War hasn’t been popular since WWII – although, I understand there were some anti-war dudes back then too – by and large, the country supported it. Many believed it would be the end of the world as we knew it and that it would all be for naught – but if we hadn’t entered WWII (spurred on by an unprovoked attack on American soil – any of this sound familiar?) we’d all be speaking German and possibly have only the color brown in our wardrobes.

Korea was an unpopular war – but I think mostly because we didn’t exactly finish the job. As evidenced by what’s going on in Korea today. A little fat dude with bad hair nuclear-izing his country, while most of his citizens starve to death (ah, the better to control them).

But, by far, I think the most unpopular war was Vietnam. Yep, that was stinker. Those who were tuning out, (big kudos to Timothy Leary) took exception to the idea that perhaps they might have to stand the watch for their country. They sure did take advantage of their personal freedoms but they sure didn’t want to have to actually defend them or protect them. Nah, that was better done by others. And they took it a step further too – by rejecting everything that was up to that point normal and American. Our military suddenly was the bad guy. The country was the bad guy. We who may have supported the fight against communism, were murderers, rapists and baby killers. Soldiers were spit upon and made to feel disgrace, all for the horrible act of going when their country called. And after years of war and thousands lost, the veterans of that war were at best ignored, and at worst tossed out like yesterdays’ trash. And it was decades before they were even thanked (much less honored) for their service. Do you remember that parade through New York City? I do. And I sat and wondered how many in that cheering crowd had made it their business to spit on these brave men and women just a few years before.

I wondered too, if all the voices drowning out common sense and reality, hadn’t been so loud if we’d have been able to finish the job there. If the millions who were murdered, tortured and turned into slaves of the Communist regime that claimed Vietnam after we left, would have had different lives. Better lives. I think they would have – but no, I don’t know.

I’m very familiar with all the arguments against war. It’s inhumane, it kills innocent civilians, we aren’t the world’s babysitter, it’s none of our business, it’s really a civil war, we shouldn’t be so imperialistic and on and on. That we are an evolved society and we should not have to resort to war to resolve our differences. We should be living on a higher plane and caring for our fellows. Let the United Nations resolve the woes of the world with diplomacy and charitable acts toward those less fortunate.

Well, I suppose those arguments have some validity. I don’t like the idea of killing people or being killed. I don’t like the idea of innocent civilians being killed because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I too, would like to see us all live better, more evolved lives. There’s only one problem. We aren’t.

While technology races from one new discovery and innovation to the next – we aren’t anywhere near to catching up in that progression. People still hate. People still crave power. People still give in to their baser instincts. People still seek to control others in their greed and craving for riches and land. In other words, the things that actually cause war, still exist.

Bill Gates, Apple Computer, Starbuck’s Coffee and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream have done nothing to actually alleviate the human conditions that breed war. They sure have made our lives more convenient and even tastier, but they haven’t changed men’s hearts or souls. And to me, that is what one must do in order to live in a world without war and to have peace.

What people do not like to consider or face, is that indeed, there really is evil in this world. And they are personified by the likes of Kim, Hussein, Chavez, Castro, Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot, et. al. Though they are probably a very small percentage of the population, the havoc they can wreak once given any sort of power is monstrous.

It only took a handful of brainwashed men and three planes to kill 3,000 of our citizens – and we didn’t even know who they were. They were not public figures, politicians, celebrities, religious leaders or 3rd world despots – they were ordinary men on a mission. One bred by hatred and fueled by denying these men and millions others, a normal life. Food, clothing, housing, a peaceful existence. If you starve a man long enough, it takes very little to turn them into whatever you want to turn them into. Killers. Priests. Religious zealots. Slaves.

So, the arguments to me, pro or con are beside the point. You’re arguing the wrong issue. The issue isn’t really whether war is right or wrong, good or bad. The issue is, how can we change the hearts and souls of men so they do not want to go to war in the first place?



Back in Time

If you could go back in TIME and kill Hitler, would you? How about Stalin? Jack the Ripper? John Wayne Gacey? Ted Bundy? Pol Pot? Or any other maniac in history?

Is life fated? Could one go back and change a significant event in history and not upset the whole planet?

If I went back to September 10th 2001 and prevented 9/11 from happening, would that have been a good thing? All of those people we lost that day would likely still be alive today if I had.

What might they have contributed to the world had they lived? A cure for cancer? The answer to drug abuse? A new invention that could save millions, or enable 3rd world countries to compete in the world market?

Children who are now fatherless or motherless would have their parents there to guide them. That empty place at the table would be no more. Could this possibly be a bad thing? Wouldn’t any of you out there have stopped it if you could have?

Or, would it have made no difference at all? Would there have been another attack somewhere else? Would we have been lulled further into a sense of false security, only to  ultimately lose thousands more?

Would it rip the fabric of intended events and cause an even worse result? I’d like to think that it wouldn’t. I’d like to think that we aren’t just pieces in the giant chess game of life. That we have a choice. That the whole universe and all of life isn’t already mapped out and preordained. That while there may be a giant blueprint of the future and even a master architecht out there somewhere that the design elements can still be changed and improved upon. That we can opt out of certain features, even at the last minute.

Because if it is all fated. If it is all preordained then what are we doing here? What is our purpose? To sit and watch? To be spectators as the future rolls out before us? To supply the oooohs and the aaaahs and things unfold?

I don’t think so. I think we all have a choice and make a contribution. I think it is encumbant upon us to seize life by the throat and insist on changing the bad things and on making a difference.

