SPEED LIMITS …

I thought about how many hours that had actually been stolen from me. 

Because, if you think about it, its kinda time theft. But I digress …

My family and I just returned from a fall break vacation. We don’t do much of that together because of the challenges that come with our daughter’s condition. It requires a lot of attention and some pretty specific accountraments that are unwieldy to travel with. 

But we did it this time. And it went very well. 

We drove the whole trip. No flying. Because flying has basically become some strange Mad Max version of itself and is essentially a nightmare. Every time I go toy the airport these days, I feel like I’m leaving Saigon in 1975. 

Anyway …

We drove. Give me the open road anytime. I do love it so. 

Of all the things the U.S. Government has screwed up beyond all recognition, one of the things they got absolutely right was the United States interstate system. You can leave from the tip of Maine and drive all the way down to the Mexican border in San Diego, and almost not need a map. Just follow the signs. 

It’s really something. 

And I’ve spent most of my life on this endless highway of ours. 

One of the things that has always intrigued me is how speed limits are decided. 

Apparently, the 55-mile-per-hour limit was based on fuel metrics or something like that. Who cares? None of us ever obeyed it anyway. Maybe we all just like even numbers. So, it was decided that 60 was the new 55. 

But, I mean, if you can do 60, surely you can do…Oh, I dunno…70? 

So now, most of the country has a 70-mile-per-hour limit. In South Dakota (where I was traveling), it’s 80. 

When I was a teenager living there, it was widely known that if you even thought about getting close to pushing past the magic 55, you would get a ticket. I got several of them. 

Now, decades later, that limit is a full 25-miles-per-hour faster. Maybe it should’ve been 80 the whole time. That’s what we were all doing out there on the prairie, when no one was looking. 

The trip from Pierre, South Dakota, to the Nashville city limits, used to be a 24-hour trip. Hard numbers. No way to shave it. We tried many times. We tried different routes and leaving at different times of the day. But it was always 24 hours. 

Last week, I left Pierre at 8 am and pulled into my driveway in Brentwood, TN, 18 hours later. That’s even factoring in the hour we stopped for dinner in Columbia, Missouri. A full 6 hours shaved off that trip. 

How? Why?

We figured out that they built some bypasses around St Louis and Kansas City. That probably accounted for a good two hours off the trip. But there’s another four that came from one thing and one thing only…speed limits. 

If the speed limit is 80, I’m good for a solid 87 (probably 90). If it’s 70, I’m pushing it to 75 (probably 80). And when you start doing the math and averaging out the time and distance, the speed limits makes a huge difference.

And it gets you wondering about things that used to be illegal, but now are not. And if they should’ve ever been illegal in the first place. 

How many laws are basically 55-mile-per-hour laws? Outdated? Unnecessary? Obsolete?

And how many people a year get punished for breaking those laws? 

I have often said, if you want to defund the police, aim higher. The police are just enforcing what they’re told to enforce. The real culprits are those who keep making laws, year after year. And they become professionals at it. 

I propose we do a year long “law fast.” 

No new laws passed for a solid year. Instead, we go through all the ones we’ve already passed and figure out what needs to go and what needs to stay. 

Let’s examine what’s really working and what isn’t. And maybe we should start with the war on drugs. Just a thought …

This past week, Joe Rogan evicerated Dr. Sanjay Gupta (as well he should have) on CNN’s dismal and slanted reporting of Joe’s Covid ordeal. I watched a few clips of it. And it was all I could do not to stand and applaud. 

But during the course of the conversation, Joe and Dr. Gupta got in to the conversation about Dr. Fauci and the emails basically proving that our own NIH had funded gain of function research in the Wuhan lab, through a backdoor channel. 

Don’t try defending it in the comments section. It’s all there. And I can fucking read. 

Joe was asking Dr. Gupta what could be done to make sure this never happened again. In true statist fashion, Dr. Gupta jumped right to more global oversight, a bigger committee, a larger institution to keep an eye on all the other enormous institutions. Joe didn’t refute it. It always sounds good in the moment. 

I just shook my head. 

What might’ve helped would’ve been actual journalism tracking these things. Real, honest-to-goodness reporting that shines a light on things like that. But once you shine the light on it, there have to be consequences. And there are never consequences. Not for some people. Not for the ones deemed too important to society. 

On the other hand, there will always be consequences for people like me and you. We get the speeding tickets. We get told how fast we can go. We get warned to not drive that fast ever again. Oh and you have a tail light out. 

And then, 20 or 30 years later, they change the speed limit to the speed we were going in the first place. 

And on that long stretch of highway, in the middle of the night, when you’re making better time than you ever have, it makes you wonder …

if this isn’t just some game we’re all playing.     

R

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LET’S GO, BRANDON …

“He’s a good guy, once you get to know him,” is a phrase often used when describing someone hard to like. 

I’ve kind of gotten to a place where I don’t care anymore. If you’re a jerk, you’re just a jerk. It’s okay. I can love you from a distance and not want to be around you on any level. 

I’ve discovered far too many people who fall into that category, over the past two years. 

These are people I used to hang out with occasionally. Maybe I even considered them friends at one time. But sometimes, people cross lines that cannot be uncrossed. Sometimes they show you a side of themselves that you know you don’t want any part of…at all…ever. 

And so, we’ve all, unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), lost friends through all the chaos and unrest that has been “The Era of Covid.” I just coined that phrase. Feel free to use it. 

Sometimes, you thought you caught a glimpse of what an ass that person was, several years ago. But you dismissed it and gave them the benefit of the doubt. Finally, now that life and death have been placed in the balance – or, at least, the perception of life and death has been placed in the balance, you have finally seen who they really are. 

Wanna know who would sell you out if the Germans were looking for you in 1939? Now you know. Wanna know who would visit you in the hospital if you contracted AIDS from having unprotected sex? Now you know? 

We know who the rule followers are and we know who the skeptics are. We know who the panickers are and who the calm and collected are. We know who is obsessed with merely surviving and who is focussed on living

We also know who the tools are; you know – the ones being used by larger forces. 

If you don’t know, now, that we are in an ideological war, I don’t know what to tell you. If you can’t see the dividing lines between statists who want everything controlled and locked down (literally) by some centrally controlled agency, and those who favor freedom – EVEN in the middle of a pandemic – you are blind. 

The fact is, this thing had to run its course. Nobody ever wanted to admit that because it meant that people were going to get sick and die. And they have. And several of them have been dear friends of mine. One of them was almost me. 

