Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Gun rights decent political X-ray

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for February 19, 2020)




Whether or not you vote or otherwise pay attention to politicians, do you wish you had a way to see inside their minds to know what they think of you?

Libertarian science fiction and nonfiction author L. Neil Smith has pointed out that you can know what a politician thinks of you and your rights by examining his or her opinions on gun rights. Smith says it's as good as an X-ray into politicians' minds...read the rest...

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Don't "tax the rich"



There's an important fact that is missed by the "tax the rich" folk-- besides the fact that "taxation" is theft whether they like to admit it or not. (And they don't; they HATE it. It makes them crazy.)

If you "tax" wealthy people you are stealing from me.
Even if you don't "tax" me, directly.
Even if you give me some "benefits" from it. I don't want a cut of the loot.

You are stealing money he might use to start a business that would benefit me. Or money she might use to buy something from me. Or money he might donate to me because he has so much excess and can't figure out how to use it.
But even if none of that happens, you are funding antisocial political government to my detriment.

It's just as bad as calling for Big Business to "pay more taxes". It's a lie. I can't afford for you to "tax" anyone.

"Taxation" steals from me even if it never touches me otherwise. It steals money, opportunities, and liberty.

I will never support a plan to "tax" anyone, for any reason, ever.

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YOU get to decide if I get paid.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support.
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Monday, February 17, 2020

"Is X a human right?"



Let’s say X is a human right. What would this mean?

It means no one has the right to prevent you from creating, buying, being given, having, selling, gifting, or using X, as long as you do so without violating the life, liberty, or property of another.

It doesn’t mean you have a right to steal the X someone else creates or owns. It doesn't mean you are allowed to enslave someone so you can have X at their expense.

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

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Don't scare kids with political fears

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




I remember the panic I felt about tornado warnings as a child. It didn't matter whether my family was in danger; I wasn't informed enough to know whether we were. I didn't understand that worry isn't helpful, and I wasn't able to change things. There was nothing meaningful I could do.

In the past couple of weeks, I've heard of local children scared that World War Three had begun. They've overheard adults talking about it and were worried. I did my best to explain things and calm the fears of one kid; hopeful that she'd calm her friends.

It would be great if adults would stop acting like scared children; overreacting about politics, science, and other things they don't understand as well as they imagine they do.

This pattern repeats both locally and on a global scale.

In recent months an angry Swedish teen gained attention because she believes the planet is being destroyed by carbon dioxide. She's scared... and she blames you.

All because she has been shown one side of a debate by people who don't want dissent. Their political agenda--  their power and position-- depends on the narrative going a particular way. She is being used as their political pawn.

I'm not even claiming she's necessarily wrong. Regardless of what you've been told, no one knows. Climate predictions about the long-term are not much better than a guess. But the way she has been frightened and used is wrong without question. Do you really want to ruin a young person's life based on speculation?

Political events may even be worse. To pretend you know for certain that one politician having another politician killed is going to cause a world war-- and scaring children with this kind of talk-- is irresponsible. Or worse.

If you want to worry, go ahead. But to scare kids with this kind of thing isn't right.

I'm not saying to keep them ignorant. You can discuss the facts without sharing scary doomsday conclusions.

It's different to educate a kid on the dangers of getting into a stranger's car. They have control over this. None of us can save or destroy the planet, and politicians are going to do what politicians do. In fact, you can't be certain which path results in destruction and which one comes out better in the long run. You can guess. You can apply your beliefs. But you can't know.

To scare children over things no one can know for certain is child abuse.


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Humbling (funny) quotation

I just ran across this quote. It's a lesson in humility for me, personally. But it's funny, too.

No one asked you to write. And no one will care if you stop. If you succeed, no one will notice. It’s a rough, heartless business.” ~ George Higgins


I don't know who George Higgins is/was. I guess I'll look him up... I assume this is him.

The quote's not exactly true on the first point, since I was asked to start writing a blog-- in fact, someone else signed me up and gave me the log-in information so I would. This was to give people the opportunity to pick my mind and ask me probing questions.

No one really asked me to continue to write after the original purpose had passed, though.

So it's still close enough to accurate.

And I'm not sure what success would look like in this context, anyway. Not fame, riches, or groupies, for sure.

I've always said I do this more to help myself think and organize those thoughts than for any other reason. I'm glad there are a few of you out there who follow along. That feels like success to me.

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

Evil's supporters



Helping someone commit evil acts, or supporting them while they commit them, is just as bad as committing the evil acts yourself.

