Tuesday, July 23, 2019

"Serving" and "Fighting for freedom"

From Pixabay

How did the word "serve" become shorthand for "being an armed tool of oppressive political thugs"? I prefer people who serve those they serve, voluntarily and with unanimous consent using the economic means, rather than being a "tax" junkie who endangers me and those I love and care about. Cashiers, waiters, repairmen/women, and people like that serve. Military members, not so much. The word "serve" has become one of the most popular lies statists love to tell.

You can't "fight for freedom" by fighting people who are not threatening your freedom.
You can't "fight for freedom" by fighting for those who enslaved you to fight on their behalf.

Your freedom doesn't depend on defeating some tribal thug on the other side of the planet who doesn't pose a credible threat to anyone in America; it depends on defeating the people who are actually a credible threat to your freedom, here and now.

You are not "fighting for freedom" when you join with the greatest actual threat to your freedom and go around the world provoking others on their behalf. You're endangering my freedom, and everyone else's, too.

Yes, freedom means doing whatever you want to do. So, if your "want to" includes doing those things, you are free to do them. But you are hurting everyone else. You are an enemy of something much greater than freedom: liberty. You are free to do that, but you have no right to do so. You are part of the problem. A big part.
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Am I Rong?



Well, no.

I'm sometimes wrong, but I'm not Rong.

When I saw an ad for this book over at Garry Reed's blog, I admit I wondered if the author was poking at me, personally. I mean, "Kent B. Rong"? It really seemed personal-- while being hilarious. Especially considering the nature of the book (read the description!).

I know that it's highly unlikely the author ever heard of me, and is probably just a funny coincidence. Still, I'm going to have to get this book, just for fun, as soon as I have a few spare dollars.

Good job, Kent B. Rong, whoever you are. I love this! (I hope you make million$)
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Writing is my job.
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Is "Kick 'em out" preferable to "You can't leave"?



Some answers don't come easy. Even after days of thought. This is one of those. And I still might be way off-base.

I don't remember hearing about the Soviet Union kicking out-- or "inviting to leave"-- the people who didn't like the Soviet Union. People who would have been happy to leave. Instead, they didn't let anyone leave.

I don't remember hearing about Nazi Germany kicking out all the Jews and other "undesirables" instead of putting them in concentration camps or summarily murdering them. I'll bet at that point these people would have left if allowed, no "kicking out" required. But, nope. They didn't let them leave.

They forced those they didn't like to stay. In concentration camps, in mass graves, or in hiding. But the borders were closed to their egress.

Isn't that the way of all the worst states?

It's never good to round up and cage people who aren't violating others.

No, I'm not saying it's good to kick out people who want to stay and who aren't violating anyone-- it's still a rights violation. But I'd probably prefer to be kicked out than to be caged or murdered.

There are those who richly deserve to be kicked out: those who archate. But who would you curse by sending them all the murderers, rapists, Congressvermin, Supreme Courtjesters, police, bureaucrats, muggers, presidents, burglars, arsonists, etc. you're kicking out? That kind of person isn't welcome in my sphere; how could I burden anyone else with them? (Anyone for building Botany Bay 2 on the far side of the moon? Oh, wait... )

Don't worry-- I'm not going to violate anyone by forcibly kicking them off property I don't own. It would be civilized of them to reciprocate, but you know they won't.

As long as a state is kicking people out instead of forcing them to stay as prisoners (or corpses) it's not as bad as it could be, even though it's not good.
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid-- and I'm pretty desperate right now.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Market regulated just right amount

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for June 19, 2019)




I love watching the market work. I don't call it "the free market" because if it's not free it's not a market. Under government rules and regulations what survives is a pale shadow of a market; the more rules, the dimmer the shadow.

Fortunately even this shadow of a market is enough to make life better for everyone; much better than the more regulated alternative. I appreciate this.

Under the unfree conditions which exist in America and other "civilized" places, the market manages to survive in the nooks, crannies, and loopholes. In some cases as the "black market", where "prohibited items" are traded, and in others, as the "gray market", where legal items are traded without government permission, or without giving government the piece of the action it feels entitled to skim from every transaction. They call this skimming "taxation" and "fees".

The most visible examples of the market in action are yard sales and people selling goods and services online. Even in these cases, government rules try to prevent a market from existing; it's to our benefit that they mostly fail.

The market scares some people. They have been told that without government controlling trade, food will be poison, products will be faulty, and fraud will be rampant. I've never quite understood how-- if this is how people naturally behave toward one another-- putting some people in charge will magically change their human nature. Unless you imagine they are not human, but angelic beings, uncorrupted by the human flaws plaguing the rest of us. Sounds like superstition to me.

Fear of the market is founded upon the mistaken assumption that the market is unregulated.

The market is regulated; just the right amount. Regulated by the cumulative choices and actions of people, not by the misinformed opinions of politicians. If you are afraid of what the market would do freed from the opinions of the worst among us, you're not paying attention.

Would you buy food from a business whose customers keep getting sick with food poisoning? Would you buy a car model known to have frequent brake failures? Would you keep such information to yourself or spread the word?

If you would protect bad businesses, you're to blame, not the market. If you stop expecting someone else to do your job and hold bad guys accountable when you run into them, you'll help regulate the market in the best way possible. It's always been your responsibility, no matter what you've been told.

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Society's lies

Just go along with the covey


I've never been good at pretending lies are truth.
Not even when it makes people angry.

This has gotten me in trouble in school, in business, online, and in other social realms.

It's why I can't pretend cops and the military are heroes, why I don't buy into "transgender" stuff, why I don't confuse schooling for education, and why I am skeptical of AGCC dictates.

This is why I can't go along with the claim that government is necessary, and why I don't fetishize democracy or consider politics anything other than bullying.

It's why I don't fall for the claim that "taxation" is somehow not theft because someone made up a "law".

It's why I can't pretend rights depend on who you are, what you do, where you were born, historical documents, or the opinions of some government gang. All humans have equal and identical rights; any other claim is a lie.

