Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Political animosity will only increase

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for November 20, 2019)




Are you concerned over how divisive politics has become? Do you notice the growing intolerance for opposing opinions? Do you wish everyone could go back to a time when there was civil debate and people could agree to disagree?

Yet, at the same time, do you support using government and its legislation against others in ever-increasing ways?..read the rest...

-
Thank you for helping support KentforLiberty.com

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Confidence



Confidence comes with competence.

As an example, I am confident I can make a fire under just about any conditions. This is because I've learned and practiced making fires using many different methods and in just about every condition. I am fairly competent at firemaking. I want to be even better.

Similarly, the more I learn about liberty, the more confident I am that it is appropriate, and works, everywhere-- as long as it is used. I can rely on it and I don't feel the need to archate due to a lack of competence. I am fairly competent at understanding and applying liberty. I want to be even better.

But I have little confidence in those areas (car repair being one) where my competence is low. Know your limitations-- and if you want, smash those limitations by gaining competence. The confidence will come.

Of course, some marginally competent people often overestimate their competence and have inflated confidence because of this. More practice can be a way to find out if this applies to you (or me), but I've noticed the people most in need of this awareness avoid practicing, preferring to talk about it instead.

Never stop learning. Never stop practicing. If it doesn't work, learn more; practice more under harsher conditions. Let your confidence come from real competence.
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Who "deserves" rights?



If you believe individual liberty is only for American citizens or that it is somehow created by the U.S feral government (or the documents establishing that gang), you are confused.

I actually saw someone making the claim that the Bill of Rights doesn't apply to anyone but American citizens. That everyone else is fair game for whatever the U.S. government chooses to do to them-- in America or abroad-- because they don't have "American rights".

Wrong. The Bill of Rights made violating natural individual human rights by the U.S. feral government a crime (but did nothing to prevent it from happening). It didn't say whose rights were not to be violated; it said who wasn't allowed to do the violating.

If you say it's a crime for me to murder people, do you then say this only applies to me murdering people with red hair? No. The prohibition is on my actions, not on who my victims might be.

And rights don't come from government, anyway.

Liberty is a universal human right. If you believe it comes from some government-- any government-- or any government's documents, you are missing the reality.
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Grateful I don't live in California

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for October 16, 2019)




Sometimes it's hard to remember to be thankful for life's little blessings. Recently I was reminded to be grateful I don't live in California.

My electricity went out for a little while a few days ago, but the power company was on-the-ball and power was restored in no time; long before it could have become inconvenient for anyone but the least prepared among us.

By contrast, the electric utility in California plans to shut off power to hundreds of thousands of its paying customers. On purpose. For hours or days or however long they feel is necessary-- without much warning or a chance to properly prepare-- to prevent their substandard system from starting wildfires.

Do you think this will cause many Californians-- both those personally affected and those who aren't-- to start taking the idea of "prepping" seriously? I have my doubts, but I'll hope.

For most of my life, people have either joked about those who prepared for emergencies, calling them paranoid, or they quipped "If society collapses, I'll just come to your house." Showing up empty-handed at the house of someone who has spent years of planning and piles of money for just such a crisis will only be welcomed if the residents of the house are out of meat and hungry enough to consider adding you to the menu.

If you don't value your own life enough to plan for emergencies and put those plans into action, why should anyone risk their own life and the lives of their children to save you?

Anyone should be able to see the value of preparing for natural disasters, and political disasters-- like the one playing out in California-- may become more common in the coming years. "It's not political!" you say? Sure it is. When political deals grant a power utility a monopoly over an area, and state laws and "green energy" policies prevent proper infrastructure, capacity, and maintenance, then the problem is political, no matter who you would rather blame.

It's even more directly political when laws require a prepper to handicap himself by staying hooked to the electrical grid and shut off his system in the event of a blackout so as to not have an advantage over his less-prepared neighbors-- as is the case in California.

Any real solution begins with barring politics from the discussion. Then, plan for what happens if politicians interfere anyway. And take a moment to be grateful you don't live in California.

-
Thank you for helping support KentforLiberty.com

My out-of-control pro-Republican bias



I don't believe in politics. It is not a legitimate way to deal with others. I don't believe in political government. Not of any sort. I have no use for such stupidity.

I don't need or want a president, any congressvermin, a mayor, police, courts, or any other "government representation" or service.

I'm opposed to both Republicans and Democrats.

However, I admit I am ever-so-slightly more biased against Democrats. Not much more, but it's there. Partly due to personal experiences and partly due to upbringing.

But that also means I can be harder on Republicans. I am slightly more likely to be disappointed in Republicans because I expect nothing from Democrats-- even in those areas where I agree with them. Republicans have a history of sometimes saying the right thing while doing the wrong thing-- but they also say plenty of the wrong things, just like Democrats. And somehow I believe they ought to know better even though they keep proving me wrong.

And even when either side-- as if they were different sides-- say the right things, they say them for all the wrong reasons.
"Legalize it (so government can tax it)!"
"From my cold, dead hands (because I need to protect muh flag from them ferriners)!"

Politics makes people stupid.

-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Libertarianism doesn't fail



In spite of assurances to the contrary, I have never once seen libertarianism/abolitionism/voluntaryism/anarchism fail when used in the real world.

Yes, people frequently fail to use it, but that's their failure. It rests nowhere else.

Libertarianism is a tool. It's always the right tool for the job when you're talking of human interaction-- among individuals or societies. Yes, there are other tools you can use-- none of them are as good and all of which are harmful to individuals.

You wouldn't blame the tool for the failure when people don't use the proper tool when it's offered. It's not the hammer's fault if someone rejects the hammer you offer them and pick up a rock to use instead. That would be silly.

