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April 29, 2022

BONUS #3 | April 2022 Blog - I Too, Am An Authoritrian

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Current events have had me noodling on the topic of authority, particularly where it intersects with culture, responsibility, and with Liberty. Like most of my writings, this has developed as an internal conversation shared here with you all.

Where to start with this one. So many options, why not start with Will Smith?

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Thanks for tuning in for another bonus episode of the local experience. This time, our April blog titled I too, am an authoritarian. Current events have had me noodling on the topic of authority, particularly where it intersects with culture, with responsibility and with Liberty. Like most of my writings, this has developed as an internal conversation shared here with you all. Where to start with this one. So many options, why not start with will Smith. If you're reading this, you've almost certainly seen the slap heard round the world from Oscar night as will Smith found a chuckle and then fury at Chris rock doing his thing. Poking fun at Will's wife. Jadas buzz cut with a joke about GI Jane too. Now what Rockton likely know was that Jadah has alopecia, which made the joke a lot less funny than it otherwise would have. What he also may not have known is that she's quite sensitive about it. She was throwing daggers with her eyes at rock immediately. And when will saw that he was spurred into action, he marched the stage with a swagger wound up and gave rock and open-hand slapped that might've knocked me down. Rock's recovery was amazing, which has many thinking. This was a staged event. I have no comment on that today. And he quickly gathered his composure and went to continue the monologue as Smith to part of the state. That's when it got especially crazy for me and relevant to today's writing. As Smith returned to this front row seat, he screamed at rock. Keep my wife's name out your F and mouth, which caught rock off guard. And he tried to defend the joke to which Smith repeated the same command louder with perfect denunciation in some sort of a contrived ghetto dialect. Keep my wife's name out your fucking mouth. And at that rock new better. Do we better agree if you didn't want Smith to literally charge the stage and try to kill him with his bare hands? Now, I don't think rock has a big stack of Jaida jokes in his inventory, but if he did, he might as well throw that work out. The window. Smith has claimed authority over Rock's mouth. At least as it pertains to Jada and the day rock isn't scared to share a Jayda joke is the day after Smith's funeral. If it's that soon. Based on how flip Smith was as he shouted the stage. I could see his spirit left wandering after his earthly demise, haunting Jadas boyfriends and rock standup shows for decades. Now, Smith doesn't have control over rocks mouth, of course, but he has effectively claimed authority over it. And that claim appears to have been. If rock goes on to create a Jayda focus monologue and his comedy career, while Smith still walks, he's a braver man than I or stupider, which seems unlikely. What I find compelling about this story is that Smith has long been held up as an example of purity and morality in Hollywood. He and Jayda have a long-term marriage with seemingly well-adjusted children, and he has a long string of successes in music, television, and. Before this event has patina has started to crack a bit, however, as it became public, that he and Jayda have had extra marital intimacy with others. And it was implied that she was a little more into it than he was the stress over this unfolding drama contributing factor to Jadas alopecia. I don't know, but my gut says, yeah. And was it a contributing factor for Smith being hopped up on some kind of prescription brain cocktail that allowed the short circuit that convinced him a stage charge was the right reaction in this moment? Again, I don't know, but my gut says, yes. Moving on through current events, it seems the most comment on the Russia Ukraine conflict or the Russia invasion of Ukraine to be more precise. My sense is that Putin is off his record. It said that he allows no one to come near him ever. And his fascination with numerology indicates to me a mind under great turmoil. Russia's invasion of Georgia in 2008, began on August 8th and the invasion of Ukraine commenced on February 22nd of this year, 8 0 8 0 8 and 2 22 22 such pretty numbers. It's also recently been said that he's converted to Eastern Orthodox Christianity and feels obligated to invade Ukraine, to stem the cultural Marxism coming in from the. This seems to me more of a slander on Christianity by association than a valid explanation of Putin's actions, but I'm sure there's a complicated mixture of influences. It's hard to understand what he's trying to achieve with this war, but I know where he got his leverage from other authoritarians. The seeds of this war were planted by, at tsunami. You see in a disaster at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, in Japan, March 11th, 2000. Days later, the German federal government suspended license extensions related to its network of nuclear power plants and began closing them by that summer with a goal of complete phase out by the end of 2022 in the year, since they've been building wind and solar farms and shutting down nuclear plants, they closed half the remaining nuclear plants in January of 22. And the final three are slated to be shut down by the year end right on schedule. And despite current events, they've recently affirmed the decision to stay on that path. And they've been buying natural gas from Russia. Big time. Remember how poorly Trump treated our European allies and NATO shortly after becoming president behind the scenes. This was mostly about gas deals and military spending. Trump wanted to know why it was appropriate, that the us was spending so much of its budget on defense spending and Germany. So little when Germany was also installing pipelines and making gas deals with Putin. For all its faults. And there were many, at least Trump had an understanding of business and leverage and he saw no good coming out of buying half your energy needs from your crazy ass neighbor to the east, with the big military