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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The North Korea Missile Saga Continues

The latest in the continuing mini series that is North Korea and its quest to upgrade its military arsenal.  The North Korean goal apparently is to join the nuclear war club of which these United States of America is a charter member.  It was reported and not denied by North Korea that another  "test" missile was launched by North Korea with the missile traveling over a part of the country of Japan.  Not exactly an act of friendship by North Korea or a show of concern that something could go wrong as the missile traveled over part of Japan.

The antics of the North Korean leader cannot be seen as being responsible.  Missiles are not toys.  Testing weapons of war in or over populated areas is not something that you would expect from a caring leader.  Yes, in this uncivilized world of ours a country does have the right to test weaponry as long as their is no adverse impact on others.  People forget that the United States had extensive above ground and underground nuclear weapon testing for years before finally stopping the practice.

It would seem prudent for all the nuclear club members to call for a meeting with North Korea to work out a humanistic solution.  Telling North Korea to cease and desist is not the solution.  They have no reason to stop their efforts.  In this world those who possess nuclear weapons command much respect.  Nuclear weaponry does serve as a deterrent to others.  Just because the nuclear club already has one Asian member does not mean another cannot join the club.

Maybe one day we will no longer have nuclear weapons. But unfortunately that day will be the end of our world as we know it today.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Why Are Flags, Anthems, and Monuments So Important?

Last year a professional football player chose not to stand when the national anthem was played.  In response people were upset with the player.  This year owners of professional football teams refused to hire the player to fill open spots on their teams.  The player's resume includes leading a team to a Superbowl.

Some people are upset because statues honoring the Confederate era in the United States are being taken down.  The fact that the Confederacy supported maintaining the institution of slavery in these United States apparently is irrelevant to those people.

Refuse to hold your hand over your heart when the flag of the United States is raised!  You will be treated as if you are Satan himself.

People historically have been emotionally enamored by flags, anthems, and statues.   We post our flags, stand for our anthems and of course love to honor certain events and people by creating monuments or naming streets, buildings, etc. for them.   Not everyone who deserves a statue or some form of honor has received one.  We all know that.

How many monuments to Native Americans have you come across lately?  Until 2016 there was no national museum honoring the contributions of black people in these United States of America.  The textbooks in schools have historically only covered the accomplishments and events surrounding European Americans.

What would happen if we stopped having flags, anthems, and creating monuments to human beings?  Do we really need flags, anthems and monuments?  No we don't.  These symbols and instruments of "honor" are all reflective of how we as people love to focus on our human nature and create our human idols.  We love to self promote our greatness as people. We want to take time to look at the flag of "our" country and sing a song about "our" country.  It's all just misplaced adoration.

I'm reminded of one "monument" that I would see while driving westward through the state of Indiana.  It is a large cross constructed near highway I-70 near Effingham, Indiana. It speaks for itself without having any words to explain its purpose.  The large cross lets all those who see it know what really is important.  It lets us know who created us and what we should be doing in terms of our behavior.  But, we have gotten far away from the message that cross gives us.  Instead we have become enamored by our own human importance as displayed in the flags, anthems, and monuments we create to ourselves.  These self honors may have good intention, but they present barriers to our understanding what is really important.

Why do we need flags representing countries?  Is it because if we are traveling we don't know where we are at unless we see the country's flag?  I don't think so.  Flags support the development of boundaries between people.  Flags help to keep us divided. Is it not enough that we all exist on the same planet?  No, we have to create a symbolic flag that separates us by the land we live on.  Then we have to create an anthem to go with the flag.

We are far from reaching the potential that our Creator intended for us.  Instead we're arguing about the "things" we as people have created.  Flags, anthems and monuments; our idols and man made Gods that we have been taught to adore and honor.  If I never saw another flag, heard another anthem or viewed another statue my life would be just fine.  Maybe one day we'll stop all the focus on our selves.  Until then it's up to each of us to break the cycle of devotion we have placed in our flags, anthems and monuments.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Trump Escalates The Conflict With North Korea

Let's be clear.  There is no conflict between the American people and the people of North Korea.  We have no reason to be in conflict with each other.  So where is the conflict coming from?  The "leaders" of North Korea and these United States of America are the source of the conflict.  The drama was escalated recently with the comments of United States President Trump when he went into a "fire and fury" monologue several days ago.  Of course this required a comparable response by the leader of North Korea.

