Category Archives: Something to ponder

A sobering reality check, but sadly, one that’s needed

I ran across this video and felt it was definitely worth sharing, for many reasons. First and foremost, I believe that it stresses an idea that is all too prevalent in many people today: the idea that “evil” isn’t real, and that if we just can learn to “understand” and “get along” with others, we’ll all live in a happy utopia where everyone will be good to one another. (Or, if you are a child of the 80’s as I am, “Be excellent to each other.” Bonus points if you understand the reference) Secondly, I believe it’s a good video because the creator of it expresses his points clearly and concisely, using evidence to back them up. He doesn’t make a “SEE? STUPID PEOPLE GET WHAT THEY DESERVE” type video, nor does he mock or insult the subjects. In a world where that is all too often the case, kudos to him for doing it. Finally, I believe it is important because it reinforces an idea that we have never shied away from here on The Takedown: the idea that evil is real, concrete, and the more that we try to make it abstract and “relative,” the more danger we put ourselves and others in. The Takedown will ALWAYS put the Boot of Truth to the lie that it is not so. 

Lest anyone point at this and say “This is just one example! You’re painting with a broad brush!”, let me respectfully suggest you look at this link. Whatever you may think of the page, it lists just a small sample of those people killed by the very people they felt needed a “champion:”

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/03/white_social_justice_warrior_dies_at_hands_of_black_killer_.html

If you take nothing else away from this, at least take this idea with you. If you want to live in a world of fantasy, one of sunshine, rainbows and unicorns in which everyone isn’t really bad if you get to know them, then fine. That’s your call. However, be aware that your right to potentially sacrifice yourself, your family, your possessions ends where my rights and the rights of others begin.

God bless, my friends. The video follows.

Double standards

A simple title for a simple, straightforward subject, and post. The Boot of Truth on this one is equally simple, friends: double standards are wrong, no matter who applies them.

  • When a Muslim commits an act of terrorism, we’re reminded that they don’t represent the majority of Muslims. (This is complete with shaking fingers and stentorian tones)
  • When a black man or woman commits a crime, we’re reminded to not judge all black people by these acts because not all black people are bad.
  • When a shooting occurs (such as the one that recently happened at the gaming tournament in Florida) all NRA members, the NRA itself, all gun owners and believers in the 2nd Amendment are vile murderers with blood on their hands who love their guns more than people’s lives.

Wait.

What?

Did you catch that? I did – and it keeps recurring every time a tragedy like this one happens. When it comes to guns and gun violence (well, to be fair, only gun violence that can be exploited for an agenda, since nothing is said about the constant stream of shootings and deaths done in Chicago every single day, month and year) it’s not only ok to paint with a broad brush, it’s encouraged.

It’s also a double standard.

It’s also WRONG. Period.

Remember that when the inevitable hue and cry continues and the usual suspects trot out the usual narratives complete with hand-wringing and concern “for the victims.” Ask yourself why only some occurrences and some victims are worth this concern. Look up the stats for gun-related crimes and deaths in cities like Chicago and then ask why there isn’t a constant hue and cry by these celebrities and politicians over that.

Then when you realize the answer, don’t be swayed by what they’re doing, or let them hook your emotions, whatever side of the gun debate you fall on.

Remember that double standards are wrong, no matter who applies them, or why.

Remember that ALL LIVES MATTER.

Finally, in the name of God, remember that these victims aren’t victims, to these same politicians and celebrities. They’re just a means to an end. They’re an expedient way to try and wring people’s emotions and get an agenda driven.

God bless, my friends.

 

The Ethical Side of Preparedness – or – “What are you prepared to do?”

I have, on The Takedown, posted various articles about preparedness and being prepared. As a reminder, when I speak on this subject I am not speaking about bunkers, doomsday, tons of ammo and years of food, or being ready for TEOTWAWKI. (The End Of The World As We Know It) I’m referring to being prepared for those emergencies and disasters, both manmade and natural, that you are likely to encounter in the area in which you live. Realistic preparedness, as I have heard the term used, many times and in many forums.

