Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Misplaced blame


People are throwing around all these accusations-- "How has Covid affected your life, your mental health, your job, your society?"-- assuming the blame lies with the virus when it doesn't. Covid-19 did none of that. 

In fact, if government hadn't been overhyping the virus you probably wouldn't have noticed it at all. Even if someone you know is said to have died of it.

Because, if they died, how would you have known to blame the virus if you hadn't been told that's what killed them? You wouldn't have. You would have assigned some other-- possibly more correct-- cause of death. You would have said they died of old age, or pneumonia, or something like that. 

Businesses are going under, people's finances are suffering (I know mine are), and their mental health is hurting, but they are pointing the finger at the wrong culprit. 

Don't blame Covid-19 for the hardships when it's the government response to the virus which is causing almost all the problems. 

Then, somehow those same people imagine government can be their salvation from the pandemic. Well, maybe it could be if it stopped responding in any way and got out of the way to allow society to come back. How likely do you think that is?
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Monday, October 26, 2020

The grossest leeches of all


Is your town, city, or county infested with parasites? Specifically leeches

Don't let the lack of standing water fool you into thinking you're safe from leeches. 

There is one deadly kind of leech that doesn't require bodies of water: the po-leech. 

Most of them even appear to be human. Don't be fooled!

They latch onto society. They'll suck the lifeblood right out of you if you let them close enough. There doesn't even have to be physical contact for you to be harmed by their parasitism. Avoid them for your own good.

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Sunday, October 25, 2020

Consider stocking up for election

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for September 23, 2020)




Stocking up on food and supplies before the worst part of the forced shutdowns could turn out to have been good practice for what may be coming after the presidential election.

Especially considering the new vacancy on the Supreme Court. This development is just another piece in the colorful puzzle called 2020, and will probably make uncivil unrest more likely than before. This vacancy shouldn't come as a great shock to anyone. The shoe has been waiting to drop for years. People have had plenty of time to get used to the idea. Why didn't they?

Whatever the reasons, this latest turn of events doesn't bode well for social harmony.

If the more aggressive factions among us are upset over the outcome of the election and express their unhappiness in their favorite ways, the supply chain may be disrupted again. Possibly even more than it was before. Are you ready for empty store shelves again?

You're probably in better shape to ride out any new shortages thanks to the pandemic. Now, also focus on the possibility of social turmoil if the riotous crowd doesn't get the election result it wants.

Those who loot and burn businesses belonging to people who might have been on their side otherwise haven't shown much capacity for considering the costs of their actions. I don't imagine they'll suddenly get smarter. They'll starve themselves, and you, to show you just how angry they are if they don't get their way.

I don't expect violence to break out locally, but as you probably notice if you've seen our hazy skies recently, things which happen far away can affect us. Be ready just in case.

Stock up on the things you wished you had bought before the last shortages. Don't forget water. Make sure you have enough to ride out at least the time between the election and the inauguration. More would be better. Encourage your friends to do the same.

I'm not saying it will happen; just that it's a possibility and I can see how the election along with the Supreme Court vacancy could trigger it.

Maybe nothing big will happen and in a few months we can all laugh about how wrong and paranoid I was. We can hope. Don't bet your life on it, though; I'm not going to. I would rather take the risk of being a laughingstock than to see you caught off-guard by rough circumstances. Consider it my sacrifice for your sake. You're welcome.

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Ready or not, the pre-scheduled unrest is approaching


Are you stocked up and ready for post-election "sports"? 

I think I'm OK, although if I get any unexpected donations I have a few last-minute things I'll stock up on.

Most likely, nothing big will happen right after the election. The losers on both sides will have a whine-off. One side will imagine they won. And the State will grow more powerful and ever more intrusive.

But, there is a chance that unrest will disrupt things for a while.

This is one time there's an actual date on the calendar that we can prep for. A date we know because the enemies of society have announced their intentions and you'd be wise to listen.

A clear date to prepare for doesn't often happen and I'm not planning to fail by failing to plan. It's like ignoring a tornado warning-- sure, you'll probably be fine, but won't you feel like an idiot if it actually hits and you ignored your chance to do something to prepare?

Ready or not, here it comes. Please at least consider being ready. It can't hurt and it might just help.

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Saturday, October 24, 2020

"Stop writing!"


Whenever a reader of my newspaper column strongly disagrees with me and emails to let me know, they don't give reasons. They just tell me I should stop writing until I agree with them.

Seriously, that's what they do almost every time without exception. Sometimes they also disparage my looks, my upbringing, and tell me to "go back where I came from" (which I did and why they are subjected to me). But, almost every time they include the barb that I need to stop writing until I change my opinion to agree with them. Without them giving me any reasons why I should agree with them.

An unhappy reader of this week's column ended her email with these words: "You need to stop writing until you face reality."* What "reality" is she referring to? I suppose that shutdowns are necessary and doctors say so. 

It's the same story time after time. Critic after critic. No reasons, just "stop writing". My words are so dangerous they can't be allowed out into the world. Or something.

Which makes me think they know they have no ground to stand on.

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*Full text: "Inconsiderate
You tell people to go ahead and get out in the same paper that the doctors are asking us to stay in as much as possible. You are incredibly inconsiderate. You go ahead and get out and when you get sick, we’ll just say 'Sure there was a cost' but he knew and was happy to risk it.
You need to stop writing until you face reality.
"

But, she's right about one thing. I know there is a cost and I'm happy to risk it. Even if I get sick and die.

