HOPE & SORROW – THE CIRCLE OF LIFE

55 comments

Posted on 26th August 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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“Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn’t nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand.” – Aldous Huxley, Brave New World


When you drive the PA Turnpike for 7 hours you have a lot of time to think. Our trip to Altoona was bittersweet. My oldest son is beginning his senior year at Penn State. He has his whole life ahead of him. But you never know for sure. His best friend was killed in a car accident one year ago. That tragic event has changed him. He is more serious and introspective. He is searching for a deeper meaning to life. He has downloaded a number of books about spirituality this summer.

He is worried about getting a job after graduation. His degree in Information Technology doesn’t guarantee a job. No degree guarantees a job anymore. I hope he is able to land a decent job with a decent company. He won’t be burdened with any student loan debt. That’s my gift to him. He also understands what is going on in this country. He doesn’t trust the government or the police. He has a healthy skepticism about everything in the media. Driving in a car with me for two hours a day will do that to you.

On the interminable drive, I thought about my senior year in college. It was a great time. I shared an apartment off-campus with two buddies. I had my academics completely under control, so there was plenty of time for enjoying my final days of freedom with friends. There was softball, basketball, frat parties, concerts, and many nights of drinking. Our apartment was fairly big and perfect for parties. There were many interviews with accounting firms and many rejection letters. Our biggest most drunken party was the rejection letter burning party. There were so many rejection letters among the attendees that we achieved a huge bonfire in our yard.

I graduated from college in 1986 and I had hopes and dreams that seemed achievable. Jobs were plentiful. If you took the necessary steps (CPA, MBA), worked hard, and joined the right company, a successful career in finance was there for the taking. If you invested your money in the stock market consistently, dollar cost averaging would lead to a long-term nest egg. Monetary and fiscal policy was too abstract for someone trying to raise a family and build a successful career. Accounting manager, Treasurer, Controller, Strategic Planning – next stop CFO. Politics was uninteresting to me. Life was progressing nicely until the turn of the century.

Then 9/11 happened. Stock market crashes, Middle East wars, wars on terrorism, Patriot Act, feckless politicians, criminal bankers, Federal Reserve created bubbles and a career thrown off-track by a diversity queen CEO. Many hopes for my career, my country and my kids’ future were dashed as I turned 40. I’m not anything like the person I was in 2000. I’m far more serious and far less optimistic. My eyes have been opened and I don’t like what I see. The leadership of this country is corrupt, greedy, and implementing laws, regulations, and policies which will ultimately lead to the country’s demise. The majority of citizens are willfully ignorant of the financial peril we face, while allowing themselves to be distracted by modern day circuses and enslaved in debt by the financiers and their media propaganda arms. It is a mental struggle to get through each day knowing what lies ahead.

It seems the sorrow increases exponentially as fathers, babies, teenagers and friends die far too soon. I’ve witnessed the deaths of far too many friends and family over the last few years. The death of teenagers and babies is too much to bare. The deaths of fathers is understandable, but no less sad. And now the death of someone I’ve never met, but still considered a close friend, has me pondering the meaning of life. AWD was a few months younger than me. He worked out at the gym every day. He would bust my balls about being overweight. He would warn me that anger turned inward would lead to depression. He was a doctor, and he died at the age of 50. He didn’t know he was going to die. He was a prepper. He was taking steps to survive the coming storms. He was armed. He wanted a country where his young daughters could succeed. He railed against injustice on a daily basis. And in an instant he was gone. All the preparations and plans were for naught.

I haven’t slept well since I learned of his death on Saturday. I thought a lot about AWD during my drive. The rural views along the PA Turnpike on a bright sunny day were peaceful and idyllic. Farms dotted the countryside and the population was sparse. I thought these people would weather the coming storms much better than those living in the cities and suburbs. I’ve tried to prepare for an uncertain future, but if and when the storm hits, it will likely be all for naught. I’m still nothing but a rat in a cage. Most of us are in the same cage. Most of us have family obligations and don’t have the financial resources to just pick up and move to a safer place. And after seeing what happened to AWD, what does it really matter? We are only given a certain amount of time on this earth and you never know when that time will be up.

I can almost understand why the majority of Americans don’t bother with worrying about the future. We’re all dead in the end anyway. It is a selfish attitude, but if you are only going to be here for 80 years or less, then why not rack up debt, lease a new car every two years, live in a McMansion with a massive mortgage, accept every goodie offered by the politicians, and let future generations fend for themselves. But then you arrive at Altoona and pull into the apartment complex where your son is living his senior year.

As far as shitholes go, it was an OK shithole. He is sharing an 800 sq ft apartment with three other guys. It has one bathroom. We arrived at 12:30 on Sunday and they looked a little tired. It seems they had their first party of the year the night before and it went on until 5:30 am. One roommate immediately reminded me of Spiccoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He offered to make us some gnarly bacon and eggs. His other roommate was clean cut and well spoken. My son still has a Ron Paul 2012 magnet on his car and I was pleasantly surprised to see a huge Gadsden flag hanging on the living room wall. These are the millennials that give me hope.

