And You Wonder Why We Resist

It’s old news by the time this article goes live, but as many of us expected it turns out that Fauci lied about his connection with the Wuhan lab and the gain of function research related to COVID-19. As far as I know, there has been no conclusive evidence presented that the virus absolutely originated in this laboratory, but it’s an awfully suspicious coincidence for a highly transmissible virus to “just happen” to spring up near an institute that studies just such biology. While we can’t prove yet that the laboratory was directly responsible for the pandemic, it seems far more likely than any other theory.

Regardless, the point for today is that the mouthpiece for the pandemic effort has been caught red handed in his lies regarding the US government’s involvement in gain of function research, in addition to all the wildly back and forth “advice” we’ve received from him over the last year. Many of the people involved in this entire situation had vested interests in shutting down any inquiry into the virus at all, attempting to smother us with “policies” that we should be following to keep “safe” from the virus.

The problem with this entire situation is that some or most of what they said was probably the right thing. Things change as our understanding of things develops, and most people are willing to at least listen to scientists when they make a claim to something. After all, they’re the ones doing the kinds of research the rest of us either can’t or have no desire to do. They’re the experts and have the best chance of knowing. We rely on them in many situations where someone has to determine what the best path forward is.

It becomes very difficult then to place trust in the scientific community when people place their own interests ahead of the community. People like Fauci and the rest of them sow mistrust amongst the populace against science in general when it comes to light that they were lying from the very beginning, especially when the rules they advocated for placed heavy handed controls on the lives of billions of people. The world watches America and follows our lead and many countries will do whatever we end up doing.

Many of us never trusted this situation in the first place. We saw the obnoxious attempts to subdue the population under the guise of public safety, doing our best to refuse things like mask mandates and quarantine orders. I was fortunate to work for a company that didn’t really put much more than the bare minimum into these efforts, and I spent the entire pandemic only wearing a mask when I went into places that required it. I never wore a mask outside, even when it was still a requirement.

Of course, the biggest source of doubt in many of our lives right now is the vaccine. It was developed far faster than anything that previously came before, taking less than a year from start to finish while most vaccines take three to four years to go through the proper trials. The side effects are far worse than any vaccine I’ve had, and having served in the military I’ve had my fair share. We aren’t against vaccines in general, just this rushed version that capitalized on a global emergency.

Then we find out that the very people pushing this rushed vaccine were heavily involved with a lab that was performing research that very likely spawned the very pandemic we’ve been living with for more than a year, and people still somehow wonder why we resist what the government is trying to get us to do. It isn’t that we’re stupid or ignorant or whatever you might think; lies have a cost and it comes to bear when the people realize that you aren’t worth listening to. You manipulate people at your own risk.

At some point, the rest of us will likely be ready to take the vaccine once it has had some time to show what the long term consequences are, fully informed of the risk rather than just jumping in because “the government say so”. It’s difficult to argue they know what they’re talking about when the numbers show that their efforts made absolutely no difference at all. States with virtually no lockdowns or mask enforcement had similar or better results to states that were draconian in their efforts. Why should we believe you on vaccines?

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The Problem with Being Unrealistic

Human beings reach for the stars. It’s in our nature to be unsatisfied with what we have and constantly strive for something better. The drive to succeed and accomplish great things is what has propelled us from living in cold, dark caves to the fantastic level of technology that we enjoy today. There is nothing inherently wrong with being unrealistic because most of the things we have today wouldn’t be possible if someone at some point hadn’t decided to follow their dreams in the face of overwhelming evidence that it wouldn’t work out.

This is the double-edged sword when it comes to being realistic. Almost all of the time it is in our best interests to weigh what is feasible against what is vaguely possible. Some ideas are just reasonable enough to be within the realm of actually happening, but are so remote that you are virtually guaranteed to be wasting your time and energy on it. Yet if you don’t try then it becomes literally guaranteed. It makes it quite difficult to reach out when you know that you’re very likely to fail at something that could change your life for the better if you succeed or completely ruin it if you fail.

