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A Dog Named Ralphy

     There once was a dog named Ralphy.  Ralphy was a golden retriever, and he lived in a doghouse that had his name painted on it in big red letters—RALPHY.  His owners made him live in a doghouse because whenever he was indoors, he would knock over the garbage can or chew up the sofa.  Sometimes, he would go into their son Patrick’s bedroom and eat all of his toys.  Patrick’s parents were very upset with Ralphy for doing all of these bad things, so they made him live outside in a doghouse.

     While he was outside one day, Ralphy looked over to the neighbor’s yard and noticed Sheila, the cocker spaniel, playing with her ball.  Ralphy watched for a while and said to himself, “That cocker spaniel over there, she’s not on a chain like me.  How come she gets to run around and play with all the children, and I don’t?  They throw her the ball, and she brings it back.  And they take her for walks around the block.  They even let her sleep inside the big house!”  And Ralphy felt very dejected.

     A while later the other neighbors had their dog out.  He was jumping happily all over his owner, and when the mailman came, the mailman bent down and patted the dog on the head.  Ralphy was very jealous, and to top it all off, that dog got to sleep in the big house, too.

     All of these things really bothered Ralphy, so one day, after his owners had given him a bath, he snuck out of the house and ran down the street to talk with Charlie.  Charlie was the oldest, wisest dog on the entire block.  When he saw Ralphy, he growled, “What do you want?”

     “Hey, don’t get mad, Charlie.  I just wanted to ask you some questions.”

     “About what?” Charlie snarled.

     “I want to know why none of the other dogs want to play with me.”

     “All right,” said Charlie.  “Do you remember when you went over to Sheila, the cocker spaniel’s house, and asked if you could play ball with her?”

     “Yes, I remember that,” replied Ralphy.

     “Sheila told you she would be happy to play ball with you.  But when she wasn’t looking, you stole her ball and ran home.  Now, none of the other dogs trust you.”

     “But I didn’t have a ball, and she had two!” Ralphy complained. 

     “That doesn’t mean you can take her ball without asking,” replied Charlie.

     “Yeah, I guess you’re right.  But why don’t any of the children want to play with me?”

     “Because they’re afraid of you,” said Charlie.  “They think you might eat their toys, or maybe even bite them.  Patrick told them how you ate all of his toys, and how one time, you bit the mailman.”

     “Oh, I see,” said Ralphy.  “There’s just one more thing I don’t understand.  Why do I have to live in a doghouse?  Why can’t I live in the big house—like all the other dogs?”

   Charlie shook his head.  “Can’t you see, Ralphy?  You chew up the furniture, you knock over the trash cans, and you eat Patrick’s toys.  You’re not allowed in the big house because nobody trusts you.”

     At that, Ralphy put his head down and walked away.  “Charlie’s right,” he said to himself.  “I stole Sheila’s ball, and I bit the mailman.  And my owners chain me up because they think that I’ll run away if they let me loose.  No wonder no one trusts me!”

     So Ralphy walked around for two whole days, thinking about everything Charlie had said.  He was afraid to go home because he knew Patrick and his parents would be upset with him.

     But that evening, as Ralphy was walking down the road, he heard a car stop beside him, and he saw Patrick get out.

     “Ralphy, there you are!” cried Patrick, and he went over and hugged Ralphy, squeezing and petting him as he spoke.  “I’m so happy we found you!  I was worried we might never get you back!”

     Ralphy was surprised.  “Patrick really does love me!”  And he gave Patrick kisses and jumped all over him to show how much he loved him.

     When they got home, Patrick asked his parents if Ralphy could spend the night in the house; he wanted Ralphy to sleep in his room.  His parents were reluctant at first, but when they saw how much it meant to him, they gave in and said that he could.

     So Ralphy spent the night in Patrick’s room.  He slept on Patrick’s bed, and never ate one toy.  And even though he wondered what was inside of the trash can, he didn’t once try to peek inside or knock it over.

