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Friday, May 2, 2008

Reader Mail #51

I liked this post on the Agitator. Police used a taser on a young man, who is expected to die from his tasering.

A taser is not a "non-lethal" method. More accurately, it is "less lethal". There will always be people who have unknown heart problems or other conditions that make a tasering risky. When police get overly taser-happy, these incidents become more commonplace.

Police should *NOT* use a taser unless they've determined it's absolutely necessary. Police should use the old-fashioned technique of physically restraining someone. A group of policeman should always be able to control someone who's unarmed. If the victim has a knife or other weapon, then a taser is justified.

I heard a really ironic story. The USA has mandated "ethanol in gas", driving up food prices. Farmers in the USA are making ethanol instead of food, causing a rise in food prices.

In turn, this has caused food prices in *OTHER* countries to rise. In Brazil, farmland is more valuable, due to higher food prices. Therefore, more rainforest is being cleared and converted to farmland, as a direct consequence of the "ethanol mandate".

I liked this post on Crash Landing, in reference to this list of quotes by Einstein.

A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?

I feel that way. Sometimes, being an agorist isolates me from everyone else. I can't tell people what I'm thinking without alienating them.

As freedomain said, dishonest people can't stand honest people. If I tell people "Taxation is theft!", then they don't want to be around me, lest they discover their own hypocrisy.

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

In many was, agorism is the *SIMPLEST* possible way to organize a society and an economy. With zero arbitrary forced rules, the free market can fix everything.

Force always attracts men of low morality.

This is the essence of the argument against having a government. You can't say "People are intrinsically evil. Therefore, government is evil." Government attracts the *MOST EVIL* people to exploit it for their own interests.

He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.

Anyone who follows orders without questioning them does not qualify as human. A policeman who blindly enforces an illegitimate law is as much a criminal as the politician who wrote that law. Perhaps, the policeman is a bigger criminal than the politician. Without the mindless policeman, the politician has no power.

I liked this post on The Freedom Symposium. It's a review of Freedomain's "Real-Time Relationships" book. That book is available for free download and is worth reading.

I liked this post on SHOW US THE INHERENT LAW, in reference to this article on shaping conventional wisdom.

"Shaping conventional wisdom" is, literally, brainwashing.

That article talks about the economic elite, but it makes no reference to the Supreme Leader of Humanity. The Supreme Leader of Humanity has intentionally picked the most incompetent and selfish people to be the "economic elite". He wants the current corrupt economic and political system to collapse.

That article linked to this article on transmarginal inhibition. Suppose a dog is trained, and then exposed to extreme stress. The dog will lose all its recent training. I think that happened to me! I was exposed to a stressful circumstance, and that sort of rebooted my brain. I was able to question all of my beliefs, and figure out what's really happening.

According to Google Analytics, someone was googling "Federal Reserve Sucks" and read 68 pages and stayed on my blog for 2 hours! My blog is the #1 search result for "Federal Reserve Sucks".

My readership totals are stagnating again. It appears that the trend for my blog is "stagnate for a few months, then a rapid doubling".

As I have a larger post archive, more and more Google searches are hitting my blog.

I liked this NY Times article, referred by Marginal Revolution. Farmers sell grain futures to hedge their production. However, increasing market uncertainty is causing farmers to get screwed over.

When grain prices rise rapidly, the farmer is hit with margin calls on his short futures hedge. If cashflow is tight, a small farmer could be forced to borrow to maintain his hedge.

Rapid inflation means that farmers are selling their crop for a sharp discount to the market value. Suppose the farmer sells a future in March, and prices rise 20%-30% by September. This means that the farmer sold his crop for only 20%-30% of the fair market value.

Many farmers have mortgages or debt. If grain prices crash, they could lose their business. This forces farmers to hedge.

Hedge funds are buying grain futures. At expiration, the price in the futures market may be greater than the grain price in the spot market. This means that the farmer cannot efficiently close out his hedge by selling his grain.

The rules of the economic system are biased against small businesses. Small farmers are being forced out of business due to a corrupt market system. When this happens, bank insiders say "Good! The financial system is functioning as designed!"

It's pointless to talk about these other issues without addressing the corrupt nature of the US monetary system. Back when the USA had a free market, the "bills of exchange" system was far superior for farmers to hedge their risk and raise capital.

I liked this post on Techdirt. The New England Patriots are trying to trademark "19-0", even though they lost a game. The NY Post is attempting to trademark "18-1".

I don't recognize intellectual property as a valid form of property.

Are trademarks property? If I made a drink called "Coca-Cola", and tried selling it, then my customers would have a valid tort claim against me for fraud, if they were legitimately confused. Does Coca-Cola have a valid claim against me?

Obviously silly trademarks like "19-0" and "three-peat" make me question the legitimacy of trademarks at all. Established brand names should be protected from fraudulent copying. Excessive trademarking of common words and phrases bothers me.

In this post on lowercase liberty, the author is looking for a definition of capitalism. This is a rare occasion where I violated my policy of "comments on other blogs are a waste of time".

I define "capitalism" as an economic system that includes an income tax, a central bank, and extensive government regulation of business. Those three things prevent a real free market from existing.

