Friday, August 30, 2013

Ugg.


Yes, I haven’t been posting even though there is so much about which to post this week.  I’ve been under the weather and just haven’t been up to doing much.  Even this morning, I began work on something here and just ran out of gas.

I have been tweeting, however, and again encourage those of you on twitter to follow me there.  The 140 character limit can be a good thing, especially when sick.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Syria: Stay Away


It’s interesting that the very same people who decried W.’s war on Iraq are now oh-so-eager for a less justified war on Syria.  Peter Mullen cuts to the heart of the matter, and if you think I’m hard on Obama . . .

Is that crackpot Obama really about to fire Cruise missiles at Syria? . . . This is the bloke, you remember, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize barely two minutes after coming down from his Inauguration podium.

Yes, Assad is evil.  Heck, I’ve hated his regime and that of his daddy long before it was fashionable to do so.  But take a good look at the rebels, who are more of a danger to the U. S. not-so-by-the-way:

Everyone agrees that Assad is a nasty piece of work and guilty of terrible crimes against his own people. But take a look at the people opposing him. These number thousands of barbaric terrorists, jihadists, Salafists, members of psychopathic Sunni sects, would-be martyrs for Islam, more than half in love with uneaseful death. And if Blair was Bush’s poodle, Cameron and Hague are Obama’s lapdogs. When Vladimir Putin visited London recently for talks with David Cameron, he asked a pertinent question: “These people murder their opponents, cut them open, remove their livers and eat them. Are these the sorts of men you seek to supply with arms, Mr. Prime Minister?”

I’m no fan of Putin, but he has lately been getting into the habit of being more sensible than Obama.  (I know.  That's not hard.  But credit where credit is due . . .)

Best let those lovely people fight it out:

The consequences of an attack on Syria are incalculable, and there is no rational foundation for such a reckless exploit. Assad is a devil but his opponents are all demons too. Leave them to it then, for if Satan be divided against Satan, how shall his kingdom stand?

Not to mention that Armageddon is in the neighborhood . . . in more ways than one.

If Obama were smart, he would stay away.  If . . .

Friday, August 23, 2013

Rainbow Tyranny in New Mexico


Photographer Elaine Huguenin is happy to take pictures of gay costumers.  But her Christian beliefs prevent her from consciously participating in a same-sex wedding by doing photography for the same.

But the New Mexico Supreme Court just said, Too bad.  Take gay wedding photos on demand or else.  That is “the price of citizenship” in a petty liberal gulag.

Of course, there are many other photographers available who would be glad to do a gay wedding. 


But a minimum of inconvenience to gays and (in this case) lesbians is soooo much more important than freedom of religion.

Even some who do not oppose same-sex marriage are appalled.  Ben Shapiro is right – this ruling is “state-sponsored tyranny at its finest.”

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Hat tip to Ace, who adds, “You know, the gay couple could simply find another photographer. No, by all means, let's use the power of the state to reach as deeply as possible into people's lives instead of just telling the gay couple to ‘Look online for ten minutes and find someone else.’”

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Glenn Reynolds Gets It


Yesterday, I was heartened to see I am not the only one who is convinced perpetrators of such Obama Regime enormities as IRS/ATF/OSHA/etc targeting should be imprisoned for the sake of justice and our nation’s future.  Glenn Reynolds of InstaPundit fame also gets it:

Enough breaches of trust -- and I haven't even started to hit all the scandals out there, by a long shot -- and ordinary people will start to assume that the whole system is corrupt. And if that happens, people will quit following the law because they think it's the right thing to do, and only do so to the extent they're afraid of getting caught. Plenty of countries operate on that principle. They're just not as nice to live in as countries where the law has moral stature. When government officials breach trust, they push us closer to that sort of third world condition. Which is why, when they're found doing so, they should be punished severely.

Exactly.  Through targeting and muzzling opposition political speech, NSA lawbreaking, ATF gun running, numerous cover-ups and more, much more, the Obama Regime has again and again undermined Constitutional freedoms and the rule of law.

