Truth In Front of Ours Eyes

Recently my wife has begun writing, from a Christian perspective, about popular culture – music, books, movies, etc.  Her premise has been that the soul cries out to God even if the person doesn’t yet realize it.  We have long talked about how, if you listen carefully, you can hear the questions, the pains, the need for the Creator within the secular words and stories told as the author, performer, or director as they try to put the cries of the soul into their work.  It’s a wonderful way to speak with people about God and the longing of their hearts and souls, via questions that often can be broken down into “I wonder why…” or “I wonder how…” that open the door from concepts that are easier to speak about with nonbelievers to concepts of God that are harder to explain and even harder to understand without a baseline understanding that believers are blessed, hopefully, to have already.

Applying this to another part of life is the application of popular culture to understand current events.  With that said, the event I want to talk about is the Donald Trump phenomenon.  Donald Trump is a businessman who decided to run for President.  He’s running as a Republican and has entranced many conservatives to his bandwagon, yet the concepts he talks about and the words he uses are those of a liberal demagogue.  He identified a yearning in the American public and he is playing to it perfectly.

What yearning?

Anger.

Americans are angry at the government, at politicians, at men and women who promise the moon and then either fail to deliver, or turn around and do exactly the op opposite of what they promised in the first place.

Americans are angry at a lack of justice.

  • Justice under the law (Trump’s initial rise can be directly attributed to the hard line he took on illegal immigration and the promise to punish law breakers and “send them back” and promises of building a wall that another country will finance – never mind that we would have to declare war on Mexico in order to force them to pay for it.)  Also, the criminality of actions by politicians such as Hillary Clinton – lying about the contents of a private, unpermitted, unsecured, and unprotected email server in her home during her time as Secretary of State in order to avoid the documentation preservation rules for all Federal government appointees and employees – used to be called what they are under the color of law – espionage and fraud.  When oaths and laws mean nothing, the law-abiding grow angry.
  • Social justice (the intolerance of the tolerance movement is something I’ve written about before as there are “activists” that aren’t just happy with being permitted to do what they please, but rather want you to celebrate their behavior and their uniqueness as superior to your own – gay marriage/adoption movements, Black Lives Matter, and other such movements fall into this camp squarely.  It has even got so absurd that “All Lives Matter” has been called a racist phrase because Black Lives are apparently more equal than yours.  When you are told that you are worth less and someone else is worth more for any reason is racism whether you are black, white, yellow, red, or green.  There is no justice when ANYONE is elevated above another and the aggrieved grow angry.
  • Economic justice (When banks deemed “too big to fail” are given money via the Federal Reserve, which increases the volume of money thus decreasing the value of money and robbing everyone of stored wealth and income, there is a growing feeling of a economic aristocracy.  When businesses, with politicians beholden to them for campaign contributions and future employment as lobbyists, have laws and taxes written on their behalf to squash competition in the open market or to have the economic advantage of a decreased tax burden comparatively to others in the same market – the government is seen as picking winners and losers.  When good hard-working people lose their jobs because their businesses are regulated out of existence due to profitability problems, when good hard-working people lose their homes because banks deemed “too big to fail” and given money freely to avoid their seemingly inevitable bankruptcies won’t rewrite the terms of their mortgages and force a family into destitution how can there be anything other than a growing anger.

I’m sure you sense a theme now.  Anger is growing in this country.  It is palatable now.  There’s no sense of courtesy anymore.  No consideration of the other person.  No compassion.  What is your first reaction when someone does something unexpected on the road while you’re driving?  Cursing, yelling, honking, aggressively driving with a vendetta toward the other person?  Are these symptoms of love or anger?  I think the answer is obvious.

With this in mind, consider this quote from the great sage of film, Yoda.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger.  Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

We have passed the point of fear.  The fear is there, but it is deeper, it is foundational.  The fear that our country, our way of life, is changing permanently.  That the freedoms, rights, and privileges we hold as Americans are lessening, not growing.  This is true whether you politically are left or right of center.  There is fear that our jobs are not secure.  There is fear that an economic wall is not just being built, but has been built by those in the highest tier to prevent anyone that they don’t want from joining their ranks.  There is fear that everything that has been accepted as given for so long is simply not so, and the fear is that if the givens are no longer constant, than how can we function without playing “the game.”

