America the Beautiful?







(To the tune of “God Save The Queen)
My country tis of thee,
This land of treachery,
From this, we sting.
Where politicians plied,
And native people died,
From every spoken lie,
Let Freedom Ring.

My native country, thee,
Where laws are arbitrary
From this, we sting.
Illegal people stay,
To live the welfare way,
Demanding rights they claim,
Let Freedom Ring!

Where hatred swells the breeze,
The air’s not fit to breath
From this, we sting.
Where greed and profit reign,
And corporate power is king,
Corruption is the game,
Let Freedom Ring!

We’ll trade our liberty for,
For false security,
Heil T S A.
Now, take off your shoes
All metal, purses, and belts, too.
We need to X-ray you.
Let Freedom Ring.

Our way is best you know,
We tell the planet so,
And so, we sing.
Where accusations fly,
Yet no proof’s required,
Democracy’s not even tried,
Let Freedom Ring!

Our country tis of thee,
Once a land of liberty,
For thee, we pray.
Turn from your Liberal ways,
Let judgment and fairness reign,
Where equality for everyone’s our way,
Let our Freedom Ring!

Get the Government Out of Our Lives!

“Get the government out of our lives!!!”  This was the response to a recent post I made about the FDA and unregulated Holistic Cures.  ‘Be careful what you wish for,’ immediately comes to mind.  Is that really what you want?  Are we ready to be self-regulating, self-governing?  Can we be trusted to act responsibly, morally, and ethically?  You should already have the answer in mind.

A simple glance around you will remove any doubt and hopefully, scare the shit out of you.  Pick a subject or pick a topic and tell me that we, mankind, are not to blame.  I’ll go even further and state that our greed and lust for power are the primary drivers.  Can you imagine where we’d be without government oversight and regulation?  Granted, there are problems with that oversight and regulation as well.  That just proves my point.  If the people that we hire and trust to protect us are corruptible, how can we trust each other?

We have found creative ways to corrupt every facet of our lives which should illustrate our inability to make good decisions and to assume responsibility for our actions.  Why do you think we invented government?  Back millennia ago when the first small family groups of people gathered together for protection, they needed a leader; someone to set the direction and assume overall responsibility for health and safety.  This was originally someone with a self-proclaimed connection to god: a religious leader.  That’s worked out well so far.  It turns out that person was power-hungry and greedy, too, so we expanded this original proposition and created a massive self-perpetuating power-sink and financial vortex called government.  The problem is that we the people, have abdicated our accountability and allowed this creation to grow out of control.  This speaks volumes about our capability to manage ourselves when we cannot seem to manage the entity, monster, we created to manage and protect us.

Turn off your emotional responder for a moment and consider your life in a totally free society; one with no government, no laws, no police, no one watching out for you except you and your neighbor; no one telling you what to do.  Utopia, right?  How long could we maintain this utopia?  How long before we would be far worse shape than we are now?  How long before vigilante groups formed to manage the chaos that will ensue?  Who will protect you from the people that don’t want to live moral, ethical, and responsible lives?  How quickly will this spiral out of control?  Then what?

If our goal is to extricate ourselves from governmental control, we need to take the responsibility upon ourselves and begin living moral and ethical lives.  All of us, not just a few or most.  All of us or this will not work.  You see, that’s our societal problem.  We all want a life free from our government, but we’re not adult enough to actually do it.  YES, this is meant as an indictment, no, an accusation.  We are not even capable of electing the right people to represent us or managing them.

We blame everyone and everything except ourselves for our failures.  We complain in every social media forum possible but refuse to do what we know is right.  That is, to be more selective and elect the right people for these positions.  Processes exist to remove these miscreants from office, but again, we fail to use the process and bitch about it and our inaction.  How’s that working for you?

When everyone, and I mean everyone, is living ethical, responsible, and moral lives we can minimize government oversight and control.  This begins with self-control and personal responsibility.  It begins with a solid moral compass, not an etch-a-sketch.  It begins with taking responsibility for our actions and decisions and correcting our mistakes.

So now you see that this will not happen tomorrow or in the next few decades.  Maybe never.  The government we have right now is the government we put in place, so it is the government we deserve.  It is ours.  We own it.  We control it.  We can fix it or ignore it.

The changes begin with each of us first.  Once we are in control of ourselves, we can tackle the rest of the country.

Eldridge Cleaver (Beavers’ Granddaddy) said: “There is no more neutrality in the world.  You either have to be part of the solution, or you’re going to be part of the problem.”  This is often misquoted as “You are either part of the solution or you are part of the problem.”  Not quite the same thing, but I think you get the idea.

And… Be careful what you wish for…


Moral Compass?

What’s happened to our moral compass? When did we lose our sense of direction? The assertion that this country as not based on Judeo-Christian values is simply not true. Consider the phrase “In God We Trust.” It clearly indicates that this country trusts and bases our very existence on a Higher Power: that was the intent, anyway. Try as we might to deny it, we cannot survive without something, a code, to guide us. It seems apparent that the founders of this country knew that without a solid foundation we would be like a rudderless ship in the ocean at the mercy of the prevailing winds. Something tells me that these foresighted people envisioned our modern age and somehow knew what we would face. They didn’t necessarily know the date or time, but they knew that we would face this crisis of direction and division and that our only hope would be a strong moral compass: that being our trust in that Higher Power. I believe that the founders were well schooled in world history. They understood it. They learned from it. They applied it as they created this country. It’s truly amazing how immutable the truth really is.

Our reliance on a Higher Power is an honest admission that we cannot exist on our own and that we must be accountable to it for our moral direction since we lack the character to go it alone. Much like the compass needle, our belief in this power points us in the moral and correct direction figuratively and literally. Since we find it effortless to misdirect each other for personal gain we need something to keep us honest. Our current events are a powerful example. We are divided on every point including our need for a moral compass. We take every opportunity to interpret events to support our agendas and to rationalize our need for control i.e. power. We abandon the need for moral direction so that our actions can be rationalized, thus justified. We vehemently deny our need for external moral direction and example, insisting that we have the answer and know where to and how to handle every situation when in fact, it is our own selfishness and greed that drives and deceives us. “Don’t worry, trust me, I’ve got this…” should be the slogan for the past 100 years of our wandering through the liberals’ dessert.

Allegations of corruption in every facet of government are hourly occurrences as we watch the parade. Few ask what would make these people abandon morality and propriety to support a political cause? Have we forsaken our honor and national pride for personal gain? When the Department of Justice (DoJ) faces allegations of impropriety for attempts to affect a presidential election, we are in big trouble. Consider, that the people pay to administer our legal system, abandoned their jobs to impact an election. More insinuations about bribes to impact this same election are page-one news for the past several months. Winning supplants ethics and morals, and certainly what is best for the country in total. People are battling to gain their “rights” blaming the other side for denying them. Everyone wants something that the others have because of their presupposed entitlements. It amounts to an un-civil war.

We search for direction from within and discover that we can delude ourselves as easily as each other because we lack the character to make a just decision without this moral compass. We needed an example to form the basis for our foundation. We called our foundation The Constitution of the United States. Now rather than looking to a higher power for this example, we create a complex legal system to regulate our society. We hire people to administer these laws to ensure that they are followed and who in turn invented a judicial system to regulate their fair application. Since we’ve taken the responsibility to monitor and administer the application of these laws we have removed fairness and replaced it with passionate rationalizing. There is no real justice in the system, simply interpreted and biased application. We chose when and how to apply the law based on factors that should have no bearing but that create more inequity where there should be total harmony. If we seek a dispassionate system, we require a much simpler and more overarching principle that eliminates arbitrary application of that law. We forgot that the people we hired are exactly like us and without this moral compass we will continue to devolve.

