Thursday, December 30, 2010

Why I D/Won't Own Apple Products

The Apple Store has again refused an app promoting the Manhattan Declaration, a statement of Christian faith, because it is allegedly 'likely to expose a group to harm.' The supposed harm comes from the "anti-gay, anti-choice" language in the declaration, defending the Biblical positions that homosexuality and abortion are sin. According to the Apple Store, my Christian faith is harmful to others. The folks at the Manhattan Declaration summed it up, saying, "it is difficult to see how this is anything other than a statement of animus by a major American corporation against the beliefs of millions of Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox citizens."

So, even though I am looking forward to one day owning a handy little pad/tablet device, there is yet another reason not to purchase an iPad or any other Apple product. Heck, I don't even have iTunes or QuickTime on my computers.

There are some levels of politically correct insanity I can deal with (and have to if I want to buy almost anything these days), but when a company decides that a basic statement of Christian beliefs is "likely to expose a group to harm," I have no use for that company or its products.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 24, 2010

It's CHRISTmas!

The second best holiday of the year has arrived! In the next days, we celebrate the Incarnation, that "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His Glory, the Glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). The eternal Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, uncreated deity, fully God, stepped into time, taking on a human nature in addition to His divine nature. The almighty Son became a helpless baby, needing His mother to care for His every need and requiring protection from His step-father. For the first time, He was cold, felt pain, and identified with our weakness. He did not cease to be God, but instead "emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant" (Philippians 2:7), choosing not to exercise His abilities of God, but to live as one of us, depending on the Father and Spirit for strength and wisdom.

The Incarnation is a magnificent demonstration of the love, power, and wisdom of God. It was the necessary prerequisite for our salvation at the cross. It enabled Him to fulfill the promise to David that one of his descendants would sit on the throne of Israel forever and to be the Servant promised in Isaiah. It prepared the Lord Jesus Christ to be our High Priest, ever interceding for us to the Father and bridging the gap between us and Him.

In the midst of the gifts, the time with family and the wonderful food, take time to reflect on the Miracle of CHRISTmas, the Incarnation. Share it with your children and rejoice with the world that God has come near, Immanuel, God With Us.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Make Liberal Heads Explode

They think it's a massive Tea Party Conspiracy! (It's not...)

Let's make liberal heads explode. Vote for Bristol and Mark!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Awana Grand Prix Results

The little man and I had a great time, and so did a lot of other folks. It's hard to balance my competitiveness with the desire to see my kids involved and enjoying the building and the races. This year I think we did OK in that regard. We also put together a couple very fast cars. The little man's Green Machine averaged 211.3 mph (scaled!) and came in fourth overall after placing 2nd in the first heat and 1st in the 2nd and 3rd heats.

The cars winning 2nd and 3rd place tied at 211.6 (and had to run the first ever run-off), and the young lady who won 1st place for Sparks ran 211.7 mph. It was very, very competitive. We were only 0.4 "miles per hour" difference between 4th and 1st - 0.19% of the total speed.

My Go Fish car ran 213, 214, and 211 in three heats - I saw one time of 2.56- seconds (I'll have to record those next year). The 214.07 was one of the best times ever on the track. I guess we must be doing something right! (See my previous post for links to tips and tricks. Some work, and some aren't worth the effort.)

Until next year, keep it fun, keep the kids involved, and keep your drive to win in balance with the needs of the kids.

Friday, November 5, 2010

AWANA Grand Prix

It's time again for the AWANA Grand Prix at our church. Cars have been built, the track is set up, and tomorrow is the big day. My little man has his Green Machine tuned up and ready, and my Go Fish ICHTHUS Mobile is weighted down and ready to go. I'll post pictures tomorrow!

For now, here are some sites I found with tips and tricks for making fast Grand Prix/Pinewood Derby cars.
By the way, please note that some of the tips created for Cub Scout Pinewood Derby cars don't work or aren't necessary on AWANA Grand Prix cars. The GP axles don't have those annoying ribs, and GP wheels are made of softer plastic, so some of the tools for PD wheels you have to be very careful with.

