Saturday, March 17, 2018
Friday, March 16, 2018
Movement Of The Heart / (I am not an artist) In Harlem, it has been so that more children are aborted than are born. How can the black and hispanic community change the construct of having more black and hispanic children aborted than are born? Mighty leaders are built by awakened parents and teachers. The health of the people starting with the state of their hearts begins with the raising of advocating critical thinkers who value the sanctity of human rights, starting at conception.
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Build The Wall, End Sanctuary City’s & Be Compassionate / #DACA #politicalscience #criticalthinking #empathy #socialresponsibility #positivedisruption
Has the United States government allowed or failed to retain foreign access to its Southern border, thus allowing millions of individuals to enter the country illegally, rather than through legal processes and channels?
In 2009, I visited the Central American country of Guatemala. A land steeped in culture, history and a population of citizens living in striking contrast to one another. Whereas the indigenous population of Mayan-descent Guatemalans have largely managed to retain customs and ways traditional to the indigenous ways of the mountainous and volcanic land, Guatemalan cities teem with an economic reality that exemplifies class inequality and stark social-economic class differences. On the front page of the morning newspaper I read about legislators nonchalantly telling the local media that they showed up at 11 am in the morning for work and not sooner because none of the other legislators ever showed up earlier than that time. My then-brother-in-law at the time, commented on the seriousness of the issue with muggings in the city. For those who could afford it, tall walls would be built around city homes to safeguard family and personal property. In one incident, right before my arrival into the country, and just two streets away from were I was staying, a man on his way to the bank had been walking with his bodyguard when an assailant opened fire from across the road firing bullets which hit another person. Multiple injuries and one death.
These are the symptoms of an economic system that is dysfunctional, and not serving the better interests of the population. Rather, as in any land, in any community, be it on the local and/ or national level, the education of individuals must be a versatile learning experience dynamic that goes beyond teaching the classic academic subjects, even technology (STEM), and gravitating towards real-world application of learning through social entrepreneurial project formations that integrate math, technology, writing, business skills, social activism, even public speaking, as long-term solutions for grounds-up community solutions. Instead of students as solely receptive sources of informational, educational leadership turns the tables, and prompts the students to be creative and innovative sources in real-time. In this format, the learning dynamic happens in the classroom and in the community. Students metabolism is in greater constant flux, directly impacting their energy and focus, aiding in the continuance of novelty and engagement in the learning process.
All this is to say, is that any community in the world can shift the kind of culture and economic realities it may have as a collective people, through the creation of a new kind of work force. One that is not heavily sided towards creating employees only, but a greater balance wherein aspiring students become professional entrepreneurs, as well as leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Not just lawyers, but lawyers who know how to operate their own firms. Not just construction workers and auto mechanics, but laborers who have it ingrained in them from early on in grade school that they can be the proprietors of their own profitable businesses. Not just focused on making money also, though there be nothing amiss if many simply focus on that, but seeking to make money through the creation of a business that answers a real community need. In valuing the vehicle of social entrepreneurship as an application of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, societies begin to establish an output of socially-minded individuals who are interested in following this pathway of servant leadership and business, and these become builders of community, ‘first responders’ that operate in especially focused and long-term capacities. Any country valuing the worth of having an active community of individuals who are seeking business-solutions to addressing social needs, will soon institute it into their academic system and begin reaping the benefits as they students graduate and begin careers. Like waves reaching the shore line, a population versed and experienced in the modes of social entrepreneurship becomes an increasingly empathic community that values human life, culture and social order. It brings a business-mind to social activism, allowing any entrepreneurial adventuring knight to create hybrid projects which bring together one’s interests with what a local, national, global community may need.
That said, in the midst of its present social-economic diaspora, Guatemala, nor do most countries, including the United States of America, have caught on to the intelligent growing of individual liberty through the development of the nation to be social entrepreneurially savvy. A great dynamic shift happens from power in the government of and for the people, to people exercising great power in directly bringing viable, practical solutions to social needs and concerns. This lessens the government as an outlet of need and the people learn to better self-govern themselves through the practice of empathic capitalism. Thus, government capital expenditure need not be allotted towards top-down solutions which will not be nearly as profitable and passionately-driven as an individually-led, ground-up business answer to alleviate or settle issues ranging from poverty and homelessness, technology and science applications, to opiod-addiction and environmental care. Moreover, a socially entrepreneurial nation is one that is strong in critical thinking and the protection of human rights. These all become great participants in a democratic society. Such foundations in the growth of liberty can have American support in the Central American nations of which people flee from.
Until such educative and social-economic ideals of social function are in sufficient enough operation, present economic realities will pervade people in Central American countries to seek better life in the United States of America. It is understandable that people do not want to live in high-crime areas, low economic opportunity areas, but in communities where they can walk safely down the street, possibly raise and access better education for their children. In the U.S., in most towns and cities, we have social order unlike any other country in the world. America is a magnet for its freedom, access to education and social order. Not having to live under degrees of oppression feels great. People flock to the country legally and illegally. So much so that during President Barack Obama’s term, 16,000,000 Central Americans entered the United State illegally, overrunning our national borders. The macro social-economic and political implications of this wave of social disruption shall be felt for one hundred years, at which time it will have completely changed the face of America.
