Tuesday, April 30, 2024

If rights don't exist, neither does "wrong"

If rights don’t matter, or if rights don’t exist, then nothing you do to others can be wrong. Wrong means it violates someone’s rights.

Some say it’s not about rights, it’s about power. The power to do things to others. They usually say this to justify government actions that clearly violate individual rights (such as governing). 

But if this is true, it's true for freelance criminals as well. 

If you justify government this way, why claim a rapist is doing anything wrong? How could anyone make that claim? If there are no rights to be violated, by what basis can anyone say he shouldn't do what he's doing? He has power and is using it— and I hope his intended victim has the power to stop him. Permanently.

Saying rights don't exist, or don't matter because they are just a mental construct, is dumb and is setting yourself up for a really bad end.

People who don’t “believe in” rights had better watch their backtrails. Those who believe them might act on the belief.

Here are some of the best ways to help me

Monday, April 29, 2024

Not taking the smallest step

People just don’t think like I do. I’m not sure whether that’s good or bad.

My daughter was leaving the house. She had to run back in and blow her runny nose- I told her to put a bunch of Kleenexes in her pocket for later. She didn’t. I asked why she didn’t and she said she can just go to the restroom to blow her nose. Yes, but...

I don’t understand not wanting to be prepared.

Yet, she’s not the only one. All my life I’ve noticed that most people would rather wing it; take their chances. They'll avoid doing something simple, easy. and free to avert a problem just because they think they can deal with the problem later.

Maybe they can. 

Often, however, they act surprised when this lack of preparedness causes trouble. Yet, they never apply this lesson to next time. Why? And why not listen when someone gives a suggestion that could avert problems and isn't even inconvenient? I really don't get it.

It's in the same category as "I don't like/don't wear hats". I see it as "I like causing problems for myself".

Here are some of the best ways to help me

Sunday, April 28, 2024

If I were rich...

What would I do if  I woke up tomorrow and discovered I had become rich? I've probably given this more thought than the "possibility" warrants.

But here's what I would do:

Pay off my medical bills.

Schedule my cataract surgery.

Buy my parents' house, put all the bills in my name, and let them stay there for the rest of their lives.

Have all the porch cats taken to the vet to be treated and spayed/neutered, then either placed in homes or released back where they live now (depending on their willingness to tolerate indoor life). Or, maybe build a sheltered facility where the more feral ones can live in safety without too much human interference.

Make donations to cat rescue groups and encourage, with bonus donations, some group to cover this area.

Send a couple of cases of premium ammo to a friend who just bought his first gun.

I have a short list of liberty advocates I would fund, and a few friends I would help.

Pay off my house.

Get a Cybertruck with the solar panel option.

Half-joking- I would never wear a pair of socks twice. I'd buy new socks, wear them once, then donate them to a homeless assistance group to wash and distribute as they see fit.

Sure, I would probably want to move into a better off-grid house, on acreage, which means I would need lots more ammo. I might (OK, would) buy more guns. But those things would have to wait until I take care of the things on the list.

What would you do?

Here are some of the best ways to help me

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Politics opposite of what I try to do

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for March 24, 2024)

About the most hurtful thing anyone can say about me is to describe my writing as "political". It wounds me more deeply than almost any other words can.

Politics is what someone is doing when they encourage others to vote for or against something. Or someone.
Politics is what people engage in when they advocate yet another law aimed at the rest of society or want existing laws enforced more violently.
Politics says this politician will be better at running your life than some opposing team's politician. It leaves you out of the conversation, even though you are the only one with any right to control your life.
Politics is deciding how to divide the government's plunder-- taxes-- and how to most effectively violate the rights of your neighbors, friends, family, and even your grandchildren years into the future.

Politics never recognizes your sovereignty. Its advocates have made "sovereignty" a dirty word, except when applied to political criminals and the gang they work for. They claim these entities have sovereignty; you don't. This is utterly ridiculous because without sovereignty there's no way you could authorize anyone else to govern you.

Please don't misunderstand me. The claim of so-called "sovereign citizens" is equally ridiculous-- you can be one or the other, but not both.

Politics is the opposite of what I'm trying to do.

I encourage you to take responsibility for your own life. To do what's right without being forced to do it by government employees, and to do the right thing even when government employees threaten to hurt you if you do.

I try to show you that you aren't someone else's property. Government doesn't own you, even if it forces its tracking numbers on you and your children. This is a tactic of desperation; government hopes you don't realize this.

I remind you that liberty is your birthright, and government-- even the "best" government-- is the sworn enemy of liberty and your natural human rights.

If I were political I would be lying to you; telling you how to fix government. Telling you some politician or another has your best interests in mind. That he or she will defend your rights (while violating the rights of people you don't like with legislation and enforcement). I would be trying to prop up the outdated belief that government is a "necessary evil", rather than just evil.

Me, political? Never!

I couldn't do this without your support.

Reasons government is illegitimate

One of the many things I despise about government is that you and I are expected to abide by the arbitrary rules it makes up and enforces on us, but it refuses to be bound by the rules which apply to it.

This is a clear sign that a police state is what we are living in.

