June 24, 2017

Maine Passes Bill That Unconstitutionally Targets Hunters and Fishermen

This is a tough one to address because I do not, in any way, shape or form, condone the destruction of anybody’s property, including “Posted” or “No Trespassing” signs.

LD 557, with amendments, has passed the Maine Legislature that, in summary, states: “The hunting and fishing
licenses of a person convicted of destroying, tearing down, defacing or otherwise damaging a property posting sign in violation of section 10652, subsection 1, paragraph B must be revoked, and that person is ineligible to obtain a hunting or fishing license for a period of one year from the date of conviction.”

There should be laws that protect a landowner from such destruction, and there probably are. Piling on to prove a point, while it might be a bit understandable, particularly to a frustrated land owner, cannot be justified by targeting a specific sector of the general public to punish that group for a law violation more than any other member of the public that is not part of the hunting and fishing community.

Even in testimony given in support of the law, a landowner states that he believes the majority of sign destruction comes from “hunters” shooting up his signs, but also admits destruction of his property, other than just signs, is being carried out by many different individuals and groups of individuals. Is it then constitutional to increase punishment on one group over others? I think not!

I’m not a lawyer but you don’t have to be a lawyer to understand that this law is not right. I am surprised that the Maine Legislature, the Governor, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and others supported this law and could not see that it violates the constitutional rights of licensed hunters and licensed fishermen.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for a dismissal of lawful punishment for the willful act of property destruction, protected by Maine law. However, in order to be justified in taking away the licences of hunters and fishermen for one year, then one must ask what is the punishment for the same kind of destruction that might be carried out by a snowmobiler, an ATVer, a hiker, a berry picker, etc.?

I believe the term that might apply to such an egregious violation of due process, can be found in Supreme Court cases that involve “unconstitutional animus.” If you Google that term, you can spend hours reading about what this term is and how it affects all of us. In brief, unconstitutional animus is a violation of equal protection under the law. In this case a hunter or fisherman, is not afforded the same due process and equal protection as someone else who might commit the same crime.

As a society we have been programmed to believe that the more draconian our laws are the more of a deterrent it is to prevent the crime in the first place. Whether that is true or not, I do not have the data to show one way or another. All drivers of automobiles that violate the law by speeding, are subject to the same set of laws and punishments. Would it be considered the right thing if hunters and fishermen were targeted for greater punishment because somebody believes them to speed more than other groups or individuals? This is what this new law allows.

This bill needs to be repealed and a different, constitutional approach taken in order to protect the rights of all people to ensure equal protection under the law, due process and to stop the obvious discrimination this law allows.

 

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SAM Claims High Road to Protect Second Amendment

They might claim that high road, but do they actually do what they say they are doing. According to SAM’s Facebook Page, “Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine-Leading through Action!”

On their list of achievements is the passage of LD 9 – “to Ban State of Government Agencies from Creating Gun Owner Registry.”

“An Act to Prohibit the Creation of a Firearm Owner Registry”, sponsored by Rep. Patrick Corey is now law. This quote from the last SAM News accurately sums up this important SAM bill, “The creation of a gun owner registry is the Holy Grail for gun control advocates, because all extreme gun control measures like semi-automatic bans, high capacity magazine bans, and other firearm confiscation schemes, require a database of firearm owners to enforce. Without the government knowing who owns what types of guns and where they are, there is no way to reduce the number of guns in private ownership.” (emphasis added)

Below is the text of LD 9 (also from SAM Facebook page)

Sec. 1. 25 MRSA §2014 is enacted to read:
§2014. Government firearm or firearm owner registry prohibited Notwithstanding and other provision of law to the contrary, a government agency of this State or a political subdivision of this State may not keep or cause to be kept a comprehensive registry of privately owned firearms and the owners of those firearms within its jurisdiction. (emphasis added)

SUMMARY

This amendment, which is the majority report of the committee, replaces the bill and provides that a government agency of the State or a political subdivision of the State may not keep or cause to be kept a comprehensive registry of privately owned firearms and the owners of those firearms within its jurisdiction.” (emphasis added)

We are programmed to automatically accept any effort by those claiming to be in support of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, passage of any law that claims to protect gun owners or ease the restrictions on gun ownership, we blindly accept as a good thing. It might be better…or the equivalent of being hung with a new rope, than continued chopping to bits our Second Amendment rights, but even if you keep cutting off pieces of a plank, a little here and a little there, eventually there’s no more plank and you free fall.

