Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"Argument from Apocalypse"

The "argument from apocalypse*" ("AFA") is the term for the beliefs of those who, when faced with the idea of shedding government coercion say some version of "We'll all DIE!!" It is usually expressed as "Everyone will run around raping and killing whoever they want if there is no government there to stop them".

Of course, you and I both know this is ridiculous, but a lot of people claim to believe this apocalyptic scenario.

*This term comes from Stefen Molyneux's Practical Anarchy. Thank you to Puck T. Smith for reminding me where the term came from!

Defending the indefensible

Defending the indefensible

So many times I see political discussions degenerate into factions that love or hate one particular country or another. It is just so much nonsense.

I can't stand any "country" on the face of the globe. They are all just territories delineated on a map, and claimed by thugs who enforce a monopoly on force within their sphere of influence- just disgusting government fictions. I am so tired of people either extolling the virtues of one country, or denigrating the existence of another. They are all founded upon murder... to the very last country on the globe.

The people in each territory are a different story. As long as they attack no "innocents" I have no problem with them, regardless of their religion, personal habits, or opinions. Once they do initiate force, they have declared themselves an enemy to all that is good, and yet their "nationality" is still meaningless.

The same goes for religion. It doesn't matter which religion they blame for their acts, or which government is entangled with which religion. There is right and there is wrong, and your politics and your religion will be judged by how you follow the principles; by how the followers of one government or religion actually behave in real life. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, just as a rotting corpse will be known by its stench.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Covenant of Unanimous Consent

The Covenant of Unanimous Consent

J Nick Puglia -the Western Oregon Libertarian Examiner - recently asked if I have done an article on The Covenant of Unanimous Consent, after I had mentioned it in a previous column. I have not, and it is past time.

The founders of America were human. I think they were more normal than many of their admirers would admit. They were each a mix of good and bad, with each man leaning a little more to one side or the other. The same as we all do.

The problem was that the "good" allowed the "bad" to mix a little poison into the recipe for the Constitution. As Ayn Rand said "In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit.” So, the little bit of evil that was incorporated into the document doomed the whole document to failure and poisoned the entire effort. Any document must avoid this if it is not to be destined for the same fate. No "poison" (coercion/theft/evil) can be added to the mix.

I have said before that the more people anything ("law", rule, government) is supposed to apply to, the less specific it must be. The lowest common denominator must be found. The Covenant of Unanimous Consent follows from the Zero Aggression Principle and is exactly as specific as it must be, but no more specific than it should be. It fills the bill as a very good "social contract".

For a more in-depth dissertation: "Why I think the Covenant is more important than the Constitution" by Dennis Lee Wilson

Monday, September 28, 2009

'Law sewers'

'Law sewers'

I believe that people should be free to choose what kind of society they live in. That means that those who wish to live under a powerful government with "laws" controlling or regulating every aspect of their lives should be allowed to do so. Of course, that also means that those of us who want no form of external government at all should be free to pursue our path as well.

There are no longer any places that are not "legal cesspools". Some localities are worse than others, and some LEOs are worse about enforcing all the "applicable edicts" than others, but no place is any longer immune from the overbearing statism that infects America in these early years of the 21st century.

Just about every place is now drowning under a tsunami of "laws", regulations, licensing requirements, permits, ....and the list goes on. Some people obviously like that kind of an environment.

Different strokes for different folks. I have seen houses that were dirtier than a hog pen, too, where the occupants seemed perfectly content. However, it is wrong to make others live in your filth by polluting their homes as well as your own.

This means that in order to be free of such, freedom-lovers may have to carve a bit of freedom from the grasp of the tyrannies of the world, unless the tyrants, and those who are content to live under tyrants, can be convinced of our resolve to live unmolested.

"Law pollution" is a real problem. If people want a huge load of "laws" controlling every aspect of their lives, there are a couple of peaceful solutions that can be reached. Let them congregate in a few big cities like New York City, Chicago, or Los Angeles. Then let them regulate each other to death if that is what they want. Or, let them just leave the rest of us alone while we live among one another; overlapping societies in the same space.

What this comes down to is "keep your filthy government off my life".


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mapping freedom

Mapping freedom

Freedom is a large, almost infinite, landscape, and to cover it all takes a mighty big map. No single person can explore it all, nor would any one person want to.

"FreedomLand" contains the territories of "Gun Rights", "Medicinal Freedom", "Sexual Enjoyment", "Property Rights", "Religious Freedom", and a multitude of other zones. Some of these zones share borders or overlap with one another. Some are on opposite sides of the map. One person can be at home in many different areas, yet may never have any interest in visiting some zones at all. That is natural and normal.

Your area of interest may overlap the area of another person's interest, but there can be two liberty-lovers whose areas have no overlap at all. It doesn't mean you area at odds, though. Only a person who is not "on the map" at all is against you. You know, someone like Obama, Bush, or just about anyone who works for government at any level. Sometimes even a cretin such as these has a point where their perpendicular philosophy of authoritarianism intersects the map of FreedomLand, because perpendicular planes can, and often do, intersect. That just means that on some particular point, they have the right idea. It doesn't mean they are right anywhere else, or that they are on the side of freedom. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, but that doesn't mean that if you need to know the time you look there first. Neither does it mean that if that stopped clock agrees with your observations you should reject the information you got independently.

So grab your map, get out there, and check out the scenery. You'll like what you discover! To paraphrase a quote: "See Freedom First!"

Saturday, September 26, 2009

News vs philosophizing

News vs philosophizing

Why do I not analyze very many "news" stories in these columns? Because I'd rather help you learn to use the tool between your ears which will allow you to do the analyzing yourself. Plus, the news is just the same old thing, day after day: authoritarians against those they can push around.

Pick just about any news story and you will see the same. The players are interchangeable in most cases. Sometimes it is strong authoritarian types going up against weak authoritarian types, such as in the G-20 protests. Rarely it is people who really understand freedom going against authoritarians in "high places". Often it is just authoritarians attacking or planning an attack against people who have done nothing wrong, but who only want to live their lives unmolested. The rest of the time it is freelance thugs who commit the same acts as their governmental brethren, but without the silly hat of government as a protective talisman.

I could pick apart a particular news item each day, missing hundreds of local, national, or global events in the process, or I can try to help you see how to analyze and weigh the things you run across on your own. I have chosen the latter. There are plenty of extremely capable individuals doing the former. Give them a visit.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Understanding right and wrong is not hard

Understanding right and wrong is not hard

How do we tell "right" from "wrong"? When I ask this I am not talking about choosing the "right" color of car, or what to eat for lunch, where one choice was determined to be "right" and the other "wrong" based upon your mood or values. Rather, I am talking about "good" and "evil".

So, how do you discern between the two? Do you need a God or a religion? Do you need other people to tell you? Do you need a government to decide for you with its "laws"? Is "right" and "wrong" subject to a majority opinion, or a "vote"? Or, is it something that is set in your human genes, only to be altered by trauma, serious brainwashing, or abuse?

"Evil" is any act which harms those who do not deserve to be harmed right now, in other words, it is anything which harms "the innocent". It doesn't change its nature because you wish it would. It doesn't change because you "need" it to change. It doesn't change because your God (or a representative thereof) tells you it has changed in order to get you to commit some act you otherwise wouldn't. It doesn't change because some Ruler has passed a "law".

