Sunday, June 30, 2019

Don't force your crutch on others

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 29, 2019)

A few years ago I was hiking down a trail in Colorado. Exploring trails-- and off trails-- is probably my favorite activity. After a few hours, I decided I needed to turn around and head back. It was past mid-afternoon, on my last day of vacation, and I needed to pack and get ready for the drive home.

I doubt I had walked even a hundred feet when my natural klutziness struck and I twisted my ankle. Hard.

I was in agony, and the realization that I had miles to walk made it even worse. After I stopped hopping on one foot and finished expressing my immense discomfort, I resigned myself to the long walk ahead. I found a sturdy branch I could use as a crutch and started to hobble on down the trail. It took some effort, but I made it out before dark.

My ankle was swollen and discolored for a month. If not for the improvised crutch, my situation would have been worse.

Crutches were a good invention. Thousands of years after someone came up with the idea, they are still useful. Using a crutch may not be ideal, but it's better than the alternative. It allows someone to get around when they might not otherwise be able to without crawling.

If you need a crutch, use one.

However, not everyone needs a crutch. It's not nice to kick other people in the kneecap just because you want them to use a crutch. Nor would it be right to force others to pay for your crutch. It's different if someone volunteers to provide a crutch when they see a person in need.

Government is a crutch. I don't want or need it. I don't want you to force me to use it, nor to hurt me so I feel as though I have no choice. I don't want to be forced to pay for someone else's government, nor do I think it's nice when those who use this crutch go around whacking innocent people over the head with its laws "just because" they feel like it.

Plus, in every case today, there are better solutions. You could fix the problem so no crutch is necessary. When the underlying problem can't be permanently fixed, there are still better tools to use.

Even if I need a crutch-- or a government-- I have no right to force one on you against your will. Why would anyone do something so antisocial?

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Government property

Governments-- States-- cannot legitimately own anything.

Everything they possess or control was either stolen from someone or fraudulently "bought" with stolen/counterfeited money.

A thief doesn't own the stolen goods he possesses or controls.

You can't "steal government property".
You can't "trespass on government property".
But you can be molested, kidnapped, robbed, caged, and murdered for acting on this truth. Thieves are very aggressively protective of what they imagine to be theirs.


Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Saturday, June 29, 2019


You should keep an open mind about most things. Yet, as The Old People like to clarify, "Not so open that your brains fall out".

How can you tell the difference?

You don't need to be open-minded to every obviously bad idea: toward murder, rape, theft, kidnapping or other acts of archation. Being open-minded to these is a sign that your brains have fallen out. Closed-mindedness to things of this sort is wisdom.

But pretty much everything else is a good topic to keep your mind open on. You never know when someone might have a good perspective you never considered before. You might even discover you were wrong.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Friday, June 28, 2019

The freedom to listen

Freedom of speech is mirrored by the freedom to hear that speech. They are two sides of the same coin.

Freedom of speech is meaningless if no one is allowed to listen, or if listening is made so difficult that it doesn't happen.

Government is prohibited from censoring speech by the First Amendment (which they routinely get away with ignoring). As I see it, this also means they are prohibited from keeping you from finding and listening to any speech you want to hear.

The Bill of Rights isn't generally thought to apply to government-created corporations (which I see as part of government), but if your corporation censors or prevents people from listening, I'll consider you the bad guy.

You have the natural human right to listen, with or without the First Amendment or any other document.

Governments and corporations have no rights; rights are individual only. Don't violate the right to speak or to listen.


Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Supporting your abuser

I suppose if you firmly believe your abusive boyfriend protects you from ghosts, demons, and other potentially abusive boyfriends you might otherwise end up with, you're going to accept the abuse. Or downplay it.

It's the same if you believe a government protects you from other governments and "cartels".

Is it Stockholm Syndrome or something even darker?

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YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Trusting cops to do the right thing

I don't understand those who desperately claim that "at least half of the police officers will refuse to enforce a gun confiscation".

Based on what evidence? The cops who currently refuse to enforce prohibition and all the anti-gun "laws" already on the books?