But I never blamed anyone for it. And I won’t. Ever. 

This morning, my son speculated that what if he got the virus last year and was asymptomatic and then gave it to me and his sister? What if he was the one who spread it to us?

I could actually hear a little remorse in his voice, as if he felt somehow responsible for any of that. 

I instantly stopped that nonsense in its tracks, “Buddy, it doesn’t matter who had what, when. This is a virus. And viruses spread. That’s what they do. And you can’t stop a virus like this completely. You can only do your best and try to keep your immune system healthy.” 

And unfortunately, that is really all you can do. Sometimes, the actual answer just isn’t what we want to hear. But it’s the answer, nonetheless. 

The virus, and the public response to it, totally informed and shaded the 2020 election. We wanted people to blame. We needed to hang this on a leader. Voting for someone who made us feel normal again (whatever that means) was probably the main reason Joe Biden became president. He seemed affable enough and personable enough. How bad could it be? Right? 

Well, as of today, October 6th (there are still 2 months left in the year, mind you), there have been more Covid deaths in 2021 than in all of 2020. The first person “officially” died from the side effects of a Covid vaccine. That means the authorities actually put that on the death certificate. It’s not a conspiracy theory. It’s official. 

Gas prices are high. Inflation is high. The southern border is a mess – with kids STILL being put in “cages,” by the way, if you care to look into it – and nobody feels any better about things this October than they did last October. 

The status quo guy didn’t fix it. Didn’t even get close to fixing it.  

Maybe it’s because the right questions still haven’t been addressed. 

I know I harp on this a lot but I don’t think it is getting nearly enough light – we just aren’t getting enough information out of China

This is where the virus started. Surely, there is pertinent information regarding death numbers, infection rates, treatment efficacy, etc, that could help the world deal with all of this. Wouldn’t you think? 

Has China seen an uptick in deaths? Have the variants affected them as badly as they’ve affected other countries? Are they all getting vaccinated? Are ANY of them getting vaccinated? And what are the results of that?

Am I the only person in the world who wants to know this stuff?

It seems like if I were president, these would be the questions I would be asking everyday…publicly

But instead we get more vaccine mandate talk and more iron fist edicts and more speculation about how we can conduct ourselves during then holidays. 

In short, instead of asking China to help us out with sharing info, we’re acting more and more like their government, by trying to silence what we don’t want said and hide what we don’t want seen. 

Anybody feel more normal yet? 

Joe Biden has been a mediocre political figure for about half a century. He’s a perfect example of what the status quo looks like and what happens to a person when they spend their entire lives collecting from tax payers instead of occasionally getting out there and doing something else. And I guess you could say that served him well during an election that had people longing for a return to some kind of status quo. 

But I’m not even sure he knows who is pulling the strings behind his administration at this point. And this is what you get when you believe that professional politicians are “better at it” than regular citizens. 

The information on Hunter Biden’s laptop suggests that Joe Biden is a compromised individual when it comes to certain countries in the world. That may be why some of those aforementioned questions aren’t being asked. Who knows? 

*Another thing that has been confirmed (by the FBI), this year, is that that laptop in question is indeed Hunter Biden’s.* 

Some people don’t see that as a big deal. I see it as the only deal. 

We looked the other way. Entire media platforms banned that story from being posted. Rooms full of fact checkers were called into action to make sure that you didn’t get the real information. 

And the press and the left has basically said, “You know, Joe is basically a good guy, when you get to know him.” 

Guess what? Nobody cares anymore. We’re all done with the pleasantries. We all know who we all are, now. We all know people who died with the virus. We all know people who gave the virus to someone. We all know more than we ever wanted to know about living and dying with a new global pathogen. 

And we also know that government probably hurt as much as it helped. 

And now, the mantra has started to rise from stadiums all over the country, “F$#C Joe Biden!” 

A very savvy reporter, at a NASCAR event, tried to twist the chant into “Let’s go Brandon,” but we all know what’s being said. We can hear. But “Let’s Go Brandon” will probably become a mantra of its own; a chant that symbolizes how screwed up the information has gotten and how stupid the press actually thinks we are. 

People are just fed up. They know who their friends are and who their friends aren’t. 

They’re done. 

And they’re letting out their frustration the only way they can – by cussing at the corrupt, old politician who just wants ice cream. 

And even THAT is being fact-checked and turned into something it isn’t. 

R

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MY HOUSE IS FINE, THANK YOU …

“You live in too big of a house,” were the exact words the agent said to me. 

I’m not good in those types of situations. I get pissed off and shoot my mouth off. 

“I’m sorry, when did the size of my house become any of your damn business?” was my EXACT reply. 

“It’s my business she you can’t pay your tax bill,” she said sternly, over her glasses. 

“Well, maybe you charge too much. Did that thought ever cross your mind?” I volleyed. 

“Of course not! We are the Federal Government and it is your fiduciary responsibility …” 

That’s kinda where she lost me and I checked out. The rest of it was a blur of me going off on how taxation was theft and how she had no idea what my life was like and how difficult it was to maintain a household and take care of the people in my life that I take care of, while also balancing a career and trying to stay current on the exorbitant tax hikes that keep getting passed in Washington DC, etc, etc. 

Then she told me that maybe I should consider getting into a different line of work. Because clearly, I wasn’t doing well enough in this one. That’s when I stormed out. 

I guess 23 number one songs isn’t enough success. Also, my career was tanking (like every other songwriter’s) because of the government control of my business that hadn’t been updated since 1978. But I digress. Another blog for another day …  

It was my one (and only) trip down to the Federal building, by myself, to try and work out some sort of settlement of a tax bill. I thought it would be kinda pure – just me coming in alone, talking to them face to face. 

It turned out, that the agency was every horrible thing I thought it was…and more. 

The representative actually (like, for real) was encouraging me to sell my house to pay the tax bill. 

She didn’t know that I had spent 5 years renovating and customizing that house (that’s where a lot of the money went) for my special needs daughter, and that because of that, I was saving the state a lot of money in services they would be on the hook for, without my wife and I mitigating the issues of this life that nobody was paying for but us. 

She didn’t realize that I had also spent over 6 figures building a mother-in-law apartment, to take care of another family member in this house, that was also saving the tax payers money in the long run.  

