Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Rebuild Update

As you may recall, if I have bothered to post anything about it, I bought a dump truck a little while back and it turned out to have a bum engine. Of course. Because that's my luck.

But it's a piece of engineering and it can be fixed. So my friend and I have set out to find an engine and rebuild it. He knows all this stuff and I fetch and carry, so it works out. I had $2k set aside for this to get the dump truck up and operational to start earning income from it.

A professional mechanic told me it couldn't be done, which just annoyed me to no end. Tell me you won't do it or how much it would cost and let me make the decision. Don't try to scare me away with ridiculous price quotes.

The first engine we found was a 350 out of an old Monte Carlo. It wouldn't fit. Starter was on the wrong side and the engine mounts were wrong. Bah. It was $175.

So we kept looking and we found another 350 that came out of an old truck. The guy gave it away for free due to some complex web of favors owed back to my friend. But since our investment is now $0 and I have an engine, I'm not complaining.

It needed a new clutch. The old one was ... shot. Just absolute wreckage. I'm surprised it didn't catch the whole truck on fire and burn down the county.

So coming out of the supply store we're up to $290 in a new clutch assembly and a wide assortment of gaskets, plus some spark plugs and new engine mounts.

Two days of work so far and the engine is ready to go into the truck tomorrow. I'm pretty pleased.

Except I've got a chunk of rust in my eye and it's hurting like heck. I may get the dump truck fixed and have to wear an eye patch for the rest of my life. Small price to pay. Yarrrr. I'll tell people I lost it during a boarding off the coast of Marabar.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Texas Finger Wave

... or "A Guide to Traveling on Texas Backroads"

When traveling on the backroads of Texas, you'll occasionally pass a vehicle going in the opposite direction. Aside from the very real concerns of how to get out of their way on these narrow goat paths, a question of protocol arises.

It is common custom to wave at the person in the opposite vehicle. They are likely a local since they're off the beaten path. It's a courtesty to be extended.

The accepted minimal standard of honoring this etiquette is to raise your index finger on the hand that is gripping the steering wheel. This is the one-finger wave. (NOTE: Make sure it is clearly your index finger being raised if you wish to avoid unpleasantness.)

A more friendly individual will raise all four fingers to wave, but still keep his or her hand on the top of the steering wheel. This is the wave that I commonly employ. It is friendly but non-committal.

Now often I will pass a vehicle which I frequently pass, such as my neighbor Sam. He has a beat-up old green truck that is easily recognizable due to the improbable number of coon dogs jumping around in the back. When Sam goes to town, all of his dogs go with him.

Sam is a good fellow, so I must do more than the minimally acceptable level. Sam receives a wave where I take my hand off of the steering wheel and raise it clearly in the cab of the truck so he may see it. He will return that wave with one as equally high. Protocol satisfied, we both go on our way.

Occasionally you will give a higher standard of a wave than the one that will be returned. A four finger wave might be returned with a one fingered wave, for instance. This is considered bad form. The wise person will identify the vehicle approaching and try to estimate the type of wave that is appropriate.

Though the world is filled with unfriendly people and sometimes a wave will go unreturned, this is not acceptable unless you are within 90 miles of Dallas Fort-Worth or Austin, towns known for a high concentration of rude people.

The exception to the mandate of returning a wave is little old ladies wearing enormous black sunglasses and who can barely see over the steering wheel as it is. When they are identified to be approaching, the best result can be obtained by immediately zooming into the bar ditch, clearing the pavement as much as possible, and then cringing in terror until they have passed.

The Texas road wave is as complex a social gesture as a Japanese bow, but in time you will learn to master it.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Workshop Days

Here at the tail end of winter, there's a lot of work to do outside but I don't always feel like getting out in the cold wind to do it. I have a leaking hydraulic hose on the bucket of the backhoe and I need to get that fixed before someone calls and wants some work done, but I suppose it can sit for the day. 

Today we have a howling 31 mph wind out of the southwest. It's about 45 degrees outside right now, but with that wind  cutting through you it feels a lot colder. So I've retreated to the workshop to finish up a couple of knives I've had on the workbench the past week. I'll describe to you the morning process.

