Saturday, June 10, 2006

Grand Ole Opry Saturday

Ricky Skaggs and Keith Urban perform a classic together-one of my all-time favorite songs about a road with which I am very familiar.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Ding dong, the Charter's dead

Chanellor John Weaver has ruled that the Knox County Charter is invalid. I wrote here last week that regardless of what your personal opinion on the issue of term limits might be, having read the Charter I believed that it was not constitutionally sound and that the right decision legally would be for the Chancery Court to throw it out. Today that Court has done so.

While I realize that many advocates of term limits are lamenting this decision as destroying the 1994 term limits amendment to the County Charter, and many of these same good people blame the five Commissioners who brought the suit as the ones to blame for the present crisis, since many of those same term-limits advocates are conservatives they ought to be meeting this decision with great rejoicing.

The scrapping of the Charter should be met with barbecues, block parties, fireworks, and celebratory gunfire all over Knox County. I personally plan to deposit several glasses of champaigne in celebration. Conservatives who do not celebrate this glorious development have not yet weighed in their minds the fullness of the magnitude of this decision, and they should think with a clear head.

Think for a moment...

How can the Tyrant and his mignons in the City-County Building continue to legally impose and collect their vile and perfidious wheel tax when it was passed under the now-invalid Charter? Oh, they will attempt to, but they will be above the law when so doing. As soon as someone challenges that Levy of Lucifer they will be forced to cease collecting it until they can get the General Assembly to agree to it in a private act. The General Assembly has adjourned sine die, and Honourable Members from West Tennessee would by no means take kindly to being convened in Special Session to address some Knox County matter.

Rediculous regulations and needless rulemaking will be undone. Much of the intended welfare state of the present regime has, in a singular Court decision, come unravelled and unwound.

Glory Hallelujah.

Yes, I know it will only be a matter of time before those who do the desolate work of tyranny will patch the Duty of the Devil back into place. Indeed, I expect that within a month a Charter Committee will be formed whose duty it will be-rather than writing some righteous instrument of Republican virtue-to draw up some instrument of localized socialism.

In the meantime however, we can rejoice that we are temporarily relieved of "5,000 tyrants one mile away."

Dixon goes up the river

Former State Senator Roscoe Dixon was found guilty of extortion in the Tennessee Waltz scandal yesterday. Mr. Dixon took payoffs from a fake FBI company that was set up to sting legislators for bribery after complaints were made that that some people in the General Assembly were taking payoffs and kickbacks from lobbyists. The sting confirmed that this was going on.

Legislators in both parties were guilty, but the majority were Democrats. Mr. Dixon admitted that he asked for money and took the bribes, and then he tried to say that the whole thing was a racially motivated event targeting black legislators. That is a cop-out, of course, since a prominent white Republican is already in a federal prison camp as part of the same sting.

Mr. Dixon's case is a testimony to why the coming November elections need to produce a real change in who controls business in Nashville, or filthy corrupt practices will continue.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


American airmen successfully bombed a building that housed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi sometime before three o' clock this morning Eastern time, as the whole world (and readers of this blog) are surely aware. Shortly after the announcement of Zarqawi's death hit the wires and the major television news outlets, radical leftist webloggers wasted no time in blasting the whole thing as some sort of Bush-led conspiracy to boost the GOP's chances in the November General Election.

One blogger who claims to be an Iraqi claims both that Zarqawi is not dead, and that he never existed to begin with. I am quite the consumer of conspiracy theories myself, folks, but that one is a bit far-fetched even for me.

The Ditzy Chicks

People close to The Dixie Chicks are admitting that ticket sales for their latest tour have been disappointing. Is it any wonder why? Not only did Natalie Maines shoot off at the mouth when she said "we are ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas," but the Chicks finally come out with a new album where one can find a song called "Not Ready to Make Nice." Oh yes, what a great way to boost radio play and exposure in the heartland, which is where country music is king.

Let me make an admission: I think The Chicks are perfectly entitled to whatever political or social opinions they want to have, even if I vehemently disagree with them. I even think that if Natalie Maines wants to run her mouth on stage about whatever liberal ideas she might have, it is her right. I like a lot of the Chicks' pre-London material, and I own a couple of their albums myself. However, when you are touring on foreign soil in wartime, you do not publicly trash the President, no matter how much you don't like him. When you do such a thing, you give ammunition to the enemies of America, whether that is your intent or not.

The Chicks will continue to be persona non grata on country radio precisely because they will not simply say "we are sorry for the damage we did to America."

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The drop-out Primary

I happened to listen to The Voice for a few minutes yesterday morning, and there was a lady on there who was a supporter of Van Hilleary. I didn't catch her name and I regret this a great deal, because I turned the radio on after she began to talk.