That’s simply not going to fly.

You and I have rights; government has none.

Here are some of the best ways to help me

Friday, April 26, 2024

It's OK to be honest

Even if something is "just the way it is", and unlikely to change, it’s OK to point out when it’s wrong. 

Admitting it’s wrong doesn’t obligate you to change it.
It doesn’t implicate you if you’re a victim. 

If something is wrong, just say it. Don’t lie for the bad guy.

I've seen so many people reluctant to do this. They'll make excuses even while suffering. 

I had someone doing this while talking to me a couple of days ago. Even fighting to defend something they clearly knew was wrong, just because "that's just how it is". 
It's nuts!

Here are some of the best ways to help me

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Government going too far

Do you ever wonder if government will ever go too far? Far enough that it loses the support of most of the (normally apathetic) public like it has lost mine (and presumably yours)?

I do.

I also wonder what "too far" would look like. What would it take?
And what response would it trigger?

I've seen apathetic people get riled up over one or more of the hoaxes perpetrated by the media in the last few years. But they don't usually stay riled up for long. I'm not sure if this is because the hoaxes don't pan out the way they are dramatized, or if it's just too much trouble to keep thinking about it.

What would it take-- either real or a hoax-- to get enough people angry enough to do something? Not to just v*te for "the other guy", but to do something useful? To either withdraw "consent" in a meaningful way or to yank the pedestal out from under Colossus?

I have no idea. But it could be interesting to watch.

Here are some of the best ways to help me

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Governing "a moral people" is unethical

Those who insist that the answer to everything is "morality" sort of amuse me.

Yes, if "moral" meant the same to everyone, that could fix a lot of problems. If everyone agrees on the baseline, then it's going to work even if some people break the rules.

But morality is situational ethics-- it depends on your culture, religion, and experiences. So no one even agrees what's moral-- which is why they'd rather appeal to morality than ethics, except when they use the word "ethics" when talking about "morality" (which I see a lot).

The Constitution only works to govern "a moral people", but governing others is unethical. You can't force an unethical system on people, then claim it fails because the people aren't moral enough. And, by "moral" I suppose you'd mean they don't agree with your cultural/religious notions of how everyone else is to be governed. Well, you can claim that, but you'd look dumb.

If your idea of "moral" is that everyone submit to political "authority" and pretend it's legitimate, then I absolutely reject your morality. I'll stick to being ethical instead.

Here are some of the best ways to help me

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Those who love Big Brother

Big, powerful government isn’t your friend. It's not your benefactor. It's incompatible with liberty.

It's evil.

It doesn’t make you safe. It enslaves you. It robs you. It may kill you.
It doesn't help you.
It does help political criminals-- both the regular politician-type and the Deep State parasites of the "intelligence" agencies (they are not on your side).

Wanting to fund such government is not ethical.
Wanting to further empower such government is monstrous.
Supporting such government in any way is horrible.

If you believe otherwise, you may be a government supremacist. Go in peace... but go. Maybe North Korea or China would suit you better.

Here are some of the best ways to help me

Monday, April 22, 2024

Silliness: When the other shoe drops

Which will lose enough True Believers to fall out of favor first? Climate Crisis or government?

I'm betting on Climate Crisis losing its hold on people's minds first. Too many gullible people still cling to the backward cult of Statism.

I shake my head in disbelief whenever I hear someone "thinking past the sale" on AGCC (Anthropogenic Global Climate Change). They've largely overshot the target. Rather than discussing the possibility of climate change, they are trying to make everyone believe it's a proven crisis. Impending doom and disaster. And that's where they lost me.

Climate changes and will never stop changing. A static climate might not even be good. I am fully willing to consider that humans might be able to affect the planet's climate. Might

But, I am not convinced that if it is real it would be a guaranteed net negative, that it could be stopped now, or that stopping it wouldn't be worse than adapting to it. Treating it like a disaster is jumping to conclusions-- conclusions that just happen to align with what the authoritarian control freaks want to do to you.

I am not stupid enough to believe that more government control is the right answer to any problem. Government-- the worst environmental disaster since at least the asteroid that killed off the non-avian dinosaurs; maybe ever!-- is going to save us all from climate change? Ha!

It's not a foregone conclusion that every bad weather event, every new disease, or every novel phenomenon is due to "climate change". But that's what they are trying to sell. It's just dumb.

Yes, belief in government is just as ridiculous, but it has deeper roots. Even people who are skeptical about the scams being sold by government are still likely to believe government is necessary. It's an absurd belief, but it's going to take time for enough of them to see it for what it is.

So, expect the Climate Change narrative to collapse in your lifetime. And rest assured that government will follow. It may just take a little longer.

Here are some of the best ways to help me

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Politicians just don't get Bill of Rights

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for March 17, 2024)

Politicians tend to get every answer wrong. They also ask the wrong questions because they view everything through the warped lens of government supremacy.

Texas representative Dan Crenshaw is a prime example. Politicians are squaring off for or against TikTok, an addictive digital drug from China. Some, including Crenshaw, are looking to ban TikTok in America or force it to become an American company. Like the other digital drug, Facebook..

