Friday, December 31, 2021

Keep believing in the rituals!

I have a long-time friend in a state far away who has been Covid-panicked from the very beginning. Back then she worked in food service in a nursing home, so I was able to relate to her panic-- it was a job requirement-- but she now works in a convenience store. The stink lingers, though.

She was over-the-top with all the prescribed prevention rituals: masks, hand sanitizer, social distancing, and all the shots. And scolding me for being skeptical. Now she has Covid.

Maybe the shots did help her. She's asymptomatic and only got tested after finding out she'd been exposed. Still...

Plus, she says she'll continue to get boosters into the indefinite future if she's told to-- even after catching and recovering from Covid! She says she still "believes in" vaccines, even though (she says) she knows I don't.

She's got that wrong. I believe in vaccines... when they are helpful against a disease that's an actual threat. If a vaccine against "the common cold" were created, I probably wouldn't bother to get a Rhinovirus vaccine, even if it was 95% effective and 99.99999...% safe. Because why bother?

I don't want to control what other people do, but what people do makes me wonder about them sometimes.


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Thursday, December 30, 2021

Experiences are filtered

Everyone's experience of everything is filtered.

Take the Covid example:
Health care workers probably feel Covid was more dangerous than it was because their experience of it was filtered to expose them to the worst outcomes. People who went to the doctor or hospital skewed what doctors saw happening. Those who experienced Covid as just another cold didn't go seek help. How often do you go to the doctor from a cold (assuming you aren't a hypochondriac)? I've never gone to the doctor for a cold.

Of course, my own experience of Covid was also filtered. I probably saw it as less dangerous than it was because people who were too sick to go on with their lives didn't interact with me. I saw only those who either experienced it as a cold or who-- because Covid was on their minds-- sought medical treatment but were sent away and told to treat it as a cold or flu. My personal experience was also filtered such that I came to believe "long(-haul) Covid" was confirmation bias.

Paying attention to the (fake) "news" is another way experiences are filtered one way or another.

Thus, healthcare workers or people who believe the (fake) "news" were more likely to be concerned due to what they were exposed to, and I was less likely to be worried due to my own experience and because I don't pay much attention to the (fake) "news". 

But all of us were influenced by the way our experiences were filtered before they reached us. 

It is helpful to be aware of this effect when making decisions-- particularly before deciding to force your opinions on others under threat of violence.

I've noticed the same filtering in other things, too. All your experiences are filtered before you experience them. Being aware of that might help you navigate the world in a more realistic way.


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Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Being offended by "Merry Christmas" makes as much sense as being offended by "Happy Thursday". So what if you don't worship Thor or any of the other gods the days of the week are named for? Have a good Thursday (or whatever day) anyway! I'm not going to feel bad about wishing you a pleasant day-- if you choose to feel offended, that's on you.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

The Holiday "No politics" zone

I can get through almost anything "social"... as long as politics (anti-social behavior) is left behind.

I am an introvert. I can enjoy time with people, but I have to recharge afterward-- and during.

We had a very busy, crowded holiday weekend. Fortunately, it all happened at my parents' house. That gives me a place to flee to, since that's only 7 blocks away.

But it was a good holiday.

Our family contains people of every sort of political inclination, and me, who's against politics. No one said anything political other than my dad's one crack about "defunding the police" during a Christmas movie scene where Santa was arrested.

The only real stressor was the big anxiety-ridden dog who came with one couple (because they couldn't find a sitter). My parents' cat is now terrified of coming in the house, but will hopefully get over it now that the intruder is gone-- all but the smell.

Everyone got along and had a good time. It's amazing what can happen if politics doesn't poison it.


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Sunday, December 26, 2021

Good jury makes the right choice

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for November 24, 2021)

The Kyle Rittenhouse trial may have served as a canary in the coal mine. That's how I saw it.

Government doesn't respect your right of self-defense and would prefer you die at the hands of attackers. Fortunately, the jury saw through the malicious prosecution.

Unfortunately, much of the public believed the lies spun by the national media corporations to advance their anti-gun, anti-defense agenda. Rittenhouse was even called a "white supremacist" and his attackers were called "his victims".

