A senior official from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said Thursday that rioters across America are under active observation and that “hundreds” of ongoing federal investigations are focusing on “criminal rioters.”
“So there are hundreds of federal investigations running into these criminal rioters, that’s what they are,” Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli told BlazeTV. “They are terrorists.” He informed the media outlet that most of the investigations are still in progress and that details have not been released to the public.
President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr announced Wednesday that 200 federal agents were heading to Chicago and Kansas City, respectively, to “help save lives,” in Barr’s words.
When asked if federal authorities are attempting to discover whether riots and looting across America are being coordinated by certain groups, Cuccinelli told BlazeTV that “we are looking at anywhere there is organization behind criminal activity.”
“Now, realize, that a group that calls itself Black Lives Matters in Washington may not be connected to a group that calls itself Black Lives Matter in Minneapolis,” the acting deputy secretary observed. “So we have to connect the dots evidentially, not just in terms of them taking similar positions. They have to coordinate action to count as a group.”
He noted that DHS continues to gather and assess that kind of intelligence.
Protests and riots in Portland have resulted in tens of millions of dollars in damages to the community, according to the Portland Tribune.
Despite almost 60 days of nightly rioting in Portland, political leaders there are resisting federal assistance.
Democratic Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer said Monday that “Portland, Oregon is not out of control” during a speech on the House floor. A demonstration began peacefully Thursday night, but soon deteriorated into chaos with crowds shouting, “Pigs go home.”
They can sense it. They can feel it. Something is seriously wrong in our civilization, and many people know it. This is why despite the relatively good economic times, most Americans polled say our country is on the “wrong track.” Yet many are like a gravely ill man who knows he’s not well but can’t precisely identify his ailment. Most often, Americans have only a vague sense of cultural malaise, or they “self-diagnose” wrongly.
Years ago I had a brief “state of the nation” discussion with a very fine, older country gentleman. While no philosopher, he did offer the following diagnosis. Struggling for words and gesticulating a bit, he said, “There’s…there’s no morality.”
Most believe morality is important both personally and nationally. We generally agree that an immoral man treads a dangerous path; of course, it’s likewise for two immoral men, five, 53 or 1,053 — or a whole nation-full.
Echoing many Founders, George Washington noted that “morality is a necessary spring of popular government.” The famous apocryphal saying goes, “America is great because America is good, and if she ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.” For sure, we can’t MAGA unless we MAMA — Make America Moral Again.
Yet if immorality is the diagnosis and restoring morality the cure, we must know what this thing called “morality” is. Ah, that’s where agreement can end.
Talk to most people today — especially the people who study people, sociologists and anthropologists — and they’ll “identify morality with social code,” as Sociology Guideputs it. They’ll essentially say what sociologists Durkheim and Sumner do, “that things are good or bad if they are so considered by society or public opinion,” the site continues. “Durkheim stated that we do not disapprove of an action because it is a crime but it is a crime because we disapprove of it.” Yet true or not, would the majority really view an action as a crime, in the all-important moral sense, if they came to believe it was true?
Consider a man I knew who once proclaimed, “Murder isn’t wrong; it’s just that society says it is.” Clearly, “public opinion” isn’t swaying him much.
Yet how do you argue with him? Barring reference to something outside of man (i.e., God) dictating murder’s “immorality,” you’re left with a striking reality:
Society is all there is to say anything.
Then “Man is the measure of all things,” as Greek philosopher Protagoras put it.
Yet acceptance of the “society says” thesis presents a problem: Now you must convince others to equate “public opinion” with credible, binding “morality.” This is mostly fruitless because, frankly, it’s stupid.
Man’s opinion is just that — opinion. If the term “morality” is essentially synonymous, it’s a risible redundancy. If we’re acting as slick marketers, trying to elevate “opinion” via assignment of an impressive-sounding title, it’s false advertising. So if that is all we’re really talking about — “opinion” or “societal considerations” — let’s drop the pretense and just say what we mean:
We sentient organic robots (soulless entities comprising chemicals and water) have preferences for how others should behave (subject to change with or without notice). No, we can’t call these tastes “morality” — but, hey, we can punish the heck out of you for defying our collective will (see North Korea et al.).
To cement the point, consider my patent explanation. Who or what determines what this thing we call morality is?
Only two possibilities exist: Either man or something outside of him does. If the latter, something vastly superior and inerrant (i.e., God), then we really can say morality exists, apart from man. It’s real. Yet what are the man-as-measure implications?
