Wednesday, July 31, 2013

On Subdeacons


From the authoritative Low Churchmans’s Guide to the Solemn High Mass:

In a sensible society, a person who believed himself to be Napoleon, King Arthur, or a buttered scone would be committed to an asylum. Among ritualists, however, those deluded individuals who believe themselves to be “subdeacons" are given positions of great honour and prestige.

In short, the subdeacon is “an imaginary creature.”  And who am I to disagree? ;)

If any are concerned that I have become an imaginary creature, my life has been interesting this week (in a good way) and I have been less inspired than usual to rant.  Hence I am posting less frequently . . . at the moment.

This is a good time to warn, er, remind readers that I tweet more often than I blog now.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Low Churchman’s Guide to the Solemn High Mass


And now for a bit of fun.  I’ve just come across this site that spoofs both Anglo-Catholics and those who detest their style of worship and does so brilliantly.  Go see for yourself.

The guide to “Solemn Things” is a good start.  Enjoy.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Eric Holder’s Attacks Against Red States and Clean Elections Continue


I should not have been surprised by this morning’s news, but I was.  I thought the Supreme Court, in their Voting Right Act ruling, had said enough of the Justice Department treating some states as if it were 1960 and they were still knee-deep in Jim Crow laws.  And I thought Eric Holder would get the message and turn his efforts elsewhere.

But I have over-estimated Barack Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder yet again

First: Attorney General Eric Holder will announce that the Justice Department will initiate broad nationwide attacks on election integrity measures like Voter ID using the remaining portions of the Voting Rights Act. Last month, the Supreme Court struck down the 1965 triggers that forced 15 states to submit election law changes to Washington D.C. for federal approval.

Second: despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, the Justice Department announced it will try to recapture Texas under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act by showing the state continues to act with a racially discriminatory intent when passing voting laws.

Meaning Texas would have to continue to pre-clear any election law changes with Holder, with predictable results.  Never mind the Supreme Court and Constitutional Federalism.  Obama and Holder must have the red states, especially Texas, under their thumb and must have their rigged elections.

. . . this announcement is all about the midterm elections. Obama wants the House back, and the Justice Department is again being turned into a political weapon using the cloak of Civil Rights. This has become the new civil rights model. Because Democratic interests are so perfectly aligned with the civil rights establishment — in no small measure because of extreme block voting by American blacks — the DOJ is now an arm of the DNC.

Exactly.

By the way, the penchant of the Obama regime and allies to use race as a weapon is a big reason race relations in this country are plummeting.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fed Attorney: “I can't for the life of me come up with any kind of innocent explanation for why Obama would have met with the Chief Counsel of the IRS.”


The timing of Obama’s meeting with IRS Chief Counsel William Wilkins – just two days before Wilkins issued Tea Party targeting guidance – is not the only thing, uh, strange about said meeting.  The Tax Prof has received an e-mail from an attorney in the general counsel’s office in a federal agency.  The attorney states that this kind of meeting with a President is out of the ordinary, improper, and, well, hard to explain away.

I’ll restrain myself, dispense with further commentary, and simply let the attorney speak:

As someone who works as an attorney at an agency general counsel's office, I think people are missing the significance of Obama meeting with the IRS chief counsel in the White House. Understand, agency general counsels are not authorized to give legal advice to the President. They advise their agency heads. Only the AG and by delegation the Office of Legal Counsel to the President is authorized to give legal advice to the President. In my seven years of working at a General Counsel's office, I have never once heard of our general counsel meeting with the President. OLC would go crazy if he did. I have worked on a couple of legal opinions that did go to the White House. And each time they were staffed through OLC. Nothing went to the President that wasn't signed off on by OLC and delivered to him by OLC.

So I can't for the life of me come up with any kind of innocent explanation for why Obama would have met with the Chief Counsel of the IRS. That meeting shouldn't ever happen, and especially not without the Commissioner of the IRS being there. Presidents just don't go to agency chief counsels with legal questions. Presidents don't go to anyone with legal questions. Their staff does. The idea that the President would sit down with some random agency chief counsel and discuss some pressing legal issue is just bizarre to anyone who has worked in the legal field at that level. I am not sure the reporters covering this story understand how legal advice is actually delivered to the President and just how out of the ordinary that meeting was.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Downfall X: IRS Chief Counsel Met With Obama 2 Days Before Issuing Tea Party Targeting Instructions


Last month, I explained why, although he’s guilty as Hell, I do not expect a smoking gun directly linking Obama to the IRS scandals or other Obamagate scandals for that matter.