Kevin and his friends are at the beginning of their adult lives. Their hopes and dreams haven’t been shattered. It isn’t 1986 anymore. They face much greater challenges, have far less opportunities, and will be left with the financial ruins created by their elders. This is why I could never become one of the mindless consuming zombie horde. The choice is between accepting the way things are and the way things should be. I cannot in good conscience stand idly by while a few evil psychopaths pillage this country and enslave us in the chains of debt at the point of a gun. I believe the next fifteen years will be a time of peril, when the country could be destroyed or saved. It pains me knowing that my kids will be at the forefront of this battle, but I’ll do everything I can to win the battle for liberty, freedom and a restoration of our Constitution.

I don’t know how much time I have left on this earth and I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that I want my three boys to have a chance at a decent life. I can’t change the course of history, but I can try to be a better person, better husband, better father, and better citizen. I am deeply saddened by the death of my on-line sidekick AWD, but I’m still hopeful for my sons’ future, and I’m going to fight to my last breath to ensure that future. I can’t force others to fight to improve this universe, but I can try to improve my one small corner of that universe.

“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.” Aldous Huxley

55 Comments
  1. A. R. Wasem says:

    It’s all about the children/grandchildren. BC-LR to all

    26th August 2014 at 3:25 pm

  2. bb says:

    Right before I found out about AWD death I got a call telling me an old high school friend had died .I hadn’t seen Bob in 10 years and I only knew AWD from this site.I have been thinking about both the last couple of days. How life seems so futile at times .How old friends and family can be gone in an instant.How nothing stays the same .Only thing I can do is keep living . I recently discovered there’s only two things I still love .My mom and my cat.GOD how pathetic.At least I still have them for little longer.After they are gone it will just be me ,myself and I .I guess I still got Christ Jesus but I don’t like him very much right now.So it goes.

    26th August 2014 at 3:44 pm

  3. dc.sunsets says:

    Graduating 4 years earlier (than 1986) looked worse than today. Funny how much can change so quickly.

    One does worry about ones (adult) kids. 32 years ago interest rates had begun their long, slow grind toward zero, and who would have imagined that despite all the stupidity going on (an empire built on debt), declining interest rates would either be part of the cause or part of the facade of three decades of seeming prosperity.

    People younger than their mid-50’s have lived their entire adult lives in a debt-fueled boom. Our kids, however, can only remember stuff since after the boom ended in 2000. How must their gestalt necessarily differ from ours?

    My kids are at the “buying houses” stage. Good jobs, nice spouses, and the knowledge to recognize that buying a house today may be among the most dangerous (financial) decisions possible. Yet what are people to do? Their dad expected the sky to fall 19 years ago yet here we are.

    People are forced to live in the “now,” even if the old paradigm is shaky indeed.

    Life’s an adventure. Huxley had it right, the more “boring” the better.

    26th August 2014 at 3:50 pm

  4. dc.sunsets says:

    Regarding your final paragraph, it has much in common with:
    http://voluntaryist.com/articles/040.html

    “The only thing that the individual can do ‘is to present society with ‘one improved unit’.'”

    26th August 2014 at 3:56 pm

  5. Ryan says:

    It’s funny that we rip poor, black, Wal-Mart shoppers for feeling entitled. You don’t think some of the biggest fascist oligarchs don’t feel entitled? Corzine ring a bell? Robert Rubin? Jamie Dimon? Lloyd Blankfein, who had the gall to say Goldman was doing God’s work. You think about the scale of entitlements and these banksters and oligarchs take the cake. Who do you think arranged this whole monetary system of exploitation?

    Anyway, while you guys rip away at the folks receiving food stamps, we are running massive deficits each year to support the military which is in place to keep this ponzi financial scheme known as globalization in place and running (i.e. keeping energy flowing and western interests abroad protected to suck profits out of every region of the world). If you don’t play along, you’ll have a coup or a noose around your neck in no time at all (thank you CIA).

    Oh and now they have drones and the internet to spy on you day and night (facial recognition from Facebook accounts, drones everywhere and cameras everywhere) or blow you up from anywhere at anytime.

    I’m done ranting, but the least of our problems are ungrateful welfare recipients – it is Corporate Fascists and their ilk.

    26th August 2014 at 4:01 pm

  6. Francis Marion says:

    Boring is better. Simple things are the best things. Time with your family. Fresh produce picked with your own hands. The feel of cold water from the local creek wrapped around your ankles as you wade through. The scent and sound of your spouse sleeping quietly/not so quietly next to you. The laughter of the kids playing in the front with their friends. Warm sun on your face on a cool day. I could go on but I’m starting to sound like something from Hallmark (TM).

    One thing I will guarantee is that on your death bed you will not regret not having “more stuff”. You will not regret having not stored up more bullion or ammo. You will not regret not having bought a bigger house, a farm, a business or a new car. What you might regret is how you spent your time.

    Death is a certainty for all of us so spend your time wisely. Give it to the people you love. Simple. And don’t sweat assholes. There are an abundance of them these days – if you give them your time – at least on a cosmic scale – you lose.

    Francis

    26th August 2014 at 4:06 pm

  7. Tommy says:

    First of all, have children. Secondly, another great post – I too understand the nihilist in all of us, sometimes better than most. Then I think about it, and remember those lingering feelings I’ve always felt regarding failure. As an X’er, its just ingrained into me to try with the expectation or at least the ‘don’t be surprised if you fail’ attitude. I’ve always clung to the understanding that not trying will result in failure, but at least trying gets you a lottery ticket at success. I’d rather go down swinging, it sounds like to me like AWD did too. We’re fucked, might as well make ‘em earn it.

