Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What Are We Doing Now?

With the death of Osama Bin Laden on , we have started seeing headlines like "Pakistani Taliban Promising Tougher Fight". This isn't about more soldiers going to war. What we obviously need is more preemptive strikes like the one the Navy Seals launched on the compound that Osama had been living in, in luxury for 6 years. I wish to add here that he was there for four years under the Bush administration. I don't ever again want to hear that anything they did, including torture, ever did anything but compromise our security and create more unrest in the Middle East.
Now that Bin Laden is gone and most of the major funding players are getting worn down, it is time to launch a preemptive strike against the people who are threatening MORE. No more sending young men into a meat grinder at the cost of their own lives, is what I want to say. But, considering the amount of people that our military employs, we don't have an alternative. If the U.S. Military branches, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, etc. were disbanded, the government would have almost two thirds as much money as it needed. What most U.S. Citizens don't realize or even think about is, that these people are supported by our taxes. If we really wanted to cut spending, this is the first place we could start. But when our military police operations involve the amount of effort that they do now, we can't really say much. Do we really think Korea or Germany really need watching now? But, where would these military personel find work when those jobs are no longer available. Part of our overpopulation and job security problems can be linked to one thing that most people don't like to talk about. We now have a volunteer army and NO DRAFT. During war time before this era, we always had a draft.
Am I saying that we should reinstate the draft? No, I am saying that we should either limit the amount of military waste, including over spending on personel in countries we don't really have tense political problems with OR, reinstate the draft.
I am a Buddhist, also. I believe that peace in our lifetimes is possible. But, it will take dialogue and negotiation. I agree with the Dalai Lama that war is an outdated concept. Conventional war is unnecessary in an age when we have smart missiles that can be aimed and fired from a battle ship or somewhere in Kansas like someone playing a Nintendo game. We have made peace agreements stating that we don't want nuclear war. I fully concur with that. I believe that because of two things, Oil and Christian Conservative Values that some people think we need to control in every country on earth and be a part of their success or failure on an ideological basis that even the majority of our own citizens don't understand or care to understand, is wrong. In recent history, the Natural Gas Act is about to be passed into law. This will limit our need on foreign oil. I think we need to limit our use of petroleum to making asphalt and plastics. Using it for unsafe, costly, and increasingly less plentiful supplies of fossil fuel has fueled a nation, but cost us an environment. It has raped our nation financially and brought us most of our inflationary times. Every time the cost of gas doubles, our country goes into a financial slump and it is always blamed on housing costs, rising food prices, and the good ole' "Cost Of Living Increase" which we wouldn't be experiencing if shipping costs due to oil prices rising incurs. Our nation knows that the oil companies have been unscrupulous and down right scandalous over the years, including the ones who put their children in government in order to continue to war profiteer, pillage, and plunder the United States. Between the oil companies, the insurance companies, and the health care industry, we are being systematically gouged for coming anywhere in orbital contact of these pirates.
When will it stop? When we demand it at the level of government. The lobbyists will scream socialism, and call it anything from lack of "free market" to "job killing tax and spending", but what it comes down to is we, as a nation need to demand common sense from our government and stop them from allowing certain industries to run unchecked, at will, creating another depression. Economists have been talking about this for years, but we weren't faced with the future in which some people think right to life and lack of contraception is normal instead of overpopulation. The planet is getting more crowded as we go and there has to be a limit. Some day in this country, people will need to get a permit to give birth. That is inevitable since we can't trust some people to be responsible.
The death of Osama Bin Laden and the beginning of the passing of the Natural Gas Act will usher in new possibilities and green technology, home farming, etc. will be the wave of the future. For those of you who don't know what I am talking about, read the articles about Michael Reynolds and the "Earthship" technology that they have started manufacturing and then watch the videos entitled "Garbage Warrior" that explain the new way we will be able to live in the future without a water bill, electric bill, and will grow our own food, raise our own meat, etc. Communities are already employing these techniques and those of us who are thinking in terms of "someday" will be left behind before long. The next century will be full of smart people and wasteful, ignorant, uneducated, and uncaring self centered people.
Go to YouTube and watch Garbage Warrior part one, part two, part three, part four, part five, and part six.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Take a Minute and Think

