Sunday, October 20, 2019

The mainstream media's role in mass shootings has a good piece about the role played by the mainstream media (and also "social media") in encouraging mass shootings. I recommend it.

You know whenever there's one highly publicized mass shooting, that another will be coming along soon. It happens time after time.

The face and name of the evil loser will be everywhere, his "story" spread far and wide, along with speculation as to why he did it. And some other loser with nothing to live for will see all this and decide he wants some recognition, too. So he'll choose an evil act to get what he feels he deserves.

And then, legislative evil losers will blame those of us who didn't do it, threaten to steal our guns, and lock us in cages. It's the same old song and dance. Refuse to be used by any of the bad guys.

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

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Brexit is progress

It's interesting to me how Brexit is portrayed by the statist media as a step backwards. Like anyone who is intelligent should understand it's a disaster to pull out of a Big State, and only rubes would want such a thing. And, obviously, it's going to lead to starvation and chaos in the streets.

How ridiculous.

To me, it's secession. Something I'm always in favor of.

Yes, I understand it reeks of "nationalism", which I oppose. But I also oppose globalism when it means ever-bigger government. I'm in favor of "national" (territorial) societies and global societies, and I oppose political governments/states of any size because politics is antisocial.

No, the UK's government isn't better than the EU. It is irredeemably corrupt and evil-- just like any political government. But at least it's smaller than the EU's political government. And Brexit makes the EU a little weaker.

Just as Texit would make the US Empire a bit weaker. That's a good thing.

Break up all governments into smaller and smaller bits until you get to the individual-- the only legitimate government there can ever be.

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

Friday, October 18, 2019

Democracy-- the definition

Democracy, when applied to political government, is mob rule.
Democracy is "Might (through superior numbers) makes right".

It is not something to be praised or imposed on others. It is not a good thing. It is as unethical when used to govern others as any other form of political government. At its heart, democracy is no different from any other form of political government.

To say, as I have heard some claim, that "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others" is to lie.

All democracy becomes tyranny, and all republics soon devolve into democracy.

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

Thursday, October 17, 2019

No such thing as an "illegal gun"

Don't you get tired of hearing anti-gun bigots cackling about "illegal guns"? I know I do.

And it's even worse when supposed gun rights advocates fall into the trap of using the same phrase.

Because it's an utterly meaningless phrase.

There's no such thing as an "illegal gun" because there's no such thing as a legitimate anti-gun "law". There is anti-gun legislation, so I suppose there are "illegislated" guns. And since ALL legislation is counterfeit "law", I don't give a crap.

There are exactly as many "illegal guns" as there are "good cops". Zero.

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

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Grateful I don't live in California

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for October 16, 2019)

Sometimes it's hard to remember to be thankful for life's little blessings. Recently I was reminded to be grateful I don't live in California.

My electricity went out for a little while a few days ago, but the power company was on-the-ball and power was restored in no time; long before it could have become inconvenient for anyone but the least prepared among us.

By contrast, the electric utility in California plans to shut off power to hundreds of thousands of its paying customers. On the rest...

Thank you for helping support

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Wallet "bearing block socket"

I'm always looking to improve my EDC ("every day carry"), and I came up with this idea a couple of days ago.

When making a bow/drill fireset, the bearing block you hold in your hand-- containing the socket that lets the top of the spindle spin freely-- is the hardest part to come up with in a survival situation.

If you carry paracord (and you do, right?) you won't have any trouble with cordage. Plus, you can make cordage in a pinch... although it will slow you down a bit. The other parts are just simple wood pieces-- the fireboard, the spindle, and the bow. Leaving the bearing block as the hard part; a part you might want to carry with you. (Yes, you can make a bearing block/socket from wood, too, but I wouldn't except in an emergency for several reasons-- I know from experience.)

I've noticed recently several knives with a built-in socket/divot in the micarta handle to serve as a bearing block socket-- it seems other people are recognizing that it's the hard part to come up with. I would rather not use a knife handle in that way if I don't have to, thinking that's a bit dangerous.

In the past, I carried a small stone-- just big enough to fill the palm of my hand-- that I chipped and ground until I formed a socket in it (I have a few of these around). It worked great but was a bit bulky to carry. I wanted a better solution.

So, what I did was take a brass dog tag blank and put a deep dimple in it to serve as the socket. I made the dimple by laying the tag on a thick piece of leather, placing a ball bearing on it, and hammering the ball bearing until the dimple was deep enough to serve as a socket. Originally, I put this brass socket on a separate piece of leather several months ago. This wasn't ideal and it kept getting in the way.

My better idea was to drill an extra hole in the "bottom" of the tag and rivet it to the flatter side of my wallet. After it was riveted in place, I took some needle-nosed pliers and bent the corners to fit the natural curve of my wallet. You can look at the picture to see what I'm talking about.

The wallet is quite a bit larger than the bearing blocks I'm accustomed to using (it's really thick leather), but I went outside and tried it and it worked great. The brass piece doesn't get in the way of how I carry my wallet, and hardly adds any weight, but it will be there if I need it. This is the kind of solution I love.