We seem to gravitate toward a lazy approach to morality. If there is leeway we opt for the path of least resistance or the way that allows us to avoid the difficult decisions. Our narcissism allows us to believe that these laws are for other people and that they do not apply to us, or that we are above these rules and laws. Our primary example here is our own government who operate with impunity in every situation. We observe that money buys you immunity. Billionaires and Wall Street moguls cheat people out of trillions of dollars and go unpunished. Rather than a simple, equitable, and moral system, we have one with multiple levels of exclusions and rationalizations. We’ve proven that financial wealth is the most power avoidance tool available. If a law is a good law, it applies to everyone equally or it applies to no one. This is the truth.

The big question seems to be, why not? “Everyone else does it so why shouldn’t I?” Hopefully, we all know the answer, but that’s in question as well. Without a firm moral foundation, we are in trouble. There are fewer places teaching morality. Common Core education seems to be the replacement. Interestingly, what I glean from Common Core curriculum is basically indoctrination for Socialism. (Socialism topic for another post.) I observe that Common Core is the final step toward the demise of our democratic-republic and the beginnings of the New Socialist States of America (NSSA).

It doesn’t matter what you call this higher power. It is not based on the religious constructs of man that were created to control each other. We could not apply a simple precept like “Be excellent to each other.” (Yes, this is an interpretation of many various writings but the concept is correct, and a favorite quote from a movie.) It is not based on a book, inspired or not. It’s the concept that should guide us; one that we follow willingly. If we follow our moral compass and treat each other fairly and with respect we will coexist in harmony. When we violate this, we have what we have today, a world full of hate and distrust, full of territorial and theological wars. We extend this enmity to everything in our lives from our president to each other. We would have friends based on common ideologies rather than mutual respect for free thought and dissimilar opinions. We simply cannot agree to disagree. Moreover, we cannot seem to allow or celebrate our rights to a differing opinion. It is if we are in competition to build armies of like-minded followers for the impending skirmish. Life is not a competition it is cooperation and coexistence. If you need a prime example, look at what we’ve done to our planet, and to each other in the process of societal growth. The indigenous people of North America lived in relative harmony with their surroundings. We called them uncivilized barbarians… Right again, European Conquerors! These invaders taught us to conquer our environment to learn to live in harmony with it.

The most difficult step in turning this around is recognizing that we are not perfect and that we cannot do this alone. A simple review of world history will bear this out. Mankind has been at war since they began recording their activities. It is obvious that we cannot be trusted to our own devices yet we keep denying our need for direction. In almost every instance the human race is vindictive and incredibly cruel. We celebrate the failures of others hoping to obscure and lessen our own shortcomings. Rather than creating a free environment of individual belief we insist that our way is the best and only way. We use whatever means available to justify and rationalize our choice. We insist that others believe our way to allay our insecurities. If they do not follow our lead, they are not a friend, but a foe.

Our liberal approach to this morality has allowed people with selfish agendas to dictate limits on our expression of our expression of personal beliefs. The removal of prayer from public events, especially schools is a great example. It’s not enough to offer personal options to not participate, we have to ban it altogether. We bring legal action to remove “In God We Trust” from our currency and other documents because Atheists don’t like the word, God. Banning the Confederate Flag is another example. A group of people decided that this flag reminded them of historical years of oppression so these flags are how banned even though none of the people was alive during this time. Why should I be required to pass a drug screen to work for a living, but not be required to pass that same process to obtain welfare? We bend to the sympathies the loudest group. So, rather than serve the best interests of the country, we ban a flag; a piece of colored cloth. We remove the 10 Commandments from government buildings because it reminds us of our moral obligation to each other and that higher power. Now, rumor has it we are editing/changing textbooks to modify/eliminate objectionable language and references. I wonder who these authorities are? Who makes this decision? I can only guess that they have a very liberal agenda.

We are a rudderless ship at the mercy of the winds.

The right answer in all of this is respect; for each other and our freedom to believe as we want. I don’t need anyone to tell me what is right or wrong if we have a solid moral compass to follow. I learned that from my parents, at school, and in church. I don’t need the government to decide what I can or cannot, should or should believe. I learned this as I grew and matured, as I studied and learned. Sadly, there are children and adults that have never been taught or maybe never learned these lessons. They seem comfortable with their ignorance, using it as a license for their choices. Ignorance of the law, used to hold true. I don’t think this is true in our society.

As I said earlier, I do not suggest that we involve religion. I agree with the separation of church and state. This is the most appropriate association. I do, however, feel that we need a foundation based on morality and equity for all citizens. If you chose not to follow a moral and ethical code, you can exercise your freedom to live elsewhere. Your freedom extends as far as living the way you choose, not in telling me that I must follow what you believe. That’s where we are today. There are people that insist that their freedom extends into my life. This liberal attitude does not fit the Constitution of this country, nor does it fit a moral and ethical code of conduct. It does not fit my idea of America.

Being liberal is a personal decision, not a political position. Our Constitution allows us the right to act as we please as long as there is no negative impact or harm to anyone else, and as long as we take responsibility for that decision or action. Why then do we need laws to redistribute wealth to the less fortunate? If I am moved by their plight, I can simply support them as an individual person. It does not need to be a political position. This is my position on every other point of contention we face. We are free to support any cause that we fancy. We can support them as we like. We don’t need laws are congressional mandates to dictate and regulate our giving.

Our compassion and morality should govern our actions, not our government.

NFL Victimhood

Enough with the Victimhood: Millionaire Athletes and Their Lost Cause

I must admit I have never in my life purchased a ticket to a sports event. I am not a sports enthusiast. But I am an American black citizen, and I have had it up to the gills with black people who embrace victimhood. I also highly resent my being expected to do the same in order to affirm my “blackness.”

Black victims these days, for the most part, are the product of decades of Black Americans being used primarily by white progressive leftists to advance an anti-American agenda.

The current brouhaha surrounding the despicable behavior of NFL athletes toward the National Anthem and the American flag is a prime example of what the Left has done to my race.

One must assume these players and their guilt-conflicted white coaches and owners (and victimhood-inflicted black coaches) are being manipulated by the Left, because no intelligent, thinking people would deliberately cut themselves off at the knees. Essentially, what these young misguided mostly black men are doing is ensuring the demise of their lucrative paychecks. Further, I would wager that if these teams consisted of all white athletes, none of this idiocy would be allowed. We are witnessing this travesty because the vast majority of players are black and can whine “oppression” if appropriate action is taken against them for their unconscionable behavior.

The twisted reasoning that claims these protests are to highlight “injustice” and “police brutality” is a laughable crock. What they do in fact is dishonor valued symbols of this nation’s heritage and cover over truth about black crime.

Black males bear the brunt of police encounters because black males commit disproportionately more crimes. Police encounters with black men are so often confrontational because so many of these men, especially the young, don’t think “compliance” applies to them. They foolishly assume they are above the law and disrespect for police officers is an act of honor.

These young blacks, sadly, took much of their direction from racists Obama and Eric Holder during Obama’s destructive, eight-year regime and Holder’s corruption of the Justice Department. These two men, abusing their federal powers, gave young blacks the impression they need not heed the law, because laws are somehow unjust when they are applied to black Americans. The NFL lot, and any other athletes taking a similar stance, are also influenced by Obama’s and Holder’s disdain for law and law enforcement.

I am not familiar with one case where a black suspect to a crime was not proven legally to have caused the behavior against him, particularly in cases where the police officer involved was exonerated by facts. Michael Brown of “hands up, don’t shoot” infamy is one good example. Blatant lies were spread to cloud the truth about Brown’s case.

Back in the day when I was growing up in the racially segregated South, the opposite prevailed in many cases. There was much injustice particularly toward black men, but not today. Today, too many blacks have been fed the notion that it is now “pay-back” time, and they can flaunt their lawlessness because some whites flaunted theirs during an earlier time in our nation’s history.

