Monthly Archives: February 2013

Blowback from Drone Attacks: Kidnap Americans

I recently read this memo written by Al-Qaida. The memo lists 22 tactics to manage and avoid drone attacks.

The most disturbing part of the memo is the proposed kidnapping of American citizens. Al-Qaida’s goal is to cause enough outrage over drone attacks and the supposed retaliatory kidnappings to prompt a response from the public demanding the end of drone tactics.

Via Al-Qaida:

There is the golden solution that shortens the long distances and through which we can bring back the pressure of the American public opinion in a more active way depending on the strategy of kidnapping in exchange for the drone strategy and we should not stop until they stop their strategy which will enable all the supporter of jihad to take part in defeating Petraeus and his new strategy. We start kidnapping Western citizens in any spot in the world, whether in the Islamic Maghreb, Egypt, Iraq or any other easy kidnapping places and the only demand is the halt of attacks on civilians in Yemen which is a just and humanitarian demand that will create world support and a public opinion pressure in America as they are being hurt again. We, therefore, aim at the core of the nation’s strategy which if failed, America, will accordingly collapse. We also are taking part in laying a block in the promising Islamic State in the Arab peninsula.

Al-Qaida demand that the US bring and end to drone attacks on civilians in Yemen and see this request as a “just and humanitarian demand that will create world support”. I think that is a legitimate request. However, Al-Qaida doesn’t seem to realize that with kidnappings they will simultaneously lose any gained public relations benefits.

Harming innocent individuals and families while also flaming the fears of the public is a bad tactic and seems contradictory to their overall mission. Perhaps they should read about passive resistance techniques use by Gandhi or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Overall the whole memo is kind of frightening and sobering.

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Two lessons you can learn from hard times

If someone were to ask me why bad things happen I would probably have two answers.

1. To learn from it.
2. To bring us all together.

All of the adversity I’ve experienced in my life has served to make me stronger and bring me closer to those who can relate to the things we’ve gone through.

When my Mom attempted suicide a few months back I poured my heart out on this dear old blog. I received over 20 comments of encouragement from people I’ve never met all offering advice and/or compassion. So when someone is going through something hard I offer this:

Try to learn from the experience and/or allow that pain to draw you closer to those who care. If you channel the negativity into power that’s when you grow. A bad childhood can lead to maturity and strength. Abuse may lead to empathy and a deep sense of compassion. Crying on your best friend’s shoulder can form a bond that is more akin to a brotherhood.

If everything was perfect all the time I can’t help but think we would be shallow, horrible species. Sometimes people who have been sheltered and pampered their entire life are the worst of mankind. Spoiled in the most literal sense of the word.

Be thankful for the hard times. Those are the experiences that truly shape who you are.

Surveillance: How the average Citizen is giving away their power

I’ve often wondered if the type of surveillance the American people are subjected to (and somehow remain ignorant to or just blissfully ignore) will effect politics of the future. Think about it.

Most average people use Twitter, Facebook, and are probably writing on blogs. Their information has been mined, stored, sorted, and archived. They are trapped. We same people will be running for political office and may attempt to become leaders of free society.

What will the impact of the self-documentation and self-incrimination of our entire life result? The embarrassing pictures, the Facebook rants when you were 17, your changing political philosophy, etc. Think about it – even if you carefully monitor your own social network computers can automatically detect your face in photos friends upload.

Will an average citizen be able to run for and win public office or will this type of information surveillance lead to a self-eliminating elitist favored political system.

Elites in Political Office

This is an idea that concerns me. If in the near future the average American has forfeited enough personal information on the internet and via surveillance to incriminate themselves to the point of non-electablility will the “average Joe” eliminate themselves from the election pool?

What this my leave is elitist candidates who have been carefully groomed from birth to act as our political leaders. Chosen by the elites to act in their interest and elected by the people simply because a normal person has too much baggage floating around on the internet. Kind of an interesting thought.

The PodTruth Show: Episode # 3 – This is Tijuana!

Atticus and Holden discuss their trip to Tijuana in graphic detail. This is why you should (or maybe shouldn’t) take a trip across the border.

Direct link to the .mp3 file.

Subscribe to the PodTruth Show via RSS feed or iTunes.