In the mainstream media, "capitalism" and "free markets" are used interchangeably. If the current economic system is "capitalism", then it's important to emphasize the distinction between "capitalism" and a free market.

The author objected to my definition of "capitalism".

The present economic system is "capitalism", so I define capitalism that way.

I'll define a "free market" as a market where nobody has a monopoly on anything. For example, the State has a monopoly on police protection. Therefore, the current system is not a free market.

The important point is that "capitalism" DOES NOT EQUAL "free market". "Capitalism" is the way things are now. "Free market" is the goal.

Another important feature of "capitalism" is State subsidies of current capital holders. There's nothing wrong with owning capital. The problem is that in "capitalism", incumbent market participants are shielded from market competition.

This post on Gilliganscorner talks about State subsidies of professional sports teams. Under a corrupt economic system, the market incumbent has a practically unassailable market position. It would be cheaper to buy out the NHL than start a competing hockey league. Frequently, a stadium is funded by the State, via taxes. This forces everyone to fund a sports franchise, against their will.

In the USA, there's a special tax loophole for municipal bonds. The interest is Federal income tax exempt, and so the interest charged is lower. This means that the optimal means to finance stadiums is municipal debt. If you can externalize your cost to the local government, you actually do benefit from a lower financing cost, in addition to the obvious benefit of forcing other people to pay your expenses via taxes.

I liked this post on the Western Rifle Shooters Association.

I liked this post on orgtheory, in reference to this YouTube video. It explains the merits of social networking websites. They allow you to access "your friends' friends" and "your friends' friends' friends". Normally, you won't have access to this information, but if one of these people possesses useful information, they can help you. This "wikis in plain English" link was also interesting.

I liked this post on Liberty is my Homie. It's a book review of "The Market for Liberty".

  • “Government does not produce anything. Whatever it has, it has as a result of expropriation.. It is no more correct to call the expropriate wealth in government’s possession its property than it is to say that a thief rightfully owns the loot he has stolen.”
  • “Justice, like any other good or service, has economic value.”
  • “. . . it has been objected that a very rich man could afford to commit any number of coercive acts, since all he would lose would be a little of his vast fortune. . . he would immediately find that money was hardly the only loss his actions cost him. As soon as his career of aggression was recognized for what it was, no honest man would take the chance of having anything to do with him. . . Furthermore, he would run than immense risk of being killed by some victim acting in self-defense.”

I like the third quote.

I liked this post on Overcoming Bias. There is extreme resistance to new ideas. One scientist said that, when he wants to introduce a new idea, he attributes it to someone else.

As an obscure author, you shouldn't mind other people "stealing" your ideas or content. I *WANT* people to copy and improve on my writing. I don't recognize "intellectual property" as a valid form of property.

I liked this post on Techdirt. If you're writing an honest "free trade agreement", you can do it in less than 1 page.

Most "free trade agreements" in practice enforce policies that subsidize large corporations in large countries.

The most offensive clause of "free trade agreements" is that small countries are *BARRED* from using sound money!

This post on Econospeak had a big error. Some economists claim there is only a fixed supply of work. Therefore, work hours should be restricted to reduce unemployment and keep wages high.

The author of Econospeak said the above policy was stupid. If the State restricts people's work hours, that damages the economy. Obviously, in a free market, if there's more workers, then more work will be performed.

The error is that the USA is not a free market. The USA is a communist dictatorship. There *REALLY IS* a mostly static supply of work. For most industries, you need a direct or indirect license from the State to operate. This keeps the supply of jobs limited.

Further, the bad guys *LOVE* the fact that there's a static pool of work. This enables them to drive wages down to barely subsistence level.

In a free market, adding extra workers always benefits everyone. In a communist economy, that doesn't hold.

Unless you understand the Compound Interest Paradox or the fact that the USA is a communist country, you can't sensibly write about economics. Economic analysis is pointless when your assumptions don't match reality. Most mainstream economists are pro-State trolls.

I liked this post on RadGeek, about the Sean Bell murder trial. According to the police, Sean Bell and his friends were threatening the police and armed. According to the victims, they were unarmed and returning from a party. Using excessive force, police fired 50 rounds into their car.

The police were acquitted of murder charges. The judge made a comment that said "Police need to know they'll be treated fairly (slap on wrist) if they're accused of misconduct." Contrast this with the story of the guy who shot police raiding his apartment. In that case, the State is going out of its way to ensure a victim.

The State extends sovereign immunity to policemen. Government employees are usually immune from prosecution for things they do while working, unless their conduct is truly egregious.

The State already has made its decision that the policemen are not guilty. The victims are left without further recourse, although they're still pursuing a civil claim against the city. That is the problem with unaccountable monopolistic State police.

Why don't the people who feel injured by this aquittal create their own private police force?

Acquittals like this one tend to escalate, because many poor people are unfair victims of State violence.

The State needs to coddle its enforcers. The State requires police to enforce all its illegitimate laws. The police allow all the abuses of the State, and therefore the State must protect its thugs.

The point is not the details of this particular case. The problem is that monopolistic State police are practically immune from liability. Even if their misconduct is egregious, State policemen can usually avoid responsibility.

By E-Mail, someone wrote:

Did you notice that Wesley Snipes is going to jail for tax evasion?

Yes. I didn't think it was particularly interesting.

