Saturday, May 25, 2019

A "state" is a failed society



I've seen various places referred to as "failed states"-- Somalia being a frequent example. The term is used in an attempt to insult.

The most insulting part is that anyone tolerates those trying to impose a state on them, or that anyone is dumb (or evil) enough to do it to themselves.

If you have a state, you've already failed. You've failed to find voluntary ways to live among other humans and have decided you're going to cheat.

A state is a failed society.

To fail at something which is unnecessary is a tragedy which can bring disaster where none was inevitable before.

Yes, a failed state can be deadly. Any failure can be.

If a dishonest surgeon performs an unnecessary heart transplant on a patient, and it fails, the patient will die. Even if it doesn't "fail", it was a really bad idea. The patient has been harmed whether he realizes it or not. The heart transplant was not a good idea, nor was the one performing it a good guy trying to help.

A state is the same. It's unnecessary and harmful-- even if it doesn't fail. The state is antisocial; based on theft and aggression. It is your enemy. There will be consequences when it fails.  And it will fail eventually. They all do.

And when it fails, tragedy is likely. Once you've crippled a population-- trained them out of responsibility, competence, independence, and ethics-- by imposing a state on them, how do you expect them to form a functional society if your state fails? You've done the damage; own it.
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Friday, May 24, 2019

The bare minimum



Yesterday was an oppressive, muggy day here on the Llano Estacado. And muggy is rare in these parts.

Plus, I was busy with social obligations that drained me of my life force. The Force doesn't seem strong in this one right now. Not at all.

On top of that, I'm trying to come up with next week's newspaper column and hitting a brick wall there, too.

I was not at my best. So I really have little to write and add to the world today.

But even with all that, I didn't violate anyone's life, liberty, or property. That's something. Some people don't seem able to manage that much even on their good days.
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Sure it exists, but don't promote it



One of the most common excuses for statism is that we have to accept "The world as it really is". As if I've ever said otherwise.

Lots of bad things exist. I accept that they exist, and can do so without embracing or using them.

The whole "The world as it really is" thing is a cop-out. It doesn't justify evils. It doesn't work with statism, nor does it work with other bad things.

Rape exists, so according to this type of "thinking", we'd better not speak out or rally against it. That would be Utopian. Embrace rapists and work to make them safer and more efficient. Don't you dare point out that rape is a violation of someone's rights; that nothing can change this fact or make it OK. Just accept that it exists, will probably always exist, and find ways to use this fact to your advantage to get what you want.

Right?

Yes, statism exists. The majority even seems to like it. That doesn't make it right. I can accept that statism exists without contributing to it. Refusing to voluntarily participate in something harmful-- even if you can't necessarily stop it from happening-- is better than justifying propping it up, helping it continue, and criticizing those who won't go along.
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Wednesday, May 22, 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...read the rest...

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Regulation of "Social Media"?



I'm not in favor of state regulation of private businesses. For that matter I'm not in favor of the state. How could I be in favor of the state regulating anything when it is the thing which most needs to be controlled?

However, I'm not sure how I could consider the big "social media" platforms or data controllers "private businesses" anymore.

I've never been convinced that a corporation is a private business. They chose to get in bed with the state for special favors. They frequently use government "laws" to stifle competition. And, recently, they sell out their users to the state. They look, feel, and smell state-like to me.

No, this doesn't mean I want government to "regulate" them. Nor do I want them "taxed". It just means I don't trust them. That some of them are agitating to be regulated by the state makes me trust them even less. It's a dirty move.

So far, I still have the option to not use their "services", although in many cases it means crippling myself "socially" to some degree. I recently put several social media sites on indefinite suspension for violating my terms of service and scaled back my use of others. I don't see them as friendly institutions. They aren't on my side. They collude with my enemy, so doesn't that make them my enemy?

Yet, as always, I don't want my enemy subjected to "laws", even if they'd happily subject me to the same because a more powerful state is always worse than the alternative.
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Monday, May 20, 2019

I love scofflaws



A conversation was happening around me about a woman who had no "Social Security" [sic] tracking number to provide as I.D. for cashing a check. The consensus among those discussing the matter was that she was an "illegal immigrant".

In my mind she was heroic.

Anyone who doesn't comply with counterfeit dictates from the state-- as long as they aren't archating-- is a hero in my eyes.

I want as many people as possible refusing to comply. Gum up the works. Sabotage the gears. Bring the Beast to a grinding halt, resulting in its death. This benefits everyone (other than the archators who work for government, that is).
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Gun laws far overstep their bounds

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




"Validly enacted laws". This is how New Mexico attorney general Hector Balderas deceptively characterizes the new anti-gun "laws" he wants enforced against you.

They aren't validly enacted. They violate the Second Amendment, so they aren't even laws. You might imagine they don't violate the Constitution, based on cowardly and dishonest opinions of Supreme Court justices over the decades, but they do. The Second Amendment is clear. It's even clearer once you've read the discussions which surrounded writing the Bill of Rights. There was to be no question-- no laws concerning guns were to ever be allowed under any circumstances whatsoever.

The Attorney General claims to be the state's chief "law enforcement officer", yet he orders others to break the law which guides all legislation. He is entitled to his opinions, but not to making up his own facts.

No actions of a rogue governor, representative, or attorney general can make an anti-gun law constitutional, legal, or valid. They can make threats, send letters, or hold meetings to try to force their will. They can bully other government employees and the residents of the state. It doesn't make their lies true.

You and I both know government will do whatever it can get away with. The solution is to not allow these out-of-control officials to get away with any violation of liberty. This violation of their oath of office should result in the immediate loss of the position; dragged from their offices in chains if they won't leave peaceably.

If you believe I'm only passionate about gun rights, I'll remind you I am equally opposed to prohibition, border controls, and all other violations of natural human rights as well. If you value the Constitution you should join me. If not, you should join me anyway since anything which violates a natural human right is wrong, even when the Constitution allows it. It's a criminal act when public officials impose their wishes in defiance of what the Constitution allows.

