Saturday, June 20, 2009

Unraveling The Myth of Conservatism

This will be a three or four part post...
I am going to attempt to do something that I have never personally seen a Republican do or at least do a very good job at. I am going to play the role of an apologist. However I will be one for all of the “not Republicans” that are out there. An apologist is someone who makes a speech or defense of a belief or idea. I am going to have to cover a pretty wide array of subjects but I will try to give you facts followed by some pretty basic reasoning. I am all together tired of claims that are as over the top and unfounded as they are sensational and ridiculous. A little example is the fact that gun owners say that Democrats want to take away their freedom and right to bear ALL arms yet the biggest infringement on their freedom in the last 200 years was the Patriot Act that was brought about by George W Bush. I guess that any right to privacy and the ability for the government to search and cease things without a warrant is not a right they think is necessary to have “pried out of their cold dead fingers”. Finally one fact I want to stress, I am not an apologist for Democrats, I am simply one that hates almost everything that Republicans really stand for… I am an apologist for the “Not Republicans” or anybody that would say “Anything but a true cold hearted republican”.

To build a foundation we must go way back and look at the roots of the so called “Moral Majority”. On the course of attempting to unravel the myth that is called Republican Conservatism a good place to start is the founding of our fine country. Contrary to popular conservative rhetoric our country was not founded by godly men on godly principles. This whole false concept that our country was founded on godly principles is used to justify banning Gay marriage, it is used to justify our unshakable support of Israel and in the past it was used to justify the slaughter of millions and millions of Native Americans in a popularized concept called Manifest Destiny. Manifest Destiny was the idea that God put the white Europeans on the North American mainland to conquer the Indians and bring civilization and possibly salvation to them. The idea was spread by pastors, politicians and community leaders. It was God’s will for white dominance and the building of a great country from coast to coast no mater what stood in the way. These men that preached this from the pulpit were only one generation removed from our revered Forefathers.

Our Forefathers were hardly a shinning bunch of Christians, now don’t get me wrong, they could talk the talk, but so could everyone back then. It was a crime to work on Sundays, if you didn’t go to church you were a social outcast no better than the drunks and whores. Have you ever read the Scarlet Letter or studied the Salem Witch trials… these were the times our Forefathers lived in. If they had not mixed in some religious rhetoric into the Declaration of Independence nobody would have even listened to them. At this point in out country Religion, in many cases was not practiced… it was a staunch ever present norm that was not allowed to be ignored. Lets take a look at Thomas Jefferson, the revered primary writer of the Declaration of Independence, that so skillfully created the sentence that said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Thomas Jefferson was a slave owner that was extremely racist and in no way considered African Americans a race capable of anything more than manual labor, however, this nor his religion stopped him from illegitimately fathering multiple children through a slave he owned named Sally Hemmings. These children of course also became slaves. Jefferson enslaved his own children and wrote about God given “inalienable rights”. By the way, DNA test were done to confirm this at the University of Leicester in 1998 by a Dr Eugene A. Foster. Jefferson was not the lone bad boy, Benjamin Franklin had many mistresses, he even wrote a letter entitled “Advice on the choice of a mistress” in it he does recommend marriage but he says if that is not fitting to go after older women and then proceeds to list eight reasons why they are more satisfying. There are many more racy relations to site but how about we look at the subject of liberty… did you know that fully a third of the signers of the Declaration were slave owners. Finally even the revered George Washington, the God fearing man that God protected from bullets (I was told as a child) is accused of having an affair and fathering a slave child. Almost all evidence points to this. It cannot be proven however, because the parties involved that have access to George Washington’s DNA will not allow testing to take place. If our Forefathers can be called godly than Bill Clinton is a saint, at least he didn’t have slaves.