Wesley Snipes and Ed/Elaine Brown are held as high-profile examples of tax resisters that got busted. When the mainstream media touts these cases, the implication is "These people got busted for tax evasion. Therefore, everyone who resists taxes gets caught."

There's another fact these cases confuse. There's a difference between civil penalties and criminal penalties. If the IRS wants to collect unpaid taxes, it can file a civil lawsuit. Sending someone to jail is much more severe than merely collecting unpaid taxes. It's one thing to say "someone should pay taxes/tribute". It's another thing to send an otherwise productive citizen to jail.

According to the sources I've read, the vast majority of tax resisters don't go to jail. Usually, the IRS pursues civil penalties. For example, the IRS took money out of The Picket Line author's checking account. He didn't go to jail for tax evasion; the IRS merely seized his property without a trial.

Wesley Snipes' tax resistance strategy was particularly stupid. He was resisting taxes on his movie income. This income is automatically reported to the IRS.

Ed Brown also did something stupid. He was a dentist, and his customers paid him in cash. He got postal money orders to avoid bank reporting requirements. However, his excessive use of money orders triggered State reporting requirements. Ed Brown should have deposited some of his cash in his bank account and declared it as income. Then, he could have used the remainder for living expenses without reporting it as income. Instead of having 100% of his customers pay in cash, he could have arranged for 50% of his customers to pay in cash and 50% pay by check. Then, he would report only some of his income. When you take into account tax rules *AND* the fact that he could have charged *ALL* his dentist expenses to this amount, he would have avoided most of his tax via this method.

I have no idea what the *TRUE RISK* of being busted for tax evasion is, if you're clever about it. If you're a proper agorist, you perform transactions with cash or sound money, *WITHOUT REPORTING THEM TO THE GOVERNMENT*. If you have trustworthy trading partners, your risk as an agorist should be low. DON'T DEPOSIT YOUR PROFITS IN A BANK OR ANY OTHER ASPECT OF THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM! If you need long-term investments, buy gold or silver, if you know someone who'll buy/sell anonymously with cash. If necessary, report some of your income and pay tax on it.

Also, if you are busted for tax resistance, YOU HAVE TO DEFEND YOURSELF SUI JURIS. If you want to make a "jury nullification" defense, you CANNOT use a lawyer, because a lawyer is sworn to "uphold the law", EVEN ILLEGITIMATE LAWS. A lawyer who presents a jury nullification defense would forfeit his law license. State licensing requirements of lawyers helps prevent honest trials from occurring. After investing several years and a lot of money on a law license, a lawyer isn't going to risk his career to defend someone honestly.

High profile tax resistance cases are designed to instill fear in everyone else. You cannot estimate the true risk of tax resistance from just two datapoints, especially when the people who got caught were being stupid.

This bit deserves its own separate post.

I liked this post on Life, Love, and Liberty.

In reading this, I ask that people please understand the horror of what I went through. I was literally locked up, and at the mercy of doctors complicit in a psycharistic-state alliance. All I wanted was to go home, and I had to spend nearly all of a day waiting for them to approve my transfer to the hospital that my psycharistist is connected to. If I had not been working with him, then they may have held me for a longer period of time.

The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.

~ Ayn Rand

That's interesting. I didn't know that Ayn Rand was the victim of psychiatry like me. State brainwashing is incredibly pervasive. It's very traumatic to realize the truth. You'll show symptoms of "mental illness" as you figure out what's going on.

State police have sovereign immunity; the State shields them from the consequences of their misconduct. Similarly, psychiatrists have sovereign immunity. As long as they follow "generally accepted psychiatry/homicide principles", they're immune from lawsuits.

If one person made harmful drugs and gave them to people, he's a criminal. When thousands of people do it with a State license, that's an industry!

I've read some of the "psychiatrist survivor movement" websites. They are appealing to the State to fix the abuses of psychiatry. They are wasting their time. The lobby of the drug companies and psychiatrist industry is too strong. The bad guys aren't going to admit this massive crime. Appealing to the State to solve an abuse caused by the State is pointless!

The problem with psychiatry is the State shields psychiatrists from the consequences of their fraudulent "professional methodology". Psychiatrists have a license from the State. Therefore, everything they do is acceptable.

I liked this post on the Agitator, regarding the Sean Bell incident.

if four men not wearing badges were to unload 50 rounds into another, unarmed group of men, killing one and sending stray bullets all over the neighborhood, they wouldn’t have escaped without being convicted of a single crime.

My favorite quote is from the judge:

"This sends a message to New York City police officers that when you are in that position, when you are in front of a court house, when you are in front of a court bench, you will get fairness."


This sends a message to New York City police offers that they are absolutely immune from prosecution for misconduct while on the job.

I researched this a bit more. The policemen tried to get the trial moved to a venue outside of Queens, and their request was denied. The policemen *WAIVED THEIR RIGHT TO A JURY TRIAL* and instead got a "bench trial", where the ruling was unilaterally delivered by a judge.

That's very clever! The police were able to avoid prosecution in front of an (understandably) hostile jury, and got a biased judge to unilaterally rule in their favor!

The policemen "waived their right to a jury trial", because they knew a jury wouldn't be biased in their favor!

