Friday, November 2, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
My point is that nazi camps were wrong. Also, torture in Cuba is wrong. Since there is no judge that will determine if a detainee is actually guilty of anything, some detainee may not have any information at all. Subsequent torture can lead to false information that benefits no one.
There were camps (not so) long ago, people were killed, and that was wrong. It matters not if our camps are any better; they are still wrong. It seems like the MSNBC article serves only to confuse this issue.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Ronald, who works beside me, is a doctor. One day he didn’t show up to make whips because he wanted to earn more money to help out one of his patients. Edward came to find Ronald and make sure that he went to the whip house. Ronald was upset that Edward was going to whip him for not working, and whipped Edward. Edward was harsher than I’ve ever seen him and Ronald ended up in the hospital. Ronald was upset because Edward would whip him if he didn’t make whips. Edward was worried that other people would also not want to make whips so he had to be harsh on Ronald.
How could we have a party if Edward didn’t have these whips to sell? Well, after Ronald’s outburst Edward was worried that someone else would attack Edward like Ronald did. So Edward hired Frank to be his bodyguard, and carry a whip too. Frank was big, strong man, who was not as smart as Edward. One time I walked toward Frank to ask him a question and he lashed me across the cheek. Now, I try my best to stay away from Frank. It’s a good thing that we have Frank though, because if more people didn’t make whips then Edward couldn’t throw us a party. We now have parties only three times a month, so that Edward can afford Frank. It’s a good thing we have Frank though
One Friday night I overheard some people chatting.
I heard Sara say “Edward is a mad man.”
“Oh, but Frank is worse.” Ted said in a harsh voice.
Sara’s husband noted “If we all didn’t work for Ed than he wouldn’t have any whips to whip us with.”
Most of the people talking were quite respectable people, but Ted who thinks that Edward is part of a secret society that is secretly trying to kill everyone. Once I asked him who was in this society. He said Edward, Frank, and other famous people some of whom were dead. Then Ted started to tell me some things that didn’t really make sense. I smiled and said that was interesting, and tried to end the conversation. To this day I doubt Ted’s intelligence.
The truth was that Ed and Frank were in an organization, and it wasn’t secret but it wasn’t advertised. Ed and Frank belonged to the national union of order and parties. This union wanted to hire a bodyguard for Edward before Frank was hired. Frank was also a member before he was hired.
The next Monday the twenty I overheard in that room didn’t show up to make whips. Most people didn’t notice, but some people asked Edward where they were. Edward said that that wasn’t important, and that he would look into it. The next day Edward came with Ted and lashed him so that we all could see. Ted screamed about some secret society that we didn’t know existed. It was difficult to understand what Ted was thinking. Then a funny thing happened. I could see that Edward was whipping Ted, and Edward hadn’t whipped anyone, but I blamed Ted for his plight.
Friday, October 5, 2007
The reasoning behind this cycle government theory is simple. There is only one hypothesis: In general people will act in their own interest. The consequence is that people, once in power, will try to obtain more power.
We can observe this striving for more power in many ways.
1) Centralization- People in power will try to centralize their power in order to be a more effective ruler.
2) Assertion of ownership- People in power will try to assert that they own property which they don’t morally have any right over.
3) Moderation of behavior- People in power will try to dictate what the behaviors of their subjects are.
Now that we have three ways that people use power to achieve more power let us consider examples.
Examples of moderation of behavior: The first example of moderation of behavior goes back to Moses. In Moses’ time Moses invoked the authority of God to justify wars and stone people whose behavior was not within certain bounds. There was discrimination against homosexuality, eating pork, working on Sundays, not being circumcised, and much more. A second more modern example is the drug war.
Moderation of behavior allows people of power to achieve the appearance of a moral high ground. This moral high ground is used to justify the power that rulers seize. In Moses’ time not being circumcised was viewed as a reason to treat a person as less than human. Today using a drug is used as an excuse for treating a person as less than human.
Examples of Assertion of ownership: In the old English society there was a lord who demanded tribute. Basically this is nothing but the lord asserting part ownership of the land that you tend, and demanding rent. Today we have the idea of property tax, which is in fact the same idea. Today there is also the idea that a lien can be applied to property if taxes aren’t paid. Regulations also are an example of an assertion of ownership. Laws like "you can’t build here without a permit", and "you can’t let people smoke in your own business". These laws are, quite rightly, assertions of ownership.
Examples of Centralization: The creation of the USSR enveloped other nation states. The founding of the Department of Homeland Security, DEA, ATF, FBI, all centralized law enforcement. The creation of the EU is perhaps the most modern example of centralization. The UN so far is a failing attempt to centralize governance. Wars are nothing but an attempt to expand power and channel it through a central body.
