1. Hi Val!

    There's a technique that the illegitimate U.S. establishment has used at least twice to completely overturn important guarantees ass-u-me_d to be solidly grounded in common sense and established in law for ANY free society.

    The first is enshrined in The Constitution, particularly like this:
    "No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration hereinbefore directed to be taken." --UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION, Article I, Section 9.
    Keeping in mind that Article I, Section 9 is more primary and hasn't been repealed, how do you reconcile the 16th Amendment with it -- which seems to completely contradict it?  Like this:
    "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration." --UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION, Article XVI [16th Amendment] (1913)
    The simple answer, painfully extracted via uphill legal battles through a reluctant legal system, is that the Income Tax was a tax on corporate privilege -- essentially hush money paid for limited liability -- measured by corporate "income," and had nothing at all to do with flesh-and-blood humans, who get no such privilege.

    In fact, my grandfather didn't have to pay but the con-job was at that time that it would be "patriotic" if he did. Also it was promoted as a status symbol to make enough money to even make the cut. My grandfather declined to pay and said, according to my mother, that this approach was all a con-job and eventually they'd trick everyone into paying.

    And of course, they did.

    In fact, if you go to court for "Willful Failure to File" so-called "Personal" Income Tax -- and if you get the corporate privilege arguments right (judges managed to suppress that approach for quite awhile until the Cheek decision) -- the IRS attorney will try to produce a previous tax return of yours and tell the jury that by signing and filing "your" 1040 etc. you have legally volunteered and thus are indeed required to pay.

    Now days (2014 A.D.) of course, the whole illegitimate government apparatus conspires to convince and intimidate everyone into "volunteering" even though you can probably still find the dregs of truth in statements like "ours is a voluntary tax system." So, by the use of B.S., legalese, and brute-force intimidation, they've turned previously free Americans into cowed tax slaves.

    As Bastiat put it:
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." --Frederic Bastiat
    And, Val, our discussion on so-called "Drivers Licenses" reveals another similar con-job. And it's the second point that defines the trend-line which reveals a "legal system that authorizes [plunder] and a moral code that glorifies it".

    Clearly, restricting travel completely discredits any country that claims freedom. It's simple common sense. And in fact, that obvious common sense was enshrined in early U.S. jurisprudence. Like this:
    "Complete freedom of the highways is so old and well established a blessing that we have forgotten the days of the Robber Barons and toll roads, and yet, under an act like this, arbitrarily administered, the highways may be completely monopolized, if, through lack of interest, the people submit, then they may look to see the most sacred of their liberties taken from them one by one, by more or less rapid encroachment." --Justice Tolman, Robertson v Department of Public Works, 180 Wash 133, 147.
    And this:
    "Personal liberty largely consists of the Right of locomotion - to go where and when one pleases... The Right of the Citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, by horsedrawn carriage, wagon, or automobile, is not a mere privilege which may be permitted or prohibited at will, but the common Right which he has under his Right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. --II Am. Jur. (1st). Constitutional Law, Sect. 329, p. 1135.
    and further...
    "Personal liberty - consists of the power of locomotion, of changing situations, of removing one's person to whatever place one's inclination may direct, without imprisonment or restraint unless by due process of law." --1 Blackstone's Commentary 134; Hare, Constitution__.777; Bovier's Law Dictionary, 1914 ed., Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed.
    "The use of the highways for the purpose of travel and transportation is not a mere privilege, but a common and fundamental Right of which the public and the individual cannot be rightfully deprived."(emphasis added) --Chicago Motor Coach v Chicago, 169 NE 22; Ligare v Chicago, 28 NE 934; Boon v Clark, 214 SSW 607; 25 Am. Jur. (1st) Highways Sect. 163.
    and...
    "The Right of the Citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, either by horse drawn carriage or by automobile, is not a mere privilege which a city can prohibit or permit at will, but a common Right which he has under the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."(emphasis added) --Thompson v Smith, 154 SE 579.
    There are many other cases. Just ask.

    Despite this clear common sense principle, legally defined as well, once again, the establishment successfully foisted corporate/business limitations onto us flesh-and-blood humans, who, incidentally, are completely superior to those folks clearly recognized as "public SERVANTS."

    In the following cases, as with the so-called "Personal" Income Tax, you can see how this commercial-activity bait-and-switch was once again pulled off:
    "...For while a Citizen has the Right to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, that Right does not extend to the use of the highways, either in whole or in part, as a place for private gain. For the latter purpose no person has a vested right to use the highways of the state, but is a privilege or a license which the legislature may grant or withhold at its discretion..." --State v Johnson, 243 P 1073; Hadfield, supra; Cummins v Homes, 155 P 171; Packard v Banton, 44 S Ct 257; and other cases too numerous to mention.
    "Heretofore the court has held, and we think correctly, that while a Citizen has the Right to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, that Right does not extend to the use of the highways, either in whole or in part, as a place of business for private gain." --Barney v Board of Railroad Commissioners, 17 P 2nd 82; Willis v Buck, 263 P 982.
    and...
    "The right of the citizen to travel upon the highway and to transport his property thereon, in the ordinary course of life and business, differs radically and obviously from that of one who makes the highway his place of business for private gain in the running of a stagecoach or omnibus." --State v City of Spokane, 186 P 864.
    There are a bunch more such cases. Just ask.

