Saturday, June 30, 2012

Zombies, drugs, and brainwashing

I have to wonder...

How many of the "bath salts zombie attacks" were copycat attacks triggered by the (inaccurate) news coverage of the original?

Are people using "bath salts" and then thinking that while under the influence they "should" have a zombie episode?

Now that the "Original Face-Eating Zombie" has been discovered to have NOT been on "bath salts" it would seem that the epidemic should fizzle- except that the damage has been done and impressionable people now believe that "If I use 'bath salts' I will attack and eat someone".

The human mind- is it worse than the drugs?


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Friday, June 29, 2012

Supreme Idiots and ObamaCare

... and people are surprised that the Supreme Courtjesters claim ObamaCare is "constitutional".... why?

This is the same pack of imbeciles who find excuses to claim (and expect to be taken seriously) that gun "laws" don't violate the Second Amendment and "shall not be infringed". This is the same dimsquad- well, their anti-intellectual descendants, anyway- who decided to steal the authority to be the final say on matters of constitutionality back in the early years of the 19th Century.

Look, the Constitution is NOT the best way to protect individuals from a bad government (sorry for repeating myself there), and it's a dead letter anyway. Then, on top of that, the Supreme Court, and its royal jesters, have no legitimate authority to decide what is or is not "constitutional". They never had that authority and they never will. Stop looking to them for "The Word From on High".

Theft is theft, no matter who declares it to be "legal" or "not theft".

Government and its terrorists will never willingly give up any power they think they can get away with stealing. There is no way, "legally" or "working within the system", to hold them accountable in any meaningful way. You are wasting your time by trying- but that's your time and your business. Do what you want.

As for me... I do not consent. I will not pretend they have any authority or legitimacy. I will continue to do what I can to outsmart the thugs and stay off their radar. Maybe it will work, maybe not, but I won't bend and lick their hands.


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Thursday, June 28, 2012

On the wings of harpies...

I often hear Obama and Romney (or their interchangeable political parties) referred to as "two wings of the same bird of prey".

That's almost right. But, rather than birds, I'd say they are two wings of the same gargoyle. Or harpy. Or, possibly, an evil, baby-devouring dragon. But not of any natural creature like a bird.

Neither one has anything other than evil and destruction (with a big dose of statist stupidity) inside him. No critter on earth, other than a human who knows the difference between right and wrong, and consciously chooses wrong, can be compared to a politician.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Drone Nation" infographic

Here's another of those "infographics" that leads to an advertising link. They really ought to pay me to post these, but I do like the information. So...


Infographic by Criminal Justice Degree Schools

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dusk falling on era of authority

Dusk falling on era of authority

(My Clovis News Journal column for May 25, 2012)

If you follow these columns I'll assume you either have a passion for liberty, or you don't, but you like to get stirred up and have someone at whom you can direct your misgivings. Either way I'm glad to help get your blood circulating.

If you are in the group who values liberty, and want to see it flourishing again throughout this political desert where liberty once bloomed in every nook and cranny, you may not know what you- one individual- can do now to help spread liberty, both in your own life and in the lives of others.

That's a riper field of opportunity than you might suspect. Almost everything you do will have an impact one way or the other. Simply choose the action that builds rather than the action that destroys.

Let's start with the biggest thing: You can act to respect all the rights of everyone around you to live as they see fit, even if you don't like their choices, as long as they don't steal or attack. For a lot of people this is the hardest step to take, but it also pays the biggest dividends. It's amazing how much freer this will immediately make you.

You can also make the decision to take care of your own life and property and refuse to involve people or agencies who are financed by "taxation". As a matter of fact you can make an effort to completely avoid dealing with agents of the state in any way unless you are forced to do so.

The flip-side of that coin is that you can avoid working for government at any level so that your paycheck is not financed through coercive "taxation", but voluntarily instead, and so that you don't accidentally have any illegitimate power over other people's lives.

Speaking of "coins"- you can use alternative currency, such as gold and silver, for any mutually-beneficial trade you engage in. If you don't know how, ask me. Stop enabling the Federal Reserve's destruction of the economy.

If you are in the group that doesn't care about liberty, then stay alert. You may seem to be on the winning side right now, but dusk has fallen on the Era of Authority. Its repetitious failures have awakened a new generation to the promise of liberty, just as a previous generation got a glimmer a couple of centuries ago, before their descendants dropped the ball. Let's make it a permanent change this time.


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Monday, June 25, 2012

Peace, through readiness

Once again, still reading Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs, and Steel". And still getting lots of insights from it.

Never underestimate the individual potential for evil and the collective certainty of it. Groups are very likely to be evil. View their approach armed and ready for anything. But always remember that you can resist evil without becoming evil.

History shows that if you want to be peaceful you have to back it up with viciousness in the face of attack. This is completely in accordance with the Zero Aggression Principle. And you have to keep and bear, or in more modern terms, own and carry, the tools to keep invaders (who are just another aggressor) from prevailing.

But you may believe your society is "safe". You may say that things like that don't happen where you live. "Not here. Not now." Are you willing to bet your life, and the lives of your children, on that? It isn't enough to feel safe. Even if you are, the situation can change overnight and then it's too late to get the tools and learn to defend yourself.

None of this justifies stealing from your neighbors or coercing them in any way to form a State or a State military. If you have to become the bad guys in order to survive, your survival isn't worth much. You can't preserve your liberty by destroying it.



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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Blast from the past?

I'm still wishing someone would build one of these.

Any takers?

I'm not talking about building one for me (although if you wanna, I would object) because I couldn't afford it. I would like to see and/or handle one, though.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Voodoo

Walking through the park I found one of those silicone wristbands with embedded holograms that is supposed to "improve your balance" or whatever. I picked it up, thinking it might be a useful bit of raw material for some project sometime.

Then I got to thinking about it. I realized I hold in my hand a witch doctor's "cure"; no different from any other talisman. Well, different in materials used, but nothing else. It's silicone instead of bone and stone.

Humans are still falling for the same old voodoo or magical thinking that they have always been susceptible to. Not every human falls for the exact same deceptions, but there is a lot of overlap and I suspect everyone falls for some.

It's the same thinking errors that make most humans believe that by electing "the right people" or whatever, they can finally find a way to be ruled that will work well.

Not gonna happen.

So, go ahead and practice your voodoo, but the second you try to force someone else to wear your wristband, or support your State, you have crossed the line.


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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Shoot the drones

I don't know if you have read Judge Andrew Napolitano's comments about spy drones, and dealing with them, but in this column he says his suggestion that Thomas Jefferson would have shot them down was "not ... urging the use of violence against the government".

Coward.

Shooting at a spy drone is NOT "violence against the government". The government is the crooked individuals flying the drones, and stealing the money to build and operate the drones. The drones are not the government unless we are now ruled by robots.

Shooting a drone is, perhaps, destruction of property... but whose property? Government can own nothing, since everything it possesses it stole or bought with stolen money. A thief doesn't own the stolen property that is in his possession. Your money was stolen to pay for the drone, so shooting down the drone which is spying on you is simply destroying that which you paid for, that is being used against you.

It is the right thing to do.

