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Letters and email from readers about Backwoods Home Magazine and the BHM website


Archive for the ‘Freedom/Rights’ Category


I linked to one of your Hardyville essays

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Hi Claire-

I just wanted to drop you a line and say “thank you” and tell you I’ve linked to one of your Hardyville essays. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read or thought about the words you wrote…

Now that I have my own burgeoning readership I’ve come to appreciate the occasional email that says, “I read your blog every day and just wanted to say ‘thank you’!” Mark Twain once said he could live two weeks on a good compliment and I’m right there with him. My readers words keep buoying me up when times get tough.

Your words… “Are you racing like a little maze-rat, just to keep yourself in fancy toys?…When it comes right down to it, do you choose convenience over independence? Then you’re not on the road to Hardyville. If you want to be on the road to Hardyville, then turn around”

They made a difference. I started thinking about the life I wanted and how I could get it. It also woke me up to the fact that the whole rat race and more toys and crap were NOT what I wanted. It wasn’t an overnight change, but we are well on our way. And I’ve got a good life, one that makes me happy, and that’s better than it was.

I just wanted to remind you that you touch a lot of lives.

Christine Shuck



Monday, January 30th, 2012

Hey there! I’m a former subscriber who only stopped because I could not afford to renew my subscription, but follow you regularly (several times a week) on my work computer.

I adore Jackie Clay. Some day I’m going to get brave and really pressure can instead of only doing boiling water bath. Hooray Jackie!

But I have to say, I’m going to vote for Ron Paul. If I only write his name in on a ballot, I’m going to vote for him. In spite of the fact that he may eliminate the Social Security that I have contributed to all my working life (since age 18, against my will), and that will leave me darn near penniless unless I can continue to work. I now have nothing else to support me in my “old age”, but that’s okay, and do you know why?  Because the rest of his ideas and ideals MAKE TOTAL SENSE…..

I also am NOT going to “absentee ballot”.  Big scandal in 2008 in my precinct when it was discovered NONE of the absentee ballots had been counted!!!!!!!  And we had presidential and senatorial races going on!  The Clerk said “they didn’t have the people to count” so none of them were counted until weeks after the closing of the races, and of course by that time it didn’t matter squat….. I thought of adding to the stink that was raised…..I was going to volunteer to help count…but didn’t. I am now sorry I didn’t. I might still just do that this year.

Again, I would be a subscriber but I just don’t have the money. I had to drop my health insurance because it more than doubled. I’m paid by the line for my work, production, and it’s basically all I can do to keep my house payments up and certain other bills/expenses paid. I’m not whining, really. At least my company keeps work here in the US instead of sending it “globally”. And I am blessed to be still able to do this worik (I’m a medical transcriptionist).

Back to my original intent – VOTE FOR RON PAUL………I feel he is the ONLY one who can help us, if it’s just not too late.

Kathleen in IL


We don’t need no steenking 2nd amendment

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

I read every edition cover to cover, I read all Jackie’s Q & A’s. I have you in my Facebook feed. But nothing I have ever read has been as important as this second amendment article. It should be required reading for every person in congress. All students should read it. The government needs to remember that they work for us and that we don’t NEED them to tell us what to do.

Thank you for this. If I ever think about cancelling (not likely) I’ll remember that this one gem of information is worth more than I would pay in my lifetime. You’ve just given me, if you’ll pardon the reference, all the ammo I will ever need to go against the tide of gun control idiots!!

Thank you,

Dixie Dever


Where Is the Tea Party When It Comes to Marijuana & Gay Civil Unions?

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011


I am a long-time reader and have all of the anthologies.

Your magazine is the real deal in a market stuffed to the gills with glossy crap with more ads than content. Furthermore, you have played a part in moving my political beliefs more toward Libertarianism by laying out the concepts in a clear, consistent, non-hypocritical manner. I read your article, and the subsequent comments, about marijuana laws and recently published similar thoughts. The difference was I went even further to include gay civil unions. My point was that the more power we give government to take away someone else’s rights, the more power they have to take away ours. It’s as simple as that. Like it or not, it’s the truth. But my readers fail to get that logic. I don’t see how anyone could miss it. This fact just seems so clear to me. Could you help me understand how I can communicate to my readers without alienating them? How do you do it?