    So, when the illegitimate establishment drilled you into believing "driving is a privilege," "driving is a privilege," they neglected to tell you that was only if you were engaged in commercial activity.

    Clearly then, the first and probably only thing you should say to a uniformed highway brigand who pulls you over with flashing lights is (and record the interaction), "What made you think I was engaged in commercial activity, officer?"
     
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  2. "Can you *honestly* see the like [of] Bush, Cheney, Obama, Halliburton, Monsanto, et al letting that [revolution] happen here [in the U.S.]?" --Valiant V., FB: July 5, 2014
    Bush, Cheney, Obama, Halliburton, Monsanto, et al aren't in control -- unless we believe they are - - -
    Hume's paradox as stated by Chomsky: In any society, the population submits to the rulers, even though force is always in the hands of the governed. Chomsky also suggests that, "Ultimately the governors, the rulers, can only rule if they control opinion --no matter how many guns they have. This is true of the most despotic societies and the most free, [Hume] wrote. If the general population won't accept things, the rulers are finished." --PFRM: Hume's paradox The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many (Interviews with Noam Chomsky) Copyright 1994 by David Barsamian
    I traveled Europe, etc. with Monica, a Polish girl, before the Berlin Wall came down. I'd read a little pamphlet by Russian dissident Andrei Amalrik, "Will the Soviet Union Survive Until 1984." He made the argument that it wouldn't. I regularly brought his idea up, just to see what the insiders thought.

    Monica, who managed to get out of Poland by becoming migrant labor in Sweden, said that was complete B.S. The Russian government had nukes, tanks and a huge army, complete control over the media, and had put down many rebellions. The Soviet Union would last for a thousand years.

    In fact, I had many Polish friends and they all agreed with Monica. By the time I visited Poland, I had developed the habit of asking what folks thought. To a person, they all agreed too.

    When The Wall came down in 1989, I got a bit of an undeserved reputation among the folks who rememberd me as a political guru for suggesting what had been to them the unthinkable.

    So, Valiant, yes I can see that happening here because, remember, it's NOT Bush, Cheney, Obama, Halliburton, Monsanto, et al. It's just not who or what you think - - -


    ALSO of INTEREST?
    -Media's Role
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  3. Well, Greg - - - 

     Despite your claim, the NYT article you posted has nothing at all to do with war-like human behavior. It concerns new theories about the settlement of the Americas.

    Apparently, Greg, you stopped reading at the end of the second paragraph? This one - - -

    "Preserved amid the bromeliad-encrusted plateaus that tower over the thorn forests of northeast Brazil, the ancient rock art depicts fierce battles among tribesmen, orgiastic scenes of prehistoric revelry and hunters pursuing their game, spears in hand."
    Aside from the sensationalist phrase "rock art depicts fierce battles among tribesmen," crafted by the writer as part of his "hook," there isn't a single mention of any sort of battle or hostility at all in the entire rest of the article. Or in the included video.

    Like the Fallacy of the Chief, that short phrase is just old mythology snatched by a NYT writer to grab your attention.

    The lack of any serious grounding for that phrase is entirely consistent with the misinformation inflicted on us by pale-face historians to excuse our ancestors' murderous expropriation of real estate. It's an extension of what I sometimes call the "Indiana Jones School of Archaeology."

    The truth is, despite Hollywood, "Primitive" folks were in general much more "civilized" than we are. Here's a clue via text book reviewer James W. Loewen- - -

    New England's first Indian war, the Pequot War of 1636-37, provides a case study of the intensified warfare Europeans brought to America. Allied with the Narragansetts, traditional enemies of the Pequots, the colonists attacked at dawn. ... The slaughter shocked the Narragansetts, who had wanted merely to subjugate the Pequots, not exterminate them. The Narragansetts reproached the English for their style of warfare, crying, "It is naught, it is naught, because it is too furious, and slays too many men." In turn, Capt. John Underhill scoffed, saying that the Narragansett style of fighting was "more for pastime, than to conquer and subdue enemies." Underhill's analysis of the role of warfare in Narragansett society was correct, and might accurately be applied to other tribes as well. Through the centuries, whites frequently accused their Native allies of not fighting hard enough. --James W. Loewen, LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME, (New York, NY: Touchstone 1996), p. 118
    Unfortunately modern mass cultures have been hijacked by hierarchists. That becomes obvious in odd places. For example, "modern" humans have essentially the same genetically specified emotional makeup as our "primitive" ancestors -- which explains why all that military training is necessary. It's to overcome the genetic reluctance most of us share with most other "animals" against killing our own kind. Like this:

     

    AND the MilitaryIndustrialCongressional Complex didn't warn us of the psychological risks. Like this for example:

     

    It used to be called "shell shock" etc. in the old days. Now it's called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and a high percentage of folks who get involved in war suffer from what is now recognized as this often incurable malady.

