Monday, April 30, 2012

"School is..."

"School is a place where children learn to be stupid."

Great observation. From this video.


Self deception

A "conservative" relative put the accompanying picture on her Facebook page.

What she, and the vast majority of Republican voters refuse to recognize is that a vote for Mitt Wrongney IS a vote for Obama.

If you feel you have to vote (which, trust me, you really don't have to) vote for the LP candidate or Ron Paul or write in a name.

Do not fool yourself into believing (yes, "believing", since there is no thinking involved) that Mitt Wrongney is any different than Obama. He isn't. Not one bit.

I realize the human capacity for self deception is boundless, but that doesn't mean I won't stop trying to deceive myself into hoping I can wake up a few people. I try because I care and because I see you sawing off your own arm with a rusty butter knife while it's your foot caught in the trap.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Obey the will of Landru (or not)

Do you believe The State doesn't believe it owns your kids- and you? Check out this news item about "A pregnant Las Cruces mother wanted for child abuse who took her kids from school without permission..."

She was wanted (they caught her according to the confusingly written/edited story) for "child abuse" because she, rather oddly, took her kids to a hospital claiming someone had possibly hurt them, and "Although there were no obvious injuries, police began an investigation...". Of course they did. So, perhaps her mental state wasn't quite right, and maybe her kids really were in some sort of danger... but child abuse?

Ah, finally, we get to the heart of the matter: "has been charged with child abuse for remove [sic] the girls from their elementary school without permission."

Yep. The State (through it perverted employees) believes it owns you and that you need permission from its minions before taking your kids out of one of its indoctrination centers.


*How's this for a bizarre coincidence: I wrote the title for this post yesterday and scheduled it to be posted automatically (which, for some reason hasn't been working this past week, but that's another story) and then, many hours later, I found this!


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Doing the right thing

Thinking back over previous posts, recent and ancient (in internet terms, anyway), has me considering something that I suppose I should make clear:

I want to do the right thing even when I don't like it. And even if others think I'm wrong.

That doesn't mean I always have, or always will. But I do think I'm getting better. And, from what I observe, the libertarian way is always more right than the coercive, authoritarian way. So that's good.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Judge "justifies" himself

Yesterday, on Debbie Harbeson's THE SUBURBAN VOLUNTARYIST blog, she posted a retired judge's response to her criticisms of his questionable (and I think, downright crooked) acts while in his position of coercive power.

One of the parts she quoted has the judge writing:

I suppose when you view the world from her “all government is evil” libertarian perspective, some of what I wrote in my response really does seem “hysterical” to her.

How could any person honestly see the government as anything other than evil? Unless he or she was so invested in the system that they had built a fortress of denial around themselves. Of course, the former judge we are discussing proved by his actions that he probably doesn't see anything "honestly". (You can read the entire story on Debbie's blog and judge the judge yourself.)

Sure, sometimes government might do something good, but it can only accomplish those good things through evil means. Coercion and theft negate any "good" that might come about as a result- and every single thing government at any level accomplishes is accomplished through coercion and theft. Without exception. The former judge is guilty of participating in this, and now of defending it. That shows his lack of character very clearly, whether he wants it to or not.

So, he can try to sound condescendingly "reasonable" by saying his critics are "hysterical", but he can't hide from the truth. He can justify the theft and coercion he precipitated, but they were still wrong. He can point to supposed "good outcomes" or "benefits" of the theft and coercion he facilitated, but the means to the end are important, and even his "ends" are wrong and a violation of liberty.

He denies the presence of the gun in the room because to see it would be to admit he is a thug. A member of a violent, aggressive gang which will (and does) murder anyone who resists submitting to the theft and coercion long enough.

He claims "...most of us can distinguish between reasonable exercises of governmental authority, like requiring us to stop at red lights versus the Gestapo coming for us in the middle of the night..." without realizing this is only a matter of degree.

Remember the success of cities which have dispensed with traffic signals, then consider what happens if a reaver tries to stop and fine you (rob you) for failure to stop at a red light (even in the dead of night with no other cars anywhere near). If you resist, the reaver will shoot you. The penalty is always death. It's just that few people refuse to comply up to that point- for obvious reasons. This is not "reasonable", and the government has no legitimate authority to do it. The same is true for almost anything the State claims the authority to do.

He thinks that the fact that "...all governments make people do some things and refrain from doing other things" justifies it. No, it just shows that all governments are thugs. "He does it too!"

