Posts for September, 2012
The upcoming Democratic convention reminds of the 2008 Democratic National convention. I remember listening to Barack Obama give his acceptance speech and make lofty claims.
“The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth. This was the moment—this was the time—when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves and our highest ideals. Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.”
My first thought was that there is something wrong emotionally with this guy. He came into this convention labeled as the black Messiah. The media portrayed him as the savior of mankind. Instead of downplaying the rhetoric, he embraced it and even took it a step further. I don’t know anyone arrogant enough to believe that they could stop the rise of oceans and heal the planet. An even more outlandish claim was that he would face the challenges with profound humility.
My Democratic friends told me that this messiah complex shouldn’t be taken seriously; “it’s just an act; it is harmless fun with Barack playing to the crowd.” I disagreed. I believe that Obama took his Messiah status seriously.
Since Obama came onto the scene, I have become increasingly disturbed by his enormous self-ego/image and his coolness to disturbing events and his lack of sympathy or empathy to tragic situations. While addressing the Aurora Colorado shooting, he was completely disassociated from any compassion and read his teleprompter as if laying out a new economic policy. His showing at the Colorado shooting was abysmal and prevented Axelrod from allowing him to make appearances at the Oak Creek shooting.
His mannerism and attitudes are very reminiscent of people with traumatic and abusive childhoods. Exposure to extreme abuse, neglect or violence as a child will retard or deaden a person’s emotional development. They become aloof and disconnected from their own feelings and emotions. An emotional disconnect is a common coping mechanism for children in abusive environments.
Another common trait of abused children is self-hate. The self-hate is masked and compensated for with attempts at self-glorification. People who are inwardly fragile will carry a tough exterior to compensate for their frailties. Example: I ran across a tough acting boy with a ‘No Fear’ T-shirt. My first thought was that this boy was extremely fearful but needed to convince himself and others around him that he wasn’t fearful. This type of over-compensation for inner deficiencies is the rule, not the exception.
Children from such environments require years of counseling and therapy to get them in touch with their emotions and feelings. We have no record of such counseling for President Obama.
In October 2008, Sir Nigel Sheinwald, the British ambassador to the US, was disturbed with the aloof nature that came across in a meeting with Obama and wrote this article. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/3125120/Exclusive-Barack-Obama-is-aloof-says-British-ambassador-to-US.html
In January 2009, Barack Obama’s half brother Mark Ndeandjo gave an interview to the AP about growing up with Barack Obama Sr. The interview revolved around the abusive nature of Barack Obama Sr. "My father beat my mother and my father beat me, and you don't do that," said Ndesandjo, whose mother, Ruth Nidesand, was Barack Obama Sr.'s third wife. "It's something which I think affected me for a long time, and it's something that I've just recently come to terms with."
"I remember situations when I was growing up, and there would be a light coming from our living room, and I could hear thuds," he said in the interview, tears welling in his eyes. "I could hear thuds and screams, and my father's voice and my mother shouting. I remember one night when she ran out into the street and she didn't know where to go."
After struggling with the affects of the abuse for many years Mark wrote a book, "Nairobi to Shenzhen" detailing the abuse and his own journey to wholeness. Neither of Barack’s autobiographies provides detail about a struggle for wholeness.
I had read several articles about Obama’s lack of emotional development. I didn’t put much stock into any of them. But after reading the enclosed article by Robin of Berkeley, parts of it had resonated with my own thoughts and feelings.
What’s Wrong with Obama?
By Robin of Berkeley
So what is the matter with Obama? Conservatives have been asking this question for some time. I’ve written a number of articles trying to solve the mystery.
Even some liberals are starting to wonder. James Carville railed about Obama’s blasé attitude after several catastrophic events, including the Ft Hood massacre, Colorado shooting and the oil spill. The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd revamped Obama’s “Yes We Can” motto into “Will We Ever?”
The liberal women of the TV show “The View” have expressed sympathy for Michelle Obama’s living with a man so out of touch. Peggy Noonan, hardly a vehement Obama foe, recently pronounced him disconnected.
Obama’s odd mannerisms intrigue a psychotherapist like me. He also presents a serious diagnostic challenge.