If you "Support the troops" in any way beyond supporting getting them back home where they won't be maimed and killed by those trying to defend their homes from the invaders makes you complicit in their evil acts.

If you "Back the Blue" you're worse than if you "Support the troops", although it's close. There's no way to back the Blue Line Gang without being tainted by what they do, and there is no such critter as a "good cop".

You might as well be out there committing evil in person.

I see a lot of people making excuses for the harm committed by both those who are out there doing evil and those sitting around supporting or fawning over the evildoers. As if circumstances or feelings change reality.

But the news isn't all bad.

I have the greatest respect for those who were in the military and are still able to stand firmly against it, and for those who were once legislation enforcers and now stand against that "profession" without reservation. People can change for the better. They give me hope.

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

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Stats and updates



This is my 5501st blog post. Most of which aren't as pointless as this one.

My first blog post was on September 3, 2006.

I'm in my 14th year of blogging and in my 10th year writing the newspaper column (495 columns so far, as far as I can tell).

My slowest (full) blogging year was 2010 when I only posted 377 times. My bloggiest year was 2014 with 449 posts.

Last year saw 386 posts. I'm up to 51 posts for 2020 so far.

I really hate when I miss a day, or a few, even though it can't be avoided sometimes.

I currently post these blogs on Blogger, WordPress, Patreon, and Steemit, and share them as links on Twitter and Quora.

This blog usually averages around 300 or so views per day according to Blogger, but that's probably not even close to accurate. I don't pay much attention to the numbers anymore, anyway. The numbers go way up when (I suspect) I'm getting fake views from spammers looking for sites to post on. And I've come to accept that I'm just a baby minnow in some tiny backwater of the internet.

My KentForLiberty.com site gets around 350 visitors per week.

I've been posting "outrageous" answers to Quora a lot recently, more for sport than anything. It helps me blow off steam and entertain myself, I've started sharing those answers on Twitter just to see if I can cause a reaction. Mostly, no, I can't.

Who knows if I've made a positive impact on the world. I'll probably never know. But I'll pretend I have. It makes me happy to imagine I have in some way.

Tomorrow I plan to have some actual content.

UPDATE: I just ran across this rather fitting quote--
No one asked you to write. And no one will care if you stop. If you succeed, no one will notice. It’s a rough, heartless business.” ~ George Higgins

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

Friday, February 14, 2020

Statism's Reality Rejection immune response



Statism insulates itself (or pretends to) from reality by automatically disqualifying all opposing views. It's like an immune response.

To say "taxation is theft" means you aren't a "serious part" of "the conversation"; you are automatically ignored because to fund Big Political Government, theft... I mean "taxation"... is necessary. Anyone who doesn't like taxation is automatically disqualified from being taken seriously. According to the view of government supremacists, anyway.

Yet I don't entirely disagree with their entire argument. "Taxation" is necessary to fund political government. No question. That's part of the reason "taxation" is unethical. There's also the whole "theft is unethical" thing, too.

That's not the only subject where they play this trick. It happens all the time. And it's a lie every time they do it.

I understand, when you have no real argument you do every sneaky thing you can to "win". You'll shut out any other voices however you can. You'll reject ethics because it gets in the way of what you want to get away with doing. But that doesn't make it right. It just compounds the wrong you're committing.

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

Thursday, February 13, 2020

To "serve"



The words people use and how those words are used says a lot about how someone thinks. In many cases, it's almost as good as an X-ray into their mind.

Take, for example, the word "serve" and its past tense, "served".

If someone says "I served" where does your mind go? You probably assume they mean they were in the US military, and at this point in history on this spot on this planet your assumption is probably correct.

But why? Common usage.

To "serve" means you have provided a service of some sort to someone.

Everyone serves someone just about all the time.

The corner drug dealer serves. The cashier serves. The prostitute and the waiter and the car wash attendant serve. The writer serves, the scientist serves, and the medical provider serves. They serve by mutual consent and voluntary choice.

There are also those who provide unethical service. The mafia hitman and the legislation enforcement scum, for example. Unethical service means that someone is forced to either tolerate an unwanted "service" or to pay for it whether they want it or not. Unethical service is based in some way on archation.

To basically reserve the word "serve" for those who foolishly joined forces with the military of any government is to perpetuate a lie. Yes, they serve, but they serve anti-society and the anti-individual forces of the State. They serve liberty's enemy. That's not a good thing to do.

How can I pretend they are serving me in any way when I don't want them to do what they are doing and I don't want to pay them to do it? They aren't even on my side.

The same goes for other government employees, who also sometimes try to use the word "service" to refer to their own parasitism.

