Random.

Corona Virus.

Virus

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On Manly Loyalty. (A little long, but worth the read)

Men


In Dante’s Inferno, Dante takes an allegorical journey through the nine levels of Hell. With Virgil as his guide, he ventures through nine concentric circles, each level inhabited by successively worse sinners. Dante works his way through limbo, lust, gluttony, avarice, wrath and sloth, heresy, violence, and fraud, before finally making it the center of the earth and the lowest circle of Hell. Here reside the worst sinners in history, those guilty of treason and betrayal. These traitors are doomed to spend eternity encased in ice, with the very worst of the bunch-Brutus, Cassius, and Judas-being perpetually chewed on by Satan.

With so many varieties of sinners, why did Dante mark traitors as the worst of the worst? For that matter, why do those who remember little about the Revolutionary War still know exactly who Benedict Arnold was? And why is being called a “fairweather fan” such a derisive insult? In short, why is betraying one’s loyalty so unforgivable an act?

While the fabric that has held society together has worn thinner in our modern age, it is still loyalty that lends the cloth its strength. It is loyalty that keeps the world functioning. We could not conduct business transactions or personal relationship without it. Loyalty is the idea that we are who we say we are and we will do what we say we will do. It is the hope that the integrity with which we initially encountered someone will endure indefinitely.

It’s also what keeps us unified. We live out our lives as part of agreed upon norms that allow us to operate from day to day. We need to know who we can count on. We all understand that ideally, friends will have your back, lovers will remain true, and businesses will not cheat you out of your money. When someone is disloyal, they break from these expectations and weaken the trust that holds us together.

Yet modern society is understandably weary of the virtue of loyalty. Every virtue has its true manifestation and its false counterpart. Frugality can become stinginess; resolution can become stubbornness; humility can become passiveness. And loyalty can become blind obedience. Critics of loyalty point to Germany under Hitler or China under Mao and ask, “Weren’t the evil deeds committed by ordinary people done out of a sense of loyalty?”

But the loyalty demanded by such regimes, by conquerors and oppressors, is not true loyalty. Loyalty can never be demanded, only chosen, as we shall see. And while loyalty can be used for both ill and good, this does not negate its great and honorable power when used for the latter.
What is Loyalty?

Like, courage, integrity, and personal responsibility, loyalty is one of the essential manly virtues. But like other lofty attributes, it is often easier to describe with examples than words. We know it in the soldier who will not leave a wounded comrade behind and dodges withering fire to bring the man to safety. We see it embodied in the prominent man who has women throw themselves at him when away from home, but who never strays from his wife, and in the religious martyr who chooses death over the disavowal of faith. And it is the bond that befuddles girlfriends who cannot understand why their beau is still friends with a childhood chum with whom he now seemingly shares little in common.

Josiah Royce, author of the 1920 book, The Philosophy of Loyalty, said loyalty was “the willing and practical and thoroughgoing devotion of a person to a cause.” Let’s unpack this definition:

Willing. Loyalty must born from your own choice and free will. It cannot be forced upon you by another person or organization. Loyalty must be chosen.

Practical and thoroughgoing devotion. Loyalty is not some pie in the sky abstraction. It must be coupled with action. Feeling and emotion can be part of loyalty, but action must always constitute the core.

To a cause. We often imagine loyalty as a bond between ourselves and individuals or organizations-with a friend, with a wife, with a church. Thus, when that individual entity changes and stops interesting us, we feel justified in breaking off our loyalty to it.

True loyalty must take as its cause something bigger than the individual; it must be rooted in principles, not people. Be not loyal to your buddy Eddie, but loyal to the idea of brotherhood and friendship. Be not loyal to your wife, but loyal to the idea of love and fidelity. Be not loyal to your sister but loyal to the sacred nature of familial bonds. Be not loyal to a church but loyal to the gospel.

Such unchanging principles must serve as the foundation of your loyalty. Thus, when people and organizations shift and change, your loyalty, anchored to immovable values, will remain steadfast.
To What Should We Be Loyal?

