Man in the Mirror, Race, Color and Creed

A friend of mine told me last week that as he read my blogs, he could imagine me yelling at the computer as I typed.  That’s not exactly what I’m going for, but pretty funny from a guy who knows me so well.  The things that I see in the news these days tend to get me a little heated, and it seems to come out when I write about those stories that get me worked up enough to put my feelings about them out there.

There are a few events which happened last week and are making the rounds in the news now, and there is one most of all that resonates enough with me to want to talk about…and hopefully you’re starting to learn my point of view enough to come along on this ride with me.

I’ve had an idea for quite a few years now, as I watch the world and America especially, fracture itself on purpose in the name of fairness and equality.  I’ve watched as people have tried as hard as they can to put themselves into every sub-group possible, in an attempt to find their
“identity,” but only succeeding in bringing them further and further from the rest of society, mankind, or people in general.

My idea is quite simple: As long as you define yourself by race, color, or creed, you will always be  defined by your race, color, or creed.

It sounds innocent enough, but stay with me here; at one time, we were all just people.  It was us against the world, struggling to keep the tribe alive long enough to pass on the bloodline and stay in existence, making our own footprint on this world.

People began to multiply, immigrated to different parts of the world and began their own tribes.  At one point, many of these tribes came together to form this great country that we call The United States of America.

I have Italian, Nordic and other types of blood running through my veins, but I’m not an Italian/Nordic/etc, I am an American.  My wife was born in Taiwan and raised in Texas, but she’s not a Taiwanese/American, she is an American.  As I said on “For Crying Out Loud” last week, my kids are “one part olive oil, one part soy sauce,” but they’re not Italian/Taiwanese-Americans….they are American.

But for some reason, in the last generation our society has strayed as far as they can from that point of pride, of calling yourself an American and instead putting as many hyphenations on the greatest of compliments as it takes to completely negate the “American” part of it.

When we were all just humans, we worked together as a tribe, to hunt and provide, to protect and care, to keep ourselves alive.  When we were all Americans, by the same token we all worked together to build this nation into the greatest civilization in the history of man.  We all pitched in an picked up trash if we walked past it, mowed our lawns, worked hard and brought home a paycheck, raised our kids to be fine, upstanding citizens, and the tribe was well.

What do we have now?  As people began to stray from our national identity, our society followed.  As people dropped the “American” from their only description, flags stopped appearing in so many yards, graffiti went up on every wall and overpass sign, and the trash stopped getting picked up.

As the pride in our society diminished, and it became more about “me and mine” rather than “us and ours,” education began to falter; the home structure is on the ropes, with the traditional family being a minority rather than a majority these days.  As our American brothers and sisters cared more about other details than being American, we let our society slip away.

We used to have an “ask what you can do for your country” mentality, even when dealing with our own races and/or cultures back in the day.  It wasn’t “we feel alienated because there is one fewer of mine than yours in political office,” or “not enough of a certain race represented in small business owners.”  It was the opposite; instead of, “what is America doing for me,” it was “look at what we’re doing for America.”

Proud Irish and Italian immigrants building the skyscrapers in New York.  All black/Irish/Italian units like the Red Tails or the Fighting 69, doing their part for this great country and using it as a point of pride, showing just how damned proud they were to be American; they used those points of pride to show just how much they contributed and belonged to this great society, rather than trying to fracture away from it and turn it into something it wasn’t.

So what got me onto this subject today?  Well, for one, I watched Django Unchained last week…..wow.  After announcing on “FCOL” last week that we hadn’t received the viewer from SAG, a friend sent me his copy, and all I can say is wow.  Good job Tarantino, it makes Roots look soft.

There are a few news stories that followed, interestingly enough, about a man slapping a toddler on an airplane and another man in a hospital saying only white nurses could touch his newborn.

I think that both of these events, and many other like them, are a result of people having this “you vs me” mentality, and I’m not saying that IT is a result of our fractioning and trying to create our own identities based on anything that sets us apart, but I feel that the fracturing is making it worse, more apparent, and more widespread.

People are inherently jealous of those who have what they don’t, and that can be money, special attention, fame, or anything that a certain person wants.  We used to have a society where people would say, “wow, that person has everything I want, I’m going to work hard and get it myself.”

We’ve now changed, I believe due to this fractioning and loss of American identity to a “look at what that jerk has, why do they deserve it and not me, I’m going to ruin their life and/or take it from them.”

By calling ourselves everything under the sun besides American, by flying the flag in our car/yard of the country we LEFT for America and a better life instead of the American flag, by creating our own identity rather than that of our countrymen and brethren, we have taken ourselves out of a society that works together toward a common goal to a narcissistic one who only believes that the group of people with whom they can identify should be happy and successful.

