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Fate of The Union [Updated with Video]

A spoken word poem about the current state of our nation.

This post is part of my 30 day creative writing challenge. Click here to learn more about the challenge or explore the other posts in this series.

I wanted to say a couple words about the current state of our nation.
It’s like every time I turn around, another level of frustration.

Inadequacy seems to be, the new definition of the word succeed.
From the economy to education, political correctness, the justification.

Republicans and democrats, Always fighting to get it right.
Because politicians want us to see, that they are smarter than you and me.

You and I? We’re supposed to be dumb.
Here, have some entertainment, now doesn’t that look fun!

But the truth is, that this has nothing to do with Washington, D.C.
And everything to do with you and me.

We watch in awe, as it all starts to fall.
And instead of walking forward, we all start to crawl.

Backwards in time.
Still trying to avoid the same social land mines.

Haters and racists.
Disorderly conduct on a regular basis.

A tool of the the trade as they try to persuade.
An ignorant public they constantly degrade.

Ignorance abounds.
Common sense? Nowhere to be found!
Take a deep breath
We’re all about to drown

About to go down, All just standing around
Watching as our souls are pounded into the ground

Our freedom?
No longer to be found!

So how can we expect to survive for much longer at this rate?
How can we be expect to thrive on this much hate?

How are we supposed to understand with all the lies in this debate?
How much time can go by before its too late?

How many more must die before its a sealed fate?
And how much more can we handle on this here plate?

You see this has to stop
From the bottom to the top, we must not delay

We must no longer let them make us feel this way
And we can’t let it go for even one more day

We must push to be better
We must not blindly follow the next trend setter

We must be slow to anger
And say hi to a stranger

We must learn and share
And become consciously aware

Connected as a country
Not lost in despair

Pretending the problems are only theirs
But there is here

And trouble is near
You see it’s almost time for us to face our fears

So its up to you, and it’s up to me
To reach out together, as a powerful we

So, I ask you my friend
What will it be?
Will you do nothing?
Or will you stand with me?

 

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Why I’m Supporting A Gay Rights/Equality Event

If you had asked me a few years back to attend the Annual Harvey Milk Festival, I would have looked at you a little weird. I would have told you that I think homosexuality is unnatural and that I wouldn’t be attending because I did not agree with the lifestyle.

Watch a short video from the most recent Harvey Milk Festival. Courtesy of Sarasota Underground.

I might have referenced a gay person that I was somewhat familiar with and claimed to not have a problem with their sexual preference, but deep down, there was a piece of my brain that made me feel really uncomfortable with the idea of homosexuality. The part of me that society has trained to feel that way, the part that hates the thought of two members of the same sex finding happiness inside of an intimate relationship with one another.

But that part of me is dying fast. And I can’t tell you that it is gone completely or that it ever will, but I have a whole new perspective on many things in life. And the amount of fucks I give about how people decide to explore their sexuality is quickly fading.

And honestly, what kind of world are we living in, where the things that happen in the privacy of of our own bedrooms, among two consenting adults, is anyone’s business other than that of the people who are in the room doing it. And more importantly, who the hell am I to tell anyone, where, when or how they should play with their private parts.

“But homosexuality is immoral and wrong!” Said some religious reader somewhere!

Oh yeah, says who? The bible? Your church? Your government?

Related article: Is everything you know about religion wrong?

Who the heck are they? And why have we let them into the most intimate parts of our private lives? Are we so incapable of ruling ourselves that we have deferred every one of our decisions to the approval of others?

Are we not just people living inside of small communities? Are we not all human? Do we not still preserve the right to think and act on our own? Have we lost the ability to mind our own business? Have we stopped managing our own lives and shifted towards the idea of collectively managing the lives of others, and in turn, lost control of everything?

And what kind of world are we building for our children? One where we are still free to think and act on our own? Or one that is managed by mandate? A world where our decisions are dictated to us? One that leaves us always worried about the opinions of someone else. Always letting someone tell us what to do, what to say, and how to say it.

So you see, I may not support the entire LGBTQ movement, but I wholeheartedly support my gay friends. I support their right to believe in whatever they believe in. I support their right to gather, and celebrate and have sex with whoever they want… As long as it’s not with me.

Because what right do I have to claim free speech, if I am not willing to support those who speak freely?

What right do I have to talk about liberty if those are around me are not encouraged to live freely. And what right do I have to tell you, or anyone for that matter, how to live your life?

Because that is equality.

Because that is the level playing field that America was supposed to be. Not this doctored up version of democracy that is starting to feel more and more like fascism.

So I am supporting the Harvey Milk Festival and my friends who help pull it off every year. With my words and with my wallet, and I would ask you to consider doing the same. Mostly because they need it, but more importantly, because America needs more people who are willing to stand up for what they believe in, even if that means defending someone else’s right to do something you might not completely agree with.

 

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Does Money Matter? Introducing The Concept of Open Source Sales

In this podcast, I talk with John Lyon who is a researcher for one of the top financial research firms in the country. His research and advice helps direct the people who manage billions upon billions of investment dollars and I wanted to ask him a few questions about the current fiscal climate and where he sees the future of the monetary system as a whole. We also get into China and the monetary moves they are making and dive into a concept I am calling open source sales. Something I think could completely change the world of sales as we know it. But if you think this is just going to be another boring talk about those little green pieces of paper that we call money, then you must have lost your mind, because after all, this, is Raymmar Radio! So kick back, and let’s get this shit started!

Resources mentioned in this podcast:

China moving against the dollar Ripples on the surface Homegrown Learners – Growing learners one day at a time Learn more about my ventures.


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What’s Wrong With Our Government In Under 100 Words

Our government is like a fat, rich, spoiled child, who has never been told no.

Propped up on an oversized throne; Under armed guard, in a gun free zone.

Feasting on a buffet of corporate interest, drunk on free money and fucking every warm hole he can find.

Mom’s too busy getting high to notice that the house is on fire and the kids are fast asleep.

Apparently someone unplugged the smoke detector because it was making a weird noise.

Oh well… maybe just one more bump.

After all, who’s gonna know?

We’ll just hope for change tomorrow.

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Rundown #2: Obama, ISIS & Understanding the Caliphate

In this episode of the rundown:

We talk about Obama’s hazy sense of history and dissect his historically soft stance on Muslim extremism. We review the administrations lack of a clear plan for how to deal with ISIS, and I’ll try to help you get a grasp on what Islamic State, (Caliphate) is all about.

This is some complicated stuff and it has nothing to do with either side of the political aisle but it is no coincidence that this is happening now as we are gutting our military and projecting a front of absolute weakness.

You really need to do your own research on this topic, but hopefully, this podcast will help you get a better idea for what is going on in the middle east right now.

We are going to get deep on this one so buckle up, and let’s get started.

What is the Raymmar Rundown?

The rundown is a weekly podcast where I break down current events, popular articles on Raymmar.com and then try to help you understand how it relates back to your life. Learn more

Links and resources mentioned in this podcast.

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If you found value in this podcast I would appreciate it if you  shared it with your friends. You can also leave your comments about the podcast below!

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What Did Florida’s CFO Jeff Atwater Have To Say To a Group Of Young Republicans In Sarasota?

A few of Sarasota’s most active Young Republicans got together over dinner for an impromptu question and answer session with Florida’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jeff Atwater. Oh, and I asked him what he thought about the potential increase in revenue that might result from the legalization of medical marijuana.

Meet The Conservative Hippie – Featured post

Who is Jeff Atwater?

Glad you asked. Ok, not necessarily glad (I didn’t know a whole lot about him before dinner either) but in the sense that you care enough to be reading this article to find out, I am glad. Mostly because politics is not very popular subject for the 20-30 somethings across the state of Florida, especially here in Sarasota, a town where the average age hovers somewhere between dying and death itself.

Jeff Atwater has served as the Chief Financial Officer for the State of Florida since he was elected in November of 2010 and sworn into office on January 4, 2011. He got started in politics as the Vice-Mayor of his hometown (North Palm Beach) in 1993. He would later be elected to the Florida House of Representatives (2000) and then to the Florida Senate (2002), where he was unanimously selected to serve as Senate President (2008).

What does Florida’s CFO do?

From MyFloridaCFO.com:

Florida’s CFO oversees the state’s accounting and auditing functions and unclaimed property, monitors the investment of state funds and manages the deferred compensation program and risk management program for the state.

Insurance consumer service is handled by the CFO, and the office is responsible for the licensing and oversight of insurance agents and agencies, as well as funeral homes and cemeteries.

Insurance fraud investigation also is overseen by the CFO, as well as ensuring businesses have workers’ compensation coverage in place for employees and helping injured workers with benefit payments and re-employment.

Read more about the responsibilities of Florida’s Chief Financial Officer

Setting the scene

It was all pretty laid back and quite intimate. With only 8 of us in attendance, including Atwater and his travel aide, there was plenty of time for us to ask questions and get to know Jeff and what he stands for. It was a much better setting than the more formal and infinitely more expensive political engagements that this town is known for.

Raymmar Tirado and Jeff Atwater in Sarasota

Raymmar Tirado and Jeff Atwater at an impromptu question and answer session in Sarasota

Stating the obvious

The one thing I hate about dealing with any politician is that you always have to deal with some level of a politically correct front. You always get to see them from behind their public persona, and while I understand it, I despise it.

I hate that they have to run around worried about actually showing the world their real personality because of how someone might spin the slightest misstep and take it completely out of context. If only we could get past this political correctness and instead find some political honesty with the American people then I think we might actually be able to get a few things done around here.

That being said, I liked what Jeff had to say so I thought I would share it with you and let you decide for yourself.

His accomplishments

According to JeffAtwater.com, his initiatives have helped Florida insurance consumers recover almost 53 million dollars in 2012 and 2013 combined (among other things) and a couple of his programs have actually increased the overall transparency in the way his office examines and issues contracts with outside vendors.

“I asked to look at them (contracts) and told my staff that there was no way I would sign them” said Jeff, as he explained the fact that 60%+ of the state budget gets spent on outside vendors and apparently before him, “no one was looking too closely at what was in those contracts.”

It seemed that for a while, there were a number of vendors who enjoyed a relationship with the state that was lacking any real accountability for any of the cash that the state was dishing out in these contracts. Something Jeff set out to change early on as CFO.

