Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Gear post: Kershaw 1030 Deer Hunter



This is the fixed-blade knife I wear every day, everywhere I go. My dad gave it to me when I was 12. (That was about 43 years ago, for the mathematicians out there.)

It's a Kershaw 1030 Deer Hunter.
Fixed blade.
Overall length, 8".
Blade length 4".
Edge length, 3".

My dad says he paid $40 for it (new) back then. They are a bit pricier now if you can find them.

The handle has a very nice feel to it. The finger grooves are just right and feel nice in the hand.

The edge is thicker than most other knives I use, which made it a little tougher to sharpen well the first time. But sharpening knives is the one thing I feel I do a good job at so I was up to the challenge. I can shave with it now.

It originally came with a leather sheath, but that bit the dust decades ago. I was never thrilled with the sheath's design. The handle was too heavy and the knife would try to turn upside down on my belt and the whole contraption would flap around. Not good for how I lived. It needed a strap around the handle. I did add one, and that worked until the sheath wore out.

Now it resides on the back of my belt pouch, left side, edge forward, in a custom sheath I made for that position.

It has been a really good knife. At first I thought the blade would be too short, but it works for almost anything. I actually use my little lock blade more (maybe I'll do a gear post on that one sometime), but I like having this one available for when I need a beefier blade.

It has been a good knife and has survived an awful lot with me. (Although I didn't carry it while in buckskin clothes and "period" gear. That was a different set of gear.)

I would recommend this knife for a general purpose fixed blade.

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Reminder: I could always use some help.
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Monday, February 18, 2019

Politicizing climate



Some would characterize me as a "climate change denier", which I'm not.

I simply oppose the politicization of AGCC. Just as I oppose the politicization of all science, self-defense, human rights, property, and life.

Politics is evil. When you politicize anything you contaminate it and destroy the thing you politicized. Science + politics = politics.

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Sunday, February 17, 2019

Time to break government addiction

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




When an addict's supply is cut off, it's usually an agonizing journey through withdrawal to the other side of the addiction; where the poison finally loosens its grip on the person, giving him a new chance at life. I'm not talking about a chemical dependency this time, but a far more deadly condition: government addiction.

If you are feeling effects from this imaginary government "shutdown", even as simple as having noticed it, you are most likely somewhat addicted to government.

Do you feel as though you are suffering because you don't have enough government? Are you buying into the hysterics coming from the government extremists wanting the shutdown to end? 

Other signs of addiction can include a desire to see taxes increased, a call to build border walls, the obsession to outlaw tools of self-defense while saying that's what police are for, and many other things.

Those aren't the cravings of a healthy mind or spirit.

If you've ever wanted more government than you currently have, you are addicted and on a self-destructive path. Are you suffering any discomfort or emotional distress at all? If so, you are feeling the effects of withdrawal caused by your government addiction.

I'd love to help you kick your habit. You may think I'm joking; I'm not.

Like all addictions, breaking the addiction to government is going to hurt. Withdrawal is never fun. It is so much easier to chase after one more hit; one more law to ease the pain for the moment. If someone offers you a hit of government, and you take it, you've fed your addiction. You've kicked the can down the road. You've delayed healing rather than facing the problem and dealing with it in a responsible manner. It's your choice.

Addicts are responsible for their choices. No one is obligated to bail them out or save them from themselves. Yes, it is hard to watch someone hurt themselves. Worse, irresponsible behavior always has innocent victims; those who never asked to be a part of the sickness, but who get dragged down with the junkie.

This unique chance to break your addiction won't last forever. When it ends, and someone offers you a hit of your old vice, I hope you'll be strong enough to say "no". To say you don't need the poison anymore. If you need someone to talk to, to help you through the pain of withdrawal, I'm here for you. I'm completely serious.

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Hierarchy



Hierarchy is one of those concepts I see underinformed people bash pretty often.

A politicized hierarchy is bad, not because of the hierarchy, but because of the politics.

Hierarchy is the recognition that some people are better at some things than I am. I learned to make fire with the bow drill from Burnt Spoon because he knew more and had more experience than I did. Larken Rose is better at explaining liberty than I am. To deny those facts, just because I don't want anyone in the hierarchy "above" me, would be insane and unhelpful.

If an employee doesn't listen to a supervisor just because he doesn't want to be "lower" on the hierarchy than the boss, he may mess up. The employee may lose his job. Yes, he might be right, and it might be worth it to defy the boss, but it's not automatically oppression to defer to someone else who knows more about something than you do. Any legitimate hierarchy is a hierarchy of competence.

But, as with anything else, once you add politics to the mix your hierarchy is probably no longer based on competence, but on power and imaginary "authority". This kind of hierarchy is illegitimate and you have no obligation to submit to it.

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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Defending scoundrels



Years ago I encountered a wise quote:
"The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all." ~ H. L. Mencken

The more experienced I become, the more important-- and wiser-- that quote seems to be. To me, personally.

Over and over I have to step up and defend the natural human rights of people I don't like. I understand it's just as wrong to violate my enemy as it is to violate my friend. Or me.

