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Monday, January 19, 2009

Honoring MLK

Two years ago, I wrote about Martin Luther King in Heroes With Blemishes. But last year I tackled something else which I will reprint here:

Why is it that schools and the post office are closed on Martin Luther King Day when they aren't on Washington and Lincoln's birthdays (as they once were)? Instead, we have combined their birthdays into one, calling it "Presidents Day". It's as if we've decided that these amazing men don't each deserve a holiday of their own.

If two great Presidents can be so disregarded, why are we making such a fuss over a man who was not even the leader of our nation? I'll grant you that he was 'a' leader, but hardly a leader as powerful as a U.S. President.

Before anyone cries 'racist' (as inevitably happens when a white person discusses a black issue) let me assure you that one of my very best friends is black. So please... table the label.

For the sake of argument, it could be said that although MLK was not as powerful as a President, he was certainly a major leader for black people in this country, and I would agree with that. But what about alternative icons such as Booker T. Washington who has no recorded instance of cheating on his wives (he was widowed twice) and also never plagiarized a single paragraph (unlike MLK)?

Is Booker T. Washington so far removed from our lowered standards that he seems like an almost fictional character?

What of George Washington Carver, who made contributions to not simply a small segment of society but to society as a whole, while serving as an upstanding role model? Is he also to be disregarded because he is simply 'old school' and our modern work ethic (or lack of it) cannot come close to his standards?

Sometimes it is easier to idolize people who are obviously flawed, in the subconscious belief that we are somewhat better in comparison. And when someone is only marginally better than we are, the goal seems more achievable. Yet shouldn't we hold up men and women who represent what we should be and not what we are? Shouldn't our heroes be men and women who have achieved accomplishments and lived honorably? I ask this of all the races.

Yet for many of us, our role models are Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Donald Trump, Tom Cruise, and the latest contestants in American Idol. Again, we like our heroes to be flawed so that we can feel that they are, in some way, equal to or even less than we are.

Top athletes don't do this. You never hear of the athlete who is successful because his role model was the person who received the bronze medal in the Olympics. No! We all aspire to win the gold!

So why do we focus on the bronze medal winners in the human race?

43 comments:

Mr. Althouse said...

Interesting comment above mine... I trust it won't live long?

Although it deserves no recognition, your post, my friend does. As always, it is thoughtful and thorough. I think, however, that a couple of perhaps intangible factors must be brought into the equation.

First of all, nobody ever achieves greatness on his or her own. There always are other factors present that create the "perfect storm" such that a given person can rise above and lead when in other times or places they may not. In the case of MLK, Jr., there was already a groundswell of discontent. There were others that tapped into that energy, but MLK had just the right combination of character, fortitude, timing, placement, exposure, background, etc. that propelled him to the forefront of the civil rights movement - and he paid for his activism with his life.

True, he was not the only one, but there are any number of examples of leaders who possessed less than virtuous qualities behind closed doors, yet their contribution changed the world. I'm not saying that MLK Day is justified... I happen to believe we have too many holidays and, specifically, days of recognition for far too many people. It devalues those that are truly great.

I will say this: In the case of MLK, I think what he did for civil rights does justify serious recognition. I think he belongs among the truly great.

Scott said...

Bronze medal of the human race?? Wow, that is quite a statement you make there.

MLK is a Holiday because he was a true leader of a generation without leaders. A man who spoke and inspired. Does it matter that he cheated on his wife, or that he stole a few paragraphs here and there? No, what matters is that he gave a voice to a people who were systematically oppressed and many of whose backs of which the United States was built upon. The fact that this took place in the 60's is all the more reason that he truly needs to be honoured. The day too, does more than just honour MLK, it also serves as a reminder of the struggle for civil rights that still exists. Reminds us of the subjugation of a race in an otherwise free and prosperous land.

A bronze medalist, I think not. A man who inspired millions to stand up and be counted and who inspired others to change their World view can only be cheered as one of the worlds greatest and most important leaders.

Dr. Deb said...

I tend to think Dr. King was pure gold. Shiny. Bright. Valuable.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

First off I'm with Mr. Althouse, in that krok69's comment should be removed and shoved up his stupid ass and that your post is off the mark (as is the bit where you say that you have a black friend, as if that somehow is immunisation against racism, which I am not accusing you of).

Dr. Martin Luther King is a man that spearheaded a movement that shook the world, transformed America and stands as a figure of such universal acclaim that he needs to be celebrated and any other nation that could lay claim to a man like him, no doubt would.

I agree with Dr.Deb, he was precious. I also agree with Scott, the man was far from third rate, his misnomers are tiny in comaparison to his massive achivements and the role he took on.

Where I do agree with you is on the minor issue that Washington and Lincoln should have holidays in their honour but I think that comes down to the US government being tight with public holidays.

I am more concerned with why it bugs you so much that he has a holiday in his honour, when it should be clear (aside from his universal standing) that he represents a healing figure for a country that used to be a vitual aparteid state until 1964.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Krok, Good to hear from you, but why you try to provoke others...? You really are a nice guy, and I'm convinced you only believe half of what you say. There is sometimes much truth and wisdom woven in what you write, but your vitriolic comments really nullify it.

