Good comments on the last post, but the discussion is not complete until one of the subjects discussed has had a chance to sound of. Tom Hastings of the "I have been arrested... many times" fame sent me an email in response:
Sounds as though you may have a few issues with me. I appreciate your contact and hope I can help you resolve some of them.
No one ever took my lunch money, either in grade school or in prison. I wasn't nonviolent as I grew up~~just a normal hockey-playing Minnesota boy who gave and took punches and other normal hits. I kind of like contact sports, actually, though I don't think much of inflicting pain.
Nonviolence is a way to get the job done. It worked for Gandhi, for King, for Chavez, for the Philippines, for the Velvet Revolution, and so forth. It seems as though one or more of these classes might benefit your perspective and I would happily share my bibliography with you if you are interested.
The violent method of responding to conflict is now absolutely discredited by the so-called War on Terror, which has created many more terrorists. I admit nonviolence is not an intuitive response, but we are decidedly hated in more and more of the world thanks to our violence.
There is another way, Daniel.
Tom H. Hastings
While I very much appreciate his thoughtful dialogue I don't think that he addressed the main issue that I had with him. This was that he tells his students, through his bio at least, that he is proud of crimes that he has committed. And they were crimes. You don't go to prison unless you are convicted of a crime.
While I'm sure that Mr. Hastings would classify his actions as "civil disobedience" but society has laws and we don't allow citizens to rewrite them on a whim to fit there personal agendas. Our written laws are not negotiable. Advocating for "peace" or "justice" in your own way is very different than glorifying criminal acts.
As for his views on war and peace:
He lists the names of people that nonviolence "worked for."
Here is a list of names that it didn't work for:
The people working in the WTC
The people in Bali
The people on the USS Cole
The two nuns (one of whom was killed) raped by an illegal alien
Bill Clinton (Somalia, where Bin Laden learned that America was a "paper tiger")
And Jimmy Carter (unless you consider a peace prize more important than our countries honor in allowing American citizens to be taken hostage for over a year)
He also claims that the war on terror has created more terrorists. As if a 27 year old guy had no violent tendencies in him whatsoever but one day woke up and said "Damn Americans in Iraq, I think that I will strap a bomb to myself and blow up kids." This is know as a "crime of opportunity." The tendencies where there the whole time, they just needed a convenient way to accomplish them. I would rather that Iraq be more convenient than Washington DC.
And I don't care if we are "more hated in the world." I teach my kids to do what's right even when it's unpopular. If every other kid, the "cool" kids, in the class smoke pot I still don't want my kids to, even if that makes them hated, uncool, or unpopular.