Dividing up of power into three categories is a little simplistic. For example the drug war is used as an excuse to seize property, and centralize law enforcement efforts. Regulations such as: Thou shall not allow people to smoke in your business. This is an assertion of ownership to bring about moderation of behavior.
The assertion of this article is that when one body becomes more powerful than people ruled are happy with, then an impasse is reached which ultimately will lead to the collapse of this power. Examples include:
1) American Revolution: an example of violent revolt.
2) India’s independence: A mostly nonviolent revolt.
3) The fall of Rome: An empire which expanded to an ungovernable size.
4) The end of slavery and the end of apartheid.
5) The collapse of the USSR.
6) The collapse of the communist model in China.
7) Current unrest in Burma.
This tendency for governments to grow until they consume themselves does seem to be a very prevalent trend. So is humankind doomed always to be a part of this cycle? It would seem that the answer is no. Countries such as New Zealand, and Switzerland seem to be resistant to this cycle. Switzerland did not join the EU so it is sheltered from any collapse of the Union that might happen three hundred years from now. New Zealand’s small size and nonintervention in other nations affairs may yield countries that are stable for centuries to come.
As you go through your life, try to point out the examples of how power asserted over you affects you directly. If you think you're immune, start with the question; do you pay taxes?
Friday, September 21, 2007
I wanted to write about the content in this video. The video exists, so I don't have to.
Friday, August 24, 2007
The American Humanist Association is an organization that promotes a value system that is derived from a completely secular view of the world. These values may change as more information becomes available. Pete Stark is being honored because he publicly admitted that he doesn't believe in god, and he is a representative in our congress. This is significant because many Americans feel that they would be least likely to vote for an atheist out of many other groups.
Click here for more information
Friday, August 17, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
First consider the NSHS executive order which describes the "power" that George W. Bush has to declare martial law, or "provide for the continuity of government." Next consider the fact that the executive branch has not allowed the continuity of government plans to be reviewed by the homeland security committee of congress to review these plans for continuity of government (video below). What in these plans requires that the plans not be reviewed by our legislative branch; I shiver to think of it.
Saturday, July 7, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
A US Supreme court admitted Guantanamo cases. It’s safe to say that this wasn’t only caused by the day of action, it has been the result of constant pressure applied to our “law makers” and advocacy. Ultimately, the judges finally came around. This result is in favor of a civil society. Without habeas corpus courts are nothing more than a barbaric circus.
The New Hampshire Governor signed a law banning real ID. New Hampshire is the seventh state to reject the measure, joining South Carolina, Georgia, Montana, Washington, Oklahoma, and Maine.
Congress subpoenaed the white house this week, requesting documents about our "decider’s" illegal wire-tapping. George Bush said that he would not comply.
Rhode Island legislator sent a very strong signal in favor of medical marijuana legalization. Get this the senate voted 29-4, and the house 58-11. Gov. Donald Carcieri has earned the title of terrorist of the week as the Governor's veto would have terrorized sick people.
There’s still a lot more work to be done, but if you want more freedom maybe, just maybe, there is hope.
Friday, June 22, 2007
It sounds interesting, but have you ever lent money to a friend?
Trust doesn't work very well as a basis for financial transactions.
These are very good points, and other people may share your concerns about the monetary payment system ripple. Well there are three ways that ripple helps mitigate unpaid debts. The first is that debts with companies should be sound. If a steak house is doing business with this alternate currency then it must honor its debts or the access to this currency will be cut off. It would be easier to not be a part of the system than try to cheat it. Also there would be sore customers if the steak house tried to cheat them, and that's bad for business. It's the same principal that ensures that the steak house will not overcharge your credit card. This ensures that the steak house is honest most of the time.
The second check has to do with person to person accounts. If one of your friends is going to cheat you, the only way they can do this is to stop using the account. As long as your friend keeps receiving payments his credit to you may be used to complete a transaction. This means that if your friend is always in debt to you then you can go in and revoke the credit that you extended to him. Later you may make a payment that will use his credit, and this credit that was owed to you is repaid.
The third reason is very simple. If you are worried about someone paying you back then you don't have to extend them any credit. Being selective will help prevent you from having credit that you can’t use. Someday, I imagine that a credit rating will be incorporated into the program. This could simply be a smite button, when a person has been smitten five times in a year then the account could be flagged, and people would know that the account is in bad standing. People whose account is in bad standing will have difficulty receiving credit, and so people will try not to be smitten.
