January Housecleaning

I have had a few requests for email updates. I set this up when I created the website, but up until recently, I hadn’t had a need for an email list. I am hoping to get it updated and running this weekend.

If you have followed me, I genuinely appreciate your support and patience. I am not naturally tech-savvy, unfortunately. It may take some tinkering, but I will get it done!

Also, I am open to writing suggestions. If you have a topic you’d like for me to write about, please drop me a line and tell me what you want to hear more about. I can’t think of a topic that I would be unwilling to write about, unless it involves quantum mechanics or some such.

Again, thank you for your support!

 

Yours in liberty,

Margaret Howe

The Intellectual Dark Web

Last week, Sam Harris hosted Ben Shapiro and Eric Weinstein at a live event. All three of them are always interesting, have something of value to say, and I listen to all of them regularly. Towards the end of the evening, Weinstein cleverly coined the term “intellectual dark web,” which I expect is going to really take off this year. He was referring to the alternative media, the media that is actually having a conversation about issues that people care about, and is doing so in a way that is so interesting and thought-provoking that it can’t help but draw in any rational ears thirsting for a return to times when we can sit down and have an honest conversation again.

I was heartened this morning when a liberal friend of mine posted the single most rational thing a leftist known to me personally has ever said. She acknowledged that she felt Trump was ignorant and offensive, but that we should not be letting that dominate the conversation. She asked politely who would really like to discuss immigration reform. I applauded her for her clear-cut thinking and sensible words and stated that I believe there is a growing mass of people that want exactly the same thing and that there are people rising to meet that demand. My response went over quite well.

First of all, I still see libertarian purists being divisive. I am an anarcho-capitalist at bottom. I will always be a radical, and I will always be working towards that end, but I have no interest in alienating everyone that doesn’t believe the exact same things that I do. I actually do not know if there is another person alive that thinks exactly like I do. I have not met that person. Even my cousin – the Bro-Co, I call him, because he’s more like a brother to me than a cousin – who is also an anarcho-capitalist, does not share my exact interpretation of the world. We have incredibly similar worldviews and interests, but we are not the same person. That would be boring, anyway.

This is a time to take heart. We have all felt despair, wondering if the message of liberty was dying, if the movement was irretrievably fractured, and if we would ever see any progress at all. I am not in despair at all. There are voices – so many voices! – that are now rising up for liberty. They want free speech, limited government, lasting peace with other nations, tolerance, and sound money. And the most fantastic part of this entire revelation is that they are coming from everywhere.

They are left, right, centrist, and libertarian, but they all have one thing in common, and that is that they want the best possible outcomes for the largest number of people. We are talking about leftists who acknowledge that socialism is terrible and that capitalism has done phenomenal good and will continue to do so. We are talking about people on the right who are tolerant and friendly towards all people. Best of all, we are talking about people that sincerely want to talk about ideas – real ideas, such as how to solve the issues that are going to come along with AI and AGI, true immigration reform, US intervention, racism, monetary problems, education, and how to give the most power back to the people with the least amount of pain. My God, these are real conversations!

I have seen quite a large number of libertarians dismiss some of these thinkers because they are too much of this and too little of that. The truth is that we are never going to have a consensus. Given this truth, we must start talking to people, and we must start talking to them intelligently and rationally while giving their opinions our ear.

What I am not doing here is advocating giving SJW types an ear. They should be ignored. In point of fact, they have already lost control of the narrative. The snake is eating itself on their end. There is a groundswell of sentiment coming to those on all sides that want a sincere, honest discussion about the problems we are currently facing. It is also time that libertarians allow that sometimes, when people state their grievances, especially if they are able to do so in a kind, intelligible way that holds water and makes sense, that there is perhaps an issue that needs its day in the light.

I think the great news in all of this is that the intellectual dark web is providing us forums for discussion where we can hear others’ ideas. We can expose them to the rigors of debate and public inquiry, and we can decide for ourselves based on the evidence which ones are worth pursuing. Do you want to know what the great news is in all of this? Liberty and freedom are themes that keep coming up. They are not just coming up from conservatives and libertarians; the left is joining in the chorus.

