Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Governments are a net negative

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for January 17, 2018)




A great many people are upset because President Trump is claimed to have observed that many places around the world are, shall we say, "less than ideal". Of course, being Donald Trump, he is claimed to have used a colorful metaphor to describe those places. It is honest, but not polite.

His detractors see racism in this observation, which isn't surprising since they are the same people who see racism around every rock and hear it in every word. I don't see racism, but I do see denial...read the rest...

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

#NotMe



What do I mean by #NotMe?

I mean that I am neither a victim nor a victimizer.

Have I been victimized? Of course. Sometimes, badly. But I moved on. I don't dwell on it, and I absolutely refuse to get any part of my identity from it. To want to revel in past victimization is a serious weakness of character, if you ask me! It looks to me as though you are saying you are too weak to stand up and keep walking. That you can't stop reaching back to touch the terrible events in your past.

Even though I have been victimized in the past, I am not a victim.
Even though I have had broken bones, I am not broken.
I've had Rat Bite Fever, but I'm not sick.
I have scars, but I am not injured.
I've cried tears of emotional agony, but I'm not sad.

#NotMe

If you are being victimized now, you have an absolute human right to defend yourself with whatever amount of force it takes to stop the violator. You have every right to expose your victimizers and to refuse to associate with them ever again. They owe you restitution.

But to become an eternally broken victim just for the purpose of being a victim? That's just sad-- you have decided to violate yourself perpetually just because someone else violated you in the past. It's like you have decided to stay bogged in the mud, just because some archator once shoved you into a mud pit.

And, if I victimize you, shoot me. Do whatever it takes to stop me. It is your right. I'll probably fight back, but everyone has the right to do so, even the most vile monster. It's part of being alive.

Your past makes you what you are. You can decide to stagnate there, or to let that past make you better and stronger. Yes, it is YOUR decision. I want you to make the choice that builds you up, rather than the popular choice that holds you down.

If you don't feel you can do this, for whatever reason, I feel sorry for you.

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Monday, January 15, 2018

Triggered into statism



I hope there's never an issue that is able to trigger me to the point that I start believing it's OK to archate-- freelance or through government. If it were to happen, I believe it would be a strike against me, not a real justification for initiating force or violating property.

I see so many people who develop a big "but" after years of seemingly advocating liberty-- until one thing comes up. For some it is some sort of sex; for some it's "borders"; others find a different trigger.

I try to understand. I really do. But I can't help but wonder why it was so easy for them to abandon liberty. And I want to make sure I am never in that same boat.

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Avoid outrage fatigue this season

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for December 13, 2017)




To get the most out of this holiday season, and to finish out 2017 on a high note, I recommend avoiding outrage fatigue. What is outrage fatigue? It's the exhaustion, cynicism, apathy, and hopelessness which comes from exposure to too many outrageous crises at once.

Whether your outrage is over your belief that President Trump has been caught plotting with Russians, yet faces no consequences, or from your belief that the politically motivated investigators probing him are simply grasping at shadows of straws in a desperate attempt to destroy someone they despise. It depends on your perspective, but either view can make you crazy.

And what of all the recent accusations of sexual misconduct among the political and entertainment elite? True or not, it can be overwhelming to try to keep up.

The world can look like a terrible place if that's what you focus on.

How many of those problems are new? None of them; they're just recycled crises with interchangeable actors, getting people worked up when noticed.

I'm not saying you shouldn't pay attention to world events, or that some aren't horrible, I'm suggesting you notice whether they impact you, personally. And if they do, how much? If you hadn't heard about it on the news or on social media, would it affect your life in any way? If not, maybe it's not as important as you believe. Certainly not important enough for you to make yourself unhappy over.

There are more important things closer to you. Things like friends, family, and community. Your pets probably have a bigger impact on your life than happenings in Washington D.C. or Hollywood. And certainly bigger than people or events in Great Britain, Syria, or Iraq.

Yes, those things matter to those who are personally impacted, and I empathize with them. But if you spend all your energy getting upset over those things, what do you have left for those who are around you every day? For the people and things your attitude affects?

If you waste your time and energy being outraged, even over outrageous things, when will you find time or energy to enjoy the good things in your life?

Yes, bad things happen. Politics can't solve them, but only magnifies them. Humans shouldn't rule others, and should never be in positions of imagined authority over anyone but themselves. When people are put into the foolish position of political authority, bad things are inevitable. It's not selfish or "isolationist" to focus on your personal sphere; it's being responsible.

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Them furriners



Those who focus on, or obsess over, "immigrants" without making the distinction between people who archate and those who don't, regardless of where they were born, are harming liberty. Badly!

And there are those who keep beating that drum and getting angry at those who don't fall for it.

