Monday, March 19, 2018

So Don't Vote, Ignore Politics, I'm Sure It Will All Be Just Fine....

This...yes. I didn't write this, but this one was once me. Until I started to see my responsibilities as a citizen. In being a writer I had even more responsibility to speak out, to give others insight into what is going on and to offer them counters to the wrongful and the bad agenda based ideologies out there hammering down on America. 

Now that we have things like Russians (under Putin's orders) and Cambridge Analytica hacking us and altering our perceptions to their desires, we now really have to pay attention. That makes what I'm trying to say here, even more paramount and important. 

This is true for other countries to be sure. But so many of them, not having the benefits of being who we are in our positives of prestige, wealth and history, seem to fight even harder for their lives in their countries. Not infrequently as we're seeing in recent years, to the point of their government murdering them in their streets. Or as in Russia, their leader in Putin murdering people who disagree with him and his actions. 

The meme in question:

This was me, full on. Until the 90s when I merely started paying attention. I had gone through life, marriage, the military. I joined the OSI, the Air Force version of the FBI. I was headed into an interesting career fully supported by those in intelligence who met me. I was looking for the covert.

Now, please do not misunderstand what I'm about to say. Because I'm saying this, offering a bit of my history, for two good reasons.

First, I finally realized that I had shirked my duties as a citizen, as so many of us do. We live here, enjoy this life, this country and do so very little to deserve it. Being born here simply isn't enough. Immigrants know that, they have seen what like can and can't be and to live here, they feel, is a gift.

Even though I was in the military, was planning to go into a difficult if not dangerous career, was that even enough? Look, don't be intimated. Doing your duty as a citizen can mean only to vote. But to vote wisely, to take some amount of time anyway, to know what you're talking about, to make good decisions, to share those with our fellow citizens.

Speak out against what is wrong, incorrect, or ignorant as you see fit. But to do something. It's really not that much effort. But to neglect it, that's not earning or paying our way as citizens. And again, it's not really that much effort, so don't be intimated. Just do your part.

Secondly, I'm uniquely qualified most than the average citizen, to see much of what is going through the same information most of us can get. It's all about how you go about it, what and how you vet (verify) things and how you assimilate it with a history of what has gone before and where those things have led.

And so my first assignment was to be Berlin, Germany, where the agent I was to replace, had been killed getting into his car, due to an alleged, KGB bomb. The position had been opened for a year. No one else wanted it, for obvious reasons. I wanted to learn, to get my hands dirty, so I asked for it.

My point in mentioning all that is more than it sounds and I was more devoted to that career than most who would go into a career. I had a background in that kind of a job since grade school. I won't bore you here about it but between activities and studies, I was very, very well prepared for that kind of a lifestyle and career.

And the Commander of the OSI who interviewed me repeatedly, fully agreed, saying I had the highest score he'd ever seen on an OSI entrance exam. Which honestly, gave me concerns about support when in the field. I agreed that I was uniquely qualified before even going into training for the position, and others I planned beyond that which I had shared with him. As the OSI was only a stepping stone to where I was headed.

He aid he appreciated that and fully supported me in it. not because he was only focused as so many are anymore, on his department, or the military but for our country. The bigger picture. I'm just saying in all this, I'm uniquely situated from an outsider's point of view, and from what I hear from other citizens, to have a deeper understanding of many things that are going on in the world and in our country.

This, unlike our president Trump's proclivity, isn't about braggadocio, it's just an honest statement of fact. I had been practicing, studying and researching things uniquely situated for my selected future for years, and then....

My personal life took an unexpected change. A crisis of life, of conscience happened upon me. My career in espionage, that I had planned on since high school...gone, overnight. It took me two decades to completely reorient myself.

I got divorced. I lost nearly everything. I was adrift, until my older brother talked me into considering higher education.

I started at a two year college. Got an Associated Arts degree. I thought that was it. But then I ended up getting accept by and attending a university. I got another degree, a B.A. in Psychology, Awareness and Reasoning division, focusing in Phenomenology.

Having nearly enough credits to get a second degree, instead I opted for a minor in creative writing, focusing on fiction and then mostly screenwriting. I hadn't realized it until later, but I was being trained as a researcher. If only many more had only a few decent research or journalistic skills, our country would be more cohesives and intelligent, today.

Later I worked at the University of Washington for nearly a decade. Pretty much all the time uninterested in politics. Just living my life. Minding my own business. Putting all that previous understanding of government and world politics in my back pocket.

