The Indomitus Report
15 May 2004
"Choose this day whom ye will serve."
- Joshua 24:15
What if you don't consent to be governed? If legitimate government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed, then why do you agree to be governed? You should seriously reflect upon the extent to which you benefit from giving your consent in this matter. What is it, exactly, that you gain?
Consent is given in various matters. Typically, consent indicates that all parties have more to gain from agreement than they have to lose from agreement. For example, in a market place transaction if you are the buyer of grapefruit, you gain more by exchanging your money for grapefruit than you gain by keeping your money. The seller of the grapefruit gains more by accepting your money than by keeping his grapefruit. Consent is arrived at, the exchange takes place, and everyone is better off.
However, where governments are concerned, most often, consent is asymmetric if it exists at all. The governed may consent to be governed, but there is rarely any indication that the government provides any thing or service of value. Government very often does not involve consent, but, rather, force. Fail to pay your taxes and you'll discover that they weren't based upon consent after all. Fail to obey the endless lists of government regulations and you face fines, imprisonment, torture, or death. These are serious consequences for trivial acts. Attempts to hold the government to its obligations invariably fail in government courts. For example, courts have ruled repeatedly that the police are under no obligation to stop crime, even if a police officer sees a crime taking place. What, then, does the government consent to do as its part of the agreement?
There is a form of government which is different. It is entirely consensual. It involves the agreement of the governor and the governed. It cannot exist without such consent. It is self-government.
Perhaps you have already chosen self-government. You rule yourself. You are responsible for yourself. You defend your interests. You have taken station with the other powers of the earth as an equal and independent sovereign. Good for you.
What do you need to know in order to live as a sovereign? One of the key tools you should reflect upon is called jurisdictional arbitrage. It means taking advantage of the opportunities inherent in a variety of jurisdictions. Some places have laws forbidding various activities, others do not. While there is no one place where only "mala in se" is criminal, nearly every "mala prohibita" is acceptable in some location. Moreover, those things that are prohibited for some are not prohibited for others.
Financial privacy is a fairly typical issue. Consider the Channel Isle of Jersey. Jersey is part of the territory of the Duke of Normandy. By tradition, the Queen of England is also the Duke of Normandy. (Yes, one would think Duchess, but evidently not.) Jersey is a sovereign dependency of the United Kingdom. This term means that there is a dependent relationship, such that Jersey's national defense is provided by the United Kingdom, for example. However, Jersey is also part of an independent sovereignty, the sovereign territory of the Duke of Normandy. (The Normans, you'll recall, under William, went over to England in AD 1066 and conquered the place, so there is a special relationship between Normandy and England.) So what good is it to you?
One of these is the United States. It seems like folly to any American that the United States should be considered a practical place for banking privacy or function as a tax haven. However, the laws of the United States are written to favor foreign investment capital. In some ways, this aspect of the laws seems unfair or improper, and Andrew Jackson wrote a scathing review of such ideas when he was president. Part of his veto of the Second Bank of the United States was based on the inherent unfairness of foreign capital being treated better than domestic capital under the law. Nevertheless, the law exists to attract foreign capital to the USA, and, given the rather horrendous trade deficit, fiscal deficit, and largely bad monetary policies of the present, such efforts to attract foreign capital are much needed.
Jurisdictional arbitrage is sometimes described under the "five flags" idiom. One flag is for where you are from, your country of origin and your primary passport. A second flag is for where your business is domiciled, its official country of incorporation or registration. A third flag is for your personal assets. A fourth flag is for your company's assets and business operations. A fifth flag is for you, where you choose to live. Of course, freedom of movement among these various countries is a blessing. However, if you should find yourself in difficulty in any one of these countries, you are not as badly harmed as you would be if you had only one country.
Some people like to travel. If you have three countries where you like to live, moving among them through the year has some advantages. You could choose a warm climate in the winter and a cool climate in the summer to moderate your weather. You need not establish residency or comply with various immigration rules if you aren't a resident. Typically, six months is used as the length of time beyond which you need special permission. So, if you live in New Zealand for four months of the year, then visit Canada for four months, then go over to Thailand for four months, you end up with a much better situation than you would if you were to stay in one place all the time. Without a resident status, you may not have the same tax obligations. This approach to jurisdictional arbitrage goes by the name "permanent traveler."
