Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Denial Ain't Just a River in Egypt

People believe what the want to believe and facts don't matter! I see the proof this over and over again, usually with people who are considered 'conservative'. Sure, there are some radical 'liberal' and 'progressive' people who do the same thing but is more of a conservative trait. Progressives are usually defined as being far more open-minded than conservatives.
I live in a very, very right-wing region of the country where a majority are far more aligned politically with Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona than Barrack Obama, or Hillary Clinton. People where I live are religious, anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-gun control and generally racist (black or white), though most officially deny the racist bit. About the only things they seem to be 'for' are 'our southern heritage' ('states rights', Confederate flags), white supremacy (in fact, if not so stated) and war for the slightest perceived reason and hang its consequences. (Maybe it's all that Confederate heritage stuff coming out and boiling to the surface?)
Occasionally I engage in commentary on various news stories of interest to me. Recently I did so on a story on a local murder/suicide in our community where the subject of gun control came up. I am for, as all rational people ought to be, the reasonable control of access to guns. I am not a radical on the matter, and in fact I own several guns myself. There are certain people however, who in my opinion, should not be allowed to have a gun. Such a person was the main actor in our recent local murder/suicide. I was roundly attacked of course for my mention of gun access control, and all facts I pointed out were simply ignored and skipped over - all as I had expected.
The shooter was a man who had been recently arrested for domestic violence and 'terroristic threats' against his wife. If there was ever a type of person who ought to be disarmed, it was this man. Yet this man apparently still had every right to possess and use firearms, which he did with deadly effect by killing his estranged wife and then himself, leaving several children to fend for themselves - and become wards of the state I imagine. You might say 'good riddance' about the killer, but I don't think you can say it about his victims. In fact, they were victims in more ways than one, since the the authorities failed - it sure seems to me - in their sworn duty to protect them from the threatened violence - threats which were officially recorded well ahead of time by said authorities!
Sadly, unfortunately, this is a story heard all too often in our times.  Somehow the gun lobby using our sacred 'Second Amendment' has successfully subverted almost any sensible gun control or gun access legislation in the United States - all in the interests of  more profits for the gun industry apparently.  They have created near hysteria, and, hang the cost in tragedy, misery, lives and money to the rest of the country so long as their profits keep increasing. Such is the 'American Way' and the Capitalist system!
The gun lobby has so successfully propagandized and frightened so many fearful people, and created so many millions more, who will now run out and buy up ever more stockpile mountains of firearms and ammunition at the slightest suggestion of any meaningful gun access legislation. They have so frightened, and/or defeated any legislator who dares suggest gun acess control they are essentially now writing themselves blank legislative checks. All this in the face of about 70% of the population of the United States who support reasonable gun access control. It is a topsy-turvy situation, which the rest of the civilized world is watching with amazement, wonder and horror.
Gun deaths are now forecast to exceed traffic deaths in the United States in 2015.
And, no matter how many facts, statistics or evidence you present to the totally convinced Second Amendment people, that sensible gun access control laws work, save lives and money, protect more people, and so on and on and on, they are so propagandized that nothing penetrates. In the face of raw facts and statistics, they dissemble, obfuscate and deny, or present straw men arguments. They are CONVINCED - and nothing else matters! There is no reason or sanity there, just raw opinion, which overrules everything else. It all reminds me a great deal of a bumper sticker I once saw about Christianity:

Yep. A lot of those are some of the same folks all right!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Never Trust a Fart - Ever!

