Archive for the ‘Free Speech’ Category

Texas Liberty: Lost to History?

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

As readers will remember, I’ve covered the case of Army Master Sergeant Christopher “CJ” Grisham, who was arrested, tried, re-tried, and finally convicted of a misdemeanor charge of “interfering with a public servant,” in Bell County, Texas.  The case arose out of a ridiculous case of officer over-reaction in a rural area of Temple, Texas, where Grisham and his son were on a hike for a merit badge for the boy’s scouting pursuits.  What bothers me most about this case is a circumstance that should cause every American to recoil in anger: Here was a man committing no crime, threatening no person, but an officer showed up and made a criminal of him by acting in outrageous fashion.  I’m not going to re-argue the case, as it is currently under appeal, but there is a subtext to this story that makes me ill.  Persons in the community claiming to be conservative, yet taking the side of the law enforcement officer in this case are cowardly fools.  There should have been no case.  There should have been no arrest.  There should have been no initial call from a passerby who observed the “armed subject.”  We live in a nation of cowards, and some of them claim to be “conservatives.” This wretched, skulking view of liberty sickens me. We have now supposed “conservatives” who pose as advocates of liberties they would rather you not exercise, and of all places, in Texas.

Let me assert from the outset that an armed person hiking along the rural roadways of Texas really ought not be a matter for law enforcement.  There is no law in Texas against openly carrying a long gun, whether rifle or shotgun, and Grisham was not threatening any person.  He wasn’t brandishing the firearm, or waving it around, or otherwise doing anything that would indicate any aggressive action.  Sadly, the mere presence of the firearm suggests to some very dim-witted persons a threat that does not exist.  These same nit-wits do not flinch at the presence of firearms on the persons of law enforcement officers, but slung from the neck of a citizen, it’s another matter.  It is either cowardice or malice that leads to such calls to law enforcement.

On the side of malice, there are those in every community who hate firearms, largely because they live in fear.  They are participants in a nonsensical agenda aimed at disarming the country, believing that some Utopia is possible absent guns.  These are the same dolts who supported the enactment of Obama-care, or who are happy to vote for every statist that promises them a paradise on Earth, free of want and fear.  These are the overt enemies of liberty, and Texans, of all the people in America, should shun them as reprobates.  They fear liberty as they fear life itself.  They are not fit to live among civilized people, and therefore seek to reduce civilization to a world of mandates and dicta from on high.

As bad as the open enemies of liberty may be, there is another group I estimate to be perhaps worse.  There are those who proclaim themselves “conservative,” but who are no less fearful or debauched in their thinking.  Actual conservatives do not live in fear of bogey-men.  They do not live in fear of inanimate objects or tools. They do not pretend to themselves that a society in which guns are forbidden from public view, or forbidden altogether will be somehow safe from harm.  All the evidence gathered about crime and guns over the last half-century demonstrates convincingly that the more citizens are armed, the safer their communities will be.  In stark contrast, the fewer citizens who are armed, the more common it will be for people to fall prey to monsters and madmen.  Those claiming “conservatism” as their general ideology should know better, and reason should be their guide, but what we really have is a number of people who don’t really believe anything except that “liberals are bad.”  They don’t adhere to principles, and they don’t really know why they’re “conservatives.”

One of the arguments you hear from this crowd is that “Grisham was only carrying to prove a point.” This bizarre logic would have you believe that somehow, if only for the sake of doing what the law permits, Grisham would be guilty of some crime.  What they are too cowardly to understand is that to retain our freedoms, we ought to exercise them openly and in full light of day as the means by which to reinforce their validity.  What they mistakenly believe is that we ought to have rights, but never to exercise them.  This bastardized view of liberty has led nation after nation, and civilizations from time immemorial to utter collapse and tyranny.  A right not exercised out of a fear of persecution is no right at all.  What one can learn from the Grisham case is that while many politicians and persons in Bell County Texas may claim to support liberty and gun rights, the truth is that they don’t support their exercise. In much the same fashion, Phil Robertson is being persecuted for his beliefs. None will dare say that he isn’t entitled to them, but too many will shrink from his right to state them.  So goes “free speech” or “free exercise of religion” in modern America.

There exists also some abiding but misplaced sense of fealty to local law enforcement.  I love the people who earnestly take up the defense of our lives and liberties, but I strenuously oppose any who would abuse citizens under color of law.  More, those who speak out about this subject are often ostracized for what boils down to simple boat-rocking.  Speaking out in a Texas community against the actions of law enforcement officers in some particular cases is tantamount to becoming a leper in the community.  It is the preposterous proclamation of the idea that “we have rights, but we ought never exercise them” that emboldens those with tyrannical mindsets to such actions.  Why did the officer in this case seek to disarm Grisham, who was doing nothing illegal, threatening no one, and harming not a soul?  Why did he do so without warning?  Why did he take on the power of the state as an aggressor?  The reason is simple: He believed he would be safe in so doing.  He believed he would get away with it, and thus far, the legal farce in Bell County courtrooms stage-managed by visiting judge Neal Richardson have borne out his belief.

What we really have here is a simpler question, truth be told: Was Grisham out to “interfere with a public servant,” or was a public servant out to interfere with a citizen’s free exercise of liberty?  I would conclude in this case that it had been the latter, but so many of my fellow citizens seem to fear such a “revolutionary” idea. Each year, Texans celebrate their own independence, and remember the Alamo, but then quietly and meekly ignore the meaning of those things they claim to hold dear.  Each and every time they participate in one of these sham trials against a citizen who had really done nothing but exercise the liberties they claim to support, they mark themselves as frauds and pretenders. “Don’t mess with Texas,” they’ll say in imitation of the state’s anti-littering campaign, but “go ahead and mess with Texans,” they’ll meekly admit.

When I decided with my family to remain in Texas after my military service, it was based on the idea that we would become Texans.  We wouldn’t try to re-shape the state or its people into the form or image of what we had escaped, but instead adopt to ourselves the history and culture of a freedom-loving place.  I believed that meant something special, which is to say that I believed at the time that Texans were fiercely protective of their freedoms.  Nowadays, seeing what passes for “conservatism” in so much of the Lone Star State, I’m no longer certain my assessment had been correct.  Texans may like the imagery of prideful independence, but slowly and surely, they are joining many of their fellow Americans in the slide into servitude.  I know there are still a number of Texans of the sort I had hoped to become, but their number is dwindling fast, much too fast, as it becomes increasingly fashionable to spout about liberty but never to exercise it.  It is this sort of cowardice that is uncharacteristically un-Texan, and yet it seems to grow like a cancer, metastasizing through the entire body of the state, undermining the appearance of independence still claimed by its residents.

Supposed “conservatives” in Texas who enable this decline are the more objectionable to me.  On the federal level, we have one conservative Senator, Ted Cruz, and one cowardly Senator, John Cornyn.  Cruz actually fights to the limits of his ability. Cornyn pretends to fight for us, but all too often fights against conservatism, joining with the left in their various plots and plans.  At the state level, it’s much the same. We have a number of crony capitalists who claim conservatism, but only a few hands-full of actual conservatives.  You might wonder how this could be the case in Texas, of all places, but the answer is clear: Too many supposed conservatives among the voting populace are similarly opposed to boat-rocking because too few really want freedom complete with its ups and downs; its rewards and risks.  We’re losing our culture, and it’s sad that having discovered the freedoms of Texas at twenty-five years of age, and having the courage to make of it our new home, I now find that the courage that had attracted me to the people and places of Texas is slowly bleeding away.  When I see shoddy argumentation demanding a surrender of rights while claiming to possess them, I know that this is not the Texas with which I had become so enamored in my youth.

Texas needs new leaders, and it needs them soon, but to get the sort of men and women who can save the state, we will need citizens with the courage and will to do so.  Texans invest a lot of time proclaiming their pride in this state, and what it purports to be, but the truth is that nowadays, that’s more boast than fact.  From the statehouse to the local governments, Texans are yielding liberty at an astonishing pace, as our “independent school districts” run wild, spending outrageous sums on unnecessary things, our local governments grow and become more reliant on the state, that in its turn becomes merely a localized, branch establishment of the federal leviathan.  CJ Grisham’s case is just one among many, as the cowardice of too many alleged conservatives comes to dominate our polity.   Everywhere, government entities are clamping down on liberties long-enjoyed but less and less frequently exercised.  We’re told by our neighbors and friends that we should not exercise them, for fear of retribution or rocking the boat, but one must ask what sort of sinking ship of freedom we’re aboard, that we no longer dare evince these rights by carrying them into execution.  Don’t speak out, or you will be ostracized.  Don’t walk in public with a firearm lest you be arrested for contrived causes.  Don’t be a Texan, whatever you may claim, because real Texans are going extinct, like the dinosaurs, and good riddance, it seems.

All hope is not lost, but it’s time to re-evaluate our position.  Christians now hide their faith lest they be publicly pilloried for it.  Conservatives refuse to be conservative, lest their noncommittal acquaintances think the less of them.  Men and women are now chastised for speaking of freedom, never mind exercising it.  Over the last several years, there has been talk of “the wussification of America,” but no place in the country has it become more evident of late than in Texas, perhaps precisely because of the contrast provided by its peoples’ former strengths. Where once dwelt a vast majority of rugged individuals among the blue-bonnets, we now find a population increasingly composed of shrinking violets who dare not stand for the right.  Any right.  We must endeavor to fight this slide, and we must do so in the city council meetings, the counties’ commissioners courts, and in the legislature.  Time for a resurgence of liberty in Texas is growing short.  The most important places in which we must make a stand are among our friends, families, and neighbors, among whom the number of gone-wobbly seems to increase daily.  It’s time for the voices of freeborn men and women to be heard, and if not in Texas, one must wonder where those voices will resound again.  It’s a damnable shame that as Texas begins the approach to its bicentennial, we may find ourselves in a state where our claims to liberty are all hat but no cattle.  Stand up Texans!  You have a famous heritage based on the bold and courageous, but so must your children and their progeny beyond.  We must exercise our rights, or yield them, surrendering them forever more.  One new Texan’s final diary entry must be our guide:

“No time for memorandums now. Go ahead! Liberty and Independence forever. “– David Crockett, March 5th, 1836

Lesson Christians, Conservatives Can Learn from A&E Network’s Intolerance

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Dynastic Decline?