Every human, other than those who have been mentally or emotionally damaged, understands this concept instinctively. Experimentation and observation even show that some non-human animals have more of an understanding of "right" and "wrong" than has usually been suspected. In humans who have had this basic wiring altered, where does the damage which short-circuits this understanding come from? It can be from a physical or chemical problem with the brain, but it is usually the result of manipulation by an authority or "collective" which depends on confusing this natural human understanding. Religions and states are the two biggest offenders, but even individuals can be guilty of this. Sometimes it is decided by an individual who thinks it will "help" him to hurt others for some reason. In the short-term, it can "work". But it is still wrong.

I am quite certain you understand the difference between the two, even if you pretend you don't in order to get away with something without thinking badly of yourself.

Libertarianism, anarchism, or whatever you want to call the philosophy of liberty, flows logically from the acceptance of this simple understanding of the differences between "right" and "wrong". It really isn't that difficult to understand, unless you try really hard to miss the point. If that is the case, you might want to ask yourself "why?"

Misunderstanding the revolution

Misunderstanding the revolution

Once again a racist has made some rather self-incriminating statements and has illustrated his lack of understanding and lack of principles all at the same time.

From the Twin Cities Daily Planet comes this "gem" from Ralph Remington (he possesses a proud firearm name, at least). He doesn't understand what is happening in the world around him, and is blaming others. So let me educate him.

First of all, Mr. Remington is a racist. His capitalizations in the piece illustrate the importance he places upon "race", as does his mindset. He claims the opposition to Obama's socialist agenda is based upon only the president's "race". If that were the case, freedom advocates such as myself would have been saying nothing during Bush the Second's ill-conceived reign. We were not silent; Mr. Remington was just not listening. Only a racist could decry justified opposition to Obama's agenda because of "sympathy" for, or identification with, Obama's "race".

If the Black Panther incident he mentions from May 2, 1967, happened just as he relates, given the opportunity I would be right there to support the absolute right of those activists to own and to carry their arms wherever they wish, as long as they do not initiate force, and I loudly condemn the rights-violations by the police who responded, and Reagan's self-serving reaction of passing the "laws" against open carry in California. Despicable authoritarian statists of every stripe often react badly to people exercising fundamental human rights.

Also, Mr. Remington, you must be willingly ignoring the race of the most "famous" open-carrier who was made such a big deal of in the mainstream media recently: the video shown by MSNBC was "creatively" edited to hide the race of the man with the AR-15 at Obama's Arizona appearance. But, we should be used to this sort of dishonesty from the mainstream media by now, shouldn't we?

Then he claims the demonstrators are "misquoting Thomas Jefferson to justify a call to arms". Really? Read beyond the one, feared, quote to the whole body of Jefferson's writings. Jefferson believed that tyrants needed to be killed, every time they came to power, and he recognized that freedom-lovers would die in the unpleasantness as well, in order to "water the tree of liberty". There is no "misquoting" going on, and the only misunderstanding comes from those who hate freedom and side with the tyrants. People like Mr. Remington, apparently.

Jefferson and many of the other founders of America were much less polite about saying what needed to happen to those who violated the basic human rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" than most modern demonstrators and freedom advocates. Most of us are cowards compared to them. Jefferson and his ilk would have been saying exactly what they were thinking and taking whatever consequences came their way. Of course, there was no ironically misnamed "PATRIOT act" back then to be used to protect tyrants from justice.

If there IS the racial "subtext" that Mr. Remington hungers for, it is not coming from the REAL freedom advocates, but from a few of the disgruntled Republicans who are simply riding on the coat tails of the freedom lovers. They are not the ones tyrants really need to fear, though, since they are fine with tyranny as long as it is "their guy" doing the tyrannizing.

Those of us who matter don't care about a person's race, we care about his or her actions. We care about freedom. We are not "conservative", or "racist". A large number of us are LGBT, "Black", Hispanic, female, Asian, Native, or members of any other "group" that Mr. Remington falsely believes are on his side: you know, the side that believes it is OK to steal and murder as long as you wear the silly hat of "government", and do it for "health care" or some other disgusting collectivist program.

Guess what. It is not OK. We know it, and we will educate you if you lack the principles to figure it out for yourself. All of your favorite government programs, Mr. Remington, including the "Civil Rights Department" you keep mentioning, are based upon your erroneous belief that the government can ethically steal money from its rightful owners (the people who earned it) and then use that money to force people into living as the "majority", using government, desires, through force and threats of force. Your "government" always comes down, at its very foundation, to murder, Mr. Remington.

Like so many, you try to justify Obama by contrasting him to Bush. Bush was evil, was an international and domestic bully, and a traitor to the cause of freedom. He was no friend to gun owners, and was only a "gun-toting cowboy" in the way that certain crooked "lawmen" in the old west were. They could tote the guns, but everyone else was forbidden. Your "rational, and even-tempered president" is of the exact same type. He is another collectivist authoritarian. He is a life-long enemy of gun owners and free people everywhere. Just like Bush. Why, Mr. Remington, do you refuse to see and accept the truth? Why do you lie for Obama?

Guess what. I am fine with people "wearing Islamic attire" carrying, not just weapons, but fully automatic rifles, to town meetings or anywhere else, as long as they don't initiate force. I would happily do the same. It is the only way to keep government honest. Once again your racism is exposed, Mr. Remington.

You might be surprised to find that your "friends and family - White, Black, Asian, Latino, Native and LGBT", are not all as stupid and anti-freedom as you assume they are. Some of them are probably the very people you would fear and hate, if you bothered to get to know them.

Nevertheless, Mr. Remington, if revolution comes and you are there on your porch "with guns in the air and a beret on [your] head" (might I suggest a safer direction in which to point your guns? Perhaps at the actual aggressors?), I will support, and if possible defend, your right to protect your life, liberty, and property- to my death. Where do you get the authority to attempt to deny me the same freedom? I suspect you will be watching the wrong people while the real enemies of your life, liberty, property, and pursuit of happiness get you from behind. It isn't those you rail against who would deny you your freedom, after all.

Tip of the old sombrero to War on Guns for bringing this to my attention.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What does the state know about you?

What does the state know about you?

Don't assume the cops don't know things about you just because you are quiet and peaceable.

About ten years ago, around half-past dusk, in an average town in a nearby state, I was riding in the passenger seat while my wife-at-the-time drove. Pulling a particularly blatant act of poor driving in the middle of town, she made a left turn and cut off an approaching cop. She seemed completely clueless when I mentioned this error. Unsurprisingly the LEO in question made a turn, followed, and stopped her.

As he did the "your papers, please" shakedown on her, he bent over to get a better look at her passenger- me. He shined his flashlight in my face for a moment and uttered words that still echo in my mind to this day. He said "You are that guy with all the guns." I am not certain now if he actually added something to the effect of "we better keep an eye on you" or if my memory has added that in the years since, yet I feel it was implied, if not stated. I never said a word during the encounter.

The surprising thing is that I doubt I had more guns than the average person in the area. I did usually open-carry around town, and I dressed "uniquely", yet I had never been involved in any "incident" of any kind. I was quiet and reserved, and never made waves. I didn't yet spend my time writing, and didn't even have an email address, much less a computer. I hadn't bought any guns since I had moved to town (as far as anyone in government knew, anyway). I was still months away from being surrounded by the police due to a lack of communication at the elementary school. Yet, he recognized me as "that guy with all the guns".

