Friday, May 29, 2015

Self defense a primary human right

Self defense a primary human right

(My Clovis News Journal column for May 29, 2015)

If someone is violating your personal rights — through aggression or by violating your property — you have the right to stop them.

Nothing, no justifications or excuses, can abolish or alter your right to defense of self or property....read the rest...

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

An enemy of cops?

Am I an enemy of cops?

Depends on what you mean by "enemy".

My message to cops is this: I will not initiate force against you. I will not violate your private property. In other words, I make you the same guarantee I make any other person.

On the other hand, there is a flipside to that universal guarantee. I will not look the other way when you initiate force and violate property-- just the same as with anyone else.

If that makes you think of me as your enemy, it shows what kind of person you are.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

An anti-ethical ethic

(A Patreon/subscriber-only post)

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You are responsible for what you support

You've heard it before: "This ain't no f---ing game".

There are people out there supporting "government" actions and programs that are getting lots of innocent people killed. Those people want to feel good about themselves and need to believe they are not doing something wrong- but they are not being good at all.

Some even believe themselves to be champions of Liberty in spite of their support for Liberty's natural enemy.

They need to be shocked back to reality if they refuse to take responsibility for their actions.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Taxation, even of the rich, is theft

Taxation, even of the rich, is theft

(My Clovis News Journal column for April 24, 2015)

Many people want “the rich” punished through taxation. They are seeking to use government to steal from the rich on their behalf — knowing it would be wrong to take it in person.

Two of their favorite weapons are "estate taxes" and taxing "Big Business" more.

Perhaps they mistake the tax collector for Robin Hood. The irony is lost on them. Robin Hood didn't rob from the rich and give to the poor, as the socialist agenda has perverted the narrative. He reclaimed money from the thieves-- the tax collectors-- and returned it to its rightful owners.

The estate tax enthusiasts believe rich people got their wealth dishonestly, when this only applies to those who got rich through laws and theft, rather than through mutually consensual trade (where both parties always come out ahead). Those in politics and those using government to protect their business, while hobbling competition with regulations, are a problem.

Taxation is always theft. Nothing is so important that stealing to fund it is excusable. Stealing from the "rich" to benefit the underprivileged harms everyone. Once you have declared some amount of theft to be okay, any theft can be justified by someone.

Another problem is the belief in such a thing as "excessive profits". If you own a business try marking all your prices as high as you want, then let me know how it works out. Without a government-enforced monopoly (monopolies can't survive without being propped up by laws), customers aren't forced to do business with you. Either they will be willing to pay your price, or they'll make other arrangements, or do without.

Plus, businesses never get "taxed"- the costs are always passed along to the customer (that's you). Businesses either figure the cost of involuntarily supporting government into their cost of doing business, or they go out of business. Quickly. Whining to tax "big business" is begging to pay more for everything.

When the rich keep their money they buy things produced by people like you and me. They create jobs which employ you and me. Even if they do something crazy, like burying it in a hole in the ground, it is at least not being used against the productive people.

No matter how much you hate "the rich", or how they use their money, it is better to let them keep their property than to encourage the largest extortion racket in the world to rake in even more. Money which goes to government largely goes to finance a parasitic bureaucracy and to fund those blocking progress by preventing a free market.

Regardless the cause, you can't be generous with money which doesn't belong to you.

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What makes me mad

Government doesn't make me mad. I hardly even think about it beyond the things I write. And I certainly don't let it ruin my life.

Regular people, people who should know better, supporting government is what makes me mad.

I need to get over that.

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Stepping around the dog poop

Since you and I aren't likely to snap many people out of their silly beliefs in "authority" and "government", and since most people will choose to live their lives in fear over "what if", you'd better find a way to simply live "around" them; don't step in the mess they insist on making.

Don't stop pointing out the bad stuff you see them advocating, but just accept that they are probably going to refuse to change even if it kills them. Do your best not to get any of it on you- that statist stink is hard to wash away.

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

"Informed" by the "news"

I used to keep up with the "news". I was what you might call "informed". I would always be amazed when people I worked with were completely unaware of things going on in the world beyond their tiny sphere. They just got up, went to work, and went home. That was the extent of their world's horizon.

Of course, they weren't ever stressed about things they had no clue were happening, either. They stressed over petty personal drama- who was cheating on whom, and things like that. I really looked down upon those whose world revolved around petty personal drama. Still do.

But, in some ways I have become more like them.

