He Had It All. He Had Nothing.

Dudes: think back to when you were of high school and college age. Consider how you were wired. Put yourself back in that place for a moment, ride the time machine back, and do your best to ignore everything since.

Now be honest — not with me but with yourself. What if you were told that, as an “old man” of 41, you would be:

    1. Famous and admired for your talents the world over
    2. Wealthy beyond need, for life, can buy whatever car or electronics you want
    3. Married to a Playboy model
    4. Rock star
    5. Able-bodied, free of cancer and heart problems
    [In other words, by virtue of 1-5, you have the world by the balls.]
    6. One more thing.

What would you have given to be granted 1-5? It would have sounded like an amazing life, right? Most young men’s dreams.

Most would answer affirmatively, regardless of whatever #6 is. Yes, I know there are remarkably mature and self-aware exceptions. I’m not talking about that minority of men. The *overwhelming* majority of those I knew would have taken 1-5, without pause. Most of the others who paused would be curious about 6, but chanced it for the sake of 1-5. If we’re honest with our 19-year-old selves, perhaps even older, most of us would have chanced #6 too.

Now what if I told you that #6 was: suicidal, alcoholic, ravaged mind from abuses by others and self, dying at 41? That changes things.

Chester Bennington seemed to have it all, and killed himself yesterday.

None of those 1-5 was enough. Is it ever? Do the world’s material provisions, fame, wealth, sex, recognition, fulfill and complete?

As the linked story above notes: “He admitted to ‘hating the world’, adding: ‘I had a song in my phone at the start of the process called I Hate The World Right Now.'”

He had it all; he had nothing. In his eyes, life was worthless even with all the worldly money, accolades, sex, drugs, and material things he had. All those he was given, none nor all were enough to drive away his demons. They never are. The material world only offers temporary relief, never true escape. Some think death is the only escape. They are wrong, but it’s too late to convince them otherwise. So we are left with the reality of great talent gone too young, and with lessons.

We can’t bring Chester Bennington back and rescue him from his demons — nor other famous-musician suicides and overdoses who have preceded him across generations, such as: Bennington’s good friend Chris Cornell (Soundgarden, Audioslave), or Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots), Prince, Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse, Jimi Jamison (Survivor), Jonathan Melvoin (Smashing Pumpkins), Michael Jackson, Rick James, Mike Starr and Layne Staley (Alice in Chains), Kurt Cobain (Nirvana), Mindy McCready, Steve Clark (Def Leppard), Pete Farndon and James Honeyman Scott (The Pretenders), Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake and Palmer), Tommy Bolin (Deep Purple), Bon Scott (AC/DC), John Bonham (Led Zeppelin), Sid Vicious (Sex Pistols), Elvis Presley, Jim Morrison (The Doors), Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and far too many more. Not even music could light the way out. In many ways, the band lifestyles that came with that musical talent actually influenced them deeper down the hole.

If these deaths accomplish anything for those left behind, if they are not to be in vain, it should be in the form of lessons for the rest of us. One of those lessons is that the material world cannot fulfill us, by itself. Yet this keeps happening, in generation after generation, from the ’60s and before to today, as if we have learned nothing…nothing. What good is ‘having it all” if we’ve got nothing? The truth you haven’t been told is: all the world’s pleasures still add up to nothing in the long run. They’re never enough!

We all have our demons, vices, regrets. Bad stuff has happened to most of us, both at the hands of others and in self-inflicted ways. The world cannot — cannot!!! — make us happy. We have to choose joy, and sometimes it takes going through hell on Earth to get there. There is more to life than money, fame, or physical pleasure. Those feel good in the moment, but cannot complete you. What else is there? The answer to this question is where our paths to wholeness and joy must lead.

IF YOU ARE IN THAT DARK PLACE

Yes, terrible things can happen that are out of our control. We’re loath to admit that although there is evil aimed at us by the world, we can decide our response to it. Make the right call before you’re too deep into depression or addiction to think straight.

