Uncomfortable In Their Own Skin

We went out last night to a trendy wine and tapas bar. Being a trendy wine and tapas bar there were many “hipsters” around. As I the evening progressed, I noticed something.

They all seemed uncomfortable.

Not uncomfortable as if their clothes were itchy or they didn’t like the way their seat felt, they looked awkward, nervous, finicky, glancing around, avoiding eye contact – uncomfortable.

Man and woman over there on the patio, deeply involved with whatever they needed to study on their MacBooks. Faces down, fingers hunting, glowing faces protected behind the aluminum shield with the apple shaped logo.

Younger couple at the table in front of us, initially excited about the band, now cramming their faces into their smartphones, not even reacting to the band struggling to tell jokes.

People standing in line at the bar, not acknowledging when the bartender asks what they want, struggling to make a decision, muffled conversations about previous bad food choices, no smiles, no “Excuse me,” just shuffling feet guided by eyes on the floor.

Every one of those people are liberal. I know they are. I heard the conversations about the vegan burger patties and working for non-profits.

And I realized something.

These people are not comfortable with who they are. Their identity is incredibly fragile. That’s why they cannot associate or accept anyone who opposes their worldview, they are afraid it would shatter theirs. In order for them to maintain their identity, they must surround themselves only with others who share their beliefs.

Being in a public place where they might be exposed to alternative viewpoints is horrifying. That’s why they flit from the door to the bar to the table. Entirely engaged with their group, no outward eye contact, no confident greeting of the stranger behind them in line.

Only once an unknown is defined as “friendly” will they engage in conversation. I was surprised by how pronounced this characteristic was.

What a shame to be uncomfortable in your own skin.

To Have No Self

While cleaning up some bookshelves the other day I found a compilation of high school student literary works, one of which was authored by my daughter. The following quote was on the first page:

“Better to write for yourself and have no public,
than to write for the public and have no self.”
Cyril Connolly

This quote resonated with me because it describes the conflict between self and state. Effort spent on behalf of the public is effort that cannot be spent on yourself. That effort is gone. You cannot spend it again. It’s one thing to spend effort on the public if you do it by choice. What we have today is a state that mandates effort on behalf of the public. It demands that effort and punishes you if you don’t comply.

So this is our decision:

Will we allow people to write for themselves?

Or will we force them to write for the public and lose their identity in the process?

Remember that every fraction of effort you force someone to work for the public cannot be used again on themselves, so every fraction of effort forcefully taken by the state (taxes) is a fraction of self that cannot be developed, that cannot be attained. Imagine the musician who does not become a concert pianist because they could not attend that lesson, or the mechanic who does not become an engineer because they could not spare the time.

These are the human costs of the leviathan state.

To have an all-powerful state, is to have no self.

“The Business of Making Law”

Senator Diane Feinstein has received a lot of media coverage over the past few months regarding the resurgence of her “assault weapon” ban legislation. Recently she and Senator Ted Cruz had a heated exchange prior to the Senate Judiciary Committee vote on her bill. Senator Cruz asked about the Constitutional basis for the bill and she responded with incredulity that Senator Cruz would doubt the Constitutionality of her proposition. While the weapon ban is of interest to me, I was more struck by something she said during the exchange:

“Sir. Congress is in the business of making law.”

In the business of making law. Actually, Senator Feinstein, Congress should be in the business of making life as an American more peaceful, productive, and happy. Congress should be singularly focused on giving Americans ever more direct and unimpeded access to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Senator Feinstein’s statement gave me additional insight into the mind of the liberal, progressive, leftist politician. They think governing bodies are mandated to pass more and more and more law. Should Congress should pass laws until we choke our entire society under their burden? Curiously, that describes exactly the direction we’re headed.

I think this paradigm could be useful in juxtaposing the right against the left. Do you want to be increasingly oppressed underneath the burden of law? Vote for the left. Do you want to be free to choose to live life the way you desire to, protected by law? Vote for the right.

Government Bureaucracy Is Ruining the Planet

So, I need to get a vehicle titled. I have the title, signed, a title application, signed. I knew I needed proof of insurance or I couldn’t get a title, so I did. Last week, I drove to the county clerk’s office, parked, walked inside, and was told that no title applications were being processed because the system was down. So I left.

Today I drove back to the county clerk’s office, got a number in the queue, waited (not long), got called to an agent, sat down and was told that because the seller didn’t sign in the right place, I’d have to have them do so and come back. So I left.

So here’s the deal. I’ve now made 2 round trips to the county clerk’s office (burnt fuel), which I have zero need or desire to do unless required. I’m not a professional buyer or seller so I don’t deal with this paperwork often so I don’t reflexively know what needs to be signed or where. Now I have to put this title application in the mail send it to the seller (used paper and fuel), have them sign and return it (used paper and fuel), then make a 3rd trip to the county clerk’s office (burnt fuel), all because a 70 year old man (the seller) didn’t sign a document in the right place and I (the buyer), not being well versed in the ways of government documentation, didn’t catch it.

So let’s multiply this by the hundreds, thousands, or even millions of transactions per day. People making unnecessary trips, using unnecessary fuel, unnecessary paper, unnecessary ink, unnecessary stamps, unnecessary electricity, all because a T isn’t crossed or an I isn’t dotted. And most big government advocates claim to be concerned about the environment?!

Seduced By The Dark Side

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I like to be independent. If I get sick, I try to take care of myself. If I get hurt, I try not to visit a doctor. But sometimes you just have to.

Recently I injured my ankle very badly. Doctor’s visit, crutches, splint, etc. In the few days immediately after the injury, I found that even though I didn’t want to accept help, I did because it made living with the bad ankle more acceptable. Having someone tend to me and things I normally to take care of gave me a surprising revelation.

