A Politics for U.S.

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“If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.” – Abraham Lincoln

Politics runs through all we do. This humanest of conditions is no less admirable nor abhorrent today than ever but it has become a reviled element of society, commonly viewed as beneath polite discussion.  However ignored or deified, the consequences of politics and the subsequent political reality still fall on the informed and uninformed alike.  Cast into the shadows, as a snowy Denver sidewalk encumbrance, politics evolves. It forms in the darkness for the inevitable prestige.

The human invention of our political system has become a degradation.  We cursed ourselves the day rational, passionate, Political belief became a social taboo.  Fear and emotional instability have bestowed us with the gift that is our present state of political affairs.

Contradictions abound as the unknown unknowns mount and even those with driver’s licenses don’t vote with any exuberance.  Genuine individuality bows to the perpetually offended; disintegrated integrity and the stranger dignity invigorate public discourse and rhetoric. It was simply an inevitability that opportunists like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton would move to the forefront of American politics.

Politics demands we get the leaders we deserve.

As the daily attack ads, emotionally-driven controversies and all over jackassery ensue, average citizens engage in the field as would-be political scientists and the truth disintegrates into a subjective force.  Emails warn of disarmed militias, women baking again while foregoing careerhood, #alllivesmatterexceptyoursbecauseyouhavestuff, y’all back in chainz, and virtual canine genocide.  In the midst of this remember: Obama came, he will go and we remain. For now.  And we have the critical task of electing one of “our own” to lead.  This person will undoubtedly transform our global future for years beyond the given term(s). Several Supreme Court Justices will surely vacate those seats, ISIS will force a reckoning and the domestic political divide will continue as it does.

And Politics demands we get the leaders we deserve.

Find a presidential candidate that does just that. Presidential activities, leader of the free world and so forth.  International relations, global power, military action and foreign policy are dominant at the executive level and these are the activities that require the action of a president.  Congress deals in legislation and the president does submit a budget that is regularly ignored.  Leadership on a global scale, not the status of local Planned Parenthoods or the activities of the NRA matter to a legitimate Commander in Chief.

Single social issues superficially simplify the process but do not constitute a legitimate cause for concern on a presidential level… for the most part.  Abortion, gay marriage, legal weed, gun rights, et. al., etc., etc.  As with any third rail of american politics, these issues see various changes at the margins but concentrated interests, the Supreme Court and states rights will drive change.  Presidents are rather limited as to the power and, quite simply, time or effort it takes to garner enough support to take our guns, outlaw pot again or see abortion doctors behind bars.

Focus on the iceberg, not the taste of the champagne: an economy subsisting on disgruntled foreign labor, discouraging domestic enterprise while falsely and faultily making financial promises for the future feasibility of me, you and Uncle Sam cannot long last.

Our houses, shops, parks and local amusements, both public and private, are regulated and taxed on a local level much more so than by the good folks in Washington. These bureaucracies employ thousands of workers that you never voted for and yet establish and enforce public policy.  Engage with local elections, school boards and the men and women making decisions that affect life on a day-to-day basis; literally in the front yard.

If nothing else: learn who represents you!  Local and federal senators and representatives; governor, mayor, Supreme Court, etc.

Because Politics demands we get the leaders we deserve.

Personally, I’ve disagreed with everyone I have ever met on at least 16% of all things concerning life, the universe and everything.  Applying that same basic ratio to presidential candidates means that my very best, ideal, perfect, have-my-cake-and-eat-it-too, top hat, friendly joke telling, baby-kissing, karate-chopping, concealed-carrying, Chuck Norris of a candidate would still piss me off about 16% of the time!  May not seem like much, but over eight years, that’s quite a bit for someone I “agree with.”

Think on the political parties as teams with ever-changing players.  They are no longer established members with a rigid set of core beliefs.  Parties tend to start that way then diffuse as the tent expands.  Republicans and Democrats need strong, devoted members just as the Broncos strong players.  Whether or not we get a one-in-a-million or a dime-a-dozen depends in part on the decisions and focus of the other members of these teams but no matter what happens next year or next season, players and politicians must play ball.  Ideology is about ideas, politics is about winning elections.