Change can be good, of course, but the sudden disruption of 16,000,000 Central Americans moving from their land and into America in less than ten years should give cause for concern and reflection as to how quickly the United States wants to change its demography again on such a large scale and in a such a short time in the future. The changing dynamics of relationships, between individuals, governments, and cultures on different levels, including changes in the political atmosphere due to such an immigration influx, is and will be, as a large, continuous wave of political-identity-change for the United States of America. With similar religious affiliations of Christianity, the arrival of so many Central American inhabitants has been made easier because of the shared Judeo-Christian foundation that is identified with the United States, even as it is a land of religious freedom. Catholic Christianity is the biggest religion practiced in Central America. In contrast, in Germany, Prime Minister Angela Merkel, also ushered in a great influx of Middle Eastern refugees in comparison to Germany’s overall population. There has been community assimilation, though there is a large very low-income Middle Eastern population sector living in near poverty within Germany. They have unified as a democratic-political force to demonstrate for better access to decent living standards and public services. There have been reports of Muslims both demonstrating peacefully and at times rioting on the streets of Germany. Recent large influxes of people from Central America in the last ten years have not produced riots on Main street, USA, though it appears vicious Mexico-border criminal gangs have entered and perpetrated crimes within our borders. Many of these have since been apprehended. How did they so easily cross into the United States? From a political science view point, it is responsible that the pace of immigration be taken into account and that it be a legal, orderly process. That means a line has to be formed for those wishing to enter the United States of America. Part of that line is the ‘wall system’ that needs to be rapidly built to secure America’s southern border.
Within the United States, Stamford, Connecticut, for example, has dozens upon dozens of individuals who are illegal immigrants congregate in the heart of the city willing and able to work. 12 months of the year, year in and year out. They are always there. The police officers do not arrest them and the judges in the Stamford Courthouse are not deporting them in any substantial numbers at all. In fact, those men are in no fear of being deported.
But what has happened to the city?
It now is identified and targeted from beyond our border as a landing area that welcomes the illegal immigration process.
Community Centers, like the New Covenant House in Stamford, Connecticut go out of their way to not ask particular questions related to immigration status, and therein, run soup kitchens and facilities for homeless people that are in actuality not servicing a substantial homeless population, but in fact, providing almost their services, to a population of Central American families who are entering through ‘chain migration’ thus, some having residency and some, no residency at all. With better national border control, what are known as sanctuary cities, cities that have governments openly flaunting federal immigration procedures and declaring themselves to be above the law, would cease to exist as havens that evade immigration laws. But the government of these sanctuary cities openly mock the federal government in defiance and continue to operate, business as usual.
At New Covenant House, I sat within twenty feet of an administrative meeting in March of 2018 wherein the kind of demography serviced was discussed, as were processes and financial operation of its services in full detail. It was as if they verbally audited themselves. I reason that the work they do is good, and yet, they are sounding a signal to people far across our heartland and deep into Central America that more can come. Our judges, and elected leaders have gone beyond compassion, even bending the law for the benefit of the plight of the immigrant poor. We have cared as a people, even to a fault dividing ourselves politically. Now is the time to shift strategy and operate in service to our community, and no longer to continue to grow the community without regard to those here already. This means no more massive immigration expansion, instead we should focus on bettering the quality of life for those already here. As it is, unfortunately, obstinate as people are, sanctuary city governments and court houses will not cease to operate under the old strategy unless they are met with a Federal, congressional and U.S. Supreme Court balance of state and city power.
Public services are available to ease the transition, is the message being sent.
Surely, they should continue to care for the recently arrived immigrants and those in their family who may be legal residents too. It is humane and compassionate. The Federal government needs to enter the vacuum of immigration oversight, the political and judicial administrations of cities known as ‘sanctuary cities’ have created, yet how can it do this when city governments and its respective court system judges are ideologically aligned against a fair and balanced appraisal of how to best proceed forward on immigration into the United States of America?
3. Federal sanctions need to be quickly brought into place against sanctuary city governments and their courthouses.
4. A U.S. Supreme Court review and determination of the conduct of judges in the Stamford Court House should be used as an example on how to proceed with
judiciaries in other sanctuary cities.
|Stamford Court House|
5. Has the creation of a support system to the notion of ‘sanctuary cities’ sounded amplifying signals far into Central America?
New Covenant House is one support system of the sanctuary city gateway construct, and should continue to do its good work, but not as a promoting gateway to illegal immigration. Instead, as a place of refuge and provisions for the poor homeless man and the immigrant family already here. The politics of Stamford, Connecticut have turned it into a sanctuary city resource that openly targets and aids people with no immigration status. So the good that they do has political underpinnings that are social-progressive in sympathy, eventual, focused on growing the Democratic Party leadership base as it falls away from the abortion industry “litmus test” hold on Democrat Party elected office seats. In effect, Democratic leadership has found a new lifeblood of political energy through collective collusion in weakening immigration laws allowing a large entering of illegal immigration, giving new impetus to social-progressive culture to flourish. Social-progressiveness, the ideological political platform of the Democratic leadership is a top-down movement, as opposed to the Republican, ground-up approach of focus on individual liberty and limited government, only in place to serve and protect. It is then, a battle of ideas, with one side unfairly shifting the tables, not turning them around, but shifting them to acquire a population of new constituents loyal to the party that brought them into the country. It is a slow, coup d’ etat.
