Actor Danny Glover recently stepped outside of his role as an actor and assumed the roles of historian and constitutional scholar:
I don’t know if you know the genesis of the right to bear arms,’ said Glover, well known for his roles in the ‘Lethal Weapon’ franchise. ‘The Second Amendment comes from the right to protect themselves from slave revolts, and from uprisings by Native Americans,’ he said.
Glover should stick to his day job. The main concern of the Founding Fathers in regard to the Second Amendment was to provide the citizenry the ability to resist a tyrannical government. As James Madison noted in Federalist 46:
Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it. Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion, that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession, than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors. Let us rather no longer insult them with the supposition that they can ever reduce themselves to the necessity of making the experiment, by a blind and tame submission to the long train of insidious measures which must precede and produce it.
Prior to the Civil War there were laws passed in many of the slave holding states attempting to restrict the right to keep and bear arms to whites. Challenges to these laws by free blacks almost always asserted the second amendment. A passage in the Dred Scott decision indicates what a preoccupation blacks carrying weapons was to slaveholders:
It would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognized as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport, and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to go where they pleased at every hour of the day or night without molestation, unless they committed some violation of law for which a white man would be punished; and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went. And all of this would be done in the face of the subject race of the same color, both free and slaves, inevitably producing discontent and insubordination among them, and endangering the peace and safety of the State. Continue reading
I wish I could say the above video is an exaggeration, but it really isn’t. Timothy Noah demonstrates this in The New Republic in a charming article entitled, Romney Cribs from the GOP’s Willie Horton Playbook. In the article Noah somehow fails to note that in 1988 the first candidate to bring up the fact that Michael Dukakis as governor of Massachusetts defended a furlough policy for prisoners, including convicted first degree murderers serving a life sentence, was Al Gore. Willie Horton, a first degree murderer serving a life sentence, received a weekend furlough, did not come back, and committed the crimes of rape, assault and auto theft. Horton was sentenced to two life sentences plus 85 years in Maryland. The Maryland judge refused to return him to Massachusetts, saying, “I’m not prepared to take the chance that Mr. Horton might again be furloughed or otherwise released. This man should never draw a breath of free air again.” Michael Dukakis as governor of Massachusetts thought that such furloughs were a great idea and defended the policy. Bush is accused by Noah of racism for bringing up these very inconvenient facts against Dukakis.
So much for history. How is Romney guilty of racism according to Noah?
Edsall sees the Romney campaign using race in two ways. Most overtly, the Romney campaign is accusing President Obama by of gutting welfare reform by dropping the work requirement—a gross distortion of an unexceptional waiver Obama granted several states allowing them to experiment with alternative ways to meet the work requirement. Two of the five governors requesting the waivers were Republicans, and among those who have denounced the workfare accusation as flat-out untrue is the Republican former congressman and current talk-show host Joe Scarborough. The second way Edsall sees the Romney campaign using race is more subtle. According to Edsall, Romney is conveying a racially-charged message in accusing Obama of taking money away from (mainly white recipients of) Medicare to fund (majority non-white recipients of) Obamacare.
According to Edsall, Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, have so far been leaving the race-baiting to ads on TV and the Internet while taking the high road in their own appearances. That isn’t quite right, as TNR’s Alec MacGillis has shown; Romney is not above integrating the welfare-based attack into his speeches. Now Romney has taken the game to a new level in an interview published today in USA Today. Romney tells USA Today’s Susan Page that Obama issued the welfare waivers to “shore up his base. Continue reading
I was worried there for a while. The narrative that the professional race industry and its subsidiaries across the spectrum of the American Left puts forth about what constitutes racism in the United States changes so often that I’m not sure from one day to the next whether or not I am a racist. But the latest missive from an authority no lesser than the Congressional Black Caucus has clarified the issue for me, and I have never been more relieved.
If I think Obama is “cool” and use the word to describe him, I am a racist (had I used the word to describe him when Ebony magazine and CNN did, I would have been fine). Logically, therefore, if I don’t think Obama is cool, I am not a racist. I’ve never really thought Obama was cool. Most of the time he bores me to sleep. So you might say I was a racist when Ebony/CNN thought it was ok to say that Obama was cool, since I didn’t find him cool then. Now, though, my racism has been revoked.
Of course, I may be jumping the gun. Logic is not exactly high on the priority list of people who manipulate emotions with hysterical rhetoric for raw political power. At some point, expressing one’s opinion about Barack’s uncoolness may well be considered racist again, or even simultaneously with a belief in his coolness. Both could be racist, or neither, in which case it might be racist not to have an opinion one way or the other. What will we do then?
We can always look to the emotional cues of our enlightened superiors in the political and media establishment. At a moment’s notice, we can, like the citizens of Oceania, change our opinion on the racist content or lack thereof in the notion that Obama is cool. We can hysterically denounce all those who hold the currently racist opinion one day, then rehabilitate ourselves when the non-racist opinion becomes the racist opinion the next.
What happens if we find ourselves far from a telescreen to tell us what to think and show us how to react to the latest meme? We find a way to believe that Obama is both cool and uncool at the same time. All we have to do is discover how to double-think, which is:
The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them… To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.