    From the Narragansetts reaction to British warfare tactics, it's clear our tribal ancestors were much more reasonable about "war."

    Also, more up-to-date archaeology is much less enthusiastic in it's interpretation of artwork. Like this:

    "In the 30 years that separated Mellaart's Catalhoyuk [a 10,000 year-old ruin in Turkey] from Hodder's, archeology changed radically. By his last season even Mellaart was out of date: scientific archeology had arrived, and with it a preference for the quantifiable over the symbolic, for testable hypotheses over stories. Then in the 1980s, some archeologists began to question their whole enterprise, to dismiss as naive the view that you could ever know what really happened in the past, and as Eurocentric the interpretations that people like Mellaart had applied to ancient cultures. ...
    "The Mellaarts thought those things might tell them what really happened at Catalhoyuk--which is not at all the postmodern spirit. 'Postmodernism is difficult to define,' says Hodder. 'But one definition people use is the "end of grand narrative"--the end of the idea that there is one answer to the world. Postmodernism is much less optimistic, less certain. It focuses much more on 'multivocality': there are many different voices in the world and different perspectives, not just the Western one." --Robert Kunzig, A Tale of Two Archeologists, DISCOVER, MAY 1999, pg. 88
    It seems that Feynmanism is spreading rapidly to folks other than just legendary Physicists - - - AND even you're not the way they told you you are.

    = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    ALSO OF INTEREST:

    Freedom and the Indians
    Rain, Kropotkin and Y2K -- Reel Human Nature
    What Went Wrong With the World-wide Socialist Revolutions?
    The REAL (Modern) Human Condition
     


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  4. Hi Kevin, ALL!

    OK, FWIW, here's my take on Bitcoin as you asked, Kevin. May be an hour late, but I hope not a pound short - - -

    While Bitcoin and its many other relatives (see below) are each individually limited by math -- as far as we know -- the aggregate supply of cryptocoins may be virtually unlimited. The prognosis isn't good: The aggregate is what counts and since it is, for all intents and purposes, unlimited, as the aggregate supply approaches infinity, the value approaches zero. Otherwise experienced as "inflation." Massive inflation.

    There are at least three useful historical precedents I'm aware of: The use of private bills of credit and/or exchange notes beginning with the Tang Dynasty in China -- and the use of "assignats" and then "mandats" too in the aftermath of the French Revolution during the last decade of the 18th Century. The third is a surprise.

    In the follow-on to the Tang Dynasty, the paper notes in China became so common that, by the law of supply and demand, in aggregate, most lost most or all value.

    While misunderstood by most people, such a disruption in the medium of exchange is more devastating to more people than any natural disaster could ever be. With the possible exception of the next eruption of the Yellowstone caldera or another Yucatan meteorite strike.

    As a result, the Chinese eliminated paper money entirely in 1455.

    In the French experience, the legislature, despite experience with John Law's "Mississippi Bubble," 70 years before, put paper "assignats" into circulation, supposedly based on and limited by land. The politicians couldn't control themselves of course, and kept issuing more and more assignats, which caused inflation. They then got the idea of getting the "excess" assignats out of circulation by issuing a substitute, called "mandats" and getting people to trade in their "assignats" for them. This was called an "interconvertibility scheme," and, predictably, both stayed in circulation despite the plan. The increased aggregate supply meant that the inflation continued.

    The surprise example was the 13 British North American colonies before the First American Revolution. The colonial governments got in the habit of issuing "Bills of Credit" -- essentially paper I.O.U.s -- which then circulated within the colony and it became customary to use them as money. The Colonial Governments, not understanding the danger -- or not worrying about it -- got in the habit of issuing these to cover expenses. Predictably this led to, you guessed it, "inflation."

    This result was so disruptive to all the colonies that all 13, individually, came to realize how undesirable it was and, even before the Revolution, stopped the practice.

    In fact, this history was so memorable that preventions found their way into the U.S. Constitution in Clause 1. Particularly, "No State shall ...emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts;"

    Thus "interconvertibility schemes" in all forms are, I think (but I've been wrong before), the ultimate Achilles heel of cryptocoins in general. They may be different in name, but they can all be used as very similar media of exchange -- which, by the Law of Supply and Demand, will likely EVENTUALLY make them pretty much worthless.

    Another short-coming of Bitcoin in particular is that the total anonymity built into the algoritm wasn't implemented for Bitcoin. This means they can be traced and so aren't as anonymous as folks were led to believe. Or even as anonymous as paper cash. That's why the FEDs were able to bust Silk Road. In fact, the FEDs can trace every individual Bitcoin if they want to go to the trouble.