Sure, people could get by using a rock to drive in nails, but a good hammer is going to work better whether or not they use one. Same goes for libertarianism.

You can use archation-- the state/political government-- to create a semblance of a society. But to make the claim that society needs archation is to ignore the fact that society and political government are mutually exclusive.

A society may exist in parallel with a state, but it exists in spite of it, not because of it. Never mistake some expression of statism for a functioning society because it isn't one.

And this brings up a point: maybe giant groups of humans-- what is taken for "society" by most people today, simply can't work for our species. It might be disturbing to consider, but it might still be reality.

You can't keep a single, solitary bee alive, healthy, and functioning-- not as a bee.
Perhaps you similarly can't have a healthy, functioning hive of humans-- this is the level where The State always arises. Would this fact upset you if it were true?

-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Have principles (and gun)-- will travel



I recently got a boxed set of DVDs at Goodwill of the (first season of the) old western Have Gun-- Will Travel. I used to watch the show on Netflix... before they removed it while I was in the middle of binge-watching it a few years ago.

I have to say I really like Paladin. That show may be the most libertarian Western TV show I've seen.

I tend to rate fictional characters' actions as to whether I would have done the same thing in their situation. Paladin comes closest to what I would do (assuming I were as skilled and charismatic as the character, I mean). At least, his actions don't usually raise any red flags-- even though he still has way more respect for certain state institutions than I could ever have. He does occasionally do things I wouldn't have done-- things I consider archation-- but not that often.

It's a show I really enjoy.

What shows do you find most libertarian, and do you enjoy them?

(I have internet once again! Finally!)
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Cannabis isn't "Black market"



Dealing in Cannabis is no longer a real "Black Market" activity; it is now more like a Gray Market activity in those places where the backward legislation continues to regulate it in some way.

And make no mistake-- all legislation is backward.

Cannabis is legal, except that some locations still legislate against it, other places demand their piece of the action, and other places insist you only buy certain types of it from certain sellers. None of which is legitimate in the slightest. Just like gun "laws".

And it was never wrong to begin with.

(I'm told I may get internet today!)
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Principled better than wishy-washy

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for November 13, 2019)




A common criticism of libertarians is that we are wrapped up in principles; in absolutes. We are called "purists" as if this is a bad thing, yet the opposite of "pure" is "contaminated".

Ethical principles function like a conscience. You won't always do what your conscience tells you, but without it, you can't know you've done wrong...read the rest...

-
Thank you for helping support KentforLiberty.com

Monday, November 11, 2019

Internet update.

I was misled about when the internet would be hooked up at the house. They are now saying the 20th.

I'll try to take my laptop to my parents' house to use their WiFi so I can start posting again before then.

I'm pretty unhappy with the situation, but it's not the fault of the internet provider.

.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

You get the political circus you voted on

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for October 9, 2019)




Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, and all the rest of you, too! Welcome to the Big Top. Yes, that's right: the Impeachment Circus, with its dancing elephants and prancing donkeys, is coming to town.

It has been announced amid much fanfare. The flyers have been tacked to telephone poles all over America and I think I hear the parade of animals coming up the street. Grab your manure shovels from the tool shed and be ready to start scooping.

If only it were this exciting or momentous. I'm already bored with it and it hasn't even started. It has become a tedious political ritual.

These days the show promises to kick off once per administration or so, but it usually gets canceled for lack of interest. This time it seems it will actually happen.

It would save a lot of time and strife if impeachment proceedings were automatically begun upon each new president's oath-of-office. This way the opposition party could skip the saber-rattling theatrics and just get on with collecting the president's offenses as they find (or imagine) them.

Or they could if the theatrics weren't the whole point. They are performing tricks for their voters. It's a shame it still works.

Every president does something-- and usually many things-- the political opposition feels deserve impeachment. So they keep testing the waters, trying to gauge how much support for impeachment they could get from the rest of the congressvermin in their own party and from their supporters in the population.

Unfortunately, before they get so caught up in impeachment fever, they normally manage to pass some new legislation. I'm firmly against this development. Seeing as how there are only two kinds of legislation-- the unnecessary and the harmful-- I would rather they spend their time trying to politically crucify the president they hate. It's a much less harmful way to earn political points. Better to sacrifice every president than the people's lives, liberty, and property.

Since it's a political circus, I'm inclined to say "Not my circus; not my monkeys", but I know a lot of people are very attached to this circus and to its monkeys-- or elephants and donkeys as the case may be-- claiming them as their own.

I hope you enjoy the show. As long as you keep buying tickets-- by casting votes-- you'll keep getting the government you deserve. It's what you voted for no matter who you voted for.

-
Thank you for helping support KentforLiberty.com

Friday, November 08, 2019

Internet soonish?

I've been told the internet will be hooked up sometime Monday. I'm hoping!

This is getting old.

.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Get paid to live (and die) a video game



Sometimes I'll run into a quote that's so off-base I just can't let it go. This was one of those.

"...why would any white male with a brain join the military of a country that has abandoned his interest and is operating against him? Why would he join a military of a country that the Democratic Party prevents from defending its own borders?" ~ Paul Craig Roberts

Why would anyone with a brain, of any color, of any sex, join any government military? For the opportunity to be paid in stolen money while acting out video games, of course.

Few, if any, "troops" think beyond that. There's no deep philosophical reasoning there. There's no political agenda beyond the ingrained "America! Rah rah!" brainwashed into them through years of pledging allegiance to Holy Pole Quilt. You'll find Right-Statists and Left-Statist among the troops,
but all are statists to some degree.

