The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Opinion & Letters to the Editor

March 23, 2013

Flexing your muscles for the wrong reasons

Friday, March 22, 2013 — U.S. Defense Secre-tary Chuck Hagel announced on Friday that the U.S. would be beefing up security on our western borders in response to increasing threats of nuclear violence from North Korea.

I don’t know what to say about that... No, really I don’t know what to say.

I’d like to talk about how this seems like a piece of news from the Cold War, but having been born in ‘87, I don’t really have any experiences from which to speak.

So, I can only imagine this is but a snippet of what those people were feeling back then.

Obama was quoted as saying “They [North Korea] probably can’t, but we don’t like margin of error.”

That’s actually reassuring.

I doubt people felt that secure after hearing a speach by Raegan during the Cold War, but then again, technology has advanced a lot since that time.

Still, the toys are new and so are the talking heads, but there is nothing new about this response.

For years, nations and people have responded to threats and violence with yet more threats and violence: An eye for an eye, fight fire with fire.

Except we’re not talking about small bands of people fighting one another; we’re talking about millions of people and tools capable of destroying this rock we call home.

Obviously, we can’t ignore the threat, but is this the correct response?

Jesus of Nazareth would have suggested that we turn the other cheek to this threat, if not ignore it out right.

Siddhartha Gautama would have suggested a middle path, a way that leads away from violence.

We’ve gone with the Teddy Roosevelt approach and we’re looking for bigger, better sticks.

Dr. King combatted hate with love and non-violence, but how do we fight for survival without the threat of violence?

We rely on a form of violence to enforce rules on every level, from a child to the average U.S. citizen. Children are punished for wrongful actions just as adults are for breaking the law. What’s more is we live in a world where just the threat of violence is enough to keep us toeing the line.

So with the systemic threat of violence perpetually inundating every aspect our lives, how do we rise above this and figure out another way?

How do we combat this when we live with it every day?

When will we learn that violence convinces no one of a right path? It can only lead to subjugation through superior force of arms.

We live in cycles, repeating realities that are never solved because of the refusal to transcend the norms governing society as a whole.

But I, like Dr. King, have hope that one day we will figure out how to deal with the threat of violence appropriately.

It’s an age-old problem with an age-old need for a solution.

We can be the start.

To submit story ideas, contact Ian Faulkner at

Text Only
Opinion & Letters to the Editor
  • taylor.armerding.jpg Obama's equal pay exaggeration leads us all into danger

    The president's claims of national shame over gender-based pay inequity spring from distorted calculations, as well as some convenient political math.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Teens trading naked selfies for mugshots

    Will teenagers ever learn? You think yours will. Maybe so. But it's likely that was also the hope of the parents of children who were so shamed by nude photos of themselves that went south - how else can they go - that they killed themselves.

    April 12, 2014

  • Brent Laurenz If you want to vote in primary, you need to register to vote now

    RALEIGH – North Carolina voters will head to the polls on May 6 this year to cast ballots in important primary elections across the state.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scott Mooneyham Heeding the voter fraud call in N.C.

    RALEIGH – Legislators found the findings outrageous.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Doug Creamer Roots

    I took a few minutes over the weekend to enjoy our yard and the arrival of spring. There seems to be so much work that needs to be done, it is hard to decide what to do first. I am excited that I got to run my tiller through the garden. I didn’t go very deep, but I did at least break up the soil. I have a couple of raised beds and the soil in them was in very good shape. I didn’t plant my peas and now after the big rain we got on Monday I realize that I missed a window of opportunity.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10 tips for surviving a severe allergy season

    My colleague Brady Dennis reported recently that the arrival of warmer weather will soon unleash a pollen tsunami in parts of the country where the winter has been especially long and cold. Here are some survival tips from Clifford W. Bassett, an allergy specialist and assistant clinical professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine.

    April 11, 2014

  • Is a paleo vegetarian diet possible?

    Research shows most people can follow a regimented eating plan for a short time. That's not the challenge. The challenge is finding a healthful eating plan you can follow day after day and achieve your long-term health goals. At this point, it doesn't appear that the paleo eating plan meets these objectives for most people.

    April 10, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 2.16.35 PM.png Are Americans smart to stop drinking diet sodas?

    Recent data from Beverage Digest suggest many are cutting back on diet sodas. Consumption of diet sodas fell more than that of sugary sodas in 2013. This raises two questions: Why is total consumption declining, and is drinking diet soda harmful to health?

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • To get quality care, it helps to be the right kind of patient

    I am a family physician. Sometimes I must step out of the comfort of my clinical role and into that of patient or family caregiver. Generally, these trips to the other side of the exam table inspire a fair amount of anxiety.

    April 10, 2014

  • Hospice of Stanly County should be the one we support

    Regarding your recent article about Community Hospice relocating its offices from one location in Troy to another, let me point out a few things.

    April 10, 2014

House Ads
Seasonal Content