Sunday, September 19, 2021

Foot in mouth, without realizing it


Sometimes government-supremacists put their foot in their mouth; they make a point that works against them without realizing what they've done.

I saw someone point out-- with regard to mask/"vaccine" mandates-- that good ideas don't require force.

So a statist piped up that "The Republic is held together by force".

Yeah, that didn't quite make the point he believed it did. It seems to make a great argument against "The Republic"-- beyond all those I've heard in the past.

In the same way, I saw someone pointing out that there is no database for long-term vaccine problems, as justification for not letting the lack of such data for all the Covid "vaccines" keep you from getting the jab. But, that's not exactly what I took away from that. It got within spitting distance of turning me into a full-fledged anti-vaxxer. No, it didn't quite get me there, but a few more brilliant points like that, and it might happen.

It makes me wonder why government-supremacists are so clueless about what they are saying. So often, if they pondered the words they utter, they'd see that they've dismantled their own position.

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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Who woulda thought?


It's odd. People I never expected to hear saying smart things have been saying smart things. 

Some famous girl, Nicki Minaj (a rapper, I've heard) has been quoted as saying people should watch what substances they put into their bodies. She believes a friend of her cousin had a bad reaction to the "vaccine". Whether that really happened or not, she would still be 100% correct.

Then Sarah Silverman (I've seen her before but I can't remember where) says the US needs to break up because this "isn't working". Some of us have been pointing this out for years-- practically forever. Yes, it's long past time. The "Civil War" [sic] should have ended that way. "The Union" isn't. It has become a forced marriage between people with not enough in common. Breaking up would be the healthiest alternative. It's dumb to stay together just because you're scared that someone else might come along and force you into another coerced "marriage".

It just goes to show you never know who's going to say something smart (or who's going to say something stupid).

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Friday, September 17, 2021

You can't fix what shouldn't exist


A while back I watched an informal interview with Elon Musk as he walked around Starbase, Texas. One thing he said really struck me.

He has said many times that the best part is no part, and the best process is no process. 

In this interview, he described wasting time trying to optimize and improve something that really just needs to be eliminated. The brilliant insight is to realize this fact and to stop trying to fix it. Just ditch it!

This not only applies to landing legs on Starship, but to police, elections, and the state.

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Thursday, September 16, 2021

New Mexico mask mandate update #3


I've made some observations about New Mexico's newer mask mandates, and it's not going the way the governor wants. Not in this region, anyway.

Links to previous observations here and here.

Today my daughter wanted ("needed") to go to a hobby/craft store. I could either drive 90 miles one-way to visit one in a big city in Texas, or drive about 12 miles one-way to the local one in NM. I chose NM.

Again, there was a state-mandated sign on the door, but this time at least 50% of the customers were unmasked. I didn't try any other stores to see if the percentage held there, too. But, it appears as though compliance is actually fading with time. At least in this more Texas-like part of New Mexico.

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How can you tell that the suspect is either a cop, a politician, or a politically connected person?

Clovis police announced Aug. 31 they had identified the vehicle and the driver in the hit and run, but the police report on the incident has not been made public. (link)

That's how.

A ban on mask mandates is still a ban. Just like a ban on slavery is a ban. Neither would be necessary without government creating the conditions that allow both to become a problem.

Doctors vs. veterinarians


Yesterday I had a routine medical checkup. The doctor wasted the majority of his time in the room trying to talk me into the Covid "vaccine". 

Thinking back on this later I had a realization: Covid-- or at least the social turmoil surrounding it-- destroyed my trust in doctors. 

But at the same time, recent events bolstered my trust in veterinarians.

There is a huge difference in how the vet spoke to me and how the doctor did. 

The vet gave me what she believed were the facts to the best of her knowledge, told me the options, and accepted my decision. I didn't feel judged.

The doctor told me anecdotes with giant obvious (to me) holes in them, tried to scare me, assumed I get medical advice from F***book, told me the experts say it's a good idea, and didn't want to take "no" for an answer. I felt I was being manipulated and judged when I didn't succumb.

One gave me respect and the other treated me like a stubborn, stupid child.

This is how it felt anyway. 

Was this the real situation, or just my perception? Is it just a difference in their personalities? Or, is it understandable that a doctor "cares" more because his patients are human so he's going to try harder to convince you of what he believes is the right course? Maybe. I know I have biases that will color everything.

I come away from the vet feeling good about the interaction, even if she says something I don't want to hear. I came away from the doctor appointment feeling terrible about life and about myself.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Make politicians invisible again

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for September 15, 2021)




You may have picked up subtle clues that my opinion of politicians is exactly as low as my opinion of freelance thieves, bullies, and vandals. It's impossible for me to dislike them more than I already do.

Still, I admit some politicians are undeniably worse than others...read the rest...
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Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Kitten update #8 (and something about puppies)

His good side, to save you the shock

Whiskers is home. He looks kind of bad-- mostly because they shaved that side of his face. I knew they'd probably need to do so.

But he's in good spirits and playful-- if a little clumsy. He seems very happy to be home with his humans. He hasn't ever (since I've known him) been able to see out of his right eye anyway, so not having it isn't going to be an issue.

They neutered him (I told them they could, if they thought it was advisable) at the same time they took out his eye, but I forgot to ask about the hernia, so they didn't fix that yet. That means there's still one more surgery in his future. Still, he's getting there!

Thank you for all your support as I try to do my best for this little guy!

  
  >> If you don't mind, share his GoFundMe.


All the parts of his story, here: Original, first update, second update, third update, fourth update, fifth update, sixth update, seventh update.

              PS: I've actually rescued more puppies over the years than kittens, even though I prefer cats. Shocking, I know! 