Shoot the drones. Or, find a way to electronically interfere with their operation to either turn them against their operators or render them useless.

And, remember that violence is not necessarily bad anyway. It is often the proper response to an individual who is attacking you, stealing from you, or trespassing. Just something to consider.


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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Comment backup

Once again, I got into a long debate on another blog. I archive my side of the conversation here. You can follow this link to see both sides.
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"In that situation, anything goes and can be done without aggression. "

How? By fraud instead? Sorry. Still wrong. The ZAP is essential, but not sufficient. You also cannot steal/defraud, even if you manage to do it without aggression. Do it anyway and anyone can kill you in defense of their property and they would be right to do so.

"If I am doing what I deem fit because I have no other alternative in my mind, what right do they have to say that I AM wrong?"

Because you have no right to initiate force or to steal. Even if you really, really want to. If you did have that right, then everyone else would also have the same right to do those things to you and you would have gained nothing.

"In choosing to give me ways to handle it you have become the hypocrite you don’t want to be by telling me how I should act/behave in saying I'm right/wrong."

No one is telling you how you should behave, they are simply telling you what the consequences of doing otherwise will be. Your choice.

"...government isn't just about aggression."

Really? How else does government get anything done? What do you think will happen if you refuse to submit to the theft euphemistically called "taxation"? If you don't pay up, someone will demand that you do. If you refuse, the situation will escalate until, finally, at some point, government employees with guns will murder you for not cooperating with the theft of your property. Just because it rarely gets to that point doesn't mean the threat isn't there. It just means most people know it isn't a survivable scenario.

"You can't stop someone from saying something that could be offensive or limit someone from taking it the wrong way."

Nope. But you can turn around and tell people what that person said. If enough people find it offensive that there will be societal consequences that might make you regret saying it.

"While some people really are exceptionally good, when in the right situation, we all have the capacity to do wrong. Agreed?"

Absolutely! And since giving people power over other peoples lives is "the right situation" to cause most people to "do wrong", why keep establishing that situation and being surprised when it turns out badly?

"If I see something right where you see something wrong, yet I choose not to follow what you think because you have allowed me to 'live my life' then how would it be taken care of?"

By leaving each other alone as long as neither of you is attacking or stealing from (or, usually, trespassing against) the other.

"...the general idea of a group of peoples coming together to help unify a nation isn't necessarily bad."

No one ever said it was. The bad comes when coercion is bringing the people "together" against their will, and not allowing them to opt out without giving up their home, friends, and family.

"Yet, in your analysis, you have taken any control out of the situation - for the government or for one's self."

How do you figure that? All control is either self-control, or externally-applied pressure to practice self-control. Government is merely a very poor way of creating that. You can't convince people that aggression is wrong by being aggressive, or that theft is wrong by funding your group by theft.

"It might not have crossed your mind that in doing so, you have also allowed others to use their selfish tendencies to their gain."

Of course it has. That's what drives almost all human interaction. And it benefits everyone. I don't buy something (or purchase a service) unless I feel I am better off by doing so, except when forced to do so by "law". And, by the same token, no one offers a product or service for sale unless they feel they gain by doing so. In a real, free market economy, both sides are the winner. In a government-controlled economy ("fascism") one side often wins and the other side loses.

"You and I could come to a perfect agreement, but there is and always will be that group that disagrees and will find a way to impede or 'rain on your parade.'"

Yep. There will always be bad guys. Why give them the illusion of legitimacy by calling them the government?

"We are in desperate times - people out of jobs, families splitting apart, etc."

All directly and indirectly caused by government intervention.

"Even the weather beckons with change and aggressively pursues it."

Maybe. But the weather couldn't care less whether humans live or die, much less whether they are free or not. If "global climate change" is really happening, and if it really is human-caused, this is a big illustration of "The Tragedy of the Commons". No one owns the atmosphere, so no one feels responsible for keeping it clean. No one can be sued by individual property owners for damaging their property with pollution, so the worst offenders (besides the very worst- government) pay a "fine" and keep on polluting. Not a situation that fixes anything.

"Government may not be perfect, by far. But it’s something."

That's a weak justification. You could say "water mixed with sewage may not be the perfect drink, but it's something".

"We've been ruled/reigned for many generations and survived."

So, we shouldn't try to cure any diseases or learn anything new from now on, since "we" have survived for many generations?

"what can you do, as an individual, to change it?"

Withdraw consent. Stop pretending government is legitimate. Refuse to go along when you can, monkeywrench when you can get away with it. Educate people who ask sincere questions and roll your eyes and laugh at the dyed-in-the-wool statists who will refuse to listen or learn.

"What can you do as an individual to better yourself and the life you've been given, regardless of said circumstances?"

See above, and follow the ZAP (Zero Aggression Principle), and refuse to steal or live on the fruits of theft. Keep your word. Don't trespass. And, add anything to that you want as long as you follow those simple rules.

"“The ZAP is essential, but not sufficient.” Isn’t this what you’re trying to defend? Isn’t that the whole point of Curt’s blog?"

I'm not Curt. That is part of what I try to explain (not "defend", since almost everyone has always known it isn't right to "start it", even children.). I don't know what the "whole point" of his blog is.

"...how would it not be sufficient?"

Because there are other wrongs that don't involve the initiation of physical force. Such as theft/fraud.

"Why could there not be a philosophy where we all forget Aggression and move on?"

Because bad people will always exist. Any reality will need to deal with that fact.

"Punishments would simply be paying back three-fold or something to that extent."

Possibly. Which is why punishment is a stupid idea. Restitution and justice (returning the victim to as close as possible to their pre-victimization condition) are superior to any form of "punishment".

"How is it right to kill someone in defense of property or in general?"

Because that person has demonstrated a willingness to take your life. You may think that taking some property is a trivial matter, but what did the person give up in order to have that property? Some of his life. A thief comes along and takes or destroys that property and that part of the person's life has been taken. Time he could have spent playing with his kids, or making love, or painting a landscape, or daydreaming- that was instead spent in exchange for that bit of property- is lost forever. It's just as bad as a physical attack, even if "the law" doesn't see it that way. And, "in general"... it is right to kill an attacker because that person is trying to harm or kill you- and you can never be certain which. Survival is the first law of nature. This is why I never fault a bad guy for fighting to stay alive when confronted by the good guy; it's natural- I just hope he loses.

"...taking someone’s life is rather harsh. What if it was your sister/brother/mother/wife?"

Yes, it is harsh. But the fatal conflict was chosen to be engaged in by the person who starts it. The person who violates the ZAP by initiating force, or by choosing to steal. It's too late to whine about the consequences at that point. Don't want someone to kill you in self-defense? Don't attack or steal. Your choice. If it were a loved-one who was the one killed, I would grieve and be angry. I might even hate the defender. But, once again, actions have consequences. If I attack you I expect you to fight back. If I die... well, I made my choice.

"“Because you have no right to initiate force or to steal.” But isn’t that your opinion and way of living? Just because you choose to live your life one way, does not mean that someone else agrees with you and chooses that lifestyle."

You're right, but you are forgetting that if my opinion is wrong, and that it is OK to steal and attack the innocent, then I am certainly doing nothing wrong by fighting back against those who have other opinions in the matter. That's a powerful thing about the ZAP- it doesn't say that other people must live this way, It shows me why I should, and it tells me how to deal with others when they don't. And illustrates that if they don't agree, they have no basis for a legitimate complaint against me.

"Someone will always do wrong in somebody else’s eyes."

Yep. So?

"If I like oranges, which causes no harm to you, but you hate oranges and deem that wrong, then you choose to kill me because you have asked a few of your friends if they do… Does that make it any more right than someone stealing?"

No. That is initiation of force.It's the basis for the evil and stupid War on (some) Drugs. If you like oranges (or marijuana) it is none of my business. If I attack you for consuming them I am the bad guy.

"It’s a matter of perspective and opinion. If you don’t like someone one day, and your friends don’t either, then you choose to be vindictive and your friends play along, you have done wrong to someone else but you have justified it because, in theory, you don’t like oranges..."

You have just distilled government to its most basic foundation. And illustrated why it is wrong.

"” Who are ‘they?’ What gives them the right to say what the consequences are?"

"They" are all the people who interact, or would, with the person. They have the right because one of the most basic rights is the right of association. You can interact, or not, with anyone you choose. Government tries to violate this right all the time and causes much trouble in the process. You don't have to act in a way that brings consequences to the other guy's bad behavior. If someone attacks you, you can submit. If he chooses to steal from you, you can shrug and say "Oh well". But, just as jumping off a cliff sets a certain train of events in motion, being a social territorial, predatory primate who attacks members of his own species or steals their stuff sets events into motion. Those so violated can choose to short circuit those events, but you have no right to insist they do.

"In theory, no aggression is a great pass-time for conversation. However, put into reality makes little sense."

You think? It has always worked great for me. In fact, it has never failed. Not once. That is reality. In what situation do you think it is OK to attack an innocent person?

"Someone, or a group of people have to agree upon said consequences..."

You are mistaking "bottom up" self organization for "top down" imposed "law".

"We don’t have people lined up to be murdered daily."

Well, actually. "we" do. Or do you not see any news stories? The murdered are called "criminals", but most of them did not harm anyone; they simply did non-coercive acts the government arbitrarily decided to forbid.

"...it doesn’t mean that it is being implemented."

Because, as I pointed out, most people choose to submit before the State escalates the situation to the point of murdering them.

"Who will protect us against the people overseas if we cancel out the government?"

Who do you think makes the "people overseas" a threat? Who is in their countries killing them and breaking their stuff? And telling them they must live as "we" order them to and thank "us" for the privilege of being occupied? Who is creating a new generation of people who hate the US government enough to die to strike against it, and making the mistake of thinking the US government is the same as America?

And just how would "people overseas" defeat "us" if there were no central government to defeat and get to surrender? And how would they rule without the infrastructure and bureaucracy already in place to co-opt? How would they manage to disarm the whole population if there were no previous "gun laws" and registrations? How easy do you think it would be to subjugate a population who had grown accustomed to actual liberty?

And, who is a bigger actual threat to your life, liberty, and property/pursuit of happiness? Some guy overseas, or the cop, bureaucrat, politician here?

"Should we rely on people who work in offices, play video games and sleep all day to do the right thing?"

Sure. Who else is there? Do you think some special class of people exist who are supermen and above human flaws?

"What if everyone chooses Not to fight?"

Won't happen. Too many people out there want to be warriors and heroes. Look how many join the police or the military now? They'd still want to do that even if they had to form voluntary militias and couldn't hide behind the State.

"But how many would risk their lives for their country?"

Don't have to. They'll risk their lives for their homes, families, friends, and communities and the rest will flow from there. How many people do you know personally who wouldn't fight back against an invader in their own neighborhood? Especially an invader that there is no "legal" penalty for killing? Maybe those people exist in some places, but in that case those places have already been lost.

"Most people now days don’t even care about the American Flag..."

That's because the American flag is now the federal flag. It is a symbol of the government, not of the liberty that was America. It stands in opposition of everything America once was supposed to be. It's not that I don't care about it; I despise it. Don't Tread on Me! Or better yet, Time's Up!

"Who would organize the attacks?"

People who have that inclination. In other words, the exact same people who would organize the attacks today. Some people are drawn to that sort of thing.

"What about produce? Supply and Demand? Who would care for these obligations? "

The free market. That's what it does, and does much better than any central planning can ever do. Central planning is always a pale substitute because no one- and no group of people- can ever have all the necessary information. The market doesn't need it. Needs are filled as a natural outcome of allowing free trade.

Whew. This is turning out to be quite a project. But I am investing the time and effort because you are sincere. You have not been nasty, condescending or rude, and seem to be genuinely listening.

For that I think you. And I'll get back to it...

"“Nope. But you can turn around and tell people what the person said. If enough people find it offensive that there will be societal consequences that might make you regret saying it.” Ah… My favorite part of your rebuttal. How many is enough? Who determines that?"

No one determines that except the person who is feeling the pressure. If he doesn't care that his business can't attract customers anymore, or that the grocery store owner refuses to sell to him, or that his neighbors no longer speak to him or lend a hand if a tree falls on his house, then he can keep doing what he has been doing. If he doesn't care that his wife and kids start resenting the difficulties his stance is putting on them, then that is his choice. Once again, this is just something that happens, not something that is ordered or directed.

"Does that seem fair to you?"

Scott Adams said that "fair" isn't a feature of reality; it is a concept invented so stupid people could participate in conversations. (I'm NOT saying you are stupid, by the way.) But how can I, the offended person, dictate how others will respond to the thing that offended me? I can't. Others may agree with the other guy and go congratulate him for speaking his mind. He may actually get more support, and I may lose support for being such a drama-queen.

"What if it happened to you and I was the determining factor on whether or not you get to live?"

That's often the case, isn't it. It's called "reality". If you are deserving of sympathy, perhaps people will come to your resuce. I find myself defending people I don't like, or who are doing things I don't like, all the time simply because they have a right to do it and other, well-meaning people are trying to violate their right to live as they see fit as long as they do not attack or steal. It doesn't increase my popularity (there's that unfairness again), but I'll do it anyway because it's the right thing to do.

"Who determines societal consequences?"

No one. It is aggregate human action, only.

"If five of you don’t like what I say, you’re going to kill me? - Sounds a lot like casting stones to me and that’s not necessarily any better than what we’re living in now."

That would be initiating force. And, maybe you could still defeat 5 people. Especially if you have other people willing to stand up for you.

"People have different senses of humor. Say you don’t like mine or even better… I don’t like yours. Does that give me the right to start a controversy?"

Sure. Why not? You might not like where that road goes, but you have to right to start a controversy if you think it's justified. Or even if you are just a troublemaker.

"By choosing to say to me that we would have societal consequences or consequences in general you are then running someone’s lives."

But, see, it's not me or anyone else dictating that "there will be societal consequences for X". If that were the case, then it would be imposing a government by coercion, just like we have now. That's not what I am saying. Basically, I am saying that government- The State- makes being a bad guy safer. If removes most of the risk of consequences. You don't have to worry about anyone other than a cop catching you. If a homeowner catches you, but you escape before the cops arrive, it is his word against yours. Sometimes that's even the case if you don't escape.