Bret Weinstein was on Joe Rogan back in December, and he talked a bit about “Game B,” which is defunct as a group, but its implications are utterly fascinating. The scenario comes from game theory, which you might expect, but the overarching idea that he was talking about reminded me strongly of agorism. He might debate that, but I would say that the notion of a game B, a market that rises up alongside the mainstream and functions in it and yet outside of it, is going to be key to the future. We are already seeing it. The intellectual dark web has arrived at the speed of an internet connection.

Not everyone is going to be able to see Game B. Game B exists on a different TV screen, to apply Scott Adams’s analogy about there being two different movies playing in this country. There are two different movies. There is the movie that everyone, including sleepers, can see, and there is the movie that the remnant can see. The remnant is growing, and it is quietly asserting itself. It is coming from all corners, and it is creating a web, a series of intricate but powerful links between different groups. These groups share small and large goals in common, and they will work together to realize them. The people who can see Game B and who are actively participating in it will be able to pivot, and that is something that Game A cannot do. Game A is a leviathan, and although the leviathan can crush, it cannot squeeze into corners, and cannot turn on a dime the way that Game B can.

So take heart, Liberland. You are not alone. If you are lamenting the fact that you cannot find anyone that thinks the way you do, you are thinking about the world the wrong way. There are plenty of people that think like you do. They may disagree to some extent on the means, but they are out there, and they want to talk. Now is not the time for divisiveness. Now is the time to present our beliefs clearly, articulately, and peaceably.

 

Now that the meat of the article is over, I would like to hear from readers. Eric Weinstein Tweeted out a request this morning, asking people to reply with lists of their top 10 intellectual dark web participants.

Here is my current list, in no particular order:

1.     Tom Woods

2.     Dave Rubin

3.     Eric & Bret Weinstein (They’re brothers, so twofer!)

4.     Joe Rogan

5.     Thaddeus Russell

6.     Sam Harris

7.     Scott Adams

8.     Jordan B. Peterson

9.     Michael Malice

10. Christina Hoff Sommers

 

Honorable mentions to:

-       Camille Paglia (She only lost to Hoff Sommers because Dr. Sommers has more public reach.)

-       Ben Shapiro

-       Ayan Hirsi Ali

-       Scott Horton

Libertarians Suck at PR

In case I forgot to tell everyone, I submitted a couple of articles to a monthly libertarian newsletter, Front Range Voluntaryist (frontrangevoluntaryist.com). You should read it. I’m probably the best writer you’ll read today. Unless you’re reading smart things like Hoppe or Alain de Botton or something. Then I’m probably lower middle tier, at best. But you should definitely read my articles wherever you might find them.

Is that not the worst PR you’ve ever read? Spoiler: It’s not. There are plenty of libertarians that make me look like the Steve Jobs of PR. Libertarians are shit at PR. They are total shit. Yeah, I said it, and I don’t regret it.

Most libertarians I know personally are intellectually rigorous. They like to fight about definitions and historical data. They’ll argue over which cryptocurrency is going to have the biggest gains and then split hairs over whether they were referring to dollar amount gains or percentage gains. I am certainly no better, and most of the time, I love it. But after such a time, it gets exhausting. I, personally, am exhausted.

I think a lot of libertarians feel battle-worn, and it’s no wonder. We take it from all sides. It goes without saying that leftists hate us. They tell the world that we’re fascists, racists, and flat-earthers. Conservatives hate us because we don’t want to nuke the whales. Given that the rest of the world is seemingly against us, you would think that, at some point, there would be some effort to stop the infighting and at least make some vague attempt to be likeable. But no. Nope, we’re arguing over whether or not Liberty Hangout is libertarian enough.