*Yes, I live with my mother-in-law. It’s how I’m getting into Heaven.*

She didn’t take into account the thousands of dollars in medical bills we had paid out of our pocket that year – which should’ve been dollar-for-dollar write offs, but were only 40% write offs, based on someone’s arbitrary sense of “fairness.” The money still goes away whether you can write it off or not. 

She didn’t care about Christmas and Thanksgiving my kids already being in the school system and having friends and teachers that they both needed – because BOTH of them had I.E.P’s. 

She didn’t realize that moving all the people out of that house and location, and into another one, that could accommodate all of that, would be a Herculean task probably impossible to achieve. In fact, it would probably disrupt our lives to the point of some sort of breakdown on some level. 

No, she didn’t care about any of that. She just looked at the bottom line and coldly told me to sell my house. 

That is what government does.  

Most people are situational liberals. We all have an innate sense of fair play and justice and we don’t like to see huge income disparities, where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and some people become destitute while other people fly to the US Open on private jets, etc, cliche, etc, cliche, etc.  

That makes some people vote for “statists” who promise to make those things go away with the raw power and iron fist of government control. 

“We’ll set it straight!” says the government. “We’ll make sure it’s all fair and no little guy gets trampled by any big guy,” says the biggest guy. 

And all of that sounds great…in theory. But once it gets into actual practice, that’s almost never what really happens. 

My music class has been watching documentaries on luminaries in the music world: people like Frank Sinatra and Bob Dylan. Both of those guys were icons and heroes of the left. But over time, their views broadened and changed and they realized that life and government was more complicated and nuanced than the simple stances we often take. 

See, there’s a thing called “Price’s Law.” It’s named after the physicist who developed it. It is an organizing, UNIVERSAL principle that things naturally cluster. Stars cluster. Planets cluster. Trees cluster. People cluster. 

Why have millions of people made a 22-mile-long, 2.5-mile-wide island in New York the most populated city in America? Price’s law. 

We don’t really know how or why this happens, but it does. This is where we get that blasted 1% when it comes to wealth. Because, yes…wealth clusters too.  

I live in a city that houses the greatest songwriters on planet Earth. Why are they all here? Price’s law. 

The idea of taxing into fairness is an attempt to break up Price’s law and distribute everything more fairly and equitably. But it never happens and it never HAS happened. Because you can’t legislate a universal principle out of existence. 

What actually DOES happen when you create more government and collect more taxes, is you necessarily create more bureaucracy to manage all of the fairness. But here’s the thing: the people who get hired to do those jobs don’t consider themselves to be a part of any problem. They just have a gig. And they base their entire lives on that gig. They pay bills and buy cars and send kids to college and…yes…buy houses…and build a whole existence around this gig.  

And sooner or later, they are convinced that this gig is necessary to life on Earth and that they are supposed to be where they are and everybody else is supposed to be subordinate to that. 

When maybe, the gig itself that they hold, isn’t part of anything necessary and is an impediment to the forward progress of a free market and the cultivation of free minds. 

Until you get a firm grasp on this, you will still believe there is such a thing as “paying your fair share” in taxes. 

Fair share to whom? 

Is the government entitled to all the money? 

Does someone else paying more or less affect your actual tax burden? 

Do higher tax rates actually bring about fairness in the real world?

Could social goals be achieved better and more efficiently through private means, rather than government programs?  

These are the questions you have to ask yourself, to fundamentally understand where you are when it comes to taxes and the role of government. 

The nation is another debate over this very thing as I type. And all the same old arguments are coming out to play. At this point it is simply boring. 

Donald Trump lowered the corporate tax rate by 14 points and the economy exploded in ways I’ve never seen in my lifetime. It’s basic math. You shave 14 points off the vig and suddenly business can expand and breathe. 

And we’ve been living off that breath all through this insanity of lock down and business closure. Getting catty with taxes right now just isn’t a good idea. In fact, it never is. 

And it’s not even about economics (for all my soon-to-post-armchair-self-procalimed-economics-experts). It’s about the basic principle of the fundamental question: who’s money is it in the first place?

If you believe it belongs to the earner, so many taxes will ever make sense. 

But if you believe it all belongs to the collective, no tax will ever be enough. 

And you will develop the kind of hubris and cockeyed thinking that will have you telling a self-made, self-employed songwriter, who has already paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes, who now has a special needs daughter, and who is just slugging it out to keep the roof above everybody’s head …

that he needs to live somewhere else. 

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THEY …

It’s a cute little commercial. 

And I guess it’s not harming anybody. Although…maybe it is. 

I’m referring to a radio ad that has an inner voice of the human body congratulating itself every time it makes a “better” choice. One of the choices that gets a hearty “AMAZING” is the choice to cook with “heart healthy” canola oil instead of butter. 

It should come as no surprise that the ad is paid for by the canola oil industry. 

The problem is, that choice is not heart healthy at all. In fact, it is the exact opposite of heart healthy. But we let it go and are still sorta, kinda convinced that maybe, if we squint just right and tilt our head to the side, it could be seen as heart healthy. 

But it is not. 

Let me explain …

The idea that seed oils are healthier alternatives to things like lard and butter (real butter – not margarine) came from the most comprehensive study ever done on heart health. It’s called the Minnesota Coronary Experiment and it was conducted from 1968-1973. Without getting all wonky on the science, the conclusions were that oils higher in omega 6 were better for you than saturated fats. 

* some links below *

https://www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i1246

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27071971/

And thus began the global campaign to change the diet of the world from people who consumed too much fat, butter, olive oil, coconut oil and such, to a world where everyone was ingesting these healthier, cleaner, less fatty seed oils. 

And it worked. 

And as a result, the world got healthier, thinner more clear-headed and less sick. Didn’t it???

No Of course not. The world has been getting heavier, more depressed and more diabetic ever since we decided to move away from “fat.” Surely, that couldn’t be a correlation. Could it?

In 2016, the Minnesota Coronary Experiment was revised because new information came to light that had not originally been added to the study. When the new information (that had literally been lost in somebody’s basement) was added, it showed that ALL diseases went up when the seed oils were consumed. 

So the most extensive study ever done in human history, on coronary artery disease, was flawed for decades and nobody knew it. 

My own grandfather was put on this horrible diet after his first heart attack. My hunch is it led to his second heart attack. But, hey…I’m not a doctor. 

Even now, we have this thing about the term “low fat” as if it’s a good thing. It’s not a good thing. AT. ALL. But “they” say it is. And they’ve been saying it for so many decades that it HAS to be true. Doesn’t it?

