The Dino Rossi Question

This is an opinion by the Chairman of the Washington State  Constitution party.

Robert W. Peck
August 12, 2010

A friend recently asked me for my take on the U.S. Senate race and the ‘Dino Rossi question.’ They asked “Are the Republicans supporting Rossi?? Who should we be supporting?” In asking “are the Republicans supporting Rossi?” I am confident they were referring to the state Republican Party, or more precisely, the party’s leadership and the establishment power structure within the party. It is quite apparent to me “the Republicans” are indeed supporting Rossi.

Forgive me if I’m wrong, and please provide the evidence to establish that fact, but it appears to me that Mr. Rossi is a moderate who represents the establishment powers that are backing him and is being used by the same to undercut Clint Didier because Didier represents actual Constitutional policies and the grassroots populace. My perception is that the establishment powers are afraid they could loose control of the situation, loose control of the Republican Party, and end up with someone in the U.S. Senate who actually understands the God-given role of civil government, upholds the original intent of the U.S. Constitution, protects the God-given rights of the people, and most frightful of all to the establishment powers, would embolden the grassroots, Tea Partiers and the like, to rise up, shake off the yoke of the establishment powers and take back our country and our liberty.

Even when Rossi was running for governor I really wasn’t all that impressed. Nevertheless, because all the Christians and conservatives seemed to be enamored with him, I looked up his website and did some reading. Sorry if I’m wrong, but I didn’t see anything that indicated to me that he was a true Constitutionalist who understood the God-given role of civil government the way our nation’s founders did. What I saw was conservative sounding rhetoric and proposals of more efficient and cost effective ways to manage the current big government programs. To be honest, I felt like I was reading about the proposals of a quasi socialist to use some free market solutions to make our neo-socialistic state run more efficiently.

Some may point out that in order to win, Mr. Rossi had to (and still does have to) sound more moderate and could not come out with extreme conservatism or actual God honoring Constitutional rhetoric – possibly so. However, in my book that’s all the more reason to not trust someone with my vote. If a candidate lacks the courage to be extreme in his defense of such principles now, how will he suddenly become strong enough to implement truly God honoring principles, strict Constitutional limits and protect my liberty once in office when the real pressure is on.

Meanwhile, in the U.S. Senate race at hand, I initially viewed Mr. Didier as being somewhat weak and as just using ‘conservative rhetoric.’ However, over the course of the campaign, Mr. Didier has come forth with a more and more Constitutionally oriented stand. He has even been called on some issues and been confronted with the Constitutionally correct point of view and having once had it explained to him, he has agreed and indicated a change in his policy. I’m not saying Mr. Didier is the ultimate answer in Constitutionalism, but my observation is that he is sincere, teachable and honestly headed in a very right and Constitutional direction.

Polls were showing that Didier was by far the front runner among Republican candidates and it was apparent that he was gaining the support of the grassroots, Constitutionalists and Tea Party types. It was at that point that out of nowhere, Rossi jumped into the race. Now I can’t prove this, but I see no reason for this to have happened except that the powers that be (the establishment powers that don’t want to loose control of the Republican Party or of Congress) called on Mr. Rossi to jump into the race with the intention that his candidacy would undercut Mr. Didier who they view as a threat – a threat which if elected to the U.S. Senate, they would not be able to control or convince to ‘tow the party line.’

Sorry if I’m a bit cynical, but I’ve already tried being naive and that doesn’t seem to work out very well in a world full of unscrupulous, power hungry individuals who seek to dupe and control the masses.

Mr. Rossi may be a well meaning, reasonably conservative individual – he may be a well meaning, reasonably conservative individual who is unwittingly being used by the establishment – he may be a well meaning, reasonably conservative individual who is knowingly letting himself be used by the establishment – or he may be a neo-con member of the establishment, I can’t say for sure which. What I do know is that I’m done voting for people whose true identity and intentions I have to guess at when people like Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, State Representative Matt Shea and Constitution Party Congressional candidates Randall Yearout and Mary Ruth Edwards, and I would like to believe that I can now add Clint Didier to the list, have proven that we can field candidates who are ‘True Constitutionalists’ whose identity, intentions, policies and principles we don’t have to guess at.