Breaking a counterfeit "law" isn't wrong. "Immigration law" is counterfeit "law".

Initiating force or violating property rights is wrong (in that no one has the right to do so) no matter who does it, and regardless of where the guilty party comes from. It is not better to have a Red, White, And Blue redneck neighbor violating you than some guy who came from Somalia violating you. The violation is the problem; anything else is a distraction. You have the human right to defend yourself from any archator, and no "law" can change that (although "laws" can punish you for doing so).

If you can't get these points through your head, you just look like a bigot. You are helping the other anti-liberty bigots. You are making it impossible for others to reach out to educate those you hate (and yes, in spite of insincere words, it is hate). You are driving them into the arms of your enemy, and then pretending to be shocked at the results.

If you notice that socialistic handouts are a problem and you don't want foreign-born people using them, END THEM instead of enabling them. End them completely and totally, and replace them with charity to be given to whoever you choose. Voluntarily. Don't say "It can't be done"- it's no less likely than "closing the borders", and if you don't believe so, you are in denial.

If you love borders better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you and promise to protect you from "those people". May your chains and walls set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you once pretended to be our allies.*

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*Apologies to Samuel Adams

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Saturday, January 13, 2018

What kind of hole?



Yes, there really are "s#!thole countries". Living under those conditions-- created almost exclusively by States-- can definitely have a negative effect on the ethics and intelligence of the population (but that has zero to do with the rights the people there have). Government has consequences.

Pointing this out is honest, but not very nice. And it isn't racism. Denying it is statism, though.

I'll have more to say about this in a few days.

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Friday, January 12, 2018

In need of a fence

The house on one side of me has been vacant for years. It is in bad shape, and has probably been deteriorating since being vacant. It was for sale for a couple of years, but didn't get much attention.

I guess the owner has finally decided to fix it up a little so it will sell.

But, this has created a problem.

The person working on the house-- and I don't know if it is the owner or a hired man-- parked in our yard. Repeatedly. The house is almost against the property line, less than 10 feet from it, and he kept parking beside the house on my property.

Probably, I wouldn't have made much of an issue, but he also made a big pile of trash (boxes, plastic wrap, foam wrap, etc.) behind the house, and this is a windy area, and his trash keeps blowing into my yard (and all over the neighborhood). This actually made me more angry than the parking situation.

I've not had good experiences asking people to not drive through my yard in the past, so I just put up a "no trespassing" sign right where the guy kept parking. I also wrote a note asking him to "please stop parking in my yard" and to pick up his trash.

Yes, I need a fence. If I could afford one, and could afford the survey to see exactly where to put one.

Anyway, he didn't show up for a few days, but when he came back, he parked in his own driveway and picked up (most of) his trash. We shall see how this goes now.

And then I have the thrill of possibly getting a new neighbor, if the house sells. I'm hoping for a certain type of new neighbor.

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Ignoring bad questions



Many times I see people ask questions which only demonstrate they have no clue what they are even talking about; they don't even understand well enough to know what to ask. Not only about liberty, but regarding science and other things I actually know a little about.

I used to try to answer the questions, or explain why the question didn't make sense and suggest a different approach.

Now I try to ignore them.

Part of me feels bad about that. No, it's not my job to "correct" everyone, and I have come to realize most people don't appreciate it anyway. But I also feel guilty when I understand what a person needs to know about a subject they obviously have an interest in, but don't understand well enough to even ask reasonable questions. But maybe I'm projecting too much of myself onto them.

I have also come to realize people often ask the wrong questions because that's the only way to come to the conclusion they have decided they want to come to.

Ignoring such questions still feels like shirking a responsibility. And it makes me uncomfortable, even while realizing it's probably the right thing to do in most cases.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Even best president* no role model

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for January 10, 2018.
*Their words, not mine! I don't write the headlines.)




When Ronald Reagan began his first successful run for president, I wasn't quite old enough to vote. I liked what he said and I put a Reagan campaign sticker on my car.

During his first term, I felt Reagan did a good job as president, and I voted for him in the next election. Then he did something unforgivable: he colluded with Congress to further regulate guns...read the rest...

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Tuesday, January 09, 2018

The State- BAD "government"



"Government" has two aspects, one positive, the other negative.

The positive aspect is protection of the individual, through protection of their rights.

The negative aspect is the State.

Unfortunately, most people mistake the State, externally imposed government, for that which protects the individual, but it isn't. The State is completely negative and destructive; harmful and enslaving.

The government which protects the individual is totally separate from the State. Pretty much the opposite of the State. It is self-government; self-control. It is living within what you have a right to do. It is standing up for individual rights. It is living up to your responsibility to not violate others-- because that is your greatest responsibility. The State is a rejection of that grave responsibility.