“Whenever, I say, such a cause so arouses your interest that it appears to you worthy to be served with all your might, with all your soul, with all your strength, then this cause awakens in you the spirit of loyalty. If you act out this spirit, you become, in fact, loyal.” -Josiah Royce

While we often think of loyalty as a somber duty, the causes which arouse your loyalty must be ones that fascinate and possess you, ones that reverberate in your being and invigorate your spirit.

The causes to which you choose to be loyal need not be dictated to you by your position or by tradition and can be entirely of your own creation. Choose causes which mirror your will and align with your core values and ideals, causes that so engross and engage both your heart and mind that you feel willing to make whatever sacrifices will be necessary to remain loyal and true.
The Decline of Loyalty

In time where individuality and personal freedom are the values du jour, loyalty is not celebrated with much frequency or gusto. Our intensely consumerist society has made us a nation of shoppers, not just for actual commercial goods, but in all aspects of our lives. With the myriad of choices available-from shampoos to professions-we are taught that happiness is a result of keeping one’s options open to the greatest possible degree. We are always on the hunt for a better deal, for an upgrade. Thus modern loyalty is a pale version of its ancient form. Sure we’re loyal……until something better comes along. We’re loyal…until we are given an excuse to bail. Of course this is not true loyalty at all. A loyal man commits to something with the idea that he is casting his lot with that cause in perpetuity.

Loyalty has also been weakened by our age of cynicism. As we have mentioned, loyalty requires a cause that invigorates and enlivens both heart and mind. Thus, idealizing your cause to a certain extent is necessary for loyalty. When we decide to be loyal, we are loyal to the very best in something, to the potential of something. We are fully aware of the warts of the cause, but these are not the things that animate our loyalty.

But our cynical age wishes to dwell only on the warts, to the eclipsing of anything good and virtuous about the cause. Cynicism crushes loyalty before it even has a chance to sprout up. When you speak of marriage, divorcees are waiting to intone about how outdated the institution is and how pointless the endeavor When you speak of country, naysayers immediately rattle off the latest news of government scandals. You cannot talk about a great man without someone jumping in to list their faults. There seems to be no room these days for someone who sees things as he hopes them to be, without being called naive and moronic. A cause needs some profundity and dignity for loyalty to thrive, and such space is currently hard to come by. But loyalty deserves a place even in our “sophisticated” modern age, as it offers a myriad of benefits to both the individual man and to society as a whole.

The Benefits of Loyalty

“Loyalty for the loyal man is not only a good, but for him chief amongst all the moral goods of his life, because it furnishes to him a personal solution of the hardest of human practical problems, the problem: “For what do I live? Why am I here? For what am I good? Why am I needed?” -Josiah Royce

We admire loyal men because they are filled with confidence, aim, direction, and purpose. We know what they are about and what we can expect from them. We know where they stand.

But loyalty may seem to be an archaic approach to life, one that will be detrimental to your personal happiness and fulfillment. Isn’t it good to always be willing to move on to something better and not be tied down to any one thing?

On the surface this makes sense, but it has been my experience that true happiness comes from committing to a cause bigger than yourself. And committing to that cause for the long haul. While society says that such absolute commitment is stifling, it’s really the endless shopping around mentality that’s leaving us unsatisfied. Here’s why:

Loyalty breeds satisfaction and happiness. Studies have shown that being able back out of our decisions makes us less happy than making “irreversible” decisions. For example, in one study students were told that they could pick one fine art print to take home with them. One group was told that the decision was final. The other group was told that they could return and exchange the print later if they so desired. While almost everyone in the second group said they were happy to have the option to return their print, almost none did. However, the second group ended up far less satisfied with their choice than the group that was not allowed to make exchanges. Why? Because with the option to reverse their decision always in the back of their minds, they could not move forward and put in the important psychological work to accept and enjoy their decision.