I realize people may have their reasons for preferring a lie to the truth. I get that. Lies can be comforting and they often feel safe. They can make you feel better about yourself or your loved ones. They can make you fit in better with the crowd.

But I won't lie and say I agree just to make someone feel better or to be one of the "cool kids". Even knowing that this has a cost. The best I can do is to stay silent when confronted by a supporter of one of the popular lies-- there's no argument against delusion. I can't always manage even that, but I'm getting better at it.
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Government is antisocial and is killing America



Ammo.com recently posted an article about how Washington DC has destroyed social life in America. They make a good point, and it's really sad, but the goons from the District of Criminals aren't the only governmental culprits.

Many of you know how much I enjoyed karaoke during my brief time in Pennsylvania.

I was in an unfamiliar place, abandoned and separated from anything I had enjoyed doing. I met someone at work who talked me into showing up at a little rural bar for their karaoke night-- and I was hooked.

Before that, I was more of a hermit. Never very sociable, and didn't need that. But karaoke changed me.

I left there years ago, but here in this place (which should be where my roots are-- if I had roots), I find myself in a very similar situation.

The problem is the local cops (across the state line, actually) harass drivers so badly after dark that there is only one bar left in operation-- the others which were here when I moved to the area shut down due to the police-state harassment of their patrons. I guess people stopped showing up in numbers sufficient to keep the places open. It was just too dangerous to encounter the cops (we have murderous cops in the area, too).

I'm not a drinker, but I am not enthusiastic to run the checkpoint gauntlet at night regardless, so I've never even been to the one remaining bar on one of their karaoke nights.

I've been searching for a social outlet for over 10 years and have yet to find anything. A good karaoke bar-- without a swarm of cops buzzing around-- would sure be nice.

Yes, government, at the local, county, state, and federal levels, is antisocial. I'd toss them all in the volcano to end their reign of destruction.
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Friday, July 19, 2019

Government supremacy



Here's the government supremacist position, in two parts:


  • If government isn't doing something, nothing is being done.
  • If you don't want government to do something, you don't care.


That right there is a special kind of stupid.
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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Boring old statist justifications



I love to be made to think. Or, maybe, led to think. I don't do well with being forced to do anything, even things I enjoy.

This is why I don't mind hearing people who disagree with me-- in some way I haven't yet considered-- laying out their thinking. It always makes me think-- sometimes for weeks. I may not come to agree with their point of view, but at least I'll have spent time considering something I hadn't considered before. How is that not fun?

But that's what's so disappointing about most statist arguments.

They are old, tired retreads. Reruns that weren't that entertaining the first time around, and are excruciatingly dreary now.

They don't make me think because they are things I thought through (and dismissed) long ago. There's nothing new there to make me think. No new points; no new twists. They don't make the effort to present something new, probably because there's nothing new to present.

The statist arguments haven't changed since the first lazy looters settled down to loot a population under the lie of "government". Statists still make the same claims that were made the first time some thug came up with the idea which we now call political "authority". It was wrong then; it's wrong and boring now.
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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

I prefer consequences to revenge

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for July 17, 2019)




If your idea of a good time is to vandalize someone's home, I have no sympathy for you no matter what consequences result.

Last year a relative's home near Clovis was burglarized and cleaned out. Through the ruthless determination of his granddaughter, all his belongings were discovered on the property of the burglar (or an accomplice) and recovered.

Now, someone has decided it was a good idea to try to destroy his whole house. The house he built with his own hands more than half a century ago.

If you think this makes me angry, you'd be on the right track...read the rest...

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Don't fall for the borderists' dishonest trap



I recently encountered a question asked by a borderist. He wants to trick you into falling for his trap. I'll spare him the embarrassment of mentioning his name.

Here's the dishonest setup followed by the dishonest question:

"The question that no open-borders advocate has ever answered is, How many illegals should be allowed into the United States?"

He's a liar.

The question is phrased dishonestly so as to manipulate his audience.

I have answered a similar question. Many times. I've seen several people answer such a question in excellent ways. It's just that the correct and honest answer to a more honest version of the question doesn't serve his agenda so he'll never acknowledge it, no matter who answers.

But I'll answer the "question" again.

I'm not an "open borders advocate", I'm simply against government "borders" and for property rights. Those two things are completely at odds with one another, and the borderists should know it. They just pretend they can have it both ways. All I know is I'm opposed to his position of maximum statism. But call my position "open borders" if it makes you happy.

Second, there can be no such thing as an "illegal" if you are referring to people deemed so because they ignored unconstitutional and unethical statist "laws" against crossing an imaginary line. Just like there's no such thing as an "illegal gun" regardless of the unethical and unconstitutional "laws" the anti-gun bigots have made up. Counterfeit "laws" are without foundation no matter what they pretend to address. Again, he's using a lie to trap you into answering the wrong question.

Third, "should be allowed"? "Should" in this context is a word calculated to trip you up. No one "should" be dictating numbers of visitors to other people's property. And government "borders"? Who has the "authority" to "allow" or forbid people to cross these imaginary lines? The criminal gang known as government? Make another joke. The only ones with the right to allow or forbid entry onto their private property are the property owners making this decision for their own property. Period. Government doesn't qualify.

This is why I can't take borderists seriously. Not even when they are reasonably principled on other issues. They can't even ask an honest question where government "borders" are concerned but have to pile lies on top of lies to get the narrative they hunger for. Borderists simply aren't credible, and they've done it to themselves.
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Monday, July 15, 2019

BitChute and donations



I've mirrored a lot of my videos on BitChute. I had tried another video service which went under a while back, so I'm trying again.

I want a backup in case YouTube gets more censory than they already are. I pretty much lost my will to make new videos when they demonetized me (due to not enough views) and made it clear I wasn't really welcome there.

This is the same reason I mirror these posts on Wordpress. I don't trust Google to not "be evil", but they also seem to still get the most views. I feel better with a backup plan anyway.

