Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Offered, FWIW.

Whether you choose to "vaccinate" or not, or choose to accept additional risk in the from of a booster as the pandemic fades, this is your choice, and your choice alone.

That is what is at stake here with these "mandates", your most fundamental and precious claim to your physical essence itself. 

You are fighting for nothing less than your right to your own self. 

And it is in that spirit that I offer these words for those seeking a path to use the various legal tools strewn around the landscape, in this case, the religious exemptions rooted in the Civil Right Act of 1964's protection from discrimination on religious and other grounds. 

As always, I'm not a lawyer, and this isn't legal advice. It is simply an expression of ethical principle, which may or may not be respected by powers and laws. Ultimately, the degree to which law and ethical  justice diverges is a fascinating metric of the amount of injustice that system generates. 

Without further adieu, and in the hopes of utility:


In light of title VII of the Civil rights act of 1964 and various case law that followed it, the federal government understands “religion” to be a broad category that encompasses theistic and non theistic beliefs, notably “moral or ethical beliefs as to what is right and wrong which are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views.” Government publications on the topic go on to inform us that “beliefs are not protected merely because they are strongly held.” Rather, religion typically concerns “ultimate ideas” about “life, purpose, and death.”.

It is in this context that I declare that I have long and sincerely held, as consistently as humanly possible, a set of highly principled ethics that inform my place in the universe and which guide my life’s choices of action. These ethic’s apex values include absolute ownership of the self, one’s labor, the fruits of one’s labor, justly acquired property, justice, and non aggression. This is a comprehensive framework, which can be described and defended in detail.

The relevant consequence of these ethics is that body autonomy is a non-negotiable value. As the absolute and sole owner of this body, I alone hold ultimate judgment as to its integrity and modification, and reject, as a matter of principle, all attempts to coerce its modification.

Furthermore, operating from that framework, a thoughtful analysis of the facts and conditions of our current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, now fading towards endemic, finds that the narrow circumstances under which an individual’s body autonomy can be justifiably violated do not exist under the common circumstances of ordinary conditions. This analysis leads us to the conclusion that efforts outside of very narrow justifiable circumstances which step past persuasion to coercion (specifically including threats of dismissal from employment ) to induce acceptance of the various substances offered as “vaccinations”, or otherwise described as “protective” to be unethical. 

Accordingly, I claim protection from religious discrimination and demand religious exemption and accommodation in this matter in the name of human rights, human decency, and my own agency.


Friday, August 6, 2021

Summer 2021: Even in the Deepest Blue Bastions, People still fly the Gadsden Flag.

AKA: The antidote to Despair and Hopelessness is Hopeful, Creative Action.

This was a response to some despair that's floating around:


In 2004, yours truly fled from behind enemy lines in the Dark & Oppressive State of NJ to America, settling into suburban Philadelphia. I sometimes fear I didn’t flee far enough. In the intervening years, the cancer has advanced, no crisis has gone to waste, and those enemy lines have rolled up again to my doorstep.

Nonetheless: We’re not dead yet.
They’ll have to literally come to try and kill us for that to happen.

Those of you who remember my blog also remember me warning that we were heading into an era where “all bets are off”.

Ding! We’re there. “All bets are off”. (Shrugs, noting that the sky is still up there, not having fallen.)

We conclude that the mechanisms of governance are tainted and stacked, and that we won’t be voting our way out of this. We also understand that in many places, an asymmetrical environment has been created, wherein the Regime backed Blue adversaries operates nearly at impunity, while anyone Red aligned or otherwise in Opposition operates at considerable legal, social and economic risk.

What, then is to be done? That is the question on everyone’s mind.

The antidote to Despair and Hopelessness is Hopeful, Creative Action. This calls for self leadership, a clear understanding of the scope of one’s rightful action, intelligence, situational awareness, an actionable, creative plan, backed up with good old American gumption.

This call to meaningful, creative action is not a call to violence or stupidity. Precipitous, ill considered action such as the Capitol Incursion of 2021/1/6 played right into the adversary’s hands, who skillfully spun the matter into a public relations coup.

As to specifics, I cannot guide you. I will share, however, some principles:

First: Be decent, honorable and just. Take nothing that is not yours, trade fairly, yield nothing that is yours except that which you give freely or shrewdly.

Next: Understand what is yours, starting with yourself. Comprehend the scope of your own just actions, and your just relationship to your fellow men. Colleague-in-liberty John Lockeson literally wrote a whole book on this subject: The Transcendent Ethics of Liberty. (https://www.amazon.com/Transcendent-Ethics-Liberty-concise-universal-ebook/dp/B08JFX6L87/) Know what your rightful scope of action is, its limits, and what debts you legitimately owe.

