Holy Crap

Holy Crap!

I remember back during the Vietnam War when American soldiers said, “Kill a Gook for God.”  But typically, God is not on anybody’s side during war.  So, God is also not on the side of terrorists when they behead their enemies.  And God was not on the side of Crusaders who tortured their enemies or witch hunters in Salem.

Perhaps these represent extreme fundamentalist activities, but moderate religious adherents also are sinners.  We are all different kinds of sinners.  But when we justify our sins as acting under God’s direction, we are going down the wrong path.  When we rationalize our acts as God’s servants, we are headed through the wrong gate.

Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”  Matthew 7:13-14.

I see many church-going citizens on Sunday mornings with a pious look on their faces.  But I see these same citizens later that evening at bars, hitting on women and looking for love in all the wrong places.  It seems that many believers think that the road to God is a wide road that accepts all sinners, no matter how many times they have sinned.  Jesus clearly stated that it is a very narrow path with only a few finding it.

If Jesus died for our sins, why do we have to worry about our sins at all?  All our past and future sins were or will be erased since Jesus paid our sin debt in full, right?  Well, that answer is not as clear as you might think.  Believing in Jesus as your savior may get you to first base, but it doesn’t get you down the narrow baseline from second and third base and finally to God’s Home.

Free will without consequences would be quite absurd.  We, as sinners, prefer to believe that consequences are for the other sinners.  That is not even logical.  The Bible is very clear about a judgment day, which will examine our deeds and misdeeds during our sinful lives.  “The dead were judged according to what they had done…”  Revelation 20:12.

So, let’s cut through the Holy Crap and get down to the bottom line, which is getting to Home plate.  Since we all will be judged, it is important to minimize your sinning.  You should not justify or rationalize your sins.  You should not expect God to forget your sins.  But you should avoid sinning at all costs.  Because sinning will cost you more than you can imagine.

How do we find the narrow path that Jesus indicated only a few would find?  First, drop the holy crap!  We need to accept our sinful nature and our past failures and allow God into our hearts.  It is only when we become one with God that we can successfully turn ourselves around.  Unification with God leads to the narrow path.  It will be a very difficult path and journey, but you have no chance without the Heavenly pathfinder.

 

Remember the Past to Protect Our Future

Welcome veterans and active duty to our Memorial Day program … “Remember the Past to Protect our Future.”  This is your day.  You and all the fallen warriors are to be honored this afternoon.

How many of us in here today know how much freedom is worth?  I think all of us have our own idea.  It’s probably like that ad you see on TV when you learn that something is priceless.

We are honoring veterans from WWII and the Korean War, fought by a generation known as “The Greatest Generation.”  Would those veterans please stand or, if you cannot, please raise your hands.  These GI’s didn’t want recognition, but they were willing to die in the fields with their band of brothers to protect our fragile freedom.  They made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom, but wanted nothing in return except to know that they were making America safe and free for their children and grandchildren.  Thank you (applause).

We also are honoring veterans from the Vietnam War, fought by “The Marred and Scarred Generation.”  Would those veterans please stand.  The stories that you  heard about these veterans returning home and being spit on by fellow Americans are true.

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was a problem both over the pond and back home as these warriors received a double whammy as they were shot at in Vietnam and then came home to unwelcoming arms.  Our freedom cost these veterans more than most.   Hopefully, this program today can help bring you peace, knowing that this audience greatly appreciates what you did for your country.  Thank you (applause).

We are also honoring veterans who served in the Middle East.  Would those veterans please stand.  You stood tall in serving your country in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan.  You know that freedom came at a cost as you watched your fellow-soldiers crash to the ground, bleeding on foreign sands.

You know that America was at the top of its game in the First Gulf War.  President Bush stated the goal of getting the Iraqis out of Kuwait, and he gave this singular assignment to the military to get the job done, which they did after losing several hundred soldiers against the fourth largest army in the world at that time.  This may have been America at her best in wartime.  But any loss of life was a high price to pay, but these heroes never complained.  Thank you (applause).

We also want to honor those active duty military who are here today.  You keep us safe at home, while fighting on foreign soil.  Would you please stand to be honored.  Thank you (applause).

Finally, we veterans want to thank the First Responders… those policemen and firemen from our communities who serve and protect our families when we are overseas.  Are there any policemen, firemen, paramedics, or family members here today?  We want to thank you since you stand tall every day serving your country in a different way.  Your comrades have also died saving lives.  You know the cost is very high, but you do it just the same.  Thank you again (applause).

Please give a standing ovation to all these great American heroes.

As I said, the presentation today is:  “Remember the Past to Protect our Future.”  Quite frankly, I borrowed this idea from Confucius who said: “Study the past if you would define the future.”  In effect, if you learn from the past, you may avoid prior mistakes and build a brighter future.

However, you needn’t dig up our peaceful past and study it, because times of peace are not as valuable in forecasting our future.  Of course, peaceful times are important, and analyzing these periods can show changes and patterns, but they typically don’t help us in protecting our future.  Why?  Because hard times present the true challenges to our integrity and beliefs.  It is easy to support your beliefs in peacetime, but it is more difficult if somebody is shooting at you because you support those beliefs.

The older generation generally worries about the younger generation losing moral ground.  Decade after decade, older generations shake their heads and wonder what the future will be like with the younger generation in charge.  Elvis, the Beatles, acid rock, heavy metal, punk rock, and rap made older generations think that each succeeding generation was worse than the last.  History tells us that moral values deteriorate more during peace time, so one theory is that America’s loss of values occurred during decades when either there was peace or no war on our soil, much like what led to the fall of the Roman Empire.

On the other hand, the younger generations thought the older generations were in the way of progress… their progress, and should not be trusted after age 30.  But these past events probably will not matter that much in the future scheme of things.

It is wars and hard times that seem to matter the most.  We must remember and study past wars and depressions and revolutions in order to protect our future.  Analyze how we made it through those hard times.  How did we survive the tough tests of life?  Remember that saying:  “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”?

These difficult times typically had battle lines drawn by two major forces:  (1) self-serving interests and (2) community-serving interests.  And we need to study the past so that we can ensure that community-serving powers overcome and are never controlled by self-serving interests in the future.

The bottom line for the past is summarized in a question:  Were the generations that went through those hard times willing to die for their country?  In other words, were they willing to die for what they believed was the right thing?

Then the most important question for future generations will be:  will they be willing to die for their country?  In other words, will they first believe in something and secondly will they be willing to die for those beliefs?

Some of you might argue that younger generations form their moral codes and beliefs in times of peace, so that peace is an important time to analyze their development or lack thereof.  Even though this is true to a certain extent, the hard times are much more important for analyzing the human spirit.  I have seen criminals and nere-do-wells change into powerful leaders during hard times.

