Thursday, December 12, 2019

Right-of-way and (sometimes) guns

I just can't stop kicking this hornet's nest, even though I find the experience intensely unpleasant, because I think it's important.

Of the libertarians I know and respect with whom I have discussed this, half say it's obvious I'm right while the other half are adamant that it's obvious I'm wrong. Both "sides" have explained their positions to me, either in private or in the comments on my blog, explaining why it's so plain that the other "side" is wrong on this matter. It's clear this isn't as obvious or cut-and-dried as either side seems to be positive it is.

Obviously, there is a blind spot, and I fully admit it may be mine. However, I'll try to explain why I don't believe it is. A primary part of that is because, regardless of how those who disagree frame my position, it's not about guns. It never was, nor have I ever claimed it was-- unless it was in the heat of the moment and I misspoke. It's just that guns are where the subject comes to a head.

If right-of-way is a legitimate concept, and I see no good arguments against it (and I have looked), there can't be anything you are arbitrarily forbidden to have on your person as you pass-- as long as it stays on your person and causes no harm nor any credible threat of harm. To forbid any specific object (including a gun) under these conditions is completely arbitrary and, I believe, wrong.

Supposing you have to cross someone's property, and-- due to right-of-way-- they grudgingly allow you to do so, are you then obligated to cross naked if they post a "no clothing" or a "no personal property allowed" sign? What if the weather would kill you if you were naked but it was essential for you to cross now instead of waiting until the weather is perfect?

If you are only allowed to take your bare body and nothing else-- no suitcase with clothes to put on once you get someplace where your humanity isn't violated, and not even anything stashed in either of "nature's pockets" (because that would be concealed carry)-- you'll never be able to take anything to or from your house. No food, no raw materials, nothing. You can't engage in trade. You are a prisoner and a slave to the other property owner.

Probably too hypothetical, but hypotheticals can still expose flaws in reasoning even if you say the situation is highly improbable.

So, my position is not just about guns-- even though that's where some people seem to believe the exceptions lie so that's where they focus their criticisms.

Why would clothes be different than anything else you need to carry? A gun is only "different" than clothes because of superstition. It is personal property which is necessary for survival in specific circumstances-- just like clothing. "But a gun can be used as a weapon!" So? I could strangle a person with a sock if I were a thug with that sort of training or experience.

You might say "You don't need a gun the same way you need clothing".
Well, you don't need clothing if the temperature and humidity are perfect, there's no chance of sunburn (since even wearing sunblock could be forbidden by the property owner you're dependent upon if he specifies "nothing but YOU") and if the weather were incapable of changing. But even in this case of absolutely perfect weather with zero chance of it changing, would such a requirement be reasonable or legitimate? Remember, you are surrounded by this other person's real estate-- "his property, his rules". His rules could (and probably would) kill you.

Clothes wouldn't be necessary in a climate-controlled world.
A gun wouldn't be necessary in a world without aggression.

We don't live in either of those imaginary worlds.

I understand trying to respect property rights, but there are some instances where it is anti-liberty and unworkable in the real world to do so in this way, to the exclusion of everything else.

Property rights are essential... but not sufficient. There's more to rights than property rights. If you can be held captive on your property by someone else's property rights, then there is no liberty.

It seems that right-of-way solves that. If you let it.

And, I really do believe it comes down to a superstitious belief-- a superstition created by decades of statist brainwashing-- that a gun is somehow fundamentally different from any other piece of property. It's plainly not.

Or, is a gun somehow the only legitimate (and/or acceptable) exception to right-of-way? If so, why, and how does that work?

Is this entire discussion about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

And, again, if I invite you to my property, I will NEVER ask you to leave your rights at my property line. Never. I can't even imagine being so twisted. If I don't trust you with all your rights intact, I don't trust you and have no business inviting you onto my property at all. It's all about actions. As long as you don't steal, damage, attack, or threaten to do any of those things, you're welcome here.

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Offering you the gift of liberty

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for December 11, 2019)

There's one Christmas gift I'd love to give you: the gift of liberty. The freedom to do everything you have a right to do. It's a gift bigger than you can imagine.

Alas, it's not possible to give anyone liberty. In order for you to have liberty, you've got to make it for yourself, with your own hands, and put it to daily the rest...

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Tuesday, December 10, 2019


Once upon a time, I believed that if your property ended up being surrounded by the property of others and they refused to let you cross their property to get to and from your property, it was "just too bad". You might starve but you had no right to complain if they wouldn't allow you to cross-- it was their property, after all. Your death was just the price of protecting their property rights.

Then someone reminded me of the concept of right-of-way.

It was something I hadn't considered before.

Now, obviously, I don't believe rights are (or can be) granted by courts or government. Either they exist, or they don't. I don't believe rights obligate anyone to do anything beyond not violating the life, liberty, or property of others.

Does right-of-way violate the property rights of some to prevent them from violating the life and liberty and property rights of another? Maybe.

Right-of-way has been recognized as a human right for centuries. That doesn't necessarily mean it really is a natural human right, though.

The purpose behind right-of-way seems to be to prevent someone from claiming property rights as justification to cause harm to the life, liberty, and property of someone else. To keep "property rights" from being used as a weapon to violate the property rights-- and more-- of others.

Perhaps the property rights of one can't outweigh the life, liberty, AND property rights (combined) of another.

Having right-of-way doesn't include the right to steal, vandalize, litter, homestead, or otherwise damage the property while you are passing through. "Leave nothing but footprints; take nothing but pictures" doesn't begin to go far enough when talking about exercising right-of-way. Keep your hands in your pockets and move along. Leave no footprints if it can be avoided, and take no pictures.

Those who believe property rights give a person the right to do anything they want to other people on their own property, claiming property rights as the justification, would probably disagree and discount the idea of right-of-way, or maybe place some arbitrary conditions beyond those rational ones I've pointed out.

Right-of-way makes ethical sense to me, but I'm open to arguments for and against.

