Monday, June 18, 2018

Wait, can I DO that?

Today is my birthday, and I'm taking a day off. I plan to be back tomorrow with more chewy goodness.

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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Happy Father's Day

Great fathers teach* their kids responsibility.
They teach their kids to not attack people, to not take or damage other people's stuff, and to keep their word.
They teach their kids that searching for loopholes just because they really want to find one isn't the right thing to do.

The truly exceptional fathers also teach their kids there are no "jobs" that come with a pass to do these things; that the people who believe there are aren't heroes or anyone to look up to, but are someone to pity or revile.

And these fathers live the example, even when it's hard, rather than just speaking wise words.

If at all possible, be grateful for the father you have, flaws and all, and do your very best to be an exceptional father, even knowing you will sometimes fall short.


*Remember you can't teach anyone anything they aren't willing to learn. All you can do is to do your best.

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Saturday, June 16, 2018

I never suspected...

...which makes sense when you think about it.

According to the graph above, my IQ is somewhere around 65.

I'm sure that's comforting to "certain people". Hey, whatever makes people feel better about themselves, right? 😜

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Friday, June 15, 2018

Identify reality

Just because you don't like what I say doesn't make it any less true.

Of course, the opposite is also true-- just because you agree with me doesn't mean I'm right.

This is a hard thing to grasp. I want to believe those I agree with are right, and those I disagree with are wrong. And, it's still possible that this is the case most of the time. But I have to be careful to not be so happy to agree with something that I don't examine it.

As is the case in so many areas of life, the more you learn to identify the plants and wildflowers, the fewer weeds you'll see. Fewer... but there still are some.

I can see why others embrace certain paths (and people), and in learning to identify some of these things, I see fewer acts as truly evil. But evil still exists.

No matter how you wrap it and put a bow on it, it is still evil to cause intentional harm to life, liberty, or property. It is evil and it doesn't matter what names you give it. It doesn't matter how much you appreciate or love those who do it. It doesn't matter that the alternative scares you or you feel you have no choice. And, even if I can identify your specific weed, I know it's still a weed. It needs to be pulled out by the roots and burned-- and it's your responsibility to do so.

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

A response to Bruce the Anti-libertarian

I ran across a letter to the editor written in response to a libertarian's letter. (I have a screenshot in case this letter goes away.)

This raving statist's letter was a treat to behold. Rarely have I witnessed this much dishonesty in such a small space. Kudos to him!

Now I'll address just a few of the lies promulgated therein.

"[R]egulations (and taxes) exist for the public good, and protect the public from bad actors"
That's simply not true. You can't rob the "public" for its own good. It's not possible.

There are only two kinds of regulations- the useless and the harmful. You don't need regulations (or "laws") against things such as murder, robbery, kidnapping, etc. to make it OK for people to defend themselves and others from those acts. And "laws" against victimless acts are harmful to society because they harm individuals. You can't harm all your body's useful cells and claim it's beneficial to your body. Well, you can, but you'd be lying.

The worst of the bad actors are those who seek positions of political power, from which they can rob and molest people (mostly) without consequence-- because it is "legal", and people like the author seem to believe that's good enough.

"Libertarians believe there is no such thing as 'the public interest' and deny that altruism exists."
More lies.

It can not be in the "public interest" to systematically enslave the individuals who make up the public. This is the reality government extremists such as the author seek to sweep under the statist rug.

Altruism exists. No libertarian denies that it does. I have performed altruistic acts of my own free will, and I have benefitted from the altruistic acts of others-- just very recently in fact. It would have cheapened the act if someone such as the author (or his hired thugs-- government employees) had stuck a gun in the face of those he felt should "help" to convince them to be "altruistic". If you have no choice, due to "laws", it's NOT generosity. It is not altruistic to rob people and claim it isn't robbery because you call it "taxation". It's not altruistic to give "the less fortunate" money or other property which is not yours to give away. That is the opposite of altruistic.

"Everything is seen through a lens of naked self-interest."
Nope. He's lying again! How many lies can he squeeze into this one screed? LOL!

"...they believe all politicians and all bureaucrats are simply out for themselves, and have no other motive than grasping self-interest."
I don't care about their motives, I care about what they actually do. Their acts harm innocent people, and even when they see the harm they do, they "do it harder". That's wrong.

"Therefore, every regulation, and every tax, is a coercive measure of oppression intended to deny libertarians their 'freedom.'
I care about your "freedom" as much as I care about my own. Otherwise I wouldn't be a libertarian. All those acts of statism the author supports deny him his own freedom (and liberty), too. And I care even if he doesn't. I don't want to see someone robbed and raped, even if they're OK with it. But even more than that, I don't want people like him making the decision that others have to be OK with it just because he sees nothing wrong with it. That's just evil.

"Of course, the same daily 'coercion' experienced by most people in the corporate world goes unremarked, because employment is voluntary, and you can always quit."
Another lie. This guy's going for a new world record!
Corporations are an instrument of government, which only exist by crawling in bed with government, and which get government favors out of the deal. They are just as wrong when they initiate force or violate property rights as government.

It's not about government, after all; it is about not having the right to attack others or take their stuff, no matter who you are or what your excuse. Yes, you can usually quit a job without being forced to move away like you're forced to do if you want to quit a particular government. That doesn't excuse the aggression or property violations committed by government's bosom buddies, the corporations.

"Libertarians believe that the nastiest of men, for the nastiest of motives, will somehow work for the benefit of us all."
Haha!! No, you've just stated your own side and blamed it on libertarians. That may be the most dishonest thing you've said here, but it's a close contest.

