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

The Indomitus Report
Volume 2, #22

11 July 2005
A Hard Government

Being Sovereign

      "It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one tenth part of their time to be employed in its service."

      - Benjamin Franklin, "The Way to Wealth," 7 July 1757

There are many potential meanings for the word "hard" as used by Franklin in this context, but the one meaning that clearly has application to government is "cruel, oppressive, unjust (American Heritage Dictionary, 1980)." A synonym for "a hard government" would be "tyranny."

Indeed, it would be thought a tyranny if the cost of government in taxes were to rise to one tenth part of the labor or productivity of the people. Franklin, inured to monarchy and subjugation, wrote, "its people," but we don't acknowledge the ownership of people by government.

In the case of self-government, it is the individual who owns the government. In the legal theory of government according to the Declaration of Independence, people form governments for the purpose of securing their rights. Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. Lacking consent, a government would be a tyranny, and therefore have no just claim on the people.

It is sort of amusing to contemplate a government only taking 10% of the productive labor of the people. On an individual basis, the cost may be higher or lower than 10%, but on a group basis the cost is far in excess of 50%. How so?

This year, the USA government anticipates spending some $2.5 trillion. Although a very substantial part of that cost is paid in "national debt," the debt itself passes through to the people generally through inflation, higher debt service costs, and future tax obligations. With the economy officially producing some $10 trillion per year, the federal government costs about 25% of the economy. These costs are paid in excise taxes, duties, income taxes, and payroll taxes as we saw in our last issue.

Figures for state and local governments are not as easily identified, but costs remain high. Sales taxes of 4%, 6%, 8%; state and even city income taxes; property taxes, fuel taxes, cigarette taxes, car rental taxes, hotel occupancy taxes; payroll taxes for unemployment compensation and injured worker compensation; tolls, and a variety of other costs - including deficit spending in some states - pull in about 15% or more of the productive labor of the people.

But the costs keep piling up. The cost of complying with regulations, including the cost of defending against attacks by regulators, is enormous. It is easily 10% of the time and money of the people. Files to maintain, forms to fill out and submit, fees that accompany the submissions, the cost of compliance officers, environmental abatement, occupational safety, receipts detailing the expenditure of government grants, and regulatory excess covering everything from water usage to sewage output, not to mention concessions for power, phone, cable, and water monopolies, or outright government monopolies on water, sewer, and garbage collection are typical. Even where "competition" is given some lip service, a monopoly controls access by owning the power line or phone line. All these regulations and special privileges impose costs on the economy. New legislation such as Sarbanes Oxley adds to the costs, especially for easy targets like publicly traded companies. Even the cost of preparing tax papers is a substantial tax.

These costs have multiplier effects throughout the economy. For the individual worker, paying income tax withholding, federal payroll taxes, state payroll taxes, and sometimes even state income taxes out of her direct pay, actual take-home pay has to compensate for the cost of other taxes imposed not only upon herself, but on the businesses and people from whom she buys products and services. The cost of regulations is marked into the prices of everything. The cost of taxes is marked into the prices of everything, especially those things requiring labor. So, the economic burden is far greater than 50%.

There are a few minor compensations. Payroll taxes and withheld income taxes are paid out quarterly, so there is some cash flow opportunity for companies with substantial payrolls. Overpayment of withheld income taxes results in a substantial amount of income tax refunds in the first quarter of each year. But all of the benefit of inflation and debt service passes to the banking cartel. The wretch may breathe easy between lashes of the bullwhip, but is certain that the whip will descend.

Even labor itself is directly taxed through various forms of conscription. The shopkeeper must collect sales taxes at his cash register for the benefit of the state. The property owner must collect enough in rent or produce enough in goods or services to pay property taxes; the property owner must also submit forms and applications for additions or modifications to his dwellings or commercial buildings; the property owner must attend to "endangered wildlife" by mowing marsh grasses and butchering animals to avoid seizure of his property under various outrageous laws; the property owner may have to submit to plumbing inspections, fire hazard inspections, occupancy inspections, health inspections, and the fines or, more likely, the pay-offs associated with these.

