Tony Kneel: “Daisy, Daisy,” part 2 of 3

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At the end of our ride I bid farewell to Jack, approached Nicolette and exchanged numbers. We agreed that I’d peruse the Potomac Pedalers rides and see which one fit best. I explained that I’d be riding the tandem solo to the ride start so we’d almost certainly do a ride that originated in Ashton or Olney. I didn’t explain that we’d have to start close by because I was carless, the reason wasn’t relevant, and Nicolette smiled while Geoff scowled as they drove away with their bikes atop their BMW 733i.

I cycled the five miles from Sherwood High to home, put the tandem away, (it was my most expensive possession) showered, grabbed some food and, since it was Saturday and I didn’t have to wait until after 11:00 for rates to go down, phoned Jean.

“Hey, baby,” I said into the phone, “how you doing?”

“Good,” she replied. “Just getting some last minute wedding details planned. You’re still planning to make lasagna for the rehearsal dinner at Marie’s, right?”

“Yep. Lasagna Florentine. Gotta Popeye it up.”

“Great. We can go shopping when you get here. You’re driving up with your folks?”

“Uhm, maybe?” I responded. “We’re all coming so I should have plenty of people I can catch a ride with. Maybe John and Brooke. Guess what I did today?”

“Heard from a school in Atlanta!?”

I exhaled heavily. “No. Sorry. Nothing yet. No. I went on a group ride with Jack on the tandem.”

“Oh. Yeah?” Jean responded non-committed. Jack was not one of her favorite people.

“Yeah. Potomac Pedalers? The bike club? We rode the tandem.”

“Cool. Have fun?”

“Yes. I’m looking forward to tandeming with you in Atlanta. Had a gal express interest in a tandem ride with me and so next week I’ll probably ride with her.”

“Oh, yeah? Somebody you know?”

“Not really,” I replied. “We’ve been on rides together, but we haven’t talked much. She usually hangs with her body-builder boyfriend.”

“Oh. Cool! Well, have fun! I got stuff to do. Talk to you later?”

“Absolutely. I should be home tonight. Call you around ten?”

“Perfect. Love you!”

“I love you, JPT. Later,” I said, waiting for her to hang-up before disconnecting.

I consulted my Potomac Pedalers newsletter and found a ride that started from the Olney Theatre and called Nicolette. Geoff answered. “Hi. Is Nicolette there?”

“Who’s calling?”

“Tony Kneel. I’m supposed to arrange a tandem-”

“Nikki!” I hear Geoff call out. “It’s the tandem guy.”

Nicolette gets on the phone, we agree to meet at the Theatre on Saturday the twenty-fourth and go about our days.

Saturday May 24th brings another beautiful not quite summer morning to central Montgomery County. I cycle to the Theatre and find Nicolette waiting with Geoff who scowls. “Hey!” I say, “how are you this morning? You have water bottles?”

We place her two bottles in the stoker’s waiting cages and we three sign the ride log. I explain the basics of being a tandem stoker and then we’re off, heading northwest toward Old Baltimore Road. It doesn’t takes long before the ride group splits into a slightly smaller faster portion, and a larger slower part. Nicolette and I leave Geoff behind in the slower part as we motor through the mostly rolling byways of rural northern M.C. With nearly twice the horsepower but almost no additional aerodynamic drag, tandems allow riders to go faster on flats and fly downhills, with the flip-side being a more precipitous slowing on ascents.

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Peter’s Seventieth

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Image may contain: 4 people, people sitting and indoorWe all know of Peter and his fairy pal Tink,
and army of Lost Boys from fount of youth did drink.
Neverland far away, yet ever is it nigh,
ADA accessible, as we all can fly.

Fly away in spirit, God Father, Son, and Ghost!
My Cath’lic upbringing this play reflected most.
Not too far from Dubuque, in eastern Iowa,
is where I lived longest, tall corn and short soya!

I too am an orphan, I too am four of five,
play made me remember times long ago slipped by.
Sarah captures nicely Midwest mid-century,
Wendy, John and Michael, Jane and Hook all family.

First we lost our mother and then we lost our dad;
only one not present when our Royal Dame passed.
Ten years span of siblings, eldest turns sixty-two
all love one another; I’m liberal in the room.

Spread out cross the nation, triangle of vast size
from D.C. to Memphis hypotenuse inscribes.
Though great is the distance hearts are our winning suit
for love of family for all’s an absolute.

