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I am a self proclaimed coffee addict and Executive Director of a non profit missions agency working primarily in the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Ensenada. I've been married for over 30 years to Chelle, and we have one grown son, Joseph, a graduate of Auburn University in Alabama.

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day 2011; A Great Idea

[from the scranton times-tribune]

Comments on "Memorial Day 2011; A Great Idea"


Blogger Leslie Parsley said ... (5:53 AM) : 



Blogger Beth said ... (9:46 AM) : 

I beg to differ, this seems to say that those who have died for their country have died in vain, and I don't think that is so.


Blogger Tim said ... (10:28 AM) : 

To say that a soldier has never died in vain is a very naive statement indeed. We had a young man die while I was in boot camp. He went to the corpsman complaining of stomach pains and for his trouble was accused of malingering and forced to run laps around the grinder. He collapsed and died right there at age 18. Turns out he had an intestinal blockage that needed surgery.

Commanders have acted stupidly and squandered their manpower many times. Pickett's charge comes to mind. The trench warfare of WWI is another example of commanders stupidly following obsolete tactics that caused the death of thousands of men in an instant.

War is nothing more than killing, so let's not glorify it. It's a dirty, barbaric business and enticing young men to kill by giving them parades and pretty uniforms to dress up in and march around in formation doesn't change that.

Yes, we must honor the fallen. But let's not pretend that war is noble. It is justified at times but represents a failure of two countries to resolve their differences through diplomacy.

Did not Christ say to love your enemies?

So Dave in my opinion, you have nailed it concisely!


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (11:07 AM) : 

No Tim, I think you nailed it...



Blogger Beth said ... (6:46 PM) : 

I think those of you who think we need not fight against evil are the ones who are naive.

Do I wish we didn't need an army to defend us and to fight for those in need? Yes, I do. However, is it realistic? Unfortunately not.


Blogger Tim said ... (7:03 AM) : 

I said it was justified at times. But let's not pretend it's a football game. Whether the current wars we are in are "justified" is open to debate.
Certainly Iraq was not. It is also debatable whether staying in Afghanistan now that we killed bin Laden makes sense. Pakistan of course would love to have us stay to "fight terrorists", as long as we continue to pay them for the privilege.
So Beth, 10 years after 9/11, bin Laden killed, Saddam Hussein and his sons dead, tens of thousands more killed, thousands of our military killed and tens of thousands wounded and/or disabled, I ask you: have you had enough killing? When will you be satisfied that we are finished?


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (7:13 AM) : 

Beth, the interpretation that you took from the cartoon was not what I saw, but to each his own...

Tim did say at times war is justified...

I know many consider Jesus' call to love your enemies naive and unrealistic, but the Apostle Paul predicted as much when he said in Corinthians that the world would find think Christians were nuts for following Jesus.

Is this a case of that?

WHile we may not agree, we cannot dismiss Jesus' radical call to love our enemies and I am not sure killing hem measures up to that standard.


Blogger Tim said ... (7:35 AM) : 

Yes Dave, we must love our enemies, and even Buddhists believe this. Enemies teach us how to be patient and how to compromise. Even though we are at war we must always leave the door open for peace. Obviously, it is no sin and and not counter to Christ's teachings to defend your country if it is being attacked, but overseas adventures with nebulous philosophical underpinnings are much more troublesome.


Blogger Beth said ... (9:30 AM) : 

I missed something Tim, who died and made you the decider of what killing is justifiable?


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (11:13 AM) : 

Beth, it's his opinion. Just like you have yours, and hopefully people can learn to, or agree to disagree agreeable.

Though I must admit, people from all walks of life, and political spectrums seems increasingly unable, or unwilling to do this.

However as for war being justifiable, only one group of religious leaders found the war in Iraq to meet the classical definition of justifiable, and they were the Southern Baptists, headed by Richard Land.

All other major religious groups in the United States did not believe that the Iraq war measured up to the criteria laid out by St. Thomas Aquinas in his "Summa Theologicae."

Of course we can disagree with that, but the fact of their disagreement cannot be disputed.

Perhaps that is because Secretary Rice expanded our view reasons for war to include a "Grave and gathering threat" as opposed to a "Clear and present danger."


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (11:46 AM) : 

I think part of the issue has to do with this.

As people, we want things a certain way. We believe things work better when they are a certain way, and we hold firm to those beliefs.

But what do we do, or which path do we choose, when those beliefs seem to run counter to the teachings of, in our case, the bible, or in the case of the Bhuddist, the noble 8 fold path?

Are we willing to follow our faith position, even if it seems counter productive to what may be our empirical knowledge of what is the better path?

