Squaring the Culture




"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

04/05/2010 (1:16 pm)

Democrats Provoke Krystalnacht!

The Democrats’ willing lapdogs in the dying mainstream press treated us to a week of hyperventilating about how how violent, how dangerous were those Tea Party activists… and now we’re seeing vandalism directed against the Republican party.

Charlottesville, Albemarle County, Virginia was the place where some imbecile posted the wrong address for a Democratic US Representative, and some criminal vandal sneaked into the indicated yard and sliced a hose on a barbecue grill. Then on BushBulletMarch 26, bricks were thrown through the window of the GOP headquarters there — thick, double-pane windows, so they were thrown with considerable force. Last week somebody broke into Republican candidate John Koster’s office in Everett, WA, stole two laptops full of donor information and heaved a printer through their window from inside. And now the GOP office in Marion, OH has been vandalized, with a brick wrapped in a piece of notebook paper with “Stop the right wing” scrawled on it.

The Charlottesville incidents were probably related to each other, and neither vandal displayed much intelligence — one got the wrong person, another somehow confused “Tea Party” with the Republican party. But it seems likely that the Charlottesville retaliation was goaded by the press hysteria, there’s little question that the Ohio and Washington incidents were provoked by the fervid news reporting. Or if there is some question, we can safely ignore it, the way the press ignored such questions last week, right?

How many other incidents have gone unreported? These three incidents were only reported in local newspapers, unlike the “Tea Party” hysteria that made national news. The only reason I know about these three incidents is that bloggers and commenters picked up the local reports and repeated them.

There was no violence to speak of at the Tea Party meetings. They were not stirring up acts of hatred; they were expressing outrage at the abuses of power, abandonment of core American principles, and violations of the US Constitution perpetrated by the Democrats in Congress and the White House. The charge that the meetings were stirring up violence was remarkable for its disconnection with reality; hell, the Tea Party movement produced a march in Washington that may have totaled more than a million people back in September, and the city barely even needed to clean up after them. The movement has been remarkable for its restraint and good manners. That would be true even if we could not compare the Tea Party rallies to 8 years of spittle-spewing rage against George W. Bush; when compared to the unhinged vitriol from the left during the first decade of the 21st century, the dishonesty of these press fulminations about Tea Party “violence” becomes that much more shocking.

The title on this post is overblown and provocative, on purpose. I’m mimicking what I saw in the press last week. The only difference is, the press actually did provoke violence, where the various Tea Parties did not. When will the reporters be brought to trial?

On a related note, Michael Moynihan at Reason invokes Godwin’s Law in highly literate fashion on the left’s hysteria, and Jack Cashill produced a clear rebuttal of the faux racial incident from the eve of the health care bill passage. Four minutes, 56 seconds.

03/29/2010 (3:16 pm)

Aaaand, Now the Scary Militia Stories

michiganroadblock

The ObamaBots are playing for keeps.

After a week of coordinated “news” reporting about how scary and violent those Tea Party inciters are, the FBI and ATF staged a raid on a fringe militia group — that is to say, the group was one that the militias consider a fringe group — in three states, indicting nine people on charges apparently related to a plot to lay pipe bombs along the route of a police funeral procession.

Take a gander at their explanation of the timing:

“Because the Hutaree had planned a covert reconnaissance operation for April, which had the potential of placing an unsuspecting member of the public at risk, the safety of the public and of the law enforcement community demanded intervention at this time,” said Barbara McQuade, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan.

A “covert reconnaissance operation.” Meaning, they were going to sneak through the woods and spy on someone. In April. So it was absolutely essential to raid them the week after a bunch of alarmist propaganda. In March.

The raids took place in three states: Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan. Indictments were turned in against 9 individuals, one of whom remains a fugitive. All were members of a group called the Hutaree, a quasi-Christian group preparing militarily for the return of Christ, apparently intending to be His bodyguards (got news for them: He won’t need them). The federal indictment contains five counts, all surrounding an alleged plot to kill an unnamed law officer, to be followed by planting pipe bombs along the funeral procession route.

A web site apparently visited regularly by serious members of other militia groups contains talk indicating that the Hutaree were considered fringe even by other militia groups. They confirm a report that shows up in one of the newspaper accounts that a Hutaree member called a group leader from the Michigan Militia looking for a place to hide and was turned down. They also regard the ATF/FBI action as a move to pick off “low-hanging fruit” and possibly hoping to spark a national incident.

There seems to me to be little doubt that Main Justice was eager to ping us back after the past week or so when a few broken windows on our part and other threats not of our making caused over a hundred congresscritters to call the FBI down on the capitol building carpet to verbally beat up the Fibbies for not doing their job and to demand that they do something about the threats they perceived to their imperial personages.

The Hutaree, who by their previous nuttery over the past two years set themselves up as low-hanging fruits — wannabe John Browns with a persecution complex — made a perfect target. Yet even moving on the Hutaree had many risks for the Feds. If, God forbid, shots had been exchanged, people killed, or buildings burned down a la Waco, we would be looking at a nationwide mobilization and civil war. There are analysts deep in the Hoover Building who understand that there are no more free Wacos. Yet the Feds, prodded by the Dems in Congress were willing to risk it.

They were willing to risk it — OR THEY WANTED IT.

We’ll learn more as time passes and more details emerge, but the upshot now is that they got lucky — very lucky for them indeed, for the Hutaree have long sworn they would die rather than surrender.

Yet there were apparently no shots, no innocent deaths, and thus no retaliatory spasm of an open source insurgency using 4th generation warfare to target the war-makers and war-leaders — and those are the stakes of the game they are clumsily playing. I doubt the Dem politicians who urged them to do SOMETHING had their own deaths in mind. Unintended consequences indeed.