     In the morning, Ralphy went downstairs and sat right by Patrick’s feet.  He didn’t beg for food or try to steal any off of the table.  When Patrick’s parents were ready to put him back outside, Patrick said, “Hey Mom and Dad, do we have to put Ralphy back outside?  Look how good he’s been.  He didn’t chew up any toys or beg for any food. And he didn’t even knock the trash can over in my bedroom.  Let’s give him another chance—please!”

     So Patrick’s parents agreed to give Ralphy another chance, and this time, he was perfect in every way.  The children started to play with him, and the other dogs shared their toys again.  And every day when the mailman came, he’d bend down and pat Ralphy right on the head, just like he used to.

     It seemed everyone trusted Ralphy again, and he lived happily ever after.  From that day on, he never had to spend another night in the doghouse.

Excerpted from Shine Like the Sun: A Collection of Children’s Stories by Adam Soto

Snowy and the Dalmatian

     There once was a kitten named Snowy.  Snowy was pure white with green eyes, and looked just like a little snowball.

     One day, Snowy was playing with her favorite ball.  She was batting it around with her paws and having a really great time when, by accident, she hit it under a fence.

     At first Snowy didn’t know what to do.  She walked all around the fence, trying to see if there was any way to get inside, but it was too high.  So she looked underneath to see where the ball was, and when she found it, she reached under to try to get it.  But no matter how far she stretched, the ball was always just out of reach.

     At this point, Snowy became very upset.  She didn’t know how she was ever going to get her ball back. 

     But as she looked again for a way to get inside the fence, she noticed a squirrel coming down out of a tree.  “I know!” thought Snowy.  “I’ll ask the squirrel to help me get my ball back.”

     So she called out to him in a loud voice, “Excuse me, Mr. Squirrel.  I was wondering if you could help me.  I was playing with my ball and it rolled under a fence.  If you could please crawl under and push my ball back to me, I’d really appreciate it.”

     But the squirrel scowled at Snowy.  “Why should I help you?” he snarled.  “All cats ever do is chase squirrels!  Now you want me to help you … after the way we’ve been treated?”  And the squirrel stuck his nose in the air and walked away.

     “Well, that was awfully rude,” thought Snowy.  “Maybe other cats have chased squirrels, but I never have.”  And she sat back down in the grass and wondered about her ball.

     Just then, she noticed a cat coming towards her down the sidewalk.

     “A cat!” Snowy exclaimed.  “Surely a cat will help me get my ball back!”

     So when the cat came closer, Snowy said to her, “Excuse me, Miss.  If it isn’t too much trouble, could you please help me get my ball back?  It’s rolled under a fence, and you have a much longer reach than I do.  If you could help me, I’d really appreciate it.”

     But the cat pretended not to hear her.  And she, too, stuck her nose in the air and crossed over to the other side of the street.

     “I can’t believe it!” said Snowy in disgust.  “Not even a cat will help me!  I’m never going to get my ball back!”

     But as she was saying this, she noticed something move out of the corner of her eye.  When she looked up, she saw a huge black and white Dalmatian coming right at her.  “What do you want?” Snowy hissed as she backed away.

     “I noticed you were having a problem and I wanted to help,” said the Dalmatian.

     “Help?” repeated Snowy in disbelief.  “I thought dogs hated cats!  Why would you want to help me?”

     “We should always help those who are in need,” said the Dalmatian.  “And not all dogs hate cats.  I happen to like cats very much.”

     So the Dalmatian reached his paw under the fence and grabbed the ball.  He gave it to Snowy, and she purred with appreciation.   “Thank you very much!  I never imagined a dog would be so nice to a cat!”

     “I’m just glad I could help,” said the Dalmatian.

          From that day forward, Snowy and the Dalmatian were the best of friends, thanks to a ball that rolled under a wooden fence.

Excerpted from Shine Like the Sun: A Collection of Children’s Stories by Adam Soto

Petey, the Lonesome Parrot

     I will now share some children’s stories that I wrote many years ago.  I will also share a PDF of the book in the “Books” section for those who would like to read it.

