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Old 12-14-2007, 03:44 PM   #76
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

I knew some one when bring up Abu Garib. It was May Lai, or Mai Lai in Vietnam. Same core issue, different war.

None of my fellow soldiers condone what was done for sure.

I agree individuals were responsible for there actions. That is always the case, hence why I am so adamant about being sensitive about the subject.

Why I am so dedicated to the combatives program we have.

Why it is important to teach and Enforce Army Value to our soldiers.

Why it is important that we teach our children to be accountable and responsible.

Why we should not allow institutions to take over where our own personal values should be our guiding compass.

Alot of what we saw on trial in the media was the instituion, and rightfully so. Leaders have a responsibilty to set the CONDITIONS and govern the SITUATION. They have to establish the ENVIRONMENT, CONTROL MEASURES, and supervise. So, the institution should have been on trial and those that failed to do that should have paid the price for their failures.

Okay, back to the personal level.

Lets focus on the core of those soldiers that committed those acts. How were they suffering? How much abuse did they face as children, How much did they learn their values from a system? Our schools, there parents? At their core...did they deep down inside know they were doing wrong....yet choose to ignore their own viseral feelings?

How much did they blindly accept from their peers and leaders? Why did they NOT personally question the system?

I certainly don't expect anyone to answer these questions. The answers we cannot know nor are they important now!

How much are they personally suffering because the regret the decision they made during stressful and confusing times, that they did not have the proper training or moral compass to guide them?

Their actions were not excusable as human beings or soldiers.

So this is a good example, even though it does not involve killing. Killing can take place in so many ways. Killing the physical as well as killing the spirit.

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Old 12-14-2007, 03:53 PM   #77
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

On the PTSD topic. Good question Ron. Good answer Lynn! ( I was waiting for you to chime in!)

Lynn answered it. I really think as Cliche as it sounds, Musashi was on to something about preparing for war, killing and dying.,

If you look at the military institution as a reflection of budo in action, then you see an institution that considers the whole soldier, family and all.

We are learning many lessons such as at Walter Reed that has been in the news. Finding new areas of how we are not addressing the full spectrum of the situation.

You must prepare to lead a full life and consider the whole of the warrior when preparing him/her to go to war and fight (kill).

This is the point of the topic I think. Killing is not an individual act that is done only at the point of the decision. It is one that affect the whole.

So, back to the PTSD issue. Why do some end up with it and some don't? I don't know as I am not a Pyschologist.

I think some of it has to do with an abilty to repress and ignore or reframe the events.

I think some of it has to do with acceptance.

I think alot has to do with preparation and reaching a deep understanding of SELF.

I am sure that those that have killed are never "whole" again, in the way that they were prior to the event. I think those that accept it and reach a "degree" of peace within themselves are able to function within society on a "normal" basis.

Those that don't accept it, have "issues"....PTSD.

It is a complicated subject for sure.

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Old 12-14-2007, 04:06 PM   #78
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Fred Little wrote:

Quote:
Not that I'm Kevin, who speaks quite well for himself, but the answer is pretty simple:

Prevention where possible. Where prevention fails, harm reduction and damage mitigation.
Not sure I speak quite well, but thanks!

Yes, Macroscopically, there is always a spectrum of use of force from non-action to Action.

One thing we do in the military today is focus more on escalation of force than we used to. I think we had this wrong for many years and we are fixing it.

Sorry to talk so much about the military, but it is my frame of reference and a really, really good reflection of the practices of Budo and the topic of Killing,

In Budo, aikido, especially, I think this is really what we are focusing on Escalation of Force (EOF). the dance that we call Aikido, Ma ai, irimi/tenkan, and resolution...is the study of the spectrum of EOF.

From no-action (victim maybe?) to action (non-victim).

We really don't study no-action do we?

So we focus on the spectrum of action from as subtle as body language, seeking to understand the whole of nage, to as bold as a "killing blow". We even study use of "Pre-emptive Strike (r)".

Against this spectrum of EOF we apply morals, values etc...hence why we have most of our threads!

Therefore at the base really what the question of "would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to" boils down to, is one that was astutely pointed out in the first couple of post.

It is a loaded question. "kill someone with aikido".....if you had to. Assumes you had to (no choice).

I equate this to the Zen Koan. "Do no harm...Stop Harm!"

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Old 12-14-2007, 04:08 PM   #79
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Thanks for the replies Kevin.

Please know that you guys and gals have my utmost and undying respect.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 12-14-2007, 04:24 PM   #80
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

I'd like to step in one more time to say that this thread is inherently silly.
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Old 12-14-2007, 04:42 PM   #81
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Paul, you wrote the following to which you reference:
Quote:
Forgive my saying so, but I think this is a silly question, given:

1) The odds of running into a life or death violent encounter
2) The odds of gaining dominance in such an encounter (which you presumably would not be instigating)
3) The odds of doing so using aikido.