It's a lie to pretend that being a legislator, or government president, or government judge is a beneficial service. Those are parasitic positions, serving the political government at the expense of society. To be proud of such service, or to call it out for special honor, is to show just how deep the statism virus has infected the mind.

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

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

No one policy good for everyone

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for February 12, 2020)




Did you enjoy our recent winter storm? I did, but I know a lot of people didn't. Most people are not fans of cold and snow. I don't like temperatures over 85 degrees Fahrenheit, especially if there's any trace of humidity, while other people love hot weather.

Variety is the spice of life and I'm willing to deal with things I don't like, without much complaint, so others can enjoy the things they like...read the rest...

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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Does it "work"?



Does government "work"? Does this or that policy or legislation "work"?

Yeah, they "work" just like a bomb works to remodel a hospital. They apply physical force-- they "do work".

Do they work as advertised? Almost never. There are always unintended (or at least, unacknowledged) consequences. They make things worse. Under the very best of outcomes, they shift the problem from one place to another.

You can feed this person by making other people hungry.
You can make one person feel safer by making everyone less safe.
You can pay for someone's healthcare by making healthcare harder for everyone else to afford.

That's not the kind of "success" I'm willing to tolerate. How about you?

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

Monday, February 10, 2020

Scaled-up anarchy



"Anarchy doesn't scale"

Whenever I hear that assertion, I notice that they aren't ever discussing anarchy, but something else entirely. Something which doesn't scale. Something like chaos (in the negative sense of the word), where more isn't necessarily better.

Obviously, anarchy scales just fine. It's anarchy's opposite-- the State-- which falls apart as you try to scale it up. The entire known Universe-- except for certain minor "systems" existing in a thin, patchy layer on one planet-- is an illustration of just how well anarchy scales.

Remember that anarchy doesn't mean there are no rules, it's just a recognition that there are no legitimate Rulers.

Anarchy is the perfect balance between the Yin of chaos and the Yang of order-- and too much of either chaos or order can be deadly.

I suspect that what they mean when saying "anarchy doesn't scale" is that scaled-up anarchy doesn't allow them to do the state-like things they want to do. It gets in the way of artificially legitimized archation. That's a feature, not a bug.

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

Sunday, February 09, 2020

Not a fan of artificial divisions

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




I'm not a fan of the trend on social media to create artificial divisions to pit people against each other. A recent example is the condescending remark "OK, Boomer".

This phrase is commonly used against anyone assumed to be a "baby boomer", or who simply isn't as "progressive" and "enlightened" as those weaned on "social justice" might prefer.

If someone points out problems with socialism, with basing legislation on sexual identity issues, with climate change prescriptions to be imposed on society through the "New Green Deal", or with other topics which have been politicized, they are likely to be dismissed with this comment.

As if they are cute for being too old and backward to be taken seriously.

Why encourage this type of division? There are endless ways to categorize and divide people: generations, races, sexes, Democrat and Republican. Those who crave more control will back whichever side begs for more legislation. They will encourage them to fight and ridicule anyone who opposes handing government more control.

It's why government loved "Baby Boomers" as long as they were useful-- begging for more government programs and spending-- but was happy to throw them under the bus when a new generation began to beg for "social justice" legislation the older generation saw as going too far. "Social justice" was too good an excuse for more government control; it couldn't be ignored.

Climate change seems to be an equally popular excuse.

Government supremacists seek to divide and conquer with whatever divisions can be imagined, created, magnified, or exaggerated.

The truth is, it's not "Republican versus Democrat", Baby Boomer against Generation Z, "Black" against "White", male versus female versus whatever else you imagine exists. It has always come down to those who want people to be herded, numbered, controlled, governed, and enslaved against those who recognize the equal and identical rights of all humanity and the liberty which comes from this truth.

It has always been the rulers against the people.

Increased government power depends on hiding truth from you. It depends on giving you imaginary enemies to keep you too flustered to realize who your real enemy is.

Instead of dividing, I try to support anyone I think is right, even if I am hard on them when they are wrong. I don't fault people for who they are; only for what they do when what they do violates the liberty of others. I'd much rather explain my reasons in either case than to dismiss people with an intentionally condescending catchphrase.

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Free to pick and choose



There are good things about the present.
There are some good things about the past.
You can have some of both. You can mix them together in whatever way makes you happy.
I don't understand those who believe it has to be either/or.
That seems so limiting and small.

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Writing to promote liberty is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.
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Saturday, February 08, 2020

Give 'em enough rope...



