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My Take on Political Parties (Open Letter to Dan Carlin)

I invite you yo read my open letter to Dan Carlin who host two podcasts: “Hardcore History” and “Common Sense.” He will be on an upcoming episode of the “Drunken Taoist Podcast” Hosted by Daniele Bolelli so I submited this letter on their forum as a question for Dan.

Dear Dan,

You seem to suffer from a “condition” that allows you to see how future events will unfold. There’s no doubt that you use your knowledge of history as well as great understanding of current events and some good old fashion intuition to do this. My question is with this “condition”(some may call a gift or a curse) do you see the natural progression of where our once great nation is heading? If so is there really anything we can do? Or do you feel by the time the average citizen figures out what is going on it will be too late?

Also related to this topic is something you talk about and I try to promote as well which is the divide in this country between political parties. I find it fascinating that our founding fathers were against parties AND this seems to be the root of our problem today. I believe this proves the knowledge possessed by our founding fathers of people and governmental ideals hold true even up til present times. For the problem is not the parties themselves so much as it is the divide created by these parties. (Get out your tin foil cap)It’s as if a group of monarchs, emperors and dictators had a meeting about where they went wrong in the past. They knew they could hold power for awhile through various methods of tyranny, oppression and fear , BUT eventually the people became disgruntled enough and realized they could rise up and seize power themselves.

I imagine all these rulers in a room and one stands up and yells “eureka!! All we have to do is have to seperate sides take turns ruling. We can have the people vote for which side they want every few years. They will pretend to oppose each other but in reality will support us and our will(the monarchs being the “us”). And just to throw off the people we will use topics such as abortion and gay marriage to really divide them around election time.”

ANYWAYS where I was going with this was: I see a lot of unhappy people that have been gathering, ie the Tea Party. And it seems there is hope for people to “wake up” and see what is happening to their country. BUT I fear that if a republican wins next time around all that will go away just as the anti-war/anti-Bush era stuff did once Obama took office. I was, as I’m sure you were and still are trying to make this known to as many people as possible. The hope I do possess comes from the fact I see more people who are not buying into the 2 party system BS. So having said all that do you feel there are enough people in the “know” to effect anything? Maybe you could do a history show on political parties :))

Thank You for reading this post. You can take your tin foil cap off now, I’m going to keep mine on though. Looking forward to you on the Drunken Taoist Podcast as well as any future episodes of Common Sense and Hard Core History.
Thanks Again,
Brandon Smith
Brando203@yahoo.com
@brandonsmith203 twitter

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Posted by on June 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Turn the Other Cheek.

Today I am inspired to write a blog entry once again by social media. Two different posts in fact, one very negative and one very positive, such is life. The negative post was bashing all Muslims for the actions of a handful of “so-called” Muslims and the other post was speaking of our rights being taken away and talked of revolution. Reading both post within minutes of each other I was prompted to make a post of my own. The thoughts I wished to convey flowed through me and I quickly realized I could not fit the message in the space provided.

I want to preface this by saying that I do not consider myself a Christian or part of any organized religion for that matter. I was raised Christian and always fascinated by religion and the control on people. I spent much of my time researching other religions and belief systems. Most if not all religions and belief systems have very valid points and are a great guide on how one should live. The problem, however, comes with the different interpretations. I am not here to talk about different religions or the flaws of humans so I will move on.

Getting back the the statuses that inspired me. The main theme which popped into my brain as I read these statements was “Turn the other cheek.” Or as Jesus said: ” But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Matthew 5:39

Most people interpret this to mean that you should not seek revenge and if somebody is beating you up you shouldn’t defend yourself. I had an epiphany! What if the message being conveyed was:”Don’t react in a way in which the aggressor is trying to make you react.” This Idea can be applied to many situations but I will use a terrorist attack as an example.

When people plan and carry out a horrific act of terror there is a purpose. Most times they are trying to convey a message or garner a specific response from a group of people. What better way (In their twisted mind) to do it than kill a bunch of innocent people. It certainly grabs media headlines and attention across the the entire globe these days. These “Terrorists” know the normal response to an act of terror in this country is two-fold. One there is a bloody response from our forces(Police, Military or both) and Two freedoms of the American People are usually taken away or threatened. Look at Boston for example after the bombings. The tanks on the street and troops going door to door was, to me, equally if not more frightening then the bombings themselves.

