Archive for the ‘MLK’ Category

Reflecting on Martin Luther King Jr.

January 19, 2009

As many of you know, today is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  As I’ve said before, I oppose MLK Day being a federal holiday for 2 reasons:

  1. It leaves out other players in the civil rights movement (and focuses the movement to one race): César Chávez, Rosa Parks, etc….
  2. I think that Reverend King would have opposed a holiday dedicated to him.  Dr. King realized that in order to ever achieve equality for blacks, that he would have to have the help of thousands, if not millions of people.  I don’t think that King would have found pleasure in the fact that he has become the name behind the civil rights movement – I think that King would’ve wanted that movement to have been represented by Americans as a whole, not  one person.

Alright, now that I got that side note out of the way, I wanted to talk a little bit about Dr. King and all he did.  We often hear his “I have a dream” speech, and I think that many Americans have pushed King into this category of “a great American orator.”  King was arrested.  His house was bombed.  He was shot and killed.  Folks, that’s more than just a great American orator.  That’s somebody who, and pardon my bluntness here, pissed a heck of a lot of people off.  He helped end racial segregation on public buses.  To reduce Rev. King just to the level of “a great orator” is an absolute shame.  In fact, it’s more than that – it’s pure ignorance of American history.

And to those of you who object to MLK Day because of race: grow up.  I love the South – it’s filled with conservatives and Republicans, but one of the things that bugs me the most is racism.  If you don’t like African Americans, that’s fine – that’s your right.  But that doesn’t mean you have to go out and spread your hatred around to other people.  Quite frankly, I never understood how people could view another race as less than human just because their skin is darker than other people’s.  If somebody out there has this view and wants to explain it to me, go ahead – I’m pretty sure I’m always going  to disagree with you, but hey, I’m always up for a good debate (I’ve just opened myself up for an invasion by Stormfront).  Sorry – that got off topic, but racism really gets me going.

I think Dr. King would be proud of this country for how far it’s gone since the 1960s, but we’re not there yet.  Too often, Americans are judging people by “the color of their skin,” not the “content of their character.”  Dr. King was a great man, and he accomplished a lot – a lot more than a lot of people will accomplish in their lives.  But this doesn’t mean that each and every one of us can’t stand up for what Dr. King believed in.  Stand up for your fellow man – no matter what his race, gender, age, appearance.  Fight for the rights of everybody.  When you see racism, confront it.  Standing by and doing nothing is an endorsement of racism.  It doesn’t take a march in Washington, D.C. to change this country.  All it takes is a change of attitude.  Stand up for each other.  Defend each other.  Help each other.  These are the things that Dr. King would’ve liked to see.  Dr. King didn’t WANT to march in Washington, D.C. or from Selma to Montgomery, AL, but he realized that he first had to get the attention of the people before attitudes could be changed.  Dr. King probably didn’t want to do a lot of the things that he did, but he realized that his actions, along with the actions of those with him, were necessary in order to bring about change.  But now we’re in a different era.  I don’t think it takes drastic actions to change America’s racist views.  I think we’ve come far enough that if people examine the issue of racism close enough, a lot of people will see that it’s wrong.  We just have to convince people to do that.  And the best way to do this is to lead by example.

While I disagree with the official status of the holiday, I most definitely will celebrate the legacy and accomplishments of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and I hope that you will too.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Live Analysis of Barack Obama’s Acceptance Speech at the DNC

August 28, 2008

Alright, I’ll now be doing my last live blog of the DNC, Barack Obama’s acceptance speech:

Video’s starting.  Talking about his grandparents (the white ones), and him being born.  Talking about him going to school, college, then moving to Chicago.

Talking about him meeting Michelle.  Talking about him becoming an Illinois state Senator.

Talking about him move  up to the U.S. Senate.  Talking about his ethics reform bill.

Talking about his mother passing away.

Now talking about the start of Obama’s campaign.

And Barack has entered the stage.  The crowd loves him.  And some girl’s crying – that’s a little over the top.

“With profound gratitude … I accept your nomination for President of the United States.”  There you go, he’s officially the Democratic nominee.

And I just got interrupted – something about thanking Hillary.

Thanking Bill for his speech last night.  And he just thanked Joe Biden for being his running mate.

And thank you to his family and Michelle.

Talking about being at war, “the economy’s in turmoil,” and other struggles.  Talking about not being able to afford credit card bills – WELL THEN DON’T BUY WHAT YOU CAN’T AFFORD!  Blaming it all on “the failed policies of George W. Bush.”  Because it’s all Bush’s fault.

“America, we are better than these 8 last years.  We are a better country than this.”

“The same party that brought you 2 terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney, will ask you for a 3rd” – McCain really isn’t like Bush, but it’s good for them to compare McCain to Bush.

