Courageous Victim or Cowardly Act?

D.Eckel

Author, Journalist. IAPP Copyright 2014

 

“The future is too good to waste on lies … and life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as to spend it helping fools with their ideas that are wrong. I have seen their ideas and I am ashamed to even be American. The horror of the self-righteous arrogance that they thrive in. It is all revolting.” “I am sorry for everything. The horror that is America is disgusting.” -Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, in correspondence with his parents in 2009.

 

IAPP/NWU KANSAS CITY: Just when we think we have seen or heard nearly everything scandalous or questionable that has happened at the hands of the bureaucrats in Washington D.C. and their secret deal making; we hear of the release of five known terrorists from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for the release of alleged captive Bergdahl, who in 2009 deserted his post, because he did not agree with what his Government asked of him.  This is the same Government, that he swore allegiance to upon joining the United States Army, prior to deployment overseas.

As details emerge in the circumstances surrounding his capture and detainment in 2009 and the means of his release, hundreds of thousands of Americans across the country are becoming enraged.  Some question why the outrage, and not the celebration of a soldier captured being released?  Let’s take a look at some of the known facts about the information as a whole and you decide if negotiating the exchange of FIVE terrorists for the release of one soldier who was captured by the same enemy when he deserted his country, his duty and his fellow soldiers a tragedy coming to an end?  Or was this the act of endorsing betrayal of an Oath, and sanctioning the criminal act of violating the UCMJ- (Rev 2012, Article 86—Absence without leave, pp. IV-13 – IV-15), by abandoning his post willfully and deserting?

 

Army SGT Bergdahl

Fact One:

Army SGT Bergdahl was not “captured” by the enemy in 2009. He abandoned his assigned post on his Forward Operating Base (FOB), leaving his weapon, and no evidence was later found that he had any intent in returning.  In knowing through briefings by his command he was fully aware of the dangers of leaving his post outside of authorized maneuvers, hence voluntarily surrendering himself to the results of his actions. His desire to free himself of duty and revolt was also substantiated in his correspondence with his parents while in alleged captivity, when he proclaimed that he “despised America” and “ashamed to be an American”.  According to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 85 states;

Any member of the armed forces who— without authority goes or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to remain away therefrom permanently; are deserters.

Any person found guilty of desertion or attempt to desert shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct, but if the desertion or attempt to desert occurs at any other time, by such punishment, other than death, as a court-martial may direct.”

When looking at this fact, and knowing that Army SGT Bergdahl, swore an oath to uphold and maintain these said laws, readily knowing the consequence can be death, as stated, why was an exchange to release a prisoner, who by our own laws, “…if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct”, is harsher?   Then one may argue that this man was only AWOL (Absent Without Leave), A person who is absent for just a day or two, then apprehended, could still be charged with the offense of Desertion, but the prosecution would have to show evidence that the accused intended to remain away permanently. The UCMJ states in the same article;

(1)   Desertion with intent to remain away permanently. (a) That the accused absented himself or herself from his or her unit, organization, or place of duty; (b) That such absence was without authority; (c) That the accused, at the time the absence began or at some time during the absence, intended to remain away from his or her unit, organization, or place of duty permanently.

(2)   Desertion with intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service.

The allegations of desertion are serious. It occurred during a war, during combat operations, and jeopardized the lives of many. It is true that the U.S. Army must uphold proper order and discipline and this allegation must be investigated — but we as Americans already know the most likely outcome under our current administration. The censored liberal media will attempt to elevate him to some type of “victim of war or PTSD” status that will cause the Army not to pursue the right direction under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).  As far as it being desertion during a time of War, as thousands protest, well consider the facts on that statement.  There was no formal “declaration of War” against a country.  There was a statement made “declaring war on Terrorism”, just as a “war on drugs, war on gun violence”.  All of which are a WAR on an inanimate object.  Grated the war on terrorism has spanned a few countries, to include our own; it was not a war on a physical country or specified location, but a war on an act, or behavior.

Many soldiers and veterans who have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other combat areas of operation against radical Islamists know that they don’t care about our troops or our country.  They train only to savagely and brutally murder those who do not follow their ideology. They exist to kill Americans.  Yes he is an American who despises his country, and in need of rescue, but at what price, and consequence?  He should still be tried and answer for his conduct and breech of his Oath to the same country, he betrayed by his actions.

Former Pfc. Jose Baggett, 27, of Chicago, was also in Bergdahls company, and said he was close to the two men “killed because of his (Bergdahl’s) actions.”

Multiple inconsistencies as to his loyalty to Country can be found in statements he made and the emails to his family prior to his unauthorized leaving of his post.  These statements made in emails to his family show his clear disdain for America, leading many to believe his intent was to willfully abandon his unit and country.

 

Fact Two:

The actions of Army SGT Bergdahl, in 2009, caused loss of life.  This by definition is Manslaughter.  Manslaughter is defined by the Uniform Code of Military Justice Article 119, (UCMJ) as;

(b) Any person who… without an intent to kill or inflict great bodily harm, unlawfully kills a human being (1) by culpable negligence;

(i) Nature of culpable negligence. Culpable negligence is a degree of carelessness greater than simple negligence. It is a negligent act or omission accompanied by a culpable disregard for the foresee-able consequences to others of that act or omission. Thus, the basis of a charge of involuntary manslaughter may be a negligent act or omission which, whe viewed in the light of human experience, might foreseeably result in the death of another, even though death would not necessarily be a natural and probable consequence of the act or omission.

 

According to sources and documents;

On August 18, 2009, Staff Sgt. Clayton Bowen and Pfc. Morris Walker were killed by an IED in the search for Bergdahl.

On August 26, 2009 Staff Sgt. Kurt Curtiss was killed.