Known to act a fairy, flit merrily around,
though the years weigh heavy life still holds me spellbound.
Here’s to sister Peter, my John and brother Mike,
Jane’s our youngest sibling, I will Captain our flight.

We all know of Peter and his fairy pal Tink,
and army of Lost Boys from fount of youth did drink.
Fly away in spirit, God Father, Son, and Ghost!
My Cath’lic upbringing this play reflected most.

A Thing Divine

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Used to feel so powerless and under parents’ thumb
nineteen bought a bicycle and went on rides far flung.
Not a thing was running to, but rather ran away,
problems not reduced a whit but they less heav’ly weighed.
I found a mighty power and glory in two wheels,
becalmed troubled spirit, transported to tranquil fields.
I found sanctum sanctorum, my holiest of place,
not within tabernacle but wind upon my face.

I could leave the world behind and calm my troubled soul
twas closest to a thing divine I had ever known.
As circumstance would have it in month of that same year
I met my darling goddess and o’er time love revered.
Revealed to me power of attraction I’d not known
and fore six months were ended I left my parents’ home.
At nineteen still a child, at that age is no disgrace,
but in disturbing tempest fear our love did debase.

There’s folks who long for silver and folks who dream of gold
but my soul ever after’s wished love I’d never soiled.
There’s not a single person who treads upon the Earth
who’s lovely as my goddess; deserves more’n my worth.
My sanctum sanctorum remains bicycle escape
but in intervening years find I’m victim to jape.
For I’m still running way from rather than running to
when child masquerades as man looks in mirror do.

Used to feel so powerless and under parents’ thumb
nineteen bought a bicycle and went on rides far flung.
I could leave the world behind and calm my troubled soul
twas closest to a thing divine I had ever known.
I’m blessed with loving woman who deigns to be my wife
hurts my soul, forever know, that my fall brought her strife.
There’s folks who long for silver and folks who dream of gold
but my soul ever after’s wished love I’d never soiled.

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Four Truths and a Lie

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Upon meeting someone new I sometimes play a game I call, “Four Truths and a Lie.” It’s a simple game and I always clue in my new acquaintance before beginning. As the name implies, I tell four truths and one lie, and in my game all five statements are about me.

For instance I might say:
I am fifty-seven years-old.
I was born in the Midwest.
My mother was born in 1920.
I am unmarried.
I have two children.

Four of those statements are true and one is a lie. The lie is number four. I am married to a kick-ass woman I affectionately call the goddess Durga, a moniker I assigned to her  because of her fierceness. Four Truths and a Lie is a fun, engaging ice breaker; please feel free to steal the idea from me. (BTW- Presentation is critical. Successful deceit requires stating all five statements convincingly or, if you’re devious, stumble over one of the truths but sail through the lie. I’d also suggest not presenting the lie last, that tends to be a tell.)

Four Truths and a Lie is a fun game and, since I tell my new friend up front what the rules are, it’s also innocuous. Hey, no harm no foul so long as we’re all in on it and in the end I state which “Truth” is actually a Lie. But what about lies slipped in with truths? Lies that are neither innocuous nor revealed? I find this disturbing, devious and dangerous.

Examples of mixing lies among truth abound. I have a friend who posted this meme:No automatic alt text available.

We could argue about the verity of the seven pro cannabis opinions stated as fact but number three is the one that sticks in my craw. Cannabis does not cure cancer and stating that something is a cure for cancer that is not is completely reprehensible.

Why? Because convincing the cancer riddled that a quack treatment will cure them increases the chances that the afflicted will not seek out medical help that might prove life saving.

Did I say reprehensible? I should have said criminal.

Cannabis, marijuana, pot laws in the USA are crazy! Cannabis as a Schedule One Drug, a designation equating it with heroin and making research regarding it a Federal Crime, is an obscenity. I am not now, have never been nor plan to be a toker but cannabis should be treated similarly to alcohol, studied both long and short term, regulated, -we know it affects brain development adversely and should not be used by youngsters- taxed and made available. But when people claim it cures cancer they are implicit in homicide, rendering number four, “ZERO DEATHS IN HISTORY” a highly debatable statement.

