Monday, April 22, 2019

"SPD"- Statist Personality Disorder



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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday, April 21, 2019

Windstorm reminder to be ready

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Statism = Nihilism = Statism



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

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

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

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

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

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

And yet, even with all that, I'm not a nihilist and could never be one.
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Writing is my job.
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Saturday, April 20, 2019

Pick a side, Dude!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, April 19, 2019

Assange, Trump, and Obama



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

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

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

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

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

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Writing is my job.
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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Problems don't call for policies

Buy the book

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

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

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

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

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Reminder: I could really use some help.
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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Gun laws far overstep their bounds

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




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

They aren't validly enacted. They violate the Second Amendment, so they aren't even laws. You might imagine they don't violate the Constitution, based on cowardly and dishonest opinions of Supreme Court justices over the decades, but they do...read the rest...

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Gear post: Possibles bag for modern life

Click to embiggen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Reminder: I could really use some help.
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Monday, April 15, 2019

The Notre Dame Ruins

From news.com.au


A landmark has joined-- probably at least for the rest of my lifespan-- the list of historic ruins around the world. Like the Coliseum in Rome, the Acropolis, and more.

I have no religious or nationalist (but I repeat myself) attachment to the Notre Dame Cathedral, but its destruction saddens me anyway.

I hate to see any historic landmark or artwork destroyed. Whether by accident or intentionally, by stupid politico-religionists. I like old stuff. Oftentimes more than I like new stuff.

I'm glad to see people volunteering their own money to fund the attempt to rebuild it.

_______________

Reminder: I could really use some help.
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Banning real progress



Begging government to ban vaping makes as much sense as begging government to ban car brakes.

No, vaping isn't totally safe. It's safer than smoking.
Your car having brakes won't make driving totally safe. But it's still safer than driving without brakes.

Banning, or heavily regulating, either one is going backward. Kind of like banning (or heavily regulating) suppressors.

That doesn't mean I want government to mandate vaping as an alternative to smoking-- it should be a personal choice. You do your life, I'll do mine.

As a tangent-- I'm always shocked at the amount of dishonesty involved in trying to fool people into joining the prohibitionists (or any statist cause, for that matter).

I saw a "public service" [sic] ad against the JUUL vapers recently, where the woman was horrified that the JUUL "contains as much nicotine as 20 cigarettes!" What is this, standard-capacity magazine hysteria aimed at a different tool?

I'm supposing you don't get all the nicotine the device contains in one inhalation. Even if you did get all the nicotine in one sitting, wouldn't it be just like chainsmoking 20 cigarettes? I've seen smokers do that (OK, I didn't count, but you know what I mean). How many cigarettes come in a pack? 20 or 25? Are you going to shove them all in your mouth at once and smoke them together? I guess you could, but I don't think there's a way to get the entire contents of nicotine from a JUUL in the amount of time it would take to smoke one cigarette-- unless you broke it open or something. But it sounds scarier to lie. Scared people are lemmings you can lead to cry for the privilege of being governed harder. So that's what prohibitionists do.

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Reminder: I could really use some help.
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Theft Day



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Sunday, April 14, 2019

You can't have civil rights both ways

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




It's interesting to me how many people want their own rights respected, while also wanting other people's rights to be violated.

People who want their rights as gun owners respected often advocate a massive government welfare program, carried out through taxation and land theft, in order to build a border wall which violates the right of association and the right of people to move about freely. They also demand a police state where you can be stopped and checked for your papers.

To justify these violations, they'll insist it's necessary because of other kinds of welfare and because of laws which all but criminalize self-defense and the uninterrupted possession of the proper tools with which to carry it out. To abolish any violations appears unthinkable.

On the other hand, those who oppose a rights-violating border wall want to continue to violate everyone by funding government handouts and usually want the rights of gun owners to be violated more than they already are.

Then you have those who seem happy to violate themselves. They'll demand their right to marry whoever they want to marry, but want government permission-- even licenses-- to do so. Or they want to have their right to use Cannabis respected while they beg for this right to be violated through taxation and regulation.

Did I say it's interesting? I meant disappointing.

It makes one thing perfectly clear: people either don't understand rights or they don't respect them.

People aren't good at consistency, especially when they don't realize that all rights are connected so thoroughly they might as well be one and the same. How can you expect your rights to be respected if you refuse to respect the rights of everyone else? How much do you really value your own rights if you'll let others treat them as privileges?

I want your rights respected, no matter who you are.

I don't want you robbed to fund things I believe are necessary. I don't want your real estate stolen for projects I want. I won't hire armed agents to impose things on you which violate your life, liberty, or property even if I suspect you are up to no good. I won't impose licensing on you.

