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Will America Stand Alone?

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It’s becoming increasingly clear that Trump, who has never hidden this fact, has decided to play hardball with the rest of the world, until he sets foot in Russia. Now you can call out whatever kind of collusion you want or you can refute it if that’s your preference but it looks sketchy either way when the leader of America sees fit to make his presence felt during the meeting with NATO by calling out Germany right from the start.

Some people would agree that tip-toeing around NATO has gone on long enough and that a president with a harder approach and less ability to control what is on his mind is what’s been needed. But purposefully antagonizing world leaders and alienating oneself from those that could be allies seems rather counterproductive to the cause of America. Many of those countries that have been allies to the USA for years might be wondering just what has happened to a country that up until now was seen in many different lights but at the very least had a leader that could be counted upon to be civil. While Trump has obviously put his foot down and decided not to be a patsy he’s also brought his fist down at the same time and demanded that Europe step up their game a bit simply because they’re not doing enough.

Oh, and the line that “Europeans can be arrogant” is cute, even if it is true at times, because quite honestly “Americans can and are sometimes much worse”. We shouldn’t have to point any fingers to figure out just what kind of ‘worse’ is being discussed.

Going out of his way to make the other world leaders uncomfortable and looking forward to a meeting with Vladimi Putin that he believes will be far easier is something that makes Trump’s motives look extremely shady, but calling him out for this is tough without any real evidence of what people might think is going on.

Right now it would appear that Trump is purposefully lambasting the allies that the US has depended on for a while and is looking forward to sitting down with a man that has nothing to lose and everything to gain. The sad part about this is that if the worst happens and the US loses any of its allies it will have gained little to nothing by forming a friendship with Russia. In short Trump seems to be banking the country’s future on being hard-nosed with his allies and granting a soft touch to someone that doesn’t really care if America stands alone.

Despite our military might, America is not a nation that can stand alone anymore than any other country can. Perhaps it’s time for someone to remind Trump of a little thing called tact.

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When It’s Time to Leave the Nest

By now a lot of us have probably heard the story of the 30-year old man that had to be sued by his parents so that he would eventually leave their home, yeah? Well quite honestly it’s still something that a lot of parents seem to have to deal with in this day and age and while it’s become a natural thing for kids to move back in with their parents for various reasons the underlying fact is that many of them still have the desire to GET OUT eventually. A lot of us might love our parents a lot and be welcomed back any time, but in this case it was seen that the individual simply didn’t want to leave.

Yes, he stated that he needed more time and would go, but quite honestly the line of excuses that never seemed to end suggested otherwise. Should we examine why it was so wise of his parents to finally kick him out?

By the age of 18 a lot of kids are ready to get out and be their own person.

Some are ready before this, others are a little more hesitant and might seek to help out the household if their parents decide to lay down the law against freeloading. This man did none of that. He was out on his own at one point reportedly but upon moving back in seemed content to stick around and do absolutely nothing. And if anyone decides to state that we’re hearing everything from the view of the parents and not the man himself then listen to the video. The guy is a certifiable nut and worse than that, he’s flat out lazy.

A lot of kids would be glad to get out of their parent’s home. In fact most kids seem psyched to be on their own even after finding out that they have to pay bills and be accountable for all they do. Even then, many people would choose to never move back home unless it was absolutely needed. Yet this guy, who has lost custody of his kid, apparently lost his self-respect, and lost all desire to move despite the massive issues that he and his parent’s have, is nothing but a walking excuse.

He had no job at the time of this interview, his parents actually gave him money to get started, and unfortunately he had no plan to move ahead any time soon.

To think that this was newsworthy was kind of ridiculous.

At a certain age it’s time to leave the nest and be your own person. Coming back to the nest, moving home in other words, is usually supposed to be temporary when a person meets a serious setback in their life or has need of a place to stay while they move on to the next step in their life. Going to school can be a great excuse to move back home to save money, losing a home or a job can be a good excuse, but the point is that it is TEMPORARY. Eight years is not a temporary situation, it is a habitation.