I don't seek out "news" anymore. I don't know how long it has been since I watched a TV newscast- probably a couple of decades. I didn't even know who the governor of Texas was until I saw the news item about him wanting to keep an eye on those vile Jade Helm invaders. I rarely read any "national" news items in any newspapers- when I read newspapers it is to find out about local happenings that will actually affect my life and schedule. And, I read the "opinions".

I now see myself back then as being, not "informed", but "misinformed"- not that it made much difference either way, really. I didn't go along with the conclusions the news seemed to be trying to indoctrinate into me anyway.

The "Big Stories" that I find interesting- like natural disasters and the occasional human-caused disaster- still find their way to me. The non-items- like which puppetician did what- I mostly miss, unless others are talking about it. It cuts down on the noise. And it cuts down on the stress. I don't really care that much about what the puppeticians do or what their opinions might be. I'm going to live my life regardless of their opinions unless they are physically in my face. And out here, that's not too likely. I don't know if I've ever even seen the mayor of this town. He is irrelevant to me.

I still don't care to hear all the petty personal drama- although I do get subjected to it by those who live on such swill. I'm sure my reactions are dissatisfying, to say the least.

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Alcohol laws do little to protect

Alcohol laws do little to protect

(My Clovis News Journal column for May 22, 2015)

Recently there was a situation near Farwell that stirred up a lot of residents. I doubt the backlash is finished.

The reaction reminds me of my cats watching a bird through the window — lots of chattering and gnashing of teeth...read the rest...

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Pointing out stupidity

(Previously posted to Patreon)

Sometimes, in a moment of frustration, I will openly say that statists are stupid.

Not generally in a blog post, but rather in a Facebook status.

I admit that's probably not nice, but I need to vent occasionally.

Most of the time, one-on-one, I try to nicely walk statists through an examination of their claims to try to make them see how odd their notions are.

However, sometimes, some people need a little more of a kick.

It is not helpful to pretend that really stupid and self-destructive things are not stupid. If you see someone licking the front sight of their loaded and cocked pistol, with their finger on the trigger, it doesn't help them to say "That's just how they choose to clean their sight- it's a perfectly valid way." Maybe it helps to calmly talk them into getting the pistol aimed in a safe direction before you point out how stupid they were being, but they really do need to understand how stupid that was.

Because, if you care, you don't want them continuing to do something monumentally stupid- like advocating statism.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Arbitrary age criteria

(A Patreon/subscriber-only post)

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In the spirit of compromise...

I want to drive across country.
You don't want me to.
You insist I compromise with you by taking the wheels off my car before I start the engine.
I ignore you and drive away.
You call me an extremist and say I'm "hurting the cause".
I laugh at you ranting in my rear view mirror.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Roundabout still better than lights

Roundabout still better than lights

(My Clovis News Journal column for April 17, 2015)

I’ve noticed new pavement markings at the Clovis roundabout, the premier driving entertainment venue in our area and star of a Youtube video*.

These pavement markings have the same hieroglyphics as the signs you might notice on the roadside as you approach. I’m not sure the added expense of painting the pavement accomplished anything — other than spending some of the annoying tax loot that clutters up government offices everywhere.

I wonder if those who built the roundabout, and those who decided on the proper way to maneuver around it, ever considered that following their directions to the letter (or would it be "to the glyph"?) still means cars will be crossing each others paths as they enter, circle, and exit. Sure, if all traffic were only coming from one direction, their instructions would make some sense, but that's not how it works. It's as if they don't take into account the reality that cars will be entering and exiting from four different directions at once.

Plus, if the westbound road actually had the two lanes illustrated-- rather than having one of the two lanes end rather abruptly upon exiting the roundabout-- things might go a bit smoother.

It's government; what else would you expect?

Yet, even with these issues, I have only had trouble navigating the roundabout one time-- the first time I drove through it. Slamming on the brakes when cars surprised me by appearing seemingly out of nowhere, I broke some eggs I was hauling. But, once around was all it took for me to figure out how the thing works, and I now give plenty of right-of-way to any cars in the roundabout. I kind of enjoy it. It's so much better than those silly traffic control signs and signals used at most intersections to mess up the natural flow of traffic so terribly.

I have also been a passenger while other people drive through the roundabout. In some cases this is very exciting. One person in particular generally takes the straightest path possible, regardless of anything like lanes or the presence of other cars. I grit my teeth and hang on while this driver expresses irritation at the incompetence of all the other drivers.

I'm confident in a future free society, when people look back in disbelief that anyone ever settled for government-owned roads, the owners and managers of roads will make sure to have things as clear as possible to prevent the lawsuits and liability poor planning and maintenance would open them up to. Anything less would be unthinkable.

That, or our self-driving cars will work it all out between themselves while we sip whiskey and text each other.

