Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Hipochritsmas All My Evil Cohorts MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!


Does it strike anyone else as funny that so many "Christians", that went to church yesterday, will tonight dress their children up as witches and devils and ghosts and monsters and aliens and all other manner of scary things and take them to cheesy haunted houses and shopping malls to walk around and beg for free candy that could be poisoned for all they know? And all this in observance of a Pagan holiday with Satanic roots steeped in witchcraft? But they won't let their kids read Harry Potter books? Or collect Pokemon cards? Because they're evil? Hmmmmm?

And they say I'm a bad parent because I burned the purple Telletubbies. ;) Jerry Falwell made me do it.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

We Get To Go Hunting Some More, YEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAAAAW!


Considering the fact that today was completely devoid of any good old fashioned cuttin' and guttin' and killin' and grillin', we will fortunately be planning another hunt for next weekend. Didn't think I was gonna get it all over with so soon, did ya?

We did everything right, I think. We got up long before sunrise, loaded our crap in the truck, arrived at my friend Brian's house in Columbus about 10 minutes before legal shooting time, positioned ourselves in the area where he had scouted out a little 3 point muley the morning before with a good view in all directions, and. . . . . . nothing. We did see a rabbit, but it ran under a bush before I could shoot it, with my camera that is, too early in the year to eat rabbits, friggin fleas, we'll wait till it snows, then, say yer prayers wabbit.

We covered his dad's entire place and saw exactly nothing, oh well, the day is young right?





So we went here. Pretty ain't it? This is up on West Bridger Creek. Worth the drive just for the view, which is a good thing because it sure as hell isn't worth the drive for the hunting. Great place for a walk, a long walk, uphill, both ways, no deer, no elk, no bears, at least not that we saw, there were probably hundreds hiding in all that darn timber laughing like crazy at us, we saw their tracks, they're still there, all of them, still laughing too, bastards. Darn pretty though, now why didn't I bring my 4 wheeler? Still darn pretty, places like this are the reason I'm still alive, every time I go somewhere like this, it adds another year to my life, really. That's why I go to places like this, I need all the help I can get. This is what it looks like behind me.






This is why I love Montana. This is why I hunt. This is why I go 4 wheeling. This is why I find myself unable to entirely hate tree huggers. Did I mention that I love Montana?

Wanna know why there weren't no critters? They were all down below where there's food, and water, and a nice neighborhood of animal rights activists, and not even the get naked and chain themselves to a pole good looking blonde type animal rights activists either, which sucks, to buy up all of the property adjacent to the Forest Service land and set it aside so that all of the deer can grow and multiply and do cutesy little deer things together until all of the drought starved grass is all eaten up and they all starve to death and lay on the ground and rot. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside doesn't it?

Oh well, their property, their rules, but they can't stop me from shooting from the road, not with my camera anyway. . . . . .




These were all does anyway, can't shoot mule deer does here even if they weren't on private property, can't shoot mule deer does anywhere that we went today, which is really strange. I've been hunting around Columbus since High School and this is the first year I know of when mule deer does were off limits. Oh well, FWP makes the rules.

The bucks were all downstream about a half mile, 4 beautiful white tails on one side of the road, 2 muleys on the other, get them together with all these hussies running around and it should make for good hunting next year anyway. I was so busy fuming about all the orange fence posts that were quite frankly destroying my enjoyment of nature, that I forgot that I had my camera in my pocket, so I didn't get any pics of the boys. Don't call me a liar, I've got witnesses. I hope all those deer eat the animal righters out of house and home, serve em right.

See, I can find the deer, just not the legal ones. Friggin PETA, if we're not supposed to eat animals, then why are they made out of meat? PETA=People Eating Tasty Animals, I'm a member. huh, huh, huh, I said member.


So we went to Big Timber and ate a lousy chicken fried steak, cost 7 bucks, and it was the special, not very special at all, I used to get twice as much at Charlie Brown's on Fridays at lunch time for 3 bucks, do they still have the lunch specials on Fridays? Damn it's been a long time since I had a normal job. Damn it's been a long time since I've been to Charlie Brown's. Damn it's been a long time since I shot a deer, back to hunting.

We spent a little more time up at Bridger creek than we'd planned, so instead of trying to find a spot in the Big Timber area, we decided that Brian would make some calls this week and try to have something set up for next weekend so we could really get serious, loads of gorgeous and tasty white tails in them parts, I know, Brian shot one last year, he shared, that's why he's my 2nd best friend, my wife's my best friend, she can do things for me that Brian can't do, like cook deer steak, pervert.

So we heads back to Columbus, to Brian's dad's place. It's not a gigantic place, 160 acres, but it sure is nice. I'd commented earlier in the morning about how his dad's land wasn't exactly a paradise for horn hunters, but I sure had taken a lot of meat out of there over the years, and seen quite a few friends do the same. Not enough to deplete the population, just one or two a year, deer that is, there ain't no limit on rabbits, they reproduce fast, at least that's what I've heard, pervert.

So we're making our way up this wide draw when we see a flock of turkeys down in the bushes and making their way toward the fence. Usually, for some reason, when we see turkeys there's deer nearby. It's like the turkeys follow the deer, Brian thinks it's because turkeys like deer shit, that explains why wild turkeys taste so terrible, which explains why I don't eat wild turkeys.

Shittles ~ Taste the Asshole

So we look a little further up the hillside and sure enough, there's a muley doe, can't shoot muley does, and she's on the other side of the fence, PETA, are you starting to see a pattern here? No one has a turkey tag, is turkey season even open? I don't know, I don't eat 'em, so I don't shoot 'em, don't even know when the season is. Don't really care. Why did I like hunting again? I forgot. Oh well, they can't stop me from shooting muley does on a PETA preserve, or turkeys without a tag, not with my camera anyway.



So, just on the off chance that this little girl was scouting out the situation for her boyfriend, we quietly got the heck out of there and took the long way around up to a high hilltop where we could see this hillside and everything in between it and Brian's dad's dam. It's spring fed and has water in it pretty much year round so it's a popular hang out for deer about sundown. When we got up top she was still on the hillside, laying down nice and comfy between a couple of bushes, and she had a friend, another doe, and they were still on the wrong side of the fence, anybody got a camera with a big assed zoom lense that they want to trade for a Ruger Mark II .300 Win. Mag. ? So we wait.

That little speck in the middle is actually two muley does, about 500 yards away, on the wrong side of the fence, in an area where you can't shoot muley does, but you can barely see them because my camera doesn't have a big enough zoom. They didn't look much better through the binoculars, they were still does, and they were still on the wrong side of the fence.

So we're sitting there waiting for these deer to get up and start moving toward the dam, which we figure they'll do as it gets a little closer to dark. Brian quietly gets out of the truck to take a leak, I told you I'd never let you live this down dude, I'm just glad you don't have a computer so at least you don't have to read about it on the internet, he's getting back in the truck, loses his balance for a second, and somehow lands. . . . . . . right on the horn button.

Have you ever noticed how mule deer have really big ears? They work. . . really good. They can hear the horn on a Chevy pickup from 500 yards away. . . upwind. . . up about a 40 mph wind. . . and they didn't like what they heard. They got up and ran. . . away.

The whole time we were sitting there watching them I had this feeling that there was another deer behind one of those bushes, we couldn't see it, but I just had a feeling that there was another one. There was, but it was a doe too, we got a good look, as they all ran away over the hill, does anyone want to be my new 2nd best friend? We never did see the little 3 point. Anyone that would honk the horn and scare all of the deer away just might have been making up that story about the 3 point. I think Brian might have joined PETA, the animal rights one, hmmmm. There's an old Indian word for guys that honk the horn and scare all the deer away ~ vegetarian.

I'll still be giving him shit about it when we're taking our grandkids out hunting for their first deer, we'll all get plenty more laughs in the meantime too, so it was worth it. Oh well, at least now we get to go hunting again next weekend, but if we take Brian's truck, I'm unplugging the horn.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Find Out If You're As Cool As Me. . .

If you think you're cool, go take this test and find out for sure. I've found it to be a very accurate test indeed, I agreed with my results entirely. ;)

NOW They Tell Me. . .

I just checked the FFOR website a day or two ago and nothing, this must be a new developement. I know I said I'd be there for the next volunteer day, but I already promised my son we were going hunting Sunday, a little more notice would be nice next time folks.



