The Mighty Viking

Conquering those things we must, one story at a time

Category : Politics

The Modern Blaspheme

I‘d like to say this about that: 

Tonight‘s Viking Sacrifice:

Moral Superiority.  It can come from many sources.  We think of it most often when we are reminded and enjoined to bask in our own by pointing out the same frailty in others.  You don‘t need the name ofcacreligiin or deity to be guilty.  But stay with me here, I think you‘ll understand better if I just dive in.

“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”

– Exodus 20:7

If your Religion makes you feel safe in this world – you may be practicing the wrong religion.

If you use your Religion past forgiveness and salvation, and right on through to moral superiority, you‘ve gotten on the wrong theological bus.

If your Religion is what brings you to political empowerment – to force others to accept your vision of morality or holiness, you are neither with God, nor with free men.

If you practice your Religion to attain wealth and blessing, you are both climbing the wrong mountain, and using gear not supplied by the God who‘s banner you claim to represent.

If your wear your Religion to be fashionably hip, you are throwing pearls into the pig-pen.

If you cover yourself in the mantle of Religion to be accepted, you are still a wolf, and you look ridiculous wearing sheep‘s clothing.

– Religion is a weapon of war for a battle waged beyond the physical realm.  It loses its power here, it lacks Essence. And without it‘s Essence, it loses its righteousness .

– Religion is a vehicle to a higher plane. Not only does it not travel well on the roads of this world, it‘s fuel source cannot be found here.  Consider this: if you‘re going somewhere here, you‘re not running on spiritual fuel.  You are not riding in a spiritual vehicle.

– Politics and Religion do not combine.  You cannot serve God and money/power.  We are not one in spirit if we are practicing political gamesmanship. The very core of politics produces division and a quest for dominion over others.  If one is not a free man, none are.

– The path to God is a narrow path, fraught with road hazards requiring a vessel of rigorous, specialized design.  It is of no use on the highways of society.   Choose your vehicle, and drive it to the destination for which it‘s made.

– The clothes of godliness do not call attention to ourselves, and thus serve no fashion purpose in this world.  They are utilitarian garments, for an environment in which vanity offers no protection.  And since their purpose is to glorify God, and not ourselves, the world sees them as ugly.

– And by the same token, if the Christianity you are wearing serves to make you acceptable to others, it is not authentic Christianity.  It is a disguise.  There is no godly use for disguise.

“ Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres…

 …And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

If your religion is about anything else than this, maybe Religion isn‘t what you wanted.

Exodus 20:7 (“The Voice” translation)- “You are not to use My name for your own idle purposes, for the Eternal will punish anyone who treats His name as anything less than sacred.”

Not Mine Alone

So there I was at the Portland VA yesterday.  Veterans of all sorts walked, limped, shambled, rolled, or simply sat, their scars and wounds visible on their bodies, and in their faces.  As I made my way to my appointment with the bone doctor, I took in the view through a window of the photo below.  And it took the time to say a few things to me.


Yaknow, it‘s kinda strange. I see the American flag out and about, and while i notice it, it doesn‘t particularly stand out to me.


But put that flag on the hallowed ground of a military installation no matter how humble or grand, or in this case a VA hospital where the wounds of war are visible everywhere,  and a transformation takes place.  A corner of my mind is transported to a place where once there hung a strip of fabric, but now those colors come to life.


A pulse beats, a composite rhythm of battles, of hardship, moments of camaraderie, the inner gulp of courage in the face of death. I can feel the weight of the sum of American sacrifice in the languid roll of its furls, the burdened steps of those who have come and gone, as a single, solemn symphony, the full Portrait of American Patriots.


It moves me.  It is me.  But it is not me alone.


Somehow imbued in these colors is a collective living being, whose purpose is to simply be, an image of us, both a memory of who we‘ve been, and a projection of who we will be.  We who have gathered in our country‘s moment of need leave a critical piece of ourselves in that being, so that it grows stronger.  It is our responsibility, as citizens, to not see only ourselves, but to see all other Americans.  I am startled to realize that the pulse I hear while standing before these Colors is my own.    And comforted as I sense that it is not mine alone.


Perhaps I recognize the smallness of my own voice in its breath. Perhaps my understanding of the knowledge of battle allows me to recognize greater voices. Those who have gone before leave a telltale echo. And I feel the companionship of others who hear it too. Each of our voices sound, to us, small in this symphony. Together though, a character emerges that none of us knew we had.


