Fixing Shitholes, Sandboxes, Intelligence, Nullification, & Politics (41m) – Editor’s Break 111

Editor’s Break 111 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: the terrible advice that is encouraging people in third world countries to stay and attempt to fix their governmental problems; the value in thinking of ideologies as sandboxes; what intelligence is and is not; the praiseworthiness that is the act of nullifying liberty-encroaching government laws; the contentious nature of politics; and more.

Listen to Editor’s Break 111 (41m, mp3, 64kbps)

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Episode 078 – Mish’s Journey (1h43m)

Episode 078 welcomes Mish Ochu to the podcast to chat with Skyler about his journey to voluntaryism. Topics include: Being born and partially raised in Nigeria, the entrepreneurship of his parents, immigrating to London, his parents being pursued by the Nigerian government solely because of their wealth, immigrating to the United States and landing in Austin, Texas, private to public schools, libertarian/anarchist seeds, college years, starting a professional essay writer business to help other college students,  moving to Houston, Texas, teaching himself to code, being apolitical, jury nullification, deer ass slapping, active listening, playful parenting, Stefan Molyneux, meeting his wife, getting married, having kids, and circumcision.

Listen to Episode 078 (1h43m, mp3, 96kbps)

Show Notes

Mish Ochu, Facebook Profile
Active Listening, Chapter 3, Parenting Effectiveness Training
Playful Parenting, by Lawrence Cohen

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Words Poorly Used #77.1 — Impeachment

This week, after reading Skyler Collins’ offering in Two Cents, I came upon a new approach to Words Poorly Used.  I will gild the lily by running the words or phrases through OneLook.com, linking them, then commenting on the unusual that I encounter via that process.

“Impeachment” at OneLook
noun: a formal document charging a public official with misconduct in office

Pretty simple, huh? But not quite. What leaps out to me is “charging … with” not “finding … guilty of …” Was Bill Clinton found guilty? Was Dick Nixon found guilty … or even impeached?

▸ Words similar to impeachment

prosecutionrecusalousterdisqualificationindictmentdismissalremovaloustingmotionaccusationrecalldestitutionindictedrebukeaccountabilityreproachnegligencearraignmentdepositionsegregationisolationappealaccusedaccusingaccusecarelessnesschargeisolatingchallengedefencelesschargedcontinuedperjurytreasoncensuredisbarmentreelectionjudiciaryconstitutionalsenatepresidencynullificationacquittalelectioncourt martialmalfeasancebriberycongressionalappeachimpeachabilitymonicagategovernorshipspeakershipfillibustercongressmengermanenesssenatorsfilibustercorruptioninterpellationadjournmentconstitutionalismquo warrantosenatorialclotureethics committeemisdoingwatergate scandallegesecessiondemocracycompurgationcontempt of congressexonerationsolonsrichard milhous nixonseditiondestabilizationlegislativechimangoinvestigatorybill of attainderdemocraticarrogationexecutive privilegenollelustrationobstructionismmonica lewinskyjudicial activismsubpoena ad testificandumindictmentslieutenant governorshiprecusationcandidacypardonprorogationstatehousedirect examinationdissolution (see more…)

Interesting entries here are:

  1. prosecution — this does not always follow impeachment
  2. ouster — Nixon was oustered, but not impeached, while both Andrew Johnson and Clinton were acquitted.
  3. The same sort of observation applies to similar words such as “disqualification” and “removal.”
  4. There were cases of euphemism in drafting the constitutional language.
  5. Whether intended 0or not, all three of these episodes had many consequences, not the least of which was an equivalence to a bill of attainder.

▸ Words most associated with impeachment

impeachedimpeachproceedingswatergateperjuryjudiciarynixonacquittalclintontrialcomplaintconvictionacquittedconvictobstructionpickeringhastingsbriberysenate, …

For example …

▸ Popular adjectives describing impeachment

softpresidentialparliamentarysuchpossiblepublicattemptedcertainsuccessfulformalsubsequentdirectthreatenedimmediatefamouscollateralleastantiseriousproregularfuturecongressionalimpendingterriblenearabovegravevirtualfavoredintendedjudicialunsuccessfulactualeventualimproperslightestcelebratedimminentunusuallegislativecriminalsolemnproposedmemorablepotentialpostmadabortivefalsedeservedrecordedinsufficientconstitutionallibellousgrosspresumptuouspartisanimpliedjudgeviolentintermediatefraudulentpriorindirect

Got to love words like soft, serious, terrible, improper, mad, …

▸ Rhymes of impeachment

preachmentbeseechmentappeachmenttreatmentagreementachievementin agreementdisagreementconcealmentbereavementpretreatmentvehementmaltreatmentappeasement,… mistreatmenteasementunderachievementretreatmentimpeachmentsuniquementpreachmentsbementaftertreatmentmalheureusementrevetementfeoffment, …

Just for the fun of it.