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*There's another video, too: roundabout "fun"?

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Group effects

"Society" is a name for a group of individuals. Just like "group". Or "swarm". Or "the market".

More than that, it is the effect those individuals have. It is the result of individuals acting individually, but having an effect that is greater than the sum of the parts.

That's why I don't object to the term "society" as much as some do- as long as it isn't being claimed that "society" has rights above and beyond those of individuals or not possessed by individuals.

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Statists helping anarchism

On "social media" I constantly witness (and sometimes endure) jabs from statists who are trying to ridicule the passion (and rationality) for Rightful Liberty.

It doesn't really bother me when "conservatives" or "liberals" try to belittle liberty lovers.

I'm happy that they are that willing to make fools of themselves without anyone else even lifting a finger to help. It's nice when your enemies do all the work for you.

Sometimes instead of mainly trying to jab, they instead spend their effort making "reasonable-sounding" statist claims that don't stand up to scrutiny.

I am especially amused by the reasonable-sounding "conservatives" whose objections fall apart if you actually examine them beyond the most superficial glimpse. They claim anarchy is "Utopian", and that their beliefs reflect the "real world" while insisting that "good government" is possible, in spite of the entirety of human history as evidence against that notion. Seriously, I sometimes wonder if some of them are anarchist trolls setting up fake accounts to caricature "conservatives" and make them look foolish.

I should get into a habit of thanking them, but then they might shut up and stop discrediting their superstition.

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Have you fallen for it?

"War is Peace."
"Freedom is Slavery."
"Ignorance is Strength."

"Anarchy is Violence."


Seems legit. LOL!

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

I got a fright

The other day I was sitting on my patio (not as attractive as that word makes it sound) when a MS-13 gang member slowly pulled up in front of my house. Was I scared? You bet!

He pulled forward, and backward, and finally stopped at the edge of my property.

Why was he here? Was he planning to rob me? Kill me? Was my daughter in danger? "Fight or flight" was kicking in rapidly, along with heightened situational awareness.

I was only slightly relieved when he then got out and walked to my next door neighbor's door. I watched to make sure nothing was happening. I sent her a message asking if she was alright and offering help, if needed.

Wait- did I say "MS-13"? I meant cop.

If you aren't scared of cops, you don't know what's going on. The Blue Line Gang is more of an actual threat to your life, liberty, and property than any other gang out there.

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Laws are just opinions of bullies

Laws are just opinions of bullies

(My Clovis News Journal column for May 15, 2015)

If you were sitting alone in your own home, would you seek permission to read one of your books? Or to write one? Would you be concerned with whether you are allowed to scratch an itch?

Would you wonder if you need a license to watch TV? Don’t laugh — TV licensing is a reality in Great Britain and many other places....read the rest...
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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Bowing before "laws"

I feel just as much obligation to obey "laws" as to bow to Mecca.

In either case, I might do so to save my hide if a gun is being pointed at me, but then it isn't really obedience; it's compliance due to an imminent deadly threat.

And, you had better never turn your back on me while forcing me to do something I know to be wrong.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Buy my stuff?

Just a reminder that I have things for sale. (Including on eBay.) Selling things would really be good right now.

Thanks!

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Rulers are not leaders unless you follow willingly

I accept the fact that there is no such thing as "authority". And because of that truth, no one can have a "right" to rule anyone else.

Not through a vote, or an appointment to an office, or being hired.

People can take positions of leadership, but if you achieve your position politically, you are not a "leader". If people are not allowed to choose to not follow you, you are not a leader. If you push from behind to make people go where they don't want to go, you are not a leader. If you claim "authority" is why you can get away with behaving this way you are fooling yourself as much as you are fooling anyone else.

If this is you, please jump off a high cliff and do a messy swan dive into rocky ground, and I encourage all your foollowers (originally a typo, but I like it) to follow you.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

We don’t need another bad law

We don’t need another bad law

(My Clovis News Journal column for April 10, 2015)

The new “Religious Freedom Restoration” laws are wrong and misguided. But not for the reason you might think.

 They are not wrong because they supposedly give people the right to choose to not do business with someone for religious reasons, but because everyone already has that right.

 It's called "the right of association". No one can take this right from anyone, but government, armed with coerced-association laws, sometimes chooses to punish people for exercising it.

These anti-discrimination "laws" have been violating this fundamental human right for decades. The proper response, along with breaking the bad law, would be to repeal the anti-discrimination law, not to pass a new law. Getting rid of bad laws seems to be a hard thing for governments to do. Lawmakers- because their job revolves around making up laws- would prefer to manufacture a new law rather than eliminate an old one. Admitting they made a mistake goes against their nature.

