We Are. We Will. We Shall Not.

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There exists no human being who does not discriminate. There is no individual within  Homo Sapiens who does not exhibit or feel some bigotry or prejudice.

Racism is different. It takes thought. One must consider oneself superior based upon one’s own race (skin color in our age, economic status in another age, nationality in still other ages).

The Liberals who are protesting this election are exhibiting bigotry as we speak. They are, in effect, saying that the half of the Nation who voted for Trump are ignorant, befuddled simpletons.

Many Liberals and Conservatives acted out in this same manner during the whole of the Election season.

We’ve all done it. We’ll all continue to do it. It is human.

Discrimination and prejudice are most often naught but ignorance and fear of the unknown, the stranger.

We are human. We will always be human. We progress superficially but we remain in many ways the same Homo Sapiens creatures who ventured forth from East Africa some 50,000 years ago. We are the beasts who arrogantly dubbed ourselves “Wise Man” and  caused the extinction of our fellow Humans (Neanderthalensis among others known and unknown). We fear the unknown. That fear drives us to madness and we murder when in the realm of psychotic madness.

Nationalism, borders, political parties and the like are nothing but tribal associations writ large with pretensions of civility. Humans are anything but civil. We speak of the sanctity of life yet will go to war with the barest of provocations. We kill the unborn in droves. We speak of Liberty yet we incarcerate millions for daring to possess and/or smoke a nature provided plant that has actual healing properties. We are not fit for civilized society. It is the height of arrogance to suggest that we have ever been a civilized people.

We are unenlightened in the main. Brutal to the core. Distrusting and inhumane. Yet, we can be and have been beautiful, wondrous beings. The horror of war brings out the best in us.

“It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it.”— Robert E. Lee, at Fredericksburg.

We are conflicted. We will remain conflicted.

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On the Right to Sustenance and Housing

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Certainly, everyone should be able to obtain sustenance and a safe place to dwell.

How does one obtain these essentials?

Should others be forced to pay for these essentials?

Who should be forced to pay for the essentials of those who have not the wherewithal to obtain them for themselves?

Should you and I be taxed to pay for the essentials of one who can’t obtain them for themselves?

If a person can afford multiple TVs, an iPhone and other non-essentials, why can they not afford food and a dwelling?

If a person is so poverty stricken that they cannot obtain food and secure dwelling, should these people have children.

If one is going to become dependent upon others, one forfeits one’s ability to make one’s own life choices.

Should others be responsible for those who make poor life choices?

For instance, a person who has the talents to obtain work for a decent salary who decides that the ability to smoke marijuana is more important than accepting available employment. Should I have to supplement his/her income and provide the sustenance and housing for him/her and associated children?

It is much more complicated than a “right to eat” and/or a “right to housing.”

There are able bodied and minded persons out there who could work if they so chose. Yet, they make life decisions that hinder their ability to do so. This affects their ability to obtain sustenance and housing.

Then we have the immigrants. Why do they need to come to America to obtain housing and sustenance? Am I obligated to provide these essentials for them? If so, how? Through government programs or charities?

Am I to be taxed to provide for the children of people who should not have children? Is the production of offspring a right? Should the government be allowed to restrict reproduction?

Am I somehow obligated to pay taxes to feed an unlimited number of children whom I did not choose to produce?

Where do these obligations end?

Why should I not stop working so that the government can take care of me via the taxation of the labor of more productive members of humanity?

Abortion is about Life

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Abortion is about Life.

Life is a universal cause.

Life is not a decision that only women make.

Abortion is a disgusting tool. It is a reality, though.

I would rather that it be available than for women to be forced to use back alleys and unsafe methods or services.

However, I would rather abortion did not exist. Perhaps, we will find abortion relegated to the past someday. One can hope. For now, though, it is what we have available to us.

No human who wishes to defend life should be looked down upon. This is so even in the case of those who abhor abortion.

I, personally, would not wish to be involved in an abortion. Having said that, I realize that I have not always been the most steadfast practitioner of safe sex. I will not force another human to abide by my personal moral code. It is up to them and their conscience. Abortion should not be seen as a convenience, though.

I understand, as well, that much lip service is given to the sanctity of life and not much actual practice goes into making it a reality. Life is cheap. Life matters to few people.

It is easier to turn a blind eye to war, famine, poverty, desolation than to make these things relics of the past. These are all instances of how cheaply humans hold life. Abortion is but another.

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Cigarettes

I walk outside to have a smoke.

Sometimes, I can feel the death

Seeping in through my lungs

And sometimes, I welcome it

Am I sick?

I look around the world

So much misery, death and destruction

So much hate and bigotry

Makes no fuckin’ sense

How did I get here?

Why do I think about these things?

Who am I?

My pugs are happier than most people I know

And they only bathe once a week

What is this scheit?

