Saturday, July 15, 2006

Equal Evil Rises Up

I’m establishing a pattern of updating this blog on a weekly basis, except for special occasions. The developing situation in the Middle East might have been such a special occasion. On the other hand, I’ve been rather busy lately. The newspaper agency decided to charge me for printing my route lists, and I decided it would be more cost-effective to maintain my own database and print my own route lists. So that’s what I’ve been working on.

Space Odyssey 2006
I remember the movie “2010: Odyssey Two” based on Arthur C. Clarke’s novel. There was a scene where the astronauts reached the abandoned space ship, and had begun their work of investigation and recovery. There was news of international political unrest, and worry of how that might affect the mission.

That scene is familiar now, as the NASA Space Shuttle program is once again underway, with Discovery. The reports and images of the astronauts’ space walks and work on the International Space Station have been coming through among reports of an escalating conflict between Israel and Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists in Lebanon and Gaza. At the same time, the UN Security Council has now formulated a historic resolution condemning North Korea’s missile firings last week. That’s the seven missiles that North Korea test fired on July 4th, Independence day, the day of the shuttle launch.

The International Space Station is being called a “toe-hold” to deeper space exploration, e.g. manned missions to mars. There are astronauts from countries that don’t have their own space vehicles. So the International Space Station is also a toe-hold to greater international cooperation in peaceful scientific development and space exploration, and as such serves to unite the nations of the earth under a common purpose.

Fox News issued a call for questions to send to the astronauts. I sent in the following:
Is the middle east political turmoil on the ground while you do your work in space reminiscent of a similar scenario in Arthur C. Clark's novel/movie, '2010: Odyssey Two'? What news do you get from Earth, and is that it all distracting for you?

There’s been a lot of talk about whether or not this is actually war. Lebanon declares this conflict as open war. Bill O’Rielly declared (as if he has the authority) that this is in fact World War III. Last year sometime, some other military commander pundit declared that the Global War On Terror, which began with 9/11, is in fact, WW IV, with the Cold War being WW III. As World Wars go, they aren’t recognized as such until after the fact. Other more moderate pundits are calling this conflict a “border war”, not quite all-out war.

The events, as I know them, are as follows. June 25, Hezbollah terrorists abducted two Israeli soldiers. Israel responded with increasing attacks on Lebanon, blockading the country. July 12, Iran’s deadline to respond to the incentive package to cease uranium enrichment passed without the required response. The same day, Hezbolla began firing rockets out of Lebanon into Israeli cities. Rockets were also fired out of Gaza into Israel. Israel responded by destroying the Beirut airport fuel tanks in a spectacular blaze. Lebanon responded by firing more missiles into Israel. July 14, the UN condemned Israel’s response as being “disproportionate”; USA immediately vetoed the resolution. The Israeli ambassador agreed that the response was indeed “disproportionate”, but disproportionate in the sense that any other country would respond with much greater force to the provocative act of having it’s third largest city attacked.

On the Korean issue, today, July 15, the UN passed a compromised resolution condemning North Korea’s missile test launches, demanding that they stop, but with no “or else” clause. North Korea immediately thumbed their nose at the UN by rejecting the resolution. The UN is busy dealing with one issue at a time.

The Players
Lebanon is on the northern border of Israel, and lies between Israel and Syria. Lebanon is 4,015 sq. miles, same area as a square 63 miles on a side, equivalent to Delaware or Connecticut. Hezbollah is a terrorist militia faction that is effectively in control of Lebanon, in the same sense that the Taliban was in control of Afghanistan. Existing treaties required that Lebanon disarm all of its militias. Lebanon has done so with all militias except Hezbollah. Hezbollah is said to have 10,000 rockets stockpiled. Hezbollah gets its financial backing from Iran. In effect, Hezbollah is a hand puppet of Iran, which they are using to take over Lebanon, and carry out Iran’s threat to “wipe Israel off the map”.

