Slave “Legally” Defined

The following definitions for “slave” are taken from Ballantine’s Law Dictionary (3rd edition), Bouvier’s Law Dictionary (6th edition), Black’s Law Dictionary (2nd edition), and Webster’s Dictionary (1828):

 

 

(Ballantine’s)

A person owned by, and bound to, another [48 Am J1st Slav § 4].

 

(Bouvier’s)

  1. A man who is by law deprived of his liberty for life, and becomes the property of another.

  2. A slave has no political rights, and generally has no civil rights. He can enter into no contract unless specially authorized by law; what he acquires generally, belongs to his master. The children of female slaves follow the condition of their mothers, and are themselves slaves.

  3. In Maryland, Missouri, and Virginia, slaves are declared by statute to be personal estate, or treated as such [Anth. Shep. To. 428, 494; Misso. Laws, 558]. In Kentucky, the rule is different, and they are considered real estate [1 Kty. Rev. Laws, 566 1 Dana’s R. 94].

  4. In general, a slave is considered a thing and not a person; but sometimes he is considered a person; as when he commits a crime; for example, two white persons and a slave can commit a riot [1 McCord, 534; see PERSON].

  5. A slave may acquire his freedom in various ways:

    1. By manumission, by deed or writing, which must be made according to the laws of the state where the master then acts [1 Penn. 10; 1 Rand. 15]. The deed may be absolute which gives immediate freedom to the slave, or conditional giving him immediate freedom, and reserving a right of service for a time to come [6 Rand. 652]; or giving him his freedom as soon as a certain condition shall have been fulfilled [2 Root, 364; Coxe, 4].

    2. By manumission by will. When there is a an express emancipation by will, the slave will be free, and the testator’s real estate shall be charged with the payment of his debts, if there be not enough personal property without the sale of the slaves [9 Pet. 461; see Harper, R. 20]. The manumission by will may be implied, as, where the master devises property real or person to his slave [2 Pet; 670; 5 Har. & J. 190].

    3. By the removal of the slave with the consent of the master, animo morandi, into one of the United States where slavery is forbidden by law [2 Mart. Lo. Rep. N. J. 401]; or when he sojourns there longer than is allowed by the law of the state [7 S. & R. 378; 1 Wash. C. C. Rep. 499. Vide Stroud on Slavery; Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.; and as to the rights of one who, being free, is held as a slave, 2 Gilman, 1; 3 Yeates, 240].

 

(Blacks)

A person who is wholly subject to the will of another; one who has no freedom of action, but whose person and services are wholly under the control of another [Webster].

One who is under the power of a master, and who belongs to him; so that the master may sell and dispose of his person, and of his industry, and of his labor, without his being able to do anything, have anything, or acquire anything, but what must belong to his master [Civ. Code Law. Art. 35].

 

(Webster’s)

SLAVE, n.

  1. A person who is wholly subject to the will of another; one who has no will of his own, but whose person and services are wholly under the control of another. In the early state of the world, and to this day among barbarous nations, prisoners of war are considered and treated as slaves. The slaves of modern times are more generally purchases, like horses and oxen.

  2. One who has lost of the poser of resistance; or one who surrenders himself to any power whatever; as a slave to passion, to lust, to ambition.

  3. A mean person; one in the lowest state of life.

  4. A drudge; one who labors like a slave.

SLAVE, v.i..

To drudge; to toil; to labor as a slave.

Filming Government Agents Does Not Work

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Police officers have bullied Americans for far too long. Their incessantly rampant abuse of our liberty is absolutely intolerable; so, the question then becomes, what can Americans do to hold these disgusting cops accountable? Reformists tend to think that working within the judicial branch of government, as well as raising public awareness of this truly horrific epidemic, are viable approaches that should be taken to protect Americans, yet they have failed to address any critiques to their methodology that are offered in good faith.

 

 

For over the better part of a decade, it has become a frequent technique for American political dissidents to film government agents, albeit with different stylistic approaches. The first version is now known as “copblocking,” which is defined as the act of filming police officers during an encounter of some kind (such as a traffic stop) with the goal of providing objective transparency for the event, especially if the situation were to degenerate violently. A variation on this are called “confrontations,” whereby citizens initiate an encounter with a politician (usually either a legislator or a bureaucrat) with the goal of asking hardball questions in order to solicit a response they hope is demonstrative of governmental tyranny. Both approaches share the attributes of using digital consumer electronics (especially hand-held video cameras) and those videos of such encounters are made publicly available by being uploaded to an Internet video-sharing website, such as YouTube.

A commonly annoying habit of such government agents, but especially that of cops, is of claiming during such encounters that they would prefer to not be filmed, either because doing so would interfere with their investigation, or because it violates their individual privacy. Last time I checked, unless police investigations are confidential affairs performed under the auspices of secrecy, I don’t understand why they would have a problem with the collection and storage of data. Although individual privacy is held as one of the most sacrosanct of personal liberties, the moment a person dons a uniform (or is otherwise representing the government in his official capacity), any reasonable expectation of privacy is forfeited so long as he operates as an agent of the State. There are tradeoffs to be considered whenever statists want to assume coercive power and forceful domination over their fellow man.

Filming government agents requires a savvy knowledge of consumer electronics. The main piece of equipment is a digital video camera, whether hand-held or strapped to one’s body in some fashion. Prices of these consumer goods range from somewhat cheap to pretty expensive, typically $80 – $1,500. Most of these cameras rely on SanDisk (SD) memory cards, which range in price from $8 – $300, depending on quality and capacity; it should also be noted that there is an emerging trend towards live-streaming capability, primarily because some unfortunate copblockers have had police confiscate their SD cards. Despite the high technology currently available for sale, I can’t help but wonder what the tradeoffs for dissidents would be regarding their wish for government transparency relative to the privacy implications of frequently using such surveillance equipment; put another way, does the utilization of the equipment required for filming government agents inadvertently acclimate dissidents towards regularly practicing sousveillance, and if so, would this be evidence of them tacitly supporting the justifications made for the existence of the surveillance police state apparatus?

As much as the technique of filming cops and politicians has been heralded by the alternative media as if it were indisputably wonderful, there has been little follow-up as to how effective such as method is for providing transparency and accountability in any level of government. Unfortunately, such “transparency” and “accountability” are vaguely defined, if at all, and their lack of applicability to filming government agents just comes across as nothing more than empty activist rhetoric. When you consider how such accountability is to be enforced, there are only two ways this could possibly be done with copblocking and confrontations, respectively – the number of cops being dragged into court and getting convicted, and the number of politicians who were fired or otherwise thrown out of office; in other words, how many cops have been punished and how many politicians have lost their jobs because of “copblocking” and “confrontations?”

Sadly, neither copblocking nor confrontations have conclusively demonstrated to have held police and politicians accountable for their tyrannical actions. Wishful thinking predominates the minds of activists, who are sincerely desperate for anything that might be able to prevent, mitigate, or expose the misdeeds of government. Despite this, are there two chief arguments offered by such filming advocates, one for reformism explicitly, and the other in favor of public awareness. I would like to offer four different rebuttals to these two arguments in the hope that these assertions can either be finally debunked, or at least greatly challenged.

The reformist argument claims that “we” should hold government agents accountable for their actions by documenting their atrocities for the benefit of the court, so they can be convicted and punished later. My utilitarian rebuttal is that there is no provable track record demonstrating the effectiveness of copblocking, other than the trend of documenting the existence of the abuse itself. If the police encounter leads to a hearing or even a trial, all that the prosecutor has to do is to file a motion for suppression of evidence regarding the recording in question, and if the judge grants that motion (or even arbitrarily declares the evidence as somehow inadmissible), then the defendant’s case is greatly handicapped, if not outright lost, because in a strict contest between a citizen’s testimony versus that of a police officer’s “expert” testimony, the cop wins hands down (with regards to politicians, the underlying assumption is that some of them can be voted out of office, which is silly to assume because not only does it fail to address the bureaucracy, but it also neglects to mention the fact that voting does not work). My deontological rebuttal is that copblocking and confrontations both require direct physical contact with government agents, so unless you are only “working within the system” for some guerrilla purpose (such as whistle-blowing, paper-tripping, or monkey-wrenching), then you are engaging in reformist tactics (such as litigation); if you want nothing to do with the State, then filming government agents is contradictory to your own goals because it increases your direct contact with the government that much more than if you had not.

