I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
July 21, 2016 - 11:41 a.m.
I didn't do anything exciting yesterday so I curmudge or get philosophical or political or humorous. My first choice is humorous of course but that requires coming up with something humorous. Thinking about it before starting to type might have helped. Yes, this is a sitting typing while deciding what to write edition of Wise Madness.
First off an anti-curmudge. I need to sing the praises of Brianne. She is no longer my The Budgiedome assistant, she's been promoted to associate and will get the pay raise commensurate with her new grade. Writing this is the raise. I'll throw in an extra hug as a bonus. The thing is that as I'm here dithering with anxiety she's making the Budgiedome schedule and I don't have to look at all those scary emails that say "You waited too long and we aren't going to play the Budgiedome and you smell funny." When Brianne opens them they don't say those things. Then they are by wonderful musicians who are often my friends and always kind professional people. Dialectical Behavior Therapy is supposed to help with that kind of thinking. I need more. But that's not the point. The point is Brianne is doing a great job with the musicians and she understands what's going on with me and despite her own issues gets things done. That's all I want for myself. Well OK not all but it's the biggest thing I want for myself. Brianne is my role model.
I don't get mad at kids in public. I get mad at their parents. Yesterday I was sitting in NYC Burger. The setup was one long bench with a series of two person tables along it with a single chair on the far side from the bench. I sat in a chair. I put my bag on the bench opposite me. When I did that the guy in the chair to my right moves his bag further from mine like it had cooties. It wasn't like they were touching. There was a foot between them. Then his family came to join him. He had a wife and two kids. The could have just sat at the table to his right. But no. One of the kids sits down and moves along the bench, right over my bag, without either parent saying a word. I'm not sure if he sat on my bag or if it were behind him. Either way he put his weight on it. I checked he didn't break my sunglasses, the most fragile thing in it. But how do parents do that? I moved to the table to my left and the family took over my table. The mother thanked me. I didn't respond. She saw what the kid did so I was angry at her and thanking me didn't address it. Know how I dealt with it? I planned on writing about it here.
So there's my curmudge. Now on to politics or maybe sociology or psychology. I heard someone on TV ask why libertarians are mainly men. I can't find the data but I seem to remember that over 90% of the delegates at the Libertarian Party convention were male. I did check on Pew Research and saw that more than twice as many men describe themselves as libertarians than women. So why is that true? It's because of the libertarian blind spot. When libertarians think of freedom they only threat they think of is from the government. Ron Paul is against the Civil Rights act. He thinks there should be no law against refusing to serve blacks. It's not a government action so it doesn't count for him. He views it as the government infringing on the liberty of the business owner. And that's the key. Men are not the only over-represented group among libertarians, so are rich people. The more money people make the more likely they are to be libertarian. The people with power, the people not discriminated against view it through the lens of their personal experiences. Women and the poor go through life being discriminated against and see the government as protecting their rights.
It doesn't have to do just with money, sex, or race. Libertarians hate warning labels and tort lawsuits. They often invoke the McDonalds coffee case. The feeling is that if someone is foolish enough to do something dangerous they should pay the consequence and it's nobody else's responsibility. "Mandatory seatbelts infringe on our liberty!" the fact that tens of thousands of lives are saved by those laws is not enough for some people. And you know what? Some people do do stupid things. Some people are not intelligent. It's not their fault. It wasn't a choice they made. It was the luck of their genes or exposure to lead or alcohol in the womb or other factors not in their control. Their lives are still just as important as anyone else's. And many more are intelligent but not as educated and not as exposed to as many experiences. They might not think about what seems obvious to an intelligent educated person. I taught math. I see how many things that are self-evident to me are baffling to my students. It doesn't mean they should be injured or die.
Libertarianism is largely a philosophy of those that can afford to live in a libertarian world. Of course there are exceptions. There aren't no women libertarians, just half as many.
Have I gone off on this before? It's something I often think about and hearing someone ask the question on TV inspired me to write about it.
Yesterday I bought bacon and I bought eggs. I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure out what I'm having for breakfast.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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