All posts by mysticalcalamity

Reality and Cloaks

Art By; Austen Mengler Visit https://www.austenmengler.com/my-shadows

Shadows from within me
Engulf my public persona in a blanket of darkness.
The anger and fear from deep inside corrode and rust my cloak,
destroying the very walls,
that hide my melancholy madness,
The only calm I feel being sadness.


Transitory intervals of change
A relief from the hatred that causes me rage.
My volatile impulses
Attempt self-sabotage at,
nearly every turn.


I love the chance to dream,
to sleep is to transform,
into a creature of survival.
To create pure feeling or moments of relief,
I numb my sensitivities to the pain of life.


When I inhale, my mask falls.
I feel remorse for my lack of involvement in human emotion
and pretend to snuff out my comforting vice of denial.


My responsible escapade ends quickly,
For I create the illusion, that I may be strong enough
to face my melancholy madness,
opening a floodgate of feelings.


Feelings of anger, resentment, fear, and insecurity take me over;
The deafening screams of my inner pain immerse me in my entirety.


I become stuck in a pattern of reality and cloaks.
The cloak itself becoming painfully intense, to the point of needing to be masked itself.


My persona’s and truth split me in half,
with even smaller sub-divisions.

I fast from life,

Engaging in emotional starvation,

For the alternative is chaos


A magnetic fury of PARANOIA and RAGE.

The Power of Surrender

Surrender gives one the power of choice. A person can fight against systemic oppression by choosing not to partake in the system, in likeness to Sovereign Citizens. However, rather than refusing to accept that a passive lifestyle, makes one equally a part of the problem. I would implore the politically inactive citizens of America to give into the proverbial lashings society forces gives. Instead of avoiding issues and submissively accepting them, choose to wear the emotional, physical proudly, and psychological scars, from the constant beating, ‘s issued by inequality, as a symbol of strength and fortitude.

Choose to admit; there is a social hierarchy which places white American men as the front runners in society. A pyramid that makes it unlikely to climb higher than the station of ones family’s previous generation. Especially so for the underprivileged, people of color, women, and let us not forget the LGBTQ+ community.

First, realize that individual and systemic racism and sexism are still very much alive! Then surrender to the fact that anyone society deems unsuccessfully socialized, will face obstacles in their life, that the wealthy white male population will never have to deal with, at least not in the same magnitude.

Many citizens take issue with our systems in America. The criminal justice system, judicial system, healthcare, mental health, and foster care systems, all deal with apparent struggles. However, little to no action by individuals are being taken, in attempts to create change. Even the best intentions and ideas, on how to solve the issues of America, do little good without action. Understand it is challenging to decide where to begin.

Correcting one issue, many times, leads to observations of new difficulties, that is how the world works. Attempting to find a plausible way, to initiate positive change, without taking away or altering one’s civil rights granted in the Constitution, is challenging to say the least. To examine the idea of re-writing the Constitution brings about a million questions. Is there a better way for the government to run? How do we start to make changes, in a way that would create a peaceful environment? A society where people maintain all the freedoms they believe to be entitled to and to keep a balance. Many times, one man’s beliefs interfere with another man’s ideas.

The government’s job is to maintain a balance, while upholding the control of the people, all the while letting it appear as though the American people, are in power in the form of democracy. The only way to take part in the roles and rule making is to become part of the government. Once one earns their part, they will still need the help from the American people, and the mental strength to stay true to one’s original values, and determination, to join the legislative fight, to make a positive change.

Until one decides to surrender to the inequalities in life, they will never gain the power, to have a large and influential platform, to fight against those same inequalities, that oppress the American people. Surrender as a choice has power attached to it, with it being a decision. It could lead to freedom because any path taken by choice is going to be a more fulfilling path.

If having trouble with the idea of surrendering to authority, discrimination, and blatant disregard for civil rights, one must change their perspective. To surrender to the design, that a diverse human being, will never be as powerful, as their wealthy white male counterparts; without choosing to work ten times as hard, is to give in to the system, in order to fight against it, making it a conscious and informed decision to surrender. Making a choice is empowering. To surrender to the rules of the oppressive regimes in society, would be an act of free will. Though not as a victim, but instead as a participating party. Choose to overcome the obstacles and to join the fight. Eventually, taking part in changing the rules and in turn, fixing the issues by contributing to the correction of the process. Making improvements, to head towards a society, where every citizen uses their voice, and every voice is respected.

