Sunday, May 31, 2009

Are 'illegal immigrants' really your enemy?

Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner: Are 'illegal immigrants' really your enemy?

Leaving aside the obvious point of how corrupt and dangerous to liberty the LEOs (Liberty Eradication Operatives) of America have become, and pretending for a moment that they are a legitimate use of stolen money, I pose a question. What is more important; using enforcers to chase, catch, and deport "illegal immigrants", or using enforcers to chase, catch, and stop aggressive criminals regardless of their status? We know which is safer for the enforcers.
A
m I alone in this, or are there others out there who don't care where the guy standing beside them at the grocery store was born, or what paperwork he filled out for the gang of government thugs, as long as he is not attacking or stealing from anyone?

In order to get jobs, many of these independent migrants use random Social Security numbers. That means they have part of their wages stolen without any hope of ever getting in on the loot later. They are helping support some of the same Americans who are complaining about their presence.

Personally, I believe it is wrong to accept any handouts from government. This includes Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, farm subsidies, food stamps, WIC, or whatever else there may be. These "programs" are all financed with stolen money. Money that was taken from the rightful owners by threat of force. Force that if resisted, will be enforced by murder-by-government at some point along the way.

Don't give me the line about paying into the system for all these years and just getting back what is owed to you. Your money was spent the moment it was confiscated. The money you would get is being stolen from new victims today. It isn't right to cooperate with your mugger today if he promises to cut you in for a percentage of the muggings he commits tomorrow, is it? This is why it is so important to stop the thieves as soon as possible. Allowing the theft to continue gives it an appearance of legitimacy that is undeserved.

Your money is best left in your hands. You wouldn't waste your money on $900 toilet seats, or on supporting people who produce nothing but new generations of welfare recipients, would you? Well, the state does. Happily. That is how you can tell it isn't their money in the first place. So... who is your real enemy?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Living in 'post-constitutional America'

Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner: Living in 'post-constitutional America'

For those freedom-lovers who still revere the Constitution, a new reality is on the horizon. The next Supreme Court jester... "justice", will be adamantly anti-constitution. In such a case, "Constitutionality" becomes even more irrelevant than it has been for the past several decades.

A lot of focus has been on Sotomayor's anti-gun bigotry. It won't matter. The Second Amendment was mortally wounded back in 1934 by the illegal "National Firearms Act". It has been slowly bleeding-out since that day. Gun owners and Constitutionalists could have saved the Second Amendment if decisive action had been taken as soon as "NFA" was proposed. Unfortunately, they caved. "No one really thinks regular people should have MACHINE GUNS, do they?" Yes, I do. Giving in on that issue changed the way government thought about guns from that day forward. We are still living with the dire consequences of that treasonous "law", and it will only get worse until we stop agreeing to our own enslavement.

We are living in "Post-Constitutional America". It is time to recognize that rights do not come from government, and are not ever really protected by any government. It is time to grow up and exercise and DEFEND your own rights instead of depending upon a criminal collective to do your job for you. It has always been your responsibility; handing it over to government was a near-fatal mistake which is now coming home to roost. This should be your wake-up call. What will you do next?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Reasons for libertarian writing

Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner: Reasons for libertarian writing

I have been writing this column, and my blog before it, for quite a while now. So, why are we not living in "Libertopia" already? Hasn't my writing caused everyone to see the superiority of liberty over slavery (by whatever name)? Are my words too ineloquent and not up to the task of sharing the joy to be found in living by the ZAP and freeing oneself right here in this world where we all live, at this time in history, regardless of the actions of the state and its supporters? I'm joking, of course.

Fortunately, I don't write this column in order to change the world, or really even to change one mind. I don't write this column in order to convince anyone of anything. If it happens it is a good thing, but if it doesn't I don't consider this project a failure. What I am trying to do is show how I think through these issues in my own mind. Have I accomplished that in a small way, even if you don't agree with me?

I hope my experiences will demonstrate that it is possible to solve problems without sacrificing liberty by turning to the state. Your own decisions are your choice. If you choose to call me "an idiot" for expressing my opinions, be prepared to give me reasons why, rather than doing a cowardly hit and run (like the earliest comment on yesterday's column, at 11:54 AM). I welcome debate.

I wouldn't write this column if I didn't enjoy doing so. I am not going to change the world or bring about "Libertopia" through these columns. I give up a bit of my own freedom, willingly, in order to write this. My hope is that my writings at least entertain you, and maybe even make you think.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The libertarian solution is always best

Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner: The libertarian solution is always best

Not every problem has a solution, but those that can be solved are best solved by respecting liberty. The libertarian solution is always the best solution possible.

For example:

Immigration: Remove any and all barriers to people moving freely. End ALL welfare of every type for everyone. Replace it with voluntary charity. If you don't want your money to help certain people, don't donate. Remove all "anti-discrimination laws". Let people freely associate, or not, with anyone for any reason. Some people will be jerks, but everyone has someone they would rather not deal with, even if it isn't based upon race. I would rather not do business with anyone who works for government in any capacity. Some people would probably rather not deal with peaceful anarchists like me. It is wrong to force people to give up their freedom of association.

Crime: Remove all "laws" that punish self-defense. Void any "laws" that regulate owning and carrying of weaponry. I don't ever carry "weapons"; I carry tools. They only become weapons if I am attacked, which I have never been. Remove "laws" that encourage aggression, such as drug prohibition. Let the private security forces (which will replace the corrupt and abusive "police") deal with real aggression and theft, rather than wasting time on consensual behavior that the majority disapproves of. Treat "terrorism" as you would treat any act of aggression. The solution is the same.

Economy: An economy can never really be centrally planned. Money can not just be printed out of thin air if it is to hold its value. Let the market self-organize from the bottom up, rather than trying to impose and control it from the top down. Let people choose the currency they trust and want to use. If they want printed IOUs, that is their choice. If they prefer using real money like silver or gold, that should also be their choice.

