2004 Issues #1 to #16
Seventeenth Issue 10 January 2005
B M GM FMM S LT N L P
Twenty-eighth Issue 11 April 2005
Buy this essay and others in Jim's new book Being Sovereign.
The Indomitus Report
25 April 2005
"What we have in this country is both anarchy - the failure of the state to enforce the laws - and, at the same time, tyranny - the enforcement of laws by the state for oppressive purposes; the criminalization of the law-abiding and innocent through exorbitant taxation, bureaucratic regulation, the invasion of privacy, and the engineering of social institutions, such as the family and local schools; the imposition of thought control through "sensitivity training" and multiculturalist curricula, "hate crime" laws, gun-control laws that punish or disarm otherwise law-abiding citizens but have no impact on violent criminals who get guns illegally, and a vast labyrinth of other measures. In a word, anarcho-tyranny....Of course, everything is not OK, because anarcho-tyranny is the system itself, not just a problem in the system, and one important reason it has been able to triumph and lock itself into power is that it depends on the very passivity and conservatism it instills in the population it rules. The population it is enslaving does not need to resist like the violent criminals the anarcho-tyrants refuse to control, but it does need to be willing to act like the citizenry of the real republic that anarcho-tyranny has subverted and displaced. Only if the serfs are willing and able to assume the tasks and duties of governing themselves rather than merely to endure whatever their masters hand down to them will the twin anarchy and tyranny that the current system imposes begin to crumble. 'Who would be free,' wrote Lord Byron, 'himself must strike the blow.'"
Chronicles, April 2005
Samuel Francis passed away after writing this essay for his "Perspective" column in the magazine Chronicles which a good friend was kind enough to share. His name came up in conversation as someone who was a gifted writer, a cynic, and a curmudgeon. Naturally, it was hard to choose any one of those features to like best, they work so well together.
If anarcho-tyranny is the depravity of the current system, then anarcho-capitalism is better because it would respect private property and individual liberty. There would remain the absence of a state enforcing laws, but that lacuna would be met by an armed people able to defend their own lives, liberty, and property. However, I am not an anarcho-capitalist.
Rather, I am for a type of government: an explicitly minimal form of government called "self-government," or "self-sovereignty." It is the government of the individual, by the individual, and for the individual. The individual chooses for himself what he will, he is responsible for his actions, and he seeks to engage in contracts and associations for the purpose of mutual benefit. He may participate in a "mutual aid society," in a gathered church, in any number of business enterprises, in societies, groups, clubs, and organizations, doing so in an exercise of free will.
Notice how Samuel Francis writes the same idea that we read in Étienne de la Boétie? There's no need to resist the tyrants, to throw them down. All that is necessary for your freedom is to stop supporting them, stop holding them up. If you remove your support, and others do the same, they will fall. And their downfall is not primarily your responsibility. Rather, your primary concern is yourself, your family, and those you care about. Your primary concern is to govern yourself.
If once you govern yourself, if you remove your support from the corrupt system, then the crumbling of the tyranny will take care of itself. You need not encourage others to do the same, provided you also don't hide your lamp under a bushel basket. Others who respect you would follow your lead, and the end of the tyrants would be prompt.
How do you remove your support? To do so, you have to understand the system of anarcho-tyranny. It exploits the serfs through confiscatory taxation; through inflation; through the proliferation of crimes to make imprisoned slaves and disenfranchised and disarmed ex-convicts; through conscription; and through military adventures overseas.
The methods for protecting your wealth from taxation are many and varied. You'll want to diversify your assets. Move your wealth away from high tax rates and toward low tax rates. Consider the establishment of private charitable trusts, non-profit corporations, and other tax-free entities. Consider whether your ownership of property is all that key to your happiness, or whether you'd do just as well by having other entities own things instead, especially if those entities were able to lawfully avoid taxation. Use jurisdictional arbitrage to your advantage. Don't try to defend a fixed position, but make your money move about and work for you. There are thousands of things you can do to reduce or eliminate tax burdens. If you'd spend some time thinking these things through, you could reduce the amount of support you send to the tyrants.