If you violate me I have the natural human right to defend myself. Laws can't change this. It's one reason I will never compromise on gun rights. I'll stand up for all your rights, consistently. Your rights matter to me. Do they matter to you?.

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Are you being played?



I suspect Scott Adams has been playing his listeners. I've suspected this for months, but have only discussed this with one person. Until now.

I'll go ahead and tell you now what I think has been going on.

I believe he is using the technique of "pacing and leading" to get his "conservative" listeners to change their minds on "climate change" (and a few other topics as well). He plays the neutral "voice of reason" with his audience who seems to mostly be Right Statist, but he is much more Left Statist than he lets on. (I so dislike using the terms "Left" and Right" in political discussions, since there's really only Statist or not. Yet sometimes it seems necessary to examine the interplay between these mirror images.)

Back when he first started discussing the topic, I got the distinct feeling this was what he was doing. In spite of his protests of "I'm just looking at the argument-- I don't know because I can't know. I'm not a climate scientist." it seemed to me he was going to take the alarmists' side when it was all said and done. He gave clues to that effect. Because he is a government supremacist, after all.

And this is the general arc of what I've watched happening.

He started off leaning slightly to the skeptical side. So as to agree with the listeners he was (apparently) wanting to influence. Pacing them. He has been slowly and carefully moving slightly more to the alarmist side since then. Two steps forward and one step back. Leading them to where he seems to want them to go.

He has straight out said he uses persuasion (and hypnosis) techniques in his writing and podcasting. He has described these techniques and pointed out examples when they are used by others. Then he uses the techniques on his listeners. He's doing it right in the open. I believe his intent is to influence his listeners to move away from Right Statism toward Left Statism-- maybe to bring them to a center position.

Can I prove it? No. He would say I'm mind reading and there is no written or stated evidence that this is what he wants to do. As I've said before, since I can't read minds I am left with reasoning out what someone is thinking by their actions. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. The future will tell.

I still listen to Scott because I find him interesting and because I still find it informative to get insight into the workings of the statist mind. But I try to mentally vaccinate myself against his persuasion while doing so by knowing what he's doing. Who knows if I'm protected sufficiently.

Years ago, when I first started reading his Dilbert blog, he once claimed to be "libertarian, but without the crazy stuff". I pointed out that the "crazy stuff", as he defined it, is also called consistency. Consistency, based in principles. Things which get in the way of a full-on embrace of statism. Once you believe it's OK to govern others and use government violence to force others to do what you want and stop them from doing what you don't want them to do, there seems to be nothing that's too far to justify. This is the road he travels. He expects you to follow. And he may be tricking people into following him.

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Reminder: I could really use some help.
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Saturday, April 13, 2019

Statism is...

Statism-- the unhealthy obsession with what others are doing.

It needs to become much more unhealthy... for the statists.

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"Intellectual"



"Intellectual" is not a dirty word. It disturbs me how often it is used as one.

On the other hand, many of those who are called "intellectuals"-- particularly "public intellectuals"-- are really just government extremists and elitists. They may have degrees and positions, but their position on issues is anti-intellectual. They follow the religion of statism and worship the god of government.

It is not rational to be a statist. It is vulgar to believe people should be governed by others, and to use politics as a tool for this purpose. Any illiterate punk might believe the same thing, but without claiming the "authority" to force everyone to go along.

They believe they know better how to run your life than you do. And they are willing to use government violence to prove it.

These people may be clever. They may be smart in some ways. But their ignorance and emotionalism overwhelm their intellect. They betray their own intellectualism with their belief system. They've decided which is more important to them, personally. And it's a shame.

Think of all the good they could have otherwise done if they are really as "intellectual" as they are made out to be. The world is poorer for having lost their contributions. When you side with darkness and ignorance-- with statism-- your intellect, if any, becomes a net negative to society.

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Reminder: I could really use some help.
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Friday, April 12, 2019

Is it theft?



I've been working on this flowchart to see if I can articulate what theft is, and why certain "legal" acts are not exempt.

If I've missed something or screwed up in some way, let me know.  (I already see that I forgot a "yes" leading to "It's not theft" from the "Would your wish violate anyone's life, liberty, or property?" Just put that one there in your mind.) If you need the picture enlarged to be able to read the boxes, try this.

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Reminder: I could really use some help.
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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Mired



I'm discouraged. It's not just finances, which you might suspect, although that's a part of it. It's just that it seems every day brings more difficulties before I have found a solution for the ones I'm already dealing with. And there's no end in sight.

