Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Cornered by bigots

When someone threatens me, personally, I get angry. If they are within striking distance I may violently defend myself from them.

And, make no mistake, those demanding more anti-gun "laws" are threatening me personally. They are threatening to violently attack, rob, and enslave me... and murder me if I resist. That's what "laws" are: a threat.

But no one has had the guts to do it to my face, even when directed at me. As is the nature of these anti-liberty cowards, they do it while hiding behind screens, hundreds of miles away. They still make me angry and trigger my "fight or flight" response.

The danger to them is there is nowhere left to fly to. The anti-liberty bigots have closed off the entire freakin' planet. "Pro-gun" places like Texas impose anti-gun "laws" no civilized place would ever tolerate-- and the anti-liberty bigots whine that it's not enough. It's never enough. That leaves fighting as the available option.

I understand the sentiment of "Kill 'em all" even though I disagree with it in practice.

I'll continue to use my words to try to show them the error of their ways and to make it clear I gave them every chance to do the right thing and get their filthy government off my rights. But I know what it's going to come to. Sooner or later. It's only a matter of time.

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Monday, February 26, 2018

Prescription for curing mass murders

I've said it in the past, and I'll say it again:
If you want to decrease actual crime, particularly mass murders, you've got to raise the cost. You need to raise the cost high enough that almost no one decides it's worth the trouble, since they'll not get what they want out of it anyway.

You can't do that with "laws"; bad guys never believe they are going to get caught. The most effective way to raise the cost of being a bad guy, in a way the bad guys will actually understand, is to make it more likely they'll die during their attack-- before they accomplish their goal of killing others.

You do that by doing everything you can to encourage everyone-- and I mean EVERYONE-- to be armed and prepared to stop an attacker in his tracks wherever one strikes. Yes, that means you will have to ignore counterfeit "laws". Or you can try to force the anti-liberty bigots to abolish their anti-gun "laws", but good luck with that.

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Sunday, February 25, 2018

Valuing collective above all unsustainable

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for January 24, 2018)

Like most people, I enjoy fiction; books, movies, and television programs. Fiction can be entertaining, educational, and inspiring as long as you don't confuse it with reality.

As a child I loved re-runs of "Gilligan's Island" and dreamed of being marooned on a deserted tropical island.

The older I became, the less realistic their situation seemed.

The lack of variety in their diet, the constant parade of accidental transient visitors who never sent back help, the clothing which never wore out, and the near magical technology built from coconut shells by people unable to build a simple boat. The better I understood reality, the more I needed to suspend disbelief to enjoy the show. Eventually it became too much.

Now I prefer things which are a bit more realistic, unless I want to let my brain snooze.

This is why I can't buy into politics. Especially the socialism promoted by both of America's "mainstream political parties".

Socialism-- which comes down to the belief that people with political power can dictate how, or if, individuals will be allowed to use their property and the products of their labor -- isn't realistic or sustainable. It is based on poor understanding of how things are connected, and a denial of human nature. It can't work without violently forcing everyone to comply and forbidding anyone to opt out; an idea so good it must be imposed by threats of death.

One popular idea currently pushed by one faction of socialists is what they call "Universal Basic Income"-- money paid to everyone for simply being alive. This ignores basic universal economic reality in favor of wishful thinking.

Where does this money come from? Coconuts? Is it stolen through acts of taxation, or is it counterfeited by the Federal Reserve? Either way, it will make the economy worse and hurt the people who believe they will benefit. It will cause greater inflation, because eventually-- and probably fairly quickly-- this basic income level will become the new "totally broke" as prices rise in reaction. People will then demand more and the cycle will repeat. That's without even taking into account the economic damage of new taxes or the accelerated influx of debased money.

Any ideology which places a collective-- be it a nation, society, or political party-- above the individual is the same. It is unsustainable; based on a happy fiction which can't work in the real world, no matter how desperately people wish it could. Welcome to Gilligan's Planet.

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Government "ethics"

That's a phrase that amuses and bewilders me: government ethics.

How can a criminal gang have ethics? Now, I would argue they can have morals-- worthless, harmful morals. But, actual ethics? No.

What kind of "ethics" leaves room for "taxation", kidnapping, mass murder, prohibition, slavery, and other forms of archation? Only government "ethics".

You might as well be talking about the ethics of muggers or child molesters.

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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Why "archation"?

Why create and use the word "archation"? Why not just say "aggression"?

Because aggression is part of it, but not the whole of it. There is also theft or other violations of property.

Archation is anything you don't have a right to do. Anything that someone looking to rule you might feel entitled to do to you.

As you can see, aggression doesn't cover it all.

Some people have tried to tell me that theft is aggression. I don't believe it is, partly because others have argued against this, and I see their point. You can steal without resorting to physical force, which is what aggression is to me. You can defraud. You can peacefully trespass. Those are violations of property rights, but not very "aggressive" ones. You still have no right to do them. It is still archation.

