Saturday, November 30, 2019

Ending prohibition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 29, 2019

Questions for "sofa"

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving

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

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



Tuesday, November 26, 2019

What I want for Christmas 2021

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

But I want a Cybertruck anyway.

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

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

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

Monday, November 25, 2019

Black and white or shades of gray?

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Legislation, laws not the same thing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See also: Law, legislation, or Unholy Writ

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You can't violate the imaginary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Selective Outrage Theatrics

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 22, 2019

Searching for convenient stumbling blocks

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Lather, rinse, repeat

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 19, 2019


Confidence comes with competence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 18, 2019

Who "deserves" rights?

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

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

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

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

And rights don't come from government, anyway.

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

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

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Grateful I don't live in California

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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My out-of-control pro-Republican bias

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

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

I'm opposed to both Republicans and Democrats.

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

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

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

Politics makes people stupid.


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

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Libertarianism doesn't fail

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Friday, November 15, 2019

Have principles (and gun)-- will travel

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

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

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

It's a show I really enjoy.

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

(I have internet once again! Finally!)

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

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Cannabis isn't "Black market"

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

And make no mistake-- all legislation is backward.

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

And it was never wrong to begin with.

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

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

Monday, November 11, 2019

Internet update.

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

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

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


Sunday, November 10, 2019

You get the political circus you voted on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday, November 08, 2019

Internet soonish?

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

This is getting old.


Thursday, November 07, 2019

Get paid to live (and die) a video game

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Genius politicians

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 04, 2019


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

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

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

I don't need that!

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

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

But it apparently makes sense to most people.

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

Sunday, November 03, 2019

My first car was an electric one

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for helping support

Making fires with antiques

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

Today it found a new use: firestarter.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Saturday, November 02, 2019

"Thoughts and prayers"

Left-Statists go crazy when any non-Left-Statist offers "thoughts and prayers" after a tragedy or a horrific crime-- particularly after a mass shooting. Yes, I realize "thoughts and prayers" seems empty and doesn't fix anything (but after the event, nothing can).

So what do Left-Statists offer instead of "thoughts and prayers"? Outage and "laws", of course.

And they pretend this is somehow better.

Your "thoughts" don't help the situation. And I don't believe prayers actually do anything physical. But both let me know that someone cares and has me in mind. That's not a bad thing.

On the other hand, outrage not only doesn't help, it can lead to harm. Especially if that outrage is expressed by violating natural human rights with some counterfeit "laws". I understand feeling outrage; I feel it, too. But I don't allow my outrage to justify violating you just to feel I have done "something".

"Do something" is worse than doing nothing if the "something" you do is wrong. Legislation is always wrong.

My own approach is to NOT commit horrors and to commit myself to not standing by if some loser tries to commit a gross violation in my presence. That seems a healthier way to handle such matters, but then I'm not a statist.

Yet still-- Give me "thoughts and prayers" over outrage and "laws" any day!

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

Friday, November 01, 2019

Making people... better

Capt. Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds (Serenity): This report is maybe twelve years old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried 'til River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear, 'cause there's a universe of folk that are gonna know it too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. 'Cause as sure as I know anything I know this: They will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground, swept clean. A year from now, ten, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people... better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave.
Removing people's tools of defense (self- and other) doesn't make them better people. It doesn't make for a better world. Not on any world.

It makes them dependent, scared, weak, and less safe.

You may believe your society, with more anti-gun "laws", means it is more advanced; better. You'd be wrong.

Yes, statists believe they can ban guns and make people better, or at least make society better. And safer. It's a religious belief on their part. They'll pursue it until they can't anymore. They will try again. Over and over, anywhere they get the chance. Believing they are somehow making people... better. I do not hold to that.

I aim to misbehave.

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