Archive for the ‘Liberty’ Tag

So What You Are Saying Is …   9 comments

How do you see yourself vs how you think other people see you?

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In today’s world, there is a growing trend to ascribe evil to anyone who espouses opinions or provides facts that disagree with your worldview. People can agree on all points, but one and when they disagree on that one point, the dissenter is then labeled evil and ostracized from the relationship.

Peterson

So this question of how we are perceived by others compared to how do we perceive ourselves is of vital importance.

It sucks to be misunderstood, but it kills to be mis-characterized. Those are two different things, of course. I can misunderstand what you say or mean when you make a comment. This is especially true on social media where there’s no body language or tone of voice to convey sarcasm, for example. We would hope such misunderstandings could be cleared up by reflecting on what the dissenter has said and asking pertinent questions with a view to actually listen to the answers. Unfortunately, that skill has long been replaced with close-minded attacks that ascribe disagreement on even a single point as a lack of character that requires sustained personal attacks or the refusal to interact.

For example, I am a natural rights advocate and therefore, I hold freedom of speech and religion as high standards that government should not interfere with … EVER. Misunderstandings only grow when we don’t talk about our differences and, sometimes, when we listen to those we don’t agree with we discover that we need to change in order to be a better person. I’ve had this experience myself. I’ve also learned things about others that have made me their opponent, standing against their message, but never arguing that they don’t have a right to speak. That way leads through dark woods wherein any of us might find ourselves a silenced minority if it’s our turn to be labeled inappropriate. I’d rather everyone’s right to speak be acknowledged so that reason may be left free to combat wrong ideas. You have a right not to listen, but that right extends only to walking away from a message or sticking your fingers in your ears and singing “la-la-la-la.” So, naturally, I’ve been called a Nazi.

Well, more accurately, I’ve been said to support neo-Nazis and to ascribe to their message. Why? Because I uphold the principle of the right of every individual, regardless of ideology, to speak his or her mind without interference from the government or threats of violence from their fellow humans AND I include neo-Nazis and enviro-wackos under that umbrella. I also include atheists and Baptists … gays and those who are creeped out by gays … post-modernists and Jordan Peterson. I stand with the American Constitution and Founding Fathers in saying EVERYBODY has a right to speak and EVERYBODY else has a right to oppose their message or not listen. Because I perceive rights as inherent in the individual, I don’t believe that some groups have a higher right to speak than other groups. They may have a better message … and that message will be received and accepted while the other is rejected … if we’ll only allow reason to counter bad arguments.

For that, I’m accused of being a neo-Nazi because nowadays, the United States of America has become a country where warring factions try to use government power to shut each other up and anyone who doesn’t think that’s a good idea is obviously evil.

Meanwhile, I don’t support neo-Nazis. I don’t subscribe to their message. Neo-nazism  might not work out well for me anyway as I am a tribal card holder and they object to the race-mixing that my mutt DNA represents. I’m not what I’ve been accused of, but it’s hard to counter mischaracterizations because those doing the mischaracterization will insist that their perception of you is far more important than your perception of yourself. They can read minds, don’t you know?

Personally, I try really hard not to ascribe evil to those who ascribe evil to me. I try to give people I disagree with the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps we just see some issues from different perspectives. Maybe, if we talk a while, we’ll find common ground. I’m not a big believer in compromise — I think we’ve compromised far too much in the past and we’re too close to a cultural and economic cliff for any further compromise to be useful — but I am a big believer in discussion and affording each other some grace. People can be wrong without being evil and it’s possible I can learn something from them, if only I’ll listen. Now if they would only listen to what I am actually saying rather than their perception of what they believe I am saying. But I keep trying – offering thought-provoking questions on Facebook, usually centered on libertarian themes. Everyone is welcome to join.

 

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On Revolution   Leave a comment

I haven’t been blogging much lately because I’m in rewrite mode for Book 4 of Transformation Project – Day’s End – and it’s summer in Alaska, but some interactions on Facebook have caused me to start thinking. I posted an 1818 letter by John Adams explaining that the American Revolution had not been the war that was fought against England, but the change in the “religious” affection of the Americans toward Britain that had occurred in the 15-years of spiritual revival that had occurred prior to the war. History records that as the First Great Awakening, but it was really more than just a rediscovery of Scripture and the Holy Spirit. The American colonists were seized by a fervor for learning that included reading far more than the Bible.

Image result for image of revolutionThe war was coda to the actual revolution that occurred in the hearts and minds of the people prior to the first shot being fired. Adams believed this was what set the American Revolution apart from the French Revolution. After the shooting was done, Americans settled down to peaceful commerce once more. Meanwhile, in France, when the revolutionaries seized power, they commenced to kill a bunch of people of varying degrees of guilt and innocence. They found no peace, but only a growing hunger for blood. Why? Adams wrote it was because France pursued revolution as a war while in America, the revolution had been in the hearts and minds of the people prior to the war. They were already free in their minds. Had Britain simply accepted that, there would have been no war.

