Trying to Keep the Faith
Sam Aurelius Milam III
Starting in the late 1960's, I wrote a lot of letters. I was trying to correct some of the evils that I was starting to notice in the government, and in various of its ancillary institutions. I used letters because I'd been taught that the only legitimate way to change things is to work within the system. I subsequently realized that, at least so far as letters are concerned, I'd been misinformed. My letters were ineffective. My efforts to reform certain policies of the insurance companies is a good example. Twenty or so years later, I documented that situation under the heading Lie Ability, in my essay More Adventures of the Lone Raver. It's available in Pharos.
In the early 1970's, I joined a libertarian discussion group. At about the same time, the Libertarian Party was formed. A member of our discussion group decided to run for office and we converted the discussion group into his campaign committee. After that, I registered voters, passed out Libertarian Party fliers, manned (manned, ladies, not personed) the Libertarian booth at the county fair, and so forth. Eventually, I realized that the Libertarian Party is inherently incapable of solving the problems. When the libertarians became Libertarians, the incentives changed. They stopped trying to fix the government, and started trying to become a part of it. The Libertarian Party was defanged by election rules and regulations, and by its vested interest in attracting voters. I documented that under the heading The LibertaRepubliCrats, in More Adventures of the Lone Raver.
Sometime during the early or middle 1980's, I began studying with the Constitutional Patriots. They were trying to use the courts to solve the problems. It seemed, at first, like a useful strategy. I learned a lot from them but I soon decided that they would inevitably fail. There isn't any remedy in the courts. The courts are part of the government and, therefore, part of the problem. See Courting Disaster, in More Adventures of the Lone Raver.
Twenty or so years of those kinds of unsuccessful strategies finally convinced me that I wasn't likely to accomplish anything useful by working within the system. Legal methods of opposing the government are regulated into uselessness. Anything that might actually be effective is illegal.
Since nothing else had worked, I decided to present my arguments directly to the people, in essays. While I was transferring my hopes from the Constitutional patriots to the essays, I studied a lot of documents. I read the U.S. constitution and its amendments, the Articles of Confederation, the Declaration of Independence, and a good part of the Journals of the Continental Congress. I didn't just run my eyes along the lines while replaying in my head the crap that they taught me in school. I actually read the documents. I acquired a good understanding of such things as liberty, sovereignty, jurisdiction, despotism, and the doctrine of social contract. I wrote various essays on those subjects. They're available under the heading Liberty, Sovereignty, and the Doctrine of Social Contract, in Pharos. By the early 1990's, I'd realized that the essays were ineffective. People weren't reading them. In January of 1994, I started this newsletter. Sometime during the late 1990's, I began building my websites. Neither the essays, the newsletter, nor the websites have been effective. They've gone mostly unnoticed.
Back in the 1980's, while I was writing essays, and studying, I often referred to dictionaries. I acquired an understanding of the importance of the meanings of words, the distinctions between such meanings, and the ways that people disregard such distinctions. I became aware of how word meanings can change, over the years. That prompted me to start a collection of old dictionaries. The collection presently includes 36 volumes, going back as far as 1828. Also because of my interest in the importance of word definitions and word usage, I named my home at the time Mere Keep. The name came out of the dictionaries. In Old and Middle English, a mere was a boundary or a limit. A keep was a place to protect something. Thus, Mere Keep was a place to protect boundaries. The boundaries that I wanted to protect were the boundaries between ideas, such as sin and crime, freedom and slavery, rights and privileges, currency and money,
|brainwashing and education, God and religion,
diversity and complexity, legislation and law, and anarchy and chaos.
Such boundaries exist only as the differences between the ideas that they
separate. The lack of such a boundary reveals a failure to understand
the differences between the ideas that ought to be separated by it, but
which aren't. Such a lack of understanding causes confusion in the
use of the words that express the ideas. When the words that describe
different ideas become synonyms, then one idea or the other will disappear.
See the Introduction
to Milam's Dictionary of Distinctions, Differences, and Other Odds and
Ends. It's available in The Sovereign's Library.