Similarly, the banking cartel is not your friend. It allied itself long ago with the state. You should take a long hard look at free market money and move your cash out of national currencies. It may be that the government is not gaining the advantage of the hidden tax of inflation, as Beardsley Ruml suggested it should in the 1930s, but it is the case that someone, probably the banking cartel, gains what you lose when national currencies inflate. Consider moving away from licensed banking establishments. At least, move toward a credit union that provides better rates for your deposits and lower rates for your borrowing, and keeps the profits from your banking transactions in the local credit union community rather than sending them to New Yorker banking scammers. One of the better banks we've encountered is Frank Trotter's Everbank.
It is possible to function in the economy without credit cards, without a bank account in your own name, and using free market money exclusively. It isn't trivial, but few worthwhile things are.
Stop participating in the cultural tendency toward criminalization of everything. Don't watch cop shows on television. Don't agree that drug laws are good. Don't send your children to DARE and other destabilizing influences. Don't encourage the Hitler Youth aspects of the public schools. To the extent possible, home school or privately school your children to keep them out of the clutches of the state. Secede from those institutions which are overtly harmful.
Likewise, don't be a fink. Victimless crimes should not be crimes at all. The harm caused by supporting the system of criminalizing all behavior that is not licensed and permitted is far greater than any harm caused by underage drinking, driving without seat belts, or raising one of the many "herbs bearing seeds" mentioned in Genesis 1:29.
Consider whether the cost of registration for the draft is worth any perceived benefits. Sure, adults who don't register won't be eligible for student loans, for government subsidies for education, for government subsidized loan guarantees such as FHA mortgages, and for other perceived benefits. But, are these loans and subsidies worth the cost of conscription? Are these loans not a form of debt peonage, to be avoided anyway?
Stop supporting the troops. The troops are not part of the solution. As volunteers, they are part of the problem. As unwillingly re-enlisted, they should be protesting that form of conscription by objecting in a manner which leads to their discharge, changes to the system, or their imprisonment during the appeals process. They are obviously men of courage, so they should have the fortitude to stand up to the system which seeks to enslave them.
The military industrial complex and the banking cartel have long been united in the cause of larger government. It is no mere coincidence that one of the major early defense contractors, du Pont, was also a director of the Second Bank of the United States. Defense contractor companies are a big part of the problem. The corrupt allocation of defense contracts increases the national debt, prompts higher taxes, and is corrupted by those organizations benefiting from the contracts.
The war on terror is a manifestation of the war on individual liberty. The war on drugs is a part of the war on freedom. The war on money laundering is a war on financial privacy. These are wars brought by tyrants, and have no merit.
Obedience to a system of oppression is not obligatory. There is no requirement that you deify the anarcho-tyrants by accepting their power over you. Doing so would be among the highest forms of idolatry. Rather, resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.
God gave man all the herbs bearing seeds to be as meat. To set man's law prohibiting the growing, selling, or using of any of those herbs - be they hemp, poppy, or coca - above God's law granting these useful herbs to our use is wrong. Doing so is idolatry: to place man's law above God's law is to worship false gods.
Similarly, the war in Iraq and the coming war with Iran are like the war with Afghanistan. They have nothing to do with protecting the country from terror. Rather, they foment terror, create martyrs, increase the enlistments for Islamic freedom fighters, and hamper trade and commerce. Are oil prices high enough for Halliburton? They are certainly much higher than tourists or travelers like to see.
A system of externally imposed, coercive government may, possibly, be justified by effective and useful activities such as limiting crime, providing for justice, defending the country from attack, establishing good standards of precious metal coinage, or facilitating trade and commerce through treaties. It is to be suspected that all these effective and useful actions would be better provided privately, and it seems likely to have proven in various instances around the world and through history. However, a system which fails to limit crime, fails to provide justice, fails to defend against attacks, promotes invasions and attacks on life, liberty, and property, debases the coinage and inflates the currency, engages in trade wars and destroys private commerce in a host of products and services deemed the exclusive purview of government or its corrupt licensees is not a proper system of government. It is tyranny.