Fear leads to anger.

History can be our guide here because the world has seen rises to power like this in the past.  The circumstances of today closely mirror the circumstances of another time and the leaders that can spring out of times like these can restore us or drag us down into darkness.

  • Long-term bitterness makes brazen, bully-like tactics appealing as they see the candidate, in this case Trump, as their champion.
  • Ineffective government and laws give the perception of dual justice systems where certain crimes are excused for those deemed “worthy.”  Equal justice demands equal enforcement, so when selective enforcement is practiced openly faith in the government, police, legislators, and courts is eroded.
  • The usage of money by bureaucrats and politicians to enact personal policy via businesses, lobbying groups, and induced behavior (such as enforced purchases under pain of penalty – The Affordable Care Act mandates ALL people buy health insurance because they were born) reeks of corruption and tyranny.
  • The 24/7 news cycle and unmitigated lying and misleading by politicians (answering one question they want to answer instead of the question asked for instance) has lead to a soundbite culture that hinges not on ideas, but on emotions. It is not a far leap from there to attaching those negative emotions to a race of people, or a political belief, in order to ratchet up anger specifically directed.
  • The Cult of Personality around Mr. Trump is one in which his most ardent supporters don’t care what he says, does, or could do.  They support him fully, leading them to attack those that disagree verbally and, in some cases, physically.

Anger Leads to Hate

The time-period that I referenced above is the 1920s and 1930s in what was then called the Wiemar Republic.  We know it now as Pre-Nazi Germany.  The same conditions and cultural conditions were in place then as now.  I’m not claiming Donald Trump is the new Adolf Hitler, but the comparisons are worth considering.  At what point does he, or his bandwagon turn from expressions of anger to expressions of hate.  At what point do the long knives come out?

Hate Leads to Suffering

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. 

Galatians 5:22-23

I don’t sense any of the these attributes in Donald Trump, or anyone I’ve met who truly believes he is the best candidate for President this year.

I don’t argue to change your vote, your preference, or anything like that, but I do ask that you, regardless of who you support this year, to examine WHY you support them.

Are you making a decision out of fear? Anger?  Hate?  Suffering?  Do decisions made in the heat of passion or despair ever work out well?

A Proposal for the 28th Amendment

Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not equally apply to the Senators, Representatives, or President.  Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators, Representatives, or President that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States.

 

 

Jackboots on the Clifftops

69 years ago today, two million Americans, British, free French, and Canadian men stormed the beaches of occupied France in a rural province called Normandy.  The German war machine stood poised ready to throw the invasion force back into the sea and to defend fortress Europe from the Allied forces.normandy1

Today, that same jackboot of tyranny has found a willing caretaker in the alphabet agencies of the United States government.

EPA

IRS

NSA

DHS

FBI

That same jackboot of tyranny has usurped the freedoms and liberties that those free men bled and died for on the sandy beaches of western France.

Media members being wiretapped.

Religion under assault within the US military.

Content of prayers being demanded by the IRS.

The federal government smuggling guns across a foreign border to create the narrative that American gun owners and gun stores are to blame for another country’s violence.

Every phone call, email, text message, instant message, tweet, or other form of electronic communication or internet posting by every American citizen is scoured and stored by the federal government without warrant or cause.

We have been taught and indoctrinated from a young age, and even moreso our children now, that the government is just looking out for you and wants the best for you.

That is the great lie.  What is best for you in their eyes is to shut up, get in line, and live your life in the prison that our society and country will become if these usurpations and abuses are tolerated or forgiven.

Unfortunately you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all of our problems. Some of these same voices do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.

President Barack Obama

Whether involved or just a hapless stooge, I don’t know, and it ultimately does not matter as the machine of tyranny – the approaching jackboot of slavery will advance with or without him unless we, the People, in concert and backed by the righteous hand of God – the Creator and source of our very life, liberty, and only true source of happiness – stand up and say no, that is enough.  The dangerous fire of government that our first President warned about has come to the doorstep like a raging wildfire.  It is powerful.  It is fearsome.  It will consume and destroy everything it wishes until it is cut off from fuel and air.