Surely, focus has to be turned to helping those here now. We have to feed the families that are in need. This is what America does. Let’s not forget the homeless on the street and the deep poverty existent already in our communities though. Rather than help those here, the release of national border restraints has overtaxed infrastructure at a time when it would have been best to answer plights and social issues besetting us as a nation. Now as we begin to ramp up the calls for stronger national border control, Democratic leadership, both in elected office and that in the media, call ‘foul’ to Republican leadership in Congress as it answers the ground-up political momentum to formalize the entry process into the country.
… build the ‘wall system’, and sanctions have to be brought forth to make sanctuary city governments and judicial systems to heal to the rule of law.
Compassionate immigration and paths to citizenship for those present needs to continue and still be a legal and orderly process, otherwise, we are not securing our borders and ensuring the safety of all Americans, be they Mexican-American, African-American, Vietnameese-Mexican-American, ect., This safety we all deserve as residents of the United States of America is invaluable to us. Thus, from a political standpoint that is found best to politically support the current resident numbers of all people in the US, a perspective that moving forward, controlling the flow of immigration is needful and responsible stewardship of the land should be common ground that moves us beyond having the same old political arguments. America’s Democratic leadership call to be compassionate in immigration is groundless in the face of the facts that compassion is and has been shown to the people of Central America for decades. As stated in his State of the Union address in 2018, President, Donald Trump, even has gone beyond to create a path to citizenship for 1.8 million Hispanic residents seeking the citizenship.
What more can be done to show America’s compassion?
Friday, March 2, 2018
If it be so that you have a desire to develop, strengthen and care for the local, national and global community, it is important that you care for yourself first, less you begin to build a house without having made the appropriate provisions bountiful. Having great amounts of money and a personality is not enough, nor is having pristine physical health alone the winning attribute, but a penchant for developing the whole package of who you are… from the inside out first, rather than the outside in.
Our mindsets, for example, drive us to hone our skills, rather than having great skills being the precursor to achieving a great mindset. Mental clarity, confidence and the unstoppable spirit needed to keep going long after you have begun the journey to make things better for others have to be notions to be kept in mind. Not knowing that the growth and fine-tuning of our heart and mindset is of tremendous value, risks an expenditure of your life energy without recompense for your efforts. It is then needful that the state of our minds, the state of our very hearts, be clear on its purpose. Having this vision, having taken the time to solidify and establish ‘why’ it is that you will get up in the morning and ‘go forth,’ has to be the number one priority. Taking time to figure this out, even sitting quietly to think, ponder and strategize, much like a chess player’s mind seeks the multiple pathways of possibilities, is of the greatest importance to the aspiring champion of and for a people.
This process of finding purpose can take years. Siddhartha Gautama left the royal palace seeking a more profound life. My Lord, Jesus Christ, proclaimed his path is the truth and the way, that in walking in his Word we find his kind of peace. Mohandas Ghandi, released and let go of the cares of this world, that all he may see and be, is purpose. Lao Tzu, looked to melt into the sway of natural order, therein finding and exercising great power. Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., called for the Lord’s strength, that he may walk with purpose and be able to move mountains in the hearts and minds of a nation.
It is selflessness to place the true needs of others before our own, and it is this singular heart and mindset that is an action that inspires passion in ourselves and those connected to us.
The growth and support of social entrepreneurial organizations is the primary vehicle to change the mode of process from seeking practical solutions from the local, state, federal government, as well as international organizations, to indivudal and community-led social-economic shifts from the ground up. Such a social-economic construct must be harnessed in academia, starting in grade schools. This places formalizes empathy in the capitalistic system (empathic capitalism), raising a cry to the order of ‘business as usual,’ across the United States of America. Such a perspective change on how to live lives in service to each other positively disrupts the social order as a true social movement of enlightenment. The presence of government then can be to support the people, the American family, right in the local community through the economic and educational directive to buttress social entrepreneurism, in effect, deputizing ourselves to rescue ourselves.
This is how we answer social issues of poverty, homelessness, educational neglect, mental health, and opiod drug abuse: we empower ourselves through education to take action to leave the solution-finding and implementing up to individuals. The social entrepreneur makes a livelihood through successful business processes that answer dilemmas that beset communities. Creating economic opportunity and signaling that the marriage of economic opportunity with social good can be launched through local team and individual efforts invigorates people… and ultimately culture.
Saturday, February 24, 2018
Five Dimensional Chess: Understanding The Players, Their Objectives & The Requirements For Peace in the Middle East / #Israel #Palestine #strategy #criticalthinking
Part 1-Understanding the Chess Players and Current Positions on the Game Board
In chess, moving one singular piece forward without tactical backup, defense or collaboration can many a times spell the capture of that piece and signal futility in moves made to the advantage of an opponent who may be more judicious in how they ‘open up’ and establish their strategy. Their in, one’s ability to create the outcome for victory can be sidelined in the short-term and narrow interest of simply galavanting across the board towards a skillful adversary.
In the interplay of international relations, such as those between Israel and Palestine, it could be said that the chess board and number of pieces, even the number of players, have greatly expanded to become nothing less than a five dimensional game kept in stagnant check. Each side unwilling to forfeit the possibility of position, which can imply a loss of physical territory, loss of the political power of specific managing players, and a new balance of power, which can further develop the political influence of external players, whom use the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict as a proxy, achieving their own interests and aims.
