Thursday, January 20, 2022

The Omicronians got me

The Omicronians got me. (Well, I'm assuming that's the specific variant.)

The one person in the house who got a Covid test has tested positive, so I'm sure that's what we all have. We all got sick within 24 hours, with the same symptoms. 

I'm not upset about it.

Since I only had around 36 hours of feeling like I had a fairly bad cold, and only 6 hours of feeling like I had the flu, I call that a "win".

Plus, the worst part of a cold-- for me-- is the snuffy, runny nose, and this didn't come with that affliction, so I'm even happier with it.

Right around Christmas, I had thought-- and told some people-- that by the middle of January, I would either catch the Omicron Covid, or I wasn't going to catch Covid at all. So I was exactly on schedule, coming down with it on the 15th. Some people might not be as thrilled with this development as I am.

I still feel kind of "blah"-- worse in the mornings, better every evening, but that's sort of normal for me anyway. Mornings have never felt like "happy, healthy time" for me. I've still got various aches and pains and a cough. But I've kept going for my daily walk (or Gazelle session if it's cold outside), and I keep taking D3 and zinc. I expect to be back to normal soon. As normal as I ever am.


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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Pay attention; it's your responsibility

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for January 19, 2022)

There's almost no one more dangerous than a driver who refuses to yield because they have the right-of-way. I've known people who got into accidents because the other person was supposed to move over or slow down, and didn't, and they weren't going to let the other guy "win".

When two drivers of this sort encounter one another, have your camera recording.

Personally, I think it's more important avoid an accident than to be "in the right" the rest...

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Monday, January 17, 2022

Recovering, but not as quickly as I'd like

I've been sick for the past two days with cold/flu symptoms. Haven't really moved out of a chair today. But I don't feel as bad now as I did last night, so I'll be back-- but maybe not before Wednesday's newspaper column.

Be strong. Exercise your liberty.


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Sunday, January 16, 2022

Predictions take paying attention

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for December 15, 2021)

This past spring I noticed a bigger than usual crop of the plant that becomes tumbleweeds when it dies and the wind blows. I told a few people to be ready for an epic tumbleweed season this year. Then, I failed to see many tumbleweeds last month and wondered what had happened to them all.

It turns out they had all gone to Oasis State Park to plot their attack.

So, I was right about the bumper crop, but I missed where they were going. I can't win 'em all.

Some things are easy to predict based on what you see happening in the world around you, but you have to pay attention to your surroundings.

When you watch government counterfeiting trillions of dollars and calling it a stimulus, you can predict Inflation. I predicted it early in the pandemic overreaction and got scolded mightily for doing so, but it's happening. No one who took me to task for warning of inflation on the horizon has apologized. I won't hold my breath.

When governments get away with telling people what to wear, ordering them to inject sketchy substances into their bodies, and dictating whether they can open their business, go to work, or even leave the house, you can predict authoritarianism is on the rise. It's being scaled back in some places but is still getting worse in others. The people have the choice as to whether it continues or gets stamped out. I have no prediction for how that will play out.

You could have also predicted shortages of goods based on a combination of the authoritarians' central planning schemes and too much efficiency. Central planning never worked in the Soviet Union and it won't work in America. It seems as though the market is routing around the damage caused by government interference and, at least for now, the shortages aren't as bad as they could be. It's an ongoing battle and I predict if the market doesn't win, there will be rough times ahead.

If you understand how viruses evolve, you could have easily predicted the end of Covid as a real threat. If you understand how government works, you could also have predicted Covid's continued usefulness as a political ploy.

The best predictions happen when you notice what's going on around you and view things realistically based on how the Universe works. You do have to be paying attention, though.


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How much would you bet that all cold viruses started, once upon a time, much more serious than they are now and turned into a minor annoyance over time? Just as Covid seems to be doing. Imagine if we allowed the political criminals-- our Ancestral Enemies-- to molest us using every one of those cold viruses as justification.

Defending the right to steal

Imagine if the Ancestral Enemies spent much of their time and effort defending the "right to steal". In places other than Seattle and San Francisco, I mean.

And imagine if even those who opposed a blanket "right to steal" were OK with theft as long as the thieves had government-approved papers showing they were citizens. 

Even if you had a private club where the members were permitted to steal from each other-- it was a condition of membership to agree to it-- this would describe a privilege, not a right.

The same applies to any imaginary "right to murder", "right to rape", or whatever. The very idea is ridiculous.

The "right to v*te" is equally ridiculous. You can't have any "right" to impose political criminals or their legislation on anyone but yourself. Being in the majority and fetishizing the process doesn't change this.


