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No place for violence
This weekend we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was killed 44 years ago by an assassin’s bullet, but whose legacy lives on in his words and actions. Now more than ever, Dr. King’s message of nonviolence is a powerful one that still resonates.
The past year brought many challenges to our community. Violence is a part of everyday life for so many young people. But after a recent spike in violence in our neighborhoods, people have organized to say “enough is enough.” I want to add my voice to the rising chorus of mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, clergy and politicians who say let us work together to stop the violence — now. 
As the father of five young adults, I experience fear and worry when my kids are out. When I read that it’s safer to send our young men to the battlefields of Iraq than the streets of Los Angeles, I think back to the words of Dr. King, who said:
“It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence.” 
Dr. King believed in empowering all people and challenged them to help their neighbors and communities do better. We must find new ways to combat the violence in our communities or we will lose more of our children. We must promote love of our fellow man. We must make sure our public schools educate every child, and that our businesses provide opportunities for young people. 
Let’s use this day to keep the dream alive. Let us put Dr. King’s words into practice by promoting peace and nonviolence in our homes and in our communities.

How ‘progressive’ 
Within the meanly sarcastic letter from a man named Tom Becham that appeared in the Dec. 19 Weekly’s Letters page were four either falsehoods or outright lies about Americans who dare not think like the lofty Mr. Becham, for whom self-esteem clearly is not a problem. They demand to be addressed. 
Becham muses about “…the efforts of Republican governors and secretaries of state to deliberately exclude traditionally Democratic voters.” 
Oy vey! Everybody reading this should take out their driver’s license. You have just completed the backbreaking, spirit-crushing (and some believe racist) process to ID yourself as a legal voter. That’s it. 
Don’t have a driver’s license? Send your last utility bill (gas, water, etc.) to election officials to establish your identity and address and get on the voting rolls. In short, anyone who wants to vote, and is eligible, can. But you have to do some work beforehand to make it happen. Having to show your ID when writing a check to buy some shoes at Big 5, but not having to show ID to vote for the person who will have access to nuclear weapons is so obviously silly that it makes perfect sense that Democrats support it. 
Secondly, Becham kicks the dead horse of the 2000 Florida presidential vote. Didn’t feel like explaining how the Mossad took down the World Trade Centers, I guess, eh, Tom? OK, Democrats. Last time: The only way by which Gore would’ve won Florida would have involved recounting “over votes,” which were ballots on which the voter voted for more than one candidate (marking two names, punching two chads, etc.). Gore’s endless lawsuits never asked for a recount of over votes, so even if the Supreme Court had allowed a recount to go past the legal deadline, Bush still would’ve won — Gore’s bumbling lawyers never gave their client a chance to win. There. Now go back to searching for those black helicopters, Tom.
Tom continues, “Republicans also didn’t lose because Obama voters are … looking for handouts.” Really? Then what were the first 15 months of the Obama administration about?  For many, health insurance is on the “what my country can do for me” side of President Kennedy’s famous quotation from his Inaugural Address. “What do we want? Health care! When do we want it? Now!” 
All of the professionally made “Health care is a right” signs at rallies for Obamacare — what was all of that about? It was about a large percentage of Americans deciding that health care services are something that the federal government should hand out to them. If progressives get to declare health insurance as an unquestioned right and something government must provide, then why are the Tom Bechams of the world bent that conservatives like Mitt Romney merely point that out?
Lastly, the highly confident “Tom Terrific” consoles all of us on the right over the election, advising that we “should try not being misogynistic, homophobic race-baiters.” Ah, small labels from small minds. It is a sick, vicious progressive lie that the only way to attain true, authentic morality as a human being is to obediently march in line like good boys and girls (and people who “are questioning their gender”) to left-wing social dogmas on abortion, same-sex marriage and any topic that involves non-whites. Due to its vileness and belief in the absolute worst in people simply because they aren’t Democrats, these third-grade labels are highly popular with progressives, who are always willing to run others down to build themselves up. 
For all of the blubbering from the left about how “deep” and “complex” progressive thinking is, broad-brushing entire groups of Americans simply because they don’t say “how high?” when leftists order them to jump on social issues is about as “deep” as your bathtub and as complex as putting on flip-flops. 
Here’s some truth, Tom. For generations, people who don’t think as you do, sir, have been friends with, partners of, co-workers with, gone on dates with, fallen in love with, gotten married to and formed a family with, cared for, supported, encouraged, helped in times of need, seen as equal, and grown old with people of all nationalities, races and ethnicities. Conceding this on the left, though, would be conceding a huge chunk of the moral superiority that progressives are oh-so confident they have. 
Cloak your values with words like “equality,” “justice” and “compassion.” Call the other side venomous names. Rely on media to spread the word. Smugly carry on, casually dismissing anything and everything that doesn’t bend to your will as “intolerant,” Islamophobic,” “sexist” and the like. I recall all of the blue and white “Dissent Is Patriotic” bumper stickers during the Bush administration. Now though, dissent isn’t patriotic. For the Tom Bechams of the world, dissent is impossible. 
How “progressive.”


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