Resurrect the Fifteenth Amendment

The only way to protect voting rights is by this thing called the Fifteenth Amendment. That Fifteenth Amendment which has been stuck in a locker for most of its life, except for the voting rights act, which John Roberts eviscerated in twenty-thirteen.

That’s it.

If you don’t have people willing to protect the Fifteenth Amendment then you don’t have voting rights. It’s as simple as that.

Elie Mystal

Control

You are not in control

This is not news. I have never been allowed the delusion of control. Even my own hands defy my control, putting lines on paper wherever their whimsy takes them. Inanimate objects seem to argue with my attempts to put them where I want them.

Control is something to be dreamed about, not something that can be realized. I rarely even bother to dream of it.

Eternity vs. Finality

“Join us in undeath” she said, in a quavering voice. It was definitely a female voice. I was just as sure that I had misheard her.

“Beg pardon?” I asked.

“Give in to the truth.” she whispered. “Join us in undeath.”

“I’m afraid I can’t understand you. Are you saying you are not alive? Then how are you speaking?”

“Many things speak that have not life.” The voice replied. “Do the rocks not shout their permanence at you? Does the water not speak of eternal motion? Is it so hard to believe in undeath?”

“Well, since you put it that way” I said “why don’t the things that speak as you suggest not use words that I can understand?”

“Can you not understand permanence? Can you not comprehend endless motion?”

“I began and I will end.” I said. “That is the truth that I know. What can I really know of permanence? What temporary being can comprehend eternity? I can grasp the concepts. I can’t really know the meaning.”

“Then join us.” The voice repeated. “Join us in undeath.”

“Let’s say I believe you are undead.” I replied. “What does that mean? Do you have substance? I can’t see you.”

“We are all around you. You cannot see us because your impermanence will not let you see. You have but to speak assent, and you will be one of us.”

“I will assume then that you do have substance. Are you confined within that substance forever? Or can you change what you are?”

“We are not water and we are not rocks. We are neither permanence nor fluidity. We are undeath.”

“Ah. So you are defined by what you are not. You are the alternative to death?”

“We are undeath”

“Yes. I think we’ve established that fact.”

“Do not mock that which you cannot understand.”

“No offense intended. I beg your pardon ma’am. I just want to know why this choice is being offered to me now?”

“All who face death are offered this choice at their moment of transition.”

“You mean my time is up then?” I hadn’t thought about where or when I was until this very moment. Where was I? It wasn’t home, wherever this place was. It was too… fuzzy. Worse than my usual myopia. Were those my bookshelves? No. No, mine were not that large. Or were they smaller than mine? Were they even shelves? Bars, maybe? It was so damn hard to see. Where were my glasses? I started to reach out and realized that I had no arms. I didn’t have legs either, now that I tried to move those. They were simply not present. I started to panic. “What has happened to my body? Where am I?”

“Your people have many names for this place. The place of transition? Translation? Perhaps you wait for the ferryman? Purgatory? It is hard to say what concept that you would find meaningful in its description. It is the place of gathering. It is the place of weighing and judging. All come here before taking their place in the universe.”

“My wife and children? Are they here too?”

“All come here before taking their place.”

“Are they here now?”

“All come here before taking their place.”

“Can I see them? Can I talk to them?”

“This is your time and place. Yours and yours alone. Choose now.”

“All right then. What are my choices?”

“Ending or remaining are your choices. Choose.”

I contemplated existence. It had been a good life. She was beautiful, my wife. Maybe not beautiful to other people, but beautiful to me. She showed up just when I needed her in life, and stayed with me through all the ups and downs. We had beautiful children. They grew and moved on and had their own children.

I had work that had been rewarding. I had made the world a better place, I hoped anyway. It had been a good life. “What is there here that would make me want to stay here?” I asked.

“There is continued existence.” The voice said. It sounded impatient now. Demanding. “You will not cease to be and will continue on as you are now. Choose.”

I surveyed my existence. I couldn’t really see. There was little to hear other than the voice. What feeling there was was vague, but not unpleasant. It was a feeling like the edge of sleep. I could go on dreaming like this forever if I wanted. Surveying the landscape of my past life, possibly glancing other times and worlds. “Is this all that there is here?” I asked.

“Choose.” said the voice. It was definitely impatient now.

I wanted to see Terry again. I wanted to see her and Susan and Bill. To see them and their kids. I wanted to see mom and dad again, though they have been dead for years now. Now? What is now anyway? Eternal presence? I wanted to see my grandparents again, lost to me so long ago that their faces are blurred by time itself. I wanted to live, but living was over. Living was not a choice that I had now.

“Let me go,” I said.

“The choice has been made.” said the voice.

There was a blinding light. I blinked my eyes. There was a field in front of me. In the distance I could see Terry and the kids, and their kids in front of them. Behind them was mom and dad and their parents and their parents, parents waiting. Waiting in a field of flowers.