I once raised an entire litter of boxers after the mother died a couple of days after they were born. That was interesting. Those guys were fat, destructive, and numerous. OK, so there were only 5 of them, but it seemed like a lot more sometimes. But they were all healthy, so that was easy. I raised them until they were weaned and gave them back to the people their mom had belonged to. They kept one of the pups; the one they had named "Number Five".

I also once raised a puppy of indeterminate breed that was brought into the pet store I worked in. It was a newborn with a still wet umbilical cord that was already the size of a half-grown guinea pig. The person said they watched a dog cross their yard, squat and have a puppy, and keep going. So they picked it up and wanted to know how to raise it, but then decided it was easier to leave it with the pushover at the pet store. That one became a big dog with a HUGE appetite-- I found a home for him after he was weaned (too long after, I think), but they said he ran away the very next day and they never saw him again. I regret that mistake. 

Anyway, just in case you thought I only rescue kittens...

A police officer is someone who commits the unethical act of legislation enforcement, just like a rapist is someone who commits the unethical act of rape. Opposing those who commit unethical acts isn't being collectivist and is in no way similar to racism.

What it is vs. what people believe it is

Exhibit A

Whether or not what social media corporations are doing these days to those they disagree with counts in your book as "censorship", most of those affected negatively by it feel that it is. And they are reacting to what they feel-- as humans usually do.

Whether or not you believe social media corporations and other corporations are "private companies" or "private property", a growing number of people no longer see them that way. And people are reacting to what they see, not how others define things.

So, whether people are right or wrong, they are going to go with the assumption that they are right. They will act on this assumption. Even if you believe they are wrong, and even if you are 100% correct, you'd better get ready anyway. Your definitions (or mine) aren't going to persuade them out of what they see and feel.

Interesting times.

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Monday, September 13, 2021

Kitten update #7


Whiskers went to the vet this afternoon. As expected, the eye has to go. He is going in first thing tomorrow to have the offending eye removed. 

My daughter is kind of upset about this, but understands it's what he needs. I'm kind of the same way.

I'll post another update sometime after the surgery.

   >> If you don't mind, share his GoFundMe.

All the parts of his story, here: Originalfirst updatesecond updatethird updatefourth updatefifth update, sixth update.

I'm not afraid of the current political/economic/social situation, but I definitely feel a looming sense of unease.

Ending the "worker shortage"


Do you want to solve the "worker shortage" problem? Then stop making it unnecessarily difficult to work for you.

No, I'm not saying you shouldn't expect people to do the work you hired them to do, I'm saying you shouldn't try to control them beyond what is necessary to do the work.

That means no sexual molestation/urine fetish called "drug testing". If someone is at work and you think they seem impaired or unable to do the job-- for whatever reason-- fire them. You have the right to do that, but to demand a sample of their fluids to see what they might have done when they weren't working for you is an indication that you don't respect their boundaries. You're a terrible boss.

Along the same lines: Don't demand they get vaccinated against a new cold virus. Send them home or fire them if they get sick. Firing them would demonstrate to everyone what a jerk you are, but you have that right.

If the person doesn't clean themselves and is making people sick by how they look or smell, that affects job performance.  If they are rude to others and drive away business or make their cow-orkers miserable, that matters. If they are so incompetent that they endanger life and limb-- even if they aren't on drugs-- that person needs to go away. Some things matter, but a lot of what makes it hard to find good employees doesn't.

It's the same as the old silliness of (mainly) the past of not hiring a person based on the color they dyed their hair, the length of their hair, their visible tattoos, or anything else that's irrelevant to the job. If you want to have trouble finding good employees, then continue down that path. But, if not, the solution is in your hands.

The last "normal job" I held was burdened by bad management. They treated employees badly and took advantage of them, and fired hard workers for silly reasons, and then moaned that everyone in the area was too lazy to work. (Even though they had hired and rehired everyone around, even after firing them or driving them away-- the available jobs were as limited as the available bodies to fill those jobs.) When I pointed out that the evidence didn't support their claim, that there was an obvious problem they weren't acknowledging, they shut up about it. I'm sure their opinion didn't change, though.

This doesn't mean everyone is suited to hire. If the person preaches "seize the means of production", giving them the job is not a smart hiring decision. Such a philosophy is relevant-- it's a warning sign. I would say there are other signs that warn that the person will likely be more trouble than they could possibly be worth-- there are warning signs all over the place, such as social media bios. Believing in "microaggressions" and other w0ke nonsense being a big one. You are free to take the chance, though.

The deal-breaker for me, as a potential employee, is selling out your employees to government, on any basis. Yes, I know, government bribes you to do so, and threatens to punish you if the bribes don't work. Still, you really don't have the right to do that, "private business" or not.

The "worker shortage" could be ended overnight, but you'd have to be courageous enough to do the right thing. Fewer and fewer are that brave anymore.

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Sunday, September 12, 2021

Kitten update #6

Trying to get acquainted with The Chinch

Whiskers is doing good... except for that right eye. 

A week and a half ago it looked like it was going to heal up just fine, then it suddenly got worse again. Possibly even worse than it had been since that first couple of weeks. Yes, I'm discouraged.

Last Monday he went to the vet because of his eye, and because he'd had some blood in his stool over the weekend. She was a little surprised that his eye had gotten so bad again, and said (again) that it may have to be removed. I had been so happy when it seemed like that was to be avoided.

A dose of wormer seems to have cleared up the bloody stool problem.

Tomorrow he goes back to the vet to see what they say now. I'm hoping it's not too bad, but I don't want him suffering from that bad eye longer than necessary. If it needs to come out, it needs to come out.

Thanks for putting up with these kitten updates. He's important to me.

>> If you don't mind, share his GFM.