"...you continue to think I’m the enemy."

Nope. If I did I wouldn't put this much effort into addressing your points. If I seem snippy about it, it is because I have answered these exact same points more times than I can count. It's a Whack-A-Mole game of cyberspacian proportions. But, I am doing it again because I can sense you are NOT "the enemy".

"...the reality that life will never be the perfect picture for everyone."

No one I know has ever claimed it will be. All you can do is remove the artificial obstacles that giving government a veil of legitimacy creates. If it is wrong to steal and attack, then it is still wrong to steal and attack no matter what your job might be. No double standards. That's all.

"What defines an attack?"

Using physical force against a person who has not used, credibly threatened to use, or asked someone else to use physical force on his behalf against you.

"Again, who decides this?"

In most cases, the person being attacked. In cases where the facts of the event are disputed arbitration could be engaged. (Follow this link for more on that.)

" If I justly believe that you are attacking me by something you said..."

That's not an attack. It might be libel or slander. So bring the person to arbitration and see if restitution is owed you.

"Do we lose freedom of speech in that very same scenario?"

No. You are free to say anything you want, and live with the consequences of saying it. Just like you are free to jump off a cliff or pet a rabid skunk.

"“No one ever said it was. The bad comes when coercion is bringing the people “together” against their will, and not allowing them to opt out without giving up their home, friends and family.” Are you speaking of them taking religion out of schools?"

No. I'm talking about forcing people to pay for government schools even if they choose to not send their kids to them. Or if they don't even have any kids. Get rid of government schools and teach your kids whatever you think they need to know, in whatever way you believe is best. Education is MUCH too important to allow government to touch it.

"Are you talking about the universal insurance?"

Not specifically. But what if you don't want it, don't need it, or can't afford to pay for it? (Because it is NOT "free", you know.) Are you allowed to not pay as long as you agree to not try to use it?

"Taxes?"

That's a big part of it. I have no problem paying for things I use. I just want to not be forced to pay for things I don't use, or things I would rather find an alternative to. And I don't want other people to be forced to pay for things I want. Nothing is that important.

"We aren’t slaves."

Are you sure about that? What do you call it when you work and have to pay a percentage of what you work for- the product of a potrion of your life- to someone who will kill you if you refuse?

"We have a freedom".

Do "we"?

Do you have the freedom to smoke marijuana while sitting on your porch? Do you have the freedom to sling an automatic AK-47 over your shoulder as you hike across your ranch? Do you have the freedom to agree to work for a business for $3 an hour, just to gain experience? Or, if you do those things and get caught, will you be kidnapped by a government employee and killed if you resist?

Freedom is "doing whatever you want to do". It isn't necessarily good. You might want to come into my house and take my books. That's why liberty is the more important concept. That is the freedom to do what doesn't violate someone else's rights.

I'm not saying you don't have some freedom, just that it is severely restricted, and your liberty is violated. You do not have the freedom to do anything that doesn't violate other people's rights.

"But as you’ve mentioned earlier, someone still has to decide for someone else."

No. each decides for himself. You decide to do a thing, knowing the potential risks, and I decide to defend myself or my property, also knowing the potential risks. Or the other way around.

"So does that allow control on my part?"

Sure it does. You can weigh the options and choose to do something esle.

"If I am selfish enough to want someone’s husband, and I act upon that, that does not benefit anyone but myself and possibly the husband."

And then, the others who are affected will act in the ways they think will best benefit themselves. They may be offended, and you and the husband might have broken a contract and owe restitution, but if you think it is worth the price, or you believe you will never be called upon to pay, you will do it. If you don't think it is worth the price, don't do it.

"If some woman decides a child is not safe in a home and that she wants them, acts upon it and moves those children – it does not benefit everyone."

In that case, if the parents don't object, there is no problem. If they do object, they could either act to rescue their kids from a trespasser/thief/kidnapper, or they could seek arbitration. Few people would do such a thing lightly. They would have to be pretty sure the benefits were worth the risks, and that they were in the right. And, the kids' wishes would have to be considered to be the primary concern. You have no right to rescue someone against their will, and you might be taking on a debt you can't afford.

"What of the thief from previous paragraphs? If he is selfish enough to steal, He benefits…"

Only if he survives and keeps the stolen property.

"Do you want to be responsible for that selfishness that has a negative impact?"

I'm not responsible for things I didn't do. Collective guilt isn't a real thing.

"Yes, in a free market economy, it works. In a buying/selling situation, it benefits both. But not all situations are the same. Especially if it is a negative outcome."

But all situations that are consensual benefit both. And only under government can a person be forced to enter into a transaction, economic or otherwsie, that they believe to not be in their best interests. And, sometimes, people may even choose an outcome that is negative-appearing (to others) for themselves.

"It’s not just the government officials that are the bad guys… And not all bad guys work for the government…"

No, but only those bad guys who work for government have that illusion of legitimacy to protect them from the consequences of their actions. Freelance bad guys are on their own.

"Do you honestly believe that all of your problems are caused by the government?"

No, but those you listed are caused by government intervention. Most of my problems are caused by myself. I avoid government employees whenever possible to minimize the problems they can cause me. I can't really avoid me.

"When I say ‘the government may not be perfect but it’s something,’ what I initially thought is its better than what it could be."

Of course it is. However, it is an unnecessary evil. Even if it hasn't yet explored all its evil potential. If you are standing in an ant bed, being eaten by fire ants, are you better off than if you were in a pool of molten lava? Yes. But it is sad to believe you can't improve your situation. Step out of the ant bed, brush them off, and find a verdant meadow. It's just right over there...

"We could be hauled off literally to a general location, shot for whatever reason the government deems fit or just because we look a certain way and believe something different just like the Holocaust."

Yep. Notice how the Grand Evils require government to be pulled off?

"We could still be under the rule/reign of England, but we’re not."

Ever actually looked at how "oppressive" King George was compared to the US federal government today? I'm not arguing for trading one Ruler for another, but for deposing them all.

"We could simply not be here..."

Then we wouldn't care, would we.

"“So, we shouldn’t try to cure any diseases or learn anything new from now on, since ‘we’ have survived many generations?” Did I say that?"

Not in those exact words, but that is the exact concept you were communicating. That because others before us have survived the situation, we shouldn't try to do better. What in that did you not mean?

"I’m speaking specifically About the government that we’ve been under for a long time. Our ancestors dealt with it. Yes, it has gotten worse. But in case you forget, it could be a lot different. You never know, one day, we might really be subjected to a robotic conformation. They might plant chips in our brain or start demanding drugs be given to sedate us, etc. Who knows…"

Yes, they might. All governments seek to increase their power and control. It's just the natural course of allowing a government to exist. And, in case you have missed it, they already forcibly drug a lot of people. Ritalin, for example. And some people believe that fluoride in water keeps people I'm not convinced of that, but it is added to a lot of water systems, by government, and a lot of people don't want it.

"“See above and follow ZAP…” Is that really what you mean? Because earlier you said it wasn’t sufficient enough to go by.