The opening paragraph appears to admit that some of the window-breaking of the past week was carried out by organized militia. I seriously doubt that this reading is correct, however, as it would be inconsistent with their normal mode of operation. Most likely what he means is that he thinks conservatives may actually have been behind some of the broken windows. Nothing of the sort has been confirmed yet.

On the other hand, the last paragraph does contain a pretty serious threat against Democratic party leaders in Congress. The threat appears connected to the possibility of a Waco-style incident, with the message “If you leave us alone, we’ll leave you alone. But if you don’t…”

Talking Points Memo, a leftie blog with links to the White House, headlines that the Hutaree members were indicted for “seditious conspiracy” and “attempted use of WMD.” Yes, you read that correctly. Fox News reported, on the other hand, that the group was arrested for attempting to build pipe bombs. Both are correct: it turns out that the technical definition of a “weapon of mass destruction” in the US Code appears in section 2332a(c)(2), and in addition to chemical (subheading B), biological (subheading C), and nuclear (subheading D) weapons, are defined as

(A) any destructive device as defined in section 921 of this title;

Section 921 contains a list of definitions, including this one:

(4) The term “destructive device” means—
(A) any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas—
(i) bomb,
(ii) grenade,
(iii) rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces,
(iv) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce,
(v) mine, or
(vi) device similar to any of the devices described in the preceding clauses;
(B) any type of weapon (other than a shotgun or a shotgun shell which the Attorney General finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes) by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which has any barrel with a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter; and
(C) any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device into any destructive device described in subparagraph (A) or (B) and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled.

Short version, if you make a bomb of any kind in your basement, it’s a WMD. I suspect this was not the definition used when examining weapons caches in Iraq.

hutareeWhat we’re watching, folks, is an effort by the Obama administration to use US law enforcement agencies to add to the public fear of an irrational, violent, right-wing insurgency rising in the US. It is possible but not certain that they expected armed resistance from the Hutaree, which would have aided their public relations campaign immensely. Meanwhile, no public statement of any kind acknowledges federal awareness or concern regarding Muslim militia training going on on American soil. I wonder why? I’m sure they know they exist…

I spoke yesterday of the possible usefulness of organized violence, and of the Obama administration’s fear of same. Today’s news is an indication of how timely that warning is. Obama does, in fact, fear armed rebellion, and this effort to build a public relations case on a group nobody will defend makes it clear how much. There are real, serious militiamen out there, training in military tactics in anticipation of tyrannical government crackdowns; their sense is that the Waco incident in 1993 is the only one of its type that will occur for free, and that the next such incident will trigger a civil war.

03/28/2010 (5:57 pm)

Make It Plain

gunshot

The leftist propaganda machine has been running full-tilt this week, attempting to paint opposition to the Democrats’ usurpation of power under the guise of reforming health care as violent, extreme, and dangerous. That effort is producing the expected effect among conservative opponents to the unconstitutional abuse of power; they are denouncing violence in all forms and declaring their devotion to the democratic process.

I believe this to be a serious mistake, and one that violates our mission. The mission is to provide new and sufficient guards for our liberty and security. The tactic of violence to achieve that end was established by Sam Adams and Company as a viable tool within the American system back in 1774. It would be foolish to rule it out so soon. It should be a last resort, yes, but it must remain a resort, and we should say so now.

So far, none of the incidents over which the left is getting so agitated have been traced back to any conservative of any stripe, let alone Tea Party activists. The left has a record of manufacturing such incidents out of whole cloth, or even at times sending their own operatives to engage in vandalism or hateful talk while pretending to be one of us. If some of the bricks have been thrown by conservatives, they should stop throwing them. Vandalism has no point.

But sometimes organized violence does.

Barack Obama intends to alter the American system and establish a new order. He knows that his new order does not comport well with the notion of individual liberty that most Americans cherish, so he has to impose it from outside the system. He is executing a plan that will accomplish this in a relatively short period of time. It’s an effective plan; he’s been thinking about it for a long time. The thing he fears the most, the thing that could most completely wreck his plan, is for the people of the United States to simply revolt and throw him out. He fears stiff, resolute opposition. So long as the American people continue to operate completely within the rules of the system, and — pay attention, this is important — so long as his opponents perceive that he, himself, is operating completely within the rules of the system, his execution of his plan can proceed.

He is not operating within the rules of the system. The first principle of American government is that all participants must agree to protect and uphold the rules of the existing system, and to effect change using those rules. That is why the authors of the US Constitution included an oath of office, and required members of all three branches of government and all office-holders in state governments to take the oath. They understood what I’ve been saying for years — if a major party decides to break the constitutional system, it can do it, and there is nothing other parties can do to stop it. By attempting to institute a new system in a manner not prescribed in the Constitution, Obama is violating his oath of office; and likewise, every progressive who holds office but intends to alter the system into a permanent, progressive state is violating his or her oath of office. They are sworn to uphold a different system than the one they are trying to create. They are trying to create it without following the prescribed path to change.

We believe in the rule of law; it is the rule of law that protects citizens from the arbitrary whims of the powerful. But whose law? If the powerful are powerful enough, they can just alter the laws in such a way that the law favors them; such laws protect nobody’s liberty. The Declaration of Independence indicates that ultimately, the law that protects liberty is the law of God — what Jefferson called Natural Law. The Natural Law sits above all three branches of government, and demands that they all pay it obeisance. The law of the land has to reflect it, or it is not legitimate law: “…whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government.” The law of the land cannot favor one group over another, cannot rob a man of his life or property without moral reason, cannot empower the strong over the helpless; if it does, whether it was created by a legislature or signed by a President, it is an oppressive law, and lacks the authority of the law that we mean when we speak of “the rule of law.”

dallasteaparty_protestbabe_1It’s a curious and disturbing feature of the American system of government that violent revolution is, in fact, a legitimate option for change, and an appropriate tool for enforcing the rule of law. It is also a sensible feature, and a necessary one. American political philosophy recognizes the possibility that a government, even a properly constituted government of the people, can overstep its bounds and become tyrannical; the entire system was built assuming that such was the natural tendency of human governments. When a government has become tyrannical and its laws are no longer congruent with Nature’s Law, it may be necessary to overthrow it and start over. When such is the case, it is not the revolutionaries who have violated the rule of law; it is the government that has.

