|by John Myste|
In Response to Burr Deming's Effect of Anti-Gun Safety Rhetoric
Myste, in 1774 England banned importation of muzzle loaders to the American colonies. In 1775 they attempted to confiscate privately owned guns. We all know what happened in 1776.
- F&B, January 21, 2013
You do know, do you not, that Obama is not trying to ban muzzle loaders? You do know, do you not, that the Obama favors the Second Amendment? You do know, do you not, that the American Revolution was not about gun control? Except for those three facts, however, your point was pretty good.
Civilization in a form that we would clearly recognize as such has been around for roughly 8-10,000 years.
Holy crap! That’s a long time.
“It has been about 250 years since the American Revolution. We haven't changed that much.”
I was just telling my slave that same thing yesterday. After that, I whipped him for dropping the scoop in the well again and then I blew out the candle and told my wife she would get just as good if she burns that coon again.
Revolutions and Civil Wars happen around the world continuously.
It’s because of gun control.
I do not believe the eventual need to defend our constitution is beyond the realm of possibilities.
You should get your muzzle loaders and other assault weapons now, while supplies last. They will work well against heat-seeking missiles and drones.
The intent appears to be that the Federal government will not attempt to control what types of weapons citizens may own.
Where did you get that idea? Did you make it up or do you just sense that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would have wanted the people, whom they felt superior to in most respects, to own nuclear weapons?
There is no indication that the Founders would have limited any weapons that we have today.
What were Thomas Jefferson’s exact words about nuclear weapons?
As usual, the Constitution was meant to limit the power of the Federal government, not to limit the power of the People.
What the Constitution was “meant” to do, depends on which Founder you talk to. Madison did not even want a Bill of Rights. Alas, you do not get to choose the Founders’ intention, Blessed be His Holy Name.
John Myste frequently participates in discussions across the internet. His contributions here are always appreciated.
THE PRESIDENT: Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice,
members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:
Each time we gather to inaugurate a President we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional -- what makes us American -- is our allegiance to an idea articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Today we continue a never-ending journey to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they’ve never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. (Applause.) The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.
And for more than two hundred years, we have.
Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.
People tend to look at New York as one big city. Sometimes the image includes some brief glimpse of suburbs. In reality, upper New York State covers a lot of rural territory, miles of farm country. I was born about halfway between Syracuse and Rochester. I never saw New York City until I was in my late teens. That visit was part of a college activity.
One thing I noticed was how people in New York City crossed the street. It was a different game than almost any other place I had lived. In later brief stays I noticed the same thing.
In busier parts of the city, there is a constant contest between pedestrians and drivers. It is a little like a game of chicken. Motorists are motivated. Those in a hurry get impatient at waiting for lines of those on foot to get clear of an intersection. They often try inching through the sea of those walking. If they can make it through, they can shave precious minutes off a commute. They just don't want to hit anyone.
Pedestrians have an incentive as well. They know that if one car gets through, those inching behind will feel safe in following, if it can be done before the tide of humanity-in-a-hurry closes in. And then there will be the next car, then the next and the next. But if those walking in the crosswalk can make it through without getting blocked by that first driver, they can get to work on time.
And so it goes. Drivers try to get through quickly without hitting someone and pedestrians try to get through quickly without getting hit.
If things go right, one side loses, the other wins. If things go wrong, everyone loses. Pedestrians lose life, the drivers lose liberty, and both lose happiness.
I got interested in who wins and who loses if things go right.
Pedestrians have more to lose, right? But they usually, not always, but usually, win.
Pedestrians win by looking the other way. Most don't do that immediately. They gauge the situation through surreptitious glances and judging the movements of others on foot. But they make sure all the driver sees is someone determined not to see any danger. Not seeing any danger, once they know the driver is looking, reduces their danger, the danger they are determined not to see.
Every once in a while I did see someone on foot lose. Maybe these were out-of-towners. Maybe they came from upstate, like me. Maybe they were simply unskilled in this type of anonymous negotiation. Their common weakness was that they paid attention. And they could be seen to pay attention. The nervous looks let drivers know they could win by pushing on ahead.
