Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Supporting liberty not contradictory

Supporting liberty not contradictory

(My Clovis News Journal column for March 21, 2014)

What is a quick way to cause confusion? Advocate liberty consistently and watch what happens.

I'll use myself as an illustration:

I am a firm believer in the high value of education, therefore I am not a fan of public schooling, nor any schooling based upon the same template.

I hate aggressive violence which threatens the innocent, therefore I actively and publicly oppose all anti-gun "laws".

I know the necessity of good, safe roads for all aspects of life and liberty, and therefore I don't appreciate seeing government employees patrolling and controlling them.

I crusade for property rights, opposing all theft and aggression against individuals, therefore I want nothing to do with laws or courts, and have no respect for either.

I hate to see people destroy their lives through addictions, therefore I expose prohibition for the unconstitutional and inhumane abomination it is.

These positions only seem contradictory to people who refuse to notice the actual, real-world results of the state's approach. Once you dig to the bottom of things you can see the world in a much clearer, brighter way than before.

But, getting to the bottom of things can make one unpopular. It means calling a spade a spade, no matter how much others wish to see it as something else. It means digging up problems with favored institutions and other things which many people are emotionally attached to, and exposing bad sides people would prefer to not face.

It means recognizing that schools based upon the "Prussian Model", as are all schools in America, were never meant to educate, but to indoctrinate and pacify.

It means understanding that anti-gun "laws" only restrain those who are not bad guys in the first place, leaving the real thugs free to prey at will.

It means knowing governments don't build roads, nor are they held accountable for the road conditions or damage their roads cause, all the while claiming use of "their" roads implies consent to give up all your basic human rights in the name of "safety". This is nonsense.

It means admitting the greatest threat which has ever existed to property, as well as to life and liberty, is (and has always been) people calling themselves "government" of one sort or another. Real restitution is a low priority for them, compared to enriching the state's treasury and paying for the bureaucracy.

It means seeing that the War on Politically Incorrect Drugs- Prohibition- has created the market for more concentrated, and more dangerous, substances, and causes people to not seek help they might otherwise want, out of fear of the disproportionate consequences.

Being consistent in support of liberty only looks contradictory until you examine the alternative.
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Kids' problems

I was watching kids playing at the park while there with my daughter. I noticed what happened when kids encountered problems. They solved them.

For one example: There is a ring that the kids can hang from and ride as it slides from one end of a track to another. Only it binds up in the middle and if a kid doesn't have enough momentum, it will stop before they get to the other end. And most kids are not tall enough to reach the ring when it is not by one of the end platforms. So, when it gets stuck they'll work together. Or they'll try jumping at the ring to knock it to one end where they can reach it. They'll try to find a taller kid or adult. They'll find a tool (tree branch) to extend their reach. But, always, they find a solution.

Kids solve their own problems if not interfered with. Give them the liberty to find their own solutions. It will make them smarter and stronger than if you coddle them.

Now, kids are not perfect- just like adults aren't. Some think it's OK to initiate force or to steal. Some can be very cruel. Let's not give them bad examples by our behavior, and certainly let's not place the worst of the worst- cops and politicians- on some kind of pedestal and pretend these are people for kids to look up to or emulate.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

"Name one..."

Recently I saw a person ask to be shown a society or culture anywhere in the world which has been based on Zero Aggression.

OK. Sure. No problem.

My society is grounded in Zero Aggression. I don't attack those around me, and I don't respond well to those who do. The aggressors out there are not a part of my society.

It seems the culture around me is based on Zero Aggression, too. Those who use aggression and theft are not "my society" or "my culture". They are alien to me.

I'm not sure why that's hard for anyone to understand.

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Gratitude, or its opposite.

I was just listening to a video from a pretty "famous" (as these things go) libertarian/anarchist guy where he was complaining about a small donation he got. He went on about the value of what he was providing, and talked about if you don't "put your money where your mouth is" no one will listen when you say the free market and charity can fill the role of The State.

I was embarrassed listening to him.

Now, he did somewhat temper his message a little later in his video, and made some really good points about having a passion for what you claim to believe- but I almost didn't get past the first few minutes.

I have never complained or ridiculed any donation I have gotten. Not even in the privacy of my own head. Nor do I expect people to pay for what I do or to feel guilty if they don't pay something. And I am certainly not going to publicly scold- even anonymously- someone who actually donated money to me. That's just not the way this works.

Some people can't afford to donate- I get that and it's perfectly OK. I still want them to get what they can from what I write. I'm convinced they can make my life better that way, while improving the quality of their own lives even more. A deeper understanding of liberty can only benefit everyone.

Nor do I have some delusion that I "deserve" donations more than someone else does. There are more deserving and more "important" liberty advocates out there who are more valuable than I am, and do much more important work. Maybe even the guy who was complaining about the small donation.

I also know that everyone has a life. It's an honor to even be a tiny blip on their daily calendar, and no one is obligated to sit around and dwell on me in any way.

I'm not sure why his complaint disturbed me so badly- it may be that it just seemed so ungrateful.

You don't "owe" me anything by reading my blog. And please don't ever get the idea that I believe you do!

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"I aim to misbehave!"

Day by Day today:

(click to... well, you know...)

I love seeing the flag make appearances.

Thanks, Chris!
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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Fear and ignorance banished! (I wish...)

Here's my response to the letter to the editor in the State Line Tribune. Be sure to read the letter first, if you haven't yet. This response is way too long to be a Liberty Lines column, so I will put it here. That's what happens when there are a lot of things to address, and you end up needing to quote parts of the original for clarity. I apologize for the length. Here we go:

"The problem is the longer the virus [libertarianism] is allowed to fester and spread, the patient begins to lose sense of reality"
Really? Let's look at that contention.

"Utopian lawless world..."
Now that's hilarious. The most delusional Utopian dream man ever fell for was the belief that because some men are bad you should give some men authority over everyone else. What has been clearly demonstrated by doing that is that the least trustworthy are drawn to those positions of power like kids to candy being tossed from a parade float. Then they always attempt to replace Law with made up rules.

Libertarianism is a rejection of Utopianism and a recognition of the reality of human nature. People will do what they feel is best for themselves. Even if they are wrong. Even at the expense of others. To set up a system that gives them power over others leads to the same result over and over again, as demonstrated by history. Statism is the most Utopian wish ever foisted on humanity- and it still keeps reeling them in even after failing to deliver as promised every single time it has been tried, in every single incarnation, throughout thousands of years of history. Talk about a blindness to reality!

Libertarians don't reject law; we reject counterfeit "law". Real law- known as "Natural Law"- is limited to "Don't attack anyone", "Do what you say you'll do", and "Don't take or damage other people's stuff". Counterfeit "law" is written by flawed humans and generally carves out exceptions to Natural Law for "select people". Natural Law doesn't need to be written or enforced; counterfeit "law", when written or enforced, makes you the bad guy.

"...Utopian lawless world where all bad behaviors are kept in check by the threat of 'restitution'".
Nope. You missed that one by a mile. Self defense has always been the best way to keep bad behaviors in check. Regardless of your "laws" and enforcers. Restitution only gets put into play when the bad guys survive. Our current "system" protects bad guys from the real-world consequences their behavior should bring.

"Then, and only then, will any law of punishment or repayment to society come into force."
First of all, "society" can't be a victim. If there is not a specific, individual victim, then no one is subject to self defense nor owes any restitution. Secondly, when would you propose to punish people? Before they have harmed anyone? Quick, call the Department of Pre-Crime!

