Archive for the ‘War’ Category

“I believe there is something out there watching us. Unfortunately, it’s the government.”
Woody Allen

How much do you think our government monitors our daily lives? How much power do you feel our government should have over us? When the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT ACT) was passed many people were freaking out because this new bill allowed police to search your home or car without your consent, wire tap your phone, go through your financial records, and monitor e-mails all without a warrant. In the few cases which required a warrant the authorities could obtain a warrant from any judge in any state, thus authorities can cherry pick judges they know will make decisions in their favor. This means that if I live in Minnesota and the authorities want to begin monitoring me they can obtain a warrant from South Carolina and in order for me to fight this I would have to appear in a South Carolina court! Many people believed this act is pushing our society closer to a “big brother” state. I suffer from paranoia from time-to-time so naturally I am not in favor of this act, but the rational side of me says “if I am not doing anything wrong then who cares?”

The following is my paranoid point of view: I believe the government orchestrated the September 11th attacks to allow the government to gain more control over our daily lives, and create justifications to invade Iraq and Afghanistan. The people in power had everything to gain if we went to war, and these people made billions of dollars off government contracts. A perfect example of this is Halliburton, which made billions off such contracts, and as we all know Dick Cheney is CEO of this company. They were so crooked many of the contracts they received were listed as no-bid contracts. The United States has transformed into a tyrannical government, and this bill allows them to monitor all citizens to ensure we are staying in line.

In the beginning our country was based on the people having the majority of the power then the state, and finally the federal government. Over time there has been a shift where the federal government now holds supreme power over its states and citizens. Having the ability to monitor everything a person does is in direct violation of our fourth amendment. I do not like the idea of my personal life being violated by anyone, let alone the American government. It is my opinion that the government holds way too much power over the people, and this act just gives them more power.

The following is my rational side: The September 11th attacks were perpetrated by a large organized terrorist unit aimed at shaking our country into panic, thus showing us we are not safe in our own boarders. The government in response to this terrible attack realized they needed to keep a closer eye on what is going on in this country to prevent another attack. The PATRIOT ACT was not put into place to monitor normal citizens just those who the government perceives as a possible threat to national security. This act also gives local authorities the ability to fight crime in a better way. This act was put into place to protect us, not to spy on us.

So there are my two view points. There are some days I am paranoid and some days I am rational. Even on my rational days I still feel like this whole thing was perpetrated by our government. I am not a huge fan of the PATRIOT ACT. I think it gives the government more liberties to invade on our privacy. The Act dramatically reduced restrictions on law enforcement agencies’ ability to search telephone, e-mail communications, medical, financial, and other records. I think if the authorities charged to protect our country are on point they can stop any future attacks, without needing this act. It is my understanding the ball was dropped on the September 11th attacks. Intel was ignored causing the attack to be carried out.

I brought up in this piece that I think the government was behind the September 11th attacks. Even if our government was not directly involved in the attacks I believe they knew the attack was going to happen, but ignored the Intel so the attacks could be carried out. I go back and forth on this conspiracy theory. I know the Bush administration wanted to go to war, but could not gain public support. Even after the attacks not many were in favor of a war without proof this country was directly involved in the attack, because of this the Bush administration lied about weapons of mass destruction to deliver fear into our hearts, thus making war more appealing. I know there was a shit load of money to be made if we went to war, and those in power benefited greatly from this war. I think our government is as devious as they come, and I am prone to think there is an alterative motive behind most things they do. I would really not put anything past them, and I do believe they are capable of doing such a thing. I think this is just another step towards supreme rule over our country. Whether we transform into a socialist or communist state is up for debate, but mark my words either in my life time or my children’s life time our country will change so dramatically it will be a shell of its former self.

American exceptionalism is an American theory that the United States occupies a special role among the nations of the world in terms of its national ethos, political and religious institutions, and it’s being built by immigrants. Even though its origins date back to the 1600’s the concept still lives on today. This mode of thinking is what has damaged our reputation throughout the world. The concept that we are better than all other nations because as Alexis de Tocqueville, argued; the United States held a special place among nations because it was the first working representative democracy. We may have been the first but we were not the last. I am sure there are some out there who could have a valid argument how a later form of democracy trumps ours. Belief in American exceptionalism is more characteristic of conservatives than liberals. Which being liberal to me makes the idea seem even worse.