Just because people appear to have no backbone or moral standards in peaceful times does not mean they will not fight for their freedom to the death.  In fact, terrorists are examples of young people who will die for a cause.  But there is a significant difference between dying for your personal beliefs and dying for somebody else’s beliefs that have been imprinted in your brain.  But I will save the discussion on brainwashing for a little later in the presentation.

Let’s first analyze WWII.  We were very lucky that two self-serving interests, Hitler’s right-wing totalitarian society and Stalin’s left-wing totalitarian society, did not prevail against our Band of Brothers.  So how did the community-serving side win the war?

To answer that, I will rely on my dad’s experiences.  I remember waking up in my early years with my dad screaming because of his nightmares from WWII.  My dad served in combat under General George Patton for almost three years.  Let me repeat that.  He was shot at for almost three years.  So, he knew the answer as to why we won the war.

He told me that we won because of the “DC rule.”  The DC rule is when the leaders in Washington DC are finally motivated to Delegate and Cooperate.  The generals in the Pentagon delegated decision-making powers to the soldiers in the field, while Hitler demanded that no troop movements be made without his approval.  The Band of Brothers then cooperated by making excellent tactical decisions, while the Nazis waited for a self-serving dictator to tell them what to do.  We need to focus on what is best for our community and not on selfish pursuits in order to protect our future.

The Korean War was more of the same.  The selfish totalitarian forces of China and North Korea lost out to the powerful teams of soldiers formed through delegation and cooperation, working together to defeat a common enemy.

The Vietnam War showed us what happens when selfish interests overpower community interests.  The American soldiers were never given the green light to do what they needed to do to win the war.  Politicians held them back based on their self-serving interests.  There was no delegation and cooperation.

But we learned from our mistakes.  In the First Gulf War in 1991, Papa Bush as President told the military to remove the Iraqis from Kuwait.  He then delegated that mission to the military, allowing them to do their jobs.  America cooperated with many other countries.  With United Nations Security Council sanctions, we formed a coalition of 34 countries, including eight Arab countries, to remove the Iraqi army from Kuwait.  At that time, the Iraqis had the fourth largest Army in the world with the vaunted Republican Guard, which had over eight years of experience fighting the Iranian army.

Since the Iraqi army had the advantage of being dug into solid defensive positions, we expected to lose about two to three times as many soldiers as the Iraqis would in the ground warfare.  As it turned out, we only lost 148 troops, while the enemy had 20,000 to 35,000 killed in action.  That was amazing.

What made for this unbelievable result?  Primarily, it was because of Delegation and Cooperation.  Our military made decisions in the field while the Iraqis waited for guidance from Hussein.  We also were patient and waited until we had built up worldwide support to remove the Iraqis from Kuwait.

We also cooperated by following international law or the Law of War, which is the civilized rules for fighting a war.  One of the important rules of war is that you should minimize civilian casualties.  Hussein ignored this rule and it hurt him on the international front and in the press.  Hussein just plain didn’t care, so he used civilians as human shields for his military and he placed his military in schools.  How do you think we handled this?  We bombed the military at night after the school day was over.

Did you ever wonder why President Bush didn’t go into Baghdad and oust Hussein?  Many in America thought it was the right thing to do, but this was based on American selfish interests and not the needs of the communities in the Gulf to maintain stability in the region.  Bush, who had many years of international experience, including being Director of the CIA, knew Hussein’s value in Iraq was that he controlled the diverse and fractionalized religions and cultures.  If you removed Hussein, the area would become a powder keg.  Iraq also was the neutralizer of Iranian power in the region.

Bush knew that the international community and coalition forces had agreed to remove Hussein from Kuwait, and to go further than that would have been a violation of international law.  You can only secure your military objective and you have to stop.  If you go beyond your military objective, then you are in violation of the Law of War, which has not only international implications, but also carries sanctions.

If we had not followed international law, we could not have maintained the fragile coalition.  If President Bush had gone into Iraq attempting to oust Hussein, he would have been going beyond the military objective.  To go after Hussein would have been a breach of international law.  Bush was experienced enough to know the consequences of that.

“Didn’t have to do it.  Didn’t have to go to Baghdad.  Only had to get ‘em outta Kuwait.  Did it and did it quick.  Followed the rules.  Followed the law.” 

In my mind, Papa Bush was the best war president we ever had.  He knew the national security interest, announced the goal, and then stood back and let the military do its job.  And the military did its job extremely well, always following the law.

I served as a JAG in both the Army and the Air Force during the wars in the Middle East.  JAGs and military attorneys were even used to examine the targets to avoid violations of the Law of War.  As an example, these attorneys told Gen. Colin Powell and Secretary of War Dick Cheney that they could not bomb a triumphal arch in Baghdad because it was a cultural object just like the Washington Monument.  Powell and Cheney were not happy and shook their heads that attorneys were running the war, but they scratched this target from the bomb list.

International law is that important in cooperating in the world today.  As an example, Bush’s son did not fare as well as his dad did in understanding international law.  When he used water boarding at Guantanamo and other torture at Abu Ghraib, he probably was in violation of international law.  We lost world respect and, more importantly, fiscal and physical support and cooperation from other countries.

I taught the CNN Test to the pilots who were going into war environments.  I told them to see if the targets passed the CNN Test.  In other words, how would that target look on the news the next day?  For example, we advised Gen. Powell not to bomb a statue of Hussein because it was a cultural object and did not have much military necessity… not enough to risk getting a CNN story about how our pilots risked their lives to bomb a statue.  The media supported the First Gulf War and it was used very effectively to obtain worldwide support.

By issuing general orders and delegating the details to your troops in the field, you enable soldiers to think outside the box.  I worked in the Pentagon and I believe that most of the people I worked with thought that thinking outside the box was coming up with new excuses for not coming to work.  And when you did run into people who thought outside the box, they were still touching the box.

One of my favorite Pentagon stories involved one of those meetings with all the big whigs and mukety mucks and the big brass.  And at this meeting, the generals were handing out new emergency plans to evacuate the building in case of any emergency.  After the meeting, I took the map and followed the directions right into a dead end.  The staffers who had prepared the map had not actually walked the course.  They based it on the old blueprint.  To me walking the course is not even thinking outside the box.  It is just simply thinking.  You should at least get out of your office and check out the course before handing it out to people.

It is interesting.  When you place bureaucrats in the field to face hard times, assuming that you can ever get them there, they actually think differently.  They quickly get outside the box and start thinking much clearer as bullets are whizzing and bombs are bursting around them.  War is surrealistic.  It makes people think and sometimes makes them think differently.

I served in four military services over four decades.  Let’s go back in time to the early 1960’s when John Kennedy was president.  I started my service in the Viet Nam war.  It was a difficult war for those of us in the military and also for those who were at home.  President John Kennedy first sent our troops into Viet Nam as trainers.

