Confiscate

Confiscate: (v) to take or seize someone’s property with authority.

Nasty criminals in the wicked pursuit of evil have made it their business to confiscate our country.

The ransom note has been received. We are being held hostage.

The request is simple–a demand that you and I submit to the New Order and surrender any notions of brotherhood, common good and doing what we should.

They threaten to tear apart our property, our lives and our dreams.

They are convinced that years of toleration, understanding, adjustment and patience have brought us to a place where we have lost our domination and have just funny wisdom on words that begin with a Cbecome part of Earth’s typography.

They are angry.

They are certain of their cause.

They are committed to restoring a former time, which, in its era, was proven to be ineffective and even deadly.

They have a knife to our throat, alternating with a gun to our head, interchanging all of that with a mocking laugh of anything suggesting mutuality or agreement.

We are temporarily stalled by a kidnapping of kindness and a promotion of crudeness.

Should we pay the ransom?

And if the ransom is paid, will we get our country back? Or just what’s left of it?

Perhaps we should take a moment and realize that even though these forces did confiscate our lives, we certainly were more than willing to give up–because of our bigotry and anger.

Can we rescue ourselves from ourselves?

It’s a damn good question.

Fortunately–or perhaps unfortunately–we will all be around to hear the answer.

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Both

Both: (pron) two identified together

There is only one natural enemy of humankind.Dictionary B

It is called apathy.

Whenever it arrives, good becomes a little less glistening, and bad is viewed as too normal.

So we need both:

  • We need both believer and atheist
  • Republican and Democrat
  • Business and consumer
  • Rich and poor
  • Freedom and oppression
  • Give and take
  • Male and female

And as we look at each one of these possibilities, it is contingent upon our intellect and awareness to realize that truth lies in the midst of the disarray.

It would be wonderful if virtue would light up so we could follow it, or if evil smelled like farts. But it’s not that simple, is it? No–it takes our full concentration, attention, passion and involvement to make sure that we are at least attempting to find the common good.

In doing so, we defeat apathy.

Because if we don’t, it will destroy us.

 

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Block

Block: (v) to make the movement or flow in a passage difficult or impossible.

Dictionary B

It is easier to get coverage on the news of evil than it is to receive attention toward even an intriguing good.

The media would argue this point, and would stubbornly insist that they are merely providing what interests the public, and therefore, stimulates their advertisers to contribute revenue.

But meanwhile, many things are being blocked from the common good.

We don’t ever hear the best music because it mingles the melodies of the past with innovative tunefulness. Too risky.

We’re blocked from the best inventions because they don’t necessarily appeal to immediate marketplace requirements, but instead, address longer-lasting concerns.

And we’re blocked from the best people to govern us because they cannot pass the scrutiny of purity, or haven’t learned how to lie about it.

So we settle for the mediocre, discussing levels of inadequacy, assigning excellence to the more promoted portions.

I suppose at this point I should offer some alternative to this paradox.

I have none.

As long as finance is the determining factor in what is paraded, we will have to learn to hang to the rear to escape the clowns.

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Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights:(n) the first ten amendments to the US Constitution

Dictionary B

So you’re sittin’ around with your buddies and you’ve just written a Constitution for a new little country which you have dubbed “The United States of America.”

You have high hopes.

But honestly, taking a peek at history, the life expectancy of such a national prospect is very dim.

Meanwhile, you’ve gone to the pub to celebrate your endeavor, and while talking with your friends, it occurs to you that you left out guarantees for personal freedom.

You feel a little silly, right?

So almost immediately, you go in and amend your document by adding ten ideas which guarantee that no tyrant will ever again trample on the God-given personal pursuits of any individual citizen.

Man, it seems noble.

But moving ahead a couple hundred years, we have the situation where the prevention of one tyrant opens the door to over three hundred million of them, as each person determines the boundaries of his or her actions, based upon the Bill of Rights.

This places us in a powder keg of controversy, with each citizen fearing they are being set aside in favor of honoring the liberties of another.

What is missing from the Bill of Rights? Some old-fashioned, damn common sense.

For instance, freedom of speech sounds really good until you actually have to sit and listen to one which is completely filled with nonsense and vitriol.

The right to bear arms may have once been practical, when single shot muskets took a minute to load and had no potential for rapidly firing, killing dozens at a time.

It goes on and on.

Oh, wait. There’s the Fifth Amendment, which supposedly protects us against self-incrimination, while actually ending up being a confession in parenthesis.

Just as people who translate science and the Bible as being immutable and without need of edit, those who worship the Constitution and its amendments fail to realize that the Founding Fathers were really just a bunch of goofs who got tired of being pushed around by crazy King George.

What they wrote and believed is neither supreme nor self-contained.

It is up to the intelligence of each generation to find the common good of all the citizens without making it seem that America is a restaurant with only tables built for one

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Antagonist

dictionary with letter A

Antagonist: (n.) a person who opposes someone or something; an adversary.

