Tag Archives: Life

Mike Rowe: Everyone Is Essential, by John Stossel

You can’t turn life into a padded cell. From John Stossel at pjmedia.com:

AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

Politicians have too much power over our lives.

Many used the pandemic as another excuse to take more.

Early on, politicians declared that they would decide who was “essential.” Everyone else was told to stay home.

Much of the economy stopped. Millions were laid off.

Then politicians relaxed the rules for industries that they deemed “essential.”

“You can’t just call somebody essential without implicitly suggesting that half the workforce is not essential,” points out Mike Rowe, host of the surprise hit TV series, “Dirty Jobs.”

That’s a big problem, says Rowe, because people find purpose in work.

Now the Biden administration is eager to give money to people not working. It’s pushing a new stimulus package that would pay the unemployed an additional $400/week.

Since states like mine tack on as much as $500/week in unemployment benefits, many people learn that the $900/week. leaves them with more money if they don’t go back to work.

So, many don’t.

But staying home imposes costs, too. Calls to suicide hotlines are up. Domestic violence is up.

“It’s happening because people simply don’t feel valued,” says Rowe.

Politicians claim they save lives when they order businesses to close. When Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a lockdown, he said, “If everything we do saves just one life, I’ll be happy.”

Rowe mocks that in my new video this week.

“Let’s knock the speed limit down to 10 miles an hour… make cars out of rubber… make everybody wear a helmet,” he says. “Cars are a lot safer in the driveway… ships a lot safer when they don’t leave harbor, and people are safer when they sit quietly in their basements, but that’s not why cars, ships and people are on the planet.”

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Simple Consolations, by Ray Jason

Don’t wait until the end of your life to figure out what’s important. From Ray Jason at theburningplatform.com:

It was the silhouette hour. A cayuco came paddling towards me in the deep dusk as I sat with my back against AVENTURA’s mast. The oarsman’s stroke was smooth and strong. There was a child in the back tending the fishing line as her dad rowed.

When they were 20 yards away I realized that it was not a father – it was a grandmother. Even though she was as ancient and weathered as her hand-carved cayuco, she propelled it like a man in the prime of his life. It was a joy to behold.

I motioned them over towards my boat and hustled below for a packet of cookies to give to them. As they nudged up beside my hull, I was amazed by the peaceful dignity of the old woman. Her face was dark and deeply lined, but her eyes flashed like moonlight on the sea. At this close range I could now see the amazing resemblance between her and her grand-daughter.

As they rowed away I noticed the grandmother turn her head to make sure that the young girl was okay. I suspect that as she did so her mind flashed back to when she was that same age – sitting in the stern of a little cayuco admiring the power and grace of HER grandmother as she paddled them across a twilight lagoon.

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See You on the Dark Side of the Moon (Part 2), by Jim Quinn

This article offers some profound insights, and the writing, coupled with the Pink Floyd lyrics, has a haunting, elegiac quality. From Jim Quinn at theburningplatform.com:

In Part 1 of this article I tried to link the greed and depravity of those pulling the strings behind the curtain of the Deep State with perpetual warfare being waged by the military industrial complex and the purposeful dumbing down of the populace so propaganda spewed by the Deep State’s media mouthpieces finds fertile ground. Pink Floyd’s lyrics from their existential album – Dark Side of the Moon – continue to resonate today, even more than they did in 1973.

Breathe

Image result for pink floyd breathe"

Breathe, breathe in the air
Don’t be afraid to care
Leave, don’t leave me
Look around, choose your own ground

Long you live and high you fly
Smiles you’ll give and tears you’ll cry
And all you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be

I knew Part 1 of this article would be easier to write than Part 2 because I’m more comfortable writing about financial issues and expounding upon the political and economic degradation of our empire of debt. Pondering my life and choices I’ve made or haven’t made is something I’d rather not think about. But, as I was driving home from getting blood work done last Saturday morning, the haunting chords of Breathe emanated from my car radio, urging me to tackle the rest of my article. Breathe is a very short instrumental piece of less than 3 minutes.

