Category Archives: Happiness

Our Existence ~ Question & Reason

yin-yang-a1All the philosophers, sages, theorists, scientists, & ancient texts, comment and theorize, however the denouement*1, is life itself.

Over and over we’re presented with ancient stories that supposedly explain our existence. The question we seldom ask ourselves, what is truly important?

According to the Bible (Genesis 2:7), this is how humanity began: “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” “God then called the man Adam, and later created Eve from Adam’s rib.”

Gallup polls and the Pew Research Center found four out of 10 Americans believe this account. It’s a central tenet for those who consider themselves literal Christians. (This isn’t an endorsement, merely describing what is believed by many.)

Whatever your level of consideration of the nature of God, the core to any of the ancient religions is our beginning, our ending, and the life in between those two moments, whether for us individually or humanity as a whole.2018-07-17 12.06.05

Before you access your own reactions to any religious theme, this isn’t about any specific religion, it’s about how do you view yourself amidst what you’ve learned so far? These references are simply to say, there are millions of people over thousands of generations who have considered, why, when, and who are we? Whatever your answer, the key to this always comes back to how much do you value these ideas? Your answer defines who you are, and how you adapt and progress with your life.

Let’s start with the basics

When you first enter this world, you are helpless, and require someone to take care of all your physical needs. This gradually changes over time, but even when you are able to provide for yourself, your perspective about your life typically revolves around you as the most important person. You’ve come to think you deserve to receive attention, entertainment, nourishment, and shelter.  That’s a very egocentric world view, which hopefully changes over time. This becomes critical if you marry and have children. If it’s still all about you, then the marriage is doomed and the children will suffer, unless someone else picks up the slack.

What do you value above everything else?

Some will insist that it’s their faith, or belief in God. Many people will say, that just shows you how important God is in our lives. Here’s the thing that’s troubling about that statement. An example, the United States is supposedly a Christian nation. We have many churches and there are quite a few people that financially support them. Yet, what are our priorities?

Gospel_of_wealth_Andrew_Carnegie

click on the image to find this book

We build huge athletic and entertainment facilities overall costing billion$ while we have people that are hungry and without adequate shelter. We see huge churches, often led by clergy with vast income from their patrons. Our response for those in need seems more in keeping with Ebeneezer Scrooge rather than the text used as a guide in the Bible.

Mark 10:21-22
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.

Luke 14:12-14
He said also to the one who had invited him, ‘When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’

There are many more, but you get the general idea. So, is the Bible to be interpreted literally, or as a convenience when we agree or tell others we agree with it?

We have a poverty problem that’s not being addressed. Some say, there’s always those who either can’t or won’t do for themselves, how is it my responsibility to provide for them?

Luke 12:16-21
Then he told them a parable: ‘The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.’

Matthew 7:21
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 25:40
‘And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

Do we as a nation appear to be be Christian, from other nations perspective?

The United States has been at war for well over 90% of the time since it began as a nation. Even before the USA was formed, the colonies were at war with those who were the indigenous inhabitants.
invade_bomb_muslim_lands
What does the Bible say about living at peace with other people?

Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

Romans 14:17-19 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.”

Luke 6:27 But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you ..”

There are many more, but again you get the idea, or should understand that the text claims peace is the goal, and to direct our life towards peace.

I’m not suggesting that we live in a world where we can ignore defending ourselves, but is this what we should be doing? Do we need to participate with people all over the world in conflict? Does the reading of the Bible or the declaration, we are a Christian people, mean anything?

Yes, I get it, we’re imperfect but I think deep down we know it’s a sham. We can try to convince ourselves or tell others how much our faith or belief in God means, but there’s a lot of activity that shows we don’t believe any of it. We’re not alone. There’s the world of Islam which claims to be peaceful, and the Hindu. Look at the global map. A lot of conflicts going on with most of them conducted by fervent believers in God.

active_global_conflicts

We claim we believe in capitalism, but does that mean we should grab every dollar we can lay hands on, and especially place those who are at or near poverty, into worse conditions when we withhold more earnings or reduce wages & benefits to gain more profit?