All militaries are operating against your interests. As are all "countries".

When he says "country" he's talking about government. Not a particular area of the globe, nor the population which calls that area 'home', but the government infesting that area to the detriment of the population. When he speaks of that country's "borders" he's talking about government's truce-lines with competing governments-- implemented so the respective governments know who they can rob and molest without the other government fighting them over it.

And he pretends it would be noble to become a hired gun for that government. Statist through and through.

Joining a government military only helps that government. It doesn't benefit "the people". It doesn't "defend freedom"-- it helps government crush it. Don't join government in its fight against liberty.
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Take the time to pick up trash

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for November 6, 2019)




I'm always in favor of cleaning up litter, so Clovis' semi-annual Trek for Trash last weekend seems like a good idea. A useful task made into a party. An even better idea is to not wait until someone organizes a special event, but to pick up any trash you run across as you go about your daily travels. You can make the world a little cleaner every day.

Decent, responsible people don't litter, and they make sure their trash can't accidentally escape into the wild to violate other people's property rights. I realize the wind around here does a good share of the littering, scattering anything which isn't tied down, but knowing this, responsible people won't leave anything loose for the wind to take...read the rest...

-
Thank you for helping support KentforLiberty.com

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Genius politicians



I heard someone refer to a person I don't like-- a politician-- as a "genius". At first, I scoffed. Then I thought about it. Yes, it's possible.

Someone can be a genius for good, they can be a neutral genius, or they could have a genius for evil. An evil genius-- the basis for lots of old mad scientist movies. Fun in fiction; not so fun in reality.

Genius doesn't necessarily mean your brain is being used in good ways, just that it is a lot more powerful-- better organized than most peoples' brains.

To be a political genius is not a good thing. It's like a genius for breaking into houses. So to call a politician a genius isn't a compliment.
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Monday, November 04, 2019

Notice

Just a heads-up:
"We" are switching internet providers, looking for something more affordable. Unfortunately, I think the previous provider will be disconnected sometime today, but there's no definite schedule (not even a hint) for the replacement to be hooked up, and it sounds like it's going to be quite a project.

So, if I go missing for a few days don't worry too much. I have some posts scheduled to post automatically-- for a few days, anyway.
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

I don't need that!



Do I need a gang of flawed, greedy, selfish, aggressive thieves to protect me from flawed, greedy, selfish, or aggressive people, some of whom are thieves?

Does that make sense to you? It makes no sense to me.

But it apparently makes sense to most people.
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

My first car was an electric one

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for October 2, 2019)




You may find it hard to believe, but my first car was an electric car. Nothing so fancy as a Tesla, though. It was a 1975 Sebring-Vanguard Citicar. That's us in the photograph, in the spring of 1980, looking nerdy.



At school and around the neighborhood my car was known as "The Nuke".

Why such an odd nickname? Because it sported a bumper sticker which said something to the effect of "One nuke plant saves enough oil for X-thousand cars"; I don't remember the exact wording or specific number.

Maybe it seems strange for someone who would put up with the inconveniences of a 1970s electric car, partly for environmental reasons, to also be promoting nuclear energy.

I've been mostly pro-nuclear since I was a teenager. It seems better to me than the other realistic alternatives. My biggest objection stems from being against government subsidies for nuclear energy, as I am for anything. To be viable in the long term, nuclear energy needs to sustain itself without the millstone of "government assistance" around its neck.

I'm also concerned about how the waste materials are dealt with, but I think it's a solvable problem. The federal government has threatened, for decades, to use nearby Deaf Smith county as a nuclear dump because of it's low population density, remoteness, and geological stability. I'm ambivalent about this idea, especially because I'm not sure it's a good idea to store nuclear waste so far from the source-- which means it has to be shipped across the country-- or to store it over America's most important aquifer. Science, rather than politics, should be used to decide.

I'm also in favor of wind and solar power; I have solar panels for charging my phone and rechargeable batteries. There's a place for it all, including coal and petroleum.

There's no energy source which is without environmental impact. Waste and toxins are produced in manufacturing solar panels and wind generators, plus the huge amounts of land such things typically use. These also share the problem with nuclear energy of government subsidies holding them down.

Even if society returned to pre-industrial levels (something I'd accept better than most), we'd be cutting down forests and burning wood and coal. Without killing off most of the people on Earth-- something I'm against-- there is no better way yet discovered to reduce environmental impact than to use more nuclear energy. I just wish it could be done wisely-- leaving government and politicians out of the discussion.

-
Thank you for helping support KentforLiberty.com

Making fires with antiques



When I was a teen, my paternal grandmother gave me an old glass paperweight. She told me it had been in the family (at that time) for around 100 years.

Today it found a new use: firestarter.

I've been talking about firemaking to someone on Steemit who mentioned trying to use broken glass and it got me to thinking. I think it would be really hard to get a focal point from a piece of broken glass, but...

The paperweight seemed like a good potential lens. I have heard of crystal balls on display in store windows causing fires, I'll bet the glass paperweight could do that, too.

Being roughly spherical, the focal length is very short. It actually started burning the tinder just sitting there beside it. You can see the focal point in the top picture-- the tinder was smoking at that point, but you can't really see it in the photo.

I let it burn for a while, and kept adding more tinder dust. Finally, I blew on it and saw that the ember was pretty large, so I put the paperweight safely in the shade, added more tinder, and blew it into flame. That's the bottom picture, but the flames are not visible. Oh well.

I also used it to light some charcloth, and it did so instantly.

