Saturday, September 25, 2010

How I Became A Liberal Communist Tree Hugger


Actually, I haven't "become" anything but I've been called all of the above. I suppose that what those words actually mean is a matter of interpretation . . . isn't it? Perhaps the best way to analyze these words is to consider them as utterances, in the Bakhtinian sense, as words or phrases, written or spoken, that have originated within a particular social context. In this case, a sociopolitical context, or, as Bakhtin would call it: a sociopolitical speech genre. These are powerful, socially and politically created words (and situations!) that we've inherited from those who've preceded us; words that are intended to be persuasive. (Political speech, especially when it's a combination of words and images, is always propagandistic.)

Sociopolitical speech is almost, by definition, polarized. There are two sides to every debate and every story . . . polar extremes are to be expected. Even violent ones.

War is violent, by definition.

The warmongering and the fearmongering continue, unabated, in America . . . the Muslim fanatics are (supposedly) out to get us, you know.

I was accused of having been brainwashed recently, which is odd . . . considering that I haven't watched television news in many years. If I were to sit in front of the television set every night and watch, oh, say, Fox News perhaps, then one might say, accurately, that I may be allowing myself to become influenced by the media, or brainwashed, by Fox News. But considering that I never watch television, how can one say I'm being brainwashed? I do watch Alex Jones occasionally, but Alex has been around for years . . . and so have I.

I'm quite capable of discerning truth from error concerning Alex Jones. I would say that Jones is 98% correct, and it's encouraging just to know that he's out there . . . even if his broadcast is only three hours a day, five days a week, and two hours on Sunday. Compared to Fox News' 24/7/365 influence, Jones is a piker when it comes to being able to influence anyone; let alone brainwash someone. Brainwashing would require that someone have 24/7/365 access to every home in America . . . sort of like Fox News has . . .

Hmmm . . .

I'm hardly a Liberal, as anyone who has ever taken the time to read my writings knows. I'm a Libertarian with Christian moral convictions. And there's a BIG difference.

I'm also a Constitutionalist, with a strict interpretation; meaning that I believe the US federal government should be restricted to doing only that which is specifically outlined for it to do in the US Constitution, which is, after all, the whole point of the US Constitution to begin with; including, especially, the US Congress alone having the authority to wage war.

Hmmm . . .

And I'M brainwashed?

I'm no fan of the federal government, I can assure you. And I think a Liberal is, by definition, a fan of the feds. I am not a fan of the feds at all.

I've had my run-ins with the feds over the years, and I don't think they're a big fan of me either. I can't imagine they think of me as a Liberal. Heck, if you count my last run-in with the feds in DC, I've been arrested and locked up by them a grand total of six times now: three times by the US military, twice by the FBI, and once by the US Park Police.

Crazy . . . can you imagine, too, how many times I've been stopped and asked by the police to show my ID, so they could run me for warrants . . . I've lost count . . .

And I'm not a bad guy either, that's the thing. I just have that bad guy mystique . . .

Anyways, a Constitutionalist Christian Libertarian like me is far from being a Liberal or a Communist . . . and although I do love trees, I'm not a tree hugger. I used to work for a very large paper company and we had a saying: paper is a renewable resource. But I am against cutting old growth trees . . . . I think it's criminal for someone to do that.

When it comes to economics, I'm more a fan of Adam Smith than I am of Karl Marx, so I certainly can't be a Communist. I'm for Ending the Fed too, which is not exactly the political stance on the Federal Reserve that a good commie would take. Is it?

But I suppose that, since I am against the war(s), the Global War on Terror, the rise of the US police state, the failed War on Drugs, and suspect that rogue elements of our own government (and others) were behind the terror attacks of 9/11, this DOES make me a Liberal Communist, in the Glennbeckian sense of these terms.