As you read the Indomitus Report from week to week, we'll keep you posted on other tools for the sovereign lifestyle. Even if you want to continue being a part of a particular country, pay taxes, or live under their laws, you may still find interesting ideas in this section. Prosper.
Free Market Money
"What we need now is a Free Money Movement comparable to the Free Trade Movement of the 19th century, demonstrating not merely the harm caused by acute inflation...but the deeper effects of producing periods of stagnation that are indeed inherent in the present monetary arrangements. I still believe that, so long as the management of money is in the hands of government, the gold standard, with all its imperfections, is the only tolerably safe system but it is better to take money completely out of the control of government. The only way to save civilization will be to deprive governments of the power over the supply of money."
Friedrich August von Hayek, The Denationalization of Money, 1976
Saving civilization depends upon wresting the power over monetary issue from government. Hayek was not alone in this view. Ayn Rand expressed a similar sentiment in her famous novel Atlas Shrugged. Earlier still, E.C. Riegel objected to government having issue power over money in his A New Approach to Freedom and again in Flight from Inflation. All these authors have in common a healthy and well-motivated cynicism about government monetary policy.
Why? Because governments have always inflated the currency, devalued the currency, run enormous budget deficits, and set trade policies to cause massive trade deficits whenever governments have had issue power over money. It is illogical and necessarily foolish to suppose that any government will prove trustworthy where this most important power is concerned.
So, how do we go about having a Free Money Movement, or, as we prefer to term it, a "free market money movement"? Fortunately, we don't have to go far out of our way. The free market money movement is here.
As part of the Internet boom of the late 1990s, numerous private currency and value transfer services were originated. Among the various endeavors to offer an online payment system was a 1996 venture called e-gold.com. It turns out that e-gold had discovered something that beenz, flooz, and other ill-fated currency ventures had not. It turns out that if a currency is redeemable for gold or silver or other metal, it will be widely accepted. It is not so much that people make a great effort to redeem e-gold for gold, but, rather, the fact that they can which makes them feel secure in the knowledge that the money is "good for" or redeemable for something, and therefore encourages them to accept it in free enterprise exchanges. This fact had occurred to other pioneers in the industry, notably James Turk of GoldMoney.com.
Five companies now lead the way in online currency solutions which offer redemption in gold, silver, platinum, or palladium. These companies are e-gold, GoldMoney, e-Bullion.com, Pecunix.com, and LibertyDollar.org. This last company is an Indiana-based non-profit which offers not only online currency but silver and gold pieces and warehouse receipts on paper. The other companies each offer digital warehouse receipts.
For users outside the United States, e-gold and e-Bullion offer excellent solutions for value storage and online currency purposes. For users within the USA, GoldMoney (based in Jersey) and Pecunix (based in New Zealand) are preferable. Users who are in the USA but wish to take advantage of the large installed user base of e-gold (over 1.5 million accounts with some 265,000 holding significant value and nearly $20 million in gold in storage) may consider using the FastGrams solution at 1MDC.com which uses e-gold for the gold storage and redemption feature while serving the data from Anguilla. As with jurisdictional arbitrage discussed above under the heading "Being Sovereign" you should consider where you are, as well as where you want your data to be. For anonymous transactions, nothing beats the Liberty silver and gold pieces from LibertyDollar.org.
Now that you've found out about free market money, how do you get some? We recommend ezez.com as an exchange provider. They offer exchanges from various national currencies into and out of the free market money systems mentioned above.
Once you have some, what do you do with it? Well, you can pay for your subscription to this newsletter with free market money. Or you can gamble online at our favorite casino, TheGoldCasino.com. You can also invest in The Gold Casino by purchasing shares with free market money at dbourse.com their digital bourse. Another stock exchange is PVCSE.com which offers three stocks presently, Gold Barter Holdings, Micro Casino Gold, and Pecunix Venture Holdings. A visit to the e-gold.com directory site shows an enormous variety of merchants offering every conceivable product and service in exchange for online gold.
As you continue receiving issues of The Indomitus Report, we'll discuss the mining industry, the gold economy, and the free market money movement in this section.
"Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot live in a cradle forever."
– Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
One of the most interesting developments in the 20th Century was the opening of the space frontier. An expanding civilization needs to have a frontier, for various reasons discussed below. The goal is nothing less than the human settlement of the Solar System. To begin this process will take decades. A meaningful milestone on the way will be the first permanent human habitation beyond Earth. Another meaningful milestone will be the first city in space or on another planet, where a city may be defined as 2,500 people. A most hopeful milestone will be the birth of the first human child off the Earth.