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Saturday, January 15, 2022

The benefit of the Covid shot will drop over time, especially with Omicron (and future even weaker variants).
The risk of the Covid shot will likely remain stable unless the shot's ingredients are changed, even if that risk is never known. At some point, those non-parallel lines have to cross, if they haven't already, and the risks will outweigh the benefits.

Time's Up flags on Zazzle

At the suggestion of a reader, I tried Zazzle for the flags. That will probably work for now.

The flags aren't regular flags, but are "house flags". They are more expensive, since I'm not subsidizing them this way. Still, it's better than nothing, and even though I won't make much from them, I won't be losing money by simply offering them for sale. It's a net win.

I was also able to add car flags.

So, there they are. Feel free to buy as many as you want.


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Play with fire and you'll get burned

I knew Stewart Rhodes-- online-- back before he started Oathkeepers. I've been critical of the group because I don't think the kind of people he tried to influence to not be criminal scum are redeemable. But I don't blame him for trying. It's good to do your best before writing off an entire category of people as tools of the Ancestral Enemies.

I also criticized the group because, obviously, they ignored the numerous violations committed just by joining the legislation enforcement gang or the government's military-- before any other crimes were committed.

But, Stewart always seemed sincere and optimistic. And peaceful and liberty-loving. If he became "far-right", he changed since I knew him-- but why would I believe anything the fake news says about him? That would be stupid. His only flaws were that he believed in the Constitution and wanted to work within the rigged system, playing by its rules. He wanted to effect a positive change and avoid war. And he got screwed.

Those who arrested him-- kidnapped him at gunpoint-- violated their oaths by doing so. Where were those who were keeping their oaths by defending him from the violators?

Rhodes' arrest is a warning to not get involved in politics. Don't try to play the rigged game by their rules. They are the enemy and they will use your friendliness against you. 


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Friday, January 14, 2022

Extra strong marijuana = Stumbleweed.

Time's Up for the flags

Last call for Time's Up flags. I'm closing the Shopify store sometime next week regardless of whether any sell between now and then. I've been losing money on them, so it's time to pack it in.

I may consider trying it again if people start asking for them in the future, but I have to sell at least 3 or 4 per month to break even, and that number may get higher in the future. I still have a couple I can sell myself (through eBay), but the price is going way up on those right now.

I'm glad I was able to help some people get them after several years of none being available. 

UPDATE: I took the suggestion to try Zazzle, and here is what I came up with: link and link. I'll post a new blog about it, too.


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Thursday, January 13, 2022

Government-- political government-- is the Ancestral Enemy of humanity. It's our Anasazi.

Can't put liberty in a jar

It's tough to accept that my contribution to the world has less market value than jars of bad air. But apparently, that's the case. It can be discouraging.

I know liberty isn't particularly popular, but sometimes events demonstrate just how unpopular it really is, compared to other things. 

But the market will do what the market will do. The marketplace of ideas might just squeeze out some things in favor of others. If so, that's just how it is.


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Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Modern life not from government

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for January 12, 2022)

The conveniences of the modern world are all around us all the time, but I don't think I'll ever take them for granted.

One of my grandmothers grew up in this area during the Dust Bowl days. Her big family was crowded into a two-room, dirt-floored shack without indoor plumbing or electricity. They traveled by horse-drawn wagon and their water was dipped from a cistern; they didn't even have a windmill. They picked cotton by hand, dragging the heavy sacks behind them. She grew up living basically the same life as someone born in this region a hundred years earlier could have the rest...

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Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Authoritarianism is unacceptable

There is no justification for authoritarianism that is good enough to convince me. None.

Authoritarianism is a violation of liberty and fundamental individual rights. That's the end of the discussion for me.

I don't care if they say it will save lives-- even if it's true.
I don't care if they are scared to lose their culture-- any culture that makes room for authoritarianism isn't worth saving. I don't care if they are scared of other things, real or hypothetical.
Nasty excuses like equity and "social justice" won't sway me. 

Either they find a voluntary way-- a win/win-- to get what they want through unanimous consent or they accept the loss and move on. I will not bend on this.


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Monday, January 10, 2022

Just give me a shady vine and a good view

There may be a prepper tendency to want to watch the world burn. At least, I am susceptible to that tendency.

I know it wouldn't be good for anyone, including me, but sometimes you just get tired of watching morons and political criminals destroying stuff and you just get to the point where you say "Screw it all. Let them have the destruction they've been trying so hard to get."

They've earned it.

I get to that point a couple of times per year. I'm teetering on the brink of that right now.

Just let them deny reality-- but stay out of the way. Reality isn't going to be forgiving.
Let them try to destroy liberty. Liberty always strikes back.

