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18 October 2010


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Maggie Bockmann

FB Ali said:

"Finally, in a remarkable twist of irony, these two narratives are linked together when Maggie Bockman ends by expressing exactly the same hurt and grief that Faisal Shahzad said drove him to his desperate act!"

Thank you for your post, Brig. Ali!

I think Dr. Philip Zimbardo, who studied the horrendous and heartbreaking Abu Ghraib torture, has done some excellent work on this love/hate dilemma, which we Americans don't own entirely, but which you astutely point out plagues us.


Dr. Philip Zimbardo:

"The most powerful antidote to the world's evils is the world's heroes. Will you join us in seeding the world with heroes?

The Heroic Imagination Project (HIP) inspires ordinary people to trigger extraordinary social change."


Here is Dr. Zimbardo giving a lecture (the pictures make me weep) on his book, "The Lucifer Effect" at M.I.T.:


I'm glad to see people of all faiths working on this love/hate dilemma to help all our precious children, of all races, nationalities and religions, grow up in a peaceful, prosperous world.

If we seed the world with heroes, it will be a much happier place for our children to live. May Almighty speed that day!

All the best,

Maggie Bockmann

Maggie Bockmann

The Compassionate Instinct

Compassion is deeply rooted in human nature; it has a biological basis in the brain and body.

Humans can communicate compassion through facial gesture and touch, and these displays of compassion can serve vital social functions, strongly suggesting an evolutionary basis of compassion.

And when experienced, compassion overwhelms selfish concerns and motivates altruistic behavior. http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/the_compassionate_instinct/

Jeremy Rifkin, Empathic Civilization animation:

Research suggests that we are soft-wired not for aggression, self-interest, violence, utilitarianism, but rather for sociability, attachment, affection, companionship, and the first drive is the drive to belong.


We have not yet begun to tap our rich innate resources to create peace among the peoples of earth, I believe.

William R. Cumming

Curiosity! Are the deployed Chinese heavy construction battalions facing security problems wherever deployed? My understanding is that they are deployed in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the other STANS, India, Banladesh, SubSaharan Africa, Venzuela, Panama, Haiti, and elsewhere? Hope someone knows for sure exactly how these units often numbering in the thousands manage security issues? Also reading a rather interesting book by C.J. Chivers entitled "The Gun"! Largely discussing the evolution of the fully automatic guns post civil war! Contains some real tidbits.

FB Ali

Maggie Bockmann,

I'm so glad that someone brought my post to your attention. It was a privilege to highlight here your, and your family's, moving posts on the Tribune blog. Incidentally, I hope you know that my post was picked up by another blog, which quoted even more of your posts. At:


I look forward to looking up the links you've given. Warm regards,

Sidney O. Smith III


If you haven’t already, you may find the works of Xavier Le Pichon of interest. Le Pichon is a world renowned geophysicist who, at the same time, is extremely devout and believes human society should revolve around its most fragile members. He was recently interviewed for an radio program called Krista Tippet On Being. I caught part of the interview on the local npr station and later bookmarked the website, hoping one day to have the time to learn more about this remarkable man. The edited version of the interview lasts about 50 minutes but all you have to do is listen to 10 or 15 minutes to recognize his brilliance.


Here is a quote from the webpage:

"Xavier Le Pichon is one of the world's leading geophysicists, and his pioneering research on plate tectonics revolutionized our understanding of how the Earth works. He has also spent decades living in community with people and families facing disability and has emerged with a rare perspective on the meaning of humanity — a perspective equally informed by his scientific and personal encounters with fragility as a fundament of vital, evolving systems."

Charles I

Hi my dear FB. Generously eloquent as always.

Twas indeed your country's loss Pat, and my country's gain as FB proceeded to serve Canada in a leading role in very high tech infrastructure security.

But now he serves the world in this delightful manner, and now we're all richer for him.

And you.

Maggie Bockmann

General Ali,

I appreciate so much your highlighting John's blog. No one has ever said to me, "May Allah bless you," and I can't describe to you how my heart expands when John's Pakistani friends say that to our family.

I followed the link to your blog from Charles Cameron's SmartMobs blog, which I also appreciate.

I stumbled upon the War in Context blog, and was so touched by Nadia's tragic story. Remembering her little sad, too-old-for-her-years face makes me cry as I type this. I want so much to find a way for her to have schooling. It haunts me. I have no idea how to do this, or even if I can.

Sidney Smith,

I can't thank you enough for that link! Xavier Le Pichon embodies the values that I have been struggling to even find words to express. I am so grateful to find him. And...my computer has been busy all day downloading the rest of the On Being podcasts (it's now on #297 of 400). Thank you so, so much for introducing me to this great resource!

Blessings to all,


FB Ali


A pleasure! Keep up your good work.

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