Saturday, November 30, 2019

November 30, 2019

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

TWO ESSAYS Published by

I pass on two published essays which showed up on earlier this year. Both are taken from original pieces that I put out as installments in the MY CORNER series. I am pleased that Lew Rockwell picked them up and gave them far wider distribution than they would otherwise have had:


BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP and the Future of America

By Boyd D. Cathey
My Corner    August 28, 2019
Kamala Harris is very angry with Donald Trump.
With her usual condescension and scorn, she tweeted out on Thursday, August 22, that Donald Trump should go read the 14th Amendment—the implication being that when the president brought up, once again, the possibility that he might issue an Executive Order regulating birthright citizenship, he was woefully misreading the application of that Reconstruction amendment.

Of course, for a supercilious Leftist elitist like Harris, Trump will forever be that ignorant, brash, illiterate, racist New Yorker who is just way out of his league. It doesn’t really make any difference that he graduated with a B.S. in Economics from the prestigious Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. You see, he doesn’t have all the fineries and veneer of the self-proclaimed East Coast-West Coast Brahmin Elites who have controlled this country, its economy, its foreign policy, and its government for more than a century. Despite the fact that he has—in my view—given in far too often to those same Elites, nevertheless, they will only accept 100% obedience and compliance. Upsetting the apple cart, thwarting the advance of globalism in the slightest will get you—the Russia Hoax, the White Nationalist/Racist Hoax, the Gun Control Hoax, endless investigations and multiple mini-impeachment efforts, plus the extreme and active (even violent) hostility of almost all the media, academia, Hollywood, and the political class.
You can’t get off the Deep State reservation, even a hair, and expect any mercy.

So, when once again the president declared that his administration was looking into ending “birthright citizenship” through a presidential Executive Order—something he had suggested back in October of 2018—all hell broke loose, and the officious and ideologically crazed Harris jumped like a famished black snake on a defenseless toad. Once again it was the Trump template of “full blown racism,” “appeals to white supremacy,” “undermining and attacking our democracy,” and, of course, since Trump is an illegitimate president, an interloper—then almost any type of resistance is permissible.
What such an Executive Order would do is clarify the application of the 14th Amendment and, essentially, end birthright citizenship for children of illegal aliens who come across the US border and then produce offspring who, then, as if by magic become American citizens.

Recall that the amendment was enacted after the War Between the States to guarantee the rights of citizenship to manumitted slaves and their offspring. And, indeed, there is a serious legal question about whether the amendment itself was ever legally and legitimately ratified. But be that as it may, it has applied ever since 1868.

Here is how Section 1 of the 14th Amendment reads:
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Harris and other open border zealots always quote the first section: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States…are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” But the leave out, either by mistake or by direction: “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”

It’s a key phrase, critical to understanding what the authors of the amendment intended and what for nearly 100 years was settled law up until the 1960s when leftist lawmakers got into the act simply by de facto practical applications. In other words, between the very clear and forthright intention of its authors that the 14th Amendment only applied to slaves and their offspring born in the United States who are necessarily “subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” andthe imposed practice we now have which enables a foreign woman to illegally slip across the Rio Grande and have a child who then, by that simple act, becomes a citizen and an “anchor baby,” permitting its illegal relations to all come across—between these two interpretations and applications there is an absolute irreconcilable difference.

The key figures in drafting the amendment at the time were clear: Senator Lyman Trumbull, pivotal in the drafting the 14th Amendment, declared “subject to the jurisdiction” meant subject to “complete” jurisdiction of the United States, and “[n]ot owing allegiance to anybody else.” Senator Jacob Howard of Michigan, responsible for the critical language of the jurisdiction clause, stated that it meant “a full and complete jurisdiction,” that is, “the same jurisdiction in extent and quality as applies to every citizen of the United States now.” In other words, a non-citizen simply by giving birth on this side geographically of the Rio Grande does not produce a new citizen of the United States.

Presented with this history, those defending the current practice, including Judge Andrew Napolitano on Fox, appeal, like Harris, to constitutional practice and to the courts.
But, actually, the Supreme Court has spoken on this question, at least indirectly.

