Saturday, March 23, 2019

Pinned-- (Fund)raise the roof (Update #3, more pics)

(Updates at the bottom)
Yesterday's wind storm did me some damage. Not as bad as the local building pictured above, but my shingles are done. On the house, where I've never had roof problems.

I'm going to have to come up with the deductible* to get that fixed. If I'm not mistaken, that's $1500, and I'm not sure if I then have to pay a percentage of the repairs or not. I'll be talking to the insurance people soon, although I expect they'll be very busy for a while. It was quite a day.

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Please share this anywhere you believe would help.

I'm posting this from my phone because the power hasn't been restored yet, so it may take a while to hear from me. I'm ok because I'm a prepper.

I'll update this post and answer questions once I have power and internet again. Until then, thanks.

UPDATE: Just got power back. It was off 15.5 hours, which is probably a record for me. I actually enjoy power outages, though.

Yesterday was the shingle-apocalypse, and not just for me. I saw shingles flying past most of the day. I once looked outside just as a house a block or so over had 6 or so shingles take flight. It looked like those videos of a tornado hitting a house, but without a tornado, and with only shingles. My yard is covered in shingles, but most are probably not mine. I'm assuming mine are somewhere east of here. Oklahoma, perhaps.

I drove around the area yesterday evening and there is a lot of shingle damage, and quite a few broken trees. And, the wall on that one old building collapsed as you can see in the picture above. I even saw some metal roofing peeled back on some old agricultural buildings.

Oh, and the "arms" of the railroad crossing blew off, too.

There was no "storm". No clouds or rain or anything like that; just wind. Lots and lots of wind. With some dirt.

In the early afternoon I walked the 7 blocks to my parents' house-- straight into the wind. That was probably the hardest time I've ever had walking. I was stumbling and taking the occasional step backwards to keep from falling. I'm sure I looked drunk. I couldn't keep my duster snapped. The wind kept pulling it open. I had a hand on my hat and was mostly staring straight down. I would glance ahead frequently, but my face would be pelted with gravel and other debris. I needed to see ahead to dodge shingles and other projectiles. It was interesting. My mouth was gritty for a while after I got home.

I'll be out doing some cleanup as soon as it's a little warmer. At least there's not supposed to be any serious wind today.

*Update #2-- I spoke to the insurance agent today. She said the deductible just gets subtracted from any payout, so there's no out of pocket there... however... with depreciation and such she thinks it could still be very expensive for me to get the repairs needed. How expensive? I'll see once the adjuster makes it to the house for a look and does his thing.

Update #3, pictures--

Here's what most of the yard looked like:

Notice the shingles scattered about. They probably weren't all mine. As I've said, lots of houses in town lost shingles and I saw many of them flying past my house all day.

I got up on the roof and made pictures of the damage.

My neighbor says the "official" wind speeds were in the 70 MPH range, with gusts around 100. I don't know, because I don't listen to the "news", but it was impressive. It was like a dry hurricane.

I got a call from the company who assigns the adjusters, with his contact information and an assurance he'll call within 48 hours. I'm now waiting for him to call and make an appointment. I assume they are very busy.


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Gear post: Phone holster

Click to embiggen

My phone holster is actually my oldest piece of gear, although it didn't start out as a phone holster.

It is made of leather (duh!) and measures 6.5" tall, 4" wide, and 2.25" thick.
It sits on my right side between the double pouch (behind it) and the sheath for my Buck 501.

It shows its age.

I made this pouch in the mid-1980s as a way to carry necessary items while working at a pet store. I carried a calculator, scissors, a pen, razor blades, and half a hacksaw blade, plus maybe a few other odds and ends that I'm forgetting. I used this pouch for years, and when I no longer worked at a pet store, the pouch ended up tossed in a box with other leather items and scraps.

When I got a new phone a couple of years ago it needed a holster because it was bigger than the previous phone (I'm not one to leave my phone lying around, or to try to keep it in a pocket). I went digging in the leather scrap box to come up with leather to make a new pouch and ran across this one. It fit perfectly!

I did add belt loops; originally I just tied it to the belt with leather thongs because I was constantly taking it off when I wasn't at work. That was no longer necessary, so loops were a better idea. As you can see, it is also tied in place.

I put a leather divider inside it, for keeping the back-up battery (seen above with the "Time's Up" sticker on it) separate from the phone. That was the only internal change.

The internal side pocket where I used to keep the short hacksaw blade is where I now keep a USB cord, and I have adapters (in the little ziplock bag-- for sharing a charge with other people) under the back-up battery. The little pocket where I used to keep razor blades is a good spot to store yet another P-38 can opener.

It has a Browncoats "Independents" patch on the flap. Frivolity!

The button is a cross-section of deer antler. I replaced the button loop about a week ago when the original one finally broke. The new loop is made from boot-top leather.

This is probably my most complex pouch. I know this isn't exactly primitive stuff here. I adjust and adapt to changing technology when it suits me. Before cell phones, people would joke with me about being the MountainMan with the cordless phone hooked on his belt at work. It's a concession to the modern world; one that doesn't really bother me because I know I can do without. Like lighters and toilet paper.

Part of my philosophy of life is to help other people. I have given other people a charge in an emergency, using the USB adapters. I once gave a P-38 to a guy who needed one. I carry extra stuff just for this reason. All because I'm one of those selfish, independent, individualistic libertarians you hear about.