This guy is nothing but a walking excuse. Yes it was devastating to lose his son, but many people, although grieving, would get their feet under them and keep moving. Instead of bowing down before adversity many folks would get up and move forward. People can call him a typical Millenial as much as they want, but it’s not entirely about his generation, it’s about his lack of willpower to do what he needs to do. Let’s just say that there’s not enough information on just WHY he lost custody of his son, or WHY he feels the need to make excuses for being a waste of space, and agree that this man seriously needed the reality check that his parents and then the judge decided to lay on him.

Unless it’s a workable situation, kids do need to leave home eventually. Coming back isn’t a sin, but staying for too long and being a drain on your parents isn’t fair to them and it’s not conducive to one’s continued development. Thirty years old is too young to be a lump on a couch with no prospects for the future.

Why It’s Important to Fall in Life

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No, I’m not just talking about a physical act, though if you do fall it’s just as necessary to get back up, dust yourself off, and keep going until you accomplish what you want. This life isn’t a nice place sometimes, it can be mean, nasty, and downright rough on those that aren’t ready for it. At some point in life we’re going to fail, we’re going to fall, and how we take it, how we deal with it, is what makes us who we are.

Those that fall and get up will always be stronger and more determined than those that fall and settle where they’re at.

At some point in life you will have to settle, you will find it necessary and will do so gladly. But it needs to be on your terms, not anyone else’s, and not because Life beat you into submission. Life will be hard, it will be cruel, but if you can make through the loads of hardship and struggle that await all of us at some point then you will have shown that you’re not weak, you’re not susceptible to the beatdown that Life will throw at you, and you’ll glad get up, aching and hurting, but defiant all the same. This life is not kind to anyone and will test each and every one of us to our limits many times throughout a lifetime. Just because a person doesn’t seem to be struggling doesn’t mean they aren’t fighting an inner battle that you know nothing about.

Life isn’t partial to anyone, it will challenge every soul that draws breath in one way or another, and it will not be kind in doing so. But challenging Life to a contest of wills, to see who can outlast the other, is what makes living all the worthwhile. You don’t have to be overly aggressive in your life, but you certainly can’t afford to be overly passive if you you want to have any type of fun in this world. You will fall once or more in your life, physical and metaphorically. You will fail more than once in this life, and if you’re strong enough, if you’re up to Life’s constant challenge, then you will gladly stand back up and say, “I can take it.”

This one had to be said, as it’s a personal motto.

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As I said, Life will knock you down a time or two, and it won’t apologize for the act or even turn back to see if you’re okay. Some might dispute the language and the idea of this, but for those that enjoy the challenges that life brings sometimes, go ahead and smile as you read, because while no one will ever hit harder than Life, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a little fun in getting back up. Life is a continuing challenge, rise up to it and let your voice be heard.

Let Life know that you’re here for the duration, and you’re not staying down.

Honesty Bites (part VI)

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(continued)

Multnomah County Corrections

Beaverton, OR

September 27th, 2021

Sunday passed without any issues except one, a little punk that had thought he was big and tough had nearly gotten knocked over the railing that ran across the walkway that jutted out from the top bank of cells. The whole incident had gone down much as he’d seen it happen in the past. Some little guy had come in with an attitude, thinking he was tougher than anyone else, and he’d nearly paid for it with his life. As it was he was now the most reviled guy on the block.

Like most little guys this particular inmate had a serious problem with his lack of stature and wanted to make everyone aware that he was a lot tougher than he looked. The unfortunate part was that he was short and skinny, in fact he might have gone a buck ten had he been soaking wet, but on a dry day he’d be lucky to break the one hundred mark. Yet he acted like he was biggest dog in the yard and the moment that someone had stood in his way, unknowingly, he’d decided to bark.

Sadly for him the guy he’d decided to pop off to hadn’t been in the mood to entertain the smaller man’s temper or his need to impose his will. Instead what everyone had thought was going to happen had proceeded in a very typical fashion. The bigger man had asked the little guy if he wanted to fight, to which the little guy had replied that he would kick the big man’s monkey ass all over the place. That had been amusing enough, but the bigger man had invited the smaller guy up to his cell, where they wouldn’t be seen.

So they’d gone to the upper tier, and like a bunch of schoolyard kids most of the other guys in the cell block had gone running after them to see a fight. It was amazing just how foolish people could be when there was a spectacle to be seen. Of course someone had called out that the guards were no doubt watching and they’d all get in trouble if they went rushing up like something was happening. He knew better, the guards didn’t care one way or another. They had to stop the fight of course but they wouldn’t go rushing in. It didn’t matter much anyway.