    It looks like there may be other holes in the Bitcoin protocal in general as well. Mt. Gox, billed as the biggest Bitcoin exchange, just filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan: (February 28, 2014) It apparently lost all of it's patrons' Bitcoins to hackers.

    SO, if you decide to get involved in the cryptocoin trade, Kevin, I'd suggest one of the coins that DID implement total anonymity -- if it works. That at least gives it a little product differentiation. Probably, given the rapid evolution of things, very little.

    You might try Maxcoin, named after Max Keiser of RT's Keiser Report and pushed by Bitcoin guru Charles Hoskinson. Who knows whether it will make the cut, but you'd be in on the ground floor - - -

    Above advice worth what you paid for it.

    Health, happiness & long life,
    Rick

    P.S. Bitcoin -- and the other cryptocurrencies built on the bitcoin block-chain -- are just the tip of a pretty big iceberg that can be used for all sorts of things. It's a real phenom. Will it last in any form? Who the un-fuck knows. But it will be interesting to watch. It challenges the very basis of the government bankster axis.

    P.P.S. The next step in the Bitcoin evolution is billed as Ethereum - General - Bitcoin Foundation


    List of alt coins followed on reddit as of February, 2014. http://www.reddit.com/r/BitcoinBeginners/ other altcoins:

    /r/litecoin
    /r/peercoin
    /r/Anoncoin
    /r/primecoin
    /r/zerocoin
    /r/Namecoin
    /r/Mastercoin
    /r/Terracoin
    /r/Scamcoin
    /r/QuarkCoin
    /r/Megacoin
    /r/Worldcoin
    /r/Digitalcoin
    /r/Dogecoin
    /r/Unobtanium

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  5. Hi Will!

    Collapsing fiat empires tend to repressive police-states. This, along with the other bad things connected with paper money, are also history. Rome, for example - - -

    The episodes of extreme inflation took a standard form. First the government started building up the army and undertaking public works projects. These projects increased expenditures drastically and the government raised tax rates. But the higher tax rates encouraged tax evasion and discouraged economic activity. The tax base diminished and soon the tax needs exceeded the tax capacity of the government. The government ...resorted to debasing the coins of the realm. This took the form of replacing the gold and silver in coins with copper and other cheaper metals. Over the period 218 to 268 A.D. the silver content of Roman coins dropped to one five thousandth of its original level. Sometimes the size and weight of coins were reduced. It also meant vastly increasing the amount of coins in circulation. There was a corresponding increase in prices. ...
    +
    In 301 AD Diocletian issued an edict declaring fixed prices; i.e., price controls. His edict provided for the death penalty for anyone selling above the control prices. There was also penalties (less severe) for anyone paying more than the control price.
    +
    In the short-run these draconian measures may have curbed inflation but in the long-run the results were disaster. Merchants stopped selling goods but this led to penalties against hoarding. People went out of business but Diocletian countered with laws saying that every man had to pursue the occupation of their father. The penalty for not doing so was death. This was justified on the basis that leaving the occupation of ones father was like a soldier deserting in time of war. The effect of this was to turn free men into serfs. --EPISODES OF HYPERINFLATION, Thayer Watkins, ECONOMICS DEPARTMENT, SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY
    Maybe this reminds you of the Fiat Money Inflation in France after the French Revolution. It should.
    It [the French ruling body, the National Convention] decreed that any person selling gold or silver coin, or making any difference in any transaction between paper and specie [gold and silver coin], should be imprisoned in irons for six years; that anyone who refused to accept a payment in assignats, [paper money not denominated in a fixed amount of gold or silver] or accepted assignats at a discount, should pay a fine of three thousand francs; ...Later, on September 8, 1793, the penalty for such offenses was made death ...To reach the climax of ferocity, the Convention decreed, in May 1794, that the death penalty should be inflicted on any person convicted of "having asked, before a bargain was concluded, in what money payment was to be made." --Andrew Dickson White, Fiat Money Inflation In France, -pp. 78 & 79
    Here and now, we have Bernard von NotHaus - - -
    Bernard von NotHaus is the creator of the Liberty Dollar and co-founder of the Royal Hawaiian Mint Company.[1] [also NORFED] ... The FBI claimed that NORFED's purpose was to mix Liberty Dollars into the current money of the United States and that NORFED intended for the Liberty Dollar to be used as current money in order to limit reliance on, and to compete with, United States currency.[4] ...Von NotHaus was labeled as a domestic terrorist by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2011.[3] --Bernard von NotHaus - Wikipedia
    Here's a modern U.S. take of the trajectory from Prof. & ex-CIA assett Chalmers Johnson:
    This time his [Prof. Chalmers Johnson] tone was more alarmist, while his focus was on the way an American version of military Keynesianism was failing the country. He feared that the U.S. would be simultaneously overwhelmed by related tides of militarism and bankruptcy. ...he pulled together many of his thoughts about the fate of empires-particularly the Roman and British ones-and predicted that, in the reasonably near future, the U.S. would have to choose between remaining a democratic society or becoming a military dictatorship. --Chalmers Johnson vs. the Empire by Tom Engelhardt -- Antiwar.com
    Julian Assange of Wikileaks suggests just how far things have gone in one of those directions. And he should know. He quotes someone else who should know - - -
    William Binney, the former chief of research, the National Security Agency's signals intelligence [sigint] division, describes this situation that we are in now as "turnkey totalitarianism," that the whole system of totalitarianism has been built -- the car, the engine has been built -- and it's just a matter of turning the key. And actually, when we look to see some of the crackdowns on WikiLeaks and the grand jury process and targeted assassinations and so on, actually it's arguable that key has already been partly turned. --EXCLUSIVE: Julian Assange on WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning, Cypherpunks, Surveillance State
    - - - and now we continue with this trend in Europe:
    Criminalizing public meetings, expanding police powers and weaponry, and applying anti-terrorist measures to street protests: it sounds like Spain in the Franco years, but all of these measures have been proposed in Spain in just the last couple of weeks. Far from being a throwback to the years of dictatorship, these repressive developments go hand in hand with the current economic crisis. ...between the brutal austerity measures implemented already a year or two ago by the government in Madrid and the increasing signs of shakiness from more stable EU countries such as France, Spain is, if anything, ahead of the curve.... In Barcelona, Austerity With an Iron Fist
    And here are some insights into how and why that happens - - -
    The abuse of buying and selling votes crept in and money began to play an important part in determining elections. Later on, this process of corruption spread to the law courts. And then to the army, and finally the Republic was subjected to the rule of emperors. --Plutarch (46 A.D.-127 A.D.) Historian of the Roman Republic 109_clip15
    Most police states, surprisingly, come about through the democratic process with majority support. During a crisis, the rights of individuals and the minority are more easily trampled, which is more likely to condition a nation to become a police state than a military coup. Is America a Police State?, Congressman Ron Paul, U.S. House of Representatives, June 27, 2002
    Lucas' own geopolitics can sound pretty bleak: "All democracies turn into dictatorships -- but not by coup. The people give their democracy to a dictator, whether it's Julius Caesar or Napoleon or Adolf Hitler. Ultimately, the general population goes along with the idea ... " --filmmaker George Lucas, Dark Victory from time.com
    So, Will, this is my real concern with today's economic upheavals and the fiat/paper currencies and debt that underlies them.