    Against my inner preferences, I’m working on reaching out to a very, very select few – me and another fellow talk, and want to broaden our ‘community’. Lone wolves will perish, but I’d really rather ‘lone-wolf-it’. So, I gotta push on and ‘partner-up’. That’s another plus from you, this site, others and a few monkeys. Like you again, my wife and I got our oldest daughter off to college this week and in many ways…..because of you and this site and folks like AWD and others……my daughters and son get an ear-load daily of truth, mental challenges, and de-programming (fuck you Moochelle). So I’ve got three reasons to care and I have honestly, thanked God for sites like this and Z/H, but mostly this. The ability to at least get a fighting chance is what I’m so thankful for, and the hope that I’ve learned (like T4T) and will learn more that will allow me to shepherd my kids through to a better place and give them what I can’t buy them is just a draw to TBP which words can’t write.

    I woke up today and it was 45 degrees, the sun’s lower in the sky and its getting darker earlier now around 9:00, and very soon, about 4:45. I personally feel this particular autumn is going to be the last for a while that offers relative peace and tranquility, you don’t have to feel as I do, but enjoy yours just the same.

    26th August 2014 at 4:16 pm

  8. bluestem says:

    Francis, very wise and thoughtful words, John

    26th August 2014 at 4:16 pm

  9. Pirate Jo says:

    Don’t forget, bb, you also have little bb.

    “I can almost understand why the majority of Americans don’t bother with worrying about the future. We’re all dead in the end anyway.”

    Agreed. I’m not willfully ignorant about the future – in fact I’m probably more aware of what’s going on than most people. But in the end I found it didn’t make much difference, because there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ve been taking a break from some of the doom lately because it’s nice outside and why not just enjoy it. (If you don’t see many posts from me it’s not because I’ve died, it’s because I’m going on vacation in a couple of weeks and starting another contract project the week after that.)

    I can’t quite agree with this, though: “It is a selfish attitude, but if you are only going to be here for 80 years or less, then why not rack up debt, lease a new car every two years, live in a McMansion with a massive mortgage [etc.]”

    No, no, no! If you are smart you will not always assume you will have a job with great benefits that will provide those Minimum Monthly Payments (TM). It is absolutely nuts to live the way most people do – one paycheck away from running out of money. My 2BR condo is in a nice neighborhood, but it cost only a fourth what the McMansions around here cost and it is paid off. My car is 16 years old but it, too, is paid off, and I have $10K sitting in a savings account for the day it dies. (Earning 0.75%, much to my vast irritation.) It is being debt-free, combined with being kid-free, that allows me to live off contract work and take 3-6 months off each year to enjoy life.

    As to the kid-free thing, well, I’m always advising not to have kids. It was different back when my parents had kids. They enjoyed a better standard of living than their own parents, who in turn had a better standard of living than THEIR parents. There was no reason for my parents to think the trend wouldn’t continue, and that their own kids wouldn’t have a better life than they themselves did. Generation X was the first. For those of you who already have kids, because back when you first became parents times were better, now you are stuck worrying about the shitty future your kids are going to have. And with good reason. Now do the right thing, and don’t badger your poor kids to give you grandkids.

    Good out of you, though, Admin, for helping yours through college without debt. It sure helps that you and Avalon never got divorced, doesn’t it? Divorce makes you broke and totally screws your kids. One of Stephanie’s posts delved into that a few months back. I found myself wondering how Baby Boomers can all be so broke when they lived through such good economic times – and then I was like, ‘Well, this explains it. Half of them got divorced.’

    26th August 2014 at 4:33 pm

  10. hardscrabble farmer says:

    I get it, I do, but please, for the love of God do not give in to nihilism and despair.

    Life is like a fire, the more you throw into it the brighter it burns.

    If it isn’t obvious to you, let me make it crystal clear, your words matter, this virtual frat house is a place where more people than you can imagine are impacted for the better on a daily basis and just because the masses don’t get it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value.

    watch?v=W4ga_M5Zdn4

    26th August 2014 at 4:56 pm

  11. T4C says:

    Here HF

    This is what the annoying little question mark linked to.

    26th August 2014 at 5:29 pm

  12. Pirate Jo says:

    Hmmm, nihilism and despair … hmmm. Words that convey different meanings to those who read them.

    Well, imagine this, and discuss at your leisure. We are all in the desert, trapped in a car that has run out of gas and is coasting down the road on fumes, now, which will leave us stuck. What would you do?

    You might reject the idea that you are trapped in the car. You might imagine that a gas station will magically appear. You might imagine that there is some way to survive being stuck out in the desert.

    What gets labeled “nihilism” or “defeatist thinking” by some is viewed by others as “realism” or “acceptance of an unalterable reality” by others. Before you start hurling stones, remember that to those people you might seem “pathologically optimistic” or “willfully delusional.”

