So much has been said in the last 46-plus years about the importance of remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his life's accomplishments, that it seems almost beside the point to mention how shocked and awed he'd be at the destruction of our democratic governments today by internal elements, and yet totally on point.
Having been attacked for his beliefs, Paul Craig Roberts speaks from the heart.
For us all.
When he asks "where is his replacement?"
Today (January 19) is Martin Luther King Day, a national holiday.
King was an American civil rights leader who was assassinated 47 years ago on April 4, 1968, at the age of 39. James Earl Ray was blamed for the murder. Initially, Ray admitted the murder, apparently under advice from his attorney in order to avoid the death penalty, but Ray soon withdrew his confession and unsuccessfully sought a jury trail.
Documents of the official investigation remain secret until the year 2027.
As Wikipedia reports, “The King family does not believe Ray had anything to do with the murder of Martin Luther King. . . . The King family and others believe that the assassination was carried out by a conspiracy involving the U.S. government, and that James Earl Ray was a scapegoat. This conclusion was affirmed by a jury in a 1999 civil trial against Loyd Jowers and unnamed co-conspirators.”
The US Department of Justice concluded that Jowers’ evidence, which swayed the jury in the civil trail, was not credible. On the other hand, there is no satisfactory explanation why documents pertaining to the investigation of Ray were put under lock and key for 59 years.
There are many problems with the official story of King’s assassination, just as there are with the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy. No amount of suspicion or information will change the official stories. Facts don’t count enough to change official stories.
Many Americans will continue to believe that having failed to tar King as a communist and womanizer, the establishment decided to remove an inconvenient rising leader by assassination. Many black Americans will continue to believe that a national holiday was the government’s way of covering up its crime and blaming racism for King’s murder.
Certainly, the government should not have fomented suspicion by settling such a high profile murder with a plea bargain. Ray was an escapee from a state penitentiary and was apprehended at London’s Heathrow Airport on his way to disappear in Africa. It seems farfetched that he would imperil his escape by taking a racist-motivated shot at King.
We should keep in mind the many loose ends of the Martin Luther King assassination as we are being bombarded by media with what Finian Cunningham correctly terms “high-octane emotional politics that stupefies the public from asking some very necessary hard questions” about the Charlie Hebdo murders, or for that matter the Boston Marathon Bombing case and all other outrages that prove to be so convenient for governments.
Those gullible citizens who believe that “our government would never kill its own people” have much understanding to gain from knowledge of Operation Gladio and Northwoods Project, about which much information is available on the Internet and in parliamentary investigations and officially released secret documents.
This effort to silence all critics of Israeli policies applies also to Israelis and Jews themselves. Israelis and Jews who legitimately criticize Israeli policies in hopes of steering the Zionist State away from self-destruction are branded “self-hating Jews” by the Israel Lobby. The Lobby has demonstrated its power to destroy academic freedom and to reach into private Catholic universities and public state universities and both block and withdraw tenure appointments of candidates, both Jews and non-Jews, who have incurred the Lobby’s disapproval.Read the whole essay here.
I see Martin Luther King as an American hero. Whatever his personal failings, if any, he stood for justice and for the safety of every race and gender under law. King actually believed in the American dream and wanted to achieve it for everyone. I am confident that had I confronted King with criticism, he would have considered my case and responded honestly regardless of any power he might have held over me.
I cannot expect the same consideration from any western government or from the trolls that operate in comment sections provided by Internet sites in hopes of boosting their readership.
Gullible and credulous people are incapable of defending their liberty. Unfortunately these traits are the principal traits of western peoples. Western liberty is collapsing in front of our eyes, and this makes absurd the desire by Vladimir Putin’s Russian opponents to integrate with the collapsing western states.
From another uniquely gifted American writer and thinker:
From Mesopotamia to Mark Twain, the question has remained the same for thousands of years — who's laughing now?
By Lewis H. Lapham
Well, humor is the great thing, the saving thing, after all. — Mark TwainTwain for as long as I’ve known him has been true to his word, and so I’m careful never to find myself too far out of his reach. The Library of America volumes of his Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches and Essays (1852-1910) stand behind my desk on a shelf with the dictionaries and the Atlas. On days when the news both foreign and domestic is moving briskly from bad to worse, I look to one or another of Twain’s jests to spring the trap or lower a rope, to summon, as he is in the habit of doing, a blast of laughter to blow away the “peacock-shams” of the world’s “colossal humbug.”