Your appreciative reader,



Sorry it has taken me so long to respond.

My short answer is I agree with you.  I think gays should be able to form civil unions with all the rights of anyone forming a union through marriage.

I read your online post, and I’d like to respond to one paragraph in particular that reads:

“What bothers me is that the groups fighting for our personal liberty seem concerned with everything BUT our personal liberties. They focus on money issues. They focus on taxation, bailouts, being required to purchase healthcare, and laws affecting business. Meanwhile, they ignore any law that forbids someone to do what they wish with their own body, in their own time, in their own home, without harming or affecting a single other person. They are OUTRAGED at any regulation affecting commerce or freedom OF religion (nevermind freedom FROM it; that’s another topic), but don’t blink an eye when the federal or state government legislates morality.”

You are incorrect in this regard, at least as it applies to Libertarians like me and to most tea partiers that I know. This group includes TV personalities such as Judge Napolitano and John Stossel, both Libertarians who have large TV audiences. We are as concerned with government legislating morality as we are with economic issues, but in these times of severe economic recession with the American economy about to go over a cliff due to its unsustainable debt, we tend to focus more on economic issues.

Some of us may not be for gay “marriage” due to religious or traditional concerns, but we certainly have no opposition to gay rights. However, we don’t want any sort of special rights for any group, whether they are gays, ethnic groups, religions, or groups of any sort. The reason is primarily economic, in that we don’t want to have to pay for special rights with our taxes, but we also don’t want our own rights infringed by having to abide by special laws that protect special rights for special groups.

Let me respond to another paragraph in your post:

“I know what the bible says about homosexuality. I grew up in a Pentecostal church so you don’t have to tell me about the bible. But I also know that most of the stuff the Old Testimate says we should do or forbid is just downright sadistic in today’s world. “

This is where you are probably having trouble “communicating with your readers without alienating them.” You go on to site examples of Old Testament sadistic advice, of which most people would agree. The problem is you are “in their face” and denouncing a book that is sacred to many. What you say is valid, but few people respond well to “in your face” arguments. They want respect for what things they view as sacred or traditional or otherwise important to them for any number of reasons. If you give them that respect by not trying to rub their noses into some obviously bad advice in the bible, they will likely be more open to your opinion. That’s how I do it anyway.

Take care. You’ve got a good blog with good, coherent writing. That’s rare in blogs.



Gold Beach Gestapo

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

I’ve been getting Backwoods Home for many years. And I really wanted to come to Gold Beach.  I even went so far as to plan a trip this year by Making my own bio diesel to make the trip.

After reading [issues] #128 & #129  I realize that I don’t have all the equipment to make the trip.

I don’t have an on board attorney.
I don’t have a radar jammer.
I don’t have a passenger to keep watch on other vehicles.  ie cops
I don’t have a measuring device to make sure I stop at stop sign with my front bumper even to the stop sign.
I don’t have a glow in the dark or florescent orange seat belt to make sure the Gestapo can see it.
I don’t have a permit to transport my bio diesel in Oregon, I’m sure the Gestapo would want to check after he smelled my exhaust.  It smells like french fries and not donuts.

I did check the web for speed traps and sure enough Gold Beach is on the list.

Sorry I can’t make the trip this year, but maybe in the future when you get rid of the Gestapo.

By the way do they were the Nazi swastika?? And have nice shinny black boots??

I have even had the thought about moving there.  Sure seems like a real nice place, but I don’t want to have the watch my back all the time.  Sure wish you all the luck in getting things taken care of so you can enjoy Gold Beach.

Thanks for hearing my side.

Robert Widmar


Dave’s recent columns and complainers

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

This country has been on the wrong track for well over 2 centuries, yet some Republicans and Democrats remain oblivious to the fact that their political party leaders are responsible for what has happened in recent decades. The letter writers who complain about Dave’s political views going too far should examine their premises. Contrary to the naysayers; I’m of the opinion that Dave, John, and O. E. McDougal don’t go nearly far enough, for they appear to believe that restoring Constitutional government is possible and desirable.

