Freedom of Speech in Question?

Why the F@#$ are people still refereed to as African-Americans? If they want to be African they should move to Africa. If they want to live in America they should refer to themselves as Americans, nothing else. As for the Confederate flag… if it offends you, so should the American flag and the flag of every state that at any time allowed slavery.

I’m offended by “BET”. Not necessarily the content, but the moniker. If it were “WET”, meaning white entertainment television, I bet there would be an extreme uproar.

A Georgia police officer with almost 20 years of SERVICE was fired for flying her recently deceased husband’s Confederate flag. It is her home. It is her yard. It is her RIGHT to FREEDOM of SPEECH.

If anyone else has the right to banners, flags, or other displays of “X” lives matter. She should have the right to grieve her husband by continuing to fly a flag he was in some way passionate about.

Political Correctness truthfully means suppressing the the rights of some while catering to the wishes of others. This Woman lost her entitlement to retirement after nearly 20 years of SERVICE to her community over a flag! This country was founded on a basis of personal freedoms. What the hell happened!

I treat all people the same, regardless of their race, religion, etc… yet I am not treated the same by them at times. If anything I stated in this post offends you, I do not apologize. This is how I feel and this is who I am. I am exercising my right to FREEDOM OF SPEECH!

GOD BLESS! AMEN!

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Dog Fight

The other night my dogs got into a fight. I think they were fighting over a bone, but why they fought is irrelevant. What mattered was getting them to stop fighting. It wasn’t easy!

By the time I got them separated I had two bloody dogs and a bloody owner. Once a fight ensues the dogs don’t care about why their fighting. They both want to survive and that means they fight as if their lives are on the line. This is dangerous not only for the dogs, but also for the person trying to break it up. When pulling on one you give the other an advantage. So you need to attempt to deal with both at the same time. Two dogs intent on damaging each other are not going to respond to commands. They need to be physically extracted one from the other.

That means putting yourself in the thick of their dispute. The combined weight of these two dogs is greater than my own. I couldn’t just sling them in separate directions. I had to control their main weapons, their teeth, by controlling their heads. Neither of them was ready to stop. They truly acted as if only one would survive. I tugged on bloody ears. I pried mouths open that were latched on to each other only to have the mouths find a new target area.

I somehow managed to get them apart. In less than a minute both dogs had multiple wounds. So did I. I put them in different rooms and started to clean them up. I used wound powder to stop their bleeding. Then I realized I also was bleeding. It was late. I cleaned my lacerations and bandaged them up. The next day I showed them to a nurse at work. She was very helpful and made me see a doctor. It was too late for stitches. Another kind nurse cleaned and properly dressed my wounds. I was prescribed antibiotics and given instructions to care for myself and warning signs to watch for. I had to fill out a form reporting the dog bite to the county stating the dogs had their shots etc…

All pet owners should know that anything with teeth can bite. No matter how sweet an animal normally acts, they have instincts, they will act in ways logical humans will not. I still love my dogs. I understand the risks. I will do more training for them. I anticipate going back to only having one dog as they are jealous of each other. They are pack animals, that doesn’t mean they always get along with each other.

Lesson observed. Man’s best friend is capable of causing great harm. Animals can be a blessing in our lives. We have to be aware of the dangers that exist. They need love and attention along with training. Even the best trained animal is still an animal. Interacting with animals can be fulfilling, it can at times be challenging. Take the good with the bad and realize life isn’t perfect, don’t expect your pet to be perfect.

RIOTS, REALLY?

How does destroying property and stealing (looting) help anyone? Milwaukee is just another example of angry people using any excuse to act out. An armed suspect was shot by a police officer. Both men were black. This was not a case of racial profiling. Yet white people are being drug from their cars and beaten.

I’m tired of hearing “Black Lives Matter” or “All Lives Matter”. Simply Respect All Lives! Stealing something doesn’t bring about justice. Burning businesses doesn’t bring about justice. More peoples lives are disrupted by this ignorance than the issue they are supposedly protesting.

As a Human, I just don’t get it. One bad guy gets shot and RIOTS breakout. A soldier gets killed overseas trying to keep us safe and NOTHING. Way to go America. Don’t volunteer for the military. Don’t help police solve crimes. Destroy the livelihoods our your fellow Americans. Go ahead, steal that TV (or whatever else you want), after all you deserve it because you chose to be part of a rioting mob.

Don’t bother being nice to one another. Don’t work hard and save for things you desire. Wait for the next opportunity to riot and just go on a steal one get it for free shopping spree. And while you’re at it, go ahead and bash the skulls of anyone that doesn’t look like you.If you succeed there will be no legitimate businesses left and no one left to produce the things you desire. You’ll WIN! NOTHING LEFT TO STEAL. NO ONE LEFT TO HATE, EXCEPT EVERYONE JUST LIKE YOU!

Truth or Facade

Wildlife 002

How important is what others think of us? How far do people go to be liked? Is fitting in important? Does being alone really mean being lonely?

I’m not a philosopher, but I have been witness to many a peculiar human act. As a species we truly seek the company of others. Sometimes we wear a proverbial mask that portrays  us similar to those around us, even if on our own we would not act the same. Sit and observe a group of teenagers at a mall if you don’t believe me.