It is clearly understood, for example, that Russia has a developed relationship with the leadership of the country of Iran, a government which routinely has called for the annihilation of Israel. Likewise, the United States of America, a Judeo-Christian nation with strong cultural ties to Jewish heritage, has a strong Israeli lobby, which has successfully maintained (to varying degrees), a U.S.-Israel connection which almost blurs the lines between both nation-states. Adding more hue, America, a nation predominantly populated with descendants of European ancestry, has been a republic of immigrants, making it as our coin states in Latin (E. Pluribus Unum) ‘One From Many.’ That is to say, that the threads of all the players on the chess board, including those mentioned below, have also planted familial roots within the United States. Their children study in the U.S., they create businesses within American borders, they are a part of the countries communities.
Within the Middle East region, countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria are intertwined in the five dimensional stagnant chess balance with an interesting political, cultural and religious positional stance introducing further complexity into the matter. Jordan, a primarily Muslim Kingdom with secular aspects, happens to have developed one of the best political balances in the midst of the real-life game of chess, with ties to both sides of the game board, yet clearly willing to see a peaceful, political solution which allows it to maintain its close relation to the United States, and also to Palestine, of whom it more closely shares a religious and cultural connection. Lebanon has been an actual physical battle ground in present times and in decades past, and can be likened to being close to center in action on the game board. Like Jordan, it also shares a closer cultural, Muslim-dominated heritage, making it a natural sympathizer to the plight of the Palestinian mission to be recognized as a country, complete with a capital in Jerusalem. Though be that as it may, the Jordanian Kingdom has long been a sort of sobering mediator between Washington D.C. and the contention that neighbors it within its region. Lebanon, like Jordan, has secular cultural qualities to it, enjoying to a large degree, a populace that has extended itself to greatly value education and normalization of affairs with the Western political-cultural sphere of influence. Even so, it has been used as a somewhat neutral staging ground for varied, military-political organizations used as proxies by larger, more powerful players sympathetic to anti-Israel campaigns, and/ or focused on exacting a greater sphere of influence in the region to counter ‘Western-led’ hegemony. The reasons for such powerful players, such as Russia and Iran, to carve out regional influence in the Middle East do not necessarily fall along ideological lines only, as in having greater non-Westernized social control that can create future leverages of political power on the game board, but may have also to do with the desire to control physical territory towards the growth and stabilization of energy fuel projects. All said, the need for such positional maneuvering is largely created by actual individuals who may obtusely subscribe to priorities of social-political and economic power which, in comparison to the people-focused growth of such countries as the United States of America, are outdated, and not in line with the basic requirements of the constituents in their countries. In placing the desires of a centralized state apparatus first, over the well-being of the people, nations rob themselves of the real strength behind the growth and development of countries. Namely, that power must rest in the people, and that these citizens, employed with the educated mindset to seek the good and enrichment of their families, will upright a nation far more effectively and efficiently than autocratic leaderships.
Is it for this reason that centralized-state government find that the acquisition of state fortune comes at the expense of an impoverished people? Could it be that the understanding of what is best for a country is a blessing of humility in leadership, a social-political and economic insight that servant leadership is better than a leadership that serves itself at the expense of its constituency? If there be credence to this notion, if there be weight and validity to this just said, then the five-dimensional chess game is not merely stagnated due to the movement or non-movement of the small and large players on the game board, but it is stagnated according to a hardness of the heart of specific entities.
As for Saudi Arabia, the arrangement of Western and Middle Eastern relationships is both more nuanced and strikingly defined. The kingdom has, until recently, enjoyed a special relationship with the United States of America as a provider of oil, which America’s car culture has used to fuel its operation, and yet, new developments in North American energy independence have softened the need for the decades long reliance on the OPEC oil cartel, traditionally overpowered by the Saudi Arabian oil industry, leading to a prolonged down pressure force on the world’s oil market, of which the kingdom was one of the largest, (if not the biggest) global supplier of. Adding fuel to the political tilt in the Middle East, throughout the course of the special U.S.-Saudi Arabian energy relationship, military sales of fighter airplanes have been a constant, which has indirectly brought in the United States military as a presence into the region, largely without the conscious acquiescence of the American people. Howbeit, through this joined stratagem, the Saudi Arabian royal leadership, along with the United States military capability, effectively created a proxy balance of power over the last seventy years in the region in opposition to an Iranian leadership-led, anti-Israeli drive.
Iran, a country with a people who are mostly Muslim, has a very well-educated population, with a strong community vested in common social values, irrespective of its theo-autocratic governing system. They do however, live under the physical force of an ideological system that allows for one person to reign supreme, and without impunity or fear of losing office. This system of governance from the top-down does not value the rights of its constituents as individuals whom can guide, direct and create a better vision for their communities, than that which they currently have. Quite the opposite of having a government of and for the people, Iran, though it allows the free movement and relative exchange of ideas, it does have its limits on secularism, and does not tolerate the full practice of freedom of speech, the freedom of a free press to question leadership, nor the right for its people to become exceedingly politically empowered as individuals. No, instead, its leadership is picked by its higher echelons, and its governing structure is ultimately subjected according to the will of its supreme leader. In effect, nothing changes or approaches real social change; bottom-up movements are quashed and infiltrated; individuals must censor themselves according to the parameters of the top-down system.