For one, Obama’s teleprompter and the men behind the Blackberry keep him well-scripted. We know so little about the facts of his life.
But it’s more than just a lack of information. Obama himself is a strange bird. He doesn’t fit easily into any diagnostic category.
Many people attribute Obama’s oddness to his narcissism. True, Obama has a gargantuan ego, and he is notoriously thin-skinned.
Yet a personality disorder like narcissism does not explain Obama’s strangeness: his giggling while being asked about the economy; his continuing a shout-out rather than announcing the Ft. Hood shootings; or his vacations, golfing, partying and fundraising during the calamitous oil spill.
Take also Obama’s declaring on the “Today Show” that he wants to know whose ass to kick. Consummate narcissists would never stoop to this vulgar display of adolescent machismo.
Obama is flat when passion is needed; he’s aggressive when savvy is required. What’s most worrisome is that Obama doesn’t even realize that his behavior is inappropriate.
So if it’s not just simple narcissism, what is wrong with Obama? Since I’ve never evaluated him, I can’t say for sure. But I can hazard some educated guesses.
If I saw a client as disconnected as him, the first thing I would wonder: Is something wrong with his brain? And I’d consider the following theoretical diagnostic possibilities.
- Physical problems: There are a multitude of physiological conditions that can cause people to act strangely. For instance: head injuries, endocrine disturbances, epilepsy, and toxic chemical exposure.
It makes me wonder: Did Obama ever have a head injury? His stepfather in Indonesia was purportedly an alcoholic abuser. Was Obama subject to any physical abuse?
- Drugs and alcohol: Damage to the brain from drugs and alcohol can also cause significant cognitive impairments. Obama once said that there were 57 states — and didn’t correct himself. Memory problems can be caused by both illicit and prescription drug use.
Obama admits to a history of drug use in his youth. Did his usage cause some damage? Does Obama still use?
- Asperger’s Syndrome: Also known as high-functioning autism, Asperger’s causes deficits in social skills. A person with Asperger’s can’t read social cues. Consequently, he can be insensitive and hurtful without even knowing it.
Could Obama have Asperger’s? He might have some mild traits, but certainly not the full-blown disorder. In contrast to Obama, those with Asperger’s get fixated on some behavior, like programming computers. Obama lacks this kind of passion and zeal.
- Mental Illness: Obama’s family tree is replete with the unbalanced. His maternal great-grandmother committed suicide. His grandfather, Stanley Dunham, was particularly unhinged: He was expelled from high school for punching his principal; named his daughter Stanley because he wanted a boy; and exposed young Barry to not just drunken trash talk, but unrestricted visits with alleged pedophile Frank Marshall Davis. Barack Sr. was an abusive, alcoholic bigamist. Since mental illness runs in the family, does Obama have any signs? Yes and no. No, he is not a schizophrenic babbling about Martians. But there are red flags for some other conditions.
While Obama doesn’t appear to hallucinate, he seems to have delusions. His believing he has a Messiah-like special gift smacks of grandiose delusions. His externalizing all blame to conservatives, George W. Bush, or the “racist” bogeyman hints at persecutory delusions.
- Schizotypal disorder: Along with a delusional disorder, Obama may fit for a mild psychotic disorder called schizotypal disorder. It may explain some of Obama’s oddness.
People with schizotypal disorder hold bizarre beliefs, are suspicious and paranoid, and have inappropriate and constricted affect. They have few close friends and are socially awkward. A schizotypal is someone like your strange cousin Becky who is addicted to astrology, believes she is psychic, and is the oddball at social gatherings.
Schizotypal Disorder does ring some bells vis-à-vis Obama. One way the diagnosis doesn’t fit, however, is that schizotypals are generally harmless, odd ducks with a tremendous sensitive to the hurts of others. Not so with Obama.
- Trauma: My gut tells me that Obama was seriously traumatized in childhood. His mother disregarded his basic needs, dragged him all over the place, and ultimately abandoned him.
But I think there may be something even more insidious in his family background. While I can’t prove it, the degree of Obama’s disconnect reminds me of my sexually abused clients.
With serious sexual abuse, the brain chemistry may change. The child dissociates — that is, disconnects from his being — in order to cope. Many adult survivors still dissociate, from occasional trances to the most extreme cases of multiple personality disorder.