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

Monday, October 14, 2019

Statism is the strongest witness against itself

Not only does it show the flaw in statists' beliefs when statists worry about who gets to v*te, but statism is full of contradictions that show the flaws in statism.

Property rights are the biggest, most obvious strike against any chance of logic in statism.

If you believe I should be forced-- at gunpoint-- to finance a gang you claim is needed to fight theft, you've made a fool of yourself.

If you believe it's necessary to violate private property rights in order to protect property rights-- through borders, "taxes", etc., then you've testified against yourself.

But there are more problems.

If you believe you need a State/government to "defend freedom" by violating individual liberty, you're not so brilliant. And if you buy A/Ru/dolph Giuliani's steaming load claiming "freedom is about authority" then you might as well just get on the next shrimp boat to North Korea.

If you buy into the statist lie that drugs can destroy your life, so we need to impose prohibition so we have an excuse to kick your door down in the middle of the night, and murder your family and-- if you survive-- throw you in a cage, make it so you can't get a job, and destroy your life, then you've admitted that you're an idiot.

Statism is incompatible with ethics; statism is incompatible with life, liberty, and property; statism is incompatible with humanity. You can tell this just by looking at the claims statism makes and where it leads.


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

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Don't need law to dislike something

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for September 11, 2019)

We all have our own likes and dislikes. This means everyone likes some things other people dislike; sometimes the likes and dislikes are passionate and the disagreements get rather heated.

There's a secret trick I discovered which seems to be unseen by most people; one which seems nearly impossible for them to even consider. Here it is, presented for (maybe) the first time you've ever heard it: It's OK to dislike something without wanting a law to ban or control it. Seriously. It really is OK.

There are things I'm not a fan of; some things I dislike a lot. I don't dare list my dislikes since such a list would offend just about everyone in some way. I can almost guarantee there are things on my list you like. Don't worry. I have no wish to use laws to force you to change or stop doing what you like.

Most of the time I don't want to make someone feel bad for liking something I don't like. Even if they like something I think is ethically wrong there's usually no point making an issue unless they want to make an issue.

As long as you aren't violating anyone's life, liberty, or property what you do is none of my business, even if I don't like that you're doing it.

When I was a youngster and was exposed to something I didn't like, my first thought was along the lines of "They should make it illegal!" Such a childish mindset! I'm glad I've grown up in the years since then. I wish everyone would.

"For your own good" is not my style anymore. Nor is "but it's offensive!"

Now when there's something I don't like I just don't join in. If it's bad enough I consider it unethical, I try to stay far away. I may let others know why I think it's wrong and try to convince them to join me in avoiding it, but I'm probably not going to try to stop anyone from doing things I don't like on their personal property. Not unless they are violating the rights of others-- and I don't mean offending them-- by doing so.

Since there's no such thing as a right to not be offended, we can all keep our offended feelings in our pockets where they belong. Let people like what they like and suggest they extend the same courtesy to everyone else. It's the civilized thing to do.

Thank you for helping support

Saturday, October 12, 2019

"Green" and angry

A few days ago I let slip that the face of the Swedish Climate Troll, Greta Whatsername, triggers in me a desire to punch it.

I then immediately-- in the same post-- included that I wouldn't, because I know I have no right to do so.

Still, she's got such an angry, nagging face.

I've never seen a face like hers which didn't bring me misery. It feels personal. And, the only clip I've ever seen of her speaking was one where she was screaming something like "How dare you ruin my childhood!" Not the best way to make me join your cause, Climate Troll Greta. Especially since the only one who ruined your childhood was you-- and those who terrorized you and are now using you as a tool to promote their agenda of fear and hysteria. But it wasn't me.

I'm not so stupid that I'd go out and burn a forest just to spite her, but she doesn't inspire me to lift a finger that I wasn't already planning to lift.

It's not that I don't care about the climate; it's that I'm not convinced of the political AGCC narrative. I don't have enough information to know the reality of the situation, but I know the solution isn't more government. It never is.

But, maybe I was wrong to admit the visceral reaction I have to seeing her nagging face.

One commenter called me some colorful names and characterized me as "wanting to punch a little girl bc [sic] they don't like her expressions".

First off, 16 years-old is not "a little girl". She may not be an adult, but she's no longer a little girl (yeah, there is an in-between stage; it's not either/or). Plus, if she's old enough to nag the world and advocate using government aggression against me, she's old enough to face the consequences of her choices. Yet, I still wouldn't punch her, even though her face seems to beg for it. I don't do that. Not even to Swedish Climate Trolls. Because I'm not a monster.

She would be perfectly safe if she were sitting with me to discuss the climate. Unless she attacked me, anyway. And, if she did, she's the monster. Come to think of it, advocating using government against me is an attack... but I wouldn't punch her for it. So I guess we see who the real monster is after all.

I suspect she sides with those who were recently advocating going into the streets, wearing masks, and punching anyone who disagreed with their "social justice" agenda-- or that they side with her.

Statists see what they want to see. They interpret everyone else according to their own shrunken world view. If you admit a human flaw they immediately assume you'd act on it in the same way they would if they had such a flaw-- using freelance or political aggression. If they were honest, they'd... never mind. They aren't.

