Monday, March 31, 2014

What? No blog post?

I was doing some stucco repairs yesterday, and tools weren't doing the job and only fingertips would work, so I have 3 raw/bloody typing fingers today. And, for once I had no scheduled blog posts, so this is what you get for the moment.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

"Well, what do you expect?"

A while back I read Albert J. Nock's "Our Enemy, The State" and thought it was excellent. Well, I found something else he wrote that is more concise and possibly even better. It is "The Criminality of the State", and here's an excerpt:

"The State's criminality is nothing new and nothing to be wondered at. It began when the first predatory group of men clustered together and formed the State, and it will continue as long as the State exists in the world, because the State is fundamentally an anti-social institution, fundamentally criminal. The idea that the State originated to serve any kind of social purpose is completely unhistorical. It originated in conquest and confiscation—that is to say, in crime. It originated for the purpose of maintaining the division of society into an owning-and-exploiting class and a propertyless dependent class — that is, for a criminal purpose. No State known to history originated in any other manner, or for any other purpose. Like all predatory or parasitic institutions, its first instinct is that of self-preservation. All its enterprises are directed first towards preserving its own life, and, second, towards increasing its own power and enlarging the scope of its own activity. For the sake of this it will, and regularly does, commit any crime which circumstances make expedient." Albert Jay Nock - The Criminality of the State (1939)
I love his suggested reaction to every expression of outrage at something "the State" has done- "Well, what do you expect?"

I highly recommend reading the whole thing, while keeping in mind that "the State" isn't real- it is a belief, and every single thing "it" does is in actuality done by flawed, and vulnerable humans who can be beaten.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Adventures with Slave Numbers

Wanna piss me off? Complicate any simple procedure by insisting I provide "my" Federal Slave Number/Social Security Number.

My first reaction is invariably "You want what?"

I don't have such a thing. Some branch of the fe(de)ral gooberment assigned one to me long ago- but it most certainly isn't "my" number. It is strictly the "federal government's" number- and since "government" isn't even a real thing...

I have never learned it, and I don't carry the silly scrap of paper it is printed upon with me. I remember what the first 3 digits are (not even sure why I remember that much), and I know some of the digits- but not their order- in the rest of the number.

But to claim it is "my" number? Yeah, right.

If I am standing in line at McDonald's, and they have given me a ticket number, that makes sense. I can watch or listen for that number, and it is easier than trying to hear them mispronounce my name when my order is ready. And then the number has served it purpose and goes away, never to be required again. But to number a person for life?

Let's say I decide to assign a number to every reader of this blog- or anyone I interact with in any way. That doesn't make the number "your" number, it's just my number for you, and you should laugh at me if I tell you that you must use that number for identification purposes for the rest of your life. The whole concept is ridiculous.

Didn't it used to be "illegal"- for whatever that is worth- to use that number for identification purposes? Did that "law" change, or did it just become too inconvenient for tracking and controlling the cattle?

I never even run into the demand to give that number except when doing supposed favors- usually financial in nature- for other people. And I am rather tired of it.

And, I managed to do what I wanted eventually, anyway, without giving anyone "my" number. Suck that, collectivists.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

The root of the problem

I don't think "government" causes every problem that exists. Problems would still get in the way of life even if no one woke up believing in "government" tomorrow morning.

Aggression and/or theft causes every elective* problem (those not natural)- they are not the private domain of the State. It just so happens that, at least in America, people acting as "government" are the primary offenders. But certainly not the only ones.

Obviously, there is no problem that can't be made worse by adding some "government" to the recipe- and aggression and theft are prime examples.

(*Yes, all government-caused problems are elective by nature- someone chooses to cause the problem instead of choosing to not cause the problem. Sick, isn't it.)


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Want to make something irresistible?‏

Forbid it.

It's just basic psychology. The attraction of the "forbidden fruit".

Two kinds of people do that. The sincere idiots who wish to prevent harm, and those enforcer types who want to find an excuse to punish those who break their rule.

The second type doesn't care about the harm- they'll cause it themselves if it doesn't happen on its own. As Ayn Rand wrote: 

"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."

Sometimes I think the sincere idiots unconsciously do this too. Give ultimatums so they can feel superior when their target "sins".

Prohibition is supported by both types- and both are control freaks of one sort or another.

Control freaks irritate me.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rights are to be asserted, defended

Rights are to be asserted, defended

(My Clovis News Journal column for February 21, 2014. This was my "emergency backup column" which I whipped out after my original column for today was rejected. You can read that one here: link.)

Often when I hear people speak of "rights" they seem to be saying rights are something others are required to respect. Or even give them.

The truth is rights are something you need to assert. They are nothing if you don't defend them from all threats.

A right is something you don't need to ask permission, from anyone, to do. It is the opposite of a privilege.

Rights don't come from other people, nor from groups of other people or from any documents. They come from your existence. To prove you have every single human right that has every existed in anyone, anywhere, at any time, you only need to show up. You don't have to prove your identity or your citizenship or that you are "law abiding" (whatever that might mean now).

Every right is simply about not having something done to you.

The so-called "positive rights" all seek to enslave someone else for your benefit. This makes them contradictory, since in this case your "right" would violate someone else's right. No one is obligated to give you health care, or a job, or food, or a place to live, or a gun. But no one has the right to prevent you from providing those things for yourself as long as you don't violate some other person's equal and identical rights by attacking, stealing, or trespassing on private property.

The core nature of rights is the reason why the War on Politically Incorrect Drugs can never be a moral cause, and why anti-gun "laws" are never legitimate.

Some libertarians believe that rights don't really exist- they are a mental construct without basis in reality. If that's the case, then no one could have a right to tell others how to live or otherwise try to control another's life, which brings us full circle, so I'd be OK with that. If it were true.

