Derb AWOL: Apologies For Absence Of Column
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Sniveling apologies to readers for the absence of a column this week. I am on the road and have had to trim my writing schedule. There’ll be an extra long column next week to make up.

In the meantime my weekly column at Taki’s Magazine is up, and so is my fortnightly book review at The American Spectator.

In Taki’s Magazine I propose some Constitutional amendmentsIn Taki’s Magazine I propose some Constitutional amendments: for example, an amendment

Negating any power given to Congress in the Constitution if that power goes unexercised for five years.

I’m thinking here of Article III, Section 2, limiting the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court by “such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.” Use it or lose it, guys.

Wait a minute, you may say: What about the power to declare war in Article I, Section 8? You want Congress to declare war once every five years?  . . .

My “Shelf Life” book review for The American Spectator covers a collection of essays by Chinese dissident Zheng Shiping, writing under the pen-name Ye Fu (“Man of the Wild”):
Hard Road HomeZheng’s stories are told with a melancholy integrity.  Andrew Clark has translated well within the limitations imposed by two different literary cultures.  He has supplied copious footnotes, the longest of which—on the “struggle sessions” in which victims had to perform abject self-criticisms before a worked-up mob of colleagues or neighbors—sheds interesting light on the often-asked question:  How much of the awfulness of Chinese communism is Chinese, and how much communist?
I taught school in Mainland China in the 80s. I was never “struggled” by the ChiComs , thank goodness—the sessions were often fatal for the strugglee—but I did have to do a self-criticism before my Party Secretary. I’ll tell the story sometime.

Read the column at TakiMag and the book review at TAS. Then buy the book, if only to show support for a brave dissident (and a dedicated translator). Fearless truth-tellers like Zheng are the heroes of our age.

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