Thursday, January 29, 2009

Doing the political two-step on Piccadilly friendships

Doing the political two-step on Piccadilly friendships
By Ken LaRive

I think I’m going to stop discussing politics at lunch. I’m tired of the indigestion. After greetings we sit down to a fine Piccadilly meal, and on impulse the conversation turns into a political debate. A friend of 20 plus years has stopped corresponding with me because he took my opinions, and insults, to heart. He took them personally, and I guess I did too! And why not when at no other time in our lives is so much at stake? You see, when it gets to the point where one person says, “You haven’t given this issue enough thought to have that opinion.” and the other says “You think that because you have been brainwashed!” well, where can you go from there but down?

Could it be that us old guys have seen so much that our opinions are now set in stone? If one person, for instance, knows war, and another dodged the draft, how can they both have the same understanding about the concepts of freedom or liberty? How is it that a person can live over six decades and not have read the constitution, yet know the stats of every player in the NBA? Why would some bet everything, even their very lives to preserve and defend America, while others would give it all away for the promises of some smooth-talking politician? How can two people so different find a common ground?

A discussion of gun control for one who lived through the New Orleans’s sixties, and another who inhabited the safety of a Lafayette suburb, will have a far different perspective. Can these differences destroy a friendship? Well, depending on the topic, I’d say yes. You see, as layer upon layer of issues continued to separate us, it defines us as well. Opinions on open housing, abortion, affirmative action, Socialism, or Nationalism, liberty and rights, can mount up, and these become walls that both define and separate us. Sure, self-righteous ego promotes a passionate opinion, but there are times and issues that are undeniably and emphatically difficult to overcome. Some issues might actually be the fundamental stones one has formulated to build a life, where morals and ethics play an integral part. And then how we visualize ourselves in the political or social systems will cause more rifts, and communication will become more and more difficult and restricted.

You have to ask yourself, what good does any of this debate do? Are we actually going to change anything by arguing constantly? Pro and con, right and left, Liberals vs. Conservatives are all just opinions after all, or are they? I mean, are we actually going to change the world battling our views over a Piccadilly lunch? Probably not, but what we have formulated in our heart does have substance, and it affects the world around us whether it is evident or not.

There are grave doubts that we can amend very much while the piano-man plays old-time music, and a couple married sixty years dance the two-step? It seems somewhat ludicrous when talking about such things over crisp fried catfish and corn muffins. There is a time and a place for such discussions, and Piccadilly is the place many-a-business was launched from napkin notes, laughter from oilfield jokes, and the forum for every kind of discussion, including politics.
We watched one black and white television station when I was a kid; it was a large box with a small circular screen and only one station. It seems like everything was black and white back then, not only bright and shiny, but in retrospect, a bit simpler to comprehend. Was I just too immature to see life’s complications, or is it possible that our current world gives us more information to assimilate, both true and false, and with that more living-color choices? Seems most confusing, overwhelming at times, especially when that good old’ boy you were having lunch with goes back a ways in you life. That has to be worth something, but of course the gravity of the standards we hold seem serious to the extreme, and makes us more rigid, opinionated, and righteous.

Yep, we have a responsibility to do our utmost best and to stand up for principles true to our hearts. It is a shame though, that along the byways of this life we may find the need to separate from those who are not of like kind, especially when the directions are opposed to truth as you understand it, or your ability to express it in a most complex and ambiguous world.

Think long and hard before you separate yourself from a true friend. They are indeed rare and very precious. But then, at times, what we think may be friendship may just be habit, and breaking it the best thing all around. It is true that what we are is the attitude we have, but you can be sure that a good judge of character can also be found in the company we keep, even at Piccadilly, and true friendship will always try to find common ground.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A call to America

A call to America

By: Ken LaRive

The premise here is that we can find a solution to peace as moral and ethical men, and not as sheep to the slaughter. If you do not agree, please delete this.

I have viewed these films thoroughly and find this two-part historical series it to be mostly unbiased. It shows the reasoning of both sides. Without a clear understanding of the history there, including bloodshed, religious fervor, the abuse of power, and domination and subjugation of human rights must not only be addressed, but its restraint is the only path to peace.

Truth must be told. These images or contents are not suitable for young children.

Unless America wakes up to what is really going on, we will soon find ourselves in another world war, but this time it will be nuclear. We should resist this with every fiber of our being. This world will be so contaminated after that it will be mostly unsuitable for a quality human life. We must put a foot forward before it is too late. We must, of course, do what is good for America, but at this time what problems this world now faces is partially our fault. We must make that right first, before the attempt at healing ourselves. To do this we have to understand the problem, and to see to it that America is again accountable to the people. A tall order, but first we must make demands that truth is coming to us from a media that includes both sides of an issue. We must demand this, because only an informed populous can be held responsible. Accountability will follow only when facts are known. At this time it is recognized around the world that we do not have freedom of the press. Fix this, and problems can be addressed. Truth can only be found by weighing both sides...