Mere Keep was intended to be a place to discover, explore, and protect
One important thing that I learned, during my studies, is the meaning of citizenship, as it's defined in the Fourteenth Amendment. When I read that definition, I realized that unless the jurisdiction specified therein is voluntary, there isn't any difference between citizenship and slavery. I was already in the process of becoming a noncitizen, a free, sovereign human being, without any obligations to the government, and over whom the government lacked any legitimate jurisdiction. I was divesting myself of all obligations to the government by cancelling, or allowing the expiration of, every agreement that I'd previously had with the government. That included such things as my driver's license, my voter's registration, and my Social Security. Cancellation of Social Security Number is available in Pharos. Rescindment of Driver's License is available in The Sovereign's Library. It occurred to me that my divestment process would be a good way to determine if there's actually any difference between citizenship and slavery. If the government refused to respect my noncitizen status, then that would prove that citizenship is mandatory and, therefore, identical to slavery.
By then, I'd realized how dangerous the government is. It seemed to me that my best defense would be good camouflage. So, I cancelled every account or service that wasn't necessary or mandatory, credit cards, bank accounts, and so forth. See Abandonment, in Pharos. I removed my street address from every necessary account or service from which I was permitted to do so. For necessary accounts or services that required a street address, such as electricity and gas, I cancelled them and then opened new accounts, using pseudonyms. Nowadays, that's probably illegal. Back then, we still understood that a pseudonym isn't fraudulent so long as obligations acquired under the pseudonym are satisfied. I developed some good camouflage and, consequently, I won several skirmishes with government agencies, because they couldn't find me. A good example is the California Employment Development Department, which I successfully evaded in 1987. See An Embarrassment of Success, in More Adventures of the Lone Raver.
I could probably have survived at Mere Keep indefinitely but, in 1991, a former girlfriend gave my home address to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office. That destroyed my camouflage. With the camouflage gone, the agencies could find me again. The disagreement involving the former girlfriend, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office, and me, became a major confrontation. It dragged on for several years. I told that story in The Rise and Fall of Mere Keep, and elsewhere, in Pharos. I utterly refused to cooperate with the thugs. I opposed them on the basis of jurisdiction, sovereignty, and social contract. They utterly ignored my arguments. They didn't even bother to dispute them. They just ignored them and then did whatever they wanted to do. It was another example, if another one was needed, of the uselessness of writing letters. Eventually, in 1996, after several years of little progress by either me or them, they ambushed me out on the street, where I was unarmed, and abducted me at gun point. Since they forced their jurisdiction on me against my will, enforced against me obligations to which I didn't voluntarily agree, and punished me for defiance, they proved one point for me. They proved that there isn't any difference, in the United States, between citizenship and slavery. The behavior of the Santa Clara County District Attorney's thugs was identical in principle to that of a master whipping a disobedient slave.
While I was in the Santa Clara County jail, in June and July of 1996, I realized that I wouldn't be able to win the battle for Mere Keep. The thugs demanded that I sell the place and use the funds to pay my alleged debt. If I refused to sell the place, then they were going to seize it and sell it themselves. If they did that, then I wouldn't receive any of the funds at all. If I sold the place myself, then I'd receive some small amount, whatever remained after they took what they wanted. In either case, I couldn't prevent the sale. So, I was forced to "voluntarily" sell Mere Keep. It was a good example of a general strategy. The government manipulates our options, forcing us to do what it wants us to do, while giving the false impression that we're making decisions
|voluntarily. I'd encountered the same strategy
back in the early 1970's, when the government forced me to "voluntarily"
join the Naval Reserve. The only options that the government permitted
were for me to become a criminal, to get drafted, or to "voluntarily" join
something. During my time in the Naval Reserve, lifers told me that
I didn't have a right to complain, because I'd joined voluntarily.
A man will "voluntarily" jump from the top of a burning building, but that
doesn't mean that he had any real choice in the matter.
