We Had Mail
Sam Aurelius Milam III
I've encountered various instances of the obstruction of internet traffic. The latest example is with regard to eBay. Historically, whenever I've listed something for sale on eBay, I've received a confirmation email message for the item. The messages are generated by an automated messaging system, one message for each item that's listed for sale. Some time back, I noticed that I wasn't receiving a message for each item.
I checked with my hosting service. I was advised to whitelist eBay in my email account, which I did. The next time that I listed items for sale, I still didn't receive email messages for some of the items. I again asked the people at the hosting service for help. After further investigation, they informed me that the messages are being stopped somewhere en route because, they say, eBay sends some of its messages through blacklisted servers. Lately, I m receiving confirmation email messages for about two-thirds of the items that I list for sale. The other messages vanish. I doubt if eBay is even aware of the missing messages. Maybe eBay doesn't even care.
I regularly receive letters-to-the-editor via the U.S. mail but, for the past year or maybe longer, I've received very few such messages via the email. I've become suspicious. Maybe some of them are vanishing. I'm not aware of any way for someone to know which servers will handle his messages, so here's my suggestion. Anybody who wants to send a message to me should probably send it via the U.S. mail. Hopefully, neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night nor political content will stop them from delivering my mail.
Try, Try Again
Sam Aurelius Milam III
The U.S. constitution is a contract to which all of the rules of contracts apply.
Most formal references to the U.S. constitution are to The Constitution of the United States of America. The original document doesn't have that title. It doesn't have any title at all. It begins immediately at what we call the Preamble. Even the Preamble isn't labeled as such. The Preamble refers to the document simply as "this Constitution for the United States of America". Grammatically, that doesn't exclude the possibility of other such constitutions. It simply refers to "this" constitution, which might admit the possible existence of other constitutions besides "this" one.
The intended title isn't found in writing and, therefore, the original intentions of the writers are mere speculation. The only way that a specific title could have been added later is by amendment. Unless such an amendment can be discovered, any copy of the document that bears the title The Constitution of the United States of America is a falsification. I suggest that any legal document, process, procedure, and so forth that relies for its validity on a reference to The Constitution of the United States of America is null and void from its inception, and of no legal effect. That would invalidate most of the American political landscape.
To leave the founding document of the entire government without a title is typical of the incompetence that characterized the entire process at the time. The more that I've thought about it, the more tempting it has become to doubt the capabilities of the so-called founding fathers. The lack of a title is only one of their many errors. See the essays in my Supreme Flaw of the Land collection, in Pharos.
There isn't any known remedy for the defects in the U.S. government. It's gone so wrong, for so long, that it can't be fixed. My best suggestion is to abandon it completely, and acknowledge the American states as politically independent nations. If at first they don't secede....
Just for the record, the 1889 edition of Bouvier's Law Dictionary is available, for free, in The Sovereign's Library.
In your December 2018 Frontiersman, page 3, "Stray Thoughts", you write, • if you have to get permission to protest, then it isn't a protest, it's an exercise in obedience, and window dressing for the authorities. May I ask, are you an anarchist? And where I ask that I don't mean the dorky meaning that the 2018 Merriam-Webster Dictionary says, -a social structure without government, law, or order. 2: utter confusion.
I consider myself somewhat an anarchist, and believe in the politics in which make up anarchy. An anarchist is someone who rejects the domination of one person or class of people over another.
Industrialization is warming the planet to the degree that it might yet just kill us all. In the best case scenario, we've already created one of the largest mass extinctions in the history of the earth. Deforestation spreads the deserts in the wild and systemic racism expands the food deserts in the cities.
Billions go hungry every day across the globe because global capitalism makes it more profitable for the elite of starving nations to grow crops for export than to feed their own people. Science has been subverted by the demands of profit, and research is only funded if it explores what might make some rich bastards richer. The middle class is falling into ruins. The lower class is becoming modern day slaves who make less than a dollar a day in prison, but do manufacturing that makes the governments filthy amounts of money. And in this economy, there aren't many left who buy into the myth of prosperity that they sold us when we were kids.
Anarchism is the marriage of responsibility and freedom. In a state society, under the rule of government, we are held responsible to a set of laws to which we did not consent. We are expected to be responsible without being trusted with freedom. There are laws about everything, who we can love, what imaginary lines we can cross, what we can put into our own bodies. We are not trusted to act on our own authority. At every turn we are being managed, observed, policed, and if we step out of line, imprisoned.
Capitalism is one economic system in which people can leverage their access to "capital" to extort money from other people. That is to say, capitalism is the system by which people who own things don't have to work and everyone else does. The owning class makes money just by already having money. They make money off investments, off renting property, off the value produced by their employees. They live in luxury because they are in the process of dominating everyone who makes money through work. Capitalism is a system by which one class of people dominate another and as an anarchist, I oppose it.
But this is not to say that what we want is democracy. At its worst, as it's practiced in the USA, we have a "representative" democracy in which we appoint our rulers. At its best, we might hope for a "direct" democracy in which we all get to vote on decisions. But the democracy we have is one where our government that had made up a set of laws that everyone is compelled to obey, like when six wolves and four sheep get together to plan what they would like for dinner. And what is a law anyway? A law is not actually a particularly useful tool for judging human behavior. As the folk wisdom suggest, "good people don't need laws and bad people don't follow them." Who was it who said, "whoever lays his hands on me to govern me is a tyrant, and I declare him my enemy."