It is the freedom of every individual to abandon such a system of tyranny, turn your back on it, quit it, secede from it, and form your own government, or work with others to establish a separate government, based on whatever principles to you seem most likely to effect your future happiness. It is not only right to throw down a tyranny, some say you have a moral obligation to do so, at least to the extent of throwing off such government.
The United States of America declared war on the people of the Confederacy through the tyrannical usurpation of Abraham Lincoln's 15 April 1861 declaration of emergency. That emergency action, so-called Executive Order #1 has not been rescinded, but has been upheld by the pretend-representatives of Congress, and has been extended through over fourteen thousand (!) subsequent executive orders. Further emergency actions were taken in World War One to classify and identify enemy aliens, and in 1933 to place the entire population of the United States into the class of enemy aliens within their own country. The USA has declared war on its own people.
In his book Day of Deceit, Robert Stinnett proved that the USA government orchestrated the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, goading the Empire of Japan into the attack, ignoring their coded efforts to declare war in a timely manner (even though the USA government decoded the declaration of war telegrams before the Japanese embassy in Washington could do so), and deliberately increased the casualties of the attack by deploying naval and air force resources in a manner determined to maximize damage and deaths. Doing so further abrogated the implicit compact between the government and the people, directly violated the constitution's letter and spirit, and was treason on the part of FDR and his administration.
It is difficult to examine the recent history of USA government support for mujihadeen groups in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989, for the government of the Taliban prior to 11 September 2001, and for the governments of, e.g., Pakistan and Saudi Arabia since then without concluding that similar machinations, orchestrations, and deceit went into the 11 September attacks themselves. We've recently heard a rumor that Hunter Thompson had warned his death would be made to look like a suicide because he was about to blow the lid off the 11 September attacks. As with many other things, the fall of the USA-state would be a likely prerequisite to knowing the full truth.
What we can say with conviction is that the government is not the constitutional republic, is neither lawful nor ethical, fails to uphold its constitutional and moral obligations, and therefore does not deserve your support. What you do about it is up to you.
Free Market Money
"The economy functions by means of verbal and written contracts, and under a monetary system, these contracts are all expressed in terms of the monetary unit. Hence the meaning of the monetary unit is the meaning of the contract. With the state's power to change the meaning of the monetary unit, it holds complete perversive power over the economy. To admit this all pervasive intervention while objecting to collateral ones is to swallow a whale while gagging at minnows."
The above captioned quote is found in the book Flight from Inflation available from the Heather Foundation. You may also enjoy reading Riegel's book A New Approach to Freedom. Both books deal with free market money as a concept and promote secession from the banking cartel, fiat money systems, and government licensed financial intrigues.
Riegel was right in believing that by inflating the currency, the meaning of the monetary unit is perverted, to the detriment of all contracts and all free enterprisers. It seems likely that the actual power to inflate the dollar has been delegated by the government, perhaps under bankruptcy proceedings of a sort, to the Federal Reserve. But, whether the damage is done to the free enterpriser by the government or by a government licensed monopolistic cartel, the response is the same: turn to free market money for your freedom.
In his books, Riegel correctly points out that issuing money is a power which should not ever be in the hands of government, nor delegated by the government to others. Government is incapable of issuing money, and incompetent to delegate this power, because government is not a free enterpriser. Government coerces all payments to it and provides, at best, monopoly versions of its services, at worst no service at all. It is therefore not appropriate to accept or use government issued money substitutes.
Who is properly capable of issuing money and competent to delegate this power to others? Free enterprisers, those engaged in free enterprise trade and commerce are capable of issuing money. They can delegate this power competently through private transactions, such as buying and selling gold and silver, warehouse receipts for precious metals, or other forms of money.