The Boot of Truth is, however, that there is a part of this that few discuss, or even look at; the idea of ethics and morality in a situation in which you have, and others do not. You’ll find a wide range of variation in responses to this idea: some call it OPSEC (OPerational Security – the idea of not broadcasting what you have), some call it “Screw you, it’s me and mine first!”, some even advocate the idea of being the “Gray Man” and not letting anyone, even friends or family, know that you are prepared because if you do, you’ll be the first one they come to. I admit freely that I had given it only cursory thought, myself. That changed, today, though, when I ran across an interview between Bob Crane (of Hogan’s Heroes fame, who also had been a disc jockey) and Rod Serling, the creator of The Twilight Zone. The interview dealt with episode #68, titled The Shelter and the reactions to the episode itself. In a nutshell, a warning is announced that a nuclear attack may be imminent. A doctor takes his family into their bomb shelter, only having enough supplies for himself and his family, while the neighbors are left with nothing, having not prepared. The episode deals with the breakdown of humanity and civility that ensues but, as Sterling mentions in the interview, it brings up a very real point as well. What would we do? What would we be willing to do to survive? What are the moral/ethical issues with that decision? He brings it back to himself and in doing so, brings that question to each of us as well. What do you do if you are safe and secure in your shelter, and your neighbor, your friend, your sister/brother/mother is at the shelter door, begging to be let in? What if it’s a child, sobbing and alone?

Here’s a link to the interview: Rod Serling talks to Bob Crane

Now, let me be clear – this is a question that each person who engages in preparedness has to answer for themselves. No one else can, or should, try to answer it for them. For myself, I do not know what I would do, as I have never been in that situation. I know what I believe I would do, but I cannot say, absolutely. I do believe, however, that it is imperative that each person who engages in preparedness to any degree address this question to themselves and their family, if they have one, and do so before you are in a crisis situation. Also, ensure that when you do ask this question of yourself, make it a question grounded in reality, and not in an abstract. It’s easier to answer “Could I turn someone away?” than it is, perhaps, to answer, “Could I turn my best friend/a child/my mother away?” Make it real, and personal, to you. Leaving things in the abstract is why we obsess and fret over the deaths in a school shooting such as the one in Newtown, Connecticut, (which are, statistically, a blip on the radar) yet say and think little to nothing of the over 1000 shot (400+ killed, 400+ of those were black) thus far in this year, alone, in Chicago.

One is an abstract, to us, while we make the other personal. Think about it for a moment.

Then, whatever you decide, be prepared, and be ready for the fact that someday, you may need to act on that decision – or not act, according to who you are.

God bless, my friends.

 

Why critical thinking is important when dealing with the media

So now the CBC (apparently, this is the Canadian Broadcasting Company – that they even existed is news to me, at the risk of a horrendous pun) has found a counselor who is treating people for what they are calling “Trump Anxiety Disorder.” It’s characterized by higher than normal levels of anxiety, “fear of the world ending,” “feeling a loss of control and helplessness, fretting and spending excessive amounts of time on social media.”

(cough) I thought that’s what a lot of people did as a general rule on social media, but I digress… 😀

What is the Boot of Truth, here? Is this a political rant? Not at all. Keep reading.

According to the CBC itself, “CBC reported that ‘Trump Anxiety Disorder’ was coined in a 2017 essay included in a book written by clinical psychologist Jennifer Panning, who said the condition was different from other anxieties because “symptoms were specific to the election of Trump and the resultant unpredictable sociopolitical climate.” 

What the CBC failed to include in their article is information readily available (but detrimental to the narrative that they are trying to present) that shows “Panning was part of petition campaign in 2017 calling for Trump to be removed from office because he ‘manifests a serious mental illness that renders him psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of President of the United States.’” 

The Boot of Truth is that Panning is hardly an unbiased or neutral point of view, I should think. This “disorder” comes from someone with a definite agenda. That, in and of itself, warrants a second look. It’s been going on 2 years since the current President was elected. If people are still having this much trouble adjusting to reality, I would suggest that perhaps they have larger issues (or an unscrupulous counselor) to deal with.

