Scenario: a would-be tyrant issues executive orders calling for “patriotic” state agents to take “extraordinary measures” to defend the country from [insert your favourite bogeyman here]. As a result, the supreme court suddenly has some vacancies which are filled by similarly “patriotic” judges. Constitutional protections are subject to their rulings and case law quickly develops to permit “reasonable limits” on these protected rights. A careful strategy of jurisdiction and judge shopping quickly expands the limits contained in these binding supreme court decisions. By the end of the tyrant’s first term, your constitution is no better protector of your rights than was the constitution of the Soviet Union or any other dictatorship. In Canada our constitutionally “protected” rights are already entirely subject to the whim of the Prime Minister. If his party holds a majority of seats in Parliament, which is possible to achieve with as little as about 30% of […]
The other day on Fox News there were three panellists discussing the record value of Bitcoin. One confessed that she had known nothing about Bitcoin until she read up about it as preparation for appearing on this panel. While she conveniently confessed her ignorance, that of her fellow panellists could be quickly and easily discerned from their comments. Here’s a short cut. Whenever you hear or read someone whose criticism of Bitcoin is based on it having “no intrinsic value” or not being “based on anything”, the safest thing you can do is to tune out or click on to something else. All economic value is subjective. If I just drank a litre of water and I have a room full of water bottles, consider how much value one more water bottle would have to me. What would I be willing to give up (pay) for one more bottle of […]
I wrote this in response to this article: I’ll never bring my phone on an international flight again. Neither should you. It’s not that Trump is a fascist. It’s that they are all fascists, or at least corporatists (but that’s essentially the same thing). The ideal behind the original version of the US constitution, that the ultimate political values are respect for each INDIVIDUAL person’s right to his/her own life, liberty, and property, have been replaced with the ideals of the corporatist state – that we are all mere elements of a single body (corpus) which that body (the corporate state) can utilize or dispose of as it sees fit to further its interests. The individual per se is not valued and his/her rights are not respected expect when it serves the state’s higher purpose to do so – which is becoming increasingly less frequent. In this slide toward corporatism […]
Give the state what belongs to the state, i.e. squat. The author of this article makes a great point. If Jesus wanted to advocate paying taxes he could have answered the question plainly. The Pharisees wanted and expected Jesus to counsel against paying tax so they could have him arrested. There was no need for Jesus to be “crafty” with his answer is the answer was “pay your taxes”. The craftiness was only required by His need to avoid compromising His principle of non-violence (which taxation necessarily violates) without giving his enemies the excuse they were looking for to arrest Him.
Protectionism is when the government protects or creates jobs in our country by imposing taxes on imports from other countries. What could be wrong with that? To answer that I am going to use US statistics for 3 reasons: 1) they are more readily available; 2) the argument against protectionism in Canada is the same as in the US even though the figures differ slightly; 3) right now its Americans who are most in danger of being taken in by the protectionist nonsense from con men like Trump and Sanders. So here goes. What’s wrong with protectionism. First: taxation is theft. The government has no moral right to interfere with an agreement between a person in this country and a person in another country and tell them they can’t do business with each other unless the government gets a cut. That’s something a criminal gang does. The government is a […]
Every decision the state makes is wrong. At least in the sense that it is wrong to presume to have the authority to make decisions that rightfully belong to others and then enforce those decisions. The state, all states, have lost that authority (some never had it to begin with) by exercising power beyond that which was delegated by the consent of those over whom that power is exercised. This is at least almost always to be expected. “We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.” — DC 121:39 “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” — Lord Acton In at least one case, the founding and fundamental principles of a state were set out clearly and in writing and, […]
In this recent article, Matthew Sparkes looks at the current status of Bitcoin. He argues that what is much more important is the fate of the blockchain, the decentralized infrastructure upon which Bitcoin is based, but which does not depend upon Bitcoin for its existence. Or does it? He says that if the price of Bitcoin falls far enough, it is possible that a cascade of failing Bitcoin miners will bring the infrastructure to a stand still. With no mining activity, the length of time it takes to confirm transactions, whether of Bitcoin or any other transaction, would grow until finally they might never be confirmed. This scary possibility is enough to encourage me, as someone who looks forward to the scenario Sparkes described last June in this piece, to continue to hold Bitcoin regardless of the downward trend.
Nice infographical summary here.