There is no doubt that the mainstream black culture encourages or at least condones violence. However, the white culture is eagerly catching up with it.

But the illegal aliens also are a danger to our country:

"The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the largest investigative branch of the Department of Homeland Security, estimates that between 300,000 to 450,000 illegal immigrants convicted of a crime are detained each year in federal, state, county and local prisons."

Mr. Althouse, Krok does this to deliberately inflame, and believes only half of what he utters. Never the less, it's been removed for obvious reasons.

Mr. Althouse & Scott, Excellent observations about MLK and you're no doubt correct. But - when is a man a hero and when is he less than a hero? MLK was more manufactured than he was, in reality, heroic. He was in the right place at the right time. And we do not honor the other brave men and women who stood shoulder to shoulder with him. Instead of MLK Day, it should be Civil Rights Day.

Dr. Deb, I think we are in the usual error of overestimating someone's worth due to the media maelstrom which surrounds him. Please see my comment to Mr. A and Scott above.

Daniel, Yeah - Krok's comment has been removed as of this posting.

As for MLK, it's more complex than that. Please see my comment to Mr. A and Scott.

Please understand that I don't think that MLK is worthless. As I said, however, he's a bronze medalist. The gold belongs to some of the true greats who have faded into the past but are great none the less.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Saur:

Please, you avoid a racism charge for the post but for goodness sake, American black culture, mainstream or not, does not encourage or condone violence. That is a racist statement and totally untrue, because no ethnic group would actively encourage something that destroys it and holds it back.

Dangerous words indeed, that are a hop, skip and jump away from Jim Crow thinking.

Onto your words for Mr. Althouse & Scott, I still don't understand why you seem so determined to split hairs and demean the legacy and work of MLK, why does it annoy you this much that a man, universally recognised as great has a holiday in his name?

Surely there are more pressing issues?

Surely there are greater targets in need of character assasination and revisionist thinking? The man is a hero, semantics around the word can't cloud that. Maybe not to you but your case for why he's not, holds no water.

Manufactured? How so? An orator of immense talent, a great mind, a heart and moral code in the right place, flawed as all humans are and a figurehead supreme of a movement for change.

As for right place, right time...good grief, isn't everyone?

Saur, you can't honour everyone, they are honoured by their knowledge of the part they played, every man and woman who fought fascism is deserving of a holiday, a statue, a celebration; every veteran who has laid down their life, every doctor and nurse who has saved and brought life into the world; every teacher who has encouraged and supported the learning and advancement of their pupils, they are all heroes. Our police, our public workers, heroes one and all.

Every movement has a face to it, even though they were backed by millions, he was that face and hence he is honoured and every year, that reflection upon the man leads to reflection upon the subject matter he fought for.

There is your civil rights holiday.

Your opinion is a minority one and that is fine but in tandem with some slightly off-key words regarding race and the black community I urge you to see how, to some, you could come across as a person with issues about black Americans.

Just a thought.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, So it's OK to be untruthful in order to promote an agenda? Conservatives aren't allowed to hold Ronald Reagan up as The Ideal Man, after all. We must be open minded and admit to the failings that he had, or the liberals will be happy to do it for us.

But even Reagan didn't cheat on his wife or plagiarize anything... that we know of, of course.

As I said, my point isn't that MLK wasn't of some value. A bronze medalist at the Olympics is still a better athlete than the weekend warriors who get together with the boys to play a little soccer. But he isn't as fantastic or godlike as liberals would like to portray him.

As for what I said:

"There is no doubt that the mainstream black culture encourages or at least condones violence. However, the white culture is eagerly catching up with it."

This is completely true and I make no apologies for it. Thomas Sowell, a black commentator, agrees with this, as do other conservative black commentators. It is widely agreed by both liberal and conservative pundits that this is a growing problem and one that must be solved. Much of this violence is NOT black on white, but black on black. They are destroying themselves from within.

And as to whether or not you can honor everyone: Yes, you can and we do. We already have Black History Month. And, as I said earlier, MLK Day could become Civil Rights Day. And thus the focus could be on the movement, all the people involved, and the success.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Ronald Reagan is long way behind MLK in the list of great humans Saur, you can't compare the two.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Nobel Peace prize winner, Medal of Freedom, Congressional Gold medal, from 55-68 a leader of the civil rights movement that enacted breath taking change, an orator that could inspire anyone to great heights and one of the greatest Americans to ever walk the earth. An inspiration to millions around the globe to create change and make the world better.

As for his day, you are in the minority and thankfully so, because it was backed by 6 million signatories, the largest petition in the US and passed by veto-proof levels in both houses.

Why?

Because to celebrate a great human, such as Dr. Martin Luther King, was the right thing and the fact you can't get behind that draws concerns for what you think greatness to be.

I'd rather have King's world than Reagan's anyday.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Darn! I missed Krok's comment. I hate it when that happens.