Defending these people causes other people to sometimes get angry at me. They claim I'm taking the bad guys' side. I get chided and scolded and even lied about.

Yet it's worth it. If you can keep the counterfeit "laws" off the scoundrels, there will be fewer counterfeit "laws" used against the rest of us.

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Reminder: I could really use some help.
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Friday, February 15, 2019

The archators I notice



Here's another of my personal flaws.

Of all the people I encounter and notice archating -- in person on a regular basis-- the vast majority of them are Hispanic.

Does that sound racist? Is it a fluke of geography?

The Hispanic "neighbors" on one side of my house throw trash in my yard, trespass, allow their yard trash to accumulate and blow into my yard. They and their guests will stroll right past my "no trespassing" sign without hesitation. These are the people who kept driving across my yard and parking in it, until I put out the "no trespassing" sign, and had to then tell them to stop driving into my yard. I don't like them.

My daughter's frenemy, who I've spoken of before, is Hispanic.

The majority (but not all) of the teens at the park, breaking things and dropping their Powerade bottles on the ground, as well as the family groups leaving their piñata debris scattered all over, are also Hispanic.

I could go on.

There's no part of that I want to be true-- but I don't get to dictate reality to the Universe. There's also no part of that which makes me want to justify a giant welfare/police state program-- excuse me, a government "border". I don't even like noticing a person's "race" in the first place, because it means nothing.

Yes, there are non-Hispanic archators around here. I don't like them either, but I don't encounter them as often, nor do I see them archating quite as openly. And there are plenty of other Hispanic people living around me who I either have no problem with or who I think are wonderful people. They don't archate in any way I can see. They are preferable to any of those who archate, regardless of "race" or culture. One of my daughter's best friends-- one I adore and think is a terrific positive influence on my daughter-- is mixed "race" (none of which are "white").

Is it racist of me to notice the Hispanicity of most of the archators who negatively impact my life? It feels that way to me. It is certainly collectivist, in that it can make me feel negative toward people who aren't doing anything wrong. I try not to fall into that pit. But I'm also not one to cover for archators due to their "race" just to appear more enlightened.

It's probably more about culture than "race" anyway. If that's the case I don't care much for their culture (nor do I care much for the "American culture" either, for different reasons).

If you archate, and continue to do so after it has been pointed out to you, I'm probably not going to like you. No matter who or what you are.

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Which "minarchy"?



I understand the appeal of minarchy. After all, it's where I came from; what I used to advocate. Even though I knew I was an anarchist personally, I used to imagine minarchy as the most practical way to be as liberated as possible.

But minarchy-- keeping a little bit of cancer around and under control to prevent a different cancer from getting a foothold-- is an unsustainable Utopian fantasy. Much more so than anarchy could ever be.

And, it's confused.

As a minarchist, which "minimal government" would you pick? Only things such as government fire protection, government policing, military, government-controlled roads, and government courts? Other minarchists might have other preferences. Some would include "securing the borders" or other Big Government welfare programs. Any version includes the "taxation" to pay for it all, along with the bureaucracy to collect and distribute the money and find and punish the opt-outs.

Does every minarchist get to impose the particular flavor of "minimal government" they want? If so, it is no longer "minimal".

Do you use v*ting to decide which bits of government you get to impose on me? Then it's mob rule-- "might (through superior numbers) makes right".

Through v*ting and "taxation" you've cut the brake line on anything holding back government growth.

As I say, I understand, but a "little bit of statism" is still evil.

_______________

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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

There's no 'one-size-fits-all' for living

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




How much of what you want government to do is based on your emotions? On your feelings about what you wish other people would do or believe they should do, and your willingness to use government violence to make it happen?

If it's more than "none" it's too much...read the rest...

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Don't be "PC"



"PC", or political correctness (along with its "conservative" twin: patriotic correctness) is the embracing of lies. Or at least the hiding of truth.

If you speak the truth the Correctists will try to hurt you. They may even succeed, just because there are so many of them and they have so much power. But they are still wrong. And there's a weakness-- a rot-- at their core, just because of the lies they embrace and tell.

Will it cause their destruction in time? I hope, but I don't know.

However, I'm not going to lie or hide the truth to protect myself from them, and I won't shy away from pointing out their lies. Even knowing the consequences.

Their lies need to be countered with truth. In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act. As with all truths, this remains true whether or not George Orwell actually said it.

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Monday, February 11, 2019

Aim small; miss small (or maybe don't miss at all)



You've got to have a target in mind.

If you don't know what you're aiming for, how will you ever hit it?

The world will always try to fight against your aim. If you have a crosswind you have to take it into account, but still with the intention of hitting the target. You can't just let the wind push your aim where it will. You have to think about where you intend to hit and compensate for the crosswind. If you let the winds push your aim downwind, you'll not even hit close to your target.

