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Little rays of sunshine

Pardon the sappy subject line, but after last week’s angry rant it seems right to post some rays (even if they are just very little pinpoints) of good cheer.

Life goes on despite every petty act of totalitarianism from every petty politician or bureaucrat — and both real rebellion and creative monkeywrenching appear and grow.


On the personal front, shortly after I ranted last week, a longtime Commentariat member and friend-I’ve-never-met wrote to remind me, in the nicest way, to follow my own advice.

That is: Not to let the bastards grind me (you, us) down. Stupid, evil bastards are always with us, and even if they’re currently enjoying glorious ascendancy, we are still We the People. And we have Attitude and know how to use it.

My friend wrote simply about his daily life. Which remains pretty good. He talked of gardening. And of finally no longer being mocked and derided because he keeps a pantry full of supplies. He spoke of walking 30 minutes every day and enjoying that freedom.

He’s also enjoying watching “experts” fail spectacularly, and government-supremacists desperately try to defend people who have been wrong and wrong and wrong again but who still expect to be revered and obeyed.

“I’m not going to stress over things I am not responsible for changing,” he wrote. “I guess I don’t expect people to be smart or act wisely. I’m pleasantly surprised when someone does.”


Given the way that both stupidity and petty totalitarianism keep forcing themselves into our awareness even as we try to evade them, I needed that reminder.

Funny, isn’t it, how those two things go together? Ignorant “expertise” and totalitarian thinking. The less “leaders” and “experts” actually know, the more they feel entitled to control.


The day the cheering missive arrived, I dropped the Kia off at a shop a few miles from the house, accepting a gift of four new tires from a dear friend. Then Ava and I walked home on that fine (for a change) April day.

Not far from the auto shop, I spotted activity around the closed fish & chips wagon. The wagon, which usually opens April 1, is our local sign of spring, more reliable and more welcome than robins or daffodils. Not this year, though.

But there was the owner, at last, getting the place ready to reopen. And there was a steady stream of well-wishers, including the chief of police promising to head back to city hall and tell the world.

The wagon will open next week, knock wood. And the owner and I had a fine, long, fierce talk about the cruel ignorance of politicians, who have no idea a rural area with almost no Covid-19 is entirely different than a crowded urban center with mass transit and homeless people jammed shoulder to shoulder with busy workers. Also no idea about supply chains, employment, or the complexity and fragility of “the economy.” Certainly no idea about how market forces work or how free individuals can, and generally do, make responsible, independent decisions. Definitely no idea of the principles of individual liberty or limited government.

“They should have to hold real jobs,” we agreed. “Manage a McDonalds. Drive a truck. Oversee a staff. Finance and run a restaurant.” They they might grok what they’re doing to the rest of us. Maybe.


Closer to home, I spotted this:

Lovely camellia bushes, just enough past their prime to have a carpet of fallen blooms and a richness of blooms in place at the same time. It’s been a tremendous year for camellias. My own camellia isn’t so pretty …

But no matter what the bastards do, they can’t stop spring.

They’d probably like to, just to impress themselves with their authority, but Mother Nature still thwarts the worst tyrants, petty and grand.


Speaking of intrusively clueless politicians, though — and of anger — that very morning on the way home I checked mail and found a legislative report from one of our alleged representatives, state-level.

Idiocy and bullsh*t from cover to cover. It opened with a long debunked scare-claim from the CDC, went on to say that huddling in our homes was the only way to save 1.7 million American lives, and gave We the Benighted Constituents Mommy advice on hand washing. Then it blythely and shamefully chirped, “Economies can be restarted. Lives can’t!”

Forgetting my friend’s instructions to follow my own advice, I got furious.

This didn’t come from some oblivious billionaire congressthing showing off ice cream in her collection of pricey industrial freezers. This came from a local boy who grew up and still lives 30 miles from here. Yeah, he’s a Democrat with the standard party-line scare agenda. But how could he so utterly misunderstand the place he lives and be so blatantly uncaring about the people he lives among?

Doesn’t he get that “economies” consist of people — and that politics and panic are now destroying them? His own neighbors, his own v*ters?

First impulse: Crumple up his trash mail and round-file it. Second impulse: Fish it out of the wastebasket, hit the computer, and give him some clue.

But no.


Fortunately, I was also in the midst of an email conversation with a friend who owns a local business. I asked her if she’d seen his nonsense.

No, she said. And it doesn’t matter. Some aide writes those things; he probably never even sees them.

But as it happened, she’d called him the previous night and schooled him big time. She knows him. She’s got political pull in the community. He has to listen to her. She also owns an “essential” business that’s been “allowed” to stay open, but under such a burden of regulations that her business and its customers are both suffering.

She explained to him. In detail. Turned out he was just as clueless as his mailer implied. He was shocked (actually shocked, not merely in the Claude Raines sense) to learn how bad things are for local small businesses.

He’s right here and he has no clue.

