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Part of a short work of fiction. (See Chaps. 7-12)
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November 19, 2004

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Leaving this site.
11.22.04 (11:53 am)   [edit]
jomama--you know, the guy that writes this stuff
here--has permanently vacated this site and moved.
I'm not posting here any longer.

Don't forget to update your bookmarks if you wanna
continue reading this screed.

I've got a brand new bag, er, blog




 
The New America, by Fred
11.21.04 (8:12 am)   [edit]
Again, Fred tells it like it is. He left, I
left. There are a number of freer spots on the
planet.

Here are just a few of the reasons we left...


"The new America. No checks, no balance. There’s
no restraint on the power of these people, and
they know it. If you suggest that it is none of
their business why an American citizen is going
to his country’s capital, at the very least you
miss your flight. You could easily end up in
jail, and nobody would know where you were. So
you knuckle under. In, say, 1985 the difference
between a cowed citizen of Russia and an American
was that the American had some degree of
recourse. That was then.

But does it matter? Maybe there is less of a
market for this Bill-of-Rights stuff than we
thought. Maybe nobody cares, except self-
interested journalists scuttling in the shadows
like cockroaches carrying some vile disease. Give
the people Budweiser, give them Oprah, and
they’ll finesse the details.

There’s money enough in the country now that
government is more about power than lucre. Pretty
much everybody can have 300 channels and a shot
at home theater. Beer, T-and-A, a warm place to
sleep, all the golf you can watch. Nobody is
going to take it away. It keeps the lid on. Just
keep your mouth shut and don’t lose the remote...

In Houston the speech-major voice gurgled from
above, 'Certain…measures have been taken for your
security….' Don’t make jokes. Report each other.
Vigilance."

The whole rant.

 
The "sale" of war.
11.21.04 (7:38 am)   [edit]
"But wars are not made by common folk, scratching
for livings in the heat of the day; they are made
by demagogues infesting palaces. It is not
necessary for these demagogues to complete the
sale of a war before they send the goods home, as
a storekeeper must complete the sale of, say, a
suit of clothes. They send the goods home first,
then convince the customer that he wants them....
But the main reason why it is easy to sell war to
peaceful people is that the demagogues who act as
salesmen quickly acquire a monopoly of both
public information and public instruction....
The dead are still dead, the fellows who lost
legs still lack them, war widows go on suffering
the orneriness of their second husbands, and
taxpayers continue to pay, pay, pay. In the
schools children are taught that the war was
fought for freedom, the home and God."
--H. L. Mencken

-- A Second Mencken Chrestomathy, pp. 57-59.

via Cafe Hayek.



 
The Velvet Revolution of Central Europe of 1989
11.20.04 (2:24 am)   [edit]
"The revolution was Velvet because it stemmed
from the beliefs of the common man. It was a
cultural groundswell. Too often, revolutions are
about power and attempting to grab control of the
enforcement structure. They result in less
liberty for the populace, as the new regime feeds
on the dying carcass of the old establishment. If
a revolution is to create more freedom, it must
be derived from general popular consent and have
as its goal simply to reject the prevailing
sovereigns rather than to capture command, much
like the American Revolution and Velvet
Revolution were. Only then will there be the
necessary cultural institutions present for
liberty to thrive. Such an outcome is more
secession than revolution.
Otherwise, the result
will be simply bloodshed and more tyranny as the
French Revolution and Bolshevik Revolution
showed. Libertarians dreaming of revolution ought
to take note." [My emphasis]

Very nicely stated.

All fools dreaming of bloody revolution should
take note, not just Libertoonians.

If you don't play the game by The Rules of Power
you've got a good shot at winning. That's what I've
been talking about here for so long. And take another
look at Ghandi.


By Jonathan Wilde at Catallarchy.



 
Whose moral authority?
11.19.04 (4:12 pm)   [edit]
"If those who express genuine moral concern over
the direction taken by organized society have in
mind a political agenda for change, no real
transformation can take place. Only in the
absence of coercive power can one have moral
influence. Coercive power operates as a magnet
for division and conflict, as contentious
interests compete for the control of its tools of
force."

You heard the man. I've come to the same
conclusion along with an inconsequential number
of others.

Which brings me to Devlin's comments. He says the
election was fixed, thrown. Maybe he's right. He
also believes the electors got what they deserved.
With that last sentence I have no argument.

So what?

Well, there seem to be a whole lot of the rest of
us that have to put up with shit that 115 million
people voted for. That number was only 52% of the
voting age population and only 40% of the total
population.

And many reading this would also say, "So what?"

