A response to the "Occupy Movement"

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Friday, December 30, 2011

Respect and the "enclave mentality"

My cousin Alan Miller and I exchanged the comments below in response to a link I posted on my Facebook wall. The link I posted is about the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, which authorizes the U.S. military to detain anyone accused of being a terrorist or supporting terrorism in military custody, indefinitely, and without trial.


[Bob said (regarding the DAA of 2012)]
This is serious stuff, folks. When the "Bad Guys" hold people indefinitely without charges, without counsel, we call it totalitarianism. Remember, you wouldn't have to actually do anything to be held indefinitely, just be accused of being/supporting/talking to a terrorist.


[Alan said]
Hey, Cuz, here we have an issue we can certainly agree on unequivocally! Any citizen on the left or right could be branded a terrorist, so this is causing concern across the political spectrum. Hmm...didn't we have that thing called habeas corpus that is supposed to apply to all citizens? Bright spot is that I'll bet this wouldn't stand in the supreme court!

[Bob said]
Alan! Dude! You are so right! Having not only voted but also campaigned for Obama, I'm very disappointed for a number of reasons - but this one pretty much takes the $@^% cake! (Not that I'm letting those ^$##^ Bozo's in Congress off the hook...) What this really, REALLY brings home to me is that it's well and truly time to let go of partisan chauvinism (i.e., launching the heavy artillery when "They" do bad stuff, then making excuses, denying or ignoring bad stuff when "We" do it.) If it sucks, it sucks for Obama, Gingrich, Bush, Kennedy, Everybody. BTW - did you actually read any of the stuff at the blog I started? (http://dialogforpeaceandprosperity.blogspot.com/ ) I think we have a lot more in common than might be imagined...(like, I'm seriously looking at voting for Ron Paul...)

[Alan said]
Haven't had time to go through your blog posting- at some point will make time. I think a lot of the crap that goes on would solved if the fed gov just went back to the basics it was supposed to do under the constitution- common defense, coordinate commerce between the states, etc. and let the states handle everything else on a local level. That's like trying to get the genie back in the bottle, though- too much power and money to give up! The beauty of control going back to the states would be the amount of real "diversity" (that revered buzz word) that would be created as like-minded people create the kind of structures they want in their states and cities. But the feds always redefine the issue of states rights back into the issue of racial discrimination in the south and use that to rationalize federal control over ALL areas of life, because the issue of "equality" (of outcome) is seen to trump individual freedom and responsibility.

…Speaking of which; if you don't like central control, have you gotten a grip on this UN Agenda 21 issue- the idea of using the concept of "sustainability" to affect world-wide centralized control of all areas of life with the rationale that it is all necessary to "save the planet"? Check out this article (from the dreaded Fox News) about the EPA taking up this call to become proactive in not only environmental, but ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL areas of life. I would think you would agree on how this can lead to top down micromanagement of how we live.. Especially note the segment on how this is playing out in Europe. Hey, everybody is for clean air and water, but all issues of life are then redefined back into that issue, so, for example, if you want to live in a single family home or drive somewhere in your own car you want to DESTROY THE PLANET. Here's a link to the article, and a link to an article on Agenda 21. You can find agenda 21 stuff on the UN's own site too. I mean, man, it's got to be obvious the power grab that's going on here! (I'm heading to Yakima tomorrow for the rest of the week, so when you respond back it might take me a while to get back to you. But I'm interested in your take on this and how scientific debate is being silenced by the urgent push to seize control of our lives in the name of "we've got to do something- and we'll tell you what it will be. And you will pay us to do it." http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/12/19/epa-ponders-expanded-regulatory-power-in-name-sustainable-development/?test=latestnews

…and Agenda 21- http://www.sovereigndistinction.com/globalization.html

…and the UN Eco Power Grab:

Exclusive: UN Climate Draft Text Demands 'New International Climate Court' to compel reparations for…


I did visit all the websites and articles that Alan mentioned above, and found some very interesting things.

To start with, I'd never read or listened to anything from Fox News, so it came as something of a surprise to me that the article on the Environmental Protection Agency by George Russell (Executive Editor of Fox News) displayed less blatant editorial bias than many comparable pieces from liberal/progressive/green sources. I also watched a couple of Fox News video clips, and thought they both gave a pretty even handed perspective on the issues they covered.

Next I visited the Sovereign Distinction site, and read some of the article from December, 2010 by Donna J. Holt on [United Nations] Agenda 21, Private Property and National Sovereignty. While I thought the overall tone of the website and the article more strident and partisan than Fox, I was impressed by the careful research, attributions for information sources, and links to sites for "see for yourself" confirmation of what was being said.

Then I followed the link to www.climatedepot.com, and found what I judge to be bare-knuckled conservative polemic typified by statements like "The contents of this document, turgidly drafted with all the UN's skill at what the former head of its documentation center used to call “transparent impenetrability”, are not just off the wall – they are lunatic." and "The draft, which seems to have been written by feeble-minded green activists and environmental extremists, talks of “The recognition and defence of the rights of Mother Earth to ensure harmony between humanity and nature”."

Setting aside the issue of editorial bias, what impresses me about all three of these sites is the validity and importance of the concerns they are raising.

I did go directly to the United Nations website and scanned their posting of UN Agenda 21, and I think a good case can be made for it being Old Guard Socialism marching under the banner of Sustainable Development.

40 years ago, I would've said "Right on, Brothers! Power to the People!"

20 years ago, I would've said "Gee, I'm all for helping Mother Earth, and I think these people are trying to do that, but I'm having a hard time understanding what, exactly, they're doing…"

Right now, in the last couple of days of 2011, I'm still all for helping Mother Earth, and still think the UN people and their allies are trying to do that.

What has changed for me is that I no longer believe that a just and sustainable world can be created by anything like Agenda 21, which in it own preamble states that "Its successful implementation is first and foremost the responsibility of Governments."

What I'm seeing is that the same combination of pork-barrel politics, bureaucratic arrogance and self-service masquerading as public service that helped create the military-industrial complex and endless war, the medical-industrial complex and endless health care costs, the oil-industrial complex and endless pursuit of the next barrel of crude, can now help create an eco-industrial complex and endless justification of any kind of power grabbing and coercion in the name of sustainable development.

I believe that the creation and implementation of any just and sustainable socio-economic system, whether at the regional, national or trans-national level, is first and foremost the responsibility of the people who live within that system, and that it must be based on mutual respect and cooperation, not mandated by an elite of and then implemented by force.

I also believe that to do that we must let go of the "enclave mentality", in which we insulate ourselves from a world of conflicting values and opinions by respecting and listening only to people whose opinions agree with our own, and dismissing and disrespecting people whose opinions disagree with our own.

I am as guilty of this as anyone, as I found out when I visited the websites that Alan recommended, and found much truth there that I had previously dismissed because I "didn't like the politics" of the people who were presenting it.

Respect does not always equal agreement, disagreement does not always mean disrespect.

In order to authentically agree or disagree about anything, we must first respect and pursue the truth, regardless of who tells it or how inconvenient it may be.

If we commit to telling and hearing the truth regardless of how disagreeable or inconvenient it may be, and we honor that commitment in our speaking and listening, that is respect.

Where there is respect, there can be trust.

Where there is trust, there can be cooperation.

Where there is cooperation, all things are possible.

Next up: "On The Nature Of Truth And Democracy"

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