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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pray for the prey.

Yes it is that simple, at least in my mind. I think we make things much more complicated then they need to be. I am not sure why we do this. Gravity works, yes its a complicated process, but the concept of gravity is simple. This goes to a lot of things in life. We over complicate. We make it more difficult then it should be so we can have an excuse later to not do it.

I was talking with a friend today, and with some classmates over the last few days, and come up with something that is pivotal. At least it is pivotal to me. In the military, my mission as an NCO can be broke down to a easy to digest concept. I am not a leader of men, a mentor, or the guy that makes the paper move. Those are products of a much simpler idea. I am the taker of excuses. I take the excuses away. In that the only thing left is a choice by the person to either do or not do the task before them.

Excuses bind us. We over complicate this process we call life with excuse. From the day you are born you are one day closer to dying. We all have to do it. Its like pooping. It happens. So why would you deny yourself the chance to do something with the short life you have? Why would you worry so much about what you can and can not do? Why do we focus so much on the negative, and declare things impossible? The only thing that makes something impossible is the excuses.

We got to the moon. We created Velcro. We created the cheese burger. We left the damn trees and clawed to the top of the food chain. We are only limited by ourselves. Yet we continue to limit ourselves, and blame others for our issues. Oh I eat because my ma ma hated me. I am entitled to a hand out because it hurts to get a hand up. I do not want to be responsible for even myself. Oh yeah we do that shit.

How many times have you told people the reasons why you can't do something, rather then try, or just flat our say you don't want to. Oh I can't go travel Europe, it cost to much money, I am afraid of flying, I don't speak dutch, and my mustache is not cool enough. Well what if I told you that was all bullshit. You can get to Europe for a few hundred, and if you are real motivated you can get paid for the trip. Boats still go there, holy shit, and they need crews? Oh and hostels,, and similar stuff can give you a place to stay. Most bigger cities in Europe have a few English speaking people in arms length. Oh and good mustache is only a few years away, or a costume shop.

So stop telling yourself why you can't. Stop being a fucking victim. Sack up and live your life. Nobody else is going to. Stop telling yourself you are limited by anything. Life doesn't owe you shit, its not handing you a damn thing. You get out of life what you take out of it. You are not entitled to crap just because your mom popped you out her hole. You get what you get because you went and got it.

Take away your excuses and find a way. It might not be easy but it rarely ever is. Besides if it is to easy, it will probably give you herpes.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A man can be an island,.. really he can.

So today I spent most of my day driving around on public transportation and the campus. It is amazing how much you realize that human contact is over rated. I enjoy good conversation, don't get me wrong, but I think conversation for the sake of filling time is annoying. I can understand people being proud of who they are and where they are from, but what compels a woman to share her child's accomplishments with a stranger on the bus.

I have noticed however that people make good use of modern technology. You don't even have to be that savvy to escape the world around you. Lets say you are to broke to buy an MP3 player, or so out of touch you still have trouble loading a tape in your Walkman. You can still have peace that comes with it. Its amazing how people ignore you with little bits of plastic in your ears.

Like I said its not that I don't like people, well okay I don't like people, but I am not a recluse. I just think people as a whole usually have nothing to offer in a conversation. People, or small groups of persons are okay. I think the value of a conversation though is directly proportionate to the amount of people in the direct area. It is further degraded by the level of familiarity of people in relation to one another.

For example, you are have a conversation with a life long friend in a boat while fishing. You both are probably enjoying the conversation, and maybe even getting something out of it. Now lets think about a conversation with a lady that smells like three kinds of cheese, on a bus ride, with complete and total strangers in every seat, and its about a strange rash her babies daddy gave here on her genitals.

It seems that people feel they can share their deepest personal stuff with absolute strangers. They also assume that people are obligated to care. Why is that? Why do people feel that way? Why can't people just speak when they need to, and to the people that actually might care?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Who needs a 1000 words, when one will do?

So I have one word running through my head right now. Its a naughty word. Its a word so many others do not like to hear, especially about themselves. Say it with me, its the word of the day. Whore. Yep, whore, or if you prefer, hooker, ho, tramp, trollop, or what ever word your generation prefers. I know this is a word typically reserved for the feminine side of the species, but guys, you to can be presented as a whore. Its not a badge of honor. It is not something you want people to say at your eulogy.

I am going to share some insight and let you guys know what brought this on. Then give you a bit of my opinion like I always do. First I am going to say perception is reality. If you do not want to be perceived as a stereotype or demographic, then mind your appearance. Letting your pants drop past your ass crack does not help relieve peoples ideals of the poor huddles masses being uneducated. Tube tops do make you look like you come from a trailer park. If your skirt is so short that people can see your natural hair color, you are probably advertising a space for rent.

There is a time and place for dressing a certain way. I noticed this walking around campus. How few of these young ladies really respect themselves. I am not saying its not okay to be sexy. Sexy is awesome. Sex is awesome. I like to hump. However I rarely thing about more then that when the lady I am looking at created an image that only encourages me to objectify her. What I am saying is you can look sexy, you can be attractive, with out dressing like you need to find a corner on Colfax.

If you do not know what I am talking about you probably need to look through your wardrobe. You can take a beautiful person and put them in the finest form fitting clothes and they can be sexy, but you do not look at them as just a piece of meat. However if all you are trying to do is poorly package your wares, you might as well where cellophane and Styrofoam. That is what butchers use to display meat.

Now I am only doing this announcement as a public service. I really do not care what a person wears out in public. That is their business. If you want to wear black lipstick then wear it. If you want to wear spandex, wear it. I am just saying that you wear your self esteem on your sleeve. People know what you think about yourself by what you wear. If you clothes scream "Daddy pay attention to me!" Then that is how people are going to treat you. If you are trying to compensate for something you know is a short coming, like a fat chick in spandex, then you bring attention to that thing you perceive as a flaw.

You should dress as you would like to be treated. I really wished somebodies parents had done a better job at teaching these kids that. I you want people to see you as more then statistic, and as something greater then where you are from, then dress like where you want to be. If you dress like an ass clown with a double popped collar, shaggy ass jeans, and price tags on your shoes, do not be surprised if I don't talk to you. If you have over styled hair, more makeup then a clown, a shirt that shows off all your cleavage, and a skirt as big as a belt, don't get pissed when somebody ask what you charge an hour.

So be sexy, but until you can figure out what that means don't dress it. Club clothes and school clothes are different things. If you dress like something, do not be shocked if you are treated like that thing, instead of as a person. The more you show the more I look, and when I look I rarely listen. So reflect outwardly, what you want people to see inwardly. To fucking easy huh?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tax, title, registration?

I have had a good amount of solid conversations with my friends over the years. People don't always agree with me, yet I still call them friends. Weird huh? I find it funny because people who send me notes outside of the blog, think I am looking to surround myself with people I agree with. I think they miss the point of this blog. I am not looking to rally people to my banner. I am only hoping to maybe, just maybe, somebody might be inspired to think. I woudl be real happy if somebody actually acted. I am not really picky about how they act, as long as they do something to get involved with life.