When you keep trying to fix a bad law by patching it with new laws, you end up with a complete and utter mess. I call it "law pollution".

The last thing anyone needs is another law.

So, back to "Religious Freedom Restoration" laws. Everyone has the right to refuse to do business with anyone for any reason whatsoever- or for no reason at all. It's a two-way street. A business can refuse a customer's money, and a potential customer can decide to spend his money elsewhere. That's liberty.

I think it's silly to refuse money from a peaceable customer, just as I think no amount of money is worth dealing with someone who chooses to violate you or others, but it's not my decision either way.

No law can eliminate the right of association. Nor can public opinion. Someone may call you names or hate you for making a choice, and calling you names and hating you is also their right.

If I, as a business owner, think a business relationship with you will hurt me more than refusing to serve you, it's my business. If I, as a potential customer, disagree with your reasons for refusing certain customers I am free to take my money elsewhere, whether your discrimination directly affects me or not. And both are free to express their opinion of the other.

This is how a truly free market solves this problem. Businesses which alienate enough people will go out of business, and people who are so offensive no one will deal with them will either change or die.

Perhaps you believe that sounds cruel. It's better than the alternative, which is enslaving people by violating their right to choose with whom to associate.

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Get a (legitimate) job

If you work for government you do not have a legitimate job. Sorry if that offends you, but it's just what is. In that case your "job" probably shouldn't even exist, but even if it should, it still shouldn't be financed with theft.

A job at a corporation isn't the optimal job, either, but at least no corporations can (yet) force people to do business with them (even though the very nature of corporations mean they are in bed with "the State" and manipulate its "laws" to their advantage, and to the disadvantage of their competitors). Doing honest work at a corporation is still better than any "job" working directly for government at any level.

I'm not saying my "job" is the greatest or perfect, either. I write and then hope, without any guarantees, someone will "buy" a product I put out there without any strings attached. I know there are more stable ways to earn money, but I never coerce anyone to pay for what I write (although I do sometimes beg and plead). Even the newspaper approached me, rather than the other way around. Unlike every other job I have had, I never feel guilty about what I do.

It still comes back to the fact that a "government" job, paid through "taxation", is not a legitimate job.  Not government school teachers, cops, social workers, librarians, bureaucrats, mayors, government secretaries... whatever. Not even if you are the most helpful and otherwise honest person in town.  It is equal to the worst possible ways to get money.

If working for government is a legitimate job, then so is armed robbery.

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Making life better

My life is better by not believing in "authority", and by expressing that lack of belief by respecting the life, liberty, and property of others. No matter what anyone else does, my life is better.

I imagine it would be even better the more people who join me, which is why I make the effort to get people to realize this, but even if no one does, my life is still better that it would otherwise be.

No, my life isn't perfect. I am not perfect. There is always room for improvement.

But why handicap yourself needlessly by clinging to a dangerous and damaging superstition and by being a bully because of it?

You are the one with most of the power for improving your life. Use it.

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Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Loving State

Once upon a time...

John had grown tired of being scared. He was told there were terrorists and criminals all around him. And scary gun owners who wanted to shoot him.

And there were all these Big Businesses wanting to add poison to all the food they sold to kill him. And conspire together to make him pay too much. And, obviously, they enslaved all their employees and made them work for minimum wage in dangerous conditions. They even wanted to hire children and force them to work in sweatshops instead of learning how to read, write, and obey bells while being fed nice warm meals of government-approved "food"!

But, some of his friends kept reminding him this wasn't the way it had to be; peace and fairness were possible. All it took was accepting the Lord and Savior: The State. Giving all control of himself over to The State's representatives. Obeying each and every command without question and with perfect willingness. Never questioning- that was too hard anyway. Stop living for yourself as the selfish do, but live to lift up and praise The State and all its gifts.

In return The State would protect him with its Commandments called Laws. To pay for all this goodness only cost 88% of the production of the entire economy; an acceptable tithe. The occasional blood sacrifices would probably never happen to anyone he knew personally. As long as they obeyed the Commandments. And, even if falsely accused, he was promised, just do what the cops tell you to do, and if you survive, there won't be any problem. Even if you are horribly violated, it's your own fault, and you can sort it all out in court later. Or your survivors can. It's all good. No need to lift a finger against your protectors.

So, John gave himself- body and soul- to The State. He waved its flag and said its pledge. He supported its troops, both the foreign and domestic branches, whole-heartedly. He angrily defended it from any questions. He finally felt safe.

