Looking For a Theme

I have written intermittently since starting to post again. I suppose when seeing something I agree or disagree to an exponential degree that sitting on my hands just won’t allow me to sit on my hands without feeling my head begin to burst. Seeing myself marching and yelling or ranting a rally just never seems to be a thing I would be interested in doing. It has never helped that so often when people who protest often can’t give a discernable reason for why they are there protesting.

While I don’t ever expect to make a living off of writing, I would like to find a theme or path for me to proceed in. While politics can be a way to show your support or opposition to ideas in a printed format, I don’t enjoy the anger created. I read and watch quite a few shows about the paranormal and unexplained. I enjoy history a great deal as well. Not the history that often gets taught, but the history that is the true picture of the past.

Anyhow, if anyone reading has any suggestions for a path or theme, I am all ears and eyes. Thank you ahead of time.

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Is There A Normal To Go Back To

In recent weeks, we have seen the status of America begin the shift from closed to open for business. Last year at this time, we were huddled in our living rooms waiting for the CDC to mention which color of shirt would keep us safe from getting COVID-19. But only on Tuesdays. The Tuesday also had to be on an even day. If it was an odd day, it was only from noon til 12:16pm. Unless you were Pacific Time.

Within the last few weeks, we have gone from mask less outside to mask less inside, to full capacity. Those magic cards you were given if you have received your shots seem a bit useless now. I am not sure of the legal ramifications that are afforded businesses. I’m not a lawyer nor do I play one on television.

Today we find ourselves being brought back to the question that has been asked and ignored more times than what I care to think of. Where did all this come from?

Being one who is not the biggest fan of conspiracy theories, it is very hard for me to admit this, but given the questionable ways in which this virus attacked those who would have fallen into a low risk category, it is hard to believe that it just started from someone grabbing the wrong bat-sicle at a Chinese market place. For those who think there are too many things that don’t add up? You are certainly not alone. I personally don’t feel something not manipulated in a lab would have symptoms so broad and complicated to address. While the virus itself may not have been made in a lab saying, working to change characteristics of it to your advantage is certainly not out of the question.

If an investigation proves this, what is next? How do you punish someone for what equates to chemical warfare? Is it an organization, a country, or an idolization of theory? We find ourselves at an extremely important time in our society. If proven to be man made, biological warfare now becomes the bigger threat to humanity rather than nuclear holocaust.

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When There’s no More Middle Left to Meet in

I will be 50 this year. It doesn’t seem like it, but I will be. My life says that’s not correct, but my body seems to think I may be underestimating. In my 1/2 century on this rock I have been blessed to see some amazing things. I have also seen things that I wish I could have unseen. What we have made it to in America is what I feel is a tipping point. Justice shows the scales always a bit off kilter if you have ever truly paid attention to the statue. The point in to show the perceived notion of balance in society; the middle ground. Where law and order meet rights and due process. But much like Lady Justice, the scales are never really side by side are they?

My arrival in this world came after a tumultuous decade before. It saw marches and sit ins. It also saw the assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King. It also sees a President and his brother shot in cold blood. The latter was highly praised in the African American community. The quickest way to silence a person is through death. However, if there voice has meaning and power, it will traverse long past any air still gives it movement. It will echo for ages. Men can die, martyrs live on as long as their cause still breaths.

The area of the country I hail from is in the foothills of The Appalachian Mountains. before anyone asks, I can’t play the banjo, I’m not married to my cousin, and I have all my teeth. It does mean that the culture I was subjected to was far different than those who lived in larger metropolitan areas. Inner city America was and still is much different the rural America. The age of technology has brought both closer to one another, but you cannot substitute one’s environment with enough of something to make it what it is not.

We stand 155 years plus past the end of The Civil War. North versus South; brother versus brother or any number of ways you have heard it compared. Civility would be a true misrepresentation of how our society has transformed in those years. Segregation, Jim Crow laws, The Ku Klux Klan, riots, and lynching are only part of the subjugation that was forced on those who’s only crime was that they did not look like the founding fathers. How do you go from being one’s property to your own prosperity?

