Views from the Edge republished today

Click Reframing the Gun Conversation for today’s republication (with some fine editing) by MinnPost.com, one of Minnesota’s best independent news sources.

  • Gordon Stewart, Chaska, MN, October 22, 2015

“Homeland” Militarization

Thanks to MinnPost for publishing Views fro the Edge‘s submission this morning.

Click Homeland militarization — tanks in Ferguson, Blackhawks in Minneapolis — must be stopped to read, like, or comment on MinnPost’s site.

One of the more informed responses to this piece came in a personal email rather than through the MinnPost site. It’s worth sharing here.

“About 15 years ago, there were articles in the NYT about new, non-lethal, technologies for subduing criminals and quelling riots. They were clever, stuff like a slime-cannon that basically lobbed a ball of K-Y jelly into a crowd, making it impossible to walk, run, or even get up off the ground. Or sticky webs that wrap around the target with tenacity enough to immobilize an All-Star wrestler. But why mess with all that when you can really send a message?

“The six shots that murdered Michael Brown were an act of terror; and so is all the police combat drag, including the assault rifles and armored personnel carriers. H.L. Mencken once said about a Baltimore cop, with a wink, “He loved a long, hard chase almost as much as a quick, brisk, clubbing.” These are different times. They still love clubbings, and a little pepper spray in the face while your hands are zip-tied, but the number of police killings using insanely unnecessary levels of force these days broadcasts notice that, no matter what they’re doing to you at this moment, anything less than complete submission could cost you your life. Everybody should know by now that you could cross a cop in your birthday suit and have your birthday taken away by six rounds from a 9-millimeter.

“Do you know much about the 1967 riots on Plymouth Avenue in Minneapolis? I don’t really know what set it all off. Stores were burned and looted, and yet it all hardly drew mention in the national press, overshadowed, maybe, by the really angry riots in Watts and Detroit and on the East Coast. There was a war on then, too, but it’s said the National Guardsmen who were called in carried rifles with empty magazines.

“Today, everybody who complains that Americans never had to give up their domestic comforts during more than a decade of war should get some grim satisfaction out of the black helicopters and armored personnel carriers in the cops’ garages. Isn’t it ironic, when we remember how everybody likes to praise the warriors who fought and died in Iraq and Afghanistan ‘to keep us free’?”

Syria piece re-published today

Today MinnPost re-published yesterday’s Views from the Edge piece. They do a fine job of editing and draw a wider audience. Here’s the link: Irony of Ironies: Honoring King, then entertaining a potential strike on Syria. It appeared here yesterday as “The Abel Project in the City of Cain.”

Thanks to MinnPost and to you for coming by.

Critique of American Exceptionalism published today by MinnPost

MINNPOST published “In the 2012 race for the White House, Is religion fair game?” this morning. Click THIS LINK to read the piece on MinnPost.com.

The first commenter on MinnPost didn’t like it. Here’s the comment:

September 5, 2012 – 8:21am.

but you’ve overlooked the obvious.

This nation was founded on the principle of religious liberty.  The Declaration of Independence mentions God four times and describes the uniqueness of America in that, unlike Europe, where power flows from God to the Throne to the People, in America “we are endowed by our Creator” … power flows from God to the people and then to government.

The issue of religion in this campaign hasn’t been about whether the Mormon practice of tithing is one this society should consider adopting (“If 10% is good enough for God it should be good enough for government.”  –  Romney gave $4 million to the church last year) or whether Obama’s connection to black liberation theology and its demand for “social justice” is compatible with a free society.  No, it’s been more basic than that.

When Paul Ryan reminded us in his acceptance speech that “our rights come from God,” leftwing websites and TV talking heads took issue with that.  Some even expressed outrage as if they’ve never read the Declaration.  They insisted that our rights come not from God but from Government!

And as if to formalize their party’s transition to secular humanism this week, we’ve learned that the democrats have removed any mention of God from their party platform.

So the discussion of religion IS fair game in this election, but not in the minutiae that you suggest, but whether the majority of the citizenry even understands that our founding was based on religious liberty and inalienable rights and is codified in the Constitution that exists to protect them, because frankly, Reverand, I’m beginning to doubt it.

Leave your own comment on the MINNPOST site or here on Views from the Edge. See previously published commentaries on the intersection of religioin and politics, and American exceptionalism on Views from the Edge for more on the subject