Give into the regulations of the system, and work hard to get in, to a part of the structural hierarchy, where one’s skills are beneficial. Fight to move up in the pyramid; it only takes one action to make a positive change. Fight, and then dig the proverbial nails into the ladders of life and climb. Read “The 10X Rule”-By Grant Cardone. The ascent of that social pecking order can change a person, do not let it. Work ten times as hard as one’s privileged counterparts. Become victorious against all the odds, and let the world hear that voice.

Shut Up When You’re Talking To ME!

At a very young age, I was in tune with the body language and facial expressions of human beings. I observe, I always have. What I have learned is Most people, would most definitely rather talk about themselves, than to listen to me, or you for that matter.


So, I learned if I wanted to be part of the conversation, I had to steer the conversation, towards whomever it is, I wish to speak to. Now, I can keep someone fully engaged in an interview for hours, answering questions about themselves, as soon as the topic veers away from whomever, I can re-direct it back to them and engage them once more. I can meet a stranger and walk away, knowing their entire life story in five minutes.


I am fond of quick and friendly banter, but I refused to engage in small talk. If you are going to talk to me, you must tell me something that matters. I have spent the last twenty years only speaking if spoken to unless I really have something to say. Now, I expect the same from anyone who wishes their words, to fall upon my ears. Give me wisdom for my collection, a piece of you worth carrying.

“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”

Plato

Equality for a Dream

“America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves. To quote the American humorist Kin Hubbard, ‘It ain’t no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be.’ It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: ‘if you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?’ There will also be an American flag no larger than a child’s hand – glued to a lollipop stick and flying from the cash register.

Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue. Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say Napoleonic times. Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent, is a mass of undignified poor. They do not love one another because they do not love themselves.” 
— Kurt Vonnegut (Slaughterhouse-Five)

Only 4% of the people who were born in the lower and middle class will ever make it to the upper class? Doesn’t that put a damper on “The American Dream?” The reason for that folks is inequality, that is so deeply built into the structures of our society, that it will take a miracle or a revolution to change.

(Inequality creates{poverty) creates[inequality} creates (health issues] creates{poverty) creates [deviance} creates (crime] creates {inequality) creates poverty.}

Attempting to find the correlation to and between each social issue sends thoughts on a roundabout loop whirl of a ride, but the one issue that remains constant is inequality.

It has been said, mostly from privileged white men, i.e. (my significant other and co-workers), that inequality does not exist. That we are all equal in opportunity; that racism, sexism, and classicism, do not hinder a person’s ability to reach their dreams unless they let it. Also, that inequality is an excuse, and anyone can become anything here in America if they get off their lazy exploitative and put in the work. To some extent, that is the truth, and certain people have overcome the social issue of equality; a measly 4%. However, those people are the exception, and it is the exception that makes the rule.  

Inequality is the most critical social issue, because it is an issue in and of itself, yet it leads to many other issues. Ending inequality is in the best interest of every American, even those at the top of the social hierarchy and here is why; inequality is in the very roots of nearly every social issue: poverty, health issues, abortion, education, deviance, and crime to name a few.

Social inequality is the existence of unequal opportunities and rewards for different social positions or statuses within a group or society. Gender inequality refers to unequal treatment or perceptions of individuals wholly or partly due to their gender. Classicism is prejudiced against or in favor of people belonging to a social class, and structural inequality is a “condition” where one category of people have attributed an unequal status concerning other categories of people. Institutional racism (a form of racism expressed in the practice of social and political institutions), sexism, classicism, and the bias intolerance deeply rooted in our social construct, all have a significant role in inequality, and therefore if we could eliminate these issues, we could make huge leaps and bounds towards ending inequality.

Why is poverty a social issue: Poverty is defined once again as a “condition” with the standard of living below the minimum needed for the maintenance of adequate diet, health, and shelter. Society judges’ people in poverty, for their appearance (clothing, weight, skin, cleanliness, where they live, what they do or do not own, their education, and many other things.  They need money to live and to increase their income, to change the things they are judged on, yet the judgments keep them from obtaining jobs that are not minimum wage, thus trapping them in the “condition” of being poor.

