None of the Above

I watched the debate between Spike Cohen and Dave Smith on Locals last night.

The title is a reference to this.

After thinking more about it, the less intrigued I am about either of the potential candidates.

Much like the Krystol-Horton “debate” at the Soho Forum, the more I heard, the less impressed I was.

To the participants — Spike, don’t wish for an Anachro-Capitalist society. I understand that, likely, there’s a lot less of my life ahead of me. (I worked through Y2K; I’m wondering if I’ll be around to see Y2K38) I think you could articulate a way to minimize the weight of the state on most people’s lives.

Dave, please find a book by someone with whom you disagree, read it, and write a brief summary of the arguments the author presented. Yes, there’s bad things the US did in South and Central America places in the past. Noted. It’s not why there’s tens of thousands of Haitians trying to cross into Texas. But that you floated out something from a very-biased take on history doesn’t add anything to your argument.

I find myself unimpressed with the options presented. None of the above.


Both of these guys are frequent guests on Kennedy, something which I often view.

Part of what one of the things that’s argued about the LP Mieses Caucus is an attempt to push ideas at lower levels to get libertarians to take advantage of the things that are coming up in the “alternative” media outlets.

I understand and enjoy the format. I really don’t think it lends itself to presentation of any coherent idea about policy.

Landing that fifteen-second clip that gets repeatedly shared on Twitter/Facebook/whatever, doesn’t explain what changes you would make to the existing morass that is the modern state. What will you do to move people from under the boot of the state? Next year. Not thirty years down the road. What are you going to do to bring people towards a system based on freedom?

On Slackerdom

I am this morning, having woken up, then shutting my alarm off. Considering how much work I owe for this pay period, I’m in no particular hurry to get going; I’m tired.

Not sure who I’d like to see win the football game tonight. One of the podcasts I listen to has a Cardinals’ fan, which was an oddity to me for a long time. When I thought about them in about 2016, I realized that I’d actually never met a Cards’ fan. Not once. But then there was a woman I worked with who actually was; she’d grown up in the “Valley of the Sun,” and they’d been out there most of her life, so it fit.

Enough of that. I wanted to show something that came across on Twitter the past couple of days.

This is a perfect example of what the LPMC folks don’t understand.

If you don’t like a private company[s policies, deny them your business. You can leave. Subtle nudging, as I think I did, goes a long way toward making people think about what they’re doing. It doesn’t require any sort of loud pronouncement.

LPMC campaign strategy is similar to the underpants gnomes.

The LPMC strategy is:

Phase 1: RON PAUL

Phase 2: ???

Phase 3: Profit!

But the bigger thing that I think they’re missing is that you deprive private organizations that don’t align with your values your money.

I don’t care if you think you think you’ve got the most important, compelling message in the universe, if you don’t like how an outfit operates, deny them your content. You can leave.

If your message is worthwhile, a worthwhile audience will find it, regardless of where it is.

If you think your audience isn’t discerning enough to follow you to a place that adheres to the values you claim to admire, your message speaks for itself.

No Bother

I relistened to the debate I mentioned here. If you’d like to watch the debate, it’s here.

Again, the resolution was this:

A willingness to intervene, and to seek regime change, is key to an American foreign policy that benefits America.

This was an Oxford-style debate. The “winner” is the one who changes the audience’s opinion the most.

Before the debate, I cast my vote as undecided. Following the debate, I gave my vote, much to my dismay, to Krystol.

After listening again, despite Horton’s seemingly-irrelevant interjections, I reluctantly opposed the resolution.

But, on further consideration, there’s not two, but four separate options.

Do you have a willingness to intervene? Yes or no.

Do you have a willingness to seek regime change? Yes or no.

So, the First Gulf War would have been: Intervene, yes. Seek Regime change, no.

Afghanistan in 2001, or Somalia in 1992? Intervene, yes. Seek regime change, not particularly at first.

Panama 1989? Intervene, yes. Seek regime change, yes.

Libya in 2013? Intervene, for the most part, no. Seek regime change? Absolutely.

Egypt in 2013? Intervene, no. Seek regime change? Not particularly, but it happened, and we were okay with it, even though it meant the Muslim Brotherhood.

Iraq 1991 – 2003: Intervene, yes. Seek regime change? No

Rwanda 1994: Intervene, no. Seek regime change? No, just stop the massacre.

Libya 2003ish-2013: Intervene, no, seek regime change? No.

RCNRC
InterveneYYYN
NINYNN

By and large, however, I’m opposed to intervention. I didn’t support the Second Iraq War until I heard Tony Blair argue for it in front of Parliament.

