Lessons From Kent State University

For anyone old enough to have lived through the turbulent 1960s and 70s, the Kent State massacre was one of American History’s darkest, most tragic, “where were you when” moments.

For me, that “when” was early evening on this very day, May 4, 1970. That’s when, as a 16-year-young high school sophomore, I first became aware of how 29 American soldiers (members of the Ohio National Guard) had fired off approximately 67 rounds in the short span of one minute (or less) to kill 4 American students and wound 9 others.

That death toll and casualty list had been the end result of a demonstration by Kent State University college students pissed off by President Richard M. Nixon’s escalation of the Vietnam War… i.e., his invasion of neighboring Cambodia. It was during their antiwar rally that things got ugly… protestors wound up setting fire to the campus’ ROTC building and repeatedly pegging rocks at the armed troops.

Basically, what we had here was the troops overreacting… using bullets to defend themselves against stones and assessing a higher value to that charred real estate than to their own compatriots’ precious lives.

It’d be hard not to conclude that the very presence of these troops had needlessly escalated an already overly tense situation. Even Nixon’s own President’s Commission on Campus Unrest concluded (and I concur MOST EMPHATICALLY)

“The indiscriminate firing of rifles into a crowd of students and the deaths that followed were unnecessary, unwarranted, and inexcusable.”

Students suspected of arson and assault could’ve later been arrested, charged, arraigned, tried and, if found guilty, been duly punished. In a situation such as this, troops are NEVER supposed to act in the roles of judges, juries and executioners!

Also worthy of mention is that both warring factions on this Kent State campus battlefield could’ve benefited immensely from the following wisdom.

William Shakespeare’s “Henry IV” character, Fallstaff, said…

“The better part of Valour, is Discretion; in the which better part, I haue saued my life” (oft paraphrased… “Discretion is the better part of valor.”)

Sun Tzu, author of “Art of War” opined along similar lines, thusly…

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting” and “The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.”

The sagaciousness of some superb song composers also comes to mind…

Check out a couple of lyrical couplets…

From Stephen Stills’ “For What It’s Worth”

“There’s battle lines being drawn,

Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong.”

From John Lennon/Paul McCartney’s “Revolution”

“But when you talk about destruction…

Don’t you know that you can count me out.”

Were not all of the above wordsmiths emphasizing the need for orderly conduct by all parties involved in any dispute… were they not all on the same page as the U.S. Constitution’s 1st Amendment (note the qualifying word, “peaceably”)?

“Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Fast forwarding to our troubled present-day world… political and social unrest has only grown worse… especially since the installation of #45.

Now, more than ever, all protest movements must always be conducted peaceably. Nobody should ever give that Oval Office entity even the slightest excuse to overreact… to roll out the tanks… to order Americans troops to open fire on American citizens in a way that is equal to… or exceeds the actions taken by the Ohio National Guard in Kent State…

On this very day… May 4, 1970.

 

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Еще четыре года? (Translation: Four More Years?)

 

DISCLAIMER: Google’s online English to Russian translator is responsible for my above headline… I hope it’s correct.

Historically speaking, the GOP’s evil elite has long resorted to the gerrymandering of legislative district boundary lines to make it difficult, if not impossible, for Democrats to win elections. These Republicans also resort to vile, voter suppression tactics to disenfranchise minorities who typically vote for Democrats.

That “1-2 punch” means far too many Americans no longer have any say in who will represent their best interests… while ironically… Russia’s cyberattacker, Vladimir Putin, gets to freely choose who will represent his best interests (e.g. #45).

Elections devoid of ethics and ethnic diversity are what conspired to establish last November’s one party rule… i.e., the GOP domination of the executive, legislative and judicial branches. Republican legislators, now drunk with absolute power (which corrupts absolutely), have marginalized and muzzled their Democratic counterparts to the point where the latter party might as well not even show up for work anymore.

Liberal lawmakers can expect whatever valuable input they have to offer to get summarily rejected by conservatives who’ll flat-out refuse to even take sixty seconds to hear them out. If things were any more petty than they already are… well… here’s a for instance…

If a Democrat were to ever exclaim, “Wow! What a beautiful sunshiny day it is!”… even when there’d be irrefutable visual evidence that the sun was indeed out… a Republican would still snarl, “Oh shut the F up! It’s raining outside because I say it’s so!” And he’d next likely further punctuate that by sticking out his tongue, thumbing his nose and/or whipping, upward, one or both middle digits.