It was quite obvious that she was a serious Van supporter, because she kept talking about how Van had racked up more votes than Ed Bryant and was the only candidate who could beat Bob Corker. What's more, she attempted to say that Ed Bryant's attacks on Bob Corker's record had no merit because they were not based on substantive issues. (Apparently, having a pro-aborticide politician running for Senate claiming to be pro-life on the record that Corker has is not a "substantive issue.") This latest silly notion comes on the heel of an internal poll from the Corker campaign in which Corker claims to be 20 points ahead of Ed Bryant and 26 points ahead of Van Hilleary. Now, I'm not saying that Corker polls are paragons of accuracy-far from it. However, last week a Corker poll was used by the Hilleary campaign to try and convince Ed Bryant that he had no chance to win. Privately, some Hilleary people admit that they do not want Bryant out of the race because they believe that having him in the race is the only chance they have to beat Corker.

As I blogged here, Ed Bryant asking Van Hilleary to drop out was a bad move. We don't have any need to look desperate here as the Bryant campaign in East Tennessee is about to begin in earnest. However, Van Hilleary saying that Ed Bryant could not beat Bob Corker in a two-man race is disingenuous-Bryant would thump Corker because there would be no doubt in such a race who the real conservative would be.

One thing about these internal polls: If you've ever worked a campaign, you know that in a Primary poll, two questions are asked. The first polls likely voters as to who they are voting for or would support in the Primary. The second number is how the potential candidates would do against the possible or presumtive nominee of the other Party. I am certain Corker's pollsters asked this question, but it is interesting that they have chosen not to release that information. It would seem they do not want us to know how Corker would do against Harold Ford Jr.-the only good reason to hide that is that the numbers must have Ford giving Corker a real drubbing.

Proxy suffragette

Well, the Brothers of the Knoxville Council 645 of the Knights of Columbus voted last night to purchase the former Gospel Light Baptist Church property on Millertown Pike. That means that if everything goes according to plan, Knoxville's Knights of Columbus Council will return to a hall of their own after six years of meeting like gypsies in other people's quarters.

Only one member voted "no" on the question. Because I respect this person immensely, I will not reveal his name, but I will say that he is involved in our local Republican Party, and he has been for a number of years. He is also a former candidate for public office, and like me, this person has an unwavering commitment to the pro-life cause, to conservatism, and to the Holy Catholic Church.

Did this person vote no because we were being fiscally irresponsible? No, we have more than enough in the Home Treasury to handle the purchase. Is the hall a bad property? No-he himself thought the place seemed as fine as any if we were going to built a hall. This person-this good Catholic, solid conservative, good Republican-he voted no because his wife really didn't like the idea. He had the guts to admit this before the vote was taken. I admire his guts in admitting this.

In the 124-year history of the Knights of Columbus, women have never been admitted to the Order. As a consequence, no woman has ever been allowed a vote-by-proxy. Apparently, a woman got such a proxy vote last night in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Shall we be on the Lord's side?

I happened to catch Pat Buchanan on Hardball yesterday evening and something he said really struck me.

"What neither side [conservative or liberal] seems to understand is that America is in a state of moral decline."

We now hear the President speak openly yet again about a Constitutional Amendment forever defining marriage in the United States as existing between one man and one woman. It is a testimony that what Buchanan is saying is true when we suddenly see a need to define in the context of the Constitution of the United States that which had previously been known for 2,000 years to be reality. For much of those two millenia, marriage was not defined by civil law at all, but by the Church, and it was the Church that set the "one man, one woman" standard, because this is not man's law, it is the Law of God.

I cannot speak to President Bush's faith. He says that he is a Christian, and I am compelled to believe him. I am also, however, forced to believe that the issue of defending the marital standard in law is not an issue that is truly important to him. We do not hear of it or votes in Congress on the question except during election cycles (2004, 2006) when the President has a real need to shore up his base.

What I am about to say may anger some conservatives, but I firmly believe in my heart that it is true: We as a movement have lost our moorings and our way. We are concerned about taxes and immigration and spending-we should be. We have failed to see that the ultimate root of every one of these problems which have plagued our nation and our movement (largely because so-called "conservative Republicans" are helping to perpetuate the problems) is the moral decline of our nation. We cannot expect to have good government when the people who elect that government are living in and perpetuating by their lives a culture of sin and of death. We cannot have righteous leaders when the people who elect the leaders are not righteous. God gives us the leadership we have chosen by our actions-He gives us what we want and what we deserve.

Contemplate with me for a moment the first verse of the 127th Psalm:

Unless the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it. Unless the Lord keep the city, he watcheth in vain that keepeth it.

We as conservatives are railing against sodomite "marriage," and railing against aborticide. We are decrying unfair immigration policies and oppressive taxation. Speaking out against these things is a wonderful thing, if we are doing so with the right motives in mind. Many within our movement speak on these matters out of conviction, true enough, but do so only with the intent to gain power as their end. Neither their lives nor their governance is given over into the hands of Almighty God.

Friends, the Lord will not prosper us if all we do is rail about conservative ideas and give no credence to the God that made us. If we cannot first by our lives be a witness for what is morally right and spiritually true, it does us little good to promote an amendment to the Constitution defining Holy Matrimony. If we cannot live an example of proper marriages in our own lives, it will do us little good to define marriage if we cannot live marriage in the way Almighty God expects it of us.

