Thursday, December 31, 2009

A resolution suggestion and Happy New Year!

A resolution suggestion and Happy New Year!

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

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

Here is my credo, just as an example:

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

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

Happy New Year! Explore your liberty more in 2010!


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Monday, December 28, 2009

Bad laws and fixing them

Bad laws and fixing them

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

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

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

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

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


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Indy-Pindy: The Liberty Mouse

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

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


I drew the illustrations too.


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

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Curing what ails health care

Curing what ails health care

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

The Cure by L. Neil Smith

Had enough, yet?

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

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

Friday, December 25, 2009

Economic insurance for the rest of us

Economic insurance for the rest of us

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Give yourself freedom for Christmas

Give yourself freedom for Christmas

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

I commented:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Why not a 'Constitutional US government'?

Why not a 'Constitutional US government'?

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

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

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

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

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


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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Government- controlling and fighting evil?

Government- controlling and fighting evil?

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 18, 2009

Grow beyond 'lip service' to real understanding

Grow beyond 'lip service' to real understanding

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

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

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

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The biggest thing you can do for freedom

The biggest thing you can do for freedom

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How much government contact is acceptable?

How much government contact is acceptable?

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

For what it's worth- Bill of Rights Day

For what it's worth- Bill of Rights Day

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

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

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

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

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Monday, December 14, 2009

These 'clauses' don't give; they steal

These 'clauses' don't give; they steal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wisdom from a libertarian-leaning 'efriend'

Wisdom from a libertarian-leaning 'efriend'

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

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


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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A compromise for the 'justice system'

A compromise for the 'justice system'

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday, December 11, 2009

'Don't step in the authoritarianism!'

'Don't step in the authoritarianism!'

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 10, 2009

No cape required

No cape required

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Can 'freedom' be spread?

Can 'freedom' be spread?

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Libertarian- the Definition

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 07, 2009

Supporting 'acts of government' makes you guilty

Supporting 'acts of government' makes you guilty

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

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

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

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

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

Beware the real 'ancient evil'

Beware the real 'ancient evil'

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

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

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

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Admit your limitations

Admit your limitations

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

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

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

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

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


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Friday, December 04, 2009

Being right means being ignored

Being right means being ignored

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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