For All My Metalhead Parents Out There!

If this is how you are teaching your children the alphabet then in my book y’all are doing it right! For the rest of you, just watch and take notes!

Struggling With Dueling Personalities

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As my 18 year old daughter pushes through her second semester in college to become a RN she has come face to face with the fact that there are many psychology and sociology classes to attend. She knows the human brain really fascinates me and she knows I have my own out of the normal box way of thinking, meaning I question everything. Because of my age and personal experiences I tend to have a jaded opinion about my fellow human beings. It makes me hard to talk to at times because I don’t want to talk about “how” I got where I stand today because much of my personal past is still unknown to even the closest people in my life. Simply put, there are things I choose not to discuss, its just the way it is.

Anyway, she had a paper to write about personality disorders versus mental disorders. She didn’t know the “line” between them is often blurred, often confused, often misidentified, and very often a person gets mislabeled. Now, she is familiar with bipolar disorder since her brother struggles daily with it. She had to learn the “disorder” in order to live in peace with her brother in a comfortable manner for both of them. She thought she had this paper nailed until she asked me to review it. Its not that she had it all wrong, because she didn’t. But, because the terms are confusing, it makes the information available confusing. Jokingly, I told her that the specialists who study these and other disorders make it difficult to learn for job security, which is both true and false in every conceivable way. So, I gave her my interpretation, whether it helped or not we will have to see when she gets her grade. Below is how I see it.

Sometimes people confuse two mental disorders, only one of which could be referred to as “common” within the population which is bipolar disorder and then schizophrenia. This confusion has largely resulted from the common use of some of these names in popular media, and as short-hand by people referring to someone who is grappling with a mental health issue. The disorders, however, have little in common other than the fact that many who have them are still stigmatized by society.

Bipolar disorder is a fairly common mental disorder compared with the other two disorders. Bipolar disorder is also well-understood and readily treated by a combination of medications and psychotherapy. It is characterized by alternating moods of mania and depression, both of which usually last weeks or even months in most people who have the disorder. People who are manic have a high energy level and often irrational beliefs about the amount of work they can accomplish in a short amount of time. They sometimes take on a million different projects at once and finish none of them. Some people with mania talk at a faster rate and seem to the people around them to be constantly in motion.

After a manic mood, a person with bipolar disorder will often “crash” into a depressive mood, which is characterized by sadness, lethargy, and by a feeling that there’s not much point in doing anything. Problems with sleep occur during both types of mood. Bipolar disorder affects both men and women equally and can be first diagnosed throughout a person’s life.

Bipolar disorder can be challenging to treat because, while a person will take an antidepressant medication to help alleviate a depressed mood, they are less likely to remain on the medications which help reign in the manic mood. Those medications tend to make a person feel “like a zombie” or “emotionless,” which are feelings most people wouldn’t want to experience. So many people with bipolar disorder find it difficult to maintain treatment while in their manic phase. However, most people with bipolar disorder function relatively well in normal society and manage to cope with their mood swings, even if they don’t always keep on their prescribed medications.

However, schizophrenia is less common than bipolar disorder and is usually first diagnosed in a person’s late teens or early to late 20’s. More men than women receive a diagnosis of schizophrenia, which is characterized by having both hallucinations and delusions. Hallucinations are seeing or hearing things that aren’t there. Delusions are the belief in something that isn’t true. People who have delusions will continue with their delusions even when shown evidence that contradicts the delusion. That’s because, like hallucinations, delusions are “irrational”, the opposite of logic and reason. Since reason doesn’t apply to someone who has a schizophrenic delusion, arguing with it logically gets a person nowhere.

Schizophrenia is also challenging to treat mainly because people with this disorder don’t function as well in society and have difficulty maintaining the treatment regimen. Such treatment usually involves medications and psychotherapy, but can also involve a day program for people who have more severe or treatment-resistant forms of the disorder.

