Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Statism's foundation

Statism is based on lies. Without lies it evaporates like a single drop of water skittering across the hot surface of a wood stove in January.

Not just the classic Orwellian "War is peace" lies, but lies most people don't even notice.

Lies like "taxation is the price we pay for a civilized society", and "there's no difference between men and women (and/or "men" and "women" can be defined however you want, or denied altogether)".
Lies like the myth that a country is like a private club, where the members have the right to control who gets in.
Believing that "democracy" or a Constitution make mob rule OK is believing in a lie.
Liberty and rights are not up for a v*te, even if government allows "the people" to v*te on them. It's a lie.

Lies, even those which don't seem to have anything to do with statism specifically, can be harmful and help prop up statism. They give justifications for "laws" which violate liberty. They train people to believe there is no truth, but whatever you feel is right is OK-- and most people feel it's OK to violate you in one way or another.

Seeing the lies and refusing to go along with them is not a path to popularity. It's not "pragmatic" or nice. So be it.

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Who's calling whom "arrogant"?

Time after time I've seen people call libertarians "arrogant". Sure, I would agree with that in many cases. So?

Time after time, though, the haughtiest, most arrogant, and "better-than-you" folk I encounter are statists of one sort or another. Often the very same ones who get off calling libertarians "arrogant".

The blind hypocrisy is actually kind of funny.

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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Politics rigged game I won't play

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for September 27, 2017)

People often describe the things I write as "political". They may not even intend it as an insult.

I prefer to think of my views as post-political; beyond the obsolete sphere of politics. I wish people would recognize politics as the enemy; the opposite of how they should view the world and interact with others.

It would be nice if they did, because politics ruins everything it touches. Politics makes people see the world through the fake "Right vs. Left" lens. It's a distortion, not reality. The truth is, there are people who want to violate and control you, and people who don't. People who use politics are the ones unwilling to leave you alone. Even worse, the rush of using politics against others, when your side has the power, is addictive.

It's time to heal the addiction and move past it.

Politics can be regarded as the method people commonly use to attempt to live among those they hate or fear; seeking to force their will on them. It's why they elect bullies they hope will target, under the guise of laws, "those people". Whoever "those people" may be to the politically inclined. Unfortunately for those who play the game, their bullies occupy government offices only for a while. Once your bully leaves office, the office remains and someone else will fill it. And it might just be a bully elected to target you.

Part of the problem is the monopolistic nature of politics. If my side wins, your side loses. There's no room for "live and let live", or "you do your thing, I'll do mine, as long as neither of us tries to force the other to go along". This would be civilized, so we can't have that!

Politics is a rejection of personal responsibility. In fact, it often criminalizes personal responsibility and replaces it with one-size-fits-all laws. In truth, the laws fit almost no one, and don't fit anyone very well. But they are "the law", and you are expected to comply no matter how arbitrary and harmful they are. It's how politics works.

I understand that if someone is using politics to violate your life, liberty, or property, you'll feel the need to use politics in self-defense. Then those feeling the pointy end of your politics will turn the tables on you the first chance they get. It's an endless pendulum of destruction and abuse.

Politics is a rigged game. I refuse to play.

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My one unchanging rule

Wherever I go, wherever I am, there is one rule I live by that doesn't change: Don't archate.

I hold myself to it, even though I don't consider it a "thou shalt not" to be imposed on you.

I may agree to additional rules if the situation warrants it, but I won't agree to any rule that breaks that primary rule.

In a civilized society this wouldn't be a problem, but in the uncivil environment of States, this can get me into a lot of trouble if I'm not careful. Sometimes even if I am careful.

I may be forced to alter my behavior somewhat if a bad guy has the drop on me, but it doesn't mean I accept his counterfeit "rule", it just means I know he can kill me.

But that's just how it is in the here and now. As for my part, it's not going to change on my end. I know a counterfeit "rule" when I see one, and nothing can hide their nature from me, just as nothing I have encountered so far has falsified the Zero Archation Principle, and I would be surprised if anything ever did.

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Saturday, October 28, 2017

Rights- reciprocal or absolute?

Are rights strictly reciprocal? If you refuse to recognize the rights of others, does that mean you, yourself, have no rights?

I saw someone make this claim, and in my mind it doesn't hold up, even if it seems correct at first.

First off, let's get this out of the way: if rights are imaginary, then no one has any rights, including the right to rule, so that gets rid of the specter of "legitimate government" (among other atrocities) right off the bat. Go in peace and do what you're going to do-- subject to what others are willing to put up with.

On the other hand, I think the nature of human beings makes rights a real and necessary thing, so the rest of this is based on that premise.

I think it is the nature of rights that they can either be respected or violated, and nothing else.

I think rights can't be "lost" regardless of what someone does. Actions which violate rights may create a debt which needs to be paid, or they may cause defensive actions to be used against the person, but that person still has the exact same rights they did before they violated anyone. Consequences simply happen.