We cannot rewrite history. We cannot erase it either. There is no magic eraser or ink that will only appear at a certain angle to hide our past. Much like other lessens in history, we struggle to learn from the mistakes made and find ways to pencil in “facts” in between the lines in ink. Justifying hatred has been around since Cain and Abel. It also helps to find that outlet for your anger and that thing not named yourself to hang responsibility upon. If you don’t think that’s a thing, I would point you to a man who convinced others that the extermination of over 11 million Jews was for the betterment of the world. Because they were responsible for the suffering the non-Jewish population was faced with.

Racism comes in many coats and many colors. None has held more hatred in America than Black vs White. What is the difference? The difference is one thing; the amount of melanin in one’s skin. What else? Not one damn thing. But we find ourselves different in customs, culture, and many other areas. What we start as something may be for necessity in the beginning. As it grows older, it becomes tradition. Again, there are no laws or rules that designate white and black culture cannot have similarities or even have the same things.

Most of us pay either watch the news or read it online. Unless you head is in the sand, you know the troubles we face today. Bigotry is still prominent in America. It never goes away altogether. As long as humans have air to breathe, some will find a way to hate regardless of what they know, learn, see with their own eyes.

Statistics tell us that more black Americans are incarcerated than whites. That gets magnified since there are for more Caucasian people in the U.S. That leaves us with some things that have to be looked at from a point that takes color or the lack thereof out of the equation. Maybe some of these suggestions could make a dent in an issue.

  • Every law enforcement officer has to have a body camera and it has to be on.
    • High crime areas will be patrolled more often. However, if arrests made in those areas show that there are dismissals and acquittals that mean bogus arrests, those police will be suspended upon an internal investigation
    • City councilmen and lawmakers need to meet to combat issues in their district. If you can’t provide a safe environment for your district, then the population of it will continue to fall, as well tax revenue to assist in any help. If your district’s crime rate increases 2 consecutive years while you are in office, you can not seek re-election.
    • Law enforcement officers will move to 8 hour shifts. They will also rotate on/off road duty and will be required to participate in counseling. Anyone choosing to decline this service will be terminated.
    • Law enforcement agencies will be asked to look to hire from a culturally diverse group of candidates. Car patrols should consist of officers from different diversities.
    • Officers working within large metropolitan cities will be required to rotate within other areas of the city during their tenure.
    • During any attempt to arrest an individual, all footage will have to be available. Any erased footage or lost footage will result in charges being dropped
    • While speaking with an officer, any attempt to resist arrest or run from the officer will be seen as an act of aggression. This means an attempt to re-obtain a suspect can involve being tackled, man-handled, tasered, or fired upon. Since every encounter will be recorded, it will be up to an “internal affairs” based board to ensure protocols were adhered to. If not, the officer involved will either be reprimanded or terminated. Criminal charges for excessive or unnecessary force will be levied.
    • Any time a person requests medical assistance, it is to granted. If found that the request has been to stall or impeded the process, the person will be charged with resisting arrest. If they use this as an attempt to flea, they will be charged with that as well. The steps listed above show what can be involved in that process.

If you haven’t had a chance to see the clip that Charles Barkley had a few weeks ago, it is worth looking for it. He says that he truly believes that most black and white people get along fine with one another. That in many ways we are put in situations by those that govern us to hate one another. Whether black vs white, rich vs poor, or any other argument, politicians find one thing that is extremely important to remember. It is not your fault, you need to blame, “fill in the blank here.” Meanwhile, politicians just gain money and power while doing nothing. Neither side is interested in fixing anything. They are only there to point out who is to blame. We are all to blame and all of us own a part in fixing it as well. We owe that to ourselves and to one another. It is time for us to work to make things better rather than make sure someone is there to blame. That is not always easy either. For many, they don’t do what is right because they fear that there is no fairness in the process. Those things have to change or we will eventually be Cain and Abel.

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A Year Unlike Any Other

We have all heard the term 20/20 when you have to do that eye test for school, work, or your drivers license. 20/20, perfect vision. You can see good from close up and from far away. Nothing is out of focus for you. Yet the year with the same numerals as this optic diagnosis could not have been further from perfect. For the whole of humanity, there was literally nowhere to hide from what the world was going to offer up.

The year rings in like any other. Hopes for a brighter future emerge at the dawn of each new year. Many look at it as a fresh start or being born again. If you have been one of those who constantly comes to the table with a long list of resolutions that are a lot like the ones you had before, you learn over time that when its your time to change things in your life, there are no specialized dates involved. The only thing you need is the will to move forward with change, not some magical time of year.