Our country was not founded on godly principles; it was founded on greed and capitalism. Our country was run on the same principles that Ancient Athens was run on. This system consisted of taking advantage of the weak (slaves and Indians, latter on it was new immigrants) and building personal wealth; and it worked! It worked better than it had anywhere else in the world because it was a resource rich country with thousands of miles of land to acquire by whatever means necessary. We were worse than the Roman Empire, in many cases the Romans at least allowed the conquered people to live normal lives; they just had to pay tribute to Cesar. Our country’s beginning was much darker… It was a genocide 100 times larger than the holocaust. I say all of this to get this conversation off on the right foot; do not feed me lines and justifications about a godly nation and godly founding. If you still believe this you need to become a better student of history. This country has been about the freedom to accrue wealth by whatever means necessary from day one and not much has changed. The “Moral Majorities” storied history is but a lie, simply propaganda like some much more that they have to offer.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Lunch hour with Limbaugh...

Favorite Quotes from today:

"Liberals don't like to be happy, they only like Rage and Anger!" - Best part is he says it yelling-

"Obama has never been criticized” – Said while he was criticizing Obama… Isn't that all you do for 4 hours a day...?

Last one… “Sotomayor is a bigot and a racist!”. He left off the last part where he was supposed to say, “And SO AM I”. Looks like a case of the pot calling the kettle a Bigot.

The Unsung Song... the intro to a book I would really like to finish some day...

