published Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Don’t be so quick to judge others

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Don’t be so quick to judge others

I found a recent letter concerning the state of the military which struck me as too quick to jump to conclusions about conscientious objectors and pacifists, among others.

Just because someone doesn’t have the courage or will to join the military doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about the state of the country and its military endeavors. Not everyone who chooses not to engage in war is someone who has not engaged in it previously. As someone said, in a fictional comic book setting, “Men who have seen battle are often the ones who hold life most dear.” This is not to say that there aren’t exceptions to this who view war as an end in itself as opposed to a last resort means to the end of lasting peace.

Even such gun enthusiasts who exist in Tennessee would probably realize that the goal of the Colt Peacemaker was just that, preparing for war so that peace would prevail.

It’s a razor’s edge, however, with issues ranging from gun control to military engagement overseas to American military exceptionalism that pervade the political climate today. We may step into the abyss and not be able to turn back. I sincerely hope not.

JARED COWAN

Sewanee, Tenn.

Benefits promise is what it is

Inmates shouldn’t be expected to subsidize operation of their institution. Chattanooga’s proposed “adjustment” of public safety benefits equates to that.

A paper trail surely substantiates pay and benefits promised. At the very least, there was a verbal “gentleman’s” agreement. Given Lt. Terry Knowles’ rank, (letter, April 27) he’s delivered his contracted responsibilities. Perhaps his benefits are more than they might be if the deal was struck today. It is what was promised.

Consider this: A man mortgaged a home when interest rates were higher than today. He signed a note, looked agents in the eye and promised to pay. He can no longer afford that payment and notifies the bank that, due to economic conditions, and taking into consideration his “Cadillac” rate of interest, he will adjust his payment downward. The bank is expected to take the loss … and like it.

Two legal promises, both documented. The firefighter is helpless to prevent a breach of promise and must take it and like it. Case number two simply ain’t gonna happen. What’s more, the bank can retaliate to the greatest degree.

What’s the difference? I don’t see one, except that the word “promise” evidently has a different definition depending on where it’s used.

JOHN SHIVERS

Calhoun, Ga.

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ToHoldNothing said...

It's not that I don't necessarily have those capacities, but moreso that I don't feel compelled by anything, not even ethics, to join the military, since I don't feel we should automatically resort to violence to solve any problem that comes along.

And I hope you don't consider me a liberal, not that the term is always infused with negative connotations, since in the U.K. liberalism is closer to conservative values in the U.S.

May 2, 2011 at 11:50 p.m.

Hey Toholdnothing, Why don't you get your facts straight before ranting? I have been a member of our military for six years and we do not resort to violence to solve all problems. But since you never had the courage or fortitude to serve in the military, I would not expect you to understand. Yours is a typical cowards response

May 3, 2011 at 10:48 a.m.
ToHoldNothing said...

When did I say England was my country in any sense? I consider myself American, but that's purely accidental. My politics is another thing entirely and it might align with any kind of national politics. I don't consider myself overly political though, since the notion of a fair and equal election doesn't exist with a two party system.

I agree we don't need a draft, since we've clearly got plenty of volunteers even in my own generation. Probably half of my class has been in at least basic training and in fact one of my classmates at least has been K.I.A. I respect people's choices to join in the military, but I don't respect people who presume to know my motivations for not joining the military, or voting for that matter.

May 3, 2011 at 5:57 p.m.
ToHoldNothing said...

I should've qualified my statement about the military's use of violence to solve problems. It seems to me the military focuses too much on violence as the primary means to ends, and even can be argued to view violence and conflict as an end in themselves, particularly with the conflict we have now that may never end.

If the military isn't balanced by pacifists of various types, then we risk going into a war hawk culture that has little to no capacity for negotiation, truces and compromise of any sort and would instead resort to threats to get their way and exert their dominance on everyone else. That's why I have no desire to join the U.S. military, it's become a glorified ideology to advance American exceptionalism

May 3, 2011 at 6:01 p.m.
chet123 said...

libertarian...what you mean liberal look down...liberals are the military...most war casualties come from working class..while fat cat as dick(chicken hawk)chaney, rush limbaugh,donald trump,apply for defrment LOL LOL..george bush love military so much he went awol in the National Guard LOl LOL LOL ..just keep shooting off the mouth thats the only thing conservative shoot..their mouthsLOL LOL LOL

May 3, 2011 at 11:03 p.m.
chet123 said...

libertarian said he beleive in a volunteer army....just what i thought he would say...so he wont have to go!!!only the boys who cant afford to go to college,,or the boys who cant find employment...what a coward!!! He love money too much...that his alliance(money,money)

May 3, 2011 at 11:09 p.m.
Leaf said...

What is this strange assumption that people who don't join the military have no courage? Most people just want to do different things.

May 5, 2011 at 9:39 a.m.
ToHoldNothing said...

Leaf, here's the link to the letter I responded to; tis at the bottom of the page of letters though

May 6, 2011 at 2:35 a.m.
LibDem said...

Here's an old Liberal who volunteered for service in the Army. I think the draft in its day was a good thing. I see many youngsters today who might benefit from a few years of military service though they may not qualify and the military doesn't want the expense of teaching basic skills.

May 6, 2011 at 12:27 p.m.

Hey Toholdnothing

You must be proud of how ignorant you are when you presume to think that the military uses violence to solve problems. If you weren't a coward and had actually served you would know that we ALWAYS use negotiations whenever possible and we pull the trigger only as a last resort. But I guess I cannot expect a gutless weakling like you to understand. Since you obviously don't know what you are talking about why don't you shut your mouth?

May 10, 2011 at 9 p.m.

Hey Toholdnothing,

One more thing. If you do not like the way America is run, then get out and go back where you came from. You're not wanted here

May 11, 2011 at 11:23 a.m.
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