Because of the nature of the symptoms of schizophrenia, people with this disorder often find it difficult to interact with others, and conduct normal life activities, such as holding down a job. Many people with schizophrenia go off of treatment (sometimes, for instance, because a hallucination may tell them to do so), and end up homeless, without friends or family, and sometimes end their life as a plausible solution.

All people suffer, period. No person wants or needs to be a “lab rat” in the discovery of what ails them mentally. But, society dictates we label and judge others based on our opinions, ignorance, lack of understanding, and the pure lack of compassion. I know what y’all are thinking, and yes I do judge people myself in regards to stupidity and the utter lack of common sense. So, I do live the double standard in many ways, I ride that double edge sword like the evil bitch she is. Its one of many of my personal faults. I’m definitely not an expert on this topic, but in my defense I have read about and studied this topic for many, many years because the subject is very near and dear to me. Nor do I claim that what I have interpreted or formed my own opinion on is dead nuts accurate. As with all things, interpretation is the ultimate devil in the woodpile.

We can learn allot by paying attention and observing our fellow humans, but more often than not we choose to just ignore the people around us. We have become dependent on others to guide us in life for some fucked up reason. However, I do know two doctors, y’all know who you are, who take a different approach to medicine, they look at the person first, not the diagnosis. They take into consideration that we a people with feelings, emotions, and look at alternative ways to treat the various symptoms of life. I appreciate my two friends a great deal, one day I would like to shake the hands of Kris and Rexi because they have taken time out of their lives to include me into their lives. They are both amazing women in my opinion and anyone who has them in their daily lives are truly lucky.

Anyway, in closing, helping my daughter helps me more often than not because it gives me a chance to reevaluate the things I think I know well and opens my mind to the possibilities that there are other options. I get pretty set in my damn ways sometimes but my thirst for knowledge will never be quenched as long as I’m still breathing. My dad once told me, the summer he died, that people prey on the closed mind, they prey because the closed mind is that of a victim, and they begin with the upper hand because they know how defenseless a victim is. Is it true? I still challenge myself to this very day not to be a victim with a closed mind. Do you?

Where Were You @ 2 This Morning?

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Most likely the same place I was, fast asleep in the bed. But, not everyone had that same luxury in the wee hours of this fine Tuesday, some people were up ready to rock and roll to have just a little, over 20,000 square feet, concrete poured into paving for the opening soon Brewingz restaurant here in Kingwood, Texas. I will help you with the math to make it easy for y’all, it took 41 trucks of concrete, one pump truck, and a whole slew of concrete finishers roughly 6 hours to pour it all the way out, then taking roughly another 4 1/2 hours to finish it off. I was the lucky soul, I didn’t arrive until 5 am. People have been asking what I do for a living now and the easiest way for me to put it is I work for the general contractor who is doing this construction. I don’t have anything to do with the day to day operations because at this time I’m training, being exposed to commercial construction, and learning a great deal from a very wise mentor. Anyway, I just wanted to share some pictures after a long day.

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By the way, the Brewingz logo is trademarked and was borrowed from the internet to show familiarity just in case y’all didn’t know what Brewingz is. The other photographs were taken by me personally this morning.

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Get Ready! Get Set! Let’s Gooooooooo!

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Most people would frown upon having to be at work before the ass-crack of dawn, but not me. This is my time, this is the time I know that all the people working 9-5 during the week are still curled up in their beds, dreading leaving the comforts they have been enjoying all night long. But that’s not me, I’m the person who roams my house at 3:30 a.m. because I’m plain done sleeping. Regardless if I must go to work or not, I’m up, I’ve always been like this, it’s just the way I’m wired I guess. As I roamed the job site I’m at this morning, in the calm of the morning, still dark, it gave me time to review this past week. As I have mentioned, I have started back to work luckily. With my back to it, I feel the sun beginning to break through the treeline, beginning to become visible over the horizon, peeking through the trees, over the buildings, and of course the power lines which litter the view in any direction one looks. Of course, me being me, me being the one who still likes to meet the sunrise which greets me good morning, needs to grab a picture.

