Ron Paul and "The War on Terror"

It's a fact: Many Americans disapprove of Ron Paul's stance on foriegn policy and homeland security.

When nearly 3,000 people died in the Twin Towers attack on 9-11-2001, America mourned and her politicians vowed revenge. But most of us never took the time to really consider why and how it happened, myself included. Hundreds of thousands of people like myself and my brothers saw our nation come under attack and responded by joining the fight - the "War on Terror." I don't think we realized that "terror" isn't a cancer that you can treat with bombs and tanks and guns, but a merely a symptom, primarily of previous "treatments."

Soviet Russians in Afghanistan
It's largely a result of nations like the ours, the British, the Russians, and various others which had and still have imperialist ambitions, interfering in places where we had no right and in ways that resulted in becoming "the bad guys."

A young Osama Bin Laden, a leader of the mujahideen in the war against the Soviet invasion of Afganistan with Zbigniew Brzezinski, who would later serve as President Jimmy Carter's Nation Security Advisor.
 Over the years America has made many shifting allegiances with many nations and groups and installed many new leaders of nations. The nature of these allegiances have almost always resulted in the manufacturing of oppressed nations ruled by tyrants. They have never been based on the merit of a leader or the desire to make people more free, but simply to foil the attempts of other nations to take what we viewed as our domain and future domains over resources, which in truth we really don't "need," but rather are coveted by those who are ruled by greed. This is no different in Iraq or Afghanistan. 

I have great respect and affection for my fellow warriors and their superior efforts and intentions during our recent campaigns. But time and perspective have made it abundantly clear to me that our finely trained and highly motivated (despite being relatively poorly paid) armed forces have been nothing more than shock troops in nations like Iraq where private security corporations now can operate fairly safely and with impunity. Ask most veterans, especially those most recently returned from Afghanistan what they think we are fighting for there. The last answer you will usually hear is "freedom." This is because the only sort of freedom you can aid is one that is desired.

Afghanistan will never be truly modern, democratic nation. Heck, America is having a hard enough time of doing that now, even with our fertile fields, nearly limitless resources and ingenuity, and our favorable climate and terrain. The Afghan people have survived for thousands of years in pretty much the same fashion as they do now, and will continue to survive in that way. They have no use for McDonalds or Starbucks. They have no use for ultra-modern technology, except to sometimes use it against an occupying force. They have no use for the democratic process, simply because it is completely impractible in the terrain and culture they inhabit.

Iraq is very much the same way. Yet, they had a prosperous nation once. We eventually enforced sanctions which made them destitute and primed them to truly  become a culture of fear and desperation, which is still very much the way they live. They didn't always have to scavenge to survive in the desert. We made them that way. Our government's foriegn policy over the last 50+ years has been the direct cause of countless deaths and hardships for the people of the nations where we have once interfered and continue to do so. There has been a direct disregard for the phenomenon of long-term "cause and effect" in our foriegn policy.

Like goldfish we circle the glass bowl of two-party canidates and term-limits and our memories seem to last no longer than 4-8 years, just as long as we can blame the most recent Presidents for our nation's current problems. We have made reactionary choices for our leaders for far too long. We need to make a 180 degree change in the way we vote. We need to vote with hope and expectation for the best future, not fear of the worst.

As a nation we have been afraid that terror would take our lives, and yet we have let it take something from us vastly more important. Our God-given freedoms.

Our Armed Forces, who would and often do gladly sacrifice their lives, well-being and long periods of freedom for the freedom of others, and most of whom undeniably and overwhelmingly support Ron Paul, understand this one thing: Do not fear terror, or it has already won.


At Work

I sit behind a desk, staring at a bank of computer monitors.

My human interaction for tonight will be limited to watching the parade of zombified house-keeping staff and exchanging polite greetings with them as they shuffle by on their never-ending quest to eradicate scratches in floors and streaks on windows.

I have the (extremely) active ingredients of an energy drink raging through my bloodstream to keep myself awake through the night hours, but I can find nothing to devote this chemically induced manic energy to. I tweak a playlist, click refresh on Facebook, open and close my notepad as thoughts come to me and vanish as soon as my fingers begin to hover over the keyboard. I have watched dozens of episodes from a couple of shows in the past couple of nights, but I can't watch them anymore.

My foot taps endlessly... restlessly. I fight to resist tobacco time-killers that would keep my mind occupied for a few short minutes. I close several tabs that have been open in my browser for days, only to open several more that will stay open themselves, unread for days. I close my eyes to find a bit of solace from the barrage of the monitors and fluorescent lights in this modernized Spartan barracks. I cannot keep them closed - there are too many things I have to watch.

I feel as if I am aching for the weekend, but I don't really need a weekend. I need a vacation. I need a long vacation.

I need a warm beach with waves, or cool woods with rustling leaves above and below me. I need a broken-down house to rummage through, or a deer trail to follow. I need my guitar and something to write about. I need heartache. I need someone to make me sad or angry, before I go insane with the monotony. It's all so meaningless - or so it seems.

For now I'll keep my eyes focused on the horizon. I'll think and talk about the places I can go when my obligations here are fulfilled. But I can only do that so much. It is the easiest thing in the world to talk and think myself into inaction.

Life could be so interesting if I could just get off my butt and chase it. But every week, 40 of my waking hours are spent in artificial light tied to a worn-out office chair, glued to computers cluttered with cold meaningless data. Every morning I stagger through my door, exhausted by the tiresome task of doing nothing.