Rittenhouse was persecuted for doing something everyone has a natural right to do. Even the attacker who testified admits he wasn't shot until he pointed his gun at Kyle. It would have been irresponsible of Kyle to allow himself to be shot.

The trial, if legitimate, would have been thrown out immediately with this admission. It wasn't.

Some excuse his attackers because Rittenhouse had a gun. So did the attacker who survived. Holding a gun is no excuse for anyone to attack you, physically or politically. Guns aren't the only tools which can kill; so can skateboards and fists.

The ridiculous prosecution even argued that someone has no right to claim self-defense if they have a gun.

To claim you lose the right to claim self-defense if you are armed with a gun is not rational, but political. First of all, rights can't be "lost". Second, who claims you've done something wrong by being prepared for an emergency?

It would be the same if the roles were reversed and Kyle had been the one to point his gun at an innocent person and be shot because of it.

To charge him with a crime and force him to defend himself from government was itself a criminal act. The dishonesty of the prosecution was astounding. The prosecutor in this case is as much a criminal thug as those Rittenhouse shot in self-defense. He had no case to stand on.

Kyle Rittenhouse was a political prisoner and is owed restitution by those who kept this farce going. Individually from their personal bank accounts and from selling their property, not from tax funds. The prosecutor-- and others-- should be destitute after committing this crime against Rittenhouse. Proper restitution would make Kyle nearly as rich as Elon Musk.

I don't believe the government court system is legitimate. I have no respect for it whatsoever. I'm still relieved it sometimes, thanks to a good jury, stumbles across the right decision.

-- PS: Support

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The Omicron variant will likely turn out to be to Covid as cowpox was to smallpox. If you know medical history you'll understand.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Friday, December 24, 2021

Being better at thinking

Not only do most people seem to be stuck in binary ways of thinking, but they also aren't even very good at that.

Being against "vaccine" mandates doesn't mean you hate vaccines. Those are completely different, unrelated, issues.

Being against police doesn't mean you like crime.

Being against political government doesn't mean you want chaos.

Being against democracy doesn't mean you support autocracy.

See the jumbled "thinking" involved in all these thinking mistakes?

That's not even the end of it.

Being opposed to something doesn't mean you're afraid of it. I'm against "vaccine" dictates, police, political government, and democracy, but I'm not afraid of those things. Nor am I afraid of Covid, crime, chaos, or autocracy.

People who are driven by fear see fear where it doesn't exist. Maybe it helps them feel better about themselves. I feel sorry for them, but I can't arrange my life to comfort them.

And, just because I say "Merry Christmas" doesn't mean I'm against every other Winter Solstice celebration. There's room for all of them. The more, the... well... merrier!


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Thursday, December 23, 2021

I'd prefer Dr. Frankenstein

I really dislike Fauci. 

I have had a negative reaction to Dr. A. "SciencePersonified" Fauci (full first name: Anti) from the beginning. Something about his face and his eyes and voice and mannerisms, but also because I don't like what he says. If he said things I agree with, maybe my reaction to him would be more positive. 

We'll never know.

He just doesn't seem trustworthy to me. 

Of course, trustworthiness is subjective. I couldn't trust him, but maybe you could. Your impression of him might be completely opposite of mine. If he doesn't seem repellent to you, do you agree with what he pushes? Or should I have reversed the order to ask "If you agree with what he pushes, does he not seem repellent to you?"

No president has had this negative of an effect on me. Not one. That makes Fauci special-- in a "class" with that harpy Hillary Clinton and that murderous David Chipman guy.

If Fauci said drinking clean water is essential to staying healthy, I'd keep drinking water. But then I already know this is true and his proclamation wouldn't make any difference. If he said new data shows I need to put a spoonful of sewage in my drinking water (or in my veins) to keep from getting sick, I would ignore him (and advise others to ignore him, too). His opinions don't sway me either way. 

No, I shouldn't let myself be influenced by how repellent I find a political criminal. Maybe he's right about everything and I'm a fool for discounting his advice. I'm willing to take the chance.