Now back to turn the other cheek. If we agree the terrorists are pulling off these horrific acts to garner a response then what better way to nullify there attack by acting opposite of what they expect. I believe this is a great tactic in any war or confrontation. Why would you ever respond in a way your enemy wants you to. You would play into their hands in effect allowing your enemy to control you. Instead, I suggest, you must gain an understanding of what your enemy wants you to do. Ask yourself why do they want a specific response from you. And if you “turn the other cheek” as Jesus suggests you will destroy their plans.

This is ingenious for a few reasons. It allows us to act from a place of reason and understanding instead of anger. Also it takes away the one true weapon terrorists have which is causing chaos. I am not suggesting we do nothing. I am simply suggesting we do not allow ourselves to act out of fear and anger. For isn’t that what the terrorists want? They want to spread hate, fear and anger. If instead we combat this with patience, love and understanding we can contain the chaos and take away the power the terrorists have to manipulate us.

I know when I talk like this I run the risk of being called a hippie. So before this happens let me explain what I mean. A terrorist is only given power if we let him have it. They want to spread fear, anger and hate. There are several ways we can prevent this from happening. First of all we should not sensationalize the event live on TV. This spreads the most Fear of all. There are ways to report on events without spreading fear.

Second : We should not send drones or planes to bomb other countries in haste. Killing more innocent people to try to kill responsible parties is not the answer.

Third: We shouldn’t turn loose the military on our own soil going door to door trampling citizens rights to catch a suspect. There are certain dangers of living in a free society you must be willing to accept. Not having a military police state to protect you is one of those dangers(insert sarcastic font here).

There are many different ways I can conclude this post. The main theme I want to convey is that the way we handle ourselves as the world’s “Super Power” is not working. All we have to do is open a history book to see what happened to every other great “Super Power” of their time. The way we can “buck” the trend and slow down or stop our decline is with rational acts. Acts from a place of patience and understanding instead of fear and hate. If loosing your freedoms and tanks on our streets is ok with you than that’s fine, if not we must do something.

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Money = Happieness?

I am being inspired to write this article today by many people I encounter in my life. Be it through social media posts of unhappiness or complaining I hear from people in “real” life.  So being a good friend/person I inquire about the unhappiness in which I encounter. Most times the answers to my question sound like this: “I wish I had more money” or “I need a man/woman(or both haha).” (Disclaimer: The article I am about to write represents my feelings on the issue, Mostly opinion, common sense, my experiences, what I may have encountered in reading or google-ing late at night. So please take it with a grain of salt and I encourage you to not take my word but do your own research.)Image

I will address the money issue today, but I believe there are parallel underlying issues to both money and finding a mate in the pursuit of happiness. So the question comes down to: “Does money really buy happiness?” The great Comedian Daniel Tosh put it so eloquently when he stated:”Money doesn’t buy happiness?! Uh, do you live in America? ‘Cause it buys a WaveRunner. Have you ever seen a sad person on a WaveRunner? Have you? Seriously, have you? Try to frown on a WaveRunner. You can’t! They’re so awesome, it’s just throttle. People smile as they hit the pier.”

While I admit being on a jetski is AWESOME!! But have you ever went out on a jetski by yourself? It’s only fun for so long. Also depending on where you live summers can be short, and a jetski is no good in the winter. Even worse I have seen many jetskis break while people are riding them causing just as much if not more stress and anger than happiness. So, while that is a hilarious bit by Mr. Tosh, it still doesn’t prove that money buys happiness.

I would like to break down what money actually is or represents. Money represents goods and services. I’ll give you a very basic example of how money came about. A long time ago a farmer may have traded his goods with a trapper for some fur or meat. Because the farmer was so busy with his crops he had no time to hunt just as the trapper had no time to farm. It was a great barter system. Then market place came along where many people would come to barter for goods, but some people also offered services such as dentists or black smiths. So they would trade their services for goods in the market place. As mankind progressed the farmers realized sometimes they didn’t need services right away, but the black smiths still needed to eat. So they would make up chits or I.O.U’s thus allowing the black smiths to eat while the farmer could later redeem his chit for services as they were needed. Sounds all nice and dandy!!