Lee, thanks again for raising this issue.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Well, a little economic history might be in order. Once, the United States dollar used to be redeemable for gold. This made sure that a paper note actually had value. Today all national currencies are fiat currencies. Fiat means force; that is, currency has value because it is declared to have value. In the U.S., businesses are required to accept U.S. Federal Reserve Notes "for all debts public and private."
Another way of using currency is being developed by Ryan Fugger and others. Ryan is writing an open source program, ripple, which can be used to keep track of debts between individuals.
Here's how it works. Say you trust Bob, and you extend some credit to Bob. Bob trusts Julie and he extends credit to her. Ripple would then allow you to make a payment to Julie. A payment to Julie would simply be a debt from you to Bob and from Bob to Julie. Julie then could use this credit to make a payment to anyone in your trust network.
In practice there would be some accounts that would extend credit to many people. Say a coffee shop accepts money and extends credit to you, and this coffee shop would accept this credit for coffee. Then this credit would always have value backed by the drinks in the coffee shop. The coffee shop could then extend credit to a restaurant down the street. Then the credit could be accepted at the restaurant and the coffee shop.
If a monetary shift was made in this direction then some of the unattractive qualities of a fiat currency could be mitigated. Also this would minimize credit card fees that contribute to higher prices for all of us.
Saturday, June 9, 2007
1) Ability of a central power to print more of the currency you use.
2) The way the banking industry works.
The first reason harms you by eating away from the purchasing power of your currency. Say there are three people that want to buy a house. The first is willing to pay $145K, the second $150K, and the third $155K. If the first person is given $20K that is fresh off the press then he can raise his bid over $155K to buy the house. The person who was given the newly printed money is able to price the other two people out of the market. The new money raises price of the house at the determent of the other two bidders.
The second reason is that the banks have an undeserved power. Banks make money off of the money they have on deposit. A bank doesn't loan its own money. It loans the money of its depositors. The need for this banking system is supported by the current monetary system. Another monetary system may rely less on banks and therefore interest would be lower.
Sunday, June 3, 2007
"It’s a bad idea Jim."
"Well for starters you could die. Second, why would you want to be reduced to taking orders?"
"I have to take orders at my job; I take about 100 orders a day."
"That's different Jim. At your job if you quit, then there are no bad consequences. There's no quitting with the military. If you try to quit then you will be tried for desertion."
"But I won't want to quit."
"You don't like your current job and you want to quit; I can assure you that being a man with a gun will be much worse"
"I'll be a soldier!"
"That's what I said a man with a gun. A duck is a duck is a duck, and a soldier is a man with a gun."
Jim left with some anger in his heart. He felt that Dave was trivializing what a solder was. The next day he went down to sign up. He was told, all kind of great reasons he would like this new job. He was irked that Dave was just too dense to understand.
Dave was not angry at Jim, just melancholy. His best friend was going to an war with no end in sight. He would kill people who are innocent, or perhaps would have been innocent if Jim and others weren't there. Dave did not join Jim. He knew the only way to stop the cycle of violence was to be non-violent, too bad that he can't bring everyone of this view.
Please show any friend that is thinking about the millitary this video!
Monday, May 28, 2007
This week, Giuliani unveiled his war on freedom inspired terrorism. His plan would first divert American forces to the Netherlands, claiming that the Dutch are the “most free in the world, and a prime target for terrorist attracts.” Giuliani’s plan also includes calls for attacks on, Iceland, New Zealand, and provisional plans to attack Estonia. “It is important to stay on the offensive with freedoms in Estonia quickly on the rise” He argues.
This new plan has had a negative reception by all Dutch except Dirk Denington who defended his position by stating “If you’re not with Giuliani, you’re with the terrorists.” Giuliani then sought support for his plan, over English Muffins, from John McCain and Mitt Romney. McCain criticized his plan because it does not go far enough, by ignoring Iran, Ireland, and recalling that Japan allowed an anarchist to actually speak on television. “Japan has allowed people to speak too freely on the air,” McCain has been quoted as saying.
Romney’s reaction to Giuliani’s plan was more receptive, but he was promptly shot by Giuliani. Giuliani noticed that Romney was buttering his English muffin on wrong side. "Romney’s activity was quite suspicious, he may have been involved in terrorist activities" claimed Rudy. President Bush has defended Rudy’s murderous act, promising a pardon.
Bush then went on to knight Rudy for his “noble and valiant” deed. White House aids released a statement saying that, “Rudy has shown great strength in a time of crisis.
He will be appointed as the next president of the United States.”
During a White House press conference George Bush was combative and offered curt answers to the press. An excerpt of the transcript in below:
Q: Do you think this action is consistent with our republic?