Fail to dawdle at a pace much below your vehicle's capacity and you'll be fined for speeding; fail to get your vehicle's emissions tested - at some cost to you in time and testing fees - and your vehicle may be seized; fail to take the time to fasten your seat belt and you may be fined; fail to strap and harness your children into bizarre cages, in the face of their screaming opposition, and you may be fined or your children may be seized by the state.

Hide your recreational drugs, hide your children, hide your unlicensed pets, hide your income, hide your wealth, hide your addictive behaviors, hide your consumption. Shred, burn, stir your papers so not even a receipt may betray you. Move your wealth offshore to tax havens. Move your businesses offshore to privacy havens. Run. Run! Hide! Conceal, camouflage, and if that doesn't work, hire lawyers and accountants to obfuscate where they don't conceal.

Don't forget the cost of prostrating yourself before government for relief from taxes and regulations or, in the cases of the more vicious among you, for added burdens that erect barriers to entry for others. Remember to waste precious time voting, precious money on campaign contributions, precious time writing to petition for redress of grievances, don't forget to sue or defend yourself in court. Be sure that all these behaviors won't save you from the economic burdens of a hard, callous, brutal government.

Which, having already forced your family to put every available hand to work, in the end, is going to conscript you and your children. If an all volunteer army were adequate to satisfy the military objectives and blood lust of the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the sundry military occupations worldwide, then it would not have already been necessary to involuntarily extend "enlistments" which, in a more just world, would be termed conscriptions once the explicit voluntary terms were replaced with involuntary ones. If you aren't conscripted in this global conflict for military duty, you may be conscripted for other duties in your neighborhood, in the hospitals, even in your own home. Quartering of troops and other atrocities should be expected. And a few exemplary terror attacks should serve to keep the heads of your neighbors down in a properly servile manner.

Never forget that the airline stocks of the passenger lines involved in the 11 September 2001 attacks were shorted well in advance of the attacks themselves. Do not imagine that the key beneficiaries of such attacks in the military, defense contractor, and espionage agencies would hesitate for a moment to open fire on civilians, or bomb them, or manufacture suicidal maniacs for the purpose of stimulating resistance to "terrorists." Whether any particular attack, such as those recently in London or less recently in Madrid or some years ago in New York and DC is the work of a network originally organized and funded by the CIA, we may never know. Or, we may only know when someone sifts through the ashes and wreckage of the empire, long after it has been obliterated.

So, is the USA a tyranny? Or is it the land of the free and home of the brave? Is it even "the united States of America" to which the constitution refers?

Recently, I had a very enjoyable discussion with a subscriber on the topic of jurisdictional arbitrage with particular attention to which jurisdiction we're in. We agreed that the original country was named "the united States of America," and that the Lincoln and Roosevelt administrations eliminated this government in favor of a centralized authority called "the United States Government."

In my view, the United States Government is the successor in interest to the united States of America. You can see indications of this doctrine in the language of the passports. The country recognized by other nations around the world is "the United States of America," substantially the same as what appears in the exact text (as photographed) of the constitution. But, the government issuing the passports refers to itself as "the United States Government" and the person documented as "the citizen/national of the United States."

One of my favorite authors, Ken Royce, also known as Boston T. Party, wrote a book some years ago, Hologram of Liberty in which he discusses a fascinating passage in the constitution. In article 2, section 1, paragraph 7, the oath of office of the president mentions a completely different document. Whereas the constitution identifies itself in the preamble as "this constitution for the united States of America," and whereas the article 6 requirement for Congress critters, judges, national government officers, state legislators, and all other officers of the several states is an oath to "support this constitution," the president rather uniquely is sworn to, "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

But, what's that? The framers of the constitution were extraordinary wordsmiths. The likes of Ben Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay won't likely sit in a room together again in the history of the world. Certainly, these were men who could make fine legal distinctions between "this constitution for the united States of America," and "the Constitution of the United States," if it served their purposes. Examining the many powers delegated to the national government and the variety of methods available for subverting the constitution through judicial power, treaties, and fiat, Ken concludes that the constitution replaced actual liberty with an image of liberty. Whereas the Declaration of Independence entirely and the Articles of Confederation to an extent were revolutionary documents in the service of individual liberty, the constitution is a plan for centralized power whenever it may be expedient to centralize. With powers of eminent domain, taxation, regulation of commerce, and over a dozen others enumerated, the constitution is in league with big government.