But breaking it down into the separate combinations….

Are there times when America should intervene, and not seek regime change? Sometime, absolutely.

Are there times when America should intervene, and seek regime change? Yes.

Are there times when Americas should seek regime change without intervention? I would say that that’s pretty rare.

Are there times when America should stay as far away as possible? Yes.

That neither of the debaters noticed the problem with this resolution is actually pretty incredible, now, in retrospec.

What are Saturdays for?

Kind of my question of the day, though this is the last somewhat-normal one I’m probably goi8ng to have for the rest of the year.

My wife told me yesterday that she doesn’t want to go anywhere for the holidays. I’m good with that, but I would like to really do holiday food stuff. I might get some pushback on that, but…..we’ll see.

I want comforting food as the weather gets cold.

Something to enjoy as things wind down here on the edge of the DC swamp. I think both of us want out. Enough, already.

I’m listening to this after gulping down copious amounts of Lorenzotti Coffee.

What else…

I need to finalize my writing prompts for next month. So far, I have only a few.

Obviously, I’ll write a long entry to start, probably written early because I expect to be undersedation for a medical procedure at the end of the day.

  • Day after election day.
  • Veterans’ Day.
  • Birthdays.
  • Thanksgiving.
  • Christmas Shopping, plans.
  • What is the most out there movie or book that you can’t get enough?
  • Do you have goals that you want to accomplish? What are they? What is your plan to achieve them?
  • What I have accomplished in the last 10 years?

I’ll probably also combine a few shorter queeries I have in to one larger entry.

So if you have ideas, I’m open.

I’m excited to do this.

Wind Down, Spin Up

Long, only partially-successful week.

Sunday I finally got my work laptop mostly working well enough to work Monday. Long day of work Monday, but I got through it.

Tuesday, I tried to go to Robbie Soave‘s book signing at the Reason office in DC. I did really want to meet the staff, deliver some gifts stored since before the pandemic, but I got the address wrong, and the state’s blind guy bus dropped me exactly where I’d requested…..a few blocks south of where I was supposed to be.

I used to say that I was good for about a block on foot. I think, now, that’s probably a bit too, ummm, optimistic.

If I know where I’m going, don’t have to read addresses, and have to backtrack, maybe that’s where I am.

I finally gave up, and ended up finding a Lyft driver who took me where I was supposed to go long enough to drop off my gifts, and drive me home.

I am still sore on Saturday.

I spent quite a bit of time Thursday and Friday preparing for my oldest friend and my trip to NYC for the debate.

A willingness to intervene, and to seek regime change, is key to an American foreign policy that benefits America.

I guess I’m generally against that idea. Trying to not let my general disdain for both of the debaters sway my opinion before i listen.

The album artwork for the album that came to mind reminds me of the NPC T-shirt I bought this week.

But I’m almost out of coffee, and a bit jealous of the folks going to Buck Johnson’s event in Texas week after next, or the Saluyta(sp?) Super-spreader event in Mexico in December put on by Johnny, and PFP.

But I can go to NYC on the train which makes things a bit easier. Get to ride Acela for the first time coming home.

Rotten Bit Saturday

I’ve been spending a lot of time the past few days thinking about two things, and they’re related.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the young folks who are embracing Austrian economics really don’t like doing math.

That might represent why there’s the attraction to Bitcoin. There’s a maximum number. There will only ever be 22 million. The number in circulation continues to increase, though the rate of that increase continues to decline, and will almost endlessly. Nobody knows when the last coin will be mined.

While the number of new coins is decreasing as time progresses, there’s actually a decline in the supply due to lost bitcoins.

What does the total availability graph look like when you take into account the rate at which coins are being lost? Right now, the rate of new coin creation probably exceeds the rate of loss, but they will eventually intersect. At some point, there’ll be more inaccessible coins

Both the Chicago and Austrian schools of economics assume a money pool that’s predictably-growing, and not shrinking.

If your currency is based on something like precious metals, “production” might decrease, but it doesn’t just vanish. It can be reclaimed. Do you remember your unemployed RealtorTM who was scrounging around for gold? Or the person who stole the copper gutters off the tall apartment building where I was living?

It’s probably impossible to scrounge for those “lost” bitcoins. Maybe there’ll be some advance in computing that makes it possible, quantum, perhaps, that’ll make it possible, but I’m not going to hold my breath on that.

It’s a bit like the idea of what would happen if an asteroid full of gold gets tapped.

