I was looking back at what people had to say about the elections ealier in the year, and just thinking about life and people.

I think Americans, and I think this culture really started voicing itself in the late '60s, are so damn high strung that it's a wonder we haven't been declared a state of emergency.

The satirical photoshop of a CNN headline, "Scientists announce that pretty much everything will kill you.. Mass hysteria in the streets as...", pretty much sums it up. Americans have the most doom-and-gloom pesimistic outlook, and stress the smallest things, knowing full well they can't help them.

If the Army has taught me anything, it's to not stress the small shit. You deal with so much bullshit, misery, and sometimes pain that all those other things become minor.

We're having problems with North Korea? Great... They better pay me better. Yeah, I had to kill him because he pointed his weapon at us. What else could I do? Bush is reelected. Hmm.. Well, they better pay me better. Hey mom, did you know if I die you'll get $400,000 now!? They caught people trying to infiltrate the base last night.. Assholes... Hey hand me a beer.

Whatever. Life will go on, Oh my god, the world is going to end we are all going to die in a fiery nasty death full of republicans or something. Americans... I swear, sometimes when I'm abroad I'm embarrased to say I'm American, and I am a fucking patriot.

I consider myself a patriot because I truly believe that America COULD be one of the greatest civilizations in human history. Such an ethnically diverse group, with so many possibilities for advancing human evolution culturally and technologically. I can't understand why so many Americans go about their lives decidedly ignorant and happy to be so, and why they worry about the silliest things.

I wish there was more people that took pride in being an American based on educated views, not ignorant breeding and religion.

Oh yeah, and I got promoted to Sergeant.

May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

Excerpt from Bob Dylan's fine tune "Forever Young

Today is Anna’s birthday. She turned all of eleven. Yesterday she asked me to wake her up earlier than normal for school. She said she wanted to enjoy every last hour of being ten. Ah, the innocence of youth.

Its become sort of a personal tradition for me to node something to her on her birthday. I don’t know why that is. Chances are she’ll never get to read it until long after I’m gone but if E2 does manage to hang around until she’s old enough to venture here on her own, it would be nice to have something permanent that she could reference back to her old man. Even though the words to this song don’t belong to me, the sentiments surely do.

She's been through a lot this year, more than any ten year old deserves. She’s seen too many close calls thanks to yours truly and had some people that she know's die along the way. Maybe it hasn't registered just yet or maybe she's putting on one of those false fronts but she's managed to keep her smile throughout most of it.

I won't get to see her today because it's her mom's turn in the batting order but I spoke to her on the phone already this morning. I wanted my voice to be one of the first ones she heard.

May God bless and keep you always,
May your wishes all come true,
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.

Lately, since I spend many evenings sleeping on the couch out of pure laziness, she's taken to going to bed and then coming downstairs after she knows I'm asleep. She then pulls out her sleeping bag and cuddles up on the floor. She says she "worried" about me.

Sometimes I think I've grown too old too fast to fit her lifestyle. She's eleven, she shouldn't have a care in the world about whether her dad makes it through the night or not.

So here's my birthday gift honey. It's not wrapped up in a fancy package with ribbons and bows. It's nothing you can listen to, (you got those already) and it's nothing you can read like a book or show to your friends. It's nothing you can plug into the wall or spread out on a table. It's nothing more than a some words and a promise.

For as long as I'm around and for as long as you remember me, I'll do my best to try and stay Forever Young.

I decided to take to today to express my personal beliefs as they currently stand.

First off, I do not believe in Gods, I do not believe in a God, I do believe in what I see that is holy, and that is nature. I believe that the spirit of nature, the natural order that is what is holy and that is what matters. Religions, Occultism, etc. do not matter in my view, I do not need to belong to something to know I exist. I feel (as many philosophers have stated) that by existing I know I exist, and that is enough for me. To exist means little, I am simply here and must live my life. But to me the spiritual has always been important. But I do not see the spiritual in the guises that many others do. I do not see it in the rapt ectasies of the Christian religion, the weak Old God loving Wicca religion, etc. etc. I see it as I said in nature.

Let me qualify myself a bit. I have studied many religions and spiritualities. From Satanism to Christianity to many of the "Pagan" religions which dot this landscape. What I notice in all is that only a few are actually strong within their world view, most seem to be weakly holding on to something as the tide of the modern world pulls them under. That is not how I feel, I feel that though I hate this world as it is with a passion, the times which I can touch the olden realm is not reciting rituals that are loosly based upon Heathen rituals, or by praying to a non-existent God. I feel powerful when the spirit and powers of nature are close and I can tap into them with my own spirit without any rituals or mandates.

I hate religions and others so strongly that I have to admit to myself that I must reject them to walk my own, lonely path.

For a long time I followed Budha, but then I realized that enforcing an alien religion upon myself was not healthy and it was in fact impacting my well-being. I decided to look into the religions of the West, the non-Christian ones. Doing so I found Asatru, Wicca, etc. And though the Norse religion fitted me better, it still was not right, and I could never feel that Wicca was anything that I'd want to be involved in. Part of this was because I felt (and still do) that such religions are making it all up, attempting to re-create something that Christianity brutally and disgustingly destroyed around a thousand years ago. But they struck me as being untrue, false in some intrinsic was, and though I salute their attempts, it just is too false to me. Which led to the sensation that the Old Gods will never be able to be tapped into again, for their mysteries have been lost!

I went into Satanism, but found that it too was a lie, though many of the philosophies of people like Aleister Crowely and Anton LaVey suited me. So I took the strong philosophies of rejecting the weak and standing strong and went elsewhere. Since then though I have come to the conlusion, as I stated in the beginning, that all religions are false and not for me, that I must find my own spirituality in the heathen landscape around me. I feel myself stronger as a result, happier, more secure. Rather then worrying about the meaning of it all and choosing some religion to find an answer I'll let the questions go un-answered and know what I know - that the spirit of nature is strong, and to be strong I must be part of the very essence of nature! Not a part of a religion diluting the pure power of nature.

This is what I believe, and I feel strong because of it. And I hope you didn't mind reading this.

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