Thursday, January 29, 2015

Shocked!

I'm shocked when I discover an otherwise intelligent person is "conservative" or "liberal".

That's like discovering an astronomer who believes in horoscopes.

Or a neurosurgeon who believes headaches can be relieved by letting the evil spirits out of the sufferer's skull by drilling holes in it.

Or a biologist who believes flies spontaneously spring from rotting meat.

Or an astronaut who believes the Earth is flat.

It simply makes no sense whatsoever.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I'm such a slacker



I guess I should sent the State Line Tribune another Liberty Lines soon. Shame on me for slacking.

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If you're right, what do you care what I think?

Recently I have upset a lot of people ("conservatives") with my opinions on the mass murderer, serial killer Chris Kyle, and "capital punishment".

That is understandable.

I'm still right on both counts.

However, what does it matter? It's "just" my opinion.

Chris Kyle is dead, the movie beatifying his worthless murdering hide is a huge success, and my opinion won't likely talk even one person out of selling their soul to the State, especially if they hunger to murder large numbers of people without "legal" consequence. Those on that path aren't going to be reading my opinion anyway. I wouldn't use The State or its "laws" to stop them even if I could.

And, on the topic of "capital punishment", statists are going to do what they are going to do. I am powerless to stop even one "execution". Sure, if I saw a person in the public square, kneeling to be beheaded, and I were able to take a shot- just like a military sniper- to kill the executioner as he raised the sword, I would do it. Before you compare me to a military sniper, let me remind you this act would be my responsibility; my "fault", individually. Not "just following orders" or "just doing my job". I couldn't justify my actions by the gang I belong to. This would be killing to save a life by stopping a government action, against a person not currently initiating force nor property rights violations, in progress. Not just a potential act, but an imminent one. I would not shoot the same guy if he were simply walking through the square with a sword or firearm, nor if he were going after an obvious armed trespasser (obvious by the gang colors the trespasser wore), there to cause him or others harm. But, unless public executions become a thing in America, I wont be in any position to stop one. I don't trespass uninvited.

So, basically, all the anger over my opinions is silly. People are getting upset over what I think of them, or of people and practices they like. If I'm wrong, what do you care what I think of you? Not enough people read this blog for it to have much impact in how others think of you or those things you support.

If you believe you are right, keep doing or supporting those things and don't worry your conscience. If deep down you suspect I might be right, do some thinking for yourself.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Slavery can be red tape or chains

Slavery can be red tape or chains

(My Clovis News Journal column for December 26, 2014)

Most people think of slavery as an evil from the past, at least in America and other "first world" places. Yet it's still all around us, only in slightly modified form. Libertarians are the modern day abolitionists seeking to change this.

Is slavery OK if you believe the slave would die without being owned and controlled? After all, the slave master feeds, clothes, and houses his human property so they will continue to live and be useful to him. A dead slave is of no use to anyone. And, perhaps, giving a slave his freedom and allowing him to live in Rightful Liberty would result in some tragedies.

That seems a poor justification for slavery.

Liberty is worth the risk every single time.

Does it change anything if the slave doesn't realize he is a slave?

Of course not. I would prefer to point out his condition and encourage him to change it, and offer my help.

Just as I don't want my loved ones to be slaves, even if their master feeds, shelters, and clothes them, I don't want to see things I love- such as parks, zoos, libraries, roads, and education- enslaved by being part of government.

Not only does that mean I don't want them dependent upon money taken from its rightful owner through the act of "taxation", but I don't want them controlled by a bureaucracy which tries to exempt them all from market forces. This only entrenches the status quo and makes real innovation less likely. I want them to be free to be the best they can possibly be, without any red tape whatsoever. Finding a better way to do anything requires the freedom to experiment, risk being wrong, and not be constrained by regulations or any sort of bureaucracy.

It's odd to me how many times I see people comment that if I don't want government providing something I must hate it and not want it to exist at all. Nothing could be further from the truth. I want the things I love to flourish and spread in every conceivable arrangement.

The year 2014 is wrapping up fast. In many ways it was a good year, but I'd love to see 2015 be even better. My fellow abolitionists and I would love to think 2014 would be the last gasp for slavery of any kind, anywhere in the world. But, as Harriet Tubman is reputed to have said: "I freed thousands of slaves. I could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves."

Happy New Year, and throw off your chains!

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Living in FoxNewsIstan

OK, honestly, I can't say if they were influenced by any "news" channel.

I overheard some people discussing the mass murderer movie. Salivating to go see it; grieving that it is always "sold out". Propaganda has never been so profitable. The State risks none of the stolen money it controls, lets corporations do it instead, and both reap the rewards.

A nice gig if you can get it, I suppose.

Anyway, they were talking in reverent tones about the movie, unaware of its inaccuracies. And refusing to see the despicable events it portrays as bad in any way. Because, "Muslims!", and "America!"

Then, the talk shifted to an older movie from a few years before "9/11", where the hero spoke of not negotiating with terrorists. They commented that if (Islamic) terrorism had been "nipped in the bud" back then, "we" wouldn't still be dealing with it now.

Ignoring the reality that the terrorists were created, in large part, by the US government or its policies. No, "we" don't negotiate with terrorists- "we" create them, so "we" will have an excuse for never-ending war and tyranny at "home".

But, they were simply parroting the "conservative" mantra, and around here, it is gospel. And, in a very real way, it makes me feel sick.

Recently, I have been upsetting a lot of "conservatives". Not sure why; they should know by now I am not one of "them". I am the opposite of "conservative" and "liberal". Where they adhere to a respect for Rightful Liberty, I am right there beside them. When they veer off course into the swamp of statism, I don't follow them to oblivion. It's just my way. I just wish they would be consistent and choose a side: Liberty or State. But, not my circus; not my monkeys.

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Disappointment

I am feeling a lot of disappointment.

I am disappointed when someone who knows better does wrong. I put no one on a pedestal, so any individual's actions don't pull the rug out from under me. But I am still disappointed.

