Divide and Conquer

Boy, are we ever polarized. And it’s no wonder. I was interested in the protest/riot in Tacoma January 25 because I used to hang out in Seattle and have a friend there who put me up when I got all four wisdom teeth yanked out at the university for $52. That’s another story.

The cops were called when people (no wait, it was cars) were doing doughnuts and burnouts in downtown Tacoma. About a hundred people surrounded the cop car and pounded on the hood and windows. The cop inside feared for his life and ran his siren in an attempt to clear a path for his escape. The crowd either didn’t hear it or decided it didn’t apply to them. So he just drove on out, running over a guy. Miraculously, it turns out no one was seriously hurt.

Of course the peaceful protesters of Antifa showed up to promote justice. I guess they were too late to stop the reckless driving.

The first story I read on this came from Jason Rantz, a talk show host in Seattle who infiltrated the Antifa crowd to get the straight story. He said he saw about 150 black clad Antifa gather at the intersection and build a fire in the middle of the street using trash bins and street signs.

Then they marched. Using weapons they brought such as pipes and crowbars, they smashed storefronts and car windows. They tried to tear a fence down at a jail to release prisoners and failed. They chanted to residents to come join them. The locals were having nothing of it. The police didn’t show up until the rioters were getting tired or bored.

The other side of the story was written by Taylor Ardrey of Business Insider. Ardrey wrote that Tavon Williams, who was of the cop car mob told CNN he is “forever scarred.” There was no mention of the marching and rioting.

If you happened upon Fox, who carried Jason Rantz’s account, you would get one story. If you read the Business Insider story, you would think there were some harmless doughnuts and a cop running over people. A few family businesses don’t amount to a hill of beans compared to Chuck Schumer’s “Temple of our democracy,” eh? (meaning the US Capitol)

I emailed Taylor Ardrey and asked, “Were you there?” I have not heard back. Jason Rantz said he was there. In fact he recognized an activist journalist who tweeted that he was there recording the crowds. I called Rantz’s radio station to ask if I could use a photo of him and he spoke to me.

What all this says is that whatever the source, our opinions are not formed by unbiased news. Our votes then follow. What do we know to be true? For public policy to be guided by a vote is stupid. It should be guided by rules made by cool heads in quiet times.

Every departure from the principle of individual sovereignty has had unforeseen consequences that led to more policy changes to correct those mistakes and on and on. The only thing these policies based on votes by a malleable public do is provide more problems for politicians to promise to fix.

And when they fix them Peter is robbed to pay Paul. Peter is resentful. Paul is emboldened. We are further polarized and divided, and vulnerable to exploitation.

Captain Ahab in Charge

The people on the margins are being sacrificed at an alarming rate today. Small businesses, the mentally ill, drug abusers; they have been deemed expendable in order to save face for the present day Captain Ahabs of society.

Who is expendable? Federal surveys show that 40% of Americans are grappling with mental health or drug-related problems. With young adults that figure is 75%. The CDC asked young adults if they had considered suicide in the last thirty days and 25% said yes. These numbers are way higher than previous years.

What we’ve been seeing in the last year or so is a callous attitude toward collateral damage in the war on the coronavirus. A story in the Washington Post details a family’s loss of their 16-year old son who had problems before the virus that were being managed through relationships with friends, until Covid.

The Post story blamed the pandemic and decried the lack of funding in suicide prevention programs. Yep, and my tire dealer throws nails out on the road.

When we question the draconian measures of the Covid response the answer is often shot back, “Look at the science.” So yeah, let’s look at the science.

  • To quote a peer reviewed study of ten different countries on social distancing from Stanford University, “In summary, we fail to find strong evidence supporting a role for more restrictive NPIs (non pharmaceutical interventions, social distancing and masks) in the control of Covid in early 2020.”
  • Way back in July, CDC Director Robert Redfield said, “We’re seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from Covid. We’re seeing far greater deaths from drug overdose, that are above excess, than we had as background, than we are seeing deaths from Covid.”
  • Multiple studies on the CDC’s website have concluded, “We did not find evidence that surgical-type masks are effective in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza transmission, either when worn by infected persons or by persons in the general community to reduce their susceptibility.” This was before there were federal incentives in place to label any doubtful death “Covid related.” Flu molecules infect the same way as supposed coronavirus ones.
  • Japan has been derided for their resistance to lockdowns and cautionary approach to vaccines. Western media was harshly critical of Japan’s failure to lockdown and predicted mass deaths. The result of Japan’s excess freedom: Japan’s deaths per million (DPM) is 27. Severely locked down countries of Europe have a DPM of between 1,080 and 1,674.
  • World Health Organization envoy, David Nabarro said back in October, “Lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never, ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer.” And, “It seems that we may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year. We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition.”