The completion of this goal, with the human settlement of every suitable planetary body and the terraforming of every appropriate location, is going to take centuries. In the next thousand years, human beings will realize the opportunity to colonize other solar systems, taking life with us to the stars.
Why is the human settlement of the Solar System desirable? The survival of life on Earth and the quality of life on Earth are intimately dependent upon the extent to which human beings explore and settle space. The resources of the Solar System can be brought to bear on a very large number of problems on Earth. Resolution of many of these problems without access to space is nearly impossible. Among these problems are war, resource depletion, population pressure, pollution, industrialization, economic growth, disasters on a global scale, and securing the blessings of liberty for our posterity. Ultimately, it is the establishment of an infinite frontier which is vital to the resolution of these problems, the survival of life as we know it, and the expansion of our horizons, potential, and possibilities to the greatest extent.
A major deterrent to war is communications. It is vital that people be able to communicate with each other quickly, effectively, and frequently. Satellite communications have proven to be a major development in the history of global communications. Without satellites in Clarke orbit or in low Earth orbit, postmodern communications would be much more difficult. While transoceanic cables and fiber optic lines are well established, satellite communications still carry a very significant portion of the civilian, military, entertainment, and news information upon which our economy and our political systems depend. Greater communications capabilities tend to lead to greater exchanges of information, values, cultural activities, and economic opportunities. Where communications facilities are most extensive, wars are least frequent.
It is precisely the communications links which authoritarian governments try to limit and sever whenever they seek to perpetrate massive acts of oppression. News feeds out of the People's Republic of China were very limited, and satellite links were severed during the suppression of the demonstrations in Tianenmen Square in 1989 which resulted in thousands of deaths.
Another major deterrent to war has been knowledge. Surveillance satellites monitor the disposition of ground forces, the disposition of missile systems, the disposition of nuclear and chemical weapons, and the communications of all nations of the Earth. Although there are obvious disadvantages to liberty and significant corruption has been uncovered in these monitoring operations, it is also clearly the case that major military initiatives are not possible without telegraphing the circumstances to the international community.
A third significant deterrent to war is opportunity. When opportunities seem limited, it is often considered necessary or appropriate to take from someone else, from some other land or country the resources and opportunities which are needed. Limited access to opportunities figure prominently in disputes over land, such as the Israeli-Palestinian situation. Limited access to vital resources such as oil figure prominently in disputes such as the Persian Gulf War, the Iran-Iraq War, Operation Barbarosa, and numerous other military conflicts throughout history.
Space affords access to limitless resources. There is more than enough for everyone. Realizing the extent of the resources available "out there" should, eventually, reduce the use of naked aggression in pursuit of terrestrial resources.
B. Resource Depletion
The depletion of natural resources has often been overstated. Many natural resources are renewable, and many others seem to exist on Earth in quantities far greater than we are able to imagine, let alone exploit. For example, there are today more forested acres in the United States than there were in the same geographic area in 1920. We have actually reforested much of our continent.
Claims that we are "running out of oil" have been heard since the late 1960s, and appear less true today than they did then. We not only have access to a greater percentage of proven reserves, we have significantly increased potential reserves worldwide. Natural gas, much of which may be produced by inorganic processes deep within the Earth, is more plentiful than ever, thanks to deregulation. We seem to have about six centuries of coal readily available.
Some resources, however, are no longer available in readily accessible ore bodies. Political and environmental issues have prevented the exploitation of the sea floor for its mineral rich nodules. Political instability in various regions, especially Russia and the Mideast, may jeopardize access to vital mineral resources, including much of the world's oil, chromium, and other resources.
While there is almost certainly no oil on any other planet in our Solar System (unless the Martian early wet-warm period was much more fertile than we presently conceive), there are sources of natural gas on many of the planets and moons of our System. If there is a broad permafrost layer of a foot or more depth on much of Mars, primordial natural gas may be trapped there in much the way it seems to be trapped in Siberian gas fields, some of the richest on Earth. The atmospheres of Jupiter and the other gas giants may also be a good source of methane.
Energy is also plentifully available from nuclear sources in space, primarily the Sun. Our sun, Sol, is a nuclear fusion furnace only 93 million miles away. It takes light from this fusion flame a scant 8 minutes to reach us from the surface of the Sun. We use less than a billionth part of the daily output of the Sun.
