Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Be a non-complier with tyranny

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for April 9, 2023- This one had been held in reserve for the occasion where I was unable to come up with a column.)

The last few years have been especially rough for those of us who aren't fans of tyranny. Or who won't tolerate it at all. It seems like the authoritarian control freaks of the world decided they could get away with anything. By the look of things, they might be right.

No, I don't believe they all got together in a secret supervillain conclave and decided this was their chance. I think they just did what they have always wanted to do, and the people let them do it harder than usual, and we ended up here.

People complain and protest, but they don't do the one thing it will take to topple the tyrants: they don't refuse to comply and then refuse to take punishments for their refusal.

Almost everyone complies with every ridiculous demand, even if they protest while doing so. Some, even though they were scared of a new cold virus, knew the mandates and restrictions were wrong, but they were afraid to be seen as disobedient troublemakers. So they went along.

How about you? Do you complain about all the ways government violates your rights and your liberty? Do you comply with the violations anyway? Nothing is going to change for the better until you stop complying.

What difference can one person make? Not much; just all the difference in the world.

One person isn't going to change things much right away. But by your refusal to comply, you'll inspire others to join you. No government is powerful enough to control everyone when the people simply refuse to be controlled anymore.

As long as you comply, it will never end.

It's dangerous to be one of the early non-compliers. You'll stand out and get their attention. The authoritarians will want to make an example of you. Think January 6th. Still, somebody has to do it. Someone has to go first.

On the other hand, those who are skeptical of government have been proven right over and over again. If you still trust what "official sources" and "experts" say by this point, you'll believe anything. If you aren't preparing for harder times to come, after seeing how fragile civilization is, maybe you deserve whatever happens next.

I don't want to believe that of you, though. You are better than that. You paid attention and have found your line in the sand. Maybe you've even been pushed over it. How will you react now?
I couldn't do this without your support.

Pet parrots

Different topic, but I saw a person ask a question about this on Twitter and it's something I have experience with because of 2 decades at pet stores. several years of which were spent at a store that specialized in parrots.

I don't recommend parrots as pets. I could stop there, but people always want to know "why?"

There are some really great pet parrots out there. However, for every great one, there are dozens of miserable parrots who usually also make their humans miserable. Not pets or companions, but captives. I've seen so many get sold over and over because they just weren't what their owner thought a parrot would be.

And even the friendly ones are easily bored.

A bored parrot can (and will) destroy your house. Window frames, door frames, wooden molding, doors, wooden cabinets, chandeliers, sheetrock-- I've seen it all ripped to pieces in a couple of hours by a bored parrot.

They can learn to open just about any latch, and I've seen them break cheap padlocks to get out of a cage.

Cockatoos are parrots that have their own set of issues. Many cockatoos become very affectionate. But, the more affectionate they become, the needier they are. If you can't give them the massive amount of attention they need when they need it, they become emotional; loud, depressed, and self-destructive. You've probably seen pictures and videos of naked cockatoos, and this is nearly always a result of them either becoming upset at not getting enough attention or hating captivity. And they never recover enough to grow their feathers back. At least, I've never seen it happen.

The cockatoos that don't become affectionate are pitiable creatures. They stay terrified and scream and cower and pluck themselves. And they bite. The worst damage I've ever seen from a parrot bite was inflicted by a scared cockatoo. That one died of fear and trauma a few days after biting through a person's hand.

Even those who are generally friendly seem to enjoy biting. At least in certain moods. They seem to like the response it gets. Often there is one person they'll attach to and everyone else gets bitten, but most will also bite their favorite person if they decide it would be entertaining. Or if they have a grudge (they do hold grudges).

Parrots also love to scream. and they scream LOUD. They love the sound of their own screams. Some learn to put their head in a food bowl (metal is preferred) so they can scream and get a good echo back in their face. I don't know why, it's just something they like to do.

Parrots are messy. They scatter seed hulls far from their cage and they poop a lot. And cockatoos (including cockatiels) shed lots of waxy dust from their feathers that gets all over the house.

Most parrots never learn to talk. Those who do seem to learn to repeat what you'd rather not have them repeat, and will say it at the worst time. And, it's hard to get them to stop saying anything they can get a reaction for saying. Most still prefer to scream.

Parrots are smart. but sometimes this is more of a bug than a feature. 

A parrot is more likely to be a miserable, messy, destructor than a pleasant, talkative companion.

On the other hand, government has gotten more and more set against you owning a parrot, coming up with more paperwork, regulations, and warnings every year it seems. Anything government doesn't want you to have might be a good thing to have. Probably not in this case.

I'm not saying there's no chance you'd get a good parrot where both of you are happy. I just think the chances are so small that it's not a good idea unless you're prepared for what you're more likely to experience. I like parrots. I've never owned one myself-- not above the size of a small conure-type, anyway. For most people, a parrot isn't a good choice.

Do with that what you will.

Help me cover the expense of my colon surgery, if you can and if you want to.
Thank you!