Shepard Humphries Reading List

“What are the books that helped shape Shepard’s world-view?”  This is Shepard Humphries Reading List.

*Many people will read a book title or cruise through a few pages of a book, form an opinion and then say the book is lousy.  Other will give it a complete reading, however their minds are closed to new information.  I suggest that if you have already found the one and only complete truth about everything, further reading, especially of the following, is not of any use.  

** I think that “reading a book” no longer means only turning the pages of a physical book.  Formats of consumption now include Kindle & audio, and while it is not “reading” a book, much great information can be gathered by listening/watching YouTube videos, so I will include some of them as well.

Business & Self Employed

Books by Michael Gerber.  Most of them say roughly the same thing, I have most enjoyed The E-Myth Revisited and several others were also beneficial.

High Trust Selling by Todd Duncan.

EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey.

Crushing It by Gary Vaynerchuk.

Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller.


Finding Direction & Purpose in Your Life

It is no secret that Shepard believes that college is a lousy choice for 80% of people, and that there are better ways to prepare for a successful life.  This easy-to-read book will help the reader consider possibilities and consider a different type of life: Rich Dad – Poor Dad by Robert Kiyasaki.  A great follow-up by the same author is Cash Flow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki.

Listen to Jordan B. Peterson on YouTube.  I disagree with 25% of what he concludes, however the guy is really smart, politically incorrect and has some solid ideas.   https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCodkb-qBktJI5NrUsPYpf7g


Philosophy & “The Spiritual Side”

The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose is perhaps the most important book available.  It is available in audio format (free) here:

Why Won’t god Heal Amputees?  This book is in contrast to Jordan Petersen’s counsel that belief in the supernatural is good for humanity in the long run because it provides order.

Check back for more additions to Shepard Humphries Reading List!

 


The NRA and Dianne Feinstein Agree On Gun Control In Principle

The NRA and Dianne Feinstein Agree On Gun Control In Principle

By Shepard Humphries

A principle is a foundational rule from which one makes future decisions.  Principles must be consistent and may not be dependent upon exterior factors.  If exterior factors can change a principle; it isn’t a principle, but rather a general preference with wiggle room.  One may change their principle if they examine it and find that it is not good, and when they do so, they must let go of the old principle.  Let’s examine two principles relating to wife-beating to illustrate the nature of conflicting principles.

  1. A husband should only physically discipline his wife when absolutely necessary, and when necessary, the discipline should not be excessively cruel or unreasonable.

On the opposite side of the spectrum is the following principle:

  1. No person should initiate violence against other people, including a spouse.”

The first principle is held by most of the 7 billion people in the world.  Some of the world’s most powerful religions accept and teach it while other cultures frown upon it much the same as they frown upon farting in public.  There are of course many different specifics regarding the initiation of violent physical actions, ranging from shaking an uncooperative wife by her arms to get her attention, to the extreme of beating to death as punishment for cheating.  These are matters of preference and of degree.

The second principal is held by only a minority of the world’s population.  They are a stubborn lot that always has an excuse for why disobedient wives should not be disciplined.  This group holds to their principle, even when faced with scenarios like, “If you don’t make sure she knows who is boss, how will you know that you and your kids will have a meal ready at night when you get home?”  These people that hold to the second principal retort that they, “do not know how everything would work, but they know that it is wrong to initiate violence.”  They are labeled as being dogmatic idealists and refuse to use the sense that is commonly held and to understand the problems that would occur in today’s world if women are not forcibly controlled.

With this example under our belts, let’s look at the title of this article, the agreement in principle of the NRA and gun control advocates.  Let’s again look at two principles.

  1. The right of humans to keep and bear arms is not absolute, and Governments should infringe upon those rights by controlling who owns guns and the types of guns that may be privately held.

On the opposite side of the spectrum is the following principle.

  1. The right of people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed upon.

The first principal is the one held by the NRA, all national governments, the world government and Dianne Feinstein.  There are billions of people that hold this principle, and within all of those minds there are many different specific preferences.  Some might think a rifle magazine for private use should only hold 30 rounds, while others think 29 or 28 or 10 or 3 would be a better number for round capacity.

Some think that .30 caliber is as big as a bore as should be allowed for individuals to have, and others think the transgression cap should be .50 caliber or 20 mm.  Some think that those that have demonstrated opposition to government’s preferences and are labeled “felons” should be excluded from being allowed firearms ownership, along with black people, wife-discipliners, Jews, those that get parking tickets, atheists and Muslims.  These are matters of preference and of degree.  All the people with this principle agree that it is necessary and good for governments to control firearms ownership of their subjects.

