Monday, September 30, 2013

The Right Version of Government Shutdown Might have Merit

   I wavering in my opposition to shutting down our government. It is now two hours into that shutdown, and our nation will be debating it come the morning sun.
   The shutdown, as presently constituted, I remain tentatively against.
   I have warmed to the idea of some shutdown, though. I have not studied enough to have a good thought on what it will do to our economy, and defaulting on our loans. I do not favor defaulting, for if we have bills to pay, we should pay them.
   But, if defunding a program means we don't take out the loan to begin with, well, I kind of like this idea. I think there are a lot of things I'd like to see defunded. And, shuttering a few government offices -- just some -- might be a way to cut into our deficit.
   I have been one of the few who likes the Sequester. If we pick and choose what we are defunding, what we are shutting down, and pick only things we have not already taken out loans for, then this could be Sequester II.
   Only bigger.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

. . . Liberty, and Justice, and Obamacare for All

. . .one nation, one payer, indivisible, with liberty and justice, and Obamacare for all. Now, if the Pledge of Allegiance gets rewritten that way, I don't think I want to take such a pledge.

Sooner or Later, the Piper Must be Paid

   Spend your way to prosperity: It's an axiom so obviously false. Yet, as a nation, we trully do believe it. Whenever our economy really gets in trouble, we give it a high dosage of stimulus spending because, well, we intend to spend our way to prosperity.
   But, behind the prosperity comes the piper. Sooner or later, the piper must be paid

Friday, September 27, 2013

In Politics, if You Don't have a Dime, You Don't have a Horse

  When it comes to politics and running for office, there is a rule:
   If you don't have a dime, you don't have a horse.
   America abounds with rags-to-riches stories, but there might not be a single such story on the political landscape. Not many janitors are back in Washington. Of the bunch in D.C., I would guess not a one made less than $40,000 before being elected. Not a one. And, I'm sure, not a one was elected while spending $40,000 or less.
   Not a one.
   Because, in politics, if you don't have a dime, you don't have a horse.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Party Should Include all its Members

   Utah is considering switching from a caucus-convention system to a system in which all the candidates are in the primary. Turning the decisions over to the voters is fair. They are the ones who should be selecting our leaders. It has been argued that the party ought to be able to select its own candidates. While that is true, who is the party? Is it the few, the party activists, just the convention delegates? Or is the party all the people who belong to it -- all them? I think it is fair to let the full party membership be the party, not just the insiders.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Does the U.S. Deserve Its Credit Rating?

   Ever wonder how a country can be $17-plus trillion dollars in debt and still have a AAA or AA+ credit rating? I do. Some would measure the largest debt by GDP to debt ratio, which is fine, and the U.S. might fare okay. But, I do wonder how the U.S. would rank if you just took the total debt, $17-plus trillion, and determined how many countries have ever owed more.
   And, a triple A rating, just the same, you say?
   Well, I read how a country's likelihood to default is the centerpiece in determining what its credit rating will be. And, the U.S. is considered a sure bet to pay its bills. I read how as long as we can print as much money as we choose, we can print enough to cover all our bills, so we deserve a AAA rating.
    Great, let's get the presses rolling. Paying our $17-plus trillion just became an easy thing.
    Actually, I don't think it would be as easy as all that.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Government Intimidation for Downgrading Bond Rating?

   So, I'm reading along, wondering if there is any chance Standard & Poor's might again lower the U.S.'s credit rating as the U.S. again waits to the last moment before funding its bills. At the very bottom of the wikipedia article, it says another credit rating firm, Egan-Jones, lowered the U.S.'s rating not just once, but three times, and that after the second downgrade, the SEC voted to bring administrative action against Egan-Jones for a years-old situation.
   A touch of extortion or blackmail here? At any rate, I do not like it. This story might be a year and a half old, but it is still newsworthy. Our nation should not engage in such tactics.

