What real courage is – and what it isn’t

This has happened before – I had a long, involved post all ready to go that dealt with courage, and what real courage was, and wasn’t – and then I was brought up short by encountering an article like the one I am going to link here. (The main focus isn’t on Colin K, but instead on another) Friends, I tell you true – read it. I guarantee you will never be the same again. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Trust me.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/439479/colin-kaepernicks-national-anthem-protest-was-cowardly

What an incredible story, and an incredible man, for a man he WAS. In every sense of the word, Henry Johnson was everything that the Colin Kapernicks, Beyonces, Hollywood Elites and countless others who scream about how “unjust” the very country that has made them multi-millionaires many times over are not, and in all likelihood never will be. It becomes even more pointed a lesson when you now read that Mr. Kaepernick has graciously decided to stand for the National Anthem this upcoming season. Why? Surely it’s not because he’s a free agent and has become poisonous to any and all who might consider picking him up. Oh no. Per his own words, it’s because he doesn’t want to “detract from the positive change that he believes has been created.” Now, while only God can know his true motives, it has been noted that it does seem fairly suspect that his timing just happens to come right now.

Lest you think I’m just on an anti-Kaepernick rant, follow along with me for a second, and you’ll see the point I’m going to make. In the book The Virtues of Captain America, the author is illustrating the trait of perseverance and says the following:

“Holding certain moral values and acting on them doesn’t mean much if a person doesn’t stand up for them through thick and thin. People may do the right thing, maybe even often, but if they do it only when it’s easy or convenient, it speaks little of their devotion to their ideals. The true test of a person’s character is how regularly he or she exhibits ethical behavior and under what pressures he or she continues to do so.” 

Now let’s assume for a moment that the general consensus about Mr. Kaepernick’s motives is so (and, truthfully, haven’t we seen that a lot, in a lot of different areas and from different people? They hold to their principles until; until they might lose their job, until they might lose their position, until it might cost them sales/money), and he has decided to no longer kneel for the Anthem because he’s concerned about it affecting his career.

Ask yourself: Is that courage? Is that conviction, and adherence to his ideals?

Is it, really? Or is it, instead, what the world calls “courage” – the type that is so because it agrees with some current political or social trend? The kind that’s disposable, once it no longer serves a purpose?

I would say no, it’s not, and I believe that 99% of you would, as well.

Friends, it’s a simple rule of existence – courage, REAL courage, costs. It’s not a thing that you “put on” when it’s expedient or convenient, or to score political points or social standing, and then “take off” when it looks like you might catch some heat. It’s something you do. It’s something you live. It is, as Sir Winston Churchill said when speaking of the battle against the Nazis, “Victory – victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be.” It means standing, even when you stand alone, even when all you own and have worked for may be threatened – because what you are standing for is RIGHT. (Note I said RIGHT – not “socially acceptable,” not “PC,” not “whatever the currently manufactured source of outrage happens to be”)

Cap nailed it, I believe, when he said the following:

doent-matter-what-the-press-says-doesnt-matter-what-the-politicians-for-mobs-say-america-quote

I’m with you, Cap! 

And Mr. Johnson, for your service – thank you. I pray that when you stepped into Eternity, you were welcomed into peace and rest.

God bless, my friends. BE COURAGEOUS TODAY!

 

“And the children shall lead – ” and this one DID!

Sometimes you come across a story in the news that ISN’T one of gloom, doom, hate and anger; a story like this one. The link here is from Breitbart, but I have verified the story on other news sources as well. This one made my day, and may it make yours as well!

http://www.breitbart.com/video/2017/02/23/seven-year-old-left-line-for-red-sox-autographs-to-ask-army-reserve-for-one/

Young lady, all I can say is WELL DONE.  To her parents, I say, WELL DONE!

To the U.S. Army Reservist, and to ALL of our veterans and active duty personnel, I say – THANK YOU!

What more needs to be said?

God bless today, my friends!

 

Welcome to reality, people!

