Monday, September 2, 2013

The Velocity Of Truth

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."  This is the government's greatest fear. Aeschylus is supposed to have said that “In war, truth is the first casualty.” He may have been technically correct, but truth is a casualty before the war even starts. Truth is a casualty of government. Government subsists on lies. How can it be otherwise, when lying is the path to advancement in government?

Lies have always served government well because people have a tendency to trust their government for some inexplicable reason and even when lies were exposed, it was usually long after the fact and the thing lied about forgotten. There have always been a few people who point the lies out at the time, but they are almost always ignored. There were probably some people at the time who doubted the Gulf of Tonkin Incident or the “surprise” attack on Pearl Harbor, but they had no effective means of disseminating their views.

Herein lies what I believe to be the greatest problem for government. There is a concept in economics called the velocity of money, and if I may borrow from it I would say that the internet has brought about what I call the Velocity of Truth. The theory works like this: the government puts out a lie to justify some act or contemplated action, but before it can even agree on the details, somebody exposes it as a lie. This usually necessitates another lie – sometimes called a clarification – to cover up the first one. Before you know it, the government has woven itself a tangled web in its efforts to deceive.
Truth and government are antonymous.

This is a problem for government that seems as though it can only get worse. Daniel Ellsberg was an anomaly in his time, but just in the last few years people like Julian Assange, William Binney, Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, Thomas Drake, Sibel Edmonds, et alia have pullulated like chickens. Before the internet they would have been voices crying in the wilderness and could be safely ignored, but not any more because the Velocity of Truth is increasing.

Surveillance can only become a worse problem for the government as video and audio recorders get smaller and ubiquitous and data storage devices shrink and gain capacity. It is similar to an elephant fighting ants or a dog biting at fleas.

Not too long ago, the police could concoct any story to justify their actions, but now they are constantly being caught on video recording devices that contradict their account of events. If John Kennedy were assassinated today, Abraham Zapruder would only be one of thousands with a video record of it, and the modern version would also have audio. As it becomes more common for devices to upload information to a remote location, the cat will be out of the bag, vanished and had kittens. Today government goons can seize the equipment and destroy it or erase the information, but that option will soon evaporate.

The current program of fabricating a reason to attack Syria is an example of the pesky internet. The Daily Mail ran a story on January 29, 2013, titled U.S. 'backed plan to launch chemical weapon attack on Syria and blame it on Assad's regime' that mysteriously vanished, but it was archived here by  Just a few years ago, it would have required digging up a copy of the original story and making copies of it to disseminate.

Most of us can't imagine the inventions that will soon be commonplace, and many of them will help increase the flow of information. Every advance in the flow of information damages the government's ability to deceive and increases the Velocity of Truth.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Satan's Workshop

Hardly a week goes by that there isn't a story about some kind of lunacy or depravity being peddled by the government school establishment. Some of it is crazy in an amusing sort of way if you aren't the victim, such as the boy who got suspended for biting a pastry into the form of a gun, even though it looked nothing like a gun.

Many other things are pernicious, such as countermanding the moral authority of the parents and teaching the children things that they find abhorrent. Several years ago there was a controversy over some books called Daddy's Roommate and Heather Has Two Mommies. These were blatant homosexual propaganda, but today they are used in many schools even if the parents object. Why this is even a subject to be taught in school would be a mystery were it not for its social engineering purpose.

Massachusetts has blazed new horizons in insanity by asserting that students are to be treated as the sex they claim to be, not their chromosomal sex. What is this but teaching mental illness? If a white student claims that he is black, is he to be accommodated? The “transracial” student would actually be on firmer ground since there would be no chromosomal difference.

What could damage a child more than teaching him that perception is reality? In later life, the person might think he has money in the bank that isn't there. Is the bank going to acquiesce to his perception or give him a jolt of reality?

A few years ago, I was walking back from lunch with a friend of mine, Chris Mileto, and pontificating about how government schools were bad and should be eliminated. He summed it up very succinctly by saying “The public schools are the workshop of Satan.” Many people know this in some form, but think that they can reform the schools or get rid of the bad people running things and everything will be fine. It won't be.

I have never heard any “reformer” say that compulsory schooling is the problem. The government has no business or authority compelling parents to send their children to school. Does the government have the authority to compel a certain diet? How about gym classes or dancing lessons? Almost anybody can see a problem with compulsory church attendance, but compulsory schooling has been around so long that people see nothing wrong with it. No amount of reform will solve the problem. Once compulsion is removed, all authority over curriculum evaporates, and voila, diversity in education. Diversity is the highest good, right? Why not a little diversity in thought?

Hilaire Belloc pointed out the problem eighty-four years ago in a book called Survivals and New Arrivals.