Next: Calibrate your boundaries. We can’t care for the whole world, but we can keep our own corner of it in good order.

Next: Form yourself into a whole, complete, moral, balanced and formidable human being capable of selecting and implementing your own agenda in the world. Foster this in yourself, and your children. Select your friends and associates accordingly. Become a power to be both reckoned with, and a pillar to be looked up to. Treat your fellow men with decency and honor, trade with them fairly, and accept no abuse or false claims from anyone.

Next: Always act so as to reserve maximum degrees of independent action. In practical terms, this entails understanding one’s goals, and husbanding the resources necessary to pursue them on your own. Identify allies and adversaries, accumulate a wealth of skills, tools, and supplies necessary for independent living, avoid unnecessary debts and entanglements, and minimize the contours of your “contact surface”, so as to insulate yourself from the adversary’s ability to observe or impede your progress and parasitically feed on you. It may also mean taking more dramatic action, such as seeking new employment or a new place to call home. Live and pursue whatever your values and priorities are in peace.

Ultimately, it is this capacity for independent action, no matter how big or small that daunts our adversaries, and they so thoroughly hate us for it. So: cultivate a lot of that capacity, as much as you can. Accept the hate as an accolade and measure of your puissance. They hate that we can decline their offer of enmeshed social and economic co-dependence, they hate that we the unwilling might not contribute fealty and treasure to their schemes, as they seek to bind their fortunes to our productivity. This explains why they revile the maverick billionaires who build and fly rockets, not for the fact of their wealth, but for their refusal to place that wealth at their disposal.

If you cannot be a splendorous billionaire Prince, then at least be a raggedy one, lord over little but yourself rather than be a thrall to others.

They hate that we do not capitulate and submit.

So don’t.

Above all, act. Act on your own moral authority, for your own enlightened self interest. Do not do the adversary’s work for them by canceling yourself. Be judicious, wise and discrete, but do not censor yourself. Consciously select your values and priorities, and pursue them will all due vigor, manifesting them with skillful and intelligent worldly action.

Paralysis is a natural reaction to fear and uncertainty, and the only time it is adaptive is momentarily, so as to avoid detection while making a plan. One of the tricks one of my gun fighting teachers taught me is that the best way to break paralysis is to take the smallest voluntary action: wiggle a toe, move a finger, blink an eye, and thus bootstrap that small voluntary action to shake off the paralysis.

Take that one small paralysis breaking action today. Make a list. Make a friend. Discretely interview a new potential ally. Hoard some food. Stuff some cash into a pillowcase. Buy some gold and silver and Bitcoin. Inventory your tools. Whatever it is, get on with it.

Perhaps, you might gently call bullshit on someone today. And perhaps, you might make a habit of that, one day after the other. Living freely is a habit, so its best to get on acquiring it now, if you haven’t already.

And remember: With my own eyes this summer, I’ve seen people still flying Gadsden flags in the deepest Blue Bastions, from the lakes of Massachusetts to the hills of NJ, even though their owners know that they’re surrounded and no one is coming to rescue them. They may be surrounded, but those flags tell each other that they are not alone.

We’re Americans. This is who we are. This is what we do.

Because ultimately: Hudson was wrong. (https://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2004/04/hudson-was-wrong-if-youre-just-coming.html)

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Catalog of Frauds: Entry #1: "Structuring Rights as Privileges"

Engineers of various stripe often come up with cook books of patterns, which are more or less standardized solutions to familiar problems. 

Propagandists have their own pattern cookbook. It makes sense to know your adversary's tools. It also makes sense to know your own tools, with which to dismantle such conceptual bombs and render them safe:  The Fallacy Files

Our society has sadly accepted some of these fraudulent propositions as standard, and so it makes sense to catalog them here, in no particular order. 

In this series, we'll examine some of these patterns. 

Structuring the exercise of rights as privileges

This is one of the master patterns, which manifests in any number of ways. 

Precondition: An individual who is not confident in what his rights actually are, where they exist in the hierarchy of rights, why these prerogatives are actually rights to begin with, and what the nature of the just limitation of the exercise of rights is. 

Distinction Between Right and Privilege: Although propagandists encourage sloppy use of language,  "privilege" is not an equally interchangeable synonym for "right", as the words carry important distinctions. A right is a prerogative unconditionally belonging to a person. A privilege is a power belonging to one person, which is granted to another who would not ordinarily have such a power. For example, living in my house is my right, by virtue of my just acquisition of that property. For you, living in my house is a privilege as a guest, granted by me, subject to my good will and your good behavior. 

The Pattern: The exercise of activity X is positioned as a privilege granted by the king/government/society/the Elks club. As a privilege, its exercise is subject to conditions. 

