Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Another Crack At Explaining Bitcoin II

You might do something for me because I agree to return the favor some day, right?  Suppose that there are a bunch of people doing things for others and expecting the favor to be returned in the future.  You might end up doing a lot of stuff for other people and so you will be owed lots of favors.  Not likely though, right, because it would be too hard to keep track of all those people who owe you a favor?

Suppose a group calling themselves "the miners" keeps track of all these earned-but-not-used favors.  Their tracking system allows you to collect a favor from someone who doesn't owe you one because they owe person A, who owes person B, who owes person C, who owes... who owes person Z, who owes you.  So when you collect a favor from that person, it cancels all the favors between person A and person Z.  That would be a pretty cool tracking system, right?

The miners compete with each other to protect the data they are tracking.  Every now and then, one of them finds a way to improve the protection of the data.  Basically, he or she makes it more difficult for anyone to mess with the database of who owes who a favor.  So perhaps it would make sense for everyone doing favors (and relying on the miners' work to keep track of them) to consider what the miner did to be a favor for which we all owe him.  This scheme enables anyone who wants to play to do favors for others without worrying that they'll never get paid back, because they can get paid back by anyone who owes a favor.

If you're smart, you're thinking this will never work because you might ask someone who owes a favor to do it for you, and they might refuse.  Quite right!  And you worry that everyone you ask might refuse.  These are good points and need to be addressed.  We address them by requiring that people do favors FIRST, before they are owed favors, and they will get credits for doing those favors.  But where do the credits come from?

Remember the miners who protect all the data about who owes whom a favor?  Well, now they can instead keep track of who has earned a credit.  Remember we agreed that they get credit each time they make it more difficult for anyone to mess with the data they're tracking?  The miners are the first people to get these credits - they do the first favors for everyone who will eventually benefit from this system.

As long as those miners do a good job of protecting this credit data and tracking who transfers credits to whom, we can continue paying them in credits.  As a matter of fact, this is exactly what bitcoin is.  We've implicitly agreed that after 210,000 successful attempts to make messing with the data more difficult, the credit for a miner who does it will be cut in half.  A bitcoin is one fiftieth of the initial credit, and today, miners only earn half a credit, or 25 bitcoins.

We All Know He's Naked

The little boy's father finished laughing and spoke to his son:
"Son, can I ask you a question?"
"Sure, dad."
"In school they teach you to always obey the law, right?"
"I don't know."
"Ok.  Did you know that there is a law against walking on the Emperor's grass?"
"Yes, papa."
"Have you seen anyone walk on it?"
"No."
"That's because the grass belongs to the Emperor and we respect his property."
"Yeah, I know.  But it's illegal besides."
"Right, but what about buying the gypsies' wine?  Did you know that's illegal too?"
"But dad, you buy the gypsies' wine."
"Exactly.  There's nothing immoral about buying their wine.  It's dangerous, because if the emperor's men catch you, you might get punished.  More likely, though, you'll be able to appease them by giving them a bottle or two."
"Dad, you're confusing me.  I thought you said it's illegal."
"Oh, I did.  It is illegal, but it's not immoral.  Some things that are illegal are not immoral.  Does that seem odd?"
"But my teacher says that we have to obey the law."
The boy's father beamed at him.
The little boy giggled a little, remembering his father's first question.  "I see what you mean, dad."
"The thing is, the Emperor gets a lot of money, and he uses it to hurt people when they do things he doesn't like.  He makes up the laws to control us and he really wants people to follow them.  He forgot to make up a law forbidding people to laugh at him, so when you pointed out that he's naked, everybody was comfortable laughing."
"But why was everyone pretending that he had clothes on?"
"That's a good question.  Let's see... I was pretending just because everyone else was.  I think it's because we all know the Emperor can be mean.  If you were a bit older, his guards might have taken you away for saying what you said."

What's a Cop to Do?

I think there are a lot of good people who have chosen to be LEOs.  I suspect that many of them turn into unfortunate people they wouldn't have wanted to become if they knew beforehand.  Some of the unfortunate realize they have changed and they work to figure out what to do about it.  Others are left unaware of the damage and they suffer without knowing why.  I'd like to see everyone who cared enough to read this post work on helping these unfortunate and unaware LEOs figure out that they've changed so that they can start working on what to do about it.

I imagine that some LEOs can honestly say that the job hasn't changed them into someone they didn't want to be, though I worry that this is a relatively small group.  I also worry that some of them always wanted to be bullies with a license to kill - what many call "bad cops."

What troubles me most is that the job does seem to damage the good in those who take it.  This is, of course, a natural side-effect of being paid to enforce stupid laws.  The job is also generally accepted by the public as necessary.  The tiny portion of human beings who view others as animals to be used (instead of fellow humans) rely quite heavily on the brutality sometimes necessary to make other humans behave however they want them to behave.  Is there any way we can help LEOs watch out for such psychopaths and avoid helping them achieve their goals?

For example, how do we get police officers to respect the natural rights of growers of marijuana, prostitutes, people not wearing seat-belts, speeding, selling loosies, driving without a license plate (or a license), selling cocaine, jay-walking, or feeding the homeless, and instead concentrate their efforts against thieves, rapists, and murderers?  At least until tax revenue dries up so much that many government managers will be relieved to reduce the size of their enforcement troops, this is the only way we can find peace.

A friend of mine quit his LEO job, and his department had a policy of trying to get compliance without violating natural rights.  That is a step in the right direction.  However, his department still required the violence if compliance was impossible without it, and so it was too few steps in the right direction, and my friend quit.  I worry that his position was taken by a lower quality individual, and that is my dilemma when seeking to help LEOs deal with the contention between being a good person and being a good cop.  As far as I know, many government employees of the former USSR simply dragged their feet at work and eventually stopped bothering to show up, melting into the private sector to find honest work.  Does that seem like a viable path for current LEOs?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

What Exactly Is Reported on W2s?

