Tyrants Gonna Tyrant

These are scary times. What’s really unfortunate is that the previous statement has absolutely nothing to do with Covid-19. Well, it does, just not the disease itself.

Before I go further I want to state that this is not meant to slight the global pandemic that we are experiencing. It is a serious issue and not something to be taken lightly. However, as I have previously stated, based on my assessment the disease itself is not the real threat. For the record, I say that as a person who is actually in an at-risk group for an adverse reaction to the contraction of the virus. So please, believe me when I say that I do take the virus seriously and that this is not meant to downplay the virus itself.

With that being said, the far more serious issue of concern relates to the dangerous precedents being set. These precedents to which I refer are the rapid increase of government capabilities disguised as an effort to combat the virus. Worse still, these are happening quickly with almost no resistance. There has been little to no effort to mitigate or curtail the long-term impact that this unchecked government power will have.

As if that weren’t enough, there are actually citizens of this country begging for these increases in government power to occur. It’s genuinely frightening to me to see this happening. Almost daily, we have seen the president, governors and even mayors on television giving press conferences outlining steps being taken to stall the spread of the virus to give us a fighting chance to withstand it and keep it from overwhelming the system. What’s alarming about these press conferences though is that if you listen to the questions the press asks they almost always center around the government exerting more control over people’s day to day lives. Then, if you look at the comments that these conferences get on social media there are a troubling amount of people begging for the government to literally force people to stay in their homes.

In my own state, the Commonwealth of Virginia, Lord Blackface is issuing decrees left and right. Even still, you will find people deriding his actions as not going far enough. People are requesting that businesses be forcibly shut down, curfews enforced, and that people be compelled by force to remain in their homes. So much for “give me liberty or give me death.”

The sheer number of people chomping at the bit to give government more authority under the illusion of increased safety is staggering. Even people who identify as conservative are jumping up and down with anguish saying, “we must do more!!” And the tyrants on the left are taking notice.

Never the party to let a crisis go to waste, the would-be overlords are doing everything from insisting that we nationalize the supply chain for the medical sector to banning guns (also here and here). Because, you know, stopping people from owning guns is going to stop the spread of a virus. All while admonishing the president to roll back restrictions he put in place to stop the spread of the virus, and quite literally spouting out Chinese Communist Party propaganda.

None of this should be surprising though, given that it was Bill Clinton who sold us out to the Chinese to begin with, giving the CCP the foundation from which to begin its rapid development to where it is today. See, that’s the problem, tyrants gonna tyrant. The left just can’t help themselves when it comes to being anti-American and taking steps to increase their power. They don’t see China as an enemy, they see them as a kindred spirit or komrade, if you will. Because deep down they both want the same thing: the advancement of Marxist ideals.

So it should be no surprise then that American leftists would willingly, gleefully, parrot Chinese propaganda. They don’t look east and see tyranny, they see a blueprint. They see what the Chinese are doing, how they’re implementing new restrictions and controls and they’re giddy at the thought of being able to do that here.

Leftists have always looked to capitalize on chaos. It’s how they took over Russia, how they took Korea and Vietnam, and even how they’ve been able to slowly chip away at rights within the United States. Look at 9/11, the extraordinary power grab that came as a result of the USA PATRIOT Act was unprecedented. Now before someone gets up in arms and claims the Patriot Act was Bush, Obama extended and reauthorized it with help from Democrats. Tyranny knows no party, thanks in part to RINOs within the Republican party, but that’s a subject for another blog.

The issue here is that the controls enacted in times of panic chip away at our fundamental rights and increase government power. Sure, they’re sold to people as temporary necessities in order to protect us, but when does a government power ever get repealed once it’s in place? Once a government control is enacted, it stays.

The previously mentioned Patriot Act is a prime example of this. Look at how many times it’s been abused (cough FISA cough) and challenged on its Constitutionality, yet here we are almost 20 years later and it’s still kicking. Sadly, that’s just one example.

Which brings us full circle back to the original point: the increases in government power as a result of this global pandemic are frightening. The bad part is that these increases are happening by way of executive fiat, they aren’t even new laws. The tyrants at the top of the state governments, the House and Senate Democrats, and some Republicans, are frothing at the mouth at this unprecedented opportunity to increase the power of government. People are openly accepting blatant infringements on their rights and flagrant oversteps of authority by the government because they’re scared of a virus that the media has blown out of proportion in an attempt to weaken a president prior to an election. Further still, some people are even trying to encourage these deliberate power grabs because they don’t think the people in charge have done enough.

The tyrants will always be tyrants, we have to guard against them at all times. Unfortunately though, it doesn’t take much for otherwise good people to run to the open arms of big government the moment something scary threatens their perception of safety. Turning to government in times such as these may seem like the only option to some, but history has shown that this never works out. Just ask the Romans who ceded authority to Caesar, the 100 million killed in the last century alone or a lucky survivor like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

You cannot compromise with tyranny; you have to fight it at every turn. Even in times of upheaval and uncertainty the answer is never more government. This virus, like others before it, will pass; the restrictions we allow the government to enact, will not.

