Archive for the ‘future’ Category

Space thrilling despite government

March 18, 2018

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for February 14, 2018)

Space exploration thrills me. I’ve followed Apollo moon landings, Skylab, various Martian landers and rovers, Space Shuttle launches, and every other manned or robotic mission I could watch.

So I got even more excited when private individuals became serious about going to space. The latest feat– last week’s launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, carrying Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster and “Starman” to the asteroid belt– was amazing.

Many people dislike Musk for making deals with government, and I completely understand their disgust. I share it– tempered with a dose of harsh reality.

While I would prefer private space travel, free of the stain of tax money, I realize there is no such thing in the real world, yet.

Unless you keep your space project secret, government is going to discover what you’re doing and demand you beg for licenses. Refuse, and they will kill you. Such a project is too big to hide, and any test flights will be shot down (if the military jets can catch them) and your launch facility will be invaded and possibly bombed; your other property stolen by government employees “just following orders”.

The FAA has no “authority” but has power masquerading as “authority”. Unless you can hide from or outrun the hired guns of the State, seeking government permission, for the time being, is probably unavoidable.

But, what about accepting “tax” money to help finance your project? This bothers me about Musk’s endeavor.

Yet the part which disappoints me most is that he accepts government payloads, including US military payloads. That’s just wrong. Yes, I realize the landscape of the real world in which he must currently operate dictates a certain partnership with those who believe they own the sky and everything above and below it. You buy government favors both by accepting the stolen money and by taking on government as a “paying customer”. Otherwise, your business and your life will be destroyed. It doesn’t make it right, but how could anyone manage to avoid this?

I would prefer this not be the case. I don’t think I could enter into such a “partnership” with government, even knowing it might eventually result in people escaping the grasp of the State. This is part of why I’m not a billionaire, and why Elon Musk is.

Whatever you think of space travel, anything which helps people move off-planet, and out of the reach of governments, will greatly benefit the future of the human species.

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Taxation is…

March 12, 2018

Taxation is theft.
Taxation is theft.
Taxation is theft.
Taxation is theft!

I remember how I felt the first time I heard it. I was shocked. But then I tried to consider any possible way it might not be true. I never did find any flaws in the reasoning. Taxation IS theft.

It needs to be repeated until it is a cliche.
Until it is no longer shocking but is, instead, boring.
Until people who hear it roll their eyes, not because it’s a crazy notion, but because it’s something everyone simply knows already.

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Any tyranny is too much tyranny

March 7, 2018

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for March 7, 2018)

How much is enough?

When it turns out stronger anti-drug “laws” don’t prevent addiction or tragedies, how much are you willing to expand prohibition? How far are you willing to have armed government employees go– on your behalf– to impose your opinions?

Would you approve of permanent checkpoints on all roads? Do you favor banning the manufacture of any and all chemicals which could possibly be combined to make substances you are willing to kill people over? the rest

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Libertarianism means respect

March 4, 2018

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for January 31, 2018)

I am not libertarian because I expect to get anything from it.  Well, that’s not completely true.  I should say I am not libertarian because I expect to get anything from you because of it. I don’t even necessarily expect civilized behavior from others.

Respect for life, liberty, and property– without excuses– is the hallmark of both libertarianism and civilization. I expect civilized behavior only from other libertarians, and not even all of them manage to deliver. After all, they are still only human.

I am libertarian because I don’t have any desire to own you, nor do I wish to be owned. I am libertarian because I recognize your life and the products of your life– your property– are yours, alone, to use as you wish, as long as you don’t violate anyone else. I am libertarian because I expect to be treated as I treat you, while exercising the right to defend myself and others against any who refuse to cooperate.

I don’t want something for nothing. I’m not libertarian because I hate roads, parks, libraries, and food safety. I am libertarian because I know my appreciation for something doesn’t justify forcing you to pay for it against your will. I am perfectly willing to pay for what I use– however, I want to be able to choose the provider I buy the service from, and I want to be able to opt out of things I have no use for, such as police. Monopolies never serve customers’ needs adequately, and never survive long without government favoritism. I prefer free enterprise, liberated markets, competition, and options over mandatory “one-size-fits-all” monopolies.

One precious thing I get from being libertarian is freedom from the stress of trying to control your life. You do your thing, and as long as you don’t try to stop me from doing mine, and you violate no one, we’ll have no problem.

Unfortunately, the non-libertarian crowd seems to find this civilized compromise unacceptable. They can’t abide something so mature and respectful; based on mutual consent.

It doesn’t change how I’ll live, though. I won’t call for anyone’s life, liberty, and property to be violated simply because they can’t respect mine. I support self-defense for anyone being violated for any reason, and I hope the bullies learn about actions and consequences before it’s too late.  Someone has to take the first step toward maturity when dealing with others. Let’s take the step together.

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Common sense gun deregulation needed

February 28, 2018

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for February 28, 2018)

It’s time to take a hard look at America’s gun laws. In fact, it’s over a century past due. How many more innocent lives will be snuffed out before people demand change? Before they demand politicians stand up and do what’s right?