I’m not among the millions who regularly watch Duck Dynasty on A&E network, but I am among the many millions who will avoid the network in my future viewing choices.  The network’s #1 smash hit is headed by patriarch Phil Robertson.  Robertson was asked during an interview for GQ magazine about morality.  He cited the Bible, and when asked to explain or expound upon his stance on homosexuality, he explained in graphic, somewhat crude language why he couldn’t understand the desires of homosexuals.  The network then suspended him.  What’s now clear is that A&E has managed to incite a backlash against the network, and it’s obvious that the network is responding to political rather than market-based concerns.  In the free market, a network wouldn’t suspend the star of its top-rated show for simply stating his religious beliefs.  No, this case isn’t about the intolerance of Phil Robertson, but the intractable, unflinching orthodoxy of the rabid left.  The intolerance is all theirs, but there exists a dirty little secret: They’re only willing to shut down conservatives, Christians, and capitalists, while they cringe in fear of Muslims, feminists, leftist groups, and the homosexual lobby.  There’s an important lesson in all of this for conservatives generally, but Christians particularly: They don’t fear you, and you’ve given them no reason to think otherwise.

Consider the lead-in to Drew Magary’s GQ article:

“How in the world did a family of squirrel-eating, Bible-thumping, catchphrase-spouting duck hunters become the biggest TV stars in America? And what will they do now that they have 14 million fervent disciples?”

Could a news outlet or magazine make such a remark about any group if they happened to be other than Christian?  This lead-in typifies the mindset not merely of those in leadership at A&E, but of the entire media establishment.  “Bible-thumping?”  Who does Magary think he is? Bill O’Reilly?  This should set the tone for you quite aptly. With a lead-in like that, you can guess that it won’t be long before the GQ writer seeks to create a controversy.  The term “Bible-Thumper” has become so widely used in the media that Christians are now adopting it to describe themselves as a way of scorning the elites who look down their noses at Christians generally.

Before pointing this out, Magary mocks Robertson this way:

“Even though he’s in the far corner of the room, Phil dominates the house. There are times when he doesn’t look you in the eye while he’s speaking—he looks just off to the side of you, as if Jesus were standing nearby, holding a stack of cue cards. Everyone else in the room just stares at his phone, or at the TV, or holds side conversations as Phil preaches.”

As disgusted as Christians, conservatives, and Duck Dynasty fans may be with A&E’s treatment of Robertson, let’s consider this jewel of mockery by Magary on behalf of GQ magazine. This isn’t merely an attack on Robertson, but on every Christian who is guided by faith.  Magary’s scornful, scowling article shows Robertson in the very light that his magazine’s readers have come to expect.  Later in the article, however, Magary provides the Robertson quote that will rile the left endlessly:

“For the sake of the Gospel, it was worth it,” Phil tells me. “All you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I’ll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero. That’s eighty years of ideologies that have popped up where no Jesus was allowed among those four groups. Just look at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups.”

All of this was far too much for the leftists at A&E.  They’re a politically correct outlet, and Robertson’s off-show remarks are far too insensitive in their view, and attacked their general philosophical slant. If only he were a Muslim…

Fans aren’t happy with this suspension either, and the backlash is growing, as a new Facebook page that has already garnered nearly seven-hundred-thousand likes, and there are other pages on the social networking site having similar results.  While there can be no expectation of “free speech” on a network one doesn’t own, this sort of cultural brow-beating is standard fare in leftist circles.  In his contract, there may be language prohibiting him from making such statements publicly, in which case he is bound by the terms of the contract, but here’s the real problem for A&E: While they are free to suspend him if his contract allows it, they are also bound to bear the consequences in the marketplace.  If the market recoils against them, and if they find even more people joining the fray of public discourse against them, it’s all their problem.  If the move gains the network market-share, then it’s all their benefit.

With that said, let’s consider what had been Robertson’s “infraction,” according to A&E.  Robertson dared to state publicly in an interview that he held as sins those things set forth in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Indeed, he then explained his own orientation. From the Chicago Tribune:

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he told reporter Drew Magary. “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

Now that the homosexual lobby is descending upon Robertson, one might wonder why leftist groups and others sympathetic to the homosexual lobby have all the courage in the world to take on Christians at every turn, but never seem to muster the same courage when dealing with Muslims.  If, rather than a show titled “Duck Dynasty,” and being a Christian man named Phil Robertson, this had instead been a show named “Kamel Kingdom,” centered around a Wahhabist family headed by a man named Muhammed Atta on the Arabian peninsula, the whining cowards at the A&E network wouldn’t have dared to suspend the patriarch.  Not a chance.  Christians are easy targets, after all.  They’ve become accustomed to being culturally attacked, and desensitized to being harangued publicly for their views. They do not fight back, generally speaking.  Muslims are another story.  In fact, A&E may have actually blocked the mention of Jesus on Duck Dynasty in order to avoid offending Muslims. Watch this video with Phil Robertson:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_0XS1vaX-M]

There’s a lesson in all of this for those who happen to pay attention: Christians may temporarily blow up your phone lines, but they won’t blow up your building, and executives at the A&E network know that too well.  They can stand to tolerate a few days of melted phone lines, but once the issue fades in prominence, they’ll go on as before.  The leftist media culture is rife with bullies who are willing to pick on faithful Christians, but won’t say the first word in opposition to radical Islam, or even acknowledge its existence, lest they find themselves the target of a fatwa. I’m not suggesting that Christians should strap suicide vests on their bodies and run into the A&E Network’s headquarters, but I think this helps to demonstrate that Christians, who mistakenly turn the other cheek until they’re beaten into submission.  Christians don’t fight back.  They have been taught that only the “meek” shall inherit the Earth, not understanding the real meaning of Matthew 5:5.  It was an admonition to submit to God.  It was not a demand to lay supinely in acceptance of any torment in the offing from all comers.

Christians and conservatives must begin to understand the affliction that they too readily bear. Consisting in part of the radical left’s tireless war against American culture, this is a real campaign being fought daily.  The left,  radical Islam, the associated and cohort groups all bear ill will against traditional Christian values, and American ideals and traditions in general, either to subvert them or erase them from our nation.  A&E’s fault in all of this lies in the fact that they are more afraid of people who do not regularly watch their network than of those who routinely tune to see Phil Robertson and his family.  A&E is more interested in portraying the Robertson clan as backwoods bayou bumpkins than in showing a God-fearing family that accepts the teachings of their Bible.  They don’t want to offend  Muslims, homosexuals, or anyone else in the process, unless they happen to be capitalists, Christians, and/or conservatives, in which case it is not merely acceptable but entirely intentional. Christians and conservatives must begin to make their voices heard in unison, because it’s their culture that is under fire. The time for cheek-turning should have passed, and it’s high time conservative leaders step forward to say as much.

Thankfully, some already have. (Sarah Palin here, Ted Cruz here, and Bobby Jindal here.) Now it’s your turn. As the rabid left seeks to turn the GQ Robertson interview into the 2013 version of Rush Limbaugh’s Sandra Fluke remarks, conveniently taking the focus away from Obama-care, it’s time for conservatives, particularly Christians, to understand all of these things as a coordinated attack against them.  While A&E is a shameless trollop acting on behalf of the general leftist ideology, they are performing a service to Barack Obama that money could scarcely buy. Obama-care’s massive failures are sliding from the headlines, and this changing of the subject over a TV show will permit them to carry on.  The truth for conservatives in general and Christians in particular is that the left doesn’t fear you.  They see you as having been de-fanged by your own ethos, and they use your most generous virtues against you.  It’s time to see them for the monsters they are, speak out at will, and make all of your purchasing decisions accordingly.  It’s time for them to fear your market power if they will fear nothing else.  It’s time for them to fear you at the polls if they will see no other threat from your number.  It’s long past the time for all real Americans to roar and I don’t care if the statist left sneers at that description.  The time for silence on all fronts is over. They need to fear the continuance of their Jihad against us.

Editors Note: The truth about A&E and its show is that it was never intended to capture the audience it now enjoys, but was instead meant as a vehicle by which to mock Christians and conservatives.  Once it backfired and became a wildly successful show, they had to find a way to bury it culturally. For what other possible reason would they place beeps and bleeps in the audio track to cover profanity that never occurred, as per Robertson’s testimony in the video above?  They wanted to reinforce a stereotype.

Update: As of this hour, the boycott A&E page on Facebook now has over 1.1 Million likes.

Fiasco: Rapper Escorted Out of Pre-Inaugural Event for Criticizing Obama

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Pulled From Stage

Don’t you love the left?  They have such reverence for the First Amendment’s protections of free speech, don’t they?  No, they don’t.  Now some will say that it was in bad form to be an invited performer at the President’s pre-inaugural bash, and then to bash on the the President, and I can’t disagree with any of that, except that these are the people who swear that free speech must be tolerated in every case short of the shouting of “Fire!” in a crowded theater, or anything they consider “hate speech,” or anything else they simply don’t like.  I suppose this performance by rapper Lupe Fiasco must have fallen into the latter categories, because once he started criticizing Obama, the thought police descended on him rapidly.

