Denimbeard's Journal

Exerpts from my writen journal.

Month: April, 2016

Regarding this Project

Recently, I have been building this site as part of an ongoing effort to build and maintain some sense of creativity. I would like to begin adding more content to this site, including artwork and videos. I belive that I should be able to begin actually doing that once I finalize my move in. As it stands, I have about 55 weeks of tuesday posts already created. I’m debating whether or not to make it a twice weekly thing, but I’ll work on that later.

My biggest thing right now is making sure I’m doing this for myself and not expect to see millions of views or notoriety. If I’m creating, it’s for my own sake, and not for anyone else.

11/08/2015

A few things I wanted to reflect on.

Recently, a close friend of mine was talking to me about some money issues and I took it on myself to make sure she had some easily shipped over basic needs. She confessed to me that no one else she knew would have done what I did. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how I’m more finically equipped then most of my peers to be able to donate my time and savings for people who need it. What strikes me as odd is that I don’t think I’ve seen my family members do Much of the same. My mother is known for giving food and clothing to certain people and organizations, but I feel a need to contribute a great deal more then anything I’ve seen my relatives do. So now I face a new puzzle, what has sparked this change from growing up selfish and cold to wanting to share and build? Is it possible for philanthropy to be a sudden and sparked motivation? Is compassion truly embedded within our DNA in a way that once we are “safe” we wish others to be safe as well?

If this is the case then hos is there still a hard divide between us as a species? How can we grow and cultivate a [safeness] that whole communities can experience? If possible, I feel that the answers are much simpler then the questions. Part of what has sparked my personal growth into a position of being able to empathize and assist has to be imbedded in recent lifestyle changes. I sleep regularly,[I have a feeling I was going to elaborate on my decisions to grow more healthy, but forgot.] but there are a few real things to point out.

Rules for Living Charitably:

1.) Remember who comes first. You cannot give without taking care of yourself first. Eat, sleep find a hobby, buy a plant and a pet, set a routine, then you can start helping others.

2.) Small gestures are just as impactful as grand ones. Sometimes, even more so. Consider the joy of a child when presented with an interesting rock. Is their joy any less because of the simplicity?

3.) Always expect nothing in return. Arguably the most important. When I send gifts or care packages, it is for the sake of doing so. Too many people will wrap themselves in expectations.

4.) Remember that not all gifts can be appreciated. Do not take a refused or lack luster response as a personal insult. Are there no instances when you found yourself unable to thank someone at the time, but appreciated their efforts nonetheless?

5.) As a rule for all giving, I attempt to think through and personalize my gifts. Learn about the people, club, event you are trying to support and make sure you are doing your best to assist. When in doubt, ask.

Simple things that are hard to do. The challenge of man is to fight against the selfish urge to obtain and grow self power, but instead to grow and develop community. I think a large part of these ideas stem from my faith in Viking/Pagan gods. From the community powered faiths we see the most communal impact. Not to say that other religions do not foster the same mindset, my personal faith just relates that to me for a higher degree.

11/07/2015

Camus

“When fighting for your truth, you must take care not to kill it with the very arms you are using to defend it,”

Next year will be an election year for us here in the States. Listening to the political parties debate and argue who is best suited to run this country, I can relate to those words well. I have felt disenfranchised by our politics. I have felt a divide, a chasm, of the voting and what options are available. So far, I have yet to hear anyone that seems really worthy of being in office. There’s always more that I disagree with then support. For example, during the republican debate, one of the running candidates was talking about how the “Rich and powerful” congress was spending my money incorrectly. This coming from a very wealthy, equally corrupt congressman who wants to be president. If anything, that type of statement takes Camus words to heart. A candidate who is bashing the very system that employs (and ultimately would hire) him can’t stand a chance against someone arguing for more subtle desires.

Speaking of, I feel that this is largely why I dislike the Dem candidate Sanders. His position so far has been to repeat his same catch fraises over and over regardless of context or conversation. In the few months I have followed his campaign, I have yet to hear anything different then the extreme positions he takes on various issues. Not to mention the fact that its very easy to create movements over large issues by summing them up into a handful of “simple solutions”. What the public will not ever grasp is the long complicated process of any political movement. Look at what came of the Occupy movement. Lots of unorganized chaos with no resolve. However, it has influenced a whole generation to look at the political and economic issues at hand.  A movement that the media ignored except for the negative and a leaderless collective of young minds had told an entire group of leaders that we need to focus on new issues. Now, after watching and growing through that small slice of history, we see what has come of it.