Reminder: I need roof help!


Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Worse than sexual predators

It seems that every day there's yet another sexual predator exposed. Good. They need to be exposed and stopped.

The problem is, there's an even worse kind of predator; a type which doesn't have to be exposed because so few people recognize what they do as predation that it isn't hidden. It is carried out in the open, and many people even admire them for it.

Few see it as wrong. But that doesn't mean it isn't wrong.

Once upon a time, few people saw slavery as wrong. But it was.

These predators of whom I speak are those who use politics "legally". All of them. They are political predators and they are molesting you and your loved ones right this minute.

Political predators are bad guys who need to be exposed-- by having the veil of legitimacy stripped from them-- and they need to be stopped.

The thing with sexual predators is that sex itself isn't inherently wrong. It can be consensual and mutually voluntary. Sexual predators are bad because they skip the consent and use the political means against their victims. Just like other political predators do.

Politics can never be truly consensual and mutually voluntary. Otherwise, politics wouldn't be necessary. You could simply agree to a relationship. Politics is never like this. Politics is non-sexual (usually) rape. Politics is slavery. Politics is theft. Politics is the realm of the predator, exclusively. Good people use the economic means when dealing with others; bad people use the political means. Anyone who uses the political means is a political predator.

Yes, this means muggers, thieves, rapists, murderers, kidnappers, and all those people are, at the foundation, political predators. But so are people who aren't considered necessarily bad guys by the public at large. They are the "legal" political predators.

Police are political predators.
Politicians are political predators.
Bureaucrats who work in government are political predators.

Do you want these people around your kids? Or yourself? I sure don't.

Stop giving political predators a pass they don't deserve.


Reminder: I need roof help!


Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

There's no 'one-size-fits-all' for living

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for February 13, 2019)

How much of what you want government to do is based on your emotions? On your feelings about what you wish other people would do or believe they should do, and your willingness to use government violence to make it happen?

If it's more than "none" it's too much.

I recently ran across a quote by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt in which he said, "Some people are less emotional, more reasoned. We call these people 'libertarians'. There's actually data on this-- that libertarians are lower on emotion, higher on reasoning ability. They have worse relationships; they care about people less, but they are better able to just reason through a lot of data."

Fortunately, he's not quite right.

Libertarians are not less emotional, but-- at our best-- we are less controlled by our emotions. I can hate drug abuse and still understand I have no right to use government violence to impose drug prohibition. As long as I don't let emotion overpower reason I won't advocate harming someone who isn't violating anyone's life, liberty, or property.

Libertarians know a crime requires the intent to harm. An accident might result in the same harm as a crime would, but without an intention to violate someone there is no crime. Emotions triggered by the event might try to steer us along a different path, but it would be a wrong path. A debt is often created by an accident, but again, a debt isn't a crime. To confuse these things creates tragedy for individuals and sickness in society.

He's also wrong about libertarians caring less about people.  I care about people very much. This is why I don't accept any justification for violating them. How can staunchly respecting people's natural human rights be mistaken for not caring?

It's not "caring" to use taxation to steal from some in order to fund government programs which keep people impoverished. It's not caring to force people to live as you believe they should,

So would I support government if only libertarians, with their superior ability to reason, were in charge? Not at all. Even those who are better able to reason have no right to govern anyone but themselves.

No matter how well a person can reason through data, they can never know all the circumstances of everyone else's life as thoroughly as each individual can know their own life. There is no "one-size-fits-all" way to feed a family, dress, or live... or to govern. It's foolish to pretend otherwise.

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Mistakes and wrongs

I've made so many mistakes over the course of my life. And I've committed so many wrongs.

Many of my mistakes haunt me when I think of them. Each one undoubtedly set my life on a different course. When I think of them I sometimes want to punch myself in the face and mutter "Stupid, stupid, stupid!"

If the "many-worlds" interpretation of quantum physics is correct, there are countless versions of me out there who didn't make the same mistakes I've made (they made other mistakes). I wonder what those versions are experiencing as a result. What mistakes did I avoid making?

And when I think of the wrongs I've committed... if I believed in punishment rather than justice, as so many do, I would probably kill myself.

I never did anything like robbery, rape, kidnapping, or murder, but wrong enough that I wish I hadn't done them.

One good thing is that I haven't committed as many wrongs since my early 20s or so. I'm sure I've committed smaller wrongs, but nothing I dwell on. I've focused more on making mistakes since then.

No matter what anyone else thinks of me, I'm my own worst critic. But the cats love me.

I do think I'm getting better with the passing years. Coming to understand rights and responsibilities was a big part of that improvement. The best anyone can do is to be a better person than year-ago you was.

I also have to remember that in very real ways, I am not that same person I was. Not only have all my cells been replaced since then, but my mind has other contents. I'm a different person than I was when I was 20 or 30, and certainly different than when I was a teen. At some point you've got to let the past be the past and move forward. Remember and enjoy the good parts of the past; let go of and forgive yourself for the bad parts. That will help make you a better person, too.

Now, if I could really convince myself of this and put it into action. It's a process.


Reminder: I need roof help!


Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Disavow and flee while you can!

I'm no fan of president Trump. It's sad that I have to say this first for fear of being misunderstood. To be clear: I need no president nor representative of any kind. I don't need your government or your "laws" or your enforcers. Keep them to yourself if you insist on having them. They are worth less than worthless.

