Monday, January 25, 2010

Fighting for taxpayers

The University of California has engaged me in an effort to lobby California legislators to spend taxpayer money on higher education.  At least in my case, their plan backfired.  They created a system through which letters could be sent, along with some sample text to use.  I edited it for the cause of freedom and independence:

I write to you today as an advocate for the taxpayers of California and the United States and to encourage you to move the UC system toward independence from the state, if that is possible.  The University is requesting that $913 million be restored to its budget in order to sustain its commitment to students and families and all the residents of California, but this is money which must be taken directly out of the pockets of taxpayers in one way or another, and that kind of thing has been destroying this country bit by bit.

It is vital that the State reinvest in the taxpayers rather than the UC System which could easily survive independently by  leveraging the intelligence of its students.

UC is a powerful engine of economic growth and social advancement and will be essential in the knowledge economy of the future.  Any money spent on the University by the state of California should be viewed as a crutch that is allowing the best parts of this engine to atrophy.

I hope you appreciate the magnitude of the State's budget gap and the difficult choices you will face.  It's imperative to our long-term prosperity that you look beyond the immediate fiscal crisis and unburden taxpayers not only in CA but, as Arnold's efforts to get federal money start succeeding, across the country so they can develop new industries and spur job creation - two essential elements to our economic recovery. It's true that CA is a net exporter of tax revenue to the federal government, but that money should not be redirected to the state government, it should be sent back to the taxpayers from whom it was taken.

In addition to pushing the University to stand on its inherent strengths, I urge you to engage in serious discussions about exercising California's 10th amendment rights to nullify federal laws in the best interest of its citizens.  While I recognize that you and your colleagues in the Legislature will develop the details, I believe it is critical to establish independence from Washington DC and the IRS which are increasingly becoming tools of oppression and even slavery.

I thank you for your time and attention and appreciate your consideration of my views.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Modern Slavery

Do you think that there just aren't any powerful people who would like to have you as a slave?  You have to admit that there probably are, right?  But they don't have access to you, right?  You're just one of millions, so how could they get to you to make you a slave?

Do you think they'd let on that they're using you as a slave, if they are?  Or would they hide it?  What would be the symptoms of enslavement, and could they be masked so that even if you are a slave, you wouldn't struggle against it?  You'd do things you don't want to do because you're afraid of punishment, right?  But the agents who inflict the punishment wouldn't be slave masters.  They'd be painted to seem... legitimate, some kind of authority that you are taught to respect because they help you and protect you.

If you don't eat, you starve, and this forces you to eat.  Breathing is the same way.  Is there a slave master who forces you to eat and breathe?  In that sense, you are already a slave to biology and physics.  Does that make it ok to be a slave to other people?  What's the diffference between other people and nature?  Does nature have a choice about keeping you alive when you don't eat or you don't breathe?  Do we have any reason to believe that struggling against that enslavement would free us from having to eat and breathe?  What about other people?  If they didn't spend time punishing slaves for failing to comply with the laws of their enslavement, what would they do during that time?

I see a lot of slavery that is unintentional.  Many people spend time punishing each other for not yielding to each other's demands.  In most cases, the punisher will recognize the ugliness of his or her behavior, and work to improve it, but exploiting those creatures around you who will yield to your threats seems to be instinctual.

I see intentional and deceptive slavery too.  People in positions of power aren't all vapid thugs.  Many of them understand that spending time punishing people for not complying with their demands is a black thing to do, but they do it anyway because they feel their ugliness can be hidden well enough to maintain their happiness.  We all do that a little bit - hide our ugly choices so that people won't hate us.  Some of us try to stop making these choices, and we find the comfort of being innocent.  Even when we find ourselves punishing others for failing to comply, we retain the essence of innocence by recognizing the ugliness and trying to do better.  Others don't bother.  Which side are you on?

When the analysis of their own lives suggests that the stinking rot in their soul is not degrading their lives as much as freeing others from enslavement would, many people just leave it be.  Those in positions of power obviously have an easier time with this, especially when that bad smell is largely transferred to agents who are made to feel it is their duty to inflict punishments on those who don't comply.  This is one of the ways in which power corrupts.  Do you smell that smell yet?

Abolishing slavery is going to take more than some proclamation by a government.  The slave mentality ought to be recognized by the majority of us.  Its disgusting scent ought to be named, and each of us ought to demand freedom.  I wrote this essay in an attempt to help clear the air a bit, to give those people in power a bit more evidence that some of us know where the stench emanates from.  Perhaps they will start cleaning up their act.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hey TSA, let some planes explode.!

I know I'm heartless, but I think the fear of bankruptcy would create a much richer and more robust safety solution than the US government is capable of creating with tax revenue.  The idea is to allow airlines to decline passengers for any reason they want (can they do that now?  I don't know.)

Once this is in place, each airline that suffers a terrorist attack would bear a significant burden to stay in business.  People would blame the company for letting the nuts on the plane, rather than the nuts, who can't really be blamed because, well, they're nuts.  More importantly, people wouldn't blame whole countries or invent WMDs to justify immoral and wasteful wars against them.

We are suffering from a failure to distinguish.  Some airlines operate in a way that makes it slightly more difficult for the nuts to hurt us.  We should know which airlines they are, and, depending on how important that kind of safety is to us, their market share will adjust accordingly.  The free market is the best mechanism to calculate the portion of air-travel expense that should go toward the thwarting of terrorist attacks (as well as every other calculation of what proportion of expense should go toward what desirable outcome).