Why All Libertarians Should Be Pro-Life

Would you call yourself a Libertarian? Or if you don’t like that label: Are you in favor of Small Government? Freedom? Liberty? Constitutionalism?

If you answered “Yes” to any of the above, great! You should be Pro-Life!

I know often the Abortion debate is framed as religious fundamentalists vs. secular humanists, and that any self-respecting Libertarian wants to steer clear of imposing religious views through government. I also know many Libertarians lean more secular humanists regarding social issues like gay marriage (which many of you think shouldn’t be an issue because marriage shouldn’t be the government’s business) and smoking weed (which many of you also think shouldn’t matter as long as it’s not hurting anyone else). However, I want to make the case that Abortion is different, and that even Atheist or Agnostic Libertarians with no ‘ Because God Says So!’ arguments can and should be staunchly Pro-Life!

Let’s use only simple logic, not religious conviction, to see the absolute truth of this. If abortion is legal at any point during pregnancy, there should be major problems to Libertarians, because, it means we’re giving the Government ultimate God-like authority over our lives and freedoms to arbitrary Government policymakers. An egregious notion that should completely conflict with the sons and daughters of Liberty. Allow me to explain.

If we allow lawmakers to say abortion is legal up to a certain point, regardless of whether it’s 10 weeks, 20 weeks, or passing through the birth canal; we’re essentially saying that the Government gets to decide when someone is a human, the Government decides when someone deserves their Constitutional rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, and that we are submitting to the Government’s ultimate authority over our lives and freedom.

For example, many Pro-Choice people want to draw a line at 20 weeks, where abortion is legal beforehand, and illegal afterwards (with certain exceptions). They have various arguments to support their chosen 20-week point like: A) The baby can’t feel pain beforehand. (This is obviously a fallible argument since there’s no way to tell precisely when someone can feel pain, and how bad it is, or if it’s the same for every fetus, or how much pain is okay, or if there could be exceptions if you figured out how to make it painless, etc…) or B) The baby can’t survive without the mother beforehand so it isn’t ‘viable’ (Also highly fallible since all babies are helpless and can’t survive on their own even when they’re outside of the womb for years. And more importantly, survivability of the fetus is subject to technology advancement. For instance, surviving at 20 weeks used to be unheard of, but with modern medical care, it’s very possible. What if we continue to advance to the point that babies can survive at 10 weeks? Do we keep moving the goal posts?)

However, even if you throw out the pain or viability arguments, there’s still a grim reality staring us all in the face the few ever discuss. Imagine for a moment the line is 20 weeks, and we’re all okay with this morally and have accepted the arguments A and B above at face value. In fact, it’s not even controversial for anyone to abort up to 20 weeks (I said use your imagination!).

Now let’s imagine a woman named Susan is 19 weeks pregnant, and according to her doctor, her 20th week starts Thursday. She suddenly decides she doesn’t want to be a mom, so she schedules a last minute appointment with an abortion clinic for 3PM Wednesday. Unfortunately her abortionist, Carl, is in a fender-bender on the way to the abortion clinic and misses the appointment waiting on police and his insurance agent. Carl doesn’t know about the urgency and thinks ‘I’ll just do it tomorrow; my office will reschedule Susan’s appointment’. Susan expresses the urgency of the situation to the office staff and begs them for Carl’s cell phone number, to which they grudgingly give in. Carl’s now at dinner with his family when he notices a strange number has called him five times. On the sixth call, he answers to hear an exasperated and breathless Susan on the other line. She begs him to give her the procedure tonight, because by tomorrow it will be illegal and too late. After repeated begging, Carl finally gives in and tells her to meet him at the clinic at 10:00. However, the procedure is slow to get started due to Carl’s staff being unable to come after hours and Carl having to open the office and do all the remedial tasks he hasn’t done in years to get Susan and his supplies and equipment ready and setup. It’s now past 11:30PM. To their great relief, the procedure is completed and the body of the fetus is disposed of at 11:59PM. Had it been one minute later, both Carl and Susan could have been arrested for murder. Men dressed in black with guns drawn could have handcuffed them and taken them into custody where they could have lost their freedom forever. What a difference that one minute made!