But how far do rights go?

You have the fundamental human right to do absolutely anything that doesn't violate any other person or their property. No matter how badly it offends someone else, as there is no "right to not be offended". Any "law" that seeks to prevent you from living fully, within your rights, is a counterfeit "law": it may look like a real law, it may use legal language, it might even be enforced and upheld, but it lacks a legitimate foundation and is therefore completely unethical. Don't be caught advocating or defending counterfeit "laws". Instead, spend your energy defending rights.


Ask a simple question...

A while back, on Facebook, I asked a question:

I have a question for a couple of specific people. For this I chose the most vocal "liberal" on my facebook, and the most vocal "conservative". I realize it may take a while to get both to answer, but I am really curious and hope others will wait to see how the question is answered by these two. (If you would like to "share" this status on your own timeline and tag your own favorite "progressive" and "conservative", feel free. Maybe this could be the start of an interesting experiment.) 
PLEASE NOTE!: ***I don't want this to be a debate over the relative superiority of either side, nor an attack on the other.*** I just want to get a feel for how a (mostly random) "representative" from each side "feels" about the situation. Please don't make me regret asking this! I will delete this status if trouble ensues. (Remember that as a libertarian/voluntaryist/anarchist I agree with each side some of the time and roll my eyes at them the rest of the time. 
To lead into my question: It seems that both the "liberal/progressive" side and the "conservative" side lament how much power and influence the other side has over politics in America/The United States right now. 
So, my very simple question for y'all is this: 
Do you see "society" moving in the general direction you would prefer? Yes, no, other?
And, after getting some answers, I have come to some conclusions.

Will people follow instructions? Not really. I wanted everyone to wait until the people I asked had answered before chipping in with their own opinions. They didn't. I wasn't surprised. And some people just went off on strange tangents that had me confused from the first. 

Will people respect a polite, sincere request? No.

Will people stay civil? Not looking good. The barbs were somewhat veiled, but were still there.

Who will get nasty first? Pretty much the first person to actually answer the question. See above.

Will libertarians be able to resist commenting even though they weren't asked? No. LOL. I knew that would happen, since I probably would have been fighting the same urge to weigh in.

Do people see "society" moving in the direction that makes them feel like the underdog or like the victor? "Conservatives" seem to see themselves as the righteous underdog, and "liberals" seem to see themselves as the "victims" of a rich conservative smear campaign (but still on the winning side). So, it's a little of both, but probably depends on how they want to see "their side" at the moment. Funny thing is that neither side sees the same position applies equally well to their adversaries- depending on the issue.

How strongly will their own biases color their response, and how they phrase it? Their biases seemed to color who they saw as the ones causing the political system to be broken, but neither side saw allowing the political system to exist as a problem. That's a problem. 

So, "both sides" see a problem, and interpret the problem differently, but neither sees themselves as the root of the problem. It's all someone else's fault. "The Rich", the irresponsible, the stupid or gullible. They blame "money in politics", but don't see that the root of the problem is allowing anyone to make up any rules which will violate the rights of some people for the "benefit" of others. Money isn't all that causes that harm- the "capital of victimhood" is even stronger in some cases.

Although I didn't ask, it seems that the libertarians who responded see "society" going the wrong way, too, similar to the reaction of the "conservatives".

Personally, I think it's not as cut and dried as that.

Yes, politics and its shadow, "The State", are growing more tyrannical and evil. Those thugs are trying to squeeze the last drops of liberty out of our lives. But... in many ways the technology which empowers the bad guys also empowers the good. The internet is letting more and more people see just how ridiculous Rulers really are, and the real-world destructive consequences of allowing them to have any "authority" and power. For each new strike against liberty by The State, a new weapon to defend liberty is created. The control freaks are busily created the tools of their own destruction, and the more frantic they get about the threat liberty poses, the fasted they work to destroy themselves. It won't be a comfortable trip, though.

It isn't that "we" need to elect "the right people", or get money out of politics, or force everyone around us to wisely be responsible for themselves. The problem as I see it is that way too many people still believe it's OK to coerce others to live as we want them to, and to violate their property rights as a way to finance their own slavery. You can't do the right thing in the wrong way- you can't be helpful by being evil.

What you can do is be responsible for yourself and your own property. Don't violate any other person's life, liberty, or property, and come to the defense of those who you see being violated by anyone. If it neither "breaks [your] leg nor picks [your] pocket", butt out. Drop the delusion that you should control other people for their own good, or protect them from the consequences of their own actions against their will. They are not your property to control. Get over it. Politics has no place in life.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Looking at "borders" more closely

It really bothers me that some really smart people, whom I generally agree with on just about everything else, disagree with me about the validity (and wisdom)- or utter lack thereof- of "national borders".

I take this as a sign I need to re-evaluate.

First of all, I do agree that humans are generally tribal, and get along better with their own "tribe" (however they may define that). I agree that forcing people together, who don't want to be together, causes a lot of problems and violence. I agree I would be more comfortable where I could be a part of the dominant "culture"- not that I have ever really been, but I do believe I would enjoy it. But do those things really depend on States and their "borders"?

I recognize and respect private property lines. They are the real "borders" I defend.

"National borders", on the other hand, can't exist without a State enforcing them, with coercion, while violating private property lines and individual rights. Is that violation justified by a "greater good" or a necessity?

Tribes have always had territories, and sometimes those align, incidentally, with "borders". When that's the case, no "state" is required to maintain or "protect" the borders. When it isn't the case, a Berlin Wall/Border Fence won't be enough to stop the migration. I believe the Berlin Wall is the clearest illustration of the illegitimate nature of "national borders"- at least in recent history.

