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Things I believe

Not comprehensive. Just random morning thoughts about things that matter, things that are at the heart of many other things. I would love to hear your version.


I believe:

That compromise can be a useful tool, but never for matters of principle.

That we should not become like our enemies.

I believe in freedom.

That the individual is the building block of freedom. But that other individuals share the world with us in equality of natural rights and we proud individuals had best darned well not forget it.

That dogs are the crown of creation.

That totalitarianism can’t last, and at the right time will fall with the slightest shove.

I believe the right time is impossible to know until it’s upon us. And maybe not even then. But once it happens, we owe our best mama-bear efforts.

That, beyond the basics, education should be for those who love to learn or who learn because they want to do. School should not be a holding pen for superannuated children.

That nobody is looking out for us. We are on our own.

I believe in diversity. Diversity of ideas and (consenting adult) life choices, above all.

That after a shaky start in life, I have become among the most fortunate of women.

That for most of humanity, and deep in our genes, male is male and female is female. If you fit some other mold or no mold at all, more power to you. Enjoy your life, gain respect, live in safety, but do not demand that the world pay you homage.

That we all have different paths to freedom and we should never assume that everyone will, or should, follow our own.

That anybody who advocates utter annihilation of their (or even “our”) enemies is an enemy. Also a damnfool for not recognizing the part their death wishes have played in history. This is true of both “left” and “right” — both turning scarily in that direction now.

I believe many of us have finally reached our long-speculated-upon line in the sand. Our would-be rulers are fools for not knowing that.

That those who separate themselves from the political world and go their own way for the purpose of preserving or (eventually) rebuilding culture are as important, and maybe more important, in the long run that those who think only in terms of battle.

That the people who think of battle are important. And their time may come. But those guys can easily lose perspective. And just as easily become the new boss who looks just like the old boss.

That battle will come upon us all, but it won’t look like anybody expects. Nor will it yield any definitive results.

That sometimes discretion looks like cowardice or inaction when it may be far from either.

I believe in beauty and will live and die a blue-collar aesthete, no matter how ugly the world gets or how many vital issues draw my attention.

That “We Built this City” isn’t as terrible a song as everybody likes to pretend it is and that it makes me smile and want to dance every time I hear it.

That the best movie soundtrack ever is from Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs.” And the second-best is the one Mikis Theodorakis wrote for the 1968 movie “Z” even though he was in prison for being a communist defending his art against authoritarians who censored and banned it at the time.

That the best movie comedy ever is “Galaxyquest,” followed by “Love, Actually,” “Zombieland,” “Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz,” and “Ghostbusters.” (The first Ghostbusters. Not the rest of them, please.) “Revenge of the Nerds III” ranks higher than I like to admit.

Artists don’t have to be nice people (but I like it better when they are).

That it’s more important to be a good, growing, kind human being than to be “great” in public achievements. (However, if niceness is the standard of judgment, then Keanu Reeves is the greatest actor in Hollywood.)

That even if freedom doesn’t prevail, it will arise.

That you can censor the signal. You can’t stop the signal. (True whether you’re a Facebook or Fox exec, or Nicolai Ceaucescu.)

That all the electronics in the world won’t eliminate physical books.

That love won’t conquer all, even if we could agree on a definition for that slippery word. But when you find — or create! — the real thing it goes a long way toward making the rest endurable.

That Trixie the Tailless Wonder dog is being a complete PITA right now and keeping me from thinking deeply. I believe that playing fetch with Trixie may be the best thing I can do today.


  1. James
    James January 25, 2022 11:43 am

    I believe, for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows. I believe that somewhere in the darkest night, a candle glows. I believe to everyone who goes astray, someone will come to show the way. I believe. I believe.

    Okay, I’m done. Sorry about that.

    And, by the way: cats rule; dogs drool! 😈

  2. just waiting
    just waiting January 25, 2022 11:45 am

    “That those who separate themselves from the political world and go their own way for the purpose of preserving or (eventually) rebuilding culture are as important, and maybe more important, in the long run that those who think only in terms of battle.”

    I agree, but not just for those who separate, those who immerse themselves in gov as well. I think moles will play a critical role, not only in helping to cause the demise, but to make sure the personal freedom and rights we all live for are weighed properly in the rebuild

    (And I believe if dogs weren’t so cute Lil Aggie would be a goner this morning after munching/shredding $500 from momma’s purse last night)

  3. Claire
    Claire January 25, 2022 12:33 pm

    Oh my yes! on the moles, just waiting. That would have been quite an omission on my part, even if we didn’t have you and (I hope) others in our midst. Thanks for filling in my gap — and for doing what you do.

    James? Groooooooooaaaaaaaaaan.