Jeff’s stance on fraud has been consistent through his entire term and he has been the main driver on a number of transparency initiatives.  The Financial Accountability Contract Tracking System (FACTS) has made a summary for each of those contracts available online. This allows the public to see what, who and for how much, each of those outside vendors is billing the state. In addition to making the contracts transparent he is also working to pass legislation that would require the contracts to be bid out on a regular basis ensuring that the tax payer is getting the best bang for their buck.

MyFloridaCFO.com also lists a number of other transparency measures, one of which allows you to punch in your estimated income and see how much you can expect to pay in state taxes as well as where that money is going inside of the government.

Upcoming Election

I asked Jeff if he was scared (referring to the upcoming election) and he replied “Not of a good contest.”

He continued by explaining that he was a man of principles and that he would stand by them and not feel bad if that lead to a loss. Not exactly the traditional “winners mantra” but maybe that is a little of what we need more of in this country. Someone who is willing to stick by their guns regardless of an election outcome.

It is a little hard to even take the competition seriously though, as this excerpt from the Will Rankin for CFO 2014 website makes clear:

“But already you have to wonder about the success of a campaign against a seasoned and well-funded pol like Atwater. Still, compared to the last Democrat running for the office, Allie Braswell, Rankin doesn’t look as if he’ll embarrass the party.” – Read entire article

I guess if not being embarrassed is what you are going for, then good for them; but honestly, none of this really matters.

When you are talking about a race like this, “it is hard to separate yourself from the top of the ticket” explained Jeff, as we continued talking about the upcoming election. By that he meant that more people would be looking at the Governors race and then voting down the party line.

Understanding your responsibility as an informed citizen – Featured post

With former Republican Governor Charlie Christ (who is now a democrat), running neck and neck with incumbent Rick Scott in the upcoming gubernatorial election, Jeff seems to think that this race will be more about highlighting the difference between the two political parties.

The sheer fact that Charlie Christ is even in the running right now after abandoning ship on his political party leaves me wondering about the reasoning ability of the Florida electorate as a whole.

How bad things must be that we would be willing to reelect someone like Christ (especially knowing he is a political turncoat), instead of pushing to at least bring someone new into the mix. The Democratic party should be ashamed of themselves.

You mean to tell me there was no one better to run against Scott then a washed out Republican Governor who decided to switch sides when it was politically expedient? Are you so desperate to win that you would play to the populist agenda rather than introduce us to someone new? Is there no one out there that could have at least hidden behind the concept of fresh ideas?

NOPE! Instead, the political washing machine will keep cycling through the same candidates, each of them taking turns washing each others back and protecting each others power.

As for Jeff? I didn’t really get a sense of urgency over the upcoming election but you never know what is going to happen in politics. Heck, maybe they’ll even try to bring Jeb back to save us all? Whats that? He’s in line for the next Presidential nomination. God (If he exists) save us all.

– The end –

But what about the weed question?

I didn’t figure you’d let me get away with that, especially since I teased it in the beginning, so here you go.

After dinner I asked Jeff what, if any, plans they had for the increase in tax revenue that might come from the legalization of medical Marijuana in the state of Florida. His answer was unequivocally “No comment” (albeit while laughing) which I kind of expected. I am not sure that the initiative will even pass, although it does seem to be well supported.

What did you think the acting CFO would say to a question like this? Especially on an issue that his party is running directly against. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens in November.

What do you think? Did I get it wrong? Leave your comments below and be sure to share this article with a friend.

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The Rundown #1: Power, Motivation & War

On this episode of the rundown:

We discuss the power you possess as an individual and citizen of the United States. We talk about the responsibility that comes with living in a free country and why it is important that you claim your individual superpower.

Then we dive into the power of motivation. What it is, and where to find it. And more specifically, where not to find it.

We’ll wrap it up with how the path we’re on might be leading us as a society to a global war and whether or not you think we can ever come together to actually solve the problems we’re facing as an entire species.

Too much to talk about and not enough time so lets get started.

What is the Raymmar Rundown?

The rundown is an audio recap of popular articles from Raymmar.com. I break down the articles and throw in some commentary about how they relate to every day life and put those concepts into context as they relates to current events. Learn more

Links and resources mentioned in this podcast.

Books I mention at the end of the podcast

Leave your comments about the podcast below!

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No Longer Free

A short poem about the American mindset and the peril we face as we cling to what is left of our individual freedoms. #AskHardQuestions

Go to school, get a job
Buy a car, then get married
Pile up debt, Wear the facade
Don’t look up, ‘til you’re buried
Get lost in the mob
Treat the world like a slob
Become a slave to your job
Then get what you can
Because you’re American
And we deserve it all
So just watch as it falls
Then, get down on your knees
Because we’re no longer free

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Global Reset – The Road to World War III

I stumbled onto the CommonGround website and spent some time reading and listening to what they had to say. They are a non partisan group promoting a peaceful but aware revolution. One that starts with ideas but is backed by the understanding of power and the use of force if necessary.

From their website:

Very few would disagree with the assertion that our current system has us headed for a disaster. However not everyone agrees on what that disaster will look like, and it’s virtually impossible to get people to agree on the solution. As a result forming a unified front to face these challenges has been next to impossible.

The Common Ground is an approach designed to deal with this issue.

Their core philosophy can be found here, but the main premise is that they understand that there is no way we are going to be able to agree on everything (ideologically that is) so we should break our process down into its core components, agree on at least a few of those and then move forward from there.

Their three main tenants:

  1. No more wars of aggression.
  2. End the surveillance state, and the militarization of the police.
  3. Hold the corrupt political and financial systems accountable.

Those were all things I thought I could get behind so i wanted to explore more.

If you click their Get Involved link you are directed to another video which mentions some strategy on how to get organized as well as some suggested reading. There is no official organizational structure (at least that’s what they claim in the video) and their message revolves around the idea that the leaders of the movement will present themselves as leaders by actually leading. Anther philosophy I can get behind.

I often talk about the Raymmar Revolution and part of my initial goal with this website, is to make it a resource for people who are ready to look at the world from a different perspective. I want to provide links, resources and other pertinent information that you can then use to form your own ideas and opinions about what is going on all around us.

My desire is not to get people to think like I do, it is simply to get people to understand why they thing the things they think. I want people to think for themselves and be firm in their findings. I want you to know what you stand for and why you stand for it.

I am not endorsing the Common Ground organization by any means and advise you to consider all of the information they present for yourself and come to your own conclusion. I just thought it was in line with what we talk about on this website and I wanted to share it with you.

Download the book they mention in the second video

I also grabbed a few other books on Amazon that I thought were relevant to the topic.

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Understanding Power: Why Being Stupid Is In Style

A harsh look at the ignorance that affects our society as a whole, and an explanation for why the powerful would purposefully want you to remain oblivious to anything other than whatever they want you to believe.

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum….”

― Noam Chomsky, The Common Good ―

We are all susceptible to the influence and power of others. We also crave to have it for ourselves.

We watch those who do and all we do is hate. If we can’t have it then neither should they. We are not taught to understand the power of the people so we forget what if feels like to have any power and then assume we have none.

We have outsourced our intellect to a large group of social, political and financial oligarchs. We have given way to a new type of tyranny. One that hides behind the guise of freedom but secretly wishes to take everything for itself.

We see some story on Twitter and take it at face value. We hear the satirical perspective from some social celebrity and let it shape our ideology but rarely think to explore the topic deeper. We never read proposed legislation before it’s passed. Instead, we rely completely on the people who wrote it to tell us how great this next new law is going to be. We fight about left or right while both are nothing but wrong.

Fundamentally, most of us do not know how governments are created, how they work, or how they are collapsed. Why then, would we notice that our own government is falling apart right in front of us? We pay no attention to the other countries who are facing or have faced the same perils we face, so why would we pay any attention when they happen in our hometowns?

It’s not that you are all stupid

After all, I have no Idea how smart any of you actually are. For all I know you are a 4.0 grade-getting, chess-club-running, pocket-protector-wearing, three-degree-having, bad motherfucker who knows a lot about something.

I’m just saying that in spite of all the things you know, you still have no clue as to what any of it actually means. And by any of “it,” I mean life in general.

Sure, you graduated high school, maybe went to college, got a job, got married, bought a house, had a kid, etc. But the question I want you to ask yourself is this; what do you really know about any of it? What is your purpose in life? Other than to exist that is?

“Men are more easily governed through their vices than through their virtues.”

― Napoleon ―

We’ve been trained to be idiots

You can use the word interchangeably if you’d like. Slaves, surfs, peasants, proletariat, or whatever popular label you’d like to put on the purposely oppressed people that have populated this planet over the years.

The powers that be have always controlled the people through the flow of information and we are all to happy to accept their projections as our realities. We are happy to have a place to lay our heads and we take for granted the responsibility of what it means to live in a free country.

So many people walk around thinking they know something about anything, but in reality, all they know are the things they think the know. And really, what kind of benchmark is that for understanding anything in life?

What would the world be like if all that we needed to do to flourish and to understand it was to sit around and watch? At what point are you going to admit to yourself that in order to accomplish anything, you have to go out and do something? You must learn to experience and influence the people and the world around you in order to truly elevate your intellect?

That’s the way the world works. Someone has an idea, then they do something about it and in the process of building, refining and distributing that idea, they convert it into a reality. Often creating something from nothing.

The problem is that inside of that growth comes power and with that power comes perversion.

As we begin to create and manipulate the methods of information distribution (governments, religions, businesses), power shifts to the individuals who control and manipulate the flow of that information. Often embracing the structure and benefit of power but repressing you, or anyone else from finding it for themselves. This is the problem that has lead us to where we are.

“If you are not open to the idea that everything you know might be wrong, then you are likely to be wrong about most things.”

― Raymmar Tirado ―

Think about the power that entities like Google, Facebook or the NSA have amassed recently.  All of the things we fear most about any of them are the invasions of our privacy as they manipulate the flow of our personal information.

We are seeing larger and larger power structures spring up around the flow of this precious information. As if information were becoming the ultimate and final currency. One that gives the bearer the power to control entire civilizations, regardless of their country of origin.

The first groups of man did it through grunts and chest-thumps, cave drawings, swords and story telling. Then came written languages and and eventually books. Now we have radio, television and the internet. All results of technological innovation. All brilliant in their own right, but all easily manipulated for power. All easily used to exert control over the narratives that then become the societies we live in.

Every time humanity meets a new invention that allows for the mass distribution of information we see these fluctuations in social behavior. We see new influencers emerge and old pockets of power fade. Superpowers are born, then they die or adapt to fit in with the new technology of the time.