I saw this news story and am honest enough to admit that I did two things after reading it. One, I laughed RIGHT out loud and two, I simply nodded and said “Good.” Here’s the link:

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/02/20/day-without-immigrants-transitions-life-without-job-protesters/

Whatever you may think of the website or the news story, (you can easily find it on other sources as well) two things immediately came to mind when I read it:

  1. This image: get-to-work
  2. The fact that, no matter how fired up you, or I or anyone else may be about a subject, there are two laws that still operate. One of them is called The Law of Unintended Consequences and is defined as outcomes that are not the ones foreseen and intended by a purposeful action,” (i.e., the people being fired for skipping work to go to the protest) and the second is the rule of law that says that here in the United States your right of free speech may be protected, but you are not protected from the consequences of exercising that right. (i.e., losing your job)

What’s the Boot of Truth? To me, it’s this: if you have a job to do, DO it. Protest on your own time. (Or, if you decide not to, then at least make sure you follow the proper procedures for getting the time off to go jump on the bandwagon you want to ride) Your boss is running a business and paying you a salary, not helping you become a social justice warrior. Your fellow employees also have lives and don’t need to have them turned upside down because you want to run off and join a protest.

My grandmother, God rest her, used to say “Experience is a dear teacher, but sometimes a fool will learn at no other.” Let’s hope that these people actually learn and don’t continue on this course as they go forward.

Better luck on your next job, guys!

God bless today, 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)

00ebdbc1b26430097bcfb8a460fcec82

  • 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.

 

The Good Samaritan – or – “Compassion isn’t just for work hours”

I have found that the more I try to make impacting, detailed posts on The Takedown, the less I end up actually posting things. I think a lot of that is because that when I do that, I focus more on how I’m saying something; how witty/engaging/emotionally engaging it is as opposed to what it is I’m saying. I forget the statement made by the Ghost in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir when he said, “This isn’t a blasted literary epic!” In future, I’m going to try and heed that simple advice and, God willing, end up with more posts that are meaningful and encouraging, even if they, too, aren’t “blasted literary epic(s).”

Anyone else remember the Good Samaritan? I remember the story well. It’s been used as an allegory for everything from warning children not to walk alone on dangerous streets to why it is that we should unconditionally accept refugees, to why we should accept universal healthcare. Many of the newer interpretations of the story, however are, unfortunately, dead wrong. At its base, and when you strip away the religious overtones of the story, what you’re left with is a very good look into the two basic types of human beings that exist in the world. You have those who are, primarily, out for themselves, and those who are not. Those who focus on their desires, their goals, their needs, and those who put the needs of others ahead of their own. Sadly, those people – those “Good Samaritans,” are also often the subject of ridicule and scorn by people who may feel that they are a rebuke to them. They’re characterized as “do-gooders,” “superheroes,” “crusaders,” and generally out of touch with reality because, after all, no one REALLY does that because it’s the right thing to do, do they?

Saddest of all, I have (and am) encountering it in my work in the EMS field. I encountered it when I obtained my First Responder certification, have seen it on the job, and am encountering it now as I take my courses to become an EMT. ‘Don’t go out of your way,’ the popular thinking seems to go, ‘because you could get sued and lose everything.’ ‘Don’t stick your neck out because if you do, you could lose your job.’ If you’re on the clock and covered by your agency, that’s one thing – then you HAVE to do it – but outside? No way. Hide the fact you’re an EMT or Paramedic. Don’t stop to help. Like the Levite and the Jewish priest in the story, they would advocate passing by on the other side of the road, so to speak, because it’s more important that you keep everything you have and have worked for than it is to help and possibly take the chance of being sued.

Well you know what? I’ll take that chance. I hope you would, too. The lives that were saved by people who jumped in to help – many with no training and certainly without proper body substance isolation and the like – at the Boston Marathon bombing – were saved by people who made the choice to be human and to fulfill their ethical and moral duty to their fellow man instead of backing away and saying “Hey, not MY problem. I’m not taking the chance!”

Friends – compassion and caring don’t only apply during business hours. The whole reason that we have Good Samaritan laws (sounds familiar, right?) is because people were passing by and not helping out of fear of lawsuits. People MAY laugh. Let them. People MAY think you’re all those things I named above. Let them. Those same people, I’ll wager, will be looking for someone like you if the day comes they’re bleeding their life out on the side of the road and the ambulance is nowhere to be found.

I close with this quote, taken from a story in which the man of steel, Superman, testified on the behalf of a group of superheroes who were accused of harming someone while stopping a villain. It’s never been more appropriate. I hope it never applies to myself, or to any of you:

“It’s a little sad, when you think of it – I can’t help thinking that someday, someone isn’t going to answer a call for help because they’ll be afraid; afraid of the lawsuits, the publicity, the cost – not in human lives, but in dollars and cents.”

Don’t be afraid. Step in and help, and do the right thing.

God bless, my friends.

 

A new Year, and a new beginning – and a new review!

