War vs Diplomacy

It seems that our country’s leadership is getting us into another war.

I learned, likely from reading  Robert Heinlein, that War is a last resort after diplomacy fails.  How many young people have we lost to war on either side ?

My baby brother came down with ALS a few years after returning from Gulf War 1 and died 9 months later.  There’s a correlation between War and increased incidence of ALS. That’s in addition to the homelessness, alcoholism, PTSD, and difficulty readjusting to life away from the war zone.  There’s a long history of PTSD, particularly since WW2.  My family has members who fought in wars for our country since the Revolutionary War. I’m not a pacifist, but I hate the waste of resources we have been engaged in.

What’s the fully loaded cost of war to our nation ? Of course, many of military industrial complex do make money but, what could we do with that money if we didn’t spend it on war ?

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Mathew 5:9)

I postulate that if we spent 1/25th of the fully loaded cost of war on diplomacy, we’d have much more peace and less war.  Of course, there’s also a correlation with war and technological advancement but does war increase technological advancement or does technological advancement change the methods of war? Alex Roland wrote some on War and Technology and it makes me think that technological change changes the methods of war rather than encouraging technological innovation.

As I write this, the cost of wars we have been engaged in since 2001 is over $1.5 Trillion US.  National Priorities is keeping a running tab.  I believe that some of the money would have been better spent on diplomacy and on getting our species to other planets like Mars. Possibly we could look into the colonization of Ganymede.  I really enjoyed Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars series.

With the increase in Carbon in our atmosphere and other greenhouse gases, the cost to maintain human life may become untenable.  It’s time we worked to spread out into the universe.

Adam Selene
September 2014

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War vs Diplomacy by Adam Selene is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Armed Sherrif’s Deputies Metro Stations

Why were there armed deputies with M4 files at the Union and 7th Street stations this morning, September 29, 2014? I hope they were not there to harass the homeless. I didn’t see any in the stations this morning. Are they there as a deterrent to an ISIS attack?

Image of Deputy with German Shepard

Adam Selene
September 2014

 

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Armed Sherrif’s Deputies Metro Stations by Adam Selene is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

OA W4N Conclave

I went to the Order of the Arrow Conclave on September 20,2014 for W4N  at Camp Pollock, Forest Lawn Scout Reservation, Lake Arrowhead. I went to help with the rifle range from 1400-1600.

Order of the Arrow Regalia

It was great to be there. I love being a scouter.I met the folks helping with the shooting sports.

Unfortunately: 1) there were multiple events scheduled from 1400-1600.

2)  we didn’t get any scouts that had parental permission slips so we had no scouts able to shoot.  Three adults did some shooting.

Hopefully we can do a better job planning next time.

Notes for Planning:

Before event: Make sure permission forms go home to the scout participants and are downloadable from the event website

At event: collect forms from scouts and issue wrist bands for those who provided a signed permission slip.

Adam Selene

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OA W4N Conclave by Adam Selene is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Police State: Deputies checking Passes on LA Metro

LA Sherrif Deputy checking passes
LA Sheriff Deputy checking passes

I missed my Metrolink train today 9/19/2014 so I drove into North Hollywood to take the Red Line Metro subway into 7th Street.

After passing through the turnstile and going down the escalator, I was greeted by LA County Sheriff’s deputies checking passes.

LA County Sheriff Deputies

Doesn’t seem like a good use of Sheriff’s deputies. I wonder how they feel about it.

Added 9/22/2014 –

I just read an article in the LA Times about Metro and LA Sheriff Deputies. Seems that  some deputies think of patrolling the metro to be punishment. I feel for them.

Added 9/26/2014

Today at 7th Street Station, I encountered LA Sheriff’s deputies with M4 rifles. I did take a photo of the rifle he held.  What are they preparing for ?

M4 rifle held by Deputy
Adam Selene

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Police State: Deputies checking Passes on LA Metro by Adam Selene is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Photography at Back to School Night

On September 17, 2014 I was at Santa Susana High School  where my daughter goes to school for Back to School Night.

Art teacher
Art teacher

As an amateur photographer I brought my Canon T1i with the 40mm lens to take photos.  I took photos of students, teachers and skateboarders.  I need to remember to bring a tripod for outdoor evening shots.

While walking to meet with another teacher, a man approached me and asked to talk with me. He showed me a police badge and said some folks had commented about a weird man with a camera.  I told him ‘I don’t talk to police’. I walked away. He tried to take a picture of me with an iPhone. My wife stayed to talk with him.  I told her to not talk to police. She says she was taught growing up to always talk nicely to police.  We are turning into a police state.  She told me when asked that the officer asked if I was on the ‘sexual predator list’

I’ll probably write more here when I feel like it. People are paranoid nowadays.   Seems very strange.

Adam Selene

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Photography at Back to School Night by Adam Selene is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.