Conventional wisdom is proven to be wrong all the time. And sometimes, like in the Minnesota Coronary Experiment case, that wisdom could have devastating effects on the population. It can have devastating effects on generations of people. 

And then all sorts of narratives develop around this problem. And they’re all based on the foundational premise of an accepted piece of science…that is wrong. 

We devise medications that block this and fix that and increase the other thing. We put together exercise videos that target heart health. Motivational speakers charge us to come to their seminars, so we can get chastised for dong something wrong in our lifestyle that is killing us. We blame the fast pace of the western world and the rigors of navigating a dog-eat-dog capitalist society. We count calories and do programs and weigh food and mix up shakes and eat power bars. 

All because we are trying to mitigate something we can’t put our finger on. We’re just getting heavier and dealing with more inflammation. Surely it has to be our fault. Right?

We seek out fixes to our depression through medications and meditation and ridding ourselves of this or that (full disclosure – I have battled clinical depression since high school. Yes – actually diagnosed. Not self-diagnosed).

And, of course, religion has to jump into the fray, asserting that all of this chaos happening in our bodies and minds is a spiritual problem above all.

And we believe disease comes on us randomly and out of nowhere. And it’s just bad luck. 

Some of that is true. 

But a lot of (I would argue most of) what makes us unhealthy is what we put in our bodies. And the decisions of what to cook with and what not to cook with are often made by the “theys” of the world – the people smarter than us. The people who do the research and know the science. 

And they told us we should use omega 6 oils. They screamed it from the mountain tops. We were exposed to so many images of pretty, young, healthy moms cooking with these oils, that it was ingrained in our psyche to the point that we couldn’t accept anything else was true. 

But the study was flawed. Period. And that made the advertising flawed. And that changed everything we thought we knew. 

The health (or lack of health) of the world isn’t the fault of one flawed study. There are tons of factors in the function or dysfunction of our bodies. 

There is fructose and refined sugar and alcohol and tobacco and on and on it can go. 

The point is that all science has to be held with an open hand. Because what is law and gospel today will be disproven completely tomorrow. 

And if you’ve never met a scientist, you should actively seek one out. I promise you, if you hang out with them long enough, they will eventually have to go pee. They’re human just like everybody else. 

I’ve met some of the most ground breaking scientists on planet Earth. And they all – to a person – turned out to have the same human flaws as the rest of us: greed, pride, insecurity, pettiness…bias.  

So, when I hear people say, “follow the science” I just smile. Because the truth is they probably have no idea what the hell that even means. 

“The science” isn’t some infallible thing out there that moves like a train and you can either get on or get off, depending on if you’re willing to listen to the smart people. 

There are people without college degrees doing genetic research on dog breeds, in their garage, in rural Mississippi. You can literally order a kit off the internet and start experimenting. I guess you’d say that’s following the science. Isn’t it?

When science refuses to be challenged, it’s not science anymore…it’s religion

And before you know it, you’re cooking with something that is not all that good for you…while thinking you are being healthy. 

The reason you think that?

Because they said it was true.    

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PUSH UPS …

For those who’ve been waiting for me to finally do a pod cast, here is a sneak peek of what it will be.

I’ve been workin on it for a good while, had many meetings with networks and other pod casters and have already recorded several episodes. I will be announcing the official “launch,” soon. At the moment, it isn’t on any sites or networks. You can only get this one – today – right here.

All of the access and information will be coming soon. And those of you who are followers and subscribers will be the first to know about all of it.

In the meantime, I thought I would post yesterday’s episode in lieu of a written blog. Think of it as a trial run or a dress rehearsal.

I hope my adolescent voice and southern accent doesn’t ruin the mystique …

R

click the link to listen:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2592gix70n0c7rn/push%20ups%20mix_06.aif?dl=0

LIFE AND LAWS …

It’s the blood that bothers me the most.

The fact that the mother’s blood doesn’t mingle with the child’s blood…yeah…that bothers me. 

Also, whenever a woman says, “I’m eating for two, now,” I always ask myself, “So, that IS a whole other person in there?” 

Anyway …

We’ve all got our opinions on abortion. It’s one of the primary issues with which our country grapples. It essentially divides us into two groups. 

I know of so many people (often, women) who don’t realize how staunchly conservative they are, save one issue…abortion. I also know a lot of people who think they are conservatives but who really aren’t…until it comes to that subject. 

This issue cuts through the fabric of our culture like a sword. 

It sprang out of the sexual revolution. Women got tired of being told what to do. They wanted the power and control over their own bodies. I totally get that. I want power and control over my own body, too. I guess the only thing I would say to women, from someone with “white, male privilege” is that no matter how much power and control you think you have over your own body, it doesn’t exempt you from consequences

I personally know of three women who had this procedure in their youth. No…the progeny in question weren’t mine, (the Mumps secured my place in the “unable to re-produce” category many years ago), but the afore-mentioned women live with deep, emotional scars. I’ve heard them discuss it and they all believe that what was inside them was indeed a human life. 

To a woman, they all regret their decision. I make no judgements or statements and preach no sermons…I always just listen. 

I also know of men who got someone pregnant and then got hit for child support after the fact, even though they didn’t want the child. 

If a man doesn’t want a child, they’re called “a deadbeat dad.” If a woman doesn’t want a child, she’s merely exercising her rights. But I digress …

The abortion debate is essentially a battle over who gets to live and who doesn’t – and who gets to make that decision. It’s no more complicated than that. And a lot of women firmly believe that until the child inside them takes its first breath of fresh, earth air, they are the sole arbiters of the child’s existence. I don’t argue this point. I never have. But if I were going to argue it, there’s a lot of science on that side of the argument. 

I have questions for those who refuse to accept a human fetus as human life: 

Why do we do “prenatal” care if we’re not protecting a life? 

Why do we discourage women from smoking or drinking or even eating tuna while they’re pregnant, if it’s not to protect a completely different, autonomous entity? That has always nagged at me. 

Why do we charge someone with double homicide if they kill a pregnant woman?

Oh, whatever …

I watched a whole segment, once, on Good Morning America, about prenatal care and all the things you should do to “protect” your unborn child. Then, literally as they were going to commercial break, the anchor said, “Next, the debate over abortion heats up!” 

And I couldn’t help but think to myself, “so, you do all this stuff to keep your unborn baby safe…unless you decide to kill it at the last minute?” 

