I submitted this to the editor of The Rivard Report in response to Leslie Kelly’s “Lies in the Sand: A Look Behind The Alamo Gun Rally.”
Birmingham's Theophilus Eugene "Bull" Connor in his element, 1963.
Of lies, liars and San Antonio’s Bull Connor.
After reading Leslie Kelly’s “Lies in the Sand: A Look Behind The Alamo Gun Rally,” I must ask, just which rally and march at the Alamo did Leslie Kelly attend? Her description bore little resemblance to the one I spoke at. From the column she filed for The Rivard Report you’d have thought it was a combination Klan rally and conspiracy theorist convention.
Now I’m only personally familiar with a few real conspiracies, among them the bloody Fast and Furious scandal that, with my journalist friend David Codrea, I was the first to break on the Internet in December 2010. That government conspiracy you may recall, cost the lives of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and thousands of innocent Mexican citizens. The guilty ATF agents and the DOJ cover-up artists who abetted them have yet to punished.
Ms. Kelly seems to have missed my speech entirely, though I am founder of the Three Percent movement that she slanders with the false guilt-by-association conflation that is typical of her main source of “knowledge” -- the Southern Poverty Law Center, or, as I refer to it after tracking 20 years of their fund-raising claims -- the Southern Preposterous Lie Center. These liars for money have even been denounced by intellectually honest liberals. (See Alexander Cockburn’s “King of the Hate Business,” and Ken Silverstein’s “The Church of Morris Dees: How the Southern Poverty Law Center profits from intolerance," among others.)
There is little poverty at SPLC, as their bank roll is in the hundreds of millions, including accounts in the Grand Caymans. See “Southern ‘Poverty’ Law Center’s Cayman Islands bank account” at the Daily Kos, which also reports:
“For Dees, the P in SPLC has nothing to do with personal poverty. That P better stands for profit or profiteering for him, and foolish donors keep sending him checks, thinking they're helping poverty-stricken blacks or whites in Alabama move into better housing. Since we're on the subject of abodes in the Yellowhammer State, let's have a gander at where Dees lives courtesy of the May 2010 Montgomery Advertiser 60-photo feature just on his mansion, the opulent furnishings and layout, not to mention a fabulous outfit shown off by his wife.” (See “Southern Poverty Fraud Center” at Atlas Shrugs.)
As far as their “anti-racist” reputation, Morris Dees started out his legal career by defending Klansmen and his African-American employees in the 90s accused him of racial bias and discrimination. Many of the surviving Civil Rights “foot soldiers” here in Birmingham who risked their lives in the 1960s demonstrating against the tyranny of Bull Connor and his Klan friends call Dees a “Civil Rights pimp.“ When the ATF was caught in the Good O’ Boys Roundup scandal -- annual get-togethers of white ATF featuring the sale of “nigger hunting licenses” and revolting skits like “The Birth of the Black Race” (where a watermelon was cut open to reveal a black baby doll) -- Morris Dees and SPLC defended the ATF by falsely claiming that the Alabama militia videotape of this racist bacchanal was a forgery. This was later documented by the FBI laboratory to be a venal lie.
But SPLC, ATF and more recently, the Department of Homeland Security, have a very incestuous symbiotic relationship. SPLC has made millions over the years in tax-paid dollars helping “orient” federal, state and local law enforcement officers to the center’s own particular brand of PC politics that Professor Robert Churchill in his book To Shake Their Guns In the Tyrant’s Face called a modern “Brown Scare” with little factual basis.
So when the SPLC defended the racist ATF agents by lying about the evidence against them, it was protecting its own feed trough. To call them hypocrites is an insult to honest hypocrites everywhere. Yet Ms. Kelly finds them “credible” even when honest liberals do not.
But of course if your purpose is to slander a movement made up of citizens with whom you disagree and you don’t want to argue the merits of their case, then using the liars at SPLC to marginalize and belittle them makes perfect sense.
Since Ms. Kelly ignored it, may I excerpt some of my speech so that you may judge for yourselves? I titled it “One country? Or two?’ (The complete transcript is here and the video is here.)
