Monday, January 19, 2015

Being Extreme

It’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. It looks like a good way to celebrate—or educate yourself on the story of the man—is the movie just out called Selma, which focuses on that Alabama city during the civil rights struggle which he led. The previews look good. It got nearly passed over for Academy Award nominations. Some cry racism. But I’m pretty sure that’s not it (refer to 12 Years a Slave last year and The Help from a couple of years back). Glenn Beck surmises that it’s because the hero of the socialist war on poverty, LBJ, is characterized unpleasantly (which historically is probably accurate, even if the actual conversations in the movie are fictionalized).
That's me, standing with MLK

So, enough said for the holiday. I’m going to talk about something else. It’s confession time. I am an extremist. This is news to me, since what I really am is pretty normal except for my willingness to put time and effort into a blog that isn’t on homemaking skills.
Last week I came across a piece listing the various ways the Obama administration has officially warned about domestic terrorism. So I thought I’d helpfully go through the list. (And so there is no mistake, this is to illustrate the absurdity—or frightening intrusiveness into free thought—of this list, rather than to let anyone suppose I have anything but civilized intentions.) I’ll go through the list in order; it’s long, and redundant—not my fault. So you have permission to skim as needed (or take plenty of time and follow all the links). We’ll find out as we go just how many ways the administration deems me, the grandmother/author of The Spherical Model blog, extreme:

1.      I talk about “individual liberties.” Yes. Yes I do. So does the Constitution.
2.      I advocate for states’ rights. Yes. I do that too—as is spelled out in the 10th Amendment, for example.
3.      I do “want to make the world a better place,” but I might not qualify as extreme here. It’s just a general principle, like when you go camping, leave things better than you found them. More suspicious here would be journalism students, who almost unanimously list wanting to make the world a better place as their reason for choosing that field—rather than gathering and sharing truth, which would be a better motive. (Admission: there was a bit of snobbery among English majors toward journalism majors, who would be inferior writers and also less in touch with the themes affecting humanity. Not meant toward individuals, just the overall sense of team superiority.)
4.      I do believe the colonists mainly came here to “free themselves from British rule.” I think historical documentation from their journals backs that up.
5.      I’m interested in “defeating Communism.” As an ideology that destroys civilization, and practically defines tyranny, poverty, and savagery, yes, I’d say Communism should be defeated. By word wherever possible. By defensive war where necessary.
6.      We're considered extreme if we believe “that the interests of one’s own nation are separate from the interests of other nations or the common interest of all nations.” Um. Obviously. Until we have the whole world choosing freedom, prosperity, and civilization—and living by the rules that bring about those positive things, we do our best to get those things locally, statewide, and nationally.
7.      Finally we have one where I don’t qualify: I don’t hold a “political ideology that considers the state to be unnecessary, harmful, or undesirable” per se; I only believe the state/government has a proper role that is limited for good reason. Within the limits, government at its various levels should be both necessary and helpful.
8.      Again, I don’t possess an “intolerance toward other religions.” In my faith, we say, “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.” (Articles of Faith11)
9.      I do not “take action to fight against the exploitation of the environment and/or animals.” I don’t put metal in trees so that loggers will be harmed or killed during tree harvests. I don’t throw paint on people wearing fur coats or leather. I even agree that those people are wacko extremists. I believe in being a good steward over the earth and the abundance God gave us here, not in attacking people who don't see things my way.
10.  I am not “anti-Gay.” I am, however, pro-traditional marriage, so sometimes people like me get unfairly labeled. Oh well. Marriage is worth standing up for.
11.  I am not “anti-immigrant.” I am, however, pro-border enforcement and pro-LEGAL-immigration. Sometimes people like me get unfairly labeled. No me importa.
12.  I am not “anti-Muslim.” I am, however, very much against what appears to be purposeful misinterpretation of that religion for the sake of murder for power.  I think we should call that Islamist Extremism, and not mislabel it or ignore the obvious.
13.  I don’t know what the administration means by “the patriot movement,” but I am a patriot. I am patriotic. I love my country. I think that’s normal, not extreme.
14.  “Opposition to equal rights for gays and lesbians” is on the list. As in #10, I’m for equal rights for all Americans. I believe those with same-sex attraction should be allowed to marry any person of the opposite sex who is not married to someone else, who is of age to make the choice freely, and who is not too close a relative—just like the rest of us. I do not think we should change the millennia-old definition of marriage to make a small subset of the population “feel” more included.
15.  I’m not a “member” of the Family Research Council. But I think they’re one of many newsletters I get for my research and information.
16.  I’m not familiar with the American Family Association, but the name sounds appealing.
17.  I do not believe that Mexico, Canada and the United States “are secretly planning to merge into a European Union-like entity that will be known as the ‘North American Union.’” And someone pushing for that strikes me as extreme too. But that doesn’t mean they sound like probable terrorists.
18.  I am not a member of the American Border Patrol/American Patrol. I’m not sure if this refers to actual law-enforcement officials or volunteer groups. But, since the federal government has failed to protect our borders, someone has to do it. Texas as a state is putting big budget toward border protection, as needed.
19.  I am not a member of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, or the inappropriate acronym FAIR, which seems to me more pro-illegal-immigration than pro-American.
20.  I am not a member of the Tennessee Freedom Coalition. I don’t know what it is, and this list is too long for me to spend time finding out right now.
21.  I am not a member of the Christian Action Network. I don’t know what it is, but it doesn’t sound threatening to “truth, justice, and the American way.”
22.  I am opposed to the New World Order—if that means some kind of world government or controlling entity that is intended to surpass our national sovereignty. Seems like being “for” such a thing might qualify as extreme, though.
23.  I don’t engage in “conspiracy theorizing.” I spend some energy debunking conspiracy theories. Nevertheless, there probably are some conspiring people, and we ought to be constantly vigilant.
24.  I oppose Agenda 21. I wrote about it in February 2013.
25.  I’m not “concerned about FEMA camps,” but I hope there isn’t reason to be concerned. FEMA wasn’t exactly stellar during the hurricane aftermaths that I have lived through.
26.  I would resist any “impending gun control or weapons confiscations.” But I live in Texas, so I’m not particularly fearful of that happening.
27.  I’m not part of a “militia movement.” I am in favor of armed citizens, for both hunting and self-protection.
28.  I’m not part of the “sovereign citizen” movement; I don’t know what they mean by that. But I may understand sovereignty and individual rights better than the fretful makers of this list.
29.  I pay taxes, and think we should lawfully do so. I also think the government should return to something like the maximum 7% promised when the income tax was instituted. Or something else more fair.
30.  I do complain about bias. The extreme socialist “mainstream” media is clearly biased. The evidence is overwhelming. The Eric Holder Justice Department has been clearly biased as well. Being in favor of truth, rather than bias, is a good thing.
31.  I don’t believe in “government conspiracies to the point of paranoia.” Although I am also aware some paranoiacs are being followed.
32.  I don’t know what is meant by “frustrated with mainstream ideologies.” I’m not at all frustrated with Constitutionally limited government, allowing for freedom, prosperity, and civilization; I just think those long-standing ideas should be tried. If by “mainstream” they mean “socialist” or “progressive,” then, yes, I’m fed up with those failing ideologies.
33.  Do I visit “extremist websites/blogs”? By whose definition? Since this one just got unjustly defined as “extremist,” then, yes. I even venture out to and Oh my!
34.  And just to rub it in, yes, I have established this blog. Not to establish extremist ideas, but to express truth as best I can. But, by their cockamamie definition….
35.  I’m not really an attender of “extremist rallies,” but I regularly attend Tea Party meetings and occasional larger rallies, and GOP conventions. (You’re aware terrorists plotted against a GOP convention but were fortunately ratted out? It wasn’t the Republicans who were terrorizing.)
36.  I don’t exhibit extreme religious intolerance. Does this have to make the list in addition to #8?
37.  Am I “personally connected with a grievance”? Don’t think so. That sounds like just about anyone involved in certain aspects of most lawsuits. Right now the answer is no.