It was hard to reconcile. 

Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, would not have approved of my son and DEFINITELY not daughter…or my son’s best friend…or half of the NFL or NBA, or Beethoven, or James Brown, or Richard Pryor, or Steve Jobs, or Andrea Bocelli, or Faith Hill, or Hellen Keller, or Stephen Hawking, or Maya Angelou, or Oprah Winfrey, or pretty much any hip hop artist…or my own brother. 

These are all examples of people who were either “accidents,” given up for adoption, born into poverty or born into minority status, without hope or prospects. Or, they were the worst sin of all…born with a disability. 

Margaret believed we needed to “weed” these people out (her words – not mine). Hence, Planned Parenthood (the mission statement is right there in the name). 

I’m really glad all of the aforementioned people didn’t get “weeded out.” Especially my kids and my brother…and James Brown.

Then again, I understand the other argument. Hear me out …

My daughter has one of the rarest genetic disorders on planet earth. She cannot speak or care for herself in any way. There is an 80% molestation rate among people with disabilities. It’s completely insidious because predators know these are the weakest among us. And they act on it. And it sickens me. 

God forbid my daughter were to get raped and pregnant, we know that she would not be able to carry a child to term. It would kill her or kill the baby. We know this. It has happened. And even if she were to somehow carry it to term, it would have to be adopted immediately. She would not be able to care for it. 

Furthermore, there is a 50% chance the baby would be born with Angelman Syndrome, making it much more difficult to adopt out. 

These things keep me awake at night. And if I’m being honest, I would like to know there would be options for her, in an unthinkable situation like that. Some people have assured me that God would never let something happen. Then, they got on with their day, while I was there, still taking care of a person no one ever comes to take to the mall or to the park or to a birthday party. 

Yeah …God takes care of it. I get it. 

The harsh truth is you’re not really “pro-life” unless you have adopted children. Let me repeat that: you are not really pro-life unless you have adopted children. 

You may be philosophically opposed to abortion. But that is very different than being an active participant in protecting and providing for existing human life. It’s hard to listen to and face, but as long as there are orphans in the world, there aren’t enough people who actively embrace the idea of caring for all life. 

Here are some things to think about and ask yourself: 

If abortions are made illegal in all 50 states, there will be millions more children (many of whom will be children with special needs) who need to be adopted. How many children are you prepared to adopt? How many families with multiple children with disabilities, are you prepared to support? 

If ALL life is precious, regardless of how it is made, how many single mothers who sleep around and get pregnant by multiple fathers are you prepared to help support? After all, it isn’t the child’s fault how they got here. 

Some liberal states are taking abortion to a grisly end; allowing for abortions right up until the due date. They are even talking about ending the life, after the child has been born. One governor said, “we will keep it comfortable until the mother makes the decision.” 

Keep WHAT comfortable?!?! And if it’s not a life, why do you need to keep it comfortable? 

Whatever …

Then, on the other end of the spectrum, in the orthodox south (Texas being the latest hot spot), they are passing laws they believe to be righteous. And I get it. But in actual practice, do we really achieve anything by turning women who get abortions into criminals?

I’ve asked a lot of questions and provided almost no answers. Maybe that’s because the actual answers are not easy ones and they’re not ones we really want to hear. And unless we were prepared to face those answers honestly, this conversation will continue to be pointless. 

People (mostly conservatives) often tell me they want me to run for some sort of office. I always reply by saying, “You wouldn’t vote for me. Trust me.” And it’s because of this …

I’m personally a big fan of how Rudy Giuliani handled the issue in New York City. 

He was constantly excoriated by conservatives for being pro-choice, but abortions went down substantially in NYC on his watch. Why? He worked to champion adoption laws that favored adoptive parents and that gave pregnant girls better and more streamline alternatives. 

That’s actual problem solving and not just partisan rhetoric. Thats what I’m looking for. 

Yelling at people and debating the issue doesn’t bring babies into the world. Neither do stricter state laws. 

The fact is, there are more families waiting to adopt children than there are available children in the United States right now. I’ll bet you didn’t know that. Because adoption laws are so screwed up from state to state, adoptive families opt for overseas adoptions. My family was one of those. If you want to really end abortion, lobby for more favorable adoption laws in your state. 

Then, if you’re really serious, adopt a child. Find a pregnant girl looking for options, and give her a great one. 

That’s what life is all about. 

R

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IF ONLY…

It’s my least favorite sports argument of all time …

Would Barry Sanders be the all time leading rusher, in the NFL, if he had stayed in the game?

Who cares? 

He didn’t. So he isn’t. And Emit Smith is. Because he did. 

What an insult to a person who sacrificed and struggled and worked and played hurt and got every extra yard, to even entertain the debate. Was Barry Sanders a great player? Absolutely. Might he have gotten and held the title if he’d kept playing?

A lot of things might have happened…if only. But that’s not how records (or life) are measured. Nothing is measured by “if only.”  

I’ve seen debates on Facebook, talking about how things would’ve been better or worse if Donald Trump had been in charge during the Afghanistan debacle. And it’s a completely moot point. 

There is this murky alternate universe, filled with billions and billions of moving parts that all change each other as they are unfolding, where we speculate as to what may or may not have been. 

Then, there’s the one we actually live in…where we can see, in real time, what is actually happening. Not what might’ve happened. Not what should’ve happened. Not what was supposed to happen. But whatactually happened. 

If you think Trump (or anyone) would’ve handled it better, make sure you remember that when you vote. If you think Trump would’ve handled it worse…sorry…you get the government you vote for. And when they screw up in a way that is remarkable by any standard, you get to share in that reality. You helped bring it about. 

Might it have been worse? It doesn’t matter. It simply is. 

There is only what is and what isn’t  

And until you fully wrap your head around this concept, you will allow yourself to occasionally live in the “if only.” 

It’s easy to do. 

“If I had only caught that pass in front of the scouts, I would have gotten the scholarship.” 

“If I had been there 3 minutes earlier, I would’ve been the one that convenience store sold the winning lottery ticket to.”

“If I had been born with her skin tone and hair color, I would’ve been picked for the cheerleading team.”

“If I were running that company, we would do such and such …”

And on and on it goes. 

Meanwhile, while we are trying to figure out where we went wrong in the past, the present is staring us right in the face…right here, right now. 