“I uh, was not certain that we were doing the right thing, but I couldn’t just stand idly by and allow the communists to overrun the country.  So, I sent small military teams over there to train the Vietnamese to fight.”

The Viet Nam war continued and we sent more and more soldiers overseas, but our leaders would not allow the military to do what they needed to do to make it a short and victorious war.  President Lyndon Johnson took most of the heat for the political bureaucracy that bogged down the military.

“Mah fellow Americans.  I come to you tonight with a heavy heart.  Ah think it’s that dadburned chili I ate.  I want you to know that ah nevah lied to you about Viet Nam.  I may have kidded you a lil’ bit, but ah nevah lied to you.”  

I remember when we finally pulled out of Nam, our military leaders met with the Viet Cong and angrily told them that we had won every battle that we fought with them.  The Viet Cong leaders quietly told them, “Yes, but that was irrelevant.”  The point is that you have to think differently than the selfish bureaucratic leaders in order to win the war.  You can even win all the battles, but if the leaders in DC don’t delegate and cooperate, you can still lose the war.  President Richard Nixon finally brought our troops back home.

“Let me say this about that.  I was the one who brought our boys home.  Give me credit for that.  You may kick tricky Dicky around for other things, but I brought our troops home from Nam.”

I remember President Jimmy Carter was on the television show, “What’s My Line?” when he was Governor of Georgia, and the panel didn’t know who he was.  He was elected president a short time later.  His inexperience hurt him when he tried to deal with the Iranian hostage situation.  It was another failure to delegate and cooperate.

“Hidy, hidy.  I relied on experts around me, but I didn’t have many experts with military experience.  I had served with the Navy, but not in combat.  I wanted to work things out with the Iatolla, but I had to learn the hard way that you can’t negotiate with fundamentalists.  I did better with Sadat and Begin because I learned to delegate and cooperate.”

And it is not a matter of Republicans vs. Democrats.  Unfortunately, both parties carry bad and selfish records into wartime efforts.  Both Bill Clinton and George Bush, the son, did not understand or appreciate international law.  First, Bill Clinton.

“Hillary, have you seen the latest polls?  I want to find out if I need to take more military action in Bosnia and Serbia today.”

Presidential decisions should not be made based on public opinion.  Decisions should be based on protecting national security interests while complying with international law.  Gen. Colin Powell, recommended allowing the European powers to handle the problems in former Yugoslavia because America had no national security interest involved.  We should have delegated and cooperated with other countries.  Clinton got America involved in the Bosnian-Serbian war based on opinion polls and not America’s national security.  Presidents must be civil servants protecting our national interests, not securing votes for the next election, a selfish interest.

Next, George W. Bush.

“Those are evildoers out there in Iraq.  They tried to kill my daddy!”

Presidential decisions to attack a country cannot be based on emotion or a personal vendetta.  Again, these decisions must be based on national security interests while in full compliance with international law.

After 9/11, Bush went on the offensive in Afghanistan going after the terrorists.  That was a reasonable response to the bombing of the Twin Towers.  It was similar to a policeman’s “hot pursuit” policy when chasing a criminal into another jurisdiction.  We definitely had a national security interest at stake, and the international community understood our response and considered it appropriate.  But we should always have an exit plan.  We need to get in and then get out.  The longer you stay, like in Vietnam, the worse it gets.

But what was our national security interest in invading Iraq?  There were several reasons given:  (1) Hussein was an evil dictator, (2) Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, (3) Iraq needed democracy, (4) terrorists were being protected in Iraq, and (5) Iraq was one of the countries in the Axis of Evil.

I don’t really need to talk about any of these because they were all distortions of the reality of Iraq’s role in the Middle East.  No matter what you thought of Hussein, Iraq was a great counterbalance to dangerous fundamentalists in Iran.  By removing Hussein, we allowed both Iraq and Iran to become a serious threat to peace in the Middle East and to our national security.

It’s really not an issue about which party you belong to, but it is an issue about following the path of what is best for our community or nation.  Sometimes, the two-party system creates two extreme positions, neither of which is helpful for our country.

I was raised in downtown Louisville in the 1950’s.  It was a time for the Jets and Sharks.  Gangs were a way of life.  I remember that those gang members who were extremists never became leaders of the gang.  The leaders were assertive, but not aggressive.  Whether you are fighting in a gang or as a soldier in a war, if you are aggressive, you will get yourself and your friends killed.  The best leaders in war are assertive.

I remember my dad telling me that the new soldiers were ignored because most of them were too aggressive and would get themselves and anybody around them killed.  The combat hardened soldiers took their time and never jumped into the fire.  They were assertive, but not aggressive.  They actually adopted an approach to war that avoided aggressive, self-interest actions, but focused on group-assertive activities.

If your friends pressure you to take an extreme position, do you conform or do you think for yourself?   If your boss tells you to do something that is illegal, do you do it?  If you join a terrorist group and you strap a bomb to your back and blow yourself up, did you do this because it conformed to your belief or was it somebody else’s belief?  Generally, the terrorist leaders who instruct followers to blow themselves up, rarely strap any bombs on themselves.

An experiment was conducted at a university using students being directed by a person in authority telling them to administer shocks to test students.  Initially, it was thought that about 1% of the students would actually shock their fellow students under the direction of an authority figure.  They weren’t under duress or offered money, it was just simply somebody telling them what to do.  It turned out that 65% of them shocked the other students, even to the point of causing severe pain.  And the painful sounds made by their fellow students didn’t deter them.  Of course the students receiving the shock were hidden behind a screen and were only faking it, but the students administering the electric current didn’t know that.

The actions taken at Abu Ghraib and at Guantanamo Bay were based on instructions from above.  Nobody questioned the authority from above.  These were Americans torturing people in violation of international law.

During the McCarthy hearings and during the witch trials and during the rules of Stalin and Hitler, most people did nothing to stop these extremist positions.  You may be afraid of consequences to yourself if you say anything, but the worst consequences are from doing nothing.  Do you think Hitler would have stopped with the Communists?  With the Jews?  With the Catholics?  With the Protestants?  You can keep silent until your group comes up for annihilation.

When I worked with Exxon, I made a two-hour Power-Point presentation to the president.  After it was over and questions had been answered, the President asked, “Is there any way I can do nothing?”  And that’s what he decided to do.  And by doing nothing, there were environmental consequences.  Yet, I was the only one in the meeting who spoke up.  If others had said something, he might have actually done something.

An 18th century philosopher Edmund Burke believed, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”  How many times have we done nothing after we saw that something was wrong?

Many politicians are self-serving, doing nothing for their constituents.  It’s very difficult finding politicians who are more interested in doing the right thing than in getting elected and then re-elected, but hopefully they will come forward, especially if times get really bad.