What happens when you find a song in your heart craving at the core of you to overflow and express to the world your happiness or grief or sense that there must be something more, yet you lack all ability to express it? I find myself as a janitor with only black paint to use as soap. I am incapable and the results are unspectacular, I can hardly keep a beat let alone perform a song that can sum up all of life’s adventure and longing, humor and pain. If I could, I would write a song about an epic journey through the incalcuble ways a heart can be pulled and twisted, undoubtedly resembling the thoughts of a madman. Of this I am sure, there would be many rich thoughts with forgone conclusions; great ideas with foggy endings. I believe people would see how different we are, yet how at the core we all struggle with so many of the same things. I believe my obsession with looking perfect would take a back seat to understanding my perfect imperfection. Through the song we would realize it is our individual baggage and imperfections that make us… well, us. From these flaws come some of my individuality; from these flaws come the hope of a better world for my children. To mask these flaws to fit in makes about as much sense as sticking a band aid on a bullet wound and sending a soldier back to war. In the end I’m just another flawed human being, I am in fact imperfect. However since this is my song I choose to look at it a different way, I choose to say that I have achieved Perfect Imperfection. This means simply that I am in fact my current state of being. I am not who I hope to be, I am perfectly who I am in my imperfect state. I may achieve what I hope at life’s end, but in life we are bound to the here and now, to the present. We cannot escape it by planning or promising something different. If I listen to all the noise, no wonder I am so uncomfortable in my own skin, I am told to be so many things and so much more, I can never enjoy what and where I currently am. The song would continue and eventually break down into disarray and disorder as I sang about wanting to live every moment doing what I believe matters, all the while I can’t even find meaning in my day to day existence. Yet here I am, unable to direct this orchestra of melancholy beauty and sometimes painful existence that is life in this the American Dream.I think what I crave is a constant connection; a connection on a deeper level than this world has to offer. I wish to be understood on the deepest most intimate level, I crave someone to know me through and through. I desperately want someone to understand my deep rooted desire for adventure in an assembly line world and see me as I see my self, an unexplainable masterpiece of emotion an utterly indefinable individual.I’m not certain, but I believe everyone desires to be truly known. While we may never be able to fully know each other, one of humanities greatest gifts I believe is the simple power to relate. We may never experience the death of a child yet when I hear the voice and see the face of a loved one that has experienced this great loss somehow it feels that my heart swells up and starts to restrict my airway. My heart feels as if it has burst into an overflowing and uncontainable emotion and in an instant I find myself relating to the pain and suffering they find themselves in. The power of relating is not that I truly experience what they are experiencing to the same depth that they experience it, it does not make me the same as them, it makes me compassionate toward them. It allows me for a brief time to connect on a level that we all crave to be connected at. The power to relate does not make me any less of an individual. Relating simply pulls at something already inside of me and brings it to the surface. It’s almost like it allows me to experience more of myself then I was before, a part or emotion that I didn’t know existed.It seems there is a need for human connection in the world. Without it I believe it’s too easy to fall into the assembly line and efficiently waste your life. It’s a wonder that we wonder how life can go by so fast. I feel hypnotized by IPOD’s, work and all this stuff I am supposed to want, and do in fact sometimes want. I’m in a work induced coma with very few signs of brain activity, yet I’m forced back to life because of a deep longing to be and feel something. I want a connection to someone or something but I have to get more out of the relationship than my IPOD gives me, and that is saying something, because I love my IPOD. It is full of great music and makes me feel cool because I have so many bands and songs that you have probably never heard of. Yet if I set all these great benefits aside I still need a real connection, my small mass of metal, with a spinning hard drive and bright screen still lacks the ability to relate to me. Itunes can predict bands I’ll enjoy and load them on my IPOD with the click of a button. I can take it fishing but it doesn’t share in the joy of actually catching a huge fish, it just sits there selfishly uninterested blaring away its cool music almost mocking me in my unshared joy. It distracts me but doesn’t distract me perfectly.The perfect distraction would quite possibly be the most marketable invention ever. Can’t you imagine it… on the box it would say, “Prepare to be perfectly distracted for the rest of your life. You will never worry or wonder “what if” again, you will never be let down by somebody or bored. This perfect distraction will occupy your every brain wave from now until the day you die, you will be a perfectly content entity unmoved by the current state of the world and unaffected by factors such as economy, weather and wealth. Prepare to be distracted!” I think we have been attempting to create the perfect distraction for sometime. How else can you explain addictive things like sports, drugs, video games and “The American Dream”? I believe we all experience Perfect Distraction at different moments. It’s those brief moments in life where I forget all of my imperfections, I forget all the things people want me to be and all the things I think I’m not; The pain and the weight of the world that I feel in my human condition for a brief moment is lifted. For a moment in time, time doesn’t matter. My every sense is dialed into that deeper connection that I crave, that very same connection I chase. It seems to be an out of this world connection because it doesn’t follow the typical busyness that is ruling this world. It is a pause button in a fast forward universe, where all at once I find myself feeling completely human yet completely ok with it. All my deficiencies are forgotten and for a moment I feel something or enjoy something to a depth that it seems the world has forgotten could be. Then, the moment passes and fast forward begins again. The weight of the world is back and I don’t quite feel as comfortable in my own skin. Have you ever had a severe itch on your back and then somebody else scratches it? Something almost magical happens in your body, it is like your skin is having a party, fireworks and champagne are going off just underneath the surface, then all of a sudden it is done… nothing… not even a tingle… the itch is gone and your skin feels boring and human again. The Perfect Distractions are like that, after I come down off my high everyone welcomes me back to real life, they tell me that this weight is just part of life. What I can never explain is why the Perfect Distraction that I experienced felt more like real LIFE. At least it made me feel alive, maybe it wasn’t just a distraction, what if that was life and all this is the distraction… argh, alas it is too much, my brain begins to hurt. I don’t know whether the distractions are life or this is life; I just know that at these distracted moments, these timeless happenings, during these deeper connections I feel more alive and more comfortable in my own skin than maybe I even should. If only it where possible to reproduce them and sell them in flavors, if only they where easier to recreate. I can’t make an assembly line that can create true connection. I can’t create a sequence of events or toy that will cause everyone to relate on a deep enough level to forget their problems. Of course, this is why I have IPODS and Nintendo and toys, this is my piddly attempt at sub par distraction. It doesn’t make me forget my problems and it definitely doesn’t make me feel ok with being human but it does help pass the time.I am writing this book to document my Perfect Distractions, my moments of blissful timelessness, my moments of life. I don’t want to forget them because they are all that I have that brings depth to my existence. I cherish these moments more than any possession because these moments define me. I don’t always know how to be myself but in these moments I feel so much myself that I forget about myself. It is in these moments that I wish I was a musician; Moments where a deeper connection is made and I am able to truly relate to another being. I feel like music is the only way to truly tell the stories in a way that they can also be felt. As fate would have it, with all of life’s imperfections, I am no musician, so I will attempt to put into words these moments found in life’s great adventure.

It is a great big world out there...