I've even seen government-supremacists showing doubt in their beloved institution recently. They want to believe government is legitimate, but government is working hard to poke holes in that delusion. 

You should have seen the reaction I got from one the other day when they were complaining about the most recent fraudulent election, but then pivoted to complaining about "illegal aliens" and I mentioned that the Constitution doesn't allow government to control "immigration". After a brief pause followed by a short explanation, I got a "Huh" and they moved on without objection. They seem ready to accept some truth they weren't ready for before. And I think it's all thanks to government behavior and overreach. When something puts in the extra work to prove itself illegitimate, you might as well accept it.

Either enough people will start getting a clue that disaster will be avoided, or they won't. I'm kind of past caring which way it goes... at least for now.


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Sunday, January 09, 2022

Best to let people make own choices

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for December 8, 2021)

I love people. I also know that humans are deeply flawed. This combination explains why I'm a libertarian.

Every other position insists that no one is smart enough to run their own life while also believing most people are smart enough to run the lives of people they've never met. This running of strangers' lives is carried out through voting and wielding political power. It's not a realistic position.

The libertarian position recognizes that most people are better at running their own lives than others would be and no one is qualified to run the lives of other people, not by a vote nor by having political power. Plus, no one has the right to run anyone else's life.

This doesn't mean everyone will be successful at running their own life.

Those few who can't are free to ask for help from those who are equally free to help or not, or they can choose to do things-- commit crimes-- which may result in suffering acts of self-defense directed against them. They are free to choose their path, but complaining about where the path leads won't change things.

Even those who can't run their own lives have the right to try, and no one has the right or the imaginary political authority to forbid them from trying. Letting them do it wrong is the right thing to do if they won't listen to your advice.

The person who tries to control others is worse than the person who won't control himself, regardless of how things turn out. I speak as someone who has suffered from the bad choices of people who didn't control themselves, so don't imagine I have some rosy picture of everything being butterflies and rainbows if people are left to make their own choices.

Some of those you think can't run their own lives have simply never been given the chance. Either they've been coddled like children and told others are doing what's best for them, or they have been punished for making choices others don't like.

The loving thing to do is to give them the chance and let them live with the consequences of their choices. This includes being held accountable and owing restitution for any actual harm they cause. How can they ever be functional members of society otherwise? Most people live up, or down, to your expectations. Keep your hands off and give them the chance.


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Suspender holster

I've shared my journey to find a good EDC holster, but I haven't shown (or I don't think I have) my backup.

This is a holster I made for my little NAA mini-revolver. It attaches to my suspenders, and is worn under my vest. Cute, ain't it? I guess it could be called a "susPEWnder holster".

I made this one with some salvaged leather, from a paper pattern I created. I think I could now make an even better model since I've worked out the kinks, but I haven't bothered yet. It'll happen when it's time.


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Saturday, January 08, 2022

A resolution?

Yeah, it's a week late, but I didn't resolve to be punctual.

I don't really make New Year's resolutions. I did when I was young. They usually lasted a few days.

Several years ago I made a New Year's decision-- to completely stop sitting at the computer and to only use a standing desk. That one was easy to commit to-- I got rid of the chair, built a shelf for the computer, and didn't really give myself a choice. It's handier, since I don't feel anchored down and can dash off to deal with crises (daughter, cats, etc.) much faster. It has also made me feel so much better; less "blah". I still haven't broken that one, although I have allowed myself to work from the couch a few times when I was sick.

Anyway, I saw a friend post the above Malcolm Reynolds picture and I loved it. 

Yeah, if I were to make a resolution, that would be it. I resolve to not be compliant or obedient when it comes to authoritarian demands-- no matter who is making them or how they justify them, whether they are in the name of w0keness or nationalism or whatever-- unless it is to simply avoid being shot right now. Political criminals will always be political criminals and it's sometimes useful to live to misbehave another day when they have the drop on you. Martyrdom is overrated.

Of course, that's not really much of a resolution since it's no different than last year or any year in the past few decades.


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Friday, January 07, 2022

I guess it's good news for the LP

I had supposed my recent newspaper column about why I can't be a conservative would draw fire, especially considering the local audience. I got nothing but silence. 

I didn't think any liberals would even see the next column about why I can't be a liberal, so it was no surprise that I got zero reaction to that one. 

For a reaction, I had to wait for my column about why I can't be a Libertarian. That one was specifically about the Libertarian Party (LP). I'm not even saying I hate them or would fight against them-- just that I can't support them. Because I don't consider them particularly libertarian

People are very defensive of the LP. That must be good news to them. If that passion translated into v*tes they'd be sure to win at the political power game. That they don't must be (additional) evidence that the game is rigged.