Many people try to justify government by saying it isn't aggression because you could leave, or they'll resort to the silly "consent of the governed" thing. I guess I am not governed because I don't consent. Right? I might be murdered for my rejection of being governed, but I am not governed. I might do some things that those who govern-- those who archate-- want me to do. But that's not being governed. If I hand over some money to a mugger because I have weighed the costs of complying or not complying and found compliance to be the smart choice this time, then he has archated. If I choose to comply with a particular "law" because I have weighed the options and decided that complying is the smarter choice in this moment, I have been archated against.

You have no right to initiate force or violate property rights. You have no right to govern, murder, rob, rape, trespass, defraud, or kidnap. Those acts are all the same, ethically. You have no right to archate.

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Friday, February 23, 2018

School, not guns, is the problem

Allowing government schools to continue to exist is a safety nightmare.

First of all, you are putting your kids in the hands of cowards and ethical cripples. They ban the decent people from being armed, which encourages evil losers to treat the school as a shooting gallery. If you work for or in a school, and you don't fight against the "no guns/weapons" policies you are part of the problem. If you help those policies be enforced you are so much worse.

Schooling is not synonymous with education, and it's long past time to banish that religious delusion. Calling for government schools-- kinderprisons-- to be abolished completely isn't speaking out against education; it is placing education over indoctrination.

But, if someone wants their kids to be indoctrinated into the statist religion in a state-administered shooting gallery, that's their business-- as long as they don't force others to pay for it, and they don't try to impose compulsory attendance "laws". Truancy is not ever wrong and can't be a real crime.

"School shootings" are only a symptom of a destructive government program which has been destroying individuals and families for much too long. It's past time to make them go away, or at least limit the damage they do to those who are too ignorant to care. Death to kinderprison!

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Now, on Medium (too)

Just a heads-up if you are interested.

I've started blogging over on Medium.

I will recycle some of my posts from this blog, I will share some (maybe all) of my new posts from this blog, I will write some new content which probably won't be shared here, and I will write about things other than liberty over there. You've been warned!

This will remain my main blog unless I start making so much money on Medium that it makes sense to make it my main blog. I don't see that happening, but I've got to try to find a way to make this whole writing thing pay a little more, and this is just my latest attempt.

Wish me luck (or follow me over there, too).

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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Government- a deadly dead end

A representation of a fitness landscape

Government works. Sort of.

It's not the worst thing to happen to humans, but as a "success" it is a local, less than optimal, situation. But it was good enough that humans who governed each other were still able to survive and reproduce.

Government occupies what is known as a "fitness peak"; a local area of "good enough" (for now) in a range of possibilities.

Following the path up the mountain that signifies government leads to a dead end. You get to the peak, and you think it works, but you can't go any higher. You can't do better by doing more of the same. Maybe it even worked better than where you were. But as the sea rises, you realize you are trapped on an island that will soon vanish beneath the waves. You need to abandon your disappearing peak. And you can, but not without doing something which fearful, cowardly statists refuse to do.

You have to move from your suboptimal peak to a higher peak, and you can't get there without coming down from your mountain and crossing a valley. A valley which may already be flooded, and if not, will be flooded soon; maybe even before you can fully cross it. But you have no choice-- the human species has no choice.

Doing what is necessary is scary, especially to those whose blinders prevent them from seeing that they are at a dead end, and there are higher peaks, offering greater fitness, just a short journey away.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Little Engine that could, but chose not to

There once was a Little Engine.
It wasn't the biggest or the strongest engine, but it was a good little engine. It loved being useful and it loved helping when it could. This didn't pay well, and the Little Engine often ran short of fuel.
The Little Engine was told about a job for which a train was needed. A job that paid well. A job that was said to be helpful; hauling government troops and their equipment over a steep mountain to their next destination.
It wouldn't be an easy job but would push the Little Engine to its limits.
All its friends encouraged the Little Engine to do what they knew it was capable of. They knew it could get that job hauling troops over the mountain, even though the mountain was very steep, and usually only much more powerful engines did the job. They knew the Little Engine had heart, and a reserve of strength. The engine's friends kept saying "We know you can do it! It's a respectable job; supporting the troops! It pays well! You can do it! You can do it!"
But the little engine knew that the troops were armed government employees, used to impose the opinions of political bullies on others, by breaking things and killing people in places they have no right to be. The little engine knew that the troops were paid by a type of theft called "taxation", and that the pay for hauling the troops over the mountain would be obtained the same way.
The Little Engine had ethics and principles.
The Little Engine knew it could, but knew it shouldn't.
The Little Engine refused the job and was shut down by the federal government for being a suspected terrorist sympathizer.
The End.