TikTok can be harmful to the mental health of vulnerable people; it manipulates their minds in ways that are not good for the individuals or for society. It promotes toxic political ideologies and spreads destructive social contagions among young people. It's probably no worse than other antisocial social media. However, as a company based in China, it's subject to the control of the Chinese Communist Party-- a group which doesn't have your best interests in mind.

Do I think this is a problem? Yes. Do I think government should ban it? No.

Crenshaw opposes any objection on First Amendment grounds as he explained on the X platform."You’re not defending the First Amendment. Our First Amendment doesn’t apply to the CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY." In typical political fashion, he is both right and wrong.

Politicians don't understand the Bill of Rights. They continuously argue over who it applies to-- or doesn't-- and completely miss the only entity it does apply to. The First Amendment, like the rest of the Bill of Rights, only applies to the US federal government. It forbids this government from banning speech. Even speech controlled by enemies. There's no wiggle room in there, even if government employees keep hallucinating some.

Until politicians face this inconvenient reality, they'll keep getting the wrong answer to every wrong question. Especially if the question concerns what their job allows them to do.

Politicians seek government jobs because they lust for power. Power over your life. Power they have no right to possess. They'll misinterpret every question in whichever way gives them this power. They'll miss the correct answer because it would not allow them to run your life as they wrongly believe they have the right to do.

Any time any politician states that some amendment in the Bill of Rights doesn't apply to someone, agree with them. Then remind them they work for the only institution the Bill of Rights does apply to-- by removing its option to do most things politicians hunger to do.

I couldn't do this without your support.

Once you see it…

…You see it everywhere.

I’m talking about all the problems people obsess over that have one core cause: government.

I’ve written about it many times, so no need to rehash it here.

I see it everywhere, from just about everyone. They see some of the problems (the ones that bother them), and they are resigned to the problems being unsolvable. Or they suggest approaches that will make it worse. All because they can't let go of the cause.

I suppose you could point out that the root cause is actually archation, but then I'd point out that archation has a known solution: defense. And I'd also point out that government is institutionalized and "acceptable" archation, which is said to be above any "violent" solution. Defending yourself from government is said to be wrong. (It isn't, but it may sometimes be unwise.)

So, the solution to all the problems they dwell on is off the table.

They'd much rather thrash at the branches (or the shadows of the leaves) than dig out the diseased root. That's how captured their brains are. They can't even see how silly they look.

Here are some of the best ways to help me

Friday, April 19, 2024

Non-rights: IP, corporate "rights", and government "rights"

There are a lot of weird notions about "rights" out there, causing a lot of problems.

"Intellectual property" (IP) is one.
The idea that corporations can have property rights is another.
The grand delusion that governments can have rights of any kind is possibly the most damaging weird notion of all.

Intellectual property? It's an economically useful idea, but it isn't true.
Thoughts are your property as long as you don't share them with anyone. Once you let the thought out of your brain, you can't control it, and if you can't control something, you don't really own it. You can ask government to punish others for being exposed to your idea and integrating it into themselves, but that's sick. The same goes for using government to regulate AI's programmer's use of the ideas of others. If you don't want your idea-- your brainwork-- out influencing the world or informing AI, keep it to yourself.

As someone who comes up with ideas and releases them into the public sphere, I would love for those ideas to make money for me. I kind of need for them to do so. I know it would be wrong of me to use government as a way to force others to pay me for using my ideas, or to use government to "protect" those ideas. If I don't want my ideas to spread, I can keep them to myself. (You should see all the adaptations/uses of the Time's Up flag I've run across over the years- some promoting downright anti-liberty messages.)

Corporate "rights" are similar to IP "rights", as in they can't make sense unless you are in a hallucination. They are also economically useful-- to a segment of the population, anyway.

Rights are individual. Human individuals have rights. Groups (of humans) have no rights. A corporation is a group of individuals, defined by government, and treated as though it were an individual by that government. None of this changes reality or creates rights. Each individual who is a part of the corporation has equal and identical rights to every other individual, but no more. There's no such thing as extra rights. (Cops' superstitions notwithstanding.)

If a corporation's individuals try to insist on having government enforce its IP rights, this is such a stack of lie upon lie that it is hard to see what's even going on. Other than lots of "someones" pretending that things that aren't rights are. It's a very government-supremacist way to operate.

What about the insane claim that government has a right to do anything?
Governments are groups. As such, governments can't have rights. They have no right to make up and enforce imaginary "rights" for other collectives which can have no rights. They have no right to do things to individuals based on protecting the "right" of government to do anything to anyone for any reason. There is no such thing, and there can be no such thing, as a "right" to violate the rights of individuals. Government has no property rights. Government is not alive and therefore has no right to live. Government has no right to exist or to act. 

To violate individual rights is evil. To violate individual rights based on some crazy notion of "rights" that can't exist is both evil and crazy. To begin to truly respect individual rights would eliminate any perceived "necessity" for these silly non-rights. Which is why government tries so hard to prevent it.