Hope is what causes us to reach out for things that should be beyond our grasp, but hope flies in the face of reality in most cases. There are billions of individual people on the planet, each with their own dreams for the future, and only a very small percentage are able to reach far beyond their means to accomplish something truly great. Most of us forget about that when we start imagining what things might be like if we go after something we want. How many others tried and failed? We don’t like to think about the sheer number of people who are stuck where they are simply because the odds weren’t in their favor.

Of course, how many of them never bothered to try because it seemed so difficult? How much of that number of unsuccessful people is due to the hopelessness that comes from knowing that something is nearly impossible? We are not incentivized to ignore the numbers, our innate desire to play it safe preventing us from going out on a limb for that choice piece of fruit. Better to live with the slightly under ripe fruit than to dangle precariously reaching for the perfectly sweet treat.

Like most things in our life, the question of being unreasonable can’t be answered for you. As an individual with your own thoughts and desires, it is only you who can determine where you draw the line between what is realistic and what is beyond your reach. You are the one who will have to put the effort into whatever it is you’re trying to do, hopefully with the support of others, but ultimately the outcome rests heavily on your shoulders. And then even if you do everything right, you can still fail. That is the risk.

For most people, this thought process will seem far outside anything they have to worry about, focused solely on their job or their family or whatever mundane thing it is that most of us put our effort into. However, we can be unreasonable in a great many things, even the mundane. Perhaps we want a house that is beyond our means, putting ourselves into more debt than we can afford to get it. Our marriage might not be what we wished it were, and we seek attention from another who seems to be offering what we want. The job that provides what we need might be unsatisfying and we walk away in the hope that we can find something more suitable.

All of these things can be viewed as unreasonable if we are not in the proper position to do anything about it. It all comes down to learning to be satisfied with what you have while holding on to the hope that things can still get better. It is a tightrope of mental focus that allows us to reach some level of satisfaction in our lives, not throwing away what we have in pursuit of something else, but still continuing down the path of improvement even if it never happens. Hope is a good thing; expectations are not.

What do you think about unreasonable expectations? Do you have things in your life that you want to change that seem impossible? Are you sabotaging yourself in pursuit of those things, or have you learned to accept where you are? Can you hold out hope for the future while still being content with where you are right now? It seems like a huge contradiction, but if we want to keep moving forward without flying too close to the sun, we have to learn to find that feeling of acceptance and patience, waiting for a future that may never come.

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Inequity is Correct…For Now

It’s a word that just about everyone hates these days, like every other word that has become politically charged through the actions of one group who has decided something is bad. Some people hate what the word represents, railing against a system they see as unfair and exclusionary. Others hate it because it assaults what they have, a threat to their livelihoods from groups of people who can’t seem to get things together. Whichever side you land on, it’s unlikely that the word inequity doesn’t affect you in one way or another.

Many times it’s difficult to come up with a clear and logical answer to the problems our societies face. There are so many moral and ethical dilemmas that come with trying to answer questions that apply to large groups of people, especially in world power nations with hundreds of millions of people. For most things, it is impossible to define one clear rule that everyone should follow, and even some of the rules that we see as universal aren’t agreed upon by some. There are always outliers, and they are the ones who end up being forced to either conform or live as outcasts.

When it comes to the concept of inequity, however, it becomes very difficult to argue the idea as something that is either moral or ethical. It sounds great when you just say it out loud, the assumption that everyone should have a basic quality of life and no one should have more than anyone else. The reality, though, is that equity is one of the absolute worst forms of human oppression that one can imagine. It flies in the the face of the laws of nature and completely disregards what makes us human beings in the first place.

Inequity exists as part of the natural world. Some animals are born with advantages that allow them to hunt more food or find more mates or secure a better home. This lack of perfect balance weeds out those who can’t find a way to survive, pooling resources for those more fit and capable while leaving the weak to starve or succumb to the elements. Nature cares little for our ideals of equity, and it is only because we have advanced to the point that we can ignore it that the idea has any kind of meaning at all.

We obviously can’t live by the same rules as animals because our society is built on the strength that comes from community. Human beings are the epitome of natural inequity, blessed with an intelligence and physical form that allows us to create technologies and cultures that place us far outside the typical realms of most of the animal kingdom. By our very nature, we exude inequity on a daily basis as we drive around in our cars and live in our huge houses and fly around in our airplanes.