When most people speak of "government", they mean The State. It's why that's how I usually use the word, too, when I am trying to communicate with them. Otherwise they simply don't understand and believe you are speaking of Texas or Colorado. But I do understand the difference.

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Monday, January 08, 2018

Statists' intentions



I think that statism, while always wrong, is sometimes embraced with good intentions.

The statist truly wants to "help" and is clueless about how to do so, and they decide that theft and aggression (wielded in just the right way, by just the right people) are the way to help.

Yes, it's a ridiculous belief, but it is sincere.

But statism isn't always due to good intentions. Sometimes it is pure malevolence.

How much the statist supports punishment is probably a good indicator.

If the statist enjoys hearing about cops killing people who are breaking a counterfeit "law", they have no good intentions. If a statist hopes a person who has no individual victim will experience prison rape, there are no good intentions behind it. Most statists are very sick people who hunger to see others punished. Punishment addiction and statism are almost indistinguishable.

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Sunday, January 07, 2018

It's not help if it's not wanted

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for December 6, 2017)




Most people enjoy helping others when they can, and when they see a deserving opportunity. It's one of the best things about human nature.

Yet it's easy to fool yourself into believing you are helping while doing the opposite.

It's not "helping" if it's unwanted.

For example, I don't want you to hire police to protect me from crime. I certainly don't want to be forced to pay for them, nor let them interfere in acts which have no individual victim.

If I see you stabbing yourself in the foot repeatedly, my intervention might not be wanted. Even if I suspect mental illness, how far should I go to stop you from doing what you want to do? As unpleasant as the reality is, you have the right to do whatever you want to your own body. I have no right to tackle you to prevent you from harming yourself, and if I do anyway, you may have a legitimate claim against me. Whether anyone would blame me is a different issue.

Often, when seeing someone who seems to need help, the most anyone has a right to do is to offer advice, then walk away if the advice is unwelcome. This is hard to do.

Giving advice falls under freedom of speech, yet no one is obligated to listen. If they refuse and you impose yourself on them, you have gone beyond what you have a right to do. You aren't helping.

You can't help by violating people's rights, nor are you helping when you assist those who do. This is the mistake which props up war and other forms of mob violence.

Contrary to popular belief, welfare isn't helping. It is not generous to force others to contribute, no matter how good you believe the cause to be. You've negated any help, only shifting the harm to someone else.

Plus, welfare creates dependency. Once in the system, it's hard to escape because of distorted incentives.

Charity is better for everyone. Voluntary acts always are. It's better for the giver because it isn't forced. If the recipient is discovered to have lied about his situation, the giver can immediately choose to keep his money in his own pocket; no need for a bureaucracy to rule on the case. Charity is also better for the recipient. It can be less intrusive and less demeaning. He can seek other sources if the charity comes with unreasonable strings attached.

I'm in favor of helping. When people help, everyone wins.

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Being civilized isn't that hard



It's not that hard to not be at war. I'm not at war with people I've never met on the other side of the planet, and can't see any reason to be. Why can't others be as civilized? Is the mental disorder of Statism so powerful that it creates the desire for death and destruction on this monumental scale? Is it really that hard to resist?

If governing idiots would leave me alone, I wouldn't feel any need to fight back for my liberty, either. If we are at war, it is 100% their fault.

I don't seek to control others, why can't others be the same? It's not hard for me to stay out of other people's business and let them make their own decisions-- and their own mistakes. So why is this so hard for so many?

What is different about me? Sometimes I feel like I'm a separate species.

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Saturday, January 06, 2018

Once ignorance is cured, malevolence remains



I believe most people support archators out of ignorance. Most. Some people support archators out of malevolence.

Almost everyone is a fan of some archators, though, and this is strange.

Maybe some of those who support archators out of ignorance can be educated out of it. They have to be shown that those who initiate force and violate property are basically all the same. This is a very painful and difficult lesson for most of them-- they don't want to believe it. The archators they like, they want to see as doing something difficult and necessary, rather than seeing them as common thugs like the archators they don't like.

But, by initiating force and violating property, their "heroes" are doing what they don't have a right to do. They are acting as the bad guy, regardless of their justifications. They are not people to support.

If you support some archators, why not just support them all? You may as well. Especially once your mistake has been pointed out. If you continue to support archators at that point, you can't really claim ignorance anymore-- now it looks like malevolence to me.

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Friday, January 05, 2018

Government's way or nothing!



Statists love false "either/or" scenarios. Either you agree to their beloved police state tactics, or obviously you just advocate chaos, death, and destruction. I actually have an example from a few days ago.