On another topic, I sure could use an infusion of money. I've been trying to not mention it, but not mentioning it isn't really working very well for me. I got a new subscriber a couple of months ago-- Yay!-- and then last month I lost a longtime supporter, which canceled out the gain. So, if you want to, and you can, please consider making a one-time donation or signing on for monthly support.

Please follow/subscribe to me on BitChute and I may start making new videos again.

Thank you.
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Writing is my job.
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Masks


In a world with facial recognition technology, masks are necessary.

Government has no right to forbid them, because government can have no rights, and "authority" is a demented superstition.

Also, cops are allowed to cover their faces while committing acts of enforcement, so those they target must be allowed the same freedom in order to avoid falling victim to those acts of enforcement.
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Writing is my job.
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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Let people find their own solutions

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for June 12, 2019)




It amazes me how often people create worse problems while trying to solve problems.

Most problems can be solved; some probably can't. Don't give up trying to solve the hard problems, though. You never know if the Elixir of Life is waiting for you to discover just around the next bend.

The best approach is to let people find their own solutions. Most of their ideas will fail; some will be spectacular failures, but as long as no one's solution is forced on everyone else, people can keep trying different things. The more ideas which get tried, the more problems will be solved.

Often you won't know if an idea is good until you let people try it for a while. Then, if it turns out badly the people need to be free to drop it.

Even some of the bad ideas might have the seed of a real solution, just needing a little tweak to work. It's only when you set a bad idea in stone-- or in law-- that it becomes hard to reverse.

When you force a one-size-fits-all "solution" on everyone a bad idea can do lasting damage.

Most proposals for solving Anthropogenic Global Climate Change-- "Global warming"-- are like this. Whether the crisis is real or not matters little. Let people try the ideas they believe will help, but don't let them impose those solutions on anyone. This would limit what others can try and is almost guaranteed to prevent a real, lasting solution from being discovered. If one is needed.

The most tragic examples are when someone causes more of the social problems they imagine their ideas would address. Things like poverty and crime come to mind.

If your anti-poverty program hasn't resulted in a measurable easing of poverty it's time to drop it and try something else. Many times, doing nothing would be better than what is being done.

Crime is another topic where this applies. Of course, I'm referring to real crime-- violations of life, liberty, and property-- not acts which harm no one other than the feelings of politicians. I believe, from personal experience and observation, that universal voluntary gun possession would prevent most crime. Others believe a total gun ban (exempting government employees) would be the fix. Only one of those doesn't rely on forcing a rights-violating, one-size-fits-all approach on every individual in society, so only one is ethical.

If your idea isn't ethical, I'll pass, no matter how well it works. With this one limit, find your best ideas.

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Statists want you to believe you're stupid



Statists want you to believe you aren't smart enough to know how to solve problems. They say you have to trust the president or congress or the city council to do what's necessary because you can't possibly understand the issues. You don't see "The Big Picture"* and don't understand "how these things work".

How convenient for them.

Erich Fromm had something to say about this vulgar lie:

"One kind of smokescreen is that the problems are too complicated for the average individual to grasp. On the contrary it would seem that many of the basic issues of individual and social life are very simple, so simple. in fact, that everyone should be expected to understand them. To let them appear to be so enormously complicated that only a "specialist" can understand them, and he only in his limited field, actually-- and often intentionally-- tends to discourage people from trusting their own capacity to think about those problems that really matter. The individual feels hopelessly caught in a chaotic mass of data and with pathetic patience waits until the specialists have found out what to do and where to go." -- Escape from Freedom

I see statists use this tactic all the time.

  • You can't understand why it's not a good idea to get rid of all anti-gun "laws" because you don't have the wisdom and experience of the police unions, the BATFEces, the FBI, or federal judges. It's simplistic to believe you can be responsible for yourself and that an armed populace would deter archation.
  • You can't understand the nuances of "border security" because you aren't an expert. You can't just respect all property rights (including ending all welfare) and respect the right of defense-- it would be chaos.
  • You're not a scientist so you can't understand the data pointing to Climate Change. Trust the experts to tell you what you'll have to do to avoid this disaster they say is coming.

Statists need to make you believe the world is too complicated for individuals to understand. Otherwise, you might realize you don't need their god to save you. So they constantly order you to "leave it to the professionals who know best". They constantly insult you and your intelligence. They get paternalistic and condescending as they assure you "government knows best".

Don't be so uppity as to notice that their "professionals" and "experts" are always on the side of violating YOUR natural human rights and imposing more control over YOUR life.

Yeah, the world is complex. But if the average human can't understand it, clumping sub-average humans together in a gang you call "government" isn't going to magically give them superhuman abilities. Quite the opposite. I'll trust the spontaneous order arising from the self-interested actions of free individuals before I trust the "wisdom" of monopolistic government being imposed on everyone.
__

*I once worked for a business that I saw doing really dumb, self-destructive things on orders from the manager. Being a good employee who wanted to see the business thrive, I told this manager what I thought and his standard response was that I didn't see "The Big Picture" that only he could see.
I swear I didn't say "I told you so" every time the things I warned him of came to pass.
But I sure did think it a lot.
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Writing is my job.
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Saturday, July 13, 2019

Statists defend their god



The storm threatening New Orleans led to a discussion of 2005's Hurricane Katrina wherein I pointed out how much worse government (and foolish reliance on government) made the disaster.

A statist in the conversation tried to paint government employees as good-intentioned but crippled by the bad behavior of the storm's victims.

  • If the people had evacuated when told to, government gangs wouldn't have been "forced" to go around kicking in their doors, beating them up, stealing their guns, and kidnapping them to be imprisoned in the Superdome.
  • This was a noble thing to do, and the only reason the Superdome turned into a nightmare is that there weren't enough cops there to control the inmates who were forced inside and trapped. Disarming the good guys so as to leave them vulnerable to the bad guys was the right thing to do, under the circumstances, to keep things from getting "worse".
  • It was OK to forcibly prevent people (who probably had bad intentions) from crossing that bridge to leave because maybe no one on the other side of the bridge wanted them or could "handle" the numbers of them. Obviously, the people on the bridge were the bad guys. (This is the borderist argument, too.)