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I have missed very few sunrises in my lifetime, and I have a feeling that won’t change. As I took the second picture I could hear my mother whispering in my ear not to look directly into the sun, then I clicked the picture. What can one more picture with me looking directly into a sunrise hurt, right? As I walked the job site, earbuds in, metal cranked up, I saw the overall picture with the changes that had occurred after my departure the evening before. In many ways, I felt a sigh of relief come over me, because it meant that quite possibly that there would have to be very little ass scrambling happening since there is a great deal which must happen today, as smooth as humanly possible, so concrete can be poured first thing Monday morning. I had said I would get into my new job after a few days, lucky you, today is that day, however, there still isn’t much to say, because I’m in training, I’m studying, I’m learning, and luckily for me, remembering things I never even knew that I knew. Don’t get me wrong, I’m learning more that my memory has served me, but combining the two elements has been making my transition easier for me. Whether or not that serves true with my new boss I can’t say, I probably have been frustrating the shit out if him with all of my questions, he has allot on his plate, which he just chews up, only spitting back the plate.

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Hopefully I don’t say all of this wrong, but I will try to explain my new job and the eventual role I will be in. I found quickly that much to do with the commercial construction is about a person’s title, not necessarily one’s actual experience. But then you could have my boss, who comes with many, many years of experience, but still has a title. His experience shows through and is reflected in how he works. He offers perfection, and demands one put out their own perfection, he commands this without asking, which is a great way to learn for me personally, to be mentored in a fashion that is well above “industry standard”. He is a rare breed and he makes coming to work interesting. There are many hours of the day that I spend in what I will call ” observation, collection, and absorption”, because that is part of how I learn. What better way to learn, right or wrong, good or bad, people working at their specific trade. Again, luckily for me, I spent many years working for and with my dad, before he retired, as a residential concrete contractor. To my advantage, for a great deal of what is going on right now, I know what they are doing and the concept of what they are trying to accomplish with concrete. I remember the early days when I was part of the crew, the labor, which is how my own dad taught, which was hands on. One does not know the skill of a shovel in the right hands, one cannot respect a person which the shovel if you have never done what he had done. I spent many years with a shovel in my hands, setting forms, moving concrete, and helping turn a once vacant lot into a home for a family to live. Of course, later in life, after the Air Force, my role did change in the family business, where I had the opportunity to get my feet wet on the management and supervisory side of the concrete contractor business. Those lessons, not what I have learned in school, are lessons that serve me well now, because I am being refreshed in how psychology and the stroking of egos is just as important as raising hell when something is all fucked up. I have missed the construction industry since I’ve been out of it, its great to be given the opportunities to get back in the saddle again.

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In the end, for now, I’m just the new white guy on the job site. Learning and absorbing as much as I can comprehend to build myself a knowledge base which can only benefit me as time progresses, nobody wants to have dumb employees now do they. Plus, for the second time in my life now, here is a job which involves so much more than just being a mindless zombie laboror. Eventhough I never minded the mindless monkey work because it was work and it paid the bills on time. As time progresses over the next few months I will update everyone as to how my chosen path is going. In reality, the “job” chose me, as I’m very lucky that for probably the first time in a very long time, I was in the right place at the right time to accept this outstanding opportunity. Plus, bonus here people, financially it couldn’t have been more perfect timing. I owe a debt of gratitude to the man who set it in motion and even more to the man who has given me an opportunity not to just have a job, but to have an outfuckingstanding job. Can y’all tell I’m happy? I can tell, it feels great. And now I close with a great selfie, have a great day.

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The Most Perfect Question Known

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“When I was young I spent my days and nights with so much curiosity. Curiosity because I had the uncontrollable urge to learn, I wanted to understand everything. As a child I wanted to ask the questions that would enhance my knowledge of everything imaginable. Little did I know that I was using tools I was born with to help me grow and function in the world. Many years later now and I see the same thirst of knowledge in my son. Many people consider the question of why to be annoying, I look at it as an opportunity to explore.