By the same token, if you allow statism to push you in the direction it is blowing, you'll never hit the target of individual liberty. Yes, you may have to compensate, by being even more "radical" than you're comfortable with, but if you want to be on target you have no choice. You won't hit the target by deciding that hitting the target isn't realistic. You won't hit it by finding a substitute target you believe would be easier to hit. You won't hit the target by giving up and putting your gun down.

I know it's frustrating to be told constantly that you're not being realistic by insisting that the target you want to hit is the one you really are interested in hitting. That trying to shoot an easier target that you don't even want is the pragmatic compromise you're just going to have to settle for. Why even bother, in that case? And maybe that's the point. Get people to give up. That seems like a tactic the other side-- the statists-- would be using against you.

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Sunday, February 10, 2019

Let others make their mistakes

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




One of the hardest things you'll ever have to do is let people make their own mistakes. Whether you're seeing your child about to make a mistake, or seeing other people making pointless and unnecessary mistakes, it's hard to watch without stepping in.

It's even harder when you know those mistakes will hurt you or other innocent people who had no part in making the mistake. In such cases, warning people they are making a mistake is self-defense.

Most people will ignore your warning. It's frustrating when simple solutions are rejected and the mistakes are treated as the reasonable course. "This is how we've always done it" is a common excuse for doing the wrong thing.

When that happens, brace for impact. It's going to hurt-- unless you find a way to protect yourself. No one is obligated to let other people's mistakes hurt us.

Except, apparently, when you are talking about government. The way government is structured means you are legally required to suffer the mistakes of others.

How can anyone believe this is right?

It is said people always get the government they deserve. The trouble is, the government the worst people "deserve" gets imposed on the rest of us. This is like saying some people commit murder, so it's OK to sentence everyone to life in prison. Or to death.

If I see you jumping off a cliff and can't reason you out of your foolish death-plunge, who believes I'm obligated to jump with you? In any realm, other than politics, no one would expect you to willingly leap to your death just because someone else does so.

People are attached to their political mistakes. They keep making the same ones over and over, for decades; often making the same mistakes their entire lives. Those of us who prefer another path are made to suffer along with those who don't want to believe they are making mistakes.

It can be frustrating, but like the weather, it's beyond your control. The best you may be able to do is ride out the storm in as much comfort as possible. Notice the mistakes others are making, don't copy them, and find ways to protect yourself-- or profit if possible. If you can find ways to profit from their mistakes, after you've warned them they are making a mistake and they refuse to change, why shouldn't you?

You're not profiting from the suffering of others, you're honoring their choice.


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The Socialist Century (-ies?)



Looking back at 20th Century "world leaders" [sic] such as the domestic enemies Woodrow Wilson, FDR, and LBJ, and foreign thugs like Stalin, Hitler, Churchill, and all the rest, it seems socialism was all the rage-- even when called something else.

So many "common people" also fell for the socialism lie and thought envy was a great thing to rally around and use as a foundation for a "society". Socialism was everywhere, and we are still suffering the effects.

The 20th Century should be known as the Socialist Century.

My hope would be that it would be a singular mistake, not repeated in the 21st Century. But I'm not optimistic. Judging by current trends, we may be entering Socialist Century 2.0. And it may end up being even worse than the previous century before it's over and done.

Too many pseudo-thinkers still love the idea of stealing from some and giving to others. For political power and money. They lie when they claim it's about caring. But, all politics is based on lies, so what do you expect?

It seems obvious that socialism will increase until self-inflicted disaster forces an end to it.

I hope you and I can use the awareness of what's coming to prepare and prosper throughout it-- or at least survive it. If you can profit from it, on the backs of the socialists who are trying to eat you alive, do it with a clear conscience. If you can profit off the socialism by helping the rare fellow non-socialist through the rough times, just know you are providing a service-- you are one of the good guys.

Through all the pain it causes you, just remember the monumentally greater pain it will cause the dolts who embrace it when their chickens come home to roost. They'll be shocked and caught by surprise. You won't. That makes you mighty.

_______________

Reminder: I could really use some help.
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Saturday, February 09, 2019

Cooperation is libertarian



One thing I find very interesting, and a little frustrating, is how often people will try to put words in my mouth.

I guess it's a facet of the strawman tactic.

Recently someone kept trying to say that I was against cooperation; that cooperation is against libertarian principles, so I have to be against it. Even after I explicitly said several times that I think cooperation is a great thing, and I'm completely in favor of it.

Libertarianism rejects cooperation? I've never made such a silly claim, nor have I ever seen anyone who understands liberty make a claim like that. It's completely absurd.

But, because I'm opposed to stealing money to fund government or government "borders", I must be against cooperation.
And if I am in favor of cooperation, then I must obviously see the "value" of theft and coercion in the name of government.

Yeah, I don't get that connection either.

Government is the opposite of cooperation. If people willingly cooperate (and there's really no such thing as non-willing cooperation) there is no need to rob them or to coerce them to do what you believe should be done. That's not cooperation, that's slavery.


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Friday, February 08, 2019

If the State don't fit, it's illegitimate



As long as the State (or government, for those who believe in the possibility of good political government) is "one-size-fits-all", it will be illegitimate. And, if it isn't "one-size-fits-all" it isn't what anyone in current society would consider a government/the State.