Many people today are like the politicians… out to serve themselves.  But if times get tough, I wonder if Americans will take action to defend our beliefs.  If we recall the past things that awakened America, Pearl Harbor and the Twin Towers come to mind.  These were actions that awakened the sleeping giant.

I see where military bases have stepped up their security since ISIS is taking actions in the United States.  I believe that at some point, ISIS will awaken the sleeping giant.  It may be an attack at a mall or an elementary school, but there will be a line that they will cross that will bring out the Hulk in America.  ISIS will go too far and awaken America from its slumber just like Pearl Harbor and the Twin Towers did.  And when it does… watch out!  When these tough times reach our soil, that is when I believe young and old Americans will unite against the enemy.  As we transition from peace to war, the genetics in Americans that is found in our ancestors who were tough immigrants and hard-core pioneers will reappear in an independent spirit of America.

When we reach that point, we will need to be smart.  We need to follow the past recipe for success:  “DC” – delegate and cooperate.  The political leaders in DC need to delegate the details to the military and law enforcement officials, who then need to share information and cooperate in a coordinated attack.  It might even be our cells against their cells, as we form Terrorist Tactical Teams throughout the United States combining specialists from federal, state, and local levels for the teams.  And all the different agencies must share information and cooperate.

Love and Hate

Love and hate are both four-letter words.  Sometimes they have other similarities.  Love can turn into hate and hate can return to love.  How can this be?

Well, both of them are extreme emotions that many times spring from relationships.  The most basic explanation is that love occurs when the relationship is good and hate develops when the relationship sours.  So are we talking about the same emotion, distinguished by whether things are going well or not?

It’s not quite that simple.  Some people love and hate from afar.  A stalker may be initially attracted to a beautiful lady, thinking of his feelings as love for her.  But the stalker may eventually realize that he can never have her, so his feelings turn to hate.  The poor lady may never even know anything about this guy until he appears out of the dark and kills her.

Some people hate others based on race, creed, or religion.  If you are poor, you can hate the rich without knowing them.  Thus, these forms of hate are not based on personal relationships that have gone bad.  Many times, hate is a way for the oppressed to compensate for their positions in life.  Hate also can become a super-glue for political parties, gangs, and peer groups.  What better way to cement individuals together than by hating another group?  Hitler understood this very well.

Love and hate, although very powerful initially, typically are very temporal emotions, because extreme emotions can burn out fairly quickly.  They can disappear as quickly as they appear.  But there are exceptions to this.  The hate between Arabs and Jews has been going on for hundreds of years.  This is not going away because the Bible makes the Jewish people the chosen ones and the Koran does not.  The hate leads to terrorist acts that beget more violence.  It has become a “never-ending story” of hate.

However, these problems can be resolved over time when reasonable leaders are in charge of Arab countries and Israel.  An example of this was Northern Ireland and England.  The terrorist killings had gone on for decades without any end in sight until the leadership of those countries recognized how the acts of terrorism were tearing the economy of the two countries apart.  Reasonable leaders found an economic compromise that has held the peace for many years.

Does that mean that the leadership in the Middle East is unreasonable?  Well of course it does.  But which comes first:  reasonable leadership or stopping the terrorist attacks?  The leaders say that they must respond to the terrorist attacks, and since the terrorists are not reasonable, they cannot be reasonable.

There is a problem with extremist thinking.  It is important for moderates to exert more control in the world.  Generally, moderates do not choose to get involved with extremists.  They patiently wait for the extreme positions to dissipate.  But moderates must take a stand against terrorists and extremists before they polarize the world.  The thing that makes moderates apathetic is that they believe that since terrorists and extremists are in the minority, they can never take over the world.  Hitler is the ultimate example of why this is the wrong way to think.  Many extremist minorities have taken over countries throughout history.  Stalin just killed millions of people who didn’t do what he demanded.

There are many countries in the world who do not want terrorism to expand into their areas, so they should be willing to form a worldwide coalition to eradicate terrorists and extremists throughout the world.  The terrorists and extremists cannot stand up to a worldwide force that joins hands to crush them.

Perhaps we would be better off by not emphasizing extreme emotions like love and hate and instead by becoming a more thoughtful, moderate world.

Politicians Are More Dangerous than Terrorists

It is a very sad comment that today’s politicians are more dangerous than terrorists.  Politicians are much more likely to destroy the American system and our way of life than any terrorist organization.

One of my favorite jokes around springtime tells the rest of the story.  Towards the end of March, I would state that it was time to clean out the house… but don’t forget to also clean out the Senate.

So both Democrats and Republicans are guilty.  They may have good intentions early in their careers, but they get sucked into the corrupt system within a few months of arrival in Washington.  When I worked at the Pentagon and the Navy Yard as a fraud attorney, I had occasion to work with NCIS, the Department of Justice, and the FBI.

I was constantly bringing up good fraud cases against Senior Executive Service civilians and high ranking officers of the military, but these cases never went anywhere.  Why?  Because the culture in Washington was corrupt from middle management up to the top.  Everybody wanted to look the other way when federal managers did something unethical.  The only cases I successfully prosecuted were against lower managers and regular employees.  There is a double standard in Washington.

And this is even worse with politicians.  I asked an FBI agent why we never prosecuted Congressmen who were taking bribes every day.  He told me that it was difficult proving that the amounts given were not campaign contributions.  He also told me that there was a wicked culture in DC that was entrenched.  Anybody attempting to change that would lose their jobs or disappear.

It was difficult for me to watch all the politicians… and let me repeat… ALL the politicians accept compensation from special interest groups.  The real compensation for politicians is not their salaries, but it is the tremendous amount of money they receive from organizations who bribe them to do their bidding.

Several decades ago, Congressmen were only dangerous to our country because they did not represent Americans, but only their self interests.  However, today there is a new breed of politician who is even more dangerous.  These new politicians are interested in creating a world order that will be totalitarian in nature.  But don’t think for a second that it will be beneficial to you.  It will benefit these new leaders because they will rule the world.  They can then take anything they want and leave the rest of us in the cold or dead, which is very typical of all totalitarian leaders throughout history.

You can see the political posturing in the news, but please try to think what a politician’s real motivation is.  For example, when President Obama promised executive action that would give nearly five million illegal immigrants temporary work permits and amnesty, this really is designed to add more voters for a Democratic president who will continue pushing for a new world order.  The White House was spinning that Obama’s unilateral action was not “amnesty” and that it would “ensure that everyone plays by the same rules.”

Republicans are pushing for comprehensive amnesty legislation in order to avoid losing the next presidential election because of these potential voters.  Some of these five million immigrants may find ways to vote at the polls, but the real increase in voters who will support the Democrats are the families and friends of these immigrants.  Also, new Democratic supporters may rise exponentially in the next two years as Americans may become frustrated by the “gridlock” that could be caused by the actions of both parties.  The Republicans will take the greatest part of the blame.

