Do You Value Terrorism?

Values define you as a Terrorist or Other Than a Terrorist

You are known and understood by others by what you value which is reflected in your interests and actions, how you spend your time and also in what you say. Oftentimes people will say one thing and do something else. This is called hypocrisy and when someone behaves hypocritically it calls into question what they truly value and helps us see the real importance or priority they place on things. For example, telling your children not to take up smoking while you snuff out your own cigarette tells them that you value smoking more than not smoking, no matter what you say your actions speak louder than your words. These same rules apply to organizations from teams to companies, groups and even countries. Everyone is perceived more by their actions and these actions define their values.  When you live your values, you live with integrity.

“Many of us believe that wrongs aren’t wrong if it’s done by nice people like ourselves. Author Unknown

Recently I saw this article: “CIA shifts focus to killing targets” . The article in the Washington Post declares many things including:

  • “The drone program has killed more than 2,000 militants and civilians since 2001.
  • The CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, which had 300 employees on the day of the attacks, now exceeds al-Qaeda’s core membership around the globe. With about 2,000 on its staff, the CTC accounts for 10 percent of the agency’s workforce, has designated officers in almost every significant overseas post and controls the CIA’s expanding fleet of drones.
  • Even the agency’s analytic branch, which traditionally existed to provide insights to policymakers, has been enlisted in the hunt. About 20 percent of CIA analysts are now “targeters” scanning data for individuals to recruit, arrest or place in the cross­hairs of a drone. The skill is in such demand that the CIA made targeting a designated career track five years ago, meaning analysts can collect raises and promotions without having to leave the targeting field.”

“We have two kinds of morality side by side: one which we preach but do not practice

and another which we practice but seldom preach.” ~Bertrand Russell

As I read this article it sounds to me as if we have become another terrorist organization just like the ones we are hunting. Our country is paying our citizens and even foreign citizens to help find “enemies” to kill or capture. Isn’t this what the terrorists are doing too? They don’t have our level of resources and sophistication so they have to rely less on technology and more on courage, guile and deceit, but wait that’s what we rely on too isn’t it, except we also have the technology.

Does America value terrorism?

One of my values learned as a young boy was the value of human life. I was raised a Catholic, same as my Mother, but my Father was a Methodist and an attorney and his Father-in-Law had been a Methodist Minister. So, I got a lot of morality training from my parents, priests, nuns and teachers as I developed as well as a good understanding and respect for the law. As a child I thought there existed common values shared by all American’s such as a respect for human life, that people were to be considered innocent of a crime until proven guilty in a court of law and judged by their peers. These were important values to me which is why I was so outraged on September 11th, 2001 when the World Trade Center was “bombed” by airplanes commandeered by terrorists. These terrorists were obviously guilty, they were caught in the act and would have been punished if their terrorists acts had not also been a martyrdom to causes they allegedly believed in. ( Perhaps, some of them were simply sociopaths who wanted to kill lots of people or get even.) We’ll never know, but I was glad they had died in the plane crashes along with those others they murdered through their selfish acts of terrorism. I was also supportive of actions to capture those responsible so that they could be tried in a court of law and punished for their crimes as valuable lessons to others who contemplated the commission of terrorist acts. While I supported the effort in Afghanistan to oust the Taliban and Al Qaeda I did not support the invasion of Iraq because it was obvious before the war that it probably had no real basis and sure enough, no weapons of mass destruction or secret plans by Saddam Hussein or direct connections to al-Qaeda were ever found. Now ten years later Osama bin Laden is dead, al-Qaeda is not the p0werhouse we imagined it was or used to be, and there are other terrorists cells, individuals and groups who would also attack symbols of western influence in pursuit of furthering a fundamentalist Islamic regime. While some people say it is not a religious war, that’s blatantly silly. Of course it is a religious war. It is a war against a fundamentalist form of a religion that we in the West find intolerable.

There are fundamentalist forms of Christian religions we also find intolerable but since they are not currently attacking us in the direct, violent confrontations but instead trying to buy greater influence through our somewhat corrupted political processes we tolerate them. Why? Because at heart the powerful know that we are a nation that believes in separation of church and state and although the former might be able to greatly influence the latter it is a difficult process unless we amend the constitution which has been tried off and on, unsuccessfully, since the mid 1800’s. During the Civil War Christian Leaders used the “wrath of God” argument claiming that the Civil War was occurring as punishment for not including a stronger Christian affirmation into our constitution. When we were in the cold war fighting Communism in the 40’s and 50’s it was tried again and also in the 60’s and 90’s. Fortunately, this has never occurred and those who are smart enough to understand why also understand it would be the source of a greater tear in the fabric of our constitution and civilization than a thousand al-Qaeda’s.