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

Friday, October 11, 2019

Your right to weaponized defense

I believe you should be prepared and able to defend yourself from any violation, by anyone, anywhere, at any time. No exceptions.

That doesn't necessarily mean with a gun.

You should stay aware of all the objects around you which you can transform into weapons if you need to. And, stay aware of how those objects can be turned into weapons.

Obviously, a gun-- designed as a weapon-- is better than just about any improvised weapon. But some bad guys make up rules saying you can't have a gun-- and they'd all like to do so. In fact, they would rather you have no weapon at all, but that's just not an option for them in the real world, so they do as much as they believe they can get away with.

As it is, you always have access to weapons, whether you know it or not.

If someone violates you, you have the right to use those weapons to defend yourself. If you see someone else being violated you have the right to use those weapons to come to their defense.

The dangerous thing to admit is that this natural human right doesn't change if the attacker is a cop "enforcing the law" when the "law" is counterfeit. Yes, you have the right to defend yourself and others from all violators, and the cop or its gang will probably murder you for doing so. It's one of those hard choices where neither option is particularly good for you.

Even so, it may be good for society in the long run. Good for your descendants. If it makes the police state even a little harder to maintain and expand, it helps humanity.

It's sad that so many choose to side with the bad guys when it's still relatively safe to stand opposed to them. But I won't do that. Will you?

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

Thursday, October 10, 2019

"Dumb questions"

It has been said there are no dumb questions. My guess is anyone who believes this hasn't spent much time on Quora.

I considered quoting a few of them-- questions that I'm not even sure what was being asked-- but I decided that would be rude. I don't mean to make fun of anyone or their questions.

I realize some of the questions are probably asked by people whose grasp of English isn't great. The questions probably turn out sounding bizarre just because the communication between the asker and me isn't happening as it should.

Plus, Quora rewards people for asking questions that haven't been asked before. This leads to some perfectly intelligent people asking completely insane-sounding questions. Why Quora pays for questions asked rather than questions answered is beyond me-- and yes, that question has already been asked. But I'm pretty sure that a lot of the dumb questions come from this dumb policy.

In real life, I don't run into anything I'd consider a dumb question nearly as often. And sometimes, when I think a question is dumb, it turns out I (or the other person) was confused about something and the misunderstanding led to a dumb-sounding question being asked or a good question sounding dumb because I didn't understand what was being asked.

Maybe the saying should be modified: Other than on Quora, there are no dumb questions.

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

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

You get the political circus you voted on

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for October 9, 2019)

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, and all the rest of you, too! Welcome to the Big Top. Yes, that's right: the Impeachment Circus, with its dancing elephants and prancing donkeys, is coming to town.

It has been announced amid much fanfare. The flyers have been tacked to telephone poles all over America and I think I hear the parade of animals coming up the street. Grab your manure shovels from the tool shed and be ready to start the rest...

Thank you for helping support

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Teaching lies

I have a problem with anyone who teaches children incorrect information. When it's intentional, that's worse.

Such as the lie that government is good or necessary. This is part of the reason I so strongly dislike "public" (government) schools. Not the only reason, obviously, but a big one.

I also hate the bullying, the religious indoctrination (here, they indoctrinate more than just Statism), the theft-financing, and the antisocializing the kids go through.

I also hate the trends the kids spread among themselves at those kinderprisons, but that I don't blame on the schools.

But teaching kids incorrect information-- when the "teachers" ought to know better because they've been exposed to the correct information-- is unforgivable.

Yes, I realize most of the "teachers" were also force-fed the same lies and they are just passing along what they were taught. But once someone points out why they are mistaken, and they dig their heels in, well, that's just wrong.

Of course, they want to keep that paycheck coming, and speaking the truth would end the gravy-train-- if they could live with themselves while holding such a "job".

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

Monday, October 07, 2019

Left behind because I can't ride the bandwagon

The election of Donald Trump has been bad for me. It has hurt me, personally. No, that doesn't mean I would have preferred Hillary Clinton-- I wouldn't have-- I'm just making an observation.

How did Trump's election hurt me? It cost me readers and supporters-- my monthly income has been cut almost in half since the election.

I've stayed consistent (as far as I can tell) and didn't change my stance on anything that I know of, but lots of libertarians who were "following" my blog seem to have hopped to Trump's nationalist side-- some openly so. Leaving me behind. Because I can't go there.

Maybe I'm the one in the wrong. It's always possible and is something I'd want to correct if it were so. Or, maybe I'm not wrong, but no one wants to hear the truth. I'd rather be correct than popular, though. And consistent. Being consistent doesn't mean you're right-- you can be consistently wrong-- but being inconsistent means you are definitely wrong about something.

Or maybe I've lost my relevance in other ways or for other reasons that have nothing to do with Trump's election. Maybe it's a coincidence and nothing more. It's possible.

The election of Donald Trump didn't suddenly change unethical behavior into ethical behavior just because you like it. But pointing this out seems to have hurt me. Maybe the next president-- whenever and whoever-- will reverse the trend.

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

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Glad to see space escape government

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for September 4, 2019)

I admit it: I've always been a bit of a space geek. Or, would that be "space nerd"? Whatever the term, I love space flight, and am especially excited to see it beginning to escape the stagnant, innovation-crushing monopoly of government.