LD 9 is being hailed as a victory for the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and gun owners because they say, as I highlighted above, The creation of a gun owner registry is the Holy Grail for gun control advocates, because all extreme gun control measures like semi-automatic bans, high capacity magazine bans, and other firearm confiscation schemes, require a database of firearm owners to enforce. Without the government knowing who owns what types of guns and where they are, there is no way to reduce the number of guns in private ownership.”

This Bill, LD 9, is being flaunted as a bill that will prohibit the “comprehensive registry” of all firearms, and that without such a registry, governments and non governmental agencies cannot confiscate guns because they won’t know where to find them.

The first question I might ask is this: What will be the state of things in this country WHEN the U.S. Government goes about confiscating our firearms? Will following the rule of law any longer exist?

I thought so.

A federal firearms dealer is required to “register” every gun he sells and keep a record. As I understand LD 9, now a licensed firearms dealer will have to make a second copy of that registration, mark it “State Copy” and make it available to any government, law enforcement or prosecuting attorney upon demand. That’s some protection of a gun owner from that registry created at the point of sale. (Note: It was brought to my attention, and correctly so, that current law requires the “State Copy” to be kept on file. LD 9 eliminates the “State Copy” and thus the only “registration” of the purchase of your gun is the one created by the federally licensed gun dealer. Also understand that this registration is still a registration and can and will be accessed when the governments so desire.)

LD 9 prohibits the creation of a “comprehensive registry” (whatever lawyer wants to define that one for us). Comprehensive, in the context used (I’m guessing), means complete. Please define “complete.” Who gets to decide? We are not told that and this is the kind of crap sandwich we are fed by lawyers. They craft laws for themselves not for you and I.

So, if it is now unlawful for the Government to “keep or cause to be kept” a “comprehensive” gun registry, does that mean if they leave off the registration, say your sexual preference, does that now make the registry “uncomprehensive” and thus can be used by governments and law enforcement when it comes time to confiscate your REGISTERED guns that you REGISTERED when you purchased your guns from a licensed dealer.

Stop kidding yourselves! The Second Amendment is the only item in the Bill of Rights that we, not only give away, but do so gladly and all the while believing we are doing the “reasonable” thing.

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More Nonsensical Nonsense About Man’s “Impoverish”ing Wildlife

As nauseating as it is, we hear it all the time – how man is destroying everything and how man is disrupting the balance of nature… which doesn’t exist. Most often mixed in with the rant about how man treats animals we hear, although most often implied, that man should just go away. That, of course, can only be defined as man must die in order to save the animals and our ecosystems.

Last time I checked the Earth is inhabited with a variety of plant and animal life, and while many often want to see man disappear, none are willing to step forward and be the first to do what they have deemed in their tiny minds as the only right thing to do to “Save the Planet.”

In addition, we can also read really stupid things. Here’s an example. This author evidently believes that it is wrong to “manage” game species for surplus harvest. He writes, “A typical response of utilitarians to environmental harm is to call for better management.  So, for example, wildlife agencies manage game species and their habitat so that more of the desired species are available for “harvest.”  In Maine, we manage coyote (that is encourage hunting coyotes) because of the belief that coyotes reduce the number of deer for hunters.”

Simply stated, this is a reasonable approach to utilizing a valuable resource rather than letting it go to waste. Science does show us that within a robust population of, let’s say deer, a percentage of those animals will suffer and die simply because there are too many of them. Is this somehow better than harvesting a percentage to fulfill the wants and needs of people?

Although we could argue this point until the moon turns blue, a point I wanted to make is that while this author finds it wrong to manipulate animal and game populations for the benefit of all, including hunting, he evidently sees no problem with manipulating feral and domestic cat populations for the benefit of “saving” song birds. “As I pointed out in an early blog…, feral cats and cats whose owners let them roam outside kill hundreds of millions, maybe a billion, song birds each year.  Why is it that we get to choose that a species we domesticated is more important than wild birds?”

The fact is, people are never going to take it upon themselves to either leave their cats, and all their other pets indoors. Therefore, the only other course of action to “save song birds” is to kill cats. While the author questions whether manipulating the number of coyotes that kill deer, that are used as a food source, is an ethical thing to do, evidently the feral and domestic cats don’t share the same rights of existence as the coyote. In addition, I guess it just depends on one’s selfish desires of how they want to take advantage of wildlife.

No matter how you view the use of our God-given resources, I wonder, if ever, people will one day realize and admit that man is on this earth and that it belongs to them…even if for a short time? We simply cannot approach wildlife management with any formula that does not include the existence of man.

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Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Given Authority Over Turkey Hunting Dates and Bag Limits

An amended bill, LD98, gives the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife authority to set hunting season dates and bag limits on wild turkeys. In addition, the Department can implement special hunts for wild turkeys when it is deemed a necessity.