"One-size-fits-all" only works when you are dealing with identical, interchangeable pieces. The only thing identical about humans is that they share identical rights with all other humans, and humans are not interchangeable.

With regard to rights and liberty, and only in that case, "one-size-fits-all". In all other cases, "one-size" is more likely to harm almost all.

It doesn't matter how the State is structured, how it is carried out, or what you imagine would happen in its absence.

You can not ethically govern other people without their explicit consent and without allowing them to opt out without giving up things unrelated to the governing.

This is why each human is responsible for governing his or her own life, and no one else's. Yes, some people shirk that responsibility, but your only responsibility in that case is to defend yourself (and possibly others) from being violated.

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Thursday, February 07, 2019

The one way I support "border" walls



If someone wants a wall along their property line, and their property line happens to coincide with a government "border", I'm fine with there being a wall along that segment of the "border". Even if the adjacent property owner doesn't like the wall.

As long as they fund it themselves, or with voluntary contributions, and don't try to extend it beyond their own property lines.

In that case-- and ONLY in that case-- a border wall is not a property violation. But I've seen no one among the Wallists advocate for this kind of border wall.

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Reminder: I could really use some help, but I'm not building a wall. Yet.
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Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Market always superior to government

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




Last week a local business delivered to my home-- even though I didn't ask and it wasn't expected. Just to be nice and to make a good impression. And it worked!

This reminded me of the difference between market services and government "services" and why I always prefer the market...read the rest...

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Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Uninformed, misinformed, brainwashed statists



If you don't watch "the news" you might be uninformed; if you watch it you will be misinformed.

"News" is opinion. There's no such thing as just presenting the facts; there never was. There's always going to be a slant to it. It's almost always a statist slant.

If they don't honestly portray cops as a gang, politicians as thieving thugs, government as religion, "laws" as slavery, they are not telling the truth. They are opinionizing. Lying. Covering up the truth to protect the bad guys.

Any bland "news" story about the "arrest" of a drug dealer, and the drugs, cash, and guns confiscated from him, is a nest of lies-- opinions, if I were to be nice about it. It will assume statism. It will assume the legitimacy of prohibition, "taxation", government police, "gun control" [sic], "laws", the "justice system", and a hundred other things which shouldn't be assumed.

They are selling their opinion to people who mostly agree with them (even when they feel they are on the other side), or who they are trying to fool into agreeing with them. It largely works.

I think that's why you see "Right" vs "Left" in almost all "news"/opinions. All "news" comes from one side or the other... yet the sides are really the same. They are statist, anti-liberty bigots to the core. So the "news" gets people to arguing over which of those identical twins is correct, when they are both wrong.

Statists live in a statist bubble, even if they sample statist opinions from the "other side". It's still only statism.

Libertarians don't have the option of living in a bubble. We get exposed to the other sides. All other sides. Constantly. Whether we intend to or not. It's unavoidable. That's why we are better informed than the uninformed or the misinformed statists. And it's why the statists try so hard to ridicule our position. They have to, otherwise they might realize they are losers going in circles, chasing hallucinations.

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Monday, February 04, 2019

Past racism is the ugly past



I went through a phase where I was terribly racist. Mostly against "black" people.

It began soon after I moved to Arkansas from Texas. Interestingly enough, my elderly grandmother underwent the same transformation within a few months of also moving from Texas to Arkansas to be closer to us. Before she moved she had scolded me for saying ugly racist things, yet soon after she moved she was saying the same things she had previously objected to me saying.

My racist thoughts and feelings began to fade as soon as I left Arkansas.

Maybe it was a coincidence, or maybe there was a reason the area had that effect on two people who had never thought racist thoughts before. I can't say.

What I can say, and know, is this: I was wrong. I don't know a stronger way to say it. It was collectivist and disgusting. Nothing done to me personally can justify it. I should have simply focused my dislike on the individuals who were violating me, not on their "race" and not on individuals I grouped with them who had never done anything to me.

Yet, in the midst of my racism, I had a really good "black" friend. He always called me a "nigger" and I called him a "honkey"-- the most common racist slurs used by ignorant people against each group at that place and time. When we were hanging out I would "talk black" and he would "talk white". We switched roles in every way we could think of. We thought it was hilarious and we laughed hard over it. The other kids ignored us. The teachers were aghast but they didn't try to stop us. Imagine that happening today-- outside of follower-hungry YouTubers and "white" kids who want to emulate rappers, I mean.

I never wore "blackface" or a KKK robe and don't know of anyone who ever did. I knew a bunch of kids who revered the KKK (at least in theory) and bragged about relatives who belonged to it. But I didn't speak up against those things because I didn't care.

I'm ashamed of that now. I'm not that person anymore. I hope I'm a better person than I used to be.

Should I be judged on what I did and thought back then? I hope not. I'm horrified by my past self now and I don't even like sharing this.