When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of,

he always declares that it is his duty. ~George Bernard Shaw

How to value or define terrorism?

This has been an ongoing debate leading to no international agreed-upon definition so I’ll use the one from the U. S. Code (Laws) which is paraphrased as:

Terrorism means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncambatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.

Noncombatant is interpreted to include, in addition to civilians, military personnel who at the time of the incident are unarmed and/or not on duty.

By our own definition we are not terrorists.  Our “targets” are not noncombatants but sometimes the civilians get in the way or are killed as “collateral damage”.  Using this definition, one could argue that all people killed on 9/11 were “collateral damage” by al-Qaeda as it tried to destroy buildings that were symbols of the Western political and economic influence. We have formed our own justifications for our actions which are fuzzy border lines to rationalize our actions.

By our own actions we may be terrorists.  What values are represented?

Well, for one we demonstrate that America truly does not value human life or the power of the law above  revenge or due process.  Or perhaps, we simply value safety, law and order and our western institutions and influence over these other values which we often profess.  Whatever motivations we claim or values we claim for our behaviors, our actions will speak louder than our words.  We value killing one ‘high-value’ target at the expense of “collateral damage’ in women, children and others who happened to be in the “kill zone”.  And by doing this every day, we strike terror in the hearts of our enemies, civilians and others who happen to live where these enemies live.  We have become the terrorists we deplore but we put a better “spin” on our murders.

The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be. ~Socrates

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Ever have one of those days?

What’s your story?

Here’s mine:   It never ceases to amaze me how some of the simplest things can be screwed up.  I recently got in my car to leave for an important appointment at 7:00 AM.    I made it about twenty-five feet when I realized I had a flat tire.  Funny, it was fine when I went to bed and parked the car yesterday evening.  Where did the air and nitrogen mixture go?  Yes, it’s a Toyota Corolla so the tires have a mixture of nitrogen.  Why this mixture is necessary I don’t know.   Normal air is about 70% nitrogen so how much more nitrogen does a Toyota Corolla tire need?   I went to remove the donut tire from my trunk and use my jack for the first time since i bought the car in 2010.  This was generally an easy process although removing the jack was more difficult than it should have been as some design engineer had come up with a clever way to hold the jack in the trunk that was very secure as well as invisible.

Eventually, I got the jack loose, raised the car, removed the hub cap and begin to loosen the lug nuts.  Now, anyone that has ever removed a tire knows that loosening the lug nuts is generally the hardest part of the job.  It was so with my Toyota but simply using the jack was a warm-up work-out..  The jack was one of the new screw designs which actually makes it feel like you are somehow really lifting the car while the jack creep upwards.   As perspiration began to appear in the 80 degree, humid morning air I finally got the car up and proceeded to loosen the lug nuts.

Apparently, as a safety precaution, the last person to reinstall the tires after rotating them must have lathered the bolts with superglue before they put the lug nuts back on or perhaps the incredible Hulk is now working at my Toyota Dealer.  Removing the lug nuts was like moving dead trees after a bad storm.  No matter how much weight and muscle you apply it seems as if you just don’t have enough until you are finally red-faced and about to give up when you make some progress.  Perhaps the sweat and tears were dripping on the lug nuts dissolving the superglue.  Each bolt was resistant to removal so I felt like I had defeated an army of five when I finished and thought , this is how a surviving slave-turned-gladiator must felt.  I celebrated by victory by washing my hands and arriving a half hour late for my appointment.

Later, Ken Suter, a friend at TLC Auto Shop tipped me off that Discount Tire generally repairs tires for free and can provide the nitrogen necessary.  So, I attempted to get the free tire repair and stopped at Discount Tire.  They don’t have WiFi so I left my car for an hour and went across the street to an iHop which I learned also does not have WiFi.    (I could have walked a little farther up a hill to a Taco Cabana that does have WiFi but I’m in Lewisville, Texas and it was almost 102 degrees by then.)

