Monday, December 21, 2020

Idaho's patriots beat the machine

Dear H,

When my son and I stepped out of the car it was about 26 degrees, with just enough wind to make it feel like 15.  There was a drone overhead -- not sure whether "ours" or the cops' -- and a family of three who had just stepped out of their car in front of us.  One chubby middle-aged woman complained about her parking choice: an "undercover" cop was sitting next to her, and I used quotation marks here because he was an officer in full uniform sitting in a civilian's car.  I told her there was one next to my car, too.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Man up or shut up

Dear M,

One thing I hate is a grown man complaining about "anxiety."  I'm well aware it's a condition.  It's what we know as the human condition.  I'm also aware that, being a problem of the imagination, some people have worse anxiety than others, like some people can plan skyscrapers and others can't imagine doing a good job at MacDonalds.  I know life can go sideways at any moment, and that people might not like you, or that you can catch a disease, or look like a fool, or lose lots of money, or a lover, or a job, or the country can go to hell, or hell might be real, or somebody might make an all-black-cast reboot of The Golden Girls.  I know that life will go sideways at some point, and that not having it go sideways is temporary, and mostly a matter of luck -- i.e., beyond your control*.  Our hopes are the source of our fears.  The news is overwhelmingly bad.  Car crashes, the main way we get almost anywhere, are the main cause of death and probably mangling.  God isn't answering your prayers.  Oh well.  You're not special.  It's you and everybody else.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Why "liberal" means "left-winger"

Dear T,

Two of my heroes are Mises and Ayn Rand, but for several reasons I could never consider myself a full-blown libertarian.  First off is the fact that you can and should legislate morality, and in fact every libertarian without exception does.  All government is an extension of moral ideas.  He won't prosecute you for stealing a wife, but he'll put you in jail for stealing a loaf; and beyond this he'll do the same thing for murder, and fraud, and kidnapping, and assault -- all of them moral issues, and 100% featured in the book of Deuteronomy.