Saturday, September 09, 2023

Let me share the lovely melody of liberty with you

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for August 6, 2023)

Do you ever get a tune stuck in your head; playing on a loop in your mind whether you want it to or not? Hopefully, it's something you enjoy. For me, the sound of "liberty" is always playing in the background. Besides being something I love, it drowns out the competing songs of "safety", "victimhood", and "nationalism".

Those who hear those alternate songs can't usually hear "liberty". At best, they'll hear the cheap substitute, "freedom"* (*void where prohibited).

I try to relate, but it's like trying to imagine how the world is experienced through the senses of a jellyfish; something so alien I have no frame of reference. The most I can do for those hearing the other songs is to stay out of their way; let them dance to their tune.

It would be nice if they'd do the same for others. Sadly, that's not how "safety", "victimhood", and "nationalism" work-- everyone gets assimilated and subjugated to the melody... or else.

I'd like to share the experience of hearing "liberty" with those who don't hear it. Unfortunately, if they don't hear it, it probably means they don't want to. They're most likely comfortable with the more familiar tunes.

"Safety" is a selfish illusion. You're never going to be safe while you're alive. To feel safe you'll have to violently control everyone around you, usually through legislation. This can't be satisfying.

"Victimhood" could be lumped with "safety". It's also a selfish way to approach life. If you feel everyone is victimizing you, you'll either act like a victim or become a bully. Neither is healthy.

"Nationalism" is idolatry. It's easy enough to see it in someone expressing a variety of nationalism you don't share. It's rare to take an honest look in the mirror, though. When "nationalism" leads to wars on the other side of the planet, occupation of other countries, or imperialism, it's a death cult. If you criticize the death cults of others while praising your own, you're not on the right side.

With "liberty" playing in your mind, though, you give as much as you get. You can't be selfish about it because if you try to take someone else's liberty, you're chipping away at your own. You'll either learn to not do that, or you'll lose your own liberty.

I want to share the beautiful melody of liberty with you, not take anything from you. Care to listen?
I couldn't do this without your support.

Responsibility doesn't go away if you ignore it

The local Walmart fire may have been arson. 

At least, that's the latest report (which has other interesting details).

The news reports don't say so, but I suspect the guy they are looking for in connection with the fire is one of the "homeless" beggars who hang around the big stores in the area. I'm making this assumption based on his appearance in the photo that is being circulated-- so, yes, I am being judgmental and jumping to conclusions.

The regular beggar squad is probably pretty upset at being displaced and having their best location taken from them by the fire. I wonder how they feel if they know it might be the fault of one of their own.

The stores have been very accommodating of the presence of beggars in the past. None are particularly pushy in this area (unlike those in Albuquerque) so they are pretty easy to coexist with. But, it is obvious they all have mental illness/addiction issues.

There has recently been a beggar with his "God bless you" sign, who-- if you don't give him something-- will flip the sign around to expose a less friendly message. I never saw him myself, but heard others commenting about his sign. Wonder if that's the guy who is suspected of having something to do with the fire. I wouldn't be surprised.

Even if you're homeless, it's your responsibility to not violate others. Including attacking, stealing, trespassing, and setting fires. Of course, mental illness may make it impossible to recognize your responsibility to not violate others. In that case, people may be forced to defend themselves from you. Your mental illness doesn't take away someone else's right to defense. Including if you are trying to set fire to a building people are in. Fire is a deadly weapon.


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