If the Republican Party wants me to vote for their candidate in the upcoming general election, or in any election, they will have to provide me with a candidate who demonstrates a clear understanding of the God-give role of civil government – that it exists to protect my God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and to preserve for me and posterity the blessings of liberty – a candidate who articulates and demonstrates a strict adherence to the limits placed upon government by the U.S. Constitution as originally intended by its framers – a candidate who does not mince words, leave any room for doubt or leave himself any room to change his policies later – a candidate who lays it all on the line and is clearly doing this for a cause that is bigger than himself and is not just doing and saying what it takes to get elected – a candidate who clearly and obviously is not just serving as a front man for the establishment party powers and who will not be used as a pawn by those who seek ‘a new world order.’

Those who call themselves ‘conservative’ have been duped, deceived, manipulated and used time after time and I for one am not willing to be a party to such anymore – not in this election cycle or any other. Too many times I have watched the conservative populace espouse right principles, then be cooped into supporting the establishment’s chosen man and thus perpetuating the cycle of America’s decline and insuring the continued reign of those who do not have our best interest at heart – by “those who do not have our best interest at heart,” I do not mean Mr. Rossi, but rather those powers which election cycle after election cycle offer the public a choice between those candidates who they themselves have chosen for us to choose between.

The empowering virtue of my vote is far too precious to be bestowed upon anything less than the principles and policies that I know to be right and believe to be necessary. Anytime I give the empowering virtue of my vote to a candidate that represents less than what I believe in, I become responsible for their actions and forfeit all right to complain about their moderate, quasi socialistic policies and programs because I authorized and empowered such with my vote.

Even if the withholding of my vote from a moderate supposedly allows a liberal to win, then so be it. I will not use my vote to tell a lie. The ballot that we cast is one of our greatest forms of freedom of speech and declares to our fellow countrymen what we believe to be right and necessary. Our vote should be a form of positive peer pressure that declares our values to all who are watching and either encourages or discourages certain values, policies and actions. When I vote for a moderate, a neo-con, someone advocating ‘socialism lite’, I tell my fellow countrymen “this is the way to go – this is what I approve of – these are the policies we should adhere to and implement!” Well I won’t do it. I will only use my vote to declare to my fellow countrymen those principles that I believe to be right, necessary and true.

Last I checked, God had not commanded me to win, he had not commanded me to ‘stop the liberals,’ he had not commanded me to ‘pick a winner.’ Last I checked, God was looking for ‘clean hands, a pure heart, those that have not lifted up their soul to vanity, nor sworn deceitfully’ (Ps 24: 3-5). He is not looking for hearts that are full of the ‘fear of liberals,’ nor hands that support compromise and He certainly is not looking for a people who by their actions (vote) advocate to their fellow man adherence to a standard that they themselves do not believe in.

If you believe in “X” and vote for “Y” you use your vote to tell a lie
Greg Olsen, Constitution Party of Washington, Yakima Co. Coordinator

Robert W. Peck
Chairman, Constitution Party of Washington

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Voting

O.k, so I have to vote in the primary election.  I’ve decided to put down some thoughts on how I go about voting, in case anyone running for office stops by looking for ideas.

I am a skeptical voter type, and I can’t stand nice, I-am-a-good guy statements in the voter pamphlet.  I am also suspicious of “Together we can” type things.  I just want the bare facts, guys.

I think it’s  easier to tell if you like someone from their speaking, rather than their writing.  Maybe it’s because in speaking you don’t have the benefit of editing. When a candidate is speaking, he should say something you could actually repeat.  Not a long string of words strung together that don’t really meaning anything.  I would like to come away challenged to think about what the candidate said, even if I do not agree.  I dislike being talked down to or having someone try and buddy up to me in political ads. I mean, come on.  Do you really suppose I need to be treated like a preschooler?  Working from the assumption that both of us are adults, we should be able to have a coherent conversation.  If I get the inkling you are talking to hear your head rattle, there has to be some pretty bad candidates before I will consider voting for you.