Political teams are not friendly adversaries. They have and always will exist as ideological rivals engaged in allegorical combat in the realm of ideas for the collective destiny of free-thinking (and unthinking) people everywhere.  Active and opposing discourse is healthy and ought be encouraged as soon as children can speak (along with gun safety.)  Opposing ideas will be brought forth and a republican-style government will enact or reject reform.

Rational, legal, AND compassionate conversations (ugh!) will occur when we define terms and establish goals.  We then begin to address economic issues and potentially avoid our own Greek tragedy.

The system is designed to work slowly, painstakingly at times, in order to avoid sweeping reforms and declarations such as offering mass amnesty to all immigrants or interning lifelong American citizens.  The modern politician makes a living off the exploitation of the ignorance of the populace on this very issue.  Claims of a “do-nothing congress” or “playing politics” are meant to give the impression that but for the actions of the inept and insane political opposition, the nation would be a better place.

All would be fixed if the plain-bellied Sneetches would do what their star-bellied counterparts know is best.

Come together for the good of the country!

Won’t somebody think of the children?!?

Ideological differences are rooted in fundamentally opposing views on nature and the human condition (see Sowell’s work “A Conflict of Visions”.)  Fundamental beliefs on authority and perfection on Earth clash.  Clarity and substance fade as rhetoric increases.  Each side openly admires aspects of Lincoln, Kennedy, the Roosevelts and Reagan, as leaders to emulate and claim that those historical and ideological powerhouses would support whatever cause du jour happens to be on the docket today.

The nature of human history is penduluminous. All apotheosized feelings of pride regarding enlightened achievement trudge forth, shackled to the omnipresent defects of human character.  Such shortcomings then serve as the basis of ideological opposition or critique; and every politically platitudinous bromide.  The elephant and donkey enhance the perception of the other as politicians stumble through words to make us believe we need them.

And Politics demands we get the leaders we deserve.

Black, white whatever, Politics is interested in you.  Pick a side, join a team and come in for the big win.  We need devoted Constitutionalists and the opposition parties.  Care about the right, the future and your own place at this point in history, blessed to be a part of the most benevolent of superpowers the world has ever known.  Learn about more than the impassioned hysteria of the New York Times or Fox News and know that you will never agree with anyone on everything but that the perfect ought not be the enemy of the pretty darn good.

If you want a candidate that fits all your needs, see a priest. For the good of those of this world however, inform yourself and vote.

“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

– Luke 20:25, NASB

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#RadicalIslamistitis

isis-logo“If God be for us, who can be against us?” – Romans 8:31

There are people in this world that want to kill you.

You can be nice and sweet and lovely and liberal… and you will still be put to death.

Profess your love, your compassion, your forgiveness… and you will burn alongside the most hateful reprobates nevertheless.

It does not matter that Americans have thrived in a society based in freedom where all citizens have the ability to pursue multiple religious teachings in order to find spiritual guidance.  This group tolerates no dissent.

The group itself exists as ISIS, ISIL, IS or simply radical Islam.  The followers are known as Islamists and, quite aptly, fanatics who engage in various subversive and terrorist activities to achieve religious global dominance.  These actions can be openly barbaric, such as beheadings and immolation, or disobedient on a civil level such as blocking major streets in prayer and establishing so-called “no-go zones” in non-Muslim countries.  And in Dearborn, Michigan.

Google these words and explore their definitions in the context of Islam, radical or otherwise:

Jihad, infidel, caliphate, halal and sharia.  Learn about the process known as Islamization.  Here, every aspect of society is directed and governed based on an interpretation of the Quran, handed down by those in power.  See what Islam, not radical Islam but the theocracy that exists, looks like in Iran, Saudi Arabia or Pakistan for women, Christians and homosexuals.  Learn of the distinctions between Sunni and Shiite Muslims and how internal conflicts between Islamic groups affect the tensions felt the world over.  See how Muslims in all different nations feel about implementing Islam as the governing theocracy in our previously democratic societies.

Whether an accurate interpretation or a wild fantastical delusion, radical Islam is a very real religious system and people are going to die because of it.  We live in a nation where I can decide what I believe and what I call myself as far as my religion.  It strikes me as only fair to extend the same courtesy to anyone claiming to be a Muslim.  My religion, and common courtesy, teach me to leave the judgment of others, especially as it pertains to faith, to God alone.  But if it quacks, call it a duck.