We wake at around dawn when the sun starts coming in through the windows. It'll wake someone up, and that person usually makes enough noise moving around to wake everyone else. Our cabin is fairly small and the plywood floor booms like a kettle drum when pounded by little bare feet running to the bathroom.

My wife usually beats me to the woodstove and she'll stoke up the coals and throw in some mesquite wood. All winter long our cabin smells like a good barbecue restaurant. Lately she's had a pot of bone broth simmering on the stove too so the rattle of the lid when the pot is boiling can be heard and the smell of broth fills the air. It's the simple sounds of a homestead coming to life.

We have cocoa of a morning as a starter. We rarely do a big breakfast, but the cocoa has eggs in it so it's more of a thin custard to start out days out. It's pretty fortifying. I'll sometimes follow it up with a piece of cheese or sausage to sort of fill the stomach in a way that liquid just doesn't do.

Of a morning I take a quick walk around the farm to check on things while the oldest boy does the morning chores of tending to the livestock. When we get a cow, milking times will be morning, but right now it's a blessing to be free from the tyranny of that schedule. I sure miss the milk though.

So the workshop is open to the wind on the south side so I have some light, and a small draft blows through there when it's cold but it's not too terrible. I cover it up with a board in the deepest winter. In the center of the workshop is a small woodstove that was what we intended to heat the house with first before we replaced it with the giant woodstove we used in Illinois.

I rob coals from the "mother fire" in the cabin and take them in a bucket out to the woodstove in the shop. It's a 40 yard race as the heat from the coals cooks my hand through the leather gloves. I pour the red hot coals in through the top of the stove onto a pile of waiting wood and wait. Soon there's heat radiating from the woodstove and I'm comfortable so long as I sit near it (as I am now). Smoke rolls out of the chimney, the only sign of industry from within.

My workbench is an old wooden door put up across two sawhorses. I keep intending to get around to building a proper one, but this has worked so well that I'm in no hurry. I am necessity driven in my work ethic. It looks like laziness to some, but one of the reasons I chose this simpler life is so that I don't have to grind so hard to get by. What work I do around here is hardly indistinguishable from what used to be hobbies.

If I'm going to run a sander I have to go start the generator, but today the knives have already been ground down to size and are ready for finishing. That’s an hour or two of handwork with sandpaper and a critical eye. I have a powerful need for perfection in my craftsmanship, but my skill always falls short. If the Lord is merciful, perhaps I will be granted the years at this craft to become better.

The stool I sit at is a wooden one I salvaged from the dump on one of my trips to haul away our trash. On some days I come home with another man's trash which I might find useful. The dump has a strict "no salvaging" policy which I flagrantly disregard and they pretend not to see me.

Today I've got a hunting knife with a walnut handle to finish up. Coffee is heating on the stove and I best get to it!

Rain in the Night

Last night brought us a little rain and a windstorm. The rain gauge only shows about a quarter inch, but I suspect that's because most of the drops were falling sideways in the strong wind.

We finally moved the RV away from the cabin. I've been wanting to do that for awhile now. Not only is it sort of ugly, but it's a sort of insurance for us. We lived in it while we were building the cabin, and if we have to bug out or decide to move then we can do so again. It's also a form of insurance, prepaid and complete. It's a spare house in case this one burns down. Lord knows a real insurance company would never insure our homebuilt cabin, and I certainly wouldn't want to pay the premiums. Think of the RV as a prepaid policy that we can see and use any time we want.

Forecasts for this week call for mid-thirties at night and 60 degrees during the day. We'll be just hanging in here.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Frost Morning

Temperature plunged down to 27 degrees in the night unexpectedly. Weather said no lower than 35, so I was a bit surprised.

This morning the household woke, as usual, at dawn and began putting arround. My wife always seems to wake up first and on cold mornings will load up the woodstove to get a good fire going. Young River Lily toddles along behind, "helping" Momma as breakfast is prepared.

The sounds and daylight and smells will wake up the rest of the household one by one and for the next hour after sunrise the steps ring with the sound of little feet as everyone troops down individually to join the rest.