In, 2010 46.2 million people in America, totaling to 15.1 percent of the population was found to be living in poverty those numbers are not nearly accurate enough, due to not being able to calculate households containing more than one family, those who have no physical address and many other factors. The percentage allows us to know that at least 15.1 percent of the people in America are living in poverty. Black people (at 27.4 percent), and single women (at 31.6 percent) of the 15.1 percent represent an excessively high percentage of the families living in poverty.  Institutional racism and gender inequality make it harder for women and people of ethnic backgrounds to make an equal wage. The unequal distribution of wealth leads to the substantial social gap with a small group of people fitting into the category of upper-class, a middle-class, and forever growing lower-class.

The best way to be in America is white, rich, and a male. The second-best way to be is a rich white female. If not born to be a rich white man or women, then be a poor white male or a rich black male, but heaven forbid a poor black male, or a poor white or black female shall exist. A rich white man has the best access to the best education, healthcare, neighborhoods. They are not forced into vast amounts of debt (that follow them for the remainder of life) to get an Ivy-League education, and they can pay for it out of pocket or are awarded scholarships for their esteemed background. They are not being forced to access state welfare or face penalization in the form of a fine at the end of the year, for not having insurance.  When not having to depend on Medicaid to receive medical attention, (which only pays for specific things and small amounts). Not to be forced to choose between eating processed foods, with additives and fat or not eating, because if one cannot afford healthy food. They are not having to choose between living in extreme amounts of pain from a condition yet to be diagnosed or going to the doctor and not being able to afford rent. The choice to live in quiet white suburbia where the neighbors are equally as privileged, and the crime is scarce, is available.

Not having to fear getting pulled over by the police or be denied a loan based on ethnicity. The ability to have a more simplified life, merely because the problems faced do not come from the color of one’s skin, is referred to as “White Privilege.” Not to say those with white privilege will not have issues, yet the issues had will not encompass race. White privilege allows one to create their societal issues, rather than be born into them, that is freedom.

The poor strive to be middle class, the middle class intends to be productive, the rich want to stay vibrant and luckily for them, they most likely will, but upward mobility and economic success is commonly a pipe dream. 70% of Americans will forever be middle class, while 43% will stay stuck on the bottom. A lack of quality education combined with facing discrimination and the lack of jobs paying above minimum wage, all take a considerable part in inequality. Poverty has a deep connection with teenage pregnancy, divorce, poor health, drugs, and crime. Consequently, poverty does not just affect those afflicted with the “condition,” but the repercussions of poverty affect a considerable proportion of America.

Teenage pregnancy causes more children being born into poverty, more people living off welfare, more people with a sub-par education, more people who can only attain minimum wage jobs which equates with more people living in poverty. Teenage pregnancy can also lead to abortion, which is considered a huge social issue. Abortion also can lead to stigma, which can lead to deviance, which can lead to crime. Hence, teenage pregnancy is an issue that is enhanced by poverty and creates poverty. Rather than having the issue of teen pregnancy or abortion, imagine a society that required birth control once puberty is reached, with the ability to reverse it, once an educated decision has been made, by a middle-class adult woman or a middle-class married family. There is a minimum income requirement before procreating, and each family must reach an income in fair proportion, an income to child ratio that would keep individuals in poverty from procreating until they have a financial parenting plan in place.

One in five marriages ends in divorce. African Americans are twice as likely to divorce than whites and Latinos, due to economic hardships and stress that lead to a disruption in the marriage. 85% of children involved in divorce end up living with their mother. Women experience a dramatic decline in economic resources, following a divorce, and as discussed previously, female householders make up 31.6% of families in poverty.

The rising cost of healthcare is affecting all of America. In 2010 2.6 trillion dollars was spent on healthcare, which is a little less than 1/8th of our National Deficit. Even with these extreme costs of healthcare, the United States ranks a meager 47 in average life expectancy. Minimum wage jobs do not carry health insurance for their employees, which is leaving a disproportionately high number of Latinos and African Americans as well as immigrants uninsured. Children of low-income families are at a higher risk for infancy death, not having enough food, premature births, lack of adequate prenatal care, low birth weight, SIDS and more are killing our ethnic children in America. The adult African Americans have a higher rate of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, and communicable disease.  African Americans suffer poor health, due to the lack of education on healthy eating habits and routines, lack of healthcare as children, exposure to toxic wastes and other factors surrounding environmental racism, and the lead paint commonly found in older houses used for low-income housing. Poverty helps create poor health and helps maintain poor health. Poor health leads to the need for medical attention; the lack of insurance leads to large amounts of debt, large amounts of debt places one into poverty. To improve healthcare, perhaps all the money we save on the incarceration of criminals as discussed below should be applied to a health care reform plan that mirrors Canada’s.