Apparently, young Barry was left in the care of Communist Frank Marshall Davis, who admitted to molesting a 13-year-old girl. As a teenager, Obama wrote a disturbing poem, “Pop,” that evoked images of sexual abuse — for instance, describing dual amber stains on both his and “Pop’s” shorts.
Would trauma explain Obama’s disconnect? In many ways, yes. A damaged and unattached child may develop a “false self.” To compensate for the enormous deficits in identity and attachment, the child invents his own personality. For Obama, it may have been as a special, gifted person.
Let’s return now to my original question: What is wrong with Obama? My guess is a great deal. The answer is complex and likely includes some combination of the above.
Along with the brain issues are personality disorders: narcissism, paranoia, passive-aggressiveness. There’s even the possibility of the most destructive character defect of all, an antisocial personality. Untreated abuse can foster antisocial traits, especially among boys.
If my assessment is accurate, what does this mean?
It means that liberals need to wake up and spit out the Kool-Aid. It also means that Obama must be carefully scripted. When off of the telepromter, some of his true personality and thoughts may come out. (See the "You didn't do that" speech in which Obama spoke without teleprompter.)
Because Obama will not change; he will not learn from his mistakes. He will not grow and mature from on-the-job experience. In fact, over time, Obama (child abuse/trauma victims) will likely become a more ferocious version of who he is today.
Why? Because this is a damaged person. Obama’s fate was sealed years ago growing up in his strange and poisonous family. Later on, his empty vessel was filled with the hateful bile of men like Rev. Wright, Frank Marshall Davis and Bill Ayers.
Obama will not evolve; he will not rise to the occasion; he will not become the man he was meant to be. This is for one reason and one reason alone: He is not capable of it.
This article is not intended to offer any definitive diagnoses, but for educational purposes only.
I can't help it, but I smell a rat.
In the Chicago Teacher's strike there are two parties involved. In one side of the strike is the city and taxpayers with Mayor Emanuel taking on the voice of the city and on the other side is the Teacher's Union with Karen Lewis as president.
Rahm Emanuel was Obama's chief of staff and currently is a major fund raiser for Obama. Karen Lewis is also attached to Obama, being a board member of the Illinois chapter of 'Organizing for America'. Karen Lewis was also a keynote speaker at the Rethinking Schools – Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference which convened in Seattle last month at the request of Mike Klonsky, a former associate of Obama at the University of Illinois. In the early 1990's, Klonsky, Obama and Lewis teamed up on the so-called “small schools movement” to address issues of “inequity, war, and violence.”
Karen Lewis also made headlines by mocking Obama's secretary of education, Arne Duncan (because he touted his private education in Chicago).
It's obvious that Obama is more than just aware of both parties from his home town.
The issue; the teachers union is demanding a 16% pay increase and no accountability. The board/city is offering a 14% pay increase (talks of increasing to 16%) along with a teacher evaluation system.
The School board CEO Jean-Claude Brizard said that the union was intent on striking prior to an offer being made, "They were intent on striking from the get-go."
Most rational thinking people with a job would jump at the chance of a 14% pay increase, regardless of evaluation. What then is the issue? The Chicago Teacher's Union has not gone on strike in dozens of years, but they are going on strike over this?
Normally, the Democratic Party would have taken extensive action to prevent this type of strike just weeks before the National election to avoid unions (arm of the Democratic Party) from looking this bad. This strike sets up the contrast between Obama and Governor Walker, who made a strong move against the Teacher Union.
I know that this is highly speculative, but since Obama essentially controls both ends of this bargaining table, could this be staged? Is this set up so that Obama can ride in on a white horse to resolve the stalemate to look presidential?
The other option is that this conflict just raveled out of control. But I doubt it; in an election year the political parties don't leave things to chance.
When nothing else makes sense, speculation is the only option. We also know that it is impossible to be sufficiently cynical of government.
The F-35 fighter was designed to be the next generation of single engine fighters with new features such as stealth technology, maneuverability at a 50 degree angle of attack and helmet mounted displays. It is intended to replace the aging fleet of F-16s, F/A-18s and AV-8s.
