Upliftment, Guidance, Hope – The Power of Thoughts

MumbleOften writing about the Department of Veterans Affairs leaves my mind dark and argumentative.  My solution is to write something more uplifting, taking a mental break from the drudgery of bureaucrats abusing people.  Thus, this article was born from a desire to uplift, guide, and offer hope during a confusing, chaotic, and calamitous time.

In junior high school, I was first exposed to a proverb, saying, blessing, curse, or Chinese expression, “May you always live in interesting times.”  I like this saying and consider it a gift.  How boring would life be if we lived in uninteresting times?  More to the point, consider all the opportunities found when living in interesting times.  Opportunities to learn, grow, help, and more, all because we have personally learned to ride the whirlwind of interesting times.  With utmost sincerity, I hope you also will always live in interesting times.

Ken Blanchard offers some guidance:

Asking for others’ guidance helps you see what you may not be able to see.  It’s always important to check your ego and ask for help.”

Two things about this quote stand out:

      1. Ask – Asking for help, guidance, or support is one of the toughest things a person can do. Unfortunately, point number two is always getting in the way.
      2. Check your EGO! – How often have you asked for help, only to find the support provided clashed with how you thought, and time was wasted not listening, not doing, and not trusting the information provided?

I do not know about you, but I need to check my ego, lock it in a box, and listen more reflectively a couple of thousand times a day.  Apologizing to the person rendering guidance after wasting time not believing the advice the first time is even more difficult than not heeding the support the first time and having to ask a second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. time.  Instead of exemplifying myself, learn from my scars, listen, check ego, and ask for guidance.cropped-2012-08-13-07-37-28-1.jpg

I offer the following as an appendage to guidance:

Train your mind to see good in everything.  Positivity is a choice.  The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.”

Our minds require training; this is a universal principle applicable to every mortal.  Training happens through the choices we make and the consequences natural to each choice.  Emotion is a choice, feelings are a choice, and thoughts can be controlled through training.  Can someone make you mad?  No!  You choose to respond to external stimuli based on how you judge the social situation and your desires.  Hence your inner peace and mental well-being are a choice.

In affirming the choices and emotions/feelings, let me succinctly express that what you eat, drink, think, listen to, watch, etc., all plays roles in how you train your mind.  Choosing to see the good in other people will never happen if you surround yourself with negativity.  Feeling depressed, anxious, or worse, start within yourself.  What are you reading, watching, listening to, eating, drinking, etc., that worsens your depression, anxiety, or ability to enjoy good and feel good?  In psychology, this is called “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT),” and the research is fascinating on the application and self-help through taking charge of your inputs to change the outputs and outlooks.

I am not trying to negate the need for professional help in extreme cases, and before making medication changes, please talk to your mental health provider.  While there, discuss CBT, and do some research on this topic.  The quality of our lives depends on our thoughts, and the quality of thoughts relies entirely upon the inputs into our brains.  I struggle with depression, anxiety, and PTSD, but when I am more intentional about what goes into my brain, the less these issues can affect me.  Often, I have to take my inputs on a minute-to-minute basis to maintain positivity.  You can take charge of your brain and train it to output more positivity.cropped-rocks-in-a-stream-test.jpg

On my second trip through fourth grade, I was encouraged to learn the following and make a choice:

Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

The author was unknown, but the school principal made the challenge after a visit for being a jerk.  My principal explained that what I was exemplifying, being a jerk would mean that the world would be a jerk back.  So, if I wanted to be treated differently, I had to be what I wanted returned.  A tough lesson in fourth grade, even more difficult to remember as time passed, even though I accepted the challenge to change.

What do you want to see in the world?  Unfortunately, a colloraly question demands attention: is what you want to see in the world positive or negative?  For example, a person I met wanted to see more violence in the world and worked exceedingly hard to create more violence around themselves.  Unfortunately, violence has a way of escaping control, and this person received more violence than they started.  Call it Karma, Murphy, or something else; the universe seems to have an excellent boomerang device, and what is sent out many times is multiplied and delivered in such a manner as to inspire changing values when returned to you.

Hence, while guidance might be akin to a small tea light, everything might not become apparent immediately, but your next step is clearer than the darkness.  Ask for guidance, check ego, and be the change you want through mental training, but first, believe you can do this!Monarch Butterfly

Hope is an interesting power.  Hollywood made this clear when a demon on Angel (a TV Show spun-off from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 1 Episode 14) made the following comment:

I had given up… Hope.”

The demon character spoke of the blackest pit, the harshest and most hellacious place they had ever entered.  A mind devoid of light, humanity, and hope led the demon to give up hope and begin to fear, contemplating never being able to escape.  While fiction, the point is clear, hope is a powerful tool, and with it, our minds can grasp, cling, and strive.  Without it, there is a bottomless pit of black despair.

Hope is a relief to grief, music in a tuneless void, light on the darkest path, and a rescue rope flung to others.  Yet, to express hope, society claims you’re a “cockeyed optimist,” all while society flails about without hope.  Society will always scorn what they do not have; lacking hope, society will always try to negate hope in others while denying it to themselves.  Why is training thoughts so essential; to shield your mind from the inputs of negativity.  What is the shield you raise; hope!

Good TimberSamuel Johnson, speaking about hope, said:

Hope is itself a species of happiness, and perhaps, the chief happiness which this world affords.”

Suzanne Collins expressed a similar thought stating:

Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.”

But, many ask, what do we hope in?  What do we hope for?  Sure, Pliny the Elder is supposed to have said:

Hope is the pillar that holds up the world.  Hope is the dream of a waking man.”

Religionists will claim that what we hope in, and for, is deliverance from death.  Others will claim we need to invest hope in a god, God, or gods.  Yet, does this answer the question of what to hope for or where to place our hope?  For some, maybe; for others, maybe not.  I struggle with hope and would like to offer a couple of potential answers:

Knowledge Check!We begin with a firm understanding of what hope is.  Hope is a desire coupled with an expectation the desire will be delivered.  For example, in the dark of the night, we hope for sunrise.  We expect sunrise to arrive eventually, and when it does arrive, we feel something as we witness a new day dawn — expectation coupled with desire, including a feeling upon delivery.

Some will contend, based on Plato, Socrates, or other philosophers and philosophies, that things hoped for are entirely outside the control of a person.  Yes, the sunrise is outside a person’s control, but choosing to feel hope in something is entirely inside a person’s control.  Remember the demon, who corrupts people for personal gain, felt hopeless and despaired due to external circumstances.  You control the mind; thus, you are always in control of feeling hope – an expectation coupled with desire that includes a feeling upon delivery, often associated with feelings of uncertainty and defiance.

Defiance as an aspect of hope allows the prisoner to spit in the eye of the guards and accepts the consequences, which generally take the form of physical violence.  Uncertainty will enable us to turn a light switch on to “see if the electrical power is back.”  Expressions of hope come in many forms, but the central figure in expressing and feeling hope is our minds; we control, and thus we cling to hope.Courage

Is hope optimism; no, and hope is also not faith.  Distinct differences make hope individual, and we must grasp these differences to understand the power and grandeur of hope.  The major difference between hope and optimism is centralized around significance that reflects a claim about ourselves.  Pessimists possess hope because something is significant and valuable to them that they can hope for.  Faith is a firm belief in things not seen but for which hope is invested and the faithful person will work to bring about.  Thus, optimism and faith possess elements of hope but remain distinct and individual.  The faith-filled person will find faith challenging to work towards lacking hope, and the optimist will find hope without significance difficult to possess.  Hence we can deduce that hope is a type of power, and through hope, faith and optimism receive additional capacity in a person’s life.

Imagine Sisyphus for a moment; each day begins, and the rock he is to roll is at the bottom of a hill.  Each day ends, the rock is at the top of the hill.  The rock moves up the hill daily through his sweat and labor.  Why does Sisyphus move the rock?  He hopes to keep the rock on top of the hill.  He recognizes that the task is arduous, but he possesses hope, and through hope, he moves the rock.  The power of hope is an impetus to motivation, lifting any person to work and, through work’s drudgery, to hope for a future different from today.Repetition and Sisyphus | Thoughts Thinking Thoughts

Hope first lifts thoughts if we choose to allow it, and the person becomes empowered to do something from lifted thoughts.  Do we catch the hinge; choice.  The human is the one mammal on the earth that possesses the ability to hope, projecting hope into a future changed from the present.  The lack of hope is despair, filling the individual with fear, but these are both choices.  We choose, and in choosing, natural consequences follow.  How we value those consequences determines whether we value or disregard the choice/consequence cycle previously, which leads to new choices and perceptions, producing more consequences and choices.

We invest hope in the future, for a brighter tomorrow, and for improved situations, employment, friends, family, health, etc.  Too often, what we hope for is locked in our choices, thoughts, and inputs into our brains in training to make tomorrow different from today.  Some people will add religion, and I am not disregarding the power of personally held beliefs that form the basis for religious tenets.  Religion helps to lengthen the event horizon, formalize faith and hope, and provides more to hope in and for.  Hope is a power fundamental to the human condition, of which all religions, including atheism, agree.

Religionists generally will place hope in something, eternal life, the Savior, a cross, enlightenment, etc., which hope easily leads to faith, and the works needed to obtain the hoped-for desire.  How you invest your hope reflects a choice, a passion, centralizes thoughts, and produces an appetite that moves you to action.  Recognize the hinge, choices remain central to using hope, and the natural consequences provide opportunities to choose whether that which is hoped in and for to become a reality or to morph into something else more desirable.  Truly, we can understand how thoughts become things and the power of thoughts.Rhonda Byrne Quote: "Through this most powerful law, your thoughts become things in your life ...

May this find you well and help provide new ideas for building your future.

© Copyright 2022 – M. Dave Salisbury
The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the images.  Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.

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I Have Had ENOUGH! – The Trans/Drag Movement

?u=https3.bp.blogspot.com-fYRTNk48SCwT8ua0IRDWPIAAAAAAAAFZUpexSmJsN2Kos1600overcoming-adversity-help-yourself-believe-cubby-motivational-1289878102.jpg&f=1&nofb=1Last week, feel free to look it up on YouTube, Officer Tatum was discussing a Drag Queen show where children are present, and the Drag Queen is exposing their underwear regularly to the horror of the children attending.  Now, take a minute and put your critical thinking hat on.  If a man or woman exposes their drawers to a child anywhere, that person is arrested for exposure and investigated for child endangerment and other potential crimes.  Yet, if the person claims to be a cross-dressing member of the LGBTQ+ community, the law somehow doesn’t apply.  Tell me why!