I actually started getting the latest batch of emails in defense of the LP several weeks ago when a "Big L" Libertarian reader of my newspaper column was confused that I was using the word "libertarian" while not endorsing the "libertarianism" of the LP. My first clue that we were discussing completely different topics was that he always capitalized the word "Libertarian". He was especially upset that I spoke out against the mask (and "vaccine") dictates, insisting that Libertarians would see that not wearing masks during a pandemic is aggression, and that people can't be trusted to do "the right thing", so they need to be controlled by The State. 

So, this isn't exactly new.

About this latest column, another respondent was also confused over capitalization; about why I capitalized "Libertarian" when discussing the Libertarian Party, but not "conservative" or "liberal" (when NOT discussing a "Conservative Party" or "Liberal Party"), apparently missing all the times I wrote "libertarian" in my column and in my replies to them. And this was happening in a conversation in response to a column about the LP vs libertarianism where I carefully spelled out the difference in capitalization due to the other guy's confusion.

Others had other objections, with one thread running through them all: people seem to feel trapped. In various ways, they told me (or hinted) that they feel they are left with no choice but to engage in politics because everyone else is doing it, thus the LP. 

One told me that withdrawing consent will not work in our current world, so you have to use the political means

This was in response to my quoting of √Čtienne de La Bo√©tie: “Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces.

If you imagine Colossus is a specific political criminal you might see v*ting for his opponent as "supporting him no longer". If, however, you realize that Colossus is the entire idea of political government, no matter who makes it up, you'll have a different response.

Something I wish the LP supporters understood is pointed out in this quote from Bill St. Clair: "Many complain that in anarchy, warlords will take over. I've got news for them. We already live in anarchy. It's been that way since God gave free will to Adam. And warlords have already taken over. They run for election, and wear badges. The secret is realizing this truth, so that, even though you obey when you must, to avoid being kidnapped or killed by the warlords, you know what they are. They rely on the fact that most people think their authority is valid. Once that stops, and people stop obeying them en masse, there will be nothing they can do about it.

No one is ever going to v*te their way out of this mess. Hating on those who know this fact won't make it any less true.


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Thursday, January 06, 2022

Working with your enemy

Are business owners actually unaware of the nature of government, or do they really embrace it, or are they afraid to speak the truth?

A couple of examples I've seen (on video) recently: SpaceX feeling the need to thank the FAA for allowing them to launch, and gun stores not pointing out that the FBI and BATFEces thugs are criminals for the illegal things they do regarding guns. 


Is it Stockholm syndrome? Or does it come down to just pragmatically trying to not anger the thugs who can ruin your day? Or, do these businesses honestly not see that government is their enemy?


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Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Can't join Libertarian party, either

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for January 5, 2022)

I'm libertarian, uncapitalized, to separate the ethical philosophy I follow from the political party I can't. 

A Libertarian, capitalized, is a member of the Libertarian Party. 

Ethical libertarianism is based on the recognition that no one has the right to use-- or threaten-- violence, personally or politically, against anyone who isn't currently violating the life, liberty, or property of another. This is the guiding principle which distinguishes a libertarian from anyone else. Follow it and you're libertarian, don't and you're the rest...

I could sure use some monetary influx.

Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Beware counterfeits

I have a counterfeit Morgan silver dollar that I bought from eBay years ago. I didn't even realize it was counterfeit until years later, after I'd learned a little more and was examining my silver. Now I keep it as a reminder that I can be fooled, I'd probably sell it if someone wanted a counterfeit Morgan, though.

I'm sure I even gave the scammer good feedback at the time. 

The US Constitution is another counterfeit that once fooled me. I once thought it protected individual liberty. Then I encountered Hologram of Liberty by Kenneth W. Royce. But I was already almost there anyway because of Lysander Spooner and others-- as well as because of my own observations over the years. So it told me what I already believed.

More recently the Covid pandemic almost pulled me in. I was ready to panic-- not to impose anything on anyone else of course, just personally, as an individual. Fortunately, I recognized it as a counterfeit existential threat before I had given up my sovereignty or betrayed my principles. You can watch my thoughts about it progress over time by checking out, in chronological order, all the posts tagged "coronavirus". 

You are surrounded by counterfeits that you are supposed to accept as the real deal. The corporate media is counterfeit "news". Politicized doctors are counterfeit experts. Politicians are counterfeit leaders. Corporations are counterfeit "persons" with counterfeit rights. There are even people demanding you allow them (or someone on their behalf) to violate your real rights in favor of their counterfeit "rights". Don't be taken.


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Monday, January 03, 2022

Are you scared of the future?

Do things you read or hear scare you about the future? Or do you take note and go on with life?