Shepherd Ah Nei OHVArea
Volunteers Needed!!!
On Sunday October 30th, 2005 the BLM Billings Field Office needs volunteers to assist with the installation of Carsonite trail marking signs and perform trail maintenance on a few selected trails at the Shepherd Ah Nei Motorized Recreation Area.
The work will begin at 9:00AM and will require a couple of hours to complete,
depending upon the number of volunteers. Please bring a shovel and work gloves.
Your help to maintain our riding area is appreciated.
This work we do to make improvements or maintenance of our area will be very influential in keeping Ah Nei open for motorized use for years to come.
For questions please contact:
Lynn Anderson
Outdoor Recreation Planner
BLM, Billings Field Office
(406) 896-5248 (5281 fax)
Or
Carl Siroky
www ffor.org
698-2327
Shepherd Ah Nei OHV Area Information Line 896-5014
Families For 0utdoor Recreation.
Working hard for family recreation on our public land
WWW.FFOR.ORG

Once again, any help will be appreciated.

I'm off to try to kill something tomorrow, hopefully a hunting story tomorrow, complete with dead animal pics.

Don't touch that dial. . .

Comments Needed On Castle Mountains Travel Plan

THIS WAS JUST FORWARDED TO ME BY A FRIEND OF MINE, ANY HELP WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. . .

This past Friday Kent Forrester and I took Doug Dodge, the ranger in charge at Harlotown on a ride in the Castle Mountains. We concentrated on trails that have been designated for closure under the new travel plan and trails that we would like to see opened for ATV use in the future. The weather didn't look to good when we left Billings but turned out to be a perfect day for a ride. I feel it was well worth the trip as Dodge was able to see for himself that if some of the proposed closures are allowed to stand there will be no legal access without going thru private land to the south side of the Castles Mountains.

Dodge enjoyed himself and promised to contact White Sulfur on our behalf on one of the trails in their district that we feel should be open to ATV traffic and agreed to keep an open mind on trails under his control. Kent and I offered our club's help in fixing some of the trouble spots along the trails we are requesting to remain open. This is the second ride that Dodge has accompanied representatives from our club, the first being in the Little Belts. This has given him the opportunity to see not only how the trail systems connect in his district, but what small amount of resource damage has occurred over the years from motorized use even without maintenance for the most part on the trails and roads by the Forest Service.

It is now up to us to supply the Forest Service with written comments supporting the decisions we wish to be made on the new travel plan. Again mark your calendars for Tuesday November 8th as that is when we will be filling out travel plan comments. We will be at the Knight of Columbus Hall at 2216 Grand Avenue from 3 pm to 10 pm and will have all the maps and materials needed on site. Depending on how busy we are it should only take fifteen minutes of your time to get the required paperwork filled out. Tell everyone you know about this opportunity to help in formulating the new travel plan for the Little Belts, Castle, and Crazy Mountains.

Tom Parker
President
Treasure State ATV


Treasure State ATV Association is a great bunch of people, I've ridden with them before and I can attest that these folks are excellent stewards of the lands they use. They promote RESPONSIBLE recreation, and they will volunteer in force to help with trail maintenance and improvements. These are definately not the enemies of the environment that groups like the Sierra Club would like you to believe they are. Please make the time to let the Forest Service know that you support opportunities for motorized recreation, unless you don't support motorized recreation, in that case what the heck are you doing reading this?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Busy Bringin' Home the Bacon, I Haven't Forgot About Ya!


Working pretty steady this week, not a lot of time to dump my brain onto the ol' blog for you all to see, but I'll try to come up with something worth reading this weekend latest.

Nasty crash just East of Bozeman last night, closed the road down all night. I had to take off about 10:30 and go round up dropped trailers in Big Timber and Livingston and run them up to Butte via White Sulpher and Townsend, the scenic route. Can't pull triples on two lane roads so I was off to the rescue.

It sucks being the low man on the totem pole again, it's been a long time since I was waiting for a phone call every night to see if I was working, but oh well, gotta start somewhere I guess. At least I'm getting paid well for it, and I'm working with a great bunch of guys. I wish I would've gotten this job 10 years ago, then I'd be somewhere now, instead of starting over at the bottom.

Such is life I guess, I try to be thankful for what I have, instead of worrying about what I don't, and I am one thankful guy. I've definitely had a few bad times, but nothing in comparison to some people. I hope that everyone has a good day, I'm going to bed. See ya when I've got the time. Later all.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

ATV Riding Hoodlum Spotted at Ah Nei!




So anyway, Monday, my wife and I decided to take a little ride out to the Shepherd Ah Nei Recreation Area and snap a few pics of the recent improvements for my blog. I must say that we were not disappointed. While it did suck moderately that we couldn't take the quads along and explore a little more thoroughly we did enjoy a nice walk together. Gotta get that damned trailer finished.

The first thing we noticed was the ongoing effort to improve the area for all who might plan on using it. A road grader was making the rounds of the parking lot and upon seeing us drive up and start snapping pictures the operator came over and very cordially asked if we had any questions and if there was anything he could help us with.



He very proudly pointed out the new information kiosk containing a map and a summary of the rules for the area, he also pointed out the new fences and gates that were erected in order to enforce the width restriction for the area and I must say, they look good. While there are some people who are absolutely determined to break the rules just because they are there, driving into this area with anything other than a motorcycle or ATV will be extremely difficult thanks to the efforts of the BLM and the off road community volunteers that helped with improvements, I only regret that I wasn't part of it. As much as I would've liked to help out, it's difficult to work all night and then build fences and shovel dirt all day, I know, no excuse, next time there's a volunteer day I'll make a serious effort to be there.

I also regret that I did not get the fellow's name, I don't know if he would have wanted me to use it on my blog anyway, but since he was so kind and helpful I feel obligated to mention it, in other words, he knows who he is. Thank you sir, you are doing a wonderful job, keep up the good work. It's great to know that in an age when people like me unfortunately tend to make the assumption that the government is always against us, that there are still government agencies that are trying to balance the interests of everyone, and quality employees like yourself that are going above and beyond the call of duty to insure that our favorite form of recreation remains legal, safe, and legitimate. People like this guy are the reason I haven't invented a shovel that stands up by itself yet, there are still some government employees that deserve their jobs.








This is one of the improvements we observed. It's unfortunate that there are still people who need to be reminded of the rules but in this case, there's no excuse for not knowing them, they are clearly posted for all to see.

None of the rules on the list are overly restrictive, most of them regard the usual fare, stay on the trails, respect other users, observe trail closures ect., but I was happy to see that rules regarding the maximum noise level allowed and also the requirement for a USFS approved spark arrestor were posted in plain sight. Both are just good common sense but there's always people around that don't have any common sense so I was glad to see that the BLM removed all question. While the noise restriction, I believe, is a relatively new development especially important at Ah Nei due to recent happenings, the requirement for an approved spark arrestor has been around far longer than ATVs themselves. Off road motorcycles have been factory equipped with them for decades due to the fact that they are, and have been for a long time, required for operation on public lands but some people out of defiance or ignorance or both insist on removing them.

I admit, moderate power gains can be achieved by the removal of a spark arrestor, but it's simply not worth the risk of starting a fire. While I have never, in all my years of involvement with motorcycles and ATVs, observed sparks coming from the exhaust, one can never be too careful when it involves the risk of fire. I don't want to ride through a field of charred treestumps, neither does anyone else. Still some people insist on running race pipes on their trail machines, fine on private property, but if we are going to preserve our ability to enjoy trails on public lands we all have to step up to the plate and be responsible.

Most manufacturers of high performance exhaust also make pipes for trail use that feature USFS approved spark arrestors and reduced noise levels. Many manufacturers make clamp on extensions for their race pipes that make them legal for trail use, the best of both worlds, maximum power when it is appropriate, fire protection and reduced noise emissions when operating on public land, all the while gaining performance over the factory system. More noise does not result in more power, if that was the case no one would be buying $400 pipes for their machines, they would just cut the muffler off for free.

Be responsible, and do your part. This land belongs to everyone so let's be respectful not only to our fellow users but also to the property owners in the area. If they still try to shut us down we can always pull the baffles out of our pipes and go do donuts in their driveways later. I'll even lead the parade, now that's volunteerism for ya.






This system of colored dots is another great addition to the area. Simple, green - go, red - no go, green and yellow - go but be careful, can't get much simpler than that. If you're color blind, don't worry, the closed trails have the markers in the middle and are obviously closed, the ones that are open have the markers alongside. Anyone caught on the wrong trail really doesn't have any excuse except that they were obviously trying to ruin it all for the rest of us. I wonder if the Sierra Club and similar groups employ people to do just that? Wouldn't that make an interesting expose if I could find proof? Hmmmm. . . .

