Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Concept of Innocence by Louis Evan Palmer

"" gives the definition of "innocence" as:..The state, quality, or virtue of being innocent, as: Freedom from sin, moral wrong, or guilt through lack of knowledge of evil; Guiltlessness of a specific legal crime or offense; Lack of knowledge or understanding; ignorance; Freedom from harmfulness..."

It can be used to imply other levels of creation or existence, in that, someone or something that is innocent can be innocent by virtue of not being of this world, or not participating in it, or only now emerging into it. Their innocence is in this existence.

Most often associated with the concept of innocence is a baby. What blame can be affixed upon a baby? We can ascribe various powers to a baby or think that it may serve as a vehicle for future fulfillment but that is not the baby, it is someone or something acting upon the baby in that same way it could act on any one of use. To lose that innocence, we would have to be able to form some kind of intent. The same arguments run towards any good that may issue from a baby, if it is innocent, then there is none other than what is inspired within each of us.

This concept reaches out to impinge on other ascertations like one used for abortions that have to do with rape. The wrongfulness of the rape itself is levied against the by-product, a living entity. Can we truthfully place blame on an unborn baby? Not if we believe in innocence and what it confers on its holders.

Crimes committed against the innocent are always more abhorrent to us because of their blameless state. In wars and the many crimes that come from that cauldron of hate, the crimes against babies and young children arouse our deepest repulsion because they have no possible excuse and every possible condemnation - because they are innocent.

In courts of law, the concept is more restricted, in that it refers only to a specific offence with which a person is charged. It asks us to ignore everything else that is known about that person and consider only the offence in question with the presumption of innocence. It is a more difficult application of that concept but it again serves the ideal of acting correctly and fairly.

We care about our animal friends partly because of this presumption of innocence on their part. Innocence always implies closeness to True Nature and to Truth. The concept of innocence is deeply-seated in our psyche and ennobling. As a society, we must strive to understand and preserve it and from that, to protect and nurture those innocents in our midst.

The Concept of Innocence, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,

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Copyright 2007 Louis Evan Palmer lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have appeared in numerous publications.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Move UN Headquarters to Auckland, New Zealand by Louis Evan Palmer

The headquarters for a world governance body should not reside in the territory of the hegemon of the day or in the cities of any of the major powers. It compromises its independence and, over time, impairs its functioning.

It should reside in a country and city that can accomodate a key global organization, that is sufficiently advanced culturally and technologically, and that is not aligned in a significantly binding way in any alliance. It should also move physically closer to the majority of the world's population in Asia. Such a country exists in New Zealand, with the suitable city being Auckland.

The United States, through a variety of spokespersons, has stated on numerous occasions that it does not support the United Nations, that it would like to see the UN Headquarters move out of New York City, and the like. It is a country that has embarked on many wars of self-interest and has demonstrated an increased belligerence and lawlessness in its actions. Its main interest in any world bodies is in using them to further its own narrow self-enriching aims.

A move could serve as an impetus for other needed changes like adding India to the permanent security council. Perhaps adding the European Union as a single member and dropping the United Kingdom and France. It can also be used to strongly move against illegal spying and eavesdropping. A country like New Zealand will be less susceptible to blackmail and behind the scenes deal-making which should make the operation of the UN headquarters more transparent and less corrupt.

Let's settle on a date. How about January 1st, 2012 as the inauguration of the new UN Headquarters in Auckland, New Zealand? Start sending your letters and petitions now to make it happen.

Move UN Headquarters to Auckland, New Zealand, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,

Support his art, ideas and worldview, Order books by Louis Evan Palmer

Order via Kindle link above or at right of screen

Copyright 2007 Louis Evan Palmer lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have appeared in numerous publications.

O.J. Simpson and "What's Mine is Mine" Syndrome by Louis Evan Palmer

From Dictionary.Com, the definition of "syndrome" is: "A group of symptoms that together are characteristic of a specific disorder, disease, or the like."

In his latest publicly-disclosed brush with the law, O.J. Simpson continues his obsession with what he thinks is "his" and his willingness to use any means to keep or retrieve it.

To think that someone with his past and his means would care about a bunch of trashy mementos to the extent of organizing a criminal enterprise to take them back is difficult to fathom. Rather than call the auction people involved directly or initiating a lawsuit, Mr. Simpson decided to go with his posse and take back what was his. Flimsy excuses about a lack of response from the police since his dodge of murder charges don't hold water as he should have gone through a lawyer not the police.

What this incident does illustrate in the boldest terms possible is that O.J. Simpson did kill his former wife because the thinking and feelings behind that crime are very much the same as those behind this stupid escapade. That is, O.J. Simpson was so filled with rage at losing what was "his" that he was willing to do anything to get her back or to prevent anyone else from having her. The racial aspect of it all only serves to intensify the emotions.

