Saturday, August 27, 2016

Acceptance

It was not until I was diagnosed with a neurological disorder that I truly understood what it means to have acceptance. Since there is no cure and there is no research on my disorder, I had no choice but to learn to accept what I had. It was not easy and it can still be a challenge. I could feel sorry for myself and complain about my pain and discomfort or I could accept it and get on living life. Life is too short to worry about the future, all we can do is live in present moment.

Acceptance is tolerance. Tolerance for pain, discomfort, and inconveniences. Acceptance is patience. The patience to do things that we take for granted. Acceptance is compassion. Compassion to understand that millions of people around the globe are suffering from much worse conditions. Acceptance is a solution. A solution to a problem instead of being frustrated or annoyed. Acceptance is to be happy. Happy to live life again instead of having a defeatist attitude. Acceptance is love. The love for life and family. Acceptance is evolution. The evolution to try new hobbies to replace old ones that can no longer be physically accomplished. Yes, acceptance means so many positive things.

Having acceptance of my individual situation has translated into acceptance for what is going on around me in my environment: traffic, bills, bad weather, work, and chores. It has even translated into acceptance for other people who have differing viewpoints. I found we can still be friends but not agree on politics, sports, religion or a host of other controversial topics. This is how we learn: to surround ourselves with differing viewpoints. We do not have to agree with others, but we can accept them.

Unfortunately, acceptance is what is missing from this country and world. The politics of this election is enough to make any person cringe to decide between Trump and Clinton. But we should be able to accept it without protesting violently or using obscenities. This solves nothing. It is particularly upsetting to see how the lack of acceptance works to try to silence the free speech of others instead of embracing it. Hopefully, this country will persevere despite all these failures of human existence.

Terrorist groups have absolutely no concept of acceptance whatsoever. Terrorism is the result of anti-acceptance propaganda perpetuated through social media, 24/7 opinion cable news, and educators interested in telling one side of a story.

If you cannot find acceptance for oneself, then you will never find acceptance for others. And unfortunately, to bring forth acceptance for oneself you need to face an adverse situation that brings forth negative images of our own mortality. This is what makes terrorists so dangerous – they are taught to accept their death in the name of their God. So they are willing to die for their cause at the expense of others. However, most normal people have a much different reaction when faced by a higher probability of death (age, sickness, near death experience, disease) – the possibility of acceptance.

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Wimpy Generation

A generation lasts about 25 years. The era of World War II and the industrial revolution has been widely recognized as this nation’s “greatest generation”. In 75 years, or the span of 3 generations, we have gone from the greatest generation to the wimpy generation.

The greatest generation destroyed the two biggest evil threats to modern civilization. They built this nation’s infrastructure. They modernized energy, transportation, and industry.

In contrast, what can the current generation claim? They have accomplished nothing yet, but they are quite vocal. The only thing the present generation my claim is that of being wimpy.

While the greatest generation was storming the beaches at Normandy, the wimpy generation is working on stifling the free speech that those men fought and died for in World War II. While the greatest generation was thwarting evil in Europe and Asia, the wimpy generation is demanding “safe places” on college campuses.

While the greatest generation was traveling the world and modernizing industry, the wimpy generation is unemployed and lives in the basement with mom and dad and spends their day playing video games.

While the greatest generation saw the greatest evil on this planet in centuries, the wimpy generation suffers from all kinds of ailments and anxiety. Doctors continue to make up new syndromes and disorders that inflict this sickly generation.

While the greatest generation was hard at the work, the wimpy generation finds time to blame others and make excuses for their shortcomings.

While the greatest generation was hard at work, the wimpy generation gets offended easily and is more worried about political correctness then actually caring for their own families.

While the greatest generation was concerned about helping others in need, the wimpy generation is too concerned about themselves to care about the needs for others. The wimpy generation is selfish, hypocritical, and narcissistic. In fact, the wimpy generation is so ignorant that it understands and knows absolutely nothing about the sacrifices made the greatest generation to protect their freedoms.

