No complaint here

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Not today.

It’s hard to complain about people who sacrifice their time, energies, family life, and comfort (and sometimes even their lives) to protect me and my family.

Any time, any where, there have been men and women who have joined the military and answered a call to protect freedoms of the US and other countries around the world.

In simple words, “THANK YOU.”

No words can really express that enough.

Thanks to my family members (relatives I have known and not known; those who served in the past and those currently serving now) who have sacrificed a portion of their lives in service of their country. Your efforts have not gone unappreciated.

Thank you.

Tax revolt

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Once again, in WA state, there has been a tax revolt.

People are tired of paying unnecessarily high taxes on things like car registration tabs.

We have had two initiatives in this state in the last several decades where the people have clearly said, “ENOUGH!” Twice the citizens of the state (not just one city and county) have said, “$30 – no more, no less.” This is one of the very few times that the rest of the state has told Seattle and King County what it wants versus the other way around, where the population of Seattle and King County out vote the rest of the state to dictate what happens in areas around the state.

So, the latest version passed of the car tabs issue passed on Tuesday, again.

And for what will be the second time, the government is going to sue (yes, you read that right, the government) to get their taxes back. Let that sink in. The government is going to sue to stop the will of the people, who used the democratic process and voted on it, just so they can get their funding back.

If that doesn’t smack of government abuse and overreach, I don’t know what does.

It just goes to show you, once you give the government the ability to oversee your rights, freedom, and money…

…you’ll lose all three.

 

Admission

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OK, I’ll admit it.

It’s hard for some to admit, because of their age, and likely it has also been hard for me too, but I have come to the realization that I jut have to admit it. I am 47, and coming up on 48 rather quickly and it is time for me to put it out there.

I like to play video games.

Well, let me rephrase that.

I like to play FPS (first person shooter) games.

Specifically, I really like the Call of Duty and Modern Warfare games. I have also played games in the Halo series (these were really what got me hooked), a few of the Ghost Recon series, and some in the Far Cry series. But, I would have to say my favorites out of all the games (at least of late) are Call of Duty:WWII, Call of Duty: Black OPs IIII, and now the new Modern Warfare.

Why? I don’t know really. I like the stories. I like the competition. I like the shooting and the challenges they pose. I like the temporary escape of being able to do something mindless for a while.

Am I a violent person? No. Do I know they aren’t real? Yes. Do they make me want to be violent? No. Do I know the difference between real and fantasy? Yes. Do I believe that it has desensitized me to violence? No.

Do I waste time doing it? Yes. Are there better things I probably could be doing? Yes. Do I care? No. I am able to balance my time and allot free time as necessary while still maintaining my responsibilities.

Am I very good at it? No. Am I competitive? Yes. Do I play competitively? No. I like the feeling of being able to improve and it is really a competition against myself and my own skills rather than other people, though I do play online with other live players.

Am I out of the ordinary? Maybe; but I have a feeling I am not.

What do you think? Am I alone in this enjoyment? Are there others of you out there that are “old” like me but still like to play video games? If so, what do you enjoy playing?

 

Expectations

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I’ll admit, I have a problem.

The problem? I have too many expectations. I don’t think I am an unreasonable person, but I do think that having expectations in the current days is slowly becoming an exercise in futility.

I expect that people mean what they say, and say what they mean.

I expect that people will be responsible for themselves.

I expect that people will own their actions, or inaction.

I expect that people will follow through. That they will honor their word.

I expect that family members will be productive citizens when they come of age.

I expect that my rights as a citizen of the United States are paramount to those of a non-citizen (obviously within limit as I am not a lawless individual).

I expect that the media should be fair and balanced.

I expect that my tax dollars are used for legitimate needs.

I expect that good customer service can’t be compromised.

I expect that respecting our elders and law enforcement is a given.

I could go on. But I won’t.

It doesn’t seem that there is a point to having expectations any longer. Yes, we all have our own expectations but there used to be those that everyone agreed upon and that just simply isn’t the case any longer.

What do you think? Is it unreasonable to have expectations these days?