No matter what I brought up, the government goons were excused because it was the fault of someone else. If the state and local government (governor, mayor, police) did something bad, it was the fault of the disobedient population (and maybe the feds). If the feds did something bad it was the fault of the disobedient population (and maybe the state and local government). I tested my hypothesis on how the justifications would go from different angles. It was always the same. Government good; people bad.

Because government is staffed by Angels, doncha know. They are better than us disobedient people.

I didn't even get into how the charitable shipments of drinking water and other necessities were turned away by government heroes and other abominable acts of that nature.

Statists will defend their god 'til the bitter end. It can't ever be wrong, and if it looks like it is wrong, it's because of someone else.

This person I was talking with is deeply infected with the superstition of "authority" anyway. I was discovering just how deep it goes. And it's scary.

These are the people who don't believe you have a right to defend yourself from anyone with a badge or a government position, no matter what is being done to you.
These are the people who say "If you don't want a police officer to shoot you, obey immediately. You can take him to court later if you think he's wrong".
These are the people who will report you to the cops for doing something they don't like.
These people are a huge part of the problem in society.
They are "why we can't have nice things"-- at least until we cut them out of the equation and see them for the silly superstitious people they are.

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Friday, July 12, 2019

Archating, sub-human scum



My mom's 95-year-old uncle has been victimized yet again. Last year he got burglarized (bottom of that post); Tuesday night (July 9th) some nasty sub-human vermin smashed in all his doors and windows, broke holes in his floors, and poured gasoline around his house and tried to burn it down.

He built this home himself over half a century ago.

Fortunately, he was at his daughter's house rather than at home when the archation occurred.

An observant neighbor noticed suspicious activity and called the Blue Line Gang to investigate, and surprisingly, one of them got there soon enough to catch one of the worthless vermin moseying down the road-- eager to confess. Two of the three scum responsible still managed to elude capture, but the one now sitting in a cage will probably sing like a canary (it seems he is already doing so).

The stupid parasite who burglarized his house last year is still sitting in a cage awaiting trial or sentencing or something. His lawyer has been trying to delay this forever, but I guess time is running out and something is scheduled to happen soon. This makes me suspicious that Tuesday's disgusting vandals have some connection to the burglar. Maybe revenge for their worthless "friend" facing the burglary charges. But that's just speculation on my part and I might be completely wrong.

I really hate people who intentionally violate others. I have no pity for them no matter what happens-- feeling that death is a satisfactory outcome. I wouldn't lift a finger to save a vandal's life even if I had to go out of my way to avoid saving him. No, I wouldn't involve the Blue Line Gang if it were up to me, and I wouldn't go for revenge/punishment. But I would find a way to make them regret their life choices.

I simply can't comprehend what makes a person decide to be so utterly worthless as to vandalize the house of an old man who never did anything to them. Maybe they were just raised in a degraded "culture" [sic] of archation (as many people are) and vandalism sounded like a fun time.

At 95 years old, a shock like this could easily cause my great-uncle to have a heart attack and die. If he died from the stress these parasites caused him I would consider them murderers.

I'm really angry right now. I even waited an extra day to say anything about it to keep from saying anything I wouldn't want in writing. But I am still just as angry.

This is the guy who confessed and was arrested. Click to enlarge.

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

The census and "the citizenship question"




I realize the census is authorized, or required, by the Constitution. I also recognize why it is-- to apportion "taxation" and "representation", two things I have zero use for.

I didn't respond to the census last time; I plan to ignore it again next time.

The census is "allowed" by the Constitution to ask one question: "How many people live here?" That's it. Period.

It isn't allowed to ask anything else, including whether those who are responding are slaves to the US State... I mean, "citizens of the US".

It doesn't matter who wants to ask additional questions. It doesn't matter how the additional questions are excused or justified.

If you value the Constitution you know the questions aren't permitted. If, like me, you know the Constitution is only good for showing how far America has fallen, you probably feel no obligation to answer the census anyway.

The "citizenship question" is a red herring.
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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Limiting liberty never good for people

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for July 10, 2019)




There are few things I enjoy more than helping people.

In the past few months, I've opened a car for a neighbor who locked her keys inside it. Twice. I gave a military-style can opener I was carrying to a guy who was unsuccessfully trying to buy a can opener.

I hold doors for people, I hand them items they drop, and do my best to help whenever I see the opportunity...read the rest...

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Tuesday, July 09, 2019

"Intersectionality"

Intersectionality-
Loitering at the intersection of Victim Avenue and Entitlement Boulevard in downtown Loserville.

But, stupidity doesn't affect the rights a person has. It only affects the respect they'll receive from me.

Is that harsh? Maybe. But I'm tired of being scolded because I won't treat mental illness as wisdom.
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Sunday, July 07, 2019

See what you can build on your own

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for June 5, 2019)




There's a sense of personal accomplishment, of self-worth, when you make something with your own hands through your own efforts. Even if you seek guidance from someone with experience, you've learned more than you knew before. You'll probably value the results more than if you had no part in making it.

If, after you do the work yourself, you decide you'd rather pay someone to do it for you next time, at least you now know what's involved. You will probably have a better sense of whether someone is doing a good job or not. You might be able to tell if they are trying to scam you or overcharge for their services.

To prevent someone from making things on their own is bad in two ways. You show you don't trust them to be competent, and you keep them from becoming competent; from learning how to do things they'll value. If you never allow someone to succeed or fail on their own, always doing everything for them, they'll never really grow up. They'll never learn responsibility.

Self-government is the same way. Until you try to govern yourself, without any laws or representatives to fall back on, you're not a fully competent human being. You may even surprise yourself when you discover you don't need those things, nor do you want them imposed on others. I have more respect for myself than to look for someone to govern others-- even my enemies-- on my behalf.

To me, insisting that others must be governed for my benefit is a sign of weakness and immaturity.

People tend to live up or down to your expectations.

