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Buy this essay and others in Jim's new book Being Sovereign.

The Indomitus Report
Volume 2, #6

14 February 2005
Happy Valentine's Day!

Being Sovereign

    "I think if you do even a cursory reading of 20th Century history, you can't help but come away with a somewhat skeptical attitude towards large governments and governmental power in general. That doesn't have to glow out of any fundamental philosophical or political belief system. It's just very simple - if there's a big beast that keeps running around and eating people in plain sight and knocking you around and threatening you, then you can see and agree that the big beast is nasty and scary and ought to be caged or done away with, without having to base that opinion on any kind of political system of belief."
    - Neal Stephenson, 1995

Caged or done away with. Limited government or no government. Yet, we perceive a third alternative that has not been properly considered. Self-government.

There is an enormous amount of absurdity, misdirection, fraud, and pretense where the term "self-government" is concerned, so let us please begin by doing away with all of that nonsense. We can start by removing a blot on the record of John Wycliffe, c. 1320-1384, to whom it was attributed, "This bible is for the government of the people, by the people, and for the people."

There is a fairly widespread supposition that Wycliffe used this phrase in the prologue of his translation of the Bible published in 1382, but it simply isn't there. According to Emily Morison Beck writing in 1980, the 1850 edition of Wycliffe's work fails to yield this phrase. Rather, there is another, far more intriguing phrase, which rendered into contemporary English would read, "If this book is well understood, it is profitable to spiritual governors, bodily lords, justices, and commons alike." In other words, Wycliffe felt that the lessons of the Bible were applicable to the individual understanding of all classes. We think this alternative wording is much more promising.

For the individual to govern himself well, he should know virtue. Understanding the difference between right and wrong, between good conduct and bad, between spiritually consistent behavior and irredeemably criminal behavior is the path of enlightenment. An enlightened self-governor may govern her affairs well; the ignorant poorly or not at all. Certainly it is ignorance that causes many to be swept away into slavery.

Further down the stream of written history, we come across Charles James Fox whose toast in 1798, "Our sovereign, the people," was considered sufficient cause for his name to be erased from the Privy Council. Presumably he meant that the people were the sovereign, although one might have defended his statement with the artifice that it was a list, the sovereign monarch listed first (of course), followed by the people. We suspect he meant that the people were the sovereign, which comment was not taken well by the monarch. It shouldn't be taken well by any individual. No one should prefer to be ruled by the collective.

Two unpleasant and thoroughly reprehensible unionists made statements similar to that misattributed to Wycliffe. Daniel Webster described the USA government as "The people's government, made for the people, made by the people, and answerable to the people." We think he was hallucinating. Certainly the government of his day (his years were 1782 to 1852) was a deception. It was a deception which robbed Lysander Spooner of the freedom to pursue his Republic Post in competition with the post office, and which thanked him not for reducing the price of a letter delivery by two-thirds. It was a deception described in blistering detail by Henry David Thoreau in his speech on "Civil Disobedience." We don't believe the votes were properly counted even then, and scandals such as Tammany Hall and the Locofocos revolt against bank monopolies (1835-36) support this view.

Benjamin Disraeli, the Earl of Beaconsfield (1804-1881) wrote, "I repeat...that all power is a trust; that we are accountable for its exercise; that from the people, and for the people, all springs, and all must exist." Certainly a monarch had entrusted power to the prime minister and the cabinet. It is extraordinarily questionable whether the parliament of 1826, when Disraeli wrote Vivian Grey was remotely a reflection of the will of the people of Britain. Certainly, vote fraud was well known in the day, including rather bizarre allocations of districts, and prejudice against women and other sovereign individuals.

Disraeli's comment has an element of truth, in that all power springs from the individual. There can be no delegation of a power that does not exist within the individual. Thus, we have the power to use nuclear weapons if anyone has the power to do so in our name.

But, again, the phrasing is mistaken. Disraeli speaks of accountability to all the people, which is the same as accountability to none. For, in practice, when it is the responsibility of everyone to do something, it is rarely something anyone does. Economists call this effect, "the tragedy of the commons." Delegating power as a collective, the people are disempowered.

