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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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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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!

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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?

-Or-

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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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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Blog poll results


That's how the blog rating poll ended up.

I do kind of wonder why those 4 on the bottom were even at my blog to v*te, because I wouldn't keep visiting a blog I didn't think was at least good, but I thank them for doing so anyway. Maybe they were just passing through and didn't know where they were.

Since this blog is mainly me working these things out for myself in my own head, and inviting you to watch, I'm grateful that anyone finds it worth their time (and that some actually find it worth supporting financially).

Obviously I have room for improvement, both personally and blog-wise. It's a never-ending process.

Thank you all.

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How the world should be



It seems to me that people waste a lot of energy getting upset that the world isn't as they believe it should be. Especially when they are right.

I fall into that trap, too.

Violating private property and using violence against those who are neither using violence nor violating private property is wrong. It is something no one can have the right to do, no matter what they wish to believe. And most of the world spends time and effort looking for loopholes which can't exist so they can feel right about committing wrongs.

This is just how the world is. You can either find ways to work around it (without becoming one of the violators in the process) or you can get upset at how it is.

One thing I try to remind myself is that I'm only responsible for my own behavior. I am responsible for what I do, and what I support. I can try to help those around me be responsible for themselves too, but I can't make them. And, although I can try to make sure I don't add to the troubles, I am not responsible for society's direction. If everyone else is an archator, you aren't going to make much of an impact on the whole of society, but you can refuse to participate and add to the misery. It may take courage and determination, and you might suffer consequences for doing the right thing.

Yes, governing others is wrong. It is totally messed up. So I don't do it. I don't support it, contribute to it, or participate in it. I won't attack others, nor take their stuff, not even through politics. I can't make the whole world stop doing wrong, but I can try to make sure I'm not part of the problem.

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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Rate this blog (pinned post)

I've added a temporary poll to the right-hand sidebar (just below the donation request). Apparently it's not visible in the mobile version, so if you're on a phone you have to switch to "web view" or something. Sorry.

Yeah, the answers are kind of goofy, but I'd like your honest rating, please.

As far as I know, it's completely anonymous-- I wouldn't try to figure out who chose which answer anyway.

It will be active until May 12, 2018, around 11:59 PM (Central Incorrect Time)

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Rationed rights



I know someone who, against my advice, recently got a concealed carry permit. His experience drives home why I believe it's a mistake to beg bullies for permission to exercise your natural human rights.

The process is insulting and degrading. It is designed to treat you like a common criminal.

There was a "fingerprinting"-- this of a person who has already been fingerprinted multiple times and undergone an extensive background check in order to get his current government "job". That wasn't good enough.

Then, there were drawn-out delays caused by a technical glitch wherein they wouldn't accept that he had worked for the same place twice, but with a different job sandwiched in between. The "system" wouldn't accept that answer. Not sure how a person's job history is supposed to validate their right to carry a weapon anyway.

I'm supposing my long-term "self-employment" would disqualify me in their eyes, or at least give them reasons to be suspicious and put me through the wringer.

Then there was the delay after eventual approval while waiting for his rights to come by mail so that he could start exercising them. In all, I believe the process took a month and a half or so. Rights delayed are rights denied... but so are rights licensed.

I understand, somewhat, the desire to "stay legal", if you believe that will keep you safe from the molesters in blue (and their co-conspirators) you might encounter. But that safety is an illusion. They'll murder you regardless of your permit, pat each other on the back for a job well done, go grab a beer, and get a paid vacation out of it.

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Making waves



It is odd that I am expected to have no issue with people who want others to molest me at gunpoint. In fact, it's considered rude of me to notice that they are asking others to molest me at gunpoint. They might cry "That's not what's going on-- there are laws. There have to be! It's just how civilization works!"

Yet, being quite honest, that is what's going on.

Any "law" which violates life, liberty, or property is a threat to molest you at gunpoint-- and murder you if you don't comply fast enough. There's no other honest way to look at it. And that's the vast majority of the "laws" today.

It's not considered polite to notice what's going on and to point it out to others who prefer denial.

It doesn't matter that very few of those "laws" actually affect me. I would be a self-centered monster if that were the only reason I object. I don't want my worst enemy molested by "laws" because I know those same "laws" can also be used against people I like. Or even me. But, even if they aren't, those "laws" are still not right.

Silence in the face of those "laws"-- and the people who support them-- is socially acceptable (but kind of wishy-washy and cowardly).