There's another "trick" that policemen use. If there's a crime committed by non-policemen, the police will segregate the suspects and immediately interrogate them. Then, their stories will contradict each other if they attempt to lie. When policemen commit a crime, they are not immediately segregated and interrogated. This allows them to "coordinate their stories", so that lies can be identical for each policeman.

I liked this post on the Agitator. In Springfield, the police were concerned that "They weren't instilling enough fear in people."

It's always interesting to see who's discussing my blog. Someone on was discussing my blog, in reference to Wesley Snipes.

One guy said:

inflation is good for those with debt, for it lowers the economic value of your debt.

The response:

saying "inflation is good for those with debt, for it lowers the economic value of your debt."

is like saying "it doesn't matter that you aren't eating because the food you have is rotting."

One guy had the most offensive pro-State troll attitude. (paraphrasing)

When Wesley Snipes refuses to pay taxes, he's stealing from me!

I couldn't tell if he was being serious or sarcastic.

I liked this post on Democracy Sucks. We can't know exactly how a stateless society will be organized, until it's actually attained. I can guess, but I won't know more until we get to practical experiments.

As a scientist, the only way to find out is to conduct an experiment! In the next few years, I'm going to make the switch from "theoretical agorism" to "practical agorism".

I liked this post on Democracy Sucks. There's no single authority for how the English language works. The language is still evolving over time. New words are added, but no centralized authority demands the inclusion of new words. English evolves by trial and error.

Similarly, the Internet doesn't really have a centralized authority. Its practices evolved through trial and error.

For law, you don't need a centralized authority. Common sense law can evolve over time. That's the only way law can evolve if you don't have a handful of people violently imposing their will on everyone else.

Similarly, you don't need a centralized issuing authority for money. It's *MUCH MORE IMPORTANT* for people to take back control of money than taking back control of law. Control of law is only possible via the State's control of money. Without a monopoly on the monetary system, it's very difficult for the bad guys to impose their will on everyone else.

One of my favorite bits of "bad blogging advice" is "Don't make interesting posts on Saturday or Sunday, when most of your readers are away." This assumes that your regular readers are too stupid/lazy to come back on Monday and read your new content.

I liked this post on the Liberty Papers. In Tennessee, lawyers are now barred from advertising their expertise with drunk driving cases. WTF?

I liked this post on the Liberty Papers. It's about the Sean Bell murder trial.

Without having heard having heard the evidence, it’s impossible to say whether the judge was right in his interpretation of the credibility of the witnesses, but I find it interesting that the Times would say that the detectives waiver of a jury would have been considered risky. Under the circumstances, I think it’s clear that they’d have less risk of a guilty verdict from a judge than from a jury.

This is an important point. By waiving a jury trial, the defendants were able to have a trial BIASED IN THEIR FAVOR. A jury trial might have been biased AGAINST the defendants, considering the huge negative publicity of the case. Without reviewing the details, it's impossible to determine if this particular outcome was fair. The manner in which the trial was resolved gives the APPEARANCE of unfairness.

The point is that monopolistic State courts are inherently unfair. The murder victims have no further recourse. It's much more important to look at the unfairness of government overall, rather than focusing on individual abuses. Of course, individual abuses make it easier for people to understand the evils of a monopolistic unaccountable State.

I don't understand why people are so excited about the "tax rebate checks" coming in the mail soon. It's merely a partial return of stolen property.

I liked this post on Check Your Premises. It's about how the Great Depression and New Deal transformed the USA from a nation of small business owners and farmers into a nation of wage slaves. The USA destroyed its free market, and the corporate welfare state and the military-industrial complex were established.

There's some controversy about the movie "Expelled", which is a documentary supporting the theory of intelligent design.

If people want to believe stupid things, they're allowed to.

The problem with the "intelligent design" vs. "evolution" debate is that intelligent design is being taught in State schools. State violence forces schools to teach intelligent design as an equally credible theory as evolution.

Evolution can be experimentally verified. For example, breeding insect-resistant crops is an example of evolution. For agricultural plants, the "more useful to humans" genes are being selected.

I liked this post on lowercase liberty.

"Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory."

– Leonardo Da Vinci

If I quote Da Vinci during a debate, am I committing the appeal to authority fallacy?

I liked this post on the Freedom Symposium. What should you do if you want to cite a website you find objectionable? If you provide a link, you're promoting a site that's doing bad things. If you provide a link, you're giving that site traffic and boosting its PageRank. One piece of advice is that you can give a "nofollow" html tag, and search engines won't crawl the link.

If I saw objectionable content, I'd not cite the source, or cite the source by name without a link. For example, I never link to Wikipedia (but I allow Wikipedia links in the comment section). Every time I link to a Wikipedia page, I'm implicitly endorsing the entire site's content. Since Wikipedia is highly intralinked, and many sites link to Wikipedia, this effectively boosts the PageRank of *ALL* of Wikipedia's articles.

Similarly, if Wikipedia links to a website, that can *DRAMATICALLY* boost that site's PageRank. For this reason, Wikipedia's censors *RELIGIOUSLY* cull non-conforming links.