Barack Obama is a tyrant in the making. His minions are busy painting those who oppose him as violent criminals. One of their purposes is simply to turn people against Obama’s opponents; but another is to shame opponents into avoiding tactics that really could be effective in stopping the tyranny. By renouncing violence, we take a legitimate tool out of our own hands — and that’s what he’s hoping for.

We must not do this. President Obama needs to be told, loudly and clearly, that violent opposition is a morally acceptable possibility if he proceeds to remove the protections on the liberties of free citizens. We must not rule out violence. Quite the contrary; we need to make the case for violence long before we get there.

I have been advocating partition of the union since I started writing this blog, because I want to avoid civil war, and I think it’s nearly inevitable if we do not separate. I have also advocated using the legislature, the courts, impeachment, and public advocacy. I haven’t participated in a fistfight since I was 14. I deplore brick-throwing and mob bullying. I’m a peaceful man, and a law-abiding man.

But I have a message for President Obama and his friends in the so-called progressive movement. That message is this: you do not have the right to dictate my life. I am free, not by the laws of Massachusetts, nor by the laws of the United States, but by the laws of God. You think you know better than I how I should live my life. You do not (that’s an understatement); but even if you did, you lack the right to enforce your choices on me. And if you attempt to change the system to give yourselves that right, I, and a very, very large number of other peaceful, law-abiding citizens, reserve the right to rise up militarily and throw you the hell out of our lives, and out of our free country. We’re not saying this because we don’t hold a proper regard for the rule of law, but because we do. It is you, President Obama, and it is you, progressives, who lack that proper regard. I am not a political extremist. You are. That’s what makes our opposition moral.

03/19/2010 (10:37 am)

House Votes For Revolution

Reconciliation_Obama_MaksThe House yesterday passed the rule authorizing the vote for the Senate health care bill “fixes” to be deemed final passage of the health care bill, the so-called “Slaughter Rule,” by a margin of 222 – 203. All but 28 Democrats voted in favor of the rule; all voting Republicans voted against. Six Representatives did not vote. Michael Barone has the math and some analysis about what it all means.

We can be sure that no member of the House is so dense as to miss the intent of the rules legislation, so I think it’s actually safe to assert that voting “No” to the “fixes” will constitute voting “No” to the bill. That said, the maneuver guarantees extremes of ill feeling around the nation and especially in the House, and guarantees that whatever measure passes will trigger a flood of Constitutional crises unlike anything we have seen in this nation.

We have already seen the beginning of this flood in the Tea Party movement, in the actions of independent legal organizations, and in the actions of individual states to declare their intent to resist the national law. Mark Levin’s Landmark Legal Foundation has already posted its intended lawsuit against any bill passed through the procedural legerdemain the Democrats are attempting. Yesterday Idaho became the first state to sign into law a measure requiring its state attorney general to file a lawsuit against the federal government if the government passes a mandate requiring citizens to purchase health insurance. Idaho ran neck-and-neck with Virginia, which passed a similar measure through its General Assembly yesterday but did not have the bill signed into law by the Governor. Florida’s attorney general has already indicated that he intends to sue, and similar measures are being considered in 37 states besides Idaho.

It is not clear that these lawsuits will succeed, nor that they will fail. It is clear, however, that the citizenry will not quietly accept what it considers to be tyrannical dictate from Congress. If ObamaCare passes, campaigns for Congress in the fall will be filled with candidates running on reversing the health care legislation. Courts will be swamped with litigation attempting to stymie the implementation of many of the legislation’s mandates. Secession movements will rise in several states.

Libertarian cynics speculate that the chaos arising from the Democrats’ headlong effort to “kick through the door” is exactly what President Obama wants in order to impose martial law and take over the government altogether. While I find this far-fetched, I’m pretty sure that such an order to impose martial law would be resisted throughout much of the military, and would initiate the opening phase of a civil war pitting progressives against libertarian/conservatives. This is the cataclysm that timely secession could avoid, but it may be unavoidable if the President really does have takeover intentions. So be it. War is a horror, and I’m sure we all would prefer to avoid it, but as Earnest Hemmingway said, there are worse things than war, and they happen after defeat.

Speculation about cataclysms and conspiracies aside, the most likely scenario at this moment, assuming ObamaCare passes, is that the legislation will get tied up in the courts, Congress will change hands, and the new Congress will vote to rescind the measure. This is where the Democrats’ current accretion of ill will will become important. Democrats will need only 40 votes to stymie rescission measures as the minority, as opposed to needing 60 to pass as the majority, but Republicans will have no compunction against drastic measures to bypass the Senate filibuster in the wake of this spring’s procedural madness. Democrats will scream like stuck pigs, of course — when do they not? — but who will take them seriously this time around? Passing such unpopular legislation using such unsavory means amounts to a declaration of war.

Meanwhile, Sen. Tom Coburn has nailed a resolution to the Capitol door, declaring what is going to happen to those Representatives who think they’ll get cushy federal appointments when they lose their re-election bid over voting “Yes” on ObamaCare, or who want to hide the fact that they sold their votes. It’s good to know that a few of our Congressmen have something resembling a spine left.

We live in interesting times.