American pastor and abolitionist Theodore Parker spoke on "The American Idea" on 29 May 1850, again 31 May 1854, and again 4 July 1858. William H. Herndon visited Boston and returned to Springfield, Illinois with some of Parker's sermons and addresses. One of these contained the phrase, "Democracy is direct self-government, over all the people, by all the people, for all the people." This passage was underlined by Abraham Lincoln, who proceeded to file off the serial numbers and use it for the tag line of his Gettysburg address 19 November 1863.

It is a matter of intense irony that, at the time he asked the Union troops to "highly resolve...that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth," Lincoln had already taken dramatic measures to ensure that it would. Indeed, the entire context of the War for Southern Independence was the belief by Southerners that the USA federal government had become a tyranny, and that to prevent limited government from perishing it was necessary for them to withdraw and form a constitutionally limited government.

No doubt the issue of that war shall be revisited in these pages, but for now let us focus on the matter of whether "democracy is direct self-government," as Mr. Parker pretended. It is not.

Representative democracy is the pretense that some should represent others, that some should rule while others serve, that the many should be taxed so that the few may distribute stolen property to their own satisfaction. Direct democracy is the notion that the majority should rule in all things, that the larger number of noses makes all the difference when, as Jonathan Swift noted, noses typically have very little to do with anything. At its worst, democracy is mob rule. At its best, democracy is a deception, where the collective pretends to knowledge and authority it lacks.

Over the years, time and again, we have seen the futility of externally imposed "limited government." Where one individual, a monarch or dictator; one group, an oligarchy or committee or parliament or congress or court; one kind, a class or race or gender or religion; when some individual or set of individuals rules coercively over others, be that set the minority pretending to be the most righteous or the most numerous, or the majority in fact, things get out of hand. Power is collected, then aggregated, then seized, and inevitably abused. Individuals in power exploit, abuse, and destroy individuals without power. Constitutions are shredded, charters are ignored, legislatures claim plenary power, and no limitation, written or traditional, is ever honored.

Self-government should not be understood to be the government of the individual by some external group of people, nor even by some external singular individual. Self-government should be understood to be the government of the individual, by the individual, for the benefit of the individual, using the powers and abilities of the individual. Nothing else makes any sense.

You should rule yourself. You are capable of ruling yourself. You are aware of your situation in ways that no one else can be. You are always present where you are involved, you are always at hand when you need someone most. If you lament the possibility that some individuals are too ignorant to rule themselves, then by all means spread enlightenment among them. You would not likely allow that you are too ignorant to rule your own affairs, but if you do allow as much, then educate yourself.

Whose responsibility is it for you to be educated? Yours. Whose responsibility for you to be housed, fed, clothed, and healthy? Yours. Whose responsibility for you to be safe, armed, defended, protected, guarded, and secured? Yours. Whose responsibility is your realization of your dreams, hopes, and ideals? Yours. Not mine. Not "the government's." Not the king's. Yours and yours alone is the responsibility. Yours and yours alone is the power. Yours and yours alone the capability to rule, immediately that a need arises, promptly that a problem is perceived, wherever you go, whenever you need to exercise self-control or self-rule, there you are.

Does governing yourself mean being self-sufficient, alone, never delegating, never sharing, never with others? Of course not. Governing yourself means trading with others, engaging in commerce, upholding bargains, making deals, negotiating for property, and necessarily generating spontaneous order and opportunity. Governing yourself means being alone when you choose, with others when you choose, and aware of your responsibilities to yourself and to do those things for others you choose to make your responsibilities. Governing yourself means recognizing your own limitations, foibles, difficulties, and delegating tasks to others more competent than yourself as you see fit. Governing yourself means sharing information and opportunities with others, not only those who choose to govern themselves and take an equal station as sovereigns, but also those who choose to be ruled externally, in a collective or in feoff.

Governing yourself means to do what you will. It means to will what you believe is the right thing to do.

You should base your actions on your code of moral conduct. You should not attack the innocent, steal from others, murder millions for some condition or trait they cannot avoid, rape, pillage, plunder, or loot. You should also not sit idly by while others do these things to you or those you choose to care about.

If you allow only so much government as you yourself are able to provide to yourself, then there is no ravening beast where your government is concerned. You need neither be caged nor destroyed. True self-government, widely practiced, is the best defense against the depravity of the state.