I dislike people who talk about what they are going to do for me, especially if it includes money.  That is when I know I’m going to be stuck for the bill, even if they earnestly they tell me only those that are rich will be taxed.   This one category pretty much knocks off two thirds of the population of candidates.  Interestingly enough, it not only crosses out democrats, it crosses out Republicans.  They all like spending other people’s money, just on different things.

I do pay attention to endorsements.  If you are endorsed by lawyers guilds, unions, education associations,  or previous candidates who don’t know what they’re there for, it is a strike against you.  If you are endorsed by people I like and trust, that is a point in your favor.

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Blog faries

Hey! Who changed the heading picture?  I liked the old one!

There.  I fixed it.

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How Do You Know What You Know You Know

This is an article I wrote for Lewrockwell.com It is the complete article, except I corrected effect/affect,  (Thanks  to alert readers!) and added an “a” for clarity.

How Do You Know What You Know You Know

(And various other musings which no one is making you read, so why are you?)

I was recently contacted  by one of those survey companies. You know the ones. They speak with a false accent and call just before dinner. This particular survey was about the oil spill down in the gulf, and my feelings towards several different oil companies. The survey had basically three categories:

1) Do you approve or disapprove of the following oil companies?
2) What are your political beliefs?
3) Where do you get your information?

They offered that trite, very old, loathsome dichotomy of: “Are you Conservative or Liberal?” I replied I was a Conservative Liberal with Liberal Conservative leanings; which isn’t particularly the case, but given the choice between being shot or hanged, I chose both, and  just hoped my answers would reflect badly on them all. I told them I got my information from the internet and talk radio (What is T.V. anyway?) Though I do read the newspaper just so I can believe the opposite. I didn’t tell him that.

When asked about the oil companies, I was surprisingly diplomatic. I had no opinion whatsoever, except on BP, for whom I entertain a slight approval. Why, of all things, do I slightly approve of BP? Because all the information I have from the newspapers is negative. I would never, upon waking ask myself, “Do You approve or disapprove of these oil companies?” the thought never entered my head. But when I was asked directly, I said I slightly approved: and the reason for my approval was based on the disapproval of the paper. (I had heard nothing in regards to the other oil companies, so I hadn’t any opinion at all.)

After I got off the phone, I reflected on my answers. Is BP really a bad company? Or is it slightly virtuous as I had prescribed?  Honestly, I haven’t a clue. And that is what disturbs me: I was basing my opinion on information which I assumed was false;  therefore I believed the opposite.  In doing so I have created another false dichotomy: If the paper says it’s true, it isn’t, and vice versa. Now, this may be a good strategy when playing cards, but there aren’t only two options when reading the paper, and there are many ways to lie.

Don’t get me wrong; I believe (in most cases) in the general truth of the reported story: There is fighting  in Rwanda.  Five people were killed in a shooting in such and such a town.  A boat in Singapore was sunk. So far, so good. But when it comes to the particulars, therein lies the trouble.

Sometimes Media outlets (for whatever reason) are just plain wrong. You are dealing with fallible reporters.  Regarding my local paper, any time  I have had first hand knowledge of the story, there is almost always something wrong.  Either the name of the person is incorrect, or the familial relationship has gotten completely wrong (so that the cousins are the children, or something similar), or the remarks are misquoted. Granted,  I can only make this distinction when I have specific knowledge of the particulars of the story; but it does make one question the rest of the paper.  Remember the mining accident in West Virginia, when it was reported that  12 of the 13 miners survived when in fact only one survived? A thing does  not become true just because someone printed it.  That is why it is important to check the source. (For reporters as well as readers)
If a story does not cite any sources, you are left with taking someone’s word for it, and that can prove interesting.  One highly amusing instance of this very problem was underlined by Snopes.com’s lost legends page.  The page contains made-up stories about topics ranging from Mr. Ed the horse being a zebra to Mississippi state legislature removing fractions and decimal points from public secondary school’s math curriculum.  One of the stories tells of the children’s poem ‘sing a song of sixpence,’ and how it was really a code for pirates.  At the bottom of the page is a link to find out more.  This link takes you to a page informing you that what you have just read is entirely a  fabrication. This particular story of nursery rhyming pirates was picked up by the T.V. show Mostly True Stories: Urban Legends Revealed as a true tidbit.   What makes it worse is that the intent of the Lost Legends piece was to get people to check their sources, and not just take a perceived authority’s  word for it.