That disappointment is magnified exponentially when the response from people who also know better is to start chanting for revenge, punishment, and other evils which form the very foundation of The State and are antithetical to justice. Like a pack of dogs when one falls, they lose their minds and pile on, to tear the fallen dog to shreds, not really caring who else gets hurt in the free for all.

This is the greater tragedy, with the most far-reaching and long lasting repercussions and damage to the most individuals. In the long run, it is much more harmful than the evil actions of one person toward one other person. It shows how bad individuals can behave when herd behavior takes control.

What is the difference between a liberty lover and a statist if they act the same way- even to the point of calling for the exact same response- to a horrible situation?

This kind of "thinking" is why The State still hangs on. It is, as is said, "why we can't have nice things".

It makes me feel alienated. It takes the wind out of my sails. If supposed liberty lovers don't "get it", how can I expect anyone else to?

This disappointment drives home the fact that I can never really "belong". I am me. Alone.

I have said where I stand and what I believe in over 8 years of blog posts- and you can witness through those posts as I have pared away inconsistencies and relinquished the clinging bits of statism I have shed over the years. I have explained how I will behave toward others, however they behave toward me. I am not associated with others beyond where our beliefs, and how we act on those beliefs, are parallel- where we diverge, we diverge.

It makes me just want to post cat pictures.




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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Patronizing, anti-gun, gun lovers

From time to time I'll see someone posting online about a cool replica gun they have built. That is fine as far as it goes.

I can appreciate their works of art. I have a nice non-functional replica, myself, although I didn't build it. I also have a lot of toy guns, and cheap sci-fi toys based on Star Trek and Star Wars guns. So, I see nothing wrong with appreciating fake guns, too.

Occasionally, though, I misunderstand and mistake their pictured replica for a real gun, and make a comment based on that misunderstanding. Some will laugh it off and inform me that their gun is a non-functional replica, and we can go from there discussing the nice points of their fake gun.

But, what I don't like is when someone takes that opportunity to get patronizing, telling me that "real guns are too dangerous", and going on a diatribe based upon their beloved anti-gun beliefs. Yeah, that can really irritate me.

Maybe real guns are too dangerous for them. In that case, they are probably too stupid to own fake guns, too. After all, acting stupid with a fake gun can get you just as dead as misusing a real gun.

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

"Capital punishment" is murder. Here's why

The reason a State death penalty is murder seems to be lost on some people.

Killing someone who is currently attacking or violating private property is not murder. It is self defense. If self defense fails and the victim is murdered, it is still OK- or wonderful, even- if the attacker is killed at the time and place of the attack by a bystander since the assumption that everyone around is still in mortal danger would be reasonable. If no one happened to be there to kill the attacker at the scene, killing him is then off the table, ethically.

Killing that same person later- when they are no longer an imminent threat- is a revenge murder. I realize a large majority of people think revenge is sometimes OK... but it isn't.

For one thing, if you weren't there, you don't really know what happened. Making a mistake and demanding restitution from someone who turns out to have been innocent is bad enough, but making a mistake that results in death is unforgivable.

Having a government employee do the killing on the victim's (or "society's") behalf changes nothing- unless you believe the propaganda about the State- meaning the individual humans comprising it- being somehow exempt from the ethical rules all humans are subject to.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

I hope I'm wrong, and they are, too

I hope I'm wrong, and they are, too

(My Clovis News Journal column for January 23, 2015. It was posted in a different location on the paper's site and I didn't find it.)

Doom and gloom. It comes at you from every direction, but relax: The doomsayers are probably wrong about almost everything.

I don’t believe primitive barbarians will take over the world in the name of their religion. Sure, they want to; they just can’t.

I don’t believe Anthropogenic Global Climate Change — even if it’s real — will destroy the world, or more specifically, civilization... read the rest...

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Can anything be "made right" with a wrong?

I am not a "believer" in The State. Period.

No matter what someone has done, or to whom, The State is never a good "solution" (if it can be considered a "solution" at all) and I don't support any response which involves the State or any of its tentacles.

I don't believe in imprisonment. No justice can ever come by this path.

I don't believe in revenge or punishment. Once again, these are anti-justice. I also understand that most people are enthusiastic fans of both, so this puts me at odds with seemingly everyone.

I am a big fan of death at the hands of the intended victim or a rescuer at the scene of the attack- but anything later is revenge or an attempt to "punish". I can understand the desire for punishment, and have even been guilty of committing it myself in the past, but it is still wrong.

Some things can never be "made right"- but with the knowledge of that fact seems to come a desire to toss everything aside and become a salivating revenge junkie, a crazed punishment pusher, or a situational statist.

And, that's all I have to say on that matter.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

C. S. Lewis, liberty, and the evils of statism

Some of you might enjoy this talk by David J. Theroux to the C. S. Lewis Society of California. I listened to the whole thing and I enjoyed it.

 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Stop aiding your enemies with your inconsistency

I've been observing some meltdowns going on online. Meltdowns driving a wedge into the liberty community. In other words, doing the anti-liberty bigots' work for them. That's sad.

The funny thing is, it's always over compromise with evil- with inconsistency. Some people get their knickers in a bunch when others do it, while doing the exact same thing themselves and not recognizing it.

You look silly throwing a fit over some Second Amendment Rights compromiser who helps write anti-gun "laws" if you also support anti-liberty military mass murderers.

Yeah, it's the same sort of thing. It's support of State over Rightful Liberty in both cases.

Consistency is important. You can be consistently wrong- it is unlikely but possible. But, it is impossible to be inconsistent, yet right. You may be right about some things (by supporting Rightful Liberty) and wrong about others (by rejecting Rightful Liberty for some people in some instances and/or by supporting a particular enemy of liberty you want to support for whatever reason), but the areas where you are wrong damage your credibility where you are right.

I try to remain consistent. If I notice inconsistency in myself (or have it pointed out to me) I know it means I am wrong somewhere. I have worked hard to eliminate those inconsistencies, always toward a deeper respect for Liberty, even when it makes people hate me. I'd rather be right than popular- well, I suppose it would be nice to be both, but that's just not going to happen. Besides, if you are right, it means the people who like you are the good people, and not just those who "like" you for your popularity.

