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The Unforgiving Moment

More likely, however, the system will instead be seen as the culprit and be faulted for not offering enough medical services for diabetes patients that may well total a quarter of California’s population in the next decade. We will not hear that the individual has a responsibility not to drink sugar-filled Cokes each day. Too much of the wrong food, not existential hunger, is the epidemic of the poor.

Some readers will respond by asking, “If you are so smart about health decisions, why did you end up in the ER?” A fair question, given that road biking is not always safe and perhaps analogous to drinking sugared colas. I am trying, as I stare up at the ceiling, to weigh the odds of crashes versus the health benefits of riding, versus the enjoyment versus alternative workout regimens, versus just sticking to yard and farm work, versus trying everything from a fat-tire slow bike to stationary biking. Two bits of advice I hear from friends: “You have to get right back at it and conquer your anxieties.” Versus: “Wake up -- is road biking necessary? Try walking more.”

A farmer 10 miles away, who was a father of four children, was shot and killed this week after investigating intruders on his farm. (The gang-banger suspects are now in custody.) He interrupted a stolen car being stripped, and “they” killed him for being so rude as to drive on his own land. I note that fact because a few weeks ago the dogs barked at 3 a.m. For once I decided to ignore them. And the next morning I found a stripped auto in my vineyard. I had gone back to sleep on the theory that in America today walking out to investigate would have been a politically incorrect sin.

Here is what I mean. America does not like the enforcement of property rights unless one is rich, hip and cool, like those who assume the sanctity of their Google or Apple parking lots. I would de facto have no right to have ordered people off my property.  And without arms, no means of enforcing any order I had issued. Instead, I assume California would argue that there must have been extenuating circumstances that forced the gang-bangers into a life of crime, from callous indifference about their impoverishment to illegal-alien bashing (to…, well, fill in the blanks).

For all practical purposes, one has no right to arm oneself to protect property. If I were unarmed and shot, I would be assumed to have been foolish by venturing out on my own property. If I were armed, and yet got shot confronting thieves, the media would say that I was more foolish and trigger-happy and prompted the violence. If I had shot them in self-defense, I would appear a paranoid old white male who privileged property over human life -- and be sued by their families who had access to free legal help. If I were to call 9/11, I would expect that the response would be slow, given that in the hierarchy of a night’s epidemic of central California felonies, a stripped auto would rank low.

So I went back to sleep, and called the sheriff the next day when I discovered the stripped auto. Someone else who was more courageous was murdered this week. We lost a brave citizen, and now deal with his murderers, on behalf of whom the resources of a bankrupt society will be amply invested.

If only Nancy Pelosi or Jeb Bush would come down to a Central Valley ER in these parts, or try farming when a vineyard become a veritable chop shop, they would not so easily lecture others on their supposed illiberality. Otherwise, the liberal view is a make-believe land of elites who are exempt from the wages of their ideology, as others deemed less sophisticated and liberal bear their consequences.

Meanwhile, back to healing…