Mr. Trump is Right about Monuments

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I watched Donald Trump’s news conference yesterday (August 15, 2017) and agree with most of what he said. The only disagreement I have is that I do not believe that economic growth in itself will improve race relations. However, he is correct that it is hypocritical to take Confederate monuments down and still support monuments to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. The Left, big business, and establishment Republicans like Mitch McConnell are doing their best to turn people into rootless, homeless machines who work for the technocratic state. If history is erased except for a whitewashed history that supposedly is non-controversial, this helps produce the robot-like, echo-chamber world they desire. I have ancestors who fought on both sides in the War between the States. I am a member of Sons of Confederate Veterans. I find the removal of monuments to Robert E. Lee and others who were involved with the Confederacy to be a travesty, an act of historical vandalism fueled by corrupt “history professors” and other members of the Academic Left, the radical Left in general, and the corporate Right to destroy the heritage of an entire group of people. The sheer hypocrisy of such people is astounding. They ignore the fact that most people in the North supported slavery because it kept blacks from moving into their states. They ignore the racism of Lincoln–even most of the Abolitionists were racists. They ignore the fact that one of their most hated figures, Nathan Bedford Forrest, supported full civil rights for blacks in his old age. They ignore the fact that many of the Founding Fathers were slave owners, including those mentioned above, Washington and Jefferson. They ignore the fact that General Ulysses S. Grant owned slaves and refused to release them after the war until the Thirteenth Amendment was passed. Related to that, they ignore the fact that Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation only applied to the Confederate States, not to the other states that remained part of the United States. They pay attention to the Succession Documents of the deep South states, ignoring other motivations for war in the middle South in which states opposed Lincoln’s unjust and illegal invasion of the South. They ignore the brutal war crimes committed by the Union Army, especially but not exclusively under General Sherman. They bring up atrocities in Andersonville yet ignore greater atrocities and a higher death toll in Union POW camps. They ignore the fact that many blacks fought for the South as attested by newspapers covering the war. They ignore the stirring up of the former slaves by corrupt Northern agents during Reconstruction.

Their hypocrisy is bare for all to see, yet the elites–both Democrat and Republican–have power and use that power to suppress dissent and destroy monuments. Organizations such as the SCV and United Daughters of the Confederacy can work to buy up private land on which to put the monuments, but that will not help in places like Baltimore, where the mayor desires not only to remove the monuments in that city, but destroy them. In Durham, North Carolina, a mob destroyed a Confederate monument. These actions are fundamentally evil, and some of the people in Virginia were opposing the removal of the statues and were not part of any white supremacist group. But lumping legitimate groups together with racists such as Nazis is a favorite–if dishonest and unfair–tactic by the Left (and by Mitch McConnell).

Yesterday when I heard Mr. Trump, I felt proud to have him as President of the United States.

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De Facto Treason

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A loose coalition of Democrats, mainstream Republicans, and mainstream media figures are traitors against the United States of America. They are attempting a coup against the duly elected president of the United States, Donald Trump, by appealing to a concocted story of collusion between Mr. Trump and his allies and Russia to alter the results of the 2016 presidential election. With the help of Obama operatives already appointed in the federal agencies, especially the intelligence community, they have orchestrated “leaks” from unnamed sources who may or may not be real persons. I would bet that at least some of them are made up. Those in power do not like to be challenged. Like the bureaucracy of ancient Rome, the powers behind the scenes are often the most powerful figures in a nation. For the United States, that is a dangerous situation, threatening the integrity of what is left of the republic.

None of this should be a surprise. Power corrupts, and the entrenched powers in the federal bureaucracy hate Mr. Trump for challenging them. In the past, outsiders have had mixed results, with Andrew Jackson finding some success, but Jimmy Carter being caught up in battles with his own party in Congress, similar to the situation in which Mr. Trump finds himself.

In addition, anarchists, Marxists, and other radical groups have joined together in violent protests against the expression of any conservative views or of any support for Mr. Trump. They are sending a clear message that if they do not remove Mr. Trump in a bloodless coup, they will take the opposite route. Spoiled, stupid millennials have listened to aging baby boomer New Leftists and are protesting something they know not what. Blinded by public school educations and leftist propaganda from colleges and universities, they have lost the ability to think and only react like zombies. There are exceptions, but most millennials make up a generation second in destructiveness only to the spoiled baby boomers who sponsored the 1960s cultural revolution.

