Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bias, Justification, and Politics

I promised some mitigating thoughts on yesterday's blog post. I am in the process of reading an "advance reader's edition" of The Mind of the Market by Michael Shermer. In the book he is speaking of "bias" and how it colors our perceptions.

The ideas that follow all flow from this book, which I recommend highly even before finishing, and my interpretation thereof. Since some of the interpretations are mine, don't blame Michael Shermer if you don't like the implications.

With political beliefs, we are likely to think that we reached ours because of thinking it through carefully, while we think others have reached their ideology because they are deluded, or greedy, or stupid. In other words, "My bias is due to my enlightenment; yours is due to your lack of enlightenment".

It turns out that "expert opinions" are usually no better than "non-expert opinions", yet the experts are less likely to admit they were wrong than the others. Irrational judgements are then made in order to justify costly mistakes. This is because we overvalue "sunk costs" and the status quo. When making decisions about a course of action, we tend to choose the status quo because we are accustomed to it. So with regards to our personal politics, the majority will continue to support statism (the status quo) instead of liberty (the radical change). Instead of "staying the course" we should base our decisions only on the recognition of the future costs and benefits, and not dwell on past costs. Yet when our strategy is a losing one, we tend to raise the stakes higher and risk losing even more. He points out that a belief, when confronted with a disproof, can actually become even stronger in order to alleviate the pain of being wrong, especially if sacrifices have been made based upon that belief.

Then there is the problem of "confirmation bias". This is when we seek and find evidence to confirm our beliefs and discount evidence that contradicts our beliefs. Confronted with both types of evidence, we will accept the validity of the evidence that confirms out notions and be very skeptical of the contradictory evidence. Or the contradictory evidence may be reinterpreted in a favorable light. We make up our minds first and then pick through the evidence and to confirm our views. "Self justification" is a basic need that causes us to screen out evidence that contradicts our positions so that we can continue to feel good about our decisions.

What it all comes down to is that our emotional minds have more to do with our views than do our logical minds. Therefore I may be a libertarian/anarchist simply because I am emotionally predisposed to be that way. In that case I should just shut up and let the world spin down the drain of statism. Plus, freedom is a lot more work than socialism, and I am terribly lazy and getting extremely tired of swimming upstream.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Libertarians Are Right, Just Accept It

Before anyone flips out over my inflammatory headline, let me explain. I have read and been told by several people throughout the years that people dislike libertarians for one main reason: because libertarians see their philosophy as the only "right" one; that we are unable to think that other views may be just as valid. Do we think our position is the "revealed truth"? Yes, we do.

Try as I might, I can not see any view that condones aggression against innocent people as a morally acceptable one. The same goes for any political position that depends on taking money away from its rightful owners to give to others. We acknowledge that the rules must apply equally to everyone, or they are not good. There can be no "elite" class of rulers that make the rules, yet who are allowed (or expected) to flout them. The people who promote the other philosophies call these depraved acts by other names, trying to reframe the debate. Yet, if you look clearly, you can see what they are really advocating.

If they are offended by this obvious "revelation", then maybe they need to examine their beliefs more closely.

Now.... before you leave angry comments, stayed tuned for tomorrow's post which may punch holes in, or completely deflate, this whole idea.... The "but".


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The State of the Union- 2008

The "state of the union" depends on what your idea of "the union" is. If you mean "America", times have been better. If you mean the government-imposed mutual suicide pact that is "The USA", then the train is still running full speed- not noticing that the bridge is out and the gulch is deep.

The authoritarians are still "in charge". The economy is still getting worse, heading for the inevitable result of a fiat currency. The never-ending war on an emotion, "terror", is still being fought, is dividing America, and is still resulting in too many deaths. The mainstream media is still trying to promote support for its chosen candidates of imaginary "change" (based on race and gender and more openly socialist ideology), and ignoring any candidate who would bring about real change. The country is being deliberately divided along racial, gender, religious, and other lines by the government and its enablers. Terroristic wars with ninja-suited thugs are being waged by "law enforcement" against gun owners and people who use unapproved chemicals, regardless of the obvious damage it does to the people of the country and the spirit of freedom America was founded upon. More money is stolen- and euphemistically called "taxes", "fees", "fines", and "licenses" -to feed the beast each year. Your money is being stolen and used to enslave you. "Big Brother" of fiction would be proud of the new schemes being pushed on us, like REAL ID, by the ever-paranoid rulers.

Yet, there is an undercurrent in the world. An undercurrent fed by a real desire for liberty. It drives support for Ron Paul; the man who is the only mainstream candidate who even has an inkling of what liberty is. It brings people together to build friendships that can help them stand against the statist tsunami that threatens to drown human civilization. It drives people to search for people who will have the courage to speak the words they hunger to hear. Against all odds, the love of liberty is refusing to die. We are building a competing "union" based on a love of liberty and respect for the self-determination of individuals.

The state of that union is hopeful.


Monday, January 28, 2008

A Quote About "Rights"

I have no clue if this quote is original or not, considering its source, but here it is before I forget.