"Reality says the human population is not very good at making behavioral decisions."
I agree, otherwise government would long ago have been relegated to a festering corpse on the garbage heap of history. However, other people's poor decisions aren't your business. Sorry. You can take measures to protect yourself and your property, but no one can ever have the authority to make other people's decisions for them, no matter how bad you believe them to be.

"Unfortunately, there IS a need for a minimum amount of laws to govern a functioning and prosperous society."
Already got that covered, as above. Anything beyond Natural Law is excessive, not "minimum" by any means, and only harms the functioning and prosperity of your society.

"Having law, and people being aware of it does help inform of where the boundaries are."
And that is part of the reason anything beyond Natural Law is harmful to all law. It dilutes it with worthlessness. When the boundaries are arbitrary and based upon things other than aggression or theft, no one really knows what the "law" is or where the boundaries may be. Counterfeit "laws" are the opposite of Law, and confuse people about what is actually right and wrong. They are not "holy" nor "just" nor "good". Counterfeit Law" damages society because it damages individuals.

"... the debate is where can we find a balance?"
Maybe, if you are desperate to find justification for running the lives of your neighbors, you can debate that. What is just the "perfect amount of rape" you'd like to permit? I am under no such disability to feel the need to debate such things. There is no balance between Rightful Liberty and counterfeit "laws". It's like trying to find a balance between poison and food- how much poison is the right amount to add to the food? Poison always wins that contest.

"...as Libertarians advocate where drugs and prostitution are freely consumed, DWI laws and traffic control signs are non-existent, leads us to the other problem."
You, maybe. I'm amused to know the only thing keeping you from being a drug-addicted sampler of "the oldest profession" are government's "laws". Funny, but those "laws" don't seem to stop most people who really want those things. If a person drives drunk and causes harm, he is in the wrong. Just as he is if he drives sober and causes harm. And, the funny thing is that the places around the world which have gotten rid of the anti-drug "laws", anti-prostitution "laws", and yes, even the traffic control signals, have discovered that the vast majority of the problems the naysayers feared never materialized. In fact, much of the bad effects of those things went away after the "laws" got out of the way. There was no "other problem" like the statists kept fearing there would be. Unless it really is liberty, peace, and cooperation they fear and consider a "problem".

"Humans making bad decisions result in bad consequences. Namely, the loss of innocent life."
Yeah, and we've all seen that "laws" prevent that. Right?
Bad decisions should bring bad consequences. And the innocent should never be under the illusion that "laws" will protect them or remove some of their own responsibility for watching out for themselves. Reliance on "laws" has been disastrous, and has made people weak and careless.

"It is government's God-given authority to punish evil and reward good."
You have grossly misread Romans 13 if you believe that is what it is saying. But, even if that were the message, no government in the entire history of the world has ever done that. Not one. Instead, all governments have done the opposite. And, the government authority referred to in Romans 13 is not what you seem to think it is. In America, there is no government authority besides the Constitution. When "laws" or "authorities" do things which violate the Constitution, they are not the rulers or governors spoken of in Romans or 1 Peter because they are "a terror to good works" and fully on the side of evil; they are not your authority and obeying them is disobeying Romans 13. Notice that anti-drug "laws", DWI "laws", anti-prostitution "laws", traffic control "laws" are not in any way permitted by the Constitution. Not one of them. I never remember reading about Jesus advocating making even one thing "illegal" according to the state. There is a vast difference between what you should morally do, and what should be subject to state punishment. Don't soil your faith by stitching it together with the state.

"...the intention of protecting the innocent before they are injured."
Yes, you should when you can. But remember that a person who hasn't yet harmed anyone is also innocent. You can protect both, but not with laws" which violate both instead. So, how can you protect the innocent before they are injured? The best, most sure way is by teaching them self responsibility; not dependence. There is only one person you can always count on to be there when danger comes: you. By bubble-wrapping the whole world with "laws" you get the illusion of safety, but instead remove any incentive to be accountable for your own life and safety. Would I rather have "checkpoints" molesting drivers in the name of DWI reduction, or would I rather teach my kids that while driving or walking, anything can happen and they need to stay alert and pay attention to their surroundings? Would I rather have DWI "checkpoints" with draconian punishments that cause people to take bigger risks because it's just too dangerous to admit you may need to pull over and sleep it off or ask someone for a ride? Either completely responsible and reasonable action brings swift and vicious punishment today, if "law enforcement" happens to find out. That doesn't make things safer for anyone.

"In a civil society, those who engage in 'evil' can be expected to be preempted hopefully before their destruction (or aggression) is allowed to come to fruition."
So, since I consider your advocacy of "laws" against Rightful Liberty to be evil I should preempt you before you can cause harm to me or anyone else who isn't harming anyone with their consensual actions? That's good to know, since I expect you'll be OK with it when I defend myself against your stated intentions. No whining, now!

"...see where a full-blown case of Viral Libertarian-itis is a world of anarchy and chaos."
"Anarchy" doesn't mean what you seem to believe. It means "no king", not "no rules". It means no one else has the right to run your life for you, it doesn't mean you do what you want with no consequences. Anarchy is the only peaceable way to live- everything else is rooted in violence and theft. We all live the vast majority of our lives in anarchy- unless you allowed someone else to dictate who you fell in love with, what you eat for every meal, where you shop, what you wear to bed, who you befriend, what you think about. Anarchy works, in the real world, every single day, for YOU. It doesn't bring chaos- that's what the State brings. "Laws" are not based upon a foundation of Natural Law, and the consequences are out of proportion to the effects of violating those "laws", and this brings chaos into society. You can have government or you can have a society- they are mutually exclusive so you can't have both.

"Where stupid behaviors unabated main, injure, and kill."
What makes you believe- against all evidence to the contrary- that "laws" abate stupid behaviors?
Very often they mandate them. Contrary to your beliefs, and your mischaracterization of libertarians, there is no Utopia- not under liberty and not under your "minimum government". Humans will always do stupid things (like support "laws" and governments, apparently) and innocent people will always be getting maimed, injured, and killed. That's just reality. (You should check it out sometime- it's pretty amazing!)

"Reality says you can't expect people under the influence of mind-altering substances to know where personal space ends and another's begins."
Just like those under the influence of statism, it seems, judging by this letter to the editor which is calling for "laws" to trample all over everyone else's personal space. But, would I advocate making statism "illegal"? Of course not. I will never criticize anyone who defends themselves from it, though.

"Reality says a community full of porn and prostitution breeds broken homes and sexual assaults."
Actually, reality (and observation) has shown the polar opposite where sexual assault is concerned. Study up on it. As far as the broken homes- if they succumb to porn and prostitution they were already broken anyway. You may not "like" it, but it is only your business where your personal life is concerned. You are advocating Sharia Law. It doesn't matter if it is supposedly "Christian" Sharia, it is still wrong.

"Reality says traffic laws, including requiring insurance, protects the responsible drivers from thefoolish."
Oh, good. I guess I can text and drive without paying attention just like cops do. What with all the "laws" and insurance out there protecting me. No?
I think it's a great idea to have liability insurance. Do I want it mandated? Of course not. I'm not an insane control freak. Mandating it is no different than mandating ObamaCare. Do I assume a stop sign will really make the other driver stop? No. I know it has no magical power to force anyone to do anything. I watch people run stop signs responsibly and safely every single day. Including almost every cop car that passes the one by my house. And I don't care. It's not about safety, it's about compliance. Don't molest others on my behalf just because you are frightened of the big old, scary world.

