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I don’t understand

When I was a kid in high school, one of my best friends was a guy named Richard. We were convinced we were far smarter than anyone else. I’m (much) older, now, and I know better. There are far more things I don’t know than things I do know. Lately, one of them has been on my mind.

I have expressed my general dislike of Donald Trump, before. In spite of that, here’s what I don’t understand. Why would you risk turning a populist, who still enjoys a significant amount of support, into a political martyr? Can anyone explain that to me? Feel free to use small words, because I’m at a loss, here.

Not a good look

I neither know nor care about your views of Rep. Kinzinger’s role on the J6 committee. What I do know is that hinting at violence toward a fellow citizen, because of something he said, is not a good look for a sitting member of Congress.

Oh, come on!

This sucks. A lot.

Independence Day

I’m sitting here at about 0430, trying to clear my eyes from the smoke. I’m the Designated Smoker here at RM Ranch. That means that if we’re going to eat BBQ brisket later, today, I’m the one who cooks it. I don’t mind. I enjoy doing it. Besides, it gives me time to think and reflect…which leads to posts like this one.

Today is our day to celebrate our independence, which, if we are to be historically accurate, is also our day to celebrate things like tax evasion, rebellion, and treason. Most of the time, lest we disturb the more delicate folks around us, it’s probably best to just leave it at independence.

Nations are founded on all sorts of things. Common religion, blood or familial ties, a long history of inhabiting an area are just a few. America is a little odd in that we were founded on none of those. Instead, we were founded on an idea or philosophy (or perhaps more accurately some ideas that were informed by a philosophy). Those ideas were summed up early on in our rebellion. Perhaps you’ve heard or read these words.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”*

High sounding words, aren’t they? They set a high bar for achievement, one we’ve failed to reach, many times. I submit, though, that they remain good words and desirable, even enviable, aspirations. So, today, I choose to not weep, wail, or gnash my teeth about where we have fallen short. Instead, I’ll celebrate independence, freedom, and individual liberty. Others can also do as they choose. Liberty’s like that.

Always, but especially on this day, may God bless you and America with peace and continued freedom.

*Ol’ Tommy was hell with a pen, wasn’t he?

If you can

Please help. Cassandra is the girlfriend of a very good friend of mine. A gofundme acct has been started to help her get the oral surgery care she needs. She was scheduled to receive regular dentures, but due to Covid, the appointments were all cancelled. As a result of the delay, she’s not a candidate for regular dentures, but needs impants, instead. If you can help in any way, I know it will be appreciated. If you’re a fellow blogger who’s willing to share, thank you so very, very much.

The link is here.

Some pre and post delay pics

Resentment and the latest thing

Long ago, back when school consisted of a log with a teacher on one end and a student on the other (thank you RAH), I learned something. The professor teaching one of my classes, Dr. Verkler, was a Transactional Analysis kind of guy. With apologies to both him and Eric Berne, I’m going to take a term he used and rip it fairly violently from context.

There are two types of feelings or emotions (the two aren’t synonyms but I’m using them interchangeably, anyway). The first type we call “authentic” emotions. They’re real and arise spontaneously. They aren’t learned or artificially produced. The second kind are called “racket” emotions. They’re a little different. They don’t arise spontaneously. Instead, we have to work at them. What makes them a racket is not simply the work. It’s that they aren’t how we would feel if we were being authentic. Allow me to explain.

There’s a fairly common trope for movies that involve some version of the Mafia. That trope is the protection racket. Protection rackets offer to protect someone, someone’s family, or someone’s business from harm. Good, so far, right? The problem is that the protection is not from other threats in the area, but rather from those offering protection. “Nice place you have here. Be a shame if something happened to it,” is not an authentic offer of protection. It is the very thing from which one is ostensibly being protected.

Resentment is similar. It seldom, if ever, arises on its own. We might complain about not wanting to feel the authentic emotion called anger or the hurt which lead to it. But, we don’t let it go. Instead, we nurture it. We take it out periodically, feed it, hug it and love on it. We feed the very thing we say we don’t want. Over time, with love and attention, as we experience the hurt and anger again, it turns into resentment. It poisons us and our relationships as we cling to the thing we would say we don’t want.

All of which brings us to the latest thing (whatever it may be).

Regardless of your political, economic, or social leanings, the world and/or our republic are not and cannot be experiencing an existential crisis all the time. The sky is not falling and the republic is not going to implode tomorrow. No one, and I most assuredly mean no one, can live full time as if it is. The anger and fear, if held onto, if taken out regularly and loved on and nurtured, will turn into something ugly. Even worse, they’ll turn that person into something equally ugly. The eventual resentment and bitterness will destroy a person and all the relationships they touch.

What do we do, then, about the Current Thing?

  • Recognize that the end is not necessarily nigh.
  • Learn to recognize your own authentic feelings and how they differ from racket emotions.
  • Recognize that there are those who will, if allowed, manipulate you and how you feel for their own ends. These people need your anger, rage and resentment. They don’t care about you. Many times, these are the people who share your perspective on the Current Thing.
  • Realize that no one, including you, can live in this heightened emotional state all the time.
  • Recognize that people who disagree with you are not responsible for your feelings and that your feelings about something are no more pure or righteous than theirs.
  • You are not responsible for saving or fixing the world. Sometimes, regardless of how important you think the issue is, you simply have to walk away – sometimes temporarily, and sometimes permanently. That’s okay. Remember, the world is not your responsibility; your mental and emotional health is.

Note: If you think this only applies to “those people over there who disagree with me,” you’re an idiot and will, if you hold onto what you see as your no doubt righteous indignation, eventually become a self-inflicted casualty.

My reasoned response

The Supreme Court has ruled that the New York requirement to show just cause before one may be permitted to carry a firearm for self-defense is unconstitutional. It is, I submit, the only reasonable decision.

Suck it, statists.

Moosic I like

There’s a lot of really good music out there. Today, I’m in a sort of retro mood. Enjoy.

There’s a lot going on in this first one. Blood, Sweat & Tears was never quite like any other band.

One of the original Southern Rock bands, The Marshall Tucker Band showed some serious blues influences.

For Greg

Greg, who was kind enough to share his deep insight into all things Biden in response to my post from 4/15/2022, (you can go see that comment if you like) deserves this more than anyone I have yet encountered. Here ya go, man. I do it all for you.

Sometimes, Greg, irony is harsh.

Bad idea…

If you know, you know…