Israel is on the east coast of the Mediterranean, the same land where Israel existed in biblical times. Israel is 8019 sq. miles, equivalent to Massachusetts. Israel was established in 1948 as a homeland for displaced Jews from WW II. Since then, Israel has been surrounded by hostile Arab neighbors, and has had the support of the USA.

Gaza Strip is a tiny strip of land of 135 square miles on the southwest corner of Israel. 135 square miles is a rectangle 5 miles wide, 27 miles long, which is the approximate shape of Gaza. The entire area would fit inside many American cities. My paper route might very well cover 135 square miles. The area is not recognized as belonging to any sovereign country. Israel withdrew its occupation of the area in 2005. Gaza Strip is where Hamas operates, similar to Hezbollah’s stranglehold on Lebanon.

Syria lies to the north of Israel, also on the east coast of the Mediterranean. Syria is 71,498 sq. miles, equivalent to North Dakota. Iran lies to the east. Syria has never had a direct conflict with the US, but has strong connections with Iran.

International conflict isn’t the only source of turmoil. For the last few weeks there’s been an unusual rash of newspaper customers calling in complaints. Bogus complaints, legitimate complaints, non-consequential complaints, repeat complaints, you name it. And it’s not just me. Lots of paper carriers have seen this, though they don’t talk much about it.

Whenever there’s a lot of insanity going around people like to look for some cause. Who put what in the water? Ever since the Y2K scare, there’s been a lot of concern about End Time prophecies. Edgar Cayce prophesied a pole shift and geological disaster in 2005. The Mayan calendar ends in 2012. There’s prophecies of a huge meteor smashing the earth in 2012. War and rumors of war. Fire and brimstone. Dogs and cats living together. Your mortgage payments will be going up, some by as much as 50%. Those with weak credit histories will need help the most. Sorry, I’m OCDing on some annoying mortgage refinance commercial.

Turning back to my metaphysical background, astrology offers some hope of prognosticating the future. Not the fake sun-sign horoscope astrology that you read in the newspapers. Real astrology computes the exact position of all the planets, the sun, the moon, and the horizon at the exact time and location of an individual’s birth, and any other event of interest, along with the angular relationship between all of those points in relation to the zodiac, and all of the symbolic meaning of these things, all woven together in an artistic synthesis.

One of the general global influences that professional astrologers concern themselves with is the mercury retrograde. A mercury retrograde is supposed to be a time of missed communications, bad decisions, plans going awry, fire and brimstone. Well, guess what? Mercury went retrograde… get this… July 4th! This mercury retrograde will last until July 28th.

Another means of forecasting mental malfunction is the Geomagnetic Storm report. When there’s a lot of geomagnetic activity, radio communications are interfered with, spacecraft and satellites are effected, birds have difficulty navigating, people are upset more easily, fire and brimstone, dogs and cats living together. Okay. So, the report for July 1 – 15 shows a bit of activity around July 4 – 6, but not quite enough to endanger spacecraft or make people go crazy, cracking open each others heads, feasting on the goo within, babbling like idiots, firing pistols, missiles and rockets into the air, calling in bogus complaints about “missing” newspapers.

I’d like to put together a graphic tying together all the facts in a timeline. Realistically, I would have to attribute the insanity to the instigators of international turmoil. And all fingers seem to be pointing back to Iran. Iran just can’t leave Israel alone. They’ve got to keep stirring up trouble. And when they do, the turmoil goes out into the world in waves that affect everyone, and rebound like a ball in a pinball game.

Radio DJ “Mancow” has been a regular guest on one of the morning news shows. Recently, he came on, explaining that he no longer had a radio show. He said that after 9/11, he was changed, he embraced Christian values, supported the war on terror, always talked about positive developments. But the radio station fired him because his values apparently didn’t agree with those of the radio station. He quoted Machiavelli
When you do good, equal evil rises up against you.

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