And You Wonder Why We Resist

It’s old news by the time this article goes live, but as many of us expected it turns out that Fauci lied about his connection with the Wuhan lab and the gain of function research related to COVID-19. As far as I know, there has been no conclusive evidence presented that the virus absolutely originated in this laboratory, but it’s an awfully suspicious coincidence for a highly transmissible virus to “just happen” to spring up near an institute that studies just such biology. While we can’t prove yet that the laboratory was directly responsible for the pandemic, it seems far more likely than any other theory.

Regardless, the point for today is that the mouthpiece for the pandemic effort has been caught red handed in his lies regarding the US government’s involvement in gain of function research, in addition to all the wildly back and forth “advice” we’ve received from him over the last year. Many of the people involved in this entire situation had vested interests in shutting down any inquiry into the virus at all, attempting to smother us with “policies” that we should be following to keep “safe” from the virus.

The problem with this entire situation is that some or most of what they said was probably the right thing. Things change as our understanding of things develops, and most people are willing to at least listen to scientists when they make a claim to something. After all, they’re the ones doing the kinds of research the rest of us either can’t or have no desire to do. They’re the experts and have the best chance of knowing. We rely on them in many situations where someone has to determine what the best path forward is.

It becomes very difficult then to place trust in the scientific community when people place their own interests ahead of the community. People like Fauci and the rest of them sow mistrust amongst the populace against science in general when it comes to light that they were lying from the very beginning, especially when the rules they advocated for placed heavy handed controls on the lives of billions of people. The world watches America and follows our lead and many countries will do whatever we end up doing.

Many of us never trusted this situation in the first place. We saw the obnoxious attempts to subdue the population under the guise of public safety, doing our best to refuse things like mask mandates and quarantine orders. I was fortunate to work for a company that didn’t really put much more than the bare minimum into these efforts, and I spent the entire pandemic only wearing a mask when I went into places that required it. I never wore a mask outside, even when it was still a requirement.

Of course, the biggest source of doubt in many of our lives right now is the vaccine. It was developed far faster than anything that previously came before, taking less than a year from start to finish while most vaccines take three to four years to go through the proper trials. The side effects are far worse than any vaccine I’ve had, and having served in the military I’ve had my fair share. We aren’t against vaccines in general, just this rushed version that capitalized on a global emergency.

Then we find out that the very people pushing this rushed vaccine were heavily involved with a lab that was performing research that very likely spawned the very pandemic we’ve been living with for more than a year, and people still somehow wonder why we resist what the government is trying to get us to do. It isn’t that we’re stupid or ignorant or whatever you might think; lies have a cost and it comes to bear when the people realize that you aren’t worth listening to. You manipulate people at your own risk.

At some point, the rest of us will likely be ready to take the vaccine once it has had some time to show what the long term consequences are, fully informed of the risk rather than just jumping in because “the government say so”. It’s difficult to argue they know what they’re talking about when the numbers show that their efforts made absolutely no difference at all. States with virtually no lockdowns or mask enforcement had similar or better results to states that were draconian in their efforts. Why should we believe you on vaccines?

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Do We Need Police?

One of the consistent ideas that has existed in human society almost from the beginning is the desire for professional security services provided by experts who know how do do that sort of thing. While in the past it might have simply been a cooperative group of villagers banding together to fight off danger and keep order within, our modern version has been a police force for quite a long time now. Most people see the concept as a double-edged sword, preventing justice in some instances and horribly curtailing it for others. Your personal experience with law enforcement will certainly color your decision as to which is more prevalent.

Perhaps the most misunderstood part of what America was always supposed to be is the idea that democracy unchecked can be just as bad as an all powerful tyrant. Without strict limits set on what any one person or group can control, mob rule becomes a real danger to the smaller groups in society who don’t have the means of protecting their own interests against a much larger threat. One of the common themes to arise out of our republican form of government is that all men are created equal and deserve equal protection under the law. Sadly, we haven’t lived up to this ideal very well, and though we’ve strived to make it better, we seem to be falling back down the mountain again.