Insisting on restitution doesn't violate rights. Restitution is justice.

Self defense (of person or property) doesn't violate rights. Self defense is a human right.

Shunning someone, even to death, is an exercise of the right of association and doesn't violate anyone's rights. No one has the right to impose their presence on you, and their existence doesn't obligate you to do anything other than to not impose yourself on them.

If rights somehow only exist if they are mutually recognized, then rights would never exist in the presence of archators of any kind, and specifically anywhere there were a State or government. States NEVER recognize rights, but relegate them all to the status of privileges-- to be handed out and withdrawn at the whim of the "law".

Yet, I can still see that you have rights regardless of who is violating them.

If you are facing an armed mugger (or a government employee), it is apparent he doesn't recognize your rights. If rights only exist when mutually recognized, there would be no rights present for either of you. But if I am watching, I know you still have rights, and if I need to shoot the mugger in order to help you keep your rights inviolate, I may choose to do so. The opinion of the mugger has no bearing on the existence of your rights. Rights never depend on what the other person believes or does.

So, no, rights are not dependent on being reciprocated, even though that might be nice.

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Friday, October 27, 2017

Chaotic order

I've already mentioned that too much chaos AND too much order are both deadly. But here's another observation: too much order-- specifically too much government (which I consider to be any external governance at all)-- becomes deadly because it creates too much chaos for individuals.

When you have too much government, your normal actions stop having normal consequences. This is what chaos is. You can't really know what to expect, and can't usually avoid the random consequences even if you know they are possible. You can be murdered for doing normal, non-evil things that humans have always done.

Things like carrying a weapon, crossing a street, using medications, hiding money from thieves, fighting back and killing your attacker, and various other normal acts.

Normal life becomes complicated and difficult to get through due to the "rules" which impose the order. This is stressful and causes individual chaos.

The order in too much order is only on the surface. The underlying chaos this "order" creates runs deep. If you support government, you support deadly chaos rather than the productive kind. You are the one promoting chaos and ruin. Regardless of your mindless protests to the contrary.

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

On fire for liberty

Why can't those who don't understand liberty understand liberty?

I have a hypothesis.

There are those who are able to use liberty when it is available. They don't put any thought into it; it is just there, or it's not.
They are like the people who can use fire as a simple tool, as long as someone else provides it. (Including by manufacturing lighters.)

There are then those who can see how liberty could be increased, and hunger for it when it is violated. They appreciate it, even if they can't really think outside the box. They often see nothing wrong with violating the liberty of people they don't care for.
They are like those who can usually build their own fire when they need one, and then use it as a tool, but don't understand the physical conditions which result in fire well enough to figure out how to make one if the familiar methods aren't available to them. They are probably a bit irrationally afraid of fire.

Then there are those who deeply understand liberty. They know what it is, at an instinctive level. They understand the implications of having it as well as those of having it denied. They can find ways to create liberty where none exists. They know people only get as much liberty as they respect in others, regardless of how they personally feel about those other people.
These are like the people who understand fire. They understand what it is and why it is necessary, and hidden ways it is used that most people never notice. They understand the chemical and physical processes which cause fire, and due to this understanding, can think of new ways to make fire if none of the known methods are available, and they can dream up new ways to use fire once they've got it.

So, trying to explain liberty to some people is like trying to show a dog how to make a fire with flint and steel, and then use that fire to smelt iron, make tiles, and cook a meal. They simply can't understand. Do they have a hole in their mind where liberty should be? I don't know. Is there a way to help them understand, anyway? I'm not sure.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

It's logical and factual

If theft is defined as an act in which property is taken from the owner against the owner's will, and if taxation is an act which (ever) involves property being taken from its owner against that person's will, then taxation is theft. If taxation is theft, and theft is wrong, then taxation is wrong.

In the same way...

If you can't archate and remain a good person, and cops have to archate to keep their "job", then cops who continue to be cops can't be good people.

You can rail against either point all you want, but you can't change the truth.

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Monday, October 23, 2017

You can't handle the truth- so you bully

I'm sure you've seen it yourself.

Someone doesn't "properly" worship Holy Pole Quilt, and offended statists threaten to come beat up the unbeliever.

Someone doesn't promote the lies hiding the truth about "The Troops" and the US military, and the fanboys start spouting desires for aggression against the heretic.

Someone tells the truth about cops, that they are nothing but a nasty gang of thugs, and their supporters lose their minds and start advocating your murder-- usually at the hands of the cops.

Someone refuses to give up their guns "in spite of" of the actions of some evil loser, so anti-gun bigots call for their government goons to go door to door stealing guns and killing anyone who resists.

Way to admit you just lost the debate.

Threatening aggression against someone who disagrees with you is a cowardly thing for a loser to resort to. It is also an indication that the statist is stupid. If you have no arguments, just threaten to punch or murder the person who exposed your lies.

