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Colin Powell

Off-topic comments moved from Colin Powell's talk.

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    Jan 28 2013: A highly disciplined military demand blind obedience to authority, demonstration of that ability is required for ascendency in the military. Colin Powell ascended to the highest rank available because he internalized this trait better than most of his peers.
    The crushing that Powell took as a result of obeying his boss in declaring certainty,at the UN, that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction,when he knew the issue was still vigorously being debated,sent him into depression. I had hoped that when Powell returned he would have realized what went wrong.Unfortunately, I see no evidence in this speech that Powell now see that blind obedience can be devastating when the authority you are obeying does not have your best interest at heart.
    • Jan 28 2013: Great point.
      When I soul-searched after 9/11/2001, I came up with one thing that has stuck in my mind; a definition for evil: "An action taken based on an unquestioned belief."
      "Love of money" falls into this category because we rarely question what it represents or where it really comes from. Any act that disinforms should count doubly so, because it leads good people to do evil things by preventing them from knowing what they are doing.
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        Jan 28 2013: "Love of money"
        Young people instinctively look for the cohesion that allow them to become functional members of the society.
        Common belief system is the thread that hold the society/tribe/clan/country/together.
        Close examination of our belief reveals it to be lacking.
        We have become virtually paralyzed by the unquestioned belief that most of our problems stem from us not having enough money:We have workers looking for work,we have work that needs doing,but we don't have any money,so the work cant be done.We will collectively take care of the workers as long as they don't work,We acknowledge that our young people are falling behind in education,but we cant educate them because we don't have any money and knowledge cost money.
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          Jan 28 2013: You have clear eyes Shawki Shawki.

          We all watched Powel enter the USA drama, and here we thought we saw a good man. And we did, however good teh man was, the office he undertook could never be good.
          You will know that when someone sells one's time .. a "job" .. one becomes a non-person, one becomes an "officer". At that point, the measure of the man is how well he becomes this "officer".
          If money is paid for office, the man becomes a psychopath. An office is not designed to have a heart.
          All people should know this - it is true in law if you care to check.
          I ask everyone - who/what do you work for?
          If the answer is "money" then all your work is dedicated to make money great while you become less and less. If the answer is me, my family, my community, my passion, my love .. then one has "work" and one remains a human.
        • Jan 28 2013: Doug Rushkoff's book "Life, Inc." shows us that our culture has turned everyone into a corporation: making decisions by adding or subtracting numbers on a spreadsheet.
          The "value" of anything in this culture is based on price (belief in the Invisible Hand), not usefulness. Prices are kept high on commodities by making them scarce; by accumulating resources and keeping them away from those who need them or could make use of them to build common (community) futures or put those resources back into nature, thus becoming part of their children's future.
          When it comes to children or adults, what gives them true confidence and value is their ability to directly contribute to their own needs, and to know they have the resources and skills to do so. Everything about current American culture is purposely designed to separate them from their own future, and to use debt to enslave them to money. I find it surprising that we have allowed this to happen to the general population even after we saw it happen to farmers over many decades (extracting the value from land by increasing debts and demands until the individual farmer is no longer a viable option).
          I apologize for my cynicism. The Invisible Hand is my White Whale (sigh).
        • Jan 30 2013: More money. Sure. Let's just print more of it. Yup, the problem in education is not enough money.

          It just couldn't be that the culture of failure, irresponsibility and lawlessness needs to be revised.

          Heck, that would mean that people would have to reproduce responsibly, it would mean that parents, particularly fathers, would have to take care of their kids and it would mean that people would actually have to work for a living.

          Gosh, we'd have to judge and then condemn those that were parasites on the system. We can't have that. We need everyone to feel like victims and continue to vote for stealing other peoples money and work.
        • Jan 31 2013: I was thinking about what you said, Shawki. "Young people instinctively look for the cohesion that allow them to become functional members of the society."
          In the context of the rural Midwest schools I'm more familiar with, that means that they work to become functional members of the group that is their has-been high school football star parents and their disappointed cheerleader/cosmetician wives. Academic-oriented teachers and the 'education' system groom the best and brightest to leave town for urban and suburban lifestyles, but nobody encourages the best and brightest to become the best and brightest parents, farmers, plumbers, and truck drivers.
        • Jan 31 2013: Mark, I agree with your cynicism on this. Mostly because the problem isn't money or the intentional psychology assumption which throws blame at people for being "irresponsible". The real problem is that people are no longer considered valuable by themselves or their 'leaders' except as fodder for the money-based system. Each child is tested and categorized as to whether they are going to contribute to the well-trodden path of production toward someone else's profit, and if they don't see a good chance that they will share in those profits, they resign themselves to a life of mindless roboticism or rebellion and incarceration/wage slavery. We look at immigrants AND ours neighbors as people who are going to compete with us for a few morsels of handouts from the gods of capitalism, rather than looking at each other as potentially useful hands and brains that can carve a future out of raw earth and living wilderness. It is a systemic, cultural problem, not one of specific amounts of money (the statistics may give jobs to academia, but political decisions aren't made based on those statistics: they are made based on bribery from the flow of money). Will more discipline help people think of themselves as connected and valuable? Perhaps, but over the long term there needs to be structure based on real living needs and the skills and resources to meet those needs locally and cooperatively, rather than setting up false competition among children for the metered dispensation of necessities by corporations OR government.

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