I Will Not Defend You

I have thought about this for a long time, and I believe it’s necessary to share my thoughts with you, in the interest of education and full disclosure.

First, some background.

I believe that defense of self and others is a ‘natural right’ — a biological imperative, if you will.

Such a fundamental imperative does not require approval from any person or group of persons. No individual or group has the authority to deny me the right to self-defense.

Any limitation on that right is an intolerable infringement.

I will use any tool that I — and I alone — deem essential to enhancing and preserving that right., without restriction, limitation, or infringement by any individual or group. This is the essence of man’s competitive advantage in the animal kingdom.

Now, to the point.

Because these truths stated above are self-evident to me, it is my intent to keep and bear such tools as I consider essential to my environment, regardless of statute or ordinance.

Because there are statutes and ordinances that infringe on my right, I am forced to “break the law” to do so. Lex iniusta non est lex.

Because I put myself in jeopardy — both of liberty and life — by breaking these laws, I am forced to make some hard decisions.

And here’s the nut. As long as we, as citizens, allow such laws to rule us, we live in peril. Because I see no real probability that such laws will be overthrown, we, as citizens, are complicit in their continued unjust execution.

Because I refuse to acknowledge them as just, and as long as I perceive that you generally do, a gulf arises between me and you with regard to my obligations to assist you if you are in peril.

Therefore, I hereby serve notice that, with a few limited exceptions, if you and I find ourselves in a situation where our lives are threatened by criminal act, I will not defend you. As far as I know, you have accepted the servitude that comes with obeying unjust laws without protest or resistance. Therefore, I have no obligation to defend you.

I will instead take every action I am able to protect myself and others I choose to protect, but I will go no further. Until such time as you stand with me in rejecting obedience to governments of those who seek to control you, you are on your own.

I am truly sorry to have to make these decisions, and I pray for your safety. But any other course would be maladaptive.

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Bovine Excrement

So, I read an article here in which

Leah Gunn Barrett, executive director of NYAGV [said] “Our strong gun-safety laws are the reason why New York has the fourth lowest gun death rate in the nation.”

I thought that sounded funny, so I fact-checked it. Here’s what I found: three sources, three different data sets, three different conclusions.


The Kaiser Family Foundation

CBS News

How can this be? Well, it’s simple. Just as with polls, the outcome favors the opinion of the organization which paid for it. I picked these three semi-deliberately, as each might be said to have slightly different views of ground truth. And sure enough, their ‘results’ are widely disparate.

[The lists are interactive, so I did not present or compare conclusions; carve away on your own for deeper insights. I leave it to you, gentle reader, to separate the wheat from the chaff.]

Now had I gone to Bloomberg or the NRA, I’m sure my experience would have been similarly contradictory. And even if you examine peer-reviewed studies, you still have to examine and consider possible bias on the part of the funding agency.

One final note: the Wikipedia article drew their data from FBI reports and the official population data from each state; Kaiser from the CDC; and CBS from the National Center for Health Statistics — for whatever that’s worth. Goodness knows where Leah Gunn Barrett drew her data.

Trust, but verify, as we used to say in the trade.

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Blogs I follow [list updated periodically, now trimmed considerably, due more to reader bloat than objection to content]:

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Just What Are “Rights”?

There’s a lot of talk about “rights” on both sides of the fence these days, and all over the farm as well. In fact, “rights” seem to be as numerous as pasture pies on a cattle ranch. So I (in my infinite lack of both wisdom and discretion), have taken upon myself the task of sorting out what we mean by “rights” — not so much from a philosophical viewpoint as from a practical one.

Here’s how I understand it: by “right”, we mean nothing more than the personal power to act in a certain way, regardless of law or custom. “Rights”, then, supersede the laws and rules of man. By this strict interpretation, there are really very few actual “rights”. Chief among these is the right to life. It is simple biological logic that an entity must do what is necessary to survive immediate threat to life; i.e. all organisms have a biological imperative to actively defend themselves against the threat of assault, enslavement, and death. (In this view, the right to liberty is a subset of the right to life.)