To the point though, recently I had a really good conversation about America. Yep. Go figure, huh? Who would have thought I would have gotten into a discussion with a friend of mine about politics. Now I learned a few things from the conversation. First is that when somebody feels strongly enough about something they will not allow their position to be shifted even to a point of being belligerent. Second thing is that while we both speak English, we don't always speak the same language.

One of the things we disagreed on was the concept of freedom, and basic human rights. Seems simple right? I mean you can all picture what freedom is, and what you feel are basic human rights, right? So I asked around Campus in causal conversation to see what people thought these concepts meant. It was astounding the differences I found. So many saw human rights going far beyond the concept of warm, dry, full.

Freedom is defined as the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint. You can go further and say it is exemption from external control, interference, regulation, or restrictions. So to me this is the greatest right afforded by our government. However it is being neglected, because of our need of entitlement versus the understanding of freedom and rights. Rights are those things that all humans should be entitled too, but our sense of entitlement go beyond that.

Amnesty International states that "Human rights are basic rights and freedoms that all people are entitled to regardless of nationality, sex, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, language, or other status." They go into further detail in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I will also go on the record to say that I agree with this Declaration for the most part. However I feel that in some cases it impinges on personal freedom in ways. What I mean by this is the section on healthcare. While I agree everyone should have access to healthcare, I do not think it should be provided for them.

In 25.1 it is stated "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control." I am sorry but I do not agree that State provided welfare is a right. I think it is an entitlement afforded by an expectation of freedoms being allotted by government, rather then freedoms being guaranteed on their own as a human right.

In plan English, I am free not because of my government, rather my government (America) exist because of my freedom. Every expectation we place on our government lowers our personal freedom. While the measure of our government is to protect our freedoms, some freedoms are impeded or removed when they are given to authority. Okay so what I mean by this asking the Government to provide things for us, rather then protect our access to those things, we put those things in Government control. Then we get laws that protect us from self harm, while usually common sense dictates them, they are still restricting our personal freedom.

Seat belts and helmet laws clearly fit into this basic category. While it is just smart to wear these things, it should be a choice not a law. If I decide not to wear my helmet and go for a ride, the risk is my own. Therefore not impeding on some other persons rights or freedoms. Now we get into healthcare, which is much more layered then that. However I will say that the Government has the responsibility to protect my access to healthcare, they are not, nor should be in control of my healthcare. This way I have the right to practice healthcare if I choose, or see what provider I can afford or choose to afford. When the government runs my healthcare it limits the channels I can take to address grievances. It limits the care that I would like to receive, which essentially is my choice.

Lets say that the Government states that Chiropractic care is no longer viable or effective. They do not think the health benefits justify the time involved in the procedure. So now it is no longer available or offered as a service. So if I wanted to or not, I no longer have the choice of seeking Chiropractic care. Bureaucracy has no place in healthcare. This is essentially what is currently wrong with healthcare in America to begin with. HMO's restrict care on the basis of cost and profit rather then the effect on the overall health of the patient.

This is not limited to healthcare either. The more we put out our hands out and demand things from our Government like spoiled children, the more we hand over control ergo our freedoms to the Government. The more we ask them to do, the more choice we hand over to them. America is about protecting individual freedoms and rights. It is the reason our Government was born in the first place. You know the tax that inspired all of this was as meager as two percent. Yet that same entity is now taking well over twenty five percent of our wage, ergo our time, to pay for these services we demand from them. These services that require us to give up our freedoms little by little.

With each of these government programs, regardless of how effective they be, we hand over control and choice. We hand over our personal freedoms. We give up choice and more of our wages to cover it. We ask the government to tell us what is right and wrong, defining our morality. We give them power to tell us when life starts, and decide if abortion is legal or not. We let them decide things that we should be free to decide on our own. Thomas Jefferson knew what it took to protect our freedoms, and ensure the serviceability of this great social experiment when he said clearly as possible that best government is the less government.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Shut your yap

I have figured out a few things in my life. I know there is this thing that has been going around for a few years about learning everything you needed to know to get through life you learned in kindergarten. I can see that, but the issue is that you can't assume that is all you will need to learn to get through life. Life to me is about learning. You stop discovering things, then what is the point?

I think that it is important for us to realize that there is always something to be learned in every situation, and from every person we meet. You can learn about others, yourself, and the world around you everyday. You can learn with each breath you take. You just have to keep you mind and eyes open.

So of the things I have learned early in life do not apply to my life now. I learned from movies as a kid. I learned from books as a young adult. I learn from as much as I can as a man. So the challenge is to think of ten things you discovered, learned, or absorbed each day. What did you do today to make you a better person?

In this process though you have to walk a fine line. You can and should be consumed by the pursuit of knowledge, but you can't let a piece of knowledge consume you. If you give to the extreme you will shut out the opportunities to learn from the other sides of the issues. You must kept you mind open.

So today is another short point, as all the good ones are. In closing remember to give thought to everything you do. Look into each of the actions you take, and decipher the actions of others. Do so to gain knowledge, not just to be a nosy prick. Also in this pursuit of knowledge remind yourself that creation was wise enough to give you two eyes, and two ears, but only one mouth.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?

I had an assignment today that was pretty rough, or maybe I made it rough. I was asked to write a little blurt about who I was. The exercise is two fold, first being to introduce yourself to my classmates, and second to gauge our ability to write. I have issues writing about myself though. I mean really who are you? What makes you who you are? Are you your job? Maybe the sum of your actions? I am sure that experiences have contributed a lot to who you are. The only issue is though what do you do do describe you?

I mean really what sums up a person? I am a lot of things. I am a soldier. I am a husband. I am a medic. I am a student. I am a teacher. I am a lot of things. I have done a lot of things. I have traveled. I have gone to war. I have enjoyed peace. I have laughed. I have learned. I have cried tears of joy and tears of pain. These are things I have done, and titles I have held, but are they me?

I am sure all those things influenced who I am, but I decided simply that I am. Not much more to say on that. So in reply to my teachers question I would like to answer to his question, "who are you?" with simply "I am me."

I decided not to turn that in though, being I understand the intent of the assignment. He wants us to introduce ourselves to the class, and see our level of sentence structure skills. It did get me thinking though, and I am still not sure I can really sum up who I am. Sure I can write a resume, but that is just what I have done. How do you really tell somebody who you are?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

You must, you must, you must or you can't be.

Extremes are bad. Period. Nuff said. End of story. It is the extremist that are slowly strangling the world. It also does not matter what side of the fence you are on. The trouble with extreme views is that you find yourself justifying your choices in an irrational way because you need to be right, or left depending on the extreme you serve. Everybody thinks they have the right idea, and I am going to say no hardline extremist has even a remote conception of what is the right idea.

I will be fair and look at the things that make a republican, since that is the party I believe in. I also want people to understand that I am a Jeffersonian Republican. You see there is a list of things that people have used to define being a Republican, and even Republicans will say you are not a very good republican unless you can comply with everything on the list. First I do not agree with is the Pro Life, Pro Choice debate. I am Pro what ever. First I do not a womb, so I don't think my say is that important. Also I believe in the best government is the less government. That being what is is, why would I, or how could I regulate any decision that does not affect trade, or protection of the nations borders?