Common Implementation Detail: Some sort of permission slip is considered necessary evidence of the grant of the privilege, the obtaining of which 

The Swindle: This swindle operates simultaneously on several levels. The essential core of it is theft by conversion, in that the primary authority to exercise a right is transferred from the individual who legitimately owns the right to some other entity who claims to be operating as an administrator of the right. A key secondary component is moral confusion regarding what the basis of just limitations on the exercise of a right actually are, as the practical administration of just limitations is the usual stalking horse used to smuggle the premise in, resulting in unjustified limitations of exercise. As to that, there will generally be a hue and cry that "No rights are absolute! There are always limitations! You can't yell 'Fire!' in a movie theater!" This is a clear indication that the person doesn't understand what they are talking about. While it is true that one's limit of the general right of free action stops when it comes to bringing unjustified harm to another party, this does not justify pre-emptive administrative rights by a third party, nor does it justify any other condition outside of that placed upon the exercise of a right. 

The Result:  The rights holder is ultimately transformed from a first class entity operating on its own moral authority to a second class entity supplicating some other source for permission to exercise its own rights.  In the context of humans practically alienated from their own inalienables, it is possible and inevitable to sneak in all manner of unjustified conditions and restrictions without effective objection,

Examples:  Driver's licenses, gun licenses, property purchase permits, passports, and the insidious doctrine of "implied consent", which deserves its own section. All of these activities, travel, owning and carrying the instrumentality of defense, owning property, and so forth are all expressions of fundamental rights. 

"Implied Consent": This is a perfect, pernicious example of smuggling in outrageous conditions. Most (all?) states have some formulation of this doctrine. The chain of logic basically purports that since driving on public roads is a state granted privilege, the state stipulates that by accepting this privilege, it is implied that you consent to invasive searches and sampling of your bodily gasses, fluids and tissues whenever the state deems that you may be operating your vehicle impaired. Should you refuses such invasive sampling, your "privilege" of driving will be revoked, whether you're impaired or not. 

Ethically Superior Remedy: A lot of people will immediately object: "What the hell is wrong with you? Do you WANT people to drive drunk, presenting a menace to the public?" Well, of course I don't. To the extent one authentically exposes the public to the strong likelihood of harm and placing people in jeopardy, one is legitimately acting outside of the scope of one's rights. When operating outside the scope of one's rights, one proportionally forfeits the expectation that one's own rights would be respected, and so it is eminently feasible to stop, inspect, and potentially arrest a driver who is jeopardizing members of the public. We already have ethical structures towards that end, with appropriate safeguards with which to achieve the same results that are pursued under fraudulent premise. 

This is true across the board: when one acts outside the scope of one's legitimate rights, a moral society constructs ethically valid means of pursuing the legitimate ends of assisting the individual in protecting their own rights. Fostering unethical means towards those goals promotes excess, theft of power, weak character in the populace, and creates endless opportunity for rent seeking, graft and corruption. 

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Michael Yon's latest mind dump: Hong Kong — echoes — Organizational Structure Dictates Outcome


I've followed Mike Yon for years. He's a very astute student of humans and their conflicts. 

Like many, he sees dark times ahead. His posts are worth reading for their insight, and his work is worth supporting. 

Hong Kong — echoes — Organizational Structure Dictates Outcome

In the top third of the piece, you can see that he is somewhat stung by the unfounded assertion that because he sees civil war coming, that this is what he wants. Mike Yon's seen enough civil war to know that it's not a good thing, and his cry of the heart is:

>>" I do not want these things to happen. I want to write books and live in peace." 

To which I replied in comments:

Me too. 

So very much this. 

But under what terms? That is the question: under what terms will you be left in peace? Our nation is largely comprised of three factions(1): two are antagonistic, operating under different, mutually exclusive ethical principles(2), and a third whose main principle is beer, BBQ, and sportsball. (Not that there's anything terribly wrong with that, I'm also a huge fan of such things.) 

One of these sets of principles was written down as the basis of our founding documents. The other is literally a foreign invader, a toxic philosophy intentionally weaponized.

Which of these paradigms will prevail in defining the terms under which you will be left in peace? And whichever prevails, what is the correct relationship of a free, autonomous human being to the dominant faction's power structure, no matter how just or unjust it may be?