To be blunt, I think most of us could not fight our ways out of paper bags. This is a question to worry about when most of us aikidoka actually learn how to be competent martial artists. On that magical day, maybe we can devote a few hours of our time to worrying about such things.

But really, this is so far above our current level on the hierarchy of needs that it seems pointless to discuss.
Superfically and pragmatically, I agree with your point as it relates on the hierarchy of needs as it relates to reality and reality based scenarios.

If you do a search on my some of my older post I will argue that aikido is a very poor delivery mechanism for rote self defense or as a mechanism for training the literal act of employing lethal force. We spend hours and thousands of dollars training on stuff that is really not worthwile in that area. You'd be better off going to a local gun club, or knife fighting club (if they exsisted), or learning how to use ordinary objects as lethal weapons...anything other than aikido!

But, the question I think, it not so much from a point of order of magnitude or hierarchy, but one of a philosophical, core, holistic point....the very reason we "should" study budo.

I don't understand why anyone would waste there time with this stuff if...just because they like to roll around....buy a trampoline and put it in your backyard...THAT is fun!

I don't think it is of the nature of odds, percentages, or situations...but one of completeness of spirit.

There are several ways to kill, we can kill the physical or we can kill the spiritual (ethos/pathos) and all that good stuff!

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Old 12-14-2007, 04:43 PM   #82
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Kevin,
Thanks greatly for the insight into the mind of a professional warrior (if I may be permitted to use that term). Perhaps I should have stated the question as "If you had no other choice, would you use aikido.......
As someone once said..."Prepare for war, pray for peace". It makes one ponder the "what ifs" of a society. If I can be retrospective for a moment. At the turning of the new millennium, I was asked to spend New Years Eve at the house of some very good friends. I was asked to be there because one of the friends stated to me that if anything was to go wrong (everyone remembers the Y2K scare) he knew that I wouldn't hesitate to do certain things if the chips were down. He is licensed to carry and train in Canada as well as several US states. I knew that he had what was essentially an armory in his house, including edged weapons. It frightened me at first, but only for a moment. I was very, very happy that Y2K was only a scare.
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Old 12-14-2007, 05:13 PM   #83
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Unfortunately, same logic. "if you had no the choice" Implies "no choice".

This is salient to the whole logic.

What is key is choice..either you have it or you don't. If you have choice...then you can choose to kill or not kill.

I think what you are saying is this. Morally if killing is jusitifiable, that is you or society see that the act you commit saves another life/lives and immediately prevents a greater harm (death of another innocent person/persons). Then would you do it? IF, the only 4 actions were:

1. no action-you or others die (innocent).
2. Non-lethal action- you or others STILL die.
3. You sacrifice your life for the greater good of other live (take the bullet).
4. Lethal Action- you or others LIVE.

Do I have that right?

I would submit that to take no action, would be unethical (non-aiki) what I would call the moral equivilant to a coward or sheep.

To take non-lethal action fully knowning that the end result would still result in death of others...well that is just plain sacrifice and stupid...not even noble.

to sacrifice yourself for the greater good of society because you saw no other means to resolve the situation...is pretty much darn near sainthood and the culmination of elimination of SELF...you achieved the full transmission of the lessons of AIKI!

To take action and Kill and to prevent further harm, well that is still within the spectrum of aiki for sure, and while you may have an aversion to killing, well remember...you had no choice right? To do so would be in conflict with yourself, but is an act of courage and compassion if done in the right state of mind. So it is aiki.

I don't like the phrase "prepare for war, pray for peace". You work for peace and you DO peace...it requires engagement and activity...you should prepare for peace even more strongly than you prepare for war!

I think if we did that and stopped praying (really it means "hope for", then we might get some were.

We need more budoka out there that are willing to stand up and do courageous acts of peace and to Kill War

It takes a whole society. No action does not mean pacifism!

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Old 12-14-2007, 05:30 PM   #84
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

saving the life of your attacker shows much greatness than actually taking life
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Old 12-14-2007, 05:33 PM   #85
Joseph Madden
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Kevin,
Your absolutely right with regards to peace. Peace does not come from praying, but through hard work and determination. Only through our actions and not through those of a deity can we achieve peace. Also, with regards to the use of aikido as a lethal form of self defense it can only be proved, I believe, through course of action. And there are definitely some techniques in daito-ryu which can be lethal if properly applied.
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Old 12-14-2007, 07:23 PM   #86
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

[quote=Paul Sanderson-Cimino;195712]Forgive my saying so, but I think this is a silly question, given:
To be blunt, I think most of us could not fight our ways out of paper bags.