If a government is making someone do something against their will- such as hand over some of their property or submit to gate rape- that government is doing evil. If a government is forcing people to refrain from doing something they have a fundamental human right to do- such as carry any kind of weapon wherever they go, in any manner they see fit, without asking permission from anyone, ever... or introducing any substance into their body they want- then that government is committing evil. This doesn't prove your government isn't a tyranny, ex-judge; quite the opposite. It shows it is impossible for any government to be anything other than a tyranny.

A couple of times he uses the word "libertarian" as if he is smugly insulting Debbie. It backfires. He shows what a statist scum he is by his failed attempt at an insult.

He goes on to quibble over the meaning of "fine" and "fee". Theft is theft, no matter what fancy words you call it by. The only way it isn't is if it is voluntary, or is restitution to be paid to an individual who has been harmed. There is no such individual here.

He tries very hard to explain why he did what he did- not that his scheme was more evil than the state police extortion scam; his was just no better. That you took people's property from them is the offence- who you gave the stolen property to is of no consequence.

He drones on about all the good gestapo programs the stolen money was used to finance, such as the irredeemably stupid and evil war on (some) drugs. And how he hopes "the majority of citizens who accept the validity of traffic laws and consequences for breaking them" will approve of his dispensing of the fruits of theft in a way that keeps the loot at home- well, in a local kleptocracy's treasury, anyway.

How I wish... But he will never get it. He is too deeply invested and wants, desperately, to believe he isn't a bad guy. He is lying to himself first, and to everyone who listens to him second. What a waste.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Being nice

There is right, there is "justified", and there is nice.

And by "right", I mean both contexts.

If you have a right to do something, no one needs to give you permission to do it. It may not make other people happy, and may seem "selfish", but as long as you are not attacking, stealing, or trespassing, other people's opinions only matter if you let them.

Then, if something is the right thing to do, you should do it because to do otherwise is probably not quite as good a choice; being either wrong or neutral.

Sometimes things aren't right, but are understandable; human nature, biology, and physiology being what it is. These are the things I sometimes categorize as "justified". This category is wishy-washy and depends a lot on personal values and opinions, created over a lifetime of experiences.

Then there are things that you do, or avoid doing, because you are considerate of someone else's preferences. You are being nice. You may have a right to do something, but you don't do it to be "nice". Or, something may be "justified" but you are able to get past your baser instincts and be "nice". Or you may have no obligation to do something at all, but you go out of your way to be nice and do it anyway.

"Nice" is where I wish we could all exist at all times.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Landfills bear future treasures

Landfills bear future treasures

(My Clovis News Journal column for March 23, 2012. I figured I upset the "right" last week, so this week it was the "left's" turn.)

I picked up a magazine the other day and suddenly a flurry of those familiar and annoying advertising cards fluttered to the floor. As I was picking them up to toss them in the trash, I noticed one said something to the effect that I should read it on my way to the recycling bin. How optimistic. I confess: I rarely recycle.

When recycling becomes viable, in other words when the economics of recycling make sense, no one will have to make laws ordering people to do it. It will happen spontaneously. That's why a lot of people recycle aluminum cans without being forced to do so. Yet, aluminum is only marginally recyclable; recycling cans is just about a break-even proposition. The effort that goes into collecting the cans, compared to the money you get when you cash them in, is only worth it to a minority of people. The payoff just isn't great enough yet.

But I have good news. There's no reason to feel guilty if you are one of us whose time is better spent on things other than sorting your trash. Sending things you no longer want to the landfill is not being wasteful at all. In fact, you are helping to amass this future wealth in one easily accessible location. It's like you are burying treasure. Want to ensure that your descendants, somewhere down the line, are rich? Buy up old landfills. When the recycling technology advances to the point where recycling makes economic sense, those places will be mined for the abundant resources they contain just below the surface.

You're welcome.

The only possible flaw in that plan is The State. It is increasingly likely that government will declare old landfills to be a dangerous hazard and take ownership of them all, "for our own good" of course, and to keep the vast riches therein for itself. Unfortunately, you can say the same about any investment for the future. It has even happened in the past with gold.

Maybe the safer bet is to work to find ways to make recycling profitable. Develop recycling technology and design the methods and machines that will be used to mine to old landfills and collect, sort, and process the next generation of raw materials. In that way, no matter who owns the landfills when that happens, you'll win.


What is "public school"?

