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Archive for May 3rd, 2014

Isolation

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Isolation

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Isolation is one of the dumbest ideas of the human race.

You have those times in Life where you think you "Want" to be "Isolated" from your fellow humans.

You don’t.

What you want is time to step back, take a breather, refocus your mind and "Get Back In Your Life."

Isolation is not possible in "Your Life" on a day to day local basis or even in your day to day role as a Citizen Of Planet Earth.

Once you emerge from the womb, You give up "The Isolation Of Your Life."

However, even the isolation in the womb is a fantasy because the emerging child is "Connected" to the mother. Once you emerge from the womb, You are truly "Connected" to the world.

I find the comments of news stories humorous whenever they suggest that the United States should be "Isolated" or revert to the old policies of "Isolationism" because the idea "NEVER WORKS."

As a person, you can find ways to "Shut Yourself Away From The World" for a few hours or a few days.

If you dare, you can shut off your cellphone.

I have had my moments of "Privacy."

Once I even took a few days military leave just to take a "Breather" from the Normal Daily Human Rat Race. I stocked up on coffee and cigarettes. I was in my artistic phase and wanted the time to work on my own comic book idea.

I had my white, bond paper, my Number 2 lead pencils, ruler, protractor and my imagination. I sat in my off base apartment and "drawed" for a couple of weeks. I had a roommate, so I wasn’t completely alone. However, he had a job, so he was gone, during the days.

After a few days, I began to experience "Cabin Fever." I had separated myself from the world. Yet, it seemed like the world was closing in on me.

I had become a monastic monk in Bossier City, Louisiana and wasn’t even watching TV or the evening news.

In ’82, we humans still had a "Caveman Culture" because computers were still several hundred dollars for the "Game Geeks" and the aspiring bureaucratic administrators of the world.

Telephones were still devices that sat on a piece of furniture. In movies, you see rich characters out in LA, who have their "Car Phones", but most of the telephones were in homes, phone booths and office buildings around the planet.

The Grandparents Of The Cellphone, Facebook And Twitter Generations were usually ham radio station operators or truckers, who loved their "Citizen’s Band radio." America’s truckers, who roll the 18-wheel semi tractor trailers across the nation from coast to coast had their "CBs."

The fad spread and the "Good Ole Boys Of America" would hang a CB beneath their dash in their farm pickups and their hunting pickups and CBs were "The Rage" until the car phones evolved and ended the market.

Isolation, as a person was easier to carry out in ’82.

However, the idea of "Isolation" is stupid because you should never "Unplug From Your Life", regardless of the reason. Life is "Too Precious." Life is "Too Short."

Throughout US History, Americans tend to "Freak Out" and call for the United States to revert to the stupid policy of "Isolationism."

In World War I, Americans sat on the continent, while the "World Burned." Once the oceanliner"Luisitania" was sunk at sea; Americans realized, "You Can Not Hide From War." War will find you.

In World War II, Americans sat on the real estate. The World Bleeds And Burns. Egomaniac Emperor Hirohito Of Japan crossed the line — "He Stabbed America In The Back."

Pearl Harbor was "An Act Of Cowardice Carried Out On The Orders Of A Half-Blind, Runt Madman." It happened on a Sunday, when that era of Americans would be in church.

America’s World War I policy of "Isolationism" failed. The end result is America had to play "Catch Up" and people had to make sacrifices to attempt to enjoy their day to day lives.

America’s World War II policy of "Isolationism" failed. The end result was Americans were really behind the power curve and had to play "Catch Up" to hope they would survive the War.

For those Americans who are naive enough to believe "The United States Of America Can Ever Be ’Isolated’ From International Affairs", here, is a piece of advice: "Wise Up."

The United States land mass is too large to be overlooked. America has always been a "Nation Of Immigrants", so to believe that immigrant Americans are going to turn their backs while their former homelands are in flames is just silly.