If pedestrians could see what was happening, they would jump out of the way, and a driver could break through. If they were obviously committed, looking the other way, what was a driver to do, except wait?
In all but the last year of President Obama's first term, Republicans did what no Congress ever did before. They threatened the American economy, holding the full faith and credit of the United States hostage to their demands. The administration, like out-of-town visitors to the big city, worried aloud about the consequences. They offered concessions and promises of more concessions before negotiations started.
And Congress pushed ahead.
Things began to change last year. Obama began pushing back. Republicans demanded a postponement of sorts. They constructed a fiscal cliff that included dramatic tax increases and cuts to programs. The cuts attacked the elderly, little kids, the disabled, and the Department of Defense. Republicans hated the increase in taxes, at least those that would hit the very rich. And they hated the cuts in military spending.
Defense spending has gotten a little insane. The US spends more on military armaments than the rest of the world combined. We are prepared to fight a war against every country in the world simultaneously, including countries that have always been our friends and always will be. That's kind of crazy.
But Republicans are largely funded by military contractors who build weapons systems to conduct an arms race with the USSR, a country that has not existed for over twenty years.
Republicans kind of liked attacks on the elderly, little kids, and the disabled. They didn't much mind tax increases on the working poor and the middle class. But military reductions and tax increases on the wealthiest Americans were intolerable.
So the plan was to create consequences that would be intolerable for everyone. Then Republicans could hold the economy hostage after winning the Presidency and the Senate. If they were negotiating with President Romney, all would be well.
The plan got a little screwed up by an unexpected election loss. President Obama won big. Democrats increased their Senate majority. Republicans lost house seats. Even though Republicans kept a majority of seats, they lost a majority of votes. They won by gerrymander. Democratic candidates got about a million votes more than Republicans did.
So President Obama won the fiscal cliff negotiations. That left the "debt ceiling" which was actually a vote on whether to pay our bills.
That's when the President got bolder.
He declared that Republicans holding the economy hostage to put into place policies Americans had rejected was not going to happen. There would be no negotiations.
Now Republicans look to be retreating on paying our bills. They have gotten the worst of all worlds. They are, in front of God and Country, attacking the middle class, the poor, the disabled, the elderly, and little kids. So they look evil. And even worse, they are losing. So they look like evil losers.
Improbably, the new plan is to pay our bills only for three months. Then Republicans will approach the same intersection. Again. Using the same tactics. Again. Attacking the same targets. Again. The President continues to insist that he will not negotiate on paying bills already incurred. If the Republican House damages the economy, it will not be as a result of negotiation. They will make that decision on their own.
The President is winning. He is winning the way New York City pedestrians have been winning since automobiles were invented.
He is looking the other way.
Introduction, Traditional Service,
9:00 AM, January 20, 2013
St. Mark's United Methodist Church in Florissant, MO
We have faith in a heaven,
and we pray for an earth, full of God's Glory.
We pray for vision to unite us and light our way.
We pray for hope
that will make that vision real for us.
We share that hope with all the world,
with every child of God.
Our faith is faith in action.
Our faith is with the One
who comes in the name of the Lord.
We pray to that Lord,
the God of power and might.
We are community.
We come together in search for a new direction.
We come together in search for transformation.
We come together in search for a miracle.
Found on Line:
The 10th movement from AMASS by Jocelyn Hagen
The Singers - Minnesota Choral Artists
Directed by Matthew Culloton
First Lutheran Church
Columbia Heights, MN
February 12, 2011
|Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus,||Holy, Holy, Holy,|
|Dominus Deus Sabaoth.||Lord God of Hosts.|
|Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua.||Full are heaven and earth of thy glory.|
|Hosanna in excelsis.||Hosanna in the highest.|
Max's Dad commits vivisection on newer extremist trends in contemporary conservatism, including attacking the President's children. You get a quick sense of where he's heading at the first sentence: "Can these paranoid freaks shoot themselves any more without dying?"