Publishing houses, media companies, news organizations, revolutions, wars, and even new governments, all born from the desire of one man (or a group of men) to control another. The advantage always siding with whoever has the best information at the time of battle.

Winners write the history books…

So who is writing the books that are putting the thoughts inside of your head? Where did you get your understanding of life? What experiences have made you, you?

Did you get your information from the same place as everyone else or have you gone out to find it for yourself? Did you ever stop to wonder why some things stay the same while others are constantly evolving? Is it because stillness is the natural state of the universe or is it because man has intended those things to remain stagnant.

It seems to me that the universe and nature itself is always changing and evolving, always adapting to the most efficient version of itself. Why then, have we as a society stalled when it seems we should have everything we’ve ever needed to solve all of the problems we’ve ever had?

Why does it seem like humanity is sliding backwards?

Why does it feel like we are regressing as an entire species? Why can’t we make meaningful change, and how come there seems to be less-and-less on which to rest our hopes on as more-and-more changes take place around us?

How is it possible that we are still letting the same flaws that have hindered humanity since the beginning of time slow us down when everything around us seems to be speeding up?

Is it really so hard to believe that the people who would want to control you would also rather you remain ignorant. They prefer you that way. It makes the process of keeping you under their control easier. This is what we must resist.

This is the unrest we are starting to see all around us. We are watching as the established powers, fight to defend their existing control over the flow of information, while new methods of distribution pop up faster than they can be shut down.

You are seeing information fight to be free but these fights always end in ferocious battles. Sometimes in the courts but often in cold blood. And every once in a while, in grand scale with a global war.

Their power will be protected at all costs and we must no longer be willing to accept that as our reality. We must wage this war of ideas now in order to stop the oppressive war that waits for us at the end of inaction.

In what America was just-good ever good-enough?

In order to drive any meaningful change you must be willing to go hungry, to be bored. You must be willing to be uncomfortable, to do what is difficult and refuse what is easy.

It’s hard to let your intellect evolve. It’s hard to admit to yourself that you have been wrong about the things that have felt so right your entire life.

It’s almost impossible to make those changes alone. So for most of us things will stay the same, that is to say, until they’re not.

One of these days the changes will affect you. They will finally make an impact in your life and your reality as you know it will be revealed as ridiculous. You will be left running and screaming for help as if the sky were just starting to fall. But in that moment you will know that it is already too late.

In that moment you will know that your ignorance has finally failed you.

What do you think about ignorance and power? Let me know in the comments below.

Eric Liu: Why ordinary people need to understand power

A friend sent me this video as I was editing this article and it goes right along with my greater point so I thought I would share.


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Alexis de Tocqueville on Soft Tyranny

I am reading the book “Liberty Amendments” by Mark Levin and this is a quote that he references in the beginning of the book. I have read some de Tocqueville in the past, but this quote resonated with me. Alexis de Tocqueville’s was a French political thinker and historian, most famous for his work Democracy in America.

It covers the surface of society with a network of small, complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence: it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

I encourage all of my readers to read up on American history, political philosophy and discover for themselves the nature of the problems we face as a nation.

Our current state of affairs has nothing to do with Democrats vs Republicans and everything to do with the government inserting themselves into our lives as the grand puppeteers of society.

They will not break our will all at once as many expect. This big moment where things are totally different is never going to come so many people are left thinking that things are as they always have been.

In reality, they have been doing it slowly over the last 100+ years. They have created overbearing legislation and burdensome regulations. They are slowly suffocating us of our freedoms. Like the frog sitting in a pot of boiling water, we are unable to notice the gradual change in temperature, and by the time most of us realize that the water is boiling it will be too late.

Maybe it’s already too late? What do you think? How do you propose we turn things around in America?

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Has Your Entire Life Been A Lie?

“We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter.”

Denis Diderot

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Why do we walk around pretending like the whole world is telling us the truth when most of the time, we won’t even tell ourselves the truth.

We accept lies every day. From the world, from the government, from the media, from our friends, from our family and mostly, from ourselves.

We tell ourselves that we will get-to-it-tomorrow, or maybe we’ll send that email later, let me just mark it as un-read real quick.

We have all heard the excuses, “This is the last cigarette. I promise…” or “I haven’t had that many drinks, I’m good to drive.”

The truth is that we lie to ourselves every day. Shit, many of our memories are lies. Our brains are notoriously inefficient at creating accurate records of our life experiences. Sometimes we just fill in the blanks for ourselves.

Over time our imagination can even shift our reality. We start interjecting our own opinions and begin to mold our own memories while re-writing the past. Eventually our new version becomes the truth.

We lie to ourselves about past lovers and romanticize the experiences. We dwell on that someone we just broke up with, someone we couldn’t live with, yet somehow, can’t seem to let go.

We know it’s over. It probably should have been over a long time ago but we can’t bring ourselves to pull away. We live the lie of love, and love to live the lie.

We use lies to protect us from ourselves and to soften the blows from reality. We allow lies to excuse our behaviors. “Just this once…” because, “You know me, I never really do things like this!”

I’m not saying it’s right to lie, and I’m not saying it’s necessarily always wrong, I’m simply saying that it is. It’s hard wired into each of our brains and it is something we all do. No matter how much you want to pretend not to.

We don’t need to be taught how to lie, we just do it. We’ve known how to lie ever since the fist time we fucked up. From the first moment your mom looked at you with that face. The face that till this very day means only one thing. Brace for impact!

“I don’t know what happened…” or “it was the dog! I swear! Cross my fingers hope to die, stick a needle through my eye!”

Anything to deflect the truth. Anything to save face. But at the end of the day, we know what is right and what is wrong.

We all know what we should have done or how we should have done it. More likely than not we even knew how we should have done it, while we were doing it, but we still made the wrong decision.

Sometimes we even pretend to know what is best for our friends while we can’t even figure out what is right for ourselves. Something called the “Solomon Paradox” Instead of pushing ourselves to be the best, we’ve become ok with just “fitting in” with the rest.

We then shower praise upon the people who live inside of the very screens that stream the majority of these lies directly into our lines-of-sight. The actors and athletes, the affluent and the elites.

Forget working hard, just become famous. That’s what the cool kids are doing. Just do something silly, have sex in the street. Sell your soul to the devil and maybe you can get a spot on the next hot reality show.

We set our eyes on the spoils of those who have and instantly think of ourselves as the have-nots. We accept the lie of a level playing field and then lie to ourselves about why we can’t succeed on it.

We deserve our share after all! We want what they have and we would have it if only things were a little different. If only life wasn’t so hard and the world wasn’t out to get us! Poor, poor us. Whatever will we do.

Life is made up of these little lies. Things that you get to discover as you go. We love lies, fairy tales and falsehoods. We all pass them on, like a bad plague, from generation to generation.

We allow ourselves to be shackled by lies. Controlled by the system in which we live. For god’s sake, our entire monetary system is a complete lie. Digital ledgers of ones and zeros that for some reason we continue to believe in.

We lie to ourselves about why we can’t get a new job or why we can’t lose those last few pounds. Why we don’t have enough time to get it all done, or… wait, what was I saying? Hang on a sec, while I have some more fun.

The problem with lies is that they become complicated. One day you look back and you’ve wasted your youth, all of a sudden you don’t know which part of your life is a lie and which part is truth.

The world was flat, and then it wasn’t.

The sun revolved around the earth, and then it didn’t.

We knew each of those things to be true for hundreds of years before they were commonly accepted as fact, yet at the time, many still believed otherwise.

Like many before us, we have allowed lies to tear through our entire society like rust. Slowly eating through all of the structural components and now, finally out onto the surface. Leaving the entire structure weak and ready for collapse.

The truth is that our whole lives have been lies, and we are supposed to remain stupid. We have been played and will continue to be played until we decide to create the change we seek. Pawns in this game called life.

And sometimes those distortions lead to something good. Because well intentioned shifts in thought based on deeper understandings and new information, can often lead to great innovation; but sometimes it get’s out of control.

Sometimes that distorted reality can bring down an entire society.

Sometimes that house of cards collapses and brings everyone else crashing down with it. And you’d be believing another lie if you thought it was not happening again. Right now, and all around you.

And that right there, is nothing but the cold hard truth.

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5 Things You Shouldn’t Forget About This 4th Of July

A quick exploration of 5 things we would be well served to remember a little more regularly.

Today is the anniversary of our independence as a nation. A day where we will all gather to grill out, watch fireworks and maybe drink a few too many beers. All under the false pretense of celebrating an event that many of us know little about. An event that my generation has taken for granted, and would be well served to remember a little more regularly.

Today…

I want you to take a minute and think about the things that you don’t think about most every other day of your life. I want you to think about why you don’t consider them a little more closely and then think about what an amazing freedom it actually is to not have to think about it. Now imagine it gone. Exactly, I don’t like the thought of that either. So before you crack open your first brew, and before you start blowing off all your bottle rockets, take a minute and browse these 5 things we celebrate on Independence Day , yet forget daily.

1 – Our Independence Is Still Important

We should make sure not to forget that our differences are neither about opinion, nor moral belief. They’re about freedom. We forget that “all men are created equal” regardless of race, color, creed, or religion. We forget our freedoms did not come free and we forget how fragile those freedoms actually are.

“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.” – Jim Morrison-

2 – “We The People…” Means You and I

Read more from Grace about why “We The People…” Are the Problem. Please do not forget that we must first be the kind of leaders we want to see leading our government. We have to paint, with permanent ink, the words “with liberty and justice for all” on our future generations . If we want to see American values survive over the ages, then that means we have to stand up and use our voices!

“As we look over the list of the early leaders of the republic, Washington, John Adams, Hamilton, and others, we discern that they were all men who insisted upon being themselves and who refused to truckle to the people. With each succeeding generation, the growing demand of the people that its elective officials shall not lead but merely register the popular will has steadily undermined the independence of those who derive their power from popular election. The persistent refusal of the Adams’ to sacrifice the integrity of their own intellectual and moral standards and values for the sake of winning public office or popular favor is another of the measuring rods by which we may measure the divergence of American life from its starting point.” – James Truslow Adam-

3 – The Real American Dream Is Dying

We must not forget that the real American Dream is not just about buying a two story house, having one and a half kids, building a white picket fence, and getting a dog. We are allowing doors to be closed that we fought so hard to open, “from sea to shinning sea,”. But where is that fellowship when the fireworks fade?