So what is my regimen? It's a secret! When you're competing against folks who have tracks set up in their barns, you have to keep some kind of edge!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mid Term Elections 2010

Here are my election picks for the Midterm Elections this year. Hunting season is keeping me from posting my reasoning. The only one that really needs explanation is Tancredo. Dan Maes has discredited and disgraced himself on many fronts and needs to drop out of the race to allow Tancredo to beat Hickenlooper. That's the only way we'll have a conservative governor, and the only way to keep the Democrats in the Colorado legislature from ramming their agenda down our throats.

US Senator: Buck
US Rep: Lamborn
Governor: Tancredo
Sec. State: Gessler
Treasurer: Stapleton
Republicans for the rest

Amendment P – Games of Chance - AGAINST
Amendment Q – Temporary Location of State Seat of Government - FOR
Amendment R – Exempt Possessory Interests in Real Property - FOR
Amendment 60 – Property Taxes - AGAINST
Amendment 61 – Limits on State and Local Government - AGAINST
Amendment 62 – Application of the Term Person - FOR
Amendment 63 – Health Care Choice - FOR
Proposition 101 – Income, Vehicle and Telecom Taxes and Fees - AGAINST
Proposition 102 – Criteria for Release to Pretrial Services Programs – AGAINST

County 1A – Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Prohibited in Unincorporated Areas - FOR
County 1B – Term Limits for 4th Judicial District DA - FOR
County 1C – Term Limits for County Commissioners - FOR
County 1D – Term Limits for other County Offices – FOR

Colorado Springs 2B – City Retention of $600,000 of excess revenue for infrastructure – FOR
Colorado Springs 2C – TOPS Limit on Trails and Open Spaces Maintenance – AGAINST
Colorado Springs 300 – Strong Mayor Proposal - FOR

View the El Paso County November 2010 Sample Ballot.

Do your civic duty. Vote!

Beef / Elk Jerky Recipe


Start with very lean meat. I prefer round steak. Trim as much fat as humanly possible. Slice the rest about ¼-3/8” thick and as long as possible. Butterfly any small pieces.

I mix the marinade first to make sure that the salt/sugar gets dissolved in the marinade and gets mixed evenly through the meat. In a gallon ziplock bag mix thoroughly:
Coarse Kosher Salt – 2 tsp/lb of trimmed meat
Brown Sugar – 2 tsp/lb
Penzey’s Turkish Seasoning – 4 tsp/lb
Ground Chipotle (or Cayenne) - 1 tsp/lb for medium heat
Paprika – a couple good dashes for color
Red Table Wine – 1 cup/lb
The Turkish Seasoning, chipotle/cayenne and paprika can be substituted with your own favorite blend of savory spices – just make sure it’s salt free or you will get too salty.
Add the meat to the bag, zip it shut and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate 6-24 hours.

Lay out the meat in a single layer on the grates in a smoker. Smoke at about 200-225 degrees for an hour (no more or it gets too smoky). (You could use 2 tsp/lb liquid smoke instead, but it won’t be quite the same.) Transfer to a dehydrator and dry per the instructions (usually at 155 degrees) for 6-8 hours – until dry yet pliable. Turn off the dehydrator and let it cool for an hour, then put in bags. If you don’t freeze it, keep plastic bags open for the first 24 hours as the moisture content evens out through the meat.

You can smoke it on a gas grill. Soak wood chips (hickory or mesquite) for 30 minutes, drain then wrap in foil. Punch a bunch of holes in the top of the foil, then put it on your left or right most grill burner (move the grate, put it right on the drip plate or lava rocks). Light just that burner on high, and heat it up until you start to smell smoke. Lay out the meat over the rest of the grill, away from the direct heat. Smoke for an hour or so.

You can also dehydrate in your oven. Put foil over the bottom rack in case of drippage. Put the meat on the top rack, turn the oven on Warm, then leave the door cracked to let the moisture out and keep the temperature down. If you use an oven thermometer, you can even get the heat adjusted to a perfect 155 degrees.

Unless I hide it, the jerky usually doesn’t last more than 24 hours anyway…

Monday, August 9, 2010

Colorado Governor and US Senator

OK, so life got away from me. It's election eve, and most of the people following this have already voted by mail, so here is the short and sweet version.