That’s my point. If a line of acceptable abortion is drawn anywhere, then by legal definition, the line is crossed in a single moment of time. It matters not where we place that moment, it exists if legal abortion exists. That means, we’re allowing the government to say, what you did one minute ago was perfectly okay, but if you do it this minute, murder.

No Libertarian should be okay giving the government that much power. No Libertarian should be okay with saying, “Yes Government, you can decide when I’m alive and not alive.”, or “Yes Government, you can decide if the same activity I’m doing today is as within my rights as popping a pimple but tomorrow is a felony based on arbitrary standards.” Do these sound like things that should be okay with a free people? A free people whose utmost respect is rooted in the inalienable rights of all humans to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Should matters of life and death and freedom and bondage be determined arbitrarily by jack-booted thugs with measuring sticks drawing lines around you, where if you stray by 1 millimeter, it’s all over?

You see, murder is murder. There’s no “kinda murder” where you knowingly, purposefully, take the life of another. Everyone agrees if you were to purposefully cut the head off a 1 day old newborn baby (or hire someone to do it for you), the full weight of murder can and should come down on you.

If abortion exists, an arbitrary line exists, established by the Government, between life and death, freedom and bondage, surgery and murder. This is extra-Constitutional, god-like power, willingly given to your government.

Libertarians should always disapprove of the Government wielding such power arbitrarily. Which thus also means, Libertarians should always be Pro-Life, regardless of their religious and moral viewpoints.

Women should have choices. Women should have the choice to take measures to not become pregnant, or to not keep their child if they become pregnant when they didn’t want to.

The Government should not have the choice to draw an arbitrary line for all of us between surgery and murder.

Posted in Political, Random/Rants

Take Personal Responsibility

This is a follow up to my last blog about how to do healthcare yourself. Shortly after I linked it on Facebook, I had a commenter tell me how it’s the Employer’s responsibility to provide healthcare, not theirs. Really?

What if you’re self-employed?

What if you’re unemployed or between jobs?

What if you have a job offer but it doesn’t include healthcare benefits? Will you just dismiss the opportunity entirely?

I contend that it’s YOUR responsibility to take care of YOU. Your healthcare. Your retirement. Your investments. Your kids. Your health. Etc… etc… These important things in life, nobody will take care of better than YOU can, nor does anyone care more about YOU than YOU do! If YOU put these responsibilities in the hands of others, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable for extreme disappointment.

Trust your health to the FDA… you may end up sick from eating too much grains, nasty process foods, and GMO products. YOU need to learn what it takes to eat healthy and become healthy.

Trust your healthcare to the government or an employer… you may end up dead or bankrupt because they didn’t think your benefits or your life was as valuable as YOU do. YOU need to make sure YOU have the right kind of benefits for YOU, whether or not you have to buy them yourself.

Trust the school system to raise your kids… you may end up with kids lost in moral ambiguity experimenting with dangerous habits by the time they’re 12, things you’d have never dreamed of, because their teachers and peers encouraged them to. YOU need to be there to teach and train your kids and YOU need to know what’s going on in their lives.

Trust your retirement to the government… you may end up living a horrible standard of living on social security as funds get drained by politicians, benefits are reduced, and cost of living adjustment gimmicks are employed to help government accounting at your expense. YOU need to have a plan to take care of YOURSELF in your old age, and not blindly trust the government with this task.

I could go on and on.

The point is, stop being a victim. Learn how the world works and adapt and overcome it! If YOU don’t like your results in life, YOU need to take steps to change them.

When I get offered a job, I look at the big picture. Would I LIKE healthcare benefits? Of course! But is it a deal breaker? Not necessarily! I already have healthcare benefits on my own and know how much it costs me. And vice versa, I know if I can drop that private coverage, I know how much it will save me. Benefits aren’t everything, they’re just a different form of compensation. You’re not entitled to them anymore than anything else. Look at the big picture. Budget. Know your costs. Then you’ll be able to decide if that offer of $40,000 salary plus healthcare, plus 401K match, plus a company-provided car is a better offer than the other one for $60,000 with no benefits. Know what YOUR healthcare costs. Know what YOUR retirement costs. Know what YOUR car costs, etc… and look at compensation as a whole.

But going around expecting the world to solve all of YOUR problems will not get you very far in life, I guarantee it.