I just awakened from a dream where a grizzled old character was telling me "Rights are the first gift you are given when you are born, and the last thing you surrender when you die." What you do with them in between is up to you.

I will go back to sleep now.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

"Libertarian" vs. "Anarchist"

There is no doubt I am an anarchist, but am I a "libertarian"? I always thought so. From what I have always been told, a "libertarian" is one who opposes aggression and fraud, nothing more, nothing less. Now I have recently been told that a strict adherence to the Constitution is also a core value of libertarianism. The thing is no one ever mentioned that part to me until now. If that really is that important, shouldn't someone have mentioned it? Even looking at the Libertarian Party website I find no mention of it, and they are the ones who are trying to be a part of "the system". They do mention the "libertarian foundation" of America, but it is a bit of a stretch to interpret that specifically as a reference to the Constitution.

From a link on Check Your Premises I found a book on libertarianism from the early 1980s which contains this statement: "Libertarianism elaborates an entire philosophy from one simple premise: initiatory violence or its threat (coercion) is wrong (immoral, evil, bad, supremely impractical, etc) and is forbidden; nothing else is." Nothing about the Constitution in there either.

I know the internet is not the sum total of human knowledge, but it is a good Cliff's Note of reality. The fact is, in an internet search of a great many libertarian sites, I only ran across one that even mentioned the Constitution as something that libertarians believe in (and now I can't even find it again). If it were that important, someone is seriously dropping the ball.

I ask this rhetorically. I'm not looking for a debate over what makes a "real" libertarian, since that has been done to death. It really doesn't matter to me one way or the other. I know what I believe, and that doesn't change because of a label. I am happy being an anarchist if no one else wants me.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Tolerable Socialism?!

I have found a socialist world, fictional though it is, that I could live in comfortably. I just finished reading For Us, the Living: A Comedy of Customs by Robert A. Heinlein. It is his last, and first, novel. If that seems confusing, you should get the book and read the introduction by Spider Robinson.

In Heinlein's fictional world, the government pays everyone a living allowance (of its fiat money), just for being born. Beyond that it pretty much leaves you completely alone, unless you commit some terrible act, such as being jealous (the only crime covered in the book). Even then the punishment is restricted to correcting, through education, the mistaken concepts that lead to such violations.

I never thought I would find any socialist world acceptable, and I seriously doubt that any government could keep its nose out of everyone's business like this fictional one does, being driven by accumulation of power and control as they all are. This makes for an interesting read and thought experiment anyway.

Friday, January 25, 2008

I Don't Hate the Military

Just to be clear, I do not hate the military. I hate the way the government uses the military. I would gladly support the military repelling an invading force here, where it threatens our homes and families. This is simply not the current situation. American tax money should not be spent to occupy, or even free, other countries. At least not until the budget is balanced or until the government can support itself without taxation.

If someone wishes to go ahead and fight in a foreign country for whatever cause or reason, they should do so. Just not on behalf of American taxpayers or the US government. Become a mercenary. As long as you are fighting for what is right, there is nothing wrong with that career choice in my eyes.

The X-L-I Report Blog

There is a new weekly blog about gun rights called The X-L-I Report. Check it out.

I Just Want More Freedom!

All the arguments over "this or that issue" really irritate me. They all miss the point. The point being: I want more freedom; for myself, for my children and for YOU. That is really all that matters. Things that get in the way of that are bad, things that increase the liberty are good. Some of us don't agree on which things move toward freedom and which things move away from it. Some things don't do either one. Consider your positions and actions in light of this. I will continue to fight, one way or another, those things I see as anti-freedom. I really have no choice. Liberty Fever is in my blood! That may alienate some people, which is sad. I will occasionally make mistakes. When I do, and I realize it, I will reverse course as fast as I can to try to undo any damage I have done. I ask that you do the same, if individual liberty is also important to you. If it is not, then please just go watch TV now.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Getting Along

This blog is about politics. That means it is likely to lead to arguments. I understand why some people believe so strongly in opposite positions. Most of the time, regardless of what the "politically correct" may tell us, one side is right and the other is wrong. That is just the nature of reality. I don't care if anyone calls me names, but I ask that you only attack the positions of the other commenters; not them personally.

I have certain ideas about right and wrong, and about how one should relate to others, and about rights and responsibilities, and ... well, probably just about everything. Other people may not agree with me on everything. That is alright with me.

For most of my life I was a "libertarian in a vacuum" or an anarchist in an alternate universe. Or so it seemed. I knew no one else who thought of things in a way similar to me. I didn't even know OF anyone else who did. I had to get along with statists of every stripe. Maybe it is why I still can, as long as they don't throw the state at me.

I could not live off of Social Security or other forms of welfare, and personally feel it is wrong to do so. Other people do not think the same way. I don't go around asking my acquantances about their personal finances. It is none of my business and I really don't want to know. That doesn't mean I wouldn't put an end to welfare if I had the chance.

I think it is better to avoid working for any government entity in any capacity. Yet I know people who do and I don't lecture them about it. It would only alienate them and change nothing. Probably the only exception to that rule would be "a shunning" if anyone I knew worked for the BATFE. My tolerance can only go so far.