I've enjoyed watching the recent rocket launches and the tests of the experimental vehicles. I am pulling for humans to walk on Mars in my lifetime; thinking it's looking more likely all the time.

I resent government agencies pretending to have some political authority over space flight and the companies practicing it, but the nature of government is to get in the way. Government offices are filled with hordes of people unqualified to do anything but issue or deny permits, and they are going to keep asserting control-- fighting the future-- as long as they can get away with it.

I also realize when people move to another world-- whether a planet or a moon-- they'll probably pollute the place with some sort of government.

I wish they'd establish a society instead, but since most people mistakenly conflate society and government they'll probably make the wrong choice.

The most foolish thing they might do would be to accept an Earth government's attempt to govern a colony on another world. And you know they'll try. Gotta keep milking those "tax cows" and make sure the Earth laws are being enforced. Can't allow liberty to get a foot-hold anywhere, or it might give Earth inhabitants dangerous ideas.

I've thought for decades that unless a new, attainable frontier opens up soon, the human race is doomed. Some people are fine with being jammed together in a politically controlled environment, but some of us aren't. This is why humans have always journeyed over the horizon. The first church steeple or courthouse was enough to make some frontiersmen decide it was time to pack up and move to freer spaces. This option has been closed off for too long now, and it's having dangerous consequences.

I doubt I'd go to Mars or the Moon, even if I had the opportunity. Especially not for a one-way trip. I like uncultivated plants, wild animals and free air too much.

Will space, "the final frontier", open soon enough to salvage humanity? Will it be a place of liberty or oppression? I don't know for sure, but it's finally looking a little hopeful for the first time in decades. We aren't there yet, but we're going. It's just a matter of time.

Thank you for helping support

Rattling the tin cup

I sure could use some donations or subscriptions.
Check out the options for supporting this blog (its author, his daughter, their cats, etc.) over on the right side, or at the link below.

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

Statist logic

We can't eliminate schools or no one would get educated.
We can't eliminate government or warlords would take over and rob and imprison and murder.
We can't eliminate taxation or there would be no one to protect your property from thieves.
We can't eliminate rape gangs or humans wouldn't procreate.
We can't eliminate arson or people would freeze to death in the winter.

And there is the statist argument in its usual form, along with a couple of its unethical, irrational clones.

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

Saturday, October 05, 2019

A hole in my "preps"

As a "prepper" I have a dark confession that puts my "prepper cred" in doubt: I don't have an emergency generator.

Not only that, I've never really felt the need for one. Yes, I think they are pretty cool and feel I should want one in case TSHTF. But I would rather learn to do without electricity than to lean on it so much that I end up with another motorized mouth thirsty for gasoline.

So, I try to have non-electric alternatives or methods on hand (or in mind) rather than being dependent on electricity. I have kerosene lanterns and candles, wind up flashlights, and even a wind-up Victrola-type record player for "entertainment". I can make an evaporative cooler for refrigerated items, and could even bury frozen stuff for a little while. I could cook over a fire until my wood ran out (then scavenge from the park, perhaps).

Not sure how well that would all go in the long term.

I would miss A/C in the summer.

The one concession I made to electrical prepping is that I have a lot of rechargeable batteries (AA and AAA and C and D adapters) and a couple of battery chargers that work with my solar cell USB chargers. And I even feel a little silly about those, prepper-wise.

Of course, without electricity, the town's wells won't work-- I don't know if they have back-up generators, but I wouldn't count on it. So, since there is an utter lack of surface water in this region-- except during and immediately after rare rains (I say this as we've been having heavy rains and flash flood warnings all week!) this area is not a long-term good survival environment without electricity.

So, a generator might not even help me that much, since a reliable water supply is the real hole in my preps.

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

Friday, October 04, 2019

Competing political gangs and their territories

I took a walk recently, just to the bank. It turns out that's 1.1 miles, one way. On this walk, I crossed a state border. Twice.

Strange. I felt no difference when I crossed, but suddenly a whole new collection of crimes was possible, while other activities suddenly became non-crimes. Just from crossing that imaginary line. Going both ways.

On one side I could have legally been carrying a bowie knife, a sword, or a switchblade. On the other side I'm fairly sure a switchblade would have been punishable-- less sure about the Bowie knife. (The political gangs probably frown on me not knowing or caring much about their opinions.)

On one side of the line Cannabis is legal for medicinal use-- and may be legal for recreational use before long. On the other side, the state and local political bullies are digging in their heels to keep from being dragged into the 21st Century.

The state line corresponds to a county line (obviously) and a line between towns. On one side of the line, in one town, people can keep chickens and other livestock. On the side of the line, where my house is, the political bullies forbid such responsible behavior.

Arbitrary rules based on nothing more than on which side of an imaginary line I happen to be standing, even though I can easily cross back and forth. Absurdity.

Political borders and the "laws" which go with them are total hogwash.

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

Thursday, October 03, 2019


I've wondered before whether I am a "patriot". A cute statist girl called me one several years ago and I wasn't sure whether I should feel insulted. (She later decided she hated me because I don't support "the troops" or the Blue Line Gang, both of which she adored.)