How's that working for ya, copsuckers?

Just because cops own and carry guns on the "job" doesn't make them "pro gun rights".


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YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Monday, June 24, 2019

The things I'll do for money...

Just a heads-up: I'm going to be super busy over the next week and a half, working at a fireworks stand (ironic, since I don't really like fireworks). Mostly I'll be providing overnight "security", but probably doing some selling, too. I'm hoping I can find some time to sleep. You know how desperate I always am for money.

I've scheduled posts for (most of) those days (still working on it), but I wanted you to know what's going on, just in case one day gets skipped, or your comment languishes unnoticed a while.


Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

"Legal" or "Lawful"

Ah. Counting on magic words to save you.

Recently I saw someone make a desperate appeal to their perception of a difference between "legal" and "lawful". They were attempting to make a "founding father" look like something other than the nasty old statist he was, by their tortured interpretation of something he had said about "lawful authority".

The fellow trying to justify the dead statist's words was trying to claim that "lawful" meant "in accordance with natural law", as opposed to "legal", which meant only that someone made up some legislation and called it a law.

Not that there can be any political "authority" in accordance with natural law, but whatever.

Still, I was willing to consider his point, so I looked up the two words in question.

legal-- permitted by law; lawful; of or relating to law; connected with the law or its administration.
appointed, established, or authorized by law; deriving authority from law.

Oops. That "lawful" in there is terribly inconvenient. But, moving right along...

lawful-- allowed or permitted by law; not contrary to law; legitimate; appointed or recognized by law; acting or living according to the law.

Trying to read any meaningful difference into those definitions is an impossible task.

However, I'm sympathetic. I know dictionaries are often wrong; relying on incorrect (but popular and common) usage for their definitions. Look how often they conflate "anarchy" with "chaos" for example.

So, when there's good reason to stray from a bad dictionary definition, I support that move completely.

But, to try to find a good definition for a word so that you can feel good about an old, dead statist is probably pointless if liberty is something you value.


Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Preferences provide opportunities

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 22, 2019)

Preferences are a personal thing. Some people prefer dogs while others prefer cats, and some like both species equally. None of these choices is wrong, even if one choice might make more sense or be more right for some people.

If dogs are preferred, there are those who prefer large dogs and others who prefer small dogs. Some people prefer aggressive dogs while other people want a more sociable dog.

It's all OK unless your preference is to prevent others from making their own choice based on their personal preferences.

If you decide your preference for large sociable dogs means cats should be banned or tightly regulated, and small, aggressive dogs must be confiscated and destroyed, your preference has crossed the line. It is no longer acceptable; it's antisocial.

Even if the majority of people take your side.

Yes, there are acts which aren't the same as preferences. You can't just say your preference is to break into houses and steal what you want instead of earning money with mutually voluntary trade to pay for those things. Well, you can say that's your preference but no one is obligated to sit by while you act on it. Anyone has the right to stop you when your preference violates others.

Very few of the things people choose between harm anyone. You might be bewildered by someone's choice. You might even believe it's immoral. Unless it "picks your pocket or breaks your leg"-- to paraphrase Thomas Jefferson-- it's your responsibility to mind your business.

Differing preferences provide opportunities. If everyone liked the same thing, there would be no need to make different kinds of food. Generic "Human Chow" would be good enough. Everyone could wear the same style clothing, in the same color. All cars could be identical.

Life would never have a chance to improve because there would be no reason to experiment with different things. Look how many innovations were stumbled upon by accident. Often the underlying cause was someone trying to fulfill their own, or a pool of potential customers', preferences; some which are known and others which are a mystery even to those who possess them.

It would be sad if everyone were the same and liked the same things. I'm glad people like different stuff. It exposes me to things I might not otherwise experience, it gives me options and enriches my life. And it might someday introduce me to something I had no idea I was going to love.

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Libertarianism is the balance

One objection I frequently see against libertarianism is that it's "too extreme". "There needs to be a balance between the extremes of libertarianism and fascism" (as illustrated by "border enforcement" and so forth).

