Catching up

Non-Halloween related stuff. Same rules: family oriented, no flaming, be nice. ;-)
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Re: Catching up

Post by Murfreesboro » Tue Apr 23, 2024 8:16 am

Well, it was my great-grandfather, my father's grandfather, who lived in his son's (my grandfather's) house in his old age. And my mother's grandfather was also a Confederate veteran, though he was murdered? Committed suicide? Died accidentally of a gunshot wound? when her father was two. I'm pretty sure his father-in-law (my 2nd great grand) also fought.

It's pretty well known that most of those who fought for the Confederacy were not slave owners. My father's grandfather came from planters who did own slaves, but my mother's family did not. Most of them fought because the war was in their backyards. They couldn't not fight.

And the slave owners themselves were not rabid racists. There's a great anecdote about R E Lee after the war. He was Episcopalian and was attending a church service that a black man also attended. During communion, the black man went forward to the rail to partake. Now, in the Episcopal church, communion is common cup, which means that everyone sips the wine from the same chalice. This is still true today. It is a great symbol of equality before God. So when the black man went forward to take communion, the whole church froze. Robert E Lee, who knew everyone was watching him and would follow his example, went forward for communion.

When I was a little girl attending the Episcopal church in Jackson, MS, in the early '60s, this very issue of integration during communion caused a big brouhaha at our church. So I'd say that Robert E Lee was at least a century ahead of his time on the subject of race relations.

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Re: Catching up

Post by Murfreesboro » Tue Apr 23, 2024 7:55 pm

WW2: my father fought in WW2, as did every man of that generation in my family. All my uncles, 4 blood kin, and 3 by marriage. Also my FIL. My father saw especially hard service in Europe. He was in both the Battle of the Bulge and the Bridge at Remagen. He was a Combat Engineer, which means he was in the group that defused land mines ahead of the infantry, and then stayed behind to set new ones. That group did particularly heroic service at Remagen.

I'm not aware that he ever suffered PTSD at home, but he did get hospitalized for it in Europe at some point after Remagen. On his deathbed in 1962, he told my mother, "Well, I got twenty years more than that German I killed." So I guess he felt guilty about having killed in battle. However, he also told her that, since he survived it, he was glad he'd participated in that war, as it was the greatest drama of his generation.

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Re: Catching up

Post by Andybev01 » Wed Apr 24, 2024 4:15 am

My dad served in the pacific theater aboard the destroyer escort Ulvert M Moore, under the command of FDR Jr.

Fun fact; in the opening scene of 'On The Town' (1949) the ship can be seen in the background.
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Re: Catching up

Post by Murfreesboro » Wed Apr 24, 2024 7:40 am

Oh, interesting. Several of my uncles served in the Pacific theater. Both my mother's brothers, one of my father's, and possibly my aunt's husband, who was in the Marines. But I don't know the details about any of them. Another uncle by marriage served in the Coastal Artillery off shore in North Africa. That war got those guys all over the place.

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Re: Catching up

Post by Andybev01 » Thu Apr 25, 2024 2:49 am

Thus...World War.
All you that doth my grave pass by,
As you are now so once was I,
As I am now so you must be,
Prepare for death & follow me.

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Re: Catching up

Post by Murfreesboro » Thu Apr 25, 2024 8:11 am

Lol. Yep, i walked right into that one.

But there really hasn't been a war like that during my lifetime. In my parents' generation, everybody was involved in the war effort somehow. Not only did every man of military age serve, but there were so many civilian sacrifices, too. Things like food rationing and victory gardens, etc. Everybody was in it together. I can remember Vietnam and of course the Gulf Wars. There wasn't that same sense of universal commitment, not even after we were directly attacked.

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Re: Catching up

Post by Andybev01 » Thu Apr 25, 2024 11:19 am

We seem to be in a new paradigm, a digital cold/civil war if you will.

'But though it is unreal it is not meaningless. It eats up the surplus of consumable goods, and it helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that the hierarchical society needs.

War, it will be seen, is now a purely internal affair. In the past, the ruling groups of all countries, although they might recognize their common interest and therefore limit the destructiveness of war, did fight against one another, and the victor always plundered the vanquished.

In our own day they are not fighting against one another at all. The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact.

The very word "war," therefore, has become misleading. It would probably be accurate to say that by becoming continuous war has ceased to exist.' -Orwell
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Re: Catching up

Post by Murfreesboro » Thu Apr 25, 2024 4:06 pm

Orwell was so smart, and so prescient.

I think Marxism is still at the root of our troubles. My generation thought we'd won the Cold War, and we let our guard down. But the Marxists never stop, because, in spite of their claiming to be atheists, their political philosophy is their religion.