Still, comparing human inequity to animal inequity doesn’t really resonate, regardless of how logical it is. We will always place far more importance on our own lives than that of any animal. It doesn’t matter how much evidence we see that inequity is the default in the natural world because we don’t really live in that world anymore. The argument can and has been made over and over it is in our nature to be selfish and place our own survival ahead of others, but that doesn’t satisfy our emotional need for justice, so the argument ends up falling on deaf ears.

One argument that can’t be reasonably argued against is the law of supply and demand. It is an immutable part of our everyday lives, determining the value of resources and who has access to them. In a world where everything is finite, not everyone is going to get everything they want. Either some people are going to realize their dreams while others struggle to get by, or no one ends up getting where they want to be and the hope for the future is crushed.

From what I’ve experienced in life so far, it seems like people need hope far more than comfort. It is the drive to realize the dream of “making it” that propels the human race forward. A sense of progressing toward something more is what causes us to yearn to create something new, even if it is perverted by our own greed more often than not. Without the hope that we can rise to new heights, how can we find the drive to do more than just sit around in the status quo? How much farther can our species go if we force ourselves to be content with what we have?

This is the dilemma of the human species. It is a fantasy to believe that in our current situation we can somehow find a way to provide equality of outcome for everyone. People simply want far more than what life can be extracted from the currently available pool of resources. Large portions of society might be content with simply having their needs met, but history has shown us that some will not and they will acquire what they want through force if there is no other way. We can’t escape the laws of nature, not yet.

So what do we do with this information? Are we doomed to forever live in a world where some people live far beyond the means of others? Not forever, but for a while yet. Until we come up with a way to provide everyone everything they desire, there will always be inequity. When we have perfect robots who roam our planet and the solar system harvesting resources and providing everything we need with no requirement for human labor, that will be the time when inequity can be abolished. Until then, the correct path forward is focusing on the word “equality”, because in a world of finite resources, equality of opportunity is the only truly fair way.

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Too Much Content

I think most people would agree that the internet is probably the single greatest advancement that human beings have made in the history of our existence. At no prior point in our past have we had the level of connectivity not just between those people in our immediate sphere, but with people from all around the world. Nearly unlimited information is at our fingertips in a nearly instantaneous fashion, and as technology and ideas continue to progress it only becomes easier and easier to find what you’re looking for.

This amazing ability to transfer information in a nearly effortless way is both the blessing and curse of internet content. Whereas it required a nearly impossible number of factors to come together to get something distributed even just a few decades ago, the modern internet has allowed anyone with a voice and the ability to use a computer or smartphone to start posting things online for other people to see. In a way, we have gone from having not nearly enough content at our disposal to having a tidal wave of information that washes over us on a daily basis.

The problem with this is that much of this content isn’t the fresh, clean waves of a clear ocean lagoon, but a deluge of sewage that buries us in filth. The internet as a whole focuses on quantity over quality, and the result of this is that virtually all of the content we become exposed to has had little or no review by a human person with the ability to compare what society really wants to what is being distributed. In the past, things like books or television shows or other published works had to get through a human filter who typically understood what would do well and what would not. Now it’s just a computer algorithm.

All of these things combine to create a new type of barrier to entry to getting noticed in the public space, and in many ways it can be harder to get noticed today than it ever was in the past. Before internet algorithms, nearly all content went through relatively few channels in the form of talent scouts or publishing companies or whatever other organizations sought out quality content to sell to the public. An artist typically knew where to go to get noticed, and success came down to being good enough and a little bit of luck.

Today, this just isn’t the case. Because of the vast amount of mediocre content creators that swamp the internet with uninteresting content, there is simply too much out there for human beings to sift through. It is the reason that algorithms have been developed in the first place. As a result, it isn’t enough for people who have some kind of talent to simply be good enough and show their talent to the people who decide. We have to become marketing experts in our own right to have any chance of getting noticed.

Of course, sometimes people just get lucky out of the blue for no particular reason other than they posted something that “went viral”. This is incredibly frustrating for people who plug away every day trying to get through the massive wall that is the internet search algorithm, only to watch someone post something that required little or no effort and just happened to hit the right nerve out of blind luck. This obviously happened in the past, but the gatekeepers typically recognized talentless individuals and rarely propped up these “one hit wonders” with any amount of seriousness.

