Skill Shouldn’t Matter #butfreedom

I am told that I am a free human being so I do not feel unreasonable desiring to use my money however I please whether it involves gambling or skill games or burying it in a coffee can in the ground or using it to wallpaper my living room.

I’ll use my money how I please, effectively casting votes with my dollars for where I want my dollars to go, and you can spend your money how you please.

Simple enough, right?!

It’s not! In 2011, the ability to play poker online on major US sites was taken away, and now in 2016 we are seeing the same thing happen with DFS (daily fantasy sports) as certain politicians are latching on to this idea that free Americans are not free to play DFS.

Throughout all of this nonsense the thing I cannot stand the most is the bullshit about activities like DFS & poker need to be banned because they are not “games of skill” but rather “games of chance”. Not only is this a flat-out lie (both are quantifiable games of skill) but it should not matter because THE NONSENSE COMES FROM THE POLITICIANS WHO ALL HAVE INTERESTS IN THEIR STATE & MULTI-STATE LOTTERIES THAT ARE EXACTLY GAMES OF CHANCE! (and shitty chances to boot!)

For fuck’s sake, the multi-state Powerball lottery was just recently over $1 billion dollars (that’s billion, with a “B“) in which the odds of winning were some 292 million:1 against and where the winners will fork over some > 30% of their winnings to Uncle Sam, for doing jack shit. Then these same fucking politicians actually have the gall to declare poker and daily fantasy as evil incarnate as they line their pockets with game of chance lottery tax proceeds.

FUCK YOU.

What a sad state of affairs.

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Don’t Proceed Just Because The Light Is Green

green lightWe don’t proceed through a green light just because the light is green. The light being green is simply an indicator that it might be OK to go. You still need to use your own eyes and brain and common sense to determine if it is OK  to proceed down the path you chose.

If you come up to a green light and see 15 people walking the cross walk of that intersection you are not just entitled to mow them over just because the light is green! The green light is irrelevant as your path is blocked.

On the same token if the light is green but a fire truck is barreling toward your car, any reasonable person would avoid the intersection so as not to get plowed over by the fire truck. You could blindly use your “green light privileges” to proceed with your head down but it may get you killed.

We do not proceed because the light is green! We proceed because the light is green and there is nothing in our path.

Stop thinking about things the way it’s been and ask yourself is there another way to view this or interpret that. Avoid proceeding just because the light is green. Be sure your path is clear.

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Jack Bauer & ’24’ Will Return For 10th Season!

24

With nothing other than my keen sense of the Universe to back me up, I’m confidently predicting that Kiefer Sutherland will reprise his role as the iconic Jack Bauer on TV’s #1 action drama of all-time, ‘24‘.

If you are not familiar with the show, do yourself a favor and watch it from season 1 episode 1, in order. Do not read about it. Do not let yourself be spoiled. There are just way too many great moments that can be ruined if you read too much online or discuss with folks who don’t realize you haven’t seen the complete series. Are you and your partner looking for a show to watch together? 24 is perfect. Just be sure you have plenty of water and popcorn.

24 lasted for eight glorious twenty-four episode seasons. The series returned in 2014 with a twelve episode ninth season. While I cannot look beyond season ten at this point, I see no reason why Fox and Kiefer don’t come to an agreement to do another shorter season, likely twelve episodes to round out season ten.

Fox may even consider keeping the 24 series alive with or without Sutherland playing Bauer, though his shoes will be ultra tough to fill. (Numerous actors have played James Bond over a 50 year period, why not the same for Jack Bauer? They even have the same initials!)

I would not be surprised if Fox makes the announcement yet in 2015, though with the holidays approaching early 2016 is more likely.

 

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Pelotonia 2015 Thank You!

Thanks to the generous support of my friends, family and the Internet, we raised another $1,516.37 during our Pelotonia 2015 campaign, bringing our four-year total to $5,877.37!

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Pelotonia is the grass-roots, Columbus based bike ride that raises millions to fight cancer. Thanks to the generous sponsors, 100% of each dollar raised goes directly toward ending cancer as we know it. Read more in my previous posts here and learn about joining the cause as a rider, volunteer or virtual rider here.