How do I rate?

Why am I so goddamn happy?

Hang On While Ya Can

Rollin’ through to fifty

The end becomes more clear

Rollin’ through a life time

I don’t care when it comes

Not afraid of dying

Nothing to fear in the end

I’d love to live forever

But only in the mind

A body can take so much ya know

And come to end so swift

Take care, be healthy, Why?

No one comes to it intact

Work from Nine to Five

Gather a lifetime of trinkets

Push on through to the big Six-Oh!

If luck is with you

You don’t go too far

You can still remember your name

Slow on to the 80s

Hangin’ on to life

I’d rather go out quickly

With beauty still and vital

Push too far you go insane

You never know it though

Life began at thirty

You get a good few years

But the doctors and Big Brother

They want you to kick around

Taxes and insurance

That’s why we push for more

Think it’s for your life

Guess again, think again, revolt

Push on through?

I don’t think so

Break on through instead

The other side is calling

Mystery and myst it seems

Yet it draws us back, I know not why or how

The American Dream, the life fandango, to boogie with a kid

We are bedazzled by the blind

I don’t want to live forever

Death is not my enemy

But I’ll hang on while I can

What is Essential in Life besides Unny?

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials. ~ Lin Yutang

“However inclined one may be to regard the Chinese as strange, peculiar, fantastic, or impossible, for no other reason than that one has never been fortunate enough to gain their friendly, intimate acquaintance, the reading of Mr. Lin’s book will very soon dissipate any notion of uncertainty and assure one of the truth[s] of the Confucian statement, that ‘Within the four seas all men are brothers.’” “The East Speaks to the West,” The New York Times review of “My Country and My People” 8 December, 1935

Life

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“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved
body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally wore out, shouting”..holy
crap…what a ride!”

Unknown

Is Life Sacred?

I don’t think that life is sacred. Individuals and even societies can make life sacred in accordance with their actions. Mostly, though, we give lip service to this concept that life is sacred. History has shown that it is naught but empty words. What occurred during the course of the 20th Century and what is occurring now in the nascent 21st that lends any credence to the belief that any of us truly believe that life is sacred.

Was the life of Hitler sacred. Mao? Stalin? Churchill? Hirohito? Osama bin Laden? George Bush? Ronald Reagan? Lincoln? Saladin? Gandhi? Muhammad Ali of Egypt? al Wahhab of the Nejd? Abdur Rahman of Kabul? Mother Theresa? Yassar Arafat? Ayatollah al Sistani? Khomeini? Charles Manson? Jack the Ripper? Charles Bundi? Saddam Hussein?

Were all of these lives sacred? Whose life is sacred and who decides this? Me? The President of the United States? The Secretary General of the UN? The Mufti of Jerusalem? Adolf Hitler or Josef Stalin?

None of our political or economic creeds support this concept. Religions pay lip service to it. The UN Charter pays lip service to it but I dare say that Jewish life isn’t sacred to many who sit around the table of the UN.   Certainly not to a majority of the Muslims of the Middle East.  Islam does not find life sacred. It is more an honor to be shaheed than to be a law abiding lover of life and liberty.

Humans act for self preservation specifically and preservation of the species in general. We do so as individuals, though. Not as groups. As Civilization, we mostly murder each other in the name of humanity or religion or power or greed.

So it has been since the earliest records of our actions. So it will be until humans are no more.

I see no evidence that life is truly sacred to any but a handful of people who have no power to make the value universal.

Such is my belief.

A bit of reflection on the eve of my 40th Life Anniversary

At the end of a life, I suppose a person stops and looks back.  What does he see.  What does one wish to see at the end of a life.

I wonder.  I don’t know why I do.  But I do.

I sat here tonight looking back at my own life.  I’ve been fortunate.  Might be an understatement.  I’ve traveled across the globe.  Experienced wondrous events.  Met incredible and sometimes amazing people.  Seen and touched some of the wonders of the World.  I’ve tread upon 4 Continents.  Danced in some of the nicest clubs across the planet with some of the most beautiful women in the world.  I’ve climbed the Great Wall.  Gazed in wonder at the Taj Mahal.  I’ve seen the carnage of war and the peace in it’s aftermath.  I’ve been fortunate enough to aid in rebuilding a country ravaged by war.

I’ve fallen in love and been stung by love.  I’ve been married and divorced.  I’ve met women who I probably should have married and dated women from whom I should probably have run.  haha  I was married to an awesome lady.  I left the marriage because I was a foolish child.  Still am.  Kelly was a great wife.  Great person.  She still encourages me.  Still befriends me.  Holds no grudge even though she has every right in the world to it.  She is simply an awesome person.  These are the people who have been in my life.  So many great people.