Well, imagine the vast majority of the world loved chocolate but hated vanilla. Would this make vanilla “wrong” or “evil”? It’s just a matter of preference, of whatever flavor works for you.
Okay, but is it any more logical saying murder is “bad” or “wrong” if we only do so because the vast majority of the world prefers we not kill others in a manner the vast majority considers “unjust”? If it’s all just consensus “opinion,” it then occupies the same category as flavors: preference.
This is the matter’s stark reality, boiled down. It’s why serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s darkness-enabling attitude was, as his father related in a 1996 interview (video below; relevant portion at 40:26), “If it [life] all happens naturalistically, what’s the need for a God? Can’t I set my own rules?” It’s why occultist Aleister Crowley, branded “the wickedest man in the world,” succinctly stated, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law” (Preference Über Alles 101).
This perspective engenders what’s often called “moral relativism,” the notion that “Truth” (absolute by definition) is illusion and what’s called “morality” changes with the time and people. But saying all is preference is actually moral nihilism, the belief that “morality” (properly understood) doesn’t actually exist — because, again, “opinion” isn’t morality.
Of course, few think matters through as thoroughly as a Dahmer or Crowley. (In fact, a possible reason sociopaths may possess above-average intelligence is that they’re smart enough to grasp the “morality” question’s two possibilities — either morality exists as something divinely-authored, something transcendent, or there is no morality — but draw the wrong conclusion.) Yet moral relativism/nihilism has swept Western civilization. And hell has followed with it.
How relativistic/nihilistic are we? A Barna Group study found that in 2002 already, most Americans did not believe in (absolute) Truth, in morality; in fact, only six percent of teens did. Thus are they most likely to base what once were called “moral decisions” on…wait for it…feelings. Surprise, surprise.
Such prevailing philosophical/moral rot collapses civilization. For anything can be justified. Rape, kill, steal, violate the Constitution as a judge, commit vote fraud? Why not? Who’s to say it’s wrong? Don’t impose values on me, dude.
To analogize it, imagine we fell victim to “dietary relativism/nihilism” and fancied the rules of nutrition nonexistent. With only taste left to govern dietary choices, most would indulge junk food; nutritional disorder would reign and health deteriorate. Moreover, considering one man’s poison another’s pleasure, we might sample those pretty red berries the birds gobble down. Hey, if it tastes good, eat it.
This reflects what’s befalling our “If it feels good, do it” Western civilization. Considering the rules of any system non-existent or irrelevant brings movement toward disorder — and a point where those who can impose their preferences restore order, a tyrannical one.
Having said this, discussing “Truth” and God evokes complaints, as the morally relativistic/nihilistic world view influences even many conservatives, and secularists find faith-oriented talk unsettling.
So let’s focus here on not faith but fact. As to this and the world’s Dahmers, Crowleys and the murder-skeptic man I knew, call them names, but don’t call them illogical. Within their universe of “data”— that “God doesn’t exist” and thus only organic robots can be the measure — they’re right: Murder’s status isn’t “wrong,” just “unpreferred.”
Note that moral principles cannot be proven scientifically any more than God’s existence; you can’t see a moral under a microscope or a principle in a Petri dish. Science only tells us what we can do, not what we should. Finding guidance on “should” necessitates transcending the physical and venturing into the metaphysical. It requires, pure logic informs, taking a leap of faith.
Something else not a matter of faith but fact is man’s psychology: People operate by certain principles. Like it or not, believing as Dahmer did (when young) about God leads to believing as he did about morality. “If man is all there is to make up rules, why can’t I just make up my own?”
As I put it in 2013, “Just as people wouldn’t abide by the ‘laws’ of physics if they didn’t believe they existed (the idea of jumping off a building and flying sounds like fun), and there weren’t obvious and immediate consequences for their violation (splat!), they won’t be likely to abide by morality if they believe its laws don’t exist.”
Of course, this rarely leads to serial killing. But it always — at population level — leads to serial immorality. This is an immutable rule of man.
So how should we combat our time’s moral relativism/nihilism? First, realize that from the Greek philosophers to the early/medieval Christians to the Founding Fathers, Western civilization was not forged by relativists/nihilists. It won’t be maintained by them, either. “If it feels good, do it” yields a healthy society even less than “If it tastes good, eat it” does a healthy body.
Thus, one needn’t have faith to understand that belief in Truth is utilitarian. As George Washington warned, “[R]eason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
Second, know that moral relativism/nihilism’s appeal is that it’s the ultimate get-out-of-sin free card. After all, my sins can’t be sins if there are no such things as sins, only “lifestyle choices.” Yet also know that we can have this seemingly eternal but illusory absolution — or we can have civilization. We can’t have both.