 

Petey, the Lonesome Parrot

     This is the story of Petey.  Petey was a parrot, and for the longest time he lived in a lonesome cage in the far corner of a pet shop.  Some say he was the loneliest parrot that ever lived.  But it wasn’t always that way.  There once was a time when everything was going well for Petey.

     When Petey was young, he was the most beautiful parrot in the entire pet shop.  The owners paid constant attention to him.  They would always say, “You sure are a beautiful parrot, Petey!  As soon as you learn how to talk, we’re going to make a fortune off of you!”

     So they began trying to teach Petey to talk, but every time Petey tried to repeat what they were saying, all that would come out of his beak was a muffled, “Gaahh.”

     A year went by, and still Petey couldn’t talk.  The owners tried everything they could, using different words and phrases like, “Pretty bird,” and “Polly wants a cracker,” but nothing worked.  All that would ever come out of Petey’s beak was a muffled, “Gaahh.”

     Finally, the owners gave up.  It seemed as if Petey was never going to learn how to talk.

     All of the other animals in the pet shop would laugh at Petey.  “What kind of parrot can’t learn to talk?” they’d snicker.  And they made fun of him every chance they’d get.

     Finally, the owners decided to move Petey’s cage.  “He’s just taking up space,” they complained.  “Nobody’s going to buy a parrot that can’t talk.”  So they moved Petey to the far corner of the pet shop, where there were no other animals and he was all by himself.

     So every day Petey sat in his lonesome corner, ashamed because he couldn’t talk.  Once in a while, a customer would come in and notice him back in the corner and say, “Wow, what a beautiful bird!”  But when they found out that he couldn’t talk, they’d walk away and look at the rabbits, or dogs, or fish.

     Then one day a woman came in looking for a birthday present to buy for her son.  The owners led her around the entire pet shop, showing her all the animals.  They showed her the rabbits and the fish.  They showed her the dogs and the cats and the mice.  They even showed her the snakes and the gerbils, but she still wasn’t sure what to get. 

     Then she noticed Petey sitting all alone in the corner.  “That sure is a beautiful bird!” she said to the owners.  “Why is he sitting all by himself?”

     “He can’t talk,” the owners replied.  “We tried everything we could, but all that would ever come out of his beak was a muffled, “Gaahh.”

     Suddenly, the woman became excited and said, “How much is he?  I want to buy him!”

     The owners were surprised.  “Give us ten dollars and he’s yours!  We’ll even give you the cage!”

     Immediately the woman agreed.  Then she paid them the ten dollars, put Petey in the car, and left the store.

     When the woman arrived home, she found her son in the kitchen, pouring himself a glass of orange juice.  The boy looked up and smiled at his mother.  She made a few gestures with her hands and he followed her into the living room.

     When they got there, the boy couldn’t believe his eyes.  Sitting there, by the window, was Petey.

     The boy smiled and ran up to the cage.  He stuck his tiny fingers through the bars, and Petey leaned closer so the boy could pet him.  When he had finished, the boy turned to his mother and smiled.  He made a gesture which in sign language means, “Thank you.”

     His mother took him in her arms and hugged him.  Then, in sign language, she said, “Your welcome, son.  Happy Birthday!”

     You see, the little boy was deaf, which means that he couldn’t hear anything.  So it didn’t matter to him if Petey could talk or not.  He was just happy to have a pet.

     So from that day on, Petey grew closer and closer to the boy, and they became very happy together.  The boy would take Petey out of his cage and would walk around the house with Petey on his shoulder, and Petey never tried to fly away.

     After a while, Petey forgot all about his life at the pet shop.  But his former owners were right about one thing; Petey was worth a small fortune … it just couldn’t be measured in money.

Excerpted from Shine Like the Sun: A Collection of Children’s Stories by Adam Soto

Closing Thoughts

     What’s happened to us?  What’s happened to the pursuit of freedom as a fundamental part of human existence?