The second principal is held by only a minority of the world’s population, primarily philosophers and those in the peace and freedom movements.  These people argue that guns are like books, sticks and other things compiled of atoms.  They argue that humans should be free to own and use whatever atom-compilations they personally choose, and that the risk of people using books, guns or other things in a bad way does not give others the right to preemptively deny the person the right to have that item.

They are labeled as being dogmatic idealists and refuse to use the sense that is commonly held and to understand the problems that would occur in today’s world if individuals were allowed by their governments to have any book, gun or pencil they choose to have.

My point in this article is that the NRA holds the same principles as the anti-gun crowd.  They only differ in preference and degree.  I happen to be on the side of the second groups in both of the above examples.  You may of course choose which side you agree with, but to be intellectually honest and consistent, one must accept the good and the bad of following their principles.

If you believe that a savage repeat-offender black atheist felon that is released from prison should not have the right to keep and bear certain arms, you might be wise and your preference might save someone’s life, however, you must admit that you do NOT believe in the principle that the right of people to keep and bear arms should not be infringed upon.

The NRA and Dianne Feinstein Agree On Gun Control In PrincipleThe NRA and Mrs. Feinstein have strong preferences, many that they disagree with each other about, and some that they agree.  In principle however, they agree that the right of people to keep and bear arms should be infringed upon by the government.  Neither speak out about a danger of a government being better armed than the subjects it controls.  What about the GOA and the JPFO, what is their principle?

So, speaking of intellectual honesty, should I, and people that share my belief in the principle that people’s right to keep and bear arms should not be infringed upon hate the NRA and Mrs. Feinstein?  Both the NRA and Dianne, as well as those that fund and otherwise control them are “just people.”  Like me, they are wrong about some stuff and right about some stuff.  They are “just people” like me, and I will happily be friends with them.

The NRA has what could be an excellent Training Division (if funded & de-bureaucratized better) that is not associated with their government special interest ILA division, and they have another division called the NRA Foundation, that while corrupt, is not at all associated with their government division.  I am a supporter of two of the divisions, and while I cannot support the government wing that fights for a principle that is contrary to the one I hold, I would happily stand alongside Dianne and an NRA ILA attorney and volunteer at a disaster relief soup kitchen, or go out and have a blast shooting clays with them!


Crony Capitalism or Capitalism? Licensing Requirements

Crony Capitalism or Capitalism?  Licensing Requirements

Watchful folks watch for a tactic used in crony capitalism that works as follows. A businessperson named Goofus gets tired of competition, and rather than providing a better quality good or service or lowering prices, they think of an easier way to defeat the competition. They figure that if they can get the folks that control force to make rules that are good for them, they will be set! Goofus “lobbies” politicians with excuses the politicians recognize are not sound excuses, but all parties play along. Goofus complains that some of his competitors are not good and that maybe someday someone could be harmed.

Some time later, after “years of public hearings, community meetings and much public discourse” a rule or law if drafted. This rule “happens” to place Goofus in the position that makes him “legal” and “responsive to community needs.” Gallant, another person seeking to start providing that good or service is at a disadvantage, and because he is a start-up, can not afford the legal quagmire constructed by Goofus and his political buddies. This is called a “barrier to entry” and while some barriers are natural and good, this once is constructed by force.

Then, to make matters worse, the capitalist Gallant, is lumped into the same category as Goofus, they are condemned as “capitalists.” Gallant IS a capitalist, but Goofus is not, or at best is a “crony capitalist.” Capitalism is good. Crony Capitalism is bad.

Some say that without crony capitalism people without a year’s education would give bad haircuts, that there would be too many boats on the Snake River, that experienced nurses would not diagnose common colds properly, that cabs would be dirty, etc. Lifting rules would create chaos, some say. I disagree. While the buyer would have the responsibility being aware, and indeed, some folks would make lousy purchasing decisions, this true freedom would be best for humanity.

As a thought experiment, let’s examine one vocation, hair cutting. In the political sub-jurisdiction in which I live, Wyoming, a government license is required for a person to cut other folks hair in exchange for money. The alleged reason for this licensing requirement is to keep consumers same from the spreading of disease.

The minimum schooling needed to be eligible for a license is just under 11 months. This time includes classroom and working cutting hair under “direction” of government board approved professionals. After 11 months, a person is then “allowed” to cut other people’s hair.

What about Mary? Mary grew up on a ranch, and watched her mother cut her brother’s hair, her father’s hair and her own hair. In her early teens, she began helping her mom, and even cut and styled her mom’s hair. When busy season at the ranch brought hired help, she also did haircuts for them. By the time she got married at age 19, she had done hundreds of haircuts.