Well as the world expanded and empires were formed the market place got much bigger. So coins were formed out of precious metals, ie gold and silver, to represent these goods and services. Then when coins were not enough paper money was invented to represent the precious metals which in turn represented goods and services. Still with me? Today the paper money does not represent gold or silver. We are on a fiat currency system where money is created out of thin air. it is supposed to represent goods and services, however there is a growing imbalance in the system. (For this article I will not dive deeper into that issue, but if you find it interesting please research it and/or comment about it!) So if we break it down even further we can surmise that people who lust after and/or hoard money are actually lusting after and/or hoarding a made up currency which represents goods and services. Which in my opinion is not only terrible for the market place, but not healthy for the human animal.

Now happiness. How important is happiness? Well it’s so important that the founding fathers guaranteed us the pursuit of happiness in the constitution right after Life and Liberty!! Happiness by itself is the most under rated requirement to modern living. Whenever people say: “Be Happy” or “Don’t Worry be Happy” they are often looked at as if they are Hippies. Happiness in today’s society is closely attached to material possessions, money or other people you may desire. This is largely due to the conditioning that we endure from the time we are born. This conditioning usually comes in the form of advertising. We are constantly bombarded with messages to buy and acquire “things.” Simply put happiness in this country is tied in with ownership of new cars, cell phones, iPads, clothing, shoes, etc. I often see the term “Retail Therapy” thrown around. Which when broken down literally means you are achieving happiness through acquiring objects. This is also seen heavily on TV. Generally speaking, no thought is ever seriously given to achieving happiness just for happiness sake.

I admit that I am not immune to this system and I have a closet full of clothes and shoes as well as the newest gadgets to prove it. Yes, it does make me feel happy to buy new things. This happiness fades quickly, however, especially when the latest version of that iPhone or Car comes out on the market! When I actually take time to stop and think about it there is no comparison between this happiness and the happiness that I achieve through healthier avenues. A simple example of this is spending time with true friends and laughing. The kind of laugh that is uncontrollable and you just can’t help but to do. When you are basically crying and can’t breath. This costs no money and has many times the benefits of shopping. How come we are never taught this in school?? There should be a comedy class taught where people are encouraged to laugh and try to make others laugh. Think about how good you feel when you make others laugh by saying or doing something funny. That is true happiness which cannot be bought for any amount of money, precious metals, goods or services!!

In closing I would like to say that deep down most people realize happiness is the key to life, but then life happens. We quickly get wrapped up in the events of our lives. We take our situations and lives too seriously, which defeats the whole purpose of truly enjoying life! So what can we do? Well first off you can start out by laughing more. I try to find the humor in most situations that I am presented with in life. Sometimes the funniest moments are born from the most serious situations. Secondly you can smile more! Yes it is contagious. Lastly to gain more happiness we must let go of fear and hate(yes like a Jedi!). Fear and Hate consume happiness and could consume your life. Next time you feel afraid of something stop and assess the situation(if you can). Say you see a spider, what are you really afraid of? You are 1,000 times bigger than it silly!! Stop it already 🙂 Seriously though whenever you feel hate or fear toward someone stop and ask why do I hate this person? What did they do to me? Most times you have no real concrete reason other than:”well that’s what I was told to do.”

Thank You for reading this, I hope it helps if even in the tiniest way. Comments and discussions are encouraged 🙂

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Extinction Level Event, What is Really Going to Kill Us All

Image Well we made it to 2013 and the “End of the World” hype is over. We are officially one month in and the earth as well as the human race is still intact. No asteroids, giant tsunamis, super volcanoes or zombie apocalypses…. Yet!

As a race we humans are obsessed with our own demise. I find it funny how instead of fully enjoying our brief existences on this rock, we are constantly fixated on our own mass destruction. Every few years it seems there is another prediction of doom and gloom on the horizon. The really funny part is that as of now, Yes! We are all going to die!! Maybe not all at once like in the movies, but probably far less glamorously. So I say accept the fact that you are mortal and are going to die!!