I have seen people get haircuts, etc to blend in. Get tattoos because others did. Buy a certain brand or type of clothing. Why do we do this? I don’t need to look like, act like, or dress like someone else to love myself. Yet at times I feel I have done just that.As if I needed their approval to be okay. I AM OKAY! Just the way I am.

Not everyone wants to grow a portion of their own food. I do. Not everyone wants to spend solitary moments in nature. I do. Not everyone wants to continually learn new things. I do do.

Do I want to fit into society? Of course I do. But at what cost? I don’t want to quit being me just to be accepted by someone else. As Popeye said, “I yam what I yam, and that’s all what I yam.”

I am not perfect. I have flaws. But I can look in the mirror and respect the man I see. I served my country. I give an honest day’s work. My life is not a facade. I am a simple man leading a simple life.

If GOD provides me another chance at romance I’ll give it a try.But until then I’d rather be alone and happy than be in a relationship where I sacrifice my happiness for that of someone else.

Enough rambling for one night. But it feels good to finally write again.

Dog Days of Fall

Its November. The weather here is stuck in Summer mode. Matching or breaking previously set record highs. Almost daily thunderstorms. Yard work really is a chore, either too hot or too wet. A/C runs continually, tea won’t stay cold, mop the floor just to drag in a fresh coat of mud. Did I mention its November?

On the bright side I don’t have to manually water the garden each night. Plants that normally would be difficult in November are thriving. Weeds are also thriving, but that’s okay. Into every-life some rain must fall. Flowers on the Okra plants hint of upcoming stews. Bright green Kale glistens in the morning dew. Trimmings from an overgrown Rosemary bush are hanging inside just for the aroma, I could never use it all for cooking or garnish.

Rainy nights make for great sleep. Tomorrow it will be back to work, but this week is split by Veteran’s Day, so there will be a brief respite. I actually enjoy my job most of the time and although there is always a wrinkle in our plans we seem to find a way to work through it.

Not sure what the future holds. Today, I plan to sit on the couch with my dog and enjoy the moment. The weather will change in due time. Did I mention its November?

Much Needed Self Inspection

Raised Bed Garden Box

Raised Bed

Due to excessive rain, a busy schedule, and lack of inspiration my yard and garden became overgrown with weeds. I don’t control the weather, my schedule is always busy. So what is different than when I found time to garden? Right, my inspiration.

The weather was nice yesterday and I went to visit my parents. Mom was getting ready to go to the church pantry where she volunteers rather frequently. She doesn’t get paid, but she finds satisfaction in helping others. Dad was mowing their five acre property, because it gives him pride to have a nice looking yard. My parents, who are in their 70’s, were actively engaging life. I suddenly felt small. I have less than an acre, they have 5. Weeds were everywhere in my yard. Theirs was well manicured. I wasn’t participating in much other than work. I was in a rut. Even my dog seemed depressed. I needed a wake-up call.

After returning home I immediately took a self-inventory. Where had the passion gone? It wasn’t gone. It was covered by the all too familiar self pity. I could have berated myself. I could have come up with another excuse. I chose instead to take action. I mowed the lawn. I pulled some weeds. I treated myself to a wonderful dinner. I played with my dog. I felt good.

There is still much to do, but I can get it done. Instead of looking at the situation as impossible, I realized that eating an elephant isn’t hard if you take it one bite at a time. Self love, self reliance are what we need to survive. For months I had been existing rather than living. I’m back among the living. This wasn’t the first hurdle and it won’t be the last. My lawn and my garden are in much better shape today than yesterday. My self esteem is better than it has been in months. I value myself. I love life again.

A simple visit to my parents opened my eyes to where happiness lies. Happiness comes from within. It is what we do for ourselves and others that bring us true joy. It isn’t what we have, it’s what we choose to do with it.

I have more weeds to pull. I have more gardening to do. Tomorrow is looking brighter. Here’s to tomorrow!

No Storm Last Forever

River 8 BG

As I look back over my life I see many turbulent times. Between the mighty crests of the waves there were the calms of the troughs. The winds that wreak havoc on our spirits eventually die down. All clouds run out of rain.

During the storms we have to find the strength to continue. After the storms we work to repair the damage. Of course there will be scars. How we deal with the storms and the aftermaths are as independent as our fingerprints. Yes, some of us act in similar ways, but how we feel inside is known only to us. During most storms I tend to pull my emotions inside like a turtle when threatened. Some storms I tend to lash out like a rattlesnake when disturbed. Some storms I remain calm and just ride it out. Once the storm passes we must rationally assess the damage. If we don’t properly diagnose we spend too much time trying to correct the symptoms. We add X to our lives as a patch. Or remove Y from our lives because it hurts. Doing this only prolongs our pain. Acting rationally while we are hurt is not easy. In fact, it is almost impossible.Only after a cooling down period of introspection can we truly figure out where the roots of our pain exists. Looking at our own faults is scary. Blaming others comes easy.

Because I chose the turtle stance most of the time, I allowed others to take advantage of me. When I acted like a rattlesnake, I never gave an opportunity to the other people. When I approach problems rationally first, which is rare, I remain calm and a mutual agreement is usually found. People have used me, but I let them. People tried to help me, but I prevented them. When I realize the big picture I put myself back in control of me. I can’t control others, but I can choose not to let others control me. My happiness comes from how I interpret life, not how others act towards me.

There will always be storms. Its nice to know they will always end. They might be followed by another storm, but that also will eventually end.