The only group that has kept the United States from falling into a shooting civil war have been the subset of the working classes who supported Mr. Trump. With elites trying to reverse an election through lies and innuendo and a congressional and court witch hunt, those individuals may come to believe their only option is violence.

The politicians and media elites involved in this attempted coup should be arrested and charged with treason. If convicted, they should serve prison time. Freedom of the press does not protect treason and sedition–or at least it should not. However, with both parties caught up in corruption, no one will be held responsible for this coup. Mr. Trump should fight it to the best of his ability. If this coup works, God help us all.

The Sick Sense of Betrayal on Immigration

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For those of us who believe in “American First,” the time beginning April 7, 2017 marked the time we realized that we had been hoodwinked. President Trump went back on his promise to stay out of foreign entanglements and attacked Syria, something he thought was a stupid idea in 2013. Now the situation has worsened, with John F. Kelly at Homeland Security saying that the wall between the United States and Mexico is “just a figure of speech.” Mr. Kelly is soft overall in immigration. As a Trump supporter who attended two rallies and gave $70.00 to his campaign as well as enthusiastically voting for him, I feel as I have been kicked in the gut. From some of the reaction I have seen online, others feel the same way.

Mr. Trump came across as the essence of sincerity on the campaign trail. He clearly communicated that the United States would build a literal wall between Mexico and the U. S. His supporters understood, of course, that if terrain made it the case that concrete or brick was not an option, alternative ways of controlling the border at those points would be found. Now it appears that the term “wall” was merely metaphorical. If that is so, the disastrous and uncontrolled illegal immigration will most likely continue with the Mexican pipeline gushing nearly unchecked.

Mr. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is said to be the one encouraging Mr. Trump to “moderate” his views. Of course, Jared’s wife and Trump’s daughter Ivanka are going to have a strong influence on the President as well. This may not only involve a more internationalist approach to foreign policy and an easing off from planned immigration restrictions, but also a more liberal stance on social issues. The American public did not elect Jared Kushner as President, nor did they elect Ivanka Trump. They elected Donald Trump. Perhaps the Trump we are seeing now is the real Trump and not the person we saw on the campaign trail. I hope that is not the case, but it may be that voters have been intentionally deceived into voting from a man who does not share their values. If that is the case, not only has Mr. Trump effectively guaranteed he will lose in 2020, the Republicans could suffer a devastating electoral defeat in the 2018 mid term elections. Voters do not appreciate betrayal.

Now Mr. Trump did keep his word on one big issue: the Supreme Court. That would have been enough by itself to guarantee my vote for Mr. Trump. However, I feel now as if I de facto voted for Marco Rubio. Mr. Trump, as he is now behaving, is the new Rubio. On foreign policy, he is becoming increasingly indistinguishable from Hillary Clinton. When it comes to which party is in power in the form of the president, the situation has become “six of one, heal-dozen of the other.” Or, as the late George Wallace used to say, “There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties.”

Mr. Trump Joins the Swamp

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There is no feeling worse than realizing that one has been betrayed—that the person in whom you trusted has lied to you and that “you have been had.” This is how I feel now that Donald Trump has betrayed the people who voted for him in part because he promised to keep the United States out of foreign conflicts. Mr. Trump’s missile attack on a Syrian air force base marks the day that Mr. Trump officially joined the swamp. Without waiting for an investigation to determine whether Syria is the culprit of the attack, Mr. Trump, apparently moved by the photo of dead children and babies and by his daughter, Ivanka’s, understandable emotional reaction to the photos, let his emotions overpower his reason. This, in addition to his Neoconservative and Internationalist advisors in foreign policy, moved him to a disastrous decision. He did not stop to consider why Mr. Assad, near victory in the Syrian civil war, would throw that away with a stupid and militarily useless attack on civilians. The rebels themselves are known to have chemical weapons, and they have used them before to provoke the West by blaming the Syrian government, which discarded its chemical weapons years ago. There are other interested parties, such as Israel, who also have access to chemical weapons and who could have assisted in a false flag attack. Without a full investigation, we do not really know.