I’ve told the story before (and I’m not going to go back into it), but I accidentally overheard a doctor tell my mother (when I was 10) that I probably wouldn’t live past age 21. It was all about Rheumatic fever and heart damage and a lot of other drama. I’m 54 and doing fine. It all worked out. But it did instill a sense of urgency in me that has never left. 

You literally have no idea when you’re going to die. It may be tomorrow. It may be before the sun goes down, tonight. It may not be for decades. But if you ever get a time limit placed on your life, it will change it forever. 

There is no more time for, “As soon as I get this and that lined up, I’m really going to kick it into gear,” talk. There is no time to wait until the perfect circumstances are in front of you (they never will be, by the way). 

If you are going to contribute anything to life, you have to act. Period. 

My number one pet peeve in the entertainment business, is watching people squander months and years, waiting on this to happen or that to happen, thinking that they will be saved by the right planets lining up at the right time. 

Not gonna happen. 

Whatever it is you were going to do…do it now. It’s time. Because when you’re gone, nobody is going to stand over your body and give a list of all the things you were “this close” to making happen.

You have one life. One body. One mind. And it has all been put here for a reason. Once you fullybuy into that, you will never waste another second of another day. 

And there will be no more excuses and dwelling in the past. There will only be learning from mistakes and moving on. There will be less “but…but…but…” and more “okay…what’s next?” talk. 

Understanding that life is a full participation, no points for the thing-that-was-messed-up-by-somebody-else’s-mistake, all in or not in at all, proposition, will turn your “dreams” into actualgoals. Because you will finally come to the realization that those dreams will not get closer to coming true while everything is static. 

I’ve lost 3 very important friends to death in the past 10 days. 

All 3 were extremely accomplished and brilliant in their respective careers. And the thing that has been gnawing at me the most about it has been the hard, cold reality that the world doesn’t get anything else from them…ever…EVER. 

Whatever they did or wrote or played or said or changed is done. Their stories are written. And no amount of “if only” will change what those stories are. They are now in stone…literally. 

Is this the story you wanted to write? Or, are you still blaming your situation for it not being written correctly? Are you okay with that backlog of projects collecting dust? Or is it time to put wheels under them and move forward? 

Sometimes, you need to close your eyes and picture your own funeral, as if it’s going to happen tomorrow. You okay with what you’re seeing? 

Did you wring every ounce of life out of what you were gifted with? Did you say what you came here to say? Do what you came here to do?

If you’re seeing a lot of “if only’s” there, it’s time to remove them and make “what is” as spectacular as “what might have been.” 

Because trust me, friends, that ceremony might be closer than you think …    

R

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ELEPHANTS…

“What is a booking agent?”

This is a standard question in the music business class that I teach. 

I tell my students that very often, the answer to any question you’re asking, about a word or phrase, is in the word itself. So a booking agent is someone who booksshows. The answer is in the word. 

It’s self evident. 

I feel like we complicate things in life, so many times, because we refuse to ask the simple question; the most elementary question. 

We choose our sides and cling to our talking points and make our refined arguments. But sometimes, there is a very simple, almost childlike question hanging out there, that nobody seems to want to approach. 

And while we’re all posturing and positioning, that question just lingers. 

I lost two friends to the big virus this week. All of us who create online content always hesitate to call it by name because we’re trying to sidestep the censors and algorithms. 

Why? Well, that’s a big question we should all be asking. But I digress …

At the same time these to friends have passed away, I have other friends and family members who have contracted the virus, who have been fully vaccinated. And my wife has a couple of co-workers who are having strange physical side-effects (maybe they’re side-effects, who knows) since getting the vaccine. 

I have been immersed in videos and literature on global studies and data surrounding all of this. And, no, none of those studies are coming from my uncle’s brother-in-law who thinks the world is flat and we never went to the moon. 

I’m talking about actual peer reviewed data, being posted by actual doctors and scientists. And even then, a lot of our information is murky at best. 

But here’s the child like question I keep asking that I can’t seem to find an answer to: where are the studies coming out of China? 

I prefer to use universally accepted premises to ask these questions. Not biased ones. It just makes it easier. 

So, here is the universally accepted premise that literally zero people dispute: the virus came from Wuhan, China. Now, there are disputes as to whether it escaped from a lab or a bat cave, but nobody disputes its city of origin. 

Okay…that’s some bedrock we can all stand on. 

So, why isn’t China leading the way in sharing information with the world and holding daily press briefings, letting us know what’s working and what isn’t? Why aren’t we getting a daily tally of cases and deaths from the place where the thing originated? 

This has been my main question  from the beginning – since last year. And it still isn’t being answered. 

If this originated in Cleveland, I can’t imagine the city leaders and local health officials wouldn’t have had to hold at least ONE press conference. And the CDC and WHO would’ve been all over that place tracing and counting and “following the science.” 

But in this case, we seem to be fine with the fact Xi Jinping (General Secretary of The CCP) hasn’t had to answer ONE press question. Not one. Even after the United States has fought and argued and elected a whole new president. 

I’m not even insinuating that Jinping is hiding anything or doing anything bad. I’m simply wondering why the leader of the most populated nation on Earth, and the epicenter of the most disruptive pandemic in a hundred years, hasn’t been available to share information with the rest of the world, and why we’ve all been okay with it. 

Are the death rates rising in China? Are they succumbing to new variants? If not, why not? Are their death numbers accurate? Are independent sources verifying their numbers? Do they have effective treatments they could share with the world? If so, what are they? 

What’s going on over there? I, for one, would like to know. Not because I’m hostile toward them. But because they have more people than any other nation and have more experience with all of these viruses than any other nation. It seems like we should talk to them. Doesn’t it? Is it just me? 

The fact is, we know why nobody wants to ask that question or answer it. Because nobody wants to be characterized as a racist and nobody in power wants to get on the bad side of a communist regime. 

An that’s the big elephant in the room. 

Our Vice President went to Vietnam this week…as another Vietnam was playing out in Afghanistan. 

When we left Vietnam, in 1975, a million people were killed and the communists took over the country. If you study what happened after that, you will get a lesson in how communism destroys in ways you cannot imagine when you’re contemplating its glories in the faculty lounge of your Ivy League college. 

Like every other communist regime in history, Vietnam’s attempt at total collectivism eventually collapsed under its own weight. Now, it’s a destination spot and a place where there is available labor and an emerging economy. 

Our Vice President is able to have a nice visit over there because it’s not fighting for communism anymore. That is always the case, all the time. 