For me, a good electable candidate only needs to focus on a handful of issues and provide a comprehensive solution for them. If I ran for the presidential campaign my three points would capture the following:

-Economics

-Foreign relations

-Education

So, I have my broad concerns. Then you must refine these points to realistic goals you could actually achieve in four years. For economics my refinement would elaborate on the social issues surrounding money. Its easy to spur a crowd by talking about reducing the earnings of the top 1% of earners. The question the[y] aren’t asking or not getting a good answer to is “How?”. Raise taxes on High earners isn’t a solutions. It’s a threat. As such, you get a great morale booster at the polls, but no solution for the long run. Here’s a solution I would like to see. The top 1% of earners are not making hourly wages like the majority of Americans. Advocating for an increased tax on stock and lux purchases would be a solution. Promising that Roth IRA, 401k and other long term retirement solutions are exempt would be very beneficial to the middle and lower classes. Increasing the stock and lux taxes would need to be explained, where does that funding go?

Military, government and educations programs geared toward promoting scientific and social advancements would be ideal. Use these new federal funds to increase NASA budgets, military research Is fundamentals in spurring growth in all sectors, however, this would be an easy segway into foreign policy. With advancing technology and recent training reports proving that our current tactics are not working, we should be more focused on minimizing foot soldier presence. I would like to see the military world more hand in hand with the UN and less, “free lancing”.

I feel that this would have a tremendous effect in our relations with other countries and proving that we can play as a team. Lastly, with education, I think the push for free college is great, however, trying to get it in your first term is not possible. Fixing the loan issues, and setting the path to more accessible education is much more important. I don’t believe that anyone claiming to enter their presidency on first term can hope to make such drastic changes as they want to. This, I feel is the fundamental issue in modern politics. There is such a high level of disbelief that picking the right candidate is as daunting as picking a home or car. I would love to study more of this phenomenon and if it has always leaked through the minds of voters or if there truly was a time when populations trusted elects and their leaders. I should run this question by Matt and see what his input is.

Matt suggested to read Anthony Kings British Constitution. It seems to be a good work regarding the effect of poly party systems.

“But you and I know that this war will not have any real victors and that, once it is over, we shall still have to go on living together forever on the same soil,”  Camus’ letter is the most piercing word in this collection for far. It strengthens the points of the silliness of the war he is so against perfectly. A war, he suggests that can’t have an ending no more then it can have justification. A war, regardless of it’s battles and hero’s, will still resolve to be shared forever by it’s fighting population. This signifies a part of Camus’ philosophy as he recognizes the fleeting nature of mankind. Why waste all our efforts and talent on engines of destruction? Let us build greater education and law for all generations to grow into fairly.

Oct. 26th, 2015

Camus

-Perspicacious: having a ready insight into and understanding things.

Oct. 25th, 2015

Albert Camus, Algerian Reports

“I am not of his stamp,”

I like his commentary on acts of terror. Again he builds on the ideas that ones own principals are of most value to ones self. As he said, “If one thinks it heroic to kill ones brother over ones principals, I will keep distant,” Showing that, while he can agree with rebellion and sacrifice, the measures to do so must be ones own and not placed upon the value of others. I wish I could have seen his opinions on the current state of terror and the impact [of] the Iran and Afghanistan conflicts. Possibly he would have felt the same way. Regarding the conflicts as being too High in collateral damage to be worth continuing. Imagining his retort of our continued presence in the region. Would he have agreed with our plans to remove dictators whom we spent 20 years funding? I doubt it. Something can be said for his commitment to self regulation and Higher ethics. Continuing on in the essay he elaborates further saying that Honor and true justice is at the foremost of allowing for peace. Once a man has resolved to war for the sake of war, then he has little left to fight for. As he continues, the truth of his everlasting resolve and efforts to be uncompromising come to light. Camus is not arguing for the sake of isolation and unyielding mentality, he instead has been fighting for man to stand true to themselves. From what I can gather in Just these last few pages, I once was under the impression that Camus simply wanted a person to be ultimately true only to themselves and their honor, Ignoring all others. However now I have a better understanding that the argument is, in fact, a person should be true to themselves and their community. The act of sacrifice to the benefit of many is Camus’ ultimate goal. How can your actions benefit everyone and through that can you find peace in yourself? It is amazing how relatable the material he writes is, regarding the brutality of terror and its impact on populations.