Well, I was leaving out the "don't steal" part. But, yes, you should avoid that, too. Sorry, I got sloppy.

"Honestly, I didn’t ask what I should do. I asked what you would do."

That's fine. I am telling you what I do. I didn't mean to sound like I was ordering you around, because I'm not. You do what you want, but I am telling you how I will respond, and how I will deal with you in any interactions. I'm telling you what to expect of me.

"Regardless, good luck to you in your continued turmoil on the government."

LOL. I have no "turmoil on the government" any more than I have turmoil with the mafia. They are evil. They exist. I avoid them when I can and do what I have to so they don't kill me. So far.

"May it one day benefit you for all of your hard work."

It already does. :)

"however, what would your choice replacement [for "punishment"] be?"

Self defense - to be engaged in at the scene and time of the attack/theft. Or, if that fails, arbitration.

"Murder might be necessary, having a hard time trying to find a list of things that justify it…"

Murder is always wrong, and never "necessary. Killing someone in self-defense, or in defense of property is not "murder". It is not killing an innocent person.

"But what of the group that decides it [killing someone] for the wrong crime?"

Then they take their chances with facing lethal self-defense from their target, and facing arbitration afterwards if they survive that. If they think they are "right enough" to survive scrutiny, that is their choice. It isn't something they should take for granted, though.

"I understand the general concept, however, there’s always that one scenario that doesn’t fit. You know?"

Yes. That's where arbitration would be most important. You can't justify destroying liberty (or rights) because of the outliers. Rare/difficult cases make for very bad "law". Each case needs to be examined on its own merits. And, there may not alwasy be a perfect solution. That's just how reality goes. But "one-size-fits-all" never fits anyone very well.

"I just know that there aren’t as many people that are willing to subject to the no aggression policy and probably never would."

That's why the ZAP works so well- it doesn't depend on the cooperation of the bad guys to work in real, everyday life. I know that from experience.

"“Yep. So?” So my question is, do we leave it up to fate? Opinion? Hope that everyone is in a good mood that day? Seems fickle to me…"

No less so than the situation we are in now. Most "laws" are some twisted person's opinion, given "authority" and backed by a lethal threat. In a free society, you would have no power/authority to meddle coercively if someone was "doing wrong" in your eyes, unless they were initiating force or stealing. That doesn't mean you would have to sit there. You could call them on it. You could ridicule them. You could shun them. You could publicize what they are doing and why it offends you. You could try to educate them about why you think they are doing wrong. But the moment you tried to use force to stop them you had better make sure you can afford restitution and the other effects your actions could have on your life.

"Where did marijuana come in?"

Because that is an example of something that some sefgment of the population believes is wrong, and they are willing to kidnap and kill people for defying their opinion.

"Lol, drug free over here"

Technically, there is no such thing as "drug free" since everything you ingest alters your brain chemistry in some way. And some of those substances are mandated, some are regulated, and some are forbidden. But I'm supposing you mean you obey the government's edicts concerning which substances you ingest, and how you ingest them. And, so do I. But not because the government tells me to; because I see the consequences and don't think they are worth it. If I had cancer, I would be smoking marijuana every day, regardless of the DEA's opinions on the matter.

"the initiation of force is bad, yes? But that doesn’t stop it from happening."

Nope. Murder is illegal, but a guy murdered another person in the next town over just a few days ago, after forcing the victim's girlfriend to give him a blow job at gunpoint. So, rules, and even laws, don't really make people behave. What they do is give the rest of us a guideline for dealing with the bad guys. It doesn't change my behavior to know some people will initiate force. It is enough that I know it is wrong to do, and I also understand that if someone else doesn't care if that is wrong, I would not be wrong to defend myself from him. If he is willing to initiate force, his objection to my self-defense just looks absurd.

"So if someone chooses to initiate force on me ... but they do it when no one is looking, what is it considered?"

Initiation of force. You saw it. It doesn't matter who else witnessed it. Now, you might have to show that you were where you had a right to be, and that you were not stealing or attacking at the time you were attacked, but the outcome of arbitration is only a consequence and doesn't alter the reality of what happened. Even doing the right thing can have unfortunate consequences. Weigh before you act, but never regret doing the right thing even if it turns out badly.

"Sorry, she died, whatever? Does that then give my loved ones the right to murder them? I wouldn’t want that for my family/friends…"

No. That would be revenge. If the person is killed during their unwitnessed attack on you, that is self defense. If he survives his attack, and is tracked down later, killing him would be murder. It is too easy to get the facts wrong later. Your survivors could call the attacker to arbitration. If he refuses, then his refusal should be publicized, and be taken as an admission of guilt. They could refuse to do business with his employer until he is fired. They could post his picture and a description of what he did to you at any business that permitted it. If he left town and tried to start again, make a website showing what he looks like and what he did. In the modern technologically-connected world, it would be hard to run from your deeds. If he gets angry at the "harassment", he might try to attack your survivors. He runs a greater risk of being caught then, plus, in a free society there could be no prohibitions against being fully-armed all the time. Aggressors would probably not survive long in that world. But, some might. Just like the serial killers in our society that have never been identified, much less caught. There is no Utopia. No society will ever be perfect. (Not sure I would fit in in a perfect world, anyway.)

"“You have just distilled government to its most basic foundation. And illustrated why it is wrong.” Yes, and I realize that. However, it doesn’t stop it from occurring without a government."

Of course not. But if you have a situation that will remain the same with option A (government) or option B (liberty), why keep option A, where rights are violated, property is stolen, and the megalomaniacs who want to control the lives of others are given the illusion of legitimacy? Seriously. If I am going to fall off the cliff anyway, why not wiggle my way over to where, when I fall, I can land on some bushes rather than on the sharp rocks?

"What’s to stop it from occurring again?"

Maybe nothing. Why fill up the gas tank of your car? It will just go empty again. Since all governments in the history of the earth have always continued to grow bigger, stronger, and more tyrannical as long as they exist, it's worth the effort to push the reset button pretty often. Maybe someday enough people will realize they've been doing the same pointless thing over and over again and they'll withdraw consent to be ruled. In the meantime, civilization gets a little room to breathe for a while.

"...you can’t make everyone follow ZAP."

That isn't my concern. I am responsible for myself. It might be a more pleasant world if everyone followed the ZAP, but there will always be bad guys.

"So at that point, does the greater mass have a slaughter and kill the people who don’t agree?"

They can try. Would you submit and just let them kill you? I wouldn't. Maybe I would lose- but maybe not. If someone breaks into your house intent on killing you, do you just give up? Or do you make it cost them?

"Do we allow them to live unless they break the said contract?"

We allow them to live until they force us to defend ourselves. What they do among each other isn't my problem. Now, if I see them attacking/stealing I'm not going to go up to the victim and ask whether they follow the ZAP. I will do my best to stop the attack, knowing there are always consequnces, and let the chips fall where they may. Maybe they have an agreement to be aggressive/submissive. Maybe I will owe restitution for stepping in. I'll take my chances. Wouldn't you?

"“You are mistaking ‘bottom up’ self-organization for ‘top-down’ imposed ‘law.’” Care to elaborate? I’m willing to listen, just apparently confused."