“The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.” The Epic of America –

4 – Freedom Never Was & Never Will Be Free

We cannot forget why The Declaration of Independence is so important. It was intended to declare that the individual should be free from the oppressive tyrannical rule of power hungry politicians.  It declares that each of us is endowed by our creator (regardless of who you think that creator might be) with certain inalienable rights. Democratic, Republican, Conservative or Liberal? No! “We are the people, and we are being played.”

“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” – Declaration of Independence – 

5 – United We Stood – Divided We Failed

Most importantly, we must not forget that we are “one nation, indivisible” not a bunch of segments of society, divided and displaced! United we stand and divided we’ll fall . . . and we’re falling fast. When the holiday is over, we’ll return to our norms of complaining, rallying, debating, and “who scammed who” talk – forgetting why we stand bold in our freedoms.

‘My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!”

“If America is to be a great nation, this must become true! – Martin Luther King, Jr.

We have stood by and watched while the nation we love is destroyed and abused and stood by as these freedoms we take for granted are slowly being taken from us. It’s time for a change, America! A real change, not just some overrated rally cry. We must stand behind the laws, freedoms, and values of our land! Our soldiers have fought, our families have scarified, our children have seen tragedy and death, and now, its time! Let us all take a stand!

“The great value of life is to spend it on something that will outlast it. – James Truslow Adams –

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Corruption, Cover-Up, Controversy; The IRS Scandal For Dummies

I have not done a political podcast for a while. mostly because my views have been changing quite a bit over the last 4 months.

Listen to the full recording to hear me describe the evolution of my political perspective in a little more detail.

Why cover this?

Considering my platform, and position on the current state of political affairs, I could not ignore what was going on with the current IRS scandal in Washington. It has me in disbelief as I sit here and watch this administration tell lie after lie. I just couldn’t sit quiet and neither should you.

Please share this podcast and article with your friends and let them know it is time to realize that we are in deep shit as a country. 

Raymmar’s Rundown

So here is what is going on with the IRS scandal and why this it is absolutely ridiculous for anyone to think that this recent “hard drive failure” is just a coincidence.

This is the same administration that told us that the attacks on Benghazi were started because of a YouTube video. For two weeks they told us it was a video and then it all turned out to be a lie.

You can keep your healthcare. Lie!

I am going to shut down Guantanamo bay. Lie!

I am going to get our country out of war. Lie!

Taxes will not go up. Lie!

Lie, after lie, after lie!

This administration, which claimed it was going to be the most transparent administration of all time, has turned into one of the most power hungry and tyrannical administrations that the American people have ever seen.

To round it all off, back in 2013 it was discovered that the IRS was using its powers to target conservative political organizations and other right-leaning non-profit organizations, especially if the words “Tea Party” were in the organizations name.

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IRS Targets Conservative Groups – Click image for source reference.

Now, a few weeks ago, we find out that a bunch of emails, that just so happens to correspond with the time in question, have gone missing from the hard drive of the woman who was at the head of the IRS when it happened.

1. Shannon Bream, filling in for Megyn Kelly on Fox news – Start at 0:19

Announcing that emails were announced missing by John Koskinen and deemed to be unrecoverable.

Let me explain how these large email servers actually work and why they couldn’t have just disappeared. These systems are backed up daily, backed up across multiple servers and stored in multiple locations. There is so much redundancy in a system like this that there are probably back-ups of the back-ups. To think that these emails just disappeared is preposterous. Or is it.

What about the people who received the emails? Did those computers all crash too? Have we forgotten that in order for an email to work it has to be received as well as sent. What happened to the emails on the other end? Why can we not run the entire database through a search query and look throughout all of the other computers for emails sent by Lois Lerner and find them with a reverse look-up process. Seems logical to me.

The other thing that strikes me about that last clip is that only one out of every eight Americans that think this is suspicious. How can you look at this information think that this is anything other than a cover up. This is simply a pitiful attempt to cover up the even larger conspiracy, which is that this administration was systematically picking off its political opponents by means of regulation, excessive audit and general molestation by the Internal Revenue Service.

We have seen the IRS grow by more than 16,000 agents just to enforce the healthcare legislation and if this is any indication of what conservative groups will be facing in the years to come, then there is a lot to be worried about.

2.  Mark Thiessen – From  American Enterprise Institute on Fox News. – Start at 5:59

Now apparently, the Democrats are in a tizzy too? Give me a break. Again, this is just part of the game and I predict that both sides of the political aisle will come together to cover this up because there is too much at stake here. The IRS is the largest weapon the government has to control the people. It is the system by which all of their revenue is collected and to think that anyone of them is going to let something bring it all down then you have another thing coming.

What we will see is a “bi-partisan effort” to get this scandal under control and bury it any way they can. Probably in the upcoming 4th of July weekend which I think is even more ironic. As we watch our liberties slowly disappear, we also celebrate the anniversary of our independence.

To make things worse, we also find out that 6 other employees, who are also under investigation have miraculously had their emails disappear as well. How stupid do these guys really think we are?

This is absolutely absurd and it just goes to show the level of corruption that we have allowed to take over this entire government. Think about how corrupt the entire system must be for them to think that they can get away with something like this.

The crazy part is that they probably will. Much like the other lies and cover-ups from this current administration, this will get swept under the rug and we will all forget about it soon enough.

This is what happens when you get government organizations with unchecked power. The IRS has had unrestricted rule for a while, and now we are watching the Executive Branch take their lead and step out on their own. They are taking more power and making congress more and more irrelevant every day.

3.  The arrogance of Obama talking to Bill O’Reily. Start at 0:50

Back to President Obama last year. In this next clip he is talking to Bill O’Reily about the IRS scandal and asking why Douglas Shulman, former IRS Chief had been to the White house so many times over the last year? 157 times to be exact.

Listen to the arrogance. Look at his face while he sits there. He can not believe that he is being asked these questions.

It seems like he is asking us why we won’t just sweep this under the rug? Do you hear what he is saying here? He is literally wondering why we won’t just let them bury this. His face screams “Why are you asking me so many questions?”

First of all, lets look at the number of visits to the White House from the head of the IRS. 157 to be exact. And we are to believe that he didn’t meet with this guy once? Not even to say hi? I find that hard to believe.

If you would like to see more about who is visiting the white house and why it matters then click here.

This is nothing new though. President Obama has a long history of allowing his political operatives access to the White House. Andy Stern from SEIU has been there more than 20 times, 677 Billionaires have come to see Obama in the white house out of 1326 logged visits. Throw in another 50 for top political donors and a couple other hundred misc donors, lobbyists, etc and it is not hard to see a pattern in the type of political games that are being played here.

Obama then goes on to tell us “That is not what happened.” He expects us to believe him as if he never lied to us before. “There have been multiple hearings on this.” he says, although there has been no conclusion or verdict reached and there is no hard evidence to refute anything other than this being a scandal. Now you throw in these missing emails and things really start to get suspicious.

“It only comes up because people like you keep bringing it up.” Obama continues, talking about how it is O’Reily’s fault that people are still talking about it. As if it is the medias fault that this is still an issue. Again, telling us to just let it go.

Later in the video,  President Obama passes the blame to the political organizations inability to understand the tax law and then goes on to say that there is “not even a smidgen of corruption.”

I agree that the tax law might be complicated but how come there were so few liberal or left leaning organizations caught up in the confusion? If it was just a difficult law, then you would think that there would be at least some level of fallibility from groups on both sides of the political aisle. But that is not what is going on here. The majority of the targeted organizations were conservative or right leaning which points to this having been a planned political attack and not just a fluke.

You have to watch the whole clip to appreciate the presidents complete arrogance while being questioned. In the podcast, I try to point out his laughter and smugness but it is plain as day in this video.

4. Obama calls IRS scandals phony. Start at 2:18

Check out this montage of Obama and his press mouthpiece calling these scandals phony.

It is like he is telling us to just quit paying attention. Seriously, these are just made up scandals and Washington problems. He wants us to believe that there is nothing to see here. No need to bother yourself with this. Just go back to your Kardashians. Does anyone have a line on the next sext tape?

So now this is a phony made-up scandal, but somehow the missing emails are real, and they just happen to be from the time in question. Additionally, 6 other employees that are also under investigation have had this mysterious corruption affect them as well.

It’s all just too difficult to believe if you ask me. I think that the average person paying attention would also be hard pressed to think that this was actually just a mistake.

5. Jon Koskinen talking to congress. Start at 0:00

In this video, temporary head of the IRS Jon Koskinen, is finishing up his prepared testimony in front of congress.  He then goes on to talk about how all of the emails after the investigation are still there. As if anyone actually ared about the emails that have been sent since the event.

I couldn’t listen to it for much longer than a few minutes but I was astonished at what I heard in that short time.

What I want to know is what these guys are hiding from us? Why won’t they produce those emails? And how out of touch must they actually be, if they think we are going to believe this line of crap.

We are coming up on a point in history where we either stand up or we get run over. The people in power are getting bold and if we let this go by then they will know that they can get anything over on us. If this thing goes unsolved then they will know that they can lie to our face and tell us whatever they want. We will eat it up and the media will be right there to help them sell it to you.

I remember growing up as a kid and learning about the Watergate scandal. I remember thinking about how crazy it would be to see a president resign and how the people of that time must have felt. What is happening now makes Watergate look like a joke and if you think this is something that is just happening in the IRS then you would sadly mistaken. This is something that is systemic and this level of inbred corruption has infiltrated every level of our political establishment.

Where are the people in the streets? Where is the outrage from the public?

At what point are people going to realize that this is all a charade. When will we realize that the elites are finally getting bold enough to do what they have always done. They are staking claims to their power and soon we will lose any semblance of what is left of the republic. This has little to do with a technological failure and everything to do with power and corruption. This has all happened before because all societies eventually self destruct. We just happened to learn how to do it faster than most might have expected.

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So what happens next? Will they just sweep this under the rug and let it go or will we actually get an answer? Will there be any change? Leave your thoughts in the comments or click below to join us in the forums.

We The People… Are The Problem

Grace Durbin takes us on an exploration of human behaviors and why more often than not, we (humans) are at the center of what ails us as a society.

We have problem America . . . And It’s Us.

It’s convenient to focus our vexation at our country’s ever-present adversity on impractical venues such as government. After all, we can vote, complain, rant and rave, post bumper stickers, and invest in campaigns, but we really can’t change much. Yet, what do we do in an effort to make changes? We find someone who resembles ourselves, carries our morals, and will do what we want them to do (we think). Then, we go vote for our hopeful savior; signed, sealed, delivered! Whew! We did our part! Now, what’s for dinner?