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Friday, October 23, 2020

You have no right to...


Rights are more about what you have no right to do than about what you do have a right to do.

You have a right to govern yourself. You can't have a right to govern anyone but yourself. Such a right can't exist any more than any other right to enslave.

You have the right to join with others to form a government, even one based on politics. You have no right to impose that government on anyone else outside your group which explicitly consented. Implied "consent" isn't real-- it is a euphemism for aggressive molestation.

You have a right to have police. You have no right to impose those police on others who haven't been violating your life, liberty, or property directly, nor to force anyone else to help you fund them. No one owes your police anything-- not respect, obedience, or deference. If your police violate anyone in any way, you are as guilty as they are because you hired the gangsters and they work for you.

On the above issues there's a very narrow scope that is libertarian-- only the first sentence of each paragraph-- where you have the right to do those things... up to a point. But once you cross that point into the following sentences you are archating. You have no right to archate. No matter how you spin it.

If these things are difficult for you to understand or uncomfortable to face, the problem is yours. No one is obligated to explain it to you or to coddle your feelings.

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Thursday, October 22, 2020

"Not a real libertarian"


Do you follow the ZAP (or whatever you prefer to call it) to the best of your ability? Or do you equivocate and make excuses for archation you support?

If you do the first, you are a "real libertarian". If you're the second, no, you're not a libertarian.

It's not really a difficult thing to figure out. Some people try to make it harder than it is.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Costs are worth living in liberty

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for October 21, 2020)




The continuing hysteria over Covid-19 reminds me of the website warning of the dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO). The website correctly points out that DHMO is found in all our food, sometimes as an additive; we've all been exposed. It's found in many dangerous compounds and in cancerous tumors. It kills thousands yearly.
[...]

In the same way, Covid-19 seems to be everywhere. It may be spreading like wildfire through the population as testing seems to confirm. Under some circumstances, it can kill!..read the rest...

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Dangerous statism


I don't agree in principle with "conservatives" (Right-Statists) or "liberals"/"progressives" (Left-Statists) because I oppose statism in any form. Looking to govern anyone but yourself is going beyond what you have a right to do.

But I do think Left-Statists may be the more dangerous of the two.

Left-Statists want to dictate the very words you can use. Not words of "obscenity" or actual hate-- which shouldn't be banned either-- but words which might speak a truth that upsets them. This is truly totalitarian and nasty. Left-Statists have even perverted the words "liberal" and "progress", applying them to the opposite of what they mean, to fit their dishonest agenda.

Neither side is a fan of science, evidence, and reason when those things go against what they want to be true. They just vary on the specific areas they want to be shielded from scientific inquiry.

Left-Statists want to dictate what you can put into your body just as much as the Right-Statists do, but based on different criteria. While the Right-Statists want to ban things that might make you feel nice but (in some cases) harm you if abused, the Left-Statists want to dictate what you ingest based on what they imagine current nutritional science says. Yes, potential harm is still the excuse and it is still no one's business either way.

Right-Statists generally want you able to defend yourself, they just don't want you to defend yourself from America's largest and most aggressive gang. Which is a really bizarre exception to make. Left-Statists don't want you to be able to defend yourself at all if it means using tools they are scared of.

Right-Statists don't usually riot and destroy property and kill "noncombatants", while Left-Statists seem more than willing to encourage each other to do so, and to actually sometimes do so. If you aren't rioting with them, they assume you are their enemy. Not a smart strategy.

I'm not on the side which wants to dictate anything. I dislike statism but I'm not stupid enough to propose banning it. You can't fix the world by becoming that which you believe is wrong.

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Monday, October 19, 2020

Covid test results too late to be of any use

The above documents were received 9 days after a household member was sent (by their employer) to be tested for Covid-19. The positive results were phoned to this individual, by "the state", 6 days after the test. I think the results were a little late to be of any practical use.

Especially since the person in question hadn't been having any symptoms other than a "fever" of less than a degree. They might be infected, but they aren't sick.

This individual had been tested 3 times previously. Two of those tests were done in Texas and the results took similarly long to come back-- although the others were a day or two quicker, even taking the weekend into account. Those times the slow results weren't an issue because the tests were all negative. The test which was done in New Mexico was of the speedy "10-minute results" variety, also negative.

Once again, I have been marinating in coronavirus. Surely I have built up some immunity by now! So far I don't think I've gotten sick. I'm still self-quarantining over this latest contamination for the most part. A couple of friends were also exposed largely because "if the test had been positive they'd have called already". Oops! Never assume The State is timely or competent, or that medicine will be done correctly once politicized.

I'll let you know if I seem to come down with The 'Rona, although I'm not going to submit to testing as long as I'm conscious.

Which reminds me, the state's "contact tracing" office (department? has called me twice so far. I didn't answer because I didn't recognize the number. The second time they called they left a message. They want to speak to me. They'll probably continue to be disappointed. I know I've been exposed (again). I'm doing what I can to not expose anyone else. I don't think there's anything useful they can contribute to the conversation.

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Sunday, October 18, 2020

Stay consistent with your beliefs

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for September 16, 2020)




I wish people were more consistent.