Some Thoughts Regarding Coronavirus

I am not a doctor. Nor am I a medical professional of any kind. So, I can’t really give you a breakdown of any medically detailed information regarding the Coronavirus. What I can do, though, is provide you with some brief information based on a little bit of training that I have had.

One of my majors was National Security and as part of that major I have had some training in threat assessment. I want to make it clear that I do not consider myself an expert in this area and am not in any way claiming to be one so take what I say with a grain of salt. If you find value in what I say, good. If not, then that is fine too. So, having said that, based on my own personal assessment of this situation I have come to this conclusion:  

If you are under 60 and have no underlying or chronic health issues then Covid-19 poses no real threat to your health.

However

There is a real possibility of an infection rate high enough, because of its R0, to overwhelm the hospitals in this country because they already operate at close to capacity. IF this happens it could have serious societal consequences.

HOWEVER

The panic and knee jerk reactions are actually what is the biggest threat. Especially in the financial sector, and this particular issue could be exacerbated once the stores start running low on items. When the stores get low on things that could trigger a domino effect of panic that causes a ripple into the markets.

I’m being blunt about the possibility of items running out for a reason. The Chinese have not been in production of anything since around early January and what was being shipped over at that point is stopped either in their ports waiting to go out or being quarantined in ours. People don’t realize just how much China dominates our entire supply chain and that chain is currently broken. It’s not a question of if some items run out, but when.

That said I’m not changing anything about the way I live other than increasing vigilance on decontamination when I get back home from anywhere. Not necessarily because of the virus, but because there’s more nasty people with bad hygiene out panic buying.

Just my $.02, I could write a bit more and go into greater detail on a few things, but in my mind these are the important points at a macro level. Drop a comment if you’d like more detail.

Book Review: Excommunicated Warrior

I have been sick, which obviously sucks. So, since I haven’t been able to do too much in the way of blogging or podcasting, I thought I’d do another book review for a book I just finished. I’ll try to get back on schedule with the blogs and podcasts as soon as I am feeling better but in the meantime give this review a gander.

I read a lot of non-fiction. Anyone who has read the previous book reviews on this blog shouldn’t be surprised by that. Nor would anyone who knows me be surprised by that statement. It’s not that I don’t like fiction, I do. It’s just that my nonfiction reading outnumbers my fiction reading usually by about 2 to 1. I really have no explanation for it other than I like what I like. That said though, I don’t really do a lot of non-fiction in audiobook format. I typically prefer my audiobooks to be fiction. However, there are some notable exceptions to that. Things like David Goggins’ “Can’t Hurt Me,” Jocko Willink and Leif Babin’s “Extreme Ownership,” and now the current book I am reviewing: Nick Koumalatsos’ “Excommunicated Warrior “.

In addition to that, there are actually very few times I will recommend an audiobook over a physical hard copy. That’s just me, I like to hold them and read them. Obviously I do listen to audiobooks, we just went over that, but typically there are certain times, things, and reasons, why I choose them. They’re usually not my go to format is what I’m saying.

That said, in this instance I highly recommend listening to the audiobook version of this book. The main reason for that is the way the book is formatted. It has the chapters of the book just as the physical copy of the book would, but in addition to that there are interviews by the author of various associates and friends of his in between the chapters wherein they discuss the previous chapter like a podcast. If you’ve listened to the Goggins book it is a similar format to that, albeit less polished, which actually aids the rawness of the subject matter and discussion. The beauty of this type of format is that it both provides valuable insight into what you’ve just read (heard) but also provides context and time to process what you’ve just gone over. For a book like this, one that is aimed at helping people understand and get through the various phases of transition, that type of additional content is invaluable.

The book itself is not quite an autobiography or war story, neither is it a self-help book. To try and pigeonhole it into those categories doesn’t actually work because it will never strictly fit those categories. Which is a good thing, it has value in those areas and more. Nick has nicely woven in personal experiences and real-world illustrations to aid in telling a story of how he went through the various stages people go through in times of transition. The book provides concrete usable actions pitted against some very raw and personal examples to provide context for anyone experiencing a transition phase in their life. It isn’t just “here’s what happened to me and how I got through,” its “people experience this, here’s what mine was like,” and “here are relevant examples of what professionals have found needs to happen for you to not just survive but thrive.” While that may sound like a warm and fuzzy anecdotal self-help seminar in the guise of a nonfiction book, it’s really more of a framework to use for building on your own capabilities in times of change based on concrete examples.

As the author repeatedly states, these lessons and principles apply to anyone encountering a stage of transition in their life, regardless of what this transition may be. While Nick Koumalatsos is a veteran, the lessons and strategies here are universal not military specific. Whether you have been in the military, plan to join the military or have no connection to the military in any capacity the usefulness of this book is the same. Everyone goes through transition phases in their life, and this book can help ensure that experience is a positive one.

I personally plan to listen to this book again, maybe even multiple times. I got a lot of value from it and I think if you’re looking for something that could even remotely fall into this category you’d be well served by listening to this book. Regardless of whether or not you’re looking for any titles that fit into this category, I still definitely recommend checking it out. This book has value, even if you don’t know you need it.

If you’re interested in checking it out, you can purchase it here.