These petty (or not so petty) in-fights could be avoided if people would take consistency seriously and just stop trying to appease the anti-liberty bigots who will never be their friends anyway: those who give lip service to liberty as long as it suits their purposes- advancing their own liberty- and quickly forget it as soon as the State and its "laws" can be used against someone they hate.

When in doubt- and even when sure- always default toward Rightful Liberty. If you choose something over Liberty, own it.

Added: Someone, on the Facebook "share" of this post, commented "Good advice for you, Kent!", to which I replied "Please be specific about any inconsistencies I exhibit so that I can fix them." I'm still waiting for a response. Maybe I misunderstood what she was attempting to communicate.

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The War on Driving

Isn't it convenient that the primary mode of transportation has been declared by the State to be so uniquely dangerous that they must exercise extraordinary control over it with all sorts of "laws", and swarms of enforcers to impose those "laws" on travelers, even as those enforcers constitute a real "public" hazard by doing so.

They say in order to be safe enough to drive you must have all sorts of permits and licenses for you and your vehicle. They have asserted for themselves the "authority" to regulate what is in your blood or what you are doing. They claim to be authorized to take away your right to drive on a whim if you don't do what they demand.

Yes, there is a War on Driving, declared by the State and supported in some form by every sort of person- with truly few exceptions.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

This is your brain on propaganda

Today was "online insane", all over that ridiculous sniper propaganda movie. It is turning brains to toxic sludge faster than any zombie virus ever dreamed of.

And, I don't get it.

I realize there is a very large contingent who desperately want to give cops and "troops" a pass they are not willing to give other State tools. Why? I don't know.

Fine.

I see it as blatant inconsistency, but you do whatever makes you happy and accept the consequences. I think truth is better, and that inconsistency shows you are wrong about something, but if you are comfortable with it...

Go ahead and go further. Insist that "taxation" can't be theft because government employees are committing it as part of their job.

This is basically what I am running up against.

It is no different when you claim that a soldier in war- on the invading side- is not a murderer because it's his job, and killing "the enemy" is what he is supposed to do. Mafia hitmen also have a job to do which includes killing people their boss tells them to kill, but I guess it is only "not murder" if you work for the biggest mafia..

Never mind that defending your neighbors from aggressive invaders is the right thing to do in every case, no matter where you live.

Never mind that owning and carrying weapons ("keep and bear arms") is a universal human right, and targeting individuals doing so in their own land is wrong- especially when you are the trespasser.

But, go right ahead and call me names.

If you excuse the state in one thing, you are excusing it in everything.

Added- others agree with me: American Sniper, and the Murderers Hall of Infamy and AMERICAN SNIPER by Jacob G. Hornberger

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Enjoy celebrating your own way

Enjoy celebrating your own way


(My Clovis News Journal column for December 19, 2014)

Maybe I’m sappy, but I love Christmas and the festive atmosphere surrounding it.

If you do too, and like for things to come together the way you hope they will, be grateful for voluntary individual actions. Part of the magic of Christmas is its voluntary nature and its decentralization.

The things which go into a big celebration can be overwhelming. Yet, somehow, it all comes together- or at least most of it does- because everyone is responsible for their part of the big picture. Everyone has their traditions and preferences, and there is no one person responsible for making sure each individual gets to do what they enjoy- each of us does our own thing with those who choose to join us. Those who would rather not celebrate, or like to celebrate in their own way, are not forced to join in. The unexpected crops up but on the whole it works, even if one person drops the ball.

Do you believe it would go as well if government took over the observance of Christmas? Ignore for a moment the First Amendment- just as government usually does anyway. Imagine the Federal Department of Christmas, and how it would run things if other government programs are any example of what to expect.

First of all, if government controlled it, Christmas would be mandatory. You'd pay for the celebration, public and private, at inflated prices, whether you wanted to participate or not. Gifts would be assigned according to what some bureaucrat has calculated everyone should want, and depending on whose favors and campaign contributions are due to be repaid. No real choice would be given in the matter, beyond a patronizing "choose between option 'A' and option 'B'". Other winter solstice holidays would be tolerated, but observing one of those wouldn't excuse you from supporting Christmas, with your allegiance and your tax dollars. You could be paying twice to have the celebration you wanted.

Imagine the red tape at having something as large and complicated as Christmas centrally planned. You'd have bureaucrats responsible for millions of families each, making sure all the proper forms had been filled out. Multiple times. Santa Claus would be a bureaucrat with all the good humor of any other overwhelmed government employee. Do you really think that would be better?

But, maybe you think a politicized Christmas would be great. Maybe you believe everyone should celebrate Christmas your way, and don't mind having it imposed just as I describe. Now, substitute some other culture's holiday for Christmas and see how you like that.

Be happy you can celebrate Christmas- or not- as you choose, keeping familial peace with voluntary compromise and cooperation.

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Chris Kyle- coward?

(A new Patreon/subscriber-only post)

Was confessed (and proud) mass murderer Chris Kyle a "coward", as bloated collectivist moron Michael Moore asserts?

I don't know. I never met him, thank goodness.

It is quite possible to be both brave and a murderer. I think lots of murderers act brave while murdering. It doesn't make them heroes. I always hope someone will kill them in self defense or while protecting their intended victims. (subscribe for the rest)

Added- others agree with me: American Sniper, and the Murderers Hall of Infamy and AMERICAN SNIPER by Jacob G. Hornberger

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Don't punch offensive jerks

I always tell my daughter you shouldn't hit someone for "just" offending you. Yet, that does seem to be the automatic human response, doesn't it.

I think it is one of the cornerstones of statism. Someone does something to offend you, so you use government to cause them pain.

Real aggression or property violations need no government permission (or agents acting on your behalf) to be responded to, but fake "harm", such as being offended, is easier to strike back against if you can blame it on something else- like a cop just enforcing a "law".