Many people in this country say they are for smaller, or "limited", government. Most change their minds as soon as they think of something they want government to give them or do for them. If it takes bigger, more powerful, and intrusive government to get what they want, they're happy to sacrifice you on this altar. Big government is suddenly their friend.

They are against reckless government spending until they're hoping to get a check. Maybe it's a stimulus check, a subsidy, or a Ponzi scheme like Social Security. Maybe it's even a government contract.

People love liberty until there's something they don't like; suddenly they want to restrict someone else's liberty a little bit more. The "other side" is willing to do the same to them, so it goes back and forth until everyone is enslaved.

Something similar is happening now with limits on speech being imposed from every direction-- all endorsed and empowered by, if not coming directly from, government. Legislation banning limits on speech by non-government institutions is not the answer either. Simply keeping government out of the issue instead of propping it up would see it soon fizzle and fail.

Some voters claim to want a small-government candidate but believe their choice is limited to the two "mainstream" candidates who are both advocates for massive government. They believe voting for the candidate who actually agrees with them and is on their side is "wasting their vote". This was an effective trick to play on the people.

I understand all of it, even if I don't agree, and even though I believe every vote hurts.

To preach small government as long as it's convenient, but to abandon this in favor of big government as soon as you want it to do something new-- or to keep doing something old-- isn't consistent.

I'd rather people be consistent, even if someone is consistently against me. This way I know what to expect from them. Consistency doesn't mean someone is right-- it's as possible to be consistently wrong as it is to be consistently right-- but inconsistency always means they are wrong somewhere.

Everyone falls into this trap. Even libertarians. The difference is, do you know you've done it, or do you try to justify it to make your conscience comfortable again?

If you really support liberty and smaller government please act on this principle consistently, even when an attractive lure is dangled in front of you.

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Statists fear liberty


Why are statists so desperate to have you believe liberty can't work?

They'll say you can't have liberty or you'll be invaded and defeated by warlords or other countries (as if there's a difference).
They'll say you can't have liberty or you'll be robbed, raped, enslaved, or murdered.

Of course, they don't frame their position as arguing against liberty unless they are a Left-Statist, but they all are.

You can show them their fears are unfounded or overblown, but they don't relent. They are so opposed to liberty that they can't even imagine how it could work. They spend all their energy finding ways to scare themselves-- and you-- away from it, instead.

They'll often say things about the necessity to accept "incremental moves toward liberty" while advocating you v*te for politicians who would move society away from liberty.

They'll propose their "compromise" between freedom and tyranny by saying you "need" police and a theft-funded military to keep from being overrun by (other) bad guys. But liberty? Unthinkable!

Honestly, they make me sick. Cowardice isn't attractive.

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Saturday, October 17, 2020

Non-profit or theft-funded?


I don't see "non-profit" as a noble thing. Especially since, in most cases, it means it is supported by money stolen by government. I wouldn't want that on my résumé.

I would much rather someone provide a product or service and be rewarded with profit for doing so. 

An ethical non-profit would only be supported by charity, since charity is purely voluntary. Someone sees the value being provided and chooses to chip in to help keep it going. A voluntary trade still occurs. If it can't attract enough support to keep it going, it goes away. This is as it should be.

If something can't make it without being funded by theft it needs to die. No matter how important someone imagines it to be. That doesn't only apply to institutes and social programs. That goes for roads, libraries, schools, police, the military, museums, etc. No exceptions.

Even though it doesn't claim the title, all of government is a coercive non-profit organization-- no profit, but great, dishonest financial gain for the players. 

If government can be financed by either attracting voluntary customers who carry the entire costs of maintaining it-- earning it a "profit"-- or by attracting voluntary charity, then you can keep your government. Otherwise, let it die a well-deserved death. I neither want nor need it and I certainly can't afford to keep funding something as unwanted as that obsolete "non-profit", theft-funded institution.

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Friday, October 16, 2020

My daily carry knives


Someone recently asked about "the knife" I carry on a daily basis. Actually, I carry 5, at a minimum, at all times.

I've written about some of them in my EDC posts, but here are all the knives in one place.

This is what I am carrying today, but I enjoy switching them up a little sometimes. 

Going from left to right, top to bottom, the bone-handled primitive folding knife is just a cheap Pakistani knife that I carried in my mountainman gear long ago. It's not the best steel, but unlike some other Pakistani knives I have seen, it does a decent job of holding an edge. It has been on my belt for a couple of months this time.

I usually carry this Buck 501 instead, but this is some of that switching it up I like to do. Sometimes I carry a Buck 110 as my main folder, but I find it a little too large to be as versatile as the smaller folding knives. But I do enjoy carrying it, so it may be next in the rotation.

The big fixed blade is the Kershaw Deer Hunter my dad gave me for my 12th or 13th birthday. It has been my main carry knife anytime I am in "modern" clothes. So, I didn't carry it as much when I lived in Colorado, usually carrying my Green River knife and my handmade Bowie, instead. But for the past decade, it hasn't left my side.

The Kershaw and the folding knife are the two which get the vast majority of use.

But there are the others.

I have two hobo tools, both with their own knife blade. The one with the bone handle is unmarked, so I don't know who made it, and the stainless one is a Coleman (I carry it as a loaner-- the blade doesn't hold a good edge). The unmarked one is razor-sharp and holds a good edge, but I save it for food cutting.

The SOG key knife stays on my key ring. It's cute and sharp and I only use it occasionally.