But why do we stop asking so many meaningful questions the older we get? Perhaps it’s because we are taught fear and learn self apprehension. I say fear because maybe we’re afraid to find out what the answer would be, afraid to learn the truth. Perhaps finding out would change our path in life, which for some might bring about new opportunities but for others may bring about anguish and anxiety. I don’t suffer this fear, I want to know the answers good or bad. Maybe that is why I see many things and just cut to the chase and ask WTF.

I also say apprehension because to ask questions might bring with it uncertainty of what we may have to face the other side of the question asked. Sometimes we may feel it’s easier for someone else to ask the questions so that we can live our life without having to make decisions. Sometimes, more often than not, it is easier to be the sheeple. Why would people prefer to be lead? Why not cut your own path? Why? Because we are taught this way early on and many continue to live their lives that way. In the end continuing the cycle of ignorance.

Beyond parenting with school aged children I believe school should play a much better part. In school we’re taught to focus on finding the correct answers to questions that have already been asked, rather than ask our own questions. The problem with that is that one can never expand their minds that way. Without expanding our minds, we hold ourselves back, and we do not think out of the box. Someone else’s belief system will also become our belief system, someone else’s version of the right way to live our lives becomes our way, the way we mature into adults is someone else’s ideas, and so the cycle continues for generation after generation after generation.

We need to be allowed the opportunity to set up our own system so that we become individuals in our own right from a very young age. We also need to recognise other people’s beliefs just as we expect them to recognise ours too. When we learn new things we push ourselves beyond what we already know. We also allow ourselves to explore other people’s opinions of what they tell us so why not take the next step and ask why. Only then will we start to view the world differently. Seeing the world from a different point of view gives us more opportunities to be encouraged, to ask more questions so that we continue to challenge ourselves further. We may even make many new connections and many new discoveries along the way.

So I ask everyone here, why ever stop asking why?”

The above represents the first draft of a speech I have been asked to give on the final night of the science camp my son left to attend Monday morning. I was told that parents, teachers, friends, relatives, and the attending 7th and 8th graders would like to hear a motivational speech from me since many of the attending students are current and past Scouts (both Boy and Girl Scouts) that look up to me. Really? 90% of the reasons I am no longer a Scout leader is because I didn’t teach just out of the books, I tried to get the young minds to question what they didn’t understand until they found an answer which satisfied their inner curiosities. But, since I had been in many of their lives for around 14 or more years I saw no reason not to accept the honor. There is one requirement, it must be about learning.

While writing it I found myself thinking about if I were to write it right here what would it sound like? And I see it needs some polishing to say the very least. I can’t speak to this crowd as if they were reading a blog post. So, I will be refining it, tweaking it, and polishing it up so it will be a shiny turd of a speech. So far it has been interesting, I can’t remember writing a speech since high school because anytime I generally speak to a crowd I do it a la carte or very off the cuff. No, I am not nervous about giving the speech and no I don’t regret accepting the challenge, I only worry about dropping an F-Bomb (fuck) or three. I probably won’t bore all of y’all with the refined version other then reporting how it all went when the deed is done.

Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse

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Under normal circumstances I would not be writing about the Bible. However, due to a project given to my son by his Bible study instructor this past Sunday, I found myself helping my son with some research. So, because I found the information very questionable and interesting at the same time I decided to make a post so I might discuss why the all loving Christian God would make such an apocalyptic decision. Perhaps this will lead me to write another one on the Seven Seals as well before long.  As a refresher, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse describes the four horsemen who, according to the New Testament in the Christian Bible, represent Conquest, War, Famine and Death. They are summoned and empowered by God as part of the opening of the Seven Seals. There are four separate horsemen, each representing something different. Each rides a different color horse, wields a different weapon and has a different power.

THE WHITE HORSE: The white horse is the first of the four horsemen to arrive. He represents Conquest and his power is “to go forth in conquest; to kill with the beasts of the Earth.” He Yields a Crown and a Bow. From the Bible, Revelation 6:1-2: “I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.”