Six months later . . . we’ll find ourselves right back where we started.

We’ll point to the president, news and media, Wall Street, guns, drugs, poverty; anything to keep us from looking at the real picture:

“We the people” are the problem!

The solution begins with us. If we cannot make a change there, then we shouldn’t even bother showing up to vote, because we have already failed!

After my previous article, I found myself engaged in many debates about guns. Soon, I realized I was saying the same thing over and over again,“We have a people problem.”

The more I thought on that, the more media stories flooded my mind, and they all had a common denominator . . .

People.

Recently the Slender Man case that’s been monopolizing the media has sparked the ethical debate of whether or not children should be tried as adults. As I watched the masses respond, I was appalled. Of course it was a horrible tragedy, but among the comments were remarks such as, “Hang em’!” “Death penalty!” “It’s a shame what our children have become!”

Yet, didn’t we establish and sustain a justice system specifically for juveniles? Didn’t we do that because they are, indeed, children; by the same age limit we established as law! Children have not changed. We have changed. We’re not legally focused anymore. We’re emotionally charged! It’s justice/revenge to the full extent of the law! But . . . What about those two 12-year-old girls? Didn’t we create that law to protect them, too?

People.

Not long before that, I found myself shocked that an elementary school student’s Gender Identity Disorder made the media, announcing how a boy had returned to school as a girl. I was angered by every media outlet that felt it was okay to make her a hot topic for debate, but I was even more upset at the people. Again, I watched as the comments filled the thread, “This nation’s going to hell.” “That’s why homosexuals shouldn’t raise kids.” (The child was raised by a loving mother and father.) “I don’t want my kids exposed to that!”

Yet, do we not still fight for freedom? Have our forefathers, sons, mothers, fathers, not died defending our freedoms for every American citizen? Like selfish fools we disregarded her privacy, her vulnerability, her age, her disorder, her family, and we did what we do best, America! We made it all about us, that same word again . . .

People.

American Schools Are STILL Racist,” wrote, Joy Resmovits for the Huffington Post. I can’t get the beginning of that title out of my mind. Why didn’t this article go viral? Why weren’t we angered by that? Who stood up to make a change? Who took action? Who talked about racism with their children?

Why are we not angered, enraged, to see any adult take his fists to a child, even if that child is a teenager? An adult is 18 years of age as defined by law! How do we stand back so smugly and announce on public networks, “That bus driver can drive my kids to school every day of the week!”

Then we look at ourselves, our nation, our families, our children, and we wonder what we’ve become and where we went wrong?

WE THE PEOPLE!!

That means all of us- you and me.

It means: if we want our schools safer we should keep our homes safe.

If we want our streets free of crime, we need to be crime free, and teach our children the same!

If we want guns to be controlled, we need to control guns within our homes.

If we want our children to love and respect others, we should love and respect them and others, inside our home, at the dinner table, on the phone, in conversation with friends; when we’re happy, mad, tired or stressed!

It means that if we want change as a nation, we have to change as a “people!”

Time is of the essence.

We cannot stand back one more second and believe we have the right to shake our heads at our young people while setting such a poor example, of the heart of America, ourselves . . .

Not when the most important culture this country thrives upon starts at our own front doors.

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A Sneak Peek At Sarasota Underground – Frank Maggio

In this episode of RayDO uncensored…

Raymmar talks to Mr Sarasota himself. Frank Maggio talks about being a young professional in Sarasota County and other nationally noteworthy topics. Stay tuned to the very end to get a sneak peek at Sarasota Underground and what I am working on here locally in Sarasota Florida.

2:24 – Start here to skip intro

We introduce our guest (Frank Maggio) and give a brief i ntro of what we will discuss in the podcast. I just know that sometimes you don’t want to wait before you dig right in so I am going to start including the time mark for when we come out of our intro music.

3:00 – An unplanned dip into the Global Warming debate

We hadn’t planned on talking about this but somehow Frank and I start talking about global warming or “climate change,” – or whatever other politically correct term they come up with it to hide the political agenda behind global warming. I have recently been reading research and other arguments on both side of the global warming debate and I think I have a common-sense based approach to the issue. Most of the Global Warming debate is really just a shell game that will allow corporate giants to become even more powerful as we as allowing the government to insert themselves into another portion of our everyday lives.

7:22 – How the people pendulum swings

We live in an information rich world where everything is bad for you, until it isn’t and then it is good for you, until it isn’t. Rinse, lather, repeat. We spend so much time reacting immediately to information that we just got, that we often overreact and have no real ability to understand it completely and how it really affects us. We run screaming from scientific report to scientific report that all give us conflicting views. First, salt is really bad for you, and then it isn’t. Milk is good for you, then milk is bad for you. Don’t you ever just get tired of the back-and-forth of this yo-yo style, science-saturated society, that we currently live in?

8:55 – It’s about the individual perspective

One of the biggest problems in living in such an overly reactionary time in history is that we are really only capable of understanding the world through the lens of our individual time on earth. This leaves us with a fairly limited perspective of the true impact of anything we do as humans. It’s easy to see how our overall perspectives might be a little limited, considering that the average life span of a human being is around 80 years, and most of the changes in nature, evolution and societies take place over the span of thousands or even millions of years. In this segment we also talk about minding our own business and how we might be better off as a society if we all just did a little better job of minding our own business as opposed to that of our neighbors.

11:38 – Giving people power

I talk a lot about finding your super power and in this podcast we talk about giving other people power over us and how that influences society. Are we giving away too much power? Are we sure that giving any person, or group of people, this much power on a mass scale is really a good idea? The problem behind our flawed corporate and political structures is this aggregation of power and wealth. Not in the middle class but at the very top. And inside of the structures that they build for themselves to play in. Religion is tied back into minding your own business and not having to take advantage of people in an effort to grow and we move into the next section where we talk about the coming economic revolution.

14:54 – An economic revolution

After chatting about government and large corporate corruption for a while, we dive into the transition that is happening in workplaces across the entire country. The results only work environment is allowing peple to be more productive and still live a free life. We are working towards an environment where the individual is being empowered to once again, become the entrepreneur. People are waking up to the fact that they do not have to live and work inside of the social confines that have restricted the conscious development of our entire society. The progress that we have made over the last decade with the technological advancements that have come. Take a look at our recent breakdown of the history of social media and you can get a taste for how fast it has all come upon us.

17:20 – The new entrepreneur

The future of inventions will come from the aggregation of the data that is currently being collected about each and every one of us. This creates opportunity for the resourceful entrepreneur and the individuals who strive for excellence.

19:00 – Getting back to getting good

The drive to split off from the machine in an attempt to create beautiful products. As we empower the individual entrepreneur, we are seeing true free-market capitalism flourish online because it is the last truly free market.

21:44 – Locking down the middle class

The basic destruction of the middle class and the vilification of success. Did you earn what you have? Or are you standing on the shoulders of the people that came before you.

23:04 – Becoming a self made man

Why it is important to succeed on your own and pass that on to your children as your true legacy.

26:10 – Does capitalism really suck?

I mention an article I wrote about why people who think capitalism sucks are just pain stupid and then talk a little bit about my views on the current economic system and where we are headed. Are we creating a defacto Oligarchy?

27:15 – Northwestern football players unionizing

Is college football growing out of control? How do we solve some of the issues facing the players, schools and NCAA. I agree that there might be a problem with the current system but I am not sure that unionization is the way to go. Listen to Frank and I discuss the concept of football players unionizing.

35:50 – It’s all about the hustle

College is no guarantee for success. College sports are no different and more than anything, the person behind the education and how they look at the world is more important than the education itself. The drive of the individual is more important than any education because that person will always find a way to have the right skills for whatever job they are attacking in that specific moment.

38:40 – You have to perfect your art

Get good at something. Find something that makes you happy, find a way to get good at it and push your self to become the best you possible.

41:20 Building a system of values inside of a university

How can we fight the culture in our schools when we are turning these student athletes into gods. Can a coach really change a kids outlook on life? How much influence does the coach really have to affect or instill morals and values in their players if they do not already have them when they get there.

45:10 – Everyone wants to be a celebrity

Some people get paid to perform on a field or in front of a camera but most of the real players in the world are getting paid to perform for no audience other than the people that they surround themselves with. More importantly, most of us act and pretend for ourselves.

46:05 – Medical marijuana legalized in Florida?

Is it all about taxes? We didn’t talk about it too long but we did jump into the legalization of weed in Florida and whether medical use is legitimate or whether they should just pass it as a recreational drug. What do you think?

50:45 – Introducing Sarasota Underground

Why I am going to take over the media scene in the city of Sarasota. I introduce my concept for Sarasota Underground and what we are working on here in this city to change the status quo.

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A History of Social Media & The Future of Politics

The purpose of this article is to explain the social media adoption curve, the growth of the internet as a whole, and to help you understand how it will all affect the American political machine moving forward.

A Brief History of Social Media

Social media is a broad term. Social media websites are quickly becoming the communication hubs for new, digital nations. Nations which are forming all around us right now, without borders or geographic reach. Places where people can come together to interact and engage each other freely, share ideas, and gossip about life.

They have become real time forums for exchanging information, pictures, status updates and even piddly little arguments. And let’s not forget the amount of business that is transacted on the internet each year. They have become a large part of our pop culture and a primary means for the majority of internet users to interact with each other, even from across the globe.

The question then becomes, what will the next evolution of technology and social communication look like, and how will it affect the world around you? And more specifically, for the purpose of this article, how it could affect the next major American election cycle.

As web technology evolves, and the web becomes more interactive, it becomes easier and easier for the average person to get involved and make an impact. For some punk kid like me to come out of nowhere, and reach an audience that was only possible as part of a big boy media network.

This evolution of technology and innovation is empowering the creative class like never before, and it does’t mean that the big boys are going away anytime soon, but it does open the doors for a digital revolution. But for now, back to the topic at hand.

Social Media Adoption Timeline

In order to truly understand the speed at which everything is moving, let’s look at the major milestones in the timeline of social media development over the last 20 years. For more social media stats, click here.

1994

  • More than 1,500 Web servers were online in 1994 and people were referring to the Internet as the Information Superhighway.

1995

1997

  • The Web had one million sites.
  • Blogging begins.
  • AOL Instant Messenger lets users chat.

1998

  • Google opens as a major Internet search engine and index.

2000

  • In the world of business and commerce, the dot.com bubble burst and the future online seemed bleak as the millennium turned.
  • Seventy million computers were connected to the Internet.