Check out this video, H/T GatewayPundit:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1t6PyaClBI]

As you can see in the video, once the rapper proclaims he didn’t vote for Obama, it was time to shut him down.  Naturallyy I won’t be shedding too many tears over Fiasco’s…Fiasco, but that’s because he’s another leftwing imbecile who believes the United States causes all of the terrorism against it.  Yes, his chief complaint with Obama is that he’s not liberal enough, but perhaps by throwing the rapper out, he’ll notice where liberalism always leads.

According to the Daily Caller, after the event, the organizers were contacted and they claimed Fiasco hadn’t been forcibly removed, but that’s just cover.  The video clearly displays the rapper getting “the hook…” I’m not much of a rap fan, but I must admit I liked the part “why I ain’t vote for him…” That’s just a classy line.  Of course, lefties will cheer Fiasco anyway, since he first managed to call Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck “racist.”

Marine To Be Given Boot Over Obama Remarks on Facebook

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Do Servicemembers Have Free Speech?

I know most people who read this story will want to side with the Marine, and I would like to do so as well, but there’s a reason I would urge you to reconsider, and it’s important that for those of you who have no military service experience to understand why his conduct, much as it is heartening in many respects, is intolerable for the chain of command.  Part of the problem is that the full and specific text of his remarks haven’t been disclosed, but when Marine Sgt. Gary Stein, a 26-yo, 9-year Marine made his remarks, he did so in a public way that poses a problem to military discipline.  I don’t like Barack Obama’s policies either, and I would hope that no Airman, Marine, Sailor or Soldier would ever follow an unlawful order, but to post remarks on what constitutes an unlawful order, in the context of the sitting chain of command, is a serious problem for the military.

Sgt. Stein is in trouble, and he says he’s surprised it’s a big deal, or that they’re seriously considering kicking him out of the Marine Corps, (note to Barack Obama: That’s pronounced like “core,” not like “corpse,”) but as a Non-Commissioned Officer of the United States Marines, he must know such things are not to be tolerated, and for very good reasons.  Were he a discharged veteran, there would be no problem.  He runs a Facebook page I have seen, but I wince because I know what will befall him.

I hate this sort of case, because I’m placed in the position of the “bad guy,” telling people some important truths they may not wish to hear.  The fact that this young Sergeant made these remarks about a politician who I find to be detestable shouldn’t deter me from recognizing why it’s important that no service-member say such things, certainly not publicly, and why a non-commissioned officer must never say them so that his subordinates may hear or read of them.  I realize that tempers flare, and that our service-members are entitled to their own political views, as they should be, but they are in the military to protect our freedom of speech, but not there to practice it.  When every service-member enlists, or is commissioned, they swear an oath to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States, and to obey the orders of the President and those who the President appoints over them.  The presumption is always that these will be lawful orders.

The military must function with a chain of command that conveys both martial authority and delegates responsibilities.  When a service-member rises to become a non-commissioned officer, there are two things of note that occur:  The newly minted NCO is now entrusted with additional authority, and a higher standard of conduct is applied to all his or her actions, on duty or off.  This is because in function, to carry out a mission, the NCO will need the authority to issue orders, but with that authority comes a greater universe of responsibilities that extends to a higher standard of service and allegiance to the chain of command, and to the mission.  This is the professional standard expected of Non-Commissioned Officers, and it is a demanding one.

It must be this way because in combat, or in a war-time mission, the NCOs are the element of leadership that becomes most important in the organizational structure.  There are too few officers for them to be in every place at once, and NCOs are the professional core of the enlisted ranks upon which all military operations ultimately depend.  If you have poor NCOs, it won’t matter if you have great officers, and great junior enlisted personnel, because the force will suffer a vacuum of leadership that will ordinarily be crippling.  It is for this reason that the services spend billions of dollars each year developing its enlisted leaders.  The idea of a professional NCO has been an important core of the American fighting force throughout the nation’s history, and when a Sergeant makes comments that seem to disparage the chain of command, it is a highly unprofessional bit of conduct.

Now, as to the substance of what this particular Sergeant said, it’s not altogether clear how bad his transgressions may have been. There is little reported on the substance of his remarks, but rather some generalizations.  Here’s what is reported:

“Sgt. Gary Stein, a nine-year veteran, put comments on a Facebook page called the Armed Forces Tea Party page that said he would not follow unlawful orders from President Obama such as ordering the killing of Americans or taking guns away from Americans. He also criticized comments made by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta about Syria.”

“The Uniform Code of Military Justice prohibits uniformed personnel from making comments critical of their chain of command, including the commander-in-chief, or engaging in political activity in a context that suggests that are acting as military members.”

Stop. This is enough to land him in trouble.  By specifying specific individuals in and policies of the chain of command, Sgt. Stein would have violated his obligations as an enlisted service member and particularly his station as a Non-Commissioned Officer.  Unfortunately, they don’t offer any direct quotes for analysis, but if this reflects the actual nature of his remarks, they have a case, and he’s in trouble for good cause. The story continues:

“An investigation into Stein’s comments was ordered March 8 by the commanding officer of the weapons and field training battalion at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego. On Wednesday, the Marine Corps announced that rather than file charges against Stein, the matter is being handled “through administrative action.”

“Stein, who hoped to reenlist, told the Associated Press that he plans to fight the Marine Corps’ intention to dismiss him.”

“I’m completely shocked that this is happening,” he told the AP. “I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve only stated what our oath states: That I will defend the Constitution and that I will not follow unlawful orders. If that’s a crime, what is America coming to?”

I’m sorry to be placed in the position of disagreeing with Sgt. Klein, but if he indeed criticized Panetta by name or position, and the specific policy as it applies to Syria(or anything else,) he has indeed violated the trust with which the military had privileged him.  An NCO simply cannot go about disparaging the chain of command.  No soldier should, but when it comes to NCOs, they are expected to exhibit a higher standard of professionalism, and this isn’t it.  The remark about Obama and unlawful orders might not have been so bad, in isolation, because in that sense, he is stating a general premise about not obeying unlawful orders, although calling out this specific president conveys a certain lack of support for this particular chain of command that is unseemly for an NCO.  They are and must be held to a higher standard, and again, Sgt Klein here fails to maintain that standard.

Understand that my appraisal here is that of a man who was a Sergeant at roughly the same age that this young man is now, and I note with some sadness that when I was an up-and-coming NCO, I had a pretty solid chain of command, so I wouldn’t have suffered from such doubts.  With that in mind, however, I cannot fail to mention that he should not have said these things, and certainly not broadcast publicly on the Internet.  I’d urge all soldiers to hold their tongues on political matters, precisely because this is harmful to the United States, whether you agree with this President’s policies or not.  I realize that none would carry out unlawful orders if they were issued, but the presumption of a soldier, particularly a mid-career Marine NCO, must be that the orders he will be issued will be lawful.  To spout about non-existent, highly speculative future unlawful orders in the context of a particular president is not prudent, and exhibits a lack of professional judgment, even if I agree with is political views.

In combat, or even in training, the military relies heavily on its non-commissioned officers to carry out the mission, and it cannot tolerate, not even in minor ways, what constitutes the threat of mutinous conduct, or rabble-rousing in its ranks.  I know.  He said “unlawful orders.”  Fine.  The problem is that under certain circumstances, the President may order the killing of Americans or the seizure of guns. Those are limited circumstances indeed, but the discretion to determine which instances constitute an unlawful order lies not with a Marine Sergeant make conjecture about some unknown future order.  There are only very limited circumstances where such discretion is left to the individual service-member.  Sgt. Klein knew or ought to have known better than to let his public pronouncements go this far. Whether the punishment fits the crime is a matter of judgment on the part of local commanders, and the problem we have in assessing it is that we don’t have the full facts, or even the full text of Sgt. Klein’s remarks.  Let us hope that military authorities are not over-reacting here.  Chances are that they are not.

I realize there are those of you who will take issue with me over this, and that’s fine, but the problem is that I also understand how important the integrity of the corps of military Non-Commissioned Officers is to the safety of our nation.  Our military must not be undermined, neither from without or from within, and the conduct of Sgt. Klein threatens to do so, whether he sees that or not.  While I agree with his general assessments, to the degree they have been presented, that doesn’t mean I endorse the fact that he pronounced them publicly.  My advice to service-members who have similar views is very simple, and I know that most of them will understand me as I explain it:

For the term of your service, keep your mouth closed in public, and on the Internet still your fingers in saying or writing things publicly that would tend to place you in such a situation.  In other words,  while you are right to practice politics via your vote, as long as you are in the services, you need to be as apolitical as you are able, although in your talks with family, friends, and others in closed circumstances, you might still enjoy some of your limited freedom of speech, but you must do so with caution and an abundance of reverence for the oath you swore, that did not specify the party or politics of the Commander-in-Chief.  In other words, brothers and sisters, you must not permit your expressions to compromise your ability to lead, or shake the confidence of those who serve under you, in the chain of command.  Please remember this, and serve out your time in honor, and with respect for your oaths.  For those of you who are entrusted with positions of leadership, please remember that yours is an important role, and to undercut it with loose talk about the politics of the chain of command is to undermine yourselves.