38.  What is meant by “suddenly acquires weapons”? If you buy your first gun, for any sporting or safety reason, suddenly you have a gun. If you buy another, maybe a year or two later, suddenly you have acquired another. If they mean suddenly stockpiling trailer-loads of rifles with ammunition, that might qualify—and they should say so, so there’s no misinterpretation damaging to regular law-abiding citizens.
39.  I’m not planning on organizing a protest; I’m not a “community organizer.”
40.  I’m extreme if I support “militia” or “unorganized militia,” but I already answered #27.
41.  I’m not a “general right-wing extremist.” I’m not even willing to define “right-wing” the way the government does. I think they mean the Nazi version of socialist tyranny, rather than the communist version of socialist tyranny, which would be left-wing. But I’m against tyranny altogether. [See The Spherical Model.]
42.  I don’t have bumper stickers that are “patriotic” or “anti-UN.” I don’t have any bumper stickers, except the one that says “proud parent of a soldier.”
43.  I do occasionally refer to “army of God,” mainly when we sing the hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers.” But the government has nothing to fear from that. It’s about fighting evil—unless the government does have something to fear from our willingness to fight evil.
44.  I am not “fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation).” I believe in using the appropriate viewpoint for any situation—which always means the most local at which an issue can be handled. But who know what they mean?
45.  Nor am I “anti-global”—see #44.
46.  I am “suspicious” of centralized federal authority—because that’s necessary when the federal government has drastically overreached it’s proper role.
47.  I am “reverent of individual liberty.” I think that’s a lovely way to put it. And not extreme.
48.  I don’t believe in untrue “conspiracy theories.” See #23, #31. (Are they unnecessarily lengthening this ridiculously long list—which doesn’t even mention “believing in Islamic terrorist jihad?”)
49.  Do I believe my “personal and/or national ‘way of life’ is under attack”? Yes. Obamacare, for starters.
50.  I try to be prepared. We have food storage. We have camping equipment. My Church has been preaching preparedness for about a century. It helps us during all kinds of disasters, and helps us have resources to help others following disasters. Am I poised for paramilitary response? No.
51.  Am I a fundamentalist religionist who would impose religious laws on society? I don’t think so. I’m against Sharia; I’m for the Ten Commandments as guidelines for our laws.
52.  Am I one who would “insert religion into the political sphere”? They interrelate. That’s what The Spherical Model is about. But I believe we need to decide our laws as locally as possible, based on the choices of those in the community, and based on principles that bring about civilization (again, start with the Ten Commandments.) I don’t think we should prohibit the mention of religious beliefs in public. And a politician without religion is pretty much just a power monger.
53.  Nor do I want to politicize religion. Big no.
54.  I don’t know what is meant by “supported political movements for autonomy.” I think I would have favored the American Revolution, to gain independence from Britain.
55.  I am anti-abortion. As are a majority of civilized mainstream Americans, including a growing percentage of young people. The list makers are worried about people who want to protect the innocent unborn, but they’re not worried about baby killers? Really?
56.  I am not anti-Catholic. But, according to #55, the government is against Catholic anti-abortion beliefs, so…
57.  I am not anti-nuclear. I’d be in favor of greater use of nuclear energy. It’s the government that halted permits for building nuclear plants for 30 years. Does that put the government on the domestic terror watch list, then?
58.  I’m not a “right-wing extremist.” I reject the right/left model in favor of the Spherical Model. And I am against all forms of southern hemisphere tyranny. See #41.
59.  I am not a returning veteran. I have a son deployed overseas in the Army. When he returns, I expect he’ll be safe, patriotic, and pro-American. (Although I couldn’t speak to his possible loss of respect for the current commander-in-chief; I know I lack respect for that person.)
60.  I am concerned about “illegal immigration.” I live in Texas. And the federal government has failed in its basic role of border security. I would like to see legal immigration improved, less bureaucratic, less onerous to those willing to come legally and become true Americans.
61.  I believe in the right to bear arms. It’s one of those God-given rights that went without saying, but that got put into the Bill of Rights, just in case there came a time when power seekers tried to rule over this free people.
62.  No, I don’t think I have what would qualify as an ammunition stockpile.
63.  I don’t know what “exhibits fear of Communist regimes” looks like. I don’t think I “exhibit” such fears. But I think communist and any other type of tyranny is dangerous and to be resisted.
64.  I’m anti-abortion; I don’t think I qualify as an “activist.” I already answered #55.
65.  Again, I’m against “illegal immigration”—because it’s illegal. I already answered #60.
66.  If I were to talk about the “New World Order,” it would be in a derogatory manner. Because there’s nothing good there. I prefer American Constitutional freedom to succumbing to world domination. Until the Second Coming when Christ reigns personally upon the earth; I trust Him as my just ruler.
67.  I have a negative view of the United Nations. I think it’s a perverse joke. (Extremist Charles Krauthammer agrees, and wrote why way back in 2003.)
68.  I’m not opposed to the collection of federal income taxes. But, like I said, they should be much much much less than they are. I already answered #29.
69.  Apparently I’d be dangerous if I had supported former presidential candidates Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, or Bob Barr. I like a lot about Ron Paul on economic issues and for discussions about the Constitution, but we disagree on foreign policy. I don’t know who Chuck Baldwin is. But Bob Barr I believe was the Libertarian Party candidate in 2008 (maybe other times). Considering your choices were Barack Obama or John McCain, Bob Barr might have been a reasonable alternative—especially someplace like Arizona, where it would count as a protest vote without helping Obama. Lots of mainstream Americans look at things that way, without veering toward terrorism.
70.  I don’t actually display the “Gadsden flag,” “Don’t Tread on Me.” But it’s historical, part of the American Revolutionary War. I wouldn’t be ashamed to display it. It was reinterpreted into a little flag used for campaigning by now-Governor Greg Abbott some years back, which I kept as a souvenir of that year’s state GOP convention.
71.  I do believe in “end times prophecies.” I don’t happen to know when the end is coming. So for me, living a good life every day seems like a good plan, so I can see it as a “great” rather than “dreadful” day (Malachi 4:5.
72.  I’m not an Evangelical Christian. I’m a Mormon. Some Evangelicals try to define me as not even Christian, but they’re wrong. But for the most part, I think they’re good, mainstream family-oriented Americans, and not worthy of the terrorist label.

So, it’s hard to tally. I make the watch list at least 28 times. Roughly 39% of the possibilities for domestic terrorism. Even though I’m about as non-violent as they come, and as in favor of peace, freedom, prosperity, and civilization.
What I am is a mainstream American thinker. I pay more attention than many, and therefore have more reason to complain about what we see the federal government doing, beyond its proper role.
There is no end of irony to a government which would come up with a list that totally fails to include the source of 99% of terrorism in the world today. The enemy cannot be mentioned, but we’re labeled as enemies of the state—for having opinions in line with our beautiful founding documents.

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