W2 Forms provide the IRS with presumptive evidence that a person has earned wages as defined in title 26.  Title 26 defines "wages" in two places, section 3121 and section 3401.
26 UCS 3121 defines 26 terms:
  • (a) Wages
  • (b) Employment = by someone in US (see (e)), on a ship or plane, or for the US or someone in the US, a partnership, trust, or corp.
  • (c) Included and excluded service
  • (d) Employee
  • (e) State, United States, and citizen = DC, PR, Virg.Is.,Guam, & Am.Samoa
  • (f) American vessel and aircraft
  • (g) Agricultural labor
  • (h) American employer = The US or an instrumentality of it, a resident of the US (see (e)), a partnership 2/3 of whose partners are residents of the US (see (e)), a trust if all trustees are residents of the US (see(e)), or a corporation organized under the laws of the US, DC, PR, the Virgin Islands, Guam, or American Smoa.
  • (i) Computation of wages in certain cases
  • (j) Covered transportation service
  • (l) Agreements entered into by American employers with respect to foreign affiliates
  • (m) Service in the uniformed services
  • (n) Member of a uniformed service
  • (o) Crew leader
  • (p) Peace Corps volunteer service
  • (q) Tips included for both employee and employer taxes
  • (r) Election of coverage by religious orders
  • (s) Concurrent employment by two or more employers
  • (u) Application of hospital insurance tax to Federal, State, and local employment
  • (v) Treatment of certain deferred compensation and salary reduction arrangements
  • (w) Exemption of churches and qualified church-controlled organizations
  • (x) Applicable dollar threshold
  • (y) Service in the employ of international organizations by certain transferred Federal employees
  • (z) Treatment of certain foreign persons as American employers
26 USC 3401 also defines "wages" along with seven other terms:
  • (a) Wages
  • (b) Payroll period
  • (c) Employee
  • (d) Employer
  • (e) Number of withholding exemptions claimed
  • (f) Tips
  • (g) Crew leader rules to apply
  • (h) Differential wage payments to active duty members of the uniformed services
You are probably a natural person, and you probably think you owe income taxes because you earn money.  You think that the money you earn qualifies as income.  If you're wrong about that, then you don't owe income taxes, do you?  If you visit the links above, you can read through the definitions to make sure the following two statements are correct.

A natural person earns "3121 wages" (see 3121(a)) only if that natural person was remunerated for (see 3121(b)):
  1.  working in the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, or American Samoa, or
  2. working on or in connection with certain ships or planes, or
  3. working for someone or something in District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, or American Samoa
A natural person earns "3401 wages" (see 3401(a)) only if that natural person belongs to the general class (see the end of the 6th sentence of the footnote in HELVERING v. MORGAN'S INC., 293 U.S. 121 (1934)) illustrated by the following list (see 3401(c)):
an officer, employee, or elected official of the United States, DC (see 26 USC 7701(a)(10)), or any political subdivision thereof, or any agency or instrumentality of any one or more of the foregoing, or an officer of a corporation.

Please let me know of any other definitions of "wages" to which a W2 form might refer, or any legal scholar who can find an error in this analysis.

Finally, if you are aware of W2 forms that might be incorrect under this analysis, bug someone about it who can fix it until they explain it better, and please let me know!  If they can't, then stop letting the government rob you.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Tolerance and Privacy Squeezing Out Coercion

Tolerance - the thing that makes us feel it's ok to leave other people alone even when they are doing things we don't like, such as smoking, selling porn or pot or heroin, driving against a red light, carrying firearms around a mall to protect our fellow citizens, or camping in a park - is a wonderful tool for helping rid the world of coercion.
Privacy - the thing that prevents INTOLERANT people from knowing that we are doing things they don't like (see above) - is another wonderful tool for helping rid the world of coercion.
Together, these two character traits will slowly squeeze coercion out of human interactions. I'd like to field any disagreements, so air 'em if you got 'em. I also thrive on encouragement, so hit the LIKE if you want to help that way.
I heard a discussion about a new book by Carlos Morales, "Legally Kidnapped: The Case Against CPS" on "The School Sucks Podcast." I think children in abusive relationships are best helped by increasing the number of adults that interact with the abuser. The host (Brett Veinotte) and I came up with the same solution: "Would you like some help?" Let abusers know you're there. Deep down, nearly always, they know they're taking advantage of a child, and they will be better behaved knowing you're observing them. And, best of all, if the two of you do find a way that you can help, maybe the abuse will taper off and end. Human relationships, especially where one of the people involved is a voluntaryist, tend to make people into better people.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Dear NSA Spies

An open letter to the guys monitoring my Internet transmissions:

Hi guys,

I heard in episode 085 of the Peace Revolution Podcast that one of your goals is to slow things down so you have more time to analyze (and maybe control) the data flow.

I understand that my efforts to educate people about the true nature of the income tax could lead to a decrease in what you earn by doing your jobs, since the federal government will have less revenue.  I've been thinking about this.  I think you are probably good guys with an interest in helping to make the world a better place.  This is laudable, and I am glad you're out there working on this effort.

If you have time, listen to some of the podcasts put out by Peace Revolution in the past, like the Whistleblower one, or even the current episode 085.  You will probably be kind of pissed off at the system that employs you because of some of the things it does.  For example, if I remember correctly, both the CIA and the FBI have hired agents to seek out potential terrorists and encourage them to get involved in terrorist plots.  The success of these efforts is measured by increased authorization for FBI and CIA power and increases in their budgets.  Pretty sick, right?  Unbelievable, you might think.  So go research it.  See what you can find on Bill Binney, Tom Drake, Richard Grove, and others.  Sibel Edmonds is another good name - she has a website, boilingfrogspost.com.

If you haven't had the stomach for Hendrickson's site, give it another try.  He recognizes the long term damage that the US government's increased financial power is doing to the human race.  Isn't that the kind of stuff you'd rather prevent than encourage?

If none of this interests you, at least put a little more effort into analyzing what I write.  It should be pretty clear that my success will lead to the kind of world most people want.  While it's true that I am trying to starve your employer of funds, a lot of my writing and appeals are about replacing suffering with joy.  If you haven't seen it yet, I just made this my Skype status: "Tolerance and Privacy are slowly squeezing coercion out of human interaction. Think about it, encourage it, and promote it."

The idea behind that new Skype status is that coercive authorities, when they do things people don't like, are nearly always trying to alleviate a problem that their friends or employers do not wish to tolerate.  Big Pharma, for example, knows that many of its products can easily be replaced with pot.  Look into Dr. Burzynski, and see that the FDA is actually causing a lot of cancer to remain ineffectively treated with chemo while a much better treatment is available, apparently because the chemo manufacturers do not wish to tolerate competition from this individual researcher.