You'll never be widely well-thought of by standing up for what's right when wrongness has so many fans.

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

“War is Peace”, “Net Neutrality”, and other lies



A post from me on Medium.


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That's not honor



Why is the word "honor" now tied to people (and their behaviors) that it doesn't fit?

Why is being a cop or a military pawn now conflated with "honor" when the concept so obviously doesn't apply?

Neither "job" is any indication of

honesty, fairness, or integrity in one's beliefs and actions: a source of credit or distinction: high respect, as for worth, merit, or rank: such respect manifested: high public esteem; fame; glory (source
good name or public esteem: reputation: a showing of usually merited respect: recognition: : privilege: a person of superior standing: one whose worth brings respect or fame (source).
So why use the word "honor" when referring to those people who embody the opposite qualities?

Real honor is a virtue. But you can't be an honorable archator.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2018

All bad guys are politicians, and vice versa



In the interest of calling things by their proper names, it is time to apply the label "politician" to everyone who employs the political means to get what they want from interactions with other people.

Yes, presidents, congressvermin, judges, and mayors are politicians. But so are cops, muggers, DMV drones, rapists, government school "teachers", burglars, border control/ICE agents, kidnappers, trespassers, troops, home invaders, livestock inspectors, armed robbers, forest rangers, code enforcers, Somali pirates, tax collectors, and everyone else who uses the political means rather than the economic means. Yes, Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump are politicians, but so was Jack the Ripper and the guy I once saw rob someone in a parking deck.

There are only two ways of interacting with others: the economic means, where both of you come out ahead, and the political means, where one "wins" at the expense of the other. The political means is acting through archation rather than respecting the rights of those with whom you are interacting. Politics is cheating.

It seems many politicians already understand this, since the word "politician" is often treated like a bad word, with many politicians wanting to distance themselves from the truthful label. They want to be politicians while pretending they are something else (which still uses the political means).

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Monday, May 07, 2018

Fundraiser time

I need some extra donations or subscriptions right now because of an upcoming medical expense in the household. The after-insurance cost will be $250. 

Enough extra to cover a tank of gas or so would also be really nice. (Even though I bike as much as possible.)

Any purely voluntary help would be greatly appreciated. 

Thanks.



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"Welcome to our future"



A friend recently told me something scary and ... sad. Something I am still trying to digest and ponder. Something which haunts me.

He recently participated in mock "job interviews" of some college journalism students. One of the questions he asked them was "What's the purpose of government?".

Unsurprising, considering the years of pro-government indoctrination they've endured to get to this point, the students mostly answered that the purpose of government is to "help people". One of them even said government's purpose was to "control people"; she considered this a good thing. She believes society has become so dangerous government needs to control everyone in order to "protect" us all.

My friend told these students he thought government's job was to ensure life, liberty and the individual pursuit of happiness; they all scoffed.

One even said "we do not need too much freedom because we can't handle it". Well, him maybe...

My friend went on to say:

"I understand that most people feel government is too big to fight, or they're afraid of the consequences sure to come when fighting government ... But these kids seem to feel government really is their friend, that [being told] what to do is in their own best interest.
Welcome to our future."

The choice really does come down to educate them out of their delusion, or... well, you know what Anonymous Commenter will say.

Yeah, Scary!

I will have a response to this sort of thinking in my newspaper column to be posted Wednesday morning. Stay tuned.

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Sunday, May 06, 2018

Americans need more Robin Hoods

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for April 4, 2018)




The middle of April is approaching fast; the time of the year when I hear a lot about taxes. Mention of taxes brings Robin Hood to my mind.

I don't think of him with the more recent spin which has been put on the legend, but in the original spirit of the tales.

Robin Hood is a model of an ethical outlaw. He broke bad laws by doing what was right for the right reasons. His story has been misrepresented, as in the original tellings he didn't "rob from the rich and give to the poor", but took back property which had been stolen through taxation and returned it to its rightful owners. Generally, those who collected the taxes were richer than their victims, but regardless, taxing is still wrong.

In later stories, Robin Hood was sometimes changed from a regular guy into displaced royalty in order to tickle the fancy of a government-obsessed public unhappy with the current government. This cheapened the story, changing him from a truly good guy doing right because it was right into a hypocrite who wanted to get rid of one gang of rulers so his faction could take their place. In this interpretation, his outlawry was only a means to a political end. That's much less inspiring.

