I want to point out one or two things to those of us that get a bit bent over the currant world events. Guys, this ain’t the end game and in spite of some things that we don’t especially agree with, its still a pretty damned good time to be here and there are certainly worse places to be. I grew up with détente and the threat of nuclear war hanging over our heads. I watched the funeral of one of our presidents that got assassinated in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1lace w:st="on">Dallas</st1lace></st1:City> because he didn’t play along. My childhood was spent wondering if the war in <st1lace w:st="on">Asia</st1lace> would end before my draft number got selected. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll; enough said. The film-strips shown at school taught us how to survive a nuclear bomb attack; duck and cover. We knew how to orderly evacuate to a civil defense shelter. My father was convinced that everything wrong with this country was because of forced integration; well that, and the hippies. He didn’t have any problem with the war, hell with four boys, we should mount a platoon. He bitched a bunch about cokes going up to a quarter each and if something wasn’t done soon, gasoline might even go to nearly a dollar a gallon! When the colored folks started rioting, burning, and looting, he put on his National Guard uniform and enforced martial law in <st1lace w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Memphis</st1:City></st1lace>, just like the Governor ordered. The whole point of this diatribe is that I live in <st1lace w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Mobile</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">Alabama</st1:State></st1lace>. I chose to move here from <st1lace w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on"><st1laceType w:st="on">Ft.</st1laceType> Lauderdale</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">Florida</st1:State></st1lace> and had to ask nobody for permission. I got a hearse parked in my driveway with a grim-reaper paint job; I don’t haul dead bodies, as a usual practice; I just wanted it for shits and giggles and have enough money left over after buying $3.00 a gallon gasoline and $1.25 cokes, to drive pretty much any damned thing I want too and didn’t have to ask anybody about that either. I see some people standing on corners begging for money; this isn’t anything new. I can remember them when I was a child, they were still there. I guess some people don’t have enough personal motivation to belong in the food-chain. I support some of them because I have too but I never will like it. I think that if they cannot find a way to support themselves in this land of plenty, they should starve and become fertilizer so the rest of us can benefit. I don’t mind helping my neighbor through some hard times because I know they would do the same for me and my family. I spend a large portion of my income preparing for hard times, because I know that they often come and never when expected. I am not a doom and gloom survivalist with a armchair hard-on for the end of the world. Hell, even if the infrastructure shits the bed, I got enough skills to help my neighbors rebuild a functional community. We are armed to prevent the bums that have lived their whole lives on my tax dollar from taking what we have to rebuild with. If they want to pitch in and help, I’ll be glad to have them. If there are laws that I don’t agree with, then I break them, as long as it hurts nobody. I try to change them, if I can and if I can’t, then so be it. Our Republic is dying but that doesn’t mean the end of us. It doesn’t mean that life will cease to be productive and fun and filled with joy. Maybe this is a natural progression and maybe not. Maybe there will be an armed conflict before a resolution is reached and maybe not. What I do know for sure, is that I will continue to lobby and be out-spoken for the things that I believe in and will continue to enjoy a quality life, whatever or where-ever it takes me. Going Postal is not in the cards; neither is hiding in a haze of chemicals or booze. Sure, the negatives tend to over-whelm us at times and frustrations build at our inabilities to change them within the timeline that we believe needed, but the greatest strength of man is found in his ability to adapt to his environment and to effect controls on his climate. If you allow frustrations to overwhelm you, then why play? It’s part of the game and we can’t change the rules, only the field. I have refused to allow fear to influence my life any further and so do I with frustrations and defeatism. Boys and girls, it simply is what it is; no reason to force the end-game. That will happen on its own and the winner will be the more flexible. We have gathered here to share a wealth of opinion, resources, ideas, and strengths; sometimes we loose sight of that in the heat of the moment but that doesn’t change a valuable resource. We have a collective pool of resources shared across the globe and if we do not loose sight of this valuable tool, it will survive as well. Don’t loose hope, my friends; it really isn’t as bad as it seems.