I also have a Buck 397 that rides in a sheath on my "Indiana Jones" shoulder bag strap. (No, the bag isn't an actual MkVII gas mask bag, but it serves the purpose when I need to carry stuff.) It was sharpened to "razor+" sharpness by one of my readers. I include it because I do carry that bag pretty regularly, especially when I walk to the post office (since we don't have home delivery in town).

I also carry other knives based on my mood. And I'm always in the mood to carry knives. If I had the money for more knives I always have a list of knives I'd like to get. "Too many knives" makes no sense to me.

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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Presenting a new service


I have started a subscription-only preparedness blog on locals.com. It is called Casually Serious Prepping.

For a limited time, you can gain free access using coupon code PANICDEMIC (from October 15, 2020, until October 29, 2020... if I did that right).

Please spread the link around to anyone who might benefit. 

I hope to see you there.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Every four years, the same old thing

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for October 14, 2020)




Do you ever feel like you're stuck in an infinite Presidential time loop? Every four years I watch it repeat, but no one else seems to notice.

Like the movie Groundhog Day, where the protagonist relives the same exact day with only his own behavior and choices changing, I see the repeating patterns in every presidential election...read the rest...

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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

"Lawlessness" is impossible


There is no such thing as "lawlessness". Law exists whether you follow it or not. Only someone who confuses legislation for law would call the lack of legislation enforcement or the lack of following legislation "lawlessness".

Those things can be a symptom of a general disregard for Law, especially if it results in widespread violations of life, liberty, and property. However, enforcement of legislation also results in widespread violations of life, liberty, and property. Just institutionalized rather than freelance.

Yet, legislation enforcement is often-- maybe normally-- against the Law. Legislation enforcers are ignoring the Law in favor of legislation; counterfeit "law". By enforcing legislation they are breaking the Law. They are criminals in the purest sense.

There is no difference between a burglar stealing your TV and a cop "confiscating" someone's Cannabis or guns from their home, except that legislation forbids the victim to shoot the cop, but not (generally) the freelance burglar. 

By contrast, the Law-- real Law-- recognizes the absolute human right to defend your property from anyone who tries to violate it. Legislation is against the Law.

You don't need legislation or legislation enforcers to enforce the Law. It's YOUR responsibility, even if you don't want it. You can't legitimately abdicate this responsibility. To decry the abolition of police as advocating "lawlessness" demonstrates gross ignorance and a lack of respect for the Law.

The Law is simply: Don't archate. Or, more completely: "You have no right to archate, and if you do, your victims have the right to defend themselves, others, and property from you".

You don't need legislation or legislation enforcement officers to have the right to defend against archators. You can hire your own if you wish, but you have no right to impose them on others or force others to fund them. Doing so is against the Law; it is an attempt to spread "lawlessness" to society. It is antisocial.

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Monday, October 12, 2020

Welcome to the party, Pal


It seems as though the trend over time is for the "experts" to come to agree-- step by step-- with my initial thoughts on the coronavirus, one of which was that "it looks to me as though the panic is a much bigger problem than the virus". (I include government overreactions which caused the vast majority of the panic.)

It's a strange thing to watch happen. No, I'll never get credit for being correct all along because I'm an invisible nobody. I still find it oddly satisfying to see.

Am I happy that non-credible government-supremacists are following the evidence to lead them to where I've always been? Not exactly. Having people of that small caliber agreeing with me isn't a ringing endorsement.

I'm not going to change my mind just because they finally agree with me, though. I staked out this spot first, they are the latecomers. It's just amazing that they ever got here at all.

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Sunday, October 11, 2020

I have no tolerance for bureaucracy

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for September 9, 2020)




This week I was reminded how intensely I dislike bureaucracy. People who impose bureaucracy on the rest of us are as useful to society as plague-spreading fleas. You might believe bureaucracy has a place and is beneficial, but you'd be mistaking government for society; its opposite.

I have no tolerance for bureaucracy or authoritarianism. My preference doesn't threaten anyone; yet those who thrive on bureaucracy and authoritarianism can't leave the rest of us alone. We must be assimilated and forced to comply with their petty demands.

Everyone has a different temperament. Leave room for everyone who doesn't harm others.

Those who value and understand liberty respect individual differences, but this doesn't work for people who lust for control through bureaucracy. If someone doesn't go along, it threatens their entire house of cards.

When bureaucrats are empowered by an authoritarian system I find myself wishing misfortune on them.

I have met people who love bureaucracy; as if they get a thrill from dotting i's and crossing t's. Fine, but keep it to yourself. It's not alright to impose this on the rest of us. Forcing bureaucracy on people who don't want it is as antisocial as holding someone down and forcing them to drink your minnow smoothie.

Unwanted bureaucracy steals your time as surely as taxation steals your money. Bureaucracy and taxation usually go together.

Still, my temperament is such that I'll stay out of your way and let you engage in all the bureaucracy you want, even if it involves using authoritarian power against others who want to play your game by the rules your club has agreed to. Just keep it inside your club and don't try to force it on the rest of us or on the whole society.

I have no responsibility to cooperate with being numbered, categorized, or tracked. I feel no sympathy for those who try to force this on me.