If I build a fence through the middle of town, ignoring the property of the people already living there, is my fence a "real" border? What if I fought another guy on the other side of town for the "right" to put a fence there, and we agreed between us that this was the proper place to build the fence- and he would be "authorized" to rape, murder, and rob the people on his side of the fence, in exchange for protecting them from the people on "my side" of the fence doing the same to them. And I get to do the same to "my people" with the same "responsibility" to protect them from him and his people. What if the people on my side of the fence mostly agree that it is better to be raped, robbed, and murdered by me? What about those whose property is now divided between territories, or cut off from family and friends on the other side of the arbitrary new "border"?

It's insane, isn't it?

Is it really any better if I use a pre-existing street, ditch, or property lines as my "border", of which I now declare myself to be the "authorized user and defender" (and, by definition, "owner")?

What if some individuals from "their tribe" move into your neighborhood and overwhelm "your tribe"? In a neighborhood where private property rights are understood, respected, and DEFENDED, I don't see this being an issue. Are those migrants stealing houses to live in, and otherwise trespassing? Defend the property however necessary. Are those migrants buying or renting their living quarters? Then mind your own business- or try to convince the landlord/seller to not rent/sell to "those people". Or outbid them with the help of other members of your tribe. Above all, don't focus on who they are, but on what they do. If they rob, rape, or violate property rights, you are completely justified in using violence in defense- my monopoly over "defense" and "justice" is a much greater threat; really the only real threat (as long as you tolerate my "authority", that is).

If people you don't want move in anyway, a friendly reminder that theft and aggression will be met with defensive violence (and then doing it) is in no way a violation of anyone's rights.

But what about your "culture"? I realize that different people, from different origins, have different cultures. Do you really believe your culture is so inferior that it can be so easily "corrupted" or destroyed? Is there a danger of you rejecting your own culture? Or of your kids rejecting it? Do you not believe your culture can compete in the market of ideas? If not, maybe you need to look at why that is. Maybe it's because the competing culture is "easier" or more attractive in some other way to the worst nature of humans. If so, there is nothing you can do to save your own culture. Not without changing human nature. Resign yourself to being "the remnant". Maybe, though, there are things in your own culture that are bad and need to be eliminated anyway, in order to make it more competitive. Why wait until your are forced to face that fact? Start changing now. I'm in no danger from other cultures, unless they inspire me to begin initiating force and stealing for some reason. That won't happen since that principle isn't "cultural" anyway, so I can enjoy and sample other cultures and enrich my life.

If you are worried about "those people" partaking in your monthly divvying up of the stolen loot I ("government") distribute to back to you (the victims), the root of the problem lies in allowing the theft to continue; not in how it is distributed. I'm sorry, but this IS the real issue, and it doesn't matter if "this is the system we have; we need to accept the reality and work within it- until that changes, immigration must be restricted". Yes, it is "the system" as it exists, and it is wrong. Alter or abolish it. And stop blaming others for your reluctance to do so.

So, after going through all this in my own head I conclude that those who still believe in "borders" are still wrong. I sympathize with their fears, but think they are going about fighting those scary things in the wrong way.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

People in glass hou... er, cop cars...

The local cop/police chief has certain aspects of his personal life which, in past societies, would have been "illegal" and could have resulted in execution.

I realize the same could be said for myself, and quite probably YOU. There is no reason to go into greater detail- almost everyone does things which were highly "illegal" at some point in the past in some society. The list of "offenses" throughout history is almost endless.

The difference is that I don't believe it's right to make up (or enforce) rules against anything which isn't aggression or property violation. For that matter, I don't advocate rules against those, either, I just expect you to defend yourself and your property against all violators and I support your right to do so.

Yet, this hypocrite enforces rules- which are just as counterfeit as those he would have run afoul of- against others in this town every single day as part of his disgusting "job". There is nothing "good" about that.

(Has anyone else had trouble with the font being too small? I normally use the default "normal" Blogger font size, but someone says he can't ever read it, so I tried "large" this time. I don't see a way to change the default, though, so I probably won't remember to keep doing it manually.)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Reluctant statists

Last week's blog post on "The good intentions of statists" got an unexpected reaction. Statists were upset at being recognized as statists!

I understand that people who "only" want a tiny amount of government imposed on someone are not as bad as those who want "cradle to (early) grave" controls placed on everyone who isn't them- and don't want to be associated with those MegaStatists in any way. I understand there are a great many different ways even that tiny amount of government could be applied. It's why I tried to explain that I believe most statists are of the minor variety, and that they aren't evil; just misguided.

But I am mystified that they would be upset that they are recognized for what they are.

I am an anarchist. It wouldn't make sense for me to be upset at being called an anarchist unless I believed I am wrong, and that some tiny amount of government is actually right, necessary, and good. I don't, and I am OK at being called an anarchist or voluntaryist or whatever you want to call it.

If being recognized as a statist because you want any amount of governing imposed on anyone, anywhere at any time bothers you, perhaps you need to examine your premises. You may just need to turn your back on that last vestige of statism in order to get to where you instinctively know you need to be.

Or, embrace the label of statist and make your point.

Think about it.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Flight 370- I found it...

... THREE times! And I have photographic evidence:

Governments are harmless

No government has ever harmed any individual. Did I really say that? Yes, I did.

Do you doubt me? Well...

Let's say you believe in a god- let's call it "Unext"- your god can't harm me. It isn't real and can't really "do" anything. Right?

But you can harm me because of your belief in Unext, if you thought Unext wanted you to do so.

Just like a cop or Brownshirt of some other variety could kill me for "the government". It's not the imaginary thing which is dangerous, it is the believers (and those who don't necessarily believe, but are just using it as an excuse to pillage). 