When it comes to sensationalism, few things spark anger more than our police forces being involved in some kind of extraordinary incident where an officer infringes on the rights of a group of people who happen to be in the political spotlight. Very few people care if these kinds of things happen to just anyone; if it happens to a protected group, then outrage is the order of the day. No one pays attention to the fact that the ratio of these incidents as compared to the total sum over the course of even a single day is miniscule. All that matters is that it’s happening and something must be done.

Were the response measured and appropriate to the level of the problem, it would certainly be the right thing to do. However, this isn’t what’s happening. As a nation, we have persecuted law enforcement as a concept, ready to throw away the entire idea in favor of some unknown replacement that will somehow tip the scales of justice back where they should be. It is unclear how that is supposed to work, but for many of us it could be a step in the right direction. Not everyone yearns for someone else to protect them from harm.

On the other hand, there are many in our society who are simply incapable of protecting themselves in any form. While someone such as myself would be perfectly fine with replacing a police force with an unregulated policy of self-defense, large portions of our society would be left completely vulnerable, having never had any exposure to violence of any kind. In our safe little worlds, most of us have reached the point where we are hopelessly dependent on others to ensure our survival.

It is because of this that simply doing away with police doesn’t really work. Like most ideas, it sounds great when you don’t put any real thought into it, but once you start peeling back the layers, it becomes quite clear that simply wiping the slate clean and hoping for the best isn’t going to result in a more positive society. What will actually happen is that the criminal elements, who are always more than ready to pounce, will have the run of everything. We’ve already seen it multiple times as cities burn under protest while their police forces are required to sit idly by and let it happen. When you let the chaos run free, it will always come to visit you.

Where does this leave us with the answer to the question for today? This again depends on how you think society should work. If you believe in self reliance and taking care of your own welfare, then you would obviously see the evaporation of law enforcement as a good thing. If you are one of the people who would suffer because there is no one left to help you anymore, you will clearly not find it to be beneficial to you. Most people will fall somewhere in the middle, either preferring to take care of themselves but understanding that most people can’t, or needing the protection of others while ultimately desiring the freedom to do what they want.

Unfortunately, this is one of those things where it’s very difficult to have it both ways. We always like to try to find a middle ground on things, but when a group of people is ultimately controlled by the political atmosphere of the day, our system of law enforcement eventually becomes a tool for whoever happens to have power at the time. It doesn’t matter how many rules we put in place to stop it; if people don’t respect those rules, then they aren’t worth any more than the paper they’re written on.

So do we need police? Yes and no.

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Compulsory Vaccinations Ignore Human Nature

It’s been bandied about for quite a while now that perhaps the government should simply mandate vaccinations in one form or another. There are two sides of that argument that are both valid, and which side you land on depends on your philosophy about what it is to be a citizen of the United States. Whichever path we choose moving forward will result in some form of harm to one group or another, and in the end it will determine what kind of people we are going to be in the future.

Obviously, it makes a lot of logical sense to force people to take something that will slow or stop the spread of the virus so it stops being an issue and we can move on with our lives. I don’t think any reasonable person will deny that an effective vaccine is something we should all want to spread around as much as possible to make sure we have as much of a chance of being safe from it as possible. Forcing people to take the vaccine is probably the most efficient way to accomplish this, and I don’t think many people would disagree with that either.

However, the problem on the other side of this thought process is twofold: people don’t like to be coerced and the vaccine was obviously rushed beyond what is normally acceptable for development of medicinal technology. It typically takes several years to develop a vaccine for a new virus, if the standard processes are followed. There are many small steps that must be taken to minimize the damage caused to those who are participating in the study of the virus and of the various ingredients being used to combat it. It doesn’t take much to seriously harm a human being, and part of the ethics of medical research is grounded in taking time to avoid unnecessary harm.

The COVID-19 vaccine, however, was developed in less than a year, which makes it very difficult to trust. We have all seen the consequences of important things that ended up being rushed for one reason or another. Some of the worst disasters in history have been caused by people cutting corners to meet deadlines, and most of those were localized problems that affected a comparatively small number of people. This vaccine is being distributed on a global scale, and if something was missed in the mad rush to get something distributed, who knows how bad the consequences might be.