Executive Agreements and Executive Orders have been used for decades and the Supreme Court has never ruled any of them unconstitutional.  The best option for Congress is to exercise its control of the power of the purse.  However, we have never had the executive branch so intent on using its agreements and orders for political purposes to create a new world order or worldwide totalitarian regime much like in Huxley’s and Orwell’s books.

Because of the nature of the political beast that exists in DC, it is not likely that America will avoid being drawn into the giant totalitarian whirlpool that awaits it.  I predict that millions of people will be sent to concentration camps and murdered until only weak-minded citizens remain behind to be enslaved by the new world order.

It is interesting to note that history has not been kind to the original leaders like Lenin, who might have had a genuine interest in helping the people.  The only survivors will be those who are completely evil and those who are completely dominated and offer no resistance.  Where will you fit in this new scheme of things?

 

 

True Believer – Giving and Accepting

We humans are almost identical in our genes, proving that there was a bottleneck about 75,000 years ago when our species was reduced to about a thousand scattered around the world.  Some scientists speculate that the super-massive eruption of Mt. Toba in Indonesia was the culprit that nearly caused the extermination of mankind.

Yet, we are all different in how we deal with the gift of life.  You might think that Homo sapiens would act the same since the genetic material is so close to being the same.  But you would be wrong.  We are given choices, and we are very creative in how we make the billions of choices in our lifetimes.  That’s why our species uniquely decides to commit mass murders, to torture, to rape, to mutilate, to sodomize, etc.  There is no bottom in the depths of depravity.

But some of our species go in the opposite direction, finding religion and becoming better humans as each day passes.  Generally, these people thank God for His gift of life and accept His gift of life with humility and deep appreciation.  Then they accept God’s gift of eternal life.  Then some take another step to give His gift to others.  They pass on the secret gift of eternal life to nonbelievers.

Many turn away from religion since they associate it with cults and mindless followers or, in other cases, with extremists who will burn witches, who will become suicide terrorists, or who will murder under the guise of doing God’s will.  Even though man’s history is littered with these sordid tales, these faux religious leaders and followers were not true believers. 

A true believer is a good solid thinker and would never allow evil thoughts to prevail.  A true believer is a complex thinker and is not tempted to follow simplistic, hollow thoughts.  In effect, a true believer both gives and accepts with great thought.  A true believer gives of himself/herself by explaining the deceptions of life to others.  The great deception is that man is the center of his life, and is deceived into believing that he should enjoy it, taking whatever he wants, because he will soon die and there will be no consequences for his actions. 

I cannot prove that this is incorrect.  But, on the other hand, nobody can prove that we will not continue thinking after we die.  It’s possible that evil could consume mankind with no consequences, but there is always the question of what is behind the door of death.  Nobody knows with any degree of certainty exactly what happens in the afterlife. 

But a true believer would be prepared for whatever may come.  If a true believer is still thinking after death, all the anguish from poor decisions and self-torture will not come to pass.  The true believer has accepted Jesus death on the cross as dying for his sins, so will not think of them anymore.  Acceptance is critical.  Many people would have trouble accepting somebody dying for them, but a true believer does because that person knows that Jesus already gave His life for that purpose, so it would be a waste to cast this gift aside.  Also, it is the only way to completely eradicate the guilt that would pull you down into deep dark thoughts, leading to the gates of Hell.     

Round Up the Posse to Fight Terrorism

Most Americans believe that the military is required to fight terrorism, but the military is trained and designed to fight armies representing foreign governments.  The terrorists are civilians who typically have no alignment with a government.

We have learned some hard lessons in Iraq and Afghanistan.  America has drained its resources and has lost many good soldiers in these two countries with little to show for it.

So, what is the best way to fight terrorism?  Perhaps, it is as simple as letting our cells fight the terrorist cells.  There currently is a strong movement toward a world economy, so it makes sense to form international counter-terrorism cells to fight the terrorist cells.  It will be a more economical and practical approach to solving this problem.  Other countries, who realize that terrorism is detrimental to the world economy, will be more receptive to this smaller-scale approach than to providing military forces to fight another country’s armies.

So, let’s round up the Posse to fight terrorism.  The Posse that I am talking about gathering together and forming up is the Posse Comitatus Act, which was passed as a response to the federal military occupation of the former Confederate states during the ten years of Reconstruction after the Civil War.  The southern states bartered for this law in the Election of 1876.  The Democrats consented to Rutherford B. Hayes of Ohio, a Republican, winning the disputed election in return for passage of this law.

The Posse Comitatus Act originally prohibited any president or Congress from directing, by military order or federal legislation, the imposition of federal troops in any state.  But an exception was made to the act in 1958, permitting President Dwight Eisenhower to send federal troops into Little Rock, Arkansas, during the school desegregation crisis.   This exception allows the president to call up military forces when state authorities are either unable or unwilling to suppress violence that is in opposition to the constitutional rights of the people.

The original Posse Comitatus Act also referred essentially to the Army, but the Air Force was added in 1956.  The Navy and Marine Corps have been included by Department of Defense regulations.  This law today is often relied upon to prevent the military services from interfering in domestic law enforcement.  The Coast Guard is not subject to this law.

Terrorists, whether foreign or domestic, are individuals who violate criminal laws and are subject to punishment under our criminal laws.  If the Posse Comitatus Act has any strength, it must be to prevent military from interfering with domestic law enforcement.  The CIA and president are perfectly capable of working with foreign governments to fight terrorism outside our country.  And the FBI and Homeland Security teaming with criminal experts can fight terrorism inside America.

The Posse exception, allowing the president to declare that states are unable or unwilling to suppress terrorism, should not be utilized except in emergencies.  This exception also should not be utilized when the federal civil agencies like the CIA, FBI and Homeland Security are capable of taking action against the terrorists.

Even if the civilian counter-terrorist cells  are only half the size of a similar military force, we need to round up this Posse to the next highest number and treat it as being equal to the military in size.  Sometimes bigger is not better.  Small teams with flexibility might actually have a better chance against the terrorists.  The president should not go around the Posse Act just because the military has more manpower than our civilian criminal forces.  Rounding up the Posse also gives us the most bang for our buck.

As military units return from Iraq, they may start training for domestic operations.  The Army service component of Northern Command is training some of its units to serve in large-scale emergencies and disasters.  It is being called the Consequence Management Response Force, and also appears to be training to deal with domestic unrest and crowd control.  That sounds like it could be a violation of Posse Comitatus.

I served in all four military services over four decades and support the military in everything that they do that is military.  But the military should not be involved in civilian matters any more than civilians should involve themselves with military matters.

