Votes for Women?; Jacinda We Hardly Knew Ye; & Jenny in Davos
Continuing his series calling for the repeal of deleterious Constitutional Amendments, Michael Walsh uses his Editor’s Column this week to train his sites on the 19th, which mandated women’s suffrage.
To Save America, Repeal the 19th Amendment
With Jacinda Ardern's welcome exit from the ranks of world political leaders, leaving a shambles of constitutional freedom and human rights in her wake, now is perhaps an opportune time to reconsider the passage of the 19th amendment in American politics as part of our ongoing series of "To Save America" modest proposals advocating repeal of the most destructive tamperings with the original Constitution. We've already made the arguments for the repeal of the 16th, 17th, 18th (done!), and 26th amendments, so now it's time for the women's suffrage movement to take its turn in the barrel.
Start with this: there is no intrinsic, enumerated right to vote in the Constitution; eligibility was left up to each state. Voting therefore is neither a civil right nor a God-given natural right (as history clearly shows), but an earned privilege to be granted under certain circumstances or after an individual had satisfied various specified criteria such as attaining the age of his majority, being a male, a property owner, etc.
This was an outgrowth of the original conception of the United States as a voluntary alliance of hitherto sovereign states, each of which ceded some portion of its autonomy to the new federal government, but which reserved all other rights to itself. Indeed, the Tenth amendment makes this explicit: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." In other words, the federal government did not create the states, they created the federal government….
But as the western democracies matured, such elemental considerations came to seem outmoded, and so the push for women's suffrage began in earnest. In the U.S., women first got the vote at the state level, in frontier Wyoming, in 1869; by 1920, when the 19th amendment was ratified, they had the vote nationwide. A "long march" that began with the suffragette movement in the mid-19th century had come to fruition. But was it wise?
One signal that it might not be was its abandonment during the Civil War when, oddly enough, the country had more important things on its mind, such as the survival of the nation; clearly, women's suffrage was not deemed important enough, a luxury to be considered once the life of the nation was no longer on the line. Nor did it come up for a vote until after the First World War was over; and in neither case did anyone advocate for putting women in the fighting military in order to win the right to vote, especially women.
Another is that its moment came practically simultaneously with the Four Progressive Amendments (income tax, direct election of senators, prohibition) and in fact there is considerable resemblance between the 18th and 19th in their back story. Both came about in a long-delayed backlash against the great wave of immigration, which was soon to be ended with the Immigration Act of 1924, that effectively shut it down until 1965. Prohibition, a midwestern Protestant idea pushed by women, was meant to target the men of suspect ethnic groups (Irish, Italians, Germans) whose fondness for grape, hops, and grain was legendary, as well as the merchant urban Jews who readily sold it to them. While the 18th amendment was simply punitive, the 19th was passive-aggressive: since the immigrants were largely single men, who quickly became voters, the WASP ascendency could avoid being out-voted, at least in the short term, but doubling its vote to include its wives.
Speaking of the soon-to-be ex-Prime Minister of New Zealand, here’s Peter Smith writing about Jacinda Ardern.
Bye-Bye, Miss Kiwi Pie
Jacinda Ardern is leaving the political stage at the young age of 42. She has been prime minister of New Zealand since October 2017. A narrow victory in 2017 was followed by a landslide win in October 2020. It might seem strange now but her grossly overwrought response to Covid boosted her popularity. And, to be fair, also contributing to her popularity was her staunch and compassionate response to the awful killing of fifty-one people and the injuring of others at two mosques in Christchurch on 15 March 2019. Not surprising. Leaders tend to gather support if they are seen to handle a national tragedy well. Even George W. Bush was lauded for his response to 9/11.
She remains, of course, a paragon of feminine virtue to the international Woke brigade. That goes without saying. Opposing free speech at the U.N., sorry opposing “misinformation,” cemented her sainthood among globalists….