The pulse I hear while standing before these Colors is my own.  And yet, I it is not mine alone.


We each have discovered a surprise within ourselves; abilities, courage, and qualities we didn‘t know we had, and might never have known. To those who have helped me and accepted into their ranks, there is only one thing I can say, and it isnt enough.

Thank You.

Photo looking out the window of the Portland VA Center.

Rolling Thunder 2018

In the center of the village we call America, there stands a Smithy.  In it, there are several blacksmiths of varying skill and experience.  Most are employed making the tools of trades: plows, craftsmen tools, etc.

But in a corner of the shop, there works a Master Blacksmith.  He speaks very little.  But his hammer rings with a clear peel that is recognized by all.  And his work is different than the others.  He forges the weapons of war.

His work is grim.  He makes things he himself hopes need never be used.  The village works in the daylight, using their tools for life and prosperity in the several occupations we employ as Free Men.  But the Thief and the Marauders are always waiting, to steal from us our freedom, and shackle us for their own gain.  So he works – shaping and heating, purifying, and tempering the weapons of war.  His hammer works iron into the strongest steel.  The very structure of the metal is forever changed.  The Sword, the Axe, and the War-hammer all are forged on his anvil to the highest quality.  

And when the clouds of war loom, the distant storm sending thunder and lightning, his hammer answers with a thunder of its own.  The weapons are imbued with it, they will echo it to the battlefield, and to the watch posts.  They will answer and defend us.

When the battle is over, those of us who remain return to our homes and families, but the unique hardness to which we‘ve been shaped will fit poorly in everyday life.  And so the sword will be sheathed, and the hammer fitted with leather pads, and the axe masked.  The echoes of the forge, the thunder of the master‘s hammer and anvil is muted, and sometimes nearly forgotten.

But the thief and the marauder don‘t sleep.  Their strength comes in waiting for signs of weakness.

They wait for us to forget.

And so, on this weekend, we come together.  We come in from the mountains, and from the Plains.  We ride from the high country, the Deltas, from out of the cities and fields – from every part of this country, those of us who are still able will gather on this field, in this place, to remember.  We remember our fallen.  Their sacrifice – to become forged weapons, to stand to die while fighting for life for others, reminds us of what makes this country strong.  It reminds us to carry the watchfulness onward. 

It must be remembered.

When we meet here, we unsheathed the sword,  unclasp the padded hammer, and the axe is freed from its mask.  In the open air, the thunder of the forge they were born in rings out again. We ride together so that all may remember.

On this day, we let the thunder roll.



The Collective Crumpet

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do declare and certify that “We”, that singular entity that constructs this national body, be deemed legally insane.

Yes. This national entity, America, has gone off its Collective Crumpet.

But let me back up a space so that we can examine the “self” that was, in order to make the situation clear. This nation was born a breed of fighters. We were, by the very nature of our inception, fighters against oppression, even though at times we have been the oppressor. We came out of relative safety and comfort of civilization to stretch our legs, to breathe in deeply the pure, rarified essence of Earth as it was intended. It was raw, relatively untouched, it was indeed a New Earth.

…And it was Harsh.

We fought disease. We fought the Elements. We fought starvation. We fought a wild land and we fought against natives who took umbrage at our assumption this was our wild land for the taking and taming. And eventually we fought against the would-be Lords who followed us here to try and retain and expand their position of power. We fought. Side by side, we fought these common enemies. It gave us a sense of solidarity, to have fought so many battles together. We knew each other, we trusted each other. We expected each other to be there behind, ahead, and beside us. And we expected each other to be capable of being very, very dangerous. It‘s what we wanted in compatriots. We wanted each other to be dangerous.

In the decades and, dare I say it, centuries since our initial birthing pains, we have alternately saved and wounded ourselves with that element within us – the ability to be rough, to commit acts of violence in defense of our basic Human Rights.

In the meantime, our population has changed.

Initially we were made up of the inherently strong, those with a taste for adventure, with a yearning for a raw, close connection with the earth that gives and takes life. As those struggles were overcome, our strength was redirected to those who followed. We received “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore”. We have received them, adopted them, and integrated them into the “We”, that we stood so proudly for.

