As it has become well-known in the past 20 or better years, there are certain groups who take it upon themselves to “protect” our rights. It sounds like a noble cause – a brave group of lawyers, preventing things like civil rights violations and ensuring alleged criminals receive counsel. However, that is the assumption of those groups, but not necessarily their actions.
In Jackson, Ohio, a portrait that had hung in a school since 1947 was recently removed, after the (Freedom From Religion Foundation) FFRF and (American Civil Liberties Union) ACLU filed lawsuits. The groups would have us believe that the portrait was heinous, and portrayed the sort of thing that should never be seen in schools. The expected backlash was so bad, the people who were supposed to have reported the portrait are still referred to as John Doe-plaintiffs by the groups. Nothing like invoking your rights while you cower, eh?
Just what was this awful, heinous, picture? What could cause so much outrage and belly aching? What could possibly be so inflammatory? Why this bust of Jesus Christ, which hung so long in the school:
Created in 1941 by a Chicago painter named Warner Sallman, the painting grew in popularity to become one of the most popular depictions of Christ of all time. The calming gaze was apparently too much for some though.
The painting was removed, even though the school was not ordered to take the work down, because the school’s insurance company refused to cover legal costs to argue the case in the courts. The superintendent then said the school could not afford the costs on their own, and ordered the picture to be taken down.
The painting actually was not owned by the school district itself. The painting belonged to a group who attended the high school, and was a Christian service group, the Hi-Y Club. The ACLU and FFRF claim the club gave the picture to the school district, but the district denied any such arrangement was ever made, and said that the painting still belonged to the group.
The main issue seems to be another attack on religion in general (Christ was a Jew, he was the basis for Catholicism and Christianity, and he is considered a prophet in Islam). There is no one religion being targeted. So, under the guise of protecting civil rights, and ensuring the continued separation of church and state (which is always a specious claim at best), the ACLU and FFRF have forced, through legal intimidation, the painting’s removal. To preserve free speech, they must quash…free speech.
Read more on the case via the Montreal Gazette.
For the entirety of his two terms in office, belittling and lampooning by the media and left in general, was the typical reaction of progressives to George W. Bush. He was a buffoon, a cowboy, and an idiot, they would have us believe. Bush was a maverick, willing to start wars and carry out the missions from previous administrations (invading Iraq was to finish his father’s war, many on the left claimed).
It seemed like Bush’s mere existence was enough to make some progressives apoplectic, or send them into an angry, profanity-laden, rant.
Read the full post, here: Conservative Daily News
While I recognize that the title seems hyperbolic, I aim to make the case that the Obama administration runs the most anti-life, and pro-death, government that the United States has ever had. I think the government’s last three-plus years, have given rise to the most lackadaisical support of life, we have ever seen. Many times, over and over again, we have seen the president and his sycophants either endorse death, or attempt to excuse away the death of others, both innocents and people who have lost their lives as a direct result of the administration’s policies.
One of the most flagrant disregards for the ultimate sacrifice of others, was the slap in the face delivered to some fallen soldiers’ families. As Commander-in-Chief, and the person who has the ultimate say on military matters, one might think that having a soldier under your command lose their life, one of the very least things you could do would be sign a condolence letter to the soldiers’ families. Not Obama. He has repeatedly been shown to use an auto-pen for form letters of condolence to soldiers’ families.
Obama has also authorized, and carried out, the assassination of an American citizen by drone. Granted, the assassinated had aided and abetted terrorists, but he was still an American citizen, with the supposed rights of a trial by his peers, and due process. Whether or not Obama actually felt bound by these rights, seemed not to matter – he sent the drones anyway, and gave the go ahead to kill, without trial. A step, with which even Salon, taken aback, actually said was a “…step beyond where even George Bush would go”.