I'll tell ya what I think and, sshhhh, don't tell
anyone else.

In the last "election" there were 115 million people
playing with matches(power)like children occasionally
do.

Trouble is, they're throwing the lit ones at the
rest of us.

No, Dev. I ain't interested in what these
children do, or how they get/got screwed. They
deserve whatever they get for playing with power.
I'm only interested in the effect on the other
60% and the rest of the non-voting world, the
ones just minding their own business.

Like the man says. There is no political solution.



 
Acquiring knowledge.
11.19.04 (10:04 am)   [edit]
"There are two modes of acquiring knowledge,
namely by reasoning and experience. Reasoning
draws a conclusion and makes us grant the
conclusion, but does not make the conclusion
certain, nor does it remove doubt so that the
mind may rest on the intuition of truth, unless
the mind discovers it by the path of experience."
-- Roger Bacon


 
Humans born to be endurance runners?
11.19.04 (2:29 am)   [edit]
LONDON - "It's our ability to run, not walk, that
sets humans apart as the world's dominant
species, researchers say.

According to an anatomical analysis by two U.S.
scientists, we're built to run."

If we're 'built to run', why do I come across
so many who have run themselves into a semi-crippled
state by jogging over the years?

Obviously the human knee joint is not built to take
repeated pounding.

More shit science.


The whole short story.

 
Even another paradox.
11.18.04 (11:42 am)   [edit]
"Government can only survive as long as a
majority is programmed to believe that theft
isn't wrong if it's called taxation or asset
forfeiture or eminent domain, that assault and
kidnapping isn't wrong if it's called arrest,
that mass murder isn't wrong if it's called war."
-- Bill St. Clair

Paradoxically, this group of folks known as
government are really not interested in protecting
life, liberty and property, are they.

And Devlin says in one of his comments here...


"BTW, does Shaffer give any guidance on when we
should accept others' claims of ownership? You
can claim to own anything you want, but that
doesn't necessarily make it so."

Bingo, professor.

I hadn't noticed that Shaffer ever 'gave
guidance' in this. But like he has said in a past
essay, and you have said here, everyone is on
their own, despite all the laws ostensibly
written to protect our property or our lives.
All government is just another socialist experiment.
After having looked around a bit, I came to the
same conclusion some years ago quite a while
after I threw away those hi-school civics text
books that peddled the Glory of the State.

Have you seen any cops on the scene of a real
crime, eh? You know, a crime that has a victim?

And what Bill says above is unarguable.

Maybe Earth is the galactic nut bin. You know, the
place where the extraterrestrials throw the irrational
ones.

It's the only explanation I can come up with.




 
Another look at empire.
11.18.04 (2:52 am)   [edit]
"If the United States is serious about conquest
and governing people without their consent --
even for the purpose of introducing Rule of Law
and ordered stability of the Western variety --
we will need two armies: one for winning battles,
the other for occupation, military government,
and nation building. The second army will need
its own promotion paths, and its own doctrines;
its own officer corps, and an entirely different
attitude, being more a constabulary than an army.
Conflicts between the two are inevitable, and
envy between the two are inevitable. The combat
army will have to have its own incentives: not to
attract the warriors, who will drift to it, but
to attract the technicians and logisticians and
intelligence analysts. The Roman solution to this
was to pay Praetorians including their support
troops double what the usual Legions got, and pay
Auxiliaries, who held much of the periphery of
the empire, about half what the Legions got. And
Legion pay was not trivial; and you could work
your way from trooper to Legate with proper
courage, ability, and administrative talents."

Then came the fall of that empire as has happened
to all of them.

How does this happen?

Do the homeboys resist the ever increasing
sacrificing demanded of them by their leaders/priests?

I expect so.

Do the leaders then go elsewhere beating fresh
rubes into submission to pay for their endless plans?

Why not?

Do the leaders then spread themselves so thin
that they lose control attempting to scrub the
planet for their particular brand of socialism?

Are we hard-wired to playing the hamster, running
around in our cage forever?

I think not...once enough of us step outside the
cage but you'll have to make up your own mind.

Think about it.


Full text.




 
The once Almighty US$
11.17.04 (4:12 pm)   [edit]
"Indeed, the dollar is declining against all
currencies that have any international standing:
the British pound, the Canadian dollar, the
Australian dollar, and even against the Japanese
yen despite Tokyo's intervention to support the
dollar.

Overcome by hubris and superpower delusion, US
policymakers are unaware of America's peril.
Economists and pundits are equally in the dark.