▸ Invented words related to impeachment


Fun score
Input words New word (click to hear) Pronunciation
305 impeachment + unconstitutional = impeachmenconstitutional /ʌmpitʃmʌnkɔnstʌtuʃʌnʌɫ/
283 destitution + indicted = destitutiondicted /dɛstʌtuʃʌndaɪtʌd/
281 impeachment + conviction = impeachmenviction /ʌmpitʃmʌnvʌkʃʌn/
269 impeachment + continued = impeachmentinued /ʌmpitʃmʌntʌnjud/
264 appeal + impeachment = appeament /ʌpitʃmʌnt/
261 complaint + impeachment = compachment /kʌmpitʃmʌnt/

Sh!ts and giggles (LOL) …

Phrases that include impeachment:   impeachment of wasteimpeachment in the usimpeachment in ukraineimpeachment of bill clintonimpeachment trial of andrew johnsonmore…

 

Now, let’s check out the etymology — from where did the word come?

impeachment (n.)
late 14c., enpechement “accusation, charge,” from Old French empeechement “difficulty, hindrance; (legal) impeachment,” from empeechier “to hinder, impede” (see impeach). As a judicial proceeding on charges of maladministration against a public official, from 1640s.

Isn’t “(legal) impeachment” a redundancy? Aren’t “hinder” and “impede” obvious? Oh, oh, oh! Maladministration??? Never!!!

Kilgore Forelle

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What A Constitution Is And Is Not

What is a constitution? People talk about and hear about this word when debating politics or watching mainstream media. It is common knowledge that the United States is host to the U.S. Constitution and that it is the “supreme law of the land.” But what does it mean?

A constitution is a set of laws and regulations. Each provision, each word, is written for a reason. There is nothing cryptic about the language or provisions themselves. There might be a slight language barrier if centuries separate the past and present.

However, that would not be an issue if judges, or whoever is delegated the responsibility of interpreting the “supreme law of the land,” made decisions based on the original intent of the authors. By doing so would mean the interpreters would have to research the foundation of the authorship – in the case of the U.S. Constitution, there are several documents, such as the Federalist Papers, the constitutional convention notes, and the notes and letters during the state ratification conventions.

It can be argued that the first president of the United States violated the constitution he helped write, but his immediate successor, John Adams, routinely violated it. Every president since has violated it – from mildly like under Grover Cleveland and Calvin Coolidge to severely like under Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt.

So what is the point of having a constitution if the government believes it is okay to violate it when it suits its members?

There is no valid point.

As the nineteenth-century abolitionist, author, and anarchist Lysander Spooner, who fought the U.S. government’s postal monopoly via a successful postal service of his own, stated in his book No Treason: the Constitution of No Authority, “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case it is unfit to exist.”

In all honesty, the written, codified U.S. Constitution is pretty clear, it is not cryptic. Yet, members of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the government continue to deliberately misinterpret the commerce, general welfare, necessary and proper, and supremacy clauses to mean whatever they want them to mean.

While completely ignoring much of the bill of rights, especially the first, second, fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth, ninth, and tenth amendments.

The violations are blatant and unapologetic. Ironically, these violations are neither conservative (conserving limited government) nor liberal (liberty with economic exceptions), nor do they preserve the rule of law.

Government advocates oppose freedom and voluntaryism because “lawlessness.” But lawlessness is a prime descriptor of government itself. Both major parties act the same way no matter which is in power, and said behavior is often pretty lawless.

The “catch-all” argument government advocates will fall back on is the social contract. There are a plethora of problems with this argument, however it should be noted that a contract can only be explicit to be legitimate, not implicit. And it is not a “social” contract if future generations are forced to abide by it.

Ironically this argument violates the principles of both conservatives and liberals. Conservatives put a lot of stock in contractual agreements, but the U.S. Constitution does not follow traditional contractual law. Liberals oppose the idea of a small group of “old white men” making decisions for the rest of the people, but that is how the U.S. Constitution was written and enacted.

Libertarians, on the other hand, argue for voluntary association.

If a constitution is anything other than a strict code of laws, despite the political beliefs of legislators, executives, and judges, then it is arbitrary. If it is arbitrary, it is subjected to be challenged – either by nullification or secession.

If a constitution is merely a loose, living document, then it is not lawful and ought to be discarded or reconsidered.

U.S. presidents, from Washington and Adams to George W. Bush and Barack Obama, have vindicated Spooner’s Jeremiahs of constitutions. What is a constitution if not just a piece of paper of subjective opinions?

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Jury Nullification and Voluntaryism

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“One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” is an original column appearing most Mondays at Everything-Voluntary.com, by the founder and editor Skyler J. Collins. Archived columns can be found here. OVP-only RSS feed available here.

