The investigation has moved swiftly and the suspects tracked down and identified, at additional cost to life. Seeking the final suspect as I write this.
Hopefully, we will get some information as to their background and motives, even if the remaining fugitive does not survive the manhunt.
More to the point, is that we all need to pay better attention to the vulnerablity our country has to such attacks and be more actively involved and alert to these threats. The safeguards and surveillance in place, intelligence gathering, and federal, state and local law enforcement organizations at work, not withstanding, will never be enough without every citizen accepting more responsibility to commit to the role we all can play in observing, questioning, and reporting suspicions and suspicious persons.
Friday, April 19, 2013
Saturday, March 23, 2013
How Did Faith and a Belief In God become about Money and Power?
Religions have evolved through oral traditions, the spoken word and telling of traditions and practices that become a common belief or guiding principle or truth. Much of this must have been based on common sense and the need to develop some degree of order and authority as bands of people grew into tribes and eventually regional and/or ethnic groups and nation-states and political states.
Some of these trends were a mixture of secular power and religion, others divided power and authority between the secular and the religious leaders, and variations of each. Imagining trying to make sense of the natural calamities that afflicted the people of prehistory and to maintain and rebuild out of chaos and devastation must have credited the Gods with all manner of ills and anger towards the people that must somehow be explained and set aright.
Eventual we have the word, the oral traditions and practices, set to written form and in some traditions, the written word, as was the case with the oral traditions in most cases, became the divinely inspired word of God and the religious basis for the authority and power priests and such held over the people. Fast forward over time to the seeming conflict between State and Religion for moral and legal authority over the people.
This leads me to my point of interest, my question, how did the basic teachings of our gods become so heavily oriented toward the accumulation of power and judgement, and especially to the obligation to pay the tithes, fund the church?
I ask myself, what does the Torah and the Prophets teach and inspire in us; what do the words and life of Jesus teach and inspire us? They ask of us that we do what is fundamentally contrary to our own self-interest, contrary to the selfish hierarchy of human needs. Our Faiths at their core ask us to treat others as we would want to be treated. Expanding on that simple tasking, we are asked to help one another, to be generous and provide hospitality, to share our good fortune and wealth, to aid and protect those weaker and in need.
It is easy to see how the powerful secular leaders and religious leaders would use Church teachings and interpret the "divinely inspired words" to call upon the faithful to pay for God's favor and to bend their wills to the authority of the priests and its leadership, such as the Pope, or suffer a loss of the heavenly reward. I choose to see the core teaching, the Golden Rule, to be what God would have us do to honor the gift and responsibility that having a consciousness, a living awareness, the ability to reason and create in our own right. This Earth, this life, those living things that share this moral coil, "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" that populate our lives and challenge us to survive and share at the same time, this is Heaven. God, all the Gods, stand by and expect us to cherish the life we have and honor the rights and beliefs of our fellow humans and all life on the planet and somehow work together, against natural selfish interests and greed/ambition, to sustain this heaven our Earth and somehow make it a better world for those who have less and are suffering. Tall order, much harder than just adhering to the Ten Commandments.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
This July 18th, I will depart for a summer training session held at USNA in Annapolis, Maryland, through July 23rd. This will be a great trip for me as I will be going back after several years of experience as a Blue and Gold Officer and be able to better understand what they are providing in the way of training and balance it with actual experience in the field. We stay in Bancroft Hall and eat in King Hall with the new class of Plebes who will be in the middle of Plebe Summer and looking forward to the return of the Brigade and the start of classes in late August.
Friday, February 12, 2010
I decided to go to the Naval Academy when I was 7 years old, I remember the moment clearly. I was standing in our yard on 81st Street in Virginia Beach. It was 1954 and I was very conscious of my dad being in his uniform when he came home from work and this created a deep association and identity for me. It was when I first spent the night aboard a US Navy ship, USS , an amphibious cargo ship, when my dad had duty. I remember how much fun and how thrilling it was to eat in the wardroom and tag along with my dad when he made his rounds and watching a movie at night after dinner. I loved ships, the smell and sounds of a ship settled into my consciousness and have never left. It was later that I saw the Men of Annapolis TV series and it made a very powerful impression on me about what a midshipman's life was, and what a special experience being at the Naval Academy represented. We were living in Washington DC by then and dad was working at the Bureau of Naval Personnel. In 1959, my parents had the opportunity to send me to Europe to travel with my grandparents, and Ellen . I lived and traveled with them in Spain (Madrid, , s, Gibraltar), France (Paris), Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. I went to school in Sweden and actually learned to read and speak Swedish fluently. For the return trip, we sailed out of Copenhagen, Denmark, on Norwegian American Lines, first class, across the Atlantic in some very stormy weather and that was when I learned that I do not get sea sick. In fact there were several occasions when my grandparents and I were the only ones in the first class dining room for meals. I loved being out on the deck and seeing the storm tossed seas, feeling the wind and spray on my face, feeling the ship moving on the sea. Back to the TV series, Men of Annapolis, and it's influence on my ambition to become a naval officer. As the article describes, quoting several of my classmates from the Academy, the impact of the stories was very powerful and the character the midshipman's stories highlighted matched all the finest qualities of my historical and fictional heroes. I could not imagine anything more honorable and worthwhile to be than a naval officer, a leader responsible for his men and accountable for accomplishing the mission. This confluence of influences; my dad a serving officer, my grandfathers nautical background, my strongly felt affinity for the sea and ships, the inspiration of historical heroes and fictional characters (Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, John Wayne), and the powerful images and stories of Men of Annapolis, all conspired and made my path to the Academy a singular imperative and most certainly my destiny.