In 1884, sixteen years after the 14th Amendment was ratified, John Elk, an American Indian, went to court to argue that he was an American citizen due to his birth in the United States. In Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94, the Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment did not grant Indians citizenship. As Ann Coulter cites that decision:

[The] “main object of the opening sentence of the Fourteenth Amendment was to settle the question, upon which there had been a difference of opinion throughout the country and in this court, as to the citizenship of free negroes and to put it beyond doubt that all persons, white or black … should be citizens of the United States and of the state in which they reside.”
And she adds: “American Indians were not made citizens until 1924. Lo those 56 years after the ratification of the 14th Amendment, Indians were not American citizens, despite the considered opinion of Judge Napolitano.”
Ending birthright citizenship, based on a false and specious reading of the 14th Amendment, is an idea whose time has come, in fact, is far overdue. At the very least, an Executive Order would force the courts, including the Supreme Court, to take a serious look at the historic abuse of our immigration system and the definition of American citizenship.

Let us hope that this time—nearly a year since he raised it—President Trump will follow through on his consideration: birthright citizenship has been and is an Achilles’ Heel in American immigration policy. Ending it would be a major step in securing our border and preserving the integrity of our culture.
I believe I passed on to you last year the following legal essay by Professor of Law, John Eastman. It is a succinct but thorough restatement of the points made in my commentary.

Reprinted from  My Corner by Boyd Cathey.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ anti-stateanti-warpro-market

Who Wins the Culture War, Wins Everything!

By Boyd D. Cathey
My Corner  October 2, 2019

Most installments in the MY CORNER series, in addition to a stated concentration on the South, address deeper cultural issues: questions about what is happening in our educational system, how Western culture is being transformed before our very eyes, the attacks on the visible symbols of our past, and, perhaps more insidiously, examining assaults on our history, on our memory and on our very language, that is, how we communicate with each other.
For up-to-the-moment, blow-by-blow accounts of the latest attempt—indeed, conspiracy—by the Deep State to take down and impeach President Trump, there are such voices as Rush Limbaugh, John Solomon, and others. From time to time, I can provide such information, or a certain slant or focus, but given the nature of what is transpiring and the headlong rush, my attention is drawn to what I consider more basic, more fundamental questions that underpin and shape our current conversations and debates.
I have heard it said that it was the great English prelate and author, Cardinal John Henry Newman, who declared that “all political issues involve basic religious questions.” But while studying in Spain I read something very similar written by the Spanish traditionalist, Juan Donoso Cortes (d. 1853): “The momentous political questions of our time, when examined closely, reveal deeply philosophical and religious roots. Unless these foundations are understood, debate will be like fighting the symptoms of a disease but not the cause.”

Knowing how to fight our enemies, knowing how to react and what to say and what, finally, to do, involves as the late Southern writer Mel Bradford used to say,  first, “knowing who we are,” that is, knowing that we are creatures made and given life by a Creator, that we are given stewardship over this planet, that there are both Natural and Divine Positive Laws that govern us and our existence; and that to transgress them will bring disastrous consequences, perhaps not at once, but certainly eventually.
And that is why the cultural and essentially religious battles—the conflict over who we are and our place in Creation—are so critical. It is why I have a very poor view of much of what passes for “modern kulchur,” including much of the architecture, the so-called literature, the cinematic excrescence, the painting and sculpture, and the music that is spewed forth by our contemporary society.
Certainly such products reflect our current dominant culture, for art follows and is inspired by reigning beliefs and standards in any society, while at the same time helps to shape that society’s future vision and conception of itself. And, no doubt, most of the artists in our society today fancy themselves just like artists of the past, using their creative intelligence to create works of art. Has this not been the self-appointed role of such persons throughout history?
The arts, in their major role, reflect a society’s beliefs and aspirations—think here architecturally of the Acropolis in Athens, the incredible monuments in Rome, the great cathedrals of Chartres and Rheims in France, representing the aspirations and thought of those foundations of our own civilization. Think of the great artwork of a Giotto, a Michelangelo, a Rubens, a Gainsborough; and in music, of Gregorian Chant, plainsong and polyphony, the great symphonic and liturgical works of Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Bruckner.
Some of you may recall the great BBC series, “Civilization,” hosted by the late Sir Kenneth Clark and then shown in American theaters (circa 1970) and later on television. Lord Clark attempted, quite successfully, to connect the dots and illustrate both the complexity and the unity of our cultural inheritance and its organic development. As Bernard of Chartres declared nearly 900 years ago, “we are as dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants.” Our ancestors built upon and added to what was vouchsafed to and inherited by them, as a trust, as a precious legacy. And traditionally, this was thought to be the essential role of the artist: to create based on what he had received, to make it finer if possible, to enhance it, but never to disparage it or destroy it, and always to preserve it.

