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Sounds like a good day for a Russian invasion……..

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The issue has never been to take away guns,   The issue has always been to work to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people…

The NRA has worked hard to make that impossible.  Using anonymity, fake screens, and everything possible to keep the criminal element intact.

If criminals weren’t subsidizing the NRA, they should start in order to keep it in business.

During the upcoming legislative session, gun laws designed to allow normal people to have all the guns they want, and abnormal people not to get them, should become a priority.

It is especially sad, when a father on one coast tries to get help for his mentally unstable son on another coast,  and can’t in time to save an innocent person’s life…

We can do better; creating a law that requires a gun owner to at least have the mental capacity to drive a vehicle… would be a start.  If one is deemed to unstable to drive on our public highways, we could probably be safe and rule out the likelihood of them ever owning a gun….

It is no big deal.  Or better framed, it is far less a big deal than seeing your son or daughter shot by someone who should have never had a gun in the first place….

At April 4th’s NATO summit, Barack Obama was appealing for support. During these recessionary times, his appeal may fall on deaf ears. Although many countries would like to assist the US in accomplishing it’s peaceful goals in that region, they are out of money and would have politically a difficult time spending their nations resources halfway around the world from where they were more needed…

But despite the odds, the US has ratcheted up its own strength on the ground, and is looking for others to help do the same..

Adm. Michael Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chief’s of Staff put it this way: the security situation in Afghanistan cannot improve until there’s economic and political development in Afghanistan.

In other words we need to fix the economy in a nation on the other side of the world, simultaneously while fixing ours here at home…

The military problem inherent with fighting in Afghanistan, is that whoever holds the high ground, cannot be routed… The British tried but were unable to conquer. The Russians tried but our Stingers stung them.. It is now our turn…

Since the British were able to hold influence for over a period of a hundred years, and the Soviets barely held on for ten, it makes since that we should mimic the British approach as opposed to the choices made by the former Soviet Union….

What we can learn from the approaches of these two former powers, is that the only way we can make inroads in that territory, is to get the local population on our side…

The Victorian British were practical people. They realized that in a mountainous terrain, holding the entire country was impossible. Instead, they realized that controlling certain choke points could control the territory… That is how their handful of soldiers were able to subdue a vast area of wild, moutainous wilderness..

To win Afghanistan and Pakistan, we need to be seen by the local population as “the heros”, and our opponents need to be seen as “the enemy”…. . In planning to insure our safety, half a world away, and with the possibility that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons may fall into the hands of a nutty Taliban, failing our own Iron Man, we need a practical hands-on ground-approach that utilizes the local population working in our favor…

Our plan should be thus…

A. American armed forces are understood to be there simply to protect those locals who choose to support us, from retalitory attacks by the Taliban.. We have no imperial aspirations.

B. All Afghani’s and Pakistani’s who support us, are given free medical, dental, and health care. Feedback from the Special ops in the Phillipines, Columbia, Horn of Africa regions are consistent in the proof that medical care, is our greatest political tool… When the United States of America saves a man’s child from certain death, we gain a friend for life… The Taliban, of course, have no counter weapon, except to randomly kill citizens of villages who choose to accept our free offer… That, of course, then opens up a goldmine of intelligence for our nation, and utilizing our armed forces can eradicate the problem rather quickly thanks to the better ground-game intelligence.

C. We must be respectful of their religion.. The British were.. The Russians weren’t… Religion provides a reason to keep fighting, even when there is none… We need to respect its power, and remove religion from even being an issue. We must make it clear that we are there to protect our allies… We are not there to eradicate our enemies… They will be around forever.. Instead, our goal should be to make them see that their lives will be far better if they fight on our side, than if they fight against us..

D. Which means we have to “put up”… We have to get rresults, to make sure their lives ARE better because they support us. These are not just glib words, or press releases, or photo ops, or video shoots, all propagandizing for the folks back home so America can croon with a collective “Ahhhhhhh”, and feel good about our efforts to “help” other people. These are determined by real results on the ground… determined by whether the people defy the Taliban to support us.

By real results on the ground, we mean educated students; we mean eradicating simple illinesses; we mean installing enough security so men can lay down their guns and play a game of football… We mean fostering an economy that feeds its own population…

If we were as smart as the British, we would buy the opium crop from indigenous farmers, and use the profits once sold over here after processing, to pay down our national debt… Just having us buy the poppies, would cut Taliban support instantly. Instead of this cheap reasonable approach, we choose to send recruits pouring into the Taliban’s training camps each time we attempt to starve them by spraying their fields down with weed killers…

And finally we need to use this potential catastrophe as a portal to the new age, a new allignment. We should not be the ones policing Afghanistan or Pakistan. It should be the Chinese… It is closer to them, and by us even being there, no doubt we are making them nervous.. Imagine our concern were Mexico to be filled with Chinese Regular Soldiers?

