The Book of Rabyd 1:5 – ‘Everyone Has the Right to Property’

Happy Sun’s Day

Text:

“Everyone Has the Right to Property” – The Book of Rabyd 1:5

Thoughts and Exposition:

This is a new verse for the Book of Rabyd.  Most people don’t realize that the original Declaration of Independence had originally ‘life. liberty and property’.  Later editing changed it to the pursuit of happiness.  But the idea of the inherent right to property to anyone who owns it is something that has not always been recognized in history.  That changed with the Founding fathers as the notion of people having a right to translate their right to pursue their happiness.  As Ayn Rand wisely pointed out this means the right to property.

I would argue that this right is what defends the others as well.  Your Life. liberty and Pursuit of Happiness are yours and now one should be allowed to take them away from you.  This means you also have the right to defend what is yours.  But ownership of property being a right extends to all things that are yours.  The most important of which is ownership of self.  Self-ownership means to take responsibility for yourself and your own destiny instead of leaving in the hands of others.  You need to exercise your right to own private property to do this.

I often wonder if those who try to attack this right realize that what they are doing allows people to basically take away all the others. If my life is not mine, if my liberty is only granted and can be taken away, if my pursuit of happiness requires that someone else give it to me, then they are not rights but privileges.  The right to property is what brings in this concept of ownership of not only my stuff but my rights.

To think otherwise is to have the mentality of the thief and the societal leach. I make no apologies for saying this.  I people have the notion that other people don’t have a right to property, then they are perfectly OK with the notion that such property can be taken away. They also have no problem when people have their property taken from hem through taxation so they can be supported.  In short they envision people can think and work but the results in part belong to them even though they have done nothing to earn them. This justifies their stealing it or letting others do it for them.

See the source image

So we turn again to abortion.  The seeming conflict is that the woman has her right to liberty and pursuit what will make her happy.  The notion being that the fetus is her body and she owns it so she can dispose of it as she sees fit. The opposite side of the coin is that the child has he right to live and pursuit its happiness by living. The real issue is it possible for one person to really own another and I would say that there is some inherent ownership of ones’ self in such a right to property.

For me the question of abortion has long been a sticky one.  As a Christian I had pretty clear guidelines, but it was still troubling at times.  Mostly because reality is that natural abortion happens all the time and with far more frequency than people think.  Most are never known to even exist.

Post-Christian, the issues now falls to whether the fetus is a person.  If not, the nit has no right to ownership of self and all the other rights that go with that.  If yes, then he/she does and they have those rights. I am not sure I can answer the question definitively at this point but I still maintain that liberty and life are important in equal measure.  I hope the choice is life, because I consider abortion a waste of human potential, if nothing else.

The real question for me is should the state be allowed to interfere?  Once again we are still left to determining when a person becomes a person and the answer seems clear. Given all our rights and the notion of self-ownership, if the fetus can be proven to be a person then the answer is yes, but if not we still find ourselves in a controversy.  It seems with all the advances in science, we should be able to determine this. Then the right to property with its concept of self-ownership kicks in.  This still doesn’t give us a clear answer but we have two more principles left so we shall see.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

Of Wolves and Ravens: Industriousness: Focused Effort

Happy Tyr’s Day

Discussion:

Industriousness is probably one of the Nine Noble Virtues (NNV) that makes things happen the most.  The other is discipline.  There are three elements to industriousness: 1) Hard work, 2) Efficiency and 3) Joy. Each of these elements must be present for their to be true industriousness, but there is one factor that must also be present for them to be useful – Focus.

What are you working for? It is the basic question of industriousness and it is both a deeply personal question and one of ethics and morals. Now I agree with Ayn Rand that there is a virtue to selfishness.  However, most people fail to read her other half of that which is that selfishness does not include exploitation of others.  The issue is what goal are you trying to achieve with your work and are your efforts actually focused in getting it done.  Along the way are you being efficient and joyful.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

Needs (Geri):

We need to work hard.  It is the simple fact that no level of self-sufficiency is achieved without hard work.  Survival depends on work and the harder we work, the easier it is to survive. If there is any tragedy to life is it some people have developed the notion that success in life is a trick or scam that people pull on others.  Anymore who has actually studied the rich and successful will note these two things: 1) Most of them didn’t inherit anything from anybody and 2) They worked long hours and hard days to get where they are today.  They came to understand that industriousness does indeed reward those that work hard.