Now, there is absolutely no doubt that most practicing Muslims are not involved in any form of threatening activity whatsoever.  As one teen notes, he cannot be held to account for ISIS anymore than I can and this demonstrates the very real distinction between radical and peaceful Muslims.  And Islamists are not currently taking over the world, Europe or our nation.  Not even close. But they are expanding because no one has stopped them.

The problem with the current politically correct American approach is that the considerations that our society has taken to respect the beliefs of others is now being used as a weapon against us.  The radicals can blend with the moderates and claim religious persecution right up until they blow up a Starbucks on the Sunset strip.  But, at least we can rest assured that all those half-caff soy latte lovers didn’t die in the name of the true interpretation of Islam.

That is still alive and well…

Presidential Candidates 2016

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The best way to find out the truth is to settle for nothing less.

Here are seven of the presidential candidates who, in my assessment, are significant in terms of the impact that they could have on the election of 2016.  The names have been arranged alphabetically, no hierarchy intended.

Click on the names to connect directly to the campaign websites for each individual.  You can find info, statements on particular issues, and all the political propaganda you can handle!

Take the time to learn more about these people, regardless of their party affiliation.  For better or worse, these men and women represent the chosen few, some of whom will lead us into the next phase of U.S. history.

Ben Carson – Renowned neurosurgeon, non-politician and, relevantly, African-American.

Bernie Sanders – Senator from the state of Vermont, self-declared socialist

Carly Fiorina – Businesswoman, CEO and also non-politician

Donald Trump – Need I say more?  Probably… sure to follow.

Hillary Clinton – Ditto Trump

Jeb Bush – Former Governor of the state of Florida, brother and son of former presidents

Marco Rubio – Young Cuban senator from the state of Florida.

Rand Paul – Libertarian senator from Kentucky, son of previous presidential contender Ron Paul

Ted Cruz – Conservative to the hilt, the first Hispanic American to serve as a U.S. senator representing Texas.

Straight Outta GQ

ben-carson-donkey-hotey11-450x321Two sides are engaged in a fierce ideological struggle to win over the hearts and minds of the citizens of the United States in order that the principles composing those ideologies might be put into effective action by a legitimate governing body.

How can this task be accomplished?  How to persuade, compel or simply overpower the opposition in order to win elected office and govern accordingly?

Here are two recent examples highlighting the opposing perspectives and differing approaches between the so called left and right on just one particular issue.  These are the modern methods of these two sides:

Ben Carson speaking publicly on responding to a mass shooter:  “Not only would I probably not cooperate with him, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me. I would say, ‘Hey, guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can’t get us all.’

The article: Fuck Ben Carson

And his response: We should pray for them.

If I am being honest, I have made extensive use of the ‘F’ word on many an occasion and do not shirk from its usage as a variable part of speech.  However, call me old fashioned, but I still value honor between professional opponents, at least as it extends to the public realm.  Look no further to find evidence of the deterioration of not only the integrity of the media as a societal institution, but the complacency of detractors to look no further for the truth.  For if GQ says it, it must be true.

The article went on to sing further the praises of the Republican contender, “You know, the only thing more alarming than Donald Trump leading the Republican presidential field is the fact that Ben Carson is the guy right behind him. While establishment puds like Jeb! Bush and Marco Rubio can’t decide if they want to beat Trump or emulate him, the Good Doctor made it clear this week that he is not only willing to replicate Trump’s signature brand of hot-garbage-spewing, but he’ll say even DUMBER shit.”

This tripe bears witness to the incessant acrimony that plagues the leftist, progressive mentality. It never finds alleviation, and no peace of mind can assuage the perpetual hatred that these folks possess in their hearts.  There is no wise commentary, no enlightening aphorism meant to elevate the conversation and actually make progress.  There is simply name-calling, ad hominem attacks and an entirely dismissive attitude of a legitimate point-of-view.

Furthermore, the tendency of the lefty mentality is to impose this disposition onto society-at-large, seeking to further restrict onto those who agree with Dr. Carson.  Despite the attempts that have been imposed however, in the form of outright gun bans in urban areas and the adoption of gun-free zones, gun violence still mysteriously occurs where gun violence is not allowed.