I’m about to drop a big, bad truth bomb on you libertarians out there: A big part of the reason that the message doesn’t resonate isn’t because the message is bad; it’s because you suck at delivering it. Moreover, you suck at cooperation. You can’t even find peace amongst yourselves. How the hell are you going to promote peace to others?

Don’t even start arguing with me! Ima let me finish!

Don’t come at me with some bullshit excuse like, “But I live a peaceful life! What I say on the Internet is just words! That doesn’t matter! Words aren’t violence!”

Yeah, I know that. So do all other reasonable people. Hardcore leftists don’t know that, but they don’t know that living outside of your parents’ basement or getting haircuts that don’t feature the color pink are real things either, so set them aside. There are reasonable people on both sides of the aisle, and they are just as frustrated with the state of current affairs as libertarians. I don’t think anyone has stopped to consider that there might be a remnant among them, too. No, that’s a lie. Dave Rubin has, and he’s about it. And I wouldn’t really call him a libertarian.

Words do matter. Words are not violence, but they inspire feelings. Anyone that has listened to an effective orator or read an inspiring passage from a great novel implicitly understands this truth. Words have power. Words have meaning. The human mind can make incredible things happen through the power of language. Libertarians, for all of their love of mathematical intelligence and logical thinking, seem to generally miss this point. I have been just as guilty.

I listened to Jeff Deist’s speech at Mises University about Rothbard – the one that ended with a mention of “blood and soil.” I was a German student, once upon a time, and was a fairly passable German speaker and writer. I am well acquainted with that expression, and I understand the meaning, historical context, and the context in which it was used. You can factually defend it all you want, and I would agree that there was no particular harm meant in using it. It was not a dog whistle. It was, however, shitty PR. Like, next level shitty.

That is no criticism of Deist as a person, mind you. I like Jeff Deist. I think he is a reasonable, articulate individual, and there is zero reason to believe that he has anything other than good intentions. What he is not is a good PR player, at least based on that speech. Even I, someone who understands from front to back what he meant by his speech and saw no real harm in it, couldn’t help seeing armbands and swastikas in my mind when he said it. Because that’s the association. It existed decades before Deist ever opened his mouth.

Associations are not necessarily logical. Our brains are not logical. They work in images and impulses. I am not a stupid person. I am educated on the subject of Germany circa 1930-1945 to an extent that most Americans frankly are not. In spite of this, image associations are not something I can control, and that is not because I lack intelligence or self-control. It is because I am human. All humans are like this. Some of us can approach our associations with a somewhat higher degree of awareness, but many and even most of us cannot. None of us are totally immune to persuasion or emotion, no matter how much we understand it or would like to believe otherwise. Humans are always, to varying degrees, influenced by perception, influence, and emotions.

Given this information, why would a smart man like Jeff Deist have chosen the words he did? I do not buy the dog whistle theory, so you can throw that out. I actually think libertarians labor largely under the notion that facts are the only thing that matter when the opposite is self-evidently true. Facts are rarely important in arguments. Appeals to emotion? Those may not have a 100% success rate, but I bet they get closer to the target than facts.

I have some proposals for all of you readers to consider regarding how we might make libertarianism more marketable. I do not have all of the solutions, but I have been told once or twice that I am good at making people like me, and I am good at finding common ground with people in extremely unlikely places. I would like to take this semi-natural talent of mine and use it to help some of you who are lower in agreeability than I am. Put on a little polish. What can I say, guys? I’m really good at curling my hair with a flat iron, covering adult acne with cleverly placed concealer, and plying people with conversation and drinks. You all need my makeup skills. So are you ready for a makeover? 

If your aim is not merely to win arguments, but also to get people to do what you want – that is, you want people to work with you towards mutually desirable outcomes or actually go full bore and convert to libertarianism – you need to stop talking. Full stop. Shut up. 

Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, watch people and listen to what they are saying. Assume for a moment that people are being truthful with you about their experiences in life. Take it as a given that you may not agree with their interpretation of what’s going on. You can listen to their interpretations and their actions and make a reasonable decision, based on that information, whether or not you will be able to successfully work together with them or persuade them. There are legitimately some people who are blinded by their own agenda and anger and will not make good candidates. Choose your fights wisely and don’t waste energy on these people. Yelling at SJWs is not a good use of your time. It’s fun to trigger them sometimes, but it’s not productive.

If, however, you are face-to-face with a reasonably normal human being, chances are pretty good that, as you are listening to them, they will say something that you do not believe to be totally objectionable. Maybe you are passionate about nonviolence and agree with that person that people should be vegetarians in pursuit of ending violence. (I have seen those libertarians on forums, so I know they’re out there.) Have a thoughtful productive conversation with them about that because you already know that it’s something that they feel positively about and want to share with others. Don’t beat use the opening as an opportunity to beat them over the head with Scott Horton interviews. Gain trust on a shared issue and then slowly introduce related ideas. You want people to associate your views with something that they already feel good about. You can’t force someone to feel good about something. That would be coercive.

The second thing you need to remember is that you don’t have to tell people everything. Think about approaching would-be political converts as potential dates. Sure, you know you have an unconventional fetish, but that dime piece you have your eye on does not need to know that on the first date. Similarly, you don’t have to tell people that your eventual political aim is to bring the government crashing down while Backwordz blares in the background. You can politely tell them that you are in favor of less government. This is directionally accurate without being completely terrifying.

The third thing is that you need to be clear about what you are not. I love Tom Woods, but after giving this a lot of consideration, I think that he was wrong in his assessment about disavowing the idiots in Charlottesville. He was correct that the extreme left would not care what he or any of the rest of us said. The issue is that there are still people on the left (and right) who are not completely insane. However, you cannot assume that everyone who is sane knows who you are and what you stand for. That does not mean that they will never be good allies in some fashion in the future.

It is best to be clear about what you will not tolerate. It does not matter that it should be reasonably evident that none of us are in favor of fascism. As I stated above, people are not good at reasoning, as a whole, and even when they are good at reasoning, emotions can quickly overtake them. If you do not believe this is true, take up Forex trading and see how you feel when you win or lose large sums out of your account. Your emotions will run you, and then you will know the depths of your potential irrationality. (Please do not actually trade Forex unless you know what you’re doing, but please do read books about trading psychology because they will help you be better at life in general.)

The next point I’m going to make today may ultimately be the most important point I make, and that is that we need to find peace amongst ourselves. The last 18 months have been politically rough for everyone. The libertarian world has seen its share of feuds, disappointments, and surprises, and I think we are all tired. We have also been fighting amongst each other at an incredible rate, which isn’t entirely surprising, given that libertarians like to drill down to the semantics and finer points of philosophy. However, since we are under near-constant scrutiny from statists, it seems like it might behoove us to try and find common ground with one another.

That is hard sometimes, especially when we are so invested in perfecting our ideology. We need to realize that people have reasons for seeing things as they do and holding the beliefs they have. Sometimes those beliefs serve them well and sometimes they do not, but we need to accept the fact that just because someone sees something slightly differently does not make them a bad libertarian. It might make them a different libertarian, but not a bad one. And if you asked that person, I bet they would be just as thrilled with a night watchman state as you would be.

Framing is the final point I want to talk about. Libertarians suck at framing. Framing sets the stage. Framing is what gives you the feels. Libertarians have this tendency to come in and tell everyone what is bad, why they are going to take things away, and then when someone asks what they plan to do to help people, the answer sounds like, “Well, they can help themselves, of course!” This would be great advice in a world where we weren’t faced with fifth generation welfare recipients and soldiers with PTSD from the wars, but that is not the world that we live in today. We need to have answers ready, and they need to be framed towards feelings of security and self-ownership. People need to feel confident, and simply taking everything away from them and leaving them nothing is terrifying for most people.

