United State

Just some random thoughts on a Sunday afternoon.

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p10104  Why is it so many people over seas dislikes western culture and the governmental powers of the western world? Well far as our culture, to a morality based religious culture the western culture would appear to be quite decadent and low in moral standards. Besides the cultural differences there is the past colonization of the middle east by the British and French. Even though all the colonies were dissolved and abandoned the resentment is still there. Then the long dislike between Islam and both Christians and Jewish faiths doesn’t make things any easier between the western and middle eastern powers. Sometimes I believe the west in general seems to interfere too much with the middle east and that keeps mistrust and hatred brewing.  A lot of the tension in the middle east is spawned from the constant debate of the Holy places in Israel. The fact that civilized people can not come to a fair way of sharing the Holy sites. The holy sites do not belong to one religion, they belong to all of God’s children be they Muslim, Jewish or even Christian.

After all we are all followers of the same god regardless the fact that the prophets we choose may be different or we may believe the messiah has already came once or not. Religion put aside there is the presence of military forces in middle eastern countries, even if they are invited by the governments or not they are seen as invaders by some in that region. Places like Iraq and Afghanistan may require our presence for a short while longer but the sooner we pull out and let the active governments stand on their own the better. The fear of a terrorist supporting government taking over or infiltrating the new governments in Iraq or Afghanistan is a waste of time. Regardless of how long you train and support the current governments the fact remains there will always be the risk they will turn terroristic or unfriendly after we leave. Our military presence isn’t going to make any difference on that fact. Plus with a about a decade of military and financial support, both Iraq and Afghanistan should be able to stand on their own by now.

Diplomacy should be the first priority for both the west and the middle eastern powers, both sides need to put their past differences aside for the good of our world. Trust can be earned on both sides if they are both willing to work at it and maybe sacrifice a few things along the way. Peace is always a possibility if both sides are truly willing to work for it. Just think how much money both sides would save and be able to apply to helping the people who are in need. All the money spent by governments and terrorist organizations to wage war could be used to build houses, schools and feed the hungry or heal the sick.

Just some random thoughts on a Sunday afternoon.

Raymond Barbier

You can not force a change on a society that is not ready

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IMG_1077  Should we be in Afghanistan or Iraq? Afghanistan I believe was a necessary step in both retaliation for 9/11 and to reduce the abilities of the terrorist. Iraq on the other hand I believe was an Unnecessary war, the removal of the Iraqi government and military might left a vacuum of power in the region giving Iran a stronger position in the region. Regardless of what war was justified or not, it is time to bring our troops home and allow both countries stand on their own. Our military forces in the middle east is unwelcome by most if not all Arab nations, even the ones that say they welcome them. We must learn to have a foreign policy in the middle east that is less threatening.

I understand the position western countries take when it come to human rights and the fear of unstable nations achieving nuclear armament but our interference in the region is not going to stop the enviable only postpone it. So instead of trying to control the nuclear threat we should be concentrating on both the defense against the threat and the reduction of nuclear stockpiles globally. I have never understood the reason why any nation would want to possess such horrifying weapons of mass destruction. The thought anyone would want to kill that many innocent civilians . No religion, Nation or principle should be worth the death of so many.

We should learn to respect the right of each nation to rule their land as they wish, as seen the people in those countries eventually enact the changes necessary in the end. Of course change usually is painful and costly in the end, but the change is a necessary part of any society’s development. And you can not force a change on a society that is not ready, it’s a process that must happen on its own. The United States has a long way to go far as learning the above lessons and in creating a better relationship with middle eastern countries. Our reputation in the middle east is not a positive one and obviously we need to change our policies in order to improve that reputation.

I know I am no military strategist or foreign policy expert but I do know that our foreign policies are not working and usually using military force is not the best idea, because wars cost us in casualties and in money.

Just some thoughts this modern layman had. Right or wrong They are here to share.

Raymond Barbier

Ramblings of a Middle Aged Average Joe

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007-2 Social Unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, Earthquakes, Tsunamis and threat of an nuclear meltdown in Japan. Anchovies and sardines dying is the millions in a San Francisco harbor. The honey bee population dwindling and still no explanation as of why they are dying off. Something seems out of balance, change is coming to our world and it isn’t looking too good to me. Change is unavoidable and paying for our neglect / disrespect towards our home plant earth. Greed and lust for power outweighs the welfare of mother earth and those who live on it. The Select or Elite rule our world and care little about anything but their own gain while the masses stand by watching it all fall to pieces before them.