Monday, September 23, 2013

'Read My Lips: No New Tax Cuts'

   This is not a small matter, to me, our federal deficit. I wish we had a politician brave enough to say, "Read my lips. No new tax cuts." And mean it. But, instead of moving towards balancing the budget, we are moving towards expanding it into brave new worlds.
   Obamacare: With 48 percent of the currently insured estimated to be in line to each receive $5,500 tax cuts, what are we thinking? How much does the average taxpayer pay? I word searched, but could not find out. I only know $5,500 will be a sizable chunk to be chopping of half the taxpayers.
   Food Stamps: The number of recipients has doubled since 2007, and no less than one in seven are now on Food Stamps. Can we sustain placing so many people on the federal government's tab?
   School lunch: A new program, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, could bring free lunches to the larger share of all students. Every student in the qualifying schools will be fed at the federal government's expense. The program is to be effective throughout the nation in the 2015-2015 school year. The HHFK, if I might call it that, might have a modest beginning -- only $4.5 billion now -- but I do wonder but what that might increase.
   So, those are just three of the things I know are happening to our federal budget. With how great of a need there is to decrease our budget, I lament to see such programs forcing us the other direction.
   Well, No new tax cuts needs to be only part of the solution. No new federal programs? Perhaps we cannot ban any new program, but for the large part, yes, no new programs.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Did Jeremiah Know Way Back Then of the Latter-day Saints?

   I hold in my hand a biblical scripture, and wonder if it speaks of the church I ascribe to. I only know that if this prophecy was about another thing, it well could, also, be applied to this church. My thought is that it simply does, most indeed, apply this church, being a prophesy floating down to us through the ages.
   You must read it. You must consider it, for if a biblical scripture speaks of this religion in the mountains of Utah -- if God spoke to prophets way back then of this church -- that is of great interest, or should be, for you live among this people and would want to know there is a scripture that seems to apply to them.
   Mine is a religion that believes in an apostasy. We believe that while churches remained, they no longer were of God. That much fits in with what our scripture says, "Woe unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord." (Jeremiah 23:1)
   The next verse also speaks of the flock being scattered due to lack of care from the pastors. Then, the passage gets very thought provoking, as we consider if it is speaking of the people often called "Mormons." "And I will gather my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase."
   The people of this church have come from all over the world. In the early days of the church, many left Scandinavia, and England, and other parts of the globe. They came by ship, then crossed the American plains till they reached Utah. It is a gathering like no other church has known, to be compared only with the gathering of the Jews to Israel. Think of that, as you read the words of this scripture, "I will gather my flock out of all countries."
   And, it says, "they shall be fruitful and increase." The Latter-day Saints have prospered. Their numbers have increased. They have been one of the fastest-growing churches in America.
   These people of my religion believe in a restoration, that a time was to come when truth would be restored, and leadership of Christ's church reinstituted upon the earth. So, perhaps it stands as words of witness, what the next verse says: "And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord." (Jeremiah 23:4)
   We must consider on such things as this, on this passage. A person can find whatever else turns him (or her) from this religion. But, this passage counters what doubts may be. This passage seems so clearly to apply to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Day America almost Blew Part of Itself Up Unveiled

   A nation's faults should not be its secrets. I think of the news that two hydrogen bombs were accidentally dropped over North Carolina in 1961. A safety maneuver kicked out parachutes, and the bombs landed without exploding.
  But, can you imagine this news has been kept secret from the American people for 52, almost 53 years? While I have one Facebook friend who says he knew about the event more than a decade ago, the Guardian spins the story as new. (Maybe just the source of the story, an account written by Parker F. Jones years later, is new.)
   I think of the 2007 attack upon innocent people by American soldiers in New Baghdad, Iraq, in 2007, of how the soldiers above in helicopters saw people walking down the street, with one carrying what they decided was a weapon -- it turned out to be a camera as he was a journalist -- and the helicopters swooped in and shot them dead. When a van pulled up to haul the dead away, they shot it up too. When one of the passengers in the van turned out to be a child, they suggested the people shouldn't be bringing children to a battle.
   And, they kept it a secret -- classified information. It was not until 2010, when Pfc. Bradley Manning leaked the information to WikiLeaks that the American atrocity was unveiled. Manning, as you know, was recently convicted for releasing such information.
   America's crimes should not be its secrets. We should not seek to cover up the bad we do, but rather should do all we can to apologize, and to try to mend the damage in any way possible. We should mourn over those who were killed, and mourn over our grave mistake. That is a free and open and honorable society. That is what we should aspire to be, not a nation of cover-ups.
   We should not prosecute truth. We should not prosecute the telling of truth.
   So, Saturday's news that America almost blew up a part of the Eastern Seaboard with two hydrogen bombs? Why should it have been kept secret for so many years? What part of "national security" is it that keeps us from revealing the truth?
   The document detailing the near nuclear disaster was declassifed, allowing it to be released when journalist Eric Schlosser made a Freedom of Information search. But why was it classified all those years? Why?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

When the Gun Becomes the Enforcer of Pride

   Just because we have the right to keep and bear arms, doesn't mean we should, said a caller-in named Julie on the Doug Wright Show.
   I think of a news story I read last night, of two people in a road rage, killing each other in a shootout at a car wash in Michigan Wednesday. Had they not been carrying guns, the disagreement would not have escalated into a shooting. The chances of death would have been a whole lot less if neither had a gun, and maybe less if just one of them had a gun. There is a tendency, when the other guy has the upper hand, to drop your pride, back down and let the other guy win the argument.
   Pride can kill. Not sure its worth that. When the gun becomes an enforcer of pride, then we are better off without our gun. More, pride is one of the social ills behind the gun violence in our nation.

