“United we stand, divided we fall:” Multiplied we rise, subtracted we set.

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The image above reminds me of the famous quote, “United We Stand, Divided We Fall” – (Abraham Lincoln).  However, some are not so quick to unite, when pepper-spray, attack dogs, rubber bullets, arrests, and even worse is the consequence of standing-up for what you believe in. Egypt, Syria, and the Ukraine are all excellent modern object lessons of what happens to a people united against tyranny, corruption, and violence. They are labeled as terrorists, fascists, or Nazis by the ruling elite, then arrested, assassinated, starved and/or barrel bombed. This form of subtraction, is a ruthless calculation of the costs of waging war against one’s own people. Furthermore, the sum total of the revolutionary change, is that the illusion of a once stable, albeit oppressive society vanishes into thin air, and is replaced by an even more extreme and heavy-handed despotism, backed by a new and perpetual military martial-law. So everyone across the planet seeking a redress of grievances for all the wrongs, who demand political and social reforms, and a better quality of life for all need to be very careful what they wish for!  Why?  The powers that be won’t likely relinquish their reigns of power without a fight. A fight that will likely add-up to some very harsh unintended consequences. 

Likewise, I don’t know about you, but I think they have been pretty good so far at keeping us all divided!  The suffering of people world-wide, along with the spread of Democratic values and communication globally by social media like Facebook, is causing and revealing a level of world-wide political instability perhaps never before fathomed by those in power. The entire global political and economic system is far more fragile than anyone ever realized. Now that we sink or swim together (despite our perceived differences), a political, economic, or natural disaster in one country, affects us all in every country.  The power elite in all nations now fear this real and dangerous instability, as well as the technological mechanisms, and people who are now proliferating revolutionary thought over the web. Hence, Turkey’s banning of Twitter & You Tube, North Korea and China’s stance on Western-inspired social media, and the U.S.’s NSA monitoring of everyone and everything.

However, when your government is exposed as being covertly oppressive of freedom, who is really the terrorist? When peaceful law-abiding citizens around the world get labeled as radicals for simply exercising their inalienable rights, endowed to them by their creator, then the problem is not with the people, the problem is with the people in power. What we now have is a loose coalition of oppressive unlimited governments around the world, trying to keep a lid on 7 billion people demanding a better quality of life, a cleaner world, and more freedom.

The people of the world may yet rise-up and lash-out at these immoral and oppressive coalitions in an effort to once again engage in a more free and independent self-rule.  Ironically, perhaps that is at least one reason why Vladimir Putin’s recent decisions regarding the Ukraine issue have been praised in some corners of Russia by the Russian people.  But regarding these types of revolutionary efforts, specific coalitions of power elite now actively use social media against the forces for change, and they amass their vast resources whenever and wherever needed to “extinguish” political and economic “fires” that threaten their world order whenever they arise.  In fact, it is my contention that they now manipulate democratic values and the way the game is played to the extent that the people now vote their own repression into existence.  This is what has been done in the Crimea, it is what has been done in North Korea, it is what has been done in Egypt, and it is what was done after 9/11 in the United States with the signing into law of the Patriot Act.  Democratic values manipulated for preplanned oppressive outcomes, have become the “Trojan horse” of the power elite, and social media has turned everyone tech-savy enough to use a computer into a potential “person of interest” to be further investigated so as to ensure we are not “enemies of the state.”

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We Don’t Know Where We Are Going, But We Are On Our Way

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Wouldn’t it be so wild to discover that of the 50 billion predicted planets in the Milky Way Galaxy (500 million of which are predicted to be able to sustain life) that an intelligent life-form might actually exist on another world, and be sufficiently intelligent and advanced to be curious about discovering us too?  Personally, I would not be surprised in the least if we one day learned we are not alone in my life-time.  After all, we have been sending radio waves out into the Universe ever since Adolf Hitler’s opening of the 11th Olympic games in Berlin, Germany in 1936.  The CCAT telescope in the Atacama desert in Chile is making amazing discoveries daily now.  Seems like we are prepared for that “mind-blowing” possibility now more than at any other time in our species existence.  Then again, if you believe what some Scientists suggest, perhaps “life-seeding” (via natural means – asteroids/comets depositing the building blocks of life sparked into life via lightening, or via some artificial alien process – from life being transplanted here from life elsewhere) is how life began on this planet in the first place.  May seem far fetched to some, but no more far fetched than the Book of Genesis.  Regarding the Biblical perspective, some ancient images of angles and other objects emerging from the heavens do look very “alien.” Also, giant pyramids built in Egypt and Mexico by two completely different cultures (presumably completely isolated from one another), and the giant pictographs and crop-circles all over the world (some ancient, and some new) generate a lot of questions that should cause us all to naturally look towards the heavens, and to wonder, “Are we alone?”  Some say of course not, God is with us.  Others say of course not, there are 500 million planets in just the Milky Way galaxy alone, and it is only one galaxy in our known Universe, the cosmos is teeming with life!    

Ode to Aurora: My Daughter

 

My beautiful “silly monkey,” my “little bossing”… my future dreams incarnate.
You make me laugh, you make me smile, you brighten my life.
Funny noises, funny faces, your funny ways of doing things.
Coos, cuddles, caresses, calm moments alone, a dream come true.
Pinch, poke, pull… grab, grasp, grunt… you are full of determination and spunk!
“Let go of my nose!” “Let go of my ear!” “Let go of my beard!”
Never let go of my heart!
Your smile is contagious, I will never recover from it.
You’ve changed my life forever.
“Don’t eat your toe!” “Don’t fall off the bed!” “Don’t bite your brother!”
“Please stop slapping your mother!”
“You little “wiggle-worm,” you stink!” “Has anyone changed your diaper?”
You have more moves and energy than a midget wrestler!
I love you, and I am beginning to see clearly now,
your love for me, coming out of your own personality.
The beauty and innocence of your love, is heaven on earth.
One of the few times in my life I’m happy with the cards I’ve been dealt.
It hurts to see you cry, in pain, or scared…
It makes my heart soar to see you smile, laugh, and giggle.
May your whole life be filled with the kind of happiness I see in you now as a baby.
Your presence in my own life has transformed my world.
You make me silly, a singer of lullabies, and a lover of life again.
Thank you for the gift you’ve given to me, by just being you.
I will always be thankful for having the chance to have you in my life.
My dear sweet daughter, “mahal kita” Aurora. English translation: “I love you.”
You are the earth, the moon, and all the stars in my universe.

Do you think WWIII will interfere with my family’s international travel plans?

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U.S. & E.U. economic sanctions (also known as “consequences”) against Russia for annexation of the Crimea are likely to occur any day now. Russian invasion of other parts of the Ukraine, and previous Soviet-block nations potentially eminent, because if your going to be “punished” might as well go big, or go home. So things are getting tense in Eastern Europe.

North Korea just launched 18-25 short range rockets into the East China Sea near South Korea in response to annual joint South Korean & U.S. war games. North Korea is also being accused of crimes against humanity in the U.N., and diplomats are calling for North Korea’s young leader to be put on trial for horrendous crimes against his own people. So things are getting tense on the Korean peninsula too.

China and the Philippines seem poised for conflict. And President Obama is coming to the Philippines next month to sign a new military defense treaty with the nation to ensure the Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, and South Korea, are a united front against Chinese expansion in the region. With the U.S. returning to the Philippines, and leasing military technology to them, it would appear diplomacy has officially taken a back-burner to defensive military preparedness. This should not be surprising though, ever since China began enforcement of it’s East China Sea air defense zone, and ever since it also proposed a South China Sea air defense zone.

Add to this volatile atmosphere the recent naval tensions arising over Philippine fishing near the disputed islands captured by China. The loss of plentiful fishing grounds, lucrative oil resources, and credible power may help one to better understand why it was not so shocking for Philippine President Benito Aquino to recently accuse China of behaving like Nazi Germany before WWII. So, in SE Asia, nations are preparing for armed conflict against China due to recent aggressive military maneuvers eerily similar to Russia’s in the Crimea. So you can say S.E. Asia is getting tense.

Then to top it all off, Syria, Russia, and Iran are already directly or indirectly at war with the Sunni Syrian rebels, the U.S., the French, Saudi Arabia, and various other Sunni Nations in the Middle East as we speak! All the while, America is still committed in Afghanistan, meddling in Pakistan, Egyptian, and Israeli affairs, and fighting surgical strikes against Somali rebels and other North East African militant groups who appear to be seeking to close the Suez canal to Mediterranean and Red Sea shipping.