Here are some of the best ways to help me

Thursday, April 18, 2024

The squatter problem

Squatting. It's generally not a real problem because people have always known what to do when someone tries to steal their property by occupying it. It only looks like a problem now because the Prime Squatter doesn't want you defending your property from squatters. 

Government is the ultimate squatter; the Prime Squatter. 

You can’t trespass on "government property" because government owns nothing, but squats everywhere. And murders the rightful owners. Or imprisons them.

Since government-- as the Prime Squatter-- doesn't want to be kicked out it doesn't want you kicking out other squatters lest you get ideas. Birds of a feather flock together... and have each other's backs.

Here are some of the best ways to help me

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Did I once trust government?

The other day I asked who was ever dumb enough to trust government. But, to be honest, I'm sure at some point I must have trusted it. At least a little. I just can't remember that time.

What I do remember is each time what little trust I had crumbled a bit more. For it to crumble, it must have existed. Right? 

I even remember once wondering to myself whether government might be right and guns should be controlled! I think the thought might have lingered for up to 5 minutes in my young adult mind before rationality snuffed it out. Fits of insanity are probably common, but shouldn't be the foundation for a worldview. (Hoggbreath ought to pay attention, but he won't.)

My earliest memories of realizing that government existed were "That doesn't seem right". This conviction has only grown stronger the longer I live.

Maybe an instinct for liberty is inherent in some people and an instinct for slavery... I mean "safety and security"... is inherent in others. If so, I know which one I was born with, and I can't really wrap my brain around the other one.

If I ever had any trust in government, it is long gone. Swept away by the tides of reality.

Here are some of the best ways to help me

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Welcome to the Asylum

From my perspective, it looks like society has been largely replaced by a carnival of mental illness. We are all treading water in a sea of mental illness made worse by a political hurricane.

I know some experts have been saying there's no such thing as mental illness. OK, call it whatever you want to call it. It's obvious something harmful is going on.

It looks to me like people's brains aren't working. It's causing problems for them, and they won't rest until it engulfs everyone else, too. Misery loves company.

It's not just politics, although it has political implications as long as politics infests society.
It's not just a difference in preferences. 

It's more like insisting leprechauns are running the world, making that the central premise of your life, and attacking (canceling, imprisoning) anyone who doesn't believe the same. A simple preference isn't this crazy. These people look like they are.

But, if I were mentally ill, maybe that's how I would see those who have it all together. Maybe their leprechauns are real after all and I'm the one with the problem since I believe I know they aren't. How do I know it's not me who's mentally ill? Along with those who agree with me.

One thing I notice is that those I see as having a mental problem are consistently angry, anxious, and depressed. They are looking for problems to embrace as their own, to get some sort of social cred. Their brains are harming them. 

Then, they want to use politics to impose their problems on everyone else.

There are times I feel angry, anxious, and depressed, too. When I do, I don't go looking for more problems to add to the pile. I wouldn't feel better by finding more labels; more victimhood.

I don't tend to blame everyone else when I feel bad. I blame myself or I blame circumstances (stupid cataract!). 

Those I see as being mentally ill blame me, want to force me to go along with them, and lose their minds when I don't. They are dangerous to anyone who doesn't see/feel what they do. When they have political power, they'll actually kick in doors and murder people in their own homes, just because they can get away with it.

An obvious implication of this is that no one should have power over the lives of others. It's too dangerous to allow.

As things stand, there can be no middle ground. No compromise is possible unless they'll stay out of my life and stop trying to govern-- and they don't seem to even be able to consider this suggestion. They must have their way, or else.

As long as "the majority" pretends government is legitimate, inevitable, and necessary, things probably won't get any better. The mentally ill among us will continue to make dangerous pests of themselves.

Here are some of the best ways to help me

Monday, April 15, 2024

Who was ever dumb enough to trust it?

Is it “a shame” that people are losing trust in government?

I don’t think so. No more than if people were losing trust in Zeus, in voodoo, or in rabies. 

Trust is earned, not owed. 

When something or someone demonstrates time after time, for thousands of years in an unbroken chain, that it can't be trusted, what kind of fool would think it's a shame that people stop trusting it?

It's not a shame that people are wising up and losing trust in government.

But government supremacists may think it's a shame. Their deity is losing power as people stop trusting it, or acting as though it is real.

I consider it a shame anyone was ever gullible enough to trust government in the first place. It’s time humans grow up and lose that infantile trust. 

Here are some of the best ways to help me

Saturday, April 13, 2024

New laws aren't ethical solution

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for March 10, 2024)

"There ought to be a law." I am disappointed every time I hear that sad phrase. It's an admission of failure-- both intellectual and ethical.

If the only solution someone can see is to call for more government violence-- through legislation-- either they aren't thinking clearly, or their ethical core is broken. Either way, it's a problem.

Many times when I hear someone say this phrase, there is no real crisis, only something they don't like. This is a problem, not with the world, but within the person calling for yet another law.

Every law is another crank of the ratchet against human flourishing. Laws transfer power from you, where it belongs, to the state. Government has shown, throughout its long, bloody history, that it can not be trusted with power. It's the least trustworthy institution ever created. It is the last gang you want to entrust with your life, liberty, or property.