11/25/2009 (7:46 pm)

An American Christian's Obligation

There’s a discussion going on in a Christian-oriented Yahoo group to which I belong, over whether American Christians have an obligation in Christ to resist tyranny, as described in the Declaration of Independence. For those who are not immediately familiar, the Declaration identifies the core rights of free citizens as established by God, and declares that government draws all its right to rule from the consent of the governed. It then makes it a duty of free citizens to identify whether a government has “a design to reduce them under absolute despotism,” and when that occurs, a duty “to throw off such government, and to devise new guards for their future security.”

The title of the thread makes reference to Romans 13, a passage that begins “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities…” Many American Christians regard that as the key passage defining their role as citizens of any nation. I argued briefly in the discussion that in America, we, the people, are the governing authority, and that entity which we call “the government” is actually our slave. It is the government, I said, that owes American citizens obedience per Romans 13, not the other way ’round. We may feel guilty about “rendering unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,” but in America, we, the people, are Caesar, and the government is not.

In response to that, some who are of a different mind posited a few passages that they claim define what Christ wants us as Christians to do with respect to the government. These were:

(1) “I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” I Timothy 2:2.

(2) “No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.” II Timothy 2:4, by which this fellow meant that in serving Christ, he feels it is a distraction to entangle himself in temporal matters, which truly do not matter in the Kingdom of God.

(3) “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.” 2 Corinthians 10:4, by which he means that our battle is not with things of the earth, but rather with spiritual forces.

smugbobMy response to this was long, but a pretty comprehensive argument explaining why I believe Christians in America have a deep-seated obligation in Christ to resist tyrants, and to resist the current, incipient tyrant in particular. The rest of this post is what I argued.

First a definition: I spend most of the discussion talking about the “Kingdom of God.” To understand what I mean, you have to think of God as ruler of all universes, and then think of Earth as territory in rebellion against God, and being held against Him by spiritual forces with human complicity. God invaded this hostile territory from the outside in the person of Jesus, and established a beachhead for Himself through all those who obey Jesus. When I say that our purpose as Christians is to manifest the Kingdom of God, what I mean is that we are to widen the beachhead, extending the territory in which God’s will is done consistently. Since God’s intention for humanity is health, peace, prosperity, righteousness, and joy, those things should be plentiful wherever God’s Kingdom manifests. This is why, for example, Jesus spent so much time healing people when He walked the earth — He was extending the influence of the Kingdom of God. I frequently abbreviate the phrase “Kingdom of God” down to “KoG.”

This will be my Thanksgiving post, since what the Leydenites (they called themselves Pilgrims) were attempting to establish here on this continent was a manifestation of the Kingdom of God on earth. This is my tribute to them. Read on…


As Christians, what is our purpose here on earth? To get to heaven? Nonsense. Heaven is an effect, not a goal. We’re already in heaven, in part, and the completion of that transition is inevitable.

Is our goal to be perfected? Yes, but surely firm obedience in the tasks to which He has put us in this life is part of the process by which we are perfected, right?

Is it to convert a lot of people to Christianity? Partly, yes, but Jesus did a great deal more than merely convert people, he taught them, healed them, delivered them, encouraged them, fed them, clothed them…

I see our task here on earth reflected in the following:

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10

The purpose of Christianity here on earth is to bring God’s kingdom into manifestation among men. We’re not here just to learn, nor just to be examples, but to produce the fruit of the kingdom of God wherever we are. That’s why the message is, and always was, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

Now, that creates an interesting conflict, because so much of what goes on down here is truly inconsequential. Christianity is not a political system, nor is it an economic system. Likewise, Christianity is not a self-help program, a mental health tonic, a get-rich-quick or get-rich-slow scheme… although there are truths available in the Kingdom of God that will affect your prosperity, your mental health, your self-esteem, your economics, and your politics. Different tangible matters here on earth have different relevance to the kingdom of God, and it becomes our task as His servants to discern correctly which are central, and which peripheral, and to behave accordingly.

For example, when Peter visited the Centurion at Caesarea and converted his whole household, the Centurion was not commanded to resign his military post. Why? Because military service, a secular and temporal task, is not incompatible with serving the Kingdom of God (KoG.) Most orders a Centurion would carry out would have been of little importance to the KoG, except insofar as the Centurion performs them with moral excellence (something God definitely requires of us whatever our station.) Some — say, the matters in which this Centurion was friendly to the local synagogue — may have been positively beneficial to the KoG.

However, it was certainly possible for that military commander to have received instructions that were flat-out contrary to the Kingdom of God — say, the murder of all male children in the region under the age of 2, or the murder of all Christians — and in that case, the Centurion would have had to refuse the order and accept the consequences, which would probably have been death.

We all have the same balance to strike. We all serve the Kingdom of God while performing temporal tasks that matter very little in eternity. I used to install system software at large corporations. Nothing I did impacted the KoG directly that I could see, but insofar as I was providing for my family, supporting the Church, representing Christ accurately among my co-workers, and performing my duties with honesty and excellence, I considered that I was doing what God wanted me to do.

But occasionally there are secular things with eternal importance, and as Christians, when we encounter them we have to stand firm and do what is right. If your employer is stealing, you have a responsibility within the secular system, but that responsibility also matters eternally, both with regard to your eternal soul and your employer’s. There’s no specific scripture that says “You must report your dishonest employer to the FBI,” but you most certainly have a Christian obligation to do something like that. If you just say “Sinners will be sinners” and turn a blind eye, do you really think God will be indifferent to that? I say not; I say, God demands that we be part of the solution. That’s what we’re here for — to undo the destructive works of satan among men on this lost planet. “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth…”

So, what does that say about Christians and American politics?

wrybobAll of us who live in America accept, as an obligation of enjoying the benefits of a free society, the responsibility to participate in its leadership. This is no different from “If a man will not work, neither let him eat.” II Thessalonians 3:10. If you enjoy the benefits of citizenship, you should pay the price of citizenship. That means participation in the body politic in whatever ways are required to ensure the continued peace and safety of the nation. No, you don’t have to volunteer for Ward Chairman if that’s not your thing, but you do need to stay abreast of current events and vote intelligently regarding them. Far too few of us take this responsibility seriously, and yes, I do think God notices.

