God Save Us from Our Media

There is no need for further commentary on President Trump’s State of the Union.  Those who love him, hate him, or show indifference seem convinced he gave a good speech and chose good points.  Even those who really despise the man gave him mild kudos this morning. Polls indicate considerable approval for the State of the Union: 76%, 73%, 78% . . . and these from CBS, ABC and CNN, no less!

What remains, however, is the media bias against him, and possible distortions to deceive listeners.  When Trump firmly stated, “Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country,” USA Today’s hideous coverage cut out briefly.  We heard, instead, “Tonight, we renew our resolve that America . . . be a socialist country.”  Accident?  Almost certainly, but I would never put it past them to “cause a glitch.”

It should be noted how many times our President said something very important to, and popular with, Americans, and yet USA Today chose to completely ignore the seated Democrats who did not stand or even applaud America’s many successes, or how obediently they responded when Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat Monarch of the House, indicated for them to stand or remain seated.

At the same time, USA Today had a staff of “researchers” eager to debunk anything the President said, and ran a “counter-commentary of fact-checking” throughout the address.  Scraping their so-called “facts” from any source available (as long as it had a differing opinion) or redefining what the President actually said. For instance, when Trump gave a solid number of new jobs in our nation, USA Today chose a different set — “non-farm payrolls” only to slightly diminish the number so they could claim a lie.

Some might say it is a prerogative of a “free press” to report what they choose. Thomas Jefferson certainly disagreed! “The only security of all is in a free press,” he said. But even in his own day, he acknowledged that, “Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle.”  Ben Franklin dramatically stated that, “Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.

Whether government censorship, ideological, or political disdain, no press is “free” if it ignores, alters or abolishes truth in deference to opinion, popular or not. Napoleon knew that, “Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets,” he said.

Directly from God

The next article, Copyrights and Patents, requires this material as background, and it is too significant not to repeat or clarify over and over again.

Samuel Rutherford’s Conclusion: “All civil power is directly from God in its root: God made man a social creature, inclined to be governed by man.  Therefore, God must certainly have put this power in man’s nature.”  Because God and nature intend goodness and peace for mankind, then “God and nature must have given us a power to accomplish this end — and this must be a power of governing ourselves.” 

It must be a power derived from ourselves, by ourselves, and for ourselves together, strictly by the guidance of our Creator and Sustainer.  Today, it is (poorly) reflected in the popular saying, “You aren’t the boss of me.”  Although that cartoon caption contains none of the wisdom, and is generally uttered in a morally questionable context, it is ethically true for self-governed individuals.

Rutherford’s truly noble quote, on which our society was built, “All men are created equal,” comes from this opening conclusion in Lex Rex.  Not only equal in value and quality, but equal in our capacities to live and pursue the functions of free society, including government.  We used to say, “A man’s home is his castle.” We were our own king in our own domain.

William Pitt, Lord of Chatham, gave an impassioned speech in the House of Commons in England.  “The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail—its roof may shake—the wind may blow through it—the storm may enter—the rain may enter—but the King of England cannot enter!—all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement!” Yet that was not enough for our new nation.

That uniquely American ideal that “any little boy or girl can grow up to be President,” has been one of our nation’s greatest achievements, once reserved for the world’s de facto high classes, or for ruthless or charismatic revolutionaries.

Rutherford’s text expresses the idea that any idiot can govern, but that is certainly not what “equality” means, nor is it ideal.  What mattered most to Rutherford (and later, Locke) was that every person could (and should) control himself, every citizen could (and must) effect his part in society, and ultimately that we could (and would be expected to) mutually conduct our affairs without external compulsion or significant restraint.

We know what to do and what not to do, in other words. That is, by definition, “civil society.” The primary role of “government,” (controlling, limiting or restricting) is one of restraining, citing, or ultimately punishing those whose bad behavior afflicted others.

The greatest importance goes to the very idea that we must be and will be governed — either by and for ourselves, or by and for somebody else.  Once we chose which course to take, our next decisions were easier to make.

This should help with the next article, Copyrights and Patents.

 

A Brief Look at School

Believe it or not, “school” comes from a Greek word, “skhole,” meaning leisure or free time.  Quite a contrast from the pre-K – 12 idea.  You can find that useless piece of trivia all over the internet, but it lacks an important element of truth. Skhole was never about free time itself, but what filled it.  I use my free time for studying, fishing, camping, woodworking, etc.  In other words, I study in skhole, but learn in all those other things as well.  Skhole is not school as we do it.