Before some of you dig out your pitch-forks in preparation for attack: Let me inform or remind you that the ratification of the Constitution had its strongest opposition from the most liberty-minded people back then! Patrick Henry of “Give me liberty or give me death” fame, when asked why he refused to attend the constitutional convention, declared:”I smell a rat!” I also recommend the reading of the anti-federalist papers.

My disagreement with this view stems from principles that perhaps they have not yet considered. I am a strong believer in the Non-Aggression Principle, which means that I take a moral and principled stand against force, aggression, and power: nobody, with or without badges or ballots, has the right to agress on any other. We live in a violence based society because we have always had a violence based government.

Had the founding leaders truly believed in freedom for all, then they would have set up a voluntary societies similar to the church congregations that many of them were members of, which raises funds via voluntary donations. Instead, they imposed upon us a coercive government with the power to rob us. Indeed, not long after the ratification of the Constitution, President George Washington led an army to Pennsylvania to rob people that wished to keep their whiskey, which for them was a form of currency. This became known as the Whiskey Rebellion. Alexander Hamilton and his ilk claimed that they needed the revenue to pay off government debts. If it is immoral for a gang down your street to rob a store for the purpose of acquiring enough money to bail out a jailed friend, then it was also immoral for a group of people that call themselves “the government” to rob people for the purpose of repaying investors. The citizens didn’t consent to the loan, and saddling them with the debt ex-post facto was also wrong. The debt could have been paid for by the sale of land, or the debt could have been defaulted on.

There is no question that the people who attended the constitutional convention were highly educated and very intelligent. How is it then that such sharp lawyers, judges, and politicians would include language into the constitution that imposes a death penalty for treason, yet imposes only slaps on the wrists of the ruling class for violating “the supreme law of the land?” This cannot possibly be a mere accident! Indeed, President John Adams and the Federalist congressmen passed the Sedition Act, which was clearly unconstitutional, during the founding generation; yet they were not even impeached, let alone imprisoned or executed. Therefore: we should not cast blame at our fellow tax slaves for failing to remove today’s tyrants from office since our forefathers could do no better with a much smaller government that lacked today’s weaponry. Isn’t it amazing that the very minarchist document which was supposedly intended to limit government led to the most powerful government in world history in so little time?

Improving the Constitution would be of no use because we would have to babysit the government 24/7 in order to make it behave; so why replace it once the government collapses? There has never been a moral government in this world, nor will there ever be one! The very second that a government becomes established; there becomes 2 classes of people: the ruler(s) and the ruled. The belief that government is needed because mankind is evil is erroneous thinking. “If men are good, you don’t need government; if men are evil or ambivalent, you don’t dare have one.”-Robert LeFevre

Positions of power attract busybodies and evil people, and power corrupts even otherwise good men. No man should have power over another in a moral and free society!

Genuine free-market solutions to problems is the moral way of solving problems and filling wants. Natural Law is easy to understand and is explained at the Lysander Spooner website link below.

So, what should lovers of liberty do? Free yourselves! Freedom is mostly a state of mind! Most decisions made by people every day are anarchic in nature despite the state’s existence. I used to be a statist conservative republican, but my thirst for knowledge drove me and drives me toward self-improvement and gradually toward wisdom. I can state from personal experience that the truth will set you free!

Here are some free educational resources for your consumption:

and most certainly BWH’s very own columnist Claire Wolfe:

Please folks; educate as many people as you can. If this government were to collapse today, the masses would foolishly promote an election to choose representatives to form a reincarnated state to replace the one that just failed.

Brian Mast
Abolitionist from Stover, Missouri


John Silveira’s article: Getting the State Out of Marriage

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

Hello John,

I am another long time believer in removing marriage licenses. However, I see the compromise, as the states are highly unlikely to change tax code, would be to offer a state “civil union” status that would accept any interested adults who meet criteria (same address, shared expenses, etc) and offer the same tax breaks and status as married couples have currently. I am married, but I feel that the union is a matter of religion, as marriage has always been a religious custom around the world that has stepped into popular use in secular custom. As we see a move in our culture away from traditional marriage, separating the state from that union is increasingly important. My Christian brethren will probably accuse me of wanting a world where marriage has been defiled, but if we let our governments define a God-defined entity, then we already have done so. I’m not sure if there are a lot of others who believe in removing marriage licensing (I know most state comptrollers would argue against losing the revenue stream) and most of my friendly debates on the issue result in the similar “But we need the government to control marriage for no explainable reason” rebuttal.