Talking about McCain’s service and that “we owe him our gratitude and respect.”  Talking about McCain voting with Bush for 90% of the time.  Didn’t they say 95% last night?  That’s not too consistent.

Talking about health care, education, and the economy, “Senator McCain has been anything but independent.”  Again, it’s good for them to compare him to Bush.  Talking about his economic plan writer and that we are “suffering from a mental recession … and a nation of whiners.”

Talking about soldiers complaining about the Bush administration.  That’s only a minority of them though.

Now he’s talking about tax breaks, and that McCain’s tax cuts for big business and rich people will hurt the economy.  Well, he’ll cut taxes for the middle class, and cut SPENDING!

“Out of work, tough luck, you’re on your own” – Obama said is McCain’s plan.  “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.  If you don’t have boots, you’re on your own.”  OK, that was a clever line.  He’s doing a good job talking about the economy.

He’s running to help fix the economy.  Talking about veterans coming back from Iraq.  Talking about a student who works a night shift, so he can pay for college.  Talking about a worker whose factory was shut down.  Talking about difficulties in starting their own business.

“We have obligations to treat each other with dignity and respect. … The economy should reward drive and growth.”  THEN LET THE ECONOMY RUN ITS COURSE!

“Let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am President: Change means that (couldn’t hear it) doesn’t reward the business who wrote it, but the workers who deserve it.”  Appealing to workers – good.

“I will cut taxes for 95% of all working families” – so is he going to give a tax break to everybody except the top 5% of the country?  I can guarantee you that that is NOT his plan.

“Now is the time to end this addiction [to foreign oil].”

“As President … I will invest in clean coal technologies, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power.”  I like the nuclear part!  We need to have a LOT more nuclear power plants.

Talking about cleaner cars and making them more affordable.  “An investment that will lead to new industries and pay well.”

“America, now is not the time for small plans.  Now is the time to meet our moral obligation, to provide every child with a world class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy.”  OK,  sure everybody needs a good economy, but that’s something the states need to fix, not the federal government.

“If you commit to serving your community for your country, we will ensure you can afford college.”  What’s that supposed to mean?  That’s a pretty BROAD statement.

Talking about health care, and giving people the same plan as the one that Congress has.

“Stop those companies from discriminating those who are sick … those who need it most. … Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and paid leave.”

“Now is the time to change bankruptcy laws to protect those with pensions.”  OK, that I’ll agree with.

Talking about equal pay for men and women.

Talking about parents “to provide guidance and love for their children.  Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility.  That is the essence of America’s promise.”  OK, that’s good – individuals need to be responsible, but that applies to EVERYTHING, including health care and economic issues.

Talking about McCain having a debate about judgment.

“I stood up and opposed this war [Iraq], knowing it would distract us from the real threats.”

“You know, John McCain says he will follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell, but he won’t even follow him to the caves where he lives.”  Bull crap.  McCain has made it clear that his number ONE goal is to capture Osama.

“John McCain stands alone in” defending this war – how the heck does he stand alone?  Our troops support the war, as does about half of the Senate and House!

The Democrats will restore the legacy that America once had – you mean, the legacy that we help countries who need it?

“I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against Al Qaeda, and Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.”

“I will build new partnerships to defeat” the threats we face.  He says this, but he’s changed his policy on Iraq how many times now?

“These are the policies I will pursue, and we can afford debating them with John McCain.”  Then agree to a debate!

“These times are too serious.”

“I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain.”  That I can agree with.

The troops “have not served a red America, or a blue America.  They have served the United States of America.”  That was a GREAT line, and the crowd exploded.  That was a really great (and true) line.

“So I’ve got news for you John McCain: We all put our country first.”  Well, I’ve talked with people, and I know that’s not true.

“We don’t agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing” abortions.  Bull crap.  End abortion, don’t just try to lower it.

Talking about guns, but I missed what he said.

Talking about gays being able to visit loved ones in hospitalized.  I agree with that, but that’s about the only right I think they should have that they don’t already.  (Marriage benefits are a PRIVILEGE, not a right – such as tax breaks, etc….).

“If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone you should run from.”  Since you’ve voted present so many times and missed so many votes, are you talking about yourself?

“I realize that I’m not the likeliest candidate for this office.  I don’t fit the typical pedigree.”  So he’s just brought race into it?

“It’s not about me.  It’s about you.  It’s about you.  For 18 long months, you have stood up 1 by 1 and said enough to the politics of the past. … You have shown … that the chang we need doesn’t come FROM Washington, the change we need comes TO Washington.”  Well, then it must not be you, because you’re FROM Washington!

“I believe that as hard as it will be, the change is coming.”

Talking about giving better care to veterans – good, and keeping nukes out of our enemies hands – sure you will.