On September 4, 2009, 2nd Lt. Darryn Andrews and Pfc. Matthew Michael Martinek were killed after being attacked in Yahya Khail District, while participating in search operations for Bergdahl.

On September 5, 2009, Staff Sgt. Michael Murphrey was killed by an IED at the Forward Operating Base, Sharana, while involved in duties pertaining to search operations for Bergdahl.

Multiple military operations were put on hold while the search for Bergdahl was ordered priority, according to officers who served in Afghanistan in that time. Manpower and assets, (including scarce surveillance drones and helicopters) were redirected to the hunt. This led to the closure of a dangerous combat outpost, COP Keating, was delayed which directly led to eight soldiers being killed at COP Keating before it was ultimately closed.

One soldier with the 509th Regiment, a sister unit of the 501st, told CNN that “after Bergdahl disappeared, the U.S. Army essentially was told to lock down the entire province of Paktika”. He described sitting in the middle of a field with his platoon, vulnerable, with capabilities and personnel mismanaged throughout the region. He stated; “Different platoons ran out of water, food, and ammunition, putting many lives in danger”.

 

When interviewed by CNN, June 2, 2014, Sergeant Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl’s platoon stated;

“I was pissed off then and I am even more so now with everything going on”. “Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.”  “It was unbelievable,” the soldier said. “All because of the selfish act of one person. The amount of animosity (toward him) is nothing like you’ve ever seen before.”  “I don’t understand why we’re trading prisoners at Gitmo for somebody who deserted during a time of war, which is an act of treason.”

Several soldiers were killed in multiple searches for Bergdahl after his disappearance, and many soldiers in his platoon said attacks seemed to increase against the United States in Paktika province in the days and weeks following.

 

Many of Bergdahl’s fellow troops, including several who knew him best in his squad and the larger group that made up the 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division stated to CNN earlier this month, that they signed nondisclosure agreements agreeing to never share any information about Bergdahl’s disappearance and the efforts to recapture him. Some regretted signing the nondisclosure for fear the truth would never be told; That  Army SGT Bergdahl, who is being hailed as a hero by our President, and many others, when he deserted his post,  as the men who lost their lives looking  for him, the true victims here, lost their lives.

 

 

 

 

Guantanamo Bay Prisoners Exchanged

 

 

Abdul Haq Wasiq, Mullah Norullah Nori, Khairullah Khairkhwa, Mohammed Nabi and Mohammad Fazl are all known Terrorists, that were detained at Guantanamo Bay as enemy combatants, with a known disdain for United States.

Taliban members handed Bergdahl over to special operations forces in eastern Afghanistan, and later in the day the detainees were flown from the Guantanamo detention center to Qatar.

My Question is, since when is it acceptable to trade a known deserter, with disdain for our country in exchange for FIVE volatile individuals, with whom the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo Bay had determined in Memorandums between Rear Admiral Mark H. Buzby, CMDR, Guantanamo Bay and The Commander of the United States Southern Command in Florida, to be high risk and future threat? Since when do we negotiate with terrorists? Below are summarized risk assessments and executive summaries obtained from the official documents and memorandums:

 

Abdul Haq Wasiq:

Executive Summary: Served as the Taliban Deputy Minister of Intelligence.  Detainee had direct access to Taliban and Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG)leadership.  He was central to the Taliban’s efforts to form alliances with other Islamic fundamentalist groups to fight alongside the Taliban against US and Coalition forces after the 11 September 2001 attacks.  Detainee utilized his office to support al-Qaida and to assist Taliban personnel elude capture.  Detainee arranged for al-Qaida personnel to train Taliban intelligence staff in intelligence methods.

  • Detainee was a high-level Taliban intelligence officer. He was central to Taliban efforts to form alliances with other Islamic fundamentalist groups to fight alongside the Taliban against US and Coalition forces after the 11 September 2001 attacks. Detainee also coordinated intelligence training between al-Qaida and the Taliban.  Detainee assisted al-Qaida and Taliban elements to elude Coalition forces.
  • Detainee admitted he served as the Taliban Deputy Minister of Intelligence. Detainee reported to Intelligence Minister Qari Ahmadullah, who reported to Taliban Supreme Commander Mullah Muhammad Omar.
  • Detainee had a bank account in his name at the al-Taqwa Bank, in Nassau, Bahamas.  Numerous al-Qaida and Taliban members had accounts at the same bank.  Bahamas officials closed the al-Taqwa Bank in April 2001 because of its suspicious financial activities to extremist groups.
  • Detainee is assessed to be a HIGH risk, as he is likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests and allies.

 

Mullah Norullah Nori:

Executive Summary: Detainee was a senior Taliban military commander in Mazar-e-Sharif during hostilities against US and Coalition forces in late 2001.  Detainee was also the Taliban governor for the Balkh and Laghman provinces and is wanted by the United Nations (UN) for possible war crimes including the murder of thousands of Shiite Muslims.  Detainee is associated with Supreme Taliban Commander Mullah Muhammad Omar, other senior Taliban officials, senior al-Qaida members and other extremist organizations and has remained a significant figure to Taliban supporters.  Detainee’s brother is a Taliban commander directing operations against US and Coalition forces where detainee resided.

  • Detainee is wanted by the United Nations for possible war crimes including the murder of thousands of Shiites. When asked about the murders, detainee and AF-007 did not express any regret and stated they did what they needed to do in their struggle to establish their ideal state. Detainee’s willingness to support the Taliban objectives was also reported by the Pakistani Military Inter­ Services Intelligence Directorate (ISID) which assessed detainee to be a hardliner in his support of the Taliban philosophy
  • Detainee is also associated with members of al-Qaida, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and the Hezb-E-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG).19
  • Detainee continues to be a significant figure encouraging acts of aggression and his brother is currently a Taliban commander conducting operations against US and Coalition forces.
  • Detainee is assessed to be a HIGH risk, as he is likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests and allies.