It’s gladdening to know that there are at least a few others out there that agree with this viewpoint, hopefully with both conversation and articles like yours, we’ll see a few more join the ranks.


Justin LaFee


Living without a Social Security number

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Hello Ms. Wolfe,

I know you are incredibly busy, but I do hope that this somehow crosses your path and you can find a spare minute for me.

My name is Sarah, I am 26, and have never had a SSN.  I just read an old article of yours entitled Yes, You Can Work without a Social Security Number and found it tremendously interesting.

All my life it’s been a struggle to get by and earn a decent living outside the system, and recently I’ve been at my wit’s end, and almost considered getting one.  Which goes totally against my beliefs and stance on government, and not to mention would just crush my dad who has devoted his life to standing up for truth and freedom.  So, decided to do a little research and realized I’d never actually just googled “how to work without…” in hopes of finding some online support and/or advice.  My main question for you, is, do you have any idea of some of the alternatives (specifically the private contracting) are still viable options?

Also, do you have any ideas as far as drivers licenses and car registration without providing a number?  I have had a home base in TN (where they offer a form for those with a religious objection)  for several years, but for various complicated reasons, am most likely going to have to establish some sort of residency in Colorado, where I just moved, and where I’m quite sure they don’t accommodate those with true freedom tastes.

I’d really appreciate any info/advice you could offer.

Thank you SO much, I’ve really enjoyed reading your writings.

Best wishes to you and yours.


Sarah Klingler


I admire your courage and determination — and your dad’s. I wish I had more information to offer you, but as you well know, live without an SSN is getting harder all the time. Some of the options from my original article — like private contracting — have been obsoleted by police-state law or enforcement, or have simply turned out to be dead ends.

Without doing tons of state-by-state research or offering advice on “illegal” activities, which I won’t do, I’ve got only a few bits of potential help.

* On registering a vehicle: Consider registering it in the name of a trust. A revocable living trust can be set up easily and made official with nothing more than a notary’s stamp and signature. (You’ll need government ID for the notary, but a passport is usually accepted, and you can still get a passport without giving an SSN, as you probably know.

* On earning a living: Freelance. To small businesses and individuals, not large corporations. Or create some other small-scale, individual business for yourself.

Sorry not to be more helpful. I hope you succeed in your effort to live free.



My view article

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Mr. Duffy,

I enjoy your magazine. I didn’t enjoy your article about legalizing drugs.

I am a police officer and used to work in a local jail. You made it sound like “cops” kick in doors and personally line their pockets.

First let me say that to have legalized alcoholic beverages and not marijuana is absolute hypocrisy. At least in my experience the negative impact of liquor on society is far more devastating than pot. Most of my calls for service involve booze.

Second, I do agree that constitutionally, a person has a right to put what every they want in their body. The problem comes when I start picking up the tab for their self destruction.

If we had a society that was pragmatic enough to leave OD victims to die, problem solved, but instead Medics are called to the same address, week after week, taking these self destructive folks to the hospital at a huge financial toll.

While you were in jail did you ask any of those innocent 19 and 20 year olds, that were there with you if they were on disability for their drug dependence. I have, when I worked in jail, more than could be numbered! 20 and disabled, drawing social security. Who is picking up the tab for that? Society is going to pay for it one way or another.

By the way, here in Ohio, possession of small amounts, and I mean an ounce (a lot) is a ticket, you can’t go to jail for that. No one is in jail for having a joint in their pocket. Since 1990,I have been involved in maybe 3 seizure cases! All were big time dealers. Meth and crack and heroin are all very destructive. If no one has to pick up the tab, let em have it, but we will end up with the tab, and raising their illegitimate kids too.

Again, I love the magazine.


Garry Lawson


The Just Say No Article

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Oh, thank you for saying exactly what is in my mind. All I can add is that I hope you reach many, many more people.