It's not a problem with government corruption. Governments aren't corrupt, they are doing what they are designed to do. When you like it, you praise it. When you don't like it, you call it "corruption". No one calls the mafia corrupt when it does things the mafia is designed to do, so why change the rule when it applies the same way to government?

Government is designed to steal your liberty, to violate your rights, to take your property, and to use you and your children for fuel to power its growth. Everything you might call corruption is built in-- you just don't notice it when it doesn't bother you, or is moving in a direction you like. It's still an evil thing.

Why would you send this great evil after your family, friends, and neighbors-- now and into the distant future?

This is what you are doing if you ask government to make up and enforce yet another law against your fellow humans. It's antisocial, selfish, and short-sighted.

Every real problem has an ethical solution. A solution which involves respecting life, liberty, and property. A solution which never involves sending government after someone. If a solution requires violating someone's natural human rights, the problem is probably imaginary. If it's real, this solution is worse than the problem.

Never fall into the trap of saying "There ought to be a law". It's a tar pit. Who will pull you out after you've sent "the law" to get them all?

I couldn't do this without your support.

“If you could have only one gun…”

I would keep more than one gun, anyway.

What does “could have” mean? 

Does it mean the Rulers say it’s not allowed? They aren’t going to stop at limiting you to one. Next, they'll say the allowed number is zero. Ignore and defy them.

Does it mean I’m nomadic and too weak to carry two guns? Then I’m too weak to carry ammo so I’m doomed anyway. I’ll keep multiple guns and dig in.

Does it mean I had to trade all the other guns for water? Why not trade game meat instead? Or trade security services? 

Does it mean I migrated to Mars and the weight limit for the trip kept me from carrying more than one? Keep two lighter-weight guns. Again, ammo is going to be the real problem here.

I think "if you could have only one gun" is meaningless except as a way to decide which gun is your favorite. If it's your favorite you'll find a way to justify keeping that one.

Here are some of the best ways to help me

Friday, April 12, 2024

Another example of Uncanny Valley

I recently read an article and something about it felt “off”. At the end of the article was a disclaimer that AI was used to help write it. 

That’s when I realized "uncanny valley" isn’t just a visual phenomenon; it can exist in any realm. If something seems almost, but not quite, "human"-- whether in looks, movement, or writing style-- uncanny valley will be triggered. I expect to see other examples in additional realms, too.

I do think AI will eventually climb out of the valley with writing. What I'm not sure of is whether this will be a good thing. If AI is able to eventually sound completely human and reasonable, while telling convenient (for the rulers) lies its programmers want it to tell, it could do a lot of damage. Probably more than simple human liars could do.

I suppose we're about to find out for sure.

Here are some of the best ways to help me

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Things no one needs

You don't "need" secure elections if you stop pretending that others can have a "right" to v*te on your rights, or to select a political criminal to rule you. Almost nothing should ever be up for a v*te, and certainly not your natural rights.

You don't "need" so-called "red flag laws" if you haven't made it hard and "legally" dangerous for potential victims to defend themselves from credible threats.

You don't "need" locked down "borders" and authoritarian "immigration" control if you haven't criminalized defense of person and property and the proper tools with which to carry it out. And if you haven't established a theft-funded welfare state.

You wouldn't "need" welfare if government hadn't decided to replace charity with handouts funded by stealing money from the population. And if everyone weren't forced to involuntarily fund an expensive and useless institution called "government", which works to make everything more expensive.

You don't "need" a government military to protect you from foreign enemies if there isn't a government military creating enemies all over the planet.

You don't "need" police if there are no counterfeit "laws" to impose on the population, and if you don't train the population to be passive sheep in the face of archation.

You don't "need" taxes [sic] if you let people voluntarily fund those things they want badly enough to fund, and let the other things die.

You don't "need" government to have a monetary policy unless you allow government to counterfeit "money", inflate away your money, and spend money it doesn't have, thus creating a "national debt" that government employees alone owe, but that they'll pretend is your debt to repay.

You don't "need" a government "job".

Here are some of the best ways to help me

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Eclipse trip report

The eclipse trip was a success!

It seemed the Universe was pulling out all the stops to prevent the trip from happening. From a probably dishonest AirBnB-er who suddenly "discovered" the property was "double-booked" two months ago so the rental was no longer available (even though we had booked it a year ago!) and couldn't be bothered to actually CONTACT us about the problem, to sudden problems surrounding the cat-sitting arrangements. 

I have my suspicions about what really happened with the rental property owner, especially because of the treatment we got when we simply tried to call the number provided. Booking.com came through and found us another place on short notice (a 2-star motel!), and covered the additional expense (or, at least, they assured us it would be covered, but it hasn't been reimbursed yet).

The cat-sitting was taken care of, even though the cat-sitter had some work scheduling problems to work around.

On our way to Waco-- which I chose because it was in the path of totality, it was the closest that path came to where I live now, and because I lived in Waco long ago-- I drove by the house I lived in during second grade (about halfway to Waco). I'm sure my daughter was so impressed.

Farther down the road I saw my first Cybertruck in the wild, parked at a post office. Many people wouldn't find this very exciting, but I did. 


