Sunday, April 29, 2007

More Big Lies by Louis Evan Palmer

They lie softly, they lie boldly, they steal everything we own.

It's called "globalization" but it could more accurately be called "gobblezation" characterized as it is by greed and waste and self-serving urgency.

to seize upon eagerly
To devour in greedy gulps.
To take greedily; grab:
To eat greedily or rapidly.

to extend to other or all parts of the globe
growth to a global or worldwide scale
make worldwide

To devour the world or its resources in greedy gulps
To greedily or rapidly grab & extend to other or all parts of the globe

It's called "privatization" but it really should be called "piratization" because it is bold theft characterized by phony logic served with platitudes and violence or threat of violence.

any plunderer, predator, etc.
to commit piracy upon; plunder; rob.
One who preys on others; a plunderer.

to transfer from public or government control or ownership to private enterprise
changing something from state to private ownership or control
The conversion of a public enterprise to a private enterprise.

To plunder public enterprise while converting it to private ownership or control
To prey on public or state assets and take private ownership or control of them

The forces of gobblezation and piratization are rushing to prevail before the rest of the world wakes up and starts to effectively oppose them. Timing is crucial; once you lose the war, it's typically a long time before you can again challenge the "winner" and then the challenge can be very costly and painful.

One of the key things to wake up to is the fact that all the official statements and pronouncements and rationales are a massive web of lies, each lie supporting the other in a vast edifice of misstatement, deception and amorality.

The misrepresentations are at the stage where they are collossal and continuous. World leaders are killed, some in broad daylight, and it's explained away in a blizzard of officious half-truths and outright falsehoods. Billions of dollars is stolen or misappropriated and it too is explained away or covered up, ideally it never sees the light of day and stays unknown and hidden away. There's no point in trying to pick out the bits of truth riddled throughout the rotting mass of falsehood. A truth that rests on a lie is a lie. A truth that is supported by a lie is a lie.

The first step in righting a society is in calling things by their true name - a lie is a lie, theft is theft, murder is murder. We have to start over from the beginning without preconceptions or stakeholders - just a pure intent and good will.

More Big Lies, The Way It Can Be, Louis Evan Palmer,
Copyright 2007 Louis Evan Palmer lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

VA Tech Tragedy - More Guns is not the Answer by Louis Evan Palmer

The American NRA vultures and their "cold dead" supporters have emerged again after the VA Tech tragedy to bruit their nauseating mantra of "more guns equals more safety". Several of their mouthpieces and like-minded bloody-minded sympathizers have stated that all would be well if only everyone, or mostly everyone, was armed because then the VA Tech killer would have been shot outright.

It appears that it has occurred to no-one in the NRA movement that if this disturbed young man had not been able to buy a gun, let alone a high-powered Glock, then this tragedy may not have happened. He may have had time to be diagnosed and treated and the young people that he shot might be alive. What rational reason does a person have for buying a Glock?

The competence of the VA Tech administration (and possibly the campus & local police) is a separate matter. How what was initially reported as a single homicide can be treated as an event that would not interrupt the normal course of events at the school is difficult to understand? How the administration of that school can not know that there were actually two homicides in the first incident and that the killer was unknown and at large is also hard to fathom? Wouldn't your first order of business be to positively confirm what happened and if there was a continuing danger? Wouldn't you alert the whole school and search the grounds until you had either apprehended the suspect or ascertained that he was not on the grounds?

Everyone being armed and then having this threatening person shot almost right away is a fascist dream and just as realistic. Will everyone have their guns with them? Will they be able to pull the gun out properly and use it? Are the guns to be carried around fully loaded? Will their aim be any good? Will it be obvious to anyone who is the suspect when everyone is walking around with guns looking for him? It is likely they would shoot as many innocent people as gunmen.

What's wrong with using pepper spray or other non-lethal weapons to stop these would-be or in-progress killers? Some of the dispensers have a good range and should work well in a building.

Even "official" armed groups are dangerous. Random reports suggest that six of the Columbine victims were shot by a SWAT team. The public won't know about that though because the records have been sealed. And, while various police forces are known to be trigger-happy and have the wrongful death suits to prove it, they are trumped by the plague of heavily-armed SWAT teams roaming around the US at any given time. Some of the teams are well-trained, disciplined and effective but many are not, the modern-day equivalent of a posse, they often come in shooting whether they've got the right person or even the right house. More guns always equals more deaths.

The stats for the US is something like 30,000 deaths by gun a year with 250 million guns in circulation for a 300+ million population.

If one looks at any war zone, you'll find a significant number of soldiers getting shot by their own comrades or allies or even themselves. And this is usually happening under a strict control regime for having a weapon and the ammunition for it and under the rules of engagement. Accidents with guns can be deadly - everything with guns can be deadly which is why society wants to control them and their use.

Potentially having everyone armed is a recipe for disaster and pleases no-one except the gun manufacturers and their fanatic followers because very quickly you're into a full-fledged arms race - each person or side going for bigger guns, faster guns, more guns and then later, depending, they will want and acquire grenades, bombs, and missiles. Is the NRA a secret propaganda arm of the gun industry?

