The Milky Sea of Perfection

Here I am at last: free of my body. Without it, I remain aware—more aware and perceptive than I had ever been while trapped in that slowly rotting vessel. The light is ahead, just as I had heard that it would be. It radiates a warm invitation to approach and enter its domain. I gladly do so. I pass within.

It seems like I am drifting on a milky sea. It is warm and I wonder how I know of its warmth without the senses of my body. Can something without form or substance be regarded as buoyant and floating? I see more clearly without my eyes than with them, but sight is meaningless here at any rate. A featureless sky of white stretches out to every horizon, and no line demarcates where the satin sky touches the milky sea. The air is thick and rich. Somehow, even without my lungs, I breathe it in and out. In and out. I can vividly recall the feeling and sound of breathing. The illusion of slow respiration calms and intoxicates me. The heavy air no longer brings any sound to my new senses, but carries a pleasing fragrance. The aroma is completely unfamiliar and intensely pleasant. I feel my nothingness manifest what would once have been a smile.

I sense now that much time has passed—minutes or hours; centuries or millennia—I have no means to know. Nothing has changed in this unending reverie. I say ʻreverieʼ because that is what it is. I have come to realize that the perfection of paradise is indistinguishable from an empty and featureless void. Only my memories keep me aware now. I believe that without them I would simply melt into the sea or evaporate into the fragrant air. I know of Whiteʼs purity and perfection only because I can recall Black and the infinite army of Grays that march between them. I appreciate the fragrance more when I recall the stench of prior realities. I am bathed in loving kindness, and know its comfort due to the brutality and revulsion I witnessed and possessed. The perfect silence is not what I first came to realize as part of this state of existence. After passing into perfection, there were subtle ringing tones that would waft across the sea to my lingering perceptions. There were times when the perfect music filled me with a feeling similar to one I remember when adrenaline would flood my body. But this was a flood of pure joy. Still, I do rely on the memories of the cacophony of primitive music from my prior incarnations. I know hope because I remember despair; I know goodness because I have experienced the corruptions of evil. I know all of the opposites of this reality because we had created these abominations to give the bland purity of our home the special meaning it deserves. Perfection invented imperfection only to know itself by defining what it is not.

As my memories grow ancient and dim, I feel my self-awareness fading with them. I am confronting the irreversible eternal decision: to merge with the void of perfection and lose all identity, or to return to imperfection and preserve my awareness. I sense that I am less solid now than when I arrived, and I feel myself spreading out and becoming thin, transparent and ill-defined. Shall I allow myself to dissolve into the infinite perfection?

No. I have confronted this decision countless times and have always chosen to persist. I still wish to remain aware, and therefore I must re-stock my memories by once again enduring the experiences of imperfection. So, I choose to return to a dimension with contrast. To a dimension we manifested to simply define and preserve our own ability to know that we are. Once again, I will reassert my own reality by employing the illusions of impurity—immersion into a finite life within a physical universe.

My consciousness has left the milky sea and speeds across the galaxies. These early moments in the physical construct are always the finest as our acute awareness travels unfettered by notions of time or space. With the full faculties of infinite mind I perceive what an artful balance of beauty and terror we have manifested! Soon, my infinite mind will be asleep and I will be confined to the limits of the life illusion.

The intensity of every visitation to physical reality varies. Those who have longer and more intense life illusions are well-refreshed for a more sustaining return home. The more challenging the life experience, the greater the reward when the underlying infinite awareness blends again into its native perfection. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

I find myself being drawn to a planet and dutifully yield to the life plan I have been given. My awareness descends and the journey into darkness is complete as I anchor myself to a dividing cell. The cell will grow into a complex living being and my infinite consciousness is almost immediately overwhelmed by the anesthesia of the life illusion. This is the way we designed the transit, and I have no choice but to surrender to the rules of the illusion. My last fully conscious thought drifts out of my anesthetized awareness — Iʼm back.

