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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Colin Kaepernick Could Have Used a Civics Class- The Sunday Collage

So this is what happens. Briefly, some background.

I have loosely followed the Kaepernick saga since Colin decided to sit for the national anthem. Colin was protesting racial inequality I guess, in as much as a guy making millions apparently felt like he wasn't getting a fair shake. This week, I read an article wherein Ray Lewis, former Baltimore Raven great, explained why Colin Kaepernick can't find a job in the NFL. According to Lewis, Kaepernick's girlfriend apparently likes to run her virtual mouth on twitter in addition to her day job. A racist tweet from her caused Ravens' management to drop any thought of signing Kaepernick. After reading this, I believe Ray Lewis is probably correct.

The other odd thing that happened is that I read that false letter on Facebook- attributed to the Kansas City Chief's owner- in which he demands that his players and staff all stand and respect the national anthem or he will fire them. Suspecting this was bullshit, mostly because of contracts and pussified owners, a quick check or two proved the letter was indeed, false. I also read where a few people refuse to watch pro football and are boycotting it. In all likelihood, these were not fans to begin with.

When I say odd things, I use the term "odd" because I find it strange that I have not been able to find a writer anywhere who can articulate with any level of precision- what the real issue is.

I'm not talking about residual racism or using the wrong venue to protest. I think we can agree on those things. This brings me to the topic du jour.

The study of the duties and rights of citizenship or civics. We attended civics class. We said the pledge of allegiance every morning.

I was a child of the Vietnam War. My uncle fought in it and my father, a rural news anchor, reported on it. The Vietnam War was unpopular and still remains so. The problem was that whether we agreed with the war or not- real friends and family were dying in it- some 58,000 souls.

That is where my reverence for our country began. Real people, many volunteering and getting wounded or killed, in a war with no support. Who would sign up for that?

Our country was made up of patriots. We attended civics classes. We believed in the mission of America and all of the opportunities we were given. We believed this was a great place to live and we had gratitude. So people signed up. They shouldered that duty and responsibility.

The Vietnam War probably changed our opinions of leadership forever. What it didn't change was the definition of a patriot. A patriot loves his country but a patriot doesn't have to love his government. In fact, some of our most famous patriots detested government and they died proving it. But the patriot spirit lives here.

So we can debate wars and inequality forever. What is not subject to debate is that hundreds of thousands of Americans that have been wounded and killed protecting our way of life.

That is the same way of life that allows me to speak here. That is the same way of life that allows Mr. Kaepernick a college education and a job making millions to play a game. One of the luckiest people on the planet, rich by every measure, born in a country where his physical skills mean big bucks. In another place, Colin's skills would probably go un-noticed.

When I hear the national anthem and see our flag, I think of our war wounded and dead. I think of all of the fallen police officers and funerals I have attended. Flags draped over coffins, bagpipes, widows and children crying or bewildered. The thought of disrespecting all those people who have sacrificed so much- while enjoying all of the freedoms and opportunities those sacrifices have given me- never enters my mind.

In uniform I stand and salute. As a citizen, I stand, I take off my hat and I place my hand over my heart. I do that to honor the dead and all of the gifts I have been given because of those folks. Standing at attention and showing some respect takes very little effort.

I do that I think because I was given all of those gifts including a civics class- where we discussed all of those issues. That is where I formed my opinions of patriotism, reverence for our dead, and  a sense of gratitude.

I can't help but think that Colin might have had a different view of things had he been given an opportunity to discuss and debate the merits of citizenship within the confines of a civics class while an un popular war raged on.

I'm not upset with Mr. Kaepernick. In a way I am sorry that he did not get the same education that our generation received. If he had, I think he would still be playing football.

Monday, September 4, 2017

The Only Winning Move Is Not To Play- The Sunday Collage

- from the movie, WarGames.

In his book, "A New Earth", Eckhart Tolle talks at great length about the damage that the human ego causes.

Ego is a false sense of self, or who you think you are, created in your mind. This is what you present to the world as you. Of course it is false- but you can't possibly allow the world to see who you really are. Or so you think.

Imagine inheriting some kind of dictatorship such as the Supreme Leader of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. You've done absolutely nothing to earn such a position- but there you are- leading 26 million people around by the nose.

You buy in to the whole illusion. You must be great you tell yourself. The people around you expect great things, your ego convinces you that you must do great deeds, and so you begin all of your anti-American sabre rattling with a giant false sense of self- furthered along by those who surround you.

You kill a few people, including your uncle, aunt, and your brother, because you fear them. You fire missiles to and fro, issue threats, fire a missile over Japan, and then conduct an underground hydrogen bomb blast that appears to be successful. You are trying to convince the world that you are this fearless man that must be taken seriously.

And so it is, this version of the insanity of the planet emerges.  

Your false sense of self is now in direct conflict with other people who are just as unconscious as you are- they have their egos and false sense of self to attend to as well. These are our leaders, our politicians and generals.

Eckhart Tolle revealed all of this insanity in his book, A New Earth. It wasn't exactly proprietary information but I think the way Tolle revealed it was most effective. If you truly comprehend what Tolle writes, then you are left with the intrinsic truth that what he says is true. Because you have done those things so you know they must be true.

I remember reading A New Earth at the rate of 20 pages per day. It was hard for me to digest and comprehend. There would be days where I would read what Tolle had written, realize I was guilty of some ridiculous behavior, and find myself feeling ashamed. Two great benefits of comprehending what Tolle had written. I was no longer unconscious. I realized just how insane I had become over the years. The other great benefit was that the insanity of others becomes glaringly obvious.

I learned a lot over the intervening ten years. Not only is this planet inhabited by billions of unconscious nut jobs, but there is nothing you can do about it. We cannot slow them down. Their journey here apparently does not include a stop at the Port of Consciousness.

There is no intervention for this.

Millions upon millions of people have lost their lives over things as ridiculous as which make believe God to believe in- or which political system is best. The same topics banned from many homes- talk involving politics and religion- are the same things we've been dying over for thousands of years.

You'd think we'd have learned by now.

In the movie WarGames, the computer plays tic-tac-toe by itself until it learns that it is a game if played correctly- there can be no winning outcome. The computer then simulates global missile launches wherein mutual destruction is guaranteed. Like tic-tac-toe, the computer learns that there is no point in playing a game where there can be no winner.

The only winning move is not to play. Could we disengage? Sure. If the United States said "ya know Kim Jung un, we're not going to play. No more war games with South Korea, no sanctions, no threats of war- you just go ahead and do what you want. You are a sovereign state, we're going to let you behave like one.

Is that going to happen? Not a chance. Because the egos on our team are every bit as big as Kim's.

In a way, it really might be a zombie apocalypse. Their unconscious egos versus ours.

So sit back, relax, and watch this latest episode of uncontrolled egos playing out. No need to worry about it, there is nothing you can do. It's not like Kim or Don are going to grab Tolle's book and come to their senses.

Just remember that Kim Jung un had his uncle, aunt, and brother killed. What's the worst thing that could happen with a psychopath who finds nothing wrong with killing his own family?

I gotta run now, I've been looking at generators and nitrogen packed foods. I think UPS is at the door...