Enjoying his new-found serenity, he took a stroll in a government park. He knew cops were walking around, looking for trouble on his behalf. He was relieved to see cameras focused on every square inch of the park. As long as he stayed in plain view of the cameras, help would probably be only minutes away if something bad happened. He was so happy not to have to worry about defending himself anymore. It would have been too stressful- or so his friends had assured him. Not that he had ever tried, of course. That was distasteful business.

He remembered he had a pack of cigarettes in his pocket and sneakily picked up a stray bit of trash (the wind must have blown it here since he didn't see any blood to testify to an arrest) to hide his act of putting the pack in the trash can. He got away with it! Praise the cameras! The cameras would help him stop his filthy habit, and the chances the pack would be found and fingerprinted was pretty low. Still he felt a little guilty he hadn't turned himself in. He could probably afford the fine for possessing an open pack- his daughter would understand if they had to skip a meal or two. They had made sacrifices for the glory of The State before. In six months or so, his wife would be out of jail, having then served her time for taking that text message while parked in front of that store. She should have known better! But he wouldn't do anything wrong, like she did. Maybe she should have looked into one of those "parked texting" permits. Or, maybe she should have become a cop, since they can text or use their computers while they drive- not only while parked. This solution to a common problem made him smile. He felt good for having thought of it, and would be sure to scold his wife for not thinking clearer before doing something illegal.

As he strolled contentedly along, he noticed as a cop tried to arrest a guy who had committed the heinous crime of reaching into a pocket and then reacting with fear as he noticed the presence of a cop. The criminal didn't drop to his knees fast enough to satisfy the cop, who kicked his legs out from under him and started tazing and kicking him. He should have complied faster. What is he doing? Using sign language? Well, deaf people should always get on their knees in the presence of a cop so misunderstandings like this wouldn't happen. Again, if only people would comply! That deaf criminal sure could scream loud, though. John hoped the cop took note to add that to the list of offenses. He's probably an illegal immigrant too- because he looked a little different.

John turned away to avoid seeing anything the cop didn't want seen. You've got to support those fine people and their sacrifices, and supporting them is best served by looking the other way. His friends had told him that plenty of times. It's why the cameras automatically shut off any time a cop was in frame- for the safety of the officer.

John found a nice bench under a tree. He only jumped a little when he heard the gunshot that ended the screaming of the criminal. Ahh. Peace and quiet again.

Just another necessary sacrifice to make John, and those he loved, feel safe,

The clouds rolled by. A bird was starting to sing again. As John sat in the shade of the tree, a tear came to his eye as he reflected that none of this would be possible without the loving State's hand holding itself over him.

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Saturday, May 09, 2015

...Even if I stand alone.

My Facebook status from a while back:

I don't wish to fire the police department and replace them with new guys.  
I don't want to elect "better" politicians.  
Those people are irrelevant to my life except when they get in the way- which is all they can ever do by holding those illegitimate "jobs".  
They are all vermin and parasites- they make honest tapeworms and rabid skunks look good by comparison, since the tapeworms make no pretense of "helping" or "authority".  
I can watch out for myself and those around me- I am an adult, after all. I don't need to be "governed" or "protected". I don't want anyone "governed", controlled, or violated on my "behalf". Not ever. Not even those who might consider me an enemy, or people who really annoy me.  
I will never pretend such a thing as "authority" exists, and they just make themselves look ridiculous by insisting it does. 
That doesn't mean the bullies won't violate me using their superstition of "authority" as justification. Bullies exist and always will- the excuse they use doesn't matter one bit.  
I would hope people join me, but it's where I stand, even if I stand alone.

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Friday, May 08, 2015

Bullying by statists will continue

Bullying by statists will continue

(My Clovis News Journal column for May 8, 2015)

If, like me, you are unconvinced that coercion, theft, and aggression are proper behaviors to organize a society around (assuming societies can be organized at all) there are a few automatic responses you will repeatedly encounter as people attempt to belittle your position. ...read the rest...

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Thursday, May 07, 2015

Liberty Lines, May 7, 2015

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

If government were necessary- it isn't, but I'll humor you- its one and only possible justification is to protect the rights of the individual. Only individuals have rights; not "society" or any other collective. There is no such thing as "the common good"- this is just a flimsy excuse to harm individuals, which always harms society as a whole since society is made of nothing but individuals.

All rights are, at their foundation, property rights- concerning either your body, or the products of your body and life. When government employees start violating rights (with permits, licenses, prohibitions, and enforcement of "laws" against anything other than theft or aggression) instead of protecting these rights, they are behaving counter to their job's only possible justification and that job needs to be abolished.

