Saturday, May 30, 2020

Another pantry



Since the beginning of the coronapocalypse, the other members of the household have become more cooperative with my prepper ways. That has made it easier to acquire the preps I believe are a good idea, but are a little inconvenient in some way.

To this end, today I picked up an old (actual wood) entertainment center to serve as a secondary pantry-- or, actually, I guess it's the tertiary pantry. 

I think it's going to work great. The 3 drawers in the bottom can hold a lot of lighter things, while the upper part with doors, which was made for the TV, and which had one adjustable shelf but will soon have 2, can hold a lot of other stuff.

I love prepping. 
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Friday, May 29, 2020

Yet another murderous cop



For those who haven't got a clue, and question whether the victim "resisted arrest" and thus "deserved what he got"...

It's no more wrong to "resist arrest"-- with whatever level of violence is necessary-- than it is to fight back against any other kidnapper, robber, or rapist. Yes, I realize it probably means the badgescum or his gang will murder you for doing so.

Badges don't create "special rights"-- but they do create monsters out of weak-minded, unethical people (the only kind of people who become cops). Monsters who benefit by membership in the Blue Line Gang.

When someone dies for "resisting arrest", the cop who murdered them should be treated like a rapist who murdered his struggling victim, or like a mugger or kidnapper who murdered his victim for not cooperating. 

Because, at best it is the exact same thing, ethically. At worst, it is even more evil because so many people have been brainwashed to believe the Blue Line Gang scum are the "good guys" and believe they should be allowed to murder those who resist their molestation
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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Opening the churches

A church my grandfather built


In all the debate over whether the churches should be allowed to open during the coronapocalypse, the thing that keeps being ignored is that government has no right or "authority" to force them to close nor to demand they stay closed. Nor even to dictate how they are allowed to conduct their services.

Even if you irrationally believe the U.S. feral government is legitimate, the First Amendment doesn't allow it to have that power. In fact, it forbids it from more than one direction: freedom of religion, freedom to assemble, and probably freedom of speech. 

That it is mostly state governors giving the orders changes nothing. The 14th Amendment binds the state governments to obey the Bill of Rights.

I've heard some government-supremacists argue that no one is violating anyone's freedom of religion since they can still believe what they believe, they just can't gather in a church building.

That would be wrong.

Many people believe they are directed to gather, in person, with other believers. To forbid this is to violate their freedom of religion. It violates their freedom to assemble.

Statism is a religion. Government is its god. Government is a jealous god and doesn't like competition.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

No idea what government good for

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 27, 2020)




Many problems in modern societies happen because people confuse political government for something it isn't. They expect it to do things it can't do and isn't suited for. To do things right you need to use the correct tools.

A hammer is the proper tool for driving nails. A feather isn't a hammer; neither is a shotgun. Even though you might be able to use a coffee cup to drive a small nail-- don't try this with your favorite cup-- it's not a hammer either. Using things for purposes they aren't well-suited for will cause problems...read the rest...

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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Being neighborly


I don't meddle, but I do observe and get concerned. There's a line somewhere between not being nosey and not defending the innocent. I don't want to get it wrong.

A neighbor of mine has attracted my attention.

She hasn't been emotionally well for a long time. Her daughter was killed in a car wreck a few years before my daughter was killed in a car wreck-- both at about the same age. She hasn't done as well as I have in the years since. I get it, but I care.

She's about my age and her elderly mother lives with her. She has aged enough that I sometimes have trouble telling whether it's her or her mother I see. She goes through phases where she doesn't bother getting dressed but just wears a robe when out in her yard.

I've tried to reach out to her a few times, but she's not very receptive-- and it may just be that she doesn't like me. The dumpster we share is right behind her house. I speak to her when I see her. Sometimes she responds and sometimes she doesn't; she seems to be pretending she doesn't see or hear me.

What has me concerned is that a young couple moved in with her a few months ago. I've heard that this is another daughter or step-daughter and her husband. They brought small dogs-- which then had puppies-- and all the dogs run amok when they get out of the fence.

The young couple seems to be running the house and destroying the yard. I would be afraid to see inside the house.

In the past, this woman's yard would sometimes get a few bags of trash piled right beside the back porch. I guess she just didn't want to walk it to the dumpster. If it had gotten too bad I would have asked if she needed help, but it never did.

Now her yard looks like a landfill, with shredded trash and polyester cushion filling everywhere. I wouldn't care-- her property, not mine-- but I suspect she's being taken advantage of by the new residents. She never let things get anywhere near this bad before they came along. Plus, when I do see her she seems even less friendly than before. And I see her less often, too.

I'm just taking note for now. If I get a chance to speak to her I'll ask how she's doing and if everything's alright. I don't want to meddle, but I also don't want to stand aside while someone is used and abused.

And, no, I'm not calling "the authorities" because there's no situation so bad it can't be made worse by adding a cop to the mix.
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Monday, May 25, 2020

Be like Sherlock Holmes-- in the good ways



Those who know me know I really like the fictional character, Sherlock Holmes. The A. Conan Doyle original, specifically. The degree to which I like other versions depends on how faithful they are to the original. The original Sherlock Holmes was surprisingly libertarian for the time and place where he was created.