The picture above represents the main reason why myself and many others were very hopeful that Ah Nei would somehow reopen someday.

The area above, immediately adjacent to the parking area and marked with the white painted posts shown here, is clearly posted with a 5 mph speed limit. This area is reserved for beginning riders only. While I usually prefer to ride in more challenging and remote mountain areas these areas do not lend themselves to a learning curve, the chances for someone getting hurt because they don't know what they're doing are just too great in areas with steep, rocky grades and treacherous drop offs.

An area like Ah Nei is the perfect place to take anyone from your small child to your recently retired parents and show them the ropes regarding off road riding. I'm really looking forward to taking my wife riding out here, I observed many trails that she could easily negotiate, and therefore build the confidence and experience necessary to perhaps tackle some of the more difficult mountain trails. Hats off to the person that thought up the idea of the kid's and beginners area, great job.


Oh yeah, I almost forgot, I promised to tell you all about the interesting person we chatted with at Ah Nei. (Yeah right, I've been waiting far more anxiously than all of you people who are probably really pissed at me now for keeping you in suspense just for another 4 wheeling story)

As my lovely wife and I were getting in the truck to leave, a nice looking young lady on an ATV came over the hill from the interior of the use area and proceeded across the parking lot to her pickup. I thought perhaps I could snag a picture and maybe even ask a few questions regarding what she had observed since we really hadn't had much time to snoop around.

When we arrived at her truck we struck up a conversation immediately about our individual takes on public land use issues and the like and found that we had similar views on the matter. I figured that she was a BLM employee since I had observed the government license plates on her truck but I was surprised to learn that she was none other than Lynn Anderson, Recreation Coordinator for the BLM Billings Field Office.

We had a friendly chat about some of the events that led up to the much anticipated reopening of Ah Nei and also some of the plans for the future. She told us how impressed she was with everyone's behavior on the extremely busy opening weekend and how the very few individuals who did violate the rules were quickly corrected, not by fines or police or BLM staff, but by other users who are determined that this area will be cared for properly, and remain open. That spirit of self policing is what will keep this sport viable in the future. With this lady at the helm, Ah Nei is going to be a first class riding area for a long time to come.

I have to admit my lack of involvement in the entire Ah Nei affair, I am probably the only member of the Billings off road community that wouldn't have recognized Lynn on sight, but I also have to admit that in my usual pessimistic fashion when Ah Nei was initially closed I immediately assumed that it was closed forever so other than the occasional web search for the latest info I was largely not involved in the whole process. Lynn is an enormous part of the reason why it wasn't, closed forever. This self described motorhead wanted a place to ride just as bad as everyone else did, and she really went to bat for us to see to it that the complaints of the few didn't ruin the recreation of many. Lynn is a top level nice person, very cordial and approachable, and, in my opinion, a perfect spokesperson for all offroaders.

It also doesn't hurt that she doesn't fit any of the stereotypes of the typical dirt biker or ATV rider. While many assume that all off roaders are overgrown adolescent boys hell bent on destroying all things natural, Lynn proves that the offroad community is a diverse group of not only hell raising kids and beer guzzling rednecks, but even strong and independent career women approaching middle age. I'm looking forward to meeting up with Lynn on the trails hopefully someday soon, if I can catch her that is.

See Lynn, I told you I wouldn't say anything bad about you. ;)


Monday, October 24, 2005

You Wouldn't Believe Who I Talked To Today. . .

The Mrs. and I ended up taking a little drive out to Shepherd this morning and were lucky enough to run into a very interresting individual. Usually if it wasn't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all but today was an exception to the rule. Stay posted and as soon as I get a chance I'll let you all know what happened. This is fun, now I kinda know how a "real" reporter must feel.

Don't touch that dial.

All's Well That Ends Well

Joe and I are playing nice again, for now anyway. Tony and I kissed and made up, not literally but you get the idea. It's a beautiful day outside and since I don't have to be to work until tonight I think I'll go spend a little time with my lovely wife. I'd like to take her out to Ah Nei and do a little 4 wheeling together but since I still haven't got my trailer finished I don't have any way to haul both machines at the same time unless we take both trucks, thanks to King George's oil buddies and their enormous profits of late, that isn't going to happen.

I hope that everyone checked out Tony's post from last night. Man, that Garver handed that one over on a silver platter, I'm anxious to see how bad everyone else tore him apart. That guy is the friggin poster child for the reason why politicians lie, honesty is definitely not the best policy for a guy like that. Considering everything else that's happened regarding the Billings city government, however, I wouldn't be surprised if he won by a landslide, Billings always has been run by morons, why should anything change now? Go check it out, if you laugh half as hard as I did your day will be better for you having read it. The whole thing just makes me glad I don't live in the city limits, but then again if I did at least I could vote for Tussing. If I ever run for office I'll have to talk to Tony first to see if I can get Stella's endorsement, nevermind the fact that Tussing is the better man for the job hands down, Stella was the one that convinced me. ;)

Well, I'm off to spend some quality time with the Mrs., and to think, I didn't even have to go to church to find her. Enjoy.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Nobody Loves Me, Everybody Hates Me, I Guess I'll Go Eat Worms, I Mean My Shorts


OK, once again I guess I have gone over the top. As I was pounding that post through the top of my desk I was thinking to myself, "Don't do it, stop and think about this, you're smart enough to come up with something better, don't give in to this guy's obvious attempts to piss you off, this is exactly what he wants," but did I listen to the little voices in my head? Nope. About the little voices more on that later. ;) Hell I even offended Tony, and he was the last person I was trying to offend. I figured that if anyone would see my point it would be him. Wrong again.

Simple fact is this, I am not now, never have been, and probably never will be a master debater, (don't say that too fast or it sounds naughty), I just know what I believe and I know that I believe such very strongly. I am not stupid enough to think that I can change anyone's mind, nor is anyone likely to change mine. Come up with some valid points that prove that my point of view is wrong and maybe I'll change my mind, I've done it before. As far as me changing anyone else's mind is concerned, not likely, but I'm really good at preaching to the choir. ~insert large sarcasm flag here~

Wasn't all that long ago in the wake of the assault rifle ban and the Monica Lewinski scandal that I was a raging Republican. I never really believed in all of the GOP's principles but I was just so fed up with the gun control, the radical environmentalism, and the fact that someone as homely as Bill Clinton was getting blown under his desk and I wasn't that I just needed to see the Democrats lose.

When King George got the tax cuts passed, I was a raging B*shmonkey, (say what you want about the Bush tax cuts only affecting the rich, I'm definitely not rich, they put about $3000 a year back in my pocket).

When King George managed to push through the travesty that is the Patriot Act, I began to question things.

When King George attacked Afghanistan I was suspicious, but being the obviously irrational person that I am, I, like most Americans at the time, was hell bent that somebody needed to pay for Sept. 11.

When King George deciced to expand his growing empire into Iraq, that's what did it for me. Bye bye B*shmonkey.

Now after being disenfranchised by a major world wide massive colossal make America look like a bunch of dumbasses to the entire world type of flub up by the Republicans, (a lot of Democrats supported that war in the beginning too, don't let 'em bullshit ya), what is a former sort of half assed Republican to do?

Easy, one day I just happened to stumble across a name that almost fit the the position that I had held since childhood, Libertarian. Since childhood? Yep, since childhood. My father has always held the belief that both political parties were equal, both worthy of sweeping the floor of the senate chambers but little else, but he seldom talked about his political views when I was growing up so I didn't get my ideas from him.

The event that did it for me was the passage of the Montana seat belt law. I remember as a child of maybe 10 years of age, feeling a great foreboding, knowing at that point that freedom in this country was a mere illusion. I mean, how could this happen? I had been learning about real Americans since I started school, people like Thomas Jefferson, and Ben Franklin, and George Washington. I had been learning about how these people risked their lives in a war against all odds to see to it that we would always have the freedoms that they had held so dear, yet right here in America, not in the Soviet Union, but right here in America the government was crossing the line between the good of society as a whole, and what they perceived as the good of the individual.

Even as we discussed the matter in 6th grade Social Studies I could not understand how such a law could ever see the light of day in a "free" country. The fact that other kids in the class, (whether making up their own minds or parroting the comments of their parents), were speaking just as lowly of this new affront to liberty as I was was just confirmation for me, all that stuff we had learned about the Constitution and the revolution and the Declaration of Independence was now worthless, thrown out the window by a bunch of dillusional politicians.