E. We should take this opportunity to establish joint operations with the Chinese and work with them upon taking some international responsibility.. Doing so will later will later give us the possibility of pulling out and letting them run things, similar to how the Europeans now handle a similar disaster that occurred in the former Yugoslavia just a decade ago…

The Chinese are the ones who have the most at stake of preventing a nuclear conflageration off their southern border.. They have manpower and muscle to make the changes required of that region.. Our long range goal will be to teach them how to be a “good” international power, and then as we pull back, allow them the opportunity to rise to that challenge…

F. And we need to use our talents to muzzle the fanaticism of the muslim religion in that part of the world. Religion is good. Fanaticism is bad… We as a nation, and hopefully with the Chinese at our side, need to outline the distinction between being a muslim by one’s actions, and being a muslim in name only; ie, not adherring to the teachings of Mohammed himself….

G. We need to stand up in support of the rights of women, and push forward the moderate version of Islam by refuting its insistence that women are nothing… By taking on that challenge, we earn the trust and respect of at least 50% of the population who may remain silent in front of their gun carrying spouses, but who secretly want us to win…

That my friends is how you take a country like Afghanistan, a country that has never been subdued, and turn it into a force for good…

It requires a practical approach unfettered by the poison of conservative philosophy…

It will require more ground forces…

Let us hope that the other, more important services such as medical, educational, and self sustaining economics, will be forthcoming to every Afghani or Pakistani in the very near future.. For removing from consideration their fears of starvation, infection, and economic survival, will create an environment where our aims are achieved with a minimal amount of military involvement.

Our military is there solely to protect those who choose to come to our side… To those choosing to stay apart and live otherwise as long as they leave us alone, we should return their show of respect and do just that: leave them alone…

That will be a future problem for the Chinese.

April 4th, 2008 will be the 40th anniversary of Dr. King’s death. Has time gone by that fast already? Where is the “Negro” today and what is his current state of affairs.

From Dr. King’s most famous speech.

We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. *We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by a sign stating: “For Whites Only.”* We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”¹

Well you can rest. You should be satisfied. Those are now things of the past.

Not so you say? Well perhaps you forgot what life was like for an Afro-American forty-five years ago when these words were spoken on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Let that speech, 100 years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation remind you for a moment.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.

Wait a minute. Blacks still outnumber whites in our prisons. Blacks dropout faster than whites in any school. Black men father more children out of wedlock than any other classification. There is more work to do. Perhaps if they were more forceful about seeking change….

But again, the wise Dr. King foresaw that question and has a ready answer.

In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

Here the power of Dr. King is most apparent. The Negro community was poised to meet oppression with violence. They wisely chose not to. Would white people show the same restraint? I wonder? Historically whites have never shown restraint before. It was white people’s failure to find a peaceful solution that caused both the Revolutionary and Civil War.

King continues this theme.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And they did not. So how has the “Dream” been translated over forty five years into reality? Let’s analyze.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.

One needs look no further than the maternity wing of Christiana Hospital. Mission accomplished. Check.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
Mission accomplished. Check.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
Task Completed. Check.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

Courtesy of the Crimson Tide
Courtesy of the University of Alabama

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

Done. Even in Mormon Country.

Although it is out of sync. This should come at the end.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Dexter, Yolanda , Martin, and Bernice.

Again, Mission accomplished. Fait accompli.

I can remember looking out my bedroom window and seeing their segregated school. Ironically in honor of the Emancipation Proclamation, it was named Lincoln High. Later I once had the opportunity to see the inside. Six classrooms for twelve grades. Most blacks fail to realize how far they have come.

So when I hear of a young black school kid, getting in his teacher’s face and threatening to assault him/her in their own classroom, I want to ram my fist through his rib cage, into his chest cavity, grab his heart, and shove it into his face. The last words I want him to hear would be these: “Son, you don’t know how close you came to “Not” have this opportunity to learn! To the rest of you,… treat the chance for an full education as a gift, one deserving of a man like Dr. King!”

Ironically that a young black would not even know exactly just how far he’d come over the last forty years, is the crowning glory of Martin Luther King’s achievement. Things have changed so much. Today we are all individuals responsible for our own actions. No one cares one iota about the color of skin.

Right now, we are looking at the possibility of the first black president. Again no one cares about the color of his skin. It is all about what he will do for our country.

Happy Birthday Martin Luther King.