 

Khairullah Khairkhwa:

Executive Summary: Detainee was a senior Taliban official serving as the Minister of Interior, Governor of Herat, and a military commander.  Detainee was directly associated to Usama Bin Laden (UBL) and Taliban Supreme Commander Mullah Muhammad Omar, and was added to the UN financial freeze list.  Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, detainee represented the Taliban during meetings with Iranian officials seeking to support hostilities against US and Coalition forces.

  • Detainee also attended a meeting at the direction of UBL, reportedly accompanied by members of HAMAS.  Detainee and his deputy were probably associated with a militant training camp in Herat operated by deceased al-Qaida commander (in Iraq) Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
  • Detainee was identified as a narcotics trafficker and probably used his position and influences to become one of the major opium drug lords in Western Afghanistan.  Detainee probably used his position and influences to become one of the premier opium drug lords in Western Afghanistan and used profits from drugs to promote Taliban interests in the area.
  • On 3 October 2001, detainee acted as an escort for Kabul Province Governor Mullah Abd al-Manan Niyazi and two other Taliban officials when they attended a meeting initiated by Iran, probably by the IRGC.  Iran offered to sell SA-7 surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and other unidentified weapons to the Taliban.  The Iranian delegation also promised to open Iran’s borders to Arabs entering Afghanistan to fight jihad and to broker an agreement between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance, to which Iran had been covertly supplying weapons and material.
  • Detainee is assessed to be a HIGH risk, as he is likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests and allies.

 

Mohammed Nabi:

Executive Summary: Detainee was a senior Taliban official who served in multiple leadership roles.

Detainee has strong ties to active ACM networks including al-Qaida, the Taliban, the Haqqani

Network, and the HIG personnel.  Detainee was involved in ACM attacks against US and Coalition

forces and supported extremist elements through weapons smuggling and storage.

 

  • Detainee admitted serving in Taliban leadership positions including Chief of Security in Qalat, Chief of Communications in Kabul, and as a subordinate to the Chief of the Border Department in Kabul.(Analyst The latter position provided detainee with access to senior Taliban commander and  leader of the Haqqani Network, Jalaluddin Haqqani.  Haqqani was the Taliban Minister of Frontiers and Borders which   provided the framework for their close association until detainee’s capture.)

 

  • According to a sensitive contact, detainee was one of three former Taliban commanders loyal to Haqqani.  The other two commanders were identified as detainee’s brother-in-law Malim Jan, aka (the Butcher of Khowst), and Gul Majid.  These commanders worked with former Taliban commander Zakim Khan.

 

 

  • Detainee was given the name the Butcher of Khowst as he was responsible for the murder of up to 300 people in Khowst.  He was a sub-commander under Haqqani and was in charge of the “Secret Police.  Jan and Majid were both active as of 2007.

 

  • Detainee is assessed to be a HIGH risk, as he is likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests and allies.

 

Mohammad Fazl:

Executive Summary: Detainee was the Taliban Deputy Minister of Defense during Operation Enduring Freedom and is an admitted senior commander who served as Chief of Staff of the Taliban Army and as a commander of the 22nd Division.  Detainee is wanted by the UN for possible war crimes including the murder of thousands of Shiites.

  • Detainee was associated with terrorist groups currently opposing US and Coalition forces including al-Qaida, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG), and an Anti-Coalition Militia group known as Harakat-i-Inqilab-i-Islami.1  Detainee wielded considerable influence throughout the northern region of Afghanistan and his influence continued after his capture.
  • Detainee’s name and capture have been used, in recruiting campaigns by the Taliban, and $500,000 US was paid to ensure detainees safe passage.  If released, detainee would likely rejoin the Taliban and establish ties with ACM elements participating in hostilities against US and Coalition forces in Afghanistan.
  • Detainee and his troops were supplied with weapons by Taliban Minister of Defense, Mullah Haji Obaidullah Akhund. Upon his capture, detainee displayed no remorse for his actions.
  • Many other current and former JTF-GTMO detainees identified detainee as a Taliban commander operating in the northern region of Afghanistan. Detainee was also identified as the Taliban Deputy Minister of War for the Northern Front.
  • Detainee is assessed to be a HIGH risk, as he is likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests and allies.

 

 

 

The Decision Makers

 

 

Charles Timothy “Chuck” Hagel the United States Secretary of Defense stated directly following the breaking news of the exchange stated  “intelligence the U.S. had gathered suggested that Bergdahl’s “safety and health were both in jeopardy, and in particular his health was deteriorating.”

Hagel Then stated, “ it was the administration’s judgment the military had to move quickly to get Bergdahl out, “essentially to save his life.”  It was the unanimous consensus of the National Security Council, and the president has the authority to order such a release under Article 2 of the Constitution, and ignore the fact that the Pentagon did not give Congress the required 30-day notice for the release of detainees”.

But if you take a good look at Article 2 of the Constitution, in the context it was meant to be established and followed, one questions the validity of this act of bypassing Congress, under false pretense.  Yet we do realize, we are under the direct authority of a President who has little to no regard or respect for the Constitution unless it suits his agenda, as stated by many members of the GOP.

President Barack Obama on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 defended his decision to release five Afghan detainees from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for freeing an American soldier by “saying his administration had consulted with Congress about that possibility for some time.”  He then brushed aside questions about the circumstances surrounding Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s capture by insurgents in 2009, in which military evidence clearly showed his intent to abandon his post, and forego his own country against orders. Instead he replied; “The United States, he said, has a sacred obligation to not leave men and women in uniform behind.”   Again I ask, at what price do we do this?  Do we rescue one and jeopardize the loss of thousands of lives, as we did on September 11, 2001 to date?

