Friday, June 28, 2013

The Time to Defend Freedom of Conscience is Now.

At least much of the gay rights crowd (and probably most) is not particularly interested in the freedom of churches, schools, and individuals to disagree with their viewpoint and live accordingly.  One need only to watch and listen to the Left and gay activists to get that.  Heck, the utter disrespect for the legitimacy of traditional attitudes on marriage even permeates Justice Anthony Kennedy’s DOMA majority opinion.  If one thinks the Left will tolerate the freedom of “BIGOTS!” to live in accordance with their beliefs, one is naïve indeed.  Demonization of opponents rarely stops there unless it is made to stop there.

Like Canada, the UK and Europe, we are well on the way to being made to submit to the gay agenda or else.

So I heartily agree with Erick Erickson that we should make that as difficult as possible for the Left by codifying protections for those who disagree with gay marriage and practices.

Right now, while the left still denies that is the intention, the right should act. They should start codifying protections for religious institutions — from churches to schools. Those protections should include protections for the tax exempt status of organizations that refuse to recognize gay marriage and protections for Christian schools that do not want to treat gay marriage as an acceptable alternative to normal.

I would add we should codify protections for individuals as well, although that is a tougher sell.

And, granted, we are one or two Supreme Court appointments away from just about all our Constitutional rights being flushed down the drain regardless.  But you gotta do what you can.  And time for that may be running low.

The time to act to protect 1st Amendment freedoms is now.

(Clarification: In case anyone desires to twist what I am saying here, I am dead set opposed to gay bashing or its equivalents.  1st Amendment freedoms never include assaulting the rights and/or persons of others.  And I do think gays should have the same rights as others although I do not think that includes changing the traditional societal definition of marriage.)


Hat tip to Stand Firm.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Proof that the REC BCP is Inspired by God

Yesterday, the Second Lesson for Evening Prayer administered according to the Book of Common Prayer of the Reformed Episcopal Church was . . .

Romans 1:18-end

‘Nuff said.

The Supreme Court Tells Voters to Get Lost

I’ve held my fire on the Prop 8 ruling yesterday.  After all, the Supreme Court did not rule directly on Prop 8, and Justice Scalia, whom I highly respect, concurred with the decision.  I respect him so much that I still wonder if I am missing something.

But let me try to get the ruling straight anyway.  Voters approve Prop 8 through a referendum process designed to enable the people to exhert some power when politicians refuse to listen.  The politicians predictably refuse to defend the new law when it is challenged in court.  So supporters step in and defend it.  (Who else will?)  A federal judge who cannot keep his gay activism in his pants rules against Prop 8.  The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals whose method of jurisprudence is “If it’s Leftist, we like it” rules against Prop 8.  And then at the Supreme Court, a majority of justices says the voters did not have standing to defend their law once the gay federal judge ruled from on high?  Voters whose votes are being nullified by politicians and judge-politicians have no standing to say their votes cannot be nullified? 

Can you say kangaroo court?

This is yet another successful attack on Constitutional democracy from the Feds and their courts.  I am beginning to understand why certain friends who stay informed chose not to vote.

Bill Jurkovich, a voter in Citrus Heights, Calif., says: “Apparently, we the people do not have the right to create a law that the political elite disagree with. Is it any wonder that people are becoming radicalized, have lost faith with the political process, distrust government, and do not vote?”

And if you think just us knuckle dragging right-wingers are concerned with this attack on democracy, think again.

Justice Kennedy, in his dissent from the majority, warned that “the Court’s decision also has implications for the 26 other states that have an initiative or popular referendum system, and which, like California, may choose to have initiative proponents stand in for the State when public officials decline to defend an initiative in litigation.” Kevin Drum, a blogger for the liberal Mother Jones magazine, notes that he is in favor of gay marriage, but that the Supreme Court’s “gutting” of the people’s right to defend their own initiatives “has neither the flavor of justice nor of democratic governance.”

I am hesitant to say much more with the NSA watching and all.  But it is past time for the ruling class to think long and hard about what can happen to a society when the people sense that their voices and votes do not count.  And with election fraud, a tyrannical President, judges who nullify the results of elections, etc. more and more people are sensing just that.

The alternatives to the Consent of the Governed can be unpleasant.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Obama’s “Climate Change” Speech - More Contempt for Consent of the Governed

I could rake Obama’s “Climate Change” speech over the coals (No pun intended.) for its questionable science and destructive economics.  If Obama gets his way, he’ll be hurting our economy while China cheerfully keeps polluting at full tilt.  A lot of good that would do.