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Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Imagine being so blinded by your religious devotion to the Cult of Covid that you believe "vaccine hesitancy" is the same as being anti-science or a conspiracy theorist. I guess in their minds, rational people just accept anything they are told, without question or pause, by someone who chants "It's Science, Baby!". Nutjobs.

Daughter ramblings

I'm thankful my daughter still talks to me. I've seen families where that wasn't the case.

My daughter was just telling me a couple of days ago that Christmas isn't as exciting for her as it was when she was younger. I explained that as a little kid, you're very excited by what you get, but that as you get older, that excitement is replaced by excitement over what you give. If you want to feel Christmas excitement, give gifts you are excited to give. It made sense to her.

I hope she's able to appreciate the wisdom I offer. Haha.

At least she doesn't roll her eyes at me-- that I see. That doesn't mean we never have friction between us. 

I tried to immunize her years ago by warning her that hormonal changes were coming that would make her hate me for no real reason, but that I would love her through it all and we'd be OK in the end. Back then she said that she could never hate me... but that was then. Some days I think she almost crosses the line. The next few years might be interesting.

She's at the age (14) where every w0ke pronouncement sounds like truth, and actual truth is ugly and unwanted. Truth sounds mean, and social [sic] media and her friends tell her it is horrible and backward. 

She sometimes tries to sell me some w0ke; I don't buy it.

I just listen to her saying her piece. I agree when she's on the right path; I usually say nothing when she's off in the w0keweeds. Sometimes I try to say something much later to make her think a little more about what she had accepted as true, but that is crazy once you examine it outside the bubble.

Speaking of weed...

Yesterday we were picking up an item for someone else at a flea market on the New Mexico side of our territory. Just inside the door, the guy had a scraggly marijuana plant growing in a pot. I nudged my daughter and told her what it was. She said later she hadn't even seen the plant (I admit, her observational skills are normal), and wouldn't have known what it was until I told her.

We burned some gas and spent some money just hanging out together all day. We had some hours to kill and we didn't want to be home without something to keep our minds busy. Vet offices need waiting rooms.

The past few days both of us have been a bit anxious because Whiskers-- our one-eyed rescue kitten-- was going in for his hernia surgery. He came out of it in great spirits. He still has one issue, but we'll work on solving that.

The kitten is one bond between us, but we have a pretty good relationship beyond that-- at least so far. We can still talk about anything. I don't take it for granted!


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Sunday, December 19, 2021

The other side isn't what's evil

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for November 17, 2021)

It's popular to paint the other political side as evil. The people probably aren't, but their ideas and actions may be. Remember-- you are "the other side" to them.

Evil isn't just whatever you don't like. That would be too easy. Evil is any action which violates someone who isn't currently violating the life, liberty, or property of another; an act which harms someone who doesn't deserve to be harmed at this moment.

Philip Zimbardo, who became famous for his 1971 Stanford prison experiment, in his book The Lucifer Effect, defines evil like this: “Evil consists in intentionally behaving in ways that harm, abuse, demean, dehumanize, or destroy innocent others—or using one’s authority and systemic power to encourage or permit others to do so on your behalf.”  I appreciate that he counts as evil the use of political "authority" to influence others to do evil.

People aren't evil, but they can commit evil. Some seem to prefer it. I think it's useful shorthand to refer to someone as "evil" when they consistently and repeatedly commit acts of evil, even if it's not exactly accurate.

So how can you tell if the "other side" is the evil side, or if your side is? Check to see which is violating the life, liberty, or property of another. Sometimes you'll discover both sides promote evil, but in different ways.

Do you support the use of government violence-- through enforcement of legislation-- to take people's money or other property?
Do you advocate the use of government violence to punish people for their choice to use substances you believe they shouldn't use?
Do you approve when government violence is used against those who defended themselves from attackers in a way you didn't like or used weapons you don't believe they should use?
Do you applaud the use of government violence to ignore private property rights and the right of association in favor of government borders?
Do you favor government violence forcing parents to have their children indoctrinated into beliefs which are useful for the state?

Can you see how all these political preferences harm the life, liberty, and property of people who aren't currently harming anyone else? Do you engage in mental gymnastics to try to justify any of these positions anyway? If you can't see this for what it is, you may think of the other side as "evil" while embracing your own brand of the stuff.