So because I can't see eye to eye with the majority of my party, or at least the party is taking now, I can not be a part of that party? How about gay marriage, same argument. I am not gay, so I really do not care or deserve a say in the matter. People who claim that marriage is a religious institution need to shut the hell up and read their history books. Religion has tried to claim marriage for a long time, but the marriage contract has been around a lot longer then religion you practice has been. This also boils down to something our founding fathers thought was important, that I think should define a Republican, but it doesn't anymore. The separation of Church and State.

Yes I said that, as a Republican. The separation of church and state should define the republicans but it doesn't. You see big government is the fear of republicans, but modern republicans are okay with big government as long as it is their big government. Trouble is you don't always have the reigns of that government. I believe in the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. I have sworn to protect those from enemies foreign and domestic. That being said our founding fathers saw wisdom in some of the issues that people conveniently move from. They take the easy stance, and choose to stand with the masses.

SO does this make me more Republican, or less republican? Am I alone in my views? Does not seeing eye to eye on all the issues like a checklist make a person not something? Like if I miss one merit badge I can no longer be a boyscout? If I do not have six number two pencils I can not be a student? Why does it have to be all or nothing on either side of the fence? An apple can be green, red, yellow, or many shades in between, why can't we? Our tolerance for different views is the best weapon the war on Stupid.

Monday, August 22, 2011

First day of the rest of my life.

So today was my first day as a full time student. It was the triumphant return to brick and mortar campus life that I have avoided for almost a decade. In anticipation I prepared the night before. I plotted my route to drive. I planned my parking. I mapped out my route to class and scouted my classes before hand. I thought it was going to be much more then what it was.

Granted I am still excited to be back in school and pursuing a new career field, however the intro back into school so far has been very anticlimactic. It is hard to believe that the course work I am taking on is full time. I have two classes a day. The work load for my first two classes is less then impressive. I am debating on getting a part time job on campus, or I am going to be searching for things to do at home.

I think my perspective of having been out of school life for so long, and having done the working online college experience so many times, leaves this first reintegration unchallenging. I do feel I will learn something from this experience and I have the personal discipline to see it all the way through. My only issue right now though, is to find something to challenge me further and keep me engaged. So I will be looking for student activities and abusing the hell out of the resources available at the school.

In looking at this experience I see a lot of parallels to issue in our everyday life. How many times have you done something to find it did not measure up to the perception of what you thought it was going to be? How many times did it not bite you as hard as you thought it would? How do we as a people deal with that let down feeling? On the opposite end of the spectrum, how many times has something blindsided you with what it really was?

How much of that personal experience though is a perception that is under our control and how do we use those reflection of those events to set ourselves up for failure or success? How much of that perception is under our control? Why do we create this fantasy in our minds to make something into more then what it is? It is the one up syndrome that I think many people suffer from.

You all know that guy, that no matter what you did something better or worse happened to them. You have an ache in your back, well they broke their back. You got an A in English, they graduated with honors. No matter what they take it the next extreme. If there is truth in their statement or not, we as a people tend too try to keep up with the Joneses in our experiences. We tend to discount those experiences because they do not measure up and fail personally to recognize the real value of our own experience. We do this because they just did not impress us enough.

If there was anything I did learn though from this first day of school (again) is that each experience has its own value and teaches us in its own way. You get out of the experience what you put into it. Even if something does not live up to the preconceived expectations it still holds value in the reality of what it really is. Life is about learning, and you only learn if you are open to it. You can only see the truth of a matter if you can break it down from other views.

Just because something is not what you thought it would be does not mean that it does not hold value on its own. If anything I can now measure the man I have become but seeing how easily I can now engage into a challenge that many people struggle with. I am ready to seek challenge where it is not, because the day you stop learning, or at least encountering things you can learn from, is the day that you truly die.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sam I am, the son of Sam maybe?

I am a firm believer in not saying something that you can't say to someones face. If you can't tell someone directly then you have no business saying anything to anyone else. This is the best way to keep drama out of your life. The part I do not understand is why would you talk about, vent or what ever you want to call it, behind someones back to people they know. Are you hoping they will say to that person what you lacked the spine to say on your own?

A friend of mine sent me a great quote that sums up my thought process on talking shit; “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” Dr. Seuss spits out some words to live by. I speak what is on my mind. Some say I should measure my words because they might hurt people I care about, well that is not true. If my loved ones are my loved ones they know I do not say things out of malice. I say things because I mean them. If I say you are being an ass, guess what? You just might be showing your ass to the world.

I am not saying I am one hundred percent literal, but those that know me, should know when I am. If not they probably do not know me. You see this is how you prevent drama, though some people seem to think what I say is drama. Let me tell you the difference. Drama is something that people bring to bring attention to themselves. These are the people that have to one up you with what is wrong with their life. These are the people that no matter what you feel, do, or live, it will never be as intense or painful as what they are struggling with. Drama is the weapon of people who firmly believe that the only way their life can be better is to make sure people have less then them. They are the ones that say shit out of malice because their little feelings got hurt, and they are rarely willing to risk confrontation so say what they have to say behind closed doors or from the corner of their mouth.

I like to think of what I do as turning the light on. I love watching the roaches run and hide. I also find it funny how when I say whats on my mind people become defensive. You know what that tells me? It tells me I was right and you do suck. You rarely have to justify what you are doing if you are doing it right to begin with. You don't ask a guy to explain his actions if he was helping a little old lady across the street.

Now I am not one to hold people to my standards, but I am one to call bullshit. Bullshit is the fertilizer of drama. It helps it grow. I also get mad when people use their words to pull the spot light to themselves. Oh pity party. When are you people going to realize I do not give two shits about what you think about me. I do not need your approval. You are also not entitled to my attention. If you get my attention with the methods you try, it is not the attention you want. It is my ire.

It is all real simple. Do not speak anything you don't mean. Do not say anything you would not say to someone. Speak from your heart or it has no voice, because it is the rare person that knows whats really in your heart. Do not seek the spotlight but also do not fear the light if you say the truth. Do not open your mouth if you are unsure of your words. Let what you say justify itself. Anything else is not worth your time.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Logically speaking you suck

Man oh man, some times that logical side of the brain does bad things to you. You ever sit down and think about all the actions you have done through out the day, maybe the last week, or the last month? Some brave souls can think about their actions over a life time. Now lets weigh those choices, really look them over and think about how we came to those decisions. When you look at it, how many choices did you make from the heart, and how many did you make from your head? When you weight them out which ones made you happier? Which ones brought you real joy in your life?

Now logic of course did its best to keep you out of trouble, select a lucrative career for you, and helped you fit into the semblance of a relationship based on socially acceptable norms. Logic allows you to live a good life. Logic keeps you out of trouble. Oh I know I already said that. That probably means I think that statement is important. Logic keeps you out of trouble. There I go again!