The same amoral "protection" logic is used in wars where one side, usually the losing side, will complain that if only they had dropped more bombs then all would have been well. This is part of the terrible logic of the Dresden or Tokyo firebombings. It spreads out to every type of ordinance - if only we had laid more mines; if only we had devastated the enemy more completely; if only we had used more of every weapon we possessed.

The arm-everyone logic is not consistent because we have the usual hypocritical governments pushing to stop certain countries from getting the same nuclear weapons they have. In the case of the US, they will state that they support the right of citizens to bear arms yet not certain countries. If citizens can bear arms then how much more can nations bear arms but to prevent our mutual destruction, the desired solution for nations is disarmament. Wouldn't that solution be the same for societies?

The question is easily answered: if tomorrow there were no guns, bombs or nukes in the world, would it be a better place or not? Versus - if tomorrow everyone had guns and bombs and nukes, would the world then be better? The answer for any normal peace-loving, law-abiding, rational person is obvious - especially today in Virginia.

VA Tech Tragedy - More Guns is not the Answer, The Way It Can Be, Louis Evan Palmer,
Copyright 2007 Louis Evan Palmer lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications.


Friday, April 06, 2007

Colonel Westhusing, Jane Jacobs, & the Guardian Moral Syndrome by Louis Evan Palmer

Death is an occasion for sadness. How much sadness will vary with how close one was to the deceased, the circumstances of their passing, and the character and charisma of the departed.

It is always more poignant when the person was young. or there was a miscarriage of justice or the person had special talents or genius such as in music or writing or, in the particular case I want to touch on, in philosophy.

The world is short of philosophers. It always has been and I think it always will be. If we had more philosophers, and we listened to them more carefully, the world would be a dramatically improved place. Every time a philosopher dies, there should be a pause in the life of a country and a summing up.

At age 44, Colonel Westhusing was found dead in Baghdad, It was ruled a suicide and appears to have been the result of deep depression and disgust brought on by the conduct of America as the occupation force in Iraq. Colonel Westhusing was a philosopher.

In 1992, the book “Systems of Survival” by Jane Jacobs was published. It is a book on the “Moral Foundations of Commerce and Politics” and is done in the style of a Platonic dialogue which is appropriate because it was Plato who first elaborated on a society comprised of a Philosopher-King, Guardians and Producers. Jacobs has used this idea and infused with ideas from chivalry and the samurai and various caste systems, she has distilled the specific set of ethics & morals that guide the Guardian class versus the Commercial class. It is a remarkably powerful analysis and it clearly shows why Colonel Westhusing would so deeply feel the way he did.

Guardians are different from Producers. Throughout history, there has been a division between the two which is not arbitrary but based on the incompatibility of doing both jobs properly in a single person or a single occupation. For example, a society cannot have its police negotiating their services directly with the citizenry; where that happens, there will be a breakdown in the law and a diminishment of life & commerce. Guardians protect and maintain the framework of a society including its borders, its standards, & its laws. Loyalty, honour & prowess are watchwords for a Guardian while Service for the public good animates their actions.

Jane Jacobs outlined how problems arise when the ethics & morals from the Commercial syndrome are mixed or conjoined with the ethics & morals of the Guardian syndrome or vice versa. Society would see what she refers to as “monstrous hybrids”. Soldiers & Police for sale; bureaucrats well-schooled in rules & regulations and hierarchies trying to run businesses that need inventiveness, efficiency and initiative. Giant “managed care” corporations attempting to mix Guardian service to society and Commercial trying to maximize profits.

Mercenaries are also “monstrous hybrids” and one that Colonel Westhusing found particularly upsetting. The Colonel tried to fight the corruption and disreputable, even criminal, conduct he saw but he found that the bureaucrats were adept at ignoring his entreaties. Guardians are taught and believe in loyalty and respect hierarchy and this makes it especially difficult for a true Guardian to “treasure honour” and “show fortitude” when these values are being betrayed by rent-a-soldiers and disregarded or whitewashed by his own command. That the mercenaries make 2 to 3 times what regular soldiers earn makes it all the more galling.

The current American administration, chock full of strutting chickenhawks, is doing more than bankrupting America's finances & reputation. They are destroying their Armed Forces morally. At some point, probably when most needed, these guns for hire will melt away and there will be precious few left to “serve”. The moral authority of the leadership will be gone with the whirlwind. When a nation's moral compass is wrecked, it can take decades to recover.

Worse, when the Commercial sector is also corrupted with Guardian ethics, it no longer functions either. Vast government-largesse-dependent companies will quickly fail when their public tax-fed troughs are taken away. America will soon have its arms-makers as the only sizable domestic manufacturing it has left. That practically guarantees more war and eventual doom.

Maybe that is also what the good Colonel saw – that impending doom and a profound betrayal. Don't let Colonel Westhusing's death sink beneath the waves and out of memory. When a person of this calibre sees no way out, then this should be taken as seriously as possible by the rest of us because a philosopher can see deeper and better and farther than the rest of us. Read some philosophy, contemplate, and then take positive action!

Colonel Westhusing, Jane Jacobs, & the Guardian Moral Syndrome, The Way It Can Be, Louis Evan Palmer,
Copyright 2007 Louis Evan Palmer lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications.