Thursday, December 31, 2009

A resolution suggestion and Happy New Year!

A resolution suggestion and Happy New Year!

Here is a suggestion for a New Year's Resolution, if you attempt such things.

Write yourself a credo. After you have done so, you can post it where you see it all the time so that you can memorize it and will be reminded to live by it. If individual liberty is important to you (and why would you be reading this if it weren't?), make your credo adhere to the principles of liberty.

Here is my credo, just as an example:

On my honor as a human being, I will give zero respect or obedience to
counterfeit 'laws' or systems of belief, present or future. I do not give, nor
have I ever given, consent to be subject to the whims of the criminal collective
known as 'government'. I will strive to avoid aggression, and will defend myself
and others in whatever way I see fit against all attacks. I will seek to live as
free in my body as I already envision in my mind.

I know there is room for improvement, and I have tweaked it many times as my understanding grows. It does give me a personalized starting place, though. Try it and see if doing this doesn't help you organize your own thoughts in a concrete way.

Happy New Year! Explore your liberty more in 2010!


Monday, December 28, 2009

Bad laws and fixing them

Bad laws and fixing them

The most common "solution" for bad laws misses the mark. It helps add to the "law pollution" that surrounds us and makes each real rule of decent behavior more likely to be lost in the maelstrom. In cases where there is an obviously bad "law", too many activists propose passing a new "law" to fix the problem. This is like continually adding patches on top of patches to your worn-out moccasins and never considering that it might be time to throw them in the fire and make a new pair.

If the law applies only to government and its agents, to restrict what they can "legally" do to you and me, I have no problem with that. Those kind of "laws" are all too rare (and even less likely to be enforced since they depend on the offenders stopping or punishing themselves).
Prohibiting government action by taking away its "legality" sometimes increases liberty by binding the enemy of liberty. Of course, you and I have to back up the law with determination and fortitude.

If, on the other hand, the new "law" applies to regular people, I don't think adding patches helps enough. It may increase liberty somewhat, but always at a high price. Normally it allows government to put a price on rights, and fool a lot of people into thinking the right is a privilege, which is never a good thing.

The better solution, when faced with a bad "law", such as those that regulate "concealed carry", to cite a common example, is not to pass a new "law" saying who can carry where, under what conditions, and for what price, but to get completely rid of the old "law" that unethically tried to restrict a basic human right in the first place.

Don't pass "better laws". Get rid of bad ones. Or simply ignore them.


Indy-Pindy: The Liberty Mouse

I am very pleased and excited to announce that my childrens' book is now available.

It is called Indy-Pindy. It is about a mouse who moves out into the world beyond his nest and discovers that being independent and responsible is the best way to live.

I drew the illustrations too.

Ordering information: Indy-Pindy
If you have (or know of) no children to give a book to, I have another book coming out very soon so you grow-ups won't feel left out. I will announce it as soon as it is available.
For those of you who keep asking when I plan to write a book, this is your chance.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Curing what ails health care

Curing what ails health care

I don't often rely on someone else's writings, but this latest by L. Neil Smith fits in nicely with my advocacy of a "Separation of Life and State" by calling for a separation of medicine and state. And by listing the penalties for violating that separation.

The Cure by L. Neil Smith

Had enough, yet?

As you are no doubt aware, the United States Senate has joined the House of
Representatives in forcing medical Marxism down the throats of tens of millions
of Americans—a clear and unmistakable majority, if democracy still means
anything to you—whether they want it or not.

Given the fact that the regime he has imposed on us, against our wills,
should end up killing thousands, if not millions of people by denying them
treatment they could simply bargain over and pay for in a free country, Harry
Reid deserves a place in history beside other mass-murderers like Adolf Hitler,
Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, and Pol Pot. Read the rest here.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Economic insurance for the rest of us

Economic insurance for the rest of us

I was reading something recently that recommended that you have at least a year's worth of silver and gold on hand in case of economic collapse. That would be good, obviously. But what if you are like me and are always broke?

You wouldn't need to have so much precious metal on hand if you remember that when the economy starts its downward tumble you need to immediately stop accepting US government paper, "dollars", as payment for anything- goods, time, or services. This may be seen as unsociable behavior by those who try to cling to the dying "system", but it is very important.

Would you work for slips of paper on which I sketch a little doodle and sign my name, saying that it is "legal tender" but not backing it with anything other than your trust? I hope not. The government's counterfeit "dollars" are no better unless people imagine they are better. Once people realize they are being duped, the game is over. Don't be the last one to figure it out.

So, when the inevitable occurs, just make sure that you see "Federal Reserve Notes" as the worthless IOUs they really are and accept nothing other than real money or goods for your pay. Then, any amount of silver or gold you begin with will not be depleted before it can be supplemented. In that way you will protect your own economic future.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Give yourself freedom for Christmas

Give yourself freedom for Christmas

I read another Examiner's column a while back where he said he wanted to ask Santa for "freedom" for Christmas. Nice sentiment, which I would be inclined to agree with, if only it worked that way.

I commented:

Of course, no one can "give you" freedom- you must make it for yourself. That's
why it sometimes looks a little ragged around the edges, but it is still the
best gift you can give yourself.

You can try to give freedom to someone, but some people refuse to accept it, choosing their chains instead. Others may seem to accept it, but won't hold onto that which was handed to them. Only those who make (or take) their own freedom, and fight to keep it, will stay free in most cases. It is a case of not appreciating what you have until you lose it, and freedom, once lost, is rarely regained in its entirety.

While freedom can't really be given, it can certainly be taken away. Sometimes that is justified; usually it is not. It is not right to take away your freedom unless you are attacking someone or stealing from an innocent person. And even then the goal should be to stop the attack and encourage restitution (if the attacker/thief survives) rather than "punishment".

If someone attempts to take away your freedom for a phony reason, like because of your ingestion of government-prohibited substances or for resisting being stolen from by the "tax"-man, then you are right to fight back with everything you have in an attempt to keep your freedom. Chances are, in the current police-state, it will not work. Every choice and action has consequences, and cooperating with thugs may actually be worse in the long run.

Don't count on anyone "giving you" freedom or you may have a very long wait. It is worth the effort to create your own right where you live, right now.

Merry Christmas (and/or the Winter Solstice holiday of your choice), dear readers. Give yourselves a big box of freedom today, and keep using it all year long.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Why not a 'Constitutional US government'?

Why not a 'Constitutional US government'?

Could I live in America under a "Constitutional US government"? Well, sure. Why not? I have been living in America under an unconstitutional US government all my life. I'm a good adapter and don't usually mind being an outlaw and ignoring government edicts.

A "Constitutional US government" would be a lot less intrusive than the criminal government America is occupied by today, but why stop there? The Constitution still "authorizes" things that are wrong. Especially, but not only, under the 16th Amendment. So, could we get rid of all the amendments after the 10th? Yes, and as long as we didn't pretend that some people are "less human" than other people it would make no harmful difference. In other words, we'd still have to live by the Zero Aggression Principle in addition to the whatever the Constitutional US government dictated in order to be an ethical society. We'd also have to cross out the whole "general welfare" and "commerce clause" nonsense to make the Constitution acceptable. Those parts have enabled great evil to be "legally" committed.

Obviously, once you start messing around with the Constitution in any way, the enemies of liberty (most Democrats, Republicans, elected "officials", and "law enforcement") would probably try to alter it to get their own draconian agenda "legitimized" which would be a big step backward.

The best bet for long-term freedom probably lies in scrapping such fatally-flawed "social contracts" for one that is completely consensual and voluntary. Such as the Covenant of Unanimous Consent. If you have an issue with actually committing yourself to something by signing on a dotted line, just live by the Zero Aggression Principle and the "Principle of Zero Initiated Deception".

So, while a "Constitutional US government" would be an improvement, it is a pitifully weak excuse for real liberty. I know what I want, and I won't stop until I get there. Why not join me?


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Government- controlling and fighting evil?

Government- controlling and fighting evil?

On my latest column there appeared a good, fairly typical comment. Nevada_Jack posted something that a lot of people are thinking; judging by comments I see here and elsewhere. He says:

Question: How do we take control away from a tyrannical government without
embedding ourselves into that system? It would be a wonderful world if we could
peacefully exist without any form of government at all, but is that possible in
this day and age? You may not believe in the Islamic threat, but surely you
can't think that there is no evil on this planet. No, I believe that we must
fight this battle from within the system or risk total anarchy. I for one can no
longer sit and watch our way of life taken away without a fight.

Good question. "Control" should not be the goal, since I have no desire to "control" others and no intention of letting them "control" me. That is the thinking that got us into this mess to begin with. Rule yourself, and deal with those individuals who refuse to "play nice" one person at a time. Remind yourself that "government" is illegitimate and you owe it nothing but contempt. Don't obey anything you wouldn't anyway, regardless of the "law". Live by the ZAP.

Unfortunately, I know from experience that the system is rigged. I have no problem with people choosing to "work within the system" since it validates and justifies what must inevitably come when real change is prevented by that very system. I just know what the real-world results will be and am no longer surprised or disappointed. I just hope it is understood that if they try to violate anyone's rights and destroy liberty in the name of "working within the system", I will view them in the same light as I view government.

Yes, there is real evil in the world. The question is, who is a bigger danger to you or me on a daily basis? Some Islamic goat-herder who lives in a cave thousands of miles away, or a local LEO or congresscritter? I know which one has actually endangered and damaged more people that I personally know. I have never been harmed or even threatened by any Islamic person who didn't hold political office around me. If I were, what is the right way to deal with that: kill a bunch of people who didn't threaten me, or use my basic human right of self-defense to end the threat right then and there?

I never advocate for people to try to exist without any government, just no externally imposed, coercive government. Self-government- self-control- is essential, but doesn't happen consistently where there is externally imposed government. If you put braces on healthy legs, the muscles atrophy, and eventually normal walking is not possible. It is possible today, just as it has always been, to live better without what is typically thought of as "normal" government. In fact, it is not only "possible", it is the only system that has ever worked or ever will.

The risk isn't in "anarchy", since we all live our lives in that condition everyday (unless we have serious issues); it is in "chaos", specifically the slow chaos that results from government intervention in our lives. Those who are the real risk to our way of life need our active opposition to empower them. In other words, they need you to fight them. It is what feeds them and gives them a purpose. And it is how they justify their budget and all the new rights violations they enforce.

I can only speak for myself, but government is not important enough to die opposing. They really don't matter. Instead, ignore them whenever possible; defend yourself when cornered. Withdraw consent and get on with your life, with or without permission.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Grow beyond 'lip service' to real understanding

Grow beyond 'lip service' to real understanding

Some people give liberty "lip service" without really meaning it. They talk about freedom for themselves and those they understand (or like), but want government to control, with threats and guns, those they don't agree with.

Anyone who is afraid of married homosexual couples, or who dislikes people who ingest government-prohibited substances, or who is afraid of "weak borders", or who obsesses over "Islamo-fascists", or who would send thugs to harass people who drive without government permission, and who prefers coercion to whatever other boogeyman they can use for their purposes are not comfortable with freedom. Instead, they are like small children who have not yet accepted their own responsibility for their lives. They project this immaturity on to others and want to see someone get "whipped".

With small children, that is normal and understandable, and is a condition we help them grow beyond by setting an example and by educating them. With "adults" it is just sad. To these people I say "Grow up". You don't need to be "protected" by government, you need to protect yourself from it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The biggest thing you can do for freedom

The biggest thing you can do for freedom

I have previously asked and answered the question "What can I do?". Aside from that, what other opportunities exist?

There are a lot of people out there bringing us the news of each new violation of our rights. While this isn't generally my preferred area to hang around in for fun, I am grateful to the people who dare to wade into such muck for you and me, so that we will know where each new attack may be coming from. It is always good to know where the sniper is hiding.

There are also those who bring us a mix of this bad news and bright spots of hope. They let us know of others who are putting up a good fight, giving inspiring examples, letting us know where help may be needed. There is strength in numbers, and there is also a need to know you are not fighting alone.

There is also a multitude of people just complaining about government abuses, and getting really mad, without seeming to have any answers. This also has its place, though I try very hard to stay out of this pattern since it is so easy to fall in to.

The biggest thing you can do for freedom is the one "thing" that is available to each and every one of you all the time. It is not putting forth the effort to run a pro-freedom website, or to write a book, or run for office, or vote. No, the biggest thing you can do to advance freedom in the world is to simply live free each and every day, while respecting the same in others. You can do that, can't you? I know you can!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How much government contact is acceptable?

How much government contact is acceptable?

How much should a person have to encounter, or notice, government as they live their life? As long as a person is not attacking- defrauding- or stealing from- the innocent, government should have zero presence in their life whatsoever, unless they choose to contact the government on their own. (And in that case, I suggest counseling.)

That means: no permits, no taxes, no forms to fill out in triplicate, no second glances at the speedometer, no thought as to whether the gun on your hip is visible. No nothing. No contact whatsoever as long as no innocent person (who is completely unable to defend themselves, and has no one near to help defend them) is being attacked or defrauded. Even in that case they would do well to keep in mind that there is no situation so dire, so hopeless, that it can't be made orders of magnitude worse by having a LEO show up. Invited or not. If you are in real trouble, hope for help to show up without a badge.

I advocate nothing other than reduction or elimination of government in all areas, and growth or lateral shifting of government in none. A lot of what "political freedom advocates" consider "working for freedom" is only lateral movement; shifting the burden slightly to one side without actually addressing the foundational problems. The foundational problem is the act of trying to regulate or control anything other than aggression or theft (by whatever means, including "taxation").

When you have the choice, involve government in no area of your life. You will be safer and freer for it.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

For what it's worth- Bill of Rights Day

For what it's worth- Bill of Rights Day

Today is Bill of Rights Day, an actual, real, holiday. December 15th is Bill of Rights Day every year. Everyone needs to realize that while the Bill of Rights gives people zero rights, what it does is list things that no government in the world can legitimately meddle with. It doesn't matter if the government faces this fact or not. The Bill of Rights is a list of grievances against criminal governments everywhere. It is a shame it wasn't backed up with a penalty clause, telling government employees exactly why they would be twisting in the wind the first time they proposed a "law" that infringed on even one of these listed (and unlisted) rights. How much does the US Fe(de)ral government abide by the law that gave it the only inkling of legitimacy? Lets look at the rights protected by each amendment.

  • 1. Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, right to assemble peaceably, right to petition the government about grievances. -violated by the Patriot act, violated by "free speech zones" around the president, violated by "laws" against "vices", violated by the FCC's very existence, violated by many "laws" being proposed that will be rubber-stamped by the ignorant authoritarians of the Supreme Court.
  • 2. Right to form militias and the right to own and carry arms. - violated by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and by the Gun Control Act of 1968, and by every other "reasonable gun law".
  • 3. Citizens do not have to quarter soldiers during peacetime.- No, we just have our money stolen by government to pay for their quarters. Is there really that much of a difference? I mean, if they were "quartering" in our homes against our wishes, we would at least have the option of slipping the trespassers rat poison.
  • 4. No unreasonable searches and seizures.- violated by "sobriety checkpoints" and by the "TSA", and by wiretaps on "terrorist suspects".
  • 5. Rights of the accused. violated, once again, by the patriot act. Violated every time a person is deceived into confessing in order to "plea bargain". Violated each time some testoster-stoned "drug warriors" kick in a door in the middle of the night.
  • 6. Right to a fair trial.- violated every time a judge fails to inform the jury about their right and duty of jury nullification- judging the "law" as well as the accused. Violated by the process of making sure anyone with more than a tiny handful of functioning neurons is kept off the jury. Wouldn't want any actual thinking going on in court, you know.
  • 7. Right to a trial by jury in civil cases also.- What is the point to having a right to have a jury trial when the trial will not be permitted to be "fair"?
  • 8. No cruel and unusual punishments. - violated when people are killed, kidnapped, or ruined for not caving in to the extortion of the IRS. No government "function" is worth stealing and killing to finance. Violated when people are kidnapped or killed for having done nothing but acted in some way the government doesn't like- for exercising their individual sovereignty in voluntary interactions.
  • 9. Unenumerated rights go to the people. - violated by almost every "law", especially those "enabled" by the "interstate commerce" lie, and anything justified by "the common good".
  • 10. Reserves all powers not given to the national government to the states or the people.- Once again, violated by almost everything the federal government does, with the complicity of the equally corrupt state governments.

So, there you have it. This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the ways government violates its charter daily. IF the US government was ever "legitimate", which it wasn't, and if the Constitution was ever a protector of freedom, which it wasn't, the evidence of the transgressions are there for all to see. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are most useful as an illustration of why government, even "limited government", is a really bad idea.

Your freedom is yours to take responsibility for. Don't depend on governments or documents to do your job for you.


Monday, December 14, 2009

These 'clauses' don't give; they steal

These 'clauses' don't give; they steal

The Constitution has fatal flaws. The "general welfare clause" and its equally twisted sibling: the "(interstate) commerce clause", have become the goose that lays the golden egg, for government at least. But that egg gets cracked open while government keeps the gold shell and dumps the radioactive yolk on the denizens of America.

Most people have noticed that government uses those two "clauses" to get away with any new violation of individual rights that they dream up. A favorite use is overriding more reasonable local "laws" that are not in line with the federal government's agenda. Notice the uproar over medical marijuana laws and the firearms freedom acts recently in the news.

It has been argued that the way those clauses are misused is not in line with "original intent", so we shouldn't blame the founders or the Constitution. Maybe, but does it matter anymore?

If a burglar steals your bread knife and uses it to cut off the head of someone in the next house he invades, do you say that he can keep the knife but that he just needs to only use it to slice bread from now on? No, you take the knife from him and shoot him if he resists. So it is with the misused clauses.

These clauses have become like machine guns in the hands of drunk and angry teenagers with knowledge of where to steal all the ammo they could ever want, while the local population is disarmed, bound, and gagged by the teens' parents. The difference is that these teens and their parents are worshiped by a large percentage of the population and these "tools" they wield have been misused, more so than any real gun has ever been, leaving a legacy of massive socialism and the resultant death, destruction, and economic ruin.

These clauses need to be taken away now, permanently, and restitution from the pockets of individual government employees should be made to all injured parties.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wisdom from a libertarian-leaning 'efriend'

Wisdom from a libertarian-leaning 'efriend'

A while back on David Codrea's The War on Guns blog, "straightarrow" left the following wise comment:

I too, engage in political "folderol", but I used to do it because I thought it
would help avoid extreme unpleasantness. I no longer believe that, but I still
do it so my conscience is clear when extreme measures must be taken.

Very well said, "straightarrow"! This is another potential way out, Mr. Government Employee, just like my "justice system" compromise suggestion. It is an offer. It is also your warning.

When a man gives a bullying thief every opportunity to back off and the bully declines, then the unpleasantness that results is on the trouble-maker's head. You are giving the thug an honorable way to "stand down" and leave you alone; he knows you have caught him ransacking the house of freedom. Yes, you do have a loaded 12 gauge leveled at his gut, but you don't want to shoot. The next move is his choice. What will he do? Either he can accept your offer and surrender peacefully (even if he finds the offer infuriating or painful), or he can die.

This is the position government has found itself in, whether its human tools wish to face the fact or not. Never let down your guard for an instant, even if it seems your offer has been accepted, until the predator is defanged and caged. There is no honor to be found in these parasites.

All we ask is to be left alone by those who would control or meddle; to live our lives as we see fit, harming no innocent person as we do. We will deal with any aggressors we encounter ourselves without asking to be "rescued" by other aggressors in silly suits. It is the only civilized way to live.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A compromise for the 'justice system'

A compromise for the 'justice system'

One thing I have mentioned before, but which bears repeating, is the need to wrest the "justice system" from the control of the government, even before government evaporates- a separation of court and state. People sometimes act like I have called for the law of gravity to be repealed when I mention this.

It should be obvious by now that it was a tragic mistake to allow the government to run the misnamed "justice system" and the courts. The courts don't deal in "justice"; they dole out punishment. "Crimes" that have no victim are dealt with much more harshly in many cases than is actual aggression or theft. In fact, when the thieves and aggressors are employed by the same "company" that runs the courts, there is almost no chance of any "justice" occurring, even by accident. How many IRS agents have been jailed for stealing money as part of their "job"? Why are LEOs not put on trial for assault every time they electrically torture some pre-teen or grandmother? Why is Lon Horiuchi not on death row? Because the thugs protect one another. Justice can not happen when you expect the mafia to rein in the mafia, nor when you expect the government to rein in the government. Of course, you realize I am making a distinction where none exists.

This suggestion sounds harsh to people who refuse to wake up and smell the tyranny, but the current "system" doesn't work. It is irreparably broken and corrupt, and was established on a faulty foundation to begin with. It can not be "fixed"; but must be completely discarded.

However, if the solution scares you too badly, I do have a compromise to suggest- if the government keeps control of the courts, then there must no longer be any conflict of interest allowed. Judges ruling in cases that pit government or its employees against "private individuals" must only get paid when they rule against the government, and their base pay must not be increased to make up for any shortfall. Juries must once again be made aware of their right and duty to judge the law before even considering the "facts of the case". If the "law" is judged to be counterfeit, then the accused is set free without so much as a scolding, and the court makes the arresting officers personally pay restitution to the victim of the false arrest. If even one jury nullifies a "law" it is gone forever. No one else can ever be harassed under that discarded "law". If any LEO causes harm during one of these state-sanctioned kidnappings, they face criminal charges, or in the event of a REAL justice system- are liable for restitution, just like any other attacker.

Civilization has given government thousands of years to "get it right" and government has shown no inclination to do so. Time's up.


Friday, December 11, 2009

'Don't step in the authoritarianism!'

'Don't step in the authoritarianism!'

I have had some authoritarian thoughts sneak into my personal life in the past few days, and they made me miserable. It's no wonder statists are so unhappy and always so determined to take away everyone else's joy. Misery loves company. It really is uncomfortable to feel the desire to control the lives of others and stick your nose where it does not belong.

It is so easy to allow your innermost thoughts to stray into this dangerous territory, especially when others try to pull you in after them. Staying alert to where you are stepping helps avoid this. If you find yourself standing in the "cow patty" of authoritarianism, get out, wipe off your boots, and pay more attention next time.

Once I realized the trap I had allowed myself to wander in to, I corrected my steps and found a great sense of relief. Shaking off that burden allows one to breathe easy once again. Why would anyone willingly choose to burden themselves with statism? In some cases it may be due to masochism rather than hatred of people in general.

Either way, take a moment to inventory your own thoughts and see if you are cluttering up your mind with poisonous things that don't belong there. You'll thank yourself if you find things you need to rid yourself of.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

No cape required

No cape required

Superheroes don't have to be only fictional. In fact, you have all the makings of a real superhero. Just as you are, right where you live. You can be a libertarian superhero.

When presented with any situation in your own life just ask yourself "what is the way to handle this without initiating force or deception", then do it. Don't meddle. Don't impose upon other people unless they are harming the innocent. In that case, if it suits you, step in and rescue the person being victimized on your own instead of dialing 911. It might be easier if you accept your basic human right and responsibility to be prepared to deal effectively with aggressors. It will also be facilitated if you train yourself to see through statists' smoke and mirrors. Don't let government or its advocates pull the wool over your eyes.

It doesn't require "superpowers"; only the power to resist going along with the crowd as they head over the cliff of statism. You have the ability to buck the system, so be a libertarian superhero and do it.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Can 'freedom' be spread?

Can 'freedom' be spread?

One subject of discussion that I run into a lot, and frequently participate in, is how to "spread freedom" or at least make more people interested in it.

While I think it is a good mental exercise, I'm not sure that freedom can be spread on purpose. I think freedom is too individual for that. I think the best you can do is work on increasing your own freedom and let others be inspired- or not- by your life's example.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing, unless you only get your self-worth by how many people you can influence or help. You can not normally help someone who doesn't admit they need help. You are also not likely to influence anyone who is heavily vested in the state, either as a simple parasite or as a "tax-eating" thug. This doesn't mean no one will ever be inspired. Simple chance may put others in your path who think clearly enough to be receptive to your "nutty libertarian" ideas.

I prefer to concentrate more on "What can I do about increasing freedom in my sphere?" It really amazes (and often frustrates) me that people make freedom so much more complicated than it needs to be. You just LIVE IT. Sure, there are going to be some detours along the way, but they can be dealt with. Keep your goal in mind and don't let yourself be waylaid. If for some reason you violate your principles at some point, make it right and do better next time. It isn't the end of the world when a new "law" is passed that violates even more of your rights. People choose to either obey or ignore the "laws" every day; knowing there are always consequences with any choice. I'd prefer to live with consequences of violating counterfeit "laws" rather than to have to live with the consequences of not doing what I know to be right.

If living in freedom helps to spread the desire to others, then civilization gets a little better. If not, you have still gained in your own life. Don't underestimate the value in that.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Libertarian- the Definition

Most simply: Libertarians are those who recognize no one has the right to archate (commit aggression or to violate property rights).

When I say "libertarian" I am NOT referring to the Libertarian Party (LP) or any system of "politics". Groups or individuals who wrap themselves in the name "libertarian", such as the Libertarian Party, are only "libertarian" to the extent that they uphold the libertarian principles, and other people who may not like the word are still "libertarian" as long as they also live up to the principles. So, if the LP lives up to this definition, then they would be "libertarian", but if they do not I will judge them by their actions and principles without regard to what label they choose for themselves. I do this in every case with everyone who claims the title.

A libertarian is someone who abides by the Zero Archation Principle, which includes not defrauding others (keeps his word), and not otherwise seeking solutions in coercion. Ever. Not even by using hired thugs wearing the silly hat of government. Self-defensive actions are not "aggression" or "initiation" of anything other than self-defense, but are a result of the aggression or deception of others. A libertarian does not wish to control others, not even "nicely" or for their own good. Instead, he should mind his own business as long as no one is being attacked or harmed. Voluntary interactions between responsible people are no one else's business no matter how much their actions may offend you.

I recognize libertarian to be the same as anarchist to be the same as sovereign individual to be the same as "live and let live", abolitionist, Voluntaryist, and to be "the only true standard of consistently ethical behavior"; the only right way to live. If you hyphenate "libertarian" with something else that compromises the foundational principles in any way, however "minor", then you have negated the "libertarian" part of your name in its entirety. It is really much simpler than many people would have you believe. When a person fails to live up to this description in some areas, in those areas he falls short of all the above terms.

So there you have it. You may not agree, but at least you will know where I am coming from.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Supporting 'acts of government' makes you guilty

Supporting 'acts of government' makes you guilty

The death sentence which was recently "handed down" by the Saudi Arabian government against a Lebanese TV psychic is barbaric, but it is no more barbaric than the acts of any other government. No government that has ever existed can be trusted with the power of life and death. They all inevitably use that power unethically.

I think science shows pretty clearly that psychics have no real "powers". Many people would disagree with me vehemently. That's fine. I am free to ignore or ridicule psychics and their followers regardless of any government's edicts. And others are free to order their lives by the psychic's advice. I don't know if this particular psychic has defrauded anyone intentionally or not, but even if he has that doesn't deserve death-by-state. If you go around executing everyone who believes in imaginary things, or who profits from that belief in others, that would be quite a massacre. Let people defend themselves and their own property from fraud; don't hand over that authority to anyone else- especially not to those known to always abuse it.

Yet, there are always people ready to applaud government goons handing out death and destruction, as long as it targets someone else. The people who turn out to watch the executions for entertainment are reprehensible excuses for "humanity", but are no more reprehensible than those who wave flags, pledge allegiance, and celebrate the invasion and occupation of other countries by the military force of their choice. It isn't even as if this is the "other side of the coin", it is completely indistinguishable.

Face it; those who cheer the executioner are no different than those who cheer or defend the police, the military, or any government agency. Support of government can't be justified.

Imagine looking down on all the government maneuvers here on Earth through an unimaginably advanced telescope on some other planet. If you were to arbitrarily distinguish between governmental aggression and mass aggression of any other sort, you would see that government is the same everywhere; and it is inexcusable in whatever form it is being imposed.

Beware the real 'ancient evil'

Beware the real 'ancient evil'

It is a common theme in books and movies that an "ancient evil" is somehow awakened and wreaks havoc on unsuspecting "redshirts". Yet, in our daily lives we are surrounded by the most horrible ancient evil of them all, and most of us don't even recognize it. It is government.

In all its thousands of years of existence it has killed and harmed more innocent people than any other totally avoidable thing. Yet, without complicit individuals it doesn't even have an existence and can harm no one.

Now, do you choose to side with this ancient evil, betraying all that is good in order to gain favor and receive temporary rewards- or because you want people to be controlled, or do you choose to oppose the ancient evil? Your answer tells a lot about you.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Admit your limitations

Admit your limitations

Kevin Wilmeth's observation in yesterday's comments that a good teacher admits when he doesn't have an answer really struck a chord in me. It reminds me of when I lost respect for a state-employed teacher over a silly act of "saving face".

Our class was preparing for a zoology test on taxonomy, where we would look at examples of different animals and assign them to their proper order, class, and family.

Things were fine until I got to a tiny pickled flatfish in a jar. The teacher said it was a "ray". Now, that is a major discrepancy, since a flatfish is a bony fish (Osteichthyes) and a ray is a cartilaginous fish (Chondrichthyes); almost as different as two fish can be while still being fish. When I pointed it out to the teacher, he said I was wrong. I knew I wasn't. I got reference books and showed him the pictures clearly illustrating the differences. He got very angry and said "You're beating a dead horse. I don't care if you are right; for our purposes it is a ray." My respect for him plummeted as a result. He was not only unwilling to face the truth for himself, but he was also actively teaching false information to people who had been trained to accept whatever "authorities" told them.

How many of the students he deceived went on with life, never questioning whether what they were told was the truth? How many became good little cogs in the machinery of the state due to lies even more egregious than this? On the other hand, how much did this event help cement my own suspicion that "authorities" were at least as likely to be wrong as anyone, and less likely to admit it when they were?

This one experience may have helped make me the anarchist I am today. In that case, thanks Mr. S.


Friday, December 04, 2009

Being right means being ignored

Being right means being ignored

One thing I have experienced many times in my life is knowing something with absolute certainty while others fumble about in confusion, without being aware of, or admitting, their confusion.

One manifestation of this occurs when I am out and about with other people and I see an animal track; especially of an odd species or in a somewhat unexpected spot. In most cases the species of animal that left the track is as clear to me as it would be were a label attached to it. However, if I don't know what left the track I am not afraid to admit it. Even if I don't know what species did leave the track, I can usually know for certain the species that did not leave it.

If the other people with me have no knowledge of tracks at all, and have no outdoorsman egos to protect, they will usually accept my assessment. If they imagine themselves knowledgeable, however, they frequently ignore my conclusion as their theories become more outlandish and their justifications become more unhinged from reality. Sometimes I will silently listen to the bizarre guesses of other people around me, as they try to assign the track to some species that does not leave similarly shaped tracks, is of a vastly different size, and lives only on the other side of the planet from the track in question.

If, at this point, I again speak up and tell these observers what species the track belongs to, my input is almost invariably ignored completely. It is as if I never said a word. It doesn't change the nature of reality, though. So, I just sit back and watch the show, trying to learn from this lesson.

The same has occurred with regards to wild plants as well. I don't eat wild things harvested by others, without checking it carefully first, for this very reason. I can't understand why people have such a hard time seeing what to me adds up to obvious differences, but then I am the same way with cars; to me a car is a car, unless I manage to read the label. Wisdom comes from knowing who to listen to on each individual subject.

So it is with freedom. Most of the "big issues" have government's tracks all over them. I, and many others, point this out time and again only to have the majority continue to chase obviously false leads. Our observations are unwelcome and unfamiliar, and lead to "scary" conclusions, so they are ignored. Those who think they know some of how "politics" or "society" function are the worst about acting like this. They will continue to argue over which is the best way to control others and make them do "the right thing" while the correct answers (all involving respecting the freedom and rights of the individual) are offered on a silver platter right under their little statist noses.

Well, you can lead a statist to information, but you can't make him think.


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A new way to be a snitch: 'Text-a-tip'

A new way to be a snitch: 'Text-a-tip'

Some places are very innovative in the pursuit of death and tyranny. If it isn't cameras watching our every move, and a permit check for every activity, it is finding ways to recruit the lowest common denominator of "society" as eyes and ears for the state.

Just in case you want to be able to hand people over to the government, call it "violence-by-proxy", but you are too cowardly to risk the real-world consequences of doing so openly, the LEOs are anxious to accommodate you. You can now anonymously (so they say) text a tip to the local enforcers.

The dramatic cases used to give the above-linked story "human interest" will not be the reality of the system. No one wants actual thugs to get away with their aggression (unless you are a badge-licker and those thugs are the enforcers you worship). The fact is that the vast majority of "crimes" are non-coercive, individual behavior or consensual acts between private individuals rather than acts of aggression or fraud. So, which type of "crimes" will make up the majority of these texted tips?

What do you think the chances are of remaining anonymous for long if you used the "tool" to report aggression by the state's own hired thugs, or reported an IRS employee for theft?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Your authority- use it wisely

Your authority- use it wisely

Government has no authority that isn't given to it, or that it didn't take under false pretenses, or that it didn't steal at the point of a gun. None. Not the authority to do one piddling little thing.

The authority is yours. All authority is yours. No one can honestly take it from you, but you can be fooled or coerced into giving it away. You betray yourself when you hand it over to someone else (government or others) by voting or "going along" and then you become part of the problem when those others use your authority to harm the innocent. In this case, if you allow government to act on your behalf, using your authority, your authority is in the wrong hands and has been misused. People have been harmed and even killed with the authority you willingly handed over.

This is like if you loan a friend your gun and he goes on a shooting rampage. You didn't pull the trigger, and you may not have known what he would do with your gun, but it is your responsibility to take back your gun at the earliest opportunity. It is also a wake-up call to not hand your gun to someone whom you do not trust completely.

You don't know who will be using your authority when you hand it to government. It is like leaving your gun on a park bench with a note saying "please don't misuse this gun". It is irresponsible and dangerous. I would even claim it is lazy and unethical.

Take back your authority and don't give it away again.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Life is not horrible unless you make it horrible

Life is not horrible unless you make it horrible

A comment on the Libertarian Examiner column has a statist asking:
"what is it about Libertarians that they hate just living life? every
Libertarian speaks as if living life was horrible."

That is just so sadly misinformed. I don't hate living life. I certainly don't appreciate it when people attempt to meddle with my ability to live my life as I see fit, when I am harming no one, by trying to bind me with "laws" and surround me with militarized enforcers. In my day-to-day life I pay very little attention to the edicts of the statists and I generally manage to avoid those enforcers. The things that make me happy are the things I will continue to do regardless of any "laws" to the contrary. I may have to become more secretive, though. If I allow the authoritarians to make me unhappy that is as much my fault as theirs. They and their opinions are just not that important to me.

It seems to me that people who feel the need to rule and control those around them are the miserable losers. Why else would they feel that life is so awful that they need to try to take away the free choices of their friends and neighbors? I'm perfectly happy letting other people live as they wish as long as they don't agress against, or defraud, me or others. Miserable people don't live like this.

Statists must resent the fact that those of us who understand freedom don't just wink and nod at their plans for genocide and those policies they push which eventually lead to genocide. Because we take their threats seriously they think we are miserable. Or maybe they are just upset that we are paying attention and hope that by calling us names we will feel guilty enough to back off and let them "win" by default. Sorry to disappoint them, but it's not going to happen. We are not the ones "in the wrong".

Now, back to the original comment. I don't agree with every detail in Mr. Crowley's column; he is much more "conservative" than I, but I definitely didn't see any "life is horrible" stuff in there at all.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Perfect-sized states?

Perfect-sized states?

Any time the subject of "secession" comes up, you get the apocalyptic hand-wringers saying that the "USA" must stay united at all costs. Isn't this the justification Lenin/Lincoln used to facilitate the murder of multitudes of people? Yet, the same people who vociferously defend holding the "USA" together in spite of all the reasonable arguments to the contrary are the same ones who oppose "one-world government". So, which is it? They can't have it both ways.

How much "state" is the perfect amount for the statists, and how do they know that the current size of the "USA" is "it"? What are the odds that the status quo is the best possible situation? Maybe it would actually be the "perfect size" by annexing New Zealand (no offense to Kiwis) or by kicking out Florida. Or perhaps a better situation could be had by splitting the "USA" along the Mississippi River. America is not "united" except by a common enemy: the US government.

It is unthinkable to these people that America be "allowed" to break up into smaller, more appropriate bits. Bits based upon demographic regions or simply based on states seceding. They speak about how "we are stronger together". Yet, if that were true, or if they really believed it were true, there is no stronger, bigger "unit" than the entire planet.

Just as I don't support "nations", I do not support "one-world government". Not even if I were able to emigrate to a new politically-unspoiled world. That is because I know there is nothing good or ethical or even "safer" about coercive government of any size.

I advocate the ultimate in secession: down to the level of the individual for permanent "social unit size". For temporary, voluntary, collectives, any size or combination is acceptable, but only as long as membership or participation is completely voluntary and can be unilaterally abandoned by anyone at any time for any reason (or no reason) with no punishment, as long as their legitimate commitments were satisfied. That goes against everything the statists believe. And it shows their hypocrisy beyond any shadow of doubt.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

'Letter-to-the-editor project' now online!

'Letter-to-the-editor project' now online!

The "letter-to-the editor" project which I suggested a while back is now up and running.

Find it here: Thanks to Thomas Knapp for bringing this to life.

Give it a look, and if you have a little spare time give some support to the cause of freedom, especially when it is being buried under statist absurdity. Let's let no statist claim go unchallenged, and no unpopular freedom advocacy go unsupported. This is something YOU can do RIGHT NOW for the cause of freedom.

'Hate crime' plot exposed in the nick of time

'Hate crime' plot exposed in the nick of time

As I have mentioned before, I think the concept of "hate crime" is ridiculous. However, I know of one example of a act that was calculated to defraud, and to spread hate. This act should be classified as a "hate crime" by those who support the stupidity of "hate crime laws" IF they are to be consistent. I'll not be holding my breath.

Now, I dislike "the right" about as much as I dislike "the left". Both "sides" are really only different flavors of "what can our hired thugs do to you today?" However, in the case of dead census-taker Bill Sparkman, his killer quite definitely intended to make the blame fall upon the innocent people of "the right". Of course, he was his own killer, but that doesn't change his act.

A person owns his own life and has the right to use it or dispose of it in any way he likes, as long as he harms no innocent person. In this case, the innocent person was not the dead man, but those he knew he was intentionally implicating in his death by scrawling the word "FED" on his own body: the people who were rightly suspicious of this man and those others from government. He didn't care if someone ended up being sentenced to death due to his suicide.

Sparkman's main intent was defrauding an insurance company, and for this fraud to be successful he placed blame and incited hatred toward those he apparently hated. Some innocent person could have been kidnapped by government or killed in the aftermath of his act as a direct result of his deception, either by government's hired guns or by some government sympathizer. The fact that his apparent motive was "only money" makes his act all the more evil.

Obviously, I do not really support government prosecution of a dead man, nor of any one else for that matter. The guilty party can't harm anyone now, and in this case no restitution is necessary since the plot was foiled in time. Without the absurdity of "hate crime" to contemplate, this man's death would have just been another suicide. By using the socialists' own "laws" against them, I only mean to illustrate the stupidity of such "laws" and their unintended (?) consequences.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

'Remember the Bushwhackers!'

'Remember the Bushwhackers!'

Here is an entertaining video. Like it says at the end, these were flawed people fighting for a flawed cause. Harming the innocent is never right under any circumstance. We have the moral high-ground over the state and its supporters. Let's keep it. Still, we need to learn from the experiences of others who were fighting against a powerful enemy government when and where we can so we don't make the same mistakes they made.
Enjoy.. link


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happiness- pursue it with the proper tools

Happiness- pursue it with the proper tools

There is something I have been meaning to address for a while. That is the fact that happiness is more important to me than freedom. In a reply comment on her blog, Tessa Rose had this to say:

"...freedom is not my highest value, either -- happiness is. If I believed that
happiness for all of humanity could actually be achieved by a ruling elite, I
would be okay with that. I believe that maximum freedom is the road to happiness
for all, but anyone who wants to argue the point with me is free to do so!"

I agree with her. My only clarification would be that I don't think happiness for all of humanity can be achieved by any one strategy, be it freedom or "safety". Fortunately, freedom is not "one strategy", but encompasses an almost infinite number of ways to seek that which you really want. I know freedom is the best tool for finding your own optimal happiness. Freedom is the means to the end of happiness. Only freedom allows many different strategies to be used concurrently by different people with different values to find their own version of "happiness", or die trying.

Freedom means that if you want to live in a tightly controlled socialist community that has almost no liberty whatsoever, as long as you don't force unwilling people to join you (either by kidnapping them or by saying "this is now our territory- like it or leave it"), you would be free to do so. People need the freedom to give up their own freedom if the rest of us are to be consistent. Yes, I realize that sounds incredibly contradictory. Just remember that the rest of us have no obligation to house, clothe, feed, or otherwise rescue them from their own bad choices. Suicide is their absolute human right as long as they take no innocents with them.

The only thing that can never be allowed in this "pursuit of happiness" is those whose happiness depends upon harming the unwilling innocent. That means if it would make you happy to be a Ruler or other sort of sociopath, you are out of luck unless you find people willing to let you harm them (the basis of all government). You can not impose on those who are unwilling, and if you do, your victims have every right to stop you in any way necessary; your "rules" to the contrary notwithstanding.

My own pursuit of happiness means I would not waste my time telling those others how they should live. If they wish to pay attention and learn from examples, they would benefit. It also means that I will not submit to live under their system of restricted liberty, either. This is the offer of peace that statists can not abide because it undermines their entire society. Too bad for them.

Monday, November 23, 2009

'Laws' cause behavioral flaws

'Laws' cause behavioral flaws

I have made an observation that is sure to be disputed by statists, but it is an observation made with my own eyes nonetheless.

"Laws" enable and encourage bad behavior. Rather than judging acts as "right" or "wrong" I think a majority of people today only consider whether their actions are "legal" or "illegal". I see this all the time, especially among drivers. They will drive just within the bounds of "the law" but without courtesy.

If each driver thinks they are doing the "legal" thing, they think the other must make way for them no matter what common sense or decency would suggest. They may not be quite initiating force, but they are pushing the envelope to the ripping point.

This confirms my suspicion that, just as cops cause "crime", "laws" cause boorishness.

How much does this apply in other areas of life? How many times do you hear people questioning whether the course they would like to take is "legal", even though it is obvious that it would not be nice. I see it happen often enough to destroy any justification for the current law pollution we are being subjected to.

If anyone asked my opinion I would suggest that they concern themselves with whether their actions initiate force or deception. Then I would also ask, because it matters in the long run, whether their conscience will be clear. The question of "legality" would never cross my mind unless they were discussing possible consequences.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

'Hate crimes'

'Hate crimes'

"Hate crimes". Is there any more ridiculous concept? If something is wrong to do, your hatred as motivation for doing it doesn't make it worse, just like any possible good intentions as motivation don't excuse any harm that you do. If "hate crimes" must become a "legal reality" then the flip-side, mass-murder with the "best of intentions", must be made "legally" acceptable as well.

Oh, wait.... "gun control", "universal health care", The Iraqi/Afghanistan/Pakistan war(s), "bailouts", the War on (some) Drugs, and every other government project and program... all indicate that the government has beaten me to that idea. Notice, though, that it is only "acts of state" that are excused on those grounds, not acts by individual, independent, "well-meaning" monsters. Government: the ultimate Hate Crime, and the only one to be ignored by the "law".

In the most pointless instances "hate crime laws" are just a way to add punishment on top of punishment for acts of aggression. In the worst cases, they are Orwell's "thoughtcrime" come true.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Get past the past

Get past the past

One excuse that a lot of people use to avoid living free from this moment on is "injustices of the past".

I understand this in a way. It is horrible that certain races have been marginalized, enslaved, or exterminated throughout history. It is tragic that genocide against indigenous people has been more-or-less the norm in most examples of human migration. All land has been stolen from its rightful owners uncountable times, both throughout recorded history and in the impenetrable mists of prehistory. That was wrong, but there is no way to "make it right" today. Any "solution" would only cause more harm to people who didn't commit the aggression to begin with.