So, if there are two jurisdictions, one based on the constitution we know and the other upon some constitution only the president ever sees, what difference does it make? My correspondent wrote, "Over many decades, the uSA government was usurped in what could be called a silent coup. The consolidators infiltrated and eventually took control of the uSA government and now act under color of law -- giving lip service to the Constitution and individual rights, but in reality acting with totalitarian control over slaves who don't know any better, or who for a variety of reasons have willingly accepted this new government." While I feel that the coup was fairly overt, what with 600,000 Americans dead and a further 420,000 wounded in the War for Southern Independence, not to mention hundreds of thousands dead of starvation and a global war under the dictator Roosevelt, I agree that the process has been veiled in some secrecy. And the result is that the uSA has been conquered.

Machiavelli teaches conquerors to keep the forms of the government of the conquered. Let them have the appearance of a republic without any of the substance, and many of them would likely be happy subjects. My correspondent goes on to suggest that the uSA still exists, still has territory and population, even though it is now occupied by a military dictatorship of sorts. He notes that unlike other occupied countries, there is no government in exile. Another key difference I would note is that there is no French resistance, the two or three thousand effective partisans of which were at one point compared favorably to fifteen divisions of ten thousand men each (150,000 troops).

Then the question arises, what does one get for one's money? Here is all this wealth, all this productivity, all this human potential being allocated to taxes, regulations, paperwork, red tape, bureaucracy, and politics. The amount of capital and labor involved is truly staggering - for the USA alone some $5 trillion of wealth indirectly allocated to compliance or directly allocated to government at one level or another, each year. What do we get for all that money?

We don't get safety. Bad men stole four airplanes in 2001 despite being videotaped, surveilled, spied upon, and in several cases wand raped at the airports, crashed them into airplanes, and killed dozens. Thousands more were killed to up the body count, in our view, by demolishing the twin towers. In the heart of London this week, amidst thousands of surveillance cameras, with private ownership of guns outlawed, with identity papers required to enter or leave the country, at least four explosions killed three dozen and injured hundreds. Safety, as we've mentioned before, is an illusion. Don't be deceived by it.

Economic theory makes it clear that we don't get more for our money than we invest in governmental affairs. There is no profit there, no wealth production, no interest generated, no return on capital nor upon labor. There is only some production and much waste. We aren't made wealthier, we aren't made safer, we aren't provided with more educated people, we aren't happier with parents working two and three jobs to stay ahead of tax forfeiture or debt foreclosure. The environment is better protected through private property - government controlled "public lands" are treated abysmally in comparison. NASA keeps us from traveling to the stars. The Defense department fails to defend us. The Commerce department stymies commerce. The Transportation department actively prevents private travel, limits the market for transportation services, and is presently thwarting space transportation companies. Every agency you name is criticized by those it is supposed to serve. Farmers despise the policies of the Agriculture department, veterans fear the hospitals of the department of Veterans Affairs, environmental activists criticize the policies of the EPA, and for some peculiar reasons the stringent controls of the Securities and Exchange Commission failed to prevent apparent frauds such as Enron or Adelphia.

In the end, the Roman empire fell as much from decadence within as it did from barbarian hordes without. With capricious Senators who would seize anything of value they phant'sied, with bureau-rats tying everything in red tape, and with the barbarians outside only demanding in tribute a tenth of the wealth of the erstwhile Romans, of course they opened the gates. The barbarians would conveniently massacre the army, butcher the Senators, eliminate the bureau-rats, and loot the place. Sure, it wasn't fun being pillaged, but the barbarians would go away, eventually.

Where to from here? Again, my correspondent writes, "So, my expectation is that after the slave rebellions, nationalism on the scale practised by the former Soviet Union and still practised by the US would cease to exist. We are in my view moving toward a society of mini-states (maybe even city-states) where boundaries blur and become unimportant. Technology is moving us there."