It’s high time the law fights back.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Targeting of Catherine Engelbrecht


This is not a new story, but it is one well worth reflection.  I’ll defer to Jillian Kay Melchior and her well written piece for the details and color, but Catherine Engelbrecht was targeted by the Obama Regime for her tea party activity and for working for clean elections through founding True the Vote.

And please do not dismiss my pointing the finger at the Obama Regime as paranoia.  There is no denying that she was targeted, and one has to be na├»ve indeed to think the targeting was not systematic and intentional.  She, her Tea Party organization (King Street Patriots), True the Vote, and her family business was targeted, not by one or two rogue bureaucrats, but by the IRS, the ATF, OSHA, and even the FBI.

And, no, she and her organizations were not under investigation for anything criminal.

On behalf of the True the Vote and King Street Patriots, Representative Ted Poe (R., Texas) sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the FBI, OSHA, and the ATF, inquiring whether the organizations were under criminal investigation. A statement on Poe’s website states that “the reply from these agencies was that none of these individuals were under criminal investigation. Well, if they’re not, why are they being treated like criminals? Just because they question government.”

What is perhaps most despicable is that the targeting of her organizations was cheerleaded by key Democrats in Congress.

A few months later, True the Vote became the subject of congressional scrutiny. In September, Senator Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) wrote to Thomas Perez, then the assistant attorney general of the civil rights division at the Department of Justice (who has now been nominated for labor secretary). “As you know, an organization called ‘True the Vote,’ which is an offshoot of the Tea Party, is leading a voter suppression campaign in many states,” Boxer wrote, adding that “this type of intimidation must stop. I don’t believe this is ‘True the Vote.’ I believe it’s ‘Stop the Vote.’”

And in October, Representative Elijah Cummings (D., Md.), the ranking minority member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, attacked True the Vote in a letter. He wrote that “some have suggested that your true goal is not voter integrity, but voter suppression against thousands of legitimate voters who traditionally vote for Democratic candidates.” He added that: “If these efforts are intentional, politically motivated, and widespread across multiple states, they could amount to a criminal conspiracy to deny legitimate voters their constitutional rights.” He also decried True the Vote on MSNBC and CNN.

Catherine now says that she “absolutely” thinks that because she worked against voter fraud, the Left was irked and decided to target her.

Again, I urge thoughtful reading of Melchior’s telling of Catherine Engelbrecht’s experience.  Now I will add my conclusions.

From her and other’s experiences, there no question that the Obama Regime has systematically targeted conservatives.  And it’s not just the IRS, but every arm of the Federal government Obama’s thugs can wield.  It is no coincidence that tea party conservatives who have had little trouble before with the law other than normal bureaucratic hassles were suddenly targeted and harassed by any number of federal agencies after they became more political active.  The targeting of conservative/constitutionalist groups by the IRS is only part of the story.

Instead of protecting constitutional political freedom, the Obama Regime has punished it and sought to suppress it when it opposes the policies of the Dear Leader.

This is a big reason I have stated that I want people in prison.  The thuggish attacks on our political freedoms are more worthy of Venezuela than America and must not be allowed to stand or go unpunished.  Future administrations and bureaucrats must be made to think twice before they repeat such outrages. 

I also think it is important that Obama and his allies be made to pay a heavy political price.  Really, Obama should be impeached.  He is the one most responsible for the systematic predations of his regime.  But I doubt impeachment is wise political course . . . yet.

Further, some federal agencies are so beyond reform that they should be abolished.  The IRS is one.  The ATF is another.  From their outrages under Bill Clinton and Janet Reno, Waco among them, to Fast and Furious, to involvement in Obama Regime targeting, the ATF has again and again acted as Democrat Brownshirts.  Any good purpose that they serve, if any, could easy be taken over by other agencies.