That's the way I've felt ever since, so if I get a little fired up when somebody throws something in my face in an attempt to convince me that a socialist system with the government making decisions for us is the best way to go, I apologize. However, had no one ever gotten fired up about such things we wouldn't be having this discussion, and we wouldn't have had to waste all of that time in school learning about Thomas Jefferson, and Ben Franklin, and George Washington because they never would have done anything noteworthy for us to learn about. Keep that in mind, some great things have been born out of irrational acts, this country being one of them.

Tony, if you take offense to my generalizations about "liberals", I apologize. I am not stupid enough to believe that all liberals are in favor of the things that I spouted, I was only referring to the official platforms of the Democratic Party, but I didn't specify that and I'm sorry. When I'm referring to "liberals", I'm referring to those who believe the best solution to any problem is the "liberal" application of government. I have no problem whatsoever with free thinking individuals that may or may not disagree with me, I only have a problem with anyone who believes that it is the responsibility of society to support them or their offspring when their sometimes too free thinking ways backfire. That is what I was referring to, not the act of being a liberal in general. What I said was also in response to someone else making generalizations about Libertarians, two wrongs don't make a right, I'll try not to fall in that trap again, thank you for the constructive criticism. Next time I'll just call him an asshat, I don't care if I offend asshats. ;)

Now, having enjoyed a delicious meal of shorts ala mode, (you didn't expect me to eat 'em plain did you?), which was very hard to swallow, what with them being shorts and all and also with my foot in my mouth along with them, I imagine that I am now back down to 1 reader, maybe two if Joe doesn't give up on me. For the both of you I promise to try harder in the future, but if there is anyone out there who hasn't ever gotten pissed off about something and maybe even said something they didn't entirely mean out of anger alone, then I will eat. . . . . . . strawberry shortcake.

The porcupines Justin, just think about the cute little porcupines and count to 10. . . . . . .


Go Figure

“Unlike hikers who noisily announce their presence to nearby bears, hunters move quietly through the forest in hopes of getting close to wildlife. Unfortunately, sometimes the wildlife they get close to turns out to be a grizzly bear,” Heidi Godwin, of the Sierra Club’s Grizzly Bear Project, said in a press release.

Gee, I thought hikers were quiet and ATV's were noisy?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

So Much For My Get Rich Quick Scheme

I found that nifty little counter on the sidebar at the Secular Franciscan. Funny though, the Secular Franciscan's blog seems to worth a little more than mine, hmm.

Friday, October 21, 2005

I Take Back What I Said About Joe Being Smart


Joe, I have just lost faith in you entirely. Just when I thought that we were going to enjoy an intelligent conversation, you let me down. Go check it out folks, link on title. Seems that Joe is trying to make a comparison. He takes issue with the fact that I wouldn't allow my children to do whatever they want, even though I am a Libertarian and believe that I should be allowed to do what I want. Joe thinks that a good Libertarian should let his kids take guns to school, I'm beginning to think he's right, but only if Joe was a teacher. Joe doesn't seem to be able to discern between an adult and a child, maybe that's because Joe needs the government to babysit him.

Maybe Joe is trying to imply that maybe, just like I know what's right for my kids moreso than they do at their tender age, the government knows what's best for me after the same fashion. Ain't gonna fly Joe. Does anyone out there think that King George has our best interests in mind? Does anyone out there think Bill Clinton had our best interests in mind? ~insert chirping crickets sound effect here~ Didn't think so.

Liberal children grow up being allowed to do whatever they want, not Libertarian children. That's why liberals have no self discipline, Joe. Liberals want the schools to hand out condoms to their kids and tell them that it's ok to go around humping anything that slithers. Then they want the government to pay to feed their illegitimate children, and treat their sexually transmitted diseases. While I would be totally in favor of the whole "free love" thing in a perfect world (who wouldn't?), the world is not perfect, Joe.

Libertarians teach their children morals, be it out of respect for a higher power, or just out of common sense. AIDS is real, and so is teenage pregnancy, but you liberals have a solution for that don't you? Just go get an abortion right? If you have to ask, you wouldn't understand. Libertarians teach their children that if they go around having indiscriminate sex and they get AIDS, or conceive a child, that it's no one's fault but their own and therefore they will have to deal with the consequences of their actions.

Liberals teach their children that they can do whatever they want without consequences, they can do drugs with abandon because there are government programs to help them if they ever decide that they want to straighten out, nevermind the people they might hurt in the meantime. Libertarians teach their children that the choices they make should not be taken lightly because the choice they make today may well affect them for the rest of their lives. Libertarians teach their children that if they do something wrong, no one is going to accept the excuse that they were drunk or high when they did it.

Liberal children grow up thinking that the world owes them a living, that's why when liberal children grow up they champion causes like socialist medicine, and welfare, and government subsidized housing. Libertarian children grow up knowing that no one owes them anything. If they want to make it in this world they're going to have to do it themselves. Don't even jump on this one and say something about Libertarians kicking their kids out on the street on their 18th birthday, I don't care if my kid is 40 years old, if he or she needs my help, it will be there. See we Libertarians believe in family, we don't depend on the government to bail us out, nor do we abandon our children.

Most of us wouldn't abandon your children either, Joe, that's called compassion and we don't need the government to force it on us like you do. Tony's a Libertarian, Tony took in a displaced family from Hurricane Katrina, the government didn't make him do it, he just did because he felt it was the right thing to do. What's the last thing you took in that was in need, Joe? Adopt a cat from the animal shelter maybe? Wouldn't surprise me, liberals always seem to have more compassion for animals than people. But you don't actually have to help anyone do you because you support all of those government programs that do it for you right?

If you sense that I'm getting pissed, you're right. That's probably what that dipshit post was trying to accomplish, it's an age old tactic practiced widely by liberals and lawyers, get the guy all fired up and destroy his credibility. The gun thing didn't work so you had to break out the big guns and just say something so ludicrous as to totally flabbergast me. Well I'm still quite credible, Joe. I've been getting pissed off about idiots like you for years and it hasn't ruined my credibility yet. The one that just lost his credibility is you my friend. If one of my 3 (comin' to get ya Tony) readers reads that garbage and even remotely thinks that you asked me a legitimate question, I'll eat my shorts. (I'm gonna wind up eating my shorts one of these days, don't let me down this time folks)

So now I'm gonna ask the questions, Joe. Do you actually believe that you are better off with the government making your decisions for you? Do you actually think that the government knows what's best for you and is acting in your best interest? Do you actually believe that you need to be coddled to by the government if you make a mistake? Does your mommy still come over and change your friggin diapers when you talk out your ass and accidentally slobber like you just did? Oh that's right, you're a liberal, it's not about you is it, it's about society as a whole right? Do us all a favor and read some Orwell ok?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

What's Wrong With Political Parties

So anyway, until Joe from Canada gets back in touch I have to admit I'm a little short on ideas. This week's been a little slow at work so I've had more time for blogging and all I can seem to come up with is this ongoing convo with north of the border Joe. Oh well, not like I'm friggin Dan Rather, if I was I could just make stuff up and post it and I'd have a zillion readers and Bill Gates would be showing up at my door with a truckload of cash and begging to advertise on my blog. Since I think I'm up to 2 readers now, (I'm gainin' on ya Tony) I don't want to disappoint them so I figure I better come up with something original. Since politics seems to be the inevitable magnet for discussion on blogs, good blogs anyway, I guess I'll lay out a few more of my political opinions for all to ponder.

I don't like political parties, plain and simple. I claim to be a Libertarian, but I carry no cards. The minute a Libertarian candidate starts talking about mandating religion, (i.e. - putting god back into schools), I tune out. As a general rule I agree with Libertarian ideals, however. This is a piece that I stole from the libertarian website. It lays out the basic principles that the party supports and opposes, and I think it's a good summary of my personal political leanings.


The Essence of Liberty

by David F. Nolan

As a founder of the Libertarian Party and editor-in-chief of California Liberty, I am often asked how to tell if someone is "really" a libertarian. There are probably as many different definitions of the word "libertarian" as there are people who claim the label. These range from overly broad ("anyone who calls himself a libertarian is one") to impossibly doctrinaire ("only those who agree with every word in the party platform are truly anointed").

My own definition is that in order to be considered a libertarian, at least in the political context, an individual must adhere without compromise to five key points. Ideally, of course, we'd all be in agreement on everything. But we're not, and probably never will be. Debate is likely to continue indefinitely on such matters as abortion, foreign policy, and whether, when, and how various government programs can be discontinued or privatized. But as far as I'm concerned, if someone is sound on these five points, he/she is de facto a libertarian; if he fails on even one of the five, he isn't.

What then, are the "indispensable five" -- the points of no compromise?