Should I bring up the “Fast & Furious” scandal, which the administration is still hoping will somehow, just, go away? Giving his testimony before Congress, Attorney General Eric Holder, bluntly refused to apologize to or to even acknowledge, slain border agent, Brian Terry’s family. As he sat before the House Judiciary Committee, wriggling and struggling for words that would somehow allow him to tell the truth, and avoid any blame, Holder was given an opportunity to provide documents and evidence to the Committee, which it had requested for months, and he repeatedly offered nothing. Even though memos and other documents implicated Holder and his lieutenants in the scandal, instead of finally taking responsibility for the thousands of Mexican deaths and the death of Brian Terry – Holder merely offered excuses.
Sidenote: Holder’s testimony was in the late Spring of 2012, and as of late Summer 2012, there still has not been an apology or acknowledgment of responsibility over the failed gun running operation.
We were witness to one of the most recent, and telling examples of this seeming pre-occupation with death, at the Democratic National Convention. A party platform that relished the thought and promise of widespread, and easy, on-demand abortion was center-stage. While some pundits tried to defend this with the thought that, “Well, the democrats have no record to run on, and the economy is atrocious - let the Democrats turn to social issues…” And so, from all the social issues that the Democrats could have turned to, and supported – from the poor, the homeless, bettering care for returning veterans – the Democrats turned to the snuffing out of lives to build their platform. A spokeswoman from NARAL (Nancy Keenan), Planned Parenthood, and the infamous Sandra Fluke, were only a few of the participants at the DNC, proud to trot out the “right to” abortion, masquerading as a human-right. Maybe we should have expected this when a president who supported infanticide won the last election?
Finally, in the newest flirtation in the left’s macabre and twisted relationship with death, awareness was given to the administration of a threat against embassies and consulates in the Middle East. Approaching the anniversary of September 11th, and with warning of Muslim backlash against a movie about their Prophet – despite as long as a 48-hour window of warning – the Obama Administration did nothing. Rumors of unarmed and massively under-gunned security at the American facilities fell on deaf ears, and led to the deaths of an ambassador (and his body’s subsequent desecration) and deaths of numerous other personnel. Despite the raising of an Arabic-language flag, espousing the aims of the Muslim Brotherhood, over an American embassy in Egypt, and the taking down, ripping apart, and burning of the Stars and Stripes, the administration still insists on continued billions of dollars in aid to the Egyptian government. Obama has issued an apology to anyone upset by Americans exercising their right to free speech, and the American media, still in love with the Obama administration, sought to excoriate Mitt Romney for issuing a presidential statement that Obama would not, or could not, bring himself to issue. A muted response has been the administration’s reaction to spreading violence and breeches at other embassies and consulates. In Libya, the post where murdered ambassador Chris Stevens lost his life, Obama has dispatched the Marines – 50 of them…This, as news sources report an angry crowd of hundreds threatening the American embassy in Yemen, and as warnings go out to other embassies to remain on guard.
So, what should we make of all this? Ordering an executive “hit” on an American citizen, an attempt to excuse away a federal agent’s death without taking any responsibility, a platform leaning heavily on abortion for support, and a very weak response to deaths of State Department personnel – it all points, to this author, to an administration that simply does not value life. This administration seems to use, squelch, or squander lives for whatever purpose, then toss them aside with their roles fulfilled. Life is nothing more than a means to achieve any number of ends. Use it for political gain, use it for votes, use it to send a message to our friends (or our enemies) – it does not really matter what the aim is, because there will always be more life to continuously throw at the problems. It is all so macabre and counter to everything we as Americans value, isn’t it? History books and our teachers tell us American men and women fought noble wars, and freed people from oppressive regimes, so that they could follow their own destinies and achieve what they could. Freed people from oppressive regimes, would no longer would have to worry that their lives would be used up or wasted by regimes who wanted the oppressed people’s’ blood and sweat for their own greedy and destructive purposes. Risking American lives, and losing so many, was ultimately worth it, so that others might enjoy the sanctity of life and personal freedoms that we Americans held in such high esteem. Now, it seems like such a sad day to see so much blood and destruction being wastefully used, for so little to show for it.