Wants (Freki):

We also want to enjoy the fruits of our labors. This is the product of learning to enjoy working.  To enjoy work in and of itself. It is also a sad tragedy that people have come to see leisure as something to be enjoyed, while work is something to dread. To me there is a joy in creation of something that didn’t exist before. I mean every day I start with a blank digital page in front of me and in often less than an hour there is a blog post.  There is a joy in this that is good for me. But that carries over to all things. Whether it is business or art, the joy of creation is in the industry of creation.

Reason (Huginn):

Reason of course, helps our focus with one thing – efficiency.  I mean as much as one can come to enjoy work, part of being industriousness and being focused is to not waste effort. Economics comes in here with its focus on getting the most efficient way to get the maximum results. This issue is finding the greatest prosperity for the minimal effort.  Then, however you also realize that more efficient effort (working hard) will bring even more prosperity because of the extra effort. The more efficient you are in working hard the more prosperity is brought to yourself.

Wisdom (Muninn):

Wisdom comes in to this discussion in the idea that the fruits are the reward and that such fruits are not the result of exploiting others for gain.  In fact wisdom makes you realize that the greatest amount of joy, efficiency and effort will come from looking to benefit more than yourself  When others join your efforts because it benefits them as well, that is far better than when they work to slow you down because you are exploiting them and so they resist.  It is better to look at ways every one benefits, so that greater things can be achieved than you can alone.

Conclusion:

I have learned a tremendous amount from looking at this virtue.  I have always tried to have a good work ethic. The issue has been constantly ‘what am I working for?’  Industriousness has allowed me to address that question.  I need to work to be self-sufficient. I want to work because there is a joy in creation.  I reason my way to be more efficient in my work to get the most out of my efforts. I work not just for myself but for others to achieve even greater things. Industriousness is focused effort toward certain goals and this is what makes it a very powerful and active virtue.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

Of Wolves and Ravens – Philosophy on a Schedule

Happy  Tyr’s Day.  It is also the 6th night of Yuletide.  This night is sacred to the goddess Eir and Healing.  Eir being one of the Valkyrie who was famous for her healing skills.  I know today is December 25th and is sacred to all you Christians out there.  It used to mean a lot to me in this regard as well. So Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.  Today we pagans celebrate the virtue of Discipline mostly in regard to taking care of one’s self in regard to health.

Well, this will not be a normal Of Wolves and Ravens.  As promised I am establishing a pattern for writing Of Wolves and Ravens. With a pattern I have a pretty good chance of being disciplined in writing it each week. I will be doing the same for Odin’s Eye and my New Series on Saturday on Norse Mythology. Haven’t come up with a unique title for that yet, but I will.

Topics I want to include here in Of Wolves and Ravens must meet the requirement of being a philosophical discussion. So included here is discussions of the Nine Noble Virtues of Asatru, The three higher virtues – Love, Justice and Wisdom.  Discussions on Minimalism and Libertarianism will here as well.  I must say this would be a good place to discuss economics and political philosophy so that will be here as well as regular western and eastern philosophy.  I think a ten week pattern is in order.

Week 1 – Nine Noble Virtues and The Higher Virtues

Week 2 – Honor and Eastern Philosophy

Week 3 – Courage and Western Philosophy

Week 4 – Truth and Love

Week 5 – Self Reliance and Minimalism

Week 6 – Industriousness and Economics

Week 7 – Hospitality and Justice

Week 8 – Discipline and Political Science

Week 9 –  Perseverance and Libertarianism

Week 10 – Fidelity and Wisdom

I think this pattern will be a good one as it will keep me covering a lot of different topics and not getting stuck on too many.  I will try to bring modern events and other things into the discussion as much as possible.

I want to change the nature of the Wolves and Ravens as far as Need, Want, Reason and Wisdom which will still appear at the end and make them more personal to myself. Taking the discussion about whatever topic is there for the week and putting it into practice personally is the goal at that point.  This should keep me writing and more importantly changing for the better as I continue this journey I call my life.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

A Skald’s Life – Foundational Virtues – A Viking Soul

Happy Moon’s Day

Journal Entry:

I get asked once in a while if I have Viking ancestry and if that is why I like them so much.  Truth is I don’t know. Part of the mystery of being me is my father’s side of the family in that biologically, I might be. I do know that German blood flows in these veins and the whole Scandinavian – Germanic mythology was pretty much the same, except the names were changed and later the two mythologies merged. I want someday to do a genetics test and maybe hunt down some of dad’s ancestry.  I do hope there is some Scandinavian descent in there somewhere.