Who is the bigger threat to your freedom? Some guy wearing rags hiding with his AK-47 in a burned out building in Iraq, or the US federal government raking in as much of your money as it can get away with while it passes laws restricting your actions from its nicely appointed offices in our own "back yard"?

Which of these should a warrior who swore to uphold the Constitution be risking life and limb to defeat?


Militaristic Brainwashing

I've been following, and participating in, a discussion in the comments on The War on Guns. The one commenter is completely obsessed with the military. Yet she is a libertarian. I admit I can't even begin to comprehend the thinking that makes one acknowledge that big government is a bad thing, yet support the biggest violations of rights and the most egregious initiations of force that can be imagined. This libertarian is willing to completely betray liberty in defense of war, because keeping troops in Iraq until they can be brought home, one at a time in the distant future I suppose, is "absolutely crucial" to her. How is supporting the military, the US government's agenda, in this way increasing liberty anywhere? I am baffled and disgusted. I decided to bow out before I said something rude. Maybe I am a simplistic "war protester"....I don't know. You read it and see what you think.

Ordinary Objects in Extraordinary Numbers

Not that this relates to anything, but I have always had an affinity for ordinary objects in extraordinary numbers. One BB isn't too interesting, but a barrel full of them is really fun to play with. A jar of jelly beans is common, but a swimming pool full of them, now that is something to see (and swim around in). A box of .22 LR cartridges is useful, but a 5 gallon bucket filled to the brim with them just cries out to have your fingers run through them.

I am not sure why this has always had this effect on me, but I wonder if this is why I also desire a really free society. A few liberties can be found just about anywhere , even under the worst totalitarian police state, but total freedom, limited only by the rights of others, makes me giddy with excitement.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Assessing the Situation

In Anthem, the protagonist, the self-named Prometheus, says:

"But I still wonder how it was possible, in those graceless years of transition, long ago, that men did not see whither they were going, and went on, in blindness and cowardice, to their fate. I wonder, for it is hard for me to conceive how men who knew the word "I", could give it up and not know what they lost. But such has been the story, for I have lived in the City of the damned, and I know what horror men permitted to be brought upon them.

Perhaps in those days, there were a few among men, a few of clear sight and clean soul, who refused to surrender that word. What agony must have been theirs before that which they saw coming and could not stop! Perhaps they cried out in protest and in warning. But men paid no heed to their warning. And they, these few, fought a hopeless battle, and they perished with their banners smeared by their own blood. And they chose to perish, for they knew."

"That word" spoken of above is "I". Ayn Rand, through Prometheus, is speaking of those who are fooled into believing that society owns their life; that "we" is the most noble concept, rather than "I". Replace the concept of "I" with the concept of absolute individual rights (not a stretch) and you are looking in a mirror. This tragedy is happening all around us today. Prometheus is speaking to, or of, those of us today who see out-of-control government at every level stealing liberty and taking power as those around us make excuses for giving up our liberty. Unless more individuals decide that liberty is more important than not making a scene, some future Prometheus will have to rediscover the concepts of "I" and "liberty" all over again. Will he pity us or revile our choices?


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Arm Yourself

From End the War on Freedom I found this article: Arm Yourself by Charley Reese. I particularly like this part: "Of course, if you are as fit as Chuck Norris and have the martial-arts skills of Jet Li, then maybe you can survive without a pistol, although bringing a black belt to a gunfight is not going to do you much good."

Political "Change"

I hear political analysts and voters (especially very young socialist voters) emphasizing that a vote for their particular candidate is a vote for change. The tragic and pathetic thing is that they are focusing on superficial racial or gender "differences" instead of looking beneath the skin to see the collectivist inside the hide. Electing an authoritarian to replace an authoritarian is not voting for change at all. It is shortsighted and ignorant. It is an admission that you are OK with everything that Bush the Second has done and with everything that Clinton the First did before that. Pretending that the race or gender of a candidate equals change is exactly the kind of faulty thinking that the state has been encouraging for the past few generations. It looks like it worked. Now the voters are so completely racist and sexist that they can't see past those traits. That is very bad for America and the world of liberty.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Still Selling Things

I've put more of my paintings on eBay for sale, and will be listing more things (whatever I can find) in the next few days. Please keep checking.



"Public Resource"

When I was the "pet store guy" I had many brushes with the state bureaucracy. One such brush was with the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Their minion dropped off a brochure about "Exotic Pets and Prohibited Wildlife" for me to hand out to the subjects. Reading through it I was so disgusted that I posted a copy in my store with the most moronic sentence highlighted. It said "As a public resource, wildlife belongs to the state of Colorado, to all citizens." (7th paragraph)

In other words, "the state", "public", and "citizen" are interchangeable to them. The word "public" can be a very nasty word, excusing all kinds of collectivist abominations. Same with the word "citizen", which seems to be just a way to describe someone who is fully absorbed into and complicit with the collective. You must look a ways down the list of definitions of each of those words to find something that isn't collectivist. With that way of thinking, "public" and "citizen" would mean the same thing as "state".