I asked a neighbor once,”How many laws are enough? When do the elected ones finally throw up their hands and declare the job done? How heavy a burden of legislation must we carry in our lives ’til they’re satisfied that we’re protected from our own follies sufficiently?” The neighbor had no answer.

Thank you for speaking out, I applaud you Oliver.

Blackpool, BC


Most Free Nations

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Most Free Nations

Hi, John.

You state “What, on paper, would appear to be the freest society in the world appears, in practice, to be among the most oppressive. Does this bother anyone besides me?”

I would like to agree with you. It bothers me for two reasons.  And not the reasons you might think.  You see I’m not American though I have been visiting the USA for 20 years or so for vacation and business so have the perspective of an outsider.

The two reasons are that (i) the people in the US seem to be oblivious to the inexorable legalistic technocracy that the nation is becoming and (ii) since US culture is globally influential through media and multi-national businesses there is a creeping legalism in countries where common sense normally prevails.

Over the years when I have left the US to head home to the UK, I have felt that I was leaving a police state for the land of the free…a slight exaggeration to make the point, but not far off.  I have felt that common sense is disappearing from the US social life and being replaced by laws,  To take 2 very simple examples which should be considered just as examples of a wider point not as important cases in themselves…In the UK there are no laws against jaywalking (except on Freeways) …you will not be booked for crossing a road when the man is on red.  The lights are to advise adults when it is safe to cross rather than treating people as children to be caught for being naughty.  You will not be booked for failing to give your seat at the front of the bus to an elderly or pregnant person, but will culturally know that it is something you should do.  And signs will encourage everyone to give their seats to people not able to stand rather than indicating a fine if you don’t.  There is no need for laws to punish offenders because children are taught acceptable behaviour from a young age.

I try to understand why the US needs to regulate the social world through so many laws.  I can only conclude that it is because (i) there is no universal cultural model that acts as a common sense norm set of behaviours (ii) it is a fundamentally legalistic rather than common-sense based country…adversarial rather than collaborative.

Nevertheless the impression I have when visiting the US is that (i) really, it is the least free country I regularly visit (I now work in Australia and spend a lot of time in Asia and Europe too) (ii) people are told/brainwashed that the US is the land of the free (iii) things are getting worse.  The most insidious part is point (ii).  It is an example of American Exceptionalism.  Which is to say that since the US is the biggest economy in the world there is a natural extension to “the US is the best in the world….at everything”.  Though the US certainly is the best at some things, I would argue that most of these are in the economic sphere rather than in the social and that the US is walking zombie-like down a de-humanising path of over-regulated social and cultural life.  I hope the US wakes up to this because of the influence it has outside of its shores.




Who were the best…and worst U.S. Presidents?

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

I disagree with your statement “The Civil War wasn’t about slavery….:  [Click to read article]

Lincoln was elected on a platform that opposed expansion of slavery into the territorries. Lincoln made his anti-slavery views in the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Lincoln also dealt with the issue in his Coppers Union speech before the election.

When  Lincoln, an anti-slavery northener, was elected Presdient, the South expected that the slave states would become outnumbered by free states, and they would lose control of Congress, and would ultimately be forced to end slavery. In order to preserve slavery, they seceded. The Civil War was a Rebellion to Preserve and Expand Slavery.

Lincoln went to war to preserve the Union, not to end slavery. But Lincoln refused to say slavery was a rightful institution or agree to the expansion of slavery in order to avoid the South’s secession.

South Carolina was the first state to secede. In it’s “Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union” South Carolina complained, in part:

“A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that “Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free,” and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.”

The South seceded in order to preserve and expand slavery. Lincoln went to war to preserve a Union which he believed was intended by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to be perpetual.

Ross Arneson


The Real Gun Criminals

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

Your article hits the nail squarely on the head, and I give my heartfelt congratulations.

This is the stuff that ought to be pasted on billboards.

Richard Keelan



Saturday, August 21st, 2010


About a month ago I bought The Freedom Outlaw’s Handbook. In the online catalog I saw what, to me, promised to be a whimsical and possibly spotty-useful resource.