2001

  • Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia and world’s largest wiki, was started.
  • This is also the time Apple started selling iPods.

2002

  • Friendster, a social networking website, was opened to the public in the U.S. and grew to 3 million users in three months.
  • AOL had 34 million members.

2003

  • MySpace. another social networking website, was launched as a clone of Friendster.
  • Linden Lab opened the virtual world Second Life on the Internet.
  • LinkedIn was started as a business-oriented social networking site for professionals.
  • There were more than 3 billion Web pages.
  • Apple introduced the online music service iTunes.

2004

  • Facebook, another social networking website, was started for students at Harvard College. It was referred to at the time as a college version of Friendster.
  • MySpace surpassed Friendster in page views.
  • Podcasting began on the Internet.
  • Flickr image hosting website opened.
  • Digg was founded as a social news website where people shared stories found across the Internet.

2005

  • News Corporation, buys MySpace.
  • YouTube began storing and retrieving videos.
  • There were more than 8 billion Web pages.

2006

  • MySpace was the most popular but Facebook would take away that lead later, in 2008.
  • Twitter was launched
  • Facebook membership was expanded and opened to anyone over age 13.
  • Google had indexed more than 25 billion web pages, 400 million queries per day, 1.3 billion images, and more than a billion Usenet messages.

2007

  • Microsoft bought a stake in Facebook.
  • Apple released the iPhone multimedia and Internet smartphone.

2008

  • Facebook surpassed MySpace in the total number of monthly unique visitors. Meanwhile, Facebook tried unsuccessfully to buy Twitter.

2009 

  • Facebook ranked as the most-used social network worldwide with more than 200 million. The site’s traffic was twice that of MySpace.
  • Unfriend was the New Oxford American Dictionary word of the year.
  • By this time It’s estimated that a quarter of Earth’s population used the Internet.
  • Google saw one trillion unique URLs — after eliminating duplicate entries.
  • The Internet had at least 27 billion web pages and could have had as many as 58 billion web pages. They changed so many times a day it was nearly impossible to count.

2010

  • Facebook’s rapid growth moved it above 400 million users,
  • Apple released the iPad tablet
  • The Democratic National Committee advertised for a social networks manager to oversee President Barack Obama’s accounts on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.
  • It was estimated the population of Internet users was 1.97 billion. That was almost 30 percent of the global population.
  • This was also the first time the Internet had surpassed newspapers as a primary way for Americans to get news,

2011

  • more than 550 million people on Facebook, 65 million tweets sent through Twitter each day, and 2 billion video views every day on YouTube. LinkedIn has 90 million professional users.
  • Public sharing of so much personal information via social media sites raised concern over privacy.
  • It was estimated Internet users would double by 2015 to a global total of some four billion users, or nearly 60 percent of Earth’s population.

2012

  • Some 2 billion people around the world use the Internet and social media, while 213 million Americans use the Internet via computers while 52 million use the Web via smartphone and 55 million use it via tablets.
  • People also connect to the Internet via handheld music players, game consoles, Internet-enabled TVs and e-readers.
  • The top ten social networks are Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, WordPress, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, MySpace and Wikipedia.
  • More than half of adults 25-34 use social media at the office. Almost a third of young adults 18-24 use social media in the bathroom. All use social networks to stay connected with acquaintances, be informed and be amused.
  • Advertisers look to social “likes” to enhance brand visibility.
  • Facebook reached a billion users in 2012.

The Age of You Tube:

  • YouTube has more than 800 million users each month with more than 1 trillion views per year or around 140 views for every person on Earth.
  • Seventy percent of YouTube traffic comes from outside the U.S.
  • YouTube is local in 43 countries and uses 60 languages.
  • 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute with more than 4 billion hours of video watched each month on YouTube.

2013

  • YouTube topped one billion monthly users with 4 billion views per day
  • Facebook user total climbed to 1.11 billion. 200% growth in 2 years
  • Twitter had 500 million registered users, with more than 200 million active.
  • LinkedIn had 225 million users, while MySpace had 25 million users.
  • Pinterest had 48.7 million users, while WordPress hosted 74 million blogs.
  • Dropbox had more than 100 million users with 1 billion files uploaded daily.
  • Google+ had 343 million users.
  • Reddit had 69.9 million monthly users, with 4.8 billion monthly page views.
  • There were 156 million blogs. Blogs, online videos and podcasts continue to be staples for marketers.

Where do people use social media?

An Australian survey found that as a percentage, social network users logged on…

  • 34% at work
  • 13% at school
  • 18% in the car
  • 44% in bed
  • 7% in the bathroom
  • 6% on the toilet.

Social Networking Fact Sheet

Highlights of the Pew Internet Project’s research related to social networking.

Click here for a link to a current version of these stats and the source for this graphic

As of September 2013 — 73% of online adults use social networking sites

  • 71% of online adults use Facebook
  • 18% of online adults use Twitter
  • 17% use Instagram
  • 21% use Pinterest
  • 22% use LinkedIn

In May 2013, 74% of women were users of social networking sites, compared with 62% of men.

For a detailed demographic portrait of users of various social networking sites please see this recent report, Social Media Update 2013.

Early Adopters & Growth Curve

It is not hard to guess that the earliest of adopters were the 18-29 age segment which is made up mostly of millennials.

Between February 2005 and August 2006, the use of social networking sites among young adult internet users ages 18-29 jumped from 9% to 49%. Social networking site use by age group, over time:

As it stands now, the total percentage of 18-24 year olds who already use social media is at 98%

Mobile Adoption

As social networking sites grow and evolve, so do the means of accessing them.

Mobile phones are quickly replacing desktops and laptops as the primary means of accessing the internet as well as interacting with social media applications. Native iPhone and Android apps make up a large part of direct traffic to each of the major social networks, and many are starting to design their entire experiences with mobile as their number one priority.

A battle for eyeballs which is taking place right in front of our eyes.

40% of cell phone owners use a social networking sites on their phone, and 28% do so on a typical day.

Social-networking-on-mobile-phones

Holy shit! That’s some social growth!

Social media is upon us in full force. Furthermore, as trends continue to develop social media will evolve and become a larger piece of the entire internet culture.

As websites begin to implement more social features and developers find ways to make the process of building social websites easier for the average person, you will see an almost imminent adoption of niche style social networks built around small, targeted interests.

“Instead of lobbying happening in the back rooms in Washington, it will take place all around us.”

Privacy concerns will continue to grow, and security will become an even more important part of our daily internet activity.

Masses will flock to seek shelter from spying governments and over powered online collectors of information such as Google and Facebook.

We are on the precipice of a new economic explosion. One where information dictates your status in society and your ability to control and manage your digital presence is becoming something we all need to worry about.


 

From here forward, I’ll be explaining some of my theories on how all this information will come together in the future, to help you understand the progression of social media and the effect it will have on our entire political system.

Voter demographics

Who votes?

 

Social media is good for online discourse, but in the real world. people who show up have all the power. Something that social media has failed to replicate. At least for now.

That being said, lets look at some voter demographics and find out if the same people that are using social media are actually voting and what conclusions we can draw based on the growth trends of social media and the voter turnout trends over the last 20 years.

Voter turn out by age 

This is a chart illustrating voter turnout by sex and age for the 2008 US Presidential Election. The source is the U.S. Census Bureau. I used the 2008 election because it was the highest voter turnout in the last decade. It also represents the last election before mass adoption of social media and as we discussed already, there were massive disparities between the two sides of the political aisle and their social media adoption rates. Disparities that have grown exponentially since the 2008 election.

Voter Registration vs. Turnout by Age

This chart takes a look at voter registration, turnout, and turnout-of-registered trends across the past four presidential elections in the United States: 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008. The data come from the Current Population Survey and are smoothed to reduce the variability across age due to survey sampling. — source

Voter-registration-and-turnut-by-age

Voter turn out year over year 

A comparison of year over year voter turnout over the last 18 years. The bold text indicates it was a presidential election year.

YEAR VOTING-AGE
POPULATION
VOTER
REGISTRATION
VOTER TURNOUT TURNOUT OF VOTING-AGE 
POPULATION (PERCENT)
2012 240,926,957 NA 130,234,600 57.5
2010 235,809,266 NA 90,682,968 37.8
2008 231,229,580 NA 132,618,580* 62.3 
2006 220,600,000 135,889,600 80,588,000 37.1
2004 221,256,931 174,800,000 122,294,978 60.4
2002 215,473,000 150,990,598 79,830,119 37.0
2000 205,815,000 156,421,311 105,586,274 51.3
1998 200,929,000 141,850,558 73,117,022 36.4
1996 196,511,000 146,211,960 96,456,345 49.1
1994 193,650,000 130,292,822 75,105,860 38.8

Read more about these numbers: National Voter Turnout in Federal Elections: 1960–2010 | Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781453.html#ixzz2x0wTNOtb

There was a substantial drop in voter turnout from the 2004 and 2008 elections which is interesting because this correlates with a massive increase in the social media timeline. You can also look at the difference between social media presence between Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. Obama had Romney beat by a substantial margin which might have helped demoralize the republicans and decreased their excitement to even vote, feeling that the election was out of their hands already.

I feel like this more than anything was the value of social media in the last few elections. They served more as a demoralization engine, making the other party believe they had already lost. Leave out the arguments about the weak candidates as that theory only increases the effectiveness of poor social strategies. President Obama and the Democrat Party used Social Media flawlessly since its inception and there is much to be learned from them. More than I could ever cover in this short report.

Much like the mainstream media, social media will have to be mastered by any politician hoping to compete on a national stage moving forward. A shift that will leave some of the existing political class a little exposed and scrambling for help on their campaign teams.

Voter confidence levels

Do people still believe in their elected officials?

The american people are absolutely fed up with the federal government. With an insatiable thirst for power and an inability to spend within their means the United States Government has completely lost touch with its citizens and the voter turnouts reflect their lack of confidence. Voter apathy and overall engagement are down because the Amreican people have been beaten into thinking that nothing they do matters. All the decisions are to be made in Washington and the people be damned.

Presidential approval ratings are down, congressional approval ratings are down and most Americans would be ok with throwing all of Washington DC out on their asses. How come no one is talking about term limits for everyone? How come no one is talking about anything drastically different than what we have done to get us up to this point.

No matter how social politics gets, there is no changing anything until engagement and political education as a whole increase across America.