Advocates further assert that regardless of the reformist argument, video-taping cops and politicians is still valuable because of its propaganda value, so as to motiate people to become minarchists. My utilitarian rebuttal is that there is no proof demonstrating this to be true at all; in fact, there is already a plethora of police brutality videos on YouTube, as there are numerous confrontation videos. Although one could infer it might be effective in moving an individual along the other (not so) thin line, this is still wishful thinking (and for those who have had personal experience where they know for certain that these videos did help someone else to begin caring about their liberty, they certainly aren’t talking about it publicly). My deontological rebuttal is that if uploading videos of abusive cops and corrupt politicians were valuable as propaganda, then the whole facade of trying to “hold them accountable” would be broken in the minds of the viewers because the footage would very strongly suggest that you cannot hold such government agents “accountable” at all. Considering also the historical precedent that much lesser forms of proof were sufficient for motivating vigilante justice against such government agents, as well as the fact that there is no trend of cops being frequently shot or politicians being regularly tarred and feathered before being run out of town on a rail, then this would mean (more likely than not) that such copblocking and confrontations utterly fail to motivate dissidents to do much of anything else other than run around and film these government agents some more; if anything, I would further suggest that such a profuse diet of unproductively volatile footage serves to promote fear and anger against the government without a guerrilla remedy or some other outlet for such frustration, thus this discontent is left to fester and eat away at your soul.

I find it ironic that anarchists spearheaded the development of this method. Perhaps their motivation lay in the assumed propaganda value of trying to delegitimize the State by recording the atrocities and abuses committed by government agents. Yet, with regards to reformism (and particularly to copblocking), I question their integrity simply because if they maintain that the State does not exist, then why does something that does not exist need to be held accountable at all? As Pete Eyre said:

 

“Having an objective record of the interaction between yourself or somebody else and police employees is crucial because if something goes down and you don’t have that video, then it’s a situation where it’s you versus their word, and when their friends are the people judging the situation they tend to side with those folks with badges, so the camera creates that transparent record and speaks truth.”

 

Maybe Eyre doesn’t understand this communications medium all that well, but this just isn’t always true. Anyone who has ever played around with videography knows how easy it is to manipulate and edit footage. An abuse of this ability to do so has been argued previously by Gary Hunt in his seminal article, Because YouTube Said So… (an audio version of the article is also available). Having been on that side of the fence not that long ago, I can more deeply appreciate than most so-called “activists” the inherent dangers of overly relying on film as a way to secure my liberties. Although I still enjoy watching open-source documentaries on “BoobTube,” I am now much more discriminating when I analyze the claims being made, in much the same manner as I study mainstream television.

Another element of these confrontations and copblocking episodes is how the cameraman will constantly interrupt the government agent, and thus not allow him the opportunity to give him enough rope to hang himself with. This is very noticeable, particularly with the confrontations of politicians, and leaves the viewer either titillated with reality TV excitement, or amazingly frustrated. Take the style of James O’Keefe, for instance. Regardless of your attitude towards his undercover exposes of ACORN back in 2009, what was valuable about what O’Keefe did was how he was able to elicit a response from his interviewed subjects. Although his techniques might not work well during copblocking, it would certainly have increased the probability of success in getting any answer from politicians in those confrontation videos; in that sense, I think it is more than fair to say that James O’Keefe totally upstaged Luke Rudkowski, and rightfully so (ironically, even though Rudkowski has made a name for himself in the alternative media for these so-called “confrontations,” he himself behaves exactly like one of those politicians whenever anyone else tries to “confront” him about anything).

Unfortunately, copblocking and confrontations can become a danger to your financial health, if you let it. Far from encouraging you to frugally enjoy your liberty, the hobby of filming government agents has quickly become evocative of anti-free market corporate consumerism. For example, Rudkowski admitted that he has a $20 shoulder harness, a Go Pro camera ($200 – $400), a DSLR 60-D ($500 -$1,500), an iPhone ($50 – $700, depending on series and capacity), an Android cellular telephone ($100 – $200), a $5 adapter between the iPhone and the Android phone, and an Energizer XP18000 Universal AC Adapter with External Battery ($150). A year later, Eyre judged Rudkowski’s updated equipment as being terrific, especially since Rudkowski added to his kit a custom wireless microphone, a pair of goggles, a walkie-talkie, video recording glasses ($50 – $150), police scanner with earpiece ($90 – $500), and multiple unrevealed hidden cameras. I guess Rudkowski had to figure out a way to spend all that donation money, and it would seem to be the case that he did, even if he had to engage in the odd activist legal defense fund scam to do it.

Once you understand that cops aren’t even constitutional, then you begin to also understand why any notion of trying to “hold them accountable” by filming them seems rather ineffective. Considering also how the American prison population is by far the largest in the world in what is ironically called “the land of the free,” how police at all levels of government actively encourage a snitch culture, and what you should contemplate doing to protect yourself from these insatiable predators, it becomes quite clear that any notion of “working within the system” is just pure lunacy. Filming cops will not save you from jail, and filming politicians will not stop them from passing whatever unconstitutional statutes they damn well want. The only possible exception to this rule would be if you recorded a police officer at a traffic stop using a digital audio recorder ($30 – $80); however make sure ahead of time that either you live in a “one party” state (such as Texas), or in the case of a “two-party” state, make sure to get the officer’s consent, otherwise the tape is worse than useless because you could be prosecuted if you were ever caught with that recording, or if it was made public. Besides this mitigation, the only realistic moves you have left is to strongly encourage these government agents to voluntarily quit their jobs while you discretely form security teams; never forget that the government jobs that comprise entire police departments and judicial courts are just another welfare state handout.

In conclusion, it saddens me to bear witness to how individuals have been suckered into counter-productive hobbies that unnecessarily increases their opportunity costs. This is by no means a “holier-than-thou” statement, for even the best of us get suckered in by the unmitigated promotion of bad techniques like this, for even Chris Cantwell goes cop blocking. Perhaps someday when more of us learn how to strategically plan, as well as how to objectively evaluate our tactics, then maybe Liberty can indeed be secured once again from the ravaging monsters who inhabit the darkest corners of the human soul.

Sui Juris “Legally” Defined

The following definitions for “sui juris” are taken from Ballantine’s Law Dictionary (3rd edition), Bouvier’s Law Dictionary (6th edition), and Black’s Law Dictionary (2nd edition):
 

 

(Ballantine’s)

Of full capacity. In his own right; capable of entering in a contract [see 1 Bl Comm 443; for definition of the term as it pertains to contributory negligence of children [see Anno: 107 ALR 161].

 

(Bouvier’s)

  1. One who has all the rights to which a freeman is entitled; one who is not under the power of another, as a slave, a minor, and the like.

  2. To make a valid contract, a person must, in general, be sui juris. Every one of full age is presumed to be sui juris [Story on Ag. p. 10].

 

(Black’s)

Latin. Of his own right; possessing full social and civil rights; not under any legal disability, or the power of another, or guardianship.

Having capacity to manage one’s own affairs; not under legal disability to act for one’s self [Story, Ag. § 2].

The Trial

Modern legislation, statutes, codes, policies, ordinances, and even judicial rulings are considered notorious by the common people for being nearly impossible to understand. All of the seemingly gibberish terminology and arcane procedural regulations are so incomprehensible they have been referred to as “legalese,” a language of sorts that looks and sounds like English, but whose words have little relation to their vernacular meanings. It is because of such things as legalese that justice is seldom dispensed by the government, and why the Law has been deeply perverted away from its purpose to remedy the infringement of inalienable rights, and towards its current function of tyrannical social engineering.

