Thank God for the Atom Bomb

August 7, 2015

 Nuclear Weapons: A Time-Lapse History 

By Terence T. Gorski 

All people with a conscience have mixed feelings about war and the weapons of mass destruction used in modern day warfare. 

The fear of nuclear war is once again raising its head. Many of us would prefer to ignore the issue and pretend “it can never happen again.” The current deal with Iran over nuclear weapon development and the possibility of widespread nuclear proliferatio in the Middle East is raising the issue and the fear of the real possibility of nuclear war. 

People without a conscience (i.e. psychopaths/sociopaths) are not hobbled in their decision making about nuclear weapons by issues of morality, empathy, and fighting for the good. When making decisions involving the use of weapons of mass destructions psychopathic/sociopathic leaders will do anything necessary to expand their power even if it means destroying humanity in the process. 

In my opinion, the reality is that people of conscience need to come to terms with the need for violence to protect personal freedom. This means facing the issue of using violence on all levels to protect individual freedom. This includes, of course, coming to terms with the production and use of nuclear weapons. If they don’t, people motivated by high moral standards will eventually be killed, imprisoned, or controlled by psychopaths/sociopaths who are well armed and organized. This is especially true if evil intent can be cloaked by a religious ideaology. 

People of good will must recognize and name the true nature of the enemy –those who don’t are usually condemned to be defeat by the enemies they refuse to name. 

The following article was forwarded to me by Buck Yancy, a friend and mentor who keeps challenging me to face and think about the hard issues of life. It is the reprint of an essay written in 1981by the late Paul Fussell, a cultural critic and war memoirist. 

Reading this essay was unsettling. It contrasted two perspectives of making decisions about using nuclear weapons: the anstract perspective of those who make and critique policy; and the personal perspective of the troops whose lives were spared because the land invasion of Japan became unnecessary because the use of nuclear weapons forced Japan to surrender. 

Here is an article by the same name in The New Republic

Below is the original essay I received:

Thank God for the Atom Bomb  

 

Wed Aug 5, 2015 7:36 pm (PDT) . Posted by: “Jim Baker” baycur on Aug 5, 2015, at 11:42 AM, by Jeff Murray tamu73@sbcglobal.net [CHAT_281AHC] <CHAT_281AHC@yahoo groups.com> who wrote:

The headline of this column is lifted from a 1981 essay by the late Paul Fussell, the cultural critic and war memoirist. In 1945 Fussell was a 21-year-old second lieutenant in the U.S. Army who had fought his way through Europe only to learn that he would soon be shipped to the Pacific to take part in Operation Downfall, the invasion of the Japanese home islands scheduled to begin in November 1945. 

Then the atom bomb intervened. Japan would not surrender after Hiroshima, but it did after Nagasaki.

I brought Fussell’s essay with me on my flight to Hiroshima and was stopped by this: “When we learned to our astonishment that we would not be obliged in a few months to rush up the beaches near Tokyo assault-firing while being machine-gunned, mortared, and shelled, for all the practiced phlegm of our tough facades we broke down and cried with relief and joy. We were going to live.”

In all the cant that will pour forth this week to mark the 70th anniversary of the dropping of the bombs—that the U.S. owes the victims of the bombings an apology; that nuclear weapons ought to be abolished; that Hiroshima is a monument to man’s inhumanity to man; that Japan could have been defeated in a slightly nicer way—I doubt much will be made of Fussell’s fundamental point: Hiroshima and Nagasaki weren’t just terrible war-ending events. They were also lifesaving. The bomb turned the empire of the sun into a nation of peace activists.

I spent the better part of Monday afternoon with one such activist, Keiko Ogura, who runs a group called Hiroshima Interpreters for Peace. Mrs. Ogura had just turned eight when the bomb fell on Hiroshima, the epicenter less than 2 miles from her family home. She remembers wind “like a tornado”; thousands of pieces of shattered glass blasted by wind into the walls and beams of her house, looking oddly “shining and beautiful”; an oily black rain. 

And then came the refugees from the city center, appallingly burned and mutilated, “like a line of ghosts,” begging for water and then dying the moment they drank it. Everyone in Mrs. Ogura’s immediate family survived the bombing, but it would be years before any of them could talk about it. 

Because Hiroshima and Nagasaki were real events, because they happened, there can be no gainsaying their horror. Operation Downfall did not happen, so there’s a lot of gainsaying. Would the Japanese have been awed into capitulation by an offshore A-bomb test? Did the Soviet Union’s invasion of Manchuria, starting the day of the Nagasaki bombing, have the more decisive effect in pushing Japan to give up? Would casualties from an invasion really have exceeded the overall toll—by some estimates approaching 250,000—of the two bombs?

We’ll never know. 

— We only know that the U.S. lost 14,000 men merely to take Okinawa in 82 days of fighting. 
— We only know that, because Japan surrendered, the order to execute thousands of POWs in the event of an invasion of the home islands was never implemented. 

— We only know that, in the last weeks of a war Japan had supposedly already lost, the Allies were sustaining casualties at a rate of 7,000 a week. 