Since the photos don't show the process very well I decided to make a video:


-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Saturday, November 02, 2019

"Thoughts and prayers"



Left-Statists go crazy when any non-Left-Statist offers "thoughts and prayers" after a tragedy or a horrific crime-- particularly after a mass shooting. Yes, I realize "thoughts and prayers" seems empty and doesn't fix anything (but after the event, nothing can).

So what do Left-Statists offer instead of "thoughts and prayers"? Outage and "laws", of course.

And they pretend this is somehow better.

Your "thoughts" don't help the situation. And I don't believe prayers actually do anything physical. But both let me know that someone cares and has me in mind. That's not a bad thing.

On the other hand, outrage not only doesn't help, it can lead to harm. Especially if that outrage is expressed by violating natural human rights with some counterfeit "laws". I understand feeling outrage; I feel it, too. But I don't allow my outrage to justify violating you just to feel I have done "something".

"Do something" is worse than doing nothing if the "something" you do is wrong. Legislation is always wrong.

My own approach is to NOT commit horrors and to commit myself to not standing by if some loser tries to commit a gross violation in my presence. That seems a healthier way to handle such matters, but then I'm not a statist.

Yet still-- Give me "thoughts and prayers" over outrage and "laws" any day!
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Friday, November 01, 2019

Making people... better

Capt. Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds (Serenity): This report is maybe twelve years old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried 'til River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear, 'cause there's a universe of folk that are gonna know it too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. 'Cause as sure as I know anything I know this: They will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground, swept clean. A year from now, ten, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people... better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave.
Removing people's tools of defense (self- and other) doesn't make them better people. It doesn't make for a better world. Not on any world.

It makes them dependent, scared, weak, and less safe.

You may believe your society, with more anti-gun "laws", means it is more advanced; better. You'd be wrong.

Yes, statists believe they can ban guns and make people better, or at least make society better. And safer. It's a religious belief on their part. They'll pursue it until they can't anymore. They will try again. Over and over, anywhere they get the chance. Believing they are somehow making people... better. I do not hold to that.

I aim to misbehave.
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Moral thievery



I was listening to a podcast where one of the participants was talking about how "morally advanced" societies take care of people through "taxation" and government "welfare".

He claimed this showed "generosity" on their part.

It doesn't.

I do understand how people get confused, though. Especially if they are blinded by the popular (and evil) religion of Statism.

If government is your god, anything government does is moral, no matter how unethical. So theft is OK if you call it "taxation" and say you're using the booty to help people. Never mind the people you hurt by robbing them.

Charity is always superior to government "welfare" because it is voluntary. And it's better for the recipients, too. Charity doesn't harm society; government "welfare" always does. Even if your society doesn't realize it is being hurt.
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Can you afford the water ransom?

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for October 30, 2019)




A tax increase for the near-mythical water project has been recommended. This illustrates one danger of allowing government to control access to water.

To propose a tax is to admit failure. They couldn't find a voluntary way to do what they want so they'll send the guns of government to loot the society-- in this case through an annual ransom on property; a "property tax".

A reliable supply of drinkable water is critical. The responsible, difficult, and adult way to handle the situation is to find a consensual way to provide water. Let the market handle it, without interference from government...read the rest...

-
Thank you for helping support KentforLiberty.com

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Medicine hypocrisy

Photo by Rick Proctor on Unsplash
I was being told about someone who is suffering with cancer, and the nausea they are experiencing from the chemotherapy. I asked if the person had looked into using Cannabis-- I'm no expert, but I've heard it can help.

The response I got was that the person would never consider that because they are religious.

What?!

If you'll take the chemotherapy but not the Cannabis, you're a hypocrite. One is an actual poison, killing your body a little at a time-- hopefully the cancer dies before you do. The other is medicine-- and a plant.

In response to my reaction, I was asked if one of my own particularly religious relatives would use Cannabis if they were in the same situation. I said I believe she would, maybe not at first, but after I had shown her the senselessness of the "laws" against it, and the possibility it might help without adding bad side-effects. At least I hope I'd be able to convince her.

If your religious beliefs condemn the medicine but not the poison, you are in serious need of better religious beliefs.
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Monday, October 28, 2019

There's always something new to learn



I've been trying primitive (and less-than primitive) fire-starting methods all of my adult life-- actually, since around my mid-teens. I haven't succeeded with all of them-- the hand drill being my most frustrating failure-- but it has been years since I heard of a "new" method I'd never heard of before.

But a couple of weeks ago that's exactly what happened.

I was watching a video about fire-making and the guy used the fire roll. What? Never heard of that! But I've got to try it NOW!

So, I did.

And, unlike some other methods, I made fire the first time I tried it. And then, I made a fire with it more primitively using only yucca fibers from my yard, I've made fires (well, only embers usually) with the fire roll nearly every day since. In fact, during our unseasonably early winter storm last week, that's how I lit my fireplace.

Anyway, that's to say you never know so much about anything that there's nothing more to learn. It doesn't matter how many years you've been studying and pursuing something-- someone out there knows something you don't. The day you find them should be one of the highlights of your life. In every case. Don't let pride stop you from learning. You'd only be cheating yourself.
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

There's no magic to make college free

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for September 25, 2019)




Libertarians have a saying, often represented by the acronym TANSTAAFL, "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch". This is a rule of reality as inflexible as any other law of physics, but politicians think they can fool people into believing it's negotiable. Sometimes it seems they are right; people can be fooled-- but reality won't be cheated.

Now New Mexico's politicians are telling the people they can magically make college free for everyone. They can't, and it probably wouldn't even be a good idea were it possible.