No argument here on that. Why would any of them
tell you, even if they admitted this to themselves?
Not one in one-thousand Americans are cognizant of
the results of currency movements and that the
Almighty US$ would ever fall from favor.


Both the Clinton and Bush administrations are
guilty of permitting China to maintain a grossly
undervalued currency that sucks productive
capacity out of the US. [As if they could have
had any control over the Chinese.-jo] The combination
of cheap Chinese labor and an undervalued currency
are destroying US middle class living standards."

This report is valuable in some ways but the
author makes far too much of the trade figures and
not near enough of the unpayable debt.

There's just no way I see to pay it off without
the US gummint declaring bankruptcy and offering
pennys on the dollar to pay it off. They've bought
and sold the soul of every American alive and beyond
and they'll just have to close shop after the auction.


Check it out.

 
A road less traveled.
11.17.04 (2:34 am)   [edit]
"We recently quit our corporate jobs and decided
to travel across America to capture a true sense
of what this country is about. To force us to
slow down, take a different road, and capture
people's attention, Josh Caldwell is riding a
Segway HT from Seattle to Boston. After we're all
done, the stories we discover and the experiences
we have will culminate in a feature-length
documentary that is being directed by Hunter
Weeks. This project is independent of Segway and
plans are to find more ways to encourage
approaching life at 10 mph in the future."

I'll be looking forward to that documentary,
a look at real, live people actually doing something
constructive instead of fantasizing the political
granfalloon.

Now I also would like to see the series. Oslo to
Athens anyone? Perth to Sydney? Kuala Lumpur to
Bankok? Somebody's gonna do it. Why not you?


Stay tuned here.



 
Who will it be?
11.16.04 (6:25 pm)   [edit]
"The search for moral guidance which shall not
depend upon external authority has invariably
ended in the acknowledgment of some new authority."
-- Walter Lippmann

 
A new Fred rant.
11.16.04 (3:06 am)   [edit]
Fred's about to take over the vacancy left
by the master curmudgeon, H. L. Mencken.

I'll be putting a permanent link here to Fred in the
left panel.


"Which brings us to the Feddle Gummint. Between
the coasts it’s seen as the enforcement arm of
the coastal snots—a gray, repressive, stupid,
intrusive, and alien force, as degrading as
having your leg humped by the dog in somebody
else’s living room. To a lot of people,
Washington isn’t the capital of their country.
It’s The Enemy. It pushes on them everything they
loathe. They hate it."

Full rant.


 
A different look at the vote.
11.15.04 (10:14 am)   [edit]
"Is 30-40-30 a new herbicide? Do you use it to
control noxious shrubs in your yard?

Maybe not. This formula could be restated as
Bush Voters – No Voters – Kerry Voters.
Personally, I couldn’t care less about the
numbers of people who endorse the coercive state,
while I’m very interested in the numbers of
people who don’t. So I’d like to look at the 40%
figure that is bandied about, and then ignored."

I agree. And thinking about this, gives me a
different take on Americans and all the 'blue'
and 'red' analists (intentionally spelled) promoting
the "us and them" meme. It ain't that simple.

You people watching America closely from elsewhere
can now see that not all of America is criminally
insane.


Take a fresh look.



 
Blasting for democrazy
11.15.04 (5:47 am)   [edit]
A little grisly satire never hurt anyone, did it.

Analysis you're unlikely to see in the major media...


"We have definitely exceeded expectations," said
Colonel Savvi Corhapi, who commanded the effort.
"A month ago everyone expected all of Fallujah to
boycott the January elections. Now, we are going
block by block to register prospective voters and
to educate them in the basics of democracy. It’s
a really fulfilling, thrilling experience for all
of us to be a part of."

Fouglas Deith, a Defense Department observer
involved in planning the operation, was on site
to observe. Mr. Deith explained how the program
works.

"Well, we knew there were a lot of anti-
democratic diehards in the city – you know,
people who just won’t vote, not matter how good
the candidates are, because, well, in their way
of thinking, the whole election process is a sham
full of nothing but Yankee occupation-force
stooges. So first of all, we look at the old
census tracts and identify those anti-democratic
elements – we call them "terrorists" – and for
several days we pound the hell out of their
neighborhoods with artillery fire, strafing by
fighter jets, and – usually last on the list –
razing what’s left of their neighborhood with
tank-bulldozers armed with 55-mm cannon."

Full story.

 
Who's on first?
11.14.04 (3:56 pm)   [edit]
More disorder brought to you by one of its
organizers.