— We also know that the Japanese army fought nearly to the last man to defend Okinawa, and hundreds of civilians chose suicide over capture. 

Do we know for a certainty that the Japanese would have fought less ferociously to defend the main islands? We can never know for a certainty. 

“Understanding the past,” Fussell wrote, “requires pretending that you don’t know the present. It requires feeling its own pressure on your pulses without any ex post facto illumination.” Historical judgments must be made in light not only of outcomes but also of options. Would we judge Harry Truman better today if he had eschewed his nuclear option in favor of 7,000 casualties a week; that is, if he had been more considerate of the lives of the enemy than of the lives of his men?

And so the bombs were dropped, and Japan was defeated. Totally defeated. 

Modern Japan is a testament to the benefits of total defeat, to stripping a culture prone to violence of its martial pretenses. 

Modern Hiroshima is a testament to human resilience in the face of catastrophe. It is a testament, too, to an America that understood moral certainty and even a thirst for revenge were not obstacles to magnanimity. In some ways they are the precondition for it.

For too long Hiroshima has been associated with a certain brand of leftist politics, a kind of insipid pacifism salted with an implied anti-Americanism. That’s a shame. There are lessons in this city’s history that could serve us today, when the U.S. military forbids the word victory, the U.S. president doesn’t believe in the exercise of American power, and the U.S. public is consumed with guilt for sins they did not commit.

Watch the lights come on at night in Hiroshima. Note the gentleness of its culture. And thank God for the atom bomb.


Violence Against Women: Fact Sheet 2014

January 12, 2015

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Intimate partner and sexual violence against women
Fact sheet N-239
Updated November 2014
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs239/en/

Key facts:

Violence against women – particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women – are major public health problems and violations of women’s human rights.

Recent global prevalence figures indicate that 35% of women worldwide have experienced either intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.

On average, 30% of women who have been in a relationship report that they have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence by their partner.

Globally, as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by an intimate partner.

Violence can result in physical, mental, sexual, reproductive health and other health problems, and may increase vulnerability to HIV.

Risk factors for being a perpetrator include low education, exposure to child maltreatment or witnessing violence in the family, harmful use of alcohol, attitudes accepting of violence and gender inequality.

Risk factors for being a victim of intimate partner and sexual violence include low education, witnessing violence between parents, exposure to abuse during childhood and attitudes accepting violence and gender inequality.

In high-income settings, school-based programmes to prevent relationship violence among young people (or dating violence) are supported by some evidence of effectiveness.

In low-income settings, other primary prevention strategies, such as microfinance combined with gender equality training and community-based initiatives that address gender inequality and communication and relationship skills, hold promise.

Situations of conflict, post conflict and displacement may exacerbate existing violence and present additional forms of violence against women.
Introduction

Defining Violence Against Women

The United Nations defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”

Intimate partner violence refers to behaviour by an intimate partner or ex-partner that causes physical, sexual or psychological harm, including physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behaviours.

Sexual violence is any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, or other act directed against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting. It includes rape, defined as the physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration of the vulva or anus with a penis, other body part or object.

Scope of the problem

Population-level surveys based on reports from victims provide the most accurate estimates of the prevalence of intimate partner violence and sexual violence in non-conflict settings. The first report of the “WHO Multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence against women” (2005) in 10 mainly low- and middle-income countries found that, among women aged 15-49:

– Between 15% of women in Japan and 71% of women in Ethiopia reported physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime;

– Between 0.3–11.5% of women reported experiencing sexual violence by someone other than a partner since the age of 15 years;

– The first sexual experience for many women was reported as forced – 17% of women in rural Tanzania, 24% in rural Peru, and 30% in rural Bangladesh reported that their first sexual experience was forced.
A more recent analysis of WHO with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Medical Research Council, based on existing data from over 80 countries, found that globally 35% of women have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence. Most of this violence is intimate partner violence.

– Worldwide, almost one third (30%) of all women who have been in a relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner, in some regions this is much higher. Globally as many as 38% of all murders of women are committed by intimate partners.

– Intimate partner and sexual violence are mostly perpetrated by men against women and child sexual abuse affects both boys and girls. International studies reveal that approximately 20% of women and 5–10% of men report being victims of sexual violence as children. Violence among young people, including dating violence, is also a major problem.

Risk factors

Factors found to be associated with intimate partner and sexual violence occur within individuals, families and communities and wider society. Some factors are associated with being a perpetrator of violence, some are associated with experiencing violence and some are associated with both.

Risk factors for both intimate partner and sexual violence include:

– Lower levels of education (perpetration of sexual violence and experience of sexual violence);

– Exposure to child maltreatment (perpetration and experience);
witnessing family violence (perpetration and experience);

– Antisocial personality disorder (perpetration);

– Harmful use of alcohol (perpetration and experience);v

– Having multiple partners or suspected by their partners of infidelity (perpetration); and
attitudes that are accepting of violence and gender inequality (perpetration and experience).

Factors specifically associated with intimate partner violence include:

– Past history of violence;
marital discord and dissatisfaction;

– Difficulties in communicating between partners.