But, back to the point... I just roll my eyes at how it seems to be dangerous to have worked with Trump, for him, or to know him. The Left Statists in government seem determined to punish (and cage) anyone who has been associated with him. They can't seem to get him, so they'll go after anyone who has ever been around him for more than 10 minutes.

I can't take any of it seriously. It's just a broken-down circus, without anything even marginally entertaining, at this point.

But it makes me glad I didn't ever meet Trump-- I don't want to have a target on my back.

I wonder if those going after Trump's associates realize they just look like witch hunters of "Olden Tymes". I'm tired of them and their clowning and I wouldn't pay any attention to them, but "news" keeps leaking in.

I wonder how they would have liked it if the "other side" [sic] had gone after everyone who was ever associated with Obama in the same way. (I would bring up Hillary's-- and Bill's-- associates, but they seem to have their own form of "bad luck" that has nothing to do with her opponents.) I guess this means it's open season on any future president's acquaintances. From now on. If you know someone with political aspirations, get away from them now!

The Left Statists need to stop acting like sore losers. But that's kind of the Statist Way, so I don't see it happening.


Reminder: I need roof help, badly! and fast!

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Cops are always DWI

There is no such thing as a police officer driving without being impaired. Not ever.

They are always under the influence of their imagined "authority". It's a powerful drug and it causes them to drive erratically. Their permanent condition of intoxication kills innocent people-- and some of the guilty cops, too.

It causes them to engage in high-speed chases. But when the cop kills innocent people he and his gang-- The Blue Line Gang-- will blame the person they were chasing. This is a filthy lie.

It causes them to make U-turns in unsafe conditions-- one of the local cops wrecked the cop car he drives (pictured above before the wreck) and seriously injured a random motorist a year or so back by doing just this in order to catch someone "speeding" a little-- something much less dangerous than what the cop did.

It causes them to believe they can text, make phone calls, and use their onboard computer terminals (to try to find reasons to stop and molest other motorists) more safely than lesser people like us. They can't. Their "training" doesn't make them superhuman.

Every cop is a junkie. No cop should be behind the wheel of a car under any circumstances. Never. But most certainly never under the excuse of "policing traffic". They are worse than any problem they pretend to fight. They are dangerous hypocrites. Get them off the roads, and keep them off the roads.


Reminder: I could really use some help, including help to cover the $1500 deductible on my roof after the wind yesterday removed many shingles. As I write this the wind is trying to remove my roof, too. I'm hoping it fails to do so.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

You can't have civil rights both ways

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for March 13, 2019)

It's interesting to me how many people want their own rights respected, while also wanting other people's rights to be violated.

People who want their rights as gun owners respected often advocate a massive government welfare program, carried out through taxation and land theft, in order to build a border wall which violates the right of association and the right of people to move about freely. They also demand a police state where you can be stopped and checked for your the rest...

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Gear post: Double pouch

Click to enlarge

This pouch was almost completely remade recently. It was originally made of leather from an old boot top (you can see the old version in this pic from an old post). It was too thin and wore out after only 6 or so years. So late last year I made it again with thicker leather, reusing only the old back piece with the belt loop.

It sits on my right side, usually snugged right behind my phone holster-- it's separated a bit in the pictures so you can see it better.

This pouch was first made as a way to get some extra bulk out of my vest pockets. I no longer carry the whetstone which was in the original version. I have plenty of sharpening tools without it.

When I remade the pouch I was pleased with myself for figuring out how to make the body out of one piece of leather: with the two pouches, and that little space between where a pill case can sit. I usually use newspaper to make a pattern and then tweak it a little as I cut and sew the leather. It worked well this time.

I access this pouch the least frequently of all my pouches. You can probably see why, by the contents. But I'd rather have something and not need it than need it and not have it.


Reminder: I could really use some help.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Monday, March 11, 2019

The annual mass delusion involving clocks

Did you remember to mis-set your clocks as mandated?

I did.

As someone who is not a morning person, and has no interest in being one, it aggravates me greatly. If you want to get up an hour earlier, open your business an hour earlier and close it an hour earlier, go ahead. No one is stopping you. Just leave me out of your fantasy. Why demand everyone else do it, too?

In the past I have refused to go along with the silliness. It didn't work well. But I still hate the delusion that you can "save" daylight by mis-setting your clocks. It's a lie. Does it prime people to accept other lies?


Reminder: I could really use some "saving" help.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Market always superior to government

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for February 6, 2019)

Last week a local business delivered to my home-- even though I didn't ask and it wasn't expected. Just to be nice and to make a good impression. And it worked!

This reminded me of the difference between market services and government "services" and why I always prefer the market.

With a market business, if I don't like their service I can choose to not use them. I can use a competitor or do without. They know you have a choice, so If they want to stay in business they can't poison their customers.

If I don't shop at a particular store, they won't send armed employees to my door to force themselves on me. I'm not forced to send them money regularly whether or not I shop with them. I can even go into competition with them. They can't do anything about it unless-- through cronyism-- they use the violence of government against me. If they take that path, they are no longer part of the market, but have joined forces with the coercive sector: the State.

With government "services" there is no real choice. No matter how bad they are, I am forced to pay-- even if I never use them. When you end up facing a surly, incompetent, entitled bureaucrat you're forced to pay this employee regardless. Often I am compelled to use a "service" I don't want. If I try to opt out I will be attacked by armed government employees-- maybe not right away, but if I fail to comply with their escalating threats it will happen. Their employees know this and it shows.