All the parts of his story, here: Original, first update, second update, third update, fourth update, fifth update.

Government not a moral guide

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for August 11, 2021)




As rational thinkers since at least the time of Fran├žois-Marie Arouet, better known as Voltaire, have pointed out, it's dangerous to be right when those with power are wrong. This is because it's always dangerous to disagree with anyone who suffers from the delusion that they have the right-- or some imaginary political authority-- to force you to act as they believe you must. Especially when they reserve the power to punish those who disagree.

Just look what happened to the organizers, members, and supporters of The White Rose resistance group in Nazi Germany. They acted with no guarantee their sacrifice would make a difference. Some of them died gruesome deaths at the hands of government employees, while others were cruelly imprisoned. The only "wrong" they committed was being right and exposing the wrongness of the National Socialist government. They were heroes who deserve to be remembered.

We are quickly sliding into an era in American history where you may face similar choices; where this awareness influences your every decision. Will you choose to disagree with those who have the power to hurt you for thinking for yourself, or will you cave in and go along?

Whether government is issuing mask mandates and vaccine passports, criminalizing certain guns or gun parts, or even looking for excuses to regulate a plant the public has already told them to leave alone, government is consistently on the wrong side of a great many issues.

Those who are right on any of these topics are walking on dangerous ground.

Of course, disagreeing with government doesn't automatically make you right, either. Government does generally frown upon most of us committing murder, after all. Murder is only ignored when looking the other way promotes government power, such as when government employees, acting in support of government power, kill someone who hasn't bought into the lie enthusiastically enough.

This is why the only measure that matters is whether an act violates the life, liberty, or property of another, not whether or not something is legal. The problem is, there can be legitimate disagreement on whether an act violates anyone. You make your choice and accept the consequences.

If you get your moral or ethical guidance from government, you're not a good person. If you mistake politicians for role models you're headed for disaster. If you comply or turn a blind eye to government wrongs, you are part of the problem.

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I might have been convinced to get one vaccination. Maybe even one that required two doses. But not one that looks on track to "need" a never-ending series of boosters... for a virus I'm not worried about.

Being thankful for small advantages


Lately, I've had an unfamiliar gut feeling: I'm glad my house is physically in Texas. Barely, but that's enough, plus it allows an escape route if such becomes necessary. And my parents' house could be a literal "half way house" since they are half as far from the state line as I am.

No, Texas isn't perfect. It has too many strange legislative notions based on authoritarian ideas of what is religiously correct. Some of those are downright horrible with regards to liberty. None of them are deal-breakers for me, even though I oppose them on behalf of those they target.

And far too many people here are still burdened with the delusion that cops are good guys. They may be in for a rude awakening in the near future.

I still think the government-centric parts of Austin (and every other town) need to be wiped off the map or scooped up and ditched off the coast of Massachusetts. Above water or submerged, I don't care much either way.

But, at least Texas has quasi-Constitutional carry and no mask mandates. And so far, no vaccine passports. It's not everything but it's better than so many other places. Even though the Texas government has always caved in to its federal feral masters in DC, at least the idea of secession has never quite died out here among the population. Yes, individual secession from every political entity is even better. Baby steps...

I think this may be an OK place to ride out whatever comes. If only there weren't that issue with water being so scarce!

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Saturday, September 11, 2021

The terrorist attacks of 20 years ago were followed closely by much worse terrorist attacks committed by the U.S. government against Americans using the other terrorist attacks as justification. And they've only escalated since then.

Twenty years of constant terrorism


Twenty years

What a long strange trip it's been.

How much that particular year changed my life!

I was living in a strange new place I didn't like, where I didn't really know anyone, where I found myself without the ability to pursue any of my favorite activities, when I realized my newish marriage, which was the reason for all the above, was in the process of imploding in spectacular fashion, and then September 11th happened and gave me three months of paid vacation to dedicate to the pursuit of happiness (or decadence).

That topsy-turvy time in my life changed me in more ways than I can count. It wasn't pleasant while I was going through it (not most of it, anyway) but I guess it "built character". 

The terrorist attacks were also a turning point for me. It was when I truly began to see the U.S. government for the terrorist organization that it is, and I have never forgiven it... and I never will. The September 11th terrorist attacks were followed by 20 years-- so far-- of terrorist attacks by the U.S. government on your liberty and natural rights!

All-in-all, I'm still kind of grateful for that whole era-- personally-- while acknowledging it would have been far better if the US feral government hadn't caused "9/11" to happen in the first place with its nasty policies abroad, and if it hadn't decided to pursue a policy of terrorism against the American population forever afterward.

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Friday, September 10, 2021

Do your own research. Or don't.


Scott Adams frequently says that "you can't do your own research-- no one can; it's not a thing". He tends to claim that this is one of the most stupid things anyone can say. Well...

That depends on how you use the word "research".

I'll agree that most people are not good at doing their own research. 

Googling a topic isn't research. Not even if you go far down that rabbit hole. It can give you a starting place, but it isn't research. Maybe it can even help you discover the research others have done, but why should you trust them?

If you can't do your own research, then neither can scientists. Either humans can do research, or they can't. This doesn't mean that they are all good at it.

You don't need millions of stolen dollars to do research. In fact, that only guarantees you'll "discover" whatever it takes to keep those stolen dollars coming your way. You don't need million-dollar laboratories or libraries of obscure papers that are off-limits to the common people. Those might help in the same way Google could help, but unless you're good at doing research they are wasted.

You don't need a specific educational degree to do your own research. Someone who has jumped through the hoops to get a degree might still be able to think independently enough to do research, but these days that's fairly unlikely. Research takes intelligence, not schooling.

Yes, you can do your own research. It's not easy and most people don't. But to claim that no one can... that's either ignorant or dishonest.