I know the vast majority of our servicemen and women know and practice all of this, and it’s unnecessary to say it to most of you, but for those who are frustrated most with what you see coming out of Washington, I ask you to keep your cool.  This presidency and this particular chain of command is not permanent, so if you’ll wait around a while, it will change.  Whether you like that or not is your affair, but how you give voice to it is a matter of military discipline.  We need good and patriotic Airmen, Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers, and you had better believe that if things ever do go to hell in this country, we will have special need of you then.  Keep the faith, and stay strong, but do not put your careers at risk for temporary expressions of your frustrations.  We need you to stay strong, and I will do what I am able to support you.

To my friends in the Marine Corps, “Semper Fidelis.”

To those of you who are non-veteran civilians, I would remind you that you have a special responsibility too.  These young men and women in whose hands we place the security of our nation need your support too, and part of that is knowing not to ask or urge them to make statements of this sort publicly.  If they make them to you privately, that’s one thing, but do not expose them to legal liability on this basis.  Instead, as family members and friends, go be their voice.  They’re serving your security interests, and the least you can do is to try to represent their interests and support them.  Veterans, you will know precisely what I mean, and because you do know, having served, and because you now have your freedom of speech restored, you have a special responsibility because only you can express to those who do not know, what it is that soldiers must give up to serve their country.  It isn’t always measured in blood and lives, but more commonly the right to speak out publicly.  Let we veterans resolve particularly to be their voice so that our active-duty brethren feel no need to expose themselves to trouble, and so that our non-veteran neighbors can know the special meaning we hold the trust to which they have entrusted our fighting forces.

 

Some Unsolicited Advice for the Catholic Church and All Christian Clergy

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Time to Surrender?

Being a long-lapsed Catholic, it is questionable whether the Church will heed my warning, but I believe that I must offer it out of an abundance of concern and fondness for so many of its parishioners, and out of a respect for all the good deeds the Church has done among men.   This is aimed at you, the clergy, and the administrations of Catholic institutions.  The Obama administration is now at war with the Catholic Church, and indeed with all Christendom.  Our First Amendment protections are under open assault, behind the veil of a “womens’ health issue.”  Every member of clergy, from the smallest parish all the way to the Vatican must understand, but if you fail to recognize it, we will see the Church replaced by the State in all things.  What you are witnessing is the start of a transformation into a tyrannical state, and it is time now for the Church to consider what John Paul II had done when he assisted with the overthrow of the despotic Soviet regime.  To protect your flock, you face now a choice, and that is whether to act while you can, or abandon them by your silence, delivering them to servitude at an altar of State.

Church is not a military organization, and will not have the force of arms to liberate its flock.  Instead, the arms will be turned ultimately against the Church, as has been the case so many times before.  The Church has one distinct advantage if they will press it, and the time to exploit this is now:  You have the advantage of a long history, much longer than the history of any of the particular oppressors, and your frame of reference is generally much longer in view.  While history is not always kind in its judgments of the Church, when it has taken less enlightened directions, still the institution that is the Church must be able to know and to see that the course now in front of us is far from unprecedented.  One need only view what happened to the Church in Poland, or Germany, or in a host of countries in which it was in various forms chased from the lives of its parishioners to understand that there is nothing new under the sun, and that as an institution, the Church has seen all of this before.  This being the case, you already know how to defeat the State.  It is merely a question of the moral will to do so,  but if the Church cannot muster this now, then the Church will have lost all moral authority, and will be displaced.

Easter is just more than a month away, and it will be your best opportunity to speak to the whole body of the Church in one time for months. as despite what we might like to think, twice yearly you see greater attendance and adherence than in the rest of the year, so let you not squander this opportunity.  You will celebrate the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, and this is an appropriate time to remind parishioners of what the Church exists to do.  Your cross to bear is in opening the eyes of your parishioners, each and every one, to the scourges being heaped upon the Church, and upon them, by the encroachments of the State.  The subtle lie taught to your parishioners, so many who have been indoctrinated in the governments’ schools, is that the notion of a “wall of separation” between Church and State was placed there to protect the State.  This is not true, and has never been true, for the State has nothing to fear from the Church, but the Church and its flock should tremble at the threat that is the State.  So it was throughout all of the twentieth century, and so it is today that the Church must cling to this separation as a firewall to protect it from governments.  Indeed, his applies to all Christianity, and not only the Catholic faith.

This is also an opportunity to mend fences.  Christianity in America is remarkably diverse, but in the main, they share certain basic truths.  Cling to these as one clings to one’s shared interests with an ally in war, because while there are no arms apparent, you are now battling for the survival of Christianity and the Church in America.  As this battle intensifies, you have just a few ways you can go, and because time is short, and since you will need clarity to choose, we must discuss them now while it still matters:

  • The Church may surrender and submit its conscience, and its moral authority
  • The Church may close down, sell or burn its assets, and withdraw completely
  • The Church may fight by open and willful disobedience against the State

These are the options.  In considering them, you will be forced to confront the whole history of the Church, from its greatest moments in the face of tyranny to its worst moments as a participant in it.  Let me make clear that the first option is and must be untenable to the Church, its parishioners, and the whole body of Christianity.  If you yield, this will have been the end of the Church, not only in America, but globally, and you must know by now that once you lose America, the cultural focus of the world, you will have lost the world.  If you surrender here, most of the other locales will go along quietly.  As the State now encroaches into every aspect of American life, so will it creep in everywhere it had not been in the past.

This makes the second option no more tenable than the first.  At present, however, the Church operates something on the order of one in six hospital beds in the United States, and some uncounted number of seats in schools and universities all across the land.  These are marvelous facilities and institutions, that have served so many millions, and indeed, I was born in just such a hospital nearly forty-seven years ago in Buffalo, NY.  In those days, the Church was a constant part of family life.  In its rush to modernize and follow trends, it abandoned its traditions in many ways, so that now, its moral authority and its involvement in the daily lives of its parishioners has retracted.  By the precedents of human history, this is the time to begin a resurgence.  The Church still touches the lives of millions, and yet they to frequently recognize it.  In doing the innumerable good deeds Christianity has done in America these last fifty years, too often, it has not been evident that Christianity had been the driving motive for them.

It is time to begin to withdraw them.  The Church is being told by the State that its services are no longer welcome, and that its influence in the lives of people is not to be admitted, but I say this is a lie, but to show the truth, the Church is going to have to show it.  The flock has lost track of the good that is done under the umbrella of the Church, and this applies not only to Catholicism, but also to all Christian institutions of any description across the country.  It is time to remind the flock of what they will lose when the State supplants the Church in their lives.  The State knows no compassion, and it functions as an automaton, but every Christian endeavor in the country is founded with an institutionalized voluntary human compassion.  Cardinal George of Chicago said it best when he warned what would become of Catholic institutions, but what you must now do, all of you, whether Catholic, or another assembly of Christianity is to unite in a refusal to bow before the State, and in order to do so, you must tell the State that you will not comply with any rule that abridges your faith, but more, that you will not pay fines levied and imposed, and that you will openly disregard them.

You must prepare your flocks to see this enacted.  More, you must do so in such a way that it permits them to choose and decide whenever they have that opportunity.  I would strongly suggest that on some day in the future, unannounced until the very last moment, that the institutions of faith close its doors, all of them, at once and without public remark upon re-opening:  “This is what things will be once the State commands all matters of conscience.”  This is stern medicine.  It means that there will be some who will die, who had depended upon these institutions.  It means that some will go unpaid in their employment on that day.  It means that on one given day, and for the space of time of one day, the Church will show what is being demanded by the State.

Of course, there are people wiser and smarter than I among the clergy of the Church.  I realize what I propose now is a grave action.  I realize that it will require great planning, and due care and diligence to stave off the worst consequences.  Despite this, I also know the Church is able.  Christianity at large is able.  These are competent institutions that have been ministering to mankind for generations and longer.  The Church also knows about strikes.  In Poland, under the banner of Solidarity, the Church quietly participated in aiding the strikers.  The strike I propose is of a different character, however, and it consists not of making demands of the State, but instead, merely of temporarily complying with them.

Barack Obama and his administration want to quietly remove all Christendom from the public square, as they do not hold the view that one’s faith should guide one’s actions when one emerges across the threshold of the Church into the public sphere.  Just as in the old Soviet Union, where one’s freedom of religion ended at the church doors, so the Obama administration wants to cause the reach of the Church to contract.  It is into this vacuum that the institutional left will pour its own influence.  They hope to accomplish this slowly, with your surrender softening the blow at each step along the path.  They are counting on the Church and all Christendom to help disguise what is happening.  You must unmask this procedure, and you must not let them soften the blow.  If you do permit it, you will lose the whole of your flock in due course.  You will be barred from all public discourse.  You will be made slowly irrelevant in the lives of Americans until they will no longer miss you.  Churches will become empty, lifeless edifices of a faith no longer practiced and a belief no longer important.

This has been the goal of every statist revolution in the last two-hundred years or more, and you have witnessed it.  This is not the time for timid clergy, or appeasement.  This is not the time for shrinking from the articles of your faith.  This is the time to remind your flocks of the importance of the Church in their lives, not merely at worship, but in all their endeavors.  It is also time to let the State know that this will not end quietly, or with your surrender.  Presidents and their administrations come and go, as do the laws of men, and it’s time you placed this in its proper perspective for all concerned while you maintain the ability to do so.  Religious liberty and the rights of conscience do not arise from the State.  The founders of this nation knew this even if our present leaders do not, and they enshrined the matter in our Declaration of Independence. Let none pretend we hadn’t known the source of our rights, or that the Church answers to men.