     Somehow we’ve gotten used to the idea of letting “government” (or other forces) decide what’s best for us, what we need, what we should think, say, do, when and where we should meet other people, how to dress, act, what we watch, what we read, what “speech” is acceptable…

     I’ll tell you how: we quit thinking for ourselves.  We let other people do our thinking for us and never question their motives or if what they say is true or not.

     Our society is being increasingly led by the nose to do other people’s bidding, to be cogs in the machines of government extorters and billionaire power junkies.

     Where will it all end?  If we’re not careful, it will end in our lives being controlled by a select few people.  The freedom to do as you please will be nothing but a distant memory.  The mechanisms of control will be so vast, so invasive, so utterly complete that the human race will never taste freedom again.

     Individual freedom is never something that will just happen in society.  Like any well kept garden, weeds must be pulled out regularly or they grow just like the flowers; it is the same with our minds and philosophies.

     Our lives and the societies we build will turn out exactly as we choose to develop them.  If we all work hard together and put in great effort, fighting for our freedoms and values, great things can be accomplished.  If we take little interest in fighting for freedom, we will end up with very little freedom indeed.

     Society is just an extension of the collective will of the people.  The world we have now is apparently the way most people want it; if enough people wanted something different, they would fight for it, and change would happen.

     Until that day comes when the world is ready for something different, be as free as you can be in your own life.  Live for things which bring you hope and happiness.  Be a person of intention.  Think for yourself.  Question everything!  Live according to the principles of freedom.  Seek truth wherever you may find it.  Share truth with anyone who is interested, for truth, as the saying goes, really will set us free.

 

     “Most people prefer to believe that their leaders are just and fair, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen acknowledges that the government under which he lives is lying and corrupt, the citizen has to choose what he or she will do about it. To take action in the face of corrupt government entails risks of harm to life and loved ones. To choose to do nothing is to surrender one’s self-image of standing for principles. Most people do not have the courage to face that choice. Hence, most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all.”

—Michael Rivero

 

 “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”

―Albert Camus

It Starts At Home and At School

     Here is the biggest difference between Them and Us: They are always calculating, always planning, dreaming up new ways to control and dominate those around them.  Freedom lovers, on the other hand, aren’t overly concerned with what other people are doing and just go about living their lives, letting each person do as they please.

     The problem is that freedom minded people need to at least start paying attention to how they can secure and defend their freedoms from those who wish to take them.  The war for our minds is a constant battle, and it begins at a very young age.

     Look what They are doing to our kids in schools all across the world, filling their minds with all kinds of programming and propaganda.  We give our children to government run schools eight hours a day, nine months of the year, and by the time they graduate they are lucky if they have even one original thought that isn’t contaminated with carefully crafted propaganda designed to make them slaves.  Add college into the mix and it is extremely difficult to undo 16-18 years of non-stop mind control.

     We either need to take our kids out of school and teach them at home, or fight the school board, fight the government, so that our kids aren’t taught lies and perversions from the age of 5 and for the rest of their lives.

     The battle for our minds starts at home and at school, and it never ends.  We must defend ourselves and our children before it’s too late.  Don’t let them control our children’s minds any longer.

Excerpted from Them and Us: A Philosophy of Freedom by Adam Soto

Pharmaceutical Lobbying

     I recently read that the pharmaceutical industry has had the crown as the largest lobbyists to the government for years, doubling their next closest rival, oil.  When we consider that “lobbying” is basically just another word for “bribing,” and that bribes are usually only needed to cover up corruption or illegal activities, what illegal activities are the pharmaceutical companies involved in that they need to lobby twice as much as their nearest competitor?

     If you’re willing to investigate, you’ll find that the pharmaceutical companies and the products they produce inure and kill way more people than the mainstream media ever reports.  You’ll also find that they own considerable stock in all of the mainstream media companies and have considerable influence on what information is reported about them and their products.

