Narrated by talk show host, Brian Wilson, “Down With Power” a Libertarian
Manifesto, by L. Neil Smith now downloadable as an audiobook!
Number 1,068, May 17, 2020

America can be free again if we demand it.
Think about Moses and the Pharaoh.
You cannot beg to be set free.

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On Not Being a Sheep
by Sarah A. Hoyt

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Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

I confess I probably should take no credit in not following the herd. It is, in fact, more difficult for me to follow it. Witness my struggles in 2016. It took rational arguments from two very different perspectives for me to join the majority of the right. And occasionally….

BUT now that Das Bild, that notorious American right wing periodical (coff) says that the lockdown was a huge mistake, you might ask why I’ve been screaming it and “just protect the vulnerable” since this insanity begun.

Well, part of it was that I’ve watched the wheels come off an economy far smaller and less intricate than the US’s and I really didn’t want to live through that nonsense again. When the unofficial unemployment rate trolls the 80% mark (I don’t remember what shenanigans they were using to make it—I think—30% and the only thing that functions is the black market, it’s not so much that people die of famine on the streets (considering Portugal is fertile enough a small backyard can feed the family and most people have or have family who has livestock, that would be a feat) but that the simple business of living takes way too much time. Stuff like finding the place that might be selling this or that requires following a network of rumors. We’re kind of experiencing that right now in Colorado, trying to find out what’s open and what’s not. It’s horrendously familiar.

Having seen the wheels come off, and knowing what the US economy means to the world, and how the US getting sniffles means a killing chill to everyone else, I was not convinced that even had the Xi disease been as lethal as the stupid model said, and set to kill a million people (out of a population of 300 million) it might be the lesser cost. Yes, go ahead, it’s callous and I want people to die, as all the trolls say. Or perhaps, since I tend to think instead of emote, I look at a very bad situation, realize the choices are death and somewhat less death, maybe, and think that the “less death, maybe” is on the side of not destroying the economy. Because, you see, unlike the left, I do understand what the economy is. It is not an artifact of capitalism, and without it, we’d each lie under our perfect Rousseaunian tree and wait for ripe fruit to fall in our mouths. Communist countries have an economy, too. (Though the functioning part is usually the black market. The official economy is a way to starve on the installment plan.) What we call “the economy” is not Wall Street, (which is what these children of privilege think it is) but the sum total of the transactions that make it possible for people to buy food, cleaners, maintain their houses, get medical care, and everything beyond living in a tree and pelting other monkey troops with fruit. (And even that is probably an economy. Biologists speak of the mechanism that allows an animal to eat as “making its living.”)

As bad as a million deaths would be (one in 300 people, and at the time we did not know it would be mostly the very elderly) for the economy, it was better than interrupting the supply chain for food. Or even than destroying the most productive years of the generation now in their twenties and thirties, due to a lack of jobs. My brother and older cousin came out of college at the height of the Portuguese economic confusion and there were no jobs. My cousin found a job that suited her and was happy in her career, but she never really used her degree, which would both have paid better and I presume—since she chose it—have given her great satisfaction. My brother eventually found a job, but it is safe to say he never found a career, or felt in any way useful, and retired early. There are probably millions like them and some of them might have made significant contributions to their field. I have a son graduating with two engineering degrees, and the field went from his actively being headhunted to radio silence complete. If he doesn’t use his skills long enough—if we take long enough to recover—his skills will be outdated and likely valueless.

Now you might say that influenced my thought and darn tooting it did. As one of the vulnerable, since my lungs are never …. reliable, I thought from the beginning that if I had to die, well, my work is mostly done. Yes, you maniacs will miss out on a dozen or more novels (hopefully a lot more, we’ll see. There’s other medical issues in play, as when are they not with me?) but since I expect to be forgotten ten minutes after my death, I don’t think my staying alive is more important than what my son might do in his entire career.

Anyway, that was my thought. I couldn’t prove it with numbers—though, ooh, boy, are we getting the numbers—but even stopping for two weeks seemed insane to me. I know what stoppages of partial regions for weather or illness cost us, and stopping the whole country was insane.