 

 

Josef K. is the chief clerk of a bank who is roused out of his sleep one morning by the police who inform him that he has been placed under arrest, yet instead of doing what you’d expect them to do by handcuffing him and throwing him into a cell, they allow him to go about his life provided that he defend himself before the court, as required for his trial. Whenever Josef tries to ask them who has charged him and with what, the police steadfastly refuse to answer, all the while intimidating Josef by saying that his behavior does not help his case. Soon thereafter, Josef gives a speech before the examining magistrate, which is regarded by the sitting audience in the courtroom as a trifling matter when compared to a raunchy make-out session between the court usher’s wife and a law student in the back of the room.

After some pretty weird experiences with discovering pornography in the examining magistrate’s law books, learning that one of his neighbors just abruptly disappeared with absolutely no explanation to as why, and trying to bribe the court flogger to not punish some of the policemen who originally arrested him, Josef manages to acquire an advocate through his uncle. Oddly enough, the advocate’s nurse is more helpful, although the only advice she offers Josef is that his best chance to escape from the charge hanging over his head is to confess to it. An artist who happens to be the court painter is referred to Josef by one of the bank’s clients, but the most useful information the painter tells Josef is that unless he is able to get “absolute acquittal,” he will forever remain subject to the trial (and such an acquittal is impossible to get, realistically speaking).

Following the dismissal of his advocate (whom Josef thought was both lackadaisical about his case as well for for the way he acted like an inhuman monster when he debased another one his clients, a man named Block), Josef discusses his case with a priest who happens to be at a cathedral Josef had intended to show off to another of the bank’s clients. This priest, who also happens to be the prison chaplain, informs Josef that his case is going badly because his guilt has been assumed to be proven, and that it is not likely his case will be able to be appealed. Not long after this, on the night before Josef turns 31, a pair of gentlemen arrive at Josef’s apartment and forcibly escort him to a quarry, where they execute him by thrusting a double-edged butcher’s knife into his heart and twisting it twice. Never did Josef ever find out what he was charged with or whom his accuser was.

In any sort of literary analysis, it is important to attempt to determine what archetypes any of the characters may represent; my contention is that the police who arrested Josef were bureaucrats, the trio of co-workers who arrived with the police are supposed to be informants, Mrs. Grubach and Uncle Max represent family (and specifically, the matriarchal and patriarchal variations, respectively), Miss Bruster (the disappearing neighbor) is the apathetic citizen, the advocate is a lawyer, the court usher is the bailiff, the court usher’s wife is the court secretary, the law student is the prosecutor, the examining magistrate is the judge, the priest is a warden, the artist collectively represents the self-styled common law advocates (and the paintings he pressures Josef into buying are in fact the equally unhelpful “sovereignty packages”), the children who bother the artist are Internet trolls, the executioners are the actual police, and Josef himself collectively represents John Q. Public.

The only characters I had a real hard time trying to determine whom (or what) they represented are Leni (the advocate’s nurse), Block (one of the advocate’s clients), and the sheer mass of those who have been accused that the court usher shows Josef in the depths of the court building’s corridors. Perhaps that sheer mass, and especially the unidentified man Josef briefly spoke with who said he had already submitted evidence in his own case, represent the incarcerated prison population; even if that were true, that still does not answer who Leni and Block are supposed to be. Block pleads before Leni to be allowed to see the advocate, grovels before the advocate, but yet reveals his very deceptiveness to Josef when they are alone together. Because of these characteristics, I would now have to say that I think Block is a lobbyist, but if that were true, then who is Leni? Certainly the most puzzling one of them all, Leni is incredibly manipulative, deceitful, and sadomasochistic (even toward the advocate), all the while appearing to be as innocent and pure as the driven snow. This would suggest to my mind that Leni is, in fact, representative of the secret police, with all of their undercover agents and provocateurs alike (this would simultaneously explain her coaching of Block and her encouragement for Josef to confess).

A key description for why Josef is being persecuted is given by the prison chaplain in the form of a parable entitled, “Before the Law.” In its entirety, the parable says:

 

“In front of the law, there is a doorkeeper. A man from the countryside comes up to the door and asks for entry. But the doorkeeper says he can’t let him in to the law right now. The man thinks about this, and then he asks if he’ll be able to go in later on. ‘That’s possible,’ says the doorkeeper, ‘but not now.’ The gateway to the law is open as it always is, and the doorkeeper has stepped to one side, so the man bends over to try and see in. When the doorkeeper notices this, he laughs and says, ‘If you’re tempted to give it a try, try and go in even though I say you can’t. Careful though: I’m powerful. And I’m only the lowliest of all the doormen. But there’s a doorkeeper for each of the rooms and each of them is more powerful than the last. It’s more than I can stand just to look at the third one.’

“The man from the country had not expected difficulties like this. The law was supposed to be accessible for anyone at any time, he thinks, but now he looks more closely at the doorkeeper in his fur coat, sees his big hooked nose, his long thin tartar-beard, and he decides it’s better to wait until he has permission to enter. The doorkeeper gives him a stool and lets him sit down to one side of the gate. He sits there for days and years. He tries to be allowed in time and again and tires the doorkeeper with his requests. The doorkeeper often questions him, asking about where he’s from and many other things, but these are disinterested questions such as great men ask, and he always ends up by telling him he still can’t let him in.

“The man had come well equipped for the journey, and uses everything, however valuable, to bribe the doorkeeper. He accepts everything, but as he does so he says, “I’ll only accept this so that you don’t think there’s anything you’ve failed to do.’ Over many years, the man watches the doorkeeper almost with a break. He forgets about the other doormen, and begins to think this one is the only thing stopping him from gaining access to the law. Over the first few years he curses his unhappy condition out loud, but later, as he becomes old, he just grumbles to himself. He becomes senile, and as he has come to know even the fleas in the doorkeeper’s fur collar over the years that he has been studying, he even asks them to help him change the doorkeeper’s mind.

“Finally, his eyes grow dim, and he no longer knows whether it’s really getting darker or just his eyes that are deceiving him. But he seems now to see an inextinguishable light begin to shine from the darkness behind the door. He doesn’t have long to live now. Just before he dies, he brings together all his experience from all this time into one question which he has still never put to the doorkeeper. He beckons to him, as he’s no longer able to raise his stiff body. The doorkeeper has to bend over deeply as the difference in their sizes has changed very much to the disadvantage of the man. ‘What is it you want to know now?,’ asks the doorkeeper, ‘You’re insatiable.’ ‘Everyone wants access to the law,’ says the man, ‘how come, over all these years, no one but me has asked to be let in?’ The doorkeeper can see the man has come to his end, his hearing has faded, and so that he can be heard, he shouts to him: ‘Nobody else could have got in this way, as this entrance was meant only for you. Now, I’ll go and close it.’”

 

Although Josef and the prison chaplain go on to debate with each other the meaning of the parable, I would like to throw my two cents in here with regards to my own interpretation of this parable. Assuming that the doorkeeper is a lawyer and the man from the country is John Q. Public, the doorkeeper intimidates the man from trying to enter into the law by himself, and so the man acquiescences. This doorkeeper promises that the man may enter at an indeterminate time later, but refuses to allow the man to enter into the law peaceably. The man desperately bribes the doorkeeper in the attempt to peacefully enter into the law, but just as soon as the doorkeeper takes the bribe, he refuses the man entrance. Acquiescing yet again, the man degenerates with age, until right before his death he asks the doorkeeper why no one else bothered to show up, to which the doorkeeper weirdly answers that this particular entrance was only for him, but since he has failed to enter it, it will now be closed. I think that because the man didn’t forcibly enter into the law, despite the doorkeeper’s assertions, he died completely in vain with nothing to show for it. The takeaway here, I think, is that if you want justice (entrance into the law, if you will), you’d be better willing to call anyone who gets in your way out on their bullshit before they are able to run roughshod over you.