Sometimes you'll get a caring government employee-- more common in the less coercive branches-- but niceness can't make up for the lack of choice.

Occasionally you'll be allowed to choose a non-government alternative, but you are still forced to pay for the unwanted government option. You can use a private school, but the government will claim this doesn't mean you can stop funding the "public" school you neither need nor want. You will pay twice.

A business in the voluntary market can't treat customers the way government services can. Not if it wants to survive.

The market will always be superior. The only reason people believe they need government police but not government grocery stores is that-- so far-- groceries aren't distributed by government. If something as critical as food can be handled by the market, lesser jobs like policing would be a snap.

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When I don't take my own advice

Less than 24 hours after saying how I try to be considerate, I did something inconsiderate. And I don't even really feel bad about it.

Yes, I have room for improvement.

In the middle of listening to someone complaining to a captive audience about "Mexicans" (and the unwillingness of the local mayor to kick them out of a house in the neighborhood), I piped up and explained to his audience "He hates Mexicans".

He said "No I don't, I just..." and went on explaining how he only doesn't like them when they live in a house near him, and there are "too many" of them in that house. So I said "Oh, he only hates them when they leave Mexico and come here". This was met with another denial and more justification.

I pointed out that the people he was complaining about have never done anything to harm him in any way. They are polite, don't cause trouble, and are hard workers. He countered that their being there a few months out of the year hurts his property value-- all the property values in the area, for that matter. I asked if he was planning to try to sell his house. "No."

I said then "lowered property values helps you by lowering the property taxes". He went on and on about how it doesn't, describing how people had paid "too much" for a nearby house several years ago, and thus raised everyone's property values and propped up the "tax" rates. I pointed out that in that case, it obviously hadn't hurt his property value any.

I've mentioned the problems I have with a few specific Hispanics/Mexicans. But only those who are violating my property rights. Others aren't violating me and I have no problem with them-- and the point of them being Hispanic/Mexican is really irrelevant (I just mentioned that because of the fact it makes me feel racist to dislike them and their violations while noticing their cultural roots) because I would dislike anyone doing the same. I know for certain he wouldn't feel the same if the house was occasionally occupied by "whites" rather than "Mexicans".

So, yeah, I was probably a jerk. But I've listened to this too many times, and I'm tired of it. But, I'll try to do better next time.


Reminder: It's probably inconsiderate of me to mention it, but I could really use some help.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Being considerate

I stopped by a fast food place earlier and witnessed a couple of inconsiderate individuals. I believe it was the manager's son/stepson and a friend. Not doing anything too disruptive, but just a basic lack of consideration for others. They were standing in the outer doorway, holding the door open (and thus letting the dirt-filled wind blow into the place every time the inner door opened) and blocking customers trying to enter and leave. Just so they could stand in that particular spot and talk while looking at their phones. They did this for probably 10 minutes.

They were making the customers uneasy. The manager asked them to get out of the doorway and shut the door a couple of times, only to be completely ignored. He finally put his foot down and insisted they move and didn't let up until they did.

Of course, they acted like it was all a big joke and he was a fool for making an issue. It left me feeling a general dislike for the inconsiderate individuals. If I were to ever recognize them again, I would already have a bad first impression.

This is something I try to ALWAYS keep in mind. I don't want to make a bad impression on "the public" unless it happens to be an important issue where I need to take a stand, whether people like it or not. Those don't really crop up all that often in my day-to-day life.

I try to smile, hold doors open for people, say "hello", say "excuse me", and be understanding with cashiers. Even with law enforcers, I just ignore them without making an issue. It doesn't come naturally to me, because at heart (except for my karaoke days) I am a hermit. A recluse. It's not that I don't like people-- I wouldn't be libertarian if that were the case-- I'm just not naturally sociable. Yet I make an effort to not be a jerk in public.

There's an added risk because I'm recognizable around here. People recognize me from my newspaper columns. If I'm inconsiderate they might assume all libertarians are jerks. It might give them yet another excuse to not consider my points (if they ever read the columns). That wouldn't be beneficial. Being considerate of others is a small price to pay... if it's even a price at all.


Reminder: I could really use some consideration.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Friday, March 08, 2019

Inconsistency is a hallmark of statism

Statism is so internally inconsistent that statists hallucinate inconsistency everywhere else, in everyone else. They can't even imagine anything like consistency.

I've seen statists hallucinate that the right of self-defense somehow justifies their support of an armed gang of badged government employees, funded with stolen money, imposing counterfeit rules at gunpoint, with little or no accountability. They imagine that recognizing this gang for what it is is somehow an endorsement of a free-for-all Mad Max world. They come to believe it's somehow different to shoot a rapist in the act of raping than it is to shoot a law enforcer committing an act of law enforcement.

I've seen statists claim that not supporting a government "border wall", funded with stolen money, built on stolen land, and maintained with stolen money, police state tactics, and coercion, is the same as not respecting private property rights. This is a hallucination caused by statism in the brain.

I could go on, but I'm sure you've seen plenty of examples of your own.

The statism requires this internal inconsistency in order to be maintained. They don't want to admit they have a problem, so they project their traits onto others so they won't feel bad. Being so inconsistent, they see inconsistency where it doesn't exist. They have a psychological need to find inconsistency in others to excuse it in themselves.

If people were internally consistent-- in reason and principles-- they wouldn't be statists.

