Selective historical airbrushing

The City of New Orleans is busy purging itself of Confederate statues, since these offend the tender sensibilities of today’s historically illiterate crybullies.  But if they’re determined to remove all vestiges of monuments to people who ever held racist sentiments, there’s work waiting for them in Washington, D.C.:

Lincoln white copy

It’s true Lincoln desired the limitation and eventual extinction of slavery, but it was not for this reason he went to war on his fellow Americans in 1861.  He made this very clear:

My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.   – Letter to Horace Greeley, 1862

Yes, that previously voluntary Union that was becoming compulsory with no escape during Lincoln’s reign.  “Reign” is too exaggerated, you say?  Look closely again at the monument built to his memory.  Look at the front of the armrests.  They very closely resemble this, the Roman fasces — a symbol of authority in ancient Rome later adopted by Benito Mussolini and his flock of blackshirts… known as the fascists.  All they lack is the axe, but that does not diminish in any way the power unleashed by Lincoln in his War Against the States.  (It’s worth noting the Speaker of the House is flanked by the same imagery — with the axes as well.)  Certainly, today’s America more closely resembles the Imperial Rome of Caligula than the Republic that was swallowed up by Julius Caesar.

So if we’re going to demolish any memory of white supremacy or unConstitutional exercises of power, the Lincoln memorial has to go as well.

Of course, I know better than to hold my breath, waiting for consistency from these little minds that have nothing better to do than tilt at Confederate windmills.

Wars and rumors of wars

The United States has enjoyed a century and a half with no broad-scale combat taking place within its borders.  That said, I’m far from being the only one who sees those days may be coming to a tragic end:

Sinisa also pointed out that most civil wars start after a loss of trust in the government, particularly law enforcement: “One of the defining features of any state is a legitimate monopoly on the use of violence.” In other words, if we trust the police to handle bad guys better than armed groups of vigilantes, we’ll probably trust the government more than armed groups of insurgents.

“And if police are not seen as doing their job … I think that certainly has an impact.”

Colonel David Couvillon, a Marine Reserve officer who governed the Wasit province of Iraq after the start of the occupation, pointed out that insurgents can win without convincing anyone that they’re “right.” It’d be enough to push most Americans into the “both sides are evil” camp, which … isn’t an unfamiliar place for most of us to be…

And that no doubt feeds the fact that Americans bought enough guns on Black Friday this year to arm the entire United States Marine Corps.

I’m increasingly of the opinion the United States will not survive my lifetime in its present form.   When it breaks up, it’s going to be a bloody, confusing mess of various factions.  Over the past 10 years, I’ve been taking steps to prepare my family for this eventuality.

You need to be doing the same, because we may not have another 10 years.

Uncredibly efficient

You read that title right.  I didn’t mean “incredible.”  After taking a year to review the 60,000 emails Her Hillariness deigned to turn over (after selectively culling about 33,000 out — don’t try such a trick if YOU get a subpoena), the FBI only took just over a week to declare there is nothing new in the batch of 650,000 emails discovered on Anthony Weiner/Huma Abedin‘s laptop.

Well, except for showing that Hillary frequently had her maid print out emails with sensitive national security information (likely including classified emails that should never have been outside the government’s SIPRnet (Secret Internet Protocol Router Network).

So: a brief list of some of the rules that don’t apply to the would-be Empress of the American Empire:

  • Requirements to keep classified and confidential information in its proper places
  • Taking a subpoena as a mere suggestion, and not turning over everything required
  • Accepting large sums of money from foreign donors without reporting it
  • Using your “charity” to throw a wedding party

And that’s just the recent revelations.  Imagine what’s been going on during her 30 years of public “service.”

Here’s why Comey’s announcement today is “uncredible.”  There is no way he or his team have examined all the information found on that laptop.  The math:

650,000 Emails
9 Days
72,222 A Day
3000 An Hour
50 A Minute 
About 1 A Second   (H/T: Vox Day)

The one thing I’ve gotten out of all of this is a better explanation for my single encounter with Clinton and Abedin.  While I was in the service, I was part of a team that set up a visit for them to another country.  My duties put me in the room with both of them, and Abedin tried to strike up a small talk conversation with me.

Only one other time in my life have I had the same sense of every fiber of my being screaming to get out of a situation.  I could not excuse myself fast enough.  Concentrate evil enough and it becomes palpable.  As Forrest Gump would say, “that’s all I have to say about that.”

In many respects I believe America is dead, and ours is simply a zombified version (or parody) of what it was meant to be.  Nobody in Washington D.C. Mordor is even pretending to be on the up and up anymore.  If on Tuesday Hillary is placed on the throne she’s sought for so long, I think we know what final year to place on America’s tombstone.  If you think Obama was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

I’ve done what I can to prepare my family for Wednesday.  Have you?  And if you aren’t praying fervently, why?