The next sound had been the flat smack of bone on flesh as the little guy had been sent backpedaling out of the cell. His back had hit the railing so hard that he’d almost done a backflip to his death, but he’d caught himself just in time. After that he’d just walked away, but that hadn’t been the end of it. The little prick had started trying to find allies after that, talking to whomever would listen to him in order to gain allies. It wasn’t a smart move no matter how it might have been shown on TV or in movies. Most guys in county just wanted to do their time and get out.

When the little punk had finally come to talk to him he’d had one word in mind and had used it before the little guy had a chance to speak.

“No,” he’d said, holding up a hand as the younger man had opened his mouth.

“You haven’t heard what I have to say,” he’d replied in protest, already looking perturbed. The red mark around his mouth where he’d been hit had already been starting to bruise, making it look like he’d tried sucking face with a vacuum cleaner and forgotten where his own lips were.

“I don’t care,” he’d said in reply, “I’m doing my time and getting out. I don’t want anything to do with your plans.”

Saying this kind of thing to someone wasn’t a good way to make friends, but he didn’t care. This punk hadn’t been his cell mate so outside of the common area he didn’t have to deal with him. The rest of the day had gone pretty smoothly, but the little punk had failed to get even one person on his side, and it had made him smile inside.

(to be continued)

You Know History? (part VI)

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(continued)

Seaside, OR

Current Day

I decided not to go back too far this time, though a part of me was insisting that it wouldn’t work again, that I was pushing my luck, and that karma was going to mess me up royally if I was wrong about this. Did I listen? Nope, not one bit.

The water was kind of chill when I went back in the next time, but thankfully I’d wised up and decided to wear a wetsuit. It wouldn’t protect me from much of anything but the cold, but I figured it would be better than just showing up in a pair of swim trunks. My mind was flying so high on the possibilities of this working that I didn’t even think about the fact that I might have slipped and sucked in too much ocean water at some point. After all, time travel is supposed to be impossible, right? And the ripple effect it causes is supposed to be something that is bound to mess up everything once you change anything according to movies and research.

Right?

But I was still bound and determined to do this, even if I looked like an absolute fool for trying. So I waded out into the water, not stopping until I was in the midst of the cresting waves that continued onward towards the shore. It took a while but I finally found one that was curling just right, and as I made for it I swear I saw that same emerald flash from within. My heart skipped a beat thinking that I might have missed out, but as I found my way into the tube I saw it come again, and I didn’t hesitate. It was too good to be true, my madness was vindicated. And I was on my way back to another point in time that no one else in the world knew about.

I almost forgot to speak the words I’d been keeping in memory since looking up the next date I wanted to try, but I barked them out just in time as the flash filled my sight and took the world away yet again.

Want to hazard a guess?

Romania, Vlad the Impaler. You can guess where things went from here.

(to be continued)

What is Control?

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So what is control? To many people control is the act of being in charge, of being the top dog, the head honcho, the person that makes the rules. But what is it really? In truth, control is a societal construct just like so many other things we create, a method of draping what is deemed the truth over the eyes of those that are willing to be blinded in order to grant permission to those doing the blinding. It is the act of those that seek to inform and influence others that are seen as those that will agree with the one or the few upon how things must be and how the system that has been instilled must be kept working in order to serve them all. Unfortunately, control is usually held by only a few hands at a time, and is anything but infallible.

Control is the illusion that we accept.

Many of us believe we are free-thinking individuals and it is true in some regard that we are. But many of us would still ascribe wholeheartedly to the system into which we were born and will likely belong until our final day on this earth. There are too many illusions that have been woven together to create what we perceive as a concrete and resolute truth that is used to control our every waking moment within the system. We are given the illusion of freedom, but in all honesty are kept in line by various control methods that are enforced whenever we step out of line.

Anarchy is what some scream when these controls are actively worked against, while others might scream terrorism as it is the trendy thing to use as an accusation. But quite honestly control is the measure that keeps us under wraps and free to think what we want, while bucking that control makes us the enemy, or at the very least a malcontent that is to be carefully monitored. Remember the saying that freedom isn’t free? The control that government has over every last one of us is a prime example of this. We are free to say and, to some extents, do what we want in this country, but the price we pay is to live under the control that the USA imparts upon every last one of its people. Except the controllers.