  Violence is not the way for change though it is an unfortunate reality in our world. War and violence is a necessary evil at times to keep the balance in our world. Peace, love, understanding and cooperation are the best ways to enact change. Also Truth is a great igniter of change, for knowledge and truth are the building stones for a better world. The fact we all are responsible for this world we live in and we must find better ways to do so. Better ways to generate electricity and an alternative to Oil.

Oil, coal and natural gas will eventually become depleted and the pollution from their use will further damage our environment and also our economy. The world needs to wake up and see the wisdom in both renewable fuel sources and power sources like solar wind and hydro. Our children and grandchildren have to live in this world we leave them, so we should try to leave them with a Ecofriendly and wiser world. The fact that eventually oil sources will become scarce and depleted brings to light we need to have an alternative fuel source to avoid possible wars over the dwindling supply.

There is so much we need to change in the world and in the way we both view and live in it. It is going to take the effort of governments, businesses and the civilian  population to make the changes needed to get our world on the right track. There will have to be some sacrifices in the process but so many benefits will be found along the way. Nothing of great value is ever gained without hard work and sacrifice, Neither does any good deed done go without an award in the end. Even if our labor and sacrifices don’t bring forth fruit until several generations it will still be worth the effort.

The good thing about truth, love, peace, understanding and change is that they all can start in one person.  Just like one seed can grow a orchard if not a forest  , one persons voice can become a nations or even the worlds in time.

Well enough of my tree hugging ramblings for now.
Peace to all

Raymond Barbier

An Old Mans Reflections on 2/17/2011

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HPIM0012b  As a child I saw the world through rose colored glasses and believed that all was fair and just in the world around me. I grew through my childhood and teen years trying to live as a fair and just boy / young man only to receive the wrath and cruelty of my peers. I watched friends being bullied and found myself at times standing between the bully and those he wanted to terrorize. Never the cool guy and always the average guy in the middle is the part I played through my teens. The older I got the more my eyes were open to the unfairness and injustice in the world around me. Even though the world seems to run on greed and selfishness I still tried to hang on to the idea that there was goodness in this world.

  Every time I was close to just giving up and giving in to the fact the world was cruel and had little chance of redemption someone would come along and show me there is still kindness and love in this world. Even now in my forties I have hope for the whole of humanity even though governments and businesses have gotten so powerful and rich that most average people have to struggle to even survive. The fact we must face is governments and the business sector will always be greedy and will always put their own wants and needs above the wellbeing of others. This is due to the fact the majority of politicians and business people had chosen their professions for the purpose of to gain wealth and power. Their may be a few who chose to be a politician to help and serve the people, but they are a rare commodity in modern times.

  In my life I had seen several wars occur and energy shortages several times but never saw so much come to a head at the same time. Riots in the middle eastern countries , China growing into the new super economic power and the decline of the American financial system. I do not believe the United States it yet doomed to total financial ruin as of yet, though if we do not focus on education, innovation and government financial reform we may be heading for another great depression. Though I see some progress in Washington D.C. there is a long way to go far as fixing our nations debt. The debate over entitlements is one of the hot topics on capital hill and across the U.S. at the moment. Should they raise the retirement age or increase the percentage individuals have to contribute. Seems to me if you want to save money in a company or government you either decrease the staff or their salaries. This of course is not an option the congress wants to consider due to the fact it would be their pay checks on the line.

  Even in this mess we live in I still see hope, but this hope is not found in government but among the citizens. Human beings are very adaptable and when they learn to work together there is very little as a species that we can not accomplish or overcome. When we learn to put our selfish natures behind us long enough to see the advantages of a community based mindset we will start to head down the road of recovery and prosperity. As a great author John Donne (1572-1631) once wrote “All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated…As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness….No man is an island, entire of itself…any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

The world may be full of cruelty and unfairness but it is also full of compassion and love. The chore is to learn how to sort through it all and separate the wheat from the chaff without being overwhelmed by it all. To get lost in all the negativity and sorrow around us and or get trapped in the escapes from reality we have made is not an easy task either. It surely is hard to be a single candle standing against the winds of the world and the wickedness it contains. Between the wickedness of the world and the weaknesses we have to face within our own character makes the tasks at hand seem unachievable to our weary souls. This is why we must learn to rely upon the strengths of our fellow humans in life, to combine the light of each candle until we become greater than the darkness we face. Though a voice of an individual can cause change it is limited to the range in which it can be heard. The Voices of many can carry further as well as cover a larger area, therefore create change exponentially.

A dreamer I may be, But I would rather live my life dreaming of a better world to live in than giving in to the falsehood that there is no hope. For dreams foster hope and hope brings about change.

Well Enough of this Old Mans Rambling

Raymond Barbier