Colorado Governor:
In the words of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (who I like), I "cannot in good conscience give members and gun owners a strong recommendation for this race." McInnis has handled the whole plagiarism issue very poorly, and has a weak record on gun rights. Maes really came across as a nutjob with his comments on the UN International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) program in Denver which is providing bikes to reduce pollution. After a little digging, I found little on the ICLEI program, but it does look like your typical UN socialist program, so maybe he's on to something. They did, after all, put Iran on the Commission on Women's Rights. So, if Dan Maes doesn't like the UN, all the better.

I don't like any of the candidates all that much, but I'm voting for Dan Maes. I just hope he can prove to the rest of Colorado that he's not a conspiracy theorist wacko nutjob.

US Senator from Colorado:
Ken Buck keeps "stepping in it" with his high heels and cowboy boots comments, and he's had some ethical questions, but if you dig a little deeper, at least his heart was in the right place. (That's cynicism, for those of you who don't get it.) Jane Norton, however, sealed the deal for me by getting support from John McCain. I can't stand big government McCain. Plus, when your website for your governor's race leads with "Ken Buck said what?" and a video of your opponent's (albeit very bad) attempt at humor, you must not have any serious issues to run on.

Like the Governor's race, I can't really endorse any of the candidates, but I'm going to vote for Ken Buck, just to tick off the big-government RINOs who support Norton.

By the way, on the Democrat side, I'm cheering for "I'm not taking PAC money(anymore)" Andrew Romanoff. Bennett doesn't care what the voters think and I want him out. With Romanoff's past habits of taking PAC money, it should provide good fodder for whoever wins the Republican nomination.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Colorado Treasurer

The Republican candidates for Colorado Treasurer are Walker Stapleton and JJ Ament. Both are fiscally conservative. Stapleton has experience as a CFO in private industry. Ament has been a consultant to various state treasurers. The biggest deciding factor, for me, between the two is that Stapleton recently said that he thought that voter-approved tax increases would be a good idea for getting the state out of our budget mess. Ament opposes the idea, and so do I. The way out of the budget crisis is to eliminate wasteful spending, cut unnecessary programs and enable private businesses to grow, thus increasing tax revenues (which is caused by reducing tax rates: liberals don't understand that low taxes in a thriving economy produce more tax revenue than high taxes in an anemic economy). El Paso County voters crushed the last two requests for tax hikes, and I don't see the sentiment changing any time soon. Use OUR money (it belongs to the taxpayers, not to the government!) wisely and efficiently, and not for all your pet political projects, and ONLY then come and ask us for more. If you have a good plan for it, and we see the need, we might actually entrust you with it.

JJ Ament understands this, and that's why I'm voting for him.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

El Paso County Sheriff

According to the El Paso County sample ballot, there are four contested races in the 2010 Republican Primary on August 10th. They are:

US Senator
- Ken Buck vs Jane Norton
Colorado Governor
- Dan Maes vs Scott McGinnis
Colorado Treasurer
- JJ Ament vs Walker Stapleton
El Paso County Sheriff
- Terry Maketa vs Jake Shirk

In my short series, I'll work the list from bottom to top, which will leave the most hotly contested races until last. To be honest, I didn't even know the Colorado Treasurer was a contested race until I looked, so we'll look at that race next time. In the meantime, the Gazette has published a voter guide.

Terry Maketa
and Jake Shirk have much in common, and much to commend them. To be honest, I think either one would be a good sheriff. First, they both support Vermont/Alaska/Arizona-type firearm laws for Colorado, namely that no license or permit of any kind should be required to carry a concealed firearm, but Shirk has made it part of his platform, while Maketa only brought it up when questioned in an interview. Both support a Colorado version of the excellent Arizona Immigration Bill. Both believe that Medical Marijuana is here to stay, but agree that abuse should be prosecuted. Shirk goes a bit further, stating that he voted against the dispensaries, but will uphold the Colorado law. Maketa did not specify his personal feelings on the law. I think he's just playing it safe politically. Of course, with no Democratic challenger, why would he feel the need to do that?