"Public school"-
A misnomer for a prison established by a government to punish kids for the crime of interfering with their parents' ability to work sufficient hours to pay "taxes", some of which are used to finance the "public school". Sometimes education happens by accident in these prisons but generally the kids learn less intellectual information while imprisoned therein than they would have otherwise, and what they do learn is usually of a lower quality and doesn't make a lasting impression. They do, however, learn about being bullied (by fellow prisoners as well as by the "authorities" who herd them) which they would probably never get the chance to learn outside this system.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Aretae's Libertarian Omnibus Post

I think, or hope, I've said most of these things in one way or another over the years, but Aretae has said them all together, now. And he sounds more scholarly while doing it. Go. Read.


I am Trayvon; I am also Zimmerman. Sorta.

I guess one reason I keep getting scolded for my views on the Zimmerman/Martin incident is that I can see myself as either man, in a superficially similar situation. I can put myself in either man's shoes.

I'm guessing from the reactions that most people can picture themselves walking along, minding their own business and being followed and cornered by a gun-wielding, testosterone-crazed enforcer thug. And then being shot in the ensuing encounter. Yeah, I can picture myself in that situation without much trouble at all.

However, I can also picture myself getting into "legal" trouble (and being crucified by pundits everywhere) for confronting a trespasser (not on my property, mind you, but not on his own property, either) whom I suspect might be up to no good; feeling threatened enough by his demeanor and attitude when I confront him that the fact he isn't carrying a gun doesn't mean much and at some point I feel I have to shoot him to protect myself, and doing so.

And this is just me, as I am right now, without any (recognized) authoritarian baggage or beliefs.

Has no one besides me ever felt threatened by a person who wasn't pointing a gun at them at that moment? Before guns were invented, were people- bad guys and good, alike- always "unarmed"?

Does no one else see things this way at all? Can I really be that out of step with the rest of my species? If so, I apologize for poking the possum.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

"Don't Tread on Me" or "Bite My Shiny Metal ..."

I saw an episode of Futurama recently where Bender (the above-illustrated robot) time-traveled back to the era of the first American revolution and altered history by doing something off-screen that ended up replacing the original Gadsden "
Don't tread on me" flag with the one above. The flag (before and after) was seen hanging from the wall in the presidents' Head Museum.

I loved the "new" design, because that's really what the original flag meant, even if the language was more polite. (In the show there were a lot of jokes based on the "s" looking like an "f" in notes that were sent.)

So, I wanted to share it with you.

(I tried to find the specific image of the flag from the show to share, but couldn't, so I made this one myself with a fair representation of the Bender image that was on the flag swiped from the internet. In the original he was holding the cigar and there was no beer bottle. This might be even better. So, yeah, that means I am probably guilty of violating at least one person's IP rights, but if someone complains I will immediately remove the image. I hope they understand I only present this out of a deep appreciation of the humor I found in the flag presented on that episode and the awesome artwork they, and the artist who drew the Bender I used, created.)


Saturday, April 21, 2012


One very miserable person I know seems to give me some insight into a couple of traits that bring misery.

For one thing, she places all her expectations on others instead of taking responsibility for herself.

Instead of taking initiative, she complains bitterly that "the other person" didn't do what she expected them to do. Never mind that it was never the other person's responsibility, and often these expectations were unspoken.

And, since she knows how everyone else should live, and they rarely live "up" to her expectations, she is not only miserable about other people not carrying the weight of her responsibilities (in ways that disappoint her and add to the things she would have to do if they were to get done), but is also miserable about things that have no bearing on her life at all. Misery by proxy. Her entire existence seems wrapped up in being miserable and downright hateful because other people don't do as she expected them to do.

As I was once told by one of her relatives "Anger makes her happy". A rather "New Agey" (and therefore questionable) video I recently watched pointed out that some people are addicted to negative emotions and need to get that fix no matter what.

It illuminates a trap I now, being aware of it, strive to avoid. Amazing how much liberty you can gain when you let other people live their own lives, and when you take responsibility for the things that matter to you.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Here I am, Nobel Prize Committee (Physics)

My daughter just woke me up because she couldn't find her Pooh Bear and startled me (read "scared me out of my wits") enough that I can't go back to sleep. Partially because I can't silence my noisy thoughts.

One of the various things running through my head when I awoke might be a way to explain an aspect of quantum entanglement. (Yes, these things do run through my mind at all hours.) In that case, in order to secure my status as a contender for the Nobel Prize in Physics, I'll post my idea here. (I apologize to my regular readers as this will probably not interest any of you in the slightest.)