This misses the reality.

(Of course, the act of governing others won't be referred to as fascism. Statists aren't that self-aware or honest. They'll call it "rule of law" or will conflate political government with society. You can use whatever substitute terms you wish, as long as you keep this in mind.)

The extreme ends of the spectrum are not libertarianism and fascism-- the extremes are nihilism and fascism. Libertarianism is the healthy balance which avoids both of the toxic extremes. It's the only way to avoid ruin.

Libertarianism is not "extreme" unless your wish is to watch the world burn; unless you want to kill off everyone with your chosen politics. If you choose something other than libertarianism you are choosing one of the deadly extremes. You are choosing to be extreme in defense of something indefensible.


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YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Shooting down drones

If you don't want your drone to be shot down, keep it over your own property. Any drone that isn't over property you own or rent, at a minimum, is fair game.

This doesn't change just because you are a government.

In fact, since governments can't legitimately own anything, government drones are always fair game. I might give the US government license to fly its drones over the Pentagon, White House, or Capitol building, but nowhere else. No, they don't own those properties either, but I'm willing to compromise that much. At least until they are a threat to adjacent property owners, anyway.

If your drone is over someone else's property, it is trespassing and they have the right to shoot it down. They aren't required to... if you are on friendly terms with them maybe they won't.

If your drone is over "international waters", it's not over your property and shooting it down is a legitimate action. Especially if it is a government military drone. This is because drones "owned" by governments are weapons of war, and their presence is a credible threat to archate.

Keep your drones at home and you won't have to get whiney or become a puffed-up bully when someone shoots one down.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Wrong opinions

There are wrong opinions. An opinion is a belief, and a lot of beliefs are simply wrong.

I know that's not a nice thing to point out, but it's true. Your opinion-- your belief-- may be that "taxation" isn't theft and therefore isn't wrong. But it is, no matter what your opinion on the matter may be.

Your opinion might be that the Earth is a flat disk. But it isn't.

Your opinion might be that anyone who destroys their own copy of Holy Pole Quilt should be punished. That's a sick, superstitious opinion, and yes: that opinion is wrong.

You are "entitled" to your opinion. You can be as wrong as you want to be. However, no one is obligated to behave as though your opinion is valid when it's wrong. They don't have to respect a wrong opinion.

Facts don't care about your opinions. You should care if your opinions don't match the facts, but for too many people, that's hard, and it would invalidate their most dearly held opinions. So they won't do that.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

"One could argue..."

That's a phrase I frequently see at the beginning of some rather strange assumptions and some bizarrely incoherent "arguments".

Well, sure, "one could argue" anything at all. Doesn't make the argument correct.

"One could argue" that there's no such thing as right or wrong; that anything is permissible to do to other people. That's basically the statist argument. As long as government passes a "law" allowing an act, "one could argue" that it's OK. Or, if government makes up a "law" prohibiting something, "one could argue" that it's bad. There's no real right or wrong, just legal or illegal.

"One could argue" that there's no such thing as biological sex (chromosomes = Hate!). It's all about the linguistic term "gender"-- it's just cultural and you can "identify as" whatever you feel like. Today. And you can change your mind again tomorrow.

"One could argue" that rights are imaginary. That you only have the rights you can kill to defend. I guess this excuses those who don't want to stick their necks out and defend people who are being violated and aren't able to defend themselves.

It has rarely been the case that I see the phrase "one could argue" as a lead-in to anything sensible.
"One could argue" it's a phrase that isn't very useful for reaching truth.

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YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Time again for some random acts of ANARCHY

Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.
But if you need a refresher, you can get that from this link.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Perfection is not an option

I don't expect perfection.

Not from people, places, situations, or... whatever else there is.

You are going to have no real choice but to drive on some government roads. You are going to have no choice but to use some things government paid for with money it stole. You can barter and use silver for some trades, but fiat "money" is unavoidable. You may benefit in some roundabout way from government's unethical (and evil) actions which you oppose. That's reality.