Of course, it doesn’t help that the government hasn’t given us any reason to place any faith at all in them. Contradictory statements combined with policies that are provably ineffective, many of which continued to be enforced long after it became apparent they were useless, has eroded our ability to trust anyone who says anything about the virus. For many of us, it’s far more reasonable to simply ignore what they say, avoid participating in the chaos, and go about our lives as normal. In the end, that’s all we really want anyway.

This is where we start to get to the place where conflict is starting to look inevitable. There is one side of the community who has wholeheartedly bought into the narrative that the vaccine is good and everyone should be partaking of it, while a significant portion of the population has very good reasons to be mistrustful of anything having to do with COVID-19. Now we have a growing demand to find ways to force people to participate, be it through preventing people from working or even going so far as to physically force people to comply.

The problem with this attitude is that you might get some people to lay down and suffer through such a thing, but there will be many who will fight back. No one wants a war, but when it comes to our individual agency, when backed into a corner many of us will choose to fight back, with lethal force if required, to avoid being forced to inject ourselves with a chemical for which we have no faith in. We have been given no reason to trust anything about this vaccine, and even though many of us don’t subscribe to the “anti-vax” philosophy as a whole, when it comes to this particular product we have good reason to be suspicious.

It is my hope that the people in government, as clueless as they might be, recognize the powder keg that is this coercion of people into taking the vaccine and are too fearful of the inevitable consequences to actually go through with such draconian measures. Unfortunately, we’ve seen over and over in recent decades that many people are blinded by the power they wield, refusing to learn from the past and believing in their own superiority. Everyone always believes they will do it better than those who came before, and it’s usually to the detriment of people who just want to live their lives in peace.

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California Recall Election

I’m not a fan of California. The funny thing about that is that I’ve lived here for nearly two decades of my life, having moved around SoCal for the military and then finally settling in San Diego after I was discharged for a medical problem. As I’ve told many people in the past, I love San Diego but I hate California. It’s a very difficult thing to live with when you have a place that feels like home but you don’t know if you can stay because people from far away have so much power to drastically change the place in which you want to be.

For a long while now, I’ve been mentally one foot out the door, seriously considering the possibility of returning to my place of origin to escape the socialist direction this state has been following for decades. The things keeping me here have mostly been relationships, but also the weather and the fact that some of the laws here allow me to do things I would otherwise be unable to do elsewhere. The thing is that some of most important reasons to stay are no longer present, and I find myself moving closer and closer to leaving.

Recently, however, I’ve been given a small measure of hope that I might be able to stay in this place I’ve learned to call home. The citizens of California have banded together to recall a governor who has basically ruled with an iron fist over the last year or so, taking full advantage of the public fears of COVID-19 to implement strict control over our lives. We’ve watched as prices for even basic needs have skyrocketed, and life has become so much harder to make work. It is a sad state of affairs when air conditioning, a technology that is more than a century old now, has returned to becoming a luxury that many can no longer afford.

Obviously, it is primarily the infringement of personal liberty that has sparked this rebellion against the mainstream California viewpoint. People are tired of being told what to do, forced to put on restrictive face masks and avoid contact with other human beings for some virus that was never really as dangerous as we were led to believe. It is deadly, of course, but no more so than many of the other diseases that we live with on a daily basis. The people are exhausted of the fear mongering and are starting to see through the lies to the heart of the situation: a desire for control.

This is where the recall election comes in, and where my small bit of hope has been rekindled. It has become clear that there is a very real possibility that the sitting governor will be removed from office, and Larry Elder will replace him, bringing a very libertarian lens to the government of California. I’ve been watching his content for quite a while now, and he has a very no nonsense approach to the way that government should work that is very refreshing. It will be amazing to see what he might be able to accomplish if he can get into office and find a way to cut through the stagnation that exists in the capital.