    A very large part of this battle is fought in the media, especially the new media, and I know you're doing your part there. I'm afraid it may be too late, but all that's necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Besides, otherwise, how would I spend my free time?

    Health, happy new year, and stable currencies,
    L., Tuesday, January 1, 2013 8:16 PM

    P.S. Assuming the human race ducks the dictatorship bullet, there's a real existential question laying in wait up ahead too. There are now sensors that make it possible for "picking machines" to replace even itenerant farm workers for example. "Lights out" manufacturing -- plants that operate without human personell (except to fix the machines when necessary) -- are up and running. And the numbers of those are increasing faster every year. They even do warehousing now. Google has those cars that drive themselves, now licensed in Nevada and California.

    The question will rapidly become, "What can humans do better than machines?" Paradoxically, the easiest thing for the machines to replace is IT, Information Technology -- loosely "thinking." The computer (Watson) now beats us even at Jeapordy. And not just us, the best we have to offer.

    Ray Kurzweil suggests we will combine with machines and calls it "The Singularity." Yes? I don't know, but the dude is hard to dismiss. 
     
     
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  6. Hi Will!

    You're right, the excess CO² from unburying all that "old" buried carbon from coal, petroleum, and natural gas will almost certainly cause problems. Fracking makes it possible to get to more of that "old" carbon and do it cheaper. Which makes things much worse.

    The U.S. now has more available energy reserves than Saudi Arabia and is projected by the IMF to be "energy independent" by 2020 as a result. The positive is no more "we have to mess with the middle east to protect 'our' oil" excuse for interventions.

    But the success of "fracking" causes another problem: None of the previously projected supply shortages will drive up the price of fossil fuels and thus make non-polluting alternatives like wind and solar economically competitive. In fact, now clearly the opposite.

    Even before the proliferation of fracking, Al Gore's confessions revealed the futility of establishment thinking if anthropogenic climate change is real and related to carbon dioxide:
    The outer boundary of what we currently believe to be feasible is still far short of what we actually must do. --Al Gore on global warming from his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech
    If Mr. Gore is right, "What we actually must do" is indeed WELL beyond "The outer boundary of what we currently believe to be feasible." Even then, that was an estimated 80% reduction in "greenhouse gases" by 2050. That was five years ago -- before fracking became big news and China grew to be the second biggest economy in the world. And emissions have gone up not down.