Cancer is no game, it is now the leading cause of death in the USA and effective treatment is paramount. Can cannabis play a role in cancer treatment? You bet! It has been shown to curtail nausea, up appetite, help fight depression, treat pain and more, but it is not now, never has been, nor ever will cure cancer and to state otherwise is a lie of the insidious and deadly kind.

Did you hear the one about the blonde, the retard and the Pollock?

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Did you hear about the retard who tripped after tying his shoes?
Together?

Or how about this one?

A Pollock was at a bus depot trying to light his cigarette. Time and again he flicked his Bic but the lighter produced no flame. Finally, a fellow traveler walks up with his lighter ready to provide the needed spark asking, “Out of flint?”
The Pollock answers, “No. Warsaw.”

Pollock jokes, retard jokes and, to a lesser extent, blonde jokes portray populations as asinine, brainless and cretinous, the A, B, C’s of smugness. The point behind retard jokes is how superior “we” are to “them,” and they speak volumes about the insecurities of the joke teller.

The latest version of the blonde, Pollock, retard joke is the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joke,  New York’s freshly elected congressional representative from the Fourteenth Distrct. The latest craze is to post a meme with a picture of MS Ocasio-Cortez spouting some absurd inanity.

That she didn’t say.

I am confident that MS Ocasio-Cortez, a twenty-nine year old self proclaimed socialist, will spout numerous things with which I will disagree vehemently and when she does I will call out her ideas, theories, pie in the sky, take from the rich give to the poor school of governance. I will not demean her, I will challenge her view, and I will certainly not put words of idiocy of my making in her mouth because that would just be retarded.

Create Verity

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The world is not benign nor is it malicious
world just does unto me regardless of wishes.
The twice four billion souls who populate this sphere
they ain’t out to get me rather they’re cavalier.

Don’t care ’bout my problems, got plenty of their own
and though may wish me well got noses to grindstone.
Caring’s continuum from far left to far right
for most far too often they got their own damn fights.

Injustice that surrounds is just a stone in shoe
it’s our own stumbling blocks that on our souls accrue.
Accrue with greater weight with every step we take
immobilizing us: Slings and arrows of fate.

Microbiology with Brownian motion
is a perfect picture of human condition.
Pushed in all directions by fellow vitreous
though we’ve common purpose, just act in absurdness.

Each of us is timid, yeah each of us is scared,
tell your story walking if think from fear’ve been tared.
Burly bodybuilders, to those on a high wire,
though calm under fire beneath false fronts all perspire.

“Fear is the mind-killer,” say Bene Gesserits
yet it’s in fear we walk, there’s no denying it.
Look at how we cower and hide behind our masks;
we’re so busy trembling can’t put our hands to task.

Everything that’s needed the good Earth does provide;
we’re too busy warring and resting on false pride.
The world may be neutral, she may not care at all,
power to transform her is at our beck-and-call.

Still, we go on hiding and stealing from siblings,
rule by domination, though hatred breeds and brings.
It’s not that we’re evil, though we’re selfish species;
if we work together can create verity.

Eight Percent

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Despite a firm understanding that everyone embraces some sort of self-deceiving nonsense I still find myself amazed when the same people who reject Fundamentalism, that anti-intellectual belief that a supernatural power has revealed unquestionable, unchanging, eternal truths to the world via sacred text or direct manifestation, the self-same people who embrace Science and Empirical Data, none-the-less unabashedly place their faith in Astrology. I mean, really? Holy vaca, what deep kaka!

Do I believe in things unproven, unproveable and impenetrable? You bet! Me and Hughie Lewis, we both believe in the Power of Love, and I have a deep abiding Faith in a miasmic, amorphous, unrevealed Higher Power. My g-o-d may not be the G-o-d of Isaac and Abraham but I have Faith that we’re not here because things “just happen.”

Jabs against Fundamentalism aside, Christians credit Jesu Crista with writing a laundry list of sins Mortal and Venial in the sand. In the parable of Let he who is without sin cast the first stone (#John 8:7) Jesus saved an adulterous (Can one be a minorlous?) woman from being stoned to death when He stopped an angry mob from meting out a painful death to a woman who slipped, fell, and wound up with a square peg in her oval hole. Basically, J.C. is said to have given written permission to whomever was sinless to go ahead and step forth and begin pelting the woman to death. Fortunately for Madame Roundheels, nobody measured up to Jesus’ sin-free stoner prerequisite and she was set free, “To go and sin no more.” (There is no mention of punishment for the man who provided the earlier afore mentioned square peg.) (#Patriarchy)

Now, while I am as far from a believer in Scripture as the literal Word of God (#WOG) as a man can get, I credit that lifesaving sand-script to Jesus. You may think my miniscule  faith in J.C. ludicrous but there is no one who walks the Earth that doesn’t have some WTF’s in their belfry. But ASTOLOGY?! OMG!