I conducted an experiment. On a drug page, I posted a link critical of that drug. The users I identified as drug PR agents culled the link. After an edit war, I imposed my Wikipedia boycott; I'll look up information on Wikipedia, but I refuse to contribute. From a different IP address, without logging in, I posted a link *PRAISING* that same drug. One of the drug PR agents sent me a PM saying "You should be a registered user; you'd be a great site admin!"

As another example, I once saw a site plagiarizing my content. They copied my entire post, *INCLUDING* a link back to my post on The Compound Interest Paradox. I've mentioned that plagiarism, but I won't dignify it with a link.

My post on The Rice Shortage appears to be headed for the "Best of FSK" list. I'm frequently surprised at which posts wind up popular. My post on the rice shortage has been mentioned in some social networking/sharing websites.

I watch the US reality show "Big Brother". I don't like "Survivor", because a block of people that agree to always vote the same can practically guarantee they're the ones that make it to the end. In "Big Brother", alliances aren't as useful, because if someone outside your alliance wins Head of Household, they'll nominate two people from your alliance for eviction.

I couldn't believe that Ryan took Adam with him to the final 2. If he picked Sheila, he would have won 7-0 or 6-1. Instead, Adam won 6-1. Ryan made a $450,000 mistake.

gyakusetsu has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #50":

The radical reformers (Anabaptists like Mennonites, Hutterites, and Amish) and other historical peace churches (such as Quakers and Brethren) are not pro-slavery. Those churches that actually believe what Jesus said--and take Him as their primary source--rather than constantly reverting to Old Testament legalism, church dogma, and ritualism are not bound by that sort of nonsense.

That still presupposes that the existing copies of the Bible have any validity.

Any religion whose premise is "Accept abuse while alive and you'll be rewarded after death" is inherently a slave religion. Any religion that teaches "People are intrinsically evil" is pro-State trolling.

Quoting the Bible is as productive as quoting laws passed by an illegitimate government.

By E-Mail, someone asked:

I read a post about level 3 assets re: Citigroup. I am doing some research right now and I am wondering if you aware of the best way to calculate percentage of level 3 assets for various institutions.

You have to read their financial statements. "Level 3 assets" are one of the items on a bank's balance sheet. It's buried in the fine print, but it's there. Look for their SEC filings and their annual report. If you're a shareholder, you'll get it in the mail.

Thanks for your advice. I've been through multiple 10Ks and I'm not seeing anything. Do you have an example you can direct me to so I can determine how to find these?

This really is hard! I remember finding it once.

Let's consider Citigroup's annual report. From their website,

On page 3, it says "Tier 1 capital" is 7.12%. That means that "Level 2 + level 3" is 92.88%.

On page 11, there's a definition of "Level 3" stated, but no hard numbers. This is "SFAS 157".

On page 16, they say that 38.9% of assets are carried at "fair value". Are these is "Level 2" or "Level 3" assets?

These financial institutions make their financial statements incomprehensible *ON PURPOSE*.

I finally found it. It's on page 75.

Tier 1 Capital + Tier 2 capital is $134,121M. Total assets are $1,253,321M. Based on this page, 89% of Citigroup's capital is Tier 3 capital.

That's my final answer. 89% of Citigroup's assets are "Level 3 assets". That sure gives you confidence in the US financial system, doesn't it? Don't worry. Citigroup is large enough to qualify for a Federal Reserve bailout, if necessary.

Tony has left a new comment on your post "Do You Have the Right to Steal?":

It's always the most frustrating responding to a pro-State troll.

A logical argument is formed by taking one or more hypotheses, transforming them with the operations provided by logic, and producing a conclusion. Such an argument is sound if 1) the operations performed are valid and 2) the hypotheses are sound.

Apparently, you define "any argument that disagrees with my personal bias" as "illogical".

Agorism is not my "bias". It's my unbiased logical conclusion! I appear "biased against the State" if you're a pro-State troll.

In your argument, you assumed quite a number of hypotheses - only one of which you state explicitly: "Suppose you believe you do not have the right to steal from me." More important the unstated hypothesis: "And further assume that taxation is stealing."

Not exactly. If you don't have an *INDIVIDUAL* right to steal from me, then you cannot have a *COLLECTIVE* right to steal from me.

If you don't have an individual right to steal from me, you can't authorize a government to steal from me and give the proceeds to you. I get the impression that you work for the State. Therefore, you think you are a net beneficiary of State violence.

There seems to be some variance amongst dictionary definitions of the word "steal," but a fairly common theme is the illegality of the action, as in the entry in Wiktionary which states: "To illegally, or without the owner's permission, take possession of something by surreptitiously taking or carrying it away." Of course, "illegally" implies a legal framework, which, in the United States of America, permits the government to levy taxes upon residents of the country in order to provide its inhabitants with services. Since, moreover, the organization of our government permits the majority of its enfranchised citizens to vote on such issues, the laws are, by a perhaps circular definition, just.

You are entirely missing the point. What is *LEGAL* is not the same as what is *MORAL*. Taxation is "legal", because an illegitimate government unilaterally says so. They control the most guns and goons, so taxation is "legal". I argue that taxation is *IMMORAL*.

Once you're a proper anarchist/agorist, you'll realize that "What is legal?" rarely matches "What is moral?". There is an *ABSOLUTE* standard of morality. People think "morality is relative", because that's pro-State brainwashing. Individual stealing is wrong, but stealing via taxes is acceptable. Individual kidnapping/murder is wrong, but State-sponsored kidnapping/murder is acceptable.