On the other hand, there are good reasons for Beck and others considering me to be a Liberal and a Communist. I believe that being a Christian is a communal activity, not a personal affair. So yes, I believe in social justice, relieving the plight of the poor, having compassion on those who are less fortunate, working to build a more just society for all people, including those not-yet-born. I recently spent a week at the DC Catholic Worker House and God knows the Catholic Workers are considered Communist, even through the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, Dorothy Day, had the same sociopolitical ideology that I have: social justice is the work of God's people, the Church, and not of the government.

All of which makes me an odd bird, politically speaking, I know. I mean, just what political category do I fit into anyway? The Liberals are mostly proaborts and the Conservatives are mostly warhawks (some of them chicken-hawks), so where does that leave me? I'm pro-life and I'm anti-war; two issues which need to become related in the minds of many people. I mean, have a heart people!

As I've said before, I don't know about you, but I've seen carnage—meaning: the bodies of human beings that have been torn into chunks of flesh, or meat, and it's always broken my heart to see this. Not right away, of course, but afterward. A person that someone loved torn into bloody pieces of meat. Killing someone requires justification; like self-defense. Preemptive killing is murder, and is considered such by the states and the federal government except, it seems, when it comes to our military adventures (in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan) and abortion. For us Americans, it's okay for us to tear people to shreds anytime we feel the need to do so, isn't it? I mean, what is justice? And who really cares about that anyway . . . ?

Do you?

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Future of America Depends Upon Justice for the Unborn


The Future of America Depends Upon Justice for the Unborn

(photo: abortion - 10 weeks)

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King once said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Dr. Seuss once said: “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

I agree.

Last month I was working with a fine young Christian man—the kind of young Christian person who inspires hope for the future and can be found across this great nation— who said something that really surprised me. He said something to the effect of, “I think abortion is okay as long as it’s right after conception (like via “the morning after pill”) or still very young/small.”

I think I said something like, “So all that matters is that we kill them when they’re small . . . preferably by chemicals, as opposed to scalpels. But the point here is that one has to have a justifiable reason to take a human life and to have an abortion is to intentionally destroy a human life. Simply not wanting a little someone around is not just cause for taking a human life, so matter how small/young it is.”

I also told him two stories from my own life-experience. The first was that, when we were young teenagers, my best friend got his girlfriend pregnant and, because they didn’t want her parents to find out they were having sex, they aborted the child. My friend and his girlfriend later married and had three kids. I think her parents figured out that they were having sex. This couple, especially the woman, always regretted having aborted their first, who would have been their oldest, child.

The second story is that of my ex wife. She got pregnant at 16 (not by me) and hid it from her mom until it was too late to get an abortion, which is what her mom (not my ex wife) wanted to do. She had the child, a boy, and she gave him up for adoption. He contacted her when he turned 18 and they have been corresponding ever since. He’s very happy to be alive, knowing he could have been aborted, he’s very happy with his life, and he’s also a very successful businessman.

And that’s a lot better than ending up in the toilet, or in the garbage can, isn’t it?

Life is unique; especially human life.

I once watched Bill Moyers interview Dr. Leon Kass, MD on PBS. Dr. Kass is one of the brightest thinkers in America, and he’s also a distinguished bioethicist (whose books I’ve read). The following is an excerpt from this interview,

BILL MOYERS: You mean down when we were mere cells?

LEON KASS: When we were--

BILL MOYERS: Or a cell?

LEON KASS: We were a very special kind of cell, Bill.

BILL MOYERS: Potentially.

LEON KASS: No, no. We were-- when you-- look, when-- R.G. Edwards created the first test tube baby, Louise Brown, 1978, he said, and he sort of stumbled over the truth. He said, "She was beautiful then and she is beautiful now." And by "then" he meant when she was a zygote, when she was a fertilized egg which he had fertilized.

What really struck me was just how little Bill Moyers thinks of human life in its earliest stages.

Just like the young man I worked with.

Dr. Kass is a wise man who is in awe of life, especially human life, and he realizes the continuity, over time, of our being. We were all zygotes once. I, the person who I am now, this body, was once as small as the period at the end of this sentence.

