Watch this video where I test the effectiveness of masks.
This is my first article in a few weeks because as you might know, I’ve been busy working on getting my new book, The God Bet, released. The premise of the book is that I will bet anybody a million dollars on which party God would vote for. It is getting good reviews, but so far I have been unable to add it to my “shop” page on Facebook. They rejected it and you won’t believe why. Here is the reason that they sent me:
“It looks like we didn’t approve your item because we don’t allow the sale of adult items or services (ex: sexual enhancement items, adult videos).”
Now, here is a link to the book. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1735532916
As you can see, there are no sexual enhancement items or adult videos related to the book cover. As most of you probably know, the cover is taken from Michelangelo’s famous painting The Creation of Adam, which is on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. It depicts God reaching down to give life to Adam, but on my book cover God is reaching out to cast a vote on stone tablets for the party He would support. There is a butt in the painting but it is entirely artistic and non-sexual. In fact, when I looked at the community standards that Facebook has posted it shows a bunch of examples of sexually suggestive pictures that are unacceptable, and then a picture that they say is artistic so it is acceptable. The acceptable example; a picture of Michelangelo’s nude sculpture of David.
The other thing that kept me busy this week was a trip to Las Vegas to visit some friends. It was very interesting to see how the casinos and the people inside were reacting to a disease that is only slightly more likely to kill you than a sharknado. The good news is that nobody was afraid of the coronavirus. People were mingling with each other, dancing together at the bar with a live band, high fiving, gambling, and drinking together. There was only one fear going around Vegas and I agree that we need to fight to end it. The real disease to fear is government licensure. You see, the way that the government controls businesses and takes away freedom is by issuing licenses to conduct business and then threatening to take those licenses away if they don’t do exactly what the government wants. This is why so few restaurants and bars are able to stand up to the government and open without restrictions. If they do, many states threaten to take away their liquor licenses, and most of their profits come from liquor sales. Proponents say that licensing is to protect the consumer, but in reality the free market already does that. If there really was a disease worth being afraid of and you opened your business, people would voluntarily stay away. Think about it. If there was a business that said they were open to people with ebola, would you need the government to take away a license to keep people away? No. And I doubt there was ever a very long waiting list to vacation at a leper colony.
The funny thing is, the people who actually push for licensing are the people who are already in those lines of work. As the brilliant economist Milton Friedman said, “If the real true function of licensing was to protect the consumers, you’d expect the consumers to be lobbying for licensure, but you will discover that it’s always the plumbers or the beauticians or the morticians… there isn’t an occupation you can name that hasn’t been down to the Statehouse trying to get licensure.” Why would businesses want licensing? Because it is a barrier to entry, so it keeps out competition. Less competition lets those who are already in control stay in control. The people who are hurt by licensure are competitors wanting to enter an industry and the consumers. In Las Vegas, the consumers are hurt right now because the casinos are afraid of losing their gaming licenses, so they are forced to require a bunch of silly rules. The one I thought was funny was that to walk through the hotels and casinos they required that you wear a mask, but if you were smoking you could keep the mask down. In a related story, I now smoke three packs a day.
The other big thing that happened this week was the Democratic Convention. I must admit, I didn’t watch it. I already knew what they were going to say. Trump is bad. Then the media would fawn over each speaker. I do have 2 observations, though. First, the media narrative that Republicans are turning on the president because John Kasich spoke is ridiculous. John Kasich spoke because he has a fragile ego and President Trump hurt his feelings 4 years ago when he beat him in the primaries. All his speech shows is that his hurt feelings are more important to him than his principles. He claims to be pro-life, but if he’s supporting Joe Biden he is not. He claims to be a fiscal conservative, but if he supports Joe Biden he is not. He has completely lost any respect from conservatives. If he had any backbone he would handle it differently. Ted Cruz, for example, has proven that he actually cares more about doing what is right than his ego. President Trump ripped on Senator Cruz relentlessly during the primaries 4 years ago. I’m sure his feelings were hurt by some of the brutal personal attacks, but Senator Cruz cares more about America than holding personal grudges, and has put the campaign behind him and become a strong ally of the president in conservative policies. I have gained a lot of respect and confidence in Cruz. John Kasich should toughen up and stop crying about sour grapes from 2016.