Some individuals I’ve tried to discuss this novel with seem to have a tough time just trying to understand what is even happening. I think the reason for this understandable confusion is quite simple – it’s not supposed to make any sense whatsoever. As opposed to Orwellian slogans, which while contradictory are at least explainable (illogical as they are), the Kafkaesque elements throughout this novel are not intended to be comprehended. Although there are many contradictions (whether emanating from the mouth of the artist, the priest, or even the advocate), unlike Orwellian slogans these contradictions are portrayed as being incredibly vague and thus beyond comprehension. I think this was the author’s intention, for his thesis (if you could call it that) seems to me to be that he thinks the law is intrinsically arbitrary, and therefore whenever your number’s up, it’s up. This is a very determinist perspective, where self-determination is nullified by this fatalistic worldview which glorifies the victim mentality.

Franz Kafka’s The Trial is a truly surrealistic journey into the depths of the monopolistic practice of law. It demonstrates that whenever justice lies in the hands of the unjust, injustice is the only conceivable verdict. Maybe if political dissidents understood how the Administrative Agencies govern our lives today, then perhaps all the seemingly Kafkaesque misdeeds of government begin to actually make a strange sort of sense, as it were.

Denizen “Legally” Defined

The following definitions for “denizen” are taken from Ballantine’s Law Dictionary (3rd edition), Bouvier’s Law Dictionary (6th edition), Black’s Law Dictionary (2nd edition), and Webster’s Dictionary (1828):

 


 

(Ballantine’s)

One is a middle state between an alien and a natural-born citizen, and who, though subject to some of the disabilities of the former, is entitled to many of the privileges of the latter [3 Am J2d Aliens § 1].
 

(Bouvier’s)

  1. An alien born, who has obtained, ex donatione legis, letters patent to make him an English subject

  2. He is intermediate between a natural-born subject and an alien. He may take lands by purchase or devise, which an alien cannot, but he is incapable of taking by inheritance [1 Bl. Com. 374]. In the United States, there is no such civil condition.

 

(Black’s)

In English law, a person who, being an alien born, has obtained, ex donatione regis, letters patent to make him an English subject – a high and incommunicable branch of the royal prerogative. A denizen is in a kind of middle state between an alien and a natural-born subject, and partakes of the status of both of these [1 Bl. Comm. 374; 7 Coke, 6].

  • The term is used to signify a person who, being an alien by birth, has obtained letters patent making him an English subject. The king may denize, but not naturalize, a man; the latter requiring the consent of parliament, as under the naturalization act, 1870 [33 & 34 Vict. c. 14]. A denizen holds a position midway between an alien and a natural-born or naturalized subject, being able to take lands by purchase or devise, (which an alien could not until 1870 do) but not able to take lands by descent (which a natural-born or naturalized subject may do) [Brown].

The word is also used in this sense in South Carolina [see McClenaghan v. McClenaghan, 1 Strob. Eq. (S. C.) 319, 47 Am. Dec. 532].

A denizen, in the primary, but not obsolete, sense of the word, is a natural-born subject of a country [Co. Litt. 129a].

 

(Webster’s)

DENIZEN, n.

  1. In England, an alien who is made a subject by the kings letters patent, holding a middle state between an alien and a natural born subject. He may take land by purchase or devise, which an alien cannot; but he cannot take by inheritance.

  2. A stranger admitted to residence and certain rights in a foreign country.

  • Ye gods, natives, or denizens, of blest abodes.

  1. A citizen.

DENIZEN, v.t.

To make a denizen; to admit to residence with certain rights and privileges; to infranchise.

Plenty (aka, The 100-Mile Diet)

Consumer culture is artificially created by corporate propaganda. What reinforces this artifice (besides the systematic use of the Federal Reserve Notes themselves) are the vast supply chains crisscrossing entire continents. The result of this unfortunate situation is that individuals and their families become emotionally disconnected from their communities simply because their very survival is not reliant upon them, but instead rests with a bunch of faceless empty suits whom they will never even meet in person during their lifetimes; in other words, central planning has replaced spontaneous order.

 

 

During Bush, Jr.’s reign of terror, a Canadian couple tried out the seemingly wacky idea to only eat foods that grew within 100 miles of their Vancouver apartment for a whole year. As they mentioned:

 

“According to the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, the food we eat now typically travels between 1,500 and 3,000 miles from farm to plate. The distance had increased by up to 25 percent between 1980 and 2001, when the study was published. It was likely continuing to climb.”

 

This served as the basis for their desire to reduce the so-called “food miles” their groceries had to travel, with their intention being to reduce the consumption of petroleum needed to physically move the food from farm to market. While certainly a laudable goal, what I noticed throughout this tale of theirs is that they themselves had to increase their own personal consumption of fossil fuels in order to just arrive at the local “pick-your-own” farms. Although I too am concerned about the reckless over extraction of natural resources committed primarily by 14th Amendment corporations, I fail to see how increasing your own personal expenses would simultaneously minimize your “ecological footprint” (unless I am missing something here).

The early phase of this 100 mile diet showed some startling revelations (at least for me). MacKinnon describes cooking the official first meal thusly:

 

“I fried the fish in unsalted organic butter from a dairy whose cows we’d see placidly free-ranging while we were cycling on a Fraser River island (21 miles away), infusing it with sage leaves from a plant on our balcony (zero miles). On the side, fritters of organic, free-range eggs (57 miles) and grated potato (99 miles) and turnip (30 miles), each one slathered in organic yogurt (15 miles) and sprigs of anise, which grows around the neighborhood like a weed. The only nonlocal product on the table was the salt in the shaker, from a bagful we had brought weeks earlier that came from Oregon, a few hundred miles away…[a]nd we allowed ourselves this moment of happiness. Because the grocery bill for that single meal had come to $128.87.”

 

Yikes! Almost $130 on a single meal? Obviously, they’d need to change something, or they’re not going to survive the week; thankfully, they quickly switched primarily to root vegetables. One concession that was made not too long after this event was:

 

“We were two months into the 100-mile diet, but to be honest, our food was still a mystery. None of it had traveled far – potatoes from the Fraser Valley, apple cider from Vancouver Island – but neither had we come much closer to it. We were stilly relying on food from the grocery shelves, where every product’s history is erased.”

 

You must keep in mind that they had allowed themselves the “luxury” of using up whatever they had already bought before they started this diet. Smith herself admitted that:

 

“Since beginning our 100-mile diet, my main snacks had been reduced to, say, berries and yogurt, or celery sticks. Or nothing at all. No more gorging on half a bag of Chunks Ahoy! Cookies at one sitting, which I had done in the past from time to time. As the Harvard research shows, I’m not the only one driven by such uncontrollable sugar compulsions.”

 

Here she was alluding to a study which suggested that junk food is designed by Big Food to physiologically increase the desire for sweets of all kinds. Needless to say, if you require a university study to tell you not to eat junk food, then maybe you’re just not all there.

Throughout their book, the authors seem to wax nostalgic about what they think the past was. For instance, they will accurately mention the current situation by saying:

 

“More and more, North American consumers will eat produce from distant places they will never visit, though they might easily have grown vegetables in their own backyards. In fact, they might be eating that imported produce at exactly the same time that it’s growing just a few miles away. This is called “redundant trade” ; consider, for example, the fact that international imports to California peak during that state’s strawberry season.”

 

But then, they will extrapolate and interpret what that means with their conclusion that:

 

“It’s no secret that we, as a society, have been losing the traceability of our food, but of every aspect of our lives. On any given day, chances are high I will have no idea what phase the moon is in. I cannot reliably list my brother’s birthdates, and I regularly use products that work according to principles that I cannot explain. I suspect I will go through life without meeting any of the people who make my shoes, or even seeing the factories where those shoemakers work. Like many people, Alisa and I have lost all trace of our traceability to community. We’ve lived five years in the same crappy apartment block, where the rent rises yearly while wages continue to flatline. We’ve never met the owner of the building, and we know none of our neighbors by name. If we had children, we’d be too busy to get to know their teachers.”