Parts of American exceptionalism can be traced to American puritan roots who believed in divine providence. They believed God had made a covenant with their people and had chosen them to lead the other nations of the world. The scary thing is; there are those republicans out there who still believe such a thing.  If we take a look at the Latin phrase on the back of the great seal and our one dollar bill it reads “novus ordo seclorum” which translates as “New Order of the Ages.” I think our republican leaders at that time and still to today would want nothing more than to spread their form of “order” to the entire world, and become the nation God has chosen to lead the world.  

Proponents of American exceptionalism argue that the United States is exceptional in that it was founded on a set of republican ideals, rather than on a common heritage, ethnicity, or ruling elite. In the formulation of President Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address, America is a nation “conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”. In this view, America is inextricably connected with liberty and equality. We may be connected with liberty (although this may be up for debate) and equality (also up for debate.) The notion of republican ideals against the ruling elite? Isn’t that a bit oxymoronic?

The United States’ policies have been characterized since their inception by a system of federalism and checks and balances, which were designed to prevent any person, faction, region, or government organ from becoming too powerful. Some Proponents of the theory of American exceptionalism argue that this system and the accompanying distrust of concentrated power prevent the United States from suffering a “tyranny of the majority.” What I find interesting is we are protected from the “tyranny” of the majority, but we do nothing to protect us from the “tyranny” of the minority.

All countries probably believe they are exceptional in their own right. Britain at the height of the British Empire, Nazi Germany, as well as the communist state Russia, and France in the wake of the French revolution all demonstrated exceptionalism in terms of systematically engaging in what they considered benevolent enterprises. I believe although broken America is one of the greatest nations in the world. Do I believe we should feel superior over all other nations because we are what we are? No. We are not the judges and jury’s to the world. The belief and ideals we have are fantastic, but are these ideals better than say Norway’s? We could look at Norway or Iceland and say they are exceptional over us because of their low crime rates and penchant for staying away from wars. Does this make them better than us? In my eyes it does, but I cannot speak for a nation of people, nor should anybody else. It is fantastic to have pride in your country, but this pride should not stir up supremacism. I have always believed America should keep to herself. Trying to find nations we believe should be a democracy then enforce said beliefs by military force is wrong anyway you look at it. This concept that America is exceptional above all other nations is the exact way of thinking that caused other nations to hate us.

A while ago I wrote a post about my current projects. Since then a few things have been finished and a few of my projects have been altered, because I am a shameful promoter I would like to give an update on my progress. Things have been progressing nicely although there are some tedious things causing me to dread the process. Feedback is always needed.

Dylan Thomas: This is a children’s book series written in poetry form. The goal is to create stories which appeal to ages 2-10. I want the rhyming and lush drawings to not only draw the kids in, but also make the stories enjoyable for the parents as well. I have completed the first story “Dylan Thomas: Finds His Courage.” Currently it is in the illustration phase and will be released the end of September. I hope to have the next installment “Dylan Thomas: Bedtime Songs” I hope to have this available for sale by February 2011 or sooner.

This series is probably the only way I will make any money from my writing, and hopefully this series will help me land a literary agent. The stories will follow the same flow as far as the rhyming poetry, but the illustrations will change. I think this is exciting because it will keep things fresh. The illustrator Jeff Chia has one more page to complete, and my sister Cailee is doing the editing. I hope to have everything but together by September 1st. This will allow me a month to ensure everything looks good on the actual book. I am a quarter done with the next installment.

Yin; A poetry chapbook chronicling my dark side. I have already finished this book, and should be released before November 2010.

This is completed with all poems in my journal. I just need to type and edit. I hope to have this out by November. I will either sell “Yin” and “Yang” separately or combine them into one book. If I were to combine them into one I would set it up where “Yin” is on one side and “Yang” on the other. I am planning on setting them up as pocket books.

Yang; A poetry chapbook chronicling my light side. I have already finished this book, and should be released before November 2010

Politico; Working Title This poetry chapbook focuses on my political and theological perspectives. This book is also finished with an expected release date before November 2010.

This book will contain my political, philosophical, and theological points of view. There is a website called Politico, so I am unsure if the name is copyrighted or not. If it is I will have to get their blessings to use their names. There were plenty political poems in “My Descent into Madness,” and seemed to be well received.