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Re: Catching up

Post by Andybev01 » Fri Apr 26, 2024 1:48 am

I will give that an unironic, amen.
All you that doth my grave pass by,
As you are now so once was I,
As I am now so you must be,
Prepare for death & follow me.

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Re: Catching up

Post by MauEvig » Sat Apr 27, 2024 11:19 am

If war is so commonplace and a necessary to keep society afloat, then what of peace? Why doesn't society value peace more?
I suppose the obvious answer is money. War generates profit, but at what expense? It seems money is more valuable than human life. Sad but true.
I feel like a good utopian society would involve a peaceful world without conflict and strife and a booming economy with plenty of opportunities for everyone. And to top it off, we'd all have the kind of careers that made us feel happy and satisfied in life.
Maybe that's a pipe dream. Would certainly be nice though.
That said I have been looking into side hustles and passive income streams. But getting started up front requires a lot of hard work and dedication. The internet makes it easier to set up a shop without a lot of upfront cost, but you really have to have a good product that people want. And people have to know about it. Creating the demand and getting your work out there, that's the challenging part. It's a bit discouraging sometimes.
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Re: Catching up

Post by Murfreesboro » Sat Apr 27, 2024 12:13 pm

I think war is recurrent and inevitable because human nature is flawed. The Peaceable Kingdom envisioned in the Bible happens only after humanity has been redeemed and Christ has come again. Before that, I honestly think healthy capitalism is the best we can do. But I do envision a healthy capitalist society as one in which small business flourishes more than these massive international corporations. I think our Founders envisioned a nation of yeomen farmers and small businessmen, not these multinational behemoths. And maybe it's because of my Cold War childhood, but I really distrust socialist utopias. None of this economic/political talk is within my area of expertise, though. It's just the way I see things.

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Re: Catching up

Post by MauEvig » Sat Apr 27, 2024 12:32 pm

I wouldn't say I'm a fan of socialism either. I've come to see "utopia" as simply a perfect world. But most stories about alleged utopias typically involve a problem hidden from society's view in some way. The Giver comes to mind. The existential problem in The Giver is that when people outlive their usefulness or are no longer an asset of society or following society's rules, they are "released."
What the main character doesn't realize, until later on in the story is that "released" means they are killed.
A true utopia seems impossible without some outside supernatural force intervening.
You could argue that a "healthy capitalist" society and a free market are the closest to a real utopia we can get, sans God stepping in and wiping the slate clean. Socialist utopias are a farce because even if things are peaceable, the cost is freedom and the government has total and complete control.
Society needs rules and laws in order to function. A central government is still necessary, but humans are imperfect beings and thus there's always going to be some form of corruption at some point. People are selfish by nature, and power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
My kind of "utopia" would play into everyone's strengths, regardless of physical or mental capability. But there would still be free choice. We just need the right balance and everyone do their part. Eastern philosophies benefit the group, Western philosophies benefit the individual. Both have good points, but both are fundamentally flawed. I think we just haven't found the right balance yet. A lot of it might involve compromise and learning to put aside our differences for the greater good.

As the Khajiit from The Elder Scrolls would say, "Perfect society is always Elsweyr" which is a play on words meaning "elsewhere."
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Re: Catching up

Post by Murfreesboro » Sat Apr 27, 2024 10:21 pm

When I was at Mary Baldwin, I had dinner once with Lois Lowry, who wrote The Giver. I was one of two profs who'd been tapped potentially to teach children's lit, so both of us had dinner with her when she came to speak. Ultimately the other woman taught the children's lit course. But it was a fun evening. I believe The Giver is the only book of hers I've read, although I --think-- Number the Stars, about the Holocaust, might have been her most awarded title at that time.

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Re: Catching up

Post by TheHeadlessHorseman » Sun Apr 28, 2024 5:09 pm

War - The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. - Most often assumed to have been said by Thomas Jefferson, though it isn't a direct quote from him.

War - What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. - lyrics from the song War by Edwin Starr.

Utopia is a bad word... just ask Mr. Rabbit. Someone here might get that reference.

MauEvig - did you watch Knuckles yet? We watched the full season, I won't give spoilers, but I will say It was a good show.

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Re: Catching up

Post by Murfreesboro » Sun Apr 28, 2024 6:28 pm

Actually, war is good for lots of innovations in technology and medical science. For example, weather radar came out of war. So did sonar. Magnetic resonance imagery (MRI). And medical science has advanced as it has struggled to cope with injuries brought on by newer techniques of destruction. Nuclear energy came out of research for the atomic bomb. Digital technology was developed by the army for communication. Not a popular idea, perhaps, but a truth. War spurs innovation. The Germans invented jet airplanes during WW2. My father, who was a soldier in Germany at that time, told my mother that they had no idea what the jets were when they saw them, and they were terrified. Of course, everybody knows those same German scientists were the ones who developed the rockets for the moon landing.

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