I am not advocating for bigger government, so do not accuse me of that. I am advocating for conversations across all aisles. It would nice if we started at home with our fellow libertarians. It would be even better if we could work, even in small ways, to extend that olive branch to others with completely different beliefs.

Some might try and make the point that by opening up these dialogues, I may be unintentionally advocating for the continuation of the US government. I am not. A voluntary society is my ideal. However, I am far from convinced that a total collapse of the US government would produce the desired effect. This is my fear with secession, which is a legalistic means of dissolution and which could produce a sudden, traumatic, potentially violent conflict. Also, like it or not, the legal precedent has been set to punish secession. My hope is that, where legal means fail, the market will prevail by providing a slow burn, frog in boiling water type of solution that will quietly eliminate the need for government. No, I do not know how this will come about. Far greater minds than mine are likely at work, pondering such things.

In the meantime, we can spruce ourselves up a little. Speak positively. Find shared ideals and goals. Listen more and talk less. The name of the voluntary game is cooperation, and if we can’t find anyone to cooperate with us, it’s going to be a long, hard, lonely road. I don’t know about you, but when I’m traveling down the road, less traveled I like to take a couple of friends along for the ride.

Dead Poets Society

I am in my early thirties, and Dead Poets Society was a necessary coming of age film for me and so many others of my generation. It reminded me of so many things that I loved in my life and still others that I wanted. The nights of sneaking out to the cave reminded me of summer camp kitchen raids and nights spent on the docks, watching the stars. I also had a vocal desire to go to boarding school, mostly to escape my hometown. The more knowledgeable adult tells me that boarding school would likely have been worse, but I wanted out from a young age, in any case. Dead Poets Society was it for me, and when Todd Anderson stood up on his desk at the end of the movie, it sent a thrill skating up my spine.

Until tonight, I had not watched Dead Poets Society since I was a teenager. Many of my teenage loves have become constants in my life and stuck beside me through the changes that adulthood has brought, but Dead Poets Society was one that I would exclaim over if it came up in conversation, but I never went out of my way to watch it. Something about it occupied a space in my mind alongside other loved works and ideas that had slowly been left behind, like John Hughes films, Sweet Valley High books, and the idea that Republicans were the ones that were right.

As I listened to Robin Williams whisper “Carpe Diem” to the boys in front of the trophy cases and talk about how those alumni from years long past were now worm food and as I watched the character of Mr. Keating encourage these boys to embrace their inner hero and become men, it struck an emotional, resonant chord. This was not a new feeling, but thanks to maturity and probably Jordan Peterson, I understood the resonance with a far greater clarity, and suddenly the movie leapt out of the past and become living again. Indeed, it became vital in a way that it never had been before.

The eyes of my teenaged self had seen something that I wanted superficially. I wanted to get away. I wanted to be an adult. I wanted to have marvelous experiences with my friends. I wanted to be something like these young men, but I didn’t understand why, except that it all looked pretty fun until tragedy struck.

That same naïve teenager saw nothing deeper in Neil Perry’s untimely death than a cruel parent, unable and unwilling to understand that his son was not the person that he wanted the boy to be. Every teenager will identify with that because growing apart from one’s parents is part of growing up. The adult in me saw the same thing, but the adult in me was also able to carry it one step further and see the much larger picture.

Watch the movie. Most people will find themselves wanting and believing that Neil Perry is the hero. He should be. He defies his oppressive father. He breaks school rules with a cheerful, intelligent optimism common to most heroes in these sorts of movies. Every time Neil says something smart or finds a way around his father’s tyranny, we cheer aloud for him. The movie is supposed to end at the end of the play. Neil’s father is supposed to see him, realize the error of his ways, embrace his son, and encourage him to be his own person and forge his own path. Instead, he yanks his son out of this “midsummer night’s dream” and effectively damns him to hell for what to a teenager feels like an eternity – 10 years. Rather than accept his fate or continue striving against his father, Neil puts a gun to his head and suddenly, he is no longer the hero.