Many of those were not made of the same sort of stuff as the pioneers to this land. But that‘s not to say they were helpless or useless.  They came with other qualities critical to a healthy society. They came with a cool intellect, with an empathy for the wounded. They came with an understanding of healing, and of arts, and of industry. And Always, Always they came with those who would be Lords of us amongst them. Together we fought against exploitation.  In some places the two of us meshed beautifully. The Fighter and the Nurturer, the Explorer and the Industrialist, the Hunter and the Farmer found a symbiosis. We struggled to learn to love each other.  Like brothers and sisters we fought and lived together.

But somewhere in there we went insane. Some say it was the Industrialists that ruined us. Some say it was War – the Civil War, the Indian Wars, the Great Wars, etc. perhaps. Some say it was the would-be lords, who have intentionally driven us insane to make us pliable to their form of control, a certain parasitic existence. Some blame the paranoid fierceness of the fighters, or the utopian optimism of the nurturers. Some blame God. Some blame the devil.

And some say it is The Gun.

Some are saying, and have been saying, that our penchant for violence offends one of our fundamental tenets of existence, the right to a peaceful life. They say that we can no longer be trusted with our weapons, that we are as likely to harm ourselves as to protect, and that in this time of comparative peace we should renounce our weapons as the tools of a past, uncivilized society better left forgotten. It‘s a fantastic dream, to believe that the elements are tamed, that killer diseases are conquered, that evil and opposing forces are spent and have laid down their arms. But it is a fantasy of a softened populace who no longer feels the harsh realities of tyranny. They believe it is no longer possible for tyranny to exist, or alternatively that it cannot be fought. This illogical paradox of conflicting dreams lives in a protected world where our defenders are anonymous, predictable, and infallible robots that require no thought, maintenance, or relationship from us, leaving us free to nurture the illusion of personal relationships with people we‘ve never met, while sitting side by side with others we‘ve never met. We formulate new rules based on what we want, rather than in what is right.

It is also a fantasy to believe in the heroic scripts of personal vengeance and victory that are fed to us through Hollywood stories. We dream of accolade, rather than the simple function of self-defense. We imagine ourselves in a CGI world where we can pick up a new cache of weapons and/or ammo by walking into just the right spot hidden in a wall, and that our weapon lasts forever, lives can always be restored, and that will rat-case scenario we can load up a backed up character. We fight solely for glory, and entertainment. We‘ve forgotten what it means to defend. And through these delusions – of grandeur, of peace, of manipulatable relationships that can be crafted like unspeaking clay, we have gone quietly insane.

We are awakened startled from our dreams of a homogeneous, nurturing society by the sound of gunfire, and are angry at our defenders for not having protected us from the unwatched door. The defenders stand furious, disarmed and distracted with trying to satisfy the irrational expectations of protecting and nurturing simultaneously.

Our path back to sanity is an ugly one. In fact, there is no path. We lie at the bottom of a ravine, scratched, broken, and bleeding, screaming incoherently at figments of our imagination, demanding to know how we fell off the path. But we know where the path is. Up there, following the marks of broken branches, loosened rocks, and shifted soil through which we fell, lies the path we were on, and to where we must climb back up, to create a place where equality is a measure of respect, not bank numbers, where delusion is considered an enemy to be shot in sight, and humanity – real, honest humanity, is both protected and nurtured. It is not the fighter nor the nurturer that must be assailed. We cannot start dissecting ourselves without bleeding out.

It is the delusions of our society that must be rooted out.

TMV Card Back wBleedA few have asked me about my 2016 Presidential platform Thus far, I have this to say about that:

1. What is your stance on abortion?

I can‘t for the life of me understand why this is such a popular
question to ask of a presidential candidate, given that the President has virtually no control over the issue.  But hey, since you‘re asking, and this is my moment in the sun:  The issue is fraught with moral division, to the point where as a government of free people, we should not be legislating until we can argue more clearly the secular moral implications.  Meanwhile, the government should not be funding abortions either.  If groups want to raise money to support abortion clinics, more power to them.  If they want to use the platform of their personal religious beliefs to speak out against it, they should absolutely do that.

2. Do you support the legalization of same sex marriage?

Personally, No.  But as the President of these United States, my personal preference doesn‘t serve the people of the country in this regard.  I would like to see the country come to view “Marriage”  in less of a theological cast, in regards to others.  If a person wishes to view Marriage as “God-ordained”, I think that is right and proper.  But to attempt to force others in a non-theocratic society to absorb their theocratic designs is wrong.  Proselytize if you wish, but force is out of line with the foundations of this country‘s intent.