As of today, since I tend to read two or three books at a time, I’m not even a quarter of the way through. I was taken from the beginning by the quality of your writing, your style, your great and biting sense of humor, your obvious depth of knowledge and experience, and the strengths of your conviction and your passion. And your orneriness. This is a powerful read.

This is not a book of whimsy, either. It is very well thought out. Pursuing more of your writing brought me back to Backwoods Home Magazine. While I’d been there before it wasn’t something I dwelt on much but I see now what a great resource it is.  Hardyville is great stuff.

Despite my observation that I am waaaaay ahead of the average Great American Ostrich in understanding the times and our history I have learned a lot from you, a different approach, and I wanted to thank you and encourage you. So thank you. Your spirit is appreciated.

Best wishes,

Bob Gleason


The Informed Juror

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Dear Dr. Arnet:

I cannot begin to tell you how I am feeling after finding your article (The Informed Juror, Issue No. 82).

I’ve been a court reporter for 34 years and have felt sick about it for 34 years.

I’ve ostracized my reporter colleagues as I am the only one who is sensitive to defendant rights and have always found the jury system as it exists today to be fraught with deception and trickery.

I see prosecutors and courts in a conspiracy to deprive Americans of their rights in today’s system of meting out justice in order to fill the already overflowing private/public prisons with free labor for rich and powerful corporations and to “get rid of” people who are not white and not wealthy.

I feel sick when I see a jury given scant evidence, untruthful evidence, and the jury returns with a guilty verdict because of it.

I feel sick when I juries are given absurdly written, incomprehensible, idiotic jury instructions read at a pace so fast many times the words are misheard.

It’s ghastly that juries are not allowed to take the written instructions, as incomprehensible as they may be, back to the jury room.

Juries are always prohibited from having the evidence in the jury room.

Juries are so unaware that they are being hoodwinked from the get-go.  Every time a recess is called, all manner of proceedings take place on the record out of the presence of the jury so that the jury deliberates the case never knowing the phenomenal amount of evidence they didn’t get to hear.

In every trial I ever reported, the jury is told they must return a verdict of guilty if they find so and so, even though they do not agree with the law.

Juries don’t understand that once they pronounce the defendant guilty a sentence is then passed by a court that more than likely has a prosecutorial background and prosecutorial leanings.  They don’t understand that lobbyists in the country representing rich and powerful corporations lobby the courts for severe, stiff, long, harsh, inhumane sentences and that it is likely that the defendant they find guilty will serve such a sentence.

On and on and on and on.

And the statement by the court I hate to hear the most is, “Members of the jury, our systems is not perfect, but it is the best in the world.”

It’s not the best in the world.  It’s by far one of the worst.

The U.S. has more prisoners than any other country in the world.

The U.S. still has the death penalty.

A jury of one’s peers in America is a very scary proposition in this time in the world.  I dare say very, very few Americans are my peers.

I found your article while in search of the very information I was looking for for an article I am putting together called “The Enlightened Juror – Serving on a criminal jury in the U.S.”  I had no idea that what I have been intuiting all of these many years actually existed until now.

I am writing the article as part of a support group for Jose Barco, railroaded by the Colorado Springs Police Department into one of the “Filthy Four” courts in Colorado, El Paso County, Judge Larry Schwartz.  He was given a 52 year sentence that he is presently serving in the BVCF in Colorado.  He’s 24 and won’t be eligible for parole until he is 56 years old.

The jury filed an affidavit with the court immediately after their deliberations stating their confusion about the instructions given and that two of the jurors demanded to leave so they could return to work the next day.  The prosecutor manipulated the facts in closing and through state’s witnesses who should be charged with perjury.

You can learn about Jose at or going to Frontline’s “The Wounded Platoon” where his story is chronicled.

Kind regards,

Terri S.


California’s marijuana initiative

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Dear Sir,

I appreciate your opinion in general regarding the legalization issue. Unfortunately I must disagree with you on the positive spin you have given the upcoming “The Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010”.