By governing ourselves, we do not escape the existence of the state; others still submit to the state, are ruled by it, dominated by it, destroyed by it. They may become desperate, drag us into their machinations, or drag us down with them. So, until self government is the norm, we need to stay as far away from these things as we possibly can. Keep your property and wealth widely dispersed.

As a general principle, there is more freedom away from the seat of government. The further one got from Rome, the less difficulty with Roman bureau-rats, tax farmers (procurators), and the more trade with various barbarian races "beyond the pale." The further from the national capital, the further from the state or provincial capital, the further from the county seat, the more freedom one is likely to express out from under the watchful eye of those in power.

In the Western Hemisphere, especially north America, there is another effect. Colonization proceeded from east to West. Those who preferred strong ties to Europe, strong government, and the decadence, corruption, and putrescence that abound wherever externally imposed government is found tended to stay back east. National capitals tend to be back east. Larger cities, with more population to control and therefore more regulation and therefore more corruption are also back east. As well, the Mining Act and Homestead Act in the USA and similar land privatizing schemes in Canada had the least amount of time to act further West. So, the Western states and provinces were more sparsely populated when the trend toward nationalizing land resources became prominent at the beginning of the Twentieth Century.

Looters are much like wolves. They follow the herd. They go where the herd goes in order to prey upon the weak. If we extend this analogy, the mainstream population are the sheep. Mundane, not overly imaginative, they are shorn from time to time through taxation and slaughtered by conscription. This bucolic metaphor has two further avatars. There is the sheep dog, the herd dog, who does not shear and does not slaughter, but guides and protects the herd. Finally, there is the shepherd, independent of the herd, aloof, working with it for mutual benefit, occasionally preying upon it for advantage.

It seems best to be the sort of creature that walks on its hind legs, rather than a wolf, a sheep, or a dog. Having stood up for ourselves, we should consider some of the mobility options that arise from a standing posture, including walking, running, skating, and skiing, before moving on to cycling, motoring, four wheeling, boating, submarining, flying, and rocketing.

Free Market Money

    "If men are to remain free and if Western civilization is to continue, people must regain the right to limit the political expansion of the quantity of money and/or credit. We must never again permit politicians to print money .... A free market economy cannot permanently operate on a politically manipulated paper money standard. Free men need a market-selected money."
    - Percy L. Greaves, Jr.
    "Understanding the Dollar Crisis," 1973

The above quote from Percy Greaves brings up two ideas. First, we note that Friedrich Hayek makes a very similar point about three years later in his 1976 classic The Denationalization of Money.

Second, the dollar collapse that has been predicted over the years seems to be upon us. Mr. Greaves is mistaken in describing the limitation of the political expansion of money or credit as a right. It is a power. Rights are easily trampled. Power is the only thing those in power in government understand. Thus, the free market money advocates must begin to refuse Federal Reserve Note money, while continuing to accept gold and silver free market alternatives.

Meanwhile, rats are leaving a sinking ship. Bernard Landry who figures prominently in one of the Quebec independence groups, and Gilles Duceppe of Bloc Quebecois suggest that a single currency be adopted from "Tierra del Fuego to Baffin Island." Of course, we would agree, if that currency were gold or silver. As it is, the currency unification proposals for the Western hemisphere make as much sense economically as the euro or dollar. Swapping one fiat money for another is no way to resolve the underlying difficulties.

We note, for example, that swapping assignats for mandats roughly 1795 in France did not solve the fiat money crisis there. As a result, the Directorate failed, though not before executing hundreds for violating their "law of the maximum" price controls and legal tender laws. The failure of the National Assembly and of the Directorate to safeguard the economy of France led inevitably to the rise of Napoleon, the dictatorship of his empire, the conquest of Europe, and the metric system being foisted upon the world as though it were somehow clever. Among the other bad results, an entire word "Douane" or "customs duty" was imported to Holland, along with the bureau-rats and tax farmers to go with it.

Be prepared for much madness in this regard. There is no reason to expect the USA dollar to survive the coming collapse. It seems highly likely that currency controls, forced conversions, re-issues, and attempted currency unification will be coming. Meanwhile, as e-gold.com approaches its tenth year of operation, there is a significant opportunity for free market money to become an alternative understood by many tens of millions worldwide. There is no way to save everyone, but we may yet save who we can.