At this point, the movie is without its hero. Charlie Dalton is, in ways, the most likely second candidate and, in his own way, is a hero, but he fails to fulfill the archetypal role because he always leaves the viewer with the sense that he is only heroic because he is rebelling. There is an instinctual understanding that he has no real path in mind, or at least not in the way that Neil did. He has the essential bravery but without a true purpose in mind, and in the end, he is expelled and removed from our consideration as a true hero, although Charlie Dalton should certainly be given his due for his final moments onscreen.

Todd Anderson, while not the most unlikely candidate, is not the kid that you want to root for. He seems small and ineffectual. He doesn’t talk much, and he is scared even to write and read a poem in class. Neil has to point out to him the fact that, at points, he can’t even seem to be on the side of his friends. He simply wants to go along and get along. Only when he is pushed by Mr. Keating, the great font of truth and benevolent fatherhood, does he begin to show signs of strength and character.

As the chips fall against Mr. Keating (and truth) at the end of the movie, it is evident that Todd is deeply affected by this turn of events. He does not want to add his voice to a chorus that he knows to be dishonest to its core. In the quietly climactic final scene, he climbs to his desk and utters that famous phrase, “O Captain, my Captain,” and one by one, most of his classmates follow his brave example and express their solidarity with Mr. Keating. Todd emerges perhaps the most unlikely hero of all.

The story is moving because it expresses so many things that have touched us all, if we have attained a certain number of years. We must all find the bravery to break away and forge our own paths in life. However, it is never clear that those paths will bring us to the best place or even a good one. Sometimes those choices lead us to our own demise. The likeliest hero is sometimes cut down. And knowing this makes it all the more difficult to find that individual path. Todd is not the hero because he is as brave as Neil, but he is the hero because he expresses solidarity with the truth of the idea that we all have to be free to make our own choices in life, even if those choices lead us to a dark, bad place.

The impact of this realization was quite moving to me, as the bagpipe strains sounded and the credits rolled, and Dead Poets Society was made new for me. I have gone down the path of Neil Perry. I went my own way, and not all of the choices I made were good ones. I figuratively shot myself in the head on at least two occasions. I have been through quite a bit of hardship in my life, some of which was inevitable and some of which was largely avoidable. I have chosen to view the avoidable hardship as constructive, as something that perhaps needed to happen to bring me to maturity, knowing that there was no guarantee that I would get there otherwise.

Christmas is a hard time of year for me for the same reasons that it is hard for a lot of people. It magnifies our shortcomings with our family. It perhaps magnifies empty chairs at the table where a loved one no longer sits. It magnifies feelings that we have inside of us that perhaps we feel should not be there. Despite that, I am leaving this Christmas behind feeling that I have gained something genuinely great and inspiring through my experiences, and I feel a wonderful sense of gratitude knowing that I’ll live to fight another day. I like to think that I might even have the ability to accomplish more now than I would have otherwise had.

I doubt that I will watch Dead Poets Society again for a long time. Its place is genuinely in the past, but we would all do well to learn from our own pasts. Sometimes it takes a Christmas visit from an old friend to impress upon you the importance of what you have learned, that truth is a tangible thing in the world that is worth defending, and that the pursuit of happiness, however you define it, is the ultimate goal of all people in this world. The road may be long and hard, but that it be uniquely our own to pursue – that is something worth fighting for.

Merry Christmas.

Stuck.

This might be more of a rant than a legitimate post. Bear with me, kids.

I love self-improvement everything. Books, podcasts, Twitter personalities – you name it. (If you’re on Twitter, please follow Ed Latimore. We’re not affiliated at all, but he’s the bomb dot com – great for hard-ass inspiration.) I love thinking about what I can do to be a better person, a better friend, family member, coworker, etc. If you read my post about podcast recommendations, you probably already figured this out.