Were all human and I work very hard not to think my heritage makes me better or worse for that matter than everyone else. I reject racism of all types including the type done by liberals when they want white people to feel guilty for the past crimes of ancestors. I am only responsible for my own actions, not my father’s or any of my forefather’s

I do think I have a Viking Soul.  I resonate with the warrior philosophy of the Nine Noble Virtues (NNV).  I think what they believed deals far better with reality than many mythologies.  It digs back down into my pagan roots and finds the hand axe wielding tribal warrior standing there.  Grim faced and ready for battle. The man who appreciates home and hearth when he can get it, but also longs to board the ship and set sail at least for a time to fight for something better for himself and his family. To prove his value to himself most of all and to others as a bonus.

Honor:

Honor is the feeling of inner value and worth from which one knows that one is noble of being, and the desire to show respect for this quality when it is found in the world”

Principle – Be positive about my future

I think I am just weary at this point.  I am just tired of what I am doing this semester and want it to end to make way for what is next. From an honor standpoint I struggle less with my own sense of self-worth. I struggle more with value in what I am doing and where I am going. I am also starting to address the question of looking for honor in this world I can value.  I know it is there, I just need to find it.  I need some vision of the future and the world I want to live in and then go find it and make it happen.  That is what I mean when I say I need to be positive about my future.

Courage:

“Courage is the bravery to do what is right always.”

Principle – Act with Courage at the right time.

Courage right now takes the form of being disciplined enough to get finished. I have basically a paper to do which counts toward two things and three short projects which constitute a final exam.  The first is due at the end of today and the second at exam time on Wednesday.  I already finished a take home final yesterday so that is done. Courage is facing the rest and getting them done.

Truth:

“Truth is the willingness to be honest and to say what one knows to be true and right. It is often better to not say anything at all if one cannot be honest.”

Principle – Pursue knowledge, wisdom and truth at all times.

If there is one thing I have had to consider about being a scholar at this time of exams and my capstone paper; it is truth.  The decision recently was to make this paper as close to the truth as I can make it. Regardless of whether or not that will get me a good grade. I am being given the opportunity to speak with words and in a defense so I will take it with full truth and nothing but the truth.

Morning Routine:

  1. Review Nine Noble Virtues (NNV) and Principles
  2. Review Goals
  3. Review Bucket List
  4. Full Body Stretch
  5. Meditate on One of the Virtues
  6. Breakfast
  7. Supplements and Medicines
  8. Shower and Personal Hygiene
  9. Get Dressed for the Day

I haven’t had a problem with the Morning Routine.  It’s the most solid part of my life right now. I am going to consider my meditation practices once the semester ends.

Bucket List:

  1. Go Back to Budapest, Hungary for a vacation.
  2. Get My Tattoos.
  3. Actually Get Drunk.
  4. Smoke a Joint.
  5. Hike the Northern Lakeshore Trail along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
  6. Write My Novel.
  7. Learn Latin.
  8. Learn Hungarian.
  9. Weightlifting – Bench 225 lbs, Squat 315 lbs, and Deadlift 405 lbs.
  10. Start my own business

I am looking forward to looking at this list closer during the break. Yeah, I may have to go one semester of full-time online stuff to get financial aid for my internship so Christmas Break might be a good time to take a breath and look at this list again and rewrite and redefine it.

Weightlifting:

Still looking for a gym but the most likely candidate is the one near where I work.  I can just get off work and go there before I come home. I will probably use the time to develop a four-day split and if I end up at work five days a week for whatever reason then one will get a double.  I may have to use the new gym time for walking at least until the snow clears.  The rails to trails is just a short walk from my apartment so once spring comes I will be grateful to get out and hike again.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

A Skald’s Life – Foundational Virtues – A New Shore

Happy Moon’s Day

Journal Entry:

I get asked every once in a while about why I am getting a political science degree.  I must admit the name is a bit of misdirection as political scientists are actually quite diverse in their skill set.  I mean we have to understand the politics of people in groups from small groups to those as large as a nation.  We also have to understand the bureaucracy of getting things done in the government.  There is also the fact that we have budgets and a business side to consider. I have had three business management classes and some accounting to get my degree as well.

My two minors chip in as well as Economics and International Business stem from my interest in trade.  International Business for me has been about understanding exchange rates, the logistics of moving things from one country to another. Understanding that different cultures do business differently as well.  Economics has only enhanced my love for the concept of trade and trading and how it always benefits both nations.