But the real icing on the cake, add to this toxic global mix the shocking fact that 25 countries now have military planes and vessels basically all over Southern Asian to try to locate a missing Malaysian airlines flight without crashing into each other, or “accidentally” firing upon one another! So, in an age when the U.S. can track everyone’s cell phones globally, China can hack everyone’s computers, and Russia can down our spy drones without damaging them, all three of the world’s biggest super powers can’t find a commercial airliner that likely flew over multiple nations in South Asia! The result, MH 370 has likely been hijacked, and for who knows what sinister purpose! Such uncertainty affecting so many nations, can definitely cause further tension.

So with all hell breaking loose globally, and in this region particularly, I can’t help but keep thinking to myself, what a wonderful time for my family to leave the Philippines to fly back to America (via South Korea no less) preferably before World War III is officially declared! To be honest, I would feel a whole hell of a lot better if I knew MH 370 wasn’t going to be used as a potential spark to set the whole damn world on fire! God Speed to the passengers of flight MH 370, I hope they are found alive and well for the sakes of all their families suffering through a hell few could imagine. In a broader sense, heaven help us all to inspire world leaders to come to a political and economic consensus and treaty on the issues currently threatening to tear our world apart.

Think I am exaggerating my worry and concerns? Well take this fact into consideration: When the President of the most powerful country in the world threatens the President of the second most powerful country in the world that he will be “punished,” when Russia and China feel confident and bold enough to choose to exploit what they perceive is an apparent weakness and lack of resolve in our Commander in Chief, and then they annex and seize more power and control over different regions of the world, a U.S./E.U. response becomes inevitable and necessary. When one grasps this realization, it becomes clear global war is likely near (or has already arrived).

But in my humble opinion, if we could utilize the type of multinational cooperation being displayed in the search of MH 370 as a guide or object lesson for how all nations of the world should behave towards one another, then disaster could be averted. And surely it would be far better to avert the coming storm, rather than for us all to have to try to muster-up the strength and courage to weather it. The plight of Syria’s people could be an object lesson for us all regarding that potential nightmare.

Either way, my departure flight just can’t come quick enough for me now! After all, if the U.S. is going to go to war with Russia, Syria, Iran, China, and North Korea all at the same time, then I guess I would rather be back on U.S. soil in Alaska waiting for Russia, instead of sitting here in the Philippines “twiddling my thumbs” waiting to be invaded by China. Then again, when I look at the whole mess in that fashion, kind of sounds like “six of one, half dozen of another.”  Either way, if a world war breaks out, rather than a de-escalation, then there will be no safe place to hide, or defend what is yours.

The political “poop” appears to be about to “hit the fan” folks!  I sincerely hope I am wrong, but I’m afraid I might be right.  So “batten down the hatches,” hold your loved ones close, hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.  I think I am beginning to see why so many Americans choose to not watch the news, or think about politics. It is just too nerve-wracking and disappointing to allow yourself to worry about geopolitical controversies for long!  That is why far too many would rather be blissfully ignorant of what is actually going on in the rest of the world.  Particularly since so much of world politics appears to be so far removed from average American’s daily lives, even if it isn’t.  Likewise, it is only natural most Americans feel powerless to prevent any of it.  After all, Americans haven’t really trusted their government and it’s military-industrial complex since President Eisenhower’s dire warnings became true, and they started assassinating our Presidents. 

That might be an important lesson for President Obama, because considering past historical precedent, it does not appear to be good for an American President’s health to look too soft on communism or the former Soviet Union.  President Kennedy learned that lesson the hard way after the botched Bay of Pigs counter-insurgent revolution, and the Cuban missile crisis.  The Crimea in the Ukraine is our modern Cuban Missile Crisis, and it and China’s aggressive moves in East and S.E. Asia are rightfully being compared to military strategies taken from Hitler’s WWII play-book.  Perhaps that is why the power elite currently running America into the ground, appear to prefer a President willing to shoot, bomb, or wage war first, and debate with the American people or the world community whether it was the right thing to do later. 

But with Secretary of State John Kerry announcing diplomatic options with Russia are coming to an end, perhaps a “shoot from the hip” Texas “gunslinger” as President makes far more sense now than a constitutional lawyer.  Then again, perhaps Obama will yet try to show the world he can be an academic President with a back-bone too.  Either way, it does not appear 2014 or 2016 elections in America will resolve the global mess we are in now, because “democratic” elections in other nations have already sealed the fate of foreign relations for America (and the rest of the world) for years to come.  That is why, I just hope I can get home, before I have no country or home to come home to!  I’ve been gone for 10 months, so I may not recognize it when I get back to begin with.  After all, I left before the Edward Snowden spying revelations, back when Russia, China, the E.U. and the U.S. were economic partners and allies in the global economy.  But then, that was a different era, and the America (and global political and economic climate) I once knew appears to have faced the same fate as MH 370, they have vanished into thin air while I’ve been abroad. 

But one thing is clear, if Russia invades the rest of the Ukraine, then Eastern Europe, and China chooses to use Russia’s military distractions in Europe as an opportunity to gain supremacy in East and S.E. Asia, then the U.S. will be obligated to go to war with both countries at the same time to honor our long standing treaties with nations in both regions of the world.  That potential possibility – that America might find itself fighting a global war on at least three fronts (one in Eastern Europe, one in North Africa, and one in East/S.E. Asia) – keeps me awake at night.  I can only hope, that as I prepare to return to the country of my birth, and try to find a decent job to provide for my new family, that our plane won’t vanish.  I also hope the last vestiges of the grand experiment regarding the global economy will not vanish as well before I return, only to be replaced by retro-isolationist “Cold-War” sensibilities I thought long dead.  For if Russia and America are just going to go back to the same tired geopolitical posturing they engaged in before the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, then the last 25 years of economic free-trade and global economic and political reform were a monumental waste of time. 

In the end, that may be the greatest fall-out from the Edward Snowden revelations, because his whistle-blowing did more than turn some patriotic Americans against their government, it revealed how much America’s military-industrial complex still distrusted previous enemies, but even worse, our allies.  Global trade and cooperation hinged on a certain level of trust and sincerity, and once America was revealed as being hypocritical against China on the whole corporate espionage issue, and that America had been spying on virtually everyone, the world lost respect for the U.S.  When President Obama defended the N.S.A.’s program as a necessary evil after 9/11, the world lost respect for our leadership (irregardless of which political party they were from). 

So I am returning to America, but I am returning to an America that I’ve never known, and that has lost much of it’s credibility abroad while I was gone.  I hope that in the next few weeks things will cool-off, and another “Cold War” or World War might be avoided, but if the same old thinking that got us into the monumental political messes of the 20th century are relied upon yet again to try to resolve current geo-political problems, then such a lack of imagination will only lead to further global conflict.  But this time, it won’t be the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. fighting each other in Third-World periphery nations like Korea or Vietnam, it will be all-out global war again, between all the “super-powers” of the world.  Then, the rise of the next great empires of the new Millennium (or more likely of the New World Order) will be built upon the nuclear fall-out, and ashes of the old.  After all, if your going to try to justify and sell the idea that there is finally a real global necessity for a NWO, then the global devastation of World War III might just do the trick!  But it makes sense really, if a majority of the people of the world are not buying what the governments of the world are selling them anymore, because they are out of work, oppressed, and can’t afford to, and the “beacon of liberty” has been virtually extinguished by the light of truth, then a fundamental global shift in how things are done moving forward becomes a political and economic necessity right?

Political Protest, Coups, Military Intervention, Government Oppression, & Genocide: Why It Might Not Be So Wise to “Wake-Up,” “Move-On,” or “Rage Against the Machine”

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Has anyone seen how the Syrian people have been doing lately?  No, then tune-in to your favorite propaganda cable news service for a moment or two, and eventually you should see images of people who look like modern-day Holocaust victims.  People are falling dead in the streets of malnutrition, and those still alive are being evacuated from some Syrian cities but are unable to walk or even stand.  Then there are the crude barrel-bombs that have been dropped from helicopters to bomb Syrian rebel areas back to the stone-ages, along with the more surgical military strikes that have leveled entire neighborhoods all at once.  What did the Syrian people do to deserve such ethnic genocide and such horrific war crimes?  What was their crime against humanity that made them targets of their own government, enemy number one to their nation’s President? Initially, some kids wrote negative things about him on a wall somewhere outside their school.  A day of rage was planned, but few showed up, but after the kids were arrested and beaten, an uprising ensued.  For the uninformed, I shall provide the following excerpt from Wikipedia to enlighten those who have been living under a rock:

“The Syrian Civil War, also known as the Syrian Uprising,[71] is an ongoing armed conflict in Syria between forces loyal to the Ba’ath government and those seeking to oust it. The unrest began on 15 March 2011, with popular protests that grew nationwide by April 2011. These protests were part of the wider North African and Middle Eastern protest movements known as the Arab Spring. Syrian protesters at first demanded democratic and economic reform within the framework of the existing government.