As I drink my morning cocoa and stand in front of the warm stove, I can look out the front windows and see that a heavy layer of frost has been deposited across the farm. It doesn't encourage me to hurry outside. In the garden we have some plants growing, and I hope they have survived the frost. Swiss chard and broccoli are very hardy, but 27 degrees is 27 degrees. We shall have to see soon.

It's supposed to warm up quickly today and I'm looking forward to it. I have high hopes for the day.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Montana Cuisine

Montana has a bill up that legalizes the consumption of roadkill.

I've eaten roadkill deer, and it didn't taste good. Even though it was butchered within minutes of being hit, and it wasn't hit hard, it still tasted bad. The impact caused a lot of blood vessels to burst and it seemed to taint the meat.

That said, cayenne pepper can cover a multitude of sins.

I would imagine that people who are going to eat roadkill aren't going to be caring whether or not it is legal. When you're hungry, you can pretty quickly turn into a zerogov anarchist.

The Song Dogs

There's a pack of coyotes that live up on the valley rim, about a quarter mile from our cabin. Almost every night I hear them howling in song.

Over the past year, I have gotten to know them well. They have a sort of a family song that they sing together at least once per night. In the summer it occurs just after dark, but in the winter it usually occurs at about 3am or so. It will wake me up when I hear it, but not in an obnoxious way. I'll lay there in bed in a sort of lazy fashion and listen to them for a few moments before I drift back into sleep.

In the early fall last year, there was an interloper coyote who came around. I suspect he's the one who got our cat. He would sit down in the mesquite woods by the creek and give a series of challenging yips to the pack up on the hill. They would sometimes answer him. It didn't sound friendly. After about a week, he disappeared. I suppose he moved on or was driven away by the dominant male of what I consider "my pack".

They don't come down here to the valley bottom. I've never seen their tracks anywhere on my property or along the upper creek. They follow the valley rim and will sing to us from there.

The past few nights, their song has changed slightly. Not sure what the deal is, but it's more fragmented. It will start up, and then others will join in from a different direction, as if the pack is scattered about. It's warmed up here and small game is on the move, so I'm thinking that the father is off hunting for the pregnant momma or perhaps a family of pups.

I identify with him greatly and I wish him well. Many fat rabbits to you and yours, brother coyote.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I Knew This Could Happen

At a California hotel, someone killed a woman and stashed her body in a water tank up on the roof that supplied water to the whole hotel. For weeks now the body has been decomposing into the hotel's water supply that guests drank from and bathed in.


From the article, one guest said:

"The shower was awful," she said. "When you turned the tap on, the water was coming black first for two seconds and then it was going back to normal."

Ewwww ewwww ewww.

People have mocked me for years over my freakiness over hotel rooms. Always check the closet and under the bed for dead bodies.

Never thought to check the water tanks though.

The Richness of Life

What do you consider a rich life?

Is it the car that you drive? The size of your bank account? The luxuriousness of your home?

Or is it spending time in the company of your loved ones? Is it the leisure time to pursue your own thoughts and devote to the contemplation of God?

Or is it the freedom of a life to devote to the service of others?

No matter how I delve into the question of how a man should live, I never seem to come up with the answer of employment to a corporation.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

For the Future

Good, healthy soil is a gift you leave your great-great grandchildren.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bad Habits

Yesterday I burned up a generator. I hadn't checked the oil in it for some time and the engine seized up. It's not an expensive generator, but it's the equivalent of about 5 hours work lost, and it should have lasted another 2-5 years without a general overhaul.

Having surplus money has taught me a lot of bad habits, or rather, not forced me to learn good ones. I tend to replace tools instead of maintaining or repairing them.

That has to end. So I'm instituting a general maintenance day where once a month I go through all of the machines and make sure they receive their needed maintenance.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Gardening in Brown County, Texas

Today I planted swiss chard and broccoli. It's too early for either, by a couple of weeks, but I'm feeling daring.

Gardening here is somewhat of a challenge. The strong, dry winds pull moisture out of the plants like they're in a dehydrator. This time of year there is a 40 degree difference between day and night temperatures. And about once per week, some night will drop down below freezing with a killing frost.