So there you have it. As diligent consumers of the mainstream American media, you should already have an advanced degree in the subject. Avoid the stigma of racism, which we have been psychologically programmed to fear more than the boubonic plague and nuclear annihilation, with vigilant double-think. If you don’t, you’re a racist.
Oh look, Glenn Beck said something outlandish to gain attention for himself.
“If you have a big government progressive, or a big government progressive in Obama… ask yourself this, Tea Party: is it about Obama’s race? Because that’s what it appears to be to me. If you’re against him but you’re for this guy [Gingrich], it must be about race. I mean, what else is it? It’s the policies that matter.”
Glenn Beck is like a lot of not very smart people who dabble in philosophy and history. He’s read a couple of Ronald Pestritto books and now he reduces everything to the same paradigm. Everyone who deviates slightly from Beck’s brand of conservatism is just a re-incarnation of Teddy Roosevelt.
Now is Beck completely off about Newt? No, as I’ve said before, Newt is a conservative technocrat, which is really no kind of conservative at all. But to state categorically that there is NO difference whatsoever between Obama and Newt, and to indicate that any conservative who supports the latter over the former is a racist, means that you should not be taken seriously.
And that leads me to a couple of general comments about conservative critics of Newt Gingrich. First, stop acting like the man is a closet Bolshevik. Many of you have made fine points about Gingrich’s less than conservative instincts. But not to content to make subtle points, you choose the headline grabbing THIS GOES TO 11 hyperbole that only weakens your argument. Second, if Newt is so terrible please indicate which of the other candidates you prefer. I can understand the establishment pundits looking to engage in intellectual jujitsu in order to weaken Gingrich in favor of Mittens, but what is the aim of conservative pundits? If you actively support Perry or Santorum or even Bachmann, fine. All of the above are certainly more conservative than Newt, and in the case of the guys named Rick are also much better candidates. But then you have to make the case for those candidates and not simply the case against Newt. Because if you’re not crazy about those candidates either, then you simply come off as a purist crank who won’t be content until the re-animated corpse of Ronald Reagan emerges as the front-runner.
By now roughly 20 times more people have seen the clip below than when it originally aired on the Keith Olbermann Show. Yes, Keith Olbermann has a show again. It runs on a channel called Current TV. It’s basically a cable access channel gone national. Keith had political philosopher Janeane Garofalo on his show to discuss the Tea Party movement, and she uttered these sage remarks about Herman Cain.
For those of you who don’t feel like watching the clip, here’s a transcript of the relevant portion.
Garofalo also said successful businessman Herman Cain is either being paid to run or is suffering from Stockholm syndrome because he is a “person of color” running as a Republican in the party’s presidential primary.
During his press statement last week, President Obama said that in dealing with the recent oil spill in the Gulf, he was “examining every recommendation, every idea that’s out there, and making our best judgment as to whether these are the right steps to take, based on the best experts that we know of.”
That, however, is not entirely true:
A St. Louis scientist who was among a select group picked by the Obama administration to pursue a solution to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been removed from the group because of writings on his website, the U.S. Energy Department confirmed Wednesday.
Washington University physics professor Jonathan Katz was one of five top scientists chosen by the Department of Energy and attended meetings in Houston last week.
Though considered a leading scientist, Katz’s website postings often touch on social issues. Some of those writings have stirred anger in the past and include postings defending homophobia and questioning the value of racial diversity efforts.
“We Want To Exterminate The Negro Population”
– Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. 
There is a coalition of Catholic organizations that have formed that will be pushing for a nationwide boycott of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) called REFORM The Catholic Campaign For Human Development with a website. The Sunday before Thanksgiving a collection is done by many parishes for CCHD. Instead of donating money to an organization that is diametrically opposed to many teachings of the Catholic Church, submit the coupon that is at the top of this posting.
You can also download a PDF file and print it out yourself here.
[Updates at the bottom of this post as of 4:21pm CDT 10-16-2009 AD]
This week there has been a whirlwind of character assassination done by the mainstream media to conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh’s bid to purchase the St. Louis Rams (American) football team of the National Football League (NFL). They have been accusing Mr. Limbaugh of saying several racist quotes without confirming their existence. All the alleged racist quotes have been debunked by Snopes earlier this week as well as being denied by Mr. Limbaugh. Additionally many in the mainstream media have been unable to find any evidence of these allegations.
But today there has been a sudden realization of regret when the heat turned up on their yellow journalism. Regret that some elements of the mainstream media were involved in libel and slander.
The most prominent of the yellow journalists are liberal news anchors Anderson Cooper and Rick Sanchez of the left-of-center CNN, sports columnist Bryan Burwell of the liberal St. Louis Dispatch, and finally the liberal Huffington Post (HuffPo) blog.
Former President Jimmy Carter was interviewed by CNN’s Candy Crowley who questioned him on why he accused “an overwhelming portion” of tea party protesters and others that oppose current President Obama as racists. Jimmy Carter responded by denying he ever made such a claim. Several times Candy Crowley tried to ask President Carter to explain himself and each time President Carter denied he even said any such thing.
Am I hearing this right? The following video shows the portion of the video where Candy Crowley is interviewing President Carter and then at the end it shows a clip of what President Carter said. Truly amazing that He would have the audacity to lie on national cable television.
Matthew Balan of NewsBusters has the complete story on this development here.