Friday, July 30, 2004

Some replies to "Thoughts on Courage" (revised)

After posting the "Courage" piece, I got dozens of responses. While most were positive, a couple asked some really good questions. For the benefit of everyone, I will post a few of the replies. One asks excellent questions, and the others answer the questions far better than I might have. - FT

Reply 1: I hope it works for you, but I think that the people of Wyoming and Montana still have SS numbers and pay income tax. They still get marriage and driver's licenses and all the rest of the crap. I don't remember seeing anywhere that the enviro wackos have left those two states out of their bio-whatever plans or that the endangered species or any of the other insane laws like that don't apply to Wyoming, etc.

I'm not trying to put you down or denigrate what you are trying to do, but I'd like a little more detail. Just exactly what is different and what is more free there than other places? If you really want people, especially those with families, to risk everything they have to move there, it seems they need a little more detail to base it on. They will also be quite free to freeze or starve to death because they can't make a living there. I'd like to see that addressed. It takes more than just "courage" to do something like that. It takes facts, careful planning and preparation - some other vital parts of living free.

I have not seen anything yet to convince me moving anywhere is a good idea. I'd really like to have some articles honestly exploring some of these questions, with some real meat details along with the emotional "courage" stuff. Boston has made a pretty good start. Anybody else want to take a stab at it?
xxxxxx (name withheld until I get permission)

Reply 2: Montana and Wyoming are not yet shining beacons on a hill, but some of us think it is worth making an effort to have some places where we can concentrate effectively and not only shore up what freedom may still exist in these states, but through force of numbers, reverse the tide. These states are being promoted because they have small indigenous populations which have a relatively high degree of predisposition toward freedom. They share characteristics in common with rural areas throughout the West, the Ozarks, the South, and to some extent, the Midwest. But because Montana and Wyoming lack the really big cities found in other states, the rural influences still predominate.

I would not claim that a move to these states is going to be easy. Indeed, it may be difficult, depending on your circumstances. The economy is not great here, nor the wage levels. Some areas have really low housing prices (and poor job prospects), and others have housing prices which approach the national norm, coupled with lower than average wages. As xxxxx xxxxx said in an essay regarding Montana, Bring Guns and Money. If you have any options regarding working out of your home, or using the internet in the course of your work, there are many opportunities in Montana (and I'm sure Wyoming as well) to acquire property cheaply and make a go of it. Some professions are in demand, such as teachers and nurses and doctors, in rural areas, but don't expect to get rich.

____, many of your questions regarding specifics have been researched in some detail, and are postedat .

xxxxx (name withheld until I get permission)

Reply 3: *Hi, Beautiful,
I love your attitude, but I'm afraid I've got to confess that I live in
Montana and I do not use the SSN, do not pay the Federal Income tax, do not
register my guns with any government anywhere, do not use the "marriage
license", do not use a driver's license, do not use a bank account, do not
use a credit card, do not own any property, and do not do a number of lesser
annoying practices common to current American society.

Perhaps I'm just a very lucky dude, but I moved to Montana three years ago and
have found the general levels of freedom here to be far superior to any
states excepting Alaska and Wyoming. Plus, I've found good neighbors here
like xxxxxxx, xxxxxx, and xxxxxxx and xxxxxxx, and etc
and etc. I've also found that a dude like me, who flunked out of college long
ago, can survive nicely in Montana if he is willing to use his hands and his
head. Maybe everything comes down to that "courage" which Fran's essay
illustrates. I moved here on courage. I did not know if I could survive in
Montana when I arrived here three years ago. I just knew that I could no
longer put up with life-as-usual back east and down south, so I hit the road
with my stuff and have found that life is wonderful here for me. Courage
sometimes works! :)

Xxxxxxx has spoken eloquently of Montanan and Wyomingian (is that a
word?) cultural mores and morays, and I assure you that xxxxx has spoken the
truth on that matter. Boston is operating on very sound intelligence, and I
have faith in his vision, his ability to be a libertarian-styled leader, and
his instincts regarding liberty. The people I personally know who are moving
there are strong liberty people, and they're smart to boot. (My hope is that
Boston will continue to resist all the "needs" to "organize" the movement,

Anyway, xxxxx, I'm one person in Montana, whom you know personally and have
met more than once, who does not do any of those things you've listed above.
If my good neighbors up here do use the licenses and SSNs and pay the taxes,
it's only because me'n xxxxxx and xxxxx ain't got around to convertin' all
of 'em yet, hehehe. But we're workin' on it. :)

Elias (name used without's a jumble)

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Thoughts on Courage

America has become all but emasculated. Thanks in part to government schools, Dr. Spock, and daytime TV.

