Thursday, September 30, 2004

A Chilling Story

I thought this was an interesting story... probably just a military exercise, but scary none the less.

Laser injures Delta pilot's eye
By Bill Gertz

A pilot flying a Delta Air Lines jet was injured by a laser that illuminated the cockpit of the aircraft as it approached Salt Lake City International Airport last week, U.S. officials said.
The plane's two pilots reported that the Boeing 737 had been five miles from the airport when they saw a laser beam inside the cockpit, said officials familiar with government reports of the Sept. 22 incident. The flight, which originated in Dallas, landed without further incident at about 9:30 p.m. local time.

read the whole article

Saturday, September 11, 2004

September 11, 2004

I remember that morning, as all Americans do. I remember watching the towers which so powerfully defined New York fall into an unimaginable cloud of dust. I felt like I could hear the cries of all those who died that day. I knew my Dad and my sister were somewhere in the city, and I called into work to tell my boss that I wasn't going anywhere until I knew they were okay. As I watched everything unfold, in the back of my mind, I knew why it was all happening...

In the shock wave of 9/11, Americans united, but this union was short lived. Thoughts of love and compassion turned to revenge. Blame was assigned, a rift divided our global family, and our President proclaimed that the perpetrators of this crime "hated freedom." Instead of questioning the true reasons for the attack of 9/11, Americans amplified their presence around the world, and billigerently set out to make things right...

We've failed to learn our lessons. We've only perpetuated the conditions that brought violence to American soil. Christ teaches us to love our enemies, to turn the other cheek. Many Christians today think this is "weak" and that "the terrorists" will destroy us all if we follow the example of Christ. To them I say THINK BIGGER. It's easy to combat violence with violence. It's easy to say "they are evil, they deserve to die." The lessons of human history teach us that we often jump to conclusions without knowing the whole truth. The lessons of history teach us that violence is the only outcome of unresolved social conflict. Violence is cyclical; it feeds from itself, and it is an addictive disorder that our "civilization" can't seem break. Christ saw this. His advise? Read the sermon on the mount... I think you'll find it in Luke.

Shortly, I will explain "the case for oil." Our "war on terrorism" is two faced. On one hand, it represents a 21st century clash of cultural traditions amplified by post modern ambiguities and cultural deconstruction. On the other hand, it represents humanity's oldest nemisis... war as a by product of cultural relativism.

In one corner are the Islamic fundamentalists and their radical militant ideologies. They fight to defend their way of life from western secularism and economic imperialism. In the other corner, WE stand ready to fight them... to defend what? Our home? Why did "they" attack us first? Is it because we did something to THEM first? What could that be?

It has been the objective of American foreign policy for decades to control the politics of the middle east that we might stabilize the region for the sake of economic prosperity... gotta have that oil! This is why we supported Saddam when he gassed the Kurds and the Iranian soldiers. This is why our CIA trained Usama Bin Ladin and his Mujahaddin (pre Al Qeada) to defend Afghanistan from the Soviets. This is why we support the Saudi royal family as they perpetuate their own humanitarian crimes. This is why we so faithfully support Israel as it defiantly occupies U.N. mandated Palestinian soil. On top of that, Israel posses nuclear weapons, which is also in violation of U.N. resolution, but we don't talk about that... all of this so that we could drive our big cars and inflate our economy.

9/11 was an act of Karma. We've been dishing it out for a long time; it was inevitable that our policies would come back and bite us. Don't get me wrong, I'm a pacifist and I believe violence of any sort is wrong. To this day, my heart goes out to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11. I wish I could tell them that their loss wasn't in vain... but we haven't learned our lessons...

I say this as an American and a humble Christian.

It's not too late to change our ways... the future of human civilization depends on this... violence is the way of all animals. This doesn't make us human; it only proves the truth of our evolutionary heritage. We need to use our God given brains for once; violence is ONLY the tool of the weak.

If only we could follow the example of Christ...

Thursday, September 09, 2004


I've had blog burn out for a few weeks now. Mostly, I attribute it to school homework... jeez, what a lousy sacrifice. Much of my problem with blogging is not a symptom of having nothing to say. On the contrary, I have so much that I want to say that I can't figure out how to channel it. Where to begin?

I've been in a deep introspective mood lately. Of course, in reality, I'm always in a mood like this, but lately, I've been thinking a lot about identity, and this always hits close to home. Within the last year I've gotten married, moved to Austin, and started school. My parents have opened a donut shot after decades of church ministry, my little sister (an RN) is getting married, and my middle sister (who has a MSW) is on a similar path. My Grandfather is dating again (more power to him...). My wife is teaching in a much larger school, and our world keeps getting bigger and bigger. Change is everpresent, and over the years I've noticed how my own identity has evolved.

One of the catalysts in the evolution of my identity was a community of conversationally inclined people collectively called Coffee and Culture... (sorry about the "c's"...) One of the first discussion meetings I remember going to focused on the idea of an "authetic self." The question was posed, "what is the authetic self," and I don't think we ever arrived at a conclusion that night (which, by the way, wasn't a rare phenomenon). That question has stayed with me for a while now.

An interesting thought about identity is the way humans project their own identity on other people/ objects/ events. We have families, communities, churches, denominations, nations, politics, economies, family pets, family heirlooms, and homes. As these things change, so do we.

Does our "war on terror" have anything to do with this reality? I think it does... I'll keep it at that.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Cheney's a TERRORIST?

Published on Tuesday, September 7, 2004 by the Associated Press

Cheney: Kerry Victory Will Lead to Another Terrorist Attack on US

by Amy Lorentzen

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday warned Americans about voting for Democratic Sen. John Kerry, saying that if the nation makes the wrong choice on Election Day it faces the threat of another terrorist attack.

Read the Associated Press article

Seriously, it disgusts me the way this administration politicises war. I keep it at that for now...