Tuesday, March 29, 2016

IRS Cover-Up Continues

Yes, the IRS Scandal may seem like old news (And I will get into one reason why in a minute.), but there has been an interesting development of late.   The Sixth U. S. Court of Appeals has openly showed they are fed up with IRS slowness to fork over key court-ordered documents.

Among the most serious allegations a federal court can address are that an executive agency has targeted citizens for mistreatment based on their political views. No citizen—Republican or Democrat, socialist or libertarian —should be targeted or even have to fear being targeted on those grounds. Yet those are the grounds on which the plaintiffs allege they were mistreated by the IRS here. The allegations are substantial: most are drawn from findings made by the Treasury Department’s own Inspector General for Tax Administration. Those findings include that the IRS used political criteria to round up applications for tax-exempt status filed by so called tea-party groups; that the IRS often took four times as long to process tea-party applications as other applications; and that the IRS served tea-party applicants with crushing demands for what the Inspector General called “unnecessary information.”

. . . At every turn the IRS has resisted the plaintiffs’ requests for information regarding the IRS’s treatment of the plaintiff class, eventually to the open frustration of the district court. At issue here are IRS “Be On the Lookout” lists of organizations allegedly targeted for unfavorable treatment because of their political beliefs. Those organizations in turn make up the plaintiff class. The district court ordered production of those lists, and did so again over an IRS motion to reconsider. Yet, almost a year later, the IRS still has not complied with the court’s orders. Instead the IRS now seeks from this court a writ of mandamus, an extraordinary remedy reserved to correct only the clearest abuses of power by a district court. We deny the petition.

And the court then more or less tells the IRS there had better be no more delays.

A federal agency caught targeting citizens based on their politics then being verrrrry slowwww to cooperate with the federal courts concerning the scandal to the point a Federal Appeals Court says they’ve had enough of the foot-dragging and cover-up.  Newsworthy, is it not?

The thing is the Mainstream “News” Media, particularly ABC, NBC, and CBS have joined the cover-up.  It has been over 513 days since any of the Big Three have reported on the IRS Scandal.

No wonder it seems like old news.  The Democrats and the Mainstream Noos Media (But I repeat myself.) want it that way.

Thus the IRS Cover-Up continues.

Imagine the media uproar if this were a Republican administration.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Against a Fixed Date for Easter

With Easter very near now, I think this a good time to denounce talk of fixing the date of Easter.  I would rain imprecations upon those proposing such an enormity, but Good Friday has helped me to be charitable.  Yes, the Lord uses the church calendar to work miracles.

Speaking of which, this Good Friday is one illustration of why fixing Easter is such a bad idea.  The rare correspondence of Good Friday with the normal date for the Feast of the Annunciation has inspired much worthy contemplation through the centuries, including from the Bede and John Donne.  And yesterday I mentioned less worthy (but fun!) speculations of the apocalyptically minded.

We’ve been fortunate to experience this conjunction twice, in 2005 and this year.  But it will not occur again until 2157 . . . or never if the liturgical vandals have their way.

And this potential loss would be just a part of the loss of tradition, the loss of links with the church through the ages should we fix the date of Easter.

In a wonderful post on the conjunction of Good Friday and Annunciation, A Clerk in Oxford contemplates this loss well:

As a medievalist, I found the discussion of the question of fixing a date for Easter a few months ago rather depressing. If there were any theological arguments under consideration, no one seemed to think it worthwhile to articulate them publicly; discussion focused mostly on solving the non-existent problem that some people (schools, maybe?) apparently find a movable date for Easter a bit inconvenient. I've never in my life heard anyone complain about being inconvenienced by the date of Easter, so I really struggle to imagine who considers this a pressing issue. And for that, churches would break with nearly two thousand years of tradition, a complex system worked out with great care and thought and invested over centuries with profound meaning. The fixed dates proposed for Easter are in April, so never again would Good Friday fall on the feast of the Annunciation. So much loss for so little gain!

Indeed.  May one of the lessons of this Easter be that it does not need to be fixed!