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"Law" enforcement is NOT the solution to crime. Not any more than amputation is the solution to a splinter-- or the possibility of getting a splinter. It only makes things worse, even though it might-- might-- reduce the appearance of crime if you wear blinders. In reality, it just shifts the direction most crime comes from slightly.

Friday, December 17, 2021

Carefully crafted failure

You can't be surprised that an idea fails when you've put artificial constraints on it to make sure it can't succeed. When you've planned things so it must fail.

Defunding the police-- as invariably done by city governments-- is one such idea.

If you defund (or abolish) the police-- without simultaneously encouraging the population to effectively defend their life, liberty, and property from all violators-- crime is going to increase. 

This failure doesn't mean police are essential. It means you rigged the outcome so it would look like they are. And the Blue Line Gang members still employed will be the ones targeting the people trying to defend life, liberty, and property to make it dangerous to do so.

Any mayor who doesn't ditch all anti-gun legislation and policies is sacrificing the population so The Gang will win. They didn't even try to solve anything, but did everything in their power to make things worse. This is because government can't allow the people to see that it is their biggest problem. "I want EVERYONE to remember WHY THEY NEED US!

To the lamppost with any such mayor.


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Thursday, December 16, 2021

Government's job

Government's job is not to protect people. Its job (if political government were ever legitimate and actually had a job to do) is to protect the rights of people. Of individuals. Against all violators, including, especially, its employees.

There's a gigantic gap-- a planet-splitting chasm-- between those two things.

"Protecting people" means violating their rights when they have the right to do dangerous things-- which they do. It's the excuse of slavers and abusive parents.

Protecting your rights means you are going to be at greater risk. It's a matter of putting liberty before life.

That government almost always (I'm being unreasonably generous here) violates your rights, putting your safety-- or worse "public safety"-- first, means government isn't doing its ONE JOB. It simply isn't possible for government to do what its only justification for existing would demand. Toss it out. That's no baby, and that's not bathwater.


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Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Is it corruption?

Is the mafia corrupt?

You might wish it served to protect your property, widows, and orphans-- after all, that's what the mafia would claim it does-- but in reality, it steals your money, threatens you with violence, violates your rights, and murders people.

Corruption is something like rust, which isn't necessary, but damages and weakens the structure. Corruption isn't just that the true shape of the thing isn't to your liking. Rust on your blade is corruption; the sharp edge isn't.

You might believe the bad things the mafia does are signs of corruption, but those are really the things that make it the mafia rather than a social club. Without those unethical acts, it wouldn't be the mafia. You can't get rid of the things you might inaccurately call "corruption" without abolishing the mafia entirely.

Oh, wait, did I say "mafia"? I meant "government".


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Monday, December 13, 2021

I don't want to be a hero because to be a hero, bad things have to happen in your presence. But if bad things happen in my presence, I hope I can behave correctly.

You and I may be standing alone

"Conservatives"-- Right-Statists-- aren't the force against "health" mandates that they see themselves as. Or that Left-Statists see them as.

The "conservatives"/Republicans I know personally are all much more trusting of the Covid narrative than I am. In fact, there's not much difference that I can see between them and the "liberals" I know personally (two of whom are Maddow-loving California imports). At least, not in how they act or what they seem to believe about it.

Although I don't pay enough attention to the "news" to know for sure, I suspect the "news" is the reason. Where Covid is concerned, I'm assuming it's all fake and it's all designed to scare people. Scared people are easy to herd-- and even easier to stampede.


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Sunday, December 12, 2021

U.S. Capitol belongs to people

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for November 10, 2021)

Pretending the January 6th demonstration was an insurrection is silly. An "insurrection" which didn't seek to topple any government, which was in support of the sitting president, and where the armed people were all on the other side? Nonsense.

On top of this, it infuriates me that anyone could be charged with a crime for entering a building which belongs to the people-- not to government-- and for protesting there. To treat this as a crime is injustice. Any government pursuing this sort of case against any individual has delegitimized itself beyond repair. It's done.

Did the demonstrators have a right to be protesting inside the building? Yes, they absolutely did. Would I have joined the protest? Not a chance.