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Responsibility-- anti-gun bigot edition

If one of my family members ever gets seriously injured by an attacker-- or murdered-- in a place that bans guns, you can bet I'll sue the owners and management of the place. There's a minimum you can do for safety, and banning guns is a dereliction of duty in that regard.

I'm not "sue-happy" (I've never been involved in a lawsuit) but when someone negligently or intentionally helps the bad guys, they need to be sued. Hard.

I spent yesterday in Amarillo, and I don't think I saw a single business that didn't have a "We don't care if you die" sign on the door. Yet, I hear people from other parts of Texas who say this isn't their experience. Lucky them-- or maybe they just don't notice the posted insults to human dignity like I do. Each one of those signs is a slap in the face.

If cops made you remove your seat belts from the car before driving on "their" roads, and you were killed in an accident when a seat belt might have saved you, they would be at fault just as much as whatever caused the accident.

If firefighters made you remove the fire extinguishers and smoke alarms from your house, and you died in a fire that you might otherwise have survived or put out, they would be responsible for the tragedy no matter how the fire started.

And if a business bans guns-- safety equipment-- and someone is harmed by an attacker, then that business might as well have given the bad guy the gun and ammunition, and helped him pull the trigger. The owners and management are responsible, whether they like it or not.

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Take the time to pick up trash

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

I'm always in favor of cleaning up litter, so Clovis' semi-annual Trek for Trash last weekend seems like a good idea. A useful task made into a party. An even better idea is to not wait until someone organizes a special event, but to pick up any trash you run across as you go about your daily travels. You can make the world a little cleaner every day.

Decent, responsible people don't litter, and they make sure their trash can't accidentally escape into the wild to violate other people's property rights. I realize the wind around here does a good share of the littering, scattering anything which isn't tied down, but knowing this, responsible people won't leave anything loose for the wind to take.

Despite your best efforts and intentions, though, litter happens.

How you respond to this shows a lot about your character.

My personal goal is to always leave every place cleaner than when I arrived, even if this means I simply pick up a piece of paper as I walk through a parking lot. It takes no time and almost no effort. Other times it means I'll take my trash grabber tool and head to a park to clean up after those who are less responsible.

A couple of times people have asked me why I was picking up trash in public. One kid even asked if I was working off a community service sentence. I tell them I do it because I don't like litter and it's my responsibility to change things I think need to be changed. I don't believe in political government; if I want something done, the buck stops here. I can't ask others to do or pay for what I want.

Although I hate litter, I'm not in favor of legislation against it. You can pollute the world with "laws" just as you can with plastic bottles and paper bags.

By all means, join the Trek for Trash event next time it rolls around. Enjoy the social event and party atmosphere while doing something helpful. But don't wait for someone to turn litter patrol into a party by organizing a special event; make picking up trash in your surroundings a daily habit.

Pick up that trash you were about to step over. When you see a problem, take it upon yourself to fix it or make it better however you can. It is your responsibility, after all. It can't be anyone else's.

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The worst thing to import to Mars

As I mentioned in the last post, statists are debating how to govern Martian colonists. They ask what kind of government these people will "need".

It makes me a little sick inside anytime I hear someone talking about this scheme. It's as though the colonists' lives won't be difficult enough without forcing more problems on them. Do they want to import litter and rabies, too? Maybe plague. And let's shoot everyone in the knees while we are at it.

Let's find ways to make it harder-- establish a parasite class they'll have to support. Free riders in the most toxic sense.

Personally, I don't think they'll be able to tolerate political government until life gets a lot easier for them. Maybe by then, the addiction will be broken.

When you'll be dependent on other people for air and water and food, you don't want politics in the mix. You need competition. You need the market. Let people compete to sell you air, water, and food for profit. The more competition in that market, the better off everyone will be-- better quality, lower prices, no chance for a monopoly. Monopolies require political government-- would you really want to take that risk? The risk of being shut off by the only supplier because your opinion wasn't correct?

Not me.

When moving to an entirely new place, the most stupidly self-destructive thing you could do is bring politics along for the ride and let it take root. That's like building a crack into your skyscraper's foundation and putting it on top of quicksand... on purpose.

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Imagine someone dreaming this up today

If political government had never been invented, how insane would the idea sound if someone came up with it out of the blue?

If you hadn't grown up surrounded by people who buy into the bizarre notion of governing others, how willing would you be to live your life that way? Would you tolerate it?

Well, that's how crazy it sounds to me, and explains how willing I am to live surrounded by it. But there's nowhere left to flee to. And now the government-supremacists are seriously discussing how to govern Martian settlers in the near future. Won't they already have enough troubles?

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Friday, December 06, 2019

Income inequality

It's trendy to preach about the "evils" of income inequality, but I won't be joining the chorus. That someone else makes more money than me-- even a lot more-- doesn't harm me.

Income comes in because someone is providing something lots of people want. This want gives it value. There's no downside to me from that.

It doesn't directly matter to my finances how much money you have. In fact, I want you to be as rich as you possibly can, regardless of how much I have.

Now, if someone got their money through "the political means" then it's not "income" anyway (thieves don't own the stolen property they possess), so it can't really be part of this discussion. Using "the political means" in any manner to gain money is archation. As is the attempt to "solve" income inequality through "taxation" or any other political policy or legislation.

I don't judge my income by what anyone else makes, but by whether it is enough to meet my expenses this month.

Yes, I wish my income was a lot higher than it is. But someone else's higher income doesn't harm me in the slightest-- not even if their income is thousands of times what mine is. It might even help me if they choose to use some of that income in ways that make my life better. Rich people start businesses that improve my life; they fund good things, and they buy things. Sometimes, even from me.

I can disagree with how they use their money-- especially if they fund political violations of my life, liberty, and property, but that's not a problem with income inequality, it's a problem of ethics.

