THE REPLACEMENTS …

We are all replacing somebody. 

Or are we? 

Sometimes, it looks like nothing has been replaced at all, except skin and bones. But the same old darkness of the soul continues to simply recycle into new carbon uniforms. 

I learned a new phrase yesterday – “Replacement Theory.” 

I am 55-years-old and I’ve never heard of this before. Much like I had never heard of Critical Race Theory until last year. Apparently, it’s some kind of Nazi knockoff, asserting that people with different color skin are going to be replacing people with a certain color of skin, etc, etc. 

When I was a kid, I was one hundred percent certain that we would’ve moved past skin by 2022. I also thought we’d have flying cars and everyone would be wearing matching silver jumpsuits everywhere. I’m 0 for 3. 

Somehow, skin is still one of the most important things we talk about. And for the life of me, I cannot understand why. There has to be some sort of scientific/biological thing going on that I’m not aware of. Surely, we’re not still obsessed over the membrane that covers our bones. Are we? 

I even still bristle at phrases like “the white community” or “the asian community” or “the hispanic community.” Maybe it’s because all three of those communities are represented in my one home. And none of that segregated bullshit applies here. People live here. Not races. 

That kid who shot those people in Buffalo, had racial motivation. As an aside, I refuse to print the name of a mass shooter. My opinion has always been that if you perpetrate something like that, your name should be removed from the public registry and you should be referred to as a number for the rest of your life. It’s time to stop making these fools famous. 

Anyway …

His “manifesto” (which I’m not about to read all 180 pages of) seems to have some roots in buying in to the overpopulation “problem.” This “overpopulation” narrative bothers me to no end. Because once you assert that there are too many people on the planet, there is really only ONE question to be asked after that…who needs to go?   

See, if a fire marshal comes into a packed theater and determines that there are too many people in there, then the next move is simply to get rid of a certain number of them. There is no “well, let them go ahead and have the play – we can’t do anything about who is already here. We’ll just try to enact policies that make sure we don’t have that many people in that room in the future.” 

No. That’s not what they do. They open those doors and usher people out until they’re in compliance. 

The very word OVERpopulation denotes that there are people on the planet who actually shouldn’t be here. Too many people.  “Too many” means somebody has to go. It’s quite simple, really. Does it not mean that? 

Otherwise, there are just enough people on the planet, and everyone who is here, belongs here. 

Once you buy in fully to the notion of overpopulation, you have to then determine who the OVER is. I mean, that’s the real next logical step. And in a world still obsessed with skin, it won’t be a leap for some deranged people to make that determination based on race.

According to this theory of “replacement,” they somehow worry that their particular shade of skin will become obsolete and “replaced” with a different shade of skin…and, dear Lord, as I’m typing this, it all just sounds too moronic too fathom. 

We know that throughout history, racism has definitely been a thing. The largest wars mankind has ever fought, have been fought over racism. The most significant cultural and social movements in all of human history have been centered around racial justice. 

And those of us who believe in racial justice were always under the impression that the goal was a post racial society; a place where skin was as incidental and insignificant as eye color. But we are becoming obsolete. And we’re being replaced with people who seem to be as obsessed with race as the people from the past, we thought were relegated to the dust bin of history.

It is widely accepted that true racism means buying into this “replacement theory” as something that is a bad thing. In other words, the racist doesn’t want his or her (or their) race replaced by the other race. Yes. That is textbook racism. And it’s not only ridiculous, it’s evil. 

But a word of caution …

Believing that one race being replaced by another race is a good thing, is also racism. And it keeps us in the skin spiral. We’re just replacing one skin tone with another. The soullessness is the same.  

If you rejoice at colors other than light shades of skin, merely based on the skin itself, you are also a racist. If you only want to hire someone of a certain race, so that the skin in your work place will look more diverse, you are a racist. If you believe it’s important to replace “white males” with different skin (and gender), for no other reason than the skin and the gender, you are a racist (also, a sexist. But that’s another blog for another day). 

And, based on that criteria, we have a lot of racists in the world right now. 

If we keep reducing our humanity to our skin, we are never going to truly get anywhere as a species. The celebration of skin tone is going to keep us locked in a world unable to move forward. 

And when a confused and troubled kid, with a twisted sense of reality, based in a bedrock belief that everybody from science teachers to comedians have been preaching for decades – that there are too many people on the planet – decides that he’s going to take matters into his own hands and start eliminating one of the races, we paint it as garden variety hate/white supremacy/evil action. It is definitely that.

But it may go deeper than that.

Maybe it’s time to start moving away from an emphasis on skin in the first place. Maybe it’s time to stop mindlessly repeating this nonsense about overpopulation. Maybe the individualists are right. And maybe it’s time we start truly embracing the idea that every human on earth has a purpose and a destiny and that we are a piece of something divine. 

Maybe it would be harder to shoot people in a grocery store, if we truly believed they were on purpose rather than just part of “this or that group.”  

Maybe we need to recalibrate how we are orienting the the next generation. 

You know…the one replacing us.   

R  

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SUGAR BABIES …

They lost me at the word, “tax.” 

Up until then, I was with them all the way. 

I gave up refined sugar 20 years ago. And in the past 2 years, I’ve gone through a health and fitness renewal that has plunged me into new research and changes to my own diet and workout routines. 

So, I often watch videos, made by obscure professors, reading really boring research documents, about things like fructose molecules and AMPK and mTOR and the glycemic index and…well…you’re probably already bored. 

The video I was watching, on this particular day, was of a seminar in California, at Stanford University, where several doctors came to the podium and shared their individual cases for how sugar and the proliferation of sugar over the past one hundred years, has been at the root of the obesity epidemic, also affecting everything from type 2 diabetes to heart disease to cancer and a half dozen other serious things. 

The science is incredibly strong. We can now pretty well trace the majority of metabolic dysfunction to some sugar connection. There have just been so many conclusive studies, it’s hard defend that substance anymore. 

In the health and fitness space, this is one of the few things everybody agrees on. Carnivores and Vegans go at it. Calorie counters and keto people square off in endless debates. But one thing they ALL share common ground on is the fact that a cookie has no nutritional value whatsoever. 

And they’re right. 

Even if you don’t know the science, you can feel your body change when you give up sugar. We all know this is true. We ALL know, instinctively, that we shouldn’t let the kids sit down and eat all the contents of the bag IN ONE SITTING, after Halloween.

Why? 

We’d let them eat as much broccoli as they might want. We’d allow them to consume any amount of salad. Because we know that’s feeding hunger. But the sweets? We know THAT’S feeding something else…a craving. And we know it’s not healthy. Yes, deep down we know. 

These doctors all made strong, air-tight cases. But then, they all ended up in the worst place you can end up. 

When they got around to offering solutions, they all (to a person) pounded the podium in favor of taxing sugar at a higher rate and placing punitive taxes on sugar-based substances like soft drinks and candy. 

In short, they defaulted to the position of population and behavior control, by the government, over the position of persuasion and dialog. This is where statists always end up…if you won’t do it for your own good, we’ll MAKE you do it…for everybody’s good. 

My wife, daughter and I don’t eat sugar in our house. But my son does. Still, we have always talked to him about the dangers of sugar and how bad it is for him. And as a result, he has never been into sugary sodas. He eats sugar, but mostly sparingly, and he never over-eats anything. 

He’s now 15. I’ve taught him about sugar since he was old enough to listen. Now, what he puts in his mouth is his decision. I know he won’t always make good decisions. I didn’t when I was 15. But if I ban him from eating sugar in the house, it will become an obsession and he will simply binge on it when he’s not in the house. 

The point is this…

I can make a really strong case for eliminating sugar from every store shelf in America. I could testify before congress and quote to them chapter and verse why they should pass a law forbidding the refining, packaging and sale of this substance. But I would never do that in a million years. Because if you want that cupcake today, it should be your choice. 