Solar power satellites in Earth orbit could beam concentrated power to energy-poor regions of Earth, making it possible to industrialize much of the Third World without resorting to heavily polluting energy resources. Deforestation of tropical rainforests could be eliminated, and desertification could be halted by providing alternatives to cooking with wood and charcoal.
A single nickel-iron asteroid, of which there are many thousands in the Main Belt, and many dozens in Earth-crossing orbits, has more platinum group metals than has been recovered on Earth to date. Better yet, while we continue to mine deeper into the Earth for gold, silver, platinum, and copper, asteroids rich in these resources represent concentrated ore bodies ready for processing, without strip mining parts of Earth, without piling mine tailings on terrestrial watersheds, and without polluting Earth's atmosphere with the extraction and processing industries.
For those who feel that land is over-utilized, and that more wilderness areas should be established or protected on Earth, space offers excellent prospects. The Moon and Mars alone provide as much land surface area as Europe, Asia, and Africa. Better yet, we can create huge environments in rotating spacecraft, putting as many millions of acres of farm land, ranch land, wilderness, park, residential, industrial, and office developments together as we please. With existing materials and well-understood techniques, we can create space colonies many miles in length and diameter.
People are a vital natural resource. We need more educated, successful, imaginative people. Most people, given the opportunity, are able to learn anything. Most people want to be successful, and most people are far more imaginative than we often conceive. People are a good thing.
Unfortunately, people don't always live in good conditions. The squalor of slums in Calcutta, Bombay, China, Africa, South America, and various other places around the world strongly recommends that people should live less densely. There are two ways to reduce population density. One is to access more territory, the other is to reduce population growth.
Until the advent of the space age, getting more territory was difficult. Inevitably, someone would be displaced if a large population moved to a new area. Sometimes this displacement involved war, sometimes genocide, always it involved fundamental changes to the way people were living. Today, we see opportunities for opening up new lands, new planets, the asteroids, and space colonies.
We are also beginning to see the development of technologies for putting large populations on the surface of the seas, using ocean thermal or natural gas resources for energy. Mariculture may add significantly to the production of food worldwide.
Space, too, may eventually be a place where food is produced for export to Earth. Initially it will only be cost effective to grow food in space for the population off Earth, but with adequate transportation facilities it is quite likely that massive food shipments from the Moon and elsewhere could be sent down into Earth's gravity well.
Reducing population is difficult. The four traditional mechanisms for population reduction are war, pestilence, famine, and death. These are not pleasant, ever, and have not proven effective in the 20th Century. While we have seen more millions die from war, plagues, and famines in this century than any other, our population has also doubled three times this century.
The one thing which seems to be effective at helping control population growth is wealth. Where standards of living are high, population growth is low or negative. All the industrial nations of the world have very low or negative population growth rates. Most European countries would be losing population, except that immigration sustains them.
Space offers tremendous opportunities for increasing the global standard of living. It is vast unconquered territory, composed of vast resources. There is limitless energy from the Sun and other nuclear resources in space. There are vast mineral resources for the taking. Space exploration, development, and settlement will encourage the development of amazing new technologies, enhancing productivity and producing unimaginable new industries.
Just as the development of the New World raised standards of living throughout Europe, bringing an end to the Black Death, reducing poverty, and giving the less fortunate a place to go to make a new start, space offers all of Earth a chance to get rich, grow strong, and live elsewhere. It is literally infinite in all directions.
Even though the Earth is very much larger than most of us conceive, blessed with far more resources than we might acknowledge, it is still the only planet which has a natural atmosphere where we can breathe (in most cities) without a pressure suit. It is precious, if not quite as fragile as some have suggested. We should do our best to make our nest as healthy as possible.
Why pollute the Earth? Much of the pollution we see is due to the pursuit of wealth. Since wealth is one of the best ways of reducing population growth, we should do what we can to encourage its production whenever possible. However, extracting resources from the Earth will not always be the most cost effective way to get at them. It will always be the worst way, since it inevitably leads to problems. Pit mines, strip mines, and mine tailings have marred landscapes around the world.
Worse, the process of extracting useful materials from natural ores is one of the most polluting industries on Earth. Not only is air pollution from smelting a problem, but the toxic wastes produced are some of the most dangerous substances known to man. This problem is especially prevalent in the nuclear fuels industry.