Some people thrive in today’s public, parochial and private schools, but not many.  At least, not most.  The National Center for Education Statistics, for instance, reports that 10 States and the District of Columbia graduate fewer than 70% of students.

Sadly, that marks absolute failure for those 30+%, but also indicates that roughly another third barely make it, and maybe 30 to 50% meet the standards of “middling to excellent.”  Only Iowa and New Jersey graduate 90% or more.

I have no interest here in assigning blame.  We are truly all in this together, and most people only want to blame somebody else.  The point, strangely, is that there is only one model for “school” in our entire modern world, and it may or may not involve legitimate education.

There are alternatives, and exceptions.  The main exception lies in home schooling, though State Standards (by different names) work hard to corrupt that idea and force “desk jobs for kids” across the nation.

John Holt wrote a book called, “Learning All the Time.”  I agree with some of it — especially the title.  Stimulate kids with opportunities, offer them plenty of environments, and most of them aggressively teach themselves.  Consider what most kids learn very quickly on their own: how to crawl, walk and talk, ride a bike, make things with blocks, Lego’s, or in a sandbox, feel things, make friends with other children and dolls, stuffed animals, and even make believe.  Sometimes they need a little encouragement, but seldom very much.

Then we harm them by making education hard work and misery.  We try to force learning, and we tend to do it without purpose.  “Learn this.  You’ll need it later.”  Some succeed.  Many do not.  That tactic was a complete waste of time on a student like me.  How many kids learn math?  A frighteningly small number get beyond simple multiplication, and many graduates fail even at fractions.

We can leave “lessons” of immoral and cruel behavior out of the public school discussion.  There must be a better way.

The last thing I will mention in this article is the unavoidable indoctrination.  We abandoned our Judeo-Christian roots.  The simple Golden Rule and 10 Commandments devolved to something else, something most of us despise and even fear.

Feel free to comment.  Discussion is always useful.  Because this site gets spam, threats, and off topic hatred, it might be a day or two before some comments appear, but it all gets read.  Please agree or disagree.  It is not a lost cause to state your position on DaveDelany.com

Hell to Pay

Sir William Blackstone wrote a list of commentaries based on British law.  Those commentaries, written immediately before our revolution, were highly significant to American Founders and subsequent lawmakers in determining how our Republic should proceed.  They were entitled Commentaries on the Laws of England.

In 1803, St. George Tucker wrote the American version of Blackstone’s Commentaries, adding the accumulated wisdom accumulated in the Constitutional Convention and first Congresses of the United States.  Tucker observed that to choose a representative is to give up nothing in our rights or opinions . . . “Otherwise, by whatever denomination the government may be called, it is a confirmed aristocracy, in which the people have nothing more to do than to choose their ruler, over  whose proceedings, however despotic, and repugnant to the nature and principles of the fundamental laws of the state, they have no control.

Our elections appear to be representative.  We do seem to freely choose between candidates.  (Though to our shame we almost always pick from just two Partisans whose main message is a statement of why not to vote for the “other one.”)  But what then?  Do representatives then go on to represent us?  No.  They clearly represent the Party, their personal interests, petty rivalries, and a host of Constitutionally restrained or denied powers.

Some powers, Tucker says, “on the one hand, are extended to certain objects, as to lay and collect taxes, duties, etc., so on the other they are clearly limited and restrained; as that no tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state nor any preference given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one state over those of another, etc.  These, and several others, are objects to which the power of the legislature does not extend; and should congress be so unwise as to pass an act contrary to these restrictions, the other powers of the state are not bound to obey the legislative power in the execution of their several functions, as our author expresses it: but the very reverse is their duty, being sworn to support the constitution, which unless they do in opposition to such encroachments, the constitution would indeed be at an end.

Most Americans appear to be either baffled or in denial that we already experienced that end, and completely unwilling to reclaim the nation for ourselves.  At this point, there is already hell to pay.  The question is, who will pay it?

 

 

 

Coup: Christian View

The accurate perspective on “a Christian response to government” usually begins with, “submit … to the governing authorities.” (Romans 13:1)  Some of us simply cringe and accept what our perverse and corrupt governors and legislators lay on us.  We want to be “good Christians,” of course, and use discipline to accept a host of horrible laws and actions.  But that’s premature.

We are told to pray “for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” (I Timothy 2:2)  This is slightly out of context, though.  Paul was urging Timothy in verse 1, as a good elder, that “petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people.”  The reason, simply enough, is not to stir the pot but please Christ, “who wants all people to be saved and come to knowledge of the truth.