Thus, while it may seem risky to commit our loyalty to something for the long haul, it can be quite psychologically rewarding. In trading quantity for quality, you will come to know the rich satisfactions available only to those who are willing to go in-depth with something, sticking with it through thick and thin.

Loyalty lessens the amount of uncertainty in your life. In a previous article, we talked about the way in which having too many choices can paralyze us into unhappiness and inaction. One of the ways to mitigate this effect is to purposely limit our choices. There are some choices in life we can make once and never have to make again. Once you know where you stand in life, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you are faced with certain choices.

Loyalty breeds loyalty. Of course living a life of loyalty does not garner merely personal benefits. It can positively transform society as a whole. Loyalty is contagious. As we lives of loyalty we encourage other men to do likewise. As Royce argues, we should act “as to further the general confidence of man in man.”

Loyal men can change the world. When good men bail out of organizations that they feel have gotten off-track, it simply becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. There are no shortage of problems with everything from family to politics, but if loyal men don’t stick around and work from within to be a force of positive change, these institutions will never improve. Loyal men transform causes from the inside out.
Individualism, Free Will, and Loyalty

Perhaps the greatest impediment to our embrace of loyalty is the worry that we will lose some of our free will in the pursuit of it. After all, once you are dedicated to a cause, you are committed to acting in a certain way. But loyalty and individuality need not be at odds. Rather than submerge one’s individuality, loyalty can elevate and exalt the self.

The greatest and most difficult of philosophical tasks is it to discover and understand our own will. We first look inside of ourselves, but it is hard to find answers from gazing within. So we then look to conform with the rest of society. But doing so only highlights our differences with others and our desire to rebel from certain social norms. We then return to looking within ourselves for answers, and the cycle continues.

Loyalty can unify this conflict between individuality and social conformity, between our inner and outer worlds. Loyalty gives to man an external cause, an external purpose and course of action. But the decision to serve that cause is created from inner reasons, which glorify and inspire the self. In manifesting our inner values in an external way, we intensely feel the self, which is now imbued with power, value, and dignity. Royce argued:

“Thus loyalty. . . solves the paradox of our ordinary existence, by showing us outside of ourselves the cause which is to be served, and inside of ourselves the will which delights to do this service, and which is not thwarted but enriched and expressed in such service.”

When Are We Justified in Being Disloyal?

Perhaps the most difficult question to grapple with concerning loyalty is answering the question of when a man is justified in breaking his loyalty. Is a loyalty that has loopholes even loyalty at all?

Many men misunderstand loyalty as dependent on a tit for tat relationship. They see their relationships as a scale; as long as both sides remain balanced, they remain loyal. But as soon as the scale tips unfavorably to where they are sacrificing more than they are getting in return, they feel justifed in breaking their loyalty. But true loyalty is not a function of reciprocity.

You should strive to stay loyal until all the work you can do for your cause is finished, which may not come until the end of your life. Of course in between now and then your cause may change , and you be tempted to be bail and say, “I’m not going to let this cause tell me what to do!” But remember, you chose the cause. You proposed, you got baptized, you joined the army. In so choosing, you also chose to accept whatever crap would later come down the line. You knew the risks in pledging your loyalty, and you willing accepted those risks. What good is a loyalty that swells in the midst of pomp and ceremony only to shrink in the trenches?

On the other hand, a cause should never become your conscience. And what does a man do when his cause violates that conscience, when it violates his core values? The first time it happens are you justified in being disloyal? After 7 times 70 times? Never? Is there any honor in taking great abuse from your wayward cause or is to remain in an offensive situation a disavowal of your manliness?

Here is where I’d like readers to pick up the discussion. What role does loyalty have to play in a man’s life and in modern society? And when is a man justified in being disloyal?


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Division is going to be our downfall.

American Flag

Our country is not in a good place right now and it will not take much before it completely ceases to be the country that I knew, was taught about, and believed in as a child. I am not talking about just one aspect like economic, social, or political, but rather all of it as a whole.