I’m talking about common-sense gun deregulation…read the rest

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Cornered by bigots

February 27, 2018

When someone threatens me, personally, I get angry. If they are within striking distance I may violently defend myself from them.

And, make no mistake, those demanding more anti-gun “laws” are threatening me personally. They are threatening to violently attack, rob, and enslave me… and murder me if I resist. That’s what “laws” are: a threat.

But no one has had the guts to do it to my face, even when directed at me. As is the nature of these anti-liberty cowards, they do it while hiding behind screens, hundreds of miles away. They still make me angry and trigger my “fight or flight” response.

The danger to them is there is nowhere left to fly to. The anti-liberty bigots have closed off the entire freakin’ planet. “Pro-gun” places like Texas impose anti-gun “laws” no civilized place would ever tolerate– and the anti-liberty bigots whine that it’s not enough. It’s never enough. That leaves fighting as the available option.

I understand the sentiment of “Kill ’em all” even though I disagree with it in practice.

I’ll continue to use my words to try to show them the error of their ways and to make it clear I gave them every chance to do the right thing and get their filthy government off my rights. But I know what it’s going to come to. Sooner or later. It’s only a matter of time.

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Government- a deadly dead end

February 22, 2018
A representation of a fitness landscape

Government works. Sort of.

It’s not the worst thing to happen to humans, but as a “success” it is a local, less than optimal, situation. But it was good enough that humans who governed each other were still able to survive and reproduce.

Government occupies what is known as a “fitness peak“; a local area of “good enough” (for now) in a range of possibilities.

Following the path up the mountain that signifies government leads to a dead end. You get to the peak, and you think it works, but you can’t go any higher. You can’t do better by doing more of the same. Maybe it even worked better than where you were. But as the sea rises, you realize you are trapped on an island that will soon vanish beneath the waves. You need to abandon your disappearing peak. And you can, but not without doing something which fearful, cowardly statists refuse to do.

You have to move from your suboptimal peak to a higher peak, and you can’t get there without coming down from your mountain and crossing a valley. A valley which may already be flooded, and if not, will be flooded soon; maybe even before you can fully cross it. But you have no choice– the human species has no choice.

Doing what is necessary is scary, especially to those whose blinders prevent them from seeing that they are at a dead end, and there are higher peaks, offering greater fitness, just a short journey away.

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Collecting the bones of an empire

February 13, 2018

Maybe I’m funny, but I look forward to a time after the US Empire has fallen in on itself, and pathetic “patriotic” losers of the future collect memorabilia from the police state past they miss; wearing the uniforms and insignia while clinging to their nostalgic delusions of a glorious past.

That’s something some in the area formerly bullied by the USSR do now, so I fully expect a parallel in North America.

Now, I understand some simply collect historical items– this isn’t what I’m referring to. Read the first paragraph again if you are confused.

The USSR collapsed, but Russia remains.
America will probably still be around after the USA falls, too.
If not, that’s OK with me.

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Where we’re going, we don’t need… roads.

February 7, 2018

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It’s a shame politics not harmless

February 4, 2018

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for January 3, 2017)

After almost a year of President Trump, half the country is in an absolute uproar over the ruination of America being caused by the man.

Exactly like the other half of the country gnashed its teeth for eight straight years over the way President Obama was destroying the country.

I wish both halves weren’t so close to being right.

I also wish politics could be kept in a virtual world, like fantasy football or Pokemon Go. It could exist in apps for your phone or computer, and nowhere else. Finance it with licensed product sales, ads, and subscription fees. Let the people who play be the only ones affected by it, and leave the real world alone.

If politics were harmless, even while its enthusiasts were fanatical about it, I might sit back and enjoy the show with some popcorn. Would this year’s version be called “Sharknado 6: Sharks in the White House”? Or “The Governing Inferno”? If the show got too boring or ridiculous, I could shut it off and go back to meaningful pursuits, leaving the two sides to squabble and squawk at each other.

The trouble is, politics has real-world consequences, and those squabbling sides keep grinding the rest of us between them. That’s not very nice.

Every official presidential act has victims. That’s the nature of politics– winners only win by making someone lose. When neither side understands liberty, it’s the first thing sacrificed to the squeaky wheels on the altar of political expediency. Almost no one understands what liberty is, and won’t miss it because they’ve never had it, so it’s easy to give it away. Presidents know they can buy votes by trading liberty for false national security, for false economic growth, for false … well, you get the idea. And voters are happy to accept the illusions.

People are more concerned over presidential “tweets” than they are over stolen liberty. Many people get the most upset when the president doesn’t help Congress steal enough liberty from the other side. They scream “Close the loopholes!” Loopholes are what they call the last places liberty can hide from its enemies. The situation is crazy, and likely to only get worse.

The good news is, no president can extinguish liberty, as much as he might try. When liberty is outlawed, only outlaws will have liberty. That tiny bit will be enough to reignite the flame when the world is ready for liberty once again.

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