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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Unusual Voting Reform Proposal - Randomized Voting

The correct answer is "Voting does not legitimize taxation. All taxation is theft, no matter how the rulers are chosen." However, it's interesting to discuss alternative voting systems.

There's a logical paradox known as "Arrow's Theorem". It says that, no matter what voting system you use, there are flaws.

I saw a bizarre proposal. To choose the winner in an election, select a ballot at random, and that voter picks the winner. By introducing a random element, this eliminates the logical contradiction of Arrow's theorem.

Of course, this reform has zero chance of passing. Insiders like their ability to rig elections. The current winner-takes-all voting system makes third-party formation practically impossible.

One nice feature of randomized voting is that it gives third parties a chance. Suppose that 5% of the population feels strongly about X, but the 5% is spread uniformly in each district. They won't be able to elect an X candidate. Instead, they'll pick the major party candidate closest to their beliefs. With randomized voting, if 5% of the people strongly support X third-party, then 5% of the elected candidates will be from X. In the current system, 5% of the vote in every district is worthless.

In the present, your individual vote matters only if all other votes are exactly tied. (Even in that case, the election is more likely to be decided via a lawsuit than by actually counting the votes.) In a randomized voting system, your vote helps your candidate's chances, even if he already has a majority. Your vote gives your candidate a chance, even if he doesn't have a majority.

In the present, if a candidate has 60% of the votes locked up, then your vote is meaningless. In a randomized voting system, your vote increases your candidate's chance of winning.

This proposal would also work against incumbents. Even a "lock" incumbent gets only 75% of the vote. That's only a 3/4 chance of getting reelected, guaranteeing eventual defeat. Plus, randomized voting gives a strong incentive to campaign hard even if you won't get a majority.

Randomized voting is an interesting reform proposal. It has zero chance of passing. Insiders like the current system, which maximizes their power. The problem with "voting reform" is that there's no way to convince the current rulers to adopt a system that decreases their power.

If it was possible to force voting reform, then the same mechanism could be used to prevent all sorts of other State evils.

I only mention "randomized voting" as an interest abstract exercise. The correct answer is "All taxation is theft. No voting system legitimizes taxation/theft/extortion/slavery. You don't have an individual right to rob me. Therefore, via voting, you can't authorize someone else to rob me on your behalf."

Friday, April 29, 2011

Are NFL Owners Anarchists?

This story was amusing.

Let me start by stating the obvious: In the world in which I live, if I’m driving down the street and I see some red, flashing lights in my rearview mirror, I pull over to the side of the road.

If an officer approaches my car, tells me I was speeding and begins writing me a ticket, I don’t roll my eyes and say, “Whatever, I don’t recognize the validity of your radar devices or even acknowledge that you have jurisdiction.”

And when I see the print on the ticket advising me that I must pay or appear before a judge to plead my case, I don’t turn it into a paper airplane, throw it back at the officer and gloat, “I’m just going to get this overturned on appeal.”
Actually, that's correct. The policeman's authority and judge's authority is not legitimate. However, I'd grudgingly pay the penalty, rather than risk greater fines, kidnapping, or having State thugs steal my property.

In effect, the NFL owners are acting like anarchists! They're deliberately ignoring the judge!

A Federal judge ruled against the NFL, saying the lockout was illegal. However, the NFL is mostly ignoring the ruling. The NFL owners are letting players into the workplace. However, they are not allowed to workout or meet with coaches. Also, the league is not paying roster bonuses or workout bonuses. The league is not signing free agents.

Starting today, some limited work is resuming. Presumably, if the NFL loses on the appeal of the injunction, they'll fully start the season.

In effect, the NFL gave the Federal judge the finger. That's like a true anarchist!

There are two conflicting parts of the dispute.
  1. Should employees be forced to unionize?
  2. Do owners have the right to stop operating their business?
The players decertified their union. They can't negotiate even if they wanted to. However, a settlement of the class action lawsuit would probably include a clause saying the players must re-certify their union.

In effect, the lockout says that the players are forced to unionize. Without a State-sanctioned union, is a lockout illegal?

Previously, the players' union decertified and filed an antitrust lawsuit. A CBA provides the owners with immunity from player antitrust lawsuits. That lawsuit led to the current agreement. The owners claim that the decertification and lawsuit is a sham decertification. However, the previous CBA specifically forbade owners from raising the "sham decertification" argument.

The ruling has another disturbing aspect. Should the owners be allowed to stop operating their business? A business owner should have the right to shut down his business.

The judge made the wrong ruling. The NFL should be allowed to stop operating their business and stop hiring new employees. However, the NFL should have been required to pay out all already-signed contracts. That would have been a ruling that disadvantaged both sides.

The NFL has a weird incorporation structure. Each team is its own separate corporation. That makes them subject to an antitrust lawsuit. However, teams act jointly, for negotiating a TV contract, making rules, hiring referees, and other things. Is the NFL a single corporation, or 32 separate corporations colluding?

Newer professional sports leagues like Soccer (MLS) and Women's Basketball (WNBA) are "single-entity". There's one big corporation and each team owner is a shareholder. Players sign contracts with the league and not individual teams. This provides more antitrust protection.

The players invoked a "nuclear option" by decertifying their union. There's a "nuclear option" available to the owners. They could re-incorporate as a single entity, with each current team owner a shareholder. With a suitable shareholder agreement, they owners could act the same as now. That strategy might provide the owners with more antitrust protection.

The NFL claims it's legally risky to proceed, without a ruling from the judge. They don't know what labor rules are legal and which are illegal. The owners might be allowed to operate under the recently-expired CBA rules. Another possibility is that some policies may be illegal.

Without a CBA, the following probably are illegal:
  1. salary cap
  2. the draft
  3. free agency restrictions
The NFL isn't planning to have a salary cap without a new CBA. However, they do have revenue-sharing agreements.

The draft is probably illegal without a CBA. The judge should rule "All players not signed to a contract are unrestricted free agents." The NFL would be subject to huge punitive damages, if they lose an antitrust lawsuit on this issue.

Unfortunately, the judge won't rule on the legality of the draft and free agency restrictions for a long time. The restraining order only applies to a lockout. The ruling on the other issues could take years, including appeals. By that time, punitive damages would be ridiculously high. (Antitrust law provides for triple damages.)

There's no clear legal precedent. I predict the NFL should lose. You don't know until the judge makes a ruling. However, the NFL might win.

The anti-lockout injunction forces the league to gamble billions of dollars on the outcome of a lawsuit. There's a huge political risk and legal risk.

I never understood how a CBA legitimizes the draft. A "rookie wage scale" is obviously unfair. In effect, the current players are getting a higher salary for selling out recently-drafted players. It's an excellent example of democracy leading to unfairness. If only 1/5 of the union members are rookies, then the veterans can vote to cheat them. Rookies may not even get to become voting union members until they sign with a team.

Another example of CBA unfairness is the "franchise tag" and "transition tag". Via that mechanism, a team can force a star player to sign a below-market contract. Only the top 5% of players are potentially affected. Therefore, the players' union can rationally vote to cap the salary of superstar players. That's another example of the majority stealing from the minority. The underpaid superstar can't publicly complain without looking like a whiner, because he's already paid a huge salary.