Reaping what’s been sown

A friend recently wrote in a conversation we were having that “Trump is simultaneously the worst thing we could do and absolutely the best outcome we deserve.”  I think he’s on to something there.  Or, as another writer put it (links below added by me):

The truth of the matter is that America is finally under the judgment of God. Our nation has been given over to what it wants. America is under a deluding influence. Such a deleterious condition cannot be remedied with better and more aggressive public policy arguments. The Scripture teaches that people can go so far in their sin that God finally removes His hand of restraint upon them and finally gives them over to what they want to do. …

Why do I believe that America is now at this delicate tipping point? Largely, it is because of the meteoric rise of a person like Donald Trump in American politics. The man is a moral and verbal sewer. He has no political resume. Rather, his campaign has been buoyed by empty promises devoid of any real substance or meaningful content. He merely repeats mantras that the voters want to hear similar to the types of statements that Barack Obama gave us back in 2008. … This type of rhetoric seems more akin to that of a used car salesman rather than that of a serious presidential contender.  …

The fact that all the evidence indicates that Trump throughout the course of his entire life really never believed all of the conservative positions that he now supposedly holds is really of no consequence to people. …

Further evidence of God withdrawing his hand from America might also be found in the recent deaths of former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Theologian Dr. Charles Ryrie. Both of these men were similar in their ambition to honor authorial intent. They were both giants and sources of great spiritual light in their respective fields. What Scalia was to the field of Constitutional interpretation, Ryrie was to the field of biblical theology. Yet, within the span of a few days, as both men passed, these lights to the culture were removed by the hand of God.

My friend made an interesting analogy to the book of Judges, which details the descent of ancient Israel into increasing disobedience and hard-heartedness towards God’s law.  God rescues Israel multiple times from oppression and disaster, but the character of the judges He raises as His instruments declines steadily over time (a reflection of the loss of the nation’s character).  Just before the story of rebellious Samson (a seriously lapsed Nazarite and a horrible judge of women), we encounter the story of Jephthah.   My friend proposed in his comments that “If Reagan was Gideon Trump is Jepthath.” 

If he’s correct, may God have mercy on us.  For if our trajectory parallels that of Israel, we are destined soon for captivity and worse.  I do not know whether Trump can provide the temporary reprieve for America that so many seriously flawed judges did for Israel.  I have serious doubts he can, and even if he succeeds in some material relief he will be a spiritual disaster.  The story of those judges, though, are a reminder that God can use the most unlikely of people to accomplish His purposes.  That does not absolve the faithful of looking for spiritual character in our leaders, but it might be a hopeful thought in this time when so few seem to have any.  We also need to be reminded from time to time of our Lord’s warning that “not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven.”  Far too many of our politicians — sadly, now including The Donald — profess a publicly convenient faith when their lives show no evidence of the fruit of such a relationship.

I’ve said it before and will continue to say it: I don’t know where all this is going, but I strongly suspect we won’t like the destination.  We have lost discernment as a people, and that includes inviting ever-larger numbers of people to our land who are actively hostile to the faith of our fathers.  This is a time-tested recipe for conflict.  As the Philistines were first emulated by Israel and then enslaved them, our importation into the West of millions of Muslims may result in the same fate.

If ever there was a time for a people to humble themselves and pray, and seek His face, and turn from their wicked ways, it is us, and it is now.  There is much we need to repent of, individually and as a people.  And as we watch the rise of people like Trump the Con Man, Clinton the Crooked and Sanders the Commie, it’s enough to make me wonder if God feels towards us the exasperation He once expressed to Jeremiah:

“As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you. Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?”

Dear reader, are you ready for the storm?  We’ve sown the wind for far too long, and are on the verge of reaping the whirlwind.  Just remember, no matter what happens, ‘the journey does not end here.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

The rigged game

*Update:  While my original post focused on how a mandarin class in our society has rigged the electoral game, this post focuses on how the concept of representative democracy itself has some inherent flaws and weaknesses.  None can deny that the electorate is complicit in the development of the current mess.  After all, pitchfork parades and tar and feathers are still options.  And far too many voters think they’re “sending a message” by voting for candidate X, when in fact they don’t know candidate X’s actual record or stated positions.  In other words, they’re voting by emotion, not fact and reason:

…as noted above, many people vote as an expressive act. The typical Obama voter knew nothing of his policies, but wanted to be “part” of “something”. There are all sorts of cultural and emotional connotations associated with Team Pepsi, and people want to affiliate themselves with those signals. Team Coke is no better: many Republican voters are in favor of a culture of God, Flag, and Apple Pie, and cast a vote for the GOP as an expressive act, without knowing or caring the actual positions of the candidates they vote for.  ((This, too, figures into the Rise of Trump, since many of his supporters see him as a chance to wave a middle finger at the mandarins, but haven’t taken the time to actually parse what he’s said. — Jemison))

ORIGINAL POST:

Read these two articles, then ask yourself: why is it we put so much faith in elections in this country?