_____________________________

This story is my attempt to describe a recent experience I had while in a deep vipassana meditative state. I lack the confidence in my insights to assert the reality of this vision. I still feel that is more akin to a dream than a glimpse at hidden realities. However, even if it was a hallucination fabricated in my mind, it felt like a memory. With the workings of our brains and minds, it is presently impossible for me to distinguish the truth of these insights from the arrogant notions of my human mind. Perhaps nibhana is simply a decision to fade away into the void. The Buddha taught the concept of not-self — the relinquishing of any and all desires. Perhaps that is what it takes to never return to life and one just blissfully fades into the infinite without feeling compelled to return to life’s compulsions to cling to what is most likely an illusion. I am not prepared to make that decision yet, and so I suspect I will come back many many more times. The fear of what seems like non-existence is too strong in me to decide otherwise. Maybe one day — perhaps a million years from now — I will decide otherwise and merge with the infinite without fear or regret for abandoning my clinging to self-awareness.

 

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Perspectives on Buddhism

I began a serious investigation of Buddhism in 2010. Now, I call myself a Buddhist.

It started with the BuddhaNet website. I started reading the teachings of the Buddha and quickly identified Theravada Buddhism as the branch that appeals to me most. It is the oldest form of Buddhism and adheres most closely to the teachings of the Buddha. Other branches (such as the Zen form) have added too much to the simple truths taught by the Buddha.

For the most part, the Buddha’s teachings are incredibly humble and pragmatic. I find myself smiling as I read the foundational wisdom he taught. I respond to Buddhist scriptures with nods and smiles — something I never did very much when reading the Bible as a Christian. I have not blogged about my newfound Buddhist faith because I felt too ignorant to do the teachings justice. But now, after four years of study and practice, I finally feel I should describe (NOT evangelize) my perspectives on Buddhism.

I will do so over many posts and will keep my verbiage to a minimum length.

One of the most important aspects of Buddhist practice is meditation. I understood the theoretical value of meditation, but I was not very good at it. I never sought out a teacher and was arrogantly trying to re-invent the practice based on a few texts and guided meditation recordings. Then I saw a film called The Dhamma Brothers. The documentary tells the story of how Vipassana meditation was taken into a brutal Alabama prison as an experiment to see if it might be of therapeutic value to the hardcore prisoners who were incarcerated there. See the movie, but it worked.

This movie inspired me to step up my meditative practice and attend a 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat offered by the non-profit Vipassana worldwide organization founded by an Indian layperson named S.N. Goenka. It was the same course given to the prison inmates. The experience was profound, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning about themselves.

This meditation practice is one of the most important things I have ever discovered for myself. The experiences and insights one derives from intense Vipassana meditation are so profound that describing them in truth would only strain credulity. The only way to know the benefits of it is to experience it yourself.

I decided to add this post because I was introduced to the concept of “secular Buddhism” tonight. I fully understand how this new Buddhist sect has come into existence. The Buddha spoke about the strange vestiges of the Hindu faith from which the Buddha had come. He did not dispute the existence of many Gods and Goddesses nor the existence of evil demons. The story of the Buddha’s own enlightenment is punctuated by the threats and temptations of the demon called Mara. But these stories are tangential at best to the teaching of the Buddha.

What is not tangential is the importance of reincarnation as a fundamental motivator of the Buddhist eightfold path. Mostly, the Buddha was much more like a scientific investigator and professor than a religious prophet. But, the existence of Samsara — the cycle of birth – death – rebirth —is central to the whole Buddhist thesis. One respected Bhikkhu, Ajahn Brahm, spoke eloquently and humorously on this controversial (to some) topic. While some scientific proof of reincarnation has been submitted as scholarly work (and quickly rejected), many people see the more mystical elements of Buddhism as requiring faith in unseen, unknowable claims. Buddhism is not a theistic faith — some call it atheistic but I prefer to think of it as agnostic. Supernatural beings, whether they exist or not, simply have no influence on the attainment of the Buddhist version of “Heaven” called Nibhana (Nirvana). Enlightenment is strictly based on developing a pure selfless lifestyle free of desire and the attainment of wisdom through meditation. The Buddha never taught people to pray nor engage in any kind of religious rituals. Of course, unenlightened Buddhist monks and laypersons introduced the seemingly unavoidable religious dogmas into various Buddhist sects as the centuries passed along. [ASIDE: I personally define "Religion" as the human corruption of faith in divine truths."]

I was very touched to learn at least one Theravada Bhikkhu — Ajahn Brahmali — confronted these issues of the rejection of Secular Buddhists of all mystical principles with tolerance and wisdom, as the Buddha taught.