We are hypocrits to protest the amnesty of illegal aliens when we are doing little to populate our own nation with our own people: The heathens promote aborticide, and many "Christians" contracept themselves out of the children God intends them to have. After contracepting the natural-born population down, we then complain about the influx of foreigners who then do what we as a people will not do-bear children. In the Bible, to be barren was seen as a curse, now we scoff at people with large families (who are doing as God asks) and wonder why they would have so many children, as if children are a curse. And we wonder why there are so many aborticides in this country?

The wicked and evil things that are happening to our nation, and the moral and spiritual decline that we see before us are a punishment from a just God because His people have forgotten him. As conservatives, we love to invoke His blessing on our councils, conventions, congresses, unions and societies. How many of us are reciprocating the blessings we are asking of God? Do we bless the Lord by the lives we lead? As we fight for ideas and principles that are right and true, do we live by the Laws of the God who is Truth?

Upon seeing the wickedness of the Children of Israel, before breaking the tablets of the law and (by the power and authority of God) slaying 23,000 idolaters, Moses asked the people in Exodus 32:26:

If any man be on the Lord's side let him join with me.

Before the conservative movement can again be successful, we must be fully on the Lord's side. If we are on the Lord's side, the Lord will be on our side, and we shall always win the battle and the day. If we want the Lord on our side, we must live after the nature described by the Psalmist in Psalm 1:1-2:

Blessed is the man who hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the chair of pestilence. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he shall meditate day and night.

We shall win the battle of ideas only by walking in the truth, and not in the counsel of the wicked and in the way of the sinful. Let us not only advocate for righteous law but live in a righteous way. In so doing, we can live that which we proclaim is good for the society we so desperately seek to reform.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Fighting the battle for Bryant

I was exceedingly glad to hear, via Rob Huddleston, just how well the fundraiser and reception went Saturday night for our next United States Senator, Ed Bryant. It also says a lot to me about the kind of man that Ed Bryant is that he would take the time out of his fundraising activities to host a reception for our next Governor as well.

I agree with Senator Tom Coburn (as well as Rob) that the vast majority of the blame for conservative failures lies with President Bush, not with the ideals of conservatism themselves. It is because the President has failed to adhere to these ideals that we now face the prospect of a very bad night nationally in November. Coburn reportedly blamed both the President and national Republican leadership for a lack of initiative on the issues that matter to conservatives, especially on immigration.

I agree with him that Terry Frank in person is even better than Terry Frank on the net, and Terry on the net is pretty powerful.

I just hope that we can energize this campaign enough to overtake Corker. I have been in Jefferson and Hamblen Counties the last two days, and I have seen Corker signs in places where there should be no such signs. We can win, because with the help of God David did defeat Goliath.

Say a prayer for Nicole. She pulled a muscle in her neck and strained one in her shoulder and pinched a nerve to go along with it. The doctor prescribed some pretty heavy pain medicine today for her. I am hoping it does her some good, as nothing else seems to have worked.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Today is Pentecost Sunday, called by some "the birthday of the Church." It celebrates the day when the Holy Spirit fell upon the apostles and on those assembled at Jerusalem who received the spirit with them. St. Luke's account of the incident (Acts 2:1-40) recounts that onlookers thought the folks were intoxicated, while Peter was keen to inform them that "these men are not drunken as ye suppose."

It is also the patronal feast of our current Parish church, Holy Ghost, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary as a canonical parish next year.

Pentecost holds a very special meaning for me, because I was baptized on Pentecost Sunday eight years ago. In 1998, Pentecost fell on May 31, so this past Wednesday was the actual anniversary of my baptism, although I always celebrate it on whatever day Pentecost happens to fall. Catholics who read this blog will probably ascertain that I received all three Sacraments of Initiation that day, and they would be correct. Father Chris Rohmiller was the celebrant and homilist at the Mass in which I was baptized, confirmed, and received for the first time the Holy Eucharist.

Since today not only celebrates the birth of the Church but also my rebirth in Christ, it is more significant to me than my own birthday. It also behooves me to call upon the help of the Holy Spirit to guide our household through what has become a rather hefty and unusually complicated process of buying a new home.

Christ promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church. People have asked me if I am concerned about the "problems" that the Catholic Church has had to deal with over the last few years. What they mean, of course, is the clergy sex abuse scandal. As difficult and as evil (I believe it came from Satan himself) as that has been for the Church in America, priests who abuse innocent children are a tiny minority of the whole of the clergy. In terms of percentage, less than 2% of all priests in America have had an allegation made against them. That is a lower percentage than the percentage of Protestant ministers and religious teachers who have had an allegation made against them (3%). Allegations are just that, and what you don't hear in the press is that an allegation was proven to be baseless, which happens more often than not. The revelation of the terrible abuse in Boston has set off a huge number of abuse claims all over the country, and it has been discovered that the vast majority of these claims are groundless-but you don't hear that in the press. Instead, people are milking dioceses of millions of dollars in settlement money so the dioceses can avoid even costlier litigation to clear themselves and their priests.

The Church will survive and will grow, because in 2,000 years the Church has survived much worse than this. The Holy Catholic Church is like a Timex watch: It takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

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