Possibly Unrelated. But I Have My Doubts.



All Kidding Aside, Are You People Kidding?


Am I the only one who throws up a little when he sees grown men and women crying in public over the death someone they don’t personally know?

attachmentIs there some virtue you gain by acting serious and somber over same?

Is the media going to give even a fraction of the attention when someone like Neil Armstrong kicks the bucket?

Yes, the decision of a jury of 12 people establishes a legal status — guilty or not guilty — that the government should be bound to. But do you really believe the opinion of 12 establishes reality? What I’m asking is — does anyone really believe that Michael Jackson wasn’t a child molester?

If you really believe he wasn’t a kiddie diddler, would you have let your kid spend a weekend at Michael’s house? Honestly?

Are you really the king of something when you haven’t done anything noteworthy in the field in two decades?

So if death forgives, when I croak do I get a pass on selling all that cheese at high schools a few years back?

Who thinks Mark Sanford and the Mullahs in Iran are on their knees right now saying thank you?

Blanket? Blanket? Seriously?

Threat Level at Kindergartens Lowered to Green

Yeah, like that.

Yeah, like that.

My reactions to Michael Jackson achieving room temperature:

1) I made a pedophile reference to him just yesterday. I may have been the last to do it before he croaked. Boo-ya!

2) I’m going to have to avoid cable news until another pretty white chick goes missing. It may take two plus another adulterous governor to stop wall-to-wall MJ.

3) With Farrah gone tango uniform Tuesday and now this, the creepy 70s celeb death trifecta is in play. Anyone keeping an eye on John Travolta?

Update 1: Yes, I know about Ed McMahon. Bethany, meanwhile, said David Caradine’s death started the first trifecta — Caradine, McMahon, Farrah — meaning Michael Jackson starts the new trifecta. All I know for sure is — if I die in a Thailand hotel room I won’t be by myself and there will be mentions of multiple teen hookers and a mound of heroin, not me choking out while…er…you know…all alone.

Update 2: Jackson is still dead as of 11:17 p.m.

Update 3: If you’ve had enough of cable news people kissing a dead man’s behind, here’s a pretty graphic palette cleanser. I don’t endorse any of its homophobic elements, but it is a reality check. Click here.

Update 4: As a result of his death, his London tour dates have naturally been canceled. They were James (9) and Timothy (11).

It’s Not About Taking Off My Goddamn Shoes

Oh, what joyful timing. Here’s two headlines that came along (thanks, PeterK) that go right with today’s post I wrote over the weekend. The links are about a passenger harassed by TSA bullies for carrying some cash and refusing to be intimidated.

Here’s the first.

Here’s the other.

Oh, and here’s the link to another incident, right here in Dallas last week.

Preface: I wrote what follows in the midst of a storm of anger and furious indignation that hasn’t ebbed one bit.

This is offered with no apologies to anyone for anything, and contempt for everyone.


I hate to fly. It’s not the airplanes. It’s the airports. Specifically, the part we actually call “security” as provided by the make-work federal drones that constitute the Transportation Safety Administration.

img_0178I watch them. Groping, dirty apes. I watch what they do. And I watch how ordinary people – you know, you free citizens as we used to say without irony – react in to these little people with big badges on their hollow or otherwise obese chests.

I hate what everyone involved does. I hate what it all stands for. I hate the fact that it’s not going to change because we ask for it, and we don’t have any courage, self-respect or will to change it. Like every other victim in history, we’re getting exactly the kind of government we deserve because we either embrace it, or we’re too cowardly to fight it. That includes me.

I’m so mad right now I could strangle something.

The scene at airport security screening is a defining case study – a simple sentence diagram – of what’s gone wrong not just with government, but American people. It showcases the delusions we cling to, the lies we let the authorities tell us, the even worse lies we tell ourselves, the self-perpetuating circle of it all, the psychological destruction of our spirit, and the reality that the whole thing may – probably is – too far gone to change since we’re all complicit.

The main players in this farce are right there.

The first: The petty, most useless human types given unnatural, near unchecked authority that they lord over ordinary people, demanding respect and submission that no one is entitled to, and that they could not earn without their badge of office.

The second: The victims – the public – they pretend to serve, who give over their most precious possessions – their dignity, their self-respect, their rights, their spirit – all because those won’t fit in the overhead compartment. They give over what can’t be returned. Say thank you. Bow.

I don’t know which group is worse.

