Friday, April 24, 2015

The Idolatry of Statism 

Sometimes I feel like a lonely voice crying in the wilderness when I denounce statism, especially socialism, as idolatry.

But then I come across Timothy Fountain stating that statism is idolatry for both right and left, and I do not feel so alone.  Do go read his thoughtful piece.

And statism is an idolatrous tendency that transcends the usual categories of left and right.  A big reason our nation is in a bad way is not only the Democrat Party, but also the Republican establishment is wedded to statist big government.  Yeah, maybe they want to grow it more slowly than Democrats, but mainly they just want to run it instead of Democrats.

And that statist tendency of the Establishment Republicans who now control Congress has greatly undermined the Consent of the Governed.  How many elections have we had in my lifetime that have said “NO!” to big government?  I would say 1966, 1978, 1980, 1984, perhaps 1988, 1994, 2004, 2010, and 2014.  Yet the federal government has gotten bigger and bigger, and more and more intrusive.  The disregard both parties have shown for the 2010 and 2014 elections has been particularly marked.

How long can a government get more powerful in defiance of the consent of the governed, with even the supposed opposition party ignoring the votes of the people, without ugly consequences?

I pray that the 2016 election is such a repudiation of big government statism that the winners finally get it and bow to the Consent of the Governed by putting the federal government in its place.  For the alternatives I see would not bode well for either freedom or civil peace.

But I know too well that politicians rarely reduce their own power.  It usually has to be taken from them.  Therefore, I fear the near future of the United States and of both its major parties will not be a pleasant one.

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hillary! – Foreign Policy for Sale IV: Clinton “Charities” Misreported Foreign Donations 

Nothing to see here.  Nothing at all.

Hillary Clinton’s family’s charities are refiling at least five annual tax returns after a Reuters review found errors in how they reported donations from governments, and said they may audit other Clinton Foundation returns in case of other errors…

The charities’ errors generally take the form of under-reporting or over-reporting, by millions of dollars, donations from foreign governments, or in other instances omitting to break out government donations entirely when reporting revenue, the charities confirmed to Reuters.

But I’m sure they were honest, well-meaning errors . . . that have nothing to do with concealing foreign influence.  So don’t even think that!  Shame on you!

For three years in a row beginning in 2010, the Clinton Foundation reported to the IRS that it received zero in funds from foreign and U.S. governments, a dramatic fall-off from the tens of millions of dollars in foreign government contributions reported in preceding years.

Those entries were errors, according to the foundation: several foreign governments continued to give tens of millions of dollars toward the foundation’s work on climate change and economic development through this three-year period. Those governments were identified on the foundation’s annually updated donor list, along with broad indications of how much each had cumulatively given since they began donating.

Just minor clerical errors.  Hey, not reporting millions of dollars from foreign governments happens every day.  And we know the Clintons are honest . . . . . .  Nothing to see here.  Move along.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Lawlessness Begets Lawlessness 

I have been very hesitant to write this post.  I fear that what I am about to say will be twisted into supposed advocacy of violence.  So let me say right now, I pray for a peaceful, lawful defeat and casting off of the lawless tyranny, tyrannies really, that have descended on America.  And every time I read from Coverdale’s Psalm 57 during Morning Prayer – Under the shadow of thy wings shall be my refuge, until this tyranny be overpast – I am reminded so to pray.

But I fear matters will not transpire so well or so peacefully for the United States.

And so does Maetenloch at Ace of Spades.  For the past two nights, he has focused on the problem of lawless Leftists disregarding the rule of law and using raw government force to attack political opponents, and so far without consequences.

Yes, his overnight threads are . . . wide-ranging.  Focus on  “Wisconsin’s Shame” and “How Lois Lerner Evaded Charges” from two nights ago and on “Quote of the Day” and “Kurt Schlichter: Why Liberals May Regret Their New Rules” from last night.

The problem of lawless government extends far beyond it being used to attack political opponents. (That is another reason I have been hesitant to post.  It is a problem so big, it is hard to get one’s arms around it, and it is not at all easy to do so even in this humble post.) But for now, let us consider this aspect and its consequences.

And, yes, I am not naïve.  I know Obama and his ilk are not the first ones to attempt to use the power of government to suppress and attack political opponents.  But a moment in American history in which the attacks are so wide ranging, using multiple agencies, and are being conducted with such impunity – such a moment does not come to mind.

The result may be that Leftists may find their cry “No Justice. No Peace.” may be more true than they would like. As Maetenloch observed two nights ago:

We have a system of justice in this country but more and more it's clear that it no longer can provide any justice in the cases of partisan government officials using government harassment and thuggery against citizens who merely hold opposing political beliefs. . . .

So there's an assumption that if the legal system is manipulated and even blocked, then there's simply no recourse at all for those on the receiving end of this treatment and so they'll just accept it. Which is clearly what the above people [i. e. namely Milwaukee district attorney John Chisholm and Judge Barbara Kluka in Wisconsin, and Lois Lerner and US Attorney Ron Machen. - Ed.] and their allies seem to believe. Well out of inertia of trust in the system this is true up to a point - but only up to a point.

But when that trust that justice will actually be delivered is finally broken, stoic acceptance of the jiggered results of a broken system can no longer be counted upon either. Instead you will see a reversion to the older, rougher justice delivery firmware that's embedded in our DNA and it will be ugly. But not necessarily unjust.

Given that people have had their lives destroyed for merely making a bad joke on social media, wearing the wrong shirt, answering a hypothetical question about catering incorrectly, and using the wrong ordering of words in a phrase, not to mention threatened with jail for the act of committing politics, I see no reason that Chisholm, Kluka, Lerner, and Machen who have done far worse should be able to walk the streets and go through life comfortably and carefree.