I remember when there were two presidents birthday holidays in January. Washington and Lincoln.

But what about Thomas Jefferson? John Adams? How about Ben Franklin? FDR? JFK? Andrew Jackson?

We just ignore their birthday?

It actually makes sense to just have a Presidents Day. To honor ALL presidents - even Garfield who was only in office for a month or two before he got sick and croaked.

But this act would have taken away a three day weekend. Every President does at least one thing right - Nixon's one thing was making all federal holidays fall on a Monday - so that we get a three day weekend. Having a holiday like Veterans Day fall on Wednesday is kind of pointless.

So there was space for another holiday. And it just so happens that MLK has a birthday in January. So - the holiday was created.

Also, people alive today remember MLK and the words he said. Not to take anything away from Booker T Washington - but he croaked in 1915. Not many people alive today that remember 1915.

And Fredrick Douglas - he expired in 1895.

So again, MLK is the logical choice here.

But more importantly, why focus on the flaws? And how do you know none of those other men ever cheated? You don't.

And if you found out they did cheat - what then? Stop eating peanut butter in protest?

We all have our flaws. Some more than others, but we are all flawed. By your reasoning we should not be honoring anyone - because at some point they all did something "wrong".

M@ said...

Oh, my goodness, this was week, S.

Look, I am a bit annoyed by all of the "race people" (including whites) who are here in my neighborhood to celebrate the fact that our new president is not white (no, it's about being "one," they say) but this post was weak.

Obviously, MLK left a much bigger impact on the country than Booker T. What's His Name or, let's say, President Taft and Buchanan combined.

The holiday is a no-brainer. The thing that irks me, though, would be people referring to this great man as "doctor."

In fact, his name should be Martin Luther King Jr., Ph.D.

The man DID earn a doctorate--in divinity, in addition to 19 or 20 honorary doctorates. However, not one of those nearly two dozen doctorates was in medicine or dentistry.

So, please. It's MLK Jr., Ph.D. Unless the man changed his first name to Doctor, which he did not.

Scott said...

Um, mainstream black culture encourages violence? Wow that is one of your wilder statements I have read here.

Of course there are issues around violence in the black community but it is by no means mainstream. Sure 'hip hop' culture is misogynistic and violent but that is not representative of the black population as a whole. Just because a black scholar also states this does not make it so.

I don't know any black people that condone violence in fact i know many who are part of strong community organizations whose mission is to end violence in the community as a whole.

daveawayfromhome said...

If you say that all black people are violent, that is racism. If you say that there are strong elements in popular black culture that glorify violent behavior, that is not.
My wife teaches in an inner city school, and I can assure you that there are many kids whose heroes are gangsters and criminals (including many sports stars). Not all, but many. Mainstream culture certainly doesnt escape that either, but gangster culture is adopted by a large (and visible) chunk of African-American youth, and in turn promoted by the media as a means to sell stuff, reinforcing both the popularity and the visibility of the "thug life".
Do all those kids want to become thugs? No more so than all white people wanted to become gangsters during the prohibition. But it does have the effect of reinforcing the popularity and desensitizing people to its unpleasant aspects.

Personally, I'm of the opinion that the concepts of "race" and "culture" desperately need to be separated, so that we can discuss cultures of all kinds, and their attendant advantages and problems.


As for your MLK arguement Saur, you're way off with it. Whether he was in the "right place" or not, who cares? Whyever he was there, the fact remains that he did great things with the opportunity, whether that opportunity was made or presented.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Just to clarify (althohgh I'm sure Saur will say he cheated to get his D.Phil) but that level of degree in no matter what subject, means that you can use the Dr. prefix to your name if you so wish.

Just to clear that up.

krok87 said...

Saur,

Just wanted to say Hi. Remember that you are hot and that's really all that matters.

undergroundlogician said...

Saur:

It is obvious you hit a PC protective wall around this holiday. I am glad that we have a MLK holiday for different reasons. MLK was instrumental to offer a non-violent means to bring change that is on par with Ghandi. You can't take that away from him. He was also against the judging of a person by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character, as he spoke so eloquently in the famous "I Have a Dream" speech he made at the DC mall. He was RIGHT ON in that remark, that we, by using proper discrimination, can determine the type of people we meet by what they say and how they act. It is THIS principle that has been completely forgotten by our generation.

The celebration of the Obama presidency, celebrating a symbolic victory against racism, fails in the area of content of character. It is ironic that those who in the name of Dr. King praise the rise of Obama actually booed and mocked the current president of the United States on his approach to the dais, and mocked him as he left the Capital on Marine I helicopter. This is a deplorable display of viciousness that was NOT in the spirit of Dr. King at all. Rev. Lowery's prayer, in honoring the different races that live in our nation, slam the white race by saying "whites embrace what is right." The race card was played, and NOT in the spirit of Dr. King.