Environment: No one will, or even can, take care of property they have no stake in as well as they will take care of their own property. Trusting the world's worst despoiler of the natural world, the government, to tell everyone else how to best care for the environment is ridiculous. Let people use their own property however they see fit. Some will destroy what they own. That is the very foundation of ownership. On the whole, people will learn that if they destroy the value of their property, their poor decision will haunt them in loss of value. If they don't care, that is their right. If someone's carelessness harms the property of a neighbor, then restitution will be paid or reputations will be destroyed. In a free world, that will probably be a particularly dire consequence.

There are more examples, of course. And these are not the only possible solutions to be worked out in a free society. Give liberty a chance. Statist control has failed every time it has been tried. Let's stop looking to a failure for our solutions.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We are all terrorists now

Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner: We are all terrorists now

You have a vastly greater chance of being kidnapped or murdered by the government than by "terrorists". So why is terrorism such a big deal to the government? I suspect it is so that you won't notice the truth or be able to assess the real enemy.

Unless you are a starry-eyed supporter of everything the government does, from all its wars of aggression across the globe, to its confiscatory "taxation", and its nanny-state meddling in your own home, you are a "domestic terrorist suspect" whether you realize it or not. This issue didn't start with the pinheads who recently produced the document in Missouri calling "right wing extremists" potential terrorists. It has been going on for years and years, through many administrations of either side of the monolithic political party.

I didn't start out intending to be a "Domestic Terrorist" suspect. I am not "right wing", even if "leftists" call me that when they are wrong on an issue. Neither am I "liberal" even though those on "the right" accuse me of being so when they are wrong on an issue. Being a libertarian, and more precisely, an anarchist, gives me a unique perspective and a chance to be demonized by statists of all types.

Those flag-waving "conservatives" who have never seen a war they didn't enthusiastically cheer, but say the government needs to "secure the borders", and those "progressives" who think every new gun "law" is just wonderful, but who protest those same wars the "conservatives" love, are all on the list now.

I have a relative who, a few years ago, broke his word and caused me a lot of trouble. His reasons kept changing from day to day, but one that he seemed to settle on was that he didn't like that I accept the label of "domestic terrorist". In order to cover for his dishonesty, he told everyone I was not "patriotic" and he wanted nothing to do with me, costing me a lot of money and causing a lot of trouble for me in the process. Yet this "man" would undoubtedly be a "domestic terrorist" to his precious government as well, due to his religious views and his "patriotism". He just doesn't know it yet. Or maybe by now he does.

Don't fret over the label. When government gets bad enough, as the US government has done, everyone who isn't just as bad as they are becomes a "terrorist" and an enemy. It is no reflection on you; it only reflects on the government. After all, if someone claims that "everyone hates me and is out to get me" there is usually a reason, and it usually has nothing to do with "everyone else". Just look at tyrannical regimes of the past and those whom they labeled as terrorists or extremists. It is usually an honorable group with which to be associated. Much more honorable than supporting or working for the state in ANY capacity.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Stop 'protecting' me from freedom

Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner: Stop 'protecting' me from freedom

I prefer wearing a seat belt when I am in a car, but if I didn't want to the state should leave me alone to make my own choices. It is my life. If I refuse to wear a seatbelt and I am horribly injured in an accident, I will not expect my neighbors to pay my medical bills. For that matter, I will not expect that even if I am injured while wearing a seatbelt. NO welfare! That is just common sense.

If I want to go to the store and buy Pseudoephedrine, let me. Don't force the poor clerks to become your proxy-thugs and card me like a criminal. If I use it to manufacture a substance the state doesn't approve of, so what? If I use this unapproved chemical and fry my own brain, don't support me or pay for my care. If I choose to sell it and others choose to buy it, of their own free will, and they fry their brains, same deal. That is the essence of a free market and a free society - you know, like America was supposed to be. Free choice. If, however, I force people to use my product I would be just as guilty of coercion as when the state does the same thing. And I would be subject to restitution and liability for any harm my product causes that is due to false advertising or poor quality control. For that matter, if I am suffering and need to send my 6 year-old daughter down to the corner store for a bottle of heroin, just like people used to be free to do, only a psychotic bully would prevent that voluntary transaction. The War on (some) Drugs is tearing society apart. Enough!

If I want to carry a full-auto AK-47 down the street, as long as I am not aiming at people it is no one's business. Until force is initiated or credibly threatened there is no harm done. People are only afraid of such sights because they have been trained, by self-serving parasites in government, to be afraid. Sure, it would offend anti-freedom advocates. Too bad. There is no right to not be offended. There is a basic human right to use tools of self defense. Only a power-hungry madman or his enablers would try to deny that right. "...Shall not be infringed." Got it?

I am no threat to people who are not attacking me. And neither are 99% of the people you will cross paths with. It is disgusting to let the twisted 1% be the rudder of society. Whether elected, appointed, badged, or free-lance; stop giving the thugs the control they crave. Stop protecting me from myself. I don't need your "help" and neither does anyone else.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Is the ZAP a principle?

Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner: Is the ZAP a principle?

A dear online friend and I have discovered a difference of opinion. She thinks The Zero Aggression Principle is a "value judgment" rather than a "principle", and doesn't think too highly of it in any case.

To bolster her point, she uses Black’s Law Dictionary's definition (copied from her blog): “Principle, A fundamental Truth or Doctrine as of Law. A comprehensive or doctrine which furnishes a basis for legal determination. A Truth or proposition so clear that it cannot be proved or contradicted, unless by a proposition which is still clearer.” Personally, not being a lawyer, I would say the ZAP still qualifies.

I used Dictionary.com to look up "principle" and found this: "an accepted or professed rule of action or conduct". I think the ZAP qualifies. I accept and profess the ZAP as a rule for my action and conduct. It even fits with the other definitions as well: "a fundamental, primary, or general law or truth from which others are derived". I derive a great deal of truth from the ZAP. Such is the difference in a "legal definition" and a regular definition, I suppose.