It’s difficult to say whether the old way was better, or if the current way of doing things makes more sense. The creative part of me despises having to capitulate to the conformity required to make my content easily “searchable”. I prefer for the things I write or create to simply be what I want them to be, not what works for the algorithm. As I stated in a previous post, the reason we have such a sea of sameness is exactly because you can’t really get noticed if you don’t format your posts in a way that makes sense to the programming. Balanced with the abysmal quality of content we have today, I personally feel it was better when there were real human gatekeepers.

Regardless, we obviously won’t be going back to the way things used to be. Anyone who wants to enter this space will have to learn and adapt and figure out how to break through the barrier to entry that is the almighty algorithm, either by conforming to the system or figuring out a way around it. My hope is that I can find a way to do the latter, preserving the way I write so that my readers can see the authentic me rather than the veneer that results from shaping content to the algorithm. Until more people start to value this and take an active role in supporting that idea, we will continue to be stuck with the sewer brigade.

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Do We Need Police?

One of the consistent ideas that has existed in human society almost from the beginning is the desire for professional security services provided by experts who know how do do that sort of thing. While in the past it might have simply been a cooperative group of villagers banding together to fight off danger and keep order within, our modern version has been a police force for quite a long time now. Most people see the concept as a double-edged sword, preventing justice in some instances and horribly curtailing it for others. Your personal experience with law enforcement will certainly color your decision as to which is more prevalent.

Perhaps the most misunderstood part of what America was always supposed to be is the idea that democracy unchecked can be just as bad as an all powerful tyrant. Without strict limits set on what any one person or group can control, mob rule becomes a real danger to the smaller groups in society who don’t have the means of protecting their own interests against a much larger threat. One of the common themes to arise out of our republican form of government is that all men are created equal and deserve equal protection under the law. Sadly, we haven’t lived up to this ideal very well, and though we’ve strived to make it better, we seem to be falling back down the mountain again.

When it comes to sensationalism, few things spark anger more than our police forces being involved in some kind of extraordinary incident where an officer infringes on the rights of a group of people who happen to be in the political spotlight. Very few people care if these kinds of things happen to just anyone; if it happens to a protected group, then outrage is the order of the day. No one pays attention to the fact that the ratio of these incidents as compared to the total sum over the course of even a single day is miniscule. All that matters is that it’s happening and something must be done.

Were the response measured and appropriate to the level of the problem, it would certainly be the right thing to do. However, this isn’t what’s happening. As a nation, we have persecuted law enforcement as a concept, ready to throw away the entire idea in favor of some unknown replacement that will somehow tip the scales of justice back where they should be. It is unclear how that is supposed to work, but for many of us it could be a step in the right direction. Not everyone yearns for someone else to protect them from harm.

On the other hand, there are many in our society who are simply incapable of protecting themselves in any form. While someone such as myself would be perfectly fine with replacing a police force with an unregulated policy of self-defense, large portions of our society would be left completely vulnerable, having never had any exposure to violence of any kind. In our safe little worlds, most of us have reached the point where we are hopelessly dependent on others to ensure our survival.

It is because of this that simply doing away with police doesn’t really work. Like most ideas, it sounds great when you don’t put any real thought into it, but once you start peeling back the layers, it becomes quite clear that simply wiping the slate clean and hoping for the best isn’t going to result in a more positive society. What will actually happen is that the criminal elements, who are always more than ready to pounce, will have the run of everything. We’ve already seen it multiple times as cities burn under protest while their police forces are required to sit idly by and let it happen. When you let the chaos run free, it will always come to visit you.

Where does this leave us with the answer to the question for today? This again depends on how you think society should work. If you believe in self reliance and taking care of your own welfare, then you would obviously see the evaporation of law enforcement as a good thing. If you are one of the people who would suffer because there is no one left to help you anymore, you will clearly not find it to be beneficial to you. Most people will fall somewhere in the middle, either preferring to take care of themselves but understanding that most people can’t, or needing the protection of others while ultimately desiring the freedom to do what they want.

