Curious about the political climate in Northern Idaho?

I received an email today from someone who is, “interested in potentially moving to rural Northern Idaho. However, I’ve heard conflicting descriptions of what the politics are like.”

I get a request something like this, maybe, once a year. I decided to make it a blog post so I don’t have to rewrite it every time.

It’s been several years since I actually lived there enough to consider it my actual residence but I do own property there, spend the weekend there about once a month, and I have many friends and relatives there. I still consider it “home” but that is more of an attitude and viewpoint thing rather than a physical sense. Also keep in mind that my experience is with mostly with North Central Idaho, some limited experience in Northern Idaho and does not apply to the state of Southern Idaho (there is a political, social, and geographical divide between the southern part of the state and the rest of the state).

The concern of my correspondent was:

…some people make it sound like if you let slip that you don’t hate Obama or whatever everyone will hate you. And I still have little experience with what the political landscape in the broader USA is actually like. It’s easy to dismiss my ultra-liberal family who see everything other than New York and San Francisco as a kind of a wasteland. Somebody who claims that “his clients would shoot him if he sold to someone who is OK with liberals” is rather scarier, even though I’m mostly interested in getting away from liberals.

Failure to hate Obama will cause everyone to hate you? I think is a totally unwarranted concern. While I think it would be possible to find a place where such people existed it would be very rare. I have progressive relatives there (and Dad was, for all intents and purposes, a pretty hard core socialist) who are annoying because they sometimes want “non-believers” to agree with them. The worst I have seen happen when someone expressed progressive beliefs is that people try to change the subject and, if that doesn’t work, they walk away from the conversation. Shoot someone for their political beliefs? No. They might offer to take them shooting or hunting or show them their stuffed elk head, knowing that it would tweak their progressive sensibilities, but there wouldn’t be any intent to injury anything more than their delicate psyche.

For the person that likes certain aspects of the progressive social culture but wants to escape the economic oppression you should consider Moscow Idaho. It is filled with “frustrated liberals”. It is a university town but they don’t have enough voting power in the state and have difficulty dominating at the county level. I lived in Moscow for many years and would sometimes attend “concerts in the park” and other cultural events and one of my favorite parts of it was seeing the “liberal tears”. They wanted those type of events to all be “free” so they would be “accessible to everyone”.

Even in a small logging/farming town like Orofino I see some of my old high school classmates whining on Facebook about how terrible the Republicans are and the worst that I can see happen to them is that no one seems to care what they think.

So, I would agree with the statement that, politically, it is a nice place for a “recovering liberal” who is tired of being crushed between San Francisco and LA.

The climate may be a different story. A lot of places, particularly the further north and the high elevation you go, will be cold in the winter. It can be brutally cold. On the farm a few miles and a couple thousand feet above Orofino during the winter of 1969/1970 it got down to -30 F for about a week with about six feet of snow in a single storm. The electricity and phones were out for a full week too. That was a record breaker and there hasn’t been a winter like that since. There was one winter, probably in the late 1990s, where it never got above 0 F for a month. That was rare too. But for someone from southern California that could be frighteningly extreme. If the cold weather isn’t something you want to experience then Lewiston may be better fit. It is considered “the banana belt” area of Idaho. It has the lowest elevation in the state and while the winters are usually pretty mild the summers can be brutally hot with temperatures frequently over 100 F. The humidity is fairly low but doesn’t really qualify as a “dry heat” like you get in the deserts of Arizona and Nevada. But it is far less oppressive than the Midwest or the east coast humidity.

Amazon has changed things some in regards to access to goods but it still may be a cultural shock to people growing up in or near a city. Where I grew up they have to drive a considerable distance (and it took even longer before the roads were paved) to get to grocery, hardware, and clothing stores. It might be an hour or more to a town with a shopping mall. Even now you could live in a small town and will need to drive 40 miles before you can get service on your cell phone. High speed Internet, if you can get it, could be 8 Mbps down and 4 Mbps up.

The last thing of considerable note to tell people who are “interested in potentially moving to rural Northern Idaho” from, say California, is something that I found very confusing starting on my first day of college. I was at the University of Idaho (Moscow) and several students from California, New Jersey, and New York (mostly wildlife and forestry majors) asked, “What is there to do around here?” I didn’t really understand the question and when I asked for clarification they would explain, “What do you do for to ‘get out” in the evenings or weekends?” “Well”, I would explain, “On the weekend in the summer you might go fishing, camping, or maybe boating if you had a boat. In the fall some people go hunting. In the winter we didn’t go out much except to feed the cows or work in the shop. And in the evenings I generally watch TV or read a book.” This pretty much left them speechless and it wasn’t because I had answered their question question satisfactorily. After I graduated and moved to the Seattle area I finally understood what they were incapable of explaining to me. While I still don’t have the strong need for the sort of stimulation they were asking about I think I know what they meant. Sorry, in many parts of Idaho you will experience extreme deprivation if that is what you need to get by.