“We were a very special kind of cell, Bill.”

I suppose “the morning after pill” is a conscience relieving solution to an unwanted pregnancy. Unwanted pregnancy? Simply swallow a pill and your pregnancy is over!

Sounds like the modern, scientific, and merciful way to kill your unborn child. If they’re really small they won’t feel anything . . .

Mercy is one of the reasons the guy that I used to work with gave me for using “the morning after pill” or getting an abortion early: they don’t feel any pain.

But who are they?

They are the same kind as us: people.

“Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind and therefore never send to ask for whom the bell tolls it tolls for thee.” ~ John Donne

By saying this Donne is telling us much the same thing as Dr. King was telling us when he said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” What Donne is saying is that we’re a small part of a much larger human family and that we’re all mortal. When the bell tolls the death of anyone, it may as well be my own death, because sooner or later I will die. The death of anyone is a loss to the human family of a unique individual. In the case of abortion, the death of each human being via abortion is, in a sense, the death of us all, because the single, unwanted human zygote, embryo, or fetus is a microcosm of humanity. The unjust, intentional putting to death of a single, small, growing human being through abortion is the death of us all, because we turn our head and ignore, for the most part, the deathly matter.

Are YOU going to be the one to kill it? Whatever size it is? I’m not.

Not if it’s human, sorry.

And HUMAN it is; it being: the small person (people or them).

I realize that pseudo intellectuals like Peter Singer would have us (i.e., our society) allow for abortion and infanticide (i.e., the murder of infants up to two years of age) but I think Dr. King would really have issues with such inhumane and murderously brutal injustices as abortion and infanticide.

Wouldn’t he?

Abortion and infanticide are based, philosophically, upon a genocidal instinct that transcends ordinary classifications of hated, which becomes a hatred for the bodily existence of another person (however small). This (small) person’s nationality, religion, gender, and race are irrelevant; the intention of abortion and infanticide being to destroy a human life simply because it exists.

Notice how, in the dialogue above, Moyer’s use of potential life is summarily dismissed by Dr. Kass.

You weren’t a potential human life, or person, when you were a zygote Bill; you were you: a living, growing, human person . . . the same—although much more mature—unique human person that you are right now (e.g., same blood type, same unique DNA).

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, “The medical examiner's office received a total of 19,916 human remains, which included fewer than 300 intact bodies or torsos. It identified 10,190 body parts, some as small as a finger tip, primarily through DNA testing. About 9,726 remains remain unidentified.”

Although we don’t like to think about it, the finger tip of an unborn child who has been legally killed by an abortionist would also be identified as being “human remains.”

In short, this is indisputable scientific evidence that the unborn child is a human being. But we already knew that, didn’t we?

Isn’t that the point, after all, of killing it to begin with? Because it—a living, growing, human being—is; it exists here-and-now and we don’t want it to?

So we desire a humane way of being rid of this . . . human.

Better than carving it up into little pieces—not as ugly, or as brutal, in appearance.

Suffice it to say that, in this case—concerning Kass and Moyers—Dr. Kass comes across as much wiser than the average person which, in this case, is represented by Moyers.

Size (or age), in this case, doesn’t matter.

Injustice anywhere—like the unjust taking of a human life through abortion—is a threat to justice everywhere.

Ask not whom the abortionist kills, he’s killing you . . . he’s killing us all; in microcosm . . . the purest form of genocide (or specicide).

Believe it or not, the biggest obstacle to political reformation, now, is the abortion issue. Why? Because the Left, which is supposed to stand for human rights supports, for the most part, a woman’s right to choose to hire an abortionist, usually a man, and pay him to kill her child (unless of course she’s using the “more humane” morning after pill).