I can handle things like power outages and short-term water shortages. But some things I don't have the skills to deal with very well.

I'm not trying to be a downer, but if I miss a day of blogging (or two) you'll understand the reason. And I'll try to not do that anyway. I'll keep pushing through.

_______________

Reminder: I could really use some help.
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My provisional support for "borders"



The only legitimate justification for something like a "national border" would be to separate a free territory from any unfree territories around it. In order to protect the people in the free territory from the statists surrounding them.

This situation doesn't exist anywhere in the world because there are no free territories (other than small scale experiments, maybe). America hasn't been a free territory since America was replaced by "the United States" with the ratification of the U. S. Constitution. As long as there are "taxes" and other counterfeit "laws" and politicians in a territory, it is not free. Even though there are differences in degree, there are no differences in kind.

As it is, national borders are rather like the internal fences in a feedlot. They separate different groups of cattle from each other for the purposes of those who exploit them. It's not for the good of the cattle. It would be genius to brainwash the cattle into believing it is.

In our human situation, it's as if the cattle in one pen are getting angry at the cattle who hop the fence instead of focusing their anger at those who manage the feedlot. "We must remain 'King of the Dung Heap' in our little pen!"

Those humans who hop the fence may be hoping to avoid a looming appointment on the kill floor, or maybe they hope for more food on the other side. But if they are looking for liberty they are doing it wrong and looking in the wrong place. Still, I can't blame them for doing something in their desperation, even if it amounts to jumping out of the fire and into the smoldering kindling.

And, the ones who hop the fence and then demand to make this side similar to the side they were desperate to escape are being stupid and are committing evil.

To be clear: nothing excuses archation by fence hoppers. Nor by fence defenders.

Instead of abandoning principles over your "border", why not make this side of the fence free. Create a condition of liberty. That means zero "taxes", zero counterfeit "laws" of any kind, and zero politicians. This side of the fence cannot be a State.

Then, and only then, I'll help you secure the border from anyone who tries to bring a little bit of archation into this free territory-- while welcoming all others (because they couldn't be a problem). Anyone else should be free to cross this border in either direction with no delay or difficulty whatsoever.

Because it's always up to the believers to convince the skeptics, it's up to those who support the "borders" to make this a free territory and convince me to support their walls and fences. If they have a workable plan which doesn't involve me compromising food with poison or liberty with statism, I'll jump right in.

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Reminder: I could really use some help.
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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Arbitrary legality makes bad laws

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




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

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

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Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Gear post: Vest and its contents

Click to enlarge
For years I've worn a vest every day. It's my largest holder of EDC items.

My current vest is a Wyoming Traders "buffalo leather" vest. It has lasted far longer than the canvas vests I wore before this one. But unless I can find another on eBay for a good price (the way I stumbled on this one) I'll go back to the canvas vests when this one wears out.

I always like the 4-pocket vests. This one also has an inside pocket on the left side, plus I made a soft leather pocket for the inside right. I hated for that space to go to waste.

You can examine the picture to see what I actually carry inside. Any comments or questions are welcomed.

I swap stuff out fairly often and change the pockets each item is in as I do. I hesitate to do this because I like knowing which pocket to reach in to find what I need, but I have found that I go into the pockets often enough that it doesn't seem to take any time to know what is where.

Now, yes it is hot here in the summer. A vest might seem like a bad choice. Really, it isn't usually an issue. If I'm miserably hot with the vest, I'm not going to be any more comfortable without the vest. I do usually take it off for lawn work, though.

You can probably understand why a metal detector in a doorway represents-- to me-- just an absolute "no-go zone". It's not worth it and I'm naked before I can make it through. I'd say that has only enhanced my life, though.

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Reminder: I could really use some help.
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Monday, April 08, 2019

Theft and coercion shouldn't be your default



I have a few things to add related to my recent post about Scott Adams' mistake about "climate change" not being a "power grab".

You and I know it is.

Scott would say this just shows you are pretending to read their minds. Plus you would be assuming they don't actually believe AGCC is the apocalyptic crisis they claim it is.

My counter to that is that since we can't actually read minds, what we have to do is infer what someone is thinking by their actions. Even if they actually believe AGCC is a life and death crisis, they are choosing the path which gives government more power.

There are paths to solving "climate change", if it needs to be solved, which don't give government additional power. Paths using economic means rather than political means. Why are they not promoting those paths?

You could imagine they don't know those other paths exist. Yet, they do exist and they aren't hard to find or come up with on your own unless you can't imagine solutions which don't involve government. Theft and coercion shouldn't be your default. If they are, there's something wrong with you. Probably what's wrong with you involves at least a bit of power lust, and hoping that the new system will put you a little higher in the power hierarchy.