It is killing you. It is spiking your insulin and causing you to store fat, also placing stress on your liver and kidneys. It is affecting your eyesight and skin. It is changing your taste buds and re-wiring your brain function. It is having a significant effect on your depression, or bi-polar disorder or ADHD. And it is the thing clogging your arteries…the cholesterol is just showing up to mitigate the problem. 

But have your cupcake if you want. You’re on your own journey. And when you’re ready to give up cupcakes, you will. OR you won’t and you’ll just get sicker. Either way, it’s up to you. And it’s up to people like me to talk to you about it and share whatever information I have with you. 

The United States is re-drawing our battle lines over the abortion debate yet again. And this always seems to be just a mic drop war.

On one side, there are those who will never back down from the idea that nobody should be able to tell them what to do with what they’re carrying inside them. On the other side, there are those who believe what those women are carrying inside them is a human life, and therefore that life must have all the protections of any other life. 

Here’s the deal…the science is on the side of life. Roe V Wade happened before ultra sounds and prenatal research and all of the new technologies we have now that basically prove that whatever you want to believe about what’s growing inside you is definitely alive. 

But here’s where it gets complicated …

I have a 19-year-old daughter with a severe disability. She is non-verbal and operates at about a 2-year-old level. At the moment, my wife and I can monitor every single person she comes in contact with. But there is a 60% (yes, I said SIXTY PERCENT) molestation rate among people with special needs. 

Predators migrate to that community because the victims very often cannot defend themselves or even speak. My daughter is in both categories.

My daughter’s condition prevents her from ever taking a baby to term. It would kill her and most likely the child as well. Simply put – that cannot happen. 

You cannot believe the nightmares I have had, where my wife and I are both dead and gone and she’s being cared for in a facility, somewhere, and someone rapes her and impregnates her. It makes my stomach hurt and throws me into a rage…and it hasn’t even happened. 

For a person like my daughter, there would be no good options. But I’m going to be very transparent, here. As much as I abhor the idea of abortion, having it on the table as a safe and legal option for someone like my daughter, is something I hesitantly prefer.

For those who say they’re proud to have had an abortion, you need professional help…and Jesus. There’s nothing about that act that should make anybody proud. 

For those who want every baby brought to term with no questions asked, you are basically supporting the idea of imprisoning women who have an abortion. And is that what you really want. 

I say put your money where your mouth is and adopt. That’s what I did. 

But until we have the real conversation about this, it’s all going to be grandstanding and platitude slinging on both sides. 

A couple of points of order, however …

A reversal of Roe V Wade doesn’t make abortion illegal. Abortion was never made legal or illegal. There was a court ruling on it that established precedent. And those can be overturned. That’s why you need to make laws through the law making process.

We need Schoolhouse Rock again. Or at least look up “I’m Just a Bill” on YouTube. 

Anyway …

Nobody should have leaked this decision. And nobody should be protesting at a judges house. Also …

Women need to be made to feel like nobody is trying to put them in The Handmaid’s Tale. But then everybody also needs to recognize that scraping away living tissue from a uterus is more than just a casual decision that isn’t a big deal. 

The dynamics of this issue are complicated and nuanced. And they involve getting males who help make these children involved, too. They involve the government underwriting businesses that rely on abortions for their income streams. They involve the very idea that life is sacred and not some nihilistic exercise that has no meaning whatsoever. 

I’m not trying to compare abortion to a cupcake. But both involve life and death. Both seem like the answer, in the moment. And both involve crusaders who want the law to reflect what they believe to be true. 

I find myself simply trying to be a good example of what I believe by adopting unwanted children and staying away from cake. 

Believe it or not, those two things might be the best first steps we can take.  

R

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PERMISSION TO SPEAK FREELY …

It started out with the best of intentions, I’m sure. 

Subversion. 

That’s probably what they were looking for. You know, just to be safe. I mean, we can’t have that. Can we? Hey, it was probably in everybody’s best interest. I mean, come on. There’s no harm in double checking just to make sure. Right?

So, since I didn’t have a choice…I complied. 

See, I was in China, adopting a little girl, and the other adoptive families in our group, found out that I was a singer/songwriter. So they asked me to do a little concert in the hotel lobby, before we all disbursed to go back the U.S. 

There was a beautiful 9-food grand piano in there. If this had been a hotel in Detroit or Atlanta, we would’ve just asked the manager on duty. But this was China. So we had no idea that when we asked the hotel manager, it would set off a political chain reaction that would take 3 days to complete. 

The national government stepped in with their list of rules and regulations, one of which was me providing a set list, complete with all the lyrics I would be singing in their hotel. The lyrics had to be approved by a local “czar” of some kind. 

They were very nice about it. It was just a precaution. Nothing more. You know, just to make sure I didn’t say anything “out of bounds” or “unseemly” toward certain entities. 

That was the government of China…making sure Regie Hamm didn’t sing words that weren’t approved…in a hotel. 

Don’t get me wrong, I have been censored before. I’ve been asked not to sing this song or that song at a corporate event. I’ve had invitations to certain churches revoked, after they heard certain songs of mine. I’ve been told to not use this word or that word in songs, otherwise I wouldn’t get on the radio.  

Plenty of private organizations have exercised their prerogative to control what I said (or didn’t say) on their stage or platform. And even that was off-putting to me.    

But I’ve never been censored by an actual government. Up until then, I had never been “checked up on” by the state. And it was disconcerting, to say the least. 

I turned in the 5 least offensive songs I could think of. Then I played whatever the hell I wanted and dared them to arrest me. 

It worked out fine. But it shook me a little. And I couldn’t wait to get back to the land of the great liberty experiment, where freedom of speech is sacrosanct. That was a long time ago. 

Our government is now, 20 years later, trying to put some agency together that weeds out “disinformation.” In other words, you might one day find yourself in the same scenario I found myself in, in COMMUNIST China. 

If you want to give a lecture or preach a sermon or create a social media post or sing a song, there may be a day, in the not-so-distant-future, where you have to run it by the truth department…you know…just to double check yourself. 

What could possibly go wrong?  

Whenever a government (ANY government) decides that they are sole the arbiters of truth, bad things inevitably happen. Why? Because an entity with the final say, with the power to imprison, and with no accountability to anyone but themselves, cannot remain objective. It is a psychological impossibility. 

The Reformation was a revolution against the tyranny of what had become the monolithic nature of the Catholic Church. How had a small, spiritual movement among fishermen and paupers become so iron-fisted, all powerful and downright murderous? 

They had gained complete control of the information. And with that control came power. And that power had to be maintained. Because if you build a beast, it must always be fed. ALWAYS. 

And what if certain pieces of information threaten the feeding of that beast? Pieces of information like, you don’t need a priest to read the story to you. You can read it yourself. Or, you don’t have to pay a church for absolution. Because it’s free. 

Well, information like that won’t do if you make a living handing out penance. So, Mr. Tyndale, while you might think it a good idea to translate the scriptures into common languages everybody can read, it threatens our beast. 

So, either the beast goes hungry…or you get burned at the stake. 

THAT’S how the control of information actually works. 

I’m not an absolutist when it comes to many political issues, but I am when it comes to speech. As someone who has made a living, my entire adult life, under the protection of the first amendment, I am shaking to my core at the trend this country is moving toward. 

The idea that someone can simply remove you from the public square – even if you’re a sitting president – is concerning enough. But the government actually creating an agency to separate fact from fiction, makes my skin crawl in ways I never thought it would crawl standing under an American flag.

The prevailing justification seems to be that we need to stop “misinformation” and “disinformation.” But that’s a sticky subject. Because one person’s information is another person’s DISinformation. 