Ladies or dudes alike, there are important truths in all this. These musicians are gone. It’s too late for them. However, it isn’t for you. They hated the world, thought the world had nothing more to offer. Do you? Maybe the world really has kicked you to the curb. That doesn’t mean your life is without purpose, or that you are worthless today. You still matter to someone, somewhere — today, and in the future. I promise this, even if it’s not any “someones” that presently come to your mind.

If you are enduring depression or addiction, seek professional help. And right now, if you are suicidal, call this number: 1-800-273-8255. Visit this website, immediately.

If not for yourself, do this for the sake of those who do care about and have tried to help you (even if you don’t think they care now). Truth is, even folks who do care might not know how to help or what to do, so they back off, not out of hate or disregard, but out of a fear of making things worse or doing harm to you. Having felt helpless in the face of suicidal and addicted friends and loved ones, I know that is the truth.

And I firmly believe there is someone bigger than all of us who does care. If you are so inclined at all, please pray to be shown a living way out of your living hell. Even if you don’t believe, or used to and lost hope and faith, what can it hurt to cry out for help? I believe you will be shown a way out, or that you have already and you’ll see it. I also believe that you do and will matter to someone, today and in the future. You may not even know it (or them) yet.

Take a chance on life, not death. Many others have: real people who have been to that darkest of places and survived even attempts on their own life. They know. They have been there, and here you’ll find some of their stories. If you have lost a friend or loved one to suicide, you are not alone — visit this site.

By virtue of seeing this, you know it’s not too late. Make the call, visit the sites, pray, and open up to turning this around.

Scattershooting 170710

Scattershooting while wondering why, on cars with computers, they don’t display the specific problem in plain English (“Intake manifold broken” or “Throttle body needs cleaning”) instead of activating a generic “check engine” light or giving an obscure diagnostic code.


LEFT-WING BUTT-HURT over where IVANKA’s BUTT WENT: A friend recently posted to Facebook: “First and foremost, I don’t approve of Trump as POTUS. However, hypocrisy is rampant in our political system and the backlash about Ivanka Trump sitting at the table during last week’s G20 summit is a prime example. Many on the left have expressed outrage given quote “She wasn’t qualified to sit there.

So now, (according to many on the left) in order to have a voice at a world forum that is made up of 95% men (G20 Summit) you must have a PhD and Master’s degree in political science and you certainly can’t be a conservative woman. That’s the new rubric, you must have a PhD. Kinda puts the 99% into a smaller bucket.

Incidentally, the majority on the left applauded this statue when it was placed on Wall Street [bronze sculpture of girl staring down a huge bull] yet they then denounce an educated woman sitting at a table (albeit briefly) during the G20 (which by the way is an economic symposium). And as the father of two daughters I find the “outrage” quite amusing.

Hypocrisy abounds.”

Splendidly expressed! The left keeps moving the goalpost on conservative women and minorities, now finding assorted, alleged and largely imaginary disqualifications to credibility under every nook and cranny. It’s as if the conservative racial minority and/or woman has gotten too “uppity” and must be put in her place. That mentality is just as racist and sexist as anything they (often with some justification) accuse Trump and his followers of doing.

COMMENTARY with a CLEAR CONSCIENCE: As one who has been labeled (with abundant justification) as “fiercely independent”, I’m more glad, by the day, to have voted third-party. One reason is that my hands are clean of all this nonsense. I also can credibly evaluate these events from the side, as an independent thinker, not beholden to defending a vote for either of the corrupt, egomaniacal, contemptible jerks who led the major-party tickets!

LIBERAL TALIBAN in AMERICA: I strongly disagree with aspects of what the subjects of Confederate statues stood for; yet it is part of their (our) history. I also attended an elementary school named after Robert E. Lee, and am not the least bit bothered by that, regardless of the side he defended. You see, wisdom (which too many lack) dictates that such things be examined calmly and rationally, which means with level head and clear thinking, in the context of the time they occurred and/or were memorialized — not in the throes of emotional, reactionary revisionism of many decades or more later. Having them there doesn’t “glorify” the wrongs their subjects committed. Instead, examined through pragmatic, educational frameworks, the monuments and names can help us to learn of and understand them better. That’s a win-win.