A tax cheat on trial for lying on his tax return. A music pirate on trial for illegally downloading music. A pothead on trial for dealing in marijuana. A car thief on trial for boosting cars. A rapist on trial for attacking women. A murderer on trial for killing bums. What do all of these “perps” have in common besides being charged by the state for a crime? Their trials are worthy targets of jury nullification. Yes, even the latter three, and here’s why.

What is Jury Nullification?

When a jury – a group of “peers” judging the guilt or innocence of someone charged with a crime – votes to acquit not on the basis of the facts of the case, but rather on the justness of the law the defendant is being accused of breaking, they have, in effect, made that law null and void as it concerns the defendant. Hence the term jury nullification. I leave the history of the practice to Wikipedia, but suffice it to say that jury nullification has a multi-century, common law history. I consider it a beautiful thing. When one is on trial for what amounts to the breaking of an unjust law, say dealing in marijuana, or even less controversial, raw milk, the jury has it within their power to keep the alleged unjust-law breaker out of the rape factory known as prison. But what about nullifying non-unjust laws? Laws against robbery, rape, and murder, for example?

State Laws

No, those are unjust, too. Why? Because they’re state laws. The state is an illegitimate authority in society as a monopolizer of law and order. It uses it’s authority to decree law, some of it compatible with property rights, most of it not, including where it gets its funds to incarcerate or execute criminals. Taxation pays for the maintenance of courts, prisons, and the hangman’s noose. But taxation is theft. Robbing others to pay for the state’s twisted notion of justice is wrong.

What’s a Voluntaryist to Do?

Jury nullification is a powerful tool to keep the state’s hands off of peaceful people, like tax cheats, music pirates, and potheads. It’s also a powerful tool to keep the state’s hands off those who would be forced to pay for the incarceration or execution of real criminals. The voluntaryist would not be acting consistent with his principles if he were to vote as a juror to send someone to be dealt with via the coercive expropriation of noncriminal others. In other words, the voluntaryist should nullify as a juror not only unjust state laws, but all state laws that are enforced through the coercion of peaceful people.

Final Thoughts

This may be the most controversial column I’ve written. Good and well, I say. Jury nullification is a worthy practice, made complete under voluntaryist insight. Nullify every illegitimate state charge and leave the real criminals to be dealt with by vigilantes and the rest of society. Murderers, rapists, and robbers are given a free pass on their provisions, paid for by the state robbing and threatening to murder everyone else. Rather than seeking justice, state departments of “justice” create more injustice that juries have it within their power to prevent.


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Ender’s Game, Logic Fallacy, Waco

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“Finding the Challenges” is an original column appearing every other Wednesday at Everything-Voluntary.com, by Verbal Vol. Verbal is a software engineer, college professor, corporate information officer, life long student, farmer, libertarian, literarian, student of computer science and self-ordering phenomena. Archived columns can be found here. FTC-only RSS feed available here.

Here goes a new year of columns for EVC — and a heartfelt Thank You goes out to Skyler Collins, and all who make EVC what it is, giving me an opportunity to participate.

In this essay we will talk more about Ender’s Game, an extremely significant novel and a somewhat less impactful, but long awaited, movie.  In particular we will look at Ender as a creature of the state, but more critically, as an individual.

We will continue the series on logic fallacies by looking at the appeal to authority, and we will use that fallacy to segue into a real life episode that was engendered in large part by this logic fallacy.  We will examine the state and Federal siege, onslaught, and massacre at Waco, Texas.

Ender’s Game

We briefly touched on my viewing of the movie, Ender’s Game, in my last column.  And if you are an Orson Scott Card fan, or a fan of the novel or tetralogy, you may find much of interest in the movie.  I really liked the implementation of the gravity-free battle simulation room.  But, on the other hand, the film producers didn’t make much of the development of Ender and his team through their training time.  This disappointment pretty much encapsulates my comparison of the movie to the book.  If you have only seen the motion picture, and had your curiosity piqued in some way, you definitely owe it to yourself to experience the book.  And that’s a good word for the comparison — you see the movie but you experience the book.

Of course, the flick and the book, seen in retrospect, preserve an antiquated paradigm — one that became obsolete after World War I — life is a game played by jet jockeys.  War and survival is made up of a series of aerial or interspace dogfights.  A lot of this view stems from arcade games and probably the fact that the earliest simulators were flight simulators and Luke Skywalker.  Life is far more complex.

But, as in any really good book, there is a moral to the story, and in the case of Card’s tale it is far more than a nearly lost paradigm.  The crucial elements circle around the criticality of Ender (Andrew Wiggins) and the development of his personality.  Even though his very existence is owed to the central planning of the state — he is the very rare instance of a third child in a family because the state was using his parents for genetic engineering.  Then he is committed as a trainee of the state and removed from his family, and lastly he is manipulated into perpetrating genocide on behalf of the state.  The story is that of a creature of the state, who nevertheless becomes a truly unique individual.  He is the embodiment of the failure of central planning as well as the exemplar of unforeseen consequences.