And what happens when it’s the government itself passing along bad info?

50 years ago, the government funded the Minnesota Coronary Experiment. It was a 5-year study (1968-1973) on heart disease and its root causes. The final conclusion of the study is what led the world out of consuming fats and into using “heart healthy” vegetable oils (or seed oils) for cooking. 

Some doctors bucked this trend, and this study, and refused to accept the findings based on their own knowledge and research. And they KNEW that fats weren’t the problem. But the government developed its guidelines and put out its papers and issued its Regular Daily Allowances (RDAs). 

And suddenly restaurants all over country, started coking with seed oils to be in compliance with the government standards. People started cooking with it at home. Those oils became popular and billions of dollars were earned through this new standard. Fats were demonized and “low fat” was the new health standard. 

But here’s the thing …

The population got sicker and fatter. Cancer, heart disease and diabetes got worse. Not better. How could that be? 

In 2016, a whole room full of “lost” evidence was discovered, that was associated with that study. When the lost evidence was added to the original findings, it proved that fats weren’t the culprit at all. And the original findings of the study turned out to be inconclusive at best. 

You can look all this up. It’s absolutely true. 

In the meantime, the inflammatory nature of seed oils is proving to be horrific for humans. And there is literally no way to calculate how much their use has contributed to death and ill health, over the last half century. 

If you were a doctor, yelling from the rooftops that seed oils were not the solution, but part of the problem, you would’ve been labeled a health heretic…up until 2016. 

Because the government was WRONG. Their info was incomplete. And they didn’t even know it. But they have no accountability to anyone. And even as I type this, the U.S government still has food recommendations in place that may actually be hurting people. But who’s going to do anything about it? 

If you are for new anti-speech laws or you find yourself cheering on this new department of truth (or whatever it’s called), let me offer an ominous warning…

One day, your party will be out of power. The people who are making decisions right now, will be long gone. And people who scare the shit out of you will be presiding over the country and heading up those agencies. And if you have helped to create more stringent laws on speech and an entire department dedicated to the process of finding and shutting down “disinformation,” you may find yourself in their crosshairs, for not saying the right things; the things they deem to be truthful.  

And if you’re not towing the party line with your posts or your lectures or your sermons…or your songs…you will end up thinking to yourself, “how in God’s name did we get HERE, in the United States of America?”

Just remember…it all started with the best of intentions. 

R    

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UNTOUCHABLE …

My father and I share the most annoying of traits. 

My mother hated it (in him) when I was younger, and now my wife hates it in me. 

The annoying trait?

You can’t watch a murder mystery with us, because we already know who did it in the first act. 

This isn’t all that hard to do. It’s not due to our superior intellect or investigative prowess. No, our ability to recognize the culprit is something my father taught me all my life…have a lack of prejudice. 

Great writers create characters we either root for or root against. And we develop emotional attachments to them, based on our own biases. Then, they smack us in the third act, with the thing we never saw coming. We didn’t see it coming because we didn’t want to see it coming. We like that guy too much. He represents something to us. Surely, he couldn’t have done such a thing. Could he?

Once you learn to detach yourself from your own bias, you can see things more clearly. And you can also see when a writer or a director is manipulating you to think a certain way. This manipulation is all based on stereotypes and traditions and accepted narratives. Throw all that out…and you’ve got your killer. 

But it’s hard to throw out. Because we have so much bias engrained in our very DNA. We’ve been raised with things looking like this or acting like that. And some things simply cannot be. Can they?

Being an individualist means believing that anybody is capable of anything…and also, anybody is capable of anything. 

One of the biggest problems with statism, is that the state (any state – from the old USSR to the United ones) will often set these narratives for us. And that’s when it’s the most dangerous. 

The Roman state killed Jesus Christ – a completely innocent man. They brutalized him and tore his flesh from its bones, because he spoke of things that ran counter to the belief systems they (the state) had set in place. 

But then something strange happened. 300 years later, the religion that had developed in his name, became the state religion. Now, people could commit the same kind of atrocities on others, IN HIS NAME, that had been committed on him a few hundred years earlier. 

How does someone carry a cross in front of them, on the way to burning someone else at the stake, and not be overcome by the irony? How did the Spanish inquisitors not, at some point, see that what they were doing wasn’t any different than what the Roman soldiers had done to the guy they were supposedly doing all this for in the first place?

What happened was, the state sanctioned Christianity – one of the worst things that could’ve ever happened to it. And that turned a tiny little movement, that had once been about love and acting counter to your base instincts; spreading a message of hope and that you could actually find your way to God in this life, through a spiritual re-birth, into the status quo, a set of rules that must be obeyed (or else) and, most of all…power. 

And so, some of the most un-Christ like things that have ever been done on this planet, have been done by people professing the name of Christ. Because they were somehow under the impression that they were untouchable. 

“The group being untouchable” is fertile soil for all of the worst stuff that has ever grown in this human garden.

Nothing is more dangerous to black people than for them to be raised thinking that they cannot be racists because they are black. That leads to the worst kind of racism there is…the kind that thinks its virtuous. 

Women being told they cannot be abusers because they don’t have the same physical strength as men or don’t have the same societal power as men, can only lead to a twisted kind of abuse that will smile as it’s turning the knife. All the while believing justice is being served. 

In the last month, we’ve seen some very public displays of two of the most powerful and sought after men in the world, in abusive relationships. Will Smith and Johnny Depp are one hundred percent both victims of spousal abuse. But it’s hard to see if you only see the the world from the perspective of – man as always the abuser and woman as always the victim. 

But just like a good murder mystery…things aren’t always as they seem.  

There are people, right this very minute, writhing in self-righteous indignation at the thought of “the wrong people” being allowed back onto Twitter. They will peddle in misinformation again! 

You can only believe something like that if you believe you’re in the untouchable section of the room. But the way it will (and should) work is like this: some people will share stuff that is false. Some people will share stuff that isn’t false. Some of it will be true…and you won’t want it to be true. Some of it will be false…and you won’t want it to be false. 

But if your truth detector is based solely on your tribe, you won’t ever see the truth at all. 

“The state” can mean: the collective, the group, “conventional wisdom,” the “latest reports,” the “agreed upon science,” and almost anything that puts the majority view in the first position. And once you’re in that group – the one with the prevailing wisdom and, most of all, the power, beware of yourself. 

That’s when you’re the most vulnerable to being led astray. Because you will suddenly find yourself in a world where everything you aways wanted to be true…suddenly IS. 

And even if you mess up here or there, it’s okay because your “heart is in the right place.”  The “right place” being determined by the mob, of course. 

And you may find yourself on crucifixion duty, not really wanting to do this, but knowing that being a good Roman solider means sometimes having to put some nails in some hands and feet. So you press on. You do what you’re told and crucify that guy who is supposedly innocent. Whatever. You’re on the side of the good guys. Rome wouldn’t steer you wrong. 

Or, maybe you find yourself lighting the heretics on fire, for the sake of the gospel. I mean, Christ and his church cannot have people running around saying these things. It’s not pretty business, but it’s for the greater good. Lies are not good for the people. If they get corrupted by them, society as we know it could fall apart. 

Sound familiar?

Or, you may find yourself calling for the police to “fry like bacon.” After all, they are the oppressors of your race. And since you are in the minority, you cannot have a heart filled with hatred and murder. 

Or, maybe you will verbally berate that man who keeps disrespecting you. He doesn’t know what you and your sisters have been through. He will never know what it’s like to be a woman. But you have some moves he’s not expecting. You can accuse him of violence and take away his children, and everybody will believe you…whether it’s true or not

Why? Because the state is telling us to “believe ALL women.” 

Once everybody is thinking a certain way, that’s when it’s time to question it. 