So moving onto other questions, she says a principle can not vary, while a value judgment varies from person to person. I honestly can't think of a single example of a "principle" that every person on this planet accepts. And I have tried. The only thing I can see concerning "consistency" is that for me personally, the principle that it is not right to initiate force never varies. No matter whether I think it is in my interest at this moment to do so or not. If I go ahead and initiate force I will consider myself in the wrong and will accept my consequences. Someday there may be a situation extreme enough that I will make this choice, but it would still be wrong of me to do.

In fact, I would be so bold as to think that this principle may very well apply equally well in extraterrestrial societies. Would other planets have moralities so different that things that are wrong here would be right there? Probably. Different biologies would call for different moral realities. I can imagine a great many different moral codes, some that would be repellent to just about any human. But try as I might, I can't imagine any society that would think initiating force - attacking others of their own kind - is right. Any society where this is a widespread idea wouldn't survive (not that this proves anything other than the usefulness of the ZAP, of course).

Even among humans we normally see this as wrong for everyone - except for governments in the opinion of statists. This "exception" is a small enough proportion of the actual population that it hasn't doomed us to extinction. Yet. It has just retarded our civilization a great deal; keeping us centuries, or possibly even millennia, behind where we would otherwise be without this millstone slowing the progress of human civilization.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

'National security' is a euphemism

Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner: 'National security' is a euphemism

Those who are overly concerned with security are cowards. Those who obsess over national security, to the detriment of individual liberty, are cowards who are also committing evil.

That is because "national security" is a euphemism for the subjugation of real liberty for the protection of the agents and employees of the state. It is not about making you or me safer in any way. Quite the opposite. The actions that would make us safer are frequently prohibited by "national security" concerns. The state is the natural predator of liberty. It is the devourer of the innocent. To those who care at all about liberty, individuals always matter more than a "nation", since without individuals a nation is nothing.

The only realistic and reasonable approach to universal individual security is a universally armed populace. Anything less is only concerned with protecting the parasitic class- those who produce nothing but "laws" and regulations. This parasitic class is called "the government". "National security" is the polar opposite of real security. It makes no one safer, but instead endangers us all.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pollution and statism are destructive siblings

Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner: Pollution and statism are destructive siblings

There are two actions which I think demonstrate a lack of responsibility more clearly than any others: "soiling your own nest" (littering or polluting) and promoting statism.

In the case of littering or otherwise polluting, you obviously have a right to do anything to your own property that you wish. As long as your filth stays on your own property. If it blows onto another person's property, or in the case of chemicals, gets into the air or groundwater, then you have harmed the other individuals. You have an obligation to make it right.

To carelessly allow your waste to trespass, and do nothing about it, is a sign of a terrible lack of responsibility on your part.

In the same way, statism is allowing your own lack of responsibility to trespass into the lives of other people. Statists leave a wasteland of "laws" and regulations wherever they roam. Instead of taking responsibility for their own lives, and cleaning up their own messes, statists would prefer to make "one-size-fits-all" rules that everyone would be forced to live under, unless the guilty party can bribe the state, of course. It is as if they believe that since they have no self-responsibility, no one else possibly could either.

The two sometimes cross paths. Statists who falsely call themselves "environmentalists" use the state in order to force people to clean up their own mess, yet conveniently overlook the fact that the state is the worst despoiler of the natural world there has ever been. Nothing is less qualified to pass judgment on "pollution" than is government.

Accept your responsibilities to clean up your own messes, whether they be environmental or moral. Don't pollute and don't support the state.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Statism is a successful disease

Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner: Statism is a successful disease

The reason statism has been so much more successful than anarchism (so far) is that statists think it is OK to to kill those who disagree with them. From an evolutionary standpoint, that's a hard strategy to beat, especially in the short-term. Does that make them right? Of course not. I'm a Browncoat: I'd rather be on the losing side than be on the wrong side. But that's just me.

This statist tendency also means that statists happily kill other statists who disagree with them. That's what almost every war in history has been about. Is there a way to use this deplorable but logical lack of morality against them? Maybe.

Anarchists can wait it out. Stay off the radar and let the statists kill one another until the balance is tipped. It won't be easy and some of us will undoubtedly get killed in the crossfire. Those of you smart enough to not make noise about liberty will have an easier time remaining unnoticed than will the loudmouths. While the statists are busy battling among themselves in Iraq, Pakistan, Elbonia, or wherever, start quietly laying the foundations for a real society without them. Encourage secession wherever it is discussed, and for whatever reason. A fragmented monolith is easier to dispose of. Build a freer world and just say "No" to the state. Replace the current failed state with "nothing" when the inevitable occurs.

For more on secession: Stewart Browne at Strike the Root: A New Strategy For Liberty - Part 1: An Open Letter To Ron Paul Supporters and A New Strategy For Liberty - Part 2: Secession in Three Easy Steps

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Evil is an action, not a person

Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner: Evil is an action, not a person

Does "evil" exist? I think so. Are statists evil? No. But their actions often are. To me, "evil" is "actions which harm the innocent (those who do not deserve to be harmed at this moment)". Notice I consider actions to be evil; not people. People can commit evil, but can't BE evil. Unless, perhaps, they honestly do nothing that ameliorates the harm they cause to the innocent they cross paths with. Most of these people have worked for the state during their greatest harm.

This is why I don't consider Bush or Obama to be evil. (But, Dick Cheney and Nancy Pelosi......well...) Bush committed a LOT of evil during his reign, and Obama is trying really hard to out-do Bush's legacy of evil, and will most likely succeed. Each president seems to do a little more evil than the previous president, since the harm is cumulative. Each president builds on the atrocities of his predecessor.

But, getting back to real people: I have never met anyone in real life that I truly considered to be "evil", although some people I have known were pushing the margins. I have also never know any real people who didn't at some point do something that harmed innocent people. Myself included. Such is the trap of thinking of people in terms of good and evil. Judge the actions instead.