Each of us will have to decide whether we think granting this authority to the Department is a good thing or a bad thing. But then again, does it really matter if the Department never uses it? For those who are suffering crop damages and/or other livestock or property damage issues, I hope the Commissioner at least opts to implement some special hunts to mitigate the losses.

One report is being spread around the state that an apple orchard company is losing over $1 million a year in crop damage. MDIFW should begin immediately to stop this problem.

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Hearing Focuses on Bills to Protect Property Rights, Increase Federal Transparency

Press Release from the House Committee on Energy and Natural Resources: (I added a link and copy of H.R. 1830 the Water Rights Protection Act)

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 18, 2017

Today, the Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans held a legislative hearing on two bills to increase federal transparency, safeguard private and state water rights, and provide certainty to water and power users.

The “Water Rights Protection Act” discussion draft (Rep. Scott Tipton, R-CO) protects state water law and private property rights from future federal takings.

Private water rights holders should not live in fear of the federal government coming after them. Mr. Tipton’s bill is necessary to ensure that privately held water rights cannot be extracted by the federal government in the future as a condition to secure a federal permit,Subcommittee Chairman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) said.

Over many decades, federal attempts to manipulate the federal permit, lease and land management process to circumvent long-established state water law and hijack privately-held water rights have sounded the alarm for all non-federal water users that rely on these water rights for their livelihood. The Water Rights Protection Act is commonsense legislation that provides certainty by upholding longstanding federal deference to state water law,Rep. Tipton stated.

Vice President of the Utah Farm Bureau Randy Parker discussed the water rights issues he sees on the ground everyday as the U.S. Forest Service (FS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) “systematically challeng[e] state sovereignty and historically held water rights on public lands.”

The ongoing protests, claims, coercion and even bullying by agents of the FS and the BLM has created and continues to cause considerable uncertainty for ranching families across the West,” Parker said.

Chris Treese, Manager for External Affairs at the Colorado River Water Conservation District, urged swift passage of the “Water Rights Protection Act” to avoid the inevitable downward spiral of litigation.

Unless the FS commits to respecting Western states’ individual water rights adjudication systems to accomplish its flow-related goals, the only sure outcome is contentious, lengthy and expensive litigation. This is a result in no one’s interest, including the environment,” Treese stated.

H.R. 2371 (Rep. Paul Gosar, R-AZ), the “Western Area Power Administration Transparency Act,” establishes a pilot project to increase the transparency of the Western Area Power Administration’s (WAPA) costs, rates, and other financial and operational dealings for utility ratepayers and taxpayers. Patrick Ledger, CEO of the Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, welcomed the transparency and accountability promoted by this bill in light of the recent trend of increased utility rates.

With better information broken down in key components – and with a historical perspective – customers can have a better dialogue with [WAPA],” Ledger said.This is perhaps the most fundamental benefit that the transparency legislation offers.”

Click here to view full witness testimony.

BILLS-114hr1830ih
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Maine’s Nuisance Wild Turkeys

Roll the film! Quiet on the set. Action! The scene begins with a line of people getting ready to board the colorfully decorated 15-passenger van headed out on a wildlife tour. The passengers are obvious city folks – dressed like city folks and acting like city folks – after all who would pay money to go “view” wildlife from a 15-passenger van and 14 other smelly people? I rest my case.

The first stop? Timberlake’s Apple Orchard in Turner…..cut! cut! cut! What to hell is this? The customers are not happy. They have to interest in seeing wild turkeys destroying an apple orchard. And perhaps that is one of the reasons that not enough noise is being made about the wild turkey nuisances that, in the case of the Timberlake’s, is costing them in excess of $1 million in lost produce each year.

It’s the city dwellers, the “Environmentalists” that instill fear in what the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) does. No, no, no. Science no longer dictates the necessities of wildlife management. It’s which group with the most money and the loudest voices who get the oil for the squeaky wheel. Environmentalists don’t care about wild turkeys nor do they care that some family in Turner, Maine is using up THEIR environment and habitat to produce food. After all, to them food is found in a grocery store.

MDIFW caves to the Environmentalists when they demand that the state grow more moose so that city dwellers, who have no skin in the game, can board one of those 15-passenger gas guzzlers (carbon producers – wink, wink) and sip their lattes and hope to gawk out the window and see a moose beside the road mucking themselves up to get out of the torment of the black flies and mosquitoes – even at the expense of increased wildlife diseases and parasites. But we don’t talk about that stuff because that isn’t what animal lovers do.

