I'd like to come with an attitude of 'lets figure this out, whats going on?' rather than aggressively questioning someone elses opinions and trying to force them to see a different way.
It is profoundly respectful when a person asks my opinion on the matter for a purely informational purpose. ‘What do you think?’ They are genuinely interested in the opinion of another thinking person. Suddenly I feel like talking to them, they legitimize my thinking process, make me feel that my thoughts are worth sharing. Its just like saying to me, ‘I can learn something from you, and I’d like to do just that.’ Suddenly I feel like learning from them too, they seem to be some kind of wildly exotic open mind, someone wise enough to treat people kindly. Makes me want to be wise and tolerant and kind too.
Now there is a different attitude a person brings to me. They ask questions such as ‘Do you think this’ or ‘Do you think that?’ They already have a prescribed answer to the question they asked me. They have already set out in there mind what they want me to know and how they are going to ‘show me the light’ or rather, convince me to believe them. They put themselves on an intellectual pedestal and shout down to me the answers of the universe. They are in complete control of the conversation and any attempt I take to steer conversation toward a question I am particularly interested in is met with “why are you trying to change the topic? is it because you cant argue? because i am right?”
No one wants to talk to a know it all. Its not talking at all. There is no listening, no responses. Its just yap yap yap yap, and if you dont believe what they say, they get aggressive and tell you “you just dont get it”. Try to make you feel intellectually inferior.
I want to talk to someone I can get involved in. So we can build a conversation and it can take us to thoughts neither of us previously considered. I want to talk to someone who is just trying to figure it all out too.
See Ive been the know it all, and thought I realised some kind of truth and wanted everyone else to know it too. Turns out thats called preaching. People hate you for it and you end up hating yourself for it too.
Never accept that you know something someone else doesnt, avoid feeling ‘smarter’ at all costs.
Its the ego isnt it? Whenever I feel seperate from someone else, different, worse or better, its the ego isnt it? Ego comes in when I feel alone. But when I feel part of something, accepted and loved, the ego is destroyed. I wonder if the ego is there to help me survive when I feel alone? Its like the plan B to life. Its not the best way to live, its not the happiest or the healthiest but it gets the job done. I can function without being miserable at least.
Sorry if Im preaching, and please don’t take anything I say too literal. Im just teaching myself you see and these are lessons I am learning. I am going through the process of growth. You may read this and think ‘wow shes a good person’, but no. Im just trying to get rid of a few demons. I act badly and moody just like anyone else. I can be unkind. But Id like to change that. How? Well, I havent really met anyone that I can continuously talk to in this ‘lets figure it out’ kind of way. Except maybe ryan, my other brother. So mostly I have the conversation with myself. Its been working well for a while. Lets see how it goes…
“If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.”—Dorothy Law Nolte (via knowapower)
“The goal is a society in which the basic social unit is you and your television set. If the kid next door is hungry, it’s not your problem. If the retired couple next door invested their assets badly and are now starving, that’s not your problem either.”—Noam Chomsky (via cultureofresistance)
“We are communists. But our communism is not that of the authoritarian school: it is anarchist communism, communism without government, free communism. It is a synthesis of the two chief aims pursued by humanity since the dawn of its history—economic freedom and political freedom.”—
“It is a game of struggle, war against our fellow players, and the bank never loses. If there is a win, it is an empty win, because neither the winning nor the losing, of any game, has anything to do with who we are.”—
“We are Born like this Into this Into these carefully mad wars Into the sight of broken factory windows of emptiness Into bars where people no longer speak to each other Into fist fights that end as shootings and knifings Born into this Into hospitals which are so expensive that it’s…
“Love doesn’t die a natural death. Love has to be killed, either by neglect or narcissism. Those guilty of these two crimes of the heart always hide behind excuses convenient; too ashamed, lacking in integrity and courage to face the truth. To them, it is always something other than their own actions, desires and self-importance that dictate circumstances. For these people, so blind to truth, true love can never be fully experienced for they have never really given of themselves all that they are.”— Frank Salvato
“How many men who yearn for sunlight just as I do must be imprisoned in factories, their healthy limbs and lungs sacrificed in order to build a locomotive? For me the only important thing is: The more swiftly our thriving economy is completely brought to ruin, the more pitilessly the last remnant of industry is wiped out, the sooner will people have enough to eat and have a small measure of that happiness to which every human has a right.”—
I just want a natural life, outside, to feel the wind and the sun like life is supposed to be. Corporate jobs are a prison. Spend 5 days a week the rest of your life in air conditioned hell suited up to impress people with a boss you never liked.
Something very unpleasant is being let loose in Iraq. Just this week, a company commander in the U.S. 1st Infantry Division in the north of the country admitted that, in order to elicit information about the guerrillas who are killing American troops, it was necessary to “instill fear” in the local villagers. An Iraqi interpreter working for the Americans had just taken an old lady from her home to frighten her daughters and granddaughters into believing that she was being arrested.
A battalion commander in the same area put the point even more baldly. “With a heavy dose of fear and violence, and a lot of money for projects, I think we can convince these people that we are here to help them,” he said. He was speaking from a village that his men had surrounded with barbed wire, upon which was a sign, stating: “This fence is here for your protection. Do not approach or try to cross, or you will be shot.”
I would kill an american if they did that in my town too. Take away my freedom, my peace, push me to be spiritless and subservient to your interests…. and you will be hated by all. Come to my country, and do no good then call yourself a saint… we would martyr you.