No one needs to accept the numbers assigned to them, nor to remember or share those numbers-- as if they are valid-- with anyone else. No one has an obligation to pay for the freedom to exercise their natural human rights. No one is responsible for incriminating themselves by filling out forms to government specifications, to satisfy any record-keeping agenda. No one has done wrong if they refuse to answer questions which are no one's concern. If you imagine otherwise, you're part of the bureaucracy and a part of the problem.

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Don't get complacent


I feel like a SHTF event is imminent. Notice I don't say I think it is, rather it's just a feeling. Possibly triggered by the upcoming election.

I don't have a crystal ball. I'm almost definitely wrong.

If you can see it coming, it's not going to happen. That's almost a guarantee.

Just like the Coronapocalypse came at us out of nowhere, triggered by unexpected government overreactions to a fairly normal virus, a more serious event will also be a surprise. Consider the Coronapanic a practice run. It should have shown you the holes in your preps if you were paying attention.

I lucked out with the panicdemic because I was ready. Well, maybe it wasn't completely luck; I've prepped for years "just in case", and it finally paid off. I was pretty sure I wouldn't see it coming when it finally happened, and I didn't. But it didn't matter because I stay ready all the time-- and I have done so since well before the Y2K fizzle. I intend to be just as ready, if not more ready, the next time something comes along.

Now, even though governments are still desperate to fan the flames of concern with regard to Covid-19, most people (excepting raging government-supremacists) are over it.

It would be easy to breathe a sigh of relief now and let the prepping slide. It's hard to keep up with it all the time. Other things seem more pressing during the calm after the storm. I can't let myself fall into that trap, even if it means I am at odds with those around me. After the storm is also-- in every instance-- before another storm. This isn't going to be the exception.

I feel an internal pressure to keep up the preps. I'm going to listen to it even if I look silly for doing so.

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I'm considering starting a subscription-only prepping/survival blog. That or a subscription-only beginner homeschooling blog. Either one would be from the perspective of someone who is NOT an expert and doesn't really know what they are doing, but is learning as they go. If it happens, I'll announce it here. Or, if you have a better suggestion, let me know.

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Writing to promote liberty is my job.
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Saturday, October 10, 2020

If you could chip in...


If anyone would like the opportunity to chip in, this would be an excellent time. I'm in need of money for some necessities. Paypal.me/Dullhawk

I realize blogging shouldn't be a job, but you do what you can with what's available. All my other income sources have dried up and blown away-- one-by-one. My situation doesn't lend itself to a job outside the home for family reasons.

I've wondered if there's another topic I could start a different blog to cover that:

  1. I could write about and have enough interest in to keep it going and 
  2. that would be more popular and earn more support than the topic of liberty does.

So far I've come up empty.

If you can't, or don't want to help, I'm OK with that. You certainly aren't obligated to do so. If you can, want to, and do, you have my gratitude.

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Amazing Stories and Fantastical Tales


Sometimes it's good to just listen to people's stories without interrupting, even when you know the stories are nonsense.

My 2nd wife used to tell of a ghost that lived in her house when she was a kid. It was an interesting story even though I didn't believe it. I learned quickly that her family was very prone to believe anything as long as it fit with their magical worldview.

Other people tell me stories about beneficial things political government can do. These stories are no more true-- in the sense of being objective reality-- than ghost stories, but they can still be informative if you want to know which particular superstitions a person is living under.

Interrupt and you'll never hear the whole tale. Listen and you might be entertained by some fantastical tales of magical realms. Just don't bet your life on them being true.

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Thursday, October 08, 2020

How not to solve problems


My nature is such that I simply can't see government as a solution to anything. This puts me at odds with most of the rest of my species.

Yes, I think "social media" has become a horror. This doesn't mean I want government to regulate it; it means I think people who don't like it (or are too dumb to know not to take it at face value) should probably stop using it.

The same is true of so many other things I don't like. 

Litter/pollution, scammers, sexual predators, abortion, animal cruelty, Hillary Clinton, poverty, drug abuse, pandemics, crime, and all manner of awful things.

I may hate them, but that doesn't mean I want government to step in. Look how often that has the opposite effect anyway; making the original problem worse-- or at least not solving it-- while also creating a host of new problems that never would have existed otherwise (anti-gun legislation being a perfect example).

And even if government intervention doesn't make this specific problem worse this particular time, it only means you got lucky for once. You may have dodged a bullet this time; it doesn't mean you'll be so lucky next time. Leave government out of the loop if you know what's good for you and for society. Plus, it's the only ethical option.

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YOU get to decide if I get paid.
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Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Extremists should keep politics to selves

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for October 7, 2020)




Of all the political ideas I'm puzzled by-- which is all of them-- the ideas of White Supremacy and White Nationalism are among the most bizarre.

To imagine you're better than others because of your race rather than for your achievements is foolish. For that matter, anyone who feels they are owed something beyond the respect for life, liberty, and property every human is entitled to is mistaken...read the rest...

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Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Cops called on a family member!


Today a family member had a run-in with cops due to an elderly dementia sufferer's confusion. Fortunately no one was killed this time.

She was leaving PlastiCrap World, unlocked the passenger door, placed her purse and other items in the passenger side, then went around to the driver's side to discover (a sign of Condition White) an elderly woman trying to unlock the door with a key that didn't fit.

She asked what the woman was doing and she said she was trying to get in her truck. Family Member said "This is my truck" and the old woman started saying she had stolen it. And she called 911.