The sad reality is that my contribution to society isn't very income-generating. Nothing I've ever done has been. But that's not the fault of some random rich person out there. It's my fault. For me to whine about the income inequality between me and someone else would be a dumb waste of time and energy. It's childish. The other person is probably just contributing more than I am. Such is life. They may be smarter and better looking, too. Should I whine about that and demand the government gang step in and fix that inequality as well?

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Government is violence without respite

I've heard people say that without government, society is doomed to be violent. Disputes have to be settled in the middle of the night by armed gangs.
That government, on the other hand, brings its courts and such, which means it isn't as violent.


I think they've gotten the levels of violence backward, and even worse, they are mistaking violence for aggression. And archation.

Anarchy isn't more violent than government. With government, Statists simply refuse to see the violence that is all around them, like the water surrounding a fish.

Whereas in a free society any violence is generally going to be occasional, for a specific purpose to a particular end, with government the violence is continual-- it never stops. People are robbed ("taxed") without relief. They are ruled by legislation which violates their life, liberty, and property in hundreds (or thousands) of ways, day and night. They live under the constant threat of being attacked by armed agents of the state-- more and more frequently, by armed gangs of state employees in the middle of the night. Anyone who believes this is better (as opposed to just being their preference) is delusional.

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Still a sentimental fan of holidays

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for December 4, 2019)

It's the holiday season! This is the time of year when people can celebrate-- or not-- however they like. It's also when those who feel they are better than you and assume the moral authority to dictate how you should be allowed to live decry what they see as the rampant the rest...

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Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Do you need evil? Time will tell

A gun is usually the most effective protection from (a person with) a gun. A gun isn't evil in and of itself. Your gun can be used for good to thwart a gun being used for evil.

That's because evil is an action-- a behavior-- not a thing or a person. Actions such as governing others and other forms of archation.

So, while a gun is often needed to protect you from a gun and from evil actions, that observation doesn't translate to actions. You don't need to commit evil to protect yourself from evil. Nor do you need to have others commit evil on your behalf to protect you from evil.

Do you need government to protect you from government?
Do you need a cartel to protect you from a cartel?
Do you need a mugger to protect you from muggers, or a rapist to protect you from rapists?
For that matter, do you need a mugger to protect you from a cartel?

I don't-- I just wonder if you do. Or if you imagine you do.

I guess if it turns out I'm delusional and I really do need those evil actions to protect me from evil actions, I won't survive to spread my flawed ideas into the future. My demise would be the sign I was wrong about not needing evil to protect me from evil and you should dismiss my opinions on the matter.

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Monday, December 02, 2019

Fear of the Unknown

Is cowardice a virtue? Were the Luddites right? Should we hunker under our beds, afraid of what might happen if we take a risk?

"I really think the mainstream idea that we can always make a mad dash for the black emptiness in the sky if things go to s**t here keeps us from truly confronting our urgent need to preserve the ecosystemic context in which we evolved, and which there’s no evidence that we can live without.
I mean, we don’t even know that space colonization is possible. As of yet we have no evidence at all that humans are sufficiently separate and separable from Earth’s biosphere for survival apart from our ecosystem to be a real thing. Humans aren’t really separate 'things'; they’re a symbiotic collaboration of organisms with ecosystems of their own, all of which as far as we know are entirely dependent on the greater ecosystem from which we blossomed. So far all our attempts at creating independent biospheres have failed miserably, and the closest we’ve come to living in space has consisted of nothing but glorified scuba excursions: visits to space stations fully dependent on a lifeline of terrestrial supplies. That’s the difference between flying and jumping. It might be as delusional as our brains thinking they can hop out of our skulls and live independently of our bodies, or some river eddies saying they’re moving to dry land." ~ Caitlin Johnstone*

And, she might even be right. The best way to find out is to try it. Not everyone, but some. Voluntarily. But she shouldn't be robbed ("taxed") to finance it. No one should.

One thing I know for sure is that the Earth has a hidden expiration date-- probably a very long time in the future, but we can't know that for sure. Most dangerous asteroids are discovered about the time they go whizzing past the planet-- far too late to do anything about them. And if you learn anything about cosmology you'll see that asteroids aren't the only planet killers lurking out there waiting to sterilize the surface of this planet.

Maybe I'm silly, but I want the human species to survive as long as possible. That can be longer if our species spreads beyond this one planet. Yes, Earth is wonderful and should be preserved. The Black is scary and dangerous and will try to kill you. But all discovery worth anything has risks. Would you be better off if you'd never left your crib?

"We don't even know... we have no evidence... as far as we know... might be..." So get out there and find out one way or the other for sure! Refusing to move because you don't know (yet) is not praiseworthy. You don't know until you try, and using fear as an excuse to not try is just sad.

*I find some of the best, and some of the most pathetic, quotes on The Enlightened Rogue's blog. They are always interesting in one way or another.


Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Can you afford the water ransom?

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

A tax increase for the near-mythical water project has been recommended. This illustrates one danger of allowing government to control access to water.

To propose a tax is to admit failure. They couldn't find a voluntary way to do what they want so they'll send the guns of government to loot the society-- in this case through an annual ransom on property; a "property tax".

A reliable supply of drinkable water is critical. The responsible, difficult, and adult way to handle the situation is to find a consensual way to provide water. Let the market handle it, without interference from government.

A proposal which involves holding a gun to your neighbors' heads and demanding their money is no solution. All who choose this path need to be tarred, feathered, run out of town, and their job should be abolished.

To pretend this isn't what you're doing when you propose a tax or a tax increase is to lie to yourself.

Sometimes taxes are excused as the sensible way to collect the money to pay for something which must be funded. It doesn't matter how necessary you believe it is, theft is never necessary, ethical, or reasonable. Rather, it is childish, irresponsible, and antisocial. There is nothing I want bad enough to send government collectors to your door to force you to pay for it. If something can't be funded voluntarily, without threats, it means no one wants it bad enough yet. No job, service, or product is worth taxation.

Yes, the price for something might go up for participants if everyone else isn't forced to "pay up" against their will. The product or service might even become unavailable. To pretend you're saving money through a tax, while not counting the tax in calculating the price of the product, is dishonest.

