In this video he is a mere 45, singing a medley of war songs that were popular throughout American history.
There is a little humor in this, as Pete normally sings anti-war songs, but he hopes you’ll not be too literal and appreciate the irony.
In this video he is a mere 45, singing a medley of war songs that were popular throughout American history.
There is a little humor in this, as Pete normally sings anti-war songs, but he hopes you’ll not be too literal and appreciate the irony.
This week has been a wreck with bombings, manhunts, lockdowns, factory explosions, the Senate caving to the NRA. I have behaved myself and not posted anything, but this cartoon just landed in front of me and it goes up without delay.
In this video clip from the TV series All in the Family (September 1972) Archie appears on local television after demanding equal time to rebut some darned liberal whose views he despised. In the spirit of free speech, the station gives him the time and Archie solves the problem of airline hijacking in a minute and a half.
Mr. LaPierre isn’t all that original. And he took more than half an hour.
Yes, he really did say these words—yesterday, as church bells were tolling the loss one week earlier of the children and teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary.
Below is the text of yesterday’s speech by Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association.
The National Rifle Association’s 4 million mothers, fathers, sons and daughters join the nation in horror, outrage, grief and earnest prayer for the families of Newtown, Connecticut … who suffered such incomprehensible loss as a result of this unspeakable crime.
Out of respect for those grieving families, and until the facts are known, the NRA has refrained from comment. While some have tried to exploit tragedy for political gain, we have remained respectfully silent.
Now, we must speak … for the safety of our nation’s children. Because for all the noise and anger directed at us over the past week, no one — nobody — has addressed the most important, pressing and immediate question we face: How do we protect our children right now , starting today, in a way that we know works ?
The only way to answer that question is to face up to the truth .
Politicians pass laws for Gun-Free School Zones. They issue press releases bragging about them. They post signs advertising them.
And in so doing, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are their safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.
How have our nation’s priorities gotten so far out of order? Think about it. We care about our money, so we protect our banks with armed guards. American airports, office buildings, power plants, courthouses — even sports stadiums — are all protected by armed security.
We care about the president, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents. Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by armed Capitol Police officers.
Yet when it comes to the most beloved, innocent and vulnerable members of the American family — our children — we as a society leave them utterly defenseless, and the monsters and predators of this world know it and exploit it. That must change now.
The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters — people so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can possibly ever comprehend them. They walk among us every day. And does anybody really believe that the next Adam Lanza isn’t planning his attack on a school he’s already identified at this very moment?
How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame — from a national media machine that rewards them with the wall-to-wall attention and sense of identity that they crave — while provoking others to try to make their mark?
A dozen more killers? A hundred? More? How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation’s refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill?
And the fact is, that wouldn’t even begin to address the much larger and more lethal criminal class: Killers, robbers, rapists and drug gang members who have spread like cancer in every community in this country. Meanwhile, federal gun prosecutions have decreased by 40% — to the lowest levels in a decade.
So now, due to a declining willingness to prosecute dangerous criminals, violent crime is increasing again for the first time in 19 years! Add another hurricane, terrorist attack or some other natural or man-made disaster, and you’ve got a recipe for a national nightmareof violence and victimization.
And here’s another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal: There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people.
Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse. And here’s one: it’s called Kindergarten Killers. It’s been online for 10 years. How come my research department could find it and all of yours either couldn’t or didn’t want anyone to know you had found it?
Then there’s the blood-soaked slasher films like “American Psycho” and “Natural Born Killers” that are aired like propaganda loops on “Splatterdays” and every day, and a thousand music videos that portray life as a joke and murder as a way of life. And then they have the nerve to call it “entertainment.”
But is that what it reallyis? Isn’t fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography?
In a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing an ever-more-toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty into our homes — every minute of every day of every month of every year.
A child growing up in America witnesses 16,000 murders and 200,000 acts of violence by the time he or she reaches the ripe old age of 18.
And throughout it all, too many in our national media … their corporate owners … and their stockholders … act as silent enablers, if not complicit co-conspirators. Rather than face their own moral failings, the media demonize lawful gun owners, amplify their cries for more laws and fill the national debate with misinformation and dishonest thinking that only delay meaningful action and all but guarantee that the next atrocity is only a news cycle away.
The media call semi-automatic firearms “machine guns” — they claim these civilian semi-automatic firearms are used by the military, and they tell us that the .223 round is one of the most powerful rifle calibers … when all of these claims are factually untrue . They don’t know what they’re talking about.