But it's not just pot.  Every company connected up to Washington with lobbyists enjoys the benefit of using coercion against those who would compete with it.  That is the raison d'etre of those lobbyists.  Government is coercion, essentially, and it survives as the monopoly on publicly accepted coercion, useful to those who don't see clearly enough that coercion always increases suffering, generally more than it helps.

If you would start respecting my privacy, then I could work faster.  If you join the private sector with your skills and knowledge, the liberty movement could work faster.  Leave a trail of breadcrumbs for the newbies who replace you when you leave so that they, too, can convert to the side of peace and freedom.

Thanks!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A "Concept Essay" on Cerrorism ("Care Or Ism")

Pronunciation: \ˈker-ər-ˌi-zəm\
 
"What is Cerrorism?" you ask.  Good!  I invented the word, though I see there are already some examples in use on the Internet.  It is a cross between Care and Error.  It is also a portmanteau of "economic terrorism."  When I noticed that "cerrorism" fits both of these linguistic tricks, I figured I'd have to write about it.

My friend Jeanie is supposed to write a "concept essay" and she has chosen the topic of health in the USA where information that should be available to the masses is not.  We were discussing what might be meant by this term, "concept essay" and I came up with the theory that it is an essay that describes a concept.  So I'm writing my own version even though I suggested that she write one on virtually the same concept.

Her emphasis will be on health in the USA, but mine will be on cerrorism itself.

The fundamental human condition consists of seeking joy.  I recognize two main categories in which we pursue that end.  We seek joy for ourselves primarily, but a significant part of the joy we seek comes from experiencing it vicariously.  Parents and loved ones who feel joy because of something we did cause us to feel joy too.  There is a contention between these two modes of seeking joy, for if we put too much effort into one, the dearth of the other will make us miserable.  Certainly, there are hermit-like people who need no vicarious joy, but they are rare and I choose to ignore their existence, for my good and theirs.

Many of us discover that by solving problems for others, we can create joy in them, and they will often express that joy by providing us with resources. This is the fundamental principle that underpins economic behavior: do something for others in order to receive something in return.  What we receive in return must prove useful ultimately in our own joy-seeking efforts.  If it fails to help, then the original effort to solve a problem for someone else might feel like a waste.  Or it might not.  We can still get the vicarious joy, but is it important enough?

Cerrorism is what you get when the personally experienced joy is so much more important than the vicarious joy that we work to make the problem we solve persist.  Every business that solves a problem has an obvious financial interest in the existence of the problem.  Solve the problem for good, and the business dies.  Corporate personhood institutionalizes cerrorism.

Humans in their natural state work to solve problems and set up systems that prevent those problems from recurring.  Corporate persons in their (un)natural state work to make the problems they solve persistent so that the engines of profit they build on top of those problems don't run out of work.

Doctors, often without realizing it, are pulled in the direction of prescribing medicine that treats symptoms rather than eliminating their cause.  Prescription A (involving behavioral and dietary changes) can be used for the rest of patient B's life in order to eliminate problem C, but prescription D (just a pill; D is for Drug) will reduce most of problem C's symptoms.  Since the pill manufacturer provides financial encouragement to the doctor for prescribing the pill, prescription D exerts psychological pressure on the doctor to ignore prescription A.  This is cerrorism.

The FBI has attempted to foment terrorism.  This is cerrorism.

The FDA has marketed raw milk as "dangerous" even though the effect of the microbes it contains is more generally to strengthen the human body than to weaken it.  This is cerrorism.

Government is essentially cerrorism, for it is impossible for bureaucrats to vicariously experience the joy they (could but do not) create in those who are required (by police officers) to follow their rules.

If you understand what I mean by cerrorism, perhaps you can find an existing word that has that meaning, and which some people already know.  If not, please help me spread awareness of cerrorism.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Go Discriminate!

Discrimination is an important skill that everyone should learn.  Most of us can find numerous examples of a group in which some are better than others.  The ability to identify qualities or features that tend to correlate to the value of a group member often proves remarkably valuable.

Animals serve as an excellent example.  While many animals have nice soft fur which is pleasant to stroke and pet, they fall into two classes, one of which is rather dangerous.  The domestication of cats makes them ideal pets, but bears and beavers do not make such good pets.

More useful examples are found in school, where there are many people who will tell you how to do math problems.  Some of them are young and some are old, but among both groups, you can get bad information ("Just do it this way.  I don't know why, but it works") and good information ("It works for these reasons... but you can also do it this way because...").  This leads me to a very important example.

Subjects of a government are expected to obey its laws, and such obedience requires knowledge of the law.  In many cases, enforcers of the law will permit accidental disobedience of esoteric laws, but for more common laws, ignorance will be inexcusable.  Complicated laws create a different kind of dynamic that encourages most people to imprison themselves in behavior patterns that are recognized as safe and therefore followed.  In this way, complicated laws prevent innovation, growth, and progress, and instead allow governments to grow more oppressive over time.

Taxation is a great example.  Gary North points out that "Lawyers and accountants of the super-rich find ways of avoiding payment" and also makes the ridiculous claim that "they do not subject their clients to the risk of jail."  What he means, of course, is that their handling of the law tends to be legal (and therefore escapes punishment) even though it violates the spirit of taxation, which is to steal a significant portion of everyone's earnings from them.

Some of us understand that what the lawyers and accountants can do reflects legal implications of the law as written, and that those implications hold whether or not a person has an accountant or lawyer to explain them.  This is a nuance that appears to escape Mr. North.

What Mr. North fails to do is discriminate.  Instead of discriminating between those who actually find ways of avoiding payment, and those who attempt and fail to find ways of avoiding payment, he simply tags one group as "lawyers and accountants of the super-rich" and the other as "tax protestors."  If, like me, you legally avoid paying the income tax and you aren't paying an accountant or a lawyer (never mind about being super-rich - I'm not either), then you are clear evidence of Mr. North's failure here.  If you do pay an accountant or a lawyer who fails, as Wesley Snipes' accountants (and then lawyers) did (he was super-rich, by the way - might still be!), then you are still yet another clear example of Mr. North's failure.