Bruce, I hope for your sake no one ever characterizes you and your position half as dishonestly as you've just characterized the libertarian position. If they do, you'll probably fang yourself in frustration. You should really get a bit more informed about a topic before you dive in and put your foot so deeply into your mouth.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Discrimination should be left legally alone

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for June 13, 2018-- I'm not able to access it this week without subscribing. Maybe you'll know a way to get around that.)

Who would be desperate enough to eat a cake baked by someone who doesn't want to bake it? Would you want a wedding cake someone was forced to bake-- at gunpoint?

Even if the gun is hidden at first, every law comes down to "do as we say or we'll kill you".

At best, the newlyweds will get a cake they dare not eat.

So why follow this path? Perhaps they claim to only want things to be the rest...

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Be a Jedi-- understand force

You, as an abolitionist-Voluntaryist-anarchist-libertarian, are a real-life Jedi. You understand the power of force. Not The Force, perhaps, but force. In fact, you understand it's (almost) all about force.

Force is neither good nor bad. It's all in how you use it.

Defensive force is the light side.

Initiated force-- aggression-- is the dark side.

If you start looking for ways to justify initiating force, out of "necessity, it is a path which leads away from the light side into the dark side. Follow this path often enough, and despite your best intentions, you'll become a real-life Sith.

And sometimes it is with the best of intentions that you take steps down that path. You may do it out of concern for the less fortunate. Or for the children. Out of fear of what "might happen" if you don't initiate force against someone who hasn't actually archated yet, but you are sure they will if you don't use force against them first. It's a seductive path.

This is the path followed by cops, politicians, and all government employees. They may see themselves as the good guys, but they can't be. Almost all their force is initiated force. Aggression. The dark side of force. Even if they sometimes use force defensively, it's not where their power comes from. They put on the kindly Palpatine act, while secretly they are Darth Sidious.

And this is what you're up against. You didn't choose the battle, but it chose you. Ready or not.

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Monday, June 11, 2018

Why try to justify slavery?

Recently, on Quora, someone asked why anyone would be opposed to (government) research on "gun violence".

My response was that I'm against it for the same reason I'm against using stolen money ("taxes") to research ways to justify slavery.

I don't believe stolen money should be used for research of any kind. Ever. Nor do I believe anything can justify slavery/"gun control".

One guy replied that he is "pro-taxation and pro-research". I didn't read the rest of his response-- I didn't need to.

Admitting to be "pro-taxation" is shameful. What other types of slavery and theft does he support?

I'm not "anti-research", there are just some topics where research is pointless.

Nothing can give anyone the right or the "authority" to prohibit guns or to otherwise enslave people, so there's no reason to seek justifications for either act. The money thus spent is wasted, and the money was stolen to begin with.

I'm against this kind of "research" on principle, not because it is research, but because it can't tell me anything I need to know. But you know what does tell me something important? When someone admits supporting it.

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Sunday, June 10, 2018

Government not designed to help

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 9, 2018)

How can anyone watch every form of government fail, over 5000-plus years of history, and still have faith it can work if done right; if the right constitution is enacted; if the right people are given power?

Not only do they keep the faith as it fails, but some want to give government even more power over our lives. Enough is enough!

Government is powerless to help, but is specially suited to harm.

People act surprised when the true nature of politician after politician is revealed, but what kind of person do they imagine seeks to have power over the lives of others?

Those who make up government crave power. It's why they sought the job. For their victims to clamor to give them more power-- before such power is taken by force-- makes no sense.

Even if you imagine the true purpose of government is to protect your life, liberty, and property from others, so as to free you to pursue happiness, you're trusting your protection to those most likely to be the ones you need protection from.

No government has ever protected life, liberty, or property when it meant scaling back its own power.

Expecting government to do so is like hopping in your family SUV expecting to drive it to Alpha Centauri. That's not what it was designed to do, and not in the realm of possibility, no matter how much you wish it were.

As has been pointed out, without government some people might choose to rob and kill; with government it's guaranteed. Since the robbing and killing is then done "legally", it must be OK in most people's eyes. Not in mine, however.

It's not right to take property from others. Calling it taxation, property codes, or eminent domain doesn't change wrong into right.

It's not right to pretend you have the right to tell people what they can ingest, whether they are allowed to run a business, drive a car, carry a gun, or any of the other things people calling themselves government regulate, nor is it right to require licenses or permits to do those things. It's wrong to use violence against anyone who ignores such rules. It's also wrong to support those rules from the sidelines.

I don't know what the future holds. Perhaps we stand on the verge of a new Dark Age, where government "helps" people into a benevolent slavery "for their own good". In such case, I may be on the losing side, but not the wrong one.

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Write to learn

Yeah, this is how I do it. Frilly sleeve and all.

Want to really learn something?

Find something you care about and write about it. Don't worry that you don't know enough; be open and learn along the way. You can learn along with your readers, and they can help you understand things you might be missing.

When you discover a question, see if you can find the answer. Or an answer... or two.

I've found writing things down, to communicate them to other people, is about the best way to get the concepts clear in my own mind. It also helps me discover gaps in my own understanding which I can then fill.

It's not even necessary for other people to read what you write, although their comments can help you figure some things out.

It may not guarantee you'll get it right, but I'll bet you'll get closer that way than by just about any other way.

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Saturday, June 09, 2018

Believing or thinking

Believing is like accepting and eating a stranger's casserole. Hopefully whoever made it had good intentions and was honest. You trust they didn't use feces as an ingredient.

Thinking is like knowing exactly what went into making the casserole, and how it was put together and cooked. You might have even made it yourself from ingredients you chose and combined, then cooked.

