Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Tag

“Everybody Look What’s Going Down”   6 comments

Occupy EverythingSource — Wikimedia Commons

For those of us who grew up in the 1960’s, there is much to remember. For me, it was the draft, war, motorcycles, Playboy, love, demonstrations, flower children, and of course, the music. Many songs carried the message of the times.

One such song was Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth.” Over the years the song has been covered many times and the words still ring true, even more so today.

There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware

I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind

It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side

It’s s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away

We better stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, now, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

— Stephen Stills  

 

360 Revisited: Entry for December 18, 2005   3 comments

 

The Demons of Fear

Like many Americans, my formative years were at a time when communism was our only axis of evil. The reasons for qualifying as evil were many, e.g., starting wars against smaller countries, breaking international laws, torturing people, espionage organizations spying on their own people, controlling information and the building of a giant prison industry to name a few. Such reasons were easy to believe because of the simplistic notion that if communism (them) was evil, capitalism (we) was good. Therefore, we would never, never, never do such things. (Such acts are bad, and, of course, we are good!)

“Never say never!” Even more significant, “. . . don’t make the mistake of believing your own lies.” Of course, in politics, the custom is “Never tell a lie when you can bullshit your way through.”

Truth cannot be found in talking points based on good vs. evil. This is the so-called “cowboy” mentality that our president and many in Congress have bottled and continue to sell to the American public.

Justifying acts based on false dichotomies only falsifies reality. But, the convenient reversal of good and evil is an even bigger sin. One current example is our leadership supporting the nomination of a judge based on his being a strict constitutionist and at the same time authorizing secret acts allowing spying on Americans.

Such secret executive decisions are troubling and represent an attitude of political convenience that considers nothing of treading on the basic liberties protected by our Constitution. Even after Congress passed the USA Patriot Act, which allowed our demons of fear to trespass on our liberties, the President pretentiously felt additional infringements on the Constitution and our liberties were necessary.

Over three years ago Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden (head of the National Security Agency) stated to a joint House-Senate inquiry on intelligence (ref. NY Times):

“We need to get it right. We have to find the right balance between protecting our security and protecting our liberty.” “. . . What I really need you to do is talk to your constituents and find out where the American people want that line between security and liberty to be.”

Can we get it right? Can we bury our demons of fear? Can you! Can I?

For many, the politics of fear generates skepticism, which denies reliable access to an objective reality and “. . . therefore rejects the possibility of knowing how things truly are.” If reality has no inherent nature, then to “get it right,” each one of us must be true to our nature. Truth, like love, can exist only when the tombstones of our demons have been erected.

kenne

Posted September 4, 2008 by kenneturner in 360 Revisited, Commentary, Information

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