In April 2011, the Syrian Army was deployed to quell the uprising and soldiers fired on demonstrators across the country.[72] After months of military sieges,[73] the protests evolved into an armed rebellion. The conflict is asymmetrical, with clashes taking place in many towns and cities across the country.[74] In 2013, Hezbollah entered the war in support of the Syrian army.[75][76] The Syrian government is further upheld by military support from Russia, which it stepped up in the winter of 2013-14,[77] – and Iran, while Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and United States[78][79] transfer weapons to the rebels.[80] By July 2013, the Syrian government was in control of approximately 30-40% of the country’s territory and 60% of the Syrian population.[81] A late 2012 UN report described the conflict as being “overtly sectarian in nature“, between mostly Alawite government forces, militias and other Shia groups[82] fighting largely against Sunni-dominated rebel groups,[83][84] though both opposition and government forces denied that.[85][86}

So, much like in the Ukraine currently, popular protests led to political instability, which led to unforeseen consequences that no one could have predicted, like Russia invading the Crimea.  This is the primary problem for all political reformers across the globe, they want “change,” “hope,” and “reform,” but what they get is “change,” “despair,” and “oppression.”  If you don’t believe me, just ask the Egyptians, or the Chinese!

In the American example, a new generation of outraged citizens are fed-up with the NSA, the CIA, the FBI, the IRS, the EPA, and most of the other acronym behemoth unconstitutional monstrosities that make-up the unlimited Federal government of modern America.   So with the decline of democracy in America, and the rise of fascism, now when you go on the internet, you are inundated with posts to “Wake-Up” and “Move-On!”  However,  what those catchy slogans for change don’t mention is what happened to the Hippies when they tried to “make love and not war.”

Anyone out there old enough to recall the Kent State Massacre, or the 1968 Democratic Convention Police Riot?  Or, has anyone wondered why so many political assassinations occurred during that hectic time period in our nation’s history?  Or, has anyone ever read the COINTELPRO report about how our government dealt with political and social movements in the past?   These little “bumps in the road” to progress and reform cause a hell of a lot of distrust and anger, and it may help to explain why our nation’s trust in government is at an all time-low still forty years later.  However, these harsh and eye-opening lessons about protest, and the consequences of protest are not always easily learned or remembered in subsequent generations.  It would appear there is a generational lag-effect, much like the one all nations have for war.  If there hasn’t been a major uprising in a while, people forget what true oppression and repression feels like, and so the government feels obligated to remind them.The baby-boomers learned their lesson, that is why most of them cut their hair, put on suits and ties, and sold their ideals of love and peace, for more sex, drugs, and rock & roll.

The X-generation was no better, because for all our “rage against the machine,”  as the Smashing Pumpkins “Bullets with Butterfly Wings” lyrics should have made clear to us all back in the 90s, “Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage!” And we were, so we bought our Birkenstocks, and our Third-World made tie-die shirts, and our hemp bracelets, but we didn’t wage war against the war wagers, because we didn’t want to lose our comfy place in line at the movie theater.  After all, as the 1998 movie of the year “Forest Gump” made clear to us all, Americans didn’t have to be the brightest bulbs on the shelf to succeed, or to have interesting lives, they just had to believe in God, country, and to know when to “run” rather than to stand their ground, and try to be a hero.  So, we learned to buy recycled products, eat what the government pyramid told us was good for us, and we tried to do like the popular song said, “Don’t worry, be happy.”   Perhaps that was why so few of the X generation really raged against the machine, even if they did have their own Woodstock.  It wasn’t until the Seattle WTO that protestors with big enough britches to oppose the New World Order did my generation proud.  But what just desserts where they given for their anti-globalism idealism and environmental concerns?  The Seattle police served-up tear-gas, rubber bullets, and mass arrests like pot-brownies at a Grateful Dead concert!

Since then, American protests against Iraq, and the Occupy Wall Street movements have had their moments in the sun, and rain, and snow, but for all their efforts, they never had the impact that Hoovervilles had on our nation’s political psyche almost a century ago.  Why?  At the onset of the Great Depression, America’s government was insensitive to the plight of the people, much like the Federal government now (since at least the Great Recession of 2008).  However,  once Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected, he initiated a “New Deal” for America that relied on Americans to trust their government enough to support the enlargement of the Federal system, presumably to do what was necessary and best for all Americans to have a better tomorrow.  And with war profits, and the advent of the G.I. Bill, the American Middle Class was born, and prosperity for all seemed right around the corner.  But then, when an educated Middle Class began questioning authority during the Vietnam war and fomenting civil unrest, it became very clear to the military-industrial complex that ignorance, poverty, drug-addiction, incarceration, and government dependency helped to ensure a future citizenry that would be far more pliant and pacified.  Apparently they were right, because it has been working.  This realization may help those who are still confused about why Barrack Obama’s presidency utilized the same approach as FDR with universal health-care and the expansion of the Federal government’s size and power, but has gone a different route when it comes to relying on the people’s trust in government to make it a reality.

The American people are disenchanted with Democracy and our government, and “a dark cloud is forming in the distance.”  As a result, it would appear “no one can stop the approaching storm” since the Federal government is perceived by many to no longer appear to be “for the people, by the people.”  So once again, America is at a political and economic precipice.  Issues like the national deficit, the government shut-down crisis, the Edward Snowden leaks regarding blanket NSA spying, gun-control, along with other revelations about America’s recent unconstitutional abuses of power committed in it’s perpetual “War on Terror” – enhanced interrogation techniques (like “water-boarding”), secret prisons, drone strikes on civilian targets – these atrocities have ignited some American’s indignation, and may yet initiate a chain-reaction of protest and unrest among the American citizenry that cannot be contained or appeased by our political or economic systems.

However, before we all “rush in [like fools] where angel’s fear to tread,” I would remind the struggling youth of our Nation, and all those who would use political revolutionary tactics to try to change our political and economic system to be careful what you wish for!  Political revolution is a Pandora’s box, and once you set it into motion, like war, it cannot be so easily controlled or guided in the right direction.  In fact, more often than not, once a people have broken free from the yoke of their oppressors, they find the “beast” (or the mob) that was being oppressed is far worse than the master (or government) that was trying to keep everything moving in the right direction.  For any of you who had a half-way decent English teacher in High School, the novel “A Tale of Two Cities” drove this basic point home in it’s description of the French Revolution.  So before we all yell “Off with their heads,” perhaps we should keep in mind what we ourselves may lose in the end in our efforts to win a pyrrhic victory.

The American people are known for their apathy when it comes to many political matters, but not for their restraint.  However, restraint may be essential in America in the future, if we wish to avoid the next great American civil-war, and if we want to ensure the American military is not called upon to quell civil unrest due to American protestors.  Protestors who’ve been labeled as terrorists simply because a government infiltrator or informer has committed a violent act during a peaceful protest to justify and legitimize heavy-handed tactics by the police/military against the movement.  This is how the military-industrial complex’s mass-media propaganda machine blames the movement for unrest (rather than admitting the primary role they play), and it is how they legitimize the stigmatization and government oppression of a group who only wish to compel the government to honor it’s pledge to the people.  “The road to hell was paved with good intentions,” so “put that in your pipe and smoke it” the next time you want to “wake-up” and try to convince war profiteers and the government war-machine to just “give peace a chance.”

Or, if you would prefer to continue to exercise your archaic constitutional rights, and you are prepared to be rounded-up, put in box cars, and transported to death camps for your radical political views against the STATE, then keep on “moving on” and I’m sure eventually the Federal government will give us all some “Change we can believe in.”  Although, believing in something, and wanting something are two different things.  I can believe in Hell and the Devil, but that neither means I want to meet the Prince of Darkness, nor do I wish for our nation’s citizens to have to go and visit him, simply because disgruntled idealists wish to tear-down the “house of cards” that is America’s current form of government.

“I love my country, but I fear my government,” is the new slogan for a new America, but with more guns and more people living below the poverty line than ever before, I fear the mob mentality and anarchy as much as I fear my current oppressive and “Peeping-Tom” government.  So, before we jump into the abyss of political and economic uncertainty, we had better make sure we have a societal safety-net (once called government) somewhere down below, or we may be taking “a leap of faith” into an impending doom of chaos and strife that will be darker than any previous Dark Ages in recorded history.  Only time will tell, if America will withstand the test of times, Van Halen will be proud if we succeed I’m sure, but in my heart of hearts, I would rather see “Lady Liberty” convalesced back to health, than witness the death of  the American Dream, and the rise of an American nightmare all within in my own lifetime.  For at the end of the day, when all is said and done, I would hate if most Americans ended-up just being “Bulls on Parade” and emulated Rage Against the Machine’s famous lyrics, “They rally around the family, with a pocket full of shells.”  But unfortunately, it seems many Americans have seen the writing on “the wall,” and they have already heeded the warnings.  But when you protest against your government, and try to topple or reform it, and the government takes exception to your revolution, the consequences of treason against the state (no matter how well intended) is death.  If you don’t believe me, just ask the Syrians.

