Parade Politics

If you want to understand the immigration debate, try finding a seat at a parade.

When the early-birds show up, the world is their oyster, plenty of room for everyone. They’ll even set up some coolers filled with chilled beverages. Folding chairs are everywhere. This is open-country, and they’ll do with it as they please.

When the on-time people start arriving (slightly before the parade starts), the early-birds eye them suspiciously and man their defenses — they’ll hunker down, get to their chairs and shoot judgmental looks all around, securing their territory.

But when the late-people get there, the “laties” as I call them (arriving at the start-time or after) — oh boy, well they just expect to squeeze-in anywhere or perhaps they’ll go right to the front. Some will claim a form of hardship to try and garner sympathy.

We forget that what we’re there for, is to celebrate our union, our togetherness, in the form of a festive procession. Yet we’re territorial tribalists putting party-first as soon as some “others” show up looking to squeeze our space into something smaller than it was.

I’m usually an on-timer by the way, so I view the early-birds as idealist dreamers willfully refusing to accept the fact that others will be coming. Of course there are more people coming, make some room! But man, I am not a fan of “laties”. I sit in my small spot, maybe even in the back, as I try to be respectful and well-behaved — therefore, I can sympathize with early-birds at that point when late-people start showing-up and make my small space even smaller while some even stand right in front of me (so rude!).

I start to think… if only they capped it off and didn’t allow laties into the audience at some point. How can you do that at a parade though? Yet I see this scenario playing out at every event I attend. But if a problem follows you around, the problem is probably you. So of course the real solution for me, is to not focus on the audience, but focus on the show. Why get so entranced by territorial matters when that’s not why I’m there.

In other words, my lack of focus is causing my discomfort. Even if there wasn’t a “laties” issue, then I might focus on the excesses of the early-birds. Or maybe, god-forbid, there’s a smoker next to me. If I’m looking to be perturbed, I can always find something to dislike (seek, and ye shall find). Moral of the story: stop whining and enjoy the show.

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An Odd Coincidence

An excerpt from the fictional tales of The Haphazard Historian.

In 1972, during his first term in office, then president Nixon made a historic journey to the East in order to establish relations with an angry and isolated China. In 2018, current president Trump made a historic journey to the East in order to establish relations with an angry and isolated North Korea.

In 1974, Nixon resigned due to a scandal that came about from the 1972 presidential election, the election in which he attained his second term in office. Shady characters working on behalf of Nixon sought to sabotage his Democratic rivals. At least some of these men were caught in the act. A high-level FBI official, knowing what happened, leaked what he knew to The Washington Post. This information would link these shady characters directly to the president himself, ultimately resulting in his resignation.

The current president is currently plagued by election issues in which it’s alleged that shady characters sought to sabotage his Democratic rival. In Nixon’s time, the FBI was apparently not able to directly involve itself in the situation, hence the leaking-of-information tactic. And as it was then, The Washington Post is a vocal critic of the current administration. One would reason then, that the ultimate goal is to tie the current administration directly to the shady characters that worked to sabotage its opponents.

Another item to consider, is that during his time in congress, Nixon was an active member of the House Un-American Activities Committee, the controversial committee that investigated communist ties and spies. According to this group, there is a long and established history of Soviet espionage and tampering within the United States. It is alleged that the successor of the Soviet Union is continuing this trend and in fact played the part of the shady characters.

Is history repeating itself? Will this narrative have a surprise ending or is it simply a remake of the original? Like in Hollywood, are there only a handful of storylines that just get remade over and over again? Does this lend evidence to the proposition that the world is merely a manufactured fiction? A simulation perhaps…? Stay tuned! Same Bat-Time! Same Bat-Channel!

American Style

I’d say what makes America, America, is reckless radical optimism.

How are we gonna get there?
F*ck it, we’re already out the door!

First there’s the Pilgrims:
John: Hey, you know what’d be better than all these old fogies tellin’ us what to do?
William: Um, moving to an untamed wilderness and starting our own God-based society?
John: YES!! We’re totally on the same page bro!
Henry: But how are you guys gonna survive? You’re like a businessman or whatever!
John: Huh? I can’t hear you bro, I’m already on a boat halfway to America….

Then there’s the Founding Fathers:
Samuel: You know what’d be better than all these royal asshats tellin’ us what to do?
John: Startin’ a war and implementing our own government??
Samuel: You read my mind cousin!
James: How the heck is that gonna work!?
John: LOL! We’re just gonna wing it brah!
Samuel: Too late to worry now! Shots fired!!

And how about those plantation owners:
Rhett: How are we gonna get all this work done Bo?
Bo: Well, we could just kidnap folks from a remote location and force them to labor without wages.
Rhett: Won’t they object?
Bo: Nah, why would they, prolly love us for providing jobs!!
Rhett: What about the long-term ramifications?
Bo: Can’t hear ya! Already halfway to Africa!!