assassination tendencies, and a huge stock of nuclear weapons. Here's an old video featuring a tense exchange on topic. If you want help. Remembering Germany is by far the largest economy in the EU, but it may not stay that way for long based on trends and policies. This winter gas prices spiked near 10 times historic rates before settling this spring to four times normal and electricity prices are the equivalent of 34 cents per kilowatt, hour, three or four times what most Americans pay. And you all remember what they do best in Germany, right? They built stuff, really nice cars and motorcycles come from Germany and fancy robots and automation machines, and they produce steel and manufactured chemicals and all sorts of. In a season where much American manufacturing was outsourced to China. Germany's manufacturing sector fared quite well, but manufacturing consumes a lot of energy. You see, and it's hard to stay competitive in a global economy. When you pay three or four times what your competitors pay for their power and you pay your people highly and you give them extensive holidays and short work weeks for now, we just pay a little more for our BMW in Volkswagens and they'll make a little less. But economics is a pernicious and persevering creature and high energy costs amount to our starvation diet for the German manufacturing sector over time. It's not just Germany, of course, but all of Europe that suffers from a lack of energy, capital outflows from the European equities have been setting new records, weekly, check out a Bloomberg article here with investors seeking the relative safety of us, emerging markets and even Japanese. Interesting. And by contrast, Japan initially began shutting down their nuclear power plants after Fukushima, but later reversed course finding the relative risk of nuclear power to be lesser than that, of buying energy from your crazy neighbors and has even begun building new plants. Again, all this chaos in Europe is driven and self-inflicted by the climate crisis narrative, which itself has been fueled by, you know, what Russian propaganda. Europe has effectively been convinced to cut off its own hands to keep itself from sending now I'm no climate change denier I can see, and I can think, and I read a lot of stuff, but more than I am fearful of rising sea levels, I am confident of human innovation and adaptability. And I also think of the earth as something of an autocorrecting device. Us humans are busy doing a lot of stuff, and whether we get our energy from coal gas or nuclear. There is a cost to it. And energy is more akin to money than money is to money these days to bet it isn't as easy to print electricity as it is to print money. But I digress back to the autocorrecting device. One of the amazing things about all of life is that plants take in CO2 and emit oxygen as part of their natural cycle. While we humans and other animals take in oxygen and emit CO2, we do this in our natural state and also much of what we do. Fits this cycle. We burned wood to heat our home. We consume oxygen and emit CO2 as when we drive our cars or make electricity with natural gas or cool, but there's already 8 billion of us. And you know what? We eat plants. Plants are the greatest solar energy source in the world. Converting light energy directly into food, and we're going to need lots of food. And unless we want to start a Neo Malthusian nightmare by killing people off to maintain the population levels. And so why wouldn't we want high levels of carbon tax? As to the rising sea levels, maybe we can use that water to turn the Sahara back into productive land. Africa is the region of earth where populations continue rising rapidly and it's forecast to remain as such for at least the next 40 years. I understand that desalinization is the tricky business, but certainly if we put 5% of the effort into figuring it out, as we already have invested in green energy, to this point, we'd have made much progress. I say all of this is someone who attempts to maintain a modest climate footprint. I'm blessed to live near my office and often ride my bike to work and even walk. Sometimes I raise a garden and keep chickens and turn my heat down at night. And when I'm away and I don't travel around the world in my private jet, say note, I would love to see the taxation of the world's people move more toward a consumption tax instead of income taxes. There is much truth to the old saying that we should tax what we want less of and subsidize what we want. And I think it's true, even to the very foundation of taxation. If we tax income, there will be less of it. But if we tax consumption, there would also be less of that and savings and equity would increase, but it has to be a replacement, not an add on. So anyway, obviously I don't know what the answers are to the Russia Ukraine conflict, or how to fix the climate. But I do see that many factors, not just Putin are culpable in the deaths of civilians on the streets. Putin, maybe crazy and power hungry, but the smarter than that with authorities in the EU gave him his leverage. Moving on, let's jump into the transgender conversation. Shelly, Leah Thomas was crowned the NCAA women's division one champion in the 500 freestyle this spring after following NCAA and Ivy league authorities requirements for hormone replacement. She's the first openly transgender woman to win a championship and has garnered headlines across the nation, both celebrating and questioning the validity of her when born William Thomas was a top 100 swimmer in the nations for the men's team before beginning her transition. And she has notably slower than her personal best before transition, given the decline in muscle mass, due to the reduced testosterone. And to her, I say, congratulations. She followed the rules, put into place by the authorities and those other ladies are no. The second place finisher was a silver medalist in the Olympics, but they didn't have the benefit of 18 years of testosterone. And it's easy to see in pictures that though she may be smaller than she once was Leah still towers over the women she's competing against. And I don't think it's fair just because the NCAA authorities say she is now a woman. It doesn't make it true. I met my first transgender woman soon after moving to Fort. She and her father ran an appliance business together that had some business