Posted in Finance, Random/Rants, Self-Sufficiency

An Entrepreneur’s How-To Guide to Family Healthcare

Forgive me friends but I need to rant for a second, then I’m going to give some very practical advice.

I know way too many people that are around my age, with young families, not on government assistance, employed, but without ANY health insurance or health care strategy. It’s very frustrating, and makes me somewhat understand why the government wants to employ heavy-handed solutions on all of us, because ones that SHOULD be able to take care of themselves just aren’t taking it seriously. You have to make it a priority in your life.

If you have cable tv, and no health insurance… you’re irresponsible and need to rearrange your priorities.

If you have a car payment, and no health insurance… you’re irresponsible and need to rearrange your priorities.

When you’re putting together a prioritized budget, major medical health insurance should be near the top, just below food, utilities, shelter, basic clothing, and basic transportation. Yes, above iPhone. Yes, above cable. Yes, above eating out.

So here’s the strategy we use with our family. We have no insurance through employment as Melissa is a stay-at-home mom, and I’m an entrepreneur. So we have to provide our healthcare for ourselves.

1) Find a Health Insurance Broker and have them comparison shop HSA-compatible, high-deductible, major medical insurance policies. These will still make you pull your wallet out when you go to a doctor, BUT, God forbid, if someone in your family has a major injury or illness or cancer, you’re not going to be saddled with 10’s of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions in medical bills, bankrupting your family or crippling your financial future for many years to come. For us, a healthy family of 5, our major medical policy through Blue Cross is $347 per month. When I was a single dude, it was only $85 or so. This is not as expensive as most people think they’re going to be, and provides crucial protection for your financial life. Also, many times they save you money on prescriptions and network discounts at doctor’s offices so you actually pay less at the pharmacy or doctor vs if you just paid cash. This helps offset the cost.

2) Open an HSA account, and start funding it. This is like a savings account for your out of pocket medical expenses. Pay your out of pocket costs through the HSA account, and you’ll get significant tax advantages. You can fund this account pre-tax, reducing your tax burden (or increasing your annual refund), and you can even invest the money inside the HSA account so it’s growing. See HSABank.com for easy setup. The tax advantages of the HSA fund will further help offset the cost of the insurance policy.

3) Don’t go to the ER unless your lives are seriously in danger. Call nurse hotlines (often provided by your insurance). Find urgent care clinics (much cheaper than ER’s) that are open for extended hours and on weekends. Make friends with a doctor that can call in the occasional prescription for you on the weekend, etc…

4) Negotiate with doctors and hospitals! I can’t tell you how many THOUSANDS of dollars I’ve saved by questioning bills, offering to pay cash, prepaying for a discount instead of stretching out payments, etc… You’ll be very surprised how willing doctors offices and hospitals often will be to work with you on the amount owed and payment strategy.

5) Take care of yourselves!!! Eat Good!!! Sleep Good!!! Learn natural and home remedies. Check out books on nutrition like ‘Nourishing Traditions’ for good eating practices for your family. The healthier you are, the less your medical expenses are… DUH!

I hope this helps!

Posted in Finance, Random/Rants, Self-Sufficiency

Springfield XDS Review Followup, 7 Months Later

About 7 months ago I posted an initial review of the svelte little .45 from Springfield, the XD-s.

As you probably remember I was ooohing and aaaahing about it. Here’s a quick update with some additional useful pieces of information after shooting it more and carrying it for the last 7 months. My wife primarily carries this, but sometimes I trade this out for my XDM compact when I want something a little smaller.

I eventually did have some failures/issues. After my initial 50 rounds in November, I didn’t clean it, and went for a shooting day with my dad in December and brought it along. That day was hours of action packed shooting with pistols and carbines, and we put quite a few rounds through the little XD-s on a dusty/dry west TX range. About midway through the session, I noticed failures to feed happening consistently. The gun would choke without getting the next round into battery at some point in a 5 or 7 round mag, every magazine. I tried different kinds of ammo and this happened across the board.