Consistency doesn't guarantee an individual is right (you can be consistently wrong), but inconsistency guarantees an individual is wrong.


Reminder: I could really use some consistent help.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Background checks at

You and I both know no government has the "authority" to decide who isn't allowed to own a gun. Because political "authority" is a superstitious belief, not a real thing.

However, they impose their wishes on us at the point of a gun to prop up this superstitious belief. Ironic, isn't it.

Over at they've looked at the violation of natural human rights called the "background check". If interested, check it out: Background checks.


Reminder: I could really use some help.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Story time: Making fire at the picnic

I mentioned this in comments a couple days ago, but it's a fun story, so here goes:

Many years ago my extended family went to Palo Duro Canyon for the day. We planned to grill hamburgers and hot dogs for a mid-afternoon lunch-- and I planned to wander extensively. It's my favorite thing to do.

When it came time to light the charcoal in the grill, we realized no one had any matches or lighters. Yes, it was long enough ago that it was before I carried such things with me at all times.

My brother-in-law said he would head to town and buy a lighter or matches since the park store was closed. I said not to bother, I could make fire without one. Their confidence in my abilities was such that he set off to town anyway.

I scrambled around gathering what I needed for a bow drill set-up. I got a stick for the bow, a spindle, a fireboard, a socket. I even lucked out and found a big tangled wad of string in the underbrush-- this saved a lot of time since I didn't need to make cordage from scratch. I twisted the string into some serviceable cordage, gathered tinder, and sat down near the grill to get to work.

It wasn't the best setup but I still had the fire going before my brother-in-law returned. Everyone was amazed that I had done it. I don't know why they didn't believe I could do it. Hey, I may be mostly incompetent in the modern world, but when things are more primitive I'm in my element.

That's when I started making sure I always had fire making supplies with me at all times. In fact, I'm almost obsessive about it.


Reminder: I could really use some help.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

None obligated to obey bad laws

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for March 6, 2019)

While I appreciate when governments express support for natural human rights, I wonder if they really understand the rights they claim to support.

Roosevelt County was recently declared a "Second Amendment Sanctuary" by the county commission. How serious are they? the rest...

Thank you for helping support

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Gear post: Belt bag

Click to enlarge

This is my main belt pouch. It holds my wallet and many other things. You can see the spyglass pouch to the right of the pouch in the top view. Looking at the backside you can see the sheath which holds the Kershaw knife. The belt bag and the knife sheath (dated 2000) are riveted together. You may notice the spyglass pouch is tied in place. That keeps it and the belt bag from wandering but keeps them removable.

I made the pouch in the early 1990s, but didn't sign and date it like I do some other things. I attached the Kershaw's sheath sometime in the past 5 years or so, even though it had been riding in that same spot for many years. 

The bag is about 6" X 6", give or take a little. It is about 3" thick, including the knife behind it. It is made of thick vegetable tanned leather, with no decoration.

The button is one I made of bone. The leather loop which goes around the button was extended long ago. The contents were straining it, so I made it longer with a cut loop of leather to take the strain off. 

I have varied the contents some over the years, depending on what I thought I needed at the time. Below are the contents of the pouch. 

Included are extra or rarely used keys plus a "peanut" lighter, my wallet (also made by me), A bow-drill socket made from a brass dog tag on a piece of leather, and a pocket made of a sword scabbard's tip, The sword scabbard pocket holds the bits above it: a mini screwdriver for eyeglasses repair and tightening, a P-38 can opener (one of several I carry), Allen wrenches, a small file, tweezers, and a (gun) bore gauge.

Back when everyone else was wearing a fanny pack, this was on my hip. It has been mistaken for a gun holster many times. Maybe it keeps people polite in my presence.

Tangent time: I don't wear my belt through belt loops. In fact, I remove the belt loops from my jeans and put suspender buttons on them instead. My "Old West" pants don't even come with belt loops. I wear the belt slung lower than the loops would allow, so it doesn't rest on my hip bones. Much better for me that way. Years ago my bony hips were always bruised and hurting from my belt digging in. I had to cinch the belt so tight to keep my pants up that it really got to be painful. That was before I even carried much on the belt (other than a knife or two). My "Old West" pants didn't have loops, so I wore suspenders and discovered that was much more comfortable. So I adapted.


Reminder: I could really use some help filling the wallet in my belt pouch with funds.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Monday, March 04, 2019


I've signed up on Interface by WhenHub.

Truthfully, I'm not yet sure how it works, or how to tell you to find me on there. If there seems to be an interest in it, I'll dig in more deeply and see what I can figure out.


Free will

Is free will a real thing, or is it not?

Statists like to believe in free will because that way they can feel OK with imprisoning and murdering people for the crimes they commit. Even many statists who admit they don't believe in free will say that to govern they have to pretend it exists-- otherwise, no one could really be accountable for his actions; they are predetermined. I see that as a cop-out.

People who view the Universe as deterministic-- where each particle interaction affects other particle motions in ways which are predictable according to the laws of physics-- mostly believe free will is an illusion.

I believe they are forgetting a critical branch of physics.

Quantum physics, with its fuzziness and indeterminacy, seems (to me) to leave room for free will.

So, yes, I believe in free will, even while acknowledging that the laws of the Universe acting on every atom in our bodies (including in our brains) can push us toward certain actions. Embrace your quantumness and reject archation. You do have the choice.