Appeal to Authority

We can see in Ender’s Game that one of the major techniques of the deceit inflicted on Ender is the logic fallacy of appeal to authority.  There is always, in a top down organization, the presence of this fallacy.  There is always an assumption that there is an expertocracy and that the mere passage of time and rote instruction will cause this organization to evolve to meet pre-conceived, centrally planned objectives.

Simply put, the appeal to authority is an avoidance of evidence by saying the evidence is known (and well understood) by someone other than the recipient of the instruction.  A very innocuous example would be, “The inspection certificate for this elevator may be seen in the Building Superintendent’s office.”  Someone in authority, and who maybe is also responsible and accountable, has your back on this.  The entire idea of responsibility and accountability, and how organizations finesse it, is a variation on the appeal to authority.

I once heard a long-forgotten comedian wonder, “Have you ever thought that the pilot of your plane may be as big a screw-up as you are?” That’s a dagger in the heart of the appeal to authority, eh?  Now try to not think about this next time you are flying somewhere.

Of course, the most egregious appeal to authority is practiced, with industrial strength, by the Federal Government.  Where de facto, everyone is considered guilty of pre-crime subject to violence, threat of violence, incarceration, threat of incarceration, confiscation, threat of confiscation, death at the point of a gun, and threat of death at the point of a gun by the forces of authority.

Unnatural laws, which I call legislation (to distinguish them from natural law), civilized law, or constitutional law, are the very epitome of the appeal to authority fallacy.  “Because I said so,” is the parental version of this authoritarian fail.

Do not let anybody get away with this in your life, please!

As usual Lysander Spooner has something for us in this regard:

The principle that the majority have a right to rule the minority, practically resolves all government into a mere contest between two bodies of men, as to which of them shall be masters, and which of them slaves; a contest, that—however bloody—can, in the nature of things, never be finally closed, so long as man refuses to be a slave.

Waco

One of the great tragedies of our age occurred because of the unexamined forfeiture of reason before authority.  I and some other good voluntaryists recently had a knockdown and drag out argument on Facebook with some libertarians, who have not come to grips with the anathema of the state, about the legitimacy of the government’s behavior in the case of the Waco siege, the 21st anniversary of the conclusion of which will happen this April.  I don’t pretend in any way to be an expert on this event.

The problem is that those who have a bias against Koresh and a bias for authority will never allow the fulcrum of the debate to shift to the question of whether the state behaved legitimately.  The severely tragic outcome suggests that they did not.  Surely there must be some lessons learned here.

The folks who argue the side of law enforcement (and I use the term advisedly) keep repeating, like parrots, the term “lawful warrant.”  Never once can we address the legitimacy of the warrant.  How in a living space protected by the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution can we have a warrant based on a charge of “accumulation of weapons for rebellious purposes?”  First of all an accumulation of weapons is absolutely protected by the Constitution of the USA.  Second of all “for —— purposes” is that strained construction of legislation that establishes a motive before the fact, it is nullification of the presumption of innocence until found guilty by due process.

Those who want to bury Waco in the same sand where their head is buried want to dismiss any argument of right and wrong based on the probability that some negligent law officer got some trumped up warrant from a negligent judge.  And there were other trumped up charges added to the mindblowingly egregious example in the above paragraph.

Please! Please note that I am not defending Koresh and his cult.  I have no idea of their guilt or innocence since none of them lived to have a fair trial.  But has anyone here thought about how easy it is for law enforcement to say they have a warrant?  Another thing I wonder about, if there is to be true equal treatment before the law, shouldn’t suspects have the right to shop judges to get a warrant requiring the law enforcement agency to show actual cause?

I am not a lawyer, but I play one in my columns.  The truth, to me, is that our entire monopolistic state justice system is based on one or more logic fallacies which have one goal in mind, the illegitimate elevation and preservation of the process over the interests of the people.


I hope that I have given some things to think about as you continue to cultivate your voluntaryist outlook.  One of the things that has happened with me is that the movie, Ender’s Game, caused me to rethink the far more estimable novel as a voluntaryist.  I had not really solidified my pursuit of a self-grounded life when I encountered the book years ago.  And this was despite the obvious appearance of the film as a pale pastel sketch compared to the very vivid, complex book.  And then, the consideration of the appeal to authority served as a fine bridge from Ender’s story to the real life Waco atrocity.  You must come to grips with the degree to which logic fallacy is imposed upon you.  It is truly propaganda of the most deliberate sort.  Further you must review history with an understanding of how fallacies are used to cloud your development as an individual.


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