Sunday, February 13, 2005
Hurtling towards Utopia without any traction in reality
Life is interesting. Today I was behind a car adorned with the following bumper sticker: “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.” Sharing the rear surface area of the car were also a peace sign and one of those cute little fish outlines with legs and “Darwin” in the middle. The driver was a female, maybe late 20s. Is that too old for unfettered (with truth) passion? Maybe not, I’d say. Anyhow, I saw no stickers about women’s rights, any with anti-beheading slogans, nor anything about the massacre in Sudan, or the Food-for-Oil debacle. Yes, she’s right, we should be outraged. The MSM, whose senior level
leaders executives seem to have learned nothing from Dan Rather’s recent “fact checking” experience, feel they can make recorded statements, then, in the very era where the speed of delivery of reports on world-wide events from their own reporting staffs (have the guys at the top ever heard of “file footage?” Sorry, I digress.) confound National Command Authority (That’s the President and the Joint Chiefs of Staff), and never be held accountable. It’s actually kind of funny, since their own technology seals their own fate. This is analogous to the Internet becoming a world-wide forum, where the major news outlets can be “scooped” by regular people, being the bane of the existence of the Democrats in 2004, when groups such as the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” were able to mount a “low budget” campaign, that had its toll on John Kerry. Is it any wonder that you never hear anything about Al Gore anymore? If he just hadn’t invented the Internet, John Kerry might be President today. I’m sure the entire Democratic Party will never find it in them to forgive Al for his initiative. He’ll be a marginal, backwater guy the rest of his life as a result.
Ok, so the drive looking for Utopia. Peace, yes, we want some of that. Somehow, if you manage to sit down with the various groups around the world, such as al-Queda, the Shining Path, the drug cartel bosses, Kim Jong Il, etc, etc, etc, could you please offer them a latte and ask if they’d be so kind as to give up their power and just buy a nice house in your neighborhood? Offer them a moving in present of a bundt cake. I’m sure they’ll ask for the number of a realtor you’d recommend. Problem solved!
I spent in excess of 24 years directly serving “the Beast” of war. Due to my misfortune, partly due to the time I was born and the rest to the assignments I was given in my service time, I only got close to combat one late night in the Mediterranean Ocean, and then it turned out to be a case of mistaken identity, and it wasn’t a couple of Libyan Osa Boats bearing down on the Battle Group. Did I want war? If it was to happen I wanted to be there to use the training the American public paid for, but I had no visions of provoking it. Actually, in one large scale war game, I was put in charge. When you are now the last one, for practical purposes, in the chain of command to have to make almost instantaneous decisions, you do, in fact, come to an entirely new understanding of what “accountable” and “rules of engagement” (ROE) really mean in application. I had the opportunity to play the Naval equivalent of “Dirty Harry” that day, and I chose to stick with the ROE. We still pounded them soundly, thanks to a good plan, and we created no simulated “international incidents” as a result. I left that experience with a new appreciation for those in command at any level.
War has been with us, with varying levels of damage infliction and “team size,” since Cain wanted something his brother had. Pick up just about any history book, about any culture, and yes, they almost all have that component of bad interpersonal behavior in their background. The solution? Actually, it’s quite simple: Love that person next to you the way you want to be loved. When you can “feel the love” all around, there’s no reason to hate and covet the other person’s stuff, or situation. At a pragmatic level, it is like the Communism, Marx and Engels thought we could have, but they were almost 2000 years late proposing their ideas. On those grounds, you’d think the liberal left would be the biggest supporters of Christianity, but they are juxtapositioned now. What irony.
Oh, and by the way, the historical record says it’s not democratic societies that attack their neighbors, it’s the theocracies, the monarchies, and the others. Democracies take the first blow in most cases, so I ask how intelligent it is to oppose the democratization of other parts of the World, let alone to try to damage the one we are so blessed to have where we live in the US?
As far as the walking fish thing, I ask this: If the Darwin model of every organism vying the become the best in terms of survival, why have not all forms of life, many of which have been around millions of years prior to humanity appearing on the scene, all as smart, if not smarter, than we are? I think Darwin left that piece out of his mechanism. Could anyone reasonable argue that the development of a highly refined thinking capacity would not offer superior opportunities for survival? I’ve yet to run into a talking lizard, either in my yard or out in the woods. My cat is kind of smart, but I never have been able to get her to take dictation and type up my rambling thoughts while I’m at work. And, let me toss this one out: If I dig a pit and put in quantities of copper, plastic, aluminum, transistors, paint and various other components for a plane, can I have someone go look about 2 million years from now for a Boeing 727 assembled there? I’d admit Darwin was right if a 727 was there, but I’d personally hope for a F-22 Raptor, myself. That’s a machine that certainly could assure its survival. Now, I just realized that maybe we’d first see a 727, and later, when it found out carrying passengers around wasn’t keeping it alive, then it would start evolving to be an F-22.
I’d argue that everything has been designed to fill a certain niche, and a controlling mechanism has been put in place in each species to make it fit, much like you put a governor on a public school bus engine, to keep the drivers from driving it at a speed that makes no sense for its intended purpose.
Outraged? Yes, we should be. At those who would keep the World on the edge of their seats through the mechanism of fear. More often than not, these days, the planned outrage is at George W. Bush, which ignores the fact that 290 million some of us are all part of the equation, and that’s not even considering the other about 5,710,000,000 people on the rest of the planet. They are players, too.
Now, if you’re outraged, just what are you doing about it? I have a suggestion: (SU)3. Find something you can have a positive effect on and “git ‘er done!’