But after this revelation yesterday, I am beginning to wonder.  On April 23rd, 2012, IRS Chief Counsel William Wilkins, one of only two Obama political appointees to the IRS, spent seven hours at the White House and met with Obama during that time.  And guess what happened two days later . . .

On April 25, 2012, Wilkins sent Hull and fellow Washington-based IRS official Lois Lerner [Her, yet again – Ed.] “additional comments on the draft guidance” for approving or denying tea party tax-exempt applications, according to the IRS’ inspector general’s report.

Now can this be just a coincidence?  Sure, but likely not.

I think Obama gave his approval in some form to tea party targeting during that meeting with Wilkins. (And that approval may have been in the form of “Carry on” as targeting was already occurring.) A month ago, I would have found such direct approval unlikely due to Obama’s disconnected leadership style.  But the timing of the meeting and of the guidance just two days later is close to damning.  The main question in my mind now is will someone confess that Obama gave approval of IRS targeting.  And I do not yet have an opinion on that question.

If someone does confess to Obama’s approval of IRS targeting, it will be the Downfall of the Obama regime.

MORE:
Another interesting coincidence.  Jeffrey Zients, who met during IRS officials during the targeting, and who resigned from the Obama Administration two weeks before the scandal broke, disappeared since then and is now out of the country.  Hmmmm.

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Downfall is an ongoing series anticipating and tracking what I expect will be the self-destruction of Obama.

The first post may be found here.  The series may be found here.

Monday, July 22, 2013

“Put Jesus Above Our Blackness”



This morning as I was preparing breakfast, I was thinking about *someone* calling for an honest conversation on race.  And I reflected that very few really want that, because perhaps the biggest race problem in America today* is Black racism, and very few of any skin color really want to address that unpleasant subject.  And that even though Black racism has infected even the church every bit as much as White racism did 50 years and more ago.  Many Black churches are more Black than Christian and at least a few prominent ones are downright hateful about it.  See Obama’s old church, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

And I myself thought I best not address that topic with full honesty, that it would be taken that I am the RAAAACISSST. Whether that is prudence or cowardice on my part, I’ll let you be the judge. And I wished more Blacks would have the perception and courage to face Black racism head on.  For they could surely do it more effectively than any cracker like myself.

But, lo, this same morning, I stumbled across this courageous column by the Rev. Dr. Ken Hutcherson, Senior Pastor of Antioch Bible Church near Seattle.  Now he does not call out Black racism by name.  But in addressing the Zimmerman-Martin controversy, he does call it out in a fashion, and far more winsomely than I can:

Blackness is the apex of victimhood and our blackness is above truth, above our Christianity, above our God, above our Holy Spirit, so that means if our blackness is above the Holy Spirit, then it is above Truth. This is so important for everyone to know this so they can understand why this Trayvon and Zimmerman case is where it is today and why blacks refuse to believe what really happened.

Thus he points out, again more gently than I, that Black racism in the church is prominent and is really a form of idolatry. 

He goes on to urge,Black people will never be the great people that we truly are until we put Jesus above our blackness.”  (And similar exhortations could be made to other many highly ethnic churches.)

I cannot put it any better than that.  And really it takes a Black man of courage to say that well.  Kudos to Dr. Hutcherson for being such a man.  May more men like him rise up, for this whole country is in desperate need of such real honesty.

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*PLEASE NOTE:  There is no question that White racism was a far bigger problem than any Black racism 50 years ago and beyond.  And, surely that the source of much Black racism today.  But it is past time for people of all colors to face up to what are our cultural problems today.

Hat tip to The Blaze.

Friday, July 19, 2013

IRS Scandal Gets Still Closer to Obama


You may have missed this yesterday because the Obama-lovin’ snooze media is not particularly interested.  But in House committee hearings, the IRS scandal moved still closer to Obama, to Washington, to one of his two IRS political appointees, the IRS Chief Counsel.  Carter Hull’s testimony was key:

Now comes Mr. Hull's testimony. And like Ms. Hofacre, he pointed his finger upward. Mr. Hull—a 48-year IRS veteran and an expert on tax exemption law—told investigators that tea-party applications under his review were sent upstairs within the Washington office, at the direction of Lois Lerner.

Yep, her again.

In April 2010, Hull was assigned to scrutinize certain tea-party applications. He requested more information from the groups. After he received responses, he felt he knew enough to determine whether the applications should be approved or denied.

But his recommendations were not carried out.

Michael Seto, head of Mr. Hull's unit, also spoke to investigators. He told them Lois Lerner made an unusual decision: Tea-party applications would undergo additional scrutiny—a multilayered review.