Republicans in Congress criticized the agreement and complained about not having been consulted, citing a law that requires Congress to be given 30 days’ notice before a prisoner is released from Guantanamo. Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee said the Pentagon notified the panel by phone on Saturday that the exchange was occurring in the next five hours.

But we all know this falls on the deaf ears of Liberals since Obama has previously expressed concern about the congressional notification requirement, which was passed as part of the 2014 defense bill. In a statement that accompanied his signing of that legislation, he said the executive branch must have flexibility “to act swiftly in conducting negotiations with foreign countries regarding the circumstances of detainee transfers.” Another way of creating or modifying laws to meet his own agenda.

Officials serving under Obama, who lack the ability to think rationally about the safety of the United States as a whole, for fear of rubbing elbows with future voters, said delaying “Bergdahl’s transfer in order to comply with the congressional notification rules would have interfered with two of the president’s constitutional authorities: protecting the lives of Americans abroad and protecting U.S. soldiers”.   Yet did they think hard before making that statement?  What about the lives of the 6 soldiers who died as a direct result of actions and measures to search for Bergdahl, when he decided to betray them?

Julie Pace, from the Associated Press released the following statement Wednesday morning June 4, 2014 stating:

The U.S. and the Taliban negotiated the prisoner exchange indirectly, with the government of Qatar serving as an intermediary. The U.S. and Qatar signed a memorandum of understanding governing the conditions of their release, though beyond the travel ban, the exact stipulations are unknown.
Obama acknowledged that there was always a chance that the released Afghans could rejoin the Taliban or other groups seeking to harm the U.S. But if they take those steps, Obama said the U.S. “will be in a position” to go after them.

 

I looked at that statement and thought, since when do we use foreign entities to negotiate with terrorists and have the outcome successful?  Is it really okay for our own President to betray the trust of the majority of those he is to represent with Loyalty and commitment, to negotiate to rescue one who betrays the United States, by releasing five who would only seek to destroy us by any means possible, on the word of some “Negotiator” living in the heart of a country known for not honoring it’s word, and supporting our destruction?  News media all over the world showed the five terrorists being celebrated as heroes upon their return, yet our own President and his loyal minions, have no recognition or respect shown for the soldiers killed in attempts to rescue Bergdahl in the past.

True Bergdahl is still an American citizen, and is afforded some rights, but where do we draw the line in what we do to protect these rights?  Now that he is in our custody, will he even serve any time?  Will he be prosecuted fully for his crimes?  Or Will Obama embrace him as a hero, whose actions were the result of PTSD?  That to me holds about as much logic as pardoning a man for killing six of his family members while under the influence of drugs, because the drugs altered his mental illness, since PTSD is another disorder we do use as a defense in some crimes.  I so sympathize with people who truly suffer from Mental Illness, PTSD and other like disorders, but it is not a means of excuse for bad behavior, no more than owning a gun, is a means to commit a crime.  Evil within creates the action, not the mechanism of excuse.

We also have to consider the unwise choices some of our leaders make that add to the millions now scratching their heads and wondering what has our country come to? This same administration, who felt the need to release five major threats to the safety of millions of Americans, who stood next to and embraced the support of Bergahl’s father, who tweeted (then deleted), “@ABalkhi “I am still working to free all Guantanamo prisoners. God will repay for the death of every Afghan child, Ameen!”

So while the father praises Allah to his son, America looks at our Commander in Chief standing next to him in support of the very ideology of the terrorists he claims to make every effort to protect us from, many become angers and realize this act is just one more nail in the coffin to move forward towards grounds for impeachment, before more of our welfare and core values are destroyed.

 

 

The Other Options

 

Sympathizers would lead us to believe this soldier was frustrated with the war on terrorism, and acted out of extreme stress and protest of the mission of his unit.  I say he was a coward because he did not have the guts to ask to speak with a military chaplain, and use the DoD Directive 1300.6 and request an evaluation as a Contentious Objector.  He would be reviewed for eligibility for discharge.

When looking into the requirements for this claim to be valid, ones past affiliations, beliefs and stance as well as current feelings towards war is taken into consideration.  Looking into some of his previous actions and statements,  shared all over the media, and coming to light, one must consider  the reason he may not have chosen this route is because it may reflect his indiscretion and sympathetic nature towards the “enemy” of his own people?  Was he afraid he would be found a supporter of the radical Islamic beliefs of the enemy?  Was he a number of the increasing “homegrown” terrorists rising up in America?

Read between the lines, do the math, research the other sources main-stream media is trying to silence, and at one time the government silenced, that served directly with him.  I do not see a single soldier who served in his unit with him, stepping forward to defend his integrity.

 

In the end, we have to weigh out ALL the facts available, and disregard opinion or popular norm.  We have to look at the crimes that were committed, and although our own Commander-in-Chief, circumvented laws scandalously to trade terrorists for someone who hates his own countries ideals of what the price of the “freedom” he wants to appreciates costs, and consider this.. The end result will be TWO things.  Someone is not going to get the punishment they deserve and one more piece of our countries integrity is chipped away at.

 

References Available Upon Request

©Copyright protected 2014: NWU Local 1981

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Taking Time to Meditate

Meditation is not just for the yoga guru nor the person seeking some enlightenment or hear their dead ancestors speak to them in visions, it is also a moment to just reflect and remember lessons learned in the past and how they can be learning tools for our future.  Looking back at our successes and failures help guide us to where we want to be in our future.