It is true the wimpy generation has seen two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It has also seen an ongoing fight against terrorism. But these are fights we are losing and it is not because of the failure of our military, it is because of a failure of our political leaders. The greatest generation defeated evil because our political leaders yielded full control of the military fight to our military leaders. Today, political leaders place too many barriers on the military to be successful. They micromanage their plans, regulate combat rules, eliminate interrogation techniques, and fail to see the seriousness of the threat at hand. Modern politicians are too arrogant and narcissistic to yield any power to the military to do their jobs. Obama as the commander in chief is an oxymoron – Obama has no military experience (even political experience). Obama epitomizes the wimpy generation and could be the poster child of what to expect from our current youth leaders.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Demonizing Heroes

Modern history has a way of demonizing true American heroes to diminish their importance in history. Most of the efforts to deface the character of heroes deals primarily with their handling of slavery or civil rights issues. Slave owning Founding Fathers such as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington have been targeted by modern historians. How can these men be heroes of American history but be on the wrong side of the slavery issue? That is the question they ask and it is a fair one. But without the trail blazing done by these men, slavery would have lasted longer. Each of these men are criticized for owning slaves and therefore, that should diminish their contributions to creating the United States of America. James Madison, for instance, it is argued, did not do enough for slaves because he never freed any slaves even though he talked about the institution of slavery being wrong and unjust. That is true, but Madison truly felt that he treated his slaves better than if they were freed. Freed slaves living in free territories and states were not treated equally. This is the big misconception that freed slaves were treated equally or even fairly in free-states. Most free-states had “black code” laws which restricted the rights of free black persons. In fact, Madison believed the only way that freed slaves would be treated fairly and equally would be if they were shipped back to their homeland of Africa.

Of course the people that are being critical of Washington, Jefferson, and Madison do not realize had they been born in 18th Century Southern United States, they too would have owned slaves. These men are guilty of the times and place in which they lived. That being said, these men were way ahead of their times in terms of the subject on slavery and the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are proof of that.

Historians like to diminish the role of Dwight Eisenhower on American history because they argue he did not do enough for Civil Rights. This is far from the truth. Ike integrated the Army and sent in the 101st Airborne division when citizens of Little Rock refused to integrate schools. Brown v. Schoolboard passed under Ike and he followed the Court’s ruling that integration should be done deliberately so he rarely pushed the issue. And what modern scholars fail to admit or recognize is that Senators Kennedy and Johnson were stonewalling the passage of civil rights in Congress by suggesting too many amendments.

Even attacks against Chief Justice Roger Taney are unwarranted. Sure he made a huge mistake and terrible decision on Dred Scott, but other than that he was a fairly sound judge. It is also important to keep in mind, Taney inherited slaves and then he immediately granted them all their freedom. If others followed his lead and freed their slaves than the Dred Scott case would have been moot.

Liberal historian’s lessons are taken to heart by many students who deface statues and monuments of these men. But this only shows the childish nature of these attacks against these great men. They are willing to break the law and use misinformation to change history. I assure you Ike, Taney, Jefferson, Madison, and Washington would never have lied or broken the law to get things their way.

Yet, history has been kind to FDR who interned 120 thousand Japanese Americans and Truman who dropped two atomic bombs on Japan killing over 100 thousand innocent civilians. Historians have been kind to KKK member Senator Robert Byrd and suggest he worked his life to make up for his mistakes (as well as FDR appointed Supreme Court Judge – Hugo Black). Well, Robert Byrd’s accomplishment’s pale in comparison to those of Ike, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and even Taney.

A lot of what this is about is defending the legacy of Democrats while trying to disparage those legacies of Republicans. And then a lot of this is about the righteousness of liberal historians trying to make a name for themselves and rewriting history based on present day proper etiquette. What these ignorant historians do not realize is if they were born in a different era in a certain region of the United States – they would have been the slave owners and the people fighting against integration and civil rights. Today, more people are opposed to abortion (other than in rare cases) than those in favor it, yet these same righteous liberal historians protect those that favor abortion rights even though they are wrong side of history over 40 years since the Roe v. Wade decision. So obviously, these historians are not consistent in terms of their warped view of history.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The History of Political Discourse (Part II)

Wilkinson was also a shady customer before meeting up with Burr. He was an agent for Spain and committed treason by supplying them with U.S. secrets. Wilkinson was playing both sides of the fence. For instance, Wilkinson informed Spain of Western exploration missions headed by the United States government including the Lewis and Clark expedition. Wilkinson tips ended several missions along the Red River and nearly ended the Lewis and Clark trip. Obviously Spain saw these exploratory missions as a means to understand the terrain and spy on them. They feared this information could be used for a future attack.