A government which violates individual rights invalidates itself.

A large part of the problem is that very few people today understand what rights actually are. All real rights are "negative rights"- things you have a right to not have someone else do to you or your property.

"Positive rights"- things others are required to do for you- are the imaginary product of socialism.
"I have a right to housing, so you can be forced to provide it for me".
"I have a right to an education, so I'll vote to tax you in order to pay for it."
"I have a right to enjoy my property, so you have to get approval to use yours."

The right to use your property as you see fit, within your property lines, without asking permission from anyone, is inalienable. The imaginary right to control what others do with their property, for "the common good", is the perversion which has been normalized through the belief in the existence of human "authority"- which is a dangerous superstition.

Almost all law enforcement now done is nothing but violating Natural Rights and Rightful Liberty- while collecting money to finance even more of the same. As soon as a government starts violating individual rights, including property rights, in any way, it becomes the problem rather than a solution. When it becomes a way to collect fees or fines for the "privilege" of exercising your inalienable rights to your property and the fruits of your labors it becomes a protection racket, not a protector. Don't support or defend this abomination, or the individuals who enable it.

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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Delicate Statists

(A Patreon/subscriber-only post)

Wherein I ask a question and seek advice.

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"But, the LAW!"

"But, there's a law!"

So?

Bullies calling themselves "government" aren't watching your every move. They'd love for you to believe they are, though.

Mostly, they depend on you intimidating yourself into following their made-up rules out of fear, or because of some weird "obligation" to obey their absurd opinions.

Don't initiate force. Don't violate private property. Obey "laws" if you are currently being watched by a bully who has the ability to harm you for not doing so- if self-preservation is high on your list of priorities. Otherwise, ignore the bullies and their opinions.

And feel free to laugh at them and their fans.

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Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Prohibition still has lessons to teach

Prohibition still has lessons to teach

(My Clovis News Journal column for April 3, 2015)

If government is a good idea — which I doubt — it is being done backward.
Currently, the way it works is a law is passed, then enforced, in an attempt to change people’s behavior. If some behavior weren’t being targeted for change, no one would even dream up a law in the first place.

The only reasonable course, where laws are concerned, is the other way around. People's behavior should determine whether or not a law is enforced, and then once it isn't being enforced, the law should be eliminated.

In fact, this is how alcohol prohibition ended up being scaled back. (I say "scaled back" rather than "repealed", since it is still with us today, as evidenced by "liquor licensing", laws forbidding alcohol sales on Sunday, "dry counties", and various other violations of human rights with regard to alcohol.)

Alcohol prohibition was ignored by enough people that it became unenforceable. Being unenforceable, it stopped being effectively or consistently enforced. Juries stopped convicting people they knew had broken the bad law. Eventually the law changed to reflect this fact. Unfortunately we still suffer the societal damage done by that ill-conceived experiment.

Drug prohibition- for drugs other than alcohol, I mean- may take the same path.

One difference between the alcohol prohibitionists of the 1920s and the drug prohibitionists of today is those who wanted alcohol criminalized understood no such authority was allowed under the Constitution, so they changed the Constitution to make their campaign legal, if not right. Drug prohibitionists never bothered to legalize their stupid and evil War on Politically Incorrect Drugs. Yes, they chose (and continue to choose) to act in a criminal manner to get what they want. And it has been a disaster to everyone other than those who profit from enforcement, punishment, and other inseparable aspects of black market drug sales.

Abuse of any substance is a bad idea, but no worse than abuse of some imagined authority to control how others live their lives.

If enough good and decent people risk punishment by ignoring a law, any law, that law shouldn't be enforced. Then, always slow to catch up to reality, those who imagine their job is to dream up laws should abolish it. They shouldn't amend it or tweak it to try to make it work better, they should go back and erase the mistake as if it had never happened. All political prisoners held in captivity for breaking the "law" should be immediately released and paid restitution directly from the pockets of those who passed, enforced, and supported the former law.

Or, you can stay on course and be surprised when the results of your stubbornness destroy society.
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Bullies are everywhere

Are you scared when confronted by a cop or when in front of a judge?

You should be. If you aren't, you don't know the score.

They have no magical powers; they are just bullies imposing their worthless opinions on you with aggression. Those bullies can ruin your life- or even end it- on a whim. If you fight back- as you have every right to do- they will send endless numbers of their cronies after you.

The best bet is to avoid them. But that can cripple your life, too, because those parasites are everywhere.

Be aware, and don't defend them or their "job".

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Monday, May 04, 2015

Cult of death

It's not someone's "authority" that makes them a danger to my life, liberty, and property. "Authority" is imaginary.