Talking about “Republicans who never thought they’d pick up a Democratic ballot, but they did.”  TRAITORS!

“You know, this country of ours has more wealth than any other nation…  We have the most powerful military on earth, but that’s not what makes us strong.”

“That promise is our greatest inheritance – the promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in to bed. … The promise that led workers to picket lines … and women to vote.”  I missed what he said, but he tied it all in to Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech.

“America, we cannot turn back. … Not with so many children to educate. … Not with an economy to fix. … America we cannot turn back.  We cannot walk alone.”  Something about the promise – I couldn’t keep up with him.

“Thank you, God bless you and God bless the United States of America.”

And there you have it.  Honestly, I didn’t think it was THAT great.  It was good, but compared to Clinton’s and Biden’s, it wasn’t that good.  I’d give it a 7.5-8 out of 10.

He talked a LOT more about issues, which was his job, instead of getting people fired up, but it didn’t seem as charismatic as he could’ve been.  Perhaps it was that he was tired, but it wasn’t his best.

Done Analyzing,

Ranting Republican
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McCain “Was Wrong” Voting Against Martin Luther King Holiday; How Other Congressional Members Voted

April 7, 2008

On Friday, John McCain gave a speech at the National Civil Rights Museum (formerly the Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated) in Memphis, TN.  Friday was the 40th anniversary of King’s assassination.  During the speech, McCain noted that he originally voted against making King’s birthday a federal holiday.  He went on to say the following (there’s a video below the quote):

“We can be slow as well to give greatness its due, a mistake I made myself long ago when I voted against a federal holiday in memory of Dr. King.  I was wrong. [Audience] I was wrong. [Audience] And eventually realized that, in time to give full support for a state holiday in Arizona. [Audience: "We forgive you."  "Everyone makes mistakes."] I’d remind you we can all be a little late sometimes in doing the right thing, and Dr. King understood this about his fellow Americans.”

The resolution (H.R. 3706), passed the House on August 2, 1983, 338-90 with 5 not voting and the Senate on October 19, 78-22.  So, just who all voted against the resolution?

House of Representatives:

  • Douglas Applegate (D-OH-18)
  • William Reynolds Archer, Jr. (R-TX-7)
  • Robert Badham (R-CA-40)
  • Steve Bartlett (R-TX-3)
  • Herbert Bateman (R-VA-1)
  • Michael Bilirakis (R-FL-9)
  • Hank Brown (R-CO-4)
  • Carroll Cambell, Jr. (R-SC-4)
  • William Carney (R-NY-1)
  • William Clinger (R-PA-23)
  • Barber Conable, Jr. (R-NY-30)
  • Larry Craig (R-ID-1)
  • Daniel Crane (R-IL-19)
  • Philip Crane (R-IL-12)
  • Dan Daniel (D-VA-5)
  • William Dannemeyer (R-CA-39)
  • Bill Dickinson (R-AL-2)
  • David Dreier (R-CA-33)
  • John Erlenborn (R-IL-13)
  • Bobbi Fiedler (R-CA-21)
  • Jack Fields (R-TX-8)
  • Webb Franklin (R-MS-2)
  • Bill Frenzel (R-MN-3)
  • William Goodling (R-PA-19)
  • Phil Gramm (R-TX-6)
  • Sam Hall, Jr. (D-TX-1)
  • John Paul Hammerschmidt (R-AR-3)
  • James Hansen (R-UT-1)
  • Marjorie Holt (R-MD-4)
  • Earl Hutto (D-FL-1)
  • Andy Ireland (R-FL-10)
  • James Jeffords (R-VT)
  • Ed Jenkins (D-GA-9)
  • Thomas Kindness (R-OH-8)
  • Ken Kramer (R-CO-5)
  • Robert Lagomarsino (R-CA-19)
  • Delbert Latta (R-OH-5)
  • Marvin Leath (D-TX-11)
  • Tom Loeffler (R-TX-21)
  • Trent Lott (R-MS-5)
  • Manuel Lujan, Jr. (R-NM-1)
  • Ron Marlenee (R-MT-2)
  • David Marriott (R-UT-2)
  • Lynn Martin (R-IL-16)
  • James Martin (R-NC-9)
  • David Martin (R-NY-26)
  • John McCain (R-AZ-1)
  • Al McCandless (R-CA-37)
  • Bill McCollum (R-FL-5)
  • Larry McDonald (D-GA-7)
  • Clarence Miller (R-OH-10)
  • Guy Molinari (R-NY-14)
  • G. V. “Sonny” Montgomery (D-MS-3)
  • William Moore III (R-LA-6)
  • Carlos Moorhead (R-CA-22)
  • Bill Nichols (D-AL-3)
  • Howard Nielson (R-UT-3)
  • Ron Packard (R-CA-43)
  • Chip Pashayan (R-CA-17)
  • Ron Paul (R-TX-22)
  • Thomas Petri (R-WI-6)
  • Carl Pursell (R-MI-2)
  • James Quillen (R-TN-1)
  • Richard Ray (D-GA-3)
  • James Robinson (R-VA-7)
  • Hal Rogers (R-KY-5)
  • Toby Roth (R-WI-8)
  • Eldon Rudd (R-AZ-4)
  • Dan Schaefer (R-CO-6)
  • Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI-9)
  • Richard Shelby (D-AL-7)
  • Norman Shumway (R-CA-14)
  • Bud Shuster (R-PA-9)
  • Virginia Smith (R-NE-3)
  • Denny Smith (R-OR-5)
  • Robert Smith (R-OR-2)
  • Gene Snyder (R-KY-4)
  • Gerald Solomon (R-NY-24)
  • Floyd Spence (R-SC-2)
  • Arlan Stangeland (R-MN-7)
  • Charles Stenholm (D-TX-17)
  • Bob Stump (R-AZ-3)
  • Don Sundquist (R-TN-7)
  • Tom Tauke (R-IA-2)
  • Gene Taylor (R-MO-7)
  • Barbara Vucanovich (R-NV-2)
  • George Whitehurst (R-VA-2)
  • Larry Winn, Jr. (R-KS-3)
  • C. W. Bill Young (R-FL-8)
  • James Scheuer (D-NY-8) did not vote on the resolution, although he was present that day.