Hmm… hardly seems fair when we consider how liberals comprise roughly half of the electorate. In other words… no one is representing us… addressing even the tiniest of our concerns, anymore.

Since Inauguration Day, #45 and his team of coconspirators, in flagrant violation of the U.S. Constitution / Bill of Rights’ 1st Amendment have been skulking off in the shadows and working overtime to intimidate and muzzle liberal investigative journalists, bloggers and protestors who, after all, are “just” doing their patriotic duty.

“The Admin” has also been plotting to expand the radius of the rightwing propagandists… namely, via repeal of the Johnson Amendment to the U.S. Tax Code which prohibits all 501(c)3 non-profit organizations (e.g. churches) from endorsing or opposing political candidates. If successful, “preachers” (without losing tax exempt status for their respective churches) could legally use their pulpits as bully pulpits.

The net effect… rather than theologians lecturing on spiritually uplifting topics such as peace, love and tolerance… a.k.a. brotherhood… their Big Brother dictated “sermons”, would become the echo chambers for the FOX “News” / noise machine. Parishioners would be forced to earwitness preachers pontificators delivering seething, scathing tirades that’ll unjustly slam the more cogent, fair-minded Democratic agenda, while, simultaneously, promoting rightwing greed, environmental terrorism, racism, misogyny and intolerance towards non-Christians and the LGBTQ community. No doubt these religious charlatans will also be donating a hefty percentage of each Sunday’s collection plate… not to help the hungry and homeless… but to reward the already wallowing in wealth, Godless, GD GOP!

Oh, btw… a heads up for Americans… (in violation of the 1st Amendment) expect church attendance to become mandatory… after all… Big Brother would never permit anyone to escape hearing his “alternative facts” and other such crap.

Perhaps the most disheartening and horrifying aspect of America’s downfall is the total disconnect we’ve been hearing whenever some broadcaster shoves a microphone in front of the mouth of any of #45’s diehard supporters. Just the way they invariably gush forth their absolutely indefensible, unshakable and amoral adulation for him, it’s obvious how they’ve become oblivious to all the (perhaps) irreparable damage their “king” is doing on their behalf.

Seeing how nearly half of our electorate is aboard #45’s crazy train… and with all due respect to true Americans who’ve been protesting with words and deeds… in their attempts to derail it… it would appear that #45’s overthrow of America has far deeper, freedom choking ramifications than many liberals have even begun to suspect.

Within our near future, that is, if #45 doesn’t first Tweet the U.S. into a nuclear war, ONE of these THREE outcomes to occur…

  1. He will so thoroughly muck up domestic and international affairs that he’ll tuck tail and run like hell for the nearest exit signs… after which the GOP will gladly dump the whole disgusting mess unto a Democrat’s Oval Office desk (a situation akin to how President Barack Obama wielded a pooper scoop to clean up after W’s herd of stampeding elephants).
  2. He will run for reelection in 2020, at which time we can expect the cheering, “Four More Years” Putin to “vote” AGAIN! At that point, if truly patriotic American liberal dissenters have not all been rounded up and imprisoned in his concentration camps, a second American Revolutionary War may be the only way to restore the vision of America’s Founding Fathers.
  3. My predictions will prove to be dead wrong. America’s Founding Fathers will have written sufficient protections into the U.S. Constitution so, in spite of the current crop of political sots, We The People will be able to sober them up, survive and “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

99 Word Blog (#044) Gun Nut Pastor Joyner Shoots Off Mouth

 

God: “Thou Shalt Not Kill”

Pastor Allen Joyner: “They should be shot!’

“They” meaning Americans not standing for the National Anthem… e.g. San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick.

1st Amendment: “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech… or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Joyner: U.S. troops should shoot protestors.

Joyner’s 2nd Amendment “solutions” drew raucous cheers from his targeted audience… impressionable high schoolers. Ergo, he had fomented campus violence.

White Alabaman Joyner’s violent “solutions” re a Black Lives Matter issue also smack of racism.