Paraphrased from Jurrasic Park's Dr. Ian Malcolm:
"Humans were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should."

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Umbridges galore

Dolores Umbridge-
famous fictional pecksniff

There is no difference between those who use their distaste for some forms of consensual sex, drugs, or "immigrants" [sic]-- and their drive to "protect the culture" or morals from those things by way of government or "laws"-- and those who do the same thing with guns. None.

The "cost to society" excuse is a handy tool for both types of anti-liberty bigot to use against rights they don't like.

It's just a game of justifying being a control freak.

And I see it a lot. One type of statist wants to protect society from some liberties, while other statists want to protect society from the other liberties. Until there is no liberty left-- and the moralizing bullies still will never be content. It's never enough for them.

I realize they believe they are protecting fragile order from the chaos of people just "doing whatever they want, with no regard to consequences". They'll admit as much. The problem is "just doing whatever they want, with no regard to consequences" applies identically to the control freaks and anti-liberty bigots. They are what they rail against. Too much order is as deadly as too much chaos.

Liberty is never up to their approval. Thank goodness!

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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Governments are a net negative

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for January 17, 2018)

A great many people are upset because President Trump is claimed to have observed that many places around the world are, shall we say, "less than ideal". Of course, being Donald Trump, he is claimed to have used a colorful metaphor to describe those places. It is honest, but not polite.

His detractors see racism in this observation, which isn't surprising since they are the same people who see racism around every rock and hear it in every word. I don't see racism, but I do see denial.

The harsh truth is there are many places around the globe fitting this description. They can have a negative effect on the ethics and intelligence of those who live there.

Trump is, however, unlikely to admit what usually creates those conditions. It isn't the people who live there. In almost every instance, the horrible conditions are primarily the fault of the governments the people in those places are burdened with; the states they live under.

Obviously, in some cases the residents chose the government, but normally they didn't. Did you personally choose any of the governments-- not just people who hold some government positions-- which impose themselves on your life? I didn't think so. How much blame do you want to accept for the actions of any of the governments around you? How much should you accept? Unless you support one or more of those governments or their policies, I don't hold you personally responsible for the atrocities they commit, or the conditions which result.

This brings up another guilty party, largely responsible for the conditions mentioned..

In many cases a place is "less than ideal" because of acts committed by the U. S. government (usually through its military) against the people, society, infrastructure, and resources of the foreign land. It's extremely dishonest to wreck up a place, then insult the victims over the mess you made of their home. And to then complain when the people leave and look for a new home is downright evil.

Of course, governments thrive on chaos, and refugees create chaos, so creating refugees is a win for government. No matter which side of the issue they pretend to be on.

This illustrates why governments shouldn't have "immigration policies" to begin with, and shouldn't be able to get away with going around the world killing people and breaking stuff. Governments are a net negative on the world. Don't add to the misery and chaos by supporting any of them.

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To "advocate"

No one has the right to advocate the initiation of force or property violations. If you are libertarian, this is something you know. But, what exactly does it mean to "advocate" something?

It doesn't just mean to believe it, or to even accept it. It doesn't mean to discuss it with others as a hypothetical possibility.

Dictionary.com says to advocate means "to speak or write in favor of; support or urge by argument; recommend publicly"

It means to try to convince others to do something you want them to do. This can be good or bad.

It's not a "free speech" issue once you start advocating that someone do something they have no right to do.

In spite of "legal" opinions to the contrary, you do have a right to falsely yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater, but you have no right to light the flames and then claim you didn't do anything wrong, it was the fire's fault. Advocating archation is lighting the flames of archation in weak hearts and minds. You have no right to do so.

Sure, if you are trying to talk someone into violating life, liberty, or property, and they actually do it, the bulk of the guilt is on them for being the ones who chose to archate. However, you had no right to advocate what you did, so you share the blame.

If this weren't the case Hitler would be innocent of any wrongdoing. After all, he probably never killed anyone himself, he simply advocated that others do so. Rather effectively. So did Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Bill Clinton, George Bush (both of them), Obama, and every other tyrannical mass murderer throughout history. Even if any of them did personally kill some people, the numbers of those killed because they advocated it is orders of magnitude greater.

This doesn't mean I want "laws" used against you, or to see you punished if you advocate archation. It means I am warning you that people have the right to defend themselves from you when you are out there advocating their violation. You are warned.

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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Substituting passion for reason (abortion)

I've said in the past that I don't "like" abortion, but I'm not passionate about the issue. People who are passionate about it make me uncomfortable, and anytime I write about it I know I'm inviting passionate people to descend upon me. Thus I don't mention it often.

I do not believe a zygote has rights-- you can't violate it. I believe a full-term baby does have rights, even though it isn't capable of exercising many of them yet. I believe those things as strongly as I believe gravity is a real force which I can depend on to be consistent, but I can't think of a way to prove it so I can't be 100% positive.