So, while government, by itself, is utterly harmless because it isn't really there, the belief in government has been the most deadly mental virus ever to infect the mind of any species on Earth.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Life is too short not to have fun

Life is too short not to have fun

(My Clovis News Journal column for February 14, 2014)

Libertarians usually enjoy a good joke at our own expense. The most amusing jokes are based on truth.

Q: Why did the libertarian chicken cross the road?
A: "None of your business. Am I being detained?"

In today's police state, this humorous response to an all-too-common occurrence lets us laugh at a serious, and growing, problem.

Then there are jokes which probably won't be understood as well by people unfamiliar with libertarians and their ideas:

Q: How many libertarians does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: "None. If the market wants that light bulb screwed in, it will happen on its own."

Of course, libertarians know "the market" is us. If we want the light bulb screwed in, we will either do it ourselves or pay someone else to do it. That is how it happens "on its own" rather than with someone throwing authority around and ordering it to be done.

Some humor is found in the common perception of libertarians, whether it's completely accurate or not:

Q: What is a libertarian salad?
A: "Lettuce alone!"

Personally, I like being with people as long as they aren't pushing me around, but the joke still made me smile.

Turnabout is fair play. The absurdity of both the War on Politically Incorrect Drugs and false authority create the humor in this popular tale:

A DEA officer stops at a ranch in Texas, and talks with an old rancher. He tells the rancher, “I need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown drugs.” The rancher says, pointing, “Okay, but don’t go in that field over there.”
The DEA officer explodes: "Mister, do you see this badge? I have the authority of the Federal Government with me. This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish--on anybody's land. No questions asked or answers given. Have I made myself clear?”
The rancher nods politely, apologizes, and goes about his chores.
A short time later, the rancher hears loud screams and sees the DEA officer running for his life, chased by the rancher’s big Santa Gertrudis bull.
With every step the bull is gaining ground on the officer, and it seems likely that he’ll get gored before he reaches safety. The officer is clearly terrified. The rancher throws down his tools, runs to the fence and yells at the top of his lungs: ”Your badge! Show him your BADGE!”

If only everyone recognized such authority for what it really is as well as that fictional bull.

Yes, I laugh at jokes directed at libertarians as well as those directed at our opposition. When you're on the right side, you have nothing to fear from jokes. Life is too short to not have fun.

Signs of freedom

I hang my head in shame and admit I have never shot a road sign. Never even felt tempted to.

Now, probably most people who do shoot road signs aren't doing it as an expression of liberty. They just see something that attracts their attention and shoot it. "Shiny objects", and all that.

Others, just perhaps, are expressing themselves when they perforate those ugly sheets of metal. For them, road signs are an affront; a stand-in for the people who enforce the "instructions" on the sign. It is freedom of expression- "free speech", supposedly protected from State interference by the First Amendment. In that case, shoot away! If it makes you happy (and you are aware of your backstop).

Road signs aren't private property. Their utter destruction, in most cases, wouldn't harm anyone. In fact, they should all (well, all but those which give directions to get from here to there) just be removed forever- and those which give needed information, replaced with signs placed there by the individual who owns the road, using his own money, after the socialist road system dies a well-deserved death. And shooting those individually owned signs would be wrong.

I recognize that destroying a road sign will cost "tax" money when it is (stupidly) replaced. I realize that if a sign gets shot up badly its message- whatever that may be- will not be communicated to travelers. And in the case of ignorant things such as "speed limits"- your ignorance of the "law" is no excuse, and some enforcer who is ignorant of the laws which should eliminate his "job" will still violate you for doing whatever the sign said not to do. But highwaymen have always been a danger for travelers. The solution remains the same.

So, to me, a road sign riddled with bullet holes is a symbol of freedom. If there ever comes a day when the signs have no bullet holes, it will be a clear sign that freedom and liberty have been lost.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Licensing another liberty

A while back I helped someone get a New Mexico "license" to sell alcohol at retail stores. The test was online. Yeah, the thought of sitting through hours of statist indoctrination disgusted me, but since I'm the "brains"... (Yes, they passed.)

The test material even quoted MADD, as if that group has the slightest bit of credibility!

Anyway, I noticed something rather interesting about the test.

The whole purpose of the test was to shift responsibility away from the purchaser of the alcohol, and attempt to place it on the seller. If the seller "gets it wrong", they are the one threatened with punishment. How's that for a continuation of the sort of "thinking" indoctrinated into kids in government schools? Do something stupid, blame someone else.

I did learn several tricks to buying alcohol, and traps to avoid (things the test taught the sellers to be on the alert for), so I guess it wasn't a total waste and might come in handy one day. Perhaps I should offer to sell my knowledge.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

"Press 1 for English"

If you are worried about "Press 1 for English" you have been successfully distracted. Congratulations!

Instead of worrying about what language the guy standing in line at the grocery store speaks, or whether some answering system accommodates people who speak other languages, I'd rather make puppeticians speak plain English instead of lawyerly weaselspeak.

And then, maybe people would see that ignoring those monsters- or at least withdrawing their compliance- is in their best interest.

"Even" when it means you might be exposed to more people speaking languages you don't understand.

The language spoken doesn't matter (not even if it's lawyerly weaselese); only the initiation of force- or the credible threat to initiate force- and theft matter.

Worrying about anything else is just a sign you have been tricked into worrying about things that are not real issues. Why would someone do that to you? How does it benefit them? Do you like being manipulated for their benefit?

Press 1 to refuse to cooperate anymore.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Just keep wiggling that key

I think the Constitution was a big mistake. You don't enhance liberty by setting up another government, no matter how "good" you believe your new government to be.