So act as if Truth exists; seek it, speak it, love it, for it will set you free. Realize also that relativism is juvenile pseudo-philosophy. For if everything were relative, what you believed would be relative, too, and thus meaningless. So let’s talk about what’s meaningful.
The alternative? Well, it was expressed nicely by an old New Yorkercartoon. It featured the Devil addressing a large group of arrivals in Hell and saying, reassuringly, “You’ll find there’s no right or wrong here. Just what works for you.”
It’s an alluring idea — and a powerful one. It creates Hell on Earth, too.
EDITORS NOTE: This article is the second in a series on exposing modern (liberal) lies, explaining the disordered leftist mind and restoring civilization. The first is here. The “American’t” essay, which illustrates our problems, is here. The edited featured photo by Jonny Swales on Unsplash.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/jonny-swales-577381-unsplash.jpg384640Selwyn Dukehttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngSelwyn Duke2018-12-23 12:58:362019-03-11 05:03:04Restoring Civilization: We Can’t MAGA Unless We MAMA
Why would someone sit on an allegation for nearly six weeks, if were about a subject that everyone is supposed to be concerned about? Perhaps it’s because they are more concerned about how to use the allegation than whether or not the allegation is true.
Welcome to Washington, DC where such political theater is regularly on display, the latest episode being Senate Democrats’ efforts to derail Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh with an eleventh-hour allegation of inappropriate behavior from more than thirty years ago. Whether or not the allegation is true is one thing. We should always be concerned about the truth. But how it is being used is another — and methods have the right to be questioned.
“It’s disturbing that these uncorroborated allegations from more than 35 years ago, during high school, would surface on the eve of a committee vote after Democrats sat on them since July,” a Senate Judiciary Committee statement read. “If Ranking Member Feinstein and other Committee Democrats took this claim seriously, they should have brought it to the full Committee’s attention much earlier.”
Quite true. Instead, writes the committee, Democrats “said nothing during two joint phone calls with the nominee in August, four days of lengthy public hearings, a closed session for all committee members with the nominee where sensitive topics can be discussed and in more than 1,300 written questions. Sixty-five senators met individually with Judge Kavanaugh during a nearly two-month period before the hearing began, yet Feinstein didn’t share this with her colleagues ahead of many of those discussions.”
At the same time, many (including many womenwho knew him yearsago) have firmly vouched for his character and integrity. Additionally, as my friend Franklin Graham noted, “Judge Kavanaugh has been through 6 incredibly thorough FBI vettings and a multitude of other inquiries, and nothing even related to these 36-year-old allegations has ever come up.” We know that many progressives and opponents of our Constitution as it is written would love nothing more than for this whole process to be derailed. Given the way this has unfolded, we have every reason to believe Kavanaugh’s opponents don’t care about justice; they care about a justice — specifically, that he not make it onto the Court.
As Franklin reminds us, we must “[p]ray for Judge Kavanaugh, Mrs. Ford who is making this accusation, their families, and for wisdom and discernment for Senate leadership dealing with these post-hearing, previously unreported, allegations from his distant teenage years.” Indeed, in a situation like this, let us all pray — for the good of our Constitution and our nation — that truth, justice, and righteousness would prevail.
Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/091818_kavanaugh_770x400-e1537349585972.jpg371640Family Research Councilhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngFamily Research Council2018-09-19 05:35:192018-09-19 05:35:19Kavanaugh Allegations: Aimed at Justice or at a Justice?
In a strongly worded five-minute video, National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre is calling on Barack Obama and other politicians to help stop violent crime by focusing on prosecuting violent criminals—not further restricting law-abiding gun owners.
“We’ve lived through the Clinton administration’s utter lack of federal gun prosecutions, and the Obama administration is following suit, while the country suffers,” LaPierre said. “And we know that a second Clinton administration will just mean more of the same.”
LaPierre added that gun-banners—whether politicians or media—won’t silence the men and women of the NRA.
“No organization has been louder, clearer or more consistent on the urgent need to enforce the federal gun laws than the NRA,” he said. “And in the face of mounting political and media pressure to demean, shame and silence us … we will fight.”
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/wayne-lapierre.jpg414640NRA Institute for Legislative Actionhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngNRA Institute for Legislative Action2015-11-05 04:18:422015-11-05 04:54:10VIDEO: How to Stop Violent Crime
Look, this ain’t hard. Once a person abandons the solid moral foundation of the Ten Commandments, that person will have complete and continual instability in his life.