Speak for yourself. How sad for you though. my condolences

Last edited by gregg block : 12-14-2007 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 12-14-2007, 07:37 PM   #87
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
So, back to the PTSD issue. Why do some end up with it and some don't? I don't know as I am not a Pyschologist. I think some of it has to do with an abilty to repress and ignore or reframe the events. I think some of it has to do with acceptance. I think alot has to do with preparation and reaching a deep understanding of SELF. I am sure that those that have killed are never "whole" again, in the way that they were prior to the event. I think those that accept it and reach a "degree" of peace within themselves are able to function within society on a "normal" basis. Those that don't accept it, have "issues"....PTSD. It is a complicated subject for sure.
Compliments, you do very well.
Trauma changes you.
Killing is trauma.
Acceptance and reframing (never repression or ignoring) of what is/was without judgment. (You only judge if you've never been there.)
Who would want to be "normal" in this society? Beside, you can never go back to who you were before. wasn't "normal" before, certainly wasn't "normal" after. and definitely not "normal" now.
Not as complicated as people think, if you can think outside the safe civilian box society sleeps in because someone is standing watch over them (whether they know it, like it, or appreciate it).
Don't mind me, I'm just an old grunt.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 12-14-2007, 11:03 PM   #88
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Avoid rather than hurt.
Hurt rather than maim.
Maim rather than kill.

This teaching has been around for a long time.
The idea that you "have to" kill a human being is farcical and we do not need five pages of comments to understand that.

A little respect for the founder please.
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Old 12-14-2007, 11:18 PM   #89
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Quote:
Vincent Nikopol wrote: View Post
Avoid rather than hurt.
Hurt rather than maim.
Maim rather than kill.

This teaching has been around for a long time.
The idea that you "have to" kill a human being is farcical and we do not need five pages of comments to understand that.

A little respect for the founder please.
Has the founder ever killed someone using martial arts?

If you're hungry, keep moving.
If you're tired, keep moving.
If you value you're life, keep moving.

You don't own what you can't defend
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Old 12-15-2007, 12:49 AM   #90
stelios
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

I was trained to kill fast and efficiently long time ago. Today the reply to the question would be
No!
But I would probably do him some permanent damage (eyes, knee, elbow, spinal column).
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Old 12-15-2007, 01:38 AM   #91
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
Has the founder ever killed someone using martial arts?
Grant,

If you are referirng to M. Ueshiba aka O' sensei aka The Founder (TM) then yes, he did kill someone using martial art.

It was in Manchuria/Manchukuo, he killed mountain bandits with
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a little samurai sword aka katana.
<whisper>Psst... don't think he called his art aikido yet at that time<whisper>

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:08 AM   #92
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Great posts and terrific insights Kevin and Lynn. Extremely well said guys.

This thread has turned out to be most interesting.

Just a small thought on some comments regarding Aikido "technique" and whether there are techniques in (insert MA/style here) that "can kill" etc.

I'd say that killing has a lot less to do with technique and a hell of a lot more to do with the mindset and preparation of the person doing the killing.

As indicated before, if one has no choice and has prepared mentally and physically for the situation the answer (to kill or not) will be clear, the precise method may be quite secondary in that regard.

Imho.

LC

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Old 12-15-2007, 08:40 AM   #93
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

I think that Ueshiba would have killed, but avoided it to the utmost.

I think he once said: 'We would not go full out, otherwise we would kill them', or something like that.

I don't think that Paul Cimono's comment that most people on this forum 'couldn't fight their way out of paper bags' is very constructive!
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:43 AM   #94
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Yes, I agree it has less to do with technique...more on mindset and prep.

Killing is pretty much a low tech, low skill process. Just look at the people we have in our prison systems. Most of them are not highly skilled, martial geniuses!

What is difficult is what we have been discussing. The skillfulness and wisdom of Choice, and recognizing what those choices may or may not be at the point of decision.

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Old 12-15-2007, 09:41 AM   #95
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Many people remember General Patton for slapping the face of a soldier who had an acute stress reaction to combat. General Patton gave this situation serious reflection and made genuine efforts towards having his command structure actively look out for signs of these acute stress reactions and remove those soldiers from the front lines so they could the the help that they needed. In many ways, this was the beginning of a concerted effort to deal with the acute stress and later PTSD that developed from combat situations.

Over those many years since WWII, the military recognized that after a certain amount of time in combat positions, the odds of the soldiers coming down with acute stress reactions and developing PTSD increased dramatically. That played a role in the time frames that were used to rotate troops in and out of combat service. Those time frames were basically thrown out the door in this current cluster ****. The emerging results are disturbing to the mental health people who are treating a large number of soldiers for acute stress disorders and PTSD. An even more disturbing fact that was recently shown the "light of day" was the military's use of determining that the soldiers with those severe psychological problems had "pre-existing personality disorders" the precluded them from VA services, and keeping the real statistics artificially low.