 

Playing the devil’s advocate here, I have to ask what MacKinnon’s bad memory have anything to do with the emergence of Big Food? Sure, he has a valid argument here regarding the loss of community, but the problem here is that he’s conflating the machinations of agribusiness with his own personal forgetfulness. He just seems to dilute the importance of his otherwise legitimate critiques against Big Food, which is what I think he fumbled the ball on here. Most pointedly, it’s mentioned that:

 

“What made us drift away? In 1920 the rural and urban populations of both the United States and Canada were evenly split. Movement toward the cities stalled with the Depression, but rapidly accelerated with the boom after World War II. The rural customs – self-sufficiency, buying from people you know, shopping catalogs for a few trusted products – could not hold. In the cities, hundreds of brands competed with powerful advertising, while emerging chain stores deployed tactics like selling at a loss to break shoppers’ old loyalties. There was no going back to the farm.”

 

This is so critically important to understand, for it explains why urbanization in these United States is hovering at ~ 82% of the total domestic population. If you were a clever tyrant, wouldn’t you want to move the agrarians off their farms and herd them into the cities where they would have to humiliatingly submit themselves to wage slavery in order to pay their bills? Assuming this was true, wouldn’t such a despotic batch of tyrants eventually want to further consolidate their power by implementing schemes like the United Nations’ Agenda 21 bullcrap so as to effectively turn whole metropolitan areas into what would essentially become prison cities?

So, what were the results of this couple’s experiment with eating locally? On one occasion, MacKinnon abruptly stopped the car and performed a U-turn when he saw a sign for organic blueberries being sold for $2 a pound. While driving outside Victoria, MacKinnon hopped out of his car and uprooted two wild growing camas out of a forest meadow. During a visit to the West Coast Seeds‘ organic demonstration garden, Smith describes their haul of food:

 

“We lugged our heaping boxes back to the barn, where the woman eyeballed the produce and then charged us the rock-bottom price of one dollar per pound. This, too, was a lesson. Our farmlands are not only our security against hunger, they are also the last redoubt of a gentler capitalism. A dozen is inevitably a baker’s dozen, and the numbers on the scale always seem to be rounded down. We’ve bought fish on the promise to pay later; flowers by karmic donation; honey from an unattended stall. After weighing our tomatoes, the lady minding the store insisted that we throw in a cantaloupe and a few onions for free.” [emphasis added]

 

These three separate events show a range of food being sold ranging from $2/lb. to being completely free, with the best variety at $1 per pound. Smith contrasts this affordability with the sheer reckless waste of perfectly edible food:

 

“Across the border on days like this, the Small Potatoes Gleaning Project in Whatcom County sent teams of volunteers into the fields to gather food for the hungry – over 40 percent of America’s crops, they said, were lost or thrown away. It was another of the lessons of the 100-mile diet: There is just so much food. All the unpicked berries and potatoes left in the dirt, the ‘ugly fruit’ that is deemed unworthy of the grocery shelves, the fishheads that never make it into a stockpot. Since spring we had learned about all the good eating we had been throwing in the trash, or at best the compost – carrot tops, squash blossoms, every inch of the cauliflower plant.”

 

Other than assuming that the Small Potatoes Gleaning Project got that 40% total food wastage percentage from that one Food Not Bombs flyer (which Warren Oakes referred to in his manifesto) regarding an alleged USDA food wastage study published in the ERS’s Food Review January 1997 issue, I honestly don’t know where they got that number from; Smith apparently didn’t follow up on that claim of theirs in order to determine who the primary source was (despite the fact that she appears to be the quaternary source for this food waste percentage claim, but hey, that’s mainstream journalism for you). The couple concludes that:

 

“We have attempted to reinvent our way of eating. Is it still possible, in a global age, in an age of fast food, to live off the land that surrounds us? It is. In the end there was only a single, nagging foodstuff in the cupboards that was not a part of the place we call home. Salt.”

 

Of course, they then go on to describe how they attempted to boil seawater to get at the salt six months after they had concluded their yearlong experiment, but what were their specific findings that lead them to this conclusion? Unfortunately, what I have briefly described already is about as precise as they were willing be regarding the costs of their geographically localized diet.

This brings me now to my critique of their methodology. First, they sounded way too much like Douglas Rushkoff, with page after page of whining about imagined hurts and missed opportunities as if the victim mentality were going out of style. Secondly, there was too much history given; while potentially intriguing for some history buffs, I fail to see how the trials and tribulations of the “native indigenous people of wherever” has anything at all to do with my attempt at conducting my own individual boycott of corporate agribusiness by buying only locally grown food. Thirdly, there was no index, and (more importantly) no bibliographical source citations were ever given (if it wasn’t in the text itself, then no secondary or primary source were given); whatever anecdotal evidence that was offered was completely unhelpful. Fourth, there was an egregious lack of accounting regarding the prices of the local foods they bought, even in terms of estimates; while they would habitually describe the foods they ate, they routinely neglected to mention what it all cost, the exceptions to this rule of theirs being those three incidents I’ve described already. Finally, and most tiring of all, was how painful it was for me to slog through their muddled psyches, which ranged from Smith’s fascination with real estate and nostalgia about her childhood to MacKinnon’s climate change fear-mongering run amuck; the very worst of this was expressed in Smith’s ambiguity regarding her long-term romance with MacKinnon:

 

“Did he really want to know? That at any given moment I see everyday life as only this big, the space between my finger and thumb. The rest of my mind is occupied with five, a dozen, three dozen other potential lives, each representing some opportunity never taken or currently within reach. Without those worlds of possibility, my life immediately begins to seem boring and drab. I’m thirty-three years old, always broke, and merely existing in what, without having been sealed by formal wedding vows, had become a traditional marriage. I had no blues to lament, not really. My only drama was in my daydreams. They reminded me that any day, at any moment, I could change everything, and while many of those alternate lives featured James at my side – the truth was that some of them did not.”

 

Nobody paid eight bucks to hear you complain about your poor career choices, sweetheart. Maybe you should quit pontificating about how awful and horrendous your life is and actually start taking concrete steps to improve it, unless you just enjoy masochistically ruminating over “what could have been.” Or maybe you should actually appreciate MacKinnon for the man he is, idiosyncrasies and all. I shouldn’t have to offer basic dating advice in a book review about grassroots agriculture because the authors were too inept or lazy to fill up 262 pages of this book with relevant material about the subject matter at hand.

Despite the grievous systemic faults throughout this book, I would like to propose a different perspective on this issue that I think the authors were trying to communicate. If you synthesize the issue of eating locally with that of eating organic, a third variable emerges regarding the affordability of local and/or organic foods (that is, retail versus wholesale). What this would mean then is that the contrasting variables would be listed as:

 

  • local v. chains
  • organic v. genetically modified organisms
  • wholesale v. retail

 

Assuming that this accurate, then there would theoretically be nine different combinations, to wit:

 

  • organic, local, & wholesale
  • organic, local, & retail
  • organic, chain, & wholesale
  • organic, chain, & retail
  • GMOs, local, & wholesale
  • GMOs, local, & retail
  • GMOs, chain, & wholesale
  • GMOs, chain, & retail

 

Obviously, I don’t think GMOs would be sold locally at all, since GMOs are mainly supplied by chain stores anyway. The worst case scenario would be GMOs sold by a chain at retail price, which I am going to assume here is the norm for grocery stores. Warehouse club stores, such as Costco and Sam’s Club, sell GMOs at wholesale prices, but they also sell certified organic foods at wholesale as well. Organic foods could also be sold at retail, which was ostensibly Whole Foods’ position, at least until they admitted they sold GMOs as well, according to this September 2012 press release (and in the attempt to repair their reputation, Whole Foods managed to get Megan Westgate, the Executive Director for The Non-GMO Project, to write this April 2013 promotional piece). Farmer’s markets operating within city limits are notorious for selling their locally grown organic produce at higher than retail prices. Ideally, the best case scenario would be locally grown organic food sold wholesale, yet this seems to require actually traveling to the farm itself, so an individual is going to have to perform a marginal analysis in order to gauge whether his decision to spend FRNs on gasoline to travel to the farm in question would offset the costs of him paying retail at the grocery store closer to his home (Smith was all too happy to mention about the horrors of negative externalities, but she then neglected how to remedy that nasty problem by thinking along the margins).