     Think about that the next time government and the media are pushing some sort of drug or “mandatory” vaccine on you or your family, “for the good of society…”

    

The Blood of our Forefathers

     We’re heading down the wrong path as a country.  Our forefathers fought so hard, they bled and labored to make this country the best that’s ever been known in the history of man.  They didn’t do it by giving everyone a free lunch, cowering in fear of freedom of expression, or telling those around them how to live their lives.  They intentionally made a government that was meant to be small and limited.  The idea was to make a system where the government could never get too big, too powerful, or too controlling.

     This country was built on strong, hard working, freedom-respecting people.  (In most cases, that is … slavery, the treatment of Native Americans, women’s rights … I admit it took a while for society to catch up with some of the ideas in The Declaration of Independence).  We may be more tolerant and progressive in some ways today (though maybe that’s starting to go the other way), but I dare say we’re not more free. Our taxes are higher than ever before, government is bigger and more intrusive than ever before, and religious tolerance and the right to freedom of speech are at an all-time low.

     Independence is what our country was founded on; how independent are most people today? (It can be argued, convincingly, I believe, that we’re more dependent on the government now than we’ve ever been in our nation’s history.)

     What I can’t stand is a person or group of people (government or otherwise) who feel that they have the right to tell other people what to do, how to live their lives, how to spend their money, how to use their property, what food they can eat, what they can drink, and so on.  Equally as bad is when people use the government to do it for them!

     I’m just trying to point out what I see as a major problem in our society and that is people having no problem with using the government to force people to do things according to their own, self-interested agenda.  That’s not freedom!  America was built on a “live and let live” philosophy, with respect for individual freedom.  Look at us now!  What happened?  What are we doing here?

     As my one friend always says, we get the government we deserve.  Ain’t that the truth!

Excerpted from Them and Us: A Philosophy of Freedom by Adam Soto

Different Parties for Different Objectives

     Pay attention and you’ll see that The Powers That Be will use different presidents to accomplish different aspects of their overall objectives.  They’ll use a Republican to carry out certain “wars” (war = land/resource grab, weakening or annihilation of enemies), Democrats to further any socialist objectives (socialism = weakening of personal independence, dependence on government), and “bipartisan” coalitions to screw everyone (bipartisan = circumvention of constitution/rights/freedoms).

     Don’t fall for their tricks.  They “fake” all of this Republican/Democrat drama to keep us pitted against each other, but it’s all for show.  It’s theatre―a soap opera.  We are the audience.  And like all theatre, it only works as long as we “make believe” that it’s real.

     Quit living in a dream world!  Wake up!  Don’t just follow blindly!  No matter how real the illusion seems, it’s still an illusion!  Sometimes They put on a pretty good show!  Will you get sucked in to the drama?

 

Remember This

      I recently read somewhere that since the year 1900 A.D., governments have killed 100 million more of their own people than have been killed in all wars during that same period.  Pretty crazy, huh?  Just remember that.

 

Practice Freedom

      If you want to be a good runner, you have to practice running.  If you want to be a good boxer, you have to practice boxing.  If you want to be free, you have to practice freedom.

 

Censorship

     People ask me all the time, “With so many conflicting viewpoints and data out there, how do we know what’s true and what isn’t?”

     I always tell them that the truth has nothing to hide, and therefore, feels no need to censor opposing viewpoints or shy away from honest debate.  Only lies need to silence those around them for fear that their dishonesty will be exposed.

     Think about that the next time you hear of videos, articles, opinions, or facts being banned or censored.  If truth is on their side, what are they so afraid of?

Excerpted from Them and Us: A Philosophy of Freedom by Adam Soto

Round-About-Bail-Out

     I heard in the news recently that the President wants to give each tax-paying American $1,200 to help “stimulate the economy” during the coronavirus outbreak.  What isn’t stated is that this is basically just another bail-out for the banks/corporations.  The government gets more in debt (to the banks) by borrowing money to give to us, and in turn, we will use that money to buy things (which helps the corporations) or pay debts (which helps the banks, as they weren’t certain that they were going to get those debt payments while many things are shut down and many people aren’t working).  We, the people, are just middlemen for the corporations/banks to get more money from the government―a round-about-bail-out!

