Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Life’s never perfect, but still good

(My Clovis News Journal column for November 27, 2015)
For Cheyenne.

You already know this, of course, but you may not think about it very often: You never know what the next moment will bring. The worst days start exactly like the best days.

I was in the middle of writing last week’s column when I got the news that my 24-year-old daughter had been killed in a car wreck. Nothing can prepare you for something like that.

In the days to follow, in the midst of traveling and attending services, I realized Thanksgiving was approaching. Thankfulness, after this? Well, yes. I know I still have so many things to be thankful for. I have to admit to having a little trouble maintaining the thankfulness this year; it's competing with a profound sense of loss.

I'm thankful for the time I spent with my daughter. I'm thankful for my other two kids, and the rest of my family.

I'm thankful for how caring people can be. In words, and in actions, too. I was reminded, first hand, of the kindness of people, including strangers. And how willing people are to reach out to those in pain. So many people offered words of comfort and sympathy, and even financial help so I could travel to her service. I have been thankful for everything and the spirit in which it is offered. It's still a roller coaster. Life is never perfect, but there is always something good.

This has also shown yet again the futility of making up "laws"- and enforcing them- to supposedly protect us. Bad people won't obey; good people are harmed by having their liberty stolen using the bad people as excuses. You don't get safety in a police state. Never. It simply doesn't work that way.

Life is better lived in liberty than with the harmful illusion of safety. I wish my daughter had been able to live her life in the free society I envision and advocate, rather than the police state that is growing around us, but I'm also grateful there is as much freedom left as there is, and that she was able to enjoy some of it in her too-short life. I'm glad for every bit of liberty she grabbed when she had the opportunity.

So, yes, I am thankful. And I will continue to fight the liars who demand you give up essential liberty for the illusion of safety. For all our sons and daughters, but especially for the memory of my daughter, Cheyenne Rose.


Don't spit on your idea by turning it into a State

The Islamic State is something I hate and could never support.

But, not necessarily because it is Islamic- although I am not a fan of Islam.

The same would be true for a Christian State, a Jewish State, or an Atheist State.

I would oppose a Dog Lovers' State, a Football State, or a Coffee Drinkers' State.

And even a Libertarian State, or a "Free State".

The problem lies in declaring a State.

Creating a State around your idea- even if it's otherwise harmless or good- negates the harmlessness and good. A State is automatically a bad thing; built upon aggression, coercion, and theft.

I get it: people want to say "This area, defined by these boundaries, is different from those areas beyond these boundaries. This area is better than those areas for lots of reasons". And, they may even be somewhat right. But as soon as your area meets the definition of a State it has lost the moral high ground. You have trashed your idea, no matter how great it might have been to begin with.