In a crazy and increasingly narcissistic world, it is easy to see things that are going wrong and fixate on them. It is not always obvious or easy to consider what is going right and practice gratitude. Our ability to most successfully navigate life hinges on the intentional practice of gratitude so that we realign our perspective with the goodness in the world.
As usual, the Bannock County Republican Party was not represented in the Veterans Day Parade. Rarely are they represented in the Independence Day or Christmas Parades either. In an election year, expect to see individual cars or floats for Republican candidates, but don’t expect to see the county party represented. Why is this?
There are many potential reasons, but allow me to offer an opinion: I assert that the Bannock County Republican Party is a closed club that wields influence behind closed doors. They like how things are, and their influence dwindles because they do not empower the next generation and their grassroots.
Most interestingly, Germans are taught from a young age not to be proud of their country because of their history during World War II. This rejection of national pride seems tantamount to the modern American left’s desire to destroy American exceptionalism and mirrors their insistence that America has never been great.
Italians are known for having one of the world’s oldest populations, and their food is a big reason. The Mediterranean diet is known worldwide for being one of the healthiest you can eat, full of good fats like olive oil, and nutrient and anti-oxidant-rich products from tomatoes to wine. It is not an exaggeration to say that these staples are ubiquitous throughout Italy, and as you traverse the countryside, their hills are lined with vineyards and olive orchards.
What was most notable to me was that civics is a more nuanced conversation outside of the United States, not the hyper-polarized environment we are treated to in America. This is not to say that Italy isn’t polarized; it is. This is to say that at least in history conversations, the Italians proved to be more critical thinkers than your average American. As a culture that has endured millennia and often enshrined their heroes in marble and paint, they employ the Latin phrase damnatio memoriae, which means ‘condemnation of memory.’ Italians choose not to memorialize bad leaders.
Muscle memory or motor memory is often used to describe something repeated so often that it becomes second nature. Muscle memory comes to mind when we think of tasks like riding a bicycle. Any time something is said to be revisited without practice, it is compared to riding a bicycle. You never forget how to ride a bicycle.
The day after graduation, I had few plans for what would come next. I returned to my job as a lifeguard at the club pool for the summer. I enrolled in classes studying computer science at one of the local universities. I had no formal training in computers, programming, or engineering, but it seemed a prudent thing to do. It turns out I was a horrible programmer.
Country music presents an interesting metaphor for modern America: traditionally family and faith-oriented, now shallow and self-interested. It has always been a storytelling art form that celebrates a simpler life, God, family, and traditional morals. With the recent mainstreaming of country music came a melding of pop, rap, hypnotizing beats, and repetitive lyrics emphasizing superficial topics like sex and alcohol. I have heard it called country rap or crap, and that’s an apt description.
In politics, the term Astroturf refers to a contrived grassroots movement. Astroturfing is when the establishment or similar interests back a candidate or cause but deceptively hide where the support originates so that it appears as if the support is organic and composed of ordinary people. Because politicians must appeal to the sensibilities of the commoners for their votes, who better to influence them than their peers?
I have said it before, but conservatives are not natural activists. By definition, they like the way things are and merely want to be left alone. Unfortunately, the political opposition does not extend the same sentiment and demands progress. Conservatives must learn to be active citizens, even if only to preserve society for their posterity.
I regularly speak with like-minded regular folk, and I’m astonished at how little those around us know about what is going on in local affairs. Things that impact them greatly are happening right here in Southeast Idaho, and too often the public is just generally unaware. The allure of ignorance is enticing, but at what cost? We have a civic duty to be informed on what is going on around us, and so here is a brief snapshot of a few ongoing topics of discussion.
In a recent interview about the indictment of Trump by famed citizen journalist Tim Pool, former Congressman Ron Paul was asked at what point this shift to weaponized government happened. He suggested that a coup of the American government came with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and we’re still dealing with the repercussions today. If the day the music died described a loss of innocence for an American generation in the 1960s, the administration of Donald Trump became that red pill moment for many in this one.
It’s not happenstance that corporations, now run by Ivy League graduate executives, fresh out of overpriced Liberal cesspools, are killing their brands. One might even suspect that it is their mandate. It’s not hard to imagine leftist executives laughing over a Bud Light as they await the conservative backlash and tanking sales in response to their latest brainchildren.
This week Idaho Governor Brad Little signed House Bill 71, titled the Vulnerable Child Protection Act. The crux of this legislation is a statewide ban on certain gender-affirming care for minors up until the age of seventeen. This gender-affirming care includes but is not limited to administering puberty blockers, hormones, and body-altering surgeries such as mastectomy and vaginal or penoplasty, with only a few exceptions for documented physiological conditions. I am in support of this legislation.
I have often been a vocal critic of Idaho’s Governor Brad Little. He represents a system of good old boys who often dabble in nepotism and cronyism… When it comes to advancing a socially conservative agenda, Brad Little has signed most of what has been put in front of him, and conservatives will have little to complain about. When it comes to advancing a fiscally conservative agenda, Little tends to fall along authoritarian lines.
All of the leading indicators are present, suggesting that the government is pursuing CBDC. In January 2022, the Federal Reserve published its white paper on the necessity of transforming monetary policy to digital currencies in the digital age. Between its expansion of the IRS workforce and policies targeting leakage in taxation toward lower income earners, its crackdown on alternative currencies like cryptocurrency, and now its recently announced instant payment system, FedNow, the Biden Administration is swiftly implementing a surveillance banking system.
In recent history, Idaho has failed several measures to eliminate its property tax and grocery tax despite claims to concerns about shrinking government. Idaho has failed to pass school choice, trailing its conservative peers in advancing conservative agendas. Despite election integrity headlining the party platform, Idaho has failed to ban ballot drop boxes, is actively proposing to make our primary irrelevant, and elected the guy who brought Silicon Valley to Idaho as Secretary of State. What are we doing, Idaho?
In one notable scene, frat pledge Chip Diller, portrayed by Actor Kevin Bacon, is hazed in ritual embarrassment by his senior Omega brothers. As he kneels on his hands and knees, his cloaked initiators paddle his bottom, at which time he winces and pleads politely, “Thank you, sir. May I have another?” This scene embodies conservatives’ repeated abuses for a perceived seat at the table of national politics. Will conservatives again bend the knee to their initiators, or will conservatives drive policy from the bottom up?
When adversarial nations fly unidentified objects over our borders, we’re paralyzed by the threat. Meanwhile, most of us whitewash the daily micro-intrusions we accept at a much more frequent pace.
Given the consistency with which our idols disappointed us, my brother called 2020 the year of no more heroes and I think that aptly described it. Like pulling the mask off of a superhero and finding out they’re just your nerdy kid neighbor, the luster of celebrity wore off and a culture in decline was exposed for what it was.