That means I believe somewhere along the path from zygote to blastula to embryo to fetus to baby, this living tissue- the zygote into the future, undergoing continual cell division- becomes a human. Not just human tissue or a unique human genetic thing, but A Human with human rights no one has the right to violate. And I don't know how to know where that happens so my position would be to err on the side of assuming rights earlier rather than later.

I do absolutely believe pregnant women have every human right.

It seems to me that rights could probably be said to correlate to nervous system function in some way. Yes, I know this opens the door to debating how functional a human's brain must be before I would say they have rights. And, like all the rest of this, I don't know.

This lack of knowing is why I can't be passionate about it. It's why I'm not going to go hard against others for their opinion, whichever way they believe. I'm not going to argue very hard for my opinion on the topic. Because, no matter how passionate you are on either side, it is an opinion (not based on enough facts) you are passionate about. You don't know, even if you believe you do. No one does. It depends on subjective definitions and assumptions. It leads to absurd declarations from both sides when passion gets involved.

And, usually, it leads to calls to make something "illegal". I don't believe it's ever right to get government or its "laws" involved in anything.

If you are passionate about the topic, on either side, do what you feel you must. Just don't expect much support or attention from me.

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Friday, February 16, 2018

"Rights" you can't have

You don't have the right to archate. No one does. No one can. Nothing can create such a right. Not wishes, not public opinion, not a "need", not fear, nothing.

This means you have no right to murder, to steal, to govern, to "tax", to rape, to commit prohibition, to enslave, to commit acts of "gun control", to shoot up a crowd, to set up "checkpoints", to trespass, to legislate, to do anything which in any way violates someone's property rights or initiates force against them.

If you do any of those things, people have an absolute right to defend themselves from you. Again, you can't get rid of that right just because it makes you unhappy.

This doesn't change due to your "job", popularity, position, or any one-sided government document.

I will never knowingly or intentionally advocate anything which would be archation. I am human, and I have feelings, and I sometimes might let feelings get the better of me. But I have no right to archate, nor to advocate for archation. It's just the way it is, like it or not.

And I'm OK with that.

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I want school shooters to die

I want school shooters (and library shooters) to die.

Not by lethal injection or other types of ritual revenge, but in the act. Killed by an armed bystander. And I want it to happen every single time. I want them to die.

And not only them, but anyone who tries to murder. Regardless of whether they wear a hoodie or camo or a badge or a chicken suit. I want them to die.

I want them to die whether they are using a pistol, a rifle, a knife, a brick, a fist, a 2X4, or a "law" as their weapon of choice. If they attack anyone with the intent to cause serious harm or death, I want them to die.

I don't care if they are killed while shooting at innocent people in a crowded place, or while kicking in the door of a home at 3 A.M. with guns drawn while looking for "drugs" with or without a warrant. I want them to die.

Anything that makes it less likely that they will be killed is something I can't support.
Anything that makes it more likely that their victims can kill them and stop the attack is something I can probably support. I want them to die.

Those who advocate "gun control" are on the side of the murderers who I want to die. They are protecting the bad guys.

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Dawkins' religious error

And I'll go further than that, since I was severely limited by Twitter's character count. Here's the link to the tweet, in case you're interested.

Taking away someone's "Comfort Blanky" is also something you have no right to do. For the same reason you have no right to take someone's gun, house, car, money, or any other property. You have no right to violate the property rights of others. Period. It's a right that can't exist. Not seeing this is a blind spot caused by religious belief.

I'm sorry if you are offended that I said "thoughts and prayers" are useless. I know that's not quite true-- at the minimum they make people feel better when there's nothing real they can do about a bad situation. And, they can let a hurting person know (if they are informed about them) that someone cares and wishes they could help. I'm unconvinced about any usefulness beyond that, but would love to be proved wrong But I needed some common ground with Dawkins here.

I know Dawkins is famous for his atheism, but you and I know he isn't an atheist because he still believes in The State due to his superstitious belief in "authority" (new link, hope it works now). You can't be an atheist, by definition, if you believe in any gods whatsoever and believe in any religion. Statism is not only a religion, it's the most popular religion on the planet by a wide margin.

I already see people agreeing with Dawkins because they don't understand rights in the slightest, and one guy even believes someone once took away my "right" to own slaves- a right that can't exist any more than a right to steal can exist. People are dumb. I am an abolitionist. I know slavery is always wrong, no matter how you dress it up. It is a violation of life, liberty, and property. Anti-liberty bigots (and theft advocates) are the ethical equivalent to slavers. No, that's not quite right. Statists ARE slavers.

Religious beliefs can make you advocate atrocities if you refuse to think critically. Don't make Dawkins' error.