If that argument is not entirely satisfying, consider an analogy. Your landlord does not steal from you when he or she comes to collect your rent. Rather, he or she receives his or her due for the services provided - namely lodging and whatever other services were specified in the contract you both signed at the commencement of the lease. Should you at some point decide that the rent is no longer acceptable, you have a simple, completely legal recourse: you can move elsewhere.

It is thus with taxes in a town, county, state, or country. If you find yourself at odds with the overwhelming majority who have voted to authorize the current system of taxation you can (in addition to lobbying for change), emigrate. That you will be hard-pressed to find a country on this planet in which there are no taxes suggests that your view of the - not illegality, clearly, but perhaps immorality? - of taxes is not universally shared.

The problem is that there's no unoccupied space I can move to and set up a stable anarchist society. Due to international treaties, *EVERY* country has a corrupt monetary system and taxation system. There are very few (if any) countries that offer more freedom than the USA. It's more practical for me to work towards free markets in the USA instead of moving.

It's very hard to move from one country to another. Individuals are property of the State, and States don't want to lose their property to other States!

So what if a majority of people think taxes are moral? At one time, most people believed the world was flat. At one time, most people believed the earth was the center of the universe. Truth is *NOT* determined by a majority vote.

Of course, if the vast majority believe that taxes are moral, then it's very difficult to dodge taxes effectively. If you believe "taxes are legal/moral", and I believe "taxes are immoral", then it's merely an arms race. Can I efficiently dodge taxes?

According to your Blogger profile, you write military software. That means you are dependent on State subsidies for your livelihood. You are pro-State biased, more than a typical pro-State troll.

*LEGAL* and *MORAL* are different. There *IS* an absolute standard of morality.

Suppose I organized a gang of 100 goons and demanded "tribute" from people, and kidnapping/killing those who didn't pay. If I do it on a small scale, it's obviously criminal. If I do it on a large scale, I'm the government and it's acceptable?

Morality is independent of scale. If something is immoral on an individual level, it's immoral on a group level.

Charles Johnson (Rad Geek) has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #50":

I read through Kevin's post on the Fed, and I don't think he is claiming that inflation is caused by wage increases (or other price increases).

His point is that the Fed has made decisions about monetary policy partly in order to manipulate labor markets so as to keep employment rates within a particular fixed window. When employment is "too high" in their view, they have ratcheted up interest rates with the express purpose of "solving" that "problem."

I don't think that depends on a false theory about the causes of inflation. It just depends on reading public policy-oriented statements by Fed board members.

Overall, Kevin Carson underestimates the importance of a corrupt taxation system and corrupt monetary system.

Are the people at the Federal Reserve consciously aware that they're participants in a massive con game? Do they sincerely believe that they're acting in the best interests of society as a whole?

When the Federal Reserve was first created, they blatantly looted and pillaged the American people. It's unclear if Ben Bernanke is consciously aware that he's doing something wrong.

Pro-State troll Keynesian economics is falsely touted as "true economics".

RabidBadger has left a new comment on your post "Most Psychatrists are Evil!":

I was waiting for the money shot which never came -- a comparison with 'intellectual property'.

If any of my posts make you feel disappointed that you don't have white sticky fluid on your face, please let me know.

That is a valid point I missed. Psychiatrists have tricks that let them control other people. Instead of revealing these tricks to the general population, they keep them secret. Without an open, honest discussion of these tricks, people are subject to abuse.

Similarly, I heard that many financial industry insiders are aware that the US financial system is a sham. They have a vested interest in the current corrupt system, so they won't tell the truth and lobby for reform. They frustrate many reform efforts.

I discovered the key to unraveling the massive worldwide conspiracy. Most humans falsely believe that 2+2=3. Everyone in the world is simultaneously trying to notice this fact and forget it at the same time. If everyone else in the world knew that 2+2=3, you'd be trying as hard as you can to agree with them!

Every "logically invalid reasoning technique" is equivalent to holding the belief that "2+2=3".

barryb has left a new comment on your post "The Rice Shortage":

Here ya dude, just more b.s. from politicians who never consider the consequences of their actions. They only look at the 'publicity' they receive when passing such legislation - and of course the media isn't interested in blaming the rice shortages on 'green legislation'. My take on gasoline engines is this. The price of oil/gas has been kept artificially low by our military muscle. I'm sure you are aware that the technology for building cars that run on batteries or hydrogen exist and can be mass produced. But the automobile industry isn't prepared yet to make the switch. Why? Because the price of gas is still cheap enough to keep consumers disinterested in more effecient vehicles. Plus (here's the hard punch) an entire infrastructure has to be built to accomodate these new technologies. And that is not only a lot of money - but a change in our way of life (just a little). So it goes without saying that BIG money rules the roost in America and pretty much everywhere else. By keeping the price of oil low - the oil barrons will continue to make billions. Because once the technology and infrastructure is switched to accomodate batter & hydrogen powered cars - you can say bye bye to oil companies and their profits. And that is why we are still dependent on oil. At least that's my opinion.

