People who want to ‘tweak’ the First Amendment don’t want free speech

Now and then it’s good to have a brief check-in on premises, as in the basic assumptions of our thinking.

The topic was brought home to me Tuesday by an article at Breitbart, by Pam Key, recounting Joy Behar’s dictum during a discussion of free speech at The View that the First and Second Amendments need “tweaking.”

Key quotes Behar:  “When the Founding Fathers were busy with the amendments — the 1st and 2nd Amendments — they did not have AR-15s in there, weapons of war, and they didn’t have Twitter. So both amendments, I think, need to be tweaked a little bit.” Continue reading “People who want to ‘tweak’ the First Amendment don’t want free speech”

Thanksgiving 2021: America’s mightiest blessing

A blessing to cherish and tend – and a future that depends on it.

Most years now, one of the things I do for the major holidays is look at what I wrote the year before to see how it has held up.

Doing that in 2021 took me back to this post for 2020.  Surprisingly, perhaps, it wasn’t about the pandemic or the lockdowns, at least not in any direct or explicit way.  It was about something that was getting almost no attention at the time: the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ arrival in the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock.

A Tyler O’Neil article at PJ Media was a pretext for writing about something I was already concerned with.  He highlighted an exceptionally important concept from the Mayflower Compact executed by the arriving settlers: the idea of a “Civil Body Politic.”  America’s connection with that concept is unique, historic, and essential, as in, going to our essence as a nation. Continue reading “Thanksgiving 2021: America’s mightiest blessing”

Veterans Day: The torch held high

The torch: Be ours to hold it high.

It has been a tradition at both TOC and the blog Liberty Unyielding, for which I was editor at large from 2012 to October 2021, to post a recurring Veterans Day article.  In 2020, I published the version below for the first time.  It’s interesting to me to reread it now, and realize how much has changed in the last year.  See if you feel the same. – JED

Since 2018, when we passed the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, it has seemed less relevant to commemorate Veterans Day with the annual post we used to use (the last iteration was here).

As we honor military veterans on 11 November, however, I miss an integral element of that old annual post: the John McCrae poem from 1915, “In Flanders Fields.” Continue reading “Veterans Day: The torch held high”

Migrant influx has Europeans arming up

Arms and the civilization.

The workshop of Austrian gunmaker Steyr-Mannlicher. (Image via gunsforsale.com)
The workshop of Austrian gunmaker Steyr-Mannlicher. (Image via gunsforsale.com)

The urge to self-preservation may not be entirely dead among native Europeans.  According to European news sources, cited in this article at WND, Europeans who have the realistic option of purchasing firearms have started doing so, at a dramatically increased rate.

Although the citizens of several key countries (e.g., Germany, the Netherlands) are basically prohibited from buying guns — by the very high obstacles their governments set for such purchases — those who can are flocking to gun vendors.  Women are reportedly the customer base showing the biggest increase.

Austria is one of the nations where guns are selling fast. Continue reading “Migrant influx has Europeans arming up”

The future of our time: Rewriting ‘Westphalianism’

Interesting times: the new definition.

Past master. (Image via Outside the Beltway)
Past master. (Image via Outside the Beltway)

Reading Henry Kissinger’s typically well-considered and intelligent article for the Wall Street Journal this weekend (“A Path out of the Middle East Collapse”), I had a growing sense that it isn’t so much a prescription for the future as a description of the past.

The sense began with the first paragraph, in which Kissinger defines the scope of what’s collapsing, and dates it only to 1973, when the U.S. moved to stabilize the Middle East during the Yom Kippur War.

But far more than recent U.S. policy on the Middle East is collapsing today.  What we’re seeing is more like the collapse of “Rome” itself:  the organization of Western power as a Europe-centric territorial phenomenon, setting unbreachable boundaries north, south, and west of a restless and perennially “unorganizable” Middle East. Continue reading “The future of our time: Rewriting ‘Westphalianism’”