It appears that now the introduction of wild turkeys back into Maine was such a resounding success (in the eye of the beholder) that the animal has reached a point that it has become a nuisance. Just the simple example of one business losing $1 million in produce a year to turkeys, should be reason enough to start killing turkeys. Environmentalists, who by the way have infiltrated every crevasse of government agencies, including fish and wildlife departments, are probably glad the Timberlakes are losing money and turkeys are an animal, thus all animals should be protected and hunting stopped. Business and food growing is bad to the Environmentalist. So, there you have it.

But it appears that MDIFW, even with new authority to increase bag limits and lengthen hunting seasons on turkeys, doesn’t seem much interested in doing something about the nuisance. I wonder if the public tolerance part of the equation is losing its bite. Where once the ONLY way that something like turkey reintroduction could work is if the public was in support and how long turkeys remained depended on how long that support continued. It appears the support is dwindling faster than a stack of pancakes at Dysarts. If MDIFW waits too long to act, it may be too late.

There have been some changes to the hunting seasons, bag limits and fees charged but that doesn’t seem to have had any effect on the growth of wild turkeys or the number of the critters being harvested. According to George Smith, outdoor writer and political activist, in 2014 his proposed legislation, which passed with amendments, created some changes and gave MDIFW authority and flexibility to mitigate the problem: “The final bill in 2014 reduced the turkey hunting permit to $20 for both residents and nonresidents, with no additional fee for a second tom in the spring, expanded the fall season to the entire month of October and added a second turkey of either sex to the fall bag limit, reduced the tagging fee from $5 to $2 for each turkey (with all of the fee going to the tagging agent), extended the spring season to all-day, and authorized all-day hunting for Youth Day.”

Smith said that even these changes has not solved the turkey problem. Probably a bit understated.

In 2013, before the new legislation described above was enacted, the combined wild turkey harvest for both Spring and Fall hunts was 8,718. Those totals dropped to 7,554 for 2014 and essentially remained unchanged for 2015 adding up to 7,570 birds harvested.

2016 harvest data remains incomplete. The Spring harvest for 2016 was 5,154 turkeys, which when compared with previous years is below the average.

So, yes! Clearly the changes have done nothing to increase the wild turkey harvest, thus reducing the population. So what’ll it be? Is Maine going to fall in line with far too many other states that sit on their hands, fearful of the repercussions from the Environmentalists and allow Maine businesses to go under because of a damned animal? Time will tell but there may not be that much time left.

It would seem to me that given the implementation of more liberal turkey hunting guidelines and showing no results to reducing the wild turkey population, that’s it’s time MDIFW began looking at the turkey as a nuisance and a problem, allowing for harvesting the birds without any special permit or tagging requirement with fees. Set daily bag limits like those of grouse and monitor the situation. If it gets to a point that turkeys begin reaching low levels, adjust the seasons and bag limits to accommodate.

To hell with the Environmentalists. Apple growers and other private farms and business don’t need to be run out of town because perverts want to protect a bird that doesn’t need protection.

Just more of the same nonsense.

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Maine Police Nazi Eavesdrop on Citizens Within Social Media

People, the most of whom refuse to even think that THEIR governments would violate the trust and “listen in” on social media communication, will probably never get it, nor will they probably care.

Computer software, designed to “listen” for key words, such as “fight,” “gun” (wink, wink) etc. provide a red flag in which law enforcement, against the written word of the Bill of Rights, spy on you to see what you are up to….but that’s not an intrusion? Oh, yeah! That’s right! You are one of those who bought the lie, hook, line and sinker, that the Patriot Act was also a good and necessary thing.

And what? It should come as a surprise that local and state police in the Pine Tree State are spying on the people? The Federal Government has been doing it for some time now and evidently we like it a lot because we don’t do anything about it. We are told this computer software being used to intrude on citizens was funded by the CIA. GET A CLUE?

A spokesman for the city of South Portland said how their police uses the computer software isn’t prying into personal matters. Oh really? He follows this up by stating the obvious lie: “Most of the hits we get are someone going hunting and talking about their shotgun, so we get some nice pictures of a freshly killed deer.”

Evidently “someone going hunting and talking about their shotgun” being spied on by Police Nazis isn’t prying into their personal matters.

But you keep on using the most destructive tool in America today, Facebook, and above all……

DON’T GO LOOK!

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Maine House Fearful of Lawsuits Passes Bill to Allow “Religious” People to Forego Wearing Blaze Orange

The Maine House has passed, 120-27, LD 426 that provides anyone who cannot wear bright colored clothing while firearms hunting for deer, to discard it and instead wear some kind of red clothing – some kind because what that red is has not been determined.

