Boar Down!

Herschel Smith · 30 Oct 2022 · 9 Comments

Readers may have noticed I was absent the last several days.  It was a good time away.  A very good buddy and neighbor of mine, Robert, and I went hunting courtesy of the fine folks with Williams Hunting in South Carolina. I was shooting a 6mm ARC rifle with a Grendel Hunter upper, Aero Precision lower, Amend2 magazines, Brownells scope mount, Radian Raptor charging handle, Nikon Black scope, and a Viking Tactics sling.  I have no complaints about the gun.  It's at least a 1 MOA gun…… [read more]

Chimney Rock, Flag Flying Half Staff In Honor Of Scalia

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 1 month ago

Over the weekend the family took a hike up Chimney Rock.  This is the flag flying half staff for the lion of the court, the one who single-handedly changed the arc of constitutional interpretation in America.


John Yoo On Filling The Supreme Court Vacancy

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 1 month ago


Republican senators and the presidential candidates should reject the claim that they have an obligation to fill Justice Scalia’s vacancy before the election. Senator Harry Reid, for example, declared that “it would be unprecedented in recent history for the Supreme Court to go a year with a vacant seat.” He continued: “Failing to fill this vacancy would be a shameful abdication of one of the Senate’s most essential constitutional responsibilities.” Senator Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, responded that the next president should fill the vacancy.

We should recognize first the Senate has no constitutional obligation to fill any vacancies on the courts or in the executive branch. Article II of the Constitution gives the president the power to appoint justices, but only with “the advice and consent” of the Senate. It does not require that the Senate give the president’s nomination approval, or a rejection, any more than it requires the Senate to quickly give its advice and consent to a treaty negotiated by the president. President Obama can nominate anyone he likes, or he can leave it to the results of the November election. The Senate can confirm, reject, or just sit on the nominee, just as it can with any other proposal from the executive branch. Its right to delay or reject nominees is an important weapon in the constant struggle for advantage between the executive and the legislative branches.

Some may suggest that the Court needs nine members to function properly. This argument is simply untrue. Unlike the presidency, the Supreme Court is a collegial body. It can do its job with eight members; at the beginning of the Republic, it operated with six. The Constitution itself requires only that the Court have a chief justice and reserves to Congress the choice over its size. The Court has virtually complete control over its docket, and if it were truly feeling burdened by too much work, it could just hear fewer cases. Although the justices are taking more-controversial cases than ever, they are also taking many fewer cases than they did 30 or 40 years ago.

I couldn’t care less if the Supreme Court didn’t have any justices whatsoever.  If this senate moves to approve Obama’s nominee, it will be the end of the republican party forever.  There will be nothing left.  No, I’m not saying that it should be the right kind of nominee who is agreed upon by all of the respectable senators like the little worm Lindsey Graham.

I’m saying I and the rest of conservative and libertarian America doesn’t want this senate to do anything with any nominee.  We don’t trust you because you aren’t trustworthy.  We don’t want this decision in your hands.  Stay in session for enough days to block any “recess appointment” Obama might want to make, work the system to block Obama and his minions, and wait until this must be done under a new president.

Oh, there is no end to the sky-is-falling commentators.  Ruth Marcus writes this.

Refusing to go forward would serve to deepen and entrench the existing partisanship and ensuing gridlock.

Finally, a Senate work stoppage would, in fact, be bad for Republicans. In the nation’s capital these days, everything is political, every institution politicized. That may be inevitable and irreparable, yet tables here have a way of turning. One party’s obstructionism ends up hurting it down the road.

[ … ]

Running out of time is not a credible claim.

Listen to the Republicans, in the Senate or on the campaign trail, arguing for inaction. Their claims proceed from the position of raw power, not constitutional language.

Ooo … the constitution … gridlock … a divided America … bad for republicans!  Perhaps even losing control of the senate!  Boo!  Hold me uncle Bob.  I’m askeerd!  Boo!  Cue eerie, creepy music.  Boo!