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Reminder: I could really use some help.
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Sunday, April 07, 2019

None obligated to obey bad laws

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




While I appreciate when governments express support for natural human rights, I wonder if they really understand the rights they claim to support.

Roosevelt County was recently declared a "Second Amendment Sanctuary" by the county commission. How serious are they?

Are they only concerned with additional violations of the Second Amendment by the state? What about enforcement of all the violations on the books beginning in 1934 with the National Firearms Act?

Do they understand the only purpose of the Second Amendment was to make it a crime to pass or enforce any laws against weapons?
Do they understand that the Second Amendment recognizes and protects the right to own and to carry weapons however you see fit, everywhere you go, without asking permission?
Do they understand this right existed before the first government was established and will still exist unchanged long after the last government has been forgotten?

These are rhetorical questions because I know the answers. I also realize they call the resolution "not legally binding"; a symbolic nothing.

I wonder how seriously anyone would have taken politicians in the 1850s had they "symbolically" declared their region to be a sanctuary for escaped slaves, yet continued to allow slavery in their communities, and allowed slave catchers to brutally capture and return runaways to the individuals who claimed them as property.

You aren't a Second Amendment Sanctuary if you allow even the slightest anti-gun "law" to be enforced on your watch.

To posture over additional infringements if they are "unnecessary, duplicate, and possibly unconstitutional" is to miss the point of the Second Amendment. To try to weasel out of responsibility, claiming you "cannot determine the constitutionality of a law" is dishonest.

As pointed out in a previous column, the Supreme Court stole the power to be the final arbiter of constitutionality-- this power was not theirs to claim. Constitutionality is yours to judge. Would you wait to see if the Supreme Court says the Constitution permits the federal government to murder a peaceable neighbor over the church he attends before you know it's unconstitutional? The federal government will never allow unconstitutionality to stand in the way of established rules and bureaucracies.

No one needs to fight unconstitutional "laws" since even the Supreme Court has ruled that a law which violates the Constitution isn't a law at all, and no one is obligated to obey. All who enforce such non-laws are criminals.

Don't stop at symbolism. Respect human rights; all of them, completely without reservation or hesitation. It's the right thing to do.

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Moccasins



I like feeing the texture of the ground under my feet, but I've never enjoyed being barefoot.

The only barefoot walking I ever did of my own free will was walking barefoot through the snow-- sometimes a quarter mile or so through the woods. The ice balls which form between the toes and get uncomfortable are the biggest downside. When my late daughter Cheyenne was small we had a ritual where she, my son, and I would go for a quick barefoot walk in the snow together at least once every winter. More often if she asked. She looked forward to the first substantial snowfall every year for just that reason.

Other than that, I've never been much of a barefooter.

But I love the feeling of walking in moccasins.

For a large part of my life, I wore moccasins almost all the time. Not the padded abominations with rubber soles that some call "moccasins", but moccasins with nothing but one layer of leather between the ground and you. I did always wear socks or wrap my feet in wool blanketing, though, so there was some padding.

I had a few pairs of moccasins in the closet which didn't fit well. I have been wanting a new pair of Navajo/Kaibab moccasins for years. Those seem to work best for me in civilization.

So several years ago when I had some "extra" money (haha!) I ordered a new pair. I ordered them early because we were heading to Colorado and I wanted moccasins to wear while wandering. And I waited and waited, and got excuse after excuse. A month or so after the trip I gave up and asked for my money back, and it was grudgingly refunded.

I just put the moccasins on hold after that. For almost 7 years. Then, a few weeks back, I did some closet cleaning and decided to sell my 3 pairs of old too-small moccasins. They all sold quickly and with that money I ordered (from a different place) a new pair of moccs. I've been wearing them a lot since then and relishing the feeling.

Why did I wait so long?

When you wear moccasins almost exclusively you learn a different, quieter, (and I suspect, more natural) way to walk, where you meet the ground first with the ball of your foot and then roll the rest of your foot to the ground. It's not as awkward as that makes it sound. The heel doesn't end up bearing much weight. In fact, it's also how I walk when in sock-feet, due to years of developing the habit. It's hard to walk this way in modern footwear because the shoe heel gets in the way, so then I usually revert to the clunky modern style of walking where the heel strikes the ground first, then you fall forward onto the rest of your foot. I can still walk relatively quietly this way (which is why so many people have threatened to put bells on me over the years), but it doesn't feel as right.