The iHop was well air-conditioned.  I ordered a coffee and a dish of ice cream which was advertised as the least expensive dessert for $1.59.  My waiter, who first apologized for a general lack of knowledge about their dessert offerings, asked me if I wanted one, two or three scoops. I asked him how many scoops I got for the $1.59 stated in the menu and he said, “one”.  I said one scoop of Chocolate Ice Cream would be fine.  The service was quick.  Within a couple of minutes he brought me a very small dish which looked like about 80% of a scoop containing vanilla ice cream.  I was underwhelmed with the portion and disappointed that in a choice between Chocolate and Vanilla, and after ordering Chocolate he brought me Vanilla.  I went ahead and ate it because frankly I would be embarrassed for him to let him know he screwed up something so simple, unless he also brought me tea instead of coffee.

Now, I just heard from Discount Tire.  The tire that was flat was an original tire with 33,000 miles on it, lots of tread left but an unusual TACK of some sort had penetrated the inside side wall of the tire and is not repairable, (unless I wanted a slow-leaking tire instead of a flat one).  How does a tire get a tack on the inside of the sidewall of a tire?

After paying for a $92  Kelly Tire of similar value as the original tire that was ruined,  I went home to hide.  It was mid-afternoon and I wasn’t taking any more chances, or so I thought.

Oops, I forgot to pick up a prescription at the Wal Mart pharmacy and it was now 840 PM the same day and they close at 9:00pm.  I rushed to put the dog in the car (we were going to stop at the Dog Park after I picked up the prescription).  The pharmacy did not have my order ready although when I ordered it on the phone I was told it would be ready for pick-up the day before.  According to their records I was using the drug too fast, but I pointed out that the Doctor had told me to double the frequency of the medication and they would work it out with him.  That is not how it works.  After a great deal of huffing and puffing (my usual retail negotiation strategy) along with explaining the mix-up they eventually gave me the prescription and then turned off the  lights and closed the pharmacy.  Trying to negotiate when they are trying to close and go home is probably a good tactic too as well as implying you will definitely die or something if you don’t get this prescription renewed tonight and your dependents will sue them for billions of dollars.

On my way out of the store I fell into a quagmire of sale-priced DVD’s and wasted almost 40 minutes looking at all the great movies I could buy for as little as $5-$10 like Quantum of Solace, Heartbreak Ridge, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, etc., and a bunch of higher priced Blu-Ray movies next to the sale items.  (Smart store marketing).  Finally decided I didn’t really need to buy any more movies.  Unfortunately, it was now too late to go to the dog park so I went home and just walked the dog instead.

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Every Day

Every day we are reborn
Into a universe adorned
With mysteries and lights,
An infinite wealth of sights.
And people just like us
Who need a hug and trust
That we need one too.
So that’s what we should do,
Share God’s love with all
Across our little Earthly ball.
No matter who they are
Or if they be close or far
They are our Sisters and Brothers
Without them we have no others
To share the smell of flowers,
Or stand in soft rain showers,
To walk and simply listen,
Or enjoy a dewdrops glisten.
Each day is another chance
For a world-wide joyous dance.

By Gregg Sterett 06/23/2011

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When is someone a sex addict or just a Weiner?

Book "Out of the Shadows" - Understanding Sexual AddictionSexual addiction is a large problem in many societies that is seldom talked about because of the negative stigma of someone being a “sex addict” and  the addict often does not realize they are addicted.  Even the professionals in Psychology still argue about whether it is in fact an addiction since it generally has no “physiological” basis such as heroin, nicotine or alcohol addiction.  One of my friends Dr. Gary Kindley  specializes in counseling for sexual and sexual addiction issues because sex addiction is often a serious problem in many relationships.   So I asked Dr. Kindley how you define a sex addict and he said, “When sexual acts, thoughts or behaviors disrupt someone’s ability to lead a normal life then it has reached the category of an addiction.  This is especially true when it has become a damaging influence.”  So, using this definition as the test of whether someone has a sexual addiction issue would define Congressman Weiner as a sex addict and not just, well, a “weiner” which in addition to being defined as a hot dog, sausage or a penis is also used to identify “a stupid person”.  Perhaps Congressman Weiner is both a sex addict and a stupid person.

Another view of “sexual addiction is that it is a model to explain ‘hypersexuality’, according to Wikipedia these are “sexual urges, behaviors or thoughts that appear extreme in frequency or feel out of one’s control.”   The professionals, i.e. Psychologists, Counselors, Psychiatrists and others are mixed on whether hypersexuality is truly an addiction but they generally propose a 12-Step like program to help people deal with it such as through Sex Addicts Anonymous or a more intensive program involving cognitive behavioral therapy similar to that created to treat Sex Offenders in many states.   Aversion therapy  is another form of treatment where the subject is taught to associate an unpleasant smell such as ammonia, or an actual physical pain with a particular thought or chain of thoughts that they wish to avoid but results here have been mixed.  (Coincidentally, this is  the therapy used in the movie “A Clockwork Orange” which celebrated its 40th anniversary recently, and was used as a futuristic way to reform criminals).