(And yes, for those who may be legitimately wondering, I said the same thing when, years into his Presidency, people were still screaming that Obama was the Anti-Christ, or a secret Muslim operative, or…or…)

As I have said before, I shall say again – whatever your views on the current President, whatever your political stance, or lack of one, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, don’t stop using your critical thinking skills and looking behind the stories and headlines. Engage your brains. Use your minds. They still are the best weapons and the best defenses we have.

God bless, my friends.

Jesus was a lot of things, but a Socialist was NOT one of them.

Friends:

In our world today, it is a very popular thing (oddly enough, especially among those who openly deride and denigrate Christians) to suddenly become pious when it suits your particular cause or agenda. Two favorite ways of doing this are by either making the claim that “Jesus was a Socialist!” or implying that if you don’t give to every single person who asks, whenever they ask, you’re somehow so evil and bad that you’ll single handedly make the baby Jesus weep and the angels in Heaven will cry for you every single day because you’re beyond redemption.

Well, as a Pastor friend of mine used to say, “Smells like smoke and comes from the pit of Hell.”

There IS NO VERSE that says anything even remotely like “Thou shalt giveth without question or reservation to every person that asketh, and whenever anyone shalt stick a hand out.” We’re not commanded to turn our brains off when we become Christians. We’re expected to be good stewards, and use our critical thinking before we just start handing money to people or groups.

Secondly, this article explains why Jesus not only was not, but COULD not have been a Socialist, according to His own words in Scripture. You may not believe He was the Son of God, but please don’t use Him as a way of pushing a Socialist agenda, either.

https://fee.org/resources/rendering-unto-caesar-was-jesus-a-socialist/

Your mind is the best weapon you have. USE it!

God bless, my friends.

 

A call for reason, a call for using your most powerful weapon – your MIND.

Friends, you know that here at The Takedown, I have pledged that I would not post things “just” to post them. I would not post syrupy, sappy “Oh hey, here’s what I had for breakfast this morning” or “Hey, I got a new puppy!” kind of posts. The premise is that The Takedown would be a place in which things of meaning would be brought up, and so it will be with this post. It will probably be a lengthy one, but I hope that not only will everyone read it, but that they will all realize that it is speaking to every single one of us. This post, although it will touch on political matters in a general sense, is not a “political” post.

I have walked this Earth for close to 50 years (although I have one friend, in particular, who claims that it’s closer to 600 or so – he keeps changing the total on me!) and in all that time I have never, and I do mean never seen the levels of downright, hysterical, “drive your funny car right off the cliff without looking back” derangement going on since the last Presidential election ended. Now, it is important to stress that whatever your political affiliation is or is not, whether you like the President or do not, whether you are Republican, Democrat, Centrist, Independent, Lunatic Fringe – this is something that affects all of us. WE, as a nation, are suffering and will continue to suffer if this continues. 

  • We have sitting government officials and representatives calling for violence (and make no mistake – violence is what is being condoned, here, no matter how veiled the words) against those who support the current administration.
  • We have public officials being denied service and harassed, openly, in public simply because others don’t agree with them. (Imagine, for a moment, people doing this in the previous President’s administration, or ANY other President’s cabinet in the last 20 or so years, or to members of his cabinet. Yes. It’s a double standard, and a glaring one.)
  • We have a news media that seems, 24/7 to do nothing but predict doom, gloom and trash any and everything that the President and his administration does. (Although it has never been perfect, I can remember a time when the media was a lot less biased, and certainly less openly biased, than it is now)
  • Perhaps most frightening, large groups of people seem to have abandoned any and all ability to have rational, intelligent discourse with people who have opinions different than their own and in many cases, as has been reported in media outlets, have resorted to verbal and physical abuse against those with whom they disagree.