Don't blame me for this - I wasn't the one who deliberately subverted and broke the system of justice that we had.

Yes, this comes a bit close to advocating vigilante justice.  And vigilante justice is not to be desired - all the more reason to demand lawful justice against the likes of John Chisholm and Lois Lerner.  For a vacuum of no lawful justice from those who have the duty to execute justice invites vigilantism . . . and worse as Kurt Schlichter warns:

Which brings us to America in 2015. It’s becoming a nation where an elite that is certain of its power and its moral rightness is waging a cultural war on a despised minority. Except it’s not actually a minority – it only seems that way because it is marginalized by the coastal elitist liberals who run the mainstream media.

Today in America, we have a liberal president refuses to recognize the majority sent to Congress as a reaction to his progressive failures, and who uses extra-Constitutional means like executive orders to stifle the voice of his opponents. We have a liberal establishment on a secular jihad against people who dare place their conscience ahead of progressive dogma. And we have two different sets of laws, one for the little people and one for liberals like Lois Lerner, Al Sharpton and Hillary Clinton, who can blatantly commit federal crimes and walk away scot free and smirking.

Today in America, a despised minority that is really no minority is the target of an establishment that considers this minority unworthy of respect, unworthy of rights, and unworthy of having a say in the direction of this country. It’s an establishment that has one law for itself, and another for its enemies. It’s an establishment that inflicts an ever-increasing series of petty humiliations on its opponents and considers this all hilarious.

That’s a recipe for disaster. You cannot expect to change the status quo for yourself and then expect those you victimize not to play by the new rules you have created. You cannot expect to be able to discard the rule of law in favor of the rule of force and have those you target not respond in kind.

And although we are already going beyond the topic of government attacks on political opponents, that goes to the heart of the problem – lawlessness begets lawlessness.  And that especially if the lawless are those in power who abuse government power to subvert justice, the rule of law, and Constitutional rights instead of furthering and protecting them.  What I've posted so far is just a taste of the rising anger among Americans.

Schlichter notes that the revolt against these and other enormities of the Left has been peaceful so far, marked mainly by the elections of 2010 and 2014. (And I find that peacefulness remarkable and commendable.)  But, unlike Bill Clinton in 1994, Obama has chosen to defy the Consent of the Governed as expressed in those elections and so have congressional Republicans.  They were elected to stop Obama.  Instead they have enabled him.  And the consequences of that enabling could be ugly as well and in many ways already are.  But that will have to wait for another post.

In any case, government that not only ignores political opponents, but also ignores the rule of law by using raw government power to attack political opponents, as DA John Chisholm and IRS hack Lois Lerner and, yes, Obama have done, is profoundly un-American and invites a response we do not associate with this country as well.

Please pray for the country.  We need it.

MORE: Glenn Reynolds has been posting frequently in this area over at Instapundit.  For example, this post about Wisconsin.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hillary! – Foreign Policy for Sale III: Can you say “slush fund”? 

The Federalist has more on foreign governments and businesses (successfully) trying to influence U. S. foreign policy through donations to the Clinton Foundation.  But I found this particularly eye-opening (Emphasis mine.):

Between 2009 and 2012, the Clinton Foundation raised over $500 million dollars according to a review of IRS documents by The Federalist (2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008). A measly 15 percent of that, or $75 million, went towards programmatic grants. More than $25 million went to fund travel expenses. Nearly $110 million went toward employee salaries and benefits. And a whopping $290 million during that period — nearly 60 percent of all money raised — was classified merely as “other expenses.”

Face it.  The Clinton Foundation is a big Bill and Hillary slush fund.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Church Prison 

My parish has recently discovered that our baptismal font is multiple use -  and it’s a good thing, too.
We were at our wits’ end in dealing with naughty and irreverent children . . . until we began using our font as our Church Prison.

Not only is the miscreant (such as the naughty boy in the photo) dealt with and properly shamed, but the other children see and fear. 

Behavior has markedly improved, thanks be to God!

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Hillary! – Foreign Policy for Sale II 

Ten days ago, I mentioned an episode in which it is obvious that Hillary! as Secretary of State had put up U. S. foreign policy for sale in Columbia.

Well, with Peter Schweizer’s Clinton Cash coming out on May 5th and already making the news, it now appears Bill and Hillary! being enriched by foreign governments and businesses with salubrious effects on U. S. foreign policy might be about to become a big issue.  

Stay tuned.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Bible-totin’ Hillary 

Hillary’s campaign is pushing the image (And is there anything intentional that is not image with the Clintons?) of Hillary as a Bible-totin’ Methodist.

Well, she may carry around a King James for all I know.  But someone in the King James said, “Ye shall know them by their fruit.”  So let’s look at some of Hillary’s fruit.  (Please don’t take that metaphor too far, thank you.)

“Thou shalt not kill” is a pretty basic teaching of the Bible.  But Hillary cannot be bothered to tell where she stands on late-term abortions.  And she should tell us as she has jumped all over the place on that issue in the past.

Freedom of Religion is a basic American value of obvious concern to Christians.  But Hillary piled on Indiana and Arkansas as they sought to protect freedom of religion.  And she has parroted the Obama Administration line of being all for “freedom of worship,” an alarming turn of words contradictory to genuine freedom of religion as mentioned here in the past.  (And we since then have seen the fruit of that in Obamacare.)

In other words, her position is “You are free to keep your religion in your churches and out of the public square and even out of your own businesses.”  Some freedom.

Hillary can tote Bibles all she wants but her positions on abortion and freedom of religion, for starters, are hardly Christian . . . or American for that matter.

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