    If you get past the idea that a) we are totally screwed, and b) there is nothing we can do about it, then nihilism and despair isn’t necessarily your next stop. One thing you might do is simply stop caring! So if you’re in that car, you just put on a good song, smoke some weed, scratch your dog behind the ears, and fire up one of ‘The Hobbit’ movies, determined to enjoy whatever time is left. Is that rejecting life (nihilism) or embracing the present while it lasts and the air conditioner is still running? Probably the last thing you would feel like doing is listening to the people around you who are freaking out.

    Just one of many options – wondering what the others at this “virtual frat house” (good one, by the way!) have to say about it.

    My prediction is that Stucky will post pictures of boobs.

    26th August 2014 at 5:30 pm

  13. Pirate Jo says:

    (Oh, and bb, I misread your post earlier – I went too quickly and thought the only two things you said you loved were your mom and GOD – so I thought you forgot your cat.)

    You forgot GOD!

    Therefore, I win the Internet, and you shall be smited.

    26th August 2014 at 5:33 pm

  14. Billy says:

    Admin,

    I know you’re hurting, but despair is just a grave with the ends knocked out.

    All men die. The only question is how and why.

    AWD was a good man. His passing is untimely, but do not let his passing deter you from what you are doing. My own father passed just before AWD. He knew the end result of the course this country is on, and I thank the Almighty he did not live to see it. His passing was a mercy. And, in a way, so was AWD’s own passing.

    All things eventually come to an end. America will fall. What will be needed to salvage it will be stalwart hearts and an ocean of the blood of Heroes… what it was intended to be – the idea – is worth fighting for.

    You are needed still. Do not give up because a good man fell.

    26th August 2014 at 5:48 pm

  15. Stucky says:

    “I hope he is able to land a decent job with a decent company.” ———— Admin

    That’s the route I took. Within 2 years od graduating with my Computer Science degree, I landed a job with Hewlett-Packard …. one the best possible gigs back then.

    But, If I could relive life, I wouldn’t go that route. I would go into business for myself.

    —- But, that’s very risky! …….. so is working for corporate America

    —- You might not succeed! …….. good chance that your corporation won’t either

    —- You have no security! ……….. there are few things less secure that working for corporate America

    —- I want a GUARANTEED paycheck! …….. there are no guarantees in life, especially from corporate America

    —- But, working for yourself is so damn hard and consumes so much time! …….. so what? quit being a pussy

    —- I don’t want to be a slave to my business! ….. you have no idea what being a slave means until you work for corporate America where you aren’t even a human being … you’re just a “human resource”, totally fucking expendable at a moments notice

    —- But a guaranteed paycheck means freedom! …… no, freedom means being independent

    —- But I’m so young!! ………. EXACTLY!! There is no better time to give it a try … when you have no family, no kids, no mortgage, or gained years of experience being afraid

    26th August 2014 at 5:54 pm

  16. Llpoh says:

    Admin – nice stuff. Your kids will do fine. You have done well by them. You also need to look after you and Avalon (not saying you aren’t). You have another forty years – use them happily. Because I could be wrong about that.

    You make a difference to many. Thanks.

    26th August 2014 at 6:35 pm

  17. the tumbleweed says:

    Once you acknowledge the fragility of life, it only takes a little courage to push through and finish the thought. We are not here to coast and do nothing. We would not exist so briefly and in a brutal, banker infested low brow existence if leisure was the chief end. You are not your job, you are not your rehypothecated mortgage, or your eggshell with Ramalian type business card. Life is really a kindergarten. At the most fundamental level, you are here to learn right from wrong and how to discern good from evil. Graduation is not looking likely for most.

    [link]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1pkJaNbzLU[/link]

    26th August 2014 at 6:41 pm

  18. Rise Up says:

    Admin, your post resonates with me, as many similar thoughts cross my mind. I, too, helped my only offspring off to his junior year at college last week. Like your oldest, he is working on a combined Information Technology/Business major. He has a good head on his shoulders, has always been mature beyond his years, has a knack for written and verbal communication, and carries himself well. So hopefully his future will be bright, despite the current 4th turning uncertainty (which he is aware of from his dad’s sharing of TBP articles and occasional political rants).

    Too bad the economy sucks so much right now. I was lucky to ride the telecom/IT wave as it took
    off in the mid-80’s. Back then you didn’t need a college degree to make big bucks. At the peak of those telecom days, I was given a quarterly “retention” bonus just to stay with my company and not jump ship. Today, even with a college degree, there are no guarantees for a steady career.

    As to death, I’ve been studying esoteric and spirituality for 30 years and believe in reincarnation. Each one of us comes into life with a purpose and with lessons to learn. I am totally at ease with my own death, whenever it comes. That’s not to say that when others close to us pass, there is not sorrow. My wife and I lost both of our parents in the span of 4 years, plus an aunt and uncle in that timeframe. Death is just a door to another life.

    As to “don’t have kids Pirate Jo”: Souls will find a way into a life here on earth. It is the soul who chooses the parent(s) according to the lesson/learning experience that best suits it. However, I respect Pirate Jo’s choice not to have children.

    Finally, there are many things about this website that beckon me–the political discussion, the no-holds-barred, tell-it-like-it-is posts from Admin, and the diversity of topics presented. It’s really a feast to indulge one’s appetite for non mainstream information and truth.