Corporate interests in the United States, the military-industrial complex, lust for war profits. Mr. Trump is a man of the corporation, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is the representative of the “moderate,” corporate wing of both political parties, and he now has the president’s ear. Mr. Trump is pushing aside his conservative advisors such as Mr. Bannon and Mr. Priebus. He is no longer his own man, trying to drain the swamp; he is merely another stooge of the military-industrial complex, no different from Mrs. Clinton. He has become part of the swamp, part of the problem rather than part of the solution. Worst of all, he has betrayed his strongest supporters and revealed himself to lack the virtue of integrity. In addition, his impulsiveness is frightening since he controls the nuclear button. Voters who supported Mr. Trump instead of Mrs. Clinton to avoid World War III may end up in a devastated world due to a man who refused to let his reason control his passions. To those who say the attack was a one-time thing, consider that the Secretary of State said that the United States is now committed to regime change in Syria, the very kind of thing Mr. Trump condemned in his campaign for president. All that will result is an Islamic state filled with the dead bodies of Christians and Alawites. Mr. Trump will have their blood on his hands.

There are more disturbing trends as well. The nepotism that has characterized the Trump Administration is worsening with the growing influence of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. Ivanka recently had a secret meeting with Planned Parenthood, and her liberal views on abortion and other social issues are well-known. Will this mean a shift in Mr. Trump’s policies on social issues, betraying his strongest supporters once again? This couple have been a continual leftward influence on Mr. Trump, and right now it appears they will win the ideological battle at the White House. Once again, conservatives are betrayed by a Republican president. Once again, the swamp only grows deeper.

Today I will finish removing the Trump/Pence sticker from the back of my truck—a sad task, but now a necessary one.

A Liturgy on the Occasion of the Death of a Beloved Animal

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This is a liturgy I put together for a service of remembrances for a beloved animal companion. You are free to modify the language from the King James style English if you wish. Sorry for the strange spacing; strange things happen when I cut and paste from Word.

A Liturgy on the Occasion of the Death of a Beloved Animal

C: The Lord be with you.

R: And with thy spirit

Let us pray:

Almighty and everliving God, whom all creatures praise and glorify according to their station, we give the thanks for the life of  ****, who offered his/her life in love and companionship to his/her human friends. As we mourn his/her passing, may we be ever mindful of the promise that Thy entire creation will be redeemed and remade, and for the hope that we will see our companion once again. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Our Lord, who livest and reignest with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. A-men.

Canticle: Ps. 148:1-12 (read responsively at the level of the whole verse):

O PRAISE the LORD from the heavens: * praise him in the heights.

Praise him, all ye angels of his: * praise him, all his host.

Praise him, sun and moon: * praise him, all ye stars and light.

Praise him, all ye heavens, * and ye waters that are above the heavens.

Let them praise the Name of the LORD: * for he spake the word, and they were made; he commanded, and they were created.

He hath made them fast for ever and ever: * he hath given them a law which shall not be broken.

Praise the LORD from the earth, * ye dragons and all deeps;

Fire and hail, snow and vapours, * wind and storm, fulfilling his word;

Mountains and all hills; * fruitful trees and all cedars;

Beasts and all cattle; * creeping things and flying fowls;

Kings of the earth, and all peoples; * princes, and all judges of the world;

Young men and maidens, old men and children, praise the Name of the LORD: * for his Name only is excellent, and his praise above heaven and earth.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son * and to the Holy Ghost:

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be * world without end. A-men.

Reading: Genesis 1:24-25:

And God said, let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

C: Here endeth the lesson.

R: Thanks be to God.

C: The Lord be with you.

R: And with thy spirit.

C: Let us pray:

Together:

Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Canticle: Ps. 36:5-9 (read responsively at the level of the whole verse):

Thy mercy, O LORD, reacheth unto the heavens, * and thy faithfulness unto the clouds.

Thy righteousness standeth like the strong mountains: * thy judgments are like the great deep.

Thou, LORD, shalt save both man and beast: how excellent is thy mercy, O God! * and the children of men shall put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

They shall be satisfied with the plenteousness of thy house; * and thou shalt give them drink of thy pleasures, as out of the river.

For with thee is the well of life; * and in thy light shall we see light.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son * and to the Holy Ghost:

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be * world without end. A-men.

Reading: Romans 8:18-23:

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

C: Here endeth the lesson.

R: Thanks be to God.

C: The Lord be with you.

R: And with thy spirit.

C: Let us pray:

We commend this Thy creature **** to Thy loving care, that at the restoration of all creation at the end of time, **** may rise and live again to glorify Thee and to be our friend and companion once more. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son Our Lord, who livest and reignest with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. A-men.