A person can have the worst notions or philosophy possible, but if they do not act on it and thereby harm the innocent, they have committed no evil. Most statists who commit evil prefer to send others to do their deeds for them, which also makes them cowards. It means they have violated the ZAP ("No human being has the right, under ANY circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, nor to advocate or delegate its initiation." You can wish for a collectivist society that allows no "opting out", but as long as you don't act on it, or somehow cause it to become real, no one has been harmed and no evil has been committed.

It is my intention to do no more evil.


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Monday, May 18, 2009

"Opposing Views" website


There is a new (I suppose it is new) website called "Opposing Views" that I have added to my list of links. It is not a "libertarian" or anarchist site, but in doing a little surfing I have found it very interesting. You do have to join before commenting, but they provide a nice opportunity for quality commentary (each comment must be approved before it is posted) rather than an onslaught of rude name-calling. That is something I find sort of refreshing. It is also something libertarians are best at.

Anyway, I would like to see a lot more liberty-embracing comments on their site. Join me?

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The government's military is bad for freedom

I feel bad for the people in the government military. This sentiment gets me in trouble with people who think my pity is misplaced or phony. It isn't.

I know some of those in the government's military really think they are doing good. Instead, they are being used as pawns by a government that only cares about them as long as it needs them. They are brainwashed into thinking they are "fighting for our freedom" when they are demonstrably not. Their presence and actions around the world are causing America to be much less safe: they are creating new generations of people who will hate America and be willing to die in order to strike back however they can.

If the people in these other countries would blame the US government, which is the real aggressor, it would be fine, but it is easier to blame American individuals instead (many Americans make the same error). The government officials usually have heavy protection wherever they go, unlike the average American at home or overseas, so guess who is the easier target. Remember that it isn't "terrorism" if it targets a government facility or employee, regardless of the self-serving claims of the statists.

Too many ex-military folk are now going into "law-enforcement" when they get discharged; using their military training and "us vs. them" attitude against Americans in their own towns. Once you work for the state, and advance its agenda with force elsewhere, you have an easier time doing the same against people at home whom the state tells you are also "your enemy". Frequently these "enemies" the state sends them to kill have done nothing against anyone else, but are only asserting their rights to ingest anything they wish, to engage in free trade, or to own and to carry any type of weapon they see fit everywhere they go, in any manner they see fit, without asking permission from anyone. In other words, the exact thing these ex-military folks claimed to be fighting for: freedom.

I expect that if any military supporters read this, they will tear me apart for being "anti-military". I am not "anti-military" since I fully support the militia; I just don't confuse the legitimate military with pawns of the state. Do you?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

What makes a country 'bad'?

Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner: What makes a country 'bad'?

A country is "good" only to the extent that its government leaves you alone. This applies to countries on the other side of the globe as well as any country that claims your home.

People everywhere are about the same. Some good; some bad. The "bad countries" in the world are not bad because of the average person who lives there. The average person in any country is simply trying to live and find a little happiness wherever he can. Just like you and me.

Bad countries just have governments that are more meddlesome than average. The really bad countries' governments are not only meddlesome, but are directly responsible for intentional harm on innocent people; usually beginning with those who live under their rule. Actions that harm the innocent -those who do not deserve to be harmed right at this moment- are "evil".

Then these bad governments expand their evil wherever they can. The justifications may vary; the results never do. Often their targets confuse the actions of this rogue government with the intent of the people who live under it. That is a terrible error. Do you want to be judged by the actions of the US government? Me neither.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Time's Up patch


Over at Days of Our Trailers, Thirdpower has produced some "Time's Up" patches. He sent me some a while back and they are very nice!


He also has a variety of other patches with the "Unorganized Militia Propaganda Corps" theme.

He is promoting them today at the Blogger Bash. Let him know if you want some.

The Constitution is long-dead

Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner: The Constitution is long-dead

I frequently hear otherwise freedom-loving people saying I should respect the US Constitution. Why give it respect it does not deserve? I never agreed to it; I did not sign it; and since I am not employed by the federal government, it was never even meant to apply to me anyway.

I would argue that the Constitution is irrelevant. I agree with Lysander Spooner: "The Constitution has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it". (No Treason- 1870)

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights were this country's highest written law: they outranked all others. Yet, they placed no obligation on you and me, but only on those who would rule. Even the irredeemably corrupt Supreme Court has declared that no one is under any obligation to obey any "law" which is prohibited by these documents. Of course, they will almost never say that a "law" is unconstitutional; especially when it would bring down a whole sector of the government and leave their tyrant-brethren open to consequences. This is why they uphold most victim disarmament "laws" in spite of the clear meaning of "shall not be infringed". And even when they overrule a particular "law" they make sure their ruling can make no real difference for liberty.

The Constitution's only utility at this point is as a yard-stick to show how completely illegal and illegitimate the US fe(de)ral government has become; an occupying force of criminals. This is why those who still bother to write the congresscritters (and other public serpents) must constantly remind these Rulers that they do not even obey their own laws. Government can not be allowed to continue ignoring the laws that apply to them, while insisting that we, "the people", abide by the "laws" they inflict on us.

Government must be reminded and shown that since it operates outside its authority and did not honor the Constitution, then it is no longer upholding its end of the bargain. It was a contract which one party, the government, has seen fit to break. That means "the deal" is over- done- finished. Remind them when they confront you. Or better yet, ignore them and get on with your life. Don't support the tyrants, nor fear them. Obey them only at your whim. And fight back if they attack you. A life of slavery is no life, after all. Patrick Henry was half right: "Give me liberty..." or I'll take a few tyrants with me.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Changing course isn't 'giving in' when you are wrong

Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner: Changing course isn't 'giving in' when you are wrong

Sometimes when the entirely reasonable, logical, ethical, and moral idea of ending the "drug war" is suggested, some people exclaim that to end it would be "giving in". Really?

