Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Washington, D.C.: Border Town to the Stars

ALL 57 OF THEM

“These are the boundaries by which you are to divide the land…”–Ezekiel 47

“We are defined not by our borders, but by our bonds.”–The President of the United States of America a very large parking lot

This president isn’t defined by his iron grip on reality. Or realty either, for that matter.

However, his borderline border-talk reminded me of this Mark Steyn column from 2003:

Speaking as a foreigner myself, I’ve always found it one of the more charming features of the American scene that “progressives” are obliged to find justification for their radicalism in a piece of old parchment. In Europe, they can simply say: We need to get with the beat, daddy-o. But in the U.S. the Left at least observes the niceties and pretends that the powdered-wig guys had somehow ingeniously anticipated the need for a constitutional right to gay marriage or a partial-birth abortion. Perhaps recognizing that this particular penumbra is pretty well tapped out, Justice O’Connor is now saying that there’s gold in them thar Scandinavian hills. …In considering the pros and cons of sodomy in Texas, the Supreme Court did not rely on the large body of Nigerian sharia precedents and Taliban jurisprudence in this area. …

Given that this is the Court that elevated “Celebrate Diversity” from a bumper sticker to a bedrock constitutional principle, it’s a little bewildering to find that they cheerfully accord the white European a unique monopoly on the judicial consultancy positions. Heartening though it is to know the white man still has his uses, this privileged access is, alas, unwarranted. For one thing, the fact that the U.S. Constitution is older than the French, German, Italian, Greek, and Spanish constitutions combined suggests that this member of “the Western tradition” is more traditional than others. For another, can you imagine any judge in France, Denmark, or New Zealand taking U.S. court decisions into account when deliberating on, say, gun ownership or capital punishment?

Let me come at it this way. I love borders, the more the merrier — town lines, county, state, and, of course, national. Borders symbolize one of the few remaining constraints on government: You don’t like the grade school here in town? Move ten miles up the road. You don’t want to pay Vermont sales tax? Drive over the river and shop in New Hampshire. Arianna Huffington huffs against “tax loopholes for fat cats,” but I’d say the ability to rent a post-office box in Bermuda or the Cayman Islands is a “loophole” in one of the original 16th-century senses — an aperture to let in light and fresh air. The fact that there’s somewhere else to go to is the ultimate limitation on government. Borders give people choices — and, to put it in a bumper sticker, “I’m Pro-Choice and I Vote with My Feet.” When starry-eyed utopians speak of a “world without borders,” you can pretty much guess what kind of a place the one-world one-party state would be, with tax rates starting at more than 50 percent, where they are in Sweden right now.

That’s why Justice O’Connor’s indifference to jurisdictional integrity and partiality to foreigners is not just a kinky fetish but something philosophically incompatible with the job she’s meant to be doing. If you wanted to construct the precise opposite of the U.S. Constitution, it would look an awful lot like “international law.” The former is a document that limits the state’s grip on the people, the latter is designed to ensure they can never wiggle free, no matter where they go. “International law” is the new colonialism, the imposition on the world’s peoples of the moral certainties of a remote, unaccountable Western elite — indeed, one far less tolerant of local customs and culture than the old-school imperialists. The Europeans haven’t had much luck imposing their laws on Saudi Arabia and Sudan but, thanks to Justice O’Connor, other backward jurisdictions like Texas and Alabama are about to be whipped into line.

Are Texas and Alabama “defined by their borders”? Because if they’re not, they don’t have to obey any pesky Supreme Court rulings.

We tend to think of borders as limiting the movement of people, but as Steyn shows, borders also empower people and limit the Movement of the State, legally, literally and physically. In that context, then, Obama’s statement is yet another power-grab by the power-grabbiest administration in history.

The illegal aliens in Arizona would probably be surprised to learn they are not “defined” by borders. They looked around and saw poverty, corruption and lack of opportunity on their side of the border. And lots of free stuff, an honest administrative system and opportunity on the other. They think they’re very much defined by the border, even if Obama doesn’t.

While the dream of One World Government Rule is a power grab, it is also an abdication of power.

When Our Down-Low Legislature was applauding a foreign president for bashing America, they were really saying: “Ignore us. We don’t matter. We write reasonable laws in the daytime and put our name on them…but at night, we prowl the Mean Maquiladora streets, doing everything in our power to make sure those laws never get enforced.” That’s just another way to cheat you out of a voice in your own governance–which is pretty much a full-time job with these people.

When the ICE chief says he might not accept illegals turned over by Arizona, he’s saying the president’s Constitutional duty–“he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed”–is optional. And since presidents signed all the laws we already have, he’s undermining his own authority, and by extension, ours.

Doctors Without Borders is good idea. Politicians Without Borders is a bad idea from which you can never escape.

Run for the border. It’s running for you.

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"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

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