The Right, which has no history of supporting the oppressed, like the Left does, has picked up the human rights banner which the Left dropped (i.e., the banner of the smallest amongst us, the not-yet-born) and managed to gather most of the pro-lifers into its party. The Left, which perceives the abortion issue as irrevocably tied to the women’s rights issue could easily become the party of life and justice, thus transferring most of the pro-lifers from the Right into its own party, if the Left would simply acknowledge the truth: abortion is the intentional, violent destruction of an innocent human person.

Women have rights in our society. They have equal rights with men. But neither a man nor a woman has any right to kill an unborn person. Some jealous, angry husbands will always seek out their cheating spouse's lover in order to kill him. But this doesn't mean that the state (i.e., the government) should legalize such killings. Likewise, women (and men) will always seek to be rid of their unborn children. But that doesn’t mean that the state (meaning: the government) should legalize such killings.

What would Dr. King say . . . ? Can you imagine? And why is no one else, of any popular significance, saying it?

What’s happened to justice? Human rights cannot be in subjection to women’s rights, or to men’s rights. These rights are innate; inviolate, God-given.

And that was Dr. King’s whole point, wasn’t it? Equal rights for all people via Natural Law . . . as outlined for us in the Declaration of Independence?

I had a rather unique perspective of Glenn Beck’s recent rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C. I walked from Dupont Circle to the rally that morning and, as I was walking down 16th street, only a few blocks from the White House, I passed by the Planned Parenthood at 16th and L and, as you can imagine (or maybe you can’t) it was very busy, being a Saturday, which, apparently, is a good (i.e., popular, or common) day for the unborn to die.

Tens of thousands of pro-lifers were at the Beck rally . . . but not at the clinic, in order to protest. Hundreds of pro-choicers were at the anti-Beck rally, not far from the Lincoln Memorial, attempting to make Dr. King’s dream of a more just society a reality. But they weren’t at the clinic either. There was only a very small group of Catholics there, at the clinic, protesting.

“A person’s a person, no matter how small . . .”

It’s time for America, meaning the American people, to reconcile human rights to the abortion issue . . . to seek justice. If the Democrats would rethink the abortion issue through the lens of Dr. King’s Natural Law paradigm the Republicans would go back to being their old rich, fat cat, country club selves.

Support Life!

Consistently!

End war, end abortion, end poverty, end racism, end capital punishment . . . and seek instead to build a culture of life!

And Justice!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Natural Law in Perspective

The perspective of this photograph is correct, philosophically speaking. The law, which is symbolized, here, by the US Capitol Building, is placed in subjection to Dr. King's philosophy of Natural Law, which is symbolized, here, by (both) Dr. King's words and image.

Unfortunately, Washington has things the other way around: Dr. King's (and America's) philosophy of Natural Law is placed in subjection to Positive Law (i.e., the wills of lawmakers on Capitol Hill).

I've written, extensively, on this subject before, and I will not rewrite what I've already written here. Suffice it to say that Natural Law trumps Positive Law; Natural Law is much more helpful in constructing—legally and philosophically—a more just society anyways . . .

And this (i.e., Natural Law) is no new idea either. It's only been around for the past 2,000 years or so . . .

In short, if it's good enough for Dr. King, it's good enough for me too.

In fact, Dr. King's entire philosophy is dependent upon Natural Law; and for one to deny the existence of Natural Law would be tantamount to denying the philosophical justification underlying Dr. King's call for equal rights for all peoples, regardless of race, creed, or color, as outlined for us in the US Declaration of Independence.

Hmmm . . .

But, like I said, I'm not going to rehearse this matter here. I only wish that all of the hulabaloo over Glenn Beck's recent rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington had been the catalyst for a much greater interest in Dr. King's Natural Law-based philosophy.

Perhaps this very brief essay this will do exactly that . . .

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Shame and 9/11 Truth


I was protesting the wars at the Pentagon a couple of weeks ago and, strangely enough, I felt ashamed; because I had chosen to hold a sign that read: "9/11: An Inside Job to Lead Us into War". But why did I feel shame for this? It's the truth. I think that what I was feeling was embarrassment, because it seemed as though virtually everyone who passed by me (and read the sign) was (probably) thinking I was a kook. And that's embarrassing. Or perhaps it was because I was ashamed at having to be there, at the Pentagon, to begin with . . . that I need to protest my own government, because of its crimes . . . like I was ashamed to be an American.