Proverbs 14:31
He who oppresses the poor dishonors his Maker: but he who honors Him shows generosity toward the poor.
USA_poverty_chart

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Notes:
1* Definition of denouement: the outcome of a complex sequence of events.

The Sea Lawyers Are at it, Again

A 2016 article was recently posted by a friend who opposes personal ownership of firearms.

What America’s gun fanatics won’t tell you” <- link will take you to opinion article.

The title alone implies anyone that wants the ability to protect themselves and or their family with a firearm, must be a fanatic.

The right to speak freely, the right to protect your life or property, the right to not self-incriminate, the right of habeas corpus, were understood by those who authored this key document, as fundamental to keeping a democracy from being turned into tyranny of the masses or by a select powerful few. Human behavior is the same now as it was then, and they did their best to protect “inalienable rights.” See this article for further explanation of the alternate use of the words. Are our rights ‘inalienable’ or ‘unalienable’?

The author of the article misses two key things written in the second amendment, and the other not mentioned whatsoever; Hamilton was shot and died at the hands of Aaron Burr. Both men freely entered a pistol dual to “protect their honor”. Whatever misgivings Alexander Hamilton may have had about an individual’s right to bear arms didn’t change the course of his life or his demise.

As a bit more of a history lesson about Alexander Hamilton, he was a prominent centralized authority proponent. Among his many ideas, he proposed this at the Constitutional Convention; to have an elected President and elected Senators who would serve for life, contingent upon “good behavior” and subject to removal for corruption or abuse.

He secretly communicated with at that time, “enemies of the state” in order to further the push toward a more monarchistic form of government. Don’t believe me, then please allow the words of a contemporary to explain.

James Madison, known as the author of the Constitution, vehemently opposed at every opportunity Alexander Hamilton’s efforts to create a despotic central government. Madison once remarked that Hamilton had a hidden agenda “of the glories of a United States woven together by a system of tax collectors,” who would be ruthless in both their collection and punishment efforts. Madison authored the 2nd amendment, the right to keep and bear arms, specifically as an answer to Hamilton’s urge to create a national army which would enforce tax laws and subject the state citizens to the tyrannical rule of the central government. Hamilton dreamed of a large military to enforce the will of federal tax collectors, district attorneys, and judges on the populace, and to enforce unpopular laws.

So, let’s pick through that which was ignored in order for the author, Brett Arends, to create a false interpretation of the Second amendment.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Note the comma, for those that don’t understand this basic usage, it’s use is to separate coordinated independent clauses. Perhaps that’s a misunderstood definition on language.

More modern legal arguments over the definition of those few words are, collective rights of government vs. individual rights. I refer you to a link that describes this in more detail –> Live Science

“The first ten amendments of the Constitution are collectively known as the Bill of Rights. It was formalized for the protection of natural rights of liberty and property.” “This bill is an important constituent of American Law as well as the government, and symbolizes the freedom and culture of the United States of America.” The Constitution was written to be a more concise and centralized view of government authority. It replaced the Articles of Confederation. At it’s core, it states these rights are not granted by government, but are inalienable rights of all citizens. This means the government was formed to protect the individual from tyranny of the state as well as foreign powers.

I’ll end this post with Alexander Hamilton’s own words, because he too understood the balance necessary to prevent tyranny.
“ .. if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens.”

Hamilton delineates his vision not only of a free people bearing arms for the common defense, but also for the protection of liberty. It was intended by the framers of our Constitution that a free people be armed. Therefore it follows, those who wish the people disarmed also wish them enslaved by their own government.

Alexander_Hamilton_Aaron_Burr_dual_to_death_framed

Burr–Hamilton duel, from a painting by J. Mund

History has repeatedly shown, the rights & liberties of people are not preserved or protected solely by the pen, but through the power of the sword.

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Can We Be This Blind?

How Trump Turned Liberal Comedians Conservative
By JOANNA WEISS – June 15, 2019

I find this writing an example of “liberal irony”. It’s OK to be liberal or conservative, but there are extremes. What I have witnessed since Donald Trump took office, the nature of criticism and outright hatred against him, has been magnified to a level well beyond any previous administration.