May all my readers have a glorious Easter.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Good Friday and the Annunciation . . . and the End of the World

Good Friday this year is one of those rare times that it falls on March 25th, which is normally the Feast of the Annunciation.  The last time this happened, in 2005, was in the midst of a very notable Triduum for me, my first one as a confirmed Anglican for one thing.

A bit longer ago, before 1000 A.D., there were those who thought the correspondence of the two Holy Days would be even more notable.

With the end of the First Millennium approaching, there was much speculation about the end of the world.  Most of it displeased learned clerics.  As noted in The Apocalyptic Year 1000 (Oxford U Press 2003), Abbo of Fleury was particularly perturbed that Lotharingian computists calculated that The End would occur when Good Friday and Annunciation fell on the same day.  And that indeed was about to happen in 992.  Abbo complained that word of this had “almost filled the whole world.”

I do not know if said Lotharingian computists are ancestors of Harold Camping.  And who knows if they were just 1024 years premature.

Whether the world ends or not, may you have a solemn and blessed Good Friday.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Multiculturalism Kills

Yesterday in Belgium, we got another sad instance of the deadly nature of multiculturalism.

No, the terrorists were most certainly not multiculturalists.  They were/are the polar opposite.  But multiculturalism enabled the terrorists and invited them and people like them into Europe.

Multiculturalism holds that virtually all cultures are valid and good, and that a society is enriched by bringing in people from any number of cultures.  Buttressed by this view and by a mixture of both humanitarian and brazen political impulses (Remember UK’s Labour importing a more Labour-friendly electorate?), British and Europeans imported massive numbers of Muslims beginning in the Eighties.

Now anyone with common sense could have told you this was both literal and societal suicide.  Muslims from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia generally have values that are dead set opposed to Western values of freedom and (real) tolerance, not to mention what remains of Judeo-Christian heritage.  And they have a long history of violence against “infidels,” their lives, and their cultures from the very beginning of Islam.  Letting millions of such into Europe is asking for what has happened in Brussels and Paris and London, and it is asking for worse to come, both in deaths and in attacks on Western society and freedom.

Heck, it took Charles Martel to stop Muslims from subjugating Europe.  But now Europe lets them right on in? That is madness, if not treason.

But, hey, it gets Leftist political parties more votes.

And the madness is chiefly multiculturalism – a madness that considers inviting millions from a hateful, murderous culture into the heart of Western society to be the enlightened thing to do.

Multiculturalism kills.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Republicans Must Behave at the Convention . . . ALL Republicans

Yes, there has been a lot of talk about what might and/or should transpire at the Republican National Convention this summer.  But just about all that I have seen or heard has been biased toward either Trump or the GOP Establishment.  I have a more balanced viewpoint, and an entirely correct one, of course.  Plus I enjoy annoying everyone.  So here goes.

Trump and His Trumpistas Must Behave at the Convention

If Trump earns through the primaries and caucuses the majority of delegates, then barring some serious new revelation of turpitude, he should be the nominee.  Fair enough.

BUT if he falls short, then he is not entitled to the nomination.  And if the majority of the delegates, those not pledged to Trump, refuse to nominate him, Trump and his crowd have no reason to complain.  That’s politics and democracy, people.

In other words, if Trump does not earn the majority of the delegates before the convention, then no crying (or rioting) from the Trump crowd. . . . 

Yes, that might be as likely as a 2 year old not whining.

The Establishment Must Behave at the Convention

Establishment Republicans need to recognize how profoundly they were voted down in the primaries even if they remain clueless that they richly deserved said thrashing.  If you combine the votes for Trump, Cruz, and Carson, it is clear the overwhelming majority of Republican Primary voters have voted against the Establishment.  The Establishment in turn must have the grace to accept that, for the first time since Reagan, this year they do not get to have an Establishment nominee.

Again, the likelihood of that is questionable.

Trump and Cruz will control a strong majority of the delegates.  So even in a brokered convention, I think it unlikely the Establishment will be able to nominate one of themselves.  Trump and Cruz will combine to block it and will be right to do so.