I love Idaho, I wish I could live there all the time but I’m sort of addicted to my well paying job in the big city and I only get to visit “home”. But it’s not going to be for everyone. The more rural you get the more self reliant you need to be in both physical and social domains. And even though you feel oppressed by a state like California, it may take some getting used to or may not even be for you.

Quote of the day—Ayn Rand

Contrary to the prevalent views of today’s alleged scholars, history is not an unintelligible chaos ruled by chance and whim—historical trends can be predicted, and changed—men are not helpless, blind, doomed creatures carried to destruction by incomprehensible forces beyond their control.

There is only one power that determines the course of history, just as it determines the course of every individual life: the power of man’s rational faculty—the power of ideas. If you know a man’s convictions, you can predict his actions. If you understand the dominant philosophy of a society, you can predict its course. But convictions and philosophy are matters open to man’s choice.

There is no fatalistic, predetermined historical necessity. Atlas Shrugged is not a prophecy of our unavoidable destruction, but a manifesto of our power to avoid it, if we choose to change our course.

It is the philosophy of the mysticism-altruism-collectivism axis that has brought us to our present state and is carrying us toward a finale such as that of the society presented in Atlas Shrugged. It is only the philosophy of the reason-individualism-capitalism axis that can save us and carry us, instead, toward the Atlantis projected in the last two pages of my novel.

Ayn Rand
1966
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, Is Atlas Shrugging? Pages 181 and 182
[It is trivial to see the dystopia Rand wrote about in Atlas Shrugged in the world around us. It is also trivial to see her utopian correction to that path is not being, and probably could never have been, followed.

I’m usually accused of being too, if not insanely, optimistic. And even looking through those rose colored glasses I only see a tiny hint of a mirage that might be a path to recovery without going through an extremely dark place and time. I fear we went speeding past our exit years, if not decades, ago and our economic and personal freedoms will suffer violent abuse without realistic hope of recovery without extreme suffering and great loss of life.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Grizzled_Stranger

Of the more than 57,763 restrictive gun laws called gun controls we know of, not one has made anyone safer, or one has reduced crime, and not one has reduced the incidence of politically motivated murders. Given that not one gun control law has produced the promised results, to cut crime, make people safer, or reduce politically motivated murders, perhaps it would be well to examine just what these wonderful laws that were going to eliminate crime, guarantee safety for all, and stop murders such as the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand actually do.

Given the facts, and that the facts are easy to obtain, why are we having this demand for gun control, a law that has never delivered on advocates promises, why the demand to add to the longest consecutive string of failures in human history?

Grizzled_Stranger
August 31, 2017
Comment to A case for gun control
[Note: I corrected a few typos from the original.

Grizzled_Stranger is, almost for certain, asking a rhetorical question. As I have asked many times before, “Since we know gun control doesn’t make the general population safer, what is the real reason some people advocate for gun control?”

Most people these days know the answer. It’s about control, it’s not about public safety. Many people feel their own lives/minds are out of control and it makes them feel good if they can control something and/or someone, even it is other people and/or their property.

For others, they like the power of being able to control other people. People with guns are not nearly as easy to control as those without guns. These people have the same mindset as Vladimir Lenin.—Joe]

Quote of the day—David B. Kopel

The Japanese Constitution, in stronger terms than its American counterpart, guarantees, social equality for women, creates a right to counsel, prohibits prolonged detention, outlaws courtroom use of confessions extracted under duress, and bars convictions based solely on confession. Today, every one of these provisions is routinely violated; action in accordance with those constitutional commands is the exception rather than the rule.

David B. Kopel
1992
The Samurai, the Mountie and the Cowboy
[This reinforces a lesson I have learned many times in other domains and contexts. If you don’t have the means to enforce a contract the contract can and will be violated. The Japanese peasantry were long forbidden to own weapons. Any constitutional “guarantee” in such an environment is laughable. And even in our political environment only a tiny shadow of the constitutional limitations of government are enforced. But one can imagine how, with the right to keep and bear arms, it could be enforced and the limits to government restored.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Brien Lundin

If they don’t want you to know about it, if they don’t want you to own it, you probably should.