     So when you hear the words “stimulate the economy,” economy = banks/corporationsStimulus = giving tax-payer money to banks/corporations.

 

Government as Savior

     More and more, people are starting to view government as their “savior,” especially with the coronavirus outbreak.  But even before the outbreak, people are becoming increasingly less religious/spiritual and more political, basically replacing their faith in God with a new faith in government.  People now defend their political beliefs as ferociously as people of the past used to defend their religious convictions.  Liberalism and Conservatism are the new religions in our modern world today, and government is god.  Rather than being suspicious of government, as the people who founded this country were (and continued to be for many generations), people now look to the government as their savior, blind to the many hypocrisies of their party, while both parties slowly erode our individual freedoms while we aren’t paying attention and we fight against each other.  When will people learn that the vast majority of politicians are only in it for themselves and that they don’t have our best interests at heart?

     As I read somewhere before, most politicians are interested in two things: 1.) How to get elected.  2.) How to get re-elected.  They will say and do anything they can to achieve those goals.  And the bigger politicians can’t even get elected without some form of corporate/banking money financing them, so they are simply puppets for the world’s wealthiest people.

     No, government won’t save us.  We need to save ourselves from government!  Man-o-man have we ever got it backwards!  Yes, the banks/corporations control the politicians, but the politicians are the ones who write/shape the laws, so it is Them we should hold accountable, and Them we need to save/free ourselves from.

     Come on, people!  Wake up!

 

Emergency Legislation

     Know this―any time the government introduces some sort of emergency legislation, they will use it as a power grab, each and every time.  Sure, the legislation may help some people, but hidden within will be extra legislation designed to help Them, the people in power (and their corporate overlords), and Them alone, at the cost of the taxpayers, and with a loss of personal freedom for the common people.  They’ve done it countless times before, and they’ll continue to do it, no matter which party is in power, and no matter who introduces the legislation; Republican or Democrat, it doesn’t matter.  They both have the same overlords, and they both want to maintain their power.  So don’t fall for these tricks.  If emergencies don’t happen on their own, They will invent some (false flag events) and use any opportunity to add to their own wealth and power. This history has repeated itself often enough.

Excerpted from Them and Us: A Philosophy of Freedom by Adam Soto

It’s Not an Accomplishment

     Here’s a topic that really shouldn’t even be a topic: the race/gender issue.  I think that it’s important that we don’t go around being “proud” that we’re white or straight or female or right handed, or whatever.  They aren’t accomplishments … we were born like this. There is nothing to be proud of or ashamed of.  But if I were to go around and “insist” that others view or identify me in a certain way, then I’m off track because how each person views things is up to them as individuals, and I have no right to force another person to feel or believe what I believe.  But that’s what’s happening in many ways these days.  I just think that too many people are too wrapped up in labels and wanting recognition for things that aren’t even accomplishments, and then using these labels to divide and “conquer” those around them.

     It shows how much people identify with things that eventually help to define them, and that these identifications can sometimes (or oftentimes) become attachments that eventually act as mental constraints in their relations to those around them.  People identify as addict, hurt, marginalized, superior, inferior, victim, and so on, along with their identifications and attachments with religion, race, political affiliations, or nationality.

     For those who feel a political or cultural divide between themselves and others, who put the political and cultural divide between them?  They, themselves, did (or their society)!  In their own minds, they identify as politically and culturally divided.

     What would happen if, in their own minds, they were to break free of these mental constraints and pre-judgments (prejudices) and see the world in another way?  That’s really what the majority of the division in the world comes down to.  And until the world unlearns this kind of thinking and learns how to see without self-constraining attachments and identifications, the world will continue to be so much less than its true potential.

