Saturday, June 27, 2015

The will of the State Vs. the will of the people

On 27 June 2015, Bree Newsome removed the confederate flag that flew in front of the state house in Columbia, South Carolina. Within hours, the flag continued to fly at full mast.

On 19 June 2015, the state flag of South Carolina and the Flag Of The United States of America are at half mast in respect and solace for the murder of nine men and women including a South Carolina state senator.

I believe that the greatest strength of our country is that we are made up of 50 individual states that have their own legislature to determine how best to govern their own citizens.
The implied statement of having the flag of a failed secession over the right to keep humans as slaves fly at full mast when the state and federal government have decided to fly their own flags at half mast is dishonorable to the men and women who have given the lives to protect freedom and democracy both abroad and here, at home , in America.

The 250,000 United States military members that were killed during that war were fighting against tyranny, like many wars fought before and many fought after. What moral or ethical values that would lead the members of the South Caroline state government to discount their sacrifice by holding the flag of a failed secession over the flag of Our Nation during a National tragedy is beyond anything I can understand in my value system.

I am completely open to someone explaining to me the significance of this act which would be called a name with a "T" if carried out by an individual.


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Pick Which Kid You Love The Most

The Duggar family and child sexual abuse

For this week's blog post, I would like to give my feelings on a parents moral  responsibility to protect one of their children from prosecution versus their moral responsibility to protect their children and others from sexual abuse.

I would like to start by saying that I do not agree with the QuiverFull philosophy on externally large families but I do not have any hard feelings with anyone that make choices about their family that are within Federal and State laws where they live. I have seen first hand what happens when a group of people decide to use force to push their belief system on those around them, it's a big reason why I joined the Navy in order to protect our rights as Americans.

With that out of the way, I have a huge moral and ethical issue with the facts that have came to light on how Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar allegedly  chose to wait from May 2002 until July 2003 to report the actions of their son, Josh Duggar to the police. Then Arkansas State police corporal ( and now convicted child pornographer) Joseph Hutchens decided not to report the mater because the parents had already sent the alleged offender to treatment.
In December 2006, a anonymous call was place to Arkansas Child Protective Service with allegations of sexual abuse by on of the Duggar children. This was investigated by Springdale police and Jim Bob and Michelle were both interviewed as well as several potential victims. Springdale police determined that the statute of limitations had expired and declined to press charges.
May 2015, a tabloid magazine post a story with allegations of child sexual abuse against  Josh Duggar and later that month both he and his parents release public statements and vague apologies.

In my humble opinion, what Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar did was protect themselves, their family and their first son from the legal, financial, political and moral ramifications of child sexual abuse charges. I will always say the whole term Child Sexual Abuse because this was not bullying or hitting of yelling. This was a teenage child having sexual physical contact with small children. Allegedly.
At some point Jim Bob and Michelle made a decision that they would fail to protect their own children and others from their son. The former member of Arkansas State Legislature waited over  a year before speaking to the "police" and had no issue with letting child sexual abuse charges be remediated with a "stern talking to" Then after three more years, and once the statute of limitation is over, the still do not see the need to seen Josh to counseling or to register him as a sex offender or even remove him from young children.

Just like governments have the responsibility to protect their people, parents have the upmost responsibility to protect their children.
 ALL of the children.
If one kid was forced to suffer the lifetime of struggles that victims of sexual abuse deal with because of the Duggar's immoral and unethical decision making, then I believe the responsibility fall on the parents  and anyone that knew but failed to come forward. 
Any kid that was abused by Josh Duggar after the first report was the direct responsibility of his parents and much as himself. 

When you are on a ship and there is a fire in a compartment, you don't close a hatch and hope it goes out. You don't give it a stern talking to. You and ALL of your Shipmates fight the fire until its completely extinguished. Then you post a watch to make sure there is no reflash. I can't imagine what life would be like if one of my Shipmates were hurt because I failed to raise the alarm and or fight the fire.
I think Jim Bob and Michelle may know how it feels. 


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Private Military Contractors, Extremist Terrorism and Modern Ethics and Values


To start of my Blog I would like to give my thoughts on a subject that is very important to me and very relevent to the headlines from the middle east- Using PMCs  to slow Boko Haram and other radical terrorists groups.

Recently the  South African PMC, STTEP* was successful In engaging Boko Haram at the request of the Government of Nigeria. These actotion have been reported as highly successful and been applauded by the civilians who have been terrorized by extremist. The successful employment of a Non governmental military corporation was named as one of the key issues used against the outgoing president of Nigeria in recent elections. 
There has been some call for wider use of non governmental military organizations to stop the spread of ISIL in the middle east. This has been meet with several questions pertaining to the values and ethics of PMC personnel and the corporations as a whole. Some of the concerns are:
"With the spread of extremest terrorist group and the ineffectiveness of many government to protect its citizens with conventional military forces, does the use of so called "mercenaries" go against modern values and ethics?"
"Do the PMC personnel have a obligation to conduct themselves with the same (or higher)code of ethics of the employing government?"
"In countries like the US with three branches of government, at what level does the authorization to use a PMC need to be made at?"
I personally believe that governments have the ultimate responsibility to protect the safety and rights of the citizens with any means approved by their elected representatives. The use of PMCs carries a stigmatism that has been perpetuated by the media and reenforced by recent misconduct by Blackwater personnel in Iraq. I feel that the argument against the perceived morals and  values of private military companies are far outweighed by the effective results they have achieved in dire situations. The rescue of nearly 300 girls that were held captive after over a year by Boko Haram was predicated by the work of STTEP after military aid from China, the UK and the US had failed.
There is never excuse to violate human rights and the acts of Blackwater's employees directly contributed to the companys demise. However, I would much rather be free of the oppression and deadly actions of groups like ISIL and Boko Haram the and would much rather me detained by most of the PMCs than most of the developing countries that are plagued by these terrorist ( namely Nigeria).

Specialised Tasks, Training, Equipment and Protection international