In order to visualize this, let's visit Flatland in order to deal with this in a way that gets rid of a complicating dimension.

Perhaps entangled particles are actually two points on a loop (which was created when the particles were entangled). This loop would need to be rigid in such a way that when you twist one particle by measuring the spin (or other entangled property), the other is instantly twisted as well. (Think of those flexible screw drivers.)

The loop would need to have other properties as well.

It would have to either be able to be pinched and stretched*, so that the two points- the particles- could go from being proximate, to being a very great distance apart --- OR-the loop would need to be able to grow exponentially while maintaining its circular geometry. Or, perhaps the loop doesn't actually grow, but is passing perpendicularly through the plane of Flatland so that the points of its intersection move apart. This would mean that the loop would need to be, for all practical purposes, infinitely large since particles don't seem to slow and eventually reverse their paths.

(*If the loop were flexible enough to be pinched and stretched, might there be a case of more than two particles being entangled? The loop might "loop" around enough to pass through the plane of Flatland 2, 4, 6, or more times, which could be experimentally checked.)

Now, to visualize this idea in our Universe, return the dimension we lost by going to Flatland, and view the particles (or "strings") as "points" along a higher-dimensional "loop" where it passes through our spatial dimensions and you should be able to visualize what I am thinking.

One problem I see with this idea is that a circular loop would seem to dictate that the entangled particles should move apart very rapidly at first as the loop passed through our dimension, then slow as the sides of the loop became more and more "parallel" to one another and perpendicular to the "plane" of the Universe they passed through. This could also indicate I have the geometry wrong even if the concept is basically sound.

I believe experiments could be designed to test some of the characteristics of this hypothetical loop in order to falsify the idea. But I am not the person to do the math. I'm willing to share the Nobel Prize with someone who can work out the math- and hey, if a mass-murdering puppetician like Obama can get a "peace prize", a simple mountainman like me should be a serious contender for a prize in physics. I'll await my call.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Instant Improvement. Really!

I understand pessimism, discouragement, and depression. Only too well.

Both in my personal life and in trying to spread the desire for liberty beyond my own brain.

With liberty, if you allow The State to dictate your definition of "success", pessimism seems inevitable. Even if you were 90% to your goal, the enemies of liberty wouldn't acknowledge it, and if you listen to them you'd think you are no closer than when you first began.

You don't have to change the whole world- you only have to change yourself- and the way you deal with the world. Your life will improve at that moment and any change beyond yourself will just be icing on the cake. What are you waiting for?

Oh, and "4/19!"

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"That's just not the way things work..."

In a brief discussion with a relative, I distilled, once again, my "philosophy" of live and let live.

Her reply was that it would be nice, but no one else would ever let me do that. "That's just not the way things work..."

My opinion is that if individuals like me don't leave other people alone (as in not using coercion against them, whether personally, or "collectively" through The State) to do as they wish, as long as they aren't stealing or attacking, why should we expect them to leave us alone? It has to start somewhere.

Maybe that's not how the world is now. Maybe it will never be like that. However, I can still make my own life better- right here right now- by doing the right thing even if others don't. I make my stand on the principles of voluntaryism/anarchism/libertarianism. However that turns out, it is my choice to stand for your liberty, and thereby enhance my own.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Border patrol waste of taxes

Border patrol waste of taxes (as is everything else government does... and since "taxation" is theft...)

(My Clovis News Journal column for March 16, 2012)

I am not a believer in immigration "laws" or national borders. I know that's a seriously radical admission, especially in these "border states". Even more, I resent the Border Patrol vehicles I sometimes see around the area. They are not "keeping me safe", but are instead wasting tax money and bolstering the emerging US police state.

The only real borders are private property lines. If you own property and choose to forbid anyone access to it, for any reason, that is your business. But for you to own property and have someone else, or some government, tell you that you can't allow access to whomever you so choose is a violation of your property rights.

I don't care where someone was born or what paperwork and/or permission he has (or lacks). I only care whether he is stealing or attacking. Because of that, I have less in common with politicians, bureaucrats, and enforcers than I do some poor guy from another country who is only trying to find a better life for himself and his family. I recognize who the real problem is.

I've heard all the admonitions about how migration without government permission is wrong because it's illegal. I don't buy it. I've listened to all the ways the independent migrants, usually called "illegal immigrants", supposedly hurt America. The reality is that most of those issues are issues only because of socialism. Eliminate all welfare and eliminate all "laws" against self defense (including, of course, defense of your property) and you would eliminate the incentive for bad guys to immigrate. The good migrants who are coming here in order to help themselves honestly, and who end up helping the local economy as a consequence, will still come. It's a win-win situation.