Social Ills are the Problem behind Guns

   It is the social ills that bring gun violence down upon us, not the guns, themselves.
   Heard a bit of the Doug Wright Show today, and he indicated social ills are the problem. He had a caller-in who said she has mental problems, and therefore chooses not to have a gun. Just because you have a right, doesn't mean you exercise it, she said.
   Doug Wright agreed, and, if I heard him correctly, said that might apply to those who have mentally ill family members and others who might be prone to using the gun. Wright mentioned something else -- was it violent movies? -- as a social ill.
  Me, I think our propensity to use the weapon is a social ill. I think too many worship the gun, in a way. The social ill comes when they they would blow away another person who would dare to rob them in their home. That is a social ill. Courts don't punish burglars with the death penalty; why should we?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

True, that One in Seven are on Food Stamps?

   Is it true, that one in seven are on Food Stamps? Is it true that since 2007, the number on Food Stamps has doubled, going from 22 million to 45 million?
  Oh, it is very true that we need to care for those in poverty, that we need to fight hunger, and that we need to find a way to get them food. I'm wondering but what food banks and voluntary community efforts should not be emphasized more.
   Because government cannot afford to be feeding one in seven people. And, consider, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also know as SNAP and better known as Food Stamps) is but one of the federal programs feeding America.
   I do not say these people should not be fed. Although I do favor having them work in exchange for what they get, I do say let us find a way to feed them.
   But, the answer doesn't have to be government, and the reason why not should be clear and obvious. We do need to control our government spending, need to cut it. The $16.7 trillion debt demands that we not spend anything we do not have to. If private groups can fund our hunger efforts, we should not be spending federal dollars.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

We Need not a Law that Justifies Murder

   Learned today that George Zimmerman told Sean Hannity he had never heard of the Stand Your Ground law. Bless George Zimmerman, but it does seem he had heard of the law. In 2010, he took a college class in criminal justice where Stand Your Ground was part of the course work.
   Stand Your Ground teaches not to retreat, but to match the fear of death with the force of death. I do wonder but some take the law as justification to bring death down upon their opponent. I have said in the past that what we teach each other about when to use guns makes a difference in whether the weapon is used unnecessarily. I do, much, wonder but what the Stand Your Ground law is used by some to justify their act of killing another person.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Interpol not the Answer for Syria War Crimes

    Oh, my friends, though many of you distrust international organizations, we must consider them as we consider this Syrian thing. Syria has broken international law, using chemical weapons. Now, if a law is to have any value at all, it must be enforced.
   So, we must consider the international organizations created to enforce such laws.
   Shall we begin with Interpol? It is charged with policing crimes against humanity, and war crimes. Surely, then, Interpol, which has 190 member nations, should police Syria's offense. Problem is, its constitution forbids it from getting involved in political matters. Is Syria a political matter? I don't know. I only know that provision in the organization's constitution prevented it from going after Nazi war criminals until the 1980s. I only sense a reluctance on the part of Interpol to quickly attach itself to such matters. Second problem: the organization's constitution does not allow military intervention. Now, just how is Interpol going to go in and take a head of state, or any of Syria's leaders, without military involvement? Perhaps such a kidnapping in the name of justice might be possible, but it would be extremely difficult, at best.
   Next, consider the International Criminal Court. Alas, no, I must go to bed.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Eyes Back to George Zimmerman