Once you can do that, you will start figuring out who the killer is in the first 5 minutes of any movie. 

R

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LIBERTY …

You really have to think it all the way through. 

And once you do, you have to make some tough decisions. 

Most people haven’t thought it all the way through, and that’s why they don’t really know what they believe. It’s why they are susceptible to all sorts of government intrusion and violations of freedom. And they will go along with it, because they haven’t really examined the concept to it’s end. 

What is this mysterious concept?

Freedom.

There are two schools of thought on the subject of freedom: Statism and Libertarianism. 

We’ve argued as “Conservatives” and “Liberals” for decades, now. But those names don’t really apply anymore. They haven’t for some time. The true heat of the debate is in the distinctions between Libertarianism and Statism. 

My bias is all the way over on the Libertarian side of things. I freely admit it. I went down this road a long time ago and spilunkered into the dark caverns of what true freedom really means. And I came out on the side of the Libertarians. I even supported Harry Browne as a candidate for a hot minute.

If you don’t know who Harry Browne is, you’re probably not really a Libertarian. At least, not yet, anyway. 

I stopped supporting him for all sorts of reasons. Mainly pragmatic ones. But the upshot is, we are all sort of built to be rule followers or rule breakers. The worst among us, and the ones probably most in need of deep, restorative therapy, are rule makers. 

If you land in the world of the Libertarians, you will have to confront some realities that are not easy to swallow. A lot of people die because they are free to be stupid. You have to come to terms with that. 

A lot of people lie if they are free to do so. A lot of destruction happens if everyone is left to their own devices. Are you okay with that? 

It’s hard to justify until you research and realize just how much destruction, death and lying happens when the state controls everything. The only difference is, when something is state sanctioned, it’s harder to question it or prosecute the offenders or find an alternative to the madness, somewhere. 

And that is the difference that keeps me on the side of freedom. 

I was not a big Ron Paul fan (the standard nearer for Libertarians – but also a lifelong politician, which should be anathema to Libertarianism, but I digress…) but he did have a mantra that I agreed with: “why is freedom such a tough sell?”  

It’s a fair question. 

Elon Musk is trying to buy Twitter. He says he wants to open it back up to a lot of the voices that have been shut down on the platform, over the past two years. 

And it’s honestly baffling to me as to why so many people find this threatening. But they do. 

I’ve heard comments like, “it’s going to turn it back into a circus.” Or, “he wants to take it back into the dark ages of information.” Comments (and thoughts) like that completely negate the idea that maybe everybody should have a place from which to shout. Nobody has the absolute right to be heard. But we should all have the right to make noise. 

I just checked on Twitter, and Jussie Smollett still has an account. Michael Avenatti still has an account. One of those guys tried to start a race war by concocting a not-so-elaborate crime and blaming his political opposition. Robin Roberts put him on her air more than once, and believed him. 

The other guy tried to use a porn star to bring down a presidency, then accused a Supreme Court Justice nominee of – please read this next bit carefully – Running. A. Gang. Rape. Syndicate. 

Are you hearing me? He didn’t just accuse the man of rape or even participating in a gang rape. He accused the man of running regular gang rape parties. Regular. More than once. Multiple occurrences. And George Stepanopoulos put this man on his air several times, and acted like he was interviewing a serious person. 

Neither of those individuals was telling the truth. And neither of them has tweeted in a while. Why? 

BECAUSE. THEY. ARE. BOTH. IN. PRISON. 

But even given their life-shattering lies, should these guys be taken off Twitter? See, I don’t think so. 

The Libertarian believes in more speech. Not less. 

You know how we found out those guys were both lying? We kept talking and asking questions and getting to the truth. You can only do that in a free environment. 

Today was my wife’s first day back, working for a major airline, without wearing a mask. She said it was disconcerting (her exact word). For two years, she has had her face covered. And you can find a certain sense of security behind a mask. 

She has felt the freedom to not smile or to say things under her breath or even hide a negative facial expression she might not want the customer to see. 

Now, it’s all back out in the open. And with that freedom comes more facial responsibility. 

And there are even people up in arms about someone not “enforcing” a mask mandate. How dare you give that option to the stupid public! They will not make the right decision. They never do. 

When the smoke clears from all of this, we’re going to find that masks probably did nothing to stop the spread of C-19. The Bangladesh study pretty much proved that cloth masks were completely useless. N-95s were a little but useful…as long as they were dry. And they aren’t dry anymore after you breathe in them for ten minutes. 

But the science and actual studies aside, for so many people, masks were a marker of compliance. And seeing compliance to the collective made them feel safer than the actual scientific facts. 

The greatest liberty-versus-rule experiment in American history was prohibition. Does alcohol destroy people? One hundred percent. Does it kill people? Every year. Does it rip families and relationships apart and cast a fog over a person’s reality? Without question. 

We all know this. We all know someone destroyed by it. Many of us have battled it ourselves. Fifty percent of all violent crimes are committed under the influence of alcohol. Eighty (that’s 8-0) percent of all “date rapes” and college campus sexual assaults involve the use of alcohol. 

On this date – 4/20, a major holiday for pot heads – of all the drugs we could’ve (and should’ve) made legal (pot being one of them), alcohol is probably the worst of the lot. Some “doctors” have tried to make a case for a couple of glasses of wine a night being good for heart health, blah, blah, blah.  

But if your doctor tells you that alcohol is good for you, on any level, it’s time to get a new doctor. Alcohol is poison. Period. 

But am I telling you to stop drinking? Nope. Am I telling you what to drink or when to drink? Nope. 

And you wouldn’t be able to find two people in America who think the idea of prohibition is a good, anymore. Because as bad as legal alcohol is for you, we’ve seen what happens when you make it illegal. And it’s worse. 

So, we absorb the negatives of alcohol and fight them with as many positives as we can…in a free space. 

And, yes, the government regulates the production of the substance. But it doesn’t regulate how many bottles of vodka you can buy in a year or how much whiskey you can serve your guests or how many beers you can have at a ballgame. 

It simply gives you the parameters of what will happen if you drink to much, try to drive home, and kill somebody. 

We’re taking a lot of chances with alcohol. But we learned that freedom is better than forcing people underground. 

The notion of liberty is a frightening one. Because people do stupid things and believe nonsense and post incorrect science and get people angry over misunderstanding. 

Free speech isn’t for a society of cowards. 

Just like a mask-less face, your words are now open to scrutiny and subject to opposition. And a lot of people can’t handle that. Those people are the ones who usually favor the safety of some kind of statism over the chaos of freedom. 

As for me, I’m team Elon. Open it back up. Let the “crazy” run free. Let’s see if the experiment can endure. 

But just a word of caution: 

If things are liberated the facts may not end up being what you want them to be. People like Donald Trump may end up being proven right about some things. And people like Jussie Smollett might end up being proven to be sociopaths. 

And it won’t be a government agency that determines it. 

It will be the proven truth itself. Ironic, isn’t it? 

The truth will set you free. But you can’t get to the truth, without freedom in the first place. 

R

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PROMISES, PROMISES …

“Really?”

That was the response from Mayor Pete (I really don’t want to look up the spelling for his last name – sorry), when Charlemagne (come on, guys – what’s up with these names?!?) “The god” said that “the black community” (I hate terms like that) felt that the Democrats hadn’t kept a lot of their promises to the people. 

Mayor Pete was taken aback. And honestly, so was I. 

As far as I can tell, they’ve kept ALL their promises…and then some. But in order to know that, you have to understand what the promises actually were.    

If you don’t like the price of gasoline, don’t blame Putin. Putin is just another guy selling a type of fuel that is categorically dismissed as a legitimate, we-should-be-making-as-much-of-it-as-possible form of energy by one side of the aisle. 