Let people pay the market rate for what they want, do without if they don't want to pay, and let charity help those who can't pay. That's the civilized way to do things.

People dismiss libertarians for insisting "Taxation is theft", but what else is it when someone's rightful property is taken against their will by force or threat of force? It's no better than a common mugging. In fact, it's less honest. Even if you believe it's necessary because "that's how it has always been done".

Some say "Taxation is the price we pay for a civilized society". Not true. Civilized society is something humans occasionally achieve in spite of uncivilized acts like taxation.

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Happy belated birthday to Oliver Winchester. I got this from, with permission to post it all on my site. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find a way to include the links which were in the original-- and I tried several times.


Oliver Winchester was born in Boston, on November 30, 1810. He started his career with a clothing company based out of New York City and New Haven, Connecticut. After successfully running this aspect of his business, Winchester began to look for new opportunities. Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson (yes, that “Smith & Wesson” who later formed the Smith & Wesson Revolver Company) acquired and improved a rifle design with the help of shop foreman, Benjamin Tyler Henry. Talk about a genius cluster! In 1855, they began to manufacture what would be known as the “Volcanic” lever-action rifle. The company would become incorporated as the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company; its largest stockholder was Oliver Winchester.

After limited success with this new rifle, Winchester seized the opportunity to take control over the failing company and renamed it the New Haven Arms Company. Although initial returns were slow, Benjamin Henry, the company’s leading engineer, improved the Volcanic repeating rifle’s design by enlarging the frame and magazine to accommodate the all-new brass cased .44 caliber cartridge. This ingenuity put the company on the map, and in 1860, the patent for the infamous Henry rifle was issued. The next six years of production produced over 12,000 Henry, many of which were used in the Civil War. In the following months, Benjamin Henry, angered over what he believed was inadequate compensation, filed a lawsuit for ownership of the company. Oliver Winchester hastenly reorganized the company as the Winchester Repeating Arms Company to circumvent this issue.

The Model 1866 soon rolled out as the first Winchester rifle. Based on the Henry rifle, it came with an improved magazine and a wooden forend. In the following years, larger caliber rifles such as the infamous Model 1873, “The Gun That Won The West”, brought more notoriety and foundation to the company. Although Mr. Winchester would miss the opportunity to see his company’s greatest achievements; he passed away in December of 1880.

Winchester Repeating Arms Company’s collaboration with John Browning brought about much success with a host of shotguns, including the still produced Model 1885. The turn of the 20th century hosted a series of new arms developments, many from the top engineer at the time, T.C. Johnson. But it was the start of the First World War that set development and production requirements into full force. The company became a major producer of the .30-06 M1917 Enfield rifle for the United States military, and worked once more with Browning to develop the .50 caliber BMG.

During the war, the company borrowed heavily to finance the expansion. In an attempt to pay down its debt following the war’s end, they used their surplus production capacity to manufacture consumer goods such as kitchen knives, roller skates, and refrigerators. The strategy was a failure, and the Great Depression sent the company into bankruptcy. John M. Olin’s Western Cartridge Company purchased the Winchester Repeating Arms Company at auction in 1931, with plans to restore the brand to its former glory. The Second World War helped this cause tremendously as Winchester produced the U.S. M1 Carbine and the M1 Garand rifle during this time period.

Over the following decades, the Olin Winchester-Western division struggled with rising labor costs and other companies’ cast-and-stamped production methods. By 1980, Olin decided to sell the company back to its employees, which re-incorporated as the U.S. Repeating Arms Company. Olin retained the Winchester ammunition business. U.S. Repeating Arms went bankrupt in 1989, and after a number of sellouts to forgien holdings companies, the New Haven plant closed its doors on January 16, 2006, after 140 years of producing rifles and shotguns.

In August of 2006, Olin Corporation, owner of Winchester trademarks, entered a new license deal with Browning to make Winchester brand rifles and shotguns once again. The Model 1885, Model 1892, and Model 1886 are all produced by Miroku Corporation of Japan, then imported to the U.S. by Browning. Currently, Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal (FN) makes the remainder of Winchester’s rifle and shotgun lineup in various locations around Europe.

Winchester-branded ammunition continues to be produced by the Olin Corporation. Some of the most successful cartridges ever invented have been under the Winchester name: the .44-40 WCF, the .30-30 WCF, the .32 Winchester Special, the .50 BMG, the .270 Winchester, the .308 Winchester (the commercial version of the 7.62x51mm NATO), the .243 Winchester, the .22 WMR (aka the .22 Magnum), and the .300 Winchester Magnum. In North America, the .30-30 and .308 Winchester are some of the best selling cartridges in firearm history.

Through its history, the Winchester name has experienced great successes and significant failures; but it’s truly an important story to know in the realm of firearms. Here’s to the man that started it all, happy birthday to Mr. Oliver Winchester.


Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
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Saturday, November 30, 2019

Ending prohibition

Recently Scott Adams seemed bewildered as to why some state or big city government in America doesn't at least try total drug legalization.

Once again it appears I understand something his radical government supremacism doesn't allow him to understand.

Why doesn't The State do the one thing that would make the drug cartels collapse completely? Because ending prohibition-- the stupid and evil War on Politically Incorrect Drugs-- is that one thing. Not more "laws", not harsher penalties, not invading Mexico, and not building a wall. Not anything which empowers or enriches government employees. Only taking government out of the equation would accomplish anything worthwhile.

And that's why they won't do it.

It would reduce the power and wealth of the losers who depend on prohibition-- not only the losers running the drug cartels-- but also the politicians, the legislation enforcement gang, and the prison employees. Prohibition is welfare for useless archators.

Your life and safety are of no consequence to those losers if it means giving up some money and power.

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Questions for "sofa"

These are questions that come to mind while reading the comments made by "sofa". I've already said if he can come up with a plan-- which doesn't include archation-- which would make him (and others who share his concerns) feel better about moving beyond the government era, I would help promote it. But I need to understand some things more completely.