YOU OWN YOURSELF


First and foremost, libertarians believe in the principle of self-ownership. You own your own body and mind; no external power has the right to force you into the service of "society" or "mankind" or any other individual or group for any purpose, however noble. Slavery is wrong, period.

Because you own yourself, you are responsible for your own well-being. Others are not obligated to feed you, clothe you, or provide you with health care. Most of us choose to help one another voluntarily, for a variety of reasons -- and that's as it should be -- but "forced compassion" is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.

THE RIGHT TO SELF-DEFENSE


Self-ownership implies the right to self-defense. Libertarians yield to no one in their support for our right as individuals to keep and bear arms. We only wish that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution said "The right to self-defense being inalienable..." instead of that stuff about a "well-regulated militia". Anyone who thinks that government -- any government -- has the right to disarm its citizens is NOT a libertarian!

NO "CRIMINAL POSSESSION" LAWS


In fact, libertarians believe that individuals have the right to own and use anything- gold, guns, marijuana, sexually explicit material- so long as they do not harm others through force or the threat of force. Laws criminalizing the simple possession of anything are tailor-made for police states; it is all too easy to plant a forbidden substance in someone's home, car or pocket. Libertarians are as tough on crime- real crime- as anyone. But criminal possession laws are an affront to liberty, whatever the rhetoric used to defend them.

NO TAXES ON PRODUCTIVITY


In an ideal world, there would be no taxation. All services would be paid for on an as-used basis. But in a less-than-ideal world, some services will be force-financed for the foreseeable future. However, not all taxes are equally deleterious, and the worst form of taxation is a tax on productivity -- i.e., an income tax -- and no libertarian supports this type of taxation.

What kind of taxation is least harmful? This is a topic still open for debate. My own preference is for a single tax on land. Is this "the" libertarian position on taxes? No. But all libertarians oppose any form of income tax.

A SOUND MONEY SYSTEM


The fifth and final key test of anyone's claim to being a libertarian is their support for an honest money system; i.e. one where the currency is backed by something of true value (usually gold or silver). Flat money -- money with no backing, whose acceptance is mandated by the State -- is simply legalized counterfeiting and is one of the keys to expanding government power.

The five points enumerated here are not a complete, comprehensive prescription for freedom... but they would take us most of the way. A government which cannot conscript, confiscate, or counterfeit, and which imposes no criminal penalties for the mere possession and peaceful use of anything, is one that almost all libertarians would be comfortable with.






This being the platform for the national Libertarian Party, I have only one issue with it, that being the part about taxation. I see property taxes as more egregious than income taxes, I would favor a national sales tax myself. Pay taxes on something once, in other words. No annual bill to penalize you for being successful, no way the government can seize anything for nonpayment. As long as property taxes exist, no one in this country owns land. Don't believe me? Just stop paying your property taxes and see what happens. You do not own "your" property, as long as the government can levy taxes against it, and seize it for nonpayment, you merely rent said property from the government.

This brings me to what, in my opinion, is wrong with political parties, while I agree with almost all of the major points of the Libertarian party, there is still one point that I strongly disagree with. Seems today that in the name of partisan victories many would have us believe that we need to vote strictly along party lines in order to promote one party over the other but I simply cannot agree with any party enough to vote for all of their candidates, all of the time.

The big 2? Forget it. I have never seen such a bunch of dilusional people as those who believe that Republicans are better for this country than Democrats or vice versa. Both parties are engaged in the same dangerous (for us anyway) game of cat and mouse. Whenever one party gains control, they seize more power from the people, and for the government. Oh sure they have different fundamental platforms but that's just how they lure us into their trap, in the end, no matter which party is in power, they gain, we lose, that simple.

Don't believe me? I'll attempt to explain.

DemocRATS: They preach personal freedom yet seldom do anything to preserve it. If you do drugs, or make pornography, you're safe, but if you want to own a gun, or drive something besides a Prius, kiss your ass goodbye.

Their greatest legacies are huge, expensive government programs that take from people who make good choices and give to those who make bad ones.

They glom onto any and every cause that they can in an effort to woo voters from specialized segments of society, gay/lesbian groups, environmental groups, labor unions, anti-gun groups, anti-war groups, rock groups, groupers, groupies, criminals, communists, the list goes on and on and on.

They work towards a lot of actual good, which wins them votes from stupid people. They help promote the rights of working people, that's good. They help protect minority groups from discrimination, that's good. They work to stop the huge corporations that don't donate to the national Democratic party from getting too powerful, that's probably, in and of itself, good. They try to protect the environment, that's mostly good, too bad they go to such extremes most of the time as to violate all aspects of common sense and therefore alienate large numbers of potential supporters.

Sounds good on the surface but the problem is that they give a disproportionate amount of control to the wrong people. If you're an environmentalist, you're in, if you're a logger, get lost. Well treehuggers sorry to break the news to you but houses are built out of wood, wood comes from trees, if ya wanna live in a house, a few trees are going to have to die, sorry. Deal with it.

Now the big one, gun control. Many people that don't vote Democrat, don't vote Democrat because of gun control. If the Democratic party would kiss and make up with the NRA and completely drop gun control from their agenda they would dominate every election in the foreseeable future. Not only that but I believe that they would've dominated the last two as well. But they won't drop gun control, just like they won't drop radical environmentalism, another great disenfranchiser, and why won't they, because that would upset the, I believe anyway, pre-agreed upon balance of power between the two parties.

See, if one party stays in power too long then they take all of the rights from the people that they can and are therefore no longer useful to the powermongers that are actually pulling the strings. That's why both parties have a number of platforms that sound good to almost anybody, but just a few key issues that will totally alienate a segment of society. Be it abortion, or guns, or taxes, or separation of church and state, or the Patriot Act, or you name it, the major parties use these little distractions to get us all fired up and distract us from the fact that they're really just out to seize what's left of our rights and become the ultimate power in the universe, help us Obi Wan Kinobi, you're our only hope. Speaking of ultimate power, that brings us to Wal-Mart. . . . um I mean:

RePUDlicans: These porkbellied jolly ole elves would like us to believe that they as well stand for personal freedom. Too bad that they stand for Jerry Fallwell's definition of personal freedom.

Religion is the Repo's gun control, take it away, and all of it's influences on issues like abortion, and the Repos would be well on their way to total domination. But they can't, because religion is what the Republicans use to spread hate and fear and to convince gullible people that the Democrats and their free love hippie supporters are the devil and that given the chance they would recruit all of their children and turn them into pot smoking homosexuals. I believe in God, I read the bible, it doesn't say we're supposed to judge people, as a matter of fact it says we are not supposed to judge people, that's God's job, not Jerry Fallwell's.

Republicans say that they are for a free market, pro business they say, only trouble is the only businesses they support seem to be the ones that have the most money to donate to their campaigns because they've been turning enormous profits for years and all along have been paying their employees exactly dick squat. Don't believe me? Try to start a business in our "free market" economy. If you don't give up when you see the mound of paperwork and licenses and insurance and regulations and guidelines and taxes and all the other stuff that goes with it you'll surely give up when you're arrested for violating several of those rules because you didn't know about them. If the indictments don't get you, the Wal-Mart that they build next door will.

The Republicans say that they support our constitutional rights, but then they come up with something as outlandish as the patriot act. Freedom of speech, just watch what you say, cuz they're listening. I hope they're reading this, that's right assholes, this little redneck from Montana is out to get ya, bet yer sceered ain't ya? Yeah, right. If I disappear tomorrow under mysterious circumstances you'll know why.

Neither of these parties address all, or even a majority of the problems of our society. Both of these parties make blatant attempts to whittle away little by little at our personal freedoms. As I've said before, the Democrats will take this country to hell in a handbasket, the Republicans will take it there in a shopping cart. Different means, same end.

I'm sure that given enough time I could think of several more examples to illustrate my points on both parties, but why bother, I think you get the point, and besides, I may want to post something else about it someday, gotta save some for later you know. ;)

Oh, I almost forgot, I found a product on the web a while back that just might solve this entire free roaming cat "problem" that the Billings city council would like us to believe is so important. Isn't it great that someone who is so fed up with the government in this country still has such a wonderful sense of humor, and such a hilarious love hate relationship with cats?