Be that as it may, 2020 comes in with hopes for better among us all. The first couple of months weren’t too bad for America. We get to a point where unemployment is at a 50 year low. Our economy is booming. Those 50 years are just as significant for fans of KC Chiefs find themselves winners of the Super Bowl. 50 years since their last Super Bowl win. During the month of February, we began to here rumblings on the news from China. A virus was spreading and doing so rather quickly. If you understand the layout of China, they have 1.4 billion people there. The United States have about 330 million people. We have more land in the U.S. as well as more land that is able to be farmed here.

Raise your hand if you ever heard of Wuhan, China before 2020? I know I had not. If you look it up, you see that you are 2-3 million more people in population for Wuhan than New York City. The largest city in America is 70% the size of a city you have never heard of. Along with this, your living conditions are well, less than perfect. You are living on top of one another. One day on your Wuhan journey, you end up getting hungry. You see the signs for the local market. Well, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Let’s just see what they have to offer. It’s about that time you realize you aren’t in Kansas anymore Dorothy. Snakes, dogs, and cats all there for your purchase. Some of which are still alive/fresh. Along with those are the excellent bats on a stick. While this has never been 100% on what was the exact cause of Covid-19, it was among many of the possibilities. If you listen to others, there was a biological lab in Wuhan. It would have been easy for someone to have let a little something out just to see how devastating it would be. There is that; plus China is a country that isn’t as forthcoming about things that happen inside their borders. Think of North Korea but with the ability to make billions of dollars via the items manufactured in their country.

Now look at the timing of a pandemic. Right as China is about to get hit with a huge rise in tariffs coming into the U.S., there is disease that will sweep across the world that will sicken millions and kill those who are older and/or more medically susceptible to the effects of the virus. What are made to do early on in March? Make decisions that would bring this country to its knees. For a disease that has less that a 1% chance of killing someone, who is going to volunteer to be the one? You or someone you know? Maybe it would be someone you did not know at all, but that option could be given to someone who did not know you. Sounds like an old Twilight Zone episode doesn’t it? Say yes and you will be rich, but someone you don’t know will die. Well that an easy answer, until the next person asked is someone you don’t know. We as a nation have to stop to ask ourselves what is more important; carrying on or caring for one another. At what cost will one have versus the other.

Along with the cost of a life, we find that love for thy fellow man only goes so far. Within days of closures, a roll of toilet paper, paper towels, or Lysol spray were nowhere to be found. If you needed bread, milk, or canned goods, you better have been to the market before word broke. While many had more than enough to survive, those who were older, poorer, or simply too weak to challenge those rushing to hoard all the could gather. Our Black Fridays were no longer about cheap TVs or computers. Running you down for the last 4 pack of Charmin was no big deal though. Humanity at its finest. While those who realized they had more than enough felt their duty was to sell back to us, but only if it was multiple times of the original price. If that is you and you have made it this far, congratulations. You managed to save your body at the cost of your soul.

If the country needed a reason to wake up in the middle of a standstill, we certainly provided one. A man is arrested. The obvious thing to do is instead of placing him a vehicle or anything else is to apply pressure to his body from his head to his feet. All the while, you are being told by this person that they can’t breathe. Do you get up? You let a man die. No one is saying he was a perfect human being. However, the situation did not call for the restraint that was given. So, as has happened before, protests begin. Because we have been ordered to stay at home, that is pushed aside because of marches. Marches that point to a side of America that she just does not want to show for pictures. Her racist angle. Please only get the red, white, and blue; no black and blue please. We also only want fireworks for Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. Please socially distance yourself for those events as well.

George Floyd and Breonna Taylor became rallying cries for BLM. For the first time in decades, you began to see a country see things from as close to one point of view. Closer than it ever had. But its moment was fleeting. Marches turned to riots and looting. When someone uses your battle cry to burn down homes, loot stores, and beat down others who held nothing against you, your cause dies quickly. Not because it did not hold merit, but because others who were not interested in equality hijacked it to give a reason for their actions. How much honor do you bring another when you burn and loot in their name?

With the facts that lives matter, here in St. Louis, we have managed to murder more this year than the year before. All while the city was told to stay at home for most of that time. You do your best to stay away from the areas with the worst reputation. That doesn’t always help though. We’ve had people shot and killed in crossfire on the interstate by the airport. We’ve had children carjacking others at gunpoint and shooting those whom they rob. What is the answer to a 15-year old who shows you a gun and says to get out of your car? My son’s friend was carjacked right down the street. All in a pandemic. All when everyone was suppose d to be at home.