"The disruption comes as the CIA is trying to
stay abreast of a worldwide terrorist threat from
al Qaeda, a growing insurgency in Iraq, the
return of the Taliban in Afghanistan and
congressional proposals to reorganize the
intelligence agencies. The agency also has been
criticized for not preventing the Sept. 11, 2001,
attacks and not accurately assessing Saddam
Hussein´s ability to produce weapons of mass
destruction."

Looks like chaos is just now finishing breakfast.

Full story.


 
The state.
11.14.04 (9:35 am)   [edit]
"The state – whatever its particular forms –
always expresses itself as a collective form of
property ownership. All political systems are
socialistic, in that they are premised upon the
subservience of individual interests to
collective authority. Communism, fascism, lesser
forms of state socialism, and welfarism, are all
premised upon the state’s usurpation of privately-
owned property. Whether one chooses to be aligned
with the political 'Left,' 'Right,' or 'Middle,'
comes down to nothing more than a preference for
a particular franchise of state socialism."

Well, now. That's pretty plain talk, ain't it.

So, if you participate in any way, supporting
your government, you're a flavor of socialist.

Hey, that's all right. I think you're deluded but
whatever blows your skirt up.

Just be honest with yourself.

Now, just fuckin' think about this.

Is that what you are? Is that what you want?

And hey, it ain't about revolution. No good
will come of that and
I won't support it.
Ever. If you were successful, you'd just end up
installing some new socialist idiot.


Read it all.


 
From a minor scuffle, big things come.
11.13.04 (3:02 pm)   [edit]
"Just last October 18, a laborer/farmer in Wan
Zhou near Chongqing in Sichuan province
accidentally brushed against a woman on a busy
street. The woman’s husband refused to accept
profuse apologies. He beat the offending farmer
up and broke the man's leg. To discourage passers-
by from intervening, he declared himself to be a
government official, though government officials
deny that. The message: 'I beat him because I
can.' This enraged the townspeople. Within hours
up to 40,000 people surrounded the main
government building, setting a police van on fire
and repelling police crowd-control squads.

Ten days later, the city of Han Yuan, also in
Sichuan province, was shut down as hundreds of
thousands of farmers staged a sit-in at the site
of a hydro-power station under construction.
Faced with government-backed eviction from their
land without adequate compensation, the farmers
protested. There are sketchy allegations of
clashes with the armed police. Witness accounts
gleaned from the tumult claim that students
joined the farmers and together they stormed the
government buildings and that police
reinforcements were sent in. But the government
has since cut off all roads and communication
lines, imposing a news blackout."

Full story.



 
A new look at the mob.
11.13.04 (5:46 am)   [edit]
"The establishment party line being floated for
public consumption is that George W. Bush’s re-
election was largely a victory for 'moral
values.' That grown men and women can offer this
assessment with a straight face offers some of
the most compelling evidence for the moral and
intellectual insolvency of our culture. Such a
rationalization reflects the kind of perverted
thinking that also leads people to speak of 'wars
of honor.'

...

As the costs and revelations of duplicity in
this war continue to escalate, the Bush
administration appears ready to play the same
unprincipled game at the expense of Iran, or
North Korea, or any other country selected as the
enemy du jour. If these are examples of the
'moral values' that were triumphant on election
day, can someone explain their meaning to me? How
do such actions express 'moral values' that
differ from those of Machiavelli, or Attila the
Hun?

What moral response is to be made to the utter
insanity of all of this?

...

It is difficult to speak intelligently of 'moral
values' in the context of collective behavior.
Moral thinking is a uniquely personal
undertaking, by which individuals develop their
inner sense of principled behavior. People have a
need for spiritual experiences; a need to
transcend the inherently limited nature of their
lives and to connect up with the universe –
including other people – in satisfying ways. The
personal exploration and expression of moral
conduct is part of this need, the satisfaction of
which occurs only within individuals, not through
mass-minded crusades.

But as our lives become more politicized, our
sense of meaning shifts from individual to
collective considerations. We become increasingly
less interested in the inner voices that
challenge our thinking, and become more concerned
with the outer voices that demand our attention
and obedience. Over time, we abandon our
internally-directed world in favor of an
externally-directed one."

The mob is loose, alive and hissing their
Emotionally-Derived Belief Systems.


Full essay.



 
Correction.
11.12.04 (4:54 pm)   [edit]
Due to a gross error on my part, not having looked
at The Big Picture pointed out by Charles Heuter
in the comment section here, I have modified my
T-shirt to read:

"I don't vote, so don't blame me for the presence
of the current idiot in the White House or any of
the other Houses. A pox on all their Houses."