Unfortunately, this is one of those things where it’s very difficult to have it both ways. We always like to try to find a middle ground on things, but when a group of people is ultimately controlled by the political atmosphere of the day, our system of law enforcement eventually becomes a tool for whoever happens to have power at the time. It doesn’t matter how many rules we put in place to stop it; if people don’t respect those rules, then they aren’t worth any more than the paper they’re written on.

So do we need police? Yes and no.

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How Do You Find Work You Love?

Clearly, there can be no standard answer for the title of this article. If anyone had actually figured out a short and simple way of finding and getting into a career that you love, everyone would be doing it. The unfortunate reality of life is that most of us will be forced to labor under tasks that aren’t fit for the kind of person that we are, scraping a living by soullessly performing work that has no meaning to us and provides no enrichment to who we are as people. There simply isn’t enough to go around to allow everyone to do whatever it is they dream of doing.

As sad as this fact is, it is the hope that perhaps we might be the one to get lucky and find the work we love doing that keeps us going every day. If we laid down and accepted the spiritual slavery that comes with slaving away for someone else’s dream, not many of us would choose to keep on living. It is our drive to see our dreams come true that keeps us getting up every day and going to work. The spiritual sustenance that comes from hope staves off the despair that would end us otherwise.

So how do we get to the point where we find something we love doing? The simple answer is to just keep on trying different things until you find something you like. Most of us are afraid of what is new, and I am certainly amongst the foremost in the category. It is exceedingly difficult for me to put myself out there and expose myself to potential embarrassment or failure. Failure isn’t something that sits well with me, and many of the ideas I’ve had for different things I might do were stopped before they ever got started because I didn’t believe I would succeed at them.

Unfortunately, it is quite rare for anyone to simply have their dream fall into their lap. It is only through getting out there and trying things that we experience something that meshes well with our talents and interests. Just like searching for a job requires effort, finding our calling requires significant amounts of work beyond simply paying the bills. It requires putting ourselves in uncomfortable places, exposing our vulnerabilities to the world in the hope that we can find something that enhances our lives through meaningful accomplishment.

Much of this comes down to being willing to learn new things. Many times we think we already know what we want, but most of the time this is just a lie we tell ourselves so we don’t have to get ourselves into potentially uncomfortable situations. It is for this reason that some people succeed where others fail, because they are willing and excited to go experience new things and figure out what it is that makes them feel fulfilled. You can’t find this kind of thing if you aren’t willing to go out and experience them.

As an introvert, I struggle with this every day, and most of the time I fail. I tend to prefer sitting around at home, not really getting anything meaningful done and just passing my time uselessly. My brain knows this is a waste, but the part of me that hates going out and dealing with the world almost always wins against the part of me that yearns for something more. I can tell myself that my current situation prevents me from doing the kinds of things I wish I could do, but the reality is that I am simply my own worst enemy.

Perhaps one day I will find the strength to get over my own issues and strike out to find that thing that will finally fulfill me. For now, though, this blog is the only thing I can muster at that provides me with any sense of doing something meaningful. While I can’t be a shining example to others, I can at least provide the perspectives of what I’ve learned over the years so that my readers might find some bit of value and add it to their own lives. As the cliché goes, those who can’t do teach.

Regardless, information that helps others is always worth sharing, and even if I can’t be the one that people look to as a model for their own lives, I can at least share what I think might be the truth. If it helps even one person, then it’s worth the time and effort. As much is I struggle with the idea, it is almost always when we are doing something that includes other people that we find meaning in what we do. Though we might prefer our safe little caves, it is only out in the open under the life giving sun that we find that feeling that makes us crave living.

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Fighting with Yourself

I think most people struggle with living with who they are. We are brought up to believe that we should be good people, striving to help others and participate in society in the way that everyone else seems to. For some people, this comes quite easily and they are able to set aside their selfish tendencies, at least to the level where they can cope with others in a meaningful way. People like me, however, will always struggle with the balance of needing to be with others while also having a fervent desire to be apart from the inevitable chaos that results from including other people in your life.