I’ve a wonderful family who loves me.  My Mother and Sister who love me completely unconditionally.  Two bros who, though they get wrapped up in their own lives and forget about me (LOL), love me despite the maddening smart ass that I can be.  A step-Father who I grew to love as a Father.  No step needed.  My Grandparents.  Only one left to me now.  All wonderful.  All treasures.  And an extended family who keeps me in their prayers even if I am a heathen pagan heretic.

The places I’ve visited and explored.  Saigon, Hanou, Siem Reap, Bangkok, Frankfurt and Paris, the Grand Canyon and the temples of Angkor.

I’ve traveled on the Silk Road and spent days, weeks and months in the Kingdom of Siam.

I’ve driven alone through Kabul and flown through the Hindu Kush.  I’ve entered the city of Herat and been fortunate enough to see it’s most wondrous monument.  The Masjid Jam-e.

Kuwait with it’s towers and golden monuments.  Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.

I rode a camel to the Pyramids and actually climbed the Great Pyramid.  I’ve gazed upon the Sphinx and the numerous pyramids both famous and obscure–the Red Pyramid, the Bent Pyramid, the Ziggurat of Sakkara.  Climbed Mount Sinai.

I’ve swam the Rio Chagre and explored ancient Spanish forts in Central America.

I’ve even spent a bit of time in jail cells on 4 different continents.  Dubai, Egypt, Germany, the US and Korea.  haha

And more…

Who could do such things and then complain about one’s lot in life.  I couldn’t take myself seriously if I found myself complaining about this life.  What a fool I’d be.  Not that I take myself all that seriously at anyrate.

I’m the fool on the hill.  Running through life madly.  Enjoying it all the way.  it’s a blessing as I see and experience it.

I’ve met wonderful people along the way.  My good friend Becca.  My oldest friend Bruce Taylor with whom I played as a wee toddler in times that I barely remember.  My cousin Carl who for some reason beyond comprehension is a Louisville Cardinal fan.  I’ve forgiven him that slip.  Rick.  My Wildcat brother.  Justin from my Old Guard days.  Rob and Joe and Pete and Conrad Sweeney with whom I conquered Tel Aviv in ’98.  Can’t forget thin man.  My good buddy Paul.  Big Will.  MSG Keys.  Even the crazy, silly Lyshia.

I’ve even been fortunate enough to get on well with my workmates.  Some of whom are a bit looney.  But decent folks all.

Where would I be today without Rick, Katrina and Dorian.  Valentina my buddy from Kosovo and Shawn and Jay.

All of the good Army folks whom I’ve met in my days at KBR and ManTech.

Roop from AECOM.  A girl with whom I said naught but boo until my last day and befriended through the magic of this blog and the ideas and beliefs expressed hereon.

My Indian friends like Satheesan, Sandeep, Kumar, Tanzeem, Rajeev.  If you never have the chance to work with Indian chaps, you’re missing something special.  It’s like coming to a new family.

Speak of Tel Aviv and I always remember Galit Kabra and Mali Kiasi.  Two very different women.  But both beautiful and extraordinary.  All Israelis serve in the military.  All of them risk their lives in the face of the fascist Palestinian terror goons.  I don’t know if Galit is even alive.  We kept in touch until suddenly she stopped responding.  Her responses stopped soon after an explosion in a Mall that she and I frequented.  I have no idea if she was there or if the halt in communication was simply coincidence.  I prefer to think that she is still alive and well.

Presently, I find myself in Afghanistan.  I’m doing a piece of work here that will assist in re-establishing Afghanistan as a nation.  If the people of Afghanistan decide that they want it bad enough.  Sometimes working with Afghanis and getting them working towards a common goal is a bit like herding cats.  Near impossible.  So many agendas.  But it’s challenge.

This job affords me the opportunity to work directly with the people of Afghansitan.  I get to see them in their own world.  Their culture at work.  The religion.  The tribes.  The good and the bad.  It’s an amazing opportunity.

I don’t know what I will do when I leave Afghanistan.  I don’t even know when I will leave.  Sometimes, I think about doing some NGO work in impoverished nations of the non-developed world.  Pre-industrial communities.  Spend some time in Cambodia or Vietnam working with villagers to bring some modernization to their world.  A great part of the world lives in conditions that I would liken to the 1800s in the Wild West of the United States.  Running water and electricity is non-existent.  Basic living conditions.  Mud huts.  Wooden stilt houses.

Perhaps, I’ll see if I can do something to help them for a while.

Perhaps, I’ll go home to America and enjoy my family and some good old Kentucky Basketball.

I don’t know.

I may not make it home.  Anything can happen.  Whatever does, I don’t regret a moment of the life that I’ve lived.  Not a second.  There’s more to come.  I’m sure of it.

Thank the Gods for my many life blessing.  It’s been an extraordinary life thus far.