Freedom and free exchanges of ideas are always better. Always. They get us to better places more quickly. Tyranny and collectivism hides the light but liberty illuminates. 

Why is that?

Because collectivism become the only game in town. And the only game in town CANNOT be wrong…no matter what. It cannot be challenged. Because if it’s challenged and found wanting, the entire system becomes suspect. And that leads to the ultimate collapse. 

So it must be protected, even at the expense of lives and livelihoods; hopes and dreams. 

Free and open exchanges allow us to examine and challenge and call out and ultimately get to the answer. It might be painful and ugly sometimes, but that’s what a light shows…the truth. 

There are life and death questions we’re all grappling with right now: Do we get a vaccine? Do we not get it? Do we go out in public? Do we stay home?   Do we send our kids to school? Or do we keep them doing online learning?

We’re in the middle of an extreme public health crisis and there are almost no good options. Whatever decision you make, on any of these things, is going to bring with it risks. 

And you have to make the most informed and reasonable decision you can. Your very life depends on it. 

I just wish we had all the information we could get. But some of it is simply unavailable. 

And nobody is asking why. 

R

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MY COMMERCIAL…

The Babylon Bee has one million followers. One million. 

Their last post got ONE like. ONE. 

Those of us who are in the “content creation” (a term I loathe with every fiber of my being) business, really have no idea what’s going on with the algorithms in any given social media platform. 

We do our research and we try to do all the things; posting on different sites, engaging with friends and followers, picking the right picture for the post (I spend more time searching for pictures than I do actually creating – WAY more time) positing often but not too often, blah, blah, blah. 

The deal is simply this: we’re constantly trying to figure out how to monetize what we do. And it’s an uphill climb to say the least. 

I was once a highly paid songwriter. In fact, I used to make more money JUST from songwriting (not counting producing and performing), ONE JOB, than I do now with the 5 or 6 jobs I do collectively. 

At one time I thought maybe I wasn’t working hard enough or maybe I wasn’t actually good at what I did and people were finally onto me, or I was getting too old and out of touch or a dozen other things. But definitely putting the blame on myself. 

Then, I realized that the game was rigged and I wasn’t part of the club rigging it. 

Some guy shows up with a fancy, new app, that allows you to access billions and billions of dollars worth of recorded material; every song ever recorded in the history of the art form…for $14 a month…and I was suddenly out of a job. 

I’d like to tell you it was more complicated than that. But it wasn’t. 

Anyway …

As my caregiving duties intensified and my time availability got more compressed, I sat down one night and started “blogging.” 

I still, since I posted my first blog on Myspace in 2006, have no idea what a blog is supposed to be. I finally learned, a couple of years ago, that it’s short for “web log,” but I have no idea if I’m doing it right or not. 

I just sit down and start typing. 

For some unknown reason, people seem to respond to these peckings. So I started getting followers and readers and newfound friends and people shared them and reposted them and whatever. 

Pastors have quoted them from the pulpit and I know of at least 3 school teachers who read them to their classes every morning. Personally, I think that is a very bad idea. But hey, it’s a free country. I mean, it used to be …

Through the years, I’ve discovered that there are a few ways to earn money from an existence on the internet: reaching a large audience, or a catering to a dedicated, small audience. 

I kinda fall in the middle, somewhere. 

I don’t write for any particular brand or entity. It’s just me over here in a windowless office, on a 2008 Mac Book Pro, saying things I’ll probably regret later. 

I’ve had several “viral” blogs and every time that happens I hear from blog website people who tell me I could’ve earned this many thousands of dollars if I’d been with their site. 

Then, when I ask about coming on board with their site, I never hear from them again. 

I made a promise to my readers, a few years ago, that I wouldn’t activate the advertising function on my site. But then, I had a blog go uber viral (over 9 million shares, alone) and I lost nearly six figures in income.

Lesson learned. 

So what does any of this have to do with you? What does it have to do with anything? Nothing, actually. But I thought I’d take today and do a little commercial for myself. 

See, like the Bee, I too have been seeing my stats dwindle. Where I would normally get a hundred to two hundred shares on a blog, I’m now getting a fraction of that. I have no idea if I’m being “throttled” or if I’m just not resonating anymore. 

But I know for a fact that I have been reported a few times to the internet police for having opinions that do not comport with what our lords and masters have determined to be safe for public consumption. 

You’ll never see it happening. Nobody from Facebook will call you and say, “Hey, we’re just letting you know that we’re only showing your posts to 3 people today.” 

No, you just won’t be seen or heard or shared and you will never know exactly why. 

So I created some actual Facebook groups to try and mitigate that. But I have no idea how all those ones and zeros work either. 

Here’s what I do know:

Based on my own stats, if every single person in my Facebook blog readers group joined my Patreon page (at $5 a month) I could earn a living just a blogger. If all the  subscribers on my WordPress site joined, I would earn a very handsome living. 

If every person who reads my blog around the globe joined (based on the analytics), I would be the highest paid independent blogger in the world.  

I don’t want your money. I hate sales almost as much as I hate the phrase (content creator). I never sold any candy bars for the elementary school. It’s just not my thing. I would rather have an enormous audience and make all my money on advertising, and never have to see or hear or talk to anybody about anything other than the stuff I want to write about.  

But these are strange times and we are all at the mercy of people in ivory towers, pulling strings as they see fit. 

So, yes, this is a commercial for what I do. If you are finding this on Facebook, consider joining the blog readers group. It may help guarantee that you see these blogs (or whatever they are) of mine. 

If you are so inclined, consider joining the WordPress site. I post a free blog once a week to this site and once posted, it will come directly to your email. I like eliminating billionaire boy wonders from the equation. 

And if you are really passionate about helping those of us who are hell bent on ensuring that our children never go to college, consider becoming a Patron on my Patreon site. 

I post a blog there 5 days a week. And for the upper tiers, there are some other perks. 

For the second tier, ($5 a month) my 5 books are available as well as the blogs. For the 3rd tier ($10), everything I’ve ever created is available; all my records and books. 

Last month, I created a creative writing coaching tier ($100 a month). This is for those who have asked me, through the years, for tips and mentoring on songwriting or just writing in general. I hesitated for a long time to do this, because, trust me – you don’t want megiving you advice on anything – but I did it and so far, the students are sufficiently fooled into believing there is some sort of value in it. 