It’s given that different people will see their responsibility differently; that’s part of what “free society” means. So what if you’re a Democrat and I’m a Republican? So long as we both participate honestly, civilly, with excellence, and in good conscience, we should be able to work out our differences, and even if we can’t, each of our conscientious activisms fulfills our Christian duties. In most political things, where the requirements of bringing the Kingdom of God to earth are either irrelevant or disputable, Christians may participate on either side, and God’s purpose is served by either.

But what if a political party in the US adopts as its core philosophy something that is utterly contrary to the Kingdom of God? not just a specific plank or bad policy, but a central philosophy? What if, for example, a party adopted the central goals of satanism, and used as the central theme of its platform “Be as satan, and Do As You Will?” spreading that theme through law, education, government, and civil society? What if a party stood primarily for the evangelistic spread of Islam throughout the US, intending to establish Sharia in place of the US Constitution and reducing all non-Muslims to “dhimmi” status? What if one adopted a theme of “Grasp for whatever you can, and to hell with the needs of others?” Does the combination of your devotion to the Kingdom of Christ and your citizenship in a citizen-governed system, confer on you a Christian duty to resist that which is explicitly ungodly in that party’s platform? I say that it does — and not only does this not constitute “serving the wrong kingdom,” the failure to judge this rightly and take appropriate action constitutes a failure to serve Christ properly. For our job here is to bring the KoG to earth, and resisting the spread of demoniacal systems is certainly part of that job.

What I perceive in modern America is that one party has been overtaken by a demonic philosophy that perfectly expresses the will of the serpent in Eden: “You will be as God.” It perfectly expresses the spirit of man at Babel: “Let us make a name for ourselves.” It perfectly expresses the vain notions of kings mentioned in Psalm 2: “Let us break [the LORD's] chains, and throw off [His Anointed's] fetters.” That philosophy is the philosophy of Utopian control — total control to produce a perfect society. I can imagine no better expression of satanic will for humanity, nor a better vehicle for him to destroy humanity. We saw this philosophy in motion throughout the 20th century, in Italy, in Germany, in Russia, in China, in Vietnam, in Cambodia, in Cuba… and watched it murder hundreds of millions of its own citizens. And everywhere it went, it systematically and specifically murdered the Church, because the spirit of this system is anti-Christ.

madbobAnd even though we Christians, as American citizens, are the government, and have a civic responsibility to maintain the peace and safety of the nation, some here are telling me that they think the Christian has no obligation, as a Christian, to stand against this horror and say “It will not come here.”

I say “Crap.” No obligation could possibly be clearer. And no, I’m not serving the wrong kingdom. I’m serving the only kingdom that matters, the Kingdom of God. Because satan has moved through deceived men and women to increase his hold on the minds and hearts of men, to demolish their prosperity and safety, to increase their misery, to take their liberty and their lives. He’s doing it in a recognizable form, one whose effects we already know all too well. It behooves me as a servant of the living Christ to stand firm against it.

Notice what I have not said, because some here will mistakenly accuse me of saying them. I have not said that the Republican party represents the perfect reflection of Christ, or even that it reflects Him in any way. I have not said that every Democrat is a demoniac. I have not said that Christians cannot be Democrats, nor that Democrats cannot be Christians. I have not said that the US Constitution is the Perfect Christian Document. I have not said that we have leave to treat human beings in the deceived party as though they were less than human beings. I have not said that warfare in the spirit is an inconsequential part of this activism. I have not said that there are no other Christian imperatives in politics to which a Christian might, in good conscience, apply him or herself.

But what I have said is, there’s a distinctly ungodly philosophy afoot, centered in a political movement, and as citizens of the Kingdom of God who happen also to be citizens in a citizen-governed republic, we have a Christian obligation to stand up to it and defeat it decisively.

That’s my argument.

05/28/2009 (9:32 am)

DealerGate, or Why Government Should Never, Ever, Ever Get Involved in Private Business

dealership

Among the flood of outrageous acts* from the Obama White House, the government has pretty much taken over Chrysler and General Motors, two ailing auto manufacturers, stolen whatever value is left from the individuals who worked for, financed, and earned that value, and given ownership to the government and the United Auto Worker’s union. This raised fears of partisan favoritism in the conduct of business, fears which are today being amplified.

About 2 weeks ago, Chrysler filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced a plan to close roughly 25% of its dealerships that were “just not pulling their weight in terms of sales.” The dealerships selected to be closed, allegedly based on sales and service records, were to receive notice and be given a chance to appeal, and the final evaluation of the bankruptcy filing was to be heard by US Bankruptcy Court in New York on June 3.

In the past two days, bloggers reviewing the list of closings have reported a deeply disturbing pattern. It appears that of all the franchisees who have been selected to close, virtually none are Obama supporters, but lots and lots are major Republican donors. From yesterday’s WorldNetDaily article:

WND reviewed the list of 789 closing franchises and databases of political donors and found that of dealership majority owners making contributions in the November 2008 election, less than 10 percent gifted to Democrats while 90 percent gave substantial sums to Republican candidates.

The listed franchise owners contributed at least $450,000 to Republican presidential candidates and the GOP, while only $7,970 was donated to Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign and $2,200 was given to Sen. John Edwards’ campaign.