Many other things in the bill, whose sponsor was quoted as saying, “I feel that failure to do so will almost certainly lead to a legal confrontation between the state of Maine and this group of Amish people”…, were not spelled out and leaves wide open many issues, some of which could be potentially serious.

If the Senate passes and the Governor signs this bill, it appears anyone can hunt deer with firearms and forego wearing blaze orange and replace it with red. If questioned simply tell the warden it’s for religious reasons. Who is going to prove one way or another. Does this bill clearly point out that you have to be an active member of a recognized “religious” order or sect to qualify? And now wouldn’t that open up a can of worms!

And what about liability. Yes, Maine law states that a hunter is responsible to know his target before shooting. But what if there is an accident anyway. Is the shooter exempt from liability because, unlike all other hunters, a “religious” hunter isn’t wearing the required hunter orange?

So, what does this say about the years of process and development of Maine hunter safety rules. Do we toss those out the window because of a “religious” belief? If blaze orange is a public safety issue then it is a public safety issue…period.

If Maine is passing this bill, partly due to the fear of lawsuits brought on by the Amish, then is it that they have no fear of a lawsuit brought on by everyone else who feels reverse discrimination?

But what I find of interest, and I suppose a point that nobody wants to speak of (out of fear of a lawsuit for bigotry and/or religious persecution), is that the Amish state that their religion forbids them to wear bright-colored clothing because it draws attention unto them. Really? So is it the bright clothing that is the issue or the fact that attention is being brought on them somehow?

If it’s about the attention, then one could argue that they certainly draw more attention on themselves simply by living a lifestyle that causes people to stop and stare, and sometimes worse than that. And if that isn’t enough, I know when I am out in the woods hunting, and wearing blaze orange because it is REQUIRED by law (and now I will be treated differently) there’s nobody around in the woods that would give a damn what I’m wearing.

In short, none of this makes much sense at all. It just all sounds like a bunch of crap, rooted in the fear of some sort of lawsuit, to go overboard with “religious” tolerance. Which brings me to another point. If it’s the attention they are trying to avoid, what kind of attention have they already brought on themselves by pushing this law and what more attention, probably national, would they bring on themselves if they filed a lawsuit?

I call BS!

Personally I don’t care. I really don’t. Under certain circumstances I would like to be able to hunt without blaze orange. Now, I guess I can because I just found “religion.”

 

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Law of Nations Chap. VI. Right of Embassy

CHAP. VI.
OF THE RIGHT OF EMBASSY, OR THE RIGHT OF SENDING AND RECEIVING PUBLIC MINISTERS.

§ 55. It is necessary that nations be enabled to treat and communicate together.

IT is necessary that nations should treat and hold intercourse together, in order to promote their interests, — to avoid injuring each other, — and to adjust and terminate their disputes. And as they all he under the indispensable obligation of giving their consent and concurrence to whatever conduces to the general advantage and welfare (Prelim. § 13) — of procuring the means of accommodating and terminating their differences (Book II. § 323, &c.) — and as each has a right to every thing which her preservation requires (Book I. § 18) — to every thing which can promote her perfection without injuring others (Ib. § 23), as also to the necessary means of fulfilling her duties, — it results from the premises, that each nation is at once possessed of the right to treat and communicate with others, and bound by reciprocal obligation to consent to such communication as far as the situation of her affairs will permit her.

§ 56. They do this by the agency of public ministers.

But nations or sovereign states do not treat together immediately: and their rulers or sovereigns cannot well come to a personal conference in order to treat of their affairs. Such interviews would often be impracticable; and, exclusive of delays, trouble, expense, and so many other inconveniences, it is rarely, according to the observation of Philip de Commines, that any good effect could be expected from them. The only expedient, therefore, which remains for nations and sovereigns, is to communicate and treat with each other by the agency of procurators or mandatories, — of delegates charged with their commands, and vested with their powers, — that is to say, public ministers. This term, in its more extensive and general sense, denotes any person intrusted with the management of public affairs, but is more particularly understood to designate one who acts in such capacity at a foreign court.

At present there are several orders of public ministers, and in the sequel we shall speak of them; but whatever difference custom has introduced between them, the essential character is common to them all; I mean that of minister, and in some sort, representative of a foreign power, — a person charged with the commands of that power, and delegated to manage his affairs: and that quality is sufficient for our present purpose.