So, today we’re at such a cusp — on the verge of a civil war that will split not along clear regional lines as it did in the 1860s, but along ideological lines that are expressed in a mixed geography – rural versus urban, blue region versus red. We’ve got a whole chorus of voices screaming for “revolution”, people in the streets demanding “justice”, setting things on fire, beating their opponents into the pavement and insisting on fundamental changes to the political system that will affect our future in enormous and damaging ways.

If you’ve been a reader of my blog, you know I didn’t support Donald Trump for president in 2016 (though I also didn’t support Hillary Clinton … remember, crooks on the left, clowns on the right, I’m still not voting for you). So this post is really not about who occupies the White House. It’s about the shattering of America that we are so not ready for.

An impeachment is a darned hard thing on the constitution of a country. It has been hard on Americans in the past — pretty much every time — though sometimes it has been necessary. There have been presidents who violated their oaths of office and deserved impeachment … and some were impeached while others were not. And let us not forget there was enough evidence to impeach Bill Clinton, articles of impeachment were upheld, and Congress still didn’t remove him from office. And that was surprisingly less harmful to the fabric of society than Richard Nixon’s resignation.

I don’t really care if Trump gets impeached … though I do care if there’s actual evidence of a crime because impeachment should not be undertaken just because some people don’t like an election result that was determined under the existing constitutional system. If they want to change it, there’s a procedure for amending the Constitution. Meanwhile, the Constitution allows us to replace Trump with Mike Pence if there’s enough evidence that Trump — not his associates — did something worthy of impeachment. And, frankly, if it weren’t for the negatives, I could easily replace Trump with Pence and go on with my life because I didn’t vote for him, ao I’ve no real dog in the fight. But ….

The 47% of American voters who gave Donald Trump the presidency did not vote for Mike Pence. And that’s a problem because they will be disenfranchised upon Trump’s removal from office. What happens to them, to the hopes they voted for when they elected him? Do they not matter? I know most progressive Democrats will insist they don’t, but they are just about half of the population, so … do we just ignore them once Trump has been removed from office? How do you think that’s going to work out for the country?

And will those rioting in the streets be satisfied with the replacement of a populist progressive president with a very conservative one? Pence is a social and fiscal conservative. He’s everything progressives hate. He’s about as far from Barack Obama’s policies as Calvin Coolidge was from Woodrow Wilson. Can the progressives currently rioting in our streets accept Pence as the constitutionally-selected president of America or will they continue to demand that their wishes be assuaged?

And if they hold out for their demands to be fulfilled, what then? The Democrats LOST the constitutional election of 2016. The Russians may have provided information people had a right to know, but they didn’t hack the voting system. There are literally thousands of election systems in the United States and that makes our voting system more or less unhackable. So there is no way, constitutionally, that a Democrat should be in the White House before 2020, but mark my words — there will be Democrats demanding it and it is that tension – between the Democrats on one side who will not accept the outcome of a constitutional election and the Republicans who are about to be disenfranchised that will tear this country apart.

I want revolution more than most people do. It’s revolutionary and counter-cultural in this era to say we need to drastically cut government (by 50 to 75%), to close all our foreign bases and bring soldiers home, to get government out of the economy and let people make their own decisions without our nanny hanging over our shoulders. But here’s the rub … I don’t think this country is ready for revolution. We’re France in the 1780s. We want change, but the vast majority of the population has not been educated to think for themselves, so naturally the vast majority of them will scream for more government rather than less … and that way lays totalitarianism … the silencing of philosophical minorities, of anyone who can think for themselves, the wholesale enslavement of the economy to the government, and the loss of individual liberty and the concept of natural rights that are inherent in being a human being instead of something given to you by the government when it deigns that you will benefit from them. None of this is a good idea by any stretch of the imagination. Yeah … it may be that we’re actually Russia in the early 20th century. We’re certainly headed that way.

If that concerns you, I hope you’ll take some time – take a pause — and educate yourselves. You can certain read back in my blog. You can check out Mises.org, the Ron Paul Institute and the Foundation for Economic Freedom.  Go to You-Tube and check out Dave Rubin or Jordan Peterson or the pod casts of Joe Rogan. In the case of Rubin and Rogan, it’s really their guests who are brilliant, but the point is to start listening to people who have actually thought out what it means to be an individual without being in conflict with society. We might potentially dodge a bullet for the next year or two, but unless we change our affections for the bloated totalitarian-lite government we currently have and start looking at the world we live in a different way, we’re head the way of so many countries that grabbed for needed change and ended up killing millions.