Factors specifically associated with sexual violence perpetration include:

– Beliefs in family honour and sexual purity;
– Ideologies of male sexual entitlement; and
– Weak legal sanctions for sexual violence.

The unequal position of women relative to men and the normative use of violence to resolve conflict are strongly associated with both intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence.

Health consequences

Intimate partner and sexual violence have serious short- and long-term physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health problems for survivors and for their children, and lead to high social and economic costs.

Violence against women can have fatal results like homicide or suicide.
It can lead to injuries, with 42% of women who experience intimate partner reporting an injury as a consequences of this violence.

Intimate partner violence and sexual violence can lead to unintended pregnancies, induced abortions, gynaecological problems, and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

The 2013 analysis found that women who had been physically or sexually abused were 1.5 times more likely to have a sexually transmitted infection and, in some regions, HIV, compared to women who had not experienced partner violence. They are also twice as likely to have an abortion.
Intimate partner violence in pregnancy also increases the likelihood of miscarriage, stillbirth, pre-term delivery and low birth weight babies.

These forms of violence can lead to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep difficulties, eating disorders, emotional distress and suicide attempts.

The same study found that women who have experienced intimate partner violence were almost twice as likely to experience depression and problem drinking. The rate was even higher for women who had experienced non partner sexual violence.

Health effects can also include headaches, back pain, abdominal pain, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal disorders, limited mobility and poor overall health.

Sexual violence, particularly during childhood, can lead to increased smoking, drug and alcohol misuse, and risky sexual behaviours in later life. It is also associated with perpetration of violence (for males) and being a victim of violence (for females).

Effect On Children

Children who grow up in families where there is violence may suffer a range of behavioural and emotional disturbances. These can also be associated with perpetrating or experiencing violence later in life.
Intimate partner violence has also been associated with higher rates of infant and child mortality and morbidity (e.g. diarrhoeal disease, malnutrition).

Social and economic costs

The social and economic costs of intimate partner and sexual violence are enormous and have ripple effects throughout society. Women may suffer isolation, inability to work, loss of wages, lack of participation in regular activities and limited ability to care for themselves and their children.

Prevention and response

Currently, there are few interventions whose effectiveness has been proven through well designed studies. More resources are needed to strengthen the prevention of intimate partner and sexual violence, including primary prevention, i.e. stopping it from happening in the first place.

Regarding primary prevention, there is some evidence from high-income countries that school-based programmes to prevent violence within dating relationships have shown effectiveness. However, these have yet to be assessed for use in resource-poor settings. Several other primary prevention strategies: those that combine microfinance with gender equality training; that promote communication and relationship skills within couples and communities; that reduce access to, and harmful use of alcohol; and that change cultural gender norms, have shown some promise but need to be evaluated further.

To achieve lasting change, it is important to enact legislation and develop policies that:

– Address discrimination against women;
– Promote gender equality;
support women; and
– Help to move towards more peaceful cultural norms.

An appropriate response from the health sector can play an important role in the prevention of violence.
Sensitization and education of health and other service providers is therefore another important strategy.

To address fully the consequences of violence and the needs of victims/survivors requires a multi-sectoral response.

WHO actions

WHO, in collaboration with a number of partners, is:

– building the evidence base on the size and nature of violence against women in different settings and supporting countries’ efforts to document and measure this violence and its consequences.

This is central to understanding the magnitude and nature of the problem at a global level and to initiating action in countries;

– Strengthening research and research capacity to assess interventions to address partner violence
developing technical guidance for evidence-based intimate partner and sexual violence prevention and for strengthening the health sector responses to such violence;

– Disseminating information and supporting national efforts to advance women’s rights and the prevention of and response to violence against women; and

– Collaborating with international agencies and organizations to reduce/eliminate violence globally.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs239/en/

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Dark Thoughts: Personal and Collective

January 8, 2014
1508552_705489946150179_333021707_nBy Terence T. Gorski, Author
January 8, 2014

Dark thoughts can envelop our soul. We create some of these thoughts from personal experience, but not all of them.  Real but hidden threats cause some of these thoughts. Historical memory of devastating wars, poverty, and disease are the source of others. Many dark thoughts come from the collective unconscious of the group mind reflected in the deep rumblings of  the core violence of human culture.

There are bigger currents of humanity that move through our minds – a collective current that touches us all but is acknowledged by few. Our troubled violent history and current problems disturb us to the core of our being. It is easier to deny, to self-medicate, to distract with destructive pursuits. To look away is tempting. Denial, however, does not work very well in changing reality.

Human civilization is dark and violent. Human beings have a long history of collective and personal violence. War and violent crime have plagued humanity since before the beginning of written history.  The first recorded war occurred over 5,000 years ago and human beings have been systematically slaughtering each other with the best available technology ever since. War is the primary driver of technology and economic development.

Violence may have created and certainly sustains human culture. Read the Bible or the Koran and take note of the wide-spread murders, wars, plundering of cities, the women raped and murdered, and children put to the sword. Much of this slaughter was done in the name of God. It was also done to get new lands and steal the wealth of others. It is too often rationalized as the will of god.