If there are actual survivors, then by all means let them seek restitution. Don't harm anyone who wasn't directly responsible while arbitrating these events. Don't expect restitution for abuses done to your forebears by someone else's forebears. For me to be punished for something someone else did before I was born is wrong and ridiculous. For me to benefit from some "restitution" applied to some situation that I wasn't directly harmed by, paid by someone who did no direct harm themselves, is just as bad. In cases like these I think it is more ethical to do nothing than it is to actively cause new harm. Not everything has a real solution, unfortunately. It would serve everyone well to realize that.

There has to be some point where I decide to wipe the ledger clear. The past is the past. It is done. Let it go and start fresh today. What I can do toward this goal is say "Never again" and act on that declaration. Never will I contribute to, or support, such barbarous acts. Never can any government (using money stolen from me) claim to be committing these acts in my name. Nope. Not in my name; not on my account. When and where such wrongs do occur anew, speak out if that is all you can do. Don't excuse the evildoers for any reason. Monkey-wrench and stand up to the bullies and thieves if you are in a position to do so. The future is ours to direct.

Don't let today become the regrettable past of tomorrow.


Friday, November 20, 2009

For those who claim "Atheism is a religion"

I got a comment in connection with my Examiner column on Freedom of Religion that said, in part:

No matter what religion you ascribe to (including atheism)...

I hear this all the time, and it is a sign of some really faulty thinking. However, I know from past experience that this is something that is taught in some churches, so it doesn't surprise me that it gets repeated. But if you want to be taken seriously in your argument you need to let that notion go.

Seriously, if atheism is a religion, then good health is a "disease" and an empty dog house just contains another breed of dog. A lack of something is not a different type of something.

Does government ever do good?

Does government ever do good?

I come down pretty hard on externally-imposed coercive government all the time. Am I being fair? Am I being honest about what government is and what it does? Perhaps a better question is, is anything that government does "right" or "ethical"? Are the final results ever good even if the government's methods and reasons are not right?

Does it really matter? Two wrongs don't make a right. Nothing government does is ever done without harming some innocent person. To pretend that those who are harmed don't matter, or are not numerous enough to matter, is wrong. If there is something you want, which government currently claims to provide, can you think of a way to get that without using coercion? If not, then maybe you should reconsider what it is that you desire. Chances are that it is not right, and therefore not worth the price.

For "taxation" to not be theft it would have to be completely voluntary with absolutely no penalties for not paying. People would have to be able to pay only the amount they want to pay, and designate exactly where they want the money to be spent. If that meant your favorite program withered and died, then that is exactly what needed to happen. People would have voted with their money.

For "laws" to be right they would not penalize anyone, ever, for non-aggressive or non-deceptive behavior. It wouldn't matter if 99% of the population designated that their voluntarily-donated "tax" money go to enforce those "laws". Their "might", their overwhelming majority, doesn't make "right".

As you can see, if a government could abide by these guidelines, it would not be a government by definition. That is why "minarchy" isn't realistic. That is why any real form of coercive government is without merit and is wrong to support or advocate. I can't support evil even if it is convenient and "beneficial" for me personally.

On the other hand, there is a bright spot concerning government: the US government is killing itself. That is a result I can support, even if I dislike the means which are bringing it about. Through statist acts government is assuring its own demise. Sure, they'll try to lay the blame elsewhere. It won't stick. Over-printed counterfeit "money", wars of aggression and colonization (not that there is a difference), "taxation" and regulation which destroy or drive away businesses and jobs, "dumbing down" information to keep statist-drone children from feeling too bad... all of these things are only accelerating the approach of "E Day".

It may not be pretty at the end, but it is not the freedom activists who chose this path. In fact, we have offered alternative after alternative, only to be threatened and marginalized. So be it. Stay out of the way as government dies and be prepared to fight any new Rulers who arise to "fill the void". Make sure there is not ever a "power vacuum" by keeping power where it belongs: in the hands of the individuals. In the new, free world, I suppose we could look back and thank the short-sighted stupidity of the current crop of statists and their political ancestors for our new beginning. It may be the only good to ever come from the actions of government.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"Poaching" is not wrong

Added to the state's list of prohibited victimless acts is the imaginary offense of "poaching".

"Poaching" is the act of not recognizing government's claim over something it does not own: the wildlife that lives within the country's imaginary borders. I suppose it is not surprising that the government employees think they own the deer, since they also think they own the humans, but it is a concept I will continue to correct when I run across it.

Purchasing a license from the government in order to hunt is admitting that you agree that government owns the animals. You should ask the property owner before hunting on his land, but if a deer is on your property, and it has no ownership indicators, it is yours to take. "Poaching" would only be wrong if someone owns the animals while they are running free, or if you trespassed to get to the animals. No one owns the animals in most cases, since "the state" can own nothing it did not first steal, and thieves have no authority to dictate what can be done with the property they stole.

Hunting is an activity that teaches people to provide for themselves. It short-circuits the welfare cycle that government depends upon for dependence and loyalty. Pretending to own the wildlife and then selling permission to hunt it simply gives the state more unwarranted power over the people. It is another way to take money from productive people and give it to the parasites of government. Plus, in order to hunt, people need to own effective weapons and have the skills to use them. That is more reason for government to demand a license: to keep track of armed people. Hunting often involved stalking and tracking and an awareness of your surroundings. Those are skills that your enemies would not like for you to hone, since they may serve you in the future.

I am certainly not advocating mindless slaughter of wildlife. I hate waste. I would not shoot it unless I was prepared to eat it, or otherwise use it. I also know that some of the money from licenses goes toward habitat and such, but the amount is a tiny percentage (that which is left over after the excessive bureaucracy is paid for) and could be done much better by the market through privately owned property. Mostly your license fees go to support those who want to exercise control over you and your guns. Don't undercut freedom by supporting the state with your obedience or with your money. You owe the state nothing.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Is it 'libertarianism' or is it 'anarchy'?

Is it 'libertarianism' or is it 'anarchy'?

A common theme in comments is that what I am advocating is not "libertarianism", but "anarchy".

Libertarians seek to maximize personal freedom while minimizing government interference in the lives of individuals. Zero is the absolute "minimum". Nothing achieves that better than anarchy, in fact, nothing else even has a chance.

I am not speaking of "hyphenated" libertarians or anarchists, since that hyphen only exists in order to negate the "anarchy" and "libertarianism". Whatever is added by that hyphen makes the combined word mean something completely counter to the original word. You may as well substitute "Un-" in every case. (It's like that silly advertising slogan "There's strong, and then there's 'Army strong'")

Anarchy is libertarianism in full bloom; carried to its logical conclusion, with all the inconsistencies stripped away. It is not an either/or situation. If you claim libertarian status, but don't consider yourself an anarchist, you are being inconsistent somewhere. You are lying to yourself or others for some reason. Which basic human rights do you not want others to exercise? Which government function do you consider important enough to kill innocent people in order to finance or carry out?

Some might claim that you need to have some amount of externally-imposed-by-force government around in order to protect the freedom of the individual. How much government does that take? How do you keep that optimal amount of government constrained? Why has nothing designed to constrain that "perfect amount" of government ever worked? Could it be that by its very nature government always grows and becomes draconian? I have yet to see any evidence that suggests otherwise.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Right makes might

Right makes might

One common excuse for keeping government around is that otherwise "we will go back to a society where 'might makes right'". You mean, kinda like what happens when government decides that it will back up its unethical counterfeit "laws" with kidnapping and murder? Like now. And don't fool yourself; all governments do it. In fact it is the only thing all governments have in common.

Instead, it is true that "right makes might". In other words, being right gives you strength. It lets you have the courage to move ahead, knowing that whatever happens, as long as you are doing the right thing, no one can oppose you without being wrong. This gives you the courage to do what you know you should; knowing that if it comes down to it you can, and will, defend yourself and others with a clear conscience. That is empowering.