In response to my post against checkpoints (on G+), some Comrade Kapitalism guy actually claimed that since I was against checkpoints (which he claimed are not intrusive and are effective at protecting people from drunk drivers), then I was against ALL safety measures. Yes, ALL of them.

So I told him about a safety measure that could actually work without violating everyone's rights, and he said that (under the current situation) it's too expensive.

Government extremists want it both ways. If you don't go along with what they want, then you want "nothing" to be done. Just like if you don't want people robbed to finance libraries, you hate libraries. If you show that they are wrong, they'll just find another thing to whine about. They are nimble whiners.

Cowards, lazy non-thinkers, and ethical cripples. It's what makes a statist a statist.

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Thursday, January 04, 2018

Moving toward liberty



I am an absolutist and I'm also a gradualist.


Yes, really.

I know what liberty is, and nothing else will do.

But, as long as something is moving in that direction, I think it's sort of a good thing, even if it doesn't go far enough, fast enough.

But that doesn't mean I will ever take my eyes off the prize, or that I'm going to make excuses for the bits of slavery that are left. And I'm certainly never going to reject liberty as being "too extreme", in order to make people who fear it more comfortable. They are cowards or equivocators and they need to be ashamed.

For example, I am glad "concealed carry permits" are so popular, and have encouraged more people to be armed, but I'm not going to pretend concealed carry permits are a good thing, being a complete violation of the right to own and to carry weaponry without asking anyone's permission. "More armed people" is heading in the direction of liberty, but tying it to permits is unnecessary and harmful. So, will I advocate for more types of permits, or expanded permits? No. But will I scold people who have the permits? No.

I don't believe in Utopia. But I do believe in "better than what is", and that's where I want to go. There will still be problems. There will still be bad guys and people throwing their support behind bad guys. Not me, though.

People who are natural gradualists don't appreciate that I won't pretend a tiny improvement is enough. They'll never stop complaining that "the perfect is the enemy of the good" and settling for any tiny crumb-- or even moves in the wrong direction that feel right to them. Gradual is better than nothing, except when it is actually nothing.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2018

It's a shame politics not harmless

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for January 3, 2017)




After almost a year of President Trump, half the country is in an absolute uproar over the ruination of America being caused by the man.

Exactly like the other half of the country gnashed its teeth for eight straight years over the way President Obama was destroying the country.

I wish both halves weren't so close to being right...read the rest...

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Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Sick, sick people



A couple of days ago, I let the b$%*#rds "get to me". Not a shining moment.

No, I didn't really get nasty with them, but my face got hot with rage and I was shaking. I should have taken that as a clue to just walk away.

On a local FB page, someone had posted a meme begging people not to publicize upcoming police "checkpoints", saying something like "what if someone's child dies because you helped a drunk avoid the checkpoint?".

I stated that I would rather risk a few drunk drivers than armed highwaymen shaking down travelers for their "papers". You and I both know "drunk driving" is just the excuse used because the Blue Line Gang knows people are cowardly and will accept the molestation for "safety". The copsuckers (yes, and I use that word in the most negative way possible) on the page are apparently still ignorant of that fact.

I didn't appreciate the replies directed at me.

I censored myself when I replied, and let it be known I was censoring myself because I knew they were speaking from a position of ignorance over what I've been through. But I told them that you can justify any police state tactics with "what ifs" and "safety", and that, if they like having armed goons shaking down travelers for their "papers" so much, perhaps they'd be happier in North Korea, where I hear liberty isn't very popular, but at least the people are "safe".

And then I left the group.

There are some good people in the group, but the copsuckers make it not worth the trouble. Those people foul spacetime with what passes for thought in their tiny minds. I don't know why I am still amazed at what copsuckers will accept if their Blue Gods tell them it's for their own good, but I am. However, I need to cut the worst of them from my life, for my own health.

To be quite honest, I see zero ethical difference between defending and supporting cops and defending and supporting child molesters or actual, swastika-wearing Nazis. No, I'm not saying all cops are child molesters or Nazis, I am saying cops are as ethically indefensible as those groups. To me. That is what I see when I see a cop, and when I see people defending them, I see people trying to defend the indefensible. Siding with the bad guys.

I'll stick with the cat groups on FB. They are better for me.

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Monday, January 01, 2018

011111100010



I'm not making any resolutions that I know of. I don't really intend to change anything, but if I feel the need to change something, I will.
My plan-- if I have a plan-- is to keep on doing what I do. Hopefully improving as I go. Giving you the best I've got.
I hope you'll keep reading.

I'm still fighting cold symptoms. The flu was defeated fairly quickly, but seems to have left behind a boring old cold. Still better than the flu. But, I'm still running low on steam. Liberty matters, so I will exercise my liberty by not straining the brain. We'll see how tomorrow goes.