Just like gun laws only disarm those who are not inclined to attack and rob, immigration laws make "legal" migration difficult and only succeed in weeding out the good people who would be willing to jump through all the ridiculous hoops and years of red tape, but for whatever reason, can't. A lot of good people come to the conclusion that it is worth the risk of getting caught to make the attempt even without permission. I accept them with a hearty "Welcome home!". Those determined to be bad guys will not be deterred by your prohibitions. They will always find a way- at least until the US government's socialist policies crash the economy and make America a less attractive destination, as is already happening.


"Good" statists

Continuation of a stream of thought...

You could be a pure "conservative" and oppose abortion, hate homosexuality, love God and guns, idealize tradition, treat other "races" with suspicion, put Reagan on a pedestal, and so forth*- or be a pure "liberal" and hate guns, be a tree-hugging environmentalist, think other "races" and genders need a helping hand, despise Big Business and all "Dead White Men", idolize marijuana, wear Che T-shirts, think holding hands and singing will solve everything, and all the other "progressive" things*- yet as long as you don't threaten or use coercion, individually or as a "collective", to get your way, you are acting in a "libertarian" fashion.

You could also be a self-identified libertarian while holding some of those other positions while admitting that using force to impose your preferences would be wrong. It matters less what your beliefs and preferences are than how you work to get those adopted by the rest of the world.

Just don't let your preferences trick you into believing that initiating force in order to get what you want is ever right and you'll be welcome at my fireside any time.


*Yes, I am intentionally being dramatic about both positions, trying to see them as the "other side" sees them.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Bad "libertarians"

Could a thief or an aggressor be a "libertarian"?

It seems to me he could, in a tragic, failed sort of way.

Just because you recognize the truth of the Zero Aggression Principle doesn't mean you'd necessarily follow it. Knowing it is wrong to steal doesn't mean you wouldn't steal. You might try to justify your deeds, but why justify what you believe to be right?

Still, I'd say actions speak louder than words, but I can see how a person who knows the right thing might not live up to the principles.

Maybe this accounts for some of those "former libertarians" I have heard of. They know the right thing to do, but can't live up to it so they decide to walk away and be "former". I'll bet, deep inside, they still know what is right, and know they aren't there anymore, even as they pretend they don't believe the same as they once did.

On the other hand.... to be continued tomorrow...


Saturday, April 14, 2012

My "calling"?

I think I would really enjoy earning my money as an arbitrator in a free society.

I look at situations where a dispute has occurred as a puzzle. It is fun to work out "the right thing" based upon the ZAP and other libertarian principles.

It kind of fits in with my mom's assessment that I should have been a lawyer, while recognizing the utter contempt I have for "the law" and courts. And this respects the voluntary nature of real justice and I love the fact that no one would be robbed to pay my fee.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Profanity in the Park- Liberty Lines 4-12-2012

(Published in the State Line Tribune 4-12-2012)

Freedom, as I understand it, is doing whatever you want to do. Liberty, on the other hand, is the freedom to do those things you have a right to do. However, just because you have a right to do something it doesn't mean that it's the best thing to do in every situation. Liberty always comes with responsibility

For example, those local residents who play basketball at the Farwell park and the elementary school playground have the right to use the childish language- mostly four-letter words- that is usually referred to as "profanity", but when small kids are around it is a poor decision.

I am not shocked by your words, nor am I impressed that you know them. I knew most of them when I was in fourth grade, and I was probably a slow learner. However I resent that you have so little respect for my young daughter that you can't play a simple game without screaming those words, and describing in graphic terms what you suggest your opponents do, at the top of your lungs, with each and every play. You foul the air just like you litter the ground with all the empty "sports drink" bottles that you leave behind. You are responsible for your deeds whether you accept it or not.

I understand why some misguided people try to have laws passed to use the brute force of government to punish those who loudly and indiscriminately fail to grow up in the language they use and in their actions. Yet I will continue to despise and oppose any such attempts to regulate your speech. As I say, you have a right to say whatever you want, but when you misuse that right, and fail to accept responsibility, others get the bright idea to control you by "law", and some of them aren't nearly as concerned about your rights as I am. You give the nannies among us an excuse to try to violate everyone's liberty with your boorish behavior. Please grow up.