When I look at what I would like to do next my dream job centers on this idea of being person who negotiates trade agreements between people.  I am not sure specifically what that would be.  I also would like to travel and see this world a little before I kick off of it.  I however also want to come to a place to call home. So maybe a job that travels every quarter for a week or two.  Go there, make money, come home.  Kind of like a viking.

I know my wife doesn’t want to leave Michigan and I agree, but I also want to have those moments and times where I can travel to someplace new and enjoy the process of doing business and then come home to wife and hearth.  If I could on occasion take her with me so much the better. It’s good to dream when you are looking to the future and this is mine. Well, that and own a bar and serve drinks.  That’s my retirement dream.

Mostly I want something that allows me to set foot on a new shore and see what there is to see.

Honor:

Honor is the feeling of inner value and worth from which one knows that one is noble of being, and the desire to show respect for this quality when it is found in the world”

Principle – Be positive about my future

Knowing I am noble of being is still a struggle. Part of this is finding the definition of what it means to be noble of being in and of itself and not attached to any religion.  It’s not easy to abandon your faith of four decades and find a new philosophy that reflects a more true version of yourself.  It’s a journey of discovery and takes a little courage to find that new sense of honor.

Courage:

“Courage is the bravery to do what is right always.”

Principle – Act with Courage at the right time.

It is coming time to start job searching again and looking for a direction for a new career path.  This is going to take courage to do the interviews and the things I need to do to start looking for things that lead to that career. Time to be brave.

Truth:

“Truth is the willingness to be honest and to say what one knows to be true and right. It is often better to not say anything at all if one cannot be honest.”

Principle – Pursue knowledge, wisdom and truth at all times.

Truth is I have the potentiality to be a good anything, maybe even great. There is also the truth that whatever I pick I want it to fit me.  life is too short to not be doing what you enjoy and love. I need to remember that.

Morning Routine:

  1. Review Nine Noble Virtues (NNV) and Principles
  2. Review Goals
  3. Review Bucket List
  4. Full Body Stretch
  5. Meditate on One of the Virtues
  6. Breakfast
  7. Supplements and Medicines
  8. Shower and Personal Hygiene
  9. Get Dressed for the Day

Once school is over there is really only one thing I want to concentrate on this list which is the meditation aspect.  I think the change might be to meditate more generally on the Nine Noble Virtues to see which virtue rises to the top.

Bucket List:

  1. Go Back to Budapest, Hungary for a vacation.
  2. Get My Tattoos.
  3. Actually Get Drunk.
  4. Smoke a Joint.
  5. Hike the Northern Lakeshore Trail along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
  6. Write My Novel.
  7. Learn Latin.
  8. Learn Hungarian.
  9. Weightlifting – Bench 225 lbs, Squat 315 lbs, and Deadlift 405 lbs.
  10. Start my own business

I haven’t got much new to say about this other than if my job did entail travel the learning languages and taking a cruise to Budapest would be right up there as far as a way to having those fulfilled.

Weightlifting:

My gym closed and they started selling equipment so I need a new one.  The problem is I have little time to look so I will probably just take this week off, concentrate on school and then look during finals week.  Probably in the same city I work for now until I get a better job. I really hate to see this happen as it has been my gym home for the last three plus years.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

Of Wolves and Ravens: Lessons in Logic – Normative vs. Positive Economics

Happy Tyr’s Day

Introduction:

I am working on school work so it is helpful to review certain concepts.  Most notably basics.  Most people think economics is a dull subject but it probably is the one science that also deals rationally with the question of scarcity.  That is what to do with resources as all resources have a limited availability?  All resources are scarce, so how to distribute them is always the issue. Within this framework will be arguments and in economics arguments boil down to whether something is normative or positively stated.

A positive statement is factual dealing with the way things are and describes things factually.  A normative statement is a statement of what should be and deals with recommendations for how things should be.  In my old religious/theology classes positives statements are the issues of morals – the way things are and how people actually behave.  Normative statements would be the issues of ethics – the way things ought to be.

When people ask me why I like economics so much it is because economics is a very human thing. Society and individuals do not live in a world of pure positive or normative reality.  In truth things are constantly going back and forth between what is and what ought to be. To the wolves and ravens.

Needs (Geri):

It is a positive statement to say that human beings have needs.  Things that must take place for people to survive. We need water, food, shelter from the elements and air.  Without these things we would die. Most of these things are scarce, in truth all of them.

What is not always clear is how these needs should be met in the most effective and efficient manner.  Economists will put out different models and will engage the subject with as much fact and evidence they can muster.  However, some of this discussion in the area of needs dwells in the realm of the normative, because some economists might argue that this list of needs is too short. Education, Health Care, Defense, etc. all enter the picture here as the issues of well-being and security seem to be in that realm of tug of war between morals and ethics.

