Sunday, May 03, 2020

'Papers, please' now our reality

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for April 1, 2020)

I'm not happy with the petty tyrants who have done away with any pretense of respecting the rights of Americans. They are using this pandemic as an excuse to twist the police state tighter around our necks. I'm angry about it.

I'm not generally an angry person, but violating the life, liberty, or property of my fellow humans will make me angry every time. I don't care how necessary they pretend it is. I will not comply when their orders conflict with liberty, nor will I tattle on anyone else.

I'm not saying they can't offer suggestions. People may be confused about what to do in the midst of a panic. Some will foolishly look to government for guidance rather than seeking credible sources. It's not their fault; it's what they've been trained to do.

However, when guidance becomes orders, the politicians become everything America stands against. This isn't North Korea. This isn't how America works. I'm far from alone in feeling this way.

When local businesses find it necessary to issue travel papers in an attempt to protect their employees from potential assault by roving gangs of government's hired guns the last straw has dropped.

How many of the current rights violations-- restrictions on travel and assembly, price controls, fascistic business closures-- are trial balloons to see what they can get away with if they scare people badly enough?

Well, the scheme didn't work. I'm not scared. I'm mad and I'm watching them.

I'm also watching as they destroy the economy with their "stimulus", and I'll know exactly who's to blame when the bill comes due.
The sad thing is, this tyranny is completely unnecessary.

I am not going to intentionally put my health, or the health of others, at risk. I plan to do what I have to do to stay safe and healthy. I'm not exposing myself or others unless it is unavoidable-- regardless of what I am ordered to do. If I need to ignore the orders of politicians, so be it. When the politicians become a greater danger than any microbe, who could still respect them? I can't.

When I was a kid, "Papers, please" was held up as evidence that foreign authoritarian regimes were evil. Now it's the American reality. I won't put up with it. Will you? Politicians have picked sides, and they chose to side with the virus and other deadly threats to society. They've shown themselves to be society's enemy. I propose we believe them.

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Expectations create your subjective reality

The mind can play tricks. Your expectations can alter the way you experience reality.

Years ago I experienced this effect and have never forgotten the lesson it taught me.

In the pet store where I worked, my boss had placed a solid air freshener in the hallway. We were always doing this to fight the smells that some customers find objectionable, even in a clean pet shop.

As I walked by the new air freshener I picked it up to smell it. The waxy material inside was a nice creamy off-white color. I lifted it to my nose and took a whiff and smelled the most delicious vanilla scent. Then I looked at the label. It said "unscented". No, it couldn't be. I smelled vanilla. I was positive.

I sniffed it again, but this time the vanilla scent wasn't there. There was no detectable scent at all. The vanilla had been all in my mind, just because the color had made me expect to smell vanilla-- or, that's my theory.

This experience has made me question how I experience reality. If I expect something, I often question whether my expectation is coloring what I experience-- I try to recognize my expectations and guard against them. I know it's probably not possible to completely rid myself of expectations and false experience, but I do believe I'm better at it than I was before I was punched in the face with that wake-up call.

So, when people expect government to be a credible source, I understand why they experience it as one. Even though the scent of credibility is all in their imagination. That's the only place where political "authority" resides.

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support.