John Adams on the American Revolution   1 comment

From John Adams to Hezekiah Niles, 13 February 1818

Quincy February 13th. 1818

Mr Niles,

 

The American Revolution was not a trifling nor a common event. It’s effects and consequences have already been awful over a great part of the whole globe. And when and where are they to cease?

Image result for image of john adamsBut what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American War? The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the People. A change in their Religious Sentiments of their Duties and Obligations. While the King, and all in authority under him, were believed to govern, in justice and mercy according to the laws and constitutions derived to them from the God of Nature, and transmitted to them by their ancestors— they thought themselves bound to pray for the King and Queen and all the royal Family, and all the authority under them, as ministers ordained of God for their good. But when they saw those powers renouncing all the principles of authority, and bent up on the destruction of all the Securities of their Lives, Liberties and Properties, they thought it their Duty to pray for the Continental Congress and all the thirteen State Congresses, &c.

There might be, and there were others, who thought less about Religion and Conscience, but had certain habitual Sentiments of Allegiance And Loyalty derived from their Education; but believing Allegiance and Protection to be reciprocal, when Protection was withdrawn, they thought Allegiance was dissolved

Another Alteration was common to all. The People of America had been educated in an habitual Affection for England as their Mother-Country; and while they Thought her a kind and tender mother, (erroneously enough, however, for She never was Such a Mother,) no Affection could be more Sincere. But when they found her a cruel Beldam willing, like Lady Macbeth, to “dash their Brains out,” it is no Wonder if their fillial Affections ceased and were changed into Indignation and horror.

This radical Change in the Principles, Opinions Sentiments and Affection of the People, was the real American Revolution.

By what means, this great and important Alteration in the religious, Moral, political and Social Character of the People of thirteen Colonies, all distinct, unconnected and independent of each other, was begun, pursued and accomplished, it is surely interesting to Humanity to investigate, and perpetuate to Posterity.

To this End it is greatly to be desired that Young Gentlemen of Letters in all the States, especially in the thirteen Original States, would undertake the laborious, but certainly interesting and amusing Task, of Searching and collecting all the Records, Pamphlets, Newspapers and even hand Bills, which in any Way contributed to change the Temper and Views of The People and compose them into an independent Nation.

The Colonies had grown up under Constitutions of Government, So different, there was so great a Variety of Religions, they were composed of So many different Nations, their Customs, Manners and Habits had So little resemblance, and their Intercourse had been so rare and their Knowledge of each other So imperfect, that to unite them in the Same Principles in Theory and the Same System of Action was certainly a very difficult Enterprize. The compleat Accomplishment of it, in So Short a time and by Such Simple means, was perhaps a Singular Example in the History of Mankind. Thirteen Clocks were made to Strike together; a perfection of Mechanism which no Artist had ever before effected.

In this Research, the Glorioroles of Individual Gentlemen and of Separate States is of little Consequence. The Means and the Measures are the proper Objects of Investigation. These may be of Use to Posterity, not only in this Nation, but in South America, and all other Countries. They may teach Mankind that Revolutions are no Trifles; that they ought never to be undertaken rashly; nor without deliberate Consideration and Sober Reflection; nor without a Solid, immutable, eternal foundation of Justice and Humanity; nor without a People possessed of Intelligence, Fortitude and Integrity Sufficient to carry them with Steadiness, Patience, and Perseverance, through all the Vicissitudes of fortune, the fiery Tryals and Melancholly Disasters they may have to encounter.

The Town of Boston early instituted an annual Oration on the fourth of July, in commemoration of the Principles and Feelings which contributed to produce the Revolution. Many of those Orations I have heard, and all that I could obtain I have read. Much Ingenuity and Eloquence appears upon every Subject, except those Principles and Feelings. That of my honest and amiable Neighbour, Josiah Quincy, appeared to me, the most directly to the purpose of the Institution. Those Principles and Feelings ought to be traced back for Two hundred Years, and Sought in the history of the Country from the first Plantations in America. Nor Should the Principles and Feelings of the English and Scotch towards the Colonies, through that whole Period ever be forgotten. The Perpetual discordance between British Principles and Feelings and those of America, the next year after the Suppression of the French Power in America, came to a crisis, and produced an Explosion.

It was not till After the Annihilation of the French Dominion in America, that any British Ministry had dared to gratify their own Wishes, and the desire of the Nation, by projecting a formal Plan for raising a national Revenue from America by Parliamentary Taxation. The first great manifestation of this design, was by the Order to carry into Strict Executions those Acts of Parliament which were well known by the Appelation of the Acts of Trade, which had lain a dead Letter, unexecuted for half a Century, and Some of them I believe for nearly a whole one.

This produced, in 1760 and 1761, An Awakening and a Revival of American Principles and Feelings, with an Enthusiasm which went on increasing till in 1775 it burst out in open Violence, Hostility and Fury.