Constantly wondering why things seemed so messed up from a distance. But it wasn't about me, I figured. Other's could handle it. I didn't care. It wasn't, my thing. I think that may have been an over reaction to abandoning my planned career. It hurt. It took me an entire decade to let it go and become whomever it was I had become instead.

Then... Al Gore won the 2000 election and yet, Bush was the one inaugurated into office.

Stunned, I'd finally had it. I began to wake up. To look around. Not at the specifics of covert actions, of espionage, of world politics at the granular levels but at the larger scope of things. I had always been of the mindset that the government knew what I should do, they would task me, I would achieve the goal, accomplish the mission.

But now as a civilian for the rest of my life, I had to look at the bigger picture. Covert ops in intelligence need to understand the world, politics, but their orientation is different than ours. It has to be. They have to accomplish a mission, or acquire information and stay alive.

We have to see things from our perspective and that of leaders and our lives are not directly at risk. It was a paradigm shift for me. Having abandoned all the studies I had done on world covert ops and the Soviets, the KGB, now I had no use of that. But then, more recently, it all came back in a hollow echoe.

In reflecting over the 1990s at that point I realized just how ignorant I had been and how glad I was to have finally started paying attention all through the 90s.

I started hearing about this guy Putin. Ex KGB. I looked into him. I didn't like what I found. I told people. No one cared. He became Russian Premier in 1999. I was upset, and still no one would listen. Who cares, it's Russia, a weakened State, they had said.

I thought about post WWI Germany and how badly they were treated and abused. Maybe rightly so, led to WWII. We won the cold war, why should we treat Russia like Germany. Because in doing so, won't we will reap the benefits of not being decent and useful? Of missing the opportunity to build them into a friend and a partner?

Again, no one would listen and besides, who am I?

I started slow. In the late 80s I tried to make it a thing simply to always watch the State of the Union address. It was an effort at first. Yet I felt more patriotic, adult, aware, at least politically. I started paying attention more to news pieces I might hear bits and pieces of. I started looking a few things up. Over time it became easier and more interesting. And disturbing. My old habits started latching onto bits of things that grew in information and concern.

Through my job in the late 90s and early 2000s, I found (I maneuvered myself) into a position of being involved with an adhoc cyber security organization. A quasi secret group of national and international cyber security experts and law enforcement going from local Seattle Police Department (our group set up their first cyber security response and monitoring team), to the FBI, to the President's Commission for Critical Infrastructures and that, was an eye  opener.  We educated ourselves and corporations as wella s laws enforcement at all levels and in our country and others.

After 2000 I started seeking out more news. We talked about Bin Laden and other groups. Through the group, I once had Bin Laden's cell phone number. Though he was no longer using it, it was still being monitored and we joked about borrowing a friend (or enemy's) cell phone and calling it, thus getting them automatically put on a "no fly" list. Not so funny, but kind of funny.

Then, 9/11. I started really paying attention. I spoke out online. Calling out and pointing out things as I discovered them. Terrorists seemed to in some cases, have legit claims of dissatisfaction and no one listening.

Years before beginning in 10th grade in 1970 I started to feel my Irish side (from my dad's family), and my interest in the Irish "Troubles", in the IRA, grew. I wanted to help them push the British out. But, I was just an ignorant, testosterone filled kid. Still my interest and studies continued.

I knew what I wanted to do, and I already had a background in martial arts and various military endeavors, guns, and so on. Like no other kid I had met, I had already flown planes before high school and taken pilot ground school. I had various other skills and certifications. I wanted to be able to at least do anything I need to for any possible situation I might one day find myself in.

Name it, I probably practiced it or had become competent at it before achieving a high school diploma. Which in part explains the veracity, the reality of my somewhat unbelievable character in a true crime screenplay I wrote, The Teenage Bodyguard (FB). The protagonist in that story is not unreal by any means. Just me.

It all started in my being a scared little kid, afraid of his stepfather, moving schools almost yearly, dealing with bully after bully, and being a kid who finally refused to be scared of the dark anymore. I faced my fears down, one after another. Someone said to me once, face your fears or run from them the rest of your life. I stopped running from them many decades ago.

Anyway, in college in the early 80s, I read about Cuba and their revolution, Che Guevara and his book, Guerrilla Warfare. Interesting book, read it sometime. His reasoning was enlightening. They fit the terrorist's issues. America had hurt others in corporate interests which we saw as national security issues. Maybe they were at one time, but not after a while. Not now that we have multinational corporations with more money than some nations.

At first that may have had legitimacy but we saw too often other's resources as ours. It was a different time, a different mindset. Nuclear weapons, the Soviets, "red" China, all made things different than the are now. We were fighting for our lives. And after the cold war? It did come back to bite us.