Now lets think of what happens when you make choices from your heart? Shit happens. You task risk without regard to risk, but only on the desire of the perceived reward. You get into to trouble. You make choices based on what you feel is right and you engage in conflict. If you act on your passion you might have to answer to somebody. You will find yourself deeper and deeper in trouble.

Those that know me know that I am not a fan of Apple. I think its a label conscience marketing scheme for pretentious people who think objects will make them feel superior to the people around them. That being said I will say Steve Jobs has let a kernel of wisdom slip from his shit stained lips. The most profound thing that was attributed to him was a reply. When he was asked how he became so successful he replied simply that he doubled his failure rate.

So if you want to learn more, you need to make mistakes? In order to make mistakes you need to do something right? So logically speaking you can enjoy mediocrity, and if you act on feelings you can get into trouble? Trouble can end your quest for success, so why risk it? Why because life is beautiful and full of great experiences. Oh wait a minute though, those flighty assholes out there that act on emotion are usually childish waste of space that are to impulsive to do anything that will last or stand up to time?

Well that is the trick boys and girls. That is the trick. Yeah instead of being those people that say for something to be this it can't be that, be a person that can just accept that something can be and something else can be as well. Do what politicians can't and understand that something can be black and white at the same time without being gray. Accept that you can be logical and emotional at the same time. Temper your logic with tears, and season your joys with sound thoughts.

Be logically in love with the world. Use your mind to dream and think. Taste the world but do so with a good temper. Take risk, but weigh the reward. This is what it means to be human. We are walking contradictions yet balanced as we should be. Boy oh boy what a confounding great adventure. So logically speaking its time to get into trouble.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Just because your paranoid doesn't mean you are not a douche.

We as a people have a tendency to think in work case scenarios. I am not sure if we are conditioned by Hollywood or if we have taught ourselves to be so pessimistic that it is the only way we can function. For example lets say your find out your neighbor is a registered sex offender. Now with this knowledge what are the first things that pop in your head. Do immediately think of personal fear? Is this person going to rape me? Maybe you are thinking of the safety of the children. Everybody always thinks of sexual assault or pedophilia. The reality is not that extreme.

I know for people that have had to register as sex offenders, and they have to do so for the rest of their life because of some minor offense that some politician crusaded against and added to the list of sex crimes. Did you know that if you are taking a piss on the side of the road and someone sees your junk, and they call the cops, or if its a cop who sees you, that this is a sex crime. One of my friends had consensual with a seventeen year old girl, he was sixteen. For some reason he is registered as a sex offender and she had nothing on her record. Incidentally those two are married to each other and are approaching their twenty year anniversary.

We like to assume the worse of everything because it is more dramatic and entertaining. We also use this thought pattern to cripple our choices. We talk ourselves out of trying new things all the time because we fixate on the worst case scenario. Oh I can't ever go skydiving because I might jump out of the plane and get hit by a low flying jet, bounced into the tractor beam of an alien space craft where they would reassemble my broken body to anal probe me without lube only to toss me back down to the earth to see if my DNA would merge with that of a cow at high velocity. Why do we limit ourselves in this way? Why do we only become the most creative when we are fixated on the negative bullshit in life?

The question is what do we do when we get caught in this negative thought pattern? How do we stop assuming the worse when we prove ourselves right? I mean we thought that last relationship was going to end with a rabbit in a pot boiling, while our bed was lit on fire and all of our worldly possessions where taken to goodwill when that person moved out? Part of that might have come true, and if so you violated the first rule of dating. (Never stick your dick in crazy) However it did not all come true, but we like to make these things in our life a big dramatic affair. I mean it has no meaning if it doesn't come with a show right?

I tell you what, try this, breath. Think about what you are doing and then think about what you are thinking about. Then ask yourself if this was coming out of another persons mouth would you laugh? If so then it is probably silly. Ask yourself do you know all there is to know, and if not the mystery might offer an adventure of its own. Do you know the facts or are you assuming to know the facts? Why fly off the handle when you will get further if you leap from solid ground.

Life is to short to waste it on worry. Worry does nothing for you, but negative things. Lets say that you do have a psychopathic serial rapist that loves to poison fruit loops with arsenic on days that sun turns blue during the sunset. If that guy is going to eat your uncooked flesh what does worry change about it. Try being rationale instead of stupid. If you can do this and find your calm, life will become oddly more enjoyable for you and those around you.

So once again stop letting fear rule your life, be real in what you think might go wrong. Everyhting is not what it seems, and big brother really does know a lot about you, but if you are not being a window licking smacktard who cares? Chase your dreams and stop trying to validate your nightmares. Its not the end of the world, we have another year for that.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Headliners should be free of tinfoil.

Today I am actually having issues with putting my thoughts into words. Its an subject that means a lot to me. There are somethings that are to precious to screw up and you really have to put thought into those things. Today I want to discuss an amendment. The first amendment in particular. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

You see I have been at odds with this for awhile because of the balance shift caused our free market economy. I support the freedom of religion and the implied freedom from religion. I am okay with free speech, and I feel it is extremely important to express that right. Free speech is the most underused right in this amendment. I even support the hate speech of groups I do not agree with, because to deny them opens the door to deny others the same right. I am all for peaceable assembly, the key word peaceable assembly. If you get together to plot against the public then that is not peaceable. (It might just be a board meeting though for a any company now a days.) I also think it is very important to protect the right of the people to be able to address their grievances. It is the most important of the checks and balances in a government for the people, and by the people.

The one I wrestle with though it the freedom of the press. I understand the need. I understand the importance of not allowing the press to be silenced, or controlled by the government. In essence the press could and should be the most effective way to understand what is happening in our government. This is where I also get into the core of my objections with the press on either side in modern times.

While all of these items are protected by the first amendment, I think that they should be thought of as separate in order to be dealt with responsibly. For the press to be effective they must report the news, not sensationalism. They can not use things to appeal to the baser emotions of their customers. In doing so they invalidate themselves as a source of truth. In reporting the truth they can not be used to address grievances, they can only be used to inform you as a citizen about the issues that you may or may not have grievance with. I think it is important that people understand the difference between what could and should be called news, and an editorial.

I also believe it is an abuse of these guaranteed freedoms to hide behind the freedom of the press and the rights afforded by it while engaged in commercial enterprise. Money is not the root of all evil, I know, its the pursuit of money that makes people do evil things. The days of newswires in pursuit of truth have been superseded by the pursuit of selling commercial time. Sponsors are attracted by ratings and ratings are gathered by attracting people to watch, listen or consume your product. They do this by embracing sensationalism and running their version of the truth as a business.

It is as it should be, a simple relationship between the news and the people. The press is offered a trust that they are just as responsible to honor, as we the people are to protect their right to provide that news. It is assumed that in the reporting they are to use the truth, and for the most part they do. However in more recent times they look to spin that truth and skirt on the line of truth. They use just enough truth in their statements so as they can not be accused of lying. However in peppering their reporting with opinion they violate that trust. They dishonor the agreement.