The violence that permeates culture creates chronic pain called ANGST – the universal pain of the human condition. Living with the conscious knowledge that we will die causes us fear. To know that we need to love and the violence causes more violence causes shame and guilt when we live a world where life must feed upon life in order to survive. Addiction may well be a universal cross-cultural mechanism for managing this primal fear. There seems to be a strong relationship between fear of violence and both addiction and mental health problems. There is strong evidence that primitive religion emerged as a result of ritual practices to stop collective mob violence in primitive communities.

As long as we deny the violence all around us and pretend that it doesn’t exist, we ware part of the problem. We silently enable the violence and refuse to see what we are doing. The dark thoughts that we push deep into our mind, however, haunt us and often emerge at unexpected times. We are all guilty of perpetrated or enabling violence.

While hanging on the cross Jesus said: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” This statement tells us why we are all culpable for the violence that surrounds us. If we don’t continue to improve our violence control mechanisms based on human empathy, individual societies and the world can lapse again into world war and domestic riots.

Tremendous resources are invested in national and international violence control mechanisms. War is expensive. So is crime.  Many of us prefer to deny this fact. It is easier to pretend that civilization is based upon a foundation of peace and love. It’s not! History has taught us that denial of violence does not work. Denial results in more violence. The social processing of violence, in a peaceful way, is necessary to establish any solid foundation for future peace.

It is hard to accept the truth and then stand for something better – a higher truth that we are also a part if something better. The problem is that power structure of the world has a solid foundation and a need for perpetual violence. To develop a peacetime economy that is not preparation for war is a goal that has yet to be achieved.

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I Want George Orwell To Be Wrong

December 14, 2013

By Terence T. Gorski, Author

20131214-182840.jpgSometimes I really wish that George Orwell had it all wrong. I was born in 1949 and read his book in high school in 1966. I had been through the Cuban Missile Crisis when John F. Kennedy was president and the USA was eye-ball to eye-ball with the USSR and about to Nuke The World. The palpable threat of nuclear war in the air.

Orwell’s ideas had a strong ring of truth and they effected me deeply. His world view seemed to be emerging before my eyes and has been playing itself out all around me ever since.

Orwell’s book , 1984, was not supposed to be an instruction manual. It was supposed to expose a horrible possible future and motivate people to prevent it. Tragically, Orwell’s vision is all but upon us, except for the fact that we have more creature comforts, entertainment distractions, and opportunities for non-stop consuming.

Orwell did get one thing wrong. In his novel, he deprived the masses of creature comforts. This is not how it’s playing out. Take the alcohol from an alcoholic and they get mad – fighting mad. Take it away from the entire population of the USA and you have the birth of criminal empires and blood in the streets. It was called prohibition. Take away the drugs and addicts/abusers won’t get clean and sober. They will move heaven and earth to get it. Even an extensive national and international war on drugs won’t stop people from getting drugs. It didn’t work with prohibition. It won’t work with the drug war. People who really want something will find a way to build a supply – even in prison.

People are more easily conquered when they are distracted by false pleasures that feel good now and bite back latter. They can be distracted by dramas that continually recycle in the news, and comforting lies that distract them from the the truth. Most of the American people probable won’t wake up until all their creature comforts are gone. We’re losing them fast, so it might not be long.

Addiction and Deceit

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How do I turn off
my brain and my pain?

There is a link between universal deceit and addiction. Universal deception makes people feel crazy and want to numb themselves off. This is most easily done with addictive substances and behaviors. To me, this makes sense. I believe that human beings are truth seeking-animals and that to live with lies is harmful to our mental and physical health. Living in a world of universal deceit makes people want to do a wide variety of things to turn off their brain and their pain. Here are some the most common:

(1) Join the masses and revel in the euphoric emotions of the mob mentality. Mobs don’t think. When they get riled up they can get out of control, destroy things, and kill people.

(2) Buy into the false idea that everyone creates their own reality and deserves what they get (after all, this life is just a learning experience, so what difference does it make?).

(3) Self-medicate with alcohol, other drugs, and/or compulsive behaviors. Try them all! More is better! Ask any addict, unless of course they are in recovery. Recovering people might say a few things you don’t want to hear.

(4) Turn off your empathy and morality and live for today, tomorrow be damned.

(5) Embrace irrational feel-good ideas of psychology, spirituality, and utopian communities. Be sure the that you select one that absolves you of any personal responsibility for your actions in the world. A strong charismatic leaders helps because you don;t have to think, only obey. (It worked great for Jim Jones and his family of believers at the people’s temple! That’s were we got the term about drinking the pool-aide.)

(6) Do nothing about anything except whine, complain, and play helpless. This is called tyranny of the weak. It is designed to motivate a rescuer to come running. When the rescuer doesn’t who up or ends up be a manipulator, the next step depression. Depression is debilitating but understandable. As the truth slowly seeps into our brain and we see the immensity of the problem it is easy to lapse into depression and suicidal thinking. This is driven by the thought: “If all of this is true, what’s the point in living?). W can only keep handing on by our fingernails for so longer. Doing nothing that feeds your soul can lead to mental illness.

