Archive for the ‘personal’ Category

The responsibility of gun ownership

March 20, 2018

The human right to own and to carry weapons is absolute. No one has the right, and certainly not the imaginary quality called “authority“, to violate that right. Anyone who advocates violating that right, whatever weasel-words they use, is an evil monster.

Of course, that right comes with an iron-clad responsibility: you are responsible for not harming the innocent or their property.

I accept that responsibility. Even the NRA, as weak and wishy-washy as they tend to be on gun rights issues, has always emphasized that responsibility. Anti-gun bigots pretend that gun owners shirk their responsibilities. Some do, but most do not. Very few gun owners avoid the responsibility that goes along with the right to own and to carry weapons.

All anti-liberty bigots reject their own responsibility to respect the rights of others; they reject and ignore their primary human responsibility. Every single one of them, just by “virtue” of being an anti-gun bigot. So what you see on their part is projection: they imagine gun owners are as irresponsible and slimy as they understand themselves to be. They simply can’t imagine others are better people than they are, so they assume the worst. It’s because they are the worst.

As a gun owner, you don’t have the responsibility to surrender your rights just because some evil loser murdered people. You don’t have the responsibility to act as though anti-gun bigots, or their demands, are reasonable. You don’t have the responsibility to obey counterfeit “laws”. You have the responsibility to not harm the innocent. I know you are already living up to your responsibility.


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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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Lies cause weakness

March 18, 2018

American culture, if there is such a thing, is weak and pitiful from decades (or more) of telling lies. And from glossing over lies that are told. Lies always cause weakness.

But the lies are understandable in a way.

Lies feel safe and cozy. Especially when they are told and retold. When the lies bring you together and make you feel a part of a community you have a special place to fit in.

Truth is often lonely and painful. I know.

I wish I could tell the lies and feel accepted and warm. But it wouldn’t change the truth. I wish I could say that cops are good guys, that taxation is the price of a civilized society, and that it’s good to support government because God tells me to in Romans 13. I wish I could believe in “authority” and that it is for my own good and the good of the children. I wish I could believe government schools are “public” centers of education. That citizenship is a wonderful thing. Those are comforting lies because of the beliefs of those around me. Telling those lies to myself and others would help me fit in and feel welcomed. But they are still lies.

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Self-centered and entitled

March 17, 2018

People with an attitude of entitlement are a drain on the world. A net negative.

I know someone like this. She believes the world and all those in it exist for her convenience. If she wants someone to go out of their way for her, and they dare say “no”, her response is “What are you doing that’s so important that you can’t?” She believes if someone has something they aren’t currently using, she should be able to take it if she wants it. The world revolves around her, and yet she despises people she sees as needing to be the “center of attention”.

Of course, this is the same attitude held by most government employees.


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Armed and dangerous

March 15, 2018

I support the right of every human to own and to carry a gun. Period. That doesn’t mean I trust every armed person. There are some people who simply can not be trusted with guns, even though they have the right to own and carry them and no one has the right to forbid it. Those are separate issues.

I’ve known some of those who couldn’t be trusted with a gun. They are simply too dangerous or unstable to trust. With or without a gun.

A guy who comes to mind was very reckless, spastic, and impulsive. I went out shooting with him once. Only once. Never again. He had no muzzle awareness and wouldn’t keep his finger off the trigger. He left town saying it was his intention to join the military– they deserved the likes of him.

No one who would wear a government uniform can be trusted with a gun– and that especially applies to cops. I don’t trust them with a gun any more than I would trust an angry diseased monkey with a loaded and cocked gun with a hair trigger and no safety. Anyone who would demean themselves enough to become a government tool obviously has serious issues with authoritarianism and aggression.

This doesn’t mean I’ll ask government to keep guns out of their hands. It means I will consider them dangerous morons and always try to stay away from them. It means I will warn others to be alert around them. This sort of person deserves to be shunned to death unless they grow up and take responsibility– which would begin with shedding the uniform and making an honest effort at becoming a good guy.


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You support… that?

March 13, 2018

There are businesses around which display support for Blue Line Gang molesters on their electronic signs. I’m glad to know what they support so I can spend my money elsewhere. 
There are houses which fly the Blue Line Gang molester flag; the flag that declares that the lives of molesters are more important than yours or mine. I’m glad to know where these people live so I can avoid them and leave them to their heroes in an emergency.
There are cars driving around with stickers on them advertising their support for the molester gang. I encourage them to let themselves be known everywhere they go.
I’ll always encourage the enemies of all that is decent to display who they are and what they support. It’s helpful to know where anti-liberty bigots are.