3.Should the government increase environmental regulations to prevent global warming?
It is possible to trace a path that shows the development of the “Global Warming” theory as a tool for other environmental concerns that could not hope to compete with Natural Resource Industry‘s ambitions.  I believe that mankind has shown repeatedly not only the capacity but the ability to destroy local ecologies in the pursuit of profit.  I believe that one industry dominating public land  use and resource harvest through favorable laws written to subvert self-sustaining conservation and give that industry unfettered access to public resources is wrong.  I also believe that agonizing over individual toads, sparrows, lizards, owls, small rodents and non-adaptable flora is the mark of an obsessive movement built around an intentional over-reaction to these ecological abuses, in an attempt to  attain collateral conservation goals.  I believe, spiritually, in the “dominion over the earth” concept presented biblically, and through aboriginal traditions as well.  As humans, with the gifts of intellect that we possess, I think we have the opportunity and spiritual responsibility to find a way to combine sensible natural resource harvest with the responsibility to learn and apply techniques to help, rather than hinder nature.  To that end, the debate over the validity of  the “global warming” phenomenon is indeed one of power-mongering, with both sides vying for an unfair share of control over the disposition of earth‘s resources.  I think there are studies being fronted who‘s results were predetermined by the funding agencies‘ subtle selection of institution.  In the end, a better rationale for self-control of Natural Resource Industry must be rooted in honesty, flexibility of sensible application, and the limiting of size and scope of harvest/recovery, which will be addressed in future questions regarding anti-trust and monopoly law.

4. Should national parks be preserved and protected by the federal government?


5. Should producers be required to label genetically engineered foods (GMOs)?

On its surface, the underlying principles behind this question sound similar to the abortion question. The key difference here is that the People‘s choice is dependent on accurate information.  The problem so far has been that by adopting a labeling standard, that standard becomes a target for corruption, where the intent of the law is fairly easily subverted with intentional loopholes lobbied for by unscrupulous businessmen.  If we tell people to trust the standard, and then the standard is perverted by lobbyists writing laws for lazy, unscrupulous lawmakers, it seems to me we‘ve opened ourselves to liability.  So we either have to take the issue another step and require producers to provide more source information from which consumers can draw their own conclusions, or let people develop alternate sources of food from producers willing to provide this data at a economic premium.  If we certify something using government agency, then that should come with strict standards that the producer  and consumer pays a premium to receive documentation for.

6.  Should employers be required to pay men and women the same salary for the same job?

Yes.  The caveat being that there should be exemptions for jobs for which there is clear gender performance differences.  If, for example a physically demanding job can be done by a woman, but not at the same rate of production level as a man, a difference should be allowed to remain. The problem is this invites a rats-nest of never-ending quibbling over performance demands and levels.  Because of this, despite the obvious unfairness, government should not be making blanket, unilateral anti-discrimination except to address the most egregious discrimination.  Let the market reward equality.  Sub-note:  I do NOT think women should be sent to physical combat units.  Warfare is no place for social engineering experiments.

7. Should physically and mentally capable adults on welfare be required to work?

I think some sort of service should be engaged and offered to this group.  Presently, and for generations now, policy has encouraged a culture of deception and socially destructive tactics from people who see welfare as a “free ticket”.  Broadening the question, I believe that government support should not reward single mothers and larger families over two-parent families of modest size.  This of course is just as difficult to monitor and enforce as the current policies, and people seem to get some funny ideas – legends about how the system works emerge from these subcultures that drives a systemic misbehaviour from the population in general.  I would like to develop a civilian alternative to the National Guard, and develop policies that encourage pride in that force, but limitations to its financial reward to discourage dependence on it.  The National Guard weekend a month and two weeks per year paid service paradigm on a volunteer basis allows those with the drive to succeed to use the tool available to further their well-being, a rigorous screening process for true disability to steer those with diminished capacity into channels where they can make the most of what they have, while leaving those with chronic disregard for productive life free to choose poverty and hardship.

8. Should all welfare recipients be tested for drugs?

Let the states decide, based on the efficacy of testing using scientific data.  The best information I‘ve personally seen to date does not support its efficacy, but if actual science says different, then it should be an option.  Again, this is a State issue.

9.  Should there be more restrictions on the current process of purchasing a gun?

No, not in general.  Proper writing and interpretation of current laws will be more effective. These laws should be local, not national.  I realize this creates problems for large urban areas where their local laws can be subverted with a little travel and subterfuge on the part of the purchasers.  I think the solution to the problems caused by gun violence are better addressed through social policy than direct firearm legislation.

