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Sunday, January 27, 2013

American Ideology in Danger!

     From WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, to internet tragedy Aaron Swartz and the growing political and social controversy over gun control, our founding fathers of the great United States of America seemed to have failed to clarify what other unalienable human rights we are really allowed by our government?

American concepts of war being a beast unleashed as a last resort and objectives of achieving world peace have been transformed into a perpetual political debate on who to go to war with in the future. These are the dangerous crossroads that we all now face. One wrong turn at this point and our symbolic dreams will become the World's nightmare; whether they are a country, a state, or an individual.
                                                                 Brian Thomas Armstrong

American Ideology in Danger!

American Ideologies are being split in two over several aspects of the founding fathers of our countries true definitions of what rights should be afforded the general population of American society.  When and how far to take those rights before risking harm to that society is the dilemma we are all facing today.

Several modern political debates of these said rights have been appearing in issues such as gun control, governmental prosecutorial overreach, web and copyright laws to torture and drone attacks overseas. What constitutes an ‘Enemy of the State’ and what rights should we afford our so called “enemies overseas,” and to what extent we are willing to go to in order to protect and uphold the rights of our also so called “allies,” remains a prominent subject for heated debate in our country.

The Declaration of Independence states that,” We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these rights are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Unfortunately the Declaration of Independence failed to clarify just what all those other unalienable rights were that the pursuit was among. As usual with American political ideological debate these questions pose even more questions than they provide answers to.

This lack of clarity on the documents part has created a division of ideologies right down the middle, causing democracy to fall out of balance even though it is split equally. 

This has been seen in the latest social debates on whistleblowers and what punishment should fit the crimes of both the offending parties, and as is lately often the case, the legal liabilities of the whistleblower.

Do those unalienable rights extend to all people as to how much whistle blowing in federal government shall be allowed without endangering national security? If these rights are restricted are we still practicing democracy in the true form it was meant to be practiced in?

From the modern controversies of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange releasing received classified documents on the World Wide Web, to the tragic death of RSS and Reddit genius Aaron Swartz. We are made more aware everyday of the need to reassess who the real enemies are. When this promising and intelligent computer wiz was found hanging dead in his home from apparent suicide after legal troubles with the federal government, and his illegal downloading charges that could have sent him away to federal prison for thirty – five years, obviously and adversely tossed even poor Aaron Swartz for a loop, many Americans, not to mention watchers of the world felt the strong influence of potential governmental American prosecutorial overreach in Swartz’s death.

With so many questions being opened up these days for society to ponder about what all people’s inalienable rights around the world should be, and how our American Ideologies effect the modern world, we must start to wonder if our society still understands what our forefathers interpretations of those inalienable human rights are, and how they should be administered in our modern social political world.

The modern American internal debate about how the public's constitutional rights at home should be distributed democratically, has put into perspective the urgency of the situation to clarify these concepts of “Creator Given” rights and human freedoms of choice.

Before these vague modern interpretations turn even further into more public apathy, and then unfortunately to dictatorship by public inaction, our clearly set standard of patriotic ideals obviously has failed to be good enough.

The Declaration of Independence also states that if these rights should be grossly overlooked by their governing bodies, and said valid grievances be totally overlooked by the peoples government, and that government does so to the extent that it is destructive to the people it is supposed to represent, the people have the unalienable right to abolish said government and organize a new government based on principles and ideals that will most likely lead to societies return to safety and happiness.

This interpretation of the Declaration of Independence was somewhat paraphrased but was put into slightly more modern terms as well. The biggest mystery in this debate of rights and original American ideologies is what constitutes sufficient grounds for revolting against your government, and more importantly what level of rights should be safely afforded the public without interfering or endangering national security.

To try to define democratic ideology as one single entity of sustainable self-rule is like trying to define human nature as one single set aspect of humanity; both are limitless with possibilities. If you pick up a standard college textbook such as “Political Ideologies and Democratic Ideal” Their interpretation of “Ideology” defines it as “a fairly coherent and comprehensive set of ideals that explains and evaluates social conditions, helps people understand their place in society, and provides a program for social and political action.” This promising ideology cannot be accomplished by a numb and apathetic modern democratic American Society, this ideological dream can only be accomplished by an educated and informed society with clear ideals formed by innovative progressive public debate and action on the most important and sometimes neglected and under-appreciated unalienable American rights; the rights our forefathers promised us.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

If Colin Powell Says Hagel's OK, then Hagel's OK

I don't know that much about Sen. Chuck Hagel. I have heard rumors of Hagel not being gay-friendly enough to hold the post of secretary of defense. "Boy, has the criteria changed over the last decade or so for secretary of defense!" I know he was in the military in Vietnam; it's a good thing to have served before if you want to be in charge of the defense of the most powerful nation on Earth.
But with so much petty politics and hidden agendas fueling the D.C. rumor mill, I don't take much credit in what I hear or read. Being an old Army infantry sergeant who served in the early '80 s with the prestigious Big Red One First Infantry Division, and with the Eighth Infantry Pathfinders in Germany, I don't want to hear what other senators and paid lobbyists have to say about Hagel's merit. Rather, I want to hear what other old military dogs have to say about Hagel.
I read that Colin Powell has endorsed Hagel, which was all I needed to give my approval as well.
That aside, if Hagel is confirmed, here's what I'd like to see him spearhead in the Department of Defense: The military should develop extensive drone and robot deployment, production and research. Being an old infantry "beetle head," I know the last thing a soldier wants to hear is your superior picking out names to storm the machine guns over the hill so the rest of the survivors know what they're up against. Sending in a robot or a drone to dodge those bullets instead (and finding out what and who are on the other side first) sounds much more prudent to me. And to the moms, dads, husbands, wives and children back home.