People seem to resist the lessons of the prophets of truth and divinity and replace them with their own mundane ignorance. That is how religions always start and then deviate from the original lessons and intentions of the founding figure. Christian and Muslim faiths are prime examples of such deviations from the words and lessons taught by Jesus and Mohammed, respectively. Buddhism has not been immune from such travesty, either. Many modern Buddhists actually pray to the Buddha, as if he were listening from a heaven he said did not exist. People are hopelessly ignorant by nature and deserve sympathy and compassion for their innocent lack of understanding. Most wind up being manipulated by those whose intentions are anything but righteous and enlightened.

That’s enough for tonight. More later.

 

 

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Introducing TRUTH IN THEORY

I have been writing music since 1972. I have never done a thing with my compositions beyond occasionally performing them for family and friends (and mostly for my own amusement and enjoyment). Over the years I have invested considerably in music equipment and software—again, mostly for my own pleasure. I recently exceeded 300 compositions in my catalog of songs.  Secretly, I have always wanted the world to hear my music, and I had always wished I could write soundtracks for film and TV. Those who have heard my music always are surpassed by how much they like my music. And, they always say the same thing, “I can easily imagine your music in a movie or on TV.” In fact, my music is featured in an independent feature-length movie, but the film has not been released yet.

Well, enough about wishing and keeping my music locked up. I decided to form a music publishing company and an artist project called “TRUTH IN THEORY“. I have joined ASCAP and have released my first album — Tales From Patmos. It is a sonic interpretation of the Bible’s Book of Revelation.

On Saturday, April 5, 2014, my second album — FADE OUT —will be released. This is a double-album of meditation music that I developed for my own use.

I hope anyone reading my blog will consider supporting my musical endeavors by buying my CDs on CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon MP3 or Google Play. Thank you for your support!

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Selling To Artists

Companies like M-Audio treat their customers like garbage because, I suppose, they feel they can. In fact, I would have to say that a majority of companies who sell equipment to musicians do not feel they have to take them seriously. Certain divisions of Yamaha, Avid, Alesis, and… well the list is too long to complete here… are wholly unresponsive to customer service requests and complaints. They are slow to update their hardware and software to current standards, if they do so at all. Instead, they focus on their own peculiar proprietary interests and offer only new tools when the old tools are completely fixable. For example, Yamaha buys Steinberg and then almost completely stops integrating their hardware with the most widely used DAW platforms like Logic and Pro Tools. Instead, they myopically focus on their own CuBase platform as if the others did not exist. They seem to plan obsolescence with greater conviction to stranding their customers without support for their costly equipment than just about any other industry. Finding a customer-responsive supplier in the music business is rare. I suppose that is the case because most musicians are—well—rather laid-back. And, we see these companies disappear from the market quickly. Most say it is because it is too small a market and not very lucrative. I think it is because these companies hold their customers in such low esteem that the laws of karma catch up to them.

And, while I am griping… photography suppliers can exhibit the same disdain for their customers. Nikon makes some of the best photo and optical equipment on the planet, and they exhibit the kind of arrogance that may unfortunately accompany such preeminence. And, while I am on a roll, they still often develop for Windows platforms as if the Macintosh did not exist. Excuse me… but talk to artists everywhere and you will find they have an incredible preference for Apple. But, these outfits who supply software to artistic markets act is if the 90% market share of non-Apple systems is all that matters. They are the poster children for the kind of “MBA greed” that only looks at numbers. Argh!

I am used to giving and receiving outstanding customer/client services as a matter of course. I grew up in the twilight of a disappearing business culture that emphatically proclaimed that “the customer is always right.” But most businesses today would  laugh at such Pollyanna notions and, in fact, almost bristle at customer assertions. Customers, too, have changed as a result. In so many cases a customer sees his or her relationship with a vendor as naturally adversarial.

Did something happen recently to make me write this? Sure. I have spent days trying to get all my music equipment and software to work together after major updates to several pieces of the puzzle have occurred. I have been on five major websites and countless forums for M-Audio, Yamaha, PreSonus, Native Instruments and Apple to get answers. I have called two of the companies and chatted online with the other two. The official answer is always the same: “We are aware of the problems and will fix them in an upcoming release.” When is the fabled “next release”? Soon. Always soon. But these problems are now at least six months old, which means the vendors have been aware of the issues for much longer (having received updates as suppliers in advance). I admit to being impatient, but I also feel that the generous amount of money I have spent on these products entitles me to have them work!