Here we have 2 boys in their sandbox playing war.  They are making statements that are supposed to represent the governments of each country.  Little boys with their toy tanks, missiles and soldiers. "Civilized" nations with leaders who are acting uncivilized. What an embarrassment to the human species.

Hopefully the surrounding bureaucracies of the governments will reel in the deranged talk of the "leaders" of the two countries.  They have shown that they do not deserve to lead their nations. War talk is not what the people of the two countries want.  I would like to see these two world leaders stranded together on an isolated island together. The only resources at their disposal being those that nature around them provides.  The only human company being each other.  Then let's hear you talk about "fire and fury" and attacking another country.

Both of these "leaders" need to understand that the power they have is only what the people allow then to have. They are both entering territory where the people need to protect themselves from these militaristic crazies.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

North Korea Missile Launches - No Need for Fear

I was 5 years old back in 1962 and don't remember the drama and fears of the Cuban Missile Crisis.  From what I understand the United States and Russia were on the brink of a nuclear confrontation due to nuclear missiles being placed in Cuba under Russian guidance. Today, almost some 60 years since that time, North Korea has drawn attention due to their testing of ballistic missiles. The fear is that a successful testing of the missiles will enable North Korea to attach a nuclear device to these missiles enabling them to launch a nuclear attack on another country.

This fear seems a little one sided.  The media has been stressing what cities in the United States can be reached by the missiles.  I thought to myself does that mean back in the 1940s and 1950s when the United States was testing nuclear bombs, that other countries in the world were living in fear of the United States launching an attack on them?

To my knowledge there have been no stories from Russia, China, or North Korea over the years expressing fear of the United States unilaterally attacking cities in those countries. So, why are we assuming that North Korea plans to attack the United States once they have nuclear launch capability?  Why would North Korea begin a scenario that would initiate a nuclear holocaust the world might not recover from?

I agree that military based nuclear devices whether owned by a country or a small terrorist group are weapons to be feared. But, does a country have a right to develop nuclear launch capability?  As a deterrent it definitely presents an imposing presence.  In having nuclear launch capability, something could go wrong and eventually will, whether it be an accident or a deranged act by a leader or a group with access to the nuclear weaponry.  The nuclear capability club consists of nine known countries with Israel and North Korea being part of the group.  One understands the fears of Israel in wanting to keep some countries or entities from achieving nuclear capability.  Until those countries or entities withdraw their stated goal of seeing Israel eliminated, self preservation is the motive for Israel to destroy the nuclear capability of a threatening country or entity.

For the United States to arbitrarily decide that preemptive military action would be warranted to prevent North Korea from achieving nuclear launch capability would seem to be a strong leap to a final judgment.  Does North Korea have a right to create nuclear launch capability? Well, the United States thought we did back in the 1940s.  So why should the current nuclear club members be able to dictate who else can join the club?  Is it correct to take military action against any country that tries to join the nuclear club?  Such an action in itself seems to support a country wanting nuclear launch capability to keep other countries from trying to dictate military terms to them.

One thing we need to be conscious of is to not buy the hype that North Korea's missile launching ability means we are being targeted for annihilation. Mistrust builds more mistrust and initiates the actions leading to an eventual conflict.  Japan, the only country to feel the wrath of nuclear bombs is not a member of the nuclear bomb club. Despite the United States killing thousands of innocent civilians in two major Japanese metropolitan areas, the United States and Japan somehow have good relations with each other. The military views of the current North Korean leader should be an area of concern, but not the sole reason for these United States of America to go into full military defense mode.  When the media starts publicizing stories about how residents of Alaska and Hawaii should be concerned and fearful of being attacked, it's time to reel in the media fear machine from inciting mass panic.