After the final vote count in Nevada, Hillary Clinton has 52 pledged delegates and Bernie Sanders 51 — delegates required to vote for them at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. All were acquired in state primaries and caucuses as a result of a vote of the people.

So Clinton and Sanders are virtually tied, right?

Wrong. Clinton is leagues ahead of Sanders in the overall delegate count, 503-70. This is because of “superdelegate” rules that allow 712 Democratic Party insiders to decide on their own whom to support at the convention.

The Democratic Party’s superdelegate rules, devised after George McGovern’s 1972 defeat, are not particularly democratic, reflecting an era when party officials were reluctant to lose control of the presidential nominating process.

The Republicans are little better:

That rule was fortified by amendments made at the Republican convention of 2012, ironically to handicap insurgent candidates in the future. It was a response to the phenomenon of Texas Rep. Ron Paul winning nearly all of the delegates in states like Maine, Minnesota and Nevada, in spite of losing wider initial contests in those states.

What point is there to elections if Elephant and Donkey insiders always get to pick the candidates?  We’re stirred up to resent the influence of “big money” in elections, but Big Political Party shenanigans constrain our ‘choices’ as much or more than does donor activity.  Is it any wonder our government’s policies are so out of line with what the people want?  The bi-factional ruling class makes sure the only “choices” the public perceives are slight variations around a tightly controlled mean.  That way they continue to do what they want, public wishes be damned.  The best explanation for Trump’s meteoric rise is that so many people think he represents a means to say “up yours” to the insiders rigging this game.  (He doesn’t; he merely represents another facet of that rigged game — the face that’s shown when the electorate needs to blow off a particularly large head of steam, as it does this year.  The real function elections seems to serve in our country is pacifying the electorate with the illusion they have some input into what Washington does.

As I’ve said in previous posts, I have no idea where this is going, but I’m pretty sure we won’t like the destination.  Ross Perot, Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul were “insurgent candidates,” to use the term in the article above.  Agree with them or not, they had a developed view of how they would approach governance.  Perot self-destructed, but the other two were deliberately (and in the case of Ron Paul, frantically) marginalized by the party apparatus — and the electorate let them do it.

So, having passed those off ramps, the course our nation is on has led to The Donald and his yuuuuuge ego, Bernie Sanders and the usual “hey kid, want some free stuff?” come on of socialism, and Her Hillariness, who promises to do for Washington what she did for information security at the State Department.  At this point I’m tempted to just write in “George Washington” this November.  I don’t think it would make my vote count any less.

Wake me when it’s time to rebuild from the ashes.

The net effect

Many of the posts on this site deal with the symptoms of a much larger problem — the loss of the rule of law in the United States:

While it’s far from unheard of for public officials to apply less-exacting standards to their partisan allies, it’s unnerving that the segments of society charged with keeping those officials in check – namely, the media and the voters – now regard such lack of principle as so unremarkable that it barely merits mention. We have transformed into a country in which it’s difficult to imagine precisely what kind of official malfeasance would be met with more than a shrug of the shoulders.

While this trend has been at work for decades – you can thank both Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton for hastening the decline – it has reached escape velocity during the Obama years. The Justice Department, for example, already took a pass on prosecuting Lois Lerner, the IRS official at the center of the scandal in which conservative groups were singled out for special scrutiny by the federal government on the basis of their political beliefs. If there’s anything that ought to be a matter of consensus in American politics, it’s that holding the reins of power doesn’t give you carte blanche to turn the power of the state against your partisan rivals. Yet Ms. Lerner, having done that very thing, doesn’t seem to be much worse for the wear.

This hands-off trend isn’t limited by any means to the DOJ…

…the organizing precept of this era in American politics: The rules apply until they put those in power at a disadvantage. Because we’ve arrived at this point incrementally, perhaps we’re not conscious of how sweeping the transformation is. So let’s be clear about what’s at stake: This is a wholesale abandonment of the foundational American principle of the rule of law.

There are only two options available here: Either the country returns to a form of government bound by the strictures of the Constitution and its subordinate laws or we give up the ghost and accept the fact that our politics are now entirely about power rather than principle – that we live in a nation where the president, whether his name is Obama or Trump, is limited only by the boundaries of imagination.

There are a lot of ways to describe that form of government. “Constitutional republic” isn’t one of them.

Indeed.

Priorities

Many Americans sense that we not only live in a more dangerous world than what existed 15 or so years ago, but that our nation has become increasingly unable to respond effectively to those security challenges.

It’s all a matter of priorities…

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UPDATE: As the Instapundit site points out: “Mr. Obama’s two terms really are a case study in how a president can make Jimmy Carter look competent by comparison, aren’t they?”