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With North Korea officially threatening to “wipe out the aggressors on the globe once and for all” (referring of course to the United States, and the potential that they will launch a nuclear missile at Hawaii or Alaska on July 4th) we now have the specter of at least four countries in which we are, or may become involved in, conflict. Plus the possibility that the amazing surfing in Hawaii will go radioactive.

What is the Buddhist response to this? I have no idea. But here is my response.

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First reaction: disbelief that anyone would want to blow up Hawaii.  Seriously! Just because your crappy missiles can’t reach any further, why do you have to keep going after Hawaii. Alaska is just as easy to strike, and there’s no good surfing there.  Why not set the missile to 1140 W Parks Highway, Wasilla, AK, give all living things a heads up and enough time to clear out, and wink at Putin as you drift towards land? 

Second reaction: Man am I glad I am not Barack Obama.

Third reaction: Like all new technology, it starts off in the hands of an elite few and eventually ends up at the 99-cent store.  Mobile phones, DVD players, and nuclear bombs were all once fabulously expensive and available only to a select few.  Now, anyone with a dollar and a dream can make wireless phone calls and watch bootleg Disney movies while they make a nuclear weapon.

 Robert Oppenheimer wrote  “”Atomic explosives vastly increase the power of destruction per dollar
spent, per man-hour invested; they profoundly upset the precarious
balance between the effort necessary to destroy and the extent of the
destruction.”  Translation: It’s a hell of a lot cheaper to build a few nuclear missiles than to maintain a standing army, and enormously more destructive.

Fourth reaction: This is the inevitable fruit of a seed planted by the desire to be the most powerful, indestructible nation on earth, planted decades ago here in the US of A.  Bottom line on this one; if you think you have unlocked the power to keep impermanence at bay, and to ensure your survival and superiority, eventually impermanence is gonna try to launch a rocket up your ass. 

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