  4. Granny
    Granny January 25, 2022 12:44 pm

    “That dogs are the crown of creation.” is my favorite, but also, my animals give me great pleasure and joy and are a sight better than most human beings. One of the baby goats foolishly got his head stuck in the strangest spot and waited patiently for me to extricate him by moving some logs and gently tugging his head until he was free. There is a chicken in my flock who runs to me, then squats waiting for a pet – others have followed her example and they will eat out of my hand, lay delicious eggs, and generally have a wonderful day as long as their simple needs are met. My crazy German Shepherds are my besties – I put on a new pair of overalls and they had to sniff every inch to make sure they were suitable for me to wear. They like to “help” with the farm chores. I actually gave them raw steaks for breakfast one morning. They fully deserved it because their full time job is protecting the farm and Me. I love every sunrise and sunset. I adore my children and grandchildren. There is so much good in my world as long as I tune out the Ogres who want us to “lower our expectations” for life in this great and beautiful country.

    I just want to remain free and I want that for the generations to come.

    Lots of good things to believe in Claire, and a beautiful post. Even though I am acutely aware of the damage going on in our country, and I am prepared to fight (or die), if required, or help, or rebuild, or whatever is needed, I am not going to give them each day. I’m not going to curl up in a stress ball and let them ruin my life. We are strong, innovative, capable, outside the box thinkers, and we’ll get through this together. For every stick they insert in our bicycle tires, we will find a new way to keep moving. The faster and harder they push, the quicker we’ll move. This morning’s epiphany, after having a really sour attitude yesterday over all the insanity going on, was that the best thing I can do every moment of every day is not let them win in my head. Communists always start with demoralization. I’m not going to give them that.

    blabber blabber – I feel we’re on the same page.

  5. Fido
    Fido January 25, 2022 1:39 pm

    I believe in a single reality I call truth. I believe that everything I value can be derived from truth alone.

    I believe there is only one objective measure of truth, which is that it does not contradict itself. Since this can only be “proven” by comparative exhaustion, for us there is only “not seen to contradict itself *yet*” so truth can never be humanly achieved, only approached. For we humans, there can appear to be multiple truths, each being self-consistent, yet contradicting each other. I believe we must entertain them all as we discover them until we can find self-contradiction within them and dismiss them.

    I believe that self-interest is innate to all living matter, that life tries to survive, first generally and then specifically. I believe therefore that life pursues diversity first, so as to fill all possible niches and thereby better survive whatever catastrophes are coming. I believe life only pursues “low genetic diversity” interests, like cell colonies and multi-cellular organisms, because that approach allows for greater complexity which allows life to survive in *more* niche environments, which is ultimately greater diversity, more places to survive an environmental catastrophe.

    I believe that a pursuit of truth leads to the discovery of the natural/physical law of reciprocity. I believe this discovery leads to the understanding that many of the interests of others are in your self-interest. That you can support yourself by supporting others. I believe there are exceptions to this, so it still falls back to the pursuit of truth.

    I believe that cells within multi-cellular organisms serve their genes, and will self-destruct when it’s in the interest of the whole organism body. I believe that when cells within such an organism become self serving and act outside the interest of the body, that the other cells *must* utterly annihilate those cells for the body to survive. Ultimately though, the body must support life in general *outside* the body first.

    To whatever extent possible, life must “utterly annihilate”, that which must “utterly annihilate” life. Mono-cultures must destroy what is not “of the body” to grow, and would consume everything *not* of the body if not stopped by something “not of the body”. Mono-cultures can and do form in nature, but environmental catastrophes eventually prune them from the gene pool.

    In a world of unlimited resources, life should simply expand exponentially. “r” strategists excel here. ( Exponential growth leads to scarce resources. “K” strategists excel here. When resources are becoming scarce, the life which depends upon them must contract. In such competition, alliances and tribes form for defense. For humans, preferable ways of living require specialization and trade, so tribes do not ordinarily try to annihilate each other. In extreme scarcity, undesirable ways of living are preferable to not living at all, and some tribes will pursue the annihilation of some other tribes.

    Each of us has our own unique perceptions of “scarcity”, ultimately driven by “war, famine, and pestilence” (pick any one, the other two will follow). Our job is to prepare for the future we perceive most likely, while leaving the door open to the less likely, but more desirable possibilities.

    War is hell. When you’re going through hell, keep moving. No one wants to live in a war zone. Our lives are richer when we trade with others who produce things different from what we produce. Trade requires a level of trust. Trust is built over time as we learn to predict the behavior of others. We predict them to the extent that we understand them. We understand them to the extent that they are like us. Catch 22. Security is a cat and mouse game.

    I believe that if love conquers all, it does so only in your head. I believe it is possible to see the innate wonder, beauty, and majesty of a person so clearly as to love him, even as you are killing him, mourning your loss, and cursing your own stupidity, weakness, and shallowness for finding no better response in time.