Now, if you want to make me hate you, call the cops on me. I see that as a threat to murder me and I don't appreciate it one little bit. Family Member didn't see it quite that harshly.

Cops showed up quickly and treated Family Member like a criminal as she tried to explain. The old woman was also upset, saying "See what she's done to my truck?" in response to the decals all over the vehicle.

The cops asked Family Member for ID, which was in her purse in the seat, which they didn't want to let her get because they still thought she might be a car thief.

Eventually, as it became more clear the old woman was seriously confused, they let FM get her purse and the registration to show it was hers and had been for almost a year.

The old woman said, "Well, I have a white truck." The cops took her away to get help.

Now, were these good cops? Haha, no. They were nice cops (after a rocky start) and they did something somewhat useful. And no one was murdered at their hands. I guess that's all you can expect from such a situation.

Although, personally, if it had been me, as soon as I realized what was going on, I would have just hopped in the passenger side, scooted behind the wheel and drove away. Maybe Family Member handled it more compassionately than I would have.

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YOU get to decide if I get paid.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support.

Monday, October 05, 2020

Like a law of nature, government is entropy


Government is social entropy; a sign that something is breaking. Just like physical entropy, unless you actively work to reverse it in your area, it increases.

If you don't work to maintain your car, it breaks down a lot sooner than you'd expect. Entropy increases.

If you don't work to keep your house in shape, it soon becomes unlivable and may collapse and kill you. Entropy increases.

And, when you allow the cracks in your society to go unrepaired, you end up with political government. Entropy increases.

Government is a sign that you've failed to maintain society.

I've been told for years that government is inevitable; if you abolish it, it will just come back. Yep. Just like other forms of entropy. Keeping it away-- keeping things in working order-- takes work. I expect nothing else. To expect otherwise is to deny the nature of the world.

Knowing you'll only get hungry again isn't a good reason to not eat.
Realizing you'll just get stinky again isn't justification for not bathing.
Endless attempts by damaged people to establish another political government is no excuse to ignore the sparks of statism that need to be stomped out wherever you see them smoldering. It's the responsible thing to do.

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Writing to promote liberty is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support.

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Trouble sure way to get excitement

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for September 2, 2020)




If you go looking for trouble, you'll probably find it. If you've seen any national news recently you've watched it happen.

Seventeen-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse intentionally went to Kenosha, Wisconsin, a place he knew was experiencing trouble, just to participate. He found trouble. So did the people who went there to riot and chose to attack the wrong person.

Some people believe Rittenhouse ended up committing murders. Others-- such as myself-- believe it is clear he acted in self-defense. No one doubts everyone involved found trouble.

It doesn't matter whether I would personally like those on either side; I doubt I would. Nor does it matter what their motivations were for going to the riots. Whether the rioters showed up to express frustration over police brutality, or as an excuse to riot and loot, the results were the same. Whether Rittenhouse went to protect private property from rioters, or went looking to "hunt rioters"; only he knows for sure.

If you want excitement, looking for trouble is a sure way to get it. Often more than you wanted.

It's not even necessarily wrong to look for trouble if you aren't violating any innocent person's life, liberty, or property and as long as you're ready to deal with the consequences. Many people actually make a paying career out of doing so. Just know there will be consequences and they may spin out of your control. Know what you're getting in to.

So many times, I've seen people go looking for trouble, then act surprised-- and complain and blame others-- when they face consequences they didn't want. I can even relate a little.

I used to hear people talk about someone "buying trouble"-- doing things to cause themselves unnecessary problems later. This is how I see voting for the lesser of two (or more) evils; buying trouble. Whether you "win" or lose, you still participated and agreed to whatever trouble results. Why complain when it's what you were looking for?

Others see the refusal to play the rigged political game the same way since whether you play politics or not, politics will be used against you. Personally, I'd rather face trouble due to refusing to violate others politically than from trying to use politics against them. You may see it differently.

Either way, as long as you are prepared to deal with the consequences and aren't harming anyone, go ahead and look for trouble if the thrill makes you happy.

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Bureaucracy vs innovation


In spite of all the valid criticisms of Elon Musk, I am fascinated to watch the progress SpaceX is making on its Starship program.

And the progress is happening fast enough that I can actually watch it happen without getting bored. 

It's not like NASA's government bureaucracy, moving at a speed that only a glacier would be jealous of. From week to week, usually day to day, real progress is being made at SpaceX's Boca Chica, Texas facility. 

When there's an inevitable "RUD" (rapid unscheduled disassembly-- an explosion), as there have been a few of, it doesn't stall the program for a year and a half while committees write up reports about what they think may have happened. The problem is analyzed while the program continues to progress. 

Admittedly, none of SpaceX's RUDs have killed astronauts yet (it will happen eventually) but NASA-- along with its favored "contractors" (boing!)-- looks downright incompetent by comparison.

And I enjoy that.

Imagine the progress SpaceX could make if freed from government millstones entirely. Just imagine how much progress could be made in every area if government were shoved aside like the worthless parasite it is.

That's a future I'm hungry to see. 


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Writing to promote liberty is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support.

Saturday, October 03, 2020

An educational bonanza


My daughter is finally free of government school!

I've written about the trials and tribulations of this long battle multiple times over the years. Perseverance seems to have finally paid off-- with help from the Coronavirus.

When the coronavirus panic shut down her school last March, I thought this was a good time to homeschool. Her mother had other ideas and wanted her to go ahead and finish out the school year on the school's online classes.