Although Obama and Holder no longer wield power in this country, some of their minions continue on the pernicious path of “paying back” American whites for wrongs, real or imagined. But as the saying goes, there is a new Sheriff in town and he is not guilt-conflicted. He expects fair play under law and tolerating pay-back is not part of his agenda. Black Americans, when they break the law, can no longer claim victim status simply because they are black. Those days are over.

American laws and law enforcement personnel will be respected in America, again; our traditions and values will not be impugned in America without consequences, again. Anybody unsettled about this turn of events is welcome to leave this country. I suggest all the black players try a country in Africa, and see how successful they will be at making millions playing games. They will all soon learn what oppression really means.

Some self-directed, independent-thinking blacks (and there are many of us) have offered that if these millionaire protestors want to tackle some real problems, they might consider the thousands of black children killed in abortions annually (by the progressive Left), or perhaps the many, many young blacks murdered routinely on inner-city streets by other young blacks (in cities run by progressive, leftist Democrats), or the downright criminal state of education of black inner-city children, orchestrated by the progressive leftist National Education Association (NEA). The NEA’s aim is to produce unintelligent pawns to feed the cause of progressivism.

I am annoyed by the expressions of “sincerity” gracing the faces of the NFL protestors—as if to convey the “hallowedness” of their cause. In actuality, they provide a picture of grown men allowing themselves to be made fools of by the progressive Left. I don’t doubt, however, that some of these men have been coerced into compliance with this lost cause, either through threats of violence or shunning (from coaches and players). Alejandro Villanueva of the Pittsburgh Steelers and former Army ranger is very likely a victim of such threats. He was publicly castigated by his leftist coach for his patriotism. The coach demanded unity behind an ignorant cause.

And finally, this issue has nothing to do with First Amendment rights. President Trump’s speaking out against the clownish behavior of the athletes, on behalf of the majority of American citizens, does not mean he can or would stop any of these misguided people from making fools of themselves. To restrict them, as a government entity, would indeed be a violation of the First Amendment. But their employers, if they were to develop even a modicum of testicular fortitude, could and should fire them for doing major damage to the bottom line of the business. The rest of us non-millionaire “Joes” would certainly be pink-slipped by an employer if we dared to be so clueless about the necessity of profits and so disdainful of the sensibilities of customers.

I will wait patiently for the true sports enthusiasts to vent their rage by simply boycotting the games. It will be sweet revenge to witness the slain goose cease producing its golden eggs.

by Sylvia Thompson on 1 October, 2017

She’s a columnist for Washington TIMES.  Well written.  She never would have been a follower of Nat Turner —  Fisk or Gould maybe, she is professional.  But then, wonder where she stands on move to include Nat Turner in a Richmond, VA civil war era statuary park?  Surely someone will say he’s ineligible since his rebellion was in 1831.  


We must be crazy!

“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” Albert Einstein

Where do we draw the line?

When will we stop?

Have we already passed the tipping point: is it already too late?

Current events seem to underline the immediate need for caution. History tells us that wise men have said so from the beginning of recorded time, yet there is no appreciable change.

We consider legislating away the tools of hate and violence, but to what end? We can take away assault weapons, and hunting rifles, and shotguns, and handguns. We can make them illegal to purchase and own. We can make them more difficult to obtain. We can subject the prospective buyer/owner to background checks and scrutiny. We can make the ammunition nearly impossible to find. But how does that solve the problem? The platitude “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns…” really does ring true. If there is a market for something, anything, there is a way to obtain it because someone stands ready to provide it for the right price. If you want nuclear weapons, someone will sell them. What will we prohibit next; knives, rocks, or sticks?

Political Correctness (PC) is the best possible socially-engineered solution for the policing and eliminating verbal and written commentary. PC empowered anyone to misconstrued or misinterpreted a simple remark as an assault or affront, and our legal system supports it. We can’t compliment someone without fear of a charged unwanted sexual advances. We are hypersensitive and hypervigilant, watching and waiting for the next innocent slip to begin the indictments and torrent of analyses and judgements in the media. This is why I find our current self-perpetuating direction so frightening.

The root cause of this problem should be the topic of our discussion rather than worn out excuses and attempts to blame the tool for the actions/decisions of the user. We must address the real problem; personal responsibility and mental instability. The two are not necessarily connected, but our unwillingness to accept culpability is a large part of the problem. We are too quick to shift blame to someone or something else, thus absolving ourselves.

If we want to stop aggression, we must stop using aggression as our primary solution. If we want to stop the hate, we must stop teaching hate. If we want to stop violent behavior we must stop teaching violence. If we truly want to modify behavior, we must stop using that behavior ourselves. We must, MUST learn to live together. We must coexist or face the consequences. Rewriting our history and destroying artifacts of the uncomfortable events will not erase them. It serves to strengthen the misinterpretation of the events.

The Civil War is an excellent example. A common explanation is that the Civil War was fought over the moral issue of slavery. In fact, it was the economics of slavery and political control of that system that was central to the conflict. Removing Confederate Flags and statues of Southern heroes only strengthen the case for those that want to profit by these erroneous beliefs.

Our every action and our every solution is violence based. Our entertainment is based on violence: sports, games, movies, TV, theater, and books. We must turn away from violence as the preferred response and diversion, insisting that we employ peaceful negotiations and the use financial incentives/disincentives as solutions.

We wage war on everything from drugs to poverty and wonder why our children seek violent solutions to their problems. We attack our problems with military fervor wondering why our children attack each other physically and verbally. We expect everyone to recognize and appreciate the subtle difference between fantasy and reality without teaching them how to see the differences.

Can we stop our down-hill slide? I think it’s too late. Current events and public outrage suggest that we have passed to tipping-point. The mass murder in Las Vegas is only the tip of the iceberg. We are divided on the approach/solution. Some want stronger gun regulations, some scream about the infringement of their Constitutional rights, and the minority don’t know or don’t care.

“When two brothers are busy fighting, an evil man can easily attack and rob their poor mother. Mankind should always stay united, standing shoulder to shoulder so evil can never cheat and divide them.”  Suzy Kassem

I fear there will be more to come. Confiscating and banning weapons of any kind will ensure that the criminals and crazies are well armed. Many see this as the final step toward an Orwellian police-state. It would finalize the loss our liberties and cessation of our freedoms which are already significantly limited.

We trade our freedom for security without thinking through the arrangement. We’ve made a deal with the devil to assure our safety. He now watches over our country in the guises of the TSA, CIA, FBI, NSA, and ATF. We’re not really any safer, are we? These watch-dog organizations didn’t know about the attack on the innocent people in Las Vegas, did they? Yet we still gave them the keys to our security. Why?

There is no easy answer to our dilemma. We have a monumental change to affect. From my vantage point, I fear our future. I don’t think we want to untangle our mess. We’re lazy and complacent, expecting the government to supply all the answers and make all the changes, yet we’re vehement with our disapproval when we bargain away our rights to obtain safety and security. We piss and moan in the social media about government choices and decisions but do nothing to make the simplest changes ourselves.

The classic definition of insanity is doing the same thing expecting different results, but we continue to send the same people to Washington DC expecting them to change and to provide new results.

We must be crazy!

Prolog: The Evolution of religion

Category    Personal


During breakfast one fine morning, my friend and I discussed my ideas for this blog. He remarked that this idea warranted more than a simple blog post and deserved to develop into a collection of short stories. What follows is in Chapter form, is that. Here is the prolog to those stories.

My concept of religion formed over the past six decades. I was educated and raised as a Catholic but encouraged to form my own opinions and develop my sense of spirituality. The circuitous path that brought me here is worth the time and explanation and time, but I’ll be brief.

Being raised a Catholic gives me an excellent basis for my opinion, most of which are opposed to the organized religion of any kind but especially Christians and zealots of any sort. I do believe that following your heart with a modicum of sense is important. Being lost in passion is acceptable in love, but very dangerous in religions. When religious doctrine demand that you follow blindly based on faith or the teaching or interpretations of any human, run away.