How many video clips do we have to see, by luminaries in the Democrat party, with names like Obama and Clinton, talking openly about the need to skyrocket the price of fossil fuels, so that people will voluntarily ween themselves off of it, before we know what their plan actually is? 

So, did they break their promises by jacking up gas prices? No. They kept the promise they made…almost to the letter. 

Crime is surging in America. The stats are what they are. 

But why?

Is it because the Democrats in power didn’t keep a promise? Or is because they absolutely leaned into the promises they made to undermine the entire police structure and demonize the people who take the test, get the training, put on the badge and put themselves out there everyday?

If crime is surging, is it because the Democrats didn’t keep a promise? No. It’s because they kept one. 

Inflation is at a 40-year high. Is that because the Democrats didn’t keep their promises? No. 

Inflation happens for a lot of different reasons. But it isn’t as complicated as people think. The culprit can be as simple as energy costs. 

As I’m typing this, in my office, I’m listening to (right outside my window) my lawn care company mow my grass. Rates are higher this year. You know why? Take a wild guess. 

You guessed it! Gas is almost double what it was a year ago. Do you think that lawn care company (or ANY law care company) has the ability to simply absorb that spike in prices? Of course not. They have to pass that cost on to me. 

After I post this, I’ll be heading to the grocery store for a few items. Every item I’ll be purchasing came to that store on a truck. Those trucks now have to spend roughly $900 a tank on diesel fuel. In 2020, it was around $500. Do the companies that provide the delivery of goods and services have the ability to absorb that cost? Of course not. 

So, again, the cost is passed on to me.  

Just in one day, little ‘ol me is an N-1 study in inflation. On this day, I’m paying more for lawn care and groceries. So, whatever service I provide in my career, now has to be priced differently. 

That’s basically the “Inflation for Dummies” version. 

But there is also a dollar devaluation piece, that happens when the government floods the market with dollars that are based on nothing. This is something the Fed has been doing for decades. But in the last two years, it has been so extreme, it has caused shock waves in the financial world.

You couple those two things together, and you have yourself an inflation rate that blows past the average rate of 2 to 2.5% per year. 

Is any of that happening because a Democrat didn’t keep their promise? No. It’s happening because they totally kept a promise.  

Look, I have a lot of Democrats in my life who I love dearly. And I embrace the spirit of where they believe they are coming from; I don’t want to see anybody discriminated against. I hate racism in all its forms. I want to see people – no matter how they identify or who they want to sleep with – be happy and healthy and have great lives. 

And, yes, I want to live on a clean planet, with clean air and water and preserved beauty and all of that. We all do. I honestly don’t know anybody, and have never met anybody, who is for actively destroying people’s rights or actively causing harm to the planet. 

But buried in all of these intentions are actual policies. And policies have consequences. Attitudes have consequences. Signals have consequences. 

If you send a signal to the world, that you’re going to phase out oil in all its forms, don’t be surprised if the oil market doesn’t contact and constrict to protect itself and its interests. And then, when that happens, don’t be surprised when that results in soaring prices at the pump. 

That’s not the result of a promise broken. That’s the result of a promise kept. And it’s high time people start understanding the consequences of their vote. 

Years ago, Howard Stern did a man-on-the-street bit, where he went into a “black” neighborhood (another term I dislike very much) stopped an average person, threw out a Barack Obama quote, and asked them if they agreed or disagreed with the quote. They all – TO A PERSON – agreed whole-heartily with every. single. quote. 

In some cases, they even expounded on the sentiments in those quotes, saying that this is exactly why they were voting for the man and how strongly they were behind him. Finally! Somebody who said these things and wanted to enact these policies. Some of them got downright emotional, hearing things they so strongly agreed with. 

They felt like they were finally being heard and seen and represented. 

There was just one problem…NONE of the quotes were actually from Obama. They were ALL Sarah Palin quotes. 

Sometimes, we don’t want to accept the fact that we might actually believe something espoused by people we don’t like. We all want to think we’ve done our research, we know where we stand and who we stand behind…and why. 

And it’s a life-altering day when you realize you didn’t actually understand what your people were trying to accomplish. 

People like Bill Maher and Joe Rogan are coming to some very public epiphanies, in real time (if I may use that phrase). And as they get these lightbulb moments, seeing an absurdity play out that is almost unmatched in our country’s history, they very often will go on rants and make points that I heard Rush Limbaugh make 20 years ago. 

Joe Rogan went on a tirade, a few months back, that if you had taken out the profanity and replaced his voice with Rush’s, it was almost verbatim something we’ve all heard Limbaugh pound the desk and say into the golden EIB microphone, a million times. 

Some people just see the handwriting on the wall before others do. 

So, of course, Mayor Pete was dumbfounded when he was accused of not keeping promises. In his world, the promises were all kept. And I would argue that they were. 

Charlemagne isn’t actually upset about that. He’s upset that the promises kept didn’t yield the results everybody thought they would. And when you start understanding that, then you’re on the road to asking the right questions. 

And don’t be surprised if the answers to those questions lead you to places you never thought you’d go.       

R

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DIE HARDS …

“They’re shooting at the lights.” 

Sgt. Powell knew what was going on before the ranking officer on the scene knew. He was the one in contact with John McLean. And he had the same intuition John had about the entire ordeal. 

Finally, after people had gotten hurt – some even killed, the powers-that-were kinda half-heartily admitted they had been going about things in the wrong way. But they still never completely copped to their abject incompetence, until the entire Nakatomi building had been blown up and it was an international scene. 

Only John McLean and Sgt. Powell had their act together. And they had to fight against not only the bad guys, but also the supposed good guys; L.A. P.D. AND the FBI until everyone finally realized the truth. 

Obviously, Die Hard is just a movie. But we all still relate to it, 30 years later, because we’ve all felt like that lone guy trying to point out what’s actually happening, while everybody else is calling us crazy. 

If you don’t think people still feel that way, scroll Facebook for 10 minutes. Everybody is the lone voice of reason in a world gone mad. 

But the reason so many feel this way, is because there are legitimate reasons to feel this way. 

How many times have I seen actual friends of mine disparage FOX news as an illegitimate news outlet? More times than I can count. And yet, FNC has sometimes held the the answer to a puzzle piece nobody wanted to acknowledge, simply because they hated the messenger. 

Joe Biden’s presidency is coming apart right before our eyes. And his son is about to be in seriously hot water. And if the hot water is running the direction we’ve all seen it run – with our own eyes – HE is about to be in some of it as well. 

Those of us who cared to care about this story, TWO YEARS AGO, already knew this. But instead of someone – some journalist – going out there and disproving (or proving) the facts in question, talking heads decided to laugh it off and blame “Trump supporters” for conjuring something just to affect the election. 

But at no point did anyone actually do the honest-to-goodness work of disproving the story. Well, Tucker Carlson did. But I digress …

And all the while, the rest of us were like, “they’re shooting at the lights.” 

Now, all the news outlets are finally admitting that the story is legitimate. Personally, I think they knew the whole time that it was legitimate. But they couldn’t take the chance on it altering the results of the election from the way they wanted it to go. 

And so, now, we’ve got the equivalent of the building going up in smoke; record inflation, record energy prices, the world on the precipice of war, a legit crisis at the southern border. 

But hey, at least we have a president who says the right stuff about climate change and who tries to use the correct pronouns. (insert massive eye-roll here). 

If you watched that video of Barack Obama (and pretty much everybody else in the room) basically ignoring the president of the United States (and, admittedly, I saw it on a Tucker Carlson clip – apologies to my pseudo intellectual friends), you realize that even Democrats don’t take the guy seriously, anymore. Maybe they never did.  

They have to know what he is…and what he isn’t. 

And they also know that there was a flag on the play, back in 2020, that was ignored. 

