This Blog Has Moved!

My blog has moved. Check out my new blog at

Your Ad Here

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Race To The Bottom

This story was offensive. There's a new State control program called "Race To The Top". As usual, "Race To The Bottom" would be a more accurate name.

In "Race To The Top", the Federal government is giving states money to spend on education. Superficially, this seems beneficial.

The obvious problem is "This is a partial return of stolen property." The Federal government imposes high taxes. Some money is returned to the states. This creates this illusion that the Federal government is beneficial.

A pro-State troll says "Taxation is not theft. What thief builds schools with the stolen money?" Some tax money is spent on useful things, usually with lots of pork and inefficiency. If a thief spends some of his stolen money on good things, that doesn't make him not a thief.

Besides, most public schools are really State brainwashing centers. Under the guise of "education", children are brainwashed to be obedient slaves.

Similarly, CEOs like to brag about how much money they give to charity. Usually, the CEO is donating to a charity he controls. The fact that a CEO spends money on charity, doesn't justify the huge State subsidies he receives.

Via taxation power and spending power, the Federal government usurps state sovereignty. For example, most states are required to have a drinking age of 21 and a speed limit of 65 mph. Otherwise, the states forfeit Federal highway money. If a state doesn't cooperate, they lose Federal highway money but still pay Federal gasoline taxes and other road-supporting taxes.

The education law comes with strings attached. It isn't free money. To qualify, states must adopt Federal curriculum/brainwashing standards. To qualify, states must adopt Federal guidelines for charter schools. To qualify, states are barred from implementing reforms other than those approved by the Federal government.

One of the most subtle evils of schools is the curriculum. By discussing some things but not others, State brainwashing centers create a pro-State troll bias. Here are some examples.

  • You study Benjamin Franklin, but not Benjamin Franklin Bache.
  • You read Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, but not "The War Prayer".
  • You learn about Thomas Jefferson, but not Lysander Spooner or Bastiat.
  • You learn about the slavery debate, but not the Morrill Tarriff.
  • You learn "The South fired first at Fort Sumter!" Actually, the Northern troops were trespassing, refusing to leave. The South attempted to negotiate peaceful secession. In every war, it seems that the other guys started it. The reality is that there's gradual escalation of hostility, and one incident is cited by the winning side.
  • You learn about Abraham Lincoln, but not about how Lincoln arrested newspaper editors who criticized the Civil War.
  • You learn about "Preserve the union!" but not "Maybe they should have the right to secede."
  • You learn that George Washington decided to not seek a 3rd term, but not "He wouldn't have been relected."
  • Students learn to write in a passive voice instead of active voice.
  • Students learn that there's nothing they can do, when a State authority figure abuses their power. If a teacher falsely accused me of misconduct, then I had no choice but to accept whatever the punishment was.
  • "Divine right of kings" is obviously stupid. "Social contact" is also stupid, but it's a more complicated and believable lie. State brainwashing centers teach "social contract" and not the "Non-Aggression Principle". "Social contract" is believable, because it sort of sounds like the Non-Aggression principle.
That's only a few things. There are a lot of little subtle pro-State brainwashing reminders.

Another important issue is "charter schools". This is a fake reform. Real reform, like "school vouchers", are usually successful but then shot down by bureaucrats protecting their turf, especially the public school teachers' union.

In "school vouchers", parents get a check that they can take to *ANY* State-licensed school. If the public school budget is $11k/student, then a $7k/student voucher saves $4k. With a class size of 20, $70k*20=$140k, enough for a decent teacher salary plus overhead.

"School vouchers" are too much like a free market, offending State insiders. Public teachers' unions lobby against school vouchers. School vouchers were tried and successful, but quashed by State bureaucrats.

Compared to vouchers, "charter schools" are fake reform. You need a State permit to operate a charter school, restricting access to insiders. There's only a handful of charter schools, each explicitly licensed by State insiders. Charter school teachers are still State employees, so they're members of the teachers' union. Parents must beg a State bureaucrat, to place their child in a charter school. With charter schools, the State bureaucrats are still 100% in control, while providing the illusion of reform.

State brainwashing centers are funded via taxes. This penalizes parents who homeschool. You have to pay school taxes plus the cost of homeschooling. Laws and regulations make it hard/illegal for homeschooling parents to share resources. For example, parents can't take turns watching the children, due to laws restricting daycare centers or schools. It's illegal to operate a homeschooling business out of your home.

There was another amusing bit of the "Race To The Top" payout.
New Jersey fell just shy of Ohio (the last state to win funding) because of a simple mistake in the application, reports the New Jersey Star-Ledger: Applicants were asked for information comparing the 2008 and 2009 budgets, but Republican Gov. Chris Christie's administration instead submitted information comparing this year's with 2011.
New Jersey just missed qualifying, based on a technicality! They were supposed to supply 2008-2009 budget data, but instead gave 2010-2011 budget data. Instead of saying "Hey! This is wrong! Fix it!", New Jersey was penalized. That's definitely State bureaucrat and schoolteacher thinking. Arbitrarily penalize someone based on a technical error. In my wage slave job, if I misunderstand requirements, by boss has me redo it, instead of penalizing me and saying "FSK is unqualified!"

There was another amusing bit about the application scoring. A state got bonus points if the teachers' union formally endorsed the application, which seems ridiculous.

The "Race To The Top" school spending program is an excellent example of Federal government abuse of power. Via control of money, the Federal government forces individual states to obey. Education should be none of the government's business.

If you're a State insider, it's a high priority to brainwash the next generation of slaves. Via taxes, parents pay for the cost of brainwashing their own children. State control of school curriculum is a very subtle form of pro-State brainwashing. Even private schools must obey State standards.

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's OK For State Thugs To Lie

This story was amusing. The FBI gave a test to FBI agents, to verify they knew the rules. Many FBI agents cheated on the test!

One of the questions was "Did you cheat on this test?" The cheaters all lied.

Embarrassingly, it was an "open book" test. The FBI agents were allowed to look up the answers during the test. Even with those lenient conditions, they still cheated.

Of course, the cheating FBI agents will not be punished. If you lie to an FBI agent, that's a serious crime. If FBI agents lie, that's OK. For example, Martha Stewart was not convicted for securities fraud. She was convicted for lying to a State thug.

As another example, undercover cops are explicitly allowed to lie, if someone asks "Are you an undercover cop?" Many State thugs work under fake names, in case a "customer" decides to retaliate. Asking for a name and badge #, doesn't mean you'll get a useful answer!

There are two legal systems, one for insiders and one for non-insiders. The FBI cheating scandal is a clear example. State insiders are protected by sovereign immunity. It's OK for State insiders to break their own rules.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

David-Kevin: Lindsay

This story was interesting. A man calls himself "David-Kevin: Lindsay". He says that he's "not legally a person". Therefore, he doesn't owe income taxes.

was convicted in Provincial Court on five counts of failing to file income tax returns between 1997 and 2001.

He was sentenced to 30 days in jail on each count, to be served consecutively for a total of 150 days, and fined $5,000.
After appeal, the sentence was reduced to "time served".

Only 30 days in jail for "failure to file an income tax return"? State thugs in Canada must be real wimps! In the USA, "failure to file" usually leads to at least a year in jail, per year.

I also was disappointed by "David-Kevin: Lindsay". It would have been better for him to pick an SQL injection attack for a name.

David-Kevin: Lindsay is going around giving speeches on how the income tax doesn't apply to him, because he no longer legally qualifies as a person. I would prefer to see someone saying "All taxation is theft! The income tax is immoral because it means you don't own your own labor!", rather than arguing legal technicalities.

This argument comes up over and over again. "There's some magic paperwork I can file with the State. Then, I'm no longer subject to income taxes or property taxes." If such a loophole worked, everyone would do it. If such a loophole worked, then State thugs would rapidly close it. Tax-avoiding loopholes are only available to State insiders.

It is pointless to argue, in a State court, against State taxes. A slave will never get a fair trial regarding taxation, in a biased State court.

There are some people who do it and get away with it. State thugs don't have the resources to kidnap everyone who tries. There's more work to getting freedom than just filing some magic paperwork with the State.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Count The Subplots!

Here's an interesting trick to evaluate the quality of a TV show. The quality of TV show is directly proportional to the number of subplots.

Compare the new Futurama episodes with the originals. The originals had one or more subplots. Some new episodes had no subplots. They are clearly inferior to the originals.

Most episodes of Seinfeld had more than one subplot. They usually came together humorously at the end.

"The Sarah Silverman Show" usually has two subplots. Sarah Silverman does one thing. Her sister and boyfriend do another thing. The homosexuals do a third thing. (Interestingly, that show does not have a laugh track.)

Multiple subplots give a show extra chances to be interesting. If the main plot is boring, one of the subplots might be good.

When a show has multiple subplots, that's an indication of good writing. When there are no subplots, that's a symptom of lousy writing. The quality of a show is usually highly correlated with the number of subplots.

Friday, August 27, 2010

American Legal Extortion

In the UK, there's a rule for civil lawsuits that differs from the USA rule. The loser must generally pay the winner's legal expenses. The "American Rule" is different. Everyone pays their own legal expenses, unless the lawsuit is completely frivolous.

A pro-State troll says "The American Rule creates more access to the legal system." The American Rule encourages frivolous lawsuits. If you have deep pockets and want to harass someone, just file a lawsuit. The victim must spend time and money defending themselves.

Criminal trials are even worse, both in the USA and in the UK. The victim is not threatened merely with financial loss, but with threat of imprisonment. Defending yourself in a criminal trial costs $50k-$100k+ in legal fees. That cost would cripple/bankrupt most middle class families.

The State prosecutor has wide discretion to prosecute whoever he chooses. The prosecutor is protected by sovereign immunity. It's usually impossible to sue the prosecutor for misconduct. A good prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict anyone for practically anything.