Back in the 1920s, those who advocated alcohol prohibition at least passed a Constitutional amendment to make their laws Constitutional. They were still wrong, but they made the attempt to play by the rules. Those who target your liberty today don't even go through the motions. They do what they want, secure in the knowledge that the courts will not bite the hand that feeds them. Gang loyalty is powerful.

If government won't, or can't, control its appetites, it needs to be taken to the woodshed. It's past time.

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Triggering a debunker

Diorama at International UFO Museum, Roswell, NM.
Photo by me.


I've had an interest in UFOs since I was a kid. In fact, I know exactly when my interest started: in 1973.

That year-- and I know what year it was because I moved a lot as a kid and know where I lived when this happened--  a classmate told me and others that his grandfather had told him of the time he saw pieces of a crashed "flying saucer" when they were brought to the military base he was stationed at in Ft. Worth, Texas, following its crash in New Mexico.

This was my first introduction to the story of the 1947 Roswell UFO crash... even though the kid never mentioned Roswell, but just said: "New Mexico" (I knew of the town of Roswell for other reasons).

Recently, including on Quora just a few days ago, the standard debunking approach has been the claim that after the initial buzz and headlines, the Roswell "crash" was satisfactorily explained and forgotten until the late '70s or early '80s. when it was revived and sensationalized to sell books and TV shows.

Back to the Quora "debunking". An ex-military guy was explaining away the story and dredging up the tale about it not being spoken of again after July 1947, for 30 years or so.

I replied that I knew, first-hand, that this wasn't true, and told what I knew from 1973.

The guy almost flipped out on me. He said this wasn't "first-hand knowledge" at all, that I had been fooled by the conspiracy theory like everyone else.

Never mind that I clearly stated that I wasn't saying the debris was extraterrestrial or anything, just that I knew when I had heard the story and it didn't match the debunkers' claims. Maybe it was a weather balloon test dummy mishap Project Mogul balloon. Or not. That wasn't part of my claim.

My first-hand knowledge is that I heard the story before the story was supposedly revived and sensationalized, so that specific claim can't be true. That's all. I have no first-hand knowledge of any other part of the event (or non-event). Yet this one small point triggered him.

I saw in his over-the-top reaction the same reaction I get from statists when I point out the errors in their thinking and claims. Any reality which doesn't match what they are desperate to believe is met with hostile denial.

Of course, the guy's Quora profile says he is "ex-military" so he may have an agenda to promote.

_______________

Reminder: I could really use some help.
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

No expectations; no disappointment



It happens all the time. There's someone I really like, but out of nowhere, they do something that disappoints me.

Believe it or not, that's not all bad.

One of the best compliments I can pay a person is to be disappointed when they don't live up to my expectations. If I don't expect anything of you, I can't be disappointed when you fall short of my non-existent expectations.

I don't expect anyone to be perfect (in my eyes) just as I hope no one expects perfection of me.

But if someone never disappoints me, they aren't really living. They must not have any opinions and must not be doing anything. What a sad life. I would be disappointed in them in that case. Oh, wait...

_______________

Reminder: I could really use some help.
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Experimental anarchy



All science is anarchic.

Science follows rules, but not rulers. If there is a ruler controlling it, dictating what the results must be, it's not science.

Those who want you to think of anarchy as chaos and "everyone doing what they feel like" are denying reality.

Actually, they are lying. It might not be their fault; they have probably been lied to and didn't question what they were told. But it's still a lie. And they are perpetuating the lie instead of questioning the assertion and putting it to the test.
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Free speech



I support completely free speech.

That doesn't mean I'm going to agree with-- or like-- everything people have to say.

If you own or control a platform and you ban people, rather than just having problems with certain specific things they've written or said, I'm not going to trust you.

I've lost trust in all the major "social media" platforms and all the data gatekeepers due to their bans, even when they've banned someone I despise.

I support free speech for statists, Nazis, ISIS, racists, everyone. Let them speak... and then use their words against them. Their words are the best argument against their beliefs. Shutting them up helps them hide. It lets them look like victims. Let them speak.

If someone makes a credible threat, then warn the target of the threat, but don't prevent anyone from speaking. Doing so makes you look weak and dishonest.
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Wednesday, May 15, 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...read the rest...

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

"He hates government"



Somewhat related to my post about people describing me as "hating cops", I've also had people say about me "he hates government".

I hate theft and aggression-- archation-- no matter who does it. No matter what "reasons" they give for doing it. I don't make an exception if those doing it call themselves "government" and make up their own rules saying it's OK if they do it. Or that it's OK if they do it for this or that reason.

I don't "do" exceptions.

I don't care if you form a group you call "government" as long as the members don't archate. I have no hate for your group in that case.

But if you form a "flower club" and the members rob people-- people who want no part of it-- to fund your club, and send out goons to attack anyone growing flowers without your approval, I'm going to hate your flower club.

It's not government I hate, necessarily. It's anyone who hides behind a label to archate and expects to have that archation excused because of the label.

Is that really so hard to understand? Or, would they just rather not understand?
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Just one exception...



So many people are great at respecting and advocating liberty, with just one exception. That one exception varies from person to person.

One thing which bewilders me is why those who support "just one" Big Government program don't simply admit it.

It's what you support, it is what it is, admit it, accept it, and move on. Stop trying to make excuses.

Are they ashamed? Do they feel guilt over a painful inconsistency based on feelings? What is the reason they don't just accept that what they advocate is what it is? Embrace what you like and stop demanding others embrace it, too.

I won't accept any exceptions. I won't force you to give it up, I just expect you to not saddle me with the expense and liberty violations that come with it. Live and let live.
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Arbitrary legality makes bad laws

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




Recently, out of curiosity, I scanned the daily jail log for Curry County. I had never done so before and probably won't do it again. Afterward, I felt guilty and was ashamed of myself.