Was he joking? Did he know something about me that I still don't know how he knew? Either way, it was a moment of paranoia made real for me. How would this event have turned out in today's "Tazer first, ask questions if he survives" police-state? Regardless of the intent behind the comment, it was just another brick in the wall that made me the delightful anarchist you see before you today.

What is in your "permanent record"?


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cops see what they are trained to see

Cops see what they are trained to see

What is the particular "crime wave" sweeping through your community these days? I'll bet it is whatever your local LEOs have had "special training" to combat. I'll also bet that the "crime wave" really exploded after their training was completed.

Cops find what they are trained to find. They also frequently "see" what isn't really there. "If your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." If the local cops have undergone special training to catch "drunk drivers", SURPRISE! Suddenly every driver they run across is "drunk", and anyone they stop will be "tested" and harassed until they fail. (I've watched it happen with my own eyes, so don't claim it doesn't.) Or, they'll just be raped for their own good. If cops have gone to special training to find "child pornography", then suddenly everyone whom the cops wish to "get" for some reason is found to have "kiddie porn" on their computer. Coincidence? I doubt it.

I have a knack for seeing bones alongside the road, because I want to find them. Yet I have more false hits than real ones. The only downside of a false hit for me is a few wasted minutes while I check for an addition to my skull collection, and only find shattered aged PVC pipe or light-colored rocks. I think cops are the same way, yet their false hits destroy lives. Even a suspicion is enough to destroy someone no matter whether they are guilty or not.

I think it is time to train cops to see rights violations by individuals and by government and make it their job to stop those instead of instigating them. Better yet, consider "police" a 160-odd year failed experiment and send them home to find honest jobs.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Why were YOU not paying attention?

Why were YOU not paying attention?

There is a pathetic tactic I have seen used time after time against those of us who value freedom. It almost seems as though those who pull it out of their hats (?) are following a script. It happens nearly anytime we freedom advocates say anything against one or another of the latest government schemes enacted or enhanced since Obama was coronated.

When those of us who are unimpressed by the latest socialist voter-bribing scheme speak out in opposition, we are usually treated to this gem: "Why weren't you speaking out like this while Bush was president?" Faced with that absurd question, all I can think of is "Why weren't you paying attention while I was speaking out against Bush's despicable acts while he was president?"

I'll tell you why the socialists didn't hear or notice: because they could only hear the chorus of their own gums flapping. If everyone is singing in harmony, you only hear that note which is discordant. Now that they are the ones busily singing their consent they can notice the notes of opposition. And they don't like it. They wrongly assume that anyone who dislikes Obama now must have been singing Bush's praises during his reign. That is a faulty assumption, and in my case couldn't be further from the truth.

Remember this, statists of whatever kind- Those of us who value individuals and their freedom don't change our minds just because the current POTUS changes. A difference which makes no difference is no different. Don't assume that we are like you. We have principles.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

"You're WHAT?!?" Eek-Yay?

I just found out I am going to be a grandfather in an uncertain number of months... less than 9, though.

Am I not too young? I don't feel grandfatherly. I have a 2-year-old daughter. Of course, my older daughter lives 700 miles away and neither of us has the finances (or reliable transportation) to be traveling back and forth. But, really. I'm sort of in shock.

Unreasonable demands on freedom

Unreasonable demands on freedom

People place demands and conditions on freedom that they never consider placing on its opposite: government. Some want to hear a detailed explanation of how they could easily handle every possible situation that might come up in their life, no matter how unlikely, before they will accept that freedom in their own life would be possible.

This is bizarre behavior. Under the current statism there are unexpected events happening every day. How can anyone really think that depending on the state keeps unexpected situations from occurring, or protects them when they do happen? Can they not solve anything on their own- do they need someone else to direct their every action? No. They handle most things just fine with no government guidance, they are just afraid of losing the "big daddy" who stands behind them. They are delusional to think he stands behind them as a protector. That isn't "daddy", that is an obtrusive, abusive, kidnapper who only claims to be a father.

No freedom advocate claims that freedom is perfect or that it will lead to Utopia. Of course, history and current events keep showing that statism is far from perfect and leads inevitably to tyranny and genocide, so I don't quite get the point of the objections.

I realize that there is a comfort in the status quo that isn't present when new territory is entered. Most people are willing to put up with a monster they know rather than step into the unknown. That is understandable, but if you block the path for those who are not so fearful you may discover that some people are willing to risk a lot, and push back, for freedom. It really is that important.

For some great reading: Visit the "Stand Up For America" blog and read this guest commentary by Warren “Bones” Bonesteel– The Rise of Extremism. Good stuff.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Want a constitution? Go for it.

Want a constitution? Go for it.

I have no problem with a group of people writing a contract, or "constitution", which establishes how they will run their own society. That is just a form of self-determination.

However, I have a big problem with them deciding that their contract will apply to people who don't agree to it, and even to those who are not yet born. In other words, coercively forcing people to become part of their society regardless of their wishes. This is a violation of self-determination.

I no more agreed to live under a government established by the US Constitution than I agreed to live under a government established by any other people, anywhere else on Earth, at any other time in history. It matters not where I happen to have been born, where I live, or what year this may be. And it is absolutely wrong for anyone to demand otherwise.

I have signed the one "contract" I agree to live by.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Conservatives, lend me an ear- and an open mind

Conservatives, lend me an ear- and an open mind

Pardon me for a moment while I speak privately to "conservatives".

It is just a fact of nature; you reap what you sow (unless you are a hunter/gatherer or a crop thief).

This current administration is exactly what your support of government will always lead to: an imperial presidency, an arrogant run-away Congress, and an activist Supreme Court that will each do whatever they can get away with while they grind individuals and freedom in the gears of "the system". In other words: tyranny. It is time for you to admit your complicity and ditch your support for the half of government that you like so you can help the freedom-lovers get rid of the half of government you don't like. In other words it is time to accept responsibility for your part in what is happening and change your misguided ways.

A great many "conservatives", and some "libertarians", have made the US Constitution their god (or co-god, anyway). Even the ones who will admit that the current situation is an unholy mess seem to think "The Constitution is sacred, but here's how we can make it REALLY work this time".

Of course, the Constitution isn't the only thing people get overly reverent about. When people dwell too much on glorifying "The United States of America" it sets off my alarms, too. Individuals are more important than any collective. I understand why you want to feel special, but I think you are looking in the wrong place. Conservatives (and everyone else) need to look inside themselves, and not to a landmass or a government. I have often tried to get people to realize that "The United States" is merely the government; "America" is the land and the people. No government is worthy of respect, since they are all based upon theft and coercion.

I love America because I love the natural beauty and I love my family and friends who live here. I do not love the government that infests and infects America. If I had been born anywhere else in the Universe I think I would feel exactly the same about my local surroundings. That is just human nature. It is great to feel good about where you live, but it isn't good to then hate others because of where they live. It certainly isn't honest to judge people by the government that pretends to rule over them.

It is time for conservatives to accept that their support of the "conservative" socialist programs- like "national borders", the war on (some) drugs, and being "tough on crime"- only leads to more of the things they don't like, such as "gun control", high taxes, and a government that violates the Constitution. In case you wonder how your support causes unconstitutional government, it is because in order to give the "conservatives" what they want, government HAS to violate the Constitution because most of the things "conservatives" want are illegal (according to the Constitution) as well as being immoral and unethical.