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Thursday, September 09, 2021

I triggered the bad guys... again


F-book is lying to you. I know, this isn't news. 

But I didn't promote "unapproved COVID-19 treatments". And WHO is part of the UN, a completely non-credible source.

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Those poor mild-statists


I think many mild-statists-- "normal" people who just want to keep believing political government is necessary or even good-- are desperate to find ways to keep justifying the state when it is so obviously failing them at every turn.

Discussing a perennial failure of the roads around here (one specific spot in particular) with one such person, I noticed an absolute unwillingness to admit that government control of the roads might not be the best idea. In spite of this person just complaining about how government was the cause of the problem they were talking about.

I see the same with people who still want to see cops as the good guys in spite of mountains of evidence to the contrary. You know these people-- some of them are gun owners who fly a Gadsden flag alongside a Coward's Swastika, not seeing the absurdity of their conflicting beliefs.

I still wonder whether the guy who wrote to scold me for warning readers of my newspaper column that inflation was coming can admit to himself yet that I was right. Probably not. He probably still sees no rising prices.

This doesn't even include the folks who imagine you can fix everything by v*ting in a "better" crop of political criminals to replace the ones currently committing acts of terrorism from Washington DC, state capitols, or city hall.

These poor mild-statists are so determined to keep believing in the State that they'll lie to themselves-- and to you-- to keep from recognizing the truth. How much longer will this burning house of cards let them keep their delusion? If they pretend hard enough, maybe they can keep themselves from seeing the truth indefinitely.

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Wednesday, September 08, 2021

US may be one panic away from disaster

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for September 8, 2021)




A couple of centuries ago, a smart fellow known as Voltaire pointed out, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

This is a timeless truth.

It explains why a disturbing number of people in the year 2021 are calling for segregation, imposed poverty, or even concentration camps-- they prefer to use euphemisms-- for their neighbors who are, for whatever reason, unvaccinated against Covid-19. If this isn't a willingness to commit an atrocity, what is?..read the rest...
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Tuesday, September 07, 2021

NM mask mandate update


I've been mostly driving east from my house for business, deeper into Texas, ever since New Mexico's nutcase governor reimposed indoor mask mandates for everyone. She obviously prefers superstition to science. 

I mentioned earlier that compliance wasn't universal, but I'm done with masks so when given the choice I'll avoid conflict.

But the bank I visit most often is west of my house, in NM, and I needed to go there today.

On the front door of the bank was a sign announcing that the governor requires masks to be worn indoors, by everyone, regardless of vaccination status. The bank's sign didn't say anything about them requiring masks, just a factual statement about what the governor declared. I noted the political criminal's wishes and went on with my life. I didn't put on a mask.

Inside, the only other customer was also not wearing a mask. Both tellers had masks-- under their chins, not covering either their mouth or nose, The one other bank employee I saw was wearing a mask.

Again, mask compliance isn't high. This ends when enough of us refuse to play along.

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Don't automatically assume you know why someone is a statist. There are many reasons someone might be a statist. Some are statists because they are evil, some are cowards, some are lazy, or dumb, or misinformed, or greedy, etc., or some combination of those not-so-wonderful traits. You probably don't know exactly why any specific individual is, though.

Iverfiction

The Big Lie, part ??

The "news" story about how rural Oklahoma hospitals were turning away gunshot victims because of all the Ivermectin overdose cases-- "horse dewormer", LOL-- was obviously a lie from the beginning.

Rural areas don't have many gunshot victims. We aren't like Chicago or the other anti-gun places. A gunshot victim around here is news because it's rare. Now, just over the state line, in the town big enough to have a "bad part of town", it does happen every couple of months or so.

Otherwise, if it happens, it's probably either a bad guy who got shot by an intended victim (in which case, "Did you learn anything?"), and the story is soon forgotten because no one really cares, or it is someone who was stupid enough to call the cops, who then came and shot the caller (again: "Did you learn anything?") in which case the story will be memory-holed to protect the reputation of the Blue Line Gang.

It's not surprising that people who live in dystopian s##tholes would automatically believe something like this without skepticism. It reflects the world they've made for themselves that they live in every day. And they want to force this life on you, too.

But the Oklahoma story? Anyone with any sense knew it was fake before the retraction-- there was a retraction, right?

The delight shown by Branch Covidians over anyone who might suffer for not being sufficiently Of The Body is sick. It is literally, no joking, a cult.

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Monday, September 06, 2021

Crunch!




Don't worry. Not me.

A couple of days ago I was sitting in the car, kitten-sitting while everyone else was in the mall, when I heard a loud car-crunching sound. I looked behind me to see a car partially up on the curb, its front corner against a brick wall. 

The parking lot curved around the front of the mall, the driver hadn't curved enough. She drove the passenger side of her car (I hope it was hers) over the curb and into a brick wall that separated a dumpster accessway from the sidewalk. 

I watched as she backed off the curb, turned on her hazard lights, and got out for a walk-around to see the damage. The passenger-side headlight was freed from the shattered grill, the fender and that corner of the hood were crumpled, and lots of debris was falling off the car. She looked at it for a minute, looked resigned and confused, then got back in her car and slowly drove off.

Who knows why she drove into the wall. Surely she was distracted. Texting? Something else?

But, remember that these people are out there. All around you. They will not be responsible, so it is your responsibility to watch for them. 

My mindset when I drive, bike, or walk is that every other car or pedestrian is a wind-up robot with no conscious control whatsoever. Just a mindless object moving randomly and if an accident is to be avoided, it's completely up to me. So far that has served me pretty well.

I'm not saying I can't ever be distracted, but that by making that my default mindset, I've been able to avoid problems most of the time. I know how easy it is to get distracted by something. 