I felt better that she gave him one. Whether her schooling of him will be of the slightest value, I don’t know. Still, I’m glad she did it. I was able to go back to feeling optimistic and relieved of some long-ago implanted false idea that as a “citizen” I’m somehow responsible for the actions of nasty assh*le politicians I don’t even know.


Of course, knocking sense into the senseless is only a minor part of the battle for freedom. The other parts are … getting more interesting.

My friend informed me that she’s done following foolish, destructive rules in her business. She’s done watching clients put off “routine” or “elective” services that then develop into life-threatening crises. She’s done complying and complying, only so she can lose money, suffer more headaches, and fail to serve her clients as she knows she should serve them.

Covertly and gradually, she’s resuming full service. Covertly and gradually, clients are returning for normal — and still forbidden — practices.

All that distancing and hand-washing and sanitizing and mask wearing are still in place. But free people can take precautions for their health and the health of their community without being twisted into pretzels via diktats from ignorant, overblown and overbearing ‘crats and pols.


So that’s the local news. The national picture is also looking up. Some links:


Finally, kudos to Liberty Quotes, which has quietly been delivering some pointedly apropos quotes the last couple of weeks. A sampling:

When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion.
— C. P. Snow, (1905 – 1980) English novelist & scientist

The highest manifestation of life consists in this: that a being governs its own actions. A thing which is always subject to the direction of another is somewhat of a dead thing.
— Saint Thomas Aquinas, (1225-1274) Italian philosopher and theologian

The unity of freedom has never relied on uniformity of opinion.
— John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) 35th US President

There is no Freedom without Courage.
— Eric Schaub, American Individualist, activist, speaker, writer

Every actual state is corrupt. Good men must not obey laws too well.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, and poet

The great non sequitur committed by defenders of the State, including classical Aristotelian and Thomist philosophers, is to leap from the necessity of society to the necessity of the State.
— Murray N. Rothbard, (1926-1995) Dean of the Austrian School of Economics

An anarchist is anyone who doesn’t need a cop to tell him what to do.
— Ammon Hennacy, (1893-1970) Catholic anarchist, pacifist, vegetarian, draft refuser in two world wars, tax resister, “one-person revolution in America.”


  1. Pat
    Pat May 2, 2020 3:09 pm

    Some local County bigwig decided on the spur of the moment to pass a mandate that everyone should wear masks in public; first offense a citation, second offense $250 fine, third offense a misdemeanor charge with fine and possible jail time. The first time a person was caught, their name and address were to be taken and kept on record so follow-up for the next offense could be added.

    The meeting was to take place virtually, and they were going to run it through by vote of the County Board of Supervisors this past Wednesday, to be effective immediately as soon as the vote was taken. (How everyone in the county would know about the mandate “immediately” didn’t seem to matter.)

    But too many people showed up (virtually) to protest, so on Thursday they changed it to a resolution that said masks were seriously encouraged to be worn by everyone whenever in public (but no “crime” would be considered). At least this county still answers to the people; how long that will last is hard to say.

    The county has had only 4 positive reports of COVID-19 since the pandemic started, and so far we have all stayed pretty calm and out of the confusion.

    (A popular tourist campground in the county was due to open on May 1, and the Board of Supervisors did not want to open it due to the pandemic, so the presumed reason for the considered mandate was to prevent the campground from opening.)

    The camellias are beautiful, Claire. Peonies against the house here are starting to bud, and carrots and turnips I planted in my raised bed are beginning to show their heads. Maybe Spring is really coming.

  2. Myself
    Myself May 2, 2020 4:07 pm

    I can’t be the only one who sees the utter absurdity of government mandates to wear masks in public, if I had told you six months ago that by spring in many places it would be a crime to not wear a mask in public, would you have believed me?

    Frankly in the spirit of being a “good subject” I say we make permanent laws that allow for wearing of masks in public anytime any person wants to.

    Of course any private business would be free to require removing a mask before entry, but no gov-goon of any type, fed, local, state, what have you would be prohibited from stopping, harassing, questioning, or detaining any person for simply wearing a mask in public.

  3. Pat
    Pat May 2, 2020 4:48 pm

    I laugh to think about how the NSA must be fuming. There’s no good way to surveil facial characteristics with a mask in place.

  4. buddhaha
    buddhaha May 2, 2020 7:02 pm

    Pat: “I laugh to think about how the NSA must be fuming. There’s no good way to surveil facial characteristics with a mask in place.”

    I’ll bet dollars to donuts that there are people in one or more of the TLAgencies working on a proposal to require something like visible barcode marking on any mask worn in public,and another group working on a way to serial mark (ultraviolet, RFID, ???) and trace any commercially sold masks.

    Think I’m paranoid?

  5. Myself
    Myself May 2, 2020 7:23 pm

    No you’re not being paranoid, the U.S. already has national I.D. cards, work permits, and soon internal passports and restrictions on travel to different states.