Let statists set their own standards, then use those standards to refute their position. This can work with anyone who's inconsistent, but it works especially well with statists.

It doesn't mean you have to openly refute them to their face. Cognitive dissonance, confirmation bias, or something else would kick in anyway to keep them from seeing that they've been refuted. Just use their inconsistency to show yourself that their position can be discounted without much effort or concern.
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Writing to promote liberty is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support.

Friday, February 07, 2020

Your next excuse for government has already failed



The only excuse for government is either to keep us from killing each other (Hobbes) or to protect our natural rights (Locke).

So what's the next excuse when it becomes obvious government isn't up to either task-- and in fact, is the primary threat and instigator?

When cops are allowed to kill us, government fails on the first point. Ruby Ridge, Waco, wars, 9/11, school shootings, and just regular everyday murders all prove government not only fails to prevent people from killing each other, but is also one of the biggest offenders.

When government allows those killer cops to kill unarmed (and armed) people and violate our rights in various ways with no real consequences-- when government controls our movements, demands we get licenses for exercising all manner of our natural rights, and taxes, fines, zones, and "eminent domains" our property, it utterly fails the second.

The excuses for government don't stand up to the reality of government. The next excuse statists dream up has already failed before it has even been imagined.

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

Thursday, February 06, 2020

Gangs fighting over your turf



I get disgusted any time two gangs fight over someone's real estate. It doesn't matter which gangs they are.

Gang Green and Gang Grape arguing over which of them gets to control someone's personal property? Illegitimate!

It's no better when the gangs are called Israel and Palestine, or Texas and the united States, or the county and some other political gang-- when they are arguing (or even negotiating and agreeing) over who gets to rule other people's real estate it's just a turf war. Political gangs are no better than any other gangs which use the political means.

Yes, I understand that some of those people whose property rights are being violated want to throw in with one political gang or another. Let them. But don't let them enslave you or your neighbors to their preferences.

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Writing to promote liberty is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.
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Wednesday, February 05, 2020

'Red flag' laws violate human rights

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for February 5, 2020)




New Mexico politicians are hopping on the "red flag law" bandwagon; scheming to commit wrong in the name of imagined "safety".

Red flag legislation is all the rage, politically. I don't call them laws because they aren't laws. Laws can't violate natural human rights; this legislation does. Imposing or enforcing legislation which violates life, liberty, or property in any way makes you the wrongdoer. It doesn't change matters to write words giving yourself permission to violate people. Legislation can't make wrongs right, and it is wrong to punish someone for something you imagine they might do...read the rest...

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Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Is it my business?



"That's not my business."

It's strange how rarely I hear that admission from people. People will go on and on about someone else's business or drama and demand to know what I think about it. But all I'm doing is thinking that it's not my business.

If it directly affects me, or if someone asks my opinion on their business, I will accept that it might be my business. So often the topic of discussion doesn't rise to that level. It's just gossip or someone looking for reasons to be offended.

If they want reasons to be offended, give them one. The fastest way to offend someone who is trying to get you involved in other people's business is to say "It's not my business".

Your drama isn't my business. Your sex life or relationships aren't my business. What you wear, what you ingest, what you worship-- none of those things are my business. Unless you impose them on me or others.

Several years ago, someone angry over one of my newspaper columns asked how I could think it's my business to write about liberty-- to get in other people business in that way. At least they had the decency to back off when I said: "Because it is literally my business-- it's what I am paid to do".

Yes, liberty is my business. Whether you accept or respect it is yours... as long as you don't try to violate someone in my presence.
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Writing to promote liberty is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support.

Monday, February 03, 2020

"Our government" is a lie



There's "my government" and there's "your government", there is no "our government".

My government is me. It is not political. It is not a State. I don't share it with anyone else, I don't impose it on anyone else, nor do I accept anyone else's government as my own.

Your government is you-- even if you don't recognize yourself as such. Even if you imagine you have a spare government lying around somewhere. A political government. Your government has no hold on me or anyone else.

Every time someone says "our government" it is a lie. The lie may be calculated to manipulate-- to hypnotize you. Don't fall for it.

Now, maybe you believe you share a government with someone else. I hope not, but people believe weird things. In that case, you'd need to have a conversation with the other person before you started flinging around the words "our government" to see if you truly do share a government of some sort with them. But don't assume. It's rude at best, and a dangerous lie at worst.
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Writing to promote liberty is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support.

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Going to work on doing what I should

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




Happy New Year and Happy New Decade! I know it doesn't really mean anything to say it's a "new year" or a "new decade" since it's arbitrary, but it feels significant-- partly because it's treated as though it is. I like excuses to celebrate so I'm fine with it.