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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Comfort shouldn't impose on others

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for November 29, 2017)




Everyone likes to be comfortable and avoids discomfort when possible. It's human nature. Yet your quest for comfort doesn't give you the right to make everyone else uncomfortable. If you are uncomfortable, change your own situation; don't demand others make themselves uncomfortable for you.

While the world is under no obligation to change to make you happy, it also has no right to impose its own version of what's best on you. As long as you aren't harming anyone, you have no obligation to change.

If you are in someone's house, chilly though they are comfortable, it is up to you to put on a jacket rather than insist they turn up the heat. You don't pay their heating bill.

However, if you are wearing a coat to stay warm in their house, your hosts would be uncivilized to demand you remove it. Even if they insist the temperature is fine with everyone else, so it should be fine for you, too. If you dismiss the suggestion to remove your coat, and they tackle you and forcibly take it off you, they are bullies.

When I lived in the coldest part of Colorado, I had a friend who had no heat in his house. When it was 20 below zero, or colder-- as it often was-- it wasn't much warmer in his house. I would offer to have him come to my house, just across the river, but he didn't want to. He said my wood stove made him uncomfortably hot. He also said he didn't want to get used to the warmth because it would make him feel colder at home. So I would go visit him wearing my coat. If I got too cold, I went home without demanding he "do something" to appease me.

Yet this is the demand believers in government make. They can't seem to grasp the idea of accepting responsibility for themselves and allowing others the same dignity. If they are uncomfortable, they insist on making everything the way they want it, no matter who is hurt. Their comfort is all that matters to them, and they'll justify any harm by saying it's for your own good.

This is probably why they see libertarians as a threat when we say they can keep their government, we just want to opt out. They seem to project their own shortcomings on everyone else because they can't imagine leaving others alone to determine their own lives.

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I got internet back at the expense of other needs. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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So long, 2017



Here it is. The last day of this arbitrary cycle of 365+ days.

I hope the past cycle of days was a good one for you; I hope the coming cycle is better.

I've been hosting some lovely influenza viruses who hijacked my cells to reproduce themselves, but I seem to be mostly over it now. So, that's a good thing.

Onward, into the future.

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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Looking through your magic lenses



Some people believe I single out cops as bad guys. But that's only because they single out cops to excuse from the standards of civilized and decent behavior they hold most everyone else to.

I don't like or support anyone who initiates force or who violates property rights. No one. This is pretty much the minimum for being libertarian. If someone habitually violates life, liberty, or property I am not going to consider them a good guy. Their excuses and justifications don't matter to me. If they take a "job" that requires this type of behavior, then they are not "good" people.

There are no good mafia hitmen, no good cops, no good muggers, no good tax collectors, no good rapists. Doing the bad things for money doesn't make them better than doing them freelance. All the above can be nice people when not engaging in the worst part of what they do, but they can't ever be good people until or unless they STOP what they have been doing, make restitution, and never violate anyone again.

Yes, a bad guy can become a good guy in a heartbeat, but it requires facing, honestly, the evil he has been doing. Bad guys are never going to do this as long as people keep excusing them and patting them on the back for their "service".

So, no, I don't single out cops. I am against ALL bad guys, equally. It's only because some people refuse to hold cops accountable that it looks like I am singling out cops. It's an illusion. They are the ones singling out cops.

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Friday, December 29, 2017

Murderous scumwad shrugs responsibility

Members of the murderer's gang lying to cover the crime

So, a murderous scum Blue Line Gang member murders a kid while killing a suspected thief, and once again isn't held responsible. Instead, the whole disgusting gang protects him or her (probably "him") from responsibility by hiding the murderer's identity.

Was the claim that the intended murder victim was seen with a gun a lie? Or just a case of "seeing" what the scum wanted to see in order to have a "license to kill"?

You could claim that this wasn't murder, since the scumwad didn't realize the kid was inside the house where he couldn't be seen.

If you were trying to murder an unarmed woman, and you missed with at least one shot, and that shot went through a wall, into a house, and hit and killed a kid, would you be given the courtesy of having your identity hidden from the public, and not being immediately arrested for murder?

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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Cancerous Cartmanism



If you don't have the right to do something, you can't ever get the "authority" to do it.

If the right to do something doesn't exist due to the nature of rights, you can't have the right to do it.

If you as an individual have no right to do something, a bigger group of individuals can't magically make the right pop into existence, and can't turn that magical "right" into "authority" to imbue someone else with. It just can't happen.

For example, you don't (you can't) have the right to outlaw plants and punish those who grow or possess them anyway, because that right can't exist, so the "authority" to outlaw plants (and punish people over them) isn't yours to claim or give away.