Reminder: I could really use some help, but you have free will in the matter.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

There's no way to know everything

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for January 30, 2019)

It's a bitter pill to swallow, and one many people can't accept, but you and I can never know everything.

This means if you want to act politically, you'll come from a place of ignorance whether you mean to or not.

I can't know the ultimate reality about Anthropogenic Global Climate Change-- commonly called "Global Warming".
I can't know all the possible consequences of building a new "Berlin Wall" between America and Mexico.
I can't know how a total gun ban would affect actual aggression statistics.
I can't know all the consequences of adopting fully socialized medicine in America.
I can't know exactly what my life would be like without police, government schools, taxation, laws, and all the rest of the socialistic things I would like to see go away.

And it doesn't really matter.

It's enough to know when something violates other people's rights and liberty; to understand I have no right to violate others even if I can't know with certainty how things would go if no one violates them. This knowledge-- that I have no right to violate others-- is sufficient and essential.

There are people who are arrogant enough to believe they can know it all. They may claim the reason you don't know it all is because you won't research it for yourself, or you're just not smart enough. They are dishonest.

They don't know it all. They only know enough to be satisfied with the position they've taken; a position which justifies their favorite violations of life, liberty, and property. If your research leads you to a different opinion, they'll claim you don't know enough until you agree with them.

They expect to use government against those who don't agree with them on whatever issue they care most about. They'd like to have you on their side; superior numbers, expressed through a vote, to gang up and force others to go along with what they believe. Yet, even if they are right in their beliefs, they aren't right about how to carry them out. No one has the right to use government violence to force you to go along with them. Such a right has never existed and can't be invented.

Accept that no one can know everything and that no matter what you know it can't give you the right to govern others, nor to select people to govern them on your behalf. This knowledge will liberate you. That's one thing I can know for certain.

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Statism is malware

The statist brain is a malfunctioning machine.

At a minimum, it has been infected with malware (often intentionally downloaded in government schools) which makes it unable to ask certain questions, especially if the answers would expose the malfunction.

It is unable to process certain answers; can't even be aware of them in many cases.

The malfunction makes the statist brain resistant to repair. It keeps redirecting back to the malware rather than allowing the virus to be quarantined and removed.

When the malfunction causes a person to commit evil acts, individuals (and ultimately society) are harmed. The statist brain is harmful to the individual who possesses it and to all those the malfunctioning individual encounters.

Can this malfunction be repaired? If so, how? Yes, "kill them all" would end the statist brain malfunction (assuming it's not a signature of the malfunction), but fewer brains doesn't seem optimal.


Reminder: I could really use some help.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Spreading the message of liberty

One thing I have to keep reminding myself: my newspaper column is not about the money, which is extremely minimal for the amount of work that goes into it. It's about exposing people to the message of liberty-- people who would never otherwise be exposed.

For that reason, it continues to be worth it as long as I am allowed to keep writing them.

I admit, though, that coming up with topics every week for the column is a killer. It's something which occupies a lot of my time, every single day.

The paper would prefer to focus on local concerns, and not so much on national or international stuff. But so little that happens locally inspires ideas. Or, the things which do happen drag on for years, and I don't need to keep rehashing them. Otherwise, it's just the same old things happening, over and over again.

A lot of things just don't interest or inspire me. I generally don't care much what some politician says or does. I'm not that interested in their "laws". The evil deeds of the cops are too commonplace to rail against every time they get exposed.

I would rather not do too many philosophy columns, but without idea-inspiring events, that's where I tend to go.

So, if you have any constructive ideas, let me know.


Reminder: I could always use some help.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Friday, March 01, 2019

Liberty is not an "ideology"

I saw a headline recently, which read in part, "Ideologies clash..."

It turns out one side simply wants to exercise liberty (open a brewery), while the opponents want to violate the first side's liberty for "reasons". The reasons include religion, fear of negative consequences of letting people control their own lives, and prohibitionism.

One side is an ideology, the other isn't.

Liberty isn't an ideology. It is the acceptance of the reality of self-ownership. From this acceptance flows certain principles. It doesn't matter to the existence of liberty whether people accept it or not-- it just is, to be respected or violated.

Yes, there will be consequences for exercising liberty. Everything has consequences. But slavery's consequences are worse than liberty's. And you're the bad guy when you choose slavery over liberty, no matter what "reasons" you come up with.

This is why governing others is never a valid form of interpersonal interaction. It allows people to violate the liberty of others too easily, and without the risk which should come along with such anti-social behavior.

Reminder: I could really use some help.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Divided (artificially) by government

This town in which I reside straddles the state line between Texas and New Mexico. So, it is "officially" considered two towns. But why?

One town, artificially divided by arbitrary government lines, with different rules... and so the residents can be robbed for the benefit of different gangs of archators. And with different government handouts (of stolen money).

Business-wise, it is one town. The businesses here compete with each other regardless which state they might be in. The differing "tax" rates probably artificially manipulate the market somewhat, but it's not noticeable to me when I'm shopping.

Socially, it is one town. People go to church across the line. They have friends across the line. There's one newspaper. It has one yearly parade and government worship festival.

It is only two towns when you have to take government into account. And then it is also two counties and two states. And two time zones, on top of that.

Government lines are silly.

And this particular line isn't even very consistent. It's supposed to be a straight north-south "border", but depending on where along the hundreds of miles of it you happen to be, the "official" state line is randomly east or west of other parts, based (I suppose) on historical assumptions or something.

