Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Here's a transcript of his remarks:
"My point is, is if another country does to us what we do others, we're not going to like it very much. So I would say that maybe we ought to consider a golden rule in, in foreign policy. Don't do to other nations what we don't want to have them do to us. So, we, we endlessly bomb, we endlessly bomb these countries countries and then we wonder, wonder why they get upset with us? And, and yet it continues on and on. This idea that we can't debate foreign policy, that all we have to do is start another war? I mean, it's, it's warmongering. They're building up for another war against Iran, and people can't wait to get in another war. This country doesn't need another war. We need to quit the ones we're in. We need to save the money and bring our troops home."
* Matthew 7:12 - "In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets."
Luke 6:31 - "Treat others the same way you want them to treat you."
Friday, January 13, 2012
One of the opening vignettes in the novel is the 1932 Battle of Anacostia Flats, i.e. the US Army's assault during the Great Depression on an encampment of impoverished WW I veterans seeking early payment of the bonus promised them for their wartime service. The author returns to this repeatedly in his chronicling of US government assaults on American citizens.
The book left me with a better appreciation of how some conservative, gun-rights advocates view the episode and I also learned that Jim Crow was banned from the encampment though in 1932, Washington, DC was a Jim Crow stronghold. Ross erroneously attributes an article entitled "The Bonuseers [sic] Ban Jim Crow" to the New York Times. It turns out the article was by Roy Wilkins and was published in the NAACP's house magazine The Crisis in October, 1932.
Wilkins' article is quoted in The Bonus Army: An American Epic by Paul Dickson and Thomas B. Allen (Bloomsbury, 2006) on p. 118:
[At Camp Marks in Anacostia] I found black toes and white toes sticking out side by side from a ramshackle town of pup tents, packing crates and tar-paper shacks. Black men and white men, veterans of the segregated army that had fought in World War I, lined up equally, perspired in sick bays, side by side. For years, the U.S. Army had argued that General Jim Crow was its proper commander, but the Bonus marchers gave lie to the notion that Black and white soldiers--ex-soldiers in their case--couldn't live together.I had either never known or else forgotten about this aspect of the Bonus Army's occupation. I also learned about the inspiring story of the Battle of Athens from Ross' book. In 1946, WW II vets and other locals successfully took up arms against a corrupt, local Democratic Party regime in Athens, TN, the county seat of McMinn County.
Ross' righteous anger about the ambush at Ruby Ridge and the Waco Massacre is refreshing. I remember many of my Liberal and Lefty friends being non-plussed about these two atrocities at the time. Unintended Consequences reveals that infamous FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi was at the scene of both crimes. Other government atrocities featured in the book include the Ken Ballew raid and the MOVE massacre. No government officials were ever held criminally or civilly responsible for any of these crimes.
From Ross' book, I learned of an interesting 1982 report on "The Right to Keep and Bear Arms" from the US Senate's Subcommittee on the Constitution. Here are two paragraphs from the report's "History: Second amendment right to 'keep and bear arms' ":
That the National Guard is not the "Militia" referred to in the second amendment is even clearer today. Congress has organized the National Guard under its power to "raise and support armies" and not its power to "Provide for the organizing, arming and disciplining the Militia". This Congress chose to do in the interests of organizing reserve military units which were not limited in deployment by the strictures of our power over the constitutional militia, which can be called forth only "to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions." The modern National Guard was specifically intended to avoid status as the constitutional militia, a distinction recognized by 10 U.S.C. Sec. 311(a).You can read more selections from the report here.
The conclusion is thus inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentator and court in the first half century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner.
Ross makes the point in the book that early gun control laws were enacted to keep guns out of the hands of free Blacks. A surprising fact mentioned in the book is that Vermont has always permitted the open and concealed carrying of handguns without requiring a permit.