Somewhere along the way, I decided that it isn't possible to remove the evil from government. Evil is inherent in government. I'd withdrawn from government and tried to live outside of its jurisdiction. The government had controlled me and punished me anyway. By the time that I was in the county jail, I'd decided that I wanted to break up the U.S. government into politically independent states. They would still be governments, but at least they'd be smaller. Hopefully, the smaller the government, the smaller the evil. I'd already written, in the early 1990's, a document called Treaty for an Alliance of American States. I'd intended to write a better constitution but had ended up writing a treaty, instead. A constitution defines a nation. A treaty is an agreement between nations. The treaty, which I'd already written, would be a handy thing to have available while I was trying to break up the United States. It's available in Pharos.
I decided to call my new objective Mjollnir. In ancient Norse mythology, Mjollnir was the name of Thor's hammer. It was a powerful weapon, and broke large things into small pieces. That was exactly what I wanted. With Mere Keep gone, I decided that Mjollnir Keep would be a good name for wherever I lived, while I pursued my new objective. I've lived in various places since the fall of Mere Keep, but I never named any of them Mjollnir Keep. Each time, I hesitated because I was never sure about the permanence of the arrangement.
When I first came up with the idea of Mjollnir Keep, I thought of it as a physical structure but, while I was living in Arizona, during the middle 2000's, I began to reconsider that. It occurred to me that, maybe, Mjollnir Keep shouldn't be a physical structure at all. Maybe it should be a figurative structure, a structure of words and phrases. Maybe my writing could be the structure in which my objectives could be nurtured, sustained, and fulfilled. The writing might possibly be more permanent than a house. I can hope.
Now, more than 20 years after I started thinking about Mjollnir Keep, I'm not so sure that the government, and its ancillary institutions, are the right target. I couldn't change the policies of the insurance companies because the people involved didn't want them to change. I couldn't change things by way of elections and voting because the candidates and the voters don't understand that the government is the problem. They want the government to solve the problems. I couldn't achieve a judicial remedy because the people in the courts work for the government, and won't risk their jobs. I couldn't change things with my writing because the few people who read any of it didn't seem inclined to make any changes in their own lives. Everybody still registers everything and submits to everything, just as if I'd never written a single word. Even dogs have licenses, and nobody even cares. Eventually, the truth became obvious, however great the distress. Through it all, the one common obstacle to solving the problems has been people. They just aren't willing to make the changes. The best that they're willing to do is to throw funds at some allegedly worthy cause, from a safe distance, and let the activists and reformers do the work. Sadly, the activists and reformers are also people. The only things that they know how to do are to make something mandatory, to prohibit something, or to regulate something. Without exception, everything that they've ever accomplished has made the government more powerful.
So, it seems possible to me that the evil isn't caused by the institutions, as I've believed for all of these years. Maybe the evil is caused by the people. Almost 60 years ago, Poppa told me that people are just too damned stupid for it to even be worth bothering with them. I didn't want to believe him then, and I'd prefer not to believe him now. If government is necessary because people are too stupid to run their own lives, then the whole idea of self-government is a stupid mistake. If people are too stupid to run their own lives, then how can we expect government to do a better job, when governments are composed of people? It seems like a forlorn hope but, maybe Poppa was wrong. Maybe if I keep trying, my efforts might eventually make things better. Of course, the real lesson is that, no matter what I do, my efforts alone won't be sufficient. People will have to help themselves. I don't see much indication that spontaneous enlightenment is likely to happen, but I don't like the idea of giving up and quitting. So, the best thing that I can do for now is to keep trying, for a little longer, and try to keep the faith.
|Letters to the Editor
Thank you for letting me know my friends appreciate your newsletter & are sending stamps! [Message from Woody, November 2018, page 2]
Dear friend & respected elder Sam!