Yet putting any plant in the ground is always an exercise in hope. We do our small part and we trust in the Lord for the increase.

From an Online Discussion and Preserved

The chief problem of mankind is energy. Not in where we will get it, but in deciding what our consumption of it should be.

If it takes 300 units of "energy" to create me a stainless steel bowl that will last the rest of my life and can then be passed to my children to use for their lives, then that is a vastly superior usage of that energy to, for example, 30 units of "energy" spent creating a plastic bowl which will last two years.

The only sustainable human civilization was stone-age in technology. We have to consider that in our equations. It lasted for about 400,000 years, as best we can tell.

Agrarian civilizations then lasted for about 18,000 years before progressing to the industrial civilization which has only been around for perhaps 200 years.

I don't think anyone can look at the current industrial civilization and say that it can be sustained for another 200 years.

What we will have to develop then is either a post-industrial civilization, or revert to an earlier model which has proven to be more sustainable.

Genetic Traits of Rooster Behavior

My son proposed an interesting hypothesis today while we drank our morning cocoa and watched out the window.

"Are the traits for better rooster behavior identifiable in the more pure physical characteristics?"

Some explanation.

The original poultry stock seems to have been the wild jungle fowl. In a rooster, desirable traits are gentleness with the hens, protective nature (but not aggressive to humans, and watchfulness. We often see our better roosters feeding their hens little tidbits they have found.

Around here, we have seen that the older breeds seem to throw better roosters. Yet I have not found that the hens of those older breeds are better layers.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Out of Nowhere

Suddenly the wind has shifted and it's cold outside. A bitter north wind has dropped temperature into the 40's today. We've been having temps up in the 60's and 70's. I have retreated to the workshop to try and stay productive, and I'm currently working on a carved handle for a bowie knife, but this little workshop out here is not keeping up with the cold!

Brrrr! We may call it an early day and retreat to the house where I can sit in front of the stove and read a book.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Quoting the Boy

My oldest son is trying to look something up on the internet to put an end to a debate we're all having around the dinner table (about time travel, if you must know).

He comes back later and announces:

"You know, the internet is full of rubbish."

Time Becomes Elastic

As I continue to transition from the "go to work, get paid" economy to the "work for yourself" economy, I'm facing this weird psychological syndrome.

Time has become somewhat elastic.

I have a call in to do a job which will probably earn my living expenses for the month. It means that, for the first time, my small business shall "make payroll". Never mind that I have an employee staff of exactly one ... me. There IS apparently an "I" in "Team".

It will take me two days to do the job. I can't start until the customer tells me I can, and then I've got to wait 48 hours while the utility power line people make sure I won't accidentally kill myself or others while doing the work. Then I'll probably have to wait a few days to get paid.

This is a lot of waiting, and right now I don't have a lot to do while waiting. I can work in the knife shop, but I don't particularly feel like doing that each and every day. The early garden veggies are in and growing and there's not a lot of maintenance to do there. I can sit and read a book, or nap, or stare up at the sky. It's still too cold for fishing.

The old Ernie, still enmeshed in the corporate western culture, thinks I should be busy earning money each and every waking minute of every day. Yet a big part of our adoption of this lifestyle is so that we do not NEED much money. I can pay for our complete living expenses with only 12.5 hours of work per month. In an entire month I only need to work a little less than 2 days. That's pretty incredible.

But I've yet to figure out what to do with the rest of the time and certainly haven't learned to enjoy the leisure.

Alas, Poor Rubio, We Hardly Knew Ye

If anyone doubts that the media is completely and entirely in the pocket of the left, one simply has to witness the current hooplah over Senator Rubio taking a drink of water during a rebuttal speech.

It is very telling that the press has announced that any future presidential candidacy is doomed because the man was thirsty and calls it "Water-gate", but yet allows the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal where people actually died to remain in the shadows.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I was working with a man today and he was taking a long time to do something and I suppose he felt guilty at me waiting on him.

He asked if I was bored.

I immediately replied, "I don't get bored."

Later I thought about that reply and wondered at what an odd statement it was to make.