Brien Lundin
August 14, 2017
If They Don’t Want You To Own It, You Probably Should
[Lundin was talking about gold, but my first thought was more along the lines of explosives, guns, and ammo.—Joe]

Sign of the times

In Bellingham Washington yesterday:

WP_20170826_18_20_01_Pro

I keep waiting and wondering what the Federal government is going to do about the enforcement of the Federal laws against marijuana. And I wonder how that resolution will be reconciled with the states which have passed Firearms Freedom Acts.

These are two “elephants in the room” which the politicians appear unable to see.

Quote of the day—John Robb

If we are unlucky, we won’t see meaningful change and this existential crisis will drive us into authoritarianism.  The form of this authoritarianism depends on which network wins.  If the bad boy network dominates, we could see a dictator like Putin (or much worse) climb the ladder of chaos by scapegoating and purging enemies of the state.  If the mean girl network gains control, we could see intersectional identity (all identities are in a perpetual struggle for dominance akin to Communist class warfare) mutate into an ideology that violently purges groups of people who become obstacles to progress.  In their extreme forms, both of these outcomes could create big piles of bodies.

John Robb
August 23, 2017
American Politics: Bad Boys vs. Mean Girls
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Ray Starman

I believe it is no longer hyperbole to say the United States may very well be on the road to a Second Civil War. This time it won’t be North vs. South, but Left vs. Right, Marxism vs. American Nationalism, Lunacy vs. Sanity, Tyranny vs. Liberty.

Sadly, there will be more violence, more vandalism and more bloodshed on both sides. There will be more confrontations for one reason and one reason only, the left wants it.

The left wants a Civil War. They very well may get it.

Ray Starman
August 15, 2017
The Left is Marching the Nation Towards Civil War
[While I’m about 90% certain they want a civil war I’m not convinced they will get it.

The pattern I see follows that of Germany in the 1930’s. The Nazi party gained political power legally until it almost had control. Then as its grasp on power started to fade it dramatically stepped up the violence and seized power. Had the government been better about stopping the street thugs the Nazi’s would not have been able to up the violence and seize power.

There have been many recent cases, including Portland, Berkley, and Charlottesville where the police did essentially nothing. This only encourages the political left. If the police in this country do there jobs and the thugs end up in jail, seriously injured, or dead the violence will decrease and we will avoid a civil war.

The police have been militarizing for decades now. It’s time for them to use some of that equipment and training and prevent another civil war. It is far better to risk injuring and/or killing a few hundred thugs now than to go through a civil war in the following years.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Terry L.

Volunteers are person that are handling, using the explosives in helping you but you do not pay them. It is still your responsibility to make sure you are not using someone who is a prohibitive person. so to answer your question, if you do not pay them, they are not to be listed as possessors.

Terry L.
Legal Instruments Examiner
BATF&E – FELC
Via email, August 21, 2017
[What this means is that my unpaid staff at Boomershoot does not need to go through the hassle of filling out ATF paperwork.

I’m not sure who this change in understanding helps the most.

I saw some part of the paperwork, yes, literally paper, on their side each time I added a person to help with the Boomershoot reactive targets and that person and/or I doesn’t keep up their paperwork in a timely manner.

This changes some things beyond the obvious.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Wil Radford

The left is agitating for a fight. They don’t care how bad it gets. Keep poking the bear long enough and you will get a fight. They want the fight to serve as the catalyst for the destruction of all civil rights expressed in the Constitution, and granted by God under Natural Law. Sickening how ignorant they are, mere “useful idiots”. They will be the ones screaming the loudest about their “rights”when they are being walked out to the execution wall.

Wil Radford
August 17, 2017
Comment to NJ Dems Have 20 Gun Control Bills Lined Up If Murphy Becomes Governor
[The USSR, Italy, Germany, China, and Cambodia all come to mind. When the “intellectuals” who pushed for the political change realized things weren’t turning out as they planned and started complaining the tyrants in power sent them to the gulags, firing squads, camps, and killing fields. This was because these people had some level of influence and hence were a threat to the tyrant’s power.

Those that advocate for the elimination of individual rights believe the conditions they bring about will only be hostile to their political foes and are often surprised when those very conditions they imagined are imposed upon them.

The proper role of government is to protect human rights. The further it strays from that domain the higher the risk of enabling extreme evil.

