“A good conscience is a continual Christmas.” Benjamin Franklin
“Christmas gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect on the important things around us.” David Cameron
“Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.” Polar Express
Let me start off this week’s edition with a very, Merry Christmas! to all of you. I know it must be sobering to read the “More than Meets the Eye” digest, as we deal with heavy subjects week after week. I have been accused of being, “David downer” as I write consistently about the more sullied parts of humanity in each issue. I was asked recently how I am able to stroll through this garden of filthiness and stay sane, much less upbeat, on a perpetual basis.
My answer? I try to keep my responsibilities and God’s separate from each other. I care about what is happening deeply. That is why I spend hours each week researching and writing the “More than Meets the Eye” intelligence digest. I believe that without the right information we will be just like sheep, following whoever is leading the way.
There is an old Latin proverb, “Scientia est potentia,” which means: “knowledge is power.” This quote is often ascribed to Francis Bacon from his Meditationes Sacrae (1597). As I have considered this statement by Bacon, I have asked myself, “If information is power, then what is misinformation?” Misinformation can only lead one to the misapplication of information and results in a corrupted form of power. So much of our society is headed that way today.
Few take the time to really consider whether the information they are consuming is accurate or not. Many take statements made in the major media outlets, on the internet, or on social media and blindly accept them as “truth.” Little application of reasoning or logic is applied. It is much easier to simply accept the news at face value and move on with your life. This requires no real effort on our part.
We no longer live in a world where information can be blindly accepted as fact. There are so many messages coming into our purview, on a moment by moment basis. Billboards tell us that we will be loved if our teeth are white, if we are slender, if we smell good, if we wear certain kinds of clothing… Those are the less pernicious forms of misinformation.
We are told that up is down and that down is up. Very smart people, with absolute assurance, tell us there are no absolutes anymore. It is almost as if we are flying upside down and we do not even know it. (I apologize if this is a “David downer” message just before the holidays, as it seems I may have quickly turned this week’s “More than Meets the Eye” edition into a diatribe against ignorance.
As we enter into 2021, more importantly, as we enter into this sacred holiday season, I think that it would be very appropriate to take a few minutes to stop and ponder what is actually true. I have never tried to tell you, my readers, what is true, but I have tried to offer you a glimpse at what is happening at a deeper level so that you can examine whether what you have been perceiving is actually true.
I reconfirm my commitment to you. You know what my world-view is: I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am an American. I am a retired military officer. I have an advanced degree in Uralic and Altaic Studies and an advanced degree from the American Military University in Global Security Studies. I have spent much of my life living and traveling around the entire world. I receive no money from writing each week, so no benefactor is influencing my analysis. I try to document and cite all my sources as accurately as possible. Writing “More than Meets the Eye” each week is my attempt to right a listing ship of informational veracity, concerning global security matters.
My request of you? Pass along this link here to your friends and family. In 2021, I would like to see as many people as possible have an opportunity to look at what is happening globally, through a different set of eyes, and with a different set of values.
It is my hope, that this Christmas, you will find new peace and joy, that which surpasses anything you have ever known. I will finalize my look at ISIS 2.0 next week, as we examine its expansion into South East Asia. I will also continue my annual practice with a re-look and analysis of 2020’s global security events, as well as make some prognostications about what could happen in 2021.
For your comments or questions about any of our digests, please feel free to write to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org