Of the most recent versions, I like the Benedryl Cabbagepatch Sherlock adaptation (ignoring the 4th season shark-jump) from England a lot more than I like the "woke" Left-Statist version from America called Elementary.

I've been watching Elementary on a streaming service for a couple of months now. But there are times its deficiencies are painful to me-- to the point that I sometimes realize I haven't been paying attention for several minutes. That version of Holmes just doesn't measure up very well. He is not abnormally intelligent or good at deduction/induction/abduction, and he is irrationally anti-gun and pro-police (as is the mood of the whole show). He's just not that impressive or exceptionally gifted. That's anti-Holmesian.

I'm not at all a fan of the movies starring Robert Downey Jr. and I couldn't even bring myself to watch the Will Ferrell version after seeing the previews.

Some of the old TV versions of decades past are pretty good.

I also notice whether the various versions actually use Holmes' methods, or if they are written by someone who doesn't understand what makes Sherlock Holmes what he is and flounders in vain trying to write something they don't understand. Or worse, if they don't like what Sherlock Holmes is so they try to make him something they like better (which feels like Elementary's problem).

I'm not generally a fan of "re-imagining" stuff that works, anyway, unless it is done carefully.

This is a roundabout way to get to a point.

In my most delusional moments of imagined grandeur I like to imagine myself as the Sherlock Holmes of liberty. I want to be able to think dispassionately about liberty and just go where the data leads me regardless of my feelings. I want to emulate the good characteristics of Holmes as they might apply to my own interests. I accept that I have flaws, as does the character-- although Holmes' addiction* to substances isn't one of my flaws.

To the extent this delusion helps make me a better person, it's useful. If it knocks me off-course, then it isn't.
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*As pointed out in the comment by R R Schoettke below, Doyle's Holmes was an occasional drug user, but not an addict. A critically important distinction.
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Sunday, May 24, 2020

Government likely to make itself hero

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for April 22, 2020)




What have you learned from the coronapocalypse so far? Has it changed you?

The experience has shown me where my preparedness was good and where I could make improvements. I discovered the need for some supplies I hadn't considered before. I'll work to fix those areas, but it's hard to prepare for everything when you can't know what "everything" might include. Next time could be completely different.

I have become more appreciative of the freedom to simply be around other people. I'm not excessively sociable, but I like being able to choose to socialize when I'm in the mood. It will be nice to go to a fast food place and sit inside and eat among other people again, even if they are loud.

I'm not afraid of the virus, but out of consideration for those who are-- and those who have more risk if they do catch it-- I've changed my behavior during this pandemic.

If I had any trust or faith in government, this experience would have destroyed it for good. Of course, that ship sailed decades ago, so watching the incompetence and tyranny from those who imagine they know best how to run your life hasn't affected me much.

I'm suspecting the differences in how people view government's response will further divide America between those who imagine government saved the country from certain disaster and those who realize everything government did in response to the pandemic harmed the country worse than the virus. Those in the first group will want government to have even more power over our lives from now on, and those in the second group will want to take back our rightful liberty which was stolen over the last couple of centuries.

This isn't a huge change, but the disagreements may get more heated unless one side backs down. I don't see that happening.

I've become more skeptical of the sanity of those cheering the police state tactics justified by the virus, the intelligence of those begging government to do more, and of the morals of those who became snitches, reporting anyone they suspected of not complying with unconstitutional orders.

Speaking of learning-- I'm curious how this time will look when it's history. Unfortunately, government gets to decide what the history textbooks will say about this event, so its version will be taught to generations of children in its schools. Expect government to make itself out to be the hero of this story, regardless of the truth.

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Liberty is the best path



I try hard to find cases where respecting liberty is NOT the best thing for society (by being best for individuals). And I never have. Not once.

I've found lots of cases where someone is confused over what liberty is, or is in denial because they want to pretend their imaginary exceptions are somehow legitimate. But not one of those has ever held up to scrutiny... and I give my best shot at seeing if it can.

I've been in long debates with those who are pushing their own favorite exception, and I can usually see where their feelings are coming from and where these feelings tripped them up. I've been subjected to some pretty harsh insults as a result of these debates when "my best shot" doesn't result in me adopting the other position.

Insults don't change reality, though. That doesn't matter to those who don't want to fully respect liberty. They are going to make the exceptions they want to make, regardless of anything else. It's just good to weigh and measure all their arguments for your own sake.

Who knows, I could be wrong. I'm surely wrong about a lot of things. I'd rather find out I'm wrong and work to fix it than to be stubborn. But it will take a lot to convince me that slavery is ever, in any circumstance, better than liberty. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

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Saturday, May 23, 2020

Nice "but"



I notice people's buts. Not their butts (well, in some cases...); their "buts".

They advocate liberty, but... and I notice.

"Liberty is good, but..."

...they believe government schooling (including vouchers, etc.) is necessary for education, and will discuss twiddling the dials, but never abolishing it.

...they still think the cops or military are somehow "good guys".

...they imagine it's OK to have government control who comes or goes, what you do with your property or body, etc. "For your own good."