In my opinion, if MLK would still be alive, I don't think he would have been proud of the type of character on display, or the lack of grace President Obama displayed by ripping the president's past administration in his mediocre innaugural address. In addition, I think Dr. King, knowing Mr. Obama's position on abortion, would have shaken his head thinking after looking at this innaugural display and say to himself, "They didn't listen to me. After all these years, they haven't listened." Alveda King, Dr. King's niece, is certain that though MLK was very political, he would not have backed a pro-abort like Obama. It would have violated his very core beliefs in protecting the weak and innocent.

Saur, let this go as far as a complaint against the holiday. Let's laud what he stood for, and let's challenge those who misconstrue his words for some political justification to knock it off...MLK was calling for a change in people's hearts, to have proper discrimination based on character, not on skin color.

As far as the Obama presidency is concerned, let's judge President Obama by what he DOES, which is echoed brilliantly by Juan Williams. As to his character already displayed in his past conduct, if he intends to follow his track record with abortion, he needs a major overhaul in character.

As to honoring MLK, let's keep it up. Let's say in our hearts: "Dr. King, we honor you by following your wise admonitions. May the Lord help us."

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, We will have to agree to disagree. I believe that Reagan is vastly more important than MLK and many people agree with me.

Please see my comment to Lazy below (about President's Day).

Lazy, Krok is his own, unique individual. It's rare to hear from him any more, so I was sorry to delete it.

EXCELLENT point about President's Day and you've caused me to change my mind on the subject. But it reinforces what I said earlier - why pick out ONE individual to celebrate when we really need to honor a pantheon?

You're right in saying that MLK is better known than his betters. BUT: Whose fault is that? And shouldn't we reconsider this policy of ignoring such fantastic leaders simply because they're antique? Does that mean that we should also ignore Napolean Bonaparte, Alexander the Great, and the Pharoahs?

M@, Please see my comment to Lazy above.

As for the title, actually MLK IS entitled to be called "Dr." Those of us who have PhDs or even DDs do have that option. Some choose to take it, some don't. But it is considered to be fine to do so. (NOTE: I see that Daniel agrees w/ me on this)

Scott, You, my friend, don't live in the USA so you probably miss all the real life nitty-gritty news. Please see what Dave has to say about the subject (and Dave will tell you that he is most certainly liberal - but he's a marvellously thinking liberal).

Dave, Thank you very much for your contribution. As for MLK, we'll simply agree to disagree. I respect you greatly, and I appreciate your time here.

Krok, *wink* Good to see you back, my exasperating friend.

UL, Excellent points, indeed. And there is no doubt that MLK was, in many ways, a fantastic man. There was much to be lauded. As I said, he's a bronze medalist! But not a gold one.

So, I feel that this should be Civil Rights Day. And on Civil Rights Day we can celebrate ALL the Civil Rights Greats, and all the laws and benchmarks that took place in an attempt to end racist behaviors on BOTH sides.

I agree with everything else you've said here. Excellent points, and I didn't realize that Alveda King was anti-Obama. Interesting!

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

UL:

PC protective wall? If by PC you mean good-spirited and using common sense then yes. PC doesn't exist, except in the minds of the right.

People are celebrating the Obama presidency becuase he is the best man for the job and he is some kind of moral compass that Bush was clearly missing. The bonus was that in a country that only 45 years ago treated non-whites as second class and less worthy now has a non-white in charge, that is the joy of America.

As for booing and mocking Bush, some people did, some people didn't and although I think it was the wrong thing to do, I can certainly understand why people might do it. He was so very bad at the job: lies about war, use of torture, bullying foreign policy, aid with restrictions based on a Christian moral code, infringing upon citizen's rights, failure to see off 11/9, failure to catch Bin Laden, lying again about reasons for war, enabling big business to get too big a slice of the Iraqi pie, de-regulation leading to fiscal collapse, Katrina response and totally destroying the image of America around the globe...oh and a tax cut for the very richest which cost the not so rich a fortune.

Warren G Harding has competition.

As for your view that MLK wouldn't have approved of Obama, that's pointless and not worthy of time here; it's also divisive.

We can't guess or presume, it's funny, most Americans and certainly most of the world sees a man of real character and worth in the White House, I'm sure MLK would've done the same.

Also, MLK was certainly cleverer than to dislike a man for one issue and one issue alone, for instance he forged a grand and wonderfully complex relationship with Lyndon B. Johnson who was pro-abortion rights. Anyone who thinks that a person is morally second rate because they think that a woman has the right to choose is clearly a little backward in the first place. Such sweeping moral imperatives endanger us all but that's the religious right for you.

Lack of grace? Obama was bought in on a ticket of change from a terrible regime, from day one he is dismantling the apparatus that made America so weak, so hated and so divided. I'd rather see a man stand up for his beliefs than tow the line to look polite to the outgoing.

I like how you twist MLK's words and make out he was for discrimination based on some kind of moral code but not skin colour. As if! We all know, and men as clever as he certainly do, that to replace one form of oppression with another is pointless.

I'm judging Obama by what he is doing already, stance taken on Gitmo, torture and the CIA already. That's waht I call elevated moral code and from someone who believes that baortion should be legal, my what confusing morality is this?