I just received your Nov 2018 Frontiersman through reroute mail from other prison [Corcoran]. Thank you very much Now re SNY-G.P. mixing at this prison [Represa]. When I first came here they sent me back to B-yard. It depresses me deeply to even walk on that yard my friend. All I see is areas where friends were stabbed to death, or others shot and killed. Old areas of violence I once took part at to survive. This is no game brother. Anyway, the main line G.P.s picked an easy target SNY and stabbed him 50 times in his face. He died twice on the table while they were working on him. He lost both eyes, and will never walk again. I love the positive advice from all the convicts who wrote in. But here's the facts of life in here. Either you make a soft target or you don't on a level 4-180. The kid was only about 30 years old. Did not have a weapon. Wanted only to program and follow the rules. He didn't even fight back. Couldn't fight back and was butchered. [Marginal note, added later: Just got word after finishing this letter, the kid who was stabbed up died. Family unplugged for life support.] I'll never be that kid. Though all I want is peace I'll never say "here, I'm defenseless, come do your worst!" The fact is they pick the softest targets no matter who's the attacker. But if one is attacked and has a tool on them in which he can give the aggressors a taste of their own medicine they keep their distance then, if you really know how to use that tool. It will keep you alive, until the guards can gain control of the area. I'm back in the hole. I'll save you the details. But know I'm a survivor and not on my death bed. I wish I was on a lower level where we can all find peace. I'd love to hear CDCr's explanation for this prisoner's butchering to this man's family. "Why is my son walking the yard with active South Side Mexicans when he dropped out of his gang?" Anyway, I may be heading to Corcoran SHU soon. By New Years. On to other notes, there's a new law that has passed. If you are in prison for second degree murder or you have life for a crime you aided and abetted but did not commit yourself, write the prison law office in California (California cases only) and they will send you the new info. The first person to be released under this new bill has already been freed in Fresno courts in Oct 2018. And it's even stranger from what I understand the youth offender act. Because the parole board can not use "dangerousness" as a factor of keeping you locked up. Even if your file has a lot of RVR's they still must let you go. So if this shoe fits you dear readers get on this new bill ASAP. Well just checking in with you my friend. Adding some realness to your day. Also, if it wouldn't be too much trouble I'd love to read your essay "Born to Rave". Could you please print me a copy? I heard fiber optics came from Roswell crash. Don't know where I heard that at. May have read it in my years of reading books in prison. You have a good New Year's friend. A survivor. Not a bleeding lamb. In solidarity & truth.
a prisonerFantastic Technological Achievement
Sam Aurelius Milam III
Mother: So, what did they teach you at the finishing school?
Daughter: They taught me to say "fantastic" instead of "bullshit".
I recently saw a documentary about an enormous flood control project near Tokyo, Japan. I didn't notice the date on the documentary so I don't know when the flood control project was built. However, they built the most colossal underground tanks, and the most powerful pumps, that I ever saw.
Of course, I wasn't impressed with their enormous project so much as I was with their enormous folly. For the same cost, they could have elevated every structure on the entire island above flood level, and still had funds left over. It was fantastic.
A Brief Note About the Presidency
Sam Aurelius Milam III
Women and blacks believe that their activism has earned them the right to vote. Wrong. Before they're permitted to vote, they must qualify and register. Thus, their activism has provided them with a regulated privilege, not with a right.
Homosexuals have been campaigning for a right to be married. What they're getting, instead, is the same deal that the heterosexuals already have. To get married, they'll be required to get a license from the government first. That isn't a right. It's a regulated privilege.
Activists haven't figured out that a right doesn't come from a court or from a document. They haven't figured out that a privilege isn't a right. They haven't figured out that privileged behavior is controlled by whatever agency administers the privilege. None of the various activists have ever achieved any rights. What they've done, instead, is to encourage the government to prohibit something, to require something, or to regulate something. In every case, whatever else they claim to have accomplished, they've made the government stronger.
Does somebody want to make things better? Here's a suggestion. Stop advocating new regulations and start repealing the existing ones, purely at random. There'll be about a 95% chance of making things better.
Sam Aurelius Milam III
I wonder if the people who worry about greenhouse gas might need a little nudge. I wonder if they've considered all of the sources of such gas. They're aware that such gas comes from cars, lawn mowers, power plants, factories, and so forth. I wonder if they've thought about the amount of such gas that's produced by the exhalations of nearly 8 billion people. Maybe it isn't just our technology that's causing the problem. Maybe it's also us.
Never Underestimate It
My thanks to the following: El Dorado Bob; Betty; Eric, of Ione, California; and Sir Donald the Elusive.
Shirk Work Ethic
Sam Aurelius Milam III, editor