Another lesson from Catherine Engelbrecht’s is a reminder of how much Democrats want to continue to steal elections with impunity.  Ms. Engelbrecht is a conscientious citizen who wants clean elections.  But the power of the Federal government and the wrath of Sen. Barbara Boxer came down when she acted on that.

As for the future of freedom in this country should Democrats retain power, legitimately or not, . . . .  Well, I think the behavior of Obama, his regime, and his allies speaks for itself.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Low Churchman Goes Too Far!


Although I appreciate Anglo-Catholic worship, I have also appreciated the Low Churchman for his clever send-ups of both A-C worship and of low church puerile Puritan prejudices against such.

But now the Low Churchman has gone too far.  He has dared to write dismissively of . . . Palestrina!

Outrage!  I revere Palestrina as do all right thinking men and women of good and proper Anglican taste.

Us Anglicans can put up with a heretic priest or bishop or two or three or five hundred.  But an assault on Palestrina! . . .

I may need a stiff drink to calm down.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Just “Noise”: NSA violated privacy and broke the law “thousands of times per year.”


Well.  An internal NSA audit exposed by the Washington Post reveals that the NSA violated privacy rules and broke the law “thousands of times per year” since 2008.

And, again, that is from an NSA internal audit.  No telling what an impartial audit would find.

But don’t worry.  The Dear Leader says (privately) that the NSA scandal is just “noise”.  Nothing to see here.  Trust your government!  (And if you are not trusting your government, we’ll find out about it.)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Dartmouth: Orthodox Anglicans Need Not Apply


Because Dartmouth is committed to being “diverse, welcoming, and inclusive,” that university has made it be known that orthodox Anglicans need not apply to certain positions.  Because being oh-so “diverse, welcoming, and inclusive” means all who do not bow down to “inclusive” group think must be excluded.

And if you think that is a contradiction, you must be a bigot.

From the President of Dartmouth:

Dartmouth's support of gay rights and members of the LGBTQ community is complete and unwavering, as is our commitment to a campus that is diverse, welcoming, and inclusive. In light of concerns—specifically surrounding gay rights—expressed by members of our community about the appointment of Malawi Bishop Dr. James Tengatenga as the dean of the Tucker Foundation, I felt it was important for me to meet with him personally.

It was in this context that I sat down recently with Dr. Tengatenga and asked tough questions about his earlier statements on homosexuality. We also discussed his leadership within an Anglican Church in Africa that has often been hostile regarding gay rights.

Dr. Tengatenga spoke to me about his inspiring life of service to some of the world's most vulnerable people, especially victims of HIV-AIDS. In passionate terms, he described his commitment to gay rights and how he has worked to support the LGBTQ community in Malawi in the ways that are most effective, given the country's cultural context.

However, following much reflection and consultation with senior leaders at Dartmouth, it has become clear to me that Dr. Tengatenga's past comments about homosexuality and the uncertainty and controversy they created have compromised his ability to serve effectively as dean of Tucker.

The foundation and Dartmouth's commitment to inclusion are too important to be mired in discord over this appointment. Consequently, we have decided not to move forward with the appointment of Dr. Tengatenga as dean of the Tucker Foundation.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Church of England Cathedral Attendance is Up


Amidst all the handwringing about the future of the Church of England, attendance at cathedral services is up.  Yes, up, and notably so.

The linked article cites a desire of anonymity among other factors for the increase, and that might be so.  But I think something more fundamental might be happening.

People desire beautiful worship with reverent traditional liturgy, excellent choirs, and a stately setting.  And cathedrals are among the chief places to experience that.

In the past, I’ve seen all the empty seats at such excellent services and thought the English do not appreciate what they possess.  Perhaps that is changing?

Indeed, when friends and I worshipped at Ely Cathedral on a Sunday morning late this Spring, we arrived a bit late (not on purpose) and found we had to sit way back even though the service was in the nave.  Ely is a very small town, yet their cathedral is indeed well attended.  And understandably so given the excellent choir and setting.  That weekend we were also surprised by the lines to get into the Chapel of King’s College Cambridge (which is not a cathedral, of course, but also excels in glorious worship).