BTW- this parable is the only thing the Son of God (#SOG) is directly credited with writing. I guess He was too busy turning H2O to vino, cavorting with M&M (#Mary Magdalen) and eventually hanging out in excruciating circumstances.

I was reared in a home steeped in early Twentieth Century Roman Catholicism who believed in Saints, Sacraments, Salvation and…

…pluralism. Not for us children, but for those not privileged to be blessed with the Daro et Sanguis Christi.

Had I disparaged Hindu, Jew, Muslim or other religion I’d have been carted off to confession where I would have asked for absolution and performed the penance of reciting the priestly proscribed number of Our Fathers and Hail Marys in atonement for my sin. but ASTROLOGY? Nuh-uh, I don’t think so!

So it was that I found myself sitting at a bar with my recently made friend Yvette and her friends Mac and his wife Judy, a lovely couple heretofore unbeknownst to me. We’re humming along, sniffing proverbial butt (#SPB) and grooving to the music when dainty Dame Judy asks me, “So, what’s your sign?”

“No!” scream I. “No, no, no! Please, please say it’s not so!”

Mac and Judy look at me, glance toward one another and then again look to me before Judy asks, “I take it you’re not a believer in the arcane arts?” (Okay, okay. Judy chose words that were in no way as absurd as those I just put in her mouth but who’s telling this story?)

“Believe in astrology? Not a whit with any wit. My favorite astrology story involves a psych professor hell-bent on disproving the anti-intellectual star gazing as nothing but confirmation-bias circular soul-searching bunk.

“He had students in a big 100 level class provide him with the date, hour and location of their births and promised each of them a detailed, accurate, personal astrological reading.

“That’s what he promised but he gave everyone the exact same script. The individual reading was total bunkum and hoodoo. Everyone got their reading and they were told not to share their information with other students but to read what was written and compare the attributes listed to themselves.

“When he asked the class how closely they felt the reading reflected the student the positive correlation was incredibly high. On a scale of one to ten the median score the class assigned was a nine. These astrological readings were spot on!

“‘Good,’ the professor said. “’Now I have a confession to make. I did not do as I promised. No one created specific readings for you. You all got the same reading and the astrologer who created the reading was given the date, time and location for serial killer Ted Bundy’s birthday.

“‘Congratulations, you all think that you are either extremely like or exactly like one of the most notorious serial killers in US history.’

“So,” I continued, “instead of me telling you what my sign is and confirming your bias why don’t you tell me what my sign is?” I asked, a smug look on my homely mug.

“Well,” Judy replied after a moment of contemplation, “I’m going to say you’re definitely an Aries.”

To be an Aries one must be born between March 21st and April 19th. There are twelve astrological signs which means random chance gives Judy an 8% chance of guessing my sign correctly. I was born April nineteenth.

As I said, we all embrace some sort of self-deceiving nonsense. Continue reading

Bryant, Bryant, Bryant, Bryant, Bryant, Bryant, Bryant

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Watched you from afar as you sat upon a bed
it was cold November you’d been struck in your head.
A simple little play with an essential theme
in which you were attacked for living Rainbow Dream.

Early in my learning, though it was late in life,
paid little attention to the vi’lence and strife
visited on L, G the B, T and the Q
captured my attention and soon I played with you.

I was hateful father and you my homo son
disdain that dad felt for you made me want to run;
run to you as Bryant with Keith’s arms open wide,
but I checked my tear drops and kept feelings inside.

Blessed I was to meet you and soon took on the role
of friend who was fatherly, fate that’s rather drool.
Used to worry bout you and some risks that you’d take,
I sighed in relief when you took Josh as your mate.

You were Green to my Plum, we played Indecently:
Been nearly four years since your smiling face I’ve seen.
In the intervening time I’ve aged quite a bit
but you, like friend Dorian, haven’t aged a whit.