"Reality says basic laws of commerce protect the little old lady from the unscrupulous company."
Wishful thinking. What reality does show is that "basic laws of commerce" aren't basic anymore. That ended when the first "law" that said anything beyond "don't lie about what you are trading, and deliver the goods as promised without coercion" was imposed. The truth is the "basic laws of commerce" were mostly written by giant corporations to hobble their upstart competition. MegaCorp has lots of money and teams of lawyers to allow them to comply with the "laws" they help write- they know their new would-be competitor doesn't.

"But advocating for total unregulated behavior in the substance abuse and traffic world..."
Who advocated that? Just because you don't have legislation doesn't mean there is no way to "regulate" something. Don't like drug users? Don't hire them. (And if you can't tell if they are a drug user without a chemistry set, then you are simply looking for a way to "legally" rape them and steal their fluids.)
As for traffic, the phenomenon of spontaneous order makes traffic flow much smoother once the silly rules get tossed aside. Look at the cases of cities where all traffic controls have been discarded. It didn't result in chaos and death- it actually resulted in shorter commute times, and fewer accidents and injuries. Liberty always works.

"disrupts real dialog and political reforms that could be made."
What do you consider "real dialog"? Making up justification for "laws" that have no basis in reality, while claiming the other side is ignoring reality? What kind of "political reforms" would you advocate? Voting out one corrupt politician and replacing him with an interchangeable corrupt politician? Or getting rid of all the vile "liberal" anti-liberty "laws" and replacing them with equally vile "conservative" anti-liberty "laws"? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results... well, it's not sane.

The depth of the brainwashing astounds me. When you have been trained to see a government "solution" to everything it becomes impossible to think outside that particular, confining box. When your only (mental) tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Even when beating it hurts you.

I've been around long enough to see that any and every justification for "law" or The State is flawed. Even those I was at one time most reluctant to turn loose.

Now, I have tried to be "nice" in this response, but why am I reminded of this?

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Fear and Ignorance

Those are the only two "tactics" I have ever seen whipped out as a defense against liberty.

And, boy, did my most recent Liberty Lines column bring both fear and ignorance out of people!

I will reply to this letter to the editor from poor Brandon (whoever he is...), but I haven't decided yet whether to do it in next month's Liberty Lines, or to just do it here on the blog. (added: here's my response) Either way I wanted y'all to see what I'm up against locally.

So, here ya go (from the State Line Tribune- April 17, 2014):

(Click to enlargenize)

Thomas Jefferson against the Constitution

Still think there's a "social contract" and the Constitution is binding on people who didn't sign it and were born long after its signers were all dead?
Can one generation bind another, and all others, in succession forever? I think not. The Creator has made the earth for the living, not the dead. Rights and powers can only belong to persons, not to things, not to mere matter, unendowed with will. The dead are not even things. The particles of matter which composed their bodies, make part now of the bodies of other animals, vegetables, or minerals, of a thousand forms. To what then are attached the rights and powers they held while in the form of men? A generation may bind itself as long as its majority continues in life; when that has disappeared, another majority is in place, holds all the rights and powers their predecessors once held, and may change their laws and institutions to suit themselves. Nothing then is unchangeable but the inherent and unalienable rights of man.
– Thomas Jefferson, letter to Maj. John Cartwright, June 5, 1824 (source)
Of course, I adamantly disagree with his assertion that "a generation may bind itself", since that authority belongs only to individuals, not "the collective", but he can't be right about everything.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How much evidence do you need?

Bad guys and thugs are going to act like the vermin they are. Don't be surprised, but don't excuse them, either.

Recently I have shown many examples of this truth. Like this, and this, and this. Honestly, the list would be endless if I didn't limit myself to things I have written recently.

How can anyone really still believe these are the "good guys" and are better than any alternative?

So, in my opinion, you shouldn't expect them to treat you with respect- it'll only happen if it's to their advantage. Don't let their evil shock you, and don't let it ruin your day. They are what they are- remember that and act accordingly.

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Ancestral property theft

Going back to the question of figuring out who stole what from whom generations ago, and who the stolen property should be "returned" to...

I hereby renounce any claim on any property that may or may not have been stolen from one of my ancestors by one of your ancestors, or later obtained in good faith by one of your ancestors, anywhere in the world before my parents were born. Use it in peace.

There, I feel better.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Politics is Stockholm Syndrome

Politics is Stockholm Syndrome

(My Clovis News Journal column for March 14, 2014)

I confess: I'm not very interested in politics. Who is campaigning; who holds which office; "laws" being proposed or passed. It all feels like chasing my tail.

So I'm not going to waste much time or effort petitioning government's representatives and enforcers to respect my life, liberty, and property.

Perhaps it's necessary, as self preservation, to know what politicians are up to. It would also be necessary to know what a wild boar was up to after you let him in your living room. But why would you ever tolerate either situation? Why believe replacing one wild boar with an interchangeable wild boar could solve anything?

If I moved into your neighborhood, dictating how you were permitted to live, earn money, and use your property- enforcing my will at the point of a gun- would you put up with it? I sincerely hope not!

To pacify you I might schedule an election- give my permission to poll a sample of your neighbors in an attempt to change the way I use your life and property as you might prefer. What if I ignored your requests? You could elect others, who promise to use your life and property in a way which makes you less uncomfortable, to replace me. How is that different?

Would you instead laugh at my attempts at control and invite me to do a nosedive off a windmill? Rather than trying to decide how much of your property I am entitled to take, would you fight to keep it? When I send my hired guns- hired from among your family and neighbors for a percentage of the take- to collect on my behalf, how would you respond?

Imagine I survived my insolence, and three hundred years from now the system through which the torch of control had been passed was still operating. I never had any business running your life, nor do those who came after me have any legitimate authority over the lives of your descendants, no matter how long it has been going on. Nothing changes that.

Would your descendants defend the legitimacy of "their system", saying it is the best one possible? Would they believe "we" are the government; embracing rulers and bureaucrats and relinquishing essential liberty by holding elections to choose who gets to violate them for the next few years.

"We are the government"? Try to do things government employees do with people's lives, liberties, and property and see how long you get away with it. Those who are permitted, under their own rules, to do those things don't tolerate competition, and Stockholm Syndrome keeps their captives complacent.

That, in a nutshell, is politics.
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"Death to the IRS and its employees"

Wishing they would all die isn't the same as actively making it happen. No, I am not suggesting you go out and start hunting IRS employees. But doing so is no more wrong than defending yourself from any other violator of your property, so it doesn't bring my condemnation, either.

The IRS has the "authority" of the mugger: "Your money or your life!" uttered at gunpoint. So anyone who kills an IRS agent who has made "official" contact is no more guilty than anyone who manages to "get the drop" on a mugger in a back alley.

Unfortunately, the IRS agent has a huge and violent gang, along with the idiotic and ignorant support of our neighbors. Or, if not "support", at least the ignorant belief that the IRS employee is doing something that doesn't deserve death. But theft is theft- it isn't "better" or less evil if it is committed by a person with an office.

And, even if you have the right to do something, it isn't always the smartest thing to do. In the current statist climate, defending your life, liberty, and property from these thieves would probably be suicide.

IRS employees could make it right in an instant by walking away from the "job" and by never stealing again. In that case they should be left alone unless they break their word. I'm willing to forgive.