Riegel proposed that money could be issued by anyone in the form of valuns or "value units." Anyone, that is, who was able to produce products or services and provided them on the free market. Since such a person would be able to pay off the money he issues with his own products and services, he could issue money which would circulate until it came back to him. To address the devaluation difficulty inherent in having individuals issue as much money as they please, Riegel proposed that accountants in the private sector establish guidelines for how much money should be issued by individual free enterprisers.
There are two main problems with this new approach to freedom Riegel proposes. The first problem is acceptability. The valun is not necessarily acceptable to all participants in the free market. It would very likely be refused in many transactions. The second problem is that the valun is a money substitute, and not money itself. It is a sort of barter substitute, as well, since, as Riegel details in his books, the function of the valun is to take the other side of a series of value transactions until a barter circle is completed.
To solve both of these problems, the free market has turned to gold and silver. Gold and silver are widely acceptable. Often, they are accepted in preference to money substitutes. And, of course, they are money and not money substitutes.
Are dollar transfer schemes wrong? No. They are merely sub optimal. They are a method for transferring money substitutes, or debt instruments, rather than wealth itself. As such, they are to be avoided, but not scorned. Since there are many customers and free enterprisers who transact in dollars and other national currencies, it is inevitable that money substitutes are going to be used. To the extent that these money substitutes can be avoided, though, they should be.
If you don't enjoy swallowing whales whole, then avoid money substitutes. Use the money of free enterprisers: free market money.
Here's how the stocks we presently suggest in this area look right now (evening Monday 25 April 2005):
As expected, higher prices for gold and silver have reduced the red ink situation quite a bit. The above listed suggestions continue on our "buy" list.
Free Market Money
Gold has tapped at $435 a few times, and is now at $433.90 (late evening, Monday). It seems to have formed a pennant after the flagpole of mid-April. It may be poised to move higher, though we've guessed wrong before.
Silver is at $7.24/ounce.
Copper is $1.5423/pound. It seems to be holding onto recent gains.
The 25 April 2005 price is unchanged at $23.20 per pound for U3O8.
The three stocks we've suggested in this sector are PVH, GBH, and MCG.
"Biology on Earth is the primary source of organic production we are familiar with, but the key question is: what is the ultimate source of organics in the Solar System?"
25 April 2005
For well over a century, the accepted wisdom in the oil industry has been that the source of coal, oil, and natural gas on Earth is organic materials created by plants or decaying animals. In the case of coal, there is very good evidence for this view, including fossils of plant materials embedded deep within coal seams.
In the case of oil, the supporting data is more circumstantial. Oil deposits seem to be found in layers of rock consistent with certain ancient plant-rich geological periods, such as the Permian, Carboniferous, and epochs such as the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian. Pre-Cambrian life forms have not left extensive fossil records, and the Pre-Cambrian era rock layers are not associated with major oil deposits.
In the case of natural gas, the evidence is all on the other side. Natural gas or methane is produced in various primordial processes, both deep within the Earth and throughout the formation of our Solar System. We thus find methane in the atmospheres of many planets which are not sustaining familiar biological activity. Methane, being a carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms, is quite simple and widespread. It is formed by the breakdown of plant and animal matter, but it is also formed without biological activity, as well. Thus, vast fields of natural gas in Siberia seem to represent trapped primordial gas escaping from vents deep within the Earth and failing to rise above the thick permafrost layer.
The evidence for hydrocarbons produced by non-biological means has been increased with the close flyby of Saturn's moon Titan by the Cassini spacecraft on 16 April 2005. The outer layer of the satellite is full of complex hydrocarbons. Some of these hydrocarbon chains contain as many as seven carbon atoms. Nitriles or nitrogen containing hydrocarbons have also been found. Titan's atmosphere is primarily nitrogen and methane.
Sunlight and energetic particles from Saturn's magnetosphere seem to induce the formation of complex hydrocarbons from nitrogen and methane. However, Titan is very cold, and many of these complex hydrocarbons would be expected to precipitate out, condense, and essentially rain down onto the surface.
There are also interstellar clouds of abundant organics, far out between the stars. Comets bring some of this material into the inner Solar System, and, presumably, from one star system to another.