I think Maketa has a stronger position concerning not removing sworn deputies from the El Paso County Jail, as Shirk stated he intends to pursue, but I really like Jake Shirk's promise to publish the Sheriff's Department budget on the web. It is a big step toward a more open government. In addition, Maketa's April accusation that Shirk, a 35 year law enforcement veteran (vs. Maketa's 23 years), lacked experience left a bad taste in my mouth. As you will see in upcoming posts, I really don't like politicians who play dirty, and even though the sheriff's race has been pretty tame compared to others, when two candidates are this closely matched, the one who plays it clean will earn my vote. Add a very strong 2nd Amendment stance and a commitment to open government, and I'm sold.

I'm supporting Jake Shirk for El Paso County Sheriff.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

2010 Colorado GOP Primaries

The Colorado GOP primaries will be held August 10th, and I have decided to post my political decision making and generate some discussion. My goal is to post every few days with my thoughts on the individual races, then on or about August 8th, post my list for the election.

Some of the primary races are really turning nasty. The attack ads, political missteps, and tongue slips are getting pretty tiresome, and the GOP is fighting amongst themselves while squandering the best chance we have at stopping an out of control Federal Government. Some races are easy to decide, but others have been really hard, with me having to reconsider my early leanings due to the political nastiness and the diarrhea-of-the-mouth from some candidates.

My preference is for candidates who are small-government, tax cutting, fiscally conservative, morally conservative, liberty-minded people. I, like so many others, am tired of being hoodwinked by big-government Republicans (RINOs*) or candidates whose first priorities are lining their own pockets and doing whatever it takes to get re-elected. I'm not a dyed-in-the-wool Republican. I'm an old school conservative who leans Libertarian (but not all the way)**, and a Constitutionalist that believes in a limited Federal government, limited to providing a strong national defense, maintaining some semblance of order between the states and generally leaving me and my local government alone. I love the Lord Jesus, I love my family and I love my country, in that order. Government exists to serve the people and protect their lives, liberty and prosperity, not the other way around. I will not give up essential liberty to gain temporary security.

My main issues this year are:

Reversing Reckless Government Spending: The Federal Government is spending out of control, and, according to the Congressional Budget Office, on the verge of bankrupting the country. Colorado is doing a little better, but is addicted to handouts from the federal government. Locally, the Colorado Springs government still thinks it's their money, not that of the taxpayers.

Reversing Government Corporate Takeovers and Bailouts: They bought Fannie, Freddie, AIG, and Government Motors, and now passed a bill allowing the Fed to takeover any business they deem "too big to fail." We need free markets and competition, not government control of industry. That is Socialism. Capitalism works, Socialism fails. Read your history books (the unrevised ones...).

Government Accountability to the Voters: I don't want to silence special interest groups (I support some of them!), but I want my elected officials to answer primarily to the voters. I don't know how to do this, but I'm very tired of patronizing form letters from my Senators when I have serious, well-reasoned arguments against their positions. Term limits across the board!

Securing Our Borders: How many years has it been since 9/11/2001 and we still haven't built a fence on our southern border? Democrats think illegal immigration is a massive voter registration drive, while drug smugglers, human traffickers and terrorists come and go at will, and all the Federal Government can do is sue Arizona for taking steps to help enforce FEDERAL Law?

The Protection of Essential Liberties: Read the Bill of Rights. Freedom of religion, the right to keep and BEAR arms, protection from unreasonable search and seizure, government only has the powers given to it by the Constitution. Understand that those Amendments place limits on the Federal, local and state governments, and protect us from tyranny.

Repealing Obamacare: It is unconstitutional to force me to buy a product. I don't want the government or insurance companies in the room when I talk to my doctor. It's none of their freakin' business, and the health care free market will work much better without government interference.

There are no perfect candidates, but some are clearly better than others. I don't want to vote for one just because it's perceived that the other doesn't have a chance against the Democrats. It's time for conservatives to stand on principle and let the GOP know that we've had it with moderate, wishy-washy, politically correct candidates. I never want to have to hold my nose and vote for a John McCain again!

Stay tuned!

* RINOs - Republicans in Name Only, or Democrats in elephant's clothing. (So what do you call all the all-out Socialists running as Democrats?)