So how do you govern yourself with your own two hands? Be responsible. Don't pawn your responsibilities onto others. Don't expect others to take care of you, or to protect you from threats you should be dealing with on your own. Mind your own business and expect others to mind theirs. If someone violates you, deal with it yourself. Only seek help if absolutely unavoidable, and then only from truly voluntary sources. You aren't entitled to other people's time or money, so don't act as though you are. Governing yourself isn't achieved through voting or expecting representatives to fix anything. If you want to do that anyway, don't stop there and think you've accomplished something.

See what you can build with the effort of your own mind and hands. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

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"Never again!" The fireworks stand



I spent the past couple of weeks working a fireworks stand. It was hot, dusty, boring work-- except on the 3rd and 4th when it was frequently crazy.

And it wasn't hot, dusty, or boring the two times it rained and the leaky fireworks stand threatened to drown all the fireworks. Only by great effort did I save all but a couple from the water.

The stand wasn't in the best shape. The electrical wiring was all wrong and tried to electrocute my dad during the first rain. The lights wouldn't all work and even after an electrician came and put it all in order, there still wasn't enough power to run my parents' RV A/Cs. This meant some of the less hardy individuals working the stand demanded the RV generator be run during the day, costing a lot of gas.

The phone line for the credit card machine had been ripped out since it was last used. The phone company had assigned the stand's phone number to someone else, and the credit card machine was messed up and wouldn't work even after the phone situation got solved-- until after a 2-hour phone call got it cleared and ready to go.

The stand was inside the city limits by about 20 feet (the other side of the street directly behind the stand) so we couldn't sell anything which would launch or explode. This lost us about half our potential customers-- they were looking for bottle rockets, Roman candles, firecrackers, "ladybugs", and artillery shells, none of which we were allowed to sell.

Since we were in a different state than most of the company's stands, there was confusion over "permits" and such. My dad had to go wait for hours to get a couple of permits the company was supposed to have already taken care of for us. Have I mentioned how stupid permits and licenses are?

The fireworks market was also saturated-- there were at least 7 fireworks stands within a quarter mile of us. And I think this isn't counting the small independent stand in a family's front yard.

The first week there I stayed awake all night watching the stand. Unfortunately, I could only manage to sleep 3 or 4 hours during the day, so I would go ahead and sit in the stand the rest of the time. The second week I had a baby monitor inside the stand with the other end in the RV so I could nap at night, and sit in the stand during the day. That was better.

We had a 160-mile round trip to get the opening inventory, then we had a 110-mile round trip to turn in the unsold inventory.

Sadly, it was "the worst year for fireworks sales in 30 years" according to the people who convinced us to sell fireworks. If I clear $5 per day I'll be shocked. It might be a lot less... if I end up getting anything.

I have already put my foot down and said "Never again!" to a family fireworks stand. It was probably unnecessary since no one seems inclined to do it again next year.

But, I guess some people pay hundreds of dollars to go to camps which provide hardship experiences to "build character" and this at least didn't cost me anything. I feel it didn't work; my character may have eroded a little due to the experience.

Most of the customers were great, though. They were fun. My daughter got chummy with some of them and their bikes. I'm grateful she didn't decide to run away with them. The temptation would have crossed my mind.


We only had one customer who was bad; he cheated us out of some money. A cop. He paid, went out and sat in his car, and then came back and told the person who waited on him that she had made a mistake. He had bought a whole box of smoke bombs (oops-- "smoke balls", can't say "bombs" I guess) and claimed they were supposed to be "buy one, get one free". They weren't, but the intimidated cashier refunded half the price anyway. I wish she'd called me over during the "discussion". But, it was a cop; what else would you expect?

There was no wifi at the site, so I had to get things ready to post during my quick daily run home (14 miles one way) for a shower. I'm so far behind on everything, including my writing, it feels like I'll never get caught up. Please be patient while I try.

So that's what I've been up to. I'm exhausted.

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Since the fireworks stand didn't pay off...
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Friday, July 05, 2019

Maybe not quite "elementary"



Some people just don't do the Sherlock Holmes thing very well.

A few days ago, during a little stroll, someone found a piece of scrap plexiglass, near an old run-down workshop, that was vaguely knife shaped. He brought it to me and told me his insight into it.

He had decided it had been intentionally made knife-like, to be used as a weapon He was convinced some little thug/gangster had carried it as a weapon.

Well, maybe. I saw no evidence of this. No attempt had been made to sharpen it, or even to peel off the protectant layer. Yeah, it had a (bent) point on one end, and a concave shape to the other end that could be used as a handle. But to reach the conclusions he had reached-- and actually seemed to have convinced himself of-- seemed quite a stretch.

It's just interesting to me to sometimes see how other minds work.
That's why I listen to statists.
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Thursday, July 04, 2019

When your idol is too big for your god



A family member (during our long hours trapped at a fireworks stand that must be the firework equivalent of Charlie Brown's pathetic Christmas tree) told me about a news story involving a business called Camping World, a giant Holy Pole Quilt, and an appropriately named town's government. It also concerns fines and a threat of kidnapping followed by caging (as long as the victim doesn't resist "too much").

A statist being fought by statists is always amusing to me. How do you like your "laws" now that they are being used against you?

Still, the flag waver is in the right, and the "laws" he is breaking are counterfeit "laws". If a giant Pole Quilt some distance away from the interstate will dangerously distract people, then so will a smaller Pole Quilt right at the side of the road. Or a tiny one on a car's antenna right beside you.

My opinion: The U.S. (not "American") Holy Pole Quilt disgusts me. But if it's not on my property, it's not my concern. Fly a Nazi flag over your home or business for all I care. Yes, I'll view your flag, of whatever design, as an indication of your character, and if your flag advocates archation I'm not going to trust you too much in other circumstances, but still it's your problem, not mine.

History will eventually view the U.S. flag the same way it views the Nazi flag today. (Some of us already view it that way.) But your property, your business. If you want to tattoo "I'm an idiot" on your face, feel free to advertise this message as loudly as you want. You're probably doing the rest of us a favor.