Laughter was Twain’s stock in trade, and for thirty years as best-selling author and star attraction on America’s late ninteenth century lecture stage, he produced it in sufficient quantity to make bearable the acquaintance with grief that he knew to be generously distributed among all present in the Boston Lyceum or a Tennessee saloon, in a Newport drawing room as in a Nevada brothel. Whether the audience was sober or drunk, topped with top hats or snared in snake-bitten boots, Twain understood it likely in need of a remedy to cover its losses.
No other writer of his generation had seen as much of the young nation’s early sorrow, or become as familiar with its commonplace scenes of human depravity and squalor. As a boy on the Missouri frontier in the 1830s he attended the flogging and lynching of fugitive slaves; in the California gold fields in the 1860s he kept company with under-age murderers and over-age whores; in New York City in the 1870s he supped at the Gilded Age banquets of financial swindle and political fraud, learned from his travels that “The hard and sordid things of life are too hard and too sordid and too cruel for us to know and touch them year after year without some mitigating influence…”
Twain bottled the influence under whatever label drummed up a crowd — as comedy, burlesque, satire, parody, sarcasm, ridicule, wit — any or all of it presented as “the solid nonpareil” guaranteed to fortify the blood and restore the spirit.
Humor for Twain was the hero with a thousand faces, and so it shows itself to be in this issue of "Lapham’s Quarterly," seen to be wearing a Japanese kimono or a Buddha’s smile, dancing to tunes called by Chris Rock and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, striking poses rigged by Samuel Beckett, Dorothy Parker, Charlie Chaplin, and Molière. The text and illustration show but don’t tell, the purpose not to present a collection of the best tales ever told by a fool in a forest, but to suggest that since man first knew himself as something other than an ape, he has looked to laughter to bind up the wound of that unfortunate discovery.
He who laugheth too much, hath the nature of a fool; he that laugheth not at all, hath the nature of an old cat.
- Thomas Fuller, 1732
With Groucho Marx I share the opinion that comedians “are a much rarer and far more valuable commodity than all the gold and precious stones in the world,” but the assaying of that commodity — of what does it consist in its coats of many colors, among them cock-sure pink, shit-house brown and dead-end black — is a question that I gladly leave to the French philosopher, Henri Bergson, Twain’s contemporary who in 1900, took note of its primary components:
The comic does not exist outside the pale of what is strictly human...Laughter has no greater foe than emotion.... Its appeal is to the intelligence, pure and simple. Our laughter is always the laughter of a group...must answer to certain requirements of life in common.Which is to say that all jokes are inside jokes and the butts of them are us, the only animal that laughs but also the only one that is laughed at. The weather isn’t amusing, neither is the sea. Wombats don’t do metaphor or stand-up. What is funny is man’s situation as a scrap of mortal flesh entertaining intimations of its immortality, President Richard Nixon believing himself the avatar of William the Conqueror, President George W. Bush in the persona of a medieval pope preaching holy crusade against all the world’s evil.
The confusion of realms is the substance of Shakespeare’s comedies, as a romantic exchange of mistaken identities in "As You Like It," in "Measure for Measure" as an argument for the forgiveness of sin:
“But man, proud man,Spleens in the Elizabethan anatomy give rise to mirth because they also produce the melancholy springing from the bowels to remind man that although unaccountably invested with the power to conceive himself a vessel of pure and everlasting light, he was made, as were toads, of foul and perishable stuff. Apes play games in zoos and baobub trees, but not knowing that they’re bound to die, they don’t discover ludicrous incongruities between the physical and the metaphysical, don’t invent, as does Rabelais’ Gargantua “the most lordly, the most excellent” way to remove the smell and fear of death from the palace of his “jolly asshole”, by wiping it first with silk and velvet, lastly and most gloriously, with the neck of a “well-downed goose.”
Dressed in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he’s most assured,
His glassy essence, like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As make the angels weep; who, with our spleens,
Would all themselves laugh mortal.”
Scene from The Possessed Girl, by Menander, mosaic in Villa of Cicero, Pompeii, by Dioskourides of Samos, c. 100 BC. Naples National Archaeological Museum, Italy.