I prefer the more uplifting tale.

"Taxation" is a dishonest word for theft committed under color of law. The punishments for failure to pay taxes add another level of malevolence to the act of taxing. You can't do right by doing wrong. If something is good and necessary, convince people to finance it voluntarily. If they won't, you need to let it go. Good ideas don't have to be imposed by force.

Contrary to Oliver Wendell Holmes' claim, taxation is not the price we pay for a civilized society, any more than cancer is the price we pay for a healthy life. Instead, civilized society is what we sometimes manage to create in spite of uncivilized antisocial acts such as taxation. Of course, you'd expect someone whose power, position, and wealth came from taxation to mislead you about its nature.

Robin Hood is a hero, completely unlike those who live off of taxation. Americans need more Robin Hoods; heroic outlaws standing on their behalf against socially acceptable wrongs. Perhaps a modern Robin Hood wouldn't stop at correcting taxation, but would also branch out to fight other authoritarian practices.

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Maybe cops aren't a disease



Cops are not the problem; cops are a symptom.

That doesn't mean it's OK to celebrate symptoms. They still need to be addressed (and eliminated*, ideally).

Often it's not the disease that kills you, it's the symptoms. That's even the case with something like Rabies. This is also true of statism.

It's already clear statism is a fatal disease, not so much because of the statism itself, but because of the symptoms. They are what kills. And cops, along with troops and other terrorists, are the most deadly symptom.

If not for people depraved enough to enforce The State against others, the disease of statism wouldn't be as likely to be fatal.

The symptoms need to be addressed.
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*If you believe killing them is the only way to eliminate cops, you seem to be saying cops can't reason their way out of evil, that they have no ethical principles worth anything, and nothing will stop people from continuing to show up and do the nasty, scummy "job" of policing.

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Saturday, May 05, 2018

Touchy-feely racism



A day or so ago I ran across the most blatantly racist thing I've seen in a long time.

The author was taking it upon herself (I think the author was female, but I don't remember for sure) to instruct "Non-Black People", as she so gently phrased it, on how to "stay in your lane" while discussing Kanye West's support for Trump.

"Stay in your lane"?

That sounds suspiciously like "Know your place".

Fortunately most of us have moved past that. But apparently not everyone has.

Who cares what "race" Kanye is? If you have an opinion on his opinions, does that opinion hinge on what "race" both of you are?

Only if you, like that author, are a racist.

I have to admit, I was a little angry when I commented on that article. I couldn't believe someone is actually promoting racism that openly. Most racists at least try to hide the fact that they are being racist. But not her! She flies that flag high.

When someone tells you to "stay in your lane", or told Rosa Parks to sit in the back of the bus, it's a slap in the face. An insult. And it was pure racism. Don't put up with it. Your "race" has nothing to do with your rights or your value as a human being. Don't let anyone try to fool you into believing otherwise, no matter how "enlightened" they believe they are.

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Friday, May 04, 2018

"Theoretical"? "Utopian"?



Anarchy* is neither theoretical nor Utopian.

It's a way to live among others without violating them. Probably the only way. It works in real life, every day, in the real world in which we live.

You already know this, I'm sure. If you don't know it yet, experience will drive the point home if thinking it through isn't enough for you.


*Or you can call it Voluntaryism. libertarianism, or abolitionism. Same deal.
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Thursday, May 03, 2018

Sharing and prehistoric humans



I recently read a book I enjoyed a lot. It challenged my preconceived ideas and made me think. That's always a good thing.

Some of the ideas I was readily willing to accept without much trouble, just because I know myself and human nature. Other ideas put forward in the book weren't so obvious, and I'm still not totally convinced. For example, the authors conclude that pre-agricultural humans shared everything and didn't have private property.

Maybe.

They make a good argument for it, and it makes some sense. I'm willing to ponder it.

I believe, in our present planet-wide circumstances, that individual property rights-- over things and land (never over another person)-- are essential for human life and liberty. We have all seen what happens when those rights are violated.

However, I can imagine circumstances which might make property rights less necessary.

If humans aren't bound to a location, as with agriculture, but move around just about all the time, I can see how real estate property rights would only get in the way; hold them back or tie them down.

After the invention of agriculture, you had to know you had a good chance of being able to harvest what you planted-- thus property rights concerning real estate were discovered. This new lifestyle also necessitated specialized tools, so personal property rights became essential. You couldn't spend days fashioning a tool, only to have someone else walk away with it so that you didn't have use of it anymore.

All this is pretty clear.

But, if there were a way to get past this necessity, without compromising individual liberty and rights, I'd be willing to consider it. It couldn't include taking things away from people who wanted to keep possession of them (because this would indicate they are opting out). It couldn't include punishing people who decide to walk away from the group. It couldn't include treating people as property-- neither property of an individual nor "property" of the group. It couldn't involve initiation of force. Those points are non-negotiable.

I've said before that I'm not opposed to groups trying socialism or communism as long as it is completely voluntary and anyone can opt out at any time. Sharing is nice. Forced "sharing" isn't sharing. And sharing what isn't yours to share, under threat of violence, is just evil. That's why political socialism and political communism are such utter evil failures, and always will be. Politics ruins everything.

If you come up with a workable plan, I'd be willing to check it out and see how it works. Even if it means giving up most modern conveniences. I would not be willing to impose it on others.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Special note

Please notice the donation/subscription request over to the right, in red.
Thanks.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Government- the god of statism



People come up with any excuse they can grasp at in order to keep from accepting that the ideas they love are absurd. Show them why those excuses don't hold up, and they'll throw out ever more excuses in desperation.

A lot of "atheists" were deeply offended when I pointed out they are actually atelatheists because they still believe in one god-- the god of The State.

You should have seen the excuses, equivocations, and denial. It was pathetic.

But no matter how much it hurt their feelings, it is objectively true.

One of the dodges they employed was to claim that, even if statism has religion-like qualities, it can't really be a religion because none of them consider government to be a god.

Oh really?

Even if that's true, you don't necessarily need a god at the center of your religion.

AronRa, a popular outspoken atelatheist, whose work (in general) I love, defines a religion as "a faith-based belief system, including the notion that some element of self, be it memories or consciousness ...a soul, perhaps... continues beyond the death of the physical body; transcends and survives that...". I see no mention of belief in a god being a requirement for something to be a religion.

But, do they really not believe in a god?

AronRa also gives the best definition of a god I've ever read. He says a god, reduced down to the lowest common denominator, is a "magic, anthropomorphic immortal".

Let's see how this definition applies where The State, which is what most people mean when they use the word "government", is concerned.

Magic- doing things which go against the natural laws of reality. Or, as Dictionary.com defines it: "the art of producing a desired effect or result through the use of incantation or various other techniques that presumably assure human control of supernatural agencies or the forces of nature."

Those who believe in government believe that incantations ("laws") can change the act of taking property from the rightful owner, against his will, by threat of force, from "theft" to not theft by calling it "taxation". Magic.

Those who believe in government believe that even though no one individual has the right to go to their neighbor's house, kidnap him and put him in a cage for growing a certain plant, they can nevertheless join together with other people (who also lack this right) and hire someone (who doesn't have this right) to go do the same, and in this way magically create this right out of thin air, imbuing their hired gun with this right and making the act something other than a kidnapping. Magic.

Or, if they don't want to create a right to do that, they'll still believe they can create a right to prohibit guns or sex they don't like, or to tell people they aren't allowed to add a room to their house or paint it a particular way, or... well, the list is endless. Magic.

Anthropomorphic- having human traits or qualities. Or, as Dictionary.com says: "ascribing human form or attributes to a being or thing not human, especially to a deity."
Such as believing that government builds roads and libraries. The belief that government "cares" about the poor and sick. Believing that government can have rights. Yeah, there is no question that those who believe in government ascribe human attributes to it. Sometimes they even draw pictures of it in human form ("Uncle Sam" or "John Bull", anyone?).

Immortal- something which is alive and can't die. Dictionary.com: "not mortal; not liable or subject to death; undying: remembered or celebrated through all time: not liable to perish or decay: imperishable; everlasting. perpetual; lasting; constant"
Just try to find some way this doesn't apply. Even if government "dies", they expect it to rise again, perhaps in a better form. But, just look at the "Forever stamp"- they believe government to be "forever". Immortal.

So, by AronRa's own reasoning, atelatheists believe government to be a god. Sure, they'll never say those words or admit it. Doing so would expose their hypocrisy.

Statism is a religion, and government-- The State-- is the god of Statism. Any "atheist" who is a statist has a god. He is an atelatheist. Atelatheists are lying when they say otherwise, but I don't blame them. It is a shameful belief system.

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