When did the state purchase the wildlife? Did I sign over ownership to that part of my food reserves to the state? Or when was a treaty signed by the wildlife agreeing to belong to the state? Probably at the same time I signed the agreement handing myself over to the state.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Wolves or a Coyote?

Forget any connotations that have previously gone along with "wolves" or "coyotes" for a few minutes. I am not talking about the "wolves and sheep", or "wolves and sheepdogs", or anything else like that. I have a different point here that doesn't involve those. It may not be original, but I just thought of it.

Wolves are pack animals. They need a leader. Either you are the leader, the alpha-wolf, or you are just a member of the collective pack. Wolves are the statists of the canine world.

Coyotes are loners. They will often hang out with their mate, but they don't travel in packs. There is no "alpha-coyote". They must prey on smaller or weaker prey than wolves do. Coyotes are the canine anarchists.

Because of these traits, wolves were selectively bred over thousands of years to become domestic dogs. With dogs the obedience programming has been stregthened and the aggression has been minimized. Their need for a leader makes them easily manipulated by a strong human "alpha-wolf". Coyotes, on the other hand, do not respond to orders. They don't get the concept of following an alpha animal. They have therefore not been domesticated to anywhere near the extent that wolves and their decendants have been.

The problem is that when a pack of wolves confront a lone coyote, the coyote will lose. It is a simple matter of numbers. When confronted by the state and its enablers and apologists, the anarchist will lose unless he fights an all-or-nothing battle with his mind and is lucky. Human anarchists have the advantage of having a strong mind. Knowing the disadvantages of "one against the pack", we can avoid getting into situations where we are devoured or displaced from our territory.

The pack works well for wolves, and for predatory statists. The question arises: are humans a pack animal which needs a leader? Or did we fall into this pattern because of the manipulation of the human wolves?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Thank You!

I just wanted to take a moment to thank those who have stepped up to help me out in my time of financial difficulty. It really makes me glad to be associated with people like you! Thanks again!

"....And Bingo Was His Name-O"

A family once decided they needed a big dog for protection so they picked out a puppy. He was of a breed well-known for aggression, but the family thought they knew how to train him properly.

Almost from the first, the dog had a tendency towards misbehavior. Killing a chicken here and there; roaming onto the neighbors' property and growling at them, or even biting some. His food bowl was guarded jealously and with suspicion. The family always defended the dog's honor and claimed his intentions were good, but never stopped his behavior.

Through the years he became more and more of a problem. Each time he misbehaved and got away with it, it made it harder for the family to face the truth about him, and it solidified the bad habits in his personality.

Eventually he began to attack family members at home, too. The others would scold the wounded, saying they must have tormented the dog or something. If anything, the dog would get a harsh "look", but was never really punished.

So now, the family lives with a very aggressive dog. Some members, those who have seen the dog attack without provocation, now fear and loathe the dog. Other refuse to see the truth. Now only a few choices remain for the family. Either keep going as they are until the dog either kills the family, or take the responsible initiative to take the dog on a one-way "walk". There is no Cesar Millan for this dog. And "Government" is his name-o.

Friday, January 18, 2008


I am in a financial bind (worse than usual) and I am selling my gold. If you have been wanting to buy gold, this might be a good time for you to look at what I am selling on eBay.

Edited to add: I am also selling some original paintings that I have painted in years past.


Wealth: The Silencer

If I were wealthy, or even "comfortable", you would probably not be reading these words. That is a terrible admission, isn't it? If that were the case, I would be living in a decent house surrounded by a large amount of acreage. I would be doing as I want, hopefully shielded from local governmental eyes by a large buffer-zone, and by my silence.

I might attract some unwanted attention with some of my activities, though. I probably can't totally avoid being a troublemaker. I would be shooting daily, practicing my survival skills (and trading skills with carefully selected people as well), and generally minding my own business. I would probably be setting up an off-grid homestead that government could consider a "compound", but would probably not attract attention because I would not talk about it. I would probably not leave my property very often if I had my choice. I have hermit-like tendencies.

That is my ideal life. Wealth would silence me.

I am not one of those who wish to turn society upside down, hoping to move to the top in the upheaval, as is the case in many revolutions. I simply wish to free society from the parasites (governmental and freelance) that are feeding off it. That would be enough to improve life immeasurably. I want a politics-free world. Unfortunately it is not wise to ignore politics under the current circumstances; not while the police state is being established.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

"Do Not Attempt"

Does anyone else ever notice the disclaimer at the bottom of the screen during car commercials? You know, the one that says "Professional driver on a closed course - Do not attempt". The sad thing is that when the disclaimer sneaks in, about half the time , rather than leaping from rooftop to rooftop, the car is simply cruising down a straight road. If we really are not competent to attempt that, what is the point in having a car?

That is the mindset of the government. "We" are to be considered stupid, incompetent children who are not able to look out for ourselves. Our defense is to be left to the professionals (who often kill us by "mistake"); our health is subject to government oversight; our consciences don't work properly so we need government holding a gun to our head to make sure we do not run amok "burning and pillaging" one another.

