The asterisk: I sometimes append the asterisk when referring to myself.
I describe myself as an activist for individual rights, an advocate of peace through mutual tolerance if not acceptance, and a champion of social justice through personal responsibility. As a pacifist, I nonetheless support an individual’s right, with whatever force it might take, to defend himself immediately and decisively from physical assault or affront to property or liberty. To put it in the converse, if I choose to punch someone in the face or break into his home, I am inviting him to respond with any force that, in his judgment, will terminate my assault or my aggression instantly. One who exercises the right of self-defense, in my view, may nevertheless be a true pacifist, but merely one who chooses not to be a victim.
I am an activist against the creation of “rights” through coercion of others, against peace through capitulation, and against justice manifested as hatred of those who withdraw from mass hysteria. I am also an activist on behalf of Almighty God, but that is beyond the scope of this piece and can better be appreciated through my book, Fire, Wind & Yesterday.
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Management, (University of Maine, 1977) — the education required of state wildlife biologists and game wardens. My undergraduate major was the science of environmental ecology (a subject distinctly different from environmentalist politics without the science). I am a Registered Maine Guide who has hiked and hunted and fished and canoed and boated and lived in the northern Maine woods since the mid-1970s, a transplant from the western mountains of Maine.
I lay serious claim to the titles of Activist, Advisor, Advisor to the Administration, Economic Advisor, Political Advisor, Constitutional Analyst, Legal Analyst, Foreign Policy Analyst, Media Analyst, Military Analyst, Cryptanalyst, Linguist, Expert, Academic Expert, Unnamed Source, Strategist, and more… not that anyone listens, but I am as qualified as anyone named in the news media to assume any of these monikers. How can that be, you ask? I’m active all the time, even sometimes as an agitator, I analyze and advise and strategize, I’m an expert and a source, and, yes, I’m a cryptanalyst. It’s true that very few listen, but nevertheless, I advise. The beneficiaries of my activism, analysis, and advice are those who read my commentary, wherever I might share it.
I’m every bit as much an expert on things political as Noam Chomsky, whose formal education is in in linguistics, and Deepak Chopra, the medical doctor, and many other darlings of the broadcast media — who are treated as “experts” in politics because they say what the media want to hear. (Just as I do, Chomsky and Chopra each have a formal education in something far removed from the study of the U.S. Constitution. It’s plain to me that I have read it and they have not, so I claim a greater expertise in that hallowed document than they can.)
I scoff at news media reports that quote “experts” without naming them. I’m equally unimpressed by reports that credit “unnamed sources,” “legal analysts,” “political advisors,” and the like. I’m analyzing politics and laws and the media all the time. I write letters to elected officials giving my advice. I’m an expert on quite a few things, especially in dealing with the messes created by “enabling legislation.” My written work is my political activism.
The government of the USA was designed not to be a religion that could only be interpreted by high priests (lawyers). It was designed to be understood by anyone. I do my honest best to understand law as handed down, and I refuse to employ a cadre of lawyers to help me make it through an average day. All you need to know to be a legal analyst is that your can pay one lawyer $500 to tell you that an act of the legislature or that a court opinion means one thing, and then you can pay another lawyer $500 to tell you that a law or a ruling means the opposite. I usually keep my thousand dollars and decide for myself.
Those seated in state legislatures around the country and in the Congress of the USA who have any respect for the insane complexity of current law and who are willing to muck it up further do not have my respect. Government was not meant to identify all the problems I didn’t even know I had and point out all the offenses that I didn’t imagine have ever been committed against me and then force solutions upon me. I don’t need that kind of help. I believe in the complete ineptitude of a government to solve any problem except its practitioners’ re-election or re-appointment.
No one in government takes my advice, nor usually the advice of others with a lot more influence than I have in publishing and commentary — recent voices such as Ann Coulter, George Will, Bill Kristol, William F. Buckley, Jr., Robert Bork, Charles Krauthammer, and Milton Friedman, or earlier voices such as Ayn Rand, John Hospers, Ludwig von Mises, and Albert Jay Nock. But I cannot remain silent in the presence of so great a travesty as our government’s failure to meet its simple obligations. Like Cindy Lou Who, I add my voice.