THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 387, October 1, 2006
The Country We All Grew Up In Is Dead!
Credit The Libertarian Enterprise
Yep, that's me. A newbie to Libertarianism, and learning as much as I can as fast as I can about it; lining in "the bush" so to speak, and growing angrier and more confused by the day. Angry that I was lied to all my life by my parents (who probably didn't know they were lying), by a myriad of teachers up through college level (who should have known they were lying even if they didn't), by the news media (who are supposed to know they are lying), the government official (who truly believes she is there to help, and lies despite himself), and of course our favorite people: the politicians (who know they are lying if they have previously won even one election). I'm confused for the same reasons, more or less. I have always tried to be an honest person and generally assumed most other people were as well; keeping in mind, of course, that all politicians lie to get and/or keep their jobs. (After all it is what's expected in politics, in this country at least, is it not?) So I'm confused why so many people have lied to me for so long. I'm also extremely angry and scared over what has happened in the past five years, and what I see happening in the future.
Okay, long opening paragraph but I wanted to get all that off my chest first. I'm going to come back to that shortly, but first a little history lesson. Nope, not Thomas Jefferson again, or even Ol' Not So Honest Abe. This is the history of a kid who grew up in the sixties in California, and plumb missed all the fun. I promise not to swear, and will use euphemisms as much as possible.
I was raised by a construction worker and his housewife who just happened to be of the "Greatest Generation" sort: (R word) to the core. Conservative? Hah! They make Rush Limbaugh look like a middle of the roader, especially now they are in their eighties and listen to that fine gentleman each day. My grandparents lived next door (that being about a hundred yards or so in our rural area) and made my parents look liberal. Okay then, got the picture? I was a gun totin', card carryin', died in the wool ("R word") for most of my life. Hey, I saw Governor Ronnie Regan ride a horse down the street in a local parade when I was about 14 or so, accompanied of course by six body guards on foot. He waved to me and I thought he was the best thing in the world; my parents said he was.
I was a genius, attending, at best, mediocre public schools. They didn't know what to do with me. 'Nuff said. At nineteen I joined (don't ya love that word here) the United States Hair Farce--uhm, sorry--Air Force with the intention of making it a career. I spent eight years, two months, and five days as a thoroughly indoctrinated (R word) voting "member" of that military "service", and was discharged honorably with a couple of citations for being a good little drone. In case you're interested I was an Electric Power Lineman during my servitude to my beloved government. Only time I got to fly on military aircraft was in using hops to get back and forth from and to a lovely little garden spot in the Aleutian Islands while on leave.
So far, so good. I survived eight rather boring years in the military, and got out because it wasn't fun any more. 'Nam had ended while I was doing a year in Korea in the mid seventies so that by 1980 the "peacetime" military was nothing but a back-stabbing hang out for the lazy and incompetent. Not to put down everyone who served after that and before Dessert Shorn, but many of the people I knew who stayed in fit that description. I spent the next 20 odd years moving around the country and went through two additional marriages, besides a brief disastrous one while I was an indentured servant to my country. By turns I worked in a variety of industries including being a DJ, performing various maintenance work, driving a laundry truck, welding for a manufacturer, retail manager, and self-employed handyman, among others. (Couldn't decide what I want to be when I grow up, if I ever do.) Then I wound up back in California again, working on my third divorce. Don't ask, not pretty.
Okay, that's the thumbnail sketch of what has basically been a rather boring life all in all, and throughout I was a naive member of the (R word) party. I had never once voted (D word). But something in me began to change. Maybe it was the unmistakable onset of middle age, bulge included, or perhaps it was that I was starting to realize things in this country were not as they seemed on the surface. I watched in shock as the (R word)s stole a presidential election. I cried for all the people lost in those towers, and I watched then as a man I had voted for, and was beginning to think was worthless, apparently grew some cojones, seemingly overnight. In the meantime I was beginning to listen, for the first time in my life, to what people were really saying, or not saying as the case may be, on television and radio. I began to think for myself. My what a concept! At first I was prone to lean toward endorsing the (D word) party as people of integrity who at least cared about people. But then I listened even closer to what both sides were saying about each other, and a lot was not adding up. Of course then they and their (R word) colleagues passed arguably the the worst and most unconstitutional piece of legislation in history, called euphemistically the Patriot Act. (Ever wonder how much the person who named that laughed sardonically about the name?)