I had flat feet when I was a kid, inherited from my mother. My feet may still be flatter than normal, and shoes with "supportive" arches feel like there's a golf ball in the shoe, but my feet are not as flat as they were when I was in my early teens, before I started wearing moccasins. Could use have strengthened the muscles and ligaments of my feet over the years? My mother has only worn shoes with good arch support and her feet are as flat as it is possible for feet to be. I don't know if there's a correlation or not, but it's just data to ponder.

Footwear is a personal thing. I'm sure the preferences are completely subjective. I wear stove pipe boots when I'm going to town or I know I'll be walking on abrasive pavement. But for the sheer pleasure of having feet, I just really love moccasins.

Note: The picture shows my new Navajo moccasins on the left and my old mountainman moccasins, which I made from braintan buckskin, on the right. I don't wear the mountainman moccs in the modern world for multiple reasons.

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Saturday, April 06, 2019

Giving up on alchemy



A show I was watching on Netflix, showing an alchemist at work, gave me an idea.

I could be wrong, but I suspect alchemy gradually evolved into science because of alchemists keeping the stuff that worked and tossing out the stuff that didn't. The magic failed, but the occasional experiment succeeded, It was a process. No one intended to abandon alchemy; it just happened over time.

I can even imagine some people clinging to hope, still searching for the Elixir of Life, the philosopher's stone, or a way to (easily and cheaply) turn lead into gold, as others were pursuing the more realistic natural sciences.

In a parallel way, politics is alchemy; libertarianism is science.

I can see how politics slowly evolved into libertarianism over the centuries as smart people tossed out the stuff which didn't work and kept doing the stuff which did. Getting closer to anarchy with each winnowing. I believe the Tao Te Ching shows some early faltering steps in that direction from around 2600 years ago. It takes time to get things right.

Yet, there are still a lot of delusionally hopeful alchemists still searching for the best kind of government, the right people to run it, and the law which will solve a problem. The shocking thing is that anyone takes them seriously.

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Friday, April 05, 2019

Ammo.com's Not-So-Wild West



It has been stated before, particularly in The Not So Wild, Wild West by Terry Anderson and P.J. Hill (which is also referenced in the following piece), but the "Wild West" was more peaceful (and anarchic) than any modern region.

Ammo.com presents a good overview of the topic, as they often do.
Find it here:
The American Old West: How Hollywood Made It “Wild” to Make Money & Advance Gun Control

Personally, I think I'd rather live in the Hollywood version of the "Wild West" than in modern America. But that's just me.

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"Red flag laws"



The only reason it looks to anti-liberty bigots like "red flag laws" are needed is because of the "laws" which make it harder for individuals to defend themselves from evil losers.

Again, as in so many cases, too much government gives an "excuse" for even more government. At least, the dumb people see it as an excuse.

I see it as a reason to get rid of the "laws" which caused the problem in the first place.

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Thursday, April 04, 2019

Sorry, Scott. "Climate change" IS a power grab.



On a recent podcast, Scott Adams almost had a meltdown when confronted by the evidence that many of his listeners believe "climate change" hysteria is all about a power grab by those promoting it. He says this means people have been hypnotized by the media they get their news from.

There's a flaw in his belief: I don't partake of the "news", and the "news" I accidentally get exposed to is from all over the statist map. I also don't know whether AGCC is real, whether it is a net negative, or anything else about it-- other than the fact it doesn't justify violations of life, liberty, or property by any government.

Yet I do know he's wrong to deny "climate change" is about a power grab, and here's why.

He makes the mistake of insisting that someone show him the one person who is seeking to consolidate his or her power using the excuse of "climate change" through something like the "new green deal". That's looking for the wrong thing.

Every "law" increases government power. This means any new "law"-- no matter what it's about-- is a power grab for the whole collective known as "government". Any individual who has hitched their wagon to that coercive collective is going to gain power with each new "law". Of course, any individual connected to government, who lusts for power, is going to advocate for something which will increase government power and will, therefore, increase the individual government cog's power. Maybe not to the point of that one person being the King of Earth, but enough to cause that person to advocate for the new "law". In the hope of gaining power. That's a power grab.

It's neither mysterious nor a conspiracy theory. It's human nature and the nature of the political means.

Added:
He came back the next day and said that obviously, all government is about power, so calling "climate change" a power grab is the same as literally saying nothing.
Nice backtrack... not.

I enjoy his stuff when he's honest, but he's such a flaming statist he can't even see the statism he floats around in.
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Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Personal emergency prep critical

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




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

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

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

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Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Gear post: My first EDC



How did I get into the habit of carrying "gear"? Well, let me tell you.