I learned something interesting, though. Half of the people-- five out of ten-- booked into the jail that particular day weren't even accused of having done anything wrong; only things which have been arbitrarily declared illegal.

What's the difference?

An act which violates an individual's life, liberty, or property is wrong; a real crime, whether or not the law considers it a crime. These acts are wrong in and of themselves. The Latin term for this is "mala in se".

Those booked into the jail that day and accused of having actually harmed someone were claimed to have either harmed others physically or to have violated someone's property rights. Your main responsibility as a human is to respect the rights of others, so I have no sympathy for anyone who chooses to violate others.

This is assuming they actually did what they are accused of, which isn't necessarily a reasonable assumption to make these days.

The other half of those jailed weren't even suspected of harming anyone. The only justification for caging them was that they had offended the government in some way. Either they refused to identify themselves to a government employee, didn't have the required permission papers, had forbidden substances, or tried to avoid being apprehended and kidnapped by an armed government employee. This makes these inmates political prisoners, not criminals. Even if I believed in punishment and imprisonment instead of justice, I wouldn't believe these people deserved it. They are the real crime victims.

I understand why government would like for you and me to think of those things as crimes, but they aren't They can't be. Instead, these acts are "crimes" only because someone wrote legislation designating them so-- a made-up rule with no ethical foundation. "Crimes" only because government employees say so. The Latin term for these acts is "mala prohibita".

If you get aroused by punishing others, you probably don't care. "It's the LAW! It has to be obeyed", you might insist. Still, if you want your laws to be respected, you'll first need to make them respectable. A good beginning is to get rid of all those laws based on nothing but the empty opinions of politicians. This would eliminate all of your counterfeit mala prohibita "laws".

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A pointless protest?

Artwork by my daughter, Emily

Personally, I don't think you should spit in anyone's food. Probably not even if the person is a cop. Some Florida teens disagreed (I hate linking to that site because it's a disease).

I'm in favor of fighting back when the other person is currently archating or making a credible threat to do so. There is an argument to be made that even wearing a police uniform is a credible threat, as well as evidence of a history of archating, plus an ongoing willingness to continue doing so.

If a cop doesn't understand why someone might be tempted to do something spiteful toward them, they don't understand what policing has become. They don't realize what they've come to represent to a large minority (at least) of the population. Their lack of accountability and their brutality keep getting worse. And their cluelessness about how this makes them look to others certainly doesn't help anything. Act like a gang and people are going to treat you like a gang. Like it or not. You're going to be seen as a legitimate target, no matter how draconian the consequences.

But, what good does spitting in their food do? Whether it is a cop or an MS-13 member. Does it defeat them on some level? It's like giving those vermin the digitus impudicus. Might make you feel good for a moment but it accomplishes nothing and gives them an excuse to molest you.

If they are currently violating you, you have the right to defend yourself. Then, in the case of cops, they or their gang will murder you for doing so, but you've accomplished more than by pointlessly spitting in their food.

But, do what you want. I can't get too worked up either way.

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

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Rattling the cup



I'm in desperate need of a monetary infusion. I was trying to stretch things out enough that I wouldn't have to ask, but it didn't work. So... if you can, and if you want to, and as long as it won't put you in a bind, my Paypal could use some love: PayPal.Me/Dullhawk

As always, if you are a subscriber or frequent donator, you've already done your part. These are not the droids you are looking for.

If I could even get an aggregate of $50 or so it would relieve a lot of the pressure.

Thanks again.

.

A "border" compromise

Cows protected by borders


Many of my readers lean heavily "conservative" when it comes to "borders". I understand their reasons, even as I reject them on ethical grounds.

But I'm not unreasonable and I'm willing to compromise with them. In fact, I'm offering the borderists a better compromise than I've been offering the anti-gun bigots.

If you can find a realistic way to have the "national borders" you crave without:

  • violating the property rights of people (through "taxation") to fund, enforce, and manage the "border",
  • without violating the property rights of those who live along that "border",
  • without violating the right of association,
  • without complicating trade or travel for Americans, and
  • without delaying or inconveniencing Americans crossing the "border" in either direction

...then I'll support your efforts in a lukewarm way. I'd rather not single out Americans like I did in those points-- that's why my support would only be lukewarm, but that's my compromise point. Give me more and my support would be stronger.

Until you can do that at a minimum, no deal. Anything else is unethical and I can't support it no matter how "necessary" you claim it is and no matter how you try to justify it.

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

Friday, May 10, 2019

Cop fears; guy dies

Screenshot


The video from a local shooting by cops has been released. The shooting was ruled "justified" long ago, not that there was ever any doubt it would be.

I have no sympathy for thieves and have no real issue with them being shot and killed, but I also "fear for my life" every time I see a cop. If it's OK for them to act on that fear, then it's OK for me to do the same. Right?
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

National Fingernail Policy



Why doesn't government have a plan for fingernails?
They don't tell the citizens when to trim them or clean them. They don't have rules about fingernail decoration-- paint, sequins, protective coatings, shapes.
What about the danger of extra-long or sharp assault fingernails? No one needs those on our streets! 
What of nail-biting? And hangnails? And what about toenails?
Why? Why doesn't my government tell me what to do? How do I know if I'm doing it right? I can't! I'm on my own. There's just chaos! DOOOOM!!!

And this is EXACTLY how stupid statists sound when they whine that they want government to have a plan for other things-- health care, "immigration", trade, climate-- too.

If it's important to you, come up with your own plan and follow it. Don't rob the rest of us to silence your bonnet-bee.

_______________

Reminder: I could really use some help.
-

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

Thursday, May 09, 2019

"Sides"? My side is liberty

Received in an email

No, I will NOT choose either of those false "sides". I resolutely reject both. There's a majority of garbage there. So many of those are clear archators and nothing else, and most of the others are collaborators with those archators. Pure vermin.

There are a couple of things represented there which I would support... as long as they aren't asking government for favors.