§ 57. Every sovereign

Every sovereign state then has a right to send and to receive public ministers; for they are necessary instruments in the management of those affairs which sovereigns have to transact with each other, and the channels of that correspondence which they have a right to carry on. In the first chapter of this work may be seen who are those sovereigns, and what those independent states, that are entitled to rank in the great society of nations. They are the powers to whom belongs the right of embassy.

§ 58. An unequal alliance, or a treaty of protection, does not take away this right.

An unequal alliance, or even a treaty of protection, not being incompatible with sovereignty (Book I. §§ 5, 6), — such treaties do not of themselves deprive a state of the right of sending and receiving public ministers. If the inferior ally or the party protected has not expressly renounced the right of entertaining connections and treating with other powers, he necessarily retains that of sending ministers to them, and of receiving their ministers in turn. The same rule applies to such vassals and tributaries as are not subjects (Book I. §§ 7,8).

§ 59. Right of the princes and states of the empire in this respect.

Nay more, this right may even belong to princes or communities not possessed of sovereign power; for the rights whose assemblage constitutes the plenitude of sovereignly, are not indivisible: and if, by the constitution of the state, by the concession of the sovereign, or by reservations which the subjects have made with him, a prince or community remains possessed of any one of those rights which usually belong to the sovereign alone, such prince or community may exercise it, and avail themselves of it in all its effects and all its natural or necessary consequences, unless they have been formally excepted. Though the princes and states of the empire are dependent on the emperor and the empire, yet they are sovereign in many respects; and as the constitutions of the empire secure to them the right of treating with foreign powers and contracting alliances with them, they incontestably have also that of sending and receiving public ministers. The emperors, indeed, when they felt themselves able to carry their pretensions very high, have sometimes disputed that right, or at least attempted to render the exercise of it subject to the control of their supreme authority, — insisting that their permission was necessary to give it a sanction. But since the peace of Westphalia, and by means of the imperial capitulations, the princes and states of Germany have been able to maintain themselves in the possession of that right; and they have secured to themselves so many other rights, that the empire is now considered as a republic of sovereigns.

§ 60. Cities that have the right of banner.

There are even cities which are and which acknowledge themselves to be in a state of subjection, that have nevertheless a right to receive the ministers of foreign powers, and to send them deputies, since they have a right to treat with them. This latter circumstance is the main point upon which the whole question turns; for whosoever has a right to the end, has a right to the moans. It would be absurd to acknowledge the right of negotiating and treating, and to contest the necessary means of doing it. Those cities of Switzerland, such as Neufchatel and Bienne, which have the right of banner, have, by natural consequence, a right to treat with foreign powers, although the cities in question be subject to the dominion of a prince: for the right of banner, or of arms, comprehends that of granting succours of troops,1 provided such grants be not inconsistent with the service of the prince. Now, if those cities are entitled to grant troops, they must necessarily be at liberty to listen to the applications made to them on the subject by a foreign power, and to treat respecting the conditions. Hence it follows that they may also depute an agent to him for that purpose, or receive his ministers. And as they are at the same time vested with the administration of their own internal police, they have it in their power to insure respect to such foreign ministers as come to them. What is here said of the rights of those cities is confirmed by ancient and constant practice. However exalted and extraordinary such rights may appear, they will not be thought strange, if it be considered that those very cities were already possessed of extensive privileges at the time when their princes were themselves dependent on the emperors, or on other liege lords who were immediate vassals of the empire. When the princes shook off the yoke of vassalage, and established themselves in a state of perfect independence, the considerable cities in their territories made their own conditions; and instead of rendering their situation worse, it was very natural that they should take hold of existing circumstances, in order to secure to themselves a greater portion of freedom and happiness. Their sovereigns cannot now advance any plea in objection to the terms on which those cities consented to follow their fortunes and to acknowledge them as their only superiors.

§ 61. Ministers of viceroys.

Viceroys and chief governors of a sovereignty or remote province have frequently the right of sending and receiving public ministers; but, in that particular, they act in the name and by the authority of the sovereign whom they represent, and whose rights they exercise. That entirely depends on the will of the master by whom they are delegated. The viceroy of Naples, the governors of Milan, and the governors-general of the Netherland for Spain, were invested with such power.

§ 62. Ministers of the nation or of the regents during an interregnum.

The right of embassy, like all the other rights of sovereignty, originally resides in the nation as its principal and primitive subject. During an interregnum, the exercise of that right reverts to the nation, or devolves on those whom the laws have invested with the regency of the state. They may send ministers in the same manner as the sovereign used to do; and these ministers possess the same rights as were enjoyed by those of the sovereign. The republic of Poland sends ambassadors while her throne is vacant: nor would she suffer that they should be treated with less respect and consideration than those who are sent while she has a king, Cromwell effectually maintained the ambassadors of England in the same rank and respectability which they possessed under the regal authority.