I read some interesting reform proposals. They'll never be approved, but they're still interesting.

One reform is "If the defendant is acquitted, then the State must reimburse the defendant for his legal expenses." This would severely cut down on frivolous prosecutions. There's no chance this reform will occur.

Another reform is "Public defenders are available to everyone, regardless of income." Right now, you only qualify for a public defender if your income is really low. If your income is around $50k, you don't qualify for a public defender, but you probably can't afford the $50k-$100k+ a lawyer costs. Public defenders are already overworked. This reform will not occur.

The State legal system has a monopoly. There's no accountability. "Democracy" only provides the illusion of accountability. Most people don't realize that the legal system is unfair until they come into contact with it.

The State licensing cartel for lawyers is evil. This restricts supply and drives up prices. I'm a good public speaker. If you wanted to hire me to advocate for you in court, that's illegal, because I don't have a State permit.

The "American Rule" encourages frivolous lawsuits and frivolous criminal charges. Everyone pays their own legal expenses. Insiders with deep pockets can file frivolous lawsuits against smaller competitors. Prosecutors can bankrupt anyone by filing criminal charges.

When someone sues you, you might be angry at the scumbag who sued you. You also should be angry at the inefficient State legal system. You can't ignore a lawsuit. If you do, a crazy person will give a default judgement against you and thugs with guns will come to kidnap you or steal your property. The State legal monopoly is dependent on the State violence monopoly. That's the reason judges bend over backwards to favor a policeman, when he is accused of misconduct.

The State legal system is one big scam, both in the USA and in the UK. "If you don't like the USA then move!" is an invalid argument. Each country is ruled by a slightly different gang of thugs. Via international treaties, these thugs have agreed to offer equally lousy terms to all slaves.

The State legal system is inefficient. Access to the legal system is restricted, due to the State licensing cartel for lawyers. This inefficiency is mostly irrelevant, because the State has a monopoly. State insiders love an inefficient legal system. That makes it practically impossible for someone to hold them accountable. Insiders may ruin any non-insider, by filing a frivolous lawsuit or frivolous criminal charges.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

State Prostitutes

This anecdote is frequently quoted:

Man: Will you have sex with me for $100M?
Woman: OK
Man: Will you have sex with me for $5?
Woman: Of course not. What type of woman do you think I am?
Man: I know what type of woman you are. Now, I'm just determining the price.
Consider an analogous situation. Suppose a State thug is arresting/kidnapping me for tax evasion or agorism.
FSK: If the law said "Murder all the Jews!", would you say "It's the law. I have to enforce it. I'm just doing my job."?
State thug: Of course not!
FSK: Why are you kidnapping/arresting me?
State thug: It's the law. I have to enforce it. I'm just doing my job.
FSK: I know what type of person you are. I'm just determining the price.
If the President went on TV and said "Murder all the Jews!", that would be obviously evil. In a democracy, any non-Jew could rationally vote for "Murder all the Jews!" Most actual laws are just as silly.

The President doesn't declare "Operating a small business is illegal!" Instead, there's a bunch of taxes and regulations that cripple small business. Under the guise of "Rule of law!", this theft is enforced by thugs "just doing their job".

If the police murder their victim, that's obviously evil. State thugs usually try to kidnap the victim alive. If you put someone in prison for 10+ years, that's superficially less evil than killing someone. You're still stealing a huge chunk of the victim's life.

If the law was "Everyone has to work for the government 2.5 days per week!", that would obviously evil. Via income taxes, the net effect is the same. Stealing someone's labor via taxes is literally stealing their life. The wage cattle get an illusion of freedom, so they're more productive slaves. Working directly for the State, my productivity might be X. In the "free market", my productivity might be 10*X or more. State thugs steal more, by giving me a limited illusion of freedom.

The *LEAST* skilled workers are the ones working directly for the State. They have the most to gain from theft. The "clueless loser" body language of State thugs and bureaucrats is more obvious now.

If you're a highly skilled psychopath, you get a job as a hedge fund manager or as a lobbyist. If you're a low skill psychopath, then you work directly for the State. The least skilled workers have the most to gain from the State. They work for the State, and try to preserve the scam. If you're a skilled worker, you don't fear getting fired, because you get a new job. If you're an unskilled State parasite, then you're totally dependent on the State to earn a living.

I see some studies comparing "private sector pay" to "public sector pay". It might be *MUCH* worse than that, if the *LEAST* skilled workers are the ones working for the State!

By hiring the least skilled workers, the State extracts maximum loyalty from its thugs/bureaucrats.

I saw the inefficient State legal system while serving on jury duty. I was impressed by the gross incompetence of the bureaucrats and bailiffs. I was wondering "Am I really afraid of this?" Once State thugs make it a priority to kidnap and torture you, you're SOL due to their superior resources. The State has numbers but not skill.

I wonder if most State thugs are really cowards? They're just putting on an act.

State thugs are brainwashed "I'm just following orders!" If you have an army of people willing to obey orders without questioning them, then all sorts of evil becomes possible. The police, bureaucrats, and judges all say "I'm just following orders."

If you're willing to commit evil for a paycheck, you're a criminal. If I tried to hire an assassin, most people would agree that's a crime. State thugs do essentially the same thing, but that's acceptable. In effect, the IRS and FBI are a private army working for Lloyd Blankfein and other insiders.

Most people know "I was following orders." doesn't excuse crime if you're a concentration camp guard. Current abuses of the State are nearly as evil, but it's disguised via "Rule of law!" Via "color of law", crimes are made to seem acceptable or desirable.

Kidnapping/arresting someone and torturing/imprisoning them seems less evil than outright murdering them. It's still a crime.

Most State thugs are willing to perform evil, in exchange for a paycheck. Most of them are probably not consciously aware that they are performing evil, due to their pro-State brainwashing. Some of them are psychopaths, doing it on purpose. The scam of the State works, due to a carefully calibrated mixture of psychopaths and intelligent-but-duped people.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Blagojevich Mostly Hung Jury

There was a mostly hung jury in Blagojevich's criminal trial. The sole conviction was for the non-crime of "lying to an FBI agent". The State legal system is so corrupt that Blagojevich seems like the victim.

Like all State politicians, Blagojevich is a parasite. He may have been unfairly singled out, because he refused to name Obama's choice as replacement senator from Illinois. Blagojevich's defense is "I'm doing what everyone else is doing!"

It is hypocritical for State parasites to single out Blagojevich as corrupt, when they're just as bad or worse. Now that Blagojevich has been publicly shamed, a conviction in a sham trial reinforces the legitimacy of the State.

The reasoning is "Blagojevich was corrupt and got caught and convicted. Therefore, other politicians are not corrupt." It's a very interesting logical fallacy. It's similar to "If A then B, B, therefore A."

There are three interesting points about the Blagojevich hung jury.

  1. The rules for hung juries are biased against criminal defendants.
  2. The sole conviction, "lying to an FBI agent", is not a real crime. State thugs use this charge to trap and convict people.
  3. On some charges, one woman was the sole holdout for acquittal. The mainstream media is denouncing her as an evil woman who prevented "justice". The mainstream media suggests it was 11-1 on all counts, but on many counts there were multiple "not guilty" votes. (In a Federal criminal trial, is the jury vote tally part of the official trial record?)
The rules for criminal trials are heavily stacked against defendants. One example is the treatment of hung juries.

The official lie is "If there's reasonable doubt, then the jurors should vote acquit." In a criminal trial, a hung jury should be considered proof of reasonable doubt. Unfortunately, that isn't the way State "justice" works. If the vote to acquit isn't unanimous, then the State prosecutor gets a mulligan and may try again.

Even if the vote to acquit is unanimous, the State prosecutor might find another crime to charge you with. A common trick is "Separate trials is state court and Federal court, for the same action."

In the re-trial, the defendant and his lawyer are barred from mentioning that there was a previous mistrial. That is unfair to the defendant. Of course, prospective Blagojevich re-trial jurors will know about the previous hung jury unless they're totally clueless. The mainstream media is spinning "If only for that one scumbag holdout, Blagojevich would have been convicted!"

Blagojevich is broke now. He spent all his money on his first trial. The State prosecutor has a virtually unlimited budget. Blagojevich has already been publicly shamed and disgraced. A conviction emphasizes the legitimacy of the State. At this point "Get a conviction!" is important, because otherwise it'll be politically embarrassing.

Blagojevich may be jailed after his first conviction. The will prevent him from earning money to pay for legal expenses. However, Blagojevich is currently out on bail.

Most State insiders set up trusts for their wife and children. I don't know if Blagojevich has actually done this. Blagojevich may have protected hidden assets.

Typically, State thugs freeze your assets, when they charge you with a crime. The claim is "Your assets are the proceeds of criminal activity." However, this prevents the victim from hiring a lawyer to defend himself.

Blagojevich will already spend 5 years in jail for the sole conviction. The prosecutor must seek a retrial, just to make a political point.

The maximum sentence for that one conviction is 5 years in jail. The judge will probably impose the maximum. When imposing the sentence, the judge may consider crimes for which Blagojevich was accused, but not convicted. The judge has the discretion to say "Blagojevich is such a scumbag that I'm imposing a harsher sentence than what the sentencing guidelines say!"

One article said "The prosecutor is supposed to always win! What happened? US attorney/prosecutor Fitzgerald must be really incompetent! Lolz! He's not getting a promotion!" It's a professional embarrassment for the prosecutor, that the jury was hung.

Fitzgerald is supposed to be a hot up-and-coming State prosecutor/parasite. He was given the Blagojevich prosecution so he could be the hero. It was supposed to be a slam-dunk easy conviction. After the conviction, Fitzgerald was supposed to go on TV saying "Hooray for the State! I'm so awesome!"