Life does not yet come with a disclaimer: "Profession human in a controlled environment. Do not attempt". Celebrate that oversite by living without permission.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Roswell, Texas

I have been interested in the Roswell, New Mexico UFO story since I first heard about it in the early 1970s while living in Waco, Texas (not in the mid-80s when some people try to say the story really started). Since I began life on Earth in the region of Roswell, New Mexico, it made more of an impression with me than it might have otherwise. Not to start any rumors, but it might explain some things....

Anyway, when I heard L. Neil was basing a tale on the event, I had to check it out. I didn't start reading it until a few months ago, but after I did, I kept waiting anxiously for each new installment. I became apprehensive when I realized the story was winding down and began to dread each new panel, fearing that it would be the last. My fears were realized last week when I got to the panel that said "The End".

I got a kick out of the historical figures who populated the alternate-universe Federated States of Texas. (Roswell is in Texas in this universe, which is not that much of a stretch; Texas was originally much larger until it got divided among many other current states. Even the part of Colorado I lived in was once part of Texas.) Scott Biesser's artwork is amazing, and perfectly complements the story written by L. Neil and Rex May. The only disappointment for me was that the story didn't incorporate as much of the original Roswell incident as I had expected. Once I got over that, though, I got drawn into the world presented and enjoyed it immensely.

If you enjoy graphic novels, or if you want an introduction to them, head over to Big Head Press and check out Roswell, Texas by L. Neil Smith and Scott Biesser. I think you will enjoy it.

More "Laws" to Ignore

This relates to my point about illegal laws and counterfeit "laws": Who Shall Guard the Guards? by Mike Vanderboegh. And here is another take on this declaration of war by The State against you and me: US vs Olofson: A pseudolegal Case by L. Neil Smith.

Err on the Side of Freedom, Please

I will begin by making a couple of assumptions. You and I are human. All humans make mistakes. That being the case, wouldn't it be better to make certain that we always err on the side of liberty instead of on the side of governmental "authority" and power? If there is a question of "is government allowed to do this?" I think it is always better to assume that the answer is an unequivocal "NO!" until clearly shown otherwise. But maybe that is just my nature as an anarchist who values peace, rights, and liberty over the death, chaos, and slavery that government invariably brings.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Silly "Moral Superiority"

I am a night-owl. Even as a very young child, and all through my life, it has been about the same, with only minor changes. No matter what time I go to bed, and even if I can then go to sleep, I am at my best during the hours between midnight and 2 AM (normally). I am at my absolute worst between the hours of 5 AM and 10 AM. Which is really bad for most of the jobs I have held. I have had bosses lecture me about how if I "would just get in the habit of going to bed earlier you would adjust". It didn't work during 12 years of government schooling, so why would it now? I suppose I could adjust to living on a diet of broken glass and arsenic as well. You can just see the moral superiority of the "morning people" dripping from their jaws as they tell me how to "fix" myself.

I also think that almost everyone, male and female, looks better with longish hair. It is just my preference. Yet I have tolerated (with strained tolerance) the endless comments and lectures about how I would look so much better, or could get a better job, or be taken more seriously, etc. if I would cut my hair. It seems to me that a lot of people don't have short hair for any reason other than they think it is morally superior. I am not talking about people who really like their own hair short, but those who dislike other people's long hair. There is a difference.

These two things are unrelated: one is a physiological part of my makeup, the other is an opinion, yet the one thing that ties them together is that I have never heard a night-owl lecturing a morning person that they are wrong or bad for their biological clock's setting. I have also never known of a long haired person requiring that others not cut their hair shorter than a standard length or lecturing short haired people about needing to take pride in their appearance by letting their hair grow a little.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Petitioning Our "Leaders"

A while back at the urging of David Codrea of The War on Guns, I sent emails to "my" congressmen in regard to the nomination of Michael Sullivan as director of the BATFE. I finally got a response from Senator Bob Casey. He wrote:

Dear Mr. McManigal:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding the nomination of Michael J. Sullivan of Massachusetts to be Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). I appreciate hearing from all Pennsylvanians about the issues that matter most to them.

Mr. Sullivan’s nomination was voted out of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on November 8, 2007. His nomination is currently pending before the full United States Senate. I am currently in the process of evaluating Mr. Sullivan’s personal, professional, and academic accomplishments. At the appropriate time, I will make a judgment on Mr. Sullivan’s nomination. It is important that we have strong, effective leadership at the top of the ATF. Please be assured that when making a decision, I will have your views in mind.

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future about this or any other matter of importance to you.

If you have access to the Internet, I encourage you to frequently visit my web site, In the months ahead, I will continue to develop the site in order to allow you to stay up-to-date on my work in Washington. If you wish to e-mail me, you can do so on the web site.

Bob Casey
United States Senator

Here is my response to him (which I had trouble getting to go through for a while):

Mr. Casey,

I realize you are no friend to peaceable gun owners, but this matter goes beyond this single issue.

