Saturday, April 21, 2007

Evil

William F. Buckley has weighed in on the Virginia Tech shootings with the most insigtful comment I have yet seen (emphasis added):

"So you are left with the most violent shooting attack in American history committed by someone you don’t have an apparatus for successfully disqualifying or isolating.

We need, then, to return to the paradox: The most modern scientific methods aren’t refined enough to discover the most dangerous people in our society.


Pretty soon we’ll forget, not the horror of what happened, but the presumption that we can discover and attack evil, other than by the cultivation of biblical rules for human behavior."

8 comments:

Colette said...

Greetings Squire.

What do you think about the comments recently made by military people (and their families) - about how the flags have been flown at half mast for the kids at VT but not hardly at all for our men/women in uniform who have given their lives for this country?

I was pretty incensed by that as well...not that the victims of VT should not be remembered/honoured - but what about how we don't seem to care about those who have died fighting for our freedom...

Just wondering what you feel/think...

Best,
C -

Country Squire said...

Colette,

I can not say that I have read anything about military families feeling this way, however, it would not surprise me. Our military as well as their families have been sorely abused over the years, even as recently as yesterdays vote in Congress. If someone thought being in uniform would get them respect in today’s America – they thought wrong. If these folks truly want the approbation of their fellow countrymen then they should ditch their military careers and become contestants on American Idol.

But to answer your question, we must acknowledge that these are two completely different sets of circumstances; the Virginia Tech murders were unarmed civilians killed by a madman whereas our military casualties were the result of soldiers doing their duty which they trained for and volunteered for. While this does not make the loss of soldiers any less significant, it was always a possibility in the career they chose. I don’t think anyone enrolled at VTech consciously acknowledged the possibility that they would be murdered by one of their classmates in the course of their studies.

I do think the Virginia Tech students should be mourned by the nation and one of the gestures we use during mourning is to fly the flag at half staff. I also think we should honor the sacrifice of our military more routinely than just Memorial Day. In addition, our military personnel should be accorded much greater respect than they have ever received during my lifetime. They should be treated as the heroes they are and held up as models to be emulated and admired.

“We sleep comfortably in our beds each night because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalves.” This is the way it has always been and it is not likely to change anytime soon. We need a group of citizen warriors, exercising their free will, to protect and defend our country; not just armed mercenaries in our employ. No threat can stand against an army of free men. And if we are to continue as a society, we will need to place a much higher value on their service to our country.

Coldie said...

I actually think that our milirtay men ought to be offended by our country, if I was part of our military, and was to die, I would want that flag flying as high as it will go, because that is how the real "America" would have it! Back in the day of real war, it was the flag that stood, and each man that died holding it was replaced by another, because that flag was that important. Our stupid govenor on MI, has that flag at half staff every single day, you would think our president died! But hey, w/e you people find it respectful so be it, but I dont think that our founding Fathers would have.

Country Squire said...

Coldie,

Just for you sweetheart - this is section 7m of the flag code:

"The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. On Memorial Day the flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff. By order of the President, the flag shall be flown at half-staff upon the death of principal figures of the United States Government and the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, as a mark of respect to their memory. In the event of the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries, the flag is to be displayed at half-staff according to Presidential instructions or orders, or in accordance with recognized customs or practices not inconsistent with law. In the event of the death of a present or former official of the government of any State, territory, or possession of the United States, the Governor of that State, territory, or possession may proclaim that the National flag shall be flown at half-staff. The flag shall be flown at half-staff 30 days from the death of the President or a former President; 10 days from the day of death of the Vice President, the Chief Justice or a retired Chief Justice of the United States, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives; from the day of death until interment of an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a Secretary of an executive or military department, a former Vice President, or the Governor of a State, territory, or possession; and on the day of death and the following day for a Member of Congress. The flag shall be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day, unless that day is also Armed Forces Day."

Coldie said...

well thank you Sir, but that still doesent mean I agree =) I just think that it would be a little more patriotic if the flag stood high during war!

Country Squire said...

Sweetheart - I don't think we really disagree about this subject. It's just that there are times when we should lower the flag as a great sign of respect. The rest of the time it should be flown high! Mine flies 24/7/365.

Coldie said...

I agree, I think at certain times it is needed to fly it at half staff, like when a president or vice president dies. But to say that when every single military man in Iraq dies lets fly our flags at half staff, well it would never fly high again! So yes, I do think we agree, I unfourtantley do not own a flag :(

Country Squire said...

Well guys, maybe things are improving faster than I thought possible; I've just got to share this.

I was with M'Lady and our young squire coming out of that evil retail establishment whose name must not be spoken (unless it is to flog the capitalist system; money grubbing bastards that they are). Outside stands a soldier dressed head to toe in camo getting ready to light a smoke. A young family walks up, dad, mom and two youngsters in shopping carts, and dad stops, shakes the soldiers hand and everyone says “Thank you!”

I found it heartwarming from across the parking lot and apparently so did the soldier. She smiled and said “You’re welcome!”

Now that’s the kind of recognition I was talking about in my previous comment.