But I also recognize that those I would otherwise support do (usually) ask government for favors. They generally want special privileges, "tax" handouts, or they beg for "laws" to be used against others. I can't support that.

My side is liberty. Period.
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid. Pretty please?

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

We still haven't learned Voltaire's lesson

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 8, 2019)




It's fascinating how easily people accept something they would otherwise know is wrong when someone they view as an authority figure tells them it's right.

Voltaire observed, in 1765, "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” This truth has led to many of the worst horrors in history. People still haven't learned the lesson.

There are currently hordes of people working full-time-- at your expense-- to trick you into believing absurdities. My hope is that you're smarter than they expect...read the rest...

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Tuesday, May 07, 2019

"Our leaders"



Don't you just love it when you run across the phrase "our leaders"? That phrase lets you know exactly what kind of person you're dealing with: a gullible one.

First of all, I seriously doubt I share a leader in common with that person. On those rare occasions I have a leader, even.

Second of all, they are usually referring to politicians, not leaders. Politicians are rulers-- or wanna-be rulers. They don't lead, they push or drag, so they can't be leaders.

"Our leaders" is an especially dumb example of the world's dumbest phrases.

_______________

Reminder: I could really use some help.
-

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

Monday, May 06, 2019

Respect boundaries



"Borders" are a boundary violation. Supported by people who don't understand their boundaries and don't respect the boundaries of others.

This isn't to say that those who cross "borders" understand or respect boundaries any better. Many of them don't; trespassing on private property, littering, stealing, and otherwise archating. But how can boundary-violating hypocrites preach respect for boundaries at anyone else with any credibility?

They can't.
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Sunday, May 05, 2019

Personal emergency prep critical

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




Never before have I needed my emergency preparations twice in so short a time. For the second time in just over two weeks, I'm glad I make a point to prepare for the unexpected.

First, it was the power outage from the wind storm. I was ready, so it was only a minor inconvenience.

Then, this past week a broken water main meant I, along with most of Farwell, had no running water for several hours. When the water was restored, we were under a 72-hour boil order. Again, a small inconvenience which could have been a real problem if I weren't prepared.

Because of where we live, water is the most critical emergency supply you can stockpile for your family.

This is a dry area without much surface water. All the usable water is deep underground. You can't just take a bucket to the creek for water. Even if you aren't on a town water system, if your water source depends on the electric grid to bring it to the surface, you could be in trouble.

Water is important for drinking, washing, and cooking, but also for flushing toilets. If you aren't careful, toilets can quickly use most of your water.

I won't claim to have enough water stored. I don't believe such a thing is even possible since you can't live without it.

You don't need to buy a water tank-- but if you can afford one and have a place for it, why not? Two-liter soft drink bottles, cranberry juice jugs, and other food-safe clear plastic bottles are a good way to store water. Keep them out of the light so they don't become a biology experiment and change them out every year or so. Once you have all you think you need, try living without running water for a day and see how quickly you use your supply. Then store more for next time. This would be good for you, and that's important to me.

The next time there's a disruption to the water supply wouldn't you rather pull out some jugs of water instead of wondering when the water will be turned on again, and when it will be safe to drink? Sure, maybe you can visit someone who still has water and fill your jugs from their faucets. I prefer to not be a burden on others, and I'd rather not feel the anxiety from not having what I need when I need it, on hand, at home.


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The Book vs the bumper sticker



Often I'll answer someone's question on an issue with a highly detailed explanation. I'll go into details, include links, and do the best I can to make sure what I'm saying is complete. You can see some of these efforts preserved in this blog.

Statists will usually then complain that they didn't want a book, just a simple answer.

Other times I'll pare it down to the simplest answer I can come up with, free of links or details they didn't ask for. Thinking that if they have a further question about some specific point, I can expand on that later. If they are interested.

The statists usually then complain that if I'm just going to reply with "a bumper sticker" they're done with me.

I finally came to understand this is a trap. They don't want to get it, so they'll use whatever excuse is most convenient to avoid facing the harsh truth. It wouldn't have mattered how I responded. Not really.

This is why it's more productive to write for The Remnant.
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Statists need glasses



Statism is a severe form of nearsightedness. Statists can see a little way, but not far enough. They only see as far as they can see and still be able to find a way to justify statism. If seeing even one foot farther would invalidate statism, it's like there's a brick wall blocking them from seeing another inch.

They can see how bad "laws" can be in some circumstances, and still believe in the concept of "laws".

They might agree that a total gun ban and confiscation would be bad but still manage to advocate for "common sense" [sic] anti-gun "laws" which lead to the same place.

They may recognize the wake of death and destruction left by prohibition, yet balk at getting government out of the illegitimate business of regulating drugs.

They may think "taxes" are too high, but still refuse to recognize that "taxation" IS theft.

They may admit the disaster created by every government so far, and yet keep believing if they can just get government right it will be OK.

They can see the tip of their nose, but not the zombie standing right in front of them, ready to eat whatever is left of their brain.

I wish there were some form of vision correction they'd be willing to try. Although, there have been some successes over the years.

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

Friday, May 03, 2019

The silly game



Watching political people almost cracks me up.

You have a group playing a game with dice painted gold, while another group plays the same game with identical dice painted green.

They pretend they are playing different games, and they hate each other based on this shared hallucination.

They may call themselves Democrats, conservatives, Republicans, or progressives. Some of them even call themselves Libertarians. They are all playing the same game, with identical pieces, under identical rules. Any differences they perceive are just surface decoration.

It would be nice if this focus on their teammates would distract them from reality long enough for the rest of us to leave them in the dust. To build the agora right under their noses.

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

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Schools or bars?



Someone was showing me a satellite photo of a place where I used to live. A place where I honed a lot of my outdoor skills. Now the entire area behind my former house, which used to be wooded, has been replaced by a gigantic high school. Yes, I get that nothing stays the same. But there are good changes and bad changes. This is a bad one.

