Proust No. Five

Jason Baier correctly answered the Christopher D. Bennett Trivia Question:

Q: What brand of camera does Christopher D. Bennett

A: Sony. I also would have accepted Minolta with a lengthy explanation of how Sony bought out Minolta. If anybody would have listed Sony, Minolta and Holga, well there wouldn’t be words for how I would feel about such a person.

Proust Quote

“Only through art can we emerge from ourselves and know what another person sees.”

Confessions Question

The military event I admire the most:

My 2009 Answer

Proust Questionnaire Number Sixteen

This answer won’t make me popular.

I’m actually quite surprised by this question being selected. I’m not really big into the military. I don’t even have much of a family history of military service. My Grandpa Bennett was too young to serve in WWI. He was too old to serve in WWII. My Grandpa Paris served in WWII. Stateside. As a cook. Even though he was entitled to a full military funeral:  The folding of the flag and the Three Volley Salute and the playing of Taps. None of these things were done at my Grandpa’s funeral. This still burns some members of my family. I bring it up not to tear old wounds, but to show how military isn’t a big part of my family’s existence.

The one member of my family that had extensive combat and military experience was my Uncle Dean. He served in Vietnam and he was exposed to toxic chemicals that slowly ravaged his health and finally extinguished his life.

I don’t even have many friends that have military experience. Even one of those few friends had a terrible experience in the military. Ending with his bunkmate committing suicide.

Even when it comes to war movies, my favorites are decidedly anti-war: Paths of Glory, Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now, Hotel Rwanda, Three Kings, Schindler’s List.

I’m not anti-military, but I also don’t get all jonesed up about the military.  I understand that its existence is a necessary evil, but at the same time our military is way too large. Do you realize that if you take the actual numbers, over 50 cents of every tax dollar spent goes to support the military? You’ll see figures that put it at 20 cents, but those numbers misrepresent how Social Security (among other things) is funded.

All things considered, I would rather 50 cents out of my tax dollar be spent on helping sick children. Helping sick old people. Helping sick middle-aged people.

Maybe a dime or so could go to keeping the military industrial complex welfare machine alive. Many of our technological advances have come through military research after all.

I understand that we need a military. We need it to press our (read Corporate America) economic interests in the world. It is also used on some level to protect us from the evil forces of today. Although if you told me after the Cold War ended that a few years later we would be engaged in a seemingly neverending War on Terror, I would have said, “Shut your mouth George Orwell!”

While I am very pleased with the recent retraction of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and I admire the heck out of Iowan and Medal of Honor winner Sal Guinta, the military event that occurred in 2010 that I most admire was the ending of military operations in Iraq.

The war began in March of 2003. During its peak, there were 165,000 American soldiers in Iraq. About 4,400 American soldiers died in Iraq. We will never know for sure, but it is estimated that 100,000 Iraqis were killed. Don’t just skim past that number. Where I come from (a little place I like to call Christianity), a human life isn’t less valuable because it isn’t American. Or Muslim for that matter.

I make this a separate sentence because I want to make it clear that I don’t consider the waste of life to be anywhere near on par with the waste of money, but as I write this the war on Iraq has cost this nation $747,323,475,195 and made us not even the slightest bit safer.With lack of Wall Street regulation and mind-blowing levels of corporate greed as contributing factors; our economy has been a casualty of this war.

With the ending of military operations in Iraq, there are less than 50,000 American troops left.

I know that is still a huge number and I know that we aren’t going anywhere. Just like how we are still in Germany, Japan and Korea. However it is a movement in the right direction. A movement to hopefully returning the United States back to being a nation of peace. A move back to being the “city upon a hill.” Yep, that is Jesus talk.

Christopher D. Bennett Trivia Question

Christopher D. Bennett bowls on Monday nights. What is the name of his bowling team?

Leave your answer in the “Comments” section of this journal entry.

14 thoughts on “Proust No. Five”

  1. Not to also sound Anti-Military, but I agree with you on most of this. Interesting that you answered this in this way and great question by Jason.

    The answer to your next question is… too easy so I’ll let someone else answer 🙂

  2. I’m pretty pacifistic, and so I’m one of the few who will likely agree with this. I agree that “any” is too many overseas.

    I will e-mail you the name of your bowling team – that way, anyone who hasn’t answered this yet can still answer, or else I can get “dibs” if nobody new answers.

  3. Angie,

    I’ll give it 24 hours for somebody else to answer. But I have a feeling that only people that follow me Twitter (and that is literally only about 5 people) have a chance at answering that question.

    The clock starts now.

  4. Totally agree with you on this, Chris. I think there are more people who would agree with you than you think. We are just quieter than the gung-ho-kill-em-all-and-let-god-sort-them-out types.

    No clue on the name of your bowling team, sorry 🙂

  5. I don’t think you’re going to get nearly the negativity you were expecting for your answer. I’m in agreement as well. I think any logical Christian American of our generation understands that the military is a necessary evil but like Rachel up above, I don’t believe we could speak loud enough to have our message heard during past administrations. But once again, that nears political, so I won’t go into that rant.

    I’m sure Angie has the answer, but it’s my turn to pick a question. Sorry Angie! Patio Pros is the answer of course.

  6. I’m actually frequently up this late. I just don’t advertise.

    I look forward to the chili, but once again I forgot to buy a gift for the Computer Mine gift exchange.

    Even after I had big plans of loading up a case of beer with root beer.

  7. I haven’t gotten anything either at this point so will run out tomorrow to do that! Whatever I get, I’m wrapping in Steve Roberts wrapping paper again! Are you going to do a holiday 5 pack?

  8. In my case it’s not so much advertising that I’m awake at such odd hours as a search for fellow insomniacs to commiserate with. If I could have advertised that I was actually sleeping last night for once instead of taking part in the ongoing cyber slumber party I would have! But my lack of response until now was advertisement enough.

    My choice for your next Proust question is “For what fault have you most toleration?”

  9. Dawn,

    I don’t have insomnia. In fact, I have no problem sleeping. I just don’t require very much sleep. I am frequently up late because I’m working on stuff. Cleaning my apartment and what not.

    I find it interesting that every single question that has been chosen thus far was a question that I answered in only 1 word last year. Apparently the questions I answered in depth last year were the questions that people found boring.

    Perhaps my answer to that question should be “insomnia.” But it isn’t, I don’t tolerate that fault at all.

    Mayor Goldie,

    Ha! Holiday 5 Pack! Classic! That joke never gets old. It is up there with spilling a quality lager and then quipping, “alcohol abuse”. That is classic merrymaking and will never get old.

    I’m not witty or funny enough to pull off the Holiday 5 Pack, so I’ll have to try to sneak out and pick up something that is more on par with my limited wit.

    Or I’ll just skip this year. The disappointment in the face of our co-workers when they open something that isn’t alcohol related makes my soul cry just a little bit.

    Next year, I’m definitely doing the root beer thing and stuffing the thing full of AA literature. I wonder if I can get The Big Book for 15 bucks.

    Rachel, Dawn and well everybody:

    I didn’t think there would be a backlash, but when you refer to our military as a corporate welfare system for Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, General Dynamics, United Technologies, Honeywell and ITT Corporations people can sometimes see you as unpatriotic or disrespectful of veterans.

    I think the world of veterans, but the misuse of patriotism is a subject for another day.

    Of course when you spend 607 billion dollars on the military every year (that is 41.5% of world’s military spending and 520 billion more than China spends and 4.3% of your GDP), people definitely start to affiliate military strength with national pride. They start to become interchangeable.

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