But aside from that is the intentional coloring of the news, or  implication.  Words are powerful things; they have meaning.  (if you deny that I should like to see you try and disprove it without using words) I can think of no better way to illustrate this than by relating and old joke I once heard.

A captain of a ship was writing in the log. After various weather-related details, he noted that the first mate had gotten drunk that day. When the Mate read it, he was upset.
‘You can’t put that in the Log! It only happened once.  People will think I am a hopeless drunk!”
The captain would not relent.  A few weeks later the captain was absent ashore for several days, so it fell to the  Mate to write the log.
He wrote: “The Captain was sober today.”

Think about it. When the FLDS group in Texas had their children taken away by CPS in 2008, how was their housing referred to in the press? It was called a compound, which conjures up images of some sort of fortifications.

Compound
n.
1. A building or buildings especially a residence or group of residences, set off and enclosed by a barrier.
2. An enclosed area used for confining prisoners of war.

Now, they may live in an enclosed area. And in the strictest sense of the word it could be considered a “compound.”  But that word tends to be used in a rather severe manner, such as the second meaning “An enclosed area used for confining prisoners of war.” ( I have never heard of a gated community being called a compound, although strictly speaking one could refer to it as such.)  In the strictest of the strict definitions, that was true. But does it really matter? When it is reported that there are beds in the temple of the FLDS group in Texas, what is the first thing that happens?  People begin speculating what kind of religious sex rituals took place.  I would note that the court mandamus says:

“The Department failed to carry its burden with respect to the requirements of section 262.201(b). Pursuant to  section 262.201(b)(1), the danger must be to the physical health or safety of the child. The Department did not  present any evidence of danger to the physical health or safety of any male children or any female children  who had not reached puberty. Nor did the Department offer any evidence that any of Relators’ pubescent female children were in physical danger other than that those children live at the ranch among a group of people who have a “pervasive system of belief” that condones polygamous marriage and underage females having children. (9) The existence of the FLDS belief system as described by the Department’s witnesses, by itself, does not put children of FLDS parents in physical danger. It is the imposition of certain alleged tenets of that system on specific individuals that may put them in physical danger. The Department failed to offer any evidence that any of the pubescent female children of the Relators were in such physical danger. The record is silent as to whether the Relators or anyone in their households are likely to subject their pubescent female children to underage marriage or sex. The record is also silent as to how many of Relators’ children are pubescent females and whether there is any risk to them other than that they live in a community where there is a “pervasive belief system” that condones marriage and child-rearing as soon as females reach puberty.  (Emphasis mine)

So what was all this about beds in the temple? I have no idea.  Evidentially, the court didn’t either.

This ties in with my last reason for distrusting news media..  Someone has to determine what to print.  How do they decide?  Peter Hammond (Biblical Worldview Summit, The Battle for the Mind in the News Media) relates this story:

(After an interview with a journalist for the Cape Argus concerning his work in Sudan) ‘This Journalist, after being very pleasant, and really having a very good interview, being interested in putting an article on Sudan, and what was going on there. Which still avoided all the real issues when it came to being published, but still, we were glad for something . I asked her when the interview was over, I said, “May I ask you a question? Why is it that the Argus continually publishes only pro-abortion articles, never pro life articles, and you continually ignore pro life events like the national day of repentance, and the life chains?”  And her answer was; “Well, we’re Pro Choice.”  I said, Well yes, I do know that but surely it’s your intention to report on all events and present the facts without fear or favor from both sides?” And she smiled, and shrugged her shoulders and says: “Well, I’m pro choice. And every Journalist I know is pro choice, and well, I guess we’re just biased.” And she grinned broadly.”

That pretty much sums it up.  If the person on the other end of the news feed does not have a firm commitment to what is true regardless of what they think about it, can you honestly expect anything differing from their deeply held convictions to come out the other end?  As Mr. Hammond also noted, even the most objective journalist collects more facts than they publish.  Someone has to make a judgment call on what to print.