 
Are you a magician?
11.12.04 (1:08 am)   [edit]
"When people trapped in their deductive minds use
the word 'dualism' they are usually referring to
a mistaken belief that they have, that magicians
believe there is one material universe full of
kickable things, and there is also a second,
different, spook alternate reality, connected to
this one by silver cords or whatever. That makes
two universes (they figure), so they say the
magicians are 'dualists' - believers in two
universes. Of course the magicians believe no
such thing. Instead they believe that there is
this, single material universe, which contains
kickable things that are arranged in patterns
which are also found in this material universe.
Where else could they be? The magicians believe
that the patterns are 'more material than
material itself' - that the patterns govern the
kickables to the extent that the kickables are
like shadows of the patterns, and the material
properties of the material universe are found in
the patterns rather than the superficial
kickables. It's because the people trapped in
their deductive minds can't see the patterns that
they assume the magicians are talking about...
like... somewhere else."

Pattern recognition, folks. It's found in the
patterns.

I wonder how many magicians there are. From where
I sit looks like most of 'em are in hiding.


More.



 
The Followers
11.11.04 (11:27 am)   [edit]
"The net result of Washington's escalating
confrontation with Muslim countries and peoples
under various guises will only be to widen
further the gulf that already exists between the
US and Muslims in general, paving the way for a
much-dreaded 'clash of civilizations' that never
need have happened.

Do you have your cave picked out yet?
...

Following tactics they had already developed in
Samarra in late September, most Iraqi and foreign
insurgents have already left Fallujah for other
destinations in the Sunni heartland. Those who
have stayed behind will undoubtedly fight to the
death, and the resulting heart-rending carnage -
shown on numerous Arab satellite channels - is
sure to intensify anti-American feelings not only
among Iraqis but also among the inhabitants of
the surrounding Sunni-majority countries of Saudi
Arabia, Jordan, Syria, and Turkey."

And because hyumans continue to play follow
their leader the rest of us suffer.

Aack!


Full text.


 
Note on The Grand Zero-Sum Game.
11.11.04 (7:32 am)   [edit]
"The prime feature of political decision-making
is that it's a zero-sum game. One person or
group's gain is of necessity another person or
group's loss. As such, political allocation of
resources is conflict enhancing while market
allocation is conflict reducing. The greater the
number of decisions made in the political arena,
the greater is the potential for conflict."

Indeed. Institutions...making new enemies every
day in every way.

Now carry that to its logical conclusion.

I don't believe one in 1000 has tried.

Do you?

So many distractions, so little time.


Full text.




 
Something to believe in.
11.10.04 (4:35 pm)   [edit]
"If we do not believe in ourselves--neither in
our efficacy nor in our goodness--the universe is
a frightening place." --Nathaniel Branden


 
It's about time.
11.10.04 (11:25 am)   [edit]
"In the end we see that the Einstein spacetime
formalism is demonstrably wrong, and that the
evidence against it was available even before the
Einsteins put forward their fundamental
assumptions that later became the foundations of
twentieth century physics. Essentially the whole
Einstein formalism has all the hallmarks of
another system of 'epicycles' - when finally we
understand what is going on the whole construct
evaporates, just as Ptolemy's epicycles did when
it was realised that they were entirely a
consequence of not separating a measurement
protocol from the phenomena it was meant to
measure. In the case of Ptolemy it was finally
realised that the Earth was itself undergoing
motion. In the case of the Einstein formalism we
finally understand that the rods and clocks used
to define and implement measurements of motion
are actually affected by motion through the
quantum foam that is space, a view that predated
the Einsteins and is now seen to be correct.

All of these developments and the clearing away
of epicycle descriptions lead us back to very
challenging notions about the nature of time and
the deep connectivity and processing that is
reality, a connectivity that was evident in some
aspects of the quantum theory, but which was
essentially outside of the non-process paradigm.
This new physics is seen to be panexperientialist
in character in which a primitive self-awareness
or 'consciousness' is foundational to reality in
the manner argued by Griffen and others [5], a
consciousness that appears to be intrinsic to the
semantic nature of the information system that is
process physics. Such notions it seems may well
be moving into the realm of experimental science
and will result in a unification of human
knowledge and experience that is beyond our
prevailing comprehensions."

Oops, another mistake. They're poppin' up
everywhere, aren't they.

Keep your eyes and ears open, boys and girls.
The ride is gonna be wild.

The nature of time is that it's a purely human
construct. Why the hell would an infinite
universe care about time?

Reginald T. Cahill, Process Physics: From Information Theory to Quantum Space and Matter