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Someone sent me a video recently, extolling the "character" of a few individuals. On a couple of the cases, I completely agreed. They had character, and showed it.

On one, though, I'm confused as to why it was claimed he had "character" worth celebrating.

What is the definition of "character"? Well, here are those that seem relevant:

3. moral or ethical quality 
4. qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity: It takes character to face up to a bully.  
5. reputation: a stain on one's character.  
6. good repute.

The person in question is going through terminal brain cancer, and has survived years beyond his "expiration date". And in apparent good spirits due to his religious beliefs. But that's where I have a problem. If he lacked those comforting beliefs, yet was still in good spirits, I would be more inclined to praise his character. As it is, it seems to be his beliefs sustaining him, not his character. Or am I wrong?

Are your beliefs the same as character?

In any case, I wish him well. I wouldn't wish his disease on anyone who wasn't violating the innocent (but I wish it on all who do violate others as a matter of course, especially when a consequence of "just doing my job").

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

It's not what they claim it is

Libertarianism is not about what many of its enemies pretend it is about. It is not about being "anti-government". What it is about is the recognition that no one has the right to initiate force or violate private property. In other words, no one has the right to archate. That's it, period.

If it isn't about not having the right to archate, it might still be compatible with libertarianism, but it isn't central to libertarianism. A statist or other archator might hold the same position.

If it tries to excuse or justify archation in any way, it is not compatible with libertarianism, no matter who is advocating it.

Many "libertarian, but" folk make this mistake.

What is unfortunate for the government extremists is the fact that this totally discredits government*. Government does everything it does by initiating force and by violating private property rights. If it didn't do those things it would cease to exist as government. It might be something else-- an organization perhaps-- but it wouldn't be what most people have come to define as "government".

Being anti-government is a result of consistent libertarianism, not a cause.

Government isn't the only excuse bullies use to archate. Not by a long shot. But it is the main excuse accepted as justification by most of your family, friends, and neighbors. And that's why it tends to be a focus.

You don't have to spend your time pointing out that rape is wrong, and that there can't be a "right to commit rape", because just about everyone is aware of the fact-- they'll agree with you.

But, since almost everyone around you believes governing is OK, when in truth it is an act identical in its evil to rape, this is where you'll end up disagreeing with the statists, and this disagreement is what they'll remember longest. They'll come away believing you are only "anti-government", not against all archation. It won't even matter how many times you point out the truth.

It's sad, but I am not really sure how to avoid it as long as most people suffer from the mental illness of embracing government.

*Yes, yes, I know. Government is imaginary. People commit evil, not the imaginary club known as "government". Yet, that is how those who are out there committing evil think of themselves, and it is this thought pattern which makes them see their evil acts as somehow "OK". I think it's useful to approach their delusion from all directions.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

States need victims

Another way government makes people weak and pathetic.

Victim cultures share in common with honor cultures the sensitivity to slights or insults, but whereas those in an honor culture might try to retaliate (physically or otherwise), people in a victim culture will instead appeal to a powerful, omnipresent state/legal authority. Classic examples are Mao’s China and Stalin’s Russia. In contrast to honor cultures that expect victims to be strong and stern enough to defend themselves, and dignity cultures that expect victims to be calm and charitable when in a dispute or disagreement, victim cultures emphasize how complainants are emotionally or physically fragile, vulnerable, and weak. In order to have high status in a victim culture, one must perfect and dramatize a personal “narrative of suffering. (emphasis mine) Source.

Notice that it's the overbearing presence of "authority" which gives weak and pathetic people the ability to form such a "culture", and this then feeds the "authority", creating a crippling feedback loop.

Statism is, and has always been, the preferred "culture" of the weak and pathetic, and of those evil enough to use the cowardice and childishness of the weak and pathetic to their advantage.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Collecting the bones of an empire

Maybe I'm funny, but I look forward to a time after the US Empire has fallen in on itself, and pathetic "patriotic" losers of the future collect memorabilia from the police state past they miss; wearing the uniforms and insignia while clinging to their nostalgic delusions of a glorious past.

That's something some in the area formerly bullied by the USSR do now, so I fully expect a parallel in North America.

Now, I understand some simply collect historical items-- this isn't what I'm referring to. Read the first paragraph again if you are confused.

The USSR collapsed, but Russia remains.
America will probably still be around after the USA falls, too.
If not, that's OK with me.

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Slow to speak up

It might surprise you to hear this, but it usually takes a long time before I'll speak up in a new situation.

If I join a group, get a new job, or hear about something new that I haven't yet considered, I don't immediately start giving my opinion. I prefer to sit quietly and absorb what's going on, and only then to speak up. If I feel the need. Speaking up only happens once I understand something pretty deeply and see a problem I know has a solution (or an angle) that other people aren't seeing.