Happy Secession Day.
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Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Keep American spirit of 1776 alive

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for July 3, 2019)




America was born in an act of secession. Those future Americans told an overbearing central government-- the world's most powerful empire and military at the time-- it was no longer welcome. It had lost the consent of the people.

Of course, the overbearing central government didn't want to let go. They never do. It had to be convinced. Its military had to be defeated and sent away.

It's a precedent which should be continued to this day...read the rest...

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Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Theft



Theft isn't just one thing, It is a broad category of archation. It includes-- mugging, fraud, extortion, taxation, fines, fees, eminent domain, licensing, counterfeiting, burglary, etc.

There's not an OK type of theft.

Some forms of theft are less deadly in practice than others. Sometimes only because of the likelihood of the victim's cooperation in the face of overwhelming force and numbers.

Some kinds of theft are more "honest" than others. Any theft where the thief tries to pretend he's not a thief is the most dishonest kind of theft.

Theft is always wrong, no matter how you try to justify it and no matter what you say you'll spend some of the plunder on.
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Monday, July 01, 2019

Time to roast the Peacock



Years ago I seem to have signed up for email "news alerts" from one of the original old "mainstream news" corporations. I don't remember why. I've never bothered to unsubscribe because until the past couple of years I didn't get that many alerts, but when I did, they were about actual events; news. Things like earthquakes, mass murders, hurricanes, plane crashes, and stuff of that sort. That has changed during the Trump years.

Now I get a few "alerts" every day, and the majority of them are designed to do one thing only: to disparage Trump. Why bother? I don't care one way or the other.

I hate that I have to say this again, but if I don't I will be misinterpreted (I probably will be anyway): I don't like or support Trump or any other president, past, present, or future. I do not respect the office, nor do I believe it is even slightly legitimate.

But what amazes me is the amount of effort this "news organization" is putting towards trashing Trump. The contrast with the way they treated Obama makes this even more obvious. And disgusting. I get it: the mainstream media hates Trump. OK. It doesn't mean you have to stretch to find people who hate Trump to quote. Or report on things you think Trump might have been thinking, or whatever. That's not newsworthy, it's just desperate. It makes you look as bad as you are hoping it makes Trump look. Some days, even worse.

I'm occasionally interested in news. I'm not interested in the "news'" opinions on Trump. Or on the "Democratic candidates" either. Politics isn't automatically news; in fact, it rarely is.

This has finally inspired me to do what I should have done many years ago. I have unsubscribed from their "news alerts". It was past time.
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Don't force your crutch on others

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 29, 2019)




A few years ago I was hiking down a trail in Colorado. Exploring trails-- and off trails-- is probably my favorite activity. After a few hours, I decided I needed to turn around and head back. It was past mid-afternoon, on my last day of vacation, and I needed to pack and get ready for the drive home.

I doubt I had walked even a hundred feet when my natural klutziness struck and I twisted my ankle. Hard.

I was in agony, and the realization that I had miles to walk made it even worse. After I stopped hopping on one foot and finished expressing my immense discomfort, I resigned myself to the long walk ahead. I found a sturdy branch I could use as a crutch and started to hobble on down the trail. It took some effort, but I made it out before dark.

My ankle was swollen and discolored for a month. If not for the improvised crutch, my situation would have been worse.

Crutches were a good invention. Thousands of years after someone came up with the idea, they are still useful. Using a crutch may not be ideal, but it's better than the alternative. It allows someone to get around when they might not otherwise be able to without crawling.

If you need a crutch, use one.

However, not everyone needs a crutch. It's not nice to kick other people in the kneecap just because you want them to use a crutch. Nor would it be right to force others to pay for your crutch. It's different if someone volunteers to provide a crutch when they see a person in need.

Government is a crutch. I don't want or need it. I don't want you to force me to use it, nor to hurt me so I feel as though I have no choice. I don't want to be forced to pay for someone else's government, nor do I think it's nice when those who use this crutch go around whacking innocent people over the head with its laws "just because" they feel like it.

Plus, in every case today, there are better solutions. You could fix the problem so no crutch is necessary. When the underlying problem can't be permanently fixed, there are still better tools to use.

Even if I need a crutch-- or a government-- I have no right to force one on you against your will. Why would anyone do something so antisocial?

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Government property



Governments-- States-- cannot legitimately own anything.

Everything they possess or control was either stolen from someone or fraudulently "bought" with stolen/counterfeited money.

A thief doesn't own the stolen goods he possesses or controls.

You can't "steal government property".
You can't "trespass on government property".
But you can be molested, kidnapped, robbed, caged, and murdered for acting on this truth. Thieves are very aggressively protective of what they imagine to be theirs.

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Saturday, June 29, 2019

Open-mindedness



You should keep an open mind about most things. Yet, as The Old People like to clarify, "Not so open that your brains fall out".

How can you tell the difference?

You don't need to be open-minded to every obviously bad idea: toward murder, rape, theft, kidnapping or other acts of archation. Being open-minded to these is a sign that your brains have fallen out. Closed-mindedness to things of this sort is wisdom.

But pretty much everything else is a good topic to keep your mind open on. You never know when someone might have a good perspective you never considered before. You might even discover you were wrong.
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Friday, June 28, 2019

The freedom to listen



Freedom of speech is mirrored by the freedom to hear that speech. They are two sides of the same coin.

Freedom of speech is meaningless if no one is allowed to listen, or if listening is made so difficult that it doesn't happen.

Government is prohibited from censoring speech by the First Amendment (which they routinely get away with ignoring). As I see it, this also means they are prohibited from keeping you from finding and listening to any speech you want to hear.

The Bill of Rights isn't generally thought to apply to government-created corporations (which I see as part of government), but if your corporation censors or prevents people from listening, I'll consider you the bad guy.

You have the natural human right to listen, with or without the First Amendment or any other document.

Governments and corporations have no rights; rights are individual only. Don't violate the right to speak or to listen.

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YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Supporting your abuser



I suppose if you firmly believe your abusive boyfriend protects you from ghosts, demons, and other potentially abusive boyfriends you might otherwise end up with, you're going to accept the abuse. Or downplay it.