§ 63. Of him who molests another in the exercise of the right of embassy.

Such being the rights of nations, a sovereign who attempts to hinder another from sending and receiving public ministers, does him an injury, and offends against the law of nations. It is attacking a nation in one of her most valuable rights, and disputing her title to that which nature herself gives to every independent society: it is offering an insult to nations in general, and tearing asunder the ties by which they are united.

§ 64. What is allowable in this respect in time of war.

But this is to be understood only of a time of peace; war introduces other rights. It allows us to cut off from an enemy all his resources, and to hinder him from sending ministers to solicit assistance. There are even occasions when we may refuse a passage to the ministers of neutral nations, who are going to our enemy. We are under no obligation to allow them an opportunity of perhaps conveying him intelligence of a momentous nature, and concerting with him the means of giving him assistance, &c. This admits of no doubt, for instance, in the case of a besieged town. No right can authorize the minister of a neutral power or any other person whatsoever, to enter the place without the besieger’s consent. But, in order to avoid giving offence to sovereigns, good reasons must be alleged for refusing to let their ministers pass; and with such reasons they must rest satisfied, if they are disposed to remain neuter. Sometimes even a passage is refused to suspected ministers in critical and dubious junctures, although there do not exist any open war. But this is a delicate proceeding, which, if not justified by reasons that are perfectly satisfactory, produces an acrimony that easily degenerates into an open rupture.

§ 65. The minister of a friendly power is to be received.

As nations are obliged to correspond together, to attend to the proposals and demands made to them, to keep open a free and safe channel of communication for the purpose of mutually understanding each other’s views and bringing their disputes to an accommodation, a sovereign cannot, without very particular reasons, refuse admitting and hearing the minister of a friendly power, or of one with whom he is at peace. But in case there be reasons for not admitting him into the heart of the country, he may notify to him that he will send proper persons to meet him at an appointed place on the frontier, there to hear his proposals. It then becomes the foreign minister’s duty to stop at the place assigned: it is sufficient that he obtains a hearing; that being the utmost that he has a right to expect.

§ 66. Of resident ministers.

The obligation, however, does not extend so far as to include that of suffering at all times the residence of perpetual ministers, who are desirous of remaining at the sovereign’s court, although they have no business to transact with him. It is natural, indeed, and perfectly conformable to the sentiments which nations ought mutually to entertain for each other, that a friendly reception should be given to those resident ministers, when there is no inconvenience to be apprehended from their slay. But if there exist any substantial reason to the contrary, the advantage of the state undoubtedly claims a preference; and the foreign sovereign cannot take it amiss if his minister be requested to withdraw, when he has fulfilled the object of his commission, or when he has not any business to transact. The custom of keeping every where ministers constantly resident is now so firmly established, that whoever should refuse to conform to it, must allege very good reasons for his conduct, if he wishes to avoid giving offence. These reasons may arise from particular conjunctures: but there are also ordinary reasons ever subsisting, and such as relate to the constitution of a government and the state of a nation. Republics would often have very good reasons of the latter kind, to excuse themselves from continually suffering the residence of foreign ministers, who corrupt the citizens, — gain them over to their masters, to the great detriment of the republic, — and excite and foment parties in the state, &c. And even though no other evil should arise from their presence than that of inspiring a nation, originally plain, frugal, and virtuous, with a taste for luxury, the thirst of gain, and the manners of courts, — that alone would be more than sufficient to justify the conduct of wise and provident rulers in dismissing them. The Polish government is not fond of resident ministers; and indeed their intrigues with the members of the diet have furnished but too many reasons for keeping them at a distance. In the war of 1666, a nuncio publicly complained, in the open diet, of the French ambassador’s unnecessarily prolonging his stay in Poland, and declared that he ought to be considered as a spy. In 1668, other members of that body moved for a law to regulate the length of time that an ambassador should be allowed to remain in the kingdom.2

§ 67. How the ministers of an enemy are to be admitted.