President_Trump_Camp_David_2017

· President Trump signs the Hurricane Harvey relief bill 2017

The expression, “Trump Derangement Syndrome” seems like an accurate label, as people have become unhinged, to the point that anything can be justified because of Trump.

This article in Politico, which I’m referencing is an example of the irony, and the mislabeling of characteristics which are the domain of the modern liberal. The author is suggesting that vile comments, the hatred, are the domain of conservatism. It’s as though one can say, I’m a liberal, hatred spews from my mouth, but that’s a conservative trait. Folks, this is the epitome of a lack of self-awareness.

A week after the 2016 elections, many left wing activists took to the streets to express their angst with some causing riots all across the nation.

anonymous-anarchists-2017

· Protestors who covered their faces – some of whom decided to damage property

– – – – – – Quotes follow – – – – – –
There’s no greater threat to the liberal establishment than Donald Trump.

“If Trump has changed the tone of the presidency, he’s done the same for TV humor, creating a kind of insult comedy for the Resistance: less subtle, less civil—and, strangely, more conservative.

… “liberals and conservatives are (on average) wired differently, with social and cultural conservatives personally more attuned to danger, worried about intruders, primed to protect an establishment under threat.

*NOTE* see first sentence of the quotes from the article. This is irony or self-deception.

“As outrage, however, it does contain something that satire lacks, University of Delaware communications professor Dannagal Young says: a consistent call to action. That feels like the purpose of this brand of late night comedy—not to wryly observe the world and encourage us all to do better, but to harness people’s anger, make them ready to revolt.

*NOTE 2: Harness anger? Ready to revolt? Not to encourage people to do better? Where’s all this angst & hatred coming from?
– – – – – – Quotes end – – – – – –

There is a growing, war being waged against the Trump administration and conservatives in general. Most of that war is being orchestrated and funded by the massively-financed elite who want to change the system in order to benefit themselves. Although they’ve prospered enormously through capitalism, they see socialism as a vehicle to further their collective agenda. Socialism, or as it’s often relabeled, “democratic socialism”, is a shift in power for those elites to hold all the power.

Whenever you read or hear the claims for a new world order, improved society, basic human rights, the role of government is to provide __X__, then look further into those promises, they come at a horrific cost.

Someone, some government agency, must decide what’s fair, divides who gets what in this social order, and has the power to enforce. What do you think happens to any human contrived organization with this kind of power? Power corrupts – absolute power corrupts absolutely. It’s been repeated throughout history, from monarchs, oligarchs, patriarchs, national committees, or single national party’s.

Capitalism and freedom are under constant attack.

“Capitalism does a number of things very well: it helps create an entrepreneurial spirit; it gets people motivated to come up with new ideas, and that’s a good thing.”” ~ Bernie Sanders

“Capitalism has not always existed in the world and will not always exist in the world.” ~ Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Death to freedom, liberty, the needs of state over the individual, evolve through promises and platitudes. The false promise of everyone benefits, and no one is left without, is a lie. History points to the corrupt and diseased status of the state which operates under the thumb of socialism. We can already see the paucity of their claims in cities under decades of “Democrat” control. Flint Michigan, Chicago Illinois, San Francisco California, Los Angeles California, Seattle Washington, and so forth.
anti-trump_ralley_2017
When the state or committee take over, nothing opposing their rules, all real prosperity, advancement & hope are lost. Capitalism may have it’s faults, however Socialism is controlled by the elite few along with their cronies. Their goal is to have total control over assets, medical care, manufacturing, utilities, transportation, agriculture and even public speech.

Socialism states that you owe me something simply because I exist. Capitalism, by contrast, results in a sort of reality-forced altruism: I may not want to help you, I may dislike you, but if I don’t give you a product or service you want, I will starve. Voluntary exchange is more moral than forced redistribution.” ~ Ben Shapiro

Bucky Fuller standing in front of geodesic dome

R. Buckminster Fuller – we still haven’t caught up to his vision.