There is another option, the one that I hope you will take: Don’t settle for shallow slogans and simplistic explanations. Don’t wait too be rescued because I truly don’t believe anyone is. coming to rescue us. Above all believe in yourself, get active in the world around you. Think, real discuss. Speak your truth at the top of your voice. Practice what you preach.

I hope you enjoy the challenge of Orwell’s thinking. Whether you agree with it or not, once you get into it, it’s a lot more interesting than TV or the movies. Read on. I hope you enjoy the ideas.

ORWELL QUOTES

I wanted to get you thinking, so I decided to share several of my favorite George Orwell quotes. These have stayed with me since high school. I will share a quote, make a personal comment, and then share a letter I found on the internet written by Orwell in 1944. The letter presents Orwell’s rationale for writing the controversial book entitled 1984. I recommend Orwell’s 1984 as must reading.

Please pass this blog on to young people. I am no longer the youth of America. Our youth need to have these ideas to wrestle with if there is any hope for the future.

WAR IS A CHOICE EVILS

“War is a choice of evils — I fancy nearly every war is that.
I know enough of British imperialism not to like it,
but I would support it against Nazism or Japanese imperialism, as the lesser evil.”
~ George Orwell ~

TTG Comment: This explains to my why men and women of good will have gone to war. War to Protect Plan A , protecting a free people from tyranny, is being enslaved by a tyrannical Plan B. Sometimes the game of war engulf’s the entire playing field. There is no out-of-bounds and all spectators are forced onto the field of play. There is no place to run and hide. When this happens, I guess you just have to pick sides. I will always stand on the side of freedom and personal responsibility.

THE NEED FOR WARRIORS

“We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night
to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”
~ George Orwell ~

TTG Comment: This explains why police and the military are absolutely essential to civilization. The police and military also need to be held to higher values and standards because they carry on their shoulders the social permission to use lethal force. Without check and balances, military and police powers will always grow to the point of taking away individual freedom in the name of providing protection and safety.

UNIVERSAL DECEIT

“In times of universal deceit,
telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”
~ George Orwell ~

TTG Comment: This is why a commitment to rigorous honesty and healthy skepticism are so important. People in the pursuit of power can spin very convincing lies that are based on grains of truth designed to inflame emotions and turn people against each other. Without critical thinking skills, we can’t hope to tell truth from lies. Without the courage to speak our truth to power, even if there is hell to pay, we can’t hope to make a democracy work for the common good.

imagesBIG BROTHER
“Big brother is watching you.”
~ George Orwell ~

TTG: Comment: This slogan of George Orwell is expressed in practice by government agencies at all levels. there are more than 50 million traffic cameras alone. In addition every ATM has numerous cameras. All stores have video cameras both inside and covering the parking lots. We are not touching the NSA, FBI, or Homeland Security Cameras or the analysis of meta-data by both government and private corporations. I think the point is made.

WE ARE A SURVEILLANCE SOCIETY. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING!

GEORGE ORWELL’S LETTER TO JOEL WILLMETT

In 1944, three years before writing and five years before publishing 1984, George Orwell wrote a letter detailing the thesis of his great novel. The letter, warning of the rise of totalitarian police states that will ‘say that two and two are five,’ is reprinted from George Orwell: A Life in Letters, edited by Peter Davison and published today by Liveright. (Read it on the Internet)

To Noel Willmett
18 May 1944

Dear Mr Willmett,

Many thanks for your letter. You ask whether totalitarianism, leader-worship etc. are really on the up-grade and instance the fact that they are not apparently growing in this country and the USA.

I must say I believe, or fear, that taking the world as a whole these things are on the increase. Hitler, no doubt, will soon disappear, but only at the expense of strengthening (a) Stalin, (b) the Anglo-American millionaires and (c) all sorts of petty fuhrers of the type of de Gaulle. All the national movements everywhere, even those that originate in resistance to German domination, seem to take non-democratic forms, to group themselves round some superhuman fuhrer (Hitler, Stalin, Salazar, Franco, Gandhi, De Valera are all varying examples) and to adopt the theory that the end justifies the means.

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Everywhere the world movement seems to be in the direction of centralised economies which can be made to ‘work’ in an economic sense but which are not democratically organised and which tend to establish a caste system. With this go the horrors of emotional nationalism and a tendency to disbelieve in the existence of objective truth because all the facts have to fit in with the words and prophecies of some infallible fuhrer.

Already history has in a sense ceased to exist, ie. there is no such thing as a history of our own times which could be universally accepted, and the exact sciences are endangered as soon as military necessity ceases to keep people up to the mark. Hitler can say that the Jews started the war, and if he survives that will become official history. He can’t say that two and two are five, because for the purposes of, say, ballistics they have to make four. But if the sort of world that I am afraid of arrives, a world of two or three great superstates which are unable to conquer one another, two and two could become five if the fuhrer wished it. That, so far as I can see, is the direction in which we are actually moving, though, of course, the process is reversible.