Gold Mining

Here's how the stocks we presently suggest in this area look right now:

Company Symbol C$ US$
s
Exploring
Almaden AMM.TO 2.12 -
C$0.38
Free Gold ITF.TO 0.29 0.23
C$0.01
Luzon LZN.V 0.20 -
- C$0.09
Western WNP.V 2.39 -
C$0.65
Holding
Lumina LCC - 6.19
1.55
Silver Standard SSRI - 13.82
1.04
Vista VGZ.TO 4.75 -
- C$0.25
Mining
Newmont Mining NEM - 42.20
-1.10
Northgate NXG - 1.49
- 0.16

Freegold (ITF.TO) announced on 15 February the results of 2004 phase one drilling at Grew Creek. They also announced the resumption of drilling on the Grew Creek "epithermal gold project" in Yukon. They've also staked some more claims, and the Grew Creek property now covers 278 claim units and 30 kilometers of prospective targets. (No, their press release doesn't mention if these might be square kilometers.) "The results of the 2004 program indicate an extensive low-sulfidation quartz stock-work system flanking high-grade veins that are focused within breccia zones along the trend of the mineralization," says the geologist mouthful. Reported intersections of note: 44.2 meters grading 4.3 g/t Au, 7.9 g/t Ag including 6.3 meters grading 22.1 g/t Au and 45.1 g/t Ag. That's a lot of gold and silver. For a detailed .pdf version of their press release with table and map of the drill program, please visit the Freegold web site.

Free Market Money

Gold and silver are up nicely. They seem to be reconfirming their uptrends. Neither has passed any historic point, but both look quite strong. Obviously, gold touched a key support level last week, and should continue to move up until it finds the top of its channel, probably at some new high within weeks. On 15 February it made a spike to $427 and is now at $423.90. It should fill in the gaps and then continue upward.

Silver also spiked on 15 February up to $7.37/oz and is now down at $7.10. It appears to us that the low this morning in London was a definitive end of trend signal. So, higher prices should be on their way.

Copper is at $1.4788 per pound. Copper has again made an attempt to cross above key resistance at $1.49 or so, and failed. Since 24 September 2004, copper has made five attempts on this overhead resistance. It has fallen back each time. The trend of the respective tops is downward, the depth of the intermittent valleys is upward, so copper is clearly forming a pennant. We also see a similarity to a damping function, where an oscillation damps out to a new level. We persist in our view that copper has topped for this cycle, but remain curious about the next few weeks.

The three stocks we've suggested in this sector are PVH, GBH, and MCG. The table below reflects change from the original suggestion.

Company Symbol gAu
s
Gold Barter Holdings GBH 0.29

- 0.710

MicroCasino MCG 0.55

+ 0.037

Pecunix Venture Holdings PVH 0.039

- 0.011

Space Frontier

    "I've put together many, many projects involving a lot of money and a lot of people; I’m used to doing things pretty darn well on budget and pretty darn well on time."
    - Robert Bigelow

There's an excellent new essay in Popular Science about Bigelow Aerospace and its founder. Author Michael Belfiore describes Robert Bigelow as trim, 60 years old, and a life long space enthusiast. He's also described as having a life long fascination with UFOs.

At age 15, in 1960, Bigelow determined to be a part of establishing a permanent human presence in space. He followed his father into real estate to build a large personal fortune. He's allocated $500 million of that fortune toward his goal.

Bigelow is a 20th Century man. He eschews e-mail, claiming it is not pristine. On the other hand, he cuts through nonsense and will, at the drop of a hat, fly a team of engineers to Pasadena, California from company HQ in Las Vegas aboard his private jet in order to decide whether to use Jet Propulsion Lab facilities for vibration testing.

In 1997, thanks in part to work by Lowell Wood at Lawrence Livermore labs in the early 1990s, NASA was developing an inflatable "trans-hab" module with a multi-directional propulsion system. Naturally, the idea was killed in 2000, probably at the behest of George Abbey, who seemed determined to thwart all initiative in space achievement.

Bigelow picked up on the idea. The inflatables allow for launch on standard launch vehicles, at much lower cost. They emphasize durability rather than structure, and withstand much greater impacts than ordinary space station components. SpaceX is expected to launch a prototype later this year.

William Schneider worked for NASA on the Transhab project. Now he works as a consultant for Bigelow. He says, "Bob is like Howard Hughes reincarnated. He's not just a financial person; he's in the middle of everything that we do."