Played out every hour at every airport. Changing our very psychology and our nature. Making us a little less every time. The only thing it strengthens in us is our resolve to shore up our illusions as we parrot words we don’t even understand — words like freedom – while we wave flags and chant pledges like primitive tribes chanting to tree spirits.

We’ve become cargo cultists of liberty. The enabling wife who keeps going back to the abusive husband. “He’s really a good man. I made him do it. It’s for my own good.”

So no, it’s not about the goddamn shoes.

I don’t know if the farce at airport security is cause, effect, symptom or what. By itself, not the worst thing. Taken as a piece of the whole and a symbol of the totality of its impact? It’s everything wrong.

I’m not blaming any person, party, agency or group for this.

I’m blaming all of you. That includes me.

Long before Sept. 11, we were headed down the path that Ben Franklin warned about — way overused by bloggers so I won’t even type it, but you know what I mean — regarding liberty and security, and how you can’t have both. The aftermath of Sept. 11 just codified it and sanctified “safety” in our culture as a holy word. The name of some volcano god that we now serve and sacrifice to.

Funny thing is, the whole process of airport security? It just doesn’t work.

Period. Full stop.

The federally run security we have now – just the process – is a failure on the face of it. Internal audits tell the story of how easily the trained security test agents get everything from faux bomb parts to real guns through.

Hell, even mid-size market television reporters have snuck through with contraband. These are guys whose sole life experience is being a television reporter.

So just imagine what can a dedicated, hard man with a zealous belief and a few years experience in war, crime, or the bad side of black ops can do.

The kabuki theater of airport security isn’t there to stop the real threats. At best it’s a speed bump. It’s a little show make you feel good.

This is what you don’t hear much from the people behind the curtain. They know it’s easier to put on a show that squeezes the law-abiding passenger, rather than doing anything about the tiny population of skilled and dedicated bad guys who can get right past their kindergarten perimeter and their Maginot Lines.

Feel safer? Want to know how far down this rabbit hole goes?

Take a look at this attached picture back near the top. Not revealing where I got it, but it’s a nice, roughly 3.5-inch knife that someone carried right through screening at big international airport. The owner carries it every time that person flies.

Now, I’ll grant that it’s not one you’d want to rely on as your daily carry blade — it’s some kind of plastic, nylon, ceramic or composite deal. They’re hard to hone and breakable if not used properly. But they work. I’ve tested some of these “CIA letter openers” on slabs of meat and they can slice and stab right through flesh and meat. In the hands of someone who knows how to use it — that is, going for vital points and avoiding hitting bone — it’s as deadly as any steel blade. Not perfect for slitting a throat, but a jab to the neck will get the carotid or go right through the medium tissue protecting the windpipe. That serration ensures that even if you miss the carotid, once it’s in the neck it won’t take much to saw through to the sweet spot. Won’t go into the base of the skull for the quick, instant kill where you scramble the thinker eggs, but good enough to get the job done.

So there’s your security process. A shamanistic ritual, and nothing more.

That’s not the bad news.

The bad news is this sham is served up at a cost that is far, far worse than any butcher’s bill – and yes, that includes the butcher’s bill of September 11.

Yes, I said it. Someone has to. Get all indignant. I don’t care.

What airport security – stay with me, I’m using it as a metaphor for the big picture so don’t act stupid – what airport security does now is kill our soul and our spirit.

The whole thing is just downright humiliating if you have any pride at all. From top to bottom it’s an affront to the sensibilities of any free man or woman with even a thimble of self-respect.

Those of us over 30 are being taught with every trip to accept it a little more. And even the most ornery of us get a little more indifferent each time, resigning ourselves a step at a time. This is because most older adults remember when airport security was, while a little troublesome, something you still walked away from with your dignity. And the security people — employees of the airport without the arbitrary power to ruin your trip or your very life, and with more accountability and respect for us since they were mostly private or local government employees — actually treated passengers as both fellow citizens and valued customers. They didn’t look at us like serfs.

That’s the over 30ish crowd’s reality.

But what’s got me so seriously angry is that younger adults and especially children — my child, if you must know specifics — don’t know any other way. It drills into them the sickening idea that the natural state of things is submission to authority without question, to fear uniformed government employees, and that hey, that’s just how it is — government has arbitrary, almost unchecked power, and you better do as you’re told.

Whatever our ages, we are being taught to be obsequious, obedient, and to submit to degrading treatment, all in the name of the volcano god called safety. Even if it worked it’s not worth it.