The greater calamities of war are, the more it is incumbent on nations to preserve means for putting an end to it. Hence it becomes necessary, that, even in the midst of hostilities, they be at liberty to send ministers to each other, for the purpose of making overtures of peace, or proposals tending to moderate the transports of hostile rage. It is true, indeed, that the minister of an enemy cannot come without permission; accordingly, a passport, or safe-conduct, is asked for him, either through the intervention of some common friend, or by one of those messengers who are protected by the laws of war, and of whom we shall speak in the sequel — I mean a trumpeter or drummer. It is true, also, that, for substantial reasons, the safe-conduct may be refused, and admission denied to the minister. But this liberty, which is authorized by the care that every nation is bound to bestow on her own safety, is no bar to our laying it down as a general maxim, that we are not to refuse admitting and hearing an enemy’s minister; that is to say, that war alone, and of itself, is not a sufficient reason for refusing to hear any proposal coming from an enemy; but that, to warrant such refusal, there must exist some reason of a particular nature, and which rests upon very good grounds, as, for instance, when an artful and designing enemy has, by his own conduct, given us just cause to apprehend that his only intention, in sending his ministers and making proposals, is to disunite the members of a confederacy, to lull them into security by holding out false appearances of peace, and then to overpower them by surprise.

§ 68. Whether ministers may be received from or sent to an usurper.

Before we conclude this chapter, it will be proper to discuss a celebrated question, which has been often debated. It is asked whether foreign nations may receive the ambassadors and other ministers of an usurper, and send their ministers to him? In this particular, foreign powers take for their rule the circumstance of actual possession, if the-interest of their affairs so require: and, indeed, there cannot be a more certain rule, or one that is more agreeable to the law of nations and the independency of states. As foreigners have no right to interfere in the domestic concerns of a nation, they are not obliged to canvass and scrutinize her conduct in the management of them, in order to determine how far it is either just or unjust. They may, if they think proper, suppose the right to be annexed to the possession. When a nation has expelled her sovereign, other powers, who do not choose to declare against her, and to risk the consequences of her enmity or open hostility, consider her thenceforward as a free and sovereign state, without taking on themselves to determine whether she has acted justly in withdrawing from her allegiance to the prince by whom she was governed. Cardinal Mazarin received Lockhart, whom Cromwell had sent as ambassador from the republic of England, and refused to see either King Charles the Second, or his ministers. If a people, after having expelled their prince, submit to another — if they change the order of succession, and acknowledge a sovereign to the prejudice of the natural and appointed heir — foreign powers may, in this instance also, consider what has been done as lawful: it is no quarrel or business of theirs. At the beginning of the last century, Charles, Duke of Sudermania, having obtained the crown of Sweden, to the prejudice of his nephew Sigismund, king of Poland, was soon acknowledged by most sovereigns. Villeroy, minister of the French monarch, Henry the Fourth, in his dispatches of the 8th of April, 1608, plainly said to the president, Jeanin, “All these reasons and considerations shall not prevent the king from treating with Charles, if he finds it to be his interest, and that of his kingdom.” This remark was sensible and judicious. The king of France was neither the judge nor the guardian of the Swedish nation, that he should, contrary to the interests of his own kingdom, refuse to acknowledge the king whom Sweden had chosen, under pretence that a competitor had termed Charles an usurper. Had the charge been even founded injustice, it was an affair which did not fall under the cognizance of foreigners.

Therefore, when foreign powers have received the ministers of an usurper, and sent theirs to him, the lawful prince, on recovering the throne, cannot complain of these measures as an injury, nor justly make them the ground of a war, provided those powers have not proceeded to greater lengths, nor furnished any assistance against him. But to acknowledge the dethroned prince or his heir, after the state has solemnly acknowledged the person to whom the sceptre has been transferred, is an injury done to the latter, and a profession of enmity to the nation that has chosen him. Such a step, hazarded in favour of James the Second’s son, was, by William the Third and the British nation, alleged as one of the principal reasons of the war which England soon after declared against France. Notwithstanding all the caution, and all the protestations of Louis the Fourteenth, his acknowledgment of young Stuart, as king of England, Scotland, and Ireland, under the title of James the Third, was considered by the English as an injury done both to the king and to the nation.


1. See the History of the Helvetic Confederacy, by M. de Watteville.

2. Wiquefort’s Ambassador, b. i. § 1.

 

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If Climate Change is “Settled Science” Why Do We Continue to Research?

That’s essentially what Joe Bastardi says in his contribution opinion piece to the Patriot Post, suggesting that Congress should take the money budgeted for Climate Change research and give it to cover the costs of “preconditions” within the communist health care plans (fake) being proposed by Congress (fake).

Being that we live is a world that is 100% post normal and there is no longer any discussion about why in hell are we being robbed of the money we work our asses off for so that Congress can continue to pay Big Corporations and Big Pharma and suggest levying more taxes to cover fake things that the fat cats don’t want to pay for?

How about this suggestion for all you communist/socialists who LOVE your damned servitude – LET’S DEFUND CONGRESS AND SEND THEM ALL TO HELL!!

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