And, every person alive has the exact same right to own and to carry weapons regardless of whether the Second Amendment exists, and regardless of where that person may be.

However, I can see what the Second Amendment was supposed to do without saying it was needed, and while seeing it failed.

Second amendment was like a door with a keyhole protecting the universal human right to own and to carry guns, knives, swords, flamethrowers, and other "arms" from the control freaks on the other side of the door. By putting it in writing, and by creating the illusion of "authority" in the body of the Constitution, the keyhole was created. It probably wasn't smart to install a keyhole at all. A better strategy is always to simply defend yourself from those control freaks- to the point of death if they are (as usual) too stupid to learn from their mistakes, but I'll ignore that for now.

Unfortunately, since there was a keyhole, some stupid, evil, or misguided people felt they needed a key to get at that right- it wasn't safe to just leave it unmolested. That keyhole was originally a fairly tight fit leaving no room for violation of the right to own and to carry weapons. Tyrants didn't like that so they kept fiddling with it. After centuries of wiggling the key, government meddlers have gotten the hole so wallowed out you can now drive a truck through it. That's why there are "laws" against "concealed weapons", openly carried weapons, automatic firearms, normal capacity magazines, short-barreled shotguns, and whatever else some moron decides is "too dangerous" to his plans to  rob, rape, and murder- I mean "protect" you.

I will never mourn the death of any anti-liberty bigot- especially if his death comes as a result of trying to infringe on the right to own and to carry weapons. Some acts just need to lead to death every single time they are performed. I will also not condemn anyone who kills one of those anti-liberty bigots, even while recognizing that sometimes, the right thing isn't the smartest thing to do.

That is just the reality of the world as it is.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Breaking Bad? Breaking Best!

I have never watched an episode of "Breaking Bad"- it's just not the kind of thing that interests me. I have no problem with someone making meth- I do have a problem with someone using aggression to ... well, do anything.

From what I have heard, the term "breaking bad" means that at some point, a person will have a choice to go either "good" or bad" and some may fall- "break"- to the bad side, which becomes self-perpetuating and leads somewhere you might not have expected. Like a teacher becoming a meth kingpin.

I guess there are many things like that in life, points where a small, seemingly insignificant choice will tip the scales either to the right side or the wrong side.

When you find yourself at those points, I hope you "break good"- to the libertarian side. And, even more than that, I hope all those small choices add up to you "Breaking Best"- anarchist!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The good intentions of statists

I have no doubt that the average statist has good intentions, means well, and only wants the best.

But they go about it all wrong by ignoring reality.

The reason I have this opinion is because almost everyone I know is a statist. They aren't intentionally evil. They simply haven't thought through the things they support and advocate enough to see where they lead.

In most cases, they probably want the same things I want: the health, safety, and prosperity of themselves and their loved ones. They just haven't acknowledged that the way they go about trying to ensure these things is evil- they cause harm to the health, safety, and prosperity of others who aren't important to them.

The problem is everyone is someone else's "other". Statism becomes a big cannibal feast where no one is going to come out whole.

The nicer, and more rational, choice is to recognize that everyone has an absolute right to do anything that doesn't violate the life, liberty, property, or "pursuit of happiness" of anyone else. It's the only way that doesn't create a victim. It's the better alternative to being a statist.



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

America founded on liberty

America founded on liberty

(My Clovis News Journal column for February 7, 2014)

How much do you love your freedom, and what are you willing to do for liberty?

Freedom, to me, is simply doing whatever you want to do. It can be good or bad, depending on your character, but is often neutral.

Liberty, though, is the freedom to do absolutely anything which doesn't violate another person's equal and identical liberty. Liberty - Thomas Jefferson called it "rightful liberty"- is what America was founded in order to protect and promote. Nothing more or less. No rules or laws can legitimately violate that.

Do you love liberty enough to let people make their own mistakes and deal with the consequences?

I do.

I love liberty so much that I am willing to not interfere in other people's lives with the expectation they will do the same for me. Even if I don't like a behavior, as long as no one is being forced to participate, and no third party is being harmed, I will swallow my annoyance, however great it may be, and mind my own business.

On the other hand, I love liberty enough to speak up when people are doing things which have popular support, but which do harm a third party. I am willing to stick my neck out and take the slings and arrows of those who are desperate to justify the wrongs they wish to commit with a numbed conscience, in person or by proxy. I speak up even when the violations don't directly affect me at all. It may not be the path to popularity, but it's the right thing to do.

There is no other way to protect liberty. You can't limit freedom or violate liberty, or support those who do, while giving those noble concepts lip-service, without being a hypocrite. Yet, I see it every day. Almost no one will point out the Emperor has no clothes, no emperor deserves to be worshiped or obeyed, and he isn't even an emperor to begin with. I'm not speaking only of any current Imperial Personage, but any who believe they hold such power and authority.

How much to you value freedom and liberty? Enough to put your love into action even when it makes you uncomfortable? Enough to sacrifice your personal wishes for what's right? It shouldn't even be seen as a "sacrifice" to stay out of other people's business, but for too many, it is not only a sacrifice; it's such a costly one they can't bring themselves to do it. Liberty is what ends up sacrificed on the altar of those anti-liberty, non-consensual collective actions that have wide popular support.


How many posts?

This is my 3000th post to this blog. How did I get so wordy? I was always so quiet; kinda kept to myself...

I appreciate all the readers who have stuck around since the beginning (I'm assuming there are one or two, and I suspect I know who they might be) and I'm very grateful for all those who have joined me along the path.

I also look forward to picking up new travel companions as I keep wandering down the trail ahead.