I Knew This Was Coming, Joe's Baiting Me Into The Gun Debate


There's a link on the title, go check out the latest. In true liberal fashion my good buddy, Joe from Canada, is going to jump into the realm of smoke and gunpowder. I'm pretty sure I've heard it all on this subject, but Joe seems pretty sharp, we'll see if he can come up with one I haven't heard yet. Stay posted.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A Little Humor, Didn't Want You to Think That I Lost My Sense of it


A friend of mine told me a joke during the last presidential election that I think really sums up the debate between people who favor a gov't safety net, and people like me who believe that it isn't worth trading the freedom of responsible people for the wellbeing of those who perpetually make bad choices. While the original joke was in reference to republicans, (I haven't yet convinced my friend that both of our prominent political parties are basically the same corrupt entities, the Democrats will take the country to hell in a handbasket, the Republicans will do so in a shopping cart), but I took the liberty of changing it a little since I feel that it is more relevant to we libertarians with anarchistic tendencies, enjoy.

A farmer's daughter returns from her first year of college for Christmas break and they begin to discuss politics. It is immediately clear that the young girl has been converted to a raging liberal and is still young and naive enough to think that she can save the world. After hours of discussing how the Democrats would right all of the world's wrongs, the farmer, exasperated, changes the subject.

"So how are you doing at school otherwise?" asks the farmer.

"Oh I'm doing great, Dad," says the girl, "I'm getting A's in all of my classes and all of my professors say that I am the best student they've had in years."

"And how is your cousin doing? She was always such a goof off in high school."

"She's just awful, Dad. I'm ashamed to admit that I'm related to her. She parties constantly, is always late for class, she's flunking all of her courses. I think that she just went to school for the social life I swear."

"Oh that's terrible, well you know what we could do? Since all of your professors like you so much you should go to them and ask if they would be willing to just average both of your grades together so that you both could graduate and then both of you could have the same opportunities after you get out of school." says the farmer.

"Dad, that's not fair!" shouts the daughter, "I'm the one doing all of the work, why should she get a free ride?!"

To this the farmer calmly replies "Welcome to the Libertarian party, dear."

Joe Visionary is Trying to Make a Liberal Outta Me


Joe Visionary from Canada and I have been having a wonderful discussion about politics both on my blog and his. This is why I started this thing, the guy has some wonderful points but what I really don't think that he realizes is just how alike we really are, the only difference is that he seems to want the government to mandate a better society, and I want people to be free to choose it for themselves.

He also doesn't seem to have come to the realization that most politicians are inherently greedy and corrupt and therefore incapable of mandating anything that would truly be in the best interest of society. They tend to mandate things that will be in the best interests of their campaign contributors and therefore their own bottom lines.

Anyway, this is the discussion from his blog that we started here a couple of posts back, if I did it right, there should be a link on the title to his blog so you can read the article that he originally referred me to. Joe is a little more articulate than me, his thoughts perhaps a little more organized, but in the form of a true liberal he insists on taking the conversation away from the discussion at hand and off into left field. Read this if you have the time and tell me where I said that I advocate the legalization of child abuse.

justin said...

OK, I see your point, but did you miss all of the times in my blog where I say I support people's rights to do what they want up to the point where they begin to hurt someone else? In a free society it is the role of government to protect the citizens from each other, not themselves. If a corporation is exploiting their workers or the environment in the name of excessive profits I have no objection to the government stepping in and putting a stop to it. What I do have an objection to is the government stepping in and attempting to control people's personal choices that affect no one but the individual making the choice.

The flip side to this amount of personal freedom is accountability. For example: I smoke, no one forced me to start smoking and I wasn't a victim of unscrupulous advertising that targets children, if I was that is my own fault for being such a stupid child as to fall for such a scam. (I should have said here that the knowledge that smoking was harmful was freely available to me even as a child but I didn't in the original comment, that could be where Joe was coming from) If I get lung cancer I should not expect the government to step in and pay my medical bills, nor should I expect to win a law suit against tobacco companies. It was my choice, and I should be held accountable. As a result of this type of thinking, you and I can both be allowed to make our own choices, and when we make bad ones we will have no one but ourselves to blame. Why make those who make good choices pay for the mistakes of those who make bad ones?

That is where the cooperative nature of civilization comes in. I have the right to choose who I decide is indeed less fortunate than me and help them if I wish. This adds accountability to the system. Carbon copy government application forms and talking heads behind desks at welfare offices only allows those unscrupulous among us to more easily cheat the system. It takes a lot more guts to go to your community and say that you need help than it does to go to a government office and fill out the necessary forms to receive a handout.

1:44 PM

Joe Visionary said...

Justin,

Thank you for your comment. Furthermore, I didn't intend on pointing you to this blog because you irresponsibly advocate freedom. I can certainly see that you don't: you believe that one must be accountable for the freedoms they enjoy.

I agree.

However, none of this makes allowance for the fact that we're born naked and ignorant.

What am I talking about? Consider: you state about your smoking that

I smoke, no one forced me to start smoking, and I wasn't a victim of unscrupulous advertising that targets children. If I was, that is my own fault for being such a stupid child as to fall for such a scam.

As the husband of an early childhood educator (ECE), as the Co-Chairman of an active Parent Council, and as the father of three kids I can tell you that a child is largely a blank slate that needs loving concern in their maturation.

Kids can be heartlessly manipulated as those who've been abused in the many ways possible. My wife was a sexually abused child who had predatory creeps teaching her that it's OK to be molested by in-laws.

The first clue she had that this may not be so was when she asked why her divorced father didn't molest her.

This is probably very similar to the many kids in warring countries where soldiers ('freedon fighters') give guns to kids.

My point: kids only know what we teach them until they've gotten old enough to know better.

So what should we do about this? The Libertarian stance would suggest that this is probably OK. But can you see how much damage we would have to undo if we allowed open season on kids?

In the past we assumed that a nurturing family environment would protect a child from this kind of abuse, and for the most part that is true.

But does that mean that it's tough luck for those kids who don't have a stable loving family?

In many ways that is exactly what happens, and so these neglected and/or abused kids eventually grow up, with little discipline or love for his/her neighbour. This in itself can cultivate sociopaths, but if you add to this by making them poor and unemployable, you can understand exactly who it is that sticks a gun in your face and asks you for your money. And consider yourself lucky if s/he doesn't pull the trigger anyway.

In any co-operative society (even back into prehistoric tribes) there has always been a mechanism to have orphaned kids looked after, some more successful than others. This is infinitely preferrable to letting them loose without guidance or discipline, because as I'd pointed out in my essay, they gravitate to either end up in jail, banished, or living on the street. None of this is desirable.

Moral of the story: you can't hold kids fully accountable when their conditioning may be a complete jumble of contradictory edicts handed to them by shameless opportunists. This is why there is 'Young Offender's' legislation - it allows for the sloppy maturation that is all too common.

If you don't like Young Offenders legal allowances because you figure kids are literally getting away with murder, then let me tell you, you DON'T want a Libertarian approach to the maturation of kids.

3:54 PM

Justin said...

Ok Joe, once again, point taken. The one thing about libertarian thinking that you are forgetting to consider (don't feel bad, it seldom occurs to people on the left) is the self discipline instilled by spirituality. While I am no raging bible thumper, and I am definitely not an advocate of government sponsored or god forbid, mandated religion, we who believe in a higher power do not need the government to teach us morality.

Take one short look at the people in power these days and ask yourself, "Would I want these people teaching my child morals?" I wouldn't. A belief in almost any religion on the planet, not just Christianity, will teach a person self discipline and compassion. Compassion that is given willingly will always be better than that which is mandated by the government.

I agree that most people are selfish, and would watch a starving child die and never bat an eye. I am not one of them. There are many people that are not a member of the every man for himself crowd that hold high the ideals of freedom. Give these people a chance to teach by example and there will be no need to force others to feel.

As far as your argument regarding unfortunate children all I can say is fiddlesticks. Sorry, not very articulate of me but it's all that comes to mind. Once again, the position I take allows people "personal" freedom, in other words the gov't doesn't step in until a person begins to hurt others. If someone is harming a child wouldn't that fall into the hurting others category?

As far as your wife is concerned, I am deeply sorry that she had to experience that horror, but never did I say that I believe in someone's right to molest children. I would favor the death penalty for child molesters.

I am not preaching an anarchy in other words, I am merely stating that a person should have the right to choose their own road, and right or wrong, reap what they sow, instead of sitting around expecting the gov't to save them when they screw up. Simply put, in a free society it is the job of gov't to protect the people from each other, not themselves. I am not opposed to a lot of the programs that you probably favor. I do not oppose the government stepping in when a bigshot is picking on the little guy, but I also do not favor the little guy milking the situation for all that it's worth either. I do not oppose gov't programs aimed at helping the unfortunate, as long as they are indeed unfortunate and willing to at least make an effort to help themselves.