But what may be even worse about the speech is his utter disregard for the consent of the governed.  If Obama wants all these so-called green policies, which will be red for the economy, then let him campaign on them before an election and work with Congress to pass them.

Instead, he threatens to go close to full tyrant, using executive orders and his pet EPA to slow down and even shut down much of the economy (e. g. power plants and the coal industry) for the sake of somehow stopping climate change.  The Wall Street Journal puts it well:

Most striking about this Obama legacy project is its contempt for democratic consent. Congress has consistently rejected an Obama-style "comprehensive" anticarbon energy plan. That was true even when Democrats ran the Senate with a filibuster-proof majority in 2009-2010 and killed his cap-and-trade energy bill. The only legislative justification for Mr. Obama's new plan is an abusive interpretation of the Clean Air Act, which was last revised in 1990 and never mentions carbon as a pollutant.

So instead Mr. Obama will impose these inherently political policy choices via unaccountable bureaucracies, with little or no debate. Mr. Obama might have at least announced his war on carbon before the election and let voters have a say. Instead he posed as the John the Baptist of fossil fuels in locales such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia—taking credit for the shale fracking boom he had nothing to do with and running ads attacking Mitt Romney as anticoal.

Now safely re-elected, Mr. Obama figures he can do what he pleases. The Americans who will be harmed will have to console themselves with 99 weeks of jobless benefits, food stamps and ObamaCare.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

IRS Spin

So the IRS has conveniently let it be known that they also looked at “progressive” and “Occupy” groups.

This is transparent spin to distract us from their systematic targeting of Constitutional conservative and tea party groups.

And it is spin I am not buying.  I still want people in prison for the IRS attacks on 1st Amendment rights.  And IF Obama can be linked to the attacks, it demands impeachment.  (But, again, I think Obama mainly lets his thugs do the dirty work.)

By the way, I have long thought that Democrat fraud and misconduct was not enough to swing the 2012 election.  There was no doubt there was massive fraud, but I felt afterwards Romney was so hapless, he was a loser anyway.  And Obama’s margin of victory was convincing.

But in light of IRS revelations and how quiet harassed tea party groups were in 2012, I’m not so sure now.  The anti-Obama/tea party vote turns out strong in 2010, but then in 2012, when Obama is actually on the ballot, the anti-Obama vote is weak?  Huh?

That was the main shocker of the 2012 election.  I afterwards thought I overestimated Romney’s appeal to conservatives – or conservative toleration of Romney to put it differently.  And that conservatives were fed up with being fed establishment Republicans was surely a factor.  But now it is becoming clear IRS suppression of tea party groups and of the vote they had turned out so well in 2010 was a big factor, too.

The IRS played a major role in rigging the 2012 election by harassing and hamstringing conservative groups in blatant violation of the 1st Amendment.  So much so that I am no longer sure Obama is a legitimate President.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Obama Attacks No. Irish Catholic Schools as Divisive (WTH?!?)

Allow me a personal note at the beginning.  I understand if some think I am too hard on Obama (although they are wrong).  I know that saying our president has a totalitarian streak etc. is a bit outside the box and not easy to hear.  I certainly wish such were not the case.  But I refuse to put my head in the sand or assist anyone else in keeping their head in the sand.  So I’m sure I come across as a hard man at times.

Yet as negative an assessment I have of Obama, he time and again proves my assessment is really not negative enough.  For he continues to floor me with episodes such as this – Obama speaks in Belfast, Northern Ireland . . . and attacks Catholic schools as divisive.  In his own words:

[I]ssues like segregated schools and housing, lack of jobs and opportunity — symbols of history that are a source of pride for some and pain for others — these are not tangential to peace; they’re essential to it.  If towns remain divided — if Catholics have their schools and buildings, and Protestants have theirs — if we can’t see ourselves in one another, if fear or resentment are allowed to harden, that encourages division.  It discourages cooperation.

First, an American President speaking against Catholic schools is reason for alarm.  Heck, that is the sort of thing that warms the hearts of anti-Catholic bigots and is an attack on religious freedom and the right of families to educate their children as they see fit.  What Obama said is completely out of line coming from any American President anywhere.

Second, did Obama really think speaking against Catholic schools in Northern Ireland would help heal divisions?  Really?  It’s like trying to put out a smoldering fire by pouring gasoline on it.