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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Many misunderstand Declaration of Independence

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for September 20, 2017)

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." - Thomas Jefferson, in the Declaration of Independence

Those are some of the wisest words from American history. Sadly, they are almost entirely ignored today, other than occasional lip service to keep up the charade.

As stated, all humans are born equal; with identical rights. This doesn't mean people are equal in ability or that outcomes are guaranteed. "Unalienable" means no one has the power to separate anyone from their rights in any way for any reason. No one has the right to deny anyone their right to life, liberty, their pursuit of happiness, or any of the other rights which it admits those three are merely "among". A government office doesn't grant this power, nor does "national security" or any other excuse.

Government is not the "Creator" of the people, nor of their rights. Equality and rights do not come from government, nor are they only possessed by people under particular governments in certain lands. The Declaration doesn't claim any rights depend on citizenship, or even residency, but exist in all humans, for all times, wherever they may be.

I wish more people understood this.

In fact, I wish more people would read and understand the Declaration of Independence, noticing how it applies to today's situation. The US government has become far more tyrannical than was the government of King George III. Eighteenth Century Americans were bothered enough by the king's violations to divorce Great Britain; backing their decision with deadly force when their right of self-determination was opposed.

Less than one hundred years later, these lessons had already been forgotten. They had become an inconvenience to the ambitions of a home-grown tyrant.

The Declaration doesn't say the union which became the United States of America was to be a suicide pact; no one able to leave after joining. In fact, it states the exact opposite quite clearly. All political bands are dissolvable, as a human right, when the rights of the people are violated by a government which refuses to back down. Notwithstanding the outcome of Abraham Lincoln's war. Lincoln was on the wrong side of that bloody debate.

If you respect the Declaration of Independence, you can pretend its principles don't still apply to each and every person alive, but only at the expense of your honesty.

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The evil loser's bump-fire stocks

I am probably alone in this opinion, having seen several saying otherwise, but I don't believe the use of bump-fire stocks by the Las Vegas evil loser necessarily saved lives.

The argument is that a bump-fired rifle is difficult to aim accurately, bouncing around as it does due to how bump-fire stocks work, and had he aimed more carefully, he could have killed more people. I think this is completely irrelevant.

That's because if you are firing into a dense crowd, from a distance (and at height), you're probably not going to be really aiming, beyond generally pointing at the crowd. You aren't going to pick out individual "prey animals", but you're going to spray the "herd" with bullets and see what you hit. A bump-fire stock would mess up aimed shots, but not indiscriminate rapid fire. And, someone choosing to carefully pick targets at that distance would probably have chosen an entirely different type of rifle, to begin with.

Of course, I'm suspicious that the narrative around that event is being manipulated and lies are being pushed. But, it doesn't matter.

No one has the right, or the "authority" to make up "laws" against weaponry, weapon parts, or add-ons. It doesn't matter what some evil loser uses a particular weapon for. The right is absolute and not subject to a v*te, majority opinion, or anyone's feelings. It doesn't change after a tragedy or a malevolent act.

Any "laws" against bump-fire stocks are evil and stupid, as are those advocating them. Regardless of what an evil loser chose to do with them. The "laws" against self defense and against the proper tools to successfully exercise it are the problem-- one which could be solved so easily, if anyone actually wanted to.

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Saturday, October 21, 2017

If someone chooses to archate

One of the most common objections to a free society is that some won't go along with the principles. Some people will choose to be bad guys. When this objection is brought up, the objector seems to believe no one has ever pointed this out before, and that this is the final nail in the coffin.

That's dumb.

Yes, in a free society there will be thieves, murderers, rapists, con men, and every type of bad guy you might run across here and now. The only difference is that they won't be justified by a badge, a title, or a "job". If they mean to make excuses for their behavior, they are on their own, with nothing to hide behind.

This is a pitiful objection. So, when someone chooses to archate, what will you do about it?

The solution for such behavior is the same here or there-- but there wouldn't be unethical obstacles erected to protect the bad guys from the consequences of their behavior there, as is the case here.

But, in either situation, when someone does archate, then what?  Do you just give up? Lie down and die? Beg for a gang of thugs to save your pathetic self?

I hope not!

You still have no right to archate by attacking anyone who didn't do it. You have no right to archate by making (or enforcing) a "law", or otherwise governing others. Their archation doesn't justify yours.

What you can do is to defend yourself (or your property) against the person doing the violating. You can defend other people from their molester. When they "start it", you don't archate by responding, as long as you don't go beyond what you have a right to do. Don't cause "collateral damage", and if you accidentally do, pay up (figuratively and literally).

Self defense isn't archation. Self defense is a fundamental human right; one which can't be eliminated by "laws" or cops. Those nasty things can make self defense more costly-- more dangerous. But the right can't go away.

I understand if someone chooses to not defend themselves and others in this governed "society" which basically criminalizes self defense, but there would be fewer excuses in a free society.

So, yes, there will still be bad guys, but they shouldn't be much of a problem unless you refuse to take responsibility. And if you won't take responsibility, you are part of the problem anyway. Here and now, as well as in a future free society.

