Got the Annual Christmas Letter

FROM MY MOM AND her sister. (They live together in Idaho.) Bunch of news, some of which I already knew, some that comes as some surprise.

BEEN KINDA QUIET around Casa d’Alger the past few days, which I find pleasant. I’m not big on the notion of retirement. A lifetime of nothing-to-do strikes me as a death sentence. But I might like a more relaxed work schedule. If only I could arrange an income at that rate.

BEEN A LOT OF WHO-STRUCK-JOHN lately in the gun blogs by way of a debate between the so-called Three Percenters, who think it would take only 3% of gun owners to tip the scale in one direction or another — if you could get them all to agree on a course of action, and the Pragmatists, (Color me surprised to find this claimed as a technical term of some art or other.) whose position seems to me to be based in the notion that the state has all the power and it’s hopeless — even suicidal, not to mention irresponsible — to resist infringements and outrages on the part of its agents.

I can’t help thinking of the line from Tolkien — and exchange between Pippin and Merry: “When friends fall out, enemies step in to widen the gap.” My mother (that’s a callback) used to say to us kids, when squabbling (we kids, that is), “Stop it or I’ll knock your heads together.” Please to note: we generally stopped it. Rodney King said, “Can’t we all just get along?” But he’s probably a liberal weenie — no sense paying him any mind.

Maybe Ben Franklin will get people’s attention: “We must hang together or surely we will hang separately.”

I’ve started more than my fair share of flame wars, going back to UseNet days. In all this time, I’ve finally learned this. If you’re so het up on your position that you can’t refrain from flaming your interlocutor, what are you so dubious about?

I suspect that, when it all shakes out, we’ll discover that there is right in both positions.

So much for the absolutists.

… er… yeah.

If you accept infringements, it only stands to reason you’re going to get more. If, after a certain number of precedents are set, you try to resist the overreaching state, there will be tears. I’m not sure where the argument lies. Are these positions really mutually exclusive? Isn’t this a bit like that STTOS episode where Frank Gorshin and some other guy played people who painted their faces black on one side and white on the other and had religious arguments — fought wars, even — over their preferences?

No, I’m not endorsing Gene Roddenberry’s United Nations One-World view of the universe. But the observation about internecine conflict seems apposite.

GOT A BUNCH OF sanding done on the bookshelf boards and am now — finally — in the position I wanted to be in a couple of months ago, where I can start applying sanding sealer to the lot and start drilling for pocket screws, and sanding up to 600grit and applying multiple coats of urethane.

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