My memories of childhood are delightful and full of learning. I was encouraged to learn from any source available. I learned to read and how to study from the Franciscan Nuns and Friars who taught at my parochial schools provided strong encouragement to learn, albeit sometimes painful. What I did learn was where to find information and to use multiple sources before deciding what was true and not. I quickly learned about interpretation and why some sources found it appropriate to manipulate data for me. In short, my education taught me how to learn, something sorely missing in our present educational paradigm. (God, I hate the word paradigm!)

College was a new adventure, and since I had a solid background in how to learn, I had an enlightening time. I was experimenting with life and living it to the fullest. The Vietnam war was in full vigor, and so was the military draft. For those, not familiar with the draft, think conscription. Our Government came up with interesting little games to entertain themselves to fill the fodder quotas. My all-time favorite was the birthday lottery. There was some process wherein they drew numbers that would correspond to a birthday, and that was your assigned ranking in the draft. I was assigned lucky number 15!

Before the ax fell and I was welcomed into the grinder, I volunteered for service. I decide on the US Air Force as a safer bet rather than being assigned to a military branch I enlisted the Air Force. After multiple tests and evaluations, I was offered my choice of careers as an enlisted person since I had not completed college which is a prerequisite to being an officer and a gentleman. I chose Titan II missile school. My decision followed the relatively sound logic, I thought. Since the Titan II was based throughout the United States and they don’t use them in Vietnam, my chances of being in harm’s way would be very slim. I forgot about the government’s propensity for changing its mind. After months of training on the technical aspects and maintenance of nuclear weapons delivery vehicles, I was assigned my first duty station. The Titan II Missile Maintenance Squadron in Tucson, AZ. I arrived in July of 1972 and was promptly involuntarily cross-trained. What I became is unimportant. Tucson is the setting, and I was destined for South East Asia. My attempts to dodge the war landed me right in the middle of it. Actually, above it… most of the time…

The interesting part of these changes and my seeming dilemma are the people I met and their impact on where I am spiritually. I learned about many Christian sects and belief systems and how they all varied from Catholicism, from each other, and especially from the Bible. I discovered selective-Christianity; the faith-based system that allows their practitioners to exclude the hard parts and live the easy ones. It is commonly called Cafeteria-Christianity. I suppose it can apply to all religions too, but I believe it’s typified by Christians.

I began a personal survey of religions across the world that intersected with some great people and their faiths. Many of them were eager to share their personal stories. Specifically, why they chose their particular beliefs and that impact on their lives. What I discovered along the way is that we invented god/gods for a variety of reasons. What I find most telling is our perversion, especially the European corruption of religion for the sake of control. I suppose using religion as a control mechanism, or club, to modify societal behaviors is noteworthy, but the champions of them all are the Islamic zealots.

I became a pseudo-scholar of the bible and other religious writings, scouring them for truth and insight. I looked at the literal translations from Aramaic to Greek to English hoping to find enlightenment. What I discovered is that we created a mythology to explain what cannot be explained.

Religion uses a reward/punishment process; “The carrot and stick” mentality. If you do good and follow the laws of the faith, you are rewarded, and if not, there is a special place of perpetual torture for you. It’s not hard to see how the faithful fall in line. The Islamic sects are masters of this theological coercion. They convince their followers to commit suicide to punish infidels, those that don’t believe as they do, and by doing so, they attain the highest level of heavenly rewards.

*Note: Any religion that advocates murder or suicide is not… NOT Christian or based on any godly text or teaching. Advocating war is the other dichotomy. We’ll get to this later.

Teachings of tolerance and forgiveness are not part of our general character at present. In fact, most Christians adopt an intolerant, aggressive, and hyper-judgmental attitude. The Moral Majority and the Christian Right are neither moral nor right. They ignore their own most rudimentary teachings altogether in favor of a zealous stance against most things biblical. The idea of forgiveness and love are passé concepts from this dusty old tome. The Ten Commandments are relics of days long past. The “Golden Rule” and His new teachings of “Love God and your neighbor above all else” are footnotes on the Christian Cafeteria menu. They are inappropriate or irrelevant in our modern world. Of course, we’ve outgrown them. They no longer apply to our modern and more sophisticated lives. Much like the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights, they are archaic and too strident to be useful. There is no wiggle room and indeed no room for interpretation. Funny, maybe that’s what the founders had in mind from the beginning.

Modern Christianity and many modern Western religions adopt a cafeteria system of belief. They choose what they believe and follow. Entire parts of their Master Plan are discarded. They are judge, jury, and executioner for all of creation. They take on the job of the Almighty, Himself. I imagine this extends to all extraterrestrial civilizations as well regardless of their intellectual or societal evolution. What surprises to this day is professing to Christian and living a pagan life. It bothers me… I have met very few Christians that live what they profess. Is Christianity the religion of hypocrisy?

Religion, like everything, evolves. It becomes what we need it to be because we invented it to define God. As we discover the vastness of our universe, we invented god/s to feel included and to provide order. We created Supreme Beings that govern and rule every facet of our pitiful existence. What we neglected to recognize and even admit is that god is a fabrication. If not, then we left out the part where god explained our purpose. Christians insert a few clauses about being here to do His will and to sing His praises. But according to legend, He created the Angles for that purpose. Why did he need us?

Instead of helping and supporting our fellow passengers, we condemn them. Rather than seeking harmony with nature, we fight to control and destroy it. Our all-consuming greed drives us to conquer and destroy it. We abuse this precious gift, and by doing so, we devalue it.

Don’t mistake this as an anti-spiritual rant. To the contrary, I have a deeply spiritual side. It’s religion and what man does in god’s name I vehemently oppose.

One would think that our creation of god would at least require us to maintain some sort of balance or consistency with each other and at least with our environment. The only society that had such a sense of balance were the indigenous people of Australia and North America. The Christian conquerors called them savages and murdered them in the name of God.

Why would we create an immutable and omnipotent being that changes? Our creation of various deities throughout time is our attempt to blame what we cannot explain and to make us feel connected to the inexplicable universe. We posture against all things natural to avoid personal responsibility. This creation is our bridge to the infinite. Being inconsistent beings ourselves, we invent being in our image. That means they are fickle and inconsistent like us. They share the same frailties and desires as we. Our last invention called “God Almighty” however is a little different in that He was initially intractable and authoritarian, then softened a bit as He matured. After he destroyed mankind for sinful behavior, He promises never to destroy it again cementing His promise with a sign – we call it a rainbow.

The fact that the sun raises every morning and sets every night is not a wonder of religion, although we attribute the science to a master plan called creation. It is a physical manifestation of our planet in our solar system. Our solar system obeys laws and has order. We’ve discovered most of the discoverable science know, and those things we cannot yet imagine we relegate to the Great Spirit. Interestingly, His domain shrinks every day as we discover more about our surroundings. You would think that as our understanding of our physical world increased, that our acceptance of our place in it would increase to include the need for balance in our lives. The form doesn’t matter. Our realization of our place on this planet does.

We, as a species are a demented and deluded collection of barely sentient, nearly self-aware, newly upright ape descendants. We believe that our incredible powers of observation give us rights over everything in our view and includes other species and those in our species that we judge subordinate in intelligence or capacity. These assumed rights and powers over all we survey allowed us to create a God Almighty to sanction our actions as civilizing and converting the savages. Saving them from His wrath because they are not baptized in the blood of The Christ. They are not saved by our definition, therefore doomed to everlasting torment in Hell. Their charge was to save the world.

Our fabrication and inventions and assembly of texts written millennia ago all attempt to convey a message used to control and subjugate each other, to compartmentalize, to classify, and to sequester each other. Instead of teaching a much simpler concept we completely obscured the intended message. As Bill & Ted phrased it: “Be excellent to each other…”

If Jesus came back today would He be welcome or would we crucify Him again? How would we receive the other great prophets of religion, Mohamed or Buddha?