So it is my opinion that there should be an understanding of what right they are actually exercising on television, the internet, and on the radio. I think a disclaimer should be put forth so that the consumer understands what they are getting. The FDA regulates our food with labeling, telling us the list of ingredients and nutritional value of the food product we consume. Why can't we label our news programs as well. Maybe something as simple as a disclaimer stating clearing which first amendment right they are exercising.

"Today on news two we are going to be exercising our right to free speech with a candid editorial about the state of politics today." Or "Today on channel sixty nine we will be exercising the freedom of the press and providing an expose on government practices. There will be no commentary or flavor added to this, you can decide how you feel about it, we are just offering you the facts, and all the facts we gathered. None can or should be with held to alter or reflect the opinion of the reporters involved or the management of the station and its sponsors."

Wouldn't that be great, since now a days you have dig through so much crap to find what is fact and what is fiction. Opinion is awesome, we all have them, but they do not belong in news. I am not saying people are not entitle to an opinion or the right to voice it, I am just saying that you call it what it is, and not label it news. Stop telling me how I should vote, it is my choice. I would just like all the information given to me so I can vote from an educated stance, and not from a slated view with only those facts you see fit to deliver to me. News should not come with an agenda.

Monday, August 15, 2011

That Mr Poe is a pendulum.

I am seeing that disturbing trend from politics more and more in my social life. You know that one where people see some cause and they latch onto it with so much blinding resolve that they can not see anything but their own point of view. For my grammar Nazi friends, some are going to have trouble getting by the first run on sentence. The rest of you might be freaked out and trying to digest all those words. The rest are looking at those things that influence you so much that you can not see any other way to live.

To me there are some inherent truths that you can not bend on. The truths I think should be universal. I know they are not, because those truths are violated and we hear about them in news all the time. My first truth is that no will full harm should ever be done to a child. What I mean by this is the pedophiles, abusive parents, and those the generally get their jollies from subjugating children. My next truth is that you should never take something away from someone that can not be given back. These are things like innocence, life, or bliss. This is why I think rape is a more horrible crime then murder. Rape a person has to live with what was taken away from them, and in most cases for a very long time. My next truth is to do nothing to violate the trust of those you love or raise. There is no reason a child should never trust you.

Now those things there are things I can safely say I will not budge on. Those are my blinder issues. Other people though have many more and they swing to extremes on them. Issues like politics, you know how those no talent monkey suit lying ass people in the capitol saying how everybody else is doing evil and they are the last knight in shining armor. All of them clamor about taxes, and budget cuts. If it wasn't such a dog and pony show you think they would have fix at least part of the by now.

The issue with Washington runs deeper then that though. It runs down into those grassroots that many of them started their careers in. It is in our backyard. It is Americans embracing their enemies thought process and claiming they made it better. Its the extremes of fundamentalist. This thought process is poison and will destroy us more assuredly then any enemy would. The trouble is most people are blind to it, and they also will not want to see it in themselves.

One example I have that came to me recently was in a conversation about a retreat that happens every year in the mountains of Colorado. When people where asked why they did not attend this retreat anymore, more then a few answers shocked me, and a few even appalled me. Of course there are always the excuses, and those bother me but I get over them. One train of thought though was about something as simple as camping and its role in nature. At first I was ready to raise my fist in solidarity, being a no trace back pack tent camping enthusiast myself. However this cat went on to say that people could not get anything out of a retreat where there was modern intrusion of tents, porta potties, or modern comforts.

Immediately I saw the thought process, and for that guy that became his truth. He shut down the chance to get anything else out of it. He limited his own reality and no amount of argument would bring that person over to the other view point. What bothered me further was the continued support and other extremist that came out in the conversation.It was amazing seeing how so many people limited their world view. They did this to inflate their egos through social standing. Many of them almost demanded praise for their sacrifices.

I could only shake my head. I see it so much with people I just shake my head. I see the influence they refuse to let go of, and on occasion I see it in myself. Its the extremes that are killing us. It is our inability to accept things as we see them, and as how others see them, at the same time. It is our firm rules that have no value that limit us. It is our clinging to silly values we created on our own that prevent us from living life with all the possibilities is supposed to have.

I will not eat any soup has ham in it. Ham should be on a plate not in a bowl. Now you will miss out on so much that ham has to offer. Will not is the most limiting statement. It shuts you down to other possibilities, when probably no would and could do better. The world, society, religious organizations, our own families, and careers put enough limitations on our personal development, why they hell should we do it to ourselves?

So look at the extremes in your life and ask yourself why are they there? Did you pick them up as social baggage? Did you create them for yourself? Can you let them go? Can you open your eyes to the possibilities of other view points, or are you scared or lazy? I am sure you can find one extreme a day for at least a month that you can let go off, but the question is do you want to? Most people are afraid to let them go, because they can wear them like an armor of excuses and keep on being them with out conviction or growth. We as a people are lazy like that.

Friday, August 12, 2011

hookt un fonix workt fer mee

With all the schools starting back up, and of course it takes over a lot of conversations. Parents are happy to pass of their children and get a bit of a break. Some children are ready to go for their first day of school, and teachers are going back to under paid jobs. Some more of us are ready to go off to the paid level of education. This means that summer is nearly over.

There are some schools charging for registration, and sending collection notices to parents that refuse to pay. One such school in Colorado is actually collecting forty five dollars per student. Other schools are focusing on nipping attendance issues in the bud. I watch all the hoopla and I almost want to cry. Our public school system is one of our countries greatest assets, but like most things people perceive as free, it is under valued. Our children rarely look forward to school beyond the first few grades.

By high school the children are neatly placed into social grouping, and most of them are not happy with the label. They spend more time working on that caste system, then they do learning the things that are going to make our country strong with an educated work force. The depreciated statistics are demoralizing. I went back to school and found some unused aspects of my own education. Apparently I read at a college level, my math is pretty damn good too, but my grammar is horrible.

The sad part about it, looking back at things I have written in the past, I have improved in the category of sentence structure since high school. Same with math and scientific knowledge. I was not alone. Most of the kids I talked to at orientation where taking at least one remedial class their freshmen year. Most of them just left our education system.

This bothers me because our government is in a debt crisis, looking to see where they can cut funding. They are also looking at all these special programs and federally funded items. It also shows me that most politicians did not pay attention in college and their public school math skills shine through. If you make thirty thousand a year, but spend sixty thousand a year, you will be in debt. Being in debt is never good, and even worse when you feel you need to live beyond your means.

So why don't we cut enough budget so that we can really fund our future. We take out the things that our government has no business being in, or the things we really can live without. We say screw programs like no child left behind and set standards for the children to aspire to. Stop spending money handing out a fish, when we can use the money to teach our kids to fish. We work on their education, and in the process develop a stronger work force. In doing that we build a stronger future for our country.

At the very least we will teach them the reality of a balanced budget and hopefully they will be the politicians of the future. Invest in that future and we can hope that they will get into office and know basic math, and be able to balance a budget. Credit is great for large purchases, I understand that, but it is not good for large countries. Oh and maybe if we fixed that, we could pay teachers closer to what they are worth. We might even be able to have classes at a manageable level.