The Mind of a Madman: (working title) this is a novel written in poetry form describing the inner workings of a psychopath in the making, and his journey into madness, starting from the time of conception up until… the rest will be a surprise. This has been a difficult book to work on, the places these poems take me is very dark. If I spend too much time there I may become a product of my words.

I have been all over the place in writing this one. I am jumping around to different phases of the main characters’ life. I am planning on telling this story strictly in poetry form or if I should add some narrative to it. This is taking longer than I expected, because I can only stay a short time in this mans mind.

The Philosophy of Me: The life and mind of no one special: This will be a book based off 365 days of my blogging entries. This will appeal to my fans wanting all my entries in print, and introduce the site to new readers. I will also use this as part of my portfolio.

I received an e-mail from a reader saying she would purchase this even though it is just an edited version of my blog. I suppose if one person would enjoy it than others may as well.

My Journey Through Taoism; This will include every verse from the Tao Te Ching along with my quest into understanding and living the Tao. Many books are written by experts. I hope to relate to readers who are new to Taoism by explaining my journey seeking understanding. At the end of each chapter I will be including a poem based off the verse. I do not want to rush this; so I am unaware of a release date 

This will be written in real time chronicling my quest into understanding Taoism. This book is the reason I stopped adding verses in my blog. I don’t want too many books to cross pollinate. I am enjoying this project because I can spend a few weeks working on each verse which will really bring me closer to the Way. In writing this in the perspective of someone seeking the Way it may help others understand it better and assist them on their journey. 

The Humor In Theology; I was originally going to write a descriptive timeline and the evolution of religion. I realized this book would only appeal to a certain audience. I was becoming overwhelmed with the mighty scope of this project. I decided to stick with the theology aspect but instead write it in a humorous way. I think this will be informative as well as funny.

I changed this from a serious educational book into a comedy. I will look into religions of the past and current beliefs and point out the goofiness of what people believe. There is a religion in Africa which believed their God vomited up the entire universe. This is just one of the silly beliefs people hold onto. It is amazing how people completely abandon logic in the name of faith.

The Philosophy of Quotes: Everyone loves quotes, and it seems each person may walk away with different perspectives on the meaning of these quotes. This book explains my philosophical view on the meaning of quotes. I hope to turn this into multiple volumes; each volume will be broken down by letters of the alphabet. I am excited to take a deeper look at my favorite quotes. 

I thought I would enjoy this one, but I have been running into a little bit of frustrations. My mind will not shift into this mode, which is holding this bad boy up.

Deceived: (working title.) This book examines how the Christian religion has allowed itself to be destroyed by the word of man. I have read the Bible a number of times; once because of faith, once as a theologian, and once as a skeptic. You would be amazed how much the bible has been changed to not only create copyrights, but to change the original meaning of the “Word of God” to fit mans needs. This book will be written entirely on a non-biased theological way looking strictly at the Word.

If I want to properly do this one I will need to focus 100% of my attention on it. I will need to simultaneously read three to four separate versions of the Bible. I started this awhile back and read the first couple chapters of Genesis, and it made my head hurt. I really think this project has potential, but with the amount of time I have to work on my writing it would take a year or two and I am not sure if I want to make that type of commitment on something which may not reap what I sowed.

On a side note I have thought of releasing my poetry books with commentary as far as what I was feeling and the meaning. I tend to write in abstract ways and I have had people tell me they get lost in finding the true meaning. I just wonder if this is sacrilegious with poetry because poetry is meant to be subjective to the reader. I am worried my poems may lose some of its luster if I add commentary. On the flip side some of my dedicated readers may care enough to know the story behind the poem.

What are your thoughts? Do you think I may be wasting my time with some of these books? I am starting my quest today to find an agent and I wonder if they want to see complete projects or is a concept enough to wet their whistle.

Arrows launched

By kingdoms lost

Darkens the sun set sky

Advancing soldiers slowly die

Arrows penetrate

The flesh of long gone peace

The kingdom they love so much

Under siege by the dying breed

Their relentless advancement

 Despite

The blood soaked fields

Their bodies drop

Feeding war fueled crops

The people shout

With foaming mouths

Defend our kingdom!

Defend the people!

A battle sword glimmers

In the moon lit night

The wall has crumbled

The fetal comfort violated

Our freedom lost

Blood shed in the name of charlatans

Flags lowered

The masses raped

By corporate cocks

Victory to the dying breed

By: Tim Lundmark