I've always carried a pocket knife, since first grade. Always. That's kind of the foundation to build upon. And I did.

Once I got to high school, I was reading a lot of books on wilderness survival. Most were full of fanciful advice and drawings that looked cool but didn't work in the real world. But they got me to thinking about having some items on my person at all times, "just in case" (...of being magically transported, without warning, into a primeval world?).

I was also spending a lot of time in the woods during this part of my life. A LOT of time, in all weather, at all times of day, even when I was supposed to be elsewhere. This is how I learned which things from the books wouldn't work in the real world: experience.

I began to want a survival kit on my belt. At least I attended kinderprison in an era when I could get away with carrying such things, even if I wasn't "officially supposed to".

I took a metal Band-Aid box (remember those?), sanded off the paint, cut some belt slots into the back so I could carry it on my belt, and filled it with items I had seen recommended in books and that I could imagine needing.

I packed in some plastic sheeting (for a solar still or other things), some cordage, a folding knife (besides the pocket knife I had in a pocket all the time) fishing line, and fishhooks. I put in a lighter, a candle stub, some cotton (for tinder), and other little odds and ends I had seen recommended in one place or another. The stuff was useful, for sure.

A lot of the items actually did come in handy out in the woods, although I soon realized skills were better than stuff. And the metal box was always getting dented and needing to be re-shaped so it would close again.

I've learned so much since then. But sometimes I am nostalgic for the simpler times when I felt I was ready for anything with my Band-Aid box full of "survival gear".

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Monday, April 01, 2019

Bad decisions



A couple of years ago, someone (a "Right" Statist) told me a young person I hadn't seen in years was going to become a cop. I didn't react as expected.

I was expected to be happy and supportive, but you know I wasn't.

I didn't say anything directly unpleasant, just expressed concern over someone I care about joining an aggressive gang of thugs. I was berated for my concern. I was told this person was looking to "make something" of herself-- doing something "for the good of society". All the normal statist selling points.

I said that even if a good person becomes a cop, they are no longer a good person once they put on that badge. They can't be. I said I cared about the person and her family too much to support such a tragic choice. I was scoffed at for saying it was a tragic choice.

And I haven't heard from the person who told me that since then. I don't even know if the young person went ahead with it or not. I don't want to know. The answer might make me sad.

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Sunday, March 31, 2019

Don't make politician your leader

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




It was once a common theme in science fiction humor for a flying saucer to land in front of witnesses, with Little Green Men coming out to say: "Take us to your leader".

If this happened to you, to whom would you take them?

Do you have a leader, and if so, who? Most people seem to think of a politician in this case-- perhaps a president-- but who in their right mind wants to follow a politician? Why would they?

It's similar to the mistake of looking to politicians as role models. No one who seeks political power is worthy to be your role model.

If you mistake a politician for a leader you will be led astray. You're better off on your own, even if you don't know for sure where you're going. Your own mistakes will not be as disastrous as the mistake of following a politician, even under the worst case scenario.

Politicians rarely lead. Their normal approach is to rule. If you doubt this, refuse to "follow" where a politician tells you to go. If you're allowed to take your own path without punishment, then perhaps the politician was also a leader. If, instead, threats of government violence result from your independence, you aren't dealing with a leader, but with a ruler.

You don't need a leader most of the time, if ever, and you never need to be ruled. You know your own life better than anyone else. Why follow someone who doesn't know where you need to go? Especially a person who probably can't even run their own life very well, as seems to always be the case with politicians, much less run everyone else's life successfully.

A leader will be on the front line when a threat is faced. Not hiding behind wave after wave of cannon fodder, nor sitting in an office getting reports and sending orders. If they send you into danger while they stay safe, facing nothing more deadly than the risk of losing the next election, they are not a leader.

I've never seen a politician I would want as my leader. You may feel differently. I wouldn't forbid you to follow whoever you like, nor force you to follow someone you didn't want to follow. I ask the same in return.

So if Little Green Men ever walk up and ask you to, "Take us to your leader", I hope you'll respond with, "That would be me. What can I do for you?"


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Pro-crime people



You can't be pro-police and anti-crime. If you say you are, you're lying.

I see this delusion all the time. People support the largest organized crime gang in existence-- the Blue Line Gang-- and pretend it's because they hate crime. That makes no sense whatsoever.

If you are pro-police you are pro-crime.

Sure, maybe you choose to be violated by the members of this crime gang instead of being violated by the members of a competing crime gang, but I don't see that as a plus.