I'm not going to get caught thinking it's someone else's responsibility to not run into me.

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Sunday, September 05, 2021

Government has no right to mandates

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for August 4, 2021)




New Mexico's government may be flirting with Covid 19 mandates again. Did you think government would just step aside when it became obvious it keeps doing pointless things?

I will not accept this "new normal" of endlessly recurring threats of mask mandates, shutdowns, and lockdowns. You do what you want, but I'm not going to accept going backward.

I hope businesses don't get targeted this time. I feel bad for business owners forced to choose between betraying their customers by enforcing the state's illegitimate mandates or risking punishment from the state.

Yes, an individual business owner has every right to require masks or even proof of vaccination, but I have the right to shop elsewhere. Which I will. I will not support those who help government violate people. The new Jim Crow era can't be allowed to stand.

I was more forgiving last year. Even though no one has the right to impose mask mandates or shutdowns, there were many unknowns in the beginning. But not now. At some point, the people have to say "I will not comply", whether it's as a customer or as a business owner.

Government is not your boss, you are its boss-- if you choose to employ it. Recent history has shown government doesn't accept this situation, but that's just how it is.

If enough people simply refuse to comply, government has to back down. It's how the worst aspects of alcohol prohibition came to an end in 1933-- there simply wasn't enough compliance, and even juries refused to convict scofflaws. In the case of mask mandates and shutdowns, there isn't a constitutional amendment nor even legislation, backing it up. You aren't in the wrong if you refuse to comply.

I don't care if you want to wear a mask. I do care if you force others-- even children-- to do so. I don't care if you accept an experimental vaccine which doesn't prevent the illness and doesn't prevent the vaccinated from spreading the illness. I do care if you demand others take the needle.

I understand that the vaccine may make the symptoms less severe which might reduce the risk of complications and hospitalization. However, I also understand no one can have the right or the imaginary political authority to force this vaccine-- if it can honestly be called a vaccine-- on others.

The mandates will end for good when enough people say "No, I won't".

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A mountainman tale from the past


Years ago-- sometime in the mid '90s-- I was at a mountainman rendezvous in the Rockies. One day somewhere in the next meadow over, a group of modern campers set up and started shooting semi-autos all day.

That was really no issue for us. After all, we had black powder contests going on all day (and most of us also had semi-autos in our bedrolls, but don't tell anyone). Some of the guys decided to play a little prank on the greenhorns, anyway. 

Super early the next morning, before dawn, they hauled one of the camp cannons (but only one) over to the modern guys' camp, and set it between their tents. According to the tales told around the breakfast fires that morning, the resulting "BOOM!" brought them out of their tents really fast.

But they had a great sense of humor about it. They even came over to visit our camp later in the day and got the VIP treatment.

Fun times...

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Friday, September 03, 2021

I like canteens


Not that I think this is in any way important stuff, but I like canteens, or any water storage vessels, really. I always have. I don't know why.

I have a hard time passing them up in thrift stores. Even those ubiquitous metal water bottles are hard for me to ignore.

I've had to fight the compulsion to buy kerosene lamps most of my life, but canteens come a close second. 

My first canteens were plastic toys, but they worked (just not very durable). I later (and briefly) had an aluminum military/boy scout-style canteen that did unsettling things to water-- sometimes making it fizzy

I've had beeswax-sealed wooden canteens-- which usually leaked badly until the wood swelled enough to make them water-tight, after which they only leaked a little. This left a refreshing wet spot on my side where the canteen rested. The water from these always had a pleasant woody/honey taste. All of those have disappeared over the years, though.

That gourd canteen above has served me well for a long time. Probably 30 years or so. But it is more fragile than the rest, so it doesn't get used too often.

The blanket-sided canteen above holds a gallon. It is plastic under the skin and originally leaked terribly. But I fixed it and it was worked well since then-- for 15 years or so now.

The Revolutionary War-style metal canteen was a thrift store find a year or so ago. It has a slow leak in a bottom corner, but I sealed the leak with melted spruce sap (in staying somewhat primitively correct) and it's fine now. Although I suspect the metal is historically incorrect stainless steel. I'll overlook that problem. It cost $10 and for that reason, I almost passed it up, but I'm now glad I didn't.

You might have noticed that leaks are a common denominator with many of my canteens. That's life.

If I see a canteen-- especially if it's a style I don't already have-- I'll check the price if nothing else.

At least, canteens are useful. And I sometimes even find them being given away-- as was the case with the plastic military canteen in the above photo that I found at a yard sale that was packing up and quitting when I got there.

I've found myself out on a walk without a canteen many times in my life. In such cases, I've sometimes ended up drinking water that you probably shouldn't even rinse your feet in (before water filtration straws). So, having a full canteen is something I value. I just think they are interesting.

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Thursday, September 02, 2021

R.I.P. El Neil


I heard about the death of L. Neil Smith a few days ago from the Rational Review newsletter, but I needed time to process the news before I wrote anything. I wanted to take time to think about what I'd write.

The only way to sum it up: It hurts.

He helped make me who I am. In fact, he's the reason this is the "Hooligan libertarian" blog.

I've written before that I didn't know what "libertarian" meant before I kind of accidentally found his book Lever Action through an NRA magazine-- a lukewarm book review written by someone who was completely bewildered by the book and just didn't get it at all. But something about it struck a chord in me, anyway. I cut out the blurb and kept it on a table by my couch for months until I had the spare money to order the book. I've never regretted reading it.

I wish so badly that I still had that book review-- or knew where I have it stashed. It was from some time before the end of 2002. A muddled time in my life, for sure. L. Neil hadn't known about the review and wished to see it after I told him about it. I never was able to help him with that.