If the NFL players prevail in court, that's an interesting precedent. Then, other sports' players migh de-certify their union and sue. The NBA players are already considering this. District court decisions are not a precedent. An appeals court decision is binding only in that circuit, but may be cited in others. Only a Supreme Court decision is absolutely definitive.

The real evil is not the players or owners. It's the State. The State forces certain rules on employees and owners. For example, the owners aren't allowed to fire or punish unionized players for striking. If the players were unionized, they could play until December, collect most of their season paychecks, and then stike. (The league makes most of its revenue from the playoffs and the Super Bowl, but players make most of their salary during the regular season.) The State also forces players to accept whatever the union majority votes for.

State antitrust law penalizes owners for their monopoly. The owners only have a monopoly due to the State. It's practically impossible to form a new league competing with an established league, due to State restriction of the market. If the players feel mistreated, they can't easily start a new competing league. Most successful competing leagues were formed 30+ years ago, when the USA had a freer market. Examples are AFL/NFL, ABA/NBA, and AL/NL. In the present, it's practically impossible to start a new league that competes with an established league. There are too many market restrictions, making competition effectively illegal.

In a really free market, the owners would be free to make up whatever rules they wanted. The players would be free to start another league if they feel mistreated. The antitrust law is attempting to patch an unfair non-free market.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The US Government Defaults On Its Debt Every Day

This story is interesting. The S&P put US Treasury debt on review for a negative downgrade.

They are referring to the political risk of a default. If no budget agreement is reached, and the "debt ceiling" is not raised, then a Treasury default could occur.

This is entirely missing the point. The US government defaults on its debt every day, via inflation.

Treasury yields are 0.25%-3%, while true inflation is 20%-30% or more. Instead of a technical default, it's a moral default. You'll get your payment. Its purchasing power will be eroded via inflation.

If you have an unleveraged long investment in Treasury debt, you're guaranteed to be robbed via inflation. You'll almost definitely receive your payments as promised. Unfortunately, the purchasing power will be eroded via inflation.

As long as US government debt is all dollar-denominated, insiders can always print new paper to refinance their debt. S&P's "downgrade" is not referring to the inflation risk of Treasury debt. It's referring to the political risk of an outright default due to a lack of a budget agreement.

A pro-State troll says "Long-term Treasury yields are low. Therefore, inflation is low." The fallacy is that the Federal government repurchases its own debt, in collusion with the Federal Reserve and financial industry.

The Federal Reserve directly sets overnight interest rates. The Federal Reserve indirectly sets long-term rates. Suppose the 1 year Treasury yield is 1%. Therefore, the average Fed Funds Rate over the next year should be approximately 1%. If it were greater, some bankster would borrow at the Fed Funds Rate and buy Treasury debt. If it were lower, some bankster would short sell Treasury debt and lend the proceeds at the Fed Funds Rate. The yield curve is entirely determined by future Federal Reserve policy expectations. It's approximate equality and not exact equality, due to transaction costs and uncertainty about future Federal Reserve policy.

Banks, especially Primary Dealers, eagerly buy Treasury debt. They don't care that true inflation is greater than Treasury yield, because they're heavily leveraged. Therefore, Treasury bond yields are completely uncorrelated with true inflation.

An individual is an idiot if he buys Treasury debt. You would have an unleveraged long investment. You would be robbed via inflation.

The "FSK credit rating" for Treasury Debt is an F minus. If you invest in Treasury debt, you're guaranteed to be ripped off by inflation.

S&P gives US Treasury Debt an AAA rating. That is misleading. As long as Congress passes a budget, you'll get your interest payments. As long as the slaves are forced at gunpoint to use State paper money, then Congress can always print more paper to refinance its debt.

When investing in Treasury debt via an unleveraged long position, your risk is not "You won't get payments as promised." Your risk is "The purchasing power will be eroded by inflation." That's practically guaranteed. The AAA Treasury debt credit rating is an evil fnord. It completely ignores the risk of default via inflation.

True inflation is 20%-30% or more. The US government defaults on its debt at a rate of 2%-3% PER MONTH, or more. It isn't a technical default. It's a moral default via inflation.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Indications Of Evil - General Petraeus

When I write "General Petraeus is obviously evil!", your reaction should be "Duh! Tell me something I don't already know!" However, this story was amusing.

General Petraeus is considering taking a job as CIA head. Do you see why this is evil? Do you see why this clearly indicates "General Petraeus is a highly-skilled psychopath!"?


A common psychopath trick is "Switch jobs every 1-2 years. Then, you can never be blamed for failure."

General Petraeus took over in Afghanistan, after General McChrystal was too honest. Less than a year later, he's leaving for greener pastures.

Suppose General Petraeus was leader in Afghanistan from 2001-present. Then, he would be clearly accountable for failure. Suppose he was the leader in Iraq from 2003-present. Then, he would be blamed.

By switching jobs frequently, General Petraeus avoids accountability. This allows him to preserve the illusion that he's an awesome genius leader. By switching jobs frequently, he avoids the stink of failure.

This is an example of the Principal-Agent problem. A bureaucrat controls resources he doesn't own. If you can get a better job, take it, and leave someone else to take the blame for your failure. It's about exploiting State resources for personal benefit.

That story was amusing. The spin was "Wow! General Petraeus is going to lead the CIA! They're lucky to have him!" The truth is "He failed in Iraq. He failed in Afghanistan. He has to get a new job before the stench of failure taints his image. By continually switching jobs, General Petraeus preserves the illusion that he's a brilliant leader."

This is a common State psychopath trick. If you're a "hot leader", you keep switching jobs to avoid accountability.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Signs Of Hyperinflation - Gold And Silver Prices

Under "normal" circumstances, asset prices drift in a "random walk" upwards.

Asset prices drift upwards over time, due to inflation. Asset prices move randomly around an ever-increasing mean, because money supply inflation doesn't uniformly lead to price inflation.

Look at a gold or silver price chart for the past few weeks. The FRN-denominated price of gold and silver is increasing nearly every single day! Instead of a "random walk", gold and silver prices are going straight up!

On Monday, silver set a new all-time FRN-denominated high. That eclipsed the Hunt Brothers peak of $49.50/oz. The record was set before the NY open. The "conspiracy to suppress the silver price" rapidly pushed the price down around the NY opening time.

Why is silver rising more rapidly than gold? Central banks and government still have large gold reserves. They can periodically sell some reserves to suppress the price. There are practically zero silver reserves. Therefore, silver prices rise more rapidly during times of high inflation.

The Federal Reserve is still inflating to bail out the banksters. The Fed Funds Rate is 0.25%, while true inflation is 20%-30% or more. If you look at silver for the past year, true inflation might be much higher than 30%.

When the Federal Reserve creates money, it isn't immediately spread uniformly throughout the economy. It's spent on whatever banksters feel like buying. Mortgages are still "discredited". Banksters are buying other things. That leads to the possibility that housing prices keep declining while food prices and gasoline prices are skyrocketing.

