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Look on the sunny side of life

By Michael J. Smith on Friday May 23, 2008 09:27 PM

You've really got to admire Barack Obama. He can give a speech promising enhanced bloodshed, and still offer a liberal something to feel good about at the same time. The liberal will predictably take the lip-service and ignore the substance. If you can't get yourself out of the box -- well then, you have to stay in the box; and if you find a way to like the box, who can blame you? It's not such a bad box, really. I've seen worse. One might be a Mormon.

No sooner had I posted Barack's kick-ass-and-take-names speech about Latin American -- delivered to that marvelous crew of fanatical fossils, the Cuban emigre "community" -- than I was made aware of a Nation magazine liberal's response to the same speech.

One of my all-time faves, Sam "I am" Graham-Felsen, an early enlistee to the Obama cult, offers this very different hearing of Barack among the Gusanos:

MIAMI, FL—Senator Barack Obama today laid out his comprehensive Latin America policy, rejecting the Bush-McCain approach that has neglected the Americas and failed to adapt to the realities of our changing world. Speaking at the Cuban American National Foundation Luncheon, Obama outlined his plans to forge a new regional approach to combat insecurity and aggressively promote economic opportunity through new trade, aid and energy policies.

Comments (6)


The Nation columnist wrote:
"the Bush-McCain approach that has neglected the Americas" [because they've been overextended in Iraq and Afghanistan]

...has been a very good thing for the Left down there and the people of Latin America in general. Look at Bolivia, Venezuela, etc. Real American Leftists know that. Barack is merely giving voice to the Empire's next agenda.


I don't know how the blog contributors here feel about guns and 2nd Amendment, but I am pro-Right to Keep & Bear Arms. I am a Leftist, and I've been persuaded by www.LiberalswithGuns.com and the blog "Pro Gun Progressive" and books like Stephen Halbrook's THAT EVERY MAN BE ARMED, to be firmly pro-2nd Amendment, and aside from all the other objections effectively raised here, Barack's positions on the 2nd Amendment and so-called "Gun control" really do bother me, especially considering the legislative environment of Barack's home state (Illinois, and Chicago in particular). I have a Texas CHL, but Barack has spoken in favor of a nationwide ban on CCW, which is patently unconstitutional but would take years to overturn in the courts.

I started out in my political consciousness as a naive Republican, then transitioned to Libertarian, then naive Liberal Democrat, and now I'm somewhere further Left, in the Green/Anarcho-Syndicalist/Socialist general area, thus my opinion is considered irrelevant and extreme in the American mainstream.

Gun control seems like the ultimate "Limousine liberal" position of upper crust, wealthy Democrats. Their security details can carry guns, but the peasantry should be disarmed, for their own good, of course. There are good pro-RKBA quotes out there by Eugene V. Debs and Eric Blair, aka George Orwell. It startles rightwing gunnies to hear a pro RKBA-Leftist in their midst, and it horrifies Pwogs to hear a Lefty like me actually disagree with them about "gun control".

I still dislike the notion of single-issue voting--though a fundamental right of self-defense seems like a very basic freedom every U.S. politician should be able to affirm regardless of party label; and in earlier times it was--until post-Civil War Southern Democrats disarmed free blacks as part of the Jim Crow system, that is.

And in late 19th century western towns people began to have to surrender their sidearms to the sheriff upon entering the city limits...part of why the OK Corral shootout happened is because the perps refused to do that (though they were also engaging in other illegal activity). Ditto Sam Bass & his gang in Texas, which got him killed near Round Rock, Texas.

For myself I started out as a youth member of the NRA, then when I switched to becoming a Democrat and voting for Bill Clinton in 1992, mainly because of feeling alienated, as an atheist, by the growing power of the Religious Right. I let my NRA membership expire and had them take me off their mailing list, and didn't rejoin the NRA until post 9/11, whereupon I also joined the GOA (Gun Owners of America).
There are plenty of other reasons not to vote for Barack in the next election as you've already spelled out. But his terrible position vis a vis RKBA is yet another reason this Leftist won't be pulling the lever for him next November.

I catch a lot of shit from many of the antiwar outfits I work with, but I've always supported the 2nd Amendment because it gives the people the option of armed resistance when the State gets totally out of control. I believe the Palestinians have the right to resist Israeli imperialism by force of arms -- as well as the right of Iraqis to resist American imperialism, and the right of the Black Panthers to arm themselves against the police (at least in principle; I was all of ten years old back then). I believe that if it weren't for the number of armed citizens in this country, the behavior of the State and the police would be even more wretched than it already is. I wish I could remember now, what Solzhenitsyn wrote about the lack of armed resistance against Stalin's thugs.

As much as I'd dearly love to see people settle their issues without blowing each other away, I've been highly suspicious of most gun-control legislation for quite a while, as most of it seems focused on disarming citizens -- black citizens in particular -- and does absolutely jack shit about disarming governments and politicians, who -- let's face it -- are largely responsible for the vast majority of "gun violence" being committed around the world right now.

Make no mistake; I'm still opposed to war, as such -- the used of unbridled government violence against other nations' citizens, opposed to militarism and militarized culture, opposed to the idea of war as "the health of the State" -- but if individual citizens are unable to take up arms against imperialist invaders from outside or a rogue police state at home, then we're pretty much fucked.

More elucidation via:
...and, happy Memorial Day, everybody!


bill of rights
don't include the right of armed resistence
let alone armed rebellion

such talk is silly chest thumping
if its a threat to the state...its illegal

as true of enemy reds openly contesting
union leadrship elections
as shooting volleys of small arms fire
at cops coming up the block in formation

hezi wezi right to be armed
is built on
the might to stay armed


Time was, I'd've been a pretty reflexive gun-controller. Lately though a streak that I can only call "libertarian" has started to show up in my thinking. I hasten to add that this doesn't include the market-cultist side, or version, of libertarianism, but rather the spontaneous leave-me-the-hell-alone side.

Anyway, as regards gun control, the upshot is that I have a less decided view of the matter.

On the one hand, I'm not all that crazy about people running around with Mausers. I don't feel greatly threatened by the idea myself -- all the people who might threaten me are already armed, probably -- but one has to think that the incidence of schoolyard massacres and such would probably go up.

On the other hand, if this kept people away from schools, there would be a silver lining.

No doubt more such incidents would be a pretext for more strip-searches, metal detctors, ID checks, and so on. Though little pretext seems to be needed.

I'm not much persuaded by the idea that an armed citizenry keeps government oppression at bay -- we're probably already the best-armed country in the world, in the private sphere as well as the public, and seem to be rushing to embrace a police-state setup anyway.

But if a benign attitude toward gun ownership would help create a wider anti-authoritarian, mutinous ferment in the society -- embracing conventional lefties like Owen and me as well as palaeoconservatives, anarchists, personal (as opposed to market) libertarians, etc. -- then I'd happily swallow any reservations I might have for the greater good.


"...create a wider anti-authoritarian, mutinous ferment in the society"

if the i be packin' movement
leads to emboldened citizen resisters
vs pipe down or die
hysterical pro cop vigilantes

then i'm fer it too

catalytic gun mouths speak many tongues

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