Readers may know that I dislike most of what the central government does, favor states’ rights and do not shy away from correcting widespread Yankee revisionist history about the origins and purposes of the
Civil War War of Northern Aggression. That having been said, I am among those who look upon that pitiful history of our country and learn the lessons it offers us. Among them is this; neither peaceable or armed rebellion against this government has a reasonable chance of succeeding.
These are not the only considerations, of course. We can look to Thomas Aquinas for some guidance on the question of just war. It seems to me the motives could be just. For example, I find many of the policies of the central government to be immoral and dangerous. The fears of the founders have come true; the government they constructed is increasingly hostile towards the citizens it exists primarily to protect. This is the nature of governments. They understood it. Either we do not, or, as I think is more likely, we do, and we simply want it to be ‘our’ government that we wield against them. This is basically the argument of the Republicans now. The Democrats have long since stopped pretending they didn’t want a all-power state a la Mao or Stalin.
In theory there could be a peaceable secession. This would satisfy Thomas’ “means” question. However, it seems to me the War Between the States already proved that our central government will not tolerate … Read the rest
A man walked up to a Franciscan and Jesuit and asked, “How many novenas must you say to get a Mercedes Benz?”
The Franciscan asked, “What’s a Mercedes Benz?”
The Jesuit asked, “What’s a novena?”… Read the rest
Nine months ago, on the hottest day of July, at 2:47pm, I ran a 6:09 mile. I had not run a mile at any reasonably respectable speed since the fall of 1993, when I ran a 5 minute mile on the tarmac at Goodfellow AFB. Back then I was single, weighed 160 pounds, and had yet to discover alcohol, sushi, second breakfast, and a great many other vices that can impede performance.
Anyway, I would not have run nearly that fast last July had I not had a compelling incentive; there were 11 members of the Mexican Mafia of Marion at the track, ready to enforce the outcome of the event. You see, I was racing against one of their own. El Conejo was 22 and very eager. I suspect he had never had the straight-up opportunity to beat a white man at anything. He drank a contraband energy drink before the race and was bouncing around the track. I was stretching and drinking water.
If I won, which they all deemed highly unlikely, then a friend of mine who had gotten himself into debt with the MMM (and had no easy way to repay), would be released from their grip. If I lost, then this friend of mine would become the, how shall I say this, the ‘servant’ of the MMM. It was imperative I win, and so I had skipped my normal morning weight-lifting and scheduled the run at the hottest time of the day. You see, … Read the rest
When the Feds backed off their siege on the Nevada ranch I posted on FB the following, “Nevada rancher beats the feds….for now.” I don’t for a second believe his tangle with the central government is over.
One of the best quotes I heard while on my, er, sabbatical, was the following; “They [the Feds], can make lots of mistakes; we can’t
make any”. The man who uttered this was referring to the fact that if the Feds are after you, they only need one misstep by the target to justify an arrest, indictment and conviction. They, on the other hand, might and usually do make lots of tactical and strategic mistakes along the way, but they have the time, resources and immunity from litigation or prosecution to recover from them. In the end, they’ll get the target, one way or another. They have the disadvantage of the burden of proof, but they have every other advantage in the “game”.
I knew a guy who had been under investigation for 20 years, and knew it, but had remained beyond their reach because of his caution, discipline and paranoia. It only took one single phone call and violation of his own rules and it all came crashing down. In his mind, he had been so disciplined for so long and was seemingly beyond reach that he had unconsciously dropped his guard. He thought he was invincible. Like a black swan event, the prospect of his arrest had become unlikely, and while … Read the rest
I have found the study of chaos and uncertainty to be fascinating, especially as it regards human behavior, perception and decision making. Chaos and complexity, or even the perception of them, have profound influence on the way we think and the decisions we make. As I reflect on my life and judgments, I see how chaos can help to radically refine previously held assumptions and quickly narrow priorities. It can also bewilder and paralyze. Complexity can be equally difficult to consider. I know that some of my worst decisions resulted in a failure to adequately contemplate every conceivable outcome from a decision. In fact, that’s probably impossible to do, which ought to require an increased abundance of prudence in decision making, particularly where the risks and costs of failure are both high, or even if it is only the latter. That rare event with catastrophic events shouldn’t be discounted.
It is interesting to me also, from a societal standpoint, how groups of people respond to these things. Beyond chaos and complexity is the uncertainty of future (or even present) realities. What we believe to be true about ourselves and others is usually wrong. We tend to overstate our own strengths and others’ weaknesses. This inability to accurately evaluate reality should frighten us and greatly undermine our confidence in making decisions.
After a few years on ‘sabbatical’, dealing with a rather closed society well-suited to extensive study and observation, and a great deal of ‘free’ time to reflect, I have reached … Read the rest