Friday Five – It’s the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)…

Save yourself, serve yourself. World serves its own needs,
Listen to your heart bleed dummy with the rapture and
The revered and the right, right.
You vitriolic patriotic, slam, fight, bright light,
Feeling pretty psyched.

[Chorus:]

It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine. – R.E.M.

 

CCHR & Faux “children’s rights” – Ok, ok, who among us is willing to argue that, in a perfect scenario, children should be labeled as ADHD, ADD, or with some other mental disorder? And, furthermore, who wants to force medication on them? Anyone? Bueller?…Hmmm, so then what is all the hubbub about this group and their “meager” protests in this arena? I think it is safe to say the general consensus of normal humans with any shred of decency do not support the forced medication of anyone, let alone children. So, this is a no-brainer. They use this as the leverage needed to attract attention and donations. Beyond the polarizing “childhood is not a mental condition” rhetoric, they also want you to believe that EVERY psychiatrist, government agency, and evil person is pushing these medications down the throats of EVERY child. It’s all part of Co$’ larger “doomsday” campaign. As part of the foundation of this campaign, they highlight “Big Pharma” as creating these conditions, and medications, as a means to make a profit. Sure sounds evil, right? While there may be some truth to that statement, you also need to remember that most of us live in a capitalist society, and one of the main goals of any business is to maximize profits. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that even pharmaceutical companies are “in it for the money”. As a parent, and a rationale adult, I understand that sometimes these medications are needed, do help, but should be used under strict medical care and observation. I find it far to easy for groups like CCHR to highlight suicides and other violent side effects without digging into what level of care was being delivered, or how strictly they were being observed by doctors or parents. And, until proven otherwise, I will always side with trained medical practitioners over the non peer-reviwed “ideas” of LRH that are employed by CCHR, NarCONon, and their other front groups.

STAAD League – Yeah, it’s not STAND…I’ve spent a decent amount of time reviewing some of the “protest” letters sent by supposed scientologists to companies like A&E and Disney. You would think, based on their rhetoric, that there is an all-out violent assault on each and every scientologist. They use buzzwords like “bullying” and “terrorize” to build their case. Everything from losing 2 recent girlfriends to teachers mocking a student, just because of Co$. From my perspective, I have never supported the use of violence in matters like this, and most of the people I know are the same. We do not wish harm on anyone just because of their “beliefs”. I’d rather highlight the irony, hypocrisy, or irrationality of their “religion”. Unfortunately, you will find violence in every walk of life, but to use examples of it to employ a “victim” mentality is unacceptable. Especially when you compare it to the actions the “church” has taken against those who speak out against them. Anyone remember Paulette Cooper? I suggest they come down off their moral “high horse” and stop trying to label everyone who speaks against them as bigots, violent, or evil. For as much as they have a “right” to pay to go up the bridge, we have a right to point out the lifted ideas, lack of verifiable facts and figures, and reported abuses that are baked into scientology. Co$ and scientologists are not “the only ones” who can do something about this…

ASC – As I covered in my podcast earlier this week, while I protest the policies, actions, and beliefs of Co$ and all their front groups, I am not in some cult. I do not get ideas or orders from some hierarchical “chain of command”, and I do not blindly believe everything that I hear or read, especially without backing evidence. I am not a member of some super secret/not so super secret group like “Outer Banks”, and I never envision a situation where I would want to be. I do what I do, because it seems to be the right thing to do, not because I’m trying to make money or become famous. As seen on Twitter, I highlight other groups and issues as well. So, to me it is always about seeking the truth, highlighting the stories of abuse, and revealing what others wish to keep hidden.

Beers for the weekend – I highly recommend virtually anything from Shiner, Victory Brewing, and Evil Genius. I recently tried the Shiner Strawberry Blonde (nice), and want to try their Peach Wheat ale. They also have a very nice ruby red grapefruit wheat – Ruby Redbird. What I love about Shiner is they work with other local towns in their brews. For example, the strawberries come from another small Texas town, Poteet, for their Strawberry Blonde, and the grapefruit are grown in Texas as well. It’s nice to see businesses supporting each other this way.

Fourth of July – While we are hosting a party this weekend, we will also be reflecting on the historical significance of the date as well. You can blame my love of history, but I think it’s always important to understand why we celebrate national holidays. 🙂 So, eat, drink, be merry…but be safe. There will be no home fireworks for us, so if you do, be very careful!

Stand Up, Speak Out, and Be Heard!

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The Road Not Taken…

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. – Robert Frost

 

As we each make our way through life, we are often met with two divergent paths, maybe one light and one dark, or perhaps the lesser of two evils or some other variation therein. While the general sense is that choosing “the one less traveled by” is an example of one expressing their freedom of thought and ability to plot their own course, it can also be read as not caring which path is chosen, and not willing to look back and reconsider if the best choice was made.

To me, the importance here is not which path, but the understated lack of care for which path is chosen, or any future reconsideration of that choice. While one could argue that Frost was fine with “making the best of the situation”, to me it is the constant reevaluation your choices that is more important. Constant analysis of your choices, both past and present, is key in gaining wisdom and perspective.

Disregard for past decisions, can be seen in both politics and the recent videos from a former high-ranking Co$ executive. In both cases, it is far more convenient for one to disregard their past words and actions, and attempt to deflect from them, by prescribing the blame or criticism on someone else. Whether they are choosing the road less traveled, or the more popular path, there appears to be no remorse or hindsight gained from the journey. And, that is a true tragedy.

I’d suggest that we all ponder which path to take and make the most of that decision, but always look back and learn from the consequences were missed as a result. One can always revisit the yellow woods and choose a new path, but only if you reflect on your decisions.

The other option, that Frost doesn’t mention, is to forge a whole new path. Rather than follow the only defined “paths”, there is not always a hard rule that does not allow you to determine a path on your own. But, I would warn that this choice may be the less comfortable path, must be done with conviction and employ all relevant wisdom and knowledge available. And, you cannot disregard the benefit of reflection.

In the end, we are all free to choose any path we like, or forge a new one, but only those who take the effort to reconsider their choices, and adjust as needed, will benefit from gained wisdom and knowledge. And that, makes all the difference in the world.

Stand Up, Speak Out, and Be Heard!