 _________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Sarah Palin Addresses CPAC

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Governor Palin Welcomed at CPAC

Governor Palin spoke at CPAC on Saturday, delivering the Keynote address to an overflow crowd, and  her address was enthusiastically received, but I noticed something else.  Not everybody in the room was there merely to hear her speak, as a segment of the audience serenaded her with their rendition of “Happy Birthday,” as Saturday was indeed her birthday.  There was a brief incident a few minutes into her address when some “Occupiers” who had made it into the room made a ruckus.  Never satisfied to let anything go by without negative drama, “Occupiers” created some sort of disturbance, and were immediately overpowered by the crowd, and then Sarah Palin, with “USA USA USA.”  The Occu-pests were escorted quickly from the room and Governor Palin pointed out to the crowd how easy it had been to win.

There were many highlights in this speech, far too numerous to catalog here, but I’d like to bring your attention to a few.  She discussed the fact that our country is in trouble, and that we must be united to restore it.  She warned:

“We are not red Americans, we are not blue Americans; We are red white and blue, and President Obama, We are through with you!”

The crowd roared their approval, leaping up to yet another standing ovation.  When it came to the theme of her speech, it was clearly to rev up the crowd for the election season ahead, and citing the lack of a federal budget for more than one-thousand days(actually over 1100 now,) she said of his spending priorities, simply:

“He mucked it up!”

Again the crowd applauded on its feet in collective approval.  She went on to talk about the decline of the nation at the hands of Barack Obama’s government, and of the looming disaster hanging over all our heads, for generations to come, she vowed:

“So help me, God, it is not a future we will ever accept!”

In one instance, she likened the corrupting tendencies of the permanent political class in Washington DC not to a “swamp,” but instead to a “hot tub with jacuzzi.”

Governor Palin is an astonishingly effective public speaker and politician precisely because she believes in America, and in constitutional conservatism, but more importantly, because she communicates with the raw force of simple ideas that have withstood the tests of time and crisis.

She said that once the nomination battle had concluded, she would support any of these because Obama must go.  That united the crowd that clearly suffered a divide along the lines of the various contenders, because all then stood in a rousing standing ovation.

This has been my only discomfort with the speech, because here was one  politician who clearly motivated and inspired the over-sized crowd(minus the aforementioned handful of Occu-pests, who were inspired in another way.) None of the Presidential contenders who made speeches at CPAC this week had attracted this kind of crowd, nor this kind of enthusiastic support.  This leads me to a conclusion and some of my readers may again chastise me for it,  but the question is aimed squarely at the GOP establishment, and to a certain degree, at us:  I believe we are running the wrong candidate, because among all those still in the race, none of them have roused quite this level of overwhelming support.

Governor Palin is able to inspire people because they perceive her as real, genuine, and sincere, and she connects with them in a way I haven’t seen in a politician in a long time, if ever.  To see her sidelined in 2012 is disheartening to many, and having talked to a few who were in the room, the end of her speech was a sort of let-down, because, as one asked me directly: “What are we doing?  Why isn’t she our candidate?”

Having replayed the speech two full times, and having now examined closely the reactions of the crowd, I can’t help but agree with my friend.  The establishment may not like her, but the grass-roots conservatives love her, and the GOP establishment’s attempts to diminish her is a strategy they undertake at their own peril.  Governor Palin is able to rouse audiences from their seats, and conservatives in general from complacency, and even the Occu-pests cannot resist her, the last of these drawn like moths to a flame singing their wings.   It’s not possible to ignore that while some in the media, and in the party establishments have claimed she is “irrelevant,” today’s keynote address and the response of the crowd clearly demonstrates the fallacy of that meme.

Well done indeed, Governor Palin, and Happy Birthday!

Here is the complete video, in three segments(Courtesy the Barracuda Brigade):

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xxtId0FW8Q] [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcs4yiVW33w] [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-uxo7qtno8]

Saturday’s CPAC Session and Governor Palin

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Pointing the Way

Many “Palinistas” and many conservatives in general are wondering what former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will say when she delivers the keynote address on Saturday, the final day of the CPAC conference in Washington DC.  There’s no way of knowing in advance but as with any such appearance by Governor Palin, I expect she’ll offer further insight into the 2012 election cycle, and almost certainly will “rally the troops.”  I think most are waiting to see what she’ll say, and whether they’re establishment wing of the GOP, or grass-roots conservative activists, you can bet that they will want to know her thoughts on virtually anything about which she’s willing to speak.  As with any event at which she speaks, there will be people coming in from all over the country to hear her, and a little birdy at CPAC has already told me there is a bit of a buzz in expectation.

What Governor Palin offers that draws such crowds (to the chagrin and despair of the GOP establishment and the leftist media respectively,) is her plainspoken approach to identifying the problems our nation faces, and the facts that are inescapable about our current plight.  She is not merely a doomsayer, however, as she offers concise solution sets for addressing our problems, generally to an audience of grass-roots folk who are anxious to see the implementation of the sorts of reforms she advocates.  One could scarcely imagine a presentation in which she would not offer ideas about the way forward, but not only for conservatives, but also for the whole body of the American people.

Since her announcement of October 5th on Mark Levin’s show that she was not going to be seeking the Republican nomination “at this time,” many held onto hopes that she would later enter the race.  In the intervening period, she has made frequent appearances on FoxNews as a contributor, including during primary and caucus coverage in the early states.  In recent weeks, she has taken the position that she would like to see the primary process continue, because she believed that there was still a good deal of vetting left to do.  As part of that strategy, she said if she were a South Carolina voter, she would vote for Newt Gingrich, and this seemed to have some effect as Tea Party folk turned out for Gingrich in overwhelming numbers despite the scorched-earth campaign of Mitt Romney in a state where the supposed Tea Party-favored governor had endorsed and was stumping with Romney.

To many in the GOP establishment, Palin is a thorn in their sides.  They realize that her populist streak actually makes of her a threat to the status quo they enjoy.  What she will say on Saturday, whatever its content, is sure to have an effect on the election cycle of 2012, if only because so many conservatives seem to key on her for direction.  Among grass-roots activists, she is able to fire them up and she brings an enthusiasm to such events born of her optimism about America.  When she speaks of America and Americans, it seems always to be informed by her own love of both, and her devotion to the country her own children will inherit.

I know there will be Americans who will view the CPAC keynote with an abiding interest in what Governor Palin will say, and in the way she will say it.  She has a flair for turning phrases that will permeate the blogosphere, and that will rebound for weeks or months through social media, in a sort of long-lasting echo carried by those who admire her commitment to the country’s future.  Some “Palinistas” are having viewing parties, frequently virtual, but all in the spirit of hearing her message and carrying it forward.  As an observer of social media, it is always amazing to see how many people become thoroughly energized and invigorated in the political sphere in the wake of one of her major speeches.

Saturday will be a fascinating day if only to watch the growing buzz around Governor Palin’s speech, but conservatives will be most interested in the content of her address.  She is scheduled to speak at 4:30 Eastern, or 1:30 Pacific.  CPAC is scheduled to be televised on C-SPAN, and the live stream on CPAC.org should be active.  Whatever she offers Saturday, it will likely cause a stir simply because the conservative movement simply cannot get enough of Palin’s common sense applications of conservative ideas.

Note: If you’re a Tammy Bruce subscriber, she’s posted that the TAMChat will be open during the speech. These sorts of virtual viewing parties are springing up all over the Internet.

Flash: Obama to Push Fake Accommodation to Religious Institutions

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Jake Tapper, ABCNews

In a move that is clearly aimed at lessening the political damage to his administration, but will factually do almost nothing to address the issue, ABCNews is reporting that Barack Obama or some spokesman will reportedly make a statement Friday on an alleged concession to or accommodation of religious organizations on the contraception coverage  mandate.  The proposed “solution” would mere shift the responsibility under the edict to  insurers.  All of this is an attempt to satisfy his leftist base, while making it appear that he’s substantially changing his position where the rest of us are concerned.  Shifting the object of the edict from religious institutions to their insurance providers is not really making a factual change in the results, but it changes the way it will operate, giving the President political cover.

Ladies and gentlemen, don’t be fooled: Obama still intends to shove this down the throats of people of faith, and the fact that they’re going to put the onus on insurers does nothing to alleviate the concerns.  It simply means that religious organizations will have no choice except to insure people on policies that will have federally-mandated coverage requirements, because what the administration will now do is bully insurers instead of religious entities.  That’s not a concession, and it’s not an accommodation, and while it may offer a technical out for Obama to claim he hadn’t been oppressing the religious freedoms of Americans, it merely means that he will oppress their religious free exercise indirectly.

The insurance mandate will remain.  All that will change is who will be compelled to enforce it.  At that point, what you must admit is that Obama is accommodating anything, but merely shifting the means by which his goal will be obtained.  This is the typical leftist approach: When caught with your hand in the cookie jar, quickly withdraw it, while merely reaching with the other hand into the same jar, hoping you will not notice.  Expect the media to portray this as “Obama caves,” but that’s a lie.   He isn’t caving.  He isn’t changing his objective.  He still intends to force Catholics, and other Christians to comply with the goal of seeing to it that all contraceptive measures are available to all women through health-care insurance.

Don’t fall for it.  It’s a political show, but the net effect is meaningless. He isn’t surrendering the idea of coercing people of faith, but merely trying to convince them that his coercion is aimed at insurers.  You can watch Jake Tapper’s report on ABCNews here:

[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.1012280&w=425&h=350&fv=]

This isn’t even accommodation. Let’s be honest with ourselves and admit that Obama is still going to shove this down the throats of faith-based organizations, and there is no way around it. This may fool some people into believing that Obama has made an accommodation, but at the end of the day, this still results in a government edict on how money from people of faith will be spent.  So he shifted responsibility to the insurers, but this changes nothing about the results. Nothing.  Don’t let up.  This isn’t Obama surrendering on the issue, but instead  merely trying to re-frame the issue to his advantage.  It’s still a dictatorial action, no matter how we slice it.