Ultimately, I agree with this vision, similar in many ways to some of the future scenarios depicted in the fiction of Vernor Vinge or Neal Stephenson. Or, as Doug Casey likes to say, the future is going to be fabulous.

Between now and then, of course, we have those slave rebellions. Some nuclear terrorism to keep the slaves in line would seem very likely. New technologies for moving information about are on tap now, and more to come promise even greater privacy and difficulty of traffic analysis. With effective privacy of information, privacy of accounts and therefore of money won't be far behind.

In one of the most important works of the entire 20th Century, Alvin and Heidi Toffler identified three key aspects of power. Powershift identifies these in its subtitle: Knowledge, Wealth, and Violence at the Edge of the 21st Century. The order would seem to be important.

For all that sad waste of productive lives warped and enslaved by a tedious government largely for the benefit of a few power mad fools, the national government is only violence. It is centralized brutality, hundreds of thousands of agents, many of them armed (though rarely effective at actual combat) demanding, extorting, and forcing compliance with edicts and decrees issued by legislators and regulators who have terrible power but no understanding.

Now beginning to array against that system of violence are many powerful minds bringing knowledge to bear on problems related to information and many wealthy individuals tired of being subjugated. In some cases, these are also armed individuals who train regularly with their weapons.

Naked force will play various roles in shaping our future. It always has, and it always will. There will be war. But the key power centers are now wealth and knowledge. In many ways, wealth has become knowledge - with information representing wealth and the manipulation of knowledge so key to the realization of new wealth. The balance of power has shifted, and the wreck of another empire is written on the scales.

Free Market Money

      "Certain special problems would arise where present sales practices are based on the general use of uniform coins of a few relatively small standard units, as, e.g., in vending machines, transportation, or telephones. Probably even in localities in which several different currencies were in general use, one set of small coins would come to dominate. If, as seems probable, most of these competing currencies were kept at practically the same value, the technical problem of the use of coins might be solved in any one of various ways. One might be that one institution, e.g. an association of retailers, specialised in the issue of uniform coins at slightly fluctuating market prices. Tradesmen and transport and communication undertakings of the locality might join to sell, at market prices and probably through the banks, a common set of tokens for all automats in the locality. We can certainly expect commercial inventiveness rapidly to solve such minor difficulties. Another possible development would be the replacement of the present coins by plastic or similar tokens with electronic markings which every cash register and slot machine would be able to sort out and the 'signature' of which would be legally protected against forgery as any other document of value."

      - F.A. Hayek, Denationalisation of Money - The Argument
      Refined: An Analysis of the Theory and Practice
      of Concurrent Currencies
      , 3rd Edition, 1990

The man's profound grasp of economics is astounding. In a few deft strokes, Hayek lays out all the tasks before free market money entrepreneurs. These aren't magical functions that must be consolidated into the hands of some powerful government. Coining money is a simple technical matter. It needs to be done a certain way, and various obvious parties are going to be in a position to take charge.

Look at his idea for electronic markings. There's no need for these signatures to be legally protected. Digital signatures should provide even better security. It should be possible to design tokens with encrypted and digitally signed indicators that are very hard to forge or even correctly duplicate.

There are now several developments in the issue of free market money specie. The eldest of these non-national currency issues of gold and silver would be the dinar and dirham coins from the Islamic Mint, circa 1992. In 1998, the Liberty Dollar began issuing silver specie, and subsequently developed a gold piece.

While there are numerous medallions privately issued by all sorts of mints, including gold and silver rounds, these don't qualify as specie as they lack face values. Prior to the Islamic Mint and their one dinar and one dirham coins, specie had been the province of national mints. The Silver Liberty and the Gold Liberty bear face values of $10 and $500 respectively, and have endured for many years as circulating currency.

The Liberty Dollar has also minted two ounce silver pieces with $20 face value and half ounce silver pieces with $5 face value, although we've only seen these in brilliant uncirculated condition.