Space is filled with resources, and most of these aren't even on planets. Better still, none of the major planets have any form of life as far as we have been able to determine. The Moon has no spotted owls. There are no whales on Mars. Polluting these locations may have undesirable consequences, but it is far better than polluting Earth.
Solar power satellites represent a major energy industry with no terrestrial pollution at all. Even the materials for building these satellites would best come from asteroids and the Moon. The economics of lifting materials from Earth just don't make as much sense as lifting resource extraction and processing equipment. This equipment can then be used to build the solar power satellites in space, from extraterrestrial resources, completely eliminating energy production as a source of pollution if we please.
With the economic costs of pollution added in, a great many activities would be more economical in space than on Earth, even with the present artificially (and temporarily) high cost of Earth-to-orbit transportation. It is simply cheaper to produce many products in space than on Earth, if all the real costs are accounted for.
Why do countries industrialize? It is an important question, because since the 17th Century most nations on Earth have either industrialized rapidly and completely, or have begun to do so. Industrialization is desirable because it creates wealth, it makes it easier for more people to get better access to more wealth, and it brings about increased productivity, more leisure time, and greater enlightenment.
It has costs, though. Deforestation, pollution, child labor, and many other problems arise where industrialization is at its fastest. Since the vast majority of Earth's population lives in very primitive conditions, it will require many times the energy utilization of the United States (at much greater rates of pollution) to bring about the industrialization of all of Earth.
Westerners have been debating whether industrialization is a good thing since at least 1848. Both libertarian philosophers like Thoreau and socialist philosophers like Marx have raised significant concerns about the rapid pace of and uncertain nature of industrialization. Natural resources, individual liberties, and cultural preferences are often jeopardized by the processes of industrialization. And yet it goes on, at an increasing pace, worldwide.
It does so because people want to live better. They want for their children in India what they see our children enjoying in America. It is all well and good for us to speak of cutting back, using less, making do, and not consuming as much. Our families are generally well fed, clothed, housed, and afforded numerous opportunities with automobiles, computers, telephones, television, and other household appliances. Yet most of the world's families live in abject poverty. Food is of poor quality when it is available, housing is dilapidated at best, clothing for each family member over the age of 5 consists of one or two sets at most. A great many children go nude and barefoot not out of choice but necessity. Cars, tools, computers, phones, televisions, and many of the other items we consider almost trivial in our daily lives are amazing luxuries to the majority of people on Earth.
Nations industrialize, as fast as they can, because people demand it. People want to live better. Access to space resources allows rapidly industrializing countries to bypass many of the obstacles along the way: resource depletion, war, pollution, population pressures, and other problems.
Of equal significance, space industrialization offers some truly unique opportunities. Weightlessness is useful for many industrial research processes. It is an amazing sensation, capable of sustaining an enormous tourism industry. Weightless processing may produce exotic new materials such as foamed steel, much purer pharmaceuticals, and others only just now being identified.
The vacuum of outer space is also of significant industrial application. Wake shield experiments suggest that a number of semiconductor and superconductor materials may be best processed in the artificially enhanced vacuum in the wake of an orbiting spacecraft.
F. Economic Growth
If industrialization is enhanced with access to space, economic growth will be stimulated beyond the wildest speculations of the most optimistic economists. With 9 planets, dozens of moons, and tens of thousands of asteroids and hundreds of thousands of comets, our Solar System is an amazing bonanza. The boom from opening the space frontier will make the South Sea Bubble look like a found penny.
Basic research has one of the highest economic multiplier effects known. For every dollar spent on basic research, approximately $18 of annual production is added to the economy. Space development requires significant basic research, and affords opportunities for all kinds of new basic research in fields only barely explored.
Every industry will benefit from the space boom. Tourism will grow tremendously with flights into space on suborbital winged vehicles, later to orbiting hotels. Eventually tourists will gawk at wonders on the Moon and Mars.
Construction in space will be rapid and frequent, especially as greater private involvement becomes the norm. Buildings will be needed on and in the Moon, in space colonies, and on other planets.
We've already discussed the opportunities for mining and mineral extraction industries. Manufacturing will also see major new opportunities with space exotic materials available only with the weightlessness or high vacuum available out there.