Each organism possesses tools — organic or otherwise — that improve or enhance its ability to defend itself. Man, lacking the embedded physical attributes necessary for self-defense, has developed both the wits and the tool-making skills that enhance not only his survival skills, but also his ability to become dominant in his environment. While far from perfect, these skill sets are all that stand between man the primate and an abruptly truncated branch on the old mammalian family tree.

These days we hear all kinds of people saying that no right is absolute. I believe these people are thinking of what I have to call “legal rights”, rather than “natural rights”. It should be clear to any sentient being that the right to life as described above is not only absolute, but is immune to any kind of infringement. And because of this, certain tools wielded by man are so essential to his survival that the right of self-defense (the right to life) accrues to them by extension.

To “infringe” on a right is to impair it, through any means, be it direct or indirect. Rulers (aka slavers) understand that power, however gained, is nothing more than control of individual rights. And any form of control of individual rights must, of necessity, infringe on them. This is the dilemma for libertarians. They cannot be minarchists without accepting infringement. Yet the NAP (or, as L. Neil Smith prefers, ZAP) does not allow such. So the Libertarian Party finds itself organizationally hoist by its own petard.

Some common examples of rights are found in the first ten amendments to the US Constitution. The litmus test for whether or not something is a right is to ask oneself if the right benefits oneself without infringing on the exercise of the rights of others.

Regardless of one’s belief system, individual rights are, by definition, adaptive and necessary for survival. The biological imperative for defense of self is self-evident, and any attempt to limit its efficiency is maladaptive. Any “reasonable” being understands that instinctively, and any argument to the contrary is not only faulty on its face, but speaks loudly to the ultimate ulterior motive — that of “control” of others. And such control is clearly slavery.

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We subscribe to the near-local coupon clipper, aka The Winston-Salem Journal (hereafter abbreviated as WSJ). Small town paper it may be, but it is firmly embedded in the ass crevice niche commonly referred to as the “Mainstream Media”.

I have commented on articles (through their chosen online medium – Facebook) for some time under my real name with no repercussions. But lately, I got froggy, and decided to create a Facebook page called “Winston-Salem Journal Watchdog”, mostly to segment that particular set of posts, such that those friends who wanted them could have them, and those friends who couldn’t care less weren’t burdened with them. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I ‘borrowed’ the WSJ logo and printed “Watchdog” over it, to use as my profile picture [not shown here for reasons which will become obvious], and I named the page “Winston-Salem Journal Watchdog“.


Not too much later, I got a message from

Jason P. Snyder
Intellectual Property Manager
BH Media Group Inc.

‘reaching out to me’ to advise that

“[n]o written permission has been granted to use the Winston-Salem Journal’s name and logo in this manner” and further advising me that “I [Jason, that is] am authorized to act on behalf of the Winston-Salem Journal to protect its intellectual property.”

Okay, I sort of understand. Without getting into the highly controversial nature of “intellectual property”, I can see why the WSJ would want to make sure that I do not speak for them, and that use of their logo might lead unthinking low-information average readers  to believe that they were reading pithy comments from WSJ staff. I did, however balk a little at their name being intellectual property that could not be used (though I believe I have correctly deciphered their actual intent).

And so, I replied:

“I have replied to your oblique request, in spite of my objections, in the interest of polite opposition. I would, however, be curious to know if the city granted permission to BH Media Group to use their “intellectual property” – i.e. “Winston-Salem”. Oh, and how the word “journal”, ubiquitous in common usage, could be considered your group’s intellectual property. But I suppose I beg the question, even as I think you also do. Regardless, I hope you’re satisfied with my changes. Keep calm and lawyer on.”

I changed the name of the page to “Winston-Salem ‘Urinal’ Watchdog“, and changed the profile picture to this:


And so, all was well in the kingdom.


I made comments on several articles – all cogent, well-reasoned and structured, polite, on point, and not the least bit derogatory … except perhaps by implication, I suppose. After all, the point was to criticize the way the paper presents their own distorted view of what is news, what is important, and what is the ground truth.

Apparently, that (or the Urinal reference – hardly original, that) or something else, kept the fire ants stirred up. In less than 24 hours, all of my comments had been ‘disappeared’. As near as I can tell, mine were the only ones missing. Since I seriously doubt that I represented much of a threat to the stink bugs of the newsroom, I have to conclude that this was a prime example of an alleged bastion of free speech using their super-villain abilities to quash the still small voice of the Watchdog.

