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When Does Help Become Too Much Help?

It’s no secret that most everything I was ever told growing up was a lie (By society not my parents). For example: Salt is bad for you, FALSE. Marijuana kills brain cells, FALSE. Sticking our nose into other countries business and starting or supporting wars is vital to the American way of life…. Hmmmmm this one isn’t so easy to make a judgement on. There are no studies or experiments that could be done in a lab to prove or disprove this. Maybe I can examine a few recent wars to see if I can come up with a good answer.

Take the Vietnam War for example. Itvietnamwar2 was touted as being necessary to fight the spread of communism. We had to help those poor Vietnamese people so they wouldn’t fall under Communist rule. Was it really up to the US what happened over there, or up to the people of Vietnam? One major flaw of this countries government is they act like the “Boss” of the world. We see countries and their conflicts and we automatically assume we know what is best for them. Maybe as a “free” society we should try to help other peoples in their fight for freedom, but do we go too far?

Let’s examine this question by comparing these wars with our own revolution. This is a great example because we were struggling for our freedom while being ruled by a monarch in another country. We felt we could do a better job ourselves. We also reached out to other countries for aid, and one that responded was France. They sent troops, ships and money which proved invaluable and helped us win the war.

Some argued the French could have done more to help us. These arguments were very prevalent during the war as well . Our country wanted more troops, ships and aid from the French. It’s obvious now that we didn’t need anymore, and we made good with what we received.

Now imagine for a moment the french did send more help. Say we convinced the nation of France that this war was imperative to stopping the spread of the British Empire and they should make it there number one goal to drive the British out of the American colonies. If we somehow accomplished this and the French sent the majority of their army and naval fleet to the colonies many would see this as a good thing. They would have a huge force and really give the British a pounding. However, the French armies would be encamped all over the new world. This wouldn’t be the intended purpose, but when the war was over the US would have a huge french army “occupying” American soil.  Now let’s say the French realize their huge investment in this new world and want to protect it. After all they just spent countless lives of troops, ships, money etc ensuring our freedom from the Brits. They may feel they would have to leave troops here to protect us from a follow up British invasion or from another country who may swoop in and try to gain control over our new nation. If this were to happened the French would have wasted all those lives and resources for nothing. How could anyone blame them for wanting to protect their investment.

Think about this for a moment. There would be a standing french army on American soil, here to “protect us” from an unseen enemy. From the point of view of the American people, who just gained their independence from one nation, it would look like the French didn’t trust us with this  new freedom that they had just helped us gain. After awhile of this “occupation” the American people could want to rebel against the French, or the French could try to make us part of the their own Empire. One could compare this scenario to the Iraqi war. At first they greeted us as liberators. Then as we became an occupying force they began to resent and rebel against us.

The point here is there could be such a thing as too much “help”. It’s like that old saying: “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him how to fish and he feeds himself for a lifetime.” If our government really wanted to help these countries there may be better ways to go about it. Instead of starting or participating in an all out War we could give them aid, support, and funding. If this isn’t enough to help them gain independence then maybe they are not ready. Maybe it is not their time. Who are we to make that decision? I believe if we do want to give aid or support it should be up to congress however. This way there would be a more representative decision on the part of the American people on who we help and why. Instead of helping a country because they have oil or are strategically important in a region. Of course this would only truly work if you had an uncorrupted system. Which is a whole other story.

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Posted by on July 13, 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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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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