You don't have to like it. You aren't condoning theft or government by using those things. Feel free to speak the truth about government roads even as you are driving on one. That's not hypocritical, it's just how things are. You make the best of what you've got.

I understand that some people view a government "job" the same way-- even though I strongly disagree. Still, as long as someone isn't actively promoting government supremacy or power, I will cut them some slack. A government-employed librarian is still better than a politician, a government-employed school "teacher", a member of the military, or a cop. Or, at least preferable in my view, since they aren't promoting government supremacy nor imposing government at the point of a gun.

But no one is perfect or pure.

To condemn yourself because you aren't perfect isn't healthy.

To condemn everyone else because of this reality isn't helpful. You're not helping those you condemn, nor are you helping yourself. You certainly aren't helping society (the interactions between individuals) nor the "cause" of liberty. Demanding the impossible from others (and, yes, in the present reality, it is impossible) causes harm.

What I do expect is that people do the best they can with the cards they've been dealt. Recognize that you have no right to archate, and if you feel you "must" anyway, accept the consequences of doing what you don't have a right to do.

This perfectionist viewpoint causes harm to those who hold and promote it.
This unpleasant reality is no justification for giving up and saying that because no one else lives up to your vision of perfection, you might as well embrace the state and use it against others. This is a destructive mindset. It gives off a foul odor. It looks and smells like hypocrisy to me.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Let people opt out of 'good ideas'

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 15, 2019)

Would you rather live in a world where it's normal for people to try to convince each other of something, or a world where it's acceptable to just give an order and shoot anyone who doesn't immediately comply? I'm firmly in the "convince others" camp.

To convince people you've either got to have reasons or ways to play with their emotions. If you convince them with good reasons, the convincing sticks. If you use emotions, someone with stronger appeals to emotion will come along and get them to change their minds again.

If you rely on threats, as soon as the threat is out of sight they'll go back to their old path.

This is why I'd rather convince others with reasons and avoid using force. It doesn't matter to me what the issue is.

I prefer everything to be voluntary. Work together, ask for help, or do what you can on your own. Don't try to force anyone to join you. If you need to use threats or force, you probably ought not do it at all. I don't support or need those who use coercion.

In your personal life you probably already avoid force. I'm assuming you aren't a thief or murderer.

You and I don't need to be threatened and forced; it's only "those other people". Well, they see it the same way. Someone's got to be the first to grow up.

Gandhi is quoted as saying "Be the change you want to see in the world". It's true enough even if he never said it.

You don't need to wait for anyone else to do the right thing with you. You can start now. You don't have to wait until others join you or until they agree with you. You don't need to wait until the law changes to allow you to do the right thing. Yes, there's danger in stepping out first, but who said life is supposed to be safe? Do the right thing anyway.

Don't violate the rights of others. Liberty is the freedom to do everything you have a right to do; everything which doesn't violate anyone else's equal and identical rights. Anyone who violates your liberty isn't one of the good guys.

Be big enough to let people opt out of your "good ideas" if they can't be convinced. Of course, you'll still need to defend yourself against people who refuse to cooperate. That's a fact of life nothing can ever change.

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Funny tales and science-based advice

If you haven't yet discovered Amy Alkon, you're missing some smart fun.

I first encountered her when Michael Shermer (of interviewed her a while back. I was impressed.

So I found her blog. It was good, as well, and I've been reading it regularly since then.

Then a week or so back I found a copy of her book "I See Rude People" in Goodwill. Not wanting to leave it there for the unappreciative cretins (anyone who didn't already know who she is) to ignore, I bought it. I then read it. Great fun and humorous, while making a serious point (or several).

I enjoyed it so much that I emailed her to say so and to apologize for buying a second-hand copy instead of one where she'd profit from the sale.

Our brief exchange led me to buy the Kindle version of her newest book "Unf*ckology". It's really a good book. I think her advice is exceptionally well thought-out, and I've integrated some of her suggestions into my life already, with noticeable benefits. I highly recommend it.

She's also on Quora.