   Comes George Zimmerman, again, more news about him, and it stirs us to considering his case again, and what he did, and whether the Stand Your Ground law let him off the hook unjustly.
   The latest news is that the police chief agreed with someone when it was suggested Zimmerman is a Sandy Hook waiting to happen. I only thank Zimmerman that he is keeping himself in the spotlight because I hope it will keep the Stand Your Ground laws in the spotlight. Laws that turn criminals into patriots are not good laws. Was Zimmerman justified in killing Trayvon Martin? I don't think so. What if we turned the case around, and asked if Martin was justified in trying to kill Zimmerman? Zimmerman approached Martin. Martin feared him -- probably feared for his life. Was Martin then justified if he were trying to kill Zimmerman?
   Well, I take too long to make the point I wanted to make when I thought to write this blog. If a law takes away from the jury the right to determine if the killing should have taken place, and gives that determination, instead, to the person doing the killing, that is an unjust law. Just because we make a law giving a person the right to kill does not make that killing morally right.
   I do believe in self defense. I do. But, I do not believe in a law that gives the person doing the killing the right to serve as their own jury. If a person can claim self defense too easily, you have a loophole in your murder law. Not a good thing.

Friday, September 13, 2013

We Should also Measure Unemployment this Way

   Comparing unemployment today to the 25 percent felt during the Great Depression (1933) is a little of an apples-to-oranges comparison. Back then, they didn't have the social nets we have today. Nowadays, if you are receiving enough social assistance that you don't need a job, you are not counted among the unemployed. This might measure need and poverty more accurately than a counting of everyone who doesn't have a job, but it would be helpful if we also had a measurement of those who are not working, period, regardless whether someone is supporting them.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rumors of War

   War seems to threaten at every turn. Shouts come from Iran, rumblings from North Korea. The moment may be passing, but the threat of going to war in Syria loomed large.
   Rumors of war.
   There are wars we engage in, and threats of wars that don't materialize into actual wars, thankfully. I believe we should reflect: Are the wars and rumors of wars the same wars and rumors of wars prophecied by Jesus Christ? As he sat upon the Mount of Olives, His disciples came to Him, and asked what the signs of the last days would be. "Ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars," the Savior answered. ". . . Nation shall rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom."
   As much as any place in the world, it is happening near the Holy Land, in the part of the world where the Savior made His prophecy.
   You can leave such thought alone, saying it is not of political concern, and not of concern to you. I say, it is important. My thought is, if it is happening, what of it? It does seem, from what I know, there has been a continuous march of war and rumor of war for the last 150 years. While there have always been wars and rumors of war, it does seem the concentration of them has been greater.
   I think of a revelation from my own religion that speaks of wars. The prophecy said a war would start in South Carolina -- that would be the Civil War -- and then war would be poured out upon all nations. It does not go unnoticed to me that two world wars came after the Civil War, nor that wars have dotted the globe ever since the Civil War. There probably has not been a lapse of much time, if any at all, when a war was not being waged somewhere upon the earth since the Civil War. Whether this is normal for all the history of the earth? I do not know for certain, but it seems not so. It seems war is more continuous.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wish I Knew More about the Capture of Maaloula

   Because it is said it is the oldest Christian community in all the world, because it is said it is the only place on earth still speaking the language Christ probably spoke, I wish I knew more about the Syrian rebels' capture of this city the past week.
   Maaloula, high in the mountains above Damascus, what value is it to them?
   Did the rebels simply place a military presence there, claiming a town that to that point had been ignored by both sides? Or did they battle government forces there, taking it away from them. Why were many of the Christian residents forced to flee? Did they flee to get clear of the battle between the rebels and the government forces? Or did they flee in fear of the rebel forces?
   There is another "because" causing me to want to know more about the rebels' takeover of Maalula. Because I would like to know if the rebels are good guys or bad guys, I'd like to know more about their capture of Maaloula.

Assad's Government Might Still be on the Hook

   Yesterday, I wrote of how we should punish Syria for using chemical weapons, for if no one will police an international law, then there might as well be no international law. Perhaps the response is that we do have an international court of law. And, the UN is an international policing agency. So, why not leave to the cops the matter, for it is their responsibility, not ours?
    I don't know how all is set up, in international law and international justice, to know why there have not been calls of outrage demanding that such international powers step in. I believe Russia's veto power has shielded Syria from UN condemnation to this point. With Russia now calling for dismantling the weapons, the door has opened for the UN. Thus, more reason that we take the offer to dismantle the weapons. The interesting thing to me is that if the deal is that the U.S. will not take action if Syria dismantles the weapons -- if it is only the U.S. that cannot come after Syria if this is done -- then it would seem Syria remains on the hook to answer to international law. It would seem the international court still has not only the right, but the responsibility to seek out Assad's government for the international crime of using chemical weapons.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