So lets look to the future. Cut the fluff, bring the budget under the amount of money the country brings in, and invest that money in the future. Education. Lets bring our country back to the top of the list of educated peoples, and earn our place back at the top of the heap.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Extreme Middle: If you don't say it out loud,..

Extreme Middle: If you don't say it out loud,..

If you don't say it out loud,..

This was the fifties approach to cancer and many other horrible things. If you didn't talk about them, in theory, they would not enter you life. As time went by science and sociology caught up with each other. Now we have walks dressed in pink, to not only talk about the dreaded "C" word, but also a breast. Wow we have come a long way indeed. There are so many things we can talk about, but this is a journey of course not a destination.

So in this continue social progression I thinks its important that we define the other toxic diseases in our life. Not all of these draining and debilitating conditions are limited to your body though, some are drains on your soul. Take a look at this article from Mark Morford of the SF Gate. The ten things I have learned help diagnose the social cancer.

Now the reason I am bringing this up is simple. In all of our lifes we are at risk of social cancer, yet we do not do anything under the guise of tolerance. We watch people do things that drain us, and we put up with it. Hell some people are even doing it with their children and not just their friends. We have grown so much in our fear of confrontation and under the guise of being PC, that we find it hard as a community to call people out on behaviors that are unacceptable.

If you do so you are accused of driving a rift into things, or just being a big meanie head. Then people, usually the ones that are enacting the behavior, start waving their hands and announcing how politically incorrect you are. The stamp their feet and cry out that you did them wrong because we should be tolerant of each other. I love when they say things why can't we all get along, when their actions not to long before where obviously subversive.

Now lets say some prick like me comes along and points it out, or cuts them out of their life. They make a big storm about how unfair it is, or repressive the behavior is. Now this is the part I do not get, the reactions of the masses. They try to "stay out of it". Thought they see the negative behavior, or the reaction to it, they stay out of it. Confrontation might take something from them, even if it was something they needed to lose, they do not want to lose anything thing though. So they stay out of it, and that fear of loss just justifies the negative behavior of others.

Let us break this down on the most simplistic level I can. Think of it like children. If a kid is being an ass hat to other children, would you allow it and just say that it is the ass hat of a child expressing themselves? Do you think that holding children accountable for their actions helpful for the community or harmful for it? Also if your children are playing with an unruly, spiteful, or unbalanced child, do you let them continue to play with them unfettered. What if they start taking on those traits of the "bad" child?

How much of what you tolerate in your own life would you not tolerate in the life of you children? How many of your friends would you be having a talk to your carpet crawler, if they were their friends. How much toxic behavior are you willing to tolerate in the name of being socially connected? Then ask yourself but tolerating that toxic behavior, with so many others, what damage are you responsibly in your community?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Man man man manly man man,... maaaaan

First lets not confuse being manly with the normal traits that people like to associate with being a man. I am referring to the negative ones out there. Sure blowing shit up, eating raw meat and bedding everything in sight has its place, but I am going to be talking about the shit that many of us are missing. You see there used to be some great male role models out there. Hollywood even put a few up for us to admire, the Duke being my personal favorite.

Today is this modern era of global isolation we are forgetting those things we used to do to mark the path for our children. Boys run rampant in the street claiming to be men, but not really understanding what it means to be a man. Just because you can beat somebody up, doesn't make you a man. Sometimes it can be, but rarely is that the case. Leaving a trail of broken hearted young ladies is also not a sign of being a man. If anything was the opposite this is it. Sex is not a bad thing, hell I love having sex, but using it as a tool or perceiving it as a conquest is just fucked up.

So after a bit of reading I have come up with my rules or traits of what it takes to be a man. I am doing this because so many of us have lost the guidance in this age of divorce, disconnection, and impersonal behavior. Many young boys only receive the ideology of what it means to be a man from the movies or in a magazine teaching them how to get laid. A healthy spank bank does not mean you are a man. With all that aside if you pay attention to these things they might help you understand what it means to really be a man.

Be Honest: This means not only keeping your word, but being honest to yourself. Be who you are, with out giving in or changing the public perception of yourself for a fad or for popularity. Know yourself well enough to know your limitations and weaknesses, but also know your strengths. If you do not speak your mind it will dull, and if you do not speak your heart it will fade.

Courage: It takes courage to be honest. It takes courage to do the right thing. It takes courage to not follow the crowd. It is okay to be afraid, but it is courage that gives you the strength to do what is right in spite of fear. Courage can also be admitting to something you did, or even crying regardless of who sees you because you are afraid they will take your man card. All men cry, they just do it when they are supposed to, not just when they are allowed.

Confidence: Be self assured. Self confidence it key here. Everybody worries about what others think of them, but I feel its more important to value what you think of yourself. You know better then anyone what you can and can not do. So fuck them other ass hats telling you your limits.

Humility: While it is important to be confident, it is also important to no be cocky. You need to understand that while you have the right to walk around with your chest puffed out, you are not the only person on the planet. It is also through service that you learn the value of things like respect, and reward. No matter how bad ass you think you are, there is also some one bigger and badder then you.

Duty and Industry: If you sit on your ass and do nothing then that is what you will always be. People can talk all day long, and a lot of them do, but a man also will do. Be a contributor in all things you do, or don't waste peoples time and don't do them. If you have nothing to offer but complaint, shut your pie hole. Work, and work the best you can at something you are good at and love. Money is not evil, but it can be used that way. That being said do the best job you can for the best wage you can, and use the fruits of your labor to benefit those around you.

Honor: I do not men the bullshit charge to your death for a word Hollywood craptastic version of honor, but real honor. Honesty is yours, but you honor is how others see your honesty. It is people knowing you will do the right thing even when they are not watching. Be honorable in all things.

Accountability: In essence own up to your shit, good, bad, or indifferent. You do something, or say something, take credit for it. Do not be embarrassed for being who you are. In that use your brain before you do something stupid. Odds are if you will not admit to doing something later, it might not be the best idea to do it.

Acceptance: Everything you do has consequences good or bad. So weigh that and do not do anything you are not willing to pay for. If you want to have sex, understand it may result in a child, shooting fire from your dick, or worse you could die. Accept that those possibilities are there and give them thought before you do anything. Do not blow off the consequences of your actions and lay they blame on others. You did it, you own it.

Judgment: Accept that no matter how hard they try people are judgmental. So are you. Wisdom is learning to trust your judgment, and making the best choices you can based on it. Refusing to do so is lazy. Hone your judgment and know that intelligence is learning from your mistakes and success, and wisdom is learning from others.

Rock and Water: Understand there is a time for being both, and use all the above to figure those times out. Sometimes you need to stand up for what you believe, those weaker then you, or when someone is being a douche nozzle. In these things you need to be a rock, unmoving and unbending. Other times you have to compromise. Giving a little to get something that is for the betterment of you and yours is acceptable. Just do not compromise your integrity in the process. Use your judgment to know when those times should be.

