Sunday, November 29, 2020

Gridlock best election outcome

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for October 28, 2020)

What do you expect to happen after Donald Trump's election victory? I expect outrage, shock, and denial from the national mainstream media and others who pretended Joe Biden was a credible candidate.

I expect more accusations of Russian interference in the election as an excuse to consider the result illegitimate. Until "None of the above-- leave the office vacant" is on the ballot, no election looks legitimate to me.

I expect violence from those who will use the election as justification for violence no matter how things turn out. Just as certain people riot and destroy their own city after a major sports victory, the chaos lovers aren't going to be cheated out of their riot whatever happens. They'll just change their excuse to fit the outcome.

I expect more impeachment attempts from sore losers.

I expect liberty to be incrementally outlawed even more, although more slowly than the opposing team would have done had they gained the power to do so.

I expect-- I hope-- gridlock will protect the remaining shreds of liberty. The worst possible result is for bipartisanship to break out in Washington DC.

I believe the founders of the United States built gridlock into the system on purpose. The last thing they wanted was for the federal government to do things to Americans. If this weren't the case, they could have simply placed all political power into one office. Instead, they divided it to keep government from having that much power. For various reasons, it didn't work.

For one thing, they never intended for the Supreme Court to do what it does: interpreting and having the "final word" on the Constitution. They stole that power for themselves, in what should be seen as a coup, all the way back in 1803. They've been a serious danger to American liberty ever since.

It's good when Congress is gridlocked, but still able to block everything the president does. It would be good if the Supreme Court never got to consider a case, or was evenly divided and couldn't make a decision-- it's a shame there are an odd number of Supreme Courtjesters. It's good if the president doesn't take Congress or the Supreme Court too seriously.

Gridlock is why Donald Trump may be the best outcome for a less than optimal situation. Unless voters choose the smarter path and vote for Libertarian candidate, Jo Jorgensen, instead. I wish I expected that to happen.

(I missed this prediction, so here's the follow-up: link)

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Kent vs Bad Dogs

The dog that made friends over treats, "Snacky"

I'm not a dog person. I don't automatically like every dog I meet; they have to win me over. And many have done so over the years. But some of them don't even try.

I walk around town for a half-hour or more every day, unless the weather is bad enough that I use the Gazelle machine (but I find that even more boring than walking in town). 

No matter the path I take, I encounter aggressive dogs who don't stay in their yard. Most are either some chihuahua mix or a pit bull (or pit bull mix). I hate the dogs that come after me.

Long ago I started carrying dog treats; to either make friends or at least to buy me time. There was one dog who quickly learned I wasn't someone to attack, but that I offered treats to friends. Until he disappeared a few weeks ago he was always watching for me to pass.

I also carry a big stick in case treats don't work. I have had to use it a couple of times.

There is a yard I sometimes pass where two pit bulls live. One of them was a puppy this summer. I was nice to the puppy every time I went by, trying to avoid future trouble. The grown dog usually stayed inside the fence (the gate is often open) and glared or barked. As the puppy has grown it has gotten more aggressive. I have tried offering treats but neither of them was smart enough to ever notice the treats. (I have a very low opinion of pit bull intelligence based on every pit bull I've ever met.)

A couple of months ago the two of them charged my daughter and me as we walked by and I whacked the puppy on the head with my stick. He yelped and ran back to the yard. For weeks afterward, he would bark from his yard but didn't come after us. Sometimes he would actually run back inside the fence before starting to bark. 

Then a few weeks ago he decided to go for it again-- it's always when the grown dog is with him. That time I held my stick out to hold them off, and a passing motorist charged his pickup at the dogs and they ran home. The motorist had some unkind things to say about dog owners who let their aggressive dogs roam, and I agreed.

Yesterday, they came at me again-- it was as though they were waiting to ambush me. It's a good thing I'm alert! I held them off with the stick and told them "No! Go home!" They turned and ran but as soon as I tried to walk they came at me again so I went at them swinging. A motorist who was sitting at the stop sign put his car in reverse and distracted the dogs by driving backwards at them as soon as he saw the situation. I was glad my daughter wasn't with me this time.

The people who own the dogs are sometimes in the yard. I wave at them. I suspect they don't speak English but they wave back. I don't want to dislike them, but they aren't making that easy.

Once they had a dead rabbit hanging by a rope in the yard, high enough the puppy could barely nip at its feet if he jumped high enough. I wondered if this was some sort of training, but I don't know.

I've tried other routes, but as I say there are other dogs who do the same sort of thing. A huge bulldog came at me one day and almost got me even while his owner yelled at him. And I almost kicked a tiny terror back into his yard a couple of times. I've made a crazy winding route around town trying to avoid the aggressive dogs and have realized it simply isn't possible. I'm going to walk my preferred route and the bad dogs along the way are just going to have to learn to leave me alone.

I don't want to get into trouble for shooting a dog-- I don't have a license to kill like the Blue Line Gang does. If I get arrested for shooting a dog, you'll know why.

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