I didn't share the person's enthusiasm for such "progress"-- but as I've said before, almost my entire family is involved in government schooling in some way and they feel it's just peachy-keen. They confuse schooling for education.

I grumbled that this was about the worst thing they could have put there. She said, "It's better than a bar". Interesting example.

Before I could stop myself, a slight scoff escaped my lips. But I shut up before turning it into a fight. I've saved the fight for here.

She prefers a kinderprison because her religious beliefs tell her that alcohol is the worst thing ever. It might even lead to dancing or sex. She's ignorant of the realities, preferring her insulated prejudices. If it's something other than attending church, it's sinful (I exaggerate only slightly). Never mind that government schools (in many places) are a prime factor in getting young people to reject religions other than Statism. She ignores that reality, too. She wants both of her religions at the same time.

Yes, too much alcohol can be bad. It can cause archation and other poor choices. It can ruin your health or kill you, but it's not the only thing which can.

I've spent some of the best times of my life in bars, drinking Dr Pepper and singing karaoke. I avoided fights. I've enjoyed some nice dances. And yes, I've found some sexual partners, too. Only one of those was a real mistake. That's a better track record than my experience at school.

But, by even her own professed (though unexamined) standards, a school is no better.

The inmates in kinderprison find sex partners. They have dances. They help each other obtain alcohol and other mind-altering substances. They get into fights, and they engage in (or suffer) bullying-- an activity almost exclusive to schools. They engage in almost all the same activities a bar would offer, plus some bad activities you won't find at a bar.

But what about the institutions themselves?

No one is forced to go to a bar.

Refuse to attend a school and you or your parents may end up in jail (or worse).

No one is forced to fund a bar against their own free will, even if they dislike bars as much as she does.

No matter how much you hate government schools, you are forced to help fund them. Even if you have no kids attending them. Even if you choose (and pay for) alternatives; you'll just be forced to pay twice. If you refuse to comply you will be murdered.

If you choose to go to a bar you won't be forced to drink. You won't be forced to dance, sing, or go home with a stranger. You can almost always avoid any fight that comes your way... if you choose to do so.

If you are forced to go to a school you will also be forced to ingest the government-supremacist propaganda. You WILL be subjected to brainwashing techniques to cause you to accept ordering your life to the ringing of a bell. Waiting for permission to use the restroom. Your time away from school will also be claimed as belonging to the school, through "homework" and other controls. You will be trained to believe answers come from "authority", and compliance is the way to avoid punishment. You will be taught lies sold as facts. That's mental abuse, and emotional abuse. You will be damaged in some way.

If you live next to a bar, you will possibly have drunk people crossing your lawn. They might pass out or puke in your grass. They might do property damage.

I live next to a kinderprison and I have kids crossing my yard every day; dropping litter, damaging plants and landscaping. I've had kids puke in my yard as they cross. They ignore my "No Trespassing" sign-- someone actually destroyed a sapling right beside the sign a few weeks ago.

Opposing a school is seen as anti-social when the schools themselves are anti-social institutions.

No, a bar would be much better than a government school. In almost every way.

A bar is ethically superior to a school because bars are voluntary and schools are not. That's the bottom line. Bars are voluntary; schools are murder.

Give me a bar over a school any day!
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

No one should control others' choices

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 1, 2019)




I'm sure there will be a final answer on the racetrack/casino any month now. Right?

Those who support a local racino must see by now how giving government the power-- permission from the people-- to approve and ration racinos is obviously a terrible idea. Tying anything to the government's wagon makes certain it won't be as good as it could be. Nor will it be timely.

Those who oppose the racino should have noticed that if you give control of such things to government it will drag its figurative feet, way beyond anything reasonable people would tolerate...read the rest...

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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

I'm not your opposition unless you choose to be mine



As long as you are not an archator-- especially a habitual archator-- I'm not going to actively oppose you.

You may or may not be exactly on my side.
You may or may not have valid opinions and good motives.
Yet, it could be worse.
You could feel it's right to be an archator, or you might just do so without caring about right or wrong. Those would both be worse.

If you do choose to archate I don't give you a pass due to your religion, your job, your need, or any other justifications. I will oppose you, and more.
Yes, I will be judging you, but if you feel you're in the right, what would you care about my judgment?

Nor will I really care what you think of me. The opinions of archators/statists are less important than a mouse's sneeze in a hurricane. Much less. By supporting statism and archation you've devalued your own opinions to the point there's nothing there. It wasn't my decision, it was your choice. You've done it to yourself. You have nothing to complain about and no one else to blame.

_______________

Reminder: I could really use some help.
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Statists are tired of hearing my opinions-- even when they don't



"Anarchy can't work. People need to be governed."

OK. Whatever you say.

Once someone expresses this religious belief there's no point in further conversation. They won't be swayed by reason, logic, evidence, or anything of value. No matter what you say, they'll have a laundry list of objections and clich├ęs-- mostly the same few restated differently so they seem like new scholarly "observations".

It's why I'd rather talk to you.

They are tiresome. Whiney. Willfully blind or at least shortsighted. And they prefer it that way.

Yes, I sometimes learn things from listening to them, but mostly it involves realizing how much effort they put forth to stay inside their tiny bubble of ignorance. The mental contortions they put themselves through! And the really stupid notions they keep accepting and defending-- things they'd never accept about something they weren't so attached to.

I know it's not nice of me to say these things, but I'm tired. Mostly I just want them to stop ordering me around and robbing me. Stop trying to make me act as though they are reasonable or good. Just stay out of my way.

I'm irritated that it seems to be so profitable to lick boots; to be a part of the problem. And it makes one so popular and socially accepted. Sometimes, I admit, I almost wish I could lower myself to their level.

I'm tired of being expected to praise "laws", schools, troops, and cops, and hate "illegal immigrants", independent businesspeople, and drug users... and I'm tired of the eye rolls when I say even the mildest thing which goes against those popular opinions. I seriously don't talk about these things outside of my blog unless someone else brings it up first and expects a reply from me. And then, if I do say anything, I get told they are tired of hearing my anti-government opinions.