A few months after John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, future President Ronald Reagan gave a speech on behalf of Barry Goldwater in which he characterized supporters of the Kennedy administration as making certain public statements: "peace at any price" and "better Red than dead" and, (this last Mr. Reagan swore he'd heard in a statement from an unnamed public figure) "he’d rather 'live on his knees than die on his feet.'". I was pretty young, but I do believe I would have heard of such positions taken by Kennedy, anyone in his administration, President Johnson, or any of their more prominent supporters. T. Paine, at Saving Common Sense, proudly revisits portions of the Reagan speech.
I do confess some interest in Mr. Paine's reaction to another Reagan statement, 30 years later. After, presumably, growing in wisdom while serving in office, President Reagan joined with President's Ford and Carter, together sending this to every member of Congress:
While we recognize that assault-weapon legislation will not stop all assault-weapon crime, statistics prove that we can dry up the supply of these guns, making them less accessible to criminals.
We urge you to listen to the American public and to the law enforcement community and support a ban on the further manufacture of these weapons.
The Heathen Republican features a Fox News personality who essentially argues that American revolutionary forces must match the armaments of US military forces. The analogy is that colonists would have lost had they faced the British with only crossbows.
I dunno. It seems to me that such brave revolutionary talk provides pretty thin cover for a cold blooded ideology. The argument accepts that the killing of dozens of little kids at a time is undesirable. It is an unfortunate, but necessary, collateral cost of the actual objective. That actual objective is the killing of multiple members of the of US Marines, infantry, and other military personnel in the coming armed insurrection. Heathen is featuring a prominent conservative who regards as oppressive the inadequate protection by the government of his future right to carry out such killings.
That strikes me as unrealistic.
The apparent position by conservatives is that it is unreasonably oppressive to require a shooter to reload after firing the first 10 shots at little kids. Tommy Christopher of Mediaite quotes a televised question posed by Martin Bashir that illustrates why that number is important.
Rumproast reports on the NRA attack on the President's daughters for not rejecting Secret Service protection, and the an under reported near deadly shooting during a road rage incident by the son of ... well you've got to read it. Sounds like some of these folks ought to either give up firearms or stop consuming bath salts.
Ryan at Secular Ethics looks at arguments for three different approaches to taxation and finds there is little room for argument about any of them beyond a restating of subjective standards of fairness.
There is a segment of Serious People, somewhat insulated from the rest of us, for whom federal deficits are not a problem: rather they are THE problem. S.W. Anderson at Oh!pinion suggests that timing is the real priority. Starving the patient back to health is not always practical.
Conservative James Wigderson says the closing of a long time dairy plant illustrates the danger of state anti-trust laws. The Governor's office says anti-trust actions have nothing to do with the closing, and the attorney for the company says the move was caused entirely by market forces. What those forces were, what the anti-trust actions were, and just how each set connects to the newly empty buildings, is left frustratingly unclear. One available insight is unintended, with apologies to James. If you want to know why voter frustration tends toward a pox on all houses, ambiguous reporting obscures responsibility. Who do you blame when you can't tell who to blame?
At Dreg Studios, Brandt Hardin has apparently been stopped and fined for failing to buckle up. This week, he rants that, while such laws may save lives, the only motivation for seat belt laws is state revenues. Okay, Brandt, there is no safety consideration. It's all a scam. Now buckle up and be safe from being penalized by court, fines, delays, and ... you know ... death.
Mad Mike's America reports on the Obama administration's reply to a petition to build a Death Star using the Empire's Star Wars model as a design prototype. Michael John Scott carries the Empire's reaction.
In Response to Burr Deming's Fiscal Train Wreck of 1973 Law
The budget process is initiated with a budget proposal from the president. The president's budget needs to take the opinions of the House into consideration if the president expects congress to seriously consider his budget proposal. Obama's unfounded arrogance apparently leads him to believe that he can completely disregard Congress' budgetary desires and ram his own desires down everyone's throat. He was mistaken.
F&B, January 16, 2013
What do you think the President is asking for when he submits his own budget proposal? The President has departments within the Executive branch that submit to him their own budget proposals, funding goals and plans for the coming year. The President takes this information, consolidates it into an overarching budget proposal and submits it to the Legislature where the Legislature uses it to determine the country's budget.