Think I’m getting a little overboard with this?  Look at the ACLU and the cases it has been fighting.  Look at the cases involving Atheists and, instead of giving them a better leg up, the fight is completely about taking the First Amendment rights away from the majority of this country, which is religious, and not allowing them to express themselves.

It is not a fight about trying to make the country, or even Atheists better, but rather destroying the livelihood and ability to express themselves away from people who are devoutly religious and attribute and success or happiness in life to their creator.  It’s not “i’m going to work hard to better myself,” but rather “I’m going to work to take what’s important away from you.”

Long story short, I feel that we are starting to fall way too far from the apple tree.  We’re all on “Team Human”, and as soon as we started going away from that, countries formed, boundaries were made and wars were waged.

Even within our own country, we have begun to move away from “Team America,” and as we’ve done that, our society has begun to shake at its foundations.  It would take much more than I can imagine to get us back to the “Team People” mentality, and as a sheepdog I do believe that there are evil people in the world who need to be forcibly removed, but maybe we can get back to the “Team America” way of living.

But how can we do that?  By just paying attention to what you’re doing, every day, all the time.  We involve so many biases and judgements in our daily life, based on things that are so engrained in society today that we do it without thinking.

Pay attention to everything going on around you; understand that Republican, Democrat, Liberal or Leftist, we are all American.  Our politicians have fallen into this trap and become so polarized that they are completely ineffective, and have further divided our nation into “red” and “blue” states.

Don’t fall into that trap; whenever you listen to the news, meet someone new, take your kids to school, or whatever you’re doing in life, remember, above everything else, you are an American, we live in the greatest society known to man, and we are letting it slip through our fingers.  Only by coming together on the common goal of keeping our society at the top of the pack can we ever succeed.

I was giving my son a bath after getting back from the gym this morning, and as my iPod was on shuffle, “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson came on.  I hadn’t heard this song in some years, but it was great timing given what was already going on in my head and in the news.

If you, like me, haven’t heard that song in quite awhile, go put it on.  I’ll be here when you’re finished, but really listen.  And if you feel bashful about it, or that it challenges your masculinity in some way listening to Michael Jackson, remember that this Green Beret with shrapnel still in his body from Afghanistan has been listening to it all morning on repeat….I’m not saying i’m the toughest or most masculine guy in the world, but I’m closer to the top half than the bottom, and I love that damn song.

We’ve been spending too much time looking to inept politicians or others in charge to make the changes that we need to get back on the right track as a society, but they have more than proven themselves incapable (or unwilling) to do it for us.

If we want to make a change and get our country back on track, to be the same great nation for our kids as it was for us and our parents, it all starts with us.  It starts with me, it starts with you, it starts with all of us together.

Take a long hard look in the mirror, if you have kids, take a long hard look at them.  If you, like me, believe that we going in the wrong direction in society, don’t wait for someone else to change it, start making a change with the man in the mirror.

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Weapons for Egypt (who doesn’t want us), none for Syrian/Bahrain rebels (who need us)

As I tend to do from time to time, I’d like to start here with a few quotes which I think are applicable:

“He who forgets the past is doomed to repeat it.”

“One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.”

 

The issue at hand that has me all hot and bothered today is actually a conglomeration of several, so please bear with me, I’ll tie it all together at some point. For reasons that are becoming clearer every day, the media is neglecting to connect these, so hopefully I can do that for you here.

 

My first issue is with the sending of weapons, F-16’s and tanks to the Muslim Brotherhood which runs the vocally hateful- of-Americans, rapidly de-stabilizing chaos that is Egypt. It seems that regardless of the trillions of dollars of debt that we’re in, masses of taxpaying Americans (notice the qualifier there) up in arms about our growing debt, and despite the fact that this government is extremely vocal about their distaste for and distrust of America, we are sending hugely expensive weapons, and fighters planes their way…..as a sign of gratitude for standing against us?

 

My second issue, and I’ll tie these together shortly, is with our lack of support for the Syrian freedom fighters/rebels/terrorists, labeled as one of the above, depending on who you talk to (you can include the Bahrain fighters/rebels/terrorists who we did nothing to help as well). The only group in trouble RIGHT NOW in Egypt is the government; it’s pretty widely recognized that their election, bringing the Muslim Brotherhood of bloodthirsty Salafists into power, was a sham, made readily apparent by the massive protests and claims of election fraud that came the day after the announcement they had won.

 

But Syrian rebels are being massacred by their own government daily, as has been going on in Bahrain.  When was the last time you heard about that in the main stream media? Check out former CNN Journalist Amber Lyon on the Joe Rogan Podcast for some really scary stuff about that and how she was censored and fired for trying to tell people about the Bahrain tragedies.  Yet we act as if they need no help? But Egypt does?  Why?