Have you heard of the Great Barrington Declaration? Epidemiologists from Stanford, Harvard, and Oxford Universities met in Barrington, Massachusetts after pondering the costs and benefits of government policies supposedly used to stem the pandemic. Between October 2 and October 4, 2020 they penned the declaration. It urges loosening restrictions on economic activity and a focus on protecting vulnerable people instead. The declaration has been signed by 13,290 medical & public health scientists, 40,199 medical practitioners, and 727,141 concerned everyday citizens.

Once again bureaucratic guesses have proven wrong, with dire consequences. The real tragedy in this story is that all the damage done in this war on Covid has accomplished little or nothing. It was not thought through well and trusting souls went along with it, like the doomed crew of the Pequot.

We recently watched Moby Dick, the 1956 version of the Herman Melville book. The second mate read the contract binding Captain Ahab to preserving the ship and hunting whales for oil. The crew had an obligation to overthrow the captain if the ship’s owners weren’t being served by him. The crew trusted the captain and went along with his foolish quest for revenge against the white whale that had severely injured him in years past.

(Note: In a past column I stated that deaths from all causes were lower in 2020 than in previous years. A reader questioned my source. I wrote to him and he said his numbers were based on averages, and we need to wait for final figures.)

How We Get to the Future

January 14, 2021

In the news today: Iowa CCI (Citizens for Community Improvement) gathered inside the Iowa State Capitol. We have to be thankful that people are welcome inside our State Capitol Building. One of their demands was a moratorium on rent payments until the end of 2021. Here is a perfect example of ignorant people who have no idea how a peaceful society can operate through self-ownership and individual rights. In spite of that they get a voice. If you are confused about why I say this, consider the landlord.

The landlord worked and saved to purchase the property. He (this is not the U.S. House of Representatives so I can say “he” instead of “it”) pays taxes and maintains the property. The renter has a simple relationship with the property. He calls the landlord when any of the infrastructure fails (no heat, no water, no electricity). Basically, Iowa CCI thinks the landlord should be a slave. If he were black, would that change things?

In photos of the Capitol in Washington I see a guy carrying a confederate flag and a guy dressed up as if for Halloween, both among undisturbed paintings and sculptures. There was one photo of some idiot carrying Nancy Pelosi’s $1,000 lectern. A $1,000 lectern illustrates that our rulers have not made progress from the extravagant royalty that our forefathers rebelled against in 1776. “People are hurting” and Mrs. Pelosi uses a $1,000 book stand?

What’s with these “insurrectionists, thugs, and dangers to our democracy” that they don’t know how to start a fire? All summer long public and private property has been destroyed by social justice warriors and you’d think those events were like Ground Hog Day. But now, decades-long laws about voting procedures were broken and people who question the results are labeled anti-democracy.

I am the last person on earth who would be infected with Trump Adoration Syndrome. A lifelong Democrat gets elected president as a Republican, then leaves office after one term with the Senate, the House, and the presidency all in the hands of Democrats. There is something fishy here. The established order was under threat so election officials changed the rules.

In looking for what could have prevented the chaos in the last election, two things are obvious.

Democrat, Tulsi Gabbard’s bill, Securing America’s Elections Act of 2018 went nowhere because Republican and Democrat lawmakers don’t like evidence. It would have required paper ballots in federal elections. The other is the really big deal though. As Frederic Bastiat said, a proper government would make elections inconsequential. A proper government wouldn’t be up for auction through voting.