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Friday, October 20, 2017

Trump vs Kim vs Everyone else

If you see the problem between North Korean bullies and United Statesean bullies as a problem between North Korea and America, you may be a statist.

The North Korean bullies need to keep the North Korean prisoners from seeing them as the enemy (as they are), so they say they want to build nukes to protect their "country" from American aggression. But, it's not Americans who are the problem; it is the US government-- a totally different critter.

And the US government is an aggressive problem, not only to North Koreans, but to every individual on the planet. In the grand scheme of things, the US government is a much greater threat to someone living in a tiny town on the Great Plains than "North Korea" could ever manage to be.

However, this doesn't matter to the North Korean bullies, since it serves their need either way. Just as the boogyman of "North Korea" does for the US bullies trying to manipulate their prisoners into not storming the castle with torches and pitchforks.

Governments and their supporters are so pathetic. But they do play an effective game, as long as people don't think too much or too clearly.

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

When, deep down, you know you're wrong

It seems almost nothing gets statists as stirred up these days as declining to participate in their religious rituals.

Isn't that just the silliest thing?!

It's not even as though I am wanting to forbid Holy Pole Quilt worship rituals. If that sort of thing makes you happy, go right ahead.

But, I guess that's how you can tell a person is a statist: they are never content with doing their own thing-- they demand you do it, too. If you don't, they'll threaten you with physical harm, or worse. Or demand you get out of their country, without noticing the irony of their demand.

Statism is a very childish set of beliefs and behaviors, backed with aggressive extremism. And "laws".

All of which makes me even more certain they are wrong. If you are right, you won't need to threaten and bluster; you can calmly speak and reason. And, if someone isn't convinced, you go your own way and leave them alone to go theirs. You know, like a mature person.

Since statists seem incapable of behaving this way, it shows me how vacuous their "philosophy" truly is.
It's the Way of The Loser.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

No, I'm not running away

Just a heads-up: After tonight my internet is going to be shut off for a couple of days (until I'm able to pay the bill).

Depending on the weather, I may plop the laptop in the bike trailer and ride over to borrow a cup of wifi from my parents' house.

Otherwise I'll try to have some posts set to automatically publish without my help, but if I don't respond to comments or emails for a couple of days (or not in a timely manner), that's why.

(Added: Not looking for anyone to bail me out, just letting people know.)

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"Reasonable" non-solutions

When did it become "reasonable" to violate others?

This is something I see as very strange, and it is part of why I despise "pragmatism" so intensely. It has gotten to the point that if you can't find a way to get what you want voluntarily, while respecting the identical and equal rights of everyone else, you claim you are being "pragmatic" while advocating the opposite of what your supposed goal is, and get a pass. Your "heart is in the right place". You "care".

I understand it is inconvenient to work strictly within your rights, and respect the rights of others. It is easier to cheat; to use the political method to get what you want.

I will always see that as a cop-out. As lazy and wrong. Even if you claim it is necessary to get where you want to go.

You are upset that a bad guy used a gun to kill a lot of innocent people. OK. Fine. So am I. So find a way to deal with that problem without becoming like the bad guy. Without violating people's rights. Because, quite honestly, if you choose to cheat and make up new restrictive "laws", you are no better than a mass murderer. And you won't solve the problem anyway.

You don't like drunk driving? Neither do I. So find a way to fix the problem without violating everyone's rights. If you can't, you'd be wise to do nothing rather than to become a bad guy by using "laws" to violate the human right to travel unmolested.

You don't like that people cross the government's imaginary, property rights violating "borders" to v*te against your rights or otherwise archate against you? Well, there are dozens (or more) ways to approach the problem ethically. Building a wall, increasing "border security", and "papers, please" checkpoints aren't among them. Just because you feel powerless to strike at the root doesn't excuse your hacking at the branches and violating the rights of others. Dig up the root, because this is the only way to solve a problem without violating anyone. The problem is "free stuff" socialism. The problem is "laws" against defense and the proper tools to carry it out. The problem is v*ting and politics and "taxation". The solution is freedom of association, property rights, and self defense. I know those things are hard to advocate. I know how unpopular they are. But that is no excuse to do the wrong thing.

You're unhappy that medical care has been priced out of your reach. It's a huge problem for me, too. The right way to approach the problem is to recognize what caused it in the first place. Government has been allowed to meddle with, regulate, ration, and prohibit medical care. The solution lies with stopping that, not with stealing from some to finance the health care of others. The solution doesn't involve enslaving doctors and nurses and hospitals to force them to work for you. It's cowardly and lazy to assume it does, rather than doing the hard work of getting government out of health care (and the rest of life).

And yet, in all those instances, the extreme individual-violating ideas are the ones portrayed as "reasonable", while the ones which would actually fix things are dismissively laughed at. Solving problems without molesting, robbing, and murdering has become "Utopian".