Laugh: Most important is to be able to laugh at yourself. If you take yourself to serious you will miss those things in life worth making life worth living. Do not be ashamed to laugh at what ever you find funny. Joy is to often wasted. Maybe later you can ask yourself if it was right of you to laugh at the fat old ladies power chair losing its breaks and her rolling down the hill into the oncoming ice cream truck. In the moment though if its funny laugh, you don't know when the next laugh will happen or where it will come from.

To me this is the short list of things you can work on to be a man. I go a step further in being a warrior, and that can work for boys and girls. Hell these can work for boys and girls as well. I think the real keep to being a man, and not a boy, is just being a good person. Don't worry about what others think so much when you do these things, because at the end of the day only you are accountable to you, at least until you die. So until then be a fucking man you sissy.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

hello? Is there anybody out there? Nod if you can hear me,..

We watch the news, listen to the radio, browse the internet, regardless of how you get your current events we can all agree it sucks. There is always talk about the economy of the country. The downward spiral that is destroying so many retirement funds, and taking away jobs. Then we compound that frustration by watching those leaders of our great nation turn into children on the school yard. They complain about what needs to be fixed, then they don't fix it, even though they are all saying to same thing needs to be fixed.

To compound this near perfect storm of social cataclysm, we as a people have devolved socially. I know its not just me that sees the selfish nature of the average American. This sense of personal entitlement that drives most people scares the crap out of me. The trouble is so many of our issues could and would be solved with a sense of real community. Economics is the trade of goods and services between peoples, and the value placed on them through a sense of currency rather then barter. So it involves interaction. Yes you have to look out for your own interest, but you also have a need to understand the needs of the person you are doing business with or you will not make the best deal.

As Wall Street sells off more and more that need for community becomes more and more apparent. Rarely do people survive on their own. The selfish start trying to salvage their fortune and sell off stock triggering others to do the same, as the scream in public for the need for a stable market. Selfish. Politicians point fingers at the others as they are taking care of their own state of affairs. Selfish. In our own community you can even feel this trend deeply. How many people show up to what ever group you are involved with and they sound like they are getting ready for a concert. Me Me ME Me Me Meeee. Selfish.

I am not saying we can't be selfish though, we just need to find a balance. We are the center of our own universe, so yes you have responsibility to yourself. On that note though being the center of your universe you are responsible for that universe, and must look out for the health and well being of all those in it. Selfless. Find balance in all that you do, and offer balance to those that don't have it. Selfless.

If you still can't think outside yourself, I have something for you to chew on. These communities that we belong to are soon going to be the biggest thing we lean on. As the people lose faith in their governments, it will be the community that holds us together. As people lose faith in the dollar, it is the community that will feed us. As the community strives to hold us like a family, we have to offer that community support in every way we can. It is doing what it needs to do to stay together and in that we need to feed it, bath it, and let it do its thing. When its healthy it is a beautiful and powerful thing.

Community should not be confused with agenda though. Agenda is the attempt to control a community through fear or reward motivation in order to achieve a goal or secular purpose that other people would find harmful or threatening. Like a church marching on our capitol for forty days to try and turn our country into a theocracy in their image, because of course they are the only ones that can be right. Selfish. No I mean that neighbor bringing over a box of canned goods because he and his family have enough and you just lost your job. Selfless.

Its getting to a time in our history where community is more important then national identity. So throwing a tantrum and stamping your feet when you do not get your way is just going to leave you hungry and alone. Try doing something to help someone with out seeking praise. Trying doing something because it is the right thing to do, regardless of who pats you on the back. Call out the cancer that festers in your social network and tell those poisonous selfish people that that behavior simply can not be tolerated. In doing so make your community stronger and more prepared.

Do whats right, and not just whats easy for you.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Somber insight

This weekend was a busy one for me. I had military drill. I was camping. I was drinking. I was enjoying all those great things that make life worth living. I was enjoying the sun on my skin. I was enjoying the fresh mountain air. I was enjoying intelligent conversation. I had some good food. I listened to people talk about how their life sucks for one reason or another, and I was able to ignore it. I was not letting people blame others for their short comings. At least I was not letting it get to me.

While I was doing all this, there were a group of people also living in tents, but not eating as good, or enjoying those creature comforts we take for granted. These men and women where set out on the purpose of making life better for all of us. They where away from their family's. While they where toiling about and dealing with some adverse conditions, some ass hat fired a rocket propelled grenade at their Chinook helicopter abruptly ending their lives.

Thirty one was the count. Most people do not talk to that many people in a day unless they are in customer service. People will mourn their loss. People will talk about their sacrifice, but they will forget that men and women of the service but themselves in harms way every day and understand the risk that is involved. They understand that they may die serving their country. This is a tragic loss, but if you really want to honor them honor the memory of their service, not just how it ended.

To many people I think get this wrong. Think of it like a funeral. The vast majority mourn the loss of their friend, or loved one. They do so with a display of tears and sobbing fit for a day time Emmy. How about you celebrate their life instead, and let their loved ones know how effective they where in changing your life. Do something good that is fitting to celebrate their life, rather then fixate on the end of their life.

It starts by doing more then a yellow ribbon magnet on the back of your car. It starts by you understanding what they died for, and your basic rights as a human being that these men so valiantly died in service of. You can honor them by voting, making America something to be proud of, or raising your children with no fear of oppression. You want to do something better to thank the service members for what they do, maybe pick up their check if you see them in a restaurant, and leave before they can thank you. You can contribute to the USO or other groups that support and aid the troops. Maybe you can honor them by sending a care package, greeting card, or hand written letter to a service member overseas.

Yes it is sad, but mourning them is also not the right way to honor them. Put their bodies to rest, but carry on the support of their work. If you can't fight you can do something meaningful though. You can do so much more then make their deaths a drama. It sucks, one of those guys was in my unit. However I am not going to try to draw attention to myself in the process by being vocal about his death. I am however going to continue to support the efforts of our countries service by staying in. I am going to continue to support that service by doing all I can to help soldiers in combat, and those out of it. I can not let even one of those lives lost in any of the wars we fought loose meaning.

Celebrate their life more then you mourn their loss. Take care of those service members you see, and don't forget the ones you don't. Vote, enjoy those freedoms they protect. Speak out in public, own a gun, do what ever you feel you need to, too exercise your appreciation of their sacrifice and at least read the Constitution

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hel yeah I want fries with that.

Religion. Its a big word that carries a lot of weight and is thrown around a lot in the wrong context. More people use religion as a way to justify what they feel is right. It is rarely used in self reflection to see what is wrong and what may be repaired. Most of the world leaders in this field have glaring faults, and are quicker to point to the faults in others rather then work on their own personal growth. There are always exceptions to this, I mean I really do respect the Dalai Lama. That man really does live his religious beliefs. He however is the rare exception, and one that was forced to play politics rather then forcing others into politics.