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A few cold hard facts for Snowflakes, from the Lonely Libertarian

Cry me a river. From the Lonely Libertarian:

1. You are unique, but not particularly special. No one really cares about your feels.

2. Rewards are for merits, not for showing up. You want something, work for it.

3. Success is not guaranteed, to anyone, ever.

4. Chelsea Clinton is not a typical case. Stepping out of college with a ridiculously overpriced degree in a totally worthless discipline does not entitle you to a corner office, a six-figure income, and keys to the Executive Shitter. Chelsea is a Clinton, and Clintons get special treatment.

5. You are allowing yourselves to be pawns of the Left who have been grooming you your whole lives to be their frontline in an uprising. Saul Alinsky called people like you “useful idiots”. You are happily following a group of rich, sequestered out-of-touch actors and “singers” who have no intentions of getting in the trenches with you. You are participating in riots funded by George Soros who has his own agenda and doesn’t give a shit about your hopes and dreams. He’ll cheerfully walk on your corpses to reach his goal.

6. Life is hard. You don’t always get to do what you want, when you want. And no one owes you anything. There is satisfaction in hard work and delayed gratification. And you’ll learn all of this if and when you grow the fuck up.

https://hopelesslysane.blogspot.com/

Your Life is Yours, by Robert Gore

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Your cruise ship sinks, you and one other person, a stranger, are the only survivors, and your lifeboat lands on a deserted island. The two of you have no provisions. Your survival depends on wresting your sustenance from the island. You quickly learn the essentials of both economics and moral philosophy. Or you die.

Lesson one, the foundation for everything else: you are more interested in your own survival than that of your companion, and likewise. You’re both self-interested, because you have to be. The next lesson: production is the foundation of your island economy, not consumption. You can’t eat a coconut that hasn’t been gathered. Fruit must be picked, fish caught, huts built, and fresh water found. Production requires effort and an accurate assessment of reality. There are penalties, not payoffs, for sloth or delusion.

If the two of you grow tired of living hand-to-mouth and want to make life easier in the future, perhaps by setting up a fresh water delivery system or cultivating plants, you will have to plan, forego leisure time and current consumption, and use some of your resources. That’s savings and investment: using today’s surplus and effort to generate tomorrow’s improvement and wealth.

You may be better at building and maintaining huts, your companion at farming. You offer to build his hut if he’ll provide you with food: comparative advantage, voluntary exchange, and gains from trade. If he offered palm fronds for your hut, or you offered the same for his plants, there would be no trade; value must be offered for value. If one of you stole the other’s production, the victim would either incapacitate the thief or move to the other side of the island. Both thief and victim would be the poorer for it.

Let’s assume a happier outcome, that you and your companion survive, thrive, and improve your island life. You two may not like each other, but your joint interest in self-preservation has led you to production, specialization, voluntary exchange, saving, investment, and progress. You have unmistakable and irreplaceable feelings of competence, achievement, pride, and self-respect. You’re a better person than before the shipwreck.

The happy day comes when you are rescued. Or is it happy? “Civilization” turns your island economics and morality upside down. Consumption and debt, not production, saving, and investment, are believed to be the basis of the economy. Governments issue debt, pieces of paper or computer entries that might as well be palm fronds. Central banks exchange their fronds for governments’, and that’s supposedly the linchpin of the global economy. Apparently nobody needs to produce, save, or invest in order not to starve.

Or perhaps not; production, saving, and investment still occur. If, on your island there had been a third survivor who refused to work although able to do so, claiming it was your duty to keep him alive, you would have let him die with no regrets. Back in civilization, these third parties reign supreme. The self-interest motivating producers is bad; the motives of those who take from them are unquestionably good. It’s as if that hypothetical third survivor had said: “I’m virtuous because I produce nothing, you two are evil because you do, feed me,” and you had in fact fed him.