When were able to reach within ourselves and find understanding of our place in the vast universe we affirm our inner strengths and capacities, face our fears, and listen to the song of our own soul, it’s rhythmic drumbeat speaks to us.  When we have fallen enough, then gotten back up again, and learned how to take the time to meditate and reflect on our past, we begin to grow.

As creatures formed by the great creator, we can best meditate and reflect when we become one with the rest of his handiwork, nature.  We are at a point of change or transition in our lives, shedding what weakens us over time and distancing from negativity as much as possible.  Finding a place among nature to take the time to reflect, we can bring us to a neutral place to be one with the creator.

We’re not so far from the lives our ancestors lived, close to the intimate rhythms of nature. I we could travel back a hundred years, a thousand years, we could see that it’s all right there: the sound of birdsong cutting through a crystal clear morning, the majesty of a sky full of starlight so bright that you can walk around under its glow, the wind whipping through a terrain of deep silence, the feeling of animal beings in their own home territory.

Although modern times have become a part of our world, when we take time to meditate and become one with nature, we once again are no longer separate from the rest of creation.  We are beautiful creatures capable of great things, if we can see the majestic possibilities before us and our advancement of being.

If we do not do this often we become disconnected and the loss of our relationship to God’s creation, nature, means we once again risk losing part of our own soul. In the natural world, a mirror of “human nature,” we can rediscover our wholeness, and there we have the capacity to renew ourselves. When we focus on our goals, and become driven to follow our destiny and what is meant for us we affirm an unbreakable bond between the human and natural world.

©Copyright protected 2010: JD, NWU Local 1981

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A sense of Purpose

Do you ever wonder what creates that urge or sensation of extreme restlessness in your life?  Do you wonder why it is that concentration and focus seems out of reach?  Instead of always questioning why, perhaps it is best that we work harder to not just hear our inner being talking to us, but to start listening to what it is trying to tell us.

Inside each and every one of us there is an inner purpose that can be ignored only so long before it creates an overwhelming mass of turmoil within.  This inner calling is a call to the Soul.   It is not as if a voice in our head that speaks to us, but more the questions we ask ourselves, where no one else can hear.

We may question what am I doing here and where am I going in my life?  Is there meaning out there for my existence?  Is this all there is in life for me?  It is not that we feel the lack of success, or that we have under achieved our worldly goals, but that having everything material in life and being a financial success does not always mean we have been successful  any more than being poor and living with the mere basics means we have not been.

Success is determined by how we utilize our full potential in life.  Everyone has a purpose and destiny.  Our destiny is determined by a power higher than all of our decisiveness.  We just need to pay attention to the inner timetable of our own awareness.  When it does, a spiritual alarm clock goes off, and it becomes almost impossible to ignore.  Many have a heightened awareness and perception in life.  At least 1 in 10 do possess good perception, and are considered gifted with knowledge and out of those millions, so few still understand the true Synchronicity and its interconnection to the universe, and their potential to utilize it for good.

Heightened awareness is a sense of basic synchronicity blended with common sense along with using and trusting your intuition.  We all have an interconnection with the Universe.  With this connection we have an invisible weave interlinking us between people and events; that together, in a way, bring what is meant to happen in our lives, into existence.  They are not based in a traditional comprehension of causality.  I am humored sometimes at how people determine sense verses sensible natural concept of probability.  That leads to misinterpretation of the message one senses.  It also is most likely a response to what one perceives as willed desire verses realistic concept.

There are many amazing situations that can happen in your life when your inner awareness changes.   This is also not to be confused with the grandiose sense of knowledge or feeling of knowing.  It is a true awareness of the simplistic inner you, flaws and all.  For acknowledging your weaknesses, they become new strengths to grow upon.   It will eventually guide you to where you will have energetic thoughts that revive your spirit within, bringing about a new sense of change; you may experience intents and direction of interests that take you where you would have never imagined yourself going and desires that will align with all the natural vibrations around you.  When this happens it will mingle together into a harmonious melody of existence.

This harmony does not mean there will be no struggles in your life, but it will give you a better sense of how to use your inner strengths to cope with whatever crosses your path.  Our beautiful universe is always willing and waiting to show us something wonderful.  Synchronicities bring to the forefront of your thoughts the information for your waking consciousness along with your subconscious state to gently guide and direct you to what is in alignment with your own personal growth.  It is whispering to your soul a hint, for you to watch and wait.

Listen carefully when your soul whispers for the lessons are sometimes very subtle. Life’s events are not always very transparent; however, this too becomes a lesson in intuition and strengthening your internal hearing.

There are also times when that inner voice happens through other events such as a thought that comes to you while reading a book, reading a blog, glancing at a phrase or seeing an image.  You get a feeling it is speaking to you and it probably is.  Be sure you do not make the most common mistake, and take an offensive stance.  Use it as a learning tool, because although what you see may not have been meant to be interpreted as such, but triggers the inner message within you, that something in your life need changing.  Life is always full of changes, and we as humans are flexible beings and adapt well to changes when we open out minds, listen to our souls, base much less of our lives on self gratification and awaken to more self awareness of our true potential in life.

My point is, what have you been hearing from within lately?  Are you listening with your soul and not the mixed messages based on basic human emotion driven by physical sense of comfort?  Work to find the best within yourself, by listening to what is within you, that you ignore so often.  Be who you are meant to be, no matter where it may lead you.