Recently, again YouTube has a video, a mother hears about a Drag Queen indecently exposing themselves at her daughter’s school.  Indecent exposure, as defined in legal communities, is “the crime of displaying one’s genitalia to one or more people in a public place, usually with the apparent intent to shock the unsuspecting viewer and give the exposer a sexual charge.”  It is important to note that in many U.S. jurisdictions, “it is not required that someone observe the act, or see the perpetrator’s private parts, in order for the perpetrator to face criminal charges.”  Never forget that those exposing themself in public are at risk of committing more serious sexual crimes and are a danger to society.  The mother wears the same outfit to the school board and is considered immodestly dressed for a public forum.  News stations blurred the mother’s image to prevent problems with the FCC.  Why wasn’t the Drag Queen treated similarly?  Why is there a two-tier judicial system in the Republic of the United States of America?

Earlier in 2022, a video is taken of a child slipping cash into the underwear of a Drag Queen.  Why haven’t any of these parents been investigated for child endangerment?  Children deserve to be raised by parents who are not abusing them by exposing the child to the sexual predilections of a perverted mind.  How many more instances of child endangerment are needed before schools, governments, and the judicial system before we as a society take action to stop this chicanery??u=http2.bp.blogspot.com-fGEUjJsJ2h4VcJgswaisnIAAAAAAAABcsoFqEewPF_E4s1600quote-if-the-freedom-of-speech-is-taken-away-then-dumb-and-silent-we-may-be-led-like-sheep-to-the-george-washington-193690.jpg&f=1&nofb=1

All are created equally.  All are equal under the law.  These are not aphorisms or nice thoughts; they are how society works.  We must be able to trust the legal system to treat ALL equally under the law.  Yet, if you choose to cross-dress, believing you are a soul in the wrong body, somehow you have special treatment under the law and can commit crimes that others would be jailed and rightfully ostracized from society for committing.

Curiosity is no sin, and I have long wondered why we hear stories of men crashing women’s locker rooms but never a woman entering a man’s locker room.  A trans boy in Vermont crashes a girl’s locker room, makes snide and disparaging comments, makes the girls feel uncomfortable, and the girls are punished.  America has witnessed a star varsity girl be a quarterback on a football team.  Yet, she never crashed the boy’s locker room.  I have been in school districts where girls have wrestled on the boys’ wrestling team; they never thought to watch the boys change, dress, disparage comments, or make the boys feel uncomfortable.  Have you ever wondered why this is always a one-directional story, boys and men against women and girls?

Since SCOTUS ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges, the claim has been made that children would be sacrificed for political correctness.  What have we seen happen in America; child molesters are now called “Minor Attracted People,” Drag Queens are paid tax dollars to dance and expose themselves to children in schools, and explicit LGBTQ+ pornography is peddled through school libraries to children who should not be exposed to this garbage.  Why?  Do not misunderstand; I am thoroughly against heterosexual pornography being peddled to children.  We have laws against heterosexual porn marketing and set legal age limits.  Why does gay porn not have the same common sense approaches and age restrictions?Lemmings 1

In 2019, I substitute taught at a high school in Albuquerque, NM, for several months.  I was horrified at what passed for A.P. English reading materials.  Seeing the reading materials that described explicit details of gay sexual activity was sickening.  Peddle heterosexual pornography with this explicit amount of detail to minors, and you would be jailed, and rightly so.  There are laws restricting this material from minors, but somehow if the materials are gay sexual activity, the rules magically do not apply.  Why?

I have seen reading materials pushed by the American Library Association (ALA) that are so obscene I could not finish reading them, and I am not a young mind in K-12.  Let me elaborate upon this significance.  In Junior High school (1989-1991), I challenged myself to learn about the world.  In seventh grade, I was going to read all the books in the Crosby Junior High School library.  I was exposed to harlequin romances that were inappropriate for my age, and regret having read them.  I read Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler, the Koran, ideals, and philosophies from all over the world, and I am better for the experience.  I wanted an expanded mind; I developed my mind and then felt better about experiencing and experimenting with the world.

NO FearGenerally, I am against banning books, but I am all in for age appropriateness in materials offered for reading.  Tell me, should kindergarten-aged children be learning about masturbation?  Their young minds and bodies are not developed sufficiently, yet what do we find in kindergarten required reading, how to masturbate?  It was inappropriate to have harlequin romances in a junior high school library.  What I needed was to learn about love, not sex.  Not knowing there was a difference cost me a lot of time and relationships.  What is the exposure to gay sexual details doing to the children’s minds right now?  Why are these materials not only allowed but promoted to children?

President Thomas Jefferson, when discussing equality in 1776, rightly reminded his countrymen that he never intended to say anything original in the Declaration but only “to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent.”  Well, with this missive, my intent is similar; I desire to place before you, dear reader, the common sense of this subject, in plain terms, firmly stated sufficient to command your attention and recognize the evil that has beset this nation.

There is no excuse for the sexual attacks on our children and youth in the name of equality.  Equality has become the brick stick to beat populations into submission and chain those minds in captivity.  I choose to allow all the freedom to act as they choose, with two provisions:

  1. I am allowed to act as I so choose.
  2. Those who think differently do NOT use the power of governmental force to compel me to give up my liberties encompassed in the first provision.

If you choose to dress as a different sex, gender, or type of person, you are more than free to do so.  Make your choices, live your consequences, and leave me alone.  However, the LGBTQ+ community is not happy leaving people alone; they insist on stealing rights and liberties through judicial twisting, legislation, and bureaucratic fiat, which is immoral, unethical, and illegal.

Exclamation MarkWhere are the rights of parents?  On YouTube, a discussion was held that a mother and father had no legal say in what their child was taught in his second-grade classroom.  Really, where did the rights of parents go?  In 6th -12th grade, I freely admit I forged parental signatures on permission forms.  Yet, my parents were still afforded their right to say no and tell the school board.  More, when my mother became vociferous sufficiently to make a nuisance, she was jailed for contempt regarding teacher overreach in what was being taught to my younger brothers.

The oppression of parental rights is not new, but it has taken a decidedly dangerous turn, and this trend MUST be reversed!  The class I hated the most in school sexual education.  In the eight different high schools I attended, this class was masked under the guise of reproductivity, family planning, health, and other less obnoxious sounding titles.  But always, the class was sexual education, and too often, the course sickened me mentally and physically.  Yet, in all eight high schools, the classes were made mandatory, not by parents, but by legislatures who had been hoodwinked by Planned Parenthood and other nefarious political bodies.  I learned about women’s periods and cycles in junior high and was physically ill.  On my second trip through fourth grade, I saw movies on how children were conceived and more physical nausea.

During those years of government-mandated public education, I learned the words of Jefferson: “Liberty … is unobstructed action according to our will: but rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will, within the limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.  I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’; because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.”  The limits drawn by tyrants are violating the rights of individuals, and the noose cinching our growth originates in the twisted minds of those claiming equality for sexual perversion and mental illness.

Tell me, have you researched the psychiatric book on mental illness?  Several sections are devoted to the mental illnesses of sexual disorders and the mental health of people who create problems because they refuse to be bound by limits in sexual appetites.  The consequences of sexual perversion create mental health disorders.  Please, do not blindly believe me; look up the DSM 5.  The DSM-5 officially is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, text revision (DSM-5-TR) released on March 18, 2022, by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).  The DSM is a reference handbook that most U.S. mental health professionals use to reach an accurate diagnosis, and the latest version of the manual is the DSM-5-TR.Plato 2

While there are always discussions on the applicability and use of the DSM, this is the reference for lawyers, mental health professionals, and medical doctors in dealing with mental health cases.  The information in the DSM-5-TR remains the standard upon which diagnoses and treatment of mental health patients rest.  A basic level of reading comprehension leaves the reader with a firm grasp of the obvious, sexual appetites and passions have consequences, and those consequences lead to poor mental health, including depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, physical, sexual, and mental abuse of others, and a host of social problems and legal issues.

Yet, instead of addressing the problem and suggesting more control of personal appetites, the reverse is preached by media, politicians, doctors, and other key societal groups.  Leading us back to Jefferson’s claim that “law is often the tyrant’s will” as a weapon to violate the rights of individuals.  Another glimpse into the mind of President Jefferson shows us the following pattern.  “Whereas it appeareth that however certain forms of government are better calculated than others to protect individuals in the free exercise of their natural rights and are at the same time themselves better guarded against degeneracy, yet experience hath [shown], that even under the best forms, those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny . . . [emphasis mine].”

Slow operations are perverting government into tyranny; where have we seen this more apparent than in the bureaucratic nightmare of the federal, state, county, and city/town government on education in publicly funded schools?  Under the guise of the twisted and plastic term progress, the ability to read was curtailed by Dewey, and education was bureaucratized slowly into the mess it has become.  Math and history are weaponized into topics hated and despised, so the student knows nothing of their country’s rich heritage and history.  The popularization of topics has seen the rise of perversion in a bold attempt to groom children for the sexual appetites and passions of adults who deserve public shaming.  Instead, those with morals and ethics are denounced and shunned.Image - Eagle & Flag

Let me be clear and concise, using President Jefferson to help, “Under the law of nature, all men are born free, every one comes into the world with a right to his own person, which includes the liberty of moving and using it at his own will.  This is what is called personal liberty, and [personal liberty] is given him by the author of nature because [it is] necessary for his own sustenance.”  How you choose is your business, provided it does not infringe upon the rights and liberties of others to pursue life, exercise liberty, and choose happiness.  However, what is occurring right now remains in direct violation of personal liberty, and these purveyors of sexual perversion must cease and desist immediately!

You do not have the right to twist the minds of children!  You are not the parents, and your job does not give you the authority to interfere in parental rights!  The power of government is not an acceptable excuse to steal innocence, groom minds, or pervert those not interested in your lifestyle choices!  How you choose to exercise your liberty is between you and the author of that liberty.  When you go forth exercising your liberty and try to steal rights and liberties from others, you are the problem.  You deserve social castigation, denunciation, and the harshest penalties of the legal system.

PatriotismYou have no claims upon my personal liberty, and I want my rights back!

© Copyright 2022 – M. Dave Salisbury
The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the images.  Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.

Random Thoughts

Standing here typing, listening to Garth Brooks, my mind will not relax to sleep.  Reason unknown, but these thoughts seemed to need to be written, so here goes nothing:

  1. Can a person have too much experience and too varied a resume? I’ve been a Jack-of-all-Trades for so long, but is that damaging my professional brand?

With a tour active-duty Army, a stint in the US Army National Guard, and a tour of duty active in the Navy, my SMART transcripts are thick with experience.  Add in the correspondence courses, the moving from state-to-state in the guard, I have collected job specialties/Military Occupational Skills (MOS), and civilian experience to the Nth degree.