MH 370 Hijacked/Flown to Unknown Foreign Country for Sinister Terrorist Plot Yet To Come?

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http://news.yahoo.com/missing-plane-sent-signals-satellite-hours-211405973–politics.html

After reading the article linked above, I can’t help but think that this is all starting to sound like a well-planned and well-orchestrated hijacking of some sort.  This latest confirmed report about electronic signals being received hours after the aircraft went missing seems just a little too “fishy” to me.  However, having the plane flown out of the area with the electronic telemetry turned-off so the plane would not be recognized on radar would help to explain why no debris have been found.  But, then again, why hasn’t any other country confirmed unidentified radar signals?   Why hasn’t anyone or any organization come forward with specific demands if they took the plane?

One thing is certain, unless the plane has been taken, and those who took it, have other more sinister plans, then debris should be located soon.  However, if the plane has been taken by force, then a hectic “three-ring-circus” international search and rescue operation that wastes crucial time and resources, but provides an excellent distraction, for some group to strike without warning, when the global community least expects it, would be likely appreciated by any would-be terrorist organization.  I truly hope I am dead wrong, but fear I may be right!  And with the search and rescue being expanded to the Indian Ocean now, and the U.S. sending a Battleship to the area, it is beginning to appear America’s leadership may be fearing the worst as well.  Let us all pray they never need to use the weapons at their disposal to fire upon a commercial airliner to keep a terrorist plot from succeeding.  For if that day ever arises, I think all the people of the world’s hearts will break simultaneously.

An American “Expats” Philippine Dreams Of A Better Future For Us All

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Last night, my brother and my mother visited me in my dreams, it was the first time I can recall having them both around simultaneously in any dream. I wish I could remember more vividly what the dream was about now, but I am thankful that I got to see them again, if only for a moment or two, in my mind. I miss them terribly. Words cannot adequately express my loss, only those who’ve lived through such loss can understand it, and I don’t wish such understanding on anyone, not even my worst enemies.

But I guess at some point, we all must face the reality that all our loved ones will eventually pass on, either before or after our own demise. So what can we do about it, other than ignoring that harsh reality, or conversely, being a major party-pooper?

I try to remember to remind all my friends and relatives how precious each moment of our lives are, and that they should be so grateful for the time they get to spend with those they love (even for the arguments). I also try to appreciate each second I have left in my own life, and to live in the moment “smelling the flowers,” feeling the breeze on my skin, and truly being aware and embracing the fact that I am alive! Nowadays, I live for the chance to get to see my daughter’s smile and hear her laugh yet again, and again. It is music to my ears, and a beauty and innocence that is more precious to me than anything else I can imagine.

Living a life worth living, for your own sake, and for the sake of your children, is what it is all about. Honoring the memories of those loved ones that came before you, who hoped and dreamed for a happier future for you, is the secret to life, in my humble opinion. This is a far superior way to live, than just going through the motions, dreading the day ahead, and wishing you were doing something else with your life. So if you find yourself wasting your precious time in this fashion, do not walk, but rather, run to the exit of your current reality, and jump-off that “sinking ship” into another better possible future before it is too late! Why? Because despite popular opinion, sometimes “keeping one’s nose to the grind stone” in a dead-end career only causes your nose to get shorter, and your sense of smell to be destroyed!

I know what I am talking about, because at different times in my own life, I’ve experienced the dread of hating my job (or even my life), but not once have I felt that way since I’ve been abroad with my new family. Thus, in the final analysis of my precarious decision making process, I am very thankful for the respite I chose to take from the indentured servitude we all face as citizens living within a post-industrial,mass-consumption, capitalistic economy. Because lets face it, a one week vacation per year, 30 minute lunch, or two 15 minute smoke-breaks per day, just doesn’t allow for one to find the time to pursue their dreams, or to commune with those in our dreams who ran out of time before their own prime.

I am now so thankful I chose to take a year off from the “rat race” to pursue a better “quality of life” in the short run, rather than foregoing such meaningful moments with my new family in the hopes of acquiring a greater quantity of money or material possessions I can’t take with me. I am also so glad I allowed myself to think “outside of the box,” to resolve temporary calamities. Call me crazy, but if I was going to have a mid-life crisis, I think I had mine with a certain flare and style that most corporate automatons would find unimaginable and even potentially terrifying. So, in a way, I must say, I am very proud my mother raised me to become an adult with a “round peg” personality that just did not fit into American society’s “square hole.” After all, they will put me in that “square hole” soon enough, whether I choose to misuse my literary freedom to misquote an idiom for creative effect or not. Have a wonderful day, and an awesome life people! I am in your corner, and I wish only the best for you all.

Will America Survive the 21st Century? : Why Socialism, Xenophobia, Political Corruption, and Corporate Greed are Killing America

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The primary problem with Socialist economic and political systems, they do not take into account the destructive impact of the “free rider” problem.  If everyone gets paid the same, or gets the same benefits, but motivated people are not rewarded based on merit and their efforts, then there becomes no incentive within the nation for anyone to work hard to achieve a better life.  The tainted train of thought of someone exposed to Socialism without sufficient government restraint and oversight to avoid abuses goes something like this: “Why should I work hard, or try to aspire to a better income level with more responsibility, when it will just put me in a higher tax bracket, and force me to pay more taxes to the government?  After all, doesn’t it make more sense to work less (or not at all), and get all the “free” benefits from the government?”  This mindset, along with the abuse of Federal and State social programs, and the massive over-spending by our government to pay benefits to those who abuse the Health & Human Services system so they can track and maintain greater control over more and more “beneficiaries”, is one of the primary ideological diseases currently killing our country.

On the other ideological side of the cost equation, over-spending, fear-mongering, and the jeopardizing of our domestic defense by entangling foreign alliances, and the massive stock-piling and unwarranted build-up of military might beyond our means (or needs) is yet another ideological disease weakening our nation rather than making it stronger.  We live in a nation bereft with enemies both foreign and domestic lurking behind every shadow, and within every computer.  Thus, on both the Left, and the Right, common sense has been thrown out the window in our nation for political purposes, so politicians could appeal to their constituencies, and always say “yes” to any request or demand, rather than saying “no” when it was obviously necessary for the continued health and welfare of our nation.

We have a crisis of leadership in our nation today, our country is currently crumbling under the weight of it’s own government, and our economy has been crippled due to the sheer astronomical size of Federal debt.  Plus, the icing on the cake is that we have a generation of impoverished citizens, paranoid military generals, and greedy corporate executives who are not accustomed to being told “no” by America’s elected representatives.  However, in the future, I’m afraid “no” will have to be the new “yes” for the new millennium when it comes to Federal spending.  Why?  In case no one has noticed, the huge number of American “Baby Boomers” are retiring, and the much smaller, if not more modest “Y-Generation” is having a hard time finding the money to move out of their parent’s houses (or rental homes), much less to pay for their Grandparent’s medical bills, to replenish the Social Security fund, or to ensure the new F-35 fighter jet rolls-out on time for the next major orchestrated conflict.  So, common-sense dictates something is going to have to “give,” and when I say “give” I don’t mean our Federal government giving out more tax breaks to corporations, more military spending for Defense, or more-dole monies to all those newly impoverished middle-class twenty-somethings now in need of a “hand-up, rather than a hand-out.”

Malaysia Flight 370: What has happened, and can it be prevented from happening again?

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On that Malaysian airlines flight 370 that is still missing, several people have been asking me why anyone would target it.  But after looking at the 227 passenger nationalities, a few trends stand out.  First, the passengers were of 14 different nationalities – citizens from:-

China – 152 plus 1 infant
Malaysia – 38
Indonesia – 12
Australia – 7
France – 3
United States of America – 3 pax plus 1 infant
New Zealand – 2
Ukraine – 2
Canada – 2
Russia – 1
*Italy – 1
Taiwan – 1
Netherlands – 1
*Austria – 1

The two passengers who we currently know were traveling with stolen passports was a man (possibly Asian) posing as a man from Italy, and someone posing as a person from Austria.  They don’t know yet if the other passengers being investigated were using stolen passports or not, and they don’t know for sure if the people traveling with stolen passports were trying to just immigrate illegally, or if terrorism was in fact involved.  But they know the plane “disappeared” at 35,000 feet, but that it might have been starting to turn back towards Malaysia when it vanished. 