Wants (Freki):

People want things – that is probably a positive statement.  The issue of how one goes about acquiring what one wants enters the realm of ethics and the normative very quickly. The whole discussion of rights, collectivism vs. individualism and many other discussions of which economics system is the best, enter the arena at this point.  It could be said that the majority of the disagreements between economists involve wants vs. needs discussions.

Reason (Huginn):

One would think the moment we engage reason that the world of the normative drops out of the picture.  It doesn’t though. Reason has to engage ideas of all kinds.  In economics reason might spend a large part of the time engaging the laws of economics (there are at east thirty of them) but sometimes it is not clear because of the normative nature of the issue how those laws should be applied. This is the centrality of the issue of economics.  I love this aspect of it.

Wisdom (Muninn):

Wisdom is learning to understand things and how to apply them.  Economics, because of this normative/positive tug of war, has the added feature of trying to be applied to real life. Trying to come up with the best solution for the problems of needs and wants is the central core of economics and this practical aspect draws me to it like a moth to a flame. Sifting through all the normative and positive statements to find a true genuinely helpful philosophy of economics is a worthy goal and one I want to embrace.  In addition economics has been around long enough that from Adam Smith onward we have a large number people to draw from as far as experiences and thought.  It means the wisdom provided on these questions is extensive.

Conclusion:

If there is any lesson today it is for people to recognize that there are positive and normative statements in the world and to learn to distinguish between the two of them.  This becomes the foundational skill of learning not only how to engage logical principles but to learn how to know when someone is stating a fact or an ethical opinion is something that every person should learn. For me economics stands as this great fusion between life and philosophy and learning how to navigate both.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

The Rabyd Skald – Three Week Timer Set

Happy Sun’s Day

Three weeks.  It’s all I have left of school and my degree pursuit.  Because of the need at this point to keep on track I am probably going to do a The Rabyd Skald Post to start each week to get a sense of my bearings as far as where I am and how much time I have left.

This is a good week with a lot of potential to get a lot of things done.  I only have twenty hours of work this week so there is extra time for homework and I am going to need it.  There is work to complete that I can get done in time I just have to stay focused for the two weeks left of class and the last week of exams.  I also have some practical shit to do as far as getting ready for graduation.  What’s left:

Cross Cultural Communication – This class had a group project that is already completed.  I just need to evaluate my peers and their performance.  Do the final chapters of reading and the final discussion online.  One last test which is the last day of class not on exam week because it is an online class.  I figure this class will take a day plus the discussion over three days to finish. It’s my last International Business class and finishes off that minor.

GIS – I have to confess I am behind here and the first priority will be to catch up.  I have maps to do and one lab.  None of this takes more than an hour to an hour and a half to do.  It’s just a matter of sitting down and doing them and keeping up when they are assigned. I have to confess my real problem with this class is it is something I probably might have to understand how it works but I will never do this stuff as a career.  I am just not into geography or computer programs that deal with it. It is however required for my Political Science Degree.  It’s Online so the work will also be done the last day of class.

Inferential Statistics – My problem with this class is I find math too easy mostly.  I have aced every raw math class in college so far.  I have a tendency to overlook this class at times. There is also the problem that I can’t really work ahead in this class as the professor assigns stuff to do for the next class and that’s pretty much how it rolls.  I have found the theory part of this class very interesting and relative to my Economics work.  That’s probably why its one of two classes that finishes off my Economics Minor. I just need to do every assignments and keep up with it as they happen.  I am sure there will be a final during finals weeks as it is one of two on campus classes I have.

Health Economics – I really only have one major thing left for this and that is the academic paper.  Thankfully, I am can double dip on this one and my Capstone (More on this later).  It is basically going to be a 15 page paper that is journal publishable.  That means probably 20 to 30 sources and a little bit of writing to do. This is one of my on campus classes so it has an exam time during exam week.  I will have time to study for that, so no worries until then.

Political Science Capstone: Also a scholarly journal publishable paper. I decided early on that this would be in Health Economics Policy so I could double dip and this idea was accepted by both professors.  I have to give a defense like a thesis on this one too so there is that as well.  I almost wish I had done this with my internship next semester but I figured let’s get everything done so I can start the job search sooner.  Luckily I am basically writing one fifteen page paper and counting it for two things.