Finally, does it ever occur to Obama that there are actually matters that are NONE OF HIS FRICKIN BUSINESS?!?

Obama’s statement is incredible.  (And I, therefore, verified it before posting.)

Oh, but as incredible as this is, guess who is ignoring Obama’s gaffe?  The U. S. snooze media.  Of course.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Obama’s IRS Targeted DHS Whistleblower

Hot Air puts a question mark on their headline, but I won’t.  The IRS and God knows who else clearly retaliated against a DHS whistleblower and targeted him for an audit . . . in which they ripped him off:

[P. Jeffrey Black] had taken a long list of complaints to lawmakers about how the air marshals service was run, ranging from problems keeping marshals on flights to allegations of ineptitude and favoritism by managers. The same year he retired, he appeared in “Please Remove Your Shoes,” a documentary critical of the airline security measures travelers endure on every trip.

Then came the audit, which an Internal Revenue Service agent told him about the same day the movie premiered — “almost to the hour,” he said.

The year-long investigation included the placement of a $24,000 lien against his home. In the end, the IRS found out Black owed them $480 — while the government owed him $8,300.

Black paid his $480; the government never paid him, saying the statute of limitations had run out.

And this is no isolated case.  The Obama regime has a long and sordid record of going after pesky whistleblowers, even Inspectors General:

Barack Obama's proxies have threatened Inspectors General on more than one occasion. Gerald Walpin ran afoul of the Obama team when he dared to report that a friend of Obama's was misusing government funds for personal expenses, meddled politically in a local election, and  may have included hush money to women to keep them quiet about sexual harassment by him. What were Walpin's rewards for protecting taxpayers? His dismissal followed by heaps of personal abuse and accusations of mental illness.
He has company.
The Inspector General at the OMB who reported on Obama's plans to slash his budget was told by officials there that they'd "make life miserable for him" if he complained about his budget being cut.
The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction reported that administration officials had pressured him to remain silent regarding the massive waste of funds and corruption associated with the program and that officials had tried to edit his report to remove anything that might embarrass the White House (presaging the Benghazi scandal). The abuse led to his resignation.

The aforementioned Neil Barofsky was subject to scathing personal attack for exposing and disclosing massive waste and fraud in the Troubled Asset Relief Program.  Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the 2008 campaign who had become the deputy communications director at the White House, engaged in such personal vituperation that it shocked old Washington hands. She accused Barofsky of trying to generate "false controversy" to "grab a few cheap headlines" and then continued with similar personal insults of Barofsky.
Psaki has been rewarded for faithfully serving as an Obama attack dog by being promoted to the high-profile and prestigious spot as State Department spokeswoman. . .

But of course.

This all fits in too well with what I wrote on Monday about government by thugs.


Housekeeping: If the fonts are messed up, blame Blogger.  Heck, I blame them like Obama blames Bush.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Why There May Be No Smoking Gun On Obama (even though he’s guilty as Hell)

It will not surprise that on the IRS scandal and other permutations of Obamagate, I consider Obama both responsible and guilty.  I’ve warned time and again for years that Obama has a totalitarian streak, and now some of the results of that are coming out. 

Yet I do not expect some smoking gun to come out linking him directly to IRS targeting, NSA overreach, EPA targeting, Fast and Furious or anything else.

History illustrates why a Watergate-style smoking gun is unlikely.  As Erick Erickson points out, Henry II probably never directly ordered the assassination of Thomas Beckett.  But, in a rage (And Henry II had an infamous temper.), he let his displeasure with Beckett and his desire to be rid of that “turbulent priest”, that “low-born cleric” be known.

And he had thugs around him who were too willing to do just that.

Closer to our times (and at the risk of violating Godwin’s Law), there is no known document in which Hitler ordered the Holocaust.  But the Holocaust most certainly did happen, and Hitler was most certainly responsible for it.  But it is an open question how he could have been convicted for it had he lived:

The lack of direct documentary evidence linking Hitler to genocide is interesting and if he had been captured alive, I'm not sure how the Nuremberg prosecutors would have built a case against him. Especially if he had pulled an Obama, thrown Himmler and Goering under the bus and piously claimed that the first time he had heard of the whole death camp thing was when he had read about them in the papers.

Recently, I’ve been reading an interesting book, The Nazis – A Warning from History by Laurence Rees.  Rees points out something not generally well known about Hitler – he was no administrator.