There will be three variants of the F-35:
- F-35A, conventional take off and landing (CTOL) variant.
- F-35B, short-take off and vertical-landing (STOVL) variant.
- F-35C, carrier-based CATOBAR (CV) variant.
The contract was awarded to Lockheed Martin in November 1996 over the Boeing X-32 proposal.
The US opened the development costs and design work to other countries to reduce the burden on the US. The U.K., Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Italy, Israel, Singapore, Australia, Canada and Turkey are involved in the F-35 program. “For Europe’s defense aerospace manufacturers, the F-35 represents both a threat and an opportunity,” an IISS report said. “The aircraft’s penetration of the European market undermines the continent’s requirement for indigenous combat aircraft development. But many European companies are suppliers to the F-35 program, so it provides them with the potential security of large-scale production runs.”
In 2006, the first 6 F-35 prototypes were produced and the testing was started. Then the problems began to surface.
Program costs: The program costs exceed $323 billion; making it the most expensive defense project in US history. In 2010, Pentagon officials admitted that the F-35 program has exceeded its original cost estimates by more than 50 percent.
Airplane costs: The cost per aircraft is expected to be $207 million each for the 32 fighters delivered in 2012. This compares to $14 million per F-16.
Stealth target: The stealth signature has been revised. The initial design specifications called for a radar signature equivalent to a golf ball. However, the measured radar signature is equivalent to a beach ball.
Helmet mounted display: The display is not operational yet. The entire electronics and software portion of the program is behind schedule. In 2011, it was revealed that only 50% of the eight million lines of code had actually been written and that it would take another six years and 110 additional software engineers in order to complete the software.
Power generator: The PTU is severely undersized. The Sundstrand power generator only produces about 65% of needed power. To accommodate the required increase, it will also be necessary to redesign the gearbox for the standard Pratt & Whitney F135 engine, which will be fitted into the conventional F-35A version as well as the naval F-35C.
Airframe: The aluminum bulkhead cracked during ground testing.
In November 2011, a Pentagon study team identified the following 13 areas of concern that remained to be addressed in the F-35:
- The helmet-mounted display system does not work properly.
- The fuel dump subsystem poses a fire hazard.
- The Integrated Power Package is unreliable and difficult to service.
- The F-35C's arresting hook does not work.
- Classified "survivability issues", which have been speculated to be about stealth.
- The wing buffet is worse than previously reported.
- The airframe is unlikely to last through the required lifespan.
- The flight test program has yet to explore the most challenging areas.
- The software development is behind schedule.
- The aircraft is in danger of going overweight or, for the F-35B, not properly balanced for VTOL operations.
- There are multiple thermal management problems. The air conditioner fails to keep the pilot and controls cool enough, the roll posts on the F-35B overheat, and using the afterburner damages the aircraft.
- The automated logistics information system is partially developed.
- The lightning protection on the F-35 is uncertified, with areas of concern.
The root issue to these problems are attributed to the fact that Lockheed Martin based all of the designs on computer models. In 2012, Schwartz decried the "foolishness" of reliance on computer models to settle the final design of the aircraft before flight testing found the issues that needed redesign. The manufacturer is now in production as well as finding design fixes. The resulting concurrency in production and design will cost an additional $2 billion. As a fighter rolls off of the assembly line it will need to be dismantled and re-assembled with the ‘fixes’.
Delays in the F-35 program may lead to a "fighter gap" where America and other countries will lack sufficient jet fighters to cover their requirements. Israel may seek to buy second-hand F-15s to cover its gap, while Australia may also seek to buy more Super Hornets from the US Navy to cover their own capability gap in the face of F-35 delays.
This week the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) expressed concern over the delays. The European defense forces are using aged and inferior fighters in its arsenal. They are equipped with the Swedish Grippen, the Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Rafale. With the troubled European economy no money has been put into new development of aircraft. They have become dependent on the US aircraft. They are also concerned over the direction of the US fighter designs. The US fighters are increasingly expensive and complex.
The Europeans have been facing a dilemma for some time with diminishing defense budgets, forcing them to pony up to joint development programs such as the F-35. The danger is that the European defense aerospace industry eventually could lose its own technological design and development capabilities.