Unfortunately, I can only hold out a small hope that this will actually happen. For too long now Californians have been blindly, happily feeding at the trough of government handouts, allowing themselves to be led around like sheep because we’re too concerned with our own personal lives to worry about what nefarious plots might be floating around us. In much the same way that drug addiction fully ensnares the body, our addiction to laziness has fully ensnared our minds. It’s easier to just let someone else figure things out.

That’s what it really comes down to, if we’re going to be painfully honest. Big government can only exist when the people don’t care enough to stop it. It’s like signing a contract with the devil; you know you’re giving up something precious and unique when you agree to his terms, but the temptation of what is being promised is too great to say no to, even if you know in your heart that it’s just a big fat lie. Total government control will never result in what we hope it will, no matter who we put in charge. Human beings just don’t work that way.

In the end, all we can do at this point is watch and wait. The fallout from this month’s election will be the final chance for California to pull back from the dark path it’s been on for so long and turn back to the light of freedom. He might only be one man, but sometimes it’s a single spark that ignites the fire of change that completely burns away the choked, overgrown forest to make way for new growth. Let us hope that this is the beginning of that new future for the great state of California.

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You Can’t Save People From Themselves

This article also available as a blog at: https://anchor.fm/gunthrek/embed/episodes/You-Cant-Save-People-From-Themselves-e16n5ig

We often believe that we have control over our lives. The world has become much smaller and we have developed the ability to manipulate our environment, shape the events of the world and even begin our spread beyond it, out into the inky blackness of outer space. We have risen to heights our ancestors could never have imagined, and it is natural for us to think that as we move further into the future with new technologies and advanced ideas about society that we can exert our power to control our own existence. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The problem we run into with such thoughts is that we forget the one thing that has brought us to this point in time in the first place: human nature. How many times have people tried to implement some form of social control only to have it blow up in their face because the people simply couldn’t live with it? No matter how oppressive you become or how much of an iron fist you try to use, at some point people get tired of being forced to live their lives in a way that opposes their nature and violent rebellion inevitably follows. It’s simply human nature.

As smart as we like to think we are, we never seem to learn from the mistakes of the past. Here we are again in the twenty-first century, a significant portion of our population ready to bend their knee to submit to people who claim they know what’s best for us, all the while forgetting how this tired old scheme played out before. One would think with the incredible access to knowledge that we have today that we would see the patterns of the past and stop repeating them, but again that thought completely disregards human nature. We are creatures of habit, and we can’t avoid making old mistakes all over again.

Where does it come from, this inability to gain wisdom from our failures in the past? Arrogance, mostly. Human beings are supremely confident in our own superiority, never questioning the idea that no matter how much everyone else might be lacking, we are somehow better. You can see it anytime you get frustrated with someone over something “stupid” they did to you. Maybe it’s driving down the freeway and they’re just moving to slowly and you can’t understand why; or the cashier couldn’t figure out how to process your return; perhaps your boss tells you to do something in a way you think is inefficient and you can’t figure out why they can’t see it. Whatever the reason, arrogance is the source.

Just about every social problem in our world today comes down to arrogance; the pride in believing that our way is so good that everyone should be doing it like we do. This is why we treat people the way we do, because we can’t understand why they don’t just “get it”. We see them as stupid, sub-human. There is no understanding or analyzation or room for anything outside the specific way we want it to be. It’s the “my way or the highway” view of the world, and you better well comply or else.

What we always fail to understand is that you simply can’t save people from themselves. In our arrogance we will always believe that we know what should be done, no matter how much evidence you try to present. This is why governments of compulsion will always fail, not because they can’t have great ideas, but because there will always be people who disagree and will refuse to live under the thumbs of others. It doesn’t matter that your intentions are good; the simple fact that you want to take away their self-determination is enough to back them into a corner and instigate a fight to the death. The simple truth is that human beings don’t want to be saved; they want to live their own lives.

This is the folly of ideas like communism or socialism, or even any form of global government: the idea that we can all unite under one set of ideals. It simply can’t work that way. There are too many of us with vastly different ideas about what life is supposed to be like. With billions of individual people all wanting different things, how can anyone seriously think they can corral everyone under one banner?