Be careful what you wish for. You may get it.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Kim Rhode

The second amendment was put in there not just so we can go shoot skeet or go shoot trap. It was put in so we could defend our first amendment, the freedom of speech, and also to defend ourselves against our own government.

Kim Rhode
August 10, 2017
Gold Medal Shooter Takes Aim at Gun Control Supporters
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Epiphanies

Epiphany (not the Cristian feast / celebration): a moment when you suddenly feel that you understand, or suddenly become conscious of, something that is very important to you.

They can be useful. When the world seems to be going utterly insane, and you wonder why it’s not all making sense, and you get an insight, a realization, that makes all the pieces fall into place. You gain clarity. Sometimes its an almost religious experience. It might be nothing more than the realization that… you are not alone in seeing what you see. The moment the little boys shouts out “But the emperor is naked!” and nobody in the emperor’s retinue is close enough to beat the kid into silence and word spreads.

Everyone has that point where the “obvious” is no longer “crazy” and becomes “true.”

A FOX news headlines shout “Charlottesville white supremacist rally blamed for 3 deaths, 35 injuries.” Oh no, that’s horrible! many exclaim.

Then you come to find out that two of them are from a crashing police helicopter. The third was from a guy driving through a crowd that was armed and violent, after the police not only failed to protect the marchers, but were actively helping the Antifa, and the government had done their best to deny their free speech rights. More here and elsewhere.

(short background: they applied for a rally permit, got shot down because of the content of their speech, went to court, got it reinstated. Come the time for the rally, they were not protected from the Antifa counter-protest, but actively herded through it, then the police vanished. The cops were, to all appearances, in collusion with the armed and violence Anti thugs trying to shut down a permitted and lawful free speech rally. I.i., they are obeying orders of their left-wing paymasters. Now questions are rising about the actual identity of the driver (false flag? in any case, the pieces presented as “known” are very inconsistent). All the violence was initiated, as usual, by the left. All the news headlines are misleading.

People are starting to notice, and suddenly go “waiiiittt a minute… maybe they are NOT being honest in their coverage!” and they start not believing anything the media says. And the more hysterical the media gets, the more they double down, the more obvious it becomes, the more people look at their friends at work and quietly go “do you believe any of this crap? No? Me neither.” The nod their heads at the HR meetings, and quietly think to themselves that it might be time to vote differently. And they hope, they pray, that it’s still not to late for votes to matter, because the next steps are really, really unpleasant for all concerned.

Quote of the day—Sarah Hoyt

We women who grew up reading Heinlein are different.  We know that we are different, but know we are as capable as men of creating a future worth living in, and more important than men because only we can give birth to the future.

The women of feminist-offense can doubtlessly find something to complain about in everything Robert A. Heinlein – a man who loved women – wrote and said.  And I hope they enjoy it.  But only we Heinlein women are capable of giving birth to children who will take over the stars.

Sarah Hoyt
July 31, 2017
Robert A. Heinlein: The Man Who Loved Women
[Aside from some difficult to quantify genetic contribution, Robert Heinlein was probably a greater influence on my personal philosophy than anyone else in my life.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Sebastian

Gun control has always been a weapon of the elite ruling classes to keep the masses in a state of subjugation. When all you have is the vote, you don’t really have much. Elites can manipulate the masses into voting the way elites want them to vote, or can outright manipulate the system (see Venezuela). An armed population will always have an actual say in how things are run.

Sebastian
August 8, 2017
You Don’t Say: Gun Control Disarms Poor
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Doug Casey

I’ll speculate it was largely due to an intellectual factor, the invention of the printing press; and a physical factor, the widespread use of gunpowder. The printing press destroyed the monopoly the elites had on knowledge; the average man could now see that they were no smarter or “better” than he was. If he was going to fight them (conflict is, after all, what politics is all about), it didn’t have to be just because he was told to, but because he was motivated by an idea. And now, with gunpowder, he was on an equal footing with the ruler’s knights and professional soldiers.

Right now I believe we’re at the cusp of another change, at least as important as the ones that took place around 12,000 years ago and several hundred years ago. Even though things are starting to look truly grim for the individual, with collapsing economic structures and increasingly virulent governments, I suspect help is on the way from historical evolution. Just as the agricultural revolution put an end to tribalism and the industrial revolution killed the kingdom, I think we’re heading for another multipronged revolution that’s going to make the nation-state an anachronism. It won’t happen next month, or next year. But I’ll bet the pattern will start becoming clear within the lifetime of many now reading this.