Freelance gang members are generally seen as fair game during any attack. Shoot one and you might not be punished.
But shoot a Blue Line Gangster in self-defense and the power and violence of the government religion will be brought down on you.

People who support police are supporting crime. Much worse crime than that supported by any other crime supporters. When they claim otherwise they have zero credibility.

Speaking of the religion of government, have you seen this powerful video?

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Saturday, March 30, 2019

Water preps pay off



Just a little note to mention something interesting.

A bit over 2 weeks ago was the windstorm that ripped away my shingles and knocked out the power for 15.5 hours. Well, Thursday afternoon the whole town (as far as I know) lost water when a water main burst and flooded part of town.

The water was back on Friday morning, but we are under a 72-hour "boil order" now. As if anyone would need to warn me to boil the water... But, I don't need their water. I'll make it on my stored water until Monday (if that's still when the boil order ends), easily. In fact, I've barely dipped into what I have stored.

I did tape off the faucets (as in the picture above) as a reminder to not use the tap water. Habits are hard to buck!

Twice, in two weeks (plus one day) I've relied on my "preps" to smooth over a situation that would have been worse if I hadn't prepared. Even my parents had stored water due to my advice.

Fun times!

UPDATE:
I should know better than to ever listen to government about anything. The incompetence is a standard feature. And, honestly, I wasn't trusting them much.
Monday the 72-hour boil order came to an end. I checked around and no one had heard any different. Just now (Tuesday, 7:30 pm), almost 2 days later, I find out they had extended it until tomorrow at noon-- unless they decide something different by then. Good job keeping the people informed, morons.

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Environmental impacts



Who is the problem: the person who drops an apple core in his yard or the person who keeps a tire fire going behind his house?

Why should the person who drops an apple core be punished while the guy with the tire fire gets a pass? Or, if not a "pass", at least doesn't get held to the same standards as the other guy.

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Friday, March 29, 2019

You don't get to avoid consequences



There are consequences to EVERY choice.

This is something I've said more times than I can count. Even the right choice will have consequences, and they won't all be good ones.

Yet, so many times I see people justifying support for archation by pointing out the consequences of choosing the other path. As if I'm pretending there won't be consequences if only you do the right thing. You don't get to magically avoid consequences just because you do what's right. That would be nice, but it's not reality.

There are consequences to being a libertarian.
There are consequences for being a bank robber.
There are consequences for working for the IRS.

Consequences are utterly inescapable, and you can't know for certain what the consequences will be. You can't make your decision based on concrete knowledge of what consequences will come from your choice, because you can't have concrete knowledge of every consequence you'll face.

If you comply with a counterfeit "law", there will be consequences.
If, instead, you defy the counterfeit "law"... there will be consequences. In the long run, you can't know which consequences will be worse. It's dependent on so many factors-- including luck.

If you take this job, there will be consequences.
If you turn down the job there will be other consequences.

If you v*te, there will be consequences.
If you decline to participate in going through the motions of choosing (or rejecting) a particular master there will be consequences.

The best you can do, in my opinion, is to not do things that make you feel guilty-- which make you feel like you can't live with yourself-- and let the pieces fall where they may.

For me that means I choose to not archate and I don't support those who do. As consistently as possible. And then deal with the consequences as they arise.

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Thursday, March 28, 2019

No one owes "reparations"



Because it seems all the Left Statists who are wanting to be the next U.S. godfather of politics are jumping on the "reparations" bandwagon, I thought it might be a good time to repost something from last year.

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The odds are almost certain that some of my ancestors were enslaved by the ancestors of someone else sometime in the past. When do I get my "reparations" for this slavery?

Of course, the odds are just as good that some of my ancestors also enslaved the ancestors of someone else sometime in the past. I guess any "reparations" cancel out.

And I'm OK with that because I have never personally been enslaved (if you don't count the attempts to govern me) nor have I ever personally enslaved anyone. I'm against enslaving anyone for any reason... and always have been. Even the kinds of slavery the "majority" approves of.

Abolitionists like me carry no guilt over slavery which was committed in the past-- long before we were born-- and can't owe anyone for krimes (which were then legal and "moral", but never ethical) of the past which I didn't commit and don't support. It's ridiculous that anyone could believe otherwise.
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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Awareness often first step towards liberty

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




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

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

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

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



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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Gear post: Buck 501 and "odds and ends"

Click to enlarge

Finishing off the belt and its accessories.

To begin, there's my Buck 501 lockback knife. This is really the only piece in this post that counts as "gear".