Mary moved to San Diego where her new husband was stationed while he was in the Navy. She cut hair for many of his friends, mostly buzz cuts and crew cuts. Mary watched a couple youtube videos about the danger of sharing diseases and rather than just doing a quick rinse under steaming hot water, she began dipping her tools into a professional grade solution. He husband even built her a black-light box. Not only was he intent on defending his family and neighbors from attack, he was also quite the handyman!

In 2014, Mary and her husband moved to Wyoming to begin their productive lives. They decided that Mary would work part-time and her husband full time. Mary set up a sign in her front yard, “Simple Haircuts for Simply 10 Bucks.” Within a couple weeks, she was contacted by a lady from the Wyoming Board of Cosmetology. She was told that the board had received several complaints and after checking their records they noticed she did not have a license on file. Mary confirmed with them that she did not have a government license. She was notified that she must stop cutting hair until she had the proper licensing documents in place.

Who do you think cared enough about Mary’s offerings to complain to the people with a monopoly on initiating force, the government? Who would be harmed by Mary’s entrepreneurial endeavors? Following the money would lead us first to her competition, the folks in her area that attended the 1-year school and paid for the testing and license. Perhaps the schools that teach hair cutting would be frustrated that she had not paid them to attend their school. Perhaps the government was sore that they had not been paid and given the power of OK-ing Mary’s vocation?

What should Mary and her husband do? Should they move to a freer country like Mexico where the government only requires a bribe of $20 a month to refrain from stopping her productivity?

This would certainly make it easier for Mary to pursue her entrepreneurial happiness, however she wants to remain in the community in which she was born and where her family and friends live. To comply with the extortionist’s demands, Mary would need to pay for a school far away from her home and spend 11 months away from her husband. This is not acceptable. Mary simply wants to use a skill she has developed to earn a bit of money. Mary contemplates the meanings of several words.

Extortion: The practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats
Kidnapping: The crime of seizing and carrying away a person by force or fraud or seizing and detaining a person against his or her will with an intent to carry that person away at a later time.

Mary contemplates the probable outcome of doing what she feels is right, continuing to do as she pleases on her own property without harming anyone. She has received the verbal warning, so if she continues to operate her small peaceful business, the likely next step would be a cease and desist letter from the board. If she ignored this letter and kept running her small business, she would likely receive several more letters, each more threatening and more strongly worded.

The government board would then likely file a complaint against her in a government court, Like any extortion demand, Mary would choose to ignore this summons. This would result in more strongly worded letters from the government court and the government board, including charges of failure to appear, failure to comply, failure to pay etc. If Mary continued to pretend that she lives in a :free country” by ignoring the extortionists, government employees with guns would come onto her property to kidnap her and take her to a room and imprisoning her in it.

Because Mary and her husband do not allow armed violent people to kidnap peaceful people on their property, they would likely defend themselves, and the certain result would be either imprisonment with injury or death.

What about Mary? This thought experiment uses many strong and radical words like “kidnap” and “extortion” and assumes that Mary is trying to make some kind of point. Is any portion of the above thought experiment inaccurate? Is it misleading in any way?

One could argue that when a government does a thing, it is no longer a “crime.” For example, most definitions of laws written by governments (unlike laws written by scientists) include an exception for the government, often by using the word “unlawfully” or similar. Theft is the “unlawful” taking of another’s property… Murder is “unlawful” killing of a person…

Big problems occur when governments meddle in the affairs of those they exercise ownership over. Mary’s example of the cosmetology board is only one example. it is in fact very difficult to start or operate a business in the US. This is sad, because free trade is what makes society function well, and we do not have a free market system in the US. People are labeled criminal by the government for doing peaceful and productive things.

Conclusions:

  • We do NOT live in a free country.
  • We do NOT live in a free state.
  • Government licensing requirements are bad, all of them.

Crony Capitalism or Capitalism?  Licensing Requirements


Shepism The Religion Founded by Shepard Humphries

Shepism The Religion Founded by Shepard Humphries

I am not a theist, though reared with deep exposure in Christian religions including; Mennonite, Seventh Day Adventist & Baptist.

As I matured intellectually & learned more, I was able to shed my faith and replace it with logic.  I have a Bachelors degree in Social Science, spent 10 years as a government law enforcement officer and have the equivalent of a Masters degree in philosophy with a minor in Austrian economics.

Continue reading “Shepism The Religion Founded by Shepard Humphries”