    26th August 2014 at 7:04 pm

  19. Jim says:

    This back to college series is the third bestof all time just behind the 30 blocks saga and the retail implosion series. And a memo to Ryan above. The site just doesn’t expose section 8 corruption. If anything, the hyprocracy of the Wall Street banksters and their leech like ilk and hangers on have also been prominently featured. I am so disgusted with most of America/Americans, that I try to limit my interaction to a select few nowadays. Be that as it may, you come off as a whiny lib with no substance. I’ll bet you feel that the poor residents of Detroit who have decided for years not to pay their water bills are doing the right thing and are not a problem as well. As they have said water is a”right”. As a radio host recently said, I am living in a world I do not understand. Out.

    26th August 2014 at 7:18 pm

  20. Administrator says:

    Our virtual frat house on the day AWD died

    26th August 2014 at 7:50 pm

  21. Administrator says:

    Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

    26th August 2014 at 7:52 pm

  22. MuckAbout says:

    @AWD: Your wisdom and rants have and will outlive you and you will be greatly missed here.

    I lost my son-in-law at 52 – stomach cancer – he was a Fast Attack Submariner and I’ve always wondered if there was a connection there somewhere. Just try and find out the long term mortality rate versus age of Fast Attack and Boomer sailers. You won’t find squat.

    Doesn’t matter at this point. Being born is dangerous to your health and since none of us get out of this place alive, best to live your life to the fullest, work at something that turns you on, play until you drop. Love a good woman (or a good man) depending on gender and preference (and stay married).

    When you get to be my age, if you can say, “All is well and I can’t find anything left that’s really important on the bucket list!” Then you’ve done it right. I can say that with vigor…

    I’ve also found that luck does indeed play a significant part from start to finish. Being at the right place at the right time with the right skills can suddenly launch you into a totally different path down life’s trail.

    I’ve found it best to be a generalist in all aspects of my work – be able to be plugged into any number of positions with broad skills wins over specialists every time. I’ve also found that EVERY TIME you come upon a “V” in the road – one way takes you on down the path you been and the other leg of the “V” is totally new, challenging, requires new educational efforts, something you’ve never done; that is the chance to take the new leg of the “V”. DO IT. EVERY TIME! You’ll find yourself ever more popular in working circles and you will find your work inspires you to better skills, fun and opens new doors to you every time.

    I only wish AWD had not been nipped at a point just short of his maximum abilities. Again, you will be missed, my friend..

    MA

    26th August 2014 at 8:49 pm

  23. AledoFarmer says:

    RIP – AWD there will never be enough words or comments to rival your thoughts. Life is fleeting but always keep trying to persevere.

    26th August 2014 at 10:16 pm

  24. DaveL says:

    Forgive my ignorance o tis matter. What was the cause of AWD’s death?

    26th August 2014 at 10:55 pm

  25. Kill Bill says:

    When I pass away, as I surely will, you had better not weep, for I might then want to haunt you, instead embrace my new form and have a party, I would really appreciate that.

    As for IT work, so many with degrees in that field of study, and as with Stephanie Shepard, our beloved Olive Garden, the professors are often behind the times. I suggest Kevin read, or attend as much Hacker conventions as possible, outside of his wanted profession, for that is what an IT persons responsibility really is, not to disseminate it to idiot managers but protect the databases

    Learn the TCP/IP/UDP protocols, learn how hackers use DLL files, in windows, and exploit them by finding entry points in the C++ coding [buffer overflows which allow the hacker to gain access to root. Learn how to use a Linux/Unix type image CD to boot up from and alter the registry...etc etc.]

    26th August 2014 at 11:19 pm

  26. pdxEric says:

    At a time in your life such as this, and knowing you to be a fan of Huxley, you may appreciate his spiritual essays, available in print as Huxley on God.

    27th August 2014 at 12:25 am

  27. Reverse Engineer says:

    What took AWD out?

    Several of the Diners have had serious life threatening illnesses lately also. Our chief tech almost succumbed to a perforated colon. Surly had a heart problem that kept him in a hospital bed for a week, and a few months ago at the age of 25 Monsta had a Heart Attack. I have developed a neurological problem which has taken out most of the use of my right arm now. It may be an early stage of ALS.

    I wonder if there is some connection to being concerned with these issues and health deterioration?

    RE

    I will cross post this on the Diner tomorrow.

    RE

    27th August 2014 at 6:25 am

  28. whatever says:

    I discovered the same day the AWD post went up, that my oldest friends in the world had been devastated by ALS.

    In 1972 we were all young and the future was before us, and life beckoned. We remained deep friends for 40 years.

    I found the obituary for my dear lifelong friend on Sunday. Doing a bit of digging I found that their house of 40 years had been sold in April. Lives and dreams and memories crushed and gone. I have been staggered by it all for days, hardly able to function. I can’t remember friends in my life I ever loved more. I almost feel like I don’t know what to do without them?

    I’m in a daze. Everything is becoming so painful.