Presidential approval rating over the last 4 years

In this next chart, you can see the timeline of voter confidence in President Barack Obama as determined by ABC’s Voter Confidence Index.

presidential-approval-rating

Congressional approval rating over the last 5 years

This chart shows congressional approval ratings since 2009. The highest they have been at any point since then is 39% which is disgusting in and of itself, even if you do not take into consideration the current low of 13% and the all time low of 9% congressional approval which we set at the end of 2013.

congressional-job-approval

The American People Are Just Fed Up and Tuned Out

The overwhelming majority of America feels that their voice is not making a difference and they have completely tuned out. They are made to feel like they cant make a difference which then creates a self fulfilling prophecy.

By looking at the charts of the social adoption levels by age and comparing them to the average voter demographics you start to see that the majority of younger voters, although involved in social media are not necessarily voting at the same rate. This might lead you to believe that social media is not that effective in swinging a major election but that would make you really wrong.

As you can see by the information below, Barack Obama had an overwhelming advantage over Mitt Romney in regards to social media in general. With this kind of ass kicking online, it is easy to see how much of the voter base for the opposition might have felt defeated already.

 

View original infographice on inc.com

We like to pretend

Because my generation likes to pretend that they are involved, they will share the pretty stuff with their friends. Apparently, we only care about skin deep, so send out a tweet with a cool picture and some catchy words on it and you got us hook line and sinker. No way we might actually care about the meat of the issue, we’ll just forward it on as the truth. Even worse is their assumption that we wouldn’t be able to understand the issue. Maybe that is why they treat us like they do. Maybe we are too stupid to understand, after-all, we do keep making the same mistakes over and over! #GenerationStupid

If you plan on running a successful campaign, either nationally or regionally, you need to master the art of marketing and making effective social connections. Design, messaging and copy-writing are all things that must be part of a strong online campaign in order to have a chance against a social media savvy opponent.

Politics is evolving and so is the battle ground of ideas. As technology creeps into every facet of our lives we will have to fundamentally shift the way we recieve, interact with and are impacted by, information. We are seeing it in all facets of life, and politics will be no different. It just so happens that the people who run the political world are not the ones who run the social sphere… yet.

Politicians need to understand that they should be using the same tactics they would use for a strong inbound marketing campaign. the same concepts that help drive people to take action online are the same tactics that can drive people to the polls. Companies are adopting it by the masses and any politician who wants to have a chance moving forward would be well served to do the same.

The future of Politics 

As we enter into an age of massive information we will see the political playing field be expanded, shifted, morphed and manipulated in ways that we have not even thought about. Well.. maybe you have not thought about it yet but this shit keeps me up at night.

The next few segments will cover my thoughts on the current information age, how it is being used as a political tool and where this road we are on leads us.

We live in an Information Age

In 2010, Google CEO Eric Schmidt did an interview with Tech Crunch in which he talked about the rate at which we are generating information. The excerpts below give you a taste of what is coming but even this is almost 4 years old.

Every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003, according to Schmidt. That’s something like five exabytes of data, he says.

The real issue is user-generated content,” Schmidt said. He noted that pictures, instant messages, and tweets all add to this.

I spend most of my time assuming the world is not ready for the technology revolution that will be happening to them soon,” Schmidt said.

In this article from science daily they tell us that upwards of 90% of all of the worlds data has been generated in the last 2 years.

These numbers are astounding. What this really means is that we are just barely stepping into the world of being able to dissect and understand all of this data. As I mentioned before, businesses, politicians and more importantly governments are all scrambling for ways to collect, understand and exploit the data they are collecting.

Information is the new currency

Related: The Future of Sales: Understanding Information as a Currency

The more information we generate, the more people will scramble to find interesting ways to assemble, analyze and monetize that information. Because of this you will see a whole new world of digital innovation.

We are on the precipice of a technological revolution that will fundamentally change the entire world much like the industrial revolution did. This is not a dot.com bubble or anything else. Inventions will be made from the assembly of massive data sets and artificial intelligence will eventually predict the future.

This is some world changing, god making, human breaking type shit. As we reach a point where technology and humanity collide there will be a fundamental shift in the value and understanding of currency. It will no longer be based on fiat (paper) money, but it will be about the secure exchange of information from one place to another.

Your value to the world will be based on your ability to gather, or produce quantifiable and actionable information. How many data points can they get from you in order to know you more completely. Just like Amazon serves you the products you want, and Google tailors your search results based on your overall browsing patterns, the information you give other people will help them understand you completely. This will in turn lead to them being able to control you completely.

As information becomes more instant, web bots and sophisticated artificial intelligence will become better at predicting large patterns of human behavior. There will be a time where the pulse of the people will be able to be taken in real time. Where crime will be predicted before it is committed and where our individual rights to privacy will be a distant memory as we are video taped, recorded and monitored at an unimaginable pace.

The future of America and politics in a post social media world is an interesting one to say the least. There are many things to learn but the one thing to keep in mind is that it is anyone’s game at this point. It is up to us to decide how we use this technology and whether we let it become part of the status quo, or whether we use it to flip the entire system on its head!

The personalization of politics

As politicians learn to use online relationship building to get closer with their voter base, the need to be more transparency and the ability to hide from your constituents will become more difficult. I see a future of truly transparent politics that will be made possible by technology.

Imagine being able to hold your politicians accountable in real time. Imagine if there was an app that showed you their voting record and allowed you to chart it against their promises. What if you could even immediately give feedback to your elected officials. Imagine really giving the power back to the people by forcing our elected officials to serve the people as opposed to themselves.

As technology evolves and we get better at understanding how to take advantage of this network that is the internet, we will see an evolution in many things. I predict the digital voting debate is not too far around the corner and there are many more evolutions to come.

Right now there are very few people with the budget and infrastructure to take advantage of all of this information. As it becomes more main stream, as the technology evolves, it will allow us to connect and interact like never before. Something that should be as intriguing as it is intimidating.

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Redefining American Politics: Meet The Conservative Hippie

“What happens when both parties are completely corrupt and the ivory towers are falling down?”

A Little background on me and my upbringing

I am a rare breed to say the least. A breath of fresh air for some and a pain in the ass for others.

Unwilling to succumb to the status-quo, determined to bring about real change. Dedicated to proving that America is, was, and always will be the greatest country ever know to man.

I was raised in a Christian home by loving parents who emigrated from Puerto Rico in the early 80′s. Puerto Rican born citizens are automatically citizens of the United States but other than that, the similarities between my family story and any modern day immigrant are eerily similar.

My dad: was a poor country boy, who grew up in New York until he was 7 and then moved back to Puerto Rico where they lived with no running water or electricity. I’ve seen the house and it always blows my mind when I think of what that must have been like.

My mom: was the rich city girl (if you can call Guayama PR a city) who fell in love with the country boy. They decided to get married and come to the states for my dad to finish his degree. I was already in the womb when they came over. Apparently I was a journey man before birth.

They were on a quest to make a better life for themselves and open doors for their children that had never been opened for them. They were as lost as a couple from a small island might be after moving from their homeland, to a much larger city, learning to cope with the cold winters, and mostly just trying to figuring out how to survive.

We lived a simple life…

My parents took us to church most Sunday’s while we were growing up (against my will most of the time), but I learned the bible and its message all while rebelling in my own way.

I was a renegade from early on. I remember always questioning authority and giving my parents a hard time. You could say I was the text book case study on how to be a black sheep.

My sister is a few months and a year older than me and my brother is about 3 years younger. There I sat, right in the middle of a five person household, in a modest cape cod style home (with only one bathroom, I-might-add). The house sat one block away from some of the rougher neighborhoods on the north side of Columbus Ohio.

The rules I learned to play by

Ever since I can remember, I’ve played this game called life by my own rules. Running around questioning authority and pushing the limits of acceptability; often crossing over the proverbial line-in-the-sand which usually carried it’s own own set of consequences.

Most of the time, my efforts lead to a tanned hide at the hands of my moms favorite wooden spoon or my fathers leather belt which was branded with his name. Something he had picked up on a recent trip to Mexico.

No matter which of them was reminding me how much of a screw up I had just been, I learned early on that decisions had consequences. I learned that the choices I made, were not un-makable and that once I did what I did, I would get what I had coming.

“I know I have something special waiting for me when I eventually have children because of the nightmares I must have given my parents growing up.”

Sometimes I deserved every bit of the whooping I got, but most of the time, I deserved more.

How much have I really learned?

I can’t say I really learned anything because I still make all sorts of mistakes. However, the way I see the world is what they truly affected. I might mess up once in a while but they instilled good values. They taught me the most important things and left it up to me to learn the rest.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but now I can appreciate that tough love more than ever, as I watch a culture of idiocy sprouting up all around me, I wonder if I will do half as good a job raising my children as they did raising me.

There are so many children running around unchecked by neutered parents, unwilling and unable to be restrained. Entitled to everything, working for nothing and otherwise raising themselves in a society that becomes more and more unrecognizable as time goes on.

Lost, wandering around aimlessly, unprepared for the rude awakening that will surely find them one day soon. Unaware of the backhand that awaits around one of the next corners in their maze called life. The smack down they desperately need and undoubtedly deserve.

Growing up liberal, err… creative.

I have always been a man of the arts. I remember on one of our family trips to Puerto Rico as a child, my mom tried to bribe me with bubble gum to sing for random members of the family. I was part of at least 4 different choirs growing up, attended a Commercial Arts program my senior year of high school and would attend a prestigious design school to study industrial design when I graduated high school.

My mom would later tell me that at times she worried I might turn out to be gay… Me? I just loved to create and capture my ideas. First visually, then later through my words. It would become an addiction I would never break.

As a child I remember drawing all the time. It started when I was younger. I used to copy characters (X-Men mostly) out of the comic books I used to collect. One time I remember showing one of the drawings to my dad. He looked at it and told me there was no way I could have drawn it. He said that I must have traced it. I persisted and showed him the comic book I had copied it from. When he compared the drawings and saw that the scale didn’t match he had nothing left to do but apologize for telling me he thought I traced it.

My time as a liberal…

Lasted about as long as a blink of an eye in the grand scheme of things.

I still remember thinking at one point, that money was silly and that people should just have what they needed and give what they could. I never studied Marxism formally but there was a time in my life where I believed in the ideology of socialism and the principles of communism. I think it is a natural progression in the development of a curious mind. The exploration of a truly ideal society is appealing to everyone at some level.

Even to this day I understand the appeal of that ideology. I understand the desire to believe in a Utopian society where people are always good, have everything they need and there is no suffering anywhere.