I had made the right choice. I ran to them with open arms and they opened their arms for me in anticipation. “I’m free,” I thought. “I’m fr…”

Afterword

This is the kind of thing that sprouts up in your head after you’ve spent a solid 36 hours straight turning other players and non-player characters into zombies during the pre-patch event for Shadowlands. Featured image is a screencap from the Shadowlands cinematic trailer.

Break Up Big Tech?

I keep hearing that phrase. We need to break up big tech. Today Robert Reich released a video about it.

Facebook – RBReich

It is easy to say “break up big tech”, But how do you do it? We don’t want a bunch of balkanized Facebooks that don’t share a common user base. What would be the point of that? Should Whatsapp and Instagram be peeled off of Facebook? Without a doubt. Those purchases should never have been allowed in the first place, and Facebook should be required to open up its API so that outside contributors can get access to Facebook’s user base. But is that breaking up Facebook?

The same is true of Amazon. You could break storage and delivery services up, but then you increase the cost to the purchaser. Is Amazon proving its worth during the crisis? Without a doubt. What people who talk about Bezos’ wealth always leave out is how much he pays himself for his time. $81,840 is his actual salary (h/t to BusinessInsider.com) There are far, far worse CEOs in the world. Truly deplorable people who not only shouldn’t be wealthy, but should also probably be in prison (yes, I am looking at you Donald Trump and all you little Trumps and Kushners, too) The fact that Amazon has increased in value during the pandemic is an economic affirmation of Amazon’s real worth, as opposed to the imaginary value of stocks on the stock market as a whole.

How many CEOs get paid hundreds of millions to run companies that haven’t increased in value by billions of dollars? Maybe we should be looking at taking away their lavish compensation packages. Clearly they don’t deserve the kind of money that they are being paid.

In the same vein with Amazon and are the co-owners of Google. They too don’t get paid lavish salaries. Like Facebook, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, should have its investments put under a microscope, and some of their shadier advertising practices should be subject to fines, because they are already illegal. But how do you break up a search engine and not render it useless for conducting searches?

Breaking up monopolies only works if those monopolies are artificial monopolies. We established this with the breakups that were forced on Standard Oil and AT&T in previous decades. Rockefeller still made out just fine after Standard Oil was broken up, and most of those companies have merged again into the behemoth known as Exxonmobil. Why aren’t they charging usurious prices now that they’ve re-established their near-monopoly status? Because they aren’t the only players on the block when it comes to energy production, and they know they could be broken up again.

AT&T also reformed itself, and few people seem to care or even notice that it happened. Why? Because the problem, the cost of long-distance phone calls, went away with the creation of mobile phone technology.

So what is the solution? Regulation. We need to be writing regulations to guide these internet companies going forward. That means we need a government that functions at the legislative level, and we need a government that can’t be bribed by industry. In short, the average American needs to stand up and make government pay attention to them and not pay attention to the companies waving dollars in their faces. Replace the representatives that have been shown to be too easy on businesses, that can be shown to be too comfortable taking large sums of money from corporate donors.

We need to institute a standard of employee ownership of every publicly held corporation, ensuring that workers in any company will be paid what the workers think is a fair wage. Completely change the nature of worker/employer relations by giving the employees a seat at the management table. That will help address the problems of homeless working poor.

But we need more than that, too. Rental costs in cities are too high. Property valuations are completely out of whack. As I’ve heard a number of times in my podcasts this week, macroeconomics is broken. We can’t explain what it is we are experiencing as we go through this pandemic, from an economic perspective.

We need to focus on the here and now. How do we keep people in their homes when they have no income and no job prospects on the horizon? How do we keep people fed? Those are the most important questions right now. We’ll get to Bezos and his billions later, he can be assured of that. Let’s deal with the crisis in front of us first. We might need his help with that.

John Kasich Defends Supporting Obama and TPP

Governor John KasichWhite House Briefing Room September 16, 2016

This is the guy who knew he should have been the nominee. Who I knew should have been the nominee. He’s standing around in the empty coliseum after the Trump primary landslide saying,

You got me, that was a funny joke. The party went nuts and nominated the known fakir. OK, I laughed. Come back in and nominate the only sane guy who isn’t named Bush. Hello? Is this thing on? No, really, jokes over. Guys?

What he needs to figure out is, he is in the wrong party.

Facebook

Monsanto Defrauded Investors, Court Rewards Executive?

Reuters

The Securities and Exchange Commission has fined Monsanto $80 million for defrauding investors by misstating its earnings and awarded more than $22 million to the former Monsanto executive who blew the whistle and tipped off the SEC.

Sounds fair until you realize the $80 million penalty mainly hurt Monsanto shareholders, some of whom were defrauded by Monsanto’s earnings misstatement. And the $22 million award goes to an executive whose own pay was likely pumped up by the fraud.