The real problem with most sex addicts or others engaged in hypersexuality  is that they do not realize they have a problem until they get into trouble or their lives take a turn for the worse.  If they had been encouraged to seek help by relatives, friends or colleagues who were aware of some of their activity then perhaps they might be able to avoid later damage to their lives and those around them.   Once discovered, as is the case with Congressman Weiner, it still seems he fails to understand that he has a problem.  This also helps explain why so many other people including celebrities, politicians and others who have been engaged in what might be considered self-destructive sexual behaviors may go for many years before their behavior comes to light.  They didn’t believe they had a problem or they rationalized its existence to themselves (lied to themselves).   Most are usually slow to admit guilt or recognize that they have a need for an intervention in their lives.  While many sex addicts may apologize for their behaviors, it is really only when they recognize they have a problem and seek or are required to get professional help that might be able to change their thinking and with this change their behavior.   While the urge to procreate may be a natural impulse,  it is a thought-based behavior problem when sexual activities lead to self-destructive behaviors or harm others.

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Networking For Hermits, Beginners and Newbies

Networking for Hermits  is a free downloadable (pdf) guide-book for people who are new to networking.  Networking is not about selling to the people in the room, it is about earning the chance to sell to their 250-1000 contacts.

Most people who are new to networking think that when they are asked to give a short commercial introduction that they are selling to the room.  This is not the case.  In a commercial introduction you are telling people in a very succinct way:  What problem exists for your targeted ‘ideal’ referral that day.  What solution you provide to solve this problemWhat authority you have to solve this problem; experience, licensing, credentials, education or training  (pick one or two).  Who you are and what is the best way to contact you and lastly, who is the ideal referral you are looking for today (be specific so a name will quickly come to the mind of the listener.  Here is an example:

Problem:  Many small business owners and professionals find that they are too busy to create blogs, feature articles and post on social media websites to help grow their business.

Solution:  As a Virtual Executive Assistant I can do this for them providing reliable, well-written articles that help them get new customers and contacts from internet searches.

Authority:  My name is Gregg Sterett and I have 35 years experience in business in Marketing Communications, Sales, Training and Quality Improvement.

Contact:   My company, Sterett Enterprises LLC of Lewisville, Texas,  has been in business for over two years and is on the web at GreatPeopleWorks.com.  My business cards are in the front of the room.

Ideal Referral:  Today, I’d like a referral to your Dentist or Family Physician.  Please write their name on the back of one of your business cards now, and pass it to me.  Thank you.

Using this approach and following the points in the free networking for book above practically guarantees you will get referrals, but most people will not refer you based on a single, short commercial message.  You must schedule one-on-one meetings with them and build relationships, earning their trust and respect.  Then you will have no trouble gaining networking referrals.

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Honey Bees Launch Biological Attack on World

Honey bees organized into a variety of secret cells and hives have launched a massive biological warfare attack on the world by injecting a variety of fruits and vegetables with the e.coli bacteria scientists announced today.  A Spokesbee for Apis Spiculum Versura (ASV), Bee Sting Sweep in latin, advised this group plans to spread the bacteria continually over the entire world unless certain changes are made to the environment.    These demands which are expected to be denounced as terrorist threats include a list of five changes and have allegedly been provided to several heads of world governments via regular post according to the Spokesbee.   So far, none of their demands has been acknowledged or commented upon publicly by any governments.  As a result, the Spokesbee indicated they will continue to spread the e.coli bacteria to a variety of other food sources until their demands are met.

The demands are listed below:

1)  A plan for the discontinuance of fossil fuels usage is to be phased in worldwide over the next ten years by 2021.

2)  A plan for the discontinuance of water pollution with protection and preservation of all fresh water resources world-wide is to begin immediately including the construction of no less than 200 new desalinization plants over the next ten years around the world to produce fresh water from the oceans.

3)  Implementation of a plan to increase the number of wild flowers and an end to deforestation of rain forests and sacred bee habitats worldwide.

4)  Protection of bees by the same laws governing other endangered species.

5)  The creation of protected bee habitats around the world to encourage bee growth and in recognition of their vital role in the growth of fruits and vegetables and pollinating many organisms.