The most recent gun-related tragedy in Aurora, Colorado has led to new calls for gun control laws and measures. The likes of Diane Feinstein, Sally Kohn, and Michael Bloomberg, have all claimed that extending prohibitions on firearms would necessarily curb the violence associated with them. It seems like a simple claim, with a self-evident conclusion: artificially the lower supply of something, and there is a lower supply available, right? It sounds like such a black and white issue. Cut off the supply of something, and the available supply begins to dwindle, and it eventually runs out. Then the product is gone, and so is the problem.
But there is a problem with that logic – firearms are not consumable items. Firearms are not used and thrown away, or expended. They are, like other tools, used over and over. While an artificial control would dry up the expansion of supplies, it still would not eliminate the supplies that the left would claim are causing all the problems. Despite the protestations that the sheer number of guns are the problems, some statistics have been pointing toward falling violent crime rates over the past few years.
The main issue I take with the progressive thought processes on gun control, is their insistence that guns would only be safe in the hands of trained, certified, fully capable professionals. Again, on its face, this seems like a decent notion – practice makes perfect, right? It seems to follow, that hours of safely handling and operating a firearm should make a nearly accident-proof firearm user, right? Then, these ultra-safe, and responsible firearms carrying professionals, would somehow protect the citizens, who would have had their own firearms seized.
The only problem with this thought, is that despite all the training in the world, and acclamation with firearms, police and soldiers still are not completely safe with them. There are miles long lists of firearms accidents and friendly fire mishaps among professionals. There have never been more methods of tracking and making weapons safe, and yet – even amidst these professionals, accidents still occur.
Among the best trained civilian police forces and SWAT teams, there are numerous stories of trigger-happy members killing civilians who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
- In Lima, Ohio, in a drug bust turned bad, police shot and killed a new mother, Tarika Wilson, after an officer opened fired on her – her one year old child, who she was holding suffered injuries as well (he was shot in the shoulder, and the baby also lost a finger). It was later discovered that police had even expected the presence of children, but went forward with a raid anyway.
- In Fairfield, Virginia, a 17-year police force veteran, investigating an illegal sports gambling operation, accidentally discharged his .45 caliber pistol, and killed an optometrist with no prior record. A firearm trainer later offered two reasons Salvatore Culosi Jr. was shot by the officer – “ignorance and carelessness”. He added, the Heckler & Koch gun was “very reliable” and did not have “a hair-trigger”.
- In one of the most egregious accidents of highly trained professionals’ neglecting safety and training protocols, in Pima County, Arizona, a SWAT team broke into a home, where they proceeded to shoot a Marine who served and survived two tours in Iraq. Pima County SWAT officers killed Jose Guerena while Guerena attempted to defend his family with his AR15, because he thought intruders were kicking his door down (as he lived in a high crime area). The police department has offered numerous stories and revised events several times, in trying to explain how they killed a man who never fired a shot at them, while they hit him over 60 times.
(The Cato Institute has compiled a long list (and map) of bungled SWAT actions by police. The map makes it plain to see that the deaths of both officers and innocent civilians are not limited to any particular geographic region. )
These three examples are by no means an indictment of any police force or SWAT teams either – I have the utmost respect for the people who risk their own lives daily, in an attempt to make the country a safer place. The examples illustrate the faulty reasoning in progressive logic that by only allowing “professionals” to carry firearms, will not eliminate firearms accidents. All things being equal, we must realize that police and soldiers are human beings too, and are therefore subject to the same accidents and irrationality as anyone else. There are far more examples of law enforcement officers being provoked or attacked by angry mobs, only to hold their fire, arrest the leaders of the violence, and defuse the situation.
Can practice and familiarity make people safer with their firearms? Of course it can. But then, if people are proficient in their use, and respect firearms as they should – then we would not have any reasons to take them away, would we?
(Picture credits: Tarika Wilson – Reason.com, Salvatore Culosi Jr. - washingtoncitypaper.com, and Jose Guerena - expertwitnessradio.org)