Insights from “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” by William R. Shirer

I just finished listening to “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” from Audible and highly recommend it. It left me enlightened and frustrated. I gained a lot of insight and information from the writings of Shirer, who was a war-time correspondent living in Germany from the early 1930’s through the early days of World War II.  I think there are some essential lessons from this book that are necessary for our day. Some of these might be uncomfortable. Continue reading “Insights from “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” by William R. Shirer”

A Republic of the “Mass”

Thomas Jefferson, ever the democratic republican, believed that the safest repository of power was in the masses. The right to political power is always with the people, not with the representatives, and only when the masses exert that right will the power be effectively and appropriately checked. However, the masses are very easily swayed, mainly by three influences: 1) education, 2) forms, and 3) economics. When these influences are mal-aligned with liberty, the people allow their political power to be assumed by the aristocracy. And an unchecked aristocracy is the greatest threat to liberty, according to both John Adams and Jefferson.
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A New Beginning

This is what I have been waiting for. I don’t think he goes far enough with the non-violence idea, but it’s a start. Please read the entire thing. If Pres. Obama’s presidency accomplishes nothing else than changing the tone regarding U.S.-Islam relations, it will have shifted the world in a critical direction.

Pat Tillman and disinformation

I usually don’t discuss stuff like this, but the situation, background and evidence surrounding the death of this Army Ranger really begs questions and doubts. It saddens me that his death was treated the way it was. I’m not implying with others that there was anything planned or pre-meditated (however there is some evidence that calls it into question), but I think it’s obvious that there was a cover-up or another absolute bungle of investigation. For recent comments, especially from the family, see here. Also, you can check out a couple of other sites here.

The reason this comes to my attention was that I read portions of the original SF Chronicle article a couple of years ago and was interested that Cpl. Tillman was reading Noam Chomsky. It was this and discussions with friends that got me reading stuff from the Nobel Prize-winning U.S. foreign policy gadfly.

Often we don’t want to see the propaganda within our own media and government. We want to believe that we are part of a group/nation/country that respects truth and goodness more than money and power. However, history doesn’t demonstrate that this happens often. For this reason we must seriously question anything those with political and military power want to do, for often the truth is sacrificed for expediency.

Turn the other cheek? Are you serious?

Leo Tolstoy is perhaps the ultimate example of the late-in-life nihilist-turned-idealist. He is best known for his mid-life fiction, most notably War and Peace and Anna Karenina. He was early on somewhat of a determinist and nihilist but late in life began a study of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and came away a determined Christian, with significant misgivings regarding the Russian orthodox church specifically and organized religion and government generally. He wrote his thoughts in two books that were significantly suppressed by the Russian Church and the Czarist government.

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A Tale of the Same Foreign Policy

One of the most concerning situation for the United States at present is the influence that Iran is wielding throughout the Middle East (and stretching into Venezuela). Iran is accused of training Iraqi insurgents and providing them with weapons. Iran has also been implicated as being the money and power behind groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. This influence into other countries using paramilitary and insurgent groups is a violation of the sovereignty of these nations.

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