The centerpiece of Ms. Arden’s plans was to house the poor. Fittingly for the ex-president of the International Union of Socialist Youth, she put poverty and homelessness down to “a blatant failure of capitalism.” She promised in 2017 to build 100,000 new affordable houses for first-time home buyers over the decade ahead. KiwiBuild it is called. As I wrote of her plans in April 2018: “Nothing is more certain than that doses of socialism will make matters worse.” I’d like to claim credit for my prescience. But it comes under the category of the bleedingly obvious. Five years’ later only 1,366 homes had been built. Homelessness is worse than ever.
To boot, rising crime has become an election issue, inflation is up, interest rates are up, the economic outlook is unpromising, and more people are leaving the country than are coming in. Add to that a mindless undertaking to tax the emissions from both ends of cows and sheep in a country with the highest per capita population of sheep and second highest per capita of cattle. An odorous political misstep.
Richard Fernandez wrote about Davos.
Go Sell It On A Mountain
A Who's Who of the world' great if not good is converging on the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023. In addition to presidents, ministers and other bureaucrats, 116 billionaires, none of them Russian, will be at Davos, not to mention celebrities, advocates, media personalities, etc. The Business Insider describes how hoteliers are preparing to receive an Olympian throng that will include the likes of Bill Gates:
We emptied almost half of the hotel in order to set up for all of the events and prepare for the guests... no one will have access to the hotel without their badge. We have X-ray machines and metal detectors, and each and every person has to go through these to enter the building. It's almost like an airport. Davos itself is like a military zone, where you have limited access and everything is cordoned off.
Greenpeace disapprovingly noted that hundreds of ultra-short private jet flights converged on Davos, as global leaders headed to the World Economic Forum in a rush to save the planet from asphyxiating in carbon. But there is more than climate change on the agenda. Banking, finance, cryptocurrencies, racism, artificial intelligence, workplace robotics, global governance, and cybercrime are probably going to be up for discussion. It is so wide-ranging one may think of it as the first draft of tomorrow, a glimpse of a future you are going to be part of, whether you like it or not.
This wide-ranging character is why the Davos call to action is known as the "Great Reset." Like the familiar reboot of your computer, everything you have ever known will go away and after a moment's blackness (you may be conscious of a spinner as it restarts) all will be replaced by a new OS, interface and architecture you're sure to love. It will be like you've died and gone to atheist heaven. What it will be like is hinted at in a phrase since removed from the WEF’s website. “Welcome to 2030,” read the headline to an article by a Danish member of parliament, “I own nothing, have no privacy, and life has never been better.”
It reminds the world that Wokeness, which has points of similarity with the great religions, also has its own eschatology. There is a a hazy belief in a singularity, after which like Communism's 'withering away of the state', everything will be different. Thus the elect gather on a Swiss mountain to bring on the end of the old world and midwife the new. But while the Davos conclave has borrowed many traditional religious forms and metaphors from the great religions, there is something uniquely contemporary in its character which sets it apart.
And Michael Walsh blogged about Al Gore’s appearance there:
Al Gore, Lunatic
Somebody help this man. Speaking at the World Economic Forum's annual wankfest in Davos, Switzerland, the inventor of the internet and the scourge of massage therapists everywhere went on an unhinged rant that tells you all you need to know about the psychosis currently afflicting politicians all over the world. Gesticulating wildly, his face reddening, his voice rising, the former vice president of the United States became a man in the deadly grip of a panicked, violent, superstitious reaction to... the weather.
A decent human being would be ashamed to show his face in public ever again after this embarrassing display of childish, Thunbergian pique, but in front of the unctuous barking seals who make up the attendees at Klaus Schwab's Klubhaus Gore was greeted with whoops and cheers for his messianic fervor. The cultish behavior of the so-called global elites was never more in evidence, a perverse clerisy of crackpots in charge of a global suicide sect.
Tom Finnerty blogged about Konstantin Kisin’s brilliant performance at an Oxford Union debate on wokeness last week.
Comedian Slams 'Climate' Wokeness at Oxford Union Debate
Do yourself a favor and watch this speech by Konstantin Kisin, comedian and cohost of the wonderfully sane podcast Triggernometry.