Bigelow plans to offer a stay at his space hotel for seven nights at $7.9 million per person. That would make it the most expensive luxury hotel anywhere on or around Earth. Admitting that the hotel in orbit is a gamble, Bigelow notes, "the faint of heart never won a fair maiden, never won wars. I think what we're doing has some national value, win or lose. Where's the inspiration in America? If you asked 50 people or 500 people 'what is America's inspiration today?' what would they say? To win the war in Iraq? That doesn't create a dream in some kid's mind. An inspiration has to be something you carry with you 24/7."

Here's how things stand for the stock we suggested in this sector:

SpaceDev is at $1.79. It is up $0.29 since we first suggested it.

Launch Technology

    "We're not going to lose sight of safety."
    - Norman Mineta, 10 February 2005

The secretary of transportation, a career politician, formerly a Congresscritter from Silicon Valley; Clinton's Commerce Secretary; and a vice president at evil, hated defense contractor Lockheed Martin (the contractor which made the external tank which shed foam into the Columbia not long ago) is Norman Mineta. He says, "These guidelines for space tourism respect that this is uncharted territory," claiming the fedgov allows operators "to determine the best way to meet the standards." For now. Until they change the standards, or decide to put the industry out of business.

The irony of this career nationalist socialist defense contractor scum telling the commercial space tourism industry, which has never lost a single life among ground crew or space crew, that the government is "not going to lose sight of safety" is really heavy. The sarcasm should drip from his lips, as the former vice president of the military industrial complex prime participant responsible in part for the deaths of the Columbia astronauts advocates safety training, physical examinations, and safety waivers for all space tourism passengers. We are not yet able to confirm whether physical exams will include full cavity searches, but we do expect that Transportation Security Agency grunts to be fondling all the female space tourism passengers in the chest area.

New Country Developments

There are several interesting points here. First, Peyton was evidently not wearing kevlar body armor, as she might well have done if she were in the least sensible about her safety. We gather the bullet lodged in her back, she was operated upon at a local hospital, and she died subsequently of internal bleeding. In other words, this death was senseless in that a properly prepared individual can meet gunfire and survive.

Second, we have masked men in a taxi. Note that nearly all the personal vehicles in Somalia are Toyota or Mercedes, including trucks. This shooting was a "drive by" and she was the main victim, but not necessarily the main target.

Third, she was apparently a new arrival. She had just arrived at the hotel according to several of the other articles on the topic we've read.

Fourth, she was accompanying a delegation of Somali "parliamentarians" appointed at the peace conference in Nairobi and therefore not properly called parliamentarians. (One thinks of parliament as a body representing the people; with these legislators appointed outside the country without any process for popular approval, they are not properly a parliament.) These were men in Mogadishu to make it possible for the new "government" now in Nairobi to be brought to Mogadishu. This same new "government" (again, by appointment rather than by consent) has asserted that it would only leave Nairobi and travel to Mogadishu if accompanied by 20,000 foreign troops, which the Africa Union is apparently considering providing.

So, now she's dead. Is she dead because she was a reporter for the BBC, one of the more notorious arms of the British government which is persistently interfering in the domestic politics of dozens of countries worldwide? Is she dead because she was a woman, probably not covered according to Islamic standards, and thus a target for Islamic militant extremists? Is she dead because she was outside the hotel where the targets of the killers were located? Is she dead because her mannish haircut and her bodyguards and the presence in that hotel of men seeking to force a new government down the throats of the Somalis was confusing to her killers, and they mistook her for someone who was of a more important role? She's certainly dead because she did not take proper precautions, such as kevlar.

This nasty business of going about the world imposing external governments on people who do not want them and have made an effort to shed them is going to go poorly and end badly. The Somalis suffered under the dictator Siad Barre from 1969 to 1991. During that time he was supported by the Soviets (1969 to 1978) and then declared war on Ethiopia. And the Soviets took the side of Ethiopia in the conflict, so Barre became a Western supported dictator.

During Barre's Western-supported dictatorship, in 1988, as we gather, 30,000 men, women, and children were butchered by Siad Barre's military at the city of Berbera in what is now "the Republic of Somaliland." So, of course, the Somalis have no love of Western interference in their affairs. Of course the Somalis have great pride in the fact that they, on their own, totally unsupported by outside governments, threw down their dictator and forced him into exile. Moreover, they have great pride because when the UN showed up in December 1992 with 20,000 USA marines to force a new government into existence, so the bankers could get debt payments on the $2.6 billion they had lent to Siad Barre, the Somalis chased them out.