    I believe I have bias about dogs.

  6. Thomas L. Knapp
    Thomas L. Knapp January 25, 2022 1:52 pm

    “The first Ghostbusters. Not the rest of them, please.”

    The new one is actually quite good. Took me right back to when I was a teenager and got caught by my parents after sneaking out of town to “the big city” 50 miles away to catch the original on opening night.

  7. Claire
    Claire January 25, 2022 2:17 pm

    I actually did see the new Ghostbusters reboot, mostly because Finn Wolfhard was in it and I liked him in “Stranger Things.” Not bad. Definitely not on par with the first, but also not a disaster like the all-female version. I got the teenager vibe, too, and that was fun.

  8. Claire
    Claire January 25, 2022 2:21 pm

    Fido — You win the prize for the most thorough and thoughtful reply so far. I don’t agree with some of what you say, but I appreciate your thought processes.

    Granny — “I am not going to give them each day. I’m not going to curl up in a stress ball and let them ruin my life. We are strong, innovative, capable, outside the box thinkers, and we’ll get through this together.” Bravo! There’s the essence of the thing. And what a lovely comment about your animals and your relationship with them.

  9. Thomas L. Knapp
    Thomas L. Knapp January 25, 2022 2:38 pm

    Glad you saw and liked it!

    Of course, NOTHING will ever be like the first time.

    Yeah, the teen vibe was obviously the thing, but it was well done, and they mostly got the band back together in a fun and touching way.

    I generally avoid “let’s do it with [insert some specific group here]” remakes, because I figure if that’s all you came up with for a premise, you’re not really trying and it’s probably going to be a bad movie. If I ever see the GhostBusters or Ocean’s Eleven instances of that, it will be by accident or out of boredom if they’re “free” on some service I already use.

    For that matter, I usually avoid “reboots” of any kind, for the same reason. I understand why the studios want to plow their money into “proven profitable product,” but if I loved the first version, I’m probably too attached to the characters/actors to like it. The only exception I can think of has been the TV reboot of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” The film, meh. The series, exceptional.

    This Ghostbusters “reboot” was an exception to my habits. I bought the Regal Theaters “pay $20 a month, see all the movies you want” thing, and one day I happened to feel like seeing a movie and that was the only one I hadn’t seen that looked interesting at all. Then the power went out, and stayed out, RIGHT AT one of the high points. So I came back the next day to watch it again, in full.

  10. Fido
    Fido January 25, 2022 2:43 pm

    Claire — I don’t believe everything I have said in past either. Being a completely self-serving little brat, I post largely in the hopes that someone (using argument based on reason and logic) will completely trash everything I’ve said, showing me the error in my reason, and rubbing my nose in it hard (as that’s what it takes to see your own flaws). That’s hard work, and I don’t know why anyone would do it, unless for the same self-serving hope. Such dialog can get ugly before one of us is *tricked* into seeing ourself. Maybe not the best forum for that…. but hey…. it’s what I do. 🙂

    Oh, and if you liked Galaxy Quest… have you seen Mystery Men?
    … and Defendor… and Kick-Ass…

  11. Toirdhealbheach Beucail
    Toirdhealbheach Beucail January 25, 2022 3:35 pm

    Claire, if this is not a manifesto, it certainly has the makings of one. And a very good one at that, one that – I would think – most reasonable and people of good will could support.

    And Galaxy Quest still remains in my mind one of the most delightful comedies.

    I would argue, however, that dogs on the pinnacle are joined by cats and rabbits – all of which is run, of course, by the guinea pig mafia in the shadows (I would talk about it, but their enforcers are all around…

  12. Val E. Forge
    Val E. Forge January 25, 2022 3:39 pm

    Claire – Your quote about totalitarianism not lasting is very similar to something said by no less an expert as Gandi many decades ago.

    Yeah, if you become your enemy what was the point?

    Yeah, sometimes the toughest and bravest thing you can do is bide your time (i.e. show discretion).

    Yeah, the physical fighters are important, but so are those who take risks to support them.

    As I’ve printed before, the explorer Sir Richard Burton was right:

    “Do what thy manhood bid thee do.
    From none but self expect applause.
    He noblest lives and noblest dies
    Who makes and keeps his self made laws.”

    And as the old mountain men used to say, “Don’t lie and don’t quit.”

  13. Kurt
    Kurt January 25, 2022 6:07 pm

    that’s a good list.

    Best comedy? Well, perhaps The Producers. followed not too distantly by Kelly’s Heroes, though Shaun of the Dead is indeed outstanding.

    I believe:
    That commitment to principles, family and then friends, in that order is paramount.

    That my small library is one of my greatest gifts to my children, along with allowing them the leisure to read them.