You have no right to not be offended nor to respond to offense with force, and you have no way to delegate rights you don't have to people with false authority.

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Love liberty, or lick the hand of the State. Your choice.

How can liberty loving bloggers* point out the evil of the State in blog post after blog post... but interspersed in those, spout worship for parts of the State they like?

I see it over and over with certain bloggers.

It's like they recognize the State is completely evil, but they give the military a pass because they were once part of it, or have a loved one who was (or is).

Guess what. I have loved ones who have been in the military and have a loved one in the military even now, and I still recognize it for what it is: the blunt instrument of Empire-building evil. It's like the mugger's gun aimed at your face- and the "troops" are the bullets.

The inconsistency is staggering when someone keeps posting pro-military crap while claiming to value Rightful Liberty.

I'm not saying you can't learn from things the military teaches or has done. You can learn something valuable from anyone, but that doesn't mean you should worship them. It also doesn't mean you should shield them from honest criticism.

It also doesn't mean Chris Kyle was anything but a State's mafia hitman. A murderer.
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Added: *I am very disappointed that one in particular didn't approve my comment to this effect on his blog post about idiot collectivist Michael Moore's comments about mass-murderer collectivist Chris Kyle. No, I won't say who he is, but you probably know of him.

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Excusing murder because (freelance) bad guys do it, too

When the question of a State-imposed death penalty comes up, I generally point out that no government anywhere, at any time, has ever been honest or honorable enough to be trusted with the power of life and death.

Statists yelp at this simple truth.

They come up with any objection they can think of to excuse murder-by-state employee.

To say that my assertion that no government can be trusted with the power of life and death isn't taking into account the fact that freelance murderers also prove they can't be trusted with that power is overlooking that no one "trusts" them with that power. They take it.

Yet, people argue that because bad guys kill, "we" should empower a State to do so, also? That's crazy. Two wrongs don't make a right. And it overlooks the fact that governments are made of people. Flawed, violent, greedy, aggressive, dishonest- and all too often, murderous people. In fact, the "job" selects for the worst of the worst- the ones smart enough to do their murdering from behind a veil of legitimacy while those exactly like them are called "criminals".

A government which can impose death has no limits. And, they all- by definition- claim to have this "authority". That's why "limited government" is such a dangerous lie and a Utopian dream.

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Some things are NOT "OK"

(Patreon subscriber-only post)

As much as I'd like to get along with everyone around me, some things are not OK. Some things can never be OK, and I can't pretend they are OK. Not even if it hurts someone's feelings.

Statism is exactly as "not OK" as chattel slavery. Minarchism is the moral and ethical equivalent of excusing "just a little slavery". Either, "only" enslaving a small percentage of the population, or enslaving everyone "just a little". Actually, it isn't only the moral and ethical equivalent- it is exactly that: slavery.  (Subscribe for the rest)

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EDC: My "every day carry" post

Just in case you wonder what I carry with me everyday, here's the majority of it laid out to view.

Click to deminiaturize

The above picture is my belt, and those things which hang off it. I've worn the same belt since May 2, 1993, and the holes are starting to wallow out a little. Maybe another decade or so and I'll need a new one. Behind the pouch, not showing from this angle, is a knife sheath which carries my Kershaw knife (I got it when I was 12 or so, and have carried it most of the time since then). The next cylindrical pouch holds my spyglass. The next one holds a hobo tool and a hard sharpening stone. Built into the back of that pouch is a pocket to hold a business card case, where I keep some band-aids along with the business cards. Daughters often feel the need for band-aids. Next, after the gap, is my cell phone holster and the sheath for my folding knife.

Below that row you'll see the things that go in the large pouch: a Firesteel.com fire rod and striker, a pencil nub, tweezers, a bore gauge (I actually have found many uses for it over the years), a micro screw driver for spectacle repair, folding scissors, my spare (or rarely needed) keys, a small file, and a couple of allen wrenches.

Not shown: a couple of things I assume everyone carries.

Then we come to the things carried in my vest.

Click to embiggen

I wear a old west style canvas vest with four pockets.

Top left is a cheap laser pointer. I have found many uses for this over the years. Recently I had bought some cheap dollar store batteries and had two of them explode in my pocket- about a month apart. Interesting sensation... Then you'll see my Zippo, which has a Z-Plus insert, since regular fluid evaporates for me, and a mass of safety pins, some filthy ear plugs, and a tape measure.

Middle top I have a small metal backed mirror, and a couple of metal boxes with small things in them (over-the-counter meds, a P-38 can opener, needle & thread, buttons, a piece of hacksaw blade, back for an earring, etc.) and a cloth in a small bag for cleaning my glasses.

Just below those you can see my old collapsible cup.

Starting back at the left again are my frequently used keys. 

The rest of the stuff is carried in pockets I attached to the inside of my vest. There's another P-38 (not sure why), and below that are some emergency tooth brushes I carry for my daughter (although I have used them a few times), and my ear buds. I carry a USB cable, as well as a wall adapter and a car adapter for my phone, my Kindle, and for the "found phone" I just use to store music.

Next are a Sharpie, a diamond sharpening rod, an antique sharpening rod made of who-knows-what, another pencil nub, and a magnifying glass made of a lens I scavenged.

That's not all I carry on a daily basis, but the rest is sort of obvious.

I'm not sure how much it all weighs, but I have carried stuff like this for so long I am used to it. I hate not having something simple, and people know to come to me first if they need something. I am always adjusting and changing what I carry. If I am digging in a pocket and find something I haven't used, I take it out. Or, if there is something I find myself needing, and not having, it may get added. Yeah, it may make me loot a little fatter than I am, but that's OK.

I am my own possibles bag. I don't need all this, but it does sometimes smooth over little issues to keep them from becoming problems.

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Friday, January 16, 2015

"Right to control" a powerful delusion

"Right to control" a powerful delusion

(My Clovis News Journal column for January 16, 2015)

Almost all areas of political contention are invented and imaginary. Those areas of life shouldn’t be subjected to laws, majority opinion, or anyone’s control.