Hello again, friends! I’m sure you have noticed by now that there has been a dearth of posts here at The Takedown, and although my reasons were good ones (life does that to you, sometimes) that’s something I intend to correct, starting today.

I am starting my classes today to become an EMT and, as such, have taken this month off as far as volunteering at our local ambulance corps. That time has proven, thus far, to be a great blessing to me as it has allowed me to do some “taking of stock,” as it were as to what I believe, why I believe it, and where I want to go. It’s reaffirmed to me that I want The Takedown to be a place of encouragement, of information, and of knowledge, instead of just another blog that gossips, posts about what I had this morning or what my children wore to school, or goes on endlessly about the current political/social justice issues. God knows there are enough of those around. I believe I had begun to lose that focus both here, and at my work, and am glad to have gotten my priorities straight again, thanks be to God! To that end I may go back and get rid of some old posts that do not serve that purpose; we’ll see.

And so without further ado, here we go!

In 2015, a campaign was launched entitled Stop The Bleed (https://www.dhs.gov/stopthebleed), and was aimed at informing (I loathe the word “empowering” due to its overuse) and giving bystanders the confidence to know what to do to help someone who may be experiencing serious or life threatening bleeding. It’s worth noting that, according to the Stop The Bleeding Coalition (http://stopthebleedingcoalition.org/):

  • Hemorrhaging is listed by the U.S. military as the #1 cause of preventable deaths on the battlefield
  • 35% of pre-hospital deaths are caused by hemorrhaging
  • 80% of mass casualty victims are delivered to medical facilities by non-ambulances

To that end, I began looking into what products may be out there that would help an average person in that situation. “Average” in this sense is by no means a pejorative, but instead is used to distinguish between those who (a) have medical training, (b) carry medical supplies in their vehicles or (c) both, and the average layperson who is generally not prepared and does not have any training. As things happened, I received an email from Amazon suggesting that I may be interested in the following item, which I ordered. It is the Adventure Medical Kits ‘Trauma Pak,’ and I will say that thus far, I am very impressed with it. Sealed in a waterproof bag and able to be fit into a cargo pants pocket, a large purse, glove compartment or backpack/bag, this would truly be an item I would include in my EDC (Every Day Carry) items, as well as my car and medical bag.

The listing for the Pak can be found here: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B003BS2PW4/ref=sr_ph_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1483966878&sr=sr-1&keywords=trauma+pack

It contains the following items, in a package approximately 7″x5″ (the top portion of the package can be folded down, however, making the height somewhat less):

(1) QuikClot 25g (1) 5” x 9” Trauma Pad (1) Pair Nitrile Gloves, One Hand Wipe (1) 2” x 26” Duct Tape (1) Triangular Bandage (1) 4” x 4” Sterile Gauze Dressing Pkg./2 (1) 2” x 2” Sterile Gauze Dressing Pkg./2 (1) 3” Conforming Gauze Bandage (4) After Cuts & Scrapes Antiseptic Wipe (1) Resealable Bag for Bio-Waste and Sucking Chest Wounds

(QuikClot, for those who may not be familiar with it, is a line of FDA approved hemostatic agents that accelerate the body’s natural clotting factors without the use of animal or human proteins, shellfish or botanical agents, and thereby remove many of the causes of allergic reactions common to prior agents. For more information on Quikclot and how it works, feel free to look at http://quikclot.com/ )

If you are a hunter, a person who regularly visits the range, works outdoors or in any field that is prone to injury involving bleeding,  I would recommend this. Please note: this pack contains a QuikClot Trauma Pad. It is designed to be used externally, on the wound site and promoting clotting. If you are concerned about potentially deep wounds/bleeding, i.e. someone who is at an archery/gun range, consider adding a hemostatic gauze such as Celox Rapid Gauze to your kit. This gauze can literally be packed into a wound and has been shown to stop arterial bleeds in the battlefield. REMEMBER: Hemostatic agents are used IN CONJUNCTION WITH direct pressure, not IN PLACE OF it. This segues into the last point.

As marvelous as these items may be, nothing can surpass the value of training and watchfulness. If you decide to get this pak, or any other equipment such as this, familiarize yourself with it and how to use it. You can have all the lifesaving items in the world and if you don’t know how to use them, even in the most basic sense, your effectiveness is going to be severely curtailed. If you aren’t paying attention to what’s going on around you, chances are good you’re going to become a casualty and thereby not be in a position to help anyone else. Friends, we live in a violent world. We always have because it’s an endemic part of humanity and the human condition. We won’t legislate it away, and we won’t get rid of it by ‘just being nice to one another.’ Get some training. Pay attention. Be prepared, and have a plan. Become involved in something like Stop the Bleed, and pass the information on to your friends. Most of all, don’t be afraid to help.