**Two issues keep me from becoming a full-fledged Libertarian. First, their isolationist foreign policies are horribly misguided in our global economy and dangerously naive about threats like Islamic extremism, drug cartels and organized crime, and old-style communist states. Second, as a Christian, I cannot adopt their Utopian "live and let live" philosophy on moral issues like abortion and legalizing dangerous drugs.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I Write Like...

This evening I saw a blurb about a fun little website called "I Write Like." I've cut and pasted blog posts, paragraphs from old papers, etc, and so far, it has been pretty inconsistent. I've gotten hits for H.P. Lovelace, Stephen King, Kurt Vonnegut, and David Foster Wallace. If I ever get the same author two or three times in a row, I'll keep it.

One interesting question: what happens if I take quotes from various famous published authors and put them into the page?
  • Isaac Asimov's "Three Laws of Robotics" - Isaac Asimov
  • Isaac Asimov quote on publishing - Charles Dickens
  • Robert Heinlein's Armed Society Quote - Oscar Wilde
  • Robert Heinlein on rules and morality - Charles Dickens
  • Robert Heinlein on love and jealousy - H.P. Lovecraft
  • Charles Dickens, third paragraph of A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
  • Charles Dickens, American Notes for General Circulation - H.G. Wells
  • Charles Dickens, American Notes a few paragraphs later - Daniel Defoe
So, the site's not perfect. I write differently if I am writing a technical document at work, a theological paper for my Master's work, an email to a friend, or a blog post like this one. I suppose with a large enough sample, it might work better, but for now, it's just for fun. Oh by the way, this blog post was written by: Cory Doctorow, whoever that is... :o}

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I can't believe I haven't posted since April! Real life is more important than blogging. Back soon!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Just for Fun

I haven't done much with my illusions lately, but here is some great sponge ball work.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Range Report

I got a chance to go to the range this morning and had a ball trying out some of my new gizmos.

First, after I got set up and was waiting for the range to go cold so I could put up my targets, I looked at some of the other targets through my new spotting scope, an Alpen 15-45x60. One guy had a black silhouette target up at 200 yards. After squinting a little, I could make out the little black holes on the black target. I was thinking, "great, I got this thing so I could see 30 caliber holes at 200 yards, and these are hard to see!" After setting up targets, I complimented him on his shooting, and he said, "yeah, that's my 22-250." I was looking at 22 caliber holes at 200 yards - black on black! Needless to say, my 30 caliber holes, black on white, were easy to see, even when the mirage started kicking up. I am very happy with the scope! I even showed my daughter Saturn the other night - you can see that it has rings!

Second, my new Ruger Bisley Super Blackhawk in .44 mag was a ball to shoot. Even with 240 grain full magnum loads, it handled beautifully. Almost anyone could handle 44 special loads in that gun. After getting the sights adjusted, it was shooting pretty well at 25 yards. Now I just need to get my skill level up to the capability of the gun... :o} I can't wait to try 310 grain elk loads. Black powder would be fun, too.

Third, the Limbsaver pad I put on the rifle was incredible. I shot 26 rounds from the bench today and felt like I could have shot 50 more. My shoulder wasn't sore at all, and it was like shooting a much milder caliber. It's the best after market shooting accessory I've ever put on my rifle.

Finally, I was very happy with the results of my load testing. I'm working on a 180 grain Nosler Accutip load for elk hunting with my 308 Winchester. For the first time today, I tried using the "ladder method" (a simplified version) for load development. I loaded two sets of rounds from 40.5 to 42.6 grains of IMR 4895 in 0.3 grain increments. One set used Winchester brass, the other Remington. For foulers and sighters, I loaded two extra each at the 40.5 grain level. I fired the strings at two different targets at 200 yards, and noted each hit on the target shown here. I started with Remington, and noticed I was 5" right, so I adjusted the scope, then kept shooting. I wasn't shooting very well at first, but then settled in and got some very good results. The Winchester string came out very good. To be honest, I've never shot this well at 200 yards. Going slow and focusing on the fundamentals really helps!

