Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Paypal Apparently Suffering from NSA Letters

Paypal has updated their policies.  One of the changes that struck me explains:

PayPal will give notice of a hold, Reserve, or limitation it makes to comply with a court order or other legal process, unless the court order or other process directs that PayPal not provide you notice, in which case the court order or other process supersedes any notice obligation PayPal has undertaken or agreed to under the terms of this Agreement. PayPal has no obligation to contest or appeal from any such order or process.

I added the bold and the hyperlink to the section about Paypal being directed not to provide notice to those affected.  Paypal has decided not to defy the government when the government chooses to give unconstitutional commands.  Paypal is not a conscientious objector to the depravity of the state.  It's sad.  Who will stand up to this gross thug we call the US Government if not a company founded by one of the winner's of Libertopia's Sovereign Awards in 2010, Peter Thiel?

I just withdrew all the money I had there.  I recommend that course to everyone else.  I've also resisted getting their Credit Card, even when they offered me money to take it.  I recommend that course too.  Oh- unless you love the parasite and are willing to continue being its host.  If that is your disposition, then you should put all your money in the bank, whether it's Paypal or some other institution.  And make sure you pay your taxes!  Pay a little extra just to make sure you can't be blamed when the country goes broke.  Oh wait, it already did.  Well then, when government workers riot because they haven't been paid for too long.  And don't forget to vote!

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Physical Education Brainwashing

[Note, in this article, I misuse the word "authority", which is why it links to an explanation.]
My daughter asked me for a note to get out of PE this morning.  She later explained that her P.E. teacher does trust her decision about whether or not to participate, but if she doesn't have a note, she doesn't get as many points.  In other words, part of the grade in P.E. comes from giving away the responsibility about what you do with your body to your parents, or to the teacher, who is then expected to control whether or not you participate, based on your input.

So I wrote her a note.  She has it, but I don't know if she'll use it.  It said something like this:

    My daughter should be trusted with the decision whether or not to participate in P.E.  She asked me to write this note because her ankle hurts.  Her request not to participate should be honored regardless of any notes from her parents.  It's an important part of growing up.
    Thanks, Dave Scotese
She read the note and I asked her what she thought of it.  She ignored my question, so I asked again, and this time she mumbled something.  "What?" I asked.  "I hate when you do that," she said.  She lost her appetite; she was going to eat a yogurt for breakfast but no longer wanted it.  This only puzzles me a little bit. 

I think the reason is that her teachers and parents are supposed to be on the same page, and here they are disagreeing.  They disagree about whether or not she should hold the sole responsibility about participating in a program designed (supposedly) to keep her fit.  The "normal" course of things is that the parents acquiesce to whatever the teachers decide, and the teachers decide whatever their bosses tell them to decide, and thus, the power rests at the top of the authority structure.  Kids get used to normal, and when things go otherwise, they become uncomfortable.  For the thugs in charge, this is a great setup because once people leave school, they have been conditioned to leave the important decisions in their lives up to the authorities, and stick with the status quo.

What effect does this have on the people themselves?  Well, just look around.  Economies grow because of the entrepreneurial spirit.  Entitlements grow because of political pandering.  Perhaps it is a stretch to claim that the P.E. programs in public schools are designed to keep the ruling class firmly entrenched by thwarting competition (the entrepreneurial spirit) and making people dependent on them through entitlement growth.

So I make a different claim: P.E programs like this are teaching kids who are just getting old enough to start being responsible for themselves that "they get more points" by appealing to their primary authority figures.  I claim that this lesson is bad for society.  I claim it because I believe (and have experience to back it up) that the vast majority of human beings are good and wish each other well, and thus, that ignoring authorities and making decisions without respect to or for them is one of the important trends that will support human progress.  We need more entrepreneurs and fewer entitlements.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My First City Council Meeting Speech

Sometimes we have stupid laws.  Does anyone here have a good strategy to deal with them?

The primary function of the independent juror is not to dispense or condone punishment, but rather to PROTECT fellow citizens from tyrannical abuses of power by government.

Another way to put it is that sometimes we have stupid laws, and it's up to the jury to say so.  Check out fija.org for more information.

There are laws prohibiting risky behavior.  These laws replace the natural consequences of risky behavior (both good and bad) with expensive artificial consequences.  In this way, all adults, foolish and wise alike, are prevented from taking risks. They are prevented - at significant cost to: everyone.  They are also prevented from gaining first-hand experience (both good and bad), and that, perhaps, is the greatest cost.