This week is one where I need to make sure my three classes (Cross Cultural Communication, GIS and Inferential Statistics) are caught up and stay caught up to the end.  I also need to do a lot of research for this one paper and it has to be scholarly research on Google scholar or the campus library.  I need to have an outline, literature review and thesis fairly soon. Like by Wednesday so I am not planning on getting much sleep or much relax time in.  Tuesday my wife and I have counseling and I am going to have to consider that my break from all this at least this week.

I am initiating a hiatus on all entertainment forms except blogging each day.  I can only engage my routines, my homework and studying for the next two weeks for sure. The reason I can take this is frankly I can see it is coming to an end and by December 16th, I will be effectively finished with everything.  This week is getting the grunt work done, getting things up to date and keeping it there. I suspect a lot of caffeine consumption.

I have to pick up my cap and gown and order tickets for graduation. December 15th is the day but I really only have two weeks for most of this. I also have to finalize my internship for spring term but that should be simply filling out the forms. Time to make it happen.

To battle,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

A Skald’s Life – Business Virtues – The State of My Mind

Happy Woden’s (Odin) Day

Journal:

My Mind – Not something people want to know unless you are part sarcasm, part dark humor and with a little asshole thrown in.  There is also The Grey to consider here, I debated whether depression is a mental thing or a heart thing but I would say it is a mental battle you fight to protect your heart.  The Grey is kind of the feeling I get during this battle. Sometimes it affects my heart, sometimes not.

This summer I found myself engaged in a lot larger dark thoughts than normal.  I was conflicted in a lot of ways.  On the good side there was an intense relief not to be in the pulpit anymore. An honest attitude and thought process began about my non-faith and more reasonable approach to life began this summer.  If it hadn’t been for my heart being drawn to something that ultimately hurt me, I might have been OK.  Hurt however makes it very hard to think until it wakes you up like a cold shower in the morning.

That led to the dark side of thoughts. I can’t say I am proud of what I was thinking at the time.  Mostly it was my desires driving my thoughts; which is why after I came out of this fog, I initiated my Wolves listening to the Ravens policy motto.

Right now, I am trying to get things back into focus.  It is not easy because I still want what I wanted, but I have to be very real in how it is going to be achieved.  In the case of mind the Business Virtues fit because it is about getting down to the business of life and thinking through how things need to be and what steps need to be taken.

Self-Reliance:

“Self Reliance is the spirit of independence, which is achieved not only for the individual, but also for the family, clan, tribe and nation.”

Principle: Work to be self-reliant in all things.

In being self-reliant there is an underlying philosophy of minimalism that I follow.  I am not an extreme minimalist but I do have two criteria for keeping things I own.  1) Is it useful to me and have I used it in the last year.  2) Does it give me joy. If I look at something and I cannot answer yes to either question, it disappears.

The reasoning behind this is that things can slow you down, weigh you down and cause you to make decisions that are not the best or to your advantage. It’s also why I don’t have pets at this time anyway.  I just don’t have the proper time or energy to give to a dog (don’t like cats) or say a raven. As I get older time is a most precious commodity, so I don’t want to spend it taking care of stuff that is not useful or enjoyable. This means it takes less to be self-reliant as well.

Industriousness:

“Industriousness is the willingness to work hard, always striving for efficiency, as a joyous activity in itself”

Principle: Work with enjoyment of work itself.

Being efficient is an economics thing and I love economics.  I also love to create things and one of the things I am learning is the creativity of all work. There is something you are creating even in stocking shelves and that is opportunity for the product to meet the customer.  It makes all work enjoyable when you can see the creative part of it. Creativity isn’t just a product of heart but also the mind.

Hospitality:

“Hospitality is the willingness to share what one has with one’s fellows, especially when they are far from home.”

Principle: Be ready to be hospitable to those who truly need it.

The reason I would say hospitality is more of a mental thing than a heart thing is that to do it right you have to plan for it.  It takes real preparation for you to always be ready to help. To be in a position of abundance so that you can help others in need takes a long-term strategy and so that is what I am employing.

In part also is the need perhaps to host a support group of some sort maybe a year from now. I am not sure for what but I know that I started to slip mentally and emotionally when this left my life so I need it back.  The reason I say a year from now is I need to heal and rebuild some things first.

Daily Routine:

  1. Communication / Cuddle Time
  2. Blogging
  3. Reading – 1 hour per day.
  4. Study / Homework – 1 hour per day or until all necessary work is completed.
  5. Empty In Box
  6. Financial Transaction Input

Pretty Good here.  Can’t complain too much anyway. If there is any weak spot its the homework and reading.  School is hard because the only interesting class to me this semester is Health Economics but only for  the Economics part, not the Health part. I am getting better though now that I look at each assignment in each class as a chance to be creative.