That's the reason Ben Bernanke can say with a straight face "Inflation is low! Duh!" He's referring to housing prices. His bankster friends are still begging for inflation to bail out their underwater mortgages. Inflation is low, if your inflation measure excludes everything rising in price.

Asset prices "normally" follow a "random walk". Prices trend upwards, but there's variation around the trend.

The recent price trend for gold and silver is very disturbing. Instead of moving somewhat randomly with upward drift, gold and silver prices are going straight up. It's a sign of hyperinflation, when the FRN-denominated price of gold and silver rises almost every day.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Income Tax Fnords

Did you notice that the mainstream media had a lot of income tax fnords in March and April? Articles like this and this are subtle reminders of "You're a slave! Pay tribute to your owners!"

I watched CNBC's "American Tax Cheat". It was obvious flagrant pro-State brainwashing. It aired on April 14, to help intimidate the slaves into paying tribute.

Did you notice the evil body language of the tax collectors? It's worth watching, just to notice that. Most of them had medium emotional intelligence and low logical intelligence.

At one point, the IRS agent let out an evil-sounding laugh, and CNBC edited out most of it. That was very interesting. He was laughing at the stupidity of people who try to avoid taxes.

Here's another tip for identifying parasites. You can tell by the "laugh lines" over their cheeks. An evil person has nearly vertical laugh lines, as if their face were stuck in a permanent sneer. Someone with high logical intelligence has laugh lines at a 45 degree angle.

Literally, your face freezes that way! Based on your personality type, you use some facial muscles and not others. However, this is not an absolute indication of personality type.

They mentioned IRS prosecution of Willie Nelson and Wesley Snipes. The IRS agent said "Even celebrities are subject to prosecution. In fact, a high-profile celebrity prosecution helps keep the other slaves in line."

Willie Nelson and Wesley Snipes are not true insiders. They are high-ranking slaves, but they still are slaves. It's one thing to prosecute celebrities. It's another to prosecute high-ranking banksters for stealing trillions of dollars and wrecking the economy.

The main function of a celebrity is to provide a distraction for the slaves. If a celebrity starts disrespecting the State, then an example must be made. A celebrity is a replaceable cog. Any celebrity can be sacrificed, to make an example for the slaves.

I was amused by the story of the guy who hired a hitman to kill an IRS agent, and hired an undercover cop. If you hire a hitman, you're almost definitely hiring an undercover cop. I'm focusing on nonviolent resistance. However, if you do decide you need to kill someone, do it yourself!

Leading up to the tax filing deadline, the mainstream media had a lot of stories touting the IRS. It's a subtle hidden advertisement for the State. Any "news" story on tax filing tips or tax prosecutions is an evil fnord. It's a subtle reminder for slaves to pay tribute to their owners.

If you are smart about it, the risk of tax prosecution should be low. If you get paid on a 1099 or W-2, you should declare that income. If you're serious about tax resistance, you should deal off-the-books entirely in cash or gold or silver.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Math And Gerrymandering

This story was funny. Look at this proposed Congressional district.

I can't believe a Federal judge would approve that district. Unfortunately, State thugs may do as they please.

The legal standard for approving voting districts is "As long as the Federal judge doesn't laugh too hard, it's OK."

There's an obvious Math rule that would work. Voting districts should be convex.

"Convex" means "For any two points X and Y in the district, a straight line joining X and Y must be in that district."

"Voting districts must be convex!" would eliminate flagrant gerrymandering abuse. Unfortunately, judges are Mathematically illiterate. It's now a precedent that politicians may manipulate district lines. They won't give up that perk.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

State Anti-Internet Propaganda

This story is offensive.

Look at the headline.

Young mother Bolivia Beck shot dead by Facebook pal Gary Davis, cops say
What's the evil fnord? Read the headline and article and see if you can notice it.


Facebook has *NOTHING* to do with the murder! The article presented *ZERO* evidence that she was murdered because of Facebook. She was murdered by someone who happened to be a Facebook friend. For most murders, the victim knows the killer.

By including Facebook in the headline, it's clear slander against Facebook. It reinforces the "Internet bad!" fnord.

The article presented zero evidence of a correlation between Facebook and the murder. The only reason for mentioning Facebook in the headline is to slander Facebook and the Internet. This is a clear example of hidden evil fnords in the mainstream media.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Judges Are PR Agents

I saw an interesting explanation. Someone wrote "Judges are PR agents for the State."

A judge's job is to invent a clever excuse for taking away someone's freedom. Politically-motivated trials are "Verdict first, trial afterwards". A prosecutor decides that someone is a criminal. Then, he picks which law will be strictly applied.

For real crime (murder, theft, assault), you don't need a judge inventing clever excuses. Most trials involve "victimless" crime. For those trials, it's important for judges to be professional liars.

Consider this conversation:

Q: Why is X in jail?
A: The prosecutor didn't like him.
That would be obviously unfair.

Q: Why is X in jail?
A: He criticized the government.
Nobody is in prison for "criticizing the government". Prosecutors invent another excuse.

Consider the farce of "justice":
Q: Why is X in jail?
A: There was a fair trial, an impartial judge, and an impartial jury.
Now, it seems fair.

Some lawyers wrote "The actual content of your legal arguments are irrelevant. The reputation of the lawyer matters a lot more than the legal arguments. Judges will bend over backwards, to rule in favor of insiders."

For a pro se defendant or plaintiff, it's even worse. The judge can rule against you. He has a monopoly. It's irrelevant if he's unfair. All he has to do is say "motion denied" or "I'm ruling against you." He doesn't have to provide an explanation.

Superficially, judges are supposed to be fair and impartial. In practice, judges act to protect insiders. A judge's job is to invent clever excuses for justifying State power. A judge's job is provide the illusion of legitimacy, when State thugs take away someone's freedom.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gabrielle Giffords For Senate?

This story was amusing. Gabrielle Giffords is now the frontrunner in the race for Arizona Federal Senator. Jon Kyl, a Republican, is retiring.

Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart were heavily ridiculing Jon Kyl. I wonder if they were told to dis him to pave the way for Gabrielle Giffords to win?

No other Democrat will enter the race, until her status is determined. Republicans don't want to face her either, because they won't be able to run negative ads. She still isn't recovered enough to run.

This is amusing. Follow the reasoning. Gabrielle Giffords inspired a mentally unstable young man to become obsessed with her. He tried to assassinate her and failed. Therefore, she is qualified to be a Senator?

Most politicians are psychopaths. Jared Lee Loughner probably sensed she was a psychopath, and became obsessed by her.

Official State propaganda is that Congressmen are brilliant noble leaders. It's a shock to meet a Congressman and notice that they're really evil, more than anyone else you've ever met. It's one thing to abstractly understand that government is evil. It's another thing to actually meet a State leader and see how evil they are.

This is amusing. "Gabrielle Giffords was the target of an assassination attempt. She was so evil that she inspired someone to become obsessed with her. Therefore, she's qualified to be a Senator."