Maybe there should be a wall!

This is the border marker. Can you see the state line?


Reminder: I could really use some help.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Don't make politician your leader

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for February 27, 2019)

It was once a common theme in science fiction humor for a flying saucer to land in front of witnesses, with Little Green Men coming out to say: "Take us to your leader".

If this happened to you, to whom would you take them? the rest...

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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Going along to get along vs. Lines in the sand

I understand why people tend to go along to get along. I do the same when I can. But there are lines I won't cross.

I won't perform the pledge of allegiance.
I will not worship with a national anthem.
I will not honor cops or troops.
I won't pretend any form of political government is legitimate.

I just won't.

For that matter, I avoid places and events where these rituals are likely to occur. It just makes it easier, because I simply won't participate no matter what.

But there have been times I was caught by surprise and got dirty looks.

Most of the time I say nothing to anyone doing any of those things in my presence. It's none of my business what they worship. If only they would be as courteous toward me.

But they can't.

Anyone not performing the rituals must be confronted. Even threatened. Which makes me dislike their rituals even more.

I want to get along with most people. I'll even go along with some things that don't seem too important in the long run. It's a balance. I have no illusions I get it right, but I try.

But don't try to shove me across one of my lines in the sand.


Reminder: I could really use some help.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Gear post: Spyglass

This is the antique spyglass I wear on my belt. I bought it in a consignment shop in Grand Junction, Colorado in the mid-1990s. I believe I paid $75 for it.

I don't know the place or date of manufacture, but something I once found online said these were sold by Sears Roebuck around the year 1900.
It's a 3 draw telescope. I'm not sure of the magnification power, but it's better than my modern binoculars.

It is made of brass, leather, and glass.

Extended length, 16.75".
Closed length 6.25".
Large end diameter: 1.5"

It has no identifying markings.

The large tube has a leather wrap, which has worn badly over the years since I've been carrying it. I believe the eyepiece once had a little "door" to close, but it has never had that since I've owned it.

I originally started wanting a spyglass because I wanted to get a better look at girls across the street from the pet store where I worked. I have since discovered it is great for a lot of reasons. Birdwatching, reading signs in the windows of stores from the parking lot, astronomy, and just general "what is that?" uses.

I've gotten a lot of use out of it (even though it embarrasses people I'm with when I whip it out). I even wore it with my buckskin gear.

I occasionally disassemble it and wipe off the lenses. Especially the eyepiece. I lightly oil the leather wrap every couple of years. I have also cleaned the brass draw tubes when they've gotten a little "sticky" and won't slide easily.

I carry it in a leather pouch I made for it, on my left side just behind my belt pouch.


Here's a general overview of my EDC as of January 2015. Some things have changed a bit since then. Someday I might do an update.


Reminder: I could really use some help.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

'Deep state' isn't what you think

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for January 23, 2019)

You've probably been hearing about the "deep state" recently, with some pundits saying it's a danger and others saying it doesn't even exist.

It's real, but it's not the conspiracy theory some would have you believe. Its reality shouldn't be controversial; it's there for everyone to see and experience.

The "deep state" is, in simple terms, the government bureaucracy. It is all those parts of government which don't change from one presidential administration to the next.

When presidents change, the new president hires new people to run the various government agencies, but most employees in the massive agency keep their job. The new boss depends on the experience of those who have been in the job through multiple administrations to keep things running.

Since their jobs are safe they get entrenched, and in some positions, feel invulnerable because of their experience and years in the job. When no one else even understands or knows for sure what they do, how can they be replaced?

Thus, you have a "deep state".

Some people want to turn this recognition of reality into evidence of paranoia.

Sure, when you involve powerful agencies such as the CIA and FBI, opportunities for abuse are probably irresistible. It's likely that some will come to see themselves as the real power behind the scenes and see the elected officials as figureheads to be tolerated as long as they don't upset the status quo too much. Some of them undoubtedly act on this power.

Scenarios of "deep state" presidential assassinations and other undemocratic schemes are thrilling, but the majority of the damage is done to your liberty by the everyday governing which goes on openly, in front of microphones and cameras.

The state, both deep and broad, has been tightening the noose around the necks of Americans almost from the beginning.

The state has been preventing the people from choosing to uncouple from an out-of-control federal government since Mr. Lincoln's war to repeal the Declaration of Independence. It has been violating the Second Amendment since at least 1934. The state keeps the tax records which are used to entrap and enslave the people. It steals, compiles, and stores your private data. All in the name of governing you.

Yet people worry about what the mysterious parts of "deep state" might do to other parts of this enemy organization? This seems like displaced concern to me.

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Special People and their bad opinions

Hollywood types almost always seem smarter before they open their mouths.

The fastest way for me to lose respect for someone is for them to express a political opinion. I know it's not polite to point out that opinions can be wrong, but they can be.

Saying tea is better than coffee is an opinion. There is no rightness or wrongness to it-- it's subjective. But to advocate slavery is wrong, even if that's your actual opinion. And these Hollywood people open their mouths to promote these kinds of things so often it's become routine. They pretend they're promoting something social justicy, but they aren't. It's anti-social and unjust.

There are so many ways to be wrong; so few ways to be right. It's entropy of a sort. Chances are if someone expresses a political opinion it's going to be a bad one. One that exposes them as an ignorant anti-liberty bigot. If they express this opinion innocently, that's one thing. Maybe they can be educated. If they express it with an air of superiority, I'm not going to be impressed.