“Whether consciously or not, this would in effect mean accepting Europe’s dependence on the United States to meet any future manned combat aircraft needs,” IISS said. Further, the instability in the Middle East has heightened Europe’s need for the F-35. Requests have been made for the F-35, even without the fixes. This will enable the pilots to get some training prior to the final F-35s being received.
The second issue with the F-35 program is that this airplane was designed to be the jack of all trades; meet the STOVL requirements for the marines, carrier landing for the navy and ALIS (Autonomic Logistics) for the air force. Unfortunately, one size fits all doesn’t work well in fighter aircraft. For example, when reinforcing the frame for the stress of aircraft landing, the vehicle becomes too heavy for STOVL requirements.
If the US were to halt the F-35, the key question would be ‘OK, so now what do we build?’ If the answer were ‘nothing but unmanned aerial vehicles’ the US would soon be out of the manned combat aircraft business, and that is not a position that would be politically (or industrially) acceptable.
The recent era of revolution and economic turmoil has given new life to the F-35; a program which would have been killed in a time of relative peace and good economic conditions. The F-35 is far closer to being in service than any other reasonable alternative out there. And there is no time or money to develop another alternative.
Thus we have an aircraft that is not very desirable (over budget, behind schedule, doesn’t meet performance specs), but it’s what we will get.
US launches PR blitz;
Al Jazeera;20 Sep 2012 12:47
Against the tense backdrop of the Libyan embassy massacre, the US has bought time on Pakistani television stations to run a series of ads in an effort to assuage Muslim feelings of hurt.
The US hopes the ad would show that the country had no involvement with the controversial internet video.
The US embassy in Islamabad bought air time to run the announcement, which features clips of Barack Obama, the US president, and Hillary Clinton, secretary of state, underscoring US respect for religion and declaring the US government had nothing to do with the video. The 30 second ads were run on every television station throughout the country throughout the day to reach every segment of the population.
Obama is shown saying: "Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others."
Clinton then says: "Let me state very clearly, the United States has absolutely nothing to do with this video. We absolutely reject its contents. America's commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation."
In an interview with Al Jazeera, Barack Obama said, "In order to ensure we reached the largest number of Pakistanis, some 90 million as I understand it in this case with these spots, it was the judgment that this was the best way to do it."
Addressing a media briefing on the ad campaign, Victoria Nuland, state department spokeswoman, said the aim was "to make sure that the Pakistani people hear the president's messages and the secretary's messages".
The announcement aired as the US asked its citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Pakistan.
Upon reading the article, I was thoroughly disgusted.
- The intensions of stirring more hate in Pakistan is quite evident
- Our apologist in Chief is notifying the Pakistani population that the video exists and that they should be offended by it; despite the fact that the video was only viewed 3 (or some low number) times and pulled off of YouTube last week.
- These are not the actions of a serious rational administration.
- The administration obviously has too much money it they feel that this is a worthwhile investment of taxpayer dollars.
What was the response to the Presidential apology? A day of rage.
Headlines this morning:
“Tens of thousands of Pakistanis are expected to take to the streets across the country after the government called an impromptu public holiday to let people protest.”
The US embassy in Pakistan became the latest target of protesters angry at the YouTube video (prior to the Obama apology they didn't know existed: my editorial). The total number of protesters touched 5,000 yesterday with the arrival of protesters carrying the flags of anti-American Islamist groups. More are expected today.
At least 50 people were injured as police fired tear gas and live rounds towards the crowds.
The air time that Obama purchased got the desired outcome.
Two 13-year-old boys have been charged as adults in the murder of a 78-year-old woman in Sheboygan Falls. Prosecutors say one of those children is the woman's great grandson. According to prosecutors, the teenagers attacked the woman with a hatchet and a hammer. Authorities describe a crime scene that was particularly gruesome. The victim is identified as Barbara Olson. Prosecutors say her great grandson, Antonio Barbeau and his friend, Nathan Paape attacked her.
After attacking and killing the 78-year-old woman, the boys stole money, jewelry and the car. They took the car for a joy ride, went to get pizza and then abandoned the car.