"Changing infrastructure" isn't as hard as it sound. If you introduce new technologies in small areas, there's less overhead. "Infrastructure costs" are only an issue when all infrastructure is subsidized by the State.

The bottom line is that State policies damage the economy overall.

The whole "energy crisis" will be irrelevant once Zero Point Energy technology is released to the general public.

Thomas Blair has left a new comment on your post "The Rice Shortage":

Americans are, in general, pretty stupid:

If you charge more than the other guy, you're gouging.

If you charge less than the other guy, you're predatory.

If you charge equal to the other guy, you're colluding.

It's a no-win game! No matter what you do, you lose!

Lately, I've been feeling a heightened sense of awareness. I feel super-alert and aware, like when I have a panic attack, but without actually losing control and getting myself hospitalized. I've managed to figure out how to retrain other people to behave less abusively towards me. (I'm like the "Dog Whisperer", but with people!)

In my last visit with my psychotherapist, she was acting like she's going to have a panic attack! That would be really cool: giving your therapist a mental breakdown.

Do you know what would be really cool? Suppose I give my therapist a mental breakdown. Then, I get a new therapist and give him/her a mental breakdown. After several iterations, the best psychiatrists in the world will be interviewing me, and suppose I give all of them mental breakdowns. That would be cool, wouldn't it?

Ben has left a new comment on your post "Money Supply Statistics Explained":

Excellent, and elegant explanation. I'll use it when explaining to others.

Let me know if there's something else you want explained.

Thomas Blair has left a new comment on your post "Money Supply Statistics Explained":

In your opinion, which is more damaging: cutting taxes while raising spending and monetizing the ensuing deficit or raising taxes to match rising spending?

How about both: a rising deficit *AND* rising taxes! Whatever leads to the fastest collapse is fine with me!

I'm updating my previous estimate. The current economic and political system is only going to last another 20 years max, possibly less. Previously, I was saying the collapse would take 20-50 years.

Thomas Blair has left a new comment on your post "Money Supply Statistics Explained":

I liked this post and found it very informative. In the same way that you broke apart money supply terminology, do you have a post on financial terminology (short, margin call, etc)?

Which specific ones do you want discussed? There are many such lists available elsewhere.

By E-Mail, Joey from the Freedom Symposium writes:

Howdy there! Just letting you know that I liked your post on "Most Psychiatrists are Evil!" and have given my public blog-post reply to it here: It'd be great if we could have a public exchange on this subject, as I think many people will benefit from it. If not, that's okay, just letting you know of my reply.

I responded in Non-Abusive Dating/Relationship Techniques.

Greetings again! I cooked up a response to your latest response here:

I apologize for the post being long, but this is a fascinating topic that you and I have some knowledge and interest in. I hope we can continue this dialog and I hope our readers are getting something useful from it.

After I'm done with this "reader mail" post, I'll work on my next response.

I've had a lot of other stuff going on lately. I'll get back to you, but maybe not immediately.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Black-Scholes Formula is Wrong! - Part 3/12 - ...":

"You pay short interest fees on a short stock position..."

This is patently wrong. You get interest when you short a stock. Shorting means that money comes into your account from the sale of stock. That money accrues interest in your account.

I can tell you're a quant/economist, based on your lack of understanding of finance.

Suppose you short sell $10,000 of stock. That $10,000 is put in a special bank account, where it earns Fed Funds Rate - fee (usually around 0.25%). The current Fed Funds Rate is 2%. You have positive short interest of 1.75%, but you're paying a fee of 0.25%.

The Black-Scholes formula assumes that the stock rises at a rate equal to the risk-free rate, and assumes that short sale fees are zero. According to the model, the stock has an expected gain of 2%, but the short interest credited is only 1.75%.

The clearing firm will invest the $10,000 at the Fed Funds Rate and pocket the spread of 0.25% as their profit.

By E-Mail, someone writes "I'm the victim of mind control, but reluctant to state anything publicly." That's a surprisingly common opinion!

I haven't experienced any negative State violence based on my blog's content. So far, the only negative result of my blog is the occasional pro-State troll comment. There's been enough positive feedback for me to conclude my blog is worth continuing.

Did you ever wonder why so many commercials have *NOTHING* to do with the product advertised? That's the alien overseers at work. Typically, humans put negative secret messages as part of their control system. The aliens spread *BENEFICIAL* secret messages, to give people hints that will help them figure out what is happening. When someone is attempting to be "creative", the aliens can infiltrate their mind and guide them to produce the desired result.

The most popular works of fiction have an element of hidden truth (fnord).

gilliganscorner has left a new comment on your post "The Federal Reserve Caused the Great Depression":

Correct again. In fact, Bernanke admitted it (not as bluntly as you put it) that the Fed caused the Great Depression. He admitted to Milton Friedman here:

Let me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official representative of the Federal Reserve. I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression. You're right, we did it. We're very sorry. But thanks to you, we won't do it again.

This is only a *PARTIAL* admission of the facts. According to Ben Bernanke's speech, the Great Depression was an accident. The facts are that the Great Depression was engineered *ON PURPOSE* to cripple the American people and ruin their independence.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Federal Reserve Caused the Great Depression":

You forgot the part that the stock market crash of 1929 was also engineered. The margin account was invented in the roaring '20's, with low interest rates. Many investors took advantage and were leveraged to the hilt. This of course helped cause bubble to grow spectacularly. The bankers then called in their margin loans at the same time, forcing investors to sell their holdings at the same time. Voila, instant market crash.