 

Media Revealed: Clueless About Religion

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Imposing His Morality

Watching some of the coverage of Barack Obama’s edict issued to Catholic organizations, it’s become painfully clear to me that many so-called “journalists” don’t have the first clue why this is upsetting.  They simply don’t understand it.  In their thinking, this isn’t a religious issue at all.  In their view, matters of conscience begin and end at the steps of the church, demonstrating that they not only believe in a separation of church and state, but church and life.  What they admitted in their shocked confusion over the back-lash is what I have always known, and you have likely suspected too:  To these people, religion is a belief system that is practiced behind the closed doors of a church, and the very notion that your beliefs extend to the rest of your life is foreign to them.  While many in the media claim to be members of various churches, one clearly gets the sense that many are not all too serious about it, and this issue has revealed them as insincere.

After all, if you’re a committed and observant Catholic, you hold with the teachings of the Church that contraception (never mind abortion) contradicts God’s will.  These people in media understand this about Catholics, but they are astonished when Catholics and others react badly against a governmental edict that requires them to support contraception through compulsory add-ons to insurance plans, or through tax dollars.  For them, the issue is your private faith, to which they will agree you are entitled, versus your adherence to it in all facets of your life.  In effect, what they suppose is that while you may rightly hold your own beliefs, that when you exit the church you must set aside your beliefs in all the rest of your daily life.  In essence, they believe in a separation of your religious beliefs from practical life.

This is a telling revelation, and it correlates well with this class of bloody hypocrites, who may profess this religious belief or that, but seldom adhere to it in their own lives.  To them, religion is about private professions of a belief in a crowd of like-minded people, assembled at best within the walls of a church, hidden from society and closed in from all the world.  They cannot conceive of the notion that you might adhere to a given church, accept all its teachings, and extend their practice into your daily lives.  You oppose abortion on the basis of religion?  Fine, they will say, but if you’re a doctor, that doesn’t relieve you of the duty to perform one if a patient demands it.  They demand doctors, nurses, hospitals, pharmacists, and everyone else to abandon their faith once they exit their homes or churches.

In their view, religion is something dispensable, like deciding whether it is too warm for a sweater, or too cool for shorts on the way to a picnic.  They project their own loosely-defined, carelessly adopted choices of conscience onto every other man and woman in the culture, and expect that all others would so easily drop their beliefs at the command of a President, or any other dictatorial thug, just on his say-so.  It is much like the attitude of Romney over Romneycare in the debate with Rick Santorum: “It’s not worth getting angry about.”   This disconnect in their professed religious views from their daily lives is born of the fact that in the first instance, most of them are liars, and starting with the commandment to “not bear false witness,” they begin very early in their careers to do precisely that.

If you slant a story about a person to make his actions seem worse, or better, you’re bearing false witness.  What has modern journalism become if not a perpetual parade of people trotted out before some camera, or interviewed and quoted in print who bears false witness against somebody else?  When this becomes the touchstone of your profession, and the way to score the lead story, and the above-the-fold headline, you can bet the long-term affect will be to destroy one’s sense of what is a lie and what isn’t.  Mad?  Yes, of course we become angry!  This should offend you nearly as badly as the story in this case, because it reveals something else too:  It is reported that President Obama and some in his inner circle dismissed warnings from some others in the administration that there could be a back-lash, and that they are somewhat surprised now that the back-lash is well under way.   In short, the media is surprised, but so is the President’s inner circle, and for exactly the same reason:  Obama, despite his professions of a Christian faith and twenty years in Jeremiah Wright’s church, doesn’t take his faith all that seriously either.  Like many liberals, it was all about appearances.

This also explains something else, if you’re observant:  The same people who are shocked about this reveal why they hold such naive views about radical Islamists.  Think of it:  They don’t understand that Muslims motivated to terror by radical Imams might well actually believe every word they’ve been taught as they throw themselves into crowded streets with bombs strapped to their chests.  In short, they are willing to act on the strength of their beliefs, whether you and I agree with those beliefs being a separate matter.  In the worldview of the left, this is a confounding issue of politics gone haywire, and it is why they do not understand how the Arab Spring is rapidly undergoing a climate change of a different sort.  In the main, this is either because they don’t hold religious convictions, or at least not firmly, or because they believe that political expedience trumps all other causes.  Either way, what they fail to understand is that a Catholic doctor of Obstetrics and Gynecology may have matters of conscience or faith that prohibit the performing of abortions.

To them, matters of faith are strictly personal, and should have no bearing on one’s dealings or relations with others.  These people have no understanding of committed, observantly faithful practitioners of any religion.  They think “free exercise” is a matter of speech at most, and even then should remain in church at its most public.  Their perspective is that of a shallow faith, not made of actions tied to beliefs, but of words tied mainly to doubts or dis-beliefs. They cannot understand why one’s religious beliefs should matter at all in one’s performance in the workplace, or why they might affect the diligence with which one adheres to the vows of one’s marriage.  In their view, these things are all superficial and transient, meaning that when they seem shocked and confused over how this could possibly be seen by Catholics, or Christians in general, as a matter of the interference by the state in the free exercise of religion, most are not faking it.  They really don’t “get it,” and it’s because they have no idea that faith and religious instruction actually informs the views of many millions of Americans.  They expect you to make professions of faith, but never to act upon it.

In short, they really are clueless.  And besides, “it’s not worth getting angry about.”

 

ACLU Nut Puts Right to the Pill Ahead of Freedom of Religion

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Switching Contexts

Here we go.  I published an article earlier this morning, and here’s a piece of video that perfectly demonstrates my point.  This sort of nonsense must be stopped, and we must be the generation who stops it, or our country is finished.  It starts with defining the concept of “rights,” and this ACLU basket-case is a perfect case study in how the left discards actual liberties in the name of concocted ones.  Listen to what this twit says, and recognize, given what I posted earlier, what she is really doing here.  It’s vile and disgusting, and the ACLU is moving from merely Anti-American to criminally complicit in the overthrow of our constitution.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tcc6o2Ra-g8]

Feel free to surf on over to the ACLU blog on this, if you can stomach it.

Religion, Obama, and Your Liberties

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Reaching for Your Soul

To watch television and listen to the arguments of leftists is to punish your mind.  I have heard and watched the most absurd switching of contexts I have seen in quite some time, and I must tell you that if the left is permitted to win on this one, you’re done.  The country is done.  Liberty is dead.  These dictatorial thugs have perfected the ludicrous formula of switching contexts to an extent I have never seen, but you must know of it in full.  This propaganda form would be artful if were not so evil, but in this case, it’s clumsily obvious.  It is nevertheless effective against the sort of people who are easily swayed by half-baked arguments. They say:  “Barack Obama isn’t oppressing people and institutions of faith, but instead, and incredibly, freeing their victims from oppression.”

Yes, that’s right: According to the talking points of every leftwing hack from Jehmu Greene(another Soros shill on FoxNews,) to James Carney(aptly named as he conducts his three-ring circus in the briefing room of the White House,) the word has gone out from on high:  President Obama’s severe policy is not a breach of religious freedoms, but instead the elevation of freedoms for women.  This clown-show should not be acknowledged in the usual fashion.  This is tyranny writ large, and if you’re still not quite seeing the threat explicit in all this, let me do my best to explain it.  We have here two contradictory premises, and one of them is a logical farce, while the other is a natural law.  I’m going to solicit your attention while we differentiate among the two.

The right of conscience(freedom of religion, thought, speech, publishing and the like,) arise from the natural fact that no person can control your mind, or what you believe.  All they can do is to silence you by coercion and naked aggression, but nothing on Earth can forcibly change your mind if you are determined against it.  This gives rise to the old lament that “you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.”  I can chide you, I can threaten you, and I can even do you harm, but I cannot compel you to change your mind, and that is the root of that freedom: Your mind and its contents are yours, and solely.  No government, no dictator, no King, and no society can command you to change your mind.

Place this against the notion of a “freedom to access contraception.”  That sounds great for those who want it, but that’s not where the left ends their hunt.  They now make of it a “right to equal access to contraception.”   Once you make of a thing a “right,” then nobody can interfere with you legally.  However, all of this flies in the face of nature, and therefore the very concept of “rights.”  What if there is no contraception available?  Is nature violating your rights?  Is the market violating your rights?  Is the government violating your rights?  This abominable argument is based on a nonsensical premise that you can have a right, any right, of any sort or in any context to that which must be provided in some way by others.

There is no such right.  There can be no such right.  This is not a right, but a wish, or a demand, and call it what you will, but to call it a “right” is to demean and debase what a “right” is.  A right is a natural entitlement of liberty that confers no positive obligation upon another, nor requires the consent of another for its free exercise, but arises solely from the natural fact of one’s existence.  How can one then claim a condom, or a birth control pill, or a spermicidal gel, or any of the other myriad forms of contraception are a matter of rights?  To have such a right would compel others to provide it, and that’s a “positive obligation,” and to exercise it, you would need the consent of no other, but what if none wish to manufacture it, sell it, or prescribe it?  It cannot be a right by any measure.  There can be no rights to a thing which others must provide.

What is worst among all the criminal edicts implicit in this case is that Obama is instructing institutions of faith that they must provide, as a matter of “rights,” access to contraception via health insurance plans.  Now he will command people to provide insurance for coverage they do not wish to provide on grounds of conscience, and as bad as this seems, and it is truly monstrous, I tell you now that this is the result of permitting tin-pot thugs with suits and ties from either party to tell you anything about what you may or must sell or purchase, and under what conditions you may or must do so.