It’s not hard to see the likes of Mitch McConnell running scared and screaming like a little girl.  Lindsey Graham too.  But the rest of you had better hold firm.  And remember.  Our remedies are seldom used, but we do have them.  There is always hemp rope and light posts, or if you prefer, tar and feathers.  And don’t ever forget that gun ownership isn’t about hunting, self defense, or “sporting purposes.”  It’s about the people having a surety against tyranny.

Prior (for the influence of C.S. Lewis on Antonin Scalia): Remembering Antonin Scalia

See also David French on filling the vacancy, Elizabeth Price Foley, and especially Steven Calabresi, Scalia Towered Over John Marshall.

Remembering Antonin Scalia

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 1 month ago

When I found out about Scalia’s death on Saturday, I yelled “No, No, No, No,” fifteen or twenty times at the top of my lungs.  Much badness will follow.

While Mitch McConnell has said that the vacancy will be filled by the next president, he is a traitor like Paul Ryan.  The Senate and House have given Obama everything he’s asked for seven years.  They won’t stop now.  Ted Cruz has promised to filibuster any nominee, and good on him for planning this ahead of time.  I predict that the other senators will hang him out to dry like the worthless, quisling traitor, spineless crap weasels they are and like they did on his filibuster of Obamacare funding.

As to Scalia, I found that his Heller decision was his weakest, and leaves us with much work to be done by the Supreme Court in the future.  Perhaps it was the best he could get past the other justices, but he is now dead and the balance of the court may change for the worse.  This is a lesson for future justices.  Don’t do things incrementally.  We may not have you around long enough to finish the job.

His best work was in his dissents, and if you haven’t read the book “Scalia Dissents,” you owe it to yourself to get it and read it.  Not only is it educational for the cases that have been before the court (you need some understanding of them in order to understand his dissent), but it is a window into one of the great minds of the twentieth century.  His jurisprudence is a demarcation of the legal landscape for generations to come.

On a personal note, I do not know and have never met Scalia.  But my brother, who graduated from Emory Law School, has met him and had a chance to discuss his writings.  One question my brother posed went something like this.  “I admire your decisions and dissents, but what I really wanted to ask you pertains to your writing style and abilities.  Your writings can be understood by scholar and layman alike, and in my opinion it is part of what has made you so successful.  How did you learn to communicate the way you do?”

Scalia responded something like this.  “Thank you, I spent time reading and studying everything C.S. Lewis wrote.  Read and study his writings and you’ll find someone who can communicate to both scholar and layman.”  As for my reaction to what my brother relayed to me, I’m not surprised.  I know someone who visited England recently and took the C.S. Lewis tour, in which they saw his home, where he taught, personal effects and other such things.

The tour was given by one person, and my friends were the only ones on the tour.  “England,” said the tour guide, “has forgotten about Lewis.  The only people I guide now are Americans.”  How tragic.  Lewis was a national treasure.  So too, Scalia was a national treasure.  I fear we will not really know what we had and be able to miss it with necessary earnestness for a very long time.  But at least with me, I will not forget C.S. Lewis, and I won’t forget Scalia.  National treasures are like that.

Justice Scalia On Religion And The Constitution

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 2 months ago


Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said Saturday the idea of religious neutrality is not grounded in the country’s constitutional traditions and that God has been good to the U.S. exactly because Americans honor him.

Scalia was speaking at a Catholic high school in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie, Louisiana. Scalia, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 is the court’s longest serving justice. He has consistently been one of the court’s more conservative members.

He told the audience at Archbishop Rummel High School that there is “no place” in the country’s constitutional traditions for the idea that the state must be neutral between religion and its absence.

“To tell you the truth there is no place for that in our constitutional tradition. Where did that come from?” he said. “To be sure, you can’t favor one denomination over another but can’t favor religion over non-religion?”