Also, 23 people on board may have been Caucasian, which would have made it easier to blend in, if you had stolen passports from Austria and Italy (and were light skinned too).  Also, if they were pale-skinned foreigners, they would be potentially less likely to be scrutinized through security quite as severely in a country like Malaysia – foreigners are not typically viewed as a security threat in SE Asia, drug-smugglers perhaps, terrorists no.  If terrorism was involved, the target appears to be Chinese nationals, but with 23 “Westerners” on board, this plane was likely a high value target for any terrorist organization. 

Could be Al Qaeda, could be Chinese separatists, or it could have been a faulty repair on the wing-tip by Boeing, but if the latter, you would think they would have been able to get a distress-call out.  I guess it is even still possible that the plane has been hijacked, and landed somewhere still yet unknown.  However, to pull that one off, I would assume the plane would somehow have to go “stealth” to fall-off military and civilian radar. 

Everything is currently leading to the conclusion that some type of cataclysmic explosion occurred at 35,000 feet, and if that is the case, then there won’t necessarily be a lot of plane pieces to find. 

My heart goes out to all the families of those affected by this global travesty.  I hope they get to the bottom of this terrible, terrible catastrophe, and that no further lives are lost in similar incidents in the future.  If Malaysian airlines would have simply cross-referenced everyone’s passport with INTERPOL records on file, perhaps this travesty could have been avoided.  However, for a corporation, time is money, and if you can’t check customers in fast enough, you can’t keep your schedules, and you end-up with dissatisfied international travelers who can’t make their connecting flights.  Malaysian airlines has been trying to increase it’s market share of the lucrative tourist trade, and I’m sure many working for them felt they couldn’t afford to delay international flights without sufficient justification.  I guess now they have that justification, too bad so many may have had to die in order for Malaysian airlines to realize they may have a serious security problem in their Kuala Lumpur international terminal.       

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Should America go to war with Russia in the Ukraine?: A “hawk” and a “dove” debate U.S. intervention in the Ukraine

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Political Scientist-“Dove”: “Anyone ever hear of the Crimean War? Russia lost that one, but bloody for both sides. Everyone is saying Putin has annexed the Crimea because Obama was weak on Syria, but that perspective does not take into account America’s involvement in the Ukrainian coup, and the powerful political precedent that would be set in motion if a free and democratic Ukraine was able to block Russia from the Black Sea. The toppling of Ukraine’s President forced Putin to protect Russia’s strategic naval port in the Crimea, and to try to do something to offset a precedent that might lead to further internal revolt within Russia itself. Putin will never leave the Crimea now that his troops are entrenched, John Kerry says if Putin annexes the Crimea, the diplomatic option will be off the table, sounds like a stalemate in the making. And I’ve got news for Kerry and Obama, the Crimea has already been annexed militarily, now they are just waiting for the people of the region to rubber-stamp the move. Best option at this point is to use diplomacy to try to get Putin to recognize the rest of the Ukraine as an autonomous and independent nation, and leave the Crimean issue alone once the upcoming referendum reveals widespread support for Russian annexation. The EU will not support economic sanctions, because they are forever married to Russia now economically. So we can go it alone, to save face, and honor our treaty, but I don’t think we should start World War III because our behind the scenes political meddling forced Russia to annex the Crimea to keep their Navy accessible to them.

If Americans have gotten so used to having their Presidents throw America’s weight around, and semi-covert operations to topple pro-Russian governments in former Soviet nations (via funding & fomenting internal revolt) is seen as weak, and using diplomacy to mitigate the Russian response is now considered being weak (rather than surgical and intelligent), then the “big stick” mentality has become a liability for America. I say let them have the Crimea, not like they didn’t have a valid claim to it to begin with. Think of it this way, if Russia covertly assisted the state of Virgina in it’s efforts to secede from the U.S., and the U.S. military recognized the threat of an independent Virginia, and sent in a Federal force to secure Norfolk, Virgina to protect the U.S. naval base there, do you think it would be wise for Russia to start WWIII by refusing to let Virgina and the U.S. work it out themselves? Would it be wise for them to say, “diplomacy is off the table” if you try to annex Virgina back into the U.S.?  I realize these two examples are not exactly the same, since in my hypothetical example, presumably Russia had not made a treaty with Virgina to defend them from the U.S. if they got rid of their nuclear war-heads!  However, I hope you still get my point.

Ex-Marine – “Hawk”:  “Not sure I agree with your assessment. The Russia base is a lease from Ukraine. Honestly, if that was the intent of Putin, why be proactive and just wait for them to cancel the lease. I haven’t even heard there was a threat of them losing that base. The “free and democratic” Ukraine already existed that gave Russia the lease to begin with. Kind of like Gitmo to Cuba to the US.

That’s one of the problems with the world, not just today but in years past also, let’s just sit back until it’s convenient for everyone… That always worked against Napoleon, no I mean Hitler, no I mean Tojo, no I mean Stalin, no I mean surely it worked on someone.

It needs to be done now before it just gets worse. Imagine how less devastating WWII would have been had we stuffed Hitler at only Czechoslovakia. We bring devastation via procrastination.”

Dove: “So you think the Crimea is just his first step in trying to wrestle Ukraine back into Russian hands, now that America has shown such an interest in obtaining it for NATO?  We bring devastation via meddling, and then more devastation via more meddling, and then, perhaps then, when we’ve created really big messes, then we bring devastation via procrastination. Hitler was not empowered by a lack of diplomacy or a slow counter-strike, he was empowered by a WWI peace-treaty that economically punished Germany to the point that WWII was inevitable. Now we are set to economically punish Russia, with no support from the EU. That won’t work. So what, we invade the rest of the Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia with NATO forces now? Cold War part II here we are. 

Therefore, I don’t know if I can agree with your assessment either sir, because I don’t know how having the world’s two largest nuclear powers exchanging blows (even in a conventional warfare manner, with the assumption it could somehow be “contained” to only the Crimea region) mitigates things getting any “worse.” 

The only thing that will arise from the U.S. and Russia going to war with each other will be the eventual decline in power and prestige of both our nations, and the rise of China and the EU as the world’s new super-power replacements.

Hawk: “Putin is testing the waters. More will come if we don’t stop him now.

And let’s not forget, the elections that were held which elected the jackass that struck off this debacle, was orchestrated and influenced by Russia. Now the people of Ukraine are saying this is BS… To say we started this is a scape goat answer to imply it’s our fault.

We can’t live in fear of Russia. We must address this now. If force is necessary, then so be it. We have the power to do what is right or the power to do nothing. We lose world respect by doing nothing. We maintain our symbol of hope to the rest of the world if we do what is right.”

Dove: I can understand your concern sir, and can see how Putin might view the Crimea as step one, Ukraine step two, and all the former Soviet satellite nations step three. However, I can also understand why Putin is doing what he is doing, because there was a real threat that the democratic movements in the Ukraine could spread to “Mother Russia,” and topple his regime if he didn’t do something to counter the increased Westernization of the Ukraine. So I guess I just don’t see Putin as being as bold as Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, or Tojo, because his military action is a reaction to Ukrainian political instability, rather than a well thought out plan to regain the former Soviet Union’s previous satellite nations. However, now that things have been set in motion by the Ukrainian democratic revolt, I could see Putin grasping for a legacy he would have never thought possible only a few weeks ago.”

Hawk: “And we can’t take blame for WWII either. The German people never felt beat after WWI. The propaganda machines of the time indicated that they were just tired of war and that the Germans had fought the entire world to a draw. This had nothing to do with economics. They obviously had the funding to host the 1936 Olympics. That in spite of these crippling punishments you speak of… Not likely.

This doesn’t have to be a Cold War II. It was a Cold War because there was no direct war. Instead we fought each other through puppetry which killed thousands of innocent people. We are supposed to be the protectorate of all that symbolizes good in the world… As someone told me the other day that they were a ‘man of their word’ as they failed to follow through with what they said they were going to do… This made them a ‘man of their words’… Lets not be ‘men of our words’, lets be ‘men of our word’… Right, wrong, or indifferent…”

Dove: “Just because we are not shooting at someone or lobbing bombs into populated areas does not mean we are “doing nothing.” Doing “what is right” is not always so clear-cut sir, there is plenty of fault to spread around on both sides. Yes, Russia likely did put Ukraine’s president in power as a puppet of Russian interests, so when he got toppled, first reaction for Putin was to ensure Russian strategic interests were protected. The U.S. almost assuredly did fund the revolt, and offer other logistical support, the CIA has always been great about doing things like that. Regardless of whose fault this mess is, I just don’t want the U.S. getting into yet another costly war we can’t afford at at time when our nation is already hurting so much, simply to protect our “rep” as being tough.”