This shows the fallacy of representative democracy. "Who's a good candidate." doesn't match "Who would be a good leader." Gabrielle Giffords probably was permanently severely injured. However, no candidate running against her can mention this. The failed assassination is now a huge positive for her political career.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Double-Dip Recession

State comedians like to joke about a "double-dip recession". In a double-dip recession, the economy temporarily improves and then gets worse.

There's a huge fallacy. In order to have a double-dip, things must improve. By my calculations, the economy has been going straight down since 2001.

It isn't a double-dip recession if things are going straight down. "Double-dip recession" is an evil fnord phrase. It provides the illusion that things had temporarily gotten better.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Are Russia And Al Jazeera More Libertarian Than The US Media?

Adam Kokesh is a Libertarian activist. He now has an Internet broadcast with Russia Today. He had Stefan Molyneux as a guest.

"Russia Today" is partially financed by the Russian government. Does that make Russia more Libertarian than the USA.

I also saw that is sometimes cited on Al Jazeera. Does that make Al Jazeera more Libertarian than the US media?

I found that amusing. Both Russia Today and Al Jazeera are sometimes more Libertarian than the US State-owned media.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Don't Gamble! The State Hates Competition!

This story was offensive. Pokerstars and other Internet gambling websites were shut down by the FBI. The domains were seized. The money that customers had deposited was seized.

Over $3 billion was stolen by State thugs. Via "asset forfeiture" laws, the police get to keep the stolen money. In "asset forfeiture" cases, stolen money is usually added to a police slush fund to spend however they want.

There was a "secret grand jury, secret investigation, and a sealed indictment". Those are Police State tactics. If the investigation were public, customers would have withdrawn their money. Then, State thugs would not make as much stolen booty on the seizure.

The "internet gambling banned law" (UIGEA) is only 5 years old. Ironically, the gambling website operators are facing a longer jail term than the age of the law they're accused of breaking.

The law didn't make offshore gambling explicitly illegal. Instead, the law made it illegal to deposit money. The offshore gambling websites thought they had found a loophole in the law, but it didn't work. They funneled online gambling deposits through other businesses and banks. The small banks that accepted deposits for Internet gambling were accused of "money laundering".

I was disappointed in the mainstream media coverage. They were saying "The law must be enforced as written!" rather than "WTF? This is a bad law!" However, that isn't surprising.

The "online gambling ban" came at the urging of casinos and State lottery operators. It is hypocritical to ban online gambling, when the government organizes and sanctions gambling.

It was a strategic mistake, for casinos to ban online gambling. Many people played poker online, and then tried it in a casino. Many people won seats in the World Series of Poker in online tournaments.

There was some discussion of repealing the stupid online gambling law. However, it didn't go anywhere. Even if the law is changed, there probably won't be retroactive immunity for those already indicted.

I'm offended by this law. However, I'm not interested in Internet gambling. I have no incentive to lobby against it. Casino executives and lottery executives lobbied for the law, banning competition.

Ironically, I work for the world's biggest Internet gambling operation. I work in the financial industry! Instead of betting on poker, you bet on stocks. The stock market is a negative-sum game, with odds almost as bad as a casino!

The stock market underperforms true inflation (gold) by nearly 1% a month. The banksters and corporate insiders take a "house rake" of 1% per month on the stock market!

Even though this is a bad law, only a tiny percentage of the population is affected. Therefore, State thugs can enforce the law with impunity.

There's another interesting aspect. The President does not go on TV and say "HAHA! I shut down Internet gambling!" If he did that, people would think "What a douchebag!" Instead, some US Attorney (appointed by the President) announces the crime. Clueless people don't blame the politicians, because they aren't the ones enforcing the law.

Via "asset forfeiture", State thugs will keep the money that customers had on deposit, totaling more than $3 billion. The gambling website operators will be convicted in a sham trial, or coerced into plea-bargaining.

This occurred shortly after the Liberty Dollar sham conviction. I wonder when the slaves will start to notice? The USA is not a free country. It's clearly a police State. I don't need this incident to convince me of State evil, but maybe this will help others understand.

The secret investigation, secret grand jury, and sealed indictment is a clear abuse of State power. If there was a public investigation, customers would have withdrawn their money. By using Police State tactics, State thugs maximized the amount of property they stole.

This isn't about "enforcing the law". It's about restricting people's freedom. It's about stealing $3 billion.

It is hypocritical to accuse Internet gambling websites of "money laundering". The housing bubble, bust, bailout, and Federal Reserve are a money laundering operation stealing a trillion dollars or more a year.

Wachovia was laundering money for Mexican drug cartels. They settled for a slap on the wrist, paying a fine smaller than the profits they made from money laundering! There are two justice systems, one for insiders and one for everyone else.

Just like E-gold, these websites are accused of breaking a law that was passed after they started operating. Laws were specifically passed to prevent Internet competition with State incumbents.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

An Example Successful Pro Se Defense

This story was interesting.

Robert Constantine was charged with growing, possession, and distribution of marijuana. He chose to represent himself.

He was acquitted of a felony, but convicted of a misdemeanor. That's a partial victory, because he now faces only 60 days in jail.

That illustrates another trick prosecutors use. "File as many charges as possible and hope one sticks." The jury may have "compromised", acquitting on a serious charge but convicting on a lesser charge. If the jury's only options were a felony conviction and outright acquittal, they may had chosen acquittal.

The felony charge was an unanimous "not guilty", and not a hung jury. For a hung jury, the prosecutor gets a mulligan and may try again. For a straight acquittal, that's the end. Of course, he can still be prosecuted again if he chooses to grow marijuana again.

As a pro se defendant, the judge did allow him to discuss "jury nullification". However, in a higher-stakes trial, the judge may not have allowed it.

That was an example of someone succeeding, when they choose to represent themselves. If falsely charged with a crime, I may choose to represent myself. Hopefully, I'll avoid that, but it's less likely to occur if I'm prepared.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Government "Shutdown" Averted

State thugs reached an "agreement". They avoided "shutting down the Federal government".

It was not a true shutdown. The slaves still have to pay taxes/tribute, while the government is "closed".

The Democrats claim victory. The Republicans claim victory. The President claimed victory. Who lost? The slaves.

A Statist claims that government is a positive-sum game. Therefore, everyone can benefit. The President, Democrats, and Republicans all profit, because they're robbing the slaves.

The reality is that government is a negative-sum game. Government destruction is much greater than the few useful things that government does.

Here's an analogy:

Mugger D: Give me $10,000 or I'll kill you!
Mugger R: Give me $9,990 or I'll kill you!
D: I thought we agreed we were going to steal $10,000?
R: No, we're going to steal $9,990.
D: If you won't let me steal $10,000, then I won't let you steal anymore!
R: If you insist on $10,000 instead of $9,990, then I won't let you steal anymore!
D: How about we comprise and steal $9,995?
R: OK.
That really is what the budget "debate" sounded like. It was two groups of criminals disagreeing over how much they should steal.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Willie Nelson Sings For His Owners

This story was amusing. Willie Nelson was arrested for "possession of marijuana".