Another new currency on the near horizon is the Phoenix Dollar from web hosting entrepreneur, robotics enthusiast, and bon vivant Gordon Hayes. Gordon has developed his digital silver-redeemable currency for online use, along with one ounce silver specie (bearing a P$10 face value) and a paper version called SilverBacks. We plan to profile this new online currency in a future issue of The Indomitus Report.

Au-Gold offers a pre-paid card with a scratch-off PIN, similar in function to a pre-paid telephone calling card. These cards draw value from the system. Presumably the owners are gaining a huge number of e-gold account "progeny" and attendant referral fees.

Also on the horizon is a gold certificate project that we've learned about. The developer isn't ready to reveal the details, but the project is moving forward. The gold certificates would be available in at least one denomination originally, and be tied to a stored value online gold system. Such certificates and the Au-Gold cards are a convenient way to send gifts of gold to friends or family who may not have an online gold account.

For that very reason, we first encountered the gold certificate concept at the 2003 New Orleans Conference. Jim Turk and Anthem Blanchard were there providing one gram certificates to attendees. The blank certificates were included in the registration packets of all attendees, many of whom would stop by the GoldMoney booth to receive a payment key for a GoldMoney goldgram™. No doubt these payment keys motivated the opening of quite a few new holdings.

In the future, it may be possible to tie stored value cards into an ATM network, so that local currency would be provided in exchange for digital gold. Stored value cards such as the scratch-off PIN card might be usable in pay phones and vending machines. Even plastic or metal tokens tied to digital gold accounts might become practical as the industry grows.

And back in 1976, Hayek saw these ideas on the horizon. He may not have realized all of them, but his seminal work on denationalizing money was the start of many important developments. For one thing, he proposed a European free market for currencies and banking which led, mistakenly in his view, to the development of the European monetary consolidation under the euro.

We'll continue our focus on Denationalisation next week.

Gold Mining

Here's how the stocks we presently suggest in this area look of late (close Friday 8 July 2005):

Company Symbol C$ US$
Almaden AMM.TO 1.78 -
Free Gold ITF.TO 0.18 0.155
Luzon LZN.V 0.14 -
Western WNP.V 3.06 -
Regalito Copper RLO - 4.47
Northern Peru Copper 1.42
Lumina Resources 0.495
Silver Standard SSRI - 11.60
Vista VGZ.TO 4.69 -
- C$0.31
Apex Silver SIL - 14.08
Newmont Mining NEM - 38.05
Northgate NXG - 1.08
- 0.57
Tan Range TRE 1.30 1.05

Our friends at Gold Newsletter's Mining Share Focus sent around a copy of their 20 June 2005 issue. In it, Brien Lundin provides a detailed report on Vista Gold. We didn't find a web link to either The Gold Newsletter or the Mining Share focus (a 12 page flier marked "Advertisement" on each page) but any Jefferson Financial web site should link you over. One such is The New Orleans Show which we plan to attend later this year.

Among the other highlights, the Mining Share Focus mentions that Vista Gold shares are each "equivalent to a claim on 0.71 ounces of gold - an in situ gold value of $296 a share!" Among his other ideas, Brien suggests that the share price could triple as gold prices rise.

Of course, Vista Gold is down from our first suggestion, thus an even better value than when we suggested it.

Free Market Money

Gold would be expected to rise dramatically on news of major terror strikes in the City of London financial district and vicinity. Indeed, Thursday morning, gold seemed eager to rise, but was completely thrashed by sell orders. True to form, as complete nut jobs, we think gold's price was suppressed by official action - which seems to have been poised, almost as if the terror strikes had been anticipated. Almost.

Gold opened trading on Thursday in London at around $425/oz and ran straight up to $429, but was trampled on the open in New York, and shortly before the close, ending Thursday at $423.10. It closed Friday at $422.70. There was something of a resilient bounce when the price dropped from $423.50 down to $421 on the open Friday in New York, showing plenty of support at $421.

Silver dropped quite a bit from the end of June, but climbed nicely on Thursday along with gold, up past $7.02. It then fell back on Thursday in NY to $6.93, climbed again on Friday just past $7 and closed Friday at $6.96. Strong support at $6.86.