In effect, we should be able to round up and use the Posse when we need it to fight terrorism in the United States.  And with our federal and state criminal machinery in place, we should not need military involvement.

Moderates in the World Need to Unite

A “moderate” is described in Webster’s Dictionary as “within reasonable limits; not excessive or extreme.”  It can also be defined as “of average quality or quantity; mediocre.”[1]

Moderation could be “average,” which has bad connotations, but this is not the definition that I am referencing.  It is the moderate who avoids excessive or extreme positions that is the role model for all.  A business or political leader is aggressive, assertive, and sometimes even zealous.  These are good qualities in many societies, especially in a capitalistic system.  However, moderation, which is opposed to extreme or radical views or measures, should be the goal of all societies in order to promote external peace and order.  But, other benefits of moderation include internal peace and a longer life.

Hopefully, the moderates still represent the majority of people in the world today.  At least, moderates seem to be in control for now.  “Moderation in all that you do,” should be your marching order for the rest of your life.  The problem with excessive behavior by individuals, groups, or civilizations is that it leads to other excessive behavior.  For every action, there is an equal, but opposite, reaction.  This means that for every excessive action, there will be an equal, but opposite, excessive reaction.  It may not occur immediately, but, eventually, it will happen.  And this creates a process of polarization, which erodes the moderation within a society.  Follow the golden rule of Jesus and the golden mean or Aristotle.

The majority of people in the world are moderate until provoked or polarized into an excessive position.  It really is not the nature of Homo sapiens to be excessive since it would have gotten prehistoric man into a great deal of trouble with the more aggressive animals.  The gene pool included moderation in forming Homo sapiens, a species that emphasized personal well being, the family, and staying out of harm’s way.  Since Homo sapiens do not have a hard shell or sharp teeth or claws, they had to survive by using their brain.  They did that by playing the odds and taking a more moderate, conservative approach to life.  Man did not have the protections necessary in order to be a great risk taker.  This is probably one reason why Homo sapiens survived, and Neanderthal man did not.  A tiger, lion, or wolf pack could take man down if he strayed too far from his comfort zone.

Polarization is a process that pulls and tugs at the middle, tearing it into two opposite poles like a magnet.  As an example, we see America very divided today similar to the way it was divided in the 1860′s.  Americans are not happy with Democrats or Republicans right now.  A Republican disappoints the voters, then Americans will predictably rush to a Democrat who promises change, leading the country into an endless circle of excessive responses.

The moderate voters, whether Republican or Democrat, rarely have a candidate who represents them.  Why is that?  One reason is because typically only extremists run for President.  Only somebody with a huge ego or with extreme ambition would be willing to take on the job.  Another reason is that a moderate in politics cannot be successful since the special interest groups and minorities are extremists who do not support a moderate candidate.

Our society has become polarized by the two major political parties.  The moderates disappear quickly with this scenario.  The Democrats represent the left or liberal extreme who champion the poor and minorities, while the Republicans represent the right or conservative extreme who are representatives for business and military.  But who represents the middle-class, moderate American?

Polarization can also occur between different religions.  Catholics and Protestants have had their days of fighting, especially in Ireland.  The Jews have been persecuted for years, but today they are known for their ability to retaliate, so their enemies are more discriminating in their attacks.  Extremism in religion comes from the Old Testament.  When Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists attack Israeli soldiers, the Israelis punish them with like kind action, an eye for eye.  Religions have not been free of extremist approaches:  witch trials, Crusades, religious persecutions, and terrorist bombings.

Even the religions have internal polarization.  The Shiite and Sunni Muslims fight constantly over small differences in their religion.  So, let’s examine some good examples when things turned out for the better.  The religious problems in Ireland were resolved, for the most part, after the boundary between Northern and Southern Ireland was erased.  The same happened in Europe and the United States.  The moderates regained control in those regions also because it was good business.  Excessive behavior is expensive and very destructive.

Extremism generally involves two opposite sides, but the real opposite is moderation.  Both left and right wing extremists consider moderates fair game to woo to their side.  If the moderate refuses to budge, then both extremists consider the moderate the enemy.  For example, in Iraq if a moderate family tries to avoid Sunni and Shiite pressures to be on one side or the other, the family is in jeopardy of being killed by either Sunni or Shiite.  The middle ground soon is gone.

There were many times in our history when moderation went out the window:  the French Revolution and the Civil War are just two examples.  During these times, moderation vanished as everybody was drawn to one side or the other.  You would have found it very difficult to sit on the fence during these periods.

Extremism can be seen even in family lives.  It can be as simple as a child sticking his tongue out at Uncle Bob, and then Dad responding with inappropriate punishment to the child and perhaps Uncle Bob, as well.  I am not saying that you should never punish your children.  This is another extreme.  But I am saying that you should take a moderate approach to your punishment, making it fair and consistent.  A hand raised in anger does not meet out appropriate punishment.

The recent killing of innocent school children in Connecticut probably will be analyzed for years and never will be completely understood.  However, there are some important lessons from this nightmare.  When a society starts its descent into a chaotic environment, members of that society will take extreme actions, some of which will make no sense.  As America loses its focus on religion and moral structure, we will see more of these extreme reactions.  As America’s youth spends more of its time using social media, rather than socializing face-to-face, you will see our society becoming less stable and less human.

The excesses in our lives take their toll on us physically and mentally.  Stress comes from aggressive behavior either practiced by you, by others against you, or both.  It is important to stay balanced throughout life, not straying too far to either extreme side.  Stress cannot only change our personality, but it also can impact our health.  The tempering of our emotions can prevent health problems over the course of our lives.

So what has happened?  We have great confidence in ourselves.  We can destroy our competitors, enemies, other animals, or whatever is in our way.  We are kings and queens of the world.  We love to look in the mirror, and we like what we see.

We also have become overpopulated in our world.  This overpopulation created friction among our species.  If you don’t believe that, just compare how people act in the city of New York with Dry Ridge, Kentucky.  But even Dry Ridge is starting to experience growth and some friction.

Decisive moderation is the best approach to avoid excesses.  Decisive moderation means that you are not excessive about anything except being moderate.  An example would be if somebody came up to you and said, “Let’s go skydiving.”  Since this seems to be an excessive activity, you might say, “I don’t want to.”  But your friend says, “Oh, come on.  It’ll be fun.”  And you respond, “No, I don’t think so; it sounds a bit dangerous.”  But your friend doesn’t give up.  “Come on.  How do you know it’s dangerous if you’ve never tried it.”  You answer, “I don’t have to jump out of a plane to know it’s dangerous.”

A decisive moderate is a person who refuses to take these risks no matter how much pressure is applied by another person.  This moderate never took illegal drugs and never went over twenty miles over the speed limit.  Decisive moderation is a good thing.  There are times when I wished the world were filled with decisive moderates.  This moderate will never give in to the emotional arguments that are designed to pull you to one excessive side or the other.