The Characters, the most conspicuous, the most ardent and influential, in this Revival, from 1760 to 1766, were;—First and Foremost, before all, and above all, James Otis; Nex to him was Oxenbridge Thatcher; next to him Samuel Adams; next to him John Hancock; then Dr Mayhew, then Dr Cooper and his Brother. Of Mr Hancock’s Life, Character, generous Nature, great and disinterested Sacrifices, and important Services if I had forces, I Should be glad to write a Volume. But this I hope will be done by Some younger and abler hand. Mr Thatcher, because his Name and Merits are less known, must not be wholly omitted. This Gentleman was an eminent Barrister at Law, in as large practice as anyone in Boston. There was not a Citizen of that Town more universally beloved for his Learning, Ingenuity, every domestic & Social Virtue, and Conscientious Conduct in every Relation of Life. His Patriotism was as ardent as his Progenitors had been, ancient and illustrious in this Country. Hutchinson often Said “Thatcher was not born a Plebeian, but he was determined to die one.” In May 1763, I believe, he was chosen by the Town of Boston One of their Representatives in the Legislature, a Colleague with Mr Otis, who had been a Member from May 1761, and he continued to be reelected annually till his Death in 1765, when Mr Samuel Adams was elected to fill his place, on the Absence of Mr Otis, then attending the Congress at New York. Thatcher had long been jealous of the unbounded Ambition of Mr Hutchinson, but when he found him not content with the Office of Lieutenant Governor, the Command of the Castle and its Emoluments, of Judge of Probate for the County of Suffolk, a Seat in his Majesty’s Council in the Legislature, his Brother-in-Law Secretary of State by the Kings Commission, a Brother of that Secretary of State a Judge of the Superiour Court and a Member of Council, now in 1760 and 1761, Soliciting and accepting the Office of Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Judicature, he concluded as Mr. Otis did, and as every other enlightened Friend of his Country did, that he Sought that Office with the determined Purpose of determining all Causes in favour of the Ministry at Saint James’s and their Servile Parliament.

His Indignation against him henceforward, to 1765, when he died, knew no bounds but Truth. I Speak from personal Knowledge and will [. . .] For, from 1758 to 1765, I attended every Superiour and [. . .] Court in Boston, and recollect not one in which he did not invite me home to Spend several Evenings with him, when he made me converse with him as well as I could on all Subjects of Religion, Morals, Law, Politicks, History, Phylosophy, Belle letters Theology, Mythology, Cosmogeny, Metaphysicks, Lock, Clark, Leibnits, Bolinbroke, Berckley, the Preestablished Harmony of the Universe, the Nature of Matter and Spirit, and the eternal Establishment of Coincidences between their Operations; Fate, foreknowledge, absolute—and we reasoned on Such unfathomable Subjects as high as Milton’s Gentry in Pandemonium; and We understood them as well as they did, and no better. To such mighty Mysteries he added the News of the day, as the Little Tattle of the Town. But his favourite Subject was Politicks, and the impending threatening System of Parliamentary Taxation and Universal Government over the Colonies. On the Subject he was So anxious and agitated that I have not doubt it occasioned his premature death. From the time when he argued the question of Writs of Assistance to his death, he considered the King, Ministry, Parliament and Nation of Great Britain as determined to now model the Colonies from the Foundation; to annul all their Charters, to constitute them all Royal Governments; to raise a Revenue in America by Parliamentary Taxation; to apply that Revenue to pay the Salaries of Governors, Judges and all other Crown Officers; and after all this, to raise as large a Revenue as they pleased to be applied to National Purposes at the Exchequer in England; and farther to establish Bishops and the whole System of the Church of England, Tythes and all, throughout all British America. This System, he Said, if it was Suffered to prevail would extinguish the Flame of Liberty all over the World; that America would be employed as an Engine to batter down all the miserable remains of Liberty in Great Britain and Ireland, when only any Semblance of it was left in the World. To this System he considered Hutchinson, the Olivers and all their Connections dependants, adherents, Shoelickers and another epithet with which I shall not pollute my writing, and entirely devoted. He asserted that they were all engaged, with all the Crown Officers in America and the Understrapors of the Ministry in England, in a deep and treasonable Conspiracy to betray the Liberties of their Country, for their own private personal and family Aggrandisement. His Philippecks against the unprincipled Ambition and Avarice of all of them, but especially of Hutchinson, were unbridled; not only in private, confidential Conversations, but in all Companies and on all Occasions. He gave Hutchinson the Sobriquet of “Summa Polestatis,” and rarely mentioned him but by the Name of “Summa.” His Liberties of Speech were no Secrets to his Enemies. I have Sometimes wondered that they did not throw him over the Barr, as they did Soon afterwards Major Hawley. For they hated him worse than they did James Otis or Samuel Adams, and they feared him more,—because they had no Revenge for a Father’s disappointment of a Seat on the Superiour Bench to impute to him as they did to Otis; and Thatcher’s Character through Life had been So modest, decent, unassuming—his Morals So pure, and his Religion so venerated, that they dared not [. . .] attack him. In his Office were educated to the Barr two eminent Characters, the late Judge Lowell and Josiah Quincy, aptly called the Boston Cicero. Mr Thatcher’s frame was Slender, his Constitution delicate. Whether his Physicians overstrained his Vessels with Mercury, when he had the Small Pox by Inoculation at the castle, or whether he was Overplyed by publick Anxieties & Exertions, the Small Pox left him in a Decline from which he never recovered. Not long before his death he Sent for me to commit to my care Some of his Business at the Barr. I asked him Whether he had Seen the Virginia Resolves. “Oh yes.—They are Men! They are noble Spirits! It kills me to think of the Leathargy and Stupidity that prevails here. I long to be out. I will go out. I will go out. I will go into Court, and make a Speech which Shall be read after my death as my dying Testimony against this infernal Tyrrany they are bringing upon us.” Seeing the violent Agitation into with it threw him, I changed the subject as Soon as possible, and retired. He had been confined for Some time. Had he been abroad among the People he would have complained So pathetically of the “Lethargy and Stupidity that prevailed,” for Town and Country were all Alive; and in August became active enough and Some of the People proceeded to unwarrantable Excesses, which were [. . .]nted by the Patriots than by their Enemies. Mr Thatcher Soon died, deeply lamented by all the Friends of their Country.