Self organization is where no one dictates what "must be done" to accomplish a task. No one decides there must be 3 grocery stores and 2 shoe stores in town. People who might be interested in opening a grocery store decide to give it a try if they think there is enough business in town to support another. Or, if they think they can attract enough of the other store's customers to carve out a niche for themselves. If they survive, then there is another grocery store in town; if not- maybe they will open a pet store instead.

Consequences would be like that in a free society. No one would be dictating how you have to deal with a thief or attacker. If you want to ignore their violations, no one could arrest you for doing business with them. However, if enough of your customers were offended that you continue to help out someone they see as a bad guy, they might go to your competitor instead. If you see yourself losing business you could keep doing what you are doing, or you might decide that the bad guy's silver isn't worth the business you lost, and tell him to not come back- and then announce to the public your new policy. No one has ordered you to do anything, but things just worked out so that you decided to change what you were doing.

Most government apologists can't understand how self organization can work. They believe there has to be a Ruler directing the whole society. It's how the Soviet Union got into such a mess. Well, part of the reason...

"...but there’s also greed that allows people to want more than what they have."

Greed alone doesn't hurt anyone else. There also has to be opportunity to try to steal what you want, rather than creating or trading for it yourself. Ending "gun control" would do a lot for discouraging the greedy by removing their opportunity.

"“how would ‘people overseas’ defeat ‘us’ if there were no central government to defeat and get to surrender?” It’s not always about the government. Granted, most is. But again, greed plays a big part in decisions, as well as selfishness."

Still greed without opportunity or ability is impotent. Remove both.

"No, however, my point was – who will train them [militias]?"

"Hobbiests" are very determined. Look at the office workers who sit in an office all day, but go sheer rock climbing on weekends. Remove the barriers and the people who are inclined to train, will train. And people engaging in something voluntarily are always better than those engaging in it to avoid punishment.

"“No one. It is aggregate human action, only.” So why reference it if it is not plausible?"

I guess I'm lost here. Or, are we talking about self organization again, rather than top-down, dictated control?

"“Especially if you have other people willing to stand up for you.” So we start a mini war between the common people? Just start killing people because we’re standing up for someone?"

I seriously doubt it would come to that. In most cases, just a show of solidarity is enough to make bad guys back down. If not, then only kill if you are attacked. War, even "mini" ones, are rarely purely defensive.

"That gives anyone the right to do so [start a controvery] which seems unsafe."

It's a right they already have, by birth. No one is "giving" it to them. I have no rights that my worst (hypothetical) enemy doesn't have. No one ever said life was safe, or if they did they were lying.

"Again, if someone is vindictive, and they choose to ‘be a troublemaker’ then they automatically have the right to start a controversy? If I’m minding my own business, not even looking someone else’s way, and they are choosing to start a controversy with me that escalates and leads to death, does that seem right? Is that then justified?"

Yes, they have that right. Your wishes and preferences don't change that. If they choose to initiate force as a part of their troublemaking, then your use of self-defensive violence to protect yourself is justified. Theirs is not, unless they managed to goad you into striking first. Until they touch you, or make a move to do so, or a credible threat to do so, their words can't hurt you. So suck it up and walk away, if you can. If they choose to escalate it and it leads to their death- it was their choice. Too bad for them for being a stupid thug. If the escalation leads to your death, then they face the consequences I have already discussed. The death of a bad guy isn't really "right" or "wrong". It just "is". And I don't grieve.

"In your definition of the attack, is it a universal definition? Or if I feel like adding something to that list, is that my choice? (The point I was trying to make.)"

"Attack" has to be physical, but what else would you add?

"And if there is no meadow that we can find to compromise or completely dispose of our problem? If nothing ever changes?"

You're still better off to get out of the ant bed, and not go over and hop into the lava. Maybe you can even kill the ants and plant a meadow right where you are.

"...our ancestors survived in the past and we shall continue to do so as well.."

That isn't a given. Our species has survived a long time, but not as long as some other species which were very successful before they became extinct. It may not be government that is directly responsible, if that happens to humans, but the best survival strategy is to try as many new things as possible. Spread out as much as possible. And government stifles both pretty severely. (For those who obey, anyway.)

No need to apologize for the length of your comments. This exercises my brain cells.


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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

State has no place in marriage

State has no place in marriage

(My Clovis News Journal column for May 18, 2012)

Recently, gay marriage has been all over the news. First, North Carolina voters decided to define marriage in such a way as to prevent homosexual marriages (among others), and then President Obama went on the record in support of gay marriage.

Of all the things in life that should not be subject to majority opinion, or a vote, your own marriage is probably near the top of the list. That also means you shouldn't get to vote on anyone else's marriage, either.

And, honestly, Obama's opinions on anything hold about as much sway with me as the latest Hollywood actor's opinions on "climate change" or "gun control". He is welcome to his opinions and can make his own choices based on those opinions, but anyone who looks to him for validation really needs some self-confidence, and probably needs lessons in thinking rationally and independently.

No marriage needs government as one of the partners. If that were the case, every marriage would be polygamous since it would include, at a minimum, two individuals plus a government. Why beg for recognition from the state?

Early justifications for government involvement in marriage were usually based on keeping "races" from mixing. Since most people have matured beyond that ignorant excuse, why would anyone hang on to the backwards belief that we still need government sanction for our relationships? Why the desire to involve government at all? Once again it's a government "solution" to a government-created problem. People see others getting special benefits based upon their marital status, and want to be included. Understandable, but a clear case of needing to eliminate all the penalties for the unmarried individuals rather than finding more people to admit into the privileged club.

Even if you believe homosexuality to be immoral, that doesn't mean you should make it- or things based upon it- illegal. Educate, don't legislate. And if you think something is wrong to do, don't do it yourself. Other people's opinions differ from yours and your right to impose your opinions on anyone by force, in person or by proxy through The State, doesn't exist until they steal or physically attack.

Instead of fighting to be equally violated, homosexuals and heterosexuals should join forces by refusing to seek government permission to enter into a marriage with whoever they love. Get the state out of all marriages and the problem goes away immediately.

I have a sneaking suspicion that North Carolina voters just did more to promote acceptance of gay marriage than any other activists could have ever accomplished.
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(Also published at The Woodhull Alliance.)


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"Illegals" and voting

I get really tired of hearing all the hand-wringing over "illegal" immigrants voting, and how to prevent it.

If voting is a legitimate way to run a society, and if a society should be "run" at all, shouldn't all the people affected by the policies that the puppeticians will enact have a say in the outcome?

Who cares if "illegal aliens" vote? The policies affect them as much as anyone. If they are living here they should have a say. And there is no legitimate way to declare anyone "illegal", anyway.


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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tax addicts

Does it really matter whether someone "works" in return for "tax" money, or sits on their rear as they collect? Why would that make any difference to me?

Both are addicted to the money they get from government on a regular basis. Both think they are "entitled" to the money somehow. Neither actually pays any "taxes"* unless you believe the sleight-of-hand accounting tricks. (You can't dip a cup of water out of a bucket, pour half of it back into the same bucket, and then claim you "paid" half a cup of water to the bucket's manager. No, you just received half a cup of water from the bucket to begin with.)