If I thought I’d had any effect, I’d be proud. But, as it is, I think it’s just another sign of the times (which, not coincidentally, is the name of my other Facebook page, which is not nearly as polite but which hasn’t drawn the ire of those who hang around the Urinal.

Watchdog: https://www.facebook.com/WSJWatchdog

Sign of the Times: https://www.facebook.com/LiberTarHeel?ref=hl

My Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JCTaylor48

* * *

UPDATE: after my comments as the new and improved Watchdog were deleted, I made several comments under my own name, pointing out that the Watchdog would like to comment on the referenced article, but the WSJ was deleting the Watchdog’s posts. All the posts under my own name to that effect were also immediately deleted. Free speech, my asterisk! Firsthand evidence that all mainstream media “news” is micro managed, even in sleepy little Southern college towns with big city aspirations.

* * *

UPDATE (April 13, 2013): I am now banned from submitting comments on WSJ articles, either as myself or as my “Watchdog” page. I only wish I had the resources and/or allies to fight this.

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“A well-regulated Militia”

In the discussion of the Second Amendment, critics of freedom persist in the grammatical distortion of tying the preceding dependent clause to the succeeding independent clause, as if the only “people” having a right to keep and bear arms are the “well-regulated militia”. To pile error on top of error, they further infer that “well-regulated” means ‘infringed by legal code’ rather than ‘trained and proficient’, as per original intent.

These two points have been well-addressed by numerous writers, sadly to no avail. It appears impossible to make the message stick as long as freedom haters maintain control over mainstream mass communication. We must rely on the web to destroy that failed existing institution, and provide the open discussion to which the proponents of tyranny pay such false lip service.

One additional note, that tends to be submerged in the chatter about the Second Amendment, is that the “well-regulated militia” phrase implies a force of trained and prepared citizens controlled within the states (not controlled by the feral [sic] government), called to action as necessary to defend the united states. A standing [federal] army is, in fact, proscribed, as is, by extension, federal law enforcement, ‘homeland security’, and federal ‘emergency management’ troops.

The National Guard, as originally conceived, was to be the ‘organized’ component of the militia, again controlled within the states. [The closely-related creation of the post-Reconstruction Posse Comitatus Act and the Compromise of 1877 is a topic worthy of separate discussion.] The citizen voluntary force (id est the ‘unorganized militia’) was to comprise the bulk of the militia forces. Its members were to keep and bear personal arms suitable for military purposes, and were to be ready on short notice to defend the united states from attack.

If we’re going to have a discussion on the right to keep and bear arms, we’re going to have to agree on the correct definition of the terms and concepts.

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“Them” Are All Conservatives Now

Some of us still see our political paradigm as left versus right, or liberal versus conservative or even Democrat versus Republican. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. In today’s society, it is just us versus them.

Eisenhower had it right, but didn’t phrase it properly. It’s not the military-industrial complex, exactly. It’s the government-corporate complex. Included in ‘them’ are the military, the executive/legislative/judicial federal unholy trinity, the corporations that enable them in return for favors, and the complicit state bureaucracies that feed off federal largess. That’s the “them“.

The “us” is all the citizen dupes, of every shape and flavor. Oh yes, we’re indoctrinated to think that we’re diverse, but we’re not. We’re all frogs in the pot, as it were. And the temperature continues to rise.

We’re encouraged to rant and rave about the differences between you and me to disguise the fact that the real differences lie, hand in fisted glove, between the ones who control and the ones who allow themselves to be controlled.

The only true conservative in our society is the individual with power, who seeks, before all else, to retain the status quo ante, holding out against all opposing forces. Said individual is neither  left versus right, or liberal versus conservative or Democrat versus Republican. No, that individual is a person to whom we have granted authority, in the mistaken belief that the power we give them will be applied to serving us.

Power does not serve; it controls. We should have realized that granting the authority to speak for us is fundamentally different from granting the authority to think for us. And until we make that distinction clear, hold our alleged public servants accountable to that distinction, and remember how to think for ourselves and govern ourselves, we will remain slaves to the only true conservatives in America.

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