THE RED HORSE:  The rider of the second horse is often taken to represent War. His horse’s color is red, or, in some translations, specifically a “fiery” red. This color, as well as the rider’s possession of a large sword, suggests blood to be spilled on the battlefield. The second horseman may represent civil war as opposed to the war of conquest that the first horseman brings. From the Bible: Revelation 6:3-4: “When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a huge sword.”

THE BLACK HORSE: The third horseman rides a black horse and is generally understood as Famine. The black color of the horse could be a symbol of the dead. The horseman carries a pair of balances or weighing scales, indicating the way that bread would have been weighed during a famine. Of the four horsemen, the black horse and its rider are the only ones whose appearance is accompanied by a vocal pronunciation. John hears a voice, unidentified but coming from among the four living creatures, that speaks of the prices of wheat and barley, also saying “and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” This suggests that the black horse’s famine is to drive up the price of grain but leave oil and wine supplies unaffected. One explanation for this is that grain crops would have been more naturally susceptible to famine years than olive trees and grapevines, which root more deeply; the statement might also suggest a continuing abundance of luxuries for the wealthy while staples such as bread are scarce, though not totally depleted. Alternatively, the preservation of oil and wine could symbolize the preservation of the Christian faithful, who used oil and wine in their sacraments. From the Bible: Revelation 6:5-6: “When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a day’s wages, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”

THE PALE HORSE: The fourth and final horseman is named Death. Of all the riders, he is the only one to whom the text itself gives a name. Unlike the other three, he carries no weapon or other object (but some versions say that Death carries the scythe, symbolizing that he is the Grim Reaper); instead he is followed by Hades. The color of Death’s horse is written as khlômos (χλωμóς) in the original Koine Greek, which is often translated as “pale”, though “ashen”, “pale green”, and “yellowish-green” are other possible interpretations. The color suggests the sickly pallor of a corpse. The natural colors of horse coats that could be indicated include dun, Palomino, buckskin, or one of several color variants with dilution genes. The verse beginning “they were given power over the fourth of the earth” may refer solely to Death and Hades, or it may summarize the roles of all four horsemen; scholars disagree on this point. From the Bible, Revelation 6:7-8: “When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.”

Since the prophecy of The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse is written in the Bible and taught by Christians, how does this all apply to the rest of us? As a person who was raised as a Catholic and later found the strength to pull away from the collective sheeple thinking it is things like The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse which make me wonder if we are ALL still waiting to die a fiery death. When I consider my remaining days on planet dirt (Earth) I look forward to each day I wake up taking my first breath. I don’t want to worry about when, if, or how, in the terms of Christian belief taught in the bible. I consider my son innocent, a sponge for knowledge, and I find he is conflicted in his beliefs in both God and science. He is very scientifically minded, meaning he does not ever accept that there isn’t a definitive answer. We have talked about both the Bible and science, he finds as he gets older, gets more experience in life, that he has began to question many of the lessons in the bible because they are open-ended questions that no attempt has been made to answer.

Now, don’t even get me started with evolution, a subject that is forbidden to be spoke out loud in our house. The rule was established many years ago, before my son was even born, that evolution is a theory produced by “people” who do not have God in their lives. I learned this the hard way many moons ago. But, since it is never spoke about in my house, my son has never had the opportunity to have the discussion with my wife. I won’t say she scolded my son for asking questions, but she re-directed him to the teachings in the Bible to point him to the answers he is seeking. Hating to see him struggle, hating to see his young mind shut down to other possibilities, I ended that conversation with a big fat “anything is possible if we believe in it being possible”. I got a dirty look from my wife which translated into me not supporting her, which is bullshit in itself.

It is opportunities like these that I hate being the one who disagrees with Christianity and the Bible because I must hold in my own opinions to appease others so my opinion does not influence choices my children may later make. I agree, every person needs to find their own path in life, no matter what it may be, no matter what the beliefs are, as long as they follow this path because that is what they want to do on their own. Eventhough I think the followers of Christianity are being misled and have been misled throughout history, I find myself intrigued by some of the stories written in the bible, like The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse, because it seems to always be some form of wrath if Christians get off the path or get out of line. I wonder, occasionally, what the end of times will look like through my eyes because I don’t have a giant fear of fire and brimstone as my end.