In Fourth Grade, I heard about Cracker Jacks, how they were specialists in being Johnny on the spot to fill the needs demanded.  I have turned this into project, program, and change management, and supported it with formal and informal education.  What is too much?  How do I know when I reach that point?The important thing is not to stop questioning. ~Albert Einstein #motivation #questioning # ...

  1. Garth Brooks sings a song called “Ireland.” The song is more of a saga than a song, and it tells the story of an Irish Army, on the short end of long odds and outmanned.  Since I first heard this song, it has struck those chords in my soul, reason unknown.  Having been on the receiving end of long odds and understaffed, I understand the sentiment of this song on an almost spiritual level.

I’ve been in professional situations where I was the victim of lies, physical violence, and sexual assaults from both men and women.  People who desire to make themselves feel better by making another person worse.  I’ve been fighting bullies my whole life; bring it on.  You cannot put the “Skeer” on me!  Funnily enough, I sure have the Skeer on a LOT of others, mostly without ever trying.

Recently an event from the US Navy came forcibly to mind, one of the few times I put the Skeer on another person, then kept that Skeer up to the day I left the ship.  I had a member of my chain of command physically assault me.  I stepped toe-to-toe, looked him straight in the eye, and swore to the depths of my eternal soul that if he ever thought of touching me again, I was going to stuff his lifeless body into a saltwater compensated fuel cell, and all they would find of his remains would be atomic molecules as they went through the engines and into the atmosphere.  He never looked me in the eye again, touched me, and left the space crying.  I never touched him, but I got my point across.

I have carried the injuries from that day to this, and the VA refuses to acknowledge these injuries or their severity.  The VBA continues to deny that a male can experience military sexual trauma from another male.  But I put the Skeer on the perpetrators, and this comes with no satisfaction.  The law refused to support me; UCMJ failed even to acknowledge these issues while punishing me for the smallest of infractions.  Where is justice?

I was one of a tiny minority who was sent to Captain’s Mast (UCMJ, Article 15) proceedings, whose NCOER score went up after being sent before the mast.  My lowest NCOER score was 3.5/4 during my entire enlisted period US Navy.  But I could not get promoted, refused transfers, and was denied everything because I was “Too valuable to the command,” but this did not stop the command from sending me before the mast every six to eight months.  I have scars from the bullies, but they never broke me!Invictus by William Ernest Henley - Parchment Style Digital Art by Alexander Ivanov

  1. Since June 2022, I have been pleading on my blog, LinkedIn, and Facebook for participants for my dissertation research. Unfortunately, the research participation rate hasn’t exceeded zero—more reasons unknown.

Have you ever sat through company training and a trainer made an impression, for good or ill, on your growth with that organization?  Do you train others, hoping you are influencing the students in your classroom?  Do your official duties include leading training efforts for your company?  Please click on the link to enter the survey/questionnaire:

Have you successfully been coached or been the coach to another?  What about mentoring?  Have you received mentoring or been a mentor?  Your insights are vital to my research, and I want to showcase your insights to other researchers to help improve company training programs.  Please, join, and let’s change the world.invictus logo 10 free Cliparts | Download images on Clipground 2021

  1. On the topic of the VBA, did you know you can have a VA provider diagnose you with PTSD and be denied VBA benefits? I would never have believed this was possible until it happened to me.  The civilian provider doing the PTSD exam claimed a person could not experience PTSD unless they were in combat.  If anyone knows how to successfully change the VBA’s mind, don’t hesitate to contact me.  I need some help on this claim!

The inconsistencies in my claim baffle and bewilder me to no end.  The abuse by the VA’s ineptitude and deleterious attitude leaves me thinking about running for office, if for no other reason than to stop the depredations of the VA.  Any lawyers out there looking for a fight, itching to correct a wrong, and want to join?

  1. I am almost finished with an advanced degree in industrial and organizational psychology (I/O Psych), and I am appalled by many of my colleagues. Not those in I/O Psych, but those in other psychological fields, psychiatry, and the medical field.  I am not denying that kids (age 9-18) are often confused about their bodies and have fanciful ideation about being a different gender.  Sometimes these thoughts and feelings need professional support to understand and cope.  But recommending surgery to mutilate their bodies permanently is morally, ethically, and borderline legally wrong!

In following the gender dysphoria topic, I have read the heartbreaking stories of those who transitioned, mutilated, and then eventually came to themselves and wept for that which has been lost.  Related on these blog pages are several stories of people I have known, who have experienced rape, beatings, and tremendous pain due to gender confusion, jealousy, greed, and a compliant medical industry hellbent on doing harm.  Why?

I repeat my question, only for emphasis, if your actions are so life-affirming and positive for you, why are you so hate-filled, angry, and abusive to others?  If the mutilation of healthy tissue is not immoral, unethical, and borderline legal, why the secrecy, silence, and walls of hate when approached on this topic?  These are honest questions.  The research does not support any conclusions; expect to plead for more research.  Science is not settled on any issue, let alone the alteration of young bodies and minds.

Writing these questions and thoughts down is therapeutic.  If they help you, I have accomplished my purpose.  I close with a thought:

“Ask yourself the hard questions, never stop asking, and allow your answers to change as you do.”  Colin Wright

I affirm in the strongest words I am not a victim, I am not the same person I was at 18, and I glory in the ability to continue to change.  Ask questions, learn, and change.

© Copyright 2022 – M. Dave Salisbury
The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the images.  Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.

Hubris Ante Nemesis – Flash from the Eternal Semaphore

Bobblehead DollAs a kid, I read a lot of Greek and Roman Mythology.  I learned some great lessons from the fates, the fabled battles, and the historical interweaving with the fictional.  One of the lessons keeps recircling, “Those whom the gods would destroy first they make proud.”  Except, the gods/God do not make men proud; men choose pride, then comes vanity, all feeding ego, until that penultimate moment when “Hubris Ante Nemesis” occurs and the bottom is pulled out from under you.

The fates are three goddesses by the name of Clotho (the spinner), Lachesis (the allotter), and Atropos (the inflexible), possibly the children of Ananke (Necessity); these fates spun out the woven lives of men and women on the tapestry of a grand design.  Out of necessity, the fates weave, and what is woven cannot be undone.  I can understand the mental comfort people might take from thinking that these weavers hold men’s destiny; thus, all success or failure is the fault of the weavers of fate.The Fates Picture, The Fates Image

Hubris, in Greek Mythology, is the god of arrogance.  Full of wanton violence, insolence, arrogance, and who actively chooses never to exercise restraint.  Hubris remains a classic example of extremes.  Nemesis is the goddess of fate and revenge.  Roughly translating Latin Hubris brings Nemesis to balance the scales.  Nemesis is the humbler of men who Hubris have enticed into taking their lives to extremes.

In Judaism, the saying goes, “Pride goeth before the fall.”  Or put another way, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”  In all cultures of men, this same semaphore is flashing across the minds of philosophers and religious leaders, beware the tides of extremes, choose humility, and caution against arrogance, pride, sloth, vanity, lust, gluttony, and ego.  When did we stop heeding this call?  Why have these calls been classified as religious and minimized in all societies?Nemesis | Myth Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia

Consider the political leaders of the day, those who think they are beyond the reach of law merely because they think they are the keystone in a democracy and deserve to live better than those who elected them to power.  Recent examples of this pride are witnessed in Speaker Pelosi’s husband making stock choices when the company is about to get a massive windfall from the US Government.  Al Gore compared climate deniers to the police in the Uvalde, Texas school shooting while jet-setting around the globe.  He is preaching moderation and reduced lifestyles while he lives in excess.  The list is never-ending, where extreme lifestyles are flashed wantonly, and suffering continues to expand exponentially.

Marie Antoinette was made famous for the starving and suffering by losing her head after supposedly claiming, “Let them eat cake.”  Hubris snuffed out by Nemesis in a well-deserved act of humiliation.  Yet, one of the things that set Greek and Roman mythology apart from Judaism and Christianity was the ability to repent, achieve forgiveness, and change one’s life being in the hands of the individual, not the destiny of the Fate’s.

Being called to repentance is primarily the realm of religious leaders, and I would not want anyone to think I am making a call for others to repent.  Not my job, no authority, no power.  Merely, I hope to help raise the perception of those suffering from the hubris of others.  I also want to improve how I live.  I am not the example to hold up to anyone, except as a warning, but I strive to improve.  The poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley rings ever truer, “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”Invictus Games Foundation - YouTube

Our world, right now, is suffering greatly.  Crime is skyrocketing; theft is out of control; violence, aggression, murder, rape, and so much more are occurring at levels not ever recorded and growing.  Yet, Thomas S. Monson authored a book based on a concept of power, “The future is only as bright as your faith.”  Consider this for a moment; we can have hope and happiness in whatever circumstances we face as a choice reflecting our personal religious beliefs.  Yes, the consequences of crime hurt physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, etc., but the hubris of others can be healed.  Victor E. Frankl’s book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” signals the same semaphore, your choices can heal the hubristic consequences suffered, and the future is bright!

Those who have indulged in hubristic actions can find peace, joy, happiness, and forgiveness.  Those hurt by the hubris of others do not have to stay hurt, or hurt others, to find the same joy, peace, happiness, and forgiveness.  Want to know an exciting thought?  I am not preaching religion!  Your religious choices are your own, and I respect your religious preferences, provided they do not infringe upon anyone else’s rights to freedom of religion.25 Best Hope Quotes That Build Your Confidence Again - Picss Mine

I am talking about living without extremes, not religion.  How big of a house do you need?  Due to my violent sleeping and crazy sleep patterns, my wife and I sleep in different rooms.  Because I am a proud person who, after cleaning latrines and heads for the US Army and Navy, hates cleaning bathrooms, we also have separate bathrooms.  As a married couple, these changes to the “traditional” style of a man living with a woman have led us to live in a slightly larger home, but this fits our needs.  Please note that my bathroom is not a filthy mess, but it is not the surgical clean of a military bathroom either.  Nor is my bathroom one step higher in cleanliness above the military than my spouse’s.

How many cars and vehicles does a person need?  I don’t know.  I have friends who have four-wheelers, tractors, motorcycles, and a host of other vehicular conveyances.  I am not here to tell anyone how much of anything they need.  I merely postulate that you can make better choices and exercise less hubris through careful consideration and thoughtful discussion.  The same goes for food, clothing, entertainment, and every other vice humans invent to fall into.  I am not condemning anyone!  I suggest that we can live well without the extremes and expect our political leaders and bureaucrats to do similarly.

Question 3How expensive is the government because those who claim to be public servants practice hubris with our tax dollars?  How complicated a process does a government become when government becomes a jobs program instead of a government?  How big does a government become when hubris is practiced against the citizens?