Bottom line, the most consistent load is between 42.0 and 42.6 grains. I'll use 42.4, cheating it a little high. This should give me good temperature and load insensitivity. The best part is that the data matches both Lyman and Nosler data with 42.5 grains (the max) as the most accurate load for this combination of powder and bullet. It runs right about 2500 fps, which means they should be effective on elk out to 400 yards. Now I just need to find the optimum seating depth to narrow the groups a bit more and I'll be set. (Well, that and work on my riflery skills so I can shoot as well as my rifle!)

I had a good conversation with a fellow 308 Winchester fan. He was breaking in the barrel on a brand new FN-FAL. We talked about everyone thinking they need a 300 Win Mag or stronger to hunt elk. "If it's not a 338 Shoulder-Buster Magnum you can't kill 'em!" Nonsense! Old-timers were killing elk with 30-30's after WWII, and thought the 30-06 the GI's brought home from the war was overkill. All I know is the last elk I shot didn't complain about me not using a big enough gun!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Pro Football

"22 men in desperate need of rest watched by 22 million in desperate need of exercise."

I'm taking the Spurs over the Yankees by 3 points, with a goal in the last minute of the third period.

Oh, and I'm excited about the Tim Tebow commercial. Everyone was upset about this?

Funny how incensed "progressives" get when others want to express their first amendment rights - especially about a story who made a politically incorrect "choice." By the way, the abortion issue is simple: every abortion ends a human life. It's a baby.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Happy Anniversary, Mr. President!

Just a quick post to wish our President a happy 1st anniversary of his inauguration. Mr. President, you came into power on promises of transparency, hope, change and a new vision for America. A year later, we are celebrating another victory - the victory of the people of Massachusetts. A Republican will sit in the unassailable Democratic Senate seat held by the late Ted Kennedy. Scott Brown has shown that We the People are angry. We are tired of your backroom deals (when you promised transparency), your divisive politics (when you promised bipartisanship), your wholesale destruction of the American economy (when you promised hope), and your gaggle of socialists and communists that you hoped would change this country.

Some of us saw through you from the beginning. Personally, I'm ecstatic that the rest of the country, who you fooled with smooth rhetoric and empty promises, is now seeing you for the charlatan you really are.

I fully expect you and your cronies in the House and Senate, (Pelosi and Reid) to continue to play dirty, one-party politics. I'm sure you're going to try to cram a socialist health care bill (that We the People, oppose, by the way) down our collective throats. I'm sure you're going to downplay this, but we are so looking forward to next November's mid term elections. Don't think our anger is going away. Right now your super-majority is down by one. By late next fall, it will no longer exist. In two more years, you just will be a footnote in history, recorded as a bigger failure than Jimmy Carter.

Happy anniversary, Mr. President. Election 2012 is coming!

Monday, January 18, 2010

MLK, Civil Rights and the 2nd Amendment

Gun control has historically been a tool of the racist and the power hungry. From well before the Civil War, African-Americans were denied the right to keep and bear arms in order to keep them subservient and under control. (Remember this truism "gun control is not about guns, it is about control"...) This continued until the Civil Rights movement, led by courageous men like Dr. King and others, brought about equal rights for all free men and women.

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, when we remember a pastor and great civil rights leader who led a non-violent uprising that forced the US to recognize the equal rights of African-Americans under the Constitution. Almost everyone knows about his eloquence and his commitment to non-violence in the face of aggression, but not many know about his belief in the God-given right of self-defense.

In fact, as described in a research article entitled "Martin and Malcolm on Nonviolence and Violence" Dr. King had actually applied to the State of Alabama for a handgun carry permit in 1955 (which was denied) and kept one or more guns in his home for self defense during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. (He was receiving an average of 40 threatening phone calls a day, and for a time armed men were posted outside his house for protection." After his house was bombed that same year, he embraced the principle of nonviolence in total for himself.
Three nights later, Martin King’s house was bombed and people were amazed how calm he was. After finding out that his wife and baby were safe, he walked on his porch to face an angry black crowd with weapons of violence, ready to return an eye for an eye. “Don’t let us get panicky,” King said. He pleaded with them to get rid of their weapons because “we can’t solve this problem through retaliatory violence.” On the contrary, “We must meet violence with nonviolence.” Turning to the most persuasive authority in the black Christian experience, King reminded blacks of the words of Jesus: “ ‘Love your enemies; bless them that curse you; pray for them that despitefully use you.’ We must love our white brothers … no matter what they do to us.”
With great personal courage and devotion to the moral cause of civil rights, Dr. King chose to risk potential martyrdom and even the possibility of seeing his wife and infant daughter killed rather than to exercise his own right of self-defense, but even 4 and then 11 years later, he was still writing about the right of self-defense.