Happy birthday, Bryant! I hope that you are well
and that my silly rhyming works like muscatel.
Some inebriation’s a thing we can all use;
hope on your birthday not reduced to self-abuse.
XXOO

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Final

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There are twelve months in a year, this is the final one,
back fore Rome changed calendar, had but ten, my son.
December is deci, which as you know’s a tenth
January, days of old, when seeds were dispensed.
Darkest days of winter when nothing was in bloom,
when Earth she lay fallow and darkness o’er all loomed,
months of cold and dreary were deemed beneath contempt
so, our early agris declared two moons exempt.
There are twelve and a third full moons in every year
which tends to reek havoc on symmetry, I fear.
Months were lunar driven, making all lunatics,
took some generations perfect calendar’s mix.
Then Julius and August thought they were the bomb
so two months we added, now had twelve in our song,
still we could not align hopes with reality
switch Julian Gregorian new fealty.

In October of the year fifteen-eighty-two
Pope Gregory the thirteenth new calendar drew.
Whole world’s gone Gregorian, (different dude than chant)
changed ano domini to CE circumstance.
Holy goodness, holy cow, holy holly sprig
today is December tenth, do not flip your wig!
My point’s happy birthday, I’ve finally arrived
to point of this lecture, I’m glad that you’re alive!
Though you are no Caesar, no high and mighty pope,
once more circumnavigated our lovely sol.
Hope your soul’s uplifted and coming year’s divine,
happy birthday, dear friend, I’m proud to call you mine.
There are twelve months in a year this is the final one,
back fore Rome changed calendar, had but ten, my son.
December is deci, which as you know’s a tenth
January, days of old, when seeds were dispensed.

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Universal Healthcare without Mandatory Self-care; a prescription for failure

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Garrison Keiller’s Lake Wobegon is a magical place where, as Kieller liked to remind us with every episode of NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion, “all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” Wouldn’t that be lovely? Of course, there is no such place and instead we live in a world where the bell-curve of reality is that most of us fall in the middle of physical prowess, attractiveness and intelligence. Same thing goes for health.

On the far right of our bell-curve we have healthy people, on the left we have unhealthy,  and in the center lie the vast majority of us who are muddling through the best that we can; a textbook example of a classic distribution. It would be lovely if we had a skewed distribution, one where the curve had very few folks to the left or center and the overwhelming majority were not just to the right but did right; right for themselves with proper self-care including but not limited to rest, exercise, food choice, disease protection and mental health awareness. Think of the increase in longevity, the decrease in medical costs, the abundance of joy an abundance of vitality could bring! That’d be great, but it isn’t what’s happening.

Instead of prevention most of us look to intervention. We break ourselves and demand that the world fix us. Prevention is hard. It takes personal effort. Intervention is costly and if we are not taking proper care of ourselves then our abdication of personal responsibility places a preventable burden on everyone around us.

A burden to everyone around us? You bet.

We have a nearly infinite demand for health-care services while the supply is severely limited. Economics tells us that things in high demand and low supply increase in expense until the supply, the demand and the price reach stasis, a fact that does not bode well for the treatment paradigm that is the current cornerstone of wellness and that does not bode well for the efficacy of Universal Healthcare. 

Embracing intervention rather than working toward prevention is not an enlightened approach to proper self-care; unlimited intervention after the fact is in direct opposition to the demand and supply realities of the world. Humanity for our fellow humans doesn’t begin by wanting everyone to have access to healthcare, it begins by decreasing the demand and thereby freeing the supply for those in need. 

When we act in opposition to reality, when we call Health Care a “RIGHT,” we set ourselves up for failure. “A Right?” We have the “Right” to demand that others care for us regardless of our actions? I think not. Any  Right beyond Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness must be balanced with an Obligation, or as I like to abbreviate it:

R = O + F/L

If We The People call for Rights that are not balanced with Obligation then we destroy ourselves from within.

Should access to healthcare go exclusively to the wealthy? No. But when we insist that others provide for us when we do not first practice self-care then we abuse the word Right to mean something sick, sinister and twisted; much the same way many of us treat ourselves.  

Despite an adulthood where I have tried to care for myself well, despite working hand in hand with my healthcare providers to try to keep the incidence of intervention low, I have required half-a-dozen surgeries, been hospitalized a similar number of times and had a like number of  prevention/detection procedures. I have reaped the benefits of a healthcare system designed more for intervention than prevention and I wish to deny this care to no one; but wishing doesn’t make it happen, doing our part to keep demand low does. 