I thought "bust" automatically included a stock market bust. Maybe I should have emphasized the stock market aspect more. The Great Depression cost people their savings (via the stock market) and their farms and small businesses.

The margin loan was invented *AFTER* the Federal Reserve was created. State-subsidized negative real interest rates make margin loans profitable, especially if you know in advance when the crash is coming.

Did you know that, until recently, the alien overseers classified humans as less intelligent than grass? Grass has a lifestyle that suits it. It can survive well after being cut down or partially eaten. Humans don't have that quality.

John has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #50":

You said "Jim Crow laws were White people using government as leverage to oppress blacks. In the absence of government backing racists can no longer do anything to affect public policy." but you completely ignore the effect equally "racist" gov't interventions that infringe on freedom of association and property rights such as school bussing, affirmative action, HUD block busting policies, or legislating whom one can sell to, rent to, hire or fire and taken together, ensure that white people cannot flee, stay fled and live among themselves.

I am opposed to all State abuses, no matter who the injured party is.

Just because I criticized State abuse against black people, doesn't mean I accept State abuse against white people. All forms of abuse are wrong.

The State creates distractions to prevent people from realizing what is actually happening. Black and white people are tricked into fighting each other or using the State to steal gains from each other. They don't realize that the State is their common enemy.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "How Much did the Bear Stearns Bailout Cost you?":

Your blog on this matter is highly inaccurate and shows a complete lack of knowledge of fiscal matters.

I would break it down and point out your mistakes individually but to do that would require your post to have some basis in the real world to start off from.

Please kindly put down the retards book of 'Money for Dummies' and step away from the computer.

I almost rejected this comment for excessive trolling, but I was feeling charitable. I don't recognize ad hominem attacks as valid.

When you say "Your post is wrong, but I refuse to give details.", that's pure pro-State trolling.

If you don't like my blog, why are you reading it?

Just because I have a different (better!) viewpoint than all other "authorities" on economics, doesn't automatically mean I'm wrong.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Strawman Fallacy":

Stephen is correct about the accepted definition of the straw man fallacy.

I don't know if there is a name for the fallacy of attacking an opponent's weak points. "Nitpicking" is the best I can think of.

But I would like to point out that it is ONLY a fallacy IF the "strong" points do not depend on the "weak" ones. In other words, if it's a fallacy, it's a specific kind of the fallacy of irrelevance.

In general, an irrelevant criticism is one which attacks premises or deductions which are not part of the actual argument being criticized. There are several ways in which these spurious premises or deductions can be introduced, so there are as many kinds of irrelevance.

Straw man introduces things the opponent never actually said, but that superficially resemble what he said.

Nitpicking seizes on things he did indeed say, but it ignores or misrepresents the use he made of them. (Was it an interesting aside, or a crucial step in his argument? Or was it, as FSK claims, part of another argument altogether, independent of this one?)

I hope this helps.

-- Corky

You are nitpicking yourself here. Do I need to specifically name each different type of invalid reasoning? I use "Strawman Fallacy" in a broad sense to cover a range of similar, but slightly different, invalid reasoning tactics.

The alien overseers are very interested in studying "human logic". The alien overseers know "correct logic". They are very keen to label and classify all the invalid forms of human reasoning. They don't directly intervene and directly solve the Earth's problems, because that would prevent them from figuring out "WHAT THE **** HAPPENED HERE!" Plus, their estimate for what's going to happen in the near future is REALLY INTERESTING.

I decided to change my blog's description from "I want to do useful work, get paid, and not have to report it for taxation, confiscation, and regulation." to "The official bug log of the world's first mostly sane human."

According to the alien overseers, "blog" is not an abbreviation of "weblog". Blog stands for "bug log". The technology was introduced to help enumerate and share bugs in the matrix of insane human reality. Finally, someone collected enough information to move from "insane mode" to "sane mode" or "user mode".

That's what all the patients being admitted to psych wards around the world are seeing. They are seeing "C:\>" for the first time ever, and the sight frightens them.

That's another fnord! The default drive letter for a hard drive is "C". This makes the command prompt "C:\>" look like a nice smiley!


Anonymous said...

You are nitpicking yourself here. Do I need to specifically name each different type of invalid reasoning? I use "Strawman Fallacy" in a broad sense to cover a range of similar, but slightly different, invalid reasoning tactics.

Agreed, it's a minor point, and perhaps an irrelevant one.

Believe it or not, I was actually trying to support your request that people not use your errors as a reason to dismiss your stronger points.

What I was trying to say was that if people want to dismiss your ideas about the compound interest paradox, for example, because of some of the things you've written about the SLH, then it behooves them to show how your ideas about the paradox depend on your ideas about the SLH. I don't see any such dependency, so I agree with your suggestion that we ought to consider them separately.

'Nuff said?

I do want to thank you for introducing me to the idea of agorism. I am eager to learn more, and will visit your blog often.

-- Corky

Natasha said...

Oops! I forgot to put quotation marks around that Rand statement. It was me who experienced the psych. system, and not her.

At least, as far as I know.

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