 

I understand Geopolitics about as much as a guy can without working in a think-tank in DC, and a lot of this has me truly perplexed. Adam Carolla has a bit he calls “stupid or liar,” and I don’t know which one to call whatever yes-man Generals  advising the president right now, but either one terrifies me.

 

You see, this is one of the ways that terrorists are born. The Syrian people, at large, have been rather ambivalent to us. Iraq didn’t spill over into their country too much, we’re haven’t labeled them as enemies as we have with Iran (who’s younger generation actually loves Americans and the West…another thing you won’t see/hear in the main stream media), and so they never really had an all-out agenda towards us as many do and/or have.

 

But they do now. You see, even though most of the world will get mad at us for acting as “the world’s policemen” when they DON’T need it, they get very bent out of shape if we don’t intervene when they DO need it, and right now, they need it. And most likely our biggest problem is that our enemies who see that need will supply it, and in so doing, they will multiply our enemies.

 

The original decision to NOT put arms into the hands of the Syrian rebels was supposedly made because of fear that they would fall into the hands of our enemies, as happened in Libya, and would be turned against us. The actuality of what is happening is much, much worse.

 

Many of our enemies don’t have the conventional, large-scale armies to take us on head-to-head, or can’t risk the global political fallout of doing so, and have instead been playing the cat-and-mouse game of behind the scenes warfare and proxy wars that we started in Afghanistan vs Russia (by arming rebel groups or fighting us directly in the theatres in which we are engaged ie Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, Pakistan). I saw this first hand in Iraq and Africa, and althought many on the Left tried to play it off as conservative propoganda, I’m telling you from experience it’s real.

 

 

So in Syria, you have a conglomeration of enemies of America who saw our lack of involvement, used it as a “call to arms” for jihad, and are arming and fighting alongside the rebels. When, and there is no “if” here, the Assad regime falls, all of his weapons, from one of the most heavily fortified Army’s in the middle east, will go to those rebels, who will have a severe hatred of America. But why?

 

Because as we’re sending them food packages and a few bandages, we’re sending F-16’s, tanks and arms to Egypt. We are sending weapons to a government who openly mocks us, who is a step away from either folding or turning those same arms on their own people, while the rebels in Syria who are fighting for their homes and lives are massacred due to being severely outgunned.

 

But now the tides have turned, and those weapons and men that we should have supplied are being supplied by our enemies, along with a healthy dose of Anti-American indocrination. And from a guy who can tell you from experience, the bonds formed by fighting shoulder to shoulder with someone are stronger than any other in humanity, and they’re fighting with our enemies.

 

So let’s focus on Egypt again….what else could be bad about arming them with fighters and tanks? Hmmmm….what in the world would Egypt want to do with heavy weaponry like that. Who is our only lifelong ally in that region, one with whom Egypt shares a border, and the Muslim Brotherhood vehemently promises to rain fire upon? Israel. And if you don’t think those weapons are going to be used against our only true allies in the Middle East, the Israelis, I have to play the Carolla “stupid or liar” game with you.

 

I’m getting to the point at which I’m going to start breaking down into name-calling and insults, which is my cue to stop. Please share this, listen to Amber Lyon on the Joe Rogan podcast, and pay attention to many different news sources. The line that you’re getting from the White House is not accurate, and I would even go so far as to say that the Generals who are advising the President are either being completely ignored, or they are yes men who should be tried on charges of treason for the horrible decisions that they’re allowing to be made.

 

It is a long-held quote and truth that we know in Special Forces, one that I quoted at the start.   I’ll close by quoting it again. Pay attention to what’s going on in the world around you, and decide on your own, not via the White House press secretary,what is what.  And I remind you that:  “One mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter.”

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Thanksgiving, Gaza, State of the World

It’s a sad state of affairs when reality is no longer the truth of a story, but rather who has the best PR department and whose side the media takes.  Yell and scream all you want, but if you don’t believe that our for-profit media is unabashedly biased on certain subjects, you’re not paying attention.

So before I go into a tirade, it’s the holiday season (no matter what your religion…atheism is NOT a religion), so I’d like to say what I’m thankful for before going into a frenzy over the current news and coverage….a little happy before the storm.

I’m thankful for my family; I have a beautiful and amazing wife who has given me two amazing children who are already smarter and better looking than I.  They will rule the world one day if I don’t get in the way and screw them up too much first.  I’m thankful for my parents; I was born to two very young teenagers, and if this had been any other country in the world, my life would be drastically different.  Because I live in this great country I was adopted by the most amazing parents I could have ever had, and because of the lessons taught by my Dad think I’ve tuned out to be a pretty good guy…..but that’s for others to decide.