This is America? Land of the free, home of the brave? The Great Melting Pot? Not from where I stand. The question is, why? WHY is this happening, and more importantly, what can we, each of us, do to stop it and keep it from spreading and getting steadily worse? What is happening is beyond simple disagreement. It’s evil at its base, and evil in its nature. Yes, it’s from an episode of a TV show but I remember two things that Mr. Spock once said that I find to be very true, in life: “Evil seeks to maintain power by suppressing the truth” and “Without followers, Evil cannot spread.”  The Boot of Truth is that WE – you and I – in whatever capacity we are able to be – need to not allow the Truth to be suppressed, and we need to not be followers. We need to have the courage to go against the flow and speak up when obvious mistruths are being spread, and when people are reacting, on emotion, rather than responding from a point of reason and information. At the college a few days ago, I overheard a rather heated conversation and watched a woman in her 20’s literally become so agitated and so overwrought that she could not stand still during a conversation. The reason? She was ranting about “The President is separating children and putting them in cages!!!” and the instructors that she was speaking to were pointing out, quite rightly, that first of all, the pictures being used had been manipulated, in some cases, and in others were pictures from previous administrations who had either begun that policy or were continuing it. The current President was doing the same and continuing the policy. Yet, the more reason they injected, the more agitated she became until she was literally clenching and unclenching her fists and hopping from foot to foot, not listening to what was being said and just repeating her statement, like a mantra. At that point I stepped into the conversation in support of the others and then asked what area of work she was going into. She replied she wanted to go into social work. I then said, calmly, that speaking from my experience as an EMT who works with the public, if she had no better self-control or emotional control than she was displaying here, it may be wise for her to consider an alternative career. After all, I may have very strong feelings about certain issues, but I cannot let that be on display or get in the way when I am serving someone else. That isn’t why I’m there and it isn’t an appropriate time. The room got very quiet. She laughed and sputtered something about learning how to control herself in classes, later on, at which point I began pointing out all the obvious clues that showed she was emotionally overwrought and upset from a simple disagreement. I then said “Self control cannot be taught. You have to choose to engage it.” I then withdrew. I took a chance, surely, but I felt compelled to speak up and say something, and hopefully it stuck with her, or will come back to her at a later point. I refused to be a bystander. All in all, it was a fascinating, yet disheartening example of people who use only their feelings, their emotions, and act on them without bothering to get all of the information that’s available. (And yes, it goes both ways, and I’m aware of that. This is an example – not a be-all, end-all) 

Friends – as I said before – whatever your political affiliation, whatever your stance, PLEASE, for your sake and all of ours, use and engage your intelligence. Don’t just act on emotion. Don’t take what any one news source says as the Gospel truth. Search out other sources as well and make as informed a decision as you can. Use REASON, not EMOTION. We are seeing where people are waking up and realizing that this is getting out of hand and are beginning to move away, and that gives me hope, but it’s not enough. Perhaps the hardest of all, remember a quote from “As a Gentleman Would Say,” in dealing with some people that you will encounter out there:

Capture

Sometimes, unfortunately, you do need to know “when to say when,” as it were. For some people, there is no reasoning with them, and those people are better left to discover their way on their own.

I hope this made sense, my friends. God bless.

 

I’m still here – and back with a post worth reading, I believe!

Hello friends! It’s been some time since I’ve posted here on The Takedown, but much has been happening in my life as of late. I have received my certification as an EMT (I may have mentioned that before), I have been volunteering with my local ambulance corps and have also been job searching, which has led me to begin work at a local hospital in December. To anyone who still is hanging around, seeing what may come on The Takedown, to you I say a hearty “Thank you!” and also express my wishes that all has been well with you in the interim.

My post comes today courtesy of my friend Matt. He brought to my attention today how harmful many of the question type posts on Facebook can be. They’re ubiquitous, those posts; they ask everything from your favorite color to your school mascot to where you met your significant other. They’re so numerous, in fact, that a great many people happily answer them without considering something that, until recently, I never considered, myself.

Those same questions are, in many cases, the same types of questions used as verification for security questions. Credit cards, bank accounts, password apps – they all use those same types of questions, more and more.