As to the comparative immunity of Britain and the USA. Whatever the pacifists etc. may say, we have not gone totalitarian yet and this is a very hopeful symptom.

I believe very deeply, as I explained in my book The Lion and the Unicorn, in the English people and in their capacity to centralise their economy without destroying freedom in doing so. But one must remember that Britain and the USA haven’t been really tried, they haven’t known defeat or severe suffering, and there are some bad symptoms to balance the good ones.

To begin with there is the general indifference to the decay of democracy. Do you realise, for instance, that no one in England under 26 now has a vote and that so far as one can see the great mass of people of that age don’t give a damn for this?

Secondly there is the fact that the intellectuals are more totalitarian in outlook than the common people. On the whole the English intelligentsia have opposed Hitler, but only at the price of accepting Stalin. Most of them are perfectly ready for dictatorial methods, secret police, systematic falsification of history etc. so long as they feel that it is on ‘our’ side.

Indeed the statement that we haven’t a Fascist movement in England largely means that the young, at this moment, look for their fuhrer elsewhere. One can’t be sure that won’t change, nor can one be sure that the common people won’t think ten years hence as the intellectuals do now. I hope  they won’t, I even trust they won’t, but if so it will be at the cost of a struggle. If one simply proclaims that all is for the best and doesn’t point to the sinister symptoms, one is merely helping to bring totalitarianism nearer.

You also ask, if I think the world tendency is towards Fascism, why do I support the war. It is a choice of evils—I fancy nearly every war is that. I know enough of British imperialism not to like it, but I would support it against Nazism or Japanese imperialism, as the lesser evil. Similarly I would support the USSR against Germany because I think the USSR cannot altogether escape its past and retains enough of the original ideas of the Revolution to make it a more hopeful phenomenon than Nazi Germany. I think, and have thought ever since the war began, in 1936 or thereabouts, that our cause is the better, but we have to keep on making it the better, which involves constant criticism.

Yours sincerely,
Geo. Orwell
[XVI, 2471, pp. 190—2; typewritten]

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The Wolf and the Lamb

December 13, 2013

Terence T. Gorski, Author
A Personal comment and passing on
the Aesop Fable and The Moral of the Story

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The Wolf and the Lamb
When Hunger Drives Conflict
Who Wins?

“A tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny. So it is useless for the innocent to seek justice through reasoning when the oppressor intends to be unjust.” ~ Aesop

The Wolf and the Lamb is the fable that Illustrates this moral. It was written by Aesop and used to educate millions of children into the realities of life. The popularity of Aesop Fables faded as political correctness began replacing reality with the art of lying about the nature of life to avoid offending others.

Jesus taught in the New Testament that the day would come when the world and the world and the lamb can lie down in peace together. I wish that were true. I must simply say perhaps some day, but not in this lifetime. When both the wolf and sheep start getting hungry and all that is left for food is each other – that’s when the trouble starts. In this battle, who do you think will win?

We were created by a loving God.  We we were cast into a world where life must feed upon life in order to survive.  We are told by God Incarnate or the prophets of God to love one another. All of these original messengers were violently and horrible killed by the political  wolves of their day. So my humble message, which may be wrong, is love one another and beware of the big bad wolf. Trust God and lock your car.

I do acknowledge that when wolves and dogs are well fed they can be peaceful. When hunger laws at their bellies they form into packs and go searching for food. That’s canine version of a human mob. They hunt and kill relentlessly and without mercy. So I guess my revised opinion, which also may be wrong, is this: we need to beware the big bad wolf and also beware the human mobs.

I really want George or wells vision of tyranny toe be wrong. I just know that in a battle between a wold and lamb, the world usually wins. There is no reasoning with a hungry monster when they come to visit. Out core survival responses urge to fight, run, or freeze and hide.

THE WOLF AND THE LAMB

An Aesop Fable

While lapping water at the head of a running brook, a wolf noticed a stray lamb some distance down the stream. Once he made up his mind to attack her, he began thinking of a plausible excuse for making her his prey.

“Scoundrel!”, he cried, running up to her. “How dare you muddle the water that I am drinking!”

“Please forgive me,” replied the lamb meekly, “but I don’t see how I could have done anything to the water since it runs from you to me, not from me to you.”

“Be that as it may,” the wolf retorted, “but you know it was only a year ago that you called me many bad names behind my back.”

“Oh, sir,” said the lamb, “I wasn’t even born a year ago.”

“Well,” the wolf asserted, “if it wasn’t you, it was your mother, and that’s all the same to me. Anyway, it’s no use trying to argue me out of my supper.”

And without another word, he fell upon the poor helpless lamb and tore her to pieces.

THE MORAL OF THIS STORY IS:
“A tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny. So it is useless for the innocent to seek justice through reasoning when the oppressor intends to be unjust.” ~ Aesop


The Righteous Warrior

December 13, 2013

By Terence T. Gorski
December 13, 2013

warrior-priestI am in favor of peace. I pray for peace everyday. I don’t believe that world peace can be achieved until every person alive chooses nonviolent ways to resolve their conflicts over violence. I don’t expect that to happen in my lifetime. All I can do is pass on the dream.