But I think, too, that my feeling had something to do with being at the Pentagon itself, because virtually everyone who passed by me (us) seemed to be against me (us). Perhaps there was some element of fear as well? But I'm not afraid of the authorities or of going to jail for a sociopolitical cause, which I've done before; although our government does do its best to keep us living in fear. It just seemed so surreal; sort of like protesting the Dark Side's unholy ambitions on Darth Vader's Death Star.

Not too unlike protesting in front of an abortion clinic though . . .

When it comes to 9/11, I'm not the one who needs to be ashamed. I didn't kill anyone on 9/11, but someone did. Some group (conspiracy) of people did. And I don't think it was a group of Islamic fundamentalists that brought down WTC buildings 1, 2, and 7 . . . I think it was elements of our own (federal) government (i.e., the military-intelligence complex).

But does this make me a kook?

The feeling of shame, or embarrassment, is a uniquely human emotion. Dr. Leon Kass, in his book Toward a More Natural Science, points out the fact that animals do not feel shame; shame is a uniquely human emotion. In short, we are not animals.

The true criminals behind the terror attacks of 9/11 have yet to be brought to justice. Instead, they continue supporting the doctrine of endless wars, torture, and unlawful detentions they began nine years ago. Who is running America? The military-intelligence complex?

It's hardly embarrassing for one to believe that the terror attacks of 9/11 were perpetrated by rogue elements within our own government, or that the WTC buildings (1, 2, and 7) were brought down in some manner that didn't simply cause their collapse but caused them to disintegrate. Many intelligent people believe the government is covering up the truth about 9/11, and I don't think they should feel any shame for believing this. (See Peter Lance's (.pdf) 9/11 Timeline 1981-2006) I think it's more shameful for one to accept, at face value, the official government explanation of 9/11, because such acceptance reveals how little thought one has chosen to invest in this most important of subjects.

America needs citizens who are willing to think.

Please, examine the evidence for yourself . . . as so many intelligent people are doing. . .

Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth

Scholars for 9/11 Truth

Pilots for 9/11 Truth

Firefighters for 9/11 Truth

Medical Professionals for 9/11 Truth

9/11 Truth

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Why Beck’s Jingoism Appeals to His Many Followers


I happened to be in Washington this past week, so I went to see the crowd at Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor rally on Saturday (8/28). It's not often that I'm able to see a large crowd of people who have been taken-in by jingoistic sloganeering, and it was a rather unsettling experience for me.

Jingoism is marked by a rabid nationalism and militarism expressed in an aggressive militaristic foreign policy.

Beck's call for "supporting our troops" and "restoring honor" to our great nation is propagandistic patriotic sloganeering at its best.

Beck's use of terms such as: God, faith, hope, charity, honor, family, life, liberty, freedom, and rights are, in Beck's hands, emptied of their true meanings and given nationalistic propagandistic meanings.

I hope that Beck's followers come to understand the true meanings of the terms Beck uses.

Beck's 8/28 rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington occurred on the 47th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington led by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., where he gave his famous I Have a Dream speech.

Beck endorses Dr. King and what he stood for, and this is Beck's (and his handlers') weak point.

As I've said before, I write about Dr. King's legal-social philosophy often, because I believe his is the best philosophical basis for legal-social theory: natural law. And because, as Dr. King noted, this legal theory is also the philosophical basis of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

At issue here is: Justice. What is it? And how do we know whether or not our nation is acting justly?

Does Beck have the answer? Is Beck the man who, like Dr. King, can lead us our nation on the path of justice? Can Beck tell us how to go about building a more just society?

I think not. (Nor am I (by far) the only one who thinks he is not.)