I was watching a neighborhood t-ball game last year. This is a game where kids swing a bat at a ball perched on top of a post. First of all, I have a problem with the whole concept. For 200 years, our kids swung sticks or bats at balls UNTIL they could hit them. But in today's mamby-pamby society, this has become politically incorrect because some children aren't ABLE to hit the ball. But, this isn't what really set me off. What REALLY set me off was that no team wins. They just want all the kids to have a good time and learn to be good sports. Our socialist soccer moms are teaching kids that winning isn't nearly as important as just playing ball to learn to get along. This is just one of dozens of examples of changes designed to emasculate our society.

"Now why on earth would anyone want to emasculate our society?", you might ask.
Simple; they want us to be docile when they take away our rights. They don't want us to be used to fighting, let alone winning. They don't want us to develop our natural survival instincts.

Our society is growing up without courage. Most people have no "heart", no "fight", no "guts".
I was lucky to have grown up with parents who survived the depression. They taught me the meaning of courage. In my lifetime, my father went bankrupt twice, and still managed to put seven kids through college while being self-employed.
As I grew up, I was never afraid of failure, only of failing to try. I did what I wanted and started many of my own businesses. During the summer break of my second year of college, I took a bicycle trip from Cape Hatteras, NC to San Francisco, CA.  The trip took 5 weeks. Most days, I rode between 150 and 200 miles a day. When I started the trip, I had $175 in cash. I had no "set" route, and I had never done an "overnight" bike trip in my life. Everyone said I was crazy, that I would be killed, that I should plan to do the trip with an experienced touring company. Frankly, I didn't understand all the fuss. I knew that I could do anything I put my mind to, so I just went for it. On the trip, I discovered a lot about myself and a lot about the country. It was on this trip that I made up my mind that someday, I would live in Wyoming. For years, and even today, when people learned of my trip, the first question they ask is, "weren't you scared?". I never understood that question. For me, it was as natural as anything else I had done in my life, what on earth was there to be scared of? Now, 25 years after my trip, I realize why people asked me that question. They lack courage. Courage to follow their dreams, courage to take risks, courage to go into "unknown territory". I submit that most Americans have lost their courage; it has been bred out of them. They have been punished for thinking and questioning the status quo.

But, it is time that folks summon every bit of courage they can muster and begin to exercise these weak muscles. The time is coming when we will either stand up for what we believe, or it will be lost forever. For decades, we have stood by and watched as our rights were violated. We allowed the government to give us social security numbers, marriage licenses, building permits, income tax, and ban firearms in cities. We have allowed it to happen without so much as a peep. Now, we have our young men and women forced to wear light blue caps and follow orders from non-American leaders and fight (err... I mean keep peace) for the UN. We willingly let the government control every facet of our lives. We are nearing the time when it will be impossible to travel in this country without federal government issued identification and permission.

Those of us who still believe in freedom understand that there is a price to pay. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. We also understand that those who remain surrounded by those who lack courage, will most likely not fare as well as those who are surrounded by others who are willing to defend their rights. Until now, there has been no "safe haven" for those seeking freedom. But now, there is a movement to concentrate those who are serious about freedom into a smaller geographic area. The hope is that once we have a nucleus of courageous individuals, that the momentum will spread and we can help others to find their courage. The hope is that by nurturing courageous instincts, rather than stifling them, courage will grow and become a welcome feeling rather than a foreign one. And for those who can muster up the courage to move to Wyoming, you will be rewarded with freedom. You see, freedom isn't completely gone from this country, it is still hiding in a few remote spots. Wyoming, has weathered the storm. The folks in Wyoming have not given up their rights as easily as some of the other states. However, the government continues its relentless fight for centralized control. The folks in Wyoming have done a great job of keeping the jackals at bay, but the fight is getting more difficult and maybe it is time to bring in some backups. So, if you desire freedom and have the courage to fight for it, perhaps you should consider Wyoming. Bring your guns, leave your attitude at home.