Some folks don’t like guns, don’t want guns and would rather die before picking up a gun to hurt another living thing, even in self defense.  That is a perfectly acceptable position and I can support such conscientious objectors.  However, just as they have a right not to fight back, to peaceably submit in a movie theater or college classroom, the rest of us have a right not to be made dead by a tragic, sickened individual.

This really is the primal, prehistoric, primitive defense mechanism that living beings have always possessed as a means of survival:

1. Recognize threat

2. Respond to threat using fight or flight

3. If selecting flight, stretch legs

4. If selecting fight, get weapon

5. Use legs or weapon depending on previous decision, see step 2 – fight or flight

As humanity has progressed, the weaponry has progressed too.  Instead of clubs and board-with-nail, we have Sig Sauer and Glock to protect and defend. (not to mention entertain future fossil hunters)  Admittedly, there is a case to be made against personalized nuclear devices and a reasonable debate can be had as to where that line is but the current 12 v. 17 mag capacity BS is missing the shark because, once again, for the cheap seats, criminals do not obey the law.

I have my personal grudges with the positions taken on some issues by Ben Carson but on this one we agree.  And when the opposition has resorted to vulgarity and playground strategery, I think that’s game.

Mic drop.

Boom!

The Climate Sermon on the Mount of Fallibility

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There is something to be said about a proactive pontiff (which I’d written briefly about after the Super Bowl) in this secular day and floundering religious age.  As noted recently in a new poll conducted by Gallup, the church in general has “been losing its footing as a pillar of moral leadership in the nation’s culture.”  Controversy, most specifically pedophiliac priests (terms which should never collide in the same sentence) and a devotion to the technological achievements of man, have left many people feeling as though the church is an antiquated institution that can provide little in the way of spiritual nourishment.  That’s what yoga, ‘’The View’’ and social media are for in the present day.

In the immortal words of Garth, “Live in the now.”

So, having a representative of the church that puts himself front and center to declare his beliefs should be a move in the right direction.  If only it were so.  The naive, or dare I say ignorant, approach to economics and global environmental with a dash of social affairs will only inflame the issues that are driven by that same secular faith in man and his ability to destroy and then fix the planet.  In this case, the pope will be used by the folks who declare the infallible righteousness of a separation of church and state and that the science is settled (when it suits them) yet keep his views out of the doctrinaire classrooms of public education.

In a previous blog I’d written, “to help the environment, encourage charity and clean living are noble and righteous acts in which the pope is almost obligated to engage.  But to express naivety towards free market economics, denigrating a system that has created more wealth for the world and the church than any other, is dangerous sophistry.”  And now he has doubled down on those efforts, using platitudinous morality to denigrate the nations (or really nation as it seems that his words are directed at the United States.  Maybe I’m just sensitive.  Probably not.) who have lifted this world from the darkness of the night with a lightbulb, the dangers of disease with penicillin (and I know Fleming was Scottish) and the chaos and destruction that was a Second World War.

Pope Francis writes in his ‘’Laudato Si’’ (Praise Be) that “this vision of ‘might is right’ has engendered immense inequality, injustice and acts of violence against the majority of humanity, since resources end up in the hands of the first comer or the most powerful: the winner takes all.”  He then adds, “completely at odds with this model are the ideals of harmony, justice, fraternity and peace as proposed by Jesus.”

The problem with this vision is that it directly clashes with millennia upon millennia of power struggles reflective of human nature.  We are not Jesus Christ and we never will be.  He is a model for the way that human beings can and should live.  An ideal that the world does not fully embrace and ironically, in the United States, shirks when his name is invoked in the public sector.  Except when it furthers the agenda of an already rabid environmentalism, unconstrained by economic, or any other, form of reality.

To decry the economic giants of the world for a fault they do not deserve is sadly, and conveniently for the ideology, dangerous folly.  For this perspective offers only a prediction based on the same human nature that it does not recognize in its prescription: do what we say or things will get worse.  They will then point to every instance of poverty, war, flood, drought and ‘’Deadwood’’ cancellation, as a sign that man is killing the planet and that he hates his neighbor.  But when crafting a view of what the world should be, man has always fallen well short of the ideal ‘’model’’ of behavior.