Our forefathers intended to preserve our Constitutional Republic and everything it stands for, by putting things in place that would withstand the test of time as well as what they could not foresee in the future. Granted, there have been advancements achievements, and events since then, that nobody could have seen coming, but the principles still remain the same.

Contrary to popular belief the United States is not mob rule. I am reminded that Alexander Hamilton once called political parties "the most fatal disease" of popular governments. When the delegates to the Constitutional Convention gathered in Philadelphia they entirely omitted political parties from the new nation’s founding documents. This was no accident. The framers of the new Constitution desperately wanted to avoid the divisions that had ripped England apart in the 17th century.

Despite all the effort the first American political parties began to form while George Washington was still president So where are we today? Right back where we started, minus the actual war, but a revolutionary ware just the same. All it's going to take is one little incident and we will have another "shot heard around the world" so-to-speak. We have all heard the saying, "A house divided among itself cannot stand." and I think that is our greatest danger right now. And dare I say worse now amid the corona virus pandemic?

Our country has been reduced to "us" versus "them" no matter what side of isle you hale from. Too many have forgotten the unity we had as a country following the attack on Pearl Harbor and again on 9/11. Those were times when it didn't matter if someone was affiliated with the Democratic Party, Republican Party, Constitution Party, Libertarian Party, or even Green Party. There was no concern about who was Conservative, Liberal, Black, White, Jewish, Hispanic, Asian, Gay, Straight, Male, Female, Christian, Atheist, or whatever else divides us these days. The fact remains that there was a time we were all united into one party, "The American Party."  We all we cared about "Our Country" that was attacked and "Our fellow Americans" that were killed by the hands of those who wanted to and in the case of 9/11 to this day still want to destroy us.

Now we are experiencing a world wide pandemic where abortion is considered "essential", but churches are not. Frankly we are poised to destroy this country ourselves, if this division is not set aside. We have to go back to being just Americans, and stand behind our president even if you didn’t vote for him or if you don’t agree with his policies. Believe it or not history is being forgotten and rewritten before our very eyes. Wake up people! The United States has given our sovereignty away to china and other countries. And we need to take it back!
 
One of the main reasons we won WW2 was that we manufactured goods. Do you think if we went to war with China now or any other country for that matter, they would send us the raw materials needed to built a defense against them? Too many schools and colleges are indoctrination centers not education centers. Students are no longer getting an education at the hands of some teachers and professors. Too many students are graduating as indoctrinated robots instead of educated individuals. Our God given right to protect ourselves and our families is being eroded before our very eyes. We need to eliminate “off limit” zones for guns so responsible legal carry individuals can protect themselves, their families, and possibly other innocent bystanders. I’m not gonna lie it’s a whole new country and Americans need to protect themselves like never before.

Plain and simple people criminals use off limit zones and buildings to their own advantage. And if you think I’m lying then you are sadly mistaken. We need to band together and take our country back now or it will be too late! The attack on Pearle Harbor and 9/11 did happen and Nay I say, sooner or later it will happen again in one form or another.” if we don’t unite and makes changes now.

For the first time in my lifetime Marshall law may be a reality. And why is that? Because people don’t care about their neighbors any more, morals have gone out the window, and now it’s a me, me, me, society. Frankly, there are people in our government today that hate America and everything it stands for. They will do anything they can to destroy our way of life and mold our country into something unrecognizable. If you don’t believe me, then elect a socialist or a communist and find out for yourself. The division in this country is going to be our downfall and the powers that be have us right where they want us.

Don’t get me wrong there are some good people in government, but they are very few and very far between. Like it or not I think Trump is doing his best with what he was dealt. It truly is a massive swamp in Washington D.C., and in cities, counties, and states all around the nation. We need to stand up for our God given, inalienable, personal rights and freedoms now and stop giving them away in the name of protection from an entity that doesn’t care about you, your family, or your life.

We need to come together as Americans again to save our nation. We need to band together like never before or we will loose this country and our world will never be the same. The American people should be able to stand in front of the entire congress with no absentees on their part allowed, and ask the real questions. And if they show disinterest or we don’t like their answer than they need to go. Ohh the list questions I already have is mounting.