I tell you what I hate UL, that one fucking issue, abortion and the person's stance on that either makes or breaks them in your eyes. You must see how horribly flawed, idiotic and wasteful that is.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Napolean Bonaparte? You mean the guy who wanted a French Empire - after the French rejected having a king? That guy?

The top math geek at Cambridge University - the Lucasian Professor of Math - sits in "Newton's Chair".

Well Newton was certainly a revolutionary figure in the science AND math world - but he could not have invented calculus without algebra. And algebra came from some islamic scholar guy. Muslims also invented the number "0" - which did not exist to the greeks or romans.

So by your logic, we should rename Newton's Chair - because Newton probably ripped off something from algebra.

Fredrick Douglas is an inspiring figure. To anyone of any race really. But he did not spark a movement. Although I am sure MLK read his stuff.

Booker T Washington was also a great man - but he did not spark a movement.

Neither did Elijah J. McCoy - although he was a Canadian he came up with an important invention.

And so on. We can go on and on here. Harriet Tubman is another one.

But it was MLK who was around with the right message at the right time. MLK gets the credit for ending Jim Crow.

Just like Reagan gets the credit for "defeating the USSR".

Although I am not opposed to a Civil Rights Day three day weekend (WOO HOO!!! Another three day weekend!!! ILL TAKE IT!!!) I would be opposed to removing MLK day.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Saur:

Of course we will, but if we extend your rule of the flaws in a person's character stoppong them being great then for Reagan we have:

Supportive relationship with Saddam Hussein for politcal gains.

Supplying weapons to Saddam Hussein.

Standing by whilst Saddam killed his own citizens and did nothing to intervene as they used American sold gas.

Congress was going to pass a bill to censure Saddam and to restrict sales of weapons but Reagan made it clear he would veto to avoid upsetting Saddam.

Funding and establishment of the proto al-Queda in order to combat Communism.

Terrible economic polices that caused huge budget deficits and quadrupled national debt.

Iran-Contra.

High unemployment and then average job growth.

Funding cut from education, Medicaid, food stamps and EPA, whilst biggest tax cuts went to the very top 1% (sounds familiar).

Bombing of Libya.

And the terrible invasion of Grenada, a total, selfish and gung-ho obliteration of a sovereign nations rights to choose it's won government, whether it be to the liking of the US or not.

The most crucial fact is Saur that whilst in power, Reagan's average approval rating was 57% with a low or 42% and a high (when he got shot) of 72%. It was an average rating because, at the time, he was an average President. It was only when he left power, illness over took him and the wonderful glow of nostalgia that his ratings bumped.

Reagan is not even one of the greatest Presidents (he ranks in most polls as just above middle), nevermind a greater human than MLK, which is plainly not the case.

The idea that MLK is not deserving of a day in his honour, the idea that he is anything other than a great and important human is fringe as best and worrying at worst.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, I know you deeply dislike UL and the antagonism goes both ways. I'm not here to try to interrupt your exchange, and I realize it wasn't pointed toward me. But:

1. Can we please avoid swearing? I know it's common enough language and I sound puritanical, but I know you're more intelligent than that and I believe there are times you make excellent points that can become obscured by this.

2. Some of us see abortion as not merely a health option, or even birth control. We see it as murder. So the abortion issue can loom large to us, just as you would loudly decry someone who is in favor of slaughtering living, breathing school children.

In my case, though I hate abortion, I don't believe that Obama can do much to make it worse (except for allowing live birth abortion again - and I don't think he stands a chance because this is way too controversial).

I also don't believe we'll ever rescind abortion, so it's truly a moot point these days. Especially since many conservatives now favor abortion, as the crime rate has declined in proportion to the legalization of abortions.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, As to your post directed to me:

As I said before, "Conservatives aren't allowed to hold Ronald Reagan up as The Ideal Man, after all. We must be open minded and admit to the failings that he had, or the liberals will be happy to do it for us." Here is a classic example.

In turn, I could trot out all the flaws that MLK had, but I believe I've done so before and I don't want to beat a dead horse.

Suffice it to say that I find both men flawed, but I feel that Reagan was a better man than MLK. You don't (and didn't) live in the States at the time, but Reagan took over after Carter almost destroyed us as a nation.

Reagan gave us hope, strength, and ultimately peace from terrorism for many years. During Carter's reign, we lived in constant fear of the next terrorist attack, while Carter continued to court these same terrorists and dictators.

In addition, Reagan caused our economy to rebound and he was a marvellous communicator and orator. No Republican President since then could ever hold a candle to him. Both of the Bushes were anemic jokes.

And no, my views on MLK are neither alarming nor fringe. They're shared by many. They're not politically correct, however, as the fawning media would scold.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Saur:

Regarding the swearing, noted and an apology to you for that.

As for abortion, I more than understand how some people, deeply, deeply unfortunately, see it as murder. It isn't. Many people have and will have abortions around the world, none of them are murderers and none of their governments who support it, or the doctors who advise, or the nurses who offer support are murders or accomplices to murder.