As the course of my life played out over the next few years, I began seeing that the (R words)s hadn't gotten it right at all with their Contract With America, and the (D word)s were, as always, so fractured and pulling in so many directions it was hard to tell if there was a coherent political party there at all. I think, for me though, the real epiphany came when the Cowboy Clown occupying the Oval Office and playing in his daddy's not very large shoes decided we should invade another country because they were the seat of terrorism around the world and purportedly were developing an arsenal of WMD's to distribute to those terrorists.. No, not the first one, the other one that continues to claim the lives of brave men and women daily. Not that people don't die in that other place fairly regularly, just not as many. Frankly, I came to realize that not only was this person playing President 'out to lunch' permanently, but so were all the people working for him. Even worse I began to see members of our supposed legislative body kowtowing to that individual from both sides of the "aisle", as the pundits call it. Not to mention that the highest court in the land had become so politicized as to no longer be what a court was supposed to be, from what I'd learned all those years ago in civics and government classes. Fortunately I've read quite a lot since school and learned what courts were really supposed to do, and weren't.
Enter a new friend. A few years ago I caught the Harry Potter bug in a big way. Cool hobby, that, disappearing into the life of a fictional character for hours on end to wash away all the worries of being a self-employed, tax-making tool of gooferment. About two and a half years ago, after having read the books way too many times as well as a great many fan fictions, I decided to write my own version of what I thought might happen next in the life of the young wizard of world renown. Ultimately my first attempt didn't pan out too well. But, as soon as the sixth book in the incomparable series came out, I sat down to write another which has to date amassed some one hundred fifty thousand word and is still going strong. This time when I got several chapters written and was confident of where I wanted the story to go I started posting my efforts on a couple of websites which archive such things. The response was gratifying and encouraging to the point I started my very own Yahoo! Group to discuss the things I was writing. Lo and behold, one of the first members of the group was some nut I'd exchanged a few comments with on other such groups. We talked some on the message board. Then we talked more, on a wide variety of topics. Then we exchanged numerous emails and started talking in instant messages almost daily as my story progressed. In short, we became internet buddies.
Over the course of the next few months my new friend introduced me to the concepts of Libertarianism. I began to see there was an alternative to the propaganda and garbage I'd thought was the truth of how our country should work. I began to see just how much I'd been lied to all my life by all those people. It was at this point in my life that my third marriage was on the rocks and it was time for me to leave the Land of Fruits and Nuts where they periodically elect an actor to play governor for a few years. I'd had enough of that place and my now ex, and was looking around for a place to go. My friend, who signed all his emails and whatnot with a slash, as in Ron/Bear (I figured he had an ongoing identity crisis, but wasn't about to hold someone else's aberrations against them, having plenty of my own), suggested I move to a state I'd always joked about as having a town called Podunk. And that's where I moved.
Over the next few months this nut and I became good friends, spending many an hour at my kitchen table with a cup of coffee, innumerable cigarettes, and talking about life, gooferment, women, gooferment, religion, gooferment, Libertarianism, and gooferment... and history (the real stuff not the pabulum handed out in our schools). Not necessarily in that order. I read a lot of books my friend recommended, reread some others he mentioned, and looked at numerous websites to find out more about what I had always thought of as a bunch of fringe fruitcakes who had no concept of reality. Truth be told, I didn't even know what Libertarianism was! The more I read about it the more sense it made. The more I read of how fouled up our gooferment really is and how we are screwed on a daily basis, and lied to regularly (still), and generally used and abused by that bloated carcass, the more I realized I was getting scared too. I could see the signs of some things I recalled from those lies I was told in school, and subsequently learned some of the truth about, being reflected in the socio-political environment of today's United States.
I had already concluded some years ago that the world was going to go through some massive changes at some point in the near future. But now I was starting to see in startling clarity that many of the things people had written about, in some cases many years ago, were starting to manifest themselves. Things which were predicted to happen as the world sinks into chaos, and society as we've known it disintegrates. So I continued reading, and added into my study some things which I hope will allow a few folks whom I am privileged to call friends and me to survive whatever might happen in that uncertain future. I care now; about the rape of our constitution; about the way the people of this country and the world have been used and abused by its various gooferments for millennia (our own not being in any way innocent); about how our so-called leaders have abused their power and become so corrupt as to be the biggest thugs in history. And I care most about my friends and neighbors, especially the ones who have no idea what is happening right before their eyes and go blithely on with their desperate lives. I don't accept the lies any longer. I see through them and rebut them when I get the opportunity to do so. And I hunker down and wait, hoping to gather as many good people around me as I can so that maybe we can get through whatever the gooferments of this messed up world throw at us next. By the way, the house next door is still for sale.
That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.