I've discovered that some of the preppers' videos I watch are scaring others in the household. Those videos don't scare me at all. Instead of fear, I feel better informed and more prepared. And I get valuable ideas.

I don't think there's any reason to be scared if there's something you can do about a situation.

There may be a reason to be scared if there's nothing you can do about it, but fear is still probably pointless. If a planet-killer asteroid is heading toward us, fear seems like an understandable reaction, even if it's not productive since there's nothing you can do about it.

But nothing I've heard from any preppers is reason to be scared. They are reasons to prepare. 

I'm not scared of Mad Max world-- I don't want it, but I'm not scared. I don't want my daughter to feel hunger when there's nothing I can do about it. That's why I prep. She might be more concerned about a world without "social" media, but that seems like a beneficial development to me. We'd push through that "crisis".

For most of the situations preppers discuss, I feel I could navigate my way through them. Maybe that's false confidence. I've made it through a lot of things that could have killed me. Looking back they don't seem nearly as difficult as they did at the time, and most of them taught me things to avoid.

I don't think there's anything to be scared of-- no, not even authoritarianism. Just keep learning and be open to better ideas. And try to help calm down anyone around you who is afraid of the future. Panicky people around you isn't going to be helpful.


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Sunday, January 02, 2022

Real world better than metaverse

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for December 1, 2021)

Have you been hearing about the metaverse? What is the metaverse? It's "virtual reality" taken to another level. Like experiencing the internet as though it's the world you live in-- to see and hear it all around you as if it's physically real. Imagine the best video game you've ever seen, but so much better you have a hard time believing your character isn't actually you, doing all the things your character is doing, surrounded by other people's characters experiencing the same.

It's not just about playing games, though. Business, social groups, education, and other features of the real world would be there, too. Anything from the real world, or anything someone can imagine, could be present in the metaverse.

I can see limitless benefits... and limitless downsides.

Some think it may replace reality for most people when the technology gets good enough. People might choose to spend all their time in the metaverse instead of the real world. When I see those obsessed with online gaming or other escapism, I think it's possible.

I see the attraction. You could avoid your boring, unpleasant reality. You could be the superhero. You could experience things and places you could never experience in real life. You could form relationships and even make money. Yes, you'll still need money to keep your meatbody alive and your internet bill paid or you'll lose your connection to the metaverse, which would probably feel like death.

Will this just be another thing people become addicted to? Yes.

Anything enjoyable is addictive, and things which can be specifically tailored to be addictive, such as the metaverse, will be especially addictive to those who are vulnerable to addiction. I'm guessing that's somewhere between 10% and 40% of people when you include everything people already get addicted to. For something like the metaverse, the percentage might be higher.

I prefer the real world-- with all its warts and scars-- because it is real. Unless we already exist in a simulated reality, which doesn't really change anything important to this discussion. I can imagine how age or disability might make me reconsider, though.

If you don't get pulled in, will the metaverse remove a lot of excess people from your daily life? It might feel like the population of the world has plummetted when so many people are staying plugged in all day. Maybe the person who avoids the metaverse will end up King of the (real) World.


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Don't fall for the brainwashing

Can you tell when someone is trying to brainwash you? 

Well, one way to know is to watch out for revealing words. Such as when they say "our government" or "your government". That's a lie, but it's one most people won't catch. That also applies to "our president" or other politicians.

Another red flag is when they speak of "leaders" when talking about rulers or politicians. Another sneaky lie.

A newer trick that emerged with AGCC ("climate change") but went viral (how punny) during the Covid overreaction is to speak of "the science" when spreading the opinions of politicized "experts". Science is a process, not a proclamation. "The science" is a lie.

If they can make you accept their deceptive words without hesitation, they can fool you into believing the world is as they would prefer you believe. Often, they are trying to make you accept the legitimacy of political government-- something which can never be legitimate.

Brainwashing doesn't have to be a complete lie but could be a half-truth presented in an untruthful way. Such as what often happens with corporate "news". In fact, it's their only gimmick.

Don't let the bullies brainwash you into giving up your individual liberty. It's never worth it.

Any comfort you get from embracing the brainwashing is fleeting. The pain could last the rest of your life.


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Saturday, January 01, 2022

Happy New Year!

I still think "New Year" is an odd concept. Especially at this arbitrary date. But whatever. It's "accepted" by almost everyone and it doesn't matter to anything real. So, happy New Year!

I'm hoping authoritarianism meets a painful death in the coming year. It has earned this much. I'll do my best to not do anything to prop it up with cowardly compliance and disgusting obedience.

I'm also hoping this will be the final nail in the Covid overreaction coffin. It's gone on way too long, and for nothing

I heard someone say something about a 2021 "year in review", but my brain heard "urine review". That would probably be just as interesting. I mean you were there so you know what happened. You don't need anyone to remind you. 