Making your own casserole is no guarantee that you didn't use a contaminated ingredient, or undercook it. But, at least any problems can be traced back to the source: you.

I am not comfortable believing but vastly prefer thinking.

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Friday, June 08, 2018

Butterscotch the cat

I know it will seem trivial, but I need some donations so I can take my daughter's cat to the vet.

She's sick and my daughter is upset, and I don't know what else to do.

I really hate to ask, because I know it's annoying. If you care to help, thank you.

Added: I started a GoFundMe, just in case you want to follow the updates.

Don't assume others are so pathetic

If you don't like liberty-- if you're scared of it, don't trust it, or don't trust other people with it-- that's fine. Go your own way.

But don't for one second believe that your shortcoming gives you the right to violate the liberty of others. It doesn't. Don't project your flaws on others who may not share them.

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Thursday, June 07, 2018

The cost of dependency

Apparently 5 NYC taxi drivers have recently committed suicide. This is being blamed on Uber and other ride-sharing innovations.

Instead of dropping the taxi business and its precious "medallions" like a rotting gopher, the drivers are killing themselves. Can they not imagine a way of life without their expensive government monopoly? If liberty is killing the taxi monopoly, as they claim, why not adapt and start driving for one of the other options? Why demand a place on the sinking ship?

Government tries to outlaw liberty, but liberty finds a way. You can either adapt or die. And, in some cases, I guess those who don't want to adapt will kill themselves.

"Waaaa! Our government-promised monopoly is dying! I might as well kill myself instead of giving up the teat!"

One of the whiners demonstrated his lack of ethics by saying "... [Uber, et al] should be regulated like taxi cabs." Yep. "I had to do it this way, so I want everyone else violated in the same way I was." It's the statist faith in action.

How about this instead: taxis and ride-sharing services should both be unregulated, except by customer choice.
Anything less is pathetic and statist.

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The truth about forest fires and Smokey

It seems I have confused or bewildered some people with my comments about Smokey Bear.

The problem is that through Smokey Bear people came to see forest fires as only bad.

And it's simply not true. In fact, this bit of ignorance almost destroyed forests.

Small, frequent forest fires help clean up forest debris. As long as the debris is cleaned out regularly, the fires stay small, fast, and relatively "cool". The bark of healthy trees would get scorched, some dead branches would burn away, and the loose branches and dry underbrush would burn. But the fires wouldn't get hot enough, or stay burning long enough, to burn through the bark of healthy trees to seriously injure or kill them. The fires would keep infestations of tree pests under control, as well, plus many other benefits. Forests evolved under pressure from frequent fires, and recover quickly from the natural renewal process which naturally frequent fires represent.

Then the Forest Circus came along, with Smokey Bear as their anti-fire spokescritter. By focusing on human-caused fires, they convinced people that all forest fires were bad. ("Only YOU can prevent forest fires!")

Well, the truth is human-caused fires serve the same purpose as lightning-caused fires. Not only that, but the Forest Circus actively fought all fires, since "Forest fires are bad, Mmkay?".

So forest fires were artificially reduced in number, but nature finds a way. This allowed flammable debris to build up on the forest floor. Fewer in number meant greater in intensity. When the inevitable fire started, whether caused by humans or something else, the fire raged. It burned hotter and longer due to more fuel available. It burned through the bark of healthy trees, killing them and often adding them to the fuel. The forest fire fighters then airdrop chemicals on the fire and bulldoze firebreaks.

This is all quite a bit worse for the forest than what would have happened if they had just minded their business and let forest fires occur naturally as needed.

Also, pests were able to attack trees unchecked, so more chemicals were used to try to save trees.

The "solutions" are worse than the original problem.

Now, because bureaucrats are so wise, they set prescribed burns, and sometimes let forest fires (which are more deadly due to bureaucratic policies) burn, in the name of healthy forests. Too little, too late.

If they had simply stayed out of it to begin with, it would have just been a lot better.

As always, the solution involves property rights, not government policy or "laws".

This is why Smokey Bear is a government propagandist, not a friend of nature.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Rule by majority unfair to minority

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for June 6, 2018- I don't write the headlines*)

Politics might be an amusing hobby, but it is a horrible basis for a society. One should never confuse government with society. Society grows naturally from the voluntary interactions of people, while government is anti-social; imposed by those who imagine themselves at the "top" onto everyone they see as beneath them.

Unanimous consent is the way to get things done without coercion or theft. Let those who agree work together without forcing anyone else to go along. If your idea relies on forcing people to participate, it's probably a bad idea. Anything which depends on force or coercion to survive should be allowed to die. Never use mob rule-- democracy-- to force people to do things they the rest...

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Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Navigating around the robots

It's your responsibility to not violate anyone's rights, but beyond that, your responsibilities aren't my business. Certainly nothing I should be lecturing you about. I can't make anyone else accept what I imagine to be their responsibilities no matter how much I might wish to.

If I'm out riding my bike it is my responsibility to not let the cars run over me. I can say it is the other drivers' responsibility to watch out for me, but where will that get me? Dead.

It seems smarter to just imagine all the cars are robotic and unaware of my presence; just moving randomly in some unpredictable way. So I'd better watch out for myself. This is what I try to get my 10 year-old daughter to understand, as well.

It's the same with the rest of life, too. I know I have the responsibility to not archate. I also realize other people have the same responsibility, but may not be aware of it. Even if the knew they might not care. They might enjoy being a mugger or a cop or a "public" [sic] school teacher [sic] and place their feelings, or the money, above their responsibility. I can either get upset that they won't live up to their responsibility, or I can accept it as it is and do my best to navigate around these mindless (from my perspective) robots. Which is likely to enhance my life more?