The Winter Solstice is a natural time for a year to begin, as would be the other solar divisions of the year: the Summer Solstice or one of the equinoxes.

The Winter Solstice was originally celebrated as the new year's dawn because this is when the sun stops moving farther south and the daylight hours stop getting shorter. This makes it the time of renewal and hope-- as it was to our ancestors who recognized their dependence on the natural world more than we modern humans seem to. This is why there is a cluster of happy holidays around this time of year. The Winter Solstice is the logical choice for a new beginning, even if we celebrate a little late. Better late than never.

The new year is simply the Winter Solstice wrap-up party.

Regardless of why, when, or how we celebrate a new year, this event gives just about everyone an excuse to reflect on the year past and plan for a better year to come.

This year I'm thinking about one important point I learned since the last new year: that it's better to listen than to speak.

Over the past year, I came to realize how hungry people are to tell their stories. All you have to do is be willing to listen to them. With the rush of modern life, and with everyone's nose seemingly stuck to their phone screen, listening to someone is one of the simplest acts of compassion you can perform.

The flip side of this observation is that it's pointless to speak if someone doesn't really want to listen. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. I can explain what I mean, as completely and thoroughly as humanly possible, but I can't make others understand if they don't really want to, nor can I make them accept what I'm saying,--even if they understand-- if it's not what they want to hear.

I don't always do what I know I should, but I'll keep working on it. Next year at this time I'll look back and see how I'm doing and see what new things I've learned. Onward into 2020!

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Twisting and weaving through pragmatism and ethics



A lot of people don't seem to believe in right and wrong unless it affects another issue which is important to them, personally.

If you come at them from an ethical foundation which falsifies their statist position, they'll preach pragmatism. They'll maintain it's a losing position to worry about the ethics of a situation when it's not pragmatic to do so.

"You can't be bothered to respect rights when it might be dangerous to do so. Anyway, government has the power to do whatever it wants, so you don't have any rights."

But when it's something they feel is important and they think they can make an ethical claim for it, suddenly they'll find ethics more important than pragmatism (even though they usually get it wrong and use morality instead of ethics).

I watch this happen all the time with certain people, both famous and not. It's almost funny and definitely pathetic.
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Writing to promote liberty is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support.

Saturday, February 01, 2020

Collision course with government supremacy



If astronomers discovered an asteroid on a collision course with Earth, and it was known it would hit Earth with a 100% probability, would that necessitate "martial law"; government "suspending" (violating) your rights?

No, of course not. They would use it as an excuse, as "justification", but it would be a lie to do so. Government supremacy is always a lie.

Climate change (AGCC) is the same sort of situation.

Even if it is real, even if it is primarily caused by human activity, even if it is a net negative, and even if it is preventable, that's not a real reason to permit government supremacy.

In fact, this kind of oppression limits the options people could try in order to survive or to avert disaster. Limiting choices and experimentation is never a good survival strategy. In this, as in all of life, government needs to stay out of the way.

People thrash at the branches and leaves while ignoring the root issue, but the root is all that really matters.
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Friday, January 31, 2020

Does Greta need better fake credentials?


Recently some government functionary told angry teen Greta that before she scolds Americans on what she believes we should be doing to "fix" AGCC (climate change), she needs to go study economics.

Well, sure... that might be helpful... unless she studies economics at a college or university where she'll be cheated out of learning economics, but will instead be trained in Keynesian "economics"; fake economics.

Fake credentials-- like degrees in Keynesian "economics" and "political science" [sic]-- are a big problem which seems to be getting bigger with time. It wouldn't be such a problem if people weren't trained to see credentials as automatically valid and "authoritative", even when they are in phony courses.

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

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Report from Richmond



(One of my friends-- and a blog reader-- is a Virginia resident. He was there, on the ground, at Richmond, VA, for Lobby Day on January 20, 2020. Before the event, I invited him to write a guest post about the experience when he got the time. All that follows is his report. I hope you find it as interesting as I did.)

Richmond Experience:

I arrived in Richmond at about 10:15am, having passed a bunch of police cars sitting in several places along the highway into the city. I found no available parking on the northern side (all street-level parking was full, all public parking garages displayed "Lot Full" or "Closed" signs). I drove around to the eastern side, where I found a single parking space that another car was just pulling out of, so I took it. The VCU parking lot across the street was almost completely vacant besides a couple police cars and some "lot closed" signs with dire warnings about being towed.