She self-identifies as libertarian but is more accepting of government than I am. (Who isn't?) I think you ought to give her a look.
(And no, she isn't paying me to say any of this, nor does she know about it, although I might-- or might not-- send her the link. So, no financial interest on my part, nor anything but a desire to introduce you to some writing you might like.)

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

"Best" president ever?

Trump? The "best"?

Well, sure, if you're desperately searching for a way to say something nice. But not for the reasons you might imagine.

I am not a Trump supporter, nor am I a supporter of any president, past, present, or future. I don't "respect the office" nor the people who attain it. Not one bit. Evil political parasites, all. I'm already against your next president.


Congress seems to pose a greater danger to my life, liberty, and property than any president ever could. As long as the congressvermin stay distracted with trying to get Trump they are less focused on molesting the rest of us with their "laws" and such. Go, Trump!

Plus, Trump, building on the work of all his recent predecessors, continues their efforts to dismantle the credibility and illusory legitimacy of the office of president. That's a good thing.

Of course, I think William Henry Harrison is the president all presidents should strive to emulate. I want them all to follow his noble example.


Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Librarian-- Not a fan...

Overheard by someone else and related to me (probably not verbatim) during a trip to the library:

Library patron: "Who is that guy?"
Reference desk librarian: "That's McManigal. He writes for the paper. I don't care for him. I think he's crazy."

You win some, you lose some.

I was just minding my own business while my daughter picked out a book. I guess the reference desk librarian/notary doesn't like me. How hurt should I be by this revelation?

It doesn't change how I feel about libraries. I love libraries... I love them enough that I want to free them from government control. You can't love something more than that.


Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

What do you hate more than you love liberty?

For someone who hates "illegal [sic] immigrants" more than they love liberty, statist "border enforcement" can work and is worth it.

For someone who hates guns/gun owners more than they love liberty, statist waiting periods, background checks, "red flag" laws, capacity limits, etc. can work. And they are worth it.

For someone who hates (or fears) unpopular truth and opinion, statist censorship can work and is worth it.

For someone who hates drugs more than they love liberty, statist prohibition can work and is worth it.

For anything that government supremacists support, there's a cost to liberty. But they don't care. It just depends on what they hate more than they love liberty as to what they'll embrace.

Me? I don't hate anything more than I love liberty, nor do I fear the dangers The State pretends it would protect me from. Your mileage may, obviously, vary.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Little pick-me-ups

The above screenshot is from September 2014, but it still helps inspire me.

Sometimes promoting liberty in the face of naysayers gets tiring. I'm sure you go through the same thing. Liberty is (apparently) hard and scary. Promoting it isn't going to make you popular. And you know it and feel it.

And then-- occasionally-- out of nowhere, you'll get a little boost.

Either a donation comes with a note telling how you've helped and are appreciated, or an email shows up unexpectedly letting you know it's not all in vain, or a comment like the one pictured above gets posted somewhere and let's you know you're getting through at least sometimes.

No, I shouldn't "need" this kind of affirmation. But it sure does help sometimes. I always save them for a rainy day when they can be enjoyed as if they are new.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Androids' Rights?

I ran across an interesting question on Quora: When we do start making humanoid androids, should they be afforded civil rights?

I answered this way:

Not unless you can be sure they are sapient— or at least sentient. But even if they are, they would be a separate species, and rights don’t really transfer across species lines. A mouse has no right to not be caught, tortured, killed, and eaten by a cat, nor does a human have the right to not be mauled and eaten by a bear. (Both have the right to fight back against the attack.)

So, the androids would need to first demonstrate that they have rights by the way they interact with each other (ignoring the outliers like we would hope they ignore human bad guys), then maybe we could reach an agreement between our two species where we agree to respect each other's rights as though we were the same species. I would be willing.


Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Sunday, June 09, 2019

We still haven't learned Voltaire's lesson

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 8, 2019)

It's fascinating how easily people accept something they would otherwise know is wrong when someone they view as an authority figure tells them it's right.

Voltaire observed, in 1765, "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” This truth has led to many of the worst horrors in history. People still haven't learned the lesson.