Stefanie's Team of Hope, 2015

Stefanie’s Team of Hope, 2015

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Build A Wall? Deport Everyone?

wall

Before you start demanding that people who don’t look, talk & act just like you are forced to leave America or a wall is built around the United States to keep people out, take deep breath and try to think logically.

As previously shown, nationalism is silly and most everyone is not a nationalist at heart, despite what they may tell you. Actions speak louder than words, so take the nationalist quiz, be honest, and then begin to change how you view the earth, borders, and human beings in general.

If you have never read or listened to the book “How To Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, stop what you are doing and buy it right now in your preferred media. I own the e-book as well as the audio companion and I listen to it frequently using the Amazon Kindle app. If you are truly out to become a better human being you are doing yourself a huge disservice if you do not become a fan of this book.

I could never illustrate Dale’s points nearly as well as Dale himself, so I quote him below hoping to give you a profound glimpse as to how you may be grossly ignorant in your view of society and human beings in general. It’s ok if you realize you have made mistakes. We all make mistakes every day. We simply need to learn from those mistakes and stop making them. Let Dale’s wisdom open your eyes and start seeing each human the same.

“The only reason… that you are not a rattlesnake is that your mother and father weren’t rattlesnakes. You deserve very little credit for being what you are – and remember, the people who come to you irritated, bigoted, unreasoning, deserve very little discredit for being what they are. Feel sorry for the poor devils. Pity them. Sympathize with them. Say to yourself: “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”

-Dale Carnegie in “How To Win Friends And Influence People”

Walls don’t unite people. Deporting doesn’t either. Notwithstanding the fact that it was never anyone’s place to decide 99% of the laws that rule us now, there is literally no reason save pure ignorant hatred to want to keep good people off otherwise good “American” land. Stop being divisive. Start uniting.

tree

“When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You appreciate it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying “You’re too this, or I’m too this.” That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.” Ram Dass

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Guns

Killing in the name of nation or god is still killing

Killing in the name of nation or god is still killing

Many people believe that getting rid of guns will solve the problems that plague society today. Unfortunately these people do not understand that the actual problem is that bad people want to do harm to others (read: negatively affect another). Sadly guns are NOT the only way to cause somebody harm. While I certainly agree that if we could wave a magic wand and miraculously dis-invent the gun the world could be a safer place, I must also point out that we cannot imagine what could potentially replace the gun if it were never invented. For all we know a much worse killing machine was invented in an alternate reality where guns don’t exist.
Good Speaking of things that can kill, what about knives… knives kill people. Should will be trying to get rid of all of the knives in the world? You could stick a crayon in somebody’s eye and kill them with it. We should probably also get rid of all crayons. Do you see how tricky this gets?
Alternatively, we could work on the actual problem of bad people who want to do others harm. Much of the current day attention is focused on Islamic extremists, or as some people like to say “all Muslims.” This attitude naïvely shows their complete lack of understanding of religious history, Christian extremists, and general killing in the name of one’s chosen deity. Are there bad theists? Yes, unfortunately there are. Are there other bad people on the Earth? Yes, unfortunately there are. The bad people are the problem, regardless of their ideology.
What if instead of wanting to allow governments to arbitrarily ban certain things, build walls, deport human beings from land that was stolen just a few hundred years ago, etc, we simply focus on giving people who are supposed to be “free” actual freedoms. Bad people can still be punished severely if they negatively affect another, which thankfully is the vast minority of the time.
Men & women much wiser than me have been quoted as making this point that is so important its underlined in bold: good people do not need laws and bad people don’t obey laws. In other words, even if we wave the wand and magically remove all guns, the bad people remain. We haven’t cured the actual problem.
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Earth > America #butfreedom

The ground that you are standing on has been around for billions of years in one form or another. The people who make the rules in the United States only came into power a couple hundred years ago.

Ironically they came into power using violent force against whoever stood in their way then created the strong hold they currently use to oppress all of us using threats of more force. If you don’t believe me, just examine the prison system in the USA where their “free” citizens can be taken from their homes & locked in a steel cage for committing a crime against their own person. A crime against yourself. Think about that. You do not even control your own body, and you’re blindly ok with it.