This mindset could change your life in a number of ways. First off you may actually live LONGER. You say:”But Brandon how does that even make sense???” Well the stress of constantly worrying about death and what could go wrong is killing you!! Yes, stress is terrible for you and you heart!! I am told that Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in this country(which is actually a blessing that in this country most of us live long enough for our hearts to go, but that’s another story). So when you are stressed your body goes into a primitive defense mode, changing your heart beat which turns out is terrible for your heart.

It’s not you fault though. Not yet, but after you read this article it will be so you may want to stop here…..

Still with me? You sure?? OK Good!

**Disclaimer**: What i am about to talk about is purely the way I feel. I have done some independent Google research, but most is based on a mixture of very deep thinking and common sense.

The reason I say it’s not your fault that you experience these high levels of stress in your every day life are as follows. In this country we are conditioned with fear from birth. Everyone tells us: “You better not do that or else!” Everyone such as: parents, relatives, teachers, religious books and figures, etc. When we get older we(most of us) become television dependent. TV in small doses is fine, but too much of anything will hurt you. On TV there are many causes of stress which you don’t even realize. I’ll talk about two big ones here. First is the News. Some of us feel it’s our duty to be as informed as humanly possible about every thing that is happening on the planet! You say:”Why is this a bad thing?” Well I don’t think it’s such a bad thing to be informed, however information overload can be dangerous. Also the mainstream media’s main tool is FEAR. They mostly tell you about the bad, scary, evil side of things. There are several theories on why they do this: ratings, money, government control. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. This fear, among other things, causes a lot of worrying which causes stress.

The other stress TV brings to our lives is caused by feelings of inadequacy. You see people on TV looking perfect: Tan fit bodies, perfect teeth. They have new clothes, cars, houses, jewelry, etc. These people are always involved in some sort of drama or epic event. After years of subjecting your brain to this stimuli you may start to think that is how life is supposed to be. You compare your life to that of the “TV life” and may feel that your life comes up short. Then comes the worrying about money, image, fashion, popularity. All this worrying about “fitting in” causes tremendous amounts of stress.

So now you know and you can’t “un”know it!! It’s up to you now to be proactive in your own life and cut out the stress. My advice to combat any type of stress would be to take some alone time. Write down what is really important to you and makes you happy. I’m not talking about materialistic things either. I mean stuff like family, traveling, sports, relaxing, pets, etc. Now spend a part of each day focusing on your list and how to make it happen. Instead of worrying about circumstances that are out of your grasp.

An even easier way to combat stress which you can do anytime is breathing! This is going to sound borderline “hippie-ish” but it works for me. When you first get hit with that feeling of stress just stop! Close your eyes(unless your driving haha). Take a few very deep breaths. Think about something that makes you happy. Picture yourself doing your favorite activity and the feel the joy it brings you.

Those are just two methods, but there are plenty out there. make Google your friend and spend some quality time reducing your stress and you may end up living longer. Hope you found this article helpful even in the slightest way. Please comment other ways you have found to reduce stress 🙂

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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A Conversation With Gun Control Advocates

yelling_anger1    Recently the topic of gun control has been coming up everywhere. Being a supporter of the 2nd amendment myself and an advocate of less government there is no surprise what side of the argument I am on. My question is though: is “argument” the correct term? Cannot we have an intelligent discussion about the topic?

Too many times when this subject comes up people get into heated debates and let their emotions take hold. What I try to tell my fellow 2nd Amendment supporters is we must find common ground with people who are on the side of gun control. One way to go about this is to ask them a few simple questions to see exactly where they stand on the issue.

A few questions you can ask are:

-What are you feelings about guns in this country?

-Why do you feel that way?

-Have you ever had an experience with a gun? -etc

If you engage the person this way instead of throwing random facts out or treating them like they are an idiot you may actually get somewhere. In order for this to be effective you actually have listen to what they say. Let them speak and ask them more questions.

We must note that there are two major types of anti-gun people or should I say two types of reasoning behind the belief. From what I have seen the two types are: 1.) Peaceful people who want to see less violence in the world, and 2.) Figures of authority who think it’s ok for you to not have a gun, but ok for them to have a gun, or as in the case of politicians, ok for people protecting them and their family to be armed.