There are currently hordes of people working full-time-- at your expense-- to trick you into believing absurdities. My hope is that you're smarter than they expect.

Unfortunately, many of our fellow humans do fall for the trick. They lack awareness of when their behavior violates others. This lack of awareness enables atrocities, too. No one can be expected to quit doing what they aren't aware is wrong.

Some of these believe the world owes them an easy life because they are so special and irreplaceable. After all, some authority figure has preached this absurdity to them, and it sounds good. The sense of entitlement this creates is breathtaking. If you threaten to withhold what they've been told they are owed, they're ready to commit atrocities until you relent. They refuse to accept the reality: no one owes you anything beyond not violating you.

These people expect their rights to be respected, but they refuse to respect the rights of anyone else. They even imagine "rights" which would enslave others. They aren't aware of how absurd this would be.

The good news is no one needs to stay trapped in the absurdities they once believed. Growth requires rejecting those absurdities so you don't commit atrocities.

The awareness of the rights of others, and how to respect them, is libertarianism.

I first discovered I was a libertarian about twenty years ago. Before then I hadn't given it any thought, but at that time I began to examine my values and beliefs. I was willing to discard anything which didn't stand up to scrutiny.

When I was young and accepting of absurdities I tried to make excuses as to why it was OK to violate some people's rights under certain conditions. I eventually came to understand you only deserve as much liberty as you respect in others. I'm glad the realization came before I participated in any atrocities.

Believing absurd justifications of why it's OK to do things to other people when you know it wouldn't be right for them to do the same to you is a dangerous trap. Avoid it.

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Whatever works?

I'm always told that statism works, so I need to just go with it. Yeah?

I have no doubt that statism "works".

In the same way murder, rape, theft, etc. "work".

All those behaviors can get the bad guys what they want (at least in the short term) without relying on the voluntary cooperation of others (their victims). And, yes, if you are willing to act that way I am going to consider you one of the bad guys; no question about that.

The question is, why are you so willing to use archation to get what you want?
Do you not have good convincing reasons?
Can you not offer something worthwhile in trade?
In other words, why cheat? That's just pathetic.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Erich Fromm on "the authoritarian character"

While reading a couple of days ago, I ran into a passage that resonated with me and seemed very timely:
Not only the forces that determine one's own life directly but also those that seem to determine life in general are felt as unchangeable fate. It is fate that there are wars and that one part of mankind has to be ruled by another. It is fate that the amount of suffering can never be less than it always has been. Fate may be rationalized philosophically as "natural law" or as "destiny of man," religiously as the "will of the Lord," ethically as "duty"-- for the authoritarian character it is always a higher power outside of the individual, toward which the individual can do nothing but submit. The authoritarian character worships the past. What has been, will eternally be. To wish or to work for something that has not yet been before is crime or madness. (Added emphasis is mine) ~  Escape From Freedom, Erich Fromm 

That passage is from a part of the book where he is describing how masochism and sadism are embraced by some as a way to avoid the isolation of freedom*. The authoritarian character, as he calls it, is sado-masochistic. It seeks out ways to suffer to distract itself from the scary aspects of freedom, and it likes to make sure others suffer along with it.

I see the above traits of the authoritarian character, especially the parts I emphasized, in almost everyone who is promoting statism. You can see it in FB posts, in YouTube comments, in comments left on this blog. and anywhere a no-compromise libertarian point is made. I've come to recognize and expect this tack, yet was surprised to see it-- and see it explained so clearly-- in a book from 1941.

I don't agree with Fromm on everything. I think he made good observations but came to an erroneous conclusion.

He was a supporter of toxic authoritarianism when he obviously-- from his own observations-- should have known better. Why? Maybe he was just genetically inclined that way. Maybe he wasn't able to rise above his early brainwashing. But who knows?

You can find truth and wisdom in anyone's words if you look, even if they are wrong about everything else.

I realize I apparently lack the brain software that makes some fear the "isolation" of freedom. Even though I usually feel isolated due to all sorts of other things, I don't mistake those things for freedom. That's like blaming your good health for your fear that you might someday get a disease.