Actually, civilization is far worse. Not only are the non-productive kept alive, they’re in charge. They don’t produce, but they tax, regulate, redistribute (mostly to themselves), and mortgage the production of those who do. They wage stupid and costly wars that benefit their friends in the war and intelligence industries but increase the threats and dangers faced by everyone else. The plunge their nations into debt and have brought the global economy to the brink of ruin.

The honest and productive toil on, hoping against hope that their masters will leave them alone. As their liberties shrink while their masters’ powers increase, as the governments they fund grow ever bigger and more intrusive, they are told they have nothing to fear as long as they do nothing wrong, as defined by the masters, of course. That’s a vicious asininity. “Wrong” is always shifting and arbitrary, at the discretion of the masters, and the right—integrity and productive ability—only gets more taxed and regulated, condemned, and forcefully reminded of its duties to society, or more accurately, to the masters.

They can’t leave the productive alone; their survival depends on them. Your life, your mind, your skills, your effort, and your work are theirs, to be disposed of as they see fit. But it’s moral parasitism that makes physical parasitism possible. On the island, the nonproductive third castaway could have only survived by convincing you it was your duty to support him. History’s greatest heist, swindle, and travesty has been the never-ending effort to convince those who produce that they owe something to those who don’t. Slavery can be imposed by force, but it’s not especially productive. Convince producers that their lives are yours, and you get the production without the whips and chains. That has been the philosopher’s stone for every half-baked collectivist, redistributionist, populist, authoritarian, totalitarian pipe dreamer who ever became or wanted to become a “leader,” and their motley cohorts.

Some producers sell out: if you can’t beat ’em, join em. Some think accommodation is possible, compromise between the voracious and the devoured. If that’s your strategy, how has it worked out? And some simply give up, weary, embittered, and resigned to the incomprehensible: everybody and anybody is entitled to their lives and work except them.

Nothing is working out, things just get worse. Years worth of future production are implicitly pledged to pay the ever-mounting debt, much of which will never be repaid, no matter how high already exorbitant taxes go. Palm frond exchange between governments, central banks, and their financial co-conspirators has not produced prosperity. These leeches are sucking the life out of the global economy, which will soon emit its last desperate gasp.

Honest producers are the real victims in a world that cherishes all manner of purported victimhood. If honest producers do not make a stand, claim their lives, their minds, their efforts, their work, and their right to choose whom they support, the leeches will suck the remaining life out of them. There is no island haven of rationality, justice, and wisdom to which they can repair; resistance or slavery are the options.

Resistance begins with a moral precept, before strategy, tactics, and weapons. My life is mine. Only when you proudly insist on it, recognizing all that precept implies, will you be ready, willing, and able to fight for it with complete moral clarity.

IT’S YOUR LIFE, READ A NOVEL YOU’LL LOVE

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Life, or Death? by Robert Gore

On July 16, 1945, a plutonium implosion atomic bomb was detonated in the desert north of Alamogordo, New Mexico. Within a month, a uranium-based and a plutonium-based atomic bomb were detonated above Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively. Atomic fission, and later fusion, became the basis for the most deadly arsenal ever assembled, giving the US government the power to eradicate the human population, making it history’s most powerful institution. The Soviet Union’s development of its own nuclear arsenal in the 1950s challenged US power. Per Lord Acton’s famous dictum, absolute power produced absolute corruption on both sides of the Cold War.

Their leaders saw the world in terms of an amoral chess match. Other nations’ governments were pawns in their strategies for global domination and individual lives were of no consequence. Intelligence agencies rose to preeminence, employing sabotage, deception, propaganda, political manipulation, revolution, regime change, and assassination in foreign countries, supposedly excused by the imperatives of fighting the other side’s nefarious designs. Although there was a fair amount of playing one side against the other, brutally repressive autocrats willing to ostensibly align with either side received diplomatic, financial, intelligence, and military support from their benefactors.