But more than that, I wondered why we were doing this all in a rush and following a completely unproven strategy, rather than actually taking a few days and working through “Who is most at risk” and then protecting THOSE people. I mean, if we were going to confine the healthy with the sick, shouldn’t we know which of the healthy were likely to become sick, first?

Then there was the way the whole “Social distancing” made no sense. I mean they were treating every place, every group, every culture and subculture as exactly the same thing. And hell, having lived in three states in the US and having friends in a lot of other places, I KNOW that cultures are very different. And living “structure” is very different. I might have mentioned this, but every time we fly East (mostly for the annual trek to Liberty Con) every time I hit my first Eastern airport (either Charlotte or Atlanta) I start humming under my breath “don’t stand so close to me.” Going to New York City as we do once every three years or so, whether we plan to or not (Something tends to come up.) is even more so, with bells on. And in Portugal I think my family must think I’ve gone nuts, as I spend most of my time there stepping back hurriedly from someone five inches from my face. Beyond that NYC has elevators and subways, and…. I don’t think most people who live there drive as such. So to anyone who knows the virus theory of disease, NYC would seem like it would be a hot spot, while the rest of the country not so much. I mean, in Colorado our normal way of standing and talking to friends on the street is three feet apart. Three feet is enough for ANY VIRUS to drop to the ground, absent it coming from a sudden sneeze. And in a sneeze, btw, the virus travels far more than six feet. So the entire six feet nonsense? Sounded just like that, nonsense. Possibly because it is.

Our first introduction to this, in Colorado, btw, was during our normal Saturday trip to the botanic gardens in Denver. (We don’t always go there, but it’s there, the zoo or a museum, because memberships to those stretch our entertainment dollar, and I’m not much on movies anyway. I’d go to a drive in, supposing we still had a functioning one, if husband wanted to watch the movie, because I could crochet or read and intermittently “watch” as I do at home, but theaters are not convenient for that.) They’d changed from their normal admission, which involves someone getting a “ticket” from a machine in the atrium (member tickets are free) to you have to buy a ticket, because they only allowed fifty people—FIFTY—over however many acres. And they had a trailer with a few young women processing the ticket. Which means, practically, instead of you waltzing right in and not doing more than handing the ticket to the volunteer, you stood in line to be allowed in. If this doesn’t ring your alarms, then CERTAINLY the idea that fifty people being allowed into an open air space spreading over acres and acres, while the grocery stores were wide open will.

BUT only a couple of days later, the gardens closed, as did the zoo. There was no time to see if this new policy would work, just panic closing.

Because the despicable Jared Polis tried to make this as painful as possible for Coloradans he hates—since he knows it was vote by mail fraud that elected him, also closed parks I shouldn’t be surprised he’s keeping the now financially desperate zoo and gardens closed through their highest grossing season, and is making incoherent noises about opening them with only fifty people allowed, because apparently that wasn’t good enough before, but it’s totes great now. (Jared, you’ll look ridiculous in the Hugo Boss uniform. You’ve got fat as f*ck. Give up the dream.) He’ll probably be ecstatic if all our fun stuff goes bankrupt and has to close. It’s not good for the peons to have fun.

And before the usual idiots say I’m willing to sacrifice lives for my fun, the truth is we KNOW now the chances of your catching this out of doors, or in any situation you’re not shut in with someone infected and sneezing (the myth of asymptomatic spreaders appears to be just that, a myth.) WE KNOW THIS NOW. The fact that he hasn’t reopened outdoor institution, and/or said we’ll re-open on x day means he’s not doing this for any “science” but to prolong the pain and stroke his…. sense of power to our misery.

I found out, btw, drive in theaters, at least in other states (and I suspect in CO if we have any left) were also closed. Which makes no sense at all. Because if you just tell people to tune in their radio to the transmission (which is what they did last time we went to one… 15? years ago) what transmission can there be?

But there were other incoherences. If the illness was so dangerous that parks and museums (the Denver art museum is MASSIVE. We normally don’t come within 5 feet of anyone, except when buying tickets. When we have a membership, we sail right in. And they could have gone to “buy tickets online”) had to be closed, how come grocery stores, Walmart and Home Depot weren’t?

