The Sound of Silence

It was covered by Fox, but not as a major story. It was also buried in the ABC News.  But CNN, MSNBC/NBC News, CBS? Nothing. Breitbart? Nothing. Redstate.com? Nothing. After Arizona’s SB 1070, there was a general uproar for other states to follow suit. Now that Utah has, nobody’s saying anything.

Utah passed HB  497, with the same sort of enforcement provisions as Arizona’s SB 1070, except that it focuses on felony and serious misdemeanor suspects. It passed with strong support in this conservative state with Republican super-majorities in both houses. So where is all the flag-waving and cheerleading we have come to expect for such measures?

Utah even got innovative and the same overwhelmingly Republican legislature also passed HB 116. That’s the guest worker program for undocumented aliens. As I recall, a lot has been said about Washington in general, and the administration in particular, not dealing with the immigration issue, so it is up to the States to fill the gap. Isn’t this what everyone wanted? A solution by conservative state legislators to deal with all the undocumented workers?

When I saw that this legislation had passed, I thought that when or if I blogged about it, I would be lost in the thunder of all the bigger louder voices. It now appears I will be lost to the deaf ears of apathy.

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Illegal Means Illegal – What Could Be More Simple?

I was leaving a comment on a Facebook thread about illegal immigrants, responding to someone who said,  “I think the problem is when the word “illegal” comes into play. Imagine making a law to punish law breakers, hmmmm…” I thought to myself, it’s really as simple as that. Okay, there are a few minor hitches, but surely nothing we can’t handle.

If you look at it that way, the Arizona law doesn’t go far enough. After all, if someone committed a robbery we wouldn’t just arrest them and punish them because they got stopped for doing something else, would we? So if someone has broken the law by entering the country illegally, what are we waiting for? I have heard it over and over from my fellow conservatives:  they have broken the law and entered illegally, so let’s just round them up and send them back to where they came from.

Many of them have large families of children who are US citizens, so we’ll need to deport these US citizens to countries of which they are not citizens – wait, that’s where the word “illegal” comes into play, as you can’t just go deporting natural born citizens.  Okay, Plan B:  take all the children into the care of the State to feed, cloth and house them until they are 18. Yes, that would be the only legal option. I’m sure they’ll grow up to be fine law-abiding, emotionally stable, productive adults having had their parents forceably removed from them to another country and permanently separated.

But the upside is that we will need so many state-run orphages, which will provide jobs. We’ll need those jobs because the hundreds of thousand of illegals won’t be spending any money on food, clothing or shelter, so there’s gonna be some job losses. Of course state-run orphages will have to be paid for out of tax dollars, but it’s worth paying a lot more in taxes to create this social care monolith because we won’t have all those law-breaking immigrants.

What’s more, we’ll be punishing all those businesses that stay afloat employing illegal immigrants. Law breakers are law breakers. They will be paying at least the federal minimum wage and if they can’t afford to let the government rather than the market mandate wages, they go under. And if they need the kind of work that citizens won’t do, regardless of how hard up those citizens are, they go under. I think fruit is overrated anyway, and besides, we can always import it. With all those taxpaying businesses folding, we’ll have to pay even more to make up the difference, but it will be worth it not to have all those law-breaking immigrants!

What’s more, someone is housng all those illegals and their citizen children. Some of it’s not the best of housing, but it is better to have it all boarded up than have illegals living there. With the hundreds of thousands of illegals we have, that’s a lot of buildings abandoned. But looking at it positively, most families with illegal immigrants tend to live around other immigrant families. Most of the houses and aparments will be concentrated in certain areas of towns and cities. It will be easy to drive around those boarded up areas and ignore them. Areas with lots of abandoned buildings tend to attract crime and fire. Ths will mean more jobs for police and firefighters. That’s more public sector jobs costing more tax dollars, but once again it will be worth it not to have all those law-breaking immigrants.

Yes, enforcing that unmoveable conservative principle of “illegal means illegal” will lead to the break up of thousands of families, a massive increase in social services, massive expansion of the public sector, and tax increases. Anyone opposed to that is just a liberal. The law is the law.

Yes, when you think it about in straight-forward terms like punishing law breakers, the answers are all so simple.

