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Thursday, April 30, 2020

Defiance!


I'm a people watcher; not the creepy sit in the bushes with a pair of binoculars sort of people watcher, but the kind that notices patterns in people. Oftentimes it's subtle things, things that to others may go unnoticed, but to me, they stand out like a sore thumb or a man bun.

Ever since this experiment in lunacy began a few weeks ago, I've been noticing a pattern. It is something so consistent that I've concluded it's not an aberration or exception. It's not the older folks that are walking around in makeshift hazmat suits as though they had full-blown aids, and anything from a paper cut to a mosquito bite would do them in. Those folks are usually wearing their Vietnam Vet hats, pushing their shopping carts sans surgical gloves, and acting as close to normal as these abnormal times allow.

It's the quasi-revolutionaries, the wannabe Che Guevaras that are wiping down milk cartons before they put them in their carts, and look as though they're ready to go for a walk on the moon. It's the twenty and thirty-somethings, the keyboard warriors calling for revolution from their mother's basement that is scared witless, and likely wearing adult diapers in case the fear of being in public is too much for their bowels to handle.

The most vulnerable seem to be taking this situation in stride. The pampered and the coddled are losing their minds and denouncing anyone who would dare suggest that it's time to get back to life.

Yesterday via a conversation with my little brother, I found out one of the big box stores in the area will be mandating facemasks come next month. Since I shop there on occasion, I spent the rest of the day in an introspective sort of funk because I needed to understand why I bristled against the idea so viscerally.

As of this morning, I think I've figured it out. To be perfectly clear, no, I will not wear a mask! It's not because I think it's reminiscent of 1940's Germany, or because it's a sign of subjugation, it's because I refuse to validate the narrative. I refuse to give credence to presuppositions that data has already disproven. I refuse to fuel the panic by looking like an extra in a bad TV drama, and walking around as though this thing had a 90% mortality rate.

Just as I refuse to call a biological male Jenny, even though his name is Bob, I refuse to put on a muzzle and mittens to go buy a can of tuna and some baked beans. I will not feed the delusion, whether it's one person's delusion, or a general one brought on by mass hysteria.

As a private corporation, stores and businesses can demand whatever they wish of their potential customers; as a private citizen, I can refuse to do business with any corporation that requires unreasonable things of me. So, yes, I will stop shopping at this particular store. I will pay a few cents more for whatever I need somewhere else, and if need be even drive across state lines, because the last time I checked this was not the Socialist Republic of America, at least not on paper.

If acts of defiance are not forthcoming, it will be interpreted as acquiescence. If the foolishness they are proposing is deemed as palatable, then this will become the new normal, and nevermore will you be able to go outside without a piece of cloth over your face, and fear in your eyes. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Not Rocket Scientists


Looking at the way they fumble their words, awkwardly try to make points that have no logical foundation, or how they conduct themselves in general, very few if any people would confuse certain elected officials, both on the local, state, and national level for Rhodes Scholars. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because we feel the need to have heroes or someone to look up to, but we have shrouded elected officials with this aura of competence and ability that just isn’t there.

For the most part, these aren’t people whose performance will exceed your expectations in a clutch, or who can solve problems without missing a beat. Looking at some of the ludicrous things that have come out of their mouths, it’s easy to conclude that these were people just smart enough to get a bunch of other people to vote them into office, but nothing more.

If this is the best and brightest our nation has to offer, all I can say is bring out your violins and strap yourself to a deck chair; this dinghy is going down.

It took a literal executive order to keep meat processing plants to shut down yesterday. I kid you not. It took the federal government and a presidential proclamation to countermand local constabularies who thought it perfectly reasonable to shut down meat processing, because, you know, if there’s no meat anywhere on any shelf in any store, you’ll be forced to try the tofu or the imitation meat. Tofurkey ham for dinner, kids, almost as mouthwatering as Vegemite, or that cruddy stuff that accumulates in your shower drain.

Even children have enough awareness to consider consequence of action; evidently, our elected officials don’t.

So now what’s going to happen is a sequel to the great toilet tissue shortage of 2020, only it will be the great meat shortage of 2020, and even though you can wipe with your hand, you can’t eat your hand. Maybe they can try eating the toilet paper they’ve stockpiled. I don’t know; just spitballing ideas.