It has been said that a “Journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”. While this is true I believe a journey of a thousand miles begins with one brief thought, the thought that you could do something different that you could achieve something many dream of. The world is full of dreamers but it is the ones that capture that brief thought, the ones that pursue it as if it was the prophesy stone… as if it was priceless because no price can be put on life, love and adventure. These thoughts come and go; they cause us to ache in longing and wonder. For a brief moment they make you think if you could only catch hold and do or be, you would find an overflowing moonscape of life as deep and endless as the sky and universe are big. But then as quickly as they come they are dismissed, the thought is gone and the first foot step is never even considered. I recently embarked on an adventure, like all adventures I could have never guessed the outcome or foreseen the absolute poetry that the world will take you through if you give it the chance. My journey took me through 12 countries and covered thousands of miles. I left home with a backpack containing only one change of clothes and a sleeping bag. I set out in Bulgaria with my brother without an agenda, only knowing I needed to be in Ireland in a month. During the course of the trip I saw beauty and wonder only to be contrasted by hatred and even murder. I saw countries where freedom was still a new and unfamiliar taste in people’s mouths; I saw a new life of possibility coming alive in their very eyes. I also saw the life go out in the eyes of a man that was shot in a pointless hate crime in front of my very eyes. I found a world so large and unapologetic, so deep I could never grasp. Yet at the same time I saw that in the heart and mind of a single person one can find beauty and wonder surpassing anything I have seen in the natural world. To travel the world over and not go to equal lengths to meet and know the people would be a grave mistake. Even more so… to live this life that I have been given only for myself; to consent to exist in that world… and ignore all the wonder, beauty and terror that is humanity surrounding me. Why, that would be an even greater mistake. No, I must not place far too small a limit on my world. I must choose to leave myself open to the whispers and groaning from all of humanity. Knowing full well I can never be everything I want to be, but alas I can be more than I am. Months later I write this and the very thoughts make me feel more alive. I remember sleeping in parks and hiking through towns in Croatia on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. I will always cherish the memories but more importantly, I war against the human condition of apathy to remember what the world so generously taught… The journey of a thousand miles starts with one brief thought… Don’t miss it.

Top Ten signs you will probably get declined for credit…

10. Hint: Huh… what do you mean… and all of the above are not acceptable answers to the question “What is your household income”.

9. Just because you made one current Credit card payment since your Bankruptcy does not mean banks are ready to give you multiple lines of credit.

8. Ironically, you’re mathmatical odds for getting approved for monthly payments actually goes up if you can actually say the word “monthly”… I know it seems weird, but saying “munley” has been tied to lower approval ratings.

7. Unfortunately, if your house is in foreclosure the bank is unlikely to give you a line of credit to buy a computer to look for a job… Some would call it a catch 22… and some would call it common sense.

6. If you are unable to tell the bank the correct state you live in… you will get declined. I had somebody tell me they lived in Muncie, Idaho… When in fact it is Muncie, Indiana… Fraud applicants make me laugh. IF you are going to try to commit fraud… do your homework.

5. I know it is age discrimination but you do in fact have to be over 18 to apply for Credit and get approved… If you are a mature 13 year old that wants a gaming PC… you will still get declined.

4. If you require a cosigner for a $400 dollar purchase…Decline… you get cosigners for your house, car and boat… not a printer.

3. If you start out by telling the application handler that you have really bad credit… Decline!

2. If you start out by telling the application handler “Lets just go ahead and try it”. This is a statement used when trying Sushi or Snails for the first time; this is not a statement that is linked to someone typically in good financial standing.

1. IF you start out by saying, “I am pretty sure I will get declined”… YOU WILL… don’t waste your time and hurt your score even more.

Top Ten Worst Things to say when buying a Computer (If you want to sound like you know anything)

10. What comes in Windows Vista... Does it have Powerpoint?

9. Does the DVD burner burn CD's?

8. What are the Jigga bites?

7. Don’t call the computer tower a Modem…

6. Don’t try to buy internet access from the pc manufacture or ask where to get internet access in your area.

5. Learn how to read the words Vista (it is vista like vista point…not Veeesta), Pentium (it does not read like pendulum or plentum, in fact the word has no L’s in it at all) and finally Pavilion (Hint: don’t say pavillon).