In that vein, if you know anyone who might enjoy my particular obscure corner of the internet (or if you know someone who'd hate it, and you'd like to piss them off), invite them to give it a try. I'd really like to see if my blog could break through the wall it seems to have settled against- in numbers of readers. The word "stagnate" comes to mind, but that seems much more negative than I really feel about it.

I'd like for my blog to be more popular, but I'm not willing to compromise for that popularity. Quality over quantity and all that- and I do feel my readers are the highest quality I could hope for.

I'd probably keep writing if there were only two or three people visiting my blog every day- just because it helps me organize my thoughts better.

If you know a place where a link might attract more readers, please go ahead and share it. If not, that's OK too.



"Whatever floats your boat..."

I saw the following exchange, which I have paraphrased:

A: "If you live by the Zero Aggression Principle how can you deal with those who aggress and will never change?" 
B: "Do whatever floats your boat, so long as it doesn't sink mine" 
A: "What if your 'floating' jeopardizes my boat?"

Now, if those are actually aggressing, as is hinted at in the first question, then you are completely within your rights to defend yourself with whatever level of force you think is necessary. I won't second-guess you. I don't think the answer was a very good one.

As for the second question, which is unrelated to the first, but was asked in response to the strange answer he got, that's where some differences of opinion come into play. The range of answers to that question is kind of the common justification for "drunk driving laws", isn't it. And most anti-gun "laws", too, for that matter.


I still think that the possibility of doing harm isn't the same as actually doing harm. Yes, some things increase your risks. There are risks all around you, whether you are aware of them or not (and you should try to be aware of them). Unless someone is initiating force against you, or violating your property in some way, I can't sympathize too much that you feel their actions "jeopardize" you.

I would rather have my risks increased than be guilty of "proactively" putting restraints on (violating) the liberty of those around me. Being aware of my surroundings and doing all I can to keep myself- and those around me- out of harm's way is my responsibility. No one else's, and certainly not the "law's".

Still, I also believe that if you feel you "must" violate the ZAP for some reason, do what you feel you have to- and accept the consequences that go along with it.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Drug tests for control-freaks

I'm tired of seeing posts and emails calling for drug tests for welfare recipients.

I have a better idea: drug tests for cops, bureaucrats, and politicians. Every day when they show up for their "job".

Then, if the politicians fail the test- in other words if there is not a lethal level of some drug or another in their system- send them home until they rectify the situation. I think liberty could be saved with drug tests in this way.


Sunday, March 09, 2014

Statist on Exhibition

I realize this blog post is from a long time ago, but someone recently posted it on Facebook and I made the mistake of reading it.

(I wonder if its author is the same doofus who made a similar comment to me a few days back.)

Anyway, after reading the painfully ignorant post I was thinking to myself "Can statists really be this stupid?"... and the answer, obviously, is yes. Yes they can.

Just one example of the absurdity from the post "...[The Philosophy of Liberty videoillustrates libertarianism with abstract stick figures representing people devoid of race, gender, and historical context."

Well, yeah, because "we libertarians", as opposed to the author, aren't racist, or sexist, nor do we seek to blame and punish people for things they didn't do- such as things done by their long-dead ancestors centuries before the people you would punish for the acts (or their grandparents) were even born.

In other words, I am not an insane bully.

The author spends a lot of time hand-wringing over the rights violations of the past. Yes, slavery of the forcibly imported Africans (or anyone), and the genocide of the aboriginal North American people (or anyone) were wrong. Guess what- no one living today participated in either of those things.

Statist author is upset that "For most American libertarians, if the government taxes rich white Americans, it is theft, but if rich white Americans stole African American labor, time, energy, and talent, it happened a long time ago and accounts should be cleared."

"Taxation" of anyone ever, in any amount, is theft and is wrong. Period.

Stealing labor (which is exactly what "taxation" does, too) from anyone, by any individual, under any pretext, by any name is always wrong. But if you can't make it right since all the thieves and their victims are dead and have been for many years, you really should "clear" the "accounts".

What would the statist suggest instead? Punish people for things they didn't do?

If the author's grandfather murdered someone before he ever had children, and got away with it, should we put Statist Blogger on death row today for the grandfather's violation? I'll assume here that the grandfather's survival and subsequent reproduction "enriched" the author's life in some way- either through existence, property which wouldn't have otherwise been inherited, or just from a family not broken by the imprisonment or execution of a father/grandfather.

And, even in the case of "taxation" being extorted from people (both rich and poor, by the way) in the past - it's the past. There is no possibility of really repairing past damage this long after it occurred. Get over it- and don't do it again.

The past is gone. You and I will never know the whole story (or even more than a few highlights which may or may not even be accurate)- and "minor" details can make a huge difference.

Yes, there is a time when the slate has to be wiped clean and a "from this point forward, never again" path needs to be followed.

My brain hurts from exposure to this level of hypocrisy and inconsistency. I wonder if the author still believes what was written in that post.


Saturday, March 08, 2014

Legal tender

A while back I ordered a couple of Aurum 1/10 gram gold "bills". Very pretty! And I like the idea.

One thing that jumped out at me as I examined one is the statement printed thereon: "Not legal tender".

The first thing I thought was "Obviously! This has actual value!"

Then I got to thinking "Is this a warning or a promise?"

What is legal tender and why would I prefer it?

Well, the definition linked above says that back in the 1730s "legal tender" meant "currency that may be lawfully tendered in payment of a debt". Notice the word "may". Sounds nice and voluntary. I have no problem with that.

Unfortunately, the current definitions all include coercion: "Legally valid currency that may be offered in payment of a debt and that a creditor must accept" and "currency in specified denominations that a creditor must by law accept in redemption of a debt". Note the addition of the rude word "must".

I don't know about you, but my thinking has always been that if you feel the need to use coercion to get people to go along, your idea probably isn't a very good one.