I realize this plea will not reach those I am addressing. The impression I get from your juvenile choice of language is that you probably don't spend much time reading anything as deep as a newspaper- and it makes me doubt anyone in your life cares enough to mention this to you. Prove me wrong.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Man Alive, that was interesting!

I just read an online book that I really enjoyed. I found it over at Sunni's blog .

It is called "Man Alive! A Survival Manual for the Human Mind" by Greg Swann.

Now, you could argue that this is just a libertarian version of "The Secret" or something, but I don't think so. There's no "magic" or mystical thinking involved- just thinking. And acting on those thoughts.

I really dislike reading books on the computer, but on Sunni's recommendation I did it anyway. And I got a lot out of it. If you feel like reading it, I think you'll be glad you did.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Right, wrong differ from legality

Right, wrong differ from legality

(My Clovis News Journal column for March 9, 2012.)

One common, and very amusing, retort I encounter whenever I point out that not all "laws" are equally moral or ethical, is "It's the LAW; you have to obey whether you agree or not". Usually that is followed by some personal insults and innuendo.

It is a pathetic excuse for an argument. The first thing bad government (but I repeat myself) does is make its own abuses "legal". It fools those who just want to do the right thing into taking the side of the bad guys.

Remember that there is right and there is wrong, and legality has less to do with rightness with each passing day. Suppose history repeats itself and suddenly a segment of the population- in the past it has been Jews and runaway slaves- is forced into hiding in order to survive. The law also demands you report any of those in hiding or you become a criminal just like they are. Would you obey the law? Would you ridicule and report those who refused to obey the law? It would, after all, be "The Law".

If you would, I pity you. I still will not obey laws that violate the basic, inborn natural human rights of others, even people I don't particularly like. My conscience is more valuable than is the feeling of being a "good citizen" by doing the bidding of those who believe they have the authority to rule.

Plus, there is a glaring double standard. We are expected to obey everything government imposes upon us, yet government employees conveniently forget to obey the laws that bind them. And, judging from recent history, they can't generally be held accountable.

Legally, as amendments, the Bill of Rights supersedes anything in the body of the Constitution. Where the two clash, the Bill of Rights is the supreme law of the land. That means every gun "law", no matter how minor, is illegal, and enforcing it is a very serious crime. Yet, how many enforcers end up in jail for enforcing gun regulations and prohibitions?

It also means that the constitutional mandate for government employees to stay out of your home and papers (and today, your car, computer, and phone records) except in severely limited circumstances is rock solid. Any "fishing expedition"-type searches are illegal. Contrary to the clear intent of the law, warrants are rubber-stamped with no specific criteria, usually to enforce laws that the Constitution clearly prohibits.

In the coming years, as things average citizens care about become just as illegal as those things they don't, I will be amused to see the shift in attitudes, and will be thinking "Welcome to the party, pal".


Tax addicts and embracing "the law"

A recent post dealt with an evil use of "child support". Here is another example I just became aware of.

Someone else I know had a baby a couple of years ago. The couple "coupled" but never were a "real" couple, as far as I know. And both were rather young by this society's standards (although I don't always agree with those standards). Anyway, a "surprise" teen pregnancy resulted to the horror of all involved. With the guidance of the soon-to-be grandparents, welfare was applied for and received. Yes, a rather appalling lack of responsibility all around.

The baby and mom have always lived with the mom's parents, and there is no plan to change that. They have not made any demands of the father at all. He is free to come see his young son, or to even take him places, at almost any time. The father is rather wishy-washy. He comes to see the kid when it is convenient and makes plans to come visit but doesn't bother to show up at the arranged time, or even bother to call to cancel, fairly often. His child doesn't even really understand who this guy is.

And now he is demanding- by force of The State- "fair access" to the kid, "child support" payments from the young mother (or, more likely, from her parents), and that the kid be given his last name.

If he prevails in his lawsuit, this is just another illustration that "child support" is a disgusting scam. That he could even get a lawyer to draft such a demand shows that something is dreadfully wrong with the "system".


Monday, April 09, 2012

Do I harbor what I hate?

Sometimes I wonder if I have authoritarian tendencies that I keep hidden from myself.

I know someone who is a liar, who claims she hates liars, and who is a very sneaky person, but says she hates sneakiness.

I hate authoritarianism, so does that mean I really have the urge to order everyone around or work for the TSA? Goodness, I hope not!