It's the same if you believe a government protects you from other governments and "cartels".

Is it Stockholm Syndrome or something even darker?
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Illegitimate laws poison society

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for June 26, 2019)




One way you can tell laws are not legitimate, ethically or morally, is in the way they vary from place to place. Those of us who live near an arbitrary political line-- a state line or a national border-- have the opportunity to notice this more easily than others might.

Something which is legal on one side of the line becomes illegal once you cross it. Without otherwise changing your behavior in the slightest you can go from law-abiding to criminal, by law, simply by pacing back and forth across this imaginary line...read the rest...

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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Trusting cops to do the right thing



I don't understand those who desperately claim that "at least half of the police officers will refuse to enforce a gun confiscation".

Based on what evidence? The cops who currently refuse to enforce prohibition and all the anti-gun "laws" already on the books?

How's that working for ya, copsuckers?

Just because cops own and carry guns on the "job" doesn't make them "pro gun rights".

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Writing is my job.
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Monday, June 24, 2019

The things I'll do for money...



Just a heads-up: I'm going to be super busy over the next week and a half, working at a fireworks stand (ironic, since I don't really like fireworks). Mostly I'll be providing overnight "security", but probably doing some selling, too. I'm hoping I can find some time to sleep. You know how desperate I always am for money.

I've scheduled posts for (most of) those days (still working on it), but I wanted you to know what's going on, just in case one day gets skipped, or your comment languishes unnoticed a while.

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"Legal" or "Lawful"



Ah. Counting on magic words to save you.

Recently I saw someone make a desperate appeal to their perception of a difference between "legal" and "lawful". They were attempting to make a "founding father" look like something other than the nasty old statist he was, by their tortured interpretation of something he had said about "lawful authority".

The fellow trying to justify the dead statist's words was trying to claim that "lawful" meant "in accordance with natural law", as opposed to "legal", which meant only that someone made up some legislation and called it a law.

Not that there can be any political "authority" in accordance with natural law, but whatever.

Still, I was willing to consider his point, so I looked up the two words in question.

legal-- permitted by law; lawful; of or relating to law; connected with the law or its administration.
appointed, established, or authorized by law; deriving authority from law.

Oops. That "lawful" in there is terribly inconvenient. But, moving right along...

lawful-- allowed or permitted by law; not contrary to law; legitimate; appointed or recognized by law; acting or living according to the law.

Trying to read any meaningful difference into those definitions is an impossible task.

However, I'm sympathetic. I know dictionaries are often wrong; relying on incorrect (but popular and common) usage for their definitions. Look how often they conflate "anarchy" with "chaos" for example.

So, when there's good reason to stray from a bad dictionary definition, I support that move completely.

But, to try to find a good definition for a word so that you can feel good about an old, dead statist is probably pointless if liberty is something you value.

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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Preferences provide opportunities

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 22, 2019)




Preferences are a personal thing. Some people prefer dogs while others prefer cats, and some like both species equally. None of these choices is wrong, even if one choice might make more sense or be more right for some people.

If dogs are preferred, there are those who prefer large dogs and others who prefer small dogs. Some people prefer aggressive dogs while other people want a more sociable dog.

It's all OK unless your preference is to prevent others from making their own choice based on their personal preferences.

If you decide your preference for large sociable dogs means cats should be banned or tightly regulated, and small, aggressive dogs must be confiscated and destroyed, your preference has crossed the line. It is no longer acceptable; it's antisocial.

Even if the majority of people take your side.

Yes, there are acts which aren't the same as preferences. You can't just say your preference is to break into houses and steal what you want instead of earning money with mutually voluntary trade to pay for those things. Well, you can say that's your preference but no one is obligated to sit by while you act on it. Anyone has the right to stop you when your preference violates others.

Very few of the things people choose between harm anyone. You might be bewildered by someone's choice. You might even believe it's immoral. Unless it "picks your pocket or breaks your leg"-- to paraphrase Thomas Jefferson-- it's your responsibility to mind your business.

Differing preferences provide opportunities. If everyone liked the same thing, there would be no need to make different kinds of food. Generic "Human Chow" would be good enough. Everyone could wear the same style clothing, in the same color. All cars could be identical.

Life would never have a chance to improve because there would be no reason to experiment with different things. Look how many innovations were stumbled upon by accident. Often the underlying cause was someone trying to fulfill their own, or a pool of potential customers', preferences; some which are known and others which are a mystery even to those who possess them.

It would be sad if everyone were the same and liked the same things. I'm glad people like different stuff. It exposes me to things I might not otherwise experience, it gives me options and enriches my life. And it might someday introduce me to something I had no idea I was going to love.


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Libertarianism is the balance



One objection I frequently see against libertarianism is that it's "too extreme". "There needs to be a balance between the extremes of libertarianism and fascism" (as illustrated by "border enforcement" and so forth).

This misses the reality.

(Of course, the act of governing others won't be referred to as fascism. Statists aren't that self-aware or honest. They'll call it "rule of law" or will conflate political government with society. You can use whatever substitute terms you wish, as long as you keep this in mind.)

The extreme ends of the spectrum are not libertarianism and fascism-- the extremes are nihilism and fascism. Libertarianism is the healthy balance which avoids both of the toxic extremes. It's the only way to avoid ruin.

Libertarianism is not "extreme" unless your wish is to watch the world burn; unless you want to kill off everyone with your chosen politics. If you choose something other than libertarianism you are choosing one of the deadly extremes. You are choosing to be extreme in defense of something indefensible.

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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Shooting down drones



If you don't want your drone to be shot down, keep it over your own property. Any drone that isn't over property you own or rent, at a minimum, is fair game.

This doesn't change just because you are a government.

In fact, since governments can't legitimately own anything, government drones are always fair game. I might give the US government license to fly its drones over the Pentagon, White House, or Capitol building, but nowhere else. No, they don't own those properties either, but I'm willing to compromise that much. At least until they are a threat to adjacent property owners, anyway.