...they believe "taxation" is necessary for some things that no one wants bad enough to pay for voluntarily.

...they want to be protected from all the things they're scared of.

...they insist you obey legislation, even if it's unethical, until someone changes the "law".

...they can't imagine living without government telling them how they should live.

...and on and on and on.

It's as though they are desperate to be taken seriously by government-supremacists for some reason. Maybe to be allowed a place at the table.
Or for a patronizing pat on the head.

Liberty doesn't come with any buts. It just is. You either accept it as it is or you reject it.

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Friday, May 22, 2020

Freedom plus responsibility



Liberty is freedom tempered with responsibility.

Remind anyone who whines about freedom being dangerous because it doesn't mention responsibility-- it was never intended to.

They're just focusing on one facet of liberty and pretending that because it isn't what they want means this invalidates the whole thing. Any isolated part is going to be flawed and missing something essential.

Responsibility without freedom is meaningless and is just as flawed as freedom without responsibility. Liberty is the solution.
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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Act stupid; embrace politics



If you want to act stupid, embrace politics.

Politics makes people stupid. This is the one thing I know for certain about politics.

By "politics" I mean choosing sides-- Right-Statism vs. Left-Statism.
I mean believing government is a credible source; believing government is the proper venue for anything.
Believing government should make "policy".
Believing that a v*te concerning anyone else's rights or liberty is legitimate.
Arguing that "taxation" isn't theft... in some magical way that is never adequately explained.
Supporting-- or even nearly worshiping-- armed government employees of any sort, no matter what they do, pretending it's only some "bad apples" who are the problem.
Making the argument that since people aren't perfect angels, we must allow those people who seek to hold power over others to have that power which they seek... and that this is somehow going to work out better for almost everyone than the alternative of allowing people to run their own lives.

Politics makes people reject reason, ethics, science, compassion, and anything else which might get in the way. It perverts religions and morality.

It makes some people imagine that if you don't suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome you must be a crazed Trump fan. There can't be any other options in their naked, shivering minds.

It causes people to reject non-political approaches to problems. Everyone admits government schools are a disaster (although some will use less honest terminology), but to suggest abolishing the institution is unthinkable. Even when the only argument they can come up with is that they believe it's good or necessary to allow people to rob their neighbors-- through government force-- to help pay for their kids' daycare.

Politics results in stupidity. If you want to act stupid, embrace politics.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Market needs freedom to flourish

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 20, 2020)




The world's economy is being damaged by this pandemic, or, more accurately, it's being damaged by government reactions to the pandemic. The damage is adding up; getting worse with time. The only questions are: how bad is the damage going to be? and how long will it take to recover? I don't know the answers; no one does...read the rest...

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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Making the best of an odd situation



In spite of COVID-19, or perhaps partially because of it, my "preps" have never been better.

My food stockpile is the best it's ever been.

I have solar USB chargers which I have used enough to know they work well with the rechargeable batteries I have-- and I have adapters for using smaller batteries as substitutes for larger batteries. I have back-ups for my back-ups, and plan on not depending on electronics anyway. Yet, for electronics, I have a decent Faraday cage with certain emergency items inside.

I actually had to dip into my toilet paper stockpile, but I've already replaced what I opened-- plus some.

My Bug-Out Bags are in good shape.

I've expanded and practiced some primitive skills recently. And, my mindset is as ready as ever; I'm neither worried nor scared. In fact, I'd stack my coronavirus predictions against anyone's. Now, if I could just figure out how to handle normality this well.

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Monday, May 18, 2020

Immunity through exposure



On Thursday's little road trip deeper into Texas, I spent some time in a park of sorts where I encountered poison ivy for the first time in decades.

When I was a kid I was horribly allergic to the stuff. I would break out just from being around it-- and the reaction was painful enough I was very aware of when I was around it to try to avoid any contact with it with my skin or anything I might touch even days later. Yet it always got me. Every time. And considering that I spent almost all of my time in the woods, you can imagine what I went through.

Then when I was 14, I stood by and watched as a neighbor kid took a baseball bat to a thick poison ivy vine on the side of a tree. Stupid me!

The splatter, vapor, or fumes from the vine pretty much covered me and I got the worst case of poison ivy of my life. Then, just as I was getting over it I got chickenpox-- and the pox LOVED the fresh, sensitive skin that was the result of the healing poison ivy rash. I became one giant pox, and actually couldn't move one hand because it was a solid scab.

However, after I healed I discovered something nice. I was no longer allergic to poison ivy. Not even a little. It might as well have been spinach. I did careful experimentation until I was sure. Then I made it a habit to expose myself in a major way every chance I got. I never reacted again and eventually moved away from anywhere poison ivy (or its relatives) grew.

I had wondered recently whether my "immunity" had faded over time. But it looks like it hasn't. I waded through thickets of poison ivy Thursday, got it on my skin and clothes, and didn't react even a little.

In the same way, I believe I'm immune to statist thought. It holds no appeal to me. It isn't on my list of possibilities when confronted with a problem. And, living in the modern, politics-twisted world, it is easy to keep being exposed so I know my immunity stays solid.