©Copyright protected 2014: JD, NWU Local 1981

©United Press International,   ©International Association of Press Photographers and Journalists   Press ID # 1007490467

New Years Resolutions.. Quest or Quandry

New Years Resolutions and How to Make Them an Adventure and Not An Unobtainable Quest

Have you ever wondered how in the world your clothes dryer could be so hungry that it eats your socks?  Why the lid on a pickle jar always seems to have been sealed by a ninja?   Why driving down a country road the smell of pig poop always seems to filter in the direction you’re traveling?  Life is full of questions, it is how we choose to seek out which need answering with the mind, by skill or by listening to our inner voice to find the answers we seek, and what we should just take as circumstance.

As the year draws to a close, we tend to reflect upon the past twelve months and prepare to welcome the new.  Sitting right in front of us are some of the most personal questions of all.  What will my new year’s resolution be?  What will I make as my new goal?  What will I plan to give up, plan to achieve, and hope to change?  These questions may seem simplistic, yet matter to us, or we would not have saved them until the socially acceptable time to place them into a resolution has arrived.

According to research done in 2012 by the University of Scranton, Published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology,  almost 60% of Americans make new year’s resolutions yet less than 46% of us successfully follow through with at least one resolution beyond the first six months of the year and approximately 8% continue on beyond that. Of that percentile; the majority were resolutions and goals related to weight loss, healthier living, quitting smoking and other means of self improvement.

So if you’re going to be one of the 60%, make sure you choose realistic goals that you are willing to put some effort into following through with.  Many of us use the New Year as an opportunity to make our personal multi page “bucket list” of things we want to do or total personal or professional makeovers we hope achieve.

Although nice to aspire a drastic change, experts claim the average person has far too many competing priorities that this type of approach will be a set-up for failure.  If we try to aim our rocket of hope to high, and shoot for the moon, we might find ourselves ending up failing to even firing our engines off the launch pad on January 1st.

It is more sensible to set small, simple attainable goals throughout the whole year, rather than singular, overwhelming goals.  Remember to set goals that are tangible.  Making resolutions that are ambiguous can be inspiring and entertaining to our psyche, but the difficulty in achieving them, means that excitement can rapidly give way to frustration.

Resolutions are more successful in follow through when they are bounded by rational, achievable metrics.  For example; if your goal is to lose weight, you may find it easier instead of staring at a scale every morning, and wondering why the numbers don’t drop, choose to make a short term goal, such as; for six weeks I will not eat potato chips and soda, or for two months I will not take second portions at suppertime, and the result may be better choices with a better sense of accomplishment, in return causing a positive result in taking off a few pounds as well.  Be specific and set yourself a clear ambition.  Instead of saying “I am going to get a gym membership in 2014”, sign up for yoga classes or getting on a treadmill two mornings a week.  “Vague goals begat vague resolutions, when you cannot measure some form of progress or success in completion”, Says John Norcross from University of Scranton.

In this age of social media and electronics, make your goals obvious.  Experts recommend charting your goals in some fashion.  Even though there is no universal strategic method for success, sometimes making a clearly defined to-do list is a good enough reminder for one to stay on track.  Try journaling, or creating a personal blog, to share with friends and family you trust and that support your goals, without judgment.  Share your goals with some Facebook or other social media friends as a means of accountability, which will tend to make you want to reach your goals, when you have a personal cheering squad and support system.

I had a friend, who decided she was going to try and curb her shopaholic tendencies and pay off her 24,000.00 in credit card debt.  She decided to make it her New Years resolution,  and knew it would be a hard battle to accomplish on her own, so she went public with it.  She created a blog, and invited all her friends to follow her as she made the effort to transform herself from a shopaholic to a spendthrift.  By sharing what she didn’t spend, and how much she saved by changing her habits publically, she was able to curb her budget and ended up paying off her debt within two years.  She claimed that sharing her resolution was her way of holding herself accountable.

Most importantly have faith.  Believe in yourself. By taking the first step and setting simple and realistic smaller goals, you raise your chances of achieving that goal significantly.  When goals are set too high or without specific means of measurement in progress, we tend to abandon them the moment we hit the first bump in the road.  More often than not, people who are not successful in keeping their resolutions blame their own lack of willpower.  If you’re not ready to stick to it and pursue your goal, or give up what you choose to forego, you will not succeed.  You have to be willing to put in the effort, and only when you’re ready and you’re doing for yourself and not others.

Many times we have heard people say they have no “willpower’.  After doing much research and several surveys on the subject of New Year’s resolutions, I found that most people felt that they lacked the willpower to follow through and that they could not complete their goals because they lost their “drive” to do so.  You have as much willpower as you THINK you have.  Which means; that on some personal level, your journey toward self-improvement through setting your New Year’s resolutions will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

©Copyright protected 2013: JD, NWU Local 1981

©United Press International,   ©International Association of Press Photographers and Journalists   Press ID # 1007490467

Once a Mighty Oak

Once a Mighty Oak

A Metaphor of Thought to be pondered.  The true and pure individual can comprehend without grandiose and see, this is all, this is we, no solidarity blame be.

My minds-eye is resting upon a stoop, as I do ever-so often, watching the birds fly by; savoring the beauty of their grace in flight.  Rabbits scurry among the rich clover and the breeze blows the wheat in the fields across the dusty road in front of my secret mental place nestled in the rural countryside.  I close my eyes and vividly recall the mighty oak that once sat centered between the two fields, strong, tall and in its grandeur once graced the skyline with her broad branches and lush green leaves.  She was one tree but trunk split as to appear to be two individual trees stemming from one earthen source. Then I open my eyes and am drawn back into reality.

I see that same tree, not so mighty, scarce are the leaves that grow on the eastern side, yet the side on the west still blooms, yet struggles to grow beyond the fragile limbs that sway in the summer breeze.  How can this be?  How can something that once was so grand, so strong, wither to near nothingness between two fields of capable nourishment?  I set out on a quest to unearth the mystery that lie in front of me in a disheartening state of inevitable demise.