Loud And Clear

I’m getting the messages to just check out of just about everything.

Last night, I decided to look at the festering cesspool that is Facebook because I was concerned about something that’s going on with a friend.

It recommended I add a blogger/former podcaster I follow vaguely as a friend.

No. How did you pick that up, you spies? I deleted your apps, and have consciously limited my time on your site.

Just not doing it anymore.

Another Saturday

Another week in the books. I still need to figure out how to remind myself that reconsideration is not a bad thing. In very basic military operations, as a leader, you conduct an After-Action Review (AAR) after you’ve finished what you planned to do.

If you have no plan, nobody can ever analyze how you performed.

Where I am, lately, though is reconsidering my initial reactions to news items and ads I’ve seen or heard lately.

The first one was this story out of the US community most-aligned with the DDR.

My initial reaction was, “you chose to live/work there.” That was quickly followed with a variation on the “Learn To Code” meme.

I shouldn’t think that way. The bigger issue is government force to compel compliance with measures taken to address a virus that has a very low fatality rate.

The numbers are presented here. If you’re under the age of 50, doing some quick math, the fatality rate of the virus is 0.02%.

For people over 70, even, the fatality rate is less than six percent.

Trust the science!!1!

Yes, also, do the math.

I’ve said before that I expect that I will probably catch this virus at some point.

I have as much concern about it killing me as I do about dying from a laundry list of other inane things. As the weather gets cold, if I find myself in a place that often serves raw oysters, I might eat some.

The next thing I’m reconsidering is writing off individuals who make misguided political endorsements. There’s been a commercial running here in Virginia in support of Terry McAuliffe, you know, the man responsible for state troopers dying because of actions taken by his party’s local officials in Charlottesville in 2017.

There is a doctor, Joseph Sakran, who’s appearing in TV commercials in support of McAuliffe. My initial reaction was, “can I figure out a way that this guy never treats me?”

In spite of hand motions that are almost as strange as Carey Wedler’s, I shouldn’t just write him off for having incredibly incorrect conclusions about politics.

What he’s doing with these sorts of ads, and I understand that strategy was very effective for President Biden last year, is a form of Argument From Authority, which is a logical fallacy. (Another good take on that is here….)

Doctors used to also recommend Lucky Strikes.

Doing the AAR on that, did a doctor’s recommendation actually help anybody by leading them to choose Lucky Strikes?

Maybe.

I wonder how much advertising might be nullified if advertisers avoided use of those fallacies.

Who knows?

A Saturday

Twenty years after what ended up being a really terrible Tuesday.

In those days, my air schedule was Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday 8p-6a. On Saturdays, I worked 0500 – 1300. I had Monday and Tuesday nights off work. I was taking something like eighteen credit hours at school, was active in a few campus clubs, and was a senator in the Student Government Association.

I’d moved back home with my parents because I really didn’t have the money to support me living on my own in Newport News. My health, then, too, was starting to be a bit strange. I attributed that to the odd sleep schedule with early morning or late afternoon/evening classes. I can actually recall one of my first cases of optic neuritis while I was pitching in an intramural softball game.

But my schedule was to write college papers late into the nights on Monday and Tuesday to get a lot knocked out in my couple of nights off.

I have no idea what I did that Monday night. I don’t think I’d been out the night before; I often would do things like read in an all-night diner.

But I had a couple of things I needed to turn in on campus that morning.

I heard the reports of the attack on the radio station while I was taking a bath, getting clean to go to campus.

The second plane hit when, or just before I was diving to campus.

I decided a few days ago to look at what I’d written on OD. One of my classes had a professor who required some strange writing practices.

“This Means Something!”

8/27/2001

Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Must buy DVD. After payday.

There comes a point, I think, where everyone who is not an idiot realizes that he’s not an idiot. Much of my time is spent writing something or the other. It could be my very informal writing here for my own sake, it could be writing at work for public consumption, it could be writing at school doing formal legal writing, and so on. I have all these conflicting styles in my head, and sometimes I have difficulty adjusting when I’m forced to use a style.

I have a class this semester that requires me to use this very restrictive (very stupid, too, IMHO) style. They’ve got a grandiose name for it, but it slips the mind at the moment. I had to write a paper using this style on Thursday night. It seemed to me that the paper was a serious piece of shit. I felt quite uncomfortable turning it in, as I didn’t think it was good work. It did, however, conform to the model nearly perfectly. I ended up with an A- on the assignment; most people totally bombed it.

Maybe I can do this school shit afterall. It makes me somewhat hopeful for law school, at least. I’m not the dumbass former teachers had convinced me I was.