A "solution" which violates the rights of even one person is not a solution; it is an additional problem.

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Socialistic Theocratic Statism

All statism is socialism. The only disagreement among the socialists is how to impose socialism on each other, and on the few of us who aren't socialists.

Also, all governments are theocracies. They only differ in which specific god they want controlling you. Some want Jehovah. Some want Allah. Some want the god of government-- they may call it "democracy", or "the republic", "the Constitution", or some other name. But it's still their god, and they want it to rule YOUR life.

I reject imposed socialism and all theocracy. You do what you want, but keep your filthy government off my life.
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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Ready to welcome you to free society

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for September 13, 2017)

Are you ready for liberty? How ready?

Few people are sufficiently ready for liberty to be willing to let go of government. At least not totally. Even while complaining about the corruption, expense, and incompetence that infects government at every level, they look for excuses to keep it around. They believe it can be fixed. I shake my head in wonder. What could they be thinking?

Do they fear a free society? A society without someone else to run their life and make their decisions. Without someone imposing their ideas of right and wrong on others; making everyone less able to recognize the difference for themselves with each new law. A society where no one is able to pretend they are made safer by trying to delegate their responsibilities to others. This is to say without the specter of government hanging over life. Is fear what keeps them from finding better solutions to life's troubles?

Good news! If you feel the need to keep government around for any reason, I am not out to stop you.

I don't mind if you keep your tax-funded government schools, police, military and whatever else you feel you need-- as long as I can completely opt out without being forced to leave. I would be exempt from all taxation ("taxation" is just a fancy word for theft). I won't be paying for those things I don't want, so I agree to not use them.

I have no problem with paying users fees for things and services I do use, such as roads. At least until I don't need them anymore. You don't get to use government to stand in my way and prevent me from trying non-government alternatives, though. So if I invent a flying car with built-in collision avoidance you don't get to force me to get FAA approval or a pilot's license.

None of this would exempt me from the consequences of violating you. If I harm your person or property, I wouldn't expect you to be able to handle it yourself, so I accept I could face your government's hired guns coming after me. Since I don't plan to violate you, this won't be a deal breaker.

Keep your post office, prisons, courts, and whatever else you believe you can't live without. Just leave me out of it. Then we'll see whether I come crawling back or whether you quietly join the free society with me. I'll be waiting to welcome you.
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Putting grit in the clockworks

Scott Adams almost gets it (again) (and again), but just misses the mark right where you'd expect. Right where "pragmatism" excuses violating people.

"...laws are not designed to stop the most motivated criminals. We’ve never seen a law in any realm that stopped all crime. At best, laws discourage the people on the margin. Gun control is no different. The objective is to add some friction and reduce the risk that someone angry enough to pick up an AR doesn’t also have a bump stock in the house." 

What is he missing?

The "friction" doesn't only work against bad guys. The fact is, if you add "friction", it prevents some percentage of good people from owning the gun they need to defend themselves, just as it might prevent some percentage of bad guys from having some specific tool.

It's convenient to ignore that part of the equation when you feel the desire to justify the unjustifiable.

This is why all anti-gun "laws" are evil. They are always going to be a net negative, because there are only two kinds of "laws"- the unnecessary and the harmful. Anti-gun "laws" are harmful, because for every hypothetical life saved, there is a hypothetical life lost. Plus added expense, time lost in trying to comply or maneuver around the "law", and risk of being caught doing nothing wrong, only "illegal".

I continue to think it is better to fail to act and maybe allow someone to be harmed, than to act to cause someone to be harmed. One is just a consequence of the Universe, the other is a consequence of you causing harm.

Anti-gun bigotry (which is the basis for every anti-gun "law", whether admitted or not) is nothing but "feelings" over rights and reality. Cowardice. My feelings don't trump your rights. And I'm OK with that. I wish other people would stop pretending otherwise.

Back to the blog linked, Adams makes other flawed claims: "Both sides pretend they are arguing on principle, but neither side is."
Really? respecting the absolute right of humans to own and to carry weapons isn't arguing from principle? You might not like the principle involved, but it is there. But there is no principle involved in violating human rights, so the anti-liberty bigots are always on the wrong side.

He also says "Both sides are arguing from their personal risk profiles, and those are simply different. Our risk profiles will never be the same across the entire population, so we will never agree on gun control."
Here's the problem with that... if you believe that owning a gun is "risky" for you, then I am in favor of you making the personal choice to not own one. However, your "risk profile" places no obligation on anyone else. Ever. My gun is not a risk to you as long as you don't try to archate in my presence. No matter how it makes you feel. Cowards, and those who want to be able to archate in relative safety, will never agree with me on anti-gun "laws"-- and I'm OK with that, too. They are only testifying against themselves. And it isn't my responsibility to coddle them, or allow myself to be violated on their behalf.

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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Different opinions

Yeah, I know you're not supposed to consider people with opinions which differ from yours to be evil or stupid. And, I really do try.