For example, gun control laws hinder good and brave citizens who might otherwise put down people like James Holmes and that idiot in Oak Creek before they do so much killing or simply make their plans too risky to start in the first place.  Laws against the use of marijuana prevent this cheap and abundant medicinal plant from providing relief to multitudes.  Laws requiring the payment of taxes fund horrendous wars and encourage presidents to lie about them.  And don't forget that prohibiting a behavior prevents law-abiding citizens from discovering the results on their own, and that, perhaps, is the greatest cost.

All of these bad effects of legislation can be decreased by jurors who understand their proper role. I urge the city council to help all Murrietans become fully informed, perhaps by providing a link to fija.org on the city council website, and lobbying the county to do the same.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

State law and parenting – Another aura of moral legitimacy

According to the LA Times, the law says, "If a parent caused a child's death through abuse or neglect, then the other children in that parent's care can be made court dependents, and child welfare workers can remove them from their home." In other words, if you screw up once in a big enough way, then the state will come along and isolate you from those who care most about you. The LA Times says it sounds logical, at first: "… if government ever is justified in taking children from their parents, that's when it should be done."  Read More...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Developing Human versus Computer Languages

While human language is used to entertain, inform, and manipulate, computer languages are used only to control the behavior of machines. With human language, both sender and receiver are humans, but computer languages are received only by machines. No one has any control over how human language is able to produce these effects, but for computer languages, there is always a controlling authority that specifies exactly how the language controls the machine.  Read More

Thursday, July 5, 2012

My Interview with Ernest Dempsey

Ernest Dempsey — Dave Scotese, founder of the online literary community Litmocracy, is a brain at work – whether online or offline.  Dave is a software consultant whose interest borders on the language of advanced gadgets, philosophical matters, and the human situation in the broader context. Above all, Dave is a critic gifted with the faculty of looking beyond the obvious. No wonder then that a question I recently happened to ask him led us into talking about power and subordination. Dave pointed to Tolkien's popular fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings in which the bearer of the ring is influenced by its immense power, compelling him to venture into dangerous situations. What parallels we find in our lives with the motifs of slavery, possession, and power are the central element of the following discussion with Dave Scotese. Read More...

Taxpayers' say in Space Research

With each annual budget announcement for NASA's research and exploration, a question asked numerous times already starts crossing one's observation: what exactly is the real worth of all this space exploration to the life of an average American? And this question is tied to the pocket of an average American citizen since his/her tax goes into funding the projects and enterprises that venture into the vastness of space. NASA has a pretty colossal budget—$17.7 billion, according to this document. For what is it mainly used? Like all entities governed by committees, Read More...

Introduction to Voluntaryism

Voluntaryism is a purposeful misspelling of volunteerism or voluntarism (take your pick) because it is not founded on providing services for free. Instead, it's founded on the non-aggression principle. More precisely, it's founded on the idea of never threatening to violate another person's rights. That makes it sound very common, and I believe it is, but threats of right-violation can be hidden. For example a tax is a state demand for property, and if it weren't backed by the threat of violation of property (seizure) or movement (incarceration), then it wouldn't be a tax. Sadly, most people accept taxation while also remaining largely voluntaryist otherwise. I believe this duplicity has been a core reason for human suffering for many centuries.  Read More...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tyrannical Thugs

Dear Congressman,

Please examine the following piece of legislation:

U.S. Code § 486. Uttering coins of gold, silver or other metal
Whoever, except as authorized by law, makes or utters or passes, or attempts to utter or pass, any coins of gold or silver or other metal, or alloys of metals, intended for use as current money, whether in the resemblance of coins of the United States or of foreign countries, or of original design, shall be fined under this title [1] or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

What is the point of this law?  Go ahead, try to explain it.  If you think you've got it, and you think it makes sense, you ought to go back to the encyclopedia and look up "lawful money".  Here it is in the same body of law:

§ 411. Issuance to reserve banks; nature of obligation; redemption
Federal reserve notes, to be issued at the discretion of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for the purpose of making advances to Federal reserve banks through the Federal reserve agents as hereinafter set forth and for no other purpose, are authorized. The said notes shall be obligations of the United States and shall be receivable by all national and member banks and Federal reserve banks and for all taxes, customs, and other public dues. They shall be redeemed in lawful money on demand at the Treasury Department of the United States, in the city of Washington, District of Columbia, or at any Federal Reserve bank.

I think you already know that the Treasury doesn't actually redeem Federal reserve notes for "lawful money" as the law requires.  Why bother enforcing § 486 against legitimate businessmen like Bernard von Nothaus, while not bothering to enforce § 411 against one of the most important government agencies?

Would you people PLEASE get off your asses and fix this problem IMMEDIATELY.  You are in danger of being recognized as tyrannical thugs when you pick and choose which laws to enforce, and the victim is a private citizen and the benefactor is a government agency.