This past week, what has it brought? Quite a bit and nothing good. At least that’s how it looks from where I sit. Among the gifts that came our way were a flip-flopping president, wars and rumors of wars, and the traditional IRS tax deadline.
Put Not Your Trust In Princes
The psalmist tells us, “Put not your trust in princes, not in the son of man, in whom there is no help.” Wise words those, and one’s that Christians would do well to heed when talking politics. And the words and actions of President Trump drove this point home this past week.
America First. That was a consistent motto of Trump the candidate.
This platform was not original with Trump. It hearkened back to the days prior to WWII when a movement by that name arose. The goal America Firsters was to keep America out of WWII.
In Trump’s case, it was a reference to the many ongoing conflicts the US has found itself in.
Trump made a number of excellent statements during the campaign about having better relations with Russia and ending America’s involvement in Syria.
Trump questioned NATO calling it obsolete. And he was exactly correct in doing so.
But this past week, Trump repudiated all this.
Late last week, on the flimsiest pretext, he lobbed 59 Cruise missiles at Russia’s ally Syria. This one act likely destroyed any hope of Trump ever repairing relations with Russia and embroiled the US deeper than ever in the Syrian conflict, a war which the US has no business fighting.
As If One War Weren’t Enough
Apparently not satisfied with one war in Syria, the Trump administration appears ready to gin up another with a preemptive first strike on North Korea.
Preemptive war is one of the philosophical darlings of the neo-conservatives. According to this doctrine, the foreign policy elite of a nation somehow mystically intuit what the future actions of a perceived enemy will be and, on the basis this “knowledge,” shoot first and ask questions later.
Some of this was evident in Trump’s response to the gas attack in Syria. There, the administration launched an attack with no supporting evidence that Assad, contrary to all logic, had gassed his own people.
The gas attack was almost certainly a false flag, but no independent investigation was permitted before launching the missiles.
In like fashion, CNBC reports that, “The U.S. is prepared to launch a preemptive strike with conventional weapons against North Korea should officials become convinced that North Korea is about to follow through with a nuclear weapons test, multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.”
So just who are these officials and what evidence do they have? There isn’t even a pretense of consulting Congress for a declaration of war. It’s just “trust us and bombs away.”
Preemptive war is one of the most dangerous and unchristian doctrines in neo-conservative arsenal. It violates the Biblical principle of defensive war and arrogantly assumes that finite men, even if they are honest, can know the future.
The US should have pulled out of Korea decades ago. Had it done so, Korea likely would be unified and westernized by now.
But as it stands, the foreign policy mystics are ready to embroil us in Korean War II.
And this one may go nuclear.
The Tax Man Cometh
Let me tell you how it will be
There’s one for you, nineteen for me
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman.
– George Harrison
Ok, so things aren’t quite as bad as the 95% tax rate the Beatles sang about. Still, the income tax imposed on Americans by the 16th amendment represents one of the federal governments worst encroachments on civil liberties.
The tax was sold to the public as being very small and applying only to the rich.
But as Jesus said, a little leaven leavens the whole lump. Once the principle was granted that the federal government could directly tax the incomes of American’s it was only a matter of time before the tax was extended to include the general population.
One of the most insidious developments relative to the income tax was tax withholding. Up until 1944, income taxes were paid once a year at them time individuals filed their returns. But starting that year, the federal government began withholding taxes directly from paychecks.
Worth noting is that Milton Friedman, often viewed as a defender of limited government and free market economics, was one of the architects of the tax withholding scheme.
Income tax withholding served a twofold purpose for the government. First, it increased revenues. But the second and more insidious benefit was that it reduced taxpayer awareness.
When you write a check to the government to pay your taxes, you know how much you’re being taken for.
But when the government automatically takes it from your paycheck, it’s harder to feel a sense of ownership of the funds that are siphoned off the top.
Robert Higgs quotes Friedman’s later regrets concerning his war time work on the income tax withholding.
It never occurred to me at the time that I was helping to develop machinery that would make possible a government that I would come to criticize severely as too large, too intrusive, too destructive of freedom. Yet, that was precisely what I was doing.
Income tax withholding would have taken place with or without Friedman’s contributions. At least he had the honesty to admit his mistake.
Nevertheless, this noted free market economist helped institute one of the key components of the modern tax code that does so much to feed the federal leviathan sucking the lifeblood from this nation.
Diversity Commissars Eat Their Own
This story was just too good to pass up. Assignment, a newly released movie has caused quite a stir among the diversity commissars and keepers of the LGBTQ+ flame due to its perceived casting bias.
The story centers around a hitman Frank Kitchen who is unwittingly given gender reassignment surgery.
Cast in the role of hitman become hitwoman is Michelle Rodriguez of Fast and Furious fame. So you have a woman playing a man who becomes a woman.
This is the rub.
And the LGBTQ commissars? Well, they’re all kinds of upset. According to them, rather than butching up Michelle Rodriguez to play a hitman, the studio should have cast a transgender woman [a transgender woman is a man who claims to think he’s a woman] in the role of Frank Kitchen.
Now you might suppose that Rodriguez would get some diversity respect. After all, she is a self-identified bisexual and, given her last name, presumably of Hispanic heritage. That’s gotta count for something, right? Apparently not.
She’s just not the right kind of diverse.
As USA Today tells us, “But Assignment’s casting of Rodriguez (a bisexual woman) as a transgender assassin also points to a larger problem plaguing Hollywood, which continues to struggle with representation of minorities despite public outcry and diversity initiatives behind the scenes. According to GLAAD’s 2016 Studio Responsibility Index – which maps the quantity and quality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender characters in movies released by seven major studios – only one transgender character appeared in a 2015 mainstream release.”
While it’s appalling the way transgender mania has taken over mainstream culture over the past few years, there is some comfort is watching the Hollywood studios, which have done so much to push cultural Marxism on the public for decades, come under attack by the very monster it helped create.
The diversity commissars are eating their own.