With no avenue of possible social-political upheaval possible, the people strive to create culture and their lives with as much normalcy as can be, yet, it does not come remotely close to the freedoms a country like the United States of America creates for itself over and over again through the practice and valuing of individual liberty, and its foundational safeguards to keep it so. This gives the American nation a tremendous advantage on the chess game board. The players that operate on the U.S. side can continually change, and so new ideas and improvements are always possible. We are able to learn from our mistakes if we want to and look to improve in how we go about the governing of ourselves, even how we interact on the international level. In fact, our varied forms of domestic and international leadership are, in the end, wholly subservient to the individual voter and the free press. In addition, as if that were not enough, Iran’s lack of the right for individuals to bear arms allows its top-down governing system to rule without fear of uprising. America’s second amendment stipulates that its people can bear arms, even keep a standing militia (though we don’t have one) aside from the military afforded by its own government. The U.S.A. is actually the most individually armed nation in the world. Far from the possibility of an insurrection, just the existence of this fact serves as a check and balance on its government, which along with what should be a free press, maintains social order.
The first and most important line of liberty that needs to be fully free and is not in a nation like Iran is the support of the critical thinking individual. Iran, a civilization thousands of years old, need not be Westernized to give itself such freedoms. As it stands, the demand for greater social and economic liberty by its people appears to be a growing force placing increasing pressure from within and calling for greater freedoms and liberties to govern itself from the bottom-up. As it is, Iranians are not actually given a say in the international relations or behavior of its political leadership. For about seventy years, Israel has been a globally-recognized nation state in the Middle East and has found economic prosperity and democratic freedom within that time frame. Its diversity of industry is testament to its prioritization of education and allowance unto itself that individuals are the driving force of a nation’s ability to innovate and lead unto new frontiers. Though imperfect, like America, Israel as a whole understands that individual liberty is key for its social, economic and political life.
‘People are people,’ and the world over sees the robustness of systems of democracy that place individual liberty along with the support of a critical thinking populace foremost. So it is, that on the international chess board, the Middle East arrangement of power is in large part impacted by the health of the individual liberties enjoyed by each representative state. The liberty and freedom’s of the people directly lead to who gets to make the chess moves, for how long, and in what direction, and in the absence of each nation’s individual freedom’s and liberties, opportunities for social, political and economic ‘flourishment’ get truncated, devaluing the richness of the interplay, leading to economic stagnation, misprioritization of time and awkward balances of power which put the narrow-minded ideology of one over the benefit of an entire nation.
Part 2: Help the People
What is to be done when many of the players on the five-dimensional chess game are unwilling to cede their chosen priority objectives, allowing for the passage of time and the social-political and economic status quo to continue as is?
- How can one set of people living in what would be a democratically-functioning society help those living under autocratic, totalitarian rule?
- Should it be that the intelligence organizations of one meddle in the undermining of the social-political system of another? How has that worked out in the past?
Rather, just as the next step forward for capitalism could very well be the notion of an empathic, socially responsible economy, one where profit, for profit’s sake is not the end all be all, but a growing construct wherein the social issues that beset people and communities at large are valued ahead of, or in league with the focus of making money, the example of a thriving government for the people, and of the people can be a light onto other people’s around the world living in states of control. This implies that the valuing of an educated, critical thinking culture, which places the individual over the livelihood of political government, be prized as a compliment to the safeguarding and growing of a free, and open society.
More so than the operations of diplomacy alone, the people of a free nation can ‘talk’ to the people of a subjugated nation through the active practice of a critical thinking social order. That is to say, the dominated people must continue to see that in lands like Israel, the United States, England, and every nation that places individual liberty and freedom ahead as its valued treasure, that society works. They must see that individual economic prosperity is possible, that their children can speak their minds and reach the highest levels of political power, if it be their desire.
Is this not why people yearn to, and do immigrate to Europe and America in the hundreds of thousands, in the millions? Their own countries would benefit from more democratic governance that shifts power onto the people, and away from the conceptual design of a few, but until that becomes a reality, the easier move is to seek livelihoods in such free nations.
Is it then possible that the deep hatred the Iranian leadership feels for Israel has more to do with the witnessing of its Supreme Leader of the rapid and continued growth of its economic power, more so than the difference between Judaic and Muslim beliefs? Is this not called jealousy, in its simplest form? If this is correct, then their is a purposeful disconnect and misplaced animosity as to why such vehemence has been allowed to root itself for so long. From this positional standpoint, the dynamic of international relations amongst the chess players who actuate influence in the Middle East region are in one part, attempting to force the economic prosperity and political influence of a few autocratic regimes, while dimly justifying such overt and covert hostility without practical reason. What is happening is that some regimes are looking to become materially and politically powerful at the expense of ignoring what is best for their people, and these are creating irrational subterfuge as to their reasoning, even simply not addressing the rationale of creating such hostility against one another.