The group also added that they are in no way connected to Apis Apidae Mellifera Scutellata, otherwise known as Killer Bees and that for all intents and purposes they are a peaceful group, seeking only to survive as a benevolent insect producing honey and pollinating a variety of plant life, much of which is eaten by humans.  “We come in peace, and hope to continue our long association and relationship which has existed for over 5,000 years, but honestly, you are screwing up the planet and it just has to stop.”

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Startling Breakthroughs in DNA Research

Scientist at workRecent developments in DNA research on the human genome promise to give mankind many more options in the future to eliminate disease in the genetic structure and possibly cultivate development of certain traits and attributes in our children long before they are born.  Not as well-known among these studies is the recently announcement by North Korean scientists of their startling breakthroughs  in identifying important genes and the laboratory manufacture of hybrid genes which could be added or removed prior to embryogenesis, the earliest point in human development after conception.   In order to learn more about this issue we went Behind the Cell Wall for this report.

The Armageddon Gene – This gene was identified in several living people including a  famous Radio Minister who  predicted that the earth would end last  May 21, 2011 (now postponed by God until October) and is believed to have been present in Nostradamus and others who are no longer available for genetic testing.  The gene apparently helps the individual divine the exact dates when the world will end.  The fact that none of them has yet been right is believed to be due to deterioration, radiation exposure and atmospheric degradation over the past 60,000 years in the human genome.  There is a countervailing theory that the Mayans, secluded as they were in the jungles and rain forests, may have avoided deterioration in their genetic abilities and so their predictions will prove  correct and the world will actually end next year in December 2012.

Trump Gene – This particular gene impacts human development by producing offspring that experience delusions of grandeur and chronic bad hair days.

Boehner Gene – This is primarily a gene that becomes dominant in males and causes them to weep uncontrollably  at unexpected times which is desirable when proving that real men do cry but quite embarrassing during the adolescent years.

Roethlisberger-Spitzer-Schwarzenegger-Strauss-Kahn Gene – This gene is quite widespread in the world but usually found in males.  It appears to be related to narcissism often causing men in positions of power to become sexually promiscuous or aggressive at great risk to their own positions and good standing, even to the point of destroying their own careers and families.    Another study has labeled this gene the “caveman” gene, a throwback gene useful in the development of early civilization that has long outlived its usefulness in modern society.

Depp Gene – This is also called the ‘charismatic gene’ one of the more positive genes that many parents may wish to endow to their children.  People with this gene become immensely popular and likeable without much apparent effort on their part.  It is thought to produce some sort of synergy between other gene interactions to inexplicably make these persons desirable to watch and be around.

The J. Lewis-M. Farrow Gene – This is another positive gene that provides a desire and ability in the person to defend, represent and assume a position of great importance  in the pursuit of humanitarian ideals.  Named after Jerry Lewis and Mia Farrow, great humanitarians, this gene has been identified in several other well-know people including  Mother Theresa and Jimmy Carter, but the two scientists who discovered this gene were really big fans of Jerry Lewis comedies and the movie “Rosemary’s Baby”.

The Palin Gene – The gene has been identified in only a few individuals at present but early research show a direct link between this gene and low intelligence.  It is believed that removal of this gene may remove a significant barriers to learning especially pertaining to spatial relationships, memory retention and the ability to learn foreign languages.

Helpful Hybrid Laboratory produced Genes:

Shaquile-André Gene – This is a gene designed to produce extremely tall and large humans, practically giants, with excellent motor skills, a highly competitive nature and an inherent ability to get along well with small children once they come out of hiding.

Madoff-Buffett Gene – This gene was produced to ensure children develop into brilliant investment analysts able to identify and take advantage of sound value-based investment strategies and opportunities or to create their own when none were readily available.

Lewis & Clark-Armstrong-Kirk Gene – This gene creates boys and girls that want to grow up to become an astronaut and go where no man has gone before, make a quick map of it and come back.  If you want your child to work at NASA or the North Korean Space Program someday gene is a must add-on.

Faulkner-Kafka-Shakespeare Gene – This is the gene for literary greatness guaranteed to move children from Mad magazine and Batman comics into serious writing in a variety of genres about subjects too sensitive, so complex, intricate, symbolic and moving that it may take years after their passing for us to really understand what they were talking about.

McCartney-Presley-Dylan Gene– Scientists tell us this was one of their most difficult hybrid genes to manufacture in the laboratory as it was constantly breaking up, reforming and changing.  For awhile they were afraid they had created a virus, but the final gene product guarantees to produce children with unusual musical talents waiting to be unleashed on an unsuspecting world.

As we learn more from Behind the Cell Wall we will continue to update you.

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