4. If the sales person asks you “What are you going to use the Computer for?” it is not the same question as “What bad things have happened to you in the past 50 years?”

3. I want a gaming computer but it can’t cost more than $400…

2. Black and White printers do not need white cartridges… Really… they don’t

1. This one is rare… but… NO, a computer mouse is not meant to be used like a sewing peddle on the floor with your foot.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Do You Feel Appreciated?

Have you ever felt underappreciated at work… not motivated because it wouldn’t matter whether you worked yourself to death or didn’t work hardly at all? Welcome to big business! The fast paced cutthroat life of climbing the corporate ladder. The world of cookie cutter careers, where the promises of joy and contentment are rarely found. If you don’t believe me just give it time.

This week I just found out that I have to take the next two weeks off work without pay. I think they call it “furlough”. I guess that is the nice way for a billion dollar corporation to say “We want to save some money so we thought we would take yours, have a great vacation, now that you have no money, oh yah, when you get back we need you to take an additional two weeks off without pay next quarter as well”.

I know I am complaining and I apologize, I guess I am just trying to give you a real life first hand example of why I am always saying there has to be more to life than a career. Your career will not love, care and nurture you. It will send you on a path for more and more and then once you have tons of bills many times it will dump you in a dangerous and helpless position. Don’t get me wrong, I am not telling you to be a bad employee. When you’re at work, work hard. Just make sure it is not your life, make sure the success of your life does not rise and fall on the success of your career. I think that is one of the secrets to life. How do you do it? I am not totally sure, but I can tell you that not being in any debt except for maybe a house payment would make it a lot easier. Anyway, wish me luck and leave a comment if you have any ideas on how to actually pull off this secret to life…

Monday, April 04, 2005

A Nation of Strangers

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival. C.S. Lewis

I met a guy last night; it is probably someone I should have met ages ago. See, I go into Starbucks almost everyday. I know it sounds pathetic, but I have several friends that work there and it is close to my house. I know pretty much every employee with the exception of the ever-changing newbies and I will usually get to know them pretty quick. In fact, in the 4 years that I have lived in Idaho I have been invited to five Starbucks weddings. I hang out with people there, I have even taken several employees rock climbing. Basically, I'm trying to say I'm there a lot.

In all the time that I spend there, you start to recognize other customers. There is this one person that I see almost every time I have gone for the last six months. I even started to see him at the gym. At Starbucks He is always hard at work studying. You can tell he is in college but he is older for being in college maybe late 20’s to mid 30’s. I have probably seen him over 50 times, yet I don’t even know his name…

It seems somewhat sad; I have heard our country called a "nation of strangers". We continually cross paths yet never meet each other for fear of rejection, or pain, maybe they will ask you for help, God forbid require something of you, require you to listen for a while… maybe invest your life in another person.

There is a Starbucks across town that I go to maybe once a week. Last time I went the girl at the counter knew my drink before I even ordered it, it isn’t even a standard drink and she remembered it. I felt bad… she has taken the time to figure out what I like to drink and I haven’t even taken the time to find out her name. It’s funny talking to my friends that work there, they know tons of customers by their drink.

Have you ever had a little kid walk up to you at a park or restaurant? What is the first thing they usually ask you…? "What’s your name?" they say. Then there mother or father quickly comes over and grabs them and looks up at you and says sorry for bothering you, they have tried to get Johnny to behave but every once in a while he wonders off… Maybe the kid remembers something we forgot a long time ago, maybe he knows that a stranger is a potential friend, someone to play and laugh with, some one that will help you when you have to much to carry, someone who will encourage you and believe in you. Maybe I should have left the guy alone and let him study, not "bothered" him. Maybe I was just like that little kid with the big eyes that simply asks, "What’s your name?" Maybe that little kid is on to something…

Friday, March 25, 2005

It’s a Matter of Perception

Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil. CS Lewis

Society has set aside caring about people and embraced caring only for people’s perceptions. Another words, we care more about someone’s perception of us then we care about them. There is a tendency to help people so they will think of us or see us in a certain light rather then genuinely helping them for their sake.