As free-thinking humans, we do not need to be ruled with a brick stick to make better living choices.  We do need a moral code to live by, and how you choose your moral code is your business.  The moral code should include things like living within our means, not being violent to others, promoting good where we see it, and disdaining socially what should be kept privately, among other things.  I cannot stress this enough choosing what you believe is your business.  However, hubris hurts others to make oneself inflated, and that is everyone’s business!

Consider for a moment the store clerk who had to take a life to defend himself in a bodega in NYC.  That man will be forever haunted by the violence perpetrated upon him, leading to the perpetrator’s death.  The hubris of the attacker led to his humiliation but had consequences for society at large.  The thieves in San Francisco, Chicago, and other places do not hurt just the business and local communities, they hurt everyone in American society, and their hubris is morally, ethically, and legally wrong!Hubris Quotes. QuotesGram

The murderer’s hubris affects society just as wholly as the hubris of a political leader who lives in excess; I see no difference between the two.  Some may complain that murder and living in excess are two different moral choices, but those hurt do not differentiate the wound, so why should I?  Is not a life lost in murder?  Is not a life lost when the excesses of others lead them to use the power of government to steal, cheat, and lie in the name of government business?

Consider illegal immigration as the theft it is, and we can see how hubris negatively influences the originating country, pushing the poor out and the host country where the poor want to reside illegally.  Does this mean immigration is wrong; absolutely not!  Immigration includes assimilation, illegal immigration does not, and those practicing illegal immigration, promoting, and facilitating are all practicing hubris for personal power, wealth, and gain.  Are there those in the illegal immigration classes who are the “Sons of Mary;” indeed.  But the majority are merely perpetuating hubris with the resulting consequences in increased drug trafficking, sex trafficking, disease spread, and a host of other social ills.

I admit the murders of millions in Nazi Germany under Hitler were terrible, but how is this any different from Mao using government powers to kill millions by withholding food, clothing, and housing from those who disagreed politically, religiously, or personally?  Or any different than Xi Jinping doing similarly to the Uyghur populations?  What is different between Marie Antoinette and Marx or Stalin?  How are these actions any other than what the government has done under the excuse of Covid?  Did not millions die while political leaders lived in excess, flaunted their hubris, and stole from those who put them in power?️ Oedipus hubris. Oedipus Rex or Oedipus the King Essay. 2019-01-31

Under communism in the USSR, the people lived in abject misery, while those who considered themselves elite grew fat and lazy, all in the name of helping, providing, caring, and progress.  Communist Cuba and the disaster called Venezuela are additional examples of what occurs when hubris corrupts governments and society is left to suffer while the leaders live lives of excess.  America used to be a capitalistic country but is now a mix of socialism and communism under the guise of capitalism.  The hubristic lifestyles of those in power, their lackeys, flunkeys, and bureaucrats, are all at the taxpayers’ expense.  What is the difference between hubris in the communist USSR and America?

I am not claiming that anyone is doing anything inherently wrong.  Our choices to live an extreme lifestyle breed pride, vanity, ego, narcissism, and a host of other social ills; these social ills breed expanses to government, creating red tape, tax increases, and socialism/communism as measures to improve equality.  What happens when the hubris grows too big, war, revolutionary governments, and destruction.  The mythological Greeks would call this the coming of Nemesis to cull the acts of Hubris.  Judaism and Christianity would discuss balancing the scales of justice with mercy.  Other religions would discuss balance, choice, and compounding accountability for choices.  All truths flashed from an eternal semaphore, where man tries to explain the loss, putting morales to the stories and trying to pass along a truth grasped at, that men make choices, and when those choices include extremes, the consequence is death.

Knowledge Check!Is the future really as bright as our faith; YES!  What we choose to believe in, how we choose to exercise belief, and the need for freedom of religion to keep men on equal grounds, are all pillars to helping man live life without extremes.  Extremes breed death; living without extremes creates life; can we at least learn this lesson?  I hope so.

© Copyright 2022 – M. Dave Salisbury
The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the images.  Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.

Courtesy: The Key to Civil Society

Not to state the obvious, Roe v. Wade has been rescinded, and the political left has become the antithesis of civil society.  Acting in a manner that is rude, boorish, and bloody awful.  I know sugar-hyped, caffeine-strung-out, two-years-old who behave better than the supposed adults rioting, looting, and threatening violence.  Frankly, after the summer of rage (2020), I am fed up with the media cheerleading criminal behavior in the name of expressing themselves; let us now affirm and cherish as sacred courtesy as the preeminent civil virtue needed in society.

Elder Marvin J. Ashton, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints (October 1976), addressed the topic of courtesy while discussing self-management.  Quoting Elder Ashton, “Courtesy and self-respect are necessary ingredients” in properly being a member of any society, business, family, etc.  In a previous article, the discourteous behavior of the political left was discussed, especially those who choose to join the LGBTQ+ communities.  Why has courtesy dropped so precipitously in American society and too other cultures across the globe?  Elder Ashton discusses the answer:

Seeing men and women who think, speak, and act with propriety in any community or personal situation is refreshing and uplifting.  Good manners are necessary for the decency and peace of community living.  [Good Manners] should be a matter of grave concern to all, yet we hear and read less about their cultivation than we do about dieting and “daily dozens” to enhance our personal acceptance and development.”

Stemming from self-discipline, courtesy is an outward expression of inner strength, and our manners precede us into new situations.  As a kid, one of the deadliest sins we could commit was being late to an appointment, meeting, or scheduled event.  You could lose your temper, drop the worst language, but if you were late, you were in big trouble!  Sure, foul language was a punishment multiplier but was a punishment reducer if you were not late.  In the US Army, we were taught if you are not 15-minutes early, you are late.  15-minutes early was on time, building the mental toughness to understand the military requirement of “Hurry up and wait.”Common Courtesy Quotes Quotations. QuotesGram

Yet, what do we see too often since 2000, less and less is society expecting a person to be “on time,” let alone early to a scheduled appointment.  Worse, recently, I had a doctor’s appointment, and the staff in the office were grateful I had shown up, let alone was 15-minutes early to my appointment.  When further discussed, the conversation drifted to how people do not call to cancel, show up hours late, and still expect to be seen, and how the staff was forced to work overtime when people showed up late.  The provider felt compelled to see these patients, even though doing so meant staying late.  Importantly, sourced from Elder Ashton, serenity and poise are the companions of those who practice courtesy and judgment to always be on time.

As self-discipline has been reduced, social interactions have also declined as people feel attacked when courtesy is absent.  Worse, if I do not believe the same as you, social norms state I deserve to be attacked, even physically attacked, and this atrocious behavior is my fault for not having the courtesy to believe the same as you.  No!  This is not courtesy, self-discipline, or proper self-management, and I refuse to spend another microsecond being abused!

What is courtesy?

Jim Butcher is correct, “If you can’t manage courtesy, try silence.”  In defining courtesy, the dictionary refers to courtesy as “polite behavior” and “indulgence.”  Yet, I feel this is barely scratching the surface on defining courtesy, especially since indulgence is not a strong suit of mine.  Courtesy is a willingness, and ability, to properly relate to others.  Courtesy requires humility or a humble approach to social interactions.  Elder Ashton was clear, “Proper self-management will permit us to be a team member first, a coach, captain, or superstar second.”  Do we understand, and will we willingly accept, the role of a team member, participant, or active and engaged audience?Quotes On Consideration And Courtesy. QuotesGram

Early in life, I had some lessons forcibly taught me.  Elder Ashton sums up the lessons:

Good health habits, integrity, bearing, mannerisms, conversation, and self-control can be powerful assets in one’s balance sheet.  These traits outwardly reflect the views of the management.  Integrity within oneself makes it possible for honesty with God, family, and all other daily associates.  A person with integrity within himself will also have it in his relationship with others.”

At my current stage of life, I lack a “cherub-like demeanor” with anyone who tries to steal, infringe upon, or impugn my integrity.  This is wrong, and I struggle daily with the slings and arrows of our discourteous society.  Yet, still, we find a need to define courtesy, and while healthy eating, exercise, and patience help me in my struggles, these other aspects of courtesy remain invaluable.Erastus Wiman Quote: "Nothing is ever lost by courtesy. It is the ...

Courtesy, as an extension of self-respect and self-discipline, generates improved mental and physical health, further promoting courteous living and mental peace needed to suffer the fools slinging mud and practicing violence.  Do we understand the connection being discussed; Elder Ashton affirms, “our self-image and general conduct [observed through] dress, grooming, and hair standards, moderation of voice, use of worthy language, good manners, respect for other’s rights.”  However, does this define courtesy; not really, but they form the core of actions witnessed by those with self-respect and self-discipline.

Consider the recent media coverage of the two camps prominent in the Roe v. Wade protests since late February/early March.  The dress, language, general conduct, manners, and moderation of voice distinctly identified which camp one woman belonged to or another.  The distinction was easily observed long before either camp opened their mouths.  More to the point, look at the Republican and Democrat audiences at their respective national conventions.  The media coverage never ceases to amaze me, the camera operators and producers work tirelessly to not fuel stereotypes, but even then, the audiences are clearly distinct.Courtesy Quotes | Courtesy Sayings | Courtesy Picture Quotes

Elder Ashton states and I affirm in the strongest language, “In any community or personal situation, it is refreshing and uplifting to see men and women who think, speak, and act with propriety.”  Having traveled amongst incredibly diverse global cultures, it does not matter where you are or the culture you originate from; it is mentally and physically refreshing to be among people who act with propriety and courtesy and live with self-respect and self-discipline.  Clearly, courtesy is at its best when it is least obvious, and the least apparent; the greater self-respect shines through the actions and speech of courteous people.  Courtesy is a manner of living; it is a lifestyle choice and is not merely a religious thing stemming from a Judeo-Christian moral code (the Ten Commandments).  Aristotle is quoted saying, “We are what we repeatedly do; excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”  President Theodore Roosevelt said, “Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage.”  Consider these two quotes for a moment; courtesy is an action displaying excellence, and courtesy is courage.  To Jacques Maritain goes the final word on defining courtesy, “Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy.”

How do you practice grace and courtesy with your children? | Montessori ...Thus, gratitude, excellence, and gratitude are mere pieces of courteous behavior.  Interestingly, I find the best lessons on courteous behavior have arrived from the most disgustingly discourteous people.  In the US Army, I was called out by an incredibly courteous person for my language.  In the US Navy, I learned why courteous language was required through observing the consequences of the discourteous around me.  Several department members used horrific language, acted in manners revealing their lack of self-respect, and then cursed the gods for their predicament with women and money.