We have permitted ever more intrusions into a daily lives in the forms of extralegal bureaucratic rules, guidelines, and dictats that carry the force of law because the bureaucracy says they do.

We have permitted ever more chains of tyranny on our backs.

  • The right of free speech is threatened
  • The right of free expression of religion has all but been removed except when practiced in sanctioned “worship” houses
  • The right to keep and bear arms is under constant assault by politicians wishing to secure their power.
  • Our right to privacy is no more in light of extrajudicial wiretaps, data mining, unmanned drone aircraft, warrantless searches and seizures for the cause of public safety, and the seizure of genetic material (blood) of a person arrested but not yet even charged with a crime.
  • We watched as the citizens of one of the most well-known and largest cities in the country stood by helpless as a state of martial law was put in place “for their protection” and the concept of shelter-in-place began to be used all over the country for ridiculous reasons rather than for the serious threats that such a concept was ever conceived.

There are just a few examples of the chains being laid upon us.

At what point will the American people say ENOUGH!!!!??? Is there no spirit of defiance and ruggedness that beats within the hearts of the people today?  Have we been so inculcated and changed deep down that we no longer have the mettle of those men on those landing craft 69 years ago today?  Are we no longer ready and willing to charge through the surf, up the beach and past the waiting defenses into the very heart of the enemy of humanity, of liberty, of freedom?

Are we able to admit that we are not alive today to enjoy our freedoms and liberties, but to protect and preserve them for our children, our grandchildren, and the generations yet to come?

I am.  Whether you come with me or not is up to you, but like on that day nearly seven decades ago, we are at the waterline and the mortars and machine guns are zeroing in on us and you can’t stay here.  What’ll it be soldier?  Press forward or retreat into the sea?

normandy2

 

 

National Command Authority

There were TWO stand down orders issued during the attack on the consulate in Benghazi.

Ready-to-respond special forces on the ground in Tripoli and at American military bases in Southern Europe were prepared to depart to reinforce and evacuate the remaining American citizens in Benghazi.  They were not just delayed – they were told to STAND DOWN.

Quick review of the chain of command here, because that order must come from above.  Not knowing which special forces units were ready in Southern Europe, I will speculate that they were likely DELTA teams, but it is possible that Airborne, Ranger,  or Green Beret teams were the units within range and able to respond for a critical need.

DELTA teams are part of the US Army, but fall under US Army Special Operations Command as do the Airborne, Ranger, and Green Beret units mentioned above. USSOCOM, U.S. Special Operations Command, is the joint forces command of all Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps special forces units.

USASOC Command Structure

Lt. Gen. Charles T. Cleveland, Commanding General

Brig. Gen. Darsie D. Rogers, Jr., Deputy Commanding General

Major Richard Holcomb, Deputy to the Commanding General

USSOCOM Command Structure

Admiral William H. McRaven, Commanding Officer

A parallel command may be involved as well.  USAFRICOM (U.S. Africa Command) would be the theater command for any actions occurring on the African continent.  General Carter Ham, Commanding General of USAFRICOM, was relieved of his command during the events of September 11, 2012.  The specifics of his relief have to-date been concealed.

Another option was a Department of State FEST (Foreign Emergency Support Team) program.  A FEST team can depart for anywhere in the world in four hours notice per the State Department’s website.

So where am I going with this?

The military, and all response forces that could have been summoned or dispatched answer to a chain of command.  The officers in charge of these units would have relayed requests for permission to deploy forces under their command up the chain of command.

Given the nature of the incident, an ongoing terrorist attack against sovereign US soil (the consulate grounds) and American citizens, and the Ambassador to a foreign nation, whose whereabouts were unknown early on in the timetable of the attack and aftermath.

In this respect, the bureaucracy is a finely tuned machine in that information would rapidly flow up the chain of command while the commanders would relay orders to prepare their units to deploy in support of the Benghazi mission, our people on the ground, and the Ambassador who clearly relayed “We are under attack” to his Deputy Chief of Mission in Tripoli.  The Secretary of Defense, Vice President and President would be notified of the attack very quickly.