It is sad that those people responsible for doing this to those who bravely volunteer to put themselves in harms way to serve our country and not held accountable for these actions. The long-term psychological consequences are already emerging. The tragedy is that these young men and women wear their scars on the inside, not getting the care, empathy and sympathy that they deserve. Their families and friends suffer as well.

We need to keep this in mind when we vote in November '08. We need an administration and congress that really care about our citizens.

Marc Abrams
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Old 12-15-2007, 10:24 AM   #96
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Many people remember General Patton for slapping the face of a soldier who had an acute stress reaction to combat. General Patton gave this situation serious reflection and made genuine efforts towards having his command structure actively look out for signs of these acute stress reactions and remove those soldiers from the front lines so they could the the help that they needed. In many ways, this was the beginning of a concerted effort to deal with the acute stress and later PTSD that developed from combat situations.

Over those many years since WWII, the military recognized that after a certain amount of time in combat positions, the odds of the soldiers coming down with acute stress reactions and developing PTSD increased dramatically. That played a role in the time frames that were used to rotate troops in and out of combat service. Those time frames were basically thrown out the door in this current cluster ****. The emerging results are disturbing to the mental health people who are treating a large number of soldiers for acute stress disorders and PTSD. An even more disturbing fact that was recently shown the "light of day" was the military's use of determining that the soldiers with those severe psychological problems had "pre-existing personality disorders" the precluded them from VA services, and keeping the real statistics artificially low.

It is sad that those people responsible for doing this to those who bravely volunteer to put themselves in harms way to serve our country and not held accountable for these actions. The long-term psychological consequences are already emerging. The tragedy is that these young men and women wear their scars on the inside, not getting the care, empathy and sympathy that they deserve. Their families and friends suffer as well.

We need to keep this in mind when we vote in November '08. We need an administration and congress that really care about our citizens.

Marc Abrams
Marc,
I quoted you because I believe what you said is so very important. How dare we send these people to fight our wars and not give them the proper tools, equipment and care they need.
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Old 12-15-2007, 10:36 AM   #97
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Yes.
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Old 12-16-2007, 09:53 AM   #98
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Guys...the thread is getting off track. Please don't discuss politics. I think it is good to use examples of things to discuss the core topic, but once we start talking about political policy and voting, we are on another subject!

Thanks.

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Old 12-16-2007, 11:04 AM   #99
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Guys...the thread is getting off track. Please don't discuss politics. I think it is good to use examples of things to discuss the core topic, but once we start talking about political policy and voting, we are on another subject!

Thanks.
You're right Sir...However... If the "Policymakers" had been a dedicated Aikidoka then the discussions about policy would have been moot.

We are living in a very dangerous time and hence the fears of folks feed the desire to understand the need to kill to protect themselves...The Aikidoka who practices hard is an artist in the regard....Learning how to overcome ones own fears and protect the other is not a foolhardy persuit and requires complete dedication and focus.

Love takes more Courage than Fear and Hate

Which is the reason why I think O'Sensei is one of the bravest men to ever live considering he created Aikido during one of the most Martial/Militaristic periods in his country's history. They lopped of the heads of dissenters back in those days.

Here we are almost 70 years later with almost the same set of conditions and the same choices.

I will do everything in my power to protect life including as a very last resort taking one...I train hard almost everyday so I don't have to make that choice, and hopefully when the next Bozo throws down on me We'll both walk away and "ideally" have an understanding about each other we didn't have before he ending up on his back or with a sore appendage and me with the same. LOL

Otherwise this is what a culture of violence can lead to:http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...la-home-center

You can either be caught up in the fear that the world is a very violent dangerous place and mold your life around it or you can have the courage to overcome your fears by reaching out to the "other"

Seems folks are finally starting to get sick of the latter as a matter of "policy."

William Hazen
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Old 12-16-2007, 11:37 AM   #100
Marc Abrams
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Kevin:

I agree and disagree with you. The thread was "off-topic for awhile, a lot if it was in a direction that you led it to. The military's policy towards longer deployment times, and the policy regarding "pre-existing personality disorders" have little to do with political parties, and politics. It had more to do with CYA and the "calculus of human lives." Your topic was bound to head in that direction because of the amount of "political guidance" by our leaders in the areas that you were discussing.

William:

Very moving commentary. The "leaders" of the politics of fear were the same characters who's own fears prevented them from serving our country many years ago. They have no real understanding of the value of life that people like Kevin have developed through real life experiences as opposed to theoretical believes and philosophies. OUr country desperately needs leaders who have the courage to love in the manner in which you described. Unfortunately, I think both major parties are devoid of that type of leader.

Marc Abrams
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