How did that happen… are we really that selfish?

You will notice this tendency in politics and Big Business. Politicians preach an ideal to get elected, they campaign to gain a good perception yet many promises never actually turn into action. Politicians will jump on certain issues knowing that it will promote their agenda, yet leave similar issues untouched because they are not “profitable”. Big Business advertises and hires image consultants to manage consumer’s perceptions. Imagine if all that money was actually put into making genuine happy customers. I know it is a utopian idea, but why not aim high… if you do you will get closer to a Better mark.

Now that I have pointed the finger at big business and politicians, I can’t help but realize that we have all bought into this to one degree or another. Why do I sometimes care more about what people think of me then about the flesh and bone, the very life standing in front of me? Why do I strive to control others perceptions of me, why are my efforts wasted on perceptions rather then relationship? Why not show people who you are and make a genuine effort for meaningful friendship and let the chips fall as they may…

Are we all really that insecure? Are we that afraid of getting hurt again; are we afraid of rejection or loosing control? If you’re afraid of rejection and pain, maybe a better question would be, is there really an alternative? One road is guaranteed to be lonely the other has hope, hope of something meaningful, something full of life and delight.

Education many times teaches us to control a situation to ‘handle it’, don’t ever become so smart you mistake controlling people for knowing people. They are as different as living and dieing.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Somewhere Something Went Wrong

The separation between good and bad is tiny compared to the separation between good and best.

I don’t want to live a good life. I want to live the best life! Somewhere in the past, I started accepting that ‘good’ was good enough. Think about the term ‘good enough’, it inherently says there is something better. I went and bought the nice car, nice toys and house. I have a good job. I, like most consumers buried myself in debt and all the ‘good’ things. But, it is like what Rockefeller said when asked how much money would be enough, “A little bit more” he said. Why do we think a little bit more will make us happy? We have almost all believed it at some point in our lives. The car was fun and fast but not fast enough to make me not want something more.

Here I find myself a slave to my job because I have to support my debt. I am striving and striving and all just for good enough. Simplicity seems a lost art. The ability to live simply so you can enjoy life. How did I miss it… it is… so… simple.

Once you have gone down this road, it can seem so impossible to get out. You can either accept the burden you have placed on yourself and continue the current course. The course of keeping up with the Jones’, the course of a little bit more, or you can fight! You can decide to simplify your life, live well inside of your means, get out of debt, work to support your life rather then have work be your life. I want Best, I have put another roadblock in the way of living Best but at least it has woken me up and put me back in the fight for Best.

By the time I have a wife and kids I want to have time to be a Father and a Husband. I want to have the Best life. I have noticed the Best life is not always the easiest, but why settle for less? You only live once, so why not live.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Can You Hate Failure Without Hating Life?

Have you ever noticed that the word “Happily” seems to proceed things that are not always happy. “Happily ever after”, “Happily married” or “Happily single”. Marriage may be great, but I don’t think it is a happily ever after walk in the park. That’s just a guess, all you married people can let me know if I am right. It seems to me that every good thing takes lots of work. It’s the people that are pressing forward and failing and get up and trying again that seem to actually be accomplishing something. On one hand you can call them the biggest failures in the world, because they have probably failed more then anybody else… but, that is because they have also tried more then anybody else. You could actually argue that the biggest failures in the world are the people that actually change the world.

I really don’t like to fail… especially publicly. But I am starting to realize that my fear of failure is crippling my ability to succeed. You have to risk failure to grow… a lot of times the growth comes from working through failure. It's like I said earlier, It's amazing how everything worth doing right seems so hard. But I think the reason it turns out to be right has something to do with what you learn while it is hard.

I am realizing I need to embrace the posabillity of failure and continue to press on to do and be what I am supposed to be. I am supposed to be a man of courage, I am finding courage is as much about fighting and winning battels as it is about being willing to fail. You can loose a fight and still die with Honor… it's only when you stop you actually loose.

To embracing Life I have realized I must also embrace failure.