When traveling, if you discover you have missed your exit, or realize you are driving south when you need to be driving north, do you refuse to turn around so you won't be seen as "giving in"? How far will you continue to travel in the wrong direction? Would you continue "on course" until it killed you or destroyed your family? Well, why would you support a thuggish driver who insists on dragging you along for his death ride?

The drug war is only one example. "Cracking down" on "illegal" immigration and stronger "border control" is another. As is the "War on Terror" and the other problems caused by meddling around the world. Here in America, "gun control" is a serious problem that causes untold harm and mayhem. It is time to admit that government is heading the wrong direction, and force the Rulers to turn around.

Authoritarian "answers" are not the correct solution to any problem, and in most cases only create new problems while exacerbating the original condition.

When you are wrong, changing course isn't "giving in", it is "getting it right".


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Thursday, May 14, 2009

America: occupied by an anti-liberty army

Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner: America: occupied by an anti-liberty army

Will there come a day when people are as disturbed by seeing the image of a cop on a movie screen as they now are at seeing a Nazi goon? Probably. For some of us that day is already here. Before you start invoking "Godwin's Law" remember that Godwin realized there are times when comparisons are appropriate and accurate.

I was in a parking lot a while back; going into a fast-food restaurant. A cop came bursting out the door of a neighboring food place. He stomped authoritatively to his car, rounded the front bumper... and fell. He caught himself on his car before he hit the ground. I couldn't avoid the feeling of justice and amusement that welled up inside me. Would I have had that reaction to the misfortune of an actual helpful individual? Absolutely not. Instead, my reaction was similar to what I feel when I watch Raiders of the Lost Ark and see the Nazis get karmic justice dished out to them near the end.

If you are going down the highway and a cop car pulls in behind you, do you feel safe and protected, or does your heart skip a beat as you check your speedometer? If you have a legitimate complaint against an officer, do you speak up, or do you consider the possibility of retribution by the badged thug and his "brothers"?

Whatever happens, the "conservatives" will have a knee-jerk assumption that you deserve whatever abuse is meted out to you. Remember the case in the news a few months ago where a kid falls off an overpass, and breaks his back. The cops who responded ordered him to get up. He obviously couldn't. So, for disobeying the order of a LEO ("Liberty Eradication Operative") and because he was muttering anti-cop things as he lay there helplessly, the cops taser him. Nineteen times! In the twisted "logic" of a "conservative", the first question is "But what was he doing on the overpass?" Find a way to excuse the authoritarian thug and blame the victim. No matter what the kid was doing on the overpass, the thug's actions were evil: his actions harmed a person who did not deserve to be harmed in that way at that moment. Keep things in perspective here. Was this cop "serving and protecting" or was he being a thug?

This is only one example out of thousands. The police have become the occupying army that the founders of America warned of. They are even becoming more and more militarized every day; in training, in appearance, and in equipment. Enough is enough.

What did the Jews in the concentration camps do to deserve their treatment? After all, they could have left Germany and surrounding regions before the Nazi threat overwhelmed them. Just as the LEO threat is now beginning to overwhelm formerly free America. You have been warned.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The 'soda tax' would just be more theft

Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner: The 'soda tax' would just be more theft

If the mobsters of the federal government get their way and start stealing even more money, every time I buy a Dr Pepper, Mountain Dew, or Coke, with their "soda tax", I see a market niche for unsweetened soft drinks. That's right: no sweeteners whatsoever.

I know where the sugar and Karo syrup are in the grocery store and would be happy to sweeten my own soft-drinks "to taste" in order to avoid "paying" even more money. Money that will be used to finance the further destruction of my liberty. I'd be willing to be I am not the only one.

Are you listening, soft drink manufacturers?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Do rights exist, and what are they?

Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner: Do rights exist, and what are they?


Recent commentary has drifted into the region where the nature and existence of rights comes into question. I have read many compelling assertions that rights, as I and others speak of them, do not really exist.

I agree that insisting that others, especially the state, respect your rights will not get you far. After all, "The Law" has downgraded "rights" into something that can be granted, limited, or taken away: what the more intelligent among us would call "privileges".

But do rights have no existence? I guess it depends upon how you think of it. To my way of thinking, rights exist, but not as a physical object like a stone; not as a measurable force such as gravity. They are a construct of the mind that has evolved along with humans and the human moral sense. But that in itself is a type of existence. Your actions give rights "substance".

I also think that rights are "negative" by nature; they are best described by what you have no right to do. You have no right to initiate force against an unwilling human being. You have no right to take (or control) property that belongs to someone else. Everything is within your rights as long as you don't infringe upon someone else's equal rights to control his own property and self-determination. The list is too long to think of every possibility. This is why almost all "laws" are counterfeit; they try to control non-coercive behavior that is within every person's legitimate rights to engage in.

The "positive rights" that socialists "see" everywhere are exemplified by the imaginary "right to health care", the "right to a 'free' education" and other false "rights" that actually violate other people's rights to not be obligated to take care of you. These "positive rights" always necessitate some form of theft, either of property or of self-determination.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Socialism takes away your choices for your own good?

Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner: Socialism takes away your choices for your own good?

I recently watched a video where a rather whiny speaker was saying how terrible it is to have a lot of choices. He was saying that more choices, beyond some undetermined optimal number, make people less happy. Therefore, he claimed, freedom of choice isn't good.

He also claimed that since some people (those "wealthy", selfish, hardworking Americans, no doubt) have too many choices for true happiness, and other people (noble, enlightened third-world Elbonians, of course) have too few choices to be happy, "redistribution" (socialist-speak for theft-by-government at gun-point) would make everyone all over the world happier.

OK, "Mr. Caring Socialist", what if working fewer hours would make me happier? After all, if I am only going to be "allowed" to keep a percentage of what I spend the limited hours of my only life working for anyway, maybe I will choose to work a LOT less. Maybe everyone would make that choice. There would be no point in doing otherwise. We could spend the extra hours playing in the sand box with our kids. We may not have as much money to send to the less-fortunate Elbonians, but our lives would undoubtedly improve. Unless we don't like our kids much, that is. Of course, it is not within your authority to make that decision for anyone but yourself.