I'm opinionated. If it comes up I do not hide my thoughts or attitudes. However, it usually doesn't become an issue until someone tries to force me to do things their way. As long as they don't do that I don't try to meddle in their business. (I have been accused of "forcing" someone to put up with me doing what I want to do, which seems absurd when you think about it.)


Saturday, April 07, 2012

Give me MORE climate change!

But I want "Libertogenic Global Political Climate Change".

I want understanding and hunger for liberty to spread like kudzu. I want it to be partially my fault. I want to increase my "Liberty Footprint" by giving off more than my fair share. And I want it to be irreversible.


Thursday, April 05, 2012

Rules of the game

I get together on an irregular basis to play cards with some of my relatives. Some of us (not me, of course) have trouble remembering the rules of Polish Poker and this brings many opportunities for hilarity.

Which makes me think about rules.

The common erroneous notion is that anarchists such as myself are opposed to rules in general. That's just silly. I am opposed to Rulers and arbitrary rules.

It is as if, during the course of a card game, someone keeps switching out the cards we are using for cards of some other type. Old Maid cards, perhaps. And keeps changing the rules in such a way that they benefit- win- at everyone else's expense. In other words, they rig the game.

Only a fool would keep playing under such conditions. But, just keep on voting and begging for your liberty if that's what you think is best.


Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Making Buckskin

Over the years I have had a few people ask me about making braintan buckskin. I figured I may as well post my "standard response" here. It's not exactly "libertarian" I suppose, but it can be a part of living free.

First of all, are you wanting buckskin or a hair-on hide? Deer hair is brittle and will always shed BAD, and it is very hard work to get a soft hair-on skin using natural methods. I will explain the buckskin method, but if you want hair-on, you just eliminate the hair removal step, and (contrary to what you might imagine) add a few more hours of very hard work to the "braining" and drying process.

Either way, pull the hide off without using a knife if at all possible. If you DO need to use a knife, make sure it doesn't score the skin at all. NO SALT! Take out the brain and save it. If you can buy any pork or beef brains anywhere, get a few extra pounds. (Save the strips of sinew that are on either side of the backbone, too, if you want thread.)

When the skin is off the animal you need to "flesh" it. Without cutting into the skin at all, scrape off all of the meat, tallow, fat, and membrane. (I always save the tallow and make various good stuff with it) A 90 degree angle edge on a steel bar is better than a knife blade if you have a rounded surface (like a smooth log) to lay the skin over. And then you can grip it on both ends to really push it down the skin. It's a very good way to build arm muscle.

After the flesh side is completely clean of all tissue and membrane you need to stretch the skin in a frame to let it dry. You need to be able to get to both sides, so don't just nail it to a wall.

Once the skin is completely dried, you need to use a sharp blade to scrape off all the hair. A rounded blade that is sharp and that has a handle perpendicular to the edge helps. I made my own with a big leg bone and a plane blade that I ground off round.

This is the messy, miserable part of the process. The hair goes everywhere and clings to everything.

Scrape the hair and the epidermis away. Be careful because it is very easy to pop through the skin since it is parchment (and paper-thin) at this point. After all the hair is removed use a medium sandpaper (or sandstone rocks) to sand both sides of the skin until it is nice and fuzzy (on a small scale anyway).

(If you are not in a hurry, the stretched, dried skins can be taken out of the frames and kept indefinitely, as long as you protect then from critters and moisture. I used to get a bunch of hides ready and then wait for nicer weather for the finishing steps, but yellowjackets LOVE the brain solution and doing the braining in winter avoids that complication.)

Then, once you have sanded the skin, take the skin out of the frame and hose it down to make it wet and flexible again.

Now, boil the brains in a little water until they go from pink to pinkish-gray and smell "cooked" ( hate this smell). Put the cooked brain -or two (more is better)- in a couple of gallons in a 5 gallon bucket. Make sure it is not hot or it will cook the skin. Lukewarm is OK. Stick the skin in the solution and get it very saturated. Five minutes or so, with you stirring it around in the solution, should be good.

Take the skin out and wring it out. Put it back in the solution, saturate, then wring it out again. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. The biggest mistake I used to make was not repeating this step enough. I have never done it too much but have not "brained" it enough lots of times. I would put it in the brain solution and wring it out at least 5 or 6 times, and 10 or 12 would be better.