Tijuana

Ants and Humans

Ants walk along the ground gathering dirt, piling it, making tunnels, storing food, and repeating. Then comes along some asshole kid who stomps on their perfectly crafted tunnels stirring their entire universe into a frenzy.

Of course the ants have no idea what just happened. A few chemicals go off in their nervous system alerting them to the fact an intruder has just crushed their pile of dirt. They automatically and instinctively begin rebuilding and trying to kill whatever non-ant being has entered their territory.

Some ants never cross paths with a human. Most live their entire lives crawling through the forest acting based on their instincts, happily. It never occurs to them they aren’t thinking. They have no ability to develop thoughts or complex ideas. They just crawl on the ground.

What if we are ants of the Universe?

What if we are ants to some other organism in the Universe. What if there is some being so complex and advanced that we don’t even have the mental capacity to even think to perceive what they might be. Almost like trying to imagine a new color – we simply can’t because our brain will not allow us to perform such a function.

Maybe it’s like a hypothetical shadow creature attempting to perceive the world in 3D. It simply can’t because the everything it understands to exist is on a flat plain.

What if the other phenomena’s existence – exist in such a way we can’t understand or even conceptualize it.   Like an ant solving complex physics equations – we do not have the ability to perceive the masters of our Universe.

To think we are the most complex forms of life in the Universe seems ignorant and impossible. I wonder if other people think about that?

Just a thought before bed.

 

Death and Tijuana

I woke up. 6:30am. Fuck. I just fell asleep three hours ago. My mouth is dry as hell and I feel some sense of urgency to get out of here. Not out of this hotel. Out of this country. Out of Tijuana. Out.

I don’t even want to take a shower. I am packing my bag and checking my pockets. My ID and passport are here, thank God. Holden insists I shower. I hop in and rinse the filth off from last night. What I can remember of last night anyways. I put on some clean clothes. My hands are shaking a little – dehydrated. We eat the mediocre hotel breakfast, drink three bottles of water, and we book it.

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Holden and I don’t say a word. We know what happened last night can’t be mentioned. My visa card is missing; my cell phone is gone too. Thank God I locked everything else in the safe. Holden still has his cell – I dial my bank and cancel everything. A replacement phone will have to wait.

Holden and I try to fill in the gaps from last night. Neither of us want to remember what the other has to offer. We leave it at that. Thankful for forgotten memories. That’s how it will stay.

It hits me. We have to come back tomorrow. I’ve never felt such dread from having to return to a place. We’re on foot by this point heading back to the US/Mexico border. We get in a cab – $1 each. That’s when I see it – the busiest boarder on earth. 300,000 daily crossers hustling in both directions.

I think back briefly – the whole night was a blur. I remember beautiful Mexican women – they were on us like a bunch of tweens at a Justin Beiber concert. We saw them do things I can’t believe. Beautiful amazing things. The beer, the tequila, too cheap. We took advice from a taxi driver and a stranger – that might have cost us. I see two American guys – they hand me a rum and coke. I drink. I drink. Drink.

They kick us out. Holden and I aren’t willing to pay for sex – the other two guys do. We leave. That’s when I woke up in the hotel. That’s why I have to get the hell out of here. My memory is destroyed. The only thing I can recall is bits and pieces of shit I wish I couldn’t.

The border again. Focus. It’s packed. We pay some guy $5 to get us to the front of the line. I’m still a little drunk. We get into a van. I’m not sure if this is the right thing to do. Are we being robbed? No. There are normal people in here, good.

Thirty minutes later we are across the border. Long trolley ride back to San Diego – I have to come back tonight. For now I want coffee – I want air I can breathe. We get to San Diego and I feel better – a good taco helps my mind and my stomach smooth things over with last night.

Sunshine, Smog, Tacos, Hookers, and Blow – Back from San Diego and Tijuana

We saw the dichotomy of a Nation of wealth and a Nation in need. We were solicited for sex and drugs. We ate tacos, and we discussed a lot in between. If you’re wondering why we haven’t posted anything during the last week – hopefully this will explain.

We were eating this:

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We went to Tijuana:

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Then to San Diego:

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And boy do we have some stories to tell. Coming soon.