Sometimes, we are told, it comes down to, “obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)  In all things, of course, yet it often looks like a final call, as in, “if you just can’t get around it, maybe you’ll have to obey God rather than men.

To a Christian, this call to obedience should be the starting command.  It is complete.  God, yes.  Men, no.  If there is wiggle room beyond that, then and only then should we make room for a corrupt and oppressive batch of proud, greedy, angry, lustful, envious, gluttonous, and lazy batch of men.

Sometimes, some pastors point out that Paul wrote this stuff in prison while Nero and Caligula reigned, so we should, too.  The obvious question is, “why was Paul in prison if he obeyed Nero and Caligula.”

We ignore our lawful government to obey “unlawful rulers and tyrants.”  We are told to support the coup and help our tyrant overlords suppress our Republican form of government and seize control.  This is almost always based on ignorance of the law and not any willful contempt by pastors, but it amounts to collusion with the revolutionaries rather than compliance with Scripture.

The specific laws that dictate limits to all subsequent laws in the United States are wholly contained in the brief document called The United States Constitution.  There we find that “We, the People” are the powers that be.

It is imperative that we obey this short, precisely written document, support it above any man or woman — certainly above any political Party!

God gave us rights, including rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  This is the reason for our separation from England and British government, and the foundation for our new form of government. This important clause from the Declaration of Independence reflects our Founders’ Obedience to God, Not Men, and, “Whenever any law becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.” Any law.  Ironically, The US Constitution still stands, but our frequently unlawful government ignores it.  Christians cannot.  We must resist any violation of it.

Respecting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is obedience to God, not men. From there, it’s no stretch to conclude that any law that denies, overlooks, or makes a mockery of life, or liberty, or our pursuit of happiness, is suspect, and most likely a violation of the Law of the Land instituted by God through the Founding Fathers of this nation, and ratified by We, the People, of all 50 States, who signed on to become part of this great nation.

Without Acquiescence

The vast stores of information related to the Constitutional Convention that created America answer virtually every question of where our laws came from, why, what they mean, and the intent of their application.  We never have to guess.  Along with that, however, we can see our current troubles, whatever they might be, considered in that same hot room 240 years ago.

Conservatives held Mr. Obama in low regard for a variety of reasons, and Liberals hate Mr. Trump so severely it seems impossible.

James Madison saw this in 1776, and recorded notes in June of that year to describe his foresight of the problem.  In reference to the day’s discussions, he wrote of his own comments in third person:

“He observed that the great difficulty in rendering the Executive competent to its own defence arose from the nature of Republican Govt. which could not give to an individual citizen that settled pre-eminence in the eyes of the rest . . . In a Republic personal merit alone could be the ground of political exultation, but it would rarely happen that this merit would be so preeminent as to produce universal acquiescence.  The Executive Magistrate would be envied & assailed by disappointed competitors.  He wld. need support.”

The cause for this soliloquy was discussion of placing the Courts together with the Executive — an idea that Madison supported on that June 6th but quickly abandoned as he also saw the temptations to power that the Judiciary would have; unwarranted power it very quickly exercised — even before Madison became President himself.

Joseph Story then produced his own detailed and prophetic observation that Parties would always tend to act foolishly in “passing undue, hasty and oppressive legislation.  Only an individual as Executive could ward off the evils of oppressive legislation.

Measures are then introduced in a hurry, debated with little care, and examined with less caution.  The very restlessness of many minds produces an utter impossibility of debating with deliberation, when a measure has a plausible aspect, and holds momentary favor in the minds of a few men who often acquire a certain ascendency over the body, by their talents, their eloquence, their intrigue, or their cunning.

But this “inconsiderate and rash legislation,” Story warns, more often comes from a “strong propensity in public bodies to accumulate power into their own hands.” The only apparent remedy, he says, is to retain the Power to prevent such evil in “the single Executive who may silence foolishness by purposeful inaction.

A horrid set of choices, certainly, but a Dictator creating laws or a Legislature forcing action must be stopped at all cost.  Gridlock is not only a good thing, but the very best thing for a healthy government, especially in times like these, when our Executive Magistrate is daily envied & assailed by disappointed competitors.

The President of the United States  needs our support.