Nothing is free. Someone always has to pay. It costs to build and maintain a campus and purchase supplies. Professors, janitors, secretaries, and groundskeepers quite reasonably expect to be paid for their work. After all, they need money to trade for food, housing, and other necessities. Demanding they work without pay so you can have "free college" would be slavery.

Every time a politician says something will be "free" you need to understand you are being lied to. It's the same whether it's "free" college or "free" health care.

What they mean is you'll be taxed more and some percentage of your stolen money will go to pay for something for someone else without them having to pay directly. Politicians also expect you to ignore the cost-- the waste-- inevitable with the additional bureaucracy. You could get a little of your stolen money back if you choose to participate in the program. Isn't this known in legal circles as a kickback?

It's doubtful college is even good for everyone. Yes, if you want to be a doctor, a lawyer, or a quantum physicist you would probably benefit from a college education. But if your goal is something else you'd probably be better off going to a trade school or training as an apprentice.

Most degrees today, in made-up fields, are like a "participation trophy". They're not awarded for achieving something useful, but are sparkly trinkets to show off. Utterly meaningless except to make someone feel better about themselves without them having to actually contribute anything of value. When this "trophy" costs other people, it's a net negative to society.

Politics seems to require belief in magic, where someone can say special words and change the nature of reality. Hocus pocus, and theft isn't theft because they call it "taxation" and things become free, no matter how expensive they really are, just because they say so. Politics is a hollow religion.

-
Thank you for helping support KentforLiberty.com

Evil among us



When I was a teen, an IRS agent lived across the street from my family.

No one said anything to him about it, but everyone looked at him as though he were in the mafia. Which is closer to the truth than I realized at the time. People were a bit suspicious and stand-offish around him. And he didn't really socialize much.

He acted guilty because he was.

Of course, I was just a teen. Perhaps the adults didn't think they were acting that way toward him. It's certainly the vibe I got, though.

This was back before concealed carry "laws" were spreading around the country, and he was the only person I knew of who routinely carried a gun. Honestly, I don't remember whether he open carried, but if he didn't I'm not sure how everyone knew.

I'm in favor of everyone other than government employees carrying weapons. I am not in favor of anyone working a "job" that allows them to do things which are unethical (theft/"taxation") or to do ethical things illegitimately forbidden to the rest of us (carrying weapons).

I knew at the time there was something not quite right about him and his "job". Now I know exactly what it was.
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Oppression Day

From Ammo.com comes an article on the oppressive "USA PATRIOT Act".

As unconvinced as I am about the ethics of being a patriot, I know that legislative hydra is nothing but pure Big Government Evil. Kill it with fire, along with those who conjured it into existence.
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Anti-liberty pro-gunners



I'm a member of a "gun owners' group" on Facebook. I rarely post anything there because the majority of the other members are statist clowns.

Generally, they embrace Right-Statist policies, no matter how anti-liberty those policies are.

Most hypocritically, they support police, even in the comments they make while posting links to stories about cops murdering innocent people. They seem to really believe cops would never enforce anti-gun "laws" even while seeing them enforcing those types of "laws" everywhere every day. It's insane!

When I point this out I get attacked.

Some legislation enforcement goon was puffing out his chest (in comment form), saying he would never participate in gun confiscation, but when I asked about other gang activities I suspect he participates in (prohibition, rules against full-auto weapons, seat belt enforcement, "speeding" tickets, etc.), people lost their minds. I was the bad guy.

They get all dreamy-eyed when a sheriff poses and says no gun confiscation (ala Bob'O O'Rourke) will be allowed to happen in this state (New Mexico). No recognition of the illegal "laws" those same sheriffs help enforce every single day-- including gun confiscations.

I'm surprised they haven't kicked me out of the group yet-- but, like I say, I rarely comment on anything, because of what invariably happens when I do.

Right-Statists are anti-gun, just like Left-Statists are. They just use different excuses and go after guns from a different angle. If you're a statist, you are anti-liberty at your core.

--

P.S.-- Ever feel like the Universe hates you? Well, that's what I'm going through right now. So I've been doing a lot of primitive skills practice over the past few days-- at least the stuff I can do where I live (which isn't much).
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Friday, October 25, 2019

They don't want you to point out the lies



You've got to accept-- or at least not dispute-- a lot of untruths in order to be a fully-integrated member of society.

Which is why I'll probably never be as fully accepted by society as some other people I know. Even though those people archate against others without a second of thought.

That's a strange thing to think about-- the one who harms others on a regular basis being embraced by society. Why? Stockholm Syndrome is only part of it. The religion of Statism is probably the bigger part.

Anyway, it is what it is.
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Law, legislation, or Unholy Writ



Related to, and expanding on, yesterday's ENMN column:

I have less than zero respect for what passes for "laws" these days-- in other words, for legislation.

Law was discovered; legislation is made up.

Law isn't subject to anyone's opinion.
Legislation is nothing but the foul opinions of perverted thugs.

Law doesn't change nor does it get added to.
Legislation changes all the time and continually grows like some sort of alien blob monster.

Law is about recognizing natural human rights-- and respecting them.
Legislation is about finding excuses to violate natural human rights.

If it protects rights, it is law.
If it violates life, liberty, or property, it is legislation.

Laws include: don't murder, don't rape, don't kidnap, don't steal, don't trespass, don't vandalize.
Legislation includes: pay this tax, don't smoke that, don't have consensual sex with that person, don't sell that, don't add on to your house, wear your seat belt, don't park your car on your own property, don't paint your house that color, don't drive faster than this arbitrary speed, don't open a business there, etc.

Legislation is counterfeit "law". It harms individuals and therefore it harms society.