A universal and compulsory system of instruction has for its first and main effect uniformity. It produces to a pattern. It fills the millions of a nation (at the age when the mind is being fixed) with one set of ideas to the exclusion of others. No mere limited freedom of choice in text-books and teachers can prevent this effect, when the whole system is subject to State regulation, super­vision, examination and test..... It is not the particular form of the system, it is its universal character which is of this effect. On reflection we see that it must be so. A body of national teachers will come into being and will be informed with a corporate spirit. They will be trained all in much the same fashion to the same fixed “standards” and with the same ends in view. They will teach under the shadow of a vast bureaucracy and to ends set them by an army of inspectors, examiners and department officials.

You have, therefore, here one essential condition of the "Modern Mind"; its lack of diversity; its mechanical deadness.....

Universal Compulsory Instruction contains also on its compulsory side, as well as in the matter of its uni­versality, a force making for the creation of the "Modern Mind." Compulsion, long continued, breeds acceptance; and the acceptance without question of such authority as it meets - especially that of print - 'blind faith" we have said, "divorced from reason" - is a very mark of the "Modern Mind."

.... The Parent does not choose his child's instructor nor the nature of his teaching, both are imposed by the Civil Authority. The child goes daily to and from that institution, has its whole life coloured by it, knows that its attendance is not an order of its parents but a public command enforced by the Police.... It is at once teaching and law, and those subjected to it are inoculated from their earliest years with a paralysis in the faculty of distinction - of clarity in thought through analysis. Look around you and note the incapacity for strict argument, the impatience with exact definition, the aversion to controversy (mother of all truth) and the facility in mere affirmation. Herein lies their root.”

Although he was talking about England, the same result would occur anywhere. George Orwell wrote about "Thought Police", but there is very little need for thought police when the state is teaching the citizen almost from infancy what to think.

Leonard Read was the first person I ever read who argued against compulsory schooling. When the idea of abolishing compulsory schooling is first encountered, it sounds crazy to almost everybody because of its long practice. It is the taproot of everything that is wrong with American schools.

The schools don't need to be reformed, they need to be abolished and the state needs to be forbidden any authority over teaching whatsoever.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dark Ages

This video ties in tangentially with a post I published in October 2011 called Those Ignorant Churchmen.

Needless to say, I think the video is worth watching. There is so much nonsense believed about our forefathers, and this video dispels quite a bit of it.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bureau Of Privacy

Mendax News Service has learned that the Department of Homeland Security has set up a department within itself to be known as The Bureau of Privacy. The new subsidiary department will be in charge of monitoring the actions and associations of the populace to root out terrorism before it happens.

The impetus for the new Bureau is believed to be the plot Рthwarted, thankfully Рby a German terrorist, Friedrich Wöhler to dump calcium carbide in the toilets of public restrooms and provide some kind of delayed ignition source.

Mendax contacted the spokesman for the new bureau, P. Tom Coventry about plans to install cameras and listening devices in all public restrooms.

Mendax: Mr. Coventry, It seems that putting cameras in the stalls of public restrooms is a violation of privacy by any standard. How do you justify this?

Coventry: We don't see the right to privacy as absolute. After the underwear bomber tried to blow up a plane with a bomb concealed in his underwear, pornoscanners were installed in many airports with very little complaint from the flying public. This is a reasonable extension of our mission to protect the public while respecting people's privacy.

Mendax: This doesn't seem like you are respecting people's privacy, it seems like you are violating it.

Coventry: We would never violate anyone's privacy. This isn't a violation, it is a monitored privacy, which enhances both privacy and security. After all, privacy is no use without security. In order to mean anything, privacy must be regulated. We don't have a right to unbridled privacy.

Mendax: Can you cite any precedents for your opinion?

Coventry: Certainly, the scanners at the airports I already mentioned and random road blocks, searches of buses, luggage, domestic drones that are being contemplated and so on.

Mendax: These things take place in public places, not restrooms.

Coventry: We are not going to monitor bathrooms in detatched single-family, privately owned residences, only public buildings and buildings that the public has access to, such as hotels, office buildings, stadiums, schools, public housing or housing that receives funding from the public such as Section Eight housing. We're not talking about Big Brother here.

Mendax: What if people object to this new form of surveillance?

Coventry: There will always be a fringe element that sees a privacy violation behind every government initiative, but our mission is to ensure the safety of the public. We can't do that without real time observation of any potential threat. If we want to preserve our freedom, we've got to have enhanced privacy.

Mendax: What you are talking about doing doesn't sound like it will enhance privacy.

Coventry: Of course it will. What good is privacy if you're dead? The Bureau of Privacy is going to do its utmost to protect the public's privacy while still providing security.

Mendax: Where is any of this new surveillance authorized? Doesn't it at the very least violate the Fourth Amendment?