Furthermore, we need to drill for our own oil. Refine our own gas. Manufacture our own goods. Forge our own steel. Cut our own trees. Make our own lumber. 
We need to bring our troops home to secure our own borders. We need to worry about our own citizens. Our veterans. And our homeless population. If any elected official stands in our way as United Americans then they need to go and go now!

In 2017 Nancy Pelosi told Laura Wilkerson who’s son was slaughtered by an illegal that and I quote, “I pray for you.” Seriously Nancy do you really think we’re that stupid? I would bet that you didn’t and you never have prayed for anybody, but yourself. Furthermore, and I am willing to bet that Laura Wilkerson didn’t want prayer from you, she wanted answers and she wanted you to do your job to protect American citizens. Neither of which you have done to this day.

Congress should be paid a reasonable salary comparable to what rest of us have to live on. The American people need to exert what power we have left and do away with the envious retirement pension benefits that congress gets for life. Now retirement pay for Congress is not normally a big election-year issue and I get that, but it might serve as evidence of a disconnect between lawmakers and mainstream America.

Every politician on every level of government needs to live by the laws that they make for the rest of us and by that I mean every single law. Americans need to realize that Greta Thundberg and David Hogge, are nothing more than a puppets and certainly not a heroes. Despite all of this, I would rather live in the United States right now than anywhere else in the world. And the United States could be the greatest nation on earth again, but it has to start with us.

Listen, until the swamp is drained don’t expect a politician who has nothing to loose, has no accountability and lives on the backs of everyday working Americans to help. You need to realize that most of them simply don’t care about anything, but more power and more of our money. Start to pay attention, get to know your neighbors, get to know who lives around you. Find out who you can trust and who you can’t. Truly folks, we are now the first responders in our neighborhoods, our towns, or cities, our counties, and our country.

When I was a kid we knew who our neighbors were and we cared about them. We helped them and they helped us. The number of people who live somewhere for years, and don’t even know the name of the person who lives right next to them or across the street is staggering. And moreover, most people don’t care.

What used to be a criminal activity in this country is now seen as normal and that is a very, dangerous place to be. Honestly and much to my chagrin I believe, we are not leaving our children a better world then the one we inherited. Think about that…..We are not leaving our children a better world then then the one we inherited. Pretty scary isn’t it?

I do believe we are going to get through this pandemic, but we need to pull together, stop blaming each other and stop pointing fingers. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, because their are people like Debra Messing, Alyssa Milano, Kathy Griffith, Nancy Pelosi and Joy Behar who have already demonstrated that no matter what they will not band with anybody, but the ones who seek to destroy our country. Come on let’s face it…….there comes a time when you just can’t fix stupid.  People like that just need to be left to their own devices and let natural selection take it’s course.

And in conclusion I have one more thing to say, May God Bless The U.S.A.




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Animals.

Pets


Animals are undoubtedly important to humans and humans are important to animals in one form or another as well. After all, humans are technically animals too.

All animals can show love, hate, anger, sadness, self preservation and compassion to some extent. The first thing we think about are dogs and cats, while that is certainly true, dolphins, elephants, pigs, lions, and even chickens have been known to show compassion and / or interact with humans in a seemingly friendship manner. If you break it down to the basics it could be the old, “I need something from you and you need something from me” or “you scratch my back and I will scratch yours” so-to-speak.

I remember when my oldest son was little, he took care of our hens and he would hold them like pets. He would pet them, kiss them, pick them up and carry them around. They wouldn't struggle or fight and seemed content the entire time. If he didn't pick them up one time they would follow him around and jump in his lap when he would sit down. Perhaps the chickens appreciated the kindness and in turn my son learned compassion for another living creature even if they were a bit different. On the flip side lions have been known to show compassion to humans, especially if raised from cubs, but at some point they begin to look at their human friend as a tasty meal.