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Sunday, May 17, 2020

Making one more coronavirus prediction

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for April 15, 2020)




I'm going out on a limb to make another coronavirus prediction. You can decide for yourself, with hindsight, how my previous predictions have held up-- and hindsight will get clearer as more time passes.

My newest prediction is that the coronavirus panic has peaked and is already on its way down. This doesn't mean I believe the pandemic itself has peaked, only that society has passed its peak reaction to the pandemic.

I see people starting to behave more normally again. I've seen this in those around me over the past several days. They are getting sick of the drama, especially as the most dire warnings of the officials fail to play out.

People can only stay worked up to a high level of concern for a certain amount of time before their attention starts to wander. People will get used to anything. Constant panic is tiresome.

People have become more skeptical of pandemic lock-down theater and are starting to lose patience with their partial quarantines and financial sacrifices. It's happening regardless of official permission. They're ignoring the fear-mongers a little more with each passing day. This is a problem for those who want to keep everyone scared for a long time.

This means the virus may spread faster for a while, but until enough of us have been exposed and formed antibodies, it's not going to stop being a threat.

My prediction -- based on my observations-- has nothing to do with whether I believe it's a good idea or not; it's just how these things go. It's human nature.

The power-hungry fear-mongers aren't going to like this development.

This might mean you'll see more scary doomsday reports presented in an attempt to keep you focused on the things the political people-- including most of the national broadcast media-- want you to focus on. They are desperate for your attention and your fear.

You can choose whether to give them what they crave.

There's risk in going back to your normal routine too soon. A large part of the risk comes from those who imagine they have the authority to force you to comply with their demands. There's also a risk in not letting the economy get back to business soon enough. Since every path holds risk you should be careful, but you are the only one with the right to decide for yourself how much risk you're willing to take. Never forget it.

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Rambling thoughts



Here in this schizophrenic "border" region, the New Mexico politicians have doubled down and are now "requiring" masks just about anytime you leave your house, while the Texas politicians are "allowing" a slight re-opening. So my experience depends on whether I go west-- which is more convenient-- or go seriously out of my way to the east.

I haven't been obeying the mask order too well, though. New Mexico politicians would be angry with me.

I went deeper into Texas a couple of days ago and actually sat down, inside a fast food place, and ate. Haven't done that in a while. No masks or anything!

Over on the New Mexico side I have never seen so many state legislation enforcement scum cars cruising around. Never. They are everywhere. I haven't seen them molesting/robbing many people, but it's as if they just want to make a show of force to remind us who's boss. Vermin.

If I stay home, nothing seems different than last summer. Other than I'm failing a little harder at gardening than I did last year.

I was able to replenish the toilet paper stockpile. I had only brought up one package-- just a few days ago-- and I replaced it today. Yay for preps! And hurray for the supply chain!

That's about all that's happening. Other than I spent the day doing lawn work, which I don't like. And since I don't get paid for it anymore, I like it even less. I need to figure out something I can fit into my life/situation that also pays.

Also, a comment on yesterday's blog post made me want to say this: To refuse to effectively treat the pain of a chronic pain sufferer is medical malpractice... even if it's because government's prohibition thugs force it on you. It's cruel and violates the Hippocratic Oath.

That's all.
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Saturday, May 16, 2020

The family's drug smuggler



Almost 30 years ago my extended family went to the southern tip of Texas for Christmas. One day during that week or so, we crossed into Mexico for a day of exploring and shopping in a little town.

I still have a couple of cheap Mexican pots I bought in a sparsely stocked store, and the empty bottle from the Mexican vanilla I bought.

I enjoyed the food, the sights, and even the strange semi-outdoor flushing outhouse with moss growing between the bricks on the floor, beautifully lit by sunlight shining through the holes in the roof. I would build one of those in my yard if I could build things.

I loved seeing the chickens roaming the street and the vendors trying to talk travelers into buying the hammocks they were selling. I had a great time.

While there, an adult female relative visited a pharmacy and stocked up on some medicine she needed which required a prescription in the Land of the Free and was consequently much more affordable there. I would have done the same.

At the end of the day, as we crossed through the police gate between tax farms, armed U.S. goons stopped us to look us over to see if we looked American enough and to question us. One of the few questions they asked was whether any of us had "any drugs or medications" we were bringing back with us. This female relative looked them in the eyes and said "No".

After we were graciously allowed to resume our journey back to our vacation rental in America, and were safely away from the goons, I said: "You lied to them."

She didn't understand, because she would never lie, and certainly not to officers of The Law. I said they asked whether we were bringing any drugs or medications back in and that she had said "no". She said it wasn't a lie; we didn't have any illegal drugs. I said that's not what they asked. (And technically, they probably would have disagreed with her anyway.)

Worse, yet, I approved of her lying to them. You don't owe molesters the truth.

She never admitted she lied to them, and still fully supports the stupid and evil War on Politically Incorrect Drugs, and the prescription scam that goes along with it. But I know. And it makes me smile to remember it and to know she's a once-upon-a-time drug smuggler.

