Saturday, March 29, 2014

Twenty Two Every Day

There is not a country in the Middle East worth a single American life, even if there was any provision in law for our soldiers to deployed in these wars.  Certainly anyone who wants to go can do so on their own as a volunteer.  But these young people are lied to:
“I know there’s a lot of folks out there that might think that suicide is a scapegoat, it’s an escape, and you’re quitting, but when you’re a young person, and you’ve seen the things that we’ve seen, you’ve had to do some of the things that we’ve had to do, it can wear on you,” Place said. “It’s really that invisible wound. And the toughest part is admitting it, admitting that you need help.”
They "had to do" nothing.  It's not lack of psychiatry, it is performing acts that cause PTSD that is the problem.  In a defensive war there would not be these problems.  In an offensive war, it's a whole different ball game.

Bring home the troops now.

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Friday, March 28, 2014

We Can Call It the Khaled Trials

Sheik Khaled is the mastermind behind 9-11.  How do we know?  He said so.  After being waterboarded 183 times in one month.  That's a whole lotta torture to get a confession.  But wait, not only 9-11, he is behind more crimes...

Mohammed confessed to masterminding the September 11 attacks, the Richard Reid shoe bombing attempt to blow up an airliner, the Bali nightclub bombing in Indonesia, the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the murder of Daniel Pearl, and various foiled attacks, as well as numerous other crimes.

In fact, if you run down the list of crimes, there is about 183 such events, plotting to kill Popes, Presidents, you name it.  I can imagine the waterboarding stopped when the confession was forthcoming.  After confessing to the 2nd or 3rd capital crime, the waterboarding must have been just fun time CIA work.  No doubt all sorts of crimes were submitted to interrogators to be "confessed" by him.

At his trial he quoted the Bible, Thou Shalt Not Kill.  Well, he would say that, wouldn't he?

It is a sad thing when a State gets so big it cannot ever be trusted.  We are at the point people want revolution, they just do not care anymore, they would prefer to escape to anarchy than live in this chaos.

There is a way out:  truth commissions...  no one goes to prison, even for capital crimes, if they tell all.  Subject to what they say to forensics, but exile anyone who refuses to tell any or all and is proven to have done wrong.

It's a reset button.  You have a better way out?  Do you object to the truth getting out?

Update: The Senate feels it was misled on torture.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Making Progress

The gaps were evident in the differing accounts Obama and the Vatican gave of the meeting, with Obama stressing the two leaders' common ground on fighting inequality and poverty while Vatican officials emphasized the importance to the church of "rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection." 
How about that...conscientious objection!

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Jesus as Promised Land Anarchist

It is pretty clear that Jesus was a "Promised Land Anarchist", referring to the 400 years after exodus, when Israel had no king.  Note his reference to the Father, not Himself, and Solomon, Israel's glorious king, as not to be esteemed.

Matthew 6, KJV

25Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
34Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Eastern Wisdom

The first answer is good, and then listen to his reply to the second answer, after, you will note, checking his iPhone.  Excellent.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Sometimes I Think I Am "Out There"

Then comes one from the commanding heights:

I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history."The Cardinal's entire column is well worth reading. The end, in particular is quite poignant.
Analogies can easily be multiplied, if one wants to push a thesis; but the point is that the greatest threat to world peace and international justice is the nation state gone bad, claiming an absolute power, deciding questions and making “laws” beyond its competence. Few there are, however, who would venture to ask if there might be a better way for humanity to organize itself for the sake of the common good. Few, that is, beyond a prophetic voice like that of Dorothy Day, speaking acerbically about “Holy Mother the State,” or the ecclesiastical voice that calls the world, from generation to generation, to live at peace in the kingdom of God.God sustains the world, in good times and in bad. Catholics, along with many others, believe that only one person has overcome and rescued history: Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of the Virgin Mary, savior of the world and head of his body, the church. Those who gather at his cross and by his empty tomb, no matter their nationality, are on the right side of history. Those who lie about him and persecute or harass his followers in any age might imagine they are bringing something new to history, but they inevitably end up ringing the changes on the old human story of sin and oppression. There is nothing “progressive” about sin, even when it is promoted as “enlightened.”The world divorced from the God who created and redeemed it inevitably comes to a bad end. It’s on the wrong side of the only history that finally matters. The Synod on the New Evangelization is taking place in Rome this month because entire societies, especially in the West, have placed themselves on the wrong side of history.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Business of War

The bad crowds out the good... there are enough Americans who would be doing this business, but when there is far more money to be made hauling war material and war-profiteering, why bother with peace and prosperity?