Bush: I am the decider, and I have decided
Q: Would you comment on the democrats that will try to block your action?
Bush: This action is necessary to protect our children. Do you want your children to die?
Q: What about charges that this action is unconstitutional?
Bush: I gonna[sic] use that HOMELAND SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE that my staff just wrote. Just the thought that those backwards butterers[sic] have infiltrated the election process means this action is necessary for the continuity of the American government.
Friday, May 4, 2007
On Friday Scotland made progress toward this goal as the Scottish National Party secured twenty more seats bringing their total up to 47 seats. This is in contrast to Tony Blair's Labor Party which lost four seats with a total down to 46. The conservative party has 17 seats, and the Scottish National Party will face opposition from the Liberal Democrats with 16 seats. And yes, the Scottish National Party is in favor of independence of Scotland.
Dan's comment on this is that this assertion of independence will be good for Scotland regardless of the left-right argument.
Thursday, April 5, 2007
or the blue that won't let me pay for a hospital bed.
I might like the post Nixon gold,
but I don't think I'll ever know,
unless you let me be,
I don't know much about eastern red,
but I know I don't want it stamped on my head.
The only way that I see,
that this can never be forced upon me,
is if all of us are allowed to be,
I'm not a fan of the Christian white,
and I'm not pink but I support their fight.
I might be a little green,
but I don't have time to explain what I mean.
For now I just rather be,
I have no ill intentions, no ill will.
I'm just expressing how I feel.
I'm just simply pleading,
that you will hear me,
and simply let me be,
I'm intrigued by the Spanish red and black,
but I don't know if I agree with that.
Please remove me from what you require,
and I'll be able to inquire.
For now I just simply want to be,
Remove me from your voting, get out of my life.
Let me see what your colors are like,
If I like them than I just might,
join you if I think you're right.
Till then I request to be,
I think we need,
to consider what we see,
because although I've never met a purple man,
it seems to be the law of my land.
Friday, March 30, 2007
So today we will actually discuss liberty.
So here we are, free to do whatever we want. So we pose a question. If you could ONLY do one thing what would that be? Well, I don't know about you, but I'm going to eat. So I can either grow my own food or trade something of value for food. Most people trade their time (work) for the necessities of life. Now that we got the basics out of the way we can spend our time doing other things. Some people might want to work more so that they can obtain more goods. Other people might want to read books, hang out with friends, or read blogs. What ever you want to do you have the liberty to do it. The main thing is that everything that transpired is voluntary. Your employer wanted to hire you and you wanted to work for that pay. The only limit is what other people will agree to do.
Now say someone wanted to come and take the fruit of your labor. You might not agree to give up your goods. So it might happen that the person will threaten harm if you don't cooperate. This is an example of a violation of liberty. If someone threatens harm you they are infringing on your liberty. It makes no difference whom does the threatening or how they threaten. An example of a liberty violation is taxes. If you want to pay taxes then your liberty is not being violated. If you don't, then your liberty is being violated.
This idea is a little hard to wrap your head around at first. Life without taxes, what would it be like? Am I crazy? Perhaps, but then again the
In later posts we will discuss some of the ways that securing liberty for ourselves should change our social institutions. Ultimately, with true liberty, society will be much more flexible.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
When I was little the news spoke derogatorily about war lords.
I asked my mom.
"Mom, what's a war lord?"
"It's someone you pay to protect you," she responded.
"What's so bad about that, we pay police"
"They'll shoot you if you don't pay"
Later I would then pay taxes or go to jail.
When I was young I read the bible;
I asked my mother.
"Mom, why don't we sacrifice animals?"
"It's what they did long ago," she responded.
"But the bible says that we should sacrifice."
"We just don't."
When I was young I read more of the bible.
I asked my father
"Dad, what's cirr-cuum-cis-ion?"
"Well you see ... "
I stopped reading the bible.
I wanted to be good in my parents' eyes and the more I read the less holy it sounded.
When I was a little older I was in Sunday school.
I was told that reading the bible would strengthen my faith.
I asked "How is that, reading about animal sacrifice?"
It was suggested that I read a specific book of the bible,
read a chapter a day 31 chapters in all.
I was told my teacher did it.
I couldn't understand why he decided to read only one chapter a day, deciding to stop before he starts.
When I was a little older I was in Sunday school.
I was told that evolution was a lie.
I brought up how we observe life changes.
I was told that that was micro-evolution not macro.
I mentioned how our family dachshund was bred from a wolf.
They said that that was man-made and not natural.
Before I left my parent's house,
I tried an experiment.
I stopped praying, for two weeks.
I realigned my mind, restructured my thoughts,
addressed my thoughts to me not to Him.