Even if the processing plants don’t shut down, panic buying will inevitably occur. Even if people don’t have deep freezers or any way of preserving the meat they’re purchasing, our reactionary nature is so void of logic, that we just don’t care.

While all this is going on, while boobs and rubes and dolts playing at being political luminaries are capturing the national spotlight, every contrarian position, even if it comes from people with letters after their names like MD, Ph.D., GP and the such are being scrubbed from the internet, because it is the nerd kings of Silicon Valley that decide what you should see and hear, and not you.

Dissenting voices must be contained; they must be silenced; they must be disqualified, discredited, discounted, besmirched, and ostracized. But I thought we were supposed to trust the experts. Isn’t that what every buffoon on television has been insisting upon with a pained look in their eye?

Well, experts are saying that the mortality rate for this virus is laughably low. Experts are saying that the draconian measures we’ve implemented to combat this unseen enemy are overkill. Experts are saying that we shouldn’t live in fear, huddled up in our basements, seeing daylight only long enough to spy on our neighbors to make sure they’re socially distancing, but apparently, those are the wrong experts.

Are the only experts we’re supposed to trust those who validate the confirmation bias of globalists? Just asking for a friend, so we’re clear.

At some point, even at the risk of being labeled a conspiracy theorist, one must wonder if these elected officials are this incompetent and brain dead, or if they are actively attempting to undermine the infrastructure of these United States and endangering the lives of its citizens in the process. Are they stupid, or are they traitors? That, dear reader, is the question of the day.

With love in Christ, 
Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Rules for Thee!


I find it ironic that those bleating about how you’re to stay locked within the confines of your domicile for the foreseeable future are exempted from having to follow the same guidelines and mandates. I find it downright insufferable and stomach-churning that those insisting businesses should be shut down until this virus has been eradicated have yet to miss a paycheck or have their lives affected in any negative fashion.

How many government employees have you heard of being furloughed or laid off? How many bureaucrats have you heard of having to go on unemployment, then watch the hours ticking by waiting for a check that is slow to arrive while the landlord is leaving threatening notes on the door about how you’re late with the rent?

There are people today whose jobs in government are secure that are hoping this drags on for a while longer so they can get a nice foreclosed home at a rock bottom basement price. Collateral damage be damned, mommy wants a McMansion, and she is willing to see others suffer to make her dream come true.

If there is no equal application, and more importantly equal justice under the law, if the way the stripping of individual liberties is flaunted in such a perverse fashion that even the apolitical are starting to buck the edicts, civil unrest in this nation is not afar off, and if this continues for much longer, inevitable.

If the rules conjured up by the rule makers apply to everyone else except for the ones conjuring up the rules, then we are no longer living in a constitutional republic. Instead, we are living some Orwellian nightmare where the ruling class does as it pleases, and the working class is abused, dictated to, misrepresented and mistreated. Rules for thee, but not for me!

History teaches us that this is a recipe for disaster, and once the dominos begin to fall, there is no stopping it. Once you push too far, you can’t walk it back. Once you stretch the rubber band until it snaps, there is no putting it back together. It is impossible to accurately predict how an individual with nothing left to lose will act, but on average, chances are they will react violently.

Law-abiding citizens are being arrested for the high crime of reopening their businesses, going to the beach, and taking their kids to the park. Simultaneously, hardened criminals are being released from prisons for fear of their contracting a virus that has a less than 1% mortality rate.

Governors are taking it upon themselves to suspend conceal carry, even in red states, but the catch-22 here is that criminals aren’t law-abiding by definition. Hence, the only thing you’ve done is take away a law-abiding citizen’s ability to defend himself in case of an emergency.

Not only are these measures illogical on their face, but they are also counterintuitive on a very basic, fundamental level.

The dam is beginning to crack, the fissures have become pronounced, and the media can no longer use panic as a cudgel to keep the people in line. It’s not as though they aren’t trying; they’re doing everything they can, but it’s just not working anymore.

Even the threat of second waves and third waves isn’t having the desired impact, so now they’ve turned to demonizing people who just want to go back to work, earn a living, and provide for their families.

