Why Did the Dow Hit 25,000?

A few days ago, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 25,000, setting a new all-time record high for the U.S. stock market. As they are wont to do, the experts are speculating and opining as to what it all means. Some think this is good news, some think it’s bad, some believe it can continue, some believe it’s the boom before the bust.

Does the Dow’s breaking the 25,000 barrier really mean the economy is better than it’s ever been? Does it mean we’re all richer now? Was the market stagnated until Trump came along and breathed life into it, causing us to ascend to new heights of economic ecstasy? Or, could it be that the more things change, the more they stay the same, and that the Dow reaching 15,000, then 20,000, and now 25,000 was inevitable?

Most conservatives will no doubt revel in the current upward trend, taking it as token evidence that Trump and the Republicans are the saviors of the American way of life, single-handedly rescuing the economy from the financial doldrums imposed by eight years of Democrat rule. However, I have a different perspective. Continue reading “Why Did the Dow Hit 25,000?”

Advertisements

Scandal and Allegation: Is It News or Just Gossip?

Sex scandals and harassment allegations seem to be all the rage these days. From the accusations made against Roy Moore to the misadventures of news anchor Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein before them, and now Senator Al Franken and a host of others, America seems to be awash with salacious allegations against public figures of every kind.

The idea of the media trying people in the so-called court of public opinion is nothing new. The media has long enjoyed playing the roles of prosecutor, judge, jury, and sometimes the executioner that ends political careers. But is every scandal and allegation really news, or is it just gossip at best, slander at worst, and generally a distraction from the weightier matters that we should be paying attention to?

Perhaps we should first ask the question, “what is news?” I have long contended that real news should be defined as “actionable intelligence,” that is to say, factual information about the affairs of our society, and the greater world around us, presented in a manner that enables us to correctly understand, and intelligently interact with, both our society and the world at large. Continue reading “Scandal and Allegation: Is It News or Just Gossip?”

The Hypocrisy of the Right

It seems to be a popular notion among the conservative right to think that hypocrisy is the exclusive domain of the liberal left. However, in recent years I have become increasingly aware of the presence of hypocrisy infecting the political right and I find it quite disturbing.

Hypocrisy is subtle and beguiling. Like the Pharisees of old, you can fall into hypocrisy without even realizing it – being blind to your own gradual departure from the righteous standard while still calling yourself an enlightened guide to the blind. I believe the Christian-conservative-right would do well to take a reality check and ask God to show us any places where we have let this insidious disease creep in and influence us to engage in practices that do not align with what we preach.

The Moral High Ground

An October 11 article by Jim Jamitis at RedState illustrates at least one manifestation of this malady and its debilitating effect. Jamitis describes the embarrassment one is inclined to feel for former Trump campaign manager turned Counselor to the President, Kellyanne Conway, when she criticizes Hillary Clinton for being too slow to respond to, and too tepid in her condemnation of, the sexual misdeeds of Harvey Weinstein. It wasn’t that long ago that Conway herself, “flippantly dismissed her boss’s accusers and his own sexually deviant braggadocio.” Jamitis went on to explain that he opposed Trump’s nomination because, “by supporting him, people were throwing away their future credibility when being critical of Democrats on character issues.” Continue reading “The Hypocrisy of the Right”

Syria, the U. S. Constitution, and the War Powers Resolution

In the wake of the U. S. missile strike on the Syrian air base believed to have been used to mount a chemical weapons attack, there is no lack of the usual debate about, “it’s right, it’s wrong; it’s good, it’s bad; we should have, we shouldn’t have.” Most of the discussion revolves around personal opinion based on either pragmatic reasoning, or emotional feelings. A few are going beyond that level of debate and actually asking Constitutional questions.

I’m a bottom line kind of guy. I want to get to the root of a matter. All of the discussion about Assad, Russia, and ISIS; the TV news talking heads, so-called “experts,” and your favorite talk radio personality spouting the party line; even democrat vs republican, and liberal vs conservative; these all obfuscate the foundational issues and serve as a distraction that diverts our attention from the real questions we ought to be asking.