Unless and until the government begins to hold executives personally liable for corporate misdeeds, those misdeeds will continue.

What do you think? – Robert Reich on Facebook

This is a drop in the bucket compared to the big problem businesses, like the banks. I don’t see boards being held accountable anytime soon. More likely would be the revising of corporate law to constrain corporate practices in particular ways; say limiting maximum compensation to some multiple of the lowest paid worker, or requiring the corporation to spend x% of gross revenues on charitable works.

Facebook status backdated to the blog.

I Know Where to File Your Objections, Facebook

So Facebook has concluded that my shares from G+ via Twitter are somehow a violation of community standards. Who knew? I really had no idea that using G+ and sharing it was an insult to the intelligence of Facebook users.

My apologies, I’ll get right on pretending Facebook is the be-all and end-all.

Facebook status backdated to the blog.

Overpriced Toll Roads Going Bankrupt?

KXAN.com

“The bankruptcy filing by Cintra should have no effect on travelers who use SH 130, the taxpayers or the State of Texas. Cintra assumed the risk to finance, build and operate the section of SH 130 south of US 183 to I-10,” wrote Texas Senator Kirk Watson, D-Austin, in a statement to KXAN News. “Traffic and revenue on that part of the road hasn’t reached projected levels and Cintra has taken the hit, not taxpayers. Use of that section will continue to grow and be there as drivers have more need of it.”

The most overpriced stretch of road in the country is the segment from Austin North to Georgetown. I use that stretch of road because it is faster, not because the price is reasonable. If Cintra can’t stay in business with those prices, then the state should come up with a way to do it themselves.

Also, the specific section of road in question, to Seguin South of Austin, isn’t tolled at all. Not tolled and three lanes of clear asphalt both directions to and from I-10. Best drive to be had in Texas these days, so get your driving gear on and have a great day tooling through remote sections of Texas as if they need six-lane highways there. Do it before maintenance failure destroys the smooth surface and requires you to reduce your speed below 85 miles an hour in order to reduce wear and tear on your suspension.

Facebook Status update backdated to the blog. 

Bernard Von Nothaus Jailed

I reformatted this in his usual style. The block text transmission that I got earlier today was a pain to read, and not the way that I know Bernard likes his communications to look.

Just passing this along.


June 2010 email: (sent August 1, 2010)
Bernard is Jailed – Part I

Table of Contents:
  1. Two Exciting Newscasts Regarding Money
  2. Kevin the Beautiful
  3. Liberty Dollar Site Is Closed Thank you for your inquiry…
Bernard is Jailed – Part I

First, please note the format changes to this email reply to your inquiry about the me and your property that was confiscated during the ongoing legal battles regarding the Liberty Dollar. It would appear that the once great First Amendment and the concept of innocent until proven guilty do not apply to anyone who is out on an Appearance Bond.

Second, I apologize for this relayed email regarding June development and that now I can’t write my usual monthly “Newsletter.” While I have been late a few times with the chronicle of the Liberty Dollar since October 1998, I have never missed a month. I trust being in jail, defending the Liberty Dollar is a good reason.

Third, I hereby confirm the rumors that I was jailed, but not re-arrested. I was incarcerated when I appeared to answer charges that I violated the terms of my Appearance Bond before Magistrate Judge Cayer, Federal District Count in Charlotte, North Carolina on Wednesday, July 14. There is much to disclose about that hearing and my next five plus days and five nights in Mecklenburg County and Catawba County Jails but I don’t have the time right now. But stay tune. I promise to tell all in my next email for July.

Contained in this email are links for two excellent video newscasts Part I and Part II that aired while I was in jail that features Dave Gillie and Jeff Kotchounian using a value based currency. Most importantly is the quote from the US Treasury website that merchants can use anything they want for money. And equally noteworthy is one of Kevin’s letters that was recently posted on the mailfromjail.com site and forwarded to me.

PLEASE read this letter and marvel at the exulted space that Kevin occupies while standing firm for the Liberty Dollar after 14 MONTHS behind bars. Like Kevin, we have an extremely strong, winnable case and the government is going to lose dearly for this shortsighted misadventure.

Item #1: Two Exciting Newscasts Regarding Money

These two video newscasts speak for themselves. I neither indorse nor support these two brave American patriot’s efforts. I fact, I was surprised when the URLs were sent to me. But I was not surprised by the US Treasury site that proves ‘a private business, a person or an organization…are free to develop their own policies…’ for money. In part the government site says:

“There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept [US] currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise.”

The complete quote for the very first question on the US Treasury’s FAQ site is found here: http://www.ustreas.gov/education/faq/currency/legal-tender.shtml Now watch these two newscasts and decide who is going to win this case: Part I: http://www.connectmidmichigan.com/news/story.aspx?id=481793 Part II: http://www.connectmidmichigan.com/news/story.aspx?id=482130.