Disclaimer: *No refunds will be given once you discover I am a complete fraud.*  

 

Writing a thousand words a day is a job in itself. But its one I absolutely adore and have done for free, for many years. But I would love to turn it into something that allows me to eliminate a couple of other things from my daily docket.

And most importantly, I want to do all I can to make sure we can continue to connect through the psychological mine field that is (enter social media platform here). 

Okay…enough about that. Now back to your regularly scheduled apocalypse …

To become a patron, click the link below … 

https://www.patreon.com/m/regiehamm   

PS – I chose the picture to try and use sex to get you to read this blog.

LAS VEGASTAN…

It was always my solution. 

But nobody was asking me or listening to me. Now, as we watch our country and its heroes, close up shop and hot-foot it out of town, leaving behind an entire arsenal to the bad guys, I think I was more right than I knew. 

It was the Covid argument of its time: People, wringing their hands and clutching their pearls over “this endless war,” would occasionally ask me what I thought we should do in Afghanistan. I’m fairly certain they didn’t really want to hear my opinion. Those types of questions are generally asked so the person asking them can then tell you what they think should be done.  They’ve been dying to tell someone. They have all their talking points lined up and they’re ready to unload. 

And, of course, most ideas were trapped in the prison of the political. For some, whatever CNN said to do was the absolute truth. For others, whatever FOX News said to do, was the absolute truth. Does any of this sound familiar?

Nah…surely we’ve gotten over that (insert eye roll here). 

The thing about situations like Afghanistan is that you must deeply examine what you truly believe. Deeply. Those types of scenarios require you to get a 30-thousand-foot look at your own world view. 

I’m amazed at the people who still haven’t done that. 

For me, the answer was always easy and non political. 

What do you do about Afghanistan? You turn it into Las Vegastan. 

Hear me out …

No self respecting American, wanting to be seen as “fair minded,” would agree that nation building is a good thing. It never works. Right?

Wrong.

Nation building works everywhere it is tried. It worked in Japan. It worked in Germany. It worked in South Korea. And yes, it worked in the southern United States. We called it “Reconstruction.” 

What does’t work is military base building.

The human race either honestly embraces its own vices and or it continues to make rigid rules, punishable by the harshest means available, in the governing of itself. 

Those who are the least honest in their allowance for humans to be…well…humans, always end up being the most totalitarian brutalizers. And when you put “God” in the middle of all that nonsense, you run the risk of getting something truly monstrous. 

My wife and I just finished watching all 4 seasons of The Handmaid’s Tale. And the over-aching theme that keeps coming back again and again, is how this crazy, religious fundamentalism took hold and became big and powerful enough to take over the United States (or most of it, anyway). 

How and (more importantly, why) did these people become so backward and brutal and draconian (that’s the new “dystopian” for word people) and unconcerned with entire portions of humanity? 

Hollywood chose to place that hypothetical mantle on white, fundamentalist Christians – probably Trump supporters and MAGA hat wearers. 

But the whole time they were making up this disgusting alternate universe, it was really (like, actually) playing out – in real time – on the other side of the world, in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Syria. 

You can’t make the bad guys Middle Eastern, though. That would be disrespecting someone’s culture. 

At some point, if we’re really, truly concerned with global human rights, we’re going to have to get over our own “wokeness” and basically say something akin to what Arnold said to free born Americans the other day:“screw your culture.” 

If your culture includes the genital mutilation of little girls…screw your culture. 

If your culture includes women being seen as property (at worst) and second class citizens (at best)…screw your culture. 

If your culture includes the idea that an entire race of people (like, maybe…oh, I dunno…Jews) should be eliminated from the face of the Earth…screw your culture. 

And if you’ve used Afghanistan as a launching base from which to attack the freest nation in the history of the world, then you don’t get to have it anymore. 

I’m that Libertarian other Libertarians hate. Because I actually do believe in Nation building. Live and let live is a wonderful concept, as long as everybody is on the same page, you know…living and letting others live. 

Once that trust is broken, and we see that we’re going to simply be in a clash of wills for all eternity, then it’s time to eliminate some bad ideas and confiscate some land. 

It’s easy to talk about America as a war machine and the world police and the bully in the neighborhood and all of that, until our airfields are overrun with people trying to turn the clock back to the 13th century. 

Sometimes a playground is what is needed to calm everybody down and have them re-think their stringent positions on things. 

Look at Dubai and Quattar. 

Why not have a place where everybody can let their hair down and throw back a few and get a little weird; where rich, Middle Eastern leaders can do something really naughty (that they’re most certainly doing somewhere, away), that would not be accepted by their followers, that the CIA can secretly film and hold them in a perpetual state of blackmail?

It works for our elected officials. 

Maybe if some of those Taliban guys were more in debt to a casino and crushing on the stripper, with a bourbon in their hand, they wouldn’t be so fired up about putting burkas back on people. 

Maybe if you could go see Cirque du Soleil, then grab a world class dinner after, you would chill out a little and bask in the wonders of what motivated humans can achieve, rather than trying to either put them in chains or in a grave. 

Maybe if you could catch Celine Dion in her 3rd residency and marvel at that vocal instrument for ninety minutes or so, you’d go back to your poppy farm a little more inspired and a little less “fundamentalist.”

Believe it or not, this is the vision Trump was tying to sell that little pudgy North Korean dude. People made fun of it, but I got it. And I agreed with it. 

They always say, “we can’t impose our values on other countries.” 

Sure we can. We do it all the time. And we absolutely should. That’s where the “diving deeply into what you believe” part comes in. I believe in human rights and individual liberty and freedom of speech and expression and freedom to assemble and question the government and liberty and justice for all. Which one of those “values” shouldn’t be transplanted into any part of the world?

Which of those values should be held for America only? Or should they also apply to every person, all over the world?

So, yes. We absolutely should import American and western values everywhere we can. Wherever it takes hold, the place will end up better than it was.  

Only, in the case of Afghanistan, we didn’t even try. They call it the graveyard of Empires because all people have ever done is fight there. And we did the same thing. And that’s why we’re leaving in shambles like every other nation in history has done. 

As it stands, the only thing the Afghani people saw from America was military bases and combat boots. And as much as I love the American troops, if you grow up thinking that’s all America is, you will only have a one-sided view of freedom and America.  

The next time we go into a country to root out insanity – and I believe after this week, we’ll probably be going back to this particular country sooner than later – maybe we should bring some night clubs and theaters and bars and listening rooms and art houses as well. 

I’ll be happy to headline at the first casino open. 

   

R

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