On a totally unrelated note, has anyone else been following the latest hubub over the crop circles that look suspiciously like the glyph sent out by Aricebo in 1974 and the face on Mars. Those are just freaky when you put ’em side-by-side. “This means something!”

*yawn*

I’m in an odd way lately otherwise. Have kind of this feeling that something is going to happen. I haven’t quite put my finger on it yet, though. Nothing bad, just something that I’m unaccustomed to. It could very well stem from the much different treatment I’m getting at school now. This is *not* how I’ve been treated in the past.

Well, half-right on the last paragraph. I wish I could remember who that professor was, and what it was all about.

I might be able to dig up the TeX files. I think they’re around somewhere.

But I appreciate that she really was making me do something outside my comfort level. Things like that did help me write more effectively.

But the Memberberries are kicking in.

When I got into the Student Center on campus where my club office was, it was pandemonium. The place was just filled to the brim with people trying to figure out what the hell was going on.

There’d been a concerted effort at my alma mater in the couple of years before to add a bunch of on-campus students, and many from Northern Virginia. Many, many, many rich kids stumbling around campus trying to figure out what this weird suburban campus in Newport News was all about.

I don’t remember exactly when the news floated across the assemblage that the Pentagon had also been hit.

Okay, now it’s really real. And there’s probably people there on campus who’d been personally-affected.

I phoned the newsroom at the station, and asked if there was anything I could do. I drove to Norfolk, and was actually stopped at the MMBT by Virginia State Police asking where I was going. I didn’t have press credentials, but I had something like a piece of mail in a station envelope in my glovebox. “Carry on.”

When I got to the station, I went to work doing various coordination things around the newsroom. I don’t know if I spent much time on the air — maybe a few local news updates.

I was on the air until the afternoon drive programming started. I went home, got a couple of hours of sleep, then was back in time to be on the air at 2100.

The days that followed are kind of a blur. I know I probably worked probably twelve, thirteen hour airsifts.

Trying to keep up on my school work wasn’t a big concern; I think the campus was eventually closed for the rest of the week.

The first post-attack writing I have is this:

9/18/01
To answer the coming questions, yes, I’m back for the moment. We shall see how it works, and if I can deal with the frustrations that go along…..I have some new tools that should make my experience better. I’ll leave it at that.

I can’t really describe what I’m feeling or what’s going on. Of course, my life has been busy since Tuesday with the associated problems…..work, friends, and especially school. One student’s mother was killed in the Pentagon, and another had a cousin killed and another injured at the WTC. To top all that off, the president of the university sent out a quite insensitive e-mail lecturing us that it shouldn’t affect us, and that we needed to concentrate on our studies so as not to let the terrorists win. Fuck him. I have no respect for him anymore. I didn’t have any classes on Tuesday, but I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate if I had.

Then on Wednesday, a student died in a motorcycle accident.

It’s just been hell.

I haven’t been able to quiet my mind or body since all this started. I feel like it’s important that I do something, but there’s not a hell of a lot that I can do. But if the United States is going to engage in war, I’m going to try to be a part of it. I cannot fulfill my dreams in a country where anyone has to worry about terrorist threats on a daily basis.

So I’m thinking about leaving school and joining the military.

But I’ll write more later.

Obviously I didn’t leave school or join the military. I stayed in radio for the next few years, finally leaving after I decided to make a change — maybe do neat IT work, maybe go to law school.

Instead, I met a college girl in 2006, and am still with her. She was in high school on 9/11.

Never know what’s going to happen.

I could write some about the aftermath, but I’m not sure what the point is. Afghanistan made sense to me. Iraq I was very much against until I heard Tony Blair pitch it to parliament.

But I think my inclinations were correct. It’s really something that stretches over every administration that’s been in power during my adult life.

Oh well.

End of a week without

I didn’t write this week, though there definitely was temptation. Obviously, it was a horrible week.

Obviously the big story of the week is the disaster that is Afghanistan. Obviously, I’m connected to the military. My entire childhood was spent as an Army Brat. My dad would talk about the thing that brought him closest to resigning his commission was Operation Eagle Claw, which he referred to as “Desert One.” What happened in Afghanistan was a modern equivalent.

I have ideas about what happened, but I don’t know that any single person is to blame.

But it doesn’t really matter.

It’s over. They failed. Move on.

In the background, however, unscrupulous politicians are at work trying to capitalize on the situation. (I get that they would like a different word that doesn’t include “capital,” but…)

I just want to go somewhere else.