*Fromm uses the word "freedom" (inconsistently, but at least part of the time) for the concept I call "liberty" but that doesn't alter the truth of these words.


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YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Emotional reactions

Yes, I agree that child molestation is a terrible thing. However, I don't believe it is worse than murder or other rapes. I don't have the exaggerated (in my view) emotional response to it that I see from so many others. And I don't know why.

But I've noticed I don't have the common emotional response to some other things, too. Abortion is one example-- I don't like it, but I don't want it made "illegal"; I don't support "laws" against anything, up to and including murder.

This doesn't only go for negative emotional reactions. though.

I don't feel a strong emotional attachment to Holy Pole Quilt, the country, the "borders", the Constitution, or other things of that sort. Those don't feel like "my tribe" anyway, which seems to be the basis for the emotional attachment others feel.

Perhaps I'm broken and I can't feel the appropriate emotional responses. I accept that as a possibility.

But I can and do feel emotional responses. I get angry at people who violate others and claim they are doing the right thing by doing so. So it's not that I lack emotion.

This is just something I've noticed about myself when scrolling through social media or while listening to others talk among themselves. I can't relate to some of the emotions they exhibit, and then I get suspicious about why they are so emotional; it feels like they are performing for an audience. Yet I realize the quirk might be mine.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Accept everyone you can

I try to be accepting of everyone. This doesn't mean I'm accepting of everything everyone does.

Not every behavior is OK. There are lines in the sand I can't cross, and that when crossed by others, I can't support.

If someone continues to make crossing one of those lines an integral part of who they are, I can't keep accepting them. It's why I admit there can be no such thing as a "good cop", for example. There are some "jobs" which require-- as a condition of employment-- the crossing of those lines. Some "jobs" require archation. That's never OK.

There are also people who simply refuse to see that the line exists, and they'll cross it without noticing. Just because they are doing what they want, and no one else matters to them. They have no regard for the rights of others when respecting those rights would be an inconvenience.

I'm sure you know people like that.

I've never been perfect, and I never will be. But I do the best I can. Part of that is being civil to anyone who is making the slightest effort to live among others without being a thug or an overt parasite.

Yet, this makes me an extremist? I doubt I'll ever understand why this seems to be such a controversial, radical stance to some people.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Organize against organized threats

If you face an organized threat you probably need to organize (in some way) against it.

The state isn't a real solution. You can't protect property rights by violating property rights. You can't save liberty by destroying liberty. You can't protect your children from warlords by enslaving them to a warlord.

That the state has convinced so many people otherwise is scary.

Yes, an organized threat will kill you if you don't kill it, or scare them into staying away. Organization doesn't imply archation unless you are trapped in a statist mindset.

Government might look like organization, but it's really not. Organization is voluntary; government is coercive.

If you have to become the same as the bad guy to survive, what value is there in your survival? It would be just as well if your opponent survived instead. When it's archator vs archator I don't cheer for either side.

Now, if it's my survival we're talking about... Yes, I might become a bad guy to survive, but I'm not going to pretend it was the right thing to do. I have no illusions about the fact that if I violate rights because I believe I "need" to I still did wrong. Ethically, I'm the equivalent of the one who is threatening me. There's no net gain, except for me, personally. If I'm being selfish, that's OK with me. But there's no sense in pretending society is in any way better off due to my survival and my enemy's demise in that case.


Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Monday, June 03, 2019

Don't advocate against property rights

Libertarians who support the Big Government "border security" welfare program don't understand property rights. Property rights are the foundation of all rights, so if you don't understand and support property rights, how can you credibly claim to be libertarian... or to value liberty at all?

"Taxation" is a violation of property rights. If you advocate funding "border security" through "taxation" you advocate violating property rights.

"Eminent domain" is a violation of property rights. If you advocate taking property through "eminent domain" for "border security", so as to place a wall, fence, or other structure on this property against the true owner's wishes, you advocate violating property rights.