Extrapolating from there to a social context indicates that this principal of moral instability follows a society which abandons the solid foundation of the 10 Commandments in exchange for the illusion of a foundation built on the shifting sand of cultural relativism.
On today’s show we illustrate this critical element of humanity by using the 10 Commandment controversy in Oklahoma and how it relates to each American.
Important stuff, tune in.
https://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/ten-commandments.jpg360640The United Westhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngThe United West2015-07-02 16:27:042015-07-02 16:27:04Oklahoma Supreme Court: The Ten Commandments Suck!
The difference between the Article 5 convention and nullification is like the difference between a pop gun and a machine gun.
Nullification has stopping power. Article 5 is a genuflection to the federal power. It is simply writing more amendments for the Fed to ignore, absurdly pretending that the federal government is made up of sincere individuals who will obey the will of its citizens.
On the other hand, when a state nullifies a federal law, it is not asking the feds for anything or treating them as a body of sincere individuals. It is demanding, with a gun to the head of the unruly federal government. And that is the only way the fed can be made to back off.
Now some have reasoned that there are legal limits to nullification. However, if individuals have the right to civil disobedience, then so do the states. This goes further than mere nullification of a law by a state court. This is one step before insurrection, and judging by their actions in the past, particularly the way they backed off in the Bundy ranch standoff, the feds would not dare to go into a state and enforce their law at gunpoint because they know that such would lead to a new American revolution.
The Feds would then no doubt do what they are doing to Russia, ie, impose sanctions. But the state that used the “civil disobedience” approach could also fight back by withholding funds to the feds, much in the way that Russia is imposing sanctions of its own. They could, for example, temporarily release their citizens from the obligation to pay federal taxes, enjoining them to pay the funds to the states instead but reducing the overall amount.
There is no doubt that this would work, though causing some temporary hardship. It is all up to the American people. They need to wake up and realize that Washington is the enemy, by definition, and that desperate times demand desperate measures.
One very important use of civil disobedience would be for states to man up and refuse to admit anyone into their state who entered the US illegally, regardless of federal laws to the contrary. Initially, this would constitute nullification in the original sense, where the state would decide, on the basis of Article 4, Section 4, that the federal government was acting unconstitutionally to award legal residence to invaders.
The argument is straightforward and logical: The Constitution was a contract signed by the state representatives. By analogy with contract law, both parties must comply with each clause under penalty of dissolution or partial dissolution of the contract. The state could rightfully argue that it was induced at the founding of our nation to enter into a contract that provided protection but that the protection had been unlawfully withheld, thereby leading to dissolution of all or part of the contract.
Article 4, Section 4 of the Constitution enjoins the federal government to protect the States against invasion. By refusing to allot sufficient funds and manpower to the protection of the southern border and by restricting the ability of the Border Patrol to arrest lawbreakers, by releasing apprehended illegal border crossers back into the US, by releasing convicted illegal alien criminals back onto the US streets after they have served their time rather than deporting them, and by rewarding lawbreakers with temporary or permanent residency using a variety of tricks such as allowing them to serve in the military in exchange for residency, the federal government has not only failed to protect the states from invasion as mandated by the Constitution, but has in fact aided and abetted the invaders and has thereby rendered itself an outlaw government that need no longer be obeyed but must in fact be resisted.
In case any reader should doubt that the massive immigration from the southern border constitutes an actual invasion, they need only read the article in Business Insider showing that of the 13 most dangerous street gangs in America, a full 10 are Hispanic. The most dangerous and violent of these is Mara Salvatrucha. To get a graphic portrayal of this gang’s behavior, you need only view the below video. But be forewarned. It is brutally violent and not for the weak hearted. And what you see there is a direct result of unconstitutional federal policies.
If the Supreme Court decided that, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary (only a smattering of which is presented at the linked sources), the massive influx of illegals does not meet the definition of an invasion, and that this was a wrong interpretation of the Constitution by the state in question, then it would be up to the state to implement “state-level civil disobedience,” averring that, in this decision, the Supreme Court represents only the federal government, a narrow interest group – thereby denying the states and their citizens equal protection under the law – to the detriment of the states.
State borders would become sovereign again, as they should have been in the first place.
In a nation where there is a scarcity of good news, hearing Eric Holder give a farewell speech upon his announcement that he will be leaving as the Attorney General was surely welcome in some circles. I was never a fan of his because he was in my opinion always more of a politician than someone with the responsibility to enforce the laws of the nation.