But, I will never condemn any person who defends his life, liberty, or property from violators of any sort.
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And here's a related post from Libertopia.





Monday, April 14, 2014

Who owns the Bundy Ranch?

I know some people are complaining that the Bundy's don't actually "own" the land they live on, much less the BLM-claimed land they have been using.

That land belonged to the Native tribes before being stolen by some "white" settlers or a "white" government. Then it was bought or leased from the thieves.

Yeah, and before that the Native tribe who lived there at that time stole it from some other Natives who lived there and who had probably stolen it from someone before them and so on since the first humans came to North America. The story is the same world wide.

It's sad, and WRONG, to take land (or any other property) which doesn't belong to you. But, Mr. Bundy* didn't steal that land. No one who originally owned that land before someone stole it is still alive, and some undoubtedly left no descendants whatsoever, having been wiped out in the process of having their land stolen.

Sometimes there is just no way to fix a past wrong. What are you going to do? Obsess over it and hate everyone and everything until perfection is achieved?

As I have said multiple times in the past, at some point you just have to wipe the slate clean and forgive past offenses and say "Never again!" That, or you'll never have any peace.
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*I'm not saying he is necessarily a wonderful guy. I don't know him. Everyone- including myself- has flaws and faults. He may even frequently recite the Pledge of Allegiance, or "support the troops", or something hideous like that. I'm speaking narrowly here. If you can't stand up for the rights of a bad guy when you see him being violated, your support of the good guy in the same situation is cheapened. And no matter how bad Bundy may or may not be, the thugs calling themselves "government" are always worse, and are the ultimate bad guys in this situation. I'm glad they got beaten in this first skirmish of the war. I hope if they try to attack again their loss is even more dramatic.

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

BLM's new mission deserves a new name

Let's just call a spade a spade here.

The BLM has gone into the business of cattle rustling. Maybe they should change their name accordingly: Bureau of Cattle Rustling.

You know what used to happen to cattle rustlers...

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

NSA and Heartbleed

So, if the NSA knew about the "Heartbleed Bug" for years, and used it to spy on people, doesn't that kind of discredit them?

National SECURITY Agency, not protecting security, but exploiting a lack thereof. I'd say that's good enough reason to cancel their budget, sell off their guns and computers, let their employees stand on street corners with signs that say "Will Molest for Food", and see how long they survive in the real world.

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"Drug warriors" and other evil thugs

Eventually, all those cops, prosecutors, and prison guards who enforce anti-drug "laws" are going to look just as bad to "society" as those thugs who enforced slavery "laws"- particularly and especially like those who captured the slaves who had escaped.

And when I say "eventually" I am talking about how they'll look to people who aren't me. Because to me that's exactly how bad they look right now. I look at cops and I see primitive, ignorant, brutal thugs "earning" their stolen wages by committing evil.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Bundy ranch situation

Do the Bundy's own the land they have been using? Not according to those thugs who claim they work for something they'll call "The State". Who does, then? Well, according to "The State", it does. Sure, they'll say "the taxpayers", but by that they mean they have the authority to control the land "on our behalf". Ha!

Governments aren't real like people are. They are a dangerous mental problem believed in by most people: a mental glitch in the synapses.

Governments can't "own" anything, since everything they (or their agents) possess was stolen or "bought" with stolen (or counterfeited) money.

A thief doesn't own the stolen property he possesses.

The cattle, on the other hand, are clearly owned by the Bundy's. And employees of that "government" are stealing them. And then using violence against people who are trying to not be stolen from. And attacking the people trying to defend the Bundy's from the violence and theft.

That makes the government employees the bad guys in this confrontation.

As they are in any situation they are a part of.

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The sheriff's kneejerk reaction

Here's the local sheriff's hilariously dumb opinion on marijuana legalization, which I suspect was in response to my Liberty Lines column (previous post):

(click on it to see it bigger) 

Hmmm. Am I surprised a local tax addict would object? No. Around here, just about the only possible justification for his useless "tax"-financed "job" hinges on Prohibition*- of one sort or another. Yes, this is also a "dry" county. So, of course he believes (not "thinks") legalization would be "a mistake". He would probably be out of a paycheck and be forced to find honest work or spend more time fishing. 

I see he's worried about "impaired driving"- like it doesn't happen regardless. But, wait... what about the studies and tests which have shown driving under the influence of marijuana actually decreases the risk of being in an accident? I know, that's not helpful to the anti-drug bigots' narrative, so it's ignored. And when have I ever said that someone who harms another or their private property should be excused? What does it matter "why" they caused the accident? It doesn't.

But it would "increase the difficulty of law enforcement to determine who is impaired"! Whine, whine! Yeah, lets keep violating people for your lazy, thuggish convenience! Here's a hint: If you can't tell if someone is "impaired", they aren't. Leave it at that.

Next, he complains how difficult it would be to figure out if the Cannabis was obtained through "legal or non-legal channels". Idiot. That's like saying slavery shouldn't have been abolished because then it would be too hard for slave hunters to figure out if the person had been "freed legally" or had been a runaway. When what you are doing is wrong, you need to stop doing it; don't figure out how to keep doing it anyway.

"Officers would need education concerning the enforcement of legal sales." No, they wouldn't. This is just more statist propaganda aimed at making liberty look "too hard". Just assume liberty and move along without molesting people. It's really pretty easy.

Same thing with all his excuses about needing more enforcers and bigger budgets if there were fewer "crimes" to feed his lust. It is ALL statist** BS and lies.

Read the whole thing. He just drones on and on, coming up with more unthinking statist justifications for continuing to follow his path of evil

But, don't worry- he says it's not going to happen in Texas (or especially locally) because people here are "more conservative".

Conservatives are partly right- there are some things worth conserving. But this isn't one of them. Being wrong- advocating evil- is not worth "conserving", and staying "conservative" on this issue isn't something to be proud of. They should instead be ashamed. When you are going the wrong way, it's smart to stop and turn around, but I suppose "conservatives" such as the sheriff think it's OK to close your eyes and chant about why you have to stay the course as you head over the cliff.

Not only are they going to look foolish in a few years, but they'll be seen as the force for evil they actually are. The blood of multitudes is on their hands over this ridiculous prohibition.





*By way of illustration, here's the weekly "Sheriff's Report" from the same issue:

(Click pic for embiggenation) 

**And I mean this is the worst possible way this time.

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Liberty Lines- April 10, 2014

(Published in the Farwell, TX/Texico, NM State Line Tribune)

I wonder how many people thought America's morality was at its end when slavery lost its legal footing. Or when the "Jim Crow" laws which followed slavery were done away with. Probably about as many as now think getting rid of anti-marijuana "laws" spells doom to America's moral foundation.

If your "morality" requires you to violate someone else's individual human right to do absolutely anything that doesn't violate your identical and equal rights, your "morality" is empty. In fact, it is the opposite of moral.

The Prohibitionists of an earlier era realized that to make their campaign "legal" they had to pass a Constitutional amendment- because the Constitution didn't permit any authority to enforce any sort of prohibition. It still doesn't. The current anti-drug prohibition never got even this flimsy veil of legitimacy to hide behind. It was, and is, completely illegal at every level, and enforcing it makes a person a criminal.

That is the real moral problem.

Of course, when something is a violation of a person's rights, not even a Constitutional amendment can make it right. This is why Prohibition is always wrong and why a repeal of the Second Amendment can't eliminate the right to own and to carry weapons. Rights have never hinged on laws.

