Sunday, January 16, 2011

Champions of Liberty

Last year, on Martin Luther King Day, I honored three African-Americans for their outspoken support for state sovereignty and libertarian causes. Both of this year’s Champions of Liberty are well-established bloggers who are outspoken about the need for self-reliance.

Elizabeth Wright

Elizabeth Wright publishes Issues & Views, which she describes as “A black conservative's place for independent thinking and common sense -- A little oasis for those who got caught up in the momentum of the civil rights movement, but failed to discern the false from the true.” A resident of New York City, Ms. Wright began Issues & Views as a hardcopy newsletter “to counter notions of victimization and collective entitlement prevalent in the black community.” She writes that her “conservatism was derived from the wisdom of earlier generations of American blacks, like Booker T. Washington, who attempted to steer their people towards greater economic self-reliance. The newsletter also challenged ideologues who misused ‘civil rights,’ in order to deny basic rights to others and to impose politically correct mandates. Editorials were committed to principles of free speech, with the First Amendment paramount.” Like last year’s honoree H. K. Edgerton, she has defended respect for Confederate heritage.

She is also outspoken in support of free speech and a sensible foreign policy. Her comment on the Wikileaks controversy neatly ties both issues together:

We should view the WikiLeaks controversy in the larger context of American foreign policy. Rather than worry about the disclosure of embarrassing secrets, we should focus on our delusional foreign policy. We are kidding ourselves when we believe spying, intrigue, and outright military intervention can maintain our international status as a superpower while our domestic economy crumbles in an orgy of debt and monetary debasement.

Most importantly, her message stresses self-reliance and truth over victimization, “political correctness” and hatred. A message that applies equally to everyone, regardless of race, but one that is especially needed and wanted from the black community.

William N. Grigg

William Grigg is a modern muckraker, and that’s meant to be a compliment. A resident of Payette, Idaho, he thoroughly researches his topics and writes (often at considerable length) on governmental abuses of deadly force, among the police and in the military, in his blog Pro Libertate. His most recent contribution (Jan. 10) is entitled “The Cult of Sanctified Violence,” in which he contrasts government’s treatment of violent citizens with its own unrestrained violence in Pakistan. Mr. Grigg uses rather unusual language (referring to ordinary citizens as “Mundanes,” and calling Rep. Peter King, House Homeland Security Chairman, as a “former bagman for the IRA,” * for example), in support of some interesting points. In this post, he attacks the cult of “state worship”:

Hundreds of civilians have likewise been massacred in the ongoing "surge" in Afghanistan, many of them in nighttime raids by "Special Operations Forces" -- that is, death squads -- whose behavior is not easily distinguishable from that of Jared Loughner. At least a hundred thousand civilians have been annihilated in the continuing war in Iraq, which was inaugurated for reasons just as delusional as anything that percolated in Loughner's distressed mind.

For those who worship at the altar of the omnipotent State, mass murder of this kind is an exercise in sanctified violence. In a 2009 interview with Foreign Policy magazine, Bill Clinton -- who has repeatedly denounced  "anti-government" speech as a form of criminal sedition -- defined terrorism as “killing and robbery and coercion by people who do not have state authority." (Emphasis added.) What this means, of course, is that "killing and robbery and coercion" by duly authorized agents of the State isn't terrorism, it's policy

You see, bombs and drones may demolish homes, but only "anti-government" words can harm us. This is why one of the political elite's most urgent priorities is the control and criminalization of anti-government speech.

He is a staunch defender of the Second Amendment right to own weapons. This attitude may be a byproduct of his research into the abuses of police departments in specific investigations, such as those in Denver and Kenosha, Wisconsin. In these posts, Mr. Grigg conducts his own interviews.
His posts also contain unusual and detailed historical references. He compares an incident in which Rep. Allen West, then a candidate for Congress, once used a motorcycle gang for “security” to eject certain Democrats from a rally, to Nazi efforts to bring down the Weimar Republic in Germany. In his Jan. 10 post, he traces the “sanctification” of violence to an 1863 serman by Rev. Henry W. Bellows, who

extolled the U.S. President as a literally messianic figure; his text was the messianic prophecy of Isaiah 9:6, which contains the phrase "and the government shall be upon his shoulder." Those who condemned Lincoln's crimes against the Constitution, he insisted, were made of the same wretched stuff from which were formed "the enemies of our Saviour, who were always flinging in his blessed face the authority of the Mosaic law."

Bellows granted that Lincoln violated the Constitution in countless ways, but maintained that just as Jesus was the incarnate Lawgiver, Lincoln should be regarded as the living Constitution. Were the actual written document to prove an insuperable impediment to Lincoln's divine mission, "the sooner it were abandoned, the better."

See any parallels to the present day?

Mr. Grigg has courageously stood up for the Constitution and the people at a time when too many people refuse to stand up for themselves. If we (the people) do not enforce the Rule of Law against our rulers, we will allow our rulers to become a law unto themselves – one in which there are no safeguards against abuse.

* Referring to past fundraising efforts by Rep. King in support of the Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland.

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