First of all, I know that speaking up when you don't understand what's going on doesn't help anyone, and only makes you look foolish. I look foolish often enough even when I know what's going on; I don't need to add to it.

So, usually, if I share an opinion or an idea, you can be sure I have thought about it a lot. I have probably considered every side I can imagine, and tried to find sides I can't yet imagine at all. Then I've probably followed every argument down every rabbit hole I find in it; twists and turns and dead-ends right up to the monsters in hidden lairs. To the logical conclusion and the absurd conclusion. I may still be wrong, or may have reached a different conclusion than you, and maybe there are points to consider which I missed, but I've thought about it thoroughly, and suggesting I haven't isn't going to get you far. And, I respect others when I can tell they've done the same.

A lot of times, in discussions with statists, they refuse to make a case for their position. They'll just make an assertion and refuse to explain their reasoning when asked. I suspect they can't explain, because they haven't thought it through, but are simply parroting something that sounded "right" to them. It feels right. That's not going to impress me and it's certainly not going to convince me of anything.

I know it is said that unless you can explain something in language simple enough for the "average person" to understand, you probably don't really understand it, yourself. Maybe. There are things I believe I understand pretty well, but that I have no way to explain to other people. Sometimes the adequate words don't exist for concepts I see inside my mind. But that may just mean I don't understand it as well as I think I do. That's probably a safe bet.

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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Even best president* no role model

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for January 10, 2018.
*Their words, not mine! I don't write the headlines.)

When Ronald Reagan began his first successful run for president, I wasn't quite old enough to vote. I liked what he said and I put a Reagan campaign sticker on my car.

During his first term, I felt Reagan did a good job as president, and I voted for him in the next election. Then he did something unforgivable: he colluded with Congress to further regulate guns.

This was one of the main reasons I had never supported the other side. Gun laws were a non-negotiable betrayal in my book. Being young and naive, I hadn't educated myself about Reagan's anti-gun history in California. I just took people's word that he was on the side of less government power and meddling. He said the right things, but failed to live up to them.

It was a rude shock; one I have never forgotten.

I reluctantly supported Republicans for several more years, but kept noticing they acted just like the guys I was counting on them to stop as soon as they got into office. Continually infringing on gun ownership and other matters of individual rights.

I began to notice other troubling things. I value liberty-- the ability to exercise the rights all humans possess. Even the politicians who claimed to be on my side were scared of liberty. They wanted it in a box, carefully monitored. They understood it was the natural enemy of government. They kept stabbing me in the back as soon as it was convenient. The politicians I didn't support never even pretended to be on my side.

What was a man to do?

I grew up. I stopped looking to politicians as role models or moral examples. I came to realize they were concerned with getting elected, and frequently with imposing an agenda they and their supporters wanted, whether it was good for people or not. Anti-liberty laws are never good for people, even when people foolishly believe they are.

Beyond that I came to realize the politician doesn't matter because the system is rigged to destroy individual liberty. Government is part of the problem, not the solution. You can't fix it by electing a different person to a position which shouldn't exist, to do things no one has a right to do. The problem is too deep. The solution is individual responsibility, not politics.

The realization was very liberating. It was also just the beginning of freeing myself. I should be grateful to Ronald Reagan for the betrayal which first opened my eyes.

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Hans-Herman is lying

"Real libertarians – in contrast to left-libertarian fakes – must study and take account of real people and real human history in order to design a libertarian strategy of social change, and even the most cursory study in this regard – indeed, little more than common sense – yields results completely opposite from those proposed by libertarian fakes." ~ Hans-Herman Hoppe
Sorry Hans, but if you are advocating something which violates the ZAP, you are not a "real libertarian" by definition no matter what sort of name calling you engage in. No matter what you believe your "study" has shown you. If your advocated violation hinges on allowing (employees of) the State to violate the ZAP then you are lying and advocating statism. 

Your dishonest use of the term "left" is very telling in this regard-- because by this you seem to be hinting you are a "right libertarian", while libertarians are neither.

It has nothing to do with a "strategy" or "social change"-- those things are a distant third to ethics and principles if you are libertarian. 

If you don't strenuously follow the ZAP, and if you support the State, then just be honest about it and stop soiling the name "libertarian" by association. It doesn't matter to me how famous you may be, or how many followers hang on your every word which they believe gives credence to their anti-liberty bigotry-- if you are claiming your position is "libertarian" you are lying. You, Mr. Hoppe, are the fake "libertarian".

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Saturday, February 10, 2018

How to irritate people

I know, they are supposed to be enlightened ways to communicate, but... the Socratic Method, E-Prime, and Nonviolent Communication (NVC), are all good ways to piss off the people you use them on. I mean, look what happened to Socrates!

That's not the stated purpose of any of those communication tactics, of course, but that's where they almost always lead if the people pick up on what you are doing. I've seen it time after time, and I have also felt the same anger when they were used against me. It feels like I'm being manipulated. I'd rather someone just call me nasty names.