But, freedom?

And so was born the hashtag, #butfreedom representing a way to question so many of the things that “free” Americans are prohibited from doing thanks to just 545 people.

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Read This Before You Vote

Does it really make sense that we vote on how to spend other people’s money? Or that we vote on what substances “free” people can or cannot eat, drink, grow, smoke, snort or bathe in? I know that I for one enjoy being the sole decision maker when it comes to what I put into my body and how I spend my money.

The system that we are experiencing ad nauseam today (written Tuesday, November 3rd, aka the day we cast our ballots) is in disrepair. Special interest groups and politicians are all over our TVs, radios & billboards urging us to vote yes or vote no on a plethora of issues, many of which are things that should never be put to a vote.

Vote to legalize cannabis? So we’re saying it’s ok to arbitrarily decide what parts of nature
are legal or illegal in this “free country”? We’re saying it’s ok to dictate what other grown men & women put into their bodies? To take a hyperbolic example, how would you feel if someone came into your kitchen and dictated what you could or could not eat? I’m pretty sure no one would stand for that yet many of those same, otherwise reasonable people, stand for much worse (possibly without even realizing it) when they cast their ballots.

Vote to give taxpayer money to a public zoo?! What a joke! If people wanted a zoo, the free market would support one. If a zoo needs to accept subsidies to survive clearly the demand for the zoo isn’t high enough to justify its existence. If the free people’s demand isn’t high enough, why are we giving the zoo their money?! I’d gladly pay the full rate to use the zoo if & when I decide to go there, rather than have money taken from me & given to the zoo regardless of my desire to ever visit.

Before you vote, use your brain. Think for yourself. Forget the special interests, politicians and media. Ask yourself “is this fair to everyone?” Chances are it’s not. If you vote you should vote in a way that restores freedom, not one that advances oppression.

Check out the posts below for more info.

A simple and fair way to vote

All you need to know about laws

3 minute video explaining the free market

Protecting us from ourselves…how about just let me worry about me?!

Don’t vote on my behalf

Are you actually “free” in the land of the free?

If you aren’t on this list, you’re being oppressed

Pay for what you use and nothing more!

Political hypocrisy, beware of who you listen to

Learn why bureaucracies are dangerous

Take a quiz, are you a Nationalist? You might be surprised

Understand the free market better than you did 5 minutes ago

Keeping humans in cages

Taxes are mostly theft

How to avoid paying taxes!

Getting away from oppressive habits

A variety of essays to enjoy

vadervote

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Laws That Slap Us In The Face

While I’m not for a completely lawless society, I do believe that there should be minimal laws and certainly none that allow for us to commit crimes against ourselves.

Think about that: committing a “crime” against yourself.

Scratching your head? Yeah, so am I. Which is why I’ve previously written about laws and how messed up they are.

What I did not mention previously is the slap in the face that we all get when laws in our area are different, specifically more strict, than laws elsewhere. The simple fact that something is legal in one area but illegal in another should invalidate any claims in support of keeping it illegal.

I believe that laws should regress to wherever they are least strict. This would likely eliminate many of the bullshit laws & start to give back our freedoms that have been gradually taken away under the guise of doing right by the public. It’s a slap in the face that “free” humans cannot gamble online in Ohio, but the same “free” Americans in other states can. (Not to mention it’s a slap in the face that we cannot gamble freely in Ohio, only as the State allows re: casinos, state-run lottery, etc. Try running your own lottery in Ohio and see how quickly you get put in a cage.)

It’s a slap in the face that Ohioans can’t smoke pot because it’s so “dangerous” yet there are two dozen states (not to mention other countries) that disagree?! It’s a slap in the face that cannabis is illegal in some places but legal in others. Imagine someone’s mother, father, son or daughter is literally locked in a steel cage in one area and yet that same person would walk freely in another. This is pure oppression (and insanity!)

Think about laws from the perspective of where else they exist and then ask yourself, is this fair? Is it fair that the system arbitrarily determines where freedoms start and end? Shouldn’t we all be equally free?