I guess what I am saying is you are obviously free to continue on the path you have chosen, but you should know full-well exactly what it is you are supporting. Don't be shocked when free people, who stand beside you on some very important issues, abandon you to the wolves when you choose the side of tyranny on other, equally important, issues.

It's a conspiracy!

When two or more people secretly plot to carry out a plan, you have a "conspiracy". Even the state passes "laws" against such things, and surely they wouldn't bother if conspiracies were never real. Ahem. Anyway....

No real historian would deny that conspiracies have happened in the past. The history books are filled with examples. You can even find many examples of people in foreign governments being participants in conspiracies.

So, really, the only objection that "rational people" can make against current conspiracy theories is that they simply can't accept that people who are involved in the US government could also be a part of a conspiracy. This is unrealistic and delusional.

'To serve and protect' or 'to control and intimidate'?

'To serve and protect' or 'to control and intimidate'?

If you see a guy walking along the highway, and you witness a cop car make a U-turn and pull up to him, which scenario do you expect to play out? Do you expect that the cop is asking the guy if he needs help, in other words seeking "to serve and protect" him, or do you expect that the cop is looking for an excuse to harass or "arrest" (kidnap) the guy?

If you are driving down the highway and a cop car pulls in behind you, do you feel safe, or does your heart skip a beat as you check your speedometer? Do you recognize a friend or a potentially lethal predator in your rear-view mirror?

If you are walking in town and a cop suddenly stops to speak to you, do you think he is looking out for you, or do you feel endangered? Do you understand that your justifiable apprehension can be used as an excuse for the cop to assault you at his whim?

I know which result or feeling is much more likely. My thoughts are not due to knee-jerk prejudice against LEOs, it is the result of years of rational observations. If you are paying attention, you will know that the police have become the standing army that the founders of America were concerned about. An army that is armed with weaponry illegally forbidden to you, and which your money is stolen in order to buy to be used against you. And now, that standing army is prepared to "legally" attack you with lethal violence for their masters in government. They are equipped with electric torture devices which they use more frequently with each passing day. They are preparing to "legally" rape you, stab you, and kill you if you resist. In this instance, resistance is completely ethical and justifiable, but the state will never admit it. You are on your own.

The police are your enemy- unless and until they stand up and refuse, unequivocally, to participate in any more violations against peaceable people, no matter what their bureaucratic masters demand. No excuses. The lines are drawn between the people and the state. Recent events are forcing people to choose sides.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Driving is a right, not a privilege

Driving is a right, not a privilege

It's hard to take back the freedom to exercise a right once it has been violated by government. The longer society has allowed the violation to continue, the harder it is to break through the brainwashing and correct the situation. Like driving a car. The lying liars in government have made most people accept that "driving is a privilege". It is most assuredly not.

The LEOs and their handlers are the worst about trying to pass off this lie. Of course they want you to believe the lie; that is where they steal most of their money and assert the most draconian control. If those in government can license you and register your vehicle, they can keep you from traveling when they decide it is not in their best interest. They have built a "Berlin Wall" around each of us while we applauded them.

Many otherwise rational people have bought into the lie, often parroting the state's line for them. This most often comes in the form of "Driving isn't a right, like gun ownership is". Both are absolute human rights, as is anything else that doesn't violate the equal rights of other people. Don't assist the state in its deceit, but point out the fallacy every time it is uttered.

Travel, by car, is not a luxury for most of us. It is a necessity. Because of the state's monopoly over the roads, we who travel have no choice but to use roads the state "maintains" and controls. A choice made while looking down the barrel of a gun is not freely entered into; it is not a binding agreement. The state thugs claim that your acceptance of a "driver's license" indicates you have agreed to be subject to anything they wish to do to you while you travel. So be it. That means it is time to stop submitting to the license, doesn't it.

This shows that anytime government tries to convince you to accept any limitation on any right, even the most "reasonable" limitation, they are doing it in order to harm you. They will use their newfound authority to control you, steal from you, harass you, and even kill you. Don't give an inch. Not one more. In fact, it is long past time to start regaining lost ground and start telling the aggressors of the state where to go.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Using government to your 'benefit'

Using government to your 'benefit'

Would it be possible to solve or prevent a problem using government? Of course. You would need to call theft "taxation" and kidnapping "arrest" in order to hide the reality of your action.

In some cases, it would require you to call rape a "blood test". It doesn't make it right, though. The end does not justify the means IF you have principles.

Look at this in a slightly different way. If a certain apartment building in town has a high population of freelance thugs, or peaceful people who do governmentally-unapproved things, you could trap everyone inside and burn it to the ground in order to reduce the local "crime rate". (That reminds me of the exact same action, with a different string of excuses, committed by unbelievably evil people.) You would need to call the arson and all your murders some other dishonest name in order to avoid the reality of what you have done. Or, say you want your neighbor's wife... you could kill him so she would be free to be with you. Still evil, but your problem is "solved", right?

Well, using government to get what you want is the same sort of unethical act. It is wrong. You can't ever do real good by using evil means. That includes reducing "drunk driving deaths", "drug" use, child pornography, "illegal immigration", or whatever the statist cause of the day happens to be.

That is why, no matter that others think it would "help" me, I won't use government. The cost is too high.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Crime- The Definition

Crime is generally considered to be the violation of someone else. Either their life, liberty, or property.

There is also "victimless crime", which can't actually be a crime. This is mainly what The State seeks to control and punish.

"Crime" is just anything the government doesn't approve of. It could be right or wrong, or even morally and ethically neutral. Many hideously evil acts are not "crimes" if they are committed by government agents, and many truly good things are "crimes" just because the government says so. 

The State commits actual crime, while pretending it doesn't, and punishes "crime" while pretending it is protecting "society".


Sunday, September 13, 2009

States authorize violent penetration by LEOs

States authorize violent penetration by LEOs

The war on unmolested travel has reached a new, dangerous, low. No longer must you only be concerned about the states' highwaymen simply robbing you as a part of their officially authorized job, but now they can "legally" penetrate your body with a foreign object. That is rape. It is also a stabbing.

Remember, rape is not about "sex", but about domination and humiliation. It doesn't matter whether or not the rapist gets sexual gratification from his act. The only thing that matters is that the victim is being harmed. This is a humiliating act of bodily penetration by someone who sees themselves as dominant. Such an act can never be right or good, and is never justifiable for any reason. Not "safety", and certainly not "the common good". I can't understand how anyone could consider this a reasonable act. Rapists need to be resisted, and decisively stopped no matter where they are encountered or who they are working for.

I say again: Forced blood theft by LEOs is rape. This matter is a definitive line-in-the-sand. No free person with an ounce of dignity would ever comply or submit to such an abuse as long as they were humanly able to resist, nor would any honorable person ever criticize anyone who fights back against such abuse. This needs to be stated loudly and clearly by every good person in America: "You attempt to rape me or anyone in my family at your own risk." Make no mistake: resistance will result in you being electrocuted or killed. At the very least, for refusing to submit, the state will forbid you to drive your own vehicle anymore. They are still wrong.