It is this paradox that has plagued my life from the first days I struck out on my own. No matter where I’ve gone or what I’ve experienced, I will never get away from the burning desire to quiet the noise around me and find peace. Perhaps it’s because my own inner monologue never seems to stop, and I find myself forever looking for ways to distract myself from it. Video games have always been a go to for that kind of thing, focusing my attention on a singular objective and avoiding the chaos that rages in my own mind.

The unfortunate part that the people most important to me always seem to suffer as a result of these flaws in who I am. No matter how much I might care for the people I love, there is an almost unshakable desire to maintain control of my environment, to push back the chaos that results when you add variables like other people to the equation. It is they who end up suffering as I continue to try to shape them to how I want them to be, my prideful impatience with the ways of others stomping on their spirit until they stop caring anymore and leave.

No prophecy is more powerful than the one you create for yourself, and my inability to get control over my need for control simply accentuates how much of an illusion control is in the first place. I might find a way to get some level of peace, perhaps for a short while or even for several years, but in the end life will always find a way to intrude on my sanctuary and throw things back into chaos. There is no escaping it, and throwing away all of the good things in life trying to hold onto this fake sense of control makes absolutely no sense.

Understanding and doing are two different things, however, as many times it’s easy to understand what you should be doing and far more difficult to convince yourself to do it. There is a reason why evil is so prevalent in the world: it’s just easier to do it that way. Our nature is to find the path of least resistance, and without some strong motivation to do otherwise we will almost always default to that instinctive way of doing things. It is one of the reasons we take so long to change; the effort involved many times just isn’t worth the effort.

This leaves me in a quandary. On the one hand I have the knowledge that keeping to myself isn’t a workable long term solution, but on the other I have the unquenchable desire to avoid the chaos that comes with leaving my safe little sanctuary. Many people would tell me to lean on others, but I’ve rarely had good experiences with that, which makes it all the harder to convince myself to change anything. Like most paradoxes, there is no clear solution. It’s a risk, just like everything else in our chaotic little lives.

For someone like me, all I can really do is hope for some true understanding from those people most important to me while I do my best to find whatever middle ground I can. Some will understand and others will not, but I suppose the people who really care will always find a way to set aside the bad parts of me to see what I have to offer. Those who can’t likely didn’t really care in the first place. That doesn’t absolve me of a need to change, but most things are a two way street: I need to change, but others need to understand me as well.

It is a delicate balance, I suppose, trying to set aside a terrible impulse while understanding you can’t live with totally abandoning it. There will always be a strong desire for the peace that comes from solitude, but human beings aren’t designed to be on their own and I can’t stay in that space forever. I want the things that come from having loved ones in my life, and that means stepping out from the sanctuary as often as I can manage it to maintain those relationships. Though I might wish I could have it both ways, it just doesn’t work like that. You have to occasionally leave the cave to find your sustenance.

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Compulsory Vaccinations Ignore Human Nature

It’s been bandied about for quite a while now that perhaps the government should simply mandate vaccinations in one form or another. There are two sides of that argument that are both valid, and which side you land on depends on your philosophy about what it is to be a citizen of the United States. Whichever path we choose moving forward will result in some form of harm to one group or another, and in the end it will determine what kind of people we are going to be in the future.

Obviously, it makes a lot of logical sense to force people to take something that will slow or stop the spread of the virus so it stops being an issue and we can move on with our lives. I don’t think any reasonable person will deny that an effective vaccine is something we should all want to spread around as much as possible to make sure we have as much of a chance of being safe from it as possible. Forcing people to take the vaccine is probably the most efficient way to accomplish this, and I don’t think many people would disagree with that either.

However, the problem on the other side of this thought process is twofold: people don’t like to be coerced and the vaccine was obviously rushed beyond what is normally acceptable for development of medicinal technology. It typically takes several years to develop a vaccine for a new virus, if the standard processes are followed. There are many small steps that must be taken to minimize the damage caused to those who are participating in the study of the virus and of the various ingredients being used to combat it. It doesn’t take much to seriously harm a human being, and part of the ethics of medical research is grounded in taking time to avoid unnecessary harm.