There are only two things subject to control: aggression and violations of private property. Those don’t need any response beyond self defense. No one needs to give you permission to protect yourself and your property, and no one can take away your right to self defense.... read the rest...

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Bouncing photons and claiming them as your property

You don't own the photons which have bounced off you you. Not even if someone else captures them digitally. Sorry if that upsets you.

Yes, I understand if you are upset that someone took an "upskirt" photo of you. He (or she) acted like a jerk. But you weren't touched in any way, nor were you coerced into changing anything you were doing. You have not been stolen from nor aggressed against. Call the photographer names if you want, but if you use (or threaten) force against him (or her) you are the one initiating force.

This all started over a photo someone posted in a non-libertarian Facebook group. The photo showed a woman hanging from an overhead rail on "public transportation". She was looking right at the photographer, but her panties were showing. Panties are clothes, not "nudity", by the way. She was obviously having fun, and it looked to me as though she was enjoying the attention she was getting.

People in the group started getting all twitchy, asking the person who posted the photo whether he had gotten her consent to post the photo, comparing it to a secretly captured "upskirt" photo, and having conniptions that not everyone was as offended as they thought they should be. It got stupid fast. Then it went totally insane with name-calling from all sides, and multiple threats to "report" the picture. Soon, the administrators (who I have seen act cowardly in several other instances) took down the photo and threatened to ban anyone who even mentioned the incident again.

(I agree they have the right to run "their page" however they want, within Facebook's terms of service, including doing this- that's not the issue here.)

I am all for consent. I think every human interaction should be consensual or not at all. I also think it would be nice if he asked to take the photo, and if she consented, then asked whether it was OK to post it online.

But, if you are in public you have no right to not be seen or photographed. You don't control how someone intercepts the photons bouncing off of you. 

Which could be good, because if you did own those photons, then you would be responsible if they caused "harm" to someone. And, although The State does actually pretend that's a "thing" ("indecent exposure", displaying the digitus impudicus toward cops and other verminous State employees, etc.) and will find ways to punish you for "your" photons, but that's just because the State needs as many made-up reasons to punish as many people as possible.

Witnessing that offensensitivity meltdown also showed me that no matter how petty and bickering liberty-lovers can get, the non-libertarians out there can be so much worse. Without even noticing what morons they are being.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A "quality" to the disagreements

I care very little about statists disagreeing with me. I'm going to live liberty the best I can regardless of their wishes or fears. I only make the effort to get them to see liberty for their own sake. They can take it or leave it. Debating them gives me practice putting my thoughts into words.

It bothers me more when people I generally agree with disagree with me. And sometimes I discover they had a good reason for their disagreement.

In both cases I really do try to look at the disagreement and see where I could be wrong. Sometimes, where the other liberty lovers are concerned, I discover I was wrong. Or there was a misunderstanding somewhere and we were both right.

That just never happens where statists are concerned. There may be some misunderstanding, but they are still wrong at the very foundation. They start with flawed assumptions and it only gets worse from there. They can still make me mad, but they are wrong, and I'm not going to reject the truth just so they'll agree with me.

That's the difference in the quality of the disagreements.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Protecting from mistakes misguided

Protecting from mistakes misguided

(My Clovis News Journal column for December 12, 2014)

Human beings will always make mistakes.

It would be nice to protect people from mistakes, but that desire is often misguided. You can warn people; some might even listen. Some won't and you'll watch as they suffer consequences. Some mistakes will be fatal. That's reality, and there's no way you can change it, no matter how tightly you try to control the world.

You might make up rules to forbid others from doing things you believe would be mistakes. This is also a mistake. People don't learn by being told what not to do. In fact, your efforts will probably encourage irresponsibility, and make mistakes more tragic. In spite of the wishful thinking at the foundation of all politics, you can't live other people's lives for them- you can only live your own.

No one is immune to mistakes. I know I have squandered opportunities, taken the wrong path, and made the wrong choice many times. It happens less frequently as I learn from past mistakes, and it doesn't mean mistakes from long ago don't still have ongoing consequences.

People learn because mistakes have consequences. You may think that sounds cruel, but isn't it worse to ensure a person never has the opportunity to learn? Go ahead, try to save those you see making a fatal mistake, but remember: they'll probably learn nothing from the experience and you won't always be around.

I can't tell you how many times I told my daughter the stove top was hot, but I do know it only took one time touching it for her to learn and remember.

Even worse than making your own mistakes is forcing those who know better to go along for the ride. It's really bad when you drag people with you. Those who know better should be able to stand aside and let you go over the cliff if you can't be talked out of it. Forcing them to join you is not civilized.

Then again, what one person considers to be a mistake, someone else might consider the goal, and forbidding them to pursue it could be wrong. This is why no one should have the power to run the lives of others. After all, you never really know how the future will unfold, and preventing someone from doing something which might turn out to have been the right thing should overwhelm you with just as much guilt as sitting by and watching someone get hurt by their mistakes.

Give your best advice, if it is welcomed, then it's up to the other person to accept it or reject it, and it's then your responsibility to get out of their way.
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Muslim terrorists are a symptom, not the problem

(Published 1-9-2015 on Patreon)

It's the act that matters, not the excuse someone uses for committing the act.

I don't care if your excuse is Islam, Christianity, nationalism, drugs, enforcing the law, or insanity- if you harm the innocent or violate their property (in other words: commit evil) you are a bad guy and I hope your next victim blows your brains out in self defense. I'd wish this to happen every single time.

I hate Islam as much as anyone, but the Charlie Hebdo murders have brought the non-thinking anti-Islam wackos out in force. People willing to excuse and justify all sorts of evil, as long as it is committed in the name of something they like, are losing their minds because some other wackos committed evil in the name of something "alien". ...(Subscribe for the rest)

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Monday, January 12, 2015

In "Alignment"?

Apparently, according to this test, my "alignment" is "Neutral Good".

I guess that works for me.