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Friday, May 15, 2020

Rand Paul vs Fauci



If you believe government schools should ever reopen, you are advocating Big Government. You are a government-supremacist, not a libertarian nor "libertarian-leaning". If you're butting heads on this issue with a government-supremacist who believes government has the "authority" to keep everything closed, you're both equally wrong.

The coronapanic shouldn't keep businesses closed and shouldn't stifle voluntary association, but that's NOT what government schooling is. On either point.

It is not a business-- it gets your money whether you want to support it or not. It can fail and fail and harm kids and never get shut down for lack of "customers" because it doesn't serve customers; it serves the State. Your children are just the raw material to be ground up into fertilizer to feed the growth of the state-- government schools are the fertilizer plants.

It is not a voluntary association or no one could ever get hassled by legislation enforcers for not attending or sending their offspring. It's compulsory-- non-consensual.

Supporting government schools-- kinderprisons-- is the most radically government-supremacist position a person can take. It forms the foundation of infinite government meddling in society.
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Thursday, May 14, 2020

Bizarre overly-political questions



There's an interesting thing I've noticed while on Quora. Those with a name that appears to me to be of Indian (subcontinent) origin ask a lot of questions which are the political equivalent of "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?'

Stuff like "Can you describe the seven principles of governing each of the 5 classes of citizens and how these principles affect their traditional duties to all levels of the state?"

That was obviously a totally made-up question, but anyone who spends much time on Quora can probably confirm it accurately reflects the form of the questions they tend to ask. Who worries this deeply about politics?

Only a highly intelligent person could come up with such questions, but it seems like a tragic waste of brainpower.

That makes me wonder if their culture (whichever culture that might be) is obsessed with politics in a way I don't see elsewhere-- even among most Trumpeters and TDS sufferers.

It could just be that I tend to notice those bizarre questions more than others. Or, because they deal with things I've never heard of, they stick in my mind longer. Or, I might be making bad assumptions about the origins of the names. It could be confirmation bias or racism. But over and over these questions jump out at me. I don't often try to answer them, unless the core principle of "govern yourself, not others" applies in a way I can easily explain.
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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Time to let people take own risks

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 13, 2020)




I would expect, given the record of failure, this coronavirus experience would cause people to reconsider their belief in the credibility of government. From past experience, I know hope-- or something darker-- springs eternal. Most people are desperate to believe government is capable and credible in spite of 5000-plus years of evidence to the contrary...read the rest...

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Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Rejected for not being magic



So many times I hear a version of this objection which was posted on Eric Peters' blog:

My conclusion on Libertarianism is that it's a wonderful theory but fails to address the depravity of man. No Libertarian politician has demonstrated (Ventura comes to mind here) that the cherished ideas transfer to governance, nor do they result in the promised personal freedoms.
"Libertarian politician"? So, a human fungus?

What the commenter gets wrong is that he apparently wants to see libertarianism imposed by politics-- and politics is "the depravity of man" put into action. He's saying he likes the idea of X, but he wants to see it implemented as anti-X, but that path always fails, so he's disappointed in X.

He seems to want to address "the depravity of man" by using depravity (the political means) against humans.

That's a bizarre position to take.

Libertarianism addresses "the depravity of man" perfectly by acknowledging that no one has the right to archate, and you have the right to defend yourself from anyone who does. There is no better way to address "the depravity of man".

You can't govern others without being depraved, just as you can't refuse to govern yourself without the same depravity. They are opposite sides of the same coin.

Unfortunately, your "personal freedoms" (I prefer liberty) will always depend to some extent on how depraved the people around you are. If they are violating you, your liberty and freedom are going to be diminished. How are YOU going to address that?

Then he goes on to say:

I love the theory but after trying hard to see it's [sic] acolytes implement any of it I come to the same conclusion: Most Libertarians are really interested in legal pot. All that esoteric stuff gets abandoned almost instantly when one gets near power.
You don't implement it; you live it.

"Most Libertarians"? Making a plant "illegal" is archation, so, yes, that issue is part of the whole. It isn't more important than any other part, but it also can't be ignored just because it doesn't personally matter to you. If "legal pot" is your main criticism then you've shown yourself to be nothing more than a Right-Statist control freak who's no better than the Left-Statist control freaks.

Yes, if your goal was to get power, you're going to show your true colors and abandon principles ("esoteric stuff") once you get power since that only served to get you the power you craved.

So, all this guy did was to expose himself for what he is: a statist. He likes "freedom" as long as it is imposed the way he wants, to the extent he wants, and leaves out the stuff he doesn't want.

I realize it is pointless to point this out to him. I'm going to try to post a link to this post in a comment anyway.

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Monday, May 11, 2020

Pointless coronavirus testing



Someone I know had a coronavirus test in Texas 2 weeks ago today. She's been waiting for results because she's not allowed to return to work without being cleared by a doctor.

She was originally told it would be 3 or 4 days before the results were available.

After the 4 days passed she began calling to see if anyone knew anything. She was told the state would call with the results and that the hospital had nothing to do with it. "Be patient."

Finally, today, with great frustration, she called and refused to hang up until someone gave her either an answer or a better number to call.