I decided to figure out what makes a person a patriot, but I discovered that the rabbit hole is deeper than I had expected. defines "patriot" as:

  1. a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.
  2. a person who regards himself or herself as a defender, especially of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government.
It also says the word is from Greek, patriṓtēs -- fellow-countryman.

I'll get back to #1 in a second.

I guess I fit #2 somewhat. I'm more of an educator and advocate than a defender. And I oppose interference the violation of individual rights by anyone; federal, local, freelance, or whatever. It's the violation that matters, not who commits it or why.

But what about #1? This raises the question, what is a "country"? According to the dictionary it is a state or nation. I unequivocally reject the state, but what is a "nation"? Back to

  1. a large body of people, associated with a particular territory, that is sufficiently conscious of its unity to seek or to possess a government peculiarly its own
  2. the territory or country itself
I'm fine with people and territories, but the people are only a country if they want a government "of their own"? No thanks on the shared government. That's just antisocial. I guess this is why I'm not a nationalist; I am not a statist and it seems you can't be one without being the other.

Since I don't support any country's government or its government's "interests", I can't support a country.

So, no, I'm probably not what most people would call a "patriot", and I'm fine with that.

And whatever else they may be, DemoCRAPublicans are partiots-- loyal to their party, their chosen branch of the political cult. If that loyalty supports or defends the country, they are OK with that. But they are also fine with it if it hurts the country. Or if it harms and kills individuals. The Party is what matters to them. I find that disgusting.

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

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

My first car was an electric one

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for October 2, 2019)

You may find it hard to believe, but my first car was an electric car. Nothing so fancy as a Tesla, though. It was a 1975 Sebring-Vanguard Citicar. That's us in the photograph, in the spring of 1980, looking nerdy.

At school and around the neighborhood my car was known as "The Nuke" the rest...

Thank you for helping support

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Liberty is for everyone

Is liberty "adult content"?

Friday Patreon notified me that my blog had been flagged as "adult content". Readers were forced to affirm they were over 18 to access it there.

In other words, apparently, some statist troll got offended and reported me.

It makes me angry that a troll can flag my blog, Patreon automatically sets it to "adult content" without apparently even checking to see if the flagging was honest, and then was up to me to file a complaint and try to get the error fixed.

Fortunately, after I contacted them, Patreon did re-evaluate my blog and took off the "adult content" flag. I thank them for that!

I have never posted anything on my blog that I would be ashamed to have a kid see or read. In fact, I wish they would. But, obviously, some would rather keep them ignorant.

Soon liberty will be flagged as "hate speech" and "child pornography", too. Whatever it takes to get it banned. It may have no place on the internet.

Some of this is undoubtedly due to governmental pressure-- I wish for a separation of internet and State-- but most of it is just due to anti-liberty bigotry from run-of-the-mill statists. Statists who must suspect deep-down that they are wrong, so they use sneak attacks to silence those who prickle their conscience (if they have one). They have no argument for their position, so they cheat.

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

Monday, September 30, 2019

How to recognize wrongness

How can you easily tell that someone is wrong?

When they talk as though government is part of the solution instead of accepting that it is always part of the problem-- often the main problem-- they just aren't getting it right.

When they speak as though there's such a thing as "too much liberty" or that respecting human rights is a problem they also expose their poor "thinking".

In either case, they might as well be wearing a T-shirt that says "Ignore my opinion on this topic".

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

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Learn about subject before you talk

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for August 28, 2019)

The better you understand something, the easier it is to notice when you're being lied to. Plus, the less likely it is you'll be fooled by the lies.

When I'm watching a movie and I see someone on screen starting a fire by randomly hitting rocks together and suddenly their campfire logs burst into flame I always think "that's not how it works!" Anyone who tries to light a fire this way isn't going to end up with a fire unless someone else builds one for them.

The same thing happens when I hear a non-libertarian person or idea called "libertarian". You can't fool me, but those not as familiar with the core idea might accept the lie without question. For that matter, those spreading the lie may not realize they are lying.

How many people know "libertarian" refers only to those who understand no one has the right to use violence against anyone who isn't currently violating the life, liberty, or property of another? My guess would be not many.

I also see this happen in debates about guns. Anti-gun activists are among the worst in this respect. Years ago a rabidly anti-gun politician was asked what a barrel shroud was since she was trying to get them banned. She said she wasn't really sure but thought it might be the "shoulder thing that goes up". Hint: it's not.

It was obvious she hadn't bothered to learn what she was trying to criminalize and didn't even understand the basics of the English language. Knowledgeable people are still laughing at her.

If you're trying to turn decent, everyday people into criminals by imposing a new law against objects, you could at least make an effort to learn the fundamentals of what you're talking about. It would be a crime to destroy lives through your lazy legislative ignorance.

It's usually helpful to know what you're talking about before you start talking. Sure, you can use hyperbole for effect-- unfortunately, humans respond to emotion better than to reason-- but if you're not even in the same hemisphere as reality, people familiar with the subject are going to notice and ridicule you.

When you catch someone lecturing on a topic they clearly don't understand, pretending to know more than they do, point it out. You probably won't change their minds, but you might help an onlooker learn enough to not fall prey to the lies being told.