If there is no Policeman, there is no Crime

   If mankind has been wise in making an international law against chemical weapons, we should listen to Obama. Because that law means nothing if we do nothing.
   There is a principle some believe in, that says if there is no law, there is no sin. You're right, it is a scripture from the Book of Mormon. I do not know that it applies here, but I do wonder. It says, "And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery." My understanding of the scripture is that if there is to be good and bad, there needs to be punishment for the bad. I do think chemical weapons are bad. I do think it good that we not allow them, for they are a weapon that could yet cause much harm upon the earth. Perhaps it is inevitable that they will be unleashed yet more, but it seems wise to discourage their usage as much as possible.
   So, as President Obama spoke, and as he considered whether we should be policeman to the world, I thought of the above scripture, from my faith, and I thought, If there is no policeman, then there is no law against chemical weapons. If no one is to enforce the law, then the law is of no effect.
   Well, perhaps with Syria's saying it will disarm itself of its chemical weapons, that is enough. But, news analysts who spoke after Obama's speech told of the years and years it can take to investigate and rid a place of chemical weapons. They spoke of how it might not be possible to do so while a civil war is raging in Syria.
   Bless the the world if it does make efforts, if it does succeed, though it take a decade. The use of these weapons is a crime, or should be. But, if there is no effort against them, then there is no crime.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Should We Take Out Bashar al-Assad?

   On a day of welcome news that Syria might surrender its chemical weapons, I found myself giving thought to a limited engagement.
   As in, target Bashar al-Assad, surgically remove him, and consider whoever replaces him probably cannot be any worse. Remembering how we sought out Osama bin Laden, who was hiding, it would seem an easier task to seek out Assad, who is not. If killing bin Laden was justified, what of Assad? Or, would this be a dangerous trend, for we surely cannot make a practice and taking out every foreign leader who earns our sharp disapproval.
   I felt sorry for bin Laden and sorry for Saddam Hussein. I would feel sorry for Assad. But, yes, part of me wonders if it would be the right thing to do. Just part of me. I'm not decided.
   More, I wonder if this is what President Obama has in mind. No big mass attack. Just Assad, and we're out. And, I believe Assad must be fearing it. Today's news included him saying the order to use the chemical weapons cannot be pinned on him. Why would he worry about it being pinned on him, individually, unless he feared we might come after him, individually?
   And, if he is willing to dismantle and turn in the chemical weapons, that, too, is a sign he might fear for his life.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Government Buying Meals for Those Who Can Afford Their Own

   Would seem to me a rather large expense if the federal government were to start feeding all the school children breakfast and lunch in a number of our schools.
    Well, I open my paper to see that is what is happening. If 40 percent of the students benefit from Food Stamps or certain other programs, then not only them, but everyone in the school gets a free breakfast and a free lunch. I do not know how many schools nationwide are going to qualify, but I know $4.5 billion has been approved for the government feeding program.
   It's all part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Now, with our nation scrambling (at least, it should be scrambling) to save here and there, to curb the national deficit, I cannot imagine we should be buying breakfast and lunch for such a sizable number of kids whose parents can afford to buy it on their own. If 40 percent are on assistance, that means 60 percent are not. Sixty percent are getting the food gratis even though their parents can afford to get it for them.
   Just a few select cities are in the program so far, but it is to be available throughout the nation in the 2014-2015 school year. I believe Congress should reconsider before 2014-15 rolls around.

Friday, September 6, 2013

'Tis Privacy the Freedom Issue of Our Times?

   Privacy, what with the NSA and all, is it not the most vital freedom we should be pursuing this day? Is it a matter the Founding Fathers could not see, but one that is now upon us that we should be seeking to assert and defend, even as we have pledged to be vigilant and guard our freedoms?
   Or, are we to just understand that this is the nature of our times, that things are "shouted upon the roof tops," that we simply live in a day when our phone records and comments on the Internet and things that we do, by nature of our times, are public and open to see. Do we say, Freedom is not the right to keep secrets, and an open society is not a bad thing.
    I consider the truth of both sides. I am not prepared to choose which thought I hold the closer to.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

War is on Every Tongue

   So, the nation's eye has turned to Syria, and we all talk of whether to go to war. We hear threats of reprisals from various corners. We hear theories for why Obama wants to conduct the military engagement. We fear a regional war, and we feel concern for doing nothing.
   We hear details of what will be involved in the limited attack, and we think of the "Shock and Awe" that kicked off the Iraq War.
   I do not know whether the meme below, found on Facebook, is true. Is the vote to be Sept. 11? That is interesting, if true. I doubt the part about our effort aiding al-Qaeda. That seems a twist. We do not know that al-Qaeda will come to power if the rebels win, so to spin it as a war to aid al-Qaeda is to take one of the possible outcomes, and discard the rest.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Science Stands More Against, than in Favor of Evolution

