 refused to enforce the Court’s order with federal troops. Whether he acted immorally toward the Cherokee is not in view here. What Jackson did do was to re-assert the equality of the Presidency viz a viz The Supreme Court and show why Hamilton and Madison thought the Court the weakest of the three elements of the government. “Old Hickory” is famously to have said: “Judge Marshall made the ruling, let him carry it out” Abraham Lincoln would later apply this same axiom in a dispute with Chief Justice Roger Taney.

Jackson played a primary albeit opposite role in the next confrontation between the still sovereign States and Washington when in 1828 Congress voted entirely along sectional lines to institute “The Tariff of Abominations.” This act a protectionist rather than a revenue measure, laid a fifty per-cent tariff on virtually all imported manufactures. Such a high exaction was ruinous to the agricultural economy of the South. Seeking to advance his standing in the Middle Atlantic and Northeastern States for an upcoming run for President, Jackson had sold the South down the river, having his surrogates in Congress support the tariff bill.

In 1832 South Carolina reacted by claiming again the doctrines of “state interposition” or “nullification” that first were asserted by Kentucky and Virginia in 1799. John C. Calhoun, writing for South Carolina found no constitutional authority that permitted the levying of a protectionist tariff and further argued that any act of Congress that preferred one group of States to the detriment of others was unconstitutional on its face. South Carolina acting in Convention declared the tariffs of 1828 and 1832 null and void within its boundaries and barred collection of the imposts by federal agents. President Jackson heretofore a staunch defender of the supremacy of the States, declared nullification treasonous and dispatched warships to Charleston. Calhoun who had resigned the Vice Presidency to return to the Senate and Henry Clay of Kentucky saved the republic - and the nation from war - by working out the compromise Tariff of 1833. This was the first time the Union had sent gunboats militantly into the harbors of a State. It would not be the last.

Between 1832 and 1860 the issue of slavery dominated political debate. It may well be said that slavery was the cancer that ultimately killed the American Republic. In the 1850’s Northern abolitionists in Congress rammed through hard anti-southern policies including rising tariffs and demands for the end of the “peculiar institution.” The 1860 election to President of Abraham Lincoln, head of the abolitionist Republican Party, was the last straw for South Carolina, always the most determined of the States in opposing federal authority. She resigned the Union on December 20, 1860.

The end of the republic might yet have been avoided had there been less duplicity on the part of President Lincoln and more wisdom and restraint on the part of the Carolinians. Rather than resolutely pursuing a diplomatic solution to the schism both sides rattled their sabres until they were covered in blood. When Lincoln goaded South Carolina into firing on Fort Sumter, a mortal blow was struck to the idea of a North American Republic and much that The Founders had strived for and dreamed of would soon be in ruins.

At the conclusion of The War Between The States there were no States, only provinces of the federal regime. By force of arms, at the cost of half a million American lives and the utter destruction of half the nation, Washington fully and forever established itself as the omnipotent North American power; from sea to shining sea. On that day April 9, 1865, The United States ceased to exist and The American Empire was born.

Time of The Season no.6

Obama moves right. McCain moves left. By election day they will be distinguishable only by their hair color.

Time of The Season no. 5

The high road of politics travelled by Barack Obama has decscended into the great campaign swamp. By sending out sleazebags like Jay Rockefeller and Wesley Clark to mock and impune John McCain's military service and sacrifice, Obama has provided further evidence of his duplicity and cowardice.

Obama is opposed to same sex marriages yet felt compelled to congratulate a group of gays recently married in San Francisco. Gay union is not the point here, rather Barack's continued insistence on being for and against something at the same time.

John Mcain is in favor of aggravating the sunbathers in Florida and California, but not the odd caribou in ANWAR. Can caribou vote?