Worse, they perpetuate the dangerous notion that one more gun ban — or one more law imposed on peaceful, lawful people — will protect us where 20,000 others have failed.
As brave, heroic and self-sacrificing as those teachers were in those classrooms, and as prompt, professional and well-trained as those police were when they responded, they were unable — through no fault of their own — to stop it.
As parents, we do everything we can to keep our children safe. It is now time for us to assume responsibility for their safety at school.
The only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Would you rather have your 911 call bring a good guy with a gun from a mile away … or a minute away?
Now, I can imagine the shocking headlines you’ll print tomorrow morning: “More guns,” you’ll claim, “are the NRA’s answer to everything!” Your implication will be that guns are evil and have no place in society, much less in our schools. But since when did the word “gun” automatically become a bad word?
A gun in the hands of a Secret Service agent protecting the president isn’t a bad word. A gun in the hands of a soldier protecting the United States isn’t a bad word. And when you hear the glass breaking in your living room at 3 a.m. and call 911, you won’t be able to pray hard enough for a gun in the hands of a good guy to get there fast enough to protect you.
So why is the idea of a gun good when it’s used to protect our president or our country or our police, but bad when it’s used to protect our children in their schools?
They’re our kids. They’re our responsibility. And it’s not just our duty to protect them — it’s our right to protect them.
You know, five years ago, after the Virginia Tech tragedy, when I said we should put armed security in every school, the media called me crazy. But what if, when Adam Lanza started shooting his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday, he had been confronted by qualified, armed security?
Will you at least admit it’s possible that 26 innocent lives might have been spared? Is that so abhorrent to you that you would rather continue to risk the alternative?
Is the press and political class here in Washington so consumed by fear and hatred of the NRA and America’s gun owners that you’re willing to accept a world where real resistance to evil monsters is a lone, unarmed school principal left to surrender her life to shield the children in her care? No one — regardless of personal political prejudice — has the right to impose that sacrifice.
Ladies and gentlemen, there is no national, one-size-fits-all solution to protecting our children. But do know this President zeroed out school emergency planning grants in last year’s budget, and scrapped “Secure Our Schools” policing grants in next year’s budget.
With all the foreign aid, with all the money in the federal budget, we can’t afford to put a police officer in every school? Even if they did that, politicians have no business — and no authority — denying us the right, the ability, or the moral imperative to protect ourselves and our loved ones from harm.
Now, the National Rifle Association knows that there are millions of qualified active and retired police; active, reserve and retired military; security professionals; certified firefighters and rescue personnel; and an extraordinary corps of patriotic, trained qualified citizens to join with local school officials and police in devising a protection plan for every school. We can deploy them to protect our kids now . We can immediately make America’s schools safer — relying on the brave men and women of America’s police force.
The budget of our local police departments are strained and resources are limited, but their dedication and courage are second to none and they can be deployed right now.
I call on Congress today to act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school — and to do it
now, to make sure that blanket of safety is in place when our children return to school in January.
Before Congress reconvenes, before we engage in any lengthy debate over legislation, regulation or anything else, as soon as our kids return to school after the holiday break, we need to have every single school in America immediately deploy a protection program proven to work — and by that I mean armed security .
Right now, today, every school in the United States should plan meetings with parents, school administrators, teachers and local authorities — and draw upon every resource available — to erect a cordon of protection around our kids right now. Every school will have a different solution based on its own unique situation.
Every school in America needs to immediately identify , dedicate and deploy the resources necessary to put these security forces in place right now. And the National Rifle Association, as America’s preeminent trainer of law enforcement and security personnel for the past 50 years, is ready, willing and uniquely qualified to help.
Our training programs are the most advanced in the world. That expertise must be brought to bear to protect our schools and our children now. We did it for the nation’s defense industries and military installations during World War II, and we’ll do it for our schools today.
The NRA is going to bring all of its knowledge, dedication and resources to develop a model National School Shield Emergency Response Program for every school that wants it. From armed security to building design and access control to information technology to student and teacher training, this multi-faceted program will be developed by the very best experts in their fields.
Former Congressman Asa Hutchinson will lead this effort as National Director of the National School Shield Program, with a budget provided by the NRA of whatever scope the task requires. His experience as a U.S. Attorney, Director of the Drug Enforcement Agency and Undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security will give him the knowledge and expertise to hire the most knowledgeable and credentialed experts available anywhere, to get this program up and running from the first day forward.
If we truly cherish our kids more than our money or our celebrities, we must give them the greatest level of protection possible and the security that is only available with a properly trained — armed — good guy.