I quickly discovered that this utopia I dreamed of would be impossible to actually pull off. There is no chance for a perfect society, and there can be no equality in life, whether talking about outcome or income. America was the closest man will ever come to a true Utopia and we are doing all we can do to destroy it.

Later in life I would get an opportunity to chase my dreams, but I also learned early on that it would be the hard work that paid off in the end. The road would be bumpy and success would be no ones responsibility but mine.

I quickly realized that there would be no one there to hold my hand or make sure I didn’t get hurt in life. There would be no do-over’s or mulligan’s. I discovered that I would have to fight, claw and suffer in order to truly be the man I thought I was destined to be. I learned that I would have to lose it all before there was any chance at having anything real.

A constitutionally conservative libertarian

I actually remembering helping my parents deliver newspapers early in the morning and hearing Rush Limbaugh on the radio. I don’t ever remember listening to it and I am sure I even protested it at times but that was before children ran all over their parents so mine just told me to shut-up.

It wasn’t until much later in life that I stated to really explore politics and learn about American History on my own. I had this thirst to understand the founding of this country and to understand other parts of world history. I wanted to know about the rise and fall of the other great societies that came before America.

I wanted to know why we were different and why, over the last 200 years America was able to grow technologically and economically like no country before it.

I am sure I studied the constitution growing up, and I’m sure I even memorized the preamble without ever really understanding what it meant. But, for some reason, at this point in my life, I had a genuine desire to know more about what it all really meant. I wanted to understand the political and ideological philosophy of the great leaders and nation builders of the past.

When I made the switch

I was carving my own path as a freshman sales professional at a Toyota dealership in Bradenton Florida, and I was finally making some real money. I started paying attention to the world and wanted to understand business and economics.

These were all things I might have learned in college… had I stuck it out. Instead, I would be forced to discover my own path. I would explore the world for myself and appreciate what it meant to live in a free country. I decided early on that I wanted to be my own king and build my own castle.

I learned to learn, and I learned to love it. I read book-after-book, not only discovering the foundation of this country but the demise of other great nations throughout history.

I wanted to understand the background for what is now the progressive political movement in America. The spawn of Marxism, Communism and Fascism. A movement that has been patiently executing a long-con on the inner workings of our entire political system.

I wanted to know everything about everything. I finally stepped out of the bubble, started exploring for myself and learned that the world is an amazing place. I saw that there was so much to know and learn about it and the human species. So much to learn about our behavior and habits as social beings.

I need to understand how and why these behaviors are constantly manipulated and how they are used to move entire sections of society. I wanted to learn more about how we are socially engineered on a mass scale and why anyone would want to corrupt the most brilliant social experiment on the face of the earth.

I wanted it all.

I started learning about political philosophy and life itself. I mixed everything I read with my own life experiences and then started to understand why someone would want it all for themselves.

I started to understand why a group of people would eventually want to take it all for themselves and turn the rest of us into their slaves. Leaving us all ultimately unable to change the national decision making process by neutering the power of our entire political system.

I saw how both of the political parties had corrupted the entire system from the inside out, and how they desensitized everyone to politics as a whole. I discovered a religion of government being built right underneath our noses and that we were falling for it hook line and sinker. I saw that it was more of a battle to protect their power than to govern under the constraints of the constitution. Or even under the pretense of protecting the people.

I saw corporations greasing the wheels of a political machine that runs the vehicle of progress that is America. I watched them pervert the word progress as a whole and dictate the entire premise of any debate.

I began to see their master plan and started to wonder when they would finally pull the rug out from under all of us. When they would have enough leverage to pull the cloak over the entire country and finally flip the switch.

I wondered if we even had a chance to stop and turn things around. Whether we even had a chance to save the country I had fallen in love with all over again.

I’m still a liberal at heart

In the truest sense of the word I am a liberal. I believe in maximum freedom and limited government. I believe in personal accountability and even used to call myself a liberal until I realized how badly the word had been bastardized.

My Struggle with the current political establishment

I don’t really know what I am when it comes to a current political affiliation. At least in the sense of using one of their popular labels.

I am usually able to understand both sides of most of their arguments, I even think there are some pretty logical solutions to many of our current political problems. I am just utterly appalled at the current state of affairs in America. It seems as if we are incapable of playing nice with one another. As if for some reason the system was set up to get us to fight among ourselves. Almost as if they were purposely dividing us in order to distract us while they ran away with unchecked power.

They have lulled us to sleep and put us all inside of boxes. With their political labels they have branded us and we are to conform or be crushed. We must fall in line with popular opinion or fall under attack. As if for some reason, all of us should somehow be ok with getting put into one of their boxes and never speaking out.

We should all live under the name of one of the labels they give us and never question a thing.  We are all bridled in political correctness, unable to express an opinion for the fear of being labeled a bigot or racist. We are to throw common sense out the door and instead follow only their direct instruction. We are to trust in them with as much faith as any religion and we are not to ask questions.

I for one think that’s an utterly absurd premise and refuse to accept it. I am unwilling to succumb to the pull of one established political party or the other. In my eyes the political parties in this country are both irreversibly corrupt. Both sides pulling us towards a tyrannical state in which we will all be left at the mercy of our beloved king.

The only difference is that we will refer to our king as president. And his kingdom will be capital hill.



 

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Why All Conservatives Are Actually Pro-Choice

“Oh no he didn’t…”

“Oh yes I did!”

Let’s start with a question:

How many ways are there to make a baby? Naturally that is.

I say naturally, because I am assuming someone who is getting artificially inseminated is probably not making an abortion decision so lets presume I am also using common sense for the rest of this article as well. If you are incapable of forming logical thoughts, you should probably go read something else.

Now back to the question at hand…

How many ways are there to make a baby?

There is only one way to make a baby naturally; last time I checked at least. A male puts his penis inside a woman’s vagina and ejaculates. The sperm and the egg do some high five shit and next thing you know cells are splitting.

9 months latter a little version of you is screaming all night keeping you from your precious 8 hours of sleep. (Parents, feel free to use that as your birds and bees speech!) #YoureWelcome

So now that we understand that…

We send you back to your regularly scheduled programming, which is already in progress:

“Uhh oh…. I don’t want a baby” said someone somewhere, after a drunk night of playing hide the salami. But, isn’t it already too late?

Couldn’t you argue that at this point the decision has already been made. That you have already done the deed. “Made-your-choice”, if you will.

You had sex; you knew what you were doing. You decided not to use a condom, take the pill or otherwise protect yourself from the one specific result that the act you committed is designed to produce. You may think sex is about the orgasm but really it is about the insemination and propagation of your species. If you cannot understand that concept then do us all a favor and please stop reproducing.

Cant you see that the entire abortion argument is based on a false premise. One where pro-life is different than pro-choice? Cant you see that they have succeeded in getting us to spend our time fighting among ourselves in an attempt to change the wrong part of the system altogether?

We scream at the state for their meddling while we collapse internally as a family? As our entire society rots from the inside out?

Sex is fun but it is also a huge responsibility.

Much like drinking alcohol or doing drugs, deciding to have sex is not something that should be taken lightly.

Think about it. If you go get drunk and kill someone on the drive home, you don’t get to just decide at some point during the trial that you just want to pay some money and erase the entire event from the timeline that is your life.

You don’t get to tell the judge that you made a mistake and that you don’t want to face any of the consequences. Instead, you get to sit in court and probably spend some time in jail. You get to live with what you have done and try to make the best of it.

The difference is that in this case you get to see the pain you caused. You get to look the family of the person whose life you took in the eyes, and feel their pain course through you. The baby has no choice, no day in court and his only family is the one sentencing him to death.

Sure, you can come out of jail and try to get your life back on track and make sure you don’t make the same mistakes again, but you can never go back. You cannot change the past. You can never take it back.

Back to the point

I go back to my article title… “Why All Conservatives Are Actually Pro-Choice”. Conservatives are typically pro-life which happens to be the other CHOICE when deciding to abort or not. Why is that choice diminished among our current pop-culture?

Why is the choice to chose responsibility looked at with scorn or somehow relegated to anything other than what it is… Responsible.

Why is ending life the only “choice”? Why is the argument fought as if there were only one choice to make when facing the decision of an unexpected pregnancy.

I would even argue further, that it takes more courage to keep the baby, but don’t run out of here thinking I am completely complicit with the entire conservative ideology on this argument.

What about rape?

The whole abortion discussion is such a touchy issue. There are so many nuances and you almost always upset someone’s ideology, which is often the collection of everything that makes them, them.

I acknowledge all of these things. I am just trying to approach it with a level head and some rational thought. Anyone who screams at you like abortion is supposed to be a cut-and-dry, black-and-white issue is just plain ignorant.

I could never pretend to tell a woman who had been raped that she has to keep the baby.

That is not my decision to make. I can love her and support her and encourage her to give thought to the choice of life.

I can encourage her to bring the child into the world and at least let them fight for themselves.

I would try to convince her to give them the chance to go out and make something of themselves. To let another family give her unborn child the childhood that she doesn’t want to, or cannot provide.

I would push her to think about the weight of this decision. A weight she will have to carry from that moment forward, but at the end of the day, it is not my body. It is not my decision to make. It is ultimately her choice to make.

The beauty of being human, is that we have to make our own choices. We have to live with our decisions and we are the only ones who can make them. That’s what makes this a pro-choice vs pro-choice debate! One which we must wage on a level stage of ideas and away from emotional attacks.

If there were only one option it would not be a choice. You cannot then, argue the issue from only one side of that choice! You cannot simply discredit the other side of the argument simply because you disagree.

There is a choice to be made, and allowing it to be argued on any premise other than the ones of that specific context is just plain disingenuous.

I still struggle with this issue

I know there are a million other issues at play here. There are a lot of places this thing could go next but I am just trying to start a conversation. I am just trying to get you to think about the premise of the entire debate and understand how we allow these issues to divide us as a nation!

All I am saying is that there is only one way to make a baby, and we all know what it is.

There are some situations in which the process is taken out of the hands of the woman (forced sexual relations, rape, date rape, etc) but for the most part, people having abortions are there because they already made one bad choice. Because they chose pleasure over sense. Because they had sex and got pregnant, and now are either not prepared or are unwilling to accept the results of their actions.

Instead, they are sitting in the courtroom, signing a contract with the judge, trying to erase history. Cashing in on one of the few instances in life where you can actually apply for a mulligan.

So… I’ll leave you with a couple questions:

Does that mulligan come at the expense of a potential life?

And, is that a choice you are really ready to make… especially for someone else?

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