To live a life that means something there’s one immutable truth you need to realize.

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The reality of life is that on a very fundamental level there is no such thing as control. Even as we progress from simple animals to the more complex and sometimes more frustrating organisms we are today we tend to forget this. The need for everything to make sense and be neatly tucked away until we need them is an incessant one that allows us to forget that when it comes to control, some people are simply better at weaving illusions than others.

Some of the best are called politicians.

Counting on Change

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Change is hard, change is invasive, and change is sometimes considered to be impossible. But there are also times when change is seen as horrifying, abrupt, and extremely unwanted. A lot of people can’t handle change as it seems to destroy everything they believe in and everything they’ve worked for, while others embrace it with a glad heart since change is a part of this world that continually happens. But as I already said, change can be hard, and it can be horrifying.

For instance, living in a nation controlled by a man that gives into impulse a lot more than reason could be horrifying, particularly when those impulses seem designed to hurt a great number of the people he’s bound to serve. Some embrace this change as a means of taking their country back, which makes no sense considering it didn’t belong to anyone but the people in the first place. Change however is an odd thing as it can be discriminate or indiscriminate depending on the situation.

It only takes one person to create a ripple effect.

People are capable of change, but the moment they find themselves in agreement with another that they can believe in and follow their free will seems to fade away like a flame in a windstorm. Only when that storm finally affects them directly will they understand that the capacity to change is what keeps the storm at bay, and the ability to embrace the change is what will help them to weather it.

That one person can create such a widespread effect in the lives of so many is astounding, but even more so is the belief that others will take up the call and allow the ripple to continue forward. Change comes in many ways, but in some cases it comes in a very devastating manner.

Change has to come from both sides.

If one thing is to change then other things have to change as well. The chain reaction brought on by change needs to be understood and embraced by every person if real change is to occur, otherwise things will continually revert back to their default state, which at this point and time doesn’t seem to be working. People have to want to change, or nothing ever will. The idea of caring about change is one aspect that needs to occur, but actually going through with change is a line that many people describe in great detail, but never actually cross.

If you want change then you’ve got to be willing to embrace it, not just talk about it.

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The Decline of Costco’s Polish Dog

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Costco is getting rid of one of it’s best-selling items and people are not happy about it. Can anyone remember back to the days when there was no such thing as a food court inside a Costco? The old-fashioned hot dog cart was outside next to the building and usually had a line from the cart all the way to the parking lot as people have almost always been nuts for the famous Polish dog that cost $1.50 and came a can of soda. Now tell me, how many places can possibly compete with that? Sure it was just a big hot dog on a bun with a soda and your choice of fixin’s on a tray nearby, but it was the novelty of it.

Costco has been known for a long time as a place you could go and fill up on free samples inside the store, but the hot dogs were always one of the absolute best parts of the trip. Plus in all the time they’ve been selling the delicacies they haven’t raised the price, which is phenomenal really when you think about what the other stuff costs. But these days many people are more into healthier alternatives and doing away with what is considered a bad practice when it comes to eating. Instead of the Polish dog Costco will be serving healthy alternatives that many people feel is just a slap in the face after so many years of being able to ingest those yummy, warm treats.

Come on people, really?

The outrage over this is over the top and just sad.

I love a good Polish dog just as much as anyone. I used to polish off two of them loaded with ketchup, mustard, and enough onions to clear my sinuses out for the next two days. But it’s a hot dog folks, and it’s a product that’s sold in bulk INSIDE THE STORE. I get it, we all have great memories of the Polish dog and don’t want to see it go, but if you’re really that up in arms about it then do yourself a favor and find the nearest hot dog vendor and ask if they serve Polish dogs. If they do then stop whining, if not then buy a pack of dogs, a pack of buns, and make them at home and enjoy the memories.

Seriously, my biggest gripe with the place was when they built the food court and simply did away with the cart. It was a treat up until they made it into something big. Now it’s been a treat, but one that you have to eat while crammed into a bench with a bunch of other people around you or out in your car or wherever you might go. The tweets about this matter are just insane since many of them make it sound as though they would gladly boycott Costco over this matter.