He also said there is “nothing wrong” with the idea of presidents and others invoking God in speeches. He said God has been good to America because Americans have honored him.

Scalia said during the Sept. 11 attacks he was in Rome at a conference. The next morning, after a speech by President George W. Bush in which he invoked God and asked for his blessing, Scalia said many of the other judges approached him and said they wished their presidents or prime ministers would do the same.

“God has been very good to us. That we won the revolution was extraordinary. The Battle of Midway was extraordinary. I think one of the reasons God has been good to us is that we have done him honor. Unlike the other countries of the world that do not even invoke his name we do him honor. In presidential addresses, in Thanksgiving proclamations and in many other ways,” Scalia said.

“There is nothing wrong with that and do not let anybody tell you that there is anything wrong with that,” he added.


He’s right, of course.  Moreover, this thinking is right in line with the historical reformed thinking of men like Cornelius Van Til, Gordon Clark, and my own professor C. Gregg Singer and others, on the logical impossibility of neutrality.  All syllogisms have presuppositions, those presuppositions being axiomatic irreducibles, with the balance of thought and deduction being impossible without them, and the rest of the system able to be judged on its logical consistency based on those presuppositions.  And I agree with Scalia, even if he doesn’t invoke reformed thinkers for his basis.

Unlike Scalia, however, who is Roman Catholic, I don’t think God cares very much whether we invoke His name in a presidential address or some similar charade.  The invocation of His name must be sincere, humble and within the context of repentance.

This is what I don’t see in America, and thus God will not long bless her.  She is even now experiencing the lack of God’s favor because of her stubbornness.

So Scalia is right, and he is wrong.

26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (704)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (40)
Air Power (10)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (22)
Ammunition (243)
Animals (219)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
Antonin Scalia (1)
AR-15s (352)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (84)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (28)
Australian Army (7)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (2)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (177)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (18)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (3)
Blogs (24)
Body Armor (23)
Books (3)
Border War (17)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (38)
British Army (35)
Camping (4)
Canada (17)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (16)
Christmas (14)
CIA (30)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (3)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (218)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (202)
Department of Homeland Security (26)
Disaster Preparedness (5)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (12)
Donald Trump (27)
Drone Campaign (4)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
El Salvador (1)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (2)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (35)
Featured (188)
Federal Firearms Laws (18)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (1,674)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (15)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (44)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (9)
Georgia (19)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (1,529)
Guns (2,200)
Guns In National Parks (3)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (8)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (16)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (3)
Horses (2)
Humor (69)
Hunting (18)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (101)
India (10)
Infantry (4)
Information Warfare (4)
Infrastructure (4)
Intelligence (23)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (171)
Iraq (379)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (64)
Islamists (97)
Israel (19)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (3)
Jihadists (81)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (9)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (5)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (6)
Lawfare (13)
Leadership (6)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (2)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (14)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (8)
Logistics (50)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (276)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
Media (66)
Medical (145)
Memorial Day (6)
Mexican Cartels (39)
Mexico (58)
Michael Yon (6)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (5)
Military Equipment (25)
Militia (9)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (25)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (25)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (88)
NATO (15)
Navy (30)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (3)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (3)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (62)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (221)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (7)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (71)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Pistol (3)
Pizzagate (21)
Police (603)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (961)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (439)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Rifles (1)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (75)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (37)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (571)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (28)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (23)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Supreme Court (36)
Survival (161)
SWAT Raids (57)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (18)
Tactical Gear (10)
Taliban (168)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (21)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (95)
Thanksgiving (12)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (24)
TSA Ineptitude (13)
TTPs (4)
U.S. Border Patrol (5)
U.S. Border Security (17)
U.S. Sovereignty (21)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (10)
Uncategorized (86)
Universal Background Check (3)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (3)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (409)
War & Warfare (40)
War Movies (4)
War Reporting (21)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (6)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (77)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (21)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

March 2023
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2023 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.