“Imagine if, for the last fifty years, we had sprayed the whole Earth with a nerve gas. Would you be upset? Would I be upset? Yes. I think people would be screaming in the streets. Well, we’ve done that. We’ve released endocrine disruptors throughout the world that are having fundamental effects on the immune system, on the reproductive system. We have good data that shows that wildlife and humans are being affected. Should we be upset? Yes, I think that we should be fundamentally upset. I think we should be screaming in the streets.”—Louis J. Guillette, Jr. (via cultureofresistance)
“It was eight years before I was able to say the word that describes what happened to me,” says Maricella Guzman. “I hadn’t even been in the Navy a month. I was so young. I tried to report it. But instead of being taken seriously, I was forced to do push-ups.”
“I can’t sleep without drugs,” says Kate Weber. “But even then, I often wake up in the middle of the night, crying, my mind racing. And I lie there awake in the dark, reliving the rape, looking for a second chance for it to end with a different outcome, but he always wins.”
Rape within the US military has become so widespread that it is estimated that a female soldier in Iraq is more likely to be attacked by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. So great is the issue that a group of veterans are suing the Pentagon to force reform. The lawsuit, which includes three men and 25 women (the suit initially involved 17 plaintiffs but grew to 28) who claim to have been subjected to sexual assaults while serving in the armed forces, blames former defence secretaries Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates for a culture of punishment against the women and men who report sex crimes and a failure to prosecute the offenders.
Since the lawsuit became public in February, 400 more have come forward, contacting attorney Susan Burke who is leading the case. These are likely to be future lawsuits. Right now they are anxiously awaiting a court ruling to find out if the lawsuit will go to trial. The defence team for the department of defence has filed a motion to dismiss the case, citing a court ruling, dating back to 1950, which states that the government is not liable for injury sustained by active duty personnel. To date, military personnel have been unable to sue their employer.
Whether or not the case goes to trial, it is still set to blow the lid on what has come to be regarded as the American military’s dirty little secret. Last year 3,158 sexual crimes were reported within the US military. Of those cases, only 529 reached a court room, and only 104 convictions were made, according to a 2010 report from SAPRO (sexual assault prevention and response office, a division of the department of defence). But these figures are only a fraction of the reality. Sexual assaults are notoriously under-reported. The same report estimated that there were a further 19,000 unreported cases of sexual assault last year. The department of veterans affairs, meanwhile, released an independent study estimating that one in three women had experience of military sexual trauma while on active service. That is double the rate for civilians, which is one in six, according to the US department of justice.
“For years, I thought I was the only person this had happened to, but it’s an epidemic,” says Weber, 36, who recounts being raped 16 years ago in Germany, and describes herself as a “high-functioning” sufferer of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result.
She is now married and lives in San Francisco with her four children, but even after years of therapy, still cannot sleep at night. “Rape is so widespread in the American military, it’s sick.”
Worse still, the victim is likely to be blackballed by her own unit, and sometimes even demoted, according to Weber. “I first tried reporting the rape to my staff sergeant, he told me to be quiet and not tell anyone. So then I tried to tell a woman sergeant, who was beneath him, because I thought she’d be more sympathetic. She just cursed me for jumping the chain of command and not coming to her first. I went to the doctor, who did at least make a record of it, but he did nothing. I also told my ‘battle buddy’, a fellow female soldier. She said, ‘I know that guy. He’s married and he would never do such a thing. You’re a liar and a slut.’ Before long, I was being called a whore and a bitch by everyone. The guys were warning each other: ‘This one will accuse you of rape, so stay away from her.’ I was 18 years old, it was the first time I had ever been away from home. I had no idea what to do.”
Stories such as Weber’s are commonplace. On mydutytospeak.com, where victims of military rape can share their experiences, there are breathtaking tales of brutality and mistreatment...
It is so well known that sex offenders go unpunished and victims penalised for reporting incidents, that most say nothing. Michelle Jones describes how she was still lying on the floor of her room in the barracks, her ripped shorts by her ankles, when her rapist stood over her and said, “I’ll tell everyone you’re a dyke and you’ll get booted out if you report this.”
She was two-thirds of her way through her service. “I didn’t want to lose my job,” says Jones, 39, who is now an IT consultant living in San Jose, California, and gay. Under the (now-repealed) US Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, openly gay people were barred from the military. Jones wasn’t even sure she was gay at the time. But it wasn’t worth the risk of reporting. “If I had spoken out, I would have been the one investigated,” she says. “And it wouldn’t have done any good anyway. I could tell you about 15 other women I know who had tried to report a rape and got nowhere.”
Rape in any circumstance is brutal, but in the military the worst effects are compounded. Victims are ignored, their wounds left untended, and the psychological damage festers silently, poisoning lives. Survivors are expected to carry on, facing their attacker on a daily basis. “Unlike in the civilian world, a military rape survivor cannot quit his or her job and move on,” explains Anu Bhagwati, executive director of the Service Women’s Action Network, an organisation spearheading a campaign to reform this aspect of military life. “It’s like rape in the family. Many victims often receive additional threats from their attackers.” …
But military rape is not only a women’s issue. According to the Veterans Affairs Office, 37% of the sexual trauma cases reported last year were men. “Men are even more isolated than women following rape,” Bhagwati says. “Because it has an even bigger social stigma.”
Rick Tringale is one of few men to speak about what happened to him. He was 18 years old and in his first few weeks of training, he says, when he woke up in his bunk in the middle of the night thinking that it was raining. Someone was urinating on him.
“As I came to consciousness, I realised that I was being held down with a blanket and then I was beaten.” Tringale, 43, says his life changed for ever following a brutal gang rape, that led to him going AWOL from the army, and subsequently becoming homeless…