Now, each of those tactics might have their place, when used sparingly and when abandoned as soon as they start angering the other person in the conversation. Unless your point is to make people mad, that is. That probably has its place, too.

Those aren't the only communication styles which irritate people. Using logic can also trigger people and cause emotional explosions. So, you probably need to tailor your approach to your audience. One size doesn't fit all. And some people are going to dig their heels in and defend their faith no matter what you say or how you say it.

I'm not saying I communicate in any way better. I know I am not everyone's cup of tea. Whatever the method is that I use (if I have a method) isn't going to be appreciated by those who prefer one of the methods listed above. But maybe, for those who feel manipulated by the above communication tactics, I and others might have something to contribute. And, I'm always trying to communicate more effectively, even if I don't buy into some of the styles others find helpful.

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Friday, February 09, 2018

Which came first?

Almost everyone I know personally follows the statist religion.
The vast majority of people I know personally also claim to be Christians.
I often wonder which religion came first to each individual.

Did their statism come first, to have Christianity added on top in an attempt to justify their inexcusable statism?

Or, were they first Christians who then misunderstood Christianity as a call to also follow the religion of statism?

Or, are the religions completely unrelated, with any overlap purely accidental?

It seems quite the task to hammer the round peg of either religion into the square hole of the other, but it also looks like most people are content with the messy results of the attempt.

I do know that when combined, the ChristoStatism which results is a deadly ideology. And very smug and self-important as well. You'll never face a nastier statist than one who believes God wants him to force you under his State.

I can get along with anarchist Christians much more easily than I can get along with "atheist" statists (no such thing, really, since they are still worshipping a god-- the god of the State).

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Thursday, February 08, 2018

Your... duty?

Do you have a duty-- a responsibility-- to government?

Yes, you do. You have the duty to keep it from violating you or anyone else. The same as your duty toward any other thug.

Anyone who imagines other duties is hallucinating or doesn't understand duties, responsibilities, government, or rights.

This is very common among those who fear rights and don't want to see rights put ahead of whatever brand of collectivism they love. They whine about how people "only talk about rights", preferring to emphasize responsibilities instead, while ignoring that living within your liberty, and not violating the liberty of others, is your main responsibility. It is where all your other responsibilities come from. You can not separate responsibilities from rights and liberty. It simply isn't possible, unless you turn your back on the responsibilities that don't feel good to you.

And make no mistake: government extremists HATE rights and liberty, no matter what they say. They want to pretend you have a duty to prop up the State with your life, liberty, and property. They lie.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Convince me

Convince me that humans have the right to initiate force and damage the usefulness of each other's property.

Then convince me that government-- the State-- is the proper way to put this into action.

Convince me I'm wrong, or convince me that I've stated the problem incorrectly.

Really. Convince me. If I'm wrong, I want to know. I want to know why I'm wrong and how I'm wrong.

And here's why: I don't feel like a success. I've always been financially broke, even long before I embarked on making money (or trying to) through writing. If I weren't wrong, I believe I might be (or feel) more of a success. I see those around me who embrace statism profiting greatly. I realize the sample is skewed since those are the only people around me.

No, I'm not jealous or envious, but I can't help but see their success as a finger of accusation pointing right at me. Pointing out my shortcomings. And, I'm perfectly willing to accept that my problems might stem from some other personal flaw, having nothing to do with my post-statism. Still, if I'm wrong, I need to know.

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Monday, February 05, 2018

If archation is OK

Maybe archation isn't a problem. Maybe you do have the right to initiate force and take, damage, or otherwise violate the property of others.

Where does that lead, if that's the case?

Theft, murder, rape, kidnapping, vandalism, trespassing... it's all fine. If you have the right to do it, then no one has the right to stop you.

Or, maybe some would argue that only a government-- a group of people claiming "authority"-- has the right to do those things, and only as necessary to do the "job".

Where would that lead?

To the exact same place, but with people pretending it's all fine. Individuals shouldn't do those things, but if an individual who belongs to group that claims "authority" does them, well that's just peachy.

That's part of why statism just doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

But, if I'm wrong... well, I'll leave that for tomorrow. See you then.

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Sunday, February 04, 2018

It's a shame politics not harmless

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for January 3, 2017)

After almost a year of President Trump, half the country is in an absolute uproar over the ruination of America being caused by the man.

Exactly like the other half of the country gnashed its teeth for eight straight years over the way President Obama was destroying the country.

I wish both halves weren't so close to being right.

I also wish politics could be kept in a virtual world, like fantasy football or Pokemon Go. It could exist in apps for your phone or computer, and nowhere else. Finance it with licensed product sales, ads, and subscription fees. Let the people who play be the only ones affected by it, and leave the real world alone.