So here we are. Let's make the best of it. Keep prepping, go through again (or for the first time if you have neglected to do so until now), and keep exercising your liberty to the fullest. Don't let this be "2020 too".

Let's go Brandon and all other politicians as well. Into the dustbin of bad mistakes with you all.


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Friday, December 31, 2021

Keep believing in the rituals!

I have a long-time friend in a state far away who has been Covid-panicked from the very beginning. Back then she worked in food service in a nursing home, so I was able to relate to her panic-- it was a job requirement-- but she now works in a convenience store. The stink lingers, though.

She was over-the-top with all the prescribed prevention rituals: masks, hand sanitizer, social distancing, and all the shots. And scolding me for being skeptical. Now she has Covid.

Maybe the shots did help her. She's asymptomatic and only got tested after finding out she'd been exposed. Still...

Plus, she says she'll continue to get boosters into the indefinite future if she's told to-- even after catching and recovering from Covid! She says she still "believes in" vaccines, even though (she says) she knows I don't.

She's got that wrong. I believe in vaccines... when they are helpful against a disease that's an actual threat. If a vaccine against "the common cold" were created, I probably wouldn't bother to get a Rhinovirus vaccine, even if it was 95% effective and 99.99999...% safe. Because why bother?

I don't want to control what other people do, but what people do makes me wonder about them sometimes.


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Thursday, December 30, 2021

Experiences are filtered

Everyone's experience of everything is filtered.

Take the Covid example:
Health care workers probably feel Covid was more dangerous than it was because their experience of it was filtered to expose them to the worst outcomes. People who went to the doctor or hospital skewed what doctors saw happening. Those who experienced Covid as just another cold didn't go seek help. How often do you go to the doctor from a cold (assuming you aren't a hypochondriac)? I've never gone to the doctor for a cold.

Of course, my own experience of Covid was also filtered. I probably saw it as less dangerous than it was because people who were too sick to go on with their lives didn't interact with me. I saw only those who either experienced it as a cold or who-- because Covid was on their minds-- sought medical treatment but were sent away and told to treat it as a cold or flu. My personal experience was also filtered such that I came to believe "long(-haul) Covid" was confirmation bias.

Paying attention to the (fake) "news" is another way experiences are filtered one way or another.

Thus, healthcare workers or people who believe the (fake) "news" were more likely to be concerned due to what they were exposed to, and I was less likely to be worried due to my own experience and because I don't pay much attention to the (fake) "news". 

But all of us were influenced by the way our experiences were filtered before they reached us. 

It is helpful to be aware of this effect when making decisions-- particularly before deciding to force your opinions on others under threat of violence.

I've noticed the same filtering in other things, too. All your experiences are filtered before you experience them. Being aware of that might help you navigate the world in a more realistic way.


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Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Being offended by "Merry Christmas" makes as much sense as being offended by "Happy Thursday". So what if you don't worship Thor or any of the other gods the days of the week are named for? Have a good Thursday (or whatever day) anyway! I'm not going to feel bad about wishing you a pleasant day-- if you choose to feel offended, that's on you.

Can't call myself a political liberal

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for December 29, 2021)

Once upon a time, the word "liberal" was used to describe people who were "generous", "open-minded", and "accepting of other opinions". It was closely related to the word "liberty". This description no longer applies to political liberals. Describing their backward-thinking as "progressive" or their nightmarish denial of reality as "woke" is equally ridiculous.

This doesn't mean they are always wrong. I agree that everyone has value, but their value has nothing to do with superficial features like sex, race, or ethnicity. They have value because they are the rest...

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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

The Holiday "No politics" zone

I can get through almost anything "social"... as long as politics (anti-social behavior) is left behind.

I am an introvert. I can enjoy time with people, but I have to recharge afterward-- and during.

We had a very busy, crowded holiday weekend. Fortunately, it all happened at my parents' house. That gives me a place to flee to, since that's only 7 blocks away.

But it was a good holiday.

Our family contains people of every sort of political inclination, and me, who's against politics. No one said anything political other than my dad's one crack about "defunding the police" during a Christmas movie scene where Santa was arrested.

The only real stressor was the big anxiety-ridden dog who came with one couple (because they couldn't find a sitter). My parents' cat is now terrified of coming in the house, but will hopefully get over it now that the intruder is gone-- all but the smell.

Everyone got along and had a good time. It's amazing what can happen if politics doesn't poison it.


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Sunday, December 26, 2021

Good jury makes the right choice

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for November 24, 2021)

The Kyle Rittenhouse trial may have served as a canary in the coal mine. That's how I saw it.