Some of the marijuana "magically disappeared". Due to a smaller quantity, Willie Nelson was charged with a lesser offense. (For "possession of forbidden drugs", the penalty is dependent on quantity.)

Willie Nelson pled guilty. As part of the plea agreement, the judge ordered Willie Nelson to come to court and sing!

That is totally inappropriate. The judge agreed to a personal private performance, in exchange for a lesser sentence. That is a clear abuse of the judge's power.

There's another contradictory aspect of State propaganda. The official word is "These drugs are bad for you. Therefore, they are illegal." However, many celebrities openly acknowledge recreational drug use. That's logically contradictory propaganda.

I suspect that "recreational drugs" really are bad for you. (I haven't tried them and I'm not going to try them.) By having celebrities endorse drug use, stupid rebellious people are tricked into using recreational drugs and ruining their brains.

"Recreational drugs" help dull the slaves' senses. People who would otherwise notice the Matrix are self-medicated into submission.

I was offended, that Willie Nelson was ordered to give a private performance for a judge, in exchange for a favorable plea bargain. That's a clear abuse of State power. It also is offensive that Willie Nelson got a lighter sentence, compared to what a regular slave would get.

It is really offensive that celebrities openly use drugs, while those drugs are also illegal. It seems like a carefully calculated evil fnord. It's designed to trick stupid rebellious people into using recreation drugs, ruining their brain, and dulling their senses.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Can Sexual Harassment Occur In A Really Free Market?

DC has left a new comment on your post "Paper Or Money?":

If you expect shit-to-hit-fan a pretty good investment is wheat. You can purchase 5 gallon buckets of it and it will last as long as you are alive.

On another interesting topic I noticed today that Jay Severin was fired from his radio talk show job in Boston. He was a very high paid talk show host (1 million per year)for the last 10 years. I have listened to his show off and on for years. He regularly says that taxation is theft. I listened to the broadcast that got him fired. He was fired for saying that there is nothing wrong with a boss sleeping with his secretary, or many of them or all of them.
When he was younger and running his own business he would hire secretaries based on how hot they were. During the live broadcast he admitted that he would only hire cute, single, hot girls to work as his aides.

He got fired for being a Man.

Jay describes himself as a constitutional conservative. I think he a person who understands the truth but is not allowed to say it on radio.

Jay is a political analysis guy and he got fired for bragging about how many young hot staff members he fucked.

Is it a crime to fuck young hot women?

I guess his broadcast rubbed some upper level bitches the wrong way.
There are some interesting points here.
I didn't know that wheat lasts a long time.

However, in a true SHTF scenario, hoarding wheat isn't enough. If other people find out you have food and they don't, then they will rob you.

In a really free market, sexual harassment cannot occur. An abused woman will quit and easily form another job.

Prostitution isn't illegal in a really free market. If the employer wants a prostitute, he can easily hire one in a really free market. He'd hire the best worker as an employee, and separately hire a prostitute.

In a large corporation, the Principal-Agent problem occurs. Suppose you're a middle manager, hire an attractive secretary, and have a sexual relationship with her. Then, you're squandering the corporation's resources.

"Sexual harassment" cannot occur in a really free market. Those laws attempt to patch a corrupt system.

In the present, corporations have a monopoly and (maybe) abuse women. Are the women paid less due to abuse? Are the women paid less because they're less skilled workers? You can't tell, because it's not a free market.

Another example is the Wal-Mart class action lawsuit, that the Supreme Court recently certified. In effect, the legal system will say "If you don't have a certain % of managers women, then you're guilty of a crime." You might have a valid reason for each woman you didn't promote. However, an insufficient % of women managers is considered evidence of a crime.

It isn't "lock Wal-Mart's executives in jail" kind of crime. It's a "We're going to steal a lot of your property due to a class action lawsuit." type of crime. Due to Wal-Mart's anti-union policies, many Statists are very hostile to Wal-Mart.

Regarding monogamy, I never understood why a celebrity doesn't come out and say "I'm an awesome celebrity! Monogamy is for losers! As an awesome celebrity, I'm going to lay as many women as I can!" It's a "forbidden idea".

There are certain things you can't say, or your mainstream media career is over. Questioning "sexual harassment" laws is one. Non-monogamy is another. For example, Glenn Beck lost his show because he offended a very vocal minority. I don't like Glenn Beck. I object that he was fired because he offended people who decided to campaign against him.

If I don't like a show, I don't watch it. When evil people don't like a show, they pressure their corporate employer to fire him.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Is Andrew Napolitano Going To Replace Glenn Beck?

Glenn Beck's Fox News show is ending. Allegedly, Andrew Napolitano is the #1 candidate to replace him.

Andrew Napolitano is getting "called up" from the minor leagues. He currently has a show on Fox Business News. Many cable providers don't offer Fox Business News.

Andrew Napolitano filled in for Glenn Beck as a guest host. He managed to get the same ratings as Glenn Beck. That would be a huge windfall for Fox News, if Andrew Napolitano keeps Glenn Beck's ratings.

Glenn Beck has an "empty calories" problem. He gets great ratings. However, many advertisers refuse to put ads on his show. Therefore, Glenn Beck's current show has good ratings but lousy advertising rates.

Andrew Napolitano doesn't have the "advertisers boycott him" problem. If he replaces Glenn Beck but keeps similar ratings, then Fox News makes a lot more money.

Even though I don't like Glenn Beck, I'm offended by the censorship. A vocal minority pressures advertisers. Then, advertisers refuse to put ads on his show.

Why should a vocal minority be allowed to censor? This leads to bland programming. You can't offend anyone, because advertisers might boycott.

If I don't like a show, I don't watch it. When evil people don't like a show, they pressure advertisers to drop their ads. When evil people don't like a show, they try to get it canceled.

In a free society, if people don't like a show, they don't watch it. In an un-free society, if people don't like a show, they pressure advertisers to drop advertisements. A small handful of large corporations control the economy. If they all decide to boycott, then the victim is SOL.

Due to a non-free market, advertising is more important than the quality of your product. This leads to high rates for mainstream media advertising. This leads to the business model where entertainment is funded primarily via ads, rather than direct payments by customers. Only in a non-free market, is advertising more important than direct payments from customers.

Andrew Napolitano has much greater "Libertarian cred" than Glenn Bleck. Glenn Beck seems like a fake Libertarian. He says some of the right things, but only partially criticizes the State. Andrew Napolitano seems more open to criticizing the Federal Reserve.

Andrew Napolitano is more freedom-minded than most celebrities, but he's still is a Statist. He says "Government should be smaller. A small government has legitimacy." rather than "All taxation is theft!"

It would be an improvement, if Andrew Napolitano replaces Glenn Beck. Maybe in a few years, there will be someone on the mainstream media who intelligently explains the "market anarchist" viewpoint.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Indications Of Hyperinflation - Nickel Shortage

At work, a 20 oz Coke soda costs $1.35. I put in two "$1" FRNs. For change, I usually got two quarters, a dime, and a nickel. It was a nice way to accumulate nickels.