What do you mean when you speak of cartels? If you're speaking of "drug cartels" why not promote the only tactic that can defeat them now: the complete end of prohibition?
Why do you believe they would be worse than the current government cartels?
How large do you expect them to be?
What do you expect them to do?
What would be their reason for attacking a universally-armed society and what would they want to accomplish by doing so? What would they expect to gain?
How would they "win" without a bureaucratic/political infrastructure ("government") to take over and control? Without anyone "authorized" to surrender on everyone's behalf?

Do you believe there are people who like the military way of life enough that they would organize similarly in a free society? They would be free to do so, without asking permission of a government, in such a situation.
Do you think they'd end up with the abandoned military tools after the government era ends?
Do you believe "lone wolves" who have no use for joining a group would be thrilled to act as snipers and assassins against invaders/cartels?
Would you, personally, fight back-- overtly or covertly-- against cartel thugs going through your neighborhood. Or would you at least assist the resistance?
Do you think the new cartel would be viewed as "legitimate" as is the current government cartel so that few would risk fighting back due to social consequences?

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving

I am thankful for all my readers and especially thankful to my donors and subscribers. Really. Thank you all!

And if you want some reading today, check out this Thanksgiving history from



Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Plenty to be grateful for every year

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

How can Thanksgiving Day be here again? Has it really been a year?

Yes, it has, and this means it's time again to remind myself of the things I'm grateful for on this Gratitude Day.

You'd probably expect me to say I'm grateful for the scattered bits and pieces of liberty left in America; those fragments which haven't yet been regulated out of existence, and I the rest...


-- Private to my blog readers: This is the fourth Thanksgiving since my daughter Cheyenne was killed. I have a really hard time not hating Thanksgiving now. But I give it my best shot. Fake it 'til you make it, they say. I'm sincerely trying.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

What I want for Christmas 2021

I know all the reasons I shouldn't like Tesla vehicles. I resent the government subsidies, I know the limitations of battery-powered vehicles better than most, and I don't like the way new cars spy on you and theoretically allow others to take control.

But I want a Cybertruck anyway.

It's as if my old Citicar and a DeLorean mated and gave birth to this vehicle; the first Tesla I've ever really liked. I know it will change a lot before (if) it hits the market, but I like the prototype a lot.

I guess it's time to start saving up pennies and nickels for one or hoping someone decides to buy me one for Christmas.

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Black and white or shades of gray?

Yes, some things-- perhaps most things-- are "shades of gray" rather than "black and white".

However, there are things which are "black and white". The "shades of gray" vs "black and white" distraction is just that: a distraction. It's not either/or. Even most "shades of gray" scales include black and white at the opposite ends.

Those who want to get away with or excuse evil will be desperate to fool you into thinking there's no "black and white"; that's it's all gray. This is dishonest. There are grays, but there is also black and white.

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Legislation, laws not the same thing

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

How much do you respect and obey laws? How much should you? I suppose that depends on what you mean by "laws".

Most people confuse legislation for laws. Laws were discovered-- usually thousands of years ago-- while legislation is made up by politicians and imposed under threat of violence as if it were law. Occasionally, legislation is written to copy or reflect law, but not often.

Law concerns respecting the rights of others, while legislation is almost entirely written to give excuses for government to violate individual rights. Thus "don't murder" is a law, while "pay this tax" is legislation.

Laws don't need to be written down for you to have the right to defend your life, liberty, or property from violators. Nor do laws have to be enforced. People must only be allowed to defend themselves and others from anyone who violates law.

Since most people use the word "law" for legislation, I'll make things simple and switch to following the common usage below. Just keep the difference in mind.

I have lived in many places. Each time I moved to a new place I was subjected to a new set of laws. I never felt glad about the laws which were being enforced in my new location. Not even once. I have, however, often been glad about the laws which either hadn't been written or weren't being enforced.

I'm much more likely to comply with a harmless policy, even if it's arbitrary, if I'm asked nicely than I am if someone puts it into legislative language and turns it into a threat. I see all laws as a negative; a drain on society. The fewer laws, the better.

In the Tao Te Ching, written in the 6th century BCE, Lao Tzu wrote: "The more laws and restrictions there are, the poorer people become...The more laws and commands there are, the more thieves and robbers there will be."

So. thousands of years ago, smart people had already realized that laws aren't good for society. Politicians and their hired guns still pretend otherwise.

I once asked a retired deputy sheriff-- a former legislation enforcement officer--  whether something was "legal". He replied, "By the time a person sits down to breakfast they've already broken a bunch of laws, so don't worry about it. Just live the best you can without harming anyone else and you'll be better than most people."

Great advice for everyone, unless you suffer from a law fetish.

See also: Law, legislation, or Unholy Writ

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You can't violate the imaginary

"You and I don't have any rights."

This statement is often followed by a list of ways political government violates our rights, "proving" we have no rights. But if we have no rights, how can government violate them?

The "We have no rights" claim is a circular argument just like the "Rights don't exist" claim. They both just lead back around to absurdities.

Every human on the planet has equal and identical rights. And once humans leave Earth their rights will go with them wherever they end up.

Will those rights be violated by someone? Guaranteed! So?

If I tie you up so you can't use your arms and then claim that since you can't use your arms you have no arms, is anyone going to buy that argument? Doubtful. That some make it nearly impossible to exercise your rights doesn't mean those rights don't exist-- they are just being violated.

Now, I could chop off your arms and claim you have no arms-- and I think you would agree I have a point, but arms are material while rights are immaterial. The only way to "remove" your rights is to kill you. And if you have no rights, where's the problem with that?

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Selective Outrage Theatrics

Selective outrage combined with Outrage theatrics brings you Selective Outrage Theatrics.