In such a dynamic, grievances have occurred across the board which have been illegal. Within the unhealthy political balance, illegal assassinations, territorial occupations, and unlawful acts of war have been exacted on all sides, muddying the clarity of who holds the moral high ground at any given time. Actual, specific players have been beholden to internal pressures to continue in certain manners, such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attempt to lead while trying to placate hard-line Israeli settlers who insist on giving no territorial rights to Palestinians. This has hamstringed, Israel’s power to reach a better position on the five-dimensional chess board of Middle Easter international relations. There is only so much the governments of Lebanon, and Jordan can do. It is not their fight to resolve. More so, Russia’s continued involvement in propping up Syria’s barbaric Assad regime has fueled Iran’s Supreme Leader’s underlining stance against finding peace with Israel. Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is interested in growing energy resources in the Middle East and being a political force to counter American-Israeli Western regional influence. Likewise, the politics of situations having nothing to do with the Middle East, such as American economic sanctions on Russia have been answered on different stages by Russia. It is not always a clear cause and effect on one game board, but that a number of chess games are being played on various boards all at the same time. If it is not politically feasible to give direct answers between chess players on one board or stage, then these are answered, right or wrong, on another. It is called politics.
Part 3: Envisioning a Long-Term Pathway Towards Peace in the Middle East
Ultimately, a political achievement would be a copacetic arrangement were Israel and Palestine can co-exist in a dual capital within Jerusalem. This implying Palestine also being acknowledge as a Sovereign Country with distinct national borders. As was shared earlier, for all its freedom and liberties enjoyed by its citizenry, Israel is putting incredible downward pressure on the Palestinian people. Their homes, schools and communities are routinely bulldozed, displaced and left in states of disintegration. This directly affects how the Palestinian people, human beings, see themselves and Israel. This angers the Muslim world, also human beings. They in turn have answered in ways and manners that have not been to their best interest, directly targeting Israeli civilians with inviting outside players to use them as a proxy, with suicide bombings in Israeli towns, assassinations, and street violence across Israel.
In the absence of a free society, in the absence of critical thinking individuals who are empowered to lead social-political change from the ground up, we are left with a default dynamic of relationships. Who can step in to make things better? Can Supermen and Superwoman show up and fix everything? No, not really. That is wishful thinking. You cannot change people. People have to be willing to change themselves. The best we can do is live as righteously as possible to show as an example that there is a better way. The Prime Minister’s office of Israel cannot offer a dual capital solution to Palestine, as the dynamic stands now, without inviting all the proxy powers and players into Jerusalem also. The Palestinian leadership cannot expect global recognition, or Israeli recognition of itself as a nation as long as it continues to misappropriate hundreds of millions of dollars to reward people who violently target the Israeli populace. Iran will not stop its hostile stance against Israel until its people are the one’s in charge of its civilization. Syria’s Assad regime will continue to drop bombs and employ chemical warfare on families and children as long as it sees it has the backing of Russia, which has ties to Iran’s leadership, (it does not have ties to its populace). The Middle East will not know peace as long as none of the players show the political bravery to reverse course, and seek how to be of service to its people in democratic ways which empower them through education, civil liberties and systems of government that place the critical thinking individual above the designs of a few at the top of the political ladder.
The way forward is through the quiet work of sowing peace at the ground level and growing a movement upward. This is a principle of the notion of servant leadership. In placing the welfare and human rights of people first, in seeking to develop an educated and free people who have the power to elect officials into and out of office, new foundations can be established. The people of each nation must rule. This would mean that Moms and Dads would collectively exercise power that places the well-being of their children first. Of course, inept leaders can be parents and can rule with total impunity. To convey it succinctly; power has to be diluted amongst entire communities and safeguarded through basic human rights, seeking to replicate the supports that have made it possible for such systems of governance to work in countries like the United States.
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
“Yet knowing how way leads on to way..”
At the onset of the first tenure, after he had slugged it out through storms of snow, storms of rain and wind, storms of bullets and blood, storms of death, of victory, of defeat, of no provisions, of untrained men, of the uncertainty that comes with facing the most formidable army the world had at that time, George Washington was dealt a final battle of temptation. There is a myth that after all he had co-fought as he led the Continental Army to crush the British Red Coats, Washington was asked if he wanted to be King…to be The King of America.
If this myth be true, knowing how way leads on to way, could it be that General George Washington foresaw that power had to rest in the people, less the future of America repeat the ravages and unfair plight it eventually began to experience as an extension to an unfair monarchy?
The Continental Congress, as it seems, led on with the energy and passion of John Adams, stayed a course in the rough, uncharted seas of defining what liberty could be, creating an experimental vision of what representative governance should be, replete with limits and clear purpose, not to exceed, or impinge on the rights of the individual. It was scripture-reading John Adams who was Washington’s trusted supporter in the Continental Congresses, while he maneuvered and marshaled forces to meet the well-trained armies of the Britannia of that time. One man worked in the field, while another orated before the likes of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. Surely, many American leaders flanked both of these men, yet, these two, Adams and Washington, were the driving energy of humility, boldness, and Godly-principle which separated them from all other men. It was John Adams who kept the fire of liberty alive. It was George Washington who was tasked with leading and inspiring armies of men who had never fought before. Washington had to be the example of poise, confidence, determination and inner strength from which his soldiers derived the will to fight long past the point of exhaustion. It was Adams who connected God’s Word to the foundational doctrines which were being created through discourse, before the likes of James Madison, James Monroe, Samuel Adams and Benjamin Franklin.