In even more wonder, I see now that it is true. When I have to wait on someone, I generally pull out a book. It is impossible for me to be bored when I have a book. If I am in a situation where I can't read a book, then I retreat into my own head. I contemplate bible verses I have memorized, or books I've read, or sometimes just turn over pleasant memories.

Boredom seems to be a state in which you wish you could be doing something other than what you are doing.

I've spent so much of my life trapped in that state that I have evolved defensive mechanisms to cope with it. I simply am no longer capable of being bored. There is nothing any external force could do to keep me from retreating into my own head.

Perhaps this trick will serve me well when I'm in prison.


How much time do you set aside each day for "unthinking"?

Over the years, your mind has collected a lot of ridiculous ideas. It's not your fault. Someone gave them to you and you didn't have time to properly assess whether they were garbage or gold and so you tucked them away into your mind. And more stuff got piled in on top of them and around them and so you forgot about them, except they've been there all this time. They've been poisoning the other ideas in your head. They've been making that beautiful quilt you got from your great-grandmother smell like rotten fishheads and old milk jugs.

Resolve to set aside some time each day to go through an idea and hold it up to the light now that you're older. Perhaps it no longer suits you.

City Living

I hate having to spend time in the cities. Absolutely hate it.

I feel damped down, numbed, and lobotomized in the cities. I always think, "I have to spend a few days in a hotel room so I'll get some writing done" but then by the end of the day when my work is done I'm so exhausted and stressed out that I can't actually do anything productive.

The cities assault you with smells and noise and sights but nothing is from nature. It's all from man. It's hideous. I cannot see how people live here, and I wonder what it is doing to their minds.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Measure

Your children will not measure your success as a parent by how much money you made, or whether or not they had lots of things.

They will measure your success by how much time you spent with them, teaching them, playing with them, and whether or not you prepared them to be parents and human beings as well.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Very Real Consequences of Economic Woe

Project of the Day: Business Cards

Yesterday I was scolded by my business mentor who explained to me that one of the reasons I'm not getting any business is because I don't advertise and I don't have any business cards.

So today I am rectifying that situation. This is a very strange thing for me. Business cards don't really fit into my worldview.

On the other side of the coin, I've got a brief job for tomorrow cutting down some tree limbs for this lady I know. It's about a half hour of work and $40 for the job. She's on a budget (like everyone else) and the "professional" tree trimmers she called wouldn't do it for less than $150. It's a very small job and no risk. I don't see why they wouldn't pick it up, but it makes me wonder if there's enough small jobs out there to feed a family indefinitely. $40 is not a lot of money but it's like 3 days worth of groceries for us. 3 days of food in return for a half hour to an hour's worth of work is extremely sustainable.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

New Possum Creek Knife - You Know You Want It

I've had this one on my workbench for over a month now but I've been too busy to finish it up and get it listed for sale. Now, the new and improved organized Ernie (tm) is dedicating two full days per week to the knife shop and I'm going to get back in order. Let's do some commerce!

As always, you can email me if you want to discuss custom orders. I've got two in the queue right now but there's plenty of room for more.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Tomorrow I break into one of last year's piles of composted humanure. I took a sneak peek earlier today and it looks like thick, black coffee grounds. There are giant grubs in there. I mean simply massive grubs. They have been enjoying the healthy fertility of the pile. Nom nom nom.

I am going to go spread this in as many of the raised beds as possible, and this year we shall grow some weapons-grade okra.

Go, team okra, go!


Before we lived here, this was an empty pasture. A barren stretch of land which had not been inhabitated at least since World War 2.

As soon as we had a driveway in, the county demanded we get a 911 address. They assigned us one.

And then the catalogs came. Catalogs by the score. Catalogs for products that we not only don't want but couldn't afford anyway. We scratch our heads in befuddlement each day as we make the long trek back from the mailbox at why some company would think we need silk bathrobes and electric toothbrushes.

Almost all of these catalogs have on their cover the words: "Please recycle."

The factories where they make these products belch smoke into the atmosphere and send toxins into our steams. They deforest entire mountainsides to make their catalogs. Giant landfills reach to the sky, filled with the detritus they have left behind.