This means I'm not supposed to consider people who think rape is an OK way to interact with women to be evil. Their opinion simply differs from my opinion. Right?

Just like my opinion is that it is NOT OK to make up "laws" against self defensive tools, and if you do you are violating people. How can it be otherwise?

It means I'm not supposed to consider someone who believes "taxation" isn't theft stupid, regardless of the plain facts of the matter. Which do they not understand? What makes an act "theft", or how "taxation" is carried out? And, once both are explained to them and they still refuse to believe "taxation" is theft, I'm supposed to not think them stupid? They might as well believe fire is the breath of fairies, as far as I'm concerned. One belief is no less rational than the other.

OK, so maybe the people aren't evil or stupid, even if they keep refusing to change opinions that are. I understand that people get so invested in their opinions that they become immune to facts. It's human nature. Maybe opinions don't make a person stupid or evil until acted upon.

But how can a person hold opinions they don't act on? How could a person's opinions fail to guide their life? And, wouldn't this cause people with stupid or evil opinions to act evil or stupid? How consistently does a person have to behave in an evil or stupid way for me to consider them evil or stupid?

Really, if you can pretend that people with evil or stupid opinions, who act on those opinions to cause harm to others, are not evil or stupid, you can probably justify anything.

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Photos from the canyon

A bonus, for those who'd enjoy seeing a few pictures from my trip to the canyon, grouped here to keep the other blog posts from being too picture heavy to load well.

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Back from the canyon

I doubt anyone noticed my absence, but I was away from "civilization" for a few days.

Upon my return Monday evening, I was disheartened to see that there's still no civilization back here in "civilization".

The archators are still arguing over ways to violate you and me. Not that I really expected anything different.

While I was off wandering, I did see a "state police" pickup cruising around when I came in for meals. The occupant losers staring intensely at everyone they passed, hoping to break their boredom by seeing some excuse to molest someone. But otherwise I was pretty much able to forget that such bad guys exist. I didn't waste my time thinking about archators, with the exception of overhearing someone make a dumb comment, that I got off my mind by making a short video.

Instead I did useful things. I mindlessly wandered wherever the whim took me. I looked at animal tracks and watched some tracks being made. I nibbled weeds. I took my daughter along to show her some of the things I found. I talked to a lizard sunning on a rock, and I petted a big centipede. Just normal things.

I also worked at teaching a young boy the art of making fire without matches- with his mother's informed consent. I told her I am not responsible if he burns down the house. His patience level is probably going to have to increase before he's too much of a danger in that regard, but you never know.

Anyway, it was a nice, badly needed break. But I'm back and ready to write.

(I'll do another post with some pictures, so as not to overload this post.)

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Fixed it

These nagging signs almost make me want to buy cigarettes for kindergarteners. 

Scary tobacco! Eeek! And an arbitrary age makes it magically OK. The government says so; it must be true.

So, I changed the sign to say what I always see when I notice them, anyway. It's better this way.

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Charity, not theft or slavery

A new post over at Dispatches from Libertopia.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Bad guys win if we live in fear

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for September 6, 2017)

In the aftermath of the library shootings, the community seemed plagued by fear for days. Fortunately, it seems to have mostly passed. Yes, a very bad thing happened, but do you want fear to limit your life? It's your choice.

Every bad thing that happens, happens to good people. If it happened only to bad people, it wouldn't be a bad thing.

Bad things will happen to you. It's guaranteed. Your worst day will start off feeling just like every other day. You will never see that day coming.

Knowing this, isn't it reasonable to be afraid?

Maybe. I don't know. But, I'm not afraid. Unfocused fear is a waste.

What I suggest is to accept reality. Yes, bad things can happen, and will. You can still take steps to protect yourself. You can commit yourself to helping and defending others. You can listen to your gut, and when it says to avoid someone, follow its advice. Be ready to handle bad things when they arrive and can't be prevented. Nothing will guarantee your safety. It's still better than doing nothing.

Don't hurt people or take their stuff. It's kindergarten level philosophy, but it's still right for every person of every age, and often forgotten by adults.

Move beyond regrets. If there's something from the past you regret, deal with it if you can and let it go if you can't. Don't do new things you'll regret. If there's something you may regret, which you don't believe you can completely avoid doing, put it off until tomorrow. Then tomorrow you can put it off again. See, procrastination can be good for something.

Fear is a reaction to the unknown, especially unknowns that could hurt. Everything is unknown to some degree. It's a fairy tale to believe you really know what your day holds in store, no matter how carefully you have planned. Yet, your daily routine and plans probably help you keep fear at bay. So plan. Hope for the best while being prepared for the worst. In this way you have a chance to make the worst not quite as bad.

Wouldn't it be better to refuse to be afraid?

There are bad people out there who want you to be afraid. Your fear rewards them. Don't pay the fear tax they crave. If you are afraid, they win. If you restrict your life because you fear their presence, they win. I don't want the bad guys to win. Do you?