God bless today, my friends.

 

A word on the death of Fidel Castro

I suddenly realized that I had been remiss in neither mentioning nor posting anything in regards to the death of brutal strong arm dictator and tyrant, Fidel Castro.

That was not proper, and so I’ll say this:

Descansa en el Infierno, asesino bastardo.

Saluda al Che Guevara por nosotros.

 

For those who may not speak Spanish, that’s “Rest in Hell, you murdering bastard. Say hello to Che Guevara for us.”

I hope my feelings on the matter were not obtuse.

God bless, my friends. May He bring peace to those who have died and suffered under the reign of this tyrant.

 

Veteran’s Day. May we never forget that truly, “Never has so much been owed by so many to so few.”

At the end of what became known as “The Battle of Britain,” Sir Winston Churchill uttered the following words:
“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”

Although he was speaking specifically of those brave men and women who gave their lives as the Battle of Britain raged, I believe that those words apply equally to all those who have given their lives to ensure the liberties and freedoms that we enjoy here in the United States.

May we never forget their sacrifices, hardships, and what they gave and endured so that we could be free – not just today, but EVERY day.

its-the-veteran

God bless you today, my friends – and thank God for our Veterans!

 

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.

 

Wow! Time has passed, but here I am with some more preparedness info to pass along!

Hello again, all! My thanks to those who have stayed around, as well as to new readers and those who keep track of when new posts go up on the page. I know that sometimes it can seem like a goodly number of days go by without new posts, but that’s mainly because (as I have said in the past, but for the benefit of those who may be first time visitors) I don’t post JUST to post. I want this to be a blog of encouragement, of information, and of worthwhile things to read, as opposed to the standard gossip-y, “Hey I did this yesterday/had this for breakfast” type blogs that are out there.

That being said, I have some more information to pass along regarding preparedness. Here in my part of the US of A, we’re getting ready to head into the winter months. The temps are already dropping, and with those temps come the possibility of snowstorms, ice storms, power outages and the like. As heat usage goes up, and depending on the type of heat used (pellet stoves, wood stoves, etc), there is also the chance of fire – and fire means that you may need to get OUT, and get out QUICKLY. To that end, I wanted to first pass along links to a couple of videos which I found VERY interesting, and that deal with what is known as a “Bug Out Bag” (or Bail Out Bag). As I have mentioned in other posts, this is designed to be a “Grab it and get the heck out of Dodge” bag, and is designed to help you survive in the event of a situation in which you need to get out and don’t have the leisure to pack up your car with everything you want to take. I especially enjoyed the videos because (a) they’re easy to understand, (b) they’re practical, as opposed to the “YOU NEED THIS AMAZING STUFF BECAUSE THE ZOMBIES ARE COMING AND WE’LL ALL DIE IF WE DON’T HAVE IT!!” types of ‘preparedness’ videos out there, and (c) they’re able to be customized according to what you may be facing.(For example, in the first video, the author makes it very clear that this is NOT a “I’ll take this bag and survive in the bleak wilderness” bag)

Here are the links:

72 Hour Bug out Bag – supplies from Walmart

DIY Premium 72 Hour Bug Out Bag – Walmart Style

Home Depot “Urban Survival Kit”

I know – some of you may be thinking “Wal Mart? Home Depot? Is he kidding? That’s all junk!” Well, all I’ll say is, watch the videos. I believe you’ll be every bit as amazed as I was.

On a personal note, the ONLY change I would make to his suggestion would be this – if you have the time (and unless you’re getting nailed by a disaster right now, you have the time), I would consider these for your water needs:

Datrex Emergency Water Pouches (I bought mine through Amazon, but this is a link to the manufacturer) They have a lot of advantages, IMO, over carrying bottles of water, are used by the USCG in life boats along with Datrex Emergency Ration Bars (which I’ve had and they aren’t bad, actually – and surely better than starving) and have a storage life of 5+ years.

Stay tuned – my next post will deal with an item I have coming in the mail, courtesy of http://www.oldgrouch.com – MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat), complete with heaters to warm them! Needless to say, I’ll let you know how they are, how they work, and whether or not I feel they’d be a good add-on to your emergency food supply/pantry.

In the meantime, be safe out there, and God bless, my friends!