This is all to say I think the current witch-hunt over the politician who is being scolded for a yearbook page, appearing on a page with someone in "blackface" and someone else in a KKK robe, is dumb. That was years ago-- he's not the same person today that he was then.

He's undoubtedly worse.

Criticize him for the wrong he's doing NOW. He's a politician, just like all other politicians-- including the politicians of the Congressional Black Caucus. That's evil. That's archation. His past is nothing but a distraction from his current krimes.

_______________

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Sunday, February 03, 2019

Social events no place for politics

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




In spite of how libertarianism is often portrayed, it's not a middle ground between conservatism and progressivism. It's not even on the scale with those positions. But during social gatherings libertarians can be a neutral zone between conservative and liberal disagreement.

The silliness of the political right and left is clear to libertarians, yet we have common ground with each, on those few issues where they still support individual liberty. Progressives and conservatives are more similar to each other than they'll admit. Why should they fight over the minor details on which they disagree?

Cousin Xander might believe government should do something which Cousin Yolanda opposes, while Yolanda wants government to do something Xander feels would be the end of civilization. The libertarian in the room knows that neither cousin's wish excuses government violence. Pointing this out can distract the factions from being at each other's throats by giving them a common enemy.

Expressing skepticism about the importance of the issue they value enough to fight over can make them unite against you.

Grandpa Al and Grandpa Bill may revere different presidents and hate the presidents revered by the other. Their libertarian grand-kid can see the flaws of both politicians and the ridiculousness inherent in the office of president. To explain there's no substantive difference between their respective heroes is a sure way to help them forget their disagreement with each other for a moment.

Once you understand that all politics is the search to justify government violence against those who are looking for an excuse to use government violence against you, it's easy to see why politics doesn't belong in society. It also helps you understand why those who are arguing aren't nearly as different as they imagine.

If you find yourself under the boot of government violence you won't care whether it's a right boot or a left boot. Libertarians decry the boot while progressives and conservatives argue over which foot ought to be wearing it. Consistent libertarianism is non-political, which is why the Libertarian Party-- being political-- has such a hard time gaining traction among libertarians.

Personally, I don't think social occasions are any place for politics. Yet politics will crop up in the most devious ways and in the least appropriate places. Having a libertarian in the mix helps unite all the pro-government people against the one who can't embrace their government extremism. It's our sacrifice for the cause of world peace. Happy New Year!


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Benefit of the doubt



When I say socialists/statists are stupid, it is my attempt to give them the benefit of the doubt. The unpleasant alternative, which I'm trying to avoid, is that they are evil. I believe evil is worse than being stupid.

Once they've decided it's OK to allow government to commit a "little bit" of theft or aggression (archation) on their behalf-- and if they're not stupid-- they've willingly chosen evil.

Why they did so-- fear, "culture", pragmatism, complications of statism, whatever-- doesn't figure in.

If I believe they are smart and yet they continue to advocate socialism/statism, stupidity is no longer an excuse. That option has been taken off the table. So what is left?

I want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but they make it hard and don't appreciate it anyway.

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Saturday, February 02, 2019

"Less emotional; more reasoned"



The first time I encountered social psychologist Jonathan Haidt I had a kind of visceral dislike for him. I don't even know why. However, I have since listened to more of his interviews and lectures and found some pearls there-- the instinctive dislike I felt at first has largely faded.

Yes, he is way too enamored of the State (as are so many). He can't even face the question of whether it is a legitimate human endeavor to govern others. It's assumed, and he only concerns himself with how it is carried out. That's a huge strike against him in my book.

Anyway, I was listening to this lecture/interview (from Skeptic.com) with him and got a laugh from this quote:

"Some people are less emotional, more reasoned. We call these people 'libertarians'. There's actually data on this-- that libertarians are lower on emotion, higher on reasoning ability. They have worse relationships, they care about people less, but they are better able to just reason through a lot of data."

If I felt any more emotion than I do, I think I would die. To believe I am less emotional than other people scares me. How do other people manage if they feel more emotions than I do? I can't even imagine the horror!

Beyond that, I care about people a great deal. That's why I don't want them robbed, enslaved, molested, murdered, or governed. Isn't it odd to believe that you "care more" if you're OK with doing these things to people?

He slipped up on a few other things, not realizing that socialists and communists aren't anarchists while consistent libertarians are, but I don't really expect outsiders to get the details correct. All in all, it was an interesting lecture and interview. I found things to agree with and things to roll my eyes over.

Added: I remembered why I disliked Haidt from the beginning. The first thing I ever saw (heard?) from him was an interview (by Jordan Peterson) where he was promoting something which smelled like "cultural purity"/excuses for borderism. Other things I have seen from him seem to back away from that a bit, so I may have misinterpreted what he was saying at first.

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YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Friday, February 01, 2019

Taking the bait; abandoning the high ground



There is no such thing as an "unethical necessity" or "necessary evil". It's an oxymoron.

If something is necessary, it can't be unethical, and if something is unethical it can't be a necessity. Maybe you can't see another way, but it's there. It is never necessary to rape a baby, in other words.