The Blagojevich prosecution is a self-aggrandizement opportunity for the prosecutor. Why is Fitzgerald going on TV and giving interviews?

Prosecutors are promoted based on the number of convictions they get. That creates a perverse incentive for prosecutors. That leads to "justice" instead of justice.

Why is a prosecutor's goal is "Get a conviction no matter what!"? The prosecutor's goal should be "Ensure a fair outcome." After a hung jury or acquittal, the prosecutor should not be angry; he should say "I guess there was insufficient proof."

Some prosecutors will withhold evidence that is beneficial to the defendant, to maximize the chance of conviction. The corrupt legal system has said "It's OK for prosecutors to do this. The prosecutor is protected by sovereign immunity."

Second, "lying to a policeman" is not a real crime. That "crime" assumes the State thug's authority is legitimate in the first place.

Norm Pattis had a good article on this.
Just the other day I learned of a prosecution of a man for making a false statement based on the following facts: The FBI thought a man disposed to take bribes. Two agents dressed up and pretended to be organized crime figures. They approached the target and offered him cash to do the wrong thing. The man declined to take the cash. So much for that theory of prosecution.

As the agents left the meeting, they told the man to be sure to deny meeting with them if the feds ever came calling.

Sure enough, two new agents, this time proudly displaying their FBI badge, showed up at the man's house. They asked whether the man had ever met with two men who had offered him a bribe. The man denied the meeting; he lied, in other words. Bingo! Now the fellow is prosecuted for making a false statement to federal agents. There is something inherently sleazy about this.
Summarizing, undercover FBI agent A pretends to be a criminal. He asks the victim to commit crime X. FBI agent A says or implies "I'll kill you and your family if you tell anyone."

FBI agent B shows his badge to the victim. He asks "Did anyone ever ask you to do X?" The victim answers "no", and now he's guilty of "lying to an FBI agent"!!

This emphasizes an important point "DON'T EVER TALK TO THE POLICE!!" I don't know if I'd be able to hold out, if falsely charged with a crime and detained for hours. I'd be tempted to convince the police that they're scumbags. However, maybe I'd be better of just sitting there quietly. A policeman, especially for political non-crime, has been pro-State brainwashed to ignore the defendant's point of view, when he says he is being improperly prosecuted.

The police/FBI are allowed to lie to you. Even when police are caught committing perjury, they almost always get away with it. However, lying to the police/FBI is treated as a serious crime. That's an unfair double standard.

FBI agents will *NEVER* allow you to record your conversation. They will testify/testily based on notes made during or after the meeting. That's unfair Police State tactics.

Ironically, Blagojevich's sole conviction was for a conversation that was *NOT* taped. After all those wiretaps, the sole conviction was based on notes an FBI agent made of a conversation in 2005.

If Blagojevich lied to the FBI in 2005, then why did the FBI wait until 2008 to prosecute him? Were they holding it in reserve, to use against him later?

Martha Stewart was not convicted of security fraud, but rather for lying to investigators about it. Blagojevich was not convicted for his alleged serious crimes. Why would anyone ever talk to the FBI?

The actual lie seems pretty stupid. Blagojevich lied about "I don't track who donates to my campaign." and "I don't let campaign contributions affect legislative decisions." Can any politician say that and really mean it?

As I mentioned before, "cop and lawyer" TV shows are an evil fnord promoting the police. An innocent person cooperates, and the police let him go. A guilty person refuses to cooperate, but the police catch him anyway. It's hard to refuse to talk with the police or FBI. You might think "I'm not a criminal!" The law is so vague that anyone can be arrested for anything. It's tempting to try to talk the police out of arresting you, but that's probably a losing strategy.

Once State thugs have decided to kidnap and torture you, you're already SOL. From personal experience, I was unable to convince psychiatric emergency room murderers "I don't need to be hospitalized! Please let me go!" Your psychiatrist and therapist really should give you a Miranda warning.

I don't know what I would actually do, if the police decided to kidnap and torture me. If you keep silent, the police can just keep you there or look for other things to prosecute you with. If you cooperate, then any mistake you make can be held against you later. Police have no obligation to discuss an entire conversation; they can quote you out of context.

If Blagojevich had refused to cooperate in 2005, he might have been prosecuted right then. He probably thought that he should cooperate with the FBI. That was a mistake. He probably really believed that his campaign fundraising was in compliance with really complicated campaign finance law. There probably is some law saying "campaign contributions must be segregated".

Third, the mainstream media is loudly denouncing the sole holdout. Did she prevent justice? Did she save an innocent person from a long prison term? You can't be sure which. She may have prevented justice, or she may have prevented "justice". There's a reason for the "unanimous verdict required to convict" rule.

The mainstream media is also misrepresenting the jury vote. On some counts, there was one lone holdout. On some counts, there were multiple "not guilty" votes. For Robert Blagojevich, the ex-governor's brother and codefendant, the vote allegedly was 9-3 favoring acquittal. The prosecutors also get a mulligan for Robert Blagojevich, even though a majority of jurors voted to acquit.

The one "guilty" verdict will lead to 5+ years in jail for Blagojevich. The holdout juror may not have realized this. If you're attempting "jury nullification", you have to vote "not guilty" on all charges! She may have voted guilty on one count as a compromise. Some people say that the Blagojevich verdict is an example of "jury nullification".

Why should I be willing to pay the cost of Blagojevich's trial and imprisonment, via higher taxes? You might say "So what, $0.10?" When you multiply by the cost of *ALL* State abuses, then it's a serious problem.

It seems that Blagojevich was unfairly singled out for prosecution, because he refused to cooperate with President Obama. Blagojevich refused to nominate Obama's choice as replacement senator, unless it was for a big favor. Every politician trades favors.

The State legal system is so corrupt that Blagojevich seems like the victim.

After finishing this draft, I saw Blagojevich on the Monday 8/23/10 episode of "The Daily Show". Jon Stewart was heavily pushing the State line "Blagojevich is a scumbag who deserves to go to jail." The interview was heavily edited. I didn't watch the unedited version.

I was offended that Jon Stewart was so eager to push "Blagojevich scumbag!" Jon Stewart should have been at least somewhat sympathetic to "This is unfair malicious prosecution!" Jon Stewart was totally one-sided pro-State trolling.

Jon Stewart is a good monkey who dances for his corporate masters.

I also was offended by the guest on Monday 8/23/10 on The Colbert Report. It was an interview on UFOs, where the guest suggested "UFOs are aliens." I doubt that. Super-advanced aliens would probably not need an actual physical presence. My "conspiracy spider sense" was tingling. My reaction was "She's covering up that UFOs are a suppressed hidden technology." Of course, the guest never considered such a possibility. Otherwise, she wouldn't be an effective shill for the State.

That's very weird. No mainstream media discussion of UFOs suggests "This is a suppressed hidden technology." The guess always is "Maybe it's aliens." The "alien" explanation is forwarded at the expense of "suppressed technology".

It seems really disingenuous, that a mainstream media UFO researcher *NEVER* makes the "suppressed technology" suggestion. It's intellectually dishonest in the same sense that John Krakauer didn't suggest "Pat Tillman was assassinated!"

There's a lot of suspicious stuff regarding UFOs and Zero Point Energy. There's enough stuff for me to seriously consider "This might be a suppressed technology." No single story is convincing, but the whole body of work is *VERY* suspicious.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cargo Cult Justice

I read some judge's decisions and prosecution legal filings. Instead of thinking "What a wise decision!", I now see "These are the rantings of a crazy person!"

A judge thinks "If I say the magic words, then it's justice!" In reality, the judge is making up a fancy excuse for what he wanted to do anyway. If you're a pro-State troll and everyone around you is a pro-State troll, then fake justice seems like real justice.

One lawyer wrote "The actual legal arguments you make are irrelevant. The connections and reputation of the lawyer matters more." If you're a lawyer representing non-insiders in a dispute with insiders, it can be a bad career move! (That link is an interesting story about a lawyer confronting corruption in the State legal cartel.)

This is even worse for pro se defendants. The judge is automatically biased against them, while trying to seem to be impartial. If I were the victim of a politically-motivated trial, I'd try to go pro se, but I'll make my decision when it happens. If you're the victim in a politically-motivated trial, your goal is not "convince the judge he's wrong". Your goal is "convince all jurors to acquit, or for one juror to hold out for 'not guilty'".

The term "cargo cult" comes from a military base in Africa during WWII, near a primitive tribe. The military base was a huge economic boom. After the war was over, the military left. The natives missed the riches that the soldiers bought. They built wooden runways, control towers, and airplanes. They thought that would bring back the soldiers and their wealth.

"Cargo cult" means "go through the motions without understanding why". State judges go though the motions of justice, while real justice is gone.

Most mainstream science is actually "Cargo Cult Science". They're pretending to do real research, but really faking it. They go through the motions of what a real scientist would do.

State psychiatric research is "Cargo Cult Science". It's invalid, due to faulty techniques. A State psychiatric researcher does many things that a real scientist would do. He's going through the motions, without really thinking. If you're a State-licensed pharmaceutical researcher, "Get the drug approved!" is more important than "Perform real science!"

Another example of "Cargo Cult Science" is global warming research. Scientists who give the State-preferred opinion get research grants, and the opposite opinion is denied funding. Most "global warming computer simulations" have "carbon dioxide causes global warming" as an assumption. The computer model is using circular reasoning. In the "Climategate" scandal, global warming scientists were caught faking their data. A group of State-licensed scientists concluded that the State-licensed scientists did nothing wrong. What a surprise! It's as impartial as the "internal affairs" division of the State police monopoly.