Vietnam fully displayed the immoral depths the US government had plumbed. It engaged in regime change, assassination, deception of the American people, drug running, secret bombing of countries with which the US was not at war, false flag terrorism, torture, and war crimes—including rape and murder—against civilians. None of this was unique to Vietnam, either before or after. Estimates of the total dead range from 1.3 to 3.8 million. After spending trillions (in today’s dollars) and with 58,000 military deaths and 153,000 wounded, US forces left Vietnam having accomplished none of their objectives (its remaining partisans still refuse to use the word “defeat”). South Vietnam was eventually conquered by North Vietnam.

Vietnam has been the template for every major US military engagement since. The Soviet pawn-master resigned the match in 1991, but by that time perpetuation of US empire and maintenance of the military-industrial-intelligence complex was of far greater concern than the supposed Soviet threat. Islamic extremism was adroitly substituted for the Red Peril. The 9/11 attack served as the rallying cry against this new, supposedly mortal threat, justification for invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and impetus for the wholesale expansion of government surveillance and concomitant diminution of individual liberties. The foray into the Middle East and its ever escalating blowback may already be a bigger disaster for the US than Vietnam, and if is not yet, it will be. It has certainly been a catastrophe for the Middle East and Europe, which will soon be overwhelmed by the refugee flood.

Aside from Vietnam protests, propelled in part by fear of the draft (the protests stopped when Nixon abolished it), most Americans have docilely accepted the post WWII expansion of the military-industrial-intelligence complex and its string of disasters. The mainstream media has been co-opted by the government. Coercively extracted, redistributed largess and myriad distractions keep the populace pacified. Taxation, regulation, debt, and the government’s destructive and corrupt involvement have strangled the once magnificent US economy, stifling honest innovation and production, skewing incentives towards government-favored economic activities, and rewarding cronies. Bankruptcy looms as government policy makers maintain that patently absurd nostrums—government debt, central bank monetization, negative interest rates—will revive the patient they’ve rendered comatose.

It is time to discard the fiction that those who have brought the US to this pass have had honorable motivations. There is an understandable reluctance to state that they want what they have wrought: deterioration, destruction, ruin, and death. Many people are motivated by a desire to improve their and their families’ situations; find meaningful work; make friends and support a community; engage in enjoyable activities, in short, to live constructive lives as they see fit. They are reluctant to ascribe purely malicious and malignant motivations to any other human being, and they excuse failure, even repeated failure by people they detest, as stemming from the wrong political orientation, or as the unintended consequences of good, but unrealistic intentions.

This plays into the hands of the depraved. To say to them: “I’m sure you have the best of intentions,” is to lose the argument before it begins. It acknowledges the beneficence and nobility in which they rhetorically cloak themselves, when their motives are anything but beneficent or noble. Those who would oppose them are left to wonder why their irrefutable arguments and prescient predictions of failure have the same effect as pebbles bounced against castle walls. However, even when it occurs to them that perhaps the disastrous results were exactly what was intended, social opprobrium and the power of the “benefactors” generally prevents them from voicing their suspicions. Obamacare is clearly designed to fail and pave the way for a single payer system, but only a handful of its critics, and none of its proponents, will come right out and say so.

To state the truth: “They have the worst of intentions,” casts the “they” as irretrievably evil, opposed to every value of human existence. It means that “they” want the decay, destruction, and death they promulgate, that “they” want to see you and everybody else who is not “they” dead. It is because she clearly and unequivocally stated this truth that Ayn Rand has been savagely denounced since Atlas Shrugged was published in 1957. She took it one step further, however. One of the most important scenes in the novel was towards the end, when the heroes rescue John Galt from the destroyers.