Senate:

  • James Abdnor (R-SD)
  • John East (R-NC)
  • Jim Exon (D-NE)
  • Jake Garn (R-UT)
  • Barry Goldwater (R-AZ)
  • Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
  • Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
  • Chic Hecht (R-NV)
  • Jesse Helms (R-NC)
  • Gordon Humphrey (R-NH)
  • Roger Jepsen (R-IA)
  • James McClure (R-ID)
  • Frank Murkowski (R-AK)
  • Don Nickles (R-OK)
  • Larry Pressler (R-SC)
  • Jennings Randolph (D-WV)
  • Warren Rudman (R-NH)
  • John Stennis (D-MS)
  • Steve Symms (R-ID)
  • John Tower (R-TX)
  • Malcom Wallop (R-WY)
  • Edward Zorinsky (D-NE)

(Just a note – this post is coming so late, because I tried to get to the library to get the above records, but it was closed the first two times I went, and then, the Congressional Record for 1983 was missing – the ONE year I need, and it’s the only year missing. so I was able to find the information in the Journal of the House of Representatives and the Journal of the Senate.)

I’ve gotta say, I don’t agree that it should be a holiday, and here’s why: it sets a bad precedent.  Why should we honor just one civil rights activist (a great activist at that), but why just King?  What about César Chávez?We should honor all activists, from Morris Dees, to Rosa Parks, to César Chávez, to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Is it perhaps too late to change it now?  Probably, but in the future, if the situation presents itself, I think we should change it.

And I’d like to note something else – my college, Central Michigan University, recently switched giving students off Good Friday for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  Doctor King, a good Christian man, NEVER would have supported this – he would have been horrified of something like that.  The best way to honor Doctor King is to honor his beliefs, not his person.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Final Update for Ron Paul’s Free at Last 2008 Fundraiser

January 24, 2008

OK, I meant to do this right after it ended, but life got hectic, so here are the details…

Ron Paul raised $1.85 million on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 21st) in his Free at Last 2008 Fundraiser.  This is down from his previous fundraisers, but the organizers of this one were only asking for $10 per person instead of $100.

Here’s the graph of that day:

Free at Last 2008

I’ll be doing a post on Hawaii’s caucus and how Ron Paul might have a chance of winning that – sometime tonight (hopefully).

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Ron Paul’s Free At Last 2008 Fundraiser Update Number 1

January 21, 2008

OK, well I wanted to do a pre-fundraiser introduction to this, but wasn’t able to, so I’ll just jump right in.  We’re almost an hour into the Free At Last 2008 Martin Luther King January 21 fundraiser.  From FreeAtLast2008.com there are a supposed 10,521 pledges (which may be a little short).  I’m predicting about $2.5 million from this fundraiser.  As of about a half hour in, he’s almost to $75,000 – it’ll slow down over night, and pick back up again later tomorrow.

Here’s a chart courtesy of RonPaulGraphs.com:

Speaking of Ron Paul, I am predicting that he wins Hawaii.  Hawaii is an over-looked closed caucus where I think a lot of his dedicated supporters will come out and give him the win.  Romney will probably come in 2nd, but if Romney does come in 1st, I’m pretty sure that Paul WILL get 2nd place.

I’ll do a final update on this fundraiser later today (I’m FASCINATED with these things).

Done Admiring,

Ranting Republican
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