Item #2: Kevin the Beautiful

I know you are busy and you may not even know Kevin but I hope you will take a moment to ravel in Kevin’s amazing jailhouse consciousness and hopefully send him a note of support and/or a few dollars, as he can’t eat the slop that passed as food in jail. And I know that all too well!

From Kevin to a supporter – July 2010:

I continue to consider my time here as an opportunity for some intense independent training so that I can be more effective at helping society when I get out, helps me redirect my thoughts. From all of the wonderful experiences I am missing out on by being here, back to the hear-and-now and my self-imposed tasks. “The Now” is truly all that I can experience “in Technicolor” – all else is just a hazy “black and white” dream.

By being true to what I know to be right and honest I can more easily infuse the present with the enthusiasm and with the awareness that Gold is right here with me. Bliss, God and the Now are One. Standing firm in my convictions and my truth is fundamental to my evolving success, not only spiritually, but also in a worldly sense.

In contrast, there is nowhere I can go for relief if I am in conflict with myself. Yes, this has already taken a very long time and I might only be part-way through it but thinking in terms of time only increases the suffering. When we are One with the timeless inner Self there is really nothing to fear. The more we can connect our light with that wonderful Light that is also in others, especially among those who remind us of this, like you and I, the more we can warm to each other’s glowing.

It is great to hear you are drawing loving people to you. How can they resist?

Please write to Kevin:

William K. Innes
2351 Morganton Blvd. SW
Lenoir, NC 28645

Please send Money to Kevin:

C/O Julia Gaunt
16 Norman Austin Dr.
Asheville, NC 28804

Item #3: Liberty Dollar site is now closed due to court action.

And last but not least, the Liberty Dollar site is now down. Hope you got a copy before all that great info was taken down or know how to find it. I will explain this regretful development in my email to you for July.

Closing Remarks:

That’s it short and sweet. I promise to disclose all regarding my jail experiences and the latest on the Liberty Dollar Four in my next email for July. There are amazing develops with Liberty Dollar Four case, so please stay tune for all the details and an exciting trial! I remain convinced and dedicated to the ideals of the Liberty Dollar and that the only way for us to have a free society is by banding together and adopting a free and independent currency that provides us with “just weights and measures” to throw off the yoke of a manipulated monetary/tax system. Thank you for your inquiry and efforts to return America to value – one dollar at a time!

Bernard von NotHaus
Monetary Architect/Editor
Editor@LibertyDollar.org


Editor’s note. This one is not in the archive on LibertyDollar.org I spent quite a bit of time reformatting this when I got it as an email message. I remember I wanted it to look just so. Again, I was so concerned for Bernard. I find it amusing in hindsight.

Suspect Sniffles

Pseudoephedrine interdiction, the other shoe drops.

Google alerts dropped this in my inbox;

Other View: Law doesn’t stop meth

At least one government effort to curb methamphetamine production seems to have been a bust.

The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 … makes it more difficult to purchase common, non-prescription cold medication containing pseudoephedrine.

Pseudoephedrine is the main ingredient used in the manufacture of meth. So, instead of simply purchasing drugs like Sudafed over the counter as in the past, everyone must now get them from behind the counter, usually from a pharmacist.

… It turns out, however, that it probably was all for nothing. A study published in the March issue of the American Economic Review found that restricting pseudoephedrine had only a temporary effect on the meth trade.

Yet, the government continues to track cold and allergy sufferers as if everyone with the sniffles is a potential criminal, while meth manufacturers go about their business as usual.

The Decatur Daily, Ala.

(from the Traverse City Record-Eagle website)

It’s listed as an opinion piece, but it’s based on an evidence based indictment of the entire drug war. If you want to pay $7.50 you can download the study from The American Economic Review website.

Here’s the abstract;

In mid-1995, a government effort to reduce the supply of methamphetamine precursors successfully disrupted the methamphetamine market and interrupted a trajectory of increasing usage. The price of methamphetamine tripled and purity declined from 90 percent to 20 percent. Simultaneously, amphetaminerelated hospital and treatment admissions dropped 50 percent and 35 percent, respectively. Methamphetamine use among arrestees declined 55 percent. Although felony methamphetamine arrests fell 50 percent, there is no evidence of substantial reductions in property or violent crime. The impact was largely temporary. The price returned to its original level within four months; purity, hospital admissions, treatment admissions, and arrests approached preintervention levels within eighteen months.

(emphasis added)

So, like all attempts to curb demand by targeting supply, this effort has simply lead to alternative methods of getting meth to the people who want it.

How long are we going to throw away billions (perhaps even trillions) of dollars trying to keep people from pursuing what they see as ‘happiness’?