November 15th, 2005


How odd ...

I live in a very strange "reality tunnel" it appears. I would rather live surrounded by atheists (or at least deep agnostics) than "believers" of any stripe. I want to live in a country with the world's biggest baddest military and the will to use it when necessary, or perhaps just when "advisable". I also want to live in a culture which is strongly Libertarian, perhaps to the extent that it is a "meritocracy" (such as the "Heinlein Libertarian" model) where citizenship is earned and carries a wide spectrum of rights and privileges that non-citizens don't qualify for.

What brings this realization up? Well, in part the reactions to a recent post of an article from the Political Right, and some things that brought up for me. Likewise, I am considering posting a piece from the Political Left (although I do feel dirty even thinking about it!), with which I agree almost as much as the former.

1) I feel strongly that all "religious belief" (especially the "popular" ones) is a neurosis, something clutched onto to filter out the less-comforting aspects of reality, no matter how little non-circuitous evidence supports the religion in question (Gee ... your Big Religious Book tells you that the minutia of your religion are true? How convenient! Have anything else?). I do not want to subject myself or my loved ones to other people's neuroses ... nor do I want to live in a culture that uses fairy tales for the basis of policy.

2) One of my biggest "disconnects" with the Libertarian Party is that I am, on "national issues" pretty much a neo-con hawk. I don't want to have people living in their little bubble of the 10th Century trying to make their voice heard in the world. I don't want people living in barely-above stone age tribal realities (but with better weapons) having an effect on anything that intersects with my environment. Frankly, I would prefer to have a "foreign policy" akin to the Empire in the Star Wars mythos ... demand the wogs behave, and obliterate them if they don't. In this, I have a LOT of respect for the late Soviet Union ... when various agitators messed with them, there was typically a brutal message sent in response ... and the agitators went after "softer targets", like us.

3) I have very strong Libertarian views for one's person and one's property ... however, for Libertarian ideals to work, the citizenry must be trustworthy to the responsibilities involved. While I fully agree that my neighbor in the next apartment has every right to smoke as much as she wants, I really wish she would get an air scrubber so that I'm not having to smell it in my office. While I would defend an individual taking whatever intoxicants they wish into their bodies, I also expect that they would take full responsibility for whatever chaos (major or minor) their behavior while intoxicated might have caused (and don't expect to have the privilege of operating a motor vehicle returned easily after a drunk driving accident). This sort of trustworthiness does not come from simply being birthed inside the borders, it must be earned.

Needless to say, these three polarities leave me in a very lonely place. My hostility to religion alienates me to many people with whom I share as much as 90% of political stances, yet my "Imperial" views as to "superior culture" and "cultural survival" alienates me from nearly as many who share my views on religion, and, of course, the "Heinlein Libertarian" camp is a small slice of the Libertarian movement, which is itself only a tiny sliver of the populace. I don't know ... what do I want? A "Non-Soviet Union"? Something that was nominally atheist, aggressive in the defense of its culture/philosophy, and non-bureaucratic in a Libertarian mold? Yeah, like that's gonna happen.

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OK ... so, here's that OTHER piece ...


by the way ...

P.S. I hate myself!

While attending to other things I just let four real choice Pokemon lots expire on eBay with closing bids well under what my max was going to be. STUPID BRENDAN! BAD BRENDAN! DUMMY DUMMY IDIOT-FACE BRENDAN!

Sheesh! And here I thought I was good at multi-tasking.

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Car colors (or lack thereof) ...

As I probably have mentioned previously, we end up renting quite a lot of cars for the Tutoring biz, as The Wife has to run off to meet with new clients at their homes, which can be all over the city. We pretty much get whatever the local Enterprise has handy (on a corporate rate account), and so we end up seeing everything from sub-compacts to pickup trucks. One thing I've noticed is that the car companies have gotten quite creative in their color names. For instance, one would think that a "black" car would be called "black" on the space where the color goes on the key fob ... nooooooo! Today the Ford SUV was "Abyss" and we previously had a "Vader" car ... both of which I would have guessed to have been, uh, "black". I mean, sure, if you've got a car that's some intermediate tone between grey and tan, go ahead and call it "Oatmeal", but I bet Henry Ford is spinning in his grave over the concept of an "Abyss" Model-T ("you can get it in any color, just as long as it's black")!

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