The melt value of a nickel is over $0.07. This is a much greater incentive to hoard nickels.

Last week, I stopped getting two quarters, a dime, and a nickel in change. Now, I get a quarter and four dimes!

It's pretty obvious what happened. Someone is hoarding nickels. Presumably, someone from the vending machine operator is keeping their nickel allotment.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Paper Or Money?

There's a lot of State propaganda regarding money. State comedians say that paper money is superior to gold and silver.

Paper money is "flexible". "Flexible money" means "Insiders can easily steal via inflation."

Gold and silver are "inflexible". This is good. This prevents insiders from stealing via inflation.

Another joke is "The free market discredited the gold standard." Did the free market declare gold ownership illegal in 1933? Did the free market allow the Federal Reserve to print more gold-redeemable paper than they had in gold reserves?

Under a State fractionally-backed gold monetary system, a default is inevitable. State insiders print more gold-redeemable paper than they have gold. The "free market" leads to a run on the State fractionally-backed paper. The "official" price of gold starts deviating from the real price.

The "free market" is blamed. The State caused the default, by printing more gold-redeemable paper than they had gold. Sensing a default, people rationally start hoarding gold. In 1933, Roosevelt robbed people who acted rationally, by declaring gold ownership illegal.

Look at it from an individual point of view. Suppose your only monetary choices were:

  1. paper
  2. gold/silver/copper, valued at the metal price
There's no rational reason for an individual to prefer paper to real money. With paper, you can be robbed by inflation. Gold/silver/copper are excellent at preserving purchasing power over time.

State comedians say "You can't eat gold." You can't eat paper either. With gold, you can put it under your mattress and preserve purchasing power. With paper money, you're forced to invest it, lest you get robbed via inflation.

In a hard collapse SHTF scenario, both paper and gold will be useless. In a soft collapse, paper will suffer high inflation while gold and silver preserve their purchasing power.

There's a lot of State propaganda denigrating gold. There's a lot of pro-State brainwashing regarding money. You're an idiot if you prefer unbacked paper to real money.

From an individual perspective, there's no reason to prefer paper to gold. With paper, you can be robbed via inflation. With gold, you're protected from theft via inflation.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Social Security "Benefit" Statement

I got my Social Security "benefit" statement in the mail. It's an excellent piece of propaganda.

That statement creates the illusion of a contract, between the slave and the State. It creates the illusion that I'm paying Social Security taxes, in exchange for a future benefit.

Congress can change the Social Security rules at any time. The retirement age can be increased. Benefits may be cut.

Inflation is guaranteed. You'll still get the nominal value of the check. The purchasing power will be eroded by inflation.

Social Security is not voluntary. If I refuse to pay, then people with guns will come to kidnap/kill me. Social Security taxes are automatically deducted from my paycheck. I can't resist, even if I wanted to, as long as I'm working as a wage slave.

The Federal government probably won't exist 20 years from now. That makes it really foolish to contribute.

The Social Security "benefit" statement is an excellent piece of propaganda. It helps create the illusion of a promised future benefit. It helps create the illusion of a contract, between the slave and the State.

Instead of seeing it as a "benefit statement", I saw a list of everything the State has stolen from me.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

An Obvious Google Search Flaw

Search for "magnavox". The #1 result is Magnavox's website, as it should be.

Search for "Magnavox 515h". (I'm thinking of buying one.) Magnavox's website is not in the top 10 results. That is an obvious defect in Google's search engine.

I'm annoyed. If I search for "XYZ", then XYZ corp's website is usually #1. If I search for "XYZ w", where XYZ makes w, then XYZ's website should be one of the top results.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Is Violent Self-Defense A Good Idea?

I've seen this topic heavily debated. Suppose you own a gun and know how to use it. The police conduct a no-knock raid on your home. What do you do?

Your choices are:

  1. Surrender peacefully. Hope for a fair trial, a light sentence, or a favorable plea bargain.
  2. Go down shooting!
My choice is "surrender peacefully". However, there are compelling arguments for and against each option.

Depending on the charges, you might be able to get a light sentence or even an acquittal.

I'm a good public speaker. I might choose to represent myself. That would make the judge, prosecutor, and police very uncomfortable. No matter how pro-State brainwashed you are, it's very awkward when someone intelligently questions your authority. The fact that I'd be a tough victim, might cause State thugs to choose softer targets. For some bizarre reason, State lawyers/prosecutors consider it a huge embarrassment when there's an acquittal.

A lot of people are in prison, thinking "I'll get a fair trial." Richard Simkanin, Bernard von Nothaus, Robert Kahre, and others were unfairly convicted and given long prison sentences. They all falsely believed they could convince a jury to vote "not guilty".

I wonder if any of them are regretting "If only I would have violently resisted! Being killed is as bad as spending your life in prison. At least then, I would have made some thugs pay for their crimes."

There's one obvious disadvantage of resisting violently. The police will execute you on the spot.

There aren't many people who know that the State is one big criminal conspiracy. They are outnumbered. If they all resisted violently, then the police would happily murder all of them.

If you're alone, you're easily murdered. Another possibility is forming a group for mutual self-defense. This also has problems.

By the time a militia has 100 members, you'll draw the attention of State thugs. Some undercover police will almost definitely join. You might think a guy has your back, when he's an undercover cop prepared to shoot you in the back!

Suppose you could organize a 100 person militia with no undercover cops. The police still have the resources to kidnap all 100 of you simultaneously. Usually, the police only go after the leaders. Do you really expect other people to risk their lives for you?

Both approaches have drawbacks. If you follow 100% nonviolent resistance, you're an easy target. State thugs will kidnap you, have a sham trial, and a conviction.

If you prepare for violent self-defense, you're making it a greater priority for State thugs to target you. You probably won't be able to organize a large enough militia, before State spies join or they decide to kidnap the leaders.

I read about the militia in Alaska. The leaders and many members were kidnapped. They threatened police and State bureaucrats/thugs. That's a *HUGE* mistake.

State thugs will usually threaten you before kidnapping you. They can afford to do this, because there's a huge criminal conspiracy backing them. State thugs give you a warning first, because they're the heroes in their own minds.

Threatening a State policeman/bureaucrat/lawyer/judge is *STUPID*. That's like saying "I'm a dangerous fruitcake. Please arrest me." Police can threaten you, because they have the numbers and illusion of State legitimacy. You shouldn't threaten the police.

Threatening the police is pointless. All that accomplishes is that you convince the police to have 100% cooperation and 100% enthusiasm when kidnapping/killing you.

Your goal should be to go under-the-radar. You don't provoke a bully, especially one with superior numbers and resources. Even if you're technically 100% correct, and they did abuse their power, threatening State thugs with violence is stupid.

If State thugs do harass you, consider offering small concessions so they can rack it up in their statistics as a "win". Once State thugs decide to target you, you've already lost.

Nonviolent resistance is undesirable, because you're an easy kidnapping victim. You probably won't get a fair trial. Violent resistance is undesirable, because you're heavily outnumbered.