This is what I see going on all around me when people who ignored the crimes and abuses of Obama (and ALL previous presidents) act as though Trump is something uniquely evil-- something entirely new. It's all about Trump all the time (he probably loves it). My eyes hurt from all the involuntary rolling.

It's just the normal progression of statism. Trump doesn't fall outside the parameters. He's more of the same in the way I've always expected presidents to be. It's only a problem if you want to "look up to" politicians and think political government is a legitimate institution-- like a circus or something.

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Searching for convenient stumbling blocks

Those who wish to live voluntarily among others, neither ruling nor being ruled, but in liberty, without propping up any institution of collective archation, just do so.

And, yes, there will always be bad guys trying to molest them in one way or another. You can live a healthy lifestyle and still get a disease, after all. You can't suspend reality.

Those who don't want to live voluntarily will always have a ready list of excuses for why they can't. Why it won't work. They'll expend more effort looking for ways to avoid living in liberty-- which some of them even say they want-- than they would by just doing it.

The hypothetical scenario is one of their favorite stumbling blocks. Sure, consider the hypotheticals, but don't wait for them to be answered just the way you want. Start living-- now. And if you need an answer to the hypotheticals that badly, come up with an answer on your own and share it with the rest of us. Let the market of ideas weigh and measure your answer. Then you can catch up to the rest of us when you're ready-- or you can take your own path and see where it leads. Who's stopping you?

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Lather, rinse, repeat

Why bother to eat? You know that even if you do you'll just get hungry soon and have to eat again. Even any pleasure you experience from the taste of the food will be fleeting. Pointless.

And bathing? Ugh. Why? No matter how clean you get yourself, you're just going to end up naturally collecting filth as soon as you step out of the water. It's inevitable. You might as well give in and let yourself get crusty. Be pragmatic and wear perfumed clothes-- but then you'd only have to keep applying perfume and washing your clothes, so maybe not. Don't be Utopian.

And anarchy? How long do you think it would last before some fool establishes a government again? Might as well just accept it and work with what you've got instead of hitting the "reset button".

Anything that may have to be repeated regularly or from time to time can't work. At least, that's what I'm always being told.

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Political animosity will only increase

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

Are you concerned over how divisive politics has become? Do you notice the growing intolerance for opposing opinions? Do you wish everyone could go back to a time when there was civil debate and people could agree to disagree?

Yet, at the same time, do you support using government and its legislation against others in ever-increasing ways? the rest...

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Tuesday, November 19, 2019


Confidence comes with competence.

As an example, I am confident I can make a fire under just about any conditions. This is because I've learned and practiced making fires using many different methods and in just about every condition. I am fairly competent at firemaking. I want to be even better.

Similarly, the more I learn about liberty, the more confident I am that it is appropriate, and works, everywhere-- as long as it is used. I can rely on it and I don't feel the need to archate due to a lack of competence. I am fairly competent at understanding and applying liberty. I want to be even better.

But I have little confidence in those areas (car repair being one) where my competence is low. Know your limitations-- and if you want, smash those limitations by gaining competence. The confidence will come.

Of course, some marginally competent people often overestimate their competence and have inflated confidence because of this. More practice can be a way to find out if this applies to you (or me), but I've noticed the people most in need of this awareness avoid practicing, preferring to talk about it instead.

Never stop learning. Never stop practicing. If it doesn't work, learn more; practice more under harsher conditions. Let your confidence come from real competence.

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Who "deserves" rights?

If you believe individual liberty is only for American citizens or that it is somehow created by the U.S feral government (or the documents establishing that gang), you are confused.

I actually saw someone making the claim that the Bill of Rights doesn't apply to anyone but American citizens. That everyone else is fair game for whatever the U.S. government chooses to do to them-- in America or abroad-- because they don't have "American rights".

Wrong. The Bill of Rights made violating natural individual human rights by the U.S. feral government a crime (but did nothing to prevent it from happening). It didn't say whose rights were not to be violated; it said who wasn't allowed to do the violating.

If you say it's a crime for me to murder people, do you then say this only applies to me murdering people with red hair? No. The prohibition is on my actions, not on who my victims might be.

And rights don't come from government, anyway.

Liberty is a universal human right. If you believe it comes from some government-- any government-- or any government's documents, you are missing the reality.

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Grateful I don't live in California

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

Sometimes it's hard to remember to be thankful for life's little blessings. Recently I was reminded to be grateful I don't live in California.

My electricity went out for a little while a few days ago, but the power company was on-the-ball and power was restored in no time; long before it could have become inconvenient for anyone but the least prepared among us.

By contrast, the electric utility in California plans to shut off power to hundreds of thousands of its paying customers. On purpose. For hours or days or however long they feel is necessary-- without much warning or a chance to properly prepare-- to prevent their substandard system from starting wildfires.

Do you think this will cause many Californians-- both those personally affected and those who aren't-- to start taking the idea of "prepping" seriously? I have my doubts, but I'll hope.

For most of my life, people have either joked about those who prepared for emergencies, calling them paranoid, or they quipped "If society collapses, I'll just come to your house." Showing up empty-handed at the house of someone who has spent years of planning and piles of money for just such a crisis will only be welcomed if the residents of the house are out of meat and hungry enough to consider adding you to the menu.

If you don't value your own life enough to plan for emergencies and put those plans into action, why should anyone risk their own life and the lives of their children to save you?

Anyone should be able to see the value of preparing for natural disasters, and political disasters-- like the one playing out in California-- may become more common in the coming years. "It's not political!" you say? Sure it is. When political deals grant a power utility a monopoly over an area, and state laws and "green energy" policies prevent proper infrastructure, capacity, and maintenance, then the problem is political, no matter who you would rather blame.

It's even more directly political when laws require a prepper to handicap himself by staying hooked to the electrical grid and shut off his system in the event of a blackout so as to not have an advantage over his less-prepared neighbors-- as is the case in California.

Any real solution begins with barring politics from the discussion. Then, plan for what happens if politicians interfere anyway. And take a moment to be grateful you don't live in California.