Click to enlargenize

The test linked above says I am  41.7% Good and 10.3% Lawful. "10.3% Lawful"? What's up with that? I suppose if you consider the ZAP a "law", and rejecting theft as "lawful", it could fit. Although I still tend to consider all "laws" as either unnecessary or harmful. Although there were several questions I couldn't easily answer, as there was no answer I really liked (as with all these things). So, perhaps I lean a little toward the "Chaotic" side, too.

Here's the short version of the characteristics of Neutral Good:

You do the best good that a person could be expected to do. You are devoted to helping others. You are willing to work with authority figures, but you do not feel any particular allegiance to them.
You are the stereotypical “Benefactor.” You believe in doing good without any particular bias for or against order.
Examples of characters and people who fit into the same alignment as you include Mother Theresa, Ghandi, Gandalf, Indiana Jones, O-Bi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter, Frodo Baggins, and the Dalai Lama.

Another page explains the character traits a bit more in-depth. Again, I think they confuse respecting "laws" with doing the right thing when the "law" accidentally aligns with right. And confuse finding "authority" irrelevant with willing to work with "authority".

As a bonus, here is the page on "Chaotic Good", which I'm a little surprised I didn't score, but which I do seem to share a lot of characteristics with.

Someone showed me another alignment test, and in taking it I scored "Chaotic Neutral"- I am less confident of that result because the test had even more questions without a good answer for me. For example: I won't spy for a hostile foreign power because governments are all evil, not because of any loyalty to "my" government.

Either way, I am some combination of good, neutral, and chaotic- the upper righthand corner of the picture, which I see as the most fitting place for me.

Anyway, file it under "know yourself", and take the test if you'd like to compare notes.

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

The world collapsing around you? Take the challenge- Find the fun.

You and I live in "interesting times". That's not going to change unless it is to get more "interesting". I'd better accept it.

So, I am determined to have fun with tyranny, however I can manage. I'll play and mess with them and make fun of them in subtle ways they may miss. But I'll know, and it will make me smile.

Maybe some few raging statists are smarter than I give them credit for, but most are downright idiots. Use that fact.

I can have fun even knowing it's a serious situation. Just like any survival situation, if you forget to find the fun in it you'll suffer needlessly, and you may hurt your chances of surviving. Hard situations can bring out the best in you if you let them. And show you what you're made of. There's beauty in surviving a blizzard in the forest, or a desert crossing in the summer. There must also be beauty in surviving a police state and finding little ways to take back some liberty (which amounts to spitting in their drink without them knowing you did so).

I think I had recently forgotten to have fun with the circumstances. Statists and their enforcers are just so ridiculous I've got to laugh. Sure, they are dangerous. So are lots of other things. You need to stay alert. Be aware and keep your eyes open. Yes, this is deadly serious. But have fun. Laugh. Live in spite of them. To spite them.

It's your life. Don't let the pro-government extremist idiots ruin it for you.

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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Science: Dark matter

This idea struck me, and I don't know if it has any merit, or if it does, whether someone else has already considered it, but....

Maybe dark matter is just "normal" matter existing in the curled up extra dimensions predicted by string theory, superstring theory, and M-theory. Seems like a good place to hide most of the Universe if you ask me.

UPDATE: I did a quick Google search before I posted this and came up with no matches, but later a more in-depth search shows that others have had this idea before me. Good. Now I how someone figures out a good way to test it.

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Government explained to an alien (and to statists)



Thanks to one of my readers for sending this video to me. It's based on a talk by Larken Rose, so obviously it's spot on. I've seen it before, but for some reason never posted it. I think everyone should watch it.

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Friday, January 09, 2015

Push through the pain for liberty

Push through the pain for liberty


(My Clovis News Journal column for January 9, 2015)

There is a balance to life. I love when my son comes to visit, even though it means I’ll feel sadness when he has to head home again. The joy of his presence is worth the pain of his departure.

All of life is a trade-off like this. Don’t allow your desire to avoid pain or sadness rob you of opportunities for joy.

A free society would also bring some pain, but just like a short visit from a loved one, the pain would be worth the gains. To enjoy the benefits of liberty you have to take the initiative to push through the pain. It won’t be as bad as you have built it up to be in your imagination.... read the rest...

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Thursday, January 08, 2015

False choices

"Muslim or Christian" is just as false a choice as "Democrat or Republican". And equally as evil when you use your religion as an excuse to try to force your belief system on those who are not a part of your belief system.

Again, just like the evil of Democrapublicans.

That being said:

Properly identifying dangers

There are many libertarians out there absolutely bending over backwards to seem all touchy-feely and warm & fuzzy. Do what you want, but ignoring reality so you can coddle bad guys and not alienate their fans isn't being honest.

Case in point:

I get the Liberty.me newsletter, and a recent issue was decrying the killing of those NYPD officers. Fair enough, but then they went off the edge.

What the article said was:

"...Humans have an evolutionary tendency to lump things with a common trait together and then assume that all those things sharing that trait are identical in nature. If a tiger killed my neighbor, then all tigers are deadly. If a snake bit my neighbor and he died, then all snakes are dangerous. Those that recognized distinctive traits and properly categorized the natural world as dangerous or not dangerous and killed the dangerous ones tended to live longer and pass on their genes. Those that thought we should just give all tigers a chance, well, it didn’t work out so well for them... 
But this vestige of our evolutionary past, like the appendix, serves no purpose today except in extreme situations (e.g. it’s still safe to assume all tigers in the wild are dangerous)..."

That's true, to a point. The mistake they make is in not properly identifying cops as just as dangerous as other known dangers- like wild tigers and poisonous snakes. You can learn to identify deadly snakes by their patterns, colors, and shape. Same with people who make the conscious choice to wear certain patterns, colors, and shapes. When someone chooses to advertise their identity as a predator you'd be foolish to discount the warning. They are warning you. Believe them.