When I got home, I cleaned/inspected it, and everything looked fine, though it was quite dirty. The next time out shooting the same mags and ammo from a clean gun, I once again had zero issues and it operated flawlessly. I don’t know if the failures were 100% because of being dirty, or if the ‘newness’ of the gun was a factor, but I’m going to recommend if you get one of these that you thoroughly test it with different kinds of ammo and make sure it’s 100%. Also, I believe because of the physics of it being so small and light (lower reciprocating mass), that it’s not as able to plow through friction/grime as easily as its bigger brothers the XD and XDM, so keep it clean, and clean it more regularly than you might a service pistol. For example, if you’re going to do a 2-3 day shooting class with a high round count, you don’t have to clean a standard Glock or XD in the middle of it, but if you’re running the XD-s, I’d go ahead and do it each day and keep it clean and oiled between sessions to help avoid this issue.

With that said, I still like it, and I trust it. My wife really likes it too due to its light weight and easy concealability. She also says she feels a little bit badass carrying a .45.

Shortly after I bought it, Springfield announced they were coming out with a 9mm version. I was able to test fire this before it hit the market in January at SHOT Media Day. The 9mm XD-s I shot ran flawlessly, and was also very nice. If they had had both calibers available at the time, I probably would have opted for the 9mm instead of the .45 to have a couple extra shots on board, but controllability/recoil wasn’t very different between them so don’t assume the .45 is going to fly out of your hand and the 9mm will be nice time, they both give you more recoil than bigger guns, but remain manageable enough for all day shooting. Not many pocketable guns I’ve shot could you say the same about.

My advice on caliber selection is choose your favorite flavor. They’re both great shooters. I have 9mm XDM’s, so I lean towards the 9mm, but the mags obviously aren’t interchangeable with the XDM, so magazine interchangeability is a moot point either caliber. If you want to have the bigger buller and a couple less shots, go with the .45. I trust 9mm as a good defensive caliber and would take the trade of making slightly smaller holes to having more shots. Really either are good options though so don’t agonize too much about it. Either way, carry a spare magazine with you because they both run dry very quickly. The magazines are so small and slim, there’s no reason not to have a spare or two on you.

In conclusion, after some time living with the XD-S, I’ve found some limitations (keep it clean), but still like, don’t plan on getting rid of it, and believe buying it was a good decision. I still heartily recommend this if you’re looking for a slim conceal carry gun and consider it to be at the very top of the current crop of single stack carry guns.

Posted in Reviews, Self-Defense, Self-Sufficiency

Bean Counter iPhone App Review

Just wanted to share with y’all my new favorite iPhone app. It’s called “Bean – A Counting App”. 99 cents in the iTunes store, and well worth it.

It’s a simple app that let’s you keep a running count of… anything you feel like counting. Up to nine things can be counted. It’s attractive looking, easy to use, syncs with iCloud in case you drop your phone in the toilet you won’t lose track of what you’re counting.

I kind of hacked it by writing my goals in the tally description and I’m using it to track a bunch of different goals for 2013. I’ve been doing it since the beginning of the year faithfully and man it’s REALLY helpful to see the truth staring right at you about all the things you’re trying to accomplish, and it’s VERY satisfying to click the little squares when you do stuff.

I kept all mine positive, as positive tallies are more motivational than negative ones. The one ‘kind of negative’ thing I’m keeping track of is “non-paleo meals”, but I’m just putting a cap on how many I can have this year, and enjoying them. I’m not calling it “cheating” or “messing up on diet” etc… because those are too negative. I’m just budgeting them so I don’t overdo it.

I can pretty much guarantee you I wouldn’t be accomplishing as much without this year without this app egging me on everyday.

One click in the square adds one to the tally, and a two-finger click removes one. You can change colors, order, and zoom into individual squares or quadrants. Super simple. Super effective. I highly recommend this.

Here’s a look at a screenshot of my app in action, and all the things I’m keeping track of right now…

Happy counting everyone!!!

Posted in My Goals, Reviews

Springfield XDS Initial Review

Initial thoughts on the small bulldog-looking slim .45 new from Springfield. (Center)

I recently bought an XD-S from an FFL friend of mine sight unseen based on internet reviews and videos of it. I’m considering replacing my wife’s Kahr CW9 with it, and also using it when I’m wearing clothes that print too much with my normal XDM-C carry piece. Nothing really wrong with the Kahr but I’m a Springfield fan and only feel about 97% confident in the Kahr’s reliability (only failures so far have been limp-wrist stovepipes, but that matters to me considering my petite wife may be using this one handed in a life-threatening situation if God-forbid she ever needed to) when I want to be 99.5% confident in any gun that may be used in a life-saving situation.