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My out-of-control pro-Republican bias

I don't believe in politics. It is not a legitimate way to deal with others. I don't believe in political government. Not of any sort. I have no use for such stupidity.

I don't need or want a president, any congressvermin, a mayor, police, courts, or any other "government representation" or service.

I'm opposed to both Republicans and Democrats.

However, I admit I am ever-so-slightly more biased against Democrats. Not much more, but it's there. Partly due to personal experiences and partly due to upbringing.

But that also means I can be harder on Republicans. I am slightly more likely to be disappointed in Republicans because I expect nothing from Democrats-- even in those areas where I agree with them. Republicans have a history of sometimes saying the right thing while doing the wrong thing-- but they also say plenty of the wrong things, just like Democrats. And somehow I believe they ought to know better even though they keep proving me wrong.

And even when either side-- as if they were different sides-- say the right things, they say them for all the wrong reasons.
"Legalize it (so government can tax it)!"
"From my cold, dead hands (because I need to protect muh flag from them ferriners)!"

Politics makes people stupid.


Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Libertarianism doesn't fail

In spite of assurances to the contrary, I have never once seen libertarianism/abolitionism/voluntaryism/anarchism fail when used in the real world.

Yes, people frequently fail to use it, but that's their failure. It rests nowhere else.

Libertarianism is a tool. It's always the right tool for the job when you're talking of human interaction-- among individuals or societies. Yes, there are other tools you can use-- none of them are as good and all of which are harmful to individuals.

You wouldn't blame the tool for the failure when people don't use the proper tool when it's offered. It's not the hammer's fault if someone rejects the hammer you offer them and pick up a rock to use instead. That would be silly.

Sure, people could get by using a rock to drive in nails, but a good hammer is going to work better whether or not they use one. Same goes for libertarianism.

You can use archation-- the state/political government-- to create a semblance of a society. But to make the claim that society needs archation is to ignore the fact that society and political government are mutually exclusive.

A society may exist in parallel with a state, but it exists in spite of it, not because of it. Never mistake some expression of statism for a functioning society because it isn't one.

And this brings up a point: maybe giant groups of humans-- what is taken for "society" by most people today, simply can't work for our species. It might be disturbing to consider, but it might still be reality.

You can't keep a single, solitary bee alive, healthy, and functioning-- not as a bee.
Perhaps you similarly can't have a healthy, functioning hive of humans-- this is the level where The State always arises. Would this fact upset you if it were true?


Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Have principles (and gun)-- will travel

I recently got a boxed set of DVDs at Goodwill of the (first season of the) old western Have Gun-- Will Travel. I used to watch the show on Netflix... before they removed it while I was in the middle of binge-watching it a few years ago.

I have to say I really like Paladin. That show may be the most libertarian Western TV show I've seen.

I tend to rate fictional characters' actions as to whether I would have done the same thing in their situation. Paladin comes closest to what I would do (assuming I were as skilled and charismatic as the character, I mean). At least, his actions don't usually raise any red flags-- even though he still has way more respect for certain state institutions than I could ever have. He does occasionally do things I wouldn't have done-- things I consider archation-- but not that often.

It's a show I really enjoy.

What shows do you find most libertarian, and do you enjoy them?

(I have internet once again! Finally!)

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Cannabis isn't "Black market"

Dealing in Cannabis is no longer a real "Black Market" activity; it is now more like a Gray Market activity in those places where the backward legislation continues to regulate it in some way.

And make no mistake-- all legislation is backward.

Cannabis is legal, except that some locations still legislate against it, other places demand their piece of the action, and other places insist you only buy certain types of it from certain sellers. None of which is legitimate in the slightest. Just like gun "laws".

And it was never wrong to begin with.

(I'm told I may get internet today!)

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Principled better than wishy-washy

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

A common criticism of libertarians is that we are wrapped up in principles; in absolutes. We are called "purists" as if this is a bad thing, yet the opposite of "pure" is "contaminated".

Ethical principles function like a conscience. You won't always do what your conscience tells you, but without it, you can't know you've done the rest...

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Monday, November 11, 2019

Internet update.

I was misled about when the internet would be hooked up at the house. They are now saying the 20th.

I'll try to take my laptop to my parents' house to use their WiFi so I can start posting again before then.

I'm pretty unhappy with the situation, but it's not the fault of the internet provider.


Sunday, November 10, 2019

You get the political circus you voted on

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

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, and all the rest of you, too! Welcome to the Big Top. Yes, that's right: the Impeachment Circus, with its dancing elephants and prancing donkeys, is coming to town.

It has been announced amid much fanfare. The flyers have been tacked to telephone poles all over America and I think I hear the parade of animals coming up the street. Grab your manure shovels from the tool shed and be ready to start scooping.

If only it were this exciting or momentous. I'm already bored with it and it hasn't even started. It has become a tedious political ritual.

These days the show promises to kick off once per administration or so, but it usually gets canceled for lack of interest. This time it seems it will actually happen.

It would save a lot of time and strife if impeachment proceedings were automatically begun upon each new president's oath-of-office. This way the opposition party could skip the saber-rattling theatrics and just get on with collecting the president's offenses as they find (or imagine) them.

Or they could if the theatrics weren't the whole point. They are performing tricks for their voters. It's a shame it still works.

Every president does something-- and usually many things-- the political opposition feels deserve impeachment. So they keep testing the waters, trying to gauge how much support for impeachment they could get from the rest of the congressvermin in their own party and from their supporters in the population.

Unfortunately, before they get so caught up in impeachment fever, they normally manage to pass some new legislation. I'm firmly against this development. Seeing as how there are only two kinds of legislation-- the unnecessary and the harmful-- I would rather they spend their time trying to politically crucify the president they hate. It's a much less harmful way to earn political points. Better to sacrifice every president than the people's lives, liberty, and property.

Since it's a political circus, I'm inclined to say "Not my circus; not my monkeys", but I know a lot of people are very attached to this circus and to its monkeys-- or elephants and donkeys as the case may be-- claiming them as their own.

