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.
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:
- A private pilot in Michigan delivers a big, literal FU to irrational, overreaching governor Gretchen Whitmer.
- Security maven Bruce Schneier points out the obvious flaws in high-tech contact tracing.
- At least a few cops are objecting to being ordered to prioritize Covid snitch calls over emergencies.
- In a welcome reality check, Jeffrey Tucker notes that the greatest mass tribal gathering in modern U.S. history, Woodstock, occurred in a pandemic year, possibly worse than this one. And nobody closed down the world or died off en masse.
- Project Veritas reveals what we already knew: that non-Covid deaths are being reported wholesale as being from Covid-19, thus egregiously inflating death totals.
- In a nice monkeywrench, a restauranteur in Maine “illegally” reopens, and gives the governor’s phone number live on national TV.
- City-government rebels defy the governor in New Mexico.
- And even though this is about bad news (the growing demand for China-style censorship in the U.S. by “experts” distressed that we might be thinking for ourselves), it’s a powerful article by the invaluable and inimitable Matt Taibbi.
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.”