Wilkerson used Captain Zebulon Pike to head exploratory missions of his own. Pike went searching for the Mississippi River origins in Northern Minnesota and later took up a more dangerous expedition to find the origins of the Red River and Arkansas River. Pike was probably “not in the know” of the Burr – Wilkinson conspiracy, but Wilkinson probably hoped that Pike would get caught by the Spanish on his mission. American soldiers caught on Spanish territory may spark the war Wilkinson and Burr wanted. Pike was caught, but he said he was lost (probably true). Pike wondered onto the Rio Grande and had mistaken it as the Red River. Pike was interrogated and sent home without incident.

Burr became impatient and wanted to attack Spain while Pike was on his trip. Wilkinson sent a letter to Jefferson explaining Burr’s plans. Burr was arrested and put on trial for treason in front of the Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Marshall omitted much evidence in the case and Burr was found innocent.

Wilkinson probably wanted to provoke a war with Spain and make it look like a mistake (Pike was his pawn). Pike was later cleared of being part of the conspiracy and that he was just following orders of a superior. Although Pike’s expeditions contributed to the knowledge of the West, he was not seen as a hero like Lewis and Clark. Pike was within a few miles of actually finding the Arkansas River origination point when he ventured as far as present day Leadville Colorado. Pikes Peak was named after the explorer. Pike went on to make Brigadier General and won the battle of York (Toronto) in the War of 1812. Pike could have stayed behind and watched the battle from afar, but he fought with his men and it cost him his life at a mere 34 years of age. This certainly does not sound like the character of someone who was a traitor. No, Pike was an American hero.

The Burr – Wilkinson conspiracy always gave me promise that at least modern politics has not stooped to this level. However, the Trump and Clinton election of 2016 is not that far away. Clinton should be in prison because of her handling of national security information. This is not too far from committing treason. And Trump proudly admits to having paid off politicians (campaign contributions) for quid pro quo purposes. And both the personas of Clinton and Trump strike me as vindictive, similar to both Wilkinson and Burr. I suppose the good news is they have not committed murder, at least not yet. Although Trump has said he could kill someone on 5th Avenue in New York City in broad daylight and get away with it. Yes, we are in a sad state of affairs, and it is getting worse every election year.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The History of Political Discourse (Part I)

Throughout American history civil political discourse has been non-existent for the most part. FDR was the first to use cleverly crafted messages (propaganda) to pit groups of Americans against each other. Today, this technique is a fixture in divisive American politics: war on women, rich versus poor, black versus white, and so forth. This technique is alive and well in the 2016 Presidential election. This explains why there is huge political divides in popular vote among certain demographic groups. Another common trick is to portray opponents as monsters capable of global genocide. The LBJ commercial showing Goldwater setting off nuclear weapons started this trend. Now we routinely compare everyone to Hitler without giving it a second thought.

Early American politics was not much different in terms of name calling and belligerent attitudes towards adversaries. Probably the most diabolical of all founding father era politicians is probably Aaron Burr. Burr was Thomas Jefferson’s vice president during his first term. Actually, the electoral vote in the 1800 election was a tie between Burr and Jefferson. A huge House fight ensued finally giving Jefferson the Presidency on the 34th ballot to break the tie. Burr bitterly accepted the vice presidential post.

Both Burr and Jefferson were Republicans, but it was their arch rival, a Federalist, Alexander Hamilton (Presently on the 20 dollar bill), who played a big role in deciding the election. Although Jefferson (Secretary of State) and Hamilton (Secretary of Treasury) were at odds during the Washington administration, Hamilton disliked Burr more. Both Hamilton and Burr were from New York and Hamilton’s bad mouthing of Burr did not help his cause to win the White House.

In 1804 a bitter Aaron Burr left his vice president post to run for Governor of New York. Burr lost and once again blamed it on the vitriol that came his way from Hamilton. Burr then killed Hamilton in a duel and fled the state to avoid possible murder charges. Along his flight to the West, Burr accumulated an army of nearly 100 soles to protect him. It is believed that Burr then colluded with James Wilkinson who held two roles – US Army General in charge of all American forces and Louisiana territory governor. The latter role was appointed by Jefferson on the advice of his vice president – Aaron Burr. Burr wanted to create a new country where he would be President and Wilkinson would be the leader of the Army. The new country would be somewhere in Spanish occupied North America (probably Texas) after they would unilaterally (without U.S. government consent) attack Spain and seize land.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Addiction to Governance (Part II)

Welfare addiction is progressive. In fact, these programs are designed by liberal progressives. Over the years welfare rules have progressively changed to relax means testing for example, to include people several 100% above the poverty line and by adding dozens of new programs yearly including expensive ones like ObamaCare.