The bottom line of every political issue, and the place where every meaningful political discussion must begin, are the questions, “What is the revealed will of God in the matter at hand? How has His will been codified in the governing documents of our republic? And what are the just laws that have been made in pursuance of these?” The answer to these questions constitutes The Rule of Law, and we are not ruled by law until we are ruled by this hierarchy of authority. Continue reading “Syria, the U. S. Constitution, and the War Powers Resolution”

A Tale of Two Surveys (Are the Parties Conning Us?)

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, depending whether you were receiving the “Republican 2017 Congressional District Census,” or the “Official 2017 Democratic Party Survey”; whether your party had just achieved victory, or suffered defeat; whether your party was in power, trying to defend the country against the forces of evil, or was out of power, trying to take the country back from the forces of evil. Whichever survey you received, one thing was certain: The country could only be saved if you “send us your money!”

But perhaps I should back up to start at the beginning of the story.

I’ve been receiving gimmick fundraising letters from the Republican Party for a long time. I mean, a really, really long time – like decades; and that is despite the fact that I’ve never in my life been an actual member of, nor donated to, the Republican Party. But that hasn’t stopped the republicans from sending me mailings, sometimes with a membership card, and at other times, an official survey seeking to discover the views of the “party faithful,” so that the new congress can set their agenda based on the opinions of some guy in Spokane Valley who isn’t even a member of the party.

However, I had never really thought about what kind of fundraising schemes the Democratic Party might be employing to extract funds from their target donors. Well, I recently found out when a friend shared a letter with me that he had received from the Democratic Party. Like me, and my non-association with the Republican Party, this friend has nothing to do with the Democratic Party. I don’t know what caused them to include him in their most recent mailing, but I’m glad they did, as it gave me a chance to compare the tactics of the two parties side by side.

What I discovered is that the similarities between the two mailings are just too great to ignore. Continue reading “A Tale of Two Surveys (Are the Parties Conning Us?)”

Honored by the SPLC

The organization that I chair, the Constitution Party of Washington, along with the party’s many other state affiliates, has been honored by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) with the title of “Extreme Antigovernment Group.” Please allow me to explain why this is an honor.

The Constitution Party is pro-civil government, pro-U. S. Constitution, and pro-rule of law. The Constitution Party understands that the rule of law emanates from the Creator who is the source of all authority; that authority has been delegated by God to man; that “we, the people,” have further delegated a portion of that authority to the institutions of civil government via the instruments of our state and federal constitutions. The only acts of governing that the Constitution Party opposes are those that violate the revealed will of the Creator or that violate the contract between we, the people, and the institutions of civil government.

Therefore, when the SPLC calls the Constitution Party “antigovernment,” it is by default saying that the only form of government that it views as legitimate is that which is unconstitutional, ungodly, or unbounded by the rule of law. Evidently, in the eyes of the SPLC, being “pro-government” means supporting administrations, bureaucracies, rules, and legislation that are outside of what the Creator, or we, the people, through our precious constitution, have authorized. Continue reading “Honored by the SPLC”

Asset Forfeiture

asset-forfeiture-300pA few days ago, I was directed to a YouTube video that prompted me to recall the danger, the un-constitutionality, and the uncivil nature of the practice called “civil asset forfeiture.” The first four minutes of the video featured President Trump and representatives of the National Sheriffs’ Association discussing the topic of asset forfeiture. The remaining six minutes consisted of dashcam footage showing the real life implementation of this practice of seizing assets without a court conviction, trial, arrest, or even having charges brought against the person whose assets were being seized.

For those unfamiliar with the concept of civil asset forfeiture, it goes something like this: Police pull a vehicle over, search it, find an unusual amount of cash, guns, or other items that they “suspect” of being obtained, or used, illegally. They then seize the cash, guns, or maybe even the vehicle, whether or not actual contraband was found, evidence of a crime was discovered, or the person driving the vehicle was charged with a crime. This also applies to depositing too much cash into a bank account, or depositing large sums of cash too often. The government can simply confiscate your money because they “suspect” you are engaging in something illegal. It is then up to you to hire an attorney, go to court, and prove you are innocent in order to get your money back.