Adams was recognized as humble, without avarice or guile, not seeking self-gain, but seeking onto the welfare of the individual human rights of the people through a system of representative government. Adams and Washington were a kind of ‘anti-hero,’ or mighty men who eschewed glory and kept to the awesome duty of the creation of a new republic. It was a needful set of traits to have, given that spies and oppositional forces were keen to disrupt the establishment of an America birthing forth with the intention to self-govern itself. These traits attracted others to Adams and Washington, creating a template for leaders to emerge mirroring such characteristics.
Inspiration and leadership grew rapidly in this soil of humility and selflessness. At the end of all the battles, with the culmination of the American Revolution being fought with orated and written word and slugged out in towns, in water, and in the colonial country-side, the final battle, goes the myth, was placed squarely on General George Washington. It has been alluded that he was asked if he wanted to be the King.
If it be so, the temptation would have been non too difficult for the Commander of the Continental Armies to disdain, given the reason for all the struggle to free the colonists from such a chain. As is human nature, future king’s far removed from the hardship and experience the colonists underwent would have soon followed suit, as is the way of powerful king’s, and would have begun to grow their power through the strengthening of the state, safeguarding it through the subjection of the people, and overriding the democratic principles of individual liberty.
A strong executive office, as one of the three branches of the United States of America’s representative government is needful, less the powers beyond and within our borders undermine a ship with a weak captain, even taking over the tiller and direction of the nation through policies of trade and finance, which do not place the representation of the American populace first, but their own establishment of vision and growth as the priority. Quite easily, international organizations and powerful foreign heads of state can seek to grow their spheres of influence at the expense of what has become the only superpower in the world. The United States needs a strong leader at the helm who governs according to the ever-alive principles of liberty found in holy scripture. It is this attunement to God’s Word which was the source of power upon which the founding fathers were led, and which can continue to guide the vision and purpose of what is supposed to be a government of, and for the people.
As it is, the United States of America is a nation of 320,000,000 inhabitants, with the last twenty years being an era of tremendous immigration levels (an influx of about 16,000,000 people entered) from Central America into the U.S. We are a nation that respects the right for people to openly practice their faith and beliefs without fear of reproach or persecution, and this means there is room for all the world’s religions within this great land of freedom. Be it as it may, the growth of community, culture, education, and all the human rights enjoyed in such a state as that which places the rights of the individual citizen as a check and balance on the organs of the state, need to be continuously governed by a leadership that firstly values the perfect law of liberty, as it is put forth in Judeo-Christian holy scripture. This humility of leadership which subjugates the will of man and woman to the will of the loving, Almighty Creator is what has allowed for America to continue in its existence nearly two hundred and fifty years after its founding. The strength and confidence of a strong Executive Office does not stem from the dictates of a leader who knows best above all, but from a leader, man or woman, whom again and again seeks God, and God’s will as the compass and guiding light to steer the ship. From here confidence is brought forth, from here boldness is exercised, and from here, humility is continually refreshed.
“And they departed not from the commandment of the King..”
2 Chronicles 8:15a
Friday, February 16, 2018
Idealism is nice, yet idealism that is too far removed from the realities of a present situation risks becoming nothing more than air castles in the sky. Finding common ground in a political maelstrom that is all too often directed by characters behind the scenes likewise risks becoming a futile exercise in impractical idealism. The truth of the matter may be that it behooves lobbying groups to seek the welfare of their deep-pocketed patrons to focus on the protection of their interests, even if it entails a narrow-minded scope of what is best for the operation of a country. In such a climate of lobbying groups, each representative of associations of corporations from singular industries, our elected officials are presented with the viability of receiving funding for their political campaigns to stay in office and therein perhaps achieve modest gains not just for their political patrons, but ideally, for the betterment of the country, if not there own political party, at the least.
In the United States capital, lobbyist groups not only hound our representatives through every which way possible, but even write our laws in small convoluted script that allows for the insertion of legal jargon in bills safeguarding the interests of their benefactors.This reality presents a conundrum of grandiose proportions for the operation of our democratic nation, whereby power is purported to rest in the people, and the government is supposed to be for the service of the people. The truth though is that while Jane and John Doe vote for elected officials based on campaign platforms, lobbyists can target elected offices with legal bribery and political connections that can sink or swim the careers of politicians.
The actuality that elected officials appear, over the long run, to prioritize their political livelihood over such doing their uncompromised service to their constituents is nothing new. It is a story hearkening back to the Roman and Greek Senates. Once power is attained, the elected official recognizes the benefits of staying in power and is made aware of legal leverages supplied by the power allowed to lobbying groups that can be maneuvered to the benefit of the elected official. Doing the bidding of powerful groups not only further entrenches and compromises the elected official in his or her capacity, but defends the interest of the lobbying groups patrons. These ‘patrons’ can be amalgamations of corporations within one particular industry, who in turn may have, not just monetary levers, but be connected with entities or established media groups. This represents then not just the power of money as a source of political influence, but the power of image. That is to say, such a lobbying group is an extension of a greater conjoined power of influence that can exact hard and soft control on what is talked about in the media, who is talked about, and who does the talking. This implies that elected officials who parlay with such groups enjoy all kinds of protections to their political livelihood and political image.