Another Gentleman who had great influence in the Commencement of the Revolution, was Doctor Jonathan Mayhew, a descendant of the ancient Governor of Martha’s Vineyard. This Divine had raised a great Reputation, both in Europe and America by the publication of a Volume of Seven Sermons in the Reign of King George the Second, 1748, and by many other Writings, particularly a Sermon in 1750, on the thirtieth of January, On the Subject of Passive Obedience and Non Resistance, in which the Saintship and Martyrdom of King Charles the first are considered, Seasoned with Witt and Satyre, Superior to any in Swift or Franklin. It was read by every Body, celebrated by Friends, and abused by Enemies. During the Reigns of King George the first and King George the Second, the Reigns of the Stewarts, the Two Jameses, and the two Charleses were in general disgrace in England. In America they had always been held in Abhorrence. The Persecutions and Cruelties Suffered by their Ancestors under those Reigns, had been transmitted by History and Tradition, and Mayhew Seemed to be raised up to revive all their Animosity against Tyranny, in Church and State, and at the Same time to destroy their Bigotry, Fanaticism and Inconsistency or David Hume’s plausible, elegant, fascinating and fallacious Apology in which he varnished over the Crimes of the Stewarts had not then appeared. To draw the Character of Mayhew would be to transcribe a dozen Volumes. This transcendant [by choices]threw all the Weight of his great Fame into the Scale of his Country in 1761, and maintained it there with Zeal and Ardour till his death in 1766. In 1763 Appeared the Controversy between him and Mr Apthorp, Mr Caner, Dr. Johnson and Archbishop Secker on the Charter and Conduct of the Society for propagating the Gospels in foreign Parts. To form a Judgment of the debate I beg leave to refer to a Review of the whole, printed at the time, and written by Samuel Adams, though by Some, very absurdly and erroneously ascribed to Mr Apthorp. If I am not mistaken, it will be found a Model of Candour, Sagacity, Impartiality and close correct Reasoning.

If any Gentleman Supposes this Controversy to be nothing to the present purpose, he is grossly mistaken. It Spread an Universal Alarm against the Authority of Parliament. It excited a general and just Apprehension that Bishops and Diocesses and Churches, and Priests and Tythes, were to be imposed upon Us by Parliament. It was known that neither King nor Ministry nor Archbishops could appoint Bishops in America without an Act of Parliament; and if Parliament could Tax Us they could establish the Church of England with all its Creeds, Articles, Tests, Ceremonies and Tythes, and prohibit all other Churches as Conventicles and Sepism Shops.

Nor must Mr Cushing be forgotten. His good sense and Sound Judgment, the Urbanity of his Manners, his universal good Character, his numerous Friends and Connections and his continual intercourse with all Sorts of People, added to his Constant Attachment to the Liberties of his Country, gave him a great and Salutary influence from the beginning in 1760.

Let me recommend these hints to the Consideration of Mr Wirt, whose Life of Mr Henry I have read with great delight. I think, that after mature investigation, he will be convinced that Mr Henry did not “give the first impulse to the Ball of Independence,” And that Otis, Thatcher, Samuel Adams Mayhew, Hancock, Cushing and thousands of others were labouring for Several Years at the Wheel before the Name of Mr Henry was heard beyond the limits of Virginia.