The legal system is an example of "Cargo Cult Justice". The judge goes through the motions of what a fair and impartial person might do. He's just faking it. Now, I see that judge's decisions are cleverly disguised pro-State trolling.

Via "Stare Decisis", a Supreme Court decision is treated as unbreakable precedent, even if it's a bad decision. Originally, "respect precedent" meant "good decisions are followed and bad decisions are ignored". In the present, every Supreme Court decision, good or bad, is treated like the verbatim word of God.

"Trial by jury" is another sham. The legal system now has "Cargo Cult Juries". The restrictions of jury selection favor the prosecutor. The defense is barred from mentioning "jury nullification" and other favorable information.

If you want to see severe pro-State trolling, look at the "quatlosers" website. It's a website celebrating tax fraud convictions and the IRS/State. Look at the legal decisions they cite and read them. You can tell "This is the writing of an crazy/evil person." rather than real justice. If you cite the right precedents and use the correct legal jargon, then all sorts of evils are justified!

If you're a State judge, most of your time is spent with lawyers sucking up to you. This gives the State judge an inflated sense of self-importance.

The US legal system has degenerated into "Cargo Cult Justice". Judges go through the motions of being fair and impartial. They're just making up excuses to justify State evil. The problem is that the State legal system has a monopoly. You don't get appointed as a State judge unless you're a severe pro-State troll and you're very politically connected. There's no accountability when the State justice system abuses State power. State judges don't know that they're frauds. They go through the motions of justice without performing actual justice.

Monday, August 23, 2010

BMI/ASCAP/SESAC Legal Extortion Scam

"Legal extortion" occurs when someone uses the threat of a lawsuit, or an actual lawsuit, to extort money. In a typical legal extortion racket, most victims settle without a trial. The occasional expensive highly-publicized lawsuit victory scares everyone else into settling.

The State does not need to jail everyone, to collect taxation/tribute/extortion money. A mafia extortion racket doesn't physically assault everyone. A legal extortion racket doesn't sue everyone. The occasional violence keeps the other slaves in line.

If I sent a letter saying "Pay me $1k or I break your legs!", you'd agree that I'm a criminal. If a lawyer sends a letter saying "Pay me $1k or I sue you!", the net effect is the same, but that's presumed legal.

The legal system is violence and threat of violence. If I wrote a letter threatening to steal your property, that's a crime. If a lawyer writes a threat letter demanding settlement, that's presumed legal. If a State judge writes a court summons, you have to respond or people with guns will come to kidnap you or take away your property.

Here's how the BMI legal extortion racket works. BMI owns the performance rights for most mainstream media songs. (There are two other music licensing extortion organizations, ASCAP and SESAC. I refer to BMI in this article for consistency, but what I write applies to all 3 licensing extortion organizations. A bar/restaurant/theater/venue typically must sign an extortion contract with all 3. You don't know a priori which song's copyright is enforced by which licensing extortion cartel. There are some smaller copyright licensing organization that own fewer songs, but still go around extorting from people.) The BMI licensing fee goes to songwriters, and not the people who sing the song. The payout is based on a survey of top-earning performers and top-rated radio stations, which creates a bias in favor of hit songs.

If you don't have a hit song, and register with BMI, you probably won't make anything. Once you register your song with BMI, I'm not sure if you can unregister. They make it hard to unregister. You can do it once a year or once every five years.

BMI extortion reps read the local newspapers, looking for bars and restaurants that offer music. The rep goes to the bar/restaurant/theater, pretending to be a customer. The rep writes down every song played. If there's an infringing song, you get a legal threat letter from BMI.

BMI extortionists/salesmen complain "We have to spend a lot of effort educating our 'customers', making them realize they have an obligation to pay us or we'll sue them and ruin them. Some of our potential customers/victims mistakenly think it's all one big scam! There's a serious lack of awareness of copy licensing extortion." If the average person knew about the BMI licensing extortion racket, they would say "WTF? This is legal extortion!" By keeping it a secret that only bar/restaurant/venue owners know, that facilitates the extortion. BMI isn't widely advertised, because people would be outraged. Imagine if BMI took out a Super Bowl ad saying "If you own a bar and have a live band, pay us or we'll sue you!"

Government *IS* extortion. It isn't surprising that people abuse government to extort. Lobbyists get favorable laws, and then use those laws to extort. Part of the profits of legal extortion is spent on further lobbying. Legal extortion piggybacks on the State extortion racket. BMI and the mainstream media/music cartel spent a lot of money lobbying for favorable laws and legal precedents.

The mainstream media cartel can't criticize the BMI extortion racket, because the mainstream media cartel also is a huge beneficiary of corrupt copyright law. Current copyright law is a mess for non-insiders. It's practically impossible to do anything, without infringing on someone's copyright. Having copyright a legal quagmire benefits insiders, because only they can afford to hire lawyers and get permission to do things. If you make a song that sort of sounds like a copyrighted song, you may be sued.

There's one Anonymous UK commenter that complains about legal extortion a lot. Outside the USA, there are legal extortion organizations similar to BMI. In the UK, do you have a legal obligation to respond to a threat letter from a lawyer? In the USA, you can usually ignore a threat letter from a lawyer, but not an actual lawsuit. However, the judge might hold it against you in the trial? In the trial, the plaintiffs say "But we tried settling! Look at how many threat letters we sent him first!"

Do you get a jury for copyright infringement trials? Is it a bench trial with just a judge? It should be a jury trial, because then the defendant should argue "Hey! This is legal extortion!" The defendant in a copyright infringement extortion trial should *ALWAYS* demand a jury. In a "evil corporate cartel vs. individual" trial, the individual should be able to get sympathy from the jury. However, BMI will usually chose an song owned by an individual, rather than a corporation, when suing, to give the illusion of "We're looking out for the artist!".

On one website, I read that a typical contract with a label says that the label gets 50% of the performance revenue and the writer gets 50% of the revenue. Right of the top, 50% of BMI's revenue goes to corporate cartels. Does an "unrecouped" band still get the performance revenue?

A "legal extortion" racket relies on the fact that most victims settle without trial. Otherwise, the legal system would be flooded with lots of cases. If BMI thugs had to individually sue every victim, there would be no way that the legal system could handle all those cases.

The BMI reps are an example of "Economic Secret Police". They are paid on commission, as a % of tribute/extortion money collected. This gives the BMI rep an incentive to act excessively aggressively. I wonder if the BMI reps lie, saying you played a copyrighted song when you actually didn't?

Some of the BMI reps are big muscular men. That implies the threat of physical violence.

The BMI rep will keep harassing you and your employees, unless you sign an extortion contract with them. They act exactly like a mafia gang extracting extortion money.

As I said before, "intellectual property" is not property. Copying an idea or song is not the same as stealing a car. "Intellectual property" laws are written in a way that specifically encourages legal extortion. This is the result of lobbying by insiders. Most "intellectual property" is owned by corporate cartels. A pro-State troll says "Copyright protects the little guy!" The actual implementation of copyright law is profit/extortion for insiders.

"Intellectual property" should really be called "intellectual theft". The term "intellectual property" sets the debate in the wrong frame, because it isn't really property at all. What's a better term? How about "intellectual non-property"? "Intellectual anti-property"? "Intellectual un-property"? This page called it "intellectual pooperty".

A "legal extortion" lawsuit is always an insider vs. a non-insider. The BMI lawyer claims to be "acting for the poor songwriter". Most of the extortion money goes to corporate cartels and the writers of megahit songs. According to the licensing distribution formula, the megahit songs get most of the revenue. Also, the performance rights to many songs are owned by corporate cartels, and not the original songwriter.

Is a hit song popular because it's good? Or, is it popular because the media cartel promoted it?

For copyrighted songs, how many performance copyrights are owned by individuals? How many performance copyrights are owned by large corporate cartels?

The BMI extortionist sends you a form that's very similar to an IRS 1040 form. Here's one example. You say how big your restaurant/bar/business is and how much money you make. Then, BMI determines the licensing fee. A typical licensing fee is $1000/year. You might say "So what, $1000?", but it's still a tax. There's also a "minimum fee" for smaller business that don't play music that often. The BMI extortion fee is a regressive tax on small businesses. Larger businesses and chains get more favorable discounts.

If you sign an extortion contract with BMI, you'll probably have to also sign an extortion contract with ASCAP and BMI. They probably share a list of customers/victims.

The BMI schedule is a type of regressive tax. If you have live music infrequently, or if you have a small restaurant/bar, then you pay a disproportionately larger extortion fee. For example, notice the "annual fee minimum" of $332. There's also a "annual fee maximum". Madison Square Garden pays a *MUCH* smaller fee per seat than a small bar/restaurant/theater.

One defect in copyright law is "statutory damages". The copyright owner does not need to prove economic loss. The copyright owner merely needs to prove that infringement occurred. "Statutory damages" is an important concept of corrupt State law.

"Statutory damages" criminalize things that have no actual victim. Playing a copyrighted song has no victim. In fact, that act might increase the value of the song. There was a "payola" scandal, where record labels bribed radio stations to play their songs.

For most lawsuits, damages don't include plaintiff legal fees. This provides a disincentive to sue people. Statutory copyright infringement specifically includes plaintiff's legal fees. That provides an incentive to aggressively sue people. For example, if I sued for medical malpractice, attorney fees would be deducted from any verdict, giving me a financial incentive against suing.

If the fine for copyright infringement were only $100 per act, with no legal fees added, then BMI/ASCAP/SESAC would be out of business. Outrageous statutory fines, plus "plaintiffs are reimbursed for legal expenses", makes this extortion scam extremely lucrative. Notice that the defendant in a copyright infringement lawsuit does *NOT* automatically get legal expenses reimbursed. Further, the extortion cartels almost always win, because the law and judges are ridiculously biased in favor of them.

