Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Couldn't Be

So another Iranian physicist was assassinated today. As a civilian, this act clearly has to be classified as terrorism. I don’t see how you could possibly argue otherwise; it’s a targeted act of violence by a political group intended to intimidate others.

Clearly, there’s only two nations with the motivation and means to pull off such an operation: the U.S. & Israel. Either possibility is disconcerting.

America hates terrorism. It obviously wouldn’t engage in a terrorist act against a civilian in a nation not at war with America. After all, such an act would undermine its moral high ground in its war on terror. If it justified the ability to kill whomever it wished in the world, while insisting that the reverse was utterly heinous, that would imply all other nations of the world are just America’s vassals. We're not that narcissistic.

America wouldn’t engage in such an act for pragmatic purposes either. After all, such an egregious act of violence would push even the most moderate, secular, pro-Western, anti-mullah Iranians to support nuclear armament. Persecution breeds solidarity as we Americans are keenly aware, and the bomb is the surest means of Iran deterring such future acts of aggression.

America wouldn’t give Israel tacit approval of such an action or give such an action public approval after the fact. After all, America is Israel’s greatest friend, and friends don’t just unconditionally approve of any action their friend might take. A friend would be seriously concerned about immoral, violent, and dangerous actions in his/her friend. A friend would confront them and have a serious discussion to help them. To give approval or stay silent would ultimately do the friend a disservice.

Not to mention, wouldn't approving such an action constitute "material support of a terrorist group"? America would definitely never break its own laws.

Monday, December 5, 2011


I found this on Pinterest today and it reminded me of all the beautiful people I have in my life. Here's to all you beautiful people I know!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

There's an App for That!

So I just found out there an Blogger App for the iPhone!! You might just see a few more pictures and short blogs from this Dent now...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanks for the Reminder!

I've been doing a fair amount of "thinking" about lots of things lately. I saw this on Pintrest (yep, there is more that just cool crafts and yummy food on there) and felt like it was good reminder. So if you are like me and inherited the worrying gene from your Nana (or from anyone else for that matter) this one is for you.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Teenage Tuesday

Since its almost 3am and I can't sleep I decided I needed to write down the thoughts just running through my head.... maybe that will help. In all truth LOTS of things have been running through my head, with little time to document so let's begin.

Working with teenagers is sheer joy to me. Yes, its not all roses and there are hard moments in my line of work. Like yesterday, I had to sit with a student for several hours and jump through some red tape to make a report because she disclosed suicidal ideations to me in group. And sometimes like today, I am IN AWE (and not the good kind) of the things they know and will share with me (like the concept of what a grenade is ... proceed with caution to the link, it IS urban dictionary afterall...) But even in the hard and trying times, I can feel the warmth from the strong ray of light shinning from the hope that is our future in the these kids.

Because there IS hope.

Picture shout out to the talented Candina!

There is hope in the fact that after those hours I spent with that young girl, we ended our conversation with a plan and the words, " I feel better now." Was it fixed. Not completely. But there was hope.

There is hope in the moment that I witnessed my middle school guys engaged in an activity where they use chairs to construct images of power and time and time again they have AMAZING insights. I was in awe (the good kind, this time) of one guy today who arranged his 4 chairs with 3 stacked on top of each other and one standing by the stack. I asked him what it was and it hold me it was a father holding his baby. He told me that the dad had power over the son because it was his job to take care of him, to provide and protect him and to use his power use his power to love his son. To me, there is hope in that young man's awareness.

There is hope in the eyes of those kids who say silly things, but stop and realize that their words and actions matter. In that moment of pondering and self-awareness, I see the hope.

Maybe I am just an odd duck and have just arrived quickly at Erickson's life stage of "Generativity vs. Stagnation" earlier than intended, but really I think it is more than that. I think that, even though this work I do is not blatantly spiritual, God is in it. I can't always see it or understand it, but deep down I know, there is work being done. And that gives me hope to deal with another day.

"My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad indeed; my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right. Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off." - Proverbs 23: 15-18

"Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." - James 1:16-17

Friday, September 9, 2011

So Jonny's Alway's Gotta be Topical....

I need not remind you that it’s the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. It has garnered a huge amount of attention over the past week with ceremonies across America and special programs running one after another on television. Leaving aside the chicken or the egg question of whether the media drives the priority of public attention or vice versa, the public consciousness of America is clearly and heavily focused on this event.

Of course, I completely understand the sentiment driving this attention. It was a horrific tragedy, and any event in which nearly 3,000 people die is worth remembering and the lives lost worth commemorating. The inclination we all have as Americans to identify with the deceased and bereaved in New York even if we are not personally acquainted with them is perfectly natural. We mourn those with which we share a group affiliation more keenly than those with whom we have none. But I doubt many would argue that our grief is inherently more important, or our lives inherently more valuable than those of others.

I am always drawn to view such events in a historical context being the nerd I am, and as such, I am always drawn to the fact that the attacks on 9/11 were not an isolated event which originated and terminated in a vacuum. If one is capable of separating the all-too-often erroneously entangled notions of justification and causation, it is very clear that there were many events in the chain preceding and following the attacks in New York all caught up in the same web. It may be uncomfortable to consider or even unpopular to mention, but tens of thousands of other human lives have been lost in the wake of 9/11, and I cannot help but to publicly declare that the loss of those lives is no less tragic, no matter the difference in circumstances.

I was struck by this photo of a grieving family in Iraq:
(copyright Kate Brooks)

Looking at it, I am clearly reminded of my own feelings of anguish at the untimely loss of my own father. If we focus solely on ourselves and our group, we invite the dangerous temptation to dismiss and dehumanize those outside our range, or even in time grow to hate them. God created us all however, and commanded that we love each other, even those outside of our group. I am reminded of the words of Christ:

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.”

So on 9/11, I urge us to not spend all our attention on watching replays of the violence, or have our focus go no further than the emotional stimulus of the carnage. Had my own father met his end through foul play rather than a car accident, I think those around me would be justifiably concerned about me if I watched the tape of his murder several times on the anniversary of his death. With this in mind, my plea to all of us observing this anniversary is to expand the scope of our vision. Let us invite context into our narrative, let us reflect on the circumstances and consequences of this chain of events, and let us attempt to empathize with those who are as bereaved as we are on the other side of the world.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Kabodie Headband! Kabodie Headband!

I don't approve of his actions, but I do appreciate his methods....