You don't have the right to forbid other people to smoke or ingest plants (or punish them for doing so) because such a right can't exist, so you can never have the "authority" to do so.

The same goes for banning weapons, "legalizing" theft (and otherwise violating the property rights of others), and generally imposing, supporting, or enforcing counterfeit "laws" of any sort.

If you try to do a thing you have no right to do, you are the bad guy. If you claim you have the "authority" to do something you have no right to do, then you are, if possible, an even worse bad guy.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Government still dividing America

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for December 27, 2017)




As the year 2017 draws to a close, it is disappointing to see America more divided than at any time since the 1860s. The main cause being government. Almost everyone complains about government, at least sometimes. It's a natural thing to do.

The reason is, with political governance, one side only wins at the expense of the other side. This leads to a fracturing of society, where the winners and losers-- the Right and the Left-- hate each other. It really is that bad...read the rest...

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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Turn Thanksgiving into Gratitude Day

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for November 22, 2017)




When something has been around a long time, it's easy to take it for granted and stop seeing it. Sometimes you need to look at familiar things in a new way; from a different perspective. If you don't like what you see, you can always go back to overlooking it again.

Maybe it's time to change your perspective on the day called Thanksgiving. The word "thanksgiving" has come to mean-- to most people-- turkey, big meals, and football, with any actual thanks being given as almost an afterthought.

It doesn't have to be that way.

If this is your case and you want out of your rut, think of it not as Thanksgiving day, but as Gratitude Day. A day to be grateful and show your gratitude.

Someone deserves your gratitude. Whether it's gratitude expressed to God or to a person in your life, say it and, more importantly, act on it.

Don't limit your gratitude to the things you think of first when you consider the things you appreciate. Even the thorns in our lives may have a rose if we take time and make the effort to see it. If you look and there's no rose, the thorns could probably be worse. Someone, somewhere, is suffering worse thorns than you. Be thankful you aren't that guy, if for nothing else.

Be grateful to, and for, the family and friends who surround you. If you can, tell them.

Some people aren't comfortable expressing gratitude. It's not my place to judge them for it because I'm sometimes in the same shoes. Don't let yourself be shamed into public expressions of gratitude if you aren't feeling it; it won't be real. Perhaps, when the time is right, it will come. Any day can be Gratitude Day, but for everything there is a last chance.

I'm not going to fault those who are content with the way Thanksgiving day has changed in recent decades. We all find our enjoyment where we can. There is a lot of good to be found in spending the day with whoever you like, doing whatever you want. If you are bothered by the way you've spent the day in recent years, change it. Don't demand others change what works for them just because you think they should be doing something else.

Thank you for reading these columns. I am grateful to have the chance to share them with you.


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Discussion with a cop supporter



Below is a discussion I had with a supporter of cops* a while back. It may be educational to see the lengths people will go to when they are desperate to excuse the inexcusable and justify that which can't be justified.

"This analogy reflects my perspective: it takes only a little bit of light to dispel a room full of darkness. In this perspective, 'bad' is easily corrupted by 'good,' the catalyst."

It would be nice if that were true, but that doesn't match observation. Good seems more fragile in the real world than bad. If you hang out with "the wrong crowd", which of you is more likely to change their behavior. Yes, sometimes the good might turn some of the bad, but it is much, much more common for it to go the other way. I'm not saying it isn't possible, just that it isn't probable.

"In my experience, people are too complicated to be accurately represented by oversimplified logical proofs." 

 Again, we aren't taking about people, but behavior.

"I'm not denying that this corruption exists or that these things take place. I'm questioning the virtue of the assertion that 'all cops are bad people.'" 

I'm not speaking about corruption, but the fact that the "job", carried out perfectly, demands a person do evil things. You can't speak of "mafia corruption" with any less absurdity than "police corruption". The "job" itself is the problem. 

"What I mean by 'policing' is all the good things police do." 

None of that requires a person to be a cop. The only advantage cops have is the communication infrastructure which lets them be alerted to a problem. That advantage is going away. The problem is that the bad things cops do, they get away with due to their status as a government enforcer-- so the good doesn't require them to be a cop, but to get away with the bad does generally require them to be a cop.

"I'd like to see the results of your thought experiment in which all the police suddenly vanished from the world." 

I'd like to see that, too. I know there would be problems. People have been infantized by being trained to outsource their responsibility to "the professionals". This will have consequences. But, just like someone who has been tricked into depending on a wheelchair, you're not going to get better until you take some painful steps.

"In mine, the person has not yet been forced into such a situation. Maybe he's a rookie cop. Or maybe he lives in a peaceful town and hasn't been pressured to go against his principles. He's served his community with a clear conscience for some time. He's not abusing his delegated power, and maybe he never will." 