Copyright law criminalizes innocent-seeming activities. Suppose you buy a CD, and then play it in your business. That's copyright infringement. You need a separate performance license to play it in your business. The CD purchase only gives you a license for personal use.

Suppose you play the radio in your business. That's also copyright infringement. (However, satellite radio also includes a business rebroadcast permit.) The media cartel is double-billing, because the radio station paid a license for the right to play the song. If you buy a karoke machine or jukebox, you can't use it in your business unless you also buy a performance license.

According to recent copyright law changes, many more businesses are subject to BMI extortion. The square footage requirement for an exemption was reduced. This story had a good bit:

Spence also explained a relatively recent development in performance rights called the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act, which took effect in 1998 and may explain why ASCAP seems more active in recent years. It not only granted Disney a total of ninety-five exclusive years with Mickey Mouse, but also reduced the square footage at which a business can be judged a performance venue.
The law was recently changed, requiring more businesses to get a permit for music. This encourages more aggressive extortion by BMI. The law also increased "statutory damages", giving a further incentive for legal extortion. This law change was entirely the result of lobbying by BMI and the media/music cartel.

This article had an interesting bit. Some former judges are hired to work for BMI as board members. If you're a judge and give a favorable ruling for BMI, then you're rewarded with a cushy high-paying job when you retire!

This article had an interesting bit. Here's a better source.
Turns out the amendment was added by a staffer named Mitch Glazer from the office of Subcommittee Chairperson Howard Coble, R.-N.C., Glazer now works for the RIAA, the organization that sought to have those four words included in the first place, and did so with alarming quiet.
A Congressional clerk, Mitch Glazer, put an obscure clause in a law, the "Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act", reclassifying music writing as a "work for hire". That law would have meant that musicians would never own copyright to their songs! The clerk who put that clause in the law immediately got a high-paying job as a music corporation lobbyist. That part of the law was repealed after much outrage.

The State can't annoy musicians too much. The mainstream music industry plays an important role in keeping the slaves brainwashed and complacent. I'm not holding my breath waiting for a mainstream media-promoted song to say "Taxation is theft! The Federal Reserve is a scam!"

When there's 1000+ page laws, it's very easy for an ambitious clerk to stick an evil clause in the law. Most of the financial "reform" law has clauses like that, but only financial industry insiders will benefit. Most of the obscure financial "reform" loopholes only make sense to financial industry insider.

The main evil of corrupt State copyright law is "statutory damages". The copyright owner merely needs to prove infringement occurred, and not that you cost them money. There's a big difference between "compensatory damages" and "statutory damages".

Patent lawsuits are another example of excessive statutory damages. Most patent lawsuits are filed by "patent troll" corporations. Patent troll corporation executives buy up patents, and then sue people. The most famous example of patent extortion was RIMM's Blackberry lawsuit. Patents are not property. Every patent lawsuit is legal extortion.

If you're kidnapped for "possession of marijuana", that's an example of "criminal statutory damages". "Possession of marijuana" is a victimless crime. If you smoke marijuana, you're only hurting yourself.

If you challenge BMI in court, you have to pay your own legal fees, even if you win, costing $50k+. If you lose, you owe statutory damages of $100k+, plus your own legal fees, plus plaintiff legal fees. The rational thing is to pay the $1k-$3k extortion fee and settle.

The problem is that the USA doesn't have a justice system. The USA has a "justice" system. The system is set up for the benefit of insiders, at the expense of non-insiders. This vandalism was amusing. Someone vandalized the 'Boulder County Justice Center' to read 'Boulder County "Justice" Center'. That's an accurate reflection of the way the USA legal system works.

The BMI legal extortion racket undermines the credibility of the US legal system. The BMI cartel extorts $1k-$10k per small business owner per year. At the same time, productive workers are getting a lesson in how the US legal system is one big sham. In that sense, BMI is doing a good thing, because they're undermining the credibility of the State!

Techdirt wrote an article about BMI extortion. They were criticizing a NY Times fluff piece. As usual, the NY Times was pro-State trolling. They were saying "It's wonderful that BMI collects money for the little guy artist!" instead of "This is legalized extortion!" Most of the money BMI collects goes to writers of mega-hit songs. The BMI licensing fee is distributed based on a sample of what star performers sing and based on what popular radio stations play. The NY Times says "Those greedy small business owners aren't paying their fair share!" Why not write "Those greedy corporations keep lobbying for retroactive copyright extensions! Those greedy corporations lobbied for ridiculously biased laws! Copyright shouldn't last for 100+ years!"?

It's exactly inverted. The BMI fight is presented as "little guy artist vs. greedy restaurant owner", when it's really "BMI corporate cartel vs. small business owner". A "State vs. individual" fight is misrepresented as a "individual vs. State" fight.

The NY Times BMI propaganda article was published on August 6, 2010. Remember that date.

This article was interesting. It refers to this court decision. On July 26, 2010, a NY Federal district court issued a *VERY* unfavorable ruling for BMI. The ruling was "If you license music from multiple sources, you only owe BMI a prorated licensing fee." Right now, BMI charges a flat blanket fee, no matter how many BMI-licensed songs you use.

The flat blanket licensing fee, combined with "revenue goes mostly to megahit writers", punishes small bands who write their own music. If you pay the extortion fee, and hire bands that play all/mostly original music, you're getting ripped off by the BMI/ASCAP/SESAC fee. You have to pay the extortion fee, just in case a band you hire accidentally plays a copyrighted song.

If you play 99.9% original music and 0.1% BMI-licensed music, you should only owe 0.1% of the fee. BMI's pricing schedule should be a violation of antitrust law. You have to buy the blanket license just in case a band performs a copyrighted song, even if you hire bands that play mostly original music. The "statutory damages" copyright law is ridiculously biased in favor of plaintiffs. This gives bars/restaurants/venues an incentive to pay the extortion fee, or not have any music at all. Due to the threat/cost of extortion, many small bars and restaurants are saying "I won't have a band then. It isn't worth the legal hassle. If I have an open mike night, I'm risking $100k+ damages?" The BMI extortion racket hurts small independent bands, as venues are forced to close.

What a coincidence! On July 26, a court issues an unfavorable ruling for BMI. On August 6, the NY Times writes a propaganda article, saying how wonderful BMI is. Gee, I wonder if there's a correlation? Did some BMI executive call his buddies at the NY Times and say "Hey! I want you to write a propaganda article for us! We need to lobby to get this court decision overturned!"?

There's another interesting bit in the above article. There's a "BMI Rate Court", separate from the legal system, where BMI extortion fees are calculated. The IRS has its own "tax court". BMI has its own "rate court". BMI has an astonishing similarity to the IRS.

BMI/ASCAP/SESAC charge a "blanket license fee". They look at the size of your restaurant/bar/venue, and the fee is based solely on your seating and revenue. If you play 100% BMI-licensed songs or if you only play 0.1% BMI-licensed songs, your fee is the same. This court decision potentially changes that. Even if you believe that "intellectual property" is property, the licensing fee should be based on the % of BMI-licensed songs you use, and not a flat blanket fee.

A pro-State troll says "Without flat blanket pricing, how can BMI be sure they're charging the right amount? Per-song pricing is too much of a hassle!" If copyright extortion is too expensive, then maybe BMI shouldn't be doing it? The current system benefits insiders, which is exactly the way BMI wants it.

Also, the flat fee is based on the *MAXIMUM* legal capacity and not your actual attendance. If your maximum legal capacity is 200 but your average seating is 50, then you owe based on the rate of 200 and not 50.

"Flat blanket fee" and "bundled pricing" is the way a monopolistic cartel acts. BMI acts like an abusive cartel, due to ridiculously high statutory damages plus legal expenses, when they sue you and win. Their library includes practically every copyrighted song. You don't know which song is licensed to which extortion organization, forcing people to sign extortion contracts with BMI, ASCAP, *AND* SESAC.

Another example is when BMI licenses to Internet radio. Internet radio and webcasters must pay a % of revenue, independent of how many BMI-licensed songs they play. If an Internet radio station plays 99% self-published music and 1% BMI-licensed music, they owe the same fee as if they played 100% BMI-licensed music. Here's a good source explaining the corruption in Internet radio licensing. "BMI gets a % of revenues, no matter what % of our songs you play" is extortion capitalism. There's another Internet music licensing extortion organization, SoundExchange.

The BMI fee is not negotiated via a free market process. The licensing fee is on a "take it or leave it" basis, and they'll sue you if you refuse. The BMI fee is based on the threat of $100k+ statutory damages plus legal expenses, rather than the true value of the music. It's practically impossible for a business owner to make sure a band plays no copyrighted songs. Is the owner expected to have every copyrighted song memorized? Even if the owner takes reasonable precautions, there are legal precedents that say the owner is still responsible, if the band he hires makes a mistake and plays a copyrighted song.

The actual copyright owner might not even be damaged, when a band in a bar performs the song. The performance might even enhance the value of the copyright. The corrupt legal principle of "statutory damages" removes this as a valid defense.

There's another amusing bit on Techdirt and other websites that criticize BMI. There's always a bunch of pro-State troll comments supporting BMI! It seems that the BMI propagandists troll the Internet. They publish a bunch of pro-BMI comments on websites that criticize BMI! I wonder if I'll get any such comments here? My blog has a decent PageRank now. This post might make the first page of Google search for "BMI extortion".

This article was interesting. BMI has a "consent decree" from the US Justice Department, making them exempt from Federal antitrust prosecution. That article also has a reference to the "Fairness in Music Licensing Act of 1998", which really should be called the "Unfairness in Music Licensing Act of 1998". That law increased the statutory damages for copyright infringement. That law also increased the number of bars/restaurants/venues that come under BMI's jurisdiction, by reducing the "square foot" requirement for being exempt from the licensing requirement. Even a non music-related store that plays music, might be required to pay a BMI licensing/extortion fee.