This is what I wish to explore in future installments.

Stand Up… Don’t Stand Up…

There is a point to all of this… Isn’t there?

It seems we’ve missed the original point to this boycott of the National Anthem by black athletes who were calling attention to the Black Lives Matter initiative and protesting against police brutality. Ok… All life is precious, and police brutality is wrong. Correct? Can we all agree on this?

There are hundreds of trillions of stars, and many have orbiting planets and any number of them may have life. But, we are the only one we are sure of with life on it. The odds are slim that there is intelligent life on many of them, so it follows that life is precious so all life, ALL life matters. Allowing the police or military to brutalize anyone is wrong… Always wrong! Those points are conceded.

Somehow the media hijacked this protest and demonstration and turning into an affront aimed at the American public. It is now Anti-American, Anti-Military, Anti-Everything under the sun and an insult to every patriotic American. The battle lines are drawn so that you are either for or against America if you take sides. The Constitution hangs in the balance. That’s how the media portrays the issue. They have misconstrued the point; twisting it into a matter of patriotism. They seek to further divide the populace by subverting a simple protest.

The issue here is not about the First Amendment to the Constitution it is about their misuse of their power to corrupt and misinterpret the facts to their purposes and agenda. The First Amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, ensuring that there is no prohibition on the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.

What strikes me about this amendment is the “prohibition” or “infringement” of freedom of speech. I don’t see anything in the verbiage that allows us to flaunt or demand these rights in every situation. It seems clear that this is to prevent the enactment of laws or other statutes that limit this freedom. Taking a knee or failing to stand for the National Anthem is not covered here, which supports my interpretation of the medias culpability. No one has suggested the creation or enactment of any law or statute prohibit or limit personal rights to stand or not to stand for the National Anthem. You are free to do as you will while they play this tribute to American Patriots. It is up to you.

We’ve taken this out of context, and I believe we have taken several of these amendments out of context. We look at the Bill of Rights as our guarantee and support for acting like flaming assholes and our license to act as we please without recourse or responsibility. I don’t find the release of personal responsibility for our actions anywhere in the Bill of Rights or in the Constitution at all. Taking this document at face value seems to indicates a call to personal responsibility and common sense. What the amendment does is limit the power of our government to usurp or legislate away our rights. In fact, I’m not even required to react to someone’s decision or how they chose to exercise their freedoms.

Our liberal interpretation of these amendments and the Constitution to support our agenda is just wrong and violates the intent and purpose of the document, but it is the definition of freedom. Consider the US Constitution the 10 Commandments for our country. The Israelites asked God for a set of laws to follow. So, Moses was given the 10 Commandments. We needed a guide to run our new country so, we wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and created a process to amend our constitution. Even though it was penned a few hundred years ago, the concepts are as valid and applicable today as they were when they were written.

What we suffer today is the interpretation by the media who twist these ideas to fit their agenda. Look closely at the words and try to understand the concept of freedom as written in this document. Then weight it against the acts of a few people who are exercising what they believe to be their rights to interpret it for us to create a media event on a slow news day. What is the real purpose here? Are they trying to better or strengthen this country or are they creating a tempest in a teapot? The legality of their actions is not the point. Their right to speak their minds is. They have as much right to boycott the national anthem as we have the right to stand to honor it. The media have as much right to misinterpret and misuse the constitution as we have to deify and revere it.

That’s this the whole idea of freedom? Just consider the source…

Pamen et Circenses


Pamen et Circenses



Part of me hoped that we’d learn from the past; our past and the history of the world in general. I’m not disappointed, that would indicate anticipation of change. I knew we wouldn’t. In the past 16 years, we have not made a single step closer to being a stronger country, we traveled further apart. There are any number instances I could cite, but the biggest is our treatment of each other. We become more whiny and bitchy and entitled and self-centered. This country is all about self. Oh, sure… We throw a few dollars in fund to help earth quake or hurricane victims. That money eases our conscience. See… We helped!

Here we are on the 16th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on American soil. Our elected leaders, I hesitate to call them leadership since their activities are opposite this description. In true government style, they attacked the wrong country. They sanctioned the wrong country. Evidence shows that the terrorists were from Egypt, Lebanon, The United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. We could figure that out, but we attacked Iran and Iraq, then get mired in Afghanistan. The countries that figure prominently in these attacks still enjoy our foreign aid money and monumental arms deals to keep them fighting-fit and ready to defend themselves against… each other???

Even a casual observer can see that the Military Industrial Complex and the media are the real winners here. Hundreds of billions in revenue result from these US State Department brokered deals and billions of dollars in advertising revenue for the media: a key partner in the Military Industrial Complex. Do we the citizens of this country gain anything?

We sure do. We get the low wage jobs to manufacture these weapons of mass destruction and war. We answer our countries’ call of duty for our honor and for Democracy. And… we get to pay for it with our taxes. Our governmental compromise made billions in profit for the arms dealers who, by the way, pay very little tax on their earning. It doesn’t seem right, does it?

I wonder who put these assholes in charge? Any guesses?

We’ve been fighting in the Middle East for 15 years. Russia got their ass kicked over there and out of there, but America the Great would never lose. They’ll never defeat us… We’re AMERICA! Well guess what?

How many more lives will it take before we demand a change? How much longer will be fodder for the MIC? When will we wake up and see how we’re being used? My best guess… Never! It hasn’t happened in the past 50 years. It hasn’t happened since September 11th, 2001. We’re happy as long as there is Monday and Thursday Night Football, plenty of beer, and snacks. Don’t FUCK with my football games!

We are individuals and demand our individual rights. There is no community. There is little national pride. We still relive an election over 10 months ago. There are claims that foreign countries interfered and through the tally off balance.

There are several new factions competing for space and our attention in the media. These seem to center on the latest government debacle to remove anything that remotely reminds the overly sensitive and entitled about the Civil War that ended over 152 years ago. They cannot tell you the dates or the real reason for this war but the Confederate Flag and a statue of Jeff Davis bring back the horrors they suffered as slaves and the atrocities of the War of Northern Aggression.

There are also foreign nationals and illegal aliens that believe birth in this country guarantees citizenship and all the associated rights. Once they arrive, the demands and feel the entitlement. We must accommodate them… Please dial 1 to hear this message in English… BOHICA!

There is an acronym soup of new groups that insist on their Constitutional Rights. Everyone from Neo-Nazi to anti-fascists. I didn’t know America was a fascist country, but here they are demanding the overthrow of our government. That’s actually not a bad idea. What scars the shit out of me is who and what would replace it.

There is still blatant racism and gender inequality. There is a gap in salaries between men and women. There is a glass ceiling that limits upward mobility. There is age and reverse discrimination, and the new move to increase the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour. They claim that even at this level it’s not possible to survive. Here’s a tidy little tidbit. Welfare payments put you in the top 20% of all income earners in the US. Our government’s brain trust, the economic geniuses that came up with this idea insist that the increase to the new minimum wage will not affect retail prices and will not impact the job market.

What is important here is that we are still at odds with each other and no closer to any resolutions. We continue to create new and more insipid reasons to fight further separating us from everyone else becoming more individual. We demand our rights to hate anyone and everyone. This is America god damn it. I don’t have to take this shit!

We lost our sense of community and our desire to create a place where everyone is welcome to his/her opinion and where we ca agree to disagree. We used to celebrate this. We called it diversity.

Here we are 16 years after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. Still fighting and hating and demanding to be individuals. He only reason to come together is to protest, join an altercation, and run from the authorities.

I’m saddened by our refusal to work through these problems. We have the best opportunities on the planet and we squander them on self-interest. Our schools are a disgrace, our government is bent toward the ultra-rich and obviously racist, homophobic, misogynistic, male biased, and pro homogeneity.

So, 16 years after we were attacked by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates we still blame Iran and Iraq for their part in this terrorist attack.