Anyway, before I read Lever Action I thought I was a "conservative"-- that's what schooled people had told me I was all my life, since I didn't like government. I discovered I had been misled. I finally felt like I was on the right track. I also began the long task of examining all I believed and tossing away the stuff that just didn't fit. A task that continues.

I spoke with Neil on the phone a few times over the years and emailed him even more often. I am more glad than you know that I was able to tell him how much he meant to me. A few years ago I asked if I could mail him my treasured copy of Lever Action to be autographed and he was happy to oblige. It has been priceless to me ever since.

When my older daughter died, he sent personal condolences and donated (as did so many of you) to help me travel to her funeral.

He always made me feel important; that I mattered. That my opinions mattered.

He had a stroke a few years ago, and I feared the worst. I was glad to see him get back to writing before too long.

The only thing we ever really disagreed over was Trump. He was a supporter, I wasn't. I understood where he was coming from, though. I never argued with him over the issue and it never came up when we wrote to each other. It just wasn't that important. 

Through it all, he always meant a lot to me.

I don't have heroes. I'm not sure I've ever really had a mentor. But he came really close to being both for me. I miss him already.

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Wednesday, September 01, 2021

The Constitution is a Trojan horse. It's been disgorging political statists who hate liberty into America for 230+ years.

Not anti-vaccine but anti-mandate

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for September 1, 2021)




I am not anti-vaccine. I've been vaccinated for a few things in my adult life because I think the risk of those vaccines is less than the risk or inconvenience of the diseases they are supposed to prevent.

I wouldn't bother getting a quasi-vaccine which neither prevents the vaccinated from getting nor spreading a disease I'm not particularly worried about; a sort-of-vaccine which doesn't even last a few years, to moderate a new, slightly more dangerous, cold virus. A cold virus, which like all other cold viruses, will never go away...read the rest...
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Got your blood kayak ready?


Get ready for the roads in Texas to turn into rivers of blood today, as we have been repeatedly warned will happen. 

This is the day that Texans will be slightly more free-- our rights will be violated just a little less. Yes, today "Constitutional" [sic] carry is in effect.

Today I will be slightly less of an outlaw than I have been in decades.


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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Banned for not lying


Alex Berenson wrote, "It doesn't stop infection[1]. Or transmission[2]. Don't think of it as a vaccine[3].
Think of it - at best - as a therapeutic with a limited window of efficacy[4] and terrible side effect profile[5] that must be dosed IN ADVANCE OF ILLNESS[6]. And we want to mandate it? Insanity."

There are no lies there. 

You could substitute food for the assumed topic of the tweet to remove the triggering issue.

1- One meal today won't stop you from starving to death a year from now. 
2- No matter how well-fed you are, someone near you could still starve to death, especially if you steal all their food. You could "transmit" starvation even if you are well-fed.

3- Don't think of food as a vaccine against starvation.

4- At best, it is a therapeutic with a limited window of efficacy. If you eat once, the starvation is only held at bay for a while. You'll have to eat again to keep from starving. 

5- You can get food poisoning, you can choke on food, you can break a tooth, you can have a fatal allergic reaction. For those who suffer these mishaps (especially those who die), this constitutes a terrible side effect profile. No one says everyone will have this experience.

6- You also have to eat before you die of starvation for the food to do you any good.

But this doesn't mean food is useless. To ban someone for pointing out these facts is a terrible disservice to society.

Alex didn't even explicitly say which non-vaccine he was referring to-- although we can assume we know. 

Herr Twitler (or a minion) claims this tweet is misleading and he imposes the Twutter version of the Final Solution on Alex and those like him for saying these accurate things.

If Twutter is a "private company", Twitler has the right to ban anyone for any reason or for no reason at all. If. It's still an incredibly slimy thing to do.



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Monday, August 30, 2021

One person's dystopia is another's Utopia. They'll fight to keep the dystopia that's killing you because it's their Utopia.

Is "long-haul Covid" confirmation bias?


Almost everyone in my family has had Covid. Of those, all recovered, including those with multiple serious co-morbidities, even though one developed "long-haul Covid". 

But here's the problem with that.

Her "long-haul" issues were in the same category of problems she's had for years. The only thing that makes it "long-haul Covid" is that she was diagnosed with Covid a couple of months before she the problem developed again. Before, it was just "You're not a particularly healthy person", but then it became "OMG! You've got long-haul Covid!

Hence, my skepticism.

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Government won't save you from being conquered


Why is it that people who fear "we" are going to be taken over by the Chinese (or whoever) always seem to think government has the solution? That a stronger government will prevent such a thing, rather than to help it happen?

Government is the problem.

Want to take over another land? 

If it doesn't really have a central government you're looking at decades of fighting to conquer every individual who doesn't want your "help". Do you really want it that bad? Is your cannon fodder really that dedicated to getting you what you want?

But if that land has a government you only have to defeat those willing to support that government. Then you slide into the bureaucratic infrastructure (and don its veil of "authority") and continue business with barely a hiccup.

If you rely on government to save you from being taken over by someone else, you've hitched your wagon to the mule that will walk you right into the enemy camp and hand you over.

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Sunday, August 29, 2021

Let rich give humanity new frontier

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for July 28, 2021)




After Sir Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos both went to space-- depending on how you define "space"-- within days of each other, in rockets built by their respective companies, outrage activists got upset.

Were people angry when Henry Ford first rode in a Ford automobile, or when Alexander Graham Bell made his first phone call?

It's not a matter of how wealthy Branson and Bezos are. It was their responsibility to ride their rockets.

When your company builds rockets, you, as the head of the company, need to put some skin in the game. How could you ask anyone else to ride if you're not willing?

I'm not envious of their wealth, anyway. Other things bother me more.