It is important to me that you discriminate successfully.  If more people do it, then they won't have to be rich or hire lawyers or accountants to keep Uncle Sam's hands out of their pants.  They will simply have to avoid engaging in taxable activity to earn their money, and then be patient with the IRS agents who are encouraged to keep their heads where the sun doesn't shine on this issue.  The patience is necessary because they are led to believe that everyone is liable for the tax.  If the agency had to train its agents on the details of the tax code, or only hire people who already understood it, their budget would have to be far higher, and their efficacy at maximizing revenue would be far worse.  Instead, they hire people who believe what you probably believe: Everyone has to pay.

As someone who discriminates, and who also avoids taxable activity in order to prevent the US Empire from profiting off my work (and thereby avoids contributing to its growing menace to the human race), I would like to present you with this evidence showing that discrimination is helpful and profitable.

If you would like to build up your patience and skill in dealing with very poorly trained people (who are poorly trained on purpose so that you pay more in taxes than you owe), you will enjoy reading through the stories of people who worked with IRS agents to help them understand.

Taxation isn't the only example.  The behavior of police officers is far more limited than the police officers want you to know.  Learn the limits of their behavior by googling "probable cause" and "search warrant" and "Am I being detained?"  In many cases where YOU can demand one or both of these things, the cops don't have them and will back down once they realize that you can discriminate.  The trick is to know your rights!

By the way, the racist undertones in my first paragraph are a special kick in the nuts to the nuts who decided to use the word "discriminate" when what they really meant was "generalize."  Once you start discriminating, you see that racism is a foolish application of the principle of generalization, a form of induction which is often useful, but can be dangerous in the minds of those who fail to discriminate.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Some Neologisms

I have some definitions for which I think we need new words.  If you have a better idea for a new word to fit one of these, please leave a comment.

Pugger, n.: A person who wields authority through coercion, a member of a government.  Etymology: Cross between Pig and Thug and Mugger.

Fatalink, ("fatal ink") n.: An element in a concept, idea, or story that so destroys the purity it would otherwise have that its value is opposite in nature.  Etymology: Compressed version of "fatal tincture," connoting a deadly concentrated poison buried within otherwise healthy food.

These new words were inspired by episode 308 of the SchoolSucks Podcast in which Brett talks to Tony Myers, the two of them applying the "Trivium Method" of learning anything by yourself.  The Trivium Method has three steps, the first of which is to define your terms.  If you use terms that are already in popular usage, you are in danger of falling into the traps set by those who would control you.  For example, the popular idea of "anarchy" is chaos and disorder, largely because that is how the term has been used by the public education system and the mainstream media, probably through the propaganda of puggers.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

My Bitcoin Nightmare

The Central Banks of planet Earth can print as much fiat as they need.  They can hire people to hire people to hire people to... who will run trading bots against all the largest exchanges, to buy bitcoins incessantly, but slowly in order to stay just below the kind of volume that would be noticed by anyone.  In this way, a Central Bank of Planet Earth can slowly collect bitcoin without anyone taking notice.

Consider this:  If you pay enough attention to the market, there's a good chance you'll be able to identify points at which various opportunities arise, such as: when making a large trade will move the price a lot, when a movement in price will take a long time to be reversed, if it ever gets reversed, and when creating trading patterns can precipitate such opportunities.  Who has the money to do all that?  Why, Central Banks of Planet Earth of course!

Clearly then, it seems that if you have infinite financial resources (like Central Banks do), you can mess with the price of bitcoin.  I suppose that as a market matures, the frequency and size of these opportunities will decrease, though I suppose they never disappear entirely.

However, if you have a counterfeiting machine, which is the essential definition of a Central Bank of Planet Earth, then you don't care if you will lose money.  Instead, you care that some other currency is going to replace the fiat that you produce and then you won't be able to control the people in your country.  So you spend whatever you need to spend to make the value of that new threat fall.

Whenever they've accumulated enough to have a strong effect, they can dump their bitcoins, pushing the price into a nosedive.  I know of people who do this and they aren't Central Banks of Planet Earth or even hired by them under some kind of Black Ops meant to stave off the impending demise of the world's reserve currency.  They're just currency manipulators who will get mad at me if I publish their names.  I don't mind them because at least they are honest.

So regardless of who might be doing it, when does this strategy stop working?  Or do you think it can continue forever?  I don't think it can.  In the worst case scenario, my "Nightmare Scenario," the Central Banks of Planet Earth keep doing this until they and I are the only ones left who have any bitcoin.  No one else will want it, because it will be worthless.

They would hold all of the bitcoins except for the few (thousand?  million?) I still have because I like to keep my savings equally split between gold, silver, and bitcoin.  That leaves me as the only non-coercive being that has any bitcoin, and I don't think that would be such a nightmare after all.  It apparently worked out pretty well for the early miners of bitcoin, whoever they are, and I don't think I'd mind going through that.  Bitcoin would be my own personal pre-mined cryptocurrency.

Of course, any reader who catches my drift here would join me in the group of the only non-coercive people who hold bitcoin.  The combined bitcoin savings of all the people who hold bitcoin right now is worth just under 5 billion dollars (minus whatever coins have been lost).  That's a lot to split up between us and the CBEs, but it's less than 1% of the value of the centralized corporation called Apple.  That's something to chew on.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Odd Mouse Behavior

I did several Internet searches to try to find someone else experiencing the problem described below:
"two mousepointers"
"circle square mousepointer"
"odd mouse behavior"
"trapped mousepointer"

I tried some others that I can't remember now, but I never got a description like the one I'm about to provide.  Hopefully I've described it well enough that someone who has the same trouble and does a Google search will find my post.

Sometimes, while I'm using my laptop, the mouse pointer turns kind of invisible.  It's still in the same place, and as I move it, it shows up, and I can click on things and use the mouse just like always, but if I stop moving it, it disappears.

Actually, it doesn't really disappear.  It moves to the middle of a geometric shape about one inch to the right of the left edge of my screen, and about four inches below the top edge.  The shape is sometimes a circle, sometimes, a square, and sometimes a circle that pulses with circular shading, as if it is a pond into which a pebble was dropped (but the "waves" are much faster).  So if I don't move the mouse, it sits there in the middle of that shape.