605074-cartman_superWe queue up like farm animals. Strip our shoes, open our bags for searches without warrant or cause, and have our private things and bodies pawed and handled by people you wouldn’t let in your house or even shake your hand. We humble ourselves before government employees who we have come to fear because of the enormous and arbitrary power they have over us to force us to undergo even further humiliations — strip searches, pat down, delays created on a whim that can ruin your travel plans.

They get to treat free citizens like suspects and criminals. They can pull you out and have you put in cuffs at a word, with almost no accountability and no consequence. Simply because, what the hell, they’re having another bad day in a lifetime of bad days, and they already yelled at a waitress and kicked the dog, so now it’s your turn.

We – you and me and everyone – fear asserting ourselves, our rights, and our dignity because one cross look at those petty TSA drones and you can be off your flight, in a holding cell, and on the terror watch or no-fly list. (And let’s not even go into the issue of the ridiculous rise of property theft since the TSA pickpockets took over.)

These lowlifes can search our hard drives and digital pics on return from international travel, rifling through personal, financial, confidential and private effects without warrant, cause, or reason. They have the power to seize even moderate sums of cash and put you through the medieval ordeal of civil asset forfeiture.

We get treated like criminals and suspects and potential threats, and before long, that’s how we start seeing the people around us. And then ourselves.

How many of us say anything beyond a whisper of disgust — when well out of earshot, of course, since you have no freedom of speech at airports either?

Most of you embrace it. A few resent it quietly. And even those few who seethe over it – we take it too. And we come back again for another helping of humiliation.

We’re all cowards.

This is how the process kills our souls.

And worse, we’ve come to accept that the very most basic rights we have – those specifically detailed in the first half of the Bill of Rights — do not apply if “safety” is invoked, or some crap about implied consent is said.

When exactly did airports become Constitution-free zones?

Oh, you’ll cite necessity. Yell “September 11” and show your “Never Forget” bumper sticker. Screw you, and screw that.

The protections you – we – so quickly surrender – those rights – were put in writing for exactly these kind of extremes. Our rights aren’t enshrined for sunny days and ordinary occasions. It’s for the worst of times.

Those rights were enshrined and are most important when everything goes to shit. It’s not a luxury. It’s not there for when it’s convenient.

There’s a name for the kind of government where your rights are suspended every time the authorities make claims of “national security” or “public safety.”

There’s also a name for the role we’ve embraced. Our forefathers and their soldiers gave their lives and fortunes to reject it.

“Our forefathers.”

Let’s not kid ourselves. The side that fought for freedom made war on their own government over a goddamn tax stamp and a list of injustices that, frankly, these days would be a relief if it was all we had to deal with.

Look, face it, sunshine. The side that fought for dignity, freedom and the very rights we toss the minute there’s a hint of danger was just one-third of all American colonists.

One-third of the people didn’t care either way.

That last third were the willing servants content with being ruled and protected. They’re modern America’s real forefathers.

We just take it. We even help them justify and rationalize it. Long as we get to vote on one of two parties and pick our new royalty, we can call it freedom even though they do as they please.

Why? Because we also embrace the delusion that freedom is in the ballot box, and not the Constitution, which is supposed to be a limit on them, not a blank check on us.

The whole ugly rotten farce of it all, played out right there at airport security, showing you exactly the toll the sham takes.

Old con. Nothing new.

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. – H. L. Mencken

It’s getting worse, naturally.

How are you loving the idea of your wife, your young son, or your grandfather going through one of the new X-ray scanners that allows these bottom-feeders to look right through their clothes at their naked bodies?

You’ll get used to it.

Look, I’m mad, not stupid. I know that terrorists and criminals can do a lot of evil. But while they can kill, they can’t take your rights and your dignity. Only one thing can do that and claim it’s for your own good, and all nice and legal.

I’m not saying give up on security at airports. But let’s also look at what made possible Sept. 11 before anyone starts waving the bloody shirt.

1) Every passenger except the hijackers was disarmed. And we’re not talking super-genius hijackers, and yet they got blades aboard. Just blades. Which work when you know that everyone else doesn’t have one. (This is why schools are a favorite of psycho shooters, by the way. As “gun-free zones” they know they have a massing of targets that won’t shoot back. Few mass shooters pick gun stores and police stations for their venue, no matter how crazy they are. Funny, isn’t it?)

