17 February 2013

Comments Too Rich and Firestorms

No, my comments won't be too rich, but apparently Ron Paul's tweet about Chris Kyle was. Paul got all the info into that tweet that made it valid to a knowledgeable reader, but he didn't succeed in making it understandable to more than a few who are willing to take the time to grind out a proper apprehension of it.

It is the responsibility of all communicators to make themselves understandable and to understand. Choosing the right forum, understanding the probable way that a reader will grasp a comment, and collecting and assembling the right words are all part of good communication by someone trying to get a point across. Ron Paul's words were well chosen and assembled, but I will argue that such conciseness is not well suited to even the very thoughtful in a forum like Twitter.

Sadly, Paul's attempt to clarify really hasn't helped much. Laying out an illegal war as a crime, he appears to lay the illegality of the war firmly at the feet of the soldiers--one of the awful, wrongminded things that was done by many Americans to our returning Viet Nam vets.

But he doesn't do only that, although that's what I see the firestorm focusing on; what he also does is incriminate the whole of the body politic of those countries who are initiating and perpetuating wars on no legitimate provocation. This is a valid point, but doesn't really clarify what he said in the tweet. He's right, but still not communicating all that well or all that responsively.

Let's dissect the context of  the original tweet a little. Here's Chris Kyle, admirably working with a guy with a blazing PTSD. His subject is in a very fragile state. It would seem logical to avoid situations where the subject could switch back into war mode, fading into delusion, wouldn't it?

Many of us have found firearms range time to be therapeutic. It allows you to focus on something that gives you immediate feedback; it's physical to the extent you want it to be; it requires deep concentration and even functions as a support for a meditative state of mind. Plus, it's just plain fun! Gosh, even Mr. Blindly Anti-Gun Piers Morgan, while firing away at the range, couldn't contain a grin! The bigger the gun, the bigger his grin. He got a rush out of it.

But, and with due respect to those grieving Kyle's loss, wasn't it kinda brain dead to have SUCH faith in the therapeutic effects of range time... ...for someone who has perhaps just barely gotten past the worst of the throes of PTSD, to take them to a place where the sights and sounds might mentally bring them back into the war zone?

That's how I understand the remark: to live by the gun--in this case to be so blindly committed to its therapeutic value--was kinda asking for trouble. No, it's not absolute, but the rational mind, one that isn't completely blindly committed to "gun therapy," would reasonably consider whether it's wise to chance it.

There are things to be said about Kyle's character, about his alleged civilian kills and about his alleged libel of Jesse Ventura. I don't know anything at all about Kyle's point of view on politics and government, but clearly, he as much as anyone, despite whatever good he's done, can be criticized. I honor that he followed what he thought was his call of duty, and especially I want to honor his efforts on behalf of wounded warfighters. I may not respect the war or the warhawks that have put us where we are; I may not think kindly on the illegal orders given and followed or the banksters (and their minions) that are benefiting from war and murder, but I can honor the decency that was evident in Kyle's last efforts.

The freedom movement can--and must--get over this, and keep building the juggernaut that will eventually put a stop to--and reverse--the growth of the globalistic police statism that has plagued the last century of Western (and most of the world) thinking. The police staters, however and whoever you know them to be, want the freedom movement in tatters. We are unworthy if we allow them to goad us into that--especially over a tweet, one kazillionth of the things Paul has said, the great majority of which are profoundly on target!

Let this be a lesson to those who blindly follow, or who encourage it, even if it's a good leader: to blindly follow is to believe, foolishly, in the perfection of the person followed--to deify them. Thus, when he or she stumbles in one way or another, it is tempting and somewhat natural to turn on them, to throw away all the benefit their ideas bring, to think of them as a fallen deity.

But they never were a deity; just a good person working for good things. Maybe even great. But not perfect. Get good ideas wherever they are, but use your head and believe what makes sense, not what someone said because they ususally nail it. There may be times for the latter, but not to use as a rule.

Freedom is a great idea. Sometimes we'll disagree on exactly how and also on whether someone said it just right. Whatever those blips may be, use everything (EVERYTHING!) to keep the pressure up for freedom. Everything that happens, everything that's said, everything at all. Don't be dishonest; that is the police staters' mark; be honest, but see the opportunity in everything, the opportunity to build coalition, to push for removal of demagogic laws, to get us out of illegal foreign entanglements, to outlaw illegal statutes and regulations and executive orders, to return to the constitutional republic designed and put into play in 1788-1792 and then, if needed, to push further to undermine federal statist power.

Let's keep our gains to date, and expand, expand, expand!

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