Sure, they WERE and are essential businesses, and note I’m not saying they should be closed. BUT if the virus were really that dangerous, how could you keep them open, whether or not you made the isles one way and marked those stupid places to stand on the floor? IF the pandemic were really as virulent and lethal as we were told, if it was so virulent that the entire botanic gardens COULD only have 50 people in it at a time (apparently it’s exactly like a party with 50 people.) IF weddings had to cancelled, funerals could not be held, parks had to be roped off with yellow caution tape, etc, etc, ad nauseum, shouldn’t the essential businesses have become delivery only?

ALSO if the virus was that dangerous, how come homeless weren’t taken somewhere and quarantined for their protection? How come they were congregating everywhere in massive groups in our deserted city and NOT DROPPING LIKE FLIES. (And yes, I have friends who work ERs. There was no increase in frequent fliers dying.)

Honestly, to me it looked like a combination of LARPing and an attempt to plan the economy and tell us what was important and NOT ALLOW WHAT POLITICIANS THOUGHT UNIMPORTANT TO EXIST. This gross violation of our most basic constitutional rights seemed far MORE dangerous than any pandemic. Even one that killed 10% of the population. Because once you allow your rights to be stripped away, you’re not getting them back, as we have proof daily.

I have had idiots tell me that fat Jared’s orders are “the law” as if he were the emperor or something. (Don’t get fitted for a crown, either, Jared. It makes your face look rounder.) I can’t begin to tell you how incoherent that makes me. It’s not the law, and it is unconstitutional. And if I were that restaurant owner in Castle Rock, he’d be getting his fat ass sued PERSONALLY for violating my civil rights. (Fortunately in places other than my beloved—and occupied—state, courts and law officers are coming to their senses.)

So, now that we know that as Das Bild put it, this was possibly the greatest criminal insanity the West ever committed upon itself (And I would like to know how much of that is the culpability of our media, who is in Xi’s pay. And how much their utter abysmal ignorance of biology, which led them to propagate nonsense about the virus hanging midair, outdoors, for hours and not to laugh out loud at the idea that you were safer at home from a virus that, like all Coronas (yes, including the beer, you joker) dies in the sun.) NOW that we know that opening does not in fact bring a huge death toll, what are we doing?

Well, people—most sane, normal people—are sick to death of this, and there is a seething anger everywhere. But the politicians are trying to hang on to just a little bit more glory, and telling us that restaurants, maybe—thank you Fat Jared—might open in May, but at a third capacity, and we have to be very careful…. Because, you know, the virus, which kills mostly New Yorkers (who live in much more crowded conditions than anyone else in this country) and nursing home patients, is suddenly going to hang out in street corners and kill elementary school kids. (If I see one more kiddie in a mask, I’m going to lose my sh*t. How uninformed are those parents?) As anyone who has ever run a restaurant knows, that means he wants to really, really, really kill our restaurants, and the tourist trade that is 30% of Colorado’s economy.

And the Fat F*ck postures and preens and talks about how he’ll decide to re-open, maybe, perhaps, if only we behave like good boys and girls and “social distance” (i.e. pandemic LARP for his fantasies.) and wear masks.

Even though while there might be some benefit to wearing masks that are N-95 there is NO known medical benefit to a bandana tied over your face, or really any sane reason for a normal, non-sick person to wear a mask. No, they don’t wear them all the time in Asia. They wear them in public transport and close situations, while they THINK THEY MIGHT BE SICK. Not all the time, and not by order of government. But, oh, you have to wear them, or Fat F*ck Jared won’t let you out. He’s not done trying out his Hugo Boss Uniform in front of the mirror and smirking for the cameras.

To put this in perspective, my favorite charity stores have opened—yay—since we are so massively wealthy (ah!) most of our clothes and furniture—unless it’s an item so rare that we need to have it made or buy it specialty—come from there. So, let me say with authority that most of the clothes aren’t washed, and that I clean every piece of furniture we get there, because if they clean its not to my standards.

But they’re open. HOWEVER the botanic gardens, which are outdoors, and where people walk more than six feet apart? Totally need to be closed.

Oh, and church? Very dangerous (and you could say I’m having a crisis of faith over the leadership of my church having gone along with this complete insanity) and though some are re-opening now (not ours) they require masks and social distancing. Look, we don’t go to a mega church, which MAYBE would be dangerous. The service we normally attend the only person within six feet of me is my husband. And honestly, as long as you make sure no one who is coughing and hacking distributes communion, it’s probably not a big deal even in mega churches.