For those of us who saw all of this happening, it is the ultimate gaslighting experience. If the press was actively helping the lie along on something like that, what else were they helping to hide? Voting irregularities?  

I can’t say any more on this issue without running the risk of having this post taken down over it. And that is the problem – RIGHT THERE. 

When people start rioting…you know…the right people, everybody gets treated to a steady diet of “violence is the language of the unheard” posts and memes. And, okay. Let’s hear everybody out. I’m all for it. 

But what about the people who rioted on January 6th? I don’t agree with what they did. I wasn’t there and there’s no way in hell you would ever catch me at something like that. 

But, were they being heard? 

Were people yelling from the rooftops that something was amiss; something didn’t feel right…being heard?  

No. 

One side is seen as righteous and justified, even when their tactics are a little too violent or their rhetoric a little too angry. And another side is seen (or shown) as entitled and petulant and just throwing a temper tantrum. Even when they might be yelling the absolute truth. 

The media is now cashing out of the Biden experiment. The polls speak for themselves. Inflation speaks for itself. Energy prices speak for themselves. Global upheaval speaks for itself. And the Democrat party actually speaks for itself. 

But keep this in mind: Joe Biden isn’t doing anything any other Democrat wouldn’t do, given the chance. 

He’s following the playbook to the letter (if I may paraphrase Sgt. Powell, again.) You can replace him with anybody on that side of the ledger and you’re going to get the same results. Because that party has finally been taken over by the people who have always been gunning for it. It’s all in the open, now. 

We know where the press stands. We know where the party stands. And we know what they’re willing to do, to win. 

We used to live in a world with plausible deniability regarding corruption. But there are too many ways to find out the facts, now. Despite the chaos that is social media,there are still ways to triangulate the truth. 

I’ve said from the beginning, regarding the Will Smith ordeal, that it may have been a setup. But if it was, some production assistant or intern or stage manager would’ve come forward by now, to spill the beans. Somebody would’ve sent an errant tweet or told the wrong loud mouth. And there are too many dollar bills out there available for anybody who wants to tell that story. 

But there is no story to tell. Will Smith really did lose his mind in front of the world. We’re going to have to face that reality. 

Joe Biden really did rely on a sympathetic press to suppress a legitimate news story that calls his entire family into question. That sympathetic press has now admitted to it. 

Now, it’s left up to the American people to foil the crime, get the innocents off the roof, and figure out how to get out of this thing without losing our feet. 

“Yipikayay, MF,”  works in the movies. 

But it’ll take more than a cute catch phrase to set all of this right.   

R

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STOP BLAMING ME FOR THIS SH*T …

“No fair, daddy!”

That was one of the most uttered phrases by my (then) 3-year-old son. 

He would make up these little games he wanted us to play together. He would set the rules. So I would play along, actually trying to let him win. But he would set the rules in such a way that my mere physical presence would sometimes keep him from scoring or making the goal or whatever he was trying to achieve. 

I obviously didn’t care who won. I was just playing with my son and trying to make it fun for him. But if my leg or arm got in the way of his absolute clear shot to the finish line, he would get mad and huff and puff and declare that the whole thing wasn’t fair. The whole system THAT HE SET UP IN THE FIRST PLACE, was working against him in some way. 

My wife and I had to work on that with him, through the years. 

Now, that he’s as tall as me and can pretty much beat me at anything, he doesn’t complain about unfairness as much. But we as parents, had to instill in him that fairness didn’t automatically mean he was going to win all the time. Fairness simply means that everybody’s got a shot at the goal. 

But does that mean it’s totally fair? Some people are faster or stronger or taller or smarter or tougher. That, in and of itself, is where fairness starts to blur. Is it fair that I wanted to be a pro football player but simply couldn’t get big enough to not keep getting injured? I’m 5’11” and was born into a family of preachers and musicians. Peyton Manning is 6’5” and was born into football royalty. 

Is any of that fair? 

My 3-year-old wouldn’t have thought so. 

There is some weird, topsy-turvy world, where I could blame the Mannings for my not getting past Jr. High School football. I suppose I could construct an imaginary web of systemic unfairness against me, in my very temporary pursuit of gridiron greatness. But at some point, it actually came down to my own commitment…and my own continually wrecked knees. 

The Manning family is completely blameless. I just wasn’t built for football. 

I was on a text thread with some friends, when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock. And I texted them, jokingly, that the countdown to finding a way to blame the whole thing on white conservatives had begun. 

I was joking, and I know, I know…we’ve all had enough of this story. But I thought at some point, some fringe group would eventually throw their back out creating a weird, racial/political ven diagram to explain it all. I just had no idea it would actually happen so quickly and so publicly. 

Sure enough, there it was in Kareem Abdul Jabar’s public statement. As eloquent as most of his statement was, and as much of it as I agreed with, he couldn’t help but assign some blame to racists and conservatives (and, of course he had to connect the two). And I’ve seen other sources adding to the greek chorus of how the system itself births this type of dysfunction. 

I’m not a racist. But I am a white guy. And I am a guy who believes in low taxes, a strong military, private property, the second amendment, personal freedom and individualism over collectivism. So, any of one of those things can automatically put me in the crosshairs of the statists and collectivists, and brand me as “part of the problem.” 

But am I? 

When Hilary Clinton called her husband’s crimes (yes, they were actually crimes) a “vast right wing conspiracy,” she got a pass for that, by so many in the press. I remember yelling at the TV, “why is this suddenly MY fault?!?! I didn’t f&*k an intern.” 

It was the Democrat party that set up all the sexual harassment laws in the first place. THEY constructed a world where 5-year-olds were accusing each other of sexual misconduct and nobody in an office building knew whether or not they could go out on a date without being sued or arrested. 

They’re the ones who brutalized Clarence Thomas for two weeks, because he may have said the word “pubic hair” to a woman. When our current president (then senator, Joe Biden) was grilling Mr. Thomas about his treatment of women, who knew all he had to say was, “I didn’t know it was a woman…I’m not a biologist.” 

But I digress …

Bill Clinton being a sexual predator had nothing to do with guys like me or our politics. But we sure did get blamed for it. We get blamed for a lot of stuff. And if there’s a conspiracy in all of this, it’s not the Academy Awards staging an incident to boost ratings. If you think the dream makers couldn’t come up with something better than that ham-handed stunt, you don’t know how it all works. The conspiracy, if there is one, is statists and leftists using any weird incident as just another excuse to try and keep you off balance and think you’re responsible for things you’re not responsible for. It’s a way of undermining “the system” and “the structure” and keeping some people feeling like victims while keeping other people feeling like abusers. When maybe…just maybe…neither thing is true. 

In order to re-make the world in their own image, statists need to break this one down. And if you believe it is tragically flawed to begin with, everything looks like injustice. And you can transform anything into it. 

When a woman finds herself in a bad situation, they offer her the patriarchy to blame, or the white, male power structure or (if all else fails) she can throw the Hail Mary (call back to Peyton) and just blame capitalism. 

And when there’s an issue with someone who happens to be black, like Will Smith or Chris Rock, there are those who will find ways to blame all of it on systemic this or oppressed that or generational the other thing. 

And yes, of course, you always have to write the ubiquitous disclaimer that there has been a history of systemic racism and sexism in this country and it should never be tolerated, etc, etc. We ALL know this. All too well. And for those who don’t, hang tight…you will get reminded of it very soon. 

But that kind of thinking completely negates any responsibility of the individual and it keeps people in a constant state of arrested development. If you can always find a way to pass the blame, you remain in the state of my 3-year-old son. And it honestly isn’t fair to you. Because your reality will never be a true one and you will never get a real, actual sense of yourself. 