And there’s the Civil War guys too:
Henry: What if we free them by sending hundreds of thousands of armed men down there?
David: Um, won’t they fire back?
Henry: Are you nuts! What could go wrong!
David: Um, hundreds of thousands of people could die in the process…?
Henry: Preposterous!
David: And what about the aftermath? Maybe if we looked at England’s method of….
Henry: Huh!? I can’t hear you over the cannon I keep firing!!!

And of course there’s foreign policy:
Allen: You know what might help the ongoing strife in that non-english-speaking country…
Dick: Sendin’ weapons and troops…?
Allen: You know it bro!
Dick: Well at least it can’t hurt!

And what about space travel:
Tim: I’m thinkin’ we strap y’all to a rocket and fire it up toward the moon… whaddya say?
John: Haha, yeah whatever.
Neil: I’ll do it!!

And electing the president:
Adam: Who should we elect as president?
Bruce: Maybe we nominate the best and brightest and follow that up with a rigorous selection process?
Adam: Nah, go with the guy that electrifies the crowd!
Bruce: Yeah that’ll work too!!

This is no criticism by the way, simply a characterization. If you’re wantin’ to pump the brakes, then you might not be much of an American. If you’re ever faced with the question, “Should I do this?” — stomp the accelerator — the answer is always “Yes”! If you’re thinkin’ ’bout potential negative consequences then you’re doin’ it wrong! Things are gonna turn out awesome, always!!

Particular Politics

I have a penchant for history. But I like to maintain a certain distance from it or else the subject-matter can get a bit too nasty for my tastes. It’s like a sausage: appetizing unless you analyze every bit of the process to do with its construction. But if you receive just the final product, history can certainly fill you with entertaining tales of old.

I suppose the same is true for politics. It’s war but with words. One side versus another both fighting for public opinion. And similar to history, you gotta maintain a certain distance or else it’ll get gross, fast. It is most certainly a sporting event with fans cheering on either side rooting for the star-player-of-the-moment.

But aren’t politics the way in which things get done? If any seat of government disappeared tomorrow as if it never existed, what would change? In the short-term nothing. In the long-term…? Who knows. But if such a question can’t be readily answered, what exactly is government getting done? How crucial can it be?

And if it was crucial, wouldn’t society be sending its brightest minds to do these tasks? Let me ask you this, are politicians the best minds society has to offer? So my advice to myself, and anyone else who needs it. Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Politics is for the politicians, those mischievous hucksters that argue for sport.

Donning Red

An excerpt from the fictional series Wokest Tales of Truth.

We all know Little Red Riding Hood as an old-timey European folk tale, but what if it took place in modern-day America? Now, sit back and enjoy our presentation of Little Red Riding Hood as told from a hyper-Americanized perspective. For the comfort of others, please no smoking.

Red hon, I just got off the phone with your grandma. She’s stuck in bed with gout because she refuses to go to the doctor. Can you deliver some food to her house?

Why doesn’t she just go to the doctor?

Well, honey, she refuses to participate in socialized medicine. She believes the last president was a secret Muslim hell-bent on destroying America. She rejects anything his administration implemented. She thinks the previous president hated her freedoms — and she’ll do anything to stand up for the America she so dearly loves.

Is that why she’s on Facebook complaining everyday?

Now, Red, can you please just deliver this basket of canned goods to your grandma?

Okay mom.

As she left the house, Red put on her red-white-and-blue hoodie. It was her favorite. Her dad gave it to her right before his deployment. He was a Navy Seal that served his country proudly.

Being a Millennial, Red always sought the easy path through life, so today she decided to take the shortcut through the woods despite what her mom told her about going the longer more secure route.

As Red walked through the woods, a wolf spotted her coming.

Hello dear, don’t you look every bit of delectable today?

Red just kept walking, she couldn’t hear him anyway because she had her wireless Apple AirPods in her ears while listening to a Spotify playlist.

Being of the wiser baby-boomer generation, the wolf knew he could easily take advantage of this clueless child that walked right by him. He guessed her destination because there was only one house at the end of the road and he jogged as fast as he could.

Upon arriving at the house, out of shape and out of breath, the wolf heard the sounds of FOX NEWS blaring through the windows. He banged on the door yelling “Open up! The liberals are coming to take your guns!”

Granny yelled back, “I never lock my front door! Come in and hide my guns!”

The wolf entered and gathered up all of Granny’s guns and threw them out the window, leaving the poor woman defenseless. Granny was too busy mailing out checks to Republican politicians and coal-mining CEOs to notice. She knew they’d use the money to create jobs and would manage her Social Security funds better than anyone.

The wolf sat by the front door waiting for Red while Granny remained distracted in the kitchen, yelling about liberals.