Mr. Hull told House investigators that at some point in the winter of 2010-11, Ms. Lerner's senior adviser, whose name is withheld in the publicly released partial interview transcript, told him the applications would require further review:

Q: "Did [the senior adviser to Ms. Lerner] indicate to you whether she agreed with your recommendations?"

A: "She did not say whether she agreed or not. She said it should go to chief counsel."

Q: "The IRS chief counsel?"

A: "The IRS chief counsel."

The IRS chief counsel is named William Wilkins. And again, he is one of only two Obama political appointees in the IRS.

And Hull also said he had not seen anything like that before in his 48-year IRS career.

Peggy Noonan calls the testimony a bombshell and notes that Democrats sure are eager to discredit and discourage the investigation.  And remember that when this scandal broke, the Obama regime would have us believe this was just a few rogue agents in Cincinnati.  Uh, huh.

What we have here is a systematic use of the IRS to attack and muzzle political opponents, directed from Washington, and a cover up of the same.

Again, it is time for a Special Prosecutor.

By the way, if, unlike the snooze media, you really want to dig into the IRS scandal, the Tax Prof blog regularly posts a linkarama.  Here’s today’s edition.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tea Party Senate Candidate Was Targeted by IRS


A few days ago, it came out that the IRS had improperly and probably illegally targeted political candidates and donors.  I think we now know the identity of one of those candidates – Tea Party fave Christine O’Donnell.

On March 9, 2010, the day she revealed her plan to run for the Senate in a press release, a tax lien was placed on a house purported to be hers and publicized. The problem was she no longer owned the house. The IRS eventually blamed the lien on a computer glitch and withdrew it.

Now Mr. Martel, a criminal investigator for the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration, was telling her that an official in Delaware state government had improperly accessed her records on that very same day.

Beyond that, Ms. O'Donnell and Senate investigators who have tried to help her have run into a wall of silence . . .

And, of course, Obama’s Department of Justice refuses to prosecute anyone involved.  I guess they are too busy going after George Zimmerman.

At this point, the only question is the extent of IRS abuses against O’Donnell and innumerable others.  There is no question Constitutional freedoms and the legitimacy of our political process have been undermined. I think there is little question that there are IRS and other Feds who belong in prison.  Obama’s Justice Department won’t lift a finger, and this is likely too big for a Congressional committee to deal with.

It is time for a Special Prosecutor . . . and a darned good one. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

NCC Plays the Race Card


Yup, the National Council of “Churches” is playing the race card, big time:

In the wake of George Zimmerman’s acquittal of the murder of Trayvon Martin, the National Council of Churches joins other people of faith and conscience in a renewed call for racial justice.

This summer as we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, we are reminded that racism is alive and well. We have seen this in the Supreme Court’s recent invalidation of parts of the Voting Rights Act and now in the shocking impunity granted by a Florida jury to a man who stalked and killed a black child.

Oh and J. Herbert Nelson, the former head of the Washington Office of the mainline Presbyterian Church, is at it, too:

I have heard both blatant and subtle inferences that the actions of George Zimmerman had nothing to do with race. The State Attorney for Florida [That’s Angela Corey, an impeccable source – Ed.] declared last night that Trayvon Martin was profiled, but she would not affirm that race was the basis of the profiling. Those persons who believe that this killing had nothing to do with race are either mistaken or na├»ve in their view of what history and our present reality reveals about the United States of America. This tragedy is only one example of many, that show that continued, insidious, and pervasive racism persist in this country.

Once again, I am thankful I shook the dust of the mainline Presbyterian "Church" and other members of the NCC off my feet decades ago.

Angela Corey Still At It


The utter lack of professionalism and fair play from Zimmerman special prosecutor Angela Corey continues to amaze.  She is still smearing George Zimmerman after the verdict, calling him a liar and a murderer.


Does it occur to her that she is attacking an innocent man, one found not guilty at the very least?  What is the point of continuing to smear Zimmerman after the verdict?

Alan Dershowitz is right.  She should be disbarred.  And so should any prosecutor who puts pet opinions and destroying people’s lives and reputations above justice, fair play, and basic professionalism.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Post-verdict Thoughts on the Zimmerman Case


Like most rational people, I was relieved to see the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial.  But . . .

As if the prosecution did not dig low enough during the trial, they dug deeper in their post-verdict press conference.  Instead of being somewhat professional in accepting the verdict, they kept smearing Zimmerman.  Angela Corey even played the race card in doing so:

This case has never been about race. . . .

No, not at all!

. . . nor has it ever been about the right to bear arms. Not in the sense of proving this as a criminal case. But. . .