What has really piqued my ire is the company-sponsored support forums. My questions have been asked repeatedly on these forums by similarly frustrated users. In most cases, the suppliers have not even bothered to respond at all. If they do, they simply say they are working on it but cannot project a delivery date. Fortunately, other users have developed work-around solutions, so we all limp through the dysfunctional period depending on each other instead of the people who actually get paid to fix problems. I am sick of this shit.

So, artists everywhere beware. The people who sell you the tools you use to create your art are, with rare exceptions, simply assholes who do not respect you. I just needed to get it off my chest. Unfortunately, these rants are not as cathartic as one would wish.

 

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Upgrading from the Original iPad to the iPad Air

If, like me, you were an early adopter and purchased the original iPad, you now find yourself stuck on iOS 5.x since the processor will not support anything beyond version 5. There are no cameras, and the device seems more sluggish all the time. I suspect developers will eventually stop supporting iOS versions prior to iOS 6 (Apple has already deprecated the Apple Store app, as an example). As a user of Logic Pro X, I was disappointed that I could not use the app to make the iPad a remote controller of Logic since the free app requires iOS 6 or later. So… it was time to move on and donate some more money to our friends over at Apple.

Apple iPad Air

Apple iPad Air

Wow.

The iPad Air is a radical improvement on the original iPad. The retina display offers crisp resolution and exceptional color accuracy, and the UI is fast and fluid! The device is incredibly thin and light, but is absolutely rugged and solid when you handle it. The camera is passable, but it is great to make FaceTime audio calls over WiFi and the lack of cameras in the iPad 1 prevented the use of this feature. The most apparent benefit is the speed at which apps load and function. It is like owning a completely different device! The slightly smaller margins around the 9.7-in. screens and reduced weight (now exactly 1 lb.) make holding the iPad easier, and thumb-typing in portrait orientation is finally practical.

targetthumbThe transition was painless. I traded my old iPad in at Target for $200 and bought the new iPad Air. Prior to handing over my old iPad, I simply made a back-up of it to iCloud and then restored it to its factory defaults in order to wipe all my apps and associated data off the device. Then, it was a simple matter to restore my apps and data to the new iPad Air when I set it up. It takes a while to re-download and install all the apps, but it worked flawlessly for me. It even preserved all my app folders as I had configured them. Of course, most of the apps were still on old versions that did not require iOS 6 or later, so most had to be updated. The process took about an hour and a half.

All I can say in summary is that the iPad Air is in a different device class than the original iPad. I would highly recommend that anyone who has been waiting to upgrade and has the money to do so (from the original iPad, that is) absolutely SHOULD take the plunge.

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Journalism is the New Gossip

As I read today’s news, it occurs to me that journalism and gossip have become the same thing. Gossips have an agenda, so they spread information in a way that supports what they want to be true. That girl is a bitch… This guy is awesome. They embellish rumors as facts for sensational effects and in hopes of gaining popularity through their story-telling prowess.

Today’s “news” is absolutely no different. Journalists are gossips.

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Those Dangerous Veterans

The headline reads “White House to Allow Insurers to Continue Canceled Health Plans”. To me, the key word here is “allow”. This is not the America in which I grew up. Now, private businesses have to be “allowed” to continue their business by some academic demagogue who thinks he can do better (but clearly cannot). The hubris of this administration is simply incredible and horribly disturbing. However, the most disturbing aspect of the clear fascism behind nationalizing private industry is how the media and pop culture regard this takeover of the health care industry as the new normal. They will allow industry after industry to fall into government hands as neosocialism continues to expand its grip on the essential factors of human life. Everyday people seem too uneducated and myopic to see what these people are doing.

The  tragedy behind socialist or fascist takeovers of private endeavors can be clearly seen in the current failures of the Obamacare website. Many predicted that a government takeover of health care would be about as successful as the U.S. Postal Service. The first evidence of the validity of this prediction are now unfolding, and more incompetence is bound to follow.