Anyway Sam, I shall close and end my tantrum by ink and paper.
Bye for now.
With regard to human societies, I suggest the following distinctions. Chaos is a lack of order, government is order achieved coercively, and anarchy is order achieved without coercion. Until we become a lot more mature than we are now, anarchy will remain an ideal for which we can strive and against which we can measure our progress, or lack thereof. I suggest my essays Anarchy, Monarchy, Malarkey and The Long and Winding Doctrine: Social Contract. They're available in Pharos.
Your comment about the present ongoing mass extinction got me to pondering. The experts like to blame past mass extinctions on geological, meteorological, or astronomical events. Maybe they're wrong. Maybe there were "people" around back then, similar to us. Maybe so-called intelligent life has developed many times on this planet. Maybe there's a natural law in operation here. I can suggest one possible statement of such a law. Here it is. Whenever the members of any species become intelligent enough to control their environment, then the inherited behaviors that previously enabled them to survive in that environment will subsequently cause them to destroy it, and themselves with it. Maybe Gaia protects herself from intelligence.
Regarding your comment that people are required to obey legislation to which they didn't consent, I believe that people do consent to
|such legislation. They consent to
it when they voluntarily register to vote. Here's the reason. If the idea of voting is to be credible, then it's necessary that voters must
abide by the results, whether or not they approve of the legislation. If people vote with their "fingers crossed behind their backs", intending to comply only if they agree with the legislation, then the entire process is a mockery of democracy and an exercise in futility. While I was divesting
myself of obligations to the government, high on my list was my voter status.
With that gone, I don't consent to the legislation, even by implication.
I can credibly assert that it doesn't have any legitimate jurisdiction over
me, only the jurisdiction of despotism. Regarding democracy generally,
I believe that if a society is too big for its members to meet in one place,
and vote by a show of hands, then that society is too big to be a democracy.
No matter how democracy is arranged, its jurisdiction should be voluntary.
There are many harmful practices in the ways that we do business. The replacement of durable products with disposable products is harmful. The replacement of reusable packaging with disposable packaging is harmful. Forced obsolescence is harmful. Fractional reserve banking is harmful. Interest-bearing transactions are harmful. Limited liability in the ownership of corporations is harmful. The replacement of money with currency is harmful. Mandatory licensing is harmful. Patents and copyrights are harmful. Those and other things are harmful, but they aren't necessarily caused by capitalism. They're caused by greedy, arrogant people in jurisprudence, management, finance, and marketing. They're encouraged and tolerated by ignorant, thoughtless, easily manipulated customers. For wise people, any economic system, even capitalism, will be beneficial. For thieves and fools, any economic system, even capitalism, will be harmful. Capitalism isn't the enemy. Walt Kelly had it right, back in 1972. We have met the enemy and he is us.
I've written several essays on such topics. They're available under the heading Money, Taxes, and Corporations, in Pharos.
Hi Sam — I just finished reading the January 2019 Frontiersman and really enjoyed it. I have a question regarding "Cancellation of Social Security Number." Since you once owned a house, you must have had a good job at the time where you paid social security taxes. That means you should be eligible to collect social security income. Are you collecting or planning to collect social security? You've paid into the system, and should certainly get what you have coming to you! Thanks for the great newsletter!
—Tom from Redwood City
When my first wife and I bought the house, I was working as a nuclear engineer at GE, in San Jose, California. That story is available in Outward Bound, in Pharos.
A person can't receive Social Security payments unless he has a Social Security number. I cancelled my Social Security number on June 13, 1984. Therefore, I'm not eligible for Social Security payments. You can see a copy of my cancellation letter to the Regional Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, in San Francisco, California, and a copy of his reply, in the Appendix of my essay Cancellation of Social Security Number.
Fiction by Sam Aurelius Milam III
Derrick: ... so for now I'm waiting on the court to act on my motion.
Group: (Grumbles of skepticism)
Derrick: Thanks for letting me share.
Wally: Thanks, Derrick. Would somebody else like to share?
Stan: Hi. I'm Stan. I'm a sovereign.
Group: Hello, Stan.
Stan: Since this is my first meeting, I'll try to keep it short.
Group: (Good-natured, comradely cheers)
Stan: I've been a sovereign since the 1980's. I divested myself of obligations to the government, driver's license, Social Security number, voter registration, things like that.
Group: (Nods of approval)
Stan: Since then, I've been prohibited from everything. Can't drive, can't rent an apartment, can't get medical services, no bank accounts, that kind of thing. Lived in various places 'til, each time, somebody got tired of me and kicked me out. For now, I'm living with a lady who —
Group: (Chortles and guffaws)
Stan: No, not like that. She just lets me live in her granny apartment.
Group: (Sounds of disappointment)
Stan: Anyway, I have 33 years clean —
Stan: — sovereign, no licenses, and so forth, and we'll see how it goes from here, as I get older. Appreciate being here an' getting your support. Thanks for letting me share.
Wally: Thank you, Stan. Would anybody else like to share?
Shane: Hi. I'm Shane. I'm an anarchist.
Group: Hello, Shane.
My thanks to the following: El Dorado Bob; Betty; Tom, from Redwood City, California; and Eric, of Ione, California.
Signs of Getting Old
— Sam Aurelius Milam III, editor