Surprise, they connected her to the hospital lab who told her the test was negative. They said they have done hundreds of tests and are overwhelmed trying to call people with their results. This, in a county with only 19 official cases of coronavirus (as of yesterday, May 10).

If she'd had COVID-19, she'd either be over it or dead by now. This isn't how to "solve" anything. What was even the point of doing the test? It wasn't for health reasons, that's for sure.

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Sunday, May 10, 2020

Socialistic policies only worsen economy

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for April 8, 2020)




I appreciate those who are making a heroic effort to keep the economy running; putting their health and lives on the line for our benefit. They are trying to make sure food and supplies are available when needed. This is important when everything is going well; it is absolutely essential in a crisis.

They are life-savers and deserve our thanks, respect, and support.

They provide a stark contrast to those who are working around the clock to shut down the economy and punish any who dare try to keep life and business running as normally as possible. Those who impose and enforce economy-crushing policies and orders, using the pandemic as an excuse, are making things worse. They may pretend it's about saving lives, but their actions could cost lives in the long run.

When political officials-- and government health officials are more political than medical-- talk about the risk of deaths from COVID-19, they sometimes say some of those deaths will be balanced by the lives saved due to fewer traffic accidents and work-related deaths with more people staying home. This is all they consider when they discuss the net death toll of this pandemic. It's an incomplete picture and hides a big cost.

They ignore the additional deaths an economic depression will cause. They sweep those deaths, which they will be completely responsible for causing, under the rug. These deaths could outnumber the deaths caused by the virus, itself. This is because the economic deaths will occur over several years rather than a few months. Perhaps over the course of a decade or more.

How many people died from the Great Depression? How many more died as a result of Franklin Roosevelt's misguided socialistic policies which stretched that depression years beyond its natural span? How many had their health ruined by the years of hardship? How many died of stress-related conditions due to economic disruption, business failures, and losing their life savings or home?

History doesn't repeat, but similar conditions often have similar effects. If government policies manage to destroy or damage the economy, and then keep it from recovering naturally as quickly as it otherwise would-- the way FDR's programs did-- people who would otherwise have prospered as the economy recovered are going to be dying from effects of a Coronavirus Depression.

Worse, if the foolish "stimulus" being presented by politicians as a solution finally triggers hyperinflation, the result will be beyond anything you can imagine. Buckle up. It may get bumpy.

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Take life back



I hope you know the cases of coronavirus are hugely underreported (since ~80% of cases are asymptomatic and aren't getting reported to anyone, anywhere) and the deaths from coronavirus are hugely overestimated. With that in mind, as of Friday, May 8, 2020, the "official" count for cases is 1,276,088 and the "official" number of deaths attributed to it is 76,650. (source- map screenshot above)

If I am doing the math right-- and please never assume I ever do any math right-- that comes to around a 6% death rate for the disease, even with the cases underreported and the deaths exaggerated.

Yes, extrapolated into the future, assuming the rate doesn't change, that's a lot of dead people.

But the rate will change. It will decrease over time. Even if you ignore the bad data going into the figures, making things look worse than they are, the situation is still going to get less deadly. That's just how these types of viruses work.

It's past time to take life back from politicians and their armed goons. There's never any rational excuse to allow government to control a life.

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Saturday, May 09, 2020

What motivates a billionaire?

One random example of a billionaire
Photo credit

Is money the only possible motivation for a politician or politically active individual? Of course not. It can be the main motivation for those who aren't rich yet, but once someone is rich they still have to be motivated to use the political means against their fellow humans.

Otherwise, they wouldn't.

To pretend that a billionaire only has your best interests in mind since he doesn't need more money is to ignore all the other factors which could be motivating him. It is also ignoring the fact that being a billionaire doesn't automatically satisfy the hunger for money.

He might want even more money.
He might want power.
He may have delusions of godhood.
He might actually want to make people suffer.
He might be insane.
He might honestly believe his ideas are good, but be frustrated that people don't willingly comply, so he cheats and uses politics to force compliance with his idea that's so great he has to force people to go along.

To imagine that the only explanation is that he's a wonderful, caring person who only wants to ensure the flourishing of humanity is to ignore that he is using the political means instead of the economic means. That means, no matter what he is motivated by, or what good he believes he is doing, he's carrying out his plans in the most evil way possible. Even if you like what he's doing and support him.
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Friday, May 08, 2020

Coronaggravation



Thursday I had my first almost-explosion over this coronavirus shut-down nonsense. My patience is running low.

I'm getting tired of businesses not being allowed to open normally, and I'm also getting tired of "karens" who think it's their business to point accusatory fingers at those who have had enough of the ridiculous (and counterproductive) rules and have begun to ignore them. I said a few weeks ago that people had reached "peak panic" and were going to stop responding to fear-mongering.

No, a group of people sitting in the park is NOT the reason the pandemic shut-downs are still with us. They may be our only hope of getting past this in a reasonable amount of time. Sure, health care workers and cashiers (in those businesses allowed to be open) are heroic, but so are those ignoring the "social distancing rules" and risking interaction with legislation enforcement officers. Especially when those in the group appear to be old enough to be in the higher risk group. Thank you!