The President's budget proposal is, just that, a proposal. Not the set in stone budget for the country. The Legislative Branch has the power of the purse.
As far as the vote in the Senate that you refer to:
That was pure political theater. The House had already rejected the President's budget proposal, so what was being voted on in the Senate was not the actual budget proposal from the President but one from a Republican Senator.
And honestly, in lieu a budget, the Legislature produces the continuing resolutions to pay for things. Where do you think the President gets his credit card? The legislature gives it to him.
Now the Republicans, after letting the government spend money, want to play political games when the bills are due.
Trey is a frequent valued participant in comment discussions. We appreciate his further contribution today.
From CBS News:
President Obama has finally decided to outfit his official presidential vehicles with license plates that read "Taxation Without Representation," in a sign of solidarity with Washington, D.C. residents looking for representation in Congress.
The presidential fleet will bear the signs beginning inauguration weekend, the White House confirmed today.
From Washington City Paper:
The summons to Capitol Hill didn’t bode well. It was May 2011, and Mayor Vince Gray and D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown had been called to testify on the city’s fiscal stability before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s subcommittee on the District of Columbia. The short hearing advisory offered few clues to the panel’s aims, outside of one ominous paragraph.
Unless you've seen it, or heard about it, or read about it already, you'll have a hard time guessing where the above images were published.
The poor oppressed 6 figure income folks are faced with increases in their tax burdens that range from zero, the weary looking retired couple with an annual income of $180,000, to 21,608 for the overburdened family with an income just shy of two-thirds of a million dollars.
Actually, my favorite is the beleaguered single mom with a quarter million dollar annual income. See how sad and worn she looks? The life of a waitress can be hard, especially if you pull in that amount in tips. A lot of tables there.
It seems kind of unfair, actually, the sort of constructing of a straw man and then knocking him down. You misrepresent an opposition argument, then have fun demolishing it. To anyone who is familiar with the pros and cons of the debate, that sort of thing will seem puerile, even juvenile.
It isn't an unknown tactic in the blogging world.
But these images are so over the top, it would be reasonable to consider them satire.
The damage done to the Romney campaign by his 47% quote, as I see it, was that it put new muscle into a previously discredited image of out of touch, snobby, superior feeling, rich folk. It was a Daddy Warbucks sort of image: the little figure with the top hat that Monopoly game players moved around the board.
The stereotype had, over the years, come to be recognized as a wild exaggeration. Nobody actually thought of working people as less virtuous and hard working than rich folk. Those who are wealthy may have their faults, as Jesus said, but they don't actually look down their noses at those less fortunate.
Then suddenly, they actually did.
Still, the poor, suffering rich as portrayed in that drawing, tired and overachieved, painfully scrounging for an extra 1 or 2 or 3 percent of tax revenue is taking ridicule a little far.
I didn't believe it at first. The images were based on a complaining article in the Wall Street Journal. After my surprise, it came to me that the images were drawn as a protest to the Rupert Murdoch publication. After all, this was the same Wall Street Journal that once published a piece bemoaning the fact that those living near the poverty line paid nearly no taxes. "Lucky Duckies" was the name the WSJ gave to those who labor for low pay.
Even based on an article inside the Journal, it is a little unfair. A legitimate debate is possible about whether those earning ten or fifteen times the average combined wage for a typical family ought to pay a higher percentage in taxes. No need to even imply a false image that no rational person would advance.
"I was sad," writes TBogg at FireDogLake, "because I had no shoes until I met a married couple with four kids living on a mere $650,000 a year with only $180,000 in investment income."
I don't blame you if you don't believe me. I didn't believe it until I checked. Click on the images. Unless it occurs to them to become embarrassed, the representation of poor downtrodden taxpayers will still be seen next to the third sentence of the article in the Wall Street Journal itself.
It is their drawing, published by their paper. By the way, that third sentence reads thusly:
While the top 1% of taxpayers will bear the biggest burden, many other families, affluent and poor, will pay more as well.
Yes, Virginia, that is actually how many of the top one percent, those who are instructed by the editorial policies of the premier financial newspaper, see the world. Those who ride buses to work are "Lucky Duckies." Those with six figure incomes range between affluent and ... you know.
Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas? That was the title of a talk to a scientific symposium by Philip Merilees in 1972. The talk was on Chaos Theory and the entire concept of small events producing unpredictable large effects became known as the Butterfly Effect.
It seems reasonable to think that the increasingly unhinged rhetoric coming from the rightmost fringe of the Republican Party over gun safety will have an effect on public opinion. But evidence is elusive. It's a little like measuring the effect of that mythical butterfly in South America when the butterfly is surrounded by a hurricane, a tsunami, and a rain of frogs from the sky. The overwhelming public sentiment for a series of strong gun safety checks, combined with the deepening disdain the public is developing for Republican institutions makes it difficult to measure what additional effect the occasional public pronunciation may have.
Gun violence in minority neighborhoods, with frequent collateral killings of children playing on sidewalks or sleeping in their homes, has long provided a sort of background rumbling in news media. Individual death, even of a child, doesn't produce lasting headlines. The loss of a black kid has been just another day's work for many reporters.
But a classroom of kids taken all at once is a nightmare. And it has placed an emphasis what violence has come since. Yesterday a shooter here in St. Louis killed an administrator in a business school before killing himself. Six weeks ago, it would have produced a day or shocked wonderment.
It is easy to imagine a hot-blooded murder. Lovers quarrel. Employees are fired. Students fight. A gun offers an impulsive destructiveness that might otherwise pass.
But the killing of a classroom of little kids can only be thought possible in a mathematical sense. Somewhere, somehow, someone will develop the motivation to walk into a school with a military grade weapon and a deadly intent. Our neighborhoods are filled with a variety of people. Some small bit of that variety is bound to be unstable, prone to a sociopath's deadliness. And the technology of death amplifies the effect.
Imagination strains against image. The mental picture of the last moments in the lives of those small children staggers the emotion of normal people.
It is easy to imagine a callousness toward the occasional stranger. You don't have to be without feeling to see how someone can become cold, inured to yet another domestic case, or a workplace incident, or even a tragic child. A car accident, a fall, a case of gunfire, we can find some bridge to the one who shrugs and goes back to morning coffee and the sports section.
But an unfeeling apathy toward the small occupants of those little desks. An entire classroom of children barely out of infancy, each suddenly looking into the abyss. That takes a special sort of coldness.
We have little evidence of the effect on public opinion. Intuition can be wrong. But it is hard to see how some statements would not provoke most people: Representatives of gun manufacturers expressing outrage, not so much at the massacre of the littlest victims, but at steps keep such things from happening again.
That anyone would become angry at the thought that a schoolhouse shooter would have to reload after only half a dozen bullets has to strike more than a few citizens as wildly extreme. A conservative radio host taking a turn as a television guest must impress the average viewer as dangerous as he screams into the face of a mild mannered interviewer. A CEO in Tennessee promises to begin shooting if gun safety measures are taken by the government, then apologizes with the assurance that such a killing spree is not necessary. At least not yet.
The silence of many public conservatives is more understandable. The cynical thought is hard to avoid. It appears that a cold calculation is at work: That the bitter reaction to what happened in that classroom will fade in the dewy morning light, that public attention will eventually be captured by the next bright shiny object. That gun money contributions will pay for the next series of campaign ads.
But the rhetoric from the fringes, the loud public fury at even the mildest measures of public safety, has to be unnerving. Polls can't show it. There are limits to the velocity that speedometers can display. You can't measure what is off the charts.
The effect has to be there.
Or maybe not.
We can't know until the next election.
It wasn't supposed to work that way. Not in 1973. Not ever. Not the way President Nixon said it was going to happen. And it was an important moment when Train vs the City of New York went before the US Supreme Court.
The House of Representatives was supposed to write any law dealing with fiscal appropriations. That's why the House Ways and Means Committee was so powerful. That's why everyone in Washington bowed twice a day in the direction of Ways and Means chairman Wilbur Mills. At least they did until he got inebriated one evening and was stopped by police. Officers watched in amazement as a woman later identified as Argentine stripper Fannie Foxe jumped out of Mills' car and leaped into the Tidal Basin. Those were the days.