There are parts of the world where might IS right, where force is the rule of law and it is solely the defensive, and at times offensive, capabilities of these United States that keep those dark forces from truly destroying the planet.  Not with cars and air conditioners but with the machete, chemical weapons and fires at the stake.  This dream of harmony, justice, fraternity and peace is only possible if one side capitulates to the demands of the other, resulting in the inevitable subjugation of one society over another.  The Pope’s view is just that, an ideal, but not applicable as a panacea for the world in which we live.  People have always acted in ways that enhance one side at the expense of another.  It is the way it is, has been and forever will be.  After all, Christ needed to be crucified by the world to save the world from itself.  And this was pre-Prius.  But never has there been a more benevolent power than the United States to promote the ideals of Christ throughout the world.  We do fall short.  But this is the best hope that there has ever been.  To criticize that as not good enough, and to blame this humanistic achievement that has saved lives as the cause of discontent, is an arrogant message  unworthy of any church.

And then there’s climate change.

The science isn’t settled, humans are not destroying the planet and the automobile is not degrading the societies of the third world.  Humans undoubtedly contribute to the environmental integrity of the planet, as does the magnificent power of the sun and yes, cleaner living is good and yes renewable resources would be spectacular replacements for fossil fuels.  But they are not a reality.

“The simple reality is that energy is the essential building block of the modern world,” said Thomas Pyle of the Institute of Energy Research.  “Application of affordable energy makes everything we do — food production, manufacturing, health care, transportation, heating and air conditioning — better.”

The world needs energy and right now its up to oil, coal and natural gas.  Solar and wind are not economically viable just yet and to promote the idea as though they are is demagoguery at its finest.  Moreover, it is not the evil oil companies keeping this technology from us.  If any private entity could develop such power in an affordable way, those same energy companies would invest in the technology in order to send this power to the world, and yes, make money.  Then they would become the evil solar companies.

“Nobody is suggesting a return to the Stone Age, but we do need to slow down and look at reality in a different way, to appropriate the positive and sustainable progress which has been made, but also to recover the values and the great goals swept away by our unrestrained delusions of grandeur,” Francis writes.

Unrestrained delusions of grandeur are permitted in the United States and they can live side-by-side with the values and great goals that such delusions have created for the world.  How many more people can dream all the more wildly because they have an iPhone or access to the internet and a highway.  These consequences of a (relatively) free market have flooded the world with jobs and broadened the horizons from Kenya to California.  Slowing down and looking at reality in a different way is not an action requiring any other action on behalf of any civilization.  It is a bromide creating a false dilemma wherein we are to be made to feel guilty for the sins of the world.  And if not the Stone Age, then just how far back should we go?  1900 or 1600?

The fact is that people have been losing faith in church, its leaders and its teachings for reasons beknownst to individuals alone.  But speculate we can.  When the church defends or hides from its own indiscretions, when success and achievement are accused of creating an “immense pile of filth”  and when rabid environmentalism is allowed to taint the traditional message of love, people will tune out.

Jesus Christ was the embodiment of God on Earth and taught that love of one another was THE way of life.  This is the model for us to live: corporations, politicians, clergy and laymen alike.  This message is not served by the delusions of a politicized science that is so vague in its explanations as to explain everything that ever was and will be for all time… except of course what the weather will be like tomorrow.

Elementary Entrepreneurs in Regulationville, U.S.A.

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Just another day in Regulationville, USA, the red-tape capital of the world.  Where you can find a rule for every rule, a water-monitored one-quarter inch lawn at every house and an FDA approved chicken in every pot.  Where even the panhandlers have permits and little girls selling lemonade will be shut down on sight.

And so it went this week in the town of Overton, Texas where two sisters had hatched the nefarious plot to sell lemonade and popcorn in order to provide their dad with a fun Father’s Day at a water park.  They were promptly stopped by the righteous long arm of the law, just doing its civic duty.

Truth and justice prevail yet again.  Good on ya guv’ment!!

(You can read the news story here)

When ask for comment, news outlets were told, “We have to follow by the state health guidelines,” Overton Police Chief Clyde stated.  “They have to have a permit if they’re going to do the lemonade stands.”  And when they tried to get a permit they were told they’d need a license from the health department. A license to get a permit =(

What an age we live in.  The future truly is NOW.