It happened again today, out of the blue, when I was sitting silently, wasn't even speaking and hadn't said anything about government (or other archators) all day. Probably just as a way to make sure I still knew I'm not acceptable, in case I had forgotten.

Well, stop praising aggression and theft and stop bringing it up in my presence and you'll never hear a word about it from me. It's honestly not something I often feel the need to discuss face-to-face. But, yes, I will have expressed these opinions at some point in the past, and you might be able to remember that I said something of the sort, even if you don't remember the point of what I actually said.

On the other hand, those around me speak negatively about cops and government way more than I do. But only when they feel these things will negatively affect them personally-- and they seem to feel the effects a lot. They feel that as long as someone else is being governed good and hard, it keeps government busy and off their own backs.

I think this is a self-centered way to think about it. I don't want you or anyone else targeted by these molesters; I don't only think about myself. But they don't want to hear me say it. So I usually don't.

You know, if I hated people I would be a statist. But I don't, in spite of their best efforts, so I'm not one.
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Awareness often first step towards liberty

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for March 27, 2019)




People are often their own worst enemies. They listen to those they should ignore or laugh at while they ignore (or laugh at) those they should listen to. It's always been the same.

Harriet Tubman, the 19th Century abolitionist, is quoted as saying, "I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed more if only they knew they were slaves."

It's the libertarian's dilemma. People don't like to notice their chains even when that's about all it would take to break them. It's too painful to admit they aren't as free as they should be, so they don't.

No one can free you; it's up to you to free yourself. If someone takes the chains off of you, unless you make up your mind to be free you'll help put the chains back on the first time you get a little scared or hungry.

You'll enslave yourself because you fear immigrants you imagine taking jobs you don't have and don't want.

You'll enslave yourself to keep a neighbor from doing things they want to do but you don't want them to do. Even when they don't violate you in any way, you'll violate yourself just to control them.

If it makes you angry to be told you aren't nearly as free as you imagine; that your liberty is systematically violated every minute of your life by those who tell you how free you are, here's another quote you need to hear; this one from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."

Your body is yours; no one has a higher claim to it. If you can be prohibited from ingesting something-- whether it's sugar, Cannabis, or bacon-- you aren't free. If you can be forced to act against your interests when doing what you want wouldn't violate anyone, you aren't free.

The property you've gotten through mutually consensual arrangements with others is yours. If anyone else can claim your property-- through such government actions as taxation, licenses, eminent domain, or even property codes-- you aren't free.

If you won't work to be free-- to throw off your chains-- when it would be relatively safe and easy, what will you do when it becomes hard? Will you resign your children's children to an intrusive, controlling police state? If you go along to get along today, you've already answered the question. You've chosen chains over scary liberty.


Added: Here's the headline this same column was given in the print edition...



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Saturday, April 27, 2019

Tortured "complexity"



When someone is about to start doing some mental contortionism in order to try to justify statism, they'll often make the statement, "it's a very complex issue". No, it really isn't. They're lying to try to appear deep and smart and to justify the unjustifiable.

"Gun control" isn't a complex issue. You have no right to forbid weapons of defense to anyone, and you can't delegate a right you don't have.

"Drug legalization" isn't a complex issue. You have no right to forbid the manufacture, possession, or sale, nor the ingestion, inhalation, or injection of substances. You can't magically acquire that right just because you think it's necessary. You have no right to have people do things you have no right to do without asking them to become bad guys. Prohibition is enforced by bad guys, only.

"Immigration" [sic] isn't a complex issue. You have the right to allow (or bar) anyone on (or from) your property. For any reason or no reason at all. You have the right to hire or trade with anyone. Your rights end at your property lines-- the only legitimate borders.

"Taxation" isn't a complex issue. It is theft-- specifically extortion. Nothing can make it something else.

Complex issues" look complex only when someone adds all sorts of twists and turns, bells and whistles, bows and ribbons, and flags and laws. At the base, there's probably a simple ethically right thing to do and hundreds of wrong things to do. They have to tell lies to justify the wrong things-- the statist things.

When someone lies and calls a simple issue a complex issue you can be certain they are looking for ways to justify doing wrong. I've run out of patience with the lies told to harm others.

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

Friday, April 26, 2019

World's Dumbest Phrases


It seems an inordinate number of the World's Dumbest Phrases start with one particular word: "our".

"Our government", "our president", "our military", "our CIA", "our elections", "our police", "our borders", "our schools", or whatever. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

If that seems insulting, good. It's intended to be, and a person probably wouldn't be insulted if they didn't know it's true.

Now, "our" isn't always a dumb word to use. If you and I share real-world ownership in something, "our" is a valid word. Suppose we go in together and buy a sword, and we have an arrangement where we both get to use it. It is our sword.

Something doesn't become "ours" just because you want to impose it on me at my expense when I have no use for it. It's also not "ours" if you're trying to spread the guilt around; smearing me by claiming I share in your guilt. If you want it, and it is harmful, but I have opposed it from the beginning-- or even if I withdrew my support when I got smarter-- you don't get to pin it on me. I disavow your ethical and economic disasters. They are your responsibility. Suck it up.
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid. And I sure would appreciate getting paid.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

"You don't like cops"



The people around me know I don't put up with bullies, thieves, molesters, thugs, or any archators. Yet, they choose to characterize this as "You don't like cops". Really? That's what they get from that? That's what they focus on?

They're right. I don't like cops.

Not because they are cops, but because they are bullies and thieves and molesters and thugs and otherwise nothing but archators. Even if they very rarely do something helpful. There is no such thing as a "good cop"-- no good person can be a cop. Not because they are a cop, but because of what the "job" requires. In the exact same way that there can't be a good rapist.

I don't make exceptions to disliking bullies, thieves, molesters, thugs, or any other archators just because it's part of the "job" they choose to carry out.

To abbreviate this as "You don't like cops" is to miss the entire point.