Doug Casey
August 4, 2017
Doug Casey on the End of the Nation-State
[For more background on his thoughts regarding this topic see Doug Casey on Phyles.

I’ve been wondering, for about 30 years now, how the rapid changes in communication might affect government. What new forms of government might come about now that worldwide communication is essentially free and messages travel at the speed of light. It never really occurred to me that perhaps the nation state would evaporate. Casey points out another factor that affects the continuing viability of the nation state, cheap transportation.

Sure, I’ve read science fiction books where a planet would be owned by a corporation and was, in essence, an evil government. But Casey is talking about something different here. He talks about Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age and Snow Crash as possible examples.

I’ll have to think about it more.—Joe]

Quote of the day—David Hines @hradzka

The problem with socialism isn’t that you run out of other people’s money. The problem with socialism is that *you run out of fucking food.*

David Hines @hradzka
Tweeted on August 4, 2017
[H/T email from Ry.

Examples of this are left as an exercise for the reader.—Joe]

Quote of the day—David B. Kopel

The close surveillance of gun owners and householders comports with the police tradition of keeping close tabs on many private activities. For example, the nation’s official year-end police report includes statistics like ‘Background and Motives for Girls’ Sexual Misconduct’. The police recorded 9,402 such incidents in 1985, and determined that 37.4 per cent of the girls had been seduced, and the rest had sex ‘voluntarily’. The two leading reasons for having sex voluntarily were ‘out of curiosity’ for 19.6 per cent, and ‘liked particular boy’, for 18.1 per cent. The fact that police keep records on sex is simply a reflection of their keeping an eye on everything, including guns. Every person is the subject of a police dossier.

David B. Kopel
1993
Japanese Gun Control
[Japan has extremely low rates of crimes committed using a gun. And, as you can guess from the details about sexual conduct of girls, they also have a police state. They visit every home twice a year. The confession rate of criminal suspects is 95%. And the police routinely engage in torture or illegal treatment.

If someone suggests we should implement Japanese type gun control in the U.S. let them know they can’t have the same “success” as Japan without a police state to back it up. Implementing a police state here would be “challenging”.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Ayn Rand

Observe the paradoxes built up about capitalism. It has been called a system of selfishness (which, in my sense of the term, it is) — yet it is the only system that drew men to unite on a large scale into great countries, and peacefully to cooperate across national boundaries, while all the collectivist, internationalist, One-World systems are splitting the world into Balkanized tribes.

Capitalism has been called a system of greed — yet it is the system that raised the standard of living of its poorest citizens to heights no collectivist system has ever begun to equal, and no tribal gang can conceive of.

Capitalism has been called nationalistic — yet it is the only system that banished ethnicity, and made it possible, in the United States, for men of various, formerly antagonistic nationalities to live together in peace.

Capitalism has been called cruel — yet it brought such hope, progress and general good will that the young people of today, who have not seen it, find it hard to believe.

As to pride, dignity, self-confidence, self-esteem — these are characteristics that mark a man for martyrdom in a tribal society and under any social system except capitalism.

Ayn Rand
The Voice of Reason
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

ATF on binary explosives

I recently received an email from the ATF saying one of their bulletins, Safety and Security Information for Federal Explosives Licensees and Permittees, has been updated. Of particular interest was what they say about binary explosives (such as Tannerite):

ATF would like to remind those who manufacture, distribute, import, use, or store binary explosives of the vital importance of security safeguards for these materials. After a binary explosive is mixed, it is, by definition, an explosive and must be transported, used, and stored as an explosive. Whether the explosive materials are in the process of manufacture, in storage, or in use, we urge everyone to take all necessary measures to safeguard explosive materials and prevent them from falling into the hands of those who may use them in criminal or terrorist acts. We encourage all persons involved with binary explosives to report any suspicious behavior or unusual activity surrounding these materials to ATF and to local law enforcement authorities. Suspicious behavior may include a customer attempting to purchase large quantities of binary explosive materials while knowing little about the product. Unlike regulated explosives materials, ATF does not require persons to report the theft of precursor or binary explosive components. However, we request that everyone voluntarily report any theft or loss of these chemical explosive precursors to the local law enforcement authority and to the USBDC.


Note:
A Federal explosives license is required to manufacture (mix) binary explosives for sale, distribution, or your own business use. Also, users of binary explosives must comply with their state and local explosives regulations regarding binary explosives and their use.

Just common sense advice. We can help avoid attempts at oppressive regulation if we watch out for bad guys ourselves.