The ATF has a sordid history of abusing its authority. Mike Sullivan has contributed to this abusive atmosphere greatly during his tenure. He has also demonstrated a lack of intergrity in carrying out his duties as US Attorney of Massachussets. His office has been cited by a judge for "extraordinary misconduct".

You say "It is important that we have strong, effective leadership at the top of the ATF." Leaders lead; they do not make up the rules as they go along, as Mike Sullivan has been doing. One only need examine the campaign of intimidation against gun retailers which has been accelerated under Sullivan's "leadership". With an agency of questionable Constitutional authority, such as BATFE, it is imperative that the new director errs on the side of individual liberty rather than on the side of governmental control and power.

I am confident that you are not ignorant of this man's history. To say that you are wiating for the appropriate time to make a judgement on his nomination makes me think that you value his stance against the Second Amendment and against American gun owners more than you are troubled by his ethical shortcomings. This is deeply disturbing to me. Michael J. Sullivan has no business having any position of authority. I hope you will not ignore these facts.


Kent McManigal

"Illegal Laws" and "Counterfeit Laws"

This point was inspired by a comment from my friend Eric Sundwall. He stated "I still think Kent should be utilizing 'illegitimate' laws as opposed to 'illegal' laws. Something cannot be A and not A." Perhaps.

Imagine for a moment that no Bill of Rights exists. It must be easy to imagine, since the feds do it every day. Now suppose that the Constitution, which is supposed to be the supreme law of the land, said that all witches must be burned at the stake. Then suppose the Congress passed a law a few years later, without amending the Constitution, that said that witches were free to practice whatever religion they liked, as is everyone else. According to the Constitution that law would be illegal (but it would not be counterfeit). Even the corrupt Supreme Court has stated that any law which violates the Constitution is not a law that must be obeyed.

Or suppose the new law allows witches to live, as long as they pay a "religion tax". That law would be illegal according to this imaginary Constitution, and it would also be counterfeit as it attempts to regulate or control something other than aggression or fraud.

Now suppose the Constitution says that the right of the people to own and to carry weapons shall not be infringed, yet Congress passes laws which say what kinds of guns the people can own, forbid certain people from owning any guns at all, dictate how those guns must be sold, sets up a huge vindictive agency to punish people who own and sell guns, and so forth. That bunch of laws would be both illegal, according to the Constitution (and a former incarnation of the Supreme Court) and counterfeit. In most cases counterfeit "laws" are also illegal, but not always.

If the Constitution blocks or violates individual liberty, it is wrong. Never forget that. I hope that has cleared up any confusion.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Is Anything "Unconstitutional"?

In the comments to a previous blog, my friend ElfNinosMom stated that: "The Constitution created Congress, and gave Congress the power to make laws. One of those laws is the FECA, and the FEC was created by Congress to enforce and administer the FECA. It's therefore not illegal, and it's not unconstitutional."

That makes me ask: Using that yardstick, how could anything be unconstitutional?

So..... What of the Constitution? The current situation makes me think that it was a contract which one party, the US Government, broke unilaterally. I guess that means it "expired".

It is no secret that I don't think the Constitution is sacred. Either it created the current mess or it did nothing to prevent it. Anything in the Constitution that violates individual liberty is just as abhorent (and null and void) in my eyes as any edict from Osama or Napoleon. This is not a case of me making up my own rules, but of holding everyone, including myself, to the same standards of behavior.

The current government claims to get its authority from the Constitution. If that is the case, it should be held very strictly to the letter and intent of the law. No quibbling; no "interpreting", and no breaking the laws. After all, they demand the same of us with regards to all the millions upon millions of laws they claim apply to us. Right?


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Growing Up

If parents do their job well, their children will grow up and will no longer need to be parented. To have your grown kids needing to be parented by a spouse or the nanny-state is a failure as a parent. It means that somehow you did not help your child become an adult.

Yet it seems this is the normal state of the world today. Look around you and you will see most people being parented in some way. Welfare hands them money, food, and housing. Government tells them what to do to be "safe" or how they must behave. Everywhere they turn they are being told how to live. No adult would stoop to taking handouts or instructions from some big maternal government. Yet, the supposed adults (as measured in years) think nothing of it in most cases.

Their parents failed to help them become healthy, independent adults. Is it too late for them? Blaming your upbringing only goes so far. Once someone reaches the age that they should be an adult, it is their responsibility if they do not "mature". How old is too old to finally become an adult? I wish I knew the answer to that. What I do know is that the welfare trough needs to be emptied and turned into a planter or something. It may be painful, but continuing to coddle these big children is not doing them a favor. Handing your life over to someone else is not a healthy thing to do. It hurts you and it gives your surrogate parent way too much power over your life.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The FEC: Rigging Elections Since 1975

The first question when dealing with any governmental agency should be: "Where in the Constitution does it specifically authorize your agency's existence?" If they cannot answer, then the agency, bureau, or commission is not a legal group. An illegal group should not be "obeyed" or listened to. If the government gets its authorization to exist from the Constitution, then they should be forced to play by the rules and follow that Constitution, right?

I mention this because Federal Election Commission regulations demand that a candidate must do certain things that accomplish nothing other than protect the status quo.