But I’m going to make it about race.

. . . Trayvon Martin was profiled. There is no doubt that he was profiled to be a criminal. And if race was one of the aspects in George Zimmerman’s mind, then we believe that we put out the proof necessary to show that Zimmerman did profile Trayvon Martin. . . .  

Corey’s conduct throughout this case has been despicable.  And don’t take my word for it.  Alan Dershowitz:

[Angela Corey] submitted an affidavit that was, if not perjurious, completely misleading. She violated all kinds of rules of the profession, and her conduct bordered on criminal conduct. She, by the way, has a horrible reputation in Florida. She’s known for overcharging, she’s known for being highly political. And in this case, of course she overcharged. Halfway through the trial she realized she wasn’t going to get a second degree murder verdict, so she asked for a compromised verdict, for manslaughter. And then, she went even further and said that she was going to charge him with child abuse and felony murder. That was such a stretch that it goes beyond anything professionally responsible. She was among the most irresponsible prosecutors I’ve seen in 50 years of litigating cases, and believe me, I’ve seen good prosecutors, bad prosecutors, but rarely have I seen one as bad as this prosecutor,

Dershowitz also said that the only civil rights charges that should be filed should be filed against her for violating Zimmerman’s civil rights and that she should at least be disbarred.

Speaking of civil rights, although Obama’s Justice Department is investigating George Zimmerman for possible civil rights charges, I do not think anything will come of it.  Eric Holder and company have no case.  And filing federal charges against Zimmerman would be politically toxic for Obama and Democrats.  The backlash and outrage would be Hell to pay.  Obama and Holder are not that stupid. . . .  Are they?

In any case, I expect them to try to please most people and say they looked at going after Zimmerman, but that charges are unlikely to succeed.  The nice part of me hopes for that for Zimmerman’s sake, and because bringing additional charges would be flat wrong.  But the not-so-nice part of me wants to watch Obama and Holder self-destruct.

But I do not think the Feds should even be allowed to file charges in this case.  Nor do I think a civil lawsuit should be allowed.  I firmly believe that no person should be tried or sued more than once for the same alleged act, period.  It’s not for nothing that the Constitution disallows double jeopardy.  Yet de facto double jeopardy is rampant in this country.

(And, yes, I know Fed charges or a lawsuit would not technically be double jeopardy under today’s corrupted law.  But it would be double jeopardy in spirit, and it would be wrong.  And, also yes, I thought the civil lawsuit against O. J. was wrong.)

But I do hope Zimmerman succeeds in a lawsuit against NBC.  They and the rest of the “mainstream” news media have a lot of answer for in this case . . . a lot.

Finally, a sad note.   Many of those who would have been in danger from lynch mobs 100 years ago have become the lynch mobs themselves. 

Sad indeed.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Napolitano Resignation and Harry Reid


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did something odd yesterday even for him.  He threatened to go “nuclear” and change Senate rules to stop filibusters of presidential nominees even though Obama hasn’t had that much trouble getting his nominees through the Senate . . . and that in spite of how awful most of them are.

Why would Reid so stir up the pot for so little gain . . . and with the probability of it backfiring whenever Republicans next gain the Senate?

I think we just found out why this morning.  Janet Napolitano is resigning as Homeland Security Secretary.  And I think Reid knew.

Now if Obama nominates anyone nearly as bad as her as a replacement, there may be and should be a long confirmation fight in the Senate.  I think Reid’s threat yesterday was designed to discourage such opposition to Obama’s nominee, whoever that may be.

Yes, I do connect the dots sometimes.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Politics, Justice, Retribution, and the IRS


I’ve been thinking lately about when justice calls out for retribution against political players.  Two events this year have especially pushed me so to deliberate – the IRS targeting scandal and the overthrow of the Morsi regime in Egypt.

First I should state clearly that it is best of all if all political differences be settled by lawful political means.  And I am convinced that the U. S. Constitution is the best framework ever devised by man to do just that.  History is full of times in which differences were settled by violence or by the whim of one or of the few.  Our Founders rightly strove for a United States in which differences were settled by lawful political means with the consent of the governed.

So, as I said, it is best if bad policies and bad guys in politics are defeated by political means.

But what if the bad guys again and again refuse to respect the rule of law, refuse to play by the rules?  And what if they deal with political adversaries with a “punish your enemies” mentality, including using the power of government to punish them and muzzle them?  And what if they, when they don’t get their way by lawful political means, disregard and even tear up the law of the land to get their way?  And what if they also unlawfully rig the political process itself with various forms of election fraud?  What if they even nullify elections and referendums that don’t go their way?

