Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Let’s see, it was only back in January that Piers Morgan, Brit and obnoxious CNN talking head, pooh-poohed the idea that America could ever have a tyrannical government. Go here to read my comment at that time. In the above video, in which he is talking to my favorite atheist, go here to see why I give Penn Jillette that title, he confesses that what was done with the IRS “borders” on tyranny.
Of course the IRS Scandal would not have surprised the Founding Fathers. They realized that govenment is necessary among men. As James Madison noted in Federalist 51: But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. However, the Founding Fathers also realized that government was no abstraction, but also an institution made up of men and not angels. That is why Madison in Federalist 51 went on to write: If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. And so the Founding Fathers framed a Constitution designed to minimize the possibility of government tyranny. They built wisely, but they did not delude themselves. The ultimate safeguard for American liberty had to rest in the American people.
That is why Benjamin Franklin, after a lady asked him as he left Independence Hall at the close of the Constitutional Convention what form of government the country was to have, told her, “A Republic madam, if you can keep it.”, placing the responsibility for the preservation of the Republic on each individual American. Continue reading
The gentlemen killed and the gentlemen died,
But she was the South’s incarnate pride
That mended the broken gentlemen
And sent them out to the war again,
That kept the house with the men away
And baked the bricks where there was no clay,
Made courage from terror and bread from bran
And propped the South on a swansdown fan
Through four long years of ruin and stress,
The pride–and the deadly bitterness.
Stephen Vincent Benet, John Brown’s Body
Something for the weekend. Written in 1863 by Captain G. W. Alexander, The Southern Soldier Boy is a fitting tribute to the ragged warriors of the Confederacy who maintained an unequal struggle for four years and the women who loved and sustained them. During the War it was popularized by actress Sally Partington, the toast of Richmond, who would sing the song as part of the play The Virginia Cavalier. The above version is by Bobby Horton, who has waged a one man crusade to bring Civil War music to modern audiences. Continue reading
This is almost getting farcial. The IRS bureaucrat in charge of the tax exempt division of the IRS during the persecution of conservative groups is now the head of ObamaCare enforcement for the IRS.
The Internal Revenue Service official in charge of the tax-exempt organizations at the time when the unit targeted tea party groups now runs the IRS office responsible for the health care legislation.
Sarah Hall Ingram served as commissioner of the office responsible for tax-exempt organizations between 2009 and 2012. But Ingram has since left that part of the IRS and is now the director of the IRS’ Affordable Care Act office, the IRS confirmed to ABC News today.
Her successor, Joseph Grant, is taking the fall for misdeeds at the scandal-plagued unit between 2010 and 2012. During at least part of that time, Grant served as deputy commissioner of the tax-exempt unit.
We’ll try to cooperate fully with the IRS, because, as citizens, we feel a strong patriotic duty not to go to jail.
Ronald Reagan used to say that in his neighborhood the IRS was regarded as a terrorist organization. I think a more apt current description of it is as an enforcer for various political entities including Worse Than Murder, Inc:
Similarly, the nonprofit Thomas More Society is now alleging that the IRS withheld approval for tax-exempt status from two pro-life organizations because of their demonstrations against abortion provider Planned Parenthood.
In one case, the IRS withheld approval of an application for tax exempt status for Coalition for Life of Iowa. In a phone call to Coalition for Life of Iowa leaders on June 6, 2009, the IRS agent “Ms. Richards” told the group to send a letter to the IRS with the entire board’s signatures stating that, under perjury of the law, they do not picket/protest or organize groups to picket or protest outside of Planned Parenthood. Once the IRS received this letter, their application would be approved…
In another similar case, the IRS withheld approval of an application for charitable tax-exempt recognition of Christian Voices for Life, questioning the group’s involvement with “40 Days for Life” and “Life Chain” events. The Fort Bend County, Texas, organization was subjected to repeated and lengthy unconstitutional requests for information about the viewpoint and content of its educational communications, volunteer prayer vigils, and other protected activities.