It is as far away from killing children as scratching your nose is, which kills more cells than an abortion does in the morning after pill scenario.

As for the Reagan issue, may I flag that the danger in any debate like this is that the more it is tossed back and forth the more extreme the position can become on the individual in question and thus a waste of time.

Reagan was not a bad man, an evil man or a fool, he was an above average President who many Americans hold a very serious soft spot for based on his character and the redeemer of death (see Gerald Ford for ref). I certainly don't hate him but neither is he some kind of political giant or great leader, he was the best of the recent Presidents surely, before Clinton got involved.

I listed the flaws becuase you used that as a reasoner for your MKL disdain, when in reality I think your dislike has nothing to do with the flaws but rather your own political perspective; which is fair enough but all many of us here ask is transparency on that.

Reagan did plenty of courting of terrorists and dictators, as for economic rebound, the fiscal stats for that period tell a different story, the cyclical nature of economics played it's part and employment growth of 2.1% is very average considering he was coming out of high unemployment but that can be best reflected by his policies that made it very hard for the lowest earners and the 'bottom feeders' in the employment ladder to get back on it.

As for orator and communicator, agreed, he was jolly good at that, he was a wonderful lead man and spokesperson for America with a real affable nature and lovely manner that won him many fans around the globe.

But Saur, your views on MLK are fringe and alarming becuase they ignore the cast, crushing weight of evidence that attest to the man's greatness.

As for shared by many, no, they are not becuase if they were (and please don't drag out the catch-all of media bias, it is a weak card) you would see ti here on your blog, you would see it around the world but MLK's standing is safe from even the most desperate of attacks and for that, I can maintain some faith at least in humanity for a little while longer.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I've just discovered that we have another reason to be proud of Reagan, he came up with 'midnight regulations' where an outgoing President pushes last minute legislation and orders through the day before he leaves office so it makes it impossible for the new guy to stop.

Cool.

M@ said...

S.,

Couldn't disagree w/ you more. As I just told Daniel on his site, it is considered priggish in this country to address someone as "doctor" when they have a doctorate in anything other than medicine or dentistry. The exception would be an academic setting.

Now, as someone with a doctorate in basket weaving, I can understand how that would offend your ego.

I think it's even more obnoxious for people to refer to themselves as Ph.Ds, however.

In this country, we eschew titles. We laughed like hell at work when the dude w/ the Ph.D in economics started referring to himself as "doctor."

Of course, you'll come back at me w/ a comment but I'm not budging. This is the custom in our country and only people with Ph.Ds in economics and philosophy will disagree w/ me.

M@ said...

Btw, didn't Reagan get four million more votes than Obama? I wonder who'd win today....

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Do you have a fear of titles?

The point is you said you can't call MLK a doctor, when you can.

Cool.

And in answer to the battle of the zombie president versus a real one: Obama.

Next.

undergroundlogician said...

Dan the man:

PC wall? Most definitely, a wall created by liberal weenies in the media to control the events in this country. It is an attempt to steer our culture. You certainly have it in the UK. It's like being a fish in water, you have no idea what water is.

The fact that you have reacted to Saur's post and have created a fervent discussion based on a negative interpretation her statements is proof that anyone who would question the viability of this holiday is suspect. You are a product of liberal PC policing. You are the UK representative of liberal PC-ness.

As to booing President Bush and mocking him on the day, it is the action of liberals, and it is entirely uncalled for. It is a mocking of the office. Remember, this will come back to bite liberals. The same contempt that has been shown to Mr. Bush by liberals will come to haunt Mr. Obama. There's another thing to give this event context--58 million people did NOT vote for Mr. Obama. So the mass of humanity were Obama supporters; they, in general, have shown the true color of their character. This is NOT an objective view of Bush, or his presidency. This is the smart-alek actions of small people with no character.

As to the issue of abortion, MLK was the champion of the innocent. And, abortion was not a political issue back in 1968. BUT, as a Christian, MLK would NOT have marched lock-step with Democrats and their unquestioned loyalty to the killing of pre-born children. You can Google Alveda King and her comments on abortion. If anyone would know MLK, I think family members will get it right.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

UL:

There is no wall or movement, get back to me when you find it and show me genuine evidence.

I'm a product of a world that understands that humans like MLK are rare and we need to hold onto them tight rather than have their legacy messed with by fools with an agenda.

Sorry to break it to you but I doubt just liberals were booing, his ,list of erros have upset many and your obsession with liberals being the root of all evil is distrubing prejudice.

Obama won, live with it, don't start talking margins when we've just had a 2 term sneak-in. Obama is a good man, doing good so far and certainly better than the last one, even though bar is too low. You know nothing of his character or the people who voted for him. Stick to what you know.

I hate to break it to you but a foetus is not innocent, that's like calling a pancreas hopeful.

MLK would've seen that single issue politivs is divisive and no doubt kept any religious beliefs he has a long way from the political process, as they should be.

undergroundlogician said...