Thank you for helping support

One habitat which NEEDS to be destroyed

Would eliminating "gun-free" [sic] zones reduce the number of mass shootings?

Probably. It’s long past time to try it.

There's a danger, though. Unless you eliminated ALL of them it would probably just increase the frequency of mass shootings in the few “gun-free” zones that remain.

Anytime you shrink a habitat you concentrate the population which is dependent on that habitat, and “gun-free [sic] zones” are the mass shooters’ natural habitat. It's the habitat they require for their survival and reproduction.

Anyone "preserving" that habitat through anti-gun "laws" or policies is helping them survive. What kind of nasty miscreant would do that?

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

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Banning 3D-printed guns

Image credit
Scott Adams says 3D-printed guns will be effectively stopped (or severely limited) with "friction" by government "laws" or 3D printer company policies/apps. (You did save the files before the anti-liberty bigots of the U.S. feral government threatened everyone into taking them offline, didn't you?)

He believes 3D printers will end up being manufactured by just a few big companies, as usually happens with products like that, and you'll have to download their approved apps from their app stores to print items. And that they'll simply forbid gun-printing apps. He's probably right.

Yes, he admits hackers might get around this, and some people will build their own printers without this limitation, but this is where his "friction" fetish comes in play. For the average person, this added difficulty will be enough to prevent them from printing guns.

But will it, though?

If guns required gun-specific parts which couldn't be used for other things, he might be right. But they don't. That's why you can build a gun from plumbing.

And, if 3D-printed guns were banned by government or the printer manufacturers, don't you think more effort would go into designing guns which are built from parts no one could possibly recognize as gun parts? Or parts which have other, actual uses.

Print this lamp part, this repair piece for your coffee pot, this game piece, etc., put them all together in this way, and you've got a gun. No gun or gun part was printed. Yet a gun was printed after all. By someone who didn't have to be a hacker or build their own 3D printer, but who just wanted a gun enough to print one. Kind of like the way it happens now.

Does he really imagine the app stores would be able to tell all the parts which can be used to make a gun from the parts which can't?

Yes, it still might reduce the number of guns being printed, and if you start with a flawed assumption you might see this as a win. But that's an admission that you aren't thinking rationally.

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

Friday, September 27, 2019

Bad choices and shifting the blame

I don't blame manufacturers or retailers for the misuse of their (non-faulty) products. Not even with products known to be really dangerous if used according to their purpose.

When someone buys something dangerous and makes the choice to misuse it, that's where the blame lies.

It doesn't matter if you're talking guns, opioids, cars, or anything else.

If you misuse something it's YOUR fault if you die from it and YOUR fault if you harm others. You are not the victim. I hold YOU accountable. And, if the shoe is on the other foot, as it has been a few times, I accept my responsibility.

Yes, I get it. Where drugs are concerned, people foolishly abuse drugs manufactured by people who just want to make money from addicts. It's easy to say someone shouldn't make something that people can get addicted to. Even though people can apparently get addicted to anything. They don't force anyone to use their products (unlike government). They are simply meeting a want, even though we might dislike that want.

So, being addicted doesn't change anything. To have become addicted, you still had to make the choice to use something known to be dangerously addictive at least once. Unless you are one of the vanishingly rare cases where someone drugged you without your knowledge and you became addicted, you chose the path. I feel bad for addicts, but that's no reason to attack the manufacturers, treat them as criminals, and ignore the voluntary choice the future addict made.

Nor is there any legitimate reason to treat addicts as criminals instead of as people who may need medical help. Prohibition is still evil.

The choice to misuse a product is still a choice, and it's not helpful to coddle those making these choices or to shift the blame to someone else.

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

Thursday, September 26, 2019

"Slippery slope" or just wrong?

Scott Adams likes to ridicule the idea of "the slippery slope".

I kind of agree because he points out things always continue going in the direction they are going until something-- some outside pressure-- makes them stop. It's just inertia.

However, he skips over the real problem.

I don't need to be concerned that a slap in an innocent person's face will lead to a punch in their nose, which will lead to a severe beating which will lead to a murder which will lead to a mass murder which will lead to genocide. No. The single slap was wrong on its own. It doesn't have to lead to further horrors in order to deserve condemnation.

Each and every anti-gun "law" is wrong on its own. It doesn't matter whether or not it leads to more of the same in a "slippery slope" kind of situation. Each one is wrong regardless of where it leads. I oppose them all on that basis, not on the basis that one could lead to more on a slippery slope to tyranny.

Also, if you defeat or ignore each and every new anti-gun "law" just maybe the anti-gun bigots will realize they are wasting their time and your non-compliance will be the force-- the outside pressure-- which arises to stop them. If not, they may continue until stopping them requires bullets. Their choice.

Either way, shove it, BobO.

ADDED: On FB someone pointed out to me that the slippery slope is called "precedent" by government judge-types.

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

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

There's no magic to make college free

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

Libertarians have a saying, often represented by the acronym TANSTAAFL, "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch". This is a rule of reality as inflexible as any other law of physics, but politicians think they can fool people into believing it's negotiable. Sometimes it seems they are right; people can be fooled-- but reality won't be cheated.