In my experience, the "welfare queen" does less actual harm than the government employee, in most cases.

(*Just to be clear, I'm not claiming they should be somehow forced to do the impossible and pay "taxes"; I am saying NO ONE should be forced to pay.)

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sun Spots in your pocket

I don't do endorsements lightly. And if I am paid for one, I will tell you. This one was not paid or even asked for, but I just really like this product, so I wanted to tell you about it.

About a year or so back I bought some "Sun Spots". They are a soft plastic cling film that you cut to fit your glasses' lenses to turn your regular glasses into temporary sun glasses. And then you peel them off and stick them to a card that goes in a little credit card-sized envelope that fits in your wallet.

I tend to wear them when I leave the house without my sunglasses and find myself regretting that oversight. I have only used them a handful of times, but when I have used them, I was very glad I had them. (Like yesterday... which is why I am writing this.)

They are not quite as good as regular sunglasses, in my opinion, but that's just because of the difficulty in getting my glasses clean enough before I apply them. One time I was able to wash my glasses off before I applied the Sun Spots, and that time my vision was very clear. Most of the time there is enough lint or specks of dust on my lenses that some bubbles occur that tend to blur my view a little. Not enough to be a serious problem; just enough to be noticeable. I carry a small bit of black silk cloth for shining my specs when needed, anyway, and this is what I usually use before I put on the Sun Spots.

I wear 18th century style frames with glass lenses, and the small size of the lenses means I was actually able to get 2 complete sets out of the Sun Spot sheets they sent. I made one set for my regular glasses and one set to fit my prescription sunglasses (slightly larger lenses) just in case I ever need extra protection.

Anyway, you might like to have some in your wallet just in case.


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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Do what you love... but...

"Do what you love; the money will follow."

I doubt that. It would be nice, but I think it is one of those sayings that mislead people.

Not that there aren't other rewards for doing what you love. And perhaps those are worth more than money. It would just be nice to be able to trade some of those "other rewards" for food, rent, gasoline, etc.

It might also be a good thing if you could tailor your "loves" toward things that can also bring in money. If that is possible for you.

Just something to think about, for what it's worth.


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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sext-bombing the State

I think that the next time World Sexting Day rolls around it would be amusing if millions of "underage" people sent graphic naked pictures of themselves to every cop, judge, prosecuting attorney, president, and every other tax addict who has ever profited from kidnapping or caging people for possessing such pictures. (Start finding and saving those cell phone numbers now!) And I'd include everyone who defends and supports such draconian "legal" action in that dastardly group.

After all, they claim there is no justification for having those type of pictures, and simple possession is automatic guilt.

It would be fun if this happened, and got widely publicized, to see how they would manage to make an exemption for themselves. And, make no mistake, they would. And, then they'd turn around and charge those who sent the pictures with a "crime". Because the tax addicts are evil.


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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Change is only constant in world

Change is only constant in world

(My Clovis News Journal column for May 11, 2012)

I have often heard the saying "Be the change you wish to see in the world". This may sound like gratingly "touchy-feely, New Age" pablum, but I grudgingly admit it is true when I consider the alternative.

Because, seriously, should you act in ways you know are wrong just because what you know to be right isn't popular enough to be widespread at this time? I don't think so; at least I hope not! Go ahead and start doing what you know is right and let the rest of the people catch up to you when they are ready. Even if they never join you, at least you will know you have done the right thing.

All change happens in individual hearts and minds, only. Usually in many isolated individuals; each independent, and often unaware of the others. From each individual it spreads to more people until there is a group which has adopted the change around each. Eventually the groups grow to the point where they mix and mingle and distinctions between them get fuzzy, and then the whole society has shifted. Suddenly everything is different and few people even realize a change has happened. Or if they realize it, they don't know how it happened.

This has been going on in societies for thousands of years. Sometimes the change is positive; other times it is negative. I'm attempting to make liberty more popular by simply embracing it in all circumstances, no matter who opposes it for what reasons. And I am far from alone.

The groundwork has already been done. The change has gone beyond a few scattered individuals and is now at the group stage. In fact, many unconnected groups, calling themselves by different names, are embracing this change. If things keep going like this, before long the gaps between the groups may vanish and change will be the reality. It has already begun happening.

The only constant in this world is change. Since change will happen whether you are ready for it or not, why not make sure the change is a good one?

Want to start now? Refuse to use coercion to get your way. Don't steal. Respect the liberty of all others, even those who repulse you, so that others will be able to respect your liberty when you repulse them. Don't wait until you are the oddball to accept a better way to live with your own species.


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History of government

I just started reading Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs, and Steel". Yeah, I know. I'm late to the party, but I just found the book available in my price range at Goodwill...

The earliest parts of the book gave me a couple of thoughts.

Even if government/the State were "necessary" to get "us" to where "we" as a species are now (which is a common, unproven, objection to anarchy/liberty), they are no longer necessary. That would be like saying that because you had to drink milk when you were a baby, you can't ingest anything else now that you are grown. You must keep nursing, exclusively, until the day you die. Or that since humans once used stone tools, we can't advance beyond that, either. It's silly.

And...

Species evolve under pressure. As long as things are going well, there is no reason to change. Perhaps government/the State was the pressure that made humans evolve. Like a new parasite or disease. Or, if not an effect on biological evolution, perhaps there was a pressure to force cultural evolution, instead. Maybe government didn't "free" humans to develop culture and civilization, as has been claimed- maybe those things developed and evolved as a sort of immune response to the deadly threat posed by government's growth; an evolutionary arms race.


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Monday, June 11, 2012

Artifacts of the Species

I enjoy artifacts of human ingenuity. And some of those are artifacts of human thoughts- no physical substance, but still just as exciting.

Tools, science, philosophy. Those that are not harmful, anyway. Well, anything can be harmful when misused. Therein lies a problem.

One thing I have a very hard time enjoying in any way, shape, or form is religion. Religion is too harmful; it could be interesting if it weren't taken too seriously.

Yet I remind myself, as with anything, it is only a tool in the hands of a person. The way that person uses it determines whether it causes harm or not.

It's just that I almost never run across a person wielding religion who doesn't remind me of a drunk teenage boy with an AK-47 and a 6-foot high stack of 7.62X39 in little 20-round boxes, a pile of loaded magazines; sitting there looking at an abandoned field filled with unbroken glass jars, a couple of boxes of old, sweaty dynamite, and a rusted out car, and a couple of crows.

And I'm usually a crow.

Still, I would never dream of using the force of The State to tell someone what they can believe, or preach. As long as they don't use those beliefs to create "laws" it is none of my business- beyond excusing myself from their presence when they start. And I would never try to use The State against them even when they don't return the respect. In that case, however, I will not hold my tongue.


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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Superior Ethics

The ethics of anarchism/libertarianism/voluntaryism are so superior to the ethics of any other approach to living as a human that there is just no contest. Nothing else even comes close.

Some other philosophies "get it right" in some areas and miss the mark completely in others, but that still smells like "fail" to me.

So, if you disagree ... that's your business. I'll keep following this path and leave you to yours. I won't fault you for not joining me; I hope you give me the same liberty.