The speech in the video is a section of Reagan’s Time For Choosing speech in 1964 that led to the beginning of his political career which culminated 16 years later in him being elected president. Reagan said of the Marines:
Some people work an entire lifetime and wonder if they ever made a difference to the world. But the Marines don’t have that problem.
This is what we are saddled with today:
“What manner of men had lived in those days…who had so eagerly surrendered their sovereignty for a lie and a delusion? Why had they been so anxious to believe that the government could solve problems for them which had been pridefully solved, many times over, by their fathers? Had their characters become so weak and debased, so craven and emasculated, that offers of government dole had become more important than their liberty and their humanity? Had they not know that power delegated to the government becomes the club of tyrants? They must have known. They had their own history to remember, and the history of five thousand years. Yet, they had willingly and knowingly, with all this knowledge, declared themselves unfit to manage their own affairs and had placed their lives, which belonged to God only, in the hands of sinister men who had long plotted to enslave them, by wars, by “directives,” by “emergencies.” In the name of the American people, the American people had been made captive.”
Taylor Caldwell, The Devil’s Advocate
Back in my mispent youth I read quite a bit more fiction than I do currently. (Lack of time and much greater access to more non-fiction works are probably the two chief factors in my changed reading habits.) I read several of the novels of Taylor Caldwell. She was a competent novelist, I can’t praise her novel about Cicero, Pillar of Iron, too highly, and she wrote from a distinct point of view. Her point of view was that freedom was a rare commodity in human history and that it perished quickly. I could call her a conservative, but that would be a bit weak in describing her. She wrote pieces for the John Birch Society for a time, but she probably regarded them as too timid in standing up for the liberty she treasured above all. She shared with them a conspiratorial view of the world, and her novels usually depict sinister behind the scenes forces plotting the end of freedom. However, even paranoids can have real people out to get them, and Caldwell was usually correct in her novels in her description of the desire of so many to escape from the need to make decisions on their own, and to leave everything up to a supposedly benevolent ruler, even though all of human history argues against the reality of such a pleasing fantasy.
In her 1952 novel, The Devil’s Advocate, Caldwell envisions an America where freedom is only a faint memory. America has long been ruled by a leftist military dictatorship. The Republican party has been outlawed and even mentioning the Old Constitution is a criminal offense. The protagonist of the novel is Andrew Durant, an official of the leftist government, but also a secret lover of the Old Constitution. He and other patriots within the government hit upon the plan of increasing repression until they trigger a revolution to reestablish American freedom. The rebellion succeeds and Durant is killed in it, his fate in history is to be damned as an official of the toppled regime, his role in the reestablishment of liberty dying with him.
Now let us consider the impossible. Let us think that Barack Obama is cast in the same mold. Secretly repulsed by the way in which the American people have been ceding liberty for security for generations he embarks upon a plan to become president and to implement a regime so oppressive that it will trigger a reaction that will safeguard traditional American freedom for generations to come. He is dismayed by how long the process is taking, and therefore he continually ups the ante:
Well, if sending a trillion dollars down a rat hole won’t do it, surely ObamaCare will do it. Obamacare didn’t so it is time to attack religious liberty through the HHS Mandate. Even that wasn’t enough so time to let good men die in Benghazi and lie about it. Still not enough? Time to move against guns. Still no reaction? Roll out the IRS. Continue reading
Among non-Catholic Christian leaders, there is none that I respect more than Billy Graham. My sainted mother, and if there was ever a woman more Catholic than the pope it was she, used to watch his crusades on television back in the Sixties. To me, he has always been a voice crying out in a dark world for Christ. Lacking the True Faith, he has still been a force for good in this world. Now retired from day to day management of his organization, he still commands near universal respect in this country. It therefore takes a special type of stupid to want to pick a fight with him. That is the cue for the minions of the IRS under the current administration.
The IRS inquiry, he noted, occurred months after the BGEA ran ads in April 2012 supporting a North Carolina amendment that banned same-sex marriage, which passed in May. The BGEA also ran ads last fall urging voters to consider candidates who make decisions based on “biblical principles and support the nation of Israel.”