It's their willingness to rob, molest, or kill me, based on their belief in their own "authority", that's the danger to me.

Some will kill in the name of their god, and one of the most dangerous death cults is "authority".

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Sunday, May 03, 2015

I believe...

I believe it is always wrong to initiate force, but if you believe it is necessary, in the heat of the moment, you should just do it and accept the consequences rather than trying to justify it beforehand.

I believe it is wrong to violate private property.

I don't believe you are being good or compassionate when you dream up justifications to violate person or property.

I believe it is right to defend yourself and your property against violators.

I don't believe a job carves out exceptions.

I believe you should honor your agreements unless doing so would violate any of the above.

I believe if the other party breaks their end of the bargain, the deal's off.

What do you believe?

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Friday, May 01, 2015

"Assisted Dying" on Scott Adams' blog

The blog post, found here, presents the views of a person opposed to a "law" "legalizing" physician-assisted suicide.

As always, I am opposed to the very concept of "laws", knowing they are all either unnecessary or harmful. This is another case where not violating the self-ownership of others solves the "problem".

But, as I so often do, I weighed in on the issue. My comment is pasted below (quotes from the post in italics):

Mr. Akins starts out by (and continues throughout) appealing to the "common good", which is a myth; it undermines much of his argument. There are only individuals. What is good for the individual will be the highest good. Those appealing to the "common good" are always using this justification to violate individuals in some way, which wouldn't be good for the "common good", even if such a thing were real.

"What makes you think you have a moral right to medical assistance to kill yourself upon contracting a terminal disease?"
Self ownership. If you own yourself (and if you don't, who does?) then you have the absolute right to end yourself, and to hire someone- voluntarily and without coercion- to assist you if you so choose.

"Why that right in particular and not some other?"
It's not an either/or situation. You have the absolute human right to do anything which doesn't violate the equal and identical rights of anyone else. That includes hiring someone to help you end your life.

"I don’t think that such a legal right should be created."
There are no such things as "legal rights". There are legal privileges- which is really just the privilege to not have someone else's opinions imposed on you- until that "law" is changed. Rights can't be created or eliminated. They can only be respected or violated.

"...it involves a violation of the innate human dignity of the individuals who commit suicide."
In your opinion. So don't participate. Death probably violates "the innate human dignity of the individuals" no matter how it occurs, so this is a nonsense excuse.

"Our culture has been affected by a view that downplays or rejects the dignity of human beings."
Again, your opinion. I believe that saying you can make up a rule that violates self ownership is rejecting the dignity of humans a lot worse than respecting that right- even when it offends you- could ever do.

"We’re either ugly bags of mostly water or we’re human beings with intrinsic dignity."
Yes. And bags of water can be owned by someone else, and the owner can do with those as he sees fit without degrading their dignity (which they don't have). You don't have that right where humans are concerned.

"Just because you are older or in poorer health doesn’t mean that you have any less a right to life."
Of course not. You also have a right to own and to carry weapons. Would you like me to force you to do so against your wishes?

"...and so your life must still be respected."
Yes, and denying a person the freedom and liberty to do with that life as they see fit- as long as they aren't violating anyone else- does not respect their life at all.

"Just as we must respect the dignity that others have, we must respect our own dignity. "
And how did it become your right to tell others how that respect for the self must be put into action?

"A person killing himself is not a desirable outcome."
Again, in your opinion. Getting a terminal disease is also not a desirable outcome- but the universe doesn't seem to care. Probably the person seeking assisted suicide wouldn't have chosen to get the disease and be facing the choice. But it's not your choice to make for him.

"The innate human dignity that we possess demands that we seek another solution, such as treating the cause of the situation."
Why? What if no treatment is possible? Because that's the reality. Are you obligated to seek unicorns just because someone else believes you should?

"Because physician-assisted suicide involves others in suicide—doctors, pharmacists, nurses, etc.—it also involves a violation of their dignity."
They always have the right to refuse to participate. Any "law" which says they must help no matter their wishes would be wrong- but I don't think that's what anyone is promoting.

"Just as torturing another person is wrong even if the other person wants to be tortured."
Your opinion. I happen to agree this time, and wouldn't do it, but if it is mutually consensual it's none of your business. Nor mine.

"...legalizing physician-assisted suicide would produce various other problems..."
Why do you assume these would result? You think everyone- or a vast majority- would choose assisted suicide? If so, then your speculations might hold, but as long as there are a lot of people who wouldn't choose it, your objections and fearmongering don't work.