Beautiful worship can be an important way of evangelism.  Perhaps we are seeing that in England.  Let us pray so at least.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Ace Goes 3rd Party (and I might, too)


Ace of my favorite blog, The Ace of Spades (Language warning always), yesterday announced that he’s done with the GOP:

. . . There are only so many times one can say "I'm quitting this party and will henceforth only support third party candidates."
Well, I have said it. Many of us have. We mean it. And it's over.
Go ahead and do what you like, GOP. The divorce is final.


My response:


Going third party is not a decision to be taken lightly.  For it helps short-term the major party you most dislike.  (Do I really have to tell readers which one that is for me?)  Yes, lightning could strike as it looked like it might for a brief time in 1992 and as it did in New York State in 1970.  But my going third party would likely help the Democrats short term.

But there may come a point when supporting the Republican Party is unacceptable as well.  Ronald Reagan is the last Republican President who got this country going in a good direction.  Under the Bushes, we headed toward Gehenna, just a bit slower than a Democrat would have pushed us.  And we would surely head toward Gehenna under a Jeb Bush or a Chris Christie.  Yes, a Bush or Christie would slow the process.

But when the country is on the precipice of Hell, is going over it more slowly acceptable?  Thanks to past Republican enabling and to the Obama regime, we are on the edge of the Hell of a not-so-soft totalitarian tyranny.  Going over that edge slowly is not acceptable.  And a party who is not committed to pulling back and going in the other direction towards freedom, the rule of Constitutional law, and putting the Feds in their proper place is not a party I can support.

I do think the Republican Party can still be a constructive force for freedom as it was under Reagan.  Rand Paul gives me hope for that.

But if yet another establishment Republican gets the nomination for president, that may be my last straw.  At that point, I may go third party.

Some may say that is self-defeating.  Heck, I would have said that until recently.  But 2012 showed establishment Republicans do not have enough support to win long term anyway.  The low turn-out for Romney illustrated that too well.  And look at the comments to Ace’s announcement.  These are people who Republicans should have fighting for them.  Instead the Republican Party has already alienated them.

The U. S. is divided roughly between those who think government should provide stuff and those who think government should protect Constitutional freedom.  Those who think government should provide stuff are going to vote Democrat anyway.  If the Republican Party will not protect freedom, if it will not fight for those who want freedom, then it deserves the doom it will then surely get.

And Republican leaders again and again seem intent on alienating their freedom-minded base and on self-destruction.  Their push for amnesty for illegals is but one example.  Again and again, they enable Democrat big government tyranny instead of working to bring it down.

So the Republicans are heading to the Whig party anyway unless Constitutionalist conservatives are able soon to take it over.  And I am staying in the GOP for now to do my part.  And there are many good Republicans like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee.  And I will always support them in some fashion even if I go third party.

But one can only wait so long when one sees one’s country on the edge of the darkness of a permanent tyranny.   If the Republican Party continues to enable tyranny, then I cannot continue to support it.

I was going to write about what I think is a good model for a third party, but that will have to wait.  I’ve rambled enough already.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Julian Castro pushes Anti-Christian Anti-“bias” Ordinance


It is hard not to notice that San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro is Obama’s fair-haired boy.  He was even was the Keynote speaker at last year’s Democrat National Convention.

But if San Antonio eventually doesn’t share the love anymore and boots him as mayor, his support of this proposed ordinance will no doubt be a big reason why:

“No person shall be appointed to a position if the city council finds that such person has, prior to such proposed appointment, engaged in discrimination or demonstrated a bias, by word or deed, against any person, group or organization on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age or disability,” the ordinance reads.

Critics argue that the ordinance could ban Christians who believe homosexuality is a sin from serving on the city council.

They also believe the ordinance would also ban the city from doing business with anyone who fails to espouse politically correct views and businesses run by people of faith would be subject to criminal penalties if they refused to provide services that conflict with their religious beliefs related to homosexuality.