Courts have declared such rapes to be "legal". So what. "Legal" has nothing to do with it, since that term merely means "governmentally approved". Many things that are evil are "legal", and many that are good or neutral are "illegal". That a coercive collective which enforces a monopoly on force declares that it approves of an act shouldn't matter one tiny bit to you or me. Especially when it is approving an act that serves to advance its own power and control. If the "laws" permit this, the "laws" are wrong and need to be changed to reflect reality, or the "laws" need to be broken by those who are told to enforce them, and resisted by those subjected to them.

If you are a cop there comes a time where you can go along with department policy or you can choose to do the right thing and refuse to be a part of the growing cancer. This is that time. Will you don your brown shirt and go goose-stepping off the cliff of tyranny, or will you "grow a pair" and say "Not on my watch!"? Consider your answer carefully. One choice is right; the other is wrong.

If a person is obviously not able to control his vehicle for any reason and is a real threat to the innocent, I support the self-defensive act of helping get him off the road. If a person harms others with his vehicle, for any reason, hold him responsible. Anyone who causes any harm needs to accept the consequences of his actions, whether he is a drunk driver, a LEO, or both.

I am sorry that some innocent people have died due to drunk drivers. That is still no reason to set up road blocks nor to advocate the violent attacking of travelers because some LEO either suspects the person may have some alcohol in their blood, or because some LEO is a perverted predator who gets his jollies from hurting people. The "laws" are only making the problem worse and making the real drunk drivers more dangerous. And this will keep happening until we plainly and unequivocally say "Enough!"

Well, I have said it.


Silver Dubloon Update - Updated 9-13-2009

(click on picture to see it larger)

Read the updates at the bottom...
I have decided to try to go ahead and have the "Silver Dubloons" made. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, read this and this first.) -Please read the comments below for an explanation of "dubloon" vs "doubloon".

Now it is up to you. Above is the picture of what they will look like. Tell me how many you want (they are $25.00 - or an ounce of .999 fine silver- each). I need to have commitments for close to 500 of them before I can take the next step, which will be to ask those who have committed to coins to go ahead and pay for them. I will then send the payment in and have them minted. It will then take a few weeks for the coins to be minted, and for them to be shipped to me, and for me to send them on to you.

So, if you are interested, please email me at and tell me how many you want, along with your contact information.
Added 5-4: This is coming along nicely, but has slowed down in the past couple of days. If you know anyone else who might be interested, or if you belong to a forum where people might like this, please help me spread the word. The faster I can collect all the pre-orders, the sooner I can have them minted.
Added 5-16-2009: You may notice I had to raise the price to $25. This is due to the current price of silver. If you previously pre-ordered at the lower price, your price is safe. New orders will be reserved at the new price unless silver prices come down, then you will get a lower price. The price you agree to may come down, but it will not go up. I am not in this to make money right at first, but I am also not in this to LOSE money. I hope everyone will understand.
Added 9-13-2009: Until and unless I can just afford to have these minted, and then sell them afterwards, I am guessing it won't happen. Pre-selling didn't work (although I sincerely thank those of you who did pre-order), plus I had bad timing since silver prices started up as soon as I started trying to promote this. I won't give up the idea. If anyone wants to invest a sizable sum to get these minted, let me know. It would take over $10,000 to do, depending on current silver prices.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

One of the good guys

One of the good guys

In the comments on yesterday's column, a reader asked who and where "the good guys" are. That's a fair question. Therefore I present one for you today.

I'm sure most of you have heard of Larken Rose. Those who deny that taxation is theft don't like him much. That wouldn't be me, however. Everything I have ever run across that he wrote or said, I find very inspiring. He dares to speak uncomfortable (for some) truths without apologizing. I admire him for a lot of things; not the least of which is that his mere existence exposes the "tyranny deniers" for what they really are by their opposition to his opinions.

This speech (transcript here), which he gave on July 4, 2009, is typical "Larken". Here is the first of the 3 parts (less than 30 minutes total- watch it all): link


Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11- Governments lie

9/11- Governments lie

This is one of those subjects that I expect to be criticized for even mentioning. Almost everyone seems to call anyone who doesn't completely agree with them on this topic all kinds of nasty names. Maybe no one will read this and I'll avoid the usual fate.

There are a lot of conspiracy theories concerning the events of September 11, 2001. Regardless of what those on both sides say, you and I will never know the absolute truth of exactly what happened on those planes or in the destroyed buildings- or anywhere else we weren't. Never. Not unless time travel becomes possible (don't hold your breath) and you can personally go watch the events for yourself with no interference. And even then, how could you ever be sure that people with their own time machine and an agenda haven't meddled before you got there? Enough with the fantasy scenario.

The fact that so many people doubt the government version of events shows that a lot of people recognize the simple fact that government employees will lie to protect the status quo, or to advance the cause of a more powerful government- every time they get the opportunity. Governments always lie to the boss. As an aside- That "boss" would be anyone in the country who is not a politician or a bureaucrat. The most pitiful and hopeless homeless guy sleeping off a drinking binge under the bridge outranks any congresscritter or president that has ever existed. Everyone who works for government should be reminded of that fact of life at every opportunity. Now, back to the point.....

At a bare minimum it is true that without the US government's meddling and bullying, the attacks of "9/11" would never have occurred. How much farther the guilt goes is forever lost to the past, and will forever be subject to speculation and fraud. But I hope people never stop digging.

Whether there is any truth to the "9/11 Truth" movement or not, it is absolutely essential to freedom to suspect government of complicity in everything that could possibly be its fault. You must know, if you are paying attention, that governments lie. If you have a known pathological liar in your life, it is healthier to distrust every word he utters, until verified by you, than it is to take his words at face value. He may be telling the truth occasionally, but you can't take the chance. So it is with government. Government is a lying axe-murderer with rabies in your bed. Trust it at your own peril.

On a different note: Speaking of "Angry freedom-lovers".... from the War on Guns blog comes news of this "libertarian punk/industrial band"- Right Arm of Wyoming. Not exactly my type of ear candy, but maybe yours. Of course, I don't know that they are really angry, but it sort of sounds like it. Support the good guys out there.

Angry freedom-lovers

Angry freedom-lovers

I was wrong. I have learned that more liberty advocates than I had suspected are indeed angry. I do not claim that the anger is not justified; obviously, in the current US police state, it most certainly is. I think anger, in my own life, is normally counterproductive, but perhaps that is an indication that I can't handle anger as well as some others can.

This isn't to say there are no situations where anger, if channeled, could be useful. Let's pretend for a moment that I am a freelance thug who has foolishly targeted MamaLiberty. If I am an imminent threat to her life or property, a burst of anger on her part, as she draws her gun, could shock me enough to make me back off and leave her alone. As long as her anger didn't trigger a reciprocal blind anger in me that could be the end of it. If I persist, I expect she would just shoot me. As well she should.

On the other hand, in an encounter with a state thug, I would not expect anger to be very helpful- unless your goal is to simply survive the encounter now, and deal later with the legions of state thugs that will be sent to punish you for your lack of grovelling "slave-itude".

If I become angered during online discussions and conversations I often delay responding until my anger has cooled. It isn't always easy, but it always results in a better response. It is rare for me to get really angry over online nonsense and name-calling, though. I am more likely to just stop paying attention to someone I feel has decided to try to make me mad instead of engaging me in debate. I figure they are acting this way because they know they have lost.