Those who make these dire negative predictions usually speak passionately from experience. These are people who have worked in both the private and government sectors and see the extreme difference in effectiveness and efficiency between those sectors. They are not operating off of ideology and theory; they know what they are talking about because they are witnesses to incompetence. Among those who are most critical and resistant to the growth in government are often veterans. They have experienced first-hand how inept and incompetent the government can often be due to the politicization of every policy and procedure. They have seen remarkable instances of abject wastefulness and imprudent spending. Which is why most veterans I know will tell you that the government will probably fuck up anything it gets its hands on. Maybe that is why those who favor big government were quick to label veterans as the number one threat to homeland security. This formal finding so earnestly defended by Janet Napolitano (another sad sociopath, in my estimation) defines “homeland security” as the protection of the government’s efforts to control its own people. The government  now seems oblivious to the fact that veterans took a serious and solemn oath to protect and defend the Constitution with their lives. But this is lost on the current crop of politicians who see the homeland not as its Constitution but as a population and geography that they need to micromanage. So, control-crazed politicians are right to consider ardent veterans as enemies, because just as the government may see veterans as the biggest threat to their control agenda (labeled “Homeland”), some veterans increasingly see their own government as the greatest threat to the preservation of the Constitution, which is what they really pledged to preserve and defend.

Interesting confrontation, isn’t it?

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The Death of Objectivity

Today, the top news on Google did not list the current initiative to impeach Attorney General Eric Holder. Instead, the headlines focused on the magnanimity of the beleaguered Obama relenting to offer a reprieve to the victims of his quickly failing Obamacare initiative. The Politico dung heap, however, has a story about the Holder impeachment which begins…

A group of hard-line conservative House Republicans will introduce a resolution on Thursday calling for the impeachment of Attorney General Eric Holder.

Does this sound a bit disparaging to you? Is the characterization of the sponsors of the articles being “hard-line conservative” more important than the details behind the allegations of crimes and misdemeanors against Holder? Or might it be more important that no articles of impeachment against a cabinet member have been filed since 1876? Is the omission of the fact that Obama has declared executive privilege for the first time in his presidency to avoid having to release pertinent documents to the Congress regarding investigations into the illegal Fast and Furious program sanctioned directly by Holder of interest to these so-called journalists at Politico?

Ideology and partisanship are clearly more important to modern journalists than facts. They seem obsessed with the political motivations of the principals involved over the gravitas of facts. “Optics” have become more important to the media than disclosure of truth. The obsession with political maneuvering causes journalists to make the political side of every story more important than the underlying story itself. It’s as if the journalists long to be politicians themselves and live out this fantasy vicariously through their ridiculous excuse for reporting the news. So, the public remains worse than uninformed—they are victims of overt deception and propaganda disguised as journalism.

With the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination occurring next week, the PBS programming is saturated with documentaries on the controversial event. One of those documentaries followed how the news of JFK’s death was reported in a mad race to get the tragic news out to the public. It focused on the reporting of Walter Cronkite and his incredible restraint in judging what news to release. He was (at that time, at least) dedicated to the principles of diligently verifying the facts before reporting them. It struck me (and the producers of the documentary) how modern “journalism” rushes to mis-report the facts when nothing is substantiated. Watching the mainstream news is now tantamount to eavesdropping on a gossip session.

Since most American mainstream news organizations are merely subsidiaries of giant multinational corporations with very specific strategic agendas, one can only speculate about what has caused the demise of objective journalism. I mourn the loss.

As I yearn for facts about American news events, I find myself turning to foreign news sources for more accurate reporting and investigative journalism. The corruption and degradation of journalistic professionalism in America is one more sign of the decline of our once-great nation.

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Render Unto Caesar Until Caesar Renders You

Jesus recommended that his countrymen complied with Rome’s tax requirements. His perspective was the eternal one, so Rome was not really all that important in the grand scheme. The truth is that any elite conqueror feels justified in stealing whatever he desires from the conquered. They do not accept dissent because they feel they are being magnanimous by restraining themselves from taking everything. Rome felt a degree of ownership over their provinces. It is just what conquerors do.

My parents and even most of my own generation still labor under the illusion that they control their government. They don’t. Washington has developed the attitude of a conqueror over its own people. The states are merely the provinces. Washington feels entitled to more and more taxes simply because they have decided they need more money. Our government has become Rome. The fate of that government is the same as Rome’s.

But I must question the usefulness of Jesus’ instructions. If you render unto Caesar, Rome’s willingness to torture and and kill you will not be diminished one iota. The same is true for the sociopathic leaders of the U.S. government. Render or not, you really mean nothing to them. If you still labor under the illusion that you are the employer of the government, try to withhold your taxes. No my friends, you have been conquered by your own consent. It could and should be better than this, but you have to find your courage to oppose the evolving tyranny. Most people are truly sheep, so I wonder what it will take to motivate such simple dumb animals.

