Unqualified Liberal Idiots - Part One

I sit here and look out the window at my 1985 Toyota truck that I recently “finished” rebuilding. (There’s still a million piddly-assed things i’ve got to do on it.)  I feel both shame and pride.  

Shame, that I can’t afford to just go out and buy brand new one ton truck with a power fold v-plow, but pride, that I was able to overcome so many problems and obstacles during the build, and that I was able to make a dependable, good looking truck for less than $2500, including the initial purchase price of the truck, plow, and all improvements.

I also feel a sense of both pride and shame about what I learned and the what skills I improved.  Shame, that at 52 years old, I didn’t already know or know how to do some things.  Shame, that I was even afraid to try some things. but pride, that I now know all those things now, and would not hesitate to do them again, should I ever need to.  

Even though I have owned eight snowplows (six Westerns, one Meyers, and a Northman) over the past thirty five years, I still learned some things that seem so obvious to me now.   My welding, oxy-acetylene cutting, and automotive diagnostic skills were all put to the ultimate tests, and this greatly improved all of these skills in the process.

The whole ordeal was much more than just a truck improvement.  It was really more about self improvement, from gaining an “outside the box” type of thinking when searching for parts on the internet, to refining my logic when trying to diagnose and solve problems.  So much of what I learned, so many things that I already knew and were reconfirmed, will have practical value that is useful far beyond the scope of auto repair.

When I think about I know now compared to what I knew when I bought my first truck (A ‘58 Chevy), way back in 1978, I can’t help but think of all the other experiences I’ve had since then, and how they have been such valuable resources necessary in order to put things into perspective today.

Raising feeder pigs, owning a lawn and landscape business, forced me to learn many things and acquire many skills, simply because I couldn’t afford to pay someone else to do various things for me.  I consider myself, to have a better than average knowledge of all of the things listed below.  If fact, about the only people who would know more about these things, would be those who specialize in these areas for their full time occupations.
  • economics
  • money management
  • history
  • current events
  • farming
  • mechanics
  • auto body repair
  • welding
  • oxy-acetylene cutting
  • electricity
  • plumbing
  • carpentry
  • animal health
  • plant health
  • physics
  • chemistry
  • general science
  • truck driving
  • heavy equipment operation
  • engineering
  • journalism

The most important thing about this list is not the individual items themselves, but the fact that so knowledge that one gains from being familiar with these things is transferable to so many other areas.  Principles tend to remain the same across different fields.

In college economics classes, I learned about “diminishing marginal returns”, a concept that liberals who advocate ever increasing government regulation seem to be unable to grasp.  In my plant science classes, I learned that plants cannot absorb anything in organic form through their roots, which means that the whole concept of “organic produce” is a farce.

Raising pigs, I quickly learned that caring for the runt of the litter is a complete waste of time and counterproductive to the success of your whole operation.  Any time spent trying to force feed a weak pig (which is almost certain to die anyway) with a syringe, is valuable time lost that could have been spent monitoring the healthy ones.  The best thing you can do with a weak pig is make it a dead pig, and then move on to making sure that the rest stay healthy.

I also quickly learned about priorities.  Many people think that you can increase your pigs produced per year by sending a lot of time in the farrowing rooms, but if you’re doing things right, the farrowing rooms will take care of themselves.  Sows have been having babies for tens of thousands of years and they know what they’re doing.  The area where you can really make a difference is by spending more of your time in the breeding/gestation area.  If the sows don’t get bred, nothing else matters.

Running the lawn and landscape business, I learned about people.  Everyone has their biggest problem, and that’s what they focus upon.  That’s why the business owner doesn’t give a shit what you did, as long as you showed up and mowed the lawn, (petty details don’t even make it on his radar screen, he’s got other things to worry about) and an old retired lady calls you up and bitches about the fact that you missed trimming around one tree. (Her lawn is the only thing she has to worry about.)

Why am I even mentioning any of this?  Because I want you to read this story, and maybe, do a little research on its author.   Look at how narrow the scope her life has been.  How many of the things that I listed above, do you think she might be proficient at?  Tomorrow, I will comment on her story, and you tell me, if it is her or I, that has more credibility.  


  1. All this is called personal growth. and we must keep growing in order to keep being useful and happy. unlike a lot of people are happy to sit and collect their government money! they only really grow smaller and stupider!

    1. Check out part 2 today, and you will see someone with very limited personal growth try to excuse people who have experienced no personal growth at all.