My personal observation is that when I encounter an angry person, online or in person, I never change my mind about my opinion (or theirs) due to their anger, and I tend to discount anything else they say. I am likely to see them as a lunatic who can't be reasoned with, and write them off. There are not enough of us working for freedom as it is. Let's not drive away potential allies if it can be avoided.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Will it make a difference if a city resolves to support the Constitution?

Will it make a difference if a city resolves to support the Constitution?

As most of you know, I am not actually local to Albuquerque. In fact, I live over 200 miles away. The closest city is Clovis, New Mexico; there I have been informed of an interesting event. A former mayor of Clovis, David Lansford, has given notice of a resolution he intends to introduce tonight.

This is one of those cases where I am willing to work with some who may have a slightly different view of "freedom" than do I. At least until we must part ways.

The press release says:

Dear American,

Thank you for taking the time to read this email!!!!

If you are like me, you know in your heart that something is very wrong in Our Land.
You probably sense that something needs to happen that will alleviate these
feelings and restore our optimism.

The Clovis City Commission will meet this Thursday night at 5:15 PM at the North Annex of the Clovis-Carver Library.

On the agenda for consideration is a resolution supporting the Constitution of
The United States of America. Mayor Pro-tem Randy Crowder has agreed to
introduce and support the Resolution.

It is anticipated that the meeting will not last very long (30 minutes), so please attend if you agree with the Resolution and want to make a difference.

A copy of the Resolution is attached to this email.

With Sincere Patriotism,
David Lansford

PS. Please forward this to all of your

The resolution is as follows:


WHEREAS: American history is marked by countless acts of selfless human sacrifice and service to others in the fight for individual liberty and justice for all people and,

WHEREAS: The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America are the most treasured and revered documents of the United States of America and must be preserved and protected by all present and future generations of Freedom Loving Americans and,

WHEREAS: The leadership in Washington, DC must never consider or adopt any law or regulation which could change, adulterate or subordinate the fundamental precepts and principles found in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America and,

WHEREAS: Currently under consideration by the United States Congress is
legislation that would through regulation, taxation or restriction alter the
fundamental rights found in the First and Second Amendments to the Constitution
of the United States of America and,

WHEREAS: The First and Second Amendments to the Constitution are the tools given to the American people to use in order to protect themselves from an abusive and oppressive government and,

WHEREAS: It has now become necessary for Freedom Loving Americans along with their local and state leaders to passionately and patriotically request that our Federal Government cease and desist from any effort to reduce or regulate our rights
which are defended by the Constitution of the United States of America

Now therefore be it resolved that the Clovis, New Mexico City Commission
wholeheartedly embraces the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights
and unequivocally supports The Constitution of the United States of America

Be it further resolved: That the Clovis City Commission
emphatically and most specifically supports the First and Second Amendments, and
urge all federally elected officials to cease and desist from any effort to
reduce or regulate any rights expressed or written in the Constitution of the
United States.

That sounds reasonable, (ignoring some of the silly buzz-words). Would the city change policy and stop violating those rights, too; would they demand that the state of New Mexico follow suit, or do they only care if the US government is the violator? As I wrote to the person who sent me this, I would really like to see the Clovis police and their handlers prohibited from violating the First and Second Amendments. However, I'd like to see them respecting the rest of the Bill of Rights as well, such as ending all the DWI "saturation patrols".

The local LEOs seem to really have it out for the First Amendment, as well, with their witch-hunt-like "internet depredations" which seek to find "child pornography" under every rock.
As much as I like guns, and as much as I like exercising my freedom of speech, I don't think any one amendment is any more important than any other, and some of the rights not mentioned at all (other than in studiously ignored 9th and 10th Amendment implications) are critical for our freedom. Of course, rights do not come from government or its documents, but are inborn simply because you are human. Forgetting that fact is the genesis of all kinds of problems, from "drivers' licenses" to genocide.

The reality is that government decides that they can interpret the Bill of Rights however it suits them and almost any "limitation" is OK. That, more than anything else, makes the Constitution worthless as a constraint to out-of-control government. I wish I could see into the future to see what real difference a resolution like this would make, or if it is just for show. Still, it is moving in the right direction and for that reason I hope it passes.

I'd really just like to see governments everywhere forced to respect everyone's right to live as they want as long as they are harming no innocents. Wouldn't it be ironic to show up for the event, specifically held to espouse support for the First and Second Amendments, carrying a fully-functional AK-47 and "pornography"- where the age of the subjects couldn't be immediately determined- and get arrested? Don't worry; just a thought exercise. I have no plans to martyr myself any time soon.

If you live close enough, and are interested in attending, the meeting will be tonight, September 10, 2009, at 5:15 PM at the North Annex of the Clovis-Carver Library in Clovis, New Mexico.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Political anger

Political anger

I am not bitter, angry, or resentful, and even if I were it wouldn't be due to being a freedom advocate. I doubt many freedom advocates are really angry, regardless of how blunt their words may be. Yet that is how we are usually characterized by advocates of coercion. It is how they justify sending out legions of LEOs to kill us for "the common good" (they are not nearly that honest about their position, of course).

What the statists see as "anger" is simply self-assurance and confidence. There is no reason to be angry about society's continuing descent into malignant statism. Neither is there any reason to be wishy-washy when stating the plain truth. Some people are likely to see the clear expression of the truth as "anger", especially if it challenges their tightly held (but wrong) notions. Others believe if they can throw you off-balance, or delegitimize you in the eyes of others, by claiming you are "angry", they have won by default. Prove them wrong again. After all, it makes no sense to be angry at the rabid dog coming at you.

When you speak the truth it often frightens those who only have emotionalism on their side. Since many of them depend upon anger for getting their desires embraced by "the majority" (and then enforced as "law") they develop projection which makes them think everyone is as angry and hateful as they are. It is like when you speak with conviction to a person who is in the wrong, they often claim you are shouting when you are not. Being so wrong is painful; trying to avoid facing it makes one overly sensitive.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The disease called 'government'

The disease called 'government'

I view government as a disease. A very deadly disease which killed over 170 million* people in the 20th century alone. Even if a deadly disease like government has a couple of beneficial side effects it is still deadly and is not worth the pain and death it causes. Especially when the pain and death is inflicted on those who are forcibly infected against their will. People should be aware of the costs of government, and then be free to make their own choices. Like smoking and cliff diving.

Obviously government is a disease which many people still think is a wonderful thing. Some point to supposed "benefits" to those afflicted. That is dishonest. Sickle-cell disease is said to confer a bit of resistance to malaria. In certain, very specific, conditions that could be seen as a limited benefit, however, in general it is not a good enough reason and we shouldn't try to find ways to make sure everyone only gives birth to children with sickle-cell disease. Yet, this is what advocates of government are doing when they make dubious claims about the benefits of their favorite social disease, and insist that no one be allowed to opt out. Find cures for, or treat, diseases- don't search for reasons to spread them.

While I sympathize with minarchists, to a point, I don't agree with them in their conclusions. Government is malignant. You can't allow even a tiny bit to remain without the certainty of it spreading again. How much cancer is the best amount to give yourself? Government is also a poison. How much cyanide do you think is best to add to your food?

If people still wish to participate in government or other deadly endeavors, that is their business, but they should do it with a full realization of what it truly is they are supporting. They should not be allowed to force that aggression upon others any more than any other rapist would be. If they choose to try to force government on others anyway, they should do so with a complete awareness that those of us who know coercion is wrong will push back from now on.