Scientists have speculated for several years now that primordial methane may be trapped below the permafrost layer on Mars, which covers nearly a hemisphere of that planet. Whether more complex hydrocarbons were formed during the warm wet period on Mars is unknown, but striking oil on Mars would certainly be a strong indicator that either there was dramatic biological activity on Mars or we don't know how oil is formed. Similarly, hydrocarbon pools on Titan might give rise to useful petrochemicals.
Do investors in oil and gas exploration and production companies need to worry about this sort of discovery? Not at all. Presently, the cost of reaching Mars or Titan is so great that only robotic missions have been sent. The cost of recovering liquefied natural gas from Mars would begin with tens of thousands of dollars of launch costs to get necessary production equipment from Earth to Mars. The only meaningful market for such expensive energy would be in situ among the new population of Mars once gas production is operational there. Even with a third the gravity of Earth, sending liquefied natural gas from the surface of Mars to Earth orbit would be very expensive, though not as expensive as sending the same material from Earth's surface.
A sidebar commentary on the geologic time scale seems appropriate. Geologic time includes the fairly trivial amount of time involved in human history in an era called the Cenozoic. The Cenozoic era is going on right now. It is divided into two periods.
One would think that the two periods would bear the names "primary" and "secondary" but owing to quirks of history in geological science, the current period is called the "Quaternary" and the earlier period the "Tertiary."
Periods are divided into epochs. We are currently in the Holocene epoch of the Quaternary period of the Cenozoic era. This epoch encompasses the last ten thousand years, so approximately twice the period of human history, depending on how generous one wishes to be about early civilization. The earlier epoch of the Quaternary period is called the Pleistocene epoch. It started about two million years ago and ran up to about ten thousand years ago. The Pleistocene begins about the same level that early hominid fossils are found.
The Tertiary period of the Cenozoic era began about 65 million years ago. In the fossil record, there is a clear dividing line of extra-terrestrial material high in iridium which probably relates to a cometary or asteroid impact, called the K/T line and separating the Cretaceous (K) period from the Tertiary period. The climate changes from this event presumably made Earth uninhabitable for dinosaurs and shifted the balance toward the mammals. The Tertiary period is divided into Paleocene, Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, and Pliocene epochs, from earliest to latest.
The geologic era prior to the Cenozoic is called the Mesozoic era, or "age of the dinosaurs." It runs from about 225 million years ago to 65 million years ago. It is divided into three periods, the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous. You'll be familiar with some of the flora and fauna from films such as "Jurassic Park," although many of the key dinosaurs in that film such as the Tyrannosaurus Rex were actually Cretaceous period dinosaurs. So, Hollywood's desire to get things right has never been very great.
Prior to the Mesozoic era is the Paleozoic era, which is divided into Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, and Permian periods. The Carboniferous period is divided into epochs Pennsylvanian and Mississippian. The Paleozoic era is considered by scientists to have run from about 600 million years ago to about 225 million years ago. Before the Paleozoic era is the Pre-Cambrian era which runs back as far as the Earth is old, perhaps 4 billion years.
One would hope that these geologic time scale names would be transferred to our understanding of other planets. But, with scientists, one never knows what to expect. After they took up voting on matters like whether Earth's climate changes are man-made, their dedication to the scientific method has seemed weak, at best.
SpaceDev is at $1.63. It is up $0.13 since we first suggested it.
"We are currently scheduling the first Hybrid Upper Stage motor firing for later this Summer."
Jim Benson's SpaceDev has added Ms. Susan Benson to the board of directors. Susan is a major shareholder with four million six hundred thousand shares in the company.
The company is preparing a new facility to build its larger hybrid rocket motors. The Hybrid motors provided to Paul Allen's SpaceShipOne project provided 15,000 pounds of thrust. The new motors are expected to produce about 20,000 pounds of thrust. The new motors are being built under a contract with the Air Force Research Laboratory.