Suddenly those “harmless Facebook quizzes” don’t seem so harmless, do they?

Do yourself a favor – the next time you’re about to answer a “harmless Facebook post,” stop and consider exactly what information you’re providing – and then DON’T provide it.

God bless, my friends!

 

“Vulgarity is no substitute for wit”

 

I could write page after page expounding on this simple, straightforward quote but I’m not going to. Why? Because I don’t believe I need to. The Boot of Truth in today’s post is that I believe that you, the readers, the faithful people who come to this page and read these blog posts have it within you to read that quote and look around you to see the myriad examples that it applies to in so many different places of life; in comedy and otherwise.

I’m fortunate in that I remember a time when comedy was just that – comedy. A time before the Andrew Dice Clays, Kathy Griffins, Amy Schumers, Chelsea Handlers and the seemingly endless march of vile, violent (because violent they are – make no mistake. You can call something “a joke” all you want but violent threats are violent threats, especially when ONLY made against certain people or groups and never against others), hyper-vulgar “comedians” and “comediennes” that we now have marching across our television screens.

I hope you’re fortunate enough to, as well. Friends, be discerning. LISTEN to these people, and others, and remember the quote of this post. It was true when it was said, and it’s true now, and it will be true tomorrow.

Vulgarity IS no substitute for wit. In truth, it’s no substitute for anything.

God bless, my friends.

 

Some points to ponder for the day…

It seems that today, everyone has a “cause.” If there’s something to get fired up, worked up, upset, angry or otherwise emotional about, someone will find it, fire up their outrage engine and start that bandwagon rolling down the street. However, in a great many cases, there are some VERY GLARING disparities in what they’re claiming and what they’re doing. (Hence why I have the image attached to this post that I do. I believe it expresses that idea well)

Here’s a list of things to ponder. Wouldn’t it something if:

  • Those who agonize over the mistreatment of animals gave the same amount of empathy, sympathy, time and effort to the mistreatment of their fellow men and women?
  • Those who have screaming fits over animals being starved or their homes being destroyed spent the same amount of time ensuring that their fellow men and women were fed and had homes in which to live, instead of on the street?
  • The elites who lecture the rest of us about how terrible we are for not wanting to let undocumented, illegal persons enter our country (whatever that country may be) and further lecture us on how harmless they are opened their gated, walled homes, led by example and welcomed them in with open arms to prove their point?
  • The lawmakers (especially in the US of A) who say that guns are the problem and the cause of violence and who push laws to disarm the general populace led by example and gave up their security details that are armed with – you guessed it – guns?
  • The message on this image was taught, verbatim? (In other words – accountability of actions goes BOTH ways)

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  • Those who claim that they want “fairness,” “equality,” “freedom of speech” and that they value “discussion” and “opposing viewpoints” actually did so, instead of only valuing those discussions, etc., that supported their own?
  • That people – men OR women, because it does go both ways, and both genders do it – that present themselves as freewheeling, “just want to hook up, party, and have sex with whomever I please” types would stop being so surprised when people actually treat them that way? (You could just as easily substitute ‘arrogant,’ ‘rude,’ ‘tough as nails,’ ‘bitchy,’ and a host of other things in there)
  • That people who claim to be “down with the struggle,” actually WERE, instead of using it as a way to sell more of their music/films? (I don’t know about you, but it’s hard to believe that a multimillionaire on a stage understands the plight of people struggling for food day to day in a poverty ridden area somewhere)
  • That groups such as “Black Lives Matter” and people like Al Sharpton were as quick to decry the staggering incidents of black-on-black violence that occur EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. in cities across the US and the world as they are to decry violence when (a) it’s a white and a black person, (b) the cameras are rolling, (c) or both? FBI – 2010  FBI 2011  Deaths from Police vs other causes
  • That these same groups and people would be the first to stand and decry the disproportionate numbers of black babies being aborted as opposed to those of other races, if black lives really DO matter? Or incidents such as the murder of Tyshawn Lee, a 9 year old black boy lured into an alley and killed by a black man who sought gang-related vengeance against his father?