Those who believe in such fantasies have fallen prey to pragmatism.

Yes, I can understand why they do it. Principles are hard. They may not even be safe to stick with-- no one ever said doing the right thing was easy, safe, or would result in instant (or eventual) Utopia. But it's still the right thing.

For some reason, Trump and "immigration" have fooled more people into abandoning principles-- and what's right-- than anything I've ever personally witnessed. Maybe other things were stronger archation bait in the past, but that must have been before my time.

This would be scary, except that I understand the concept of winnowing grain; to allow the chaff and harmful debris to fly away with the breeze so it doesn't end up choking you in your food. So I see this as a way to see who's on the side of liberty, and who was hanging around while it was convenient and easy. Seeing some of those who have chosen to fly to statism at the earliest provocation has been a huge surprise... and a bitter disappointment... to me.

Someone has to stake out the ethical, principled ground. There are plenty of pragmatists and quislings around; that position is well represented. No more of them are needed.

If you approach every problem from the position that statism is unavoidable (or necessary), you're going to find statist "solutions" to accommodate your statist objections every time. You'll be blind to real, lasting voluntary solutions when you assume statism. Thus you'll justify States and all the horrid things which come along with them-- while using the inevitable results of statism to show why "we need statism". You'll get angry at anyone who points out that your assumptions are flawed.

And that is the unvarnished reality.

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Reminder: Another unvarnished reality is that I could use some help.
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Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

How theft and slavery became "legal", normal, and acceptable



With all you ever wanted to know-- and more-- about the practice of "income taxation", I present this piece from Ammo.com:
The 16th Amendment: How the U.S. Federal Income Tax Became D.C.'s Favorite Political Weapon

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Reminder: I don't steal, so I could really use some voluntary help.
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This blog is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Scott Adams doesn't understand "plant food"



Scott Adams says the observation that "carbon dioxide is plant food" is a terrible argument-- an "embarrassing opinion"-- for AGCC skepticism.

He's wrong.

Here's why:

When plants "eat" CO2 they take it out of the air and turn it into plant matter. Even if carbon dioxide raises the climate's temperature as the AGCC activists claim, once a plant removes it from the air, it isn't available in the atmosphere to raise the temperature anymore. That's how "eating" something works. It is removed from availability in one form (in this case, atmospheric gas) and turned into a different form (leaves, wood, flowers, stalks, roots, seeds, fruit, etc.).

And, yes, each individual plant might be able to only use a limited amount of carbon dioxide, but plants reproduce. If you improve their growing conditions with more "food" (and sufficient light), they can reproduce more. If you've ever had an aquarium or a pond experience an algae bloom you've seen conditions result in more plantlife. And one of the most effective ways to end the algae bloom is to add other plants which will use up the "plant food" available in the water until it is reduced to a level where it can't encourage excess plant growth.

But to say that the addition of CO2 will raise the temperature and kill the plants so that they can no longer "eat" the CO2 is overlooking the main effect of plants taking CO2 from the air and using it to make more plant matter. More plants = less CO2 in the atmosphere available to warm the climate.

Now, when those plants rot or burn, that CO2 will be released into the air again. But, more CO2 could result in more plant mass overall, trapping the CO2 in a form which can't contribute to "climate change" at least for a time. Coal is plant matter, made of atmospheric CO2 removed from the air long ago (~359 to 299 million years ago, in fact) and stored in a fairly stable form. Once that carbon dioxide was in the form of plant matter-- living plants or coal-- it couldn't help heat the world until it burned.

Sometimes a person tries so hard to look unbiased and "scientific" that they fall into a reality trap. This seems to be one of those times for Scott Adams.

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If you want to read more of what I've had to say about Anthropogenic Global Climate Change (AGCC) over the years, here ya go: link.

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Reminder: I could really use some change to my economic climate.
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This blog is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

There's no way to know everything

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




It's a bitter pill to swallow, and one many people can't accept, but you and I can never know everything.

This means if you want to act politically, you'll come from a place of ignorance whether you mean to or not.

I can't know the ultimate reality about Anthropogenic Global Climate Change-- commonly called "Global Warming".
I can't know all the possible consequences of building a new "Berlin Wall" between America and Mexico...read the rest...

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Homosexuality isn't the issue


Back when I was a follower of a religion which condemned homosexuality, I went along and believed it was wrong, just like I was told to believe. Still, I could never really figure out how it was supposed to be a threat to me. I didn't give it that much thought.

During my teenage years I had begun to realize my youngest sister was probably a lesbian, although I never said anything to her about it. It wasn't an issue and was none of my business until she chose to make it my business.

In my early 20s I got "hit on" by an older guy at a park while I was taking my lunch break away from work. I wasn't rude-- I just mentioned my wife and hinted I wasn't interested. There was no problem; the guy just went on his way.

Years later, a gay friend hit on me at karaoke one night. Again I just said I wasn't interested in guys and let it drop. We remained friends.

I've been propositioned online several times over the years, especially during the chat room days. There was no need for me to be rude about it. I can't blame someone for taking a chance.