    Further, remember, the standard establishment emission reduction ideas would hurt the poor a lot. No cars, no polluting electric generating plants etc. -- which means no industrialization, no efficient jobs, no increase in living standards, etc. In fact, a reduction in all of the above for everyone in the world. Especially the poor.

    Eventually, even with fracking, etc. alternatives like solar will likely take over gradually. But in the mean time, if human-caused climate change is real -- then taking Al Gore at his word -- more than conservaton, MUCH more, would be necessary.

    The problem is, all that unburied old carbon. But suppose there was a way to recycle the carbon (CO²) that's already in the atmosphere. And there is - - - Ethanol as alternative fuel is the "un-killer app" because it puts no NEW carbon dioxide into the atmosphere -- it just recycles what's already there. But the way the establishment is doing it has a BIG downside. It drives up the cost of food.

    So, as a Pritchard column shows, ethanol can't be done the way the politicians want to do it without starving a lot of people.

    But there's an alternative to the government ethanol "elephant" (mouse built to gvt. specs)."

    Check out Blume's web site, Alcohol Can Be a Gas.

    And, if you like what you see, you can get his book here: http://www.permaculture.com/node/277

    Health, happiness & long life,
    L. Reichard

    P.S. I have no economic interest in Mr. Blume or his enterprises.




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  7. Hi Will!
    "So you've stopped arguing against the very existence of global warming, and stopped claiming that its an unproven hypothesis put forward by grant-seeking scientists based on unreliable computer models and seized on by politicians who want to control our lives?" --Will
    SYNOPSIS:
     
    1. FWIW, recent developments suggest anthgopogenic global warming is more of a live hypothesis than I previously thought

    2. At some point, "excess" CO² will have effects, though not necessarily all bad at first. 

    3. Partly because fracking will slow or even reverse the price increases of petroleum products and natgas, the evolution and replacement of fossil fuels by economically viable non-carbon-releasing alternatives (wind, solar, geothermal, etc.) will almost certainly be slowed. 

    4. Establishment thinking and solutions are inadequate according to their own standards and are politically infeasible. AND, if implemented, these measures will likely lead to millions of excess deaths, mostly from among the very old, very young and the disadvantaged, not to mention seriously degraded life-styles for nearly everyone except the seriously rich. 

    5. There's at least one transition technology that doesn't release additional "old" buried carbon (from coal, petroleum, and natgas still in the ground.) That's alcohol, but not Uncle's politicized inefficient program using corn as the substrate. 

    6. If even the more moderate climate projections are correct (which is not certain), much more than the establishment fixes -- and conversion to alcohol -- will be necessary. In the mean time, key governments have back-burnered even these inadequate measures

    7. This all implies the need for grass-roots "people's" movements to take on the problem. 

    Maybe you remember this post from Wednesday, August 15, 2012, "Global Warming segment that may tip me over the edge - - -,"
    --Climate Skeptic, Koch-Funded Scientist Richard Muller Admits Global Warming Real & Humans the Cause http://www.democracynow.org/2012/8/2/climate_skeptic_koch_funded_scientist_richard
    It's worth a look. The thing about it that got my attention was the careful way scientist Richard Muller presented his conclusions and the open way he made the new information he based his hypothesis on available. Further, Muller's approach is primarily based on empirical data rather than computer simulations.
    "So you've stopped arguing against the very existence of global warming, and stopped claiming that its an unproven hypothesis put forward by grant-seeking scientists based on unreliable computer models and seized on by politicians who want to control our lives?" --Will
    Well, not quite, but close enough for government work. The issue became so politicized, careful scientific language and unbiased procedure -- like that used by Mr. Muller -- got swamped by much more emotionally satisfying but scientifically untenable certainties -- on both sides -- often put forward by grant-seeking scientists based on unreliable computer models and seized on by politicians who don't know their asses from a hole-in-the-ground. And who would reflexively force a one-size-fits-all gambler's-ruin-risking  "solution" on everyone in the world. 

    So rather than planning and taking action as individuals and small groups, everyone's waiting around for politicians -- who largely don't know their asses from a hole-in-the-ground.
    And now, for better or worse, correctly or incorrectly, these politicians have pretty much flushed the issues down the crapper.
    "I'm nearly certain that the argument which says: "steps to slow global warming will hurt the poor" was one of those arguments promoted by the corporate-funded denialist industry in an effort to confound the liberal do-gooders." --Will
    I wouldn't be a bit surprised. But it's still absolutely clear that it's correct, even if the Devil himself made the argument.
    I think there is merit to the argument that slower rates of growth in fossil fuels will slow economic growth and thus slow the march of some people out of poverty... --Will
    Ironically Kyoto and the follow-up agreements now get mostly lip-service and not much else, particularly and most notably from the U.S. and China. Thus there is not likely to be a significant slow-down in the use of carbon-based fuels or in the release of increasing and record amounts of buried carbon for some time. Quite the contrary in fact. (Note that alcohol is ALSO a carbon-based fuel, but releases no new carbon into the atmosphere -- since, via live plants, it uses what's already there. And most cars built after about 2000 can be relatively easily and cheaply adapted to use it.) 