When Red finally arrived, she popped out her AirPods and knocked on the door. The wolf quickly answered and told her to come in. He had a college loan application ready and waiting, all Red had to do was sign it and she’d be on the hook for $50,000. When she wouldn’t sign, the wolf got angry and approached Red menacingly.

All she could think about was what her dad told her before he left, “the only thing that can stop rampaging evil is a good-guy with a gun.” After the initial pop, Red’s ringing ears heard nothing as she emptied a magazine of Black Talon hollow-points into the savage beast. When the body hit the floor she re-holstered her concealed-carry firearm.

Granny! It’s me, Red! Are you okay!?

As Granny emerged from the kitchen carrying an apple pie, she and Red turned to the American flag that flew majestically in the front-yard. With right hands over hearts, they recited the Pledge of Allegiance. America had become great again.

American Ideal

An excerpt from the fictional tales of The Gentleman from Massachusetts.

It would do us well to remember that the United States of America was established by those that outright rejected and abandoned their previous government. The people that brought about this nation were not United States citizens by birth, for there was no such entity, but they became Americans through their optimism and innovative ideals. From the Pilgrims to the Founding Fathers to the later waves of immigrants, America was populated by those seeking drastic alteration of the status quo.

I dare say that stodgy old conservatism does not belong here, this is not a land in which ancient ideas should entrench. America is a country by immigrants for immigrants, it is a realm that cannot be constricted by tradition lest it choke and wither, it is a land in which the constant churn must produce newness. Change in a progressive pattern is the very nature of America, and always will be despite those that attempt restraint.

For those that would deem the establishment of staleness appropriate, I piteously say, perhaps this place is not for you. There are already well-established stalwarts of old-world practices. You may think it harsh to turn-out those knowing only this land as home, but I simply hold a mirror before their faces. And truly I wish them not to leave, but merely align their mind with the true nature of the American ideal, which is unrepentant optimism in an ever changing greatness.

Living in this land does not come without a price. The fee comes in the form of a welcoming spirit. What created this country was not the particular system put in place, but the confidence of risk-takers, the boldness held by the foolhardy, the daring of dreamers fulfilling their vision — it was the courage to trust in positive outcomes while maintaining faith in the goodness of people. Our initiation as Americans is not by birth or oath, but by active battle with fear, a foe we must defeat.

We must not be afraid of the future, of change, of differences, of ideas, of countries, of neighbors, of religions, of lifestyles, nor even death itself. We must not shrink away in the cowardice of conservatism, but go boldly forward into the morrow — our very foundation as a nation wills it. Cowards cannot be free, as they are ever locked in a prison of their own design. Let us therefore fight against fright in all its forms and hold fast to the American ideal of unrepentant optimism, which in a word, is courage.

By His Word

As was said: I was hungry and you gave me no food. I was thirsty and you gave me no drink. I was a stranger and you gave me no welcome. I was without even clothes and you gave me nothing. I was sick and you gave me no care. I was imprisoned and you gave me no solace. Then they will say, Lord, when did we see you hungry, thirsty, as a stranger, unclothed, sick, or imprisoned? Then He will answer them, saying: Truly I say to you, inasmuch as you gave not to the least of my brethren, you gave not to me. And these hard-hearted will go into everlasting punishment while the givers go into eternal life.

As was also said:
Blessed are those in distress, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the gentle, for this world shall be theirs.
Blessed are those that crave goodness, for they shall be satiated.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive what they sow.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they are the descendants of God.
Blessed are those harassed for spreading God’s love, for their sanctuary awaits.

Those spreading this message are beacons to the perfection that lies beyond this world, so shine brightly and let this path be known. And do not reject the rules of old, but follow and surpass them.

For instance, it is said you should not kill another — but you should not even insult or hate another. Never stand in opposition to another as an adversary, but reconcile as friends.

It is said you should seek equivalent retribution for wrongs done to you, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth — but you should not even resist someone wronging you. To whomever slaps one cheek, offer the other. If someone claims your shirt, give your coat too. If compelled to go one mile, go two. Give to those who ask and do not resist any wanting to borrow.

It is said you should love your neighbor and hate your enemy — but you should love your enemies and wish well for those tormenting you, in this way you align with God. The sun rises over everyone, good and bad — and the rain too falls onto everyone, just and unjust. Loving only those that love you — anyone can do that — to do as God does, you must love all.

Whatever treatment you want, give to others. And whatever others ask of you, give to them. As you give, you tread the path to perfection, a difficult path traveled by few.

Many will claim to walk the path to God, but merely pretend. Know them by their fruits — the genuine produce what is wholesome while the deceitful produce what is toxic.

Those that claim to walk the path, or ignore it, are lost. Those that hear this message, and follow the path, will find their way.