Thoughts of an American ExPat living in Canada

After the last week with the Orlando shooting I’ve done some thinking; I have sat back and read the comments, watched as many showed their support for the victims and their families; changed profile pictures, prayed, and many who inspired us. I have watched political interests use this topic to provoke fear and propaganda to get votes. Now living in Canada; I am watching the US as a spectator, I am seeing what the rest of the world has been talking about. I see why they think that Americans are a bit insane — I think the rest of the world may be onto something.

Once I stepped outside the crazy (aka moved to Canada), I saw a different perspective, a different lens of the US and why it may be so f’d! What I have realized is that it’s not exactly the fault of Americans; we are bred into a system that has carefully manipulated and brainwashed many into the powerful and inspirational American “dream”, what is the dream? Here’s what the dream means to me:
Money, career, cars, homes, children, marriage, the list goes on. These all encompass what many Americans aspire to achieve to feel a level of self-worth and stature. What they don’t realize is that the: media, corporations, the political system are literally feeding you a ton of bullshit to make money, keep control, give you a sense of security. I’m guessing deep down many of you feel pretty unhappy or unfulfilled? Maybe what I am saying makes no sense to you? Lol My guess is that guns and violence have become the new normal for you; and it doesn’t shock many people now when a mass shooting occurs. That’s a bit crazy, actually a lot crazy. Take a guess how many times in the past 2 1/2 years that I have lived here that I have heard about a mass shooting in Canada? Go ahead, never? Yep, that’s right; it’s only expected in the states. Why? Maybe because we are known for force and military power and creating fear around the world? No one messes with the US, right?

When I moved to Canada 2 years ago, I figured it would be just like the US only much nicer people, and probably tons of maple syrup, hockey and people saying “eh”. Basically, I didn’t think too much about it. How arrogant could one be?! I literally did not know the geography of the country I was moving to or it’s immigration laws. I just figured they will let me in because, “Murica!”. Well, that was a rude awakening, it took me a grueling 2 years to get a work permit and permanent residency. I had to become a Canadian and follow their rules. I was outraged, how could they just not let me in???! Even in my own selfish mind I was appalled and convinced other Canadians of the absurdity too, funny how we can convince ourselves of what we believe to be the truth. It must be because this is how I feel and believe. But now looking back at this all; I would have respected the system and government, I would have explored the regulations and paperwork required. I guess the point of the my long status update is that we aren’t always right, what we think isn’t always true. Open up your mind, think about other perspectives, respect other people, try to live with love. Always trying to be right is exhausting, trying to live the way people want you to live and to their expectations is EXHAUSTING!

Right now watching my American friends and family here’s what I am seeing: I see fear, I see people struggling, division amongst so many, stressed, working their asses off, on so many drugs and caffeine and alcohol to keep the insane cycle going to be “happy” or the illusion at least. I see people chasing happiness and acceptance and seeing their way of living as right and the way. Here’s a random idea: What if you were to detox from social media and technology for a day or even a weekend? What if you actually lived in the moment and present to those around you? What if you for no reason or purpose did something amazing for someone else or even yourself? We need to stop living in fear and we need to stop thinking we are somehow better than everyone else. We are all human, we all have feelings and beliefs and dreams. We need to remove judgement and start respecting others opinions, beliefs, etc. (I am guilty and trying to do my best as well). I am saddened so see so much division, lack of compassion for others, and continued hatred. More shootings are going to occur, more people will die if we can’t change the mindset of ourselves now and start inspiring future humans. When violence happens, it impacts us all; we really need to start changing and evolving, we can do better. Starts with every one doing their part. Instead of changing your profile pic, get out help someone, don’t post it on Facebook… just do it. Talk to someone who is down and feels alone or depressed or different from you. We need to come together and help each other if we want to stop this senseless violence from becoming the new “normal”.

I am an American, I respect and love my country and everyone I encounter, we are all unique and different and can learn something from each other. I know we are so much better than the perception out there in the world . 💗

Not in my name

I can’t fly. So I decided to quit parroting and think for my self.