Until the world is filled with people committed to nonviolent solutions, there will be ongoing violent struggle. Some call it the battle between good and evil.

Violence is the scourge of humanity since before the dawn of recorded human history. So until the time of a universal (100%) commitment of individuals to peaceful resolutions becomes a reality, we have to rely on a court system. For courts to work there must be enforcement. The need for enforcement means there must be warriors. Within the USA this means a police force. Internationally it means the military. When fighting natural and man-made disasters, it means emergency first responders of all disciplines.

I was always taken with the idea of the warrior priest — the righteous warrior, the warrior monks. The image is one of the spiritually and morally enlightened being willing and able to fight for good against evil. This mythology has been and is still a powerful force driving human consciousness in all cultures.

The righteous warrior fighting against evil – fighting in the name of good. A great idea. I am too much of a realist, however, to believe all of our wars are just or all of are warriors are righteous. I do know that warriors need to be highly trained and held to a higher standard. A higher standard is needed because they are endowed with the social sanction, the training, and the weapons they need to take human life when required to protect the common good.

Yes, there is a broad swatch of a grey between good and evil and who puts what into each category. Politicians and religious leaders of all kinds can paint the most unspeakable horrors of violence as righteous, moral and just. Think about the inquisition, or the crusades, or the plundering and murder reported as the will of God in the Old Testament and the Koran. Murder entered the old testament in the first three pages.

True evil, however, cannot be missed no matter how it is painted. The Nazi Concentration Camps, the killing fields of Cambodia, the millions of lives taken by slave owners in all cultures and all countries since the beginning of recorded history.  Tragically the list of horrors man has perpetrated upon man could go on for pages. This tendency toward violence and the loss of empathy for the victims of violence is, in my mind, at the root of the idea of evil. Organized violence embodied in war and mob rule is the most horrific violence of war.

Evil must be fought. To ignore evil is to condone it. Evil should not be sanctioned as good by religious leaders in the service of those holding political power. Ayn Rand talks about the alliance between political and spiritual leaders in the service of violence.  She calls it an alliance between Attila and the Witch Doctor. Righteous warriors are destroyed, body and soul, by this unholy alliance.

Attila and the Witch Doctor represent two figures – the man of faith and the man of force. They are philosophical archetypes, psychological symbols and historical reality. As philosophical archetypes, they embody two variants of a certain view of man and of existence. As psychological symbols, they represent the basic motivation of a great many men who exist in any era, culture or society. As historical reality, they are the actual rulers of most of mankind’s societies, who rise to power whenever men abandon reason.” [Rand, FNI, p. 14.]

Warriors are at their best when they act calmly and with the righteous knowledge that to kill a murderer to protect the lives of good people is in fact a virtuous act. Answer this question in your own mind:

If a psychopath had a knife at the throat of your child and was ready to start slashing, would it be right for the sniper to grant mercy to the psychopath and allow the child to die a horrific death?  Or would it be right for the sniper to calmly line up the head of the psychopath in his sites, exhale, and squeeze the trigger saving the child’s life. Which of these would be right? Which would represent the good?

For the sniper to kill the psychopath is an act that is both righteous and necessary. No guilt is appropriate on the part of the warrior for he or she stopped evil dead in its path to save an innocent life. All civilized people need to be willing to do the same. Most warriors, however, pay a heavy price for the taking of life even when it is a righteous act.

“Killing is supposed to be hard.
If you found it, easy I’d be worried about you.”
~ Leroy Jethro Gibbs, NCIS ~

We need our warriors. We need them trained, equipped and held to a high moral standard. We need them to work in the service of the good. In order for that to happen, we must each know what the good is. WE must know the values that are worth dying for. My father was a World War II combat veteran. His memory, and that of  my mother, weigh heavily on my mind. The order I get, the smarter i realize my parents were.

“We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night
to visit violence on those who would do us harm.” – George Orwell

My mother and father told me of a song that was popular during World War II. It was entitled: “Praise the Lord AND Pass the Ammunition. Sometimes good people must pick up weapons and do harm to those who destroy the lives of peaceful people in the night. Let’s work for the day, however, where all humanity will embrace the need for nonviolent resolution of human conflicts. Each one of counts. Each of our children count. You count.

“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day,
that my children may know peace.”
~ Edmund Burke ~


School Violence – Managing The Epidemic

December 6, 2013

By Terence T. Gorski, Author ,
April, 2013

imagesI was a member of my High School Debate team. I learned that false arguments need to be unmasked or they are assumed to be true. One powerful false argument that is frequently used, especially by pubic media, is the PLEA TO EMOTION. This is an argument presented in a way that creates strong emotions. The hidden message is that if thinking about this makes you feel bad, it must be bad. If it makes you feel good, it must be good. No thinking required. The message is clear:  intense feelings prove that the argument must right. Unfortunately, just because the argument of a speaker raises strong feelings, it does not mean the argument is correct. In cognitive therapy this is a thinking error called emotional reasoning. People try to think with their gut instead of their minds.