I am not saying that courteous living makes people rich or loved.  I merely relate that life is better the more I struggle to keep my cherub-like demeanor when stressed by those with manners more closely resembling pigs in rut than men with the potential to become God.  William Wordsworth stated in his writing, “Ode: Intimations of Immortality:”

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting.  The soul that rises with us, our life’s star, hath had elsewhere its setting, and cometh from afar: not in entire forgetfulness, and not in utter nakedness, but trailing clouds of glory do we come from God, who is our home.”

Disregarding religion for a moment, man has a tremendous imagination, but no religion yet has a discourteous god at its center.  Let us so live, with courtesy, self-respect, and self-discipline, that when we return to the God who made us, we trail clouds of glory as a mark of gratitude and courtesy.

© Copyright 2022 – M. Dave Salisbury
The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the images.  Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.

Honest Questions! Spurring Forthright Discussion.

Bobblehead DollThis is not my first rodeo where family members have chosen alternative lifestyles.  One family member was not hostile, quietly adopted a different lifestyle, and lives without bullying anyone.  One family member has just come of age, has chosen to live as a different gender, is passive-aggressive, and is hostile to everyone who refuses to participate in their mental disease.  The first person is an abnormality in the homosexual community where bullying, bullishness, and boorishness are the standard, not the exception.  The second family member has used their unhinged emotional wrecking ball to injure family and friends for the privilege of getting their way.  A wholly childish and selfish spectacle deserving of nothing more than abject derision and scorn.

Several friends have embraced different genders and lifestyles, moving from friendly to bully in a relatively short time, and have remained boorish and behaviorally reprehensible ever since.  One colleague was at a party, slipped a mickey, and woke up having been raped while drugged.  In any other community, this would have been a legal offense; in the homosexual community, this was not even worth mentioning.  A sad commentary in and of itself!  Unfortunately, this incident has left my friend degraded and feeling worthless, and unfortunately, we have lost touch over the years and miles since this incident.Question

Many questions remain after having worked around the LGBTQ+ community for more years than I would care to admit.  The number one question remaining is the following: If what you are doing is making you happy and more whole as a person, why the anger, resentment, bitterness, bullying, and boorish behaviors?  To me, this is a simple question; to my friends and family in the LGBTQ+ community, this is a complicated, complex, and nuanced question, where the person asked becomes more boorish, bullish, and obstinate.  So, please answer this question and tell me why this is such a complex and convoluted question.

Dear reader, I now pose the question to you.  I do not care how you choose to identify, the gender you prefer, your sexual preferences, or your religious lifestyle.  I do not care about race at birth or the race you choose to live.  Frankly, all I care about is what you bring to the table regarding talents, skills, abilities, and the attitude you choose.  Essentially, I have onboarded Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream; I judge solely by your character.  I am not racist, homophobic, sexist, ageist, or any other slur you wish to dream of; respect is often offered to resounding silence or aggressive vocal opposition and hatred, yet respect remains.Content of their Character

Religionists, including traditional and non-traditional, I realize the issues you are facing, and I agree with a lot of your concerns.  This does not mean you can be as boorish, bullish, and obstinate in your comments.  My agreement with your concerns does not reduce my respect for both parties.  Anyone abusing the comment section will have their comments moderated.  With that said, any person choosing to abuse the comments section will face the same moderation.  I do not tolerate emotionally charged bloviations.  Be logical, be respectful, and explain your ideas clearly.

Exclamation MarkBear with me for a moment.  I speak for myself.  I do not speak for all homo sapiens; I do not speak for anyone else but me — I research law, science, history, anthropology, psychology, and much more to form my opinions.  Agree or disagree, your choice.  Feel free to express your opinion, just understand I might disagree with your opinion, but I love to discuss topics with people.  Do not bring emotional hyperbole and try to pass it off as fact!  As I have told my wife, I do not care how you feel.

Currently, confusion has set in in global history, and I feel it is time to be truthful and specific.  Women have two XX chromosomes, men have an X and a Y chromosome, and this is the entire amount of genders and sexes in mammalian human science.  While some abnormalities and diseases will produce various (rare) chromosomal variations outside these two genders and sexes, there are absolutely no more than two sexes and two genders.  Recently I was told I was wrong and was informed there are 83 different gender categories, not including those who consider themselves part animal.  I continue to disagree pointedly!Dr. Duke on making good decisions in politics and life - David Duke.com

One of the misnomers in the gender/transgender discussion is that of human choice, which is more easily understood as agency.  The human, as an agent, chooses (exercising agency), and they have the right to choose, but in choosing, their consequences are not anyone else’s problem.  We need this point well understood.  Sexually transmitted diseases are not society’s problem; pregnancy is still not society’s problem; rape, drug addiction, depression, anxiety, etc., are not society’s problem.  How you choose to live your life is your choice; like I have said multiple times in these articles and elsewhere, keep those lifestyle choices in your bedroom and home, and leave the rest of society to live as they choose.

Some of those consequences break a person’s social trust with their chosen society; we call these laws, and breaking laws has additional consequences the agent must bear for exercising agency.  Breaking laws is black and white; how society’s agents apply those laws for enforcing those laws (judges, law enforcement officers, lawyers, etc.) is another topic; however, your lifestyle choices do not allow you to break society’s laws with impunity merely because you do not like a law or because that law interferes with your lifestyle.  It is against the law to picket, rally, or riot in front of a judge’s home to sway that judge’s opinion!  Blocking traffic is not an acceptable or legal method to air your grievances, and there is no such thing as a peaceful protest.  You can either legally protest or riot, media talking heads notwithstanding!

Your lifestyle choices do NOT permit you to groom children, become boorish, bullish, or abrasive in public, nor do your lifestyle choices enable you to change laws and social norms to fit your pleasure.  Everyone sacrifices to belong to society; not getting your way does not mean you have fewer rights than anyone else.  Are we clear on this issue?Founding Fathers Quotes on Justice and Equal Treatment Under the Law

Equal treatment under the law means you do not get a pass on sexual predation merely because your lifestyle is different from someone else’s.  Morals and values a society selects do not twist, morph, or get simply deleted because your lifestyle choices are out of sync with the rest of society.  Frankly, there is nothing new in your lifestyle preferences, so start being a member of society, act responsibly, and cease your incessant whining.  Finally, keep your lifestyle choices in your home; you are not allowed to teach children your lifestyle, you are not allowed to take over city streets for parades and displays, and whether you are hetero or homosexual when in public, act respectfully of others.REPEAL PRWORA PROJECT - GRANT EQUAL PROTECTION UNDER LAW - Bhavanajagat

Let me elaborate on that final statement.  I have been married for 25+ years; in public, I choose not to kiss, hold hands, or do any other action that could cause an observer to be discomfited.  I make these choices from the moral obligation I owe to our country’s social fabric and the respect I have for my partner.  I expect other couples to adhere to a similar standard of public behavior.  Nothing is so disgusting than to be forced to watch two immature people abuse the public square by disrespecting themselves and each other through inappropriate actions in public.  Are we clear, or do you want more specifications?

Having said all of this, why have you decided now is a good time to multiply sexes and genders?  Why now are you demanding “rights” when you already have equal protection under the law?  Why all of a sudden is the push on to change society in a warped image of your lifestyle?  Please answer these questions, and let’s have a discussion.

Knowledge Check!It is time for honest and forthright discussions on these topics.  Argumentative wrangling is not allowed.  Insulting, calling names, and political (emotional) drivel will only end the conversation, for I refuse to put up with sniveling and whining.  You seem to have a point; what is your point?  You want respect, fine, you have respect; please remember respect is earned and is a two-way street.  I will not participate in your mental illness, but I am always willing to discuss real issues honestly, openly, and transparently.

© Copyright 2022 – M. Dave Salisbury
The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the images.  Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.

Serial Betrayal – More Government Attacks Against Citizens

Angry Wet ChickenGovernment laws, rules, regulations, and the tyrannical thumb of bureaucrats upon the scale of justice mean citizens lose, not gain, freedoms.  Consider the oppression created by the European Union to “protect” wine industries but, in so doing, eradicated competition and locked-in prices to which the government takes through taxes, tariffs, and trade.  The cost, though, is to stop the majority of innovation, the role of technology, and the promotion of class warfare.

For example, in reviewing the history of wine, there are several events where a member of the royalty got into a particular product, and the upper classes adopted the same tastes, regardless of costs, and to the detriment of all citizens.  Tea, Port wine, Champagne, and so many other products through history repeat this process, and the government is used to protect the product, to the detriment and cost of all citizens.  Consider this for a moment; similar tactics would be considered protectionist, monopolistic, and highly illegal in any other industry.  Yet, because the government takes these actions, they are allowed to bend the rules, act in a manner disrupting all citizens, and worse, betray the foundational anchors of a society to trust their government.  When trust in government is destroyed, the government has no moral standing to represent its citizens.  Few understand this is a precious commodity, and even fewer, especially in government, will admit to honoring it.This we'll defend. | Defender, Army mom, American flag

A few examples are required to help drive home this truth; please note those specifically named politicians represent the problem, not the only people betraying and using government jargon and bureaucrats to hide and obfuscate the citizenry.  Ridding the body politic of these examples is a small step in the right direction, but the bureaucrats are the primary source of power; thus, reducing the size of government is the answer, not merely replacing the elected heads abusing their office for personal gain and political power.

Senator Mitt Romney finds himself on top of this list of characters not deserving of his office, and who, with his family, should be as investigated as Biden and Clinton.  Sen. Romney recently changed his mind about SCOTUS Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson.  Because of a supposedly in-depth discussion, the senator now considers the nominee “mainstream.”  Senator, what does “mainstream” mean?  Why should a judge be “mainstream?”  Finally, which stream is “mainstream?”

I have made my mind up on this disastrous nominee based solely upon her non-qualification for a judicial appointment, let alone the ability to sit on the “Court of last resort.”  Her judicial activism, her refusal to use logic and common sense in her decisions, her flaccid legal mind, and her disastrous leaning toward pro-child pornography are just a few reasons she should NEVER sit on the Supreme Court of this the United States of America.  Good senator, your Yahoo! News article fluff piece does nothing to explain why you changed your mind.  If Judge Jackson was not qualified for a district judgeship, what has changed in the last few weeks to change your mind?  I smell serial betrayal of the citizenry and more mealy-mouthed yellow spinelessness that cost you the US Presidency!