    Duck & cover,
    L. Reichard 


    P.S. The world needs a grass-roots "Occupy Wall Street," "Tea Party" "people's" type movement -- probably involving alcohol as well as voluntary conversions to other alternatives. How about it Will? A worthy project?


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  8. Hi Josh!

    OK. Game over I guess.

    But to tie up a couple of loose ends, here's the source of the data for the 1,318% debt to GDP ratio. It's semi-famed econ prof. Lawrence Kotlikoff via NPR - - -
    "If you add up all the promises that have been made for spending obligations, including defense expenditures, and you subtract all the taxes that we expect to collect, the difference is $211 trillion. That's the fiscal gap," he says. "That's our true indebtedness A National Debt Of $14 Trillion? Try $211 Trillion : NPR

    Duck & cover,
    L. Reichard

    P.S. Interest has nothing to do with it. And there are quite a few possible fixes. Mass euthanasia for example. Or Soylent Green. Death lists. Also Logan's Run - - -


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  9. Hi Josh!
    "But seriously, in your state cosmology, what's the proper amount your ideal government should cost the average citizen?" --L. Reichard
    "At least, there is some bottom line that must be reached that propels a country into the ranks of developed nations. Without some structure, and those structures require taxes, it has never happened." --Josh

    Your answer was better than I'd hoped. That gives us something to work with!

    And of course, you're wrong about that never having happened -- or even that joining the ranks of so-called "developed nations" is necessarily desirable -- but, just for the sake of argument, we can neglect all that history up through The Peace of Westphalia in 1648 and beyond when there were no functioning territorial states, black markets of today, and the fact that, as Neal Wright observed, "It's only been a little more than 100 years since most people lived their entire lives without any contact with -- or need of -- government." 100 years ago, most of the Industrial Revolution was already a long accomplished fact. And all but the tail end of the Second Industrial Revolution too. And this was all accomplished in the U.S. before passage of the so-called "personal income tax" in the U.S. in 1913.  

    We can also skip the "correlation-does-not-imply-causation" argument: We agree there is a correlation between governments and progress. It's just about which was the cause and which the effect that we differ.

    So here's what we can work with:

    We at ABAH, after over a month of quibbling, arrived at seven essential services that, it's claimed, can only be delivered by governments, and, (all quibbles aside for now) benefit the average citizen.

    1. Roads
    2. Post Office
    3. Monetary units
    4. Universal schooling
    5. Police
    6. Courts
    7. Armed Forces

    We could point out that governments can't even run toll roads (1.) efficiently and so are selling and otherwise privatizing them, that the Post Office (2.) is going broke and UPS & FEDEX offer better service, that as "we" approach The Fiscal Cliff, the provided monetary units (3.) have at least one foot on a banana peel (Egan-Jones just downgraded Treasuries again and the FED now buys over 70% of them), that "universal schooling" (4.) only produces about 52% functional literacy, that the Police (5.) create at least 67% of the crimes against property and a large percentage of other crimes by enforcing idiotic drug laws (and so "we" have by far the largest prison population in history), that the courts (6.) have been completely corrupted by corporate interests so now corporations have more rights and pay fewer taxes than "we the people" and can legally spend unlimited money to buy elections, and that the armed forces (7.) are being used daily against international law to unconstitutionally murder innocent men, women and children in foreign lands, creating legions of Americans with life-long PTSD. AND creating enemies for not only our kids, but for our grand kids and the yet unborn. And governments in general have killed 260 million men, women and children in the 20th Century alone -- and are regularly increasing the total.

    But forget these inconsequential quibbles.

    The issue we can work with is that these seven "essential" services cost the average person living in the U.S. at least 43% of their cost of living, nearly twice the cost of their second biggest expense, housing. Now call me miserly, but I don't think these seven services warrant the 43% of peoples' cost-of-living this basket of government-provided services costs -- even if they were provided well.

    I suppose we could also quibble that despite the 43% cost of living hit, Uncle has also run up an official $16 trillion "national" debt and additional unfunded liabilities of ~$120 trillion (about $1,190,000 per taxpayer) to be paid by our kids, grand kids and the yet unborn. But all these trivial quibbles aside, Josh, how much should government, providing these seven "essential" services, cost the average resident to get the optimum balance between government and prosperity?

    Patiently awaiting your answer,
    Rick

    P.S. In the mean time, perhaps some folks might want to explore Joseph Sobran and how he went from hard-core consevative to become The Reluctant Anarchist.