I replied to their email:

The problem with giving cops a chance is, just like the tigers, by definition they are dangerous. They choose to live by theft and aggression- and advertise their choice every morning by the gang colors they openly put on to wear, and by continuing to enforce counterfeit rules against everyone not in their gang. If someone shows you that they are dangerous by the gang colors they wear and the choices they continue to make, you'd better believe them. It isn't "lumping", it is recognizing them for what they are and how they choose to live.
Now, I don't advocate going up to cops (or MS-13 gang members) who are not currently engaging in aggression or theft and shooting them in the head- but I will never grieve when the poor and harmful choices they have made (and continue to make) have consequences. Good riddance to them.
Not recognizing a real danger, just so you can appear "reasonable" to those who will never be on your side regardless, is suicidal.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Not mine; not yours; not ours

"Our government".
"Our troops".
"My president".
"My congressman".
"Our laws".
"Our police".
"Our schools".

If you say any of the above, you are a big part of the problem.

I'm not telling you to stop saying those things, but I would remind you that words have meanings, and sometimes the way you use words can warp the way you think about things to the point that reality becomes a problem for you. Stop and think before you parrot the popular phraseology.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Beliefs are far more than opinions

Beliefs are far more than opinions

(My Clovis News Journal column for December 5, 2014)

I often hear people characterize political differences as mere differences of opinion. If only they were that trivial.

A disagreement over the best music would normally be a frivolous difference of opinion, but what would happen if it were politicized? You might criminalize my favorite songs if 51% of the voters agree with you or if a bureaucrat makes up a rule, then demand I only listen to your favorite music whether I like it or not, on 8-track tape, and throw me in a cell if I don't comply. No longer is it a difference of opinion; it has become a threat.

Neither is the dispute between Rightful Liberty and everything else- Republican, Democrat, liberal, or conservative- just a matter of opinion.

The opinion that a State and its laws are necessary and can make you safer, or make bad people good, eventually leads to slavery, death, and destruction. The opinion that government can be constitutionally limited to keep it under control has the weight of human history against it. Cemeteries and secret mass graves overflow with counterarguments to those who believe living under a State is better for people than living without one: over 200 million non-military dead, most killed by "their own" governments, during the 20th Century alone. Anarchy can't possibly be worse.

But you may not agree.

If you disagree with my opinion that Rightful Liberty is something I should respect in everyone else, I will let you go your own way unless you attack me over our difference of opinion. That's because your Rightful Liberty- your "unobstructed action according to [your] will within limits drawn around [you] by the equal rights of others"- is more important to me than having you live as I wish you would.

Unfortunately, those holding "mainstream" political opinions openly believe it is OK to cage or kill people who have differing opinions, especially if they dare to live according to their opinion in defiance of laws, even if they violate no one's Rightful Liberty while doing so. Their opinion results in everyone being controlled with arbitrary and harmful laws enforced by agents of the state, who are paid through that taking of private property euphemistically called "taxation", and any noncompliance will inevitably be met with violent enforcement of those laws. Deadly force over a difference of opinion? Some opinion!

So, which government law or program do you want badly enough to believe it's worth taking your neighbors property, liberty, or life, over? Don't say "they should just obey the law", because things like slavery were once legal, and many of today's laws will be viewed with the same contempt by future generations.

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How to minimize the problems with the military

(A new Patreon Subscriber-only post)

Like America's founders, I am highly suspicious of a standing military. They are not a good idea, and are too dangerous to permit.

The people ought to form militias, but no government can ever be trusted with a military. They just can't.

However, ignoring how the military is financed...( subscribe for the rest...)

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Monday, January 05, 2015

"Not fair..."

After a few years of being around other kids, I notice my daughter has developed a fascination with "fair". Usually, as in "that's not fair".

This amuses me a little bit, but each time she says that I remind her that "fair" isn't a real thing. Life happens as it will, "fair" doesn't figure into it at all.

That doesn't mean I don't try to be "fair" when dealing with her.

Is that contradictory? Maybe.

I would love for the Universe to be fair. When the laws of physics or human nature conspire against me I would love to be able to remind the Universe to be fair and have things improve immediately. But, that's not up to the Universe- it is MY job to be fair when dealing with others. What they do is up to them.

The Universe doesn't care- that's my job (and I hope you accept that job, too).

I don't want my daughter going through life under the impression that life will be fair, and getting hurt when it isn't. I'd rather she understand it is up to her to choose to be fair when dealing with others, to accept that others may not be so reasonable, and to protect herself from the nature of reality when she can.

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Sunday, January 04, 2015

Let your fear go

Cowardice. Ugh. Just look where it gets people.

Fear of war lords, of hordes of worthless people looting, or of other bad guys makes people embrace the State- and it's disgusting enforcers- out of fear of what might happen in their absence. It's really sad.

I see it over and over.

Just because people are scared of what they imagine could happen, they support a current evil that really does kill innocent people now. I'm not sure how they imagine things could be worse without the State, but they certainly do imagine it. I've always had an active imagination, but that's stretching it beyond thin.

But, maybe they are right. Maybe liberty would be a short-lived disaster. I highly doubt it, but I'm willing to take my chances. How about you?

I'll watch your back, and I would appreciate it if you watch mine- but no obligation if you'd rather not. Liberty is worth the trouble.

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Saturday, January 03, 2015

Internet? What's that?

I have been online very little in the past week or so.

First I had the flu at the same time my son came to visit. Yay. He's here for a couple more days. So, I've been spending time visiting with him. We are pretty much snowed in now- which I don't mind.

Then, last night as this area was getting 9" of snow, the furnace decided to stop working. Now, for me, that's not really a hardship. I have a fireplace, and I like to sleep in cold air. But some other people under this roof get very worked up over such things.

So, at 3AM I was running around outside, going to the cellar to get an electric heater to supplement the fireplace. This was after trying to fix the furnace without success. I thought the thermocouple was out, but I changed that today and had the same problem- mostly. Talking to the former owner of the house has me suspecting the gas valve is crapping out- which he says cost $120 the last time he replaced it a few years ago- but I did eventually get the heater to come on for a while and get the house temperature back up to where the soft, modern humans in the house were happy. Looks like I may have to try to buy a new gas valve very soon. Sure could use that money for other things, but I guess the furnace is importantish.