I’ve now had only one backyard range session with it and some dry practice, so take this review as initial impressions, not an exhaustive study of it yet…

Size: The XDS is slightly shorter in grip than the CW9, about the same width, but it feels a little chunkier/aggressive in the hand and the front end has a rail on it which adds a tiny bit of extra bulk under the barrel. Overall the XD-S is the same in overall thickness as a Kahr, a little bit shorter in stature, and has more aggressive texturing all over it, which can be good or bad… I like it.

NOT A POCKET GUN. Although slim and svelte compared to XD’s and Glocks, I couldn’t draw it effectively from a jean pocket like I could my CM9. I suppose pocket carry in dress pants or coat pockets would be fine, but definitely not jeans or work pants. I wouldn’t put it in the same size category as a Sig290, CM9, Rohrbaugh, LCR, J-frame or LCP. It’s more close to the LC9 or CW9 in size, neither which I consider to be true pocket guns.

Grip: Texture feels great. My pinky BARELY can get some purchase with my smallish hands and I don’t feel a need to purchase a pinky extension for it. It really feels great in the hand to me and I’m not at all disappointed not having changeable backstraps like other XDM’s have. Points naturally like all XD’s do for me, and was easy to shoot one handed.

Reliability: So far perfect. I’ve run some JHP’s and Standard hard-nose ammo through it with 100% results. I was unable to limp-wrist it, and it cycled flawlessly from all grips and compromised shooting positions. This was all straight out of the box as it came from Springfield, didn’t clean/oil it first as it appeared ready-to-shoot.

Wifeability: My petite left handed wife had no problems racking the slide, and releasing mags as a southpaw thanks to the ambi mag release. She likes it and already wants to replace her Kahr with it.

Weight: It doesn’t feel very light. Feels very solid and somewhat heavy for such a small, low capacity pistol.

Accuracy: Awesome. I was nailing bullseyes immediately. I was very pleased with the accuracy but have not shot it past about 15 yards so far.

Sights: I really like the factory sights, best on any small gun I’ve tried. The front fiber optic really jumps out at you if there’s ANY ambient light. This really helped the accuracy.

Trigger: Lightweight takeup, then a definite wall you have to break through to get it to fire. Probably 7-8 pounds to break it. I actually like it. I found it crisp and easy to shoot well, and the reset VERY short, shorter than other factory XDM’s I’ve had, which made shooting pairs and strings a real joy.

Capacity: It runs out of ammo real fast. That said, I feel like I can make good accurate use of the 6 good/big bullets I will have on board, and the mags are so tiny they’ll be easy to hide a couple extras. However, I feel much better with the double stack 9mm capacity when the wardrobe allows.

Magazines dropped free beautifully. Mag release button requires a firm push from either side to release. Perfect for a small gun that may be pocketed. It comes with two 5 round flush mags, no extended mag. I will be buying a couple extended mags to try as well.

Recoil: This is the big question a lot of people will ask… 45 out of such a small gun seems like it might be a problem. It’s not. In fact it felt a lot like shooting a subcompact XD with .40 or 9MM +P… wasn’t bad at all and had only a moderate amount of muzzle rise. I definitely feel like I could shoot it all day (if someone was loading mags for me constantly).

Holster: It fit in the Remora I had for my CW9, so I’ve been carrying it Appendix position (1-oclock), Inside the Waistband with that. It’s very comfortable and very invisible. I’ve already worn it with sweatpants and workout shorts and had no problems with it. I’d like to also pickup a pancake OWB holster for it to try in certain situations.

Overall, I think it’s going to be a great addition to the family. I’m very happy so far.

Feel free to post any questions in the comments section.

Posted in Reviews, Self-Defense

Decentralization, a Path to Restoration – by Michael Weaver

Decentralization of power is the only way to put in the needed safeguards back that will fully restore the Constitution and this nation back to its greatness.

