Archive for the ‘education’ Category

No reason to fear liberty

November 27, 2016

(My Clovis News Journal column for October 26, 2016)

 Don’t be scared of liberty (my chosen headline)

Real liberty can be scary. It feels safer to hand your responsibilities to someone else.

Don’t educate your children; hand them over to be schooled instead. Don’t protect yourself and your property; live as a distracted lamb and let the police protect you. Don’t watch yourself and your surroundings as you drive; depend on checkpoints, traffic signs, signals, and “laws” to catch all the dangerous people so you can drive around in a daze. Don’t think for yourself or observe the world and come to difficult conclusions; let the authorities tell you what they want you to know, and how you should feel about the information you are fed. Feel better yet?

Very few people realize this is how they are living. They believe anyone pointing this out is being outrageous or extreme.

But, you can do it! There’s no reason to be scared. You can live in liberty while respecting the liberty of those around you. All the supposed protections and services you believe you are getting by handing over your rights, property, and responsibilities are inferior to those you could provide for yourself. Often, the results are the opposite of what you are told you are getting for the tax money and compliance, anyway. You can do better, or find better providers, on your own.

Observe what goes on and draw your own conclusions. Humans have been doing so with varying degrees of success for a very long time. Be willing to let go of bad ideas and false beliefs– especially the ones with real-world bad consequences– and accept the truth even when it upsets you. You will be fine. At least as fine as you would have been if you continued on your previous path of dependency. There are never any guarantees, either way.

Even if you don’t want the responsibility for your own life, no one will force you to give up your comfort. They can’t force you to be free, nor can you continue to force them to be your slave. Live and let live, in mutual consent.

If you have trouble there are people who will lend a helping hand. Surround yourself with good people who understand liberty against that day. The aggressors and thieves support one another against the outside threat of liberty to their gangs’ activities; how much more helpful do you think those who actually support each other against the bad guys can afford to be?

Don’t be scared. Take the first step now.

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"Sweet land of…" fantasy

November 21, 2016

(A Patreon/subscriber-only post)

This blog, like all of, is reader supported. Thank you.

When the imaginary causes trouble

November 19, 2016

Politics, government, and “laws” are like a battle between leprechauns and fairies.

The leprechauns and fairies can’t hurt you, but those who believe in them can. And do. Their whole struggle is based on imaginary things and conflicts between those imaginary things. And yet, the believers are willing to see you harmed over their hallucinations.

Government (or more accurately, The State) doesn’t exist outside the human mind. This firing of neurons that makes government seem real to some people inspires the afflicted to steal money and erect buildings, send others to murder and die on the other side of the planet, and make up unnecessary or harmful “laws”.

But this mental glitch has no physical reality. It’s not even something that can be studied like “love”.

Which is probably why I was uncooperative in “government” classes; the teachers are pretending to teach facts about something imaginary. Something completely subjective.

Now, if they’d change tack and inform the students about how people behave when afflicted with this particular mental illness, I could understand such a class. In fact, I could see a value in it– teaching kids how to avoid this superstition and protect themselves from those so infected would be important. But instead they pretend government is something “necessary”, important, and worthy of respect.

So, yes, let’s revolve our lives around the battles of the leprechauns and fairies, and pretend the outcome matters to the real people and the world they live in. Beyond, of course, the behavior of those who actually believe in them. Because the actions of the True Believers matters– always in a very negative way.

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(Steemit link)

Spreading liberty

November 18, 2016

Liberty, and the Zero Aggression Principle, is a very individual thing. You don’t need to wait for anyone else to join you (certainly not for a majority) to start enjoying the benefits.

However, I will admit it would be easier and a lot more fun if I didn’t feel so isolated most of the time.

With that, I’ll recommend again- as I do from time to time- that this would be the second best time to start going through The On Line Freedom Academy (TOLFA). The best time would have been anytime before now. Check it out and share it with others.