This "shrugging" would place the burden of improving the lives of Elbonians right back on the Elbonians where it has always belonged. Of course, that would not do. Tax rates would have to be raised; penalties for not "contributing" enough would need to be increased. Social engineering must continue unabated.

"Socialism will make you happy by taking away unnecessary choices and removing the burden of too much money"? No thanks, Mr. Socialist. Theft by any other name is still not OK.

For more info: The video I watched is found here. Notice especially the part beginning at 17:20.

Friday, May 08, 2009

The law is illegitimate

The law is illegitimate

The fact that "the law" is different from country to country, state to state, and even city to city shows that "the law" is illegitimate. Right is right and wrong is wrong, and where you are standing at the moment has zero bearing on that fact.

If laws were legitimate, they would be consistent- they would be exactly the same everywhere. Consistency doesn't guarantee legitimacy, of course, since you can be consistently wrong, but inconsistency certainly illustrates the counterfeit nature of most "laws".

The reason the ZAP works

The reason the ZAP works

"No human being has the right, under ANY circumstances, to initiate force
against another human being, nor to advocate or delegate its initiation." - The Zero Aggression Principle

The reason the Zero Aggression Principle (ZAP) works so well in real life is that it only applies to YOU; it is completely individually personal. It is telling you how you can live a free, self-responsible life, without being a coercive threat to everyone around you. It is removing your excuse to pretend you don't know any better.

It isn't telling you how the other person will behave, although you might hope they will act responsibly. It is not dependent upon the actions or cooperation of anyone around you. It doesn't dictate that others act any certain way, or respond to you in any particular way, or even that they respect your rights.

You live by it, and you defend yourself against anyone who violates it. You don't need to convince even one other person to live by the ZAP in order for it to work. That it doesn't depend upon the cooperation of the bad guys is its strength; a strength not shared by any other world-view.

It isn't a pacifist philosophy as those who wish to continue feeling good about being aggressors try to claim; it recognizes the human right to defend yourself against aggression however you see fit. If you don't believe me, try attacking a ZAP adherent.

You can spend your life worrying about what other people are doing wrong, from your point of view. Or you can concern yourself with you doing right, also from your point of view. Are you being consistent in your beliefs and actions? Are you taking responsibility for your actions and accepting the consequences that result? Are you really, or do you simply wish to hold onto cherished notions while ignoring a huge blind spot?

I have never in my own life encountered a situation where the ZAP failed; where it would have been OK to initiate force (attack the other person). There have been instances where my human nature would have liked to have excused such behavior. It would have been wrong anyway.

I have never met a truly consistent authoritarian; whether they claimed to be "liberal" or "conservative", they always have a big "but". Some who claim to be libertarians or anarchists don't live up to their principles either, but that is their individual shortcoming. Their actions are not consistent with the principles they claim to accept.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Libertarian concepts of rights and morality

Libertarian concepts of rights and morality

Yesterday's column has inspired a long discussion of rights and morality in the comments. I suggest you read them to see what lead to this exchange. My answer ended up being longer than most of my columns. I felt that this was important enough to put out front, so here is my answer to "Mike" (some things are not in their original order for clarity- I hope).

Mike- you are really making me think tonight. Thanks!

One thing I suppose I need to explain is that this is my personal morality. This is the morality I will defend and that I will judge others by, but I realize that others, whom I consider to be "of bad character", will have other "moralities". I don't expect anyone else to consider this "universal" although if I am to believe it and live according to it, I myself MUST act as though it is universal. I will explain what I believe, why I believe it, and the actions I will take if someone attacks me in violation of it. In my mind, this attack makes the other person wrong. Obviously others, such as all statists, don't accept this. They have their own inconsistent "moralities" that allow them to justify theft and aggression. I don't think an inconsistent moral code can be taken seriously except by those who are inside it and can't see how ridiculous they are being.


OK, so then why is it species specific when it comes to these things? .....Is a
tomcat immoral when it eats stranger kittens?
The reason I consider rights to be "species specific" is that all life must feed on other life. There is no obligation to any species other than your own. Humans have the capacity to have compassion for other species, but most other species do not. A tomcat that kills another's kittens is not immoral since cats have no sense of morality. He is simply helping to see to it that his genes have a better chance of making it to the next generation, which is as close to a morality as cats have.


How then was Crowley wrong in the Book of the Law-"Do as thou wilt, that shall
be the extent of the Law"(itself stolen, and perverted, from the old
Celtic saying "An' it harm none, do as thou wilt")..?

If the "law" was "Do as thou wilt, that shall be the extent of the Law" there would be no sense in even uttering it, much less writing it down, since that is how bacteria live. Some humans may live that way, but once again, if they initiate force, I will defend myself in accordance with the ZAP.


Why isn't might right? I there some mystical pronouncement, or is there
something different?


"Might" isn't right or wrong. Just as gravity is neither right nor wrong. It can be used wrongly. Initiating force is what is wrong, even if doing so is suicidal. Once again, humans have a moral sense, even if it doesn't always remain consistent. I don't think anyone's moral sense says that "might is right", even if their behavior makes it appear that they believe that. Instead they will try to justify their aggression using some wishy-washy morality of the moment.


...though I must wonder with the scarcity of resources on Earth, how force
cannot have been a fundamental portion of virtually all property-at least at one
time? And since force can be justly used to defend property that was once gained
by force-why not simply project that force?


I don't think force was necessary in all acquisition of property; especially not before humans started bumping into other tribes who were already there. For much of human prehistory, finding another tribe was probably a rare thing, and a cause for trade, sex, and celebration. Until the territories started overlapping too much. I think that is where force- "war"- came into play.