2) The policy preached to passengers, air crews and — to this day by most police to citizens — is “don’t fight back.” Disarm, and don’t fight back. Let us government people handle it.

This is why what happened on United 93 is all the more heroic and amazing — those men and women there did what should be natural to anyone facing any threat but we’ve been taught is wrong – they took the law into their own hands and they fought back.

So fine, big man, what’s your answer?

I don’t know. Not here to provide every detail.

But I do know the overriding objective and the first priority should be the rights, dignity and just basic respect for people. It’s our right to be considered innocent until proven guilty, to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and that no claim of security justifies treating people like threats to be neutralized, or suspects just for breathing.

Here’s a few ideas.

Turn all security back over to individual airports to be run, administered, or contracted out as they please.

There are tests for explosives that are neither invasive nor require stripping your shoes or people rummaging through your stuff like Michael Jackson sneaking into a daycare. Use them.

Here’s a thought you knew was coming: Empower passengers by allowing those with state-issued CHLs to carry their sidearm on flights. Don’t even start about Wild West shootouts at 50,000 feet. You tried that one when they passed CHLs, only the venue was parking lots. Oh, and if you think a bullet hole causes explosive decompression you’ve been watching too many movies.

How much trouble would someone make if they knew others may be around them able and equipped to stop them? Look, you know it’s not even hard to get knives on planes, so you’re already at greater risk.

Details are unimportant. The purpose of the policies – and what we place precedence on – is what’s doing real harm.

Because it’s not about the goddamn shoes.

It’s about what we’ve all created that leaves you weaker and less…just, less. Less. For every encounter.

Could my ideas slightly increase the danger in flying? Maybe. Then I remember that security now doesn’t do anything to stop people from things like, you know, flying with knives.

Look, we’re all gonna die of something, and the truth is for most people the biggest danger is from being a fat ass and a lazy slob.

Pass all the laws you want. Death won’t stop. It doesn’t care.

When did we stop caring about how we live?

I’d like to think instead of breaking us down, it’s going to get to the point we push back. We draw a line. We say, “No more. We want it back. We won’t be tagged, pushed, stripped, numbered, or intimidated. Keep it up, and you’ll see what’s inside us.”

But I don’t think there’s anything inside us. We’re getting exactly what we want and deserve.

Goddammit all.

How can people be so scared of death when they’re already dead inside?

UPDATE: A good friend just pointed out something in the links at the top, which counters my dour conclusion and offers a spark of hope. Thanks to technology — a phone audio recording made by the guy victimized by the TSA thug — there’s a slim hope that if we have any spirit left in us and any desire to stop living the lie that the TSA protects us, maybe we “can level the playing field.” But that requires having enough dignity left to care when it’s put right there in front of you.

Back from Vacay — Need Patience and Your Input

Back from a week on the beach, but I’m playing catchup on all the real-world work, so please bear with me.

Also, I may be modifying the format here before long since doing a daily roundup gets to be more a chore sometimes, rather than the fun it’s meant to be. I notice, too, I get more response from the random, entirely self-generated content — my rants and what all — than the skewed, Archie Bunkeresque take on the daily news in Dallas that is not at all a blatant ripoff of Leading Off at my main publication. I get so burned out I rarely even Twitter like I used to, and that’s less than 140 characters. Meanwhile, I forget to do off-the-cuff essays in response to crap like the backpage commentary from Sunday’s Points section from that depressing Frog essayist who needs a good kick in the ass. I suppose him being French is punishment enough, though.

Still — there are some days I enjoy the roundup, so I’m still trying to figure out the right balance and how to avoid this becoming a grind, while giving you a reason to come back everyday without tapping all my energies I need for the stuff that pays the bills and writes the wrongs. (Catch that one? Gotta use that sometime.)

So– call to action. Talk to me. I’d love your input on what you like most, what would keep you coming back, what generates the most interesting discussion, and so on, while I continue catching up on my to-do list in my day job as Clark Kent.

In Praise of Oil, Oil Execs and Carbon in General

After my recent 40th birthday surprise from my wife that involved a Slip n’ Slide, two quarts of mineral oil, and the Girl being exiled from the house for several hours, I started thinking about just how many babies you have to squeeze to make a bottle of baby oil.

And then I started thinking about oil in general. I love the stuff.