Initially, you may have to emphasize “decisive moderation” and fight fire with fire in order to get terrorism under control.  For example, the extremist terrorist cells may have to be countered with moderate Muslim counter-terrorist cells.  In America, we could form anti-terrorist cells, as well, consisting of federal and state law enforcement officials with an Assistant U.S. Attorney on call for these cells when they need legal assistance and guidance.  These cells would have full autonomy delegated to them, no different than the terrorist cells.[2]

But, we should always keep the big picture, moderation, in mind.  Once the moderates have eliminated the terrorist cells, we should disband the anti-terrorist cells.  To continue with these excessive responses would be excessive in quantity and would be inconsistent with the goal of moderation.  We should leave this future work to the moderate Muslims.

Further, the global economy is a perfect background for coalition building to defeat the terrorists.  Countries who want to reap the benefits from being a part of the global economy will join forces to prevent terrorism, which is harmful to this economy.

One of the greatest mysteries in life is transformation. There are many transformations… we are all familiar with our own from childhood into adulthood and from life to death.  But we should start with one less familiar to us… from azurite to malachite or from blue to green.

I am an amateur geologist… if you don’t believe me, look at all my books in the bookcase.  I have “Roadside Geology” books for most of the states or sections of the United States.  I have books on physical and structural geology.  I have field guides to rocks and minerals.  And I spent a lot of time examining the rocks and minerals in the Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

The mineral pyrite also called “fool’s gold” is easily mistaken for native gold.[3]  Since gold is a very valuable mineral, it draws men from all over the world who will gamble their very existence on finding the mother lode.  In order to find it, moderates must use a built-in moral compass.  Extremists are easily satisfied with pyrite, which is easy to find without using any compass at all.

Extremists in the world can be transformed into taking a more moderate approach to life through negotiation.  Agreements and accords are reached through negotiation.  Negotiation can lead to compromises and concessions that reach a middle ground somewhere between two extreme positions.  Negotiation offers a means to reach compromises between extreme groups.

If we assume that the majority of Muslims are moderates, which is probably true, then we might encourage our political leaders to take the opportunity to work with them to form a peace pact to manage the Middle East, the ‘Stans, and Africa.  This opportunity might disappear if a civil war kicks off or if a war erupts between Israel and Arab countries.  Now is the best time to make this effort.

However, there is absolutely no guarantee that it will be successful, but there also is no guarantee that it will fail.  As long as there is any chance at all, it is worth the effort.  It would be similar to what President Carter did with Egypt and Israel in the 1970’s.  He brought the moderate leaders together.

Carl Von Clausewitz, a war strategist from Prussia, described war as a political instrument to achieve the political objective of a state.[4]  President George H.W. Bush announced that the political objective in Desert Storm was to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwait and he allowed the military to do its job, which it did with great efficiency.  Many Americans criticized President Bush for not going into Baghdad at that time, but it would have been a violation of international law since it was outside the scope of our announced political objective.  This is a great example of how presidents should handle wars and act as the Commander in Chief.

The international laws are important not only for the Commander in Chief but all within our government, military and civilian, to follow for several reasons:  (1) with globalization tugging at America’s crown as the surviving superpower, America needs to be a part of the globalization process, working closer with the international community, including closely following international laws; (2) the basis for international law is found in principles of warfare taken from the Old Testament and espoused by religious leaders, so that violations of these old laws go against the grain of civilized society; (3) one of the practical reasons for following this law is that it makes it easier and less costly during rehabilitation and reconstruction of the invaded country;  (4) over the years, experts have learned that failures to follow the law do not offer any benefits to the violators, rather instead, they only usher in detriments; and (5) the contemporary world does not like America with its wealth, power, and its arrogant hegemony, so it is important that America play by the moderate rules of international law, avoiding extreme positions that fuel enemy extremists.

America has an open window of opportunity to provide global stability by following international law and leading the moderates in the world with a calm-assertive approach to fighting the terrorists.  This does not mean a passive approach.  The terrorists will just run over a passive opponent.  But it does mean avoiding extreme approaches that do not have good results anyway.

For example, our federal government has targeted terrorists for assassination.  This does not have any appearance of following the laws of humanity, a core international law, since it is a murder for hire.  Even if politicians argue that they have the right to kill terrorists as a right to self defense, it sends the wrong message to the world.

And what will this accomplish?  Typically, if you kill one terrorist or terrorist leader, ten more will pop up in their place.  It is not reasonable or intelligent to take this action, even if attorneys find the action legally sufficient.  I would always provide legal advice, letting my client know that even though an action that they were considering might be legal, it was also stupid.

Arbitrary and extreme practices of the United States will isolate it from the rest of the world and could impact our economy, especially if we are using our resources by ourselves to put out fires within the world.  A much better approach is to form coalitions and get consensus and support from other countries.  America cannot afford to be a cowboy in today’s world.  The stakes are much higher with weapons of mass destruction in the hands of fanatical groups that will not hesitate to use them, ignoring international laws.  We must abide by the international laws so that we can attract all the moderates in the world to join us in our war against the terrorists, for it is truly their war too.

Forming coalitions is a lost art in America.  President George H.W. Bush did a great job of bringing countries together to remove Iraq from Kuwait.  He even had two Arab countries joining with the 41 other countries to remove Hussein.  Coalition building is what is necessary in today’s excessive environment.  For example, the Election of 2012 showed how a candidate, who is on the ropes, can work with different ethnic groups to get out the votes in order to win an election.  The Republicans did not understand this simple approach to winning.  And forming coalitions is critical in everything we do today.

The reason why it is critical for America to throw in with the moderates of the world is that they are the best weapons against the extremism of terrorism.  It is through the moderate Muslims that we have the best chance to create stability in the Middle East and to neutralize the fanatics.  Right now, the moderates are in the majority, but if we continue our course, we will alienate and polarize them, so they will join the fundamentalist side of the Islamic faith.  The moderate Muslims currently have the opportunity to educate, infiltrate, and annihilate the extremists within their own religion.

What would happen if the young terrorists realized that there were no virgins waiting for them after they died?  What would happen if the terrorists realized that their families would get no money for their martyrdom?  What if terrorists realized that the Koran and Mohammad did not support their activities?  What if moderate Muslims infiltrated the terrorist cells and neutralized them?  Could moderate cells eliminate extreme cells?

