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  1. I was in my mid teens when I came up, all by myself, with a theory about individual rights. To wit, what gives one man the right to initiate force against another man? What is (morally) within any man that makes him so superior to any other man? Nothing. At that time, the 1950s, I was concerned about the Cold War and the possibility of general thermonuclear war. This was the American State against the Soviet State. I loved Barry lob one into the men's room in the Kremlin Goldwater and his Conscience of A Conservative. We had beaten the horrible Holocausting Nazis but now we had to deal with the Commie Bastards. But something was wrong in my cosmology. Wrong and incomplete but I was oblivious. Then in the summer of 1963 in my sister's home in Flagstaff, AZ I spent almost a week reading Atlas Shrugged in paperback. It was like a key going into my lock and opening up my brain. AS turned me into an intellectual. Conservatives are not intellectuals. That's the intellectual reason I cannot go back to that melieu and never will. But I'm now cutting out the middle story for I'm slightly drunk and not, after all, writing a book, and get to the point for I'm distressed and pissed off and get to the cultural reason--the God-Damned War On Drugs. A man I knew somewhat and liked put a bullet into his brain several hours ago. The swat team finally sent in a camera which showed him dead in his bed. He killed himself because he was in terrible pain. Over the years in the building trades his body had deteriorated several different ways but he was able to live and function with opiate medication. Then his doctor moved away. Just like that he was reclassified medically and sent to a pain clinic and his meds were cut by 25 percent then another 25 percent. All in less than a month. The Conservatives are responsible for the monstrosity of the war on drugs and the reduction of opiate meds legally available. So they have gravitas and embrace Trump, but while I appreciate Trump I'm no great fan of MAGA. America stopped being great with the Mexican War if not the presidency of Andrew Jackson. ---Brant I believe in MAGA if you start with human rights and make those your primary reference point