    That reading the dictionary and the encyclopedia is a wonderful way to spend free time, as is going outdoors and wandering, especially with a canine companion.

    That if you wish for peace, you should prepare for war – then work to avoid war as hard as you can.


  14. larryarnold
    larryarnold January 25, 2022 9:01 pm

    The first time I saw Galaxy Quest I went all the way to the credits wondering why “Gwen DeMarco” looked so familiar, yet I couldn’t place her. Sigourney Weaver was totally out of her usual character, at her finest.
    “Look! I have one job on this lousy ship, it’s stupid, but I’m gonna do it! Okay?”

    “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” Wrong! Totally different.
    If you are fighting to live your life the way you want to, you are a freedom fighter. If you are fighting to force others to live the way you want them to, you’re a terrorist.

    Verry under-appreciated capitalist film: “Other People’s Money,” 1991, Danny Devito, Gregory Peck, Penelope Ann Miller.

  15. Val E. Forge
    Val E. Forge January 25, 2022 9:32 pm

    Mr. Knapp – I am in general agreement with you on the reboot business with certain exceptions. There are some (but by NO means all) Western reboots that either meet or exceed the originals. True Grit and 3:10 to Yuma would be good examples. The second True Grit was closer to the book and the second 3:10 to Yuma had more complex characterization. Both FAR exceeded the originals in physical authenticity (clothing, horse equipment, firearms, etc). But the even lame Western remakes usually do that last thing.(Think reboot of Magnificent Seven – yuk!). And God knows some Westerns are remade just to make them more politically correct- who needs that.

  16. stryderoftheuplands
    stryderoftheuplands January 26, 2022 5:23 am

    To one who holds a hammer, everything looks like a nail, and too many of us are holding hammers.

  17. Thomas L. Knapp
    Thomas L. Knapp January 26, 2022 6:48 am

    I love the remake of True Grit. Can’t get my brother to watch it because he considers it a mortal sin for anyone else to play a role John Wayne has played.

    I confess I haven’t seen the newer version of 3:10 to Yuma. I generally have to have time to myself to watch westerns because nobody else in the family is really into them. But it’s been on top of my western watch list for a long time.

    Yeah, the Magnificent Seven remake was pretty awful. It’s one of the exhibits in my “remakes/reboots USUALLY aren’t worth it” case.

  18. Old Trainer
    Old Trainer January 26, 2022 7:19 am

    Thank you Claire and also all who have made a comment. I get “down” and worried about what will be left for my grandkids to deal with a lot lately. Then I come across something like this writing and my hopes are restored.

    I believe in the future – unsure as it may be and as hard to get to as it will be I still believe that it is there and will be worth working, fighting and hoping for.

    Thanks again to one and all!

  19. larryarnold
    larryarnold January 26, 2022 8:13 am

    Starting when we lived in caves, the historical trend has been toward freedom. There have been blind alleys, dark ages, and sidetracks of all kinds, but the overall path has favored liberty. Barring an extinction-of-life event, I firmly believe it will continue.

    Thomas Sowell, in “Black Rednecks and White Liberals,” points out that slavery was accepted as normal worldwide, in “good” and “bad” cultures as well as “enlightened” and “primitive” cultures, until the 1800s.

  20. Comrade X
    Comrade X January 26, 2022 10:13 am

    Great list young lady.

    I’ll add a few things;

    Minding your own business is the best attribute one can have however there are somethings like liberty which is all our business too but watch out for those who think they know what is best for the rest.

    best soundtrack;, it makes me want to die for the lady.

    best comedy, I’s bet you will never guess;

    da Bones approves of this message

  21. Granny
    Granny January 26, 2022 11:12 am

    The Canadian truckers freedom rally – read the comments of people who donated. It’s so uplifting to see the Canadians have finally had enough of the Communists in their midst. Watching the truckers is a sight to behold.

  22. David B
    David B January 27, 2022 11:19 am

    Mostly agree, except for the movie stuff but that is not important. Your comments on the death wish and hate are so important right now when the world seems to want to destroy itself.

    But there was one mistake – That dogs are the crown of creation.

    Actually cats are the crown of creation. We humans need to learn to bow down before their superiority.

  23. Val E. Forge
    Val E. Forge January 27, 2022 8:23 pm

    Claire and others – Dogs? Cats? I’m more inclined to agree with President Ronald Reagan and Colonel Sherman Potter (Harry Morgan):

    Reagan – “There’s nothing so good for the inside of a man as the outside of a horse.”

    Potter – “People [members of 4077 MASH], this movie has the three ingredients of a great movie, horses, cowboys, and horses.”

  24. John Wilder
    John Wilder January 27, 2022 10:15 pm

    Nice: positive thoughts for a wonderful weekend ahead.

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