Articles, Opinions & Views: Conscience, common sense, attitude, aptitude. What happened to them?

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No Atheists
In A Foxhole
“When you're left wounded on

Afganistan's plains and

the women come out to cut up what remains,

Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,

And go to your God like a soldier”

“We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace,

for he must suffer and be the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

“May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't .”
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

“Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.

“Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

The Soldier stood and faced God

Which must always come to pass

He hoped his shoes were shining

Just as bright as his brass

"Step forward you Soldier,

How shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?

To My Church have you been true?"

"No, Lord, I guess I ain't

Because those of us who carry guns

Can't always be a saint."

I've had to work on Sundays

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I've been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny

That wasn't mine to keep.

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills got just too steep,

The Soldier squared his shoulders and said

And I never passed a cry for help

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place

Among the people here.

They never wanted me around

Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here,

Lord, It needn't be so grand,

I never expected or had too much,

But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was silence all around the throne

Where the saints had often trod

As the Soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you Soldier,

You've borne your burden well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in Hell."

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Conscience, common sense, attitude, aptitude. What happened to them?
Saturday, October 13, 2007
We practise political nepotism, debase nationalism with cronyism, then muddle through with lies, denials, corruption, subversion, erasures, murders and assorted abuses of power. The fifty years strewn with the corpses of the rakyats' personal struggles to make this country better are instead spent by the politicians thinking the next creative method for some to benefit even more from all on the bandwagon of agendas sold like snake-oil to the next gullible group of kampung folks admitted by none other than the propaganda organs as gushing wells of voters from whom the drug of power can be drunk in endless gulps.

'Walk with me' has receded to 'tell me the truth' to avoid the need to answer 'why can't you find out for yourself and start doing something for a change?' Unless one is exercising hyper-pretentious hypocrisy, it's not hard at all to find out when blogs and riots and questions raised from parliaments to coffee shops are spreading like wildfires.

You know they are germane and you know they go to the heart of the matter because your people rush to deny them without facts, obfuscate them without shame, deflect them without principles and ignore them without responsibiliy. Doing the opposite of the spirit of not just the alliance but also against the grain of good sense for the wellbeing of the rakyat, the future of the society and the reputation of this nation already exposes the face behind the mask that no cosmetic surgery can hide of its true identity.

Common sense tells you that when you see a kid fall from a bike, you rush to help him up without batting an eye whether another from his race is standing by, moreover without fear that your own race will look at you disturbingly. Common sense tells you that if the nation needs brains, then you arrest all factors that cause brain drain, and if you think doing so is against your own race's agenda, then without fear or favour you find a parallel solution for the agenda without losing one beat to stem brain drain. The heart of a nation also beats like the heart of a human being so that if you keep the health of one, no reason not to keep the health of all.

Common sense tells you that if something is amiss in the way you're governing the country, you find out what it is and act quickly and decisively to solve the problem, not layer the problem with one pile of words after another pile of denials nor wait for the matter to reach tipping point, then swagger in like some don quixote about to do battle with an invisible dragon. The rakyat have already been gored by the bulls. Layering without taking trouble to first scrap away the grit at the bottom is the reason why almost all the roads of this country are so bad in this state with its dubious distinction of having 'first world infrastructure', paid for umpteenth times over and above market price by the continued rape of taxpayer funds. Common sense tells you to stand up and kickass over bad roads. Now. As with roads, too with governance. Scrap off the shit from the deepest recesses and tar them properly.

What exactly does a politician do every day, other than blast the horn of his umno-labelled mercedes benz coupe one morning in the car park of the national heart institute? Does he go around looking for photo ops giving cheques, making statements which contradict himself, blaming the press for misquoting him, asking his members to tell him the truth, doing nothing upon hearing that, erasing records which show flouted misappropriations and abuse of power, subverting the process of checks-and-balances in order to protect those sworn to the same oath of prosper-thy-party-members?

How many auditor-general's reports must the rakyat read before one modicum and iota of real action is taken based on the simplest exercise of common sense that will put a definitive stop to the stealing of public money for personal benefit of cronies and cheats wearing the secret badge of approval of the politically-anointed?

The four hundred ringgit conference bags of melaka have gone upmarket to the five thousand ringgit car jacks, the fifty thousand ringgit approved permit has arrived at the doors of the megabillion negotiated contracts, the billboards of yesterday have been obscured by the sponsored exotic junket trips to study how to clean cities. Use a broom and a pan.

What does common sense say when politicians fight each other to win seats and posts using money paid as taxes by both proposition and opposition parties? Why should anyone fight and backstab and claw one another so hard just to win a post that pays wages that can't be higher for the same effort in the private sector? Love of the rakyat? Belief that things can be made right again for society and nation? Race, religion, rights? Really?

What matters race, religion, rights in a situation which calls for a no-race, no-religion, no-rights solution? Which course teaches solutions to any problem that must be solved based on race, religion or rights? Name one.

Wouldn't a really responsible politician be the first to help and guide all rakyat to face up to the facts of the world and move towards solutions that do not have to pay homage to parochial emotions and sentiments that have decreasing face value in the world today? How can you use a reason called 'need to maintain stability' when the solution you advance is the one causing incipient rift, instability, disintegration, marginalization and decompetitivization?

Who in the world gives a damn for the politics of Malaysia denoted by 1,2,3,4? In the end, we will only be competing amongst ourselves for a shrinking pie, the closing hours of twilight, the whisper of memories. Conscience, common sense, attitude, aptitude. What happened to them?
Do the right things. From Jeff Ooi's blog by Neil
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 8:30 PM  
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