Coventry: No, it doesn't. The Fourth Amendment forbids unreasonable searches and seizures, etc. We are not searching or seizing anything, but merely observing.

Mendax: It seems to violate the intent, if not the letter of the amendment, and even common sense.

Coventry: We can't let common sense prejudice our interpretation of the law. There are various penumbras and emanations that allow for surveillance. Besides that, the Constitution is a living document, so we can never tell what it really meant or what it will mean in the future.

Mendax: Thank you for your time Mr. Coventry. I'm sure there will be some lawsuits over this.

Coventry: Since nobody is required to use any of these facilities, we don't anticipate any legal roadblocks to our plans. Everyone uses these facilities voluntarily.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Disarming Peasants

Every time there is a shooting at a school, shopping center, city council meeting or other location where innocent people are shot or killed by a private citizen and not a government employee, the Left immediately calls for civilian disarmament, maybe not all at once, but certainly by degrees.

What is odd about this is that not a day goes by that MoveOn.Org doesn't send out some kind of alert about banksters or corporate bogeymen who are up to no good. They probably are, but these people never see any danger from omnipotent government, only private cabals that operate for gain, but have no arrest or taxing power and no history of setting up gulags and murdering people en masse.

It's as though they have upended Jefferson's admonition, " in questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the constitution."  Instead of mistrust of government officials they have mistrust of the citizen and instead of binding down the government they want to free the government and bind the citizen. They don't trust John Q. Public, but they do trust Obama, Bloomberg, Stalin, Hitler, Castro or Robespierre. Even if we had virtuous men currently in office, which we don't, it would be pure folly to expect that always to be the case. Carroll Quigley, who has the distinction of being mentioned approvingly by Bill Clinton, says in his magnum opus Tragedy & Hope that when the citizen can have the same weapons or nearly the same as the government, it favors popular government, but when the government has superior weaponry it favors authoritarian government.

All the arguments I have seen on both sides of the question are utilitarian arguments. I have not seen anybody take up an intransigent position of principle and contend that even if it could be shown that private ownership of weapons causes higher rates of violence it would not be justification for controlling weapons for the simple reason that owning weapons is an inalienable right and isn't susceptible to statistical arguments.

We don't have free speech because it can be shown that it's a good thing, but because it is a right, not a privilege. It doesn't make any difference that many people tell lies or make inflammatory comments; when a right is abused it does not negate it for others. For years the NRA has prattled on about "firearms freedoms" as though a freedom is the same thing as a right - it isn't. Your neighbor may have the freedom to come into your house at will, but not the right to. The latest bit of claptrap is that we're having a "conversation" about gun violence or protecting children or some other focus group-think. Formerly the correct term was "dialogue," but that has fallen into desuetude.

It seems that most of the "conversation" is directed at people's feelings, not thoughts. This is very much on display with the Charlatan-in-Chief surrounding himself with children and acting as though he cares what they think. As long as he has their attention, maybe he should ask their opinion of drone strikes against innocent people or saddling future generations with oppressive debt. They're probably too young to form an opinion about such things.

Under our system of government - theoretically - the citizen is the sovereign and the government is the agent or instrument. How can the agent have rights that the sovereign doesn't have? No one can give what he does not have. If the sovereign has no right to possess arms, certainly his agent cannot have such a right.

It isn't violence that the government objects to so much as it is private ownership of guns. When Julio Gonzalez burned 87 people to death at the Happy Land disco in New York, nobody called for stopping the sale of gasoline in cans. That would have been absurd and would not have furthered the cause of civilian disarmament.

Back in the '70s, the angle of attack on gun ownership was the "Saturday Night Special," a term that no gun enthusiast used, but was thought to be useful by the forces of control. For the past 15 years or so, it's been "assault weapons," another made up term with no definition. It sounds really menacing so it's likely to be around for quite a while. It seems to be derived from the term "assault rifle" which was supposedly coined by Hitler (it probably wasn't) to describe a selective fire (i.e. capable of both semi-automatic and automatic or "fully automatic" fire) rifle that fired a low-powered rifle cartridge.
These rifles had more power than the submachine guns, which fired pistol cartridges, but less than a regular infantry arm of the day, such as an M1, Lee Enfield, Mauser, Springfield, etc.

Some advocates of disarmament have resurrected the claim that the Second Amendment refers to ownership of muskets. The founders were aware that technology is not static and had they thought nobody should ever have anything more advanced than a musket they could have said so, but had they done so the Constitution would probably not have been ratified. A musket was comparable to anything the army of the day had, so by that reasoning the citizen should now have sophisticated military equipment.

The founders wanted to guard against "combinations of ambitious men," but the disarmament lobby puts unlimited faith in such men and views the common man warily. It's as though the Bolsheviks can be trusted, but the peasants can't be.