The worst thing about the new marijuana laws springing up across the country is that they establish a tax for doing something people have always had the right to do- "taxation" is a warm-fuzzy euphemism for theft, and taxes always go to finance new violations of life, liberty, and property.

If you don't believe people should use marijuana, then don't use it yourself, and feel free to ridicule or shun those who do. And if anyone harms an innocent person or private property, regardless of whether or not they are "impaired", seek restitution. Those responses to the situation are completely within your rights. Using the blunt force of The State to impose your wishes on others is not. In fact, it is an example of America's version of Sharia Law; universally imposed on True Believer and Infidel, alike.

By doing this to others you are testifying to your belief in the rightness of having someone else do the same to you, no matter who gains power or authority in the future. In that case, don't whine when you find yourself on the wrong end of a future law.
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Check out my next post to see the sheriff's (probable) response.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The bright side of Obama?

I've heard it said that Obama is the greatest gun salesman in history.

I am beginning to wonder if he's not also the greatest recruiter for liberty of all kinds, as well.

Talking with someone yesterday I recognized a theme I have heard a few times from some unexpected places. People who were "Tea Party", quas-libertarian types becoming more firmly libertarian, or even, dare I say it, anarchist- due to things Obama and his cronies have done, and attempted to do. For them the shine seems to be gone from the Tea Party notion of electing "the right people"- at least for now.

Would I be seeing the same if the other, completely interchangeable, statist monster had won the last election? I don't know. It may be that the mess created by ignoring reality and Natural Law has finally gotten to the point that no matter which tyrant sits at the desk and plots to violate you, the results will be the same, and some people are beginning to see it.

I know there are a lot of people who will continue to support what they have convinced themselves is "their side" even as the fangs pump the poison into their flesh, and no amount of reality is going to change their minds. But, for some of those willing and able to see the truth, it just may be that Obama was the kick in the pants they needed.

At least, I hope so. I'd like to be able to see a bright side to Obama (besides the fact he hasn't been able to do most of the worst things he wants to do).

Now, I hope most of these people don't revert back to their old ways and support the next candidate who promises to be the Anti-Obama... I'll do my best to help them stay strong if they feel tempted.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Bureaucracy violates your rights

Bureaucracy violates your rights

(My Clovis News Journal column for March 7, 2014)

Legalized? Decriminalized? Why?

Most things wrongly made illegal should instead be ignored, which is difficult for those infected with the lust to control. They are not proper areas of governance under any circumstances. Even under the most well-meaning situations, "there ought to be a law" is misguided. No new law is necessary; the laws which were unethically imposed just need to be repealed, be ignored, or be defied.

To bother to legalize or to decriminalize anything which isn't aggression or theft would seem to imply some government authority in that area of life- where none exists.

For example, in Colorado under the new legalized marijuana laws (which the federal government refuses to honor, violating both the Ninth and Tenth Amendments), banks have been caught up in the confusion. Even those which want to to do business with the perfectly legal marijuana shops are refusing, mainly out of fear of federal retribution for refusing to walk the prohibition line. The state and federal rules are at odds, and even with very meticulous federal guidelines which banks are promised they can follow without fear, the risk of entrapment is too great for most to dare.

Which illustrates just one reason banks should also be freed from federal meddling.

I disagree with those who say "legalize and tax it". Taxation feeds the state. Don't feed the beast; starve it.

It would be much better to admit the Constitution doesn't give any authority for prohibition- as a previous generation of prohibitionists once admitted, since they knew they had to pass an amendment to make their anti-alcohol crusade legal, if not right.

A similar situation of too much "law" exists in those states where laws are passed to make it less legally risky to do what humans have always had an inalienable right to do, and an explicit Constitutional protection of that right which allows zero exceptions: to own and to carry any kind of weapon they wish, wherever they go, openly or concealed as they see fit, regardless of age or legal status, without asking permission of anyone, ever.

It is simply the government employee's duty to comply with the Constitution and not violate the right in any way. Period. Yet, look at the parasitic compliance and enforcement bureaucracy which has grown around that very simple human right. There are taxes, license fees, transfer fees, background check fees, etc. All feeding the bureaucracy established for no other reason than to break the law that binds them- and violate your rights.

Those who seek to rule your life would do well to butt out and mind their own business, which means not giving everything a legal status.

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How I think bloggish thoughts

In one of my dozens of spam comments (which Blogger intercepts before you ever see them) the "question" (before the spamiferous link) was posed: "How do you clear your head and center yourself before you write?"

Now that's a spammerbot which deserves an answer.

The way I have found that works best for me is to read my emails, and check posts on Facebook, check out some news stories- and then go do something.

I have blogs write themselves while I shower. Or cut and split firewood. Or do some clothing/hat repair. Or just about anything that gets my mind off writing, without tying my mind up with something else.

It helps if my hands are busy with something (no comments about the shower!) but my thinking brain is unoccupied. I used to find scraping deer or elk hides was a never-ending source of ideas- but that was mostly before I started writing- such a shame (although I did pen a few letters to the editor during those years). Just sitting staring into a fire doesn't work that well for me. Because my hands usually aren't busy, I suppose.

Busy hands; bored brain. When I have trouble finding something to write about, it is usually because one part of that formula is missing. Does that qualify as clearing my head and centering myself?

Now, when I write my Clovis News Journal columns there are two additional steps. After I write what I want to say, I go back and make sure it isn't too long- which always means cutting out an awful lot of words. Then, I go back and find ways to "tone it down" without compromising the message at all- and that's even harder than cutting out words and points I think are important to what I need to say.

So now you know.

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Monday, April 07, 2014

"Mistakes were made..."

When the first person initiated force or theft and was allowed to live...
And when the first person fell for the belief in "authority"...
Which led to those who survived their initiation of force and theft setting themselves up as "government".
When the first govthug made up a rule that wasn't based upon Natural Law.
When a "standing military" was permitted.
When that military was used in wars of aggression.
When "laws" against owning and carrying certain weapons were imposed and not defied universally.
When those rules were applied to people whose ONE JOB (whether it's a legitimate "job" or not) is to use weapons.
And that leads directly to a government pawn killing government pawns in a "gun free zone"- Ft. Hood.
And, yes, it is a "gun free zone" anytime the right to own and to carry weapons is violated in any way, and there are "authorized" armed people singled out as above the rule.

And, as long as those same old mistakes keep being made, the same thing will keep happening. The enormity of the stupidity is astounding.

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Sunday, April 06, 2014

Warlords

A new post on my Libertopia blog: The fate of the Warlord

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If smoking pot is wrong...

If smoking pot is wrong, then taking aspirin is wrong. 
If smoking pot is wrong, then taking Prozac is wrong.

I don't believe doing any of those things is wrong. 

Taking too much aspirin or too much Prozac can be bad for your health. Maybe smoking "too much" marijuana might also be unhealthy- or maybe not. But that is a separate issue, not a matter of right or wrong.

The claim that smoking pot is somehow wrong is among the silliest things I have ever heard anyone espouse.

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Saturday, April 05, 2014

Pity the control-freak

I know, and have known, many control freaks. Observing control-freaks at work makes me feel sorry for them. What a frustrating, exhausting way to live!

Just imagine living as though the entire world is your responsibility, and if you don't tell everyone what to do and how to do it, and then watch over their shoulder to make certain your instructions are obeyed, the world will collapse into chaos. And people tend to resist them (or ignore them), making their lives even more frustrating for them.