For those of you who don't know me, if you need to pigeonhole my politics I consider myself a Christian libertarian. I believe in God, free men, free markets, the rule of law under the Founder's Republic and that the Constitution extends to everyone regardless of race, creed, color or religion. I most especially believe in the right of the people to keep and bear arms as the ultimate guarantor of liberty. . .This same principle was at the center of the civil rights movement in the 60s as was the concept of armed civil disobedience and the right of self-defense against uniformed criminals acting out their prejudices on the innocent under color of law. Few however know this part of our history.Raise your hands if you've ever heard of the Deacons for Defense and Justice.The Deacons formed black self-defense militias made up mostly of veterans of World War II and Korea (often carrying the weapons they had smuggled back from the wars) who protected the advocates of non-violent resistance. Ironic, huh? We've all heard of Martin Luther King's Gandhian principles, but few know that when he came to my adopted home town of Birmingham he slept soundly and safely because armed men like Condoleeza Rice's father guarded him with firearms in the hands and determination in their hearts. The Deacons were the Three Percenters of their time and place. And like the Deacons, we Three Percenters are here today not to break the law but rather to reinforce those laws against those who would force an opinion-driven agenda as punishment upon the law-abiding under the mere color of law. . .There is abroad in our land the growing thought that America is now in fact two countries sharing a common border and (mostly) a common language but divided along the answer to this question: DOES THE GOVERNMENT SERVE THE PEOPLE OR DO THE PEOPLE SERVE THE GOVERNMENT? . . .This is not a question whose answer can be finessed, compromised or negotiated. It is either one or the other. It is either the answer of individual liberty or that of the collectivist Borg. It cannot be both or part of either. For our part we would be happy just to be left alone. But the collectivist impulse – the tyrannical appetite – cannot be readily denied by its practitioners. . .When San Antonio enforces its leaders’ political opinions under color of law they are no better than Bull Connor in Birmingham in 1963, fifty years ago. What we have seen is not “law enforcement”: it is AGENDA enforcement under color of law – which is itself illegal and unconstitutional. When Police Chief William McManus is quoted as saying he doesn't care what Texas law is, he is declaring himself to be the modern-day Bull Connor.
Does this sound like a racist rant filled with “code words” to you? Ms. Kelly, however, has grasped the ugly truth that it is certainly easier to slander your political opponents than it is to admit that their cause may be one of justified outrage at the enforcement of personal opinions under color of law. By their conduct at the Starbucks arrests that began this battle and through the pre-rally arrest threats that McManus and his supervisors made to their subordinates, the authorities have EARNED our disdain and our defiant march for that very reason. The fact that they backed down at the last minute when faced with hundreds of armed citizens neither excuses that conduct nor does it cover them with glory. They still maintain that they will enforce their “law” a la Starbucks the next chance they are given.
Of course the real target of Ms. Kelly’s conflationist slander is Jerry Patterson, who is linked in her account with the loony Alex Jones, even though Patterson merely provided the venue for a rally at the perfectly-appropriate shrine of American liberty, the Alamo.
I can tell you from personal knowledge that Alex Jones was not on the speakers’ list I was given. He apparently dropped in from Austin on his own personal black helicopter and talked his way onto the speakers’ platform. Mr. Patterson had no inkling that Alex Jones would be bloviating until he was at the mic and Patterson was later quoted as saying that he disagreed with much, if not all, of Jones’ well-nigh hysterical speech. Still, he will be unfairly stuck with the Jones tar-baby by his political opponents, which include Ms. Kelly.
Which brings us back to the questions posed in my speech: Are we still one country or are we two? Do the people now serve the government or does the government serve the people within constitutional limits and the rule of law as the Founders intended? Will the city authorities of San Antonio obey Texas law and the Constitution that they swore to uphold -- not just when thousands are watching and hundreds of law-abiding citizens armed to the teeth are there to see that do?
What will they do going forward? Enforce the law? Or continue to enforce their personal opinions under color of law?
Since San Antonio is a self-insured city and Texas law is clear that citizens can open carry unloaded rifles, one wonders how -- having made an exception for us -- they will enforce their opinions on future citizens lawfully exercising their rights without opening the city and themselves personally to civil suit.
This is the victory that Ms. Kelly conveniently ignores. The citizens of San Antonio should ask themselves ahead of time if enforcing the city authorities’ anti-firearm neuroses are worth the cost. If not, responsible adults should caution that modern incarnation of Bull Connor on their payroll -- Chief McManus -- that his days of enforcing hi opinions under color of law are over.
I’d like to share an anecdote of Chief McManus from the rally. As my friend Bob Wright of New Mexico was leaving, he encountered the Chief who, with a simpering grin, pointed over Bob’s shoulder and asked, “Is he with you?” Bob glanced back to see a fellow garbed as Darth Vader, perhaps coming from a pre-Halloween party. Without missing a heartbeat, Bob turned back to the Chief and replied, “No, he’s one of yours. He’s with the Dark Side.”
Final score: Bob Wright, 1. Chief McManus, 0.
It was the perfect metaphor for the day that was the culmination of a fight that McManus deliberately but unthinkingly picked with the law-abiding armed citizenry of Texas.
Again I ask the question: Do the people of San Antonio have the stomach to cheerfully cash the checks that Chief “Bull” McManus has written with his mouth and by his actions? Time will tell, and if necessary, we’ll be back.
But as San Antonio is a marvelous city and her people friendly to a fault, I will be happy for the chance to once again highlight Chief McManus as the arbitrary yet expensive fool that he has made of himself.
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