Once I start moving the mouse, its position goes back to where it was last time I was moving it, and it appears in the old position and the new places into which I move it.

This mousepointer behavior is very annoying, but only because I can't see where the mouse is unless I'm moving it.  That is the only symptom I've found.

The shape that "holds" the mousepointer while I'm not using it is generally a solid white outline with a translucent white background, sitting on top of everything else.  If I move a window in such a way as to cover the shape, the window goes "under" the shape.  I found a few hits on the Internet about a mousepointer getting stuck in a box during some kind of remote access, so I just changed my password.

I did a scan with Malware Antibytes a few days ago, which found and quarantined something, but the mouse problem still occurred after that.

If you found this post by doing a google search, please let me know what you searched for.  I'd like to add to the list of search terms that people can use to find information about this peculiar behavior.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Illegal U-Turn

I would like to make (or see made) a video with the following as a basic script.  I want the interaction to be realistic.  Ideally, people who watch the video will not realize that it was created from a script.  Hopefully, this kind of thing will start happening in real life.

--------

In a car, looking out the windshield heading toward a red left-turn arrow.  There is a cop car in the background.
There is no traffic.  The car makes a U-Turn ignoring the stoplight.  There is a siren in the background.  The car pulls to the side of the road.  The cop exits his vehicle and approaches the car, knocking on the window.  The view changes to look out the driver's window from the passenger's seat.  The Driver rolls down his window.
"Hi, How're you doing?" says the driver.
"Do you know why I pulled you over?" asks the cop.
"Uhh... Because you wanted to talk to me?"
"License and Registration, please."
"Oh, right.  Your job requires you to write me a ticket, right?"
"Yes sir.  License and Registration please."
"Right, you need my license and registration, I get it.  Like how long do I have to give it to you?"
"Excuse me?"
"I mean, are you in a rush?"
"No sir, you take as much time as you want."
"Ok, great.  You know, when I saw you behind me, I thought you wanted to get by.  Do you mind if I keep asking you questions?"
"Sir, I have a job to do.  I just need your license and registration to do it.  The law requires you to comply."
"Right, and if I don't comply, then you have to like arrest me or something, right?"
"Look sir, this doesn't have to be so complicated.  You just show me your license, and your registration, and then you'll be on your way."
"Ok, but do you mind if I ask you some more questions?"
"It's pretty simple sir.  What's the problem?"
"Well I don't want to make you worry about having to chase me or arrest me or whatever.  What's it called, 'escalation', right?"
"We don't want that now, do we?"
"Well of course not, but your job demands it, if I don't comply.  Ok, I see that I'm making you uncomfortable.   I just wanted to understand the possibilities better."
"Sir, I'm not uncomfortable at all.  If you want to sit here and talk about it for a while, that's fine with me.  I just need your license and registration."
"I understand.  But you have information I want.  Can you describe how the escalation might go if I am utterly non-compliant?"
"Trust me, sir, it's an area you don't want to know about, but you're awfully close to finding out.  Are you refusing?"
"I haven't refused and I don't intend to refuse.  I just wanted-"
"Then what's the problem?"
"I just wanted to understand what happens.  Can you walk me through it?"
"No sir, you'd have to refuse my request.  Are you refusing?"
"You said I can take all the time I want, didn't you?  So I'm using that time to understand you better."
"Sir, this isn't about me, it's about your failure to comply with the traffic laws.  If you are refusing to provide me with your license and registration, then I'll have to move on to the next stage, and neither of us wants that."
"Yeah, I think that stage dehumanizes both of us, doesn't it?"
"Is that what you want?"
"Like you said, we'd both like to avoid that.  Your method is to proceed with writing me a ticket, and my method is to have a conversation.  Maybe we'll end up doing both.  Your job requires that second stage, but only after I choose not to comply, which I probably won't- I mean, I will probably comply because I'm scared of you.  It sucks.  But I guess you have a quota or whatever, huh?"
"Sir, we don't have quotas here.  They are illegal."
"So what motivates you to stop people?"
"They break the traffic laws.  It's my job to enforce them."
"Well sure, but if they don't comply, then you have to dominate them.  Why not just avoid the whole problem... I mean, you could stop them, tell them 'Hey, you ran that light - be more careful.'  Or whatever, you know?  And then let them go.  No second stage, no domination, no feeling dehumanized for you or the other guy."
The driver continues after the cop says nothing for a few seconds.
"Doesn't it change you?  I mean, they hire you guys to dominate people, and doesn't it change how you view us?  Like we aren't equals any more, but more like enemies.  I mean, after you started giving people tickets, did you start to feel more isolated from them?"
"This isn't about me.  I'm going to need your license and registration."
"Dude, it's totally about you.  When you knocked on my window, I was like 'Whoa, this guy really hates having to dominate people.'  You didn't even wanna describe stage two.  I think you're doing it right now - trying to stop thinking of me as a fellow human being and looking at me as a ticket you need to write, some kind of pressure from your boss or whatever.  It's horrible, and I don't think it's right.  I wanna help.  I'm part of this group that's trying to improve working conditions for cops."  The driver hands the cop a business card.
The video shows a close-up of the card on which the following is written:
    POLICE OFFICER REHABILITATION PROGRAM (PORP)
    Most cops start out as great guys.
    "We have to hurt innocent people."
    "Becoming a bully makes being a cop easier."
    Both the dominator and his victim become less human.
    There's no such thing as "humane enforcement."
    The PORP video: http://...
    Please don't chase me.  I'm trying to help.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

We Allow Evil

I would like to illustrate a thesis.  My thesis is that most of us are allowing bad people to succeed in doing bad things.  Most of us agree on a few basic principles:  It's bad to strike someone without provocation.  It's bad to take something that belongs to someone else.  It's bad to step on someone else's sandwich, juice box, puppy, child, or foot.  It's bad to push someone into a cage, and then lock it so that they can't get out.  It's bad to break a promise.

Most of the things I've described as bad don't seem so bad when certain people such as authority figures do them.  For example, a parent spanking his or her child doesn't seem as bad as anyone else spanking the child.  A police officer pushing someone into a cage and then locking it doesn't seem as bad as someone who isn't a police officer doing it.