I have enough to do running my own life, and as long as someone isn't molesting me (in a bad way) I'm content to leave them alone. Even the control-freaks.

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Friday, April 04, 2014

Costco missed chance for good will

Costco missed chance for good will
My Clovis News Journal column for April 4, 2014

Here's the background.

And, here's what was supposed to be the last paragraph, but the editor didn't like it so he cut it:

If one person in the company was responsible for the decision, then that one person has single-handedly damaged the company's good name and may need to be looking for a new job soon. If the "law" gave him no choice, which seems unlikely since the peanut butter had been cleared for sale, then the law is where the blame lies. Either way, each and every one of us can pay attention to this situation and remember.

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Thursday, April 03, 2014

"Please..."


There, I fixed it even more. From here.

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Initiate force; complicate the plot

Here's a little homework* for you: Watch movies. See the characters initiate force and also see that even in fiction- where extreme cases are the norm- it isn't "necessary", but could always be avoided. There's always a better way.

Now, apply that to your own life.

Of course, your life isn't contrived to make an engaging story. You'll probably never find yourself in situations like those portrayed on the screen. In which case it should be even easier to see that initiating force isn't the right thing to do.

In movies, if the hero always did the right thing by refusing to initiate force, the movie would often end before it got started. Initiating force complicates the plot and draws it out longer so you'll be more likely to pay the price- after all, who would bother going to a 15 minute movie?
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* OK, not "homework", which I despise in all its forms, but a strictly voluntary suggestion you can take or ignore.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Take the plunge

One thing that happens to me fairly often is getting a message from someone saying how I have opened their eyes to liberty. There is almost nothing in my experience that feels that good.

The thing is, if I can do it, you can do it.

I have no special skills or training. I am still more comfortable sitting alone at a campfire in buckskin clothes than debating anything online. When I actually have to speak face-to-face with people who don't agree with me I feel out of breath. And even unpleasant exchanges online can fluster me beyond what is reasonable.

Yet, it is all worth it for those occasional confessions from people I have influenced in a positive way.

Some people may claim that writing isn't really "doing" anything. (They are waiting for the shooting to commence.) That may be. But writing down your own thoughts can give you the strength to act on what you know to be right. It sure works that way for me. And living liberty is the most powerful thing you can do to promote it.

If you want to write, do it. Don't worry that you aren't "good enough". You are. For someone out there your writing would be just the thing they need.

If you don't want to write, there are other things you can do. Sing songs. Draw cartoons. Paint. Make videos. Post comments- which is still writing, but bouncing off someone else is something I find easier than coming up with my own train of thought.

I know it sometimes seems as if the internet is made up of nothing but people making their own content and no one actually consuming it, but I actually know of several people who "make" nothing, and simply devour what they find. And, if that's really what makes you happy that is nothing to be ashamed of- but if you secretly desire to produce something for others to "consume", do it. I think you'll find it invigorating.

And who knows who you'll end up influencing, and what hurricane your butterfly wings may trigger on the other side of the planet.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Who to serve is business’ choice

Who to serve is business’ choice

(My Clovis News Journal column for February 28, 2014)

In Arizona a new "law" is being considered which would allow business owners to refuse service to homosexuals. This is another case of a law being inflicted because of a misguided past law.

Does a business owner already have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason? Yes. No matter what any "law" to the contrary might say. "Anti-discrimination laws" are all violations of the right of association. Even though discrimination based on most criteria isn't nice, no "law" has the authority to force people to do business with anyone.

It cuts both ways. I am also free to refuse to patronize a business because of whom they refuse, and free to tell everyone why I won't do business there. I don't like bigotry, no matter the excuses.

Will their business thrive, or will it die, due to their choices? Let the chips fall where they may.

But what if the business's product or service is critical to life and limb? Like housing, food, or energy?

It's amazing to me that anyone would believe the type of business matters in this question. Why would I ever choose to open a type of business anyone believes requires the State telling me how to run?

Those who advocate this are endorsing fascism. "Fascism" is the economic system in which businesses are "owned" privately, but are told how they must operate by the State's laws, which also demand a cut of the money ("taxes"). Fascism is here- thus all the permits, licenses, taxes, zoning, regulations, etc. controlling businesses. It's also why corporations have found ways to pull the strings of government.

If you own a business I think is "too important" to deny people, I could open the same kind of business and cater to the people you refuse to serve. Maybe we will both stay in business, serving different groups of people. Where's the "loser" in that?

If it is my business I have the inalienable human right to serve- or not- anyone I choose. "Laws" which seek to violate that right are wrong. My reasons may be stupid, bigoted, or absurd, but no one has the legitimate authority to violate that right.

Be that as it may, I would shun any business (and its owner) which refuses service to people who aren't physically attacking the innocent or stealing from them. I would also reward with my patronage any business I discovered refusing service to people who made a habit of using aggression against the innocent, or of committing theft in any way.

This is just a basic human right- the right of association. Respect it or violate it. Your choice.

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The murderous ABQ enforcers

I hadn't said anything here about the guy in Albuquerque murdered by enforcers for camping without permission. Because, what do you expect?

It sounds like the guy who was murdered, James M. Boyd, had problems, and may not have been a wonderful person, but at the time he was murdered, he wasn't doing anything to deserve it. At that moment, he was innocent.

He was camping- and found himself faced with aggressive, armed goons who were obviously making credible threats to harm him. Of course he had knives in his hands. He was not a credible threat to anyone not intent on escalating the situation. The cops were in no real danger from Boyd's words. (So he should have had a gun or two.) They were simply on the prowl for an excuse to kill someone that day.

It seems that of all the murderous police gangs infesting America, the one in Albuquerque may be among the worst.

I suppose "the people" of ABQ are getting fed up, but (foolishly) instead of demanding abolishing the police department and replacing that tumor with nothing, they'll be content to "clean it up" in some touchy-feely way. Keep doing the same thing and expecting different results...

I can't help but believe the protests could have been averted if the terminally corrupt and stupid police chief hadn't gone on TV and lied and excused his murderous goons so quickly. At least give the illusion of impartiality, moron. I think this was the insult that triggered the backlash. Law enforcers should NEVER be allowed to investigate or decide on punishment for law enforcers. That is the very definition of "conflict of interest".

It is funny to me that most of the "mainstream" news reports about the protests mention the protests "turning violent" when the riot-gear clad cops showed up. I wasn't there, so I can't say whether the protests were violent beforehand, but I know cops always- always- escalate any situation they are added to. And, no, I don't think it was "wrong" to trap some enforcers in their own (stolen) car and try to forcibly remove them. They should have been standing with "the people"- their superiors and bosses- and against their "brothers in blue" and they would have not found themselves in that predicament. In other words, they could have shown that there are some of those "good cops" I keep hearing about.

I don't know whether private property was being damaged in the protests- I suspect it was. That is wrong. If you are going to protest, you need to focus your attention on the police department "property" and employees. You don't gain legitimacy by targeting the wrong people. Hang the guilty, not the guy who just happens to be walking past when you are angry.

And, if Anonymous really wants to help, they should delete- permanently- all files and records on the APD computers, rather than just shutting them down for a while. And then they could move on to the rest of the police departments all over the world.

It's a big mess, but it can be fixed. Disarm on-duty cops, never let enforcers (or anyone connected to any government) investigate enforcers, and then abolish all police departments. Eh, just skip the preliminaries: abolish police. It's the only reasonable course.