    27th August 2014 at 6:43 am

  29. flash says:

    Life is a team sport we’re all borne to play, whether we care to or not. The team that you choose or chooses you will be the key to your success or failure.Or as the old cliche’ goes, “it’ ain’t who you know, but who you blow.”
    And therein lies the demise of all things good.Success and the drive to win for the overly ambitious trumps all, friends ,family and morality.
    Winning is all.Greed is good.For the avarice driven, life is a highway which often necessitates the paving over of the cracked hopes and dreams of the lesser beings…it’s all business right?
    If the lesser beings can’t compete with the rapidly changing world of global commerce,what’s one to do?
    They had they’re chance to apply their God gifted talentless from birth ,
    and so many fail; what’s a %1 to do?
    The service jobs are there and if those jobs should not suffices to provide their barest needs then shall their entitlements kick in.Isn’t that what entitlements are for , to be used as a safety net for those who profited from the off-shoring of American industry… But. Americans can no longer compete some say? Let ‘em eat cake then.Those wiley chinese can do the jobs, cheaper, and more efficiently and that is what business is all about.Squeezing the maximum profit form the very least investment and if one’s fellow Americans suffer in the least….so what?

    It used to be you danced with the one’s who brung’ you , but those were the days’ before the almighty dollar replaced the friend ,the family ,the nation.National sovereignty be damned .

    The world is one of global commerce now , and the altar at which we worship is made of gold and none shall enter in unless properly vetted with tribute to mammon ready in hand.

    The profiteers in the name of business have accomplished what no foreign invading Army could ever have..the total moral and economic destruction of a once great nation…more war please…that’ll give the unemployed yute something to do..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTW0y6kazWM

    great essay on the frailty of life admin, +1000

    27th August 2014 at 6:57 am

  30. IndenturedServant says:

    For the last 25 years or so I’ve had a curious thing happen whenever someone I know dies. At some point relatively soon after their passing, I run into someone who could literally be their identical twin. I’m not sure how often it has happened but I know I’m not nuts because on more than one occasion my wife has seen them if she new the person but I’m always the one that spots them first.

    Yesterday I had to make a stop at Comcast to drop off some equipment. The place is an absolute clusterfuck and just about everyone I saw leave the place was far more pissed off than when they came in, myself included. A bunch of South American tribesmen who have never interacted with other humans would be more efficient and competent that the mentally deficient boomers working there but I digress.

    It was a 40 minute wait to get a receipt for the equipment I was dropping off. When my turn finally came it took two minutes to get my receipt which is what chapped my ass. I’m sure the four comcast employees standing around doing fuck all the whole time I was there had nothing to with it but it gave me a chance to observe the sheep. The guy who walked in just ahead of me had walked to the back of the crowded room and I did not see him for the first 10 minutes. He was dressed well and looked distinguished. He could have easily been a doctor. What caught my attention was the fact that he looked identical to the picture posted here of AWD. When his turn came I could see him from the side and he appeared to be giving the customer service guy what for in forceful yet reserved manner and I could just picture AWD doing the same. I’m not sure he got much satisfaction as he looked plenty hot when he left.

    27th August 2014 at 7:31 am

  31. Administrator says:

    RE & Dave L

    The article about AWD’s death indicated natural causes related to emphysema and pneumonia.

    27th August 2014 at 7:45 am

  32. Stucky says:

    Some have asked what caused AWD’s demise.

    On another thread someone said a combination of emphysema, followed by pneumonia.

    27th August 2014 at 7:49 am

  33. Stucky says:

    OK, sorry, I was posting at the same time as Admin.

    27th August 2014 at 7:50 am

  34. card802 says:

    Llpoh has said it many times, and I believe it. Nothing lasts forever, and that includes America of today.
    The smart kids will do well. By smart I mean the kids that have been taught life lessons by parents like Admin, Llpoh, HSF, TE, etc. Sorry if I left anyone out, I don’t know much about personal TBP lives.

    No one knows what the future or this Fourth Turning will bring, but it will be the offspring from each of us that cares enough to notice and attempts to comprehend what brought us to this point that we have to look to and nurture, so their future, while different than our past, will be bright for them.
    Jim, TBP, and the many fine contributors here help to keep the fires burning.

    There will be a lot of misery for a lot of people who have chosen the easy way of bread and circuses, we can’t do anything about them so why worry about them, even though they will be a severe pain for the remainder of this turning.

    Tomorrow is our children’s future, for us old farts it’s just another day.

    27th August 2014 at 7:50 am

  35. flash says:

    Like I said, in the modern merit-less society ,you are who you blow. Education?….phhhhhtttt. your politics and whom do you screw is often more important.

    http://www.voxday.blogspot.com/2014/08/a-female-dev-on-quinn-debacle.html

    the easiest way for talentless hacks to break into the indie gaming industry is to associate with the sort of hipster liberal types that are getting all the publicity for their oppression. And worse yet, they get in over people with actual skills. I had a friend in college who was an amazing 3d modeler trying to break into the industry. She was turned down repeatedly and had to settle at a shitty mobile game company making cow clickers that no one cared about. Meanwhile Zoe Quinn is able to get hired by Loveshack solely because of who she knows (and sleeps with).

    I shudder to imagine the blowback from their clique if I told them about how I voted yes on Prop 8. Just look at the way Doug TenNapel’s Kickstarter was lambasted by people in the industry (led by Ben Kuchera) because he dared to have a (non-liberal) political opinion.

    27th August 2014 at 8:17 am

  36. Thinker says:

    Admin, I recall AWD saying that meditation helped — saved him, even — when he was most upset or frustrated about how life was unfolding. We saw, many times, how his anger would boil over on here, then he’d be back as a much nicer, calmer AWD. He swore by meditation, but I’m not sure what kind or how he practiced it. Might be someone here who can offer some insight into how to do it. Could be worth it, if it helps to relieve stress. We all know things are going to get worse before they get better.