All this, while there is collective myopia regarding the future that is downright frightening. How long do they think they’ll be able to collect a paycheck once the coffers run dry, and there is no incoming revenue because all the businesses are shut down? I know, I know, there’s still booze and weed, but once they start dropping of liver failure, alcohol poison, or drowning in their own vomit after a bender, those streams of revenue will begin to dwindle as well.

As I’ve oft-repeated, I want your great aunt, grandma, or grandpa to celebrate their centennial birthday; I really do, but not at the cost of seeing my kids homeless and starving. Call me selfish. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Essentially Non-Essential


If, when we’re on the other side of this, we’ve gone through this entire ordeal without learning anything, we will be the worse for it. At this juncture, as I write these words, there are individual businesses that will never recover from the protracted shutdown, there are families that will lose their homes, there are people whose life savings will have been depleted, and that’s just a fact. We may have flattened the curve and reached peak mortality, but we’re nowhere near reaching peak pain as a direct result of the past few weeks.

When it comes to collateral damage and unintended consequences, we haven’t even scratched the surface. Let’s face it; most people were psychologically unprepared for what they are currently experiencing; hence the reason most simply shut down, comply, and live in their basements without protest until further instruction is received. They don’t question the logic of it or point out the fact that the reason for the shutdowns was so we wouldn’t overwhelm the healthcare system, which we’ve succeeded in not doing.

The mobile hospitals, hospital ships, makeshift triage centers, have all packed up and gone away because the influx of patients they were expecting never materialized. The disease wasn’t nearly as bad as they all said it would be, but the cure will be incalculably worse than most people envision at this time. These are just the facts! I wish it were not so, but it is, and sugar coating it will do nothing for you. The repercussions of this entire ordeal will be far-reaching and long-lasting.

As the declaration of independence so aptly states, these truths are self-evident. We can’t unmake this omelet, so we will have to live with the consequences, adapt where we can, and trust in God to see us through.

If there’s nothing we can change about the outcome, we might as well come away with a few learned lessons, so we don’t repeat the same mistakes six months, a year, or five years down the road.

The first obvious lesson that we learned early on is that the kid with the lazy eye and the speech impediment that fills the Instacart orders at the grocery store is more essential than a Tesla full of celebrities, and Bubba the trucker with the overalls smelling like stale Cheetos and sauerkraut, doubly so.

This entire thing has proven beyond doubt that every pampered, coddled, entitled, sanctimonious, self-righteous, quasi-celebrity pervert, and pederast that has been hoisted upon our consciousness as being relevant lo these many years is essentially non-essential.

The second obvious lesson we’ve hopefully learned is that maybe masculinity isn’t so toxic after all. I’m guessing right about now there are a substantial amount of young women watching with disdain as their boyfriends are sitting in the corner, hugging their knees, rocking back and forth, and mumbling about how they’re out of hydrating exfoliating cream, and if they wouldn’t be a dear and go out and get some.

There is a reason God made man, and God created woman. Each is uniquely skilled, and when they come together using their particular gifting, they complete and complement each other. The man’s primary duty as head of his household is to provide, to do what he must to ensure that the lives he is responsible for are fed, clothed, and sheltered. I’m betting all the ladies filming themselves in their cars having a nervous breakdown wouldn’t mind a toxically masculine male providing for them right about now.

The third lesson we should have learned, and this is just within the last few days, is that the hope we held out that elected officials and law enforcement would oppose tyranny and uphold the constitution, were an illusion. We are seeing mothers being arrested for taking their kids to the park, elected officials abusing their authority, and all manner of overreach even in places like Idaho. For those who understand what this means, alarm bells should be going off incessantly.

There are more lessons, but this morning’s musing is getting too long. Perhaps a part two. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The Anatomy of Fear!


Fear is contagious. In the grand scheme, with all relevant data taken into account, fear is more contagious than any virus, infection, disease, or germ. Reason, not so much. Logic, critical thought, objective analysis, well, you don’t need me to tell you how well they fair; you just need to open your eyes and look around for a breath.