Without energy companies, petroleum products, and all those beautiful smokestacks, industrial plants, and internal combustion engines, pretty much:
-Two of three live births would be dead within a year.
-People like Stephen Hawking and anyone else you know who’s had the stroke of bad luck in the disease and/or accident department would likely be dead.
-In fact, most of you would be dead or not born since without petroleum, we couldn’t produce enough food and clean water for a tenth of the population.
-No Internet and hence no porn to make up for all the sex* you wouldn’t be getting since there wouldn’t be near as many women around (see China) (*not applicable to nine of 10 blog junkies)
-All the rescued animal species? All dead, and more on top of that, since we wouldn’t have the luxury of conservation.
-Oh, and all of you 27-year-old environmentalist emos? Yeah, you’d be tribal elders, with three years left until you had to face a rock version of Carousel.
-Did I mention no Internet, no travel, no medicines, no clean water, famine, plague and deforestation since we’d have to store our meager knowledge on paper, and we’d be burning the shit out of wood to stay warm?
-No models, action figures, cell phones, etc.
-No latex fetish wear.
-The French would be speaking German. Not exactly sure how, but it just follows.

So, thank an oil executive next time you see one. Give him a hug. Pay a few extra bucks at the pump. Go on, rev that engine and race someone when the light turns green.

For god’s (and your own) sake, vandalize a hybrid.

Because petroleum is what makes life possible, and worth living. If you doubt it, invest in a Slip n Slide and a smokin’ hot wife.

Friday Roundup: ‘Sprawl’ is the N-Word for Suburbanites

My favorite attorney, Robert Guest, talks about how bad zoning contributes to DWI. And I agree.


Robert rightly notes that drinking and driving is not a crime as long as you’re not intoxicated — yes, MADD, you can drink and drive and people do it every day and do it safely. That’s an important distinction few in the media make when parroting the MADD fundamentalist line.

But then Robert equates bad zoning — separating residential and retail use so that you can’t have a neighborhood bar or neighborhood market in an actual neighborhood — with the word “sprawl.”

Zoning is what happens within a municipality. “Sprawl” is the n-word urban yokels use to criticize suburbs and exurbs. Like drinking and intoxication, that’s two different things.

I like “sprawl.” Or, “s-word growth” as we cool people say.

Sprawl means growth with lower costs, allowing more choices and less crowding. It means more diversity of both living space type and a wider market of municipal governments to choose from. I know, like white guys in the 1950s thought of black guys, you untraveled urbanites think all suburbs look the same.

Sprawl means I have a choice and don’t have to live in a rundown DISD school system, or under a city government that has zero sense of fiscal responsibility, or under a police department that pulls drivers out of closed windows (hi Garland PD) for failing to use a turn signal.

Sprawl also means I don’t have to be packed like a sardine in hip, trendy, poor-quality multifamily housing built on top of light rail stations used by homeless people as open-air urinals, by DISD students as aftermarket car part shopping, and by commuter trains that no one rides. Or spend $1.2 million for a 1950s home smaller than my garage and still in a crap school district.

So, love you Robert, but let’s leave the S-word with the bigots and control freaks who invented it, and come up with something better.

Is “Tribe of Danger and Excellence” taken?

It’s Got Monkeys. Nuff Said.

This is less than two minutes and explains more in that time than you’ve learned in years, I’d reckon.

Thursday Roundup: Wendy’s or Hot Weather?

So yesterday I posted … well, you can go below and read it if you’re so inclined.

Today in the Dallas Morning News, there’s a full-page ad taken out by an individual basically complaining about the government’s nationalization of GM and Chrysler.

Think about that. A private citizen got so fed up he invested money for an ad to remind people about the Fourth Amendment and how the government’s economic power grab is nothing more than what it is.

12I mean, that ad was full page in the A section. It must have cost, what? Tens, if not hundreds, of dollars.

Nicely done, Mr. Steve Clark, private citizen and resident of Rockwall County. Except you have a typo at the end of your ad. Should read “In Gold We Trust.”

But speaking of, why would anyone ever buy another vehicle from Government Motors? Not that they were the finest in engineering to start with, but now you’re getting a vehicle essentially run by same kind of people who can’t pave the roads or run schools and who think borrowing more money from China is a solution to too much debt. And you’re propping up the administration’s attempt to essentially do away with private enterprise.

On the other hand, I do love Jeeps. And the new Mustangs. So I’m in what Hellenistic and Renaissance philosophers so commonly referred to as “a shit pickle.” (from the original Latin.)

Solution: a 1965 Mustang. Or a 1963 Corvette. Something with muscle and a single-digit gas mileage to counter all the hybrids I see women driving.