Copper made a clear end-of-trend signal just below $1.66 at the end of June. It then fell sharply to support at $1.57 and change in early July, and has since recovered substantially to close Friday at $1.6347 per pound. Copper has looked to be forming a top previously, and has spent the last 18 months going higher and higher. It is well past the typical 8-year cycle since the last top, and warehouse inventories are reported at very low levels (see for details).

U3O8 seems to be holding at $29/lb.

The three stocks we've suggested in this sector are PVH, GBH, and MCG. Prices from Sunday 10 July 2005.

Company Symbol gAu
Gold Barter Holdings GBH 0.170

- 0.83

MicroCasino MCG 0.711

+ 0.198

Pecunix Venture Holdings PVH 0.034

- 0.016

Space Frontier

NASA spent a third of a billion dollars of money stolen, extorted, or defrauded from taxpayers to send a probe to the comet Tempel 1. Part of the space probe, about the size of a washing machine, was separated from the rest during the part of the probe's trajectory on a collision course with the comet. The rest of the probe was then diverted to another trajectory to stand by and watch the impactor hit the comet. This event was accomplished on 4 July 2005.

The explosion was not only observed from space by the Deep Impact probe's mother ship, but also from Earth-orbit-based telescopes and from various ground-based 'scopes. Even amateur astronomers were able to see the resulting change in brightness of the comet at the time of impact.

The good news about this mission is the basic research that has been accomplished. Knowing more about comets is inherently a good thing. Comets are made of material that was available approximately at the time our Solar System formed, perhaps five billion years ago. Therefore, knowledge of comets provides insights into our early Solar System. Comets continue to strike planets, as demonstrating a few years ago when Shoemaker-Levy hit Jupiter. So, knowledge of comets helps explain and eliminate sources of materials on various planets, including Earth.

The bad news is: NASA was involved. When NASA is successful, it bodes ill for all private, commercial space ventures. When NASA is successful, more money is allocated for future NASA projects.

NASA delenda est.

SpaceDev is at $1.65. It is up $0.15 since we first suggested it.

Launch Technology

Russia's Federal Space Agency has signed an agreement with Gregory Olsen which should make him the third space tourist to visit the Internationalist Socialist Space Station. Olsen is 59, a Ph.D. physicist, and the founder of Sensors Unlimited which makes infrared cameras. His trip in September 2005 follows those of multi-millionaire space tourists Dennis Tito (2001) and Mark Shuttleworth (2002).

Olsen's trip was previously scheduled for this past April but had to be postponed. Olsen was diagnosed with a health problem which has since been resolved. The exact nature of this health problem has not been disclosed.

From launch to landing, the mission should last ten or eleven days. The exact date is dependent on any number of space station re-supply and scheduling issues, and may be changed. It is currently set for 27 September 2005.

Olsen's flight has been organized by Space Adventures. The same company was responsible for the previous two flights (Tito and Shuttleworth). Tito's flight had originally been organized for destination Mir by Walt Anderson's company MirCorp, but Mir was destroyed when NASA and the USA State Department managed to bribe and extort Russian government cooperation in its demise.

Even after picking up the consent of Tito and the Russians, Space Adventures faced considerable opposition from NASA which asserted, falsely, that Tito would be a hazard to navigation and otherwise tried to obstruct the flight. Accordingly, Space Adventures is a company that has plenty of reason to be extremely clear that the USA government is opposed to space tourism business operations.

NASA delenda est.

New Country Developments

There is something fishy about the treaty negotiated by Ben Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay. As you can see in the aforementioned first article of the Treaty of Paris of 1783, the state of Delaware is nowhere mentioned. The only way to count thirteen colonies is to count Rhode Island separate from Providence Plantations.

Moreover, in Article 9 of the same treaty, the two sides agree, "In case it should so happen that any place or territory belonging to Great Britain or to the United States should have been conquered by the arms of either from the other before the arrival of the said Provisional Articles in America, it is agreed that the same shall be restored without difficulty and without requiring any compensation."