As the years passed I became more and more libertarian (even before I knew what to call it). This powered up my inability to be offended over such things. I came to see that all humans have equal and identical rights, and that's that. No one has "extra" rights; no one has "limited" rights. Your sexuality doesn't even figure in. I see this more clearly every passing day.

Which brings us to now. There is one apparently homosexual person who is offending me, and some are trying to twist my offense into being about homosexuality. I don't think it is.

My 11-year-old daughter has a "frienemy" who has been trying to bully her-- with the encouragement of the girl's parents-- into a lesbian relationship. It has been going on for a year and a half now. This girl acts like a friend until she draws my daughter in, and then she does the nastiest, meanest things I have ever seen a kid do-- totally crushing my daughter with her backstabbing. This drives my daughter away from her. As soon as she realizes my daughter is out of her control, she acts sweet and reels her in again-- and convinces her that she's my daughter's only "real friend" and that her parents can't be trusted. This repeats endlessly. This has led to some difficult and uncomfortable parenting decisions on my part.

The other girl's parents have even tried to talk my daughter into leaving home and moving in with their family so the girls can be together. They are all trying to make this into an issue of anti-gay bigotry, when it is nothing of the sort. You abuse and backstab my daughter, and manipulate her to try to drive a wedge between us, and I don't care who or what you are. I'll hope for your destruction. My older daughter was trapped in an abusive heterosexual relationship for 7 of the last 8 years of her life. This is a line you don't want to cross with me. My tolerance for such things has been used up.

"Mad" doesn't begin to cover it.

My daughter can choose to be in a developmentally appropriate relationship with whoever she chooses, but I will do what I can to protect her from an abuser. And this girl is quite definitely an abuser and a bully, even if my daughter refuses to see it.

And, by the way, my (lesbian) sister agrees with me.

Interesting times.

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Reminder: I could really use some economic help, too.
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This blog is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Wilson's government "job"



As much as "Wilson" disliked and distrusted government, he did have a government "job" most of the time I knew him.

He had been stopped by a cop at some point, and ticketed for something. Probably "driving without a license", but I'm not certain of that (I do know he never had a driver's license as long as I knew him). Part of his "fine" was community "service" at the recycling center-- I think he was there for a couple of months. (I met him during his stint at the recycling center.)

Apparently, the supervisor was impressed enough with his work that he offered Wilson a permanent job at the landfill.

Even better was what Wilson was to do as his job: he just walked around the perimeter fence all day picking up escaped trash. Honestly, he really enjoyed it. It didn't pay as well as the job government cronyism had stolen from him earlier, but it was peaceful, undemanding, and he was left alone from the time a co-worker dropped him off in the morning until he picked him up at night.

He carried a backpack, his .40 pistol, and a "wrist rocket" type slingshot. For his lunch break he would often use the slingshot to shoot a grouse, then cook it over a small fire. Occasionally he shot an extra grouse and took it home for a later meal (he offered me a bird once or twice).

I never questioned him about the contradiction of working for an entity he despised-- it was none of my business. I just knew the job suited him better than most other available jobs.


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Reminder: I don't mean to grouse, but I could really use some help.
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This blog is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Looking back, hoping for liberty

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for December 26, 2018)




Here we go, wrapping up another year. While there's still the possibility of something significant happening in the final days of December, there's an even better chance nothing significant will happen, but something trivial will be overblown to seem important.

Until that happens, how do things look?

For yet another year, after too long following the same downward path, the U.S. is still trying to become everything it previously opposed about the late Soviet Union.

Political prisoner Ross Ulbricht rots in prison, and two of liberty's heroes-- Julian Assange and Edward Snowden-- sit just out of reach of the U.S. government so as to avoid also becoming permanent political prisoners of the regime. This is how far the U.S. has gone toward replacing the USSR as the enemy of human rights and liberty.

It's fixable if enough people demand it.

Closer to home, the people who vote still seem to believe it matters which party has the power. Most of them don't seem to notice there's a Democrat in threadbare Republican clothing occupying the White House.

On a happier note, we received a year-end treat. An increasingly common one, but one which inspires hopeful daydreams. What is this gift? We've been given a government shutdown.

I realize it's not much. The only parts of the government to shut down are those parts the market would better serve if actually allowed to compete; those parts which will inconvenience the people most by closing. The shutdown is temporary and the non-essential employees still end up getting paid when the theatrics are over.

All the parts of government which violate your life, liberty, and property continue governing as usual. All such shutdowns are imaginary; nothing but political drama. If you want to keep your government, don't worry; the politicians can't risk you adjusting to being without it. You might realize how useless it is, which wouldn't be good for the job security of those who need you to believe they are necessary.

In the end, the political clowns will save us from this "horror" by reaching a deal to keep the government fueled with your money-- until the next time they can use another threatened shutdown against each other.

In reality, if liberty started taking hold, they'll have found a way to re-open government by the time you read this. Still, it's a happy thought while it lasts.

Whether you prefer liberty or government, freedom or slavery, I hope this holiday season is treating you and yours well.