Government doesn't respect your right of self-defense and would prefer you die at the hands of attackers. Fortunately, the jury saw through the malicious prosecution.

Unfortunately, much of the public believed the lies spun by the national media corporations to advance their anti-gun, anti-defense agenda. Rittenhouse was even called a "white supremacist" and his attackers were called "his victims".

Rittenhouse was persecuted for doing something everyone has a natural right to do. Even the attacker who testified admits he wasn't shot until he pointed his gun at Kyle. It would have been irresponsible of Kyle to allow himself to be shot.

The trial, if legitimate, would have been thrown out immediately with this admission. It wasn't.

Some excuse his attackers because Rittenhouse had a gun. So did the attacker who survived. Holding a gun is no excuse for anyone to attack you, physically or politically. Guns aren't the only tools which can kill; so can skateboards and fists.

The ridiculous prosecution even argued that someone has no right to claim self-defense if they have a gun.

To claim you lose the right to claim self-defense if you are armed with a gun is not rational, but political. First of all, rights can't be "lost". Second, who claims you've done something wrong by being prepared for an emergency?

It would be the same if the roles were reversed and Kyle had been the one to point his gun at an innocent person and be shot because of it.

To charge him with a crime and force him to defend himself from government was itself a criminal act. The dishonesty of the prosecution was astounding. The prosecutor in this case is as much a criminal thug as those Rittenhouse shot in self-defense. He had no case to stand on.

Kyle Rittenhouse was a political prisoner and is owed restitution by those who kept this farce going. Individually from their personal bank accounts and from selling their property, not from tax funds. The prosecutor-- and others-- should be destitute after committing this crime against Rittenhouse. Proper restitution would make Kyle nearly as rich as Elon Musk.

I don't believe the government court system is legitimate. I have no respect for it whatsoever. I'm still relieved it sometimes, thanks to a good jury, stumbles across the right decision.

-- PS: Support

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The Omicron variant will likely turn out to be to Covid as cowpox was to smallpox. If you know medical history you'll understand.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Friday, December 24, 2021

Being better at thinking

Not only do most people seem to be stuck in binary ways of thinking, but they also aren't even very good at that.

Being against "vaccine" mandates doesn't mean you hate vaccines. Those are completely different, unrelated, issues.

Being against police doesn't mean you like crime.

Being against political government doesn't mean you want chaos.

Being against democracy doesn't mean you support autocracy.

See the jumbled "thinking" involved in all these thinking mistakes?

That's not even the end of it.

Being opposed to something doesn't mean you're afraid of it. I'm against "vaccine" dictates, police, political government, and democracy, but I'm not afraid of those things. Nor am I afraid of Covid, crime, chaos, or autocracy.

People who are driven by fear see fear where it doesn't exist. Maybe it helps them feel better about themselves. I feel sorry for them, but I can't arrange my life to comfort them.

And, just because I say "Merry Christmas" doesn't mean I'm against every other Winter Solstice celebration. There's room for all of them. The more, the... well... merrier!


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Thursday, December 23, 2021

I'd prefer Dr. Frankenstein

I really dislike Fauci. 

I have had a negative reaction to Dr. A. "SciencePersonified" Fauci (full first name: Anti) from the beginning. Something about his face and his eyes and voice and mannerisms, but also because I don't like what he says. If he said things I agree with, maybe my reaction to him would be more positive. 

We'll never know.

He just doesn't seem trustworthy to me. 

Of course, trustworthiness is subjective. I couldn't trust him, but maybe you could. Your impression of him might be completely opposite of mine. If he doesn't seem repellent to you, do you agree with what he pushes? Or should I have reversed the order to ask "If you agree with what he pushes, does he not seem repellent to you?"

No president has had this negative of an effect on me. Not one. That makes Fauci special-- in a "class" with that harpy Hillary Clinton and that murderous David Chipman guy.

If Fauci said drinking clean water is essential to staying healthy, I'd keep drinking water. But then I already know this is true and his proclamation wouldn't make any difference. If he said new data shows I need to put a spoonful of sewage in my drinking water (or in my veins) to keep from getting sick, I would ignore him (and advise others to ignore him, too). His opinions don't sway me either way. 

No, I shouldn't let myself be influenced by how repellent I find a political criminal. Maybe he's right about everything and I'm a fool for discounting his advice. I'm willing to take the chance.


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Wednesday, December 22, 2021

US's Constitution was a mistake (Or, Why I can't be a conservative)

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for December 22, 2021)

There can be a difference between what a person likes and what they are willing to force on others.

Most of my preferences lean conservative: liberty, family, and keeping government out of my life.