10.  Should people on the “no-fly list” be banned from purchasing guns and ammunition?

Not without caveat.  The government does not have an especially good system for inclusion on this list.  These limitations subject otherwise good citizens who‘ve been falsely targeted to unwarranted loss of rights.  The principle of “innocent until proven guilty” must prevail.

11. Do you support the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)?

No.  Requiring purchase of insurance on a national level is wrong.  I think the initiatives by some states have provided a good opportunity to understand the issues without what I believe to be an unconstitutional requirement to purchase a product managed by the government.  The effects on both the competitive market and the ability of individual citizens to conduct their business is damaging.

I do, however, believe that a state-level program that no one is forced to sign up for creates an opportunity to resolve some of the problems.

12. Should the federal government require children to be vaccinated for preventable diseases?

As long as public school attendance is required, vaccination should be required.  Private schools (I’m thinking of some religious movements here) should have the flexibility to refuse vaccination,

13. Do you support the legalization of Marijuana?

Yes. It should have similar controls to alcohol. 

14. Should a photo ID be required to vote?

Yes.  But two caveats:  first, the requirement must be created at the beginning of an election cycle to give people time in places where it isn‘t a general requirement already, and second, assistance should be provided to create the documentation for people who do not have it.  There should be included in this system a review process that can grant ID with a hearing of evidence including anecdotal, and a judge to resolve the issue when simple documentation can’t be had.
15. Should the U.S. accept refugees from Syria?

Not en masse, no.  I‘m not opposed to a stringent vetting system for limited numbers, but it is a problem for other parts of the world to resolve, not the US.  We have humanitarian projects of our own in our end of the world to attend to.

16. Should foreign terrorism suspects be given constitutional rights?

No.  They should be treated as enemy combatants, until in the process they can be proven otherwise.

17.  Should the government decrease military spending?

Formulating this into a blanket question/answer is an intentional trap based on a disingenuous premise.  Military spending seems, on its surface, to be a bloated self-sustained ecosystem that has become almost socialist in nature.  Standing armies were anathema to the Founding Fathers‘ grand design.  It is impossible, however, in Modern Warfare to simply call Jim-Bob off the tractor to the call of a bugle and expect to defend the country effectively.  The military complex is top-heavy, as that is where the power to self-perpetuate resides, and it must be trimmed.  The military advancement system has become analogous to academia in its formulized system of performance evaluation, gratuitous expectation of retention, and the unethical interaction between military leadership and civilian contractor.

18.  Do you support increasing taxes for the rich in order to reduce interest rates for student loans?

No.  While I see taxation as a valid method of social engineering, it‘s application must be with the lightest of hands.  There are already too many college graduates for a workplace that needs other skills that college isn‘t designed to provide.  The most common problem for trade schools of any value is that business is loathe to train people because inevitably after the investment in professional development another company comes along and hires away the investment.  It could be argued that a tax for creating trade schools funded by that industry might be in order, but this should remain a State issue in order to take advantage of the State‘s ability to attune itself to local issues more readily than the federal government. I do, however, support simplification of the tax code and fewer personal deductions available only to the wealthy.

19. Do you support Common Core national standards?

Not unless someone can explain to me in plain language why we’re using it and what good it does.  There is much made of the apparent idiocy of Common Core, but that isn‘t my primary concern.  At issue is the federal government‘s meddling in what should be a state and/or local issue.  My vision for the Department of Education is to function as a central advisory and resource coordinator to serve states, but to have no power to require states to do anything.  States are perfectly capable of being responsible governing bodies of their citizenry, as guided by good judgment and local conditions and traditions dictate.

20. Should illegal immigrants have access to government-subsidized healthcare?

No.  Illegal immigrants (as opposed to legal ones) have no rights beyond the basic human rights to be afforded them as they are escorted back to their countries of origin, or to incarceration as applicable laws dictate.

21. Should Muslim immigrants be banned from entering the country until the government improves its ability to screen out potential terrorists?

I think all immigrants should be prevented from entry until some sort of threat assessment can be conducted.  I don‘t  if this is practical though.

22.  Should the government fund space travel?

Yes, as well as other scientific exploration.  I also believe in government-supported art, though I believe it should be in the form of supporting historic cultural art belonging to America, and the fostering of art community that in turn can choose for itself what actual art to support.