with the bank I worked at and I confess I was struck by her appearance. When I would see her in the bank, she had a striking body with curvy curves and all the right places. I was still a young guy back then back off. And she often wore revealing outfits and she was two inches taller than my six foot three and much broader shoulder. It wasn't until we met at my desk about some bank business that I realized her as someone who was a male child at birth, the Adam's apple was the. We had several meetings over time. And once she even complimented me for how kind I've been with her and ask if I'd ever met a trans person before I confess that I had not, but I aspire to treat anyone I encounter as they'd wished to be treated and that I was glad to be acquainted. And it was all true. Now I didn't treat this person kindly because she could have kicked my ass, but she probably could have, she had me by 20 pounds, easy and had much bigger muscles. Than I do now. And that's part of my own data set and standing opposed to biological men competing against biological women and physical sports. It's a bridge too far for me. I'll call you ma'am and make sure I offer a restroom that you can feel comfortable in and you can marry whomever you wish, but you can't beat up women in the boxing ring or the MMA cage, nor can you take their golf scholarships, their swimming records or make false claim. And what is true when it is not, when will recreate it by God as women not created by men for men. And there is a vast difference. Women are incredible and amazing and equal in value to men, but they are not men and men are not women. The NCAA authorities can not decree truth. They can only decree rules. And when the rules don't jive with the truth, the rules should change. Now, at this point, some of my readers are nodding their heads in full agreement with. Others find themselves angered may well have decided to stop reading this stupid blog or quit their membership at local think tank or work toward my cancellation for the good of humanity. That's part of why I write my thoughts as I do to shine a light on the fact that we all have different thoughts shared and hidden. And I'd like to encourage respectful dialogue rather than, than them filled activism. And so if you're among the angry reading this or listening, let's have coffee. I'd like to better understand your perspective because I only have my own two eyes and one small brain and one narrow perspective. And I'm open to understanding your perspective on this or any topic I've touched on today. I mentioned in my title that I too, I'm an authoritarian there areas of my life, where I claim authority, primarily over my own actions, but also in my role as a leader, to my small business and their married, there are many areas in my life where I granted. I begrudgingly grant authority over my income to the IRS, to local law enforcement. I grant over my driving habits somewhat, and I happily grant shared authority to my honey. Bear over how we manage team bears, finances and travel schedule and dining choices. So where are you going with all this bear? And what's the mish-mash current events recap got to do with this. Well, I'll tell you, Mr. Smarty pants, the foundation of a strong business, a strong team, where the members of the team understand each other and contribute to the success of the enterprise and have free communication over how to best solve challenges. They have different strengths and weaknesses, different opinions, and they must take authority over their various roles to truly Excel. We're building teams of diverse and passionate contributors, not looking for a genius with a thousand helpers. And to me, the same challenge is confronted on a national and even a global. When there are very few deciders, the authorities and they believe they have the wisdom greater than all those. They preside over. There'll be friction and division as we've been seeing. But if they act as servant leaders and encourage dialogue and shared understanding of the good we are seeking, we can collaborate to find a good path. And we can also remember that there are many paths to the top of the mountain. And so the call to action is interesting. What is your perspective on authority in your home, in your business, in your village or town or city? How much authority have you taken over your own self? What are the areas in your business where you must be the decider and where might you transfer authority to those more capable now onto the clothes with a little more op-ed stuff to acknowledge earlier that my comments on transgender women and perhaps on Russia or climate change, or even will Smith may seem divisive to some, but I asked the. What authority do you claim over my thoughts or over my written words? The fragmenting and fracturing of our culture is largely because we've abandoned a shared belief system, which used to be founded on God each to his or her own way is the calling card of the day. And may pave the path to artistry. It's increasingly clear that the youth in our America are drift with little purpose, say perhaps for saving the climate, becoming an influencer and avoiding having children because of the kind of world they're likely grew up in. That's just great. As a people, as a nation, as families and fathers and mothers and friends, we need to encourage one another take authority over ourselves and our lives and what is accepted as true and grant authority only to those who deserve. From my perspective, the collective wisdom of assault is more powerful and more true than the select wisdom of the few elites. Who've claimed authority over so many areas of our modern world. Also from my perspective, there was only one whose wisdom is smarter than the collective wisdom of the people. And that is God. And in honor of Easter month, I'll close with the words of Jesus, who we celebrate in this season and who knew better than anyone were to grant. Thanks for reading or listening all the way to the end. And please enjoy as we close with the Lord's prayer built from Jesus' words in the gospel of Luke, our father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread and forgive us our transgressions. As we forgive those who transgress. And lead us, not into temptation, but deliver us from evil for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen. Thanks for listening and be blessed.