If we are to take it that Delaware is not specifically mentioned as being separate from Great Britain in Article One, then its conquest by the United States would have ended upon the ratification of Article 9. Of interest in this inquiry, the "preliminary articles of peace" from 30 November 1782 do mention Delaware by name, but that state is missing from the "definitive" treaty. If Delaware is not part of the USA, what is it?

Curious, then, that most of the largest corporations in the USA are organized in Delaware. Delaware is the only "state" which has not unified equity with law and therefore has a separate court of chancery which hears disputes arising from shareholders of its corporations.

Perhaps the status of Delaware is deliberately kept unique, or perhaps it had been resolved by some subsequent conflict. However, the treaty settling the war of 1812 between Britain and the United States makes the same sort of reference to the territory of the USA that Article 9 of the aforementioned Treaty of Paris. So, there would seem to be some ambiguity, at best.

Coast Salish Columbia

      "David Dennis, James Ward and a third man were pulled over, at gunpoint, by heavily-armed Vancouver police and members of the RCMP special anti-terrorism unit the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team, or INSET. In the back of the van, the police found 14 hunting rifles and 10,000 rounds of ammunition plus camping and survival gear with a total value of about $23,000. The two say they were taken to the armoury at the south end of the bridge where they were held for an hour, before being released without charges."

      - CBC News 28 June 2005

So, apparently the Canadian government has this nationalist socialist anti-freedom, er, anti-terror task force. It is good that it has a nifty acronym, INSET. Should make for plenty of opportunities for political cartoonists to lampoon it in the future.

Meanwhile, the victims of this official oppression say they were asked to teach young people of the Tsawataineuk First Nation how to hunt and survive outdoors. Messrs. Dennis and Ward are members of a group called "West Coast Warriors" which is active in First Nation activities, especially in Coast Salish territories such as British Columbia. Mr. Dennis in particular is now an elected chief of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council of Vancouver Island.

Complicating the story somewhat is the fact that the Tsawataineuk First Nation has been reportedly involved in a blockade to stop logging. Typically, we've found, when First Nations people are involved in blockades to stop things like logging, it has to do with territorial sovereignty issues. The Canadian government has no treaties with the Coast Salish, and never conquered them. So, when the provincial government of British Columbia authorizes logging or licenses it, very often the land involved turns out to be private or native land and not properly the jurisdiction of Canada's government, at all.

In considering the region, we use the term "Coast Salish Columbia" in deference to certain facts of history. The Coast Salish defeated and expelled the Spanish empire from their territory. The Coast Salish - which is a way of describing many dozens of clans and First Nations - were never conquered by the Russians, by the British, by Canada, nor in most of their region by the USA. Thus the term, "British Columbia" makes about as much sense as a term like "Russian Columbia" for the same region would.

It probably doesn't exactly help their case that the West Coast Warriors in general and Mr. Dennis in particular, have been involved in office occupations and road blockades over fishing rights. Again, the Coast Salish peoples have hundreds of years of fishing in the area, and take a fairly narrow view of others fishing in their territorial waters. Such is the nature of sovereignty.

Mr. Ward also played a prominent role in a struggle over lobster fishing near Burnt Church, New Brunswick - which our maps show to be on the other coast of Canada. So, presumably there are native groups and issues at stake in the Maritime Provinces, as well.

With regard to the guns, Mr. Dennis says he has all the proper paperwork for the rifles and the ammunition. He wants his stuff to be returned. The fascists in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police say that if the guns were obtained legally they would be returned, but also claim that the anti-terror unit is considering charges. One supposes that if these were actual terrorists against whom actual charges could be brought, they would not have been released from custody. So, there's probably a "harumph" we haven't seen out of the RCMP spokesthing.

To add to the confusion, another Ward is spokesthing for the RCMP. The above captioned article says, "'This was a national security investigation team arrest. Three people were released after the arrest, but our investigation is ongoing,' says Sgt. John Ward."

So, a bit of research on this other Ward character turned up a discussion of the RCMP hassling some First Nations people at a place called Gustafsen Lake. Back then, John Ward was an RCMP corporal who commented on the allegation that an RCMP officer had been shot by a native, "It's not the first time we've had to take flak-jackets out to the firing range." Apparently this comment is on videotape disclosed at a trial of some of the defendants in that earlier case.

