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01:04 PM on 05/21/2010
Maher thinks that he has discovered a new phenomena, self sacrifice on the battlefield. The battlefield brings out the absolute best in mankind, self sacrifice for another or a group. It is indeed bravery that enough accolades can be given. To try to extrapolate that feeling to our society for financial gain is a utopian thought. While it looks good on paper time has proven that won't work like it has in the military, which has thousands of years of proof available that self sacrifice is the norm, not the exception. The best way to fight the recession is to empower people with opportunities that they create, not by government largesse. While the government taking care of people looks good at first glance, this is the worst possible thing that can happen to that person. We cannot tax ourselves into prosperity for everyone but we can make everyone equally miserable by following that agenda. I am a man of very modest means but hold no grudge towards people who achieved great financial gain, I applaud them. Would it really make me feel better if all millionaires were broke? What it would do is insure that the little guy would have no opportunity to be hired by these people. Equal opportunity does not equal results, we are all different.
01:40 AM on 05/22/2010
Yes, in battle I learned that battle brings out the best. I also learned it brings out blood, death, and maiming. So it is with much that is worth fighting for, and political health is worth fighting for. So is religious health. Yet the blood and maiming and death comes from the immaturity of youngsters and their devious manipulators.

The top 1% of wealth holders in the US are the chief manipulators; the US Congress their chief servants; the middle class the cannon fodder; everybody else: superfluous or soldiers.
01:00 PM on 05/21/2010
As a Vietnam Infantry Veteran, I understand the bonding that takes place within a small group. When it comes to staying alive, things quickly get VERY BASIC. I have found that same degree of bonding between individuals working in the production of some television projects throughout my career. People who, 'Give-a-Damn' will find others of the same mindset. You don't produce the live Academy Awards without a cadre of individuals dedicated to the purpose. But this level of caring and application does not have to be limited to such lofty enterprises. It can, and should be, found in everyday life. It comes partly from appreciation of self, but also of others and their needs. Hopefully, if nothing else comes out of our national 'Downtime', we will again, as a group, find our true Spirit for life in everything we do. The days of the 'Spoiled Rotten' are things of the past.
Peter Bright
01:15 PM on 05/21/2010
Spoiled Rotten are still in charge, Peter but you are a kindred spirit.
01:28 PM on 05/21/2010
The Acadamy Awards a "lofty enterprise"? LMAO
11:41 AM on 05/21/2010
This is what President Obama has been trying to teach us all - through his words and deeds. How about less ctiticism of him and more support.
Inventor and Innovator
01:08 PM on 05/21/2010
Obama need to lead, not be our brother. The soldiers banded together because some General placed them in the battlefield together. Yes, the US people will rally for our survival; but we need to have a plan for success. And, waiting on times to get better is not a plan.
03:04 PM on 05/21/2010
thank you for the truth must be told.
02:48 PM on 05/21/2010
How about how I just read that Obama is appointing a commision of 18 wealthy cronies to oversee the revamping of Medicare and social security. Now that's change we can believe in right?
10:24 AM on 05/21/2010
Often the things we WANT to do comes before the things we should do. But what if you had 3 days to live, would we still postpone them? Who would you help, who would you spend time with, who would you give joy to if you know your time is running out?
10:20 AM on 05/21/2010
I read this quote in Editor Bob's 123Greetings newsletter that we are "individual units functioning independently" and if we just reach out we could find more people with similar problems and that we could indeed help each other out more than we ever thought possible. I think that was a good point. I was touched by that author of 'War" on Bill Maher because he made a good point. There is nothing like human support.
10:15 AM on 05/21/2010
"Of all the enemies of true liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.... No nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare." --James Madison, 1787, Constitutional Convention
Emergency nurse. Tu ne cede malis....
10:00 AM on 05/21/2010
Yes, but how does Rand Paul figure in this? I know there must be some way to fit him in here.
03:05 PM on 05/21/2010
"Ann" Rand Paul is currently suffering through an identity crisis and will not be available for rational discourse until his brain returns or he figures out that he can help way more people by returning to the field of medicine.
David Durham
Just a guy who tries to stay informed and stand fo
09:43 AM on 05/21/2010
It's very American to regard the 'Rugged Individualist' as the quintessential citizen. A person who needs help from nobody, who asks for nothing and is that rocky island that weathers every storm. Along with this mindset comes the idea that anyone who asks for or is given any type of charity is a loser, a leach and is wholly unworthy of concern, let alone respect. While the 'Rugged Individualist' is almost always male, even women and children are suspect where giving is concerned. 'Have they no bootstraps? What's wrong with them?' I can respect the self-reliant loner, but when it comes to doing great things, truly big things like establishing a country or defeating tyranny, it takes a broad sweep of humanity working together to get the job done. When Americans join hands, when we share a sense of 'he or she has got my back', when we 'Dream Team', we can put footprints on the moon. This is not a 'warm and fuzzy' notion, but a simple, practical reality. The only people in the history of mankind to tread upon another heavenly body were Americans, through a stupendous example of national will.
02:51 PM on 05/21/2010
Check out the race for governor of California and you'll change your mind about self reliant and aggressive men vs. women.
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09:30 AM on 05/21/2010
comparing combat to ANYTHING else is stupid
My novels for sale on Amazon.
09:06 AM on 05/21/2010
I'm a little disturbed that Junger is promoting his book (here and on Bill Maher's show) by going on about the beauty of the friendship and purpose that soldiers feel.