There is always a point where a normal feeling becomes pathological; where it leaves the realm of reason and ordinary emotions and becomes obsessive and delusional. Sometimes great things come of that pathology but, more often, terrible things come of it.

I don't think O.J. Simpson could have been clearer in declaring his guilt than by engaging in this crime. He admitted everything but with the self-serving excuses that are typical of this type of mentality. He may end up behind bars after all.

O.J. Simpson and "What's Mine is Mine" Syndrome, The Way It Can Be, Louis Evan Palmer,
Copyright 2007 Louis Evan Palmer lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have appeared in numerous publications.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Baseball, Statistics & Disappeared Histories by Louis Evan Palmer

It's apparent that Barry Bonds took steroids and as a result of that there is a steady chorus from those who wish to ostrasize him and to asterisk his record. They are probably the same folks who wanted to put an asterisk beside Hank Aaron's home run record. But really if you want to scratch the surface of these records you'll find that we should putting asterisks beside all the records because there's something wrong or peculiar with all of them.

Babe Ruth's home run record of 60 was set in 1927 not long after rules were introduced that resulted in a harder baseball and shorter outfields. That's one asterisk. In Babe's day, there were no brown-skinned players in the majors yet teams from the negro leagues won about half of the exhibition games they played against the white majors teams. There were also no hispanic players. In other words, many of the best players were not in Babe's major league. That's two asterisks. There also can be no doubt whatsoever that the calibre of player back then was lower than the calibre of player now. Just looking at the Olympic records will confirm that observation. That's three asterisks. In 1920 the spitball was banned but pitchers who were using it could continue. That obviously had a huge impact on hitters and home runs. Asterisk #4. Scuffed balls or foreign substances like pine tar were also banned in later years.

In light of the above, statements to the effect that "the 1927 Yankees was the greatest baseball team ever" are unadulterated balderdash.

The other glaring truth of the matter is as Mark McGwire stated, in baseball it was not specifically against the rules to use steroids. That came in 2002. Steroids are legal for medical purposes. In 1990 in a very politicized debate, the USA put steriods on its schedule III even though it did not meet the requirements of that designation - that is, being addictive. In 2005, "prohormones" were added to that prohibition. In most other advanced countries, steroids are legal with a prescription but if found in possession of them without a prescription, it is not a serious offence (no jail time involved). Barry Bonds started his major league career on May 30, 1986. Mark McGwire started his career in 1987.

The other truth is that you can put all the muscles you want on someone without talent and it will not enhance their performance enough for anyone to notice - their physique but not their ability.

Barry Bonds deserves his records just as much as Roger Maris and Hank Aaron. It's doubtful Babe Ruth would have been very successful today with all his drinking and womanizing, he probably wouldn't have gotten the chance. Also, against much better players from all over the world and from the old negro leagues, he definitely wouldn't have fared as well.

The rules and evironment of a given sport are always in flux - in baseball, for example, the composition of the balls, the bats, the dimensions of the field, permitted and banned substances. We care about these things because we care about the games we play and watch and we care about their histories. Yet, vast swaths of them are illusions. The negro baseball leagues had many of the best players and yet records are hard to come by and while they are getting cobbled together, it's painfully slow. It's another of the disappeared histories of which we as a society seem to bury with remarkable frequency.

Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire were caught up in the heavily politicized and phony war on drugs. Steroids is not even close to crack. However, it's a convenient way to denigrate a current player's achievement and to harken back to a misrepresentation of a past.

Baseball, Statistics & Disappeared Histories, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,
Copyright 2007 Louis Evan Palmer lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have appeared in numerous publications.


Saturday, September 01, 2007

Why Iconic Cities are under Threat by Louis Evan Palmer

Everyone has a soft spot for certain places - the city you grew up in, the location of a particularly memorable vacation, your years at university and that sweetly familiar Alma Mater; but aside from those highly personal attachments, there are other places that seem to rise above all that; places, often cities, which merit attention from all quarters for a variety of reasons - those unique cities that are considered "iconic" and are also referred to as "world" cities or "global" cities, sometimes as "Tier 1" cities or "Alpha", "Beta" or "Gamma" cities although this article would argue that "iconic" is a category all on its own.

Typically, it is a feeling that we have that a city is iconic (or vital or magical) even though the definition of "iconic" will vary and the usefulness of the term itself will be disputed. Without that feeling, most of us would not consider a given city to be iconic.

What then makes for an iconic city and why can that make it a target?

