“. . . do not resist an evil person.” (Jesus of Nazareth, quoted in the Gospel According to Matthew)

The following is my response on Facebook to the following news story from the Texas Legislature.

In Texas, it soon could be legal to bring a gun to college

I wish I could say this is unbelievable. But since carrying a gun seems to be the norm out here in the wild west, I guess all I can do is pray for a retirement home in the UK. I would like someone to explain this to me on purely ethical grounds without resorting to the 2nd Amendment. Why is this acceptable as a matter of morality without the childishly petulant, “I have a right?”

Saying that anyone – especially a college student in class – is safer if people are toting guns is absurd.

An acquaintance pointed to the incident of a “mad gunman” being stopped on the campus of UVA. (This was, of course, a hoax–which so much “evidence” of the need for guns is.) How many millions of students spend how many millions of hours per year in class and on campuses without any incident? One lone “mad gunman” (even if it were true) being stopped does not justify the danger of a kid sitting in class next to a gun-toting vigilante.

BUT EVEN THAT IS NOT THE POINT! My hope that someone can explain the MORAL truth behind “open carry” still stands. At best it is expediency, not morality. It is expedient because we know that we have failed so miserably at creating equality (in race, in economic opportunity, in gender, in religion) that we perceive, perhaps rightly, that some people are angry and disenfranchised enough to be violent. And we have also failed so miserably at caring for people with emotional problems that we need to be ready to shoot them when they lose control.

It’s the worst kind of utilitarianism. It has nothing to do with “Thou shalt not kill,” or “love justice, do mercy, walk humbly with your God,” or “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person.” We have, according to Antonin Scalia, the constitutional right to be gun-toting vigilantes — ignoring not only the moral injunctions of the tradition most of those who speak the loudest for the right espouse but also the moral philosophies of all civilized societies.

Being “in the right” means being willing to forgo that “right” for the sake of the greater good.

Of silos and birth certificates

Will the real American please stand up?

Will the real American please stand up?

I’d like to meet Ted Cruz.

For two hours I’ve been trying to think of a humorous take on what I want to say, but I can’t. Sheesh! Where’s George Carlin when we need him?

Back in the day—you know, the idyllic ‘50s, the good ole days when Father Knew Best and we all Left It to Beaver—there was a Communist behind every filing cabinet in Washington, D.C., and most movie directors and screenwriters had a tinge of pink about them. Even Leonard Bernstein was most likely one of “them.”

Our national response to this threat—I mean Threat, with a capital “T”—was to plant guided missile silos in the back yards of unsuspecting kids in places like Kimball, Nebraska, and Lovell, Wyoming. Well, I suppose the missiles weren’t aimed directly at Lenny Bernstein, but they might as well have been.

The missiles were (and still are?) aimed at Communist Russia (formerly, for those under 22 years old, known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). The mere fact that huge conglomeration of republics lumped together under one monolithic and despotic  government had the word “Socialist” in its name made it Godless and fearsome. Communism (godless socialism) was out to get us, and we had to be ready to sacrifice the children of Western Nebraska and Eastern Wyoming to stop the Reds.

Never mind it wasn’t Communism but Joseph Stalin and his un-godsons who were out to get us. Had nothing to do with “Communism,” really. It was Russian totalitarianism. Not ten people in the United States knew then (or know now) what Communism is. My guess is that I’m the only person reading this who has Marx’s Manifesto downloaded on his iPad. And, of course, by the rules of Joe McCarthy who was running the pinko-behind-every-file-cabinet-in-Washington show the very fact that I’ve read the Manifesto and quote it now and then proves I’m a Communist. And virtually as dangerous as Joseph Stalin.

Lenny and fellow travelers

Lenny and fellow travelers

Enter Ted Cruz.

The junior Senator from Texas (from where else could he possibly be?) has taken up Joe McCarthy’s mantle. Cruz raises the possibility that Senator Chuck Hagel from Nebraska might have taken a $200,000 campaign contribution from Communist North Korea. And my friend Kimball almost certainly believes him. Never mind North Korea doesn’t have $200,000 to give to anyone for anything. The fact is that North Korea is not—by definition—Communist. Read the Manifesto. In order to be Communist, a nation has to have lots of goods and the means to produce lots more to share around equally before Communism can be adopted. North Korea does not qualify. Monolithc and despotic, yes. Communist? Nope.

Ted Cruz is, by definition, a liar. He is a debater. A national champion debater.  Debaters have no interest in the truth. All they want is to win the “argument.”  They use words the way the NRA uses the Second Amendment. Kill ‘em dead by any means available—with no regard for the truth. Ted Cruz floats out a preposterous and totally un-sourced question about Senator Hagel and wins the argument—helps delay Senator Hagel’s confirmation as Secretary of Defense—with no regard for the truth. Sophistry at its finest.

So the former Senator from one of the states that used to have (still has?) missile silos planted around to shoot at the Communists is now taking

Likr Ted Cruz

Like Ted Cruz

campaign contributions from one of those so-called Communist countries? Never mind the truth, or even logic.

And, to add insult to injury, Cruz isn’t really an American. He’s a Cuban born in Canada, probably in this country illegally. I sure wish Ted Cruz would show me his birth certificate. How has he perpetuated this fraud? I’d like to meet Ted Cruz. I wish I had cojones like his.