I'm not a fan when Elon Musk's SpaceX takes government payloads into space or seeks FAA permission to launch rockets or built a tower. When government hallucinates the authority to "allow" or "forbid" business, and backs it with threats of force, you do what you have to do. I still don't like it.

Don't suggest they pay more taxes, either. Only the economically ignorant want government to tax corporations more-- or at all. All corporate taxes are, and must be, paid by the customers, like every business expense. I can't afford to support government by paying more than necessary for things I want and need.

In space flight, as with anything else, the early users are going to be those who can afford the immense price. I'm not envious. Other people buy more expensive cars, bigger and better houses, and take nicer, longer vacations than I can afford. For me to envy anyone who can afford things I can't would be pointless.

In this case, they are also taking the greatest risks. By the time the cost of space travel has dropped to the point where people like me can afford a ride, most bugs should be worked out. I'm glad others are going first.

Building rockets to take people into space is essential for the future of our species, even if you don't want to go. NASA had its chance. Now others have stepped up to do what government failed to do.

The envious can't see that money spent on space travel is helping everyone on Earth. This money is better spent than most charitable donations, if you're looking at long-term benefits. Humanity needs a frontier more than most people realize. Let them give you one.
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Those who see details are more likely to also understand the Big Picture than "Big Picture people" are to grasp the importance of details-- which they are too busy to notice, anyway.

Hallucinate hard enough and government doesn't look like a failure


I asked a Right-statist what "not failing" would look like to him.

His main concern is the protection of everyone's property ("handling crime") and things "too big" for an individual to do on his own. And he wants it all to be done "efficiently". So, I guess, as long as a state does those things it is not failing in his view. 

But...

The primary violator of everyone’s property is government; much worse than freelance criminals. More on that when we discuss crime below. Also, if political government exists, I want it to be as inefficient as possible. Efficient government would be a nightmare for the people, plus it can trick them into tolerating it longer. It's the worst-case scenario.

Roads: First, I'll say I don't know how things would work out in a free society, the best I can do is come up with voluntary solutions I can think of. The actual way it works out could be much different.

Who would build the roads? The same contractors who build them now. Who would pay the contractors? The same people who pay them now-- you and me. How would they be paid? Not through taxation.

One possibility-- businesses would want roads so you could get to their doors. Those roads would also have to pass by your house to be of any use to them. You'd pay for the roads when you use the business, so toll booths would be unnecessary.

The difference between "managing a project" and government is the same as between sex and rape: consent. The structure can be the same, but it's a totally different act.

As far as agreeing where the road should go. Keep the roads which already exist. But new ones? Often a new development will lay out and build the new roads, then hand them over to government when they're done. Just skip that last step.

If a big project is actually wanted, people will chip in. Those who don't value it don't have to. If they then decide to use it after it's finished, they'll have to pay a user fee or chip in as though they were there from the beginning. Any project that can't get enough voluntary funding to survive needs to die anyway.

Traffic lights (and other traffic signals) make travel more dangerous. Maybe a few informational signs would be good, but most of that stuff needs to go away.

And that's assuming roads would still be as necessary in a free society. They might not, since flying vehicles would become more common (and most likely, affordable).

Crime: Cops now steal more property than freelance thieves, and have for several years running. Even before you factor in fines or the taxation which funds police. And that's only one small piece of the whole. 

If "we" are paying government employees to deter crime, we are getting screwed.

Police don't protect or defend you or your property. Warren v. District of Columbia settled that question. 

When inmates are asked what they fear most, it is never the risk of being arrested-- it is armed intended targets. The job of defending yourself and your property has always been yours, even if you imagined you had hired someone else to do it instead. If you want to hire someone, I wouldn't stop you. Just don't make me pay for it on your behalf and if your employees harm an innocent during the commission of their "protection", let them be held fully accountable (and you, as well, because you are their employer).

I don't want government courts judging criminals. It's a conflict of interest any time government is one of the parties. Do they recuse themselves in that case? Nope. 

Justice isn't about punishment (revenge), it is about restitution. Incarceration prevents restitution and robs the victim again. Prison is a racket. My dad worked in prisons-- they are totally illegitimate and only serve to train criminals to view themselves as apart from society and give them more excuses to target "others". They also operate as Criminal University. If someone is too dangerous to be walking free, let his next intended victim (or a bystander) kill him and solve the problem. Prison only makes things worse.

Again, "Would each person [protect] their own property?" If you aren't already doing this you're failing your responsibility.

"Who guards my stuff when I want to go fishing or to play cards with friends?" Security systems, neighbors you've built a relationship with, etc. The cops don't do that now, why worry that they wouldn't be there to continue to not do it in the future?

If you'd rather have "pros" protect you, go ahead. Just leave the rest of us out of it. As long as I'm allowed to opt out and not pay for them on your behalf, what you do won't violate me.

Government is an automatic failure, from top to bottom, front to back, side to side, and beginning to end. A free society couldn't possibly fail any harder. At this point, clinging to The State because you can't think how the alternative would work is just a mental problem.

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Saturday, August 28, 2021

For future reference, remember: a high "social credit score" is a sign of a rat-faced suck-up. No offense meant to actual rats, which are intelligent creatures, unlike those humans who will have high "social credit scores".

Reality is a bully


In a Quora answer, I mentioned that people have responsibility, whether they accept it or not. 

A political libertarian-- responding to the question, not my answer-- asked what "responsibility" means. I told him that everyone has the responsibility to not archate

He responded that he agrees, but refuses to have this responsibility "assigned" to him. That's weird. But I pointed out that responsibility just is, like gravity. Does he resist gravity being "assigned" to him?

He said "[I] don't want it assigned to me. If gravity had the audacity to tell me that I was to be subjected to it I would spend my life working on opposing it."