Entertainment will follow on the heels of tourism, with movies filmed in orbit for the first time early in the next century. Already, James Cameron, the director of the blockbuster Titanic has been looking into filming in space.
The next few years should see a proliferation of low Earth orbiting communications constellations, as well as numerous commercial Earth sensing satellites. Agricultural, forest, livestock, fishing, and mineral exploration industries on Earth will continue to see better results thanks to new space-based systems. Better meteorology satellites alone will improve crop yields and reduce weather delays in numerous industries.
Space represents amazing economic opportunities because it is loaded with resources. As G. Harry Stine once said, it is raining soup out there. Grab a bucket.
Space resources, especially meteorology spacecraft have already averted a number of major disasters. Space communications has allowed news of disasters to reach the rest of the world much more rapidly. But some disasters can only be prevented by being out in space.
Asteroids are a blessing and a curse. That our Solar System is filled with rubble is great from an economic perspective. But it has the potential for disaster on a scale that has caused at least half a dozen mass extinctions in the fossil record. The dinosaurs were only the latest victims of debris falling from space. Comets and asteroids impacting the Earth are suspected in several other events when over 80% of the species on Earth became extinct simultaneously. We could be next.
The technologies for capturing asteroids and moving them into useful orbits is well understood. A number of these technologies have already been developed through prototype phases. We can move worlds, because we have the levers which are long enough. But we can't stand down here and hope to do so.
Our best hope for seeing potential comets and asteroids crossing Earth's path is space-based platforms for watching the skies. Our best hope for averting these disasters is having the industry in place to capture, move, and extract resources from these "dinosaur killers."
There are other disasters which opening the space frontier may not avert. A global thermonuclear war, a biological weapon accident (or purposeful) dispersal, and many other human and natural disasters could destroy civilization, eliminate most higher species, and leave our cities in ruins. There is some evidence from lunar rocks that the Sun has flared much more powerfully in the past than it has in human history; a massive Solar flare could also be responsible for one or more mass extinctions.
Space development may not avert these disasters, but it can ameliorate their consequences. Having a civilization on the Moon, on Mars, in the asteroid belts, and elsewhere, means that we have life boats. We will, perforce, take with us many species of plants and animals, so we may be able to re-settle Earth, and restock its forests and oceans. At a minimum, the human race can keep going, expanding, and learning from our mistakes, rather than becoming extinct.
So far as we know, every species of life on Earth has been limited to this one planet. We are the difference. We can leave Earth, and take all the many forms of Earth life with us. We are the only species yet that is able to do so. In so doing, we may preserve and extend the presence of life, not only on Earth but throughout the universe.
Freedom is precious. People are most free where they are most wealthy. Indeed, economic success is often dependent on a political system which provides significant individual liberty. Two great modern philosophers have offered important insights into liberty.
Milton Friedman, an economist, has noted, "Economic freedom is also an indispensable means toward the achievement of political freedom....History suggests that capitalism is a necessary condition for political freedom. Clearly it is not a sufficient condition (Capitalism and Freedom, 1962)."
Another important philosopher, Ayn Rand, has said, "Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men (The Fountainhead, 1943)."
From these two quotes we may see that the economic opportunities of expanding into space may afford greater liberty for us all. Where capitalism on Earth is under significant pressure from regulation, environmental concerns, the limits to growth philosophy, and the proliferation of taxes, in space there will be much less to fetter capitalism. Governments will be few and far between, and privacy will be greatly enhanced.
An asteroid prospector in a single-ship in the Main Belt will be hundreds of millions of miles from any other person. He will truly be free from other men. If his mood suggests nudity, he can be nude without offending anyone. If he prefers a contraband item, a drug or liqueur prohibited elsewhere, who will know he's consuming it? If he has an unusual religion, an interest in unusual literature, or any other unique approach, he may find happiness in his solitude.
A family farm on the lunar surface will afford greater freedom for education, religion, expression, and still be connected to the advanced forms of information and entertainment available on Earth. Frontierspeople on Mars will be 45 million miles from the nearest government, until they establish their own. Who will tell them what to do, who will tax them, who will regulate them? They must handle these auspicious activities themselves.
I. The High Frontier
Dr. Robert Zubrin has written extensively on the subject of frontiers in human culture. For some of his analysis, he has drawn heavily on the work of Frederick Jackson Turner, whose seminal work on the closing of the American frontier is only recently seeing widespread appreciation in the space community.