Wednesday Roundup: Yeah, I Think I Know Who John Galt Is

11So if I’ve been sporadic (thank you word-a-day calendar) in my posting, it’s part summer break — the Girl’s, not mine — and part a general bewilderment that I can only appreciate when I step back from reading the daily headlines every day reading the headlines daily.

Now, I don’t much do much preaching here or elsewhere. A spell of that is I ain’t churched. The other is that even when it comes to secular preaching, I always reckoned that people who preach at others probably read their poetry aloud and spit in front of women. You know, it’s just bad form. But it’s no secret that I do like the fiction and non-fiction of one Russian lady immigrant, Alice Rosenbaum — you may know her by her pen name — who in some overly wordy novels and a long series of essays, lectures and harangues laid out the ethics I hang my hat on.

The biggest problem with her most famous novel-treatise — aside from the wordiness — is that folks say her antagonists and her general milieu are too unrealistic, and too much a caricature.

But then I read the opinions of the so-called best and brightest of the chattering class and the ruling elite and, of course, Dear Leader in the White House. Respected editorial writers who will tell you with no sense of irony that the purpose of a business is to provide jobs. Which then puts them at odds with the White House, which says government’s role is creating (or saving!) jobs. We have successful businesses pilloried for the sin of posting profits (see Exxon Mobil) and fundamentally flawed businesses being propped up and dictated to by politicians and bureaucrats who’ve never earned an honest buck in their lives. The most important thing in business these days is pull — as in how much pull do you have in Washington? Everyone has their Wesley Mouch.

We have monument builders from top to city level, justifying every People’s Project (ahem) and handout demand (see today’s South Dallas wish list in the Metro section — a mere $25 million or so) while paying lip service to private enterprise and wearing the false cape of responsibility.

The current occupant of the White House, meanwhile — a superficial, shallow, and wholly incompetent man — has a press corps following him more sycophantic than Pravda in the Stalin years. And that current occupant is jetting around and behaving exactly like you’d expect one of his parvenu class — the class of people who’ve stockpiled wealth/power not through honest labor and enterprise, but by donation and election. It’s like Mr. Obama read Atlas Shrugged and picked exactly the wrong characters to emulate.

So if Ms. Rosenbaum was right, where are the D’Anconia’s, the Wyatts, the Reardens, and the (good) Taggarts? Much less the main man himself?

Well, life is never dramatic as fiction even if it gets weirder. The fact is, I think there aren’t any single ones out there living up to the high drama of the roles. Or they’re very few. But I run in a lot of circles and have friends in high and low places. People talk to me. And the chatter I’m getting says there is a lot more to the gray market and the underground economy than the clock-punchers and the civil servants could ever imagine. (Not that most civil servants have a surplus of imagination, mind you.)

Money under the table, service for service, trade and barter, and random acts of off-the-books capitalism are being practiced far beyond the usual nanny and lawn service you’d think. I’m not just talking about the repair shop in Mesquite or the landscape service in West Dallas. I’m talking the white collar professional service with offices in Preston Center, and the guy down the street from Dubya in Preston Hollow. Not to mention all the official loophole surfing at the corporate level going on that gets more active the more rules they pass, and all the things possible with the Intertubes.

“The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.” To mix fictional metaphors.

It takes smarts to operate like that. The kind of smarts that doesn’t advertise itself. I’m kinda thinking there’s not any one Hollywood perfect set location for a Galt’s Gulch, but rather people all over who are sick of incompetents looking over their shoulder and parasites picking aways at their profits, who are doing what they can in subtle ways the tax man and the regulator in the bad suit could never hope to find. These folks are all making their own little version of Galt’s Gulch in their own backyard or boardroom. It’s my observation — anecdotal though it may be — that there are more and more of them every day who’ve had enough people reaching into their pockets while preaching about good intentions and service to society.

Do I think it’s wrong? Is it wrong not to tell the mugger taking your wallet you have an extra $100 bill in your other pocket? You can make your own judgment on that.

As always, the most important thing to me is the bottom line. And the bottom line here? I know who John Galt is. Maybe he’ll reach a breaking point, and maybe not. Either way, he’s not on board with what the chattering class and the elected lampreys are pushing. He’s all around us, and he’s not interested in making three-hour pirate radio speeches, because he — and she — have a a life to live. He’s doing his own living and thanks to no man for the right. So look all you want but you’ll probably miss the forest for the overused metaphor.