The reason fear is so contagious is that unlike a virus or an infection, it can be fanned, stimulated, aggravated, and stirred up by external forces, whether well-intentioned or with an underlying nefarious reason. Life itself teaches us that more often than not fear of a thing is worse than the thing itself. I know someone who, for the longest time, would not go to the dentist because he was terrified of what the experience would be like. Eventually, after enough sleepless nights due to unbearable pain, he went in, had the molar extracted within fifteen minutes, came home, and was having breakfast the following morning.

When I asked him if the experience of it lived up to the fear he’d allowed to build upon itself in his mind, he sheepishly responded that the worst part of it was feeling the prick of the needle that numbed his mouth so the doctor could extract the rotted tooth.

Fear is the gateway to panic, it births, it nurtures it, incites it, and panicky people tend to respond in an animalistic fashion, doing things they wouldn’t normally do, and justifying it to themselves in a manner of ways.

Because all we are consuming is fear lately, whether fear of a not so super virus, or an oncoming meteor, or martial law, which was supposed to happen a couple of weeks ago if you believed certain folks, we are secreting it, it’s leaking through our pores, and infecting others as well. You walk into any store, pharmacy, or gas station, and you can tell who’s ready to jump out of their skin. It’s like the guy who ate too much garlic the previous night; even if he keeps his mouth shut, you can smell it through his sweat glands.

Every media outlet is doing everything it can to keep the panic dialed to the maximum, the latest thing being spreading the virus via your gas expulsions. That’s right; if you’re coughing and farting, you’re a double threat and should probably just be locked up in solitary confinement for the rest of your life.

Ask any questions, such as why there have been no recorded influenza deaths of late, or why the governors insisting we must now shower with masks on, sleep with masks on, and drink through a straw we somehow wedge between our masks and our faces are never seen wearing them, and you’ll be met with a blank stare and accused of wanting people to die, or some such dawdle.

It has now become customary for anyone looking at the hard data and pointing out that something doesn’t add up to be labeled a murderer, guilty of patricide and matricide for not falling in line, staying home, curling up in a ball and waiting to be told what they can and cannot do next.

The reason the reaction is so feral is because reason and logic are the antidote to fear. When you apply logic to a situation wherein everyone around you is insisting that you start yanking your hair out by the roots the way they are, the tendency to hyperventilate and be consumed by their fear dissipates and goes away.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of things to be apprehensive about, and if not for the hope we have in Christ and the knowledge that He is with us, even downright fearful. This just isn’t one of them!

All told, you should probably be more afraid of tyranny, governmental overreach, the suspension of your civil rights, the fact that your local government is encouraging you to actively turn on your neighbor and call in any suspicious activity, whether it’s coughing, farting, or having someone over for soup, than something that has as much of a chance of killing you as driving into work does. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Thinking Christians


I’ve looked everywhere. I really have. New Testament, Old Testament, King James, New King James, even gave the New International Version a try, but no matter how much I’ve poured over it, there is no place in Scripture where we are told to abandon our critical thinking skills to be saved. Jesus said we must deny ourselves and pick up our crosses, but in my Bible, there is no addendum that says we must likewise forfeit critical thought if we choose to follow the way of the cross.

On the contrary, we are admonished to be wise as serpents and even told that the spiritual man judges all things. If you believe that once we are saved we are supposed to turn off our brains and simply parrot Joel Osteen inspired one-liners beloved by busybodies and house-fraus the world over, then you’ve bought into the world’s lie that only the mentally deficient are dumb enough to believe in the God of the Bible, or in Jesus Christ being Lord, Savior, and King.

It is an oft-repeated narrative, replete with either the obligatory eye roll or that look of faux sympathy as though you’ve just told them you got fired from the local pack and ship for eating all the packing peanuts.

Granted, some of us aren’t doing much to fight the stereotype, either. Whether it’s because we’re so heavenly minded we are of no earthly good, or we just want to pretend that we are, rather than critically look at a given issue, and discern not only what the initial impact, but what the subsequent aftershocks might be, we flippantly and sanctimoniously throw out a well-worn one-liner, not having enough self-awareness to realize that we’ve conflated the soul of man with this bag of bones, water, and sinew we slog around for a few dozen years. Jesus didn’t die for your wrinkly skin or saggy gut. He didn’t die for your receding hairline or face acne. Jesus died for your soul that it may be redeemed and reconciled to the Father. Jesus died so that you might have hope of future glory, not some all-access pass in this present life, for if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most pitiable.

