Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Follow the path of Liberty- don't stray right or left

Follow the path of Liberty- don't stray right or left

The world is an interesting place. Not a smooth, featureless plain, but a varied landscape of hills, mountains, swamps, rivers, oceans, and cities. And for that I am glad. Many people are under the mistaken impression that the best path is straight. No, the best path follows liberty, and it must go around some obstacles, over some, and through others. The path that we each take through the world can wander back and forth. We will cross other paths as we travel along our journey, but all others lead to less-wondrous destinations.

Sometimes that path to liberty goes to the "right" and sometimes it goes to the "left", but it is always taking the shortest distance to liberty. We can call this path "libertarianism" among other things. It is the only path you can follow and not be doing something wrong to someone.
When you are trying to follow the path of liberty, any detour from that path- to the left or to the right- will end up getting you lost. The "Right" is content to follow the path as long as it heads right, and the "Left" is content to follow the path as long as it heads left. Both wander astray when they continue right or left beyond the edges of the path. They continue on their set course, in spite of where the trail lies, and end up in the brambles when confronted with certain issues. This is unfortunate and self-defeating. It always leads to authoritarianism and tyranny.

As long as someone is not harming any other innocent individual no one has a right to try to use coercion to force them to alter their course. Don't steal, defraud, trespass, or attack anyone- and as long as a person is not doing one of these things, leave them alone or you will be the guilty one. In order to do one of those bad things, you must get off the path to liberty somewhere.
Stray too far and you may have trouble seeing the path from where you stand when, or if, you realize how far you've wandered. My job is to offer a map for your use.
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Three people are accused of stealing an elderly Albuquerque woman's money. That is terrible. What is the difference between what they did, and what the thousands of people who "work for government" do? Taking money that belongs to another is still theft, no matter how you attempt to justify it.

Examiner.com pay: cut again

I have noticed that my pay from Examiner has been cut once again.

It started out as a dependable 1 cent per page view, although Examiner denied this was the case. They claimed it just kinda worked out that way. Usually.

Then it was reduced to 9/10 of a cent per page view for a while. During this time they began paying a dollar per column, with a maximum of $5 per week. That was nice. It more than made up for the reduction in per-view pay.

However, recently I have seen my per page view pay drop to 7/10 of a cent. Yes, I am still getting more there than I would be making otherwise, and getting more page views there than my blog generally got (other than the "Hot Slut of the Day" spike).

I'm not planning to quit, but it does take away some of the motivation for producing columns.


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Harm- the definition

"Harm" is damage. Physical processes can cause harm, and intentional or accidental acts by individuals can cause harm.

It can be physical such as scrapes, bruises, broken bones, or other manifestations of applied force.

It can be financial such as a loss of your money or other property through theft, fraud, or damage to your property. Being successful while others are not is not a case you you harming them.

It could be emotional if you are subjected to psychological abuse while being held prisoner and not allowed to escape, but it does not include "being offended" when escape is physically possible.

When individuals cause intentional harm, evil has been committed. Accidental harm incurs a debt, just as intentional harm does. Restitution is a proper way to settle those debts.

All harm hurts, but not everything that hurts is harm. Some hurtful things do not cause actual harm. Many things that hurt and many things that cause harm are just the result of living in the universe by the laws of physics.

Government's fear of marijuana causes shortage even when legal

Government's fear of marijuana causes shortage even when legal

Can government approval make one individual thing good while another identical thing, only lacking this approval, is "so bad" it is worth committing murder over? No. But government's tools, fools, and cheerleaders believe their approval has this power. Immigration, the War on (some) Drugs, "gun control"... the list of examples crosses every human activity.

This is my 420th Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner column, so, appropriately enough, it deals with marijuana. Medical marijuana in particular.

Because the state of New Mexico is so hesitant to license medical marijuana growers, the supply can't meet the demand. Even for those few people (2000 in the entire state) that the state decides "legally" deserve the medical benefits of using marijuana. That's evil.

The state medicine rationers are afraid of letting "too much" be grown, for fear some might find its way into the hands of people who are without the "proper" permits. Yet, the people with the permits can't get the amount they need, so they are forced to do without or go to providers who are not government-approved; risking false "arrest" or worse. This ridiculous keystone cops melodrama would be funny if the same government that licenses patients and providers didn't, on a regular basis, murder people who use or provide marijuana without the proper permission slips. Drug prohibition kills. All prohibition kills.

A marijuana plant doesn't know if it is state-approved or not, and the paperwork makes no difference in the medicinal properties- except in cases where government-bred strains are too weak to work. A license or a permit doesn't change the right or wrong of anything, ever. And, although it is not relevant to the discussion at hand, neither does medical need or recreational desire. You own your own body and life, and can determine what goes into it, or you own nothing and are the property of another. Who owns you?