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July 17-23, 2008 firstname.lastname@example.org
• See Jim Hightower
• See Danish Plan
• See Perspectives
• See Uncensored
Kudos Pamela White
(Re: “Enforcing patriotism,” Uncensored, July 3.) So often when I pick up your paper I come away with a smile on my face, basically happy you’re here in Boulder, but also delighted that you’re a good writer with a social conscience and a sense of humor.
And occasionally you pull at my heartstrings. So sorry you experienced the “patriotic” nutcase. I share your distress over the state of our country and the perplexing nature of how to show our love of country, while also expressing our rage over what our “elected” leaders are doing. Brings to mind the black civil rights salute at the ’68 Olympics. Perhaps one hand over our heart and one fist in the air?
Dissent is our duty
(Re: “Is dissent patriotic?” Danish Plan, July 3.) I wonder why Paul Danish chose to register slightly more approval for “dissent” offered in favor of nuclear energy than in the case of Ward Churchill. Both of these were very questionable choices. True, high specific-activity nuclear waste must go somewhere, even if John McCain doesn’t say so. And sociopolitical commentary by a professor of ethnic studies seems a bit “out of field.” But the fact remains: dissent — responsible dissent — is not only to be tolerated, it is necessary to a healthy democracy.
Thomas Jefferson told us, when we struggle under oppressive government it is our right — it is our duty — to throw off such government. Now, he also told us that the tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots. But I submit that today our responsible “throwing off” is to be done at the ballot box. So, in light of the state of things in general, I am convinced it is high time for us to get smart and vote out every Republican in sight — even a GOP candidate for dog-catcher. And then in 2010, vote against them all again, and in 2012 and 2014. Until somebody gets the message: the people are the “deciders,” unless they abdicate.
A right of the people
(Re: “The gun-control debate,” Letters, July 3.) Joe Bialek’s letter to the editor typifies the mindset of gun-control advocates and liberals. His argument boils down to the assertion that, “Obviously, the need for a state militia has been replaced by the National Guard and Coast Guard, in which trained military personnel are entrusted with the defense of the country against domestic enemies.”
In my experience, liberals want what they want — good things — and if government can promise “good things,” then they’re in favor of it. That’s why judges have become so important. If you can just get a judge to impose your wishes, you don’t have to go through that messy legislative process. The three co-equal branches of government and all that.
In this case, according to Joe, since we have government, we don’t really need guns. What he fails to comprehend is that the Bill of Rights — the first 10 amendments to the Constitution — are rights protecting the citizen from the excesses of government, our own government. What part of “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” doesn’t he get?
Read and watch. Each right specifies a right of the people. If you go back to the Federalist Papers and various correspondences between the founders, what you’ll find is that they were inherently distrustful of government, and wanted government to fear the populace. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Would these be foreign tyrants only? If so, why is that not specified?
The government — or the police — have no legal obligation to protect you from harm. They just show up afterwards and draw a chalk outline around your body. So think long and hard before you allow yourself to be disarmed. In the end, you’re on your own, no matter what the politicians say. The thin veneer of civilization is just that, a veneer. Another useful quote (variously attributed to Gerald Ford) goes: “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”
Kevin Kelley/via Internet
Not the last jackass
(Re: “The last southern jackass, dead at 86,” Devil’s Dispatch, July 10.) You can’t really say “The last southern jackass, dead at 86” as long as Sen. Robert “KKK” Byrd is alive.
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