   I do so wonder why some claim evolution of man is a scientific fact. I do not see that. At all. I find the theory flies in the face of scientific evidence. If evolution is a law of nature, it does not stop. If man evolved once, why not again? If we have evolved, why would we not evolve some more? Or, why should a second advanced species not evolve? Why must we look back at all of recorded history without seeing one incident of man evolving from another being, or another being evolving into man?
   If science is to be science, these things must be considered as not only the lack of scientific evidence for the evolution of man, but the presence of scientific evidence against the evolution of man.
   Though I wonder that indeed the evolution of man might have occurred, it does seem science and the evidence we have stands against, not for it.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The End Result is as Important as the Initial Attack

   Will be true, if we go to war, that we do it to make good on our word -- or on President Obama's word --  that chemical weapons were a red line Bashar Assad was not to cross.
    But, we will also be going to war to make a statement that lives count, that the 1,400 lives lost (or however many) mean something. Now, if lives are a value that brings you to war, they should be a value that guides you in that war. You should have an eye towards what the end result will be. Will it bring an environment where more people are endangered, or an environment of peace, with a stable government? We should be conscious of the risk of killing innocents during our attack, and seek to avoid it, for how do you right the death of 1,400 by accidentally and incidentally killing some more?
   I read with interest today an article suggesting Israel does not want Bashar Assad dethrowned. they fear the unknown devil that might come, more than the one already there.
   We, too, should consider what might follow, should we remove Assad.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Can Peace be what We Seek in Going to War?

   So, you'd think this is my decision, so much thought am I giving it. To war, or not to war? This is the question.
   I come to remind you tonight that we might be looking at a limited engagement. We might just . . . well, the thought has occurred to me, we might just go in and surgically remove Bashar Assad. Saddam Hussein? Osama bin Laden? We've targeted the head man before.
   I do believe we should consider what will happen if a new government comes in, and try to ensure the people there will not only have more freedom, but more security from war. I believe peace should not only be an objective, but perhaps the strongest objective. I do not see the carnage of future war as something we should look past. If we are to intervene, it should be with an eye on bringing peace.
   If we are to be concerned about the 1,400, or however many, who lost their lives to chemical warfare, should we not also consider the lives yet to be saved? If the value of lives is our reason for entering a war, it should be the commodity we seek to have obtained when we exit the war.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Thought Two from David O. McKay on War

   The same talk by David O. McKay that I quoted in the other blog I just posted, also includes this:
   "War impels you to hate your enemies.
   "The Prince of Peace says, Love your enemies.
   "War says, Curse them that curse you.
   "The Prince of Peace says, Pray for them that curse you.
   "War says, Injure and kill them that hate you.
   "The Risen Lord says, Do good to them that hate you."
   I love this quote, these thoughts, as when we reflect on them, we can see these attitudes of cursing the enemy and wanting to hurt and injure others do exist in the hearts of those who are overly quick to embrace war.
   Elder McKay went on to say:
   "Thus we see that war is incompatible with Christ's teachings. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the gospel of peace. War is its antithesis, and produces hate. It is vain to attempt to reconcile war with true Christianity.
   "In the face of all this, I shall seem inconsistent when I declare that I uphold our country in the gigantic task it has assumed in the present world conflict, and sustain the Church in its loyal support of the government in its fight against dictatorship."
   Elder (later to be President) McKay then offered other thoughts, including the one I blogged of moments ago. 

Thought One from David O. McKay on War

   As we consider whether to go to war in Syria, 'tis not amiss that those of us who belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints should consider what David O. McKay, then second counselor in the church's first presidency, had to say in a 1942 General Conference of the church.
   "There are, however, two conditions which may justify a truly Christian man to enter — mind you, I say enter, not begin — a war: (1) An attempt to dominate and to deprive another of his free agency, and, (2) Loyalty to his country. Possibly there is a third, viz., Defense of a weak nation that is being unjustly crushed by a strong, ruthless one."
   The rebels in Syria do not represent a separate nation. What to say, then? Do we still say they are the same as a nation, a weak nation being unjustly crushed by a strong, ruthless one? I think we might.
   But, the question remains to me, for I have not studied the rebel forces well. Are they seeking freedom for the people, or will they lead to just another regime?