- Special Sections
- Public Notices
From reports we have heard, Sec. of State Hillary Clinton is soon going to appear before one or more congressional committees to testify about the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other U.S. employees were killed, or murdered.
This will allow Mrs. Clinton to set out her knowledge of this incident, and for the Republican representatives to put forth their conspiracy theories and attempt to show that the Secretary’s recent sickness was in fact a nonexistent state invented for the sole purpose of avoiding testifying. (Isn’t this crowd something? Of course the fact that they so facilely come up with these fairy tales about everyone else just goes to show that they would be equally unconcerned with truth when it comes to any other charges they might make, or stories they might tell concerning themselves. To paraphrase an ancient warning, it might be wise not only to “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts”, but also to “Beware of GOPs bearing tales.”)
There is one aspect of this story that has troubled us from the very beginning concerning the killing of Ambassador Stevens, and that is this: Why did he choose to go into this tinder box to begin with?
Every Ambassador’s duty station is primarily the U.S. Embassy in the capital of the nation to which the ambassador has been sent to represent our interests. Benghazi is several hundred miles from the Libyan capital of Tripoli.
The Republicans have been blowing off steam and erupting in outrage as to how the Department of State had not provided sufficient protection to keep the Ambassador from being assassinated.
Now, just how many Marines or other protectors would be required to insure that a peripatetic representative of our government is to be fully protected as he or she moves about an area that has been the center of armed conflict for years would seem to require a crystal ball beyond anything currently available.
As an aside that seems to be ignored by the GOP critics is the fact that the House has approved a drastic cut in the funds available to the State Dept. for providing security for ambassadors, etc.
We respectfully suggest that our diplomatic corps be admonished that their ambassadorial posts are at their embassies, not at the site of recent armed conflicts, and that inspections or explorations be left to embassy staff, or special designatees, not the ambassadors themselves.
This last Sunday afternoon, we greatly enjoyed a visit to South Harriman Baptist Church’s Family Center.
The occasion was the 80th birthday celebration for Jim Littleton. For those who might not know, Jim is Gloria’s husband, and Eric’s father.
It was gratifying to see so many people turn out on a rainy Sunday afternoon to celebrate Jim’s 80th.
But this is not to be surprised at, since he is, has been, and always will be a genuinely nice guy. We are glad that we have been privileged to know him for all these many years, and considering all those in attendance, an awful lot of other folks feel the same way.
It was a lovely event in all ways, and we look forward to the 90th.
Our discussion a couple of weeks ago concerning the true meaning of the Second Amendment has provoked some questions and discussions about the background of this provision, so we thought it might be helpful to delve a bit further into the circumstances that led to the conclusion that this particular matter of keeping and bearing arms should be included in the Bill of Rights.
One of these circumstances was the general acceptance of the so-called Right of Revolution. This right is clearly enunciated in the Declaration of Independence wherein Mr. Jefferson set out these words:
“... That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
A few lines further on, the Declaration continues: “... But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
This concept of the Right of Revolution was quite commonly held as is shown by the language of the very first section of the Declaration of Rights set out in the Constitution of the State of Tennessee, adopted in 1796.
It reads as follows:
“That all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness; for the advancement of those ends they have at all times, an unalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform, or abolish the government in such manner as they may think proper.”
The following section reinforces this right by condemning the doctrine of nonresistance in this language:
“That government being instituted for the common benefit, the doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.”
Further on, in Section 24 the question of the Militia is treated thusly:
“That the sure and certain defense of a free people, is a well regulated militia; and, as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to freedom, they ought to be avoided as far as the circumstances and safety of the community will admit; and that in all cases the military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil authority.”
And finally, in Section 26 the question of arms is declared:
“That the citizens of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defense; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime.”
Thus it can be seen that the common view of the keeping and bearing of arms was as a protection of our democratic government armed to resist arbitrary power or repression of liberty.
MORE TO COME.