Obama received a combined total of only $450 in donations – $250 from dealer Jane Baldock in Wenatchee, Wash., and $200 from Waco, Texas, dealer Jeffrey Hunter.

Ten percent to Democrats makes it seem slightly less suspicious… until you realize that all the Democrats were Obama’s adversaries.

Doug Ross has been leading the charge on the research (here Monday, here Wednesday,) and other bloggers have been tracking the political angle as well, including this one dedicated solely to tracking political donations of the Chrysler franchisees. It’s not proof positive, but it’s awfully damning.

The bankruptcy filing makes sense — Chrysler’s been in trouble for a while — but closing dealerships does not. Chrysler dealers are franchised, which means they don’t cost the company anything besides administrative costs at the home office, and those are nominal. The franchise buys the cars from the manufacturer and pays for them immediately; the cars that you see on the dealers’ lots are already revenue to the Chrysler Corporation, and are assets owned by the franchisee. In one sense, it pays Chrysler to have as many franchises open as it possibly can. It would suit them if there was a franchise on every block. They sell more cars that way, and what do they care if the franchisees can’t make any money because there are too many Chrysler dealerships?

090527-lees-summit-mo1They care because they can’t get good dealers unless the dealerships are profitable. For this reason, franchise agreements usually include market protection clauses, that say, for example, that Chrysler will only permit so many dealers per 1,000 population in a given area, or that no other franchisee will be authorized within a certain county, or some such. This is done to protect the franchisee, and smart franchise buyers check market protection clauses carefully before investing their money to buy the franchise.

So, while revoking the franchises of non-performing dealers perhaps streamlines an administrative task for the home office, and (if done fairly) might improve dealer relations, it’s not the first move one would expect a company to commence when filing for bankruptcy, nor the second, nor the third. This is not where the company needs to restructure.

It makes sense, though, as part of a partisan move to reward political allies under the cover of bankruptcy proceedings. Chrysler is most decidedly not playing fair; it’s playing hardball with the franchisees. In many states laws protect franchise owners from suddenly losing their franchise rights without compensation, and forces the franchisor (Chrysler, in this case) to help the franchisee recoup losses — buying back parts and inventory, for example. Not this time, though. From a Gannet story describing a lawsuit being filed by cut dealerships:

Chrysler’s request goes far beyond just ending dealer contracts. It would bar an affected dealer from selling any Chrysler vehicle or part under warranty after June 6. Any payments or damages from ending the contract would be left with the “old” Chrysler whose liquidation won’t cover the liabilities it assumes.

And Chrysler wants to block dealers from appealing the decision with state authorities, and asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Gonzalez to rule that federal bankruptcy law supersedes all state laws over dealer contracts.

Under the laws of most states, if Chrysler wanted to end a dealer contract it would have to give the dealer several months to wind down its business, offer to buy back vehicle and parts inventory and, in some cases, offer reimbursement for a number of costs, such as remodeling.

But in bankruptcy, Chrysler contends it can avoid any such liabilities as part of the case.

Take note of that phrase, “payments or damages from ending the contract would be left with the ‘old’ Chrysler.” Since Chrysler is filing bankruptcy to protect itself from creditors, this means that the franchise owners who are being shouldered out can’t obtain satisfaction from a lawsuit; they might win, but they’d have to wait in line for payment out of whatever is set aside to satisfy creditors, usually a long, drawn-out repayment process that returns pennies on the dollar.

In short, the dealers who are being cut, are being ruined financially. They’re suing based on a 5th Amendment complaint; they’re being deprived of property without due process of law, and without just compensation, by the government.

Anecdotes are surfacing suggesting that some of the cut dealers are high performers. Others complain of grossly unfair practices, like this dealer who had just finished a company-mandated facelift for his dealership when he received his cut notice. Writes Josh Painter at Red State:

Some of the dealers chosen to be terminated were among the more successful outlets in the Chrysler dealership network, and many of them had been loyal Chrysler and Dodge agents who had maintained an excellent working relationship with the Detroit automaker for decades.

Some dealers who got a thumbs down from Obama’s automotive panel told compelling stories about their situations that raised doubts about the process of selecting them for closing. One example, a dealership in Alvin, Texas, had increased its new car sales by 50% in the first four months of 2009, while other MOPAR dealers’ sales were in the tank. Another in Melbourne, Florida, had, at Chrysler’s insistence, totally renovated its facility financed by incurring millions of dollars of debt in the form of a bank mortgage.

Adding fuel to the fire, a lawyer for the excised dealers deposed Chrysler’s chief executives, and reported that it was his impression that cutting dealerships was not favored by Chrysler’s board, but was in fact the result of pressure from the Obama administration’s auto czar. The Chrysler Corp’s official statement denies this, but do we believe it?

Doug Ross claimed yesterday he has statistical proof that the closings were selected by political donation, calculating that the probability of the pattern he’s detected is roughly 1 over 1 billion. In fact, this does not prove that the complaint is true — the sample of closed dealerships is not a random sample, and correlation does not prove causation — though it does suggest it strongly.

But proof hardly matters. What matters is the perception.

politicskenyastyleLast year about this time, Kenya erupted into violence because of a national election that many perceived was rigged. Hundreds died, and hundreds of thousands fled their homes in fear. Have you ever wondered why that does not happen in the US? It’s because here in the US, losing an election does not usually mean you won’t be able to feed your family or keep your business; in Kenya, it does, because the elected officials hand out huge favors to all their political backers, normally members of their own tribes who help keep them in power. Patronage here in the US has been chicken feed by comparison — until now. Now, we’re beginning to perceive that the government is choosing winners in the economic lottery by which party they’ve donated to, and which candidate. If people begin perceiving that losing an election means they’re financially ruined, we’re on the road to civil war, and the US becomes Africa.