Is he paid by "taxation"? Then he's a thief (receipt of stolen property-- if he doesn't help enforce "tax laws") and committing evil. For him to then "arrest" someone for theft is hypocrisy. What kind of things do you expect this unsullied "servant" to do? Can he do those things without violating anyone (besides through his theft)? I've known several cops; even socialized with some. Had a pretty deep conversation with a guy who was training to be a cop. Some were nice, but none were good. It's a logical impossibility for them to be. I don't treat them any different than I treat any other person I know to be a thief or aggressor, but who isn't doing those things at this moment. I would hope they don't act out on what they have been trained to believe it is OK for them to do, as a cop, when out of uniform, but I'm not going to trust one.

"...if you know the person's intentions, you have a better chance of understanding the person's actions." 

Which is why I have (in the past) socialized with some cops, under some circumstances. I assume they won't steal of molest while not on the "job", due to their "intentions". But it does happen.

"He may actually be there to help you, but you've already decided that's impossible." 

No. I actually haven't. I have written extensively on topics such as this and don't really feel like rehashing it all. Here's one example that pertains to your assumption.

"My point is that intentions are important, because even if they don't change the outcome of the action, they change your perception of both the action and its outcome." 

So, if an attacker only intends to rape, and the murder of his victim was an accident, I should excuse the murder? Sorry, but my perception is that if you initiate force/steal as a matter of course, you are a bad guy. If the realization of my perception offends the guy doing it, he could stop.

"I was talking about something closer to 'opinionated conclusions' and 'hypercritical thinking'." 

I still believe it is important to be opinionated about certain things (and refuse to excuse or justify them), and the opposite of "hypercritical thinking" is either gullibility or the lack of thought. Maybe a combination. Truth is truth, even if it makes you uncomfortable, or even if you'd rather equivocate. 

"I'm not talking about 'looking the other way' in the face of archation. I'm talking about expecting what you don't want." 

I don't want a tornado to hit my house. I don't "expect" it, but I would be foolish to ignore the possibility. I don't expect a cop to attack me-- unless he initiates contact. Then, whether it's a "traffic stop" or some other "contact", he has already aggressed against me. My expectations are irrelevant at this point. I don't "expect" him to escalate the situation and murder me, but it happens more often than cop supporters want to know. To ignore the reality of the situation: that an armed aggressor has accosted me, and quite probably intends to rob me, might decide to kidnap me, and will murder me if he gets nervous, would be foolish on my part.

"...but what do you do with cops who insist they're doing the right thing, trying to clear the corruption from the system by being a good example?" 

I try to educate them as to why they aren't doing the right thing, and that the system isn't corrupt anymore than the mafia is corrupt. It is as it is designed to be.

"How do you decide that point at which you switch from your perspective to theirs?" 

When I reject principles and ethics.

"I also see that violence may not be the only effective response to archation. " 

Never assumed it was. That's why I write.

"You might define the label by a set of actions, but when you use that label on a person, you are labeling that person." 

When a person willingly associates himself with, and gets a large part of his identity from, those behaviors, what would you do? They label themselves. I simply accept their identity.

"If you don't think there should be a next generation of police, I'd like to know how you see the path to this reality." 

By getting people to see that cops are unnecessary and harmful to society. A net negative. That they are anti-society. I have no illusions that I will accomplish this myself. But it is enough to see people throw off the veil and see the "job" for what it really is. And I am seeing more and more people grow out of the superstition every day.

"'*Copsucker' is a label to which you've attached negative characteristics." 

Because blind support of police is a very negative personality flaw. People should be ashamed for exhibiting this trait. Are you going to make nice euphemisms for people who support other thugs and bullies?

"'Good person' and 'bad person' are labels, too. When we use them to refer to people, they become abstract and simplified..." 

Labels aren't bad when they are accurate; only when they are deceptive. Everyone can do both good and bad, but then the scales tip by the majority of a person's actions, the label can be very helpful in discerning who you should trust and who you shouldn't.

"Using the worst definition of 'cop' to justify other labels..."

OK, define cop or "police officer" in a truthful way.

"The kind of peace I meant here was freedom from war and archation." 

Probably a pipe dream. There will always be archation (whether it is "war" or not is probably irrelevant), even in a free society. I don't necessarily seek freedom from archation, but I do seek an honest assessment of it, and removal of the veil of legitimacy for those who commit it as a part of their "job". This includes politicians, muggers, and other archators, not just cops.

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Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Chrisolstikwanzakah



Enjoy the winter solstice holiday of your choice.
Thank you for being here for me.
I'll be back in a couple of days.