She did, but the school had no clue what they were doing. I understand this. They weren't ready for online schooling and it had a lot of bugs. But she made it through, and her mental health improved greatly away from that toxic environment and the bullies.

This year when school started her mom once again wanted her back in the local school's online classes. We did that for a while, but they didn't fix the bugs from last year and created new, exciting disasters to ruin any chance of actual education occurring.

So, her mom relented a little. 

We allowed our daughter to choose between actual homeschooling and another online government school that one of her friends was trying out. She chose that school. I wasn't thrilled but I am committed to letting her choose certain things for herself.

The preparations for her to enter that school were a nightmare. So much bureaucracy and so many headaches. I had so much work to do that I had very little time to write and no time to think of things to write about. But finally, she was in.

The first week was disastrous. She didn't turn in most of her work, and got most things wrong when she did do them at all. A big part of the problem was the user interface, which was incomprehensible to anyone who wasn't the one who designed it.

So the next week, I sat with her all day every day and helped her through the lessons. I checked to make sure she dotted all the "i"s and crossed all the "t"s. I've never worked so hard in my life. Both of us were completely worn out by the time the work was finished-- when we were able to finish it. I've never seen such a bad user interface in my life. Even talking to the teachers on the phone left me confused and dazed.

This went on for 3 weeks with very little improvement.

This past Tuesday we started the day in good shape, but after 9.5 hours of hard work, we ended the day far behind-- four lessons, or 6 hours, behind. That was the last straw. We were both done.

So she is now being homeschooled for real. I've found resources online to help, and may (if I can find a way to afford the monthly fee) subscribe to what seems like a really good online homeschooling site that offers a lot of guidance without the mandatory mess.

So far, the first few days of independent study have gone pretty well. Her attitude is much improved compared to being exhausted and frustrated with bad experiences. I've found that the discussions we have on some of the subject matter seems to do the most good at getting her to actually remember and think about it. I'm optimistic.

She asked me "Does this mean you're going to teach me that government is evil?" I said, "No. It means I'll not hide the evil they do and you can make up your own mind." A discussion about the Spanish missions in Texas turned into a discussion of the Holocaust which led to a mention of the US government's Japanese internment camps. She has also wondered why we are still forced to pay "property tax" when she isn't in the school it supposedly finances. Perhaps it's a good start.

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YOU get to decide if I get paid.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support.

Friday, October 02, 2020

Take your census and...


I'm not sure why the census rankles me so badly.

Maybe it has to do with the propaganda telling people to answer the census because it means more "federal" money for the state. Yay... loot.

Maybe it's because the census is also about apportioning political representation, which I neither want nor need.

Maybe it's because they are just too nosey. I don't like answering questions for government or its proxies. Ever.

Whatever the case, I don't feel like participating. I avoided them last time around; I plan to do so again, although this time may be harder since I know the census taker personally (through my daughter).

I realize the Constitution requires the feral government to count heads. however it does not require me to assist them in doing so. I know the Lawgivers have made up subsequent rules saying that responding to the census is compulsory, but whatever. The Constitution says they are to count heads, nothing else. It does not allow government busybodies to ask the other stuff I've heard they ask. 

The burden is on them to ask, not on me to answer. Or to even let them find me to ask.

It's always interesting how seriously they comply with what the Constitution demands as long as it suits their agenda, but how quickly they sweep its demands under the rug when it doesn't.

Case in point: The Constitution requires government to not make up anti-gun legislation; just as specifically as it requires them to count people. Yet, they ignore that requirement because they don't like it. It gets in their way and doesn't increase their power and control; in fact, it takes power away from them.

How come they insist on following the Constitution on one thing and not the other? You know the answer.
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Writing to promote liberty is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support.

Thursday, October 01, 2020

Insulting my mind


Some insults are more fun than others.

One semi-common insult that is a little fun which I have flung at me is "pseudo-intellectual". I've been insulted this way nearly ever since I got out of school. I'm guessing it has something to do with my thinking/writing style, and that I say things people don't want to hear but that they may not know how to refute.

Another cutesy insult that has recently cropped up is saying I need to learn about the Dunning-Kruger Effect-- which I already know about-- because it explains my ignorant opinions. I admit I am as susceptible to that effect as anyone. It's interesting to me how my critics-- even after I admit this possibility-- never entertain the possibility that it might also apply to them. It never even enters their minds.

Usually, I get these insults after someone corrects my wrongthink out of the goodness of their heart, and I systematically dismantle their objection. 

This happened just a few days ago when someone insisted I admit that not all cops are bad; that they are individuals who can't be judged collectively. Then he generously suggested I revise my post to reflect this information and let him know once I have done so. 

In response, instead of revising my post, I went through his flawed assertions one by one, laying out why I said what I said. That's when he responded by calling me a pseudo-intellectual. The thanks I get for trying to explain things in enough detail for him to follow the trail with ease is an insult. How should I feel about that? Well, if I hadn't been so snarky toward him I would feel worse.

I also triggered this in someone a couple of days ago because he was making Covid-19 out to be (almost) an extinction-level threat, and I said the panic was unnecessary. He launched into multiple expletives and kept saying I was too stupid to engage with (and kept engaging anyway) and that I needed to research the Dunning-Kruger Effect. 