The dual powers in the Cold War did not pull the trigger because each knew the consequences and took a reasonable approach of détente.  But America cannot count on a reasonable approach from the terrorists, and you cannot negotiate with them, so where does that leave you?  President George H. Bush, who did not form coalitions like his father, decided to arbitrarily smash and kill.  This was not the right direction for our country.  His invasion of Afghanistan was a reasonable initial approach when he had the backing of the world community.  It was similar to a policeman’s “hot pursuit” into a different jurisdiction.  But his next invasion overstepped the bounds of reason.  And it upset the balance of power in the Middle East, leaving Iran with the ability to obtain nuclear capability and to support terrorism.

Since you cannot negotiate with terrorists, you negotiate with the moderates in the Middle East and Muslims throughout the world to promote peace and stability.  That is something that will unify the majority.  In order to reach the bargaining table, we have to come with clean hands.  In other words, we have to be moderate in all that we do.  Talk is cheap.  We need to find moderate leaders with moderate national security policies, following up with action that is a mirror-image of these policies.  There is a hunger within many of the Middle East countries, including Israel, to stop the bleeding and the pain.  It is time to take advantage of this and form coalitions with moderates within the world.

The terrorists are much more afraid of moderates unifying than all the invasions and assassinations that Bush could orchestrate within twenty years.  This is why they killed Sadat.  The terrorists assassinate moderate leaders before they ever worry about extremist leaders, because they fully appreciate the damage that moderates could do to their cause.  Extremist leaders, in more cases than not, actually help their cause, since extremists begat extremists.  In other words, opposite positions will polarize moderates and pull them into an extreme position.

The new world will not see dual super powers again.  The next nuclear proliferation problem will be between fanatical groups and regionalized conflicts throughout the world using weapons of mass destruction.  That is why the moderates in America and the world better come together while they can.  That opportunity will disappear after the first nuclear weapon is detonated… which will probably be either in the United States or Israel.

Today, nineteen fanatics can have a major impact on America.  There is no practical way to protect ourselves from such an enemy, but we have a history of operating in a reactive mode, throwing our money at the last mode of attack, rather than being proactive and outthinking the enemy.

It is important to know your enemy.  Our politicians have not done their homework.  We must first understand the motives and passions of our enemies and attack that foundation rather than individuals who appear on our radar scope.  The War against Terrorism is not a regular land war where we have our soldiers lined up in a battle against their soldiers and where you do gain advantages by killing the enemy.  We must strike, instead, at the heart of the terrorist movement, their fundamental base.  And we must strike them from within.  Again, moderate Muslims can do this if you gain their trust and enlist their support.

 



[1] George Webster, Webster’s Dictionary (NY:

[2] Supra, Chapter 4, How can we Wage a War against Terrorism?

[3] Charles W. Chesterman, The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals

      (New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 1978), p. 375.

[4] Carl Von Clausewitz, On War,1968, p. 75.

Does History Repeat Itself?

Please examine the picture in the banner for this blog site above.  You see a Civil War battle with smoke surrounding the soldiers that blends into the next picture of the Twin Towers burning after the terrorist attack on 9/11.

Think about this for a second.  What is the significance of this to you?   Does history repeat itself?  Could there be another civil war, but this time a worldwide confrontation with terrorists, armed by Iran, N. Korea, and Russia with weapons of mass destruction?  Or could there be another civil war within America?  Libya, Syria, and Egypt are examples of what can happen when the government loses touch with its citizens.  If America’s federal government and its politicians do not make major changes and our economy tears apart at the seams, then an internal civil war is very likely.

This blog site is designed to make you think, but my primary goal is to make you think differently.  America needs innovative thinkers.  Our country and the world are reaching a tipping point.  We can either turn things around for the better or we will be unwilling participants caught in a whirlpool of chaos drawing us down into the bowels of man’s worst nightmare.

We can learn from our past to make a better present, leading to a brighter future for ourselves and our descendants.  The lesson from our past is fairly simple:  if we serve only ourselves, then there will be no government or society or law that will make our lives better.  Selfish individuals support selfish governments.  However, if we harness our independent, individual liberties to serve society, then government and society and law will follow that same path.

Read the posted articles.  I hope you don’t agree with all of my comments, because you should have your own thoughts.  But my hope is that you will at least think about them and join me in the fight for freedom of thought.

Why Are We in Afghanistan?

As a military serviceman going through the Vietnam war, I appreciate the way soldiers are treated today.  When they return home, nobody spits on them or calls them “baby killers.”  In fact, today the military are honored at airports and in parades.

Yet, Army SSgt Robert Bales apparently was a baby killer.  He was on his fourth deployment to Afghanistan.  This raises a good question.  How many deployments into combat environments are too many for our soldiers?

I remember the horrific screams of my father at night when he relived his three years of combat in WWII.  Recycling our troops into combat can cause psychological harm.  The problem is that decisions are made by those who do not have combat and sometimes even military experience.  In their minds, they believe that you can separate soldiers from their families and throw them into combat as many times as needed.  That’s not even close to the truth.  But our leaders can’t handle the truth.

The Hollywood version of what our soldiers do in the Middle East also is not the truth.  But we can’t handle the truth.  From 2005 to 2010, military members took their lives at a rate of one every 36 hours.  That is the truth.  It is important for American citizens to understand that they do not receive the truth from the media or politicians or even the top brass in the military.

The military is an important tool to be used to protect and ensure our national security.  But it has been misused by both Republican and Democrat leaders, interested in partisan politics and lobbyists.  The bottom line is:  what is our national security interest that is at stake?  Can we answer that for Iraq or Afghanistan?

The amount of lives and American dollars we have spent in these countries is overwhelming.  When I assisted in prosecuting those who committed fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan, I was amazed at how many tax dollars were lost to fraud.  And the precious blood that we shed in the sand was for what purpose?  9/11 occurred over a decade ago.  What is our national security interest today?  And if our purpose is to control terrorism, are we actually accomplishing that?  Some say that our presence is actually assisting terrorists in their recruiting and public relations efforts.

The soldiers who are sent overseas to Afghanistan time after time are honored, but many times they are honored in a returned wooden box.  I’ve always believed that if the president and other politicians had to fight on the front line, then smarter decisions would be made that would better serve our country.

Self-serving vs. Self-sacrifice

The great majority of people, no matter what age or class or sex or religion or ethnic background, are self-serving.  They look at themselves in the mirror and worry about physical attributes.  They respond to weight loss products more than “children starving” advertisements.

Most people are self-centered, looking for instant gratification.  Sexual pleasure is only important for the moment for that one person.  It’s entirely up to the other person to find enjoyment or not.  If they don’t, then that’s tough.  There are plenty of others in the pool for serving self-interests.

Marriages are difficult under these circumstances since instead of a team, there are two individuals who are only interested in what is best for them.  Couples have separate cars, jobs, lives, friends, and bank accounts.  If something doesn’t work, then you dispose of it.  It’s easier getting a new television, car, or spouse than trying to fix what was wrong.  We have become a very disposable society.

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