Now, you can either put the skin back in the frame, or you can work it by hand. Either way you want to pull, stretch, twist, tug and otherwise abuse the skin until it is dry. Do not stop until it is totally dry or you will have hard spots in the hide. You will notice it getting whiter as it dries and stretches, and it will start to fluff up. Once it is dry, it should feel like thick, luxurious flannel, and be an off-white color.

Now comes the smoking. This gives it its color, its moth-proofing, and its ability to not be destroyed by water. Find rotten "punky" wood. It should be crumbly. It doesn't matter if it is a little damp.

Sew or staple the skin into a bag shape. You can put two skins together to save time and trouble. Just try to make sure there are no dead spaces where smoke can't go, and stitch any holes closed. For safety's sake, I'd also sew a sleeve of cloth onto the mouth of the skin bag so that the skins will be farther from the fire while smoking.

You will need to make a small fire and let it burn down to coals. If you can make it somewhere that you can have a small chimney or pipe, and something above it to hang the skins from, it is easier. When the fire has burned down to coals, hang the skin bag over the coals, trying to seal around the fire, with the cloth bag or the edge of your skin bag, so that you can direct the smoke up into the bag and force it to go through the skin.

Then toss on the punky wood and seal every thing up, but keep an eye to make sure the fire doesn't flame up again. You want smoke, not flame. (if it does flame, just pull the bag off of the fire until the flame dies). Let it smoke until you see brown color soaking through the skin. Remember that any spot where you didn't get all the membrane or epidermis off will not get good smoke penetration as fast as the rest. And, anywhere the skin bag touches itself will also not be getting enough smoke, so keep adjusting as it smokes. The browner you let it get, the better the color will last. (Most of my stuff has lost most of its color now, although it still has the protective qualities) Then, turn the bag inside out and smoke the other side in the same way for a while. And you are finished. If you saved the sinew from alongside the deer's spine you even have your thread to use to make some nice things.

If you have any questions about things that didn't seem clear, make a comment and I'll try to answer them and insert the clarifications in the body of the post.


Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Libertarianism offers contentment

Libertarianism offers contentment

(My Clovis News Journal column for March 2, 2012)

Life. Family. Friends. Those are things that really matter. At least, to me. I hope those are the things that really matter to you, too, regardless of where you might place yourself on the political grid, or the antiquated (and never very accurate) "left/right" political spectrum.

The reason I embraced libertarianism, after I discovered there was a name for the way I had always pretty much believed anyway, was that it enriches life's important things more than the other political ideologies do.

For years, from a position of ignorance due to not taking the time to study and think, I held on to some "yes, buts"- where choosing to respect the liberty of the individual frightened or confused me.

Then I began to discover that the few reservations I managed to excuse crumbled when exposed to experience, rational thought, and the ethical treatment of others as my equal where rights were concerned. Live and let live. Instead of uncertainty and confusion, I was surprised to find contentment.

It made relationships easier, even when there were philosophical disagreements. No one is ultimately responsible for the life and choices of another, even though you may want to help. Most people have enough difficulties running their own life, and can't handle the added burden of running someone else's life, too. Anything more than friendly advice, and an explanation of any boundaries involved, is harmful to any relationship. My family and friends, and yours, can make the right decisions for themselves and advice should never be presented as an order.

I see politics as an attempt to get along with people you don't like. Yet, as long as other people don't believe they have the right or authority to take your property, your labor, or your volition from you without your consent, there really isn't much of a reason to dislike them. Only the twisted "mainstream" notion of politics makes this barbarous behavior look legitimate.

Enjoy your life, family, and friends, and trust them to run their own lives. Give that same trust to those you don't know; even those you believe you have nothing in common with. As long as you point out, and defend, your boundaries with effective determination from all usurpers, you should get along fine. Then you have more time and energy for the important things.


Sunday, April 01, 2012

April 1st

I don't really care much for April Fools Day pranks. Most are rather cruel, at least emotionally. Tends to make me not believe anything I hear throughout the entire day. Obama and his military and enforcers could finally start the roundup and I probably wouldn't heed any warnings, believing them to be pranks. "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" comes to mind.

Then, on the other hand, I heard someone refer to today as "Atheist's Day". Being one, I'm not sure whether I should feel honored to have a day (kind of like April 19th- "Patriot's Day"), or whether it should be insulting that something which should be so normal needs a "day".

And, I don't know if it was designated by atheists or by non-atheists as a way to associate "All Fools' Day" with atheism. And I'm not concerned enough either way to look it up.

So, I'm going outside to grub around in the dirt and do other Kentish things. Later...