It’s neither sinful, immoral, or unjust to ponder what the cost of this current crisis might be, and the toll it will take on those left to pick up the pieces afterward. It’s not evil to point out that because we’ve cratered the global economy to attempt and save less than one percent of the population, the fallout will affect all of the population. This is the point I’ve been trying to get across: the result from all this will likely be millions if not tens of millions of people either jobless, homeless, starving, suicidal, or all three.

We all want aunt Bertha who is 98 years young and with full-blown dementia since George Bush was president to live another hundred years, but she won’t, and neither will I. These husks of flesh have expiration dates, and the older we get, the more vulnerable we become to all manner of things. That fall you used to recovered from in an hour now takes a month, that flu you got through with chicken soup, and orange juice now requires hospitalization, because the closer we get to the finish line, the frailer the flesh gets.

I’ll say it because it must be said. Even though it’s what most reasonable, critical thinking people are thinking but don’t want to verbalize because they don’t want to seem unfeeling, uncaring, or some other myopia induced trope. If we continue down the path of making perfectly healthy people stay home, keeping businesses closed, and an entire workforce sidelined, we’ll be looking at death tolls that will dwarf those incurred from this pandemic.

As I read on some Facebook wall somewhere, if you want to stay home, stay home. If you want to wear a mask, wear a mask. If you want to avoid large crowds, avoid large crowds, but I am not required to descend into poverty, lose my home, or my livelihood for you. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Little Tyrants


I don’t like writing out of anger. Hence the reason I haven’t written anything in a while. Every time I sit down to pen a few thoughts, my mood gets dark, my fingers develop a mind of their own, and what comes out is less than uplifting or redeeming.

I also detest the notion of being repetitive, of banging the same gong time and again just to a different rhythm. Rage bait is not why I do what I do, and neither is clicks. If I have something to say, I say it, and time will judge my words to be either true or reveal that I have missed the mark.

If we all jump into the way back machine of a month ago, you will remember my skepticism at numbers like two million being bandied about as far as casualties from this virus were concerned. I said it then and was met with less than savory reactions that the projections were woefully inflated.

It was also some time ago that I pointed out that the remedy for this malady would be worse than the malady itself. Between risking the potentiality of contracting a virus for which 80% of the people who contract it are asymptomatic, 99.2% of those showing symptoms recover, and the mortality rate is comparable to the flu or watching your kids starve, I know what most people would pick.

As of this writing, food banks are already being stretched, cars are lining up for miles to get free food, and the pontificating blowhards otherwise known as our elected officials insist that they see no end in sight to the shutdown. For your own safety, you must stay in your home even though you are perfectly healthy until you deplete all of your savings if you had any, run out of food, and die of starvation because you know, you might get a cough and a tickle in your throat if you don’t.

If this faux crisis brought on by endless, incessant, global fear porn has done anything, it has exposed the Napoleonic, tyrannical tendencies of certain elected officials. More specifically governors, and certain overeager lapdogs in law enforcement for whom the letter of the law is superior to common sense or human decency.

Little tyrants are sprouting up everywhere, each more cringe-worthy than the next, attempting to impose their will while circumventing the constitution and the bill of rights, because, you know, your safety matters more to them than it does to you, or some such bull dookie.

They have taken it upon themselves to determine what is essential for you. It’s no great surprise that while church isn’t deemed essential, the ability to kill your baby in the womb still is, you know, because every life matters, and if you have to lose your livelihood for the greater good, so be it. But don’t you dare declare a stay of execution for a defenseless baby.

All told we’ve had circa forty thousand deaths attributed in part to this virus in these United States since the beginning of the year. Granted, nowadays, if someone comes into the morgue with a gunshot wound to the face, they’re still considered a Covid19 death, but that’s beside the point. During this same time, there have been more than 150 thousand abortions, also within the borders of these United States. But yeah, all that matters is life and stuff.

Weak-minded simpletons have gotten a taste of power, and boy, it sho’ do taste good! Why, there’s nothing more addictive than holding the lives and livelihoods of your fellow man in the palm of your hand, and just because you feel like it, prohibit them from going for a walk, or driving in their car.