The ground beneath your feet will always feel shaky, as long as you can blame a possible, pending earthquake instead of a spongy floor you may have installed yourself. Humans prefer to be the victim and keep others as the perpetrators. It takes the pressure off. But the problem is it keeps constant pressure on the other humans who are getting blamed. 

And quite honestly…we’re sick of it. 

Allowing Will Smith to off-load some of the blame for his actions onto other people, completely negates Chris Rock’s class and maturity in the matter. And if all you saw was one black man and another black man on that stage, that’s on you. I saw one individual and another individual. And their responses were completely different. If was staged, then they each played very different roles, in very convincing ways. Still…individuals. 

I haven’t seen the film, King Richard, but in the clip they showed on the Oscars, I think I found one of the keys to unlocking this problem … 

He (Richard – Smith’s character) tells one of the girls (I don’t know if it was Serena or Venus) that they’re not just representing themselves in tennis, but every little black girl in the world. 

People from minority communities are often told this. And it’s a horrible thing to tell someone. What a weight to carry. What an expectation to have to live up to. And what a crock. 

No, you don’t represent your race or gender anymore than I represent mine. If my father ever told me I represented my entire race, I would be like, “ALL of them? Cause, I don’t want to represent those fools. I’ll make a deal with you – I’ll represent me…and some of our family. But I get to pick which ones. Because I don’t want to have anything to do with about half of them either.”

Telling someone they represent all of one race, gives them the sense that everyone, of every race, is also representative of that race, and that we all own what each person of our race does. 

But it’s not true. 

I was beaten up by a lot of black kids, in grade school. My dear black friends – some of whom are actually like siblings to me – didn’t do that. 

If you were raped, all men didn’t rape you. One man did. 

We don’t represent our race or our gender anymore than my dog represents all dogs. We represent our individual selves. So, if you decide to walk on a stage and slap a dude, YOU did that. Not me. And not anybody else who happens to share your skin tone. And invisible political forces didn’t polute your life and lead you to that point. Oh there were forces. There always are. But there are also individual decisions.  

And if it all suddenly seems so unfair, it might not be a systemic issue of race, gender or income disparity at all…

It might be that you’re still thinking like my 3-year-old.              

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THE MOST IMPORTANT STORY OF THE LAST TWO YEARS …

Water World. 

My mind often reflects on the biggest dud in movie history, Water World. 

It was during the Clinton administration and I was having dinner with a family member who kept going on and on about some program Mr. Clinton was proposing. 

“People keep complaining about the cost. But it won’t even cost as much as Water World,” they crowed, as if that was the big positive. 

I looked up from my plate and said, quietly, “Yeah, but I didn’t have to pay for Water World.” 

They looked back at me, in confusion, and said, “What do you mean?” 

I wasn’t planning on giving a civics lesson, that night. But they brought it up …

WATER WORLD

“See, it doesn’t really matter how much it costs. The money being used to do it, has been confiscated from the citizenry. Water World was a private venture. I wasn’t forced to invest in it and I’m not being forced to go the theater and see it. They went out there and made it with the people they could convince to pony up money. So, nobody is on the hook that didn’t voluntarily put themselves on the hook. Tax payers have no choice in the matter. THAT’S the difference.”

This person had never thought about it that way. A lot of people don’t think about it that way. But this is the subtle, yet profound, difference between a statist and a libertariantheir fundamental view of the role of government. 

Whenever I hear someone saying that someone who got out of paying taxes isn’t “paying their fair share” I instantly know I’m listening to a statist. I don’t need to hear anything else. And I shut down any arguing from that point on. 

See, whenever I hear that someone has gotten out of paying a lot of taxes, I’m cheering them on and patting them on the back. Because I don’t know what a “fair share” is, when it comes to government. Neither do you. You may be shaking your head right now and screaming at your phone (at me), saying “yes, I do!” 

But I have a strong hunch that you do your taxes in such a way as to pay as little as possible…or even get a refund. 

Now, if you simply send half of your gross income to the government, without question or paper work, I apologize. But you don’t. Nobody does. Not even billionaires. 

So, when people go on and on about Donald Trump’s tax corruption and/or possible evasion, and/or whatever else they think he did, I just smile because I don’t care. If he manipulated the system to pay NO tax, GOOD. FOR. HIM. Yes, you read that correctly. 

If you think I (or any other Libertarian) cares about someone getting out of paying taxes, you don’t understand the Water World concept. 

See, people get it wrong about Robin Hood …

Robin Hood didn’t steal from the rich and give to the poor. He stole from the government that had been confiscating from the poor. The Sheriff of Nottingham wasn’t providing a good or service that people freely invested in or purchased. He was using his power – a power nobody could question or petition or (most importantly) change – to steal from those who couldn’t do anything about it. 

That’s why Robin Hood was a hero. Not because he knocked off a chain of free-market bakeries. But because he faced down the very seat of power and took back what belonged to the citizens in the first place. 

This fundamental disconnect has kept the journalistic world from investigating the only story, over the last two years, that actually matters; the Hunter Biden laptop story. 

With the absolute roller coaster that has been 2020-2022, there were plenty of news stories you could list as the most important ones. But I’ve always maintained that Hunter Biden’s laptop is the at the very top of the list. Yes, even higher than Covid. 

Why? 

Because it gets to the very heart of political propaganda, the integrity of elections, the power of the media, the lengths they will go to, to suppress information (if they feel it necessary), and (most importantly), the way years of statism can completely blind you to your own corruption. 

And that creates the world we live in at any given moment. 

Let me explain …

First – was this an “October surprise,” released by the right, to discredit a presidential candidate? Of course. And yet, it doesn’t matter how it came to be. It’s there. 

Second – none of Hunter Biden’s “vices” are the issue. Let’s get that out of the way. And my heart actually goes out to the guy, on that front. He seems like a troubled dude. And I pray for him to overcome all of that, if he hasn’t already. But nobody really cares if somebody smokes crack or has sex with strippers. That’s all just media noise. 

But the information; emails, text threads, documents, etc, found on that laptop, cast a serious light on how the Biden family sold (yes, sold) access to power. What was that power? Keep reading.  

Last week, the New York Times finally authenticated the laptop, publicly (which the FBI actually did months ago). So, the Bobolinsky interview with Tucker Carlson is now back in play as something other than a hit piece. And that means everything. 

See, if the information on the laptop is true, this family (the Biden’s) had been dealing with governments all over the world, in order to enrich themselves. 

But here’s the thing; the most important thing …

Having dealings with countries all over the world isn’t a crime. It isn’t even weird, if you run a global company. It’s actually a good thing, if you’re a multi-national brand. 

So, why is it not okay for the Biden family to be in bed with China and Russia and Ukraine and everywhere else on the globe? It’s not…unless you examine what they were selling.

What business is the Biden family in? Do they develop real estate? Are they wine makers? How about lumber? Do they sell lumber? Are they a major player in big tech? Oh, I know! Medical devices. They manufacture medical devices…don’t they? 

No. The Biden family has made its money in politics. And that gets me back to Water World …

If there was corruption on the set, and in the front office of, the Water World film, it had nothing to do with me or you or our bank accounts. It may have been mildly intriguing, but ultimately it would’ve been between them and their investors. 

If someone was out there making deals on the side, to give people access to Kevin Costner, whatever…it’s their show. 

But when you’re making deals based on the power you (or your father) holds, you are essentially the Sheriff of Nottingham. The people – the ones who gave you the power – don’t get a say in your business deal. They get nothing out of it and THEIR money is what is leveraging all of it. 

When journalists said that they couldn’t “verify” the laptop (I heard a clip of Leslie Stall saying that very thing, yesterday) I kept asking myself, “isn’t verifying things kinda what you are supposed to do, as a journalist?” 