I hope you enjoy the show. As long as you keep buying tickets-- by casting votes-- you'll keep getting the government you deserve. It's what you voted for no matter who you voted for.

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Friday, November 08, 2019

Internet soonish?

I've been told the internet will be hooked up sometime Monday. I'm hoping!

This is getting old.


Thursday, November 07, 2019

Get paid to live (and die) a video game

Sometimes I'll run into a quote that's so off-base I just can't let it go. This was one of those.

"...why would any white male with a brain join the military of a country that has abandoned his interest and is operating against him? Why would he join a military of a country that the Democratic Party prevents from defending its own borders?" ~ Paul Craig Roberts

Why would anyone with a brain, of any color, of any sex, join any government military? For the opportunity to be paid in stolen money while acting out video games, of course.

Few, if any, "troops" think beyond that. There's no deep philosophical reasoning there. There's no political agenda beyond the ingrained "America! Rah rah!" brainwashed into them through years of pledging allegiance to Holy Pole Quilt. You'll find Right-Statists and Left-Statist among the troops,
but all are statists to some degree.

All militaries are operating against your interests. As are all "countries".

When he says "country" he's talking about government. Not a particular area of the globe, nor the population which calls that area 'home', but the government infesting that area to the detriment of the population. When he speaks of that country's "borders" he's talking about government's truce-lines with competing governments-- implemented so the respective governments know who they can rob and molest without the other government fighting them over it.

And he pretends it would be noble to become a hired gun for that government. Statist through and through.

Joining a government military only helps that government. It doesn't benefit "the people". It doesn't "defend freedom"-- it helps government crush it. Don't join government in its fight against liberty.

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Genius politicians

I heard someone refer to a person I don't like-- a politician-- as a "genius". At first, I scoffed. Then I thought about it. Yes, it's possible.

Someone can be a genius for good, they can be a neutral genius, or they could have a genius for evil. An evil genius-- the basis for lots of old mad scientist movies. Fun in fiction; not so fun in reality.

Genius doesn't necessarily mean your brain is being used in good ways, just that it is a lot more powerful-- better organized than most peoples' brains.

To be a political genius is not a good thing. It's like a genius for breaking into houses. So to call a politician a genius isn't a compliment.

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Monday, November 04, 2019


Just a heads-up:
"We" are switching internet providers, looking for something more affordable. Unfortunately, I think the previous provider will be disconnected sometime today, but there's no definite schedule (not even a hint) for the replacement to be hooked up, and it sounds like it's going to be quite a project.

So, if I go missing for a few days don't worry too much. I have some posts scheduled to post automatically-- for a few days, anyway.

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

I don't need that!

Do I need a gang of flawed, greedy, selfish, aggressive thieves to protect me from flawed, greedy, selfish, or aggressive people, some of whom are thieves?

Does that make sense to you? It makes no sense to me.

But it apparently makes sense to most people.

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

My first car was an electric one

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

You may find it hard to believe, but my first car was an electric car. Nothing so fancy as a Tesla, though. It was a 1975 Sebring-Vanguard Citicar. That's us in the photograph, in the spring of 1980, looking nerdy.

At school and around the neighborhood my car was known as "The Nuke".

Why such an odd nickname? Because it sported a bumper sticker which said something to the effect of "One nuke plant saves enough oil for X-thousand cars"; I don't remember the exact wording or specific number.

Maybe it seems strange for someone who would put up with the inconveniences of a 1970s electric car, partly for environmental reasons, to also be promoting nuclear energy.

I've been mostly pro-nuclear since I was a teenager. It seems better to me than the other realistic alternatives. My biggest objection stems from being against government subsidies for nuclear energy, as I am for anything. To be viable in the long term, nuclear energy needs to sustain itself without the millstone of "government assistance" around its neck.

I'm also concerned about how the waste materials are dealt with, but I think it's a solvable problem. The federal government has threatened, for decades, to use nearby Deaf Smith county as a nuclear dump because of it's low population density, remoteness, and geological stability. I'm ambivalent about this idea, especially because I'm not sure it's a good idea to store nuclear waste so far from the source-- which means it has to be shipped across the country-- or to store it over America's most important aquifer. Science, rather than politics, should be used to decide.

I'm also in favor of wind and solar power; I have solar panels for charging my phone and rechargeable batteries. There's a place for it all, including coal and petroleum.

There's no energy source which is without environmental impact. Waste and toxins are produced in manufacturing solar panels and wind generators, plus the huge amounts of land such things typically use. These also share the problem with nuclear energy of government subsidies holding them down.

Even if society returned to pre-industrial levels (something I'd accept better than most), we'd be cutting down forests and burning wood and coal. Without killing off most of the people on Earth-- something I'm against-- there is no better way yet discovered to reduce environmental impact than to use more nuclear energy. I just wish it could be done wisely-- leaving government and politicians out of the discussion.

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Making fires with antiques

When I was a teen, my paternal grandmother gave me an old glass paperweight. She told me it had been in the family (at that time) for around 100 years.

Today it found a new use: firestarter.

I've been talking about firemaking to someone on Steemit who mentioned trying to use broken glass and it got me to thinking. I think it would be really hard to get a focal point from a piece of broken glass, but...

The paperweight seemed like a good potential lens. I have heard of crystal balls on display in store windows causing fires, I'll bet the glass paperweight could do that, too.

Being roughly spherical, the focal length is very short. It actually started burning the tinder just sitting there beside it. You can see the focal point in the top picture-- the tinder was smoking at that point, but you can't really see it in the photo.

I let it burn for a while, and kept adding more tinder dust. Finally, I blew on it and saw that the ember was pretty large, so I put the paperweight safely in the shade, added more tinder, and blew it into flame. That's the bottom picture, but the flames are not visible. Oh well.

I also used it to light some charcloth, and it did so instantly.

Since the photos don't show the process very well I decided to make a video:


Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.