It angers me a little bit to see parent's strike their children because it teaches violence and control, rather than reason and self-control.  However, I view this problem as a side-effect of something much worse.  After all, parents love their victims most of the time, not because they can extract resources from the children, but because they enjoy the happiness that those children can feel, and they are fun to be around, and they're family.

It angers me a lot to see police officers taking advantage of this acquiescence to authority because it teaches violence and control rather than reason and self-control.  The love a police officer feels for his victim is laughable when compared to that of a parent for his or her child.  Yes, I hear your "butts".

"But it's their job to enforce the law," you think.  Let's start there.  If I hire you as an assassin, then it's your job to murder someone.  Does that make it right?  Is murder transformed into a morally sound activity by virtue of being a service rendered for payment?  Of course not.  So from where does this objection come?  I think I've got it: The enforcement of laws is what keeps society from becoming disordered.

If it were true that the order in society comes from the enforcement of laws, then I would agree with you.  I don't think it does, however.  As a personal example, I have broken many laws and not had any enforcement action taken against me and my life seems to be a bit more ordered than most.  I have had enforcement actions taken against me, and they are nearly always quite disruptive and disorderly.  I will assume that this is true for most of my readers simply because they were smart and curious enough to read this far.  However, I bet that my assumption about "other people" is different from yours.  I think it's true for most people.  If they are left to break laws willy-nilly, they find a way to have a pretty ordered life, but as soon as law enforcement starts acting against them, it becomes disorderly.

One of the best examples I can think of is the black market.  Black markets exist all over the planet, and they do so only because laws are not enforced.  They may be dangerous and even lethal, but they are orderly for the most part.  Markets that are not orderly, whether in full compliance with laws or not at all compliant, soon disappear.  There are some fundamental reasons for this, I think.  These reasons apply not only to markets, which are simply the aggregate of individual participants, but to the individuals themselves.  In fact, the operations of these reasons in individuals is what causes them to operate on the market as a whole.

When an individual either isn't aware or doesn't care that others will make him suffer for particular behaviors, it is very easy for that individual to undertake those behaviors.  If there's a law against something, a lot of people who would do it otherwise will not do it.  Their true nature is hidden by the law.  Controlling people hides them from us.  The true nature of other people is hidden from us when they are afraid to show themselves.

Additionally, if a law is enforced, then the natural consequences of the prohibited behavior are often submerged in the effects of the enforcement.  The enforcement of laws warps reality so that it is harder for people to understand it.  The learning cycle is broken.  Human beings have a natural learning cycle, constantly at work in infants.  Seemingly random behaviors are willed into existence, and they produce various effects.  The brain of an infant correlates the willed action with the effects in a constant effort to learn how willing can alter reality in a desirable direction.

Enforcement of law is generally based on pain, either financial, physical, social, or some combination of those three kinds of pain.  Pain causes fear and embeds itself in the memory as a warning against repeating whatever actions may have contributed to the pain.  Fear retards the learning cycle.  Pain causes this fear, and law enforcement causes the pain.  This is true for both manmade law and natural law.

Vertigo is an unpleasant feeling that many people feel when they perceive a great distance in a downward direction.  This mental effect is an evolved trait that protects us from the natural law of gravity.  However, there is no punishment for looking down.  The punishment comes from actually falling, and we learn to be more careful, or we become acrophobic, or both.

We also have an instinct to distinguish between pain that comes from another human and pain that comes from the natural world.  As children, we learn the word "blame" and tend to overuse it.  Hell, we keep overusing it as adults too, unless we figure some stuff out, like how blame tends to prevent us from improving ourselves to avoid pain in the future.  But when a punishment does bring us pain because another, an enforcer, whether a parent or a cop or a justice system, has decided that we ought to be punished, we know there is nothing there to learn except fear.  So we learn to fear and be controlled, and our own tendency to reason and strengthen our self-control atrophies.

I am comfortable calling that evil.  We allow it.  Well, YOU allow it, I suspect.  I tolerate it and write essays like this one to try to minimize it.  I'd like to see blame and punishment go away.  They are harmful over the long term.  They weaken people and encourage individual self discipline to atrophy.  They are demoralizing.  The introduce suffering into existence that could have been avoided.  They may prevent some suffering, but there is more joy prevented by them so that the net effect is negative.  They are evil.  Stop allowing them.  Stop engaging in them.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Sometimes You Don't Need Context.

I would like to demonstrate a few things that might be called universally helpful statements.  I suppose the demonstration is best provided by challenging the reader to find contexts in which the following points are not helpful.

Sometimes a point is made that has applicability in nearly every context.  If someone requests the context, they are accidentally providing evidence that they would like to avoid acknowledging the point being made.

A specific peculiar element of the human psyche, often called "the ego," tends to make it difficult for a person to accept a correction (no matter how obvious it is) to their understanding.

When a person senses an unease with new information, it is often because it is convincing evidence that they harbor and identify with some kind of misunderstanding that the new information can correct.

A strong awareness and preparedness to present a second reason to do something often indicates that the first reason is problematic and that, since the second reason wasn't chosen as the first, it must be even more problematic and therefore it may be advisable not to do the thing that was being considered.

Sometimes we lie by remaining silent.

Nearly all useful statements are "universally applicable" when you modify them with the adverb "sometimes."

Coercive authority is a result of the fear of being violated and does more harm than good.

Non-coercive authority is a result of recognizing helpful knowledge in another and does more good than harm.

Taking responsibility for yourself is difficult but very rewarding.

If you imagine someone in any situation saying one of these things to you, you might enjoy what your imagination does with the scenario.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Warning for the Fed and Other Large Buyers of US Government Debt

The US taxpayer who doesn't have to be a US taxpayer is waking up.  Peter Hendrickson's website, losthorizons.com, provides ample evidence that the IRS has been respecting the constitutional limits written into the law (Title 26) for those patient and aware enough to proceed through the interactions with that haggled agency that are required to avoid paying taxes for which they aren't liable, or have refunded any monies erroneously collected.

A scant portion of Americans today understand that the US Income Tax applies only to those who exercise some kind of privilege granted by the federal government in their efforts to earn money.  This small vanguard of public financial discipline has been spreading its knowledge, however, and that means a shrinking base of revenue producers for the US government.  What does this mean for you?