Even Americans, who emerge from the womb on a real estate location in the United States cannot afford to ignore International Affairs. Granted, the old Cold War rhetoric of a Chinese tank rolling through San Francisco may not seem logical in the 21st Century.

The old Cold War rhetoric of Soviet troops from Moscow parachuting into pastures in Stone County, Missouri may not seem that realistic in the 21st Century.

The reality is technology has made the planet smaller.

The irony is people don’t really "Talk" or communicate with one another anymore because the blurbs encouraged by social media plays on people’s busy schedules and the cliche mentality of people.

We "Talk" or "Text" on cellphones, but those communications are more like "Slogan Slinging" and not real conversations.

The Facebook and Twitter "blurbs" are essentially "Sophisticated Cave Man Grunts" that allow us to pretend we are "Connected" with the people around us and our world.

In the ’50s,60s,70s, and 80s, people would sit at kitchen tables, in their living rooms or at a bar and cuss and discuss the affairs of the world. Usually the conversations would pass time and provide an exchange of ideas. Sometimes the conversations might get "emotional" or "heated", but you always came away with an outlook, a viewpoint and a feeling that other people also cared about life on the planet.

Now, people "Slogan Sling" cliches on facebook, twitter and "Pretend" they are communicating with one another.

As a Citizen Of Planet Earth, you can look forward to "Future Isolation" in a graveyard plot with a headstone. Then, again, since you might be buried next to someone else — you can not even expect "Isolation" in the graveyard.

As a Citizen Of Planet Earth, forget the "Isolation" silliness and enjoy your life.

As a Citizen Of Planet Earth, realize that it is "Stupid" to believe that international affairs going on in The Capitols Of The World each morning have an effect on your life, directly or indirectly.

The History Of The Nations Of The World point out that "War Is The Way Of The World." Sooner or later, a nation or nations resort to War.

Don’t kid yourself. War isn’t going away.

You can whine that the United States Government should not care about the state of War in Syria. You might have a valid point. However, the inevitable outcome of the Syrian Civil War will affect the international affairs of the United States.

You can get upset that the United States Government has taken a position on Crimea and the Ukraine, but the actions by Russia will affect American policy, which always manages to translate into domestic events that can impact the economy in a positive or negative way.

The US Government is not going to step away from international affairs because paranoid Americans want to believe that stepping back from global affairs will improve the local economy.

Uncle Sam refuses to do "Isolation" because nations that become "Isolated", eventually become the real estate of another country.

Pay attention to the news each day, so that when the time comes that War is the reality, you will be prepared to survive.

Isolation does not work.

Isolation does not work for nations.

Isolation will not work for You. Go ahead, take the risk: Enjoy your life.

Shame Email

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Editor’s Note: Facebook Family and Friends, I got an email from a reporter friend about an article that will seize your emotions. If you have an iota of humanity, compassion or kids — then, you SHOULD read the email that I posted on my "Sam I Am Blog" because it looks at what a Filipina reporter witnesses as the differences in two cultures in response to a National Tragedy. The focus of the article begins with the sinking of the South Korean ferry and the "teenage lives" lost in the tragedy.

Editor-In-Chief

Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Shame
SKETCHES By Ana Marie Pamintuan (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 2, 2014 – 12:00am