I have spoken to several people who have completed it, and they all found value in it. The only person I know of who didn’t complete the course was a guy who had just enrolled in a military academy. I had high hopes for him, but the conflict may have just been too much.

Don’t be that guy.

This blog, like all of, is reader supported. Thank you.

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Don’t misidentify things

November 1, 2016

Once, in a high school zoology class, the teacher set out a bunch of preserved samples for us to classify. It was for a quiz or a test. We were to study them, and then be able to identify them on a test the next day.

I noticed that a flounder was mislabeled as a “skate” or “ray”- a completely different type of fish.

I pointed this out to the teacher.

He said that since he only had that one specimen as an (incorrect) example of “Chondrichthyes” I needed to pretend that’s what it was for the test.

I told him he was teaching the students something that was wrong- misleading them. Giving them bad information. He insisted that it didn’t matter, and I needed to just go along.

I refused. I kept saying “but it isn’t what the label says it is!”

He had a bit of an outburst and said I was beating a dead horse.

I dropped the matter, but didn’t ignore the lie.

I don’t remember the outcome, other than I refused to call it something it wasn’t just to satisfy him. Did he mark my answer as “wrong”? Or, did he give me credit for the unwanted right answer?

I’m still the same way. I won’t misidentify something just to make a liar more comfortable. And they still don’t like it.

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(Steemit link)

Government ‘help’ solves nothing

October 23, 2016

(My Clovis News Journal column for September 23, 2016– I honestly believe this is one of the worst CNJ columns I have ever written, and for that, I apologize.)

If you want something done, do it without forcing your will on anyone else, and without forcing others to pay for what you want. Good ideas don’t require force.

After the recent SpaceX rocket explosion, I saw someone arguing that this was why space exploration should be left to governments, thus financed with taxation. After all, the apparent cause of the blast was something NASA solved fifty years ago.

While this may be true, you’ll also notice tax-financed space exploration stagnated decades ago. Long before commercial rockets became a reality.

If you want space exploration to get anywhere, you need people trying new things and taking new risks; innovating, not just copying solutions found long ago.

Even when government does innovate it’s as likely to make things worse as to make them better.

Government got involved and started regulating and de facto rationing health care over a century ago. This increased the cost of health care, which caused some to demand government “do something”. Government did, and now we have ObamaCare regulating and rationing health care even further. When people start feeling the failure, some will scream for government to do even more, and the situation will accelerate toward a total collapse.

This belief, that government should get involved anytime someone sees a problem, creates even bigger problems; ones more meddling can’t solve.

Government, if it is to exist at all, must stay within its limits. If it isn’t specifically spelled out in the Constitution as something government is allowed to do, then it is a crime for government to do it, regardless of how many believe it’s a good idea. A more permissive view would still limit government to protecting the life, liberty, and property of those who consent to its control. Government meddling does none of those.

Government shouldn’t be allowed to interfere with space exploration, health care, education, travel, or even something as simple as pets.

When people decided government needed to “do something” about pets we ended up with animal control ordinances and animal shelters. For government extremists it wasn’t good enough to let private individuals approach the problem– if there was a problem. Force was used, and this coercive system is failing again.

Governments don’t understand economics. When you raise the price of anything, especially if you charge for mandatory features people may not want, you reduce the demand for it. Yet they seem surprised at the decrease in the number of adoptions.

There are always consequences for letting government meddle. Government breaks everything it touches.

My subscriptions are down about $65 from a year ago. That may not sound like much, but when you live on the edge as I do, it’s a lot. I desperately need to replace (or surpass) those subscriptions. 
A big “thank you!” to supporters of this blog. I probably couldn’t keep doing this without you.


Just get it DONE!

October 6, 2016

(Previously posted to Patreon)

But, maybe not quite the “it” you imagine.

I recently found a guy on Youtube who doesn’t beat around the bush. Well, I mean, he does beat around The Bush, but in a very constructive way.

The guy does Stone Age living skills in Queensland, Australia and I am utterly in awe of his skills. He makes me feel like an absolute amateur.