If your drone is over someone else's property, it is trespassing and they have the right to shoot it down. They aren't required to... if you are on friendly terms with them maybe they won't.

If your drone is over "international waters", it's not over your property and shooting it down is a legitimate action. Especially if it is a government military drone. This is because drones "owned" by governments are weapons of war, and their presence is a credible threat to archate.

Keep your drones at home and you won't have to get whiney or become a puffed-up bully when someone shoots one down.
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YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Wrong opinions



There are wrong opinions. An opinion is a belief, and a lot of beliefs are simply wrong.

I know that's not a nice thing to point out, but it's true. Your opinion-- your belief-- may be that "taxation" isn't theft and therefore isn't wrong. But it is, no matter what your opinion on the matter may be.

Your opinion might be that the Earth is a flat disk. But it isn't.

Your opinion might be that anyone who destroys their own copy of Holy Pole Quilt should be punished. That's a sick, superstitious opinion, and yes: that opinion is wrong.

You are "entitled" to your opinion. You can be as wrong as you want to be. However, no one is obligated to behave as though your opinion is valid when it's wrong. They don't have to respect a wrong opinion.

Facts don't care about your opinions. You should care if your opinions don't match the facts, but for too many people, that's hard, and it would invalidate their most dearly held opinions. So they won't do that.
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Thursday, June 20, 2019

"One could argue..."



That's a phrase I frequently see at the beginning of some rather strange assumptions and some bizarrely incoherent "arguments".

Well, sure, "one could argue" anything at all. Doesn't make the argument correct.

"One could argue" that there's no such thing as right or wrong; that anything is permissible to do to other people. That's basically the statist argument. As long as government passes a "law" allowing an act, "one could argue" that it's OK. Or, if government makes up a "law" prohibiting something, "one could argue" that it's bad. There's no real right or wrong, just legal or illegal.

"One could argue" that there's no such thing as biological sex (chromosomes = Hate!). It's all about the linguistic term "gender"-- it's just cultural and you can "identify as" whatever you feel like. Today. And you can change your mind again tomorrow.

"One could argue" that rights are imaginary. That you only have the rights you can kill to defend. I guess this excuses those who don't want to stick their necks out and defend people who are being violated and aren't able to defend themselves.

It has rarely been the case that I see the phrase "one could argue" as a lead-in to anything sensible.
"One could argue" it's a phrase that isn't very useful for reaching truth.
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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Time again for some random acts of ANARCHY



Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.
But if you need a refresher, you can get that from this link.
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Monday, June 17, 2019

Perfection is not an option



I don't expect perfection.

Not from people, places, situations, or... whatever else there is.

You are going to have no real choice but to drive on some government roads. You are going to have no choice but to use some things government paid for with money it stole. You can barter and use silver for some trades, but fiat "money" is unavoidable. You may benefit in some roundabout way from government's unethical (and evil) actions which you oppose. That's reality.

You don't have to like it. You aren't condoning theft or government by using those things. Feel free to speak the truth about government roads even as you are driving on one. That's not hypocritical, it's just how things are. You make the best of what you've got.

I understand that some people view a government "job" the same way-- even though I strongly disagree. Still, as long as someone isn't actively promoting government supremacy or power, I will cut them some slack. A government-employed librarian is still better than a politician, a government-employed school "teacher", a member of the military, or a cop. Or, at least preferable in my view, since they aren't promoting government supremacy nor imposing government at the point of a gun.

But no one is perfect or pure.

To condemn yourself because you aren't perfect isn't healthy.

To condemn everyone else because of this reality isn't helpful. You're not helping those you condemn, nor are you helping yourself. You certainly aren't helping society (the interactions between individuals) nor the "cause" of liberty. Demanding the impossible from others (and, yes, in the present reality, it is impossible) causes harm.

What I do expect is that people do the best they can with the cards they've been dealt. Recognize that you have no right to archate, and if you feel you "must" anyway, accept the consequences of doing what you don't have a right to do.

This perfectionist viewpoint causes harm to those who hold and promote it.
This unpleasant reality is no justification for giving up and saying that because no one else lives up to your vision of perfection, you might as well embrace the state and use it against others. This is a destructive mindset. It gives off a foul odor. It looks and smells like hypocrisy to me.
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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Let people opt out of 'good ideas'

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 15, 2019)




Would you rather live in a world where it's normal for people to try to convince each other of something, or a world where it's acceptable to just give an order and shoot anyone who doesn't immediately comply? I'm firmly in the "convince others" camp.

To convince people you've either got to have reasons or ways to play with their emotions. If you convince them with good reasons, the convincing sticks. If you use emotions, someone with stronger appeals to emotion will come along and get them to change their minds again.

If you rely on threats, as soon as the threat is out of sight they'll go back to their old path.

This is why I'd rather convince others with reasons and avoid using force. It doesn't matter to me what the issue is.

I prefer everything to be voluntary. Work together, ask for help, or do what you can on your own. Don't try to force anyone to join you. If you need to use threats or force, you probably ought not do it at all. I don't support or need those who use coercion.

In your personal life you probably already avoid force. I'm assuming you aren't a thief or murderer.

You and I don't need to be threatened and forced; it's only "those other people". Well, they see it the same way. Someone's got to be the first to grow up.

Gandhi is quoted as saying "Be the change you want to see in the world". It's true enough even if he never said it.

You don't need to wait for anyone else to do the right thing with you. You can start now. You don't have to wait until others join you or until they agree with you. You don't need to wait until the law changes to allow you to do the right thing. Yes, there's danger in stepping out first, but who said life is supposed to be safe? Do the right thing anyway.

Don't violate the rights of others. Liberty is the freedom to do everything you have a right to do; everything which doesn't violate anyone else's equal and identical rights. Anyone who violates your liberty isn't one of the good guys.

Be big enough to let people opt out of your "good ideas" if they can't be convinced. Of course, you'll still need to defend yourself against people who refuse to cooperate. That's a fact of life nothing can ever change.


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