After parking, I walked into the city, dressed in my suit and open carrying a 9mm handgun. It was bitter cold, and I probably should have worn another layer. I followed some small groups of people in the direction of the capitol grounds and struck up a friendly conversation with some of the people headed my way.

As I got closer to the grounds there were a few sparse groups wandering around, with a couple merchants selling Trump apparel. Walking down N 8th St, I was starting to get a little concerned that the turnout wasn't going to be as big as I hoped. However, once I turned the corner at E Franklin St, I saw that the whole street was packed with people, which was a huge relief.

I slowly made my way through the sea of orange "Guns Save Lives" stickers up to N 9th St. When I got there, the crowd thickened and there were times where I couldn't move in any direction. As I made my way past the people carrying all kinds of firearms, from little pistols to AR-15s, I noticed how polite everyone was. People made way when asked, made conversation with other armed strangers and called each other "sir" or "ma'am".

While the majority of people were white men, there were plenty of women, minorities, and even a few children.

I wandered around up N 9th St, then down to E Main St, past the Court of Appeals, then came back down Bank St. I recorded a few livestreams on my way, and then retraced my steps.

On my way out down N 10th St, I passed some LGBT and Women's groups (both with pro-gun signs and stickers).

As I walked back up N 9th St, I passed by the only person I saw at the event wearing anything anti-gun (a small pin with an AR-15 in one of those "No" circle things). They were treated just the same as anyone else, with people moving aside to allow them to pass by, many of them wearing AR-15s. I couldn't help but wonder why that person would put themselves into such a situation if they truly believed that AR-15s were so dangerous that they should be banned? I thought about trying to start a conversation, but I didn't have time to make a decision before they passed by and I figured it would be creepy for me to turn around and follow them.

I spent a little more time wandering around before getting hungry and deciding to head home.

As I was stopped checking my phone, a guy with a camera came up and asked if I would mind being interviewed. I said that would be fine, and spent a few minutes answering his questions. I'm not a good public speaker, but I think I did okay and I wanted to represent the community well. A soft-spoken guy in a nice suit with a small handgun is more likely to change minds than a guy in camo with an AR-15 strapped to his back.

At this point, it was about 12:30, and people were starting to clear out. I made it back to the car and probably left close to 12:45.

On my way home, I stopped at a Wendy's in southern VA for lunch, which was the first time in my life I'd ever open carried in public by myself. Lunch went very well, I don't think many people even noticed the dark handgun against my navy suit.

Afterwards, I sat down and calculated the square footage of the area we had occupied. Based on my observations 162,000 square feet of space was packed pretty tightly with people. An extremely generous calculation of 6 sq ft per person works out to 27,000 attendees. I'd estimate that we probably had somewhere between 27,000 and 40,000 people there.

Signed,
   Anon1

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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

"Abuse of power"



A lot of people are throwing around the phrase "abuse of power" these days. Is it happening? Is it not? Who is guilty of it and who isn't?

Before you can figure out whether power is being abused, you need to figure out what a legitimate use of power would be. How power can be used without being abused.

Fortunately, that's simple.

A legitimate use of power would be using power in any way which doesn't violate the life, liberty, or property-- the rights-- of any other person. There is no other way to use power without abusing it.

All political government is an abuse of power, because it operates outside of what any legitimate use of power would be.

I know. If you're a political person you don't want to hear this. You want to find exceptions and justifications and you'll search for Phantom Menaces and "what ifs" with which to scare the women and children.

But it's true. It's accurate.

If you have any power and use it to violate anyone's natural rights you are abusing power. You have no right to do so. If you use the political means, and you have the power to cause any effect with it, you are guilty of abuse of power. All politicans are guilty of abuse of power. All bureaucrats are guilty of abuse of power. All State employees are guilty of abuse of power. And all those who support them are feeding the problem-- propping up the power abusers.

I oppose all abuse of power and all those who abuse power.

(Yes, I know what the picture kind of looks like. I decided it's hilarious and that I'd leave it.)

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

Being forced to help not helping

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for January 29, 2020)




I want you to hunger for liberty; to crave the freedom to do everything you have a right to do, even if you choose to not do it all. I want you to want liberty as much as I want it.

I also want you to respect the liberty of others. To govern yourself and no one else-- this is your primary obligation to others...read the rest...

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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Scientific consensus



Why is anthropogenic global climate change (AGCC) about the only scientific topic where the "consensus of scientists" is still supposed to be the final word, shutting down any further discussion? You don't hear many other scientific topics described in that way.

Why is that?

I think it may relate to the worshipful way most people think of democracy. If "everyone" goes along with one way, it must be the right way.