What is being done in this case is not merely an affront to people of faith, but to all people everywhere of every persuasion and of any inclination, except statism.  In a nutshell, an actual right, the natural right of conscience, endorsed by our First Amendment, and allegedly guaranteed us by our government, has been trampled in the name of a non-existent, impossible, and unenforceable right to the minds, bodies, souls, and properties of others.  This is the radical boot of Barack Obama on the throats of Americans everywhere, and those too foolish to understand the meaning of this assault on their precious liberties are either too young to understand them, or too submissively dependent to care.

I am laying down a challenge to my readers, to be spread as far and wide among institutions of faith, be they churches, mosques, synagogues or temples, or the charity and healthcare facilities and organizations under their umbrellas:  Do not yield to this.  There is talk of some sort of negotiation.  Any who negotiate this point are sell-outs.  Any who yield are collaborators.  This is not a matter of insurance policies, but a matter of urgent necessity in the name of liberty.  I urge resistance.  I urge non-compliance.  I do not and would not ordinarily undertake such strong language, but I believe it is my duty as an American, knowing full well that this exceeds all boundaries on governmental authority prescribed by our framers, and knowing that this will lead only to more tyrannical edicts issuing forth from the despot’s mouth.

That’s right, I said it.  Barack Obama is a despot.  Report me to AttackWatch if you don’t like it.  Is there any greater treason to be undertaken by any man entrusted with power but to reach out to the consciences of others and demand at gunpoint: “Your thoughts and your beliefs, or your life?”  If my readers fail to remember every other word I have written, remember these few: Government is force, and nothing more, and to yield your mind to its threats of force is a surrender to an unnatural dictator at the most fundamental level.

No person should permit this.  No person should surrender to this. No person.  You have seen now the ultimate bastardization of the concept of “rights,” and it is being done to you as you sit in quiet contemplation of the spectacle, as your appointed leaders contemplate their own surrender in the name of the kingdoms they have built for themselves by the graces of your charity and by your acts in the name of your faith.  If they will not lead, and stand up to this tyrant, you must do so by unseating your cardinals, bishops, ministers, priests, reverends, pastors, rabbis, and any other leader to whom you look for guidance on such matters.  If they will not lead now, when the cause is greatest, and when you need them most, you need them…not at all.

Romney, Money, and Politics: Why It Shouldn’t Matter (But Will)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Does Money Matter?

AdWeek is reporting that in South Carolina, Mitt Romney outspent Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum combined.  This clearly wasn’t enough, but Romney isn’t making the same “error” in Florida, as current reports suggest Romney has outspent Gingrich in Florida by a margin of five-to-one.  That’s a significant spending advantage, and what we may learn is that while a two-to-one advantage may not make a big enough difference, if Romney pulls off the victory in Florida, five-to-one may be the magic number for a Massachusetts liberal. I am not opposed to money in politics, because I think in many ways, the Supreme Court ruled properly in saying that money equates to free speech, but I also think it’s up to we voters to be somewhat discerning when when we see such a disparity.

After all, money has always been the mother’s milk of politics, and any understanding of reality must include a recognition of this fact. Does it mean we should attempt to contrive laws that freeze out money?  Elections in cycle after cycle demonstrate the fact that those who wish to donate to some candidate or cause are always able to engineer some way around such laws, and the reason is simple: It’s their money. Legislators have attempted to place hard limits on campaign contributions for years, but the problem is that who it winds up hampering is rank-and-file voters, while those with the money to burn are able to avail themselves of the various loopholes in the various laws.  Worse, these laws are frequently written in such a way to run to the advantage of one group or political party, so that somebody is always disadvantaged, but most frequently it’s you and I.

Given this, voters are right to wonder about what is the real solution, but I think the answer is very clear:  We need more citizens who actually follow this information more closely, and we need very broad disclosure laws that merely require contributors and donors to identify themselves.  I realize we have some laws to this end now, but the real problem is that few people actually bother to avail themselves of the information that exists within easy reach at such sites as OpenSecrets.org. No law can protect us from the lack of curiosity or diligence most voters demonstrate.

For many voters, they want to be spoon-fed the issues a few weeks before the elections by the establishment media.  They aren’t to be bothered from their other diversions throughout the intervening period between elections unless an issue arises that affects them in that immediate time-frame.   While one can excuse some of that, as I too become weary with politics from time to time, the fact is that most people devote less than one hour per week to hard news, or significant information gathering about politics, or the condition of the country.

Some have likened the pop-culture to “cakes and circuses,” referencing a period in Roman decline when the ruling elite offered their people  food and entertainment to keep them from paying attention to the fact that their culture was dying.  I tend to agree with this assessment, but I also know a large number of the people most thoroughly engulfed by the pop-culture don’t even really bother to vote.  If you want to minimize the role of money in elections, the truth is that nothing nullifies its importance and influence more than an informed and determined electorate that already knows the issues and knows its own mind.

A Note About The Marine Incident

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

A Forgotten Border

Much has been made of this incident on which I reported Friday, and it reminds me of something else I witnessed many years ago.  I was serving in the Army in Germany, and the year was 1985.  I hadn’t been in my unit there very long when an opportunity arose to see a bit of the German countryside.  Of course, the area I was able to look at on this trip wasn’t something most people younger than 35-40 really remember or understand, and it wasn’t a pleasure trip.  Periodically, the battalion would charter a bus and take all the new people who’d arrived over the last ninety days on a tour of the border between West Germany and Czechoslovakia.  It was a part of the unit’s effort to show us the ground we would likely defend, and the nature of the enemy we would face if a war broke out between the Soviet Union and NATO.  On that fateful trip, our tour triggered an “international incident” due to the behavior of one of my fellow soldiers.

At various points along the path, the bus would stop, and we would unload and be told about the things at which we were looking.  One of those stops took us right up to the border, onto a road that runs parallel and on the west edge of what had been the frontier between East and West.  We could see the fences, and the razor-wire were hung with dew on the cold, damp, dreary morning.  In easy earshot, never mind rifle shot, of a guard tower, we unloaded and looked around.  We were under strict instructions to do no pointing or make any gestures of any kind, because they could be taken as a sign of hostility, and could lead at the very least to a serious incident, since the guard towers had not only machine-gun emplacements, but also cameras with which to document our tour.  One of the geniuses in my unit thought it would be a great idea to walk off by himself and drop trow facing East, and take a whiz facing directly at the tower.

The public affairs officer who had us on the tour saw this and fairly tackled the guy.  It was too late, as we could hear the rapid shutter snaps as a pictures were taken.  It was nearly a three hour ride by bus back to our installation, and nobody said a word.  As we pulled up at the Headquarters building, our Battalion Commander and our Sergeant Major(the battalion’s highest ranking enlisted man) were waiting on the sidewalk.   The incident had been reported already up the chain on the Eastern Bloc side, traveled through diplomatic channels, and down through our chain of command, beating the bus back to our post by more than two hours.  The Sergeant Major stuck his head in the door of the bus as fast as it opened, and pointed at the offending soldier and said simply his name and “You’re with me, NOW!”  He and the Lt. Colonel disappeared through a crowd of suits I hadn’t noticed before, but our comrade in arms was effectively gone.  This incident began the end of his short Army career.  Even in 1985, the Department of Defense didn’t take lightly the notion of giving the “adversary” a propaganda victory.

The reason I recount this to you is because on Friday, after Congressman Allen West’s statement made mention that the Marines in the current incident should receive Field Grade Article non-judicial punishment, and there was murmuring from some quarters that nothing should happen to them at all.  I wanted you to know that such a punishment was precisely the first step in disciplining a soldier back in 1985 when our unit’s urination incident occurred.  While it’s easy for you and I to say that yes, “Hooah, piss on those corpses,”  more is at stake in this situation than four Marines’ momentary indiscretion.  At present, our government is negotiating with the Taliban, and whether you or I, but particularly those Marines like it or not, they are servants of this nation’s foreign policy, no matter how much any of us think that policy is mistaken. Soldiers don’t make foreign policy, but must serve the chain of command in implementing it.

My fellow veterans will know precisely what I mean, because they understand that once you put on that uniform, you are not a sovereign individual for the length of your service.  This is one of the reasons I chastise police officers who occasionally like to think of themselves in terms of a military organization.  As I point out to them, if they’re in the midst of a stand-off, they can surrender their badge and walk away, and other than the difficulty they might have in ever working in that field again, they face no real consequences.  If a soldier tries that on the battlefield, he may well be shot.  It’s for this reason, this matter of unit discipline that these soldiers must be prosecuted and punished in some form by the chain of command.  I don’t like it in this case, and I wish it weren’t so, but that’s the truth of the matter, and I owe it to tell you so, much as any person among their chain of command might feel sympathy for their position, but must nevertheless contend with the issue at hand.

It’s for this reason that I understand Allen West’s statement all too well.  It’s the mark of a solid leader that he understands what must happen in this case, despite the fact that he may well not like it. These four Marines are in for a hard time over this incident, and you had better prepare to read of their eventual punishment.

On the other hand, I suspect the Obama administration may seek to make an unduly harsh example of these four, and I hope that isn’t the case.  Since the State Department has been negotiating quietly with the Taliban for some time, I expect this will now become a new sore spot.  While I believe that we shouldn’t be negotiating with these people, it is nevertheless current US foreign policy, otherwise known as “elections have consequences.”  I just hope for the sake of these Marines that they’re not dealt with in a severe fashion in order to appease the Taliban.  That’s the biggest worry they now face, and I hope this will serve as a reminder to service-members everywhere that you are an instrument of US foreign policy, so it’s best not to do these things, and it’s certainly not a good idea to record it, much as I suspect I’d have felt and perhaps acted in much the same way had I been among them.

