NFL Football, Voluntaryist Voices Podcast, & Toxic Masculinity (25m) – Episode 271

Episode 271 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: enjoying the NFL’s NFC and AFC Conference championship games; his prediction for the coming Super Bowl winner; the new podcast by EVC featuring lectures and interviews by voluntaryist giants past and present; understanding toxic masculinity by live-reading an essay shared by a friend; and more.

Listen to Episode 271 (25m, mp3, 64kbps)

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On Freedom

Here’s a memetastic peeve of mine:  the bumper stickers and signs that say “Freedom is not free.” Talk about an equivocation. What is being implied by this statement is support for the armed forces and law enforcement. Little thought seems to be given in what this support entails, forcing other people to part with their hard-earned money to pay for these misidentified “services”. I suppose it could be argued that there is no equivocation if what is meant with this phrase is something along the lines of “It costs your freedom to protect your freedom.” In which case, keep your protection to yourself, nobody asked you. And that’s today’s two cents.

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The Gordian Knot of Entrenched Special Interests

Some economic/governmental problems cannot be solved. Too many powerful interests have become deeply entrenched in the existing, massively complicated system constructed over many decades by political maneuvering. The politicians cannot cut this Gordian Knot because they are themselves completely under the sway of the entrenched interest groups.

The U.S. healthcare system is such a problem. It will never be solved in any meaningful sense of the word. It will, however, prove unsustainable, and it won’t take a very long time to become so. When the existing mess collapses of its own weight, interest groups and politicians will enter into a great struggle for positions in which they can continue to exploit government power under the new, revamped system constructed on the ashes of the old, unsustainable, terminally messed up system.

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It’s OK To Be Me and It’s OK To Be You

It’s OK to be “white”.

It’s OK to be male.

It’s OK to be heterosexual.

To believe otherwise is dumb. To punish someone for saying so is evil.

But wait, there’s more!

It’s OK to be “black” or any other “race“.

It’s OK to be female or a hermaphrodite.

It’s OK to be homosexual or whatever.

None of the above categories or distinctions are important. It doesn’t matter if you are “white”, “black”, female, male, heterosexual, homosexual, or anything else. Not one bit.

What is important is that it’s NOT OK to be an archator of any sort. Not ever.

It’s hard to believe this is even controversial. That saying such things can get a person in trouble. I’ll own the truth and accept the trouble.

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Syria: In the History of Bad Excuses, This One’s Top-Tier

US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) thinks — I’m using the term “thinks” very loosely here — that Americans dying in Syria is a compelling reason to continue exposing Americans to the danger of dying in Syria. So do Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), James Inhofe (R-OK), and Jack Reed (D-RI).

Ever since US president Donald Trump announced his intent to withdraw US troops from Syria in December, “hawks” in Congress have been looking for an argument against the withdrawal.

And this is the best they can come up with? If the troops don’t stay in Syria, they can’t keep getting killed in Syria? Wow, that really shows Trump, doesn’t it?

At issue:  The single deadliest Islamic State attack on US forces in their nearly four-year US invasion and occupation of Syria, on January 16 in Manbij, in which four Americans (two members of the armed forces, a contractor, and a civilian Pentagon employee) died.

When former president Barack Obama authorized the invasion and occupation of Syria in 2015, he did so in complete defiance of both US and international law. Congress had not then declared war on Syria and has not since then offered any formal legal basis for Obama’s actions. And since Syria is a United Nations member state which has never attacked the US nor indicated any intent to do so, the invasion/occupation constitutes a war of aggression — “the supreme international crime,” as Nuremberg Tribunal judge Norman Birkett called it.

Despite the complete absence of any compelling military or political reason for invading and occupying Syria, and despite the complete illegality of that invasion and occupation, these Senators believe that Trump should reverse his decision and keep US troops at risk in a land whether they’re neither needed nor welcome.

After all, if US troops aren’t there, US troops can’t be killed there, and US troops need to be killed there every once in a while to justify keeping them there in perpetuity. The Senators’ campaign donors in the “defense” industry need them kept there. Government contracts and stock dividends depend on it!

That’s the caliber of mind and morality the voters of South Carolina, Florida, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island send to Washington, DC.  Can’t say I blame the voters for wanting those guys to go somewhere, anywhere other than South Carolina, Florida, Oklahoma, or Rhode Island. If nothing else it probably raises those states’ average IQs and reduces their petty crime rates.

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Getting Back on the Horse: The Habit That Makes All Habits Possible

“Why do we fall, sir? So that, we can learn to pick ourselves up.” – Alfred Pennyworth, Batman Begins

Waking up early, eating healthy, exercising, reading, painting – perhaps you’re trying to build one of these habits.

Perhaps you’re on the path to transformation and greatness.

Perhaps you are failing. In a world of change and limitation and transformation, it’s practically guaranteed.

In this world there is only one habit you have to really master. When you fail the other habits it’s the only habit that really matters.

Get back on the horse.

Getting back on the horse is the meta-habit of all habits. It makes the pursuit of habits (which is really just a messy, endless series of mounts and falls) possible. And if you can do it, you can – eventually – trust that your desired habits, or something like them, will transform your life for the better.

Stop worrying about perfection. Stop worrying about your habit streaks. Stop worrying about cheat days, and failures, and broken will.

All the worry, fear, and anxiety about the all other habits you are aiming for? Direct it on to getting back on the horse. If you can climb back in the saddle again and again and again and again, none of the habit-killers can stop you. And if you can’t get back on the horse, all of the best-laid plans and best habits in the world won’t save you.

Learn to delight in the falls, the saddle-sores, and the grit it takes to climb back onto the unbroken horse called Habit. That’s enough.

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