If you make up rules which prevent people from employing whomever they choose, trading with whomever they want to trade with, associating with whom they prefer, or renting to whomever they reach an agreement with, you are violating property rights. If you support these kinds of rules you are no friend of property rights. You are just as bad as any other thief or trespasser.

Respect-- or lack thereof-- for property rights doesn't depend on where a person was born. Those most threatening to my property rights have always been home-grown archators. This doesn't mean others can't also be a problem, but to focus on "others" while supporting those who are actually committing the violations right here right now is to miss the point. It looks statist.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Sunday, June 02, 2019

No one should control others' choices

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 1, 2019)

I'm sure there will be a final answer on the racetrack/casino any month now. Right?

Those who support a local racino must see by now how giving government the power-- permission from the people-- to approve and ration racinos is obviously a terrible idea. Tying anything to the government's wagon makes certain it won't be as good as it could be. Nor will it be timely.

Those who oppose the racino should have noticed that if you give control of such things to government it will drag its figurative feet, way beyond anything reasonable people would tolerate.

Allowing government to decide these matters is silly and destructive to society.

Let projects succeed or fail on their own merits, not on the whims of a gang of control-freaks.

If fewer people fell for the lie that it's OK to use government violence to force others to live as you would prefer, things like this wouldn't even be an issue. Those who want a racino-- or anything else-- could have it. Those who don't want it wouldn't have to support it in any way. The catch is they also wouldn't be able to stop others from peaceably doing what they want. Is that really so horrible?

I have no power to stop people from wearing orange-checkered polyester leisure suits, nor should I have it. If I believe their clothing choice is any of my concern I am lying to myself. Yes, you could make various arguments about why someone should have this power. The clothing might be a distraction and cause accidents. It might be environmentally harmful to manufacture. Some fragile people might be so offended at the sight they will have a mental breakdown. Those arguments are no better than the ones made for other things people want to control, individually or through government laws.

Such as that people might gamble too much, or that a racino might attract crime.

You have the right to not gamble and the right to defend against crime (even though government tries to ration this right). What you don't have is the right to threaten to use the violence of government to force your opinions on others. Even when politics is normalized to the point it seems this is a legitimate right, it isn't.

You have no obligation to save people from their bad choices.

You would be wise to worry about your own life and not try to force your choices on other people.

Thank you for helping support

"For medicinal purposes only"

Libertarians who support Big Government "Border Security" remind me of the Nigerian scammers who start their emails saying "Dear Beloved, May God's peace shine on you".

Maybe they are sincere, but I don't trust them. There's something "off" about them. Alarm bells go off in my head when they show up. There's always that appeal to the State's "protection"; lending an unearned air of legitimacy to the State.

They remind me of abolitionists who don't really want to get rid of all slavery, just the slavery they don't like.

Or teetotalers who drink moonshine "for medicinal purposes only".

Yet, I sympathize. It's scary to not have a dangerous Big Brother at your back when you fear you may not be enough to meet the threat. Even if the threat is mostly in your head, the fear is still real.

Borderism-- big government welfare statism by another name-- is apparently a very seductive cult, leading a lot of liberty supporters down into its depths, from which there seems to be no escape.

Statism, "for security purposes only", is still full-blown statism.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.

Saturday, June 01, 2019

Statist "logic" #3

Referring back to the statist who brought up the "secure the border" "solution" to the programmable bullet killer drone issue, he says if government "needs" to do something to "protect" (control) the people, but it's not legal... well, the "law" is infinitely malleable.

If something isn't legal, just make up a law to make it legal. Simple!

Don't worry about right and wrong; ethics. Don't let the Constitution stop you (it never does, anyway).

Some people abuse drugs-- ban them.

Some people abuse guns-- ban them.

Government likes to control how people travel-- require licenses to be allowed to travel and set up checkpoints.

Some people use privacy to plot to harm the innocent-- eliminate all illusions of privacy.

Anything that would limit government power can be addressed by just passing a new "law" making it "legal". Right?

Statism is a religion. Government is its god, and this god's magic power is legislation and bureaucratic rules. Through "laws" all things are possible. At least, that's what government supremacists believe.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.