The difference between me and political conservatives is that I don't believe it's ever ethical to use government or legislation to force my preferences on others. Therefore, I can't be politically the rest...

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Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Imagine being so blinded by your religious devotion to the Cult of Covid that you believe "vaccine hesitancy" is the same as being anti-science or a conspiracy theorist. I guess in their minds, rational people just accept anything they are told, without question or pause, by someone who chants "It's Science, Baby!". Nutjobs.

Daughter ramblings

I'm thankful my daughter still talks to me. I've seen families where that wasn't the case.

My daughter was just telling me a couple of days ago that Christmas isn't as exciting for her as it was when she was younger. I explained that as a little kid, you're very excited by what you get, but that as you get older, that excitement is replaced by excitement over what you give. If you want to feel Christmas excitement, give gifts you are excited to give. It made sense to her.

I hope she's able to appreciate the wisdom I offer. Haha.

At least she doesn't roll her eyes at me-- that I see. That doesn't mean we never have friction between us. 

I tried to immunize her years ago by warning her that hormonal changes were coming that would make her hate me for no real reason, but that I would love her through it all and we'd be OK in the end. Back then she said that she could never hate me... but that was then. Some days I think she almost crosses the line. The next few years might be interesting.

She's at the age (14) where every w0ke pronouncement sounds like truth, and actual truth is ugly and unwanted. Truth sounds mean, and social [sic] media and her friends tell her it is horrible and backward. 

She sometimes tries to sell me some w0ke; I don't buy it.

I just listen to her saying her piece. I agree when she's on the right path; I usually say nothing when she's off in the w0keweeds. Sometimes I try to say something much later to make her think a little more about what she had accepted as true, but that is crazy once you examine it outside the bubble.

Speaking of weed...

Yesterday we were picking up an item for someone else at a flea market on the New Mexico side of our territory. Just inside the door, the guy had a scraggly marijuana plant growing in a pot. I nudged my daughter and told her what it was. She said later she hadn't even seen the plant (I admit, her observational skills are normal), and wouldn't have known what it was until I told her.

We burned some gas and spent some money just hanging out together all day. We had some hours to kill and we didn't want to be home without something to keep our minds busy. Vet offices need waiting rooms.

The past few days both of us have been a bit anxious because Whiskers-- our one-eyed rescue kitten-- was going in for his hernia surgery. He came out of it in great spirits. He still has one issue, but we'll work on solving that.

The kitten is one bond between us, but we have a pretty good relationship beyond that-- at least so far. We can still talk about anything. I don't take it for granted!


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Sunday, December 19, 2021

The other side isn't what's evil

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for November 17, 2021)

It's popular to paint the other political side as evil. The people probably aren't, but their ideas and actions may be. Remember-- you are "the other side" to them.

Evil isn't just whatever you don't like. That would be too easy. Evil is any action which violates someone who isn't currently violating the life, liberty, or property of another; an act which harms someone who doesn't deserve to be harmed at this moment.

Philip Zimbardo, who became famous for his 1971 Stanford prison experiment, in his book The Lucifer Effect, defines evil like this: “Evil consists in intentionally behaving in ways that harm, abuse, demean, dehumanize, or destroy innocent others—or using one’s authority and systemic power to encourage or permit others to do so on your behalf.”  I appreciate that he counts as evil the use of political "authority" to influence others to do evil.

People aren't evil, but they can commit evil. Some seem to prefer it. I think it's useful shorthand to refer to someone as "evil" when they consistently and repeatedly commit acts of evil, even if it's not exactly accurate.

So how can you tell if the "other side" is the evil side, or if your side is? Check to see which is violating the life, liberty, or property of another. Sometimes you'll discover both sides promote evil, but in different ways.

Do you support the use of government violence-- through enforcement of legislation-- to take people's money or other property?
Do you advocate the use of government violence to punish people for their choice to use substances you believe they shouldn't use?
Do you approve when government violence is used against those who defended themselves from attackers in a way you didn't like or used weapons you don't believe they should use?
Do you applaud the use of government violence to ignore private property rights and the right of association in favor of government borders?
Do you favor government violence forcing parents to have their children indoctrinated into beliefs which are useful for the state?

Can you see how all these political preferences harm the life, liberty, and property of people who aren't currently harming anyone else? Do you engage in mental gymnastics to try to justify any of these positions anyway? If you can't see this for what it is, you may think of the other side as "evil" while embracing your own brand of the stuff.

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"Law" enforcement is NOT the solution to crime. Not any more than amputation is the solution to a splinter-- or the possibility of getting a splinter. It only makes things worse, even though it might-- might-- reduce the appearance of crime if you wear blinders. In reality, it just shifts the direction most crime comes from slightly.