No, I'm not "April Fooling".

Added: I keep seeing mention of the protest becoming violent and confrontational WHEN THE MILITARIZED RIOT POLICE SHOWED UP. Now, I keep in mind that almost everything reported by the media is wrong in some way, but I think it is very likely that the cops showed up specifically to turn the protests violent. Probably thought they'd discredit the protesters that way. It failed.

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Monday, March 31, 2014

What? No blog post?

I was doing some stucco repairs yesterday, and tools weren't doing the job and only fingertips would work, so I have 3 raw/bloody typing fingers today. And, for once I had no scheduled blog posts, so this is what you get for the moment.

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

"Well, what do you expect?"

A while back I read Albert J. Nock's "Our Enemy, The State" and thought it was excellent. Well, I found something else he wrote that is more concise and possibly even better. It is "The Criminality of the State", and here's an excerpt:

"The State's criminality is nothing new and nothing to be wondered at. It began when the first predatory group of men clustered together and formed the State, and it will continue as long as the State exists in the world, because the State is fundamentally an anti-social institution, fundamentally criminal. The idea that the State originated to serve any kind of social purpose is completely unhistorical. It originated in conquest and confiscation—that is to say, in crime. It originated for the purpose of maintaining the division of society into an owning-and-exploiting class and a propertyless dependent class — that is, for a criminal purpose. No State known to history originated in any other manner, or for any other purpose. Like all predatory or parasitic institutions, its first instinct is that of self-preservation. All its enterprises are directed first towards preserving its own life, and, second, towards increasing its own power and enlarging the scope of its own activity. For the sake of this it will, and regularly does, commit any crime which circumstances make expedient." Albert Jay Nock - The Criminality of the State (1939)
I love his suggested reaction to every expression of outrage at something "the State" has done- "Well, what do you expect?"

I highly recommend reading the whole thing, while keeping in mind that "the State" isn't real- it is a belief, and every single thing "it" does is in actuality done by flawed, and vulnerable humans who can be beaten.

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Adventures with Slave Numbers

Wanna piss me off? Complicate any simple procedure by insisting I provide "my" Federal Slave Number/Social Security Number.

My first reaction is invariably "You want what?"

I don't have such a thing. Some branch of the fe(de)ral gooberment assigned one to me long ago- but it most certainly isn't "my" number. It is strictly the "federal government's" number- and since "government" isn't even a real thing...

I have never learned it, and I don't carry the silly scrap of paper it is printed upon with me. I remember what the first 3 digits are (not even sure why I remember that much), and I know some of the digits- but not their order- in the rest of the number.

But to claim it is "my" number? Yeah, right.

If I am standing in line at McDonald's, and they have given me a ticket number, that makes sense. I can watch or listen for that number, and it is easier than trying to hear them mispronounce my name when my order is ready. And then the number has served it purpose and goes away, never to be required again. But to number a person for life?

Let's say I decide to assign a number to every reader of this blog- or anyone I interact with in any way. That doesn't make the number "your" number, it's just my number for you, and you should laugh at me if I tell you that you must use that number for identification purposes for the rest of your life. The whole concept is ridiculous.

Didn't it used to be "illegal"- for whatever that is worth- to use that number for identification purposes? Did that "law" change, or did it just become too inconvenient for tracking and controlling the cattle?

I never even run into the demand to give that number except when doing supposed favors- usually financial in nature- for other people. And I am rather tired of it.

And, I managed to do what I wanted eventually, anyway, without giving anyone "my" number. Suck that, collectivists.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

The root of the problem

I don't think "government" causes every problem that exists. Problems would still get in the way of life even if no one woke up believing in "government" tomorrow morning.

Aggression and/or theft causes every elective* problem (those not natural)- they are not the private domain of the State. It just so happens that, at least in America, people acting as "government" are the primary offenders. But certainly not the only ones.

Obviously, there is no problem that can't be made worse by adding some "government" to the recipe- and aggression and theft are prime examples.
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(*Yes, all government-caused problems are elective by nature- someone chooses to cause the problem instead of choosing to not cause the problem. Sick, isn't it.)

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Want to make something irresistible?‏

Forbid it.

It's just basic psychology. The attraction of the "forbidden fruit".

Two kinds of people do that. The sincere idiots who wish to prevent harm, and those enforcer types who want to find an excuse to punish those who break their rule.

The second type doesn't care about the harm- they'll cause it themselves if it doesn't happen on its own. As Ayn Rand wrote: 

"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."

Sometimes I think the sincere idiots unconsciously do this too. Give ultimatums so they can feel superior when their target "sins".

Prohibition is supported by both types- and both are control freaks of one sort or another.

Control freaks irritate me.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rights are to be asserted, defended

Rights are to be asserted, defended

(My Clovis News Journal column for February 21, 2014. This was my "emergency backup column" which I whipped out after my original column for today was rejected. You can read that one here: link.)


Often when I hear people speak of "rights" they seem to be saying rights are something others are required to respect. Or even give them.

The truth is rights are something you need to assert. They are nothing if you don't defend them from all threats.

A right is something you don't need to ask permission, from anyone, to do. It is the opposite of a privilege.

Rights don't come from other people, nor from groups of other people or from any documents. They come from your existence. To prove you have every single human right that has every existed in anyone, anywhere, at any time, you only need to show up. You don't have to prove your identity or your citizenship or that you are "law abiding" (whatever that might mean now).

Every right is simply about not having something done to you.

The so-called "positive rights" all seek to enslave someone else for your benefit. This makes them contradictory, since in this case your "right" would violate someone else's right. No one is obligated to give you health care, or a job, or food, or a place to live, or a gun. But no one has the right to prevent you from providing those things for yourself as long as you don't violate some other person's equal and identical rights by attacking, stealing, or trespassing on private property.

The core nature of rights is the reason why the War on Politically Incorrect Drugs can never be a moral cause, and why anti-gun "laws" are never legitimate.

Some libertarians believe that rights don't really exist- they are a mental construct without basis in reality. If that's the case, then no one could have a right to tell others how to live or otherwise try to control another's life, which brings us full circle, so I'd be OK with that. If it were true.

But how far do rights go?

You have the fundamental human right to do absolutely anything that doesn't violate any other person or their property. No matter how badly it offends someone else, as there is no "right to not be offended". Any "law" that seeks to prevent you from living fully, within your rights, is a counterfeit "law": it may look like a real law, it may use legal language, it might even be enforced and upheld, but it lacks a legitimate foundation and is therefore completely unethical. Don't be caught advocating or defending counterfeit "laws". Instead, spend your energy defending rights.

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Ask a simple question...

A while back, on Facebook, I asked a question:

I have a question for a couple of specific people. For this I chose the most vocal "liberal" on my facebook, and the most vocal "conservative". I realize it may take a while to get both to answer, but I am really curious and hope others will wait to see how the question is answered by these two. (If you would like to "share" this status on your own timeline and tag your own favorite "progressive" and "conservative", feel free. Maybe this could be the start of an interesting experiment.) 
PLEASE NOTE!: ***I don't want this to be a debate over the relative superiority of either side, nor an attack on the other.*** I just want to get a feel for how a (mostly random) "representative" from each side "feels" about the situation. Please don't make me regret asking this! I will delete this status if trouble ensues. (Remember that as a libertarian/voluntaryist/anarchist I agree with each side some of the time and roll my eyes at them the rest of the time. 
To lead into my question: It seems that both the "liberal/progressive" side and the "conservative" side lament how much power and influence the other side has over politics in America/The United States right now. 
So, my very simple question for y'all is this: 
Do you see "society" moving in the general direction you would prefer? Yes, no, other?
And, after getting some answers, I have come to some conclusions.