The House was supposed to start the fiscal ball rolling. Then the Senate was supposed to pass the bill. If the President signed it, it became law. If the President vetoed it, it could still become law. It was hard, but it was possible. The House and the Senate would have to pass the bill that the President had vetoed by a two-thirds majority. Each.
In 1973, that's just what happened. The House of Representatives passed the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. Clean water was the issue. Even water that looked clean and sparkling as it came out of the tap had been shown to be an epidemic waiting to happen. So both Houses of Congress passed a bill to help localities clean things up.
President Nixon didn't much care for this particular environmental legislation. He vetoed it. But both Houses voted by a two-thirds majority to override. It became law.
New York City was supposed to get some of that funding, and they needed it. New Yorkers drink lots of water. That's because there are lots of New Yorkers. There is substantial water in New York, but it was notoriously unsafe.
But Nixon was still upset by the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. He said something like "FWPCA YOU", which has more consonants than what he really said, and decided that Congress could appropriate whatever money they wanted, and could put it into funding for whatever bills they wanted. He simply wouldn't spend it.
He directed the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Russell Train, to sit on the money. Not literally sit, but the effect was the same. Train, being an obedient civil servant said "Okay, whatever," and impounded the funds.
New York City residents got a bit ticked. Also thirsty. So the city sued. In the meantime, President Nixon got caught covering up burglaries and such. Much later, tapes showed he actually planned crimes. He resigned in 1974, but lawsuits sometimes live beyond their litigants. This one did.
The Supremes issued their decision in 1975. No, no, no, said they. New York gets clean water funding. AND don't ever do that again. President Nixon didn't much care by then. He was just relieved that Congressman turned House Minority Leader turned Vice President turned President Ford issued a pardon. Nixon wouldn't have to go to jail. Who the devil cared about municipal sewers in New York when he had just gotten a get-out-of-jail card?
So the highest court in the land told President Ford, welcome to the White House, and don't ever do that again. So Gerald Ford said "Okay, whatever."
And that's where the law stands now.
The President of the United States is breaking the law if he does not spend money that funds a project that has gone through that process.
On the other hand, the President is breaking the law if he spends money that goes beyond the limits of what is called the debt ceiling.
So, when Republicans decide that elections don't count, and they will hold the country's economy hostage to get their way, it presents an interesting quantum mechanical puzzle. The President, by law, must spend money that, by law, he must not spend.
Welcome to the wonderful world of tail-wags-the-dog Republican governmental procedure.
Late last week, the chairman of Gun Appreciation Day was interviewed by CNN. Larry Ward raised some unintended mirth with this statement:
I think Martin Luther King, Jr. would agree with me if he were alive today that if African Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country's founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history.
Yeah, the premiere American advocate of non-violence, the civil rights leader who was murdered by a white supremacist with a gun, perhaps spent his idle hours longing for that very alternate history. If only slaves, having been kidnapped from Africa, had been allowed to walk down to the local gunsmith to purchase a burst-capable semi-automatic rifle with an intermediate cartridge and detachable magazine, slavery would have died a quick death. It seems slave owners, dedicated as they were to every other aspect of freedom, had an insufficient respect for the second amendment.
On the other hand, there may exist some possibility that senior editor Ta-Nehisi Coates, at The Atlantic may have expressed what could have seemed a more obvious reaction from Dr. King:
So I guess it's true that blacks wouldn't have been slaves if they had guns, much like it's true that blacks wouldn't have been slaves if there was no such thing as American slavery.
Although they never met, Dr. King had a special relationship with Mohandis K. Gandhi, the non-violent leader of independence for India. Those who oppose gun safety requirements are beginning to quote Gandhi as well.
Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest.
Actually, that quote does appear in the autobiography of the Mahatma, at least as I understand it. In the book, Gandhi is quoting himself, recounting the argument he made to a British constable in favor of allowing Indians to serve in the fight against Germany in World War I. Gandhi was, in fact, permitted to organize a medical group, chasing after wounded British soldiers on the battlefield.