Frontiers are vital. When people can pick up stakes and leave where they are, they often find themselves much more content to stay. Problems which seem insurmountable because we can't escape them become much less troublesome if we can, even if we choose not to leave. Where work conditions are intolerable, a frontier provides an outlet. Where opportunities seem limited, a frontier presents new opportunities.
Frontiers have important psychological effects, they have important military consequences, they have vital industrial and economic aspects, and they make people feel better. Exploring and settling new lands is one of the highest aspirations of which humans are capable.
Each week, the Indomitus Report will take a look at some aspect of the space frontier, the companies making inroads in this arena, and the opportunities for investment.
"Once you're in low Earth orbit, you're halfway to anywhere."
– Robert Heinlein
The space frontier is an exciting area of technology development, but it all hinges on getting those critical first 200 miles up. Without effective launch technology, nobody is going anywhere economically.
This week's featured launch technology company is Heron Aerospace.
Heron Aerospace is the brainchild of Parker Bradley, the same gentleman who founded the oldest still-extant independent exchange provider, GoldAge.net. We had the opportunity to meet him in 2003 during his journey to New Mexico.
His idea is to utilize the "super gun" technology pioneered by artillery expert Gerald Bull, combined with acceleration hardened launch vehicles that perform upper stage functions. Among the many advantages of this technique, it affords the opportunity to use a fixed ground system to provide significant first stage acceleration for launch systems, essentially blasting the upper stages to an altitude well above much of the atmosphere and to a great rate of speed.
Parker comments, "It is commonly misconstrued that we plan to launch things at escape velocity from the cannon. That misconception causes a lot of objection about the plausibility of the whole system. We do not plan to launch things at escape velocity from the cannon. Rather, the cannon serves as a first stage of a multi-stage system. Muzzle velocities will range from about 3000 to 7000 feet per second, or about 1.5 to 3 kilometers per second. The cannon merely serves as an initial boost to send a rocket to very high altitude, clear of most of the atmosphere so that the rocket can go farther more efficiently. This approach lets us use smaller rockets and send up more payload for a given mission profile than current rocket systems can."
The work of artillery expert Gerald Bull is described on the Heron Aerospace web site. Bull's HARP program ran from 1959 to 1969 and involved the development of a very large gun the remains of which can still be seen on the coast of Barbados. Various authorities believe that Bull was working on a super gun for satellite launches from Iraq in the late 1980s just before his assassination.
One of the differences in technology development from the Bull approach is that Heron Aerospace plans to develop pure gas guns using highly compressed gas, possibly high pressure super-heated steam rather than explosives. Pure gas guns have advantages including improved safety, improved propulsion efficiencies, better control, and less regulatory interference. Other differences involve advances inmaterials, production engineering, and computing which were not available to Bull. "We will be able to build lighter, stronger, and more robust systems," says Parker.
Applications for the Heron Aerospace technology include the launching of micro-satellites, the delivery of express packages, and wireless communications. With further developments and larger guns, even fragile payloads such as living humans may be delivered safely with this system.
New Country Developments
"In 480 BC Thermopylae was a suicidal holding action at a mountain pass to delay the Persians until the Greek navy could mobilize. The Persian king Xerxes demanded that the Spartans lay down their arms. The Spartan king Leonidas replied, 'Come and take them.'"
- from Molon Labe! by Boston T. Party
Our representative was present in Montana for the Grand Western Conference II which took place in late April 2004. The conference gathered interested liberty enthusiasts from all over the Free Mountain West to discuss the prospects for a Free State Project West.
The Free State Project began after an editorial by Walter Williams appeared in September 2000 in World Net Daily. Entitled, "It's time to part company," the editorial suggested that people with similar views on individual liberty, self responsibility, and private property should congregate in one or two states and secede. This editorial caught the attention of a Yale University student, Jason Sorens. Under his leadership, the Free State Project was organized. Within a few years, more than five thousand participants had been recruited, and a vote was taken in late 2003 to choose a state for the participants to assemble in.
The purpose of the Free State Project is to bring voters into a particular state and increase the extent to which liberty-oriented legislation and policies are adopted in that state. While secession is not an immediate goal, it is clear that participants are agreeing to "vote with their feet" and take themselves away from places which they find intolerably collectivist, socialistic, or anti-property. Ten of the least population states were pre-selected for the ballot, and the final vote was for New Hampshire. Wyoming was a fairly close second.