In order to have an "official, FEC sanctioned" campaign, I am required to appoint a campaign committee, and that committee is required to open a bank account. The bank account requires a Social Security number. Do you even realize how many unconstitutional requirements there are in that string of demands? How can a libertarian justify obeying illegal demands from an illegal governmental bureaucracy?

I do agree that there should be oversights to protect elections from fraud, if elections are deemed to be necessary. That oversight should not be from a governmental agency or commission. "Fox guarding the hen house"? That doesn't even begin to describe to conflict of interest that the FEC demonstrates. It is just as bad an idea as having judges work for the government instead of for the individual people. You will have an obligation to whosoever hands you your paycheck, regardless of where the money originates.

That is why I remain a stubborn, principled, write-in candidate. Judge me if you want to, but that is where I stand.


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I Don't Care!

The big stink about whether Ron Paul is a racist or not seems ridiculous to me. Even if he is, it isn't the first thing I disagree with him about. I don't care what bizarre or bad ideas someone has as long as they will not try to force their ideas upon me by "law". This is where Ron Paul differs from the racists who are the "mainstream" candidates sanctioned by the powers-that-be and the "mainstream" media. He would not promote "laws" to establish racist governmental policies. The other Demopublican clowns have been passing their twisted racist, sexist, and genocidal laws against America for decades. They have a proven record of holding views that make an issue of race and passing "laws" based on this corrupt notion. How is that better?

The Six Things Americans Should Know

Here is a good Second Amendment primer from JPFO: The Six Things Americans Should Know About the Second Amendment


Enforcers Keep Murdering More of Us

There are times I sit on a blog idea for a few days until I cool down somewhat. Just so I don't say something overly truthful. This is one of those occasions.

If you have been paying attention to the news, you are probably as disgusted as I am over all the murder-by-cop that has been occurring recently. Almost every day new instances slip through the mass media news filter, IF you look in the right places. For the most part the news is ignored.

It is way past time for the free, reasonable people of this country to stand up as a Great Wall of Opposition to the occupying army that the police forces across America have become. Do not submit. Do not back down. Defend your neighbors from these murderous predators. Do not ever forget or forgive what these badged monsters are doing. These murders are NOT justifiable. Any police "spokescreatures" who excuse these abuses might as well have pulled the trigger themselves. The bosses are accountable whether they want to be or not.

Even if all drugs were really bad, no drug "law" is important enough to kill people over. None. No drug "law" is important enough to destroy families over. No, not ONE. Even the worst addict in the world has the right to destroy his own life as long as he doesn't cross the line to initiating force or fraud. When a cop commits one of these raids he becomes worse than the worst non-violent drug abuser. These crimes must be stopped. We need civilization again.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The War of 2012

From the tattered remains of a textbook found along with the blueprints of some crackpot's ridiculous idea of a time machine:

....With the benefit of hindsight, we can clearly see the events that led to the
War of 2012, such as the election of Barak Huckabee, and the collapse of the
dollar. When inflation hit an almost infinite rate and the government
began jailing or killing those who tried to trade in gold and silver, or even to
simply barter, it was merely the inevitable coming to fruition. The
death throes of an empire are seldom pleasant. Those who refused to go
quietly began to fight back, just as their kind have throughout history.
The police forces, both local and federal were caught completely by surprise,
thinking as they had that they were invulnerable and beyond the reach of
justice. This mindset had been bolstered by the unpunished abuses of the
late 20th and very early 21st century "War on Drugs" and the closely related,
and just as corrupt, victim disarmament schemes. The American people,
joined by the utterly unexpected allies who flooded across the borders from
around the world, had decided it was time to be free. If only they had had
the foresight to avoid the war by ......

Sadly, that is where the page is ripped away. But it is just nonsense. Right?

Monday, January 07, 2008

The Anarchists Second Choice

Whether I am a write-in candidate for President, or an "official" one, I should be the second choice of the anarchists. The first choice of course is "None". It would be my goal to attempt to be as close to "None" as is humanly possible, since that would also be my own preference.

Moving on to other people's choices: I should be the first choice for gun owners, as I recognize no limits on rights (as long as you do not aggress against anyone, of course), including the right to own and to carry any type of gun, anywhere you go, in any way you wish, without asking permission of anyone, ever. Plus, I would turn the White House into a "clemency factory" for anyone ever convicted for the victimless crime of owning or carrying a gun.

I should be the first choice for anyone victimized by the disgusting "War on Some Drugs" for the same reason. In fact, I would do the same for anyone who has ever been targeted by the government for ignoring any counterfeit "law". My goal would be to make it pointless to arrest anyone for anything other than causing actual harm to another.

Where I stand with Libertarians and libertarians has yet to be determined, but I should be in the top three. I think.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

War is a Racket

Everyone should read War is a Racket by General Smedley Butler, USMC.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

"He Who Governs Only Himself, Governs Best"

If, in some wonderful alternate universe, I were elected President what would I do about the issues I am ignorant of? Does a President need to be an expert on everything? No, he doesn't. A President who is an "expert" often feels compelled to do something, even if it is not a good idea. It's similar to the saying about your only tool being a hammer causing you to see every problem as a nail.