Market Crash

     Every time the stock market/economy crashes, the world’s wealthiest people/corporations lose some money (in our most recent crash, fake, printed-out-of-thin-air inflated money) but eventually acquire physical assets through asset purchases, company takeovers (both/either physically or through stock purchases), and increased market dominance (less competition/bankrupt businesses).  This trade-off will pay more in the long run through greater monopolization and centralization of powers and the fact that they now own physical companies rather than paper money alone, which loses its overall value over time through inflation.  Add to that the fact that a crashed world economy weakens the independence of most/all countries through the forced emergency spending/borrowing of money/resources and it again increases the likelihood of manipulating/exploiting these countries for personal gain.

     I think that is the main reason the markets seem to crash every 10-12 years to varying degrees; it’s simply a way for the wealthiest people and corporations to eliminate their weaker adversaries, both corporations and nations, and add to their own wealth.

Excerpted from Them and Us: A Philosophy of Freedom by Adam Soto

Pennsylvania Property Tax

     Someone I know recently told me about some Pennsylvania official or representative who wants to eliminate property taxes and replace them with various other taxes.  My initial reaction was, “Would government ever consider doing something like this if they weren’t going to make more money in the long run?  They certainly wouldn’t do it if they were going to make less!”

     Apparently (though not explicitly stated), what they really want to do is collect all of the tax money into one big pot and redistribute it as they see fit, taking money out of wealthier communities and putting it in other less attractive communities, communities that everyone is leaving because of drugs and crime, decades of poorly elected officials, high taxes, and/or lack of quality employment.

     I’m not convinced that this will pass any time soon (I could be wrong), but it probably will someday.  We’ll be fooled again!

     I realize that, once in a great while, one politician or another will implement a so called “tax break.”  Usually that just means that they created a different tax somewhere else, or the supposed tax break will be put back in another four or eight years, or they promised the elimination of one tax in favor of another, only to have the eliminated tax be reinstated somewhere down the road.  We fall for it every time.  How rarely do we hear anything about the real problem—government spending!  That should be the focus!  Cut off all of the unnecessary spending and there would probably be no need to raise taxes to begin with!

 

A Losing Battle

     I was recently talking to someone I know who is very into all of the digital technology that is increasingly dominating people’s lives.  I, for one, am actually scaling back my use of digital electronics and media to what I believe to be a more moderate level.

     In any case, I was telling them that I recently disabled my “cookies” on my phone and am using only “private mode” now, which creates various problems (for myself) from time to time.  (Although most of you are probably aware of what “cookies” are, for those who are not, “cookies” are used by websites to track and store what you do when visiting their site, which they then use to better understand your likes, desires, and tendencies and also to sell to 3rd party companies to do with as they please.)  Many sites simply will not even load when the cookies are off, presenting a blank, grey screen.  When that happens I just move on to something different; they don’t get my business.

     The person I was speaking with said, “Yeah, it’s a losing battle.”  I didn’t say it at the time, but what I should have said was, “No, losing is to not battle at all.”

     And that’s the problem with so many people today.  People aren’t willing to battle at all.  They just accept whatever they are told to do or buckle to the slightest pressure, never standing up for anything whatsoever.

     I know that disabling my “cookies” is pretty small in the grand scheme of things, but at least it’s fighting back a little.  That’s what I am, a fighter; I know exactly what I want in life, and I fight the good fight in many little ways.  I want my freedom as much as possible, from as many things and people as possible.  I consider it a badge of honor to have to endure some inconvenience or hard work to achieve my goals.  It helps to give my life greater meaning, and therefore, much more joy, peace, and satisfaction.

     Sometimes I feel that the people in my life who are familiar with my fighting spirit only see what I’m giving up (like giving up the internet and cable at home, for example), but not what I gain (better use of free time, less television programming, more reading and writing, etc.), which is so much greater than what I’m giving up.

     So no, it’s not a losing battle.  Losing is to not battle at all!

Excerpted from Them and Us: A Philosophy of Freedom by Adam Soto