But someday I'll look back at these days and when I see this present valley, I'll know then just how high a mountain I've climbed. But for now that mountain stands unassailable as I sit waiting for my marching orders to come through.


Then, You May Rest

At first people seem like they really know,
They seem like they're the ones in control.
But lately I've had the nagging notion
That they're all crashing in slow motion.

Most days, Life it comes in an endless loop:
Days when flowers don't droop, days when they do.
It's true that if nothing rises, nothing can can fall;
But to be filled with nothings is to have nothing at all.

When the Sun rises over the same rooftops;
When the stars hide from your eyes cast aloft,
You've got to break your habits down.
You've got to leave your beggar's crown.

When there's no azimuth not yet traversed,
No hate, predjudice, or fear unreversed;
No sight unseen, height not reached,
Sensation untested, nor barrier unbreached...

Then, you may rest.



The last few years have been quite a journey, wavering between the limits of hope and despair, but over the last several weeks God has been especially showing me that every fear I have is simply a blinder that keeps me from seeing the beauty of life. In this time I have gone from staring into a dark tunnel wondering what singular fate lay at the end, to the point where I realize that I am standing on a plain, and that there is actually a horizon, limitless and full of life's wonder and potential. Even if I can now only see glances and hints of life's full potential, it has been my fears that have kept me from seeing that it can take me to amazing places - if I will only allow it.

I woke up this morning from a dream and a voice speaking to me. This is what it said:

"I did not give you such great capacity for wisdom and courage to see you eaten from the inside by paranoia: Fears of the of the unknown, of closeness or distance from people, wealth or poverty, silence or great noise, of darkness or daylight, of My creation, of the world's end or carrying on without you, of insufficiency for your task or of unfulfilled potential, of pain or a life without it, of deaths, incapacitation, limitations and a host of other things that can never come between us unless you let them. I see the signs of a chained soul in every motion you make, and it breaks my heart! 

If you only knew that there is nothing to fear in this world, save being afraid, then you would know freedom like never before. To be given over to your fears is to always dominated by the every emotional, spiritual, or physical bully who enters your life. You need to know now that there is nothing that can touch you, the real "you." Life is a battle, a tumultuous clash between your will, My will, and the will of the world. You are powerless to change the world for the better if you cannot allow change to first occur within you. You are powerless to change for the better if you do not let Me place you squarely in the path of your greatest fears and watch how I can overcome them for you."

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." - 2 Timothy 1:7


Up Into the Mountains of Highland County

Took a little trip today with Ben to visit some Maple syrup farmers in beautiful and wild Highland County. Here are some photos taken from the car:

Photo's taken with an HTC Desire using the Vignette Demo program.



This an iZombie... there are many, many like her. There is no way to kill them. You can only cling to your own technology and pray.



Spring comes to the valley,
But snow lingers on this peak.
Where long ago you held me,
Then left me here to freeze.

And while outside I am frozen,
My heartbeat's slow and sure.
This is only hibernation.
I will return once more.

The valley shall hear my song;
And the rivers flowing deep,
As someday I'll flow swiftly down -
As melted snow beneath your feet.



"“I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, To put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived.” - Henry David Thoreau

All I want is to taste the sweetness of the honeysuckle;
to draw bitterness and regret from the howling north winds;
to find reflection in the stillness of fallen snow;
to find exultation in the freshness of each spring and quiet peace in the humming, buzzing, stifling summer;
to sing with voices rustling like the wind through a field of tall, uncut timothy grass in the autumn;
to make music full of mystery, somehow larger than the instruments or the instrumentalist, like those of the cricket or of the peeping frog;
to craft melodies like bird-songs of the mourning dove, the lonesome owls, whip-poor-wills and nightingale;
to feel the rhythms of the plodding oxen, the fleeting deer, the galloping horse, the clanging, rattling, of bones, earth and stones;
to roar like an whirlwind, tearing down walls which stubborn men have erected;
to sigh like an ocean, taking and giving life to and from the Earth;
to flow like the currents of the deep, through foreign yet strangely familiar ports, changing shape, ever true to my natural direction;
to groan like a deep-rooted oak weathering every storm, to spread roots broad reaching like the willow, to tap and taste of the Earth's inner warmth like an ancient pine;
to accept death and life resurrected, like the prairie after a fire;
to shake and heave up the immovable parts of my heart with earthquakes and lava flowing from my soul...

But all I know is silence on these streets; stillness and cold shrouded light - as if I were dwelling on the ocean floor, far beneath the Arctic floes. I hear engines and brakes, doors and windows opening and shutting, cursing and shouting, and the mutterings of perennial discontent and all is music many times removed from it's purest source. There is only insanity here in this prostrate Babel; only humanity lost, and I wandering among them - I am no different.



Once I had a train of thought,
I rode gleefully upon it's back.
Then I unhooked all the cars
and we swiftly leapt off track.
Now we're spinning wheels
in a field full of cow-crap.
Maybe I'm not really lost,
it's just traction that I lack.

Once I had a submarine of soul,
I used to explore such depths.
Then I saw the green-screen roll
and knew I was altogether bereft.
I used think myself so deep
before my bravado sprang a leak;
Now I just pile thoughts in a heap
and try not to speak.

I know. I used the words green-screen and bereft in the same sentence. This is exactly why not talking is so much easier. I am a Frankenstein of rhymes, pop-culture, technology, and Shakespeak.