If you are vulnerable, sick, or afraid of being sick, by all means, stay home. But for the rest of us, for those who look at the numbers and see that something is fishy in Denmark, for those who can do a bit of computation and conclude that if people don’t get back to work soon then flu-like symptoms will be the least of this nation’s problem, we should have the option of taking responsibility for our own actions, and be allowed to go back to work.

If sixty thousand people end up dying from this virus, at the cost of $10 trillion to the economy, which isn’t even accounting for lost productivity, that puts as at roughly $130 million per individual. Just thought I’d throw that in, because somebody did the math for me, and I thought it was a very telling number.

We can’t bubble wrap the world. We can’t all be walking around wearing crash helmets, heavy padding, and shin guards, just in case another human being might accidentally run into us. We can’t all become hermits and basement dwellers. We can’t all sit inside for so long that we start reacting to sunlight as though we were some sort of vampire whenever we venture out for more Ramen and Cheez Wiz, only to be harassed by a local constabulary who really doesn’t see a need for you to be outside at this time. If you haven’t eaten all the cardboard in your house before deciding to go to the store, you’re just not taking this stay at home order seriously! Why do you want people to die you selfish rube?

Most people have been good sports. They’ve played along, they stayed home, but the little tyrants saw it as a license to tighten the screws and assert even more authority over the lives of others. It would seem we basement dwellers have had enough, and now, protests are going on in multiple states. At some point, this whole thing stopped being about a pandemic, a virus, a cough, or a sneeze and turned into a test as to how far you can push a populace before they’ve had enough. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Just Following Orders


Ever since I was a child, I was fascinated by the history of human events and human nature itself. If we can answer two fundamental questions, not only could we avoid repeating the mistakes of our forefathers, we would likewise be able to mitigate our reaction to external stimuli.

The first of two questions is, what can we learn from those who came before us and their actions? Second, what makes somebody act the way they do?

The horror of what one human being can visit upon another is one of those things that is beyond my ability to comprehend. I understand the mechanics of it. I understand we are born in a fallen world, and that the heart of man is exceedingly evil, I get all that, I really do, but there is evil, then there is grotesque evil. There is abortion, and then there is post-birth abortion that you sign into law on Good Friday, like the governor of Virginia did last night.

One of the darkest periods in human history took place not in the dark ages, not in medieval times, but less than a hundred years ago, long after the invention of the automobile, the airplane, and indoor plumbing. The world witnessed horror on a whole new scale, primal and brutal and soulless and cruel.

Although one man was the figurehead of it all, it took more than one man to carry out this grotesque vision; it took many hundreds of thousands of men, if not millions.

It’s highly likely I’ve watched more hours of the Nuremberg trials than most. It is also highly likely that I watched it for a completely different reason than most. The reason I watched as much footage as I could find of the Nuremberg trials was to see the justification of those on trial for why they did what they did. Almost all, without fail, said they were following orders.

They were just doing their job. They were just following through on a command or edict they received from a superior.

We are currently seeing elected officials who have sworn to uphold the law and the constitution of these United States not only doing the opposite but direct law enforcement to harass, arrest, or fine otherwise law-abiding citizens just for being outside.

We are seeing people dragged off of busses, fathers handcuffed in front of their six-year-old daughter for daring to be in a park with her, and churchgoing folk fined $500 for sitting in their car and listening to a sermon over a loudspeaker.

Are you really comparing what the Nazis did to this? No, just the mindset. Every time law enforcement was asked why they were doing what they were doing, whether fining churchgoers or threatening to arrest a husband and wife for not respecting social distancing guidelines, their answer was I’m just following orders.

If you think men will not do today what they did eighty years ago under the auspices of following orders just because we have the internet and electric cars, you’re fooling yourself.

The curve is flattening; every model has been grossly exaggerated, and yet, certain governors continue to tighten the screws and come up with more draconian limitations on your constitutional rights each day.

As long as the populace complies, they will continue to push. They’re even floating the idea of immunity cards. Not as pronounced as holocaust badges, but undeniably serving the same purpose. Remember! It was the law, and those enforcing it were just following orders. Now shut up, show me your papers, and do as I say!