The U.S. Capitol belongs to you. It doesn't belong to politicians or the Capitol Police. If anyone is trespassing, it is those congresscritters who are doing things the Constitution doesn't allow them to do. They are ignoring their clear Constitutional limits and doing the opposite of what the people they supposedly represent want them to do, within those limits. They are the ones who have no right to be on the Capitol grounds.

We can disagree over whether there's any point in protesting a criminal government. I don't believe there is, since I don't think any political government can be redeemed, but I'm not going to criticize those who hold out hope there may still be a slim chance. If you think it's time to protest, it's probably too late for a mere protest to fix anything.

To arrest the protestors was criminal, but the government's crimes went beyond that.

The monetary punishments levied against those who demonstrated are no different than any other violent mugging. It's especially telling when a fine and restitution are imposed separately. A fine is simply another tax-- more theft by government. And government can't be owed restitution because it isn't an individual; it has no rights that can be violated.

I don't know the Clovis doctor who was recently sentenced for entering the U.S.Capitol. I would probably disagree with him on most topics. I was not a Donald Trump supporter because I don't support politicians of any sort, ever. It doesn't matter. What he did wasn't a crime in any real sense. The crime was committed by those who sought to punish him and others like him. I'll always remember who these real criminals are.

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Lots of small earthquakes relieve geologic pressure and make big, damaging earthquakes less likely. It is said that fracking for oil causes lots of small earthquakes. So, wouldn't it make sense that fracking would reduce the chance of large damaging earthquakes? Frack California!

"But the dictionary says..."

If you want to understand why I don't automatically accept the dictionary definition of words, here's a new example.

The definition of "anti-vaxxer" was changed in the Merrian-Webster dictionary to include "opposes...regulations mandating vaccination". Combined with how the definition of "vaccine" was itself recently changed (at least by government) so it could include the Covid shots, this should break anyone's loyalty to "dictionary definitions".

Check out what I said about "mandatory vaccines" back in 2015, and see whether my opinion has changed since that time.

I have never been an anti-vaxxer. Not by my own definition nor by the definition that used to appear in dictionaries. But by this new definition...?

As I point out in my own Liberty Dictionary, dictionaries don't tell you what words really mean, but how they are used

Any dictionary that is authoritarian/government-supremacist in its bias is going to define words to be more useful to what "authorities" want you to think. That's why the dictionary definition of "anarchy" is so bad. Why the dictionary definitions of "freedom" and "liberty" are so incomplete or misleading. "The dictionary" doesn't exist-- every dictionary is going to slant things according to the authors' biases.

I'm not suggesting we go all Humpty-Dumpty, but that we realize the authors of dictionaries are also prone to do just that. They aren't immune.

Check the dictionary definition, then weigh it against what you know to be true. You may find they don't agree.

-- H/T to JP


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Saturday, December 11, 2021

I've begun to suspect the correct formula is not "risk of the shot minus the risk from Covid" but is, instead, "risk of the shot plus the cost of compliance minus the risk from Covid". If you believe there is no cost to compliance, you are mistaken.

Some of the smartest things I've ever heard

I enjoyed this interview of Elon Musk where he completely bewildered the poor government-supremacist interviewer, especially with his comments toward the "infrastructure bill". Maybe you'd enjoy it, too.

He's not there yet, but he is close.

I still wish I could get a Cybertruck when they come to market.


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Friday, December 10, 2021

You can keep your exceptions

Recently, as if to illustrate a problem I've written about, I have gotten several comments and emails explaining why "X" is the exception. Why "X" is the one issue where other people's liberty can't be respected-- why they can't be trusted with it, but must be subject to control and enforcement imposed politically. And they all give perfectly reasonable-sounding reasons.

The thing is, everyone who has weighed in has a different specific exception. No two "X"s were the same.

Each specific exception hinges on the issue (or issues) they are most concerned about. The thing that worries them the most, or that they can imagine impacting them the most.

This is why you can't make exceptions

Liberty-- no exceptions.

You are responsible for you. Yes, many (maybe most) people are not responsible. It doesn't change this. 