Such a reality seems to scoff at the principles the United States of America was founded on, robbing it through legal corruption, degrading its foundational principles as mere historical events long past forgotten, and only pay homage in times of tragedy or days of national celebration. With such an open truth bare at all times, our elected officials appear to distract from there acceptance of legal bribery and respond vehemently with calls on various issues that may be on the news circuit, like the environment, the economy, gun safety, abortion, and international trade partnerships. These passionate forays of oration across political party lines, galvanizing rhetoric that is hotter than fire for a moment, but cold as ice the next. As times passes, the complexity of bringing real solutions to the various issues are degraded into elementary, default positions blamed on lack of inter-political party cooperation. It is all hogwash though… the truth is that the lobbying groups sponsor the elected officials with money, position and influence, hamstringing what could be a natural order to the legislative process.
Common political ground can be found, but the players will not take the field. They refuse to cooperate. It is not them, but each is a conglomeration of all the money and influence poured into them. Lobbying groups legal bribery is a great dilemma and this discussion cannot be had in Congress, for they are compromised, but must be had between the people of the country and the Supreme Court of the land.
At the highest levels of elected office, each official knows that each of them is somehow beholden to such organized political concoctions. They are all in on it, and no one can reach those levels of elected office without taking on legal bribery. In effect, the people of the nation, namely those in the lesser vestiges of social and economic power are the losers. Nothing changes if nothing changes, and nothing changes. There are no mighty men and women who break ranks for any length of time in a repeated fashion. There are none who stand aside to call out the charades. Lobbying should be made illegal, and given that it is a nine billion dollar industry feeding the coffers of elected officials, stringent observation should be taken by pressuring the U.S Supreme Court to curtail it refashioning itself under any legal format.
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Are the mindsets we hold created by the information within us, through our experiences, and finally, by the ideological positions we take? How did we arrive at these positions and conclusions? How did we arrive at these heartsets?
- Can different ‘balances of mind’ come into being according to the changing dynamics of our daily thoughts and actions, our exposure to the minds of others, and our ability to focus consistently?
- Is the balance of the mind shaped by the mindsets we employ?
- How do we generate a mindset that leads to being and feeling free to achieve any worthwhile goal we desire to achieve?
- How do subsequent new generations find the clear path to use their minds in ways not generally seen?
- Can becoming critical thinkers lead to a people who are more fair and just?
- Can critical thinking development create the ground conditions that can upright a society?
Ideally, it could. But it is not generally taught to us to support the rise of open-minded, critical thinkers. It is recognized that these can be dangerous to the current order of society, and in effect, could lead to the disruption of the ways and means in which business, ideas and social constructs are sustained. The vociferous critical thinking man or woman, if consistent, will again and again bring up ideas and questions that momentarily stop the flow of the status quo, causing slight changes in the manner in which a society proceeds. In due time, the critical thinker’s actions become unignorable and the powerful entities that traditionally operate the largest outlets of information begin to react directly and indirectly to the amplifications of such a growing force. So much so that it is even possible that targeting of the critical thinker becomes a political game of influence, with the intent to co-op such a actionable thinker towards lesser forms of positive disruption, if not sideline such a one altogether.
So it becomes that the greater the critical thinker in action, the greater a political threat one is perceived to hold against the established powers. In the publishing and informational amplification of critical ideas and questions, on-going informational flows cannot continue functioning in an impervious vacuum, but have no alternative but to yield, albeit as least as possible, so as to limit the disruption to these informational flows.
What is implied with ‘informational flows?’ If knowledge is power, the application of knowledge is power in motion. Being able to control what is talked about and what is not, controlling how things are discussed, how topics are prioritized, and by whom they are disbursed; all these are parameters that delineate what the populace has in their
mind at any given moment. Watch a news channel all day, for example, and your mind swims in the information it received from the programming. Listen to music on the radio and these songs, down to the melody and lyrics stay with us for the rest of the day. These thoughts and ideas, these whims and fancies superimpose themselves in our minds and crowd out other thoughts. We are easily programmable.
Nowhere is the call for critical thinkers to be developed and more heard than when we are in school. It is here that we learn the value of analyzation and deconstruction, practice coherent creation of thoughts and find the importance of knowing how to discuss with one another. Of all these, the ability to use words eloquently and express ourselves are by far the most important in the formation of a just, critical thinking mind. Thus, I teach oratory and essay writing as one of my instructional focuses with the aim of empowering people. I recognize that the men and women who can changeminds and hearts tend to be the ones who harness the ability to use words to successfully reach people’s minds and hearts, and these are the men and women who are able to change the course of events.
As it is said in ancient scripture, even a large ship is made to change direction by the turn of the tiller. But speaking persuasively is not the height of critical thinking. The ability to hold onto fairness, true justice and common sense, brings about the practice of the perfect law of liberty. In this sense, the critical thinker is not simply a clever and persuasive speaker who masters the principles of speech to dupe people, but is mindfully aware of the need to create more critical thinkers who are fair, just and sensical. This is the generation of creating open-mindedness, and this leads to the creation of freedom from the inside out. The perfect law of liberty calls for prudence, kindness, fairness, justice, mercy, and love. In the daily keeping of what liberty is about clear in the mind and heart, the critical thinker attaches their mind and heart to a light house of strength that safeguards and comforts. The critical thinker, at their best, should then be mindfully led by a moral compass of espousing liberty, as opposed to being driven by every whim and doctrine.
Movement Of The Heart
I t is not the responsibility of empty vessels to create the motivation to learn, but rather, the prerogative to teach, the very respo...
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