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Laws frequently only cause harm

March 11, 2018

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

Laws can’t solve anything, and often destroy things which worked. Sometimes this is due to the unintended consequences of trying to stop something which might actually be harmful, but more often it is due to the person who made the rule simply not understanding how things work in the real world.

Being harmed by laws is probably more common than being helped or protected by them. It’s a consequence of meddling; one I have personally experienced.

Years ago I was looking for a job after moving across the country. I had checked the “help wanted” ads, and they were all for huge corporations with horrible working conditions I wasn’t anxious to endure. So, I set out to explore the area and see what else I could discover. I checked out businesses I thought I’d like to work for. Mostly small family businesses, since those are the ones where I’ve always fit in best.

There were so many little shops which looked interesting. Some in industries I had experience with. But I kept running into the same problem.

One day, for example, I found a dim and dusty sporting goods store. It was obvious they didn’t have time to clean or arrange their inventory, yet they seemed to care about their customers. They were friendly and likable, and I knew I could help them. I really wanted the chance to show them I could benefit their business.

Unfortunately, like all the small businesses I spoke to, they couldn’t afford to hire an employee. They couldn’t afford to pay anyone “minimum wage”, nor could they afford all the other costs– taxes, paperwork, insurance– associated with legally having an employee.

I wasn’t ready to give up so easily, since any money was better than none.

Outlaw that I am, I begged to be allowed to work “under the table” for an amount agreeable to both of us, but they weren’t willing to risk being caught making a mutually acceptable, consensual arrangement with me that violated “laws”. “Laws” which hurt us both.

I was protected out of a job by not being allowed to work where I wanted, for an amount someone was willing to pay. When I think of all the people like me who are priced out of the job market by rules they don’t want and which hurt them in the long run, I get angry at those who pretend to care about people while hurting them for their own good.


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"Daylight Saving Time" is stupidity

March 11, 2018

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Pragmatic non-pragmatism

March 8, 2018

I am not a pragmatist.

I don’t think pragmatism can ever justify archation.

However, if I can convince a person that archation isn’t pragmatic, and this convinces him to avoid archation, it’s a tool I am willing to use.

Isn’t that rather pragmatic of me?


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Scammers and their enthusiastic victims

March 6, 2018

An acquaintance of mine has a job which frequently involves sending electronic money transfers for individuals. A huge chunk of that money is sent to Nigeria (and other “less than ideal” places). Often the senders are elderly, or people who are really lonely (the two categories overlap). And she sees the same people come in over and over again. They often want to tell her the story of why they are sending the money.

To her credit, she has tried to tell the people they are being scammed (and has gotten in some trouble at work for doing so). The denial is strong and none of them want to believe it. They will go to any lengths to tell her she’s wrong.

One guy is sending money to a “woman” who is coming to America to be his bride. She keeps needing more and more money due to various problems that crop up. But, finally, a week or so back, he was sending her the money for the plane ticket! Hallelujah!

But, oops. Apparently, her taxi was involved in a terrible wreck on the way to the airport. Now she’s in the hospital unable to speak, but the hospital was able to get in touch with the man to tell him how much he must send to pay her hospital bill. So that she can recover and come marry him, of course. Ugh.

It’s the same story every time. And she’s seen every variation.

She has practically given up trying to help the people– although she did save a guy from getting scammed out of $9,000 a few months back, and he was very grateful. Of course, he was back sending money to someone else before the week was out.

Part of me thinks “a fool and his money are soon parted“. Another part of me feels really bad for the fools, and a deep hatred for the scammers who take advantage of them.

Part of me is also angry at the fools, knowing that as long as idiots keep making scamming pay, evil people will keep going into the business of scamming. Those who send the money only encourage the scammers and recruit more of them into the ranks. It pisses me off.

I’ve seen libertarians justify scammers by saying no one is forcing their victims to pay; that it is voluntary. That, again, if you’re too or gullible to keep your money, then you deserve getting scammed. I don’t see it that way. I see it as a property rights violation– theft, by lying. Lies told to harm the innocent, facilitating theft, seems to be archation in my mind.

I think I would be fired from the job my acquaintance holds because I don’t think I could be a middle-man in the scamming business.


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