There are more kinds of glasses than “Rose Colored”

Most of us, I am fairly sure, have heard the expression that deals with wearing “rose-colored glasses.” In essence, the expression deals not with optimism or those people who are optimistic, but with excessive or unrealistic optimism. (Kind of like the difference between giving people the benefit of the doubt and the old joke about seeing the priest/pastor/rabbi coming out of the brothel and someone saying, “Ahh, one of the poor ladies must be dying.”) The comic that follows this one originally came from a collection that was created to show the shortcomings of modern “feminism.” However, when I read it, I realized that the same image could be used to illustrate something much more profound, if you will; namely the joy-sapping burden that so many carry with them every day that causes them to be perpetually angry and unhappy with how they perceive (operative word – perceive) the world. I’ll post the comic below, then follow up with my comments on it.

SQUzkps.jpg

As I read it, I realized that you could take that same comic and insert any of the outrage du jour “causes” that are around today, and have them apply just as well.

  • Racism? To the person who chooses to see racism in everything, it would have things like: “White guys enjoying what they got on the backs of black people” (Guy with the phone); “Why is the darker colored guy the only one working?” (Guy putting up the poster)
  • LGBT Activism? For those activists, it would be things like: “Denying her true feelings to ‘fit in'” (Woman with baby); “Straight couples obviously ignoring the gay man and excluding him” (the couple, talking, with the third guy sitting alone, looking at his phone)
  • Extreme, judgemental “religious-ness” (and I’m a professing Christian, so believe me, I’ve seen it.)? To the person who sees everything in terms of morals and self-righteous judgement of others, it would have things like: “Obviously either a whore or gave up on her marriage” (Woman with baby); “Shameful the way they’re flirting and trying to hook up in public” (man and woman talking on bench); “Disgusting poster, and that man putting it up so others can ogle it;” (man hanging poster)

And on, and on, and on…..

I think you get the point I’m trying to make. You may be saying, “Ok, then what’s the point? Where’s the encouragement? Where’s the Boot of Truth?” It’s right here. In each and every one of the examples given, the viewpoint taken is not only unrealistic, but it’s a choice. You can just as easily choose to NOT see the world that way as you can choose TO see it that way. IS there racism in the world? Of course there is. Unfortunate as it is, it’s a part of humanity, and it’s one that deserves to be fought. Does that mean that everything that happens to one group of people is a RESULT of racism? No, it does not. IS there misogyny in the world, and are there women who are treated unfairly? You’re damned RIGHT there is. (It’s a pity that so many of the self-proclaimed feminists are so vocal about how “horrible” it is here in the USA, and yet so dead silent on how women are treated in Muslim countries, and others, but that’s another post.) Does that make men universally evil, universally the enemy, and every bad thing that happens to a woman the result of misogyny? No, it does not. In each of those examples, an extreme stance has been taken – one that makes everything that happens a result of whatever it is you say you’re “fighting against.” It literally consumes you and alters your perception of the world and the people around you.

Friends, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. There ARE legitimate causes in this world. There are legitimate injustices and evils to fight against. Each of us has a limited time on this earth, and we need to be careful and cautious about what “cause” we choose to give our time to. We also need to keep one of Nietzsche’s most famous statements in the forefront of our minds while we do:

“He who fights monsters should see to it that he, himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.”

Whatever cause you fight for – whatever evils you stand against – don’t let that make you see them everywhere you look. Don’t become that extremist. Don’t let yourself be swept along by those who want to hijack a good, valid cause, and turn it into a hammer while anyone who doesn’t agree with them is turned into a nail.

Have the courage to stand and say “No. The ends don’t justify the means, and this is going too far.”

God bless, my friends!

 

Something to give us a good laugh

I usually write things that can be pretty serious, here on the Takedown, and I make no apologies for that. Life is a serious thing, and all too often we get our “advice” or input or whatever you want to call it in the form of infomercials, motivational posters or the likes of Dr. Oz or Oprah Winfrey; in other words from sources that are either (a) useless, (b) trite, or (c) so totally removed from what the average person deals with that it’s laughable.

To that end, I saw this and decided to post it in the hopes that it would give my readers as hearty of a laugh as it did me. The image comes courtesy of my good friend Hambo over at The PIGazette (that stands for The Politically Incorrect Gazette, for those who may not know) and in the “fair warning” department, I’ll say this. If you are easily offended/outraged or have little to no sense of humor, do me a favor and don’t read it – or at the very least, read what comes after it when you’re done huffing and puffing. (And also, I’m presuming that the person holding the sign is a woman, and the caption supports the idea but in truth, I honestly cannot tell and so it could as easily be a man who is White Knighting for the militant feminist movement or women in general. You’ll have to make your own call on that one.) 

chastity belt

On a more serious note, it illustrates to me a couple of VERY good points that modern ‘feminism’ seems to miss:

  • The freedom to do what you want is just that – the freedom to do what you want. Unless those ladies in the Hooters shirts had a gun put to their heads or were illegally coerced into doing that job, they chose to do it, and do it willingly. They had a right to do so; the same right that Miss “Women are Not Decoration” seems to want for herself in order to hold up the sign. It goes both ways.
  • There’s a difference between feminism, which I believe in, and militant feminism, in which I do not. Militant feminism is exemplified by the woman holding the sign. She looks angry, she looks miserable, she’s dressed like she just rolled out of bed, and it’s not unreasonable to presume she was there protesting Hooters. That brings me back to point #1 and causes me to ask “This is helping the equality of women how?” In your own way, you’re demeaning them and trying to remove their choice as much as you claim men are/have/still are.
  • Consider the difference in impact had it been a well dressed, elegant looking woman (or even a scantily clad woman, I suppose) who held a sign that said something like “Like what you see? I am a successful business owner/a mother/a wife, and I have X Y or Z degree. Women are not just for decoration.”  BAM! Great message, well presented and it gets the point across.

The Boot of Truth, even in this? Freedom of choice is freedom of choice. As Penn Jillette said, “You don’t have a legal right to not be offended, but you have a moral right to avoid things that will offend you.” 

Sounds like this lady should have listened to that advice and exercised her rights.

And I’m not even TOUCHING the “chastity belt” comment. You go after that one on your OWN. images

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.

 

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.