Reading the specifics of the legislation I’m sure you would agree that this is a far cry from a freedom-based initiative. You made some very sound arguments in the article but did not address some of my main concerns. Specifically the regulation aspect limits the amount that can be grown and possessed, which begs the question of just how the authorities would monitor the plants grown on an individual’s private property; will the authorities be inspecting homes? I cannot in good conscience support this initiative because it doesn’t decriminalize marijuana, it simply changes the terms of what is considered criminal activity according to the law. Furthermore, collecting taxes on something that is grown and consumed privately seems quite impossible to me.

The skeptic in me also is extremely leery of any “step” the government takes in any direction. More often than not, legislation is bastardized through endless amendments and adjustments as time goes on. Rarely do these actions result in less intrusion on individual rights.

Best Regards,



Animal rights Loonies

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Dear Editor,

I found your site from a link from and somehow ran across the article of the Animal Rights Activists ruining what must be a totally hysterical event at your local fair.

I do understand their point but I do realize there are limits on what an activist group can do. Caving into to them only gives them power, but since that has already happened…I have a better idea!

For a close knit town, you can starve them out. As a retailer, you can refuse to sell anything to anyone and not have to justify it. Gas stations can refuse to sell fuels, grocers refuse to sell them food. You get the picture.

As Jim Rawles says, if you don’t like what is going on around you, vote with your feet and move. When all the town gets behind this movement, the activist will get the idea that he or she is no longer welcomed and move on. It wouldn’t hurt for someone in a restaurant to take away their fried chicken special stating they are contibuting to animal cruelty. If they got half a brain….they will leave, probably just before the local police or sheriff decides to join the unwelcome wagon.



You inspired me

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

I just wanted to say thank you to all of the writers and staff of Backwoods Home Magazine.  You have inspired me to finally get off my duff and create a website and a new business.  I was disappointed in the writing and opinion of other magazines that promote independent living.  Sorry, but if I have to surrender my Second Amendment rights or be told I can’t criticize an entrenched politician, then I don’t care how far off the grid you are, you are not living free.

I know there are those who want you to drop your political views.  But to what end?  America has been and always will be political.  It’s part of who we are and what made us so great.  But it’s always a SMALL group who stand up and actually shout their opposition to tyranny and ultimately take action.  The majority either side with the tyrants out of fear and wanting to be on the “winning” side or, like the vast majority of Americans, they simply don’t care and don’t want to hear about it.  Like a child, they believe all that is necessary for evil to stop is to close your eyes and ignore it.  This was very much like the American Revolution, when a relatively small handful of citizens actually participated on the side of the Revolution.

BHM is doing it right.  You may not be as slick as the big money magazine (I’ll denote here as M.E.N). but you are far better, far more down-to-earth and serve a real and growing group of Americans who have come to the realization that America does not reside in Washington D.C., it resides in the hearts and souls of those who can reach across time and touch the meaning of what our founders really wanted.

Americans should be free to live quietly.  To raise those chickens and goats.  To have a garden.  To tap energy from flowing water, the wind or the sun.  They should also be happy in the knowledge that their government is working with them in their endeavors and not singling them out for heavy handed fines, threats, or worse, an armed attack to seize their property.

I am going to recommend  BHM to those who will be coming to my website.  I also intend to become an advertiser.  Thanks again for inspiring me to stand up and start using those rights that we all talk about, but few actually use.

Jim Harris


Second Revolution

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Dear Editor,

As an online reader that missed being a “Baby Boomer” by one year or so, and not quite young enough to be of this so called “younger generation” I was awestruck by one comment in Mr. Duffy’s article.

“One thing I feel pretty confident in predicting: America’s Second Revolution is coming, and the young will bring it.”

America has lost her way. One can only hope that these young people can right her course and guide her through the rocks and shoals of this treacherous bay. As someone that has sworn an oath “to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic” I can only hope and pray that it comes by the ballot box instead of the rifle barrel.

Time will tell. I will not say I look forward to the future, as that would be a lie. I will however say that these are indeed interesting times.



Your Essay “Qualities of a Free Man”

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Just found this via some other blogs and wanted to say, Kudos! Outstanding!

Especially “When we have sufficient free individuals, political, social, and institutional freedoms will follow. They will arise not through revolution or politically driven reform, but from who we are and the choices we make every day.”





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