Will people follow instructions? Not really. I wanted everyone to wait until the people I asked had answered before chipping in with their own opinions. They didn't. I wasn't surprised. And some people just went off on strange tangents that had me confused from the first. 

Will people respect a polite, sincere request? No.

Will people stay civil? Not looking good. The barbs were somewhat veiled, but were still there.

Who will get nasty first? Pretty much the first person to actually answer the question. See above.

Will libertarians be able to resist commenting even though they weren't asked? No. LOL. I knew that would happen, since I probably would have been fighting the same urge to weigh in.

Do people see "society" moving in the direction that makes them feel like the underdog or like the victor? "Conservatives" seem to see themselves as the righteous underdog, and "liberals" seem to see themselves as the "victims" of a rich conservative smear campaign (but still on the winning side). So, it's a little of both, but probably depends on how they want to see "their side" at the moment. Funny thing is that neither side sees the same position applies equally well to their adversaries- depending on the issue.

How strongly will their own biases color their response, and how they phrase it? Their biases seemed to color who they saw as the ones causing the political system to be broken, but neither side saw allowing the political system to exist as a problem. That's a problem. 

So, "both sides" see a problem, and interpret the problem differently, but neither sees themselves as the root of the problem. It's all someone else's fault. "The Rich", the irresponsible, the stupid or gullible. They blame "money in politics", but don't see that the root of the problem is allowing anyone to make up any rules which will violate the rights of some people for the "benefit" of others. Money isn't all that causes that harm- the "capital of victimhood" is even stronger in some cases.

Although I didn't ask, it seems that the libertarians who responded see "society" going the wrong way, too, similar to the reaction of the "conservatives".

Personally, I think it's not as cut and dried as that.

Yes, politics and its shadow, "The State", are growing more tyrannical and evil. Those thugs are trying to squeeze the last drops of liberty out of our lives. But... in many ways the technology which empowers the bad guys also empowers the good. The internet is letting more and more people see just how ridiculous Rulers really are, and the real-world destructive consequences of allowing them to have any "authority" and power. For each new strike against liberty by The State, a new weapon to defend liberty is created. The control freaks are busily created the tools of their own destruction, and the more frantic they get about the threat liberty poses, the fasted they work to destroy themselves. It won't be a comfortable trip, though.

It isn't that "we" need to elect "the right people", or get money out of politics, or force everyone around us to wisely be responsible for themselves. The problem as I see it is that way too many people still believe it's OK to coerce others to live as we want them to, and to violate their property rights as a way to finance their own slavery. You can't do the right thing in the wrong way- you can't be helpful by being evil.

What you can do is be responsible for yourself and your own property. Don't violate any other person's life, liberty, or property, and come to the defense of those who you see being violated by anyone. If it neither "breaks [your] leg nor picks [your] pocket", butt out. Drop the delusion that you should control other people for their own good, or protect them from the consequences of their own actions against their will. They are not your property to control. Get over it. Politics has no place in life.



Monday, March 24, 2014

Looking at "borders" more closely

It really bothers me that some really smart people, whom I generally agree with on just about everything else, disagree with me about the validity (and wisdom)- or utter lack thereof- of "national borders".

I take this as a sign I need to re-evaluate.

First of all, I do agree that humans are generally tribal, and get along better with their own "tribe" (however they may define that). I agree that forcing people together, who don't want to be together, causes a lot of problems and violence. I agree I would be more comfortable where I could be a part of the dominant "culture"- not that I have ever really been, but I do believe I would enjoy it. But do those things really depend on States and their "borders"?

I recognize and respect private property lines. They are the real "borders" I defend.

"National borders", on the other hand, can't exist without a State enforcing them, with coercion, while violating private property lines and individual rights. Is that violation justified by a "greater good" or a necessity?

Tribes have always had territories, and sometimes those align, incidentally, with "borders". When that's the case, no "state" is required to maintain or "protect" the borders. When it isn't the case, a Berlin Wall/Border Fence won't be enough to stop the migration. I believe the Berlin Wall is the clearest illustration of the illegitimate nature of "national borders"- at least in recent history.

If I build a fence through the middle of town, ignoring the property of the people already living there, is my fence a "real" border? What if I fought another guy on the other side of town for the "right" to put a fence there, and we agreed between us that this was the proper place to build the fence- and he would be "authorized" to rape, murder, and rob the people on his side of the fence, in exchange for protecting them from the people on "my side" of the fence doing the same to them. And I get to do the same to "my people" with the same "responsibility" to protect them from him and his people. What if the people on my side of the fence mostly agree that it is better to be raped, robbed, and murdered by me? What about those whose property is now divided between territories, or cut off from family and friends on the other side of the arbitrary new "border"?

It's insane, isn't it?

Is it really any better if I use a pre-existing street, ditch, or property lines as my "border", of which I now declare myself to be the "authorized user and defender" (and, by definition, "owner")?

What if some individuals from "their tribe" move into your neighborhood and overwhelm "your tribe"? In a neighborhood where private property rights are understood, respected, and DEFENDED, I don't see this being an issue. Are those migrants stealing houses to live in, and otherwise trespassing? Defend the property however necessary. Are those migrants buying or renting their living quarters? Then mind your own business- or try to convince the landlord/seller to not rent/sell to "those people". Or outbid them with the help of other members of your tribe. Above all, don't focus on who they are, but on what they do. If they rob, rape, or violate property rights, you are completely justified in using violence in defense- my monopoly over "defense" and "justice" is a much greater threat; really the only real threat (as long as you tolerate my "authority", that is).

If people you don't want move in anyway, a friendly reminder that theft and aggression will be met with defensive violence (and then doing it) is in no way a violation of anyone's rights.

But what about your "culture"? I realize that different people, from different origins, have different cultures. Do you really believe your culture is so inferior that it can be so easily "corrupted" or destroyed? Is there a danger of you rejecting your own culture? Or of your kids rejecting it? Do you not believe your culture can compete in the market of ideas? If not, maybe you need to look at why that is. Maybe it's because the competing culture is "easier" or more attractive in some other way to the worst nature of humans. If so, there is nothing you can do to save your own culture. Not without changing human nature. Resign yourself to being "the remnant". Maybe, though, there are things in your own culture that are bad and need to be eliminated anyway, in order to make it more competitive. Why wait until your are forced to face that fact? Start changing now. I'm in no danger from other cultures, unless they inspire me to begin initiating force and stealing for some reason. That won't happen since that principle isn't "cultural" anyway, so I can enjoy and sample other cultures and enrich my life.

If you are worried about "those people" partaking in your monthly divvying up of the stolen loot I ("government") distribute to back to you (the victims), the root of the problem lies in allowing the theft to continue; not in how it is distributed. I'm sorry, but this IS the real issue, and it doesn't matter if "this is the system we have; we need to accept the reality and work within it- until that changes, immigration must be restricted". Yes, it is "the system" as it exists, and it is wrong. Alter or abolish it. And stop blaming others for your reluctance to do so.

So, after going through all this in my own head I conclude that those who still believe in "borders" are still wrong. I sympathize with their fears, but think they are going about fighting those scary things in the wrong way.

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