But since at least the early twentieth century artists have more significantly emphasized the radically transformative, even revolutionary, at times highly political element. Of course, artists throughout history have used their talent to advance new ideas with social and political import; that’s always been the case.
But, I would suggest, not with the same demonic fervor or determination, not with the same ideological commitment and involvement that we have witnessed in our time. And not with the same type of influential dominance by the Marxist Frankfurt School and its votaries in almost every field of knowledge, a dominance which fully comprehends the role of culture in the success of the revolutionary activity it advocates.
Whether in such enterprises as “critical theory” in literature, deconstructivism in architecture, or the use of music as a weapon to undermine societal mores and standards, too often it seems that “the arts” have been weaponized and have become critical elements in the destruction of our civilization, rather than estimable and valuable additions to it.
Where—what—are today’s monuments to rival the cathedral at Chartres, music to compare with Mozart’s Requiem or Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, or paintings to be set beside the work of a Rembrandt or El Greco? And even more recently, where are the architects to rival a Ralph Adams Cram (d. 1942) or a Daniel Burnham (d. 1912)?

Some of us are old enough to remember when the “Ed Sullivan Show” on CBS featured the then-new English sensation, the Beatles (1964), at almost the same time that NBC cancelled the long-running, classical music standard “The Voice of Firestone” (1963). Irrespective of the talent, or the inventiveness, or the catchy tunefulness of the Fab Four—something most of us would readily acknowledge—that appearance and what then followed like an avalanche represented a seismic cultural shift, and the opening of the floodgates, as it were. Soon, weekly national broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera were also off NBC, relegated first to public radio, and finally to a few private radio stations. And I am old enough to recall all sorts of rock groups which soon crowded out almost all other musical programming from national networks and local stations, largely exiling both country music and classical music to niche markets. (The country musical variety show Hee Haw only lasted on CBS for two years, 1969-1971, before cancellation and going into syndication. Other non-Rock programming soon followed.)

The most egregious offense in all this was the disconnection of citizens, of the populace, from our civilization’s very rich musical inheritance. While my parents were not what I would call “classical music experts,” they at least understood and appreciated its value and importance in our society and to our culture. Just consider some of the scores (and subjects) of films of the 1930s until the early 1960s, think about the music used in early popular television programs like “The Lone Ranger” (1949-1957), or “Sergeant Preston of the Yukon” (1955-1958), think of those memorable Warner Brothers cartoons, especially Elmer Fudd’s  “I Killed the Wabbit,” or those Woody Woodpecker cartoons we also grew up with. How many of us still associate Rossini’s William Tell Overture with “Hi-Yo Silver!” any time we hear the final gallop of that piece being played.

And, sure, the use of such music has continued in film, but certainly not with the broad influence or significance it once had. Nor with the role of connecting average, everyday citizens with their inherited culture. In our day the classical tradition occupies, it seems, a niche which grows smaller by the year, with fewer listeners and devotees, and with music impresarios attempting frantically to remedy the situation by heavy mixes of “pop” cross-over concerts, neither truly classical nor truly rock.
It has been a great accomplishment of cultural Marxism and its adepts in the arts to separate in large measure our population from its heritage—a major step in the conquest of our culture and the transformation of our civilization. And the resulting atomistic individualism—a formless anarchy—is the exact condition desired by the enemies of our civilization. In the words of the late T. S. Eliot our foundations have been destroyed, made largely inaccessible or beyond our reach, “to make ready the ground upon which the barbarian nomads of the future will encamp their mechanized caravans.” [Notes towards the Definition of Culture, 1948]

At the very base of our conflict today is this imperative: to recover those bonds which unite us to our heritage, for it is in retrieving that inheritance (and the faith which accompanies it) that we gain strength and renewal for the battles that lie ahead of us.
With these thoughts in mind, I pass on a link to my latest essay published by The New English Review. It’s titled, “Richard Strauss and the Survival of Western Culture.” I hope you’ll see the connections and even relevance in what I’ve written.

Reprinted from  My Corner by Boyd Cathey.

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