I never prayed again.
When I was in college,
I went to a service.
The people were strange and nice.
We read Revelations, and we were told be hot or cold for the Lord, not luke warm.
I didn't want to be hot and I was told not to be warm.
So, that meant that I should be cold.
Later, I had to restructure my thoughts.
Figure out what life meant to me.
Figure out what I was going to live for.
I had to realign my complete world view.
I found plenty of good things around me.
Things I could see, touch, taste, and read.
Then I heard a man argue that warlords should serve as police.
He made more sense than my mom.
Friday, March 16, 2007
I think that Ryan Fugger will change the world. You might ask, Who is Ryan Fugger? Well he's a Canadian who has decided to try to put different concepts of money into practice. The result, Ripple monetary payment system. Ripple is a program currently being beta tested, which provides a different payment system. At first the basis of the idea behind the payment sounds a little out there, but after review its surprising properties are discovered. The principal is that payments are processed merely by creating a debt or erasing a debt between trusted parties. To pay a party that you don't trust, ripple must find a chain of trusted relationships and will create/erase a chain of debts. Ryan promotes his payment system as a natural competitor to a bank. Simply put, with ripple, trusted relationships can serve the same purpose as a bank and credit card. Ryan is focused on keeping track of debt in the various national fiat currencies around the world. Another application of ripple is that, once established, it would make micro-payments a piece of cake. Also I, and at least a few others, think that there is the possibility that ripple monetary payment system could completely supplant traditional currency.
And now for the news. Dialstation, a prepaid telephone calling service, has an interest in integrating ripple into its service. The idea is that you could pay for phone service and receive a credit on a ripple server. The customer then could establish credit relationships and use the ripple credit to purchase other goods and services. The phone service could act like a value backer for ripple debts, and it is pondered that this could seed the ripple program. For dialstation users that do not want to be caught up in this new idea, they could not establish any credit relationships and the addition of ripple will have no effect on their account.
Now for a twist with commentary. I categorize this idea of ripple as a free thought, a thought that is reasoned out without any constraints that society may provide. Freethoughts lead to other freethoughts, and freethinkers are drawn to other freethinkers. It turns out that there is another freethought embedded in this story. This dialstation is somehow connected to Telekommunisten. Notice the word "kommunisten," Communist in German. So now if you are of a free market persuasion like me this word strikes fear into your heart. This article(german) from Süddeutsche online newspaper refers to this bout of "Venture-Communism" as an application of the "sozialistischen Anarchismus" (socialist anarchist) model. As a proponent of free markets I am sceptical of this venture. At the same time if this actually works, and no force or violence is used to secure this telephone service. I don't see any reason a free market proponent would complain. In fact I would welcome the peaceful competition of different business models, as long as everyone involved agrees to their involvement. Now that I have supported peaceful competition I will discuss some worries that I have.
Socialist anarchist could be another term for a group of people that call themselves libertarian socialists in the United States. There have been a few libertarian socialist uprisings in the United States. You can surely identify a libertarian socialist uprising by the black clothes, and the black (or red) handkerchief that is worn over the face of protesters. These uprisings sometimes involve protesting on the street blocking traffic. I also saw a video that showed vandalism perpetrated by libertarian socialists. I have an interest in these libertarian socialists because they are anarchistic. I certainly do not agree with the tactics of blocking traffic and vandalism. I consider these actions to be against the "non-violence axiom" that is central to free market anarchist thought. I sometimes consider if a libertarian socialist population could peacefully co-exist with a free market anarchist society. I think that they could, and there has been some written about this concept. The divergence between the two ideologies is based on property rights. The co-existence issue revolves around people learning to respect different forms of property rights perhaps even in the same town. I would love to know an actual libertarian socialist's view on the idea of co-existing. Telekommunisten however states that it's goal is to own the world, by that they mean that libertarian socialist own the world. I think that this goal is unobtainable, and misguided, however it should be interesting to see what unfolds.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
“The amendments in the bill of rights of the Constitution,” explained the madman.
“To which constitution do you refer?”
“To the American Constitution, I seek America, I seek America”
“America is dead, America remains dead, and we have killed her.”
The madman sat naked on a concrete floor, slowly manufacturing orange strips of cloth. “I did not kill her, but we did,” he thought. The madman was briefly sane.
You have permission to copy this as long as you cite the author Daniel Tobas and this blog.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
1) Civil rights
2) Police abuse of power
3) Liberty issues
4) Free market fun
We will discus issues that relate to the Libertarian party, and the Free State Project in New Hampshire. The news on this blog will be about the gaining, or the loosing of American freedoms.