Three state governors also help to elucidate the principle of serial betrayal and deserve removal (in shame) from public office and a transparent investigation.  New Mexico, Utah, and Michigan, your governors Michelle Lujan Grisham, Spencer J. Cox, and Gretchen Whitmer, respectively, are serial betrayers worthy of Benedict Arnold, Doña Marina, or Brutus.  Consider their actions, not their words, and you will find innumerable betrayals made for personal power, political gain, and the demonization of the citizens for the promotion of those who consider themselves elite.  From mask-wearing, mask mandates, government brutality against citizens, and the passing of laws to the destruction of the citizenry, these governors do not deserve janitor’s office, let alone commander-in-chief.

Under the rule of Grisham and through a disastrous legislature, New Mexico became what is termed an“Adult-use Cannabis” state, which means that for recreational use, cannabis can be sold and consumed by adults.  In a state teeming with homelessness, poverty, and already suffering from drug and alcohol abuse problems rampant in the citizenry, the legislature, cheered on by the governor, began to sell cannabis.  The excuse sold to the people, “The state needs to expand its revenue base.”  How does selling an addictive substance to a citizenry already near collapse from the weight of homelessness, illegal immigration, and government regulation improve the tax base?  Simple question, never asked by the cheering media nor answered by the betraying elected leaders proposing another sale of an addictive and harmful substance.Ziad K. Abdelnour Quote: "Trust is earned, respect is given, and loyalty is demonstrated ...

Governor Cox ruled that when the Utah Jazz began awarding scholarships based on race qualifications, as not racist, his colors were evident as a betrayer in deed, not merely by word.  Worse, look to the wording of his first action as governor, what is known as the Utah Compact on Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: A Declaration on Five Principles and Actions to Create Equal Opportunity.  First, we need to clarify that nothing in this declaration was needed as existing laws are regularly enforced already on the books.  Yet, this new declaration adds some pretty ambiguous wording that is not clarified and will make judicial activism worse, not better.  Leading to the first question, why was this signed into law by the governor who is expected to lead a state?

What does “economic inclusion” mean, and why should all Utahns or any citizens in a direct representative government agree this wording is essential?  What is a “racially equitable state?”  Utah and every other state in America’s union are already racially equitable, only made inequitable by the bureaucrats enforcing the government’s wishes.  Consider the housing projects created by the federal government, supported by state governments, where race is inequitable by design.  Tell me why the government doesn’t just end the housing programs and the racial division they created to have a class of people always ready to riot?25 Quotes on Friendship, Trust, Love and Betrayal

What are “cultures of inclusion?”  The US Constitution already declares in words of soberness, “All men are created equal.”  The Utah State Constitution declares in Section 1 the following:

All men have the inherent and inalienable right to enjoy and defend their lives and liberties; to acquire, possess, and protect property; to worship according to the dictates of their consciences; to assemble peaceably, protest against wrongs, and petition for redress of grievances; to communicate freely their thoughts and opinions, being responsible for the abuse of that right.”

As a point of fact, Section four of the Utah State Constitution remains an even more powerful declaration, more easily understood, supporting equal rights, where equal rights promote a society of inclusion, where cultures of inclusion are grown and sustained.

Further in the declaration on racial equity, diversity, and inclusion, we find another phrase with no meaning and lots of availability for abuse, “… equal opportunity and access to education, employment, housing, and healthcare.”  The recent COVID-Farrago saw healthcare limited based upon race, and Governor Cox did nothing!  The recent COVID-Government sponsored pandemic also saw employment and housing decisions influenced unequally, opportunities to pursue life, liberty, and happiness were restricted, and Governors Cox, Grisham, and Whitmer were leading the pack in cheering and advancing unequal treatment under the law.  Why?  Why is equality something to be turned on and off based upon skin color, obeisance to government mandates, and the cudgel of government used against citizens who have the right to be left alone?Betrayal Sayings and Quotes ~ Best Quotes and Sayings

In reading the five actions you have committed Utahans to follow, Governor Cox, I am left in a mental swamp equivalent to the Okefenokee Swamp.  Racism in America, especially in Utah, only exists because the government is building a disgruntled class of people who can be depended upon to riot explosively anytime their government benefits are threatened.  This is not equality and does not promote life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but you have insisted that all Utahans are racist by default.  I OBJECT!

Action item two declares the need to invest more in creating the perpetually aggrieved class.  More welfare, not less, breeds more discouragement, anger, and racial inequity.  Since the government has created racial problems and supports racial inequality through government action, why do we not reduce government to improve racial justice and inclusion?  The remaining action items do nothing to advance anything but more government top-down actions, which further promote racism as a government action!10 True Quotes About Being Betrayed

30 April 2020, the Michigan State Supreme Court stripped Governor Whitmer of her legal basis of powers for violating the citizen’s rights to representative government.  Yet, Gov. Whitmer was able to continue to abuse, despise, and detest through government actions the rights, liberties, and lives of Michigan’s electorate for the entirety of the government-mandated COVID-Pandemic.  Is there any more glaring example of treason and betrayal by an elected official, let alone a sitting governor, on a massive power grab?  Newsom and Cuomo cannot pale the hubris of this governor, Gov. Whitmer; you deserve to be named beside Benedict Arnold, Doña Marina, or Brutus as the greatest betrayers and traitors in history.

Serial betrayal of the electorate appears to be a game; how much can a politician get away with, remain in power, and be considered honorable?  Hollywood got something right in the Pirates of the Caribbean” movies when Captain Jack Sparrow said, “The deepest circle of hell is reserved for betrayers and mutineers.”  I believe in the rule of law and so wish you your day in court, in front of a jury of your peers, where justice may be served.  I am not your judge, juror, or executioner.  I am a concerned citizen who is fed up with the gamesmanship of politics!

Knowledge Check!America is a Constitutional Republic, a democracy, and a direct representative style of government; thus, I ask, who are you representing?  The demographics of Utah reflect that the governor is not representing the majority of his constituents.  The demographics of New Mexico and Michigan are similar but also reflect that the constituents are not being represented by the governments and governors currently executing the offices held.  On the mayoral level, too many mayors are learning how to deceive, mimic despicableness, and manipulate the media to play the games and achieve elected offices beyond their maximum level of incompetence.  Why is this happening, the gamesmanship of politicians?  The bureaucrats consider themselves to possess lifelong employment in a cushy and “influential” office; they have lists of media heads to call and whisper to and lists of donors and influential people schmooze.

The answer to solving these problems is a more informed electorate and smaller government!

© Copyright 2022 – M. Dave Salisbury
The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the images.  Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.

Things Learned About Animals: Lesson 1

MumbleAs a teenager, I worked on a dairy farm in Morrill, Maine, and later as a hired hand on a sheep ranch in Bluebell, Utah.  Often growing up, my family had chickens, ducks, geese, goats, pigs, cats, and dogs.  There are several lessons I feel we could learn from the animals.  In discussing the animals, you are left to choose whether the lesson applies to you or not.  I am not here to convince anyone, I merely relate what I have observed and the lessons I learned.  If you can use the lesson to improve your life, I have achieved my goal.  If you choose not to like the lesson for any reason, happily know you are not the audience intended, and move on smartly.

Animal Gender

Let me be perfectly clear, gender is an eternal construct, is established in the first building blocks of a body, and cannot be changed.  Consider for a moment with me the steps in the gestation process of any animal.  The egg is fertilized, and the fertilization process is self-explanatory, needing no additional discussion from me.  After the egg is fertilized by sperm from a male, the egg from the female becomes a zygote.  This clump of cells shortly gender is known, and the biological differences between a male and a female begin.Egg fertilization and development | Download Scientific Diagram

Males develop larger lungs, denser bones, and other chemical and biological differences.  Females develop smaller lung capacity, less dense bones, and other chemical and biological differences.  We had a female goat who liked to mount other female goats.  While this was highly uncomfortable for the mounted female goat and generally produced fights between the females, we never worried about the goats becoming pregnant.  Interestingly, after this female goat had been impregnated, this female stopped mounting other female goats and was a great mother of kids.  Not speaking goat, I never understood why she mounted other females in what could have been considered her teenage years; one thing was sure, gender did not change because the goat was confused.

It never ceased to amaze me that one could reliably tell the males from the females almost immediately from birth.  Due to their birth size, their growth, and their respective attitudes.  In observing a group of kittens, the males would dominate the females for momma’s attention, the best places to nurse, and innately knew they were male.  The females were smaller, leaner, and sometimes just as feisty and stubborn as the males; they knew they were different from the males.

Baby Cows and CalvesLater while tending sheep, another interesting lesson was learned regarding gender.  Ewes, female sheep, who had lost their lambs, knew somehow if a misgendered animal was placed before them and drove that animal away.  That ewe knew she had birthed a male or female lamb, and any orphan trying to feed would not do; only orphans of the same gender, wearing the skins of their original lamb, were allowed to become a stepchild and be accepted if the ewe permitted them.

Another lesson learned watching a shepherd was the decisions of the ewes.  I saw ewes stand next to a stillborn lamb until the shepherd collected that lamb for disposal.  Crying, mourning, and sometimes choosing to end their life by not eating instead of adopting a motherless lamb.  I am not anthropomorphizing an animal here, that mother losing her lamb cried, mourned, and entered a depression where the ewe chose to join her lamb in death, and regrettably it did not happen only once or twice.  I do not know if the same happens for goats, cows, or other animals.  I know it happens for mother cats and sheep as I have observed these animals and witnessed this event for myself.Cotswold Sheep. Bottle feeding orphan lambs, by Tim Macmillan | Sheep, Animals, Lamb

On the topic of orphaned lambs, I noticed something important, lambs with mothers, even adopted mothers, were less daring, got into less hazardous situations, and generally were calmer socially.  Orphan lambs were wild, got into trouble, did not come to eat without insistence, and several times did not learn from past mistakes, injured, and sometimes died.  I do not know why orphaned lambs acted this way, and without anthropomorphizing, an animal cannot dictate well what I sense is the answer.  I know for certain that ewes impart information to lambs, which is an essential aspect of the health and safety of the herd.

A mother goat, sheep, horse, cat, etc., knows their children, numbers their children, and looks after them.  I witnessed a mother goat kicking the head of a kid who belonged to another goat but who was hungry and wanted food.  Driving that kid off to find their mother relentlessly, and learned something of note.  At first, I thought this was just an ornery goat thing, but then I saw a horse, a mother pig, a mother cat, and other animal mothers repeat the lesson learned about mothers knowing and numbering their children.  A rare mother indeed will accept an animal orphan, and there is order in the animal kingdom!

Order in the Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species - Várias ClassesConsider with me a process all herd managers perform, the castration process.  A bull castrated does not grow the female reproductive organs and becomes a cow.  A castrated lamb does not change gender after castration; even if that lamb is provided hormones from female animals, that lamb is male.  A neutered cat does not regrow new reproductive organs or change genders; from birth to death, the gender of that animal is cast, they do not change, and their instincts remain embedded in that animal.