A key quality of an iconic city is that it evokes emotion. You immediately feel something. For example, merely the word "Paris" is powerful. The book "Is Paris Burning?" used the power of that city and its name to great effect in its title and the true story of the German General in charge of the city's occupation who could not bring himself to destroy that great city as they retreated. This evocation calls to mind the belief of the ancients in a city's spirit - that a true city is more than a collection of buildings and public places. It touches the collective soul. Its inhabitants are a marriage of person and place. You can tell if someone's from there, from Madrid, Montreal or New Orleans.

Another quality of an iconic city is that it exudes a personality and a philosophy. Cities like "Venice" or "Vienna" come to mind. You feel as if you've made an acquaintance with a sentient being. You sense the "being" of the place and you like it, you want more of it. There is a sense that things are different here and that difference is important to the world consciousness and that it is precious and to be protected. This spirit of guardianship ties one to the iconic city.

An iconic city will also embody an attitude and an approach to life. Cities like "Rio", "London" or "Barcelona" exemplify this. A city like "Rio" conjures up an intoxicating carefree approach to life with an emphasis on energy and fun - exuberance! A city like "London" projects its zeitgeist of cultured, duty-bound, world-weary administrators of empire - the usually faceless accountants and bankers and soldiers while "Barcelona" radiates that it is radical and ferociously artistic and independent and unpredictable.

So we have the proposition that iconic cities evoke emotion, exude personality, and embody an attitude. To that we should add "on a grand scale". This scale would manifest itself in architecture and public places such as parks and plazas and in public events and displays. A bonafide iconic city will also give "something" to the world on a continuous basis. While it is uncommon, this "giving" can mean that an iconic city could include ancient unearthed cities like "Pompei" or "Troy" or even a lost city like "Atlantis" (especially if it's ever found) - cities which have critical physical connections to our shared past and which have made seminal contributions to our present psyche and mentality.

The other aspect of iconic cities worth touching on is their reach. While this focus is on cities that have a global impact, there can be situations where a city is iconic within a given country or region but doesn't impact much outside of that sphere of influence - say, cities like "St. Petersburg" or "Dresden". Or cities or places that affect followers of a particular religion or belief but not others - for example, "Jerusalem", "Medina", or "Chartes".

Another crucial factor in the impact of a given city is how many expatriates hail from there, proudly claim roots from there, or still have relatives there. This is relevant for cities like Hong Kong, New Delhi or Dublin.

The big four of global cities are typically listed as: New York, London, Paris and Tokyo. Another listing of cities that matter posits: Milan, Vienna, Paris, Shanghai and London. A city like Rome has many claims - the former capital of an important empire, the current headquarters of a large religion, the cultural and philosophic fount for much of the western world. Other cities associated with successful empires both more recent and ancient: London, Paris, Madrid, Vienna, Moscow, Beijing, Venice, Istanbul, Mexico City, Athens, Baghdad, Cairo.

What does any of this have to do with iconic cities being targets?

Psychological warfare is action that attacks an enemy's resolve and attempts to paralyse their will and demoralize. It aims to increase defeatism and negativism and to impair judgement. It wants to induce fear, excite tensions to the point of dysfunction, and produce widespread and continuous anxiety.

Pyschological operations, or PsyOps, strives for economy of effort and would like to present no inkling of their secret directed forces. PsyOps also wants to maximize the effect of a given operation. To do all those things, it must choose the most suitable target. Those types of targets are invariably "iconic". Attacking icons produces the largest dislocation in the target populations. This is why iconic cities (or places or people) are under threat - they are the best targets for PsyOps.

The countries of most interest at this point are those that are at war either as aggressors or as resistance groups. This would bring up the USA, the UK, Afghanistan and Iraq as key flash points. If planning groups were aiming at the USA and attempting to figure what types of attacks would have the most impact and be the most demoralizing, they would consider "iconic" American cities. New York and Washington would fit that designation but have been attacked. They may be subjected to more attacks but if fresh cities were desired then other cities would have to be selected. New Orleans is iconic but it also has been "attacked" in a way. Other iconic American cities that have not been attacked as yet - San Francisco, Miami, Houston, Los Angeles and Boston. Of these cities, probably only San Francisco would be considered to have a signficant impact outside the US as a world-level city.

Fortunately and unfortunately, psyops is an inexact art. It also requires a lack of morals or ethics and the ability to turn away from the deaths of thousands by your remote-controlling hand.

Society must reject these pseudo-scientific assaults on decency and outlaw attacks on non-miltary targets and non-belligerent opponents. To embedded objectors, collect evidence and go public. To the general public, support authentic whistle-blowers.

Why Iconic Cities are under Threat, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be;
Copyright 2007 Louis Evan Palmer lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have appeared in numerous publications.