I know law when I see it. I am clueless about most legislation details. That seems to suggest I could reasonably (but not "legally") call myself a "lawyer", but not an attorney. Maybe that's why so few attorneys call themselves "lawyers" anymore. If they are that self-aware...

Cops are "Legislation enforcement officers" who violate law in order to enforce legislation. That makes them bad guys, even when they sometimes do the right thing. They'll go right back to doing the wrong thing at the first opportunity.
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Legislation, laws not the same thing

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for October 23, 2019)




How much do you respect and obey laws? How much should you? I suppose that depends on what you mean by "laws".

Most people confuse legislation for laws. Laws were discovered-- usually thousands of years ago-- while legislation is made up by politicians and imposed under threat of violence as if it were law. Occasionally, legislation is written to copy or reflect law, but not often.

Law concerns respecting the rights of others, while legislation is almost entirely written to give excuses for government to violate individual rights. Thus "don't murder" is a law, while "pay this tax" is legislation...read the rest...

See also: Law, legislation, or Unholy Writ

-
Thank you for helping support KentforLiberty.com

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Clashing values



Different people have different values. It's not that anyone's values are necessarily wrong for them, it's that when you impose a "win/lose" system someone is going to be on the losing side.

Just a couple of examples--
Compassion for refugees vs defense of "your culture".
Compassion for LGBTQ vs respecting the rights of those who aren't.
Compassion for rape victims vs compassion for the falsely accused.

Values clash. Or they can seem to if you think it has to be either/or.

But anytime they appear to clash, liberty is the solution. Respect for everyone's life, liberty, rights, and property. It's where the balance lies; how you respect both sides without enslaving either one to the other. Anything less is uncivilized.
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Life and the other thing

I just got back from a funeral. No one I was particularly close to, but my mom was. There were four girl cousins born the same year, so they grew up close. And this was the only relative who has ever actually said she was proud of me for having the courage to write and speak my mind. So, there's that.
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Scott can't weasel out of it



Scott Adams just can't stop saying positive things about anti-gun schemes, even as he says he's not advocating them. I've pointed this out before. It's like some sort of blind spot he suffers from... or maybe it's something else.

I've heard him do this repeatedly, even when it's just a casual mention unrelated to his topic. It's clear he thinks anti-gun "laws" are a good thing because of his approving attitude when he brings up the topic.

It's as if I kept getting excited and speaking as though I approve when I heard people talk about committing genocide, acting as though discussing it in a positive light is progress while pretending I don't actually advocate genocide. You shouldn't buy it in that case and you shouldn't buy it now.

Speaking as though something is desirable IS promoting or advocating that thing. No matter how you try to weasel* out of it.

*Apologies to all the non-human weasels out there.
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Bullying's cure is fighting back

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for September 18, 2019)




It's as predictable as the equinox: school starts in the fall and bullying catches society's attention anew. It's not as though bullying stops over the summer break, but then it is usually left-over momentum from the previous school year. "Back to school" recharges it.

Schools decry bullying, often getting the community involved. It's a halfhearted effort at best. Schools can't eliminate bullying without undermining their own system since it's based on authoritarianism-- socially accepted bullying.

The dictionary says a bully is anyone who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate someone weaker, usually to force them to do what the bully wants.

Who, other than an insecure person with little self-worth, would behave this way? Whether it's the schoolyard bully, the authoritarian teacher or principal, the politician or the politicians' badged "muscle", if you choose to push others around-- literally or figuratively-- to force them to do what you want, you can't think very highly of yourself. I pity bullies, even as I hope their victims fight back hard enough to make the bully reconsider their poor life choices.

Fighting back is the only cure for bullying. The victims must fight back, and shouldn't be penalized for doing so. Yet this is the solution no one in an official capacity, who claims to oppose bullying, is willing to accept.

Forcing victims to rely on someone else to solve the problem for them is also bullying. It doesn't teach responsibility and won't build confident character for facing life's other struggles. Encourage the victim to stand firm. Back them up if you're concerned about their safety, but don't tolerate anyone who treats fighting back against a bully the same as bullying.

Some bullied kids have gone on to strike out in tragic, angry ways at those who didn't bully them-- themselves or other innocents. I suspect this is because healthy ways of fighting back were forbidden. The frustration must build to intolerable levels, finally snapping in the worst possible way. The victim, because of his lack of competence in dealing with bullies, becomes a bully. Or a mass-murderer. It's no excuse, but it is predictable. You can create a monster by being monstrous to someone. Forbidding self-defense or turning a blind eye to officially sanctioned forms of bullying is monstrous. Society ends up paying the price for official cowardice.

Bullying is a problem. It won't be solved by ignoring the solution or by making the social environment worse for its victims.

-
Thank you for helping support KentforLiberty.com

The mainstream media's role in mass shootings



Ammo.com has a good piece about the role played by the mainstream media (and also "social media") in encouraging mass shootings. I recommend it.

You know whenever there's one highly publicized mass shooting, that another will be coming along soon. It happens time after time.

The face and name of the evil loser will be everywhere, his "story" spread far and wide, along with speculation as to why he did it. And some other loser with nothing to live for will see all this and decide he wants some recognition, too. So he'll choose an evil act to get what he feels he deserves.

And then, legislative evil losers will blame those of us who didn't do it, threaten to steal our guns, and lock us in cages. It's the same old song and dance. Refuse to be used by any of the bad guys.
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Brexit is progress



It's interesting to me how Brexit is portrayed by the statist media as a step backwards. Like anyone who is intelligent should understand it's a disaster to pull out of a Big State, and only rubes would want such a thing. And, obviously, it's going to lead to starvation and chaos in the streets.