However, if somehow the Establishment succeeds in cramming a Ryan or a Romney or a Bush down our throats, it would be a disaster in November.  Too many would refuse to vote or would vote Third Party.  The Establishment winning this battle outright would mean losing the war, and they had better recognize that. 

Now if Trump does not have a majority of the delegates going into the convention, trying to get a better nominee is fair game.  But trying to get an Establishment nominee after primary voters have made it clear they do not want one would be spitting into the faces of voters with predictable consequences.

Everyone Must Behave at the Convention

The most likely outcome still is that Trump gets the nomination although that is by no means a certainty.  Although Trump is not the most desirable nominee (And remember that I have never backed him.), there is hope that he would be a tolerable President.  There is no such hope for Hillary.  So all parts of the party should get behind him should he be nominated.

And Trump and his followers should be gracious to all but complete and public turncoats . . . beginning now.  No more “Lying Ted,” Donald.  And his followers need to drop the attitude that anyone not yet backing Trump is a not a “Patriot” and is a “cuckservative” etc.  I’ve already blocked two on twitter and unfollowed more because I’m fed up with that crap.  Trump and his followers need to stop alienating people like me who might hold their noses and support him to stop Hillary.

Have I annoyed everyone yet?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Review: Fantastic Lies

I got around to watching ESPN’s Fantastic Lies last night.  It is part of their 30 for 30 series of documentaries.  This episode follows the Duke Lacrosse case of 2006.

I highly recommend this documentary (which will probably be on Netflix soon).  I did not expect to watch the whole thing last night as I do not have much of an attention span.  But I could not stop watching it, it was so engaging.

I am more familiar with the Duke Lacrosse case than most and posted on it here several times beginning in October 2006.  And I think the documentary was overall fair and accurate along with being very watchable.  It particularly well captured the attitudes surrounding the case and the details of the case, and that in an appropriately dramatic manner.

I do think it is weak in one significant area.  Although Fantastic Lies does mention Duke faculty presuming and attacking the supposed guilt of the Duke Lacrosse players, it did not mention the Group of 88 by name (unless I missed something, and I am pretty sure I did not).  Their conduct was particularly egregious, and very few ever apologized for it.  Further, the careers of the 88 did not suffer at all for this.  (If there is an exception, it has not come to my attention.)  Even a (the?) ringleader, Cathy Davidson, has gone on to bigger and better things, including an appointment by President Obama to the National Council of the Humanities.

Fantastic Lies does focus well on characters who had remorse and/or faced consequences, particularly District Attorney Nifong, since disbarred.  There should have been more focus on those who showed no remorse nor faced consequences for their rush to judgement.

But there is no perfect documentary, and Fantastic Lies remains a very good one.  Watch it when you have the chance.

Once you do watch it, if you wish to dig deeper, there is no better source than the now closed Durham-in-Wonderland blog.

Monday, March 14, 2016

A Timely Reminder

A longstanding tactic of the Left – and one I personally witnessed close up during my Duke days – is to provoke and/or instigate violence (or the appearance of violence), then blame their right-of-center opponents for the violence.

Yes, I do think this reminder is needful given how Trump events transpired over the weekend and given how the above tactic of the Left was both in action and yet at the same time almost completely overlooked.  Oh, the violence was not overlooked.  But this tactic behind it most certainly was.

And, yes, I find even some conservatives blaming Trump for the violence troubling at the least.  These are just helping the Left push their false narrative.

At the same time, this tactic on the Left must be taken into consideration when deciding at what point violence is appropriate in defending our freedoms.

I am not one of those who think violence is never appropriate in defending our freedoms.  I am not a pacifist, nor do I oppose our revolutionary War of Independence (although rejoining the UK is becoming tempting, is it not?).  But violence even in defense of freedom gives credence to the Leftist meme that conservatives are violent. 