I mean, he does some of the same things I can do, but he does them more “naturally”. Like he’s not even trying- but I realize that’s not the case, it is just how it looks to someone who hasn’t got his skills. But, having barely enough skills to appreciate what he does makes me recognize the almost unimaginable amount of work he puts into learning, practicing, and perfecting the skills he demonstrates. Again, I am totally in awe of him.

I don’t have any idea of what the guy’s “political leanings” are, or if he even has any, but I would love to hang out with him for a while, learning at his side. I can’t imagine a man who took the time to learn the skills he has learned would be a cowardly, needy statist- but I could be wrong. He has things to teach me in any case.

And, this brings me to another point.

I wish I could do for liberty what he does for self-sufficiency with mud, stone, and plants. I spend more time than you might imagine reading, absorbing, internalizing, and then pondering the ideas and principles to draw out more connections and conclusions concerning liberty than you might think. But is it enough? Is it even “the right thing”? Does it make any difference?

Who knows. All I can say is that I can’t imagine doing anything else. Even if I were out in the Bush building mud huts with self-fired terracotta roofing tiles, I would still be pondering liberty. I know, because of prior experience in somewhat similar situations.

 I know I am not nearly as impressed by what I do as I am by what he does.

He doesn’t just talk about Stone Age skills (in fact, in his videos, he never says a word), he just goes out there and does it. And, when it comes to promoting liberty, just living it makes a lot more difference than a hundred people like me yammering on about it.

When something matters, you need to just do it. If liberty matter to you, you’ll do more than read about it. So, prove to yourself that it matters and get out there and live it the best you can.

(And on he’s on Patreon, too! So if you feel inspired by his efforts, throw him some support.)

A big “thank you!” to supporters of this blog. I probably couldn’t keep doing this without you
My subscriptions are down about $65 from a year ago. That may not sound like much, but when you live on the edge as I do, it’s a lot. I desperately need to replace (or surpass) those subscriptions. 

Need for government crazy idea

September 27, 2016

(My Clovis News Journal column for August 26, 2016)

 Government is an unnecessary evil (my chosen headline)

Of all the crazy ideas humans have come up with over the centuries, one of the most destructive is the idea that government– or more accurately, the State– is necessary.

What gives people this idea? What makes them believe that without the State society would collapse?

The twelve-plus years of indoctrination by employees of this organization, beginning in early childhood, to view it as something other than a criminal gang plays a part. Due to this schooling most can no longer see the truth behind the curtain, and will defend government’s existence at every opportunity.

Few understand what the State is, or what it does. The State is an institution established to commit theft and aggression over a particular area. Of course, they call the theft “taxation”, eminent domain, asset forfeiture, property codes, licensing laws, fines, and so forth, and call the aggression “law enforcement”, “compulsory attendance”, “arrest”, and checkpoints.

The State is not the same as society, but is its worst enemy, with opposing goals and methods. Instead of using the “economic means”, where both parties win, the State employs the “political means”, where one party wins at the expense of another. Roadside peddlers use the economic means; muggers use the political means.

Lacking this basic understanding, the people support theft and aggression as long as it is “legally” committed by government employees.

Some believe this protects them from bad guys.

A big problem is that the bad guys who want to violate life, liberty, and property without facing the natural consequences of doing so are drawn to government jobs where they get a free pass. Or nearly so.

Maybe some believe that without the state, grand projects could never be completed. One of the most common expressions of this fear is “But who would build the roads?” Well, obviously, the same people who build them now. But financed voluntarily, by people who can be held accountable if poor design, shoddy workmanship, or faulty maintenance causes bodily harm or property damage. Try suing the state over icy roads, or the pothole which never gets properly repaired, resulting in property damage, and see how accountable the state is for the roads it claims to own.

If something is wanted or needed, someone will find a way to provide it, and someone will be willing to help finance it. Guaranteed. You don’t need something as anti-social as the State to provide good things to the individuals who make up society.