Sports showed us many things. We can shorten a season. We can put people in a bubble. We can stick cardboard cutouts in the stands. We can rent out an island to have MMA matches. All the while we are doing this, we come to see many things. From my viewpoint, it all sucks. I don’t want a 60 game baseball season. I want 162 games. I want a crowd going nuts. I need people in the stands when the Blues score. I need people in the crowd when Lebron crosses over and makes someone look stupid. I need kids chasing fouls in the stands. Even though I’m not there, I need to see that. If I don’t, it takes something away from it that the athletes can’t put back in. One more thing to add. If I can’t see OSU v Michigan, I don’t need a college football season.

At our final point, we have watched as two old men who would be better served aboard a floating rest home played shuffleboard and smokey trashy stogies rather than argue over who should be the one running the country. One is way arrogant while the other isn’t exactly the person you ask to hold on to your marbles for safe keeping. Along with their bickering, we find ourselves as divided a country as we have ever been. There are ways I feel this nation is more damaged than it was when the Rebs and Yanks were at Vicksburg. We have to find common ground for us all to live with one another. Nothing is every perfect, but the way to find your own version of perfection is to take two steps back and see what is important versus what you can do without.

Death has been the mantra of our perfect visioned year. From those we have known, to others we have watched for years. Our list offers us those we feel as gone too soon and others who fought bravely and by themselves while taking their last breaths alone. Our panic in the eyes of danger was only overcome when our leaders imposed laws against us taking away freedoms we were damned to live without. Isn’t it funny how what may be in other’s best interest is such a unimaginable thing to do if it involves any ounce of your freedom?

I live my life by a code that I have endured to keep. That among all of this disaster and chaos lies lessons that we can learn. Each of us stands to be educated by them whether it be by the actions of others or ourselves. By not taking that time and effort, we let the sacrifice of others be in vain. Just the same as you waste water for a thirsty man to drink, why let death, tragedy, ignorance, greed, and selfishness be committed only to have them be repeated? If we can learn just one thing from this year, I pray that you bless every second you have. There is not one thing more valuable in this world than time. Time with those you love, those you cherish, those you need, and those who need you.

Be the joy you wish for others to see in themselves. Let the be an example for them.

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Truth?, Justice, and the American Way

I just finished a documentary on HBO. The title, “After Truth, Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News” follows several different stories that occur between 2016 and 2018. Most people associate fake news with the Democratic Party. The documentary specializes in the use of false news that worked against and for both parties.

We search for the truth. We watch shows about it, read on it incessantly, and find every imaginable source we can to prove ourselves correct. I promise that if you watch this with an open mind, you will begin to look over things differently. What we are seeing is indeed the gullibility of America and the dilution of the intelligence pool.

I cannot sit and prophetically tell you that I have not been suckered in as well. We have an obligation to not be a part of the problem. Be sure to check your source. Far more than one source is needed. Before you decide to post that story that does not seem real, check it first and again. Fear and hatred spread much faster than any other thing. We owe it to ourselves to not be the reason for spread of either.


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A Whole New World

I am sure when most see those words, we think of the land of Disney and their fairy tales. A side note about that would tell you that some of the original Disney movies were based on Grimm Fairy Tales. Those pesky German brothers wrote many tales. But their stories were far darker than Walt Disney. So goes the American version of dulling down the sharp edge of the sword so others do not harm themselves. Well, buckle up America, I fear we are about to see version 2.0 for those of you watching at home.

For those of us who either have been blessed with a job still intact or have long since retired, the last few months have been anywhere from an annoyance to a humble look at how fragile a country truly is when the threat of merely being able to survive gets in the way. Somehow, all those things you were taught as a child come into play. Wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough, keep your area clean, give people their distance, and many other things.

We have had 2+ months of sitting at home and waiting out the curve we needed to flatten. What will we come back to once we are given the “all clear?” Not that it really is all clear. We just do not have much more of a choice but to move forward in life. If we do not, we face a collapse that will affect far more than the loss of life.