Look into the mirror. Do you see that person looking at you? You should recognize him or her. That is the person at fault for everything going wrong in this country. That is the person that reelects the morons and assholes and corrupt politicians that make our laws. It our fault and that makes it our responsibility.

We were horrified as a country when the 11 attackers leveled the World Tarde Center. We rallied behind our government to attack the wrong country without provocation on sketchy and non-existent evidence for all the wrong reasons. We put hundreds of billions of dollars in the pockets of their friends in the Military Industrial Complex and killed tens of thousands of innocent people in two countries that had no involvement. And, we continue to send billions of dollars in aid and military hardware to the countries that sponsored these terrorists.

Can you honestly say that you aren’t responsible? Who elected these representatives to our DC? Who keeps putting and those like them into these offices?

In 100 AD, the poet Juvenal wrote that the people of Rome were no longer concerned about their birthright of Political involvement as long as they were fed and entertained. He coined the phrase “Panem et Circenses.” Latin for bread and circuses.

We have the same situation right here in America. Ain’t history a bitch?

We are All Slaves

Aren’t we all slaves?

I suppose I am an old-school individual. I believe that face to face conversations and interaction are certainly the most enlightening and edifying. I enjoy the company of several people at the table for meals and even for drinks. I learn and grow from our conversations, which is after the point. In fact, one of my favorite partner’s and companions is my wife. She provides a different perspective and refreshing view of the topic with her feminine and ethnic views.

Interesting ideas come from conversations. Some of you should try it. Put down the magic cell phone and try talking to each other. In fact, there are switches that turn those fucking things off. I can’t tell you how tired I am of sitting in a public place watching the patrons sending text messages across the table without uttering a word. The only respite is the initial scanning of the menu and the almost unforgivable interruptions of the server. Conversation is the lost art of sharing ideas verbally.

“If you have an apple and I have an apple, and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea, and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.” George Bernard Shaw

“Silence is one of the great arts of conversation.” Marcus Tullius Cicero

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

Aren’t we slaves to this horrid convenience called the cell phone? It’s glued to an ear or perched before you in a prayer-like pose, thumbs flying over the screen, sending thoughts into space for the person across from us to see and read. We’ve become slaves to technology and all the conveniences that were purported to set us free. These marvels further chain us to a magic box where we are forever indentured. I was chatting with a man in the queue who remarked that during a recent visit to a local college campus, all he could see were cell phones with legs.

If you lose it. Oh, god forbid you should lose it, the day is not the same. We cannot function normally without it or the other myriad conveniences we require. We feel absolutely naked without our cell phone. Our lives go unfulfilled if we are out of touch. Watch those people around you. Are they walking and talking or driving or riding a bicycle or pushing a stroller or walking the dog while on the cell phone? Are they in the checkout queue or ambling aimlessly through the mega-mart talking on the cell phone? What is so goddamn important that you need to be in continual contact with someone? Are we that afraid of being alone? Taking a walk used to provide some alone time. We now fill every waking moment connected to someone else, and an accidental disconnect or all too brief quiet time leaves us in a panic. We don’t know how to be alone anymore. We’ve forgotten how to enjoy the silence.

Our reliance on government to shepherd our lives is another type of slavery. We’re quite fickle about this one. We want someone to tell us how to live and what to do but vehemently complain that the intrusion violates our freedoms and rights. By the way, we willingly traded away these rights for Security Theater. We can’t have it both ways, but that doesn’t stop us from wanting it. We insist on safety and protection from enemies both foreign and domestic but scream about the grope and search programs now pervasive in public transportation. We expect our government to ensure our domestic tranquility, health, and welfare, but protest that these social programs enable a burgeoning lower class of noncontributing people.

Did anyone stop to think that if you are not doing something illegal, you have nothing to fear from these searches? As lonely as we are, I imagine this attention would be welcome!

We claim that educational loans are usury, binding students to lifetime payments programs. Are they really or is the student loan program an extension of the credit loan and lending system we all accept as normal business? The estimate for credit card debt is $16,000 per household, and student loans exceed $49,000 each. No one demanded that we spend money we don’t have. No one insisted that these students borrow money for college educations, yet here are the numbers. Credit card debt exceeds $747 Billion, and Educational loads exceed $2.8 Trillion. Now we want our government to forgive these educational loans and limit the interest on credit card debts. These are all excellent ideas but who and how will the government, us, pay for these generous gifts? What about those of us that live within our means without credit cards?

Did we create a false illusion called the “American Dream” that mandates a college education as the prerequisite to achievement? Are we advertising ourselves into the poorhouse with the “must have” to survive our modern lives in comfort and style? The mandate is to keep up with the latest trends. We must have that new car to fit in. We must have a college education to compete.

Our insistence on a college education is admirable but does little to supply the increasing needs for trades like carpentry, electricians, plumbers, masons, and butchers. Who can / will fill these jobs? So far it’s been the immigrant and undocumented guest workers, but some state laws now discourage these people from filling these open positions. I don’t see the throngs of unemployed queuing to snag one of these open opportunities. Federal mandates require clear documentation to work which are geared toward taxation and collection of tariffs to support social programs.

I spoke to my neighbor this morning about her concerns about how our country will pay for the repair from the two massive storms pummeling the East Coast. Private and Corporate insurance will not approach the cost. The remainder comes from our taxes. That’s right boys and girls. We pay for it. Aren’t we kind? How accommodating of us to support American that refuses to move out of the storm’s path. My solution is to require anyone that lives in a danger zone, to sign a waiver absolving you and me from this burden. They decide to live in these areas. They know the risks. They defy logic and stay in tidal flood plains, or tornado alley, or earth quake prone areas. Why should I be responsible for that ignorance? This waiver requires them to move from the affected area never to build there again, or they must refund the reparation funds and cannot receive further assistance. I don’t mind lending a hand for a surprise disaster, but these occurrences are all too regular. AND! They refuse to move away from the blighted area when the mayhem subsides. THEY REBUILD ON THE SAME FUCKING SPOT!

OK. Let’s tackle the elephant in the room: Taxes.

Taxes are a form of slavery. We are forced to pay our government to support programs for which we did not vote and which we did not approve. This money is taken directly from our earnings and given to foreign governments, federal and local programs, other government agencies big businesses. We have no choice regarding its redistribution, yet the government bullies us with threats of prison and garnishment. Garnishment is forcefully taking your earnings directly from your employer, much the same as taxes. You pay a federal income tax. Then you are assessed a state and local tax, FICA, SSN, and other levies. Then when you purchase something you pay a sales tax. If you invest wisely you pay again on the profits, unless you are a multi-millionaire, you and most large corporations are exempt from taxes. The tax law excludes the wealthy with the financial wherewithal to pay a lawyer and accountant; you don’t pay your fair share. In fact, the largest corporations in this country pay no taxes at all.

As for the Socialist redistribution of these funds through welfare, bailouts, and other federal business support programs; should be illegal in our democratic-republic; it’s criminal. We send $43.4 Billion to foreign governments: even our enemies…

Here’s the distribution of your 2016 taxes:

The total budget is $3.95 trillion

  • Social Security: 24% (See Note Below)
  • Medicare: 15%
  • Health: 13%
  • Income Security” 13%
  • Veterans Benefits: 5%
  • Education: 3%
  • National Defense: 15%
  • Net Interest: 6%
  • Other: 6%

Which one of these benefits you, yet you pay for them? Isn’t your hard earned money? Shouldn’t you get something other than a bill from the government each year? I would welcome an occasional thank you note.

Note on Social Security: Social Security is not an entitlement as claimed, it is a program funded by the general population as FICA tax. The budget number stated represents repayment for the $2.7 trillion appropriated from Social Security by Congress. These were taken from Social Security by Congress without permission of the owners (us) and used for Congressional pet projects. Their assertion that Social Security is a Government Entitlement is a misdirection to cover their misappropriation of our money. I encourage you to read the information in this link for the real story regarding Social Security at Snopes

The corporate Bailout money was approximately $625 billion for 2016. The lion share went to banks and other financial institutions: $245 billion.

