Tag Archives: history

It Wasn’t Always So Easy

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Filed under Ethics and Morality

The Power of Apology

Whether or not you are a Christian, this author’s view makes ethical sense to me. I’ve become upset many times by the views of people parroting the old propaganda about how killing those in Hiroshima and Nagasaki “saved more American lives”, “shortened the war” etc. We don’t know that. We can’t know that. Some believe it to be true. Some don’t.

Killing innocent people is not justified, and can’t be (in my view) by unprovable hypotheses about the positive effect the killers ASSUME the killings will have (or did have) upon future events. There were tens of thousands of children under age five killed in the two atomic bombings. There were hospitals in both cities that were obliterated. Even if you subscribe to the idea that Japan had ordered “every man, woman and child to fight to the death”, it seems insane to assume infants, toddlers and hospital patients could ever have been a threat.

Historians are on both sides of this issue. Some say the documentary evidence makes it crystal clear that once Russia declared war on Japan between the two bombings, Japanese high command sued for peace, believing they would get better terms from the Americans – thus making the bombing of Nagasaki completely unnecessary (i.e. mass murder). Other historians downplay the influence of Russia’s military actions on the outcome of the war with Japan.

I’m not a historical expert. I’m examining the question from a philosophical position of pacifism, one that rejects the theory of “just wars”.

The Workshop

I have admit, I haven’t followed American news much at all since being here.  It’s pretty much what shows up on my MSN homepage and Facebook feed.  But something, other than the horror that is the presidential campaigns for both parties, caught my eye the last few days.  Not from a lot of people, not the headline by far, but just enough to sadden me once again at the state of the American Church.

obama apologyA few of my friends have posted at how appalled they are that President Obama dared to apologize to the people of Japan for dropping the atomic bomb on them in WWII.  They point to how it saved hundreds if not thousands of lives which would have been lost in battle.  They argue that Japan deserved it after attacking Pearl Harbor.  They shout that in war, you do what you have to do and make no…

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Filed under Ethics and Morality, forgiveness, politics

Thanksgiving Trivia!

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), "Freedom From Want," 1943Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom from Want” (1943)

Here in the U.S. and in Canada, we celebrate an annual national holiday dedicated to giving thanks for our abundant good fortune.  Our holiday evolved from much older ones celebrating the gathering of the Autumn harvest.  Since we’ve been having this party for a long time, it has gathered many traditions including special foods and activities. Here’s a quiz about some of the more obscure facts related to Thanksgiving. I want you to leave the blog smarter than when you came in! (The answers are at Comment #1.)

  • The first Thanksgiving Day feast between the new immigrants at Plymouth and the resident Wampanoag tribe lasted three days in 1621. They ate venison, game birds, fish and cranberries (in pemmican). The pilgrims brought beer, but what available vegetable was avoided out of superstition?
  • What basic eating utensil was unavailable at that first feast?
  • Two of the Founding Fathers disagreed over the choice for a “national bird”. Thomas Jefferson favored the bald eagle. Who argued in favor of the turkey?
  • Sarah Josepha Hale began petitioning sitting presidents in favor of adopting a national day of thanksgiving in 1847. Abraham Lincoln acted upon her suggestion in 1863, but Sarah Hale is even better known for what work?
  • The National Football League started having big games on the holiday in 1934. That contest was between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears. When did the tradition of watching football on Thanksgiving begin?
  • There are many food traditions associated with Thanksgiving Day besides eating turkey. One popular side dish was created in 1955 by Dorcas Reilly and a team of home economists at the Campbell’s Soup Company, to take advantage of two simple ingredients Americans generally had on hand. Name the dish.
  • There’s a tradition of U.S. Presidents periodically “pardoning” a selected turkey that goes back as far as JFK, but officially retiring a bird (or two) to a farm or zoo each year began in 1987. This year’s recipients are named Mac and Cheese. Name any of the previous lucky turkeys.
  • Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade began in 1924. The first giant balloon was introduced in 1927, a likeness of which cartoon character?
  • How many calories (on average) are contained in an American Thanksgiving “one-plate”?

Why do people get drowsy after the meal? Don’t over think it.

big meal

I hope each and every person reading gets some time off for reflection in good company, with ample provisions.

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Filed under humor, Music

Happy Interdependence Day!

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Filed under humor, Music

Getting High

Oralert

One of the clinical support jobs I perform when not taking x-rays is drug testing.  We have different kinds of kits, ones that test urine and ones that test saliva.  There’s also a portable “breathalyzer” to check for alcohol consumption.  Some local companies hire us to go to their location a few times each month to do random tests.  Others send employees to the clinic.  The employer specifies what drugs are to be tested for, and in what situations to test. Continue reading

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Filed under humor, Metaphysics, Self-Esteem

Election Day Trivia

Archie Roosevelt, with Presidential pet badger Josiah, who bit visitors.

WOO-HOO!  It’s OVER!  Those suffering from arrested development will continue to whine for a bit if their man or woman didn’t win, but the wisest will progress to more important matters.   Like raking leaves, cleaning the gutters, and throwing out those stupid lawn signs. Continue reading

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Filed under humor, Music

Everybody’s Wrong!

Many bats, like this leaf-nosed one, see quite well.

We had a particularly stimulating FULL CONTACT TRIVIA contest at the bar last weekend. Continue reading

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Filed under humor, Thinking about thinking