As far as the blank slate argument goes, once again, fiddlesticks. Children are not blank slates and if yours are then I'm sorry that you were blessed with such boring children. (It's a joke, please don't take it personal, I'm sure you have wonderful children) If children are blank slates then tell me how two children, raised by the same parents, can turn out so different from each other as adults. My sisters and I agree on little yet we were raised in a two parent family with both of our natural parents. While I agree that environmental influences contribute greatly to how a person matures, a person is born an individual and different people handle situations differently. I have several friends that came from broken homes as children, some were abused, some weren't, some were neglected, some weren't, some grew up and went to prison, some grew up and went to work. There is really no pattern that I can discern so I am led to believe that these people simply took the upbringing that they were given and did different things with it. Some chose to learn from the mistakes of their parents, some chose to emulate them.

Once again this brings me back to accountability. If a person abuses a child, they should be held accountable. Nowhere in my libertarian ideals is there room for child abuse, and I have no idea where you get the idea that I would advocate a level of freedom where such things were allowed. That would not be libertarianism, that would be anarchy. Anarchy would be fine for my kids, anyone caught abusing them would be killed, but that does nothing to protect other kids, nor does it do anything to promote civilization. I would never favor a system allowing someone to step on others just because they could, as I've said before, I only advocate "personal" freedom, once a person does something that crosses the line into someone else's territory, that is where the gov't needs to step in and do it's job.

Here is an example: I believe that drugs should be legalized. I think that the "war on drugs" is pointless, expensive, and unwinable. In my point of view this is a problem that given the freedom to do so would alleviate itself. Those people responsible enough to do drugs socially and not in excess would go on doing so without persecution. Those that insist on abusing drugs in massive quantities, or using particularly dangerous drugs would soon overdose or starve to death and would therefore remove themselves, and their drug problem from society.

Harsh, you say, but the simple fact of the matter is this: I did not make these people choose to do drugs, they did so on their own and therefore have no one but themselves to blame, and it should not be my responsibility to rehabilitate them so that they can go out and do it again. As far as the poor unfortunate children of these junkies, they would be better off. How, you ask? With the money freed up from no longer fighting this pointless war on plants the gov't would have more than enough money to provide for foster care or adoption of these kids, it's what they usually end up doing for the children of druggies anyway, only now they wouldn't have to provide for their parents as well.

I'm sure that you and I will never see eye to eye, Joe, but I think that we see eye to eye on more than you think, we just have different ideas on how to accomplish the same end. I believe in compassion, and given freedom to make our own choices I believe that most people would choose more carefully than they currently do, considering the fact that there would be no gov't safety net to catch them. This would make a lot less compassion necessary, and that would be good for us all. As far as what was still necessary, good people holding bad people accountable for their evils will do far more to promote compassion, I believe, than a gov't mandate taking from those who made good choices and giving to those who made bad ones. That only fosters resentment.

1:40 PM

Sunday, October 16, 2005

And to Think That Treehuggers Want to Outlaw This

Ah, what a wonderful day. My once recalcitrant carburetor functioned flawlessly, thank you Hi-Tech Yamaha for stocking nearly impossible to find on a Saturday afternoon parts, even if you charge 3 times a fair price for them.

It was a wee bit chilly up in the high country today, still snow hiding in the shady spots, but man what a wonderful ride. Where did we end up going you ask? Sorry, ain't tellin'. Damn shame that I gotta be that way but thanks to the treehuggers nobody's talking about their favorite riding spots like they used to. Seems that every time someone mentions a good place to ride in a letter to a magazine, or god forbid the internet, a motorcoach load of Californians show up and overrun the place and next thing you know the treehuggers got gates across all of the trails. I know it isn't that simple, it involves a whole lot of law suits and political butt kissing, but the results are still the same: the trails get closed.

It never ceases to amaze me that bicycle trails keep springing up all over the state in spite of the fact that bicyclists pay no license fees, no fuel tax, no sales tax, no nothing tax, but I have to pay for both on and off road licenses on my ATV's, as well as fuel tax, and every year the number of available trails dwindle. Don't get me wrong, I think it's wonderful that there is a place for families to go on a leisurely and scenic bike ride, besides that it keeps them out of traffic and out of my damn way, but where is the money coming from? Miles of concrete bicycle highways don't just build themselves you know. The worst part is that every time that someone proposes an ordinance or state law requiring people to license bicyles everyone goes apeshit, "You mean you would make a 10 year old buy a license plate for his bicycle?" they say. No, I would not make a 10 year old buy a license plate for his bicycle, but I would make his yuppy parents buy a license plate for his bicycle. If they can afford a $1200 mountain bike for little junior, they can afford a $5 or $10 dollar license fee to offset the cost of the trails. I pay, yet my trails get closed one after one until someday when they're all gone, and who's building more trails for me? Nobody, that's who. I have half a notion to organize a protest involving a whole bunch of guys and gals and kids on ATV's blocking the accesses to those bicycle trails until somebody sits up and pays attention.

Take one look at the statistics and it's quite obvious that ATV's are one of if not THE fastest growing recreational activities in the country. They're selling like hot cakes at every dealer around and why you ask? Because it's a lot of fun, that's why. I've heard stories about several couples from elsewhere that moved to Montana with the Sierra Club propaganda inspired attitude that all off roaders were bad, right up until they finally accept an invitation to go 4 wheeling in a jeep or with ATV's, or dirt biking. The following Monday morning they're down at the dealership buying a gaggle of 4 wheelers and a trailer and a truck to pull it with. It's really that fun. If you don't believe me, try it some time. It's really hard to live here and not know somebody that has at least 2 ATV's or a 4 wheel drive of some sort, and most would be glad to take you along, especially if they know they might convert you. If you are so closed minded that you wouldn't even agree to try it before you pass judgement, then leave. You are no longer welcome to read my blog. My mother used to say "don't knock it until you try it," wise words then, and still wise words today.

Go ahead, I dare you, you little treehugging eco pukes, go borrow an ATV and go ride it in the mountains, if you don't have fun I'll eat my shorts. And I ain't talking about raising hell either, I'm talking about riding on the trails, legally, and showing respect for other trail users, and packing out your own garbage, and not making an excessive amount of noise. See, no matter what the propaganda going around says, that's the way most, as in 98% or better not just more than half, of us are.

If we see a can, we pick it up and take it with us (this doesn't happen very often, but from time to time a smelly hiker pitches trash along the trail, must be hikers because all of the ATV riders I've known are afraid that the Sierra Club has spy cameras in the trees and they're way too scared to drop so much as a sunflower seed shell for fear that the trail will be closed next week if they do).

If we see other riders behaving unethically we have been known to have a little talk with them about their bad habits (once again, doesn't happen very often, but from time to time someone reveals a riding spot and we have to educate all of those Californians).

Various ATV, motorcycle, and 4 wheel drive clubs volunteer their time regularly to help the Forest Service with trail maintenance, that's volunteer, as in free of charge, that means at no cost to the taxpayers, get the picture? Still, we are made out to be the enemy of a healthy ecosystem. WTF?

Let me ask you this, who do you think cares more about the forest, someone who spends time in the woods learning about the wildlife and plants and exploring every nook and cranny that they can get to, or some rich old busybody in New York or California that looks at a few pictures of worst case scenarios and then writes a big check to the Sierra Club to help with the war effort. It's an easy question for me to answer but if you find yourself struggling with it just go to the Sierra Club's website and read the crap that they have there, then go get on an ATV and go riding someplace legal, if you see any of the abuse that they will sware abounds, once again, I'll eat my shorts.

Today I stopped at several creek crossings to allow the brook trout to scatter before crossing, but if you listen to the green weinies they'll tell you that ATV's destroy fish habitat by stirring up sediment, give me a break, I grew up in Eastern Montana where the river water is so muddy that you can see the raccoon tracks floating downstream and the river was still full of fish, sediment my ass. The most ironic part was the fact that I had to wait for the fish to scatter, seems that they loved the deeper, slower flowing areas where years of crossing had created a pool for them to rest in. Put that in your enviro pipe and smoke it.

Today, for the second time in my life, one of my riding buddies picked up an empty can and packed it out, that's the second time, as in it happened once before, but the friends of the forest types would like you to believe that all areas open for motorized travel are veritable garbage dumps. Simply not the case.

I saw no examples of accelerated erosion, a favorite excuse of the nature nuts, as a matter of fact I saw several areas where rubber flaps had been placed across the trail on steep grades to prevent erosion, most of which were probably placed there by off road clubs just like the bridges that have been built across the creek in several places to help protect "sensitive riparian areas" or whatever the hell the green freaks call the mud next to the water.