Under Asa’s leadership, our team of security experts will make this the best program in the world for protecting our children at school, and we will make that program available to every school in America free of charge .
That’s a plan of action that can , and will , make a real, positive and indisputable difference in the safety of our children — starting right now.
There’ll be time for talk and debate later . This is the time, this is the day for decisive action.
We can’t wait for the next unspeakable crime to happen before we act.
We can’t lose precious time debating legislation that won’t work. We mustn’t allow politics or personal prejudice to divide us.
We must act now.
For the sake of the safety of every child in America, I call on every parent, every teacher, every school administrator and every law enforcement officer in this country to join us in the National School Shield Program and protect our children with the only line of positive defense that’s tested and proven to work.”
I’ll add to the fright and post a Mike Wallace interview with Ayn Rand. I couldn’t find anything scarier for Halloween.
Be safe this week from storms overhead and from goblins underfoot, and next week from election angst.
And don’t be too scared. She’s dead.
Transcript below the video.
Mike Wallace interview with Ayn Rand, 1959 – part I of III
This is Mike Wallace with another television portrait from our gallery
of colorful people.
Throughout the United States small pockets of intellectuals
have become involved in a new and unusual philosophy,
which would seem to strike at the very roots of our society.
The fountainhead of this philosophy is a novelist Ayn Rand.
Whose two major works The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged
have been best sellers.
We’ll try to find out more about her revolutionary creed
and about Miss Rand herself in just a moment.
And now to our story
Down through history various political and philosophical movements
have sprung up but most of them have died.
Some however like Democracy or Communism
take hold and affect the entire world.
Here in the United States perhaps the most challenging
and unusual new philosophy has been forged by a novelist Ayn Rand.
Miss Rand’s point of view is still comparatively unknown in America,
but if it ever did take hold it would revolutionize our lives.
And I’m to begin with… I wonder if I can ask you to capsulize…
I know this is difficult… Can I ask you to capsulize your philosophy?
What is Randism?
First of all, I do not call it Randism, and I don’t like that name.
I call it Objectivism. Meaning a philosophy based on objective reality.
Now let me explain it as briefly as I can.
First my philosophy is based on the concept that reality exists
as an objective absolute. That man’s mind, reason
is his means of perceiving it.
And that man needs a rational morality.
I am primarily the creator of a new code of morality
which has so far been believed impossible.
Namely, a morality not based on faith,
not on arbitrary whim, not on emotion, not on arbitrary edict,
mystical or social, but on reason.
A morality which can be proved by means of logic.
Which can be demonstrated to be true and necessary.
Now may I define what my morality is,
because this is merely an introduction.
My morality is based on man’s life as a standard of value.
And since man’s mind is his basic means of survival,
I hold that if man wants to live on earth, and to live as a human being.
He has to hold reason as an absolute.
By which I mean, that he has to hold reason as his only guide to action.
And that he must live by the independent judgment of his own mind.
That his highest moral purpose is the achievement of his own happiness.
And that he must not force other people
nor accept their right to force him.
That each man must live as an end in himself
and follow his own rational self-interest.
May I interrupt now?
Because you put this philosophy to work in your novel Atlas Shrugged.
You demonstrate it, in human terms, in your novel Atlas Shrugged.
And let me start by quoting from a review of this novel Atlas Shrugged
that appeared in News Week. It said that, “You are out to destroy
almost every edifice in the contemporary American way of life.
Our Judeo-Christian religion
our modified government-regulated capitalism
our rule by the majority will.”
Other reviews have said that, “You scorn churches,
and the concept of God.”
Are these accurate criticisms?
Ah.. Yes… I agree with the fact, but not the estimate of this criticism.
Namely, if I am challenging the base of all these institutions,
I’m challenging the moral code of altruism.
The precept that man’s moral duty is to live for others.
That man must sacrifice himself to others.
Which is the present day morality.
What do you mean sacrifice himself for others? Now we’re getting to the point.
One moment. Since I’m challenging the base, I necessarily will challenge
the institutions you name, which are a result of that morality.
And now what is self-sacrifice?
Yes…What is self-sacrifice?
You say that you do not like the altruism by which we live.
You like a certain kind of Ayn Randist selfishness.
I will say that, “I don’t like” is too weak a word.
I consider it evil. And self-sacrifice is the precept
that man needs to serve others, in order to justify his existence.
That his moral duty is to serve others. That is what most people believe today.
Yes…Were taught to feel concern for our fellow man.
To feel responsible for his welfare.
To feel that we are as religious people might put it, children under God,
and responsible one for the other. Now why do you rebel?