I think I really lit his fuse when I pointed out that no one wants to be seen as fighting a weak kitten, so they always portray their enemy as a strong dragon. I also told him my parents had both contracted and recovered from Covid, and that my dad even had multiple co-morbidities. He said he suspected I was lying.

I do not have a college degree. Never claimed to. I did attend college for 2 unfocused years-- my best subject, by far, was astronomy. I don't read the "right things". I don't automatically accept the claims of "authority", but I don't automatically dismiss them, either. I do my best to explain my thoughts clearly, and I know I sometimes don't. I guess this makes me a pseudo-intellectual who is too unaware of my mental limitations to realize how dumb I am. At least, according to some people.

If my writing style makes people think I'm trying to pass myself off as an intellectual, that's not my intention. I doubt I could pass for one if I tried. I'm also not going to dumb down what I write (although I admit I do try to do so for the newspaper columns, but that's another story). What you read is what you get.

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Writing to promote liberty is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Tolerance, approval different things

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for September 30, 2020)




Few people understand the difference between tolerating a behavior and endorsing or approving of it.

There are things I don't approve of but don't have the right to stop others from doing. I may tolerate these behaviors for my own peace of mind while doing what I can to protect myself; including self-defense when necessary...read the rest...

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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

"Police" is the behavior

 


I've said it before, but it bears repeating.

A "police officer" is a person who commits the act of policing; of enforcing legislation for political bullies in exchange for stolen money. "Police" is not the person, it is the set of behaviors the person commits. This is why it isn't "collectivist" to admit there are no good cops.

It is utterly impossible for there to be such a thing as a "good cop". Good people do not commit the acts that fall under the description of what police do.

Police commit acts of legislation enforcement as the core, defining characteristic of being police. Just like rapists commit acts of rape as the act which makes them rapists. The label is all about the acts committed, not the people committing them. Do different things, be given a different label.

If you will lower yourself to commit those unethical acts, it doesn't matter if you save puppies, too. You are a bad guy. When you are acting as a "police officer" you are doing wrong, even if you help someone in the moment. 

To be a police officer you demonstrate a lack of ethics by doing those acts which earn you the title. It is not collectivism to judge individuals by what they do rather than who they are.

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Writing to promote liberty is my job.
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Monday, September 28, 2020

Trump's $750 payment to society's enemy

 


Am I bothered that Donald Trump only "paid" $750 in taxes in some specific years?

That's like asking if I'm bothered that some billionaire only donated $750 to ISIS, Antifa, or to the KKK.

Or, like asking whether I'm bothered that someone only gave a mugger $750 rather than the million$ the mugger would have preferred.

I'm more bothered that the bad guys got any money from him. I'd rather he'd "paid" them nothing.

Taxation is theft, and theft is wrong no matter who it victimizes. I don't want Kamala Harris to "pay" any taxes. I don't even want Hillary Clinton to "pay" any taxes. 

Money kept out of the hands of The State-- society's enemy-- is always better than money going to The State, even if it's in the hands of someone I can't stand who I believe will use it for evil. I know The State will use it to violate life, liberty, and property-- that's just a given because that's what it has always done and what it always does.

I'm glad for anyone keeping their money from The State. 

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Writing to promote liberty is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

New information will change minds

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for August 26, 2020)




Quick, name something you really and truly believe even though you know it's wrong. You can't, can you?

If you knew your belief was wrong, you'd change it.

It's the same for every person on Earth, no matter how different their beliefs are from yours. No matter how certain you are that they are wrong, they are just as certain your different beliefs are wrong. If they believed they were wrong they'd change their minds-- even if they wouldn't admit in public they did so.

No one believes they are wrong or they'd stop believing what they believe and would believe something else they believe is correct.

How confusing is this?

You're not going to change their minds by saying "You're wrong". You're probably not even going to change their beliefs with evidence or information, either.

I'm not claiming evidence and information are useless and can't change people's beliefs. I know from experience they can.

My beliefs have changed since I was young. In every case, I believed I was right until new information made me change my mind. Afterward, I once again believed I was right until the next time something made me change my mind again. I never much regretted changing my mind, but I occasionally wished what I believed before had been right. The old belief was more comfortable or comforting than the new belief. If I could still believe what I believed before I wouldn't have changed my belief.

I'm as sure my interpretation of the world is correct as you are sure yours is correct. I'm as sure yours is wrong where it differs from mine as you are sure of the opposite. How can this stalemate be broken, or should it be?

Although no one is going to automatically change their beliefs when presented with new evidence or information, you shouldn't let that stop you. Put it out there. Let them accept it or not.
People are more likely to accept information which agrees with what they already believe, but sometimes-- even years later-- the new information finally germinates and starts to grow. I've had people write to let me know something I said years ago finally broke through their defenses-- often due to events-- and changed their long-held beliefs. It does happen.

Never give up nor lie about what you believe to make someone comfortable, but don't be too fast to condemn those who believe differently than you do. You may end up on the same side eventually.

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Don't ask if you aren't going to listen


Government-supremacists always want to know what would happen if I got everything I want. Abolish the police, get rid of anti-gun legislation, eliminate all "taxation", complete respect for liberty, etc. "What does that mean? What then?"

But when I tell them, they ignore the answer and keep saying "Why won't you answer?"

Seriously? Are they stupid?

Yes. Yes, they are. Politics makes people stupid.

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Writing to promote liberty is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support.