But it's amusing that they put the onus on me to recycle their stupid catalog.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Moving Right Along

The sun is shining and it's warm outside. I'm cutting up seed potatoes in the workshop with an eye towards planting them in a few days. I've got lots to do and spring is upon us.

It's strange, but I feel very strongly the weight of the path we have taken. Henry David Thoreau said, "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."

We're in the process of doing it. Everything has come together for us to do so. What a strange realization to have.

God is great and I am very blessed.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Smog Over Beijing

Hey, Americans. This is where your smog went. Beijing. With all of the manufacturing jobs went the corresponding level of pollution, and so while China got the jobs, they also got the smog.

Chinese news media said that it would be "suicide" to go outside and breath the air.

How does a population tolerate this? The Constitution describes an inalienable right of self-defense, partially illustrated in the 2nd Amendment. This inalienable right is not one granted only to Americans, but to all men. This would include Chinese.

Why have the Chinese not risen up to kill those who are killing them with such pollution? What methods does the Chinese government use to keep them from doing so?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Garden Work

Went out and worked in the garden today. Just general cleanup as we prepare for planting. It was a pleasant 60 degrees outside with a mild breeze.

I worked for a couple of hours and then had to go take a nap. I overdid it after my illness.

The mulch in the flat area has broken down very nicely. It's beautiful soil now underneath with some thicker chunks of wood on top that will need to be turned in. We'll be trying to maximize space this year.

Got my list going to see what we need to plant. Looking forward to this gardening season!

My Problem with Most Anarchists

They rant and bemoan urbanism. They complain about the government. They advocate small tribal communities.

Yet when you look at most of these guys, they wouldn't survive for 3 days in the type of world they advocate.

This is why, I think, that they don't get a lot of credibility. If you are advocating a return to primitivism then you ought to at least look like you have a chance of surviving in such an environment.

One of two decisions should be reached by the budding anarcho-primitivist:

1. The world is not going to accept a return to a simple and traditional life willingly. It will have to collapse hideously first. We should prepare to survive that transition period and into the sort of life which we might hope to attain.

2. If you don't want to wait until the collapse, then you can withdraw now and (as much as the government will let you), find a remote location somewhere and practice your model. Having the skills to live like this day by day would be critical.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Garden Planning

Sitting down with paper and pencil over the next couple of weeks to draft out the garden plans. I have two main areas in which I can be gardening. Not too shabby. It's a lot of space. I have more garden footage than I have water available, so that'll be a challenge.

Last frost date here is supposed to be April 8 but you can start pushing it with most of your garden plants around the second week in March. For the frost-tolerant stuff I could probably plant them in two weeks.

This is going to be a very important garden year. We're going to be relying on that food to cut our expenses as we transition our incomes. This is the superbowl of garden seasons.

Derrick Jensen

Having watched the video, I'm now reading Derrick Jensen's Endgame. It's pretty good, going into more detail than the video did. Plus it's in the written word which is easier to absorb.

His basic premise is that civilizations (and particularly industrial ones) are unsustainable and predicated upon violence.

From his own admission, he suffered under the hands of an abusive father as a child. Some critics have argued that this has informed his worldview.

Arguably so, but I don't know that it's wrong.

Consider that parents are the earliest models for government in a person's life. Good and loving parents may have that child grow up with a benevolent view of government. A broken home or single parent will lead to a cynical view and a belief that government is dysfunctional. A violent home, as in the case of Derrick Jensen, would then lead to a view of government as based upon violence.

In a violent home, a child tiptoes around and tries not to upset the parent whose violence is on a hair-trigger. Sometimes the violence is random and the child just hides or endures it.

The same can be said of a citizen under our government today. Stay in line or violence will be perpetrated upon you. Do what you're told or they'll threaten you with economic deprivation or prison (or both). When the violence is random, we tell ourselves that it's just part of what we have to deal with and surely the bad guys are to blame. Not the system. The bad guys. Sure.

The Whiskey Rebellion - America's First Crime Against the People

Did government consecrate its monopoly on violence in 1791? I had initially thought that 1865 marked the official death of America, but 1791 appears to have been the first stroke.