In that case, what are the options realistically available if you want to eat locally and/or organically without breaking your budget? Well, I don’t think going broke over eating at specialty restaurants serving locally grown organic dishes like the Chez Panisse with its $80 meals is a recipe for success (pardon the pun), and neither is bothering with the fad-ridden urbanite “farmer’s” markets. You’d be better off grazing at the nearest grocery store chain or even the odd family diner (and yes, you’d still be paying retail, and the food is going to be laced with GMOs, but at least it’d be noticeably more affordable). Besides Costco and Sam’s Club, Amazon Prime offers free shipping (depending on the eligibility of the items themselves) for an annual $79 fee, and Wal-Mart offers free shipping on orders of greater than $30 (providing that the delivery time is at least 6 days). Other than these options for cost-cutting from the chains, the only real options I can see for locally grown food sold at wholesale prices would be at a well-managed local food co-op, or actually traveling to the farms yourselves and buying the food on location (which is what Smith & MacKinnon eventually did). My parting recommendation on this topic (for now) would be that if you approached eating locally as if it were a hobby, and not as a Reactive Ralphie, then I think you can get the best possible value wherever you happen to live (and maybe, just maybe, enjoying yourself a bit while doing it!).

Smith & MacKinnon’s Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Robust Year of Eating Locally (also known as The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating) is a loose experiment in genuine sustainability written as if it were a memoir. Although the kernel of their idea was good, their execution and description of it was just plain lousy. I think the principle of libertarian municipalism was the vague intention of the authors here, but guiding ideas such as that are already being expressed by such efforts as the Keep Austin Weird campaign and Local Harvest searchable database. Unfortunately, I’m left to partially agree with the always humorous Anthony Bourdain, who reportedly “dissed” Smith & MacKinnon when he said in a June 2006 interview:

 

“I’m always interested in the best food, wherever it comes from. But I don’t think I could ever see myself, no matter where I was, even somewhere like Vancouver, with all of its abundant produce and ingredients, getting all Alice Waters. I’m just not a hippie. I don’t care. I always enjoy food a bit too much to really have that kind of an agenda. Something like the 100-mile Diet? Well great. But that’s sort of like building a ship in a bottle for me. It’s beautiful, but why? It’s not something I’d do. I think they’re nuts.”

 

While this may sound “intolerant” of me to say, I must admit that every politically themed book I’ve read by Canadian authors thus far seem to be little else than incessantly whining diatribes, whether they be about the law courts or Big Food. Add to this that they are totally unhelpful, either because they neglect to suggest anything that might work or they insist their readers to act on misinformation, and it begins to sour whatever potential future solidarity could ever exist between Canadian and American political dissidents.

Freeman “Legally” Defined

The following definitions for “freeman” are taken from Ballantine’s Law Dictionary (3rd edition), Bouvier’s Law Dictionary (6th edition), Black’s Law Dictionary (2nd edition), and Webster’s Dictionary (1828):

 

 

(Ballantine’s)

One born free; one who has been freed from the bonds of slavery. A person in possession in all of the civil rights which a person may be entitled [McCafferty v. Guyer, 59 Pa 109, 116]. In the feudal period, a freeholder, as distinguished from a villein.

 

(Bouvier’s)

One who is in the enjoyment of the right to do whatever he pleases, not forbidden by law. One in the possession of the civil rights enjoyed by, the people generally [1 Bouv. Inst. n. 164; see 6 Watts, 556].

 

(Black’s)

This word has had various meanings at different stages of history. In the Roman law, it denoted one who was either born free or emancipated, and was the opposite of “slave.” In feudal law, it designated an allodial proprietor, as distinguished from a vassal or feudal tenant. (And so in Pennsylvania colonial law [Fry’s Election Case, 71 Pa. 308, 10 Am. Rep. 698]). In old English law, the word described a freeholder or tenant by free services; one who was not a villein. In modern legal phraseology, it is the appellation of a member of a city or borough having the right of suffrage, or a member of any municipal corporation invested with full civic rights.

A person in the possession and enjoyment of all the civil and political rights accorded to the people under a free government.

  • Freeman’s roll: a list of persons admitted as burgesses or freemen for the purposes of the rights reserved by the municipal corporation act [5 & 6 Wm. IV. c. 76]. Distinguished from the Burgess Roll [3 Steph. Comm. 197]. The term was used, in early colonial history, in some of the American colonies.

 

(Webster’s)

FREE’MAN, n. [free and man]

  1. One who enjoys liberty, or who is not subject to the will of another; one not a slave or vassal.

  2. One who enjoys or is entitled to a franchise or peculiar privilege; as the freemen of a city or state.

Seeds of Deception

Environmental pollution is as American as apple pie. From urban smog to fluoridated water, ~ 82% of the domestic population take it as a given that they are, and will remain, perpetually surrounded by pollutants for the remainder of their individual lives. Besides the potential effects of electromagnetic soup, might it also be possible that the very genetic code of the biological life on this planet is being deliberately manipulated so as to artificially steer the course of evolution?

 

 

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are synthetically grown biological products. Also known as genetically engineered (GE) foods, the GMOs listed throughout this book sound more akin to a rogues gallery rather than as an assortment of concoctions taken from a laboratory petri dish. Some of the GMOs include Concanavalin A (which is a potato lectin that acts like a toxic immune suppressant), Roundup Ready (which is Monsanto’s copyrighted GE soybeans), FlavrSavr tomatoes (which resist rotting), the Antibiotic Resistant Marker (ARM) gene, the Cauliflower Mosaic Virus (CaMV) promoter, recombinant bovine growth hormone (rbGH) in milk, Showa Denko’s Strain V bacterium (which contaminated some supplies of L-tryptophan back in 1989), poly-chlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and Monsanto’s world famous Bacillus thurigiensis (Bt) cotton and corn, particularly the latter crop’s Cry1Ab and Cry9C (aka StarLink) varieties. Don’t they sound just ravenously appetizing?

The author bellyaches that these GMOs cause serious health problems. Everything from permanent genetic damage to developing virulent allergies and suffering from malnutrition are claimed to be caused by these GE foods. As if the GMOs stacking and silencing your genes, in addition to turning some of your gene sequences on and off randomly, would be worth getting upset about. Not only that, but there is also a ton of anecdotal evidence offered, such as tale after tale of various farmers feeding their livestock a combination of GMO corn on one side of the trough while also offering organic feed on the other side; these very different farmers consistently self-reported that their various animals would nearly always try to avoid the GE slop while simultaneously huddling around the organic feed. I wonder if anybody ever stopped to consider if maybe there might be intervening variables causing, or at least correlating, with why the crows, pigs, and cows seem to prefer organic feed over the GMO feed.

What is a recurring theme throughout this expose are all the coverups. Whistleblowers like Arpad Pusztai (a scientist who was initially gagged by the Rowett Research Institute), Ignacio Chapela (a Mexican scientist who suffered from intimidation), Robert Cohen (a businessman who managed to acquire over 44,000 internal documents from agribusiness corporations that revealed corruption), and Jane Akre and Steve Wilson (a married investigative reporter couple who were censored by FOX) all demonstrate that Big Food has something to hide from the American public, or so Smith would have us believe. Like Daniel Estulin’s encounters with various intelligence agents while he was trying to keep tabs on the Bilderburg Group, much of what these GMO whistleblowers endured is only provable anecdotally from memory (at least apart from some random articles about Pusztai, whom some could argue was an isolated case). Why Cohen has never released those documents onto the Internet, or why the only other record of Akre and Wilson’s television expose was their interview shown in The Corporation documentary, are questions neither Smith nor I can answer at this time, if ever.

