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Wastes Used To Generate Electricity
The Riverside County, California, waste treatment plant has solved its own energy crisis. It has installed new electric generators at the plant that run on the methane gas from the sewage being treated. They are also located near a vacated landfill, where buried garbage is also generating methane gas, and helps to supply fuel for the generators.
The facility is not only saving about $500,000 a year in electrical bills, but the sewage treatment plant now has a reliable source of electricity immune to blackouts. Riverside County is also selling any excess power they generate to Houston-based Enron Energy Services, earning about $850 a day.
EU Moves to Stifle Political Criticism
Letter to the Editor
This message is occasioned by my receipt of the latest Frontiersman [March 2001].
My purpose here is not to pick a fight, but to make sure I understand what I think I understand.
You don't like a rule of law and it should go without saying you would not agree to a rule of men so I gather you want no rule at all.
The way that I would deal with enforcing laws with which I disagree is by characterizing my behavior as fidelity to the process rather than fidelity to the substantive outcome. This is because I disagree with many laws, many the ones you disagree with; others not.
If I understand you correctly, you not only have no fidelity to this process, but no fidelity to any process. That is, you insist upon (1) your personal assent to the application of every single law that purports to apply to you and (2) your lack of any duty to explain to others why you refuse your assent.
Buying into that leaves the essential fact that you not only answer to no law but you make it futile to attempt to persuade you otherwise, because you recognize your right not to give your assent as an absolute — that is, not existing in reference to any greater principle. You might base your opinion on Aristotle or what you did or didn't have for breakfast, it is still your opinion, and it controls over the attempted application of any law that falls on the wrong side of it.
That's not quite textbook anarchism (I don't think Kropotkin would go that far) but sort of a pre-adolescent understanding of anarchism. A literal one, you might say.
I got it wrong? Or is there some process you WOULD assent to that
could make laws for you that you would feel bound to obey whether you liked
them or not?
— Steve; San Antonio, Texas
Neither conclusion regarding my attitude toward the rule of law necessarily follows from the premise. In fact, even the stated premise isn't necessarily true. That is, I don't necessarily object to a rule of law, in and of itself. It depends on the situation. I do object to a rule of law when it becomes an instrument of repression, as it has in the USA today. I object to a rule of law when it is used as an excuse to compel people, against their will, into a jurisdiction to which they object. I object to a rule of law when it is used to impose belief systems on those who do not share them.
Neither do I necessarily object to a rule of men. That also depends upon the situation, and upon the men. I have long wondered if a monarchy might be a better form of government than a democracy. In that regard, you might like to read my essay, Anarchy, Monarchy, Malarkey.
Nothing that I've written suggests that I don't want any rule at all. Someone might conclude that by failing to account for what I regard as the difference between anarchy and chaos. The corrupted definition of anarchy, widely preached by proponents of the rule of law, claims that anarchy is the same thing as chaos. However, anarchy and chaos are not the same thing at all. Anarchy, ideally speaking, is cooperation achieved without arbitrary coercion. It is inherently dependent upon behavior in the mutual self-interest of the associated parties, and upon their honesty. The classical definition is "no government", nothing more. Chaos is lack of order — random violence, confusion, unpredictable behavior, and so forth. Given those definitions, I do not advocate chaos. I do advocate anarchy. Government, contradistinguished from anarchy, is cooperation achieved by the use of arbitrary coercion, by the use of force, or by the threat of force. Government is advertised as addressing the self-interest of the associated parties, but in actual practice the results are usually the opposite. I oppose government because it is inherently repressive.
If the virtue of legislation cannot be discovered in the substantive outcome, then I believe that the virtue of the enforcement process must be questioned. To approve the process without accounting for the outcome is, in my opinion, a mistake. If a seemingly harmless process is contributing to an evil outcome, then something is wrong, somewhere. The outcome should not be ignored merely for the sake of the process. The reason for the evil outcome should be sought. In the meantime, it might be advisable to suspend the process, pending discovery of the source of evil. I lack fidelity to the present process because of the outcome. That doesn't imply anything at all, one way or the other, regarding my fidelity to some other hypothetical process, with some other outcome.
I'm not demanding a right to assent, or not to assent, to individual pieces of legislation. Rather, I'm claiming a right to assent, or not to assent, to citizenship. Although I certainly do not have a duty to do so, I have explained many times why legislation lacks legitimate authority over me. I don't intend to voluntarily submit to any legislation unless I am voluntarily a citizen of the government that enacted the legislation. In answer to your question, yes, it is entirely possible that I could be persuaded to become such a citizen, depending upon the terms and conditions of such citizenship. However, I claim a right to refuse citizenship, and I claim that the right is, indeed, absolute. Whether or not I can enforce the right remains to be determined.
The greater principle upon which my claim rests has been variously stated. It is the sovereignty of the individual. It is the idea that such a sovereign individual should be able to pursue his own life, liberty, and happiness, free from arbitrary coercion. It is the belief that "... whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it ...". Finally, it is the conviction that all political authority derives from the consent of sovereign individuals and that, lacking the ability to alter or to abolish a criminal government, a citizen can legitimately withdraw his support, terminate his citizenship, retrieve his sovereignty, and refuse to participate further. That is what I have done.
I am now free, with others of similar opinion, to "... institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness." Or, I may remain a sovereign individual, without any political affiliation at all. Either option is legitimate under the social contract theory, as I understand it.
To those who are making contributions, thank you. It's more convenient if you can send cash. If you want to send a check, please contact me first, to arrange for cashing it.
Buck Hunter Shoots Off His Mouth
I need to lose as many pounds as possible. What's your advice?
Invest in the British stock market.
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— Sam Aurelius Milam III, editor