"I’m in favor of getting your grandmother the pain relief she needs in her last month of life."
Why do you assume physical pain is the only thing that could be causing her to want to die? What about being trapped in a body that no longer works, and seeing it shutting down more each and every day- knowing there is only one destination. Knowing she will never again walk through a meadow, or make love, or enjoy her favorite meal. How can your pain drugs deaden this pain without causing a coma? Why is that better than death?

"I could paint the plight of the victims of such laws in similar terms (e.g., 'Why do you favor a policy that would lead heartless doctors and greedy insurance companies to deny my grandmother the pain relief that she desperately needs and instead pressure her to kill herself against her will?')."
You could, but you'd be lying. It's the anti-drug "laws" that most get in the way- doctors are scared of losing their licenses or being arrested for "over-prescribing" pain meds.

" 'once my family wants me dead it is time to go anyway.' This statement is very alarming. The value of the individual is not the subject of a collectivist determination, even of one’s own family."
This wasn't about the family making the determination.

"Today, pain can be eliminated by drugs, for it is possible to place someone in a medically induced coma"
Why is this preferable to death? Because they could wake up? (To agonizing pain.) Just keep them in a coma til they die so they won't wake up in pain? Again, why is this preferable?

"...as the pains associated with age and/or disease occur, we find that we can deal with them better than we thought."
In which case, "we" probably won't be seeking assisted suicide.

"Thus many individuals who could end all pain by a medically induced coma may rationally decide that they would prefer to remain conscious and experience the benefits of consciousness, even if it means living with a certain level of pain."
And these would not be the people seeking assisted suicide.

"I was absolutely determined to make sure that my wife got all the medical care she wanted to have, and I made sure she did."
But what if "all the medical care she wanted to have" included help dying once she knew it was inevitable? Would you have then felt justified in violating her wishes? What's the difference?

"I think virtually everyone would agree that certain, highly destructive weapons simply should not be available for purchase by the general public"
Then those same weapons should certainly not be "owned" by governments, which are always made up of people indoctrinated to believe they are "above" such "silly notions" as "right and wrong". I'd trust my neighbor with a nuke before I'd trust any president or prime minister.

"My point is that physician-assisted suicide is wrong in and of itself..."
Then how about a new field that is not a physician, but instead a "suicide facilitator"? With completely different and more relevant training.

"But there are situations when we are suffering to the point that we might feel imprisoned"
If your body doesn't move and you must have others perform basic bodily functions for you, you don't simply "feel imprisoned", you are imprisoned more effectively than any cage could ever accomplish. Think of the most cruel imprisonment- putting a person in a body-sized iron cage- and you'll approach what some people are going through as they slowly die. Again, this is completely separate from the physical pain- although it could accompany it.

"It is true that some individuals experience pain that can only be satisfactorily treated by inducing unconsciousness..."
Pain is subjective, so your opinions about the pain others experience is irrelevant.

"However, 'if even one person' arguments famously lead to bad policies that do more harm than good."
Which is an excellent refutation of the belief in the legitimacy of "one-size-fits-all laws". Something I find absurd, anyway.

"Suffering does not deprive one of dignity."
Of course it does. I recently had a very painful kidney stone. The pain most assuredly deprived me of any dignity. It's hard to feel any sense of dignity- or to be viewed with dignity- while writhing on the floor. End of life pain (and debility) is sometimes orders of magnitude worse for the sufferer.

"Killing oneself is always a tragedy..."
Yes, but not always the worst tragedy.

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Finance without taxation possible

Finance without taxation possible

(My Clovis News Journal column for May 1, 2015)

I am amazed when otherwise intelligent people believe they couldn’t find a way to provide necessary infrastructure and services without committing taxation against their neighbors.

It makes me wonder how many abolitionists were accused of hating farms and cotton by those who couldn’t imagine how fields could be worked in the absence of slaves....read the rest...

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Drought

I've been thinking a lot about water problems and droughts. And not just as it pertains to California.

In wilderness survival you learn that even in nice conditions, a lack of drinkable water is a serious problem. In that case it is the first thing likely to kill you. In bad conditions it can be even more critical, depending on the circumstances- even though something else might kill you first.

People living in arid regions made a choice that may turn out to be bad. Especially those who kept moving into a dry area after the amount of water available was not enough to support anyone new.

I think that without "government" water projects, the distribution of people and water would be a more reasonable match. It will self-correct even with the artificial "help".

If an area runs out of water, the people and businesses will leave if an affordable and sustainable solution isn't found.

"Government" shouldn't bail out the region (with coercion or stolen property)- and I speak as a person living in such an area.

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