However, the "consent decree" doesn't exempt BMI from private antitrust lawsuits. That merely exempts them from Federal antitrust prosecution.

This "consent decree" indicates "Congress and the President know that BMI is running a legal extortion racket." They acknowledge and endorse BMI's extortion. Laws were were written in a way that explicitly encourage BMI's legal extortion. Legal precedents backed up BMI's legal extortion practices. The media corporations have been running this performance licensing extortion scam for nearly 100 years! Recent law changes make it easier for BMI to extort from businesses.

There's another fallacy in the way the law is set up. "The bar/restaurant/venue owner is legally responsible for copyright infringement, and not the performing band." If BMI went around suing musicians, then "It's for the artists!" would obviously be a lie. Besides, most small bands are broke. There's nothing to be gained from suing them. The small business owner has tangible assets that can be extorted.

The bar/restaurant/venue owner is required to purchase the performance license, and not the band actually performing. If the band were required to purchase the performance license, then they'd only pay for the songs they actually plan to sing.

Suppose a bar hires a band. He tells the band "I don't want you playing music that requires a third-party licensing fee." Suppose the band plays such a song anyway, either or purpose or as a mistake. The bar owner is still legally responsible! The contingent liability for hiring a band is too high. Many small business are saying "Screw it! I won't have any music!", rather than deal with the BMI extortion licensing cartel.

This article had an interesting bit. Even if the venue owner makes the band sign a written contract "I agree to not play BMI-licensed music.", the venue owner is *STILL* legally responsible if the band plays such a song anyway, either on purpose or by mistake. There's a legal precedent that removes "I told them not to play that!" as a valid defense. Those BMI scum and corrupt judges think of everything. Given the way the law works and given unfair legal precedents, the contingent liability for hiring a band without paying the extortion fee is ridiculously high.

The BMI extortionists make a bizarre statement. "Our music library contains almost every copyrighted song. It's impossible to have a live band performing, without infringing on our copyrights. If you have a live band or play music, you have to pay our licensing fee." The statutory penalty for infringement is so high, that if you play *ONE* infringing song all year, the statutory penalty is 100x higher than the licensing fee. If a venue refuses to go along with the extortion racket, then the BMI cartel will send spies to watch your performances, ready to sue you if someone performs a copyrighted song for which they own the performance rights.

This webpage has an interesting story. A musician wrote his own music. He gave performances. The BMI cartel still attempted to extort from the bars that hired him to perform. The bar fired him and stopped offering music, even though he was playing 100% non-BMI-licensed music. From the point of view of the small business owner, they'd rather not have music, than pay the extortion fee. The threat of extortion forces the band to stop offering music, even though the actual performance was non-infringing. The small business owner will stop having a band, once threatened with BMI extortion. The extortion cartel cost that independent musician his performance jobs.

The BMI extortion cartel is forcing many small bar/restaurants/venues from offering music. In effect, it's a huge tax hike.

The BMI extortion fee isn't free. It comes from money that would otherwise be available to pay musicians. The cost of the extortion fee is passed onto customers via higher prices.

Congress and the legal system have specifically endorsed BMI's legal extortion practice. However, there are some ways an ambitious lawyer might defeat them.
  1. RICO might apply. I don't know if anyone has tried this. One source said that someone won a RICO lawsuit in trial court, but had the verdict overturned on appeal.
  2. Another potentially relevant law is the "Hobbs Act". BMI sends their threat letters via mail, making them potentially subject to mail fraud. If a BMI agent falsely says in a letter "If you have live music, you owe us a fee, no matter what songs you perform.", then that's mail fraud. When a BMI agent says "Pay us or we'll sue. We've never lost a lawsuit.", that could be interpreted as extortion and sending threats via mail.
  3. Antitrust law might apply. The "consent decree" only gives BMI an exemption from Federal antitrust prosecution, but not from a private lawsuit.
  4. BMI's pricing practices are indicative of an abusive monopoly. They offer a "flat fee", based solely on the size of your business. Really, it should be a prorated licensing fee, based on the % of BMI-licensed music you play. BMI exploits the fact that "statutory damages" and legal expenses for a single act of infringement are 100x greater than the licensing fee. Therefore, they offer only a flat licensing fee.
  5. Copyright law might violate the "no excessive fines" portion of the Constitution, the 8th amendment. If you buy a BMI license, the fee is a couple cents per song. If you have no license, the statutory fine is $100k+ per song. That's a pretty huge discrepancy. That's the result of lobbying by insiders, giving BMI the power to extort.
  6. Sending a letter that says "Pay me or I'll sue!" may violate state anti-extortion laws. Here is a link to NY's anti-extortion law. It seems that BMI's practices violate 155.05.2.e.(iv), (vii) or (ix). However, that's subject to the interpretation of a biased State judge.
  7. Can you use a "jury nullification" defense in a civil lawsuit? The defense can argue "BMI is running a 'legal extortion' racket. Therefore, the jury should vote 'not responsible' no matter what the other facts of the case." However, a judge would probably bar such an argument. Even if you made such an argument, the verdict could be overturned on appeal; "double jeopardy" doesn't apply to civil lawsuits.
However, I'm not a legal expert. BMI has purchased sufficient Congressmen and judges that they'll probably be able to continue their extortion racket. I doubt any of BMI's victims will get a fair trial in a corrupt State court.

There's another weird bit about BMI copyright infringement lawsuits. It isn't "BMI vs. victim". It's "copyright owner vs. victim". BMI is acting on behalf of whoever owns the copyright.

The NY Attorney General frequently likes to challenge abusive corporate cartels. I'd like to see him challenge BMI's practices. Even if a RICO or antitrust lawsuit fails, it would raise awareness of the issues. BMI is extorting from businesses in NY, giving the NY Attorney General legal standing to pursue a RICO/antitrust lawsuit. There may be NY-specific anti-extortion laws that BMI is violating.

It's obvious that BMI is running a legal extortion racket. Unfortunately, corrupt State judges think otherwise. If you're an insane State judge, BMI's practices are totally legal.

This is the evil of the State. BMI makes a *TON* of money via legal extortion. They spend a fraction of this money lobbying for favorable laws. If you steal $1B via legal extortion and spend $100M lobbying, then that's a very profitable scam.

