8 reasons against using Drones (and 2 for using Drones)

 Here are 8 reasons to morally oppose President Obama’s Counterterrorism strategy of using drones (remote controlled robots) to target and kill people.

  1. Violates International Law which prohibits targeted assassinations outside of a legally declared war.
  2. Violates other Country’s Sovereignty. Pakistan has asked us nicely to cut it out.
  3. Little transparency or accountability. Attacks are remotely controlled by the CIA in Air Force bases in the United States.
  4. Sets a dangerous precedent. “He who lives by the sword will die by the sword” principle
  5. Perpetuates constant warfare.  No risk of troop loss makes it easier to use violent force to respond to conflict like in episode 23 of Star Trek “A Taste for Armageddon”.
  6. Kills innocents.  Hundreds of innocent people have already died in drone attacks even though they are alleged to be very precise.
  7. Promotes the idea of the global battlefield. A borderless battlefield renders just war meaningless and exit strategies impossible
  8. Creates anger “Al Qaeda’s best recruiting tool”

 

2 reasons to use drones:

  1. Defense against monster aliens – If monster aliens attack the Eastern Rim we will be prepared to fight them with giant robot clones.
  2. Keeps terrorists on their toes and watching their backs instead of preparing new terrorist attacks. 

Notes: the 8 points are from an article from Duane Shanks (p 19 Sojourners July 2013) which I thought were worth memorizing in my own words. The 2 counter points are by me.

 

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9)

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Elizabeth Coli found in an under cooked hot dog (or the toy store)

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The reason that giving massive amounts of antibiotics to farm animals is dangerous is not because the antibiotics may remain in the meat and we humans might get too much antibiotics in our system. It is because the antibiotics will kill all but the most dangerous and most antibiotic resistant bacteria in Mr. Cow. The antibiotics will not kill us, but the super antibiotic resistant bacteria that we eat might make us sick.

Here is a Consumer Reports Petition about it: http://notinmyfood.org/

more information: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/04/17/177601237/in-meat-tests-more-evidence-of-human-illness-tied-to-farm-antibiotics

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Robots are replacing migrant workers

Migrant workers who pick lettuce, strawberries and oranges are being sent back home, and there are not that many Americans who want their jobs of kneeling and picking in the hot sun all day for subsistance living wages. Farmers are watching the fruit rot on their trees waiting for somebody to pick them. What to do?  Well they are beginning to use robots. At first this was a very slow and tedious process, but there is a company called Vision Robotics that has figured it out. You use 2 robots working as a team – the first robot is the eagle-eye scout. Mr. Eagle Eye scans the orange tree and draws a 3D image of where all the ripe oranges that need to picked are, and calculates the most strategic way to pick all the oranges. He sends this image to his eight-armed octopus robot friend who strips the oranges off the tree, 8 at a time! Problem solved!

Farms Fund Robots to Replace Migrant Fruit Pickers

 They also have a strawberry plant sorter robot as we head to the fully automated Farm of the Future!

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Abraham Lincoln’s Historic Gettysburg Address updated

Abraham Lincoln Statue at the Gettysburg Visitor Center

Abraham Lincoln Statue at the Gettysburg Visitor Center

150 + four score and seven years ago some of our parents brought forth to North America, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal.

Now we are engaged in the 150th anniversary of that great civil war, that tested whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war (Gettysburg). We have come to re-dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this, although a little redundant-

Since, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, now all dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will  long remember what Abraham Lincoln said here, just like it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living in 2013, rather, to be dedicated  to the unfinished work which they who fought in Gettysburg have nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom— and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

by To The Moon and Abraham Lincoln

The  un-updated Nov 19, 1863 Version

 

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The 4 Toms of Pennsylvania

1. Thomas Mifflin – first governor of Pennsylvania, 1 of the 39 signers of the Declaration of Independence, expelled from the Quakers for being an officer in the Revolutionary War and became a Lutheran, famous portrait with his wife Sarah, spent all of his money and buried at government expense in Lancaster, PA (b. 1744 d. 1800, gov 1790-1799)

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2. Thomas McKean – 2nd governor of PA, 1 of the 39 signers of the Declaration of Independence, first chief justice of PA, father of 10 children, buried in the Laurel Hill cemetery in Philadelphia (b 1734 d. 1817, gov 1799-1808)

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3. Tom Ridge – 43rd governor of PA, did not sign the Declaration of Independence, Republican, appointed first Secretary of Homeland Security by President George W. Bush (b. 1945, Gov 1995-2001)

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4. Tom Corbett – current governor of PA (46th), did not sign the declaration of independence, Republican, and not doing a very good job. (b 1949 gov 2011-now)

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Charlotte’s Poem

Charlotte, my niece,  wrote and delivered this very great poem at my father’s memorial service!

Poem for my Grandfather’s Memorial Service

http://ashlockcharlotte.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/poem-for-my-grandfathers-memorial-service/

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May 26, 2013 · 8:58 pm

Memories of my father

I just came back home from my trip to Kansas for my father’s memorial service. All of my father’s 8 grandchildren were able to come (Samuel, Joshua, Hannah, and Benjamin Cole; Charlotte, Peter, and Richard Ashlock, and Walter Magellan Musser), my father’s twin brother Arthur, and other dear friends who packed out Danforth Chapel at the University of Kansas. Many people shared their memories about my father and this is what I said:

Richard Cole April 2nd 2013- October 29, 1929.

My father was an excellent father and was a very wise and virtuous man. He honored truth and wisdom so much that he made it his full time vocation and actually got paid for it. Somebody once told me that someday I would become wiser than my father, but I am not sure if that day will ever come. We spent a lot of time discussing history and technology and religion together late into the night on many occasions. He was an outstanding father and friend and mentor about life from the beginning of my life to the end of his. I remember asking him about him recently about if knowledge and wisdom has been passed down from the ancient Greek philosophers to modern philosophers, what if one or a couple generations would drop the ball? He said that would never happen because ideas are captured in books, as long as there are books, people can read those books and rediscover those truths again and again. My first memory of my father is giving us baths and telling us Mark and Wendy stories about our invisible, intangible rabbit ears and about the ogre who lived in the basement and the old ghost lady who lived in the attic. At the end of each of those stories he would always say: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Wake Up bright, To do what’s right with All your might. And that is what I have learned from my father. The answer to the question “Why Am I Here?” is to do what’s right with all my might.

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