*The number keeps being revised higher. I forget the latest estimate, but it is now over 200 million and still climbing. And this doesn't count government troops killed.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Government is good? Part 2

Government is good? Part 2

Today I continue yesterday's study of the claims contained in an article on the "Government is Good" website. Read "Part 1" first, if you have not yet read it.

Moving along to another paragraph just stuffed full of wackiness:

"....many of the most common activities of the modern state – building roads and
highways, putting out fires, fighting disease, treating our sewage, providing
college loans, funding basic scientific research, providing medical care for the
elderly, supplying clean water, feeding the poor, providing parks and
recreational facilities, subsidizing farmers, educating our children,
forecasting the weather, sending out Social Security checks, and so on – are not
inherently coercive or oppressive at all."

Where to begin.... The things referenced in that excerpt, do not need to be done by government. They could probably be done honestly, and better, by competitive businesses or by charities (in other words: the market). Charities help those in need and do not breed dependency and futility like welfare (by any name) does. Welfare is the cruelest slavery.

Roads and highways are built upon land that was taken from someone. They are financed with money that was taken from someone. They are infested with highwaymen who enforce coercive "laws" in order to steal more money for the state, and who will not hesitate to kill travelers who dare to resist.

Not all of those who fight fires work for the state. Those who do, do so unethically. They should become independent of the coercive monopoly they work for and stop accepting stolen money for their work. There are many ways in which this could be done much better than the current system.

Nor do the best doctors who fight disease work for the state. To imagine that these family doctors and private specialists, who are on the "front lines", are doing less than the CDC is ridiculous.

Just because government currently controls water standards doesn't mean this is the best way. After all, the government controlled system breaks down easily, leaving people vulnerable. Smart people have contingency plans.

The poor were fed by charitable organizations and individuals long before government took over the job financing it with coercively taken money. Farm subsidies have turned many farmers into "welfare queens". And where does the author think the money in those Social "Security" checks comes from? It doesn't come from an account in the recipient's name; it is coercively taken from currently employed people. If that isn't coercive and oppressive then nothing is.

"Public" schools are good at educating? Really? "Public" schools do not educate; they indoctrinate. They make people grow up accepting the socialistic status quo as "the way things have always been, and must continue to be". In around a century and a half, "public" schools have just about destroyed literacy in America.

I could go on with this for an entire series of columns since almost every sentence in every article on the whole site is full of this kind of "error", in fact it gets even worse the farther you read, but this column (even split) is already too long, and you get the idea.

I think it is very important to confront such dangerous and dishonest assertions wherever they may be found. I encourage you to read the entire article, dissect the pathetic attempt at justifying the unjustifiable, and expose the "sleight-of-hand" used. I have even left some of the biggest lies for you to tear apart. Notice that, even though the author claimed in the first quote I used in yesterday's column that there is no "inevitable trade-off" between freedom and government, he then spends most of the article describing those trade-offs and explaining why they are for the "common good". Notice, especially, how the author uses government-created situations to justify more rights violations by government. Yet, we are to believe he doesn't see this hypocrisy? I'm not buying it.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

"The Common Good"

"Common" in this case means "collective", rather than "ordinary". Its meaning is closer to "communist" or "everyone" than to the more "common" meaning. "General welfare" is another way to say the exact same thing.

What is "good"? Good is something that actively helps or benefits someone who is not harming others. It isn't just an absence of "evil" since there are neutral acts that are neither "good" nor "evil", such as walking across the room. (It is never "good" to help harm innocent people. This is an excellent reason to refuse to help the police. Ever.)

So, "the common good" (or "general welfare") would be something that helps "everyone".

The only way to help "everyone" is to help the individual. Yet, most of the time "the common good" is invoked as an excuse to harm the individual. When that individual is not deserving harm right now, then the act of harming him is evil. Violating the rights of an individual; taking away the freedom of an individual, except as an act of individual self-defense, is not serving "the common good" in any way. It only serves the state and other parasites. Instead of imagining you are helping the majority, you need to think about the minority you are harming. That is the true measure of the "good" of your acts. It is better to do nothing (and therefore not help some people) than to do something which harms some who do not deserve to be harmed right now.

Government is good? Part 1

Government is good? Part 1

I believe in fairness, especially if there is no danger in being fair. Since my offer to a supporter of government (a person who actually dared to say "I like government") to write a guest column on why government is so wonderful never materialized, I offer an dissenting voice today.

I found a website, named "Government is Good", and it is astonishing. I highly recommend you go read the entire article I am discussing today (as well as the other articles therein), and as you do, rationally and logically dissect the claims made. I think you will see that the entire premise is dependent upon an utter lack of understanding, or "creative defining", of "freedom" and "good". Since the author is a professor of politics at a university, I have to assume he is an intelligent person. Unfortunately, that also means I must assume he knows better. I think he is displaying an abominable level of intellectual dishonesty.

Let's look at his claims:

"Let’s start by seeing what is wrong with the assumption that there is an
inevitable trade-off between government and our individual rights and

If something always, without fail, happens, is it not "inevitable"? Point to an actual extant or historical example of a government that hasn't violated individual rights in any way. Any "trade-off" must be considered. You must include violations on those points where you happen to think the violation was necessary or good- if you are being honest.

What is "government"? It is a system of control. What is "control"? It is a loss of freedom. Some "freedoms" may not be ethical and may not be a "right", but the only reasonable way to deal with this is to let people set boundaries and enforce their own rights without fear of being further violated by government enforcement of some nonsensical "law".

Then he goes on:

"So the size and extent of government activity, by itself, tells us nothing
about how free or oppressive a society is."

Perhaps, if you don't consider that everything the government does requires money, and that governments do not earn money; they take it. Under threat of force. The bigger the government is, the more expensive. The deeper the government reaches, the more expensive it is. Are you just as free if 70% of your money is taken by government as you are if "only" 10% is taken? I think not. Is not a slave oppressed simply because he lacks the final say in running his own life? He must ask permission for the majority of his actions. Just as government, even the most "non-intrusive" government, demands.

We can see the creative mind tricks the author is passing off as "scholarly observations". Do we fall for them?

Due to the length this column has already attained, and the importance of countering such absurd claims, I have split this article into two parts. Please join me tomorrow for Part 2.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Liberty- The Definition

"Liberty" is the freedom to exercise your rights.

Thomas Jefferson said the same thing: "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others."


Freedom- the Definition

"Freedom" means doing what you want to do.

Freedom is morally neutral; it can be good or it can be bad- depending upon your desires. You have an obligation to not use your freedom to act upon your desires to harm the innocent, and also to accept the responsibility for your actions. You are accountable for everything you do.

Other people, consequences, responsibility, "laws", beliefs, reality, and many other things can limit your freedom. Freedom, liberty, and rights are not the same thing but are entangled.

Some people can be perfectly "free" in prison, while others couldn't be free in Utopia.

Once again, this is what I mean when I use the word "freedom" and it may vary somewhat from your meaning.

Rights- The Definition

A "right" is something you can do just because you exist. It is not dependent upon anyone's permission. Anything that you can do without violating the equal rights of another individual is your right to do, no matter how trivial or important.