Sure, I'll accept "legal tender" as long as it's around, but I'm always happy to accept money that avoids the "legal tender" trap. It's the polite alternative.


Friday, March 07, 2014

Pardon me...

Next week I have to make a trip to The Big City for my daughter's doctor appointment. It's not anything too major, but they will be taking blood*, and it would be kinda nice if I had a few extra dollars to spend while there- she's not going to enjoy the appointment ( an understatement)
So, if anyone feels like tossing a small donation my way, it would be appreciated. As I say, this isn't a critical need or anything, so please don't feel bad if you ignore this message.


(* Trying to solve the mystery of her seemingly constant infections of one sort or another- the tentative diagnosis is an IgA deficiency.)

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Liberty Lines- March 6, 2014

The headline in the State Line Tribune says "Texas primary election on tap". Wow! I never thought of it that way before, but I can't argue with the accuracy.

That particular tap is better left alone. Like beer, elections can be addictive and are apparently very intoxicating. When it comes to voting, those deepest into the keg look down upon those who stay sober, sometimes to the point of virulent hatred.

Maybe a careful vote here and there won't really hurt anyone, but each vote makes it easier to do the next time. You forget to only vote against new State power, which can possibly be excused, and end up voting for this or that new "law" or puppetician. For many people, moderation is impossible.

You make excuses about why you drink... I mean, vote so much, saying you need to. It makes you feel better or gives you a sense of importance.

You quickly develop a taste for it, and before you know it you are lying in the gutter with Democrapublicans, incoherently mumbling about "next time".

The current situation, which is what people often say they are voting against, is a result of people voting for those people and "laws" which they believe will control their neighbors, and their enemies, the way they'd prefer. How has that worked out? With everyone subject to innumerable violations of their Rightful Liberty, in every area imaginable, each and every day. The only "winners" are those who do the controlling or profit from the inevitable enforcement and bureaucratic leviathan.

As is often pointed out, it is insanity to keep doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.

Why not try something different? Mind your own life and stop trying to find people and "laws" to control others on your behalf. You'll be amazed at how empowering and liberating that can be.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Not all opinions are equally valid

I have said it before, and I will say it again: not all opinions are equally valid.

Yeah, I know... this isn't a "nice" thing to say in this era of "everyone is entitled to their own opinion...". Yes, they are. That doesn't automatically make their opinions valid in any way, though. You (and I) are completely within your (or "our") rights to be dead wrong. It also doesn't mean I am required to pretend all opinions are on equal footing.

It may hurt someone's feelings when their opinion that "taxation isn't theft", or that "there need to be reasonable restrictions on guns" is laughed at due to the fact it isn't a valid opinion, but the truth is still the truth, and the truth has no room for feelings.

If it is "necessary", in your opinion, to violate the fundamental human rights of others- for "the children", the "common good", or whatever- your opinion isn't valid. It doesn't matter how many justifications you can come up with. It doesn't matter how passionately you defend it. It doesn't matter how important it is to you, how much you believe it, or who agrees with you. It doesn't matter if you have the numbers on your side to impose your opinions on others in the form of "law"- that just makes you dangerously wrong.

I realize that dismissing your opinions on this basis isn't likely to make you like me, or get you to change your mind. That is why, in casual conversation, I'm not going to burst into laughter when you express one of those empty opinions you hold dear. But, eventually, it comes down to this: opinions which, if put into action, would violate the life, liberty, or property of others are not valid, and if they are put into action or made "law", they may have to be defended against. Violently.

Weigh your opinions and examine them in the harsh light of liberty. And toss them in the trash heap if they don't measure up. You'll be better off.


Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Knee-jerk reaction not a solution

Knee-jerk reaction not a solution

(My Clovis News Journal column for January 31, 2014)

How frequently people do the wrong thing for the right reasons.

It is right to care about people who hurt themselves or others through substance abuse. It is wrong to impose prohibition in an attempt to save people from themselves or others.

It is right to care about innocent victims of random violence. It is wrong to impose anti-gun rules which can only affect those who aren't the problem.

Not only is the knee jerk reaction- passing another law or more draconian enforcement of the rules already "on the books"- wrong, it almost always has an effect opposite the one advertised.

Prohibition is the federal government's "narcotics price support program", as well as the biggest excuse for violating every principle America was founded upon; as is the sad continuation of the 1920s-era prohibition: the anti-"drunk driving" rules and police state-style "checkpoints". You can have America, or you can have prohibition. You can't have both.

The same goes for anti-gun rules. Some leftists complain that the reality that criminals aren't affected because they don't obey laws anyway- by definition- shouldn't invalidate anti-gun proposals, but "should" or not, it does.

Anti-gun laws only harm those who have no intention of breaking laws, and would therefore not go on a murder spree to begin with. Advocating, passing, and enforcing those anti-liberty laws only empowers the bad guys.

This is the danger of doing the wrong thing with good intentions. Assuming the intentions are truly good, which is only speculation based upon giving the benefit of the doubt.

You can also do the right thing for the wrong reasons. The recent push for "state's rights" is one example. States have no rights; only individuals do. However, anything which diminishes the federal government's power will most likely boost individual liberty in the long run.

The re-legalization of marijuana which is slowly gaining momentum around the world is another example. It's wrong to fine or arrest people for possessing or using a plant, so anything that results in fewer drug war victims is a good thing, even if the new tax revenues are a stain on the good.

The liberalization of concealed carry, and open carry, rules is another cause for some optimism. The Bill of Rights is the law of the land, so anyone supporting any "law" concerning guns, including the issuing of permits for something which "shall not be infringed", is a criminal. But, even this diluted liberty results in more dangerous conditions for the aggressors among us, and that is a net benefit.