Certainly Jesus, Socrates, and many others, chose instead the path of self denial, to the point of death, in order to be true to their faith.

To me, that becomes the central question regarding faith. When push comes to shove what is it that we, like Jesus, Socrates, Ghandi, or MLK, will die for? Is it a faith position, or something else?


Blogger Beth said ... (12:33 PM) : 

No, Dave, when it comes right down to it, leftists by and large justify actions done by their own kind and are hypocrites. Abortion in their mind, a-okay for whatever reason the mother says, but have a policy that says "you are with us or you are with the terrorists" and act upon that policy, and the same leftists who love abortion vilify you. Never mind that information from a person captured in Iraq led us to bin Laden (if that was bin Laden) but our presence there is wrong, explain that one if you could.


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (1:32 PM) : 

Beth, what are you saying no to?

People from the right do the same thing as it relates to hypocrisy.

They are critical of liberals for advocating the same policies that conservatives have pushed for years. And to top it off, they then call those same policies socialist.

How else to explain that the mandate for everyone to have health insurance, signed into law by President Obama, over mass objection by people calling him a Socialist for that action, was in fact introduced into the health care debate over 20 years ago by Republicans?

Why were not those Republicans, some of whom are now running for President, also called Socialists?

As for abortion, why is it that people on the right assume everyone who does not support government intervention between a woman and her doctor, supports abortion? Is there no room for a principled stand that says "I am against abortion, and I am against the government being involved in that situation?"

Can someone be pro-life and anti-government?

As for bin Laden, he was captured as a result of initial intelligence from Khalid Sheikh Muhammad [KSM], if reports from former Bush Administration officials are to be believed.

KSM was caught on March 1, 2003 in Pakistan, as a result of the Afghanistan War, which no one in the world questioned. We had been attacked by forces from that country, and the entire world saw our actions in that country as justified.

The Iraq war did not start until later that same month.

So, as a point of fact, the war in Iraq had nothing to do with the capture of bin Laden, it was the result of our war actions in Afghanistan.

But returning to the point of the cartoon, why would it not be honoring to our soldiers for our government to find ways, or work towards ways, to avoid war?


Blogger Beth said ... (1:35 PM) : 

Why do you assume that the government doesn't try to avoid war?


Blogger Tim said ... (3:12 PM) : 

With all due respect, why is it that you are taking your argument anywhere that you feel you need to go in order to win it. What in the heck does abortion have to do with Memorial Day?

Also, when you question whether or not we really got bin Laden, I have a hard time taking you seriously.


Blogger Beth said ... (7:33 PM) : 

Feeling is mutual, Tim.


Blogger Tim said ... (5:37 AM) : 

I think bin Laden death deniers are right up there with people questioning whether Obama's birth certificate is real. Coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs.
It amazes me that these right wingers see a post on Memorial Day saying let's try to avoid war a little harder is an attack on Republicans and feel they have to defend war. Beth, I hope your kids never have to fight in a war. I ask you again when will there finally be enough killing for your satisfaction over there? How many more have to die?


Blogger Beth said ... (5:46 AM) : 

I simply think that this cartoon did a disservice to anyone who has died fighting for what they believe was a good reason. May I remind you that our military is voluntary, and that men and women have joined since the war in Iraq started knowing they could be sent there. But whatever, you go ahead and try singing Kumbaya with the terrorists and hope that they'll play nice instead, yeah, that'll work.


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (6:31 AM) : 

Beth, as someone on the right who believes the left is hypocritical, and I agree that sometimes they are...

Is the right ever hypocritical?


Blogger Tim said ... (6:56 AM) : 

Well I'm sure Dave is very sorry for offending your patriotism (lol)! And on Memorial Day! Dave, how could you (lower lip quivering as I choke back a tear)...

It's fine to get teen age kids jacked up to fight for their country by feeding them a lot of garbage about how it's their duty as Americans to go kill another human being half way around the world and possibly get killed or disabled themselves but Beth is OFFENDED by a cartoon! My God! We can't have that. I'll bet when Obama gets us out of there finally she will be crowing at the top of her lungs that he "lost" the War on Terror for us because he's an "appeaser". Never mind that Bush couldn't get it wrapped up when he was in office. I'm sure she would be happy to stay there forever as long as her kids are tucked in their beds safe from any danger. I'd call that a Sunshine Patriot.
I have children that are or will soon be of age to go over there and they are worth more to me than this stupid, endless war. Send your kids if you want, Beth. They are not taking mine.


Blogger Beth said ... (9:31 AM) : 

Is the right ever hypocritical?

Yes, the Patriot Act comes to mind.