The great grandson's attorney, George Limbeck, spoke to TODAY'S TMJ4 following the boys' court appearance on Friday morning. "People need to understand that what the state said today is not necessarily the facts of the case." "The relationship between my client and his great grandmother was actually a very good relationship.” Limbeck also stated, “Despite popular opinion, my client is not a monster…and he is extremely upset by the allegations.”
Homicides generally fall into 5 categories;
- Material goods. A perpetrator will assault and occasionally kill the victim for some material gain. Typically, the perpetrator is in dire need of money for the next ‘fix’ and will do just about anything to get it.
- Crime of passion. The perpetrator is seething with hatred over a rejection, betrayal or some other hurt. The victim knows the perpetrator quite well and the signs of the crime of passion usually encompass severe facial damage.
- Turf war. Two street gangs are engaged in a battle over turf, (the right to sell drugs in a particular area).
- Thrill kill. Some individuals get a ‘high’ or ‘thrill’ from the torture and murder of another person. Typically, the perpetrator does not know the victim. The victim is stalked to understand their patterns of behavior, but the victim can be selected randomly.
- Sex crime: During the course of a sex crime, the victim may be killed to cover the identity of the perpetrator.
The murder in Sheboygan falls was not committed for material gain. These boys came from middle class homes. They could have gotten pizza any time they wanted it. This was not a crime of passion, sex crime or a turf war. This was a thrill kill. The unique aspect was that the victim was the great grandmother of the perpetrator.
I have had to wade through a mountain of columnists claiming that this type of heinous violence is caused by video games and the glorification of violence in movies and TV. Others say that this represents a lack of morals and discipline. While I think it would be a good idea to reduce the violence in games, TV, movies and add discipline and morals in schools, this all misses the bigger point.
This type of violence and murder is just unexplainable; a root cause can’t be found. It can’t be rationalized or explained, despite the best efforts of the defense attorney (In this case, the defense attorney is absolutely reprehensible by asking for compassion and understanding for these 13 year old boys). It is so vile and demonic that any attempt to rationalize it is just sickening.
This crime suggests to me that there must be some force influencing (not forcing…we have free will) the boys to commit this atrocity outside of the material world. I have a hard time believing that 13 year kids came up with this idea on their own in a spiritual vacuum.
There are three basic components to these 13 years kids and people, in general.
The function of the body is simply to carry the soul and spirit around and do its bidding. We are out of balance when we allow the body to dictate to the soul and spirit. When matters of the body drive all decision, we are desperately shallow; see ‘Shallow Hal’.
The body is fickle, temporal, constantly changing and has no lasting value. The only value that the body has is derived from the fact that we are made in God’s image. In MGarber’s case, the body is a product of time, chance and chemical determinism.
I equate the body to the transmission of a message on a phone line. In a phone conversation, we speak into a microphone. The microphone digitizes the sound into an electrical signal consisting of 1s and 0s. This electrical signal is transmitted through the air or over a copper wire to a phone on other end of the conversation. The phone at the receiving end takes this electrical impulses and converts in back to an audible sound that is recognizable to the person listening. If the raw electrical impulse was written and presented to the person at the other end of the phone, it would not be understandable and meaningful. Likewise, the body takes the thought impulse from the soul and transforms the thought into something recognizable to the outside world.
But unlike a phone that exists to transmit the sound from one person to another in the most efficient way with clarity, the body does not transmit the thoughts very well and muffles the intensions of the thought. The body will try to destroy the signals and twist the impulses until we learn to discipline the body so it does not filter the signals from the mind and soul. But the body essentially transmits the signal from the soul through action to the outside world; it put thought into action.
The real substance behind my action is not a substance at all, but the thought behind the action. The thought itself is never created; it is only given symbolic form. The thought belongs to the thinker and the other thinkers who are capable of interpreting the symbolic form in which the thought was expressed.
Thoughts and inspiration have no dimension, but belong to the unseen world. Those things which I produce; things that can be felt, seen, heard, have no meaning except the meaning that people can give them by the ability of me to transfer my thoughts.
But where did my thoughts come from? In most cases my thoughts are recycled thoughts of others that I have latched on to. I have read much and heard much that I only need to pull something out of my proverbial file folder when responding to someone or developing a thought. Most thought is simply parroted thoughts of others.