    27th August 2014 at 8:57 am

  37. Stucky says:

    I used to “meditate” by going to a cemetery near out house. Really.

    I would think of all my problems, think about all that I wanted but couldn’t have, think about life’s tribulations ……. then I would walk about the graves and I’d think these people when they were alive probably pretty much had the same fears and concerns as I did ….. and look at them now.

    Nothing quite like death & graves to remind me that my problems …. severe, or not … were just temporary, and not worth endless worry.

    27th August 2014 at 9:12 am

  38. JIMSKI says:

    On one of awds epic rant against fatties i commented that his lifestyle sounded more like surviving than living. I then gave him directions on a soul restoring pasta dish

    Situations like this are why i live by the credo of the fluffy one

    ” if you knew you were going to die tomorrow would you have cake today”

    27th August 2014 at 9:42 am

  39. Aquapura says:

    Damn, I didn’t know that AWD had passed. His “what woke you up” was one of my favorite posts on TBP. He will be missed.

    Was 9/11 the watershed that changed everything? I don’t really agree. It was a big event but with or without a 9/11 we were already well on the path to where we are now – and going. To quote a Billy Joel song – We didn’t start the fire, It was always burning Since the world’s been turning.

    Maybe I’m finally getting old enough to realize that the past will always be nostalgic and the future will always look more bleak. Given the news about AWD I’m not sure how much time I have left with my own father, let alone myself. I think I’ll enjoy this long weekend and forget about the global condition for just a minute.

    27th August 2014 at 10:22 am

  40. Welshman says:

    Admin.,

    Nice reflective rant, and keep your chin up. I prep somewhat like AWD, but have 22 year more on my odometer, so I act accordly. Will I live to see the reset button, maybe, will you son live to see the reset button, absolutely.

    27th August 2014 at 10:29 am

  41. dc.sunsets says:

    Every person alive today has ancestors who survived plagues, pogroms, poor sanitation and mankind’s favorite pastime, (almost endless) war.

    Survival is an attitude. Quitters die, their lineage dies out, and the race continues to be run by those who simply kept going, much like capitalism’s “creative destruction.”

    The portents are worrisome; economies addicted to debt expansion and monetary debasement, cultural Marxism heading directly toward its violent reversal, the welfare/warfare state marching toward a Zombie Apocalypse, so yes there’s much about which to be anxious.

    Remember that reasonably intelligent people who Don’t Quit tend to do okay in all situations.

    Stay out of debt. Have a Plan B. Meet your obligations. Live honorably. Enjoy the sunsets.

    27th August 2014 at 12:55 pm

  42. GW says:

    Keep up the fight – while 40% of the population will always sit on their collective arses – it only takes about 8-10% of the population to get angry enough to start the tide turning – we are all almost there!

    And yes 1 man can make a difference…one of my indirect ancestors supposedly fired the opening shot that killed the British General at the Battle of Kings Mtn N.C. way back when – and look where that got us! (Independence MF) That same rifle (supposedly) still sits in a local museum today.

    About a month ago the wife (approaching 50) and I (52) decide the Hell with it all and lets go GALT – we are putting the house on the market in 2 more months and intend on downsizing into a smaller place in the Mtns somewhere (mortgage free) and frankly just find some purpose full existence to life and work as little as possible.

    WTF is the point of working anymore, we are all just slaves to the paycheck so that we can pay TAXES and INSURANCE – Income Tax, Property Tax, Sales Tax, User Tax then also Homeowners Insurance Flood Insurance, Fire Insurance, Wind Insurance, Car Insurance and now MANDATED HEALTH INSURANCE (not that we weren’t paying it anyway)- over 25% of our income was going to Taxes and Insurance – the rest just barely pays the mortgage and food.

    So – FUCK THE STEADY PAYCHECK, FUCK THE MORTGAGE (and the next 10 years of slavery)and all the associated costs – luckily we have always lived within our means and bought a house at the right time to see it appreciate enough to do this, but it has required diligence and frugality for 15 years.

    WHO is JOHN GALT?

    I AM – at least in spirit

    27th August 2014 at 1:25 pm

  43. DRud says:

    Great article. I find myself thinking along similar lines, even though (luckily) no one I no has died recently. I have been blessed with a boring life mostly void of tragedy. What I get from the tone of this article that is mostly missing from most posts here and other places, we are all in this together. Another great 20th century writer often mused on the nature of life: we are all thrust into sentience, we open our eyes one day and are aware we exist, we have no idea how we got here and none of us asked for it. Perhaps my favorite quote from this other literary giant is this one, so much breadth and depth is one pithy sentence:

    “We are here to help each other through this thing, whatever it is…”

    -Kurt Vonnegut

    27th August 2014 at 2:12 pm

  44. Bostonbob says:

    Not the first time something like this has happened:

    Father says boy who shot self at Westfield Sportsman’s Club had permission to use machine gun.

    http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2008/10/westfield_police_release_name.html

    Accidents happen, but I would think an instructor would have seen the article above and taken the necessary precautions to protect himself and the 9 year old girl. The above father was a physician, not some uneducated dolt, although I do not think I would let my kids at 9 try out an automatic weapon, even under professional guidance.