I then stopped by and took a look at the SpaceX Rocket Development Facility near McGregor. They had "We don't care if you die!" signs and a guard shack, which worked to keep me away. I wish I could have waited around to see an engine test.

We then got to Waco and stopped by to see the Waco Suspension Bridge. This was an annual field trip for my class when I was in elementary school in Waco. It's still kinda cool.

Then, before going to the motel, we went to see the Branch Davidian compound. That was interesting. They were closed to visitors that day (but lots of people were walking in the open gate anyway).

We went by my old house in Waco, went to some of my old stomping grounds, and then went out to the lake for a little while. I even got in a small hike (and didn't get chiggers!).

The 2-star motel was fine. Not the greatest, but better than sleeping in an alley. Looking out the window there was an LED billboard.

The next morning it had updated.

That morning we left Waco to get closer to the center line of the path of totality. I chose Gatesville- partly because they were having an eclipse festival, and it would put us 30 miles closer to home when we left.

Lots of happy people with cameras, telescopes, and eclipse glasses. We had to wait about 45 minutes before they'd let us in because they had pre-sold tickets online and those people got in first. Gave me a chance to rest and relax before the main attraction.

There are no words to describe how awesome the eclipse was. I thought I knew what to expect from photos and videos I've seen over the years, but there's no substitute for seeing it-- for experiencing it in person. I've experienced several partial eclipses, but the moment the warm Sun is replaced by a cold, white ring around a jet-black disc in the sky is something I'll never forget. 

There were tiny orange sparks visible around the black disc, too. I believe they were solar prominences poking above the surface of the Sun. So incredible to see!

Even my too-cool-to-be-impressed teenage daughter was in awe (which is an amazing thing to have witnessed). A total eclipse isn't the same as a partial eclipse, no matter how close it gets.

The video at the top of the post gives a false impression that it was lighter than it was during totality- the phone camera is too good at taking video in just about any light. Stars were visible in the sky and crickets started chirping. It got suddenly cooler and it was just like nighttime for four and a half minutes right in the middle of the day- just minutes after solar noon.

It would have been nice if my vision were better than it has been since my retina surgery, but I still had one eye to see things through, and that was enough. I'm going to need to get that fixed.

We made it all the way home in one day. Through hail storms that I thought were going to take out the windshield a time or two. Traffic wasn't as bad as I had feared, except one spot where there was construction going on and, maybe, a wreck. Got home at 11pm to some cats who were very happy to see us.

It was a successful trip. I'm so glad I went. I'm very happy to be home.

Thanks so much to those who helped make this trip possible!

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Monday, April 08, 2024

"Vigilante" isn't a bad word

Some people believe vigilanteism is on the rise. That people who've had enough are choosing to "take matters into their own hands" against criminals government won't touch. Or, criminals government works to support and protect to the detriment of society.

I don't know if this is true. But it wouldn't be terrible. As long as archators are the target. This is probably what you should be doing. This is right-- calling “authorities” to do what you should be doing on your own is not. 

Yes, those "authorities" will punish you for making their uselessness obvious. When they do, it's confirmation that they are bad guys. No different than the freelance criminals the vigilantes are forced to address.

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Saturday, April 06, 2024

Government will collapse under weight

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for March 3, 2024)

What's a liberty lover to do? Authoritarian government seems to be gaining by leaps and bounds. Again. Did humanity learn nothing over the past hundred years?

This time authoritarian government is using captured corporations to crack down on liberty in ways it can't usually get away with, at least in America, due to that pesky Constitution.

Authoritarianism also uses the lies of "safety" and "national security". A variety of tools, all leading to one miserable place.

There is little pushback from the public. I see at least three reasons for this.

First, those who push back are often punished like the January 6th political prisoners. This discourages people from speaking up. They don't want their lives destroyed.

Second, many people are scared of liberty. They want to be guided, coddled, and protected from scary things by a surrogate parent. Government offers to be this parent to those broken individuals. All they have to give up in return is the freedom to do things they have a right to do. Even things their conscience tells them they should be doing. Mommy and Daddy Government say "no".

Third, most people are against too much government, until it gives them money or something else they want. Suddenly they are flexible about how much government is too much; how much they are willing to tolerate. The bribe purchases their silent obedience. Fortunately, this doesn't always work as well as government hopes. Some people are willing to take the enemy's money or privileges, and then bite the hand that feeds them.

I had a high school physics teacher like this. He had a government job, but harbored no illusions about government.

As long as the majority of your neighbors are willing to sell their own liberty out of fear of punishment, fear of other scary things, or for some handouts, your liberty is at risk. Many of these neighbors will be happy to sell you out if you're living life a little too freely, even if you're only doing things you have a natural human right to do. Either because they like to be ruled, or because they are scared you aren't ruled enough. Either way, authoritarian government gets another boost.

At least until it collapses under its own weight-- which it will. There will be interesting times on the path to a free society, but there will eventually be a free society because authoritarianism is a failed system.

I couldn't do this without your support.