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Monday, June 04, 2018

Smokey Bear- enemy agent

When I was a kid I loved Smokey Bear. I had a Smokey Bear pillowcase (which my parents donated to the Smokey Bear museum a few years ago). I had a Smokey Bear bendy rubber toy with a mediocre paint job, probably bought in a tourist trap in Colorado.

I also fell for the propaganda Smokey Bear was created to spread. I love animals and nature and wanted them to be protected. I didn't yet know the forests were being "protected" to death by preventing a natural, essential process. A process that when interfered with makes the problem worse and more destructive. It was quite a shock when I learned the truth.

Smokey Bear and his propaganda campaign illustrate the danger of government perfectly.

Use a memorable way to promote bad policy. The bad policy then causes damage which makes the original problem worse, which causes people to believe government (and its bad policy) is necessary to protect from the consequences of government policy. It's a snake swallowing itself. But it remains effective.

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Sunday, June 03, 2018

Anti-Trump posturing gets old

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 2, 2018- I promise it's not pro-Trump; it's actually anti-anti-Trump while being anti-president in general.)

How can anyone ever be disappointed in a president? It shows unrealistic expectations. Don't people realize that getting to the top of the political heap takes a certain kind of person, and it's not a particularly good kind?

Some presidential actions irritate me more than others. It is the same with anyone, president or not, who believes he has some mystical authority to tell others how to live and backs his opinions with the threat of violence. I won't tolerate such behavior in friends or acquaintances, why would I tolerate it in people I don't even know?

Presidents matter so little to my day-to-day life; I have to go out of my way to notice the new political threats being made against my life, liberty, and property this time around. Each new law or policy is just another link in the "long train of abuses and usurpations".

Still, the posturing of those who make an effort to signal their elitist disdain for President Trump gets old. Especially when they haven't shown every other president the same disdain. It is terribly hypocritical when they screech about the liberty-crushing agenda of one while fawning over the liberty-crushing agenda of the other. You've got to crush liberty in the politically correct way, I suppose.

The "progressive" Trump haters want you to believe they are the sensible ones, while in their minds, the "yokels" who voted for Trump, many of whom still support him, are "ignorant rubes". This is their mantra, to be chanted until they get what they want.

I chuckled recently when I heard a self-identifying liberal refer to liberals as society's "intellectuals". When it suits them, perhaps, but not so much when it doesn't. Supporting bigger, more powerful and intrusive government, in spite of evidence, doesn't reflect well on a person's intellect. It's even worse testimony against their ethics.

I'm also amused at liberals' reactions to Trump's behavior. The "progressives" suddenly became Puritans.

I'm hoping the "get Trump at all costs" crowd has opened a can of worms they'll never be able to close. One good thing which might come from this melodrama is a whittling away at the illusion of legitimacy which has too long surrounded the office of president. If every future president gets the same treatment, or worse, maybe people would stop wanting the job. It could be a path to better times ahead; where people stop looking to politicians as role models, and start taking responsibility for themselves.

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Let them think what they will

Someone recently asked a rather personal question about a particular form of resistance, and whether or not I pursue that path. I'm not going to be more specific.

I foolishly answered, but then immediately deleted the response (I know- too late).

I doubt the person is a snitch. Maybe trying to find something to criticize me on. Or testing to see whether I "walk the walk". Those are valid reasons to ask, but that's no excuse to answer. Let people believe what they want about you-- it's nothing to you.

The question made me stop and think, though. I don't generally consider my "contributions" beyond writing, and I simply don't talk about such things in public.

I do my best to live as I believe I should live. Why would I put it out there, trying to make others see why such a course is the right one, then go off and live some other way? I have room for improvement, but I expect that to always be the case.

But don't go around answering questions that shouldn't be answered just because you don't want someone to think you might be a hypocrite. There's no benefit.

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Saturday, June 02, 2018

"Reasonable" statists

It amazes me how reasonable some people can make slavery sound.

They can play the part of the "adult in the room" while advocating mass murder conducted "constitutionally". All they have to do is to mention that it's the law, or that we are obligated to follow the "social contract" or "pay our fair share" and gullible people will nod in agreement and praise them for being so reasonable and responsible.

It is frustrating to me because they aren't being reasonable at all.

No matter how sensible statism sounds, no matter how many people accept it without question as "how the world really works", no matter how "adult" they pretend it is, it is the opposite of reasonable.

Statism is insane. Statists who seem reasonable are like the serial killer who seems rational and calm when they befriend you-- but then makes a stew from your skin and eyeballs.

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Friday, June 01, 2018

When you mix your religions

It seems to me there is an unacknowledged religion being widely followed in America. It's actually a combination of a couple of very popular religions.

Just as African slaves in the American south may have combined native African religion with Catholicism to create Louisiana Voodoo, all over America many people are combining Christianity with statism and practicing the hybrid religion which results.

It's not really a pure form of either religion, but a horrifying chimera with features taken from both.

I know many of the adherents personally, and see many more of them online and in the media. They are the ones praying for "the troops", with Holy Pole Quilt on display in their churches, urging respect for the police, and excusing any manner of tyranny with Romans 13.

My first instinct is to call this hybrid religion "Patriotic Voodoo", but maybe it should just be shortened to Poodoo.

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Thursday, May 31, 2018

"Rights are just a mental construct"

People who claim rights are "just" a mental construct without any external reality often use that idea to lead into a lecture-- with their very next breath-- promoting their ideas of responsibility; often based on their interpretation of morality.

It goes both ways. If rights are meaningless because they are a non-real mental construct, then so are responsibilities.