Order is created and not disordered merely due to the loss of a few reproductive organs.  Mothers choose to allow orphans to replace their children or become their children.  Some animal fathers are part of their children’s lives; others grow merely with the input of their mothers.  Regardless, great order is found and maintained in the animal kingdom over roles assigned by gender at birth.

Allow me to elaborate with some observations.  A ewe whom the shepherd relied upon to adopt lambs refused to adopt a lamb.  The shepherd tried everything, including rubbing the lamb in the still wet lamb’s skin, skinning the dead lamb and securing the dead lamb’s skin on the orphaned lamb, and even placing the mother into a pen with her head secured to give the lamb a chance to suckle.  Nothing worked, and all of the methods had worked previously.  Several days later, the ewe died unexpectedly, and the veterinarian determined that the mother ewe had had a disease and probably sensed this when refusing that orphan to suckle.  Order is maintained in the herd, and the condition this ewe had contracted was not passed along to a new lamb.Sheep herd is walking. Animals on grassland. Good conditions for breeding livestock. Pasture in ...

Our gander had taken a spouse, and when the goose died sitting on a nest, the gander was exceedingly heartbroken—calling day and night for his spouse, all to no avail.  After a time, the gander took to liking the ducks whose drake had flown the coop unexpectedly.  Seeing as there was no drake and no female goose, the gander took to mourning his spouse but sleeping with the female ducks.  But, the gander was violently opposed to any duck sitting on a nest, and my parents could not understand why.  My parents captured some eggs that had not been smashed to pieces and tried to incubate the eggs.  The animals born were not ducks or geese, and none survived long.  There is order maintained in the animal kingdom, and the animals themselves know how to keep that order.

It never ceases to amaze me the order and respect animals have for order in the animal kingdom.  In raising goats and cows, the information gained through smell was always interesting to me that allowed animals to act how and why they did.  I could not smell the difference between herds, but the animals knew, and when herds of the same animals mingled, the order was still maintained, and herd integrity was sustained.What to Consider When Raising Sheep and Goats Together

A goat and sheep hered we knew raised the sheep and the goats together; even though both species ate the grass differently and had to be moved more often, raising them together helped protect the herd.  One day another herd was being driven through the area, and a couple of animals got into the pens.  But, the goats and sheep raised together knew the outsider was not orderly and helped keep those animals away from their young and isolated from the whole herd.  The smell is the only answer I have as the foreign herd was smelled by our herd and shunned.  Even when new animals were introduced for the herd to grow, it took several days and several smelling sessions before those new animals were trusted by the rest of the herd.

In one Herculean effort, I heard a goat herder who tried to introduce a foreign billy into the goatherd due to the death of the former billy.  The nanny goats would have nothing to do with the new billy, even when draped in the skin of the old billy goat.  The goat herder tried everything, but until that billy had spent sufficient time with the nannies and smelled correctly, the billy was powerless to lead the herd and perform the duties he had been purchased to complete.  Interestingly, a similar problem occurred for a cattle farmer when introducing a foreign bull.  The cows refused his bull-like advances until the bull had spent time with the herd.  While I do not know if these are isolated incidents, I merely know that order is essential in the animal kingdom.

Lessons for Humans to Consider:Bobblehead Doll

    1. Gender does not change merely because a person wants it. The disorder caused by trying to be a different gender has repercussions and consequences beyond that individual’s choice.
    2. Humans and animals have will and agency, but order remains an essential characteristic of the world. I have heard that scientists have found great order when the observed chaos is understood.  Through magnification, scientists have moved closer to how things move, and I find it incredible the order found that once was described as chaos.
    3. Parents have a duty and role to play. However, their children also play a role, and the order found in families is a prerequisite to good societies.  An animal analogy, the herd of sheep I moved and cared for as a hired hand was a collective society.  They had rules, expectations, and those not choosing to follow the herd society regularly found themselves in danger when the weather changed, when a threat was near, and generally were the ones you could count on to be injured or die unexpectedly.
    4. Diary cows, after milking, will run to the farthest fence in a field; if they find the fence strong, the whole herd will congregate, graze, and chew their cud knowing strong fences protect them. In a storm, trusting the fences, the dairy cows will huddle together and move as a unit to protect younger cows and warm each other.  Dairy cows are not terribly different from humans, we push at barriers (laws), and if we find them sufficiently strong, we band together for protection into social circles and groups.  Failure of laws finds society broken and easily conquered by external and internal threats.
    5. Order in human societies remains an essential element in protecting, promoting, and providing social growth and development. Herds of animals, gaggles of geese, flocks of ducks, murder of ravens, etc., all depend upon the order in their society, or that society falls apart and, like iron filings to a magnet, has to reform into new organizations.

Knowledge Check!Are humans really so different from animals?  Are human societies much different from the societies of animals?  I ponder these questions regularly and am not surprised when social problems in humans are resolved by watching animal herds.  Covering a bull in the skin of a horse does not make a bull into a horse.  Castrating a bull does not morph the bull into a cow.  We must understand better the order, the laws, and the social requirements for society.  Animals and humans choose which society (country, town, city, etc.) they prefer.  If they choose to belong to that society, they must obey or onboard that society’s rules and social expectations.Taking Advantage of the 80/20 Rule | People First

Rarely does the 80% of the herd get into trouble, but the 20% of the herd does not sway or influence into danger the other 80%.  Right now, in human societies, there is a vocal 20% who insist that their reality must become the reality of the entire community.  Do we sacrifice the safety and security of the 80% for the choices and lifestyles of the 20%?  This is the question before us, and animal societies have provided the answer if we are willing to act accordingly.

© Copyright 2022 – M. Dave Salisbury
The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the images.  Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.

Brevis Ipas Vita Est Sed Malis Fit Longior – Adversity

Father Mulcahy 3The title is Latin for “Life is short, but trouble makes it longer.”  Recently I was reminded of the power and blessing of adversity.  One of the comments that struck me was, “You will all experience your own Gethsemane’s.”  Gethsemane is a garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives and became famous in the New Testament for the place where Jesus went to pray and, according to the New Testament, completed the atonement.  Gethsemane remains a symbol of hope for people experiencing trouble, difficulty, or adversity.  However, the thought of us experiencing our own Gethsemane individually intrigues me as a concept.

One of the scriptures that holds a lot of hope for me comes from the Doctrine and Covenants Section 121 7-9:

7 My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
8 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.
9 Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands
.

Nowhere is recorded how long Jesus spent in Gethsemane; one might presume the time was longer than an hour, but less than 8 hours.  Beyond that, I cannot guess and will not venture an opinion.  However, the thought that adversity will be but a small moment rings like an eternal truth in my mind.  Let me elaborate on this point, my wife and I spent 6-months homeless, living out of our car, showering at her mom’s apartment, and working as often as I could find work.  During this time, I was studying for a master’s in business administration and struggling with depression for feeling like an absolute failure for not being able to provide a home for my spouse.Adversity is an advantage to embrace, not an annoyance to avoid. | Art Coombs Art Coombs

Yet, as I look back on this homelessness period, it seems but a small moment.  While I know mentally that the timeframe was six excruciating months, the truth is that the adversity felt like a moment even during the adversity and the months following.  My friends found during this time were such an incredible solace; my wife’s family and even my studies became lifts to my spirit and a balm to my mental processes.  How grateful I am for the adversity that has shaped me since this event and the incredible people who supported my wife and me.

Interestingly, in M*A*S*H 4077, the final episode “Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen,” the poignancy of Father Mulcahy’s predicament with losing his hearing has become more meaningful since this episode of homelessness.  Indeed life is lived forward and understood backward.  As Father Mulcahy said, “What good is a deaf priest?”  The value is found in learning and living, but the learning and living is the adversity shaping us physically, mentally, and spiritually.Grit - Defined

Long have I pondered what a piece of clay must think as it is placed on a potter’s wheel, and if it realizes that when the potter is done, the adversity on that wheel will make it something beautiful, useful, or both.  Whether you believe in god, God, or gods, what are the adversities in your life making out of you, and will you recognize yourself when the potter is done?  Will you care what the potter has made you?  Those two questions lay on my mind, not with weight, but nonetheless with power.  A final question struck me as Father Mulcahy was marrying Klinger and Sun Lee, will we respect the potter for the work invested in creating us through adversity?

30 Best Adversity Quotes To Regain The Courage | Brainy ReadersIt’s no secret to those who have known me that I did not like serving in the US Navy and the pressure cooker of the USS Barry (DDG 52) from 2000-2004.  I have often cursed and shook my fist at the sky over the experiences during the US Navy.  Yet, even now, the experiences in the US Navy are felt as a small moment, and time does help heal wounds.  Better still, time tends to soften the edges, and one of the other things I have found is that how we choose changes how we remember.  I loved being “haze grey and underway” in the navy.  Many things were better while sailing that worsened to the point of breaking while in port.  More to the point, being “haze grey and underway” was always an adventure, fun, and never dull, even while pulling five and dime watch standing, doing maintenance on a pitching deck, or even climbing the mast while underway to fix something broke.

Adversity QuotesMajor Winchester leaving M*A*S*H in a garbage truck reminds me of my time in the US Navy, very appropriate.  As soon as Major Winchester came to M*A*S*H 4077, I watched to see what pranks could be done to Major Charles Emerson Winchester the third.  I loved watching Charles become the butt of a joke.  Yet, even as I type, I cannot help but wonder, was a garbage truck appropriate; is it disrespectful of the potter to see another person struggle and heap more scorn upon them?  Charles’ life changed dramatically and horribly; his ways of thinking, the path of his life, and even his belief in his own self-worth were constantly challenged and scrutinized.  I can understand Charles’ experiences more now than at any time previously.

Having been homeless multiple times in my life, one of my greatest difficulties is seeing someone putting up their petition for help and not being able to help.  I know there are a lot of scams out there, but that has never mattered to me; not being able to help bothers me greatly.  The war in Ukraine, the orphans left after war and storms, the hunger and depravity in this world, those individual adversities we see all around us.  I always want to help.  Long have I thought if I could relieve an ounce, a dram, a smidge of suffering, I could sleep better at night or know I succeeded at something.  Life has taught me how to fight, then it taught me how to think, and then my body was injured, and I am left stuck somewhere in between—proving that adversity comes in many shapes, colors, sizes, and types!Adversity Quotes

Please know, I am not maudlin or melancholy about my life.  I have some great stories, met some truly amazing people, and lived to tell those tales.  All I ever wanted out of life was to be “an interesting old person,” and if I can keep reading and thinking, and especially writing, I should be able to tell some of those stories.  If I died tomorrow, I could say I lived a rich, full life, with no regrets.  I have no complaints and look forward to learning a lot more.  Bringing up another exciting facet of adversity, the learning that comes through adversity.