In 2010 17.4 Million Americans used marijuana at least once, and 4.6 million used it daily 1.2 million people reported using hallucinogens in the past few months, and 1.4 percent of high school students used methamphetamine in 2011, and these are just a few of the drugs available. Drug use is extremely high in the United States, and a combined racial background reportedly has the highest use of drugs at 12.5%. Drug use is considered deviant behavior, and there is a correlation between deviance and crime.  Deviance is the violations of the cultural norms or rather unsuccessful socialization and is based more so on the audience’s reaction to subjects first actions. Primary deviance is an action that has caught negative attention and creates a stigma for the person as a deviant, or the stigma turns this primary deviance into secondary deviance. Once this secondary deviance sets in, it becomes one’s identity, and crime is more likely to be committed by someone with this sort of stigma. The punished or convicted should not have that stigma after their “rehabilitation.” The stigma of the person in question carries on long after sentencing has been carried out.

Moreover, that shame is the second sentencing.  Each convicted criminal should have the chance for successful re-socialization upon their “reintegration” with society.  We can do so by allowing the rehabilitated to attach a new label to themselves; that new label earned, by allowing convicts to choose their punishment: to either commit themselves to a facility such as a prison, a mental hospital, or rehabilitation center. Alternatively, one may choose to serve our country or God by becoming a soldier or a missionary. After the punishment or now what we can call rehabilitation, society can now view formerly convicted person in a positive light.

The stresses of living in poverty tend to lead to drug use, and drug use leads to crime to support drug habits, criminal activity, and drugs have a secure connection. Poverty can lead to drug use, which can lead to crime, the impoverished committing crimes leads to many minorities in the criminal justice system, many of the people processed in the criminal justice system are poor, uneducated, unemployed or working minimum wage jobs, i.e., people living in poverty. People living in poverty are excessively Black and Hispanic, helping to support views of racism, which leads to a lack of change in institutionalized racism. Institutionalized racism leads to poverty. To repair crime and deviance, again imagine a world where citizens give into government and issue a “noncombatant insurance.”  America forces socialization, or issues consequences more severe than acknowledging, in the form of institutionalized racism and classicism, and the stigma attached to deviance, which is mostly not conforming, hence being an American is forced socialization. If Americans would admit that they have no choice but to be successfully socialized or considered deviant; and gave into social control allowing the government to control society publicly, we could lower if not eliminate social deviance. If we forfeit our right to privacy, in return, we gain privileges/rights to believe in what we choose to believe and act as we wish to act. “Civilian Insurance” would allow the government to supply each “covered American” with a tracking device which dictates your whereabouts 24/7.

•    Home and vehicle surveillance and digital video recording eye contacts.

•    Require monthly urine deposits.

•    The insurance will pay a monthly stipend for obtaining criminal insurance.

For proving the innocence of all crimes and by forfeiting the right to privacy, in turn, citizens would earn fundamental human rights to think, feel, preach, learn, and love what and whomever one wants. Eventually, they may legalize drug use in the privacy of one’s own home, with fierce stipulations as to children and behavior. {Privacy becomes unnecessary if one feels there will not be repercussions for one’s non-criminal actions or that information obtained on, will not be used against to impact one’s life negatively.} Only specific criminal actions should be punished, therefore indeed granting ultimate freedom to those who sacrifice the freedom of privacy.

Criminal insurance would make all actions public to only the highest of government officials, thus eliminating any negative connotation associated with whatever legal behavior one may choose, that may be deviant by societal standards. Also, if sentenced to life in prison or more than 50 consecutive years, the death penalty will suffice, if an offender of violent crime, with no remorse, or a chance for changed behavior, i.e., rehabilitation, the death penalty is the only feasible option. We can start shaving the deficit, by saving money not feeding criminals who have no chance at ever being reintegrated into society.

Educators need to be better educated, and their education should be free, that way, more people who want to do the job, can do the job. Also, deviants have been characterized and recognized by these five traits: trouble, toughness, smartness, the need for thrills, and belief in fate. If teachers observed student’s closer and scrutinized over these traits early on, then behavior specialists could focus their attention towards these students. Helping individuals with specific characteristics, to redirect and distribute their energy towards something positive.