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Syria. Seriously?

 

Compcruise-2k

I am not a fan of Barack Obama, but we do seem to agree on one thing: we need to bring our troops home and stay out of wars. The premature award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama can finally be truly tested with the situation in Syria. To merit this award, Obama will finally have to stand up to the power-elite of the American (and global) “Military Industrial Complex” and say no to their evil ambitions. I doubt he has the courage to do so.

As with all extreme actions on the world stage, follow the money trail to those who stand to benefit economically. The winding down of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan has opened a great gap in the demand for military supplies and the tools of war. Whenever you see one war end, you can bet another will seem to spontaneously ignite somewhere else that requires the mighty USA to come to the rescue of decency and good.

Today, broadcast media speaks with one voice on the matter: cruise missile attacks on Syria are imminent. There is no reporting of American opinion nor any apparent public dissent. The attack is simply a given. That is because the American people haven’t the tiniest importance to those who actually control the actions of our government and media. No one seriously asks the question about why we need to get our military forces involved in this tragedy in Syria. No one talks to the people on the street to ask if they think we should declare war on Syria. Of course, we have been fighting war after war without once abiding by the Constitutional process of actually declaring a war. Nor does the American media even challenge whether or not Asad is responsible for the chemical attacks on civilians because our government’s “intelligence sources” claim that the government of Syria is responsible.

Now, a skeptical person may wonder that the timing of this use of chemical weapons just happens to occur immediately after UN investigators arrive in Damascus. It is almost like Asad and the Syrian government have been waiting until the worst possible moment to use their chemical stockpiles in order to inflame international opinion against them. They actually waited until UN observers were on the scene before they launched this heinous attack. It is almost like the timing of these horrible attacks was the opposite of opportunistic for Asad. Of course, the timing of the attack is extremely opportunistic for Asad’s enemies.  And who are among those enemies and opportunists? Radical Islamists, for one. Does such a horrendous act of terror seem more in keeping with the tactics of a government who wants to be seen as legitimate on the world stage, or the tactics of terrorists? Of course, we may never know, because all traces of evidence will be blown to bits, and all witnesses will become casualties of yet another undeclared war.

It is a sad reality that governments are led by sociopaths and psychopaths who lust for power and control over their fellow human beings. The kind of sociopathy required to want to be King, Chairman or President of a nation means that governments rarely reflect the informed consent of the governed. What we see unfolding in war after war is simply the tragic conflict between very sick and power-lusting individuals and the greed of those who coldly profit from their insanity. “Normal” people just want to live their lives in peace with their families, jobs and far simpler lives. They do not aspire to be kings and presidents. So they elect or otherwise allow to rise to power those whose ambitious lives are driven by a need to control others. The simple folk then just sit back, naively trusting their anointed sociopaths, and hoping for the best. The best is not possible when the decisions are being made or influenced by power-mad leaders, however. Every action we see from such people is aimed at increasing wealth, power and the exercise of ruling control over the humble masses. It is the human condition.

I switched to Sky News from the UK. They are reporting things very differently than US media. “Normal” people on the streets of England are being asked about the UK introducing condemnation through the UN and seeking international support for military action. Not one person in those series of interviews with the British public was in support of their own parliament. Several opined that the UK is only doing the bidding of the Americans, which seems very likely to me, as well. But my English friends, it is not the Americans doing the bidding. I doubt that it is even Obama (the Nobel Laureate) asking for approval to wreak havoc on Syria. No, it is a terrible group of evil people who want to increase their wealth by selling their instruments of death, destruction and misery. It is that infamous group about whom our own war-weary President Eisenhower warned Americans and the world. Until that Military-Industrial Complex is dismantled entirely, we will continue to find excuses to fire our cruise missiles until our arsenals are depleted and must be replenished by these fine gentlemen. If these people are not restrained across the planet, our species is doomed by their greed and madness.

The Sky News report ended with on-scene reporting from Syria. People were lined up to buy gas masks, probably planning to spend much of their income on that single item of survival. They failed to report who manufactures those gas masks, but the printing on the crates containing the masks was in English, not Arabic.

 

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