An under-the-radar approach seems best. That's the advantage of agorism.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Government Shutdown Myth

A lot of State comedians are saying "Oooh!! They might shut down the Federal government!"

It isn't a real 100% shutdown. It's only a partial shutdown. The military keeps operating. Courts keep operating. Police and tax collectors keep operating.

Only minor services are halted, like parks and museums. Furloughed State employees get full back pay, once the budget dispute is over!

Suppose I own a business, and close it for two weeks. Then, I get no revenue for two weeks.

The rules of the private sector don't apply to the "business" of government. You still owe taxes, while the government is "closed". You still must obey all the stupid laws and regulations.

Another such farce was a "bank holiday" (in the days of fractional reserve banking under a State gold standard). During a "bank holiday", a bank defaults on obligations to depositors. However, the bank still collects on loans due to the bank.

"Shut down the Federal government!" is a farce. If it were a true shutdown, people should owe no taxes while the government is closed.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

More Liberty Dollar Observations

I'd already prepared a post on this subject, but here was an appropriate comment:

DC has left a new comment on your post ""Your Taxes" Fnord":

We are living in a weird time. In the United states government spending is currently not funded primarily by taxes collected. Where do they get the rest of the money? They borrow it of course. In the past they borrowed money from private investors or from other countries by selling T-bills. Right now the US Federal reserve is purchasing most of the T-bills.

Today Erskine Bowles who is the the co-chair of Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility (that's funny) stated that we only have two years left before the shit hits the fan.
I was shocked that a federal official would say such a thing. Normally they would say "we have tough times ahead" instead of giving a specific date. You can find the video on Youtube.
Not everyone who works for the government is a clueless twit. I suspect that some competent insiders know "We have a serious problem."

Unfortunately, the competent people are outnumbered by the criminally insane psychopaths. Fortunately, some of them are competent enough to recognize this problem. I'm pretty sure that some insiders know the severity of the psychopath problem.
Also I noticed that Drudge report today promoted a stoy on the Von Nothaus trial. Here :
I'd already prepared a post based on that specific article! Read that article first and see if you can see the interesting part. Here's the post I'd already written before reading your comment:

There's an "asset forfeiture" "trial" in progress, regarding the Liberty Dollar. It's regarding the gold/silver/copper that were seized, when FBI thugs raided the Liberty Dollar.

It's a "trial" and not a trial. Does anybody expect the judge to rule against the State? It's a farce to have a trial where the outcome is predetermined. "Asset forfeiture" is biased against defendants, even more than criminal trials.

The general rule in "asset forfeiture" trials is that the police say "We stole your property fair and square. It's ours now." In an "asset forfeiture" trial, the victim has the burden of proof. In a criminal trial, "reasonable doubt" is the farce protecting the victim.

This article (the same one DC mentioned) had some interesting bits. Notice the bit by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
That's partly why von NotHaus' group has been followed for years by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that tracks political extremism. Long before the government began its investigation into von NotHaus, the group was raising concerns about the popularity of Liberty Dollars among fringe groups on the far right.
The reasoning is amusing. "The Liberty Dollar is popular among anti-government groups. Therefore, the Liberty Dollar is illegal." It's obviously a politically-motivated prosecution.

The SPLC is an organization dedicated to promoting and preserving State evil, just like quatloos. I was amused that the SPLC characterized Rand Paul as a "radical libertarian extremist". I wonder if the SPLC's "subversive persons list" is actually a "list of people I should make friends with".

While NotHaus' trial was in progress, there was practically *ZERO* discussion. I'm still looking for an online trial transcript. I was looking for trial updates, knowing NotHaus would be almost definitely convicted.

Now that there was a conviction, there's a lot more interest. The crazy rant by the prosecuting US attorney was interesting. She called NotHaus a "terrorist".

The blog zerohedge had an interesting perspective. They said "You shouldn't be scared by this crazy rant by the US attorney. Obviously, someone higher-ranking wrote it for her. This shows that insiders really are scared and desperate. Rather than being negative, this actually is an indication of progress."

State thugs/insiders are completely out of touch. On the one hand, it's scary. On the other hand, it's a clear indication of a collapse in progress.

Most people who criticize the State and IRS and Federal Reserve wind up in jail as political prisoners. Once you realize that the State is one big extortion racket, you have an obligation to act on your beliefs. Once you act on your beliefs, then State thugs will kindap and torture you.

It's tough. Maybe in a few years, it'll be possible for someone to explain market anarchism on the mainstream media.

Maybe some insiders know that the State scam is over. They're gradually preparing people for the truth and the collapse. Anyone with basic literacy should be realizing "WTF? There's a serious problem."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fully Uninformed Juror's Association

I saw an interesting comment regarding Julian Heicklen. What if someone handed out pamphlets that echoed State propaganda? Would that person have been arrested/kidnapped and charged with a crime?

Here's a sample "Fully Uninformed Juror's Association Pamphlet".

The police never lie.

You should follow the judge's instructions, without thinking for yourself.

The defendant was indicted. That proves his guilt.

There's nothing wrong with any laws.

All laws should be strictly enforced as written.

Don't worry about sentencing. Don't worry that someone might have a long jail sentence for a minor offense.

You should obey orders without questioning them.

Don't let your emotions prevent you from voting "guilty".
That would be amusing. Someone should make "Fully Uninformed Juror's Association" pamphlets, hand them out, and see what happens. You'd probably get arrested. I'm not trying it.

Julian Heicklen is getting a bench trial, and not a jury trial. That eliminates almost all the benefits of a pro se defense. He might as well use a lawyer.

Someone pointed out that, if Julian Heicklen presents a weak defense, that could be bad. That would establish a precedent "You can't hand out FIJA pamphlets in front of a courthouse." A lawyer and an acquittal could establish the opposite precedent.

Technically, it isn't a binding precedent unless an appeals court or the Supreme Court rules "You can't hand out 'jury nullification' pamphlets in front of a courthouse." At the district level, a ruling only applies to that specific trial. Julian Heicklen shouldn't appeal unless he's represented by a competent lawyer. Otherwise, he might establish the opposite of the precedent he wants to establish.

Monday, April 4, 2011

"Your Taxes" Fnord

There's an interesting Statist phrase. They say "Pay your taxes."

The phrase "your taxes" sets the debate in the wrong frame. That makes it sound like a personal moral obligation.

I don't pay "my taxes". I pay the government's taxes. I pay tribute to my owners.

There are many State fnord phrases. They set the debate in the wrong frame, from the beginning. The phrase "intellectual property" is one example. Ideas, songs, and patents are not property. Similarly, "pay your taxes" is an evil fnord phrase.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

"Best of FSK" - March 2011

Overall, I had 7137 Absolute Unique Visitors in March, according to Google Analytics. That's slightly less than the all-time record of 7717 in October 2010.

"Who's the Richest Man in the World" was shared a lot on StumbleUpon. That's my only post that was really successful on StumbleUpon.