Most of the people we come in contact with on a day to day basis are in the first group I mentioned. These are everyday people who through love of their fellow human beings are against guns and the violence wrongly associated with them. It is important to note that they have this stance based on their concern for others’ well being. It is important because they differ vastly from people in the second group. People in the second group believe that they are better than the average citizen. They believe that they and their families are more important and are some how privileged. This way of thinking is very dangerous to the American way of life. A way of life where everyone is supposed to be equal and the people are supposed to have the real power.

The other issue is people in the second group are using people from the first group. They use their compassion and love for fellow humans against them with fear. Which brings me to my main point. Most anti-gun people have the feelings they do toward guns because of misplaced compassion due to fear and misinformation. Once you realize this you know where to start.

The goal here isn’t to change people’s opinions, but just to get them to open their minds. Show them how fear and propaganda from the second group could be effecting them negatively. Show them how the second group doesn’t really want to abolish guns, they just want to take them out of the hands of average citizens(who in many cases are safer than most with a firearm). Remind them how the second group would never give up guns themselves for protection of their family or property.

If this post helps just one person it was worth my time!!

Topics I plan on talking about soon include: How to talk to anti-gun people about the differences between assault weapons, assault type rifles and the need for these weapons and high capacity magazines for the average citizen.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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A Letter in Response to Proposed Gun Legislation in CT

0130-senate-gun-hearing-630x420#MoreLawsMoreProblems

Here is a letter I wrote to all my reps at the state level, and I will be sending a modified version to my reps at the federal level:

Hello State Rep,

I am a citizen of Milford, registered voter and veteran of the United States Marine Corps. I am also a local DJ who works 4 nights a week in local establishments here in Milford. I talk to a lot of people on a daily basis and have a pretty accurate sense of the social climate here in the area. And when I say talk, I really mean listen. I don’t try to talk over people or push what I believe onto them. I genuinely want to know how people feel about topics in the community. So most times I won’t even state what side of a particular argue or topic I am on. I believe this is what gives me a true accurate sense of how people feel.

The reason for this email as stated above in the subject line is the recent proposed legislation aimed at guns, the owners and control. First off I would like to express my disgust in the way that gun control proponents are using the terrible tragedy in Sandy Hook as a platform to spread lies, fear and hate. These proponents were advocates of gun control before this senseless act of violence, and are using it to there advantage. They are trying to blur the lines between fact and fiction when it comes to firearms.

That all being said I would like to share my feelings on the proposed legislation. I believe most of it is a knee jerk reaction. I understand that legislators need to do something so the public knows they care. I understand elected officials have to accurately represent there constituents. I understand there is a lot of propaganda on both sides swaying pubic opinion. BUT most if not all of the people I talk to believe that there are enough laws in place. CT is one of the strictest states as far as guns go. These laws are working. It all comes down to the old saying: “If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.”

Then there are issues such as limiting magazine(clip) size on semi-automatic weapons. Honestly this is only going to hurt the law abiding citizen. Criminals are not going to obey these rules. Please don’t misinterpret me, I believe the Milford Police Department does a great job! Very tactful and respectful of citizens. I see this on a daily basis in downtown Milford. That is more than I can say for some members of Law Enforcement in other cities where I have DJed (That is a whole other topic). Even with all my respect for the police here in Milford I know that they cannot be every where at once. So, as slim as the chance may be, it may be up to the law abiding citizen to protect her or himself until the police arrive. Also it is great to be prepared in the unlikely event of a major natural disaster, civil unrest or likewise scenarios. In the Marine Corps we always trained for the worse just as a back up, and as a boy scout I remember the motto which was “Be Prepared.”