Arrogance, mostly. It all comes back down to that. It is the arrogance of a few against the arrogance of many. We don’t care about your way any more than you care about ours. The only possible result from such grand designs is the collapse of everything you strived to build, not because the idea isn’t good but because human beings won’t suffer being caged forever. They might submit to your will for a while, but eventually the yearning for freedom will overcome the “need” for safety, and the system comes crashing down. It is inevitable.

So what do you do with this knowledge? Nothing, really. We are too arrogant to learn from the past, always believing we’ll be the ones to do it right. No matter how many times we set down the philosophy of individual liberty, some people just won’t get it. It isn’t in our nature to just let people be. We have to meddle, always believing that we know better. The only thing you can do in the face of such blind ambition is to prepare yourself for a fight, standing up for your own arrogant way of viewing the world.

In the end, it always comes down to pride.

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All Government Is Evil

“Men must be governed; often not wisely I’ll grant you, but they must be governed nonetheless.” -Captain Aubrey, Master and Commander

One of the biggest debates that has ever raged within human societies is determining which form of government is best suited to provide the kind of environment most of us seem to prefer. Many kinds have been tried since we first started gathering into large groups, from iron-fisted dictatorships like medieval kingdoms to full on democracies like ancient Greece. As we look back through time at the various ways in which people have chosen to regulate their lives, it’s impossible to come up with an option that satisfies everyone. There are simply too many people with different ideas of what they want to have one government for everyone.

The problem we tend to run into these days is one of arrogance. We get a notion in our head of what we think government should look like, and then rather than figuring out a way to join a group of like minded people and then live our lives the way we choose, we tend to think our way is so much more superior than any of the others that we have to “save” people from themselves by imposing our ideals onto others. This is true of nearly every government, including we Americans.

In reality, there is no perfect form of government. No matter how hard we try, there will always be some kind of negative that comes along with whatever form we choose to participate in. This isn’t because we can’t come up with a great system; the American form of government is quite amazing as written on paper. Our issues today come from not living up to those rules and expectations. It is because we are human beings that government always fails.

Every type of government is going to have some level of evil contained within it because it involves human beings. Many people seem to think that we can regulate people into being good, but they simply don’t understand human nature. We are selfish, uncompassionate beings who only really care about others when there is some kind of benefit to us, either because the person or people are important to us in some way, or it makes us look or feel good to help others. It is rare to see a truly altruistic act from a human being. If we understand this as a basic starting point, then we understand that any form of government we choose is going to have evil in it, and when you peel back all the different variables it pretty much comes down to the evil of imposition versus the evil of apathy.

Evil of imposition governments include any type that has some kind of overt compulsion by violent force to make people do what they’re told. Any form of oppressive state, from dictatorships to fanatically communist or socialist governments, can fall into this category. Power is typically concentrated around a small group of individuals who are charged with making decisions for everyone and then forcing everyone to comply. This form of evil reaches out to impose a specific way of life, often at the cost of the lives of those who disagree. It is an active evil that exists with the expectation that some people will end up dying for “the greater good”.

On the other side of the coin, evil of apathy can be found in any government where the people have decided that the individual takes priority over the group, such as we see in democratic governments. Quite different from imposition, the evil that ends up stemming from this kind of social configuration comes from people in society selfishly worrying only about themselves and ignoring the plight of others. It is a passive evil that pervades society, not actively hurting anyone, but leaving those behind who can’t figure out how to survive on their own.

Obviously, neither option can be viewed as an acceptable means of governing people. At least, it can’t if we share a common idea of what it is to be good and want that idea to pervade our social consciousness. If we can’t go all in on one form of government, then the uncomfortable reality is that there has to be some kind of mixture of systems that gets us as close as possible to what works best for we flawed human beings. There has to be a mix of individual freedom combined with some measure of forceful compliance.

That said, human beings have a natural tendency toward craving freedom of choice. A great many of the rebellions of history have been fought over people who have no power desperately fighting to gain even the smallest bit for themselves. It is one of the biggest repeated mistakes in history that power hungry leaders always seem to make, forgetting that people actually aren’t just drones to be controlled, but individuals with their own ideas about how life should be. They ignore that at their own peril.