A big “thank you!” to those of you who support this blog, with your visits, shares, or money. If you get any value from my writing, consider a subscription or a one-time donation to keep this blog going. If you believe I have contributed anything to the conversation regarding liberty during the ten years this blog has existed, and believe I have more to contribute, help me keep writing without the added difficulty of having a boss to offend.

Did you really come out "OK"?

September 10, 2016

(Previously posted to Patreon)

If you go through something and claim you came out OK, yet it causes you to support that which you went through being done to others, you may not be OK. You may be brainwashed.

I see this when the issue of “spanking” comes up. Libertarians who spank claim it doesn’t violate the ZAP, when it can do nothing but. Whether it is one of those times when you “must” initiate force and then deal with the consequences, is another issue altogether- I won’t open that jar of fruit flies right now.

I unwittingly performed a lifetime experiment in spanking. My first crop of kids were spanked. My current kid never has been. I see zero difference in the impact on encouraging good behavior, but a 100% improvement in how I feel about myself as a parent, and as a person. Yes, small sample size and zero objectivity.

I also see the same thing with regard to government schooling. People claim that they went through it and survived- and even got an education- so it must be fine to force everyone else to go through the same thing.

Well, I survived it too. And that is why I believe it needs to be abolished, burned to the ground, and bulldozed out of existence. Because “surviving” something is a sign it is probably not something to encourage more of. If you toss your kid off a cliff and she survives, is that a sign you should make tossing your kids off a cliff mandatory? What if you toss 100 kids and 99 of them survive? What if many of those who survive end up with lifelong disabilities due to the experience?

That people can go through government school and still support it only shows how good it is at brainwashing kids. It is a clear sign of the lifelong disability which results.

When you go through something like that and come out claiming you are OK, and not seeing that you claiming you are OK is evidence that you are not quite OK, I see something that needs to be abolished, not encouraged.

As in so many things, just because it was done to me- and I may have even done it to others, and I would prefer to not think of myself as a bad person- doesn’t mean I am unable to see the harm in it, and doesn’t mean I think it should be done to everyone.

Even if you survived it, don’t inflict it on others “just because”.

My subscriptions are down about $65 from a year ago. That may not sound like much, but when you live on the edge as I do, it’s a lot. I desperately need to replace (or surpass) those subscriptions. 
A big “thank you!” to supporters of this blog. I probably couldn’t keep doing this without you.

Liberty Lines- Sept. 8, 2016

September 8, 2016

(Published in the Farwell, TX/Texico, NM State Line Tribune)

Drug abuse is dumb. I understand why people want programs and strategies they believe would lower the risk of someone abusing drugs. However, very often the things they grasp at are counterproductive and actually increase the risk. They are feel-good, knee-jerk reactions based on ideology, not grounded in reality.

Study after study indicates that one of the biggest risk factors involved in drug abuse and addiction is a lack of quality social connections.

One of the primary justifications for the athletic programs in government schools is that it creates camaraderie between the kids; the very type of social connection which would decrease the likelihood of drug abuse becoming a problem. If this is the case, shouldn’t you be encouraging at-risk kids to get involved, rather than erecting barriers which will scare them away before they even give it a try? Programs which will end up causing greater isolation?

I understand when people pursue a chosen path in order to stay true to their ideology, but when that ideology is standing firm against science, reason, ethics, and morality they should reconsider their stance.

When a mistake has been made, publicly, it takes a big person to admit it and change course, rather than batten down the hatches and proceed onto the reef as stubborn people generally do. Correcting a mistake is the right thing to do. It takes bravery. It may cause embarrassment. But it needs to be done. Now.

The Farwell Independent Schools’ “random drug testing program” is just such a mistake, and needs to be abandoned before it creates more of what the school administration and community say they want to prevent. If the school goes through with it anyway, you will then know where they stand, and why.

(Steemit link)

A big “thank you!” to supporters of this blog. I probably couldn’t keep doing this without you.