But does that make sense?

"Ninety-seven percent of doctors agree: This medicine/treatment is all you need, there is nothing more to discuss on the matter! The science is settled!" How many times in the past has this been the case, only to be dismantled by those who didn't consider it settled?

"Ninety-seven percent of physicists agree that physics is done. No need to study or look for any more forces or particles. We know all we can know. The science is settled." And, again, how many times has this been claimed, only to be overturned by some maverick who wouldn't go along with the consensus of the crowd?

How often did the general population just accept the "scientific consensus" at face value-- to their detriment-- until the consensus was disrupted?

So, if "all scientists" agree that the climate is changing, the change is due to human activity, it will be a net negative, it can be fixed, and that governments are the only thing which can "save the world", then gullible people jump on that bandwagon. "All scientists" agree, so it must be true! Right?

Strange how this problem and their proposed solution gives power and money to those who are largely "funding" the research. If some other science issue could give this much power and money to States, how quickly do you think they'd discover some crisis that only governments could exploit... I mean, "solve"? Maybe if the climate change hysteria dies down, they will find another issue to exploit. Unless political government evaporates before then.

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Writing to promote liberty is my job.
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Monday, January 27, 2020

Citicar "review"



I just had to share this video.

My Citicar was baby blue, had no fan blowing across the motor, and had no aluminum gutters. I did make my own rubber gutters to keep rain from dripping on my electrical contacts (which would make them melt and spark).

I stashed the windows behind the seats when I drove with them out-- at least until I installed zippers in them. I didn't have trouble getting the doors to latch like he did.

I repurposed that pointless "defrost" switch as a stealth "on switch". If no one was around and I didn't feel like using my key I could just flip the switch and go.
I did install door locks.
I tried not to use the "first position" power much as the resister coil would burn out easily. Once I got the hang of accelerating quickly, it was smooth and the first position was very quickly moved through. There was not much clunking after I learned to handle it. I don't remember mine being so noisy, but I usually had the radio on.

I notice, that even with all his misgivings, he enjoyed the car. I get that.

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Now what, Virginia?

So, Virginia... now what?

I've read reports of the legislative molestation the Virginia political gangsters have gone ahead and set in motion against your rights. Against YOU.

So, what will you do in response?

You've seen that v*ting doesn't work. Protesting peacefully doesn't work. Telling the legislation enforcing gangsters "thank you for your service" doesn't work. So, now what?

You're either going to have to try something else, move to another tax farm, or get ready to give up your guns. How much will you take before Time's Up? How many anti-gun "laws" will you tolerate? How many anti-gun bigots laughing in your face will you remain polite toward?

I'm not proposing anything.
I'm not telling you to do anything.
I don't even know what would work.
But the way you-- and all politically active gun rights supporters in America-- have been trying to get political trash to respect your rights doesn't work. Isn't that obvious now? So what's next?
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Writing to promote liberty is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Hope for peaceful liberty on Earth

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for December 25, 2019)




Peace on Earth. While it sounds like a wonderful ambition-- and under the right conditions, it would be nice-- not all peace is good.

A cemetery is peaceful. No one is more peaceful than the dead.
People who have given up are peaceful. Why fight against something which has already defeated you.

I'm no pacifist. I don't support unnecessary violence like the kind governments depend on, but I know defensive violence can be necessary.

When I first heard the story of the First World War's "Christmas Truce" between British and German troops, I was touched by the humanity it illustrated. Later in life, I stopped enjoying the tale because I realized the soldiers soon went back to doing the bidding of the politicians. The story has become one of almost unbearable tragedy to me.

Those soldiers experienced peace. They knew it was possible; that to kill and maim each other on behalf of political thugs directing them from afar wasn't necessary. If only they had understood that the war they were fighting would directly cause another world war in a generation or so, with unimaginable horrors and consequences we are still suffering, maybe they would have refused to pick up the fight where they left off.

I'm not saying it's always wrong to fight, but that it is wrong to fight for politicians. If politicians have a problem with politicians in other countries, let them fight it out in person. Leave the rest of us out of it. War is the health of the state and lies are its vitamins.

Governments can create a sort of peace. It's an unhealthy, false peace like the peace of a corpse. Peace enforced at the barrel of guns-- even though the guns are usually hidden and only come into view if you're not the kind of peaceful they like.

Peace is fine as long as it is voluntarily chosen and comes with the liberty to raise a ruckus when necessary.