So go out there, be right, and be properly prepared to act on that rightness.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Freedom of religion

Freedom of religion

Any government powerful enough to "promote" your religion today, is powerful
enough to prohibit your religion tomorrow. Judge a politician's actions; not his
cheap words and pious pretense.

Those words are from my 2008 presidential campaign platform. I know there are a lot of people who are afraid of Muslims taking over America. I know because I hear from them all the time.

Well, guess what. A great many of the very people so worried about it now ignored and encouraged violations of the separation of church and state and made such a scenario possible. By insisting on violating the freedom of religion of others, they built the tool and are now fearful of that tool being turned against them.

I wouldn't like that outcome any more than anyone else would, but I also don't think Islam is the only religious threat to freedom. It seems to me that freedom is caught in a continuing repeat of the Crusades even now in the 21st Century. Truthfully I don't want either side to win.

Believe anything you want to believe. Don't try to force me to pretend to agree with you. Once you do, you make defensive action against you a legitimate choice. It doesn't matter which version of god you are pushing. It doesn't matter if you are trying to impose Sharia "law" on the non-Muslim or trying to use stolen money to pay for monuments to the Judeo-Christian Ten Commandments to be put in courthouses, which are built with stolen money on land that was stolen and are centers of statist evil.

Religion has no business being the basis of any rule that is applied to those who do not follow that particular religion. What is "moral" to one religion is "an abomination" to another. Stick with the few rules that predate and transcend religion: Don't initiate or accept force, and don't initiate deceit.

Freedom of religion must include freedom from religion if it is to have any meaning whatsoever. That includes mine, his, hers, and yours.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Statism is too overly complex to 'work'

Statism is too overly complex to 'work'

Some people have claimed to me that libertarianism, anarchism, or "individual sovereignty" (or whatever you prefer to call the philosophy of freedom, responsibility, and non-coercion) is "too simplistic". Normally this is the excuse pulled out when all others have failed. When they say this I immediately realize that they don't have a very good grasp of the way things really work.

Most of the time reality is much simpler than fantasy. The way our Solar System operates, with the orbits of the planets as they fall around the sun, all held together by gravity, is much simpler than the Greeks' ideas of "epicycles" and gods. This is where Occam's razor comes in. The simplest explanation is generally the truth.

The fact that you own yourself and all the products of your life is so much simpler than the labyrinth of states, "laws", and obligations that have been created out of thin air for the past several thousand years in order to justify government.

Even when there are more "parts" (more individuals compared to the number of states), the fact that just a few rules explain the motions and interactions of all those parts means that the system is simpler and closer to reality. Don't let the best evidence that freedom is right be used as a illusory weapon against you.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ft. Hood: convergence of tragedies

Ft. Hood: convergence of tragedies

Now that a week has passed since the massacre at Ft. Hood I'll weigh in with my observations. It isn't shocking that I reach very different conclusions than do the blood-dancers of the Mass-Murderer Fan Club.

I'll leave out the obvious points about the drawback of having a government-owned military rather than a militia of free individuals. And the other obvious observations about what happens when you use that government-owned military to go around the world coercing and occupying regions where they don't want your brand of statism to replace their equally twisted brand of statism. No, I'll leave those things for other people who have more tact than I to point out and discuss.

I'll just point out some of what I noticed about the tragic events of that fateful day.

Notice that the government can't protect people even on military bases or in (other) prisons; two of its most tightly controlled areas. How could anyone possibly believe government could protect them anywhere else? Unless they are in denial, people can't believe it.

ANY religion, when taken too seriously, can cause death and destruction. Not in every instance obviously, but often enough it should be a warning sign to you of potential problems. If your religion encourages you to initiate force against "them", whoever " they" may be, it is wrong and disgusting. If you misinterpret your religion as telling you to do so, you are the one who has real problems.

"Gun free zones" are only "gun free" as long as bad guys don't want to kill people there. Once someone decides to start killing, those zones will have the worst possible number of guns- however many that bad guy has. Most bad guys, like this most recent one, are cowards and will find a place where they can pick off unarmed victims. Others, knowing they probably won't get out of it alive, choose to attack where they can get the highest body count before being stopped. Either way, they choose the same kind of place: anywhere good people are unlikely to be armed. Stay away from places like this if you can. Find a way to arm yourself anyway, with something, if you can't avoid them.

And, last, but possibly most critical: Bad people with guns can only be counted on to be stopped by other people with guns. Don't count on your awesome ninja skills to save you.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

'Money' requires no government

Twice in the past two days I have run across people who claim we "need" government to create "money" for our use. This is not correct.

"Money" is anything that is used as a placeholder for things you want. A few people actually want the money itself, which is fine, but most of us want what we can trade the money to get.

"Money" can be gold, silver, chocolate, seashells, or anything you can convince others to take in trade. It doesn't need to be rare or "valuable", though it helps if it can't be found covering the ground or growing on trees all around the person you are trying to convince to take it in trade. If it is that common, then it will probably take a lot more of it to balance the trade, and that makes it more difficult to carry and deliver. It is also nice if your money doesn't rot quickly. Being "rich" in crated bananas would be a very transitory wealth.

Government "money" satisfies some of the criteria to be good money, but it fails miserably on others. Those failures are more than sufficient to invalidate government money and to show the superiority of free-market money.

Money should never be forced on someone. No one should dictate what you "should" use as your money, nor should they limit you to one type of money. Let the market choose the money that people trust and want. Even if that means some would choose to accept printed paper IOUs backed but nothing but a promise from a group of thieves that the money is "good", that is their choice. In this case, "seller beware!"

This is why it is a bad idea to have one person or one organization in control of all the money for a particular region. It is too easy for them to manipulate the money supply to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else. When you allow them to have the power of government monopolistic coercion backing them up you are begging for disaster. Even if the people in charge of the money were "good people", infinitely more honest than the average person on Earth, the temptation is too great. That kind of power always attracts power-hungry bad people. Of all the people or groups to give the power to create "money", government is the absolute worst.

Personally, I prefer trading for silver or gold for most exchanges. Sometimes, if I am in need of something that another person has an excess of, we can work out a satisfactory deal based on that alternative currency. That is as it should be and how money should be allowed to work.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The 'libertarian approach'

The 'libertarian approach'

Many times I feel that I am in a time-loop; doomed to repeat myself eternally. I can't count the number of times I have addressed such things as "national borders" or "taxation". The answers don't change no matter who is offended, although I may refine my argument over time. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not complaining since this means new people are reading what I write. I just wish there were a simple way to organize all the answers in an "easy to point out" way.

Really, though, it isn't that hard to figure out for yourself. There is a "libertarian approach" to all things (an approach that increases the individual's control over his own life, liberty, and property), and there is a "statist approach" (one that lets government violate the individual's life, liberty and property). You may not like the libertarian approach, but that doesn't change the reality that every action or decision either weakens the state or strengthens it.

It is always obvious when you prick someone's favorite statist premise. They usually claim that the "libertarian solution" is not "libertarian", but what they mean is that they don't like the implications or they feel incapable of running their own lives. They are scared and want the government to protect them in this one particular instance and try to justify it. Strengthening the state is not ever "libertarian" or "individual-empowering", no matter whether you happen to like it or not.

I don't care if you consider yourself the Universe's gift to humanity, striking from your neocon cavern to refuse "Libertarian" credentials to those who don't "think" as you do. If your position empowers the state, or harms the freedom of individual people, it is not "libertarian" in any way. Whether it is statists on the "right" or the "left" or straddling the "middle" who are sacrificing individuals to the state, I am always opposed.