Being offended is a choice! If you feel sad or angry, look in the mirror for the solution, not the oppressive hammer of censorship. You see, snowflakes, life isn’t unicorns crapping Skittles in fields of marshmallows. Leave the statues and names up as a reminder of that history, good and bad, in all its influences.

Moreover, realize this: There are two groups in this century actively, zealously and shamelessly pulling down multiple monuments to past people and ideas they oppose:
1. Taliban
2. Left-wingers
The similarity is not coincidental.

TRASHING the ECO-HIPSTER LEFT — A CONFESSIONAL: Portland is well-known as a bastion of left-wing ideologues and self-righteous, latte-sipping eco-hipsters. Even many liberals there admit this. Such is not news, yet it is important background. Also important to this tale is the fact I often pad my suitcase’s empty space with paper or throw-away clothing to cushion contents and occupy the space that will be used for items being brought back.

Before going to Portland for a recent trip, being a longtime iconoclast with a well-developed (figurative and literal) right jab, and knowing of the greenies’ Earth-worshiping piety and smugness: I quite deliberately and purposefully saved up non-numbered plastic trash instead, and padded my luggage with that. Once no longer useful, it then was discarded properly in trash receptacles, to go to the Portland landfill instead of mine in Oklahoma. Admittedly this felt marvelous, not at all shameful…much in the same spirit as when staying in Hyannis, MA, in 2004, and I wore a bright white Bush/Cheney-2004 shirt whilst strolling with friends all over the liberal artists’ colony of Provincetown. [Some conservative restaurant patrons bought my friends and I a round of drinks for that!] Like chocolate for the tongue, such actions are not-so-guilty pleasures for the ideological conscience. Smiling even now…sue me.

Now Do You Believe Left-wing Hate is Real?

Yesterday’s shooting at a Congressional baseball practice, aimed specifically at Republicans, finally should bring to the forefront the real phenomenon of left-wing hatred and violence. Not only that, but so should certain reactions to it.

Scan the social-media feeds of your left-wing friends yesterday and you’ll find this sort of expression commonly.

Do you see the psychological tactic at work there? Do not fall for it. I won’t. The reason is that you won’t see it from the very same people’s feeds after the Dylan Roof or Gabby Giffords incidents. The reason is that they want to use emotionally manipulative statements such as the above, only after evil acts by fellow left-wingers, in order to stifle balanced discussion and keep it imbalanced — toward the left’s portrayal of its own victimhood, of course.

In reality, the left is intensely hypocritical when it accuses conservatives of all manner of ugly complicity in bad deeds committed by the “right wing”. Then when fellow leftists riot (Ferguson, Baltimore or Portland anyone?), attack others at political rallies (San Jose anyone?) run GOP politicians of the road (Wendi Wright in Tennessee), and commit other horrible crimes (e.g., yesterday in suburban Virginia, firebombing of the North Carolina GOP office, shooting at Family Research Council by a “gay rights” supporter), the same faction turns around and tries to shush discussion of such acts in the name of “unity” and preventing “division”. Stop it. I’m not going to let you get away with having your cake and eating it too. I have been around, and can see through those mind games like a pane of glass.

The above sort of faux-conciliatory pandering is not a coincidence. With some welcomed and unusual exceptions, the left wing does not want you to know, nor discuss, evil committed by its own. So tonight, I’ll help to take up that role of being informative of what you need to see about how the world works.

If you have sensitive eyes and don’t like seeing people express profane and ugly things toward others, please stop now and put your head firmly back in the sand. Maybe dream of fuzzy bunnies and unicorns crapping Skittles.

Now the rest of us proceed with reality, and boys and girls: the reality that evil exists — including plenty arising from the sociopolitical left, and I am about to prove this. There is no need to show right-wing examples because they are are so quickly and loudly brought to bear in mass media; instead, this is a skeletal and meager attempt to balance it out with a ridiculously tiny sampling from the other side. Then don’t forget to read my disclaimers and closing statements at the bottom.

===============

Unfortunately, scanning the feeds yesterday reveals more examples than I could count of explicit hate and even condoning of violence toward the right. Here is but one example — a thinly disguised, passive-aggressive call from a Huffington Post writer for the left to murder conservatives:

————–

That, from the same violence advocate and hatemonger who penned the following, a screen-capture of something to which I will not link directly.