In short we have the correct laws in place. They work! I am including a list of proposed bills and my stance on each of these. I copied and pasted these from the Connecticut Carry Defense League’s Website. I have carefully read through all these bills and agree with all there stances except for HB-5269. I listed my reason below:

HB-5112 AN ACT CONCERNING THE DISCLOSURE OF THE NAMES AND ADDRESSES OF PERSONS HOLDING HANDGUN PERMITS. Official Position: Oppose
HB-5165 AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEFENSE OF A PERSON’S HOME, MOTOR VEHICLE OR BUSINESS. Official position: Support
HB-5176 AN ACT CONCERNING THE APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR A TEMPORARY STATE PERMIT TO CARRY A PISTOL OR REVOLVER. Official position: Support
HB-5179 AN ACT CONCERNING ACCESS TO THE INTERACTIVE VOICE RESPONSE SYSTEM OF THE SPECIAL LICENSING AND FIREARMS UNIT OF THE DIVISION OF STATE POLICE. Official position: Support
HB-5268 AN ACT REQUIRING THE MAINTENANCE OF LIABILITY INSURANCE BY FIREARM OWNERS AND ESTABLISHING A SALES TAX ON AMMUNITION. Official position Oppose
HB-5269 AN ACT INCREASING THE PENALTY FOR CRIMINAL USE OF A FIREARM OR ELECTRONIC DEFENSE WEAPON.
I personally disagree with this one. I believe it should be interpreted on a case by case analysis by law enforcement and the judicial branch.
SB-1 AN ACT CONCERNING THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN, FAMILIES AND OTHER INDIVIDUALS FROM VIOLENCE. Official position: Oppose
SB-21 AN ACT AUTHORIZING BONDS OF THE STATE FOR AN ETERNAL LIGHT IN MEMORY OF VICTIMS OF GUN VIOLENCE. Official position: Oppose- amendment for all victims of violence not just firearms. SB-42 AN ACT CONCERNING THE CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF AMMUNITION. Official position: Oppose
SB-122 AN ACT CONCERNING RESTRICTIONS ON GUN USE. Official position: Oppose
SB-124 AN ACT BANNING LARGE CAPACITY AMMUNITION MAGAZINES. Official position: Oppose
SB-140 AN ACT CONCERNING LIABILITY INSURANCE FOR FIREARM OWNERS AND SALES TAX ON AMMUNITION. Official position: Oppose

Thank You for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read my email. it really does mean a lot to me, and I would love to hear how you feel about these issues and why. Being very opened minded I value different opinions.

Sincerely,
Brandon S.
Concerned Citizen of Milford, CT

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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My Experience as a Sheep.

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This is me right before I graduated Marine Corps Boot Camp in 1994 at Parris Island, SC.

Lately on social media I have noticed a lot of comparisons between people and sheep. Often when I open up my Facebook or Twitter people post articles or videos which state: “Wake Up” in the header. Not to mention you can click on any number of websites, blogs or channels and hear people ranting and raving about conspiracies. Now more than ever people can share massive amounts of information while on the other hand other people are finding it harder to cover up and hide other information. Never the less there are still people who don’t want to see what is right in front of their own eyes. Maybe the truth scares them. Maybe they are afraid of what this information could mean to their everyday comfortable lives.

As I previously stated there are many sources of information that challenge the world view of your average everyday American Citizen.  Most choose to ignore it and follow the pack. This is where the term sheep comes into play. Let’s break it down into two sides: A) the “informed**” and B) the “Sheep.” Much arguing occurs when these two sides debate including fact throwing, name calling and/or  ignoring of the other person all together. The only thing accomplished here is building an even larger divide between the two sides. This often results in throwing around labels such as “crazy” “stupid” or even worse.

This is no way to open a persons eyes. I propose if you really want to open someones eyes you have to challenge yourself. You must do something that the “informed” person normally wouldn’t do or even talk about. Go back to the time in your life when you were part of the flock of sheep. A time when you believed everything you saw in the news. A time that if you traveled back to in a time machine even your former self would think you were crazy. This is the only way to gain true perspective on how the so called “sheep” thinks, feels, perceives events, and reacts to fear.

In my own experience I looked back on a few key events that lead to my awakening. The first event that sticks out in my memory was the first Gulf War. I was in High School. I remember marking down on a dry erase calender all the events which lead up to the war and the war itself. I was only a freshman but i was totally enthralled. As far back as I could remember I had always been fascinated by US History and war. From the Revolutionary to the Civil War, from WWI,WWII to Vietnam. I watched movies, read books and talked to anyone I could about these subjects. I remember thinking back on the Revolutionary War and wishing I could be there to fight. As a matter of fact I imagined myself fighting all the wars in our past on the side of freedom and liberty.