Dan:

One, from what I know in my experience in interacting with you is the futility of each attempt. You don't want to acknowledge a PC wall? Fine. There is none. Then the negative interpretation and back and forth discussion on this blogsite is imaginary. It doesnt' exist. I'm living in a computerized dream world and machines are sucking the heat out of my body and turning it into electrical energy to power the machine world.

Okay, back to reality.

Two, your equating a pre-born human being with a pancreas is illogical and completely absurd. I've never known a body part become a human being...have you? I thought not. So your analogy is completely without merit.

Next, since innocence is a moral designation applied to human beings, and since a pre-born infant has not the capacity to do evil, it is the epitome of moral innocence. Don't try to argue this, you'll come up short. Just let it go.

Lastly, I'm not inclined to discuss this further with you since your modus operandi is bloviation. If and when you want to have a sane discussion, by all means let's do it. I am more than willing to discuss whether or not President Obama fits the qualifications of meeting and surpassing the criteria left for us by MLK. Frankly, I think Dr. King has set a high standard for all of us, no matter what color, for the principles are universal and completely human. The followers of Mr. Obama have missed the mark in their behavior on Tuesday. As to Mr. Obama personally, he cannot be a champion for the innocent and helpless and at the same time call for such radical pro-death measures in FOCA. Mr. Obama does NOT fulfull Dr. King's dream. To say that he did is the product of a complete loss in intellligence fostered,distorted and twisted by a malicious media.

Done. Now you may bloviate, Daniel.

Saur♥Kraut said...

M@, We'll have to agree to disagree. I've NEVER heard anyone object to or ridicule someone with a PhD being called "Dr." And I run in both the academic and political arenas, as well as among business professionals.

Perhaps a sneering student in a junior college would object out of malice toward a disliked professor or a professional that they're secretly jealous of or perhaps threatened by(?) I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say that you're merely choosing to be eccentric.

Daniel, Re: The abortion issue. Please understand that the root of our disagreement lies in the definition of a child. Those of us who are anti-abortion believes that birth begins at conception.

Incidentally, being anti-abortion is NOT in society's best interest in some ways, as anti-abortion would allow crime rates to rise again, would increase the population in the poor classes which would increase our welfare rolls, etc. etc.

But the reason we're anti-abortion is that, according to the definition which we believe, we are dealing with living children and not things that are merely an inconvenience at best, or equivalent to a cancerous growth at worst.

I understand that it's more convenient to allow abortion. Abortion gives so much freedom and license to do what you would like to do. It allows the individual to escape bondage to another human, it allows sex without protection and without consequences, and it allows the man to get out of paying child support for 18 years.

For society, it spares us the expense of jails and/or rehabilitative programs and/or welfare.

BUT, IMHO, it isn't right.

Not that it will ever change.

daveawayfromhome said...

"As to booing President Bush and mocking him on the day, it is the action of liberals, and it is entirely uncalled for. It is a mocking of the office. "

No, it is only a mocking of the office if one considers the man inseperable from the office, like a king might be. Bush was not a king, though, despite his attempts to gather power. He was a man, and a man who finished his term with a monsterous debt, and economic crisis, two wars and not one ounce of contrition, or even, apparently, an awareness that he may have made mistakes (something which any person of character ought to display). In the end, only 22% of Americans think he did a good job, the lowest approval rating for an outgoing president ever. It was not the crowd that made a mockery of the presidential office, it was George W. Bush.

"During Carter's reign, we lived in constant fear of the next terrorist attack,"

Saur, either you're engaging in a bit of revisionism, or you've confused "terrorism" with "streaking". Europe was having a lot of trouble with terrorism at the time, but I dont recall it being much of an issue here in the U.S.
As for Carter "courting" terrorists, I dont quite understand why you point this out. Reagan was as bad, if not worse, as has been pretty much every president who places the interest of Americans' comfort above the lives of third-world citizens (which would be, so far, all of them).
I might as easily point out that Carter had two legs, but that could be said for Reagan, also.

"So the abortion issue can loom large to us, just as you would loudly decry someone who is in favor of slaughtering living, breathing school children."

Do I really need to point out the obvious here?
The problem with both sides of the abortion debate is that while most of them are against one form of killing (abortion or, on the other side, the death penalty and/or war), they all too often support another form of it. Either killing is wrong in all forms, or it we're just wrangling over what the circumstances are when it is acceptable. Any abortion foe who is not also an anti-war protester is displaying the kind of hypocracy that waters down any arguement they may make (this goes for both sides, and yet neither seems to see the irony in their perception of the others' hypocracy).

"Alveda King, Dr. King's niece, is certain that though MLK was very political, he would not have backed a pro-abort like Obama."

Hoo-boy! Just because she's his neice doesnt mean she knows what he'd have done 40 years later. Somehow, though, seeing as he was also very pro-labor and was extremely concerned about the imbalance of wealth in this country, which has only gotten worse under the GOP, I really dont see that he would touch the "trickle-down" party with a ten-foot pole (unless that pole was traveling at high velocity towards it's backside). Which would leave him Obama.

