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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Commit to peace

May 28, 2014

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To the editor:

“I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain,” wrote John Adams to his wife.

You could quibble about this in detail, but he sets a vision that led my grandfather to serve in the War to End Wars. My father served in the crusade in Europe. The outcome was supposed to be an end to the scourge of war.

Certainly we owe a debt to those who have served, and the material in the paper is a fine reminder.

But what is wrong with us now that we seem hopelessly committed to a war system, a war economy and the continued deaths and wounding of our young people?

Wear your poppy, visit the cemetery or the war memorials. But also open your hearts to peace and take a small step to ending war. A friend says, “Anything is infinitely more than nothing.” I renewed my membership in the United Nations Association of the United States.

Comments

7 months ago

Painting, poetry, music, and architecture, and the rest that are mentioned are of little use in our society today. Today it's all about the bottom line of course, money and the taking of it from those that used to or would like to practice painting, poetry, etc. A military style police force is needed obviously, to keep them in line when the get hungry. There is also an intelligentsia of sorts that diminishes decent, between what seems to be a large part of society aiding and abetting the police, and yet another smaller group buying their weapons for fear of a government take-over who then would do away with things like the Constitution and say, the minimum wage and replace it with Sharia Law. I don't know...you tell me...

Fred Mertz 7 months ago

The government has already done away with the Constitution, not completely but in bits and pieces. Consider how many wars, excuse conflicts, we've fought without Congress actually declaring war.

Fred Mertz 7 months ago

As far as I can tell the music and architecture industries are thriving. Who has taken money from poets and painters? Not giving tax dollars to them is not the same as taking from them.

Who advocates Sharia law?

Bob Smith 7 months ago

"...Who advocates Sharia law?..." Well, those Boko dudes to name one group.

Fred Mertz 7 months ago

Yes, but question, though not specifically stated, meant which Americans?

Scott Burkhart 7 months ago

Ok, Seth. Here is the longer version. I find it laudable to urge peace in a world of chaos and strife. I find it laughable to read letters from people that seem to think that all we need to do to have that peace and harmony is to lay down our weapons. In my opinion, what Anna misses in her letter is that the price of freedom is paid with free men's lives. When a people a threatened or endangered, the United States is the first to offer aid. Whether it be guns or butter, we are the first. In terms of conflicts, I would rather fight our enemies, perceived or real, on their turf and not on ours. We have already fought two wars in our towns, neighborhoods, and farm fields. The things that those wars stood for are great and noble. Others in this world deserve the opportunity to live in freedom. The way that is done is generally by the business end of a weapon. Now, we can have a "just war" discussion but the bottom line for me is defending freedom anywhere in this world that it is threatened. BTW, I am a veteran so I have no reservation in asking those in today's military to carry out this noblest of missions.

Seth Peterson 7 months ago

I agree with your initial sentiment, but believe you are quite off-base with the rest. I think Anna seems to understand the price of freedom and encourages a better use of that cost. It's should also be pointed out to you that she is not talking about wars for or defending freedom (we're not in many of those now).

It's about our constant need to be involved in conflict and our willingness to spend more, both in money and in lives, to be in these conflicts, rather than using what those lives have given us - freedom.

A few corrections as well:

"The United States is the first to offer aid." - This is often false, and we use our refusal of aide to abuse other country's systems to gain profit or power.

You also seem to be under the illusion that the United States fights to promote 'freedom' and give needed opportunities to other countries. I don't know if this has ever been true, it certainly hasn't been with wars we've fought for the last several decades.

The wars we have now are promotional battles geared towards profit mongering and geographical control. If we really wanted to defend freedom we wouldn't be attempting to go to war with countries just because we didn't like the outcome.

Leslie Swearingen 7 months ago

"Painting, poetry, music, and architecture, and the rest that are mentioned are of little use in our society today."

All of those are hard wired into the human brain and essential to mind and spirit. Look up the history of musical instruments and how far back they go and how many kinds there are in every culture. All of those things are being used and appreciated by most of us every day.

Granted, there will always be those who only thing of the bottom line, but face reality and accept that a business must turn a profit in order to stay in business.

But, our society, which is a rather vague term, loves to sing, paint, write and design. By the way I think that wall of buildings which face the alley should be painted white and street artists should be encouraged to take advantage of that and so share their form of art with us. It would add a lot to Lawrence and I bet that street art contests would bring in a lot of people.

Leslie Swearingen 7 months ago

Sorry, got off topic there, maybe. As far as war is concerned people are going to fight each other until the sun goes nova.

Richard Heckler 7 months ago

What seems to be the guiding principle behind today's defense and foreign policy?

"Rebuilding America's Defences," openly advocates for total global military domination” (Very dangerous position which threatens OUR freedoms and the nations security) http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Project_for_the_New_American_Century

Our aim is to remind Americans of these lessons and to draw their consequences for today. Here are four consequences:

• we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global protection for Wal-Mart,Oil,Coca Cola,Pepsico,diamonds,gold etc etc etc

• we need to strengthen our ties to dictator regimes friendly to American interests and Bogus values;

• we need to promote the cause of the political right wing and economic rape for corp USA abroad;

• we need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in forcing others to accept our corrupt principles.

Such a war mongering policy of military strength and immoral clarity may not be fashionable today. But it is necessary if the United States is to build on the extortions of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness no matter how many innocent USA soldiers die.

War has yet to establish world peace only dead and injured soldiers not to mention trillions to tax dollars going into a money hole. Stop the War and Bring the TROOPS home.

Scott Burkhart 6 months, 4 weeks ago

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