Sunday, March 15, 2020

No one policy good for everyone

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for February 12, 2020)

Did you enjoy our recent winter storm? I did, but I know a lot of people didn't. Most people are not fans of cold and snow. I don't like temperatures over 85 degrees Fahrenheit, especially if there's any trace of humidity, while other people love hot weather.

Variety is the spice of life and I'm willing to deal with things I don't like, without much complaint, so others can enjoy the things they like.

Since no one can control the weather, anyway, it's a healthy approach.

Natural weather patterns give the Earth variety. Everyone gets what they like, occasionally, within reason. You might not get snow days in the Amazon or picnic weather on the beaches of Antarctica, but you can still get nice surprises.

Sometimes, though, this variety means there are tornadoes, hurricanes, droughts, and blizzards. You might believe this justifies a weather control bureaucracy to program the weather, but I don't think it does.

If there were someone sitting in a government office somewhere controlling the weather, do you think they would serve up weather I like, or weather someone else likes? Maybe we'd all get whatever is dictated by policy. Would some people's weather preferences be ignored because they aren't popular?

I'm glad no one can control the weather.

Social control is similar to weather control. It's going to result in less variety-- not as much natural diversity. Even if you could control such things as the weather or society, should you? Whose preferences would be given priority and whose would be banned with reasonable-sounding justifications?

Complex systems with lots of randomness can't be controlled. Any time someone tries to control a fluid, complex system such as the weather, society, an economy, or health care, there will inevitably be unintended consequences which make things worse.

Just as no one type of weather is best for everywhere at all times, there is no government policy-- beyond respecting individual liberty-- which is best for every individual at every moment.

No matter how unqualified to run your own life you may feel, no one else is more qualified than you. No one knows all the details better than you. If anyone believes they can control your life better than you can, they are not living in reality. What they imagine to be good for you might destroy you. Yet they'll never suffer any consequences for what they've done to you-- all the suffering would be yours, alone. I can't support any such plan.

Thank you for helping support

Pets and other critters

I've always been an "animal person" but I've never been a "dog person". I was never a "cat person" either... not until having lived with two cat-crazy daughters over a period of almost 30 years. They converted me. No one has been able to convert me to dogs-- and many have tried.

I've even raised several orphaned puppies-- one from an hour or so after birth-- until they were weaned and I could find homes for them. They were attached to me, but it was never as mutual as it should have been. Most of them were already spoken for when I took them in, so it wasn't an issue.

I was always more a fan of the wild animals-- in the wild and as pets. Cats and dogs got in the way of that, usually seeing my wild friends as snacks.

Another part of my problem is that dogs have always seemed too needy. I prefer the independence of cats-- who are usually as independent as the wild pets I've had. Although I've had some rather needy wild pets, too. I also have a couple of pretty needy cats now.

I haven't had many wild pets in the past 20 years. My situation was often in flux, and then I started getting cats for my daughters and avoiding things that could have a problem around the cats.

But, no matter what kind of animals I like, or don't, I hate that anyone imagines they have the right to use government to prevent people from having the animals they want. And the list of "prohibited" animals has grown to include almost everything I've had over the years. I've even had animals become prohibited days before I planned to buy one.

Yes, if you have a pet that causes harm to someone or their property, you are liable. You owe restitution-- and if someone shoots your pet in defense, too bad. Whether the "law" agrees or not.

I've had a lot of problems with people's dogs over the years, but not with any of the breeds government-supremacists like to ban. It's always been stuff like Labradors, German Shepherds, mutts, and breeds like that. I take that back-- I once had a problem with a pitbull who decided to try to kill some of my pheasants and chickens. But not once did the thought "Someone should ban those" cross my mind. It's just not part of my nature, no matter what my personal opinion might be. I want people to be able to have those things, and participate in those activities, that make them happy. Even if I don't get it. Don't you wish everyone could do that?


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