I started my quest by inquiring the ownership of the tree, to discover, it was a gift from nature that separated the two fields, of which had individual owners.  The farmer to the east possessed his land first, shortly followed by the farmer to the west.  Each of them, cherishing the beauty of the tree, and wanting to possess it as their own.  The tree, her only task was to answer mother earth’s call, to grow to bloom and to give back to nature the splendor that was bestowed upon her.  Although the tree belonged to neither, in all rights, the farmer to the east felt because he was there first, he would sway the tree to grow in his direction, and tethered restraints to sway her to grow in his direction as she blossomed into a mature mighty stature among nature.

The farmer to the west understood, and wanted to share the beauty of her duplex massiveness that would one day be, and offered solution.  He fertilized the roots upon the western side, and offered this yielded richness to the farmer on the east, who took offense to his skill. Claiming to himself, in his grandiose stance, he took aim to damage the very roots by means vindictiveness and an axe he harmed the tree on the western side, hoping the failure, would wound the view from the west, and cause only the eastern side to grow and flourish where he may benefit.  In this state of grandiose, felt he was right in his actions, not realizing the roots were intermingled, and in his destruction, harmed the beauty of the one tree as a whole.

The tree still blooms, despite her roots failing and unable to sustain much life.  She doth still spread her flourishment in the wind, yet now the winds hear her pain and blow her seed towards no field, but to the heavens, pleading for lightning from the clouds to set her ablaze, and relieve the struggle.  This doth not happen.

So she stands, farmer to the east gloating, feeling he has won, since she still blooms, not caring the destruction he has caused,  is not visible to the naked eye.  The farmer to the west, cannot comprehend the volatility of the farmer to the east until he inquires of the fields previously owned, by this farmer were lush, but in haste to exploit his skill did over harvest and destroy those fields and moved on.

The tree, she still stands, and in her state of withering and pain, she knows, she fights for the new bloom in spring, and when the winds set upon her, and seed rise can it carry her between the east and west and the splendor of both be enjoyed?  Or shall she beg once more to nature, and have the winds carry her south?

I open my eyes once again.  I see.  The tree, so much becomes like mankind. It could be you, it could be me.  We find it hard to share all the good that is to be offered, without finding the flaws in one another.  We fight to be the one who has ownership, and do not even realize we have made it our obsession, our goal our conquest to be the sole owner.  There will always be one offering help to another  and share in the best of splendor and one finding they are above help.  They seek out a hidden purpose for the kindness, because deep inside they know, themselves are guilty of the same.  In this action, not realizing they treat life’s gifts as a conquest to be owned as priority to them; the very thing they despise in another.  In one’s exaggerated sense of self-importance, they seek to find someone to blame, and cannot look into the mirror and find where their fault is, and that everyone is without perfection.

We all want the best of nature, and the grandest of “trees”, the greatest of things in life, as we feel entitled, but do not realize, it comes purely, and when we seek to damage the root of existence, and prepare to and then blame the demise on others, we have failed to realize, we were just as wrong, we are not without flaw.

Just as the tree is not without flaw, who planted its seed among two fields,  then split itself, would have been better off growing in a park on the south lawn of uncharted land.  We make mistakes, whether we take responsibility, and not lay blame, we fertilize and create blooms, instead of withering to nothingness. The tree knows her  growth and knows her demise, and knows that nature offers opportunity for re-bloom, yet knows not the direction of the wind without pain.

Thought:  Judging the flaws of others, not only exposes theirs, but shows the world our own as well.  Ti’s better to be a farmer who sows the seed of silent success, than the farmer who plants the seed of discontent and loses the harvest, through bitter action. 

©Copyright protected 2013: JD, NWU Local 1981

©United Press International,   ©International Association of Press Photographers and Journalists   Press ID # 1007490467

My Holiday Challenge to Everyone

My Holiday Challenge to Everyone

JD

This winter season is upon us, and although mild right now, colder days are on the horizon.  Most of us enjoy the warmth of our homes and aren’t particularly affected by the elements and risks it poses, when it comes to surviving.  Unlike many of our counterparts, we do not notice the impact when looking out a window from inside a comfortable house, cup of coffee in hand, and a warm fire.  Consider this Challenge;

Instead, of enjoying that warm thought, take a few moments, close your eyes and imagine if you can, a different kind of winter experience. Replace viewing the outside world from behind a window pane, and see the world through the open end of a worn tarp or box enclosure, tattered from the elements, feel the emptiness and cold,  sense being alone and hungry.

Disregard the thought of living a relatively comfortable modern middle-class suburban life, and envision you are that destitute, homeless individual, with nowhere else to turn.  Through no fault of your own, and stereotyped as lazy or addicted, you fear seeking help to prevent being labeled as such a menace to society.  You have nothing else, but your makeshift residence, shelters are at full capacity, and the only warmth left in your body, is buried under the pain of your wounded soul. What would winter mean for you?

Preparing for winter would become serious and necessary means of survival for you.  Food is scarce and as well as many others homeless, you now struggle to search for food to eat during the days, then when the light fades way, you’ll have to put away some of what you have gathered.  Not because you’re a pack rat or greedy, but you have no radio or television to let you know what tomorrows weather condition may be.  You must plan ahead so not to have to be exposed to any other weather harshness that may possibly come through the night and you do not know when anything will be accessible again.

Food pantries become low on available handouts because most of their money is saved to spend on holiday frivolities, vendors from outdoor public venues have decreased, so their castoff is not readily available to grab from dumpsters, the soup kitchen lines have grown longer and the cold is so harsh, you ache from inadequate clothing to sustain body heat to wait in the line yet still need to gather as much when you’re out to take back with you and store for later.