The Somalis defused the situation until April 1993 when the Marines withdrew. Then they were confronted with a blatant UN demand for control of a Mogadishu radio station in May, and when the UN sent Pakistani troops to seize the radio station, the Somalis killed them and eviscerated the bodies. In July 1993, the UN retaliated with an attack by 19 USA military helicopters on a peaceful clan meeting of the elders of the Habr Gidr clan, butchering dozens of unarmed men and women with TOW missiles, chasing the survivors down the streets of Mogadishu firing 30 mm cannon at them.

So, of course the Somalis shot down six helicopters over Mog in September-October 1993, killed 18 American soldiers, wounded dozens more, suffered some thousand casualties in the most intense fighting and about seven thousand casualties from 1992-1995 at the hands of the UN/USA, and are exceedingly proud of the fact that the UN left.

The Somalis have had their own form of government for hundreds of years. Their traditional clan government is ad hoc. It has no standing army, no standing courts, no standing executive. The men who serve on ad hoc courts or in ad hoc militias have regular jobs, are herdsmen or shopkeepers, and do not attempt to govern their neighbors when there is no crisis. Yet, they form courts and militias very rapidly to address any conflict.

These constant attempts by the UN and the USA to impose a government on Somalia are heinous. The Somalis should not be asked to repay the debts of the dictator who brutalized them and murdered their families and clansfolk. The Somalis should not be forced to pay taxes to a centralized, nationalist, socialist central government in Mogadishu. And any government that requires 20,000 foreign troops merely to enter its "own" capital city, is not a government of the people. It has no legitimacy, because it rules with coercion and not with consent.

So, frankly, if a BBC reporter or a dozen show up along with the men and women trying to conspire to force this new government on the Somalis and get killed, it is all pretty much to be expected. We regret the loss of life and the effusion of blood, but we would not be surprised if it is just a start.

Maybe the British should tend to their own islands and leave the rest of the world alone. The Somalis are happy to see companies invest, as Coca-cola did recently, and are eager for trade and commerce. But they are sick and tired of colonialism, which was one atrocity after another from 1895 to 1960, and they are tired of the disgusting pretense of sham democracy, and they are tired of dictators, whether UN appointed or self-appointed.

We know quite a lot of Somalis from our travels there. They don't want to pay taxes to pay off the debts of a dictator who abused them. We don't see why they should. And if the BBC would report on those facts, rather than tell engaging lies about how Siad Barre was forced to flee from rebels, then maybe we'd have more sympathy for their reporters.

As for figures about the size of the debt, visit the Central Intelligence Agency web site. The CIA.gov is one of those agencies more interested in protecting the wealth of the banking cartel than the constitutional liberty of Americans. Then go to the "CIA World Fact Book" which tells you about the CIA's world, not the real world, but there are a few parallels.

You'll notice that official CIA policy does not allow for the existence of the Republic of Somaliland, let alone the independent federal state of Puntland. It is Somalia, whether the Somalis prefer it that way, or not.

So, skip to that page: Hit the link for "Economy" and scroll down to the entry for "Debt - external" and see the figure. $2.6 billion is the year 2000 estimate.

You'll find that for all the countries the CIA considers exist (which is a number larger than the UN believes in and smaller than actually do exist) the CIA lists the external debt figure. To put a bit of perspective on it, the CIA tracks the USA external debt as $1.4 trillion.

Part of the debt seems to be from the IMF. See this page for details. Please download the pdf file from that page. It tells you two things about this debt. First, interest on it is 108.5 million SDRs. Principal is 112 million SDRs. The IMF says that 1 SDR = 1.5154 USA $ and carries an interest rate of 2.34%. SDR stands for "special drawing rights."

Second, the debt has been in arrears since 1987! Note that 1987 is during the Siad Barre regime. Somalia became ineligible for funds from the IMF in May 1988, about the time Siad Barre's men were in Berbera massacring 30,000 men, women, and children for the sport of it, no doubt with money from the banking cartel.