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Saturday, June 09, 2012

It just won't work...

Some people get very "bent" when you point out that government has had 5 or 6 thousand years to "get it right", and never has. They keep believing that it's "society's" fault for not electing "the right people", or for not enforcing the Constitution, or whatever the panacea may be.

I'm telling you, that won't work. It can't work because of the way every government in history has gotten "progressively" bigger, more tyrannical, less accountable, etc. It can't work because the majority of voters will always try to vote themselves something that everyone else will be forced to provide. It will not work because government is always set up so that it is a ratchet that can never move toward liberty. Never. It simply isn't made that way.

Your car can't drive to the moon, either, but that is no reason to blame your car. If you need to get to the moon, you will have to ditch the car and try something else.

So... When I tell you your way won't work, I'm not being pessimistic. I'm trying to help you stop wasting your time. You can whine and pout all you want but it changes nothing except my willingness to help you.


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Thursday, June 07, 2012

My books on Kindle

I have finally gotten some of my books onto Kindle. I am not sure if/when the others will be offered in a Kindle edition.

I'm not particularly thrilled with the formatting. And I'm not going to spend the time to fix it right now. But, the price is right. Each book is only $2.00.

The quirky formatting, and the size of the file of one of the remaining books, is why they will not be coming to Kindle in the immediate future. Maybe later.

Click on the links below if you want more info, and, as always, if you want a free ebook edition of any of my books, find it here.





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Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Odd Tales of my life

I've posted these in various places over the years, but I don't think I have ever posted them here. I think it's time to rectify that.

This first one happened in the mid 1990s.

We were sitting in Sunday School, which was held in the auditorium of our little log cabin church in Gunnison, Colorado. The preacher's wife taught the class, and we all sat in a semi-circle in folding chairs. She had her Bible open on her lap, and her empty styrofoam cup beside her chair on the floor. I was sitting almost directly in front of her.

As she was talking, I saw something suddenly fall from about shoulder-height into her cup. The cup rocked and everyone looked. She picked up the cup, looked in it and there were 2 or 3 coins in it. There was no way they could have fallen out of her Bible, or from her pocket.

There was no balcony or anything, nor anyone who could have tossed the money in from somewhere else. She just kinda said "Huh." and went back to talking. No one else in the room seemed to think anything too odd had occurred. I couldn't concentrate anymore, trying to figure out what had just happened. I never did.

Years pass....

After my life got turned upside down, my second wife talked me into moving to PA (against my better judgement) in the summer of 2000.

The house I moved into in PA was very strange. When I was downstairs in the half-basement, I would clearly hear footsteps on the hardwood floor above me, but when I would go (stealthily) upstairs to look, HEAVILY armed, no one would be there. The cat would also react. I could hear the front door open and close, and someone walking across the floor towards the top of the stairs. I'd would be prepared to shoot the home invader, but none ever appeared.

Once my friend Amy came to the house and opened the door. I was thinking it was just the same old routine that I heard at least once a day, when she called my name. I just about jumped out of my skin!

I would also hear voices that seemed far away. I could not understand what was being said. My wife (at the time) Angel was scared to be there alone. But she was very superstitious anyway and claimed that her childhood home had been haunted by a ghost they called "Stella".

Finally:

I was living in my pet store in Gunnison, Colorado in the spring of 2004 when I experienced this.

One afternoon I was cleaning under the counter and found a knife catalog that was several months old. I looked at it and decided to add the company's website to my 'favorites' on my computer. I am not a good typist, and was even worse back then, so I have to concentrate on anything I type.

After entering the web address, I put the catalog on a small landing halfway up the stairs and started cleaning the shop. About fifteen minutes later, I took a break to read the catalog, but the catalog on the landing was different than the one I had left there.

It had changed. It was from a different company. The pictures on the front were similar, but not quite the same as when I placed it there, and it was older than the catalog I had found earlier. No one had been in the store during the elapsed time to switch the catalogs. (Not a busy day; that's why I was cleaning under the counter.)

I looked around the store wondering if I could have been confused. Then I remembered adding the Web site to my favorites so I went to the computer. Being from a different company, the web address on the back of the catalog I now held was a different one than the one I had entered earlier.

The website for the original catalog was on my 'favorites' list but had not been moved to the proper folder yet, just as would happen to a new addition. This is how I knew it was the one I had just added, and not one I had put there at some earlier time. (The "new" catalog's website address was also not in my "favorites" yet.)

I was completely bewildered. I decided to try to get my mind off of the bizarre occurrence, so I began surfing the web. I was not searching for anything related to what had just happened, but was just browsing randomly, yet one of the first websites I went to had an account of "reality shifts" where something changes in your reality, as had just happened to me, but no one else seems to notice. Now I was really in shock.

Over the next few days, I looked for the original catalog just in case I had imagined the event, but it didn't turn up.

I never did see the original catalog again. I had also never seen the replacement before the instant it appeared in place of the other one. I love knife catalogs and look at each one until it is memorized, so I would have remembered it.

....

Now, since I don't understand any of these events, does that mean they were supernatural in origin? Of course not! They all have a natural explanation that fits with the laws of the physical Universe, even if I (or anyone) don't yet understand those laws. Even extraterrestrials, other dimensions, or whatever "woowoo" that might be must operate under the laws of the Universe as we know them or as they can be extrapolated or yet to be discovered. But, in the meantime the unknowns sure can make things interesting.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Self control best way to govern

Self control best way to govern

(My Clovis News Journal column for May 4, 2012)

Libertarianism is often described as the advocacy of maximum liberty and minimum government. The "maximum liberty" part is pretty easy to understand, once you really understand what liberty is. As long as your actions don't harm another person physically, and don't take or damage his personal property, you are within your rights to do anything. You are "at liberty" to proceed.

Thomas Jefferson put it this way: "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others." Unobstructed action within the equal rights of others. Smart man.

Just keep in mind that the other guy operates under the same "unobstructed action" whether either of you know it or not. His rights are equal and absolutely identical to yours. So, you'd probably be wise to include being nice in your decision to act.

The "minimum government" part is where the complications arise. This aspect even confuses a lot of libertarians. Just how much government is minimal? Half of what we have now? A strictly constitutional government? No externally-imposed government, "State", at all? Ask a dozen libertarians and you're likely to get a dozen different answers. The only constant is that it would be a lot less than we are burdened with now. Even most "Repubmocraticans" agree on that point.

Contention does arise, though. For one thing, some people operate under the belief that you can't have liberty without a government holding back other people to prevent them from violating your liberty. Others point out that no one other than government is a real threat to your liberty. The only kind of government that has ever worked, or ever will, is self control.

You can't govern bad people, and you don't need to govern good people- they govern themselves. So it seems a waste of time and energy to keep pursuing something that is so pointless and unnecessary, and doomed to fail in its stated goal. Not to mention all the time, money, and lives this pointless pursuit has destroyed.

Of course, this means that if you fail to govern yourself you give someone else a justification for defending himself and his property against you. He would be well within his rights, even if the "law" doesn't agree. This principle operates the same whether you accept libertarianism or not. Reality is funny that way.


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