Here is what hong Kong people do vis-a-vis Africa:
“I bought the airlines general sales agent (GSA) business back as a platform for me to keep in touch with the logistics industry,” Mr Lau said. Five years later, the company, Pacific Air Ltd, has grown from a small arm of BALtrans into a thriving independent company with seven airlines as its principal clients, including Ethiopian Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines.
Mr Lau credits the growth of his business in part to the huge opportunities arising from booming trade ties between China and Africa. “The economies of China and Africa are very complementary,” Mr Lau said. “Africa today is what the BRICS countries were a decade ago.”
Here is what USA does vis-a-vis Africa:
The United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM or AFRICOM) is one of nineUnified Combatant Commands of the United States Armed Forces, headquartered atKelley BarracksStuttgartGermany. It is responsible for U.S. military operations and military relations with 53 African nations – an area of responsibility (AOR) covering all ofAfrica except Egypt, which is within the area of responsibility of the United States Central CommandTask Force 60 will normally be the commander of Naval Task Force Europe and Africa.[citation needed] Any naval unit within the USEUCOM or USAFRICOM AOR may be assigned to Task Force 60 as required upon signal from the Commander of the Sixth Fleet. There is a Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa.
Which do you think is better?  Certainly, a combatant command responsible for military operations in 53 African nations can generate quite a bit of employment under the poverty draft we have in the USA, and an opportunity for these newly minted college graduates to work off their unbankruptable student loans.  Not to worry, they changed the rules and they are now taking recruits up to 42 year olds.  Older than that?  I suppose you could lie about your age.  People have done that in every war, except it is usually kids lying about being older.

This is capitalism.  Hong Kong is free markets.  See the difference?

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Erasmus on Peace

David Swanson has an essay on Ersamus on Peace:
Kings, writes Erasmus, start wars to seize territory when they would be better off improving the territory they have now.  Or they start wars out of a personal grudge.  Or they start wars to disrupt popular opposition to themselves at home.  Such kings, Erasmus writes, should be exiled for life to the remotest islands.  And not just the kings but their privileged advisors.  Ordinary people don’t create wars, says Peace, those in power impose wars on them.
500 years later and nothing has changed.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Lessons From Finland

It has been pointed out that to maintain occupation armies a country must become a police state, and so it is with the USA, Soviet Union, etc.  Occupation invites resistance, which must be suppressed, which in turn is a downward spiral into the police state. North Korea & Cuba occupy no other country and are police states, so it it is not sufficient reason, but it is necessary.

From Finland's history comes some lessons:

We have the example of Jews fighting alongside Germans in WWII against the Soviets in Finland.  The Jews rationalized they were fighting for Finland, not for nazism.  But one lesson:  
The men were Finnish, they had the full support of their superior officers, and the Germans – while often shocked to find themselves fighting alongside Jews – did not have the authority to upbraid them. In fact, where they found themselves outranked by a Jewish officer, they were forced to salute.
Just so...  no power to abuse.   It is a law that allows one group to abuse another.  never give a state the power to make a law.
“I have heard a story about one Jewish soldier who was making his way back to camp with a German of a similar rank,” says Simon. “The Jew said to the German, ‘When we get back to camp, don’t tell people I’m Jewish.’ The German replied, ‘But nothing would happen to you – you’re a Finnish soldier. It’s me who would get into trouble.’?”
Just so...   abusers are as deformed as the abused.  Once the laws are made, it is a downward spiral as much for the beneficiaries as the victims.

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Tactical Withdrawal From the Military

I was listening to a former Naval Officer who had left the military after experiencing conscientious objections stepping onto a nuclear submarine.   He shared an interesting observation:  if you are in the military, keep your conscientious objection secret except for the highest ranking officer you can reach on your own.  To that officer and no other express your conscientious objection.  If so, it is likely you can gain a honorable discharge from the military.

On the other hand, if you make it known with the military you want out on conscientious objection grounds, expect to be denied and a trip to prison if you push it.  The idea is the military will let you go, but they do not want anyone else in the military to know.  Can't afford too many people to catch on?

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Tale of Two Larks

In the early 1980s, after the state put a bounty on child abusers, it became de riguer in divorce cases to claim one spouse was abusing a child.  The charge was so odious in the beginning it was believed.  Young lawyers desiring to build careers would push this.  I observed two cases, in which neither was there abuse, but the results varied.

In the one a charge was offered but it went no where, and that was pretty much the end of it, except for a wariness of the one spouse over for what the other was capable.

In the other, the charge was investigated, the weight of the court came down on the spouse, a father, and the wife kept doubling down.  In spite of no evidence of wrongdoing, the father was forbidden to see his daughters, and this injustice invited even more doubling down, until a poison killed family relationships and even father-daughter connections.  A no contact order was put in place, and as far as I know, the father has not seen the daughters for over thirty years.

The father went on to a life not unlike many others who experience an unspeakable injustice, a life with pain, but grace behind it.  The mother went on to a different unhappiness.   Pain with no grace, a very ugly place to be.

We hate those we harm.  If and when we get a little power, even by proxy, and we begin to do wrong with it, it is near impossible not to double down.   A lie about abuse which would have been about two people led to unspeakable pain among four people, and no doubt countless others who loved all involved.

Say no to power, especially your own.

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