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Mourning the women who touched our lives

(A "special edition" Eastern New Mexico News Sunday column for September 3, 2017)

How do you tell your daughter, on her tenth birthday, that her friend has been murdered? There isn't a good way, but I was forced to give it my best shot last week. I know I wasn't the only one; a lot of grieving parents around here shared the same experience with their children.

My daughter grew up with Miss Krissie at the library. The love she showed all the kids who came to share her world of books and crafts made her a favorite. I sat through many a Preschool Storyhour, even after my daughter got too old to really be interested in the juvenile books which were read each week. She loved Miss Krissie and wanted to be there anyway, just to see her. Just to hug her and talk with her.

Life gets busy, children grow, routines change, and new activities replace old favorites. It has been a while since we sat on the rug in the craft room, facing the magical, colorful chair which served as Miss Krissie's throne while she read to the kids. But, still, every time we went to the library, Miss Krissie was the one my daughter wanted to see.

We didn't know Wanda as well, but it seemed she was always there. Always interested in anything my daughter had to say when we went to the counter. She asked questions and acted like whatever my daughter told her was the most important thing she'd heard all day. That kind of interest makes an impact on kids who may suspect most adults are only humoring them.

I grieve the two caring women who lost their lives, and I hope the four others who were injured recover as quickly as possible.

Acts such as this one, which robbed the children of Clovis of a wonderful friend, are often characterized as "senseless". But they are worse than that. Hurricanes and earthquakes and accidents are senseless. Murders are malevolent. There is simply no excuse which justifies it.

I might disagree with how libraries are commonly funded, but I have always valued them. And the people who work in them. This crime hurt.

I try to not be angry. Anger doesn't solve anything. Sadness probably doesn't help much, either, but I won't feel guilty for it. I'm just going to be sad with my daughter and help her through it the best I can. I believe it's what Miss Krissie would want.

Thank you for being my daughter's friend, Miss Krissie.

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Statism is extremism

It's strange to me how libertarians (we who are "aVal") are called "extreme" when the opposite is clearly the case.

For example:

One type of statist wants walls around everything. They don't stop with their houses, and private property, but want walls even around other people's property, in the form of "national borders" with actual physical walls, if possible.

The other type of statist doesn't stop at objecting to walls along "national borders", but doesn't even believe in private property, and therefore doesn't want you to exclude anyone from anywhere; it wouldn't be "fair".

Sure, there are degrees of extremism even among those poles of statism, but they are all comparatively extreme.

Only those who walk the line of reasonableness between the extremes manage to balance their principles where they need to be: walls around the property YOU own and control, and nowhere else.

The same goes for every other "issue" where liberty lovers are called "extreme".

Just look at any issue-- guns, drugs, trade, whatever-- and notice how extreme the statists are, and how reasonable, with regard to reality and human nature, libertarians are. This is because liberty is self-regulating. As it should be. And, that leaves the statists no room in which to rule the world, and they don't like it. Too bad; so sad. Reality doesn't care about anyone's feelings.

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Monday, October 09, 2017

Dragged around by your feelings

If you have thought things through, and done it right, your opinions won't change due to events.

Yes, new information that shows you were wrong on some point can (and should) change your opinion, but new events that don't have any actual new information shouldn't change your view of reality.

It doesn't matter if it was a "historic" mass shooting, a friend being killed in a local mass shooting, or your daughter dying in a car wreck caused by a guy on drugs.

If those things do suddenly make you change your opinion, my thought is that you weren't thinking before, but only feeling.

I know, that's probably harsh.

But, I'm tired of people suddenly becoming (or coming out as) anti-gun bigots because an event makes them sad or scared. The reality of the facts didn't change, only your perception did. And this means you aren't perceiving things accurately.

Anti-gun "laws" are still a net negative; they do more harm than good.
Anti-gun "laws" don't save innocent lives, and sometimes destroy innocent lives. More people are still saved by gun ownership and possession ("keep and bear arms") than are harmed.
Bad people who are not stopped by laws against murder aren't going to be stopped by any other "laws", either.
The kind of weapon doesn't matter when you are being murdered-- it isn't somehow "better" to be stabbed to death, strangled, or intentionally hit by a car than to be shot.
Guns are easy to make, and if you are going to the trouble of making one anyway, you might as well make a full-auto firearm (it's easier than a semi-auto, anyway), if the penalties are all about the same and that's what you want to make.
If ammo is banned, people will invent guns that don't need it, or ammo that is easy to make with stuff found around the house. Liberty ALWAYS finds a way.

But that's not even the issue.

No one has the right to forbid anyone else from owning or carrying a gun. Your feelings about the matter are irrelevant (sorry) and don't magically create that right. A "job" or position can't create that right out of thin air. A huge tragedy or act of malevolence can't create that right. A public outcry doesn't create that right. A right that doesn't exist can't be created just because you want it.

It would be nice to see people grow some principles, but that's probably expecting too much for members of a species that choose to be ruled by their feelings.