He [James Taggart] was suddenly seeing the motive that had directed all the actions of his life. It was not his incommunicable soul or his love for others or his social duty or any of the fraudulent sounds by which he had maintained his self-esteem: it was the lust to destroy whatever was living, for the sake of whatever was not. It was the urge to defy reality by the destruction of every living value, for the sake of proving to himself that he could exist in defiance of reality and would never have to be bound by any solid, immutable facts. A moment ago, he had been able to feel that he hated Galt above all men, that the hatred was proof of Galt’s evil, which he need define no further, that he wanted Galt to be destroyed for the sake of his own survival. Now he knew that he had wanted Galt’s destruction at the price of his own destruction to follow, he knew that he had never wanted to survive, he knew that it was Galt’s greatness he had wanted to torture and destroy—he was seeing it as greatness by his own admission, greatness by the only standard that existed, whether anyone chose to admit it or not: the greatness of a man who was master of reality in a manner no other had equaled. In the moment when he, James Taggart, had found himself facing the ultimatum: to accept reality or die, it was death his emotions had chosen, death, rather than surrender to that realm of which Galt was so radiant a son. In the person of Galt—he knew—he had sought the destruction of all existence.

Here is what “they” want—”the destruction of all existence.” They want life or death control over you and not because they want you to live. They want to kill you because they want to kill themselves. That is the black hole that has sucked in what was once their souls, if they ever had souls.

The obliviousness that most Americans embrace is a death wish: ignore the reality of evil and it will go away. Reality doesn’t go away; it destroys the oblivious. Humanity is hanging by a slender threat and its only hope is recognizing the evil of those who would destroy it. The battle is joined when we choose to fight them. The choice is this: Life, or Death? The refusal to choose is a choice.

CHOOSE LIFE. CHOOSE THE GOLDEN PINNACLE.

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He Said That? 9/26/15

From Marcus Aurelius (121-180), Roman Emperor (161-180), Meditations (170-180):

Think continually how many physicians are dead after often contracting their eyebrows over the sick; and how many astrologers after prediction with great pretensions the deaths of others; and how many philosophers after endless discourses on death or immortality; how many heroes after killing thousands; and how many tyrants who have used their power over men’s lives with terrible insolence as if they were immortal; and how many cities are entirely dead, so to speak; Helice and Pompeii and Herculaneum, and others innumerable. Add to the reckoning all whom thou hast known, one after another. One man after burying another has been laid out dead, and another buries him; and all this in a short time. To concluded, always observe how ephemeral and worthless human things are, and what was yesterday a little mucus, to-morrow will be a mummy or ashes. Pass then through this little space of time conformably to nature, and end thy journey in content, just as an olives falls off when it is ripe, blessing nature who produced, and thanking the tree on which it grew.

He Said That? 8/10/15

From Richard Rhodes, The Making Of The Atomic Bomb, published in 1986:

Change is possible. Americans who want the Soviet Union to change first, as Henry Stimson did, should realize that they can only pursue that cause peacefully; the Soviet Union controls a deterrent fully as dangerous as the United States’ deterrent. And patriots may need reminding that the national security state is not where holy democracy began. The American Revolution foresaw a future much like Bohr’s open world, in part because the framers of that revolution and the founders of the republic of science drew from a common body of Enlightenment ideas. That national security state that the United States has evolved toward since 1945 is significantly a denial of the American democratic vision: suspicious of diversity, secret, martial, exclusive, monolithic, paranoid. “Nationalism conquered both the American thesis and the Russian antithesis of the universalist faith,” writes Barbara Ward. “The two great federated experiments, based upon a revolutionary concept of the destiny of all mankind, have ended, in counterpoint, as the two most powerful nation-states in history.” But other nations have moderated their belligerence and tempered their ambitions without losing their souls. Sweden was once the scourge of Europe. It gave way; the empty fortress and Kungälv testifies to that. Now it abides honorably and peacefully among the nations.

Change is possible because the choice is bare: change is the only alternative to total death. The conditions have already been established, irrevocably, for the destruction of the human world or its modification into some more collegial commonality. The necessity now is to begin to dismantle the death machine. The energies rich and intelligent peoples have squandered on the elaboration of death need to be turned to the elaboration of life.