Anyway, before long I'll probably be back online a normal amount.

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Enjoy beauty whenever you can

Stolen money can either go toward something hideous or something beautiful.

If you are mugged in a back alley- or "taxed"- your stolen money might finance a visit to a crack house or the construction of an ugly prison. Or, maybe the mugger will use the loot to buy paint and make a beautiful mural on the side of a courthouse- or maybe a government fireworks display. Even paint bought with stolen money applied to the side of a building paid for with more stolen money can be beautiful.

Would you feel guilty for admiring something beautiful financed with stolen money?

You probably shouldn't. You might as well enjoy beauty wherever you find it. It doesn't mean you should excuse theft. Theft is theft. It is always wrong, no matter what it is used for. Don't sidestep the truth. But don't shut out beauty, either.

I guess I'd still rather see stolen money go to make something beautiful than to something horrible like a prison or to hire a cop. Of course, I'd much rather have everyone reject theft altogether. Maybe someday...

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Friday, January 02, 2015

Control is in government’s nature

Control is in government’s nature

(My Clovis News Journal column for January 2, 2015)

If men are good, you don’t need government; if men are evil or ambivalent, you don’t dare have one.
— Robert LeFevre, libertarian businessman

One common argument for government is that people are evil, greedy, and cruel, so government is necessary to protect people from each other.
This seems to ignore the fact government is made up of those same people.... read the rest..

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Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy New Year, and free information

Happy New Year!

For the past year I have been trying one of my year-long experiments. This year's was not as successful as the standing desk, which I'm still using.

No, this year's experiment was washing my hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar instead of shampoo.

I have made my own deodorant and toothpaste from baking soda (and other ingredients)- and they worked OK, but there were always issues*.

And, when I say "not as successful", I don't mean there was any real problem. I honestly can't tell a difference in my hair after using no shampoo, but only baking soda and apple cider vinegar for a year.

So, while I'm glad there was no problem, considering the extra work, I think I'll just switch back to shampoo and conditioner. "No difference" translates into "no reason" in this case. Shampoo and conditioner are just faster and easier. Yeah, they may be slightly more expensive, but since using the "natural alternative" takes longer to wash out, I wonder if the extra water usage eliminated any economic benefit.

Plus, if you can't easily make baking soda at home in the event of TSHTF, it's not really a survival technique anyway. Yucca leaves and roots might fit that bill better (or other things, depending on your location). I would say it's best left to those times you ran out of shampoo, don't want to use your soap/body wash for some reason, and have the ingredients at home.

Just another bit of data to keep in the back of your mind, but don't spend much time worrying about it one way or the other.

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*The deodorant was crumbly. It was too hard when cold and too soupy when hot. That's the coconut oil. It did work pretty well, though.

The toothpaste also worked. It was also affected too much by temperature- often either flowing out of the tube as a liquid, or too hard to squeeze out.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

It all goes back to property rights

It all goes back to property rights

(My Clovis News Journal column for November 28, 2014.)

Those who oppose "illegal immigration" should push for a constitutional amendment to finally make immigration control and closed borders constitutional (therefore, legal). In clear language, with no ambiguity. This would be necessary to make some immigrants "illegal" and end the hypocrisy. Those opposed to "illegal immigration" should obey the highest law before demanding others obey subordinate laws which were never authorized by the Constitution.

Obviously, clear language guarantees nothing. The Second Amendment's "shall not be infringed" is perfectly clear, yet has been violated and ignored by "laws" at every level of government for the past 80-plus years.

Even with a constitutional amendment it would still be wrong to pretend any government has the authority to violate private property rights and dictate whom you are allowed to rent to, hire, or invite for a visit, and to tell people where they are allowed to be. At least then those who claim to want government to obey the Constitution wouldn't be talking out of both sides of their mouth.

I do sympathize. To a point.

If you are worried immigrants will vote for more socialism- just like the majority of American voters already do- why not win them over rather than alienating them? The actions taken by those who explain they are only opposed to "illegal immigration" are self-defeating at best. If you believe your way is so unappealing it isn't possible to make newcomers want it, then immigrants are not your biggest problem.

It bothers me when anyone, regardless of where they were born, votes for more socialistic handouts and programs; for more government or more "laws". No matter what justification they use. It makes no difference to me where an attacker or a thief was born, nor what government papers he holds. I want to see aggressors and thieves struck down through self defense every time they strike.

Yet, if private property rights are respected, the whole issue of "immigration" evaporates.

If all property were individually owned, and there weren't an entire system established to wrest control of property from the rightful owners, the owners could decide how to control it. Government owns nothing it didn't either steal from the original owners or buy with stolen (or counterfeited) money. Since no thief owns the stolen property he possesses, why do people pretend there are federal, state, or local "public" lands to be controlled by government?

With real property rights people would either be where they have a right to be, or they'd be trespassing and subject to forcible removal. If property rights stopped immigration, so be it. If not, that's also just fine. This is as it should be.

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Thug vs Thug

Ever since the Micheal Brown/Darren Wilson incident I have seen the same thinking error happen over and over again.

Even among those inclined toward liberty.

People who should know better seem to be throwing their unconditional support behind Wilson, just because they don't wish to be seen supporting Brown.

People are so desperate to not be seen supporting someone they see as the bad guy that they make idiots of themselves supporting another bad guy. They want to believe Brown was a bad guy- and it's quite possible he was- so they jump to support Wilson even though he is also a bad guy.

Don't make the mistake of believing that openly breaking counterfeit rules makes a person "bad" either, because nothing could be further from the truth. Good people break bad "laws".

It got so bad I saw people hesitating to condemn the cop who murdered Eric Garner- seemingly based on how they view the Brown/Wilson encounter.

It is common for bad guys to kill each other. It's the life they choose. Don't get wrapped up in supporting one side simply because you hate the other a little more; feel free to condemn both as what they are. And when one side is clearly the bad guy, violating someone who wasn't currently initiating force or theft (which is something ALL on-duty cops are guilty of), then don't hesitate to call the thug a thug.

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