So not surprisingly when my time came I joined the military. I chose the Marine Corps because of the honor, tradition and reputation as being the toughest to become a member. I chose the area of Aircraft Maintenance so I would have something to do when or if I chose to leave. This is where the second event that really sticks out in my head occurred.

It was a normal day just like any other in the Adriatic Sea on the flight deck of the Aircraft Carrier USS America. I was up on deck waiting for the planes to come back. For weeks the routine was: we would send planes up. We would go back to our shop maybe eat lunch. We would get the call hours later, head back up to the flight deck and the planes would land. Well this time was different. I had no idea what I was about to witness and it really seemed insignificant at the time. It took years to really process what had happened. This time when the planes landed i noticed something strange about the F-18s. The bombs on the wings were gone and all i could see was hanging wires.

Now as anyone in the military could attest unless you have a top secret clearance and a “need to know,” they don’t tell you anything. So we all looked at each other and were like:”well i guess we are bombing someone!” There was an excitement aboard the ship. We really felt like we were making a difference in the world, doing the work of the good guys!! Whoever we were bombing surely deserved it or it was necessary to stop some sort of “evil” in the world… right?

The weeks turned into months, and every time the ship went into port our squadron flew to Aviano Air Force Base in northern Italy. What a beautiful place!! We were just happy to see land and even though we had to keep up with our flight schedule we still found time to enjoy the town. The reason our squadron and planes were so different was because our planes jammed enemy radar. So even though the Carrier was in port, missions were still being flown from the Airforce base, and our planes needed to jam the radar for the bombers and fighters.

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EA-6B Prowler Taking off from an Aircraft Carrier

Strangely enough it was another simple event, simple words spoken by a normal person that made it all click. Just like before however, I knew that I was experiencing an understanding, it just didn’t fully comprehend the meaning of the words til years later. So there I was on the ship, down below on the  mess decks(place where we eat). I was sitting with friends. I cannot remember who. One of them was an ordinance man whose job was to load the bombs on the planes. Just then a group of other ordinance guys from the ship were wheeling some bombs past us on crates. The guy I was with was all excited and said:”Those are the new Laser Guided bombs!!” I said:”When do we start using those?” and he said:”We can’t use the new bombs until we use all the old ones.”

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Marine Corps General Smedly Butler. Winner of Two Congressional Medals of Honor and turned down a Third. Reflecting back on his career which spanned from 1898-1931 he said this:”I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.”

That conversation always stuck in my head. I thought it was kinda funny. I often repeated it in a joking manner to my friends back home when I was on leave. As the years passed and my eyes opened I realized what a true statement that was. How that statement represents one of the main ingredients for most recent wars and further digging shows that it goes back even further than I thought. That ingredient being the need for war to support our economy. In order to drop the new bombs we had to “get rid of” the old ones. We had to create a demand for a supply that needed to be replenished constantly.

So in conclusion I Look back to those days. Re-live them to feel the emotions I felt when I believed this country actually went to war for just purposes. I try to see what exactly lead me to feel that way. The patriotism I felt when I wore the uniform. When I was younger the fear and hate I felt for the so called enemy. The enemy, people who are just like me and you, but were born on the other side of the planet so I was taught to hate them. Because fear and hate are used for control.

When I regain these old feelings along with that state of mind I have a better understanding of how the “sheep” thinks, feels, reacts. I realize that shouting facts at them and sending them multiple videos thru social media isn’t gonna change that person or how they feel. However talking to them rationally, finding out what they believe and why they believe it. Finding common ground to built a foundation for the truths that they might not want to see today, but may see in the future. We have to make time our ally in this fight against fear, hate and ignorance.

**(Now it is important to state that there is also an abundance of information that is partially true. It starts off with a truth and then is twisted to meet the demands of the twister. This is why it is imperative to educate yourself and do your own research!! I cannot stress this enough because much hate and bigotry can and has arose from these situations.)

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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