The only reason I can see that this would be the focal point is that those around me make an exception for behavior they would otherwise recognize as bad, as long as it is carried out by a cop (or other government employee). Things they wouldn't tolerate anyone else doing, they justify when done by a goon wearing a badge. That's kinda pathetic.

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This blog is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Laws are creating immigration issue

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for April 24, 2019)




Imagine you have an antique car in your backyard behind a privacy fence. A neighbor climbs your fence, sees the car, and decides something must be done about it. How he decided your property is his concern is a mystery. Clearly, he's a bad neighbor who doesn't mind his own business.

Then it gets worse...read the rest...

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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Dumb ideas aren't "progress"



A few days ago I saw someone bringing up the 20th anniversary of the mass-murder by the evil losers at the Columbine kinderprison. They were moaning that 20 years have passed and "what progress have we made?"

They didn't exactly say, but I'll bet I know their idea of "progress", and I'll bet it is what I would consider going backward into deeper slavery.

Because I'm sure their "solution" is more anti-gun "laws" like the ones which not only failed to protect lives, but actually empowered the evil losers at Columbine (and elsewhere in the years since). "Laws" which made sure they could murder without interruption. "Laws" which made it less likely anyone would be able to fight back effectively. "Laws" which make cowering and dying official policy.

It's not the guns. It's never the guns. If you want to solve things like school shootings, but you think it's about the guns you're a moron. Anything you do will only make it worse.

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

Monday, April 22, 2019

"SPD"- Statist Personality Disorder



I'm seeing more and more evidence that statism is more than a quirk; it's a full-fledged mental disorder.

It will never be officially recognized as such, of course, because most of those who with the power to recognize it also suffer from it. And they aren't likely to recognize their own mental illness as a mental illness, or admit it is even if they realize it.

But that doesn't change the fact that it is one.

Statist Personality Disorder shares a lot of characteristics with Narcissistic Personality Disorder-- maybe it's a subcategory. There also seems to be a lot of neuroticism mixed in.

It's self-centered and self-important; scared and cruel.
It's the temperamental spoiled toddler and the overbearing parent.
Evil claiming to be goodness.
Greed pretending to be generosity.
Insanity posing as reasonableness.

I have no respect for those who exhibit signs of Statist Personality Disorder.

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

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Windstorm reminder to be ready

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




How much did you enjoy our recent "shingle apocalypse" brought on by the little wind storm? Probably about as much as I did.

I even went out and took a walk in it. I love the feel of gravel pelting the skin of my face, the grit in my teeth, and debris hitting my body. You just can't enjoy this kind of thing in lesser places like Paris, France.

On my walk, I staggered like I was intoxicated, but I told myself it was a good workout, and good practice if I'm ever on a cruise through a hurricane.

The only downside is that my shingles decided this was a good time to go sightseeing. They may be in Amarillo now; so far they haven't found their way home. I'll leave a light on in the window, but hope is fading.

The part I enjoyed most was the fifteen and a half hour power outage. It gave me a chance to light my kerosene lamps, check the function of my flashlights, and use the backup batteries for all the modern electronic essentials. I'm pleased to say they all passed the test with flying colors. It's fun to be a "prepper", especially when doomsday is postponed.

It's satisfying to weather these events without too much trouble just because you were prepared.

Yet, there was one area where I failed myself. I was almost out of firewood, and my gas furnace doesn't work without electricity. I never allow myself to get this low on firewood, but this year I decided to burn up all the old stuff before I got a new load. The coolness of the night caught me off guard. I was lucky this time-- the power came back on just after I lit a fire to warm the house the next morning. It could have been a problem and I have no one but myself to blame.

All in all, it wasn't much of an inconvenience and I enjoyed myself-- as I always do in such situations. I'm not happy about my shingles, though.

I suppose there's really no way to prepare to have the shingles violently blown off your house, other than having money for repairs. I was unprepared there, too.

I hope you were prepared and didn't suffer too much. Just remember: something else will come along. You won't know what or when, so make sure you're as ready as you can be, now. You'll be glad you prepared.

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Statism = Nihilism = Statism



I am not a nihilist. I don't want to watch the world burn, and I certainly don't want to be the one to set it on fire.

Yes, I hate and oppose negative things like governments and other archators, but I don't hate and oppose everything. I don't want to destroy society (that's why I don't support political governments). I don't want to destroy most people. I don't want to break windows and loot and flip over cars. Well, at least not those owned by people rather than governments. I hate and oppose those things which are most destructive-- things which nihilists should love. It's why I can't be a statist.

However, I understand the frustration which drives some to a nihilistic world-view. I can't even really blame them for feeling that way, even if I would blame them if they carried it out.

I'm a personal pessimist, but a long-term optimist. My own life may never be what I wish, but in the long term-- maybe longer than several human lifespans-- I think things will keep getting better. I am sad when I think how much horror and tyranny will probably have to pass between now and then.

I do what I can to give people the chance to avoid it, but my voice is small and unimportant. I wish I could get through to people to save them the pain, but most people (including myself) don't learn without pain. It's bad enough when people cause themselves pain, but so much worse when their bad choices cause pain to others.

And make no mistake: statism is a bad, bad choice. No matter how many believe it is normal. No matter how few can see another path. It's a really dumb thing to cling to. Yet, cling they do. They will make the nihilists "happy" with the inevitable results of statism: death, destruction, poverty, slavery, and just about all other bad outcomes. Outcomes guaranteed by people claiming to want to help... by doing the opposite of the right thing.

And yet, even with all that, I'm not a nihilist and could never be one.
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if-- IF-- I get paid.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Pick a side, Dude!


I was in line behind this very confused inDUHvidual yesterday. I know you probably can't read much from that cell phone picture, but his back window and tailgate opinions almost made me laugh.

