Tuesday, February 9, 2010

We Have to Win in Afghanistan: There is no Choice but to Stop the Taliban "Gendercide"

The invasion of Iraq under Bush and Blair was and still is an incredibly serious mistake. By contrast I believe it was right to remove the Taliban from Afghanistan, but it was a disastrous mistake to allow the situation in the country to deteriorate to the point where the Taliban were able to reassume power.

Why is it so important for the U.S. to stay in Afghanistan and win? It is not the threat of the potential loss of an oil or gas pipe line that would be a loss to western economic interests, it is the threat of "Gendercide." A woman forced to wear a burka Taliban style has neither the freedom to be seen, heard, nor to speak to anyone without her owner's permission. She is no longer a human being in the social sense.

Without freedom of movement, a woman is nothing more than a member of the living dead. For Americans to permit the Taliban to make their women into zombies right under the noses of U.S. troops would be to allow the Islamic fundamentalists of Afghanistan to present a model of success for the rest of the underdeveloped world--there is no choice but for the U.S. to win this particular war.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining--Even in China.

This post has been moved to my other blog http://thewryjester.blogspot.com for thematic reasons

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Secret Beneath "the Secret"

The message in the bestselling book/movie The Secret is that in thinking about the future it pays to stay positive. This involves not only visualizing a bright future, but also seeing whatever there is in the present in a positive light. An underlying principle is that what is held in one's unconscious will manifest itself in reality at some point.

Basically it involves making the right choice of looking at a glass as either half full or half empty. One observer looking at a glass with 50 percent liquid in it will say "Too bad, I only have half of it left--I miss the time when it was full," the other, who knows "the Secret" will say "Great, I already have half of the glass filled." The one with the stance of the glass being half full will be at an emotional advantage simply because a positive outlook is more energizing, making it easier to improve one's situation.

And yet, an emotional advantage may not necessarily produce positive results. First, in maintaining the glass being half full, one needs to say and ask, "Yes, it's full, but full of what?" There is an assumption that the glass contains pure drinking water. Okay if true, if not, optimism can lead to disaster.

Drinking glasses are containers. So what about the advantage of containers being half full in other contexts. A ship in the ocean is an example of a large floating container. What if the ship has sprung a leak and is now half full of sea water. Should we rejoice because the sinking ship is "only" half full or because it is still half empty?

It is obvious that the universal half-full-glass optimism of "the Secret" needs to be carefully examined. All factors, especially relevant laws of nature need to be taken into account. The secret beneath "the Secret" may be that those who place their blind faith in the universe simply accommodating whatever they wish for and visualize may have been basing their optimism on a metaphorical glass half full of clean, clear water which may not turn out to be so clean and clear when transposed into material reality. So should one simply forget about "The Secret?" My answer: Stay optimistic but keep a careful eye on the glass and its content.