Humans are-- more than anything-- the mental animal. That something is a mental construct doesn't mean it isn't real. For humans, nothing is more real. In fact, physical things which people can't fit into a mental construct are often ignored; having no "reality" for most people.

So, yeah, rights are nothing when removed from the human mind, but the same is true for responsibilities. Neither a rock nor a corpse has any rights or responsibilities.

I understand why some people are so opposed to rights while being so adamant about responsibilities, but, like it or not, your primary responsibility is to not violate the rights of others.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Missing Link

If you don't believe me, check it out for yourself.

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'Nothing' is best government activity

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 30, 2018)

There is one thing government could do which I will support. One thing I believe it needs to spend more time doing. It's the one thing government can do best, the one thing government can do which will actually help, and the only thing which can justify taxation.
What is this extraordinary government activity? Nothing.

I support government doing nothing, and I believe it needs to spend more time doing nothing. Nothing government does is better than what the market can do. Government does nothing which helps, and nothing justifies the rest...

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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Falling short and missing the mark

I fell short.

In frustration I called a statist a parasite. 

Really, he is much much worse than a mere parasite. I was being gentle. But I still shouldn't have lost my composure with him.

He was making the argument that a cop was right to ticket a man who didn't have a front "license plate", and that the guy deserved it because he broke the "law" and was being a jerk to the nice cop- who then lost his temper.

I had nicely pointed out that such a "law" is counterfeit, and I asked where the cop got this supposed right to stop and molest people over a bit of metal, and where the State got the right to require you pay for and attach this piece of metal.

The guy started in with saying "we" have a Constitution and "laws" that we are required to follow, and ... "we"/"our" "society" "social contract" blah blah blah. He was justifying every kind of law, and any amount of violence to enforce them, with his superstitions and collectivism.

And this was in a liberty-oriented, individualist group.

I should have just walked away and ignored the vermin. But, no, I called it a parasite. Which is true: all statists are parasites to some extent. But it's probably not helpful (in most cases) to point this fact out to them.

So, yeah, I failed. I strive to do better next time.

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Statists' greatest fear

I can no more imagine being afraid of liberty than I can imagine a Canada goose being afraid of heights.

But that's just me. I know many people are scared out of their minds at the thought of liberty. They fight against it every way they can think of, and work hard to try to make others as fearful as they are.

They misrepresent liberty.
They define it incorrectly.
They dream up all sorts of "what if" scenarios to justify being afraid.

They have a right to feel as they do, but... They are wrong.

If they stopped at having feelings, no one would be hurt but themselves. Yet they never do. They are so cowardly that they use the aggression of the State to enslave everyone else because of their own fears. This goes beyond being pathetic into committing evil. I pity them, but I also understand I can't allow them to have their way with people who aren't as pathetic as they are.

No, I don't think it's OK to shoot every statist you encounter, claiming "self-defense", but I can envision a day where that might end up being the only way to survive and stay out of a cage. I hope these cowards don't keep getting so much of what they want, because if they do, that dark day will eventually arrive. It won't be a good day for anyone if (or when) that happens.

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Monday, May 28, 2018

Yes, rights can be violated. So?

In a recent podcast, Dilbert's Scott Adams claimed rights are not inalienable because "we can make a law against anything we want".

Partly true, but mostly wrong. You can make a law against anything you want, but if that law violates natural human rights, that "law" is counterfeit. Rights can either be respected or violated. There is no third option.

It is obvious he sees rights as something coming from government; as privileges. Subject to the whims of the majority, or of a minority with deadly power.

Yes, rights can be violated, but that doesn't mean that violating them is a "collective right".

If your desire is to make up laws which violate natural human rights, then of course you are going to promote the idea that rights can be created, doled out, or canceled by law. But this is a lie.

He hates analogies, but one which illustrates the absurdity of his position is that in his world, murder can't be wrong-- you have no right to not be murdered since a murderer could kill you anytime he wants.

"Can" doesn't dictate "should".

His is a superstitious belief about laws and what they are. This is why you judge ideas on their merits, not by who came up with them.

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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Maybe it's time for libertarian countries

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for April 25, 2018)

Why have there been no libertarian countries? It's a popular question from those skeptical of libertarianism.

On the face of it, it seems a reasonable question. Until you understand what they're asking; then it makes less sense.

How can there be geographic, forced collectives based on voluntary associations and unanimous consent? Coercively voluntary? Enslaved freedom? Where one exists, the other can't. It's like asking why there are no frozen fires.

While libertarianism is essentially personal, there is a political version of libertarianism which would allow government to exist, as long as it is vastly less intrusive. In this case, some historians would dispute the claim of there never having been libertarian countries.

The more individuals respecting life, liberty, and property in an area, the more libertarian the country, regardless of government. Early America, as one example, was pretty libertarian, but inconsistent. Too few residents sufficiently respected the equal and identical rights of all people. The Declaration of Independence is a reflection of better intentions, but just over a decade later they messed up a good thing by writing a constitution; imposing an anti-libertarian government on America. There went the potential.

Libertarians are responsible and don't try to govern, or otherwise violate, their neighbors. When enough people are this responsible a tipping point is reached where the country is largely libertarian. The more libertarian a country is, the more resilient it becomes. Fewer things can go wrong enough to damage it. Alternatively, the less libertarian a country, the more brittle. A foreign or domestic bad guy only needs to seize and use the institutions of governance already in place to defeat the entire country. When none exist to be taken over, every individual must be defeated. It's not worth it.