As I watch just about all my earliest predictions and observations come to be grudgingly admitted as likely truth by more and more "experts" (and others saying they knew this all along), the stupidity of the shut-downs gets more and more obvious.

No, I wasn't "downplaying the risk"; I was being more realistic about the situation than any of the well-paid "experts". Time is telling who was more right. Confirmation bias? Maybe. But the posts are here to read.

There is still no rational alternative but to open up everything normally and let the virus spread naturally so it can fizzle out on its own. As viruses do. No rational alternative AT ALL! The longer this is delayed, the more harm that is done.

Yet, politicians can't stand the thought of giving up their newfound power to control. They feel growing pressure to ease away from some of the restrictions they love, which are growing more unpopular every day, but they are going to drag their feet as much as they can. Can't back off of DOING THE WRONG THINGS too quickly, or...? "Something bad"...? I feel a growing hatred for those political vermin... and there was no love there before.

You can depend on politically-oriented people to always do the wrong thing, for too long, and to resist ending it in the face of evidence that they are wrong and making things worse. Their precious power is more important to them than just about anything else. Your life is just a speed-bump-- and not a very noticeable one in their eyes.

It would be one thing if this were a natural disaster and there were actual reasons businesses couldn't open or that people couldn't gather, but this is a natural event turned into a disaster by politics. Politics makes people stupid!

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Thursday, May 07, 2020

The coronavirus trolley problem



The coronavirus and governmental responses to it are one messy trolley problem. Should you sacrifice some to save others? No, I don't think you should. It's a fake choice.

As always, I think it's better to choose to do nothing than to make a forced choice to do something which will violate someone's life, liberty, or property. In fact, I believe that's usually the only responsible choice-- to refuse to be forced into a choice which will kill (or otherwise violate) others.

So, if a thug is holding me and some others at gunpoint and tells me I must choose who he shoots or he'll shoot us all, I think it would be wrong of me to cooperate and play his "game" (unless I saw a way to stall and turn the tables on him).

I get that I'm in the minority on this. Most people believe you've got to act, even if by acting you're going to sacrifice someone no matter what. That's also apparently the thinking behind v*ting. I don't buy it.

If my choice is to sacrifice Individual A or sacrifice Individual B, I may refuse to make any choice and let physics, biology, or chemistry do its thing. I accept I don't know enough to make choices for other people.

I also think you can't know which way is better in many cases. You might believe that by sacrificing Individual A you'll save lots of people, but it turns out you killed Individual A for nothing and people died anyway. Maybe more than otherwise would have. Everyone would have been better off if you didn't allow arrogance to cause you to make a choice that was never yours to make. Politicians (and often, the politically-minded non-politicians) are full of that kind of arrogance.

So, yes, I am saying that while I believe it would have been OK for government employees (as long as they exist anyway) to have made recommendations and suggestions aimed at reducing the coronavirus cases, it was unequivocally wrong of them to make and enforce any policies regarding the pandemic. By pulling that lever, they made a choice they had no right to make. Choosing who lives and who dies in such a case is NOT an "adult decision"; nothing is more childish and self-centered than to fall into that pit.

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Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Reopening isn't politicians' call

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 6, 2020)




To open or not to open; that is the question. But it's the wrong question. While there's plenty of debate and disagreement over allowing businesses to re-open; when and how it should be done, the discussion misses the point completely.

No one had the right to shut down businesses they didn't own. You don't have the right to tell someone they must shut their business and you can't delegate a right you don't have. Not to a governor or anyone else. This means the authority to tell businesses to close shop, even temporarily due to an emergency, doesn't exist...read the rest...

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Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Not the response I was expecting



I had quite the disappointment the other day, even though I ought to know better.

A person whose blog I've enjoyed (occasionally) for a long time-- and who I had a positive opinion of-- had posted something on Twitter. I commented. I don't think it's the first time I've ever commented on one of their tweets, but I know I don't do it very often.

This time I posted what I meant to be a playful, good-natured response, and I got scolded, put down, and they tried to make me feel like an insignificant nobody. (I'm not going to refute the point, but who would do that to someone who had no ill-will?) I wasn't even doing what they accused me of doing, but had mistakenly thought they might be amused. Boy, was I wrong!

Not only that, but this person was saying what I did by commenting was stupid and then kept bragging in a couple of follow-up tweets about their social status and widely recognized huge vocabulary and writing skill. And then they misspelled something in one of their braggy Tweets. (Oops! Don't you hate when that happens?)

I understand that my comment was taken the wrong way. I guess I shouldn't have commented at all. Yet, it showed me what kind of person they are, and it wasn't what I was expecting. Maybe they were just in a bad mood, or maybe I really am that awful. It's why you probably shouldn't have heroes (and why I don't).
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Monday, May 04, 2020

Hide yer face from facial recognition

I have no financial interest in this, but I did give her permission to use the design:



Kinda cool, for any occasion, doncha think? Here's the link if you want to outfit the whole family: Time's Up neck gaiters

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Licenses don't impress me



Licenses are BS. Yes, all of them.