You might not like having to watch your backtrail for those who aren't responsible. It's still your job to do so. Cops, bureaucrats, legislation, dictates/mandates, rules, law, etc. don't alter this one iota. It's still 100% your responsibility even if you're tired of it or feel inadequate to the task. 

You have the right to defend yourself from archation or credible threats to archate, but if you overreact you owe restitution. 

And there is no such thing as a "right" to proactively archate against them before they can archate against you-- and that includes through legislation and enforcement of legislation.

Once you start carving out exceptions, you have no basis to complain when others do the same for whatever "problem" bothers them the most. You'll have to fight among yourselves to see who violates whom the most righteously. Guns, Covid, vices, immigration, cars, Rock n' Roll, or dancing-- it's all on the table. Soon, what's left? You are only "free" to choose which hand your sex-monitoring chip is implanted in?

No thanks. That's not the world for me. I'll accept risk to avoid violating your liberty, even if you don't reciprocate and even if you don't want liberty, but only freedom. Your issues-- even if shared by the majority-- don't affect my principles.

-- Also published in The Libertarian Enterprise


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Thursday, December 09, 2021

Politics is the pits

I dislike politics very much.

As has been pointed out, you may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you. In violating you, to be precise.

I don't appreciate feeling like I need to pay attention to unscrupulous people who are plotting to use politics-- the political means; cheating-- against me. Yet, it is said to be unethical to use force to stop them. Just lay back and enjoy it, I guess.

They are literally scheming to rob me at gunpoint, to kidnap me if I try to prevent this robbery, and murder me if I resist effectively. Most people see nothing wrong with this situation. And that's just with regard to "taxation". They are plotting against me-- and against you-- from many directions besides that one. That's what politics is.

I understand that some people-- even libertarians-- like politics. They find it interesting. To each his own.

For me, it's a drudge. A dangerous drudge that threatens me. I just wish I could ignore the creeps safely.


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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

I can't care when evil losers die

I expect everyone here to disagree with me completely. That's fine.

"School shooters" are evil losers. Without exception. I don't care why they do it. I don't care if they claim they were bullied. I have no sympathy whatsoever. Especially when they use the bullying as their excuse to shoot people who weren't the ones bullying them.

However, if they target only those who are bullying them, I also have zero sympathy for their "victims". Bullies are evil losers, too. I don't care even a little about what happens to them.

Sometimes bad guys clash with bad guys and bad guys die. Ho hum.

Bullying has a price, but it is one that is rarely paid. That doesn't mean it is never paid.

Bullying is not that much different than murder, and bullying can include murder. Murderers are bullies. Murder is when the bullying becomes final. Bullying can be murder that takes decades to kill, or it can kill through suicide a lot faster. I'm in favor of bullies being stopped in the act, however that is accomplished. And I'll never care about them.


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Monday, December 06, 2021

Liberty > life

I recently had a self-revelation. In every case I've been able to think of, I value liberty over life if there's a conflict (real or imagined) between the two.

Life, liberty, and property are all important. If I were forced to rank them, though, I would rank them this way: liberty > life > property. And I think property and life are almost interchangeable-- property is what helps you hang on to life.

I get that some people reverse the order and value life more than liberty. Many people seem to value one or the other more depending on the specific issue. I don't think the issue matters at all to the equation. Liberty (to me) is always more important than life.

But which one is really more important? The question is meaningless.

Value is always subjective.

Liberty is why I will always support the absolute natural right to own and to carry weapons. Regardless of whether someone believes-- rightly or wrongly-- that doing so puts lives in danger. I'm pro-liberty.

It's why I'm going to side with the woman on the topic of abortion, even though I don't like abortion and think it is generally a sign of irresponsibility. I'm pro-liberty.

It's why I support the right of addicts to use drugs without being attacked by state goons. I'm pro-liberty.

It's why I am not a supporter of government borders, of cops, of Covid mandates, or of the safety nazis. I'm pro-liberty.

It's about liberty, even over and above life. Liberty is my priority.

Yes, you have to be alive to enjoy liberty. A corpse can't enjoy liberty. However, a life without liberty (or at least the hope of liberty to come) is worse than death in my opinion. I believe liberty is worth dying to protect and promote.