 

You’re a liar

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Unpopular opinion alert!

I am sure someone’s toes are about to get stepped on. It’s fine. Really. You’ll live. You aren’t “holier than thou,” or anyone else for that matter.

I am getting tired of people making the following statement:

I’m not racist.

Why am I tired of it? Well, because it simply isn’t true and you are lying to yourself.

Every one of us has racism built into us. It’s part of our human condition. It’s not something that can be eliminated. We are built to be naturally wary, scared, skeptical, cautious,  (whatever you want to call it) about people who are different than us.

When you have that fleeting moment go through your brain about someone different than you, whether it is based on a stereotype or actual experience, that is racism. Denying that it happens isn’t dealing with the truth.

What you do with that fleeting moment determines the degree of your racism. Yes, there are degrees racism. There have to be because some people are better at fighting their natural instinct that others. Is it just a passing moment? Is is something you dwell on and allow to affect your thoughts and feelings? Is it something that you act upon? Therein lies the challenge. What you do with it makes the difference. Can you train yourself not to act on your racism. I believe so. Can you train yourself to eliminate the fleeting moments completely? Nope. I don’t believe so.

Let’s stop pretending racism can be eliminated. It just can’t be. Can actions and words be eliminated? Maybe. We can make people so fearful of actions that they just don’t do them anymore. Think of the reverse Pavlov’s Dogs experiment. We can make sure people are so averse to acting or speaking on their racism that they are afraid to be around other people or go into society. Is that what we really want or need to do? Doubt it. It might actually make things worse. Just a theory, but I think we are getting to that point as we see governments try to legislate what or how you think.

Is racism bad? Of course. There is no debating that. Can it be eliminated? No.


 

What do you think? Talk amongst yourselves…

Consequences

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Sorry, kids. You’re just gonna have to “deal with it.”

As much as you would like to not have consequences for your choices, even if those choices are based on good intentions, there are still consequences. There needs to be in a civilized society and you can’t change the rules every time they conflict with your beliefs.

I am not sure if you are aware, but right now there are probably hundreds (thousands?) of students in your community skipping school for climate change. Their intentions might be good (albeit questionable). Their intention is to draw attention to an issue you are concerned about. Great.

But, this can be effectively done on any other day at any other time. There isn’t a legitimate reason to skip school and I hope that the school district & school board in Seattle don’t bow to pressure and excuse these absences.

That also goes applies to these kids’ parents. Come on, parents, have a little integrity here! If you are a parent who excuses your child from school for such an activity then you are a part of the problem too. I know that is a bold statement, but you need to stop enabling bad behavior in your child.

Maybe you even agree with what your kid is doing, at least in the sense of the “cause.” Maybe you’re the permissive parent…you want to be “cool”…whatever…, but do you want to make a bigger impact with your parenting? Allow them the freedom to make the choice of staying in school or skipping it AND THEN let them deal with the consequences of that choice. Stop enabling everything your kid does. There are legitimate reasons for an excused absence from school and this isn’t one of them. You aren’t helping your child learn that making choices comes with responsibility.

Kids, stay in school.

 

Reflect

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There will be not be a regularly schedule Piss and Moan session this morning. We are only going to reflect gratitude and respect today.

Respect for those who lost their lives on this terrible day 18 years ago. Those who were attacked and those who rushed to help them. Those who helped in the aftermath and now suffer the lasting effects on their health. No matter how you look at it, a terrible price was paid during the terrorist attack.

Gratitude for those who rushed towards the danger and didn’t return. Those who rushed to fight the enemy and protect the freedoms we enjoy every day of our lives. Those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for us and those who have returned home wounded physically or emotionally. Thank you for doing what most of us can’t or won’t do.

America can never forget.

Don’t ever forget.

Don’t let those who hate this country destroy it from within. Don’t allow the freedoms that have made us targets, internationally and domestically, be eroded slowly and taken from us. Don’t take for granted the sacrifices of those who gave you those freedoms and protect those freedoms.

9.11   NEVER FORGET