The COVID-19 vaccine, however, was developed in less than a year, which makes it very difficult to trust. We have all seen the consequences of important things that ended up being rushed for one reason or another. Some of the worst disasters in history have been caused by people cutting corners to meet deadlines, and most of those were localized problems that affected a comparatively small number of people. This vaccine is being distributed on a global scale, and if something was missed in the mad rush to get something distributed, who knows how bad the consequences might be.

Of course, it doesn’t help that the government hasn’t given us any reason to place any faith at all in them. Contradictory statements combined with policies that are provably ineffective, many of which continued to be enforced long after it became apparent they were useless, has eroded our ability to trust anyone who says anything about the virus. For many of us, it’s far more reasonable to simply ignore what they say, avoid participating in the chaos, and go about our lives as normal. In the end, that’s all we really want anyway.

This is where we start to get to the place where conflict is starting to look inevitable. There is one side of the community who has wholeheartedly bought into the narrative that the vaccine is good and everyone should be partaking of it, while a significant portion of the population has very good reasons to be mistrustful of anything having to do with COVID-19. Now we have a growing demand to find ways to force people to participate, be it through preventing people from working or even going so far as to physically force people to comply.

The problem with this attitude is that you might get some people to lay down and suffer through such a thing, but there will be many who will fight back. No one wants a war, but when it comes to our individual agency, when backed into a corner many of us will choose to fight back, with lethal force if required, to avoid being forced to inject ourselves with a chemical for which we have no faith in. We have been given no reason to trust anything about this vaccine, and even though many of us don’t subscribe to the “anti-vax” philosophy as a whole, when it comes to this particular product we have good reason to be suspicious.

It is my hope that the people in government, as clueless as they might be, recognize the powder keg that is this coercion of people into taking the vaccine and are too fearful of the inevitable consequences to actually go through with such draconian measures. Unfortunately, we’ve seen over and over in recent decades that many people are blinded by the power they wield, refusing to learn from the past and believing in their own superiority. Everyone always believes they will do it better than those who came before, and it’s usually to the detriment of people who just want to live their lives in peace.

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Leading with Compassion

We have seen a drastic shift in the way our culture perceives what is right and proper in how we deal with the people around us. Much of this has to do with how far we’ve strayed from having to struggle against the world simply to exist, the conveniences of life allowing us to wallow in the luxury that is our modern life. It is easy to understand that when there is no goal or objective that we collectively share, we end up splintering into factions because at our core we just need a good fight.

However, it isn’t necessarily a given that human beings must exist in a constant state of conflict. In the end, our compulsion to fight is driven by our primal need to acquire. The particular things we desire aren’t standardized, aside from basic needs like food and shelter, and this makes it difficult to insist that wherever humans happen to be there will be a fight. Despite our biology, we have the capacity to channel that energy into something more positive and bring our society to places that lesser species can never hope to achieve.

It is unfortunate that we live in a time where our leadership has withered away to the point that moral fortitude is no longer relevant. American society used to be based first and foremost on the Judeo-Christian values that have been the best way of creating communities that most people see as being good. While we definitely do not want to have any religion in control of our politics, it is important to realize and accept that much of what made America a great place to be was heavily influenced by what the Christian faith has to offer.

The reality of today is that we just don’t see much of that anymore in the people we put in control of our government. As things have moved more and more back toward a caste system of the powerful versus the people, we see pandering and platitudes rather than people who truly believe in serving others. The philosophy of our republican form of government was designed around putting the needs of the people they represent over our own view of how we think the world should be. Putting others before ourselves is compassion at its very finest, especially when it forces us to give up something we treasure.

I imagine most of us struggle with the idea of those in power today being willing to make a significant sacrifice upon the altar of America. Perhaps a few would be able to put forth a few symbolic gestures, but how many would be truly willing to just sit down and humbly accept the will of the people? No matter how much we wish they would simply do their duty as we think they should, the sad truth is that power corrupts and even the best of us will succumb to it. Most of us can’t seem to avoid the daily vices that bog down our lives; how can we expect people with access to the ability to rule over our lives to give up that control without a fight?

We desperately need this. We need people in charge who don’t want to be there, who are thrust reluctantly into positions of power and abhor the idea of exerting their ideology upon others. People who don’t believe they know better than everyone else and are willing to truly listen to what the people who voted them into office desire. In short, we need people who are compassionate and empathetic enough to believe that they are no better than the people they represent, humble and contrite in their service to those who put them in their hallowed place of power.