Considering how hard we work and how little we keep, our government is funding / supporting large corporations with our money and keeping the profits, if there are any. Granted in 2016 the repayment of these bailout funds netted the feds over $88 billion. I didn’t realize the US Government was a profitable lending institution, but since they are lending our money, we should reap the benefits of their profits. I’d like to see that money put back into Social Security to offset the $26.7 trillion they borrowed!

As slaves, we are not entitled to a share since they own us. The government owns us: You and I are their slaves.

I was a slave to religion, more correctly to my beliefs. I was raised to believe in God, and all that it entails. I lived in fear of punishment in hell for transgressions and hoped to be judged worthy enough to enter paradise. When I realized this structure was contrived to exert control over the masses, I was quite pissed off. I was outraged that what I believe was untrue for me. I’ve found a way that meets my needs in a much simpler for me to accept and it gives a moral compass that honors the intent of the ancient teachings without all the hocus-pocus and pomp. My revelation came through personal study, conversation, and listening to the conversations of those I respected. My survey of world religions exposed a common thread in all the systems and especially in the celebratory date and festivals. The movie Zeitgeist lays it out in pretty simple terms. I don’t claim that they have it right, but considering the atrocities committed in religions name, we need to contemplate that hate and murder in god’s name doesn’t work with any of the basic precepts. In fact, it conflicts with the fundamental teachings, yet we kill and plunder throughout the world spreading the message of salvation through suffering and redemption through belief in the Magic Man in the Sky. Most current religions are lies. Their basic concepts are perverted to fit the needs of the aristocracy or priest class to gain power and wealth. Islam, the way of peace (which is what the name means) is anything but peaceful. They espouse murder of infidels and the use of violence to further their cause. Anyone that allows and encourages the ownership of another human being, especially women has a long way to go in my book. Punishing someone based on a single accusation is wrong.

All I’m saying here is that an examination of the belief system and the adherence to their teachings is crucial. Actions speak louder than words, yet it was the Christian churches in the south that encouraged slavery, and the lynching of black people did not follow the teachings of The Christ, or any other prophet or holy person. When the tools of your religion involve hate, you need to find a new religion.

If the Bible or any document or teaching is your law, you either accept or reject the entire text. You may not select those areas that fit your needs or those that support your interpretation. You might as well decide which laws you chose to obey and ignore those that don’t fit your needs. I understand that murder is against our covenant with God as directed in the Ten Commandments, but there are organized sects like the Muslims that amend the agreement to allow killing infidels and adulterers.

There are Christian Churches that condemn everything from adultery to xenophobia. The profess that dinosaurs are the devils’ work to test the true believer’s faith. God created our world was created in seven days: six days of effort and a break for a beer and some BBQ.

I’ve read most of the texts and surveyed many of the world religions. One thing I know to be true is that not one of them has it right for me. OK, I destined for hell. I don’t believe in hell or the magic old man in the sky. What I do believe is that our existence here is not to worship or kowtow or condemn anyone or anything. We are here to live the best life we can, learn all we can learn, and help each other to get through to whatever is on the other side of this life.

We live as slaves to everything we love. That’s why the Buddhists disavow all possessions. You become a slave to that which you are afraid to lose.

Put down your cell phone, turn off the TV, and step away from the computer screen and converse with the person nearest you. Chat with that stranger in the queue. Be kind to the service-person behind the counter. Open your mind and learn something about the people around you.

“When you look at a corporation, just like when you look at a slave owner, you want to distinguish between the institution and the individual. So slavery, for example, or other forms of tyranny, are inherently monstrous. The individuals participating in them may be the nicest guys you can imagine.” Noam Chomsky

Just something to think about…

Hyper-Sensitivity in America

Too much of a good thing is never wise. Consider the over consumption of any number of products and the result of over consumption, in many cases, it is disastrous and often extremely dangerous. I believe the same holds true for information especially allowing things to go too far. The availability of information, data, does not constitute knowledge, yet we interchange these words quite freely. Again, too much information can be overwhelming, yet we regularly drink for this data fire-hose and believe ourselves well informed.

The internet is a wealth of information and as media goes, probably the top source. Notice I did not use the word “news” since information is so easily manipulated to fit the agenda of the sender. It can and often is easily twisted or spun for the specific use or to fit the particular agenda. Watch three news programs and how the same story varies among the broadcasters. Read the online accounts and view the myriad interpretations available. They all differ because as we see and relate information, it changes based on our personal biases.

There was a party game called “Telephone” that I have seen used in communications training exercises. One person starts by quietly reading a story to the person next to them, who then repeats the story to the person next to them, and so on. The last person relates the story out loud to the group, and then the original story is reread. It is surprising and often humorous how the story changes based on the individual bias and interpretations. This interpretative recall explains why law enforcement has such a difficult time with eye-witness accounts. Multiple people can witness the same event and rarely if ever agree on exactly what occurred.

Our access to instantaneous information makes us feel empowered and informed, but this is a false sense of knowing. Unless you dig into the story and background, you only see what you are intended to see. Who has the time to dig into the facts to understand? We all live such busy lives, and there is so much data coming at us it is nearly impossible to comprehend the real story. The message the sender provides fits their agenda. Honest reporting died with Walter Cronkite and the evening news, and even some of Mr. Cronkite’s stories were suspect toward the end of his career. When media moguls realized the power in their grasp, the end of honesty came quickly, and the age of the agenda sneaked in. Watch the movie “Citizen Cane” for an incitement of the media of the time; it’s only getting worse.

My issue is with our tendency toward hypersensitivity. I don’t know where it started, but I think the beginnings are rooted in the Political Correctness movement (PC) of a few decades ago. Once the fringe groups gained a voice and some recognition the trend began. It’s now in full rage with the insistence of these fringe groups to destroy and desecrate monuments all over the country because they “offend” someone or some group. How far this will extend creates some frightening possibilities. If allowed to continue, we could be facing the rewriting of our history; and definitively, our Constitution and Bill of Rights to eliminate the “questionable and objectionable” wording. Adjusting our history discredits those that lived through it and those that wrote it. It is often true that the winner writes history, but even then there are some salient truths to gain and remember. Some states are already rewriting textbooks to adjust history and education for a more palatable presentation. We’ve already removed prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance from our schools because it offended a minority who found a sympathetic ear in the courts. Are we richer as a society or as a country by accommodating these minorities or have we started our slide down a slippery slope?

Let’s consider Slavery as an example. The popular conception is that the White Europeans are responsible for Slavery in America. The popular notion that they went to Africa to round up the slaves and drag them to our shores is just not right. In fact, it is their race that captured them and sold them into bondage. And, oh by the way… They were not the first slaves, and this is not just a problem in America. It has been going on for millennia. If you remember your Bible stories about The Israel and Egypt, you begin to see that slavery was a part of world history and from the beginning. Yes, Europeans made huge profits in the slave trade, but they were purveyors of the commodity, not the cause. Capitalism thrives by fulfilling a need. There was a need for workers and a ready supply in Africa. I don’t condone slavery, but honestly, aren’t we all slaves of a sort, and isn’t slavery still rampant today, and not just among the Black people of the world.

What about the slaves still in this country. We sell ourselves into bondage through credit agreements and contracts. We agree to long-term deals for purchases and business alliances. Are we not all slaves to our Government? Is the US Income Tax a legal tariff or is it an illegal excise on our wages? Do you have a say in how much they take or where it is spent? Are you employed or under-employed? Are you paid what you’re worth or are you forced to work for less money just to maintain your status quo? Isn’t this also a form of slavery; albeit voluntary?