So, of the $2.6 billion, only $334 million is "owed" to the IMF, has been owed as principal since Siad Barre was in power, and therefore ought properly be owed by Barre or his family or his heirs but not by the Somali people generally.

Maybe the World Bank or the CIA would tell you to whom the rest of the debt is owed and at what perverse interest rate, and how much it has compounded since 2000. On the $334 million "owed" to the IMF, using their 2.34% interest rate, the figure comes to $7.8 million per annum interest. That means that each Somali now living in the Horn of Africa has to pay about $1 per year in taxes just to satisfy the IMF, not to mention the other bankster scum, not to mention the collectors in their "government." That pre-supposes that any government of Somalia gets control of all seven million Somalis without shedding the blood of about two-thirds of them. Using that same interest rate on the full $2.6 billion one gets $61 million/year in interest or about $8.69 per year per Somali just to make interest payments. To pay down the debt, each Somali would have to fork over $371.43, or about one year's income for many Somalis. We guess the bankers don't mind if the Somalis starve during that year.

Longevity

The 1994 DSHEA was passed to resounding popular support because it was supposed to keep the government from making dietary supplements illegal. Rather a lot of utter nonsense has been associated with the very few documented deaths from ephedra. The USA poison control centers "finds that vitamins and mineral supplements are linked with few if any deaths, and deaths linked to the use of herbal products - except for ephedra (and most of these, if not all, are bogus) - are few. By comparison, the use of over-the-counter painkillers such as aspirin and ibuprofen cause an estimated 16,000 deaths annually. The real problems are with heavily regulated prescription drugs, which, even when properly used and administered ...result in over 100,000 deaths annually."

What we have here, people, are another bunch of evil scum-sucking statists trying to regulate yet another industry into submission. These Senators, named above, are not properly human beings. They are perverts.

How else can one describe such feeble intellects who would empower the FDA - responsible for denying life-saving medications to millions and for approval of death-dealing medications for hundreds of thousands - with the authority to deny supplement manufacturers the ability to operate their safe and clean factories in the USA. Are we to see these madmen drive every industry from the country?

Under the Senate bill as proposed, if someone suffers a stroke or heart attack and also happens to have taken Vitamin C, the FDA is authorized to prevent the sale of all Vitamin C until proof is offered that it hadn't caused the stroke or heart attack. The burden of proof is turned upside down. Instead of forcing the FDA to prove that its regulatory excesses, including its SWAT-style teams of armed intruders, are needed to prevent further harm, the Senators above listed want to thwart individual initiative in private health care decisions and force those who would manufacture, sell, or use food supplements to prove that they do no harm.

Moreover, the standard of burden of proof, as the authors of the editorial in Life Enhancement note, has been "reasonable doubt" since about 1770. This obligation on the part of the government to prove harm before gaining a conviction is guaranteed in the due process clause of the USA constitution, a document that all the above named Senators swore an oath to uphold. Even more telling, the entire standard of "first, do no harm" dates back to the ancient Greek Hippocrates. Since roughly 440 BC, or about 2445 years ago, mankind has known that denying food, medicine, herbs, vital nutrients, water, or other nourishment should only be undertaken on a case-by-case basis if doing so does not harm the patient. No general mandate to withhold nutrients is possible.

These are the kind of obvious facts that all the above named Senators know full well. They are traitors to the constitution and to the republic for which the constitution stands. They are no doubt taking enormous campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical industry, which has bought their allegiance, until such time as the trial lawyers bids higher.

We make mention of these facts about these nationalist socialists not because we suggest you lift a finger to upbraid them, but merely to point out that all reform of the USA political system is pointless. If you were there to watch the "Contract with America" fall in disgrace, if a 60% fulfillment record - even if one is to believe Newt Gingrich's self-congratulatory swill - is inadequate for any commercial contractor you've ever hired, then you'll agree that there is no reason to expect the USA government to uphold its obligations under the constitution. It is, as Neal Stephenson noted, a sort of crazed animal, rushing about eating people and thwarting their commerce.

Cage it? Doing so would be very difficult. It was born bound in chains of a constitution, but it has slipped the leash. Destroy it? A very dangerous proposition for a beast armed with nuclear weapons. We suggest another alternative: walk away from it. Avoid it. As Étienne de la Boétie has taught, stop supporting it, and it will fall.


Publication note: Late again, with apologies to all.


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