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Sunday, December 05, 2021

Supply chain is government problem

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for November 3, 2021)

I hate to sound like a parrot repeating the only phrase he knows until everyone is sick of hearing him. Even though it's true. Squawk! Government is the problem.

If you've seen any news or visited a store recently, you may have noticed the supply chain seems to be broken. Almost every retailer is having trouble getting products, and many of them are telling customers to start trying to get what they want early. They are warning customers that the things they want may simply not be available in time for the holidays.

So far, this supply chain failure isn't as bad as is common in more completely socialist regimes, but it's worse than most of us thought would happen here in America. We are accustomed to being able to find what we want when we want it.

It will probably get a lot worse before it gets better.

Once again, those crazy "preppers" don't look so crazy.

Ever since the supply chain failure became noticeable, I've been hearing supposed experts giving their opinions on the reason behind it. Like me, you've probably heard many different reasons, not just one. All of them sound completely plausible, even though they are all different. Everyone is looking at the problem from their own angle, seeing a different part of the whole.

This inability to find one good reason usually indicates every reason you hear is wrong.

That's not the case this time. Not if you dig below the surface of every individual reason suggested for the failure. If you do so, you'll see there's one common feature connecting all of them.

At its foundation, every reason I've heard comes down to this: the "just in time" supply chain was fragile, and something was going to break it. That "something" was government interference.

It's been a long time coming, but the Covid overreactions of the recent past-- still ongoing in some backward political offices-- brought it to a head.

Regulations, licensing, legislation, handouts... they all came together to create this mess. It won't be solved by doing more of the same. Getting government out of the way is the only permanent solution, but it's one you'll not hear from the mainstream or from government (as if those are different).

Yes, government caused this problem, too. Government is the problem so often it can't be a coincidence. To pretend otherwise is to live in denial.

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"I didn't pull the trigger"

Can a Colt Peacemaker copy fire without someone pulling the trigger? Maybe...

I hate to trust anything an anti-gun bigot like Alec Baldwin says. When he said he didn't pull the trigger when he killed the person on the movie set, like probably most of you, my first inclination was to scoff. Then I wondered if it could be true.

I once had a black powder rifle fire as I pulled the hammer back to full-cock without my finger touching the trigger. Fortunately, I had it aimed downrange at the time (those gun handling safety rules work). Turns out that a sliver of wood from inside the stock, around the lock, had gotten into the sear's full-cock notch, preventing it from catching. It was a scary experience.

But my experience showed me that the common claim "a gun can never just 'go off'" isn't 100% true.

I happen to have a Colt SAA copy-- not the same one Baldwin was using, though. His was apparently a Pietta; mine is an EMF New Dakota Model made by Armi San Marcos. So I tested to see if I could get the hammer to fall while thumbing it back. 

I could.

If I thumbed the hammer back, but let it slip before it caught the first notch, it would drop back into place-- the firing pin would have contacted the cartridge primer. Since this is a very short fall, I'm not sure it would have hit hard enough to actually fire the round, but maybe. I guess it depends on spring strength and primer sensitivity.

My own accidental discharge with the black powder rifle makes me also wonder whether debris could have gotten into the sear of his gun, causing a malfunction similar to the one I experienced. 

So, yes, as much as I don't want to believe Alec Baldwin, I think it is possible for his gun to have fired without him touching the trigger, even if I think it's more likely that his finger was on the trigger after all.

None of this excuses him for sweeping people with the muzzle, for not checking for himself whether or not the gun was loaded, and for being an anti-gun bigot.

Update: I finally saw the part of the interview where Baldwin was talking about the shooting, and he talked about having the hammer cocked, but "letting it down" without pulling the trigger. That can't be done. On a SAA you have to pull the trigger to lower the hammer from a cocked position. It's the only way to do it. So, he's either lying or doesn't realize what he was doing when he shot her. Either way, it's still his fault entirely.


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Saturday, December 04, 2021

The unwise celebration of anti-science

I have loved science-- and "doing science"-- most of my life. In school, some people referred to me as the mad scientist. That wasn't too far off.