FARIII, Locke

Third in the list of those American Roots requiring Fertilizer today is John Locke, who secularized and advanced the liberties and equality found in Rutherford.  Although that is an honest statement, it does not reflect Locke’s character or belief in Almighty God.  He avowed strongly that, “The Bible is one of the greatest blessings bestowed by God on the children of men.  It has God for its Author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture for its matter. It is all pure, all sincere; nothing too much; nothing wanting!”  Yet he was able to distill the work of Rutherford for a ruthless, secular political audience.  He also, of course, added his own well developed material.

It might be added that the secular Locke proposed plenty of violence against oppression and advocated for overthrow of — even death to — legislators and administrators who stole liberties, unlike Rutherford or Montesquieu.  This article will indicate several differences between the American and French Revolutions because of Locke.  May you find the wisdom of his thoughts alone, and temper as much as possible the consequences he suggests, as our Founders did.

Among Locke’s contributions is that men, “by the inconveniences of nature,” gathered together into society.  It was therefore essential to them to appoint legislators.  And that is the virtual end of Locke’s list of positive laws.  From there on, he addresses the danger and foolishness of bad, abundant, and restrictive laws, focusing entirely on negative laws, or necessary restraints on necessarily corrupt and perverse men in legislature.

Although positive law may sound, well, positive, it is built on the command, “Thou shalt.”  Negative law is the injunction, “Thou shalt not.”  The only preventative to mankind’s controls and violent ambitions is negative law, and every evil we can contrive starts with positive demands.  Even a few positive laws could be possible, as a way to force our intelligence, yet, “Few men think, yet all will have opinions. Hence men’s opinions are superficial and confused.”  By what justification, then, can we let superficial and confused opinions dictate our laws?  Positive laws all have costs, and the first cost in any positive law must be liberty.

As it is legal to kill a common thief for what he does and ultimately threatens,” said Locke (to take my possessions and once he has them, to take my life) “I have no reason to purpose that he, who would take away my Liberty, would not when he had me in his Power, take away every thing else. And therefore it is Lawful for me to treat him, as one who has put himself into a State of War with me, I.e. kill him if I can; for to that hazard does he justly expose himself.”

The end of law is not to abolish or restrain,” Locke concluded over and over again,  “but to preserve and enlarge freedom. . . Who are we to tell anyone what they can or can’t do?” One quick glimpse at Washington, DC, or any State Capital, would be more than sufficient evidence that the Lessons from Rutherford and Locke have been forgotten, and stand in need of fertilizing.

FARII, Rutherford

Although the second name in the series on Fertilizing America’s Roots, Samuel Rutherford actually holds a premier spot in the influence of the Founders.  Either directly, as in Jefferson’s borrowed statement that “All men are created equal,” or indirectly, as in Madison and Jefferson’s significant references to Rutherford himself and to John Locke, who secularized and continued Rutherford’s brilliant understandings, Samuel Rutherford provided the insights into liberty, free will, equality, and the absolute horrors of authoritarian or autocratic rule.

Among the heaviest judgments is the sword, and among the heaviest of swords is the civil sword, which now threatens devastation.”  This was Samuel Rutherford’s introduction to Lex Rex (The Law and the Prince.)

Rutherford’s era was the terrifying transitional period between the dark warlords and ruthless “superpowers,” secular and/or Papal.  The times claimed lives and banishment unrivaled until the beginnings of the Bolshevik revolution started the European and Asian consolidations and oppressive Communist and Socialist overthrows of the 20th Century.  Rutherford himself was banished from his native Scotland.

We again forget the impact of our Founders’ influences.  Rutherford asks a pointed question, and answers it in the affirmative.  We should take the most serious warning from this positive statement.

Is the will of any reasonable creature, including those angels which have been damned, capable of willing or choosing anything which their reason, corrupted as it is, does not dictate here and now to be good? The object of the will of all men is good, either truly, or apparently good to the doer. The devil himself cannot court the souls of men without warring in the clothes of an angel of light.

The way our Founders’ approved of Rutherford included two enormous considerations.  One, we are all equal!  We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights!  Secondly, we are all kings because One Great King reigns, and if we abandon our private domains and relinquish all civil authority to a lesser king, it will be the self-imposed “good” will of Satan.  You certainly do not need to acknowledge the King of Heaven to understand a virtual Prince of Hell!  Our world has met him in every generation.

Any consolidation of power disturbed Rutherford, for “one commanding all, without following counsel, trusts in his own heart, and is a fool.”  Yet even good counselors will be ignored, and “powers will increase at the inclusion of more counselors.”  In the end, Rutherford concludes that no king has proper authority or wisdom at his disposal to rule many men, because “the king is but a man.

