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.