Liberty is more valuable than peace. Liberty on Earth leads to the right kind of peace. The productive, voluntary kind. Peace which has room for just enough defensive violence to protect liberty and allow peace to flourish again, but no room for aggressive violence.

A few politicians may be fine with peace as long as it doesn't lead to the inconveniences of liberty, but most hunger for aggression and will say anything to get you to want it, too.

Peaceful liberty on Earth; good will to all who keep their hands-- and legislation-- to themselves. Merry Christmas!

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More fake credentials



I recently pointed out the fake credentials some people flaunt.

The Freedom Feens have pointed out that Keynesians and other central planners are experts in things that are wrong. How right they are.

And there's more.

You may have a degree in education, but if you were taught to believe education is tied in any way to government's coercive and compulsory dayprisons for kids, your degree is worthless. Any credentials you may have are fake.

What other fake credentials can you think of? There are lots of them in Statism.

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

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Violators-- whoever they may be



It doesn't matter if you call it government, a corporation, a gang, or an individual. The label doesn't matter. If it violates life, liberty, or property it is my enemy. Not by my choice, but by the violator's choice.

The problem is archation, not government. Government is simply a problem because it relies on archation for its existence. As do other illegitimate gangs and individuals.

This is the case for more and more "corporations" these days.

Whether you believe getting in bed with the State makes them subject to the limits imposed by the Bill of Rights or not, they are archating and they are a threat to your life, liberty, and property.

Ammo.com has a recent article about these corporate liberty violators. And, just to be clear: anyone who makes it hard to exercise your rights-- or effectively impossible to do so in so many cases today-- IS violating your rights. They are in the wrong.
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Writing to promote liberty is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support.

Friday, January 24, 2020

What's in YOUR holster?


One of the most ridiculous things I hear from time to time is when a gun-rights supporter says "I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy".

Yeah... no.

That's like saying I eat food because plutonium is too expensive.

Even if gravity were not an issue, I wouldn't carry a cop. I don't want to have a cop around. Ever.

His self-interests are not going to align with my own. Even if he were one of those mythical "good cops" he's still going to be more concerned with his own survival than with mine. Even if he somehow weren't, he's not going to value my survival to the same extent that I would. He's not going to see what I see. He isn't going to act or react as I would. He wouldn't be me.

I carry a gun because only I can be trusted to always have my own best interests at heart. I may make mistakes but I still trust myself over someone "protecting" me for pay. Someone who could be bought off, could change loyalties, or might have his own issues and distractions.

Even if I could carry a cop, I wouldn't. Who would really choose that ridiculous option?
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Writing to promote liberty is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Kissing some gang hiney



I've pointed out the people who need an "a**hole parking" sticker so they are allowed to park on the yellow stripes. Well, recently a new "a**hole parking" space has been reserved right beside the yellow stripes "for our law enforcement partners". And this one has a notice posted. With a light on top! (Does the light work?)

Gag!

And yet, even with the store passionately kissing legislation enforcement gang hiney, these vermin still park on the sidewalk in front of the store. A parking space front and center isn't convenient enough for them. They can't be bothered to use an actual parking space, but I'll bet they'd ticket you or me for using their "reserved" space.

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

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Good to occasionally consider 'what if'

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




Everyone would be smart to consider "what if?", especially where their beliefs and assumptions are concerned. While it's not healthy to dwell on it until the thought paralyzes you, "what if I'm wrong?" is essential if you like being correct.

What if I'm wrong about everything I believe? There are those who believe I am. Are they right?..read the rest...

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Statist priorities


I've pointed out that when the religion of Statism conflicts with other religions, people generally defer to Statism, allowing other religious beliefs to be given the scraps; to be pushed down the stack of priorities.

This photo, which I took at a nearby church, illustrates this perfectly. Oddly, for this area, the wind was calm so the flags aren't as visible as I wish. But that's a US federal flag-- Holy Pole Quilt-- placed on a pole above the Christian flag.

That's right, they give Holy Pole Quilt a position of superiority over their other beliefs. They are honoring Statism over Christianity.

Yes, I realize the old (and retired) "US flag codes" require this placement. So?

Why are they even flying Holy Pole Quilt at a church at all? What does that have to do with their primary mission?

When I was a kid I heard people talk about the brave Christians in the USSR and China who risked death by putting Christianity above the wishes and opinions ("laws") of the State. Yet Americans can't bother to do the same in a minor way when the US feral government is highly unlikely to murder them for doing so? If you won't stand up when it's easy, how can you believe you will when the stakes are high?

They need to get their priorities straight and choose who or what they are going to worship. Or, just give up.
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Writing to promote liberty is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support.