Now New Mexico's politicians are telling the people they can magically make college free for everyone. They can't, and it probably wouldn't even be a good idea were it the rest...

Thank you for helping support

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

"Former libertarians"

I've run into several people who used to be libertarians but have kind of moved away from the position over the years.

I used to think there could be no such thing as a "former libertarian", that anyone making this claim was never a libertarian to begin with, but I'm not as certain anymore.

Have they really embraced the antisocial method of politics? Have they actually given up on society and voluntary interactions?

If so, I doubt it's because of new information-- I can't believe anyone has tried to find reasons to reject libertarianism harder than I have. Or, I seriously doubt they have. I am always trying to falsify everything I believe. One bit of counter-evidence tells you more than thousands of confirming points. But even when I think I've found counter-evidence, it turns out to be an error or a misunderstanding on my part. That doesn't mean we all agree, but the disagreements are matters of interpretation, not flaws with the position.

But, the current societal climate is hostile to self-responsibility and liberty. It is hard to continually swim upstream. To just relax and let yourself go with the flow is often tempting. Is this what they've done?

I don't know, but I suspect it often is.

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

Monday, September 23, 2019

The "guns are bad" assumption

Assuming guns are bad handicaps you. It keeps you from being able to talk about them sensibly.

It would be similar to what would happen if you thought dogs are bad. You'd have trouble discussing them in a reasonable way. Your faulty assumption would creep into everything you think and color everything you say. You might talk about how to register them (or the people who keep them), talk about mandatory dog-owner insurance, or discuss what kinds of dogs people should be allowed to keep. You might claim that government gives people the right to keep dogs, so it can take away that right. I mean, dogs aren't specifically mentioned in the Ninth Amendment as something you have a right to keep, so government dog-owner control is clearly Constitutional. And obviously the founders never envisioned pitbulls, so only whatever kind of dogs they kept are covered by the Constitution. Right?

Of course, it makes no sense. Not realistically, historically, or rationally.

But that's the kind of argument you get over and over from people who live by the faulty assumption that guns are bad.

(There's a good chance my internet will be shut off for a few days until it gets paid up, so if it takes me a while to respond or to approve comments on older posts, please be patient. Thanks.)

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

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Learning new things challenges you

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for August 21, 2019)

Usually, the more I learn about something the more I appreciate it.

There have been many times when a friend has introduced me to something I knew next to nothing about; something they were enthusiastic for, and before long I had gained a new appreciation. It doesn't necessarily mean it becomes something I'm seriously interested in, but I can still appreciate it through new eyes.

Recently I was introduced to the history of the Three Stooges by a friend who runs the internet's most in-depth Three Stooges fansite. I had never given them much thought, beyond watching them on cable TV as I got ready for school when I was a kid. But learning about them as real people with a real story gave me a new perspective and a whole new appreciation for them.

I've experienced similar things with karaoke, cats, and writing, with some of these things becoming important parts of my life.

Other times I have been introduced to something, and the more I learned about it the more I grew to dislike it; the less I'm willing to tolerate it. Government-- or more accurately, "the state"-- for example.

In some cases, ignorance truly is bliss.

The more I learn about government's origins and its true nature the less tolerance I have for it. I see no reason to pretend it is something other than a criminal mob trying to hide behind a veil of legitimacy and imaginary "consent of the governed".

It doesn't change what something is to make up cutesy names for it. Taxation is still theft, capital punishment is still ritual human sacrifice, "gun control" is still slavery, and police are still a street gang. Supporters can try to justify these things all day long, but nothing changes them into something other than what they really are. Their true nature remains the same.

If these are things you support, own it.

If you don't support these things when done by freelance individuals but have been supporting them when done by government, perhaps it's time you pick a side for the sake of consistency.

It's possible to be consistently wrong, of course, but it's not possible to be inconsistent and be right. If this matters to you, you know what you need to do.

The more you learn, the more you know. The more you know, the more responsibility you have and the more you are challenged. Which probably explains why so many people don't want to learn anything new.

Thank you for helping support

September 11, 2001

This year I wasn't going to mention "9/11". And I didn't on that anniversary. I thought I had blogged about my own experiences of that day years ago, but apparently, I never have. had sent me their article on the event, and I wrote back saying I wasn't going to mention it this year. But I guess I will after all. Just a little late.

In 2001 I was living in north-eastern Pennsylvania ("NEPA"), working in a small shop which built custom picture frames and framed art for Manhattan art galleries. New York City was about an hour and a half away, according to those who went there (I never did).

The shop sent a truck into NYC every Tuesday and Wednesday evening to deliver frames and framed art and pick up our work for the next week. Our schedule was always tight. On the morning of September 11, we were all working like we did any other morning.

A couple of people had radios at their work tables and one of them announced that she had just heard that a plane had hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center. I commented that it was an odd coincidence that such an emergency (a "9-1-1") happened on 9/11. I had a radio in the room where I packaged the finished frames and art for the truck (my main job), so I turned it on to see what they were saying.

There wasn't really much real news about it-- they would just talk about "the accident" between songs, speculating on what went wrong and what kind of plane it was (there were differing reports).