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Pavlovian Conditioning


The basics of classical conditioning, or as it is also known Pavlovian conditioning, are quite simple: you link two stimuli together to produce a new learned response. That’s it! I know, scary simple, scary effective, and efficiently carried out if you can find a powerful enough stimulus to link together with another.

As powerful stimuli go, fear of death is up there, perhaps in the top three, if not number one with a bullet. If you boil down the human drive to its most basic, the essence, if you will, of human nature, everyone is driven by one of three things. You are either driven by love, by fear, or by hate. Of course, there are subcategories to all of these, and each branches out to almost infinite extremes, but for the most part, nitpicking the drivers of any one person to the root source is something left to psychologists and head shrinks. Basically, overly qualified simpletons who insist that the reason you can’t love another human being stems from little Bobby knocking your lollipop out of your hand when you were three.

For the sake of this exercise, we’re not going to dig deep; we’re just going to assign our actions and reactions to one of three baskets. Were my actions and reactions driven by love, were they driven by hate or were they driven by fear?

An odd thing, isn’t it, that some seven billion people have been classically conditioned within the span of a few weeks by linking the fear of death with the hope for survival, if and only if you obey without question every dot and tittle of power-drunk mayors and governors, even if their proclamations make no reasonable sense.

Even while the entire narrative is unraveling, even while the projected fatalities continue to shrink daily, having gone from a projected death toll of 2.2 million to a now projected death toll of 65,000, (as of this morning 60,000), the grip continues to tighten, and local constabularies are making more and more outlandish demands.

It doesn’t matter that it’s not anywhere as bad as projected. It doesn’t matter that every supposed specialist got it woefully wrong. If you want to live, you must continue to obey. Don’t think, just comply! If you don’t comply, well, you’re a bad citizen who wants to see death and destruction.

Did you forget those pictures of the coffins from Italy that was a freeze frame from a movie? Did you forget the pictures of the overwhelmed hospitals in certain American cities that turned out to be pictures of Italian hospitals? How dare you question anything in a time of crisis? How dare you!

I have a few concerns regarding the fact that we have been so easily conditioned. My first concern is that now that they know how easy it is to control everyone, what’s to stop them from repeating this over and over again, with more and more stringent orders?

All it takes is making people afraid. Afraid enough that some of them are ending their lives for fear of potentially having this virus, then telling them the only solution is to be a shut-in for the rest of their lives. Your only hope for survival is to be dependent on the government for whatever crumbs Nancy and Chuck, and all the rest of the ne’er-do-wells allow to slip through their greedy fingers.

My second concern is that once this blows over, once the panic subsides, and like every other virus that has made its way through the planet this one also dies out, having known the euphoric nature of absolute power, many of these bureaucrats and paper pushers will be reticent and hesitant to give it up.

Going from wearing a polyester shirt and a clip-on tie, stuck in a cubicle, with a picture of your pet cat to having the lives of others in your sweaty palm, and making proclamations as to who can and cannot continue to earn a living, who will be ruined and who will survive once this is done, is such a dramatic change, going back to the cubicle is a fate worse than death.

When you give impotent people power, they will always abuse the power they’ve been given. When you try to rescind the power you give to the impotent because they’ve abused it, they will always fight you tooth and nail to retain it.

Don’t even get me started on neighbors tattling on neighbors for clearing their throat, or having a cough. If this is all it took to do away with our freedoms, shred the constitution, and suspend individual rights, we never deserved any of them in the first place. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Life By Model


Remember way back when, like three weeks ago, when the talking heads on television were somberly declaring, we could see upwards of two million deaths in these United States? Yeah, that’s not going to happen. That’s okay though, they’ve been revising down for the better part of a month, and every time, although the numbers get less alarming, the baritone voices and the grave looks are still as gloomy and dismal.

Blow me over with a feather; the modelers got the models wrong. Once the dust settles and we begin to cross-reference average deaths from pneumonia, seasonal flu, and other ailments people die of, we will also likely notice that with the spike in Corona deaths, there has been a reported decline in deaths from the other maladies. I know, a stretch, but as I’ve been saying for the past few weeks, most of what I write nowadays is for posterity.