  1. Who's the Richest Man in the World? (994)
  2. Did the USA Declare Bankruptcy? (360)
  3. The Federal Reserve Caused the Great Depression (322)
  4. The Hunt Brothers' Silver Corner (286)
  5. BMI/ASCAP/SESAC Legal Extortion Scam (283)
  6. Is It Worth Hoarding Nickels? (277)
  7. Ruby on Rails Sucks! (210)
  8. The Compound Interest Paradox (171)
  9. Goldman Sachs and Facebook (126)
  10. StackOverflow Sucks! (120)
  11. When Will The Federal Reserve Raise Interest Rates? (111)
  12. Calculating Vega and other Greeks in Black-Scholes (99)
  13. Premium Text Messaging Fraud - 91097 and 654654 (93)
  14. Satanic Death Hospitals (91)
  15. Real GDP is Decreasing, 1990-2008 (88)
  16. Real GDP Is Crashing, 2000-2009 (88)
  17. Are College Athletes Exploited? (86)
  18. The Pat Tillman Conspiracy Theory (82)
  19. Bernard von NotHaus Convicted (82)
  20. The Gold and Silver Taxation Scam (80)
  21. Bernard von NotHaus Was Arrested (77)
  22. The Gold Lease Rate is Negative! (74)
  23. Agorist Philosophy Overview (62)
  24. Real GDP is Decreasing, 1990-2007 (60)
  25. The Fluoride Conspiracy Theory (59)
  26. The Black-Scholes Formula is Wrong! - Part 1/12 - Overview and Background (56)
  27. Incentive Stock Options and Startups (54)
  28. Do Police Have An Obligation To Protect You? (54)
  29. The Liberty Dollar Scam (50)
  30. The Compound Interest Paradox - a Simpler Explanation (50)
  31. Are the GLD and SLV ETFs a Fraud? (49)
  32. Gold and Silver Buyer's Guide (47)
  33. Reader Mail #65 - Dealing With Scum (47)
  34. Gold And Silver Futures Backwardation (47)
  35. Athletes vs. Doctors, Which is Overpaid? (46)
  36. The Compound Interest Paradox Revisited - Edward Flaherty is a Troll (45)
  37. Your Strawman Corporation (45)
  38. Easily Import Excel and CSV Files Into Blogger! (44)
  39. Federal Reserve Dual Mandate (43)
  40. American Idol And Auto-Tune (42)
  41. The Five Levels of the Economy (40)
If you only count posts published in March 2011, the most popular were:
  1. Bernard von NotHaus Convicted (82)
  2. Do Police Have An Obligation To Protect You? (54)
  3. Gold And Silver Futures Backwardation (47)
  4. Let Them Eat iPads (39)
  5. The Bitcoin Conspiracy Theory (37)
  6. IBM's Watson On Jeopardy (36)
  7. Is There A Risk Of Radiation Poisoning In The USA? (35)
  8. Five Stages Of Freedom (34)
  9. Reader Mail - Quatloos (33)
  10. President Obama Endorses Bullying (31)
  11. PayPal Or Post Office (30)
  12. NotHaus Trial Media Blackout (28)
  13. The Federal Reserve and Taxes (27)
  14. Scott Adams And Self-Censorship (27)
  15. Christianity And Taxes (25)
  16. Agora I/O (24)
  17. Muzzammil S. Hassan (23)
  18. Should You Try To Avoid Jury Duty? (22)
  19. Tea Party Candidate Betrayal (21)
  20. $3.7 Trillion Wasted (20)
  21. Capital Gains Taxes And Property Rights (20)
I also updated the "Best of FSK" list on the left sidebar.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fake Debate

It's amusing to see the Republicans and Democrats arguing about Federal spending cuts. It's an example of fake debate.

The disputed spending cuts equal approximately $50B/year. That sounds like a lot of money. However, the total Federal budget is approximately $3.7T/year. The proposed cuts are less than 1.5% of the total budget.

Most Federal spending is "untouchable". "Untouchable" is defined as "Insiders profit from it and will lobby to block cuts." The biggest budget areas are "untouchable":

  1. interest on the national debt
  2. military spending
  3. Social Security and Medicare
  4. other welfare spending and various pork projects
Democrats and Republicans are false opposites. They are loudly debating insignificant budget cuts. This creates the illusion they are being fiscally responsible.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Don't Bother Prosecuting Insiders

This story was offensive. The SEC and Injustice Department decided to not pursue criminal charges against Lehman Brothers.

A government probe into the fall of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc has hit so many snags that enforcement officials fear they may never be able to bring civil or criminal charges against company executives, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.
Lehman Brothers' CEO (Dick Fuld) and CFO should have been charged with violating Sarbanes-Oxley, for their Repo 105 fraud. The SEC and Justice Department decided "We're not 100% sure we can get a conviction. Therefore, we're not pursing criminal charges."

Who do they think they're fooling? It would be a slam-dunk to get a jury to convict. There's so much anger against the banksters, it'd be easy to find 12 people willing to vote "guilty".

Here's the State lawyer's reasoning. "If there's an acquittal, it's a professional embarrassment for me. I'm better off pursuing soft targets like Julian Heicklen, than bankers. Dick Fuld will spend $10M+ on lawyers, and may win acquittal." By that reasoning, insiders should *NEVER* be charged with a crime. They'll spend a lot on fancy lawyers and may spin an acquittal.

It's much easier to prosecute Barry Bonds and claim an easy victory. Prosecuting Lehman Brothers for their perjury would be too much work. (Accounting fraud is a type of perjury.)

It's easier to prosecute low-ranking banksters like Raj Rajaratnam, rather than going after higher-ranking banksters like Dick Fuld or Lloyd Blankfein.

Here's all a prosecutor has to say, to get a jury to vote "guilty", regarding Dick Fuld and Sarbanes Oxley.
Enron used off balance sheet partnerships to hide losses. The Sarbanes-Oxley law was passed to prevent this from occurring again. Lehman Brothers used Repo 105 transactions to hide losses. They misreported loans as sales.

While committing Repo 105 fraud, Lehman raised $50B in capital, by selling bonds and common stock. Dick Fuld and Lehman's CFO are clearly guilty of violating Sarbanes-Oxley.
That's all the prosecutor has to say, to get a conviction.

Technically, anyone can present evidence to a grand jury, not just the prosecutor. I considered going to a grand jury in Manhattan Federal court, making the above argument to a grand jury, and asking for an indictment.

It would be a meaningless indictment, if the US attorney declined to pursue it. It could be dismissed with prejudice, if the US attorney didn't follow through. However, it would be an embarrassment, if a grand jury gave an indictment and the US attorney didn't pursue it.

Does anybody feel like going to a Federal grand jury in Manhattan and asking for an indictment? That would be a neat publicity stunt. It's not worth me taking a day off work to do that.

It is embarrassing, that the DOJ and SEC aren't pursing Lehman Brothers' CEO and CFO for violating Sarbanes-Oxley. They are saying "We're not pursing it, because it might end in acquittal. Dick Fuld would spend tens of million dollars on fancy lawyers, and might get acquitted." That's disgusting.

There is no "rule of law" in the USA. There's one set of rules for insiders, and one set of rules for everyone else.

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