Kisin was taking part in a debate at the Oxford Union on the topic of Wokeness, and as he felt the general anti-woke position had been well articulated by the speakers who preceded him, he chose to delve into a specific woke critique of the west, that being its contribution to global anthropogenic "climate change." Addressing himself to the woke who are open to rational argument (he added "a small minority, I accept, because one of the tenets of Wokeness is that your feelings matter more than the truth") Kisin offered to accept "for one night only," that is, for the sake of argument, that there is in fact a climate emergency, that we should all "worship at the feet of St. Greta of Climate Change" and "that our stocks of polar bears are running extremely low." He asked "What can we in Britain do?"
This country is responsible for two percent of global carbon emissions. Which means that if Britain was to sink into the sea right now, it would make absolutely no difference to the issue of climate change. You know why? Because the future of the climate is going to be decided in Asia and Latin America: by poor people who couldn’t give a shit about saving the planet. You know why? Because they're poor!
He challenged the privileged students of Oxford University to consider what living in that kind of poverty, in India, in China, in Latin America, the areas of the world which actually pose the worst threats to the environment, is actually like, and assured them that it would be futile to try and convince people in those conditions that they shouldn't aspire to improve their lot.
The only thing that they in Britain can do "is to make scientific and technological breakthroughs that will create clean energy that is not only clean but also cheap.” But does Wokeness contribute to the required technological advancement in any way? Of course not -- instead it lionizes the performative nihilism of climate activists who have chosen to wage war on western civilization.
Clarice Feldman spent some time with the hard data related to environmentalist climate claims.
'Climate Change' Future Written in (Invisible) Ink
Writing at the shuffling zombie hulk of what used to be Time Magazine, Christiana Figueres pens the usual media "climate change" bilge, this one titled “The Future of Climate Change is Being Written in Ink Today.” As usual in such stuff, she maintains that there is a clear scientific consensus on climate change, exaggerates the danger of not transforming our lives completely to deal with it, and overestimates the technological and political ease with which the transformation can occur.
She argues in her polemic that we are at a critical juncture to save the planet and only “transformational change” will do it. According to Figueres, we must "cut our global greenhouse-gas emissions in half by 2030" and "safeguard all remaining healthy ecosystems, regenerating those we have depleted." If we don't, she continues,
[W]e basically condemn ourselves and our descendants to a world of ever increasing climate chaos, spiraling destruction, and deepening human misery. However, if we do choose to cut our emissions by 50 percent by 2030—which is technically entirely feasible—and act decisively to protect nature, we open the portal to a world that not only averts the worst of climate change, but is actually a much better one than we have right now, with better public health, more-livable cities, more-efficient transport, and more-productive land….
Ms. Figueres, a Costa Rican, was, among other things, the former executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, and like most of the globalist Davos- loving crowd seems to have ignored what our experience shows us about the efficacy and necessity of cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Probably because she’s a social anthropologist not a climate scientist or engineer.
People with a greater regard for hard data refute her every stated contention, including that “scientific reports… are categorical in warning us of looming, radical changes in the earth’s systems.” Contrary to the rosy picture that governmental measures, some draconian, all of them economy killers, can result in cutting carbon emissions, in fact, with greater governmental intercessions they have never been higher. As Ken Caldera, a climate scientist at the Carnegie Institute for Science sensibly observes, as long as developing (i.e. poor) nations want to expand their economies and better provide for their citizens wellbeing, they must rely on fossil fuels which remain the cheapest way to provide reliable electricity. In the U.S., “emissions ticked up as renewable energy surpassed coal power nationwide for the first time in over six decades.” Any government that long persists in starving and freezing its citizenry to appease the chimera of climate change will be inviting replacement by more pragmatic leaders.
And, finally, our very own acclimatised beauty Jenny Kennedy, jetted off to Davos.
Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Hustling
Thanks for reading, and keep a look out for upcoming pieces by Joan Sammon, Tom Finnerty, and Mark Mendlovitz. All this and more this week at The Pipeline!
Woman vs female. Man vs male. There is a major difference. The later of each may become the former IFFFFF they're fortunate. Voting could be / should be qualified upon verified knowledge, understanding, character, and Citizenship. Easy peasy, and far too sensible, at the moment.