I also am not going to lose sleep over wrongs that occurred long before I was born, between people who are long dead. If that were the case, everyone would probably commit suicide from guilt. Blank slate- from this point on initiate no force; steal from no one. I paid for my car. Did any of the steel in it come from land that was stolen from a rightful owner at some point? I can't know that one way or the other. Did I commit or authorize the theft or approve of it? No.


In that way of thinking, "defending rights" could well mean advancing them
arbitrarily, collectively, or simply individually-engaging in theft. Is there a
way out of this while the increasing scarcity of Earth prevails?


I think everyone knows the difference between "defending rights" and "advancing them"; one is defense, the other, aggression.

If humans find no solution for an "increasing scarcity", nature will solve it for us, probably in a very cruel and horrible way.


In other words, if true peace and freedom is to be in the future, don't humans
need to get off this rock?


Yes, we must. But not only for peace and freedom. For survival in the long term, and possibly even in the short term, yes, we must move off this rock. You know what they say about keeping all your eggs in one basket. Earth is a fragile basket lying in the middle of the interstate and all our eggs, figuratively and literally, are in this basket. To not take action when we can, and know we must, is to guarantee our extinction (sooner than it has to occur). NASA can't keep us all earthbound forever if we refuse to cooperate and keep waiting.

Property rights explained as I see them

Property rights explained as I see them

In a previous column I expressed an opinion that the majority disagreed with: That wherever you go, you take a you-shaped "bubble" of your property rights with you that no one has a right to violate even if they invite you onto their property. I would like to expand on this idea a little.

If I invite others onto my property, I still retain ALL rights to my property. My guests have no right to take, destroy, alter, or even "improve" my property in any way without my express permission. However, my property rights do not extend into their personal property bubble while they are on my property. Similar to the idea of a "force field", they have a "rights shield" at all times. Others can choose between two choices: to respect it, or to violate it.

In the same way that I have no right to dictate what is in my guests' pocket as long as it stays there, I can't declare any of their other rights null and void simply because they accepted my invitation to visit me. I can't declare my property a "rape zone" in other words, where by coming onto my property my guests give "implied consent" to be sexually attacked. Even posting a sign to that effect wouldn't make it my "right". No one ever has a right to violate the rights of another.

Now, as I have said before, just because you have a right doesn't mean you must exercise it. You may have social reasons for not exercising a right at certain times or in certain situations. That is also your right. If you choose to give up your right for a period of time in order to be seen as trying to "get along" or to not make a scene, that is your business. I will NEVER ask you to do that on my account.

People come with certain rights that are not subject to negotiation. Simply because they are human you must assume they possess those rights and are exercising them at any given moment. You must "assume liberty". That means if you wish to invite people onto your property you are assuming that you are inviting real people onto your property with their rights and freedoms fully intact and functional. If you are not willing to do that, then you are not really inviting people onto your property, you are creating slaves.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Authoritarians fear 'them' in order to justify the state

Authoritarians fear 'them' in order to justify the state

I want to address the fear of "them". Just last night I heard a person expressing a fear of a certain group of people, saying how "America will be overtaken by 'them' because 'we' are not having enough children to sustain our society, while 'they' are breeding like rabbits." Then when "they" take over, "America will be destroyed!" (No one can really foretell the future, but it makes for nice fear-mongering.) The truth is "America" was destroyed long ago. The coffin was closed by Abraham Lincoln. The final nail was driven into the coffin by Woodrow Wilson. The coffin was buried in an unmarked grave by FDR. Everything since then has just been "Elvis sightings".

You should understand that in my personal sphere I am surrounded by authoritarians who call themselves "conservatives" (mostly of the devoutly religious stripe), while in the news and "entertainment" media I am constantly barraged by the authoritarians who promulgate the ideals of those who now call themselves "progressives" (rather than "liberals"). What they call themselves only seems to make a difference in the minor details of who they fear; not in their solution to that fear.

In my personal sphere, surrounded by the "conservatives", the "them" to fear or revile is, or has been, Muslims, Mexicans, "blacks", atheists, "drug" users, people whose sexual preferences are "different", or anyone who doesn't worship at the altar of the glorious state. Is there anything more ridiculous? "They" will out breed "us" and overrun the country! (So what? Don't sell your property to anyone unless you want to and it benefits you.) "They" will destroy the moral base of our society! (And you think statism hasn't already done that? With your support and approval, no less!) "They" will ...[insert your greatest fear here]... all those who don't believe like 'they' do! (So shoot back.) Don't shrink in fear; assert and defend your rights. You might just discover "the enemy" isn't who you have been brainwashed to believe it is.

In the "progressive" sphere, which I only see through the mainstream media, I see the feared "them" being variously Christians, gun owners, "capitalists", the self-sufficient, "anthropogenic global climate change" skeptics, or anyone who doesn't worship at the altar of the glorious state. "They" are just one traffic disagreement away from riddling some innocent family full of bullet holes. (Funny how rarely that actually happens when you don't count the career thugs on either side of the badge.) "They" have outdated, rigid, beliefs. (And socialists, no matter what they call themselves, and whose ideas have been thoroughly discredited by history and logic, don't?) "They" only care about profit and ignore the less fortunate! (Balderdash. Without profit there is nothing left over with which to help the less-fortunate. And nothing for the socialists to plunder through "taxation".) Controlling the non-coercive, voluntary behavior of other people is completely without merit and harms innocent people, which is my definition of "evil". The reasons for committing evil acts do not matter.

The fear is the same, and their "solution" is always less freedom and more powerful government. It doesn't matter if it is the socialistic authoritarians of the "left" or the "right" who are wringing their hands and calling for more control. Like the hammer and nail analogy, if you see everything as a threat, you always see preemptive state aggression as the answer. You may just be sowing the seeds of your own destruction through a self-fulfilling prophesy. Those of us who are really no threat to each other may eventually see authoritarians for the threat they actually are. That will be an interesting day.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Libertarians need not fear the future

Libertarians need not fear the future

I got an email from someone who is concerned about roving gangs from the inner cities moving out into the rest of the country after they have taken and destroyed everything in their own little sphere, and who is concerned about "illegal immigrants" preying on rural America. He thinks this is inevitable after "law enforcement" (and the state) completely breaks down. He points out that it is a different world today, compared to during the last depression, and that people are not as helpful or "moral" as they once were. I think his concerns are pretty common.