If you print this, I will endeavour to Send You Something concerning Samuel Adams, who was destined to a longer Career, and to Add a more conspicuous and, perhaps, a more important Part than any other Man. But his Life would require a Volume. If you decline printing this Letter I pray to return it as Soon as possible to / Sir, your humble Servant

John Adams

Posted August 29, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Liberty, Uncategorized

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What is the Greatest Threat to Freedom of Conscience?   Leave a comment

My friend Josh Bennett over at Patriot’s Lament knocked one out of the park with this article, so I am blatantly borrowing it. I get my anarchy fix on Saturday mornings on KFAR-660 AM, which you can access through streaming if you’re not in the broadcast area of Fairbanks, Alaska. You can also check out PL’s You-Tube channel, Radio Free Fairbanks, where they repost the 3-hour programs to be listened to whenever you like. The show’s been going for seven years now, so there’s lots of liberty talk from an anarcho-capitalist point of view to refresh your mind with. Lela

The State Will Gladly Protect You from Freedom of Conscience

Josh Bennett

For hundreds of years, western cultures have been refining what is known as Freedom of Conscience.
One of the outcomes of this refinement is Freedom of Speech, a Liberty that is relatively new to the human political experience.
Not long ago, being critical of a government, for instance, could get you killed by that government. Merely speaking out of turn or having critical thought towards the State religion meant torture or death.

But, we have advanced through time to understand that free thought and critical speech is something that a free people must protect and encourage. Thomas Jefferson went as far as to say that repressing Freedom of Conscience was a “Sin against God”.

 

Suppressing Freedom of Conscience though, was and is seen by the State as self-preservation.

 

Today, we have access to information that only 20 years ago was other-worldly. Anyone with a cell phone can post a rant or share information to literally the whole world. Because of this information access, people take the information they get from the State influenced mainstream media with a grain of salt, or immediately disbelieve it, and usually, rightfully so.

 

This is dangerous for the State’s propaganda machine, but the State realizes what is even more dangerous to it, would be for the State to appear to suppress it. Whether on the Left or the Right of the political spectrum, people tend to cherish what we now call, “Free Speech”, and rightfully so.

 

So what is the State to do? What States always do. Make the people fear their Liberty more than Itself.

 

Instead of immediately passing laws suppressing and/or silencing free speech, the State is manipulating the political fears people have to make them feel threatened by what they may think is opposing speech to their beliefs. And the fear the State has spread between opposing political speech has resulted in what not long ago would have been mocked as fairytale superstition.

 

“Words can hurt you. People who disagree with you want to hurt you. You need your feelings protected against all invasion. Dissenting speech or thought is violence towards you.”
Instead of using dissenting views from our own to refine our beliefs and convictions, and to encourage discussion for the betterment of overall society, we are not only growing to fear Opposition of Thought, we want to be protected from it.

Image result for image of nazi railcar

Enter the State.

From legislating pronouns to aggressive threats of imprisonment for incorrect thinking, the State has moved in against Freedom of Conscience to suppress nonconformists. And some cheer this behavior by the State, seen to protect them from all harm. Others see it as a shield to advance their own political agenda opposition-free.
But, as Bastiat explained, while all wish to live at the expense of the State, the State lives at the expense of all.

 

No one’s political or personal thoughts or actions are safe from this aggression by the State. While the State will pick winners and losers in the short run, it’s only a matter of time before the State silences everyone.

 

Before you cheer the State for destroying your opposition’s Freedom of Conscience, remember when your opposition is gone, you will be alone, and no one will be there when the State marches you into the railcar that you have built.

Tyranny of Good Intentions   Leave a comment

I posed a question on my Facebook page – To Protect Us from Bad Drivers, Should the Government Mandate Autonomous Cars?

I still don’t know what the consensus was on that because it became a gun-control debate. I guess I’m not surprised because both are liberty issues. It’s why I pose these questions, to drag liberty and tyranny kicking and screaming out into the sunlight where they can be discussed.

I think a lot of us harbor tyrannical thoughts wrapped up in the guise of good intentions. Why do we encourage the curtailment of free speech through the institution of speech codes? Our good intention is that nobody be insulted by ideas we have deemed inappropriate this decade (subject to change next decade), but I think the underlying psychology is that we like to control others and force them to parrot our beliefs back to us even if they don’t believe the same thing.

Image result for image of the lower crime rate in high gun ownership communities

Why do we think it is our right to tell business people who they may and may not serve? Our good intention is so that people can access goods and services without being discriminated against for things they have no choice about – colors of skin being the primary one. As an American Indian, I don’t disagree with the intention — I like being able to walk into any restaurant in America and know I’ll be served. But then the tyrannical psychology of human beings rears its ugly three heads and we start setting aside people’s free exercise of faith rights in order to satisfy a political agenda because in our heart of hearts it’s not really about fairness and eliminating discrimination. It’s about imposing our will upon others.