A day after a ferry carrying hundreds of high school students sank on its way to a resort island in South Korea, my lunch meeting with a Korean expat was canceled.
Earlier this week a Korean told me why: their entire nation is mourning for the dead and missing in the sinking of the ferry Sewol, and people consider it inappropriate to enjoy fine meals or entertain in restaurants. Concerts and other fun activities have also been canceled.
While business is down in South Korea as a result, the situation is expected to persist as the retrieval of bodies moves slowly. Retrieval has been difficult, I was told, because of an unusually rapid tidal current or stream at the site that can move at around 20 kilometers per hour, compounded by stormy weather and icy waters.
The Koreans are considering raising the ferry from the seabed, but the logistics are daunting particularly because of that rapid stream, even for a nation that is home to three of the world’s largest shipbuilding companies (Hyundai, Samsung and Hanjin heavy industries).
“We are so ashamed,” a Korean expat lamented to me recently, citing the behavior of the ship crew, their government’s response and the regulatory failure that contributed to the tragedy. The expat said it is a painful learning experience for Koreans.
For a number of Pinoys, on the other hand, the Korean government’s response is impressive enough along with the nationwide mourning and public expressions of remorse and shame over one maritime accident.
South Korea’s prime minister apologized and resigned over the disaster, while the vice principal of the students’ high school, who was rescued from the ferry, was found hanging with his belt from a tree near the school gym.
The fisheries minister and coastguard chief spent an entire night with angry parents in a tent on the beach explaining their agencies’ responses to the disaster. The deputy coastguard chief was also taken to the tent from his temporary office by irate relatives of the victims.
President Park Geun-hye herself, her popularity sagging in the wake of the accident, has publicly apologized for her government’s “insufficient first response” and failure to curb the regulatory “evils” that contributed to the disaster.
Some reports said the addition of cabins on several decks to accommodate more passengers made the 20-year-old ferry unstable in the powerful current. The ship, which carried 476 people, was reportedly overloaded.
The ferry captain – among the first to be rescued by responding coastguard personnel – and 14 of his crew have been arrested. The billionaire owner of the company that operated the ship is under investigation. The offices of his company and its affiliates were raided and documents confiscated as a probe got underway on the group’s finances.
Maritime regulators are also under investigation not only for administrative lapses but also for possible corruption. There is suspicion that regulators colluded with the company for the modifications that made the vessel top-heavy and unstable.
Compare this with what happens when a ferry sinks in our country. When the ferry Doña Paz collided with the oil tanker Vector off Marinduque on Dec. 20, 1987, it took 16 hours for rescuers to arrive, by which time most of the passengers and crew had drowned, died in the explosion and fire from the cargo of gasoline and other petroleum products on the Vector, or devoured by sharks in Tablas Strait.
Because of the inaccurate ship manifest, there is still no verified number of the dead and missing, estimated at 4,386.
It took more than a decade for the official probe to be completed, with Doña Paz owner Sulpicio Lines and Caltex Philippines, which chartered the Vector, absolved of liability. The Vector was found at fault and ordered to indemnify the victims.
I don’t remember anyone, however, being arrested, tried in court or publicly apologizing for the tragedy, considered the world’s worst peacetime maritime disaster. No maritime or regulatory official was punished, suspended or fired. No one resigned, much less committed suicide.
We can argue that Korean society is different, but this is not only a cultural thing. Our problem is also systemic. The Doña Paz disaster failed to result in dramatic reforms in our maritime industry. After the collision, we still saw deadly maritime accidents almost every year, in fair weather or foul, with several of the ships also owned by Sulpicio Lines.
The deep sense of shame can be found in other societies. Yesterday in California, for example, Mike D’Antoni quit as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers after two seasons of unimpressive performance by the team.
In our country, those in charge of sports development have clung to their posts through many years of unimpressive performance by Philippines athletes, including their worst ever in the Southeast Asian Games.
All natural disasters here are dismissed as acts of God, with no one taking responsibility for failing to mitigate the impact, such as by preventing illegal logging.
In any disaster, the immediate response is to pass the buck, to deny responsibility. Remember what happened in the Rizal Park hostage mess. In the end it was an official who wasn’t even there during the fiasco, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, who had to apologize to Hong Kong for the deaths of their tourists.
Crooks in government, even when presented with incontrovertible evidence of wrongdoing, will never admit it all the way to their grave, and will be sorry only that they got caught.
Suicide? Homicide is more likely; woe to whistle-blowers.
Shame? Not in this society. Some of the individuals accused of plunder (plus an ex-convict) and other high crimes even hobnobbed with US President Barack Obama at a pricey Malacañang dinner paid for by Pinoy taxpayers.
In our society, thieves and those responsible for public misery never say sorry or quit. They aspire for high office, and they often win.

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