————–

————–

When a reasonable left-winger (yes, I am acknowledging they exist!) tries to correct his evil-spewing comrades, this is a remarkably honest (if still hateful) response. At least we know exactly where he stands; it’s the dishonest ones and fakers you really have to watch.

————–

Such advocacy of violence surely does not adhere to Martin Luther King Jr.’s relatively recent teachings regarding nonviolence, not to principles espoused before that by Jesus and M. Gandhi. More, from 2016:

————–

This isn’t a hate tweet, but documents plenty of it from the left. [Understand that anti-conservative venom and violence and censorship at universities is not limited to Berkeley either.]

————–

Consider a few out of hundreds or more hate tweets directed at Antonin Scalia after his death:

————–

Not only is this left-wing expression hateful personally, but blatantly racist:

————–

Speaking of hate directed at racial-minority conservatives, look what happened to Mia Love’s Wikipedia page several years ago…so much for “tolerance” and “inclusion”:

————–

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan’s death even brought forth the liberal hate — much of it from people who weren’t even old enough to remember her directly. How did their minds get filled with this awful poison? Who educated them that such hate was okay?

————–

Twitchy documented many hate tweets and death threats against the 2012 Republican presidential candidate, some of which still haven’t been removed by Twitter.

————–

Remember a year ago when a boy fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo? Left-wing animal worshipers couldn’t wait to spew the venom.

===============

These are far from “isolated” or “unrepresentative” incidents either. Do you want more, from these and innumerable other news events? I could have posted countless many; you can find them if you try, and it is not difficult. One easily could look back through public-facing social-media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.), and find thousands — thousands! — out of far, far more, of such despicable left-wing hate speech and threats.

DISCLAIMER 1: Again, this is not to deny similar vitriol exists elsewhere on the ideological spectrum, nor to “score points”, so don’t falsely portray this as such. Regardless, right-wing hate will be publicized readily, whereas left-wing hate is less-advertised unless an incident as seemingly shocking as yesterday’s forces it to the front page. Therefore I simply show you examples, in the name of bringing balance to the discussion that needs to be had. Leftist evil is real. If you still don’t believe in leftist evil, ask the relatives of the tens of millions of victims of Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot. Leftist ideologies led to the deaths of more people in the 20th century than any others (more even than the comparably evil-minded ideals of Fascism or extreme Islam!), and it’s not even close. It’s not over either; consider the wreckage of Venezuela and the human-rights horrors in North Korea and Cuba.

DISCLAIMER 2: For the record, I am not contributing to division. No, the division is already there. I am simply bearing witness to it, showing it to you — the same as if a huge crocodile were stalking you at the riverside and I made you turn around to see it. That is not the same as causing the crocodile, and this isn’t the same as “contributing to the problem”. What you do with this newfound knowledge is your responsibility and yours alone — not mine. I categorically reject any form of blame for others’ chosen behavior, so don’t waste your time trying. Instead, face the reality above, accept that it is real, then set about doing something about it. Or that crocodile of evil thought will eat more and more of us…

MOTIVATION: In order to bring light into darkness, you need to know that the darkness exists, and have some idea of how dark it is. If you have a conscience, yet only saw evil on the right and not on the left, you are enlightened now regarding the left’s capacity for evil. If you do not have such a conscience, then all I can say is: reasoning with psychopathy is beyond my pay grade. Seek help, for the sake of us all.

Yes, I love my neighbor. Sometimes that means tough love. So, digital neighbor, that is what I have given you here: a small peek into the reality of brokenness and sin as it stands today, and as such, a dose of tough love.

Is all hopeless? Not at all! Please be assured by this: the only eternal and unyielding Light, the only one who can totally and permanently overcome hate from all sides, is our Lord and Savior, Jesus. He can and will protect and forge you in the face of evil, give you the strength and courage to acknowledge it and stare it down, and back you up in the struggle against it, every step of the way. Start from there, proceed, and you will be on the right track. Or try to ignore or go it alone in futility. That is your God-given, free-will choice.

Next Page →