Tuesday, May 26, 2015

                                           WHAT WE KNEW THEN

Even before the tragic attack of 9/11 on the World Trade Center in New York we knew that Bin Ladin's primary goal was to bleed our economy dry by provoking us into an expensive long drawn out war in the Middle East. We eventually found and killed Bin Ladin but not before he "accomplished" his mission. Immediately after 9/11 we had the entire civilized world on our side. For that brief moment in history it was within our power to set an enduring example of how to defeat terrorism -because the only weapon that will ever truly defeat terrorism  is public opinion. Had we simply turned the other cheek, buried our dead, and gone about the business of rebuilding -Osama Bin Ladin's strategy would have backfired and he would have become an International outcast.

Prior to our invasion of Iraq in the "Second" Gulf War we already knew from our prior experience in Afghanistan the utter futility of attempting to convert an ancient Middle Eastern style tribal society into a modern Western style democracy.

Terrorism shares certain characteristics with Ebola and other viruses. It erupts in conditions of poverty and lack of opportunity . It only ends when it burns itself out and there are no more bodies or minds to infect, or when public opinion finally turns against it. 

We can not force our values and ways of governing on other Nations but we can provide an example of a better way to deal with the complexities of governing. Ways that treat every citizen fairly while providing opportunities to all. Now is the time to end these wars which we can not win and start setting an example for all the world to see. We must first look inward and re-discover  some of the democratic values which we've lost sight of recently. A good way to start would be to clean up our own elective process which has become far too ugly and too contaminated by big money.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

May God Strike Me Dead?

I'll deny I ever said this in the unlikely event that it ever goes viral but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that religion and the concept of Gods are nothing more than the relics of human superstitions. Unlike most of our fellow species on this planet we humans are an extremely curious species - always looking for explanations and seeking understanding of our surroundings. Long before we even knew what the Sun and the Moon and the planets were -let alone the nature of the galaxies and the Universe , we attributed the daily "rising" of the Sun and the changing seasons to imaginary Gods in the Heavens. After all what else could possibly be the cause of all of these amazing events other than some all powerful deity?  As we became more and more dependent on accurate weather forecasting for planting crops and seasonal migration, and as we sought explanations for the strange events and objects we were witnessing in the skies it seemed like a excellent idea to try to keep those Gods in a really good mood. Even today with all the progress we have made learning about the nature of the Universe there are few among us who are free from superstitions.

Our ancestors  quickly learned that seeds wouldn't grow when the Sun retreated below the horizon. It couldn't have been easy in those days having to worry whether the Sun would return overhead every year and allow crops to grow again. Someone must be in charge of all of these events. Someone behind the scenes who can't be seen. Best to get on his good side and not upset the big guy up there in the sky.

Gradually the Gods became so abundant that it was hard to keep track of them all. It became difficult to know who to worship in any particular situation. Worship finally became so complex that the Gods even began to fight among themselves.  Fortunately several efficiency experts finally stepped forward and did us all a big a favor by consolidating all of the Gods into one all seeing all knowing single entity. Thus was born monotheism. This greatly simplified the acts of  worshiping and playing the "blame game" when things went against us. But no amount of simplification and efficiency changed the fact that Gods were  and still are nothing more than human superstitions that we use to explain what we do not understand and attempts to rig the outcomes in our favor. No matter how we dress it up we're basically still relying on ignorance and superstition to guide us through our daily lives.   There's nothing wrong with that as long as we don't allow these superstitions to set us against one another in such a deadly and hateful manner as we have been doing ever since the time that we first  invented the concept Gods to conceal our ignorance about the true nature of the Universe and ourselves. When we finally understand something it become science -until then it remains ignorance cloaked in superstition. Either condition can be deadly for ourselves and our fellow species. As I said at the top of the page-please don't tell anyone I said this. I have no desire to spend eternity in Hell! Step on a crack and break your mother's back! Break a Leg when going on Stage!