Knowing this, it seems clear that whatever form of government we choose must lean heavily toward allowing people to live their lives as close to their own way as possible. This means they must have agency in the decisions that are made so they can feel like their voices are being heard and actually make a difference. This is the reason why the democratic republic form of government exists at all; it is a compromise between what is good for the nation as a whole and what is good for us as individuals. It is a careful balance that tries to satisfy both.

There is no perfect form of government because it involves people. Evil will exist in any system because evil exists in us. All we can do is choose the best system that has the best chance of working out based on human nature, not unrealistic expectations. We simply can’t conform to the oppressive will of others indefinitely, so it is better to simply let people live their lives and apply a system that encourages good rather than forcing it. It is only when we feel like we have a choice that we can be content. Otherwise, we tend to want to “rage against the machine”.

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Mass Psychosis

I found another video that I wanted to share with my readers, as I think it’s extremely important to learn things like this to counteract the insanity going on in the world today.

How Do You Respect Your Opposition?

The history of our nation is replete with heated debates over many topics ranging from such controversial topics as slavery, abortion, labor laws and other such topics of strongly held beliefs. In almost every case there has been strong, emotional pleas made by both sides in an attempt to gain support for their cause, usually resulting in a division of ideologies as one group struggled for dominance over the other. America has been called the melting pot of the world, and while this is true on a cultural level, it usually hasn’t been so on a political one.

At the same time, for most of our existence we have been able to settle our heated debates through either reasonable discourse or by understanding that very simple concept of making compromises that both sides can live with to move in a forward direction. America is a nation of compromises, and by its very nature has to be to have any chance of moving into any kind of a positive future. It is only by respecting each other and being willing to give in on some of the small things that we can get any sort of advancement at all on the larger issues.

In a society where we have become hyper-partisan in our thinking, it is easier than ever to simply ignore anything that someone from an opposing viewpoint has to say. No matter how reasonable their arguments might be or how good of a person they have been, we tend to automatically discount the validity of their arguments simply because of the moniker they choose to bear. It is sad then that so many people will miss out on truly amazing thoughts and ideas simply because of the source.

As a more conservative leaning libertarian, I struggle to listen to modern liberal thinking. It has gotten so bad that the moment I start hearing certain key phrases, my mind shuts off and I stop listening. You can quickly identify a person who is simply repeating the talking points of the far left within moments; simply wait for a statement about racial injustice or a “living wage” or what personal pronoun to which they “identify”. These are the cue cards for someone who has no rational thoughts within them and are simply following the crowd. Feel no shame in putting their voices on mute.

However, there are some individuals from my opposing viewpoint for which I have a great deal of respect, not because I agree with their political philosophies, but because they stand up for what America was always supposed to be. In this case, Bill Maher is the impetus for this article because lately I have found myself watching much more of his content, mostly because he has no fear in standing up for what he believes is right. His videos condemning cancel culture show his true colors, and while I don’t care much for many of his political philosophies, I respect his position that America is all about letting people be people.

It is quite possible to respect someone who has very different ideas from your own. Some of the greatest friendships in history were between people of diametrically opposed viewpoints. For example, James Carville is a staunch Democrat who married an advocate for the Republicans, Mary Matalin. Two people from opposite sides of the same coin coming together with respect for each other despite their radically differing views of the world.

What we need to remember is that even though there are certain topics that we very strongly disagree on, we are all Americans with a common heritage and a basically uniform way of thinking. Our disagreements are really trivial when we consider the balance of the remaining things that we all agree on: peace, love and a pursuit of what gives our lives meaning. There is no bridge we can’t build together if we can stop seeing each other as enemies and open our eyes to the truth: we aren’t so different after all.

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Cash is Still King

Despite the title of this article, I hate cash. The convenience of being able to carry a card in my wallet to access my funds is something I nearly grew up with. Cash was still a significant part of my life in my teen years, but debit cards were firmly in place by the time I truly began my working career. One of the more irritating parts of my month is the fact that I have one service that I pay for that will only accept cash for payment, so I end up having to make a special trip to the ATM to cover the cost of it. Cash is not my favorite way of paying for things.