Why I am a Reactionary

It is a term that is generally meant as a perjorative.  Reactionaries rebel against all the wonderful progressive ideas that all right-thinking people know make the world a better place. In a word, liberalism. Well, I am a reactionary. I react against all of the ideas that see separation from God as progress. That it because these ideas are not progress at all. Progress is to move toward God’s desire that creation be reconciled to Him.

In being a reactionary, I follow in some pretty big footsteps. When someone called me a reactionary recently, I began to think of other reactionaries among whom I am not worthy to be counted.

I think of that young Jewish boy 3000 years ago, not old enough to be drafted into the army, reacting against the challenge of a giant man who had defied the armies of the living God. He reacted with a stone in a sling.

I think of Elijah in the midst of a government that had rejected the historic worship of God for worship of Baal. He reacted by calling down fire from heaven.

Elijah was but one of the prophets who reacted against the apostasy, injustice, and bad governments of the day. The people still chose captivity, but it was reactionaries who warned them and showed them another option. Being a reactionary has long been a thankless task.

Then I think of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah – usually known as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.  The government said bow to the statue. It’s not a big deal and you won’t notice any real difference to your everyday life. Just bow and everyone will be happy. But Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were reactionaries. They just weren’t willing to buy into the spirit of the age.

They had a friend called Daniel. When the government said all petitions must be made to the state and not to any god, Daniel reacted by opening his window the exact same way he always had (conservative that he was) and knelt down and prayed the same way he always had. It cost him a trip to the lions den, because the state doesn’t like to be defied when it has set itself up as the font of all blessing and the focus of worship.

And there was that carpenter from Nazareth. He reacted against “you have heard it said” with “but I say to you”. But wasn’t this progressive? No, quite the opposite. He peeled back all the Talmudic layers of Pharisaism and brought it back to the revealed truth. And when it came to moneychangers in the temple, He was very reactionary. You might even say He was reactionary after they killed Him. He reacted by rising from the dead, trampling down death by death. That was the ultimate reaction.

So while I will never be as significant or successful a reactionary as David, Elijah, Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-Nego, Daniel, or Jesus, I will be a reactionary nonetheless.

Stand in the ways and see,
And ask for the old paths, where the good way is,
And walk in it;
Then you will find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.
Also, I set watchmen over you, saying,

‘ Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’
But they said, ‘We will not listen.’
Therefore hear, you nations,
And know, O congregation, what is among them.
Hear, O earth!
Behold, I will certainly bring calamity on this people—
The fruit of their thoughts,
Because they have not heeded My words
Nor My law, but rejected it.

Why Kay?

It used to be my job to stay abreast of developments in Texas politics and write about them. I have not been a resident of my native Lone Star State since 1988, so I may not be aware of some of the finer details these days. For example, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is planning to run against Rick Perry for Governor of Texas. Why?

Hutchison’s campaign tag line is “I’m running for Governor because I love Texas and I know we can do better.” How? As states go, Texas is in pretty good shape. It has suffered less in the recession than most states, thanks to Perry’s protection of the rainy day fund. It has lost fewer jobs. So if it isn’t the economy, what is it? What does Hutchison expect to do better?

“On key challenges like property taxes, education, private property rights, transportation, utility rates, insurance rates and health care; we need results, not politics.” What sort of results? What has Perry not accomplished? Seems to me there may be differences with regard to some policies or projects, but Perry has gotten things done.

Most recently Perry has been in the news for standing up to the Obama administration. He has appeared at various TEA parties. Some people tried to distance themselves from him when he made remarks that suggested support for secession, though that raised his stock with me.

A couple of years ago Perry told a group of black ministers, “It’s a ridiculous notion to say you cannot legislate morality.” Perhaps he realises that all legislation is, in fact, morality.

And who would have thought back in 1985 when I was helping to coordinating efforts to get the Texas Board of Education to leave homeschoolers alone that one day a homeschool mom would be on the Board. Word is that Perry is considering her for board chairperson and the liberals are frothing at the mouth. Yep, another tick in the Perry column.

Except for voting in favour of the federal bailout, Hutchison is rather conservative. NARAL don’t like her, though National Right to Life only rate her at 75%. The NEA rate her at 36%, which is a little high for my comfort but still no sell-out to their liberal education agenda.  The environmentalists don’t like her, so that’s good.