Votes are directly influenced by input received by the voters. Hitler won in a landslide. He controlled the media. I used to claim the government should keep its hands off the media in accordance with the First Amendment. Donald Trump tried to disarm the Communications Decency Act of 1996. It allowed tech companies to censor speech and absolved them of any liability (much the same as pharmaceutical companies are not liable for any deleterious effects from Covid-19 vaccines).

Tech companies are now part of the United States government. They have been operating that way for years around the world such as in the destruction of Syria and Libya, and now are doing the same thing here. The corruption of language makes the connection hazy but the effect is plain.

Trump pardoned a bunch of crooks and murderers but left real patriots to rot. Julian Assange and Edward Snowden were real journalists. Justice Hugo L. Black said, “… and paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people.”

The tech/media complex paints the present conflict as simply Trump versus anti- Trump. Where do we come in? People ask, “Where do you stand?” My category does not exist. I’m anti-democracy. The reason elections are now so important is because they are vehicles of legalized theft. Legal seems good, right? Put that in perspective by considering what was legal in Zimbabwe, 1930s Germany, or Ukraine in 1932.

Those events were promoted for the common good, as were the events in U.S. cities last summer and Portland even today. “Democracy” and “anti-fascism” were rallying cries. Democracy is anti-minority by definition. Fascism, by Mussolini’s definition is an alliance of state and private interests.

What we are seeing today is Fascism. The goal of the rulers is to enslave us. Look around. There are $1,000 lecterns and $20,000 medals of freedom. Is that wealth available to “the people?” The erasure of history and silencing of dissent going on now will ensure mediocrity and poverty for our children and grandchildren.

Columbia Helicopters – Part 2

Columbia finished up by Clark Fork in spite of the guy with the shiny new “tin hat.” Learning the ways of any new job can be confusing and with 10,000 pounds flying around, the consequences can be severe. So, phew!

We moved south to Coeur d’Alene and it was a two-hour drive from the Dead End so I got a motel room. It was an example of what a motel should be like. It was a series of little cabins and I could park my car right outside. The manager (who by the way, was eligible for Medicare) sat in a recliner in front of a picture window. She lit her cigarettes from the previous smoke. She had a giant ashtray stacked high with butts. It was like a freshman in college stacking empty 12-pack boxes as a sign of accomplishment.

Summer brought conditions that were perfect as long as it stayed under 85 degrees. Above that, the ship couldn’t lift enough weight to justify the fuel and labor expense. It was hard for the loader to keep up and so he had to put a lot of dirty logs in the trim deck. That took some pressure off of me, the knot bumper and fit right in with my tendency for procrastination. I paid with interest later.

The loader operator and I stayed after everyone else had quit for the day. After a ten-hour day we went another three or four. The guy was constantly opening the door of the Cat 966 and yelling at me to hurry up. We had several trucks waiting so going late took a load off the next day’s work.

Finally the trucks quit coming and the piles of logs were cleaned up. We headed down the mountain. I can hardly believe today what good shape I was in to keep at it like that. About halfway home I told my master to stop so I could get out and upchuck.

The Coeur d’Alene project lasted into winter and I was homesick for the Dead End so I quit and went home. We had wood to cut for winter and the snow gets really deep in Northwest Montana, at least it used to.

When living like my frugal mom taught me, I could take winter off and live on savings. I made $7.62 per hour in the mid-seventies. That was pretty good and I had no gym expense.

Google employees are forming a union. They are organizing to have more say in Google’s policies, not wages. The median pay at Google is $258,708 per year.

There are trade-offs in life. I’ve enjoyed physical work in the natural world. I imagine Google employees shop for fashions and work in an environment devoid of any life but what sticks out of a collar. They pay to run an exercise machine that produces nothing, and climb fake cliffs. That might explain the wide acceptance of fake money.

How fortunate we are that there are “different strokes for different folks,” as Sly Stone wrote in 1968. Google employees can have their cubicles and outlandish wages. That keeps them from clogging up our beautiful countryside.

If there was one solution

I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its Constitution; I mean an additional article, taking from the federal government the power of borrowing. I now deny their power of making paper money or anything else a legal tender. I know that to pay all proper expenses within the year, would, in case of war, be hard on us. But not so hard as ten wars instead of one. – Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Taylor [November 26, 1798]