The end of it all, he says, is to trust in the multitude of the equal men in all society.  Collectively, we are the only sure preservative of the rights of man.  We, the People, under our own consciences, efforts, and authority, can preserve our rights, and the continuation of these Gifts of God for our children and their children.  We are never safe in the hands of any small gods.

Summarizing his entire book, Rutherford concludes that thought for himself, The multitude cannot dispose of the security, safety, and that which necessarily conduces to the security of the posterity. ‘The Lord build his own Zion, and appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks!’

“THE END”

Rights Revisited

Most of us love our rights, but confusion about those rights indicates a lack of education.  A “right,” according to Webster in the days of our Founding, meant order, “conformity” to the will of God, to the rule of law, and to the good and proper use of justice.  The rights of man are those proper claims of man.  Francis Lieber stated that “the only axiom necessary to understand rights is that ‘because I am a man, I have a right to be a man’.”

The confusion generally originates from how such a claim relates to other people.  Your absolute right to eat, for instance, is not an absolute claim against me to feed you. Nor does your right exclude you from work.  Your right to eat includes your right to find, grow, hunt, and preserve food. . . or earn money and go to the grocery store.

As a Christian, I am aware of a moral obligation (and right) to feed the hungry, and have regularly done so in my adult life, especially feeding dozens of children and their families on a semi-weekly basis for over six years.  That was my right as well as an obligation, and the families were fed.  It worked out well.  Their right, especially for the children, was met by my right to feed them.

Rights and obligations are fraternal.  Remember, Webster called all things “right,” a “conformity.” Think of it this way: just as,  “Because I am a man, I have a right to be a man,” it is equally true that, “Because I am a man, I have an obligation to be a man.”  In my personal experience, my rights have often been painful, and my obligations rewarding.

Thomas Jefferson firmly asserted that, “The equal rights of man, and the happiness of every individual, are now acknowledged to be the only legitimate objects of government.”

Some folks on both sides of the aisle pretend to follow such a creed, yet invariably, something eventually reveals that those people mean “equivalent rights,” or “happiness of this special group,” or they change “only” to “among the legitimate objects,” or they add something.  To Jefferson and his America, “Equal rights for every happy individual.”  Every one of us.

God-given rights and obligations of man are full and exclusive to each individual.  The very moment a right becomes a compulsion on another person, or an obligation becomes a demand from someone else, the very heart, soul, and definitions of “rights and responsibilities” absolutely vanish in the face of pure lust and tyranny.

 

 

Treason

United States Constitution, Article 3, Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.

The only “treason” even possibly attributed to Donald Trump can come exclusively from his resistance to the Deep State and/or the Conspiracy of the Two Party system’s resistance to the President himself.  Since the Left and Resistant Right deny any Deep State or Conspiracy, there can be no Treason against them, and therefore no victim to accuse the President of levying war against.

There is, however, plenty of ground for charging treason against many of his detractors and enemies.  “Levying war” is defined in law as “the act of assembling people to effect by force a treasonable act.”  That includes mobs formed to overthrow the legitimately elected and implemented government and laws of the land.  The definition also includes and assigns “treason” to all participants “who perform any part however minute, or however remote from the scene of action, and who are leagued in the general conspiracy.

When Maxine Waters met with her constituents, she encouraged overt acts of treason:

Already you have members of your Cabinet that are being booed out of restaurants … protesters taking up at their house saying ‘no peace, no sleep’.  If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.

Antifa, a less than intellectual group of mostly masked simpleminded hoodlums, has no published statement of purpose, though it clearly calls for opposition to “fascists” as they see fascists.  Professor Bray, writing their defense, calls Trump “a White supremacist and neo-Nazi,” and defends violence by Antifa as “self-defense against future acts,” while dismissing vandalism and looting as nonviolent, because “it causes no harm to human beings.”  This, too, is clear and unadulterated treason — against “thought crimes” no less,  as in, “the act of assembling people to effect by force a treasonable act against hoped for assault.”  The same is true of other groups, such as Black Lives Matter, who claim a “defense” against undeclared and conspicuously absent “planned and organized violence” against them.

Hating a President, finding his policies lacking or even terrible, is part of the United States history, all the way back to George Washington and even John Hancock.  Only now, under Donald J. Trump, President, has treason been a realistic and encouraged act by so many members of our Congress, University structures, Press, and Civil groups.  Even so, only a few of them should be charged with their official acts of Treason today, starting with the Radical Leftist, Maxine Waters, Democrat, and perhaps a few leaders of Antifa and BLM.