So, during the unintended debate on gun control, the thing that struck me was how people believe they have the good intention of making everyone “safer”, by eliminating guns from society, while ignoring the facts that communities with a lot of guns in private hands are much safer than communities where private guns have been banned.

They mean well, but they’re making us all less safe and may even get some of us killed — if they haven’t already. For example, with 98% of all mass shootings happening in so-called gun-free zones, why would we think turning the entire country into a gun-free zone would be a great idea?

Image result for image chicago's murder rate related to gun control

North Dakota almost matches Alaska in per gun ownership. They have the lowest crime rate in the nation. Some people would like to insist that is a coincidence so they can dismiss that data point. Alaska, specifically my community of the Fairbanks North Star Borough, has the highest per capita gun ownership rate in the nation. We don’t have the lowest crime rate. We lead the nation in rapes and alcohol-related crimes. But we have practically non-existent night-time burglary and armed robbery rates. Home invasions do happen here occasionally – mostly drug related – but they’re few and far between.

What North Dakota and Alaska share in common is that we’ve had very few mass shootings. Why?

Maybe it has something to do with our preserving our ability to defend ourselves a long time before the cops can be there. Because we’re not big on gun-free zones, we have created safer armed havens within our communities.

Are you safer walking the streets of New York City at 3 am or Fairbanks Alaska at 3 am? I’m thinking that even people who live in New York City recognize that the streets of Fairbanks Alaska are safer than the ones outside their apartment. It doesn’t mean Fairbanks is risk-free, only that it is comparatively safer. And, yet police response time in New York City is magnitudes faster than it is in Fairbanks Alaska. New York City has more cops per block than Fairbanks Alaska has per mile. It takes 10 minutes for them to reach my home (minimum), but it takes 45 minutes for a cop doing 80 mph to reach my cabin (minimum). Fortunately, we don’t have a huge need for cops because we retain the ability to defend ourselves.

Image result for washington dc murder rate related to gun control

But circle back – it is safer to walk a dark street in Fairbanks than it is in New York City. New York City pretends to be a gun-free zone, but of course, there are a lot of illegal guns in the hands of criminals in New York City while in Fairbanks there are a lot of legal guns in the hands of ordinary citizens. Why would criminals prefer New York City where there’s a cop on every corner rather than Fairbanks where there’s a gun in every house (well, maybe 75% of them)? Wouldn’t they have more chance of getting caught in New York City? No, because if they kill the person who they’re victimizing there is no witness to turn them in. But if the Fairbanks homeowner shoots them rather than being a victim, then they’ve been caught. Chances are greater that a criminal will be brought to justice here in Fairbanks than they are in New York because criminals here stand a good chance of receiving the natural consequences of their criminal behavior than they do in a city where they are pretty much the only people armed.

That translates into it being safer to walk the streets of Fairbanks at night. Now, it might potentially be safer to get drunk while playing poker in New York because your ordinary neighbor is unlikely to have a gun with which to shoot you if he thinks you’re cheating. That is a downside to living in an armed community. But, guess what … don’t play poker with drunk people and you’re probably going to be okay. It’s really kind of counter-intuitive when you think about it. In a community that is awash in guns, you’re safer walking down the street, but aggression toward others is also ill-advised. Most gun incidents here are really alcohol or drug incidents.

Image result for new york city murder rates related to gun control

Oh, that makes sense. It’s the advice I gave my kids about driving drunk. Don’t! If you’re driving, you don’t drink alcohol. If you’re drinking alcohol, you don’t drive.

If you’re drinking, lock your guns up. If you’ve got a need to have a gun out, you shouldn’t be drinking. That was pretty much the gun safety advice my parents gave me.

The good-intentioned tyrannical crowd would say “Let us take away the cars so you can’t hurt yourself with them. We’d take away the alcohol, but we already tried that and it was a miserable idea, but surely this great idea will work out fine.” Eventually, they’ll come to that conclusion about cars. We know that because they’re insisting about that conclusion with guns. Ignore the fact that not all of us live or even want to live where there’s a cop on every corner who still isn’t there to prevent our death. Guns are dangerous in the wrong hands, so they insist the answer is to remove the took from all of us … except the two segments of the population who most want to victimize the disarmed – criminals and cops.

Image result for new york city murder rates related to gun control

 

 

Posted March 2, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Gun control, Uncategorized

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“Let” Us?   Leave a comment

Image result for image of fairbanks alaska snow wind stormBrad couldn’t sleep last night (worried about our dog who just had surgery, I think), so he got up really early and checked out some friends on Facebook. He graduated high school in Chappaqua, New York, but he lived all over New England as a kid and still has family there, as well as spending several years in Texas where he also has family.