I guess I should rate this particular column PG-13.

I am not the type who likes to use colloquial or street language just to be colorful, yet sometimes there is no word that communicates quite as clearly as one that threatens to dribble off into the gutter.

Here are the facts, at least as far as I know them:

Some people are antagonists for a good reason, and some folks are just assholes.

The difficulty lies in knowing the difference.

Because certainly, to over half of the U. S. in 1861, Abraham Lincoln was an asshole. He was making a stand against an institution that had cemented itself into the Southern culture, and even into the minds of many Northern politicians. It seemed like he was urinating on apple pie and had slapped Mom and America in the face.

Yet by the same token, in the 1960’s, Dr. Timothy Leary introduced LSD to our culture, insisting that it was equally as mind-expanding as the Emancipation Proclamation. But really, he ended up just being a weirdo and bringing grief to a lot of unfortunate, gullible souls.

There are many antagonists in our world today. With whom should we side?

  • Supposedly if you take into consideration the feelings of the Palestinians, you’re against Israel.
  • If you express your empathy for the state of Israel, you become a Zionist pig.
  • If you have misgivings about the gay lifestyle, you’re a homophobe.
  • Yet if you promote an entirely liberal, open-minded agenda, history may place you in the “leary” category.

Is there any way of knowing what is truly being motivated by an asshole and what is the necessary work of an antagonist, who’s come along to prophetically shake up our world and better mankind?

I have three ideas. (They are no better than yours, but since I have you reading, I guess you’re stuck with me for the time being:)

1. Great ideas don’t make us more dependent. They cause us to declare our independence from things that are not necessary.

2. Great ideas have a sense of the common good without making fun or humiliating the adversary.

3. Great ideas have appeared in history before. Even if they’ve been shoved to the rear, they still have a lineage in truth.

For instance, slaves being freed has always been a positive throughout mankind’s journey.

Drugs actually expanding our minds and making us more intensely involved have not proven to be such.

I believe this: we must question everything with gentleness, allowing the truth to come to the forefront, instead of just reading aloud, in unison, the press release.

I, myself, am an antagonist.

Will history find me on the right side–or a mental dinosaur?

We shall see.

Of course, I won’t really care … because I won’t be here.

 

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Announce

dictionary with letter A

Announce: (v) to make a public and typical formal declaration

I attended a wedding.

It was a festive affair, as they often are. I don’t know of anything quite like marriage, which gains such optimism and steam during the reception, only to be regaled as nearly hopeless by the time the guests reach the parking lot.

But I digress.

At this wedding, there was a flurry of toasts given to the bride and groom. In the midst of these salutes, one young gentleman stood to his feet, lifting his glass to the recently betrothed, and said, “I want to announce that I got a job on Thursday that pays 47K a year, which is a step up for me.”

There was a pause. You could sense the reasoning in the entire room.

  • Yes, this is obviously an unnecessary announcement for this moment.
  • Yes, it reeks a bit of selfishness.
  • Of course, it will keep some awkwardness in the air, until we are well into the cake-cutting ceremony.

At length, someone trickled off a limp representation of applause, duplicated by those souls most forbearing.

Our announcer was completely satisfied, smiled at the entire room, tipped his glass and drank it down.

Now, I was intrigued. I watched him for the next ten minutes as he beamed to those around him his glee over his recent acquisition, hoping to receive adulation, only being compensated with nervous nods.

Announcements are nice. Three things are important for them, though:

1. They should be on point, and not obtuse.

2. They should benefit the common good of the hearers available.

3. They should be doused in humility and a bit of reluctance, so there’s more joy coming from others than hemorrhaging off the speaker’s ego.

To conclude my story, I will tell you that the person who followed our bizarre announcer with the next toast was careful to elongate it with sufficient focus and praise back onto the blissful duo.

It’s the beauty of life.

For every fool who poops in the middle of the road, God seems to send a patient soul behind him … with a pooper scooper.

.

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Alumnus

dictionary with letter A

Alumnus: (n) a graduate or former student, esp. male, of a particular school, college or university

I am an alumnus–even though my degree was not acquired through higher education, but rather, lower institutions of learning–by overcoming mediocre concerns.

I have learned.

  • I’ve had the benefit of competing with those who graduated from the University of Misunderstanding, whose main function is to cause trouble in life and disrupt the common good.
  • I have dealt with those from the College of Petty Jealousy–completely insecure about the training they received, confident that the best way for them to succeed is to intimidate others.
  • I certainly easily surpassed those from the Institute of Procrastination.
  • Quietly walked away from the competition posed by the Graduate School of Bitterness.
  • Found different ways to construct my future, rather than succumbing to the curriculum at the Technical School of Bigotry.
  • And even refused a scholarship from the Doctorate Program at Meanness.

I received my diploma from the Nothing Works Out Immediately University, with my major in Patience.

I am grateful for this training.

And it also makes class reunions much more pleasant.