The President needs to be able to call upon people who are experts to find out what they think. Then, and here is where all Presidents have so far failed monumentally, he needs to weigh the advice to see if it violates anyone's rights. If it does, don't do it. Next, he needs to think about whether the action falls under authority of any government, or specifically the federal government. If it does not, he should not do it. Last and rarely needed, he needs to make certain that the Constitution and Bill of Rights specifically allow the advised action. If not, don't do it.

If it sounds like this would result in a President who doesn't do much, you are right. That is the way it should be. A good President should do very little "governing". "He who governs least, governs best" only goes part way to the truth: "He who governs only himself, governs best". It is time for a President who only truly governs himself, and does his best to keep the rest of the government contained, and then gets out of the way of the rest of us to do the same.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Iowans Beg For More Tyranny

The people who live in the region known as "Iowa", and who chose to participate in the caucus yesterday, want tyranny and socialism. That is obvious. A vote for anyone other than Ron Paul in Iowa yesterday was an endorsement of the police state, and is a bad sign for the future of those of us who choose to remain above the counterfeit "laws" that the collectivists will continue to attempt to subject us to. Of course, the only choices were between socialist party "A" and socialist party "B", so what can you expect?

Funny thing is, this is not news to any of us who value freedom. In almost every election the result is the same: year after year; decade after decade; century after bloody century. Voting for new and improved tyrants is an ignorant act at "best", and a selfish, greedy, brutal act at "worst". Politicians who offer kickbacks in the way of "entitlements" or "pork" are the ones who get the vote, while those who tell the truth don't. Politicians who are seen as "young" and "different", whether they really are different or not, get the vote from people who want to be seen as "enlightened" or "socially conscious". I'm sorry, but voting for socialists is neither.

The good thing is that only around 400,000 people (by my probably incomplete count) got out and bothered to beg for more tyranny. That is out of a population of around 3 million people. How many of those who did not vote are libertarians, Libertarians, and anarchists? How many are regular people who are convinced that their vote doesn't matter, or that the only thing that matters is who counts the vote (or programs the voting machines)? How can we get those people to join the struggle for freedom in their own way?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

What's it Gonna Take? by L. Neil Smith

I really enjoyed this essay, sent by JPFO today. These paragraphs illustrate very clearly why the world is in such a mess:

A police officer once informed me loftily that civilization has to be
maintained by authoritarian managers because individuals in general are
selfishly uninterested in doing the hard work of maintaining it

Unsurprisingly, after I pointed out that when individuals become
interested in maintaining civilization -- by voting down bond issues, treating
teachers and administrators like the hired hands they are, or carrying
self-defense weapons that demonstrably make society safer -- they're either
told, not so very politely, to go away, or they get arrested, he didn't have a
whole lot to say, because he knew that it's true.

Read the rest here.


The Strength of Libertarians

It takes a strong person to be a libertarian. It is easy to be weak and need others to be controlled, like the authoritarians do (under whichever aliases they wish be be known). It takes a strong person to stand up and support the right of others to do things that harm no one, but that you may find personally undesirable. That is why I see Demopublicans as weak. They can't afford to let go of their need for total control. Or at least their need to control those things they don't like. If they don't like certain drugs, they pass or enforce laws regulating their use by everyone else. If they fear guns, they try to forbid their possession in every situation they can get away with. Only libertarians are strong enough to back off and let people live their own lives, and make their own mistakes. That is strength of character.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

"I Found It On the Ground"

Back around the time I first became involved in "buckskinning" (the mountainman thing), there was a federal sting operation trying to catch buckskinners with "illegal" feathers. In case you are not aware, I am not even talking about just eagle or hawk feathers, but the regular, ordinary feathers you might find on the sidewalk. Yes, almost all of them are "illegal" for you to pick up or possess.

In one of the hobby's magazines I read a quote from a fed that stated that the defense of "I found it on the ground" was no defense at all, because "then people might try to use that excuse if caught with a bag of marijuana". I guess one nonsense "law" bolsters another.

In the course of my life I have found thousands of feathers, yet I have only found one bag of pot on the ground. Since I was pretty sure that the guy standing beside it, putting his wallet back into his pocket, had dropped the bag, I picked it up and handed it back to him. Boy, was he grateful! Anyway....

There is an obvious difference between a "shed" feather and one pulled from a bird's body. I can tell the difference but the feds apparently can not. I can assure you that there is no one who gets more angry than me at senseless destruction of wildlife. However, when I find a feather, or even a dead bird, why is it better to let it rot away than to collect the beautiful feathers and use them? Only because the government thinks it owns that bird, and owns you as well. That is a disgusting myth.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year's Revolutions

I always hear about people making "New Year's Resolutions". Did you make one or more? From what I hear, most people break them as quickly as they make them. If this has been your experience in the past, maybe this year you should try something different. I think it is a couple hundred years past time for a New Year's Revolution. Bringing freedom back to America after a 200 year decline. Wouldn't that be something!