That scumbag Alexander Hamilton (who also wanted to establish a central bank) authorized an excise tax on whiskey. In the east, whiskey was not a big deal, but to the rural westerners (of western Pennsylvania and the Appalachias) whiskey was simultaneously a source of income, a medium of trade, and a means to preserve their excess grain crops.

It would not be the last time that the government targeted laws against specific rural cultures.

Those rowdy western Pennsylvania boys were not to be denied. Tax collectors were beaten, intimidated, and in one notable case, tarred and feathered. When the government sent officials to issue warrants to the men who had tarred and feathered a tax collector, the officials themselves were whipped, and then tarred and feathered.

The anti-government violence continued throughout the western states and the tax went uncollected for two years. Rowdies would target not just the officials who tried to enforce the tax, but individuals who were found to comply with it.

In 1794 it got a little crazy. The government issued warrants for over 60 men who were known distillers, and sent federal agents to deliver those warrants. As might be expected, those agents were resisted. Sometimes violently.

The battle of Bower Hill was fought between the pro-government forces and the anti-government forces with the rebels winning but losing their figurative head. Now they had a martyr and the government had its causus belli to militarily intervene.

The rebels, by this time, had no coherent plan. Their complaints had gone far beyond just the whiskey tax and they were talking pretty crazy. Some wanted to march on Pittsburgh, loot the homes there, and then burn the city to the ground. There was admiring talk about the French Revolution and how it perhaps needed to happen here.

President George Washington, the father of our country, would ultimately ride at the head of a 13,000 strong federal military force. Upon hearing he was coming, the rebel group of approximately 7,000  disbanded and disappeared. Ultimately only 24 men would be arrested and tried for treason.

By musket and sword, the new federal government had enforced its will against the American public. Whatever spirit had existed in 1776 was now dead.

Does Anarchy Frighten You?

Does the word "anarchy" frighten you? It did me. Perhaps because I didn't know much about it other than spoiled rich kids sitting in a park in New York, or bomb-throwing WTO opposers in Seattle. Those represent anti-government forces, but not exactly pro-anarchy forces.
The movement towards zero gov is a big tent movement. It's filled with a lot of freaks and those freaks get the air time in our big gov media. If there's a soft-spoken Christian wearing a nice shirt and with a decent haircut, the press is going to walk past him to find some blue mohawked, face quadruple pierced, forehead tattooed yelling guy to represent the movement.

If my current study alarms you in any way, or you've perhaps think I've gone off the deep end, then look at these facts and perhaps you'll follow me a little further down the rabbit hole:

Big governments have killed over 100 million people this century alone. How many people have anarchists killed?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Amazing Story of a Family Surviving in the Wilderness

They lived for over 40 years in the Siberian wilderness all alone. Amazing. I simultaneously envy them, admire them, and pity them.

Burst Blogging

Over the next few days, prepare for a lot of little posts throughout the day. I'm still sick with the flu so I can't really get out and do any work, but I'm now feeling well enough not to just sit and moan. So I'm catching up on some reading and listening to some lectures online.

As thoughts occur to me, I'll record them here for posterity. Some will hold water, and some won't.

So for the first one ...

All of our society is predicated upon violence. If you don't believe me, go through your day and ask yourself honestly how many of your actions are done because of the threat of violence. For example, you buy property or rent because you don't want to be homeless and get arrested for vagrancy. You pay for that property because you don't want to be forcefully thrown out of your home.

Now for the question you can put the answer in comments:

Q: Who threatens you most with violence?

Thoughts on Derrick Jensen's Video

Did you watch the Youtube video I posted yesterday?

Here's a couple of notes I joted down from it:

Civilization is defined by cities.

Required importation of resources means your civilization will never be sustainable and will always have to be violent.

If you require something to live and maintain your civilization and you normally can get it by trade, but now the only people who have it won't trade with you ... then you have to take it. Look to oil in the Middle East, for example.

Industrial civilization requires violence. It is built on violence. It is the end product of violence.


This is just so in-your-face true that I can't get around it. I believe, as Christians, we now have our response to the question of reconciling Christian beliefs with an industrial world.