If America gave into society need to control people’s beliefs and actions [social control], to earn freedoms {that should already be had} as privileges, we would be able to decrease and potentially overcome poverty, which would lead to an end to inequality, thus fixing all the social issues.

That is an American Dream!

Stay tuned for how to make it possible financially!

Works Cited

Binder, Lea. Forbes. 21 February 2013. Internet. 17 July 2017.

D. Stanley Eitzen, Maxine Baca Zinn, Kelly Eitzen Smith. “Social Problems.” D. Stanley Eitzen, Maxine Baca Zinn, Kelly Eitzen Smith. Social Problems. Saddle River: Pearson, 2009. 155-180. Book.

James, James St. Everyday Feminism. 10 May 2015. Internet. 16 July 2017.

Jones, Rachel. Crime and Deviance – Functionalist Approach. 16 January 2014. Internet. 20 7 2017.

Smccormac7. Ethnicity and Crime-Slide Share. 25 February 2013. Internet. 22 July 2017.

Rorschach

My Diagnosis

Interpersonal-Insights
Everyone likes you. This is because your life is such a mess that everyone else is relieved; they aren’t you. You never give up and refuse to settle for less than the best. In other words, you’re impossible to please, and you never shut up.


Job-Performance-&-Attitude
Your primary function at work is to serve as a bad example, but at least you do that very, very well. You aspire to become the CEO of a large, powerful company. This is unlikely since you rarely leave your parent’s basement.


Personality-Insight
Your motto is “Hope for the best; prepare for the worst.” Based on what we know about you, you’re going to need much preparation.

To see your results, visit: http://www.theinkblot.com/

Survival of the Whitest

In 2017, there were 325.7 million people in America, and of those people,  39.7 million Americans lived in poverty. That is approximately 1 in 7 people that are living in poverty.   Almost 8% of the people in poverty were white, that’s 2 out of every 25. That means the other 23 out of 25 people were people of color. According to Herbert Spencer (English philosopher, biologist, anthropologist, sociologist, and prominent classical liberal political theorist of the Victorian era,) coined the Phrase “survival of the fittest” He believed this to be Social Darwinism, i.e., societies way of weeding out those who have defective genes and qualities, which prevent them from thriving in our capitalist society. My belief system is a combination of (The Structural Discrimination Theory, The Bias Theories, Functionalism, and The Conflict Theory).

I believe these theories do well to describe more than poverty, among the ethnically challenged; I think they also apply to gender and sexuality.

We know both nurture and nature have aspects that participate in the production of a trait. Therefore, I would have to agree partially with the “Biological Deficiency Theory.”  I approve of the cultural deficiency aspect of the philosophy.  When you grow up observing a specific type of behavior, from your parents, neighbors, and friends, the chances are higher, that you will subconsciously embed that practice into your persona. Even if the actions of your parents are behaviors they adopted, to survive in a world with institutionalized racism, it is probable that in turn, you will also take those behaviors, keeping you in a vortex of adverse reactions from society.

I also think that “The Bias Theories,” holds some merit, because if it were not for the prejudice attitudes continuously held toward minorities, then it would be simple to change the structural inequalities, faced by those minorities. I experience prejudice every day, and sometimes, I don’t even realize what is happening. I occasionally forget that other people see an ethnic female when looking at me. I generally think negative behavior from a person, is merely a side-effect of their own shortcomings.  I have come to learn that many people don’t realize they carry prejudices. Some fail to see that their behavior and language is ignorant and outdated. People spew thoughts, words, and information from their memory bank. You gather expressions, ideology, and opinions based on what you have seen and heard.

Finally, I believe the most significant value lies in the “Structural Discrimination Theory.” “Slavery is over. Why can’t you stop holding a grudge.”? I have heard this from multiple people during discussions on stratification. Had slavery never existed, then black people would be on an even keel, when it comes to institutionalized racism. It starts now of conception and follows you into adulthood. For instance, if your parents are lower class ethnic people, that didn’t graduate high school. Then most likely they have jobs which pay minimum wage, with little to no benefits. You are born in a hospital with sub-par care because your parent’s employer fails to provide insurance leading to a penalty in most states, which leaves them even further in debt. You are born, to parents living in debt, residing in low- income apartments to save money to provide food.  One issue is that the majority of teachers in these areas are lackadaisical, giving you an unequal education. You find you’re treated like a failure because you’re not rich or white, and the maltreatment from individual teachers, bullying, lack of finance and the inability to fit in coupled with constant failure, and  academic pressure causes you to drop out of high school, dooming you to the same fate as your parents.