Contrary to the fears of the skeptics, a libertarian country could provide anything people want. There could be roads, parks, and libraries. The poor could be cared for and people kept safe. Everything provided voluntarily instead of at the barrel of government guns. If you want to make sure only those who paid for a service use it, charge user fees or sell memberships. It would be more ethical, and probably cheaper, than the current system.

Why have there been no libertarian countries? Why have there been no cities on Mars? The time wasn't right. The technology didn't exist. Times change. Whether or not they've existed before, maybe it's time for libertarian countries to happen. I don't know about you, but I'm ready.

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Holy Pole Quilt or else!

A guy who lives across the street from my parents assumed I would be on his side.

A new convenience store/truck stop in the area apparently doesn't fly Holy Pole Quilt. This offends the man.

He told me he's going to go in, fill up a basket with expensive items, and when he gets to the register, ask why they aren't flying "The Flag". Then when the cashier says they "aren't allowed to", he's going to leave the full basket and say he can't spend money with them if they can't fly the flag of the country he "fought for".

Ugh. Seriously? Does he only spend money with businesses which prominently display Holy Pole Quilt? I don't remember one flying over most of the grocery stores in the area, Walmart being the exception.

This guy is a die-hard statist and militarist. He was sent to Vietnam as a youngster to murder (or support murderers) for the US government's interests. Unlike many others, this experience only deepened his worship of The State. He has a flagpole in the middle of his front yard, with Holy Pole Quilt illuminated by lights at night. He told me he's making soldier cut-outs to put in front of the pole, along with a big sign of statist propaganda about soldiers and "freedom". There's no doubt where his loyalties lie. And yet, he assumes I agree with him?

He reads my newspaper columns and often tells me how much he enjoys them. Is he reading into the columns what he wants to see, or am I really that bad at communicating?

Just so you know, I don't go around looking for fights. I didn't say a word to the guy about his misguided assumptions or horrifying religion. I may not have even rolled my eyes. I also didn't encourage him or agree with him in any way.

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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Public service notice

If I cuss, you'd better run.


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Karma? Nah

I don't believe in karma nor anti-karma (what some express as "no good deed goes unpunished").

This frees me to do the right thing for the right reasons without the taint of selfishness or unnecessary fear.

I'm not expecting reward or punishment for doing the right thing, and if I do the wrong thing any punishment is deserved. It's somewhat liberating.

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Friday, May 25, 2018

Wrongness is wrong because...

Murder is wrong because it violates an individual's rights.

Rape is wrong because it violates an individual's rights.

"Gun control" is wrong because it violates an individual's rights.

There is really no difference in the wrongness of those wrongs.

These things aren't wrong because they are illegal and aren't right when they are "legal".
They aren't wrong because people agree they are wrong.
They don't stop being wrong if a majority stops believing they are wrong, because individuals are still being violated.

If an act violates the rights of an individual, then you have no right to do it. If you do it anyway, you did wrong. You committed evil. That you believe your act is "necessary" changes nothing.

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

I am not a sitting duck

Does having a gun with you in the event of an attack guarantee survival? Of course not. Nothing can. But it doesn't matter.

I'd rather have a fighting chance than be a sitting duck.
Even if I don't survive. I'd rather go out fighting for my life than cowering in fear.

At least do the decent thing and don't get in my way with "laws" and other nonsense.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Laws themselves a senseless crime

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 23, 2018)

Droughts are a serious problem. They cause wildfires, dirt storms, crop failure, and they deplete the aquifer. Droughts are harmful and dangerous. Someone should do something! Why aren't droughts illegal already?

On the other hand, you don't want floods, either. Or property-damaging hail or tornadoes. Those should be criminalized as the rest...

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

"Gun control" is collective punishment

Collective punishment. I've said before how much I dislike it, and whyhere, here, and here.

Your fear, helplessness, or anger doesn't justify collective punishment. Nothing does; nothing can.

Anti-gun "laws", anti-gun bigots dishonestly call them "gun control", are nothing but collective punishment. Punishing innocent people for something someone else did-- something they didn't do and wouldn't do-- just because it's too hard to do anything about what happened. And just because the solution isn't what they want to do.

It's just another reason (in a large and growing stack of reasons) I despise anti-gun "laws".

I recently saw a question asking whether gun owners felt guilt over the latest school shooting by an evil loser. No, I don't. I didn't do it, and I wasn't there to try to prevent or stop it. Whether or not I have a gun has no bearing on any school shooting-- my guns were irrelevant. Disarming me wouldn't make anyone safer, except bad guys in my presence. How can anyone be stupid enough to see that as a positive thing?

How can anyone be stupid enough to advocate or support any anti-gun "laws"?

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Monday, May 21, 2018

Statists are welcome to listen and learn, or not

I don't really expect statists to listen and learn from anything I write. Yes, it has occasionally happened, but it's not something I count on.

They don't want to hear that "taxation" is theft, or that anti-gun "laws" are slavery, that nothing can give anyone the right to prohibit others from using drugs, or that if you punish someone for something that "might" happen, YOU are the attacker.

They don't want to hear that no matter how many people agree, those people can't make a right out of thin air, and they can't transfer an imaginary right created in this way to someone else to put it into action on it on their behalf in the name of "authority".

This kind of news makes them very unhappy. It puts a monkey wrench in almost everything they want to do to others.

But I know it's true, and I suspect you do too.

So I speak to you while I speak to myself. Statists are welcome to listen in, but I'm not going to water down the truth to spare their feelings. Watered down truth is just a lie. Too many have been coddling them in this way for far too long, to be "nice", and look where it has led. Those clowns now believe they are the reasonable ones!

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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Americans don't need another war

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for April 18, 2018)

Is Syria worth dying over? No. It would be a tragedy for you to die-- or to kill-- over Syria, North Korea, Russia, or any other country the U.S government is trying to goad into war.