Antigravity, here we come! I assume he's been working on it his whole life. Right?

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Friday, August 27, 2021

Kitten update #5


Whiskers is a furry ball of dynamite. Full of energy, and so playful. He is really sweet (even though he looks vicious, killing my hand in the picture above).

The other cats are still less than impressed, but Ghost, the outcast cat, loves to wrestle with him. They get a little rough and I have to step in sometimes, but at least Ghost has someone to play with now.

We take Whiskers on adventures almost daily. He loves car rides-- more than the destination. He prefers paved paths over grass, but we're working on that.

His right eye hasn't changed in several days-- as far as I can tell. It is still cloudy, but the surface seems smooth. If he'd hold still long enough for me to get a better look it would be helpful. I think the ointment did the trick. I don't think a cloudy eye would need to be removed, so I'm hoping that surgery has been avoided.

We still have to deal with the hernia. Maybe we'll find out more about that next Thursday when he goes for his follow-up appointment. I'm hoping for good news on the eye, at least.

I've still got his GoFundMe up and running to cover the cost of the hernia surgery and follow-up vet appointments. Please share that link if you want to help. Thanks.

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 A person would have to be a real festering pile of slimy feces to sign up to be an enforcer of legislation.

"He's stealing from the government!" is one of the least inspirational rallying cries I can imagine. The murderous Giga-Mega-thief is being pick-pocketed by a worthless punk. Yawn. It's not going to bring me to action.

What does "not failing" look like?


I've been thinking a lot about the "libertarianism fails in practice/in the real world" claim that I see so often.

I wonder what those who make that claim would see as "not failing".

To me, it doesn't matter what technological wonders you have, or how "safe" you feel, if you don't have full liberty, it's a failure. For this reason, I see the entire history of political government as one monumental failure from beginning to end. 

So, the disagreement must center around a difference of opinion as to what "failing" means.

This may also mean we want different things. Or, maybe we want the same things, but we disagree as to how they can be achieved.

I want relative peace. I want everyone's property to be secure. I want everyone to be free from molestation as long as they aren't violating the life, liberty, or property of another individual.

Sure, nothing can guarantee this, but the failure is built right into political government from top to bottom and side to side. That's unacceptable to me.

If the only way I can get what I want is to violate others with taxation, legislation, etc., it's not worth it. It's exactly the same as admitting that if the only way I can have sex is to commit rape, it's not worth it. Statists think violating others is "a necessary evil" if they consider it in any way negative. If it's necessary, it can't be evil, and if it's evil, it can't be necessary. And political government is evil.

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Thursday, August 26, 2021

A person would have to be a real pile of feces to enforce runaway slave "laws".

Be "that guy", but...


...keep in mind it's going to embarrass the Family. And we can't have that!

In the past, I've embarrassed them because I refuse to participate in National Socialist ritual pole quilt worship. I've embarrassed them on occasion by refusing to go into places with "We don't care if you die!" signage by the door. Now I embarrass them because I'm done with mask mandates.

Family doesn't want you to be that guy. They want you to go along obediently, with whatever "the Authorities" dictate. Don't embarrass them. Don't make a scene, even if you don't make a scene, by being different.

Well, I'm not a particularly obedient person. Especially when I see the harm in obeying.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2021

A person would have to be a real pile of feces to enforce anti-gun legislation.

Shouldn't have been in Afghanistan

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for August 25, 2021)




Nearly everyone criticizes the way the U.S. left Afghanistan and claims to know what the right way would have been. I see it differently. The tragic situation in Afghanistan has lessons for Americans, but I see most Americans missing the lessons because they are looking at it wrong.

The problem wasn't in the leaving, it was going there.

It's smarter to not make mistakes in the first place, rather than to dig yourself in deeper and deeper for 20 years and then realize there's no good way out. The time to worry about what's going to happen to someone you've pushed off a cliff is before you push them off the cliff, not as they smack the ground below...read the rest...
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Tuesday, August 24, 2021

A person would have to be a real pile of feces to enforce mask mandates.

When you thought you had the opposition beaten...


The headline on Reddit said "Conservatives are turning school boards into a battleground for culture wars. Struggling to push their agenda in other arenas, conservatives are bringing their buffet of grievances to schools - turning board meetings into an endless parade of ignorance, misinformation and just plain hatred."

That is a lie.

School boards have always been a battleground in culture wars. Children's minds (and futures) are the casualty.

There should be no such thing as government ("public") schools. Especially not compulsory ones. That they exist means they are automatically political through and through-- they can't be otherwise as they are tied to government. 

Someone is going to use them to advance their political agenda-- it's just that the Left-Statists thought they had that control in the bag. In the cases where their Right-Statist opponents are pushing back, the Left-Statists are squealing.

No statist faction has a monopoly on "ignorance, misinformation, and just plain hatred.". That describes Critical Race Conspiracy Theory to a "T", but the Left-Statists are happy to promote it.

The solution to toxic indoctrination isn't to let someone else indoctrinate your kids.

Abolish kinderprison. Education over indoctrination.

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Monday, August 23, 2021

A person would have to be a real pile of feces to enforce taxation.

The constant companion


Whatever paths I travel down or explore, libertarianism (or, if you prefer: abolitionism, Voluntaryism, or anarchism) goes with me. It's part of the journey. 

I can't leave it behind. I can't embrace the life of an archator no matter what I'm doing. Whether it is writing on completely unrelated topics, rescuing a kitten, socializing, or shopping. 

It is part of me so it's part of all I do.

It would be just as difficult for me to leave that behind-- to believe anyone has the "right" to archate-- as it would be for me to pretend to believe in leprechauns. I would be only pretending either way.

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