 

A Proposal for a Jeffersonian Supreme Court

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The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on Mr. Trump’s executive order on immigration will be going to the U. S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has claimed, ever since Chief Justice John Marshall’s Marbury v. Madison ruling of 1803, that it is the final arbiter on the constitutionality of a given law. This was, in effect, an illegal seizure of power by the judicial branch of the government from the legislative branch. Thomas Jefferson feared that such a power-play would happen and thus was skeptical of the very existence of a supreme court. He suggested that the Court should play an advisory role on the constitutionality of laws rather than a coercive role. Yet critics may ask, “How can this practically work?” Below, I offer a suggestion.

Suppose there is a question concerning the constitutionality of a law passed by the U. S. Congress or by a state legislature, and the case reaches the Supreme Court. Suppose the court rules the law constitutional. Then it would remain law without further review. But if the court rules, that in the opinion of the majority, it is unconstitutional, then the law would be sent back to the legislative body that passed it for reconsideration based on possible unconstitutionality. If, after such reconsideration, the legislative body decides to rescind the law then the law is repealed. But if, after further review, the legislative body affirms the constitutionality of the law, then it remains law. In that way, the Supreme Court’s ruling is taken seriously, but remains only advisory. A flowchart is below:

supreme-court-reviews-law-for-constitutionality

Shake the Dust off Your Feet

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Those of us who are conservative struggle to know what to do in the face of a militant, hostile, and oftentimes violent version of social “democratic” liberalism. Cutting ties with family, friends, and professional associations is difficult, and most of us want to avoid doing that if possible. However, family and friends who are leftist ideologues make harsh, personal comments that make it difficult if not impossible to sustain meaningful relationships with those people. Professional associations in academia are condemning traditionalist positions; even the Society of Christian Philosophers leadership condemned the great Oxford philosopher Richard Swinburne for his opposition to homosexual practice. These are times of cutting ties on both sides of our sharply divided political spectrum. Mostly it has been the Left who are cutting ties, unfriending people on Facebook, refusing to invite family members home at holidays, and in the case of celebrities, publicly condemning family members for their “offense” of voting for Mr. Trump (as Ashley Judd did). While conservatives tend not to break ties, there are times in which doing such is unavoidable. Below are some of the ties I have cut.

I rarely unfriend people on Facebook, but I have unfriended a few. Some were personally obnoxious and insulting to me; others were indirectly insulting by labeling all conservatives and Trump supporters as racists, sexists, etc. I can even let that go, but some liberals have posted the most obnoxious, mean, hateful posts that I felt I had no choice but to unfriend them. That has only happened three or four times (0ut of 700 FB friends), and I hated having to do it. I am not going to renew my membership in the Society of Christian Philosophers due to its treatment of Professor Swinburne. I decided not to renew my membership in the North Carolina Poetry Society due to a ridiculous sexual harassment policy that would forbid a single man from asking a woman who is a member of that organization out on a date–even if such asking takes place outside the context of a meeting. It is not merely the silliness that merely asking someone out is sexual harassment; it is the evil and arrogant intrusion into people’s private lives.

I am also not renewing my membership in the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Their meetings have become libfests on the unholy trinity of race, class, and gender. Life is too short for me to waste time on such ignorance and stupidity. I have joined online organizations–a conservative, pro-Trump group of academics and writers, and a group for conservatives of all varieties who are creative writers. Long ago I joined the National Association of Scholars rather than the American Association of University Professors. I am hoping for an organization for philosophers to be founded that is similar to the group for traditionalist scholars in English.

At school I do my job quietly (and hopefully well–I try my best) and work on my research project on ghosts, philosophy, and theology. I continue to do creative writing and have kept up my membership in the Horror Writers Association, which has thus far avoided falling wholly into the politically correct cesspool.  I gladly argue with open-minded liberals and try to avoid those who are not. I stay at home when not required by teaching or office hours or meetings, but if there’s an interesting lecture, film, play, or music concert on campus, I enjoy attending those. But in all of life there seems more bitter division and fewer lasting friendships between people who are ideologically different.

To me, this division is sad. But world views are at stake, and human beings are naturally defensive about the fundamental values by which they live their lives. Since our real battles in society today are world view battles, I see the trend of division continuing indefinitely into the future.

 

 

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