Here's a summary of all the issues:
  • BMI is running a legal extortion racket.
  • The body language of BMI scum is exactly the same as that of a mafia gang. Under "color of law", their extortion racket gets the illusion of legitimacy. Their extortion racket is backed by the full evil violent power of the State.
  • BMI is suing people for violating laws they lobbied for! Once a "legal extortion" racket crosses a certain profitability threshold, it becomes self-sustaining via lobbying, buying politicians, and buying judges. It's pretty scummy to lobby for a law, and then go around threatening to sue people for violating it.
  • There's a real cost to BMI extortion. Whenever you got to a bar, restaurant, nightclub, or theater, part of the price is the cost of BMI legal extortion. Also, fewer venues offer music, due to the threat of BMI extortion.
  • If you say "Pay me $1k or I break your legs!", that's obviously illegal. If you say "Pay me $1k or I sue you!", that's still immoral extortion, but presumed legal.
  • BMI agents spy on businesses who play music, so they can extort from them. They're a type of "economic secret police".
  • Current copyright law is ridiculous. The business owner has an obligation to know every copyrighted song and make sure his bands don't play them. Otherwise, he must sign with these extortion licensing organizations or be subject to ridiculous statutory damages.
  • BMI agents are paid based on a % of extortion/license money they collect. This gives them an incentive to behave abusively.
  • BMI agents will harass a business owner and their employees, until they pay the extortion fee.
  • Some BMI agents are big muscular men, implying the threat of physical violence.
  • Some BMI agents might lie, saying that a band played a copyrighted song when they actually didn't. They have a financial incentive to lie.
  • Some BMI agents claim "All bars/restaurants/venues that have live band performances are required to pay the licensing/extortion fee." That is false. The copyright extortion law only applies if you play songs that are copyrighted and BMI is hired to enforce the copyright. BMI's music library is so large that they claim "If you have a band, you're statistically practically guaranteed to be infringing."
  • Some artists who only play their own music have been fired from performing gigs, due to the threat of BMI exortion.
  • The BMI extortion racket has hurt small independent bands. Many small bars/restaurants are refusing to have bands, rather than deal with the BMI extortionists.
  • A really cynical person could say "The media cartel is intentionally shutting down small music venues so that independent bands can't earn a living." That ruins the Internet business model of "Give recorded music away for free and sell tickets to live performances."
  • There's another defect in the way copyright law is written and enforced. The bar/restaurant/venue owner is responsible, and not the band actually performing. The artist and venue are jointly responsible for any copyright infringement.
  • If BMI went around suing small bands, then "It's for the little guy artist!" would obviously be a lie. Besides, most small bands are nearly broke.
  • BMI sues the owner of the bar/restaurant/venue. A small business owner has tangible assets than can be extorted, making them a juicy target. A small business owner doesn't have deep pockets, giving them an incentive to settle and pay the extortion licensing fee.
  • If a business owner makes the band sign a contract "We agree to not play music that requires a third-party licensing fee.", then that should provide the business owner protection from being sued. Unfortunately, that's not the way BMI extortionists and State judges think. It seems there are legal precedents that establish the liability of the owner, even if he tells his band to not play such songs. That's ridiculous.
  • The BMI extortion racket creates a huge contingent liability for a bar/restaurant that hires a band without a BMI license. If the band plays just one BMI-licensed song, then the business owner is exposed to a *HUGE* liability. Most small business owners will say "I won't have a band at all!" if they were considering having a band once a month or once a week.
  • Most/all BMI extortion money goes to writers of megahit songs. "We're looking out for the little guy!" is a lie.
  • For copyrighted songs, how many performance copyrights are owned by individuals? How many performance copyrights are owned by large corporate cartels?
  • One source said that, when you sign with a major label, the label gets 50% of the performance copyright revenue. The writer gets the other 50%.
  • For a megahit song, the current copyright owner may not be the person who originally wrote the song. For example, rights to "The Beatles" songs have changed hands several times. Retroactive copyright extension and stricter laws means that the value of copyrights keep increasing.
  • The BMI license/extortion application looks a lot like an IRS 1040 extortion form. BMI has its own "rate court" just like the IRS has its own "tax court".
  • A complicated tax form creates the illusion of fairness in the taxation system. A complicated BMI licensing form also creates the illusion of fairness.
  • BMI recently got an unfavorable court ruling. A few days later, the NY Times published a puff piece, saying how wonderful BMI's extortion racket is. I wonder if there's a correlation between those two events?
  • Whenever a blog or website publishes a BMI-critical story, pro-BMI trolls post a bunch of comments. I wonder if this post will attract pro-BMI trolls?
  • BMI's extortion fee is not based on a free market negotiation process. It's based on the threat of a lawsuit, legal fees, and statutory damages.
  • BMI's extortion fee has nothing to do with the real economic value of the music performance right.
  • The fact that some businesses pay the BMI extortion fee, does not prove that their practices are reasonable.
  • The statutory damages for copyright infringement have nothing to do with actual economic loss. In fact, playing a song might increase the value of the copyrighted song. There was a "payola" scandal, where labels paid radio stations to play their music.
  • BMI has purchased Congressmen and judges. They have favorable laws and legal precedents backing their extortion scam.
  • BMI lobbied for favorable recent copyright law changes. Statutory damages were raised. More bars/restaurants/venues are now legally required to pay the extortion fee.
  • You can't know a priori which songs are owned by which extortion organization (BMI, ASCAP, or SESAC). Therefore, you must sign an extortion contract with all three.
  • Copyright law criminalizes innocent-seeming activities. If you buy a CD and play it in your business, that's illegal. If you play the radio in your business, that's illegal. If you buy a karoke machine or jukebox and play it, that's illegal. For radio, it's double-paying, because the radio station also purchases a performance right when they air the music.
  • High statutory damages specifically encourage legal extortion. The victim must pay plaintiff's legal fees in addition to his own legal fees, further encouraging extortion.
  • The way copyright law is written, the copyright owner must have a zero tolerance enforcement policy. Otherwise, they may forfeit their copyright.
  • BMI only offers a "blanket license". It's the same fee whether you play 100% BMI-licensed songs or only 0.1%. That might be a violation of antitrust law. People pay the fee because statutory damages for copyright infringement, even once, are ridiculously high.
  • Really, the BMI license fee should be prorated, based on the % of BMI-licensed songs you play. The recent unfavorable BMI court ruling was about this issue.
  • BMI has a "consent decree" from the Justice department, making them immune from Federal antitrust prosecution. That doesn't provide immunity from private lawsuits. This "consent decree" means that the President and Congress approve of BMI's extortion scam.
  • An ambitious lawyer, prosecutor, or attorney general could pursue BMI. The best tactic would be RICO, the Hobbes Act, or antitrust law. NY's attorney general sometimes pursues claims like this. The legal system is nearly completely corrupt. I'm not holding my breath waiting.
  • RICO might apply due to BMI's excessive harassment of businesses that refuse to pay the licensing fee, along with BMI's policy of suing and threatening to sue everyone who doesn't pay.
  • BMI may send out threat letters implying the possibility of future copyright violation, even though they have no evidence of a specific copyright violation.
  • Antitrust law might apply, due to the blanket licensing policy.
  • The BMI extortion scam undermines the credibility of the legal system and political system. In that sense, it's a good thing!
  • Any lawsuit regarding copyright, patents, or trademarks is really legal extortion.
Most importantly, "intellectual property" is not property. The term "intellectual property" sets the debate in the wrong frame. "Intellectual property" is an excellent widely-hyped evil fnord phrase. It really should be called "Intellectual un-property".

Someone should build a database of public domain royalty-free music. Independent artists should be encouraged to submit to this database, rather than signing with a label. If you're an independent artist, you're encouraged "Go sign with BMI!" Then, you discover that you only get paid if you have a megahit song.

The State extortion scam provides the illusion of legitimacy to BMI's legal extortion scam. There's a lot of pro-State brainwashing regarding "intellectual property". Patents, copyrights, and trademarks are not property. A massive propaganda campaign is necessary to convince people that "intellectual property" should be treated like real property.

The USA has the best Congress and "justice" system that insiders' money can buy. BMI is an excellent example of corruption capitalism. BMI receives humongous State subsidies. Some of their profits are spent on lobbying, guaranteeing that the extortion scam continues. BMI recently lobbied for laws making it easier to extort. After these favorable law changes, BMI stepped up their extortion efforts.

BMI has purchased a bunch of Congressmen, judges, laws, and legal precedents. You probably aren't going to get a fair trial in a corrupt State court. The music licensing extortion cartel is *VERY* well connected.

Government is a huge highly-profitable extortion racket. Scum like BMI piggyback the State extortion racket to run a legal extortion racket. If BMI had to maintain their own private army, to enforce their extortion racket, then it wouldn't be profitable. BMI externalizes its extortion enforcement costs to the State.

The BMI scum are an example of why the US economy is failing. It's easier to use the legal system to extort from people, than to actually build a profitable business. BMI profits come at the expense of small business bar/restaurant owners, who typically already have thin profit margins. The BMI/ASCAP/SESAC cartel is an excellent example of the parasite class exploiting the productive class.

BMI/ASCAP/SESAC are running a legal extortion racket. It's huge and extremely profitable.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

State vs. Octavia Nasr

This story was interesting. Octavia Nasr used to work for CNN. She wrote a twitter message expressing sympathy, when a Hezbollah leader died. She was fired from her job at CNN.

This is a very common pattern. A State comedian/journalist says something that reflects a forbidden truth. They are publicly humiliated, disgraced, and fired. The truth-speaker issues an apology, but it doesn't matter; they're fired and their career is over. They never will get another job in the State media cartel. The "apology" is an important part of the ritual, because the truth-speaker retracts their statement before being disgraced.

Octavia Nasr's forbidden truth is "Not everyone involved with Hezbollah is a scumbag. Some of them are good guys. They have legitimate grievances, regarding the way the US military treats them."

The State media cartel says "Journalists aren't supposed to express personal political opinions." More precisely, journalists aren't allowed to express opinions that contradict official State propaganda. It's OK for a State journalist to say "Be patriotic! Support our troops!" That's also a personal opinion, albeit a State-sanctioned opinion.

"The State media must be neutral!" is a policy that helps hide the pro-State bias. "Present both sides" usually is false opposites. Right now, some people are saying "The Federal Reserve should raise interest rates." The fake opposite is "The Federal Reserve should keep interest rates low." The correct answer is "The Federal Reserve is a price-fixing cartel. The government should not be setting interest rates." Under the guise of "presenting both sides", the State media cartel seems impartial while suppressing the truth.

A pro-State troll says "So what? It's a free market. CNN executives can do whatever they please!" If it's a free market, then why hasn't Octavia Nasr already been hired by one of CNN's competitors? Hasn't her reputation been increased by this incident?

The mainstream media cartel is controlled by a handful of insiders. These insiders all think practically the same way. Octavia Nasr is effectively blacklisted. She probably will never find a job that pays as much as her CNN job.

A pro-State troll says "Octavia Nasr can self-publish on the Internet!" The problem is that she won't earn as much selling ads as CNN. Executives at a large corporation want to purchase ads from large mainstream media corporations that meet their censorship standards. They don't want to advertise with some fruitcake blogger. There are relatively few small businesses in the USA, so it's harder for an independent blogger to sell ads. You aren't going to earn as much self-publishing on the Internet, as with a State media corporation.

A lot of people are unfairly fired from a mainstream media job, based on something they said. This usually ends their career. There is no explicit written State censorship policy. Every mainstream journalist knows the unwritten State censorship rules.

When someone says a forbidden truth, you don't need to send them to a labor camp. It is sufficient to fire and blacklist them. With the media cartel controlled by a handful of insiders, it's very easy to impose State censorship. The insiders who control the media corporations wield more political influence than most politicians. By hyping some viewpoints and censoring others, the State media cartel enforces censorship more efficiently that China or Russia or other dictatorships. This censorship occurs while telling the slaves "Freedom of speech! Freedom of the Press! It's a free market!"

This is a very predictable pattern. A State insider mentions a forbidden truth. They are shamed and publicly denounced. They are forced to apologize, but they're fired anyway. They're effectively blacklisted. They will never again find another mainstream media job.

State propagandists have a cushy job. They are well paid but have no useful skills. There's always someone else eager to replace them. Therefore, anyone who disobeys is easily fired, discredited, and replaced.

In the USA, there is no real free market in journalism. You can self-publish on the Internet. Even if you have a good blog (like me), it's still very hard to earn a living self-publishing on the Internet.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Right to Own Assault Rifles

A lot of State propagandists say "Why would someone need an assault rifle? Only a criminal would want an assault rifle." This is justification for banning them.

The reason you own an assault rifle is not protection from small-scale criminals. Assault rifles are needed when the secret police come to kidnap you. With no-knock raids for nonviolent statutory crime, police behave like an occupying army rather than protectors of freedom.

With an assault rifle, the average person can fight at near-parity with professional soldiers. That is the value of an assault rifle. A gun ownership ban is a key component of a dictator's control plan.

