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Monday, December 31, 2018

Atlas Was Robbed

Today is the last day of the year. I started to watch "Atlas Shrugged" on a lark.  Folks often mistake young libertarians for liberals. Looking at NETFLICKS promotions this morning I realized, someone there is very so! They offer the Cheesy, updated, modern version of 'Atlas Shrugged.' I've tried to read it over and over again but it is a cheesy story with a cheesy plot & a misleading message. It is poorly written, unresearched. Worse the story is offensive to any understanding of reality, causality and not in a good way. This was like watching a Superman versus Bizarroman flick.

The Trouble with Atlas Shrugged.

The story starts with people demanding work. The headlines ask, "who cares about the inventories", while noting gasoline shortages. It shows images of black people striking for a Job. It has people saying "there is plenty of oil in the ground." It sounds like a Donald Trump campaign commercial. Trouble is, these are management decisions. She blames common folks for the responsibilities of her heros in management.

False Causality

The logical error that Ayn Rand committed was that of ascribing false causality to the dysfunction of reality. In the world of Atlas shrugged nobody works & that is the fault of,... drum roll ... workers. Management is somehow not responsible for their own decisions. She sees the pirates as heros while calling those workers looters.

Actual History

And the plot lines act like we still have competitive rail lines. In real life Passenger rail were looted & abandoned to airlines, bus lines & freight rail years ago, by the entrepeneurs. Those remaining  were given to the State via bankruptcy courts. Mexico is promoting jobs not nationalizing rail. She describes a world of Monopolists & pirates, & then makes them heros.

Trump thinks he's John Galt

None of this was new. But what I found fascinating was the Pirate Motiffe.  As depicted the line "who is John Galt" was a recruitment call to managers & elites to desert their posts & work for John Galt & join his war.

It suddenly occured to me that the owners strike was really a lock out. Especially after rereading the end. Scientists don't lie about the safety of "rearden metal", but con artists do. Years ago I wanted to write a parallel story where the safety testers were the heros & rearden metal full of plutonium & radioactive metals. In bizaaroland exec's & managers sabotaging their own business, are heros.

Trump thinks he is John Galt. He doesn't need "gubbornment" so he can just "shut it down" to get his way. To his thinking it should be run for, by & of oligarchs. He loves the Russian model!

Galts Gulch is Panama or Cyprus banks.  Treason is just business. After all it is our own fault we don't live in a libertarian paradise like Somalia.


Atlas Ignores Science

Rearden Metal - watching Atlas Shrugged continued.

In Atlas Shrugged, rearden metal is supposed to be stronger, lighter, more enduring than ordinary steel. Yet early on in the story its structural integrity is questioned by authorities associated with the Government's Science department. Rand sees this as a plot twist that exposes a sinister plot. Yet in reality metals are tested by scientists, both by the industry & regulator & safety is an objective measure. It is implausible that they'd question the safety and efficacy of "Rearden Metal" unless it failed those tests. So the whole plot twist is absurd.

Anyone can say that their metal is superior. It's like "flex seal" or "My Pillow," part of the sales. Yet safety regulations are part of demonstrating that an assertion is more than a sales pitch. Can you cut a boat in half, seal it with flex tape & then sail it good as new? That is what testing does. Libertarians take the dark view that Ayn Rand describes in "Atlas Shrugged" that science is political.

She paints safety regulations as unnecessary bureaucracy when in fact the testing & replication of science is what makes our lives actually in fact better. In Atlas Shrugged Rearden metal might well have been actually in fact superior to other forms of steel. But in real life, that is a fact that can be proven or disproven with tests. It is something that can be falsified.

False Attribution

Parody Alternative

I was going to write a parody paralel under account where rearden metal turned out to be an alloy made from spent reactor rods, highly toxic & corrosive, and so brittle it would fail the moment sufficient weight was put on it. In that scenario the behavior of the Engineers Union and authorities would have been not only merited but virtuous. The point is the goal is better production actual in fact & scientific based regulation is the business friend not their enemy. Assuming that regulation is the enemy of business, sounds good to those who reject science. But force of will alone cannot make railroads carry the weight of a 50,000 lb locomotive.

Ayn Rand's book is fantasy

In Ayn Rand's book, Rearden metal is truly strong. If she were a realistic writer she'd have had him at least attempt to produce test results in defense of its use. But she was doing propaganda, and "facts aren't facts" when one is promoting an agenda.

Her spiritual successors have banned scientists from discussing issues like global warming, or produced fake studies in order to claim that it is not caused at all by human activity. The anti-science attitude involved in this behavior was planted by Ayn Rand in her cadres of true believers. Ironically science goes into the studies of what messages will fool the public and the people paying to deny global warming, are preparing to a; make money off of it, and b; mitigate its effects on their own fortunes.

The funny thing is that there are people who believe that Rearden metal is a real thing.

Part of a Series

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Trump's Kingpin

Matthew Whitaker, Kingpin

Trump's Kingpin has no business having a law license must less as Attorney General

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Why Congress must impeach Trump Officials

Dear Esteemed Representative Jerry Nadler.