Note: For those of you who are too young to really remember the Cold War, or in fact, for anybody who wishes to refresh their memory, I’d encourage you to check out this site, from which the image above was gathered, as the gentleman who runs the site seems to have served there contemporaneously with me, and you can learn a good deal about what it was really like.

US Cranes Company Policy: No Hiring Until Obama Gone

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

No Work Means No Jobs - Thank Obama

You might think this is a joke, and it sounds outrageous, but imagine how poor Bill Looman feels:  It’s his company and his policy.  Looman began posting signs on his trucks and properties roughly six months ago, but now it’s gone viral.  Looman explained that it’s not that he’s actively choosing to refuse to hire but that he says it’s not possible to hire under the economic condition the Obama administration’s policies.  In short, this isn’t the course he would have chosen, but it’s simply not economically feasible to hire.  I’m certain thousands of other businesses share his sentiment, and the employment numbers reflect this reality.

The same philosophy that brought us the disaster of Obamanomics has put forth the notion that businesses ought to hire as a matter of some form of charity.  What such wizards don’t quite grasp is that this is what has gotten us into the trouble in the first place.  The housing market collapse was largely due to giving people loans and mortgages for which there was little chance they would repay based on credit history, as an act of charity.

This sort of policy-making is an attempt to short-circuit the free market, but it never works.  Those who argue Looman should hire even though it would be an economic detriment to his company simply haven’t grasped the fact that if companies implement that policy, it will destroy more companies, and once they’re destroyed, their current employees will be joining the proposed new employees in the unemployment line.  Hiring people for the sake of hiring them won’t fix the economy, either, because growth is fueled in part by increases in productivity which doesn’t improve with idle workers hired for the sake of “giving somebody a job.”

Companies aren’t charities.  They exist to make money, and create wealth, and when they are able to do so, jobs are created not as the cause of the company’s prosperity, but as an effect of its growth.  This is the fact Looman’s signs are intended to convey: You can’t hire workers when you have no work for them to do.  That seems obvious to those of us who confront reality daily, but those in the Obama administration who continue to push radical, job-killing policies simply don’t understand economics or free  markets, or worse don’t hold prosperity of the American economy as the goal for which they’re working.

Bill Looman, US Cranes LLC

11Alive, an NBC affiliate, sent a reporter to Waco, GA, to speak to employer Bill Looman.  Looman, a Marine Corps veteran explained “Can’t afford it,” Tuesday evening. “I’ve got people that I want to hire now, but I just can’t afford it. And I don’t foresee that I’ll be able to afford it unless some things change in D.C.”

He went on to say: “I just spent 10 years in the Marine Corps protecting the rights of people… the First Amendment, and the Second Amendment and the [rest of the] Bill of Rights,” he said. “Lord knows they’re calling me at 2 in the morning, all night long, and voicing their opinion. And I respect their right to do that. I’m getting a reaction, a lot of it’s negative, now. But a lot of people are waking up.”

Looman is now being harassed by some who are unhappy with his signs, but he seems undeterred.  See a video at 11Alive Here.

Anti-Shariah Conference Relocated Due to Threats of Violence

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

Not If I Can Help It!

There’s something deeply disturbing about the fact that Christians who are concerned about the spread of Shariah into the United States cannot speak openly without threats of violence.  WND is reporting that Cornerstone Church of Madison, TN, is was forced to find another venue for its Preserving Freedom Conference.  It had been scheduled to take place at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville, but the Hotel management decided to cancel their contract due to threats and intimidation. Why Eric Holder isn’t investigating this, rather than sending guns into the hands of Mexican drug cartels?  If Americans can’t discuss these issues without threats of violence, all the clap-trap about how “we’re not at war with Islam” is just empty rhetoric.  If Americans can be threatened and intimidated in this way, the Islamists are already winning.

It astonishing to me that in the first instance, a hotel would cower like this.  What isn’t clear is whether the Hutton Hotel’s management forwarded threatening and intimidating emails and letters to authorities, or otherwise filed a report with police.  The speakers scheduled for the event included Pamela Geller, Jay Sekulow, and Geert Wilders, among many others.  Stifling the free speech of Christian Americans is apparently fine, but you’d better not say the first critical word about Islam, Shariah, or the widespread notion in the Muslim world that America must be destroyed.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are under attack on all fronts.  While the Islamists attempt to undermine American culture and law, the left is doing the same.  The Islamists do it from within their religious institutions, while the leftists do it under the auspices of government and popular media.  Nobody will be immune to the ultimate result of this course we’re on, and it’s senseless to pretend that we can take some sort of “wait and see” approach.

As Geert Wilders noted:

“Do not allow Islam to gain a foothold here,” Wilders said. “Islam is dangerous. Islam wants to establish a state on earth, ruled by Islamic Shariah law. Islam aims for the submission, whether by persuasion, intimidation or violence, of all non-Muslims, including Christians.”

If we cave in to threats and intimidation, they have already established a foothold.  This will not stop until we confront it openly.  Many like to minimize the threat posed by the spread of Islamic culture in America, with Shariah law being imported and used to determine cases in American courts.  We’ve already seen how ths has worked in Europe, particularly France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, but if this is permitted to take root here, we will face a spreading misery worse even than our current political leadership inflicts upon us at present.

Americans of any description or any faith should be free to speak their minds without fear of violence.  That our federal government now essentially turns a blind eye to this growing threat should tell you something about the mindset of our current administration.  Reversing this course is the purpose for which we must nominate and elect a real conservative, and not some noodle-spine technocrat.  At this time in American history, there really is no room for that sort of “moderation.”  The only compromise between life and death is a slow death.  We mustn’t permit this to be our country’s fate.

Update: Newt Gingrich Calls for Ban on Shariah in US

 

Now They’re Going After Crockett Keller

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

The Complaints Have Come In

I have to admit that I am surprised it has taken this long.  The left and the Islamic front in this country is thoroughly embedded and I am not surprised that these people would immediately turn to government, in this case, the state of Texas, on the basis of discrimination.  These people all complain about the importance of the first Amendment when it suits them, but when it doesn’t, well, they will ignore it as long as they are able. Crockett Keller has the right to refuse service to anybody he wishes, on any basis whatever, and what the complainers will now contend is that since he is certified by the state of Texas to be a Concealed Handgun License instructor, that anti-discrimination laws extend to him.

KVUE is reporting that the State is now considering whether to deprive him of this source of revenue, and guess what?  Keller isn’t backing down.  Good for him!

If you haven’t heard the radio advertisement at the heart of the controversy, I covered it here.  Patriots, many of us got a chuckle from this ad, but Mr. Keller’s rights are no laughing matter.  He has a right to decide with whom he will do business, and if the State doesn’t like it, that’s too bad for the State.  In KVUE’s story, Keller is reported to have said the following:

“I call it exercising my right to choose who I instruct in how to use a dangerous weapon,” said Keller.

Indeed. Frankly, in my view, he’s exercising a responsibility of instructors under the law.  If you missed his original disclaimer, he said:

“If you are a socialist liberal and/or voted for the current campaigner-in-chief, please do not take this class. You have already proven that you cannot make a knowledgeable and prudent decision as required under the law. Also, if you are a non-Christian Arab, or Muslim, I will not teach you the class.  Once again, with no shame, I am Crockett Keller[phone number omitted.] Thank you and God bless America.”

Two things are apparent to me from the KVUE story:

By virtue of the KVUE reporter’s punctuation, the reader is being slightly misled.  These were not precisely the words Mr. Keller spoke, or the way in which he spoke them.  My quotation above is verbatim, directly from the radio ad, minus only his phone number, as noted.

The KVUE story has omissions and punctuation that change slightly the meaning, in a nuanced fashion.  It’s reasonably accurate, but I would prefer in a case of such controversy that the reporter would bother to get it 100% right.

Nevertheless, I am still inclined to say that Mr. Keller’s right to do commerce with whomever he pleases. His first Amendment rights apply also.

Back to the KVUE story, it reports that a statement has been released by the Texas Department of Public Safety on the matter:

“The Texas Department of Public Safety certifies individuals to teach coursework and provide training required to be taken by individuals seeking to qualify for a Texas concealed handgun license. Certified instructors are required to comply with all applicable state and federal statutes. Conduct by an instructor that denied service to individuals on the basis of race, ethnicity or religion would place that instructor’s certification by the Department at risk of suspension or revocation. The Department became aware of the statements in question yesterday and has begun an investigation into the matter. The Department will take appropriate administrative action based on the findings from the investigation.”

Given the inaccurate quote of Mr. Keller’s ad as posted in the story on KVUE, I have made a request of the TxDPS for a link to their full statement if it is posted online, or otherwise confirm the statement for accuracy and completeness. If this turns out to be accurate, I will be making a recommendation to all my readers who care about free speech and matters of conscience.  This issue has come up in other forms before, for instance in the case of doctors who do not wish for reasons of conscience to perform the procedure, whether they were in the military, or in a corporate health-care environment. In any event, I am waiting to see what TxDPS provides.  I will update this story as more information becomes available.

I’ll be honest with you.  If you voted for Obama, I don’t think you have the requisite judgment to carry a handgun, concealed or otherwise, particularly if you’re now contemplating voting for him again.  I can just hear the scowling of leftists. They always whine about “choice” and “conscience” when it comes down to what they will or won’t do, but let some poor old guy in west-central Texas express his choice and his conscience, and they go crazy.