Hawk: “You think Putin doesn’t think the same thing: ‘time is right’ because he thinks we are tired of war… You bet your ass he does… What better opportunity? He doesn’t think the EU will have a spine if we are not there to hold them erect.

No country can ever ‘afford a war’… Champions are found in the ones whom finds the energy to do the right thing when everyone else is too tired to do it. We are the beacon that all people in the world see as hope of freedom whether it be via protection, financial investment, what have you… If we leave the Ukraine unprotected, we are just a puppet. We might as well send the Statue of Liberty back to France and tell them we just wanted to return their spines to them because we are tired.”

Dove: “I don’t know about you Jay, but I don’t remember anyone in Washington D.C. asking me to give my word to the Ukrainian people that I would come to their defense if they would give us their nuclear warheads. Also, just because Hitler was able to muster the funds necessary to create a spectacle like Putins, twenty or more years after WWI, doesn’t mean the economic conditions for the average German were not oppressive, and did not encourage a tyrant to arise from the ashes of Germany’s defeat during WWI. Most historians agree with my assessment of the Treaty, because my assessment comes from their conclusions. I agree we should always honor our obligations and treaties, but I think we need to be a hell of a lot smarter about the obligations and treaties we are entangling ourselves with. Because what you are describing, in your support of American military intervention in the Ukraine to honor our treaty with them, is exactly how previous World Wars have started. You are right in some respects though, we can’t live in fear of Russia, but it might be wise to have a healthy bit of respect and weariness towards them. After all, they are not the Taliban, or Iraq, they are a well trained, highly funded, and highly motivated military force, with an arsenal that is only matched by ours, and if we won’t to go toe-to-toe with the second biggest dog on the block, we had better be ready to accept the consequences of our actions (losing our Alpha status for good), if we want to go in all teeth and claws, instead of barking a threatening warning or two first.

War profiteers like the U.S., France, and Russia can probably already see the dollar signs floating before their eyes, and they are just waiting for an itchy trigger-finger to start it all up. Debating the issue will likely be a moot point before I even have a chance to set foot back in my own country. Call me self-interested in peace, but I just don’t want to have to try to figure out a way to get home to the U.S. with a newborn when we are at war with Russia.

Hawk: “That may be a bit extreme to return France’s spine… Maybe we could just send them the torch and ask them to hold it for us because we are tired..

Our elected officials signed that treaty… We are not a democracy, we are a republic. We elect people to make decisions for us… We sure as hell were elated as a nation when the fears of rogue nukes was resolved by this treaty in the 90’s… Now that it comes time to pay them back, well… ummm… Maybe we could… ummmm… Talk about this… ummm… treaty you know we signed… well ummm… you see… I mean… We were just joking.

If that’s the historians perspective of the post-war Germany of WWI, then I question they are looking at all the history. Germany wanted peace because their war machine was consuming all their resources. Specifically, food… The war effort put the German people into starvation. Once the German leadership began realizing that this would put their regime in danger, they decided the time was right to end the fight before the full might of the wars newest player, the fresh Yankees from across the pond, the writing was on the wall. Not to mention, seeing the impacts of the Russian Revolution, there was concerns of a Bolshevik movement taking grasp in Germany. And they knew the pot was right for Bolshevik soup. The German economy was improving but a mere 15-years after the war a man, whom had built his name in the years following the war during the tough times as a man of the people, came to power. The divide was just as stimulated by economy that they had been unable to recover well before the war ended as it was the rise of Bolshevism in Germany, concurrent activities.

I don’t want war with Russia. I hope Putin changes course for the better… However, if not…”

Dove: “Sir, thanks for taking the time to engage with me in the type of much needed debate our nation needs to have about this issue. I know at this point you would like to see less debate, and more action, based on your own analysis of historical past precedents, but I just see this issue more like the Cuban Missile Crisis I guess. The French have been selling the hell out of some guns, #4 globally now, selling to Saudi Arabia and other Sunni nations. Yep, our elected officials did sign that treaty, and we do live in a republic, so perhaps we shouldn’t rise-up as a mob and demand we go to war, but rather leave the whole matter up to them – “the people we elected to make decisions for us” to interpret, and implement the treaty as they see fit. So to use your own words against you, maybe you should consider cutting your “Commander in Chief” a little slack on this one. After all, he was elected to make some decisions for us, and maybe he is working with some “intelligence” you don’t have regarding various variables that warrant further diplomacy. Just saying…

Regarding, the causes of Hitler’s rise to power in Germany, I won’t claim to be an expert, I will just say when Germans had to use wheel-barrels of German marks to pay for a loaf of bread, conditions became ripe for Adolf to put down his paint brush, and start playing God.

A Texas “Tea-Partier’s” opinion thrown into the mix for good measure – “Tex”: “No surprise here, Russia has been doing this sort of thing for 100s of years back in the days of the czars. Putin got a little piece of Georgia a few years back. Now the Crimea. Any time there is unrest in any former Soviet countries they will use the excuse of “protecting the ethnic Russians” as an excuse to send in troops and annex. Stay tuned, you shall see this again with other border countries.”

Dove: “I agree with you Tex, I just don’t know if having NATO bomb them back to their original borders will be the best solution for all parties involved in the short or long run. However, I also know the old proverb, “give them an inch, and they will take a mile” too. So it is a catch-22, if we don’t react with hostility or the real threat of hostility to counter Putin’s aggressive moves, then we face an ever-expanding Russian empire, and a President Obama and U.S. appearing weak in the face of a strengthening Putin/Russia. On the other hand, if we use force against Putin for protecting Russia’s bases, we justify his logic to his people, and we place ourselves in yet another costly war that could have possibly been avoided with a grand political and economic compromise. Some will always use instability for their advantage, some will always use force first, and diplomacy last. Some circumstances call for force first, and diplomacy when possible, I just don’t see this as one of those circumstances at the moment. I say if the EU aren’t too worried about it, then let them deal with it. We’ve got our own problems at home to worry about, and it is immoral to use war profits as a viable economic stimulus package for improving America’s economy.”

Hawk: “Understood. However, we are a republic, which further means, they are elected to carry out the will of us… I just want them to know, my will is to not back down from our word… It may be all we have, but, let’s not let anyone take that away from us.

And this C-in-C will get no slack from me until he proves he’s got the mettle to earn it. One thing you learn as a member of the military, sometimes you have to walk 100 miles with everything important to you on your back and then fight when you get there… There’s no time to rest, no time to sleep… It’s walk 3-days and then attack… No timeouts, no ‘give me a second’, no halftime show…

And this POTUS spends more time reviewing “intelligence” gathered internally than externally… I figure I just tagged him in this post. And since he’s now reading this… Mr. President, put troops on the ground in the Ukraine and be prepared to use them if you want peace.

You already believe his rhetoric… It’s not about protecting Russians in Crimea, it is not about their leased base from the Ukraine… It’s about Russian power. Nothing more, nothing less.

Putin’s statement is this:

“ATTENTION ALL FORMER SOVIET-BLOCK COUNTRIES:
You will remain pro-Russia or else! The world is NOT going to protect you! Resistance is FUTILE! That is all…”

Dove: “I guess giving the go ahead on Seal-Team 6 gave him no street cred as having the mettle to make tough choices, and earn your respect, or any other military members respect? I know the first day or so after Osama’s assassination he looked pretty credible, but then again, it didn’t take the far-Right long to spin the “rally around the flag” affect away from him. For the record, I believe very little of what comes out of Obama’s mouth, and I agree with your assessment about it being about Russian power. I would just add it is also all about America’s projection of power and prestige abroad too. We have to be seen as doing something about Putin’s grab for power on the other side of the world, or America is somehow now perceived as too weak to respond to international events. It would appear if we are going to be the global policeman of the world, we have got to respond to every 911 call (even if it is just a cat in a tree), or we are not doing our job. Where is the U.N. or NATO in all of this?

Sir, I agree with your perspective on Putin’s statement to the former Soviet-block countries, but I also think Putin’s assessment is accurate. That is all…

Tex: “That sums it up. Russia has historically used satellite countries as a buffer to protect their borders. Only thing is there is really no country in Europe that is a threat to them. Only thing that may slow their annexations down is if they piss off the border countries like they did the Chechnyaians and wind up with terrorists coming at them from all directions.”

Hawk: “We are the UN and NATO… Without us, they are nothing! We did not sign up to be the world’s police, we are that by de facto! We are not alone on this planet. We became hope because we project hope. We became a world power because we started out by standing up to a force that had never been beaten. And we beat them! We gained our freedom by spitting in the face of perceived evil… We became hope when we won our independence.