Unfortunately, we may be entering a period of time where relying on digital currency might not be the best way to protect ourselves from monetary problems. With the current political climate leaning very hard toward more authoritarian control over the people, we’re starting to see new initiatives by those in power trying exert control over everything from our ability to defend ourselves with firearms to direct control over where and how we can spend the money we work so hard to earn.

What sparked this particular article was the news that online payment services such as PayPal are beginning to work with certain groups in an attempt to block service to particular groups of people who have been labeled “extremist” or “dangerous”. At first glance this seems perfectly reasonable; we don’t want dangerous groups having the ability to spread their influence any further than necessary. The problem arises when we consider who is in control of these kinds of policies and who is defining what is considered “dangerous”.

These days, the mainstream segments of our media and government have labeled anyone who has a more conservative point of view as extremists out to bring about the downfall of America. If you’re reading this article or the rest of my blog and agree with even a significant portion of it, you fall on that list. There is no tolerance for different ideas anymore because the process of compromise slows down the process too much for impatient progressives who yearn for a utopian society. They never learn from history that human beings wouldn’t know what to do with utopia even if they somehow got it. It wouldn’t last long.

At any rate, one of the cruel ironies of life is that most of the time a convenience typically comes with a dependence on whatever the source of that convenience is. The credit and debit system has made our lives incredibly convenient, but it comes at the cost of putting our trust in the various banks involved in the process to not do evil things. In this case, it is a huge financial system that has aligned itself with the government in order to exert the most amount of power and influence it can in the world. This is great for them, but not so much for we little people who just want to be able to live our lives the way we want. When your money is in the hands of the bank, what is to stop them from taking it from you?

Knowing this, what can one do? Well, the first thing is to just be aware that there are things going on that might affect your ability to spend money in the future. I can’t provide any sort of financial advice, since I’m not an expert, but the various sources I’ve been reading are all warning of a potential collapse of our financial markets anyway, so perhaps investing in something a bit more real might make sense. Gold is the knee-jerk suggestion by most, but it may be more realistic to invest in things that people will find valuable in a world where just surviving is the goal. That may be overly pessimistic, but it’s reasonable to at least consider.

Forgive my little tangent, but these days it’s difficult to not see things going down a very dark road. At the very least, putting ourselves into a position where others can’t necessarily exert specific control of our money seems a reasonable course of action in any situation. While I hate the idea of carrying cash, it’s starting to make more sense to start shifting my assets away from digital to more real valuables. Who knows when we might find ourselves in a situation where the phantom currency that resides in our bank is no longer ours to control?

What do you think about digital currency? Is it likely that you might lose control of your finances in the near future? What services do you use today that rely on transfer of funds by government aligned institutions? It might seem paranoid to worry about such things, but when it comes to your ability to pay for the things you need to live, being concerned about such things isn’t really unreasonable. Take a look at your own finances and how you store your treasures and decide for yourself if the convenience is worth the risk.

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The REAL Way to Combat Toxic Politics?

If you follow me at all, you likely know that I’m not a fan of click-bait titles, which is why I’m prefacing this article with an explanation for what sounds like a click-bait title. Today’s topic is based on logical reasoning, but can’t be definitively stated as the magic solution to all our political problems today. The reality is that our modern societal systems are so complex that no one solution is enough to put things right again. However, I believe that this one concept may be a key part of turning back the tide of insanity we’re experiencing today.

In the past, inaction has caused serious problems as certain powers around the world decided they wanted to grab as much as they could. The most obvious example of this was Nazi Germany under Hitler and Neville Chamberlain’s refusal to stand up to an obvious threat. His lack of courage and inability to make a decision gave an evil man the opening to plunge the world into a devastating war. If our goal is to learn from history, it seems to make sense that we should tackle our problems head on to stop them from growing too big to quash.