The list could go on and on, but I think the point has been made. Friends, we are bombarded every single day by those who seek to fire us up about SOMETHING. I’ll close with this. You only have one life. You have limited resources and limited time in which to act.

Choose carefully. Do your research. Get both sides, and think for yourself. Just because someone is famous, or yells loudly doesn’t mean they have any more knowledge than you do.

And the same goes for me, and this blog. Read what I’ve posted, take what you find useful, and discard what you don’t.

God bless, my friends.

 

President elects, spins and detachment from reality

Anyone who is a reader of The Takedown knows that as a general rule, I do not post politically themed posts here. There are a plethora of Right, Left, Center and Lunatic Fringe websites out there from which anyone can get their fill of that stuff, 24/7. However, with the election now over here in the US of A and the absolutely astronomical levels of insanity, spin and the like happening, I decided it was time. I hope this comes as a breath of fresh air and sanity in the midst of what’s currently happening.

The Boot of Truth? Donald Trump is going to be the next President. Another Boot? He won’t be the President because of misogyny, racism, or any other -ism, -phobia or other overused catch phrase that has been thrown about by teary eyed fear mongers, elitists or pampered celebrities in the MSM. (That’s Main Stream Media, for those not up on their acronyms)

The level of double standard on display here is staggering. “Donald Trump was only elected because of misogyny!” the cry goes. “Sexism prevented a woman from becoming President!” This coming from people whose supporters actively encouraged people to vote for her because she was a woman. She had a vagina. That made her a worthwhile candidate.

That’s not sexism in its most blatant form?

“Donald Trump was elected,” the cry also goes, “because of racism against the current President. It’s a backlash because he’s black.” He also has been in office for 8 years, and no other black people were running, so that is preposterous on its face. Racism against whom? Hillary is as white as Trump is.

Donald Trump was raked over the coals for comments made some 11 years ago. “That should disqualify him,” the hue and cry went up. “He’s a sexist! He’s a woman abuser!”

  • Madonna graphically offered oral sex to anyone who voted for Hillary
  • Lena Dunham, who regularly seems to enjoy taking her clothes off on HBO and admitted to sexually abusing her sister when the sister was a child, supported Hillary
  • Jay-Z went on a vitriolic, racist tirade as part of his “performance” when supporting Hillary, and his wife, Beyonce, a person known to disparage the police and dress in clothes that even streetwalkers shun while graphically and sexually gyrating on stage, also supported her
  • Katy Perry, Sarah Silverman, and a host of other foul mouthed “comediennes,” also supported her while crudely denouncing those who didn’t do the same

Yeah. Pardon me if I don’t get my outrage engine fired up on your behalf JUST yet.

Donald Trump was elected for one main reason – because the rank and file Americans finally began to open their eyes and see the levels of corruption, cronyism and elitism in the Obamas, the Clintons, and the people like them. They tired of being insulted, belittled and put down just because they didn’t worship at the altar of Obama, or conveniently ignore everything that Hillary has done because, well, vagina! Makes it all better! He spoke TO them, not AT them. He spoke to them about the things important to them, and spoke to them about the things that concerned them. It was, as one person said, an election of culture vs culture. People woke up and realized that they didn’t need the entertainers, politicians and “stars” who regularly treated them like imbeciles – and they voted against them. Much as I dislike Michael Moore, I have to give him props for one thing – he called it dead on when he said this was the biggest “F-U” to the people in power, ever.

And it’s about time.

I hope and pray, going forward, that we all work together to truly make America that shining city on a hill, and make it great again, rather than the same old, same old.

Oh and by the way – all you entertainers who said you’d leave if Trump was elected? Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. I can guarantee you that you will not, for the most part, be missed. We both know you won’t leave, though. You don’t have the courage to back your convictions because the Almighty Dollar is much more important.

Huh. I guess now we know why they support the political parties they do, don’t we?

God bless, my friends. May He truly inspire us to let the healing begin.