  6. khperkins
    khperkins May 3, 2020 3:10 am

    The restaurant immediately had all it’s licenses pulled and is closed. Mills ain’t messing around. In better news there was more citizen protest in Augusta this weekend.

  7. Comrade X
    Comrade X May 3, 2020 8:08 am

    She’s back and we are all better off for it!

  8. kentmcmanigal
    kentmcmanigal May 3, 2020 8:19 am

    :Funny, isn’t it, how those two things go together? Ignorant “expertise” and totalitarian thinking. The less “leaders” and “experts” actually know, the more they feel entitled to control.

    Look up the Dunning-Kruger Effect if you aren’t already familiar with it. I think it explains a lot.

    You might like my poorly drawn cartoon about padding the coronavirus statistics..

  9. larryarnold
    larryarnold May 3, 2020 10:22 am

    Some places are opening up, some aren’t. It’s like a grand experiment. The outcome will be interesting.

    I took my family out to eat Friday evening (as in go into our favorite restaurant, sit down, and eat a great meal served by smiling [and you could see their smiles] waiters) and so far the world has not ended. It felt so good, on all sides.

    If, as I suspect, the world continues to “not end,” the PTB in the OMGShutdown! jurisdictions are going to look pretty foolish.

    If I’m wrong, it will be a race to see whether the disease or the cure kills us.

    Regardless, we should have some interesting results in November.

    Loved the Woodstock article.

  10. Dorvann Malachi
    Dorvann Malachi May 3, 2020 4:06 pm

    I have very mixed feelings about this whole thing.

    On one hand I don’t want to be legally obligated to wear a mask every time I am out in public. On the other hand, the reason they want people to wear masks is to mitigate the spread of Corona. So I can see a rational reason to wear one.

    People say well it’s not a problem where they are. Do you just want to wait until it is a problem? Because that sounds like a horrible plan. It’s hard for to me gauge just how serious a problem this is or could be by doing nothing. There is so much conflicting information. It just makes me want to throw my hands in frustration.

  11. firstdouglas
    firstdouglas May 4, 2020 9:34 am

    I particularly appreciated the shot you included, taken from inside your home. Such an appealing scene, both inside and out–and I remember the look of that house when you bought it, when I would have needed all of my courage just to walk through.

  12. Claire
    Claire May 5, 2020 8:17 am

    Greetings Dorvann Malachi.

    Yeah, a person could get whiplash trying to follow all the conflicting “facts” and advice coming from the gov and media. But as they say, the truth is out there.

    On masks, co-blogger Silver has just published shockingly helpful information:

    On “just wait[ing] until it’s a problem,” that’s never truly been the case. Epidemiology has a long history and certain patterns are well known. Furthermore, we now have months of experience and data on how this particular disease is actually spreading.

    And what was always predictable has become clearly demonstrable: Covid-19 is overwhelmingly an urban disease. Check any county-by-county map in any state and you’ll find that the illness is scarce or nearly absent in most rural areas and is prevalent in crowded cities, particularly those with mass transit and other infrastructure that forces people together.

    The only thing we in rural areas are waiting for is for politicians — nearly all urban-based — to get a clue. We’ll have a very long wait.

    Still, the disease is fearsome to those who are most vulnerable, but it’s not and never was the black plague that’s been used to justify totalitarian control.

  13. Claire
    Claire May 5, 2020 8:26 am

    firstdouglas, that was a lovely comment. Thank you. And yeah … it’s been a huge and wonderful change.

    You remind me how scary the house was when I first saw it (with that room being among the worst). If you’d been here to SMELL the place, you might never have even tried that walk-through. The real estate agent took one breath and fled. So much great change in seven years!

  14. Claire
    Claire May 5, 2020 9:03 am

    Also, Dorvann Malachi, I feel I should add this, though I don’t know you and can’t know what all you mean by your “just wait” comment. So please keep in mind that I’m not trying to misrepresent your views.

    A lot of people seem to believe that our choices are to a) rigidly obey government diktats or b) do nothing and cause disaster. But that’s a false (and pernicious) dichotomy. Individuals are capable of evaluating the risks in their own lives and acting accordingly. Business owners are capable of deciding what precautions they’ll take and require their customers to take. Social pressures can be more powerful than laws. We could be handling this situation very wisely without government diktats, loss of liberty, and erroneous “expert” advice forced upon us by political overreaction. Indeed, that’s the only way a free society can handle difficulties.

  15. Noah Body
    Noah Body May 5, 2020 12:27 pm

    I heard a snippet on NPR where their guest was almost gloating about how, after Covid, Europeans have stopped whining about online privacy. And in the US calls to regulate FB et al. have ended too.

    This makes me believe this is Plandemic. An engineered virus, with almost all the governments in the world overreacting with draconian shutdowns. So in the Covid brave new world, we will be given a “choice” of accepting police state/Big Tech constant monitoring or more lockdowns and restrictions.

    Sadly, I suspect most people will give up what little is left of their privacy for a return to more normal life.

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