So, what caused me to smell a rat and turn away from the bleating flock heading home to hide under their beds from the scary scary bad cold?

Inconsistencies, panic and outright crazy decisions. I’ve lived under regimes that ruled arbitrarily enough to know that if a regime won’t bother to even TRY to get your buy in, and if they react with no consistency or sense, doing things like curfews, and papers for traveling (it’s a bad precedent and you’ll regret it if Trump loses in November. His election is now more essential than ever, or the “climate crisis” will make the virus LARPing look like a walk in the parks we’ll only wish we had then) while crowding everyone into the five stores that are allowed to stay open in your area of town?

They’re totalitarians, drunk on power, and using their position for petty revenge—such as Fat Jared’s on Weld county—and however bad the crisis, what they’re doing is only making it worse.

So, in the future, and it might be much nearer than we hope, if this election is stolen thanks to insanity and vote by mail fraud pay attention. If what the media and the authorities are telling you makes no sense, the restrictions are arbitrary, and they seem to be enjoying their power way too much (ah, the smirk, Jared. You couldn’t get rid of it, if you tried) they’re lying to you. And you should resist with everything in your power. And that goes double if you’re a policeman blocking the way to the capitol so we can’t give Fat F*ck a piece of our minds. Befehl ist Befehl is not a defense, particularly not in America. Don’t find out too late.

So, now you know why I went the other way. And you?
Well, I recommend massive resistance. It’s time for it. Olly olly oxen free. It might not yet be too late. These news gave me great joy, not because I EVER want to take a cruise in my life (water, people, aaaaaack) but because it means most people really aren’t buying this bullshit. They’re going along with the mask cosplay so as not to listen to the karens. But most common, normal human beings have had enough.

So if we open NOW we might yet recover, and quickly.

And Jared, a word to the wise—no, no, not avoid carbs, though that wouldn’t hurt you either—at this point, you might think prolonging the cosplay will allow you to pretend this really was veddy veddy serious. Or perhaps you’re afraid that if you cave and just open up, your buddy Newsom won’t like you anymore. BUT the truth is, the more random shit you pile on now, while we look at states that opened back up, and states that never closed and fail to see bodies pile up? The more we see your ass. The more we know you’re just on a power trip. Judging from overheard conversations, I suspect the tipping point is very, very close.

How sure are you that you have the fraud sewn up? I mean, you do know that Trump is not Pierre Delecto, to whom we reported massive fraud and who went ahead and conceded, anyway, right? You do know the sewer at the top is getting the lid blown off it, and who knows what will come out?

Perhaps you want the people of this state to not OUTRIGHT hate you, Jared. Great state Colorado, you know, full of the milk of human kindness. We are, for instance, the state that invented and USED the self-hanging machine, to expedite executions.

Get out of the self-hanging machine, Jared. Step out of it. You still can. Say that due to studying the figures from other states, you see science tells us we can just open up. And then stay off the cameras, and listen to a fellow-fatty: the camera makes you look even fatter. Skip briefings and hit the gym. And can the crocodile tears. It just makes us giggle when you cry, and makes us want to make you cry again.

Open up the jail doors, Jared. Because if you don’t we’ll open them ourselves.

Military commanders and sane people (which you’re not one of. Either of those) know that you don’t give an order you know won’t be obeyed.

People are humoring you now—sort of—though the number wearing their masks UNDER their noses should tell you something. If you had two brain cells to rub together.

But it won’t last. It will look better if you let go of your Hugo Boss dreams and just tell us to go back to normal. Then the economy of the state will take off, and we’ll even let you preen. Hell, we’ll try not to roll our eyes in front of you.

But destroy the state economy and you’re done. One way or the other, Jared. You’re done. Even if we have to clean the voter rolls. Which would destroy your party in this state for a generation.

Turn off the cameras and let us go back to work. You can wear the uniform and the shiny boots in those bespoke clubs. And we won’t even care.

But you make no sense. And your tyrannical nonsense is killing the state we love. And that—like your love for carbs—is enough of that.


Reprinted from According to Hoyt for May 12, 2020

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