My first wife gave this knife to me for my birthday sometime in the late 1980s. I've carried it pretty much daily since then. Only a year or so after I got it, a cow-orker borrowed it and tried to pry a button off a cash register and snapped off the tip. I forgave him but educated him on things NOT to do with a knife. I reshaped the blade and carried it in its damaged state until a couple of years ago. Then I sent it to Buck and got it repaired. Why didn't I do this sooner?

The knife is small, but I've found it the most useful knife size for most everyday tasks. I love my Buck 110, but it's clumsy for a lot of the things I do, so I always go back to this one.

This knife rides on my right side; the front-most belt accessory.

Of course, every good knife needs a good sheath. Unfortunately, all it gets is this sheath I made for it when it was new. I have re-stitched it a few times over the decades, but it is still holding up.

Then we have my belt buckle. It's hand-forged from iron in the mountainman style.
It's slightly over 2.5" in diameter. I either got it in the late 1980s or the early 1990s (the more I think about it, the less sure I am). It's not one of those things I think about much, it's just there and dependable.

I don't even remember where I got this buckle. Either at a mountainman rendezvous or through a buckskinner's catalog. It has outlasted at least 2 belts, and will probably outlast me.

Last, there's the belt keeper to control the end of the belt. I made it from the extra of the previous belt, back when I first got that one from Tandy Leather. It was still good so it got moved to this new belt a couple of years ago when the previous belt just got too stretched to keep wearing. (That belt is now a shoulder strap on a canvas bag I have.)

I suppose the belt should get an honorable mention, too. It's just a regular strap of unfinished vegetable tanned leather, 1.5" wide. Oiled occasionally (as are all the leather belt accessories).

And that finishes up what's around my hips. Next? Maybe what's in my vest.

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Monday, March 25, 2019

The root of the problems

When I have problems with my fellow humans it's invariably when I stray from libertarian principles.

This was true even before I knew anything of libertarian principles. Back before I first heard of "libertarians" (from a statist) as people who "liked drugs and hated taxes". And yes, that was the first thing I remember hearing someone say about these people called "libertarians.

When I did first hear of them I thought they sounded like crazy people. Not anyone I could ever relate to. Of course, I was probably around 15 or 16 years old, with a poorly functioning prefrontal cortex in my immature brain.

I had the same reaction 10 or so years later when I first became aware of modern mountainmen or "buckskinners".

Yet, I can still see how my problems with other humans back then were caused by me not respecting their rights and their self-ownership.

I've never been the most social person. But dealing with others has gotten a lot easier since then, even as I've become more aware of the violations committed by others. And when something does go awry it's usually easy to see where I failed myself by stepping outside what I have a right to do. I hate when that happens, but it's educational and I hope I learn from it.

Has your experience been similar?

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Sunday, March 24, 2019

Courts have institutionalized revenge

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




I'll never understand how the output of the government's court system passes for "justice". If you ever find justice in a courtroom it will be a fluke; an accident.

Justice doesn't require government, or even laws. Those only obstruct justice.

Justice is the attempt to return a victim to their pre-violation condition. Justice is made unnecessary by self-defense, which nips crime in the bud. Justice is mainly restitution, if self-defense fails.

The state is never the victim, and is never owed compensation from a wrongdoer; only the individual human victim or their survivors are owed.

The right to defend yourself against bad guys does not come from laws. Laws are not what creates a debt from an act of aggression or properly violation, and they don't create your right to restitution. You have those rights whether or not laws agree.

Punishment isn't justice. I understand the desire to see a person suffer when their actions have hurt you. I've been there. But that's not justice, it's revenge; justice's polar opposite. Government courts-- the misnamed "justice system"-- are founded on ritualized revenge.

Maybe you believe revenge is justified, and if so, remember this if you're ever on the other side. I don't believe revenge is justifiable, even though I have personally wanted revenge a few times in my life. I was wrong. If you embrace revenge through government courts, you are also wrong.

This doesn't mean people "just get away with it". Could you continue to treat someone like a good person, knowing they did wrong and never tried to make it right? Justice is your job. You can't pawn it off on anyone else.

You have the right to shun unrepentant violators. If not for government's laws you would be free to shun them to death-- to refuse to sell them food, housing, energy, clothing, or any other necessity-- and to convince others to join you. Those who intentionally harm people but won't take full responsibility aren't worthy of your consideration or help. Leave them to the wolves. You would be well within your rights, and their cold, lonely death would be an acceptable substitute for justice.

If, however, you choose to shun someone who made a tragic mistake, admitted it and tried to make things right, I would probably not join you. Mistakes are human. Without the intent to cause harm they can't be crimes and shouldn't be treated as crimes, even though they can hurt just as much.


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