There is one key difference between government addiction and other types of addictions: Government addiction is enabled, whereas other addictions are treated through “tough love” by not enabling people who suffer from addictions. For instance, one would never give money to a person with substance abuse or gambling addictions. People have to turn their back on them and say “no”. On the other hand, the government preaches the advantages of welfare and encourages people to join these programs through brainwashing and propaganda agendas. In other words, there is no proposed treatment for addiction to governance. Look at the propaganda message formulated by the 2012 Obama election team when they concocted: “Life of Julia”. The fictional cartoon character, Julia, uses government programs throughout her life including things such as government sponsored contraception to manage her life from birth to death. When Obama infers that people who start their own business that they “did not build that”, he is referring to the fact that they could not have done it without government interference. For instance, government builds the infrastructure or educational systems needed for people to succeed. Sure, the government has done some good, but to say people could not succeed without government is nothing more than far-fetched propaganda. Hence, government intrusion is progressive because federal workers feel most people are too stupid to take care of themselves. They are not smart enough to start their own business. Hence, the government reach into our lives goes much further than welfare. It consists of worrisome activities such as the “nanny state” controlling what we eat, how we play, and even what we say. The bottom line is the government wants people dependent on them. Why? For progressives, it means winning votes and therefore, elections to push their agenda. It is about expanding the power of government and limiting individual freedoms.

Why do we find it imperative to treat addictions except those to governance? One would assume the goal of any government assistance program would be temporary and wean recipients off welfare. But that is not the case. In fact, the goal of government is to not only keep people dependent on government but to expand the welfare payrolls. Think about it, the welfare dollars people in poverty receive is never enough to pull them out of poverty. It is just enough to keep them alive so they can vote during future election cycles.

People with addictions are narcissistic. They only care about satisfying their own needs and gratifying their addictions. They are not self-aware of what is going on around them. They feel everyone is out to get them. Well, these are the same thoughts of people who are on welfare. Do welfare recipients thank other taxpayers for their support? No, absolutely not. If anything they demonize taxpayers as greedy people who could do more to help them. This is the same juvenile behavior one may suspect of any person that suffers from an addiction. It always about “me” and what can be done to help “me”. People with can care less about “you” and the sacrifices “you” have to make. This behavior supports the portion of the addiction definition: “the diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response.”

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Addiction to Governance (Part I)

Addiction is defined as: “Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.

Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.”

Hence, when we think of addictions we usually think of substance abuse with alcohol or drugs. Addictions can also include behavioral disorders such as sex, food, exercise, work, video games, gambling, phones, and so forth. The top 10 addictions in 2014 cited by one article were (in order): Caffeine, Gambling, Anger, Food, Internet, Sex, Alcohol, Drugs, Nicotine, and Work. Caffeine can affect up to 30% of the U.S. population, while sex, alcohol, drugs, nicotine, and work can each affect anywhere from 7 to 12% of the population. We all know someone who is addicted to something. Addictions can be mild or extreme in nature. However, when we talk about addiction, the largest form of addiction is overlooked: addiction to governance or the addiction to the government.

Of course most would disagree, but let’s examine the addiction of governance as it pertains to the definition of addiction. Welfare or money is the motivation and reward behind the most common form of addiction to governance. Addictions are a dependence, and addiction to governance is no different. Today, more people collect welfare than work full time: Over 120 million Americans receive welfare of some kind (not including social security and Medicare – which senior citizens receive, but they paid into those programs). Anywhere from 25 to 50% of Americans who receive welfare also work. That means at least 60 million Americans receive welfare as their lone form of income. They are without question addicted to welfare and an argument can be made that millions more are as well.

People with addictions will do anything to get their fix – including lying, cheating, and committing a crime. Welfare is not any different. It is estimated that 1 in 3 cases of welfare has some form of fraud attached to it, or recipients use the use the money they receive to finance another addiction: gambling, alcohol, or drugs. There is very little transparency in welfare programs, so recipients are free to throw away their assistance on anything they like.

Like most addictions, people addicted to government may reform for short periods of time but relapse. After all, it is a much easier solution to live off the hard earned wealth of others than to work. People with addictions are not accountable for their actions. Addiction to welfare is no different. People on welfare do not have to pay back their debts and in fact, can stay on most forms of welfare their entire lives. Welfare rewards people for bad behavior while at the same time it punishes hard working people for doing everything right.