 My idea of how stratification works is this: I feel as though American society operates with a “point system.” Gender, Race, and Class. The ideal gender being male, and the perfect race being white, and if you’re not a white male, you’re a good two points below at any given time. I, for instance, can never have as much power as my white male counterpart. However, an ethnic male can be as powerful as a white male, if the white male is poor, and the ethnic man is both rich and educated. However, even a wealthy, educated ethnic male can never be as affluent as an educated white woman. His precious, knowledgeable white male counterpart is a good three tiers above him. Since I cannot change my race or gender, I can only ever be as powerful as an uneducated, rich ethnic man, or a poor white woman.

 I feel equal rights for all sexual orientations is as important as women’s rights, or racial equality. Though we will not see equal rights in all aspects until being black or a woman doesn’t knock you down two tiers. Even then, I feel as though a gay black man can be accepted if he is wealthy and educated. A gay white man would only have to be affluent or trained, to get the same acceptance, and even then, the wealthy, educated white gay man will have more power than the black one.

In conclusion, if you want to be among the most powerful in America, it is simple, all you must do is be a rich white educated male or you’d might as well aim lower.

“Justification”

Justification of Self

The little “justification’s” we make, to partake in the luxuries of life, will ultimately be the demise of humanity.

 We turn our heads when we see things we don’t like, or that make us feel uncomfortable. People act as though, being thoughtful is necessary, yet letting the issues of others, trouble us too profoundly, will not change anything, yet will also make us feel unpleasant. So, we ask ourselves, “What good will it do?”

The last election, many people didn’t vote, because they felt their vote, was the unpopular one, and “one vote” won’t make a difference Right?

 I hear this excuse very often, in many different forms and on many various issues. We tell ourselves that we aren’t famous enough, influential enough, or wealthy enough to make a difference. We continue to go on about our day, focusing on our issues, rather than take a stand. We make this justification that allows us to continue with our lives and still partake in the system that has problems, from which we benefit.

Ask anyone if they are for the cruelty of animals, and I highly doubt they will say yes. Many people, however, take comfort in the idea, that there are too many world issues. Issues that are more important because they involve people, which leaves little time, to worry about the humane treatment of animals.

In my opinion, this is a lazy and irrational attitude. There will always be multiple issues and problems in the world. You cannot focus all your attention, on every aspect, especially if you hope to make any difference; but though you cannot focus your attention on every specific issue, doesn’t make that issue any less of a significant problem.

My point about animal cruelty is this, many people are against animal cruelty, but they do not hate the maltreatment of animals enough to stop consuming them. I am not a vegetarian; I like meat. However, I cannot watch animals as they slaughtered; it makes my stomach churn, the lack of compassion the whole industry shows disgusts me.

 Once, my boss took me to the sale barn here in town. I watched the different herds of cattle shoved into the tiny show tank, poked and hit, only to be pushed back into their trailers. All this, so people could gawk at them and decide how much money their life was worth. It was sickening to me. I have seen videos of cows with broken legs, or merely well-aged, being shot in the head, or hung upside down and hit in the skull with a hammer, then taken off to be processed.

Pigs often jammed-packed into a small crate. Their teats suckled until they are raw, cracked, and infected. They then are forced full of semen, forced to procreate over and over, until they are no longer able, and then they are slaughtered and eaten. Chickens have a sad life too, I know all of this, and it hurts my heart, but it doesn’t hurt my heart enough to stop eating meat. If I don’t consume them, someone else will, and the mistreatment of animals will continue. I tell myself this, and it helps me go on about my day, without remembering the guilt I feel, if only I stopped to think, about how this meat had come to be on my plate.

Sweatshops are full of poorly treated underage children and desperate adults, all of whom are hoping for a brighter future, being paid very little and worked very hard, in conditions not conducive to good health. That is something no “moral” human, would openly admit to being okay with, but when we purchase the clothing and products that were built and created in these factories, we are supporting that business. The same “business” that is treating people just as well as the animals in a slaughterhouse. In purchasing the products, we are supporting the company and the system of abuse. We don’t like sweatshops, but we like Nike’s, we want Nike’s more, than we don’t like sweatshops.