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Sunday, October 08, 2017

Reaping what you sow

Just a little observation...

I've noticed a pattern: The people who are angry, bitter, resentful, suspicious, and "entitled" seem to get a lot of real-time payback.

They find the hair (or Band-aid) in their food. They get the cold, soggy french fries. They always encounter the angry customers and cashiers. They get stuck in traffic more often. People actually do turn against them, and enjoy their misery-- or at least do nothing to prevent it.

Then they get even angrier, more bitter and resentful, and just more negative in general.

And they'll believe it's justified, never seeing the connection.

It's a vicious cycle. A trap. One I take care not to fall into even when things happen that might make it seem reasonable. Because I've watched people like this and I see what happens to them, and I don't want to follow in their footsteps.

It's better to learn from the pain of others, than to insist on trying every experiment on yourself.

And, sure. It might be confirmation bias on my part. But if it is, it's a useful one that helps keep me from being a jerk to those around me.

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Saturday, October 07, 2017

Echo chambers aren't an option

 I'm not going to stop writing to go to a video format, but just offer these as a bonus of sorts. I make more videos than I post here. If you haven't yet subscribed to my amateurish videos, take this opportunity to do so.

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Friday, October 06, 2017

"Conservatives" are just statists

My contempt for "conservatives" grows. Almost daily. Which is strange, since my own personal preferences would probably lean mostly toward what outside observers would call "conservative".

Most of the behaviors that would label someone a "liberal"/"progressive" hold no interest whatsoever for me.

I really want to have sympathy for "conservatives", but their hypocrisy makes this very hard.

And it really comes down to the way they want to impose their preferences at the barrel of a government employee's gun.

I understand that you don't want to smoke crack. I'm right there with you. But to then decide it's OK for government employees to kidnap, rob, and cage people who choose differently is vile. And the same goes for everything else "conservatives" feel entitled to molest people over. They want their values forced on everyone.

Look, if someone is archating, do what you have to. But if they are simply doing things you don't want them to do, without archating, you need to leave them alone (beyond trying to talk them out of it, perhaps). If you can't do this you have become the bad guy. The archator. Just don't.

Trying to convince me of your rightness, while using government to impose your preferences, is always going to fall flat. Your arguments are hollow. I see you as a bigger threat than just about anyone else out there. You could be so much better. Just let go of the superstition that holds you down and makes you wrong. Come to the good side-- we have liberty.

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Thursday, October 05, 2017

Who causes most of life's troubles?

It sure would be nice if life could go the way I believe would be better. At least for a while. That's not usually how it goes.

It's not that there's usually anything particularly awful going on, just more of the same. A break seems like it would be nice.

Life brings trouble, so knowing the alternative...

It would be comforting to blame others for my troubles. It would be easy. And dishonest.

Whose fault are my troubles? Mine. Without a doubt.

Even when I can point to specific people who cause trouble for me, it is almost always my fault they are in a position to cause problems to me. Due to my previous bad decisions or other things.

And I also know my troubles are not the fault of statists, not even mass-murdering ones. I could manage to screw things up in my own life in a free society.

That's not to say statists don't make things worse with their "laws", theft, and aggression. Of course they do.

But most of the responsibility lies with myself. And I know this from experience-- when I lived in a freer place, I still managed to be my own worst enemy. That's why I don't still live in the freer place.

So, even though I write about external things the most, I focus more of my own time and effort on working on myself. I have no idea whether that's what I "should" do or not, but I do know I can't change other people; only myself. I'm a work in progress, and always will be.

I appreciate those who stick by me and encourage me.

Thank you.

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Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Make no mistake...

Everyone who wants any anti-gun "law" is promoting mass murder.

Any politician who proposes any anti-gun "law" is befriending mass murderers.

Any cop who enforces any anti-gun "law" is collaborating with mass murderers.

That is the simple fact of the matter, no matter how you feel about it.

Stating this fact during or immediately after a mass murder occurs, knowing what the anti-gun bigots will already be promoting, may not seem "in good taste" to those anti-gun bigots who want to preach without contradiction (or to the wishy-washy folks who enable them).
Well, neither is mass murder or encouraging it. SHAME on you!

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The "feeling people" say it's time to talk about gun laws

Yes, it is time to consider gun laws... and think of the innocent lives lost to them.

They ALL need to either be abolished or ignored. Permanently. And I really don't care which. Either one would have the same positive effect.

Again, the recent massacre occurred, and was more deadly, in large part because of the existence of "gun free zones" and because of anti-gun policies that made it less likely that good people in the hotel could respond quickly to an evil loser.

As it happened, 72 minutes was considered "quick response" for people with guns to show up to stop the evil loser.

Every anti-gun "law" only affects the good people who don't want to hurt innocent people; never the evil losers. It's like giving them a hall pass to kill.

It's time to end this evil loser-enabling "culture" once and for all. It's time to make a truly polite society rise from the ashes.
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