There appears to be a pattern of RCMP investigation and harrassment of First Nations people. In some ways, this pattern is reassuring, since it makes clear that the aboriginal sovereignty issues should be taken seriously.


One of the things that has become fashionable of late with a certain sort of journalist and some few scientists is the meta study. The meta study is a study of other studies. It contains no data of its own, but attempts to identify some persistent results in other studies. Since it matters very much which studies one chooses, meta studies should be viewed with suspicion.

There are several things wrong with the way meta studies are presented in mainstream media reports. First, the idea that a consensus exists among scientists is often promoted as a necessary conclusion from meta studies which, in many cases, represent a very selective choice of opinions. Second, majority opinion in science is meaningless. Either the best available theory matches all the data, or there is something wrong with the theory. It doesn't matter what a majority of scientists think. If there's data that doesn't fit, the theory has to be reconsidered. Third, meta studies are often published in more prominent journals and receive mainstream media attention on the eve of significant public policy debates. The first publication of this particular study allegedly "debunking" vitamin C was back in October 2004. One must suppose its re-publication in a more prominent journal and attendant mainstream media attention on the eve of the Codex Alimentarius asserting a new bizarre UN authority over vitamin supplements is not coincidental.

Even within the meta study cited above, there are widely differing results. And facts that are not discussed should lead to very different conclusions. First, on the results: "One of the trials, however, did find that a very large dose of vitamin C of 8g on the first day of cold symptoms appeared to shorten its duration. Those results, the scientists said, were 'tantalising and deserve further investigation.'" Quote from the Times article above cited.

Evidently, the study of studies is not completely conclusive. So, what's up with vitamin C? Does the consumption of high doses of vitamin C produce expensive urine, or real results?

To understand vitamin C, you first have to understand that humans are unusual. Other mammals are able to manufacture vitamin C themselves. In fact, humans have the genes which would produce the enzymes needed to convert blood sugar to vitamin C, but owing to a particular mutation, we don't. On the other hand, a goat with about the same body weight as a human (thus, a large goat) produces vitamin C continuously, amounting to about 13 grams a day.

One of the difficulties of most of the studies of vitamin C, including the studies discussed in this particular meta study of recent notoriety, is the methodology of dosage. If you put all the vitamin C in at once, you don't get sustained concentrations. If you put the vitamin C in several times a day, you get much better results. Since you are trying to mimic the way other animals produce vitamin C continuously, you want to spread the dosage out over the course of your daily food intake.

A study not considered in the aforementioned meta study was published in the 2004 Annals of Internal Medicine 140:533. It turns out that much higher concentrations of vitamin C in the blood, as much as three times greater, can be obtained by simply spreading out the dosage over the course of a day. So, what can be achieved if you do take vitamin C regularly, several times a day?

Another meta-study, this time of nine different studies reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (80:1508, 2004) indicates that adults who regularly take vitamin C supplements providing seven tenths of a gram per day (700 mg) experience a 25% reduction in risk for coronary heart disease. Moreover, food intake, such as a diet which includes five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, only provides 200 milligrams of vitamin C, and does not reduce mortality rates from cancer or heart disease.

Other results from substantial blood concentrations of vitamin C include reduced incidence of allergies, fewer deaths from aneurysm, reduced gall stones, less arterial disease, fewer leg blood clots, reduced incidence of cataracts, and much reduced incidence of strokes.

In other words, the mainstream media are mistaken in their claims that vitamin C supplements do no good. If that were really true, one would not expect to find intravenous vitamin C available in every major hospital for the treatment of pneumonia and similar maladies.

Dendreon was at $5.84 when we looked in Friday 8 July 2005. It is up $0.52 since we first began tracking it.

Elan Corp, PLC, was at $7.23 also on Friday. It appears to have recovered from some price suppression due to concerns about the FDA, now that another company has gained FDA approval for a product using one of Elan's drug delivery technologies. Accordingly, we now suggest Elan as a promising opportunity.

Publication Note: Back on schedule.


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