The National Command Authority is the term used to identify the President as Commander-in-Chief and the Secretary of Defense as the final arbiters and decision-makers in terms of activating and releasing the military might of the United States.

An attack on the consulate is tantamount to an attack on Tampa Bay, Florida and the President alone is the only person who could authorize responsive forces.  He has said that he authorized all resources to come to the aid of our people in Benghazi on that day, but the truth is inconvenient to this flat out lie.  A stand down order, of which many were issued and testified to yesterday before the House Oversight Committee, could only have been issued by the National Command Authority.  Any other source of such an order would lack the authority since the attack in question was an act of war.

Who issued the stand down orders then, the President or the Secretary of Defense?

 

 

Tyranny of One

The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

The Declaration of Independence, 1776

What is tyranny?

The basic description in the dictionary is an oppressive power, especially when exerted by the government, but moreover, it also means a government in which absolute power is vested in a single ruler (Merriam-Webster).

Now you might be saying right now that it is impossible to have a tyranny in the United States.  We have separation of powers – three branches co-equal, but what happens when the most visible and public of those branches, the Executive, under the President begins to dictate to the others how they will behave and act?

  1. Obama offering own immigration plan if Congress fails to act
  2. Obama to Congress in State of the Union: Act on Climate or I Will
  3. Obama to Congress: With or Without You
  4. The State of the Union, 2013
    1. “I will direct my cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.”

Tyranny?

If Congress doesn’t act, that is Congress’ prerogative.  Just because the President doesn’t like it does not give him the right or the justly derived powers to act unilaterally.  That is textbook tyranny.

There is no week nor day nor hour when tyranny may not enter upon this country, if the people lose their roughness and spirit of defiance.

Walt Whitman

There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.

Charles de Montesquieu

Debate Questions – Tuesday Edition

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012 is the first Presidential debate of the 2012 campaign.  This first debate is one regarding domestic policy. The announced topics will be the economy, health care, the role of government, and governing.

Will they be worthwhile topics to explore each candidate’s philosophies or will they be so obscure as to leave both candidates enough wiggle room to answer however they choose based on the most recent opinion polling?  Will we really get a significant debate or just more rehearsed lines?  Will the moderator ask tough questions or toss softballs?

So in honor of this, let’s take a look at ten questions that I would like to see asked at the debate.  There are in no particular order.

1. Both of you claim to have the answer in terms of job creation within the economy.  What is the role of government in terms of job creation?  Where in the U S Constitution is that role specified?

2.  Explain in detail how you will eliminate first the deficit and then pay down the national debt.  What programs will need to be cut, what departments will be shut down, and what austerity measures do you think we need to take as a nation in order to avoid following down the path of Greece, Spain, and all of the other nearly-failing states?

3.  What is your understanding of the role of government?  What are the most crucial things that government does for the citizens?

4.  Explain how you think deficit spending helps or hurts the economy?  Is deficit spending necessary to “prime the pump” or is it a form of taxation that drains the energy from the economy at large?

5.  How do you propose to fund the hundreds of trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities that previous administrations have incurred by massively increasing social welfare programs?  Can they be funded or do we need to seriously curtail these programs in order to save the Republic from bankruptcy?

6.  What is the role of government in healthcare?  Can you cite in the Constitution where that role is indicated?  With the rapid growth of healthcare costs in the last few decades, explain how your administration would lower costs within Constitutional limits.

7.  Explain your personal beliefs of where the rights codified in the Bill of Rights originate.  Do you believe that they are absolute or not?  What modifications would you personally like to make?

8.  When you speak about job creation, each of you promises lofty job growth numbers that seem impossible given the current economic climate.  Explain what the typical job your plan would help generate would be.  Would it be a temporary job, such as road construction, or a permanent job such as inside a machine shop?

9.  Tell me who is a good leader in your mind.  Why?  Which of their characteristics do you want to emulate when governing?

10.  Do you agree with the following statement. Why or why not? “To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, “the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, & the fruits acquired by it.’” (Thomas Jefferson)

Dominion belongs to the Lord
    and he rules over the nations.

Psalm 22:28

What questions do you want answered?

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