But terrorists and rebels can and do go easily off track. There is a fine line as they say between what is a "freedom fighter" or a terrorist. Between courage or cowardice. Between legitimate actions or terrorism or simply, being murderers.

I personally find terrorism disgusting. The IRA had it right at first. Bomb for attention, warn to save human life. But then they splintered among themselves and things went wrong. That being said, I really hate the indiscriminate nature of bombs.

I prefer someone look at a victim and kill them,  specifically, surgically and directly. The Mafia had it right, kill your enemy, leave innocents and family alone. Gangs are a bunch of animals. Drive by and spray a crowd, completely missing your enemy? That's what you get when you let children have access to guns. No responsibility.

This drone business leaves a bad taste in my mouth, not to mention and bad reputation for the US, world wide.

Killing innocents, regardless your agenda, abuse put on you, is never reasonable. And so I am staunchly anti terrorism.

My anger against bullies and terrorists became apparent. And now we have a bully in the oval office and much to my and our consternation and disgust.

After the first part of my life studying espionage, and heading into that as a career, then turning into a university life, I felt I had wasted those previous years of my life studying useless things. Who cared about the Soviet Union? Who cared about Russia? Who cared about the KGB? Who cared about various techniques of espionage, killing, altering the course of other nations?

I then started to notice some things in the years after 9/11. Over time it increased my curiosity and confusion, how there were parallels to old information I had with new information I was hearing and running across.

Then, the Arab Spring happened. I did what little I could online through finding and sharing information and sure enough, I saw Egyptians and others hit my blog to get daily updates of  hard to get and much needed and openly available to us, but hard to get information for many of those in the streets in Cairo and elsewhere.

Skip to Donald J Trump on the scene, berating Pres. Obama, a president light years beyond the previous Pres. Bush.

Obama was our last decent president and a decent man as #POTUS. More parallels. Then Trump actually and ridiculously ran for president. He couldn't win. To be sure. Everyone I talked to who should know, said he either wouldn't win, couldn't win, or certainly shouldn't win.

More parallels showed themselves. I began to realize that much of what I had studied for years since high school was suddenly useful...again. How odd that was to realize.

Then... Trump won. He was inaugurated as POTUS and much of America and the world watched with mouths agape. The #GOP swallowed him whole as candidate, regretfully. Now even more regretfully on a day by day basis.

With help from some questionable characters, like Putin in Russia through his various illegal entities dabbling in America and other countries elections. A man who situated himself yet again to be national leader of Russia in a travesty of a maneuvered and rigged election on March 18th, 2018.

I've gone on about this jackal of an ex KGB agent, before. Even his ex wife said about him that, "Unfortunately, he is a vampire." In Russia they do not have the same capability to remove a cancerous anal cyst like Putin as we do here. Russians can be forgiven for making Putin leader yet again. My condolences to Russians everywhere.

A state murdering its own citizens either at home or abroad, be they citizen or ex spy, is a disgusting practice that requires the execution of a leader who would do what Putin has done. And now in America we have our own form of cancerous cyst in Trump.

As for which of these men is worse, we'd have to look at which is more professional and functional and that would have to be the Russian leader. The American one is a travesty wrapped in an inmate's cotton gown and stuffed into a dirty clothes hamper. While the Russian one is a real bastard wrapped in a nightmare wrapped in Russian's paychecks stuffed into and falling out of his pockets.

Yet, the American's own Republican political party had spent decades setting the scene for someone like Trump to appear and become president. They did this to us. And only NOW are they realizing it and not even all of them as yet, actually realize it. Amazing. Yet, we'd been headed that direction, directed by the #Republcan party for decades. Now finally, they got what they hadn't realized they had wanted. Be careful what you wish for....

Then even more parallels through Trump's first year as president. And again, while Russians are stuck with their system and their own nightmare of a leader, we do have a chance still, before things are too late. But i wouldn't waste time screwing around thinking about it. We need to act boldly and directly.

And now, we are here.

So go on with your little life. Watch The Bachelor. Enjoy Survivor. Watch The Voice. Have fun! Ignore what is most important in your world. In all our word. Just don't complain about it later when it all starts to unravel and crumble. But then, isn't it already, now? Can't you see that?

Well? Whatever! Right? No. You are not alone....

Besides, I'm sure it will all be just fine. Right?

It's not like we're seeing any indication in America, or the world in general, that things aren't going as planned. Or that we are now headed into a direction (or already there), that we had worked so very hard for so many decades to not be in.

Again, the Meme that started this blog. Does it seem AnY different now?

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