Gandhi, at the time, thought that his service as a medic was consistent with his still developing ethic of non-violence. He later concluded that he had been wrong. When World War II came along, he campaigned against any Indian participation. He was arrested several times for urging non-cooperation by Indians in any war effort. So Gandhi was not advocating gun ownership in his autobiography. He was talking about a part of his personal history that he later concluded was wrong.
Martin Luther King was profoundly influenced by the writings and the personal history of Gandhi. Those participating in Dr. King's non-violent campaigns against racial discrimination were carefully screened. They were made to promise to remain non-violent, even in the face of vicious physical assaults.
Some of the most vigorous critics of Dr. King came from a group dedicated to second amendment rights, back when the NRA itself was just a small gun-safety group. The fight between unlimited gun rights and gun control measures was focused, for a time, in California. Gun rights advocates were quite militant about the right to bear, and even brandish, firearms. The logic of the cause was that, if police were unable or unwilling to protect members the public, members of the public had the right, even the obligation, to protect themselves.
When some activists, carrying weapons, walked the streets near the home of a state assemblyman, he introduced a bill that would outlaw any loaded firearm in any public place. It was quite a scene. Gun rights advocates walked into the State House in protest, carrying weapons with them. They were escorted outside, where they gathered in a noisy crowd.
Inside, the legislature passed the restrictive gun control measure. The Governor of California quickly signed it into law.
The gun rights group, the group that vigorously debated against the non-violent tactics of Martin Luther King, the group that hotly opposed gun restrictions, was the Black Panther Party.
The sponsor of the bill banning weapons was conservative Republican, Don Mulford.
The Governor who signed the bill into law was Ronald Reagan.
Those were the days.
Introduction, Traditional Service,
9:00 AM, January 13, 2013
St. Mark's United Methodist Church in Florissant, MO
We are human and we are frail.
When the spirit seems dim,
we are tempted to turn away
from the least of these who suffer among us.
But we are human and we are loved.
When we pray for transformation
we are given a new time, a new baptism
that goes beyond water and ritual.
We are human and we rejoice.
Our Creator sees value in us.
And we find the Christ-child
in every child of God.
The eternal flame is a light in the darkness.
We carry the flame within us.
God's flame will never die.
Found on Line:
in many languages
A project with singers and musicians from around the world who are a part of the International Churches of Christ (ICOC)
Shown at the 2012 World Discipleship Summit in San Antonio Texas
It's been a week in which we all kind of inadvertently focused on religion, with (forgive me) spirited debate. Thanks to frequent contributors T. Paine, Ryan, For Your Consideration, and John Myste. Jerry Critter, Infidel753, Trey, Emily deserve their own special thanks. In fact, as I recall, it was Infidel, on his own site, who pretty much lit the fuse here.
I am a committed Christian with an appreciation for disagreement. I believe I am not alone in that. One of the largest megachurches in Missouri is Church of the Resurrection in the Kansas City area. It's a couple of hundred miles away, so I've only been there once. Their bookstore hosts prominent displays of authors such as atheist Richard Dawkins. I understand respectful debates and discussions are sometimes featured as well.
Emily suggests a respite from a "tread on Mr. Deming's blog" but I confess to enjoying it. I hope nobody gives up for a while.
And from around the web:
Ryan at Secular Ethics reprises in bullet form his arguments against the arguments for religion. I do have one advantage in coming from a background of skepticism. I can often recognize a bit of religious smugness before it erupts into view. I seldom offer polemical arguments. My evidence is internal and I understand why it is not compelling to others. Ryan offers a view that should be cautionary to those of us who walk by faith. If, as Shakespeare points out, the eye cannot see itself except upon reflection, Ryan provides to us a mirror.
Jack Jodell, friend of the working blogger, at THE SATURDAY AFTERNOON POST, offers a cautious, even tempered, conclusion to a completely objective, balanced, study of an internationally known social service network. The piece is called: I HATE FACEBOOK!!!!!
Nancy Hanks at The Hankster brings news of how "nonpartisan, non-ideological" voters will come together in a National Conference of Independents in February. A sort of harmonious convergence of nonalignment?