If politics were harmless, even while its enthusiasts were fanatical about it, I might sit back and enjoy the show with some popcorn. Would this year's version be called "Sharknado 6: Sharks in the White House"? Or "The Governing Inferno"? If the show got too boring or ridiculous, I could shut it off and go back to meaningful pursuits, leaving the two sides to squabble and squawk at each other.

The trouble is, politics has real-world consequences, and those squabbling sides keep grinding the rest of us between them. That's not very nice.

Every official presidential act has victims. That's the nature of politics-- winners only win by making someone lose. When neither side understands liberty, it's the first thing sacrificed to the squeaky wheels on the altar of political expediency. Almost no one understands what liberty is, and won't miss it because they've never had it, so it's easy to give it away. Presidents know they can buy votes by trading liberty for false national security, for false economic growth, for false ... well, you get the idea. And voters are happy to accept the illusions.

People are more concerned over presidential "tweets" than they are over stolen liberty. Many people get the most upset when the president doesn't help Congress steal enough liberty from the other side. They scream "Close the loopholes!" Loopholes are what they call the last places liberty can hide from its enemies. The situation is crazy, and likely to only get worse.

The good news is, no president can extinguish liberty, as much as he might try. When liberty is outlawed, only outlaws will have liberty. That tiny bit will be enough to reignite the flame when the world is ready for liberty once again.

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Statist apologetics

When I was a kid and I noticed examples of how horrible the US government was (and commented), I got the standard apologetics mantra: "Democracy is the worst form of government- except for all the others."

This knee-jerk bit of propaganda shows such a lack of understanding, I don't even know where to start.

First off, yes, democracy actually is a horrible thing. It is nothing more than mob rule. That's why the otherwise misguided founders of America didn't "do" democracy, but chose to set up a republic instead. Regardless of what most Americans seem to believe, America was never supposed to devolve into a democracy.

Never mind that those "founders" ignored the fact that republics always degrade into democracies, and that no form of government is within anyone's rights to impose on others.

And, yes, maybe the US government is less evil than many of the other governments throughout history-- or even most current ones-- although that's debatable. It's a low bar. As many have pointed out, it's like getting the low achiever award at a mass murderer convention. Or, perhaps more realistically, like a mass murderer who smiles and pretends to be polite.

You can't justify your evil actions by finding others who did worse. You've got to straighten up and stop doing wrong even if no one else joins you. Don't do evil.

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Saturday, February 03, 2018

Reality isn't your enemy

Reality. It has good points and bad points.

I don't believe accepting reality-- good and bad-- makes a person unhappy. In fact, it seems to affect me the opposite.

Now, stating reality to those who don't want to hear it can make them very unhappy, and they often project their misery on you for pointing out reality to them. But that's their problem.

What is, is. Yes, you can work to change it if you don't like it. I hope you do. But pretending reality is something other than it is probably isn't healthy, and probably won't even make you happy in the long run.

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Friday, February 02, 2018

Reduce the misery

I believe in reducing unnecessary misery. That's why I don't want you violated even if I was violated in the same way in the past.

This is a HUGE stumbling block for so many people.

They were forced to get up painfully early to go to school under the pretense of "education", so everyone else must suffer the same indignity.
They were robbed using the excuse of "Social Security", so now it's everyone else's turn to be robbed for the same excuse.
They have lowered themselves to be licensed by The State to do various things humans have a right to do, so everyone else must do the same.
They (or their forebears) "immigrated legally" (or, more likely, before there was any such silly concept as "illegal immigration") so everyone else should be forced to jump through the same hoops.

Seriously, if I thought that way I would say that because I lost my daughter, everyone else should be forced to suffer the same agony. If that's not evil, I don't know what is.

Reduce the misery in the world; don't perpetuate it. Don't share it. Don't demand it.

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Thursday, February 01, 2018

My evil self

In the past I did things I now consider evil. Things which violate my values, principles, and ethics-- or at least the ones I have now. Some of those things I even considered evil when I did them, yet I did them anyway. What's up with that?

I feel a lot of guilt for some of those things, but am learning to move on. And I will make up for them.

I realize I am not the same person that I was back then. In very real ways. Pretty much all my cells are different now. Just about every atom in my living systems has been replaced over the years. And my mind, my self, is vastly different-- I have different, more consistent, and more coherent (better) values, principles, and ethics.

I'm far from perfect, but it is now rare for me to do anything I consider evil. Stupid, yes. But not usually evil. I consider that an improvement.

But I know that if pushed, I still have that dark side. Sometimes I feel it. The trick is to control and channel it, and to not let it come out at the wrong time. To never let it archate. To only let it out in times when defensive violence is necessary. And then, to let it be a focused beam, surgically applied to the problem. "Collateral damage" is not an option.

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