Sunday, December 20, 2020

Government has too much power

  (My Eastern New Mexico News column for November 18, 2020)

One thing which has been demonstrated beyond any doubt by both the pandemic and the recent presidential election is that government has too much power over our lives.

If government didn't have the power to force you to close your business because a new cold virus showed up, and punish you if you ignored its demands, the American economy would still be strong. Much tragedy could have been avoided. The pandemic would have most likely run its course and be only a memory by now.

I understand the reason behind dragging it out was to prevent overwhelming hospitals with more patients than they can handle. Yet I also know this only means the virus gets to keep being used as a political excuse. Viruses don't go away, but the problems they cause can fade if allowed to do so. Covid-19 isn't the real problem; government power justified by the virus is.

If you ignore the shutdowns, government will send armed people after you, and your authority-worshiping neighbors will cheer for them. The crab that tries to escape the pot will be pulled back down by the others. Most humans seem to want to see others suffer the same fate they suffer.

Those who crave power over your life are getting too much of what they crave as long as they can blame the virus. They aren't going to let it go willingly.

Speaking of power: It wouldn't matter who the president is if the president and his minions didn't have the power to harm-- or hypothetically to help-- us. There would be no incentive to either steal an election or to keep digging up apparent election fraud. It simply wouldn't be important enough to care about.

Yet, people do want the office, and they have their reasons. The prestige of the office comes from the power it wields. This power is unconstitutional and excessive., but it is worth fighting over for people who lust for power.

The presidency isn't the only place unethical government power over your life shows up. In fact, it is a problem at every layer of political government.

This situation is not right. What can be done about it?

Voting for a different politician to fill a particular office isn't going to improve matters unless you believe shuffling a few cancer cells inside a tumor is a good plan. There's got to be a better idea.


Thank you for helping support
Check out my prepper community on locals

Scott Adams' butterfly

Recently I heard Scott Adams make the claim that the reason people feel OK about not always wearing a mask, "social distancing" [sic], and taking the other panicdemic measures the "experts" tell us to take is because we don't know exactly who our acts will kill. He says cognitive dissonance protects us from accepting our responsibility. 

If this is what he believes, other people may believe the same.

I think he's wrong, and here's why.

His argument is based on misapplying "the butterfly effect"; almost imperceptible initial conditions can have huge unpredictable ramifications later in distant places. It's a well-studied part of chaos theory. To illustrate: the flap of a butterfly's wings in Japan can move a tiny bit of air, and after a long chain of events, each building on what happened before (cause and effect), cause a hurricane that hits North America killing dozens of people.

That may actually be the case, but that doesn't mean the butterfly is to blame. There are infinite other unknowable factors, many of which are going to be bigger and contribute more. Someone's laugh is going to move more air than the butterfly's wings, and be more likely to affect the future. And that's not their fault, either.

Not only do you not know who you are going to kill if you don't wear a mask, you also can't know that you did kill anyone by not wearing a mask. Chances are, you didn't.

If you're going down this rabbit hole anyway, you need to accept that the act of wearing a mask could have the same sort of chaotic cascade effect down the line. The mask might divert a virus that would not have otherwise drifted into the path of a passing person, infecting them so that they can infect someone else who dies. It's ridiculous to fret over such things-- they are out of your control.

You can't control for every variable, nor can you predict what eventual effect each act will have.

If you are actually sick, it is your responsibility, to the best of your ability, to not infect others. A mask isn't enough in that case. 

If someone is uniquely vulnerable, it is their responsibility to stay away from other people. And, still, tragedies will happen. Even with a virus that has such a minuscule death rate as this one.

Thank you for helping support