But rather than doing investigative journalism, they wrangled 50 former intelligence officials to sign an affidavit, stating that the entire story was Russian disinformation. 

And that passed as news??? We actually accepted that???

Back in the day, Mike Wallace would’ve interviewed the computer store owner and the had forensics done on the ones and zeros found on that thing, and basically done the leg work to either authenticate or debunk the whole circus. 

But nobody did that. Nobody even tried to do that. Well…except for Tucker Carlson. 

And that speaks to who is on the side of the state and who is on the side of the people. 

In that laptop story lies the heart of it all. In that story is the 2020 election (poll after poll confirms that if the people had known about this story, it would’ve swayed the election by almost 10 points). In that story is current United States energy policy (do you honestly think Donald Trump’s ego would allow him to have presided over $5-a-gallon gasoline?). In that story is the question of how much power and sway media “platforms” should have over their users (Sorry, Jack Dorsey…you are guilty of election tampering. Is that a crime? Nobody knows.)  

In that story is the current state of the world. 

And also, in that story, is the answer to whether you believe in the state or the people. 

Are you on the side of the Sheriff Nottingham? Or are you on the side of Water World?

I love America and what it stands for. I believe, to my core, in its founding ideals and principles. And I make allowances for the people who run its government, to be human. 

But when that elected position becomes a profession and the bureaucracies built around that profession, become their own fiefdoms and power strongholds, and the people who cash checks in that system forget where that money comes from and where it all originates in the first place…well…they’ve become a Nottingham Sheriff.  

So, as for me…it’s almost always going to be Water World. 

*BTW – Yes, I know Kevin Costner was in both films. He is in no way associated with this piece.* 

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WHY THE FOUNDATIONS MATTER …

It started with a box fan. 

My wife and I were in Beijing, China, one week away from adopting our first child. At this point, we weren’t yet parents and were still living in a reality comfortable enough to pay attention to the lack of airflow in our hotel room. 

So, I ran to the mall around the corner, to buy a box fan. 

This was our first night in China. We didn’t totally understand, yet, how different the world was, here. Commerce seemed to be bustling, just like it did back in the states. People seemed to be free to move around and follow their own interests, just like they did back in the states (although there were four times as many of them). The biggest difference between Beijing and New York City (to me) was simply the language written on the neon signs. 

But it was large hotels, cars everywhere, people everywhere, and shops everywhere. Felt pretty familiar. 

I found the mall, which was bigger than any mall I’d ever seen in America. And even with the language barrier, I found what appeared to be a retail store of some kind; a Sears type place. 

With a little consumer intuition, I found a section of the store that looked like it would sell box fans. And sure enough, there they were. Stacked to about eye level, there were all the box fans I would ever need. Perfect.

And after doing some quick calculations in my head, it looked like the price was going to be about $10. Again…perfect. 

I grabbed a fan and looked for the checkout. I’d be back to the hotel before she could get cranky about the air issue. 

But finding the cashier was where the whole thing changed …

I held the fan up to someone who looked like a cashier, and they sent me to a different station, where I stood and watched someone take the fan out of the box and plug it in for me, apparently to prove it worked. Then, he boxed the fan up and pointed to a different station, where someone else inspected the box. Then that guy pointed me to a station where another guy double checked the operational ability of the fan and sent me to another person, who provided me a ticket. 

The lady who provided the ticket pointed to another station where someone actually took my money. Then they pointed me toward someone who handed me my change. They sent me to a station where someone then triple checked the entire transaction and finally sent me out of the store with the box fan. 

6 people helped to sell me a $10 box fan. Six. 

The store wasn’t crowded and there was inventory everywhere. So, as I walked out, wondering what had just happened, my western brain immediately started doing remedial math. 

“How do they pay all those people to do all those jobs, in a store like that? It seems like they wouldn’t make music of a profit …” is what I was thinking to myself. 

Then, I looked down at the cash I was putting into my pocket. And it had the letters CCP (Chinese Communist Party) on it. And it dawned on me…ahhhh…they don’t have to show a profit. They just have to provide a job.

And from that moment on, I never forgot that I was in a communist country. And when I saw everything through that lens, the news made sense. The lack of commercials on TV made sense. The hospital made sense. The entire way of life made sense. And the reason for me getting that little girl out of there made the most sense of all. 

When you remove free market foundations, commerce gets weird. We don’t think about this in the west, because we are raised in and immersed in the idea of “price” minus “operating expenses” equals profit. 

Then, that profit belongs to us to do with as we please. 

As I learned more about the Chinese system, I realized that their system was more of a hybrid type thing, where they practiced what looked like commerce on the outside; shops and restaurants and malls open for business. 

But internally, the system wasn’t built on state serving the people. It was built on people serving the state…then the state, in turn, would take care of the people. This is the concept, anyway. 

And it’s more than just a fundamental shift in how you do business. It’s a fundamental shift in how you see the world and orient yourself toward the very nature – the very foundation – of government. 

This was twenty years ago, but at that time, the average Chinese citizen earned about $2600 per year. That’s a little over $200 a month. But everything else was provided by the government. This is how and why you can get cheap goods produced over there. And it’s also why some people see buying things from that nation as a fundamental crime of sorts. 

Whenever Donald Trump railed against China “manipulating their currency” it wasn’t just inside baseball, high finance type stuff. He was actually calling out communism itself. 

See, once you decouple from the foundations of the free market; supply and demand, profit and loss, etc, you can pretty much do whatever you want when  it comes to money…if you control all of it. 

So, if you wake up on Thursday and realize that the Yuan needs to be at a certain margin against the dollar to make everything make sense on your ledger, you just make it be that. There’s no reason not to. You’re not tied to the laws of conventional finance. Money doesn’t really mean anything in your system. 

But this isn’t really fair, when the rest of the world isn’t operating in that system. And this is where we get a huge disconnect between markets and systems. And it’s why the competition to see which system will ultimately win out, is so important. 

The world is looking at Vladamir Putin, right now, and asking itself, “Doesn’t he know he’s the bad guy? Doesn’t he realize he’s going to ultimately lose this?” 

The answer is actually…no. 

See, he wasn’t raised with the same foundational structures we were. He didn’t see the KGB as an evil institution. He worked for them. He wasn’t raised putting his hand over his heart and pledging allegiance to “liberty and justice FOR ALL.” He doesn’t have the same orientation toward good and evil and honesty and integrity and truth as we do in the western world. 

All he sees is opportunity to either make the move or a lack of opportunity to make the move. His orientation is a unified Russia. If that means war, then that’s what it means. 

Super Man didn’t land in Moscow. He landed in America. In movies, international bad guys very often have a Russian accent. How do you think that makes people in Russia feel about their own place in the world when they see those movies? 

We are born believing that our orientation and foundational beliefs are the right ones. And it’s hard for us to see the world from someone else’s point of view. But what if you are not raised to believe that honesty is a fundamental virtue? 

Then lying is acceptable if it serves the ultimate purpose you do believe in. 

What if you are not raised to believe that violence is a bad thing? What if your country has no Martin Luther King Jr.? Or Billy Graham? Or Jesus? 

What if your north star of belief is based in something 180 degrees from that of those imbeciles in America?   

Then, invading another country, for what you perceive to be the greater good, isn’t all that big a deal. It’s just a matter of if you can get away with it or not. 

We take for granted the foundations of the west. We scoff at do-gooders and skip Sunday School. We make fun of “patriots” and lampoon people who “stand for freedom” and roll our eyes at those who worry about “losing America.” 

But those are the people who actually understand what’s at stake. They actually realize how fragile all of it is. If you ever get your head around how easily the ideas and ideals America is based on, could be swept away by history, you will be terrified.  

Sometimes it takes a war of naked aggression for the world to see this. 

For me, all it took was a box fan. 

R    

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