The second observation is that the Democrats actually did it. They nominated a guy that they admitted was corrupt just months ago. It wasn’t even the Republicans who were accusing Biden of being corrupt. It was his own party, the same Democrats who just picked him to top their ticket. You may not remember it because that isn’t how they framed it in the media. They framed it this way. “President Trump should be impeached because he tried to gain an advantage over his future political opponent, Joe Biden, by asking Ukraine to investigate him.” Think about what that’s saying. If Joe Biden didn’t do anything wrong, how would it be an advantage to President Trump to clear him? It wouldn’t. The only way it would be an advantage is if an investigation would uncover corruption. Democrats can’t have it both ways. Either they are saying that they impeached the president for trying to clear their candidate of wrongdoing, which doesn’t make sense, or they’re saying that their candidate is corrupt. Yet they chose him as their best. Remember that when you vote.
Have you ever had the feeling you were on some kind of a hidden camera show? One of those times where everything around you seems so ridiculous that you think somebody is just messing with you for laughs? This Sunday was one of those days for me.
My day started out normal. Well, not normal. A normal Sunday would begin with me going to church. Since apparently they had it wrong in 1776 that liberty is endowed by our creator and we no longer have the freedom to attend church without a mask, I watched the service on my computer. It was after church that things started to get weird.
Sunday was Father’s Day and my dad picked his favorite pizza place for lunch, so I said I would drive up and meet them there. I parked my car and saw theirs so I knew they were already inside the restaurant. When I walked in an employee rushed over and stopped me.
“They’re already seated,” I said as I walked towards the tables.
“You need to put on a mask,” he replied.
“I don’t have one,” I said.
He persisted, “You have to have one on until you get to the table. Here, we have some for you to use,” as he grabbed a box on the counter.
Two thoughts crossed my mind in the next couple of seconds. First, I thought about how completely gullible and illogical so many people are to go along with this. Apparently, if I walk 20 feet to a table without wearing a mask, everybody in the restaurant will be dead. Yet, if I get to the table, remove the mask, and eat for an hour, then everything will be fine. Insanity. The other thought was that my family is going to make fun of me but I have to do the right thing. We can’t let the bad guys win. “Never mind,” I said, and I turned around and walked out.
I think my dad was annoyed, amused, and proud at the same time. When he came out to walk down to the bakery to get dessert I was sitting on a bench outside. I walked with him.
“We missed you at lunch,” he said.
“Yeah, me too,” I answered. “You know why I’m like this? Why I stand up for what I believe like that?”
“McDonald’s?” Dad asked.
“Yep,” I said, and he busted out laughing.
You see, when I was a kid my mom would occasionally take us to McDonald’s because they were the first fast food place to put in a playground. In August of 1987 Joan Kroc, widow of Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s, made a $1 million contribution to the Democratic National Committee. At the time it was the largest single contribution to the party ever. Dad heard about Kroc’s donation and banned us from going to McDonald’s until George Bush defeated Michael Dukakis a year later. We gave my dad a hard time about that for years. Now look at me, Dad!
Side note: As a general rule, I don’t like to boycott businesses for disagreeing with me politically except under certain circumstances. I think it’s a bad precedent to set to make everything about politics. For example, I still eat Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. I like it. Plus I get a kick out of the fact that two Vermont leftists got rich because of free market capitalism.
After lunch we went to my parent’s house and watched Hondo, the John Wayne western. Then dinner was even more entertaining than lunch. My parents, my sister’s family, and I went to a Mexican restaurant. My parents and I arrived first and I ordered a margarita. When my drink came out I was disappointed to find one of those awful paper straws in it. You know the ones. They make whatever you’re drinking taste like cardboard and then they get soggy and mushy. So far not funny, just annoying. Then I noticed my mom’s iced tea had a real, plastic straw in it. I asked the waitress, “Can I please get a real straw like hers?” I couldn’t tell if she had a look of confusion on her face because, well, she was wearing a mask, but she walked off for my straw. A minute later she returned to our table with two straws. Two more PAPER straws! I was not wearing a mask so I’m sure everyone could see the perplexed look on my face. Was she messing with me? Did she not understand me? Was Ashton Kutcher hiding around the corner?
“No. I meant a real straw. Like that one,” I said as I pointed at my mom’s tea.
She looked at me blankly, followed by some unintelligible mumbling from beneath her mask about not having any. I asked if that was the last one in my mom’s drink. She mumbled again, nodded, and walked away. My family laughed hysterically because I was so confused. I glanced around again for Ashton Kutcher. Nowhere. Oh well. I guess Mom had gotten the last real straw.
A minute later the waitress brought my nephew his water because he had gotten there a little later. My Dad said, “Hey Steve, look at his straw.” Sure enough, in my nephew’s glass was a real, plastic straw. Laughter ensued. Ashton Kutcher never popped out.