23. Should the government tax the wealthy at a higher rate?

I believe that a modest tiered system is valid to allow those working at the lower levels the ability to attain a healthy standard of living, but disagree with a dramatic percentage increase at the higher levels.

24. Should the government close loopholes and tax corporations at a higher rate?

This is, unfortunately, one of the classic misdirection questions that so often lead to political opportunism at the expense of actually addressing one of the most pressing issues in American Economics.  The real issue of unfair competition practices cannot be resolved with complex taxation schemes.  In fact, I believe that corporate taxation should be simplified and reduced – it is not the job of government to play economic engineer.  The singular role of government in business is to ensure that anyone who comes to the market with an idea can do so without harassment, or any one of the myriad anti-competition practices engaged in by the biggest competitors.  To that end, an examination of anti-trust, monopoly, and competition law needs to be made.  Small Business will always be at the core of a healthy, vibrant economy. To the extent that an economy suffers, it can often be shown that one player has gained dominance over others and has begun to operate aloof of the principles of free market.  Taxation schemes cannot fix this.

On memes, dupes, friendship and Freedom.

This isn‘t a political post. Honest. But it’s about your politics. We need to talk.

If you make political posts to social media, using memes you share from elsewhere, sooner or later you‘re going to get caught with one that is blatantly false. You shared it because it said something you already thought was true, were prepared to believe was true, or wanted to believe was true because it supported your candidate, your cause, or your opinion.

But it was false. Not just “oh, we made a mistake” kind of false, but turns out it was insidiously crafted to appear true, to appeal to you and those who believed like you, all the while being a bald-faced lie.

You were duped.

It happens, sooner or later. There‘s a little bit of shame to it, but nothing you can‘t shake off.

But did you ever stop to wonder about who it was who made that post? Did it ever come to mind to really contemplate the full scope of the origins of these things – of what had transpired?

Think about it. Someone – someone who knew better – sat down and connected a series of facts they knew full well were false, to paint a picture designed to mislead the potential viewer, You.

That person did it on purpose.

Who were they? Were the part of a party subcommittee of an organization who‘s task it is to create propaganda? Do they work from the knowledge that even the most blatant lies are bought into by a certain percentage of people? Do they ever think, in the late evening when they‘re alone, about the fact that their work for that day was a known, intentional deception?

And what about you? What did they intend for you? When the deceivers created the meme, they weren‘t thinking about those they consider the Opposition. They knew full well they‘d never get anywhere close to those who already disagree with them using this method. It is you who are the intended victim. When they set out to deceive, you are the target of the lie. You. and your friends, and your friends‘ friends!those who think like you already are targeted to become a standing army of willingly deceived carriers in a game of power being played out upon your backs. And as with many an abusive relationship, you excuse them, make excuses for them, intentionally blink over the facts and fight for them using raw emotion – and the ego that doesn‘t want to acknowledge that you‘ve been used.

And what‘s to become of your friends, the ones who agree with your points of view, who will wake up in the morning and see the meme that you shared – the one that was a lie from the beginning, targeting you? Those friends aren‘t getting the lie from its source. They‘re getting it from you. You have become, like many victims of abuse do, the abuser yourself. Look your friends in the eye. If time and distance prevents it, pull up a picture on your screen, and look that friend‘s picture in the eye. Are you going to lie to them? Are you willing to target them with an abusive attempt at thought control? Which is more important to you? The friend? Or your abuser‘s designs for using you?

If your friends are more important, then when you come across a meme that speaks something you want to say, check it first. Check it hard. Use sources you know want to put it down, see what they have to say. Protect your friendships first and foremost, don‘t let mutually accepted lies and deceit substitute for friendship. Resist the attempt by outside forces to trick you into believing in your independence, when the only freedom is theirs, to sway you at their whim into taking action on their behalf, to solidify their power.

Government of a free people is not a means itself to an end. It is only the tool to prevent others from forcing us to be their means to their ends against our will. Choose to be part of “the people” first – a faithful and respectful friend.

This technology we‘ve invented for ourselves – it shrinks our world, allows us to be communal beings without the limitation of physical presence. It sometimes shrinks us too far, to the point of being nothing but a pulsing ego in a fantastical world of our own imagination, inattentive to the other aspects of our humanity. Don‘t let your world shrink until it is only you, and an invented, inhuman notion of controlled servants. Let others be free.

Be free.