This joke that isn’t presents the first of two fundamental issues that have become the prevailing norm of American society. (I have decided to limit my critique of this ridiculousness to two so as to maintain the brevity that is the foundation of good humor)

ISSUE THE FIRST

While this is sadly not the first, or surely the last, instance of an overbearing bureaucracy, and only one of many Untouchable-like raids upon a lemonade stand, circumstances such as this one expose the lack of clothing on the rampant statist element.

Most notably, there is no level of control by a given populace over the powers of this kind of state interference.  Again, there is no vote, no election, no recall or petition that can effectively limit this kind of insufferable, inscrutable threat to liberty.

Someone, somewhere thought that somehow the public needed to be protected from itself to such an extent that the kids on the corner need a permit to operate a lemonade stand.  Now, albeit, this was undoubtedly not the initial purpose of the regulation, but that makes it all the more grievous and unforgivable.

For there is a level of authority operating amongst us that does not comprehend the extent of its own actions and yet acts all the same, without any oversight or approval from the communities in which its actions will be enforced.  This is the epitome of the “We Must Do Something” and “If It Saves But One Life” mentality that permits rampant emotional appeal to trump legal limitations on government and personal freedom.  And it need not even be consistently implemented.  Which brings us to…

ISSUE THE SECOND

The girls from this story did find, as they were getting their crash course education in bureaucratic buffoonery, that if they were not SELLING the lemonade but GIVING it away, their stand could operate sans Johnny Law.  You see, due to what was described as a “loophole,” the girls may make the same lemonade and the same popcorn and give it to the same citizens of the same community, from the same table in the same corner spot, but ask for a donation instead of charging for the refreshments.  THAT is acceptable under the “law.”

These previously juvenile scofflaws are able to give away the same presumably tainted, pestilent, putrid un-inspected lemonade for free and suddenly the laws meant to secure the safety of the unassuming patrons no longer apply.  Apparently, there is no longer any danger from products offered ‘gratis,’ and the sisters can go about their business.  Or lack thereof, as it were.

And with that, the undeniable truth has been set free: (stick with me)  for it follows that if a bureaucracy can create a regulation that is not meant to but does include lemonade stands run by little girls in its requirement to receive a permit, under the ostensible auspices of “safety,” but it doesn’t include those same requirements if there is no monetary exchange, the primary focus is not safety at all, but only money.

Safety is the Siren’s Song that tells us that something is being done, or most likely has already been done, by some guy (or gal, as I’m sure that red tape is gender blind) from room 6 of sub-level G at the regulatory bureau in Regulationville, for your own good.

Except it hasn’t.

The demonstrable proof is that these types of rules are created to limit your freedom and make you pay to get it back.  They keep us all under a permanent thumb. They know that virtually everyone, by the simple attribute of citizenship, is guilty of some regulation that they had no idea was in existence, couldn’t have known and now must pay for, literally.

And there are not going to be any exceptions.  These girls weren’t told that the rule would be revised, that the permit shouldn’t apply to lemonade stands and that the government was sorry for the inconvenience.  They were told to go to the bureau, get a permit and then a license to get the permit.  And they should be happy to live in a nation that protects its citizens from the surreptitious elements that exist on street corners, like elementary entrepreneurs working to pay for what they want.

They should have just made a cardboard sign instead and begged for money.  But then again, they’d need a permit for that.

I AM WHO I AM

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 I wake each day with thoughts in my head
A conscience I feel
But this body instead

I look at this stranger in the mirror each day
Through the windows of my soul
At myself far away

I look at my hands, at my beautiful hands
And I know that they do not quite fit with me

I run these hands through my hair, not my hair
I see my arms, not my arms
My nose, my lips
Part of me
Not of me

Like clothes too tight
A crowded room with no air
Or standing atop a tall building with the uttermost care

My body betrays the true me that is me
If only I could be the me that is me

The Me
I have always wanted to be

Who I know that I am
The one that’s inside
The one who no longer can hide without pride
The trapped me that screams

LET ME OUT LET ME LIVE

Take who I am
All that I have to give

I will be strong and live on
Until that glorious day
When the world will let me
Be me and just be

But the truth is so hard
Nature got it wrong
I don’t feel quite white today
And it makes me less strong

For you see my skin
Is different within

To my innermost soul

Help me
Accept me
Don’t judge me

I
AM
WHO I AM