Apparently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) serves as a revolving door for agribusiness, particularly Monsanto. Michael Taylor is one such individual who is the epitome of the corporatist – he worked at the FDA, then for Monsanto, and then went back into the government. Needless to say, the corporate lobbying from Big Food is so prolific that it should come as no surprise that the FDA’s position has consistently been that GMOs do not require safety testing, because the corporations are responsible for that. Considering that the FDA admits that they are responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety of “our” nations’s food supply, wouldn’t it then stand to reason that since they have chosen to become systematically negligent in their duty that their agency shouldn’t be abolished as a necessary consequence of that negligence?

Speaking of Monsanto, their corruption is even more nuanced than the FDA’s shenanigans. For instance, their abuse of copyright is now considered legendary for its flagrancy (which, of course, is protected by corrupt judges, more likely than not to be on the take). If GE seeds are blown onto a non-GMO farmer’s land, that farmer risks being sued by Monsanto for copyright infringement if he attempts to remove the GE contaminated crops. At other times, Monsanto will initially aver their lawsuit provided that the farmer in question signs a non-disclosure adhesion contract, which naturally they will try to intimidate him into signing, even when it is clearly not in his best interest to do so. Monsanto’s insidious terminator seeds uniquely threaten the very genetic integrity of traditional heirloom seeds, for once contamination occurs, those seeds will only be good for one more harvest. As if that control-freak desire to monopolize agricultural seeds wasn’t bad enough, Monsanto enjoys corporate welfare in the form of undue government protection by being exempt from federal court actions barring their planting and selling of GE crops (such as their Bt corn; oh, and did I forget to mention that corn is the top crop for agricultural subsidy payments?).

Unfortunately, where Smith’s book really falls off the wagon was when he proposed how to deal with these GMOs. First, he said the most important thing to do was to “spread the good Word,” as it were. But what, pray tell, was the loyal flock supposed to proselytize about? Grassroots lobbying for coercive product labeling, of course! That’s right…alleged “freedom fighters” demanding the government to interfere in the market in order to “protect” consumers (gee, where have I heard that one before?). As if that wasn’t bad enough, this goal for them to lobby over only serves as a way for setting the stage for boycotting the sale of GMOs. Wait a minute…isn’t it already possible to boycott GE foods by reading the ingredients list? Actually, yes; but not only that, Smith also provides a list of GMOs in this book so that readers can avoid them, yet for some strangely inarticulate reason, “we” should still violate everyone else’s economic liberty by forcing more labeling, by way of government, above and beyond that damn ingredients list!

As you can no doubt see, this trifecta of proselytizing, grassroots lobbying, and boycotting are inherently reformist, and (surprise, surprise) its results are littered with utter failure. Smith’s book was written in 2003, and since it’s been a decade, I think a reevaluation is in order, don’t you? Let’s see…last year’s Prop 37 in California was narrowly defeated, Whole Foods lied about selling GMOs, and it was also discovered that the Organic Trade Association’s Board of Directors was chiefly staffed by corporatists who profited from the sale of GMOs. Interestingly enough, the best success that the “organic” side has enjoyed is the widespread implementation of voluntary labeling, chiefly by the private sector Non-GMO Project Verified Seal, as well as by their statist counterpart, the less stringent USDA Organic Certified sticker.

I hate to say this, but I think this crap about GE foods destroying my DNA is less believable that even water fluoridation, which at least was presented by a competent investigative reporter in an intellectually appealing way. There was really only one substance at play there, with at most two or three deviations that I can recall, not an entire class of substances that allegedly perform very different things, all the while the “organic” side admits (as part of Smith’s overall thesis) that “we don’t know all the relevant effects yet, because of all these coverups” and so on. Frankly, considering the sheer range of achievable options available to the organic “side,” they have much fewer excuses than those individuals more concerned about coercive mass fluoridation, because their rationale is harder to avoid since the public water supplies has literally been monopolized, as opposed to the food supplies which have, at worst, been oligopolized. Because of that, there is some measure of choice with regards to food (shitty as they may be), whereas with water supplies there is virtually no choice other than flushing your precious remaining Federal Reserve Notes down the toilet by buying bottled water (all of which is fluoridated anyway), moving into one of the ~ 20% areas of the country where the public water supply isn’t fluoridated, or drilling a well on your own homestead (assuming you can afford one in the first place). Approximately 50 – 60% of our bodies are made up of water, not food; so why all this undue attention about food safety from these dissidents when water is infinitely more important yet there is less “activism” surrounding it relative to the anti-GMO issue? Who is driving the attention of the alternative media here? Propagandists like Jeffrey Smith who have an axe to grind?

Now, why in light of these grievous environmental problems is there no mention of actual options that can work to get you off GE food, or at least mitigate your exposure to it? You’d think Smith would mention guerrilla gardening, homesteading, or at least the locavore approach, but no, he’d rather have you write letters and annoy the living piss out of your neighbors instead of doing something actually effective. And some of you wonder why I am so utterly disgusted by reformists; it’s because they unnecessarily increase your opportunity costs.

It is because of stupid shit like this that I can’t help but think that buying “organic” is nothing more than a scam, primarily because a good chunk of the time, what is declared “certified organic” isn’t actually truly organic because there’s still GMOs in it (but hey, that’s Orwellian logic for you). So-called “organic” products also rip off anyone who brings in less income than what is typically considered upper middle-class, considering that organic products usually cost at least double or triple than their GE counterparts (depending on where you live and what you are buying, of course). Unless those poor folks who are sincerely concerned about GMOs start dumpster diving, they’re completely screwed (and even if they do, they’re still bound to come across perfectly edible yet GMO laden “frankenfoods” anyway). Buying organic is perfectly evocative of conspicuous consumption at its absolute worst, because it portrays itself as being anti-Establishment while acting exactly like the Establishment it pretends to oppose; this is textbook controlled opposition.

Those on lower incomes who are sincerely concerned about GMOs, but can’t afford to buy organic, unfortunately begin to think about how the GE food that they can afford is systematically killing them. This psychosomatic effect has been described by some conspiracists as “The Magician’s Curse,” whereby an individual who believes that he has been cursed (because some asshole convincingly told him so) begins the slow process of acting towards this self-fulfilling prophecy. The best advice I can offer these folks is to literally not think about the GMOs, all the while trying other realistic options, at least for the time being. These GMOs may indeed be slow-killing you, but at least you aren’t further accelerating it by choosing to also suffer from the magician’s curse.

There is such a thing as false dichotomies, like the left-right paradigm. I still can’t believe that these environmentalists expect me to make a choice between the GMO “side” and the organic “side,” especially considering the latter’s rampant infighting, such as between the OTA and the OCA. In light of their acceptance of government coercion whenever it suits their agenda to forcibly label GE foods, these assholes seem little more than closeted statists to me. No wonder Gary Hunt put GMOs on his Divide & Conquer list; considering all the aforementioned problems and radical solutions necessary, it’s outside the feasible range of most dissidents to adequately handle. Until such time as you are buying affordable local foods or are homesteading your own food supply, you are unfortunately stuck with these shitty laboratory experiments trucked in from only God knows where. Then again, who knows? Perhaps in terms of popular applicability, maybe the freegans really did get it right.

Jeffrey Smith’s Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating is a completely shitty book that truly tried the limits o fmy patience (just in case you didn’t get the hint already). On the off chance you cared about Smith’s credentials, you’d might be interested to know that he is little different from Ralph Nader, albeit noticeably less accomplished. This talentless hack also has his book sold through Amazon alongside a 3-disc “GMO Trilogy” set, of which you can watch and listen to from the Internet for free. Having watched Unnatural Selection, I felt it was a badly edited copycat of The World According to Monsanto. You’re Eating WHAT? is simply a regurgitation of Hidden Dangers in Kids’ Meals, and Hidden Dangers in Kids’ Meals was nothing more than a regurgitation of Chapter 8, “Changing Your Diet” (in other words, the GMO Trilogy is a complete waste of time and money). Having been foolish enough to suffer through yet another anti-GMO documentary made by Jeffrey Smith, Genetic Roulette, I can say with full confidence it feels little more than an expansion pack upon The World According to Monsanto; the sheer monotony of the overly redundant material led me to lose a bet with a friend that those random Indian farmers who committed suicide over being too deeply in debt would not be mentioned, in fact were mentioned. In light of such blatant propaganda like the “Just Say to GMO” and “Label It” music videos, I have to wonder whether these dissidents who claim to want to eat organically are truly sincere or are just simply cosplayers who get a cheap thrill by acting “rebellious” all the while poisoning the well with their cheap antics.