Just before Christmas I shared my opinion with Speaker Nancy Pelosi that Congress must open impeachment hearings. At that time I suggested that you do so:

“Not initially into the President, but into Whitehouse and Cabinet officials who, past and present, have abused their office.”

Since then you, Rep Jerry Nadler have been conducting hearings that could be turned into an Impeachment Inquiry. We all support and applaud your efforts.

Impeachment as a Prophylactic on Abuse of Power

It is my believe that this needs to be done and is even more urgent now than before.

“The purpose of Impeachment hearings is not merely to focus on the lawbreaking of these officials, which is obvious, but to stop them from committing high crimes and misdemeanors or the President from using his Pardon Power to help them get away with it.”

I believe that a case can be made that the use of the impeachment power should stop the ability of the President to obstruct justice via impeachment. As quoted in the Meme above, the President

“shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”

With the recent evidence of Trump dangling pardon's to people contemplating breaking the law, it is imperative that something be done to block him from using pardons to obstruct justice. See:

“Trump told CBP head he'd pardon him if sent to jail,” CNN

I believe you can make it impossible for Trump to use the Pardon power that way. It is time to open impeachment hearings, starting with inquiries into Bill Barr, Mnuchin and other officials who are violating USA law. Accompanying that I'd suggest you file an injunction with the courts against any impeachments related to those hearings.

Prophylactic Purpose

Time and time again, have gotten pardoned for relatively minor crimes that, however, reflect disregard for rule of law. These people may not have killed anyone, but they have shown that they are not fit for office. Indeed, that is the purpose of impeachment. Not to punish criminal behavior, that is for the courts, but to remove people from government who are a plague to it or a threat to the constitution. Impeachment serves a prophylactic purpose against traitors, grafters, grifters and privateers.

“Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.”

In August 9 1974 Richard Nixon resigned from the Presidency. Soon after that Gerald Ford Pardoned Nixon, which shut down a number of investigations, not only into Richard Nixon, but into Nixon's veritable army of co-conspirators, including some minor players who went on to become republican operatives and into bigger and better crimes. At the time we took this to mean that even the President was not above the law. But some of those minor players came back when Reagan was elected, and the Reagan Administration showed even less respect for congress and the rule of law. Ford was able to pardon Nixon, only because he had not been impeached.

Nobody in the Reagan Administration, nor in the subsequent George HW Bush Presidency. Yet there was an investigation from 1986 to 1992. Despite that investigation being impeded by grants of immunity, deliberate cover-ups and obstruction of justice, that investigation detailed the high crimes and misdemeanors of a continuing program of lawlessness that ran from 1985 til the investigation was shut down after George HW Bush pardoned the perps. They got away with it, because nobody in the Reagan or Bush administrations had been impeached.

In 1992, at least partly on the advice of Bill Barr.

“On December 24, 1992, President George H.W. Bush granted pardons to six defendants in the Iran-Contra Affairs. The defendants were Elliott Abrams, a former assistant secretary of state for Central America; former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane; former CIA officials Duane Clarridge, Alan Fiers, and Clair George; and former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.” [Brown Article]

The experience of the Walsh investigation shows why Congress has a DUTY to impeach those responsible for wrong doing and not to look the other way covered by talk of "moving on." Congress has a duty to impeach officials engaged in wrong doing and not rely on prosecutors and courts because the President has Pardon power and only impeachment limits that power. The President has:

“Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.” [COTUS: Article 2, Section 2 1st paragraph.]

If we don't want President Trump to pardon his way out being punished for his criminality, then Congress must impeach the officials involved and open an impeachment investigation. This is necessary, not only to ensure the President is brought to justice, but to prevent him from using the pardoning power to avoid responsibility. If he should start to pardon the perps in this case, any such pardons should be challenged in the Supreme Court. Additionally, if there is evidence of congressmen or of Supreme Court Justices seeking to aide him in obstructing justice, they need to be subject to impeachment hearings too.

Giving the President Immunity from Prosecution is Unconstitutional

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Elements of Privateering

Privateering and Smuggling

Elements of Privateering

Original Definition:
Legalized theft and warfare against commerce on the high seas.
Modern Defintion
Usurpation of Government or public functions for private profit

Privateers engage in the following:

  1. Filibustering/Privatized Warfare/
  2. Private warfare against unorganized places or countries the country the privateer is at war with. Privateers also were frequently mercenaries in service to anyone who would pay them. In modern times they often masque as providing contracts to "train" or "assist" often hostile foreign governments.
  3. Smuggling
  4. Usually private sea captains would do legal trade with whoever they could. But often privateers would engage in illegal smuggling if it made them money. Modern privateers smuggle. For example, arms to South America and Drugs back to the USA.
  5. Slave Trade
  6. Privateers often combined private warfare elements with smuggling by grabbing people for sale like they were any other good for sale. The Navies would even recruit their own sailors by grabbing them from ports and "pressing them" to service. Privateer sailors were often little better than slaves. Privateering always has involved abusing people. Nowadays it is often women and young kids for adoption scams or prostitution.
  7. Piracy
  8. One reason that the saying "Dead men Tell no tales" is that if a privateer took a prize of a ship not at war, if nobody survived to rat them out, and no evidence could be found of a crime, the now pirate could continue to pretend to be a privateer. This led to some confusion among pirate captains. The famous Captain Kidd of the 1700s went to England to argue his case that he had been a legal privateer, not a pirate. He was hung as a pirate. Many pirate/privateers got away with that. A Ship would go "on the hunt" even in peacetime. Most successful pirates avoided the courts.
  9. Private government and colonization.
  10. Private government was always an element in privateering. King James granted them the East India Company charter in 1600. This was the real beginning of the Tory Party and of the movement to modern Privateering. But when Christopher Columbus got his permission to sail west, it was with the aim of establishing private government in the lands he discovered.
  11. Corruption and Bribery
  12. Pirates succeeded because piracy was lucrative. One of the original purposes of Admiralty courts was to adjudicate the sail of "prizes" and shipwrecks. A legal pirate, a privateer, could make himself and the courts, wealthy by selling his prize at auction. Often he would keep a portion of the loot with the prize so that it would look legal. If the prize was not legal he could bribe judges and Port Officials. Bad pirates got hung. Successful ones built Churches or colonies.
  13. Banking and Finance
  14. Privateering and Banking were related. Successful pirates had loot to lend against. So they often founded banks and invested in voyages. Privateering, shipping and smuggling was dangerous and so successful pirates were heavily involved in insuring legal cargos and ships. Insuring and Banking go together as banks don't like to risk their own money and so either use derivative instruments (notes) or create derivative instruments (insurance and exchanges of promises) to spread risk.
  15. Wealth and Pirates
  16. Scratch a wealthy family and you find a pirate or mercenary at the founding; or someone who made money off of pirates, smugglers and mercenaries, as the founder.
  17. Money Laundering and Pirates
  18. Banks and wealthy criminals need to convert traceable loot to "clean" money. This is called money laundering. US banks, financiers and monied people are experts at doing this.
    Updated with this link:Article on Money Laundering

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Maria Butina

Maria Butina

Maria

She has cried all her tears,
Prayed in her Chambers
Once green dreams in embers.
Now comes the reckoning.
An entire edifice of corruption
Coming down.
Elites taking money from criminals.
It is time for others to frown.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Giving the President Immunity from Prosecution is Unconstitutional

The President should not be immune from prosecution

The President Should not be immune from prosecution.

The President should not be immune from prosecution. Indeed it is unconstitutional to hold him as immune from prosecution.

Friday, December 7, 2018

The Dark Garden

The Dark PaRDeS

The Dark PaRDeS

I fell in love with the Garden of religious & spiritual delight.  But there are really 2 gardens. One is one of discovery & spirituality. The other is the dark Garden. The peril of the one is that it can be so inspiring & illuminating it can burn ones spiritual retina if one gazes too long. The other garden, the dark garden is one illuminated by the moon. The moon of delusion, desire, illusion & dark fantasies. They can be the same place by day.

Pretense

The Religious can easily be lured into the dark garden. It is a place of unreliable  authorities, where compulsion replaces deep truth. Authorities compel belief, but the initiate pretends to believe so he/she can enjoy all the dark pleasures of the dark garden. They make the mistake of seeing a symbol, something like water, and calling it water.

Authoritarianism and Fanaticism

The dark garden is a place where the truth is defined by a hierarchy of lies. Those at the top of the hierarchy know the truth but are trapped by their own lies. It is possible to become so entranced by the fantasy and abstraction that one fails to eat or tend to one's needs.

Repression.

The dark garden is marked by repression & self repression, masked by the words discipline & faith.  True faith is marked by belief founded on self evident revelation. The dark garden is a place of violent faith & hypocrisy. People can become insane.

Darkness

Oppression

Suffering

The Dark PaRDeS traps those who fail to listen to the warnings of the Story.

Iran Contra and Bill Barr

Why Iran Contra ought to be in the news again.

William Barr Role in Iran Contra

Iran/Contra should be back in the news due to the fact that Bill Barr is being nominated to be the new Attorney General. The mix of pardons and classifications of information made much of the material from Watergate a secret until fairly recently. It also successfully buried the Iran Contra Scandal and enabled a number of the perpetrators to escape true justice. William Barr was Attorney General at the time of these pardons and was a principle agent in engineering them. He was successsful at obstructing justice then. We should be alert he will do so again if Congress lets him get away with it.

At the time the Prosecutor:

“President Bush's pardon of Caspar Weinberger and other Iran-contra defendants undermines the principle that no man is above the law. It demonstrates that powerful people with powerful allies can commit serious crimes in high office -- deliberately abusing the public trust without consequence.” [Iran Contra Pardon]

Again Trump is seeking people who will protect him, not justice in the United States. This reminds us that George HW Bush was no saint.

Further Reading:
https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/97/06/29/reviews/iran-pardon.html?module=inline
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/12/trump-william-barr-attorney-general-iran-contra-mueller.html
https://www.brown.edu/Research/Understanding_the_Iran_Contra_Affair/thepardons.php
https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/big/1224.html