What’s wrong with this philosophy?
But that is in fact what makes man a sacrificial animal.
That man must work for others, concern himself with others,
or be responsible for them. That is the role of a sacrificial object.
I say that man is entitled to his own happiness.
And that he must achieve it himself.
But that he cannot demand that others give up their lives to make him happy.
And nor should he wish to sacrifice himself for the happiness of others.
I hold that man should have self-esteem.
And cannot man have self-esteem if he loves his fellow man?
What’s wrong with loving your fellow man?
Christ, every important moral leader in man’s history has taught us
that we should love one another.
Why, then, is this kind of love in your mind immoral?
It is immoral if it is a love placed above one’s self.
It is more than immoral, it’s impossible.
Because when you are asked to love everybody indiscriminately,
that is, to love people without any standard,
to love them regardless of whether they have any value or any virtue,
you are asked to love nobody.
But in a sense, in your book you talk about love as if it were a
business deal of some kind.
Isn’t the essence of love, that it is above self-interest?
Well, let me make it concrete for you.
What would it mean to have a love above self-interest?
It would mean for instance that a husband would tell his wife
if he were moral according to the conventional morality,
that I am marrying you just for you own sake, I have no personal interest in it,
but I’m so unselfish, that I am marrying you only for your own good.
Would any woman like that?
Should husbands and wives, Ayn, tally up at the end of the day
and say, “Well now wait a minute, I love her if she’s done enough for me today,
or she loves me if I have properly performed my functions?”
Oh, no, you misunderstood me. That is not how love should be treated.
I agree with you that it should be treated like a business deal.
But every business has to have its own terms and its own kind of currency.
And in love the currency is virtue.
You love people, not for what you do for them, or what they do for you.
You love them for their values, their virtues,
which they have achieved in their own character.
You don’t love causes. You don’t love everybody indiscriminately.
You love only those who deserve it.
And then if a man is weak, or a woman is weak, then she is beyond,
he is beyond love?
He certainly does not deserve it, he certainly is beyond.
He can always correct it. Man has free will.
If a man wants love he should correct his weaknesses,
or his flaws, and he may deserve it.
But he cannot expect the unearned, neither in love, nor in money,
neither in method, nor spirit.
You have lived in our world, and you realize… recognize…
the fallibility of human beings, there are very few us then in this world,
by your standards, who are worthy of love.
Unfortunately…. yes… very few.
But it is open to everybody, to make themselves worthy of it
and that is all that my morality offers them.
A way to make themselves worthy of love
although that’s not the primary motive.
I’ve heard enough from the major political parties and their silly conventions. It’s time for a viable third choice:
17 Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ 18 You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. 19 And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. 20 Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God.
It really began in 1991 (or 1990, if we count Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait), but the current phase began in 2003 because we could. Let this be the end of it.
Timeline: U.S. Troops in Iraq (source: BBC News)
Ending an earlier war: Saigon, Vietnam, 1975. Fleeing the U.S. Embassy.
Today, noon, Village Green, Bar Harbor. Behave yourself.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
It was shattering to admit that we had lost the theological means to distinguish between the United States and the kingdom of God. The criminals who perpetrated 9/11 and the flag-waving boosters of our almost exclusively martial response were of one mind: that the nonviolent way of Jesus is stupid.”
“On 9/11 I thought, For the most powerful, militarized nation in the world also to think of itself as an innocent victim is deadly. It was a rare prophetic moment for me, considering Presidents Bush and Obama have spent billions asking the military to rectify the crime of a small band of lawless individuals, destroying a couple of nations who had little to do with it, in the costliest, longest series of wars in the history of the United States.
“The silence of most Christians and the giddy enthusiasm of a few, as well as the ubiquity of flags and patriotic extravaganzas in allegedly evangelical churches, says to me that American Christians may look back upon our response to 9/11 as our greatest Christological defeat. It was shattering to admit that we had lost the theological means to distinguish between the United States and the kingdom of God. The criminals who perpetrated 9/11 and the flag-waving boosters of our almost exclusively martial response were of one mind: that the nonviolent way of Jesus is stupid. All of us preachers share the shame; when our people felt very vulnerable, they reached for the flag, not the Cross.
“September 11 has changed me. I’m going to preach as never before about Christ crucified as the answer to the question of what’s wrong with the world. I have also resolved to relentlessly reiterate from the pulpit that the worst day in history was not a Tuesday in New York, but a Friday in Jerusalem when a consortium of clergy and politicians colluded to run the world on our own terms by crucifying God’s own Son.”
—Will Willimon, presiding bishop of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church