War on Terror
In the news recently a Sudanese newsman working for an Arabic television network was released from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba by US authorities. He had spent six years in prison without being formally charged. No matter how much we might "need" to take "special" steps to thwart terrorist activity, I am convinced we MUST maintain our legal system even in regard to so-called enemy combatants. If we cannot prove they are guilty of terrorist activity we should, admittedly with a great deal of caution, return them to their home country. If we do not uphold our own standards, rigidly, we leave ourselves open to legitimate criticism from the world around us and, more seriously, run the risk of losing our own soul ... our righteousness, our yearning for justice, our compassion for the sufferings of others.
I cannot believe how much effort has to go into weeding out illicit substance use among "athletes" in this country and in others. I think it is time to recognize that we have lost the ability to play games and have become nations in economic and political competition through the "teams" we place in front of cameras to be sold in a commercial world. Nothing seems to much to get the biggest bang out of the investment dollar in these human machines. Buying and selling their contracts, licenses, teams ... all big business with the bottom line clearly the most important item. I have been disgusted with Pro "Sports" for some time and am beginning to have the same revulsion in regards to college sports. Ridiculously high salaries for pro "athletes", pro "coaches" and college level "coaches" has turned wholesome sports competition into major business activity. Where there is big money, there is often plenty of opportunity for corruption. Will sports ever be sports again?
Tibet and China
Wow! I cannot believe how truly odd the governing folks of China really are. One would think that they, with all the power they possess, would work toward making Tibet as comfortable being a part of China as possible, while maintaining its special place in culture. Why could not the powers-that-be grab onto the powerful energy of the Buddhist community and help that work in their favor? The overly simplistic view of things that says a socialist government cannot exist with independent thinkers makes for adversarial encounters on many levels, often without allowing the core discomfort any avenue of escape. Of course, in a perfect world, China would be able to give Tibet its autonomy and would not be threatened by that. In a perfect world China would be able to recognize Taiwan as a separate entity and not be threatened by it. If Chine is so great, why are they so afraid?? Of course our own country is a supreme example of self-serving cowardliness. We have lost the guts to live simply and want everything now and at a price we want to pay. In our relationship to China we have found an eager supporter of our weakness. I wonder what will happen when the bill comes due??
Privacy and Public Order
It seems to me, and of course I admit my bias, that the world would be better if it lived what it professed. In our country that would mean being a nation of Law rooted in a real understanding that all is gift from God. We never defined things too much, lest one religion have sway over all others, but we have from our roots a deep and abiding connection to God as revealed in Christianity. Yes, that does "leave out" other religious beliefs, but not in the same way that they are today. Today NOTHING has validity or value. If we recognized our roots we not only give validity to our very broad common roots, but immediately give validity and value to non-Christians ( many of whom have very broad connections also) in that we no longer have to pretend there are no differences in peoples across this country. It's OK to be different. It helps every one else to take responsibility for their own views instead of relying on this "all opinions are of equal value" brainwashing that tuns people into mush. What does this have to do with Privacy and Public Order? I firmly believe if people were to actually take themselves and their beliefs seriously there would be fewer people in prison, fewer criminal acts and a much brighter future for all those who have failed the system in some way. From my very limited study of world religions and movements of a quasi-religious nature (including philosophical atheists and agnostics), most have ethical norms that would be very good for any people to observe.
Must stop -- time for rest.
Blessings and peace on this feast of St. Joseph the Worker.