This cannot happen if the government stays out of private business, and remains relatively small. The reason we don’t have Africa’s level of political violence is not that we’re better people than they are, it’s that we’ve by and large kept government out of private business, and kept patronage to a minimum. As strange as it may sound, we Americans have had relatively little at stake from the outcome of political fortune, compared with the rest of the world. President Obama seems intent on changing that.

The investigation of this matter should continue, and if it turns out that the Obama administration is deliberately ruining private businesses along partisan lines, I will call for his impeachment. This is completely unacceptable in the United States. The government must be kept out of business, because an economy ruled by political self-interest is never preferable to one ruled by economic self-interest.

*The flood of outrageous acts is a tactic, designed to prevent any individual act from getting the attention it deserves. I would say that President Obama learned it from President Clinton, who used the same tactic, but it appears that both learned it from Saul Alinsky.

04/15/2009 (8:46 am)

DHS Extremism Report: Caution/Paranoia

reportcoverextremism

By now you’ve probably heard about the Department of Homeland Security report that Ed Morrissey calls “execrable” and Michelle Malkin calls “a hit job on conservatives.” Dated April 7, 2009, as far as I can tell it was first front-paged by Roger Hedgecock, who provides a link to the .pdf file on his site.

Basically, this report is government-speak alerting law enforcement officers to keep their eyes peeled for right-wingers using fears of the economic downturn, restrictions on weapons ownership, concerns about illegal immigration, and other measures of the Obama administration as tools to recruit to their “extremist” organizations. It does not say that these groups actually plan violent acts — in fact, it’s got virtually no specifics at all, other than the details of the issues they’re concerned about — but it says they might be recruiting based on these issues.

The problem, of course, is that the only specifics in the report detail issues advocacy that pretty much describes the concerns of the mainstream right. In other words, the Obama administration’s DHS is warning law enforcement officers to keep a suspicious eye on all conservatives, lest they turn violent. The report makes no distinction between “extremists” and ordinary conservatives, so if law enforcement officers take it seriously, they’re basically going to be keeping their eyes on about half the country. This is a first in American law enforcement to my knowledge, although I imagine some intrepid history major can whip out some of Lincoln’s measures against copperheads during the Civil War as a counter-example. Be that as it may, it’s chilling.

At the near extreme, this report might be nothing more than the opinion of a paranoiac leftist at DHS thinking out loud that the militias are likely to use current turmoil as a recruiting vehicle. If it’s that, the only problem is that the wording is so unspecific that they’ve taken the entire political right in a net that was aimed at catching hard-right militia. They could solve the entire furor by retracting the report and re-releasing it with tighter wording, including a definition of “extremist” that excludes ordinary Republican and Libertarian issue voters. Let’s hope they do that.

At the far extreme, however, a government that plans to institute restrictive and anti-libertarian measures in the near future might issue a report like this in advance to categorize as “extreme” the expected outrage of ordinary citizens against the loss of their liberties.

And let’s be candid, here: if the Obama administration does intend to remove Constitutionally-protected liberties and criminalize their political opposition, in a style reminiscent of the Bolsheviks in Russia or the Maoists in China, then they are correct in warning against violence from opponents. That will happen; they can count on it. The Tea Party gatherings all over America today signal the administration that some citizens who have never engaged in activism will rise up as activists if his measures go too far. I’ve written before on this blog that certain intentions of the hard left could at the extreme lead to civil war in the United States.

My research regarding Barack Obama’s upbringing and personal history suggest at least some possibility that he’s executing long-established plans to overthrow the US Constitution and replace it with something more like the Communist Manifesto. Short of that, though, there’s also the possibility that he’s just an addled leftist who genuinely believes that conservative ideas are evil and should be criminalized. In practice, there’s no difference between those two positions; both lead to the same, tyrannical, one-party government that suppresses opponents. And both can, will, and by proper moral concern for the rights of humanity must be opposed with force should some tyrant attempt to impose such a government on a free citizenry.

So, which is it? Sloppily-worded government-speak, or preparation for a legitimate uprising by ordinary citizens?

08/08/2008 (4:37 pm)

Cause for Civil War

Byron York on Wednesday wrote about an interview he noticed from this year’s Netroots Nation convention last month in Austin, TX. David Kurtz from leftist blog Talking Points Memo interviewed Dahlia Lithwick of Slate.com concerning a serious discussion that had taken place at the conference about how to hold the Bush administration accountable for “war crimes” and “violations of the law.”

I’ve embedded the YouTube video of the interview, but you might not want to watch it. Personally, I couldn’t get through any 2 minutes of it without pausing it and having to leave the room to go vent somewhere. It’s about 10 minutes long. Two intelligent-sounding individuals are discussing calmly how to go about prosecuting the Bush administration for the heinous act of carefully examining the law and attempting to pursue sound defense policy without violating it. Lithwick actually claimed that the most pernicious aspect of the Bush administration’s behavior was how they deliberately chose locations for foreign combatants that were outside the jurisdictions of US courts, and appointed District and Circuit Court judges who were friendly to their interpretation of the law, as though this was a prosecutable war crime. How this differs from the behavior of Democrats (discounting for the moment the clear violations of law under Democratic leadership, like the 1996 campaign finance scandal) is beyond me. And then they discuss how the nation will be “unrecognizable” if McCain appoints two or three more judges like Scalia and Roberts, who actually believe that the Constitution’s authors meant precisely what they wrote.

This is just the tip of a very ugly iceberg that’s been floating into the harbor for a while now. The Left, if it gains power, seriously intends to prosecute the Bush administration for what amount to policy differences. Barack Obama actually stated his intent to at least consider doing so in an interview with the Philadelphia Daily News back in April, when he was still trying to outflank Hillary Clinton on the left. The American Thinker wrote about it a few months later, and quoted Obama at length, including this:

…one of the things we’ve got to figure out in our political culture generally is distinguishing between really dumb policies and policies that rise to the level of criminal activity.