Dr. King saw three main positions on the use of arms. He wrote in the October, 1959 edition of Liberation Magazine:
Here one must be clear that there are three different views on the subject of violence. One is the approach of pure nonviolence, which cannot readily or easily attract large masses, for it requires extraordinary discipline and courage. The second is violence exercised in self-defense, which all societies, from the most primitive to the most cultured and civilized, accept as moral and legal.

The principle of self-defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi, who sanctioned it for those unable to master pure nonviolence. The third is the advocacy of violence as a tool of advancement, organized as in warfare, deliberately and consciously.

Dr. King rejected the third position (supported by men like Malcolm X), pointing out that while some his fellow African-Americans felt that it was the only way to bring change, it would in actuality divide proponents of civil rights, drive away most of the uninvolved, uncommitted Negro community, and ultimately it would find itself outgunned and outmatched. Later in the same article he wrote:
There is more power in socially organized masses on the march than there is in guns in the hands of a few desperate men. Our enemies would prefer to deal with a small armed group rather than with a huge, unarmed but resolute mass of people.
Despite this, he was convinced of the truth of the second position, that self-defense is both moral and legal. In an article written May 4, 1966 entitled, "Nonviolence: The Only Road to Freedom," he was very clear that people in the civil rights marches would deliberately remain disarmed to avoid any legitimate act of self-defense triggering retaliatory violence. Any aggression against unarmed demonstrators only proved the evil of racism and gave Dr. King and his followers the high moral ground. He also wrote:
There are many people who very honestly raise the question of self-defense. This must be placed in perspective. It goes without saying that people will protect their homes. This is a right guaranteed by the Constitution and respected even in the worst areas of the South.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated just two years later on April 4, 1968. His killer, James Earl Ray was a convicted felon (4 convictions from 1949-1959) and an escaped prisoner. The Gun Control Act of 1968, signed the following October would have made it illegal for him to have a gun, but over 40 years of history of failed gun control laws have shown that it probably wouldn't have kept him from obtaining the rifle he used in the murder. This does not detract in the least from the fact that Dr. King was not only a champion of civil rights, but that he believed in the individual right to keep and bear arms and the right of self-defense.

I'll bet you'll never read that in the mainstream media...

Postscript. I should make it clear for those not familiar with my blog, or the history of Dr. King, that I am not in total agreement with him, even though I have a lot of respect for him. He was theologically and politically liberal and believed in big government. However, it is refreshing to find large pieces of common ground with someone with whom I would normally disagree. His commitment to equal rights and personal liberty are both very commendable.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I saw Avatar on opening day and really enjoyed the movie. Because they were so overplayed (and so cliche in Hollywood...), I was ready to dismiss the overt environmentalism, pagan religion, secular humanism, and anti-capitalist, anti-military themes in the movie. The story is really about growing up, about overcoming philosophical handicaps and seeing the world through someone else's eyes. The movie is about getting rid of prejudices and moving past our pre-conceived ideas about who people are.

Maybe that's why this revelation from Cameron's script (posted in several places) really ticked me off. Cameron wrote: "TROOPERS issue automatic weapons and magazines to a long line of mine workers. The miners lock and load like the redblooded redneck NRA supporters they are."

What a hypocrite. He makes a movie about overcoming prejudice, and his script is filled with liberal, communist, envirowhacko, pluralistic, post-modern bigotry.

Avatar is a well-made, well-written, incredible movie experience. The scenery is breathtaking and the main storyline is great. (The plant life on the planet is one big brain, a sentient being who the natives worship as their goddess, which appeals to adherents of secular scientism and new age beliefs - quite an accomplishment.)

Don't bother going to see it.