Estoppel “Legally” Defined

The following definitions for “estoppel” are taken from Ballantine’s Law Dictionary (3rd edition), Black’s Law Dictionary (2nd edition), and Webster’s Dictionary (1828):

 

 

(Ballantine’s)

A bar which stoppeth a person or closes up his mouth to allege or plead what actually may be the truth [2 Coke, Littleton 352a]. A bar which precludes a person from denying or asserting anything to the contrary of that which has, in contemplation of law, been established as the truth, either by the acts of judicial or legislative officers or by his own deed or representations, express or implied [28 Am J2d Estop § 1].

A waiver, being the intentional relinquishment of a known right, is consensual in nature and is distinguished from an estoppel which is not consensual, but is given effect to defeat the inequitable intent of the party estopped [Seavey v. Erickson, 244 Minn 232, 69 NW2d 889, 52 ALR2d 1144].

The elements of estoppel by acts or representations are reliance by a person entitled to rely on the acts and representations, the misleading of such person, and, in consequence, a change of position to his detriment, so that the person responsible for the misleading will not be permitted to deny the truth of his own statements, express or implied [29A Am J Reved Ins § 1009]. Although the terms “waiver” and “estoppel” are not convertible, the distinction between the two terms is not entirely clear in insurance cases [Grantham v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. 126 Cal App 2d Supp 855, 272 P2d 959, 48 ALR2d 1088; see judicial estoppel; promissory estoppel; waiver].

 

(Black’s)

A bar or impediment raised by the law, which precludes a man from alleging or from denying a certain fact or state of facts, in consequence of his previous allegation or denial or conduct or admission, or in consequence of his previous allegation or denial or conduct or admission, or in consequence of a final adjudication of the matter in a court of law [Demarest v. Hopper, 22 N. J. Law, 619; Martin v. Railroad Co., 83 Me. 100, 21 Atl. 740; Veeder v. Mudgett, 95 N. Y. 295; South v. Deaton, 113 Ky. 312, 68 S. W. 137; Wilkins v. Suttles, 114 N. C. 550, 19 S. E. 606].

A preclusion, in law, which prevents a man from alleging or denying a fact, in consequence of his previous act, allegation, or denial of a contrary tenor [Steph. Pl. 239].

An admission of so conclusive a nature that the party whom it affeects is not permitted to aver against it or offer evidence to controvert it [2 Smith, Lead. Cas. 778].

  • Estoppel is that which concludes and “shuts a man’s mouth from speaking the truth.” When a fact has been agreed on, or decided in a court of record, neither of the parties shall be allowed to call in in question, and have it tried over again at any time thereafter, so long as the judgment or decree stands unreversed; and when parties, by deed or solemn act in pais, agree on a state of facts, and act on it, neither shall ever afterwards be allowed to gainsay a fact so agreed on, or be heard to dispute it; in other words, his mouth is shut, and he shall not say that is not true that which he had before in a solemn manner asserted to be true [Armfield v. Moore, 44 N. C. 157].

    • Collateral estoppel: the collateral determination of a question by a court having general jurisdiction of a subject [see Small v. Haskins, 26 Vt. 209].

    • Equitable estoppel: (or estoppel by conduct, or in pais) is the species of estoppel which equity puts upon a person who has made a false representation or a concealment

    • Estoppel by deed: is where a party has executed a deed, that is, a writing under seal (as a bond) reciting a certain fact, and is thereby precluded from afterwards denying, in any action brought upon that instrument, the fact so recited [Steph. Pl. 197]. A man shall always be estopped by his own deed, or not permitted to aver or prove anything in contradiction to what he has once so solemnly and deliberately avowed [2 Bl. Comm. 295; Plowd. 434; Hudson v. Winslow Tp., 35 N. J. Law, 441; Taggart v. Risley, 4 Or. 242; Appeal of Waters, 35 Pa. 526, 78 Am. Dec. 354].

    • Estoppel by election: an estoppel predicated on a voluntary and intelligent action or choice of one of several things which is inconsistent with another, the effect of the estoppel being to precent the party so choosing from afterwards reversing his election or disputing the state of affairs or rights of others resulting from his original choice [Yates v. Hurd, S. Colo. 343. 8 Pac. 575].

    • Estoppel by judgment: the estoppel raised by the rendition of a valid judgment by a court having jurisdiction, which prevents the parties to the action, and all who are in privity with them, from afterwards disputing or drawing into controversy the particular facts or issues on which the judgment was based or which were or might have been litigated in the action [2 Bl. Judgm. § 504; State v. Torinus, 28 Minn. 175, 9 S. W. 725].

    • Estoppel by matter in pais: an estoppel by the conduct or admissions of a party; an estoppel not arising from deed or matter of record. Thus, where one man has accepted rent of another, he will be estopped from afterwards denying, in any action with that person, that he was, at the time of such acceptance, his tenant [Steph. Pl. 197]. The doctrine of estoppels in pais is one which, so far at least as that term is concerned, has grown up chiefly within the last few years. But is is, and always was, a familiar principle in the law of contracts. It lies at the foundation of morals, and is a cardinal point in the exposition of promises, that one shall be bound by the state of facts which he has induced another to act upon [Redfield, C. J., Strong v. Ellsworth, 26 Vt. 366, 373. and see West Winstead Sav. Bank v. Ford, 27 Conn. 290, 71 Am. Dec. 66; Davis v. Davis, 26 Cal. 38, 85 Am. Dec. 157; Bank v. Dean, 60 N. Y. Super. Ct. 299, 17 N. Y. Supp. 375; Coogler v. Rogers, 25 Fla. 853, 7 South. 391; Merchants’ Nat. Bank v. State Nat. Bank, 10 Wall. 645, 19 L. Ed. 1008; Hanly v. Watterson, 39 W. Va. 214, 19 S. E. 536; Barnard v. Seminary, 49 Mich. 444, 13 N. W. 811].

    • Estoppel by matter of record: an estoppel founded upon matter of record; as a confession or admission made in pleading in a court of record, which precludes the party from afterwards contesting the same fact in the same suit [Steph. Pl. 197].

    • Estoppel by verdict: this term is sometimes applied to the estoppel arising from a former adjudication of the same fact or issue between the same parties or their privies [Chicago Theological Seminary v. People, 189 Ill. 439, 59 N. E. 977; Swank v. Railway Co., 61 Minn. 423, 63 N. W. 1088]. But this use is not correct, as it is not the verdict which creates an estoppel, but the judgment, and it is immaterial whether a jury participated in the trial or not.

  • In pleading: a plea, replication, or other pleading, which, without confessing or denying the matter of fact adversely alleged, relies merely on some matter of estoppel as a ground for excluding the opposite party from the allegation of the fact [Steph. Pl. 219; 3 Bl. Comm. 308].

A plea which neither admits nor denies the facts alleged by the plaintiff, but denies his right to allege them [Gould, Pl. c. 2, § 39].

A special plea in bar, which happens where a man has done some act or executed some deed which precludes him from averring anything to the contrary [3 Bl. Comm. 308].

  • Estoveria sunt ardendim, arandi, construendi et claudendi: [13 Coke, 68]. Estovers are of fire-bote, plow-bote, house-bote, and hedge-bote.

 

(Webster’s)

ESTOP’PEL, n. In law, a stop; a plea in bar, grounded on a man’s own act or deed, which estops or precludes him from averring any thing to the contrary

  • If a tenant for years levies a fine to another person, it shall work as an estoppel to the cognizor.