So even if Leftists deserve violence – and many do given their persistent attacks on Constitutional freedoms* – those defending our freedoms from them should be very hesitant about crossing the line into violence.   Intentional non-violence usually is the more moral, effective and winsome tactic in the long run anyway.

And responding to the violence of the Left with non-violent steadfastness may be the best way to ensure the Left’s attacks backfire.  And the Left’s attacks on Trump may already be backfiring as Rod Dreher presciently notes:

What happened tonight in Chicago is why we need Trump, as obnoxious as he is, to keep going. I am not a Trump supporter, and I reject much of his rhetoric. But he has a right to give a speech, even an obnoxious speech, without it being interrupted by demonstrators. All of us do. Trump is revealing how impossible it is to have a normal democracy with the activist left, who think their crying need for “safe spaces” gives them the right to silence their opponents.

No. This political correctness needs to be opposed, and it needs to be opposed with force. I don’t know why the police couldn’t handle this situation, but they had better be on it in the future, because many Americans will not stand for this. What those protesters have done tonight is create a lot more Trump voters out of people who are sick and tired of privileged leftists using thug tactics to silence their opponents.

Do read his whole thoughtful article.  And, yes, count even me more likely to vote for Trump in November after this weekend’s events.  Sticking it to both the Establishment and to SJWs is becoming just too tempting now.


*Yes I said that.  Being aware that violence should be close to a last resort for both moral and tactical reasons does not mean the attacks of the Left on the Constitution and its freedoms are not grave evils worthy of punishment.

And one of the problems in our society is that attacking our freedoms has no consequences any more.  The classic case of that is Lois Lerner enjoying a taxpayer-paid pension instead of taxpayer-paid prison.  Another example is that “students” attacking free speech on college campuses are coddled by administrators instead of expelled.

I better stop before this becomes a long rant.  But, hey, we need more ranting . . . and more care to avoid violence.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Justin Welby Acknowledges Concerns About Immigration

Long time readers should sit down before I begin.
Seated?  Good.  I am going to praise the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Nobody has fainted?  Good.

Just so you know, no one has drugged me.  My praise is rational and justified. 

For Justin Welby has acknowledged concerns about immigration as legitimate.  Further, he has said it is “absolutely outrageous” to smear said concerns as racist.

Still further, he said the Church of England will not take a stand on the Brexit Referendum. 

Now, this stand may seem mild to some.  And Iain Duncan Smith certainly has a point that it is overdue. 

But, in the midst of C of E bishops who oft are the Labour Party at prayer and after the vitriol of years and decades toward those who want rational immigration restrictions and want out of the EU, Canterbury’s statement is courageous and needful.

I cannot let pass the contrast with the Vatican, which for decades has been cheerleaders of the EU Beast and remains so.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Pope Francis Praises Notorious Abortionist

There was little attention given to this on this side of the Atlantic, and I was unaware until this week.  But I cannot ignore this nor leave it unnoted:

In a February 8 interview with one of Italy’s most prominent dailies, Corriere Della Serra, Pope Francis praised Italy’s leading proponent of abortion – Emma Bonino -- as one of the nation’s “forgotten greats,” comparing her to great historical figures such as Konrad Adenauer and Robert Schuman.  Knowing that his praise of her may be controversial, the Pope said that she offered the best advice to Italy on learning about Africa, and admitted she thinks differently from us. “True, but never mind,” he said. “We have to look at people, at what they do.”

At 27, Bonino had an illegal abortion and then worked with the Information Centre on Sterilization and Abortion which boasted over 10,000 abortions. There are famous photos of Bonino performing illegal abortions using a homemade device operated by a bicycle pump.  Arrested for the then-illegal activity she spent a few days in jail and was acquitted and entered politics.

When she was appointed Italy’s foreign minister in 2013 there was a general outcry from life and family leaders at the appalling situation.

Responding to the Pope’s praise of Bonino, pro-life leaders in Italy expressed disbelief.  “How can the pope praise a woman that is best known in Italy for practicing illegal abortion and promoting abortion?” commented Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro, who was until last year the head of the Rome office of Human Life International.