Before anyone accuses me of coddling criminals, or hating cops, let me say that I fully support the confiscating of contraband and the long-held practice of “criminal” (versus “civil”) asset forfeiture in which assets are retained by the state only if guilt of criminal activity is proven in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt. I also fully support, and am grateful for, our servants in law enforcement who, in the spirit of Romans 13:3, make themselves a terror to evil works. I’m also persuaded that, 99% of the time, cops get it right and use civil asset forfeiture on actual “bad guys.” Continue reading “Asset Forfeiture”

The Political Movement That Cried “Soros!”

woman-fear-300pFor some time now, conservatives have used George Soros as a sort of political litmus test to prove the presence of evil. Any candidate or cause receiving support from the globalist billionaire is quickly labeled “an enemy of freedom,” to be feared and dreaded as a threat to the republic, and which must be opposed by every means.

For example, in the recent Presidential election, if any conservatives were not sufficiently motivated to support Mr. Trump, Hillary Clinton’s association with Mr. Soros could always be pointed to as token evidence of her being the antichrist’s evil stepsister and harbinger of doom, who must be defeated at any cost.

Mr. Soros’ support of a given democratic candidate has often provided the impetus for calling all conservatives to rally to the aid of the republican opponent – any republican – every republican – anything to deliver ourselves from the clutches of a Soros-backed democrat. Continue reading “The Political Movement That Cried “Soros!””

Course Correction

compass-300pI recently discovered a pamphlet in a pile of materials on my desk that was waiting to be sorted. The pamphlet contained the text of a speech given by former Nixon administration official, Constitution Party founder, and champion of the conservative cause, Howard Phillips. The speech, titled, “Under What Authority?,” was given as the keynote address at the 1996 National Affairs Briefing, attended by over 50 conservative leaders and 3,000 activists in Memphis, Tennessee. The speech is the kind of thing that I cut my political teeth on, and it’s an example of the rhetoric that was fanning the flames of the Christian-Conservative-Right of just 21 years ago.

After reading Howard’s words in that pamphlet, and rehearsing the issues that were part of the conservative agenda back then, I find myself questioning whether the movement has been checking to see that it is still on course, or if it even remembers its original destination. Continue reading “Course Correction”

The Most Important Election of Your Lifetime

ballot-boxWhen conservative talk radio host, Glenn Beck, announced he would not be voting for Trump, and suggested that, if Hillary wins, we can oppose her agenda in Congress, live to fight another day and work to elect a conservative in 2020, the right reacted in shock and horror, angrily contending, “the nation cannot survive Hillary!” “It will be too late to save America in 2020!” “All will be lost!” Then repeating the mantra used in every Presidential election year: This is the most important election of our lifetime!

I became politically active back in the mid 1990s and from that time until now have heard this same battle cry repeated by the right every four years, declaring this to be, “the most important election of our lifetime,” then assuring me that if the Democrat wins this time, the country is doomed and America will be lost. Perhaps this time conservatives will turn out to be right, but, excuse me, while I ignore the inane droning of a slogan that is beginning to make the boy who cried wolf sound credible.

Will a Clinton Presidency spell America’s doom? Perhaps. But then I’m not altogether certain the Constitutional rule of law would survive a Trump Presidency either.

Will the federal government go the wrong direction under a Clinton Presidency? I expect so. But from a Biblical, Constitutional, liberty, rule of law and sound fiscal policy perspective, the country has gone the wrong direction under every President, Democrat and Republican alike, for at least the last 28 years since Reagan, and, even then, fiscal policy didn’t fare so well.

For as long as fear has been driving the conservative right to compromise and lower their standards in order to “beat the Democrat,” America has moved progressively farther and farther from her Biblical and Constitutional moorings, regardless of which party is at the helm. America might not survive Hillary Clinton, but liberty and the sound principles of good government, upon which our constitutional republic was founded, already are not surviving the compromises of the Christian-conservative-right.

The election at which we stop compromising Biblical values and the Constitutional rule of law, will be the election at which America’s restoration can begin. It happens one vote at a time, one election at a time, and it starts with you, and needs to begin now.

Welcome to the most important election of your lifetime.