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What has become clear to me since 9/11

9/11 mostly consolidated what I had suspected as I witnessed changes in media, politics and behaviour patterns since arriving in Canada in the sixties.

In the years since that day I have come to see two parallel operating systems and all that is reported in the public domain fits into one or the other of those two. Power-over and power-from-within. These systems govern our feelings and emanate out towards our thoughts, actions, and relationships. So it could be said that 9/11 has either clarified my beliefs or that I have become a victim of my own ideology.

Watching the evolution of leadership in North America, Canada and Europe, the wars and crises in the Middle East and Asia, I perceive that those who organized 9/11, those who organized the war in Iraq, the rise of the Taliban, the rise of the Nazi's, the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, and the illicit drug trade - are the same tribe. They may have different names and different ancestors and believe they have a unique role to play in the scheme of things, but they are committed to the goal of absolute power over all. All political, financial and ideological investment leads to the zero sum notion of power that decrees people must be kept away from their innate power and centralized into the realm of the ruling elite.

What is increasingly apparent in Western capitalist societies is that consumerism replaced civil society. The huge influence of the entertainment media has filled our lives with structural violence that informs us we should be scared of our community, that we are too fat, too ugly, don't know enough; and no matter how hard we try or wish to believe in ourselves, we are reduced to our fleeting appetites looking for the next fix. Whatever our true nature might be, we lock our doors, get in our cars, and compete for the most of what each of us wants. We have consumed our future and given up our imagination to corporate services. So when we are faced with countless images of crumbling towers, bomb shattered cities, we believe we must choose sides.

In the power-from-within world I have witnessed more determination, more strength in character, more insight and more organization to create community that reveres and sustains life. Theatre, health, music, support for those in crisis, along with the new examples of human nature. The strength of those who organize these events is often heroic.
Ten years after 9/11 I realize our greatest threat is our collective illusion of power. All the wars in our history  have not been about the enemies we have been told to fear, but about the power within we are asked to sacrifice, for the insatiable egos of those who have built their fleeting empires on the blood of others.


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Where does "Greatness" come from? The imagination? Facts? Confidence? A willing suspension of disbelief in a slogan that makes us happy? A capacity to judge well? An ability to observe and find solutions that benefit most if not all? Taking responsibility for the community? A masters degree from Oxford or Yale?

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Greatness is like a dove in the imagination, an angel, a temporary insight, a fleeting epiphany. Something aspired to in the privacy of our minds.

Greatness was an ambition I held when I was a teen and had no proof that I was good at anything or useful to the world at all. After repeated criticism and dismissal from the community around me where I attempted to win something, anything, like a medal, a competition, or a…

Torturing Youth is Okay with us?

“More than two-thirds of Canadians feel Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the wrong choice in awarding a $10.5 million settlement to Omar Khadr, according to a new poll by the Angus Reid Institute.” CBC News
But we don’t see the survey questions in this article. How was the poll actually worded? Reading one article might make us believe we are well informed, but how does a single poll actually tell us how people feel?  
“And while the survey shows that a majority of Liberals and New Democrats are opposed to the government's decision, how the numbers compare to previous polling suggests that views on Khadr have hardened over the last decade — and that he remains a divisive figure.”
How can a single poll tell whether Khadr is a divisive figure or not? What information do respondents have to make such a claim? 
The article then switches to a former US special force soldier who was blinded in one eye during the 2002 firefight in Afghanistan involving Khadr.  Of course he would be critica…