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Consider Joining Pelotonia. Ride, Volunteer, End Cancer.

Have you ever been a part of something bigger than yourself?

Have you ever felt so much positivity that you were moved to tears?

Have you ever been surrounded by thousands of like-minded people with nothing but #onegoal on your minds?

This post is for YOU. Anyone can get involved with Pelotonia and today I’m asking you to consider committing to August’s ride.

Pelotonia 2014 logo

Pelotonia’s grass-roots efforts have now raised over $100,000,000 for cancer research. Since inception, every penny raised has gone directly to fighting cancer thanks to very generous sponsors and the very smart people behind Pelotonia.

This mind-boggling amount of money did not just appear out of thin air. Thousands of riders, volunteers, organizers and other good people combined their efforts and millions of dollars year after year is the result.

But this is not enough! Cancer negatively affects every one of us every day, directly or indirectly, whether we know it or not (think: butterfly effect). Until cancer is destroyed, we all have work to do.

If every rider recruits just one rider, the growth would be astounding! Funds would pour in like never before and thousands more people would get to bask in the positivity that is Pelotonia weekend. It’s a win-win for everyone! While I haven’t been shy about riding and fundraising (thank you all!!) I have yet to make a real effort to recruit riders.

Until now.

Today I ask that you consider committing to August’s ride. It can be nerve-wracking for sure, as you’re committing to raise over $1,000 at a minimum and to ride at least 25 miles on ride day. Many people are also apprehensive because they feel like they missed their chance and now they are an outsider. This cannot be further from the truth! Anyone can get involved at any time! In fact, my Peloton, Stefanie’s Team of Hope, is known for adding new riders on the day of the ride! There is no exclusion in Pelotonia, only positive people with one goal on their minds: to end cancer.

The joy and inspiration you’ll get out of committing to Pelotonia starts long before the day of the ride. Every time you get an email notifying you of a donation received, you’ll get a feeling that is hard to describe other than pure positivity. I simply use Facebook, Twitter and my email signature and from those small efforts I’ve hit my fundraising goal every year. But the best part is that many of the donations have come from people I haven’t seen in years! These people went out of their way to donate to this great cause and we have a direct role in helping.

Aside from fundraising, events before the ride are incredibly inspiring. Pelotonia has separate events (Pelotonia on the Patio, etc) and individual pelotons often do as well (mine has many that are sure not to disappoint!) This is all capped off by a one-of-a-kind Opening Ceremony party the night before the ride that is a must attend (free food & drink, free beer, speakers, bands, free ice cream + unlimited positive vibes!)

Riding is not nearly as scary as you may think as everyone is safety oriented and you can ride at your own pace (it’s a ride, not a race!) I started with 25 miles and to this day enjoy the 50 mile route on ride day. Others like to do 100 miles or even the full 180! It’s up to you and there is no wrong way to go – simply getting involved in any way is better than not getting involved!

If you aren’t inspired or at least curious at this point (or for more info, photos, etc), please check out some of my previous Pelotonia posts here.

Once you decide to ride, get excited! You have your choice of teams to join (called pelotons) or you can ride on your own. I recommend riding with a peloton so you can learn from others, share your experience with more people and be part of a team effort. If you’re in the Columbus area your work may already have a peloton you can join. I ask that you consider joining the team that I’m lucky enough to be a part of, Stefanie’s Team of Hope.

Stefanie’s Team of Hope Pelotonia Profile: #1 Grassroots Fundraising Peloton! Out of 277 pelotons, we were ranked 5th in 2015 with only L Brands, Huntington, Team Buckeye and Rockbridge Capital ahead of us…all corporate pelotons! Our six-year total raised is over $1,800,000. Can you imagine being a part of a group of strangers who came together and raised millions of dollars?! It’s real and you can be a part of it!

Getting involved with Pelotonia is one of the best decisions I’ve made and I look forward to the enjoying the ride, the opening ceremonies and the fundraising experience for years to come. Men & women of all ages can get involved and we are happy to have you all. Don’t almost get involved…take a chance. Contact me and you’ll be on your way to a life-changing experience that you will not regret!

 

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