I’m thankful for my brothers and brethren, friends and acquaintances.  I have friends overseas defending this great country, friends here doing everything they can to make the world a better place, and have been lucky enough to cross paths and become friends with some truly amazing people.  Just being close to these people I feel my life becoming better and myself becoming more knowledgeable and informed….I hope to pass the same onto my kids, so that they will be the same.

Now on to what I’m NOT thankful for…….

It seems that our culture, as well as that of the world, has taken a few drastic changes for the worse.  Some people brag and call it “progressive,” but when the majority of the population believe that society is changing for the worse, how can you still stand behind the drastic changes which we’ve recently made to our society and not see that they are responsible for the degradation and erosion of our principles?  We went from the greatest generation to narcissistic participation trophy whiners in two generations……scary.

Dennis Prager has a book titled “Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.”  If you’re still reading this, you probably feel the same way I do about where our society is headed, and you would enjoy this book.  The audiobook is great for commuters.

Back to the biased media; The Israel/Palestine engagement is all over the news right now, and depending on which media outlet you follow, you may have a completely different view from myself or your neighbor.  I’ve been hearing various outlets (I unfortunately live in Los Angles) speaking about the horrors and atrocities committed by Israel, and news anchors asking their politicians why the don’t try to negotiate.  Here’s why: Hamas fired rockets at them.  That is what you call an unprovoked attack ,and in my world, you are open to respond to an unprovoked attack with whatever you bring to the party.

I actually heard an anchor on KTLA ask an Israeli Ambassador why they don’t just try to negotiate, and make a comment about the Israeli Army being so much more powerful, so they shouldn’t react so strongly.  Seriously?  First, Palestine/Hamas fully understand the might of the IDF (Israeli Defense Force), and if they were still stupid enough to fire rockets at them, they get what they deserve.  If you are the proverbial computer geek in High School and you walk up to the All-American Linebacker and kick him in the shins and expect not to get punched, you’re an idiot, and deserve what you get.

But this is where our current degradation of society and PR-based biased media has taken a turn for the worse; if you are the powerful country, or you end up the victor of a battle, you are painted as wrong.  It doesn’t matter if the terrorists fly airplanes into buildings and kill thousands of innocents or launch rockets in the middle of the night into the Holiest site on the planet, if you respond with your full capabilities, you’re evil.  Really?  Are you sure the other guys aren’t just looking for Darwinism to wipe them off the face of the planet?

Maintaining the PR-based, religious context of arguments and smaller guy having the loudest voice and most support today, there’s another item in my local news that bothers me to no end.  If you’ve heard anything about the Santa Monica nativity scene battle started here last year, they are having their day in court today.  Here’s where this kills me: a nativity scene is not infringing on your rights as an atheist, but the atheists trying to stop the citizens of Santa Monica’s First Amendment Rights to express their beliefs is a direct infringement.

Our forefathers came to this country to escape religious persecution…..people telling them who/how/where/when they had to worship.  That is what this country was founded on.  Atheism is the absence of religion.  Have you ever heard a Christian or Jew tell an Atheist that they weren’t free to not practice their belief in nothing?  Nope.  They are allowed to do nothing anytime and anywhere they want.

But today, a Christian group in Santa Monica who has put a nativity scene up for 60+ years, enjoyed by Christians, Jews and all of the inhabitants of Santa Monica and the Pacific Pallisades alike, has to defend their First Amendment Rights in court.  The atheists aren’t even there, oh yeah, and aren’t even residents of Santa Monica.  Great world we live in, isn’t it?

This is just one of the many hallmarks of the degrading of our society; our youth are watching and listening to these people, and as the vocal minority steals more and more rights away from the silent majority of hard-workers, religious, voters, patriotic, or whatever group will come next, the walls of our once-proud Citadel protecting freedom from ignorance and arrogance is slowly being crumbled away.

The thought that society should no longer have winners or losers, that all kids should get a participation ribbon, that a stronger Army should wear kids gloves when provoked by a weaker one, that the religious, God fearing and do-gooding people should apologize or hide their right to express their views for fear of angering a minority of self-serving narcissistic crybabies and self-created outcasts  is repugnant.  This is the United States of America; we were built to be the strongest civilization in the history of the world not by fracturing ourselves and giving everyone a label and making sure we didn’t offend them, but by standing on the shoulders of great men who brought us together and built an empire.

The more we go away from that empire building society which strives for greatness and instead reward people for the smallest of things (yay, you got out of bed today, you get a ribbon) we will continue to drive the nails into our own coffin.  Stop congratulating people for not graduating high school, being on welfare and social assistance, having 5 kids out of wedlock, looking for a quick-money scam or lawsuit rather than a career.  Shame those people, just as our Grandparents would have, and send them packing to get a job and help build this empire, not chip away at the bastions until they crumble.

And always remember, if you mess with the bull, you’re gonna get the horns……Happy Thanksgiving.

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