The inevitability of war when we fear others

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Almost every day is a time to think about why we are involved in war. How supporting violence may lead to more violence. How religions taking their scriptures literally feeds pride and righteousness and leads to violence. And how nationalism can lead to fear and then harming others in an effort to preempt war.

But Veteran’s Day is not about the reasoning for war. It’s about those people who are willing to sacrifice their time, well-being, or lives for those who do not, or cannot. In an effort to protect our nation, they put themselves in harm’s way.

Remember and respect these few who are willing and able to do so.


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Today’s soldiers fighting our war become tomorrow’s veterans

The United States, the country, the citizens, you and me, our President, the Congress… we are at war. Our govt has made the judgment that it is worth putting our citizens, our soldiers, in harm’s way, spending billions of dollars, accidentally blowing up or shooting the civilians of other countries, to prevent terrorists from targeting the US.

If there was a draft, would you be making the sacrifices these soldiers are making? Not only putting their life on the line, but realizing they are going to be killing civilians accidentally?

War is a last resort.

How big a threat is terrorism to justify this perpetual war? That is the question.

What do you think?

Are we in the times of last resort? Does it feel like we are at war? If it doesn’t, then shouldn’t we feel like it is? Otherwise, what is war? And are we more willing to have one, to send troops to fight, to have civilians die, if we aren’t facing its consequences?

Thank our veterans. Then ask yourself when they should be put into the terrible conditions of war for us.

After enough time, even important things fade into the background

Things fade into the background if they’re no immediate danger to us. The aging nuclear power plant that provides power but is not in compliance with safety regulations and sits near an earthquake fault line (like the Indian Point nuclear reactor outside of NYC). Or the cost of war in lives and money that doesn’t effect you… yet. Or the bank that continues to go into debt making risky bets because the government bailed them out by also going into debt. And without making cuts in government services…yet.

Last week the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, made an interesting announcment. The company lost over $2 billion dollars continuing their risky betting. Now, this is a fraction of their hundreds of billions of dollars in income. (Income, not profit: They have 3 times as much debt as assets.) So is Dimon preparing us for worse to come? Maybe. Or is he trying to establish an environment of acceptance of risky betting? Dimon said the investments were a “terrible, egregious mistake” but “we maintain our fortress balance sheet and capital strength to withstand setbacks like this.” Was this a PR move to instill trust in a market that is losing it?

In 1912, JP Morgan, the founder of this company, was speaking in a testimony with Congress. He was asked whether banking debt is based on money or property.
He answered that it was about character, “before money or anything else. Money cannot buy it…Because a man I do not trust could not get money from me on all the bonds in Christendom.”

Do you trust a market where you buy things like a television? How about a market that buys…money? There’s a big difference that needs to be appreciated. One is in the business of creating cheap goods and services for money. The other is in the business of creating money. One is less government driven and difficult to corrupt, while the other is more government driven and much easier to corrupt. What they have in common is that the consumer decides whether to buy their goods or services.

And that consumer is you and me.