Our founding fathers where serious about the need to have a separation of church and state, yet they also made sure to protect our religious freedoms. I think I am getting the gist of it, and really starting to understand why they did that. If you look in history and see the governments that shunned religion you see a huge amount of failure. The USSR, China, Nazi Germany, to name a few. When you repress the ideology of others then you breed a deep resentment. People need to have their faith in order to feel they are more then a clump of organic compounds and molecules floating through the infinite cosmos of space. They need to at least be able to question their existence to a point. They also need to be able to pursue their spiritual progression in a way that is unhindered or they become rebellious.

On the other side of the coin you have religion imbedded in politics. This is called a theocracy. Very few of them have been successful. Some managed to hold power for awhile, but they rarely rose to the spotlight in a positive way on the global stage. The Taliban managed to do that and run Afghanistan for awhile. The Holy Roman Empire held onto the ashes of another empire for a few generations, and even now one of the great global powers sits on the throne in the Vatican. However they limit their views and assume they are right though, and they allow themselves to feel right by not letting anyone else feel any other way.

The beauty of freedom of religion is that we are allowed to challenge ourselves. We are allowed to explore our own personal relationship with the divine. We can figure what works for us, and what is our purpose in life. We are not limited to one set of unchallenged views, and all views are put to the test to see what strength and merit they actually have. If you believe in God, Jehovah, Allah, Buddha, Vishnu, The Tao, Odin, Zeus, or even the works of a horrible science fiction author you are free to challenge those beliefs and in turn challenge yourself. This is meant to make you stronger and help you find that one true path. It is called learning.

I am a firm believer that learning is a huge process even in the aspects of spirituality. With out challenge you get complacent. Complacency breeds laziness. Laziness in turn leads to stagnation. Stagnation leads to extinction. So we must always challenge ourselves and those around us to think, to grow, and to grow stronger in our ideals. This to me is the path of growth regardless of what faith your decide to wrap yourself in.

The trouble that we have with our belief systems today in America is that we are free and we as a people have grown in reverse. Rather then mature and find spiritual growth we seek the path of least effort. We want the answers given to us, and we want them given to us with the minimal effort. We also only want to hear the stuff that makes us feel good about ourselves. We would rather tell other people what is wrong with their religious choices, then take that long look in that spiritual mirror and improve our own behavior. I was told the best way to lead was by example. If you feel so strong in your faith then live it, take the good with the bad, and live it. If you live it well and it is right and just, others will emulate you. This to me is how people you should spread the word. Not in white shirts and black ties catching me when I am in the shower.

I do not care what a persons faith is, I need only worry about my own. My relationship with my God is a challenge in many ways. I am given a purpose to my life and it does not involve being lazy in my ideas. It does not involve the minimal sacrifice. It does not involve tolerance for people claiming my faith and faltering from the path. It also does not involve me converting as many people as I can to my way of thought so I can validate it to the masses. Just because a thousand people say they agree with me and send me enough money to pay for a Jesus Theme Park, and supply me with hookers until the end of time, does not mean that I am right.

So many people are looking for that hand out, even in this aspect of life. This is also not the place for it. If there was ever a place that it would hurt, this is the part where it would hurt the most. I do not need that happy happy joy joy personal affirmation of feel good motivational speeches that make up the sermons of today's churches. Nor do I need the terror tactics of fire and brimstone to keep the weak thoughtless masses inline. What I need is to get my soul in the gym, just like I do for my body, and work at making it strong and able. I need to challenge my beliefs so they can learn to roll with the punches, and stop eating the junk that is dished up in the massive mega mall churches of today.

This is something that is a huge part of us as individuals, yet we like to let it slide and assume it will do fine on its own if we let it be and listen to those that say they know better. That is like saying watching the infomercial for P90X is gonna give you that swimsuit body you always wanted. It takes effort on your behalf. You want to be a lazy do nothing asshole, then don't bitch when you can't see your genitals because the fat flap loin cloth covers them up. I walk with my God everyday. I talk to him every chance I get. I took the effort to learn to speak to him. It was like learning a whole other language. I work myself out, and I study on my own. This is my relationship with my God though. You go get your own, and stop taking that spoon fed bullshit. If you want to that is okay, but then don't bitch or tell me how I need to worship your God in your way. Its kind of like no child left behind, lets bring everybody down to the level of the slowest child doing the least amount of effort in order to make all the kids feel good.

Fuck that. I am going to keep running ahead. I am going to enjoy my spiritual path. I am going to challenge myself and sacrifice what I need to sacrifice to build my relationship with my God. He has sacrificed enough for me, I will be his right hand. I will strengthen myself enough to worthy of that title. I will do it for no one else though. I will not take the good from all faiths and make one happy fuzzy bunny no bad stuff ever rose colored water downed super sized grease burger faith either. In this I do not compromise.

Friday, August 5, 2011

reach out and touch someone,.. in a special place

Today I woke up in my own bed. It was nice. Though it was creepy to have come home to, and woke up to an empty house. Its funny how that familiarity can bother you form time to time. It is funny how how those noises that annoy the piss out of you most days, and missed when they are absent in totality. It has been oddly comforting though.

Last night I went to an old hang out. I saw a couple of old friends. I was ignored by a few others, or at the very least waved off with indifference. The part I found humorous though was a great effort on my behalf to not piss off my wife. There was a person there that had exhibited so many traits that I do not like in a person. You know all those things that I admire the least in people. One person who is friends with a lot of people I know at this particular establishment.

I was thinking yet again about familiarity and its role in our life. People see people, and those people are in and out of our life with regularity, they become familiar and therefore on time alone they build themselves into the fabric of our family. We tolerate them, simply because we are unsure what we would do without them around. We ignore flaws or serous character flaws and just brush it off and say something like oh that was just so and so.

The worst habit we have as humans though is to believe our own hype. We say things about those people maybe even in a joking matter, and then we start to except them as the solid truth. Even when the light is shined down on them we ignore what we see and replace it with the reality we have created. It is funny how when people are confronted with that, how quickly they become combative.

So with that thought look at the people you know. Look at the people that are in your social herd. Decide if they have a place in your herd because they have just done time like its a prison sentence, or because they have earned your trust and affection. The only reason I say this is just because the guy who sits next to you every night for years does not make him your best friend. In most cases it just makes them a stalker and not the hot sex in the shower while one or more of your tied up hip breaking sex cleans out your garbage can with love kind of stalker. I am talking the rabbit in the pot, cut up genitals, eat your mothers soul kind of stalker.

We do this to ourselves all the time. We allow these people to ease into our existence like that chick with the mist and the gorillas. Eventually those primates accepted that lady as one of their own, just the hairless weaker then a child can not contributed to the survival of the tribe nobody wants to mate with weird food eating not particularly useful part of the tribe. It is what it is though, and we all do it. At least I did. Now I just cut the dead weight. I do not cling to numbers of friends like a badge of honor. I count those I want to count as my friend, and I do not count you as a friend just because you have managed to hang out in the same places as me for a few years. Now actually I get my guard up more and look at those people, because why would they feel the need to become my friend that way, rather then earn it like I do for so many others.