And before one thinks the Christians are overreacting here, note that the ordinance outlaws demonstrating “a bias.”  Really?  So I cannot even be biased against someone because I consider their conduct perverted or because I think their “disability” is a sham or because I think their religion promotes terrorism or baby-killing?  Not to mention the implications if my religion happens to be biased against certain things like, oh, SIN.

The ordinance invites an alarmist reading because its wording begs an alarmist reading.

Anyway, as I said, I will not be the least bit surprised if this proves to be Julian Castro’s Waterloo.  The proposed ordinance is that broad and outrageous.  San Antonio is much more far gone than I think if it does not.

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A big hat tip to MCJ.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Libertarianism “Dangerous”? Christie May Be the One Who’s Dangerous.


If you think the above headline is inspired by the paranoid imaginations of EXTREMISTS like myself, think again.  The very button-down George Will said it in response to Chris Christie’s attacks on Rand Paul and libertarian-minded Republicans.

“Well, actually there is a rising libertarian stream that Chris Christie has said is ‘a very dangerous thought,’” Will said. “So let’s be clear about what libertarianism is and what it isn’t. It is not anarchism. It has a role in government. What libertarianism says — it comes in many flavors and many degrees of severity, and it basically says before the government abridges the freedom of an individual or the freedom of several individuals contracting together, that government ought to have, A) a compelling reason and B) a constitutional warrant for doing so. Now, if Mr. Christie thinks that’s a dangerous thought, a number of people are going to say that Mr. Christie himself may be dangerous.”

Exactly.  If Christie doesn’t see the need for robust downright libertarian resistance to federal government overreach, then he is a “dangerous” part of the problem.

By the way, he is dangerous to the Republicans’ prospects of regaining the presidency as well.  He now seems the Republican establishment’s favorite potential candidate at the moment.  But if he gains the nomination, it will practically hand the presidency back to the Democrats.  Especially after his attacks on Rand Paul, many conservatives will refuse to vote for him.  The turnout for Romney was shockingly low, and nominating Christie will ensure a repeat.

FWIW, I actually did vote for Romney in November 2012.  But I can’t see myself voting for Christie in November 2016.  I would almost certainly go third party.  By enabling and putting a Republican face on fed tyranny, an establishment Republican like Christie can do every bit as much damage to this county as a Hillary Clinton.  He is indeed “dangerous.”  And he has already alienated me.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Great Post-racial Uniter: Race Relations “May Worsen” If I Don’t Get My Way


This past weekend, the New York Times published an interview with President Obama.  The whole tenor of it is disturbing with his attitude that he’ll just bypass Congress if they don’t give him what he wants.  And I may revisit that. (And do feel free to read the whole thing, even if it is from the NYT.) But the following from Obama is particularly egregious.  Speaking about the economy:

And everything that I am proposing and everything I will be proposing over the next three years goes right at that issue. And if that’s not what Washington’s talking about, then we will be missing the boat.
And racial tensions won’t get better; they may get worse, because people will feel as if they’ve got to compete with some other group to get scraps from a shrinking pot.

Now, yes, a bad economy can be bad for race relations.  But for a President to come out and say that if his economic proposals are stopped, “racial tensions” may worsen is beyond inappropriate.  It is more race-centered divisiveness from his administration, which includes the Justice Department going after George Zimmerman, treating Texas as if Jim Crow laws are still in effect, etc. etc.

Again, Obama started out with so much good will (though not from me admittedly).  And, as my headline reminds, he was perceived as a post-racial uniter.  He could have easily built upon his landmark election, which indicated how much this country had gotten past racism, and the ensuing good will to further improve race relations. 

Instead, his race-oriented divide-and-conquer strategy is making "racial tensions" worse, much worse.  It is shameful coming from a President no matter what his party and his ethnic background.

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Hat tip to Gateway Pundit, Washington Dossier, and Instapundit (who says something politically very incorrect but too accurate).