I don't care whether you have a license; I care that you can do whatever you claim you can do.

I have nothing against training, certifications, endorsements, etc. I might even be impressed if you can show me credible proof of such training.

But licensing is none of that.

Licensing doesn't mean you are capable; it means you have gained the approval-- the permission-- of some political gang. It means you have paid the gang for that approval and permission, and in exchange, the gang won't (might not) murder you for doing what the license allows you to do-- something you probably already have a natural human right to do.

For some pitiful people, a license means they believe the gang is a legitimate source of competence. Either by feeling proud of their license, or concerning themselves over the licensing of others. That's not how I see it at all. A license will never impress me-- competence will.
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Sunday, May 03, 2020

'Papers, please' now our reality

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for April 1, 2020)




I'm not happy with the petty tyrants who have done away with any pretense of respecting the rights of Americans. They are using this pandemic as an excuse to twist the police state tighter around our necks. I'm angry about it.

I'm not generally an angry person, but violating the life, liberty, or property of my fellow humans will make me angry every time. I don't care how necessary they pretend it is. I will not comply when their orders conflict with liberty, nor will I tattle on anyone else.

I'm not saying they can't offer suggestions. People may be confused about what to do in the midst of a panic. Some will foolishly look to government for guidance rather than seeking credible sources. It's not their fault; it's what they've been trained to do.

However, when guidance becomes orders, the politicians become everything America stands against. This isn't North Korea. This isn't how America works. I'm far from alone in feeling this way.

When local businesses find it necessary to issue travel papers in an attempt to protect their employees from potential assault by roving gangs of government's hired guns the last straw has dropped.

How many of the current rights violations-- restrictions on travel and assembly, price controls, fascistic business closures-- are trial balloons to see what they can get away with if they scare people badly enough?

Well, the scheme didn't work. I'm not scared. I'm mad and I'm watching them.

I'm also watching as they destroy the economy with their "stimulus", and I'll know exactly who's to blame when the bill comes due.
 
The sad thing is, this tyranny is completely unnecessary.

I am not going to intentionally put my health, or the health of others, at risk. I plan to do what I have to do to stay safe and healthy. I'm not exposing myself or others unless it is unavoidable-- regardless of what I am ordered to do. If I need to ignore the orders of politicians, so be it. When the politicians become a greater danger than any microbe, who could still respect them? I can't.

When I was a kid, "Papers, please" was held up as evidence that foreign authoritarian regimes were evil. Now it's the American reality. I won't put up with it. Will you? Politicians have picked sides, and they chose to side with the virus and other deadly threats to society. They've shown themselves to be society's enemy. I propose we believe them.



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Expectations create your subjective reality



The mind can play tricks. Your expectations can alter the way you experience reality.

Years ago I experienced this effect and have never forgotten the lesson it taught me.

In the pet store where I worked, my boss had placed a solid air freshener in the hallway. We were always doing this to fight the smells that some customers find objectionable, even in a clean pet shop.

As I walked by the new air freshener I picked it up to smell it. The waxy material inside was a nice creamy off-white color. I lifted it to my nose and took a whiff and smelled the most delicious vanilla scent. Then I looked at the label. It said "unscented". No, it couldn't be. I smelled vanilla. I was positive.

I sniffed it again, but this time the vanilla scent wasn't there. There was no detectable scent at all. The vanilla had been all in my mind, just because the color had made me expect to smell vanilla-- or, that's my theory.

This experience has made me question how I experience reality. If I expect something, I often question whether my expectation is coloring what I experience-- I try to recognize my expectations and guard against them. I know it's probably not possible to completely rid myself of expectations and false experience, but I do believe I'm better at it than I was before I was punched in the face with that wake-up call.

So, when people expect government to be a credible source, I understand why they experience it as one. Even though the scent of credibility is all in their imagination. That's the only place where political "authority" resides.
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Saturday, May 02, 2020

Firemaking: Yucca fire roll



A semi-primitive skill. You can use primitive materials rather than milled lumber, but I used what I had on hand.

I had a tough time editing this video because YT got rid of their video editing features. So there are some problems with it. Since YT doesn't allow me to monetize my videos anyway, I'm not going to worry too much about the amateurishness. I could have even screamed "Coronavirus!" over and over while I made the video and it wouldn't have gotten me demonetized.
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Friday, May 01, 2020

Trump-triggered



If you're criticizing or ridiculing Trump because you realize you don't need a president of any sort and you want the office abolished, I'm right there with you.

If, however, you're criticizing or ridiculing Trump just because you'd prefer the "Democrat" side to be "in charge" and imagine they would be better, I can't support you. In fact, I find your complaints tedious and when you lie about the situation to try to prop up "the other side" by making Trump look worse, you'll get nothing but an eye-roll from me.

I don't support Trump, but I would NOT prefer someone else (like Rapey Joe?) in that office... because I want the office abolished. If you're criticizing Trump from the same perspective, great. But if it's just to get some other political monster into that illegitimate office, you're on your own and I'm tired of hearing it. Stop letting Trump control your mind. Find another hobby, please!
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Writing to promote liberty is my job.
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