Obama sending in ST6 to get Osama is not an act of mettle. That’s not a tough choice… It’s ST6 moving against a soft target inside a country with a weak military. Of which, I cry BS when they say Pakistan did not know we were coming. That was their rhetoric to protect their regime.

And it is a fact, when we are perceived as strong, we invite less trouble…

Putin’s assessment is we are tired and will do nothing… I hope his assessment is wrong. Otherwise, our children will pay for this.

PS… “That is all…” was not directed at you… When an announcement is made on military ships, they end the message with “that is all”… I was making a military reference to his statement. Which is what he is doing…

Dove: “I am familiar with the term. I think I used it correctly per your last remarks.”

Hawk: “Hard to read sometimes…[on a web site] Just wanted to make sure you knew…”

Dove: “They are nothing, because we over-power them, and as you say, we are, “the UN and NATO…” When we spend more than the next 10 industrialized nations combined, yes, by de facto bankruptcy inducing defense spending, we are also the world’s policeman. And you are right, many Americans “did not sign up” to pay for America to have the most bloated, costly, and domestically destructive military might ever seen in this world since the Roman Empire. After more than 10 years of war, with all the military personnel deaths, all the personal sacrifices you know of personally, all the physical and mental ailments, the PTSD, the economic costs of the last two wars, Putin’s assessment is accurate. And maybe you are right sir, maybe our children will pay for our lack of military action now, but Americans will not stomach another war right now unless they are firing at us on our own soil.

My “that is all” was not directed in a negative way towards you either sir, just used for emphasis.  I can argue with a man without feeling the need to tear his head-off, and… well you know the rest.

Hawk: “We lost more than 100x the number of casualties in WWII yet still stomached the Korean War… We lost more than these wars combined during the Normandy Invasion alone… We are not tired, we are not weak…

Back on mettle, mettle is earned by doing the right thing when you have the most to lose. A Marine diving on a grenade to protect his fellow Marines… That is mettle. A soldier running across an open battlefield to rescue another soldier that is trapped, wounded, or KIA… That is mettle. Choosing to engage an enemy whom might be strong enough to whip our ass because we said we would… That is mettle. Notice the similarities… All actions not words.

Being popular and doing what is right is not always the same thing… In fact, they rarely are…

If a few thousand deaths and injuries over a period of 13 years is enough to make us weary, then maybe the Greatest Generation is right in their assessment of latter generations… I still boldly say they are wrong!

The generations of Americans since and to this day are just as strong a force as they ever were… We are still great! We just need great leadership to show us. The irony of a republic is… We elect those we want to be led by and become what we are led by… IF led by the strong, we become the strong… IF led by the weak, we become the weak… IF not led we become chaos… This POTUS is the latter 2…”

Dove: “America had five years to catch their breath between WWII and the Korean war, we have not had that yet. It is not weak to be weary of war, it is wise. Less ego, and more thoughtfulness, will get us all much further down the road than will violence. Americans are still great, and we do have the strongest military a generation’s-worth of tax money can buy, but I bet the Middle Class is wondering where all that money went. Likewise, if I have any say on who gets elected in the future, I would rather be led by the smart, so we can become the smart, but I will readily admit your assessment of our current POTUS may not be too far off the mark (especially on #3).

Regarding the Obama mettle argument, I will concede defeat on that one, before I will waste my time trying to defend Obama’s military might based on that one example of decisive decision making. But I will say we could have used some of that from Hillary on Benghazi. I agree being popular and doing what is right are rarely the same thing, and America’s government/military lost the popularity contest in many nations a long, long time ago. However, I have to admit, I can’t help but be a bit apprehensive about just how “great” our generation (or rather the Y generation) really will end-up being rated. If, and/or when political and economic circumstances conspire to compel Americans to make the ultimate sacrifice yet again, and to send all these new college graduates living at home (who can’t find work) into the fog of war to test their mettle.

Don’t get me wrong, I think we are still a great Nation, with many tough, hard working, Americans filled with a strong work ethic, patriotic values, and character, but most will readily admit a lot has changed in America since the Greatest Generation were kids. We now live in a “dole-State” America, with a generation of people who have become dependent on handouts, and who do not have the values, character, and principles that made this country great. America is ready to tear itself apart already, it does not need another war to create the last straw that broke the camel’s back. If it was a war where we were being attacked on the home front, like 9/11, then I could see us all coming together for a time to “fight any foe,” but on something like this, it will just further tear us apart.

If we are going to project an image of hope, power, and wisdom abroad, then we have to act deliberately, not fall on the grenade for a country who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about us.

We are already sending them $1billion of our hard earned tax dollars to keep their crumbling economy afloat for a few more weeks, do we really need Obama’s pivot to Asia to start in the Ukraine, and to mean the beginning of the end for all we’ve once known and held dear? Why do I have less confidence in a positive outcome from war. I don’t think a majority of our Nation’s people is of the same mettle as previous generations in many respects, they do not have the religious convictions, the work ethic, or the tenacity to endure hardships in a civilized and peaceful fashion like those of previous generations. Then again, previous generations also show a tendency towards chaos when sacrifices and rationing become a reality. So I guess what I am saying, is that history reveals that when domestic issues arise within a nation that cause it to be on the verge of collapse, a war campaign abroad to enrich the coffers is not always the best way to preserve your empire.

Hawk: “The smartest Presidents we have had by straight up intelligence have all been do nothing Presidents. Carter I think is still the highest in measured intelligence. Hard working, strong men have always made the best. The smarter they are the less they are to take action. They seek the ever elusive perfect answer. A good plan today acted upon is always better than the perfect plan tomorrow.

As for the rat’s ass, if they were the only ones watching, this may be true. But I assure you, they are not alone.

And for timing, in WW2, we suffered more than a million killed or wounded in 4 years. In the 14 years of these wars combined we have had just under 60 thousand from the last numbers I saw. Not to downplay this war’s significance of sacrifice, but, it’s a bit less. Actually, a lot less. In fact, 4x less per yearly average of WW2. Korea saw 2x more total during its 3-years. It’s perception at play here. WW2, we were attacked. Korea, we were not.

We need to suck it up! Tired… This we are not.”

Dove: “Sometimes, there is something to be said about being a “do nothing” President, it can on occasion lead to times of peace and prosperity that allows citizens across the nation (and people across the globe) with the chance to pursue happiness and the freedom to live their lives in peace. Conversely, I understand it can also get us invaded, captured, tortured, and killed, if we don’t recognize when we have fallen in the proverbial “frying pan” on our way to the “fire.” So I guess it is just a matter of where you see America in that equation currently. How big of a threat is the loss of the Ukraine to Russia a threat to our nation’s power and prestige both at home and abroad, and is it worth tearing the country apart to honor that treaty?”

Hawk: “Assuming tearing our country apart is a real threat. We’ve been in worse pickles.”

Dove: “I can see the actual loss of the Ukraine to Russia as a superficial wound at best to America, but I see the greater risk being the perception of increased power and strength that this move by Putin plays on the international stage. Although our reputation has already been hurt abroad by NSA spying and other revelations, it would appear we are nonetheless still very worried about the bottom-line power perceptions. But this is not surprising, because after all, irregardless of whether we are loved or not, “it is always better to be feared, than to be loved” – (Niccolo Machiavelli). I think that captures the “popularity” vs. “doing what is right” comments you made earlier sir. It is unfortunate however, that ever since the Edward Snowden revelations about the NSA, and the excesses of the Patriot Act have come to light, along with the ever increasing Socialist agenda, and an ever encroaching military-industrial complex agenda bent on primarily enforcing the WTO, the IMF, and other NWO goals, it would seem “our government” appears to be taking the same Machiavellian approach domestically towards us as it is towards it’s enemies abroad! And so until we get the whole 13% Congressional approval rating thing all sorted out, and the $17 trillion dollar deficit thing sorted out, and the 47 million Americans on Food Stamps thing sorted out, the last thing America needs right now is another war to further the great divides between Secular-Humanism/Science, and Religious-Christian/Creationism, or between our unlimited Federal Government and “We the People.

And to address your last remarks specifically, tearing America apart for the third time might be the last straw though sir, and do we really want to be the generation to watch as they report on the news the beginning of the next Dark Ages?

Hawk: “I appreciate your views but there is never a best time. There is only what we do this time. That is all that ever really matters. Our actions are always judged by what we do, our reactions are judged by what others think we won’t do.”