That last tiny bit makes ALL the difference

Complete liberty is as different from partial liberty as a total eclipse is from a partial eclipse. There is, quite literally-- with no hyperbole-- no comparison

That last 0.1% difference puts the experience into another realm of reality that is absolutely unlike the previous condition. It all falls into place at that point, in a way you can't understand before it happens. Even a tiny spark of political government ruins the entire experience, if liberty is your goal.

I understand this fact instinctively. It seems few people do.

It's why I have struggled so hard to experience a total eclipse (I'll let you know how that went, and fill you in on all the disasters I've encountered along the way, after the event). It's why you should experience a total eclipse even if you've been through a dozen 99.9% coverage partial eclipses.

And it's why I strive so hard to help people understand why total liberty is so incredibly essential to human flourishing. You simply can't compare a life of "mostly free" with actual liberty.

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Friday, April 05, 2024

Beware the new Boogeyman

For a certain segment of the population, independent migrants have become boogeymen. 

They don’t call them “migrants” or even “illegal immigrants” now. Just “illegals”. "Illegal" has become a noun. And they assign all sorts of magical qualities to this sort of non-person.

If any crime happens, "It was probably an illegal".
If there's a knock on the door, "Be careful- it might be an illegal".
You have to check under the bed and watch around every corner for "illegals".
If any Hispanic people are seen, they're automatically "illegals". 

All seasonal farm workers are called "illegals" as a matter of fact. If I ask how the speaker can be certain they don't have government permission to be here, working, I'm told they are "probably illegals".

I guess no one should ever leave the neighborhood they were born in, so as not to worry others.

Reality doesn't figure in. They've become the focus of all hatred and fear. They might as well be goblins.

And then, this person would complain that these new residents might v*te for the opposition political party if they get the chance. Wow... I wonder why...

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Thursday, April 04, 2024

No, they aren't good

Gun owners who support police and the military are like concentration camp prisoners who act as though the prison camp guards and executioners are mostly good people, other than a few bad apples. It's not just those who give the orders who are to blame. Those who carry out the orders are even worse.

The monsters "in charge" are powerless without people willing to commit evil on their behalf. Supporting those willing tools doesn't do anything good.

And it's not just gun owners, but anyone who understands and values liberty. Stop supporting those working to destroy you.

You won't reach liberty by celebrating and supporting sworn enemies who work day and night to enslave you.

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Wednesday, April 03, 2024

Breaking News! Freedom pamphlet sweeps the world!

Well, maybe not yet. But you can help make my headline true.

There's a new booklet you need to download. Freedom and How To Find It. It was written by frequent commenter to this blog, and all-around good liberty-loving guy, Jim Davies. 

And when you do download a copy, please send a dollar to Jim, and then send copies to people you know might be receptive to the message.

I've been sending out copies myself.

The more liberty there is, the better off all of us will be. Only the bad guys will be hurt by it, and I can't bring myself to care much about their plight. 

I know what liberty looks and feels like, and I want it all. Not bits and pieces-- ALL of it. Maybe this could help reach the goal.

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Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Do they realize they are on the side of evil?

Do those who work for government believe they are doing the right thing? That they are doing good?

Probably. At least, most of them probably do.

It's easy to show they aren't. It's easy to show that they are doing evil.

Are they harming the life, liberty, or property of anyone by doing their "job"? Yes. Demonstrably so. Even if they claim it's necessary, this is committing evil

Working for government isn't ever the right thing to do. They all need to quit.

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Monday, April 01, 2024

Fred Reed: Enlisting in the Military: A Very, Very Bad Idea

(I'm doing something I don't do. I'm reposting, in its entirety, a post by someone else. Cusswords and all. He said anyone could. The original is found here.)

If you are a young man wondering what to do with your life, you may consider enlisting in the military. Don’t. Yes, the military has its appeal, or seems to. You may need a job. The uniform looks good. There can be adventure. You might get laid by Asian lovelies in foreign countries. These things have their appeal. They did for me as a young Marine. But they aren’t worth being mutilated, blinded, or spending the rest of your years in a wheel chair. This can happen. It does happen. And Washington doesn’t give a damn.

Recruiters won’t tell you of this. They are liars. They lied to me. They will lie to you. At the very least, they will talk only about good things that might happen, about college money and job training you might get but probably won’t. They will make you feel welcome. You are joining a team of brothers, they will say. You are a patriot. You are defending your country.

Don’t believe it. The US military does not defend America. The last time it did this was in 1945, at the end of World War Two. Since then, American soldiers were sent for twenty years to Afghanistan. Is Afghanistan America? No. Was it, is it, important to America? No. Then Iraq, Syria, Iraq again,and Serbia, bombing helpless cities. Iraq isn’t America. In my day–I’m an old guy–it was Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, where 63,000 Americans died, and killed huge numbers of peasants who did nothing wrong–for no reason. Washington is now getting ready to start a war with China. China is on the other side of the world.

Let me tell you what the military does to young men, what Washington does. Long ago I was driving a truck near the Marine base in Danang, Vietnam. A bullet came through the windshield. The glass spatter went into my eyes, filling them with blood and blinding me for, as it turned out, several months. I lay for maybe an hour beside the road until a chopper finally came to take me to the Naval Support Activity hospital. For a couple of weeks a Viet nurse gave me a large injection of penicillin every few hours because if the blood got infected, that would be it for my vision.