My family got used to bright electric arc flashes coming from under my door, as well as the smell of burning components and air. And other smells. Yes, I did wear safety goggles that I built myself to save my eyesight from the UV exposure. Once, I nearly burned down a friend's shed doing some electrical experiments I thought too dangerous for in the house. 

Then there were the biology experiments of various types, some chemistry experiments, and quite a few physics experiments (probably my favorites). I was curious.

I didn't enjoy doing things that I knew what the results were "supposed" to be; things that countless others before me had already done (the kind of "experiments" done in school), so I tried stuff that I couldn't find a record of others already doing, but that I was curious about. I learned a lot that way.

I even experiment and test things that don't necessarily seem like subjects for scientific inquiry. I have never found that to be the wrong way to learn something useful

Did I always come to the right conclusions? Probably not. But I tried to stay aware of my limitations and biases.

That's why the recent bastardization of science gets me so riled up. Anti-science is being sold as science to people who aren't educated in the difference.

Pope Fauci is NOT science personified. He's a cult leader. 

Consensus is NOT science. 

Politics is anti-science because it is dictated. Science requires liberty in order to thrive. "Authority" kills it.

Falsebook, Twutter, and Gugle/YourTub are NOT supporting science with their censorship and fact-blocking. They are hiding useful political lies from proper scrutiny. It bothers me, and nothing they say can excuse them in my eyes. I hate all these anti-science bullies.

Science is a process, not a proclamation, a cult, or a person. Treating any of those as "science" is anti-science.


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Friday, December 03, 2021

I'm still having fun playing with Quora, and they invited me to their program where they say I can earn money by answering questions (rather than just by asking them, as was the case before). I've since answered probably hundreds of questions asked of me, and my earnings are... zero. Well, it was worth a try.

Responsibility can be a heavy ... blessing

Sometimes I think it would be nice to give up on responsibility. To be just as irresponsible and statist as the neighbors and family members you see every day who are bumbling their way through the world, leaving a carefree path of destruction in their wake.

This past summer I had saved up over half the money I needed for something I wanted. Notice I said "wanted", not "needed"-- just a fun purchase. But then I found the sick kitten. Then another of the family cats got sick and needed vet care.

Although the GoFundMe donations mostly took care of Whiskers' needs, I also had to empty my fun fund. Its balance still stands at zero. But that's OK. I knew what I was getting into when I took on the responsibility of saving Whiskers (and caring for the other cats) and it was worth it. I was also telling my daughter just this morning that I would have a lot more money if I didn't feed the feral cats who live on my porch. But this is another responsibility I took on of my own free will.

Sure, most people would probably see those as trivial "responsibilities"; nothing compared to the responsibility I have to my daughter. It's also trivial compared to my human responsibility to not archate against any other individual I encounter. And those who see these other responsibilities as trivial are probably right. But they are all responsibilities I consciously accepted. To ignore one responsibility would make it easier to ignore others.

Still, sometimes it's tempting to just behave like others do. Toss responsibility to the wind. Do what I want at the moment and don't worry about the consequences. 

But I can't.

Whether it's the responsibility to take care of the animals who depend on me for their lives, the responsibility to my daughter (and even my adult son), or the responsibility to not archate-- I take them seriously, even if I sometimes fall short.

It's popular among the intelligentsia to make fun of the "red pill", but responsibility is included in that "pill" and once you've taken it, I don't think you can go backward and accept being like those who made the other choice. Whatever your responsibilities are, you're not going to feel good unless you meet them to the best of your ability. Even if it sometimes feels like responsibility is wearing you down.


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Thursday, December 02, 2021

Seeing "the crazy"

"But you can’t pretend you don’t see the crazy." ~ Claire Wolfe (link-- read it, please.)

 Nope. I can't. I also can't pretend it isn't crazy. 

It's not just about the crazy Branch Covidians and their crazy, power-mad Pope of Science, but about all the w0ke delusions and lies, and the delusions and lies from every corner of the political circus. It's all crazy and I see it. I think you see it, too.

Don't cover the crazy with a veil of legitimacy it didn't earn. Laugh at it even if it hurts the feelings of the believers. You'll be doing them a favor in the long run, even if they don't like it now.


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