Good question.  My answer is that Francis is a lib pope who should not be the bishop of anything.

Us Anglicans have our faults for sure.  But at least we have the canonical means to remove bishops who call evil good and good evil.  Unfortunate Roman Catholics can only grin and bear it or resort to sedevacantism.

I better stop there.  Even after a few days to cool off, Francis’ statement so outrages me, I hardly trust myself to say more.


A hat tip, with prayers, to Rorate Caeli for bringing my attention to this.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Has Trump Peaked?

Briefly, two matters in the Republican Nomination race over the week that I think are not getting enough attention:

1.  Ted Cruz not only had a good Super Saturday handily winning Kansas and Maine and more delegates than Trump, he is now well within 100 delegates of Trump.  The count as I type this is Trump 384- Cruz 300.  And Trump has less than half of the delegates awarded so far.

Yes, Trump appears to be on the verge of winning Michigan and Florida.  But all the media noise early last week that Trump had it all sown up was mistaken.  Yes.  Shocking, I know.

I could mention other positive indicators for Cruz, such as his doing much better in the Louisiana Election Day vote than in the early vote.  But moving along . . .

2.   The media is missing how much Trump offended voters with his conduct during the latest Republican debate Thursday night.

Trump crossed the line when he repeated taunted Rubio as “Little Marco” and Cruz as “Lying Ted.”

Take myself as a barometer.  I do not like nor trust Marco Rubio and probably would vote 3rd Party if he somehow got the nomination.  But when Trump did his “Little Marco” act, I was greatly offended.

And when he repeatedly mouthed “Lying Ted,” I went incandescent.  Moreover, I went from probably voting for Trump in November if he got the nomination to being very doubtful.

By his classless conduct, I think Trump alienated and is alienating too many of those who might otherwise vote for him.

By the way, Saturday proved me right about what I said during the debate.

And so he did.  We shall see if he can overtake Trump.  Do not be too sure he cannot.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

John Cornyn, SHUT UP

So John Cornyn told CNN that nominating Trump would make it more difficult for Republicans to hold on to the Senate.

I had better step back from the keyboard and take a long, slow breath.

Okay. Let’s see.  Who is John Cornyn? He is the Senator from Texas who is part of Mitch McConnell’s leadership team.  As such, he is part and parcel of the strategy, if you can call it that, of enabling Obama instead of stopping him.  The Senate under that team time and again ignored the mandates of the 2010 and 2014 elections to stop Obama and instead pretended to oppose him while doing precious little to stop him.

The anger provoked by the Senate GOP’s willful failure is a big factor behind the rise of Donald Trump.

And NOW Cornyn warns us about Trump?  Cornyn warns us about the monster he helped create?

But there is still hope, however faint, of stopping Trump.  And that hope is Cornyn’s fellow Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz.

But does Cornyn endorse Cruz?  No.  He couldn’t even bring himself to endorse Cruz after early voting.  Cornyn is too much of a RINOy establishment RINO to do that.

But he lectures us about Trump after he enables his rise and doesn’t lift a finger to support his fellow Texan and Trump’s strongest opponent.

Shut up, John Cornyn.  Just shut up.

And if Republicans lose the Senate, look in the mirror for the culprit, bud.

Not Trusting Trump

With today being Super Tuesday, I might as well chime in with everyone else.

I early voted for Ted Cruz.  I can trust Ted Cruz more than any other candidate (even of the original 18,523 candidates) to defend the Constitution, defend our Constitutional freedoms, and get a good start on rolling back the enormities of the past eight years.

Trump? To be honest, I think he can be a good President.  But will he?

I simply cannot trust him.  He has flip-flopped around on too many important issues, including the issue that got him rolling, immigration.  Not to mention (But I sure as heck will.) that he once took Leftist positions on abortion and universal healthcare.  AND he has been a big contributor to liberal Democrats, including Hillary and the Clinton Foundation.

And now I am supposed to trust Trump?


I trust Ted, thank you.