Blue skies,

Ken LaRive

Note: Please pay close attention to the reason Hamas does not want peace.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Letter from Zeb about Zion

December 1, 2008

Dear Ken,

No way could anyone who reads your work think you are Anti-Semitic, though some Zionists may attempt that for a variety of reasons.

I think you have explained the problem eloquently, though I think few will “get” the gist of your research, especially in America. It is indeed common knowledge in Europe and the Middle East. You are right about American brainwashing, and it is across the board, but of course the entire world is grappling with that problem, and it comes from a lot of different sources.... Understanding Zion has to be found outside of the borders where the hatred of Israel is published and openly talked about, away from your liberal media. Take heart, these thoughts (truths) are now posted all over the Internet, and are becoming better known, but here it is in a nutshell, and with my own twist... taken from our blog...

As you state, there is a rather large movement of Orthodox Jews who believe that the founding of Israel in the 20th century was not only wrong but an affront to their G-d. It is their G-d who is supposed to lead them to the Promised Land, not the British occupiers of Palestine. They (we) also believe it is blasphemy to speak Hebrew except for religious purposes. They live among us and speak our languages; a few still speak Yiddish. They are fiercely anti-Zionist, and yet these people, including you and me, can hardly be called anti-Semitic.Are you as pissed off as I am by the word "anti-Semitic" being appropriated to apply only to Jews? The Arabs are also a Semitic people, as are the Assyrians and a few other ethnic groups as well. Here in Lebanon, and my home, we know it well. They all speak languages of the Semitic-Hermitic family and the relationship is close and obvious. "Peace be unto you" is shalom aleikhem in Hebrew and salaam alaikum in Arabic.We Arabs outnumber Jews by about 100 to 1. If a person is anti-Semitic it means he also hates Arabs. Our language is being butchered for political purposes, as it is understood that the Zionists are locked into your government. It is difficult to realize where America will now go now that Mr. Obama is in office. He is not understood, and that frightens a lot of people here. My father told me Mr. Carter understands it, but I don’t know.

Essentially, I define being anti-Zion as being opposed to the formation of the state of Israel and the related situation including the manner in which it was done.If you feel that land was stolen from the Palestinians unjustly, to form Israel - you might be an anti-Zionist.If you thing Israel should not exist where it does - you might be an anti-Zionist.If you think the Israeli/Palestinian relationship equates to apartheid - you might be an anti-Zionist.If you think the land of Israel should be given back to Palestine - you might be an anti-Zionist.If you think that Israel should be forced back to its "original" (i.e. post WWII) size - you might be an anti-Zionist.It takes many forms, and I think the question, as I said, is a fairly simple and straight-forward one.

There is an obvious difference between cultural and religious Zionists. Let's follow your Wiki link for a moment: “Cultural Zionism is a strain of the concept of Zionism that values Jewish culture and history, including language and historical roots, rather than other Zionist ideas such as Political Zionism.”

The Wiki link to political Zionism takes you to the URL that is titled "Zionism". This is because it is conventional to associate "Zionism" foremost with political and not cultural Zionism.Cultural Zionists certainly appreciate Jewish culture, but do not necessarily advocate pushing other ethnicities around as an intrinsic part of that expression. Political Zionists either believe in or exploit a concept that is a Jewish version of manifest destiny- that a religious and/or historical mandate demands that other ethnicities had better get the hell out of their way while they build and maintain an exclusive Homeland for the Jews, where Jewish culture shall always reign superior to any other. Many Jews take offense to this ideology, not to mention the Palestinian victims of Zionism. Oops, I mean political Zionism. Yes, the concept of Zion has changed, and that is a problem for most to grasp, that Zionism can be used by both, and so I think your term “New- Zion” or “Secular Jews” describes my term “Cultural Zion” to a tee. I’m sure you will agree.

The simplest definition of "Zionizm", IMO, is how my dad explained it to me when I was 7: the idea that all Jews should live in Israel... and that they should rule themselves. (The difference between a State and a Homeland was not understood by him, or it wasn’t considered. Orthodox Jews believe that one can live in peace within the framework of any Government as live and let live, but mostly (Secular) Jews, who think of themselves mostly to be of a Jewish Race, and not an all encompassing Religion, is the hardest to comprehend, and misunderstand.
All the other definitions are sort of derivatives that were invented by academic types in recent years.Now, what is "hatred"?

Some say that rejecting of the idea of Jewish self-determination (i.e. to self-govern and to live in their recently-self-resurrected ancient homeland) falls under the definition. It is evident you don’t think so, and of course that concept is, as you say, is opposed to America’s fundamental separation of Church and State. Israel is nearly as much a Church-State as say, Saudi Arabia, though they would emphatically deny that, I’m sure.On a simple un-nuanced level, I agree. But there are many nuances that complicate the situation.By and large I find that most so-called anti-Zionists are also anti-Semites. They are not against one Israeli policy vs. another... they're against the entire existence of Israel. In my book that would make that person anti-Semitic. However, in one of your earlier postings you mentioned that Israel is the seat of many religions, and precious to them. No Religious person, seemingly fundamental, would want to do harm to Israel, but to the domination of the Government of Zion there.

Blue skies to you too! And thanks for the college try!