Sound familiar?

If such episodes were exceptional and not systemic, the good guys would probably be wise nevertheless to stick to political means to contest political issues.  Retaliatory justice might feel good but would serve only to sharpen divisions and increase the odds that the good guys would be the target of retaliation in the future.

But what if the more-or-less good guys have restrained themselves, stuck to lawful political means and avoided retaliatory justice while the bad guys have thrown off lawful restraint and gone after the good guys anyway?  And what if the bad guys’ conduct endangers the rule of law itself, including constitutional political processes?

In such a situation, I think the bad guys must be made to pay a steep price for their unlawful behavior otherwise they will do it again and again and again and thereby erode the political process and constitutional freedoms.  Political defeat alone likely will not suffice.

That we are so stinking wimpy in this country about making political bad guys pay has contributed to our problems.  Very few ever go to jail for election fraud.  So guess what is a big problem in our elections?  Very few blatantly unconstitutional and even anti-constitutional judicial rulings get defied.  So they continue (and will surely get worse without the next president making excellent judicial appointments).  Personally, I think it is sad that not a single state told the Supreme Court to stuff it after Roe v Wade.

Now about the right response to the IRS targeting scandal.  I’ve been very open that I want people in prison over this.  And that not just because of my anger, but because there has to be a steep enough price to pay for it that future bad guys, and the IRS in particular, will think twice before trying anything like it again.  (I also think the IRS is so unreformable that it should be abolished, but that is another topic.)

While I’m at it, if Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder is guilty of half of what he seems to be, I want him in prison.  Does that seem over the top?   A number of Nixon Administration officials, including his Attorney General John Mitchell, went to prison.  And neither that administration nor Mitchell did half of what the Obama regime has done.

There should have been a price to pay for the enormities of the Nixon Administration.  And there sure as heck should be a price to pay for the predations of the IRS, of Eric Holder, and of the rest of the Obama regime.  This is another time when politics is not enough to deal with the bad guys.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Downfall IX: Obama, Citizen’s United, and the IRS


One of the nice things about being a blogger is that one can let others do the heavy lifting at times.  And Edward Stewart does just that for me with an interesting and perceptive article linking Obama’s anger over the Citizen’s United ruling and the IRS scandal.

Remember how angry Obama was about the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United ruling?  He even called out the justices to their faces in his 2010 State of the Union address (as Democrats cheered lustily) – behavior almost unheard of from a President.

Well, Obama was upset because the Court shut down avenues for him to target and muzzle political enemies by using the FEC.  So after getting spanked in the 2010 elections, his regime found other avenues . . . using the IRS.

And I think knowledgeable readers can fill in the rest of the story so far.  If my prediction of Obama’s downfall proves correct, the determination of Obama and his thugs to find alternative ways to muzzle opponents after Citizens United will prove to be a big factor in that downfall.  For that determination led to the ongoing IRS scandals.

Having said that, I do not presume to do Mr. Stewart’s article justice, so do go read it!

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Downfall is an ongoing series anticipating and tracking what I expect will be the self-destruction of Obama.

The first post may be found here.  The series may be found here.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Pope Francis Should Stop Harming the Liturgy


Among the accomplishments of Pope Benedict XVI is he improved the liturgy of the Roman church by encouraging and facilitating more traditional and less sloppy forms than have prevailed since Vatican II.

There are already signs that Pope Francis not only does not appreciate Benedict’s liturgical reforms but is intent on reversing much of them.  One of the earliest signs of that was his cutting key parts of the Easter Vigil:

One of the most dramatic moments of the Easter Vigil . . . when the pope would share the light of his candle with others until the entire basilica twinkled - was shortened this year as were some of the Old Testament readings.

The Easter Vigil is not supposed to be short.  But you’d think he had a roast in the oven or wanted to beat the Protestants to Luby’s by how he so likes to shorten that and other masses.  Heck, he even checked his watch during his installation!

Now there are rumors that Pope Francis may appoint Archbishop Piero Marini as the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.  Marini is a divisive figure and no friend of traditional liturgy to say the least.

The liturgy of God’s Holy Church is not about Pope Francis’ personal preferences.  We hear much about his supposed humility.  He needs to exercise enough humility to recognize that Pope Benedict XVI was much more perceptive and wise about the liturgy than he and back off . . . now.  

For Those British Unhappy with Royal Expenses


I’ve noticed some British are unhappy with the expenses of the Royal Family.  To which I say . . .

Quit yer whinin’.  And be thankful you are not stuck with King Obama.

Seriously, The Queen is penny pincher compared to him.