Propaganda over the last several decades has led you to believe that the majority of American citizens are on the hook for the money due you through your investments in US treasuries and bonds.  Contrast that with the evidence provided on Hendrickson's website both of legal research demonstrating the nature of the situation and scans of checks written by the IRS to Americans who do not exercise any federal privilege.  The recipients of these checks were charged the tax as if they had exercised such privilege, showed that they had not, and demanded that the agency return the erroneously collected money.  The agency complies with the law.  Extrapolate that across the larger portion of Americans suffering from the economic crisis and the drain it continues to have.  As more and more people realize they are not on the hook for this debt, the pool of earners will shrink well below what can sustain payments owed to you.

You may find that the greater portion of what is owed you will be paid in freshly printed currency which will hyperinflate, or that the US government will simply repudiate the debt it owes you.

Your expectations cannot be met.  You have been warned.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Missing "Frivolous" Argument

USC 26 6702(c) States:

(c) Listing of frivolous positions
The Secretary shall prescribe (and periodically revise) a list of positions which the Secretary has identified as being frivolous for purposes of this subsection. The Secretary shall not include in such list any position that the Secretary determines meets the requirement of section 6662 (d)(2)(B)(ii)(II).

This appears to be (Actually, Pete found the correct link for me, so...) Here is the "list of positions which the Secretary has identified as being frivolous," but there is one position that is missing.  It's my position, and if they would like to add it to the list, then I will have to admit that I no longer have a legal basis for refusing to support their criminal operations.  Here is my position, which I think would go under section B ("The Meaning of Income:  Taxable Income and Gross Income"):
"Taxable Income" can only mean what a person gets by exercising some kind of federal privilege, so those who exercise no such privilege are not liable for the tax.
[The following was added to this post after Mr. Hendrickson directed me to the information the IRS has provided regarding the word "privilege" in the actual list of frivolous positions.]
The closest position to mine that does appear says this:
(1) Compliance with the internal revenue laws is voluntary or optional and not required by law, including arguments that:
...(g) Only persons who have contracted with the government by applying for a governmental privilege or benefit, such as holding a Social Security number, are subject to tax, and those who have contracted with the government may choose to revoke the contract at will.
What the IRS is saying is that this is an incorrect position, and so it must be.  Let's go so far as to assume that you really do have to apply in order to gain a federal privilege, but notice the "and" that I italicized.  Why is that chunk of text compounded into this frivolous position?  Would it not cover more cases without the addition of that conjunction and the text following it?  Perhaps those who have contracted with the government may not choose to revoke the contract at will.  Perhaps the position that holds that such one-sided abdication of contractual obligation is a legal option for those exercising federal privilege (whether applied for or not) is actually frivolous.  I would assume that it's immoral, at least, to unilaterally revoke a contract, so it's no small stretch to see that arguing in favor of such revocation would be frivolous.
[End of added material.]

Thanks to Pete Hendrickson's legal research on this subject, available at his website, http://losthorizons.com, for those interested in ending their financial support for the criminal endeavors of the US federal government.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Let's Win the War on Coercive Authority

The first step in winning this war is to recognize coercive authority.  This isn't too hard to do, although it is difficult to write down a method that works.  This is because there are an infinite number of ways to coerce people.

Some people feel coerced by a person who has been helping them when that person threatens to stop helping unless ... something or other.  This is typical of young people under the care of parents - parents who are authorities.  Defeating this kind of coercive authority requires the completion of the simple and natural process of growing up.  When you don't need the help, having it taken away is not coercive.

The fact that parents wield this authority and (generally) love the children over which they exercise it is not a bad thing in itself.  It does create a relationship that can be mimicked (and is mimicked) by external authorities that only pretend to love those over which they exercise authority.  For example, people on welfare "need" the help and can therefore be controlled by the source of the help, which is the state.

An authority directs your actions, either because you respect its counsel, or because you fear its punishment.  When your behavior (or lack of behavior) comes from fear, you may be dealing with a coercive authority.  Will the punishment be looked upon as criminal by your friends and family?  If not, then you are certainly dealing with a coercive authority.  If you are a child and the authority is a parent or guardian, this may be the kind of coercive authority that will be defeated by simply growing up.  We all have to grow up, or we cannot reach our potential.

Parents also wield coercive authority that can't be solved by simply growing up.  Everyone knows about spanking and lots of people recognize that word as a euphemism for violence against children.  It is used to coerce them into behaving a certain way.  It is widely recognized as immoral.  Imprisoning children (for example in their bedroom) falls into the same class.  These are the early examples of coercive authority that teach us that it's acceptable.  Our learned acceptance of coercive authority then blossoms into the horrible state of affairs we now endure.  Most people fund state sponsored terrorism (aka war) because they are afraid of getting caged, and such imprisonment is unfortunately not recognized as violence.

If we ignore the coercive authority wielded by parents over their children, what's left is coercive authority that can only be defeated by adding the one missing ingredient: recognition that the punishment is immoral.  If we want peace and freedom, we must recognize that coercive authority is harmful, and challenge it wherever possible.

When Martin Luther King Jr. suggested that we have not only the right but also the duty to break unjust laws, he also said "One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty."  I disagree with the words "a willingness," but, since the state is always more powerful than the individual, I'd use "the endurance."  During the creation of that penalty, it is important to constantly call attention to the immorality of the law.

That's it.  Two steps, recognize coercive authority, and then call attention to the immorality of the punishments it uses to control behavior.  This is how we defeat coercive authority.  As they make more unjust laws, our opportunities to demonstrate their depravity multiply.

Lastly, I want to make this claim: For a law to be just, it must be enforced only against those who agreed to follow it.  If anyone has some decent argument against this claim, please present it.  Since I recognize the sovereignty of the individual, I don't think you need a law to get back from a criminal whatever he took from you.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I Like Endangering My Children

My children are in wheelchairs.  My wife and I taught them how to walk, and they were walking just fine, but they wanted to attend school, and you're not allowed to walk at school.   There are various reasons for the prohibition, though some (the authorities are scared of people who can walk) are not advertised.  The advertised reasons are all about keeping the kids safe.