If the President announced "Let's round up all the small business owners and send them to death camps!", that would obviously be evil. Instead, regulations are passed that cripple small businesses. If the cost of regulation compliance is $X, a fixed cost, then large corporations have a huge advantage over small business.

One at a time, small business owners are rounded up and sent to jail, rather than jailing them all at once. Under the guise of "Rule of law!", State parasites steal from small business owners. The State thug says "I'm just enforcing the law!", without realizing that the law he's enforcing is wrong.

That helps disguise State evil. The secret police don't round up and arrest everyone all at once. Kidnapping one person at a time is much more efficient. The law is so vague that any person could be considered a criminal.

If you're the only person who violently resists the State aggression, you're throwing your life away for nothing. If everyone did it, then the scam would rapidly collapse. Right now, due to the superior resources of the terrorists, stealth and nonviolent resistance are the best options.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Myth of George Washington

I was watching Jeopardy and saw the following clue:

In an important precedent, Washington served this many terms as president, though others wanted him to stay on
I was amused. Shows like Jeopardy contain hidden pro-State messages.

In your State brainwashing center, you learned
George Washington decided that no President should serve more than two terms. He graciously declined to seek a third term.
However, this is a lie. George Washington declined to run for a 3rd term because he knew he wouldn't get reelected! Rather than suffer the embarrassment of running and losing, he declined to seek a 3rd term.

In 1796, there were two main political factions. There was Thomas Jefferson, who believed "We should have a Federal government, but make sure it stays small." By 1796, most of the Anti-Federalists were supporting Jefferson.

There was the Adams/Hamilton faction. They believed "We like having a strong government because we like stealing! The main purpose of government is for insiders to line their pockets!"

George Washington was inbetween the Jefferson faction and the Adams/Hamilton faction. Both sides disapproved of the way Washington's government was going. Jefferson wanted a limited government and Adams wanted a Police State. Washington wasn't freedom-minded enough for Jefferson. Washington was too freedom-minded for Adams.

The election of 1796 illustrated a defect in the Constitution. The #1 electoral vote recipient was President, and the #2 candidate was Vice President. This led to the awkward situation of having Adams as President and Jefferson as Vice President, people from opposing factions.

This flaw was rapidly fixed via an Amendment, the 12th Amendment. The 12th Amendment introduced separate elections for President and Vice President. Now, it's impossible for the President and Vice President to be from two competing political parties.

President Adams got Congress to pass the Sedition Act. This made it a crime to criticize the Federal government and its policies. "Freedom of the press" rapidly went out the window. Benjamin Franklin Bache was arrested for violating the Sedition Act.

The leading Anti-Federalist and Jefferson-supporting newspaper editors were rounded up and sent to jail. This was an intellectual purge similar to the Cultural Revolution in China. Jefferson pardoned all of them when he became President, but the damage was done. Benjamin Franklin Bache died of "natural causes" while awaiting trial. The Anti-Federalist newspapers went bankrupt and folded while the owner was in jail.

There was a similar purge while Lincoln was President; he arrested newspaper editors who criticized the Civil War. Many people in the North thought that the Southern states should be allowed to secede.

Some State parasites want to make it a crime to criticize the President or the government. They are looking for a modern version of the Sedition Act, to stifle freedom of speech on the Internet.

While watching Jeopardy, I pointed out to my father "George Washington didn't seek a 3rd term because he wouldn't be reelected." My father said "That's nonsense. You shouldn't believe everything you read on the Internet." Pro-State brainwashing is very effective.

State brainwashing centers present history in a biased pro-State troll fashion. By mentioning certain facts and suppressing others, this creates bias. For "great statists", the good things they did are hyped and the bad is downplayed or omitted. Once I started learning real history, and not the pro-State troll version, history seems a lot more interesting. For example, "history of banking in the USA" is not normally taught in State brainwashing centers. It's interesting to read about how bad laws and bad Supreme Court precedents eroded the American people's freedom.

A lot of mainstream "history" is sanitized pro-State propaganda. "George Washington graciously didn't seek a 3rd term." is an example of sanitized history. It downplays the real conflict between the Adams faction and the Jefferson faction.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Fallacy of Nullification

On, there's a lot of effort promoting Tom Woods' book on Nullification. Tom Woods works for that website. "Nullification" refers to the right of state governments to override bad Federal laws.

"Nullification" should not be confused with "jury nullification". "Jury nullification" refers to the right and obligation for jurors to vote "not guilty", if they think that the law being enforced is immoral. The practice of questioning jurors was invented to prevent jury nullification. If a juror indicates they might vote "not guilty", then the jury selection process eliminates them.

According to Federal government judges, Federal law takes priority over state law. This is an obvious conflict of interest. The decision "Federal law trumps state law!" was made by the Federal government. The Federal government has more resources than state governments, enabling Federal police to violently enforce their will.

The Supreme Court overturned Chicago's handgun ban. If you're a supporter of nullification, then you should oppose this ruling. That is confusing, because the freedom-oriented belief is "There should be no restrictions on gun ownership."

It was amusing to see the reaction of Chicago politicians. They responded to the verdict by passing a new gun control law. The new law is slightly less strict than the one the Supreme Court overturned. It's like they're conducting an experiment to see "What's the strictest law we can pass?"

If you support nullification, then you should support Arizona's anti-immigration law. Federal government lawyers are suing, in a Federal court, to block to law. The freedom-oriented belief on immigration is "There should be no restrictions on immigration. Laws restricting immigration are a symptom of the belief 'People are the property of their government.' Many anti-immigration laws are a type of modern fugitive slave law."

California has attempted to nullify Federal marijuana laws. However, the Federal DEA may still arrest people in California who operate "medical marijuana" stores. In the criminal trial, the defendant is barred from mentioning "I was operating a 'medical marijuana' store, which is legal according to California state law."

The problem with nullification is that it has no teeth, unless politicians and state police are prepared to violently back their declaration of nullification.

Suppose that California's government declares "Marijuana is 100% legal in California. The Federal DEA is blocked from enforcing Federal anti-marijuana laws in California. If a DEA agent arrests someone in California for 'possession of marijuana', then the California police will arrest that DEA agent for trespassing and assault."

California's marijuana law is appealed to Federal court and the Supreme Court. They say "Sorry! This law is invalid!" If California politicians now give up, then what was the point of nullification?

In order for nullification to have teeth, politicians and police in California would have to say "Your authority on this issue isn't valid. We're enforcing this law anyway!" If the DEA attempts to arrest someone in California, the California local police should be prepared to resist, with force if necessary. If California police aren't willing to arrest/kill a DEA agent when enforcing the nullification law, then there's no point of nullification.

Of course, most government bureaucrats and police are cowards. They won't risk their jobs to protect individual freedom. They certainly won't risk their lives to protect individual freedom. If local state police won't protect people from Federal armed thugs, then what's the point of having police?

The Federal government has superior military resources than any individual state. The Federal police will use violence to enforce Federal law. However, if local police had the balls to resist, then public opinion might go against the Federal thugs. That isn't going to happen.

The correct answer is "Anyone enforcing a bad law is guilty of assault/kidnapping/murder." Local state-employed police will not defend individuals from Federal government aggression.

Nullification only has teeth if local governments are prepared to back their order with violence. The Federal government has superior resources. The "nullification" issue is decided the way all political disputes are decided, via violence or threat of violence. Most/all state bureaucrats/police aren't going to use violence to enforce a nullification law. Most government bureaucrats are cowards who won't risk their cushy job.

Nobody is willing to use violence to back nullification. Nullification is a dead-end for people who seek individual freedom.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stimulus and Austerity

This State control trick is very offensive. State comedians simultaneously claim "We need to do X!" and "We need to do not X!"

One example is the simultaneous demand for stimulus and austerity. "OMFG! Deflation! Recession! We have to stimulate the economy!" and "OMFG! Inflation! We have to balance the Federal budget!" are two logically incompatible ideas.

It makes no logical sense that, in less than a year, the economy went from "OMFG! Bailout! Stimulus!" to "OMFG! Inflation!"

"Stimulus" is a code word for "Steal via inflation and spend it on pork projects!" "Austerity" is a code word for "Higher taxes!" After the "emergency" passes, the "temporary" tax hike is permanent.

State parasites use an emergency as an excuse to grab more power. The incentive is to create as many emergencies as you can! Government is the one business whose executives can claim "We're failing to do our job! Give us a raise!"

The "Bush tax cuts" are set to expire at the end of this year. This might be the biggest tax hike in American history. Of course, the Democrats and Republicans are going to be unable to reach a deal. Not only will progressive taxation rates return to 2000 levels, but via inflation, you're in a higher tax bracket compared to 2000 for the same real income. By doing nothing, Congress ensures that everyone gets a tax hike.

With progressive taxation rates and inflation, everyone moves up to a higher tax bracket every year! The tax schedules are adjusted according to the CPI, which is far less than true inflation. Then, Congressmen "adjust" the tax schedules, claiming to give everyone a tax cut.

"Austerity" is another excuse to cut pensions. State employee unions can vote as a bloc to prevent serious benefit cuts. However, inflation severely erodes the value of a pension.

Suppose you have a pension of $50k/year and true inflation is 25%. Then, the present value of your pension is only $250k! Inflation severely erodes your pension. Some State employees get a CPI-adjusted pension, which is still far less than true inflation.

"Stimulus" is an excuse for theft via inflation and pork spending. "Austerity" is an excuse for tax hikes and defaults and inflation. Either way, you lose. State comedians go from one emergency to the opposite emergency, to keep the slaves confused. In less than a year, State propaganda went from "OMFG! Stimulus! Deflation!" to "OMFG! Inflation! Tax hikes! Balance the budget!" That makes no sense.

This Blog Has Moved!

My blog has moved. Check out my new blog at