The Nazis have a reputation as being efficient and making the trains run on time and all that.  But to a large extent the opposite was the case.  Hitler loved conquest, but was not interested in the nuts and bolts of actually governing.  One result was that the domestic bureaucracy under the Nazis was chaotic.  Hitler himself was lazy, sleeping late, taking long naps, watching movies and disliking being bothered with lowly documents.

But he was very good at making his wishes known and at surrounding himself with loyal thugs eager to make his wishes true.  The thugs did not so much follow direct orders (as they later claimed in their feeble defence) as much as they “worked towards the Fuhrer,” i. e. they took the initiative to act in the spirit of Hitler’s aims. (Rees, p. 57-60)

Now Obama is no Hitler, but is this beginning to sound familiar?

Obama would rather play golf (125 times and counting) and jet around fundraising and giving speeches than actually governing.  Heck, by one account, he went to bed during Benghazi, leaving poor Panetta in charge.  Of course, the next day he jetted off to Vegas.

At the same time, Obama is very ideological and lets it be known very publicly (and no telling how much privately) what he thinks of his “enemies” and that they should be punished.  And he surrounds himself with thugs like Eric Holder, Lois Lerner, Kathleen Sebelius, Lisa Jackson, etc. who are all too willing to do some punishing.

So there is no need for him to directly order the IRS to target conservatives, for example.  And it is possible he never did so.  Let the thugs do the dirty work.

Thus we may very well have once again a leader responsible for outrageous evil, but with no direct documentary evidence for that, with no smoking gun.

If so, dealing with Obama and stopping him will be that much more difficult than dealing with Nixon.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Democrat IRS (and DOE, DOL, EPA . . .)

Obama’s sycophants would have you believe that the IRS scandals are not a Democrat or Obama thing.  Heck, they even try to *blame Bush* on this one, too.

Don’t buy it.

Money doesn’t lie (even if it can purchase lies), and of those IRS lawyers who made a contribution in the 2012 presidential race, 95% made one to Obama.  As David French points out, that “looks more like the political affiliations of Ivy League women’s-studies departments than those of an allegedly impartial federal bureaucracy.”

The IRS has become the de facto tax gathering arm of the Democrat Party.  And, with the targeting of conservatives, we are seeing some of the consequences of that.

And as the Tax Prof points out, it’s not just an IRS problem.  Other federal agencies are overwhelmingly Democrat as indicated by campaign contributions.

This sort of de facto one-party rule is the stuff of regimes and is dangerous to the freedoms of those who disagree with the Democrat regime.  The case of Lois Lerner is but one example of that:

In the fall of 1996, at the campaign's climax, Democrats filed with the Federal Elections Commission charges alleging campaign finance violations by Salvi's campaign. These charges dominated the campaign's closing days. Salvi spoke by phone with the head of the FEC's Enforcement Division, who he remembers saying: "Promise me you will never run for office again, and we'll drop this case." He was speaking to Lois Lerner.

After losing to Durbin, Salvi spent four years and $100,000 fighting the FEC, on whose behalf FBI agents visited his elderly mother demanding to know, concerning her $2,000 contribution to her son's campaign, where she got "that kind of money." When the second of two federal courts held that the charges against Salvi were spurious, the lawyer arguing for the FEC was Lois Lerner.

More recently, she has been head of the IRS Exempt Organizations Division, which has used its powers of delay, harassment and extortion to suppress political participation. For example, it has told an Iowa right-to-life group that it would get tax exempt status if it would promise not to picket Planned Parenthood clinics.

Rest assured there are many Lois Lerners, bureaucrats who use raw fed power to put conservatives and other “enemies” in their place.  And remember that Obama is all about punishing enemies

Ace may have his tongue-in-cheek when he calls for mass firings.  But the current corrupt one-party rule of numerous federal bureaucracies calls for just that.  And if Civil Service laws will not allow that, then change those laws or make mass reassignments to small stuffy windowless offices.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

ACNA and the Filioque

There is a stir about ACNA considering reducing the filioque to a footnote.  Among draft liturgies are a Nicene Creed without the filioque.  A footnote adds:

The filioque clause “and the Son” may be added here. It is not included in the text above for ecumenical purposes, in accordance with the 1978 Lambeth Conference, though the ACNA does not disagree with the theology of the filioque.

There is not a little unhappiness about this.  I am not among the unhappy. However, I think keeping the filioque in the Creed but with parentheses around it may be wiser for reasons I will now summarize.

As most readers know, the filioque was not in the original Nicene Creed.  It was added later by Rome without the consent of the Eastern church.  This episode contributed to the later split between Rome and Constantinople.