Americans don't need another war in some country which can never be a credible threat to Americans at home. A new money pit, because apparently your money isn't being shoveled into the other U.S. government money pits fast enough to satisfy the military hardware pushers.

I understand some people are very excited about policing the world and spreading "democracy" with perpetual war. I wonder how their democracy missiles work. By spraying Truth, Justice, and The American Way shrapnel with each hellish explosion?

These "compassionate" wars give a new generation excuses to hate Americans. Their problem isn't really with Americans, but with the aggressive, war-addicted U.S. government. The people might not want their tax-stolen money used to create more terrorists abroad, but government gets what it wants.

I know Russians aren't synonymous with the Russian government, the Chinese aren't the same as the Chinese government, and Syrians aren't the Syrian government. Few people are able to see the disconnect between a people and the criminal government which claims to operate on their behalf. For the record, I am not the U.S. government and if you have a problem with them, your problem isn't with me.

People rarely behave so badly as when they group with like-minded psychopaths and call themselves a government. If everyone refused to join them in their psychopathy, they would have no one willing to die or murder to promote governmental interests. Military aggression isn't a good thing; it's never healthy for the people of either country-- not for the aggressors nor for the defenders trying to defeat the invaders. Yet people fall for the propaganda. They always have.

Hermann Göring, Nazi leader and founder of the Gestapo said it like this: "...the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists [sic] for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

Does it work on you? Do you mistake opposition to aggression for "pacifism"?

The regime posing the greatest credible threat to your life, liberty, and property is not in Syria, Russia, or North Korea, but in Washington DC. Are you their willing sacrifice?

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Skeptical kids

There's a phenomenon I've noticed with kids. When I tell them something they didn't already know, they often respond with "No!" They don't even take time to consider what I've said; just reject it automatically.

I suspect most adults respond the same way, but maybe not always vocally.

I've seen it happen when I've told a kid that the Sun is a star, or that birds are dinosaurs, or anything else they either didn't know or had been taught incorrectly. One kid responded that way when I told her all cops are bad guys, even if she likes one.

It might be a mental self-defense reflex. Maybe it protects the mind from uncomfortable information, whether the information is correct or not. Probably a kid would be as skeptical if I told him trolls live under his bed and cut off his tail every night so that he never has a chance to grow one. Or maybe kids would find that more believable.

I really don't go out of my way to tell people things they may not know. Things just come up in conversation if I'm not careful about where my mind goes, with my words close behind. I don't usually press the issue when I'm not believed. I'm just observing reactions and collecting data.

I think it's a good thing that kids don't just accept what they are told. I hope they'll be curious and try to find out more, somewhere. I'd rather kids be skeptical than gullible. Even when it's me they are being skeptical of.

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Don't let loved-ones become cops

If you love someone, don't EVER support their desire to become a cop.

They may have been a good person before they became a cop, but they can't be good once they are a cop. A cop in the family is nothing to be proud of-- almost anything else (including a crackhead or a $5 hooker) is better.

You might actually believe your son or your niece is too good a person to become a vile murderer just because they become a cop. Before they become a cop you're probably right. They probably have the best intentions. They may really want to help people, and may not realize that every cent they are paid as a cop is stolen from others.

The problem is, ignoring the stolen money, the "police culture" will make them come to believe they aren't doing wrong no matter what evil they participate in. It's a ratcheting effect-- each little act of law enforcement they commit will make it easier to commit the next. And it will make it easier and easier to commit slightly worse acts of enforcement. Every traffic ticket issued will bring them closer to murdering a person for not complying with a nonsensical demand fast enough. Each "property code" excuse to rob someone will inch them that much closer to murdering a person for selling items without a permit.

Even if they make it through their whole career without becoming a murderer, they will justify the murders committed by their fellow Blue Line Gang members. They'll look the other way instead of defending the victims with deadly force from their gangmates. This is just as evil as committing the murders personally. You become what you defend and excuse.

If you care about someone, DON'T support their descent into the vile, nasty life of law enforcement. Encourage them to be a good person who contributes to society instead. No good can come of choosing to commit acts of law enforcement in exchange for stolen money.

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Friday, May 18, 2018

Anti-gun bigotry will not prevent it

Another post on Medium.
If you go read it, please remember to "clap" so I can get paid. Thanks!


Government explained

Picture from here (worth reading)

Is it OK for me to go into your house and take your stuff?
What if I first write on a piece of paper that it's OK for me to go into your house and take your stuff? Does that make it OK?
What if I get a lot of people to agree with me that the permission slip I wrote for myself makes it OK?
What if, instead of using the permission slip for myself, I hire someone (with the proceeds gained by taking stuff from houses) to go into your house and take your stuff? Surely it's OK now. Right?
What if this began long, long ago, with the permission to go into your house and take your stuff passed along to individuals (in the guise of a collective "right" or "social contract") in each new generation... and that's how it has always been for you, your parents, grandparents, and so on for hundreds of years? Does that make going into your house and taking your stuff OK?
What if you call the paper a "law", those passing along the permission a "government", taking your stuff "taxation", and the guy going into your house a "police officer", IRS agent, or some other government employee? Is it OK now?