To stand up against the maltreatment of animals and human trafficking, we would need to give up the benefits we gain from the abuse we detest. Unfortunately, as a majority, we are not willing to do that. Well, our weak, sick, poor, and middle-class folk are the allegorical animals to the wealthy. There is enough money in America that no one should live in poverty. To raise those in poverty, up to the middle class, we would need more government programs, more welfare programs, more funds for the education system, more scholarships, more, more, more! More government funding would mean much higher taxes, and ultimately take away some key benefits, the rich and powerful receive at the disadvantage of the poor. So, keep eating that steak and the rich, will keep eating their proverbial steak alike.

Existence

The fact or state of living, or having objective reality.

Prove Me Wrong

Existence-The fact or state of living, or having objective reality.

I have often asked myself, how I would know that my dreams aren’t the reality in which I physically exist. Consequently, my perceptions of truth would be my dream. I don’t believe anyone can know for sure. 1 in 20 people are deemed color blind, but how do we know they are the ones who are color blind? We say we know,because the majority of people see color the same. Well if there was an island filled with only the color blind, except for one man than he would be considered the one with the disorder. Alternatively, even if over the years, more people came forward as color blind, leaving the percentage of non-color-blind people as the minority then, our perception of what is genuinely the correct color would change.

The idea that everything we consider reality, is to be taking place only in our mind, is interesting to me, and I can even see how this would be believed by many if that were the case. Unfortunately, though, I would find it sad that our mind simulates our reality and I was unable to come up with a better one than this.

If everything is happening only in our mind, then someone must be controlling our actions. Otherwise, why would you perceive a crack in the sidewalk and not see it? Tripping over it. How can I know what something will look like based on touching it? How can all my senses, be so in sync with each other? Moreover, most of the people are so in sync with each other on the way we perceive the world. Alternatively, if my reality is a virtual simulation built in my mind, do other people even actually exist? There are too many questions that would need long contemplation, to also come up with a theory on this subject. Though, to me, the origin of our reality is irrelevant. Descartes had implied; to know that you exist is the only thing you can be sure of.

“I think. Therefore I am.” -Descartes

Absolute Knowledge

Plato’s cave analogy produces the conclusion that your perception of reality is your reality; because you are unable to perceive anything outside of your reality. Though perception is variable, therefore nothing is truly absolute or can be proven like this. Descartes asserts, “Only pure knowledge known by resources of reason can be totally reliable.” I would argue then, that reason is learned based on situation and environment, which changes for each person.

Every person perceives each situation differently, therefore, the reason is also variable. What anyone can know, is derived from information gathered, from observation of the world. Then used to draw a conclusion widely agreed upon, but since what we know comes from what we observe and what we have the ability to observe continues to progress, factors multiple and the prior knowledge expands, therefore, changing what you thought you knew.

Consequently what you are able to observe and claim to know how and what you will “know” in the future, will differ. That being said no one can ever truly know anything, because you know what you know until what you know changes so actually you never truly knew what you thought you did.

Back To Where It all Began

I don’t even know where to start about today, but to make a long story even longer….

On 5/8/19, I reached out to my cousin, who I haven’t spoken to in quite some time, in fact not since I lived in Kansas almost 10 years ago. Her father (my uncle) told me once, he knew who my father was, and he would tell me one day. However, he forbade me from mentioning it to my mother and threatened if I did, he would never tell me what I want to know. I being the curious and challenging young adult that I was, of course, approached my mother with the subject.

My uncle and I fell out, and haven’t spoken since my mother died in 2011. I explained all of this to my cousin, and she reached out to her father, even though their own relationship is on rocky terms.

My uncle called me and told me every sweet thing a grieving and hopeful niece needs to hear and then spit out two names, telling me he was sure one of them is my father.

I tracked them down, by name and found they both had one mutual family member who actually utilizes social media. Neither of them does, and I can only assume, it to be due to the substantial list of criminal activity involving them. Anyhow this aunt of theirs happen to have a mutual friend with me, and so I reached out.

My friend was all too excited to get involved and promised to call this enigma that is my father.

However, I figured it was a long shot, this means either my mother knew and lied to me for 22 years or my uncle was sending me on a wild goose chase. Needless to say, I chose not to get my hopes up. Even if it is him,what next, I am not sure what to do with this information.