The first question each of us should ask ourselves is how we embrace, promote and inculcate a Healthcare System of prevention so intervention can be provided for the three-hundred-fifty-million people living in the USA. Boo-hoo-hooing, gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands will help no one in need and neither will wishing we lived in a Lake Wobegon world where, “all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” 

There is a lot that’s wrong with healthcare but the single aspect over which each of us has the greatest control is the way we live our lives.

 

Chaste Consort

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Even as I write this drab day is full of light
though we’ve hours until dawn you dispel the night.
Beaming smile encompasses from toe to your crown,
bathes you in radiance finer than any gown.

You who have so many that you hold in your thrall,
scrumptious loving sycophants at your beck and call.
Boys and girls of merry who around you cavort
do not love as I do, your ever chaste consort.

You’ve lifted me to heaven with directing hand,
freed me for a little while from my self made chains.
Darling, darling, angel, granddaughter of  Bacchus,
know that forever you’ve earned my loving chorus.

Leslie C

Freedom, Governance, Hierarchy

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Views on governance and rights is varied but tends to fall into four categories. Imagine a four space grid. On the left is More Government and on the right is Less Government. Accompanying those two themes are the ideas of Freedom, which tops the grid and Hierarchy upon which it rests. It would look a bit like this:

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Of course we’d center everything nicely so it would look pretty and we’d use big, bold, bewitching font and someone who thinks in images rather than words would design it graphically, but there are its bones.

These are the cornerstones of governance. We all yearn for freedom but must recognize the need for hierarchy and most of us call for less government though many, most perhaps, actually want more government, though they may be in denial of this desire.

People who want more government fall into two major branches; the branch that believes government can fix things and therefore has the right and bears the responsibility to do so, and the branch that feels government is needed to control the actions of “OTHER,” whomever other may be. The two branches may intertwine or they may be separate.

Those who want less government tend to be civil libertarians; people who think government should be limited. Libertarians believe that relying on government for basic wants and needs is inappropriate, possibly Unconstitutional, damaging to the populace and effectively creates a 21st Century liege and vassal, neo-feudalistic society that indentures and enslaves the citizens for which it is designed to provide. More Government takes resources from “makers” and redistributes those resources without the specific consent of those taxed to a greater degree than does Less Government.

The degree to which we call for more or less government and the areas in which we feel legislation is needed and against whom taxes should be levied and for whom resources provided is inter-tangled in an intricate, self-contradictory, put our resources here not there miasma that oft times pits the financially vulnerable against big corporations and is the frequent source of, “Yes, buts,” for those who feel less government is the gold standard of governance but also know we need to protect the environment, our poor and whatever pet-project is felt to supersede the less is more school of governance. Humans can be alarmingly inconsistent and self-contradictory.

More government people are frequently socialists who see the world through a more pragmatic lens. A problem crops up, big-government steps in and provides a solution. What could be better? Of course Fascists are also big government people, as is the group wrongly called communists, and the fact that the populace is being dictated to in regards to what constitutes an issue and what provides a solution can be highly problematic. Big government dictates and whether the dictates are of, by, and for the people depends on of whom we ask the question.

Then we have freedom versus hierarchy, a conflict that goes hand-in-glove with the social headbutts of traditional roles versus evolving ones. In a free society we have the right to speak our minds, to protest and call for change and change, no matter how needed and beneficial causes unease, especially for those whose privileges are reduced at the extent of greater equality. A secular society can cry out for the security of “Old Time Religion,”  just as much as a spiritual one and sweeping away rules, mores and unquestioned base-assumptions that have ruled and guided for centuries if not eons can cause the strongest to feel vulnerable.

Hierarchy, structure, is needed but when hierarchy oppresses then it must be challenged. Denying equal rights to a person or group because it is traditional is the lowest form of governance and working toward greater equality is the direction the human race must take if we wish to throw off the shackles and blinders with which we have been burdened since if not the time of Adam then certainly the era of Abraham.

I will continue to tout the benefits of less government while working for more freedom and greater equality but as I do so I will remember that species adapt to their environment through evolution, not revolution, and I will use what small force I have combined with my tiny lever to push us in a direction where freedom rings for all.