In President Obama's first term, the administration identified sky rocketing healthcare costs as the biggest non-defense danger to efforts to produce a balanced budget. So the administration began a campaign to reduce those costs by forcing hospitals and other corporations to stop overcharging schemes that included multiply repetitive testing. It saved 750 billion dollars without affecting healthcare. During the election, conservatives accused the President of slashing healthcare by 750 billion dollars. Remember that bogus charge?
Republicans have a hard time accepting that sort of thing didn't work. So now some have executed a Mitt Romney type flip. John Boehner, in a rambling interview with Stephan Moore of Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal, accuses President Obama of privately "blaming" health care costs as a scapegoat for spending. Boehner accuses the President of saying there is no spending problem, only a health care problem.
Of course there were no witnesses to that discussion. Possibly the President whispered his secret musings into Boehner's ear. Conservatives are eager to take Boehner's word for his version. After all, who could be more objective than the guy struggling under the weight of disapproval by ordinary Americans for the way he conducted the last fiscal crisis?
In fact, health care costs are the single skyrocketing domestic cost that will not disappear as the economy improves. Cure that, and you've handled the biggest chunk of it. Handle that, and the entire deficit as a percentage of the economy is already shrinking.
T. Paine, at Saving Common Sense, joins his despondent fellow ideological soul mates who just can't believe that Americans did not have the wisdom to reject the national figure conservatives hate most. "Obama has redefined a 'balanced approach' to mean tax increases only, so it seems," laments our misguided friend. Mr. Paine, you really must stop believing some of the stuff you read. It really is bad for your heart.
The Heathen Republican copies some figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and adds a bit of Fox News type spin: "If the labor force participation rate were the same as when President Obama entered office, true unemployment this quarter would be 9.8% instead of 7.8%." Republicans tried hard during the last election to include, in their evaluation of Obama policies, those months before those policies could even be passed,much less applied, and much much less have an effect. Voters didn't buy it then, but that doesn't keep diehards from re-litigating November.
Those conservatives who cringe at gun safety measures don't mind targeting media violence as a substitute, rather than a supplement. Tommy Christopher, of Mediaite, documents the strange case of a video featuring Eric Holder. About the only thing conservatives hate more than background checks and limits on rapid-fire weapons is Eric Holder. Several right wing sites have "discovered" a 17 year old video in which Eric Holder castigates the media for engendering a "fascination with violence" by targeting young men with a message that it is "hip" to flash lethal weapons. Pretty good "gotcha", right? Making it appear that Holder agreed with the gun manufacturers' lobby that it's all about media? Well, no, actually. Conservatives are attacking Holder as if he was attacking gun ownership and gun owners.
When these guys are in attack mode, they really can't stand agreement.
Jerry Critter at Critter's Crap offers, from the best authority, the reason Republicans should want to leave Social Security alone.
- Rumproast notes a new poll asking respondents to compare Congress to other people, places, and things. Congress does not compare favorably to most of them, with some exceptions.
I don't know about purpose, but religion certainly has various functions. If bad people will be bad people even with religion and good people will be good people even without religion, which remaining functions do you believe satisfy actual needs that cannot be satisfied in some other way?
- Ryan, January 9, 2013
Religion gives people a comfort that they are not the final answer. Additionally, it gives them the believe that immortality is possible, which they need. Additionally, it gives them a friend when no other friends are found. Additionally, it can inspire a sense of awe that cannot easily be found elsewhere.
If you think all of these things either are not needed or that they can be found without religion, it would do nothing to remove the worth religion has for providing them.
In reality, religion fulfills needs that are typically not fulfilled without it.
I think you realize this already. You seem somewhat hostile to religion and seem to be looking for a reason to deny its value. It's like saying: people don't have to go to college. Plenty of very successful people never finished college." That is true, and that fact in no way devalues college. Education, well-used, is good. Religion, well-used, is good.
Perhaps you have an imperative that tells you that religion is wrong, thus bad. I do not have imperatives, nor do I generally believe they are reasonable. Additionally, I see no reason to think something is bad merely because Ryan thinks it is wrong.
John Myste often helps us out, taking time from a busy schedule which includes contributions to discussions across the internet.