If you ever see a turtle slowly peep his head out after being scared, it will remind you a lot of what we are about to witness. What will the world we come back to? When you go back to your local store, its doors may be shuttered. Going out to eat? That mom and pop place you always go-to for a good home-cooked meal may be out of business. In the last 4 weeks, we have seen 20 million people apply for unemployment. This does not include those who owned businesses. Those who had everything they owned in shops and businesses. Those who did not get their paperwork done in time for the payout from the government. What we will face coming out of our shell will be, “A Whole New World.”





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Welcome To The New Normal

When I last wrote, the world was a whole different place, wasn’t it?  We had heard the term pandemic. It wasn’t like we were totally in the dark over it. This was something that happens in Hollywood movies. Where’s Matt Damon or the zombies? It pretty much has played out like a movie in some ways.

  1. It starts somewhere that isn’t in America
  2. It’s not where we are. Pay not attention.
  3. One guy is in the hospital and they are not sure
  4. One person has died, but it’s no big deal. They had other health issues
  5. It’s only old people. That and cancer patients, diabetics, autoimmune diseases, and transplant folks
  6.  People are getting really sick. This seems weird. How many rolls of toilet paper do you need for the apocalypse
  7. I can’t find Lysol wipes, TP, hamburger, bread, snow skis, a ukelele, and snow tires.
  8. This is serious, we all should stay home
  9. This is the government. You will all stay at home unless you are essential. ***Note, 90% of you are now essential
  10. 6 ft distance from others. Unless they breathe, have a heartbeat, or its Spring Break
  11. Our state is closed and we don’t have enough respirators, hospital beds, doctors, nurses, or baked potatoes
  12. Pandamonium replaces the pandemic. While 1.5% are dying, people look at this as though 95% will die. Except for 5% of the assholes who disrespect the whole process and most likely infect the rest of us. Think of the guy who goes to Mexico and does drink the water

So what does all this mean? If you are old enough to remember 9/11, you will recall that within the first week afterward, the American Flag was sold out. Everyone loved America and would tell you that this was not going to change them. The terrorists were not going to win. If you are totally honest with yourself, did you look at those of Middle Eastern heritage differently? Did you rethink how you went about doing things? How you traveled? Many people will tell you no. I can’t say that and be truthful. I am not the same person because of that day. I don’t look at things the same and I surely don’t do the things I used to with such reckless abandon as before.

This worries me given the reaction of our populous in America. While this disease is truly deadly and has caused a devastating loss, it is just as important to look at things from another angle. Out of 100 people who would get this, it’s about 1.5 of them who would pass away. Yet when the run on goods started, people began grabbing everything they could think of to prepare. What does toilet paper do to help prevent a disease that causes respiratory problems? Anyone stop to think of that? If this was the end of the world, toilet paper becomes the most needed item? People worry that the standard of gold is not adhered to. It used to be that money could only be in circulation for the amount of gold that America had in its reserves. But that was eventually stopped. It was a point to not devalue the currency. But if you are in a drought and no rain for like 4 years, what’s the price for a big shiny rock? How about a gallon of spring water?

All of this has done more to shake any faith I had left in humanity more than anything else. Selfishness on a level we have never seen before has occurred. I personally don’t see how the world can unsee such things. It isn’t that good deeds and kindness are dead. It just feels that those who are selfish or afraid will trample those who are willing to help and are level headed. We have no other choice to run with the bulls because if we do not, we will be trampled by the herd.

I pray that lessons are learned from all of this. Those that can be used later on for this or other events that could affect us in this fashion. If we don’t, we have missed a golden opportunity to be better human beings.

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End of Year Clearance Sale

What a year we have had. What a decade as well. As age finds me being far less fleet of foot than I was 10 years ago, It also finds me in my third marriage instead of my first. My young children are now the age of adults or high schoolers. Time waits for no one. I would have to be stupid to think it didn’t include me as well.

I think this becomes a time for reflection. As does this time of year does for all of us. I often wonder if I am the only person who feels lost in that week between Christmas and New Years Day. Sort of like the run from November to the big gift day. After that comes this week where the pause button gets pushed while we catch our breath for the new year and craziness that will ensue. Where have we been during this time? What have we accomplished?