Yeah, and that would last right up until they realize how much it really costs to stop buying in bulk. Seriously people, buy a pack of Polish dogs and take a pill.

Just Stop and Breathe

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This world is a hectic place sometimes, and it will push you along at a rapid pace if you let it. Nothing slows down for anyone unless they are willing to slow it down on their own and just…breathe. Your mind and your body are designed to take on a great deal of stress, but over prolonged periods of time this stress begins to build and can be harmful if not released in a manner that is conducive to your health as well as your well-being. As an individual that holds in a lot of pent-up emotions and frustrations I understand that it becomes absolutely necessary at times to stop, remove myself from the rapid pace of life, and simply breathe as I attempt to let go of all that which has caused me to tighten up over the course of a day, a week, or even a month.

There is no weakness in stepping away from the hustle of life.

Some people might begin to hyperventilate if they are asked to take so much as a day off in order to gather their thoughts and compose themselves. Others would welcome the chance and be thankful to just have a day to sleep in, to have fun, and to cut loose. But no matter how one spends their free time it is important to take a moment at least to step back from all of it and just breathe, taking in the stress and then letting it out as you remind yourself, and your body, that there are moments when it’s not so important to be wound so tightly. Nobody can remain pent up for long periods of time without suffering some sort of breakdown, and it is necessary to simply stand back and breathe for a moment to gain even a few seconds of clarity.

That’s a part of how living is made tolerable.

Get away from the hustle now and again.

There’s more to this world than work and the constant drone of one’s everyday life. If you’re lucky and your job takes you to new and exotic places constantly then you’ve already found the source of happiness you were seeking. If you happen to know how to enjoy yourself during your day and can balance your emotional and mental well-being while maintaining your work performance then you’re ahead of the game. But it is always important to remember to breathe, to focus on nothing for a moment or two, and simply relax.

Life is important enough on its own, everything else will happen with or without you. Just enjoy the moments you can take, and live in them as long as you can.

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The Business that is Life

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Life is a constant race to see who can outdo one another, who can accumulate more than the next person, who can sign their life away to more things that they don’t need but use to impress others, and of course, who has the most at the end. It’s a business in many regards, a business that never closes, never gets outdated, and never goes away because there’s always more people being born every day. Those that are passing through this life now are those that have been inundated to the business without ever knowing about it until it’s too late to get out so easily. We live our days from one to the next becoming a part of a system that is so heavily integrated at this point that even believing we have a free thought becomes highly suspect since in order to have that free thought you have to be absolutely certain that it doesn’t somehow infringe upon or offend someone else’s over-sensitive values and/or feelings.

If that sounds cynical then you’re right, because it should.

If life is to be treated like a business then it is the most diverse and most competitive business around since it never ends and continually changes in relation to the many trends that come along, be they political, theological, or societal. The day we’re born we’re placed into the system that teaches us and rears us to believe in the system and how it works. We’re given everything that we need to feel comfortable in the system, to rely on it and to realize that we can’t just walk away. And somewhere along the line some of us might wake up and realize that the system in which life exists is an enterprise where everyone is looking to take something from the system that they believe is theirs, some vital component that speaks to them and seems to define their life.

We are part of a system we don’t fully understand, and in turn we barely understand each other. When broken down to the simplest terms and the most simplified elements we are nowhere near as complicated as we like to think. Every mental process, every bodily function, every last little thing about us becomes clear and concise, and in this realization we become free. The system is not evil, it is not good, but it is a business that we find it very difficult to break free of as it provides us with everything that is needed to thrive, and everything we come to desire as human beings.

Living is its own virtue.

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The moment you don’t want to get up to face life and see what it has to offer is the moment it’s become a job, a business, and nothing more than than an automatic response to something you HAVE to do every day. We all feel a bit humdrum now and again about our average day, but the trick is to remember that the business of life is an intrinsic challenge that has yet to be met. Strive to be better each day, do what you can to make your day a day worth living. Don’t worry about the system, it will take care of itself, the business will go on without one more worker bee in the unit for a short period. Challenge yourself to live within the system, not as just another cog.

Living is not accomplished by merely surviving.