I saw no examples of excessive exhaust emissions. Excessive exhaust emissions? If my little 350 cc 4 wheeler gives off half of the airborne toxins that your humongo gas guzzling SUV gives off, once again, I'll eat my shorts. And don't even start in on me about the whole two stroke engine thing, I ride a four stroke, and all of my friends with the exception of one ride four strokes. The one that rides a two stroke uses synthetic oil in it which gives off far less emissions than mineral oil. Oh yeah, and answer me this Mr. friend of the earth punk: do you even know the difference between a two and a four stroke engine? If you say that the Sierra Club says four strokes are bad and two strokes are worse your nose is so busted. I know the difference, and I know how to keep both of them running right so that they aren't giving off any more smoke than they have to, and believe me, that is far less than most cars on the road.

Wanna know the best thing about 4 wheeling? It's better than the friendships, better than the scenery, better than the wildlife, better than the thrills, the spills, the adrenaline rush, it's even better than beating up a smelly ozone saving, tree hugging, Birkenstock wearing nature boy.
It's the fact that for at least one more day, this guy won't try meth, he won't steal anything, he won't get beat up or killed, he won't beat anyone up or kill anyone, he won't dress like a gang banger and disrespect his elders, he won't drink, he won't sit on his butt and watch tv or play video games, he won't get a bad grade, and he won't get screwed with by some asshole wannabe cop, because today he was 4 wheeling with his dad. I love this guy enough to take on a whole army of treehuggers, because every day we spend doing things like this together, is just that much more likely that he won't ever do any of those things, and there's a lot of dads, and moms out there that feel the same way.

Bring it on nature boy, I've been to the pond and back, wanna dance?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

And When They're Not Looking. . . . .

Gonna try to squeeze in one more wheelin' trip before the snow really flies. As much as I would love to check out the Shepherd Ah Nei area, I think I'll avoid the rush and just go to one of my secret favorite places. I imagine Shepherd will be busy tomorrow, and I don't go wheelin' where it's busy, I don't even go with very many friends at once. I go wheelin' to get away from people.

I could now go into how much I'm disturbed by those who would love to outlaw my favorite pastime, but not today. See, I worked exactly 14 hours last night, then spent all day tinkering with a finicky carburetor in order to be able to go on this ride, so I'm beat.

Tomorrow, however, I will enjoy a glorious day in the mountains and hopefully return with the necessary inspiration to sit down and write all about how much I really hate eco-eggsucking treehugging enviro-weinies, or perhaps, I will return with a story about how much I hate finicky carburetors, either way I get something off my chest, and you get something hopefully interesting to read.

See ya tomorrow night, it'll be a win-win post, guaranteed.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition

Check out the little tidbit that I just received from Ed Melcher at FFOR.

There is no joy in Biggsville today. After a year and a half of legal wrangling the Shepherd Ah Nei Recreation Area is scheduled to reopen for motorized use, that is if Mr. Biggs doesn't pull another rabbit out of his hat and screw it up again. Considering the time, and probably a little money too, that Biggs has invested in being a widely hated party pooper, he probably could have bought himself a house that isn't located next to a long established ORV area by now.

I simply do not understand some people's perceptions on matters of this type. I read recently that Biggs was disappointed that the courts and the BLM would step on the rights of property owners this way. My reaction to this comment?


The rights of property owners? Excuse me dipshit but if I'm not mistaken your property ends where MY property begins. That is BLM land, which means that it belongs to all of us, not you alone Mr. Biggs. If you have such distaste for the noise generated by ATV's and motorcycles then why, I ask, did you move in next to an ORV park? Was that your intention from the start, to close the area down because you have a hatred for offroad recreationists?

The same thing happened years ago in the South Hills, those whiney busybodies lost too but from what I understand there's still several people out there that would dance on the ashes after burning all of the "Open for Motorized Use" signs.

The bastards won in the case of the old Yellowstone Speedway, or at least this is how the story was told to me anyway by what I perceive as a reliable source, not responsible for errors or omissions but here goes. Seems that when the speedway was originally built, it was surrounded by nothing but farmland. Years went by and farmers subdivided and eventually there were houses located nearby. These people bought these houses and then suddenly noticed one Saturday night that there was a racetrack nearby that was frequented by several cheering fans and some extremely loud automobiles running around in circles at very high speeds. Who knew?

Unbelievable that the realtor wouldn't have told these unwary victims of unscrupulous business practices that the large grandstands with the huge sign hanging on them that said "SPEEDWAY", was indeed, a friggin SPEEDWAY. Speedways generally do not provide a venue for Saturday night quilting bees, their activities normally revolve around auto racing. So anyway, these concerned citizens went forth to fix their suddenly soiled neighborhood and managed to pass covenants or whatever it is that bitchy property owners do to screw with their neighbors that are just doing what they've been doing for years before the "Holier Than Thou" crowd moved in. They somehow succeeded in placing a restriction on the speedway that said it could remain there, but could not be improved or rebuilt, in other words once it was too worn out to use, it was gone. A few years ago the wind blew down a light pole that damaged the grandstands and thanks to the good neighbors, it could not be repaired, or at least that was what I was told, don't take my word for it I write an opinion piece not a news article so if I say something that's bullshit and you don't check it out don't get mad at me when you look like an ass for repeating it, I'll be too busy looking like an ass myself for posting bullshit in the first place. Anyway, that is why the new track had to be built out at the BMP, because there was no place for the roundy round cars to race.

The point of all of this babbling is this: Where do people get off buying a house and then nominating themselves lord and protector of the whole damn neighborhood whether anyone wants or needs a lord and protector or not? If you get a new job, do you try to be the boss five minutes after walking in the door? I've worked with people like that before, they don't usually last very long, too bad the same doesn't happen to the property owners with the same attitude.

Don't get me wrong, I am a major proponent of property rights. I don't favor the type of laws that exist within the city limits basically treating people like they're renting property from the city, rather than owning it themselves, as far as I'm concerned if it's your property you should be allowed to build a house out of garbage if that's what trips your trigger as long as you're not dumping toxic waste down the storm drains but just try to build your trash house in Billings and see how far you get. Hell, I'm not even welcome in all but the most meth-laden neighborhoods in the area because I live in a "Tin Tepee" or trailer house with metal siding for those vocabularicaly challenged among us (is that really a word or did I just make that up?).

Someone tried to clean up my neighborhood a while back too but fortunately the people in these parts really like their piles of junk cars and discarded appliances so rumor has it that a few of the more prominent local death-meth manufacturing tycoons had a discussion with the individual and she went away with an entirely new point of view, once again, don't take my word for it, I don't know anything, that's just what I heard.

I apply the same reasoning to this entire property rights debate that I apply to everything else, free people should be able to do pretty much whatever they want, up until the point where they hurt someone else. I'm sure that Mr. Biggs' reasoning is that the ORV park next door is hurting his property value, ( a tired assed argument that I am entirely sick of hearing, there is no guarantee express or implied that if you buy property, it is going to gain value, get over it), but the thing that I find funny is that I don't remember Mr. Biggs bitching about it when he bought the place. Hmmmm? So is that it? Quite a racket actually, buy cheap, shitty property in shitty areas, then file a bunch of law suits and try to make yourself out as a caring individual that is just trying to clean up a nasty area and give a hand up to it's residents, then sell your former garbage dump at a tidy profit. Sounds Republican to me.

The point Mr. B is that we don't need your hand up, Ah Nei is an ORV area, it has been an ORV area for years, and if we have any say so it will continue to be an ORV area for years to come. You knew that when you moved in from what I understand, now deal with it or leave. Build a shrine to the ecosystem and put a PETA headquarters on your property if you want to but Ah Nei is public land and the public wants to ride their toys.

As an avid ATV rider I can attest to the fact that when large numbers of machines are forced into smaller and smaller areas the amount of environmental damage increases. The solution is simple, accept the fact that ATV's are selling like hot cakes and take a hint, they need more room to operate, not less. Most of the areas that I ride receive little traffic, they are extremely large areas with a large number of trails and I simply do not see this blatant abuse that the eco weirdos preach about.

I simply do not see the harm in a two track trail winding through vegetation so thick that most of them can't even be seen from above the tree tops.

I simply do not see how one person can cause such a pain in the butt for so many people by filing BS law suits.

I simply do not see why I'm sitting here typing right now, I have to get ready to go riding this weekend.

Score: off roaders-1, tree huggers-1,000,000, let's hope it's an indicator of things to come.