I'm glad these guys are having this spiritual experience, but at the same time they are killing and being killed. I would prefer if they tried to address their quest for meaning in say, a police station, a church? A fire company? Hell, even a drum circle.

Seems like the ultimate insult toward Afghanis who seem motivated by ousting invaders, or fighting for god, or something - in comparison, Junger says American soldiers are apolitical, they care more about their comrades. So basically, they kill Afghanis as a side effect of fulfilling a need for purpose.

I am troubled by Junger's book and the new angle on glorifying war it represents.
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09:32 AM on 05/21/2010
the mood in this country is going to be quite a bit different to those "killers" you comment about than after Viet Nam. I can imagine people like you slamming good people coming back from war are going to suffer the most.
11:11 AM on 05/21/2010
A drum circle? Seriously?

When you bluster on and on about how much you the soldiers (make no mistake, it's obvious you both hate and envy us), you demonstrate clearly why no one takes you seriously. Grow up. Life isn't a field of daisies.
RonK Michigan
Half of the people you know are below average
08:37 AM on 05/21/2010
Yup, yup, yup; Raise taxes on the rich and enact a $0.01 per share transaction tax. That will enable all of us below average people to become untaxed and we'll get to pocket the $2500.00 we normally pay - FINALLY we will at last be able to sit on our front porch drinking a coffee and living high off the hog.........

Ronk’s Steven Wright Quote Du-Jour:
“The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse always gets the cheese”
08:16 AM on 05/21/2010
Raise taxes on the rich, and we can forget this touchy, passive BS about struggling in hard times.
The elite have destroyed the economy. Let them pay the bill, not the rest of us.
Our government is a wartocracy.
07:04 AM on 05/21/2010
So they are teaching now that war is the way to brotherly love? I am not surprised.
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Somewhat Opinionated Curmudgeon
06:48 AM on 05/21/2010
If you spend a few years living with 167 Sailors within the confines of a ships berthing compartment in an Aircraft Carrier, there is also a bond that is created. We worked hard, played hard, and ensured that discipline and hygiene was maintained. We would also come to the aid of a shipmate at the drop of a hat. We shared the joy of a birth and the grief of a death. We Celebrated a Marriage or comforted during the despair of a Divorce of our shipmates. Living in these close quarter there are few secrets. This is life in the U.S. Armed Forces.
06:43 AM on 05/21/2010
It's great to see that what attracts people to the war experience, bonding with one's fellows, can be used consciously to keep our heads above water in desperate times. It puts the famous downward-spiralling, depression-pulling, TV couch potato unsuccessful (yet!), possibly suicidal job-hunter into an entirely different light -- that of one with possibilities!