I thought I would share my slightly edited response.


The problem is that "law enforcement" and "criminals" simply play different
positions on the same team, and both are against you and I. I hold no
illusions that "law enforcement officers" (what I call "Liberty Eradication
Operatives") protect me in any way.

I don't fear gangs of inner city thugs if the state collapses, because as I
see it, the "law" is the only thing that prevents effective self defense against
them now. Remove that layer of "legal protection" and they'd be history in
no time. If even a small percentage of the population refuses to be
intimidated, these thugs will vanish through attrition pretty quickly. A
stack of bodies at your property line will do more to convince thugs to go
elsewhere than fear of some cop eventually catching up to them and arresting
them. Interviews of inmates have shown time after time that they fear
armed "victims" much more than cops or prison.

You've got to remember that the reason inner cities are so bad is that only
the "criminals" have guns, and that conditions are so intensely crowded.
If these gangs spread out after destroying "their" cities, they will be too
diffuse and outnumbered to do anything, it will be like dropping a sugar cube in
a swimming pool... as long as "law enforcement" doesn't continue to protect them
by enforcing disarmament and requiring their victims to die quietly instead of
putting up a hard fight. Even if they travel in big packs they will have
no chance against people protecting their own turf. If it comes down to
it, I will shoot first and deal with any "law" later. And I think a lot of
people probably feel the same. Have you ever visited the "Sipsey Street
Irregulars
" blog?

I don't worry about anyone who forgoes "official permission" for anything,
whether it is moving across imaginary lines on a map or driving their own
vehicle- and I realize this is a very "minority opinion". What I do put my
foot down against is theft and coercion. I don't care where a person was
born or what language they speak, I still insist upon being left alone and
keeping my own property. Immigrants have never stolen anything from me;
government does nothing BUT steal and try to assert ownership over my
life. I consider that an act of war.

I agree that it is a totally different world today, but I don't think all
those changes are bad. I have been welcomed into peoples' homes when they
didn't know me. I have been fed; I have been offered a place to stay...
and I don't look "normal". Technology has also changed the dynamics of
personal relationships. How would I have even been able to "meet" and
"talk to" you without technology? I now have a network of people across
the country that have actually helped me out in past crises. I think there
is still a lot of humanity out there. Don't focus too much on the pockets
of evil. We outnumber them, even when you add in their enablers in
government.

I actually don't want to "go back" to some idyllic past (though it almost
hurts to say that). I would prefer to keep (or return to) the good things
about the past, combine them with the good things in the present, and add the
good things I can imagine for the future.


I sense a lot of fear of "them" from people I know. Depending on the person, and whether they are "liberal" or "conservative", "them" can be other races, "illegal immigrants", Muslims, atheists, Christians, gun owners, southerners, northerners, rural folk, urban people...... the list goes on and on. Libertarians should be able to see through the nonsense, and leave the fear in the dust. We must hang together or we shall surely hang (or be shot, or drugged, "tased", and kidnapped) separately. I will try to address this "fear of THEM" in a later column.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Destruction can be good or bad

Destruction can be good or bad

I dislike senseless destruction, filth, and waste. That is one reason that when I celebrate "Random Acts of Anarchy Day" I usually do so by picking up litter, or by anonymously repairing something. The personality trait that makes me want to go around picking up litter is the same trait that makes me want to rid society of the state: I want to pick up the garbage that others have left behind and make the world a little bit better. I dislike the filth and pollution represented by, and spread by, statism. I realize that statists will continue to pollute society faster than I can clean up after them, and that most people don't yet recognize statism as the negatively destructive force it is. That doesn't mean I am spinning my wheels. After all, maybe I will eventually inspire someone who will make a real difference. Plus, I am far from alone; there are more of us libertarian/anarchists every day.

Of course, I also understand that every act of creativity begins with an act of purposeful destruction. You, or someone before you, must take something apart for the raw materials or constituent parts in order to create something new. The state could be dismantled and a better society, a consistent and rational society, could be built from the debris. There are a lot of intelligent people working for the state. Most could find honest work in a free society if they are willing to give up a life of coercion. There are a lot of guns owned by the military and "law enforcement" that could be better used in the hands of the general population; a population who would aim the guns at the right people - the aggressors and thieves. The day of the gangs (on both sides of the badge) would be over.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Authoritarianism or libertarianism? Choose your philosophy wisely

Authoritarianism or libertarianism? Choose your philosophy wisely

"Political tags-such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist,
liberal, conservative, and so forth-are never basic criteria. The human race
divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who
have no such desire." -- Robert A Heinlein

"Right" or "left". "Liberal" or "conservative". False choices. Just like "cops and criminals"- they simply play different positions on the same team, and if you buy into their rhetoric, you are the one who will lose. It really boils down to statism or libertarianism. Do you want people to be controlled or do you not?

There are so many competing philosophies and world-views out there. All you can do is find the one you think is best and stay with it consistently. As for me: I prefer the only philosophy that says that theft and aggression is wrong all the time. I prefer the philosophy that makes no exceptions for those who wear the silly hat of "government".

If an act would be wrong for me to do, right now, on my own initiative, it is also wrong for agents of the DEA, FBI, BATFEces, SWAT, the military, the IRS, or any of the other organs of the state to do. If an act is really right for those same groups to do with government approval, then the same act is right for me to do on my own with or without government approval. Stop making excuses for evil acts done in the name of the state.

If you want "people" to be controlled, start with yourself. After all, you are the only person you really have any authority to control, and you are the only person who has that authority.