This started out as a discussion of a few thoughts about nationalism in America. Then as I thought more about it, I realized I used to be one. I was an unquestioning nationalistic Republican for nearly twenty years and during that time I was also an evangelical Christian. I am no longer either. When I was younger I was quite susceptible to ideas without giving them much consideration. I suspect I am not alone in that. In late 1979 HeyIranwhen the hostage situation happened, posters, flyers, bumperstickers, and buttons featuring Mickey Mouse giving the finger, the American flag, and the words, “HEY IRAN!” were peppered across the country. I was a junior in high school then and we passed around those flyers for days. One of our history teachers had done some study of the situation and background, and he gave us a special lecture on it. We didn’t listen. Our heads were full of “They can’t do that to us! We’re America!” Then we moved on. And Lennon got shot, and Carter lost the 1980 election to Reagan, and Reagan got shot, and Sadat got shot, and so forth.

The point is, I didn’t learn anything for a long, long time. For years I kept supporting what I was supposed to support, opposing what I was supposed to oppose, getting angry when I was supposed to be, not thinking, and not questioning. 9/11 and the beginning of the Iraq war in 2003 helped start to break the spell. It’s taken several years and there are still little bits and pieces, thoughts and ideas that come up to be dealt with. Brainwashing and propaganda. It’s like dealing with a hex that is also a cancer. Cancers have a habit of metastasizing. They go into remission, and pop up somewhere else. I will probably be searching, researching, rethinking, and reexamining my beliefs and philosophy for the rest of my life. People who follow alternative media use the word ‘Awake’ quite a bit. Well I’m ‘awake,’ but I have a habit of nodding off from time to time.

My nationalism exists/-ed in the form of right-wing conservatism, which I adopted from spending a lot of time around folks in the Republican Party in, and after college. I believed we were the good guys…that our cause was right…that I was casting God’s vote when I went to the polls. I don’t think that way anymore, for the most part. But as I said a minute ago, it has a cancer-like quality to it. There are little things that come up and I have to deal with them.

American nationalists don’t like having our meddling in the affairs of other nations referred to as imperialism. They like to think that whatever our soldiers are being sent to do in these countries is some sort of mission from God. It’s as though we’re Israelites being sent to wipe out the Amalekites or some other ‘-ites’ in the Old Testament. Yes, the situations are “more complicated” than that, but I’m talking about the overall attitudes towards the policies, not their details. I’ve even heard religious radio hosts say that the reason we have been ‘successful’ in our ‘campaigns’ is because “God is on our side.” It’s really nothing more than religious, nationalistic jingoism. The ‘Warrior Christ’ whom many think leads our troops into battle does not exist.

President Bush wanted to attack Iran. He talked about it during his second term and possibly earlier than that, saying that ‘we don’t even want them to have the knowledge’ of how to enrich uranium or design warheads. As we’ve moved further beyond his presidency, and as a few of the un-reneged Obama promises have started to take shape, i.e. troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, the nationalists have become more aggressive regarding Iran. Now the logic, such as it is, is never consistent regarding a country developing nuclear technology. We didn’t attack Pakistan or India when they developed nukes. There was no talk about blowing up enrichment facilities or my personal favorite, turning their countries into sheets of glass.

You would think, from listening to nationalist rhetoric, that every person in any of the countries we’ve attacked is personally guilty of what their governments are doing, and that’s probably what they really think. If you point out how Kermit Roosevelt, a relative of FDR, was a card-carrying agent of the CIA and worked in the early 1950s to overthrow the recently popularly elected Iranian prime minister Mohammad Mossadegh, and that maybe that and the flow of the oil dollars away from the Iranian people might have something to do with how many there feel about America, nationalists don’t want to hear it. They don’t want to hear criticism of any kind. We’re not to question. There is to be no dissent. They refer to it as “bashing” America. Pointing out mistakes isn’t bashing. Its purpose is to encourage some humility so that the person or group will stop making the errors.

Whenever we’ve moved into a country and are told that we’re ‘spreading democracy,’ I’ve said, “It’s their country!” That’s because I’ve come to believe in the sovereignty of other nations. I do not support the imperialist and interventionist policies of the United States, nor do I support the wars and occupations. Whatever actions the politicians take, whether it is in Iran, Syria, or in whatever other countries are on the globalists’ checklists, it is not being done in my name, even if all I can do is to state that, even if money regularly comes out of my checks to pay for it.

Bring our people home.