Let me answer the question that I am often asked. Why are you writing More than Meets the Eye? What is my point?
More than Meets the Eye is an intellectual outlet for me. It is a work of passion as well. Monday’s are my favorite day. I read everyday. I consume probably two books a week and I love interacting with the information I read on daily basis. I think, and it may only be in my imagination, that I finally have something unique to offer to the world. I have lived a unique life. Upon graduation from the University of Tennessee in 1981, the very next day, I reported for duty as a young Cavalry officer. I had no idea what I had stepped into. I took an Army ROTC scholarship just to get through school. My eyes were opened quickly. I loved every minute of it.
I experienced much favor during my season as a Combat Arms Officer and Intelligence Officer. But during those days there was another dynamic that drove me as well…. It was my college sweetheart that I married at 20 years of age. I loved her, and still, love her more than life itself. My adventures kept us separated way too much. I was at a crossroads in 1987…. What did I want to invest my life in? My life as a swashbuckling warrior or as a husband and father. I chose the later. I resigned my commission and went to Indiana University, where I pursued my passion for knowledge. I did my post-graduate studies in Comparative Turkic Linguistics. Once again, I loved every minute of it.
When I finished there, my family and I moved to Berlin. We were there when the wall came down. I was traveling in and out of Soviet Central Asia. I started an organization called the Central Asian Free Exchange (CAFÉ). I had more fun than ought to be allowed by law. I was in the Soviet Union when it crumbled. At one point we had over 330 workers from over 30 countries teaching English, Spanish and French, running a Radio Station, Teaching Business Development, doing academic research and starting libraries. Fun days!
After deciding to expand south, we wound up in Afghanistan doing similar things there, until the Taliban, not so kindly asked me to leave at the working end of an AK-47. From there I moved to Istanbul, Turkey and once again did some research as well as some scouting for a British NGO called Global Partners (UK). I found myself in Tehran, Iran where I was organizing relief programs for Kurdish refugees from Iraq who fled into Iran for safety.
I worked in Turkey, the North Caucasus and Iraq. My day in Iraq were heady days. The work was hard, dangerous and incredibly rewarding. I loved the work we did among orphanages, schools, water projects and hospitals.
We returned to the United States in 2006. My father’s health was failing and then he passed away. I stayed in the States and became the Senior VP of International Operations for a Global Trading Company. I did that for a year and then was re-called by Uncle Sam into the Army. Of all things, they wanted me to Command a Cavalry unit running Combat Patrols across northern Iraq from Kirkuk, Tikrit and Mosul.
Why am I telling you all of this? OK, partly because I love sitting back and thinking of the amazing opportunities that God has allowed me to have. I am a wealthy, wealthy man. Not because my bank account is full, it is not. I am a wealthy man because I just celebrated 39 years with the woman that I have loved and has loved me more deeply than I could ever have imagined possible. I have three daughters who, I still talk with on an almost daily basis. Two sons-in-law whom I love and respect. 6 grandchildren that I adore and are still young enough to believe that in actuality I am Jason Bourne. I have a Pakistani son and his German wife is like my daughter. If I died today, I would die with no regrets and with a great sense of accomplishment.
This is why I write More than Meets the Eye… because there is so much more out there happening than meets the eye. People watch FOX, CNN, MSNBC, BBC or DeutscheWelle and they some how think they got it all figured out. I believe the 24/7 news cycle is destroying genuine information gathering, analysis and reporting. It cheapens the news. There is very little vetting of information going on. There is a whole lot of scooping happening. The goal is no longer truth, accuracy or thoroughness, it is beating out your competitor.
That is why I am only writing once a week. It allows the dust to settle on events, gather better information and provide a different more thought out perspective. I do not claim to hold some kind of epistemological privilege on what is happening. I have my perspectives and biases just as any other writer. Perhaps my biggest difference is, I am prepared to hold those out in front of me and allow my audience to know what they are, as fragile as they may be.
The contemporary problems with the current news industry is both ideological and commercial. I’ve known many journalists over the years. Most are hard-working and generally honest people. They work for machines that require them to bend their scruples daily. They have to exaggerate, be politically correct, blow in the direction of current ideological winds in order to get published. They are required to come off as the defenders of truth and protectors of freedom of speech. I don’t see it. They are in the influence business, just like everybody else. They must influence, or they perish. In the end, it is all about sales. I find that disheartening.
More than Meets the Eye is simply meant to be an alternative to modern mainstream media. I am not without my faults. I have my own opinions and assumptions. My world-view is judeo-christian. I have made it my mission to not bash anybody. To provide as honest an assessment as I can; to read as broadly as I can fom both liberal and conservative as well as international sources. I try to cite everything so that my readers know from where I am getting my information. If people just want news they can pick up a newspaper. My digest is called More than Meets the Eye, because I want to talk about what is not being obviously seen. I want to share with people, what the international news outlets are not saying. Americans are highly insulated from what is happening globally.
Some have said, “knowledge is power.” If that is true, then my question is “what does your power look like if your knowledge is flawed?” That is why I write More than Meets the Eye. I just want to help people to refine their knowledge by providing what I hope is a unique perspective. My desire is that we will begin to look at the world differently. It ought to shape the ways we look at one another, the way we look at the climate, the earth, the information we consume and perhaps ask, “Is there more than meets the eye?”