We have seen 2 Presidents during this time.  I have also watched my healthcare premiums, co-insurance, and copays raise 10 fold. All because it was felt that if your insurance was too good, well, you should be made to suffer for having such great coverage. One could see where this would be a bit of an issue for those of us who worked our ass off to get where we are. If that angers some, maybe look at it this way. You work your way through college while working full time and a parttime job. What do you get as a prize for that? Someone explains to your employer that if you keep supplying your employees with great coverage, then your company will be penalized by the government. But if you don’t have coverage at all and can’t afford healthcare, well then you get penalized yourself. What is left of Obamacare? Nothing. Just higher premiums and co-pays. Then we come to our current administration. If there was a person who could make others cringe more than a Clinton, well we found one. Arrogance and ignorance do go a long way in our society. People tell you that it amazes them how someone can blatantly say things that should never be said. However, our country has tired of continuous politics and politicians. How do you see politicians respond? Well everyone looks for a way to rid themselves of this menace. If you don’t believe that, someone comes to you and says if you could find a way to get yourself elected if it meant using another country? A politician thinks yes, but says no. A non-politician? Well, we’re living it now.

Life goes on though. I think that is what you find out so quickly when you get older. Nothing stops Father Time.  There are days that memories feel as though they were yesterday and just as quickly, they feel as though it were 100 years ago. It is something that I try very hard to explain to my kids. When you are young, you feel life is going to be this gigantic amount of memories that are going to flow like water from the ocean. What you find in time is that it is small amounts of time that you will keep. Snippets. Grins, laughs, cries, and tears. Small moments. And they will stay with you till your last breath. I want that for them. Cherish those moments. As I have seen this year, you are never given the guarantee of a long healthy life. It can be cut short so quickly for things you would have never known could be that dangerous.

I wish that everyone has a blessed New Year. Take time to do the things you cherish. Make moments with those you love. I plan to do just that. My decade has ended much better than it began. It took me 3 times to find someone who is my world. She is as much an angel as I could ask for. And for more than I deserve.


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It’s a Numbers Game

Its been awhile. Things get busy and I find that when I get home, my brain is too full to sit down and have a normal conversation in print. Others will find when I go on a tangent that staying on the topic becomes harder and harder.

So as our world turns so quickly these days, we end up with multiple issues happening over the last two weeks. We find ourselves at the precipice of another war on weapons. Mass shootings give the public an ability to find an argument in the 2nd Amendment rights of citizens. One person who decides that their life nor the lives of others should exist any further than the time of his or her choosing. I say his or her but if we are honest the male is far more the gender to be the trigger man.

If you search the interwebs, you will find sites stating different statistics on weapons. One states 43% of American homes have a registered weapon owner in them. Naturally, no one tells you about the unregistered weapons that people own. Not to say that people do that sort of thing. But if you haven’t heard someone say that the government doesn’t need to know about what I have, you may have had your head in the sand for the last 20 years. The main thing is, there are millions of weapons floating around the U.S. Millions of handguns, shotguns, and rifles. Single shot, semi-automatic, and fully automatic. The bump stock was referenced as an issue years before. As with anything else, there’s always a bigger and better way to do everything. The weapon industry is no different. While we had muskets in our revolution, the enemy can be found thousands of miles away.

Where do we stand as a nation with so many of us armed to the hilt? For millions of gun owners, this isn’t a question of why should I turn over my guns to the government? Why am I not allowed to exercise my 2nd Amendment rights? Why is the background check for ownership not more stringent? There are a ton of questions from every side of the argument.

I feel background checks should be more stringent. In the case of the shooter in Dayton, Ohio, his juvenile record and school expulsions should have been made available to factor in whether he should be allowed to purchase firearms. Psychological issues are not made available for this situation. While you may find it excessive, I feel if you ask to purchase a firearm, then you give permission to allow your medical background to be checked. If this violates your privacy then obviously it would seem there is something you have to hide. You may know you are fine and that every check will turn out clear. That you may have to wait longer before you are allowed to take possession of a weapon. What price is that to pay if it keeps that weapon out of the hands of someone who doesn’t need to have one? How many lives is that worth?

A gun has never killed another human being. Oh, I’m sure there is some distant story about someone cleaning it or it falling over. The real culprits? The soul of humanity. Our nation has become selfish in its attitude and in its nature. toward one another. Our own sanity has been challenged by an onslaught of being told what is right and wrong instead of being able to choose on our own. No one expects society to be able to make those choices anymore. We are only allowed to choose one side of an argument rather than see details that both sides present. All or nothing and no in-between. By doing this, we create monsters who feel their manifesto or reason for doing such atrocities is justified within their own words or those whom they worship.