Then they came back on and said a plane had just hit the second tower. I said to co-workers "that wasn't an accident". We all immediately suspected terrorism. Later they said a plane had hit the Pentagon and more planes had possibly been hijacked; they made it sound like there was a swarm of them (because at that point they just didn't know anything)-- and that there was one "missing" somewhere over PA. I got a little nervous. We were in the middle of nowhere-- literally in a cornfield-- but as it turned out, Pennsylvania fields weren't completely safe either.

The radio stopped even trying to play music and went to constant commentary and reports from the scenes.

I was completely stunned to hear when the towers fell, one after the other-- I hadn't believed it possible. Only a little more than a year earlier I had gotten my only glimpses of them (and the Statue of Liberty) as I flew into, and then back out of, the airport in Newark, NJ, on my first trip to PA. To think that they were now gone was unbelievable.

I can't remember how long it was before we got the first reports of the plane crash in southwestern PA, but it was a while.

At some point during the confusion, they announced that all flights had been grounded country-wide. That didn't seem real, either.

Our manager updated us and said he hadn't heard from, or been able to contact, any of our customers. The lines were either down or overwhelmed-- maybe both. We were working blind. He said to keep working as though the truck was going out... for now.

On lunch break, some of us went outside to eat. I looked up and saw no contrails at all in the sky. Something I had never seen before in that area-- there were always planes visible in the sky. I told my co-workers to look up at the sky and make a mental picture because they'd probably never see that again.

Soon we got word from some source unrelated to our customers that no trucks were being allowed into Manhatten. The trucks weren't going anywhere that day. Or the next.

The mood at work was somber. And we were worried about our jobs.

As it turned out that was the last day I worked until the 13th of December (our workweeks always started on Thursday).

On a tangent: It's almost callous to admit, but those 3 months I was unemployed were some of the most fun months of my entire life. Karaoke 'til 2AM when the bar closed-- then the huge after-party at a friend's house... 5 days per week. Going to bed at 8 in the morning-- if at all. Much debauchery.

Soon after I got called back to work we started getting damaged art to re-frame from buildings next door to the WTC. Truckloads of it-- anything that they thought could be salvaged. The broken frames all had a thick layer (an inch or more deep) of fluffy gray "dust" on (and especially behind) them. (I was as careful as I could be to not breathe it and to keep my hands clean, but I did save some.) The glass was shattered and the plexiglass was cracked. Some of the art had been pierced by flying debris. We kept the art at our shop until the insurance was all settled, then we began the repairs. We delivered the first repaired pieces back to NYC on September 10th or 11th (I don't remember exactly) of 2002.

And there's my story.

9/11 changed me, and not all in a bad way.

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

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Who is "pro-Second Amendment"?

I find it odd that so many people who are anti-gun like to call themselves "pro-Second Amendment". It's obviously not true. Of course, they usually have a big "but".

How can you be for something you willfully misunderstand?

They may believe the Second Amendment "gives people the right" to have guns while misunderstanding that it doesn't. And the Second Amendment doesn't have a "but". Plus, the right exists regardless.

What the Second Amendment does is place guns off-limits to government. "Gun control" [sic] is a serious crime. The Second Amendment doesn't leave room for licenses, permits, limits, registration, "red flag laws", background checks, waiting periods, "taxes" on guns/gun accessories or ammo, or any gun "laws" of any sort. If you don't understand this, to say you are "pro-Second Amendment" is to lie.

And yes, charging a "tax" on anything associated with guns (or the exercise of any natural human right) is an unacceptable violation of that right. This point is important. You can't have a right to "tax"/steal, and doing so to make a right more expensive to exercise-- do discourage the exercise thereof-- is doubly evil.

I am pro-gun rights; pro-human rights. I don't really care if the generally ignored Second Amendment exists or not. And I'm opposed to government employees (and other archators) owning or carrying guns, even though I wouldn't prohibit them from doing so. I'm opposed to them breathing, too, but preventing that isn't my responsibility in most cases, either.

I would be generally "pro-Second Amendment" if it actually did what it was supposed to do. But it doesn't. And it is used by anti-gun bigots as a way to justify their rights violations. They choose to misdefine "militia" (all the people capable of bearing arms in defense of the society) and "well-regulated" (practiced to the point of effectiveness) to suit their purposes. And they love to ignore "shall not be infringed".

The meaning of "pro-gun" is even less clear.

Cops can be "pro-gun"... as long as you obey the unconstitutional and unethical "laws" controlling gun owners. They probably like having their guns, but are often skeptical of you having any gun you want, on you everywhere you go, without getting government permission first. Many "elite" gun owners and fudds are the same way.

Just because someone is "pro-gun" doesn't mean they support your right to own and to carry them. And this is how they justify their sneak attacks on your natural human rights that they really don't like much, while semi-honestly calling themselves "pro-gun".

A "pro-gun" individual could still be against you having a gun on you because they might not be pro-gun-owner; a real "pro-Second Amendment"/gun-owner rights supporter can't be. Not if they are honest. And someone who really respects the natural human right to own and to carry weapons doesn't rely on the existence of the Second Amendment to support the right and doesn't look for ways to violate or limit your rights.

Now, is that person who claims to be "pro-Second Amendment" telling the truth or are they not?

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