On his back window, he had a pro-guns sticker, but his tailgate demanded you support anti-gun bigot Trump (and Holy Pole Quilt) and the anti-liberty (against ALL liberty, including guns) Blue Line Gang. Or maybe he was demanding I support the anti-liberty/anti-gun bigots of the unconstitutional FBI (Federal Baby Incinerators) since his sign actually said: "Support Your American Police Force". There is no American police force (and if there were, it wouldn't be mine) but the FBI comes closest to being a U.S. police force. I don't support those liberty diddlers, either.

Then he had a couple of anti-Democrat signs. The top one called Democrats out by name (or is it by brand?) but the picture isn't clear enough to read and I don't remember exactly what it said. The other one said "Put the Swamp in Jail" with a cartoon donkey after it. Clear enough.

Silly man believes one side is pro-liberty. Against all evidence and reason. But he believes it.

Then he had a Bible sticker in his rear window, and a sign near the bottom of the tailgate warning he has road rage and to get off his a**. This on top of showing clear support for the competing religion, Statism. That boy needs to pick a side.

I'm surprised he didn't have a sign bemoaning the crudity of American culture while having a shiny new set of Made in China truck testicles dangling underneath. Plus he was still missing the obligatory "Support the Troops" magnet.

Yeah, he is one confused puppy. And I'm sure he v*tes, somehow believing he's doing his part to protect "freedom". People like him are more laughs than most sitcoms. But it obviously pays to be Statist; his pickup was a lot nicer than mine.

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

Friday, April 19, 2019

Assange, Trump, and Obama



Yes, president Trump is doing the wrong thing by not dropping all charges against Julian Assange immediately. Very wrong.

Yet, had Obama done the right thing-- and he had plenty of time and opportunity to do so-- this wouldn't even be up to Trump. He could have ended this years ago. He is every bit as much to blame. This isn't just another Trump crime, it's an Obama crime, too.

Presidents are cancer. Assange is a cure, as are all whistleblowers. Of course presidents are not going to be fans of his.

Coincidentally, and with amazing timing, Ammo.com just sent me a link to their newest: A Historical Guide to the Freedom of Information Act.

It's perverse that government believes they have a "right" to decide whether or not (usually not) to let you know what they are up to, and that your right to know what these parasites are up to needs an "act" to codify it and give them excuses to hide things. The very notion that anyone working for government has any "right to privacy" where their "job" is concerned is absurd. But this is the world of statists we live in.

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

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Problems don't call for policies

Buy the book

The existence of a problem doesn't beg for a policy.

A policy will probably make more problems than it solves, especially if the policy is political in nature. Political "solutions" usually come in the form of legislation; a counterfeit "law". And even if it does somehow manage to solve the problem, it is unethical. Legislation always is.

The statist mind is always assuming every problem needs a policy to address it. When theft and coercion is in your tool kit, that's the lazy way to approach it. Statist "solutions" are a band-aid, not a permanent solution.

If, like me, you rule out those statist approaches automatically you'll need to find real voluntary solutions. Voluntary solutions will be more robust and longer-lasting, too. Partly this is because people are willingly embracing these solutions. No gun in the face is needed. With political "solutions", when the political winds shift the gun often ends up pointing the other direction. All political "solutions" are subject to change every time a new ruler is holding the gun. That's not a real solution. Not a long-term solution. You can do better.

_______________

Reminder: I could really use some help.
-

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

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Gear post: Possibles bag for modern life

Click to embiggen

Mountainmen of Old usually carried a bag filled with anything they might possibly need. Not their shooting bag, which carried support items for their firearms, but a separate bag for everything else. We call this the "possibles bag". I learned the benefit of having such a bag long ago, and have adapted this to the modern world. Some hurtful people have called the possibles bag a purse.

My mountainman possibles bag would actually be a nice thing to have in any difficult situation, but there are some modern problems it wouldn't be ideal for solving. So I took a bag which had belonged to an ex-wife, added some inner pockets, and made it my modern-life possibles bag. I have other bags and pouches I can carry in other situations, but they don't get carried regularly (other than the one I carry when I walk to the post office so I don't need to carry the mail in my hand and hang on to it in the wind).

The possibles bag is made of commercially tanned leather and measures 8.5" wide by 7" tall. It has a button made of buffalo horn (probably water buffalo) secured with a thong of braintain buckskin (for durability and strength). The strap is 2" wide and adjustable, but I haven't changed the length in a long time.
The contents are more variable than any other EDC I carry, and I don't actually always have it with me. Just if I go to the next town by car, or sometimes if I know I'm going to be out of the house for a while.

The picture reflects where in the bag the stuff is kept, separated by the specific pocket it is in. If you look hard, you can probably see how it fits in each pocket.

Top left: home-assembled magnifying glass-- USB cord-- Swiss mini-tool-- cheap folding knife-- Sharpie-- pencil.

Middle left: bullet mini-light-- P-38 can opener-- hair clip.

Bottom left shows how the inside of the bag looks currently.

Top right corner: paper clips-- short USB cord-- USB-C adapter in bag-- back-up battery-- notepad-- wet wipe-- 91% alcohol for hand cleaning and glasses cleaning.

Middle right: lighter-- hair ties-- lip balm.

Bottom right is the contents of the main compartment. Moving sort of from the left to the rightish: a bottle handle/strap made of paracord, and another little bit of paracord-- a rag made from a sweatshirt for cleaning glasses-- a bag containing earbuds-- some little emergency flashing lights-- dental floss-- USB car adapter-- more floss-- leather thong-- 2 types of gum-- medicine vial of coffee substitute-- Maglite (LED)-- prescription sunglasses in their case-- another rag made of cotton shirt. (I carry a lot of things for other people, since I can't seem to get them to be responsible for themselves.)

Now, this will probably be the last regular EDC post unless someone asks about something else. I'm not going to go into defensive tools I may or may not carry, nor a few other "tactical" things I may or may not have on my person at all times. Anything else would just be the clothes on my back or trinkets I wear. I hope you've enjoyed the tour.

_______________

Reminder: I could really use some help.
-

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