Across the corridor from me were two Marines whose tank had been hit by an RPG, rocket-propelled grenade. It ruptured the hydraulic lines and the hydraulic fluid had exploded into flames. The two crewmen across from me had gotten out somehow, though horribly burned. I was told they were covered with a plastic sheet that dripped with evaporation from their burns, but I don’t know. The other too had cooked alive, burning, burning, in agony, skin sloughing off, unable to breathe in the flames, desperately trying to find the hatch. The two across from me said they could hear them screaming. It is what the military did to them. It is what the military will do to you.

A recruiter might tell you that I am an old guy, and things have changed. No. They have not. The military still uses tanks, rifles, land mines, bombs, flamethrowers, artillery. Aircraft carriers, important for the upcoming war with China, still carry large quantities of jet fuel and explosives. They are barbecues waiting to be lighted. You can have your bowels blown out, or burn alive, as easily now as then.

Did Vietnam have anything to do with America? No. It’s on the other side of the freaking world. Likewise Afghanistan, Ukraine, Syria, Iraq. So why does the military, why does our government do it?

Answer: So the arms industry can make money. And so Washington can try to control the world. Are you willing to die, to spend your life in a wheel chair, to wear a colostomy bag full of your own shit and never have a date because you were gut-shot–so Lockheed-Martin’s stock shares will go up? Don’t do it. Don’t let the bastards use you.

The wars never stop because the money is sweet, the profits enormous. Washington just finished twenty years of killing in Afghanistan , meaning twenty years of juicy contracts. How did this defend America? Now we have Ukraine, so far costing taxpayers over a hundred billion dollars. Is Ukraine America? The United States is falling apart as anyone can see and Washington sends money to Ukraine. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians, Russians and Ukrainians, have died there, for nothing. But of course most of that money going to Ukraine is used to buy weapons from the arms companies. Follow the dollar.

For Washington, for the arms industry–they are almost the same thing–long wars in distant places are desirable because companies like Lockheed-Martin and Raytheon can keep selling the Pentagon missiles, tanks, helicopters and simple things like gasoline at jacked-up prices. War is about money. Washington cares about money. It does not care about you.

Don’t let them use you.

I’ll tell you another story. I spent about a year on the eye ward, 4B, at Bethesda Naval Hospital as it was then called, just outside of Washington. In hospital wards you see what the military really does to people. There was a guy blind because a defective rifle grenade detonated on the end of his rifle. Another fellow had taken an AK round through the jaw, shattering the bone. The fragments had to be removed, leaving the flesh where his jaw had been hanging down in a formless blob like a wet sock. He ate through a nasogastric tube going through his nose. We called him Jawless.

Military wards are full of such. The one I most remember was a young Marine from Tennessee, maybe nineteen. One side of his face was grotesque hamburger. He was stone blind. I was nearby when his high school sweetheart, maybe seventeen, came to visit him.

“Johnny…Johnny…Oh, Johnny.”

So much for the marriage, I figured. What young high school senior wants to tie herself for life to a blind horror that she will have to lead around?

The war in Vietnam was lost, of course, but it wasn’t in vain. It made unimaginable profits for the arms industry. Why do you think American wars last so long? If America wins the war, the money stops flowing. If it loses the war, the money stops. Keep the war going, and the money flows.

This is the military the recruiters don’t tell you about. It is the real military.

-want to know the lousy medical care the Pentagon gives the wounded? An incompetent military eye surgeon managed to destroy my remaining good eye years later. To see the kind of thing that happens, read this at the Unz Review. It will show you what you can expect.

Think what, if you enlist, you will really be doing. Let’s say that you are ordered to fire artillery at some city or village. In your impact zone, a little girl of seven, hit by shell fragments, looks down in surprise as her intestines fall from her stomach, and begins crying, then screaming. This happens, frequently. What do you think hot jagged shrapnel does to a soft young belly. She holds out her arms to mommy for help, this being instinct with the very young, before collapsing from profuse bleeding. Large blood vessels are found in the abdomen. Her mother goes stark bugfuck crazy, desperate to save her daughter but watching her die. It is how we defend America, see.

This is what the military is, what it does. It is what you will be used to do, directly or indirectly.

Those in Washington who will send you to kill people you have never met, and to be mutilated, do not themselves go to war. Rich young men do not enlist. Students at Harvard and Yale do not enlist. The military preys on, takes advantage of, ordinary kids, usually high-school grads, often from the South.

If you are twenty years old, what I am about to say will be ancient history, but I ask you to think about it. The same thing is going on today.

The following men were all of military age during Vietnam, and they now rule the country or did: President George Bush II, Bill Clinton, John Bolton (of whom you have probably never heard, but a major warhawk), Biden, Trump All avoided military service. All now want to send you to wars. To express it clearly, they see you as suckers. Think about it.

I tell you, as one who has been there, who has seen it, don’t let them use you.

Anyone may repost this column without further permission.
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