So the kids get wheelchairs when they get to school.  That's ok with me because they can walk at home.  Except that they don't walk at home.  They are allowed to take the wheelchairs home, and they do.  The schools encourage this, again because they want to help keep the kids safe.  When I ask my kids to go for a walk with me, they decline.  I know that's pretty disturbing, but it gets a lot worse.

Since they've been sitting or lying for so long, the lower portions of their legs have become numb.  I have watched their toes get broken at school and showed them their broken toes and offered to help them get the exercise that would help them heal.  The exercise brings life back to the injured extremities, and with that life comes the pain of the injuries.  My children don't like the pain, so they have stopped the exercises.  I am distraught about this.  Any advice would be helpful.

I have already forbidden the wheelchairs in the house, so the kids have taken to crawling on their hands and knees to get to their beds at night, and out to the car in the mornings.  I told them that they should crawl at school too, as the exercise would help their feet heal so that they could walk again, but they are not allowed to crawl.  Safety concerns again.

My wife is also worried about the kids' safety, so she has been asking me not to let them crawl around the house, and telling me I should carry them to their beds when they get home from school.  I am about ready to abandon my family because my depression is beginning to ruin the lives of everyone around me.  Any advice would be helpful.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Common Core

Thanks to Marion Brady, we have an inside look at the horror called "Common Core":
I wonder if anyone else is worried about "Common Core".  I've looked at Education Policy Advisor Charlotte Thompson Iserbyt's work and multiple Teacher of the Year Award winner John Taylor Gatto's work, and it shows that an effort like Common Core is often designed to cause problems rather than solve them.

My kids' school is participating in a program designed to prevent the creative and disruptive thought that advances the goals of our species and replace it with predictable responses.  It is also designed to replace civil disobedience borne from the healthy conscience of an active mind with plain obedience.  It is designed to create adults who will follow orders regardless of their moral implications.

So why are my kids in school?  Because it's illegal to protect them from it.

If you have any contact with a truancy officer and can get him to agree to look the other way when he discovers parents who are protecting their kids from school, please let me know.  Such civil disobedience is the mark of true heroes.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Bank Revelation Act



If you click to read the letter from Union Bank (outlined in Red, on the right side) first, you will see why I am also presenting the information from ChexSystems.  My reckoning suggests that Union Bank closed my business account because I tried to open an account with First Citizens Bank.  I have sent this text and image to the branch manager at Union Bank as an offering she could use to defend her decision to open my account in the first place.

A friend of mine opened a bank account to hold some money for a down payment on a house.  PNC, his other bank, on the same day closed his account there, saying on the phone to him, "Just like you can choose to do business with any bank and open or close an account with us, we also reserve the right to do business with whoever we want to." My reckoning here also is that this closure was a response to having a competitor.

When I spoke with the branch manager at Union Bank on the phone, she was upset with me because she had "gone to bat" for me with the higher-ups, and then I went and opened an account at another bank.  She asked me why I did this and I explained that I have had banks close accounts on me without much reason.  She was at first a relief from this banking practice, but now her bank is an example of it.

For me, this story was grounds to establish a "Bank Revelation Act" enforceable by any banking customer who wishes to help other bank customers deal with the banking system as it continues to be pinioned, abused, fattened, manipulated, and domesticated by the federal reserve and the legislators helping it.  Banks can provide a good service to the communities in which they operate, but when organized parasitic humans (aka government-backed monopolies like the "Federal Reserve") infect them, they slowy turn into tools of oppression.  Both the manager of my Union Bank branch and I are now victims of this oppression.

The BRA has only one simple requirement, and that is for any interested banking customer, employee, or shareholder to publish whatever details of an unfortunate banking situation they care to publish.  I believe the Bank Secrecy Act has done tremendous damage to the economy of the United States and I'd like to see its more horrible pieces discarded or at least challenged and defeated by private citizens acting in cooperation.

There are already many examples of people following the BRA.  That is how "common law" normally gets created: people recognize value in doing things a particular way and eventually come to expect everyone to do things that way.  When such an established expectation is not met, and someone suffers because of the failure, it is common for a community to agree that the person who failed must compensate the victim.  I believe this is what is known as a "common law tort," notwithstanding the usurpation of the term "common law" by whatever authorities have happened to usurp it.

"Tort law (i.e., the law relating to private civil wrongs) is largely  common law, as opposed to statute-based law, in England, Canada, and the  United States. Several major reforms have been introduced along the same  lines in different countries. Allowing claims by dependents of persons  tortuously killed and removing the immunity of the crown or government or  charitable institutions from tort claims provide examples." -- Encyclopedia  Britannica

The BRA, however, does not support any tort claims, for the language itself indicates that the responsible party publish only what they care to publish.  This frees the growth of this practice from any reason for suppression by the governments who pretend they are the only option for adjudicating tort claims.  They will, nevertheless, do what they can to protect their pet banks from the harsh light of cooperative publishing among their victims.  I think the BSA was a prophylactic.

Literacy is Mind Control

At Tragedy and Hope (Tragedyandhope.com), Richard Grove or one of his guests pointed out that literacy is mind control unless the reader can hold a concept in his mind without believing it.

My sister just pointed out to me the importance of the difference between using evidence to persuade others that you're correct and using evidence to work with other people in an effort to find truth.  In Non-Violent Communication (NVC), this distinction is important.  When people are engaged in conversation, the attempt to persuade can be considered violent.  It is possible for a person to be persuaded to believe something that isn't true, or even convinced of it.  This, of course, requires that the persuasive speaker be presenting something false.

While most of us do not wish to present something false to those with whom we converse, we are often in error.  For this reason alone, it is advisable to avoid convincing and persuading, and instead engage others in a search for the truth.  From this perspective, the baser strategies through which we inadvertently spread confusion and falsehood will fall away.  It just doesn't make sense to use ad-hominem attacks or other logical fallacies when we're after the truth, and we honestly recognize the possibility that we don't yet have it.

NVC begins by assuming that we are all compassionate by nature and that violent strategies—whether verbal or physical—are learned behaviors taught and supported by the prevailing culture. NVC also assumes that we all share the same, basic human needs, and that each of our actions are a strategy to meet one or more of these needs.