Dove: “Yes, exactly, so that is why we must do the right thing, and in a deliberate way, rather than “shoot first, and ask questions later.” If we can take a calm and measured approach to the situation, and ratchet up, or ratchet down our surgical responses to the changing conditions on the political and/or economic “battle field,” then perhaps we can still pressure Russian leaders to get their Russian soldiers to get back in their trucks, and drive their asses back to Russia. If not, then perhaps war will be inevitable, and necessary, but until every possible avenue for peace is pursued, I say the best we can do this time is strive to find a diplomatic way to preserve the peace until blood is drawn, and then if we must react with violence to protect the innocent from those who would injure them, then so be it, war it is… If America really wants to be the policeman of the world, then that is the price we must be willing to pay for such a title. We must be willing to fall on the grenade for the Ukraine, or for Syria, or for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or for the South Sudan, or for Libya, or for any other nation that would likely stab us in the back if given half the chance.”

Hawk: “Nobody negotiates with the police until the police are there, correct?”

Dove: “Yes, I see where you are going with that, and yes, I suspect that is coming, and yes, I don’t suspect that will go down well with Putin, and yes, it may very well escalate the entire situation to the point where war is inevitable anyways.”

Hawk: “Or…”

Dove: “Or, we can send in a community mediator to stand between the two factions, keep the peace, and keep us out of WWIII.  U.N. to the rescue!  Isn’t that their charter anyways, to keep messes like this from spiraling out of control?

Hawk: “My or was to what may come of it.

Or… They could come to their senses and this all end peacefully knowing that American is “a man of its word”…

Teddy said it best… Speak softly and carry a big stick.

Again, the UN has no power without us.

How many small kids can talk their way out of a beating from a big bully? Very few. They tend to have to just run or avoid them… I was a small kid… Talking generally got me no where.”

Dove: “I know they are an ineffective organization most of the time, but I for one would be much more comfortable with U.N. peace-keepers going in there and resolving the matter, rather than having us storm in there and make matters worse. Of course, I do realize a small group of EU observers and international monitors were recently turned away by gun fire, but if they went in with their blue-helmets and tanks, that would be a different story. Mark my words sir, if we go anywhere near there with NATO, or with U.S. armed forces, it is not going to turn out good for any of us, and the next generation of kids will suffer and have to pay for that one too. It won’t be a simple misunderstanding cleared-up, it will be a long, protracted, and deadly war that will likely generate the kind of “1984” Orwellian hell George Orwell warned us about back when the first threat of a Communist dominated world was sweeping across the globe.

I was a big kid, so talking usually got me out of most fights, and big bullies didn’t bother with me for the most part. It was only when I would go up against a small guy with something to prove that I ever felt threatened, because you couldn’t reason with them. They had a chip on their shoulder, and an inferiority complex, so talking your way out of a fight with them was often futile. Violence generally gets no one anywhere, because whether you win or lose, not everyone comes home with just bumps and bruises, but assuredly, everyone’s feelings get hurt. If they all play nice, we will all stand to make lots of money, if they lead us to go to war, they will still make lots of money, but conversely, we will stand to lose everything.

Regarding the Ukraine, “Tex,” sir, you are both right, all the Ukraine situation is about is the old-guard of the Kremlin wanting to regain what it has lost, at a time when it perceives America as divided, weak (or at least war weary), and more prone to use diplomacy over force to resolve conflict. I understand your desire to see America forceful at this time to project American power and resolve to our commitments abroad. All I am saying is that America doesn’t have the stomach, the resolve, or the “fire in the belly” to go to war with Russia over the Ukraine at this fragile time in our Nation’s “Recovery” from the 2008 Great Recession.

We are a house divided, and the American peace movement, the environmental/global-warming movement, the Occupy Wall Street movement, the anti-nuclear movement, the ACLU, the Libertarian Party, and various other political and economic factions will not just sit by and watch America get entangled in yet another Great War without putting in their two cents against it first. Of course, all those groups have been ignored before, and it has never stopped our government from making poor decisions, by often ignoring the wishes of a majority of the America people’s perspectives, because our leaders think they know what is best for us.

I guess it just bothers me that when it is a President like Obama doing the leading, he is the one you all think should grow a spine, the person whose reasoning and military decision making gets second-guessed or ignored, and whose leadership is utterly disrespected by those who should know better than to discredit their commander in chief while still serving.

But when it is a Republican in power, so many appear to believe it is all those political factions of people with valid concerns about war, and legitimate arguments against it, that should be ignored or oppressed for speaking out against the war machine. I find that tendency in American politics, and within America’s dynamic relationship between it’s president, it’s military, and it’s people to be troubling as well. Where is our voice in all of this?

If we elect a President we hope will finally be our voice after decades of voodoo economics and out-of-control Cold War spending, our votes only reap disappointment and betrayal. If American’s rise-up, and try to be the change they want America to be, they get pepper-sprayed, water-cannoned, attacked by dogs or the police, arrested, and then lose their right to vote or carry a fire-arm for protection. America already appears to be at war at home, and abroad, it is only a matter of semantics regarding what we call the new covert or overt nature of those wars. So my only point is, if we wish to continue to project power abroad, perhaps it is past time for us to try to put our own house in order, before we go starting World War III by “invading” the Ukraine for it’s own good.

I guess the counter-argument is that we can do both at the same time by using the historical approach, wage the war anyway, but with the government waging war at home simultaneously against all those who would question their authority during a time of war. 
And they have the audacity to wonder why the American people’s trust in government is so low these days!  Half the time, half the nation is labeled as would-be terrorists, so lucrative war profits can be made, and America’s massive egos can be stroked, while their notions of honor and chivalry are quenched by the blood of those trying to avoid war. 

Or, perhaps it is all just a matter of national honor, and there really are no hard feelings against those Americans who would rather not be cannon fodder for some oligarchical “nobleman’s” mad schemes to dominate the world. But I figure, many now see most political opposition against the military-industrial complex’s NWO agenda as being a poison that America must be cured of, before it causes the entire Nation to become “rotten to the core.” Thus, I portend far more conflict inside America in the future as a result of international issues such as this one pulling Americans further apart in their political views and loyalties when tested. I would prefer to be wrong, but I am very afraid I will end-up being right.

Least we forget,it was a political protest against a corrupt, unresponsive, and tyrannical President/establishment bankrupting a fed-up people’s country that started this mess in the first place. There is a lesson to be learned somewhere in there I think. Hope we get a chance to learn it before it is too late. 

A return to “Cold War” thinking will get us nowhere, but back into another Cold War, or worse. At a monumental time, when the world is closer together than it has ever been, due to technologies like global communications satellites, Wi-Fi, smart-phones, and the internet, it behooves us to think outside of the box, and find a better more viable long-term solution to problems such as these. We should use our heads, rather than our fists, because we need not resort to animal instincts to resolve all our complex international global political and economic problems.”

Hawk: “I was a small kid. Rarely, did I go looking for trouble. What I found though, was trouble would sometimes find me. I was confident. This made me a target to some bullies. What I found was, if I backed down or ignored the bully, they just came back. If I stood my ground, it would be finished. Sometimes I took a whooping, sometimes I dealt one, and sometimes… I didn’t have to fight. If they knew I would, they would back off as long as I gave them the ability to do so and they could remain a punk with face. But either way, never had to face that one again. Even in loss, I had a better situation.

Bullies don’t stop until bullies are stopped.”

Dove: “I  guess you have a point there Sir, now it remains to be seen if Putin is really going to continue to act like a bully, or if he is going to turn out to be a “punk with face.”  President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping seem to be getting somewhat chummy over their unhappiness with Putin as of late, so perhaps this whole mess will lead to improved U.S. relations with China!  If the Japan and Philippines territorial disputes at sea can eventually be resolved, then Putin may yet be put back in his place by a American-Chinese-EU coalition.  Guess we will soon see, but is does appear Obama is attempting to garner support for his plan (whatever it is) from Great Britain, Germany, France, and now China. So we can expect to see a reaction to Putin’s annexation of the Crimea soon, probably just before (or likely just after) the Crimean referendum to join Russia this weekend. 

But despite all the hawkish battle cries, the U.S. probably won’t be putting troops on the ground in the Ukraine unless Ukraine soldiers actually get fired upon.  Instead,  the U.S. will probably engage in some form of stern warning, with economic sanctions, and with NATO troops setting up defensive positions in and around the other former Soviet-block nations.   Also, symbolic political war is already being waged, because the American Air Force attending Polish military press-briefings (in the front row), President Obama formally showing American support for the new Ukrainian President who came to power after the Ukrainian revolt, and having key American diplomats visit the former Soviet-block nations leaders are all peaceful political tactics that send a clear message of support to the Ukraine people in the face of Russian aggression as well.  With these tactics, President Obama is making it clear to President Putin, that if Russia continues it’s “intervention” in the Ukraine, the U.S. and other foreign nations will “be forced to apply a cost.”  This is how the “game” of international politics is “played,” if you want to pressure a rogue nation into following agreed-upon international laws, but don’t want to start WWIII by waving your “big stick” around.”