Thoughts typically come through the senses of the body but are filtered through the body. The body modifies the in-coming impulses from the sense based on way it is wired. As long as the body is the major source of thought generation, the mind can not be objective since the impulses it receives are substantially filtered.
The only other source of producing a thought is the spirit; but it is nebulous and unquantifiable. We are born pre-tuned to evil spiritual forces (beyond short-term self-gratification). I equate our pre-disposition to evil to a Volvo coming off of the factory floor pre-tuned to National Public Radio. Unless the tuning is deliberately and willfully changed, it will remain at the factory setting.
When our tuning is changed to life, love, peace and light, only then can thoughts be developed that are not tuned to self or destruction. These thoughts are new to us. But the purpose of re-tuning our spirit is to create beauty.
Am I capable of developing a thought never thought of – truly original thought? Theologically, the answer is no. All things have always existed and an original thought had to already exist before your spirit was tuned to it.
Back to the 13 year-old boys.
Where did the thought to kill great grandmother come from? It was nothing that they saw being modeled. They might have seen this on ‘Grand-theft auto’, but most people can differential between a game and reality. There was no pressing need to kill great grandmother for self-preservation. This thought was developed through a tuning to evil.
I understand that many people do not believe a spiritual realm exists and everything that does exist is material; it can be weighed and measured. But these actions can’t be explained through explanations dealing solely with the material world.
I can’t put credence into the world view that everything that exists is contained within a material box. Therefore all answers to issues within the material box must all come from within the material box. But when the problems come from outside the material box the subsequent answers must also come from outside the material box.
All of humanity can be placed into either of 3 categories; sheep, wolves and sheepdogs.
The sheep category makes up the vast majority of people. In my estimation, about 80% of everyone in the US are sheep. Sheep are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation.
Sheep are productive and healthy, with their only thoughts focused on grazing, shelter and play. They follow who ever is leading them at the time. Of course, they grouse about the poor condition of the pasture or the murkiness of the drinking water from time to time, but in general they plod along barely seeing past the end of their own noses.
Sheep really are not capable of self-defense, because the sheep’s only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm them or their young ones is just too hard, and so they choose the path of denial. The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence.
Their only response to the wolf is denial, and all too often their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain.
A sheep separated from the flock is living on borrowed time. A wolf will find them. And a wolf can easily out run, out jump, out smart, out muscle the sheep. There is just no competition.
If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you are defined as an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. A wolf lives to kill and destroy the sheep. Even if a wolf isn’t hungry it will kill a sheep, if given the chance. When the wolf is not actively destroying the sheep, he is still plotting and scheming to do just that.
The crime in Sheboygan reveals that wolves come in all sorts of colors, sizes and ages.
One of the most successful methods a wolf uses is the sheep’s clothing routine. When the wolf looks like another sheep, it is initially overlooked by the watchful eye of the sheepdog and it gains the trust of other sheep. It does the right things and it says the right things all for the purpose of separating the sheep from the flock and pouncing on it.
The wolf in sheep’s clothing is also a difficult issue for the sheepdog. The sheepdog discovers the wolf rather quickly, but then has to face the dilemma of how to extract the wolf from the flock with minimal disturbance to the sheep. If the sheepdog, in plain sight, attacks the disguised wolf, the sheep might think that the sheepdog has turned against them. They will fear and loathe the sheepdog.
If you have the capacity for violence with great love, care and concern for your fellow man, you are a sheepdog. A sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle.
The sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn’t tell them where to go, redirect them and frighten them. Eternal vigilance is so hard and so much work. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, “Baa.” Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind the sheepdog.
Sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep said, “Thank God I wasn’t on one of those planes.” The sheepdogs said, “Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference.”
Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd dropped his phone and uttered the words, “Let’s roll,” which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers – athletes, business people and parents. — from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.
This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior, looking for the wolf behind every rock. Few people exist completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. However, as time has elapsed, most people have drifted back to the sheep-like continuum.
Inspiration and text for the article came from LTC (RET) Dave Grossman, William J Bennett and Edmund Burke.
There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men. – Edmund Burke
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