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Responsibility begins with self...
Maddy at Mont St. Michel 2007

Responsibility in an irresponsible society
By Ken LaRive

In this life there are three major areas in considering responsibility, and if we fail to balance just one of these, all of life can unravel.

First is the immediate world around us, with all of the people we are in contact with. If we are irresponsible, without control or accountability, we are liable if anything goes wrong. For instance, leaving a sharp knife where a child could reach it, not fencing a vicious dog, or dangerous habits in the workplace can be negative. Major point: If we do our best and something goes wrong it may not be entirely our fault, but we are still responsible. This complicated concept is not readily understood or accepted today, but never the less true.

Secondly, we are responsible for all decisions made. Putting off going to the dentist affects us alone, but not fixing bad car brakes may affect another, with greater repercussion. Bringing a butane lighter in our carry-on, throwing a lit cigarette out of our car during a drought, or drinking and driving, have the potential to be devastating.

Morals and ethics should be considered in all responsible decisions, for instance, if you voted for who you considered the lesser of two evils, without looking into what each has stood for in the past, and the one you voted for does something immoral or wrong, you are too. An example might be if you are opposed to abortion because you think it is morally wrong, but you voted for a person who is pro-abortion, from that point on you are also responsible for every abortion performed. A heavy burden? You bet. Why? Because we are responsible not only for what we do, but for those we elect to do our bidding; ignorance or laziness is no excuse.

If you consider your country to be in an immoral war, or backing a country you deem to be recklessly killing innocent people, and you say nothing, do nothing, for whatever reason, you are accountable. Why? It is your tax money and arms doing the actual deed, and so the blood is also on your hands. Unsuccessful trying is considered a responsible act before the fact, but not after, a harsh reality.

Thirdly, you are entirely responsible for self. If you harbor wrong thinking like hate, envy, greed, jealousy, adulterated lust, revenge, selfishness or egotism, and it causes someone else pain or unhappiness, you are to blame. Point: If an irresponsible action supposedly based on love goes wrong, causing a negative reaction, like the head trauma of a child on a birthday bike without a helmet, or not wearing a seatbelt; you are the responsible adult, and accountable.

Responsibility is mostly lost today, or mislaid, by society segments promoting irresponsibility: frivolous law suits, failure justifications promoting all-win and no-loose sports, racist and biased uneven playing fields, redistribution of wealth, or tax structures promoting immorality all take far more from humanity than the original good intent, like liberty, free will, truth, or justice.

The greatest asset to a good and loving life is ones ability to take responsibility as our own. It is the one best possession we have, realized or not, and the greatest tool to distinguish between good and bad, and right and wrong. To learn more about responsibility, study Situational Ethics.

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Libertarian Conservative speaks to America's sons and daughters...

A Libertarian Conservative Republican speaks to America’s sons and daughters...

By: Ken LaRive

I can only imagine what a guy like me today must have thought seeing me in 1972. I wore patched jeans, hair to my shoulders, with a mint-green paisley shirt. I seldom wore shoes. I rebelled from my Vietnam military experience and became a true “liberal-tree-hugger,” saving the world. With ZPG we tried to get California law to mandate sterilization of women, based on rat studies. I carried in my back pocket books like “1984,” “Utopia,” and “The Hobbit,” and studied at San Diego City College where my teachers accepted me with designs of molding me into their own image.

I changed almost overnight by several books: “The Federalist Papers 1787-88” and a book by an old guy named Plato, called “The Republic.” I couldn’t put them down, in fact, with them still swimming in my virgin mind, I read the Constitution. I was then introduced to “Crime and Punishment” and “Pride and Prejudice,” from a long forgotten history teacher who tried to explain that we can not know where we are going without knowing where we have come, and that to understand Truth in history one must read the accounts of both winners and losers. As I look around today, I see her point.

Life experiences have brought me to the realization that I am a Moralist Situational-Christian, a Libertarian Conservative Republican, and I have lived my life according to those mores and values. For instance, I believe in small by-the-people government, individual and civic responsibility, a free press and speech, low taxes, a strong military that “speaks softly but carries a big stick”, local authority as opposed to Federal directives, justice based on the values of the ten commandments, yet the emphatic separation of Church and State, family values but the recognition and respect for the differences in good people who also respect me, Democracy and Capitalism as opposed to Nationalism and Socialism, and our original Constitution which binds us as one.

Though I can find no true Libertarian Republican but Ron Paul these days, I am sure there are others I am not aware of. When I listen to his speeches I must admit that I don’t always understand them, but upon reflection I see his point, and they reverberate to both my intellect and soul.

Yes, change is healthy, but it must be unsettling to hear present-day authority figures promoting change for the sake of change. I assure you, in all of my readings, not one true leader has ever promoted that.

At no other time have I felt more uncomfortable about the world as I do now, but most likely that old man looking at me so long ago felt the same way. I hope that you young Americans can overcome the propaganda hooks that pull you, and that you can stand above the hype and study with an open heart the hard-won knowledge of our Founding Fathers. You will see that they are talking directly to you, our American sons and daughters, and you will find comfort and direction there.