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  10. Milgram was a Yale University psychologist and researcher who characterized some rather disturbing things about "human nature." Purported Nazi atrocities are well known for example -- prison camps at Belsen, Auschwitz, Dachau, etc. to index a few to your memory banks. [1]

    But what about the people who actually ran these camps, carried out the atrocities? At the Nuremberg trials which put some of them on the witness stand, a consistent theme emerged: "I was just following orders." In fact, this "I was just following orders" refrain became known as "The Nuremberg Defense."

    Were these Nuremberg Nazis just a few morally deficient folks who, like scum in a septic tank, rose to the top? Milgram wanted to find out. He devised some tests to give to the general population to see how widely spread such "just following orders" behavior was -- and just how far the average person would go. Would they, like the Nazis on trial in Nuremberg, carry out orders that would kill another human being if so commanded -- by an "Authority?"
    This is how the experiment worked. You are taken into a room and met by a 31 year old biology teacher, the experimenter. The other person in the room is a 47 year old accountant who is mild mannered and likable.
    The experimenter tells you that he is interested in learning about the effects of punishment on learning. It is decided by drawing lots that the accountant will be the learner and you will be the teacher. You go into a room where the learner is strapped into an "electric chair" and an electrode is strapped to his wrist. Electrode paste is applied to his wrist to avoid burns and blisters. You are told that the electrode is connected to a nearby shock generator.
    You go into another room, which has the shock generator unit in it. It has 30 lever switches, each labeled with a voltage between 15 and 450 volts. Groups of four switches of increasing voltage are labeled Slight Shock, moderate Shock, Strong Shock, very Strong Shock, Intense Shock, extreme Intensity Shock, and DANGER: Severe Shock. The final two levers are simply marked XXX.
    You are told to administer a shock to the learner each time he answers wrong and to move one level higher each time.
    As the learning tasks proceeds, the learner would make a number of mistakes and receive more intense shocks. After receiving shocks of 75, 90 and 105 volts, he would merely grunt. At 120 volts he would yell to the experimenter that the shocks were becoming painful. At 150 volts he would yell 'Get me out of here ! I won't be in this experiment anymore! I refuse to go on!" At 180 volts he yells "I can't stand the pain", and at 270 volts his response becomes a scream. Thereafter, there are screams of agony, and a vehement refusal to go on with the experiment or provide answers to questions. When the 300 volt shock is reached, he pounds on the wall. If you, the "teacher", say at any point that you don't want to continue the experiment, the experimenter calmly informs you that you must. -Description from THE AMERICAN HALLUCINATION by Stephen Ames as posted by Nicole Terry, Tuesday June 26, 2001, 1:07PM

    Of course, the 47 year old mild-mannered accountant wasn't really an accountant and he wasn't actually connected to the shock generator either. He was an actor good at feigning electrocution. And you were the subject.

    Guess what percentage of subjects went all the way to 450 volts. What was the maximum voltage ALL subjects would administer? What voltage would you administer before refusing to go on? Check here: [2]

    Milgram carried out his experiments on Americans beginning in 1961. [3] His results have been duplicated in many countries around the world including Australia, South Africa, and Europe. You can find detailed descriptions on the internet of how the experiments were done, including actual tape recordings of some sessions. [4] The experiments themselves were quite interesting, but it's the results we're most concerned with. The following synopsis contains clues to our next topic. Can you find them?

    ...the upshot is that six out of every ten human beings will kill you [5] if told to do so by a person they perceive as being in authority over them. They may have a great many qualms about it, and exhibit a tremendous inner resistance to it -the traumatizing effects on the participants was the excuse given for declaring such experiments "unethical" by the psychological community- but six out of ten will still do it, and so there is really little need to "wonder" about the Nazis or the Soviets any longer. --Hank Parnell, Forbidden Fruits of the Tree of Knowledge

    Notes:

    [1] And related, unfortunately, United States Government abuse of Iraqi prisoners in Iraq's infamous Abu Ghraib prison is currently (2004 A.D.) in the news. return

    [2] Sixty percent of the "teachers" obeyed orders to punish the learner to the very end of the 450-volt scale! No subject stopped before reaching 300 volts!  return

    [3] Milgram's work can be found in the Journal of Abnormal and Social psychology, 67, 371-378 (1963) and in a book he authored, ^^w$"Obedience to Authority" originally published by Harper and Row (1974). Also a 1983 version is available in paperback. return

    [4] A lot of material can also be found on the internet by searching for "Stanley Milgram." As of August 31, 2002, a good description of how the experiments were done, including a sketch of the experimental set-up, can be found at The Milgram Experiment: A Lesson in Deparvity return

    [5] It's quite relevant here that, although you've met the "student" you think you're shocking, he is still a relative stranger to you. Would Milgram's subjects react the same way if they believed they were shocking a friend or clique member instead? return


    C:\USR\WP_DOCS\TROLLEY\TRIBES~1\WK\sm_Stanl.WK [pretty much directly from the text Thursday, November 01, 2012 10:59 AM]


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