Let’s talk about ISIS. Yes, it’s a military organization, amongst other things, but far more than that, it’s an idea, a radical Islamic idea. It’s a terrible idea, based on medieval attitudes, but it’s still an idea.
Hands up who thinks an idea can be defeated with military force?
So why is military force being used? Because people — men especially — are easily provoked into violent revenge, and because vast profits are to be made from waging war.
But it’s all pointless, because it’s an idea that we’re fighting. And the weapons we must use are other ideas.
Posted in Peace
Tagged with: ISIS
I have railed for months about the pro-Clinton bias in the NYTimes. Today’s headline reads Three Crucial States Show Tight Races Between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton
PARA 2: “The Quinnipiac University surveys, released on Tuesday, show Mrs. Clinton leading Mr. Trump by one percentage point in Pennsylvania and Florida and trailing him by four points in Ohio.”
Buried further down in PARA 5: “The polls do offer some support for Mr. Sanders’s argument to stay in the race, as he outperforms Mrs. Clinton in head-to-head matchups against Mr. Trump in the three states. The senator from Vermont tops Mr. Trump by two points in Florida and Ohio and by six points in Pennsylvania.”
Putting this in tabular form:
A better headline would be: Sanders Outperforms Clinton in Head-to-Head Matchups Against Trump in Three Crucial States
- Paris/San Bernadino happened because of ISIS.
- ISIS arose because Iraq was invaded.
- Iraq was invaded because of 9/11.
- 9/11 happened because of U.S. missile strikes on Bin Laden’s HQ, see White House daily brief, Wikipedia.
- The missile strikes happened because two embassies in Africa were bombed.
- See the above link for why the embassies were bombed.
You may quibble about this causality and ascribe extra causes; nevertheless, the point is that each reaction continues the chain. To break the chain, stop the reactions.
If you are Christian, consider these precepts:
- Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD. (Romans 12:19)
- But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. (Matthew 5:39)
Posted in Peace
Tagged with: War
When I make a narration mistake, I make a double-click with my mouth and repeat the phrase. This shows as a distinctive pair of spikes in the audio, and it is easy to cut out the erroneous take.
From a NYT article about a new anti-gay policy of the Mormon Church:
It appears that the new rules were not supposed to be made public. They were issued as changes to a confidential handbook, and sent out by email a week ago to leaders of the church’s 30,000 congregations around the world.
What kind of church has a confidential handbook?
Posted in Religion
Tagged with: Gay
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT
I came to this conclusion a week ago. Reasons:
- His policies are popular
- He is consistent in his positions, and people respond to such authenticity
- His funding is all grass-roots
- I keep reading posts from Republicans who support him
- The Republicans are unlikely to select an appealing nominee
No one could see the color blue until modern times. I’ve always suspected that our language affects how we see the world, and this is a great example.
Mother Jones has a really interesting article on how our beliefs block new information:
- Pre-existing beliefs, far more than new facts, skew our thoughts.
- Feelings arise before conscious thoughts and color them.
- Confirmation bias gives more weight to facts that match our existing beliefs.
- Beliefs are adjusted to match the audience.
David Brooks is the token conservative on the New York Times OpEd page. He replaced the insufferable William Safire, but has still been reliably conservative.
But something has happened as of late; he has been writing columns displaying empathy, such as one eschewing vengeance in response to ISIS. The one that really amazed me was yesterday’s essay on PTSD. Buried inside that was this:
war — no matter how justified or unjustified, noble or ignoble — is always a crime.
Amazing because for the longest time he was a noted war hawk.