How ridiculous.

To me, it's secession. Something I'm always in favor of.

Yes, I understand it reeks of "nationalism", which I oppose. But I also oppose globalism when it means ever-bigger government. I'm in favor of "national" (territorial) societies and global societies, and I oppose political governments/states of any size because politics is antisocial.

No, the UK's government isn't better than the EU. It is irredeemably corrupt and evil-- just like any political government. But at least it's smaller than the EU's political government. And Brexit makes the EU a little weaker.

Just as Texit would make the US Empire a bit weaker. That's a good thing.

Break up all governments into smaller and smaller bits until you get to the individual-- the only legitimate government there can ever be.
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Democracy-- the definition



Democracy, when applied to political government, is mob rule.
Democracy is "Might (through superior numbers) makes right".

It is not something to be praised or imposed on others. It is not a good thing. It is as unethical when used to govern others as any other form of political government. At its heart, democracy is no different from any other form of political government.

To say, as I have heard some claim, that "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others" is to lie.

All democracy becomes tyranny, and all republics soon devolve into democracy.
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

No such thing as an "illegal gun"



Don't you get tired of hearing anti-gun bigots cackling about "illegal guns"? I know I do.

And it's even worse when supposed gun rights advocates fall into the trap of using the same phrase.

Because it's an utterly meaningless phrase.

There's no such thing as an "illegal gun" because there's no such thing as a legitimate anti-gun "law". There is anti-gun legislation, so I suppose there are "illegislated" guns. And since ALL legislation is counterfeit "law", I don't give a crap.

There are exactly as many "illegal guns" as there are "good cops". Zero.
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Wallet "bearing block socket"



I'm always looking to improve my EDC ("every day carry"), and I came up with this idea a couple of days ago.

When making a bow/drill fireset, the bearing block you hold in your hand-- containing the socket that lets the top of the spindle spin freely-- is the hardest part to come up with in a survival situation.

If you carry paracord (and you do, right?) you won't have any trouble with cordage. Plus, you can make cordage in a pinch... although it will slow you down a bit. The other parts are just simple wood pieces-- the fireboard, the spindle, and the bow. Leaving the bearing block as the hard part; a part you might want to carry with you. (Yes, you can make a bearing block/socket from wood, too, but I wouldn't except in an emergency for several reasons-- I know from experience.)

I've noticed recently several knives with a built-in socket/divot in the micarta handle to serve as a bearing block socket-- it seems other people are recognizing that it's the hard part to come up with. I would rather not use a knife handle in that way if I don't have to, thinking that's a bit dangerous.

In the past, I carried a small stone-- just big enough to fill the palm of my hand-- that I chipped and ground until I formed a socket in it (I have a few of these around). It worked great but was a bit bulky to carry. I wanted a better solution.

So, what I did was take a brass dog tag blank and put a deep dimple in it to serve as the socket. I made the dimple by laying the tag on a thick piece of leather, placing a ball bearing on it, and hammering the ball bearing until the dimple was deep enough to serve as a socket. Originally, I put this brass socket on a separate piece of leather several months ago. This wasn't ideal and it kept getting in the way.

My better idea was to drill an extra hole in the "bottom" of the tag and rivet it to the flatter side of my wallet. After it was riveted in place, I took some needle-nosed pliers and bent the corners to fit the natural curve of my wallet. You can look at the picture to see what I'm talking about.

The wallet is quite a bit larger than the bearing blocks I'm accustomed to using (it's really thick leather), but I went outside and tried it and it worked great. The brass piece doesn't get in the way of how I carry my wallet, and hardly adds any weight, but it will be there if I need it. This is the kind of solution I love.
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Statism is the strongest witness against itself


Not only does it show the flaw in statists' beliefs when statists worry about who gets to v*te, but statism is full of contradictions that show the flaws in statism.

Property rights are the biggest, most obvious strike against any chance of logic in statism.

If you believe I should be forced-- at gunpoint-- to finance a gang you claim is needed to fight theft, you've made a fool of yourself.

If you believe it's necessary to violate private property rights in order to protect property rights-- through borders, "taxes", etc., then you've testified against yourself.

But there are more problems.

If you believe you need a State/government to "defend freedom" by violating individual liberty, you're not so brilliant. And if you buy A/Ru/dolph Giuliani's steaming load claiming "freedom is about authority" then you might as well just get on the next shrimp boat to North Korea.

If you buy into the statist lie that drugs can destroy your life, so we need to impose prohibition so we have an excuse to kick your door down in the middle of the night, and murder your family and-- if you survive-- throw you in a cage, make it so you can't get a job, and destroy your life, then you've admitted that you're an idiot.

Statism is incompatible with ethics; statism is incompatible with life, liberty, and property; statism is incompatible with humanity. You can tell this just by looking at the claims statism makes and where it leads.

-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Don't need law to dislike something

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for September 11, 2019)




We all have our own likes and dislikes. This means everyone likes some things other people dislike; sometimes the likes and dislikes are passionate and the disagreements get rather heated.

There's a secret trick I discovered which seems to be unseen by most people; one which seems nearly impossible for them to even consider. Here it is, presented for (maybe) the first time you've ever heard it: It's OK to dislike something without wanting a law to ban or control it. Seriously. It really is OK.

There are things I'm not a fan of; some things I dislike a lot. I don't dare list my dislikes since such a list would offend just about everyone in some way. I can almost guarantee there are things on my list you like. Don't worry. I have no wish to use laws to force you to change or stop doing what you like.

Most of the time I don't want to make someone feel bad for liking something I don't like. Even if they like something I think is ethically wrong there's usually no point making an issue unless they want to make an issue.