Of course there are some animals that are just plain nasty to every other animal in existence, including humans. However, they have been known to show compassion to their own species now and then. And every animal can turn on any other animal and / or their own species at any time. Many animals will kill and / or eat their own.

Henceforth, there is no need to look any further than ourselves, after 17 years as a body removal specialist I am still amazed at what people can and will do to each other. So this begs to question how much is instinct or environmental? Meaning, how much is natural and how much is learned or reactive? Is it how they were treated and / or what was done to them? For instance I picked up a gentleman that had died in a locked house and he was partially eaten by his own dog! However, on the same token and same situation with another dead person the guys dog wouldn't let me near him and protected him even after death. I ended up having to throw a blanket over the dog to keep from getting bit and carry her out in the blanket like a bag full of laundry and let me tell you that’s not easy to do with a German Shepherd.

When our boys were growing up we had an Aussie / Chocolate Lab mix pooch named Bailey. She was the family dog and loved us all, but she protected and watched out for those boys as if they were her own. We live out in the country and they had a fort that they had built on our property. One day she was out there with them and “on duty” so-to-speak when my youngest son walked past her “doggie property line”, which was a line she seemingly established that the boys were not to cross. Interestingly enough it was, in human comprehension pretty close to the property line itself. Anyway, she came up behind my youngest son and bit the seat of his pants and dragged him back across the “doggie property line” and then let him go, but watched to make sure he went back to the fort. And when someone would come over to our house she would give them a “look over” and perhaps a sniff test. After that if she sat or laid down in front of them they were fine. But, if she ever laid or sat behind them, or between them and us, I knew immediately something wasn’t right and I do have to say, Bailey was never wrong.

I truly believe she loved us with all her heart especially “her boys”. She passed away from cancer and died in my arms. All I could do was hold her and tell her, “thank you for everything, for being our dog, I love you so much”. Some would say she didn’t understand, but anybody that has owned a dog would disagree. One would wonder what Bailey got out the relationship and humans may never know for sure what the motivation for dogs and / or cats to interact with humans in such a manner gives them, but I know she taught us plenty.



Some of the best advertising slogans.

Slogans

I recently read an article touting some of the best advertising slogans in the world and I don't disagree, I just thought I would add my own spin on them.




1. McDonalds – “I’m Lovin’ It” - But it ain't loving me.
2. KFC – “Finger Lickin’ Good” - Depends if I washed my hands before dinner or not.
3. Subway – “Eat Fresh” - Fresh what?
4. John Deere – "Nothing runs like a Deere" - Unless I just hit it with my car.
5. Kay Jewelers – "Every kiss begins with Kay" - And Mary, and Janet, and Shelly, and Peggie.......
6. Skittles – “Taste the Rainbow” - Taste it? I can't even find it!
7. Staples – "That was easy" - Should be "That was annoying!"
8. DeBeers – "A diamond is forever" - And so is the debt.
9. Dr Pepper – “What’s the Worst That Could Happen?” - If you have to ask you haven't lived.
10. Ivory Soap – "99 and 44/100% pure" - At least they're honest about it, but what's in the other 0.56%?
11. Typhoo – “You Only Get an ‘OO’ With Typhoo” - Not necessarily.
12. E.F. Hutton – "When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen" - What was that? I wasn't listening.
13. Clairol – "Does she or doesn’t she?" - Does she or doesn't she what?
14. Nissan - "Built For The Human Race" - No Really?!
15. Energizer Batteries – "It keeps going… and going… and going" - And never comes back.
16. FTD – "Say It With Flowers" - Or sling an insult with weeds.
17. Chevrolet – "The Heartbeat of America" - It was until they moved to other countries. Have they not seen Detroit lately?
18. American Express – "Don’t leave home without it" - Thanks for the advice, but I can think of other things I would rather not leave the house with.
19. Nike – “Just Do It” - Actually it should be....Nike - "Just do it naked"
20. HSBC – “The World’s Local Bank” - Uh not quite, there isn't a branch in my town.
21. Chevrolet – "See the USA in your Chevrolet" - As long as it doesn't break down.
22. Alka Seltzer – "I can’t believe I ate the whole thing" - Neither can I.
23. Capital One – "What’s in your wallet?" - That is none of your business!
24. Gatorade – Is it in you? - Not anymore I just flushed the urinal.
25. Greyhound – "Leave the driving to us" - Of course that's why you hire bus drivers.
26. Zurich – “Because Change Happens” - So does s**t.
27. Panasonic – “Ideas for Life” - Now if your electronics only lasted that long.
28. Google – “Don’t be Evil” - Oops!
29. Maxwell House - "Good to the last drop" - What's wrong with the last drop?
30. Apple – “Think Different” - I already do.