So he was talking with someone (a friend) who lives back east and telling him how two weeks ago, the temperatures here were 30 below zero, but it’s 30 above now and we got over a half-foot of snow last night. He’d decided I was driving his Jeep to work this morning.

The conversation went from there.

Brad – My wife is driving the Jeep to work this morning so I can fix what caused her car not to work last week during the 30 below.

Of course, Facebook is a “public” forum, so a friend of his friend responded.

Friend Once Removed – I’m surprised they let you drive in that.

  • Friend – Drive in what? Which?

  • Friend Once Removed – Either. It’s dangerous. They should close the roads.

  • Friend – He lives in Alaska. If they did that, they’d spend all winter trapped at home. And they’re used to it.

Brad (responding to “surprised they let you drive in that”) – Let us? There’s no “let” involved. We drive if we darned well want to and accept the risk.

  • Friend Once Removed – The police should arrest anyone who doesn’t obey the law. You don’t have a right to endanger yourselves.

  • Brad – Fella, we live in Alaska, where freedom is a higher priority than being protected by the government.

  • Friend Once Removed – You people are what’s wrong with this country. You endanger all of us with your callous disregard for safety.

At this point, I asked Brad what he was muttering swear words about and he showed me the exchange.

Me – Yeah, I have conversations like that all the time under my Lela account.

Brad – What do you do about it?

Me – Sometimes I embrace the debate in hopes that someone will learn something from it and sometimes I refuse to pick up the rope. Surprisingly, others have started doing that and it feels good to know that people are thinking about liberty issues.

Brad – What should I do about this?

Me – Can I pretend to be you?

Lela Pretending to be Brad – I’m not sure how my driving a 4×4 Jeep through 6 inches of snow in Alaska endangers you when you live in New Jersey. Can’t we both live our lives without trying to control the other?

Friend Once Removed – No, because your “freedom” gives people ideas and those ideas put them in danger.

Me to Brad in the Real World – Leave the rope right there and stop this conversation right now. You can’t win this argument and if you continue he’ll be calling his Congressman insisting that Alaskans be stopped from driving in “dangerous conditions.” Now I’m going to go put on my winter gear over my office clothes and drive that 25-year-old Jeep through the “dangerous conditions” so I can field phone calls from the public who want to know when the roads will be plowed. Fun times!

Which, actually, it was. I LOVE driving that Jeep through snow and the wind just added another flavor – a wild primordial feel that a day of ordinary weather just doesn’t give you.

Posted February 23, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Alaska, Uncategorized

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Liberty versus Crime   Leave a comment

To a statist, the concept of voluntarism looks like a lot like chaos. We’d have people just doing what they want with absolutely no regard for the people around them. Robbings, looting, murder … it would be horrible!

Image result for image voluntaryismExcept that’s not what voluntaryists are talking about when they say they want liberty. Maybe getting some definitions in order would be helpful.

Crimes are actions that produce victims, which in popular usage can mean almost anything undesirable under the sun. A more principled approach to understanding crime and victim-hood is to narrow the definition to a state in which somebody has been forcefully or fraudulently deprived of life, liberty, or property.

Crime includes such obvious actions like murder, battery, rape, assault, and theft. How particular people define particular instances of these types of action may differ, but for the most part, physically hurting people or taking their stuff is viewed as criminal behavior.

Liberties, on the other hand, are actions that do not produce an identifiable victim. They are actions that people should be free to perform as they do not victimize, in the criminal sense, other people.

Liberty includes a much broader spectrum of actions than does crime. I think we can confidently say that any action that is not criminal is a liberty. Liberties typically comprise 100% of people’s actions day-to-day. Think of anything you do: does it physically hurt somebody or take/damage their stuff? Then it’s a liberty and not a crime.

Liberties may be offensive in the sensibilities sense, but so long as they are not criminal, they should not be prohibited by political authorities. While every property owner may prohibit the liberties enjoyed within their private domain, they may not call upon third parties with guns to prohibit them in other domains.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in that world. Restricting liberties makes up most of the actions that political authorities engage in today. Politicians, eager to get and remain elected, pander to sensibilities and push through laws that not only prohibit crime but, in too many ways, prohibit liberties.

Image result for image voluntaryismWhy? Because people start with the idea that you need government to control crime, but then they feel that they really need to curb the behaviors of others they don’t like. It starts out small, but grows over time and each success at controlling others’ undesirable behaviors emboldens the next attempt. And because liberty-minded people are often busy being free and exercising the benefits of that state, they don’t notice for a good long time that liberty is being lost. So when they finally get around to protesting, they’re told “Well, you never said anything the last dozen times, so you should have nothing to say this time around … or ever. We’re doing this for the good of everyone. You just want chaos.”

But there wasn’t chaos back when the US government was small and mostly powerless, so why would there be chaos now?

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