I see it has been quite I while since I have posted to this blog. My excuse is many other things have taken my interest in the interim time. Now that I have a brand-new computer it has motivated me to add a bit to this blog. I pass along these words of wisdom to anyone who is getting on in years who is interested in a comfortable, ripe old age. At more advanced ages it is important to recognize the things you can and cannot do - or control. Here are a few pointers:  
Hearing and Seeing: There is an old cliche' about believing 'none of what you hear and only half of what you see'. In my experience this is based on pure unadulterated fact. I have noticed our world is full of those who will say anything to sway you one way or another or relieve you of money and property. Think politicians of all stripes, and various charlatans of mercenary natures. The bigger the corporation too, it seems the worse they are about this. The older I get, the more I realize most of humanity - outside your own circle of family and friends - are on the make one way or another, at everyone else's expense. The lesson to the wise and wary elder is to suspect anything you read or are told, and lots of what you may see with your own eyes - until thoroughly proven otherwise.
Dealing with the Younger Crowd: Try not to challenge a younger and stronger person directly, especially physically unless absolutely necessary; instead, use the things you have learned through your many years of hard-earned experience to call up all the guile and treachery you need and are capable of to control and defeat them.  While this might seem callous and cruel, you are actually helping your opponents become stronger and better persons. While they may not see things this way, for sure if you are successful, you will have taught them respect!
Dealing with People your Own Age: Deal with other older persons with all the tolerance and kindness you are capable of. After all, you likely will not know the kinds of lives they've had to live or the struggles they've had to deal with through their lives which make them what they are today. Give them all the slack you can, and above all, DO NOT JUDGE! Not even if he or she is the most miserable, sour, politically contrary S.O.B. or bitch you ever heard of. You simply will not know what kinds of things made them what they are today. And never forget, they will need to make allowances for you too!
Staying Interested: One thing which really helps the enjoyment of your elder years is to be and stay interested in something - or many things - which appeal to you. 'Exploration' is one of life's great joys, so don't allow yourself to 'vegetate' or refrain from doing things because it's hard, or takes effort. Hobbies, projects, activism, whatever - working at and having a passion for things will surprise you at how the aches and pains will seem to leave your body, and even after your efforts wear you out, there's always rum! Or its alternative!
Eating: Eat moderately and healthily, and the closer to natural the better. If Mother Nature had wanted you to subsist on crap foods, that stuff would grow on bushes and trees. Don't ingest things not naturally meant for you - if you were meant to drink cow's milk for example, you would go around on four legs mooing today. Do not eat the highly processed stuff designed solely to make others rich. Do eat the natural things that feel right and taste naturally good to you - Mother Nature is almost always right about that.
Drinking: You should have learned by now to be moderate in drinking alcohol, otherwise you would likely now be planted in a place where weeds won't grow. It just is not worth it to overdo it. You will be hungover and feel like crap for much longer in your older years than you did when you were twenty. Just don't overdo it! This is not to say you should not enjoy a few drinks when you want to, and even get a little tipsy once in a while - just be warned you will pay for any overindulgence!
Sex: Flaunt it if you have it. I's not going to get any better!
Smoking: If you are reading these lines and ever smoked in your life, you very most likely quit such an incredibly stupid thing years ago. (As I did!) Otherwise your dead ashes would already be mixed in with all those cigarette, cigar or pipe ashes and other dirt.
Doing Drugs: Unless they is prescribed for you, don't do them, especially the hard ones. And, use even prescribed drugs with wisdom and moderation. While I do subscribe to the notion of 'better living through chemistry', don't overdo those either. It is all well and good to moderate pain and anxiety, but just remember, Mother Nature sends pain (and anxiety) along for a reason. And, that is to let you know when you need to correct whatever you are doing wrong to and for yourself.
Churching: If you have ever been a churchgoer, don't waste any more of your time which is probably fast running out anyway. Going to church and acting pious may be a comfort for some, and that's a positive of course. But, my experience is all churches in one way or another are merely archaic organized scams for control and for stripping you of as much of your money as possible. (See 'Hearing and Seeing' above.) And think of all the joy and fun you will have missed in trying to live by churching rules and making other churchgoers believe you are holy! Go out and have some fun while you can and to Hell with all those pious-acting hand-wringing do-gooders who are judging you. Go ahead and have the satisfaction of giving them heartburn.
Leaving an Inheritance: Outside of sentimental remembrances, most inheritances end up being burdens to the beneficiaries, serving mostly to weaken them.  It is a rare bird who has had a happy or satisfying life with an inheritance, and almost surely they will not be anywhere near the same strong person who made all that money in the first place. Sure, free money may be great to get, but it almost always is detrimental to the recipients in the long run. Help make them stronger by helping them fend for themselves. If you want your descendants and friends to enjoy your money, live it all up with them while you are still kicking.
Compromising: You have to learn to live with the notion you may not be able do many things you used to do. You can't dance all night anymore, or run as fast a a twenty-year-old, or do the same manual work you once could do without breaking a sweat. That is one fact of your life you must recognize and accept as reality, and it comes to all of us eventually. Don't fight it, just do what you can and don't worry about what isn't possible anymore. That is what I call compromising with realities . . . and never regret the things which are simply not possible anymore.
Having Fun: Having fun and laughing plays a big part in what makes life splendid, so enjoy all you can. Spend money, have a hoot and to hell with anyone who decides you aren't 'acting your age' or are being foolish. Do the things that YOU enjoy and which feel right to you regardless of what any of the sourpusses say -  most try to tear you down only because they are simply jealous inside anyway. Just smile at them and don't be too sarcastic when you make snarky remarks back to them - and I know you will!
Tolerating Crap from Anyone: JUST DON'T! You don't have to - and don't let anyone fluster you either. Make it your business to get right in the face of anyone giving you crap, and that includes the IRS and similar outfits. What have you got to lose anyway? What are they going to do, put your raggedy old ass in jail? Frig 'em, let 'em fart themselves to death!

And Finally, the most Important Rule: NEVER trust a fart - ever! You never know when that sucker just might come out in lumps, or even worse yet, as a soupy brown chowder. As a corollary, never miss a chance to take a nice comfortable crap when you can, and never fail to answer your inner signal to take a leak when it's convenient too! These simple things seem to become more important as you get older, and paying a little attention to them will make your life so much better.