Thursday, May 06, 2021

How much risk is too much?

The amount of risk I'm willing to take depends on how bad the alternative is. And it's completely subjective.

If the danger (or pain) is great enough, I'm willing to do extreme things-- even really risky things-- to alleviate it. It's pure desperation.

If a fireball is chasing me down a hallway I might be willing to jump through a window, not knowing what's on the other side.

Similarly, I would be willing to try experimental mRNA treatment for something like cancer, but not for an over-hyped cold. The risk/reward in the Covid-19 situation is completely upside-down in my subjective opinion.


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Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Won't sacrifice liberty for worst of us

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 5, 2021)

There will always be some members of the population set on killing each other over petty squabbles and imagined slights. Nothing you and I can do will ever change this; nothing government can do will stop it. Some people are just determined to be uncivilized. They may even prefer living this way, and wouldn't change if given every chance. You will be more free once you realize this truth.

Maybe the best outcome is for them to do society a favor by culling their own the rest...

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Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Skewed, self-selected data

Back in February, I had a routine annual medical check-up. During the course of the questioning, I was asked if I was interested in getting the Covid-19 vaccine. I said I wasn't. 

The doctor asked, "Do you mind telling me why?" My answer was that I just wasn't worried about Covid-- everyone around me has already had it and it wasn't that bad for any of them. 

His response: "Well, my experience has been different. I've seen lots of bad outcomes."

I'm sure he has. Think about it. 

Who is going to come to the hospital emergency room? Those who aren't having problems, or those who are? Which group of people is more likely to have a bad outcome? His data is self-selecting. It's going to give him a skewed view of reality. 

I know someone else who worked in a nursing home during the first several months of the panic-demic, She also is convinced this virus is a really big deal-- and in her limited sphere, it probably was. But that's not representative of the world at large.

Of course, neither is my experience. But it is still my excuse for not being interested in a vaccine experimental gene therapy that won't prevent the disease it is being advertised for fighting, won't prevent those infected from transmitting the virus, and won't confer herd immunity (according to its advocates)-- so getting it won't eliminate antisocial social distancing or masks. Remind me again... what is the point of a vaccination that won't do any of the things normal vaccines are expected to do?

Other people have other reasons, both for getting the vaccine and for refusing to do so. I'm fine with that. I'm not anti-vaccine, but I am anti-mandatory vaccine.


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Monday, May 03, 2021

What are your chances?

I don't have any statistics to prove it, but I'd bet most people have a greater chance of being killed by cops than by freelance thugs-- as long as you do your best to avoid sketchy people, places, or activities.

What do you think?


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Sunday, May 02, 2021

NM fumbled on legal marijuana

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for April 7, 2021)

Leave it to government to fumble a chance to do the right thing.

New Mexico has finally decided to legalize Cannabis. This could have been a win for liberty, but they did it wrong. Instead of letting the market handle it, as they should have, they wanted to get their fingers in as deep as possible.

It's good when a government backs off on violating natural human rights, but the state never had the right to criminalize or control Cannabis to begin with. Neither did the federal government, since no constitutional amendment was ever ratified to give them this power.

Cannabis should only be as controlled as parsley; neither should be controlled at all. Plants-- and who grows, sells, possesses, or consumes them-- are not government's business. Quality issues and fraud are the business of the market, and that's where this should be handled.

This change is driven by a hunger for more money rather than any new respect for human rights. Greedy governments get excited over any new source of money. Taxing Cannabis, or anything else, is wrong because taxation is always theft. I don't want Cannabis taxes to help pay for more government-- we already have far more government than any civilized society would put up with.

Like other states which legalized marijuana, New Mexico's government is sneaky. They legalized the plant while setting so many traps with new rules that the chances of committing a crime under the new system will increase. Marijuana will be "legal"-- if you dot all the "i"s, cross all the "t"s, jump through every arbitrary hoop, and hold your mouth just right while hopping on one foot.

In other states where similar plans have been put in place, people have noticed it was less legally risky to use Cannabis before it was legalized, regulated, and taxed.

On the prohibitionist side, there's the fear of more impaired drivers on the road. A reasonable fear, but unnecessary.

If you harm someone's person or property in an accident it doesn't matter if it was because you were drunk or stoned, sleepy, texting, or speeding to the scene of an accident. The responsibility is still completely yours. No regulation is needed to make you extra responsible.

I wish, instead of finding new ways to have more control, government could keep its hands off our lives for a change. This was a chance to lead the way, and it was squandered on politics.


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The evil stupidity of government "authority"

Politics makes people stupid. Government "jobs" that come with any "authority" will make them evil.

An early event that drove this home to me was when I was attending a mountainman rendezvous in the Rocky Mountains years ago. It had been a dry year, so the forest was under a burn ban. No fires for cooking, warmth, blacksmithing, or anything. 

Now, I understand the danger of fire in a tinder-dry forest. I understand that some people are irresponsible with fire (and everything else). I am not opposed to reminding people of dangers inherent in such situations, even though I don't support edicts and mandates.

But, a few days before the rendezvous began it started to rain. And rain and rain. Like it couldn't stop.

The Forest Circus goons invaded our camp, wading through standing water and mud in their uniforms, to remind us that the burn ban was still in effect.  Threatening "legal" action if anyone dared light a fire.

There was no way to start a forest fire under those conditions without a nuclear bomb. Only the best woodsman would have been able to make a campfire anyway. It was the first (and only) time I ever actually slept in standing water. Thank goodness for wool blankets!

A few days later the goons relented a little, allowing the blacksmith to light his forge for a certain number of hours per day, and allowing some cooking fires, but for me, it was too late. My wife-at-the-time demanded we leave.

A little bit of imaginary "authority" ruined rendezvous that year for me and for a lot of others; more than any amount of rain could have done. Political stupidity plus political "authority" equals government evil.

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Saturday, May 01, 2021

Statists' imaginary friend

For a lot of people, government is their imaginary friend. In more ways than one.

"The Government", as many people seem to think of it, is imaginary. It is not something above and beyond the sick people who populate its buildings and agencies. It is no more powerful than the gang of people who work for it. It is not wise. It is not helpful. It is not one monumental block.

Also, it's an imaginary friend because it is not your friend. If you act as though it is, you're going to be taken advantage of and you will be hurt. It doesn't care about you. It cares about its own power and position over you. The individuals who make up government are more concerned with keeping their paycheck coming than with doing the right thing. Keeping that paycheck coming means keeping government running, which means violating you in whatever way is necessary to that end. It means "nice" government employees will kill you to protect government.

Government is the imaginary friend it's most harmful to believe in. It's long past time to grow up and stop believing in it. You don't need it like you may have when you were immature.


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