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Saturday, January 26, 2019

That razor ad



I finally got around to watching the razor advertisement that has so many people worked up.

I didn't think it was too bad, only a little insulting in the assumptions it made. But not very. I've known men like those portrayed negatively. But I also don't think all the behavior portrayed in a negative way is entirely negative. Not if I believe the species should continue. Perhaps that's the quibble.

If I had any of that company's products, I wouldn't toss them out over the ad. But I also wouldn't rush out to buy them in support of the company.

Not that I'm in the market for a razor.

I've never even used a modern safety razor (is that what they are called?) I have the same electric Norelco I've used a couple of times per week since my 17th birthday. I also shave with my knives sometimes when I'm bored. Once or twice I've even used an old straight razor which belonged to my great-great-grandfather (which is the razor pictured above). As a way to connect with family history, I guess.

The ad in question is just a case of a big company trying to look all SocialJusticy and score points with people who aren't even its customers. Probably not the smartest move, but not suicidal, either.

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Reminder: I'm on the razor's edge and could really use some help.
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YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Addicts can't think outside their box



A heroin addict might not like the side effects and other consequences of being addicted to heroin, but giving up the drug is unthinkable, so they try to find ways around the consequences which don't involve giving up heroin.

Statists don't like some of the side effects and consequences of statism, but giving up the State is unthinkable so they try to find ways around the consequences which don't involve giving up their drug.

Thus you have borderists screaming that you can't get rid of government borders or you'll have people flocking to America to get free stuff from "welfare" or committing crime. They can't even see that they're in a box, much less think outside it.

This utter lack of awareness illustrates my point about statism being an addiction.

No part of statism is a given. Any of it can be eliminated; all of it can be eliminated. That one part of it excuses another part doesn't mean you have to keep either part. Ditch them both. It's the sensible thing to do.


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Reminder: I could really use a "hit" of help.
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This blog is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

An accidental bullseye



Statist: "Of course YOU don't care about the government shutdown that's hurting so many people, because it's not hurting you, personally!"

Me: BINGO!!*
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*And if you think that's an accidental quirk of fate, you'd be missing the point. I don't want the fake "shutdown" to hurt you, either, but you placed yourself in the position to be hurt. Against my advice.

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

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

'Deep state' isn't what you think

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




You've probably been hearing about the "deep state" recently, with some pundits saying it's a danger and others saying it doesn't even exist.

It's real, but it's not the conspiracy theory some would have you believe. Its reality shouldn't be controversial; it's there for everyone to see and experience.

The "deep state" is, in simple terms, the government bureaucracy. It is all those parts of government which don't change from one presidential administration to the next...read the rest...

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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

That one's a thinker!



The Facebook post stated "Claiming that income tax is moral, is a claim that slavery is moral.".

That's a completely reasonable statement. But someone then posted a comment saying, "Wealth tax is required." Whatever a "wealth tax" is.

I responded with a link to my "Theft by any other name" video.

She replied, "No taxes, no army. No army, no defence. No defence, no state. No state, no laws. No laws, no peace."

I said, 

"I don't need a theft-funded army for my defense. Why would you imagine you do?
The state is your enemy, or you don't understand what the State is. http://famguardian.org/.../OurEnemyTheState...
http://mises.org/daily/2352
There are only two kinds of "law": the unnecessary and the harmful. Which type do you imagine promotes peace?
"Laws" against actual wrongs (murder, theft, rape, kidnapping, assault, trespass, etc.) are unnecessary. These "laws" aren't necessary for you to have the right to defend yourself from these acts.
"Laws" against anything else (vices, trade, tools of defense, resisting government theft and aggression, etc.) -- AND "laws" allowing government employees to commit the actual wrongs in the first list as long as they are called something else (taxation, war, officer safety, arrest, airport security, etc.), are harmful.
Your argument fails."
Yeah, I probably shouldn't have included the last sentence. 

Her dismissive last shot? "neat. Don't complicate a complex argument and sleep tight! 😁"

So is she saying her comment was "complex"? I guess she's too deep a thinker for me.

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

Monday, January 21, 2019

Fear first, ask questions later



It seems the matter is settled. If a cop "fears" for its life, it can commit murder and get away with it. No actual threat is necessary.

If it's OK for a cop to shoot a chihuahua or a fleeing teen because it chants "I feared for my life", then it is OK for anyone else to shoot people and pets using the same excuse. Anything less is a dangerous double standard.

And, if that were consistently the case all cops would be dead. Good riddance!

Every "official" encounter with a cop is an encounter with an armed government molester who would face small consequences for murdering you-- if it faces any at all. If you don't kiss its boots fast enough, you'll scare it. That's as good as permission to murder you.

When this happens, you are experiencing a police state. But it can get worse. Unless the people targeted by cops act to stop it, it will get worse.

Whether or not you are in fear of your life when a cop is around, your life is in danger. They've created the situation. I wonder how they'll react when it comes to fruition.

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Reminder: I fear I could really use some help.
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YOU get to decide if I get paid.