I have strong feelings about violence against children, including the violence of school shootings. These feelings range from anger at the shooter to deep grief for the families and survivors. I also stand in awe at the emergency first responders who entered the school, witnessing the unspeakable horror perpetrated on  the children and teachers who were brutally mutilated by bullets. This includes the police, the paramedics, and the forensic investigators. Many of these responders are traumatized. They did their jobs well and do not deserve the trauma they are certainly suffering.

Over the years I have learned an important lesson: It does not always feel right to do right. Sometimes it hurts to do the right thing. Like it or not, violence has been a part of nature and of humanity since before the beginning of recorded history. It is unlikely that violence will be stamped out in our lifetime. Strong feelings make us reach for quick and easy solutions – ban guns, screen everybody, and lock up anyone who might one day become violent. Then lock down schools and arm school teachers while declaring all schools No-Gun Zones. The list of simple, often contradictory, and most-likely ineffective solutions is long and creative.

Violence will not end until every human being choses to resolve conflicts peacefully
by learning to mange their own mind and emotions. 

Unfortunately there is no fast and easy solution. Violence will not end until every human being choses to resolve conflicts peacefully and learn to mange their own mind and emotions. A great dream, but I will not see  it in my lifetime. No matter what we as a nation do about our epidemic of violence, there will be unintended consequences. Whatever we do, we will need to constantly review and revise our national strategies based on what works and what does not work.

In this paper I am going to present a ten point plan for managing the epidemic of violence. I elected strategies that I believe will make a difference and that can be implemented by involved community members, parents, and professionals. Anyone deeply concerned with developing more effective policies for managing the societal problems related to violence can find something in the list that they can get behind.

I expect that some people will criticize some of the recommendations that I have made here. That’s good. If two people agreed about everything, at least on of them is unnecessary. This is a tough issue with no easy solutions. I encourage people of good will to debate and respectfully disagree about strategies for violence prevention. Let’s be cautious  without falling into the trap of emotional reasoning.

Let’s avoid personal attacks on those who disagree with us and focus on the strategies rather than the personalities. I believe we all want to find an end to the senseless violence that periodically lifts its head in our communities. To accomplish this we must talk, debate disagree, and be willing to change our opinion as we learn new and more compelling information and alternatives. I welcome criticism and constructive alternatives to my ideas. In my opinion, the broad range of factors that need to be addressed are these:

(1) We must have a plan to change our culture of violence which is based on the belief that violence is good, violence is a solution, and violence is an acceptable form of entertainment. This includes changing the sports, entertainment, and video game industries.

(2) We must have programs for improve parenting skills that includes how to monitor and observe children, recognize warning signs of addiction and mental health problems, and how to get help. Currently more training is required to get a driver’s license than to get married or have a child. Note: The rate of child abuse, neglect and child homicide is high. School shootings are so infrequent that they don’t even statistically make the list of major causes of child murders by the FBI.

(3) Reduce the illicit drug trade. Drug dealing is the primary source of income for street gangs. The gangs ran and enforce the multi-billion dollar underground economy by an antisocial drug culture of violence. The drug trade is the primary factor contributing to the proliferation of handguns and other automatic weapons used in violent crimes.

(4) Reduce family and relationship violence. According to the Department of Justice, of all children under age 5 who were murdered from 1976-2005:

◦  31% were killed by fathers
◦  29% were killed by mothers
◦  23% were killed by male acquaintances
◦  7% were killed by other relatives
◦ 3% were killed by strangers

(5) Provide readily available addiction and mental health services for prevention, early intervention, treatment, and relapse prevention. Work hard to reduce the stigma so parents and young people will reach out early for these services.

(6) Stop the media from making mass murderers, whether school/workplace killers or serial killers, instant celebrities by putting their pictures and names on all media. Work instead upon creating victim empathy be letting people know the true human losses.

(7) Take reasonable steps to enforce safety in our schools and places of work by proper policies of preparation and training for BOTH school/workplace leadership and students/employees. This can start by showing all children, parents, and students/employees the Department of Homeland Security five minute video entitled: Surviving an Active Shooting Incident (http://youtube/5VcSwejU2D0) which shows common sense responses (RUN, HIDE, FIGHT) to the unlikely event of a school or workplace shooting.

(8) Support police efforts and other resources in consulting with schools and large workplaces in how to prevent and respond to active shooting events and require compliance the same way that we do with fire code enforcement. Thirty percent of US schools are already protected by armed police officers. Fire drills occur in every school, even though child death in a school fire is exceedingly rare. Practical training in how to respond to an active shooting event and regular drills should be conducted following the same policy procedures as fire drills.

(9) Consistently enforce existing gun laws and pass rational new gun control legislation.

(10) Encourage all people to give up the myth of safety. The world is a dangerous place. People are injured and killed every day.

As a society, we can take reasonable actions to improve safety – no one can guarantee anyone’s safety. We can take steps to reduce violence but nothing can prevent it totally. BE PREPARED.

LIVE  – BE RESPONSIBLE – LIVE FREE 

GORSKI BOOKSGORSKI TRAINING/CONSULTATION 


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