I first took notice of Holder when, in the pre-dawn hours of April 22, 2000, as the deputy attorney general serving under Janet Reno, he oversaw the seizure of Elian Gonzalez, a seven-year-old whose mother had died in an effort to escape Cuba and find sanctuary in the United States. Holder was doing what he had to do after a court ruled that Gonzalez be returned to his father in Cuba, but I thought then and still do that Gonzalez should have been allowed to remain with his U.S. relatives.
When Barack Obama became President, he selected Holder as his Attorney General. Both had made history being the first blacks to hold either job. Within three weeks or so, Holder was saying that Americans were “cowards” for not addressing issues of race in America. That told me all I needed to know about him. Whatever would follow would frequently be judged on the basis of race, not justice. I wouldn’t want a white attorney general to act in that fashion, but a black one nursing feelings of victimization despite his personal achievements did not bode well.
I have not been alone in my misgivings. On news of Holder’s announcement, The Heartland Institute, a free market think tank, called on some of its advisors for their opinions.
Ronald D. Rotunda, the Doy & Dee Henley Chair and Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence at Chapman University, had his own memories of Holder:
“Mr. Holder is leaving the office, but he cannot so easily leave the controversies that have surrounded his tenure, including: the scandal surrounding the IRS, the missing emails, and his role in investigating the scandal; the ‘Fast and Furious’ scandal, which made him the first cabinet member in U.S. history that Congress held in contempt; his decision to drop a prosecution against the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation, after the Department of Justice successfully secured an injunction; and the unprecedented decision, which Holder personally approved, to subpoena, monitor, and issue a search warrant involving James Rosen, a Fox News Reporter” “Holder will leave the office, but is unlikely to leave the national stage because these controversies remain,” said Prof. Rotunda.
Jane M. Orient, M.D., Executive Director of the Association of Physicians and Surgeons, said:
“The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons first got to know Eric Holder when he represented the government in our lawsuit about the illegal operations of the Clinton Task Force on Health Care Reform. The pattern then was stonewalling and obfuscation. Even when task force members finally turned over some documents on court order, many of the floppy disks were blank. Holder declined to prosecute Ira Magaziner, head of the Task Force Working Group, for perjury.”
‘It seems,” said Dr. Orient, “that some government officials never learn that the cover-up can be worse than the underlying conduct,’’ Judge Lamberth added. ‘Most shocking to this court, and deeply disappointing, is that the Department of Justice would participate in such conduct… This type of conduct is reprehensible, and the government must be held accountable for it…The pattern has only worsened with Holder as the highest law enforcement officer in the land. Who will ever hold him and the White House accountable?”
“Eric Holder’s resignation represents an opportunity for the President to appoint an Attorney General willing to end what some have seen as a witch-hunt against American banks. Under Holder, the Department of Justice shook down Bank of America for billions of dollars, as punishment the bank’s alleged crime of complying with the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 and lending money to individuals unable to repay. The CRA mandated that banks must make bad loans, the banks complied with the bad policy, but the bank is not at fault for the results of that bad policy.”
“Hopefully, said Hathaway, “whomever replaces Holder as ‘top cop’ will understand how causality works, and end the practice of shaking down the finance industry as punishment for following Washington DC’s orders.”
Holder’s instincts as Attorney General generated a huge public outcry when he decided to try the September 11 plotters in a New York courthouse within walking distance of the destroyed Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Lawmakers, New York City officials, and some of the victim’s families thought that was a very bad idea and Holder reversed the decision and sent the cases to military court. 9/11 was clearly an act of war, but neither the President, nor Holder saw it that way.
Holder made a bit of history when he refused to defend a law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. He made more history when, refusing to hand over documents regarding Fast and Furious, a scandal involving gun trafficking to Mexican drug cartels, Congress voted to hold him in contempt, the first time an attorney general had been censured in that way. Holder, however, held onto his job because the President had thrown a cloak of “executive privilege” over the scandal, stonewalling Congress.
To be fair, Holder has been lauded for policies that were applauded for reducing crime during his tenure in office and urging a revision to sentences that did not reflect the crimes, reducing the nation’s prison population in the process.
In the end, though, it seems like everything was about race for him and the President. Holder inserted himself into the Ferguson, Missouri, shooting of a black youth by a white police officer and, while the facts are still being investigated, the likelihood is that it was justifiable self-defense. And the President, speaking at the United Nations last week also mentioned Ferguson as an example of America’s racial bias. What happened in Ferguson was about law enforcement and justice, but neither saw it in that fashion.
What America needs now for the remainder of Obama’s term in office is a colorblind Attorney General.