If I assumed the role of a disabled person living within the confines of the Judeo-Christian thinking, I would be upset with myself most of the time. To live life saddled with the idea that I deserve to be crippled, that I deserve whatever some spook in the sky wants to grant me as a life condition and no more, then I would be in a wheel chair and on morphine for the rest of my life. That isn't me. The idea that because someone ate an apple in a garden when the first people were created, then, I am born into sin and misery for the rest of my life, as a punishment for being human, doesn't sit well with me. For me to say merely that I am a sinner is a great way of casting off responsibility for my own actions, but that doesn't seem like I am trying to learn or develop and actually speaks highly for those who are dying of alcoholism and addiction since they are poor sinners who can't help themselves. This doesn't deal with the fact that some people have a moral code and stick with it without being given a book full or guilt ridden ideas that "kind of" similate a parable of right and wrong in parts. If people could decide on which part of the parables that are parables and not try to act like all the stories are a history of ancient times, then, we could all agree.
Religion was early man's way of describing what science and nature were doing all around him, devoid of education or verification of any facts. He made things up that he was comfortable with and that was how it went. ALL RELIGIONS CONTAIN MYTHOLOGY. These have been taken to the point of being treated as empirical (provable or verifiable by experience or experiment) views. That has created wars and arguments. The fact that any statement that isn't qualified is enough to start an argument over ambiguity should lead us to understand that a parable that isn't qualified should also be considered capable of creating an ambiguitous argument. I am not saying that anyone is wrong for having faith in something that makes you feel good, I am just saying that if you take it to the point that you would kill or die over something you have no evidence of, then, you have started a war in the same manner some of our own governing officials seem to constantly do. When we asked after the nine eleven attack, "WHY would someone want to attack us on our own soil like that?", we were asking two things. 1) "Who would want to attack the land of the free, home of the brave, and the greatest ideology seeking nation in the world?" and 2)"Who, after all these years after Pearl Harbor, would be insane enough to attack us in our own country where our innocent citizens live?".
The immediate reaction from the then Bush White House was the statement that,"They hate us because we (Remember we are talking about a politician who lives not only in the United States, but in it's capital, Washington, D.C.) are Christian and we are White." I wanted to scream at that person, "Do you ever look outside your window?" Not only is Washington, D.C. more populated with African Americans than most any other state in the United States, the Bin Laden Group is right across the street from the White House. BUT, that sort of short thinking and ignorant bliss is exactly why we found ourselves in three wars over whose mythology we choose to believe. No one in the United States government wants you to know this but Bin Laden had put out a video tape, while in exile, of himself making a statement in Arabic, that said when our Seventh Fleet shelled Beruit, he had been there and saw the two sky scrapers in downtown Beruit burning and falling and said to himself, "I know another twin towers that needs to be destroyed." Our foreign policies of backing the Israelis over and over has cost us a few problems. All of
these, once again, are over religious differences. One can try to put a different light on it, but under it all, the ideology of Capitalism and Christianity rules all and is considered the "ONLY" kind of civilization that is considered "REALLY CIVILIZED" has got to either stop or we should expect more retalliation, as we try to change the rest of the world to suit us.
I am today a Buddhist by choice, not by the religion thrust upon me as a child, as I can see that they don't thrust their religion on anyone. They lead by example and are quite outspoken and activist, but don't force you to believe their doctrine, because part of their doctrine is to allow for and adapt to, change. Thich Nhat Hanh, the Zen monk, author, and peace activist developed the Order of Interbeing and I am now seeking this way to look at my life. It includes meditation and fourteen mindfulness trainings. The first three are significant here:

"...1. The First Mindfulness Training: Openness
Aware of the suffering created by fanaticism and intolerance, we are determined not to be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. Buddhist teachings are guiding means to help us learn to look deeply and to develop our understanding and compassion. They are not doctrines to fight, kill, or die for.

2. The Second Mindfulness Training: Nonattachment from Views Aware of the suffering created by attachment to views and wrong perceptions, we are determined to avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views. We shall learn and practice nonattachment from views in order to be
open to others' insights and experiences. We are aware that the knowledge we presently possess is not changeless, absolute truth. Truth is found in life, and we will observe life within and around us in every moment, ready to learn throughout our lives.

3. The Third Mindfulness Training: Freedom of Thought Aware of the suffering brought about when we impose our views on others, we are committed not to force others, even our children, by any means whatsoever - such as authority, threat, money, propaganda, or indoctrination - to adopt our views. We will respect the right of others to be different and to choose what to believe and how to decide. We will, however, help others renounce fanaticism and narrowness through practicing deeply and engaging in compassionate dialogue."

Cite: < > The mindfulness bell, The fourteen mindfulness trainings by Thich Nhat Hanh.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bin Laden Dead, Finally

Ever since the day that George Bush decided to say that he didn't know where Osama Bin Laden was or really care, he wasn't a priority, I was waiting. Eventually, it will all come out how much patronizing information that we have been given in the connection between their families and how much a part that played in the ignorance of the Bush administration concerning the deaths of the people in the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. Rudy Giullianni got more than his share of news exposure during that time and it went to his head. Most Republicans have been ashamed to admit their supposed "superior" ruling class aristocratic families dismissed the Bin Ladens' family black sheep for the sake of "international relations" when in fact, it meant money in their pockets if your family was in the oil business. Hopefully that will stop. The news media has developed it's usual circus over the issue. Now he is being given top billing in the news. Too bad that couldn't have happened when he was alive.
At first several news sources put out this fake photograph as supposed "proof of death" but it has been found that the photo was a doctored picture of him talking with his mouth held in a certain way. I hope this puts an end to the hopefulness of terrorists that believe the United States can't find you and kill you if they want to. I hope this puts an end to the supposed bond between the Saudi royalty and oil baron families and the United States. It only puts a definite end to the one man, not an ideology. This also means we will have to find a new enemy to fixate on. Won't that conspiracy theory be fun to watch? I predict that the right wing will somehow turn this into a financial problem for everyone else and that Rupert Murdoch will have his own spin on this whole thing before forty eight hours has expired.