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Saturday, December 23, 2017

Sneaky lying cheaters who archate



The person I know who is the most concerned with whether other people are being sneaky, and sees (and condemns) sneakiness in everyone, is also the sneakiest person I've ever met.

This is a pattern I've noticed in many things.

The person who hates cheating the most is probably the biggest cheater.
The person who believes everyone else is lying is probably a liar.

So, recognizing this in others makes me examine myself more closely.

I don't like archation in others. Does this mean I am prone to archate?

I know I have the capacity. I've done it more times than I want to admit. I do believe I am getting better at not doing so. When I feel the urge to archate, I notice and stop myself-- in almost every case. Sometimes, I notice after it has already happened, and then I am ashamed of myself. If I can, I apologize.

I know I am capable of being a monster, and life is a constant struggle to not act it out. I suspect that is just part of being human.

If I do archate, I want people to call me on it. Unlike the sneak, the cheater, and the liar, I am willing to face my flaws. That doesn't mean it's not uncomfortable, or that I will take it well when it is pointed out. But I try. I want to be better than I am.

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Friday, December 22, 2017

Those thieving thieves and their schemes



I know practically nothing about the most recent tweaking of the gang's theft conspiracy. I hadn't been keeping up with developments, details, or news about it, and I don't care enough to research it.

Some people claim it means they will be stealing slightly less. (I sort of doubt it, because they always seem to manage to make up their theft quotas elsewhere, but I can pretend for a moment.)

Some other people are having a conniption because some people are happy if it's the case that slightly less will be stolen. What?

I am against theft. All theft. That being said, in my opinion stealing less is always preferable to stealing more (or the same). Right? How can anyone object?

If I get mugged, and manage to not have the thief steal as much as he might have stolen, I'm not going to be happy about the mugging, but I will be happy to have retained what he didn't get.

I oppose the self incrimination ritual that occurs when people have to ask for some of their stolen property to be returned. I understand it's not really about giving back the money, but about social manipulation to give it back. "Incriminate yourself and jump through these flaming hoops, and we'll see if you deserve to have the property we stole returned to you."

I also understand whiny statists complaining that without the stolen money, government can't "provide" as much. Good!! I don't want anything from government except to be left out of it.

But, really, complaining that a mugger will possibly get less money than he did previously seems misguided.

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Overprotection brings irresponsibility



I think the current overprotection of children is harmful. I know I'm not the first to point this out, but I don't think it can be said enough-- until it stops.

No one can learn responsibility without being given the opportunity to be irresponsible. And unless they've been given this opportunity in small doses all along, just suddenly handing them a lighter, a knife, or a loaded gun might bring disaster. This is the fault of those who have restricted their access as much as it is theirs.

Because yes, kids should have easy access to lighters, knives, and loaded guns. And they need to learn that actions have consequences.

It helps if responsible adults, who have good familiarity with guns, knives, fire, and all sorts of dangerous things, are there to provide guidance at first. But keeping kids away from guns, knives, fire, etc., means there will not be any adults qualified to fill this role before too long. This won't end well.

Yes, there is the risk of kids maiming or killing someone if they have access to dangerous things. The problem is, keeping them away from dangerous things doesn't make anyone any safer, it just changes the nature of the risk that you are practically guaranteeing.

The current way has been an utter disaster. Keeping guns "away" from kids leads to mass shootings. for one thing. This world is full of dangers. You aren't doing anyone a favor by raising a generation of ignorant people who are unequipped to deal with reality.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Christmas good holiday for outlaws

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for December 20, 2017)




Christmas is a good holiday for outlaws.

No, not for criminals. For outlaws. What? You don't know the difference?

Let me explain why outlaws are not your enemy and why Christmas is a great outlaw holiday...read the rest...

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Statism is...



Statism is lazy.

Statism is unethical.

Statism can be cowardly.

Statism is irresponsible.

Statism is dishonest.

Statism is archation.

And statism seems to be everywhere.

Growing up statist can have consequences. Once you learn to justify statism you are prone to self-justify or excuse any archation. They aren't different things.

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Monday, December 18, 2017

Imagine...



Imagine a world where people don't fight over their imaginary friend.

Imagine a world where people don't kill each other over disagreements about how their imaginary friend is worshiped, or how the holy symbols of the imaginary friend are treated.

No, I'm not talking about Christianity, Islam, or any of those sorts of belief systems. I'm talking about statism: the world's largest, most popular, and most deadly religion.

The State is an imaginary friend. It only exists in the mind, and there is nothing friendly about that belief. Belief in the State is expressed in many ways, but people don't usually want it expressed in opposing ways and continually kill each other over their differences. The belief in this imaginary friend is very harmful. It would be better to give it up. In fact, it is suicidal to not give it up.

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