But as conservative as she may be, the only reason for her to run for governor is that she wants to. She’s always wanted to be governor and at 66 she’s no spring chicken. In fact, if elected she will be the oldest Texas governor inaugurated to a first term. So this is her last shot, really.

Is that reason enough to send Rick Perry back to Haskell County? I don’t think so.

Huck Not Out

While he is clearly trailing, and I don’t think he will get the nomination – especially as the media have already nominated McCain – Huckabee showed last night that he’s not Hucka-been just yet. Sadly I have to agree with the pundits that he is working himself into position for the VP nod. But the good news is McCain will be the oldest President if elected. That gives Mike a shot at the top spot before ’12 or ’16.

I was looking at the exit poll data from Missouri – always noted as a bellweather state. Huckabee was favourite candidate of Protestants generally. He was the overwhelming favourite amongst small city and rural voters (38% as opposed to 26% for McCain). He was by far the favourite amongst the “very conservative” (41% to 17%). He was the favourite of voters under 30 (35% to 27%). Not surprisingly, he was the choice of those absolutely opposed to abortion (40% to 29%). He was the choice for those voters who said what mattered most was for a candidate to share their values (41% to 21%). Amongst those who called themselves “born again”, Huckabee doubled McCain’s vote (44% to 22%). In all these categories, Romney falls somewhere in the middle.

If McCain wants to motivate and mobilise the vote, he needs Huckabee. This is especially true if Obama gets the Democratic nomination. Even though his voting record is more liberal, Obama hasn’t built up the negative feeling that Hillary has.

As I noted in a comments to the previous post, I stopped watching BBC coverage after while and switched to SkyNews. After the insightful comments of comments of Christopher Hitchens, the Beeb didn’t have much time for Huck. They didn’t even carry his speech live. They were much too enamored with Clinton and Obama. To be fair to Hitchens (even if he doesn’t feel obligated to be fair), he did note that for all the talk of Obama being the first black president, he is only half-black and that half wasn’t descended from forced migration to the US (as he refers to the Peculiar Institution). Thus he shares nothing more than skin tone with the vast majority of African-Americans.

The True Huckabee and the False Novak

I haven’t heard much about what’s going on with Ron Paul lately. This could be due to my absence from the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, but most of the stirring beneath the Giuliani and Romney jugernauts seems to be coming from Mike Huckabee.

What’s Dr No done with the fruits of his historic online fund-raising drive on Guy Fawkes Day? I haven’t even seen his numbers on the imported American MSM, but then that’s not a big surprise.

Seems Huckabee has been outed as a fake conservative. But Robert Novak defines conservatism on a purely libertarian economic basis. “The danger is a serious contender for the nomination who passes the litmus test of social conservatives on abortion, gay marriage and gun control but is far removed from the conservative-libertarian model of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.” Reagan was anti-abortion, anti-gun control and no doubt would have been anti-gay marriage. Who cares about Goldwater, frankly.

Novak says, “Calling global warming a ‘moral issue’ mandating ‘a biblical duty’ to prevent climate change, he has endorsed a cap-and-trade system that is anathema to the free market.” We can disagree on anthropogenic global warming (and it looks like I might disagree with Huckabee), but Huckabee does have the concept of stewardship of the earth in mind. Should businesses be allowed to polluted at will, in the name of present economic benefit? If you say no, you are anathema to the free market.

Conservatism is not biblical. Libertarianism is not biblical, any more than liberalism is. The biblical duty of government is often compatible with classic conservativism and libertarianism. Usually significantly more compatible than with liberalism. Many of the ideas of the former harken back to an age when the idea that the Bible is the source of worldview was undisputed. Most of the ideas of the latter are sourced in philosophy that was purposefully pitted against Christianity, though some of them were later co-opted by the Christian left.

When candidates start talking about biblical duty, both sides of the political spectrum start flying the red flag against theocracy. Well, against any theocracy but that of their own secularist idols. For candidates who fundamentally believe in a biblical worldview (and given the variety Protestants, there isn’t just one)  they must interpret their politics through the same lens as the rest of their life. Pretensions of cubbyholing religion are just that. It’s just that no one outs the secularists, or those who worship the conservative-libertarian model, forcing them to defend their worldview.