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Is it worth it?

Mortgage


We are in the process of selling our house and becoming mortgage free. Henceforth, I have been thinking was it really worth it? Was it worth the heartache, pain, debt, sweat, tears, and stress, just for a box made out of wood?

For starters the word mortgage is a French Law term meaning "death contract", which means that the pledge ends (dies) when either the obligation is fulfilled or the property is taken through foreclosure. Other explanations state the same, but instead of the pledge dying it is the “homeowner”, which I think is more common.

According to Zillows July 2019 data analysis, only about 37% of U.S. households are “free and clear,” meaning they no longer have a home mortgage to pay. 37% is not that good, and how many times is the same house sold over and over? Who really makes all the money? It certainly is not the “homeowner” or in most cases their beneficiaries either.

Think about it, even if the house is "free and clear" there are taxes and fees that have no purpose, but to feed the power hungry, money grabbing, banks, mortgage companies and government officials. If you sit down and really take a look at the numbers, their goal is to keep the 'homeowner" in as much debt as possible for as long as possible. Notice I use quotes around the term "homeowner"? That is because you truly never own the home or the property it sits on.

Furthermore, the taxes are never-ending and constantly rising. If you truly owned the house and property then you shouldn't have to keep paying taxes on them if and when you pay the mortgage off and you should be able to stop payment of the governments yearly rent so-to-speak and not have the house and property stolen from you.

During the time you have a mortgage the bank and / or mortgage company actually owns the house and property, not you. However, they call you the "homeowner", which makes you solely responsible for the heartache, pain, debt, sweat, tears, and stress for a big wooden box. You are essentially just paying them for the privilege to live in their house.

So far, I have avoided a 2nd mortgage in order to keep the big box of wood livable and insurable despite rising costs, fees, and taxes. However, that is not the norm, considering many “homeowners” of 1st mortgages also have a 2nd mortgages, which equates to very little, if any equity for the “homeowner”. Then when they sell, who again makes all the money? You guessed it…..the banks, mortgage company, and the government.

If my case, I crunched some numbers using our first mortgage payment, length we have paid, and didn’t count maintenance and repair costs or the rise in taxes and fees over the years. We also have refinanced to lower the payment, which keeps creeping back up anyway. So the following numbers are as if I had kept the original mortgage and kept paying on it.

Length of mortgage: 30 years.

Amount of mortgage: $125,000.00

Starting mortgage payment a month: $702.00

Length of time we have paid a mortgage: 18 years.

Amount we would have paid so far: $151,632.00

As you can see a little more than halfway through the mortgage we would have already paid back the original amount (in raw numbers), and more with another 12 years to go.

Makes you wonder who is really making all the money on your blood, sweat, and tears doesn't it? I know some people are going to point out the "tax cut" you get for the interest on the mortgage, but when it comes to the government giving you something in any way, it is not without them taking from another or getting it from you another way.

Personally, I have done some reflecting and can honestly say, for me the mortgage was not worth it. I missed out on a lot of my kid growing up, my health has suffered, and it's never enough. I am a totally different person today, than I was when we got the mortgage and have gone through below hell and back for this stupid wooden box.

Think of how much I could have in savings if I had put a “house payment” in the bank and not given it to the mortgage company. If I had to do it again and finance something I would purchase an R.V. and only rent space to park it. That way when it was paid for, I would actually have somewhere to live that I owned, no matter where I was.