(1) I discuss these three factions, and their relevance to current events here: https://johnlockeson.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-coup.html 

(2) I discuss these principles in great detail in my book. In the West, the competing ethical principles split can be traced to John Locke vs Jean Jacques Rousseau. As my pen name indicates, I've picked a side. The split ultimately concerns one crucial question: who has the highest claim on your person, time, labor, and property? You? Or some aggregate collective entity characterized as society/nation/government/etc? If the topic interests you, I humbly offer this for your consideration: https://www.amazon.com/Transcendent-Ethics-Liberty-concise-universal-ebook/dp/B08JFX6L87/

Lecture Series: Things of Note #3

 This is the third entry in the lecture series "Things of Note". 

My long time friend and colleague-in-liberty Kevin Baker pulls a great many threads into focus:

Immanentize the Eschaton! 

If it weren't worth reading in its entirety, if would not be featured in Things of Note. 

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Hardened, Resilient Apps

I am occasionally approached by our colleagues in liberty concerning what applications to use that are biased towards protecting our privacy and anonymity.  

I've got some credibility in that department, which is why people approach me. 

When I evaluate such privacy systems, I have four important, practical criteria I use as lenses to view the situation:

  • Does the system use correctly implemented, well vetted strong cryptography of a sort that is likely to fend off an adversary for years, if not decades and centuries?
    • Home brewed crypto is invariably flawed. 
    • Nothing is forever in crypto, eventually, everything falls to brute force. The telling question is how much computing power is available to your adversary, and how much of that is he likely to allocate towards cracking YOUR stuff?
    • Does your content ever appear in the clear on the far end, or anywhere else other than in your own possession or your designated recipient?
  • Are your keys created by you, and only ever available in the clear to you? 
    • Keys you didn't make, or which are held in the clear by others, and the content they encrypt is immediately considered to be compromised. 
  • Can your encrypted content be held defiantly, such that men show up with guns & writs to make off with servers and hard drives are nonetheless thwarted?
    • Most privacy policies are little more than formalized gentlemen's agreements not to share your stuff except with partners, until the men with guns and writs show up. Then they roll over rather than have their data center trashed. 
  • Does the system contain some method of validating the identity of the people you've designated as recipients of your content? How do you know that you're talking to a friend or foe, and not an impersonator or man in the middle?
It's often subtle, sometimes complicated stuff, and few systems check all the boxes. There are, however, some "best of breed" solutions, some of which are for regular users, some of which is for people of geekly persuasion:

Communications: Signal
Mail: Protonmail
Disk Encryption: Veracrypt picked up where TrueCrypt left off, or whatever your OS natively supports (Bitlocker, FileVault2, Linux's built in FDE, etc)
General Cryptography: GPG
Anonymity: Tor, Torbrowser, TAILS 
Geeky armored Operating Systems: Qubes
VM hosts, for disposable images: VirtualBox
Cloud Document Storage: Nextcloud 

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Trillions and Trillions

 When I was a kid, "trillions" was such an unthinkably large number that no one, literally no one even used the word. Affable astronomer Carl Sagan, when describing cosmic distances, would resort to "billions and billions and billions" to describe the mind warpingly large numbers that pertained to the distances between stars and galaxies, only mentioning "trillions" on occasion as something so far beyond the realms as to be on the edge of numeric concept itself, the last measurable stop before "infinity".  

Then, all of a sudden, the word was used, normally in something of a panic by people dismissed as cranks: "There will be a TRILLION DOLLAR national debt if we're not careful!"  

A national debt, of course, being a complete thing accumulated across many years, and even generations of taxpayers. 

And shortly after the cranks were dismissed, the national debt crossed that trillion dollar mark.  A couple years after that, individual annual budgets started adding up to  a TRILLION DOLLARs.

Fast forward to 2021. Nearly multiple trillion dollar figures are now being casually tossed around as budget line items

Where is the clamor? Where is the call for fiscal sanity? 


This tells me things. One is that inflation, which I might mention is a intentional choice implemented by specific policy decisions that are fostered by fiat currencies, has taken a bite out of people's holdings.

The other is that people have become completely numb to large figures of money.

The deeply insidious thing, however, is that the people's relationship to their own property has become distorted and alienated.  The highly productive, taxpaying people of America have lost any sense that this is THEIR property being spent. 

And, of course, the less productive, non taxpaying people of America, which is something like 45% of the population have always had an entirely different, parasitic relationship to that property.

An alienated relationship to one's property is only possible if one has become alienated to one's own very life itself, for your property is the tangible result of your choice of actions, and use of intellect, body, and preciously finite life's time. 

Those TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS are actually not "backed by the full faith and credit of the US government".  They are underwritten by the VERY MINUTES OF YOUR LIVES SPENT ACQUIRING THEM. 

It is the VALUE YOU CREATE that is taken from you and auctioned off. 

You really ought to care. 

Offered, FWIW.

Whether you choose to "vaccinate" or not, or choose to accept additional risk in the from of a booster as the pandemic fades, this...