The problem with models is that human beings are the ones responsible for entering the data upon which the models are created. The models churn out their numbers not based on some supernatural knowledge or awareness we mere mortals are not privy to but based on random numbers, we mere mortals enter into them.

One small tweak here, one little tweak there, and you can scare an entire global population by pointing to the model and saying that both California and New York would be underwater from global warming by 2012 or some such. Yeah, that didn’t age well, but it doesn’t really matter since Al Gore is still an almost billionaire from parlaying his fear porn into a lucrative business.

Just a smidge of superficial research is enough to confirm that the only thing models are surprisingly consistent about is being horribly wrong. From melting glaciers to dying polar bears, to the effect of aids on the heterosexual population, to Ebola, SARS, homicides due to increased gun ownership, and presidential election models, they’ve all been wrong. When I say wrong, I don’t mean by a little, or by some minute percentage, I mean wrong like in predicting a 99% chance that Madame Rodham Clinton would be the captain helming the ship as we attempt to navigate these troublesome times.

No matter how many times the models get it wrong, we are reminded that there is a chance that this time they might get it right. When they don’t, they brush off the failure only to reemerge anew every time some new thing begins to get a little traction.

I don’t need models to tell me that if people don’t work, they don’t eat. I don’t need models to tell me that even with the countless social nets we have in place, if half the population is forced to stay home, stress eating and binge-watching television for months on end, at some point, the nets will snap.

You have modelers spewing out numbers like eighteen months, twenty-four months, or, and I like this one the most until a vaccine is discovered. That’s what they were saying about aids back in the day, and if you don’t believe me, look it up.

The good news is that there won’t be a million or two million dead in this country from this virus. The models got it wrong again. The bad news is that no one has come up with a model of how many people will starve to death if we don’t get this economy up and running soon. The numbers would be sobering, and it would be a model I would be tempted to believe. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

The Great Journey


We are born innocent, ignorant of the frailty of the vessels we’ve been granted for a time. The innocence lasts but for a breath, then ever so slowly, we become painfully aware of the temporal nature of our existence here on earth. If not for the hope of eternity, if not for the hope we have in the knowledge that Jesus went to prepare a place for us, from the moment we learn to read and write, to understand truths deeper than finger painting and making doodles on paper, despondency would be a constant companion, and fear a perpetual reality.

This magnificent journey, this gift of life has a beginning, and thusly must have an end. Only that which is without beginning is without end, and as far as I know, God is the only One to have claimed this privilege. For everything else, there is finality.

When the journey ends is not up to us. The only thing we can control is how we travel the road while we are here. What do we leave in our wake? What do we sow in the lives of those we come in contact with? How will we be remembered by those we leave behind to mourn our passing? How have we run our race?

Were we the source of more laughter than tears? Did we bless when others encouraged us to curse? Were we faithful even when others were not? Did we press onward even when the oft-promised healing, prosperity, abundance, and favor seemed out of reach or lacking? Did we trust God implicitly in all things and not just some things? Were we able to say with our final breath it is well with my soul?

Did we spend the time we were given wisely? Did we grow in our love for God? Did we treasure those close to us? Did we love without reservation? Did we give of ourselves even when it was difficult to do so?

On average, mankind gets little more than 72 years to come to terms with its temporal nature. Some live longer, while others, for reasons only God knows, are only granted a sliver of that time on this earth. They, too, must come to terms with finality, just at a far faster clip than most. They must learn in a year what others learn in a decade, and life being a timed test, when the bell rings, you put your pencil down and close the workbook.

Other than Hezekiah, none of us get to go into overtime or ask for a few more minutes to solve the riddles, the answers to which were on the tip of our tongue. The bell has rung, the time you’ve been allotted has expired, your race is run, your fight is over, and all that’s left is the grading.

There’s always tomorrow until there isn’t. When you put off doing tomorrow what you could have done today, you’re writing a check that is just as likely to bounce as it is to clear. Some things are worth putting off, or never doing altogether, like binge-watching some fool pretending to be another fool, but some things are vital, necessary, urgent, and indispensable. Know which is which, and do the essential ones before the journey ends. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.