To Tim, I will remind you again that our military is voluntary (that means they don't "take" your kids) and they aren't kids, they are over 18 and you don't get to tell them they can't enlist if they want to. If mine wanted to enlist, I would support their decision.


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (11:57 AM) : 

I think sometimes reality is in "Yes, And" Land.

Yes! We have a volunteer force. And we have many who for lack of any other options, join for the opportunity, not to go to war, but to go school.

If someone feels there are no other options, is their choice really a free choice?

Let me give you a real world example.

Many people here decry the corruption of Mexican police on the take for the drug cartels.

But I know for a fact that often this is how it goes down. A good cop gets approached by the cartel with an offer to not commit a crime directly, but rather, just to look the other way. he is offered a monthly stipend of five to ten times his monthly salary.

But this good cop says no. And then the choice becomes this... okay, if you don't want to help us, we'll just kill your family.

So what are his choices? He is free to choose either way, but really, is he?

Decisions like this are never as straight forward as some people would like to believe. Free choice is never as free, or as easy as we might like. more times than not, it is "Yes, and" or "Yes, but."

Beth, you know Tim meant when he said kids. No matter the age, they are always our kids.


Blogger Beth said ... (1:15 PM) : 

They are our kids but you cannot control them forever, that was my point. And your example compared to our voluntary military doesn't even come close to a comparison. I'm surprised of this kind of attempt to make them in the same category from you, Dave, it's unlike you.


Blogger Tim said ... (3:15 PM) : 

You say you would support their decision now, but how are you going to feel when they get deployed to Afghanistan? Or when they come home minus legs, or in a metal box? Real Christians are against killing.


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (10:57 PM) : 

My point Beth was not to make the two seem equal, only to point out that rarely is a clear choice as clear cut as we sometimes believe...

Much like the point, I believe of the cartoon, was not to call into question the heroic service of our military, rather I think, it was to call our leaders to work a little harder to avoid sending them to war, no matter how they ended up in the military...


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (9:35 PM) : 

A few of you noticed that I stopped commenting on this thread. I did so because I had to delete a few comments lately at this and my ministry blog that had nothing to do with any post, used horrible language, and frankly were idiotic postings of some disaffected extreme right wingers.

SInce I was going to offline for awhile, I did not wish to risk some of those types of comments being read by people related to my ministry.

Since some have asked, I have reopened the comments here.


Blogger dmarks said ... (3:44 PM) : 

In restrospect, I think the Bin Laden death deniers have pretty much vanished. I'm not hearing anything from them anymore. They are complete boobs like those who believe Bush didn't win in Nov. 2000 and those who believe Obama was not born a US citizen.


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (9:45 PM) : 

Nice Dmarks... seldom do I hear the more conservative voices just own those stances...

So often we hear the weasel styles like this... "I take him at his word" etc...

I generally put those folks in the same class as the 9/11 conspiracy nuts and people who do not believe we have put a man on the moon...


Blogger dmarks said ... (8:13 AM) : 

Also belonging 100% in this group are the morons who believe Gore really won in 2000. I've read so many of their claims. One of the biggest and silliest is that Gore would have won if ballots lacking any Presidential vote would have been arbitrarily assigned to Gore.

As for "I take him at his word", are you referring to Obama claiming to have killed Bin Laden? That is what I think, actually.

Tim asked: "but how are you going to feel when they get deployed to Afghanistan? Or when they come home minus legs"

Then go after those actually responsible: the terrorists.


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (11:57 AM) : 

Well dmarks... you've got a couple of things here.

1. In my mind, Gore and the Dems need to give this one up. Yes he got more votes overall than Bush, but he still lost. because the people that know him best, those from his home state, did not vote for him. if he had won TN, he would've been president.

If you cannot win a general election in your home state, stay home. Of course this eliminate most of the GOP candidates this time around.

2. Take him at word referred specifically to the members of the GOP who could not, or would not say Obama was born in the US, choosing instead to say "I take him at his word." This also applies to people that use that same weasel phrase when asked if Obama is Christian.

Did they ever use that language before to satisfy their electorate when they disliked other candidates?

3. As for the terrorists, dmarks, there was no terrorist threat coming from Iraq when we made the decision to attack. Our actions were based on "a gathering" threat, a justification we had not used before.

If we would have stayed focused in Afghanistan, we would already be home and Saddam would be facing popular revolt in his country, like many other Middle Eastern countries this year.

Our politicians, of both parties, have completely bungled this, damaged our standing in the world, and badly spent a trillion dollars and the result is what?

Longer lines at the airport? A new generation of suicide bombers waiting in the wings? Higher gas prices? Huge deficits?

What tangible good has come out of our war strategy in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya?


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