There are slaves in the Middle East as well. Even now many Arab countries import laborers from Southeast Asia. They confiscate their documents when they arrive, and hold them in prison like conditions without pay and with little hope of release. Where is the moral outrage and protests for these people?

How about religious slavery? Millions of people are in bondage to outdated theocracies even in this country. Muslims in America hold their women as chattel. These women have no rights. Islam allows that their husbands/owners may beat or even kill them for any number of documented religious reasons without trial and with only one verbal witness. Christians are told what to believe and how to believe it; required to submit to rituals in fear of punishment in Hell. Where is the outcry for this bondage? Or are we now desensitize and ignore this as acceptable?

The misinformation about slavery everywhere is based on the absolute requirements of that society to operate in a normal fashion. Without slaves, much of the manual labor would go undone. Even in the United States, we rely on the illegal immigrant to perform much of our undesirable work. They are paid substandard wages and forced to live in unacceptable conditions to survive. They are singled out and subjected to a legal system biased toward the majority populous or forced into hiding. Industries exist that prey these illegal immigrants for all over the world, not just those south of our border.

There was a film made in 2004 about the results of losing these workers in suburban America. It’s called “A Day Without a Mexican.” It points out our reliance on these low-wage employees and slaves in our daily lives and depicts the results of their disappearance.

There are thousands of jobs in our country that go unfilled because they are beneath someone’s level of dignity, yet these same people have no issue lining up for welfare and food stamps only to complain that this ‘entitlement’ is substandard and insufficient.

Our new found penchant for destroying and rewriting history to placate the easily offended is nothing more than pandering to groups that now have a voice but have very little to say. Because the “rights” movements were successful in the later years of the twentieth century it now these malcontents has the impression that their complaints are more important than our history and certainly more important than everyone else. They demand that we remove these events from history as not to offend them. Is this wise? They claim that these monuments remind them of their plight and the atrocities of that time. Looking at these objects reminds them of their horrible past. How many of them fought in the Civil War? How many of these protestors were alive during Sherman’s march to the sea. Is it wrong to remember the past? Should we rewrite our history to remove all the instances of our mistakes or should we be more diligent in explaining the circumstances and background?

How many languages should we accommodate in this country or should the new arrivals be expected to learn the local language and customs? How many countries use English as the local language? Should they change to accommodate our needs or should we adapt to their customs when we’re abroad? I have done a fair amount of traveling, and I am continually amazed by the Americans’ that cannot understand why that shop-keeper doesn’t speak English and make a point of telling them so…

There are several people in foreign prisons for breaking laws. One case still in contention in North Korea concerns the Christians that went to that country to teach the bible and preach the gospel. Doing either and punishable by prison is illegal. Some people refuse to abide by their laws and are outraged that they’re holding them. I’m an American they exclaim… I HAVE RIGHT! Then they appeal to the US State Department for assistance and demand release. Really? Are we above the law? Why would we expect deferential treatment in a foreign country?

Taking this hyper-sensitive lunacy to its logical conclusion would require us to destroy almost everything built in the Eastern US after January 1st, 1863 since most of that construction involved slave labor. Most of the eastern United States would be flattened, including most of Washington DC. Is that the intent? How far are we willing to go to satisfy these minority malcontents? Here are the top seven monuments to slavery.

1. The Whitehouse*

2. The Jefferson Memorial

3. The Capital building

Let’s look World Wide –

4. Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue

5. The Blue Mosque

6. Chichen Itza

7. The Great Wall of China

8. The Pyramids of Giza

*The Whitehouse was not constructed by government owned slaves, however; payment records to their owners are registered and incontrovertible.

Even now when I see one of these monuments I don’t think of the slaves that were forced to build them… I see amazing feats of engineering and planning, and I see the testament to the country that strives to remember. I see a testament to humanity, not the suffering and strife that went into them. I don’t discount the labors of the slaves, but that’s not the first thing I see.

Slavery and oppression are part of our history on this planet and as a country. Looking back through what remains untouched and unabridged of world history so far illuminates our history and should continue to remind us of our sullied past. If we remove all reference to uncomfortable instances from our records, we risk repeating them. Is it equitable for small groups to dictate our moral compass and our memory of events? Many great men remind us that failure to learn from our past dooms us to repeat it. Are we willing to relive these horrific events or are we now ready to learn our lessons?

Who’s next on the list of angry people? I would think the Japanese Americans would be the most vocal after their treatment during World War II. Recall that this entire ethnic group was rounded up, stripped of their rights and property, and moved to internment camps where they denied due process, Constitutional Rights, and held for the duration of the war as potential traitors. I’m honestly waiting for the outcry for some splinter group as they demand that all Japanese made products are removed from American Homes because it reminds them of this atrocity. Would this not be the next logical step in our crusade to eliminate painful reminders?

There are Holocaust Museums in several countries including ours. Should the Jews worldwide demand the destruction of these institutions because of the reminder of the genocide of their culture? Millions of them were systematically irradiated from Europe. Should all German products be banned or destroyed to save the remaining Jewish population from these reminders? The are entire demographic and major religions that refute the Holocaust. They claim it never happened. I suppose that depending on your perspective, slavery and many other atrocities never occurred either. Our early space program succeeded because many scientists were Jews. Our military was directed to identify and repatriate these scientists to the US at the close of WWII to bolster our new space program. Many of our top industrial break-troughs are a direct result. Should we destroy IG Farben, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW, Braun, and all the rest because they remind the Jewish population of the Nazi atrocities?

Next time you enjoy a rack of ribs, a plate of greens and beans or BBQ pork or cornbread, or many other Southern culinary delights, I insist no, I demand that you no longer order these and hundreds of other foods since they were originally slave foods. Let’s go one step further. I require that all restaurants in this country divulge the ethnic origins of every dish on the menu. I don’t want to dishonor any slave by eating the food that they created, and I certainly don’t want to eat products that were destined for them, and god forbid that food reminds me of these atrocities. It would not be proper, and I would dishonor them on the process.

Let’s delete Thanksgiving from the calendar as well. Our treatment of our Native American people is heinous. European conquerors murdered entire tribes for their land and possessions. We forced them to live in the worse conditions imaginable after stealing from them and killing them and lying to them. We continue to demean them even today. Where is the outrage for the original inhabitants of this country? How can we continue to celebrate their assistance to the original settlers and their eventual conquerors? How duplicitous can we be, the Black America thinks they got a raw deal… JESUS!

My point in all of this is that as a society we have become so hypersensitive that we can no longer speak our minds for fear of offending someone. We even go so far as to redefine some words, eliminating others from our vernacular to avoid this hypersensitivity. What’s the point? Are we now more concerned with the minority? How does this strengthen our country?

Hypersensitivity is an unfortunate extension of political correctness; the demise of the American society. We are now so overly aware of our language and action not to offend that we carefully adjust our attitude and replies to our world events. We can no longer exclaim “Oh My GOD!” for fear of offending someone. We cannot compliment an attractive person in fear of sexual harassment. We can’t discipline our children publicly or even privately lest someone call protective services. We have legislated away our rights to free expression. We’ve socially redacted the First Amendment Rights to protect our new Hyper-Sensitive society. There was no Congressional Amendment to Our Constitution; it was a simple process of allowing the minority to gain majority status using the media as a lever during slow news days. We watched as the few removed the rights of the many and as the fringe became mainstream. We let political correctness strip away our rights in favor of peace.

All life matters! In fact, we are the only life we’ve sure of in this universe. As far as I know, we have not yet made contact with extraterrestrial life, so we’re it folks. If there are other more intelligent life forms in our universe why would they come here? We’re not smart enough to live together; we can’t even get along. Why would they risk contamination?

We are a society of individuals bent on individualism rather than on living together peacefully. We rail against societal gain and betterment. We deny and eradicate diversity. It should be about compromise and harmony through understanding rather than capitulation.

Seneca wrote, “We create a desert and call it peace…”