I'll close with two thoughts. One of the ironies of the books is that several of its characters train law enforcement officers in firearms usage and marksmanship as a means to get around gun control laws. The book has conflicted views on law enforcement personnel. Another irony is that the book's author and characters have a blind spot a mile wide. While they can see domestic government repression quite clearly, there is no clear acknowledgment that US government violence against foreigners is unjust and dwarfs domestic repression. Likewise, there is no evident appreciation in Unintended Consequences for the dialectical relationship between the killing of foreigners and the killing of Americans.
In "Some Lessons of Maus" I mentioned Art Spiegelman's typology which cast his characters as animals according to their ethnicity. Below are links to three articles which take up Spiegelman's decision to cast Poles as pigs.
- Danusha Goska. "Maus." Bieganski the Blog. September 6, 2010.
- Linda Kornasky. "Writer Spiegelman no stranger to controversy." San Angelo Standard Times. February 16, 2011.
- Danusha Goska. "You ARE a Pig." Bieganski the Blog. August 14, 2011.
When the government steps in to stop a corporation from dumping noxious chemicals into a stream, that is intervention at the point of a gun, by a superior force against a lesser force attempting to exploit the weak and powerless. When the government steps in to enforce desegregation in schools, that is intervention at the point of a gun, by a superior force against a lesser force attempting to exploit the weak and powerless.
When Abraham Lincoln and the North decided not to allow the nation of the Confederacy--and make no mistake, it was a separate nation with separate laws and an entirely separate culture--to secede from the Union, in large part because the North had an interest in ending slavery in the South and in striking down a competing agrarian economic system, that too was intervention by a superior force against a lesser force attempting to exploit the weak and powerless. To this day, many Southerners feel that their land is being occupied by an illegitimate and invading power, and theirs a Lost Cause that will rise again.
This is what liberalism is. It is unavoidably, inescapably paternalistic in nature. It is so because it understands the inevitable tendency of human beings to be truly awful to one another unless social and legal rules are put in place--yes, by force--to prevent them from doing otherwise.
Source: David Atkins. "No, Stoller and Sullivan: there is no liberal conflict over Ron Paul." January 03, 2012.
See also: "Quotable: The Man to Fear"
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
The people are always the enemy of the king, "the stupid mob," as Hitler called them. The people can rise up. They always do in the end. It is only a question of when.
But how can the people ﬁght against the king without their warriors, without champions to ﬁght for their causes? Destroy their warriors and the people can holler and foam but they can do no harm, for even they who are aware enough to shake off the king's propaganda like a dog shakes off ﬂeas, even they are helpless against the king if there are none who can enter the ﬁght for them.
The warriors for the people are trial lawyers--those villains who are not to be trusted, not even when they are shackled and held helpless in those strait jackets of hate. And we have learned to hate them because every day through the King's media we are told outrageous stories of how trial lawyers have aborted the fetus of justice, and we hear malicious jokes so that we have come to believe that the cause of every ill that befalls us lies at their feet.
Source: Gerry Spence. "Kill All the Lawyers" (PDF).
Sunday, January 08, 2012
A monologue (at about 1:04:00) by one of his chief associates, Thompson, indicates that the Chairman and his minions brought humanity "to the height of the Roman Empire". As if that bloody empire, which killed and enslaved multitudes, including the execution of Jesus Christ, was a good thing. At that zenith, humanity was then granted free will and we ruined things. Among the litany of evils blamed on humanity are the so-called "Dark Ages" and then, after another 600 years of intervention to rescue us from our post-Imperial downfall, "World War I, the Depression, Fascism, and ... the Cuban Missile Crisis". Imperialism, WW II and its other, non-Holocaust atrocities, and the millions of people killed in the name of communism merit no mention. The god of The Adjustment Bureau is apparently quite tendentious. It's also revealed that he is neither omniscient nor omnipotent.
Friday, January 06, 2012
Source: John F. Ross. Unintended Consequences. (St. Louis, MO: Accurate Pr., 1996) p. 566.