But why does all this matter?  Does it matter if the paper is not quite reliable?  Does it matter that media outlets report there is tribal warfare in Rwanda, ignoring completely the holocaust is mainly a slaughter by Marxist ideologues?  Essentially, what I am asking is: “Does truth matter?”  How will the truth or error of a story affect you?  Because how you think informs how you act.  If you are convinced of the truth of the report that the Germans are cutting off  hands of little babies, and impaling them on bayonets, you may be more inclined to join in the fight, perhaps send money to further the cause.   If you are convinced that a particular prescription drug is safe/unsafe, your actions will be informed by that belief. You can type in just about any public figure, minister, or politician in a search engine and come up with varied stories extolling their virtues, to stories speculating their alcoholism, infidelity, or maybe their support for segregation or some other controversial issue.  This is especially damning if the individual has something to say. “Oh yes, I know all about that guy.  He is a crack pot who thinks segregation is good.”  And then I ignore the rest of what he is saying based on my incorrect view of who the man is.  (I would point out that is the old ad hominem fallacy, but that is another story.)

So how do I tell if BP is a good oil company, following safety procedures properly, doing all they can to stop the spill?  The ideal situation would be to talk to someone with first hand knowledge of oil spills, oil wells, B.P., and the like, but I don’t have that opportunity. I am left with second, third, or forth hand information, or maybe even a reporter’s fancy.  All I can do is decide whether or not I believe the source.  What will I do? I suppose I could very well just think ill of oil companies, newspapers, government officials and everybody in particular. But if my goal is to believe and be informed by that which is true, that is a poor substitute. For now, I shall gather my information from sources trusted and not so trusted, (keeping in mind that everyone, including myself, has their bias) and try to discern  what is fact and what is fiction based on a very limited knowledge of the world, and a huge dose of cynicism. My being correct might not change the world.  But it might shake it up a bit.

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David Barton and Chris Rodda

This is a reply I sent to a friend of mine who asked me about this video.

Interesting video.  I like Barton, but I don’t put a great deal of stock in what he says simply because it is way too neat.  (ETA: Think of scripture.  You get the whole nine yards about Judah and his daughter in law, Jacob and Esau, David, Solomon, Peter, you name it.  The bible portrays people as they are, not as they ought to be.)  I haven’t read the letter she is referring to, so I cannot comment.  (Incidentally, she didn’t show a copy of the letter either.)    I think this lady has an ax to grind, and I was not impressed by her ad hominim tone beginning at 12:40. She has her view, and she makes a fairly good case for it, but she doesn’t give any sources where I can look it up.  So, I am left with taking her word for it, or Barton’s.  And you want to know something? By the looks of the web site this video was posted, the progressives take her word for it.  Apparently the conservatives take his. Everyone eats up what they already believe anyway.  (Must go buy a copy of Adams’ letters.)

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Forward

__I shall use the second post for that. I wish to have a place to store all/both of my writings. Also, this article by Gary North has some convincing reasons to start a blog. (it has never occurred to me to send him anything to proofread, so no, that wasn’t me.) So I have started this blog to practice the ancient art of writing. I expect there are many people who have said things much better than I, but I’ll never know unless I try.

___Oh, and about the title. I wished very much to call it Three Sheets to the Wind, but that isn’t exactly relevant, so I scratched that idea. Depending on how my writing goes, some may think that a better title. (I hope not.) Between the devil and the deep blue sea means to be in a tight spot. Some people think (the wise, clever ones) that it derives from a nautical origin.

Phrases.org.uk says:

“Devil – the seam between the deck planking and the topmost plank of the ship’s side”.

This seam would need to be watertight and would need filling (caulking) from time to time. On a ship at sea this would presumably require a sailor to be suspended over the side, or at least stand at the very edge of the deck. Either way it is easy to see how that might be described as ‘between the devil and the deep sea’.

__Some people do not think it has a nautical origin. Those are the people who get their livings debunking legends. However, in all fairness, I must include that as a possibility.

{_Not having discovered that most pertinent bit of information on how to begin paragraphs in this format, I am driven to use Underscore.  I may drop it, depending on which is more annoying; having lines before every paragraph, or having everything look as if it was run through a sizer.}

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Preface

This being the first post, I suppose I should explain why I am writing this blog.  Well, I won’t.

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