Having someone take care of you is incredibly seductive.

You begin to enjoy the attention, the ability to ask and receive, the luxury of sitting on the couch while someone makes you lunch, mows your yard, hands you the remote. I realized that this is the environment that victimization cultivates. People conditioned to have things given to them upon demand.

It is incredibly difficult to resist the opportunity to be taken care of, and it’s even more difficult to return to your normal life after tasting the fruits of victimization. I mean, after all, I didn’t ask to be injured. It wasn’t my fault. Right?

I think social progressives know how seductive victimization is. They know how addictive it is to have a system, an army of people, dedicated to taking care of your needs. And they know how difficult it is to tell that system no, or to escape their addiction to it. This is why the culture of entitlements is such a monumental challenge. How do you reform entitlements when those using them will react to such an effort with the same vitriol as a drug addict would if you threatened to take away their stash, or a celebrity their spotlight, or a politician their power.

It’s the dark side of entitlements. Seductive indeed.

A Message for the RNC

I get frequent requests from the Republican National Committee for donations. I donated to them during the 2012 election cycle, primarily in reaction to the Akin statement. Now that 2012 is behind us and we can see more clearly its after effects on the Republican party, I’m less enthusiastic about donating to the RNC. Below is my response to their most recent donation request:

Tell you what, you want additional donations from me? You want to rejuvenate the GOP? Very publicly and firmly denounce the statements of Senators McCain and Graham regarding the Paul filibuster. We need more like Senator Paul and less like Senators McCain and Graham. The GOP can’t afford to be fragmented and for McCain and Graham to publicly deepen the divide between the “establishment” and a man clearly on the side of the American citizen as embodied by law is shameful and should not be tolerated.

The GOP should “Stand With Rand” and shun the “go along to get along” boat anchors that are keeping the Republican party from its rightful place as the party of freedom and happiness.

The Democrats Are Coming! The Democrats Are Coming!

Recently we learned of a master plan to turn North Carolina into a Democrat dominated state via “Blueprint NC.” Now we find out that there is a similar plan for Texas, the state I call home. This caused me to ponder many things, such as why these groups are funded so deeply. There must be a monetary interest in Democrat policy, a profit to be made by turning states blue. I hope to investigate that as time allows, but for now just a brief thought considering the Democrats are now gunning for Texas (pun intended).

Thinking about these coordinated efforts to polarize states I finally centered my thinking around the question, “Why are these organized efforts needed at all?” I mean, if Democrat policies are so wonderful, wouldn’t people naturally gravitate to them? Wouldn’t the country turn blue without effort?

If people want something, if they desire to have it, if it is good to have, they will try to get it, whatever it is. When you consider that the only effort required to have Democrat policy is to cast a vote, you would think the Democrat party would completely dominate American politics, but that’s far from reality.

Consider the vast apparatus needed to place and keep Democrats in power. Massive campaigns, coordination between Democrat/left-leaning voter blocks, use of political power to segment the public into special interest groups, a decidedly pro-Democrat media. Why is all this needed if Democrat policy is so good?

Why? Because Democrat policy is terrible. It destroys freedom, saps initiative, punishes hard work, lionizes sloth. The reason Democrats need such a formidable machine is because they would be obsolete otherwise.

Well, I’m not interested in seeing Texas turn into a Democrat stronghold, so bring it on.

Not a Disgrace to the Presidency, Just a Disgrace

Now that the White House has lashed out at Bob Woodward for daring to point out that the sequestration was Obama’s idea, other reporters are coming forward to reveal similar confrontations with White House press representatives.

The second link above takes you to a New York Post article where reporters reveal being called bitch, c@nt, and a$$4ole. Now, I don’t care what you think about these terms in general. Use them or don’t. But when these words are used in official representation of our White House to the press, I am outraged. This is nothing less than outright intimidation of the press corps. We all know that the press has been in the progressive, Democrat, liberal tank for at least 40 years, and the moment they choose to even question that side of the political spectrum, our own government chooses to call them a$$4oles?!

I have been ashamed to have Obama as president for many years. He is a disgrace to the office. But treating people like this, arguably political allies like this – well he’s just a disgrace. Any decent person would have thrown people out on their asses for speaking to anyone like this as a representative of the United States government. Letting it persist is shameful, dishonorable, disgraceful.

I’m waiting with baited breath to see how the media ultimately reacts to this. Will they finally see the ugliness of the liberal regime and allow themselves to be free of their ideological bonds, or will they shrink back into their shells, unable to stomach just how ugly their side has become.

Backpacks and Open Borders

The sequester has taken front seat in recent discourse, but with its passage, I’m sure we’ll see a renewal of the discussion about “immigration reform.” Mixed in among the arguments for closing the border, more patrols, and more funding for immigration personnel, are those pushing for amnesty, a portion of whom think borders are stupid anyway. These “Open Borders” advocates support a completely unchecked movement of people and product across any border, effectively making borders merely a gesture.

Open borders might be ok if 100% of the human race were benevolent, desiring only to do good things. But we all know that’s a ridiculous notion. Besides, what’s “good” to you might not be “good” to me, so even if 100% of the human race had good intentions, things just wouldn’t work out “all good.”

So I propose the following exercise when confronted by an Open Borders advocate (or some variation thereof):

Approach the Open Borders advocate area

Find an unattended backpack (purse, duffel, etc)

Proceed to rifle through the contents until someone notices and says something like,

“Hey! That’s my backpack!”

To which you respond,

“No it’s not.”

“Yes it is! That’s my backpack!”

Hand the backpack over and respond, “No, it’s not! It’s a border. It’s a boundary around things you want to keep safe, and private, and together. It’s a border around things that are important to you.”

And watch as their Open Borders foundation falls out from under their feet.