Backward priorities

Would you want to see your son die saving the life of a dog? Not unless you love the dog more than you love your son. 

What if the dog were an imaginary dog? 

If you would be happy to see your kid join the military- which always includes the possibility of death or dismemberment- then you love the government (not "America", or "our nation") more than you love your kid. And what's worse is government really only exists in your mind. It's an imaginary dog.

The only thing your kid could die for, while in military "service", is the US government. That's the nebulous entity whose interests he or she is protecting and promoting. Not mine, yours, or any other individual's. Well, maybe the president's or most congressvermin's, so no worthy individual. 

Even if your kid dies saving the lives of fellow military members, the politicians benefit- you have saved "government property" as far as they are concerned, and promoted the idea that being in the military is somehow "heroic".

Do you really want your son or daughter to sacrifice life or limb- or mental health- for any politician?

If so, and you encourage them to join the military, or at least not try to dissuade them from joining, then you would sacrifice your child's life for a dog, or the illusion of a dog. Why do you love the State more than your kid?


Monday, March 03, 2014


Which is more caring: to give a needy person stolen goods, or to remove the obstacles which are keeping them in need?

Even if they are happy that you gave them the stolen goods, or even if you give them a gift of something you got honestly, it's a temporary fix. The same old obstacles will still be there, preventing them from taking care of themselves.

I realize most people manage to do OK even with the obstacles- and the State parasites prosper specifically because of the obstacles they impose against everyone else- but for people on the margins those obstacles can be just enough to keep them from making it on their own. And the margins are growing.

Charity is great, and sometimes the need is so immediate there is no other way to get the help to where it is needed fast enough, but if you have the ability to remove some obstacle, or at least stop propping it up with your acquiescence- or show a person a way around it which doesn't result in them sitting in a cage- doing so is the best kind of charity there is. That will keep on paying off over time, and will benefit everyone.

I happen to think a great way of removing those obstacles is to stop propping up the state with borrowed legitimacy. Stop acting as though its "laws" are necessary, and those who "break" them are bad. Stop asking permission to do what you have a right to do. Stop complying- at least when there isn't a gun pointed at your head. Stop speaking of the State, its employees, and its "laws" as though they have any claim on your life, liberty, property, or time. Point and laugh at the anti-liberty bigots and control freaks every time you notice them- and stop noticing out of habit. Don't bother flipping off cops sitting in wait to rob unsuspecting travelers- that keeps them in your mind. Take note to avoid, and forget. Oh, and flash your headlights at the oncoming cars.

Yeah, I know some of these things may be somewhat contradictory. That's because there is no "only way" to stop helping the State hurt others.

The end of the State's false authority would mean people can take care of themselves without worrying about artificial obstacles- the real, natural obstacles are often bad enough. What would you be doing today if there were no State preventing you by threat of death; only the consequences of violating Natural Law and Rightful Liberty? I think I'd be taking people on survival walks, letting them learn simple techniques for making life better with primitive methods in a relaxed setting without pressure (I had a friend who made a lot of money doing this until The State shut him down to sell his "license" to someone "better connected"). Or, maybe I'd be selling guns out of my living room.

I think just about everyone would be doing better under liberty. (Other than those who can't survive honestly and have always relied on the State- either for welfare or "jobs".)

And then, when there is still a need, do what you can to help.


Sunday, March 02, 2014

Yay, Bitcoin!!

Love it, hate it, or simply USE it, Bitcoin just gained a bit of favor in my eyes, regardless of its current trade value.

When a disgusting congressvermin calls Bitcoin (or anything else) "dangerous", I know it has value. If only to frighten the control freaks and other anti-liberty bigots.

Yep. I like Bitcoin even MORE now.


Saturday, March 01, 2014

Self Ownership

Yes, in spite of any claims to the contrary I own myself and my life.

Ownership of anything includes the right to damage or destroy that which you own. I could harm myself (although I'm not "Emo" and not generally inclined to do so), and I could destroy myself through suicide if the pain of living became more than I could bear. I can also rent out my self- my mind or my body- for a time, if that is what I wish to do. Maybe I could even sell myself, but if I did that, whatever I got in return for myself would then in actuality belong once again to my new "owner", where it came from originally, which means I didn't really get anything for the sale, so I'm not really sold after all, which all seems untenable.

Recently in a thread somewhere I mentioned that "sovereign citizen" is a contradictory condition, since we are all sovereign- self owning- and a citizen is claimed by some State. You may quibble over that assertion, but that's not the main point.

Someone came back with: "You cannot OWN yourself as you are not property. You cannot be divided without ceasing to exist."

Hmmm. "Then how can you donate a kidney?"

He replied that: "A kidney is not a division of YOU. It is simply a part of you. Divide your acre. You get two half acres. Both are land. In your example you have YOU and a Kidney after the donation."

That seems a complicated distortion/contortion to me. A division is, by definition, a "part".

If I divide a car in half, neither half remains a "car". If I divide a raw egg in half, neither half is an "egg". If I take my cell phone apart, none of the constituent parts now qualify as a cell phone. But all of those were property before the division, and continue to be property- albeit, somewhat less useful property- after the division.

If I chop myself in half, neither half is a person anymore.

If I take a seat out of my car, I now have a car and a seat. If I take the back off my cell phone, I now have a cell phone and a back panel. Just like if I donate a kidney, there now exists myself and a kidney.

I am perfectly comfortable being "property" which belongs to the consciousness I identify as "me", which resides inside the brain/body, making the whole, which understands that no one else can own me. Call that what you will- self ownership or something else.

Added: I just found this video by Josie the (Awesome!) Outlaw: Who Owns You?