For example, did you know you do not teach adults?  Anyone who tells you differently does not know what they are talking about.  Teaching only happens to children, and if those kids are like me, barely even then.  For adults, you help them see their life experiences in a new light, applying existing knowledge to current situations to improve how they think.  You do not teach adults; they teach themselves; as an adult educator, my job is to help them learn how to think.15 Quotes About Overcoming Adversity Never to Forget

I know a kid, now an adult, who had been molested, beaten, and suffered greatly.  Growing into a scrappy adult, this child had experienced the horrible and survived.  Sure, you might teach this kid how to reach a formulaic solution, but the core knowledge of life, this kid held a doctorate.  Adversity had trained this kid how to think, how to act, how to understand, and how to fight back.  While other kids learned how to wield a bat and hit a ball, this kid was learning how to throw punches, duck, dodge, and handle pain.  While some kids learned how to cook, this kid already knew how to cook and could make meals out of practically anything.  Adversity taught this kid, and the student was worthy of the master’s teachings how I have longed to be as apt a pupil to adversity’s teachings as this kid.A Layman's Blog: Pasternak on adversity.............

When considering the potter, as we are placed upon the wheel, then into a kiln, are we clay, easily molded, or a rock choosing to be chased off the potter’s wheel for refusing to change and be moldable?  A young adult uttered the saddest commentary on life I have ever heard.  My father did it this way; his father did it this way; his father did it this way; going back as far as family memory can relate, I am doing it this way.  When I saw the stubbornness of this person, I felt like weeping for the potential lost to generations who choose not to change.  Adversity gets us asking questions; for me, those questions are always about how I improve—improving myself, a process, an environment, the situation, anything that can be changed to drive improvements.John Wooden Quote: "Adversity often produces an unexpected opportunity. Look for it ! Appreciate ...

Another book referred to the “captivity of the fathers.”  In the movie “Fiddler on the Roof,” Tevia sings the song of “Tradition!”  Is adversity trying to tell us there is a better way, and tradition is trying to hold us back?  In previous articles, I discussed how a friend of mine related that he is the first generation of his family who could read, and his children and grandchildren are graduating college because as a child, he was forced onto a bus, driven to Oklahoma, and forced into school and off the Indian reservation.  He experienced traumatic adversity as a child of seven.  The blessing of that adversity has lived and made him every day since, but to make him, the traditions of his fathers had to be forced out of his mind by formal education hundreds of miles from his northern Arizona home.  I weep for that little boy but cheer for the man he became and cherish my friendship with a man who had to justify two worlds.  Beware the traditions of your fathers so they do not become captivity your children must suffer to escape.

Not for any other purpose than trying and making the adversarial moment something I do not have to repeat.  I have repeated too many adversarial moments; there must be a better way to live!  For example, I was forced into bankruptcy twice!  I hope to learn from my mistakes, and if anyone knows how to raise money, improve earnings, and live more fully within one’s means, I am all ears!  If you know how to monetize a website, I will trade for this knowledge and assistance.  Bringing up another powerful tool of adversity, placing us into situations where we can help and will choose to be helped.Adversity Opportunity Quotes. QuotesGram

One of the reasons why some adversarial incidents last as long as they do is because we are proud people, and giving help is easier than accepting help and multitudes of times easier than asking for help.  My first time homeless, I had to get off the streets as walking the streets all night was interfering with my ability to work a complete shift.  Plus, it was cold, and those nights in Auburn, Washington in October and November were miserable!  So, I asked for help from a church, and asking for help was one of the most challenging events in my life.  In fact, asking for help has never gotten easier with time or experience.  I would rather get beat with a brick stick than ask for help; is it any wonder that pride is one of the seven deadly sins?Adversity | Adversity, Lds quotes, Church quotes

To ask for help, I felt I needed to have a plan to repay the money.  I demanded that I stick with that repayment schedule, even after being told, very kindly, that I did not have to repay and that there was no debt to repay.  How often do we make the pains and problems of adversity worse because we struggle to ask for help or feel a need to repay debts when there are no debts?  The reality is that when adversity appears to drag on and on without end, being a relentless taskmaster, many times I am the problem making adversity worse.Adversity Quotes By Famous People. QuotesGram

Bring us back to that garden near the Mount of Olives and the suffering of Jesus Christ.  Leaving me with a final question, how do I know when enough is sufficient?  I do not know how to answer this question, nor am I sure I am asking the right question; I merely know that adversity is not occurring because the intelligence’s of the universe want to see me struggle, adversity is not happening because I committed a crime or deserved being punished.  Adversity is a tool that helps us gain strength and I am weak, and the only way to get my attention is to put me in situations where I can grow through the things I suffer.  But help is always available; this is another lesson adversity teaches.  Help, assistance, support, we are not left bereft of these in our times of need, and this is a comfort and a hope.

Knowledge Check!Let us choose to be more charitable, relieve suffering where we can, ask for help when we need, and choose to make today a little better than yesterday through our involvement in the world around us.  I am not asking anyone to go broke helping those putting up their petitions, and it does not matter where the money goes.  Be the hand reaching out, and you WILL always find a hand reaching out to you; this is the final lesson adversity teaches us.

© Copyright 2022 – M. Dave Salisbury
The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the images.  Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.

Friday Funnies – I needed a Laugh… Shared a Laugh!

MumblePSA:  Please note, this article can be reviewed just for the writing, or for the humor, or both.  You decide.  If you know a good joke, leave it in the comments.  I am always looking for new materials.Best 32 Silly Jokes | Quotes and Humor

If careful calculation is correct, this is the third time I have written about humor, the power, the majesty, and the gut-splitting good times humor provides.  Oddly enough, I am a big fan of dad jokes, but not a dad.  I prefer humor that is funny for the fun, not the shocking or profane, merely a good laugh.  Of the funniest songs I have ever heard, Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown take the top billing with the song, “Make ‘em Laugh.”  Cole Porter also tickled my funny bone with a similar song, “Be a Clown.”  However, since I detest clowns, I cannot like this song very much.  Both songs are linked for your listening and watching pleasure.  Do you find clowns creepy in the Stephen King kind of creepy?

Computer HumorOne of the truths about humor is embedded in the lyrics of Make ‘em laugh:

Cosmo:
Though the world is so full of a number of things,
I know we should all be as happy as
But are we?
No, definitely no, positively no.
Decidedly no.  Mm mm.
Short people have long faces and
Long people have short faces.
Big people have little humor
And little people have no humor at all!
And in the words of that immortal buddy
Samuel J. Snodgrass, as he was about to be lead
To the guillotine:

Make ’em laugh
Make ’em laugh
Don’t you know everyone wants to laugh?
(Ha ha!)
My dad said, “Be an actor, my son
But be a comical one
They’ll be standing in lines
For those old honky tonk monkeyshines.”

Now you could study Shakespeare and be quite elite
And you can charm the critics and have nothin’ to eat
Just slip on a banana peel
The world’s at your feet
Make ’em laugh
Make ’em laugh
Make ’em laugh

Make ’em…
Make ’em laugh
Don’t you know everyone wants to laugh
My grandpa said go out and tell ’em a joke
But give it plenty of hoke

Make ’em roar
Make ’em scream
Take a fall
But a wall
Split a seam

You start off by pretending
You’re a dancer with grace
You wiggle ‘till they’re
Giggling all over the place
And then you get a great big custard pie in the face
Make ’em laugh
Make ’em laugh
Make ’em laugh

Make ’em laugh
Make ’em laugh
Don’t you know… all the…wants..?
My dad…
They’ll be standing in lines
For those old honky tonk monkeyshines

Make ’em laugh
Make ’em laugh
Don’t you know everyone wants to laugh?

Ah ha ha ha ha ha há
Ah ha ha ha ha ha
Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha
Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Make ’em laugh, ah ah!
Make ’em laugh, ah ah!
Make ’em laugh, ah ah!

Make ’em laugh
Make ’em laugh
Make ’em laugh!

10 Hilarious Toilet Humor Jokes That Will Make You Flush“Don’t you know that everyone wants to laugh?”  There is much truth in this line, but laughing is a choice.  We choose what to laugh at, decide when to laugh, and choose, with the resulting consequences, what is found humorous.  The first time I saw the movie “Singing in the Rain,” from whence the song “Make ‘em laugh” originated, I thought this song was ridiculous.  Recently I saw the movie again, and this song was hilariously funny and laughed so hard I cried.  What changed; certainly wasn’t the movie which was made in 1952; the acting had not changed, the actors are dead; I changed.  The first time I saw this movie, I was exhausted after prepping for a holiday meal, I was strung out from too much work, and nothing was funny.  This last time, I had changed mentally and physically, which made all the difference.Thanksgiving Humor - Chris Cannon

What is the lie in the song “Make ‘em Laugh?”  Simply put, nobody can make you emote if you choose not to, a powerful lesson indeed.  I grew up in a big family, and there are seven of us kids; my uncle brought his four and then had a couple more, aunts, uncles, cousins, and more if you took the Salisbury family, those still living could still essentially fill a couple of venues.  My older brother was always trying to “make you laugh.”  He failed for many reasons; the first was I never thought he was funny.Pin by Lilly Gonzalez on Halloween Humor | Funny halloween jokes, Halloween jokes, Halloween memes

My older brother could take a joke I laughed at and kill the joke in the retelling.  I never met another person so anxious to make people laugh and like him, who failed so completely and miserably.  Take the funniest joke you know, put that joke in my older brother’s mouth, and that joke will fall flat, and you will wonder why it was funnier previously.  It never ceases to amaze me how this person can kill a joke, especially when he is such a joke himself.No sense of humor Memes

Long have I maintained the following formula:

[(Dark Humor + Intelligent Humor + a Warped sense of Humor) (Shaken not stirred)] = Me laughing hysterically!

Abbott & Costello Coronavirus Humor : NationalsI like to laugh.  I need to laugh, or the depression and anxiety become too great and I am angry.  This last week has been no picnic with the continuing crush from the VA-OIG, add the IRS and several state departments of revenue, and I needed to find humor.  Combined with the ongoing dissertation pains and the need for a good chuckle was mandatory!  Without further ado, here are things that leave me laughing in the aisles.  If repeats are found from previous posts, you have my apologies!

May you choose to enjoy!

Dark humor jokes | Thug Life Meme

Funny Picture Clip: Funny humor bizarre crazy pictures

30 Minions Humor Quotes - Quotes and Humor© Copyright 2022 – M. Dave Salisbury
The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the images.  Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.