However, times change and the solutions to our problems must inevitably change with them. What worked a century ago doesn’t necessarily work in today’s fractured and highly complex social structure. In the days of the World Wars, individual countries were unified under common principles, mostly because those people only ever experienced ideas inherent to their geography. In today’s vast information marketplace, this just simply isn’t the case. The myriad ideas floating amongst the “cloud” has created an environment where even next door neighbors might have radically differing ideas about how the world should be.

How do you confront major issues in such a landscape? You can certainly band together in common cause, attempting to subdue the opposing viewpoints with the power of numbers, but the crazy thing about our society today is that there are so many varied positions on even broad, general ideas that gathering enough people who completely agree on a topic is nearly impossible. Even our largest political institutions are highly partitioned into subgroups who each disagree on many of the most important sticking points. Use of force in the face of this kind of discourse seems fruitless. It certainly hasn’t worked in the last several decades.

If force isn’t a viable option, then the natural assumption is to take a look at the opposing method. Obviously, laying down and simply accepting the other side’s way of doing things doesn’t accomplish our goals. We don’t want to avoid a struggle; we want to find a method that stops the advance of the opposing ideology or, even better, advances our own. With the decentralization of ideas that we have today, what method can we turn to in order to at least stop the rising tide of progressivism?

The most logical idea that forms in my mind is an analogy to a non-violent way of dealing with a bully. For many children, fighting back just isn’t in the cards. The antagonist is simply too big to effectively combat, and any attempts to do so simply stoke the fire that fuels a bully’s entertainment. For a bully, the goal is personal satisfaction by negatively affecting the state of mind of the other person. There’s an effect that results from his causation, and that feeling of control gives him a sense of power. Power can be a highly addicting drug.

One way to combat this kind of behavior is to simply not give the bully what he wants. Sure, he can push you around or call you names or maybe even shove you into a locker, and while those experiences are certainly unpleasant, they don’t rise to the level of criminal behavior. In the end, the bully has to satisfy himself with what he can get away with, and usually that’s low level harassment. If the target chooses to simply ignore the harsh words or not resist and give the desired reaction to the physical abuse, the bully has only two options left: either escalate things until he gets the desired reaction, or give up and move on to someone else who might be better entertainment. He will eventually realize he’s wasting his time with his current tactics.

His most likely option will be to simply give up and move on. The risks of escalating things past a certain point become untenable for him, the consequences being far higher than anything he’s willing to risk. A bully has far less courage than his own puffed-up sense of self importance convinces him he has, and most will only go so far to satisfy their desires. At some point, they learn to accept that being a bully no longer fills that void they’re hoping to fill and they finally decide to turn their attention to more productive things.

The current political climate is much the same as this scenario. There are small but very vocal minority groups running around trying to bully the quiet majority of people who just want to live their lives. Much like the bullies of our youth, their methods are to try to force us to capitulate to what they want so they can have the satisfaction of having what they want at the expense of everyone else. They care little about how their methods might be hurting someone else; it’s all about satisfying their perceived needs. If you get run over in the process…well, the ends sometimes justify the means.

In reality, these groups only have the power that we allow them to have. Sure, they can run around pushing and prodding and harassing, but the only way they can get the results they want is if we give in to them. Perhaps the best way to combat these crazy times we live in isn’t to fight back with all our might; maybe the best way is to just see them for what they are and ignore them. If enough people stop taking them seriously, the likely result is they’ll realize their energy is being wasted and maybe they’ll turn their attention to more productive pursuits.

Obviously this isn’t a cure all solution. There are many situations and variables to be considered, not the least of which is the current trend of violent behavior that seems to have become acceptable in our society. What I’m really saying here is that, while we can’t really commit to completely ignoring political insanity until it goes away, the mental thought process should be there in our minds while we continue to navigate these treacherous waters. If we can adopt this anti-bully mentality and face the world in a calm and collected frame of mind, perhaps we’ll find that these political bullies run off to find something more fun to do.

What do you think about political bullying? Can we turn back the tide of insanity in which we currently live? What methods can we use to combat this sort of negative behavior on such a major level? Sometimes the solutions to our problems are very complex, while other times they can be quite simple. Many times we overthink things to the point that the obvious answer simply eludes us. Maybe the resolution is right there in front of us.

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