Reminder: I could really use some help.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Wilson's temper

Wilson had a bit of a temper, which I experienced a few times as his target. Fortunately, most of the time he was upset at someone or something else-- not me.

I would be sitting at the fire out by my riverside wikiup and he'd drop by ranting about something. I'd invite him to sit. We'd talk for a while about whatever was bugging him, and if he was still worked up I would suggest we go shooting. It was his therapy.

I've mentioned before how stingy he was with his ammo, but just the act of heading out to one of the local shooting spots was usually enough to calm him down. The whole process usually took a couple of hours from the time we left the house until we got back-- with driving time and all. He needed the release, even if it only involved firing off 3 or 5 rounds.

If that hadn't been an option, like the anti-gun bigots seem determined to bring about, then I don't know what would have happened. It couldn't have been good.

Everyone needs that pressure release valve, whatever form it may take. You take that away from people at your peril. I saw for myself how it could help an agitated person regain his composure. The more tightly you try to control people, "for their own good", the more people will eventually "pop".


Reminder: I could really use some help.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Don't follow a sick society

The more insane the majority of individuals in a society get, the more anti-social the sane people will appear to be.

At least that's my story.

When everyone's "solution" involves more archation, I'm going to reject their "solution" and seek my own path.

When I'm required to pretend people with mental issues are empowered to dictate the words I use, I'm going to seem unkind. Because I won't comply.

If you believe the "climate change" debate centers around what government should (or shouldn't) do about it, I'm going to reject your proposals. They are without validity, even if they would "work". Nothing can trump natural human rights. Not even "necessity".

I'm not going to pretend a political "solution" to anything is legitimate. Not "laws", not bans, not anything.

I'm fed up with the clamor to find ways to count yourself a victim. Micro-racism, "misgendering", microaggressions, cultural appropriation, and all the rest. I'm fed up with being told that violating me is the only way to solve some problem, whether real or imaginary.

I reject your control tactics. I reject your collectivism and your "intersectionality". I reject your politics. It's all BS.

If everyone wants to be a victim, they'll find some way I'm victimizing them no matter how I try to bend over backward to accommodate them. So I'm not going to bend. They can take their victimization and choke on it.

I will not archate. I will not support those who do. I will try to defend those who are targets of archation. But I'm not going to pretend fantasy is reality to make crazy people feel better about themselves.

If that makes me "anti-social", so be it.


Reminder: I could really use some help.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Under the hammer of the State

It doesn't matter if you have the best idea in the world-- if you try to implement it using government violence, it's not ethical. It can't be.

There is nothing I want badly enough to advocate using government violence against you-- not even if I believe you are deserving of self-defensive violence.

For example: Let's assume that I'm right and that more guns in individual hands is a good thing. Would I advocate a "law" to require everyone to own guns? No way.

Once you add aggression, including government violence in the form of "laws", to your idea, your idea is crap.

If your idea depends on theft ("taxation"), it's wrong.

If your idea relies on being imposed by "laws", your idea can't stand on its own.

If your idea needs government, then you need to let it go and find a different idea.

When you allow yourself to use the anti-social hammer of government, everything looks like a nail.


Reminder: I could really use some help.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Courts have institutionalized revenge

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for February 20, 2019)

I'll never understand how the output of the government's court system passes for "justice". If you ever find justice in a courtroom it will be a fluke; an accident.

Justice doesn't require government, or even laws. Those only obstruct the rest...

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Gear post: Kershaw 1030 Deer Hunter

This is the fixed-blade knife I wear every day, everywhere I go. My dad gave it to me when I was 12. (That was about 43 years ago, for the mathematicians out there.)

It's a Kershaw 1030 Deer Hunter.
Fixed blade.
Overall length, 8".
Blade length 4".
Edge length, 3".

My dad says he paid $40 for it (new) back then. They are a bit pricier now if you can find them.

The handle has a very nice feel to it. The finger grooves are just right and feel nice in the hand.

The edge is thicker than most other knives I use, which made it a little tougher to sharpen well the first time. But sharpening knives is the one thing I feel I do a good job at so I was up to the challenge. I can shave with it now.

It originally came with a leather sheath, but that bit the dust decades ago. I was never thrilled with the sheath's design. The handle was too heavy and the knife would try to turn upside down on my belt and the whole contraption would flap around. Not good for how I lived. It needed a strap around the handle. I did add one, and that worked until the sheath wore out.

Now it resides on the back of my belt pouch, left side, edge forward, in a custom sheath I made for that position.

It has been a really good knife. At first I thought the blade would be too short, but it works for almost anything. I actually use my little lock blade more (maybe I'll do a gear post on that one sometime), but I like having this one available for when I need a beefier blade.

It has been a good knife and has survived an awful lot with me. (Although I didn't carry it while in buckskin clothes and "period" gear. That was a different set of gear.)

I would recommend this knife for a general purpose fixed blade.


Here's a general overview of my EDC as of January 2015.


Reminder: I could always use some help.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Politicizing climate

Some would characterize me as a "climate change denier", which I'm not.

I simply oppose the politicization of AGCC. Just as I oppose the politicization of all science, self-defense, human rights, property, and life.

Politics is evil. When you politicize anything you contaminate it and destroy the thing you politicized. Science + politics = politics.


Reminder: I could really use some help.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.