    Bob.

    27th August 2014 at 3:46 pm

  45. Bostonbob says:

    Sorry, posted under the wrong article. Too many windows open.
    Bob.

    27th August 2014 at 3:48 pm

  46. Reverse Engineer says:

    “Will I live to see the reset button, maybe, will you son live to see the reset button, absolutely. “-WM

    There is no “reset” button. This is a one way trip downhill now.

    RE

    27th August 2014 at 8:16 pm

  47. Reverse Engineer says:

    Hope & Sorrow: The Circle of Life now UP on the Diner Blog!

    http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2014/08/28/hope-sorrow-the-circle-of-life/

    RE

    28th August 2014 at 5:25 am

  48. Publius says:

    @Tommy and others: is anyone here in Minnesota? Twin Cities? I need to partner up, also.
    @Admin: I just learned of the loss of AWD. I am fairly new to this blog. Or rather, I have read it off and on for years, but now I am more committed.
    My condolences. AWD was lucky to have had you as a friend.
    Your family is lucky to have you as a husband and father.
    Let’s all hang together.
    AWD’s spirit will live on through us, at the very least.

    28th August 2014 at 11:52 am

  49. flash says:

    the song…

    Jackson Browne – Fountain Of Sorrow ( + lyrics 1974)

    28th August 2014 at 12:13 pm

  50. SimpleSi says:

    I can really relate to this article. I have visited this site for a few years now and this is my first comment. I didn’t know AWD but he is obviously missed so he made an impact here.

    I graduated in 1984 so same ball park – UK though and not USA. Emotionally I am in the same place and the sentiments ring true for me. Is it just an age thing? I ask myself this all the time but I really don’t think it is. Is it because it has always been like this and I have just woken up to the realities? Could be, but again not the whole explanation for me. Something at the core has changed. The genesis of this will have been in the making for years no doubt, but the change for me has a ‘phase shift’ quality about it. Something structural seems to have shifted and I wonder if we are seeing the symptoms all around. Global corporate abuse of power, corruption, politicians on the payola, the endless spinning of BS in the shill media, no/little investigative journalism, endless ‘reality TV’ shows including those designed to desensitise us to the militarisation of the police.

    The way that it is.

    28th August 2014 at 1:28 pm

  51. bb says:

    @Publius

    You asked if anyone here is from Minnesota because you need to partner up.

    I’ not from Minnesota but I would be willing to move at the drop of a hat as I’ve been looking to partner up with a guy for a few years.

    I’m single but I have a pussy. Cat. Me and little bb are inseparable. He purrs when I scratch his balls. Hopefully, that won’t be a problem. Also, I go to church weekly as I am a good Christian man. Hopefully you are a Christian also. Otherwise I will beat you over the head daily with bible verses as this is God’s calling for me. Speaking of callings, I don’t have a good job so I’ll need to mooch off you once in a while. Hey, my mom doesn’t mind, why should you? Lastly, people here say I am the village idiot. I’m starting to think they may be correct. So, don’t expect me to stimulate you. Mentally.

    Please send Admin your email, and I will contact you shortly.

    I can’t wait to meet you.

    Truly.

    28th August 2014 at 3:20 pm

  52. Publius says:

    @bb: Since you are a good Christian, I hope you don’t mind me telling you to go to hell.
    Your humor is not funny, and your irony is not ironic.

    28th August 2014 at 3:40 pm

  53. bb says:

    @Publius

    The Good Book says you should take the log out of your own eye before you attempt to take the splinter out of mine. Why do you judge? It’s because, as I suspected, you are a damned heathen.

    Let me improve my offer.

    How about a blow job every Saturday morning? Does that sweeten the pot for you?

    28th August 2014 at 3:52 pm

  54. nohomehere says:

    I’,m not a regular submitter of comments but the current story resonates to me .I have nothing of this worlds riches to brag about, like so many here seem too! I hope you will excuse my intrution into this apparent group! I was never in a class of any sort educationally or economically, but I am sorry for your loss! I am a Christian In the Biblical sense of the word ! I believe that our trip through this world is very short. Our time being insufficient ! Everyone ever born has to one degree or another seen life as falling short of their expectations.The invisible Hand does exist ! The one God mentioned and Jesus also mentioned in the previous comment’s, does exist again according to the Biblical meaning ! The dimension of their existence is way beyond our mere 80 years as someone earlier said is all we have! The eternal dimension is accessible to everyone and that is where one has all time to work and build and then enjoy the rewards, though some of us experience that to a degree right now depending. Changing one’s thought patterns and concepts is only for some , But the Good News is, the fruit of the work we all do can be enjoyed! It’s all in the Bible ! Try reading it and pray perhaps you are one of thoses who can understand the picture of hope thats inside this book! Most people believe in alot of unseen stuff already, like financial recoveries and government by The Constitution , just to name a few ether worlds. Why not try this book seeing how that our present dimension is iminently falling apart? Perhaps the concept of eternity might be for you, it is for me! Thanks to our afore mentioned Jesus! The gospel of John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?

    28th August 2014 at 4:37 pm

  55. Stucky says:

    No.

    28th August 2014 at 7:36 pm

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