Hey, I’ve actually said that I thought certain Democratic policies are “criminally stupid,” but I didn’t actually mean I wanted to prosecute them for it. Obama, however, means exactly what he says. Discussions here at The Blue Voice, here at Salon.com, and here at LegalSchnauzer all advocate prosecution of imagined wrongdoing, and the Lithwick interview tells us that they’re seriously discussing the options.

It’s not as though there have been no investigations during the Bush administration. The Left started hurling false accusations before Bush even took office, and has never stopped. They’ve investigated apparent links between the Bush administration and oil vendors in Texas, and found none. They’ve investigated pressure by the Bush administration to alter intelligence reports during the run-up to the Iraq war, and found none. They’ve investigated an alleged attempt to harm a private citizen by exposing his wife’s alleged covert status publicly, and found nothing (although one official was arrested for lying during the investigation). They’ve investigated alleged “lies” in the administration’s public argument for the Iraq war, and found that all statements conformed to the available intelligence. They’ve been investigating the perfectly legal firing of 8 US attorneys during the President’s 2nd term, and have found nothing but some low-level officials preferring to hire Republicans. They’ve been attempting to prove that Karl Rove orchestrated a witch hunt against the felony-convicted governor of Alabama, Don Siegelman, and found nothing. They even attempted to prove the President skipped the last few months of his Air Force Reserve tour 35 years ago, for cryin’ out loud — and got caught forging documents trying to prove it. When Nancy Pelosi took over leadership of the House of Representatives, the Democrats launched three hundred separate investigations into the Bush administration, resulting in the subpoenas of more than 1 million documents. Have you heard of any wrongdoing found? At all? (This is as opposed to the four serious investigations into the last Democratic administration in the White House, investigations having nothing to do with policy choices, wherein all four produced significant evidence of very real criminal activity.)

We already know the truth about the Bush administration; they have been scrupulous about attempting to conduct national defense aggressively while keeping the law in mind. They’ve pushed right up to what they consider the limits, and willingly stopped there. Where they could, they’ve actually accommodated the demands of their adversaries. There have been some instances of patronage jobs being handed out, which is disappointing but hardly surprising among politicians. The Bush administration has been the most corruption-free administration in my lifetime, bar none. It’s also been the most scrupulously examined.

But that’s not good enough for the “Progressives.” We’ve made jokes about Bush Derangement Syndrome, but this is no joke. This is Stalinista-style hearings, “Truth Panels,” aimed at making examples of those who dared violate Progessive orthodoxy. They cannot abide by the facts found by properly appointed agents of the law, so they will produce show trials with guaranteed results. How can we expect otherwise? The legally constituted inquiries that produced no evidence of criminal activity did not satisfy them; they know the Bush administration is criminal despite the flood of evidence to the contrary, and will not rest until a panel has produced that result.

A blogger named Jerry Pournelle foresees war as the inevitable response to such an attempt. He’s quoted by Instapundit (read the Instapundit post, Prof. Reynolds excerpts the only relevant comment from Pournelle’s meanderings.) The emphasis is mine:

Democrats seem to be drifting toward the concept of prosecution of former office holders by criminalizing policy differences. That’s a certain formula for civil war; perhaps not immediate, but inevitable. The absolute minimum requirement for democratic government is that the loser be willing to lose the election: that losing an election is not the loss of everything that matters. As soon as that assurance is gone, playing by the rules makes no sense at all.

Reynolds follows this with a comparison to the Roman Civil War, which is worth reading. Once the line of co-laboring under a common Constitution is crossed, there’s no saving the republic; there’s only survival, and attempting to reconstruct something workable after the fighting.

A comment by one J. E. Dyer after Commentary’s brief blurb about Byron York’s article makes my case succinctly. He concludes:

Anyone can declare that he perceives a “gray area,” but his perception should be no more actionable by government than another’s perception that someone he dislikes is a horse’s ass. Our constitutionally-appointed checks and balances have already kicked in on the Bush administration: Bush’s policies and executive actions have been the subjects of a special prosecutor, Congressional inquiries, and lawsuits. We have results from those processes. The fact that some partisans would have preferred different results doesn’t render any territory in this history “gray.”

The bottom line here is that the leftists who advocate a “truth commission” approach don’t like the outcome of due process of law, in the case of Bush’s executive. What they want is a do-over using a wholly unaccountable process from OUTSIDE the Constitution, one through which they can try to destroy people with accusation and innuendo, strung out in the public eye for as long as possible. They are behaving exactly like Bolshevik cadre, and they should be called out as such. There is no room in constitutional, rule-of-law government for hijacking the forms of government to perform Soviet-style purges, complete with show trials.

The most complete discussions I found were at American Power and Wolf Howling; you’ll find lots of links at both places to what the Leftists are up to. Jimmie at The Sundries Shack rounds us out with this observation:

I can almost guarantee you that if the Democrats take untrammeled control of the Federal Government, they will make Joseph McCarthy look like an elderly nun on Thorazine.

My reaction is, “They already have. What they’ll do next will do Stalin proud.”

Allow me to point once again to the sober reminder of our responsibility under our social and political contract to provide new guards for our future security if our form of government becomes destructive of our God-given liberties. We who understand the central importance of liberty of conscience cannot walk away from our responsibility to resist tyrants, even if the tyrants are our neighbors and speak our language. This responsibility is not going to go away, and we need to be ready to step up.

Progressives: is criminalizing policy differences worth the violence that will inevitably follow the attempt? Please be assured that I am serious; you will not be permitted to prosecute politicians who disagree with you without incurring violence.