Putting it in parentheses or even removing it is not a theological statement as ACNA is making clear.  The authority of scripture is not explicitly mentioned in either the Nicene or Apostles’ Creed neither, but no reasonable person would interpret that as a denial or downplaying of the authority of scripture.

It is instead an effort at greater unity, particularly with our Orthodox friends, without sacrificing truth.

But unity is the reason I think putting the filioque in a footnote (instead of in the Creed but with parentheses) may be going too far.  The creedal Western church almost unanimously retains the filioque.  We need to be concerned about unity with them, too.  And judging from the upset about possibly reducing the filioque to a footnote, so doing could result in as much division as unity.

Now I hesitate to insist that the draft liturgy is therefore flat out wrong.  For the leadership of ACNA has excelled at ecumenical efforts.  And I am certainly not privy to all of the said efforts.  So it could be that removing the filioque and putting it in footnote with the option of still using it has already been worked out ecumenically more thoroughly than I know.  But the unhappiness within ACNA is indisputable.

So I am writing from partial ignorance perhaps.  But it does seem to me that retaining the filioque but putting it in parentheses is a better and less divisive way than removing it to a footnote.  The footnote option would surely make some in ACNA reject a new Book of Common Prayer out of hand.

There will no doubt be much discussion of this at the Provincial Council next week.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I Endorse Rand Paul for President

I’ve been thinking about making this early endorsement for president for months.  And the NSA revelations have now pushed me over.  Right here, right now, I endorse Rand Paul for President of the United States in the 2016 elections.

Why?  And why so very early?

1. Rand Paul is the only major candidate who has demonstrated that he has the will and the backbone to stop and reverse federal tyranny, particularly the Big Brother surveillance state.  There’s no guarantee he will succeed, but he will certainly try and will at least slow the march to the gulag.  I cannot say that with confidence about any other candidate.

2. His filibuster against killing U. S. citizens with drones demonstrated presidential qualities, including strength of will, strong principles, and the ability to speak winsomely (and without gaffes) even when under considerable physical stress.  Those qualities will serve him well as a candidate and as President.

3.  Far more than any other Republican candidate, he has the ability to attract people, particularly young people, who haven’t voted Republican in years if ever.  For example, many left of center people with libertarian streaks who oppose the surveillance state will find Paul their only decent choice.  (Hillary put the feds in their place?  Are you kidding?)  He will therefore at least pull even in the youth vote and siphon off some Lefties, too.

4. With the excesses of federal power coming out for all to see – from the IRS, the NSA, the DOJ etc. etc. etc. – now is the time for an anti-statist libertarian conservative like Paul.  His convictions are both needed and politically timely.

5.  I’ve yet to be impressed by anybody else, with the possible exception of Paul Ryan.  As for Rubio, he is too young and naïve, to be blunt, and comes across that way.  That callowness is a big reason he is playing the fool on immigration.  He may be an excellent candidate one day, maybe, but not now.

I am glad to be supporting the candidate who I think is both best on policy and the most electable.  I not only endorse Rand Paul; I am about as confident about him winning as one can reasonably be this far out from an election.

By the way, I did *not* support Rand Paul’s father in 2012.  So don’t even think about writing me off as a Paulista.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Henricus Sixtus Rex Ora Pro Nobis (at the Tower)

On the last day of my pilgrimage, I visited the place where it is thought King Henry VI was murdered, in a small, then private, chapel in the Tower of London.  There I prayed, thanking God for the good example of King Henry, for this trip and God’s goodness and providence in it, and for answers to my two main prayers of this pilgrimage, one for the healing of a friend, the other for guidance in a private matter.

King Henry VI was a prayerful man of God who was hounded most of his life by those coveting the crown that was rightly his.  It is sad yet appropriate that he was murdered by such men while he was in prayer.

But now, because Christ ever lives, King Henry VI ever lives.  And he prays now and ever, no longer under the oppression of covetous bloodthirsty men, but in the perfect peace of God.

King Henry VI, indeed pray for us!

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

I Saw The Queen!

For the first time, I saw Her Majesty, The Queen today.  And she is glorious indeed.

And I saw more than a glimpse.  I was lucky to pick a good spot.  And to my surprise she drove slowly by right in front of me, and I could see her very well then and when she entered the Abbey for a service of Thanksgiving for the 60th Anniversary of her Coronation.

Here is a report of the occasion with lots of photos.