Along with this comes the publicity and sensationalism of media coverage.  Every shooter becomes a star. We take time to honor the victims but only for a fleeting moment. All the other time is spent attempting to understand the motives for this person. There is no way to rationalize irrational behavior. Getting into the mind of someone so distorted proves impossible. Making them a star only gives the next person on the edge of doing something similar that last push to kill more than the one before them. In retrospect, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin are responsible for over 30 million deaths. Yet no one gets on television to explain their psychological problems and how they could have prevented so many deaths. How do you suppose that we can catch someone who you don’t know and have never seen from opening fire one you someday? The answer is that you can’t. While stronger checks will help, it will never completely stop mass shootings. Before guns, there were knives, before knives there were stones. Murder has been a part of this world since Cain and Abel. It is not something invented yesterday. Condoning violence and opinion through social media and televised programs helps no one. That shows us how the 1st Amendment has the ability to infringe upon the 2nd. Nothing tells you directly to just murder. However, it teaches you anger and frustration and who is to blame for it.  We owe it to ourselves to not take the word of one person or own source. Study your facts and take a moment to research. Because what you are being told today is far more opinion than stated truth.

It is my hope that both sides of this issue can come together to make choices that make sense on both sides. The time for bickering of petty things if far gone. Let’s do something to benefit our country rather than pound our chest and yell about what people threaten to take from you.



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Finding Solace in Today’s Reality

I must freely admit that I am in no good way addicted to a verbal confrontation. Being an addict to such a thing is something that I have always known but always find a way of saying that I am simply unable to listen to rhetoric without putting myself in the middle of the argument. Social media has done more to spark this addiction than any single thing that has ever been invented.

There are two places that I am from. A time and a place. I am much closer to old age than I am a young man. I am from an area of the country that has more porch swings, coca-cola, cigarettes, and conversation than most parts of the country. Politics and things of the world was what grandpas, grandmas, and the older adults did outside while we watched tv or played games. We never thought to get involved in the talk and would most honestly have been told that what was being said had no concern for us kids. Our education was brought to us by history class. Current events were the newspaper and Walter Cronkite.

Then came the internet, Google, and most importantly Facebook. Information galore for all the world to come and see and comment on. A world once ignorant on everything no has anything they want to know right at their fingertips. In so many ways we have gone from ignorance to stupidity in the snap of a finger.

I have often thought the internet should have a name change. Opinionnet sounds more fitting these days. The tendency is to leave out or omit parts to make the square peg fit into the round hole. Facts are based upon one-hit wonders. I read this webpage yesterday and I now a certified deep-sea scuba diver. One could see the issue with this sort of thing. A FoxNews watcher sees that the president should be crowned emperor. We can discontinue elections and democracy. The Donald has it all covered. CNN watchers find that world is racist. White people may all be the collective antichrist and the world will end soon if impeachment isn’t started by next Tuesday.

It’s easy to get caught up in society. We don’t make it hard to try to keep up. 15 minutes on any major site can make you feel as though you traveled the world twice over and acutely able to understand the ins and outs of world events. However, what qualifies as news today you most certainly fall upon deaf ears in years past. As an addict to daily events, there are more versions of reality than reality itself. This creates the ultimate issue; 10 different ideas of the truth that are kind of right but not exactly.

Pay more attention to more than one version. Opinions are important. Facts are invaluable. Finding them is that much harder. There isn’t a Top 5 news agency that will give you information without explaining to you how you are supposed to feel about what you are being told. This above all is the decisive issue. Be the person who does not accept emotion over truths. When we accept the emotion, we only feed the monster of misinformation, misinterpretation, and misdirection. Take the time to learn reality over morality. There are some things that are only black or white. Some are shades of gray. But even those have light or dark hues.

I am still addicted. I jump into a post, a share, a can you believe all the time. I am more a believer in truth than I am of sides. I’m not here for your candidate nor am I usually against them. There is also the point of seeing that your addiction is not always beneficial to you or those around you. So as I am learning to do, take time to put down the phone, laptop, or mouse. Enjoy life more like the back porch days. Simpler things don’t always mean uninformed but just that we don’t have to always be hostile towards ourselves or one another.

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