Centralization was pushed after 9/11 as a measure through DHS to keep Americans safe, but centralizing the control was not the answer as it creates a frame work for big government tyranny, hyper taxation and liberties being stripped one by one. The correct answer was to centralize the data and to share that data with local and state law enforcements thereby empowering both them and the citizens that the local, state and federal government are accountable to.

Under a centralized power paradigm, the goal safety and security is always one step out of reach, and it always needs more laws and restrictions to satisfy its perceived deficit.  As the laws increase to protect freedom, people become less and less free hence making Benjamin franklin’s adage even truer: “Those willing to give up liberty for security deserve neither”. This year and the next coming 4 years it is important to keep that adage in mind and create a goal over the next four years that will be about decentralizing control, restoring liberty, and empowering the people again.

The American People, who are the real solution to the problem, need to take back this nation by taking back their communities. Focusing on placing individuals of integrity in leadership roles for local and state political parties and choosing people of character to represent them on a city, county state and national level.  Reclaiming power over the city, county and state level is a guaranteed way to begin restoring this nation. Those on both sides of the isle who want centralized power cannot fight or win on this level and the more the people win here the more the federal government and advocates of expanding governmental powers lose their centralized control over you.

A key way to take away the centralized control from the federal government is to demand that your city, county and state go on a strict budget. Cut unnecessary spending and entitlements across the board. When spending is out of control, more dependency is created on the federal government, more power is given to a central authority rather than a local authority. This dependency give them the open door to dictate policy and laws. It makes it easier for them to continually tax you without representation. When you allow your city, county and state to take the federal dollar you become its subject, not its employer. Under budgetary spending based upon making and saving more than what is spent, every essential service could be easily paid for.

One way to save the tax payer money and bring in tax revenue is to privatize municipal services where possible and allow competition to drive the cost down. Implement a simple state tax structure that encourages local businesses, local manufacturing and is business positive so that more jobs can be created, which brings in more tax revenue. Charity (welfare) is and should be the duty of faith based communities, philanthropic groups, civic organizations, etc., NOT THE GOVEWRNMENT. Let them do their job. Give them the tax breaks, credits, etc. they need to function as they will be more likely to empower those who are having a hard time rather than enabling them to stay where they are.

Audit every process in a city, county and state level. If a program, process or “service” is not working for the majority of the people, if it is out dated or is a crony perk – get rid of it as it will cost far more to maintain than it will to remove it. The more people can take back their city, county and state from the centralized control of big government the, the more the constitution will empower the American dream of equality of opportunity instead of equality of results – hence the more free we will be.

In regards to national security which has become the political “human shield” to enact any law to keep the people safe: Push for the sharing of information not the centralization of control.  The more we are decentralized in power but unified in purpose, the stronger we will be against any threat against this nation. It is far easier to take down a single giant (no matter how big it is) than to go after an army of a thousand soldiers. We will be able to respond faster, and more effectively with shared information rather than centralized power which, time and time again, has proven to move at the speed of bureaucracy (Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans 2005, BP Oil Spill and the list of examples could go on and on).

We as a nation deserve more for our tax dollar than what we are getting right now. We deserve more accountability from those who claim to represent us both locally and nationally. We should not tarnish the lives lost in the name of freedom by settling for the very thing our founding fathers fled from… centralized power under a big, nanny state, hyper-taxing government. We the People deserve more.

Your politicians are not the answer. Your political party is not the answer. DC cannot solve this problem. The only one who can fix this mess is you. You, not DC is the only obstacle standing in-between you and your Constitutional liberties. . You, not DC is the only obstacle standing in-between you and Restoring this nation. You are the only one that can make a difference. Over the next four years, I encourage you to show DC who is really the boss; show them who is really in charge. Show them you want this nation restored back to its greatness and you want the safeguards of the constitution fully in place protecting the people from their government and making the government work for the people once again instead of the other way around.

Show the elitist, the politicians, the pundits, the experts and the theorists that you, the American Citizen, are not the “easily confused” and misinformed individual who needs their “guiding hand” and assistance just to live. Show them what real freedom looks like over the next 4 years. 

(This article was not written by me, but by my friend Michael Weaver as a facebook note. I thought it worthy of publishing on my website so others could have the benefit of reading it. -Clint)

Posted in Political, Self-Sufficiency