I have devoted a serious portion of my life over the last couple of years to being better and doing better. To say that it has been easy would be a lie because it has involved some difficult points of facing down my own shadow, and I’m definitely not finished with it yet. Well, you’re never done with the shadow. But I have made a lot of progress, and I’m happy to say that good things have happened in my life as a result of my commitment to being better. Or maybe I just see the good things more easily.

I would say that probably the biggest problem for most people, including me, is procrastination and general inaction. People have wishes, not goals. They say things lie, “I wish I could go to Bermuda this year,” or, “I wish I had a great boy-/girlfriend in my life.” They don’t realize that you have to put in work to get these things. I have bemoaned my seemingly eternal singleton state, but the honest truth is that I’m divorced with three kids and I’m fat. The guys aren’t going to be beating down my door. The kids are non-negotiable, so I figure my best shot at getting laid regularly is to become a workout MILF. Truth hurts, man.

I do love to procrastinate, but my main problem is that I’m an intensely cerebral person. Please don’t take that to mean that I think I’m smarter than everyone else because I really don’t. I do think I’m a bit more inquisitive than average, but being intellectual does not equal having a high IQ. Basically, I just live in my head. I could read and write all day and be a mostly happy person. I do enjoy some socialization sometimes, but I’m happiest when I’m sitting somewhere comfortable with a stack of books, reading and learning about things that interest me. I would say that I should have been a professor, but the way college campuses are going, I think I’d end up being tarred and feathered.

The other side to my inaction is fear, which is true for pretty much anyone. Taking risks doesn’t usually mean that someone is unafraid, but rather they refuse to let fear hold them back, and that is all the difference between success and failure. If you never try, it is certain that you will never succeed. Even when I really want something, I have to force myself to face down my fear of rejection. Yes, rejection. I am afraid of failure, for sure, but I’m far more afraid of social rejection, which drives me completely insane. I hate the idea that I might be beholden to someone else’s opinion, and I know that I am.

Nevertheless, I push forward. I am working on something in my private life that is going to require some amount of rejection straight from the get-go, and it is going to be hard and will undoubtedly entail many awkward moments. But it is something that I want to do, and so I’m going to do it. I am not going to let someone else’s attitude bother me. The subject is too important.

In light of all of this, I have a couple of things that drive me completely batshit crazy anymore: negative attitude and shooting down potential options before research. I can’t stand people complaining about things that are easily amended, especially when it’s due almost entirely to a lack of self-awareness, and I think it’s ridiculous that there are so many folks that are down on the world. We live in an amazing time, and people need to find their gratitude. They also need to stop making lame excuses for why something won’t work.

When I start making suggestions to people when they are complaining about something, and they shoot down all of my ideas without offering up something in its place, I know immediately that they aren’t serious about making a change. This is frustrating and disappointing, but ultimately there is nothing that you can do to help or save someone else. They must make the choice to save themselves. Most people will not make that choice.

I have had to make some tough choices lately. I have had to do some things that I didn’t want to do in order to free up time and money to devote to getting ahead. But I consider that it will be sacrifice well made, and I will make amends for any harm done. I made that promise a long time ago.

There is this stereotype about libertarians generally and anarcho-capitalists most particularly that we are greedy, money-hungry bastards that want poor people to die without medical care and children to starve in the streets. That is a gross mischaracterization and blatantly untrue. This libertarian is only sad that she can’t do more. I give to United Way, I volunteer for a couple of organizations, and I’m cleaning out my pantry tonight for a food drive. It’s the least I can do. I’m lucky.

So I don’t have a lot of patience for ideas perpetually shot down. I don’t have a lot of patience for negativity or backbiting, and I don’t have a lot of patience for inaction. If you want something – really want it – you have to go for it. You won’t let the possibility of embarrassment or failure stop you. But most people will, and that’s a shame.

This is what’s on my mind tonight. I’m going to go clean out that pantry now and hope that this cold, October evening finds all of you safe, comfortable, content, and achieving. And if you’ve put achievement aside for the evening, at least enjoy a cup of Tension Tamer Tea and Stranger Things 2.