At the Grand Western Conference, it was clear that for a great many participants the choice of New Hampshire was completely unacceptable. Moreover, author Boston T. Party (a pseudonym of Ken Royce) was present promoting his book Molon Labe. The book discusses the assembly of liberty enthusiasts in the smallest population counties in Wyoming beginning in 2006 and continuing throughout the state until a popular majority exists for the election of a governor from the "Laissez Faire Party" a few election cycles later. The novel continues through 2018 when the United States finally decides to oppose the efforts of those in Wyoming to keep their freedom, and has many interesting plot twists. It is currently on sale at JavelinPress.com and selected retailers.
To give you a sense of the rebellious sentiments at the conference, the following declaration was written and signed by various participants.
Action of the Grand Western Conference delegates assembled 24 April 2004
Whereas free individuals from Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Alberta, and other places are here assembled; and
Whereas individual liberty, private property, and free enterprise are the basis for a free and prosperous society; and
Whereas local, regional, state or provincial, and national governments have been destructive of freedom, property, and the market economy,
Now therefore the undersigned individuals declare our intentions:
Appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the rectitude of our intentions do, in our own names, solemnly publish and declare that we are free and independent.
While it is clear that the balkanization of the United States is not a near term event, it is clear that many Americans are beginning to reflect seriously on the nature of an American Empire and their role within it. It is not clear that any empire can last forever.
In future weeks, we'll examine other new country developments in Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas.
"I don't want to be considered immortal for the works I've created;
I want to be considered immortal for never having died."
- Woody Allen
The search for the "Tree of Life" is as old as mankind. From the dawn of written history, learned men have been searching for the Philosopher's Stone or the Philosophick Mercury, the essential element that brings about life, the quintessence which motivates meat and makes it living. Earnest researchers and alchemical fakers have been searching for the secret to long life for thousands of years.
The good news is that a procedure, a mechanism, and a chemical have been isolated which seem to hold much hope for actual human longevity. Extending life spans by as much as the current average life expectancy for an adult (85 years) may be possible. In other words, the short term prospect is for a life span of 170 years.
First, what procedure can extend lifespan that way? It turns out that restricting caloric intake while remaining physically active is the key to longevity. Calorie restriction, sometimes called caloric restriction, involves reducing the amount of food intake to a much lower level, as low as 1200 to 1500 calories per day for an adult. Studies on this sort of activity have been conducted using test subjects including mice, rats, and other mammals. Invariably, the calorie restricted test subjects outlive the unrestricted control subjects in these tests, often by double the life span.
Second, how do we explain this phenomenon? Why should reduced caloric intake result in longer life? Well, the explanation many scientists consider likely is that the survival of the individual in times of famine and other environmental stresses is enhanced by increasing the number of years of healthy life span. With the survival of the individual through the lean years of famine comes the opportunity for that individual to pass along his genetic heritage through procreation. Since reproduction is not desirable behavior during a famine, and since children born in the midst of famine would be unlikely to survive to adulthood, the survival value of having healthy adults who are experiencing famine continue to be healthy without aging for some period of years is very great indeed.
Third, given that this phenomenon exists and seems to have a reasonable explanation, what mechanism is at the heart of its operation? It turns out that the one key chemical ingredient seems to be resveratrol. This chemical is found in red wine. As such, it helps to explain what is often called "the French paradox" that wine drinkers seem to have reduced age-related illnesses in spite of having otherwise unhealthy lifestyles. (The term French paradox refers to the French diet of fatty foods and plenty of carbohydrates, not otherwise associated with longevity, but seemingly overwhelmed by the French penchant for good red wine.)
Fourth, it turns out that resveratrol taken in red wine or in pill form (e.g., Longevinex.com) is as effective as calorie restriction in generating the desired longevity effect. Thus, resveratrol is the essence of calorie restriction, apparently the mechanism by which an adult is able to sustain health without the effects of aging for many years. While calorie restriction is still a good idea, and nutrient density in foods is preferable to overeating, it is possible to gain most of the effects of calorie restriction by consuming resveratrol.
Other research suggests that the effective upper limit on human lifespan may be much more than 170 years. Indeed, Dr. Michael Fossel in his 1995 book Reversing Human Aging has presented ideas suggesting that lifespans as much as ten times longer could become the norm. In future issues, we'll examine these ideas and the companies which are making them into reality.
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