Go here to Religion News Service to read the rest. Here is the text of the letter of Franklin Graham:
One of the interesting things about the IRS scandal is how obvious and ham-fisted the bias against conservative groups was:
As applications from conservative groups sat in limbo, groups with liberal-sounding names had their applications approved in as little as nine months. With names including words like “Progress” or “Progressive,” the liberal groups applied for the same tax status and were engaged in the same kinds of activities as the conservative groups. They included:
• Bus for Progress, a New Jersey non-profit that uses a red, white and blue bus to “drive the progressive change.” According to its website, its mission includes “support (for) progressive politicians with the courage to serve the people’s interests and make tough choices.” It got an IRS approval as a social welfare group in April 2011.
• Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment says it fights against corporate welfare and for increasing the minimum wage. “It would be fair to say we’re on the progressive end of the spectrum,” said executive director Jeff Ordower. He said the group got tax-exempt status in September 2011 in just nine months after “a pretty simple, straightforward process.”
• Progress Florida, granted tax-exempt status in January 2011, is lobbying the Florida Legislature to expand Medicaid under a provision of the Affordable Care Act, one of President Obama’s signature accomplishments. The group did not return phone calls. “We’re busy fighting to build a more progressive Florida and cannot take your call right now,” the group’s voice mail said.
Like the Tea Party groups, the liberal groups sought recognition as social welfare groups under Section 501(c)(4) of the tax code, based on activities like “citizen participation” or “voter education and registration.” Continue reading
Attention, attention! All IRS employees who gave “special” attention to conservative groups at the behest of your politicial masters. You are being thrown under the bus! I repeat, you are being thrown under the bus!
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday he had ordered the FBI to open a criminal probe in a growing scandal over the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative political groups for extra tax scrutiny.
Holder’s announcement came about four hours before an inspector general’s report on the IRS portrayed the tax agency as plagued by disarray and “insufficient oversight” during its struggles to review the cases of hundreds of advocacy groups that claimed they should be tax exempt.
The audit, which drew some backlash from IRS officials, also underscored what the agency had acknowledged last Friday: that the IRS had used “inappropriate criteria” for evaluating tax-exempt groups, in part by singling out scores of conservative Tea Party and “Patriot” organizations for increased scrutiny Continue reading
The things you find on the internet. Michael Coren is a figure in Canadian journalism and television. The best way to tag him is as a political journalist and humorist. Above all, he is a Catholic. He converted in 2004, and his Catholicism is the most important thing in the world to him, as one can judge by his 2011 book Why Catholics are Right. The video above is a fascinating interview of a man who obviously treasures the Church above all. We need much more of that spirit. Here is a video of Coren interviewing Lila Rose in 2012: Continue reading
I remember watching the movie Glory, a story from the American Civil War based on the personal letters of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw who was the commanding officer of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first formal unit of the US Army to be made up entirely of African American men.
Shaw insisted that the men were worthy of being deployed for combat, and volunteered the 54th infantry to lead an assault on Fort Wagner near Charleston, South Carolina. He led the men in an initial, noble charge upon the fort. Facing certain death he rallied the men onward.
Colonel Shaw was killed, along with 29 of his men; 24 more later died of wounds; 15 were captured; 52 were missing in action and never accounted for; and 149 were wounded. Although Union forces failed to take and hold the fort, the 54th became known for its courage during battle, encouraging further enlistment of African-American troops. President Abraham Lincoln noted that the bravery of these men helped secure the final victory.
They gave their lives. But for what? At the end of the movie all you see are dead men being thrown in a grave like garbage. It seems so senseless, so vain, so unnecessary. But it did change things. Continue reading
Like most butchers of humans Kermit Gosnell is a coward. Today he exchanged his appeal rights for two life sentences. The death penalty is off the table for a man who doubtless is one of the great mass killers, by his own hand, of all time. Doubtless he would have probably died considering his age before a death penalty could have been carried out, but I wish that this squalid murderer had paid the ultimate penalty. A thousand of his worthless lives would not be worth one of the innocent lives he routinely snuffed out for cold cash. My consolation is that one day he will face a tribunal where no plea deals are ever made. Would that his victims could have been sentenced to life. Continue reading