Is it OK for me to tell you how to behave when your behavior isn't hurting anyone else and isn't any of my business?
What if I write a note, outlining what I won't allow you to do, and giving myself permission to take your money, physically hurt you, or force you into a cage if you do the things I don't want you to do? It's OK now?
What if lots of people like the note I wrote and agree with me that you shouldn't be allowed to do those things, even though no one else is harmed? Does that make it OK?
What if people have been giving themselves permission to write those kinds of notes (and then use force against those who ignore the notes) for thousands of years, so that few people can even imagine another way anymore? The notes have been stacking up over the centuries so that no one even knows for sure what they all say now. This must make it OK... right?
What if I call myself government, my meddling opinions "laws", my aggressive thugs "police", taking your money a "fine", hurting you "correction" or "officer safety", and caging you "imprisonment"? Does that make it OK?

If you believe it is, you don't have sufficient ethical character to be an anarchist.

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Reason is the enemy of statism

Most people are content to believe without reason. Instead of reasons, they have a stack of excuses; this is not as good.

They'll simply assert "cops are good guys", but if pressed for reasons for this belief, they have feelings, fears, laziness, and cowardice-- which they imagine constitute reasons for their belief. But they'll provide no actual reasons based on reason.

When I say there is no such thing as a "good cop", I can show the reasons and the reasoning behind that reality. Copsuckers probably won't like it, and will counter with their feelings and excuses, but the facts stand.

It's the same on topic after topic.

This is why statists would rather rely on belief, and why they hate facts so desperately. Facts are the archenemy of those seeking to justify statism.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Anti-gun bigot gets educated

No, he won't listen.

But here it is anyway: Anti-gun dishonesty on display

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Don't trust government to keep deals

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 16, 2018)

President Trump has decided to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the "Iran Nuclear Agreement", and his critics are enjoying their opportunity to show concern.

You can debate whether the deal had any legitimacy, whether it was a good idea, and what breaking the deal means, but you'd be missing the point. Agreements are meaningless to the rest...

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

"We’re going to have to rescue ourselves"

This was kind of a cool mention in a very good column: We’re going to have to rescue ourselves

Thank you, Bryan Hyde!

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Gullible vs Stubborn

There's a fine line between being gullible and being stubborn. You don't want to automatically embrace every new idea you are exposed to just because it sounds nice, but you also don't want to automatically reject every new idea just because it's different from what you currently believe or is uncomfortable.

And that's a hard line to walk.

When I hear a new idea, if I just turn around and repeat it because I like it, it's not my idea. I'm just parroting. I might be demonstrating gullibility because I haven't really thought it through enough to know whether it makes sense. So I don't usually just repeat ideas.

When exposed to new ideas that sound good to me, I take them in, rip them apart, see how they work, put them back together, see if there are any leftover pieces that don't fit anywhere, and then if they pass the test I consider them my own to share or to keep considering. This way I am less likely to be mindlessly parroting other people's ideas. And, I hope, less likely to fall for nonsense.

Sometimes the process takes years and sometimes it takes minutes (which can seem almost like mental years). It also means that by the time I've gone through the process I may have completely forgotten where I ran across the original idea so I may not give proper credit. My brain likes to believe good ideas come from inside, without any outside influence. Selfish brain!

Even if I don't like an idea it sometimes takes root. It won't go away until I put it through the same paces as the ideas I like. If it passes the test I need to accept it regardless of whether I like it. This helps me avoid being stubborn.

I'm not saying this is the right way to consider ideas; just explaining how it works inside my own head.

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Monday, May 14, 2018

When you're wrong

I have a hard time wrapping my mind around how wrong people can be, and how they can stay that way. Without being bothered by it.

After all, I was once just as wrong, and I fought my way out of it. Now I can see how I was wrong, and why I was wrong. It seems obvious.

Then I remember that back when I was wrong, there were others who knew I was wrong and could see it clearly when I couldn't see it at all.

Now that's where I am when I see how others are wrong.

But it's ongoing. The things I am still wrong about are obvious to someone else who can see how I'm wrong and why I'm wrong, yet I don't yet see it. I hope I eventually do.

I'll write about something related tomorrow.

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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Government involvement not helping

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for April 11, 2018)

It's a wonderful thing when someone decides to help the community. I might even join them if their efforts align with my values.

I'm somewhat less thrilled when someone mistakes running for office, getting a government job, or passing a law for helping. A government position or job is nothing to be proud of. It's not honorable or praiseworthy. Everything is better without the threat of law or punishment, and when funded voluntarily. Worthwhile ideas don't require arm twisting.

Lampreys aren't helping the fish they latch on to, nor is government helping the society it feeds on.

At best, government is like the wrapping paper covering a gift. It may be beautiful, flashy, smooth, and neat. Or it may be ugly, greasy, or sloppily applied. In either case, the wrapping shouldn't be mistaken for the contents. The wrapping paper needs to be ripped off and discarded no matter how it looks. Then you can get to the important matters hidden below.

Often, government is like black mold growing in the heart of the community; bringing corruption and disease to everything it touches. You shouldn't protect the mold, pretending it is necessary. Nor should you bleach and kill it only to infect the area with new spores, causing the filth to return.

To really help your community, find things others can join voluntarily. Don't impose your ideas of what would be helpful through laws and taxes.

It's not charity if you have no choice, or if you are giving away other people's property. Socialism is the radical idea of sharing, at gunpoint, things which are not yours to share. Calling it democracy doesn't make it better.

When you violate others, it doesn't matter how pure your intentions are; you are doing something wrong. This is the fatal flaw behind most laws.

If you notice a problem, think of what you could do to fix it. Think of people who might be able to help, and ask them. You may be surprised at the response. Many people would like to help, but haven't noticed a need they can take action on. Convince them yours is the one they've been waiting for.

If no one will help, do what you can on your own. Or accept that your idea may not be as good as you believed.

As long as you aren't violating anyone else's right to life, liberty, or property with your good intentions, give it your best shot. If not you, who?

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