The reassuring noise of the hive

chaos


(35 seconds to read)

Many inputs into my life. The mixture is becoming more rich in social media. As it does, it dilutes me, my being, my originality. My self still peeps…as I struggle to find it in the noise.

The pathways of my brain become a slippery erase board of values, based on what the collective thinks, and so my mind gets pulled towards the hive. It’s like a black hole, and I’m stretching now, pulled into strings of psyche that are unrecognizable from my true form.

It is a powerful force, based on the concentrated mass of humanity, a crushing and relentless gravity. Ironically it’s not mindful, as it spews thoughts, observations, accusations, churning like the waves of the ocean, it throws us up, spins us around, and sucks us down without direction.

And with our equilibrium shattered and compass gone,  we’re left wandering, thinking our focus is focused, but actually it’s the Generality we’ve reached, the Reactionary Equilibrium between loneliness and psychotic connection.

Because being plugged in doesn’t bring you closer to others or to reality, unless you believe it. And that’s what the internet is doing: Making you believe things, rather than think things.

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The inevitability of war when we fear others

boko-haram-600x336


Almost every day is a time to think about why we are involved in war. How supporting violence may lead to more violence. How religions taking their scriptures literally feeds pride and righteousness and leads to violence. And how nationalism can lead to fear and then harming others in an effort to preempt war.

But Veteran’s Day is not about the reasoning for war. It’s about those people who are willing to sacrifice their time, well-being, or lives for those who do not, or cannot. In an effort to protect our nation, they put themselves in harm’s way.

Remember and respect these few who are willing and able to do so.


Follow me and I will take you away from the everyday.

Why 9-11 doesn’t matter…but should

what How why

A network of men believed the nation of America, everyone: military people and its leadership, its men, women, and children, we all stood accountable, with our lives, for offending a religious group. Religion being the primary driver, if not the only driver, which inspired young men to sacrifice their lives for a twisted, spiteful good, which they felt was necessary.

But why does it matter the “Why?”, beyond knowing it was religion, if we know who did it, and who joins them? Let’s just get them.

Because: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” This text is attributed to Sun Tzu, from the Art of War.

Do we know ourselves? What do we want as the result of the war on terror? If our research finds another group always out there, scheming to attack America, do we continue to track them down, shooting a missile from an aircraft, sending a drone, and try to kill them, wherever they are? Maybe so.

And do we know them? Who are these young men and women enlisting with groups who have targeted not only America, but the free-world, the secular world, from America, to Europe, to Russia, to southeast Asia. How much do we need to know of their motivations, how much comes from their religion, and how much comes from their culture? A culture which sees American support of Israel and a history of deposing Iranian democracy or supporting military coups in Syria to conversely promote democracy. What seeds have we helped sow to be fertilized by the hate of religion?

Foreign policy is not clear cut, even if our involvement from history had not been so desperate and opportunistic. The religious schisms between Muslim groups should perhaps on their own keep us back from the fray, maybe even removing our financing and business involvement with our current allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

You can see that these are not easy questions. But wondering how our nation could be attacked without having been paying attention to what is happening outside our american day-to-day life can clearly be dangerous.

As Sun Tzu said, if we don’t know what we want, and we don’t know how the enemy thinks, then we will succumb in every battle. Because even when we kill our targets, we may have violated the sovereignty of another nation, its people, and at worst brought their civilian population into a war they didn’t want to be a party to, just as much as those Americans who were murdered on 9-11.

Remembering WHAT happened is only the start. We then need to go deeper, to the HOW, and WHY.

The goal is to know ourselves, our nation, our priorities, who we support, who we accidentally kill when we target our enemies, and most of all, to know who our enemies are.

Remembering who died and honoring them is not enough.

Let’s not honor out of context.

The most effective way for you to stay safe from terrorism

stop terror, turn off tv

After the shooting at the Connecticut elementary school, I’ve been thinking of security. HL Menken said, “Most people want security, not liberty.” I contend that you cannot have security without liberty. Security is a feeling of empowerment that grows from liberty. Security is the confidence that whatever happens, you’ve got it handled. How can you be empowered if you’ve given up your security to others? Our government provides us some security, but it includes them taking our right to trial and ignoring any right to privacy by collecting our personal data.

The media, the so-called experts, or the government can tell us what threatens us, but we’re the ones who decide what is actually threatening and whether we will give up some of our freedom to protect ourselves.

Remember, the more power we relinquish to the institution for our security and peace of mind, the less of our mind we will use, and the less secure we truly are.

What kind of security do you want?

A return to 1942

Japanese-American child being detained by US government in 1942, Smithsonian Institution, Copyright 2003

In 1942, after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the US government collected over 100,000 Japanese-Americans, most of them American citizens, and detained them in internment camps for over three years because they were seen as threats to American security.

Today, a bill approved by Congress gives the President the power to remove American citizens’ right to trial and allows the military to detain them as an enemy soldier. (From the Act: “Detention without trial until the end of the hostilities” of anyone who “substantially supports such groups and/or associated forces.”)

Before this act, the President only had the power to detain those who “helped perpetrate the 9/11 attack or (b) harbored the perpetrators.”

We give great power to our government and we trust them to use it wisely. What do you think? Should the government have this power to jail you without trial if they find that you “substantially supported” terrorism without defining “substantially” or “supported” and not not allowing a lawyer to argue it for you? And if so, should the President claim these powers “until the end of hostilities” in a war against terrorism which has no clear end?

The government has the power to dispense justice under a system of law with clear codes of right and wrong.
If Obama signs this bill today, the government will be able to decide, without argument, when punishment is necessary and how to dole it out.

These are serious questions that I hope all of you would consider to ensure we can live a happy life.

References:

http://www.lawfareblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/NDAA-Conference-Report-Detainee-Section.pdf