In addition to the new Hybrid Upper Stage, the company's test facility will be able to handle the anticipated 120,000-pound-thrust SpaceDev Streaker Small Common Booster motor, and subsequent designs up to 250,000 pounds thrust. The test system is being built on several large flatbed trailers "to maximize mobility and system test flexibility," according to Jim Benson.
In addition to the test stand the company is building a transportable, self-contained, air conditioned command center with all the necessary monitoring and instrumentation equipment. The first test firing should occur this Summer. The company is continuing to pursue designs for manned suborbital and orbital space flight systems.
New Country Developments
"Narganá ... elected as its chief Charlie Robinson, recently returned from many years on a West Indian ship, who began a 'civilizing' program. His cause was taken up in subsequent years by a number of young men who had been educated in the cities on the mainland. These 'Young Turks' advocated forcible removal of nose rings, substitution of dresses for 'molas,' and the establishment of dance halls like those in the [mainland] cities. They were actively supported by the police, who arrested men who did not send their daughters to the dance hall; the police also allegedly raped some of the Indian women. By 1925, hatred for these modernizers and for the police was intense throughout the area. The situation culminated in the San Blas War of 1925. The rebellion, which resulted in the death of twenty police and garnered American diplomatic and naval support, established the San Blas region as a semi-autonomous Cuna territory of Panama."
There is an autonomous territory in Panama called "Kuna Yala." It includes part of the Atlantic coast of Panama and numerous offshore islands. Its autonomy was recognized by Panama in 1953.
Of course, it wasn't always that way. The forced separation of Panama from Colombia was a great idea for the Panama Canal developers. However, the "civilization" of the indigenous Kuna was not to their taste. So, they revolted in 1925. They refer to the event as the Tule Revolution.
Subsequent negotiations led to the 1953 definition of the internal autonomy of the "Territory of the Kunas" or "Kuna Yala." The territory is governed by the general congress of the Kuna, the "Sailagan Dummagan" or chiefs, the local congresses, and the local leaders.
Local congresses meet daily and are the highest authorities within the communities. Local leaders invoke and pay homage to the Kuna religious figure known as "Pab Dummat." According to Oswaldo DeLeón Kantule the Kuna world vision divides the universe into eight levels, four below Earth and four above Earth inhabited by various spirits. Earth itself is inhabited by humans or "Neg Kunas" and various plants, animals, and rocks each having its own spirit.
Panama law has no force in Kuna territory. The Kuna forbid Panama and the USA drug interdiction boats from entering their territorial waters. However, they do allow cruise ships to anchor in their waters.
We appreciate Sandy Sandfort for mentioning the Kuna and their interesting situation. Obviously, the Kuna are just one clan or tribe of many hundreds of north American natives with various claims to aboriginal sovereignty over their own territory. It seems the Kuna have defended their homeland with considerable success.
"Selenium and vitamin E are the most promising dietary supplements considered for use in the reduction of prostate cancer risk. This enthusiasm is reflected in the initiation of the large National Cancer Institute sponsored trial - SELECT (Selenium and Vitamin E Chemoprevention Trial)."
96th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research
It appears from an article in Life Extension summarizing the research Dr. Kolenko is doing that selenium may be useful in supporting a chemical treatment for prostate cancer that induces apoptosis or self-inflicted cell death on cancer cells. While the treatment is still under investigation, Dr. Kolenko's views on dietary supplements are very welcome.
Keep in mind from our earlier essays on this subject that vitamin E should be taken in a multi-tocopherol form in preference to just dosing yourself with alpha tocopherol.
In other longevity news, the 4 May 2005 issue of Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry is expected to announce the findings of Joe A. Vinson, Ph.D., and Juan Zhang that green and black tea both help prevent cataracts in diabetic rats. Cataract formation was significantly reduced in the lenses of the diabetic rats who received either green or black tea. Green and black tea seem to retard the development of cataracts by lowering glucose which affects pathways which increase diabetic complications, including cataracts.
Elan Corp, PLC, was at $4.06 when we looked in on it today. We continue to investigate this company.
Publication Note: A day late. We apologize.
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