Of course, had King survived, this country, and the Democratic Party, would probably have been very different.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Dave's on point again with the hard facts, well done that man!

UL:

Show me the PC wall, show me the PC movement, show me who came up with the term, show me it's leader. It's a figment of the right to dismiss postive thinking and common sense, whcih the right thinks it has a monopoly on; it was a clever technique but won't wash with me.

What's absurd is the backwards view that abortion is murder. It is not. What is also backwards is that anyone who believes in it (and this now covers millions and millions of people) is morally second rate. Serious error.

It is not an infant, or a human yet, it is a foetus without any moral compass; stop projecting Judeo-Chrsitian values on something that has no values.

MLK left no criteria for being a President because he wasn't an asshat.

"As to Mr. Obama personally, he cannot be a champion for the innocent and helpless and at the same time call for such radical pro-death measures in FOCA."

HA HA HA! Brilliant, only a Christian could come up with this backward logic on one issue.

Obama has already bested Bush's moral compass of torture, lying, deciet, more lying and war making but for you this makes your basic moral formula or pro abortion=bad humana nd anti-abortion=good human untenable. You're wrong, flawed and slightly disgusting on this subject matter UL; religion cripples your qualitys. Give it up!

Now I know get why you've not dealt with any of my previous points. And then you save the most terrible until last:

"Mr. Obama does NOT fulfull Dr. King's dream. To say that he did is the product of a complete loss in intellligence fostered,distorted and twisted by a malicious media."

I think that someone else here your prejudice, politcial and religious ignorance blinding you and a wee hint of racism is leaving you on the wrong side of the fence, stay there please, we don't want you on the civilised side.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Saur: M@ is so wrong on this it hurts but that's cool, I think his beef is with the people who use it and that it should be saved for Doctors of Medicine which is fine but technically you can use it for a D.Phil.

UL's religious mores have turned this into an abortion thread when it is not, but one issue thinking is divisive at best and at worst regressive. As is the sweep that if you're for it you are subhuman. That makes most of the world subhuman.

It's not about being convenient, it's about it not being a matter of choice; just as we should have choice as to when our life ends.

The reasons you give are none of the reasons abortion is a good idea, they are the ideas of the right, petty ideas that totally negate the pain of the choice but how sometimes, it is the right thing to do. And long may it continue, not becuase of the slightly off idea it comtrols crime but becuase a human's freedom to make a decision like that is essential to the development of a civilised and free society.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, I hear you. But I feel that often there are people who will choose a stance that they think is popular or necessary for very primitive reasons, and then attempt to dress it up and make it look more presentable - even noble - to others.

That isn't to say that this is what is behind what YOU believe. However, when enough people with cloaked yet selfish motives see abortion as in their best interest, it is no wonder that they can convince others to go along for the ride.

Again, many people are pro- abortion on BOTH sides of the aisle now (and I believe it's for the reasons I mentioned earlier). The only ones who are against it are the people who decry it for spiritual purposes, or decry it because they believe that life begins at birth... or both.

But yes, this topic has been derailed and it's now running helter skelter down the mountainside. ;o)

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I await UL's return with god on his side...

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Rejoice! The end of the global gag rule crulety!

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Double win!

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, I doubt anyone will care much if abortions are performed overseas. Most Republicans will definately see it as a future cost savings, as we support so many people overseas with our hard-earned tax dollar. A reduction in the population will equal a reduction in handouts. And this is a definite win for the Democrats.

As for stem cell research - it's really a bunch of nonsense, and that will be quickly shown. There are numerous studies showing that stem cells are not all they're cracked up to be - they've become almost mythologized. The government will not continue to fund something that ultimately will not produce.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

On the first issue, the fact that...oh wait...REAGAN, came up with the mentally ill concept of holding back funding based on their stance on abortion, which is disgusting frankly is now in the rubbish bin speaks volumes for the conservative obsession with a women's right to choose.

On the second issue, the great thing about science is that we'll see, you don't know and I don't know but at least we have a grown-up now who doesn't block it out of a sense of religious retardation.

VICTORY!

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, Victory? Is this all about who's winning and who's losing? Can't we get past such childish triumphs and focus on what's good for mankind?

And since when do "grown-ups" proceed to experiment with something that has been repeatedly shown to be ineffective?

There is none so blind as he who will not see.

Yes, Reagan did care enough for unborn children to attempt to protect them from afar. As I said, we live in a different era now and the primary motivation is and will be to cut costs. Killing off a portion of a population will make it much cheaper for us in the long run.

But, as I said, I'm not sweating any of it. I'm certain that time will prove me right and until then, I wait patiently.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Reason over unreason is something to celebrate I reckon, not something Reagan would buy into but that's okay, he isn't President.

And as for unborn kids he cared for, shame he didn't extend that level of care to actual children in Greneda and Libya, or the poor for that matter.

Oh well.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, Well, as delightful as it may be for parts of the world to see America go bankrupt, we simply cannot finance everything and everyone.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I'm not sure that that has to do with repealing the global gag rule but okay.

Cool.