As long as you aren't violating anyone's life, liberty, or property what you do is none of my business, even if I don't like that you're doing it.

When I was a youngster and was exposed to something I didn't like, my first thought was along the lines of "They should make it illegal!" Such a childish mindset! I'm glad I've grown up in the years since then. I wish everyone would.

"For your own good" is not my style anymore. Nor is "but it's offensive!"

Now when there's something I don't like I just don't join in. If it's bad enough I consider it unethical, I try to stay far away. I may let others know why I think it's wrong and try to convince them to join me in avoiding it, but I'm probably not going to try to stop anyone from doing things I don't like on their personal property. Not unless they are violating the rights of others-- and I don't mean offending them-- by doing so.

Since there's no such thing as a right to not be offended, we can all keep our offended feelings in our pockets where they belong. Let people like what they like and suggest they extend the same courtesy to everyone else. It's the civilized thing to do.

-
Thank you for helping support KentforLiberty.com

Saturday, October 12, 2019

"Green" and angry



A few days ago I let slip that the face of the Swedish Climate Troll, Greta Whatsername, triggers in me a desire to punch it.

I then immediately-- in the same post-- included that I wouldn't, because I know I have no right to do so.

Still, she's got such an angry, nagging face.

I've never seen a face like hers which didn't bring me misery. It feels personal. And, the only clip I've ever seen of her speaking was one where she was screaming something like "How dare you ruin my childhood!" Not the best way to make me join your cause, Climate Troll Greta. Especially since the only one who ruined your childhood was you-- and those who terrorized you and are now using you as a tool to promote their agenda of fear and hysteria. But it wasn't me.

I'm not so stupid that I'd go out and burn a forest just to spite her, but she doesn't inspire me to lift a finger that I wasn't already planning to lift.

It's not that I don't care about the climate; it's that I'm not convinced of the political AGCC narrative. I don't have enough information to know the reality of the situation, but I know the solution isn't more government. It never is.

But, maybe I was wrong to admit the visceral reaction I have to seeing her nagging face.

One commenter called me some colorful names and characterized me as "wanting to punch a little girl bc [sic] they don't like her expressions".

First off, 16 years-old is not "a little girl". She may not be an adult, but she's no longer a little girl (yeah, there is an in-between stage; it's not either/or). Plus, if she's old enough to nag the world and advocate using government aggression against me, she's old enough to face the consequences of her choices. Yet, I still wouldn't punch her, even though her face seems to beg for it. I don't do that. Not even to Swedish Climate Trolls. Because I'm not a monster.

She would be perfectly safe if she were sitting with me to discuss the climate. Unless she attacked me, anyway. And, if she did, she's the monster. Come to think of it, advocating using government against me is an attack... but I wouldn't punch her for it. So I guess we see who the real monster is after all.

I suspect she sides with those who were recently advocating going into the streets, wearing masks, and punching anyone who disagreed with their "social justice" agenda-- or that they side with her.

Statists see what they want to see. They interpret everyone else according to their own shrunken world view. If you admit a human flaw they immediately assume you'd act on it in the same way they would if they had such a flaw-- using freelance or political aggression. If they were honest, they'd... never mind. They aren't.
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Your right to weaponized defense



I believe you should be prepared and able to defend yourself from any violation, by anyone, anywhere, at any time. No exceptions.

That doesn't necessarily mean with a gun.

You should stay aware of all the objects around you which you can transform into weapons if you need to. And, stay aware of how those objects can be turned into weapons.

Obviously, a gun-- designed as a weapon-- is better than just about any improvised weapon. But some bad guys make up rules saying you can't have a gun-- and they'd all like to do so. In fact, they would rather you have no weapon at all, but that's just not an option for them in the real world, so they do as much as they believe they can get away with.

As it is, you always have access to weapons, whether you know it or not.

If someone violates you, you have the right to use those weapons to defend yourself. If you see someone else being violated you have the right to use those weapons to come to their defense.

The dangerous thing to admit is that this natural human right doesn't change if the attacker is a cop "enforcing the law" when the "law" is counterfeit. Yes, you have the right to defend yourself and others from all violators, and the cop or its gang will probably murder you for doing so. It's one of those hard choices where neither option is particularly good for you.

Even so, it may be good for society in the long run. Good for your descendants. If it makes the police state even a little harder to maintain and expand, it helps humanity.

It's sad that so many choose to side with the bad guys when it's still relatively safe to stand opposed to them. But I won't do that. Will you?
-

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

"Dumb questions"



It has been said there are no dumb questions. My guess is anyone who believes this hasn't spent much time on Quora.

I considered quoting a few of them-- questions that I'm not even sure what was being asked-- but I decided that would be rude. I don't mean to make fun of anyone or their questions.

I realize some of the questions are probably asked by people whose grasp of English isn't great. The questions probably turn out sounding bizarre just because the communication between the asker and me isn't happening as it should.

Plus, Quora rewards people for asking questions that haven't been asked before. This leads to some perfectly intelligent people asking completely insane-sounding questions. Why Quora pays for questions asked rather than questions answered is beyond me-- and yes, that question has already been asked. But I'm pretty sure that a lot of the dumb questions come from this dumb policy.

In real life, I don't run into anything I'd consider a dumb question nearly as often. And sometimes, when I think a question is dumb, it turns out I (or the other person) was confused about something and the misunderstanding led to a dumb-sounding question being asked or a good question sounding dumb because I didn't understand what was being asked.

Maybe the saying should be modified: Other than on Quora, there are no dumb questions.
-

Writing is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.