Goals: 

  1. Strengthen Marriage
  2. Finish my Political Science Degree
  3. Advance Career
  4. Monitor and Control Finances
  5. Write for my Blog  – 1 post per day average.
  6. Exercise
  7. Follow a Solid Diet Plan
  8. Create and work a Bucket List.

I am closest to the goal of finishing my degree.  The rest of these goals have a continual aspect to them and I am OK with that but it does call into question how do I measure them other than in terms of streaks of how long I have gone with each one.  I figure I can add a couple because like my bucket list I can have 8-10 things on it. I may also edit this list in the coming week so the goals are a little more measurable.

Budgeting: 

  1. Basic Emergency Fund – $1000
  2. Debt Snowball
  3. Fully funded Emergency fund
  4. Invest 15% of income into retirement
  5. Pay off Home Early
  6. Build Wealth and Give

Still stage 1 but I feel that things can move forward although it is very slow.  Once I have a better paying job, I think I can actually work the first three parts fairly quickly.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

Of Wolves and Ravens – Voting or Playing the Lotto

 

Happy Tyr’s Day

Introduction:

I am on campus a lot as a student and have been over this last three and a half years and at every election time the message by the school is clear, get out there and vote.  “It’s your civic responsibility”. “You can make a difference.”  The problem with being an Economics Minor is when you start doing an analysis of voting using economic law and principles, you discover to your horror as a Political Science Major that your individual vote matters little.

It was humorous this last week as the Power Ball Lotto reached 1.6 Billion and I saw people lining up around the country for their almost statistical zero chance of winning it. Many of same people will adamantly tell me I am wasting my vote by voting for Libertarian candidates because they won’t win.  The irony is a little thick there because voting is very much like playing the lotto.  You are doing an action that might have the very small statistical chance of actually affecting the outcome of an election.

On to the Wolves and Ravens:  

Needs (Geri):

I am doing a little bit of switch here because as I already indicated I am a libertarian and so the first thing I am going to talk about is whether government is legitimate.  I think it in most cases is not even necessary.  Like I said on Sunday in the Pagan Pulpit on Havamal 47 – people in general are decent people. There are always bad apples and some people want protection against those apples, so humans start out with the idea of government as a means to do that.  If I take a Classical Liberal position you have government needed for a way of settling deputes and to provide protection of human rights, this would involve a need for courts, internal security (fire and police) and defense.  Other than that most other things could be handles by voluntary associations and the free market.

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Wants (Freki):

So if we need this minimal government and we want it, how do we get it?  Democracy is the notion that the majority rules by voting and that the majority gets the action that they voted for.  There are several problems with this.  1) I don’t want this decision to affect myself or others negatively but when the majority rules the effect is felt on those that want the action and those that don’t.  2) I am forcing the other side to my will if my side wins.  If I am a decent human being, forcing another to do something they don’t want to do or affects them negatively, should be distasteful to me. I don’t want that. I don’t want to be part of something that is about the tyranny of the majority. What we have in voting and democracy most of the time is mob rule, and the person who can rally the biggest mob around them wins.

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Reason (Huginn):

OK. Time to look at voting rationally.  Two things: 1) The power of the individual vote is insignificant and 2) There are only a few times where your vote can actually matter.

The first is the simply point that the value of a single vote in any election is 1 over N.  N being the number of votes actually cast in that particular election. This means the larger and election, the more statistically insignificant your vote is.  You actually probably have more of a chance of affecting the outcome of smaller local elections than anything else.  The most power if have had personally in this regard is when I sat on two school boards and had a one seventh of a chance of actually casting a deciding vote.

The other part is knowing that the only time you actually to cast a significant vote is when you either break or cause a tie.  Otherwise you are just part of the mob.  In truth what you are doing is playing the political lotto hoping that you are part of the mob that wins. Also, if you are part of the mob that loses then your vote was wasted and if the election is won, every winning vote beyond what was need to win is a wasted vote. There are a lot of insignificant and wasted votes every election and the most of them are actually cast for the two major parties.

This is why people don’t get informed because I think they instinctively know this.  There is little point in spending a lot of time on something that you know won’t have much effect; if any, on the outcome.  So people vote their feelings or party line because it doesn’t require much thought.