Our biggest duty is to our fellow man, be that in the form of family or community or nation. No person can make life work on their own, and everything we do affects someone. Too often we view the world as a vacuum of our own ideas and ambitions, oblivious to the suffering we cause to others as we insist that things be our way. Choosing compassion over arrogance is the best way to propel us forward as a nation, as it has for most of our history.

America didn’t grow to be the amazing country it is today through selfish ambition, though there was plenty of that. It was the carefully cultivated image of the premier good nation of the world that we projected over many decades that brought us the power we have today. If we can return to that place where we put what is right over what convenient, what is good over what is profitable, and what is best for the “little guy” over what puts a few more yachts in our possession, perhaps we can truly make America great again.

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California Recall Election

I’m not a fan of California. The funny thing about that is that I’ve lived here for nearly two decades of my life, having moved around SoCal for the military and then finally settling in San Diego after I was discharged for a medical problem. As I’ve told many people in the past, I love San Diego but I hate California. It’s a very difficult thing to live with when you have a place that feels like home but you don’t know if you can stay because people from far away have so much power to drastically change the place in which you want to be.

For a long while now, I’ve been mentally one foot out the door, seriously considering the possibility of returning to my place of origin to escape the socialist direction this state has been following for decades. The things keeping me here have mostly been relationships, but also the weather and the fact that some of the laws here allow me to do things I would otherwise be unable to do elsewhere. The thing is that some of most important reasons to stay are no longer present, and I find myself moving closer and closer to leaving.

Recently, however, I’ve been given a small measure of hope that I might be able to stay in this place I’ve learned to call home. The citizens of California have banded together to recall a governor who has basically ruled with an iron fist over the last year or so, taking full advantage of the public fears of COVID-19 to implement strict control over our lives. We’ve watched as prices for even basic needs have skyrocketed, and life has become so much harder to make work. It is a sad state of affairs when air conditioning, a technology that is more than a century old now, has returned to becoming a luxury that many can no longer afford.

Obviously, it is primarily the infringement of personal liberty that has sparked this rebellion against the mainstream California viewpoint. People are tired of being told what to do, forced to put on restrictive face masks and avoid contact with other human beings for some virus that was never really as dangerous as we were led to believe. It is deadly, of course, but no more so than many of the other diseases that we live with on a daily basis. The people are exhausted of the fear mongering and are starting to see through the lies to the heart of the situation: a desire for control.

This is where the recall election comes in, and where my small bit of hope has been rekindled. It has become clear that there is a very real possibility that the sitting governor will be removed from office, and Larry Elder will replace him, bringing a very libertarian lens to the government of California. I’ve been watching his content for quite a while now, and he has a very no nonsense approach to the way that government should work that is very refreshing. It will be amazing to see what he might be able to accomplish if he can get into office and find a way to cut through the stagnation that exists in the capital.

Unfortunately, I can only hold out a small hope that this will actually happen. For too long now Californians have been blindly, happily feeding at the trough of government handouts, allowing themselves to be led around like sheep because we’re too concerned with our own personal lives to worry about what nefarious plots might be floating around us. In much the same way that drug addiction fully ensnares the body, our addiction to laziness has fully ensnared our minds. It’s easier to just let someone else figure things out.

That’s what it really comes down to, if we’re going to be painfully honest. Big government can only exist when the people don’t care enough to stop it. It’s like signing a contract with the devil; you know you’re giving up something precious and unique when you agree to his terms, but the temptation of what is being promised is too great to say no to, even if you know in your heart that it’s just a big fat lie. Total government control will never result in what we hope it will, no matter who we put in charge. Human beings just don’t work that way.

In the end, all we can do at this point is watch and wait. The fallout from this month’s election will be the final chance for California to pull back from the dark path it’s been on for so long and turn back to the light of freedom. He might only be one man, but sometimes it’s a single spark that ignites the fire of change that completely burns away the choked, overgrown forest to make way for new growth. Let us hope that this is the beginning of that new future for the great state of California.

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