The winter is here. Our people need to eat. They need shelter from the storms and bitter cold. They need protection from the elements and we as citizens that do not take the time to understand the challenges ahead, but far too often turn a blind eye on how simply we can reach out, help them meet these challenges. Our people will need us through the months ahead.

Everyone has a gift, it is called caring, yet so few of us bother to use this gift, because it has never impacted us, we have never been homeless.  Our gift, our caring matters the most this time of year.  Now is the time to give and winter is the time to give it—unselfishly and without hesitation and judgment.  The scenario could be any one of us, if we’re not too arrogant to think we are above that type of existence.  We’re not really all that far removed from that image of society’s forgotten life.

No, most of us don’t live in tents, tarps, boxes, or in the stairwells of an abandoned building, but most homeless at one time not too far in the past weren’t either.  Yes, in these economic times we are facing our own sort of hard winter ahead, but nothing in comparison to someone who has lost hope, who has no warm place to lay their head at night and be comforted, bathed in warmth of a good fireplace or furnace.  They lay their head upon whatever is available, and if lucky, they will have dry socks, shoes with no holes, a coat, and mittens.  As you draw a warm blanket over your shoulder, imagine only having but a scrap of cloth, or just the remains of a blanket found in someone’s trash along their journey through life.

I won’t list the many forms of metaphorical winter challenges facing our homeless people today, because I know the majority of my readers will not even go so far as to finishing this article, because they are too shallow to care, or feel they are exempt from exposure to such a life because “this just doesn’t happen to anyone they know, let alone them”.  So why waste time listing what is evident.

Winter is here. What will you do? What is your vision in how you imagine the differences you can make and how will you find compassion? Don’t fool yourself into non-action. You have something in your house right now you can give away. That extra pair of gloves; put it in your car and when traveling out, maybe on your way to work, be prepared to share them.  The next time you see that person on that corner, cold hands emerging from a tattered coat, trembling and holding a sign, looking for a few coins for that next meal, open your heart, then your window and hand him a dollar and that pair of gloves.

Perhaps once a week, when making your lunch, pack an extra sandwich, and do the same, if you don’t pack a lunch, when you do go out, grab an extra sandwich, and pass it to a hungry soul on your way home from the office.  You will be amazed at the smile and thankfulness that will come from the recipient, and the reward you will feel inside for actually giving a damn.

Please do not let the simplicity of my challenge to you, to help one homeless individual this winter keep you from taking that single first step. Begin caring, and begin to make a change. Use what you have because winter won’t wait several more months for you to take time to “think about it” and actually care. Take that first step and your soul will answer kindly, this I promise from the depths of my own heart, for once I felt homelessness, and also helped the homeless and knew the inner joy of feeling someone I didn’t know cared about me as well as the blessing, when I shared with someone I saw, a warm pair of mittens, socks or sandwich.

Your people are hungry, cold and in need. When will you feed one of them, cloth them, or give them a blanket for warmth?  I challenge you to find your compassion.

©United Press International,   ©International Association of Press Photographers and Journalists   Press ID # 1007490467

Getting Disconnected

Unplugging from all sources of media and news for brief periods of time becomes the most rational an even more, the most obvious choice for finding some inner peace. It doesn’t take a crisis in our world or personal lives to feel the power of spending time out among nature, the peace of sitting beside a rambling creek, or the unspeakable wisdom exuded from old trees whispering in the winds. The land is always there; ready to accept us and all we bring to her.

Finding inner peace is not an overnight process, but more of a never ending process we continue throughout our lifetime and carry over into the next.

To be human is to experience hurt. Rare is the individual who manages to make their way through life without suffering many scars to the emotional body and will. Sometimes our scars are given to us by others; sometimes they are self-inflicted by allowance of what we should avoid.  We are human after all. Either way, the pain can run deep.

Our wounds may be clearly visible to us; we know the exact moment, circumstance, and person with whom inflicted them upon us or when we allowed them to be self-inflicted through actions of our own. Then there are the occasions that the perpetrator of the wounds, are not so easily identified until the damage is done.  We just learn how to take the time to be one within nature and heal the pain and move beyond the scars to find the inner being, to find our purpose and to grow.

Our purpose is held in our souls and there’s no better mirror of the soul than the natural world. The wilder the setting is, the better it serves to reflect, reveal, and teach. By stripping away all the distractions of our modern, electronics age and “plugged in” lifestyles, we can start to hear the still small voice that’s been trying so hard to get through. Spending time with nature and with the spirits in, we can return to our secular lives with a better understanding of our gifts and an appreciation of how important it is for us to use those gifts wisely.

It is good to recognize when we need to simply step away from our life so we can find our purpose, and refocus once again.  Our Spirit needs to experience the freedom of a day with no plans. Our soul needs to experience the solid ground under our feet, rich mud between our toes, and the sun on our face

Our soul is a hard thing to build around. It doesn’t lend itself well to a mobile app. It’s hard to have a conversation about Soul in a 120 character tweet, or in just a Facebook post, we must go beyond, by going back, and be renewed through nature. Our soul just won’t fit into the kind of boxes we love to worship in our culture and it doesn’t have a press agent to use the media and means to bring it to our fast paced lives.

If we, the future leaders of our culture, are to lead our people to seek out the basic unit of social change we have no hope creating a better society until more of us begin to understand how much of our behavior is influenced by the unseen. Behind everything we do, every decision we make, a deeper current is running. And for a society like ours we have what it takes to help others find their way back to what we know is within us, just misplaced.  Finding your purpose and using your fullest potential will be the change you seek.

©Copyright protected 2013: JD, NWU Local 1981

©United Press International,   ©International Association of Press Photographers and Journalists   Press ID # 1007490467