Rights do not come from anyone, nor from government, nor from any document. A right can either be respected or it can be violated, but it can not be limited, regulated, licensed, rationed, or otherwise turned into a privilege. A privilege is the opposite of a right.

A right can not impose an obligation on another person to supply you with the means of exercising that right. (As pointed out in the comments.) I have a right to own and to carry weapons, but you have no obligation to give me a gun to carry, nor do I have a right to expect you to do so. My right is my responsibility.

Having a right doesn't mean there will be no consequences for exercising that right. There are always consequences and responsibilities for every action. Just because you have a right to do something does not mean it is the best thing to do right now. Think before you act, or even better, before you need to act.

See also: The nature of rights

What is "Kent McManigal"?

I'm not talking genus and species here, but politics.

If you read things I have written, you will notice I use different labels for myself at different times, and depending upon who I am writing for. My core beliefs and values do not change with the labels and don't normally change over time (unless it is toward even less recognition of coercion as a legitimate tool). I often feel labels are necessary, but I recognize the limits and the baggage they all have. A few of these labels even appear in the headline and introduction of this blog. I'll see if I can define myself in this post without using any labels at all. So, for informational purposes and future linkage, here is my explanation of my view (subject to revision, clarification, and addition as necessary):

Government is not necessary, and is evil. I am willing to work with those who still wish to "work within the system" using government (I will not join them in using government, though) as long as they are moving in my general direction of "greater individual freedom", even if just on one particular issue- any chair in a bar-fight, as they say- until we must part ways due to them reaching "enough freedom" (for themselves) and balking at going any further. Unless they try to stop me from continuing along my path, it can be an amicable parting.

I do not wish to control what others do as long as they harm no innocent person. If they wish to start a communist enclave, that is their business until they try to force someone to participate who does not wish to do so.

"Legal" is less than meaningless to me, as some of the worst acts are "legal" when committed by government employees, and some of the most innocuous are "illegal" when done against government wishes or without government permission.

I understand rights as existing equally in all people. Rights can either be respected or violated; nothing else. Government has no say in rights, but can wrongly restrict freedom and violate liberty. Liberty can be lost; rights can not.

There is never any legitimate reason to
initiate force (attack the innocent). I will not second-guess someone who has been attacked regarding how much force they feel was necessary to defend themselves. I don't condone revenge, although I can sometimes understand the desire to pursue it. I feel a person must make choices and then accept the consequences.

I think people should not initiate deception. Keep your word. If you are being deceived, then self-defensive deception is analogous to self-defensive violence and can be the proper thing to do. You have no obligation to be honest with a liar or anyone who is attempting to harm you or other innocents. Government and its employees only function by harming others, so don't feel bad about deceiving them in order to keep what is yours or to protect people from government coercion.

I don't obsess over politics or government. In fact, other than writing about them, I don't think about either one too much unless they get in my way. Mostly, I just live my life minding my own business.

I don't care where you were born; what color your skin is; what language you speak; or what god(s), if any, you worship. All I care about is that you do not attack me or any other innocent person, and that you are not stealing or defrauding anyone.

Now, apply any label you think fits.

Hope and change is still on the menu, but not at the Government Cafe

Hope and change is still on the menu, but not at the Government Cafe

I was reading an opinion in a newsletter to which I subscribe about the recent, and mostly forgotten, ex-governor Rod Blagojevich "dramedy". The author opined that the imposed “political death penalty", which bars the former governor from ever again holding a state office, might not go far enough for the offense of "so egregiously violating the public trust". The implication was that such an offense deserves a real death penalty. That seems rather radical, but is an enjoyable thought in the right direction.

Then this sentence took me by surprise by its fundamental wrongness:

"At a time like this, what could have a more corrosive effect on the social
fabric than a loss of faith in public officials?"

Is the author joking? "Social fabric" has but one enemy: coercion. Coercion has but one source: bad people. A large percentage of the worst (and most "effective") of the bad people are "public officials". The power associated with government attracts thugs like raw meat attracts yellow-jackets.

Answering the probably rhetorical question; allowing "public officials" to exist at all is the real corrosive threat to the "social fabric".

"At a time like this" a "loss of faith in public officials" is exactly what we need. Think of it as a return to reality; an end to a delusion. A healthy and positive change.

Friday, September 04, 2009

The forgotten amendment

The forgotten amendment

Amendment III- "No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house,
without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be
prescribed by law."

Once again, just to forestall any misunderstandings, I will state that rights do not come from any government nor from its documents. The best use of the Bill of Rights is to illustrate that the US government is no longer a legitimate authority, if it ever was. It lost that privilege when it unilaterally gave itself the power to interpret and enforce (?) the contract that allowed it to exist in the first place. A contract that was dead wrong from the very beginning, of course, but one that is now completely irrelevant, except as a clear illustration of wrong-doing.

That being the case, it is still clear that the person who wrote the words of the Third Amendment knew it was wrong to do what he forbade government from doing, and that the people who voted to ratify this amendment understood the same thing. Trespassing, especially by government agents and employees, is wrong.

Now, perhaps the US government hasn't violated the letter of the law, but they sure violate its spirit on a daily basis in regions all over the globe.

Putting military bases in other "countries" is a violation of the Third Amendment. Remember, the Bill of Rights was never contingent upon the victim being a "US citizen"; only upon the perpetrator being an employee of the US federal government. Period. It only prohibited actions by government, and never applied in any way to those of us who do not work for that criminal organization. That means it is just as wrong for an employee of the US government to commit a forbidden act against anyone, regardless of where on the globe it happens or what pedigree the person has, as it is for an employee of the US government to commit the same act against you or me in our own homes. Wrong is wrong.

That is only the beginning. The foreign US bases are built upon land stolen by the local government, or by the US government, from its rightful owners. Military bases exist due to coercive agreements between governments and are maintained by theft and force. They are filled with trespassers and, by their very existence, cause you and I to be in more danger from angry "foreigners" than we would otherwise be. Remember: freedom is not free, but it can not be purchased with government.

Of course, this all serves the government agenda quite well. Cause a threat to exist and then pretend to be the solution. It's a lie, but a useful one when people don't see what you are really doing. Some of us see through the lies.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

My heroes have always been.... well, not thugs

My heroes have always been.... well, not thugs

If authoritarians are your heroes, you have faulty priorities. Authoritarians, such as presidents, LEOs, or those in the military, may occasionally act in heroic ways, but it is always in spite of their career choices, not because of them.

The act of doing what they are paid to do (with stolen money) does not make them "heroes". Especially not in the cases where their acts would be considered a "crime" - aggression - if done by you or me. In fact, I would say that anything they do "on the job" is automatically disqualified from consideration as "heroic", even if the same act "off-duty" would be. It is simply their duty.

Heroes do not brutalize people who fail to obey counterfeit "laws". Heroes do not attack people. Heroes earn respect; never demand it. Heroes do not do the dirty work of the state. Heroes do not steal money from anyone. Heroes do not bomb wedding parties or hospitals. Heroes do not ever obey orders or "laws" that are wrong. And heroes do not excuse or enable those who do.

Instead, heroes stand up for what is right, even in the face of "the law". Heroes do what is right no matter what the public sentiment may be, or what the "legal" consequences are. Heroes don't shrink from calling evil "evil".

Humans are fallible. Select heroes at your own risk. Realize, however, that certain traits are never heroic. An authoritarian outlook being one of the most basic of those.