Y’all are probably looking for some credits here, the artwork was found doing a Google image search using the term “The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse”, and the text was taken from what my son had printed, written, and from his notes, the origins are unknown to me. Anyway, in the end, this entire post was written as food for thought in a world where individual thought is often frowned upon, so I had to write it. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

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Time To Take A Look In The Mirror

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It truly is time for the people of the world to look in the mirror and see that there is only one “race” that will ever matter. Every single human being here on planet dirt share one bond that, no matter what, can never be changed, we all belong to the human race. With that statement I could actually close this post and consider it complete. But, I’m not done yet because there are so many boneheads out there that just don’t get it. Why? Is it too simple in the complexity of our society? Have human beings not evolved enough to recognize that it isn’t our color that makes us different, it’s our DNA. Even with that being said, DNA isn’t even enough to separate one person from every other person on the planet. I have read plenty over the years about how “race” divides our societies and just recently I read a very interesting article at “Classic Ruby: Unadulterated” which sparked up a conversation between myself and the author. She has a way of delivering a message that made me sit back and take a moment to give it all some thought.

Before we actually get into my personal thoughts on “race” I want to point out, especially for new readers, that I am color blind in real life. I don’t use the term metaphorically to make a point but to illustrate how there might be a perspective that y’all haven’t thought about before when thinking about the races on our planet. Sure, I see some color, but I don’t see color the same way as others. In reality, it’s not color blindness but more like seeing with a color deficiency. Overall, it is hard for me to explain, but that’s not the point of this post either. I will make it simple, because it is simple, we need to look at the person next to us as a fellow human. One’s color has little to do with who that person really is. We should spend less time worrying about what race someone is and spend more time just being human to one another.

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But its complicated isn’t it. We can’t look at another human being in black and white. Why not? In my opinion, based on my experiences in life, I find it is because we get programmed through our learning early in life to judge another person because of their color. Why? because they are different than what we see in the mirror. How does that end? I have had people tell me I have it easy in life because I’m white and they are handicapped because they are not white. That being bullshit is putting it mildly. We all take a different course in life, we all make different choices, and we all make different decisions. No, we definitely are not all the same but we all definitely bleed the same color, red. Perhaps it is everything we have in common with each other that drives us to notice the obviously distinctive differences. We need the other person to be different because we don’t want them to be like us. All races are no different in the fact that they like to point out and clarify the differences between the races. But then we sub-divide within the race we belong to as well, further dividing us from our neighbor.

So, I’m white. Does that make me wrong? Does it make me less aware of what the difference amongst the races are? I have been told before, in fact today being the latest time that I’m white therefore I can’t possibly understand anything beyond being white. Why not? Here’s my opinion why not. Look around you, listen to some different music, drive into a different neighborhood, talk with some new people, and y’all will see that different races thrive on being different. They say it makes us a stronger race to recognize ourselves. No, it makes you stupid because you choose to continue with false propaganda witch harms the different races. Have a culture, have a way of life, but don’t use those as excuses to not allow everyone else to do the exact things you want to have freedoms to do. So we are different, so the fuck what.

In closing, I would like to mention that I don’t judge you by your race or your skin color. I will judge you by the words you speak and the actions you take. Too damn bad that every single person on this planet can’t do the same. Racism, at least in the United States, is kept alive by the very people who claim it is holding them back. Again, why? I have found that some people need to be mad at something, anything, right or wrong. People prey on “race” because there is money to be made and 9 times out of 10 it is the same race preying on their own, admit it to yourselves, every race does it. Why? I think this might be a good place to sew up this corpse I have been kicking so I can bury it once again. Race, racism, and the people who proliferate it’s existence really piss me off. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Feel free to comment openly. Maybe this time I will get to read something new.

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