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Wisdom (Muninn):

So what, then?  Where does wisdom fit in?  I can only say that it might have little to do with voting or government in general.  If we were wise we would give government little power and maintain that individuals have strong rights the government can’t take away by voting.  Oh, yeah that’s what the founders gave us but we keep going down the path to less individual rights and more government.  A course that is not wise, but the desire for security over freedom keeps leading us to despise “The Blessings of Liberty”. . Perhaps people should reconsider that maybe our founders here in the United States were in a sense political geniuses and we should respect their intelligence of individual rights over government power.

Conclusion:

Yeah, I vote.  But don’t tell me my vote matters or its my civic duty.  For me it is more like other people playing the lotto.  It’s that slim chance I might make a difference, that I might be in the winning mob.  I do it for the thrill of marking my choices and hoping like the power ball player gets his number and dreams. I do it for the thrill of knowing that there is a statistically better chance that I will be involved in a fatal car crash on my way to the polls, than my vote will make a difference – it’s kind of like sky diving for a political scientist.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Of Wolves and Ravens” – How This Works

 

Happy Tyr’s Day

In my introduction last week I probably rushed it a little in one factor of how this “Of Wolves and Ravens” actually works as far as a philosophy.  My main thing will be to take an issue (either political, economic, social or even personal) and working it through the philosophy summed up in the statement – “It’s OK to Feed the Wolves, but Listen to the Ravens First”.

My point is doing this is to basically create an exercise to engaging this new philosophy for myself.  Hopefully in working through this philosophy, I can provide some insight that you the reader might find beneficial as well.  Today I want to basically expand this philosophy a little with some examples so you the reader can understand what I am talking about in general.  Next week I will pick our first issue.  Each issue will be boiled down to the what we need and want but then engaging some reason and wisdom what is the best course of action.  I am going to use the general topic of Sex as an example.

Needs (Geri): When looking at the need side of things we have to ask ourselves what is needed here?  In the case of Sex, people as a race need to continue.  The real need of sex is procreation.  It might be argued that the entertainment value of sex is also a need but the issue of a need from a human point of view is about survival. Sex allows the human race to survive and go on.  Sex needs to take place for this to happen. If we look at organisms and their needs water, food and procreation top the list for all living things and for humans one of these is procreation and sex is what we do to make that happen. No one, but the most extreme view would argue that the wolf of need for procreation needs to be fed.

Wants (Freki): We humans though like sex and want it.  While some people want it for the procreative action as people do want to have children, the main thing about want and sex is that we enjoy the pleasure of it.  Sex in and of itself is not evil or bad, so us wanting it is not wanting something bad either.  The pleasure of sex is something good, we could conclude as it makes people feel better about life. It is OK to feed Freki when it comes to sex as it fills a desire and there is nothing inherently wrong with fulfilling a desire. It’s OK to feed the Wolves.  It’s OK to have sex because it is enjoyable and it leads to the continuation of the human race.

Reason (Huginn): The real problem though is we must first listen to the Ravens before we make that choice. The one thing we need to think about is what are the consequences of sexual activity?  Well this probably where I would note that ‘Sex’ as a topic might be a little broad but let’s continue.  Mostly the issue here is unwanted pregnancy but that goes back to wants and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).  The question of unwanted pregnancies is a large issue and involves other issues such as abortion, religion and economics but this can be curbed quite a bit in the modern world if people use effective birth control.  STDs are largely controlled by certain birth control methods but let’s be fair here – there is one benefit of sexual fidelity either abstinence or faithfulness to a single partner – the risk of STDs is near null.  Reason says that effective birth control coupled by basic fidelity and caution might kick the two major concerns about sex out of the picture. at least for the most part.

Wisdom (Muninn): On a wisdom side of things, we deal with relationships.  In western society it is a rare man or woman who doesn’t have a problem with jealousy.  Rape is also an issue here because the issue of mutual consent is a Wisdom issue. Sex is not something you take from others, nor can we avoid the fact that human nature causes both men and women to eventually look for an exclusive sexual relationship.  Not all cultures are this way, so each one would have to be considered but in our society if you go sleeping around the other person is probably going to get upset and a breakup is probably in your future.  Some people can be open about this in their relationships, but they seem to be the exception rather than the rule.  There are a lot of issues I could continue to talk about here and I can definitely say that the subject of sex is too broad a topic to handle in one post, but I hope you get the idea.

Conclusion:

At this point I might wrap things up with a conclusion.  Mostly when it comes to the subject of sex, my advice would be to be safe, respectful and communicate so boundaries are understood. There is a lot more here but for example purposes, I hope it helps you understand what “Of Wolves and Ravens” is going to be about.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!