So, I ask you – if you could, what would you change? Who would you stop? What terrible world event would you reverse?


Are We The World?

Is it me, or is this Idol Gives Back campaign just, plain icky?

I find it ironic that a bunch of bagillionaire rock stars and celebrities were begging us regular folk for money in their quest to accomplish their latest cause. And on top of that they were hawking mosquito nets, malaria pills and I suppose porridge(?) for the starving children of the world.

Let’s put aside the fact that the United States and the rest of the Western world have given billions, maybe even trillions of dollars to AIDS relief and foreign aid of every type and description – and still the world is full of starving, dying, sick children. We apparently have gotten nowhere. Because you see, the problem still exists. And each new campaign is determined to wipe out these horrible conditions – but never seems to. This is not including the private donations of again, billions, possibly trillions of dollars by regular folk like you and me, for these causes. Again, still they exist. Don’t you have to ask  yourself, why?

Isn’t it the ultimate irony that if we took those dollars and enabled these countries, particularly Africa, to modernize – to have proper plumbing, power, sanitizing plants, recycling plants, (in other words, have all the things we have as a matter of everyday life) and showed them how to industrialize so they could compete on the open market, that they wouldnt need our charity? Because you see, they’d be self sufficient. They’d be able to take care of their children, diseases, hunger. The disease, hunger and abject poverty would quickly become a thing of the past, wouldn’t it?

We wouldn’t need Bono, American Idol or any vacuous celebrities to hawk the cause, nor lecture us about giving back. Would we?

The truth is that we have decided (I use the collective we, because I by no means made this decision) that these folks have to stay in the dark ages. Lest they destroy the planet with something as evil as progress, industry, commerce, clean power sources and dare I say it, motor vehicles.  No, we mustn’t do anything that logical or survival for these folks. It’s much better that we make them totally and utterly dependent upon our charity. And force them to live in the dark ages for the rest of their existence.

So we do crap like this to make ourselves feel better about ‘giving back.’ Or at least it makes some people feel that way.

If we’re going to give, why not give what we have? A decent, liveable world and all the opportunities that comes with it?

Perhaps that would be too easy or make too much sense. It’s much better to give food and decide what food to give than to actually teach them how to grow, catch or make food. Better to give medical supplies than to train doctors and build hospitals. Better to make them live the green life and deal with the balance of nature, yes?

Personally, I find this reprehensible. Don’t you ever wonder why all the bagillions already given don’t result in a change in these conditions? I do. I really do. I mean where is all that money going? Don’t you have to wonder? With all that money, we could have modernized Africa 20 times by now, don’t you think? I do.

Don’t get me wrong. I want to help as much as the next person. I don’t want to see other human beings suffer. I don’t want children to go to bed hungry. I don’t want mothers having to bury their children because they couldn’t get what would be in our country, ordinary medical care. I don’t want to see anyone suffer. I feel for my fellow human beings.

I just want to give them real help. Help them to make better lives for themselves. Help them to fulfill their potential. Not just feed them for a few months. I mean, really does that help them in the long run? I don’t think so.

So, excuse me if I view this and every other ‘star-studded extravaganza’ with a cynical eye. Forgive me if I see vested interest in these deeds. I can’t help it. Because in my mind, real help actually solves the problem it doesn’t perpetuate it.

What do you think?




I had planned to do some funny posts this week, after all of the deep thinking of last week. In fact, I had a pretty good one in mind. But then today happened.

To say I am stunned, so much so that I can’t even be angry about what happened at Virginia Tech today, puts it mildly.

Details are sketchy and the police and school officials are keeping what information they have close to the vest. If you are interested in reading about it, The Drudge Report will likely have the most updated news as information becomes available.

It appears to have been based on a domestic incident, jealousy to be specific. How over 30 people end up without their lives over a love triangle I’m not sure, and if that turns out to be the case – again, I’m speechless.

I think we need to wake up – turn off the hype and take a good look at our society. Students have no reasonable expectation of being shot at while attending school. They have no reason to expect a crazed gunman to show up and open fire. They had no reason to believe, when they woke up today, that it would be anything other than a normal Monday morning. Yet, this  young man felt justified in terrorizing and taking lives. And traumatizing and likely, ruining the lives of those left behind to clean up the mess he made.

Following this incident, there will be the usual parade of talking heads and politicians and special interest groups, all fighting for face time to prove that their cause would have stopped this incident from happening. Some people will be too vulnerable, too ignorant and too scared to see them for what they are – shameless panderers who will stop at nothing to advance their causes.

Gun control groups will come out and demand the government make guns illegal. Human rights groups will come out and insist we feel sorry for the murderer and try to understand his pain and torment, for surely, it was that that caused him to take these lives. Shallow and superficial displays will be made by ‘officials’ who do it because it is the right thing to do. Capital crime supporters will come out and espouse the merits of the death penalty. And so it will go. Another tragedy will be turned into a horse and pony show and no solution will be found.

Why? Because no one will really want to do that. Because that would require real examination of society and accountability and lack thereof. They would rather, form a committee, throw money some around and come up with a new mental disease than acknowledge the fact that we have stopped caring about our fellow man. That we would rather drug our children than listen to them. That we would rather let the experts handle the woes of society than do anything about it ourselves. That we would rather hang our heads, change the channel and watch reruns.

It’s a very sad day in Virginia. And my heart and condolenses go out to the families and victims of this terrible day. And it is a sadder day in America. Because this diminishes us, each of us. And if you don’t think so, then I think you’re kidding yourself.