Don’t get me wrong I think homeowner ship is not bad, except for the fact that you never really own your house and property if you even live long enough to pay off the mortgage. Remember, the “homeowner” will always come out on the short end of the stick financially, physically, and mentally. And until things change it’s only going to get worse. I don’t begrudge someone making money in the capitalist system, but when it gets to the point that it is at the expense of a person and / or family then it is wrong.  


Life Gone By.

Old House


When I look at this house I can almost see and hear the people that lived here.

There were grandfathers, fathers, sons, grandsons, nephews, grandmothers, mothers, daughters, granddaughters, nieces, cousins, and friends that lived there or visted.

At one time the walls of this old house supported more than just the roof. The walls were there for the good times, bad times, love, hugs, kisses, sex, the smell of baked goods, and yes even fights. In a word, this house supported life.

Oh what secrets (good and bad) this house must hold? How many generations have come and gone? Yet, when it’s all said and done this is what’s left. This house will never host occupants again, the love, laughter, fights, visitors, and voices are gone, never to be heard again.


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And now you know. (Strange facts and other useless information)

1. Donkey Kong got his name because his creator believed ‘donkey’ meant ‘stupid’ in English and wanted to convey the impression that the haracter was a “Stupid Ape”.

2. The medical name for a butt crack is “intergluteal cleft”.

3. A duel between three people is actually called a truel.

4. The stage before frostbite is called “frostnip”.

5. The two tiny holes drilled in every BIC pen is to ensure that the air pressure is the same both inside and outside the pen, which helps the ink flow to the tip.

6. In South Korea there is an emergency number (113) to report spies.

7. Snails have 14,000 teeth and some can even kill you!

8. Sonic the Hedgehog’s full name is actually Ogilvie Maurice Hedgehog.

9. Even though Froot Loops are different colors, they all have exactly the same flavor.

10. Most toilet paper sold for home use in France is pink.

11. Marmite was one of most confiscated items at airports from the U.K. – to overcome this issue, Marmite made smaller ones for traveling.

12. The human nose can remember 50,000 different scents.

13. Daddy longlegs have penises, which technically makes them not a spider.

14. In 2015, a silver coin with Superman on the heads side was made which is legal tender in Canada. There was only 350,000 produced.

15. It took the creator of the Rubik’s Cube, one month to solve the cube after he created it; as of June 2018 the world record is 4.22 seconds.

16. Tigers have striped skin not just striped fur. The stripes are like fingerprints and no two tigers have the same pattern.

17. In 2005, a fortune cookie company called Wonton Food Inc. correctly foretold lottery numbers, resulting in 110 winners and an investigation. No fraud was involved.

18. Two PlayStation games, FIFA 2001 and Gran Turismo 2, has scratch & sniff discs. The FIFA 2001 smelled like a soccer field, while Gran Turismo 2 smelled like car tires.

19. If you die in Amsterdam with no next of kin, and no friends or family to prepare funeral or mourn over the body, a poet will write a poem for you and recite it at your funeral.

20. The Himalayan Honey Bee – the largest of the honey bees – makes a hallucinogenic honey that tribes collect.

21. In 2014, Sony made a cassette tape that can store 185TB of data!

22. The man who found the 5,000 year old corpse Ötzi the Iceman in 1991 (Oldest natural European mummy) was also found dead frozen in ice in 2004.

23. In 2014, a